“Buffy the Sketch Book”: behind the scenes of well-drawn characters


I bought a couple of issues

of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic while the show was still

on. They were OK, but, with the notable exception of a two-issue story

about Willow and Tara (by Amber Benson and Terry Moore), I didn’t find the series interesting

enough to add to my subscription list. Then came “Season Eight,” with Joss Whedon himself at the helm, and by issue No. 2, I was hooked.

What surprised me most about

the comic was not that the dialogue and pacing were in keeping with

the show — after all, Whedon wrote it — but that the characters had

the same look and feel of their live action versions. Pleasing fans

of a cult classic isn’t an easy task, but that is exactly what artist

Georges Jeanty
has done.

As you might expect from obsessive

fans, no detail is too small to be noticed. When Jeanty released pencils for the cover of No. 2, for example,

it sparked a debate on Whedonesque about the appropriateness of Buffy’s

sneakers. Maybe it’s just me, but when I see that picture, I don’t think

of footwear.

Capturing the likenesses of

the Scoobies — characters we saw in action for seven seasons — is no

small task. Jeanty spoke to Comic Guide about the challenge.

“I think it’s the likenesses

that have taken me that much longer to finish an issue. I really sweat

over them, but Joss Whedon told me something that really set me on the

right path. He said he didn’t want the characters to look like photographs

and have that stiffness. He said I don’t want you to draw Sarah Michelle

, I want you to draw Buffy. Which just clicked with me. I

still struggle, but not as much.”

What Jeanty does is all the

more impressive when you realize that what he gets from Whedon is a

script with descriptions of the scene. (If you aren’t familiar with

how a comic goes from script to finished page, check out Making of a Comic:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

on Dark Horse’s website to see each step.) So, I’m looking forward to

Buffy the Sketch Book
, which collects Jeanty’s thumbnails and preliminary

sketches from the first story arc of Season Eight. Georges was kind

enough to send us a few samples.

The cover for issue No. 5 started

with this.

The finished pencils looked

like this.

And here’s the printed version.

Here are pencils for one of

my favorite spreads from issue No. 1.

And the finished pages:

To see some of Georges’ other work, visit his website and tell him AfterEllen.com sent you.

Jeanty’s next collection will feature Faith — maybe Willow will get

her own one of these days. Hey, Willow, can I see your sketches?

Are you reading the Buffy comic?

What do you think of the Season Eight art? Here’s a chance to tell Georges.

More you may like