BUFFY CUTLINES

Photo - Panels with large photo of guy w/ eyepatch CUTLINE: Xander holds down the fort in the first issue of the Season 8 comics.

Photo - Cover of Buffy comic, girl with weapon CUTLINE: There will be a reprint of the first issue of the Buffy comic with a different cover.

Photo - One large Buffy panel of girls out of helicopter CUTLINE: Fans were excited to see the vampire slayer back in action after the show ended in 2003.

- Release dates have not been set for all 24 issues of the Season 8 comic books, but here are the first few dates, according to darkhorse.com.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8: #1 (Second Printing) - Out now

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8: #2 (and variant cover) - April 4

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8: #3 - May 2

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8: #4 - June 6

HED: Slayed by comics

READ-In: New "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" comic a hit

BY SHEENA BARNETT

Scene

TUPELO - She's died twice and saved the world ... a lot.

After cult hit show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" went off the air after seven seasons in 2003, fans hoped the show would continue - despite the fact that Buffy totally destroyed her hometown, Sunnydale, and lost a few friends and potential slayers in the show's final battle. This past month, fans got their wish - although not through a vengeance demon - with "The Long Way Home, part 1," the first episode of Season 8. The show returned in comic book form, and the show's devoted fans snapped up the first issue.

"I sold out of it in four hours," said Comics & Stuff owner Vince Hester.

Love makes you do the wacky

"It's a sickness," said Buffy' fan Christy Simpson, 27, of Tupelo. She's purchased the first issue and is looking forward to the next one. "I'll be buying both variant covers."

Besides the fact Buffy was back, local fans were also excited that the show's creator, Joss Whedon, is overseeing the project and will write the first few issues of the series.

"Joss Whedon is a genius," Simpson said. "I liked the way he tied up a few loose ends."

Simpson said the comic's first ending, featuring a surprise survivor of the final battle, was a nice touch.

Josh Murphy, 27, of Amory, also loved the ending. As a Buffy' fan, he's read a few other Buffy' comics, but the season 8 comics have revived his love for the show.

"I just want to see where it goes," he said.

A reprint of the first issue was released Wednesday and the next issue will hit stands next Wednesday.

More than superheroes

Move over, movies, television and music. According to Hester, comics are the most flexible medium in which to tell a story.

"You can tell any kind of story with comics," he said. Stories of superheroes, monsters, mobsters and everyday people are what fill comics. There are comics for kids and comics with mature, adult themes.

Like the almighty comic, its fans are just as diverse, Hester said.

Comic book fans "have a higher-than-average intelligence," he said. Schoolteachers, factory workers, lawyers, fast-food employees and university professors are all some of the people who drop in to snag their favorite comics, he said.

While some fans are faithful followers of certain characters, like the X-Men or Superman, newer fans are starting to follow artists like Alex Ross or Mark Texeira.

Comics are a basic part of human communication, Hester said.

"The fact is that for as far as human history goes back, people have told a story to amuse their kids or to amuse each other," he said.

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