Spike and Drusilla, the fan-favorite bloodsuckers from the hit show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, hit the road in their very own one-shot! Following their flight from Sunnydale at the end of last season, the pair find themselves in Eastern Europe, recovering and searching for what they have always sought. For Drusilla, her quest for power is consuming. Spike just wants to have some fun. Will their personal differences be too much for the couple to succeed?
This story was co-authored by James Marsters, who played Spike in the television show. His debut in the comics, he would also write the graphic novel "Spike: Into the Light".
Marsters has talked about his idea for this story: “I didn’t see how those two characters were ever going to heal the wounds that they got in season 2. In season 2 he knocks her out and carries her into the car, but the fact is she’s fallen back in love with Angel and he’s not really comfortable with that at all. So I wanted to rip the characters as far apart as possible in the opening panels of the book, and then devise a way for them to come back, organically, to be a couple again. [...] So I wanted a really twisted romance and they have a really beautiful make-up scene. They’re just sitting at the bottom of a pile of burning bodies — stuff like that. But it’s a sweet scene! And that was a good experience. That was what I wanted to achieve and that was good.”
Marsters disapproved the choice of Ryan Sook to illustrate the comic, though, saying: “Dark Horse Comics had wanted to use an artist that was drawing the characters really ugly. Like, the whole world was just viciously ugly. And I didn’t have the presence of mind to say, ‘Whoa, whoa — don’t go there.’ What I wish I could have said was: ‘This is a romance.’ It’s a twisted romance, yes, but the way a romance works is that every guy reading this book has to want the female lead — want to have sex with her — and he wants to be the male lead. And every woman, conversely, has to be the woman and want the guy. The way we usually do that in romance is we cast good-looking people in those two roles. You don’t have to but that’s how you normally do that. And if you undercut that, you’re going to undercut the power of what we’re trying to do. I didn’t have the presence of mind to say that early enough so that could be accomplished and they went with an artist — a very talented artist — who went for a very horrific slant. And in hindsight I think it’s interesting. You know, I never would have thought to do it that way. But it certainly looks like no other Buffy comic book that I know of. I’m still very proud of it — but I had to explain to wonderful Juliet Landau why I was in the middle of something that made her look so much less beautiful than she is in real life. That was hard.”
Spike and Dru: Paint the Town Red was the 75th best selling comic issue in its publishing month, with 32,117 sales in April 1999 at comic specialty stores.
Narrator - “Oh, yes, Spike understands. For when Angel tired of Drusilla, he found another for her to love. Dru stole Spike’s life, and every day since. Spike was made for her. He understands obsession.”