Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8, #1, Dark Horse Comics, March 2007
Over the past couple of years there’s been all kinds of positive media on the rising number of female comic book readers. It’s often noted that there has never been so many great female characters, Ms. Marvel, Thor, Harley Quinn, A Force etc. all delivering great art and great storytelling.
One of the big beneficiaries of this trend is the local comic book shop. Go to any good local shop and you’ll see a steady flow of comic book culture fans young and old, male and female. We old timers know it wasn’t always like this.
Local comic book shops have come a long way and this week I’d like to focus the Undervalued Spotlight on one comic that had a lot to do with all this current goodness. This week I turn the Spotlight on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 #1.
I remember this time quite well; there was so much excitement and dare I say pride at the comic shop level in the fact that Joss Whedon chose the comic medium to continue his Buffy exploits. What a vote of confidence for the industry that was! Here we have one of the most popular TV shows of that time ending and the creator entrusts comic books to keep telling the stories.
There was worry though, Buffy fans were mostly female and female customers were not exactly numerous in comic shops. I will say our shop had a lot of female readers coming in for Manga at the time but the Manga crowd didn’t turn out to be the Buffy crowd.
In the end there turned out to be nothing to worry about. Buffy fans ventured into the comic book shops; often it was their first trip in. I remember having discussions with the rest of the crew, we talked about how to change the store in layout and appearance in order to impress and keep these new customers.
Many comic shops obviously did the same. Buffy sold really well and we had a nice stream of fresh new customers coming in to buy them. I remember around that time Stephen King’s Dark Tower was being adapted for comic books, new material was actually being written I believe, that happened between points in the books. This was another new wave of customers coming in – book people.
Let’s get back to Buffy. I think this is an important comic, I think Mr. Whedon’s confidence in comics infused a huge boost of respectability in the medium. There were waves of writers and artists from other medium now willing to come over and explore the possibility of comics. For a little while anyway it was sort of like what the cable TV industry is going through now. Yeah! We don’t have to be ashamed we write/act/produce a TV series anymore. Same for comic books thanks in part to Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1.
Every good comic collection needs this comic in it’s because every good comic collection needs to have all those important game changing comics that have shaped and ushered in new eras. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 #1 was an important moment in comics and if you look around you I’d say it didn’t squander the opportunity the moment presented it.
Our shop, and again obviously many others, did a good job helping these new customers discover other comics they’d enjoy. Y the Last Man, Fables etc. were great comics to recommend. Some went further and began to explore the traditional Marvel and DC titles albeit skewing to female driven characters.
Buffy Season 8 was only supposed to go 25 issues but ended but being extended to #40. A nice healthy run that spawned other Buffy related titles. This is an important comic book that is not getting it’s due.
The 45th Overstreet price breaks for this book is $6 in the 9.2 grade split.
Strengths that make this comic a good long term investment are:
- Important event in comic book history
- Guide price way too low as of this post
I don’t know how undervalued this book is but I can tell you it is a very popular comic book. The first series Season 8 featured fab art from Jo Chen. Season 8 spawned Season 9 (25 issues) and a Season 10 is wrapping up this August at 30 issues.
I have a couple of young ladies who collect them all and of course get me to procure them.. All their friends read them as well and I have been told your bargain bins are void of them now too, or were as of Christmas.
Season 9 #1 is an issue that is very popular with young students with debt.
How can you go wrong for $6??
It’s interesting from an historical television perspective, but not sure that translates into comic collecting back issue desirability. These same fans who came to the comic from the television show will buy the trade paperback or Library Edition before shelling out extra cash on a back issue.
Hey guys I agree that this isn’t collected first because the fan base are not collectors and second because it came in an era where trade paperbacks served as your back issue collection.
I’m arguing it should be a collectible though and that the collecting community should recognize this book for what it is, important.
Gotta totally agree with this one. It’s bizarre that the price is so low. This is an important milestone comic, an iconic cover, a mainstay pop culture character. My guess is that if there’s any kind of revival with Buffy this comic will suddenly launch. We’ll see.
Sorry Walt… but I”m not up to date on these new books. I read through your post twice but I’m not getting why this book is so “important”. What happens in S08, E1 to make this book noteworthy?
Buffy #1 is not a comic book adaptation of the Buffy TV series. Buffy #1 IS the Buffy TV series. That is a lot of trust and a lot of responsibility placed on a comic book. I saw it as an important moment in the medium’s evolution, I saw it as a moment when mainstream pop culture embraced comic books and saw the form as a viable alternative for a target audience with little comic book knowledge. More than worthy to nestle into your collection.
I see… but aren’t there many other books that take or continue the story line from a movie or TV show? I think what you’re saying is that Buffy S8, #1 is part of the canon… but what about:
• Man from Atlantis
• Indiana Jones
• Mission Impossible
• Battlestar Galactica
• Dr. Who
• Star Trek
• and of course Star Wars?
The Dark Horse Star Wars series was considered part of the Star Wars canon until Disney bought up the franchise, at which point they decided that the Dark Horse stories were no longer part of the Star Wars universe. Considering all the material out there, not sure who decides what is and what isn’t canon.
Personally, I think it’s easy to continue a series from film to print. Less cost, less management, less cooks in the kitchen. The reverse however, is much more difficult and thus a stronger indication of respect for the comic medium. The fact that stories such as Civil War and Infinity Gauntlet is being brought to live action is huge nod to the original comics. Which is why, despite being new books, these respective titles are all commanding a premium on eBay.
On this premise, I hope all you collectors are stocked up on Old Man Logan. IE: Wolverine #66-72 + Wolverine Giant Size #1 2008 series.
Although these books have all popped online… many dealers and collectors are asleep at the wheel. However, I wouldn’t hold these books long term.
Great examples Charlie.
I hope I never said this was the first time a property was adapted into comics. I even featured the 1st Star Wars comic after the film adaptation as a Spotlight a little while back and pointed out that it was new ground and new Star Wars material.
I don’t think acquiring rights to publish comic books on properties like Man From Atlantis and Indiana Jones is exactly the same as what went on with Buffy season 8. Similar in principle I guess but not the same.
No, you didn’t say this was the first but I’m just trying to understand why you singled this one out, considering that pretty much anything popular enough gets the comic treatment.
It’s not just publishing rights… I think we’re talking “canon”, assuming that’s what you think makes Buffy special. The problem is, who is the keeper of all the stories in all their incarnations. Joss Whedon today, but a new creative can walk in tomorrow and wipe out all that’s gone before.
I came across this. It’s a good of an explanation as any:
No it wasn’t about the canon.
Yes, the comic treatment is given to lots of characters.
Doesn’t matter what Whedon does or does not do later.
I wanted to draw peoples attention to the fact that this was an important moment in comic publishing. This was the moment when the creator of a popular pop culture property at the height of it’s popularity, with a core following practically oblivious to comic books, left the medium he started it in and entrusted comic books to see it through. As I said above, comic shops rejoiced at the news, we at ours couldn’t believe our luck,, there was a certain buzz, a certain pride, a certain hope and a certain fear that the thing would not go off. But it did. This is the only time I remember something like this in my retailing years. The post was to celebrate that moment in time and to offer my opinion that collectors would be better off with the comic in their collection than without.
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