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Thursday June 4, 2009 4:52 am

Becky Cloonan and Vasilis Lolos Deliver Buffy Without Buffy

Posted by Robin Paulson Categories: Reviews, Dark Horse Comics,

BTVS Season 8 Tales of the Vampire: The ThrillJune marked the first month in which Joss Whedon‘s Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight took a break from the familiar faces we have fallen in (and out) of love with to introduce the human-vampire co-existence brought upon by Harmony. American Virgin writer Becky Cloonan writes up the parallel story, titled Tales of the Vampires: The Thrill, as Grecian artist Vasilis Lolos (The Pirates of Coney Island) provides Buffyverse readers with a very colorful and crisp world very new to them.

The issue introduces the protagonist of this one-shot, Jacob, a morose teenager (surprise) with Xander’s geek factor and Riley’s desperation. As vampires are now accepted and assimilated in society, Jacob quickly illustrates the long-chronicled allure of vampire lust. Merely “just want[ing] to feel something” (again, very reminiscent of Riley’s arc in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Five), Jacob catapults farther into the world he longs for with the help of a student new to town.

While it may sound as if I simply do not want to stray from the usual Buffyverse characters, I really didn’t feel anything new in this story. Exempting the heavy lift of Riley’s past, the story is too generic for the standards Joss has set for the vampire lore. This tale has been told too many times before without enough to separate it from the rest.

As for the artwork, I usually take awhile to warm up to new styles, but I felt that the simplistic drawings fit the basic storyline it moved along.

In the end, I ultimately trust Joss’s guidance, as he still serves as the executive producer on the comics. Here’s to holding my breath, that he, Cloonan, and Lolos perhaps have a better story waiting to be told about Jacob and the rest of the folks over in Nashua, New Hampshire.

I say this knowing that if you’re as much of a Whedon junkie as I am, you’ll still probably buy this issue just so that you’re not leaving an empty spot on that Season Eight shrine of yours.



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