FCBD22 Interview: 25 Years of Buffy
May 06, 2022
What better way to celebrate 25 years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer than with a high school yearbook!This Free Comic Book Day special, in actual yearbook format, is a retrospective of your fan-favorite character moments from the past two decades. Celebrate the Chosen One(s), the Scoobies, and your faves through yearbook photos, vignettes, and plenty of jokes and lighthearted moments from an array of artists and writers. Plus you won't want to miss a special look at the future of Buffy the Vampire Slayer!
We caught up with the series writer Sarah Gailey to learn more about what inspired their extraordinary characters, what to expect next in the series, AND to rifle through some really fun rapid fire questions!
Check out the full interview below and be sure to head to your local comic shop on Saturday, May 7 to celebrate FCBD in all it’s glory! To find a participating comic shop near you, use our FCBD Store Locator.
Free Comic Book Day (FCBD): Set up your title for those that might be new to your comic book: What will new readers need to know before diving into your Free Comic Book Day issue?
Sarah Gailey : Readers will need to have an understanding of the overall world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but that’s it! This is a whole new story in a whole new Buffyverse, so just come prepared to be surprised.
FCBD: What are some of the core themes present in your book? What do you hope readers take away from your title?
Sarah: This story is the start of The Vampire Slayer, a story that will explore (among other things) the way trauma can impact an entire community. This issue gives a glimpse into the way a group of friends can react to one person’s struggle, in their efforts to support and understand that person. I hope readers take away from this one that even in the moments when they’re struggling most — and even when their loved ones don’t know precisely how to support them best — they’re not alone.
FCBD: What part of the book was most fun to write/draw?
Sarah: I had such a blast writing the narrative parts of the issue, where Buffy is describing the state of the Scooby Gang as they stand in this universe and at this moment. Setting up the dynamics of their friend group gave me the opportunity to show everyone through Buffy’s eyes when she’s in a moment of vulnerability rather than a moment of power — a rare lens to get to explore and such a rewarding one.
FCBD: Can you share some of the inspiration behind certain characters, settings, etc.?
Sarah: Of course the characters are all inspired by the original show! This story takes place in the adulthood of the Scooby Gang, and I’m hoping to shed some new light on how they might have grown after high school if they had a different kind of support system in place. I’m especially excited for readers to get a peek into Xander’s journey, and the path he’s taken to becoming his truest self.
FCBD: If you could meet your characters, what would you say to them?
Sarah: I would tell them all that they’re terrible at keeping secrets, but none of them would believe me.
FCBD: Looking to the future, is there anything you can tease about what’s coming up for the title and its characters?
Sarah: Here are all my teasers for readers: Giles tries their best, Willow tries her worst, Buffy deserves answers, Xander gets a little crabby, and the other two friends who join the gang wouldn’t know a moral compass if it socked either of them on the jaw.
FCBD: Let’s pivot a little bit here to talk about your personal experience with comics. Many newcomers will pick up comics for the first time on FCBD – what was the first comic you remember reading?
Sarah: I was obsessed with ElfQuest as a kid. I know that I spent a lot of time rooting around in my Dad’s Calvin & Hobbes and Dilbert collections, but I’d be lying if I said that ElfQuest wasn’t the first real memory of comics I have. It struck me like a hammer hitting a bell. Those who know me would probably tell you that this explains a lot about me.
FCBD: What is your favorite part about working in the comic book industry?
Sarah: I feel so honored to get to work in an industry populated by incredible creators! I’ve entered the world of comics during a time when there’s room for so much creative risk, collaboration, and real movement. Getting to work alongside the writers, artists, and creative teams that are in the comic book industry right now is an incredible thrill.
FCBD: Tell us why everyone should read comic books!
Sarah: Comic books are just the best, and I don’t mean that in the sense of ‘very good.’ They’re the best thing to hand a reluctant reader because the stories can move very quickly, but there’s also a lot to discover upon multiple visits to the same issue. They’re the best thing to hand a creative person who is in a slump because they’re full of brilliant, dynamic, interlocking artistic and narrative choices. They’re the best thing to hand someone who’s stressed out because they offer total immersion. They’re the best thing to hand me, piles and piles of them, do you have any? Do you have comics? Can I have your comics, please??
FCBD: Now, we have a series of rapid-fire questions for you! They’re, ya know, mostly related to comics... Answer as quickly as you can and try not to over think it!
Do you listen to music while you’re creating?
Sarah: Sometimes! Lo-fi beats are a staple in my household, unless it’s one of those days where I need to be able to mutter to myself a lot.
What’s your favorite comic book genre?
Sarah: I secretly love historical fiction comics. I just finished Queen of the Sea and just felt sheer delight the entire time.
Are you more productive in the morning or at night?
Sarah: Late afternoon is my sweet spot. Mornings are reserved for the dreaded inbox.
Do you think you could survive in a zombie apocalypse?
Sarah: Oh, absolutely not. I would be okay for the part that involved staying in my house, but I’m not built for a world that requires a lot of running and fighting.
Would you rather be invisible or have the ability to fly?
Sarah: Invisible. I’m so scared of heights that jumping too high up in the air makes me clench muscles heretofore undiscovered by medical science. Also I’m the nosiest person alive.
If you were a comic book character, would you rather be the hero or the villain?
Sarah: If I’m in an older comic, I’ll take hero. A newer one: villain.
What’s your favorite comic book or graphic novel?
Sarah: How can I possibly answer this! I can’t! I won’t! But I will say that I’m loving Alyssa Wong’s current run of Iron Fist.
This Free Comic Book Day special, in actual yearbook format, is a retrospective of your fan-favorite character moments from the past two decades.
Celebrate the Chosen One(s), the Scoobies, and your faves through yearbook photos, vignettes, and plenty of jokes and lighthearted moments from an array of artists and writers.
Plus you won't want to miss a special look at the future of Buffy the Vampire Slayer!
Rating: Teen (or Teen+)
|Find a participating comic shop near you to celebrate Free Comic Book Day 2022!|