When did it become such a chore to read comic books? When did mankind decide that funny books were just a tad too difficult and that we needed a new way to view them? Who on earth decided that a motion comic was the way forward? Whoever it was, they should be ashamed of what they have done. Back in the 60s there were several motion comic adaptations so its actually not a new thing, various superhero books were adapted to the small screen with very little motion but these were done when comics still used real art, not the digital art crap we put up with today (which is why I still find the Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic quite entertaining, it’s a gorgeous thing to look at).
What has evolved from those early superhero cartoons is the dawn of motion comics, where people too cool for comics can watch slightly animated versions of a comic. It is no surprise that with its massive fanbase, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 comic series has now spawned a motion comic. This takes place shortly after the 7th season of the cult TV series, Buffy now leads an army of slayers against the beasts of the netherworld, but there are certain powers that don’t agree with what she is doing and are now starting their own war against her.
Season 8 was a worthwhile comic book series; it gave closure to endless amounts of Joss Whedon fans and brought back the characters we all know and love. It was well written (by people who actually worked on the show) and pretty gripping for the most part, but it was a comic book. There are certain things that you can do in comics that do not translate well when adapted to motion comics, the cryptic nature of the plots, the red herrings and the dialogue, these are all problems that Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 Motion Comic faces. The episodes feel convoluted, rushed and confusing, possibly only accessible to people who have already read the comics but then what is the point of watching the motion comic? Season 8 could have been nicely adapted into a cartoon series that would have worked far better than this effortless show that we have now.
The source material is great, and any Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan owes it to themselves to pick up the trade paperbacks of season 8 but there is no reason to bother with the motion comic. Some might find the artwork to be to their tastes but as someone who finds no art in digital artistry it is feels underwhelming. The voicework is passable, Kelly Albanese does a very good Sarah Michelle Gellar but at other times it does sound like a mediocre impressionist behind the mic. This is definitely for devoted fans only (which I guess most Buffy fans are).
Nothing to write home about here. A comic book cover gallery (which is where you’ll find the best artwork on these discs) is the highlight, supported by a mildly entertaining trivia experience and a create your own comic feature that quickly loses its charm. Backed up by a dull featurette and a test pilot which is basically a weaker version of the actual show, you’re really not missing much if you don’t check these out.
Side note: With this and the 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie hitting Blu Ray in the states, does that mean that Blu Ray copies of the actual TV series may be coming soon? We can only hope.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 Motion Comic is available on DVD from 03/10/11