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Trouble with Comics, Buffy The Vampire Slayer #34 Reviewed by Kevin Pasquino

Buffy The Vampire Slayer #34 Reviewed by Kevin Pasquino

Writer - Brad Meltzer
Artist - Georges Jeanty
Published by Dark Horse Comics

Depicting sex in comic books can be tough.

It’s relatively easy when it’s the full-tilt boogie of a Tijuana Bible or the drawings of Milo Manara because then it can be explicit and explosive. There’s no need for subtlety because the images can leap off the page in all their pornographic glory.

But it’s much more difficult to illustrate sex when you can’t show everything. After all, isn’t one of the main strengths of a comic book the unleashed imagination of the writer and the illustrator? — When they are not allowed to show characters “doin’ it”, they have to be incredibly creative and crafty to make it work.

And that’s the problem with the latest issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer; the story deals with (SPOILER ALERT!) Buffy and Angel getting it on, but the editorial restrictions on the book prevent the creators from showing the main characters actually having sex (as the titles sadly illustrates, they are in fact F#©%ing ) and the book never manages to overcome the challenges.

The story has to do with the cosmic fall-out when a vampire and a slayer have sex and how the earth/universe/omniverse (the story flip-flops between the three) will evolve. And change. And be forever altered!

And even though Buffy has had sex with the vampires Angel and Spike in the original TV series, it’s different this time because…  Because…  Okay, I’m not sure why it’s different.

But these two characters have sex! Lots of sex! And it’s all illustrated in large confusing panels!  Very, very confusing panels: Angel is told to lose the coat when he’s already taken it off. Buffy’s underwear changes color from page to page. Tree branches and fence rails conveniently cover up the naughty bits. And Buffy and Angel look like giants compared to everyone else in the story who just talk-talk-talk as the two main characters have the (supposed) sex of a lifetime.

Unfortunately there is a huge chasm between the rather mundane depiction of the actual sex and the overwhelmingly cosmic commentary that the secondary characters seem to be giving. There is such a huge disconnect between the two parts of the story that the book fumbles around like a college student trying to sound profound and insightful as he drunkenly attempts to undo the clasp of his girl friend’s bra.

Depicting sex in a comic book can be tough.  When it doesn’t work, it’s un-erotic and boring.  And maybe just a little bit silly.

And Buffy deserves better than that.

— Kevin Pasquino

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