Buffy motion comic update

29 07 2010

Buffy motion comicWell I managed to get a peek at episode one of the new Buffy motion comic and I have to say it was very impressive. Apparently, anyone outside the U.S. will have to wait until the series is finished before buying it on DVD. Do motion comics cost more to download over broadband, implode on impact with ‘foreign’ computers, or do motion comic distributors believe that the rest of the world doesn’t want to watch them? Unfortunately, whatever the reason, Marvel DC, Fox etc… are playing into the hands of digital pirates. If overseas fans can’t get their fix of Buffy, they will resort to other means, whether it’s signing up for a U.S. account on itunes (and there are many forums out there that mention it), or even worse getting their hands on a ripped off torrent file. Enough of my worries about the medium’s growth, on to a review of the first episode.

US itunes

Buffy on US iTunes only

I haven’t read the original graphic novel, but from viewing some preview images on the Dark horse website, the motion comic takes each panel as a key moment in the development of the narrative. Originally written by Joss Whedon with artwork by Georges Jeanty, and directed and produced by Jeff Shuter, the action is fast-paced with an emphasis on motion blur and fast-cuts. The voice talent is good, although fans of the original television series may be dissapointed that Sarah Michelle Gellar wasn’t involved here.

Another aspect of the motion comic that I think works particularly well is the interplay between the cinematic screen and what I would term the ‘cinematic comic’. Animated panels remind us that this is indeed a motion comic that has taken its source material from a graphic novel. I particularly enjoyed the scene between Buffy and her giganticised sister, where the shifting panels reveal various aspects of the unfolding dialogue between Buffy and Dawn. In summary, this motion comic isn’t afraid of it’s comic book heritage, in fact it embraces the comic book panel, sound effects and other comic book aesthetics to great effect. Marvel and DC take note, this style of adaptation is worth considering.

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