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Slayalive Q&A with Scott Allie for Angel and Faith #2

Q&A with Scott Allie for ANGEL & FAITH #2

Hey all.
Welcome to our first Q&A session with Scott for ANGEL & FAITH. Everyone is free to submit ONE (1) question at a time.
However, we’re going to do this a little differently this time. Scott and I discussed it, and we’re going to limit the Q&A to a total of 30 questions this time. I’m going to collect 15 questions, and then close the session until the answers come back. I’ll then reopen the session for new questions, or follow-ups if deemed necessary.

The other thing we’ll be doing a little differently is that since we only have 30 slots to fill, I’d prefer that questions not be squandered on spoiler-baiting. While I understand that it’s hard to resist, I reserve the right to not include those, if spoiler-baiting seems to be the only function of the question. An example of a spoiler-baiting question would be “When will Connor show up in A&F and will he and Angel have a long and heavy talk about how Angel could be willing to leave him on a dying world while he and Buffy traipsed off into paradise?”

I’ll also be selective about clarification questions. Too often, this has become a fan exercise in demanding answers for things that are meant to be interpreted, and the material is there for that. An example of a topic done to death would be “Does Angel remember ordering the execution of the “spike” guy in “Retreat”? Can he be held accountable for the massacre on the Tibetan mountainside, pitting depowered Slayers against soldiers?” Such questions are better asked in the relevant discussion threads, as they’re provocative and discussion-worthy. These Q&As are not meant to be tools to help you prove a point.

As usual, rudeness will not be tolerated. Thank you for your interest, and I look forward to seeing your questions. I’m also accepting questions and questions about questions at wenxina[AT]slayalive.com.

1. Bamph: Hey Scott

There is something I’ve been thinking about for the last week or so. Angel’s plan to bring back Giles sounds like a really bad idea. We know she can’t handle being around Angel right now but in a perfect world, Buffy would find out about this and put a stop to it. I think if anybody could convince Angel not to go through with this,it would be Buffy especially if she talked to Angel about being ripped out of heaven against her will and not wanting the same for Giles. However hurt or angry she is with Angel at present, I have no doubt,that if she got wind of this,she would be on the first flight to London the minute she found out to talk some sense to Angel. And again,I think the only one Angel would listen to right now in his current mental state is Buffy. Of course that would complete gut the story being told so I can understand why Buffy and the gang can’t find out at this point.

My question though is,how much consideration is Angel giving to things like Giles being ripped out of heaven and not wanting to be brought back and Buffy and the Scoobies feelings on this matter? Based off of things that happened on the show like Dawn trying to bring Joyce back and Buffy being ripped out of heaven and not wanting to be brought back at the time, I just can’t see them agreeing with Angel’s plan either. Is Angel even considering these factors?

Scott: First off, sorry for the late response. We had another event at the comic shop my girlfriend works at tonight, for a book I consult on, so I wanted to show up. Patric Reynolds, the artist on Patton Oswalt’s Serenity story was there, along with some other local pals/talent.
Angel knows that what you’re saying about Buffy is true, so he’s trying to make sure she doesn’t know.
Like a lot of people (fictional characters) in this situation, Angel seems to think that he’ll find a way to make it work. He’s heard the story of the monkey’s paw, but all that tells him is don’t try it with a monkey’s paw. Instead he’s taking a very unique approach to it, as you’ll learn in greater detail in the months to come.

2. Morphia: Hi Scott

Thanks for doing this Q&A.

I’ve read the issue and have to say I’m having a hard time feeling the Angel love. It really feels as if he’s gone through the whole Twilight thing and learned nothing at all. That said, I understand why – for now – Faith feels obliged to help him. I just think he’d benefit from tougher love than she currently seems able to give.

Will the series address the evolving relationship between Angel and Faith (I don’t mean romantically) as much as it addresses their individual arcs? I mean, is the intention to ultimately integrate those three things, and will things look very different between them when it’s over?

The art was great in this issue, by the way. Given the way I’m feeling about Angel at the moment, I especially enjoyed the panel of the red demon lady whacking him over the head with a bar stool. Any chance we can see more of her?

Scott: I don’t think that demon’s going to show up again, but maybe. Rebekah rocks the demon designs.
For a lot of us, the whole story is really about the relationship between these two. That’s where a lot of the drama is gonna come from, and yes, it will evolve through the course of what’s happening here.

3. Maggie: Hi Scott,

I really enjoyed this issue — I think you are off to a smashing start with both A&F and season 9. My question is about the title of this arc, “Live Through This”. Who came up with the title? And are the resonances with the Hole album of the same name intentional?

Scott: Hey Maggie. The title came from Chris, and I don’t know if he’s a big Hole fan. He is a Masshole, though, even if he’s recently migrated to LA.

4. Menomegirl: Hi Scott! Thank you for doing these Q & A’s.

I agree with Maggie-this is a wonderful issue.

In this issue, there’s a flash-back to a scene where Faith and Giles talk about resurrecting the professor she killed back in season 3 of Buffy. I was wondering exactly when this conversation happened?

Scott: The conversation happens shortly after Brian Vaughan’s arc from Season 8, before they’d started traveling together.

5. FangerFourLover: Thanks for the Q & A Scott! This was another incredible issue!

My question revolves around Pearl and Nash. Who specifically created these two characters, and how were they thought up? Thanks!

Scott: That was a process that started in the Writer Summit at Joss’s house. Everyone there had something to say about it, guided by Joss, and we came up with a clear mission for Chris, in terms of what he needed to come up with for us. I believe it was Joss’s idea that it be a former minion of Twilight, and at one point I believe it was just one character. But it’s always hard to remember where the details came from. Most of it came from Chris, ultimately, with bouncing it around via email with Sierra, Freddye, Joss, and me. Once he had it nailed down characterwise, the names took longer. Chris had some religious names in there, biblical names, and it made the whole book sound like a church picnic. (Writers Summit, by the way: no Church picnic.) In the end I think he came up with the names, but there were some names that were rejected by Joss before we settled on Pearl and Nash. I think Chris wound up with very Whedony names. For the designs, Rebekah pretty much nailed it out of the gate, but we wanted to make sure they were really alien looking, in a subtle way—just something a little off about them. The reason one of the upcoming covers is just Pearl and Nash—the reason that we did a cover without Angel or Faith so early in the run—is that we thought the surreal quality in Steve’s work would help make Pearl and Nash that little extra bit weird looking. I don’t know if it changed how Rebekah draws them, but it informed the overall perspective on them.

6. zamolxis: Hi Scott, (haven’t read the issue yet, so any news on the digital available Buffy is highly appreciated)

Magical Mystery Tour Featuring The Beetles is timeline settled between issue #39 and #40 if I understood correctly. Do you plan to print it in future hardcovers for season 8 or 9? And generally speaking which was the most requested free digital comic of your (Dark Horse) brick-and-mortar program?

Scott: I believe Spike was the biggest hit of the digital comics, no surprise, but Mass Effect has a really strong digital following, for obvious reasons. Might have been that. The Spike story will be collected in the back of the first Season 9 collection, not as an epilogue to the five issues, but as an extra, because yes, it would come before Season 9 #1.

7. Moscow Watcher: Do you remember when the decision to create the spin-off “Angel and Faith” was taken? Pre-season 8? After the first Faith arc? Later?

Thank you for a great issue and thank you for answering our questions!

Scott: Much later than Brian’s Faith arc. Joss made the decision right before I started writing my issues of Season 8. I don’t think we knew right off the bat about the name of the book, but Joss made the decision that Faith would be in Angel’s book, then he decided they’d really share the book, and then he decided she’d get her name on the book. I really loved it when he said the title of the book would be Angel & Faith. I felt like it was pretty bold, not just going with the title of the TV show, not using the TV logo.

8. Bamph: Towards the end of the new issue we read Faith’s inner thoughts.

I tell Angel he’s nuts. He goes off on his own. A loose cannon. Aimed at himself. Figured I’d go along… Keep him out of trouble till I can find a way to make him give up this snipe hunt. But he’s not gonna. Angel’s saved the world five or six times. Spent TWO lifetimes doing good. He made up for what he did to Giles before he ever did it. But he’s still a vampire with a soul. A monster who hates himself for being a monster. He’s never going to let himself off the hook. Unless I make him.

When she says this she is really eyeing that broken vial of Morah demon blood she’s holding intently. Are we right to assume that she is thinking of using the Morah demon blood on Angel to make him human again and try to free him of his guilt in the hope of that finally giving him some peace?

Scott: Yep. You guys better vote quick, before Chris writes #3!

9. Lone Wolf: There’s been some debate on the forum about whether Angel and Angelus are 2 different entities or not: What’s your take?

Scott: We have been talking about this a LOT lately. Personally, I think this is exactly the sort of thing Joss should never answer. It’s the sort of metaphysical question that should be fun to ponder. What is the real nature of any vampire? It’s fun for Freddye and Sierra and Chris and Andrew and I to debate, but I’d frankly be bummed if we brought it to Joss and he gave a definitive answer. I will say that this question will get some play in issues to come—of Angel and Faith, and elsewhere in Season 9. Tomorrow night i actually have a call scheduled to talk about a very related question, about the different aspects of a vampire, the human and the demon. I will say there is some disagreement among those of us working on the book, but we feel it’s fine for us not to answer the question, but instead to wrestle with it. We can use the story to argue both sides of the question, and hopefully you guys will find it thought provoking.

10. Lone Wolf: And my second is… You said Angel & Faith will go their separate ways after S9. Is there any possibility he would go back to L.A after S9? Or is he finished with L.A?

Scott: I’m not sure I said that, but they definitely could part ways. I’m not positive they will, but it seems likely. And yes, he could certainly return to LA. But almost nothing about Season 10 is determined except that it will exist, which mainly means Buffy probably doesn’t die in Season 9. At least, someone doesn’t die…

11. Wenxina: Hey Scott. Mohra demon regenerative blood, some talk about the metaphysics of the soul and its interaction with magic, and Angel’s plan… these things make for an interesting story, but there are certain incongruent aspects with what was previously established as resurrection canon in the Buffyverse. For instance, Tara was a witch until she died, but her natural death made no difference, despite her witch status. Will these differences be reconciled? Right now, Faith is my avatar in terms of what to think about the entire resurrection thing (i.e. Angel is kinda crazy focused but not in the right way).

Scott: It’s a mystery, Wenxina!

We’ve spent a lot of time talking, reviewing old episodes, wrestling with the clearly established rules of resurrection in the verse, and the verdict we’ve come to is that there’s room to tell this story. Warren was a goof we don’t want to repeat. There is a tendency in the verse for authoritative characters to say always and never, but Michelle Bachman is similarly absolute in her declarations, and I’m not betting my soul on her. The bottom line is that supernatural fiction being what it is, metaphysics are not a perfect science. I’ve been involved in some esoteric groups, and you always get someone standing in front of you carefully explaining the various strata of angels, or the six stages the soul has to pass through to get to heaven. They don’t know. At the very least, they don’t know the only way. So the differences will not necessarily be reconciled. What it means to say that there’s no magic on earth, that the paths between earth and the different realms or dimensions are closed, this will all be explored and tested. I’m sure it will happen that we’ll do something in some issue that will contradict some line of dialogue that sounded really convincing in some episode of Season 4, or something. This week Sierra, Freddye, and I all watched the last three episodes of Season 5, to ponder the implications of those episodes on Season 9.

And actually I’m not sure what your point is about Tara, not sure if you’re speaking generally or refering to something specific that I’m forgetting. No perfect recall here…

Christos: For those like Wenxina who point out that Angel’s description of why he could resurrect Giles would apply to other magic users like Tara too…
You are right. Clearly Angel is deluded…or there’s something he’s not telling Faith…or the Watcher Files are exceptionally detailed.
The resurrection issue is indeed one that has a lot more to it than we’ve shown so far. Stay tuned!

12. Wenxina: What I meant with Tara was that she, like Giles, had also practiced magic, so by Angel’s argument, her soul should also be less gone. But when Willow tried to resurrect her, I think it was Osiris who very clearly stated that a natural death couldn’t be reversed. I mean, I’m betting that there’s a conflict of interest there with one of the gods of the underworld not wanting to lose souls he’s claimed because someone willy nilly casts a resurrection spell.

Thanks for the answers, btw. How was the comic shop shindig?

Scott: I don’t think Osiris would be successful in discouraging Angel right now. Let’s see if he ever gets that far. The comics party was great. Anyone in the Portland area, please come out to these TFAW get togethers. Free beer, free food, really good time.

13. Matrim: Faith thinks Angel spent two lifetimes doing good. How is that possible, he only started fighting the good fight after he met Buffy, except for a few occasions during the century between regaining his soul and meeting Whistler. Is Faith mistaken or she just exaggerated to make herself believe Angel isn’t really a bad guy after all?

Scott: I believe Mr Gage addressed this by Twitter. She does exaggerate. He did not spend every minute of the last couple lifetimes fighting the good fight, but he did have his moments well before he met Buffy, and well before Buffy or Faith were born.

Christos: Angel fought Nazis in WWII, saved someone in the 20s, John Byrne drew him in World War I…he did good stuff before Buffy. But yes, Faith is probably overstating matters.

14. Bamph: When Angel is telling Faith about the Morah demon and what it did to him in, “I Will Remember You” we get a flash of Buffy and Angel kissing from that episode and Angel remembering it.
That is a very nice visual nod and I was wondering if you knew who decided to include that? Was it in the script from Christos or did Rebekah add that?

Scott: It was in the script specifically. Totally Chris’ idea.

15. Gonzalo: Hi Scott, this is the first time I write here. I’m one of the people who run the Buffyverse wikia and just wanted to know if the villains of the issue were named: the bald “Hitman” vampire and the flaming skeletal demon. Oh and the species of the big-ass demons working for Baphon. Thank you!

Scott: Sorry, both unnamed.

16. Sosa Lola: Hello, Scott, just read the new issue and I’ve enjoyed it so much! I really loved the Faith/Giles flashback, will we get more of those in future issues? Their friendship was one of the highlights in S8.

Scott: There will be more flashbacks featuring Giles. Not necessarily from that exact time period, but a variety of different things about his past. Flashbacks will explore his history a bit.

17. zianna: Hello

You said that “Spike was the biggest hit of the digital comics”. Could we get a number on how many downloads the Spike book had?

Scott: I don’t actually know, but we generally don’t share that sort of information.

18. Morphia: Hi again, Scott

I couldn’t help noticing there were some mistakes with the British slang in this issue. Was it based on the slang used in the show (by Spike particularly, I suppose), because some of that was wrong too?

If Christos or Andrew Chambliss need any help with British slang in future, I’d be happy to help them out.

Scott: I think it was simply an attempt at British slang by a non-native who reads a lot. Thanks for the offer. I think Chris saw this and responded, so maybe he’ll take you up on it.

Christos: It’s because I’m American and I suck. In my defense Garth Ennis’ use of American Southern dialogue in PREACHER has mistakes too.

19. angeliclestat: Hi Scott

We have seen lots of backstreets and rooftops so far but are there any plans to take Angel and Faith to any famous London landmarks? After Rebekah’s recent London jaunt she should have plenty of references. Don’t know why, but I have an image in my head that Trafalgar Square would make a fantastic place for an epic fight sequence

Scott: We will get something in Highgate Cemetery, and Rebekah will have a lot of latitude to use reference from her trip, but I don’t think landmarks will be a big part of the story. No such plans. And we’d probably screw up and have the sun setting on the wrong side of a monument or something, and that’d just be too embarrassing.

20. AndrewCrossett: We find out in this issue that vampires are still popular, months after the end of Harmony’s show and the break-up of the “evil fascist Slayer Army.” Now that things have settled down in the world at large and people are having more time to really look into vampires, what they are and what they do, can we expect to see the beginnings of a backlash against them?

Scott: There will be revelations about vampires for all involved, including our characters who think they know it all. And more humans will come around to Buffy’s way of thinking about vampires. But the vast majority of vampires are actually doing a good job of following Harmony’s rules. These creatures managed to keep their existence secret from most humans for centuries, even in this age of information. So I fully support the idea that once outed, they’d be able to use the same skills that allowed them to do that, to pass, and stay below the radar. For a while.

21. Wenxina: Hellow again. So, we now know that Phil Noto will be taking over art duties for ANGEL & FAITH #5. I’m only familiar with his work on the Dollhouse covers as well as his work posted on his website. However, it’s very different from Isaacs’ style: very open, very watercolor-y. What attracted you guys to his work and how do you think that it’ll fit in with the moody aesthetic of ANGEL & FAITH so far. Or is it perfect because of our special guest star who’s all about the unicorns?

Scott: We’re just very big fans of Phil, as you can tell from us hiring him for Dollhouse covers and Buffy covers. I’ve wanted to do an interior gig with him for ages, and this is the one that worked out. He draws very pretty people, which we thought Harmony would like, and he has nice atmosphere, and a light touch that I think is similar to Rebekah’s. And Christos was very eager to work with him. He won’t be coloring himself on Angel & Faith, though, so the feel of the book will remain a little more consistent than you might be thinking.

22. zamolxis: Hi again and thanks for the Q&A

I’ve seen on DH’s blog several “Making a cover” from our artists’ POV (Jeanty, Isaacs, Morris). What can you tell us from writers’/editor’s POV about selecting a cover or a cover concept and whose words have more “weight” in the process (Whedon/Chambliss/Gage vs editors, if you remember or found it appropriate please give an example).

Scott: It starts with me, Sierra, and Freddye emailing with Joss and the writer of the given comic, usually with the three of us throwing out an idea first, or maybe, if we’re shooting blanks, just asking for something. We agree on a basic concept or parameters, then send it to the artist. If Joss pitches the cover concept, we usually adhere to that; if he’s merely one voice voting, then his vote counts a little more than the rest—but if he’s really invested in a decision, you can tell, and we go with it. But everyone wants a fairly democratic process where everyone is going to stay motivated, in particular the writer and the artist. Depending on the artist we get two to fourteen sketches, with Georges always being the most forthcoming with ideas, and often going pretty far from the original concept. Sierra and Freddye and I usually can tell which sketch is the artist’s favorite, even if they don’t say, and we take that into account when bouncing it around with the writer and Joss. If we’re happy with all the ideas, we let the artist choose. With Georges we usually narrow it down to a few and take his input into account. We assume no artist gives us an idea they hate, but once in a while we pick one that they turn around and say they don’t want to do, and we never push back against that. As a group we’re trying to come up with a commercial cover, something the readers will like, which supports the story without spoiling it, maybe misleads a bit, without lying.

23. Menomegirl: Hi again, Scott.

I was just wondering. If Faith knows about Cordelia, does she also know about Angel’s role in the the deaths of Drogyn and Lindsey?

Scott: I’m not sure. At this point somewhat safe to assume that they’ve caught up on a lot of that stuff, but it’s not germane to the story right now. There could certainly come a time when we thought it’d serve the story to have Faith suddenly learn this from Whistler, for instance, so right not I’m not saying if she knows or not. But she certainly knows Angel has a lot of skeletons in his closet.

24. Vampire in Rug: Hey Scott.

The Shanshu prophecy was a huge deal in “Angel” Seasons 1 through 5 and “After the Fall”. It even got a mention in Buffy Season 8. I think it stands to reason that this prophecy is probably “on standby” while the world is without magic. I think you’ve confirmed this in a previous Q and A. Should we be expecting this to be addressed/mentioned/explored within the text of the story? And speaking of the new, magicless status quo, what of the curse and the happiness clause? That’s also been a big deal for Angel. Could Angelus (in theory) be unleashed permanently in this new, magicless world? The thought scares me a little.

Scott: A variety of things make Shanshu somewhat irrelevant at the moment, including what you’re saying. As far as the curse goes, it would appear that Angel still has his soul—what we know about the magicless world suggests that he would keep that—but the curse is a mystery that Angel probably isn’t eager to test.

25. Simon: Out of sheer curiosity and nothing to do with the fact that it’s my surname, where did you get the name ‘Fraser’ from?

Scott: To me you are only Simon, so I don’t think I ever knew your last name; I don’t believe Chris did either, so alas, no. That name has been kicking around on one character or another since the first outline for the first arc of Angel & Faith, so it just seems to be a name Chris really likes.

26. Moscow Watcher: Did you discuss, at the Writer Summit at Joss’s house, the possible changes in the world where one can buy at the black market the medicine to regenerate any dead tissue and even raise up the dead? Like, rapid growth of extreme sports industry, changes in suicide statistics, governments and powerful corporations trying to seize it?

Scott: We talked about a lot of stuff like that. A lot of that sort of thing swirled around. It’s a tough thing, trying to decide how much you want to change the world in interesting ways that don’t necessarily play to the theme and the plot. We had all sorts of ideas about weird changes to the world around us, where we said, So how do we work that in? And realized that that would distract us from the story of these guys, in particular. You’ll see some of the sort of thing I mean, but in part the world will seem relatively little changed because we don’t want to spend a lot of time exploring those sorts of changes. But what you’re specifically talking about could have happened in any previous season, if I understand you right.

27. Lone Wolf: Is there any possibility Wolfram & Hart are behind or connected to Twilight? Seeing it was them that sent L.A to hell and that was what Twilight used to bait Angel, telling him if didn’t become Twilight, all of the world would be like L.A was in After the Fall.

Scott: Totally possible.

28. Bamph: What has the feedback that you’ve heard in general so far about Buffy #1 and Angel & Faith #1 been like, now that they’ve been out a few weeks. Are you happy and satisfied with that feedback?

Scott: It’s been very positive, which is nice. Please don’t stop just because I said that.

29. Wenxina: Will there be a guest artist for Buffy #5? Could you tell us who that will be? *cracks knuckles, ready to work some Google-Fu*

Scott: Buffy #5 will have a fill-in artist, who we will be announcing soon. Sorry…

30. Wenxina: Will Steve Morris be the main cover artist for both BUFFY and ANGEL & FAITH, or will we see some new or old talent pop back in now and again? Would love to see some Phil Noto and Massimo Carnevale covers. And I’m sure Jo Chen has legions of fans that would love to see her return to the fold.

Scott: Steve will stay on A&F for the full run; Buffy will get a new artist every five issues, or so goes the current plan. Jo does have a role in things, too. Massimo is busy on some of our other covers, and he proved on Dollhouse that he can do a real nice likeness, but there are no plans for him to come back into rotation over here.

Thanks, everyone! Buffy next week, right?

And that’s a wrap all. A big thanks to Scott for taking time out of his busy schedule to do this, and a huge round of thanks to all those that submitted questions.

Original Interview at Slayalive

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