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05 September 2007 @ 01:37 pm
Jo Chen is sort of amazing.  
Well, whaddya know - a non KB-oriented entry.  Woot!  \o/

But seriously - I've been meaning to post on this for several days, just haven't gotten around to it (lazy and/or otherwise occupied).

Mainly, I just wanted a place to toot Jo Chen's horn (no, not that way - minds out of the gutter, people), regarding her outstanding work on the ongoing issues of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8.  I believe I posted a bit on this late last year, but for those who may have been under a pop-culture rock the last 6 months or so, this is the comic book continuation of the TV show canon established by the end of season seven, the storylines of which are being overseen and "executive produced" by creator Joss Whedon. He's even writing many of the issues himself, including the already established five-issue first arc "The Long Way Home".

Georges Jeanty has been the penciller/illustrator of all the issues, while Jo Chen is the artist who has been tapped by Joss to illustrate covers for every monthly issue (so far, and continuing indefinitely).  Jeanty does fine work, and has drawn the variant covers for each issue, but his interpretations are more typical of comic-style caricatures, with only a passing real resemblance to the TV characters at certain times. To me, Jo Chen's work is where the awe comes in. She's been able to capture a real likeness in the characters to the actors who portrayed them, while still giving them her own artistic personality.  And since she doesn't have to illustrate the script of each issue, her covers give a nice one-shot image that is at once intriguing and epic in scope and feel.  

The second arc of season eight, "No Future for You" is beginning this month, with an emphasis on Faith and her own drama.  It's being written by Brian K. Vaughan,  with pencilling and covers still done by Jeanty and Chen, respectively.  That said, covers for the next few issues have also been pre-released, so I'm going to try and link images here for issues 1-9, as well as the collected trade paperbacks for each mini-arc, because they are all stellar.  The links are direct to images, but I'll still put it all under a cut to shorten f-lists just a bit:

To top that off, I've been emailing Jo back and forth the last few weeks, after I saw a message on her MySpace page that she had some limited edition art for sale - mainly, giclees of some of these covers.  Needless to say I jumped on asking her what was available, and that I would be interested for sure.  I just got what I ordered from her in the mail on Saturday, and may post a separate entry for actual snapshots of the items.  But included in the group were numbered and autographed giclees of covers for issues 2, 3, and 6 (I already have two lithographs of the #1 cover - one signed by Jo, and another signed by her and Joss).  In addition, she sent me two never-for-sale promo posters - a mini 11" x 17" promo from the New York Comic Con of the TPB #1 cover, and a 22" x 34" promo from ComiCon in San Diego of the issue #2 cover (Buffy and Xander - my 'ship!).  

I already have frames for the giclees, and will try to get the other two framed ASAP.  Again, perhaps more pictures of those to follow later.

And issue #6 comes out today - to be at my comic shop tomorrow, due to Labor Day delay.  I'll be there.


Kristen Bell is awesome.
houseshouses7177 on September 5th, 2007 07:30 pm (UTC)
I've wanted to pick up the comics but no store nearby and I'm lazy. Is the first arc done up in a set yet? The covers are gorgeous.
Jeff: BtVS - Chosen BXj_mac179 on September 5th, 2007 08:23 pm (UTC)
I know you had issues with getting to a bonafide comic-shop, Mi.

The first colected arc will be released in November, I believe, unless the date's been bumped up recently. The TPB #1 - "The Long Way Home" is that first arc of four issues, plus the stand-alone issue #5.

I would imagine the TPB #2 won't be available until next spring, after the Vaughan-penned Faith arc has run.
houseshouses7177 on September 5th, 2007 10:43 pm (UTC)
Oh excellent, o comic connection!
Jeff: BtVS - seas1 - scoobiesj_mac179 on September 6th, 2007 12:55 am (UTC)
I aim to please, lol. And I can give you a heads-up if dates/releases change later.
~ CinJudes ~: btvs - trio - 4.21 - picture_cinjudes_ on September 5th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I haven't seen any of the Faith one's except for the first one yet and just - oh man. empressvesica is gonna like the #7 cover - cause that's her ship. And in #9, is she naked?

I need to head over to TFAW and make sure my subscription is still rockin. Don't know if I got the last one or not. I'll have to check - or should I just wait for the trade paperbacks? Cause I love the art for the first arc's.
Jeff: bxw - friendsj_mac179 on September 5th, 2007 08:26 pm (UTC)
Yes, Faith is naked on the cover for #9 - I actually have a more full-length pic on my PC at home, so once I upload it to photobucket, I may swap it out. I just nabbed that one from Jo's MySpace.

And Giles does seem to possibly be more present in this arc than he was in the first, so Andrea should be happy... as odd as that 'ship is to me...
~ CinJudes ~: btvs - buffy - 2.21 - sucker_cinjudes_ on September 5th, 2007 08:30 pm (UTC)
as odd as that 'ship is to me...

This from the Xander/Buffy shipper. *shakes head* Honestly, I think your both bananas. ;P

Oh yes, please upload some larger pics of any of them if you have them and just shoot me a line and I'll go purgin'. The bigger the better - you know me.

Jeff: bx - almostj_mac179 on September 6th, 2007 01:08 am (UTC)
Now, now - c'mon. All personal 'tastes' aside, you gotta at least give me the benefit that B/X makes more character-pairing sense than Faith/Giles.

Not that I disparage anybody's 'ship preferences, but in the canon to date, the former is far more feasible than the latter, yes? And if you've kept up with the issues so far (and have seen a few preview panels to come) the Buffy/Xander dynamic is getting a little more... "ambiguous" - at least with what we're able to see. Not saying anything will happen, because I learned my lesson long ago in getting hopes up with Joss and that 'ship, but it's nice to get a bone thrown our way, and to see it getting recognized at least a bit

And for the images I do manage to scrounge and upload, once you login, the direct link for the BtVS Season 8 sub-section in my bucket is: http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v606/clarkkent179/Misc%20BtVS%20related/Season%208%20comic%20images/ . I'm gonna try to keep it updated as new stuff is released online.
ancient_immie: Standard: Eddie Izzard - Jamancient_immie on September 5th, 2007 07:57 pm (UTC)
The covers are great, I agree that Jo can keep the actors images recognizable but add her own flair to the covers. Very nice. I like the last one especially.
Jeff: bx - hellmouthj_mac179 on September 5th, 2007 08:28 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that last one is very nice. *ogles*
ancient_immie: SPN: Armed and Dangerousancient_immie on September 5th, 2007 10:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah it is. Though the one with Buffy, Wills and Xander with the army behind them is nice as well.
Jeff: bx - redshoot1j_mac179 on September 6th, 2007 12:54 am (UTC)
Though the one with Buffy, Wills and Xander with the army behind them is nice as well.

You know, though I love all of Jo's work, I think that cover art for the TPB #1 is my favorite. All three characters really do have startling likenesses to Aly, Sarah and Nick - and the pose is just all kinds of bad-ass. I'd love to have that one in large poster-size.
ancient_immie: SG: Jack MacGuyver's a gateancient_immie on September 7th, 2007 08:45 pm (UTC)
I was thinking of making that one into my default Buffy Icon. I do love it.

I'd just like to get it as a framed print. Her work is indeed all sorts of awesomesauce. The Scoobies are always bad-ass. :D But I agree that pose is all bad-assery. Whom ever it is their facing down should be quaking in their boots.