Monday, October 31, 2016

Review: Buffy: The High School Years - Glutton For Punishment

*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% mine. 

Dark Horse; 80 pages; $10.99; Amazon

I thought the perfect way to end this year's Halloween event would be for me to feature something from my favorite television from the late 1990s - Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a supernatural series that I was obsessed with throughout my teenage years. By obsessed, I mean I had posters of Sarah Michelle Gellar taped to my bedroom wall; I owned every Buffy tie-in novel and read them until the pages were practically worn out; and I recorded every episode on my VHS recorder (Remember those?). So I guess you can say that I was a big Buffy fan. By the time the series ended in 2003, I was out of my Buffy phase, though I did purchase the series on DVD (as well as the spinoff series, Angel) several years later.

Arriving in bookstores tomorrow from Dark Horse Comis is the graphic novel (well, a comic book), titled Buffy: The High School Years - Glutton For Punishment. Executive produced by Joss Whedon, the novel is written by Kel McDonald and illustrated by Yishan Li.

As you can guess by the title, the graphic novel is set during Buffy's high school years or more specifically it's set during season one of the series, where Buffy has just moved to Sunnydale and has befriended fellow classmates Willow (aka the nerd) and Xander (aka the geek). 

"Glutton For Punishment" centers on Buffy and Xander taking an extra-curricular cooking class. At first it looks like a quick way to make an A, but things quickly change on the first day of class when the cooking teacher, Ms. Miller, goes missing and is replaced by the very strict Mr. Blake. All the students try to bake the perfect dessert, but Mr. Blake's taste buds seem to be from another planet as nothing will satisfy his hunger.

Suspecting foul play, Mr. Giles (aka Buffy's watcher) sends Buffy out on patrol where she is attacked by an oversized demon-like tiger. As Buffy and her scooby gang investigates Ms. Miller's disappearance, they start to believe their teacher is somehow linked to the tiger.

Final Thoughts: The author does a good job of grasping the feel of characters; though the whole tiger plot is a slightly silly, even for a Buffy the Vampire story. The illustrations look great; giving the characters more of an animated look to them, but at the same time still resembling the television series cast. 

Overall, I enjoyed reading Buffy: The High School Years - Glutton For Punishment. Like I already mentioned, the plot is a little silly, but the colorful illustrations are fun to look at.

About the Author: Kel McDonald has been working in comics for over a decade—most of that time has been spent on her webcomic Sorcery 101. More recently, she has organized the Cautionary Fables and Fairytales anthology series, while contributing to other anthologies like Dark Horse Presents, Smut Peddler, and Sleep of Reason. She is currently working on the series Misfits of Avalon for Dark Horse Comics. Kel lives in Portland, OR.

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