Posted by: Brian Hibbs on March 17, 2007
How weird is it that I skipped a day of daily blogging, and even *I* didn’t notice it? (though, honestly, I’m clearly the weak link in this chaain insofar as something something GOD DAMN RIGHT goes)
CIVIL WAR: THE CONFESSION: I literally can’t add anything to what Graeme said. That’s probably the best single-book review I’ve ever read here on the CRITIC. There’s not a word there I’d disagree with, though I might have said “due to the loveliness that is Maleev’s art, this is right on the cusp between AWFUL and EH. Though, no, really, it’s AWFUL”
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (Season 8) #1:I watched all 7 seasons of the TV show over the course of…. oh, nine months or so? I really admired it. And I’ve been tempted 3 or 4 times, to invest in the complete series (it will probably have to drop under $80 to get me to bite, however — its not like I don’t already have hundreds of hours of TV on disk that I’m unlikley to watch again until Ben is, dunno, 6 or 8 or something), but it’s not like I’m an uber-fan or anything.
I really liked this first issue, however. It felt very comfortable and right.
If I have any complaints, they can be summed as three points:
1) It felt like just the opening 5 minutes before the credits. Which is fine in a lot of ways, but I’m afraid that BuffyFans that are New Comics Readers might be a *smidge* disapointed. I wonder about the structure of this, too — not really sure how long Joss is on for (ICV2 says 6 issues, but this suprisingly in-depth TV Guide interview says 4 issues, with the “Season” running “25-30” issues.
I hope ICV2 is right, because it feels like 1/6th of a story, and not 1/4.
I’m also saddened by the concept this is only 25-30 issues. Let’s say we’re talking about 4 issue arcs, and it runs to #32 — that’s only 8 “episodes”, compared to a normal, what, 22 in a “season” of TV? Of course, the reason that I am “saddened” is because what the Whedon-verse does BEST is the feint — making you think the story is going one way, then suddenly jerking it back the other direction, and that’s a bit harder to do with only 8 stories to play with.
On the other hand, that’s maybe what we all think that we want — just the “continuity” shows, with none of the filler. I’m not sure that’s what we really and truly want, but 8 is a different structure than 22, and we’ll see what we see.
2) Continuity is a scary beast, anyway. Like I knew that I knew who that was on the lst page, but it took Jeff on Friday doing the “Yes, don’t you remember the (blank), then the (blank)?”. Me, I’m all “duh, right, I know exactly who you’re talking about”, but I had to be reminded. For those of us who are weak in our Buffy-Fu, that last page wasn’t so much of a “Whoa!” but a “Uh, WTF?”.
3) Dude, that Xander joke totally didn’t work. With the cut to that big shot of X, my very first thought was “Ha! He looks like Nick Fury!” then it took most of another page to get there. I had some sort of half-baked theory in the store about how this represents the difference between comics and the filmed image — both are about “coverage”, but there’s no time to edit the comics page in the way you would a filmed image. On the comics page, the set-up needs to have a beat before the reveal for it to work. If this was filmed, the beat might work beacase there’s a lag in real time between seeing an image, and taking it in, but in comics the opoosite is true — the image reinforces the text.
Is that right? In the filmed presentation, text reinforces the image, in comics image reinforces the text? Did I just hit on something smart by accident?
Ultimately, I hope Whedon some day has the time to approach the comics page as a formal experiment. As “Hush” or “Once More, With Feeling” are experiments of Form with the structure of the broadcast TV show, I’d love to see what he could do with a comics page. Because I think it could be spectacular.
This isn’t spectacular in that way, again it’s the 5-ish minutes before the wolf-howl-and-guitar-riff — but its absolutely “what would they do if they didn’t have a budget to worry about”, and it scores high for that.
I say VERY GOOD.
Right, and for the rare “retail perspective” on this, this is an unequivocal hit — I don’t think I ever sold more than 10 copies of any previous BVTS comic (though FRAY did much better), and preorders were pretty anemic (under 20% of my final order).
I initially ordered something like, dunno, 80% of CIVIL WAR #1, but I added on half of my intials when I saw how many casual requests there were for it. If I’d just had my intial in stock, I would have sold out today; at my projected rate I’ll probably sell out within 3 days of the second printing arriving, which is pretty much perfect, right? I’ll be ordering the second at, uh, maybe a third again of the first? I can already predict that DH will do a third printing. Place your bets now.
In fact, I tend to suspect if a quarter million copies were available on the market, at the time of demand, that’s probably would have been what would have sold through. As it is now, I suspect they’ll land at 160 or less, total. A great # for Dark Horse, to be sure, but this was a book that needed vision when setting the print run.
One other thing: the variant cover (1 in 4, more or less, though my count didn’t end up exact, because it’s not a line item on the invoice) was unwanted in these quarters — I’d rather not have unannounced variants (nothing about them in the catalog or the order form) foisted upon me. Honest to god, if I get a choice in what appears on my racks, the rule is “one book, one cover”. I hate speculating scumtards, and I’d rather not be put in a position where I’m asked to take thier money, when they’re just trying to get over on someone else.
So, uh, yeah, wtf, I’ve been typing for more than an hour, and that’s all I wrote? God, this is what I hate about “daily” blogging!
(whine whine whine, do I sound like the Comic Book Guy? I don’t mean to!!!)
What did you think, huh?