Buffy Uninvited Guests“I’m the slayer. It’s what I do. I don’t like everything about the job…”

Buffy Summers is coping with the fact that she is this generation’s Chosen One. She just wishes it didn’t interfere so much with High School – and the Holidays. On top of Christmas shopping and getting ready for the New Year’s ball, Buffy has to contend with ice demons and hellhounds. And if she survives, there’s still a vampire-infested slumber party to get through!

“This is the real Sunnydale, Cynthia. You just have to deal.”

Uninvited Guests stacks together three unrelated short stories together in one trade paperback (issues 4 – 7 of the original Dark Horse Comics run), all written by Andi Watson, drawn by Hector Gomez and inked by Sandu Florea. The first of the stories sees Buffy forced into a menial ice-cream selling job at the mall in order to earn some money for new clothes for the upcoming Christmas Ball. Of course, this being the demon-infested Sunnydale that it is, she soon gets a far more chilling welcome that what she would have liked. Flash forward to New Years for the second tale and an unexpected break-in at Gile’s Library unearths an age old curse that has come forward to today, featuring a witch’s trial and a hound from Hell that just won’t quit. And last but not least, the new girl, a slumber party and a very unexpected vampire invasion is sure to keep Buffy on her toes – as well as in her pajamas!

Yeah, if you already feel the cheesiness in the above short description of the book’s contents then you won’t be at all surprised when I tell you that this is one of the most pointless, boring and irrelevant books you might ever come across and unless you are a DIEHARD Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, should stay far, far away from.

Andi Watson’s writing captures the campy feel of the hit TV series perfectly, but unfortunately this campy, cheesy style comes across as more annoying than anything else in the written world and fails to be humorous, scary or even action-packed for that matter. Of course, all three stories being basically a one shot means that Andi doesn’t have much space to work with and the result is that all three stories feel rushed, unpolished and unfinished. There is no sense of danger, fear or dread, nothing sinister and nothing scary – a problem if you consider the main theme that Buffy revolves around is the Hell Mouth and consequently all the vampires and demons that make their way to the ironically named Sunnydale all the time.

In all honesty, all three stories feel like a waste of time, both hers and yours, and you would find better entertainment by simply switching on the television and watching the news… it carries more feeling and emotion for one.

In the art department we have the team of Gomez and Florea handling the reins on all three stories and unfortunately all I can say is that I have never seen such stilted work before. Truthfully, it isn’t like Hector’s pencils are bad or anything – in fact, if you look at each character on their own then his work looks quite good – it is just a pity that he can’t seem to make all the good little pictures work together in a single panel and then make all those panels work well together on a page. Composition is his weak point and you are left with art that doesn’t carry any sense of movement or flow to it which means that everything just falls flat and you are left with a book that looks nothing more than very average.

And to make it worse, and I am not sure who to blame for it, but this book is probably the worst abuser of comic book sound effects that I have ever come across. They literally litter the pages left, right and center and their overuse actually manages to spoil a lot of the flow of the story and art and should a non-comic book reader ever discover this book then surely they would be laughing all the way into next week and be turned off the kiddy medium that is comic books forever. Not a good move team.

In short, the short story format, stilted artwork and just campy feel of this book makes it impossible to recommend to anyone but the already hardcore Buffy fan and even they might be a little offended by this irrelevant collection that Titan Books should never have put together in the first place.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uninvited_Guests_%28Buffy_comic%29