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Slayalive Interview Georges Jeanty

Well, folks. Here it is. The ever gracious Georges Jeanty agreed to a short little interview with me, so here it is. We talk broadly about the upcoming Buffy Season 9, and he drops a decent size tidbit about the upcoming Spike 8-page online comic.


Thanks for agreeing to talk with us, Georges. Today’s been pretty damn exciting for fans of the Buffyverse, with the announcement of the creative team at WonderCon, and the barrage of interviews and reports pouring in from everywhere. Enjoying WonderCon yet?

Georges: Y’know, I haven’t had the time to enjoy the Con because I’ve been shackled to my table meeting all the wonderful West coast fans. The whole show was a whirlwind of excitement and news!

Down to business: First of all, how does it feel to be continuing on this journey with Buffy and her fans?

Georges: I don’t know if I ever really had any doubts that I would come back. It’s not like there was some cosmic thread linking me to Buffy preventing me from leaving or anything like that, and I did have offers from Marvel and DC for work, I just always felt if there was a Season 9 I’d probably be coming back. I don’t know if it’s because I’m such a big fan of the show or that I’m not sick of these characters yet or what. I’m just happy to return to these individuals that I have come to know and love for 4 years now. I love that I get to further Buffy’s story. I had a phone conversation with Joss a while a go and he filled me in on all the goings on of Season 9 and I couldn’t wait to get to it!

Season 8 was a four year long commitment on your part; that must have been exhausting, though, hopefully rewarding too. What attracted you to the prospect of continuing as one of the lead artists for Season 9? At which point did you seriously consider continuing, and when was that deal locked down?

Georges: I think the deal was locked down in January, but I talked to Joss about it back in November, and we were shooting the breeze about one of the stories he was writing and he asked how I felt about a Season 9. At that point I had only heard rumors of a new season. I asked what his involvement would be and and he said it would be more of the same. I told him if he’d come back, then I would come back. He said he was glad I said that because he really wanted me to continue. I knew nothing about Season 9 at that point, but I knew if Joss was in then it was going to be good!
I did have those thoughts of being shoehorned into a project for a long time and then becoming typecast and, let’s face it, the comic medium is a superhero medium and if you’re not doing superheros you’re shunned in some weird way. But I’ve had such a great time doing Buffy and with such great stories, I said to myself, if this is all I ever get to do, then it ain’t so bad.

Easy question: I’m assuming that you’ll be providing the variant covers to all the Buffy books, like you did with Season 8? Sneak peek possible?

Georges: With Wonder Con, Dark Horse is releasing the first covers of Buffy and Angel & Faith, and I did covers for both. They both have the number “25” woven into the design and that’s because this year marks the 25 anniversary of Dark Horse Comics and they wanted to commemorate that with all the first issue books they’re putting out this year. Both covers are vastly different in approach. I hate to say it, when Joss and I were talking about the Angel book, I was getting a little jealous that I wasn’t going to be drawing that one. There was a point where I was asked which book I’d like to be on… and with Faith being a part of Angel & Faith, I was seriously considering it, but, I don’t think I could have done any other book other than Buffy. Buffy is what I started on and it’s an honor to further her adventures.

At this point, how far along are you with the pencils? I heard that the first scripts had gone out a while ago.

Georges: I’m about half way through the first issue. It’s taking a little longer only because there are so many things that need to be established or designed. There will be a lot more characters and locations.

If you can, could you hint at how the tone of this season differs from the previous one?

Georges: I think Season 9 is bringing Buffy back to basics. Very much the way Issue 40 of Season 8 hinted, Buffy is mostly on her own in a new place and with the burden of being THE Slayer set squarely on her shoulders again. Season 8 was more global, Season 9 will be more personal.

Andrew Chambliss told us that there would be a “hunky demon” in Buffy’s future. Have you designed him yet? Any point of references?
Georges: Yes. I have designed the demon from a drawing that Joss did (that’s right, besides his already numerous talents, the man can draw as well!). He will have an interesting past shrouded in mystery so I can’t go into too much detail.

Fashion question, since I know you put quite a great deal of effort into keeping the styles fresh and current: Are we going to get Buffy with a new hairstyle? Buffy’s hair changed from season to season (for better or worse), so it would make sense to start the new season with a new do. Perhaps something to consider?

Georges: Buffy, at least to me, is always changing her hair. In Season 8 I made it a point to have her doing things with her hair most of the time. Season 9 will see much the same. No drastic changes in hair style, now Willow on the other hand…

Have you changed anything in your approach to drawing these books from Season 8? Will you be continuing your distinctive style from Season 8, or are you going to try for something new?

Georges: I don’t consciously think about changing styles or approach. I do feel like I’ve gotten better at drawing these guys. I’m always striving to marry the differences between the comic and TV show. I really want the people who don’t normally read comics to come away from a Buffy comic feeling like it was very reminiscent of a Buffy episode. I want people to not only read the book but develop an appreciation for the medium of comics, and while it’s not a TV episode, I’m hoping people will come away thinking that really did read like an episode.

And speaking of art, how familiar are you with fellow Season 9 artist, Rebekah Isaacs’ work? Care to share some respect/love/praise? Why do you think she’s a great fit for the Angel and Faith book?

Georges: I actually met Rebekah a few years ago when she was working on DV8. I was most impressed that she was a woman working in a male-dominated field and she was kicking ass. I love the fact that art is one of the great equalizers. You cannot tell just by looking at Rebekah’s work that she’s a woman. Gender has no basis in the art world and I love that. I’m friends with Amanda Conners, another artist in the field and every time I get with her I’m always astounded at how good she is and somewhere in my head I’m thinking, ‘and you’re a girl!’ I hate having such a bias but I’m sure many fans out there assume their heroes drawing comics are male. It’s very important that we get rid of these stereotypes, and when I’m with Amanda I’m always thinking about that. It’s the same with race. Growing up reading comics I never knew which artist was who, and when I found out that people like George Perez or Jose Luis Garcia Lopez were Spanish (I know. Like you couldn’t already tell from their names, but as a kid you’re just into the art, you don’t know artists) or that Ron Wilson and Keith Pollard were black, I was encouraged. Being Hispanic and black myself it told me in some way that I was accepted in a medium I already loved dearly.
So in a related way, I’m already very proud of Rebekah for being a woman and stepping up to the artistic plate and proving she can knock it out of the park as much as anyone.

Angel and Faith
Before we end this, is there anything you can share with us about the upcoming Spike online short that Jane Espenson wrote and you drew?

Georges: Only that it looks amazing! Dexter Vines, the gentleman who’s been providing the great cover inks for Buffy finally stepped into doing the interiors and with the Spike story he gets his start. I couldn’t be happier with it. Jane is always her amazing self, and she was very happy with the finished product so that’s always a plus. The story takes place where Spike leaves in Issue 39 in pursuit of that Vagina Monster (no lie. That’s what someone called it!) that attacked Willow. It’s a sweet little 8 pager.

Well, thanks for letting us check in with you, Georges. Looking forward to seeing Season 9 in my hands. And perhaps if you’re not too busy, we can continue our time honored tradition of Q&As.

Georges: Always. This is big fun and I look forward to the questions!

Original Interview at Slayalive

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