A Look Inside the Illustrated World of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Artist Georges Jeanty has illustrated several well-known superheroes including the Green Lantern and Superman. But then in 2007 his career took a turn toward the supernatural when Joss Whedon picked him to illustrate the Buffy the Vampire comic books. The most recent collaboration Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight Volume 7: Twilight was released just last week. I met up with Georges at New York Comic Con to ask him about his work on the continuation of the Buffy series.

So you were hand picked by Joss Whedon for the Buffy comics. How did Whedon know you?
Joss is a big comic book fan, so he knew illustrators. He remembered a character I worked on years and years ago - Bishop from X-man - and I got put on his list of people for his comic. So I got this call out of the blue that Joss wanted to work with me. I didn't believe it. I couldn't believe it was him. I was like, if he wants me, then he can get a hold of me. So then I got this email from Joss telling me about the project.

Were you a big Buffy fan before you talked with Joss?
We'll I certainly told him I was. But no, I did not collect Buffy. I didn't know it intimately. But I said that I loved it and I was all over it. I went back and watched the series. Something like a season in only a few days.

Do you have a favorite episode?
It is such a cliché to say Once More With Feeling [the musical episode]. 

Anything else you connect with in the series?
I get affected every time Willow cries. I sink like a stone. I figure if you can evoke an emotional response, then that is our job. And when she gets sad - well I'm not made of wood. I feel that.

Can you tell me a time when you feel you were able to evoke an emotional response with your work on Buffy?
During Season 8, Brad Meltzer was writing this arc. Buffy found out that she had new found powers, but other slayers were dying. Then she found out why. Unbeknownst to her, she was siphoning off their powers to become stronger. There is this scene with Xander that she realizes what she is doing. She tells him, "You know what that makes me - a vampire." That scene resonates. 

Do you have a favorite scene from your newest Buffy comic, Volume 7: Twilight?
[Georges flips to a scene with Buffy in bed with Spike - he points to it with a smile.]

Ah, yes. In this story, Spike is back.
Yeah, he gets a little action. But it turns out it is all in Buffy's head.

What kind of response do you get for the Spike/Buffy scenes?
A lot of fans look at the Spike and Buffy interlude and don't like it. Spike and Buffy and Angel - never the twain shall meet. But Buffy is in her mid-20s. What girl that age is totally focused on one guy? With all her hormones jumping...

Interested to see Georges Jeanty's illustrations? Check out his gallery here. And pick up Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight Volume 7: Twilight out now.