I'm about as big a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan someone can be, short of investing my life savings into expensive collector's items and convention trips. The show and its characters have influenced my morals and spirituality, making me the person I am today. I'm not the least bit ashamed to say that my number one shero is a fictional character nor that my second is the woman who played her, Sarah Michelle Gellar. I've watched the entire series twice on my own, once through with my first boyfriend, once through with my friend Tanesha, once through with my friend Danielle, partially with one of my old friends Paige, and sporadically since forever. I am one episode away from season 5 with my current partner.
The point is that I love Buffy, pretty much as much as someone can love a work of art. I have a trunk sitting right next to my desk with all the Buffy tchotchkes I've collected and even have two copies of the second season because the boxes looked slightly different so I wanted to keep them both. That being said, I don't read the Buffy comics. More accurately, I can't read them.
There are two big reasons for this. One, it's not the same to me without the actresses and actors that brought the show to life. And two, comics are a wholly different medium from TV and it's clear. I'll start with the first part and get to the second shortly.
Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy, and his team of writers are beyond brilliant. They've produced scripts and storylines that are so powerful and iconic that they live on long after the show has ended, inspiring new viewers every single day. They never gave up on their little cult show that no one gave a chance to, and ended up with a product that TV bigwigs only wish they could mimic today. Keeping that in mind, it's hard to dispute that the actresses and actors were responsible for at least half of the series' magic.
What Buffy and the Scooby Gang and the series' many citizens and villains did is unmatched. Each person owned their role, played well — or perfectly bad — with others, and managed to be both entertaining and complex in their own ways. Mimicking the chemistry, camaraderie, and rivalry is difficult for comics, not because comics can't create those things, but because taking motion and sound and putting it into writing and drawings is an awkward, if not, challenging transition.
The blunter way of saying all of that is that there is no Buffy without Sarah Michelle Gellar, and while the covers to the comics are stunning, her likeness isn't enough. What SMG did with Buffy as a character is revolutionary.
The essence of the entire cast is hard to capture, and in my humble opinion, comics make good TV and movies, but good TV and movies don't make great comics. It's not that simple either, though. The issue is that comics are a different medium with a different audience and fanbase. What works for TV might not work for comics and vice versa.
I have a few of the comics in my trunk and read through them a while back. What was hard to process was how large-scale the action and storyline had become. In the simplest terms, the comics involve a lot more than the show did. There are storylines all over the place, which range from the serious to the bizarre, like one character being turned into a giant, then a centaur, then finally, a living doll. Don't get me wrong, Buffy had its quirky moments, but so much of the series feels forced into a larger scale for the comics.
There are, of course, people who still faithfully follow the storyline through the comics. This is not intended as a knock on them nor is it intended to disrespect the work being done to continue Buffy's storyline. Different strokes for different folks. But it would be nice to have someone else who shared this sentiment.
Maybe I'm missing out, but for now, I'm just happy re-watching the show. It's probably clear at this point that I love it, and I do, but I don't wish for continuations or movies or anything like because Buffy ended for a reason. Sometimes continuing or rebranding or reimagining a product just drags perfectly good endings and legacies through the mud for a profit. I don't need the comics and I don't need a new movie or continuation. A televised cast reunion would be great, though!
Images: Getty Images, Giphy (4)