Douglas Petrie, writer of such classic Buffy episodes as Fool for Love and Revelations, introduces Ring of Fire in this brand new preface to the online edition:
Do you realise what you're looking at, right now, on your hot little computer screens?
This, Ring of Fire, it's not just a comic book - it's not even a graphic novel - it's not even spell-checked, as far as I know.
But here's why today's your lucky day, Fanboy. Ring of Fire is a time machine. That's right, the extremely graphic novel you're now destroying with the sweat from your greasy little (actual) fingers is actually a portal back to the stellar second season of Joss Whedon's TV masterpiece Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Season two! That was an undead lifetime ago!
Think - remember - come with me, gentle reader, back to a time when Spike was bad! Angel was worse! Drusilla was just plain nuts and Kendra the Jamaican butt-kicker was still alive and kicking butt. Not Jamaican butt, but who cares? It's butt all the same, kicked very hard, and that is a very good thing. Because if the magic of comics can take us back to the secret, unseen history of the Buffy-verse, then anything is possible, true believers.
The show is over, sad but true. Seven seasons of Slayage, all done and accounted for. One hundred and forty-four episodes of blood, sweat and more blood. Plus the tears. And some other fluids the network tried to make us cut, be we stood firm for artistic reasons. It's over. But now - here we are, back in season two!
So welcome back to Joss's world. The story you're about to read may never have happened on TV, but we, the fans, can hope and imagine and write it so. And it won't stop here. Through comics, Buffy lives.
So rejoice - and stop ogling this particular Ryan Sook-pencilled masterpiece and pay for the damn thing, will you? This isn't a library.
Douglas Petrie, July 2003