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Buffy's Golden Anniversary...? Part 1

While she doesn't look a day over 21, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is celebrating her 50th anniversary...in comic book form that is

By Arnold T. Blumberg     October 02, 2002

It shouldn't be a surprise that the comic book tie-in series connected with one of genre television's greatest success stories is now reaching its golden anniversary issue. After all, the saga of the Vampire Slayer has amassed an enormous fan base over the last six years, and the comic book has benefited from a close working relationship between publisher Dark Horse and the producers of the television show itself. Now BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER - the comic book, remember, not the TV show - is about to hit #50, and co-writer Fabian Nicieza credits the title's longevity first and foremost to the dedicated readers who made the series a must-read every month.

"I'd have to say its success is primarily due to the fans who have supported the regular series, the limited series, one-shots and the trade paperback program," says Nicieza. "Next, it's is the plain, simple fact that the TV writers have created a cast of characters and a world that is so easy - and so much fun - to delve into. We know so much about these characters, but there are always new things to learn, new stories to tell, old friends (and foes) to revisit - it makes working on the Buffy 'side stuff' like comics, books, etc. so cool."

Nicieza is a relative newcomer to the title, but he thinks the series has been in good hands so far.

"I hadn't read the monthly title on a regular basis," admits Nicieza. "I picked up different trade paperbacks here and there. I think the book has often shown a high level of quality, and I believe it certainly is doing so right now! Working with [artist] Cliff Richards is a pleasure. The guy has to do a licensed book on a killer deadline and he keeps coming through month after month. In our first story arc, we've given him some 'widescreen' stuff to draw - some bigger sets and more dynamic action - and he's coming through with flying colors. He handles the character interaction and the storytelling so well, it's just a matter of the writers keeping things lively for him."

Nicieza also gives high marks to writer Scott Lobdell.

Buffy celebrates 50? Well, kind of, in Dark Horse's BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #50.

"Scott Lobdell is a fan of the show, as am I," says Nicieza. "We're having fun working with the characters and putting them into some interesting situations. After #50, we'll be doing several issues set between the original movie and the start of the TV show, so we'll explore aspects of Buffy and the supporting cast we haven't seen before."

Ah, but what about that fabled 50th issue? According to Nicieza, issue #50 will provide the kind of expected anniversary powerhouse punch you'd expect from a blonde chick with the ability to pummel vampires into the dust.

"[The issue] is a wrap-up of writer Scott Lobdell's opening arc," says Nicieza. "I pitched in to help dialogue the book from his plots. It takes place right after last season ended and involves some dirty-doings in the remnants of the Initiative, the return of some old friends and some old foes. It's fun stuff, [a] nice mix of characters involved and a juicy villain motivation."

Next time, Nicieza fills us in on more of the freedom enjoyed by the creators of the BUFFY comic book series.

TO BE CONTINUED

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