As hard as it is for me to believe that Buffy is twenty years old, it’s even harder for me to believe that it’s been ten years since the show was rebooted in comic form for Season Eight. I was so excited when so much of the original writing team was announced to return for that series, but right from the announcement, I couldn’t help thinking “What’s this going to look like?” It wasn’t any old Buffy comic after all, this was the continuation of the show.
And from the first artwork that was unveiled, all my fears and doubts were alleviated. Jeanty’s art captured the essence of the show and, especially, the characters. They all looked like themselves. You could immediately tell them apart. The actors were represented, but more than that, Buffy looked like Buffy and not just a portrait of Sarah Michelle Gellar in every panel.
For me, Georges Jeanty came to define Buffy in comic form. He’s certainly done enough work on the title to earn that right, having been the main artist for season eight and nine.
I caught up with Jeanty at MegaCon to talk about his work on the series, as well as moving on to Serenity, and returning to Buffy for Season Eleven.
Wicked Horror: How familiar were you with Buffy before you got hired on for Season Eight?
Georges Jeanty: I was familiar in terms of popular culture, but I had actually never watched the show. So I was familiar, but I was never familiar with the show, the format, the little eccentricities that go into Buffy. Totally lost on me until I actually got the DVDs and started watching it.
WH: The title suggests something different at first than what you get.
Jeanty: Well, like I said, there are little articles and references and things that you read, so I knew what it was. And I actually did see the movie. I had a perception of it.
Jeanty: Yeah. It’s a little like a relationship. At the beginning of the relationship, you’re sort of doing this odd little dance and trying not to step one each other’s toes. And for me, yeah, it’s just trying to draw the character and become more comfortable with them. As in relationships, the longer it goes the more comfortable, hopefully, you get. And that’s what happened there. I got very comfortable and could draw Buffy very easily. I got very comfortable.
WH: Was there a character that stood out in either season eight or nine as the most fun to visually realize?
Jeanty: Buffy was a lot of fun because I drew her the most. But a lot of the supporting characters coming in, like Harmony and Andrew, just characters I didn’t get to draw as much, but who were in the TV show very animated. Andrew was very animated, Harmony, obviously. So I got to really play around with them, expression wise, when I got to play with those characters.
WH: When you came back to do some work on this season, was it jarring at all to see the characters in such a different place than when you’d left?
Jeanty: No, I mean, you understand that when you’re doing Buffy there’s going to be growth and change. So I never thought I was coming back to something that was going to be the same. I came back because I really did miss the characters and enjoy drawing them. The only thing I was really miffed about, if anything, was that I didn’t get to draw all of them. There were only a certain number of characters that I was drawing. So it wasn’t jarring or anything, it was just like coming home, in a weird way.
WH: And after two long comic seasons on Buffy, what was it like to jump into Serenity, which was still the Joss Whedon universe but a very different type of thing?
Jeanty: Yeah, well, Joss had asked if I wanted to do some more stuff and Serenity was available. And it was nice. When the big guy asks if you want to come over, you don’t go “Nah, I don’t really want to do that.” So Serenity posed its own set of problems, obviously. No more so than it was seven or eight characters that I had to get to know and start to draw. That was probably the most arduous process of the series, just getting comfortable with those likenesses as I had been comfortable with the Buffy likenesses.
WH: Are there any plans for you to do another fill-in issue for Season Eleven?
Jeanty: I did a fill-in for issue nine, coming up in a few months. There’s going to be some more Buffy down the line. They’re doing some more coloring books. I did a few pieces in that. They’re going to repackage the DVD set, as I understand and they’re going to have some artwork for that, so I’m doing some stuff for that. And they do want to do another Serenity, but if it happens it probably won’t be until next year. So that could be down the line as well. But aside from the coloring book and the DVD, that’s pretty much where my involvement is right now.