Long_way_home_tpbI was in line at the Starbucks stand this morning when I overheard a conversation behind me.

“I feel like when you’re at Comic-Con you can stand in line for five hours to see one panel or you could go to five smaller panels that are still pretty interesting.”

This is especially true when given the opportunity to bask in that ray of sunshine, a god amongst men, the one and only Joss Whedon. Do I wait in line for five hours to hear Joss Whedon speak or do I attend other panels?

Had I forfeited my chance to see cartoonist Ellen Forney or salivate at a Twilight Sparkle figurine for a good 45 minutes (don’t ask), I would’ve missed out on hearing the absolutely delightful, Georges Jeanty speak.

If you’re a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Seasons 8 and 9, going to a panel with artist Georges Jeanty is everything you could ask for.

Though I wouldn’t be surprised if an audience member or two expected Whedon to make a surprise appearance, Jeanty assured us we were still in for a treat.

“I’m the man next to the man and sometimes that is a very good thing.”

Whether it was his acting background or his enthusiasm for Buffy, Jeanty had an engaging energy. He’s a wonderful public speaker who adeptly addressed those predictable questions:

  • What is it like to work with Joss Whedon?
  • Were you a fan of the show before you worked for the comic book?
  • What was your reaction when you found out Buffy was going to have sex with a woman?

What was most surprising to me was that Jeanty was a newly-converted Buffy fan, like many of us. He actually hadn’t seen an episode before Whedon contacted him to draw Buffy. However, when you hear him go into detail about his philosophy on Buffy, you realize it doesn’t matter when you fall in love with a story. It’s about how that story affects you.

Giles’ death in Season 8 was draw-dropping and agonizing. Jeanty defended Whedon’s decision to kill off Buffy’s watcher, saying he outlived his usefulness. He then expanded upon the importance of killing off a character. He believes it is in a character’s death where they leave their signature.

(Jeanty also added that he purposely mirrored Giles’ death to Jenny Calendar’s death from season 2. Notice the arch columns in the background of both of those scenes.)

As Season 9 comes to a close, the big question on everyone’s mind is will there be a 10th season.

Jeanty is certainly no mind-reader, but from his experience with Whedon he gave a very reassuring answer.

“The beauty of Buffy… I’ve always felt in Joss’ writing, this guy is writing a love letter. I don’t think he could ever let her go.”

That’s very good to hear!