Monday, November 21, 2011

Buffy comics goes digital

[Since this post, I've tried using the app instead of the webbrowser, and that worked much better. Read it here after you've completed this post.]

Darkhorse has finally started to fill their digital store with more Buffy & Angel comics. Read the statement and release scheduele here.

But don't get too excited. I was lucky enough to get a code for the 8 page Spike comic, but was disapointed to find out that I had only two options of viewing it; full screen or zoom option. It doesn't sound bad, viewing the entire page on my screen means that the text is too small (might not be a issue with bigger screens, obviously) and when I use the zoom option, the entire panel isn't shown. I can't scroll up or down, which means the upper and lower part is cut out, which is really bothersome when text gets cut out. I end up having to view the entire page to get an idea of the page, then zoom, read the words in the speech bubble, then zoom out and view the entire page to figure out which words I missed out on. I tried to use the web browser to zoom in, but no luck, the comics stayed the same size.

I asked Darkhorse about this and got this answer:

I have a hard time reading the online comics. When I look at the entire page, the text is obviously to small to read, but when I use the zoom function, I only see part of the panel and can't scroll up or down to see the entire panel, which sometimes mean I can't read all the worlds. Am I missing a function and can in fact scroll?

Customer service:
Thanks for emailing us. Currently the only viewing options are full-screen and panel zoom. Full-screen can feel more like reading a print comic, but you are right that the text can sometimes be too small - especially depending on your screen size. Our development team is working on ways to improve this, on the website as well the DH app. I have forwarded your feedback to them, so they know the types of options our customers are looking for.

Thanks again, and if you have any other questions feel free to reply directly to this message. I'll be happy to further assist. :)

So, before you go ahead and buy the Buffy comics, register to darkhorse digital and read a couple of the free comics first, to see if it's the option for you. And if you could be so kind to e-mail Darkhorse about this, in case you're as bothered as me. I've waited for this for a long time, since I usually buy the comics from, which means that those sellers add some on the price (they usually cost from 1-4£), then there's the shipping costs. I was very disapointed when I first read the Spike comic(excited as well, since it was a great comic to read, even though I had problems with the format), and even though a big part of me wants to read the newest Buffy, Angel & Faith comics right now, I'd rather wait until I get the print versions in the mail, so I can read them without straining my eyes.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A must read.

I don't usually recommend fics, but I couldn't keep this brilliant piece to myself.

This novel sized fic is a non-romantic Willow&Angelus&Angel fic(some sexual tension though, but the focus isn't a romance, so any fans should be able to enjoy this story, as long as they find Willow, Angel and Angelus fascinating enough), beginning in season 2 of Buffy. Part one is called Porphyria's Lover, the second part is The Lost Mistress. There's a third part planned to be released this spring, but even though the second part ends in a cliffhanger(the first one could stand alone), I think you shouldn't wait to read it.

Here's the summary for Prophyria's Lover:

"Angelus kidnaps Willow and Sunnydale will never be the same as the Scooby Gang goes up against the new Order of Aurelius. WIP. Multiple pairings, explicit violence, sexual situations, original characters, and character death."

As I said, the main characters are Angel(us) & Willow, but Buffy and the others(among them Jenny who doesn't die in season 2) get a healthy piece of the story too. I especially like how Penn and Sam Lawson(vampires Angel(us) sired) is fleshed out in the stories and how the show's plot is intergrated in the story (for example how Willow uses magic, that the gang is mad at Jenny for being a gypsy, that Doyle is a seer sent to help Angel, etc etc).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Anyone need a kidney?

I know that I pretty much show of this guy's work once every month or so, but damn, willowswarlok keeps delivering.

Look at his latest premium format statues(he used the Buffy premium formats sideshow made and customized them). The one below is my favorite.

Why couldn't sideshow come up with this kind of stuff for Buffy & Willow in their new line? Episode specific statues or statues that are true to the characters?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My review of The Buffyverse Catalog

This is a review of the Buffyverse Catalog: A Complete Guide to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel in Print, Film, Television, Comics, Games and Other Media, 1992-2010, by Don Macnaughtan. 326 pages.

Amazon description of the book:
This bibliographic guide covers the "Buffyverse"--the fictional worlds of the acclaimed television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) and its spinoff Angel (1999-2004), as well as the original Buffy feature film of 1992. It is the largest and most inclusive work of its kind. The author organizes and describes both the original texts of the Buffyverse (episodes, DVDs, novels, comic books, games, and more) and the secondary materials created about the shows, including books, essays, articles, documentaries, dissertations, fan production and websites. This vast and diverse collection of information about these two seminal shows and their feature-film forebear provides an accessible, authoritative and comprehensive survey of the subject."
I was excited as soon as I heard Don working on this and I’m very happy Don sent me this book to review (I mean who doesn’t love free stuff?). He also helped me by answering a few questions, since this is the first bibliographic catalog like this I’ve read.

Now, what this is, is a catalog (duh!) that in it’s first half aims to list everything officially licensed by FOX, such as episodes, comics, scripts etc etc, also including licensed print media such as posters, trading cards, etc etc. However, non-print collectibles, for example, action figures, plates, are not included(I’d love for there to be a complete catalog of those one day).

The second half of the book has unlicensed material listed, such a fan art, fanfiction, essays, articles, etc etc, but doesn’t aim to be complete.

For example, all Buffy & Angel episodes are listed, while the official trailers for these episodes are summarized (if that’s the appropriate word to use) where Macnaughtan speaks of the trailers that exist (that they can often be found online, that TV spots were “produced in 12, 22 and 32 seconds versions”(p.31) ).

As mentioned above, it’s divided in two parts, licensed and unlicensed. Have a look at the table of contents.
Page 1
Page 2

Section 1-14, 17, 19, and 23 are complete, while section 15, 16, 18, 20-22 have selections and summarizations.

Now, I didn’t read all sections religiously, I skimmed through some and didn't double-check. For example, I didn’t check that he had all the names of the writers and directors right in the episode section. However, I did go through section 2c, 2d, 7b-d, 11b, 21, 22 more thoroughly.

I did see some errors, or things I personally would have written differently (re-named some titles to clarify which lists were meant to be complete and which just showed selections of materials). But what troubles me more is that he didn’t write that there was a difference between trade paperbacks and hardcovers in the comics section (he just wrote trade paperbacks) since some arc/mini-series/series, for example Angel after the fall vol. 1-4, were released in both trade paperbacks and hardcovers editions. He also admits he slipped up with the main Angel IDW series of 44 issues, since he didn’t write down the individual names, he just wrote that issue 18-44 were named Aftermath. I’d like to point out that otherwise the IDW sub-sections seems complete, (unless the IDW artist Elena Casagrande's sketch book came out before 2011 and should be in there with the other sketch books as well) and those were the biggest errors I found in the book.

To sum up, this is a book that lists the official materials and summarizes the unofficial ones, from 1992-2010(some comics released in 2011 were also mentioned). You might need to take out a pen and doodle in the side margin on some pages, but mostly, you’ll be like me, itching to take out your wallet and spend it on magazines, fanzines, board games and books you didn’t know existed.