November 1, 2017
Buffy fans get three prequel years with a new “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” book series
by Alex Primiani
This past Monday (the day before Halloween!) Entertainment Weekly’s David Canfield bypassed the scary and went full-on jolly, revealing the cover of and posting an excerpt from the first-ever “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” book, a middle-grade graphic novel to be part of a larger series from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, in association with 20th Century Consumer Products. Illustrated by Carolyn Nowak, the first installment is titled New School Nightmare and will be published in September 2018.
The brainchild of the self-identified feminist and arguably progressive sci-fi director Joss Whedon (who first created Buffy when he wrote the screenplay for the 1992 movie that bears her name), “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” debuted on network television in 1997 (huge year for the nineties) and followed the life of Buffy Summers, a high-school student, typical teenager, and vampire slayer. Alongside her was a cast of misfits and teens ready to fight the forces of evil at Sunnydale High. Played by Sarah Michelle Geller, the titular character reflected the burgeoning ideals of third wave feminism.
The excerpted pages go through Buffy’s first day of seventh grade: grumpily getting ready for school, checking her new schedule, and finding out what library science is. She meets her current watcher, a sweet librarian named Miss Sparks.
While older fans will quickly scroll through the excerpt in hopes of seeing their favorite characters in comic form—no Giles, sadly, we’ll have to wait until this Buffy heads to high school… oh, and also, it’s “Hecksmouth” not “Hellsmouth” in the books, d’aww—New School Nightmare will hopefully be as action-packed and feminist-forward as the show, with bad-ass ladies fighting heinous and bizarre villains. Canfield summarizes what readers will find in the upcoming book series:
Nowak’s series will maintain the original WB series’ themes of empowerment and independence. The fun, innovatively assembled books will be told through comics, journal entries, class notes, doodles, text messages, and other in-world artifacts as Buffy is revived for new young audiences and older, longtime fans of the character.
September 2018, huh… I guess if I started “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” on Netflix now, I could definitely finish all seven seasons by next year…
Alex Primiani is the associate director of publicity at Melville House.