At its core, “Tea Time” is a 40-page exploration of an afternoon/evening with the Scoobies at the Sunnydale High library as they research an arcane artifact called the “Vampiric Altar.” As the Scoobs procrastinate, they conjure up what-if stories that feature Giles as a vampire. Cue bad British clichés. The indignities that poor Giles puts up with… But, do the stories get anything right at all?
Although set in an alternate reality/timeline, Mirka Andolfo’s standalone issue is a fun romp that does capture the fun of the earlier seasons of the original TV show. It’s undeniably nostalgic to see the Scoobies joshing and jostling like semi-carefree teenagers. That lightness has largely been lacking in BOOM!’s reboot series, and it’s funny how you sometimes forget about something so integral until you’re suddenly reminded of it.
#StoriesMatter because they can serve as that gentle reminder when we encounter them.
Siya Oum’s artwork underscores the lightness of Andolfo’s script, and it’s quite reminiscent of some of the artwork in the non-canonical Dark Horse Comics run. While the likenesses are pretty spotty, except for some panels of Giles, Oum’s layouts and the energy and sensitivity that she captures are top-notch. Giuseppe Carfaro, Francesca Follini, and Dario Formisani share inking duties, and it’s quite remarkable that their styles seem to meld so well. Eleonora Bruni provides the colorwork that deftly switches from the warm comfort of the library to the colder and eerier story panels. Ed Dukeshire’s lettering is fantastic, as usual, and I constantly marvel at just how organic and intuitive the placement of his letters are.
Overall, a light romp but with some nuanced moments of pathos mixed in. While not essential reading, “Tea Time” fits snugly in the multiverse that BOOM! has been crafting over the last year or so.
Creative Team: Mirka Andolfo (writer), Siya Oum (artist), Giuseppe Carfaro, Francesca Follini, Dario Formisani (inkers), Eleonora Bruni (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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