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Scott Allie: Interviews

22 January 2012 Leave a comment

Scott Allie – INTERVIEWS

2012:

13 Jan: Comic Book Resources – Scott Allie Talks Buffy’s Big Changes 

Rebekah Isaacs: Interviews

21 January 2012 Leave a comment

Slayalive Q&A with Scott Allie for Angel and Faith #5

3 January 2012 Leave a comment

Q&A with Scott Allie for ANGEL & FAITH #5

Hey all.
Welcome back to our Q&A sessions with Scott for ANGEL & FAITH. Everyone is free to submit ONE (1) question at a time.
As before, 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.

As before, 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: What do you think makes Angel heroic?

Scott: He wants to do right, he wants to help people, he wants to confront evil where he sees it, and he’ll put his life on the line to do it. He doesn’t ever mean to put himself first.

2. FangedFourLover: Whose idea was it to make Drusilla come to the “Angel and Faith” world in the next arc as opposed to “Buffy”, yours, Joss’, or Christos’?

Scott: I can’t remember. I don’t think it was Joss’s. Pretty sure it was Chris’, but it might have been mine or Sierra’s.

3. AndrewCrossett: I have a question about the “zompires” and the mechanics by which they are created. In Buffy #3, Willow says “When someone becomes a vampire, a demon possesses their dead body. But without the Seed, demons can’t pass into this world. The demon has to possess the vampire’s body from another dimension.” I took the last sentence to be Willow clarifying that the demon had to come into this world from another dimension and now couldn’t, so the zompires are simply people transformed physically into vampires, but without any demon spirit to provide intelligence and purpose… they’re just non-sentient monsters.

But a lot of people took that sentence to mean that the demon now controls the vampire body while remaining in another dimension, like remote control. This seemed to be supported by the latest issue of Angel & Faith, where Angel talks about the demon control being like “faint radio waves.” But I was under the impression that with the Seed gone, no travel or communication at all was possible between this world and other dimensions. Otherwise, I’d have thought Aluwyn would have made contact with Willow somehow by now.

So, could you clarify the real explanation behind the zompires (at least insofar as the characters understand it at this point)?

Scott: The demon has a very loose connection to the person, because the portals are all either closed or nonexistent. The mystic realms are all still there, of course, earth is still here, and so while the passageways are all messed up, Season 9 will explore ways in which the different realms remain at the very least side by side with us …
This season has also led to a lot of conversation about the metaphysics of the demon/vampire/human connection, and we have some varying theories. Joss doesn’t want it nailed down in a scientific kind of way, so we try to make sure that what we do loosely works within a few differing ideas for the metaphysics of it. We think that giving the readers something to ponder in terms of the nature of these characters is more interesting than explaining it.

4. Sosa Lola: Hi, Scott, loved the Harmony issue, so funny! In the issue, Harmony wants to start a campaign to fix Angel’s image, twisting the truth by saying that Angel was going to take the good humans to Twilight and leave the bad ones to burn. Angel says later, “But that IS what I was going to…” Was he talking about “creating a new universe and leaving the current one to burn” or “taking the good people to the new universe he created and leaving the bad ones.”?

Scott: He meant both. I want to do an issue of Angel drawn by Bob Sikoryak in the style of Charles Schulz in which Angel keeps trying to explain what he was thinking in Season 8, but Faith repeatedly pulls the football out from in front of him, and no one else will listen to him, and every page ends with him saying, “Good grief!” Twenty-two pages of that, at the end of which, still no one knows what the hell he was thinking.
Angel was manipulated into taking point on a very bad plan that he never fully understood because he never bothered to understand it, too wrapped up in the idea of doing an ultimate good deed. 

5. Vampire in Rug: So Connor is going to appear in the upcoming issues. I can’t wait! I think things might get a bit tricky for the writers regarding Connor and Faith though. Faith and Connor have met each other in season four of Angel. However, when Angel signed on with Wolfram and Hart, he altered the memories of everyone who ever met Connor so that nobody remembers him. Presumably this would include Faith. During season five, the magical box containing Connor’s old memories got smashed which shared the memories with everyone in the room: Wesley, Angel, Illyria and Connor. So Connor now has his original set of memories as well as the happy fabricated memories that Angel made for him. Faith wasn’t in the room when the box got smashed, so in short: Connor would remember meeting Faith but Faith should not remember ever meeting Connor. In “After the Fall”, W&H shared Connor’s identity with all the demons and vampires in HelL.A (to make Connor a target). But this wouldn’t affect Faith because (a) W&H didn’t share the memories with the humans of LA and (b) Faith wasn’t in Los Angeles at the time.

Having Connor knowing who Faith is but having Faith not know who Connor is kind of puts you guys in a tricky spot, right? When they meet each other in the comics, it should be the first time they have met from Faith’s point of view. Any plans on how you’re going to deal with that one? You could reintroduce them to each other in a funny/awkward way. Or you could say that after the Seed of Wonder got destroyed everyone got their original memories back, but that opens up a can of worms because then everyone who has ever met Dawn would know she’s a product of fake memories. And Connor’s adoptive parents would be pretty freaked out too if they found out their son has only been around for a few years. I guess you could say that Angel explained to Faith about Connor off-screen or off-the-pages. Have you thought about how you’re going to tackle this weird situation when Connor shows up and meets Faith (again)? Also, are there any plans to talk about the new powers IDW gave Connor? Would be neat if he still had them. Or again, you could just say that the Seed-breaking made him normal again. I must be the only person who actually liked seeing Connor on the show, so I can’t wait for him to show up again in the comics!

Scott: I’m excited to get Connor into the series, because it lets us deal with things we couldn’t get to sooner, which is this messed up relationship between father and son. As for Faith, she definitely knows who Connor is. We will skip the scene where Faith says, “Hi Connor, I know you know me, but I shouldn’t know you, except I do because your dad and I have talked about you a lot while we’ve been trying to get our shit together in Jolly Olde.” So we won’t say that Angel explained all this to Faith off-panel; we’ll just assume readers can figure that out, and that it wouldn’t be very interesting to read, not as interesting as the untangling of the relationship between father and son, especially in the wake of the Drusilla arc.

6. Morphia: Angel’s admission that it was his plan all along to take the ‘good’ people to the new world with him when he was Twilight and leave the evil people to die reminds me of when he locked the lawyers in the wine cellar with Darla and Dru in season 2. – ie. he’s playing God, choosing who gets to live and who dies. It seems to me you guys are really hammering home the message that Angel still hasn’t learned from his past mistakes. At the same time, because we’re mostly seeing him through Faith’s eyes, we don’t have much idea what’s going on in his head so we don’t really know how self-aware (or not) he really is.

My question is, was this a deliberate choice, agreed between Joss, yourself and Mr Gage, to make what’s going on with Angel more mysterious (and frustrating), or will the POV between the two title characters be swapped on a regular basis?

Scott: I think you’ve put it pretty well here, Morphia, and I don’t think he’s terribly self-aware. He’s definitely repeating old patterns, and I hope that he does learn from it this time, and that we see him move forward once and for all. Chris deals with Angel’s relative lack of self-awareness pretty nicely in the Connor arc. We continue to favor Faith’s point of view, but Angel finds more opportunity to express himself, not always perfectly well, as people confront him a bit more about his decisions.

7. Moscow Watcher: Great issue: witty, bouncy sense of humor; priceless jabs at pop culture; dialogues to frame and put on a wall. Christos Gage hit his strige here, and the issue is pure delight from the first to the last page.
Question: when you were working on the issue, especially on the panels where Harmony talks about grooming Angel’s public image, did you and Gage talk and maybe joke about parallels between Harmony’s PR team and Dark Horse team, who also has to work hard to reestablish Angel as a hero?

Thank you! Happy New Year!

Scott: Yeah, definitely to some degree. We wanted to wink and to nod at some of what’s gone on. But we’re not trying to say that Angel is a perfect hero, and you should ignore the things he’s done. That was Harmony’s idea for him, but I think the story is all about his shortcomings as a hero, and how his poor choices and his heroic aspirations come into conflict.

8. Dorotea: Do you think Harmony is right – i.e. ‘letting go’ of the past and not burdening one’s consciousness with guilt is what benefits the individual – and by extension the humanity – the most?

Scott: I think Angel could use a little letting go of the past. You gotta take responsibility for what you’ve done, trying to atone for it is good, but in this way, yeah, I think Angel could learn a little from Harmony. I think Faith has learned this already, and is better off because of it. We’ve all got regrets, we’ve made mistakes, probably none of us so much as Angel. But if you make every day be all about the things you’ve done in the past, it’s a pretty bad way to live.

9. Menomegirl: Hi, Scott. First off, I’d like to say thank you for continuing to do these Q & A’s. Secondly, I’d like to say that I’m enjoying these Angel & Faith comics quite a lot. For the first time, I feel like I’m reading a story that’s truly worthy of the Angel series itself.

My questions are: how much whitewashing of Angel’s character is there going to be? By that I mean, is everything Angel did as Twilight going to be handwaved away (the same way the bad things he did on the series were)?

Scott: I don’t think we’re trying to do that. Is that what Moscow Watcher was getting at above? I don’t read it that way, but I’m curious what readers are seeing. In my comment above, about letting go of the past—that’s not meant to be whitewashing either. Letting go a little isn’t saying it never happened, it’s just syaing that there’s more to life than what already went by. Angel can’t seem to do that. A guy who’s obsessed with redemption, with making up for his sins, who’s hated by a lot of the people around him—how is that whitewashing? Who’s saying Angel didn’t screw up? Not us. Not Faith. Certainly not Nadira, who’s meant to be a sympathetic character. When a sympathetic character views one of the protagonists as a villain, that’s not whitewashing.

10. Wenxina: Can you confirm that one of the upcoming 5-issue minis you mentioned at NYCC is going to be Willow’s story? Along those lines, can you officially state when that project will drop?

Scott: I cannot confirm that!

11. spuffyspangellover: Hey Scott! Season 9 has been incredible so far. I especially loved issues #4 of both Buffy and Angel and Faith. Which issue of Angel and Faith has been your favorite thus far?

Scott: Aww, I can’t say. Thank you, but I don’t know. I’ve been enjoying what we’re doing, I’m proud of it, I love the teams we’re working with, including the fill-in guys. But I don’t have a favorite issue at this point. Maybe when there are more completed, but right now it’s all just a blur of good times and deadline nightmares.

12. Lone Wolf: Hi, Scott. In After The Fall Wesley was last seen saying he’ll be watching over Illyria, what happened to him? Do you think he is still under contract with Wolfram & Hart or has he moved on to the spirit world? Has there been any discussion to revisit his character in someway in A&F?

Scott: I don’t want to address Wesley’s ultimate fate, but as of right now, we don’t have plans to use him this season. That could change.

13. Skytteflickan88: I’m still very confused about the Twangel deal, but figured another general “WTF was Angel thinking” question wouldn’t add to the discussion. So I’m going to ask specifically about something that’s been bothering me ever since I read it. When Buffy and Angel are still in the Twilight world, and Buffy rips open a portal and they see Xander and the others fighting against the demons, Buffy wants to go back, but Angel wants her to leave her friends to fight on their own. He actually seems to not understand why she wants to go back, almost like he doesn’t get that she can’t leave those she loves to fight for their lives. Why is that? Why does it seem like he’s forgotten what it feels like to be willing to die for those you love? Did he think they would actually be ok on their own? Did he simply not care about the outcome? Was Twilight possessing him?

Scott: Yes, he was somewhat possessed at that point, but he was also just so caught up in this mission he was committed to that it was the only thing that mattered. He believed that if he followed through on Twilight, it’d all be all right. I know some people are frustrated with the “somewhat possessed” concept, but that’s how this works. There are times when he’s outright possessed, a puppet, and others when he’s heavily influenced, and still others when it’s simply his own imperfect judgment buying into the Twilight idea and taking him down bad paths. He believed that what they were doing would bring an end to the fighting, and he believed their friends would be okay—”They’ll survive. They always do.”—but you can see his resolve breaking down in #35 as he and Buffy talk it out.

14. Menomegirl: Thank you! I’ve read both your reply to me and to Moscow Watcher; you’ve definitely given me something to think about as the series progresses.

I would like to pose a question that asks for your opinion, rather than a question about the comics, if I may.

Do you think it’s redemption that Angel’s actually seeking? Or is it absolution that he craves?

Scott: Well, if I understand the difference, I’d say he wants redemption. Absolution would just be forgiveness, and I don’t think that’s what he wants. Redemption is more objective, more of an actual feat or accomplishment, and that’s what he wants. For his current actions to cancel out his previous actions. Also, Absolution is a fine comic written by Christos Gage for another publisher.

15. zamolxis: Hello, Mr Allie and Congrats on Buffy going digital.

This came from Buffy #4, but I think it applies to both titles. We saw Buffy and Spike being sucked out of their powers with no consequence whatsoever, both remaining still slayer and vampire.

It looks like a no-limit source and probably some former witches/warlocks/demons will figure it out that magic can be extracted and start enslaving vampires, slayers or other mystical creatures for their Duracell properties (similar to exploiting the Mohra demon)

Is this correct? Did Buffy and Spike remain unaffected magically after being temporarily drained? Are we going to see magic harvesting farms?

Scott: Excellent question. We will see some people harvesting power in different ways. In terms of the Siphon, had Spike or Buffy been fully drained, it would not have been temporary.

16. Bamph: Georges suggested this type of question might be more for you in his latest Q/A. The next arc of Buffy is two issues,#6-7. Will the arc following ‘On Your Own’ be a short one or a more traditional 4-5 issue arc and will Angel & Faith have any two issues arcs coming up after,”Daddy Issues” or is it sticking to the more normal formatting of one-off and 4 or 5 issue arcs?

Scott: Arc lengths will vary, always adding up to 5-issue trades. 

17. spuffyspangellover: Scott, what do you think makes Angel(us)’s relationship with Drusilla so captivating?

Scott: She’s unrepentant, but her whole existence is one of the things Angel needs redemption for. She’s one of the worst things he’s ever done, and yet she remains one of our only unrepentant main-character vampires. There are a lot of other things I find interesting about Dru, too, and you’ll see a lot of it explored in the coming issues.

18. KingofCretins: Scott, there’s a little inconsistency so far (although reasonable, since they are different books, such things happen) between how “zompires” are depicted in “Buffy” and “Angel and Faith” — in the former, they pretty explicitly evoke zombies, brainless flesh-craving, useless eating machines. In the latter, they appear to be sort of a “mook” class of vampire, capable of following instructions and so on. Are they generally going to be more one than the other? How much intelligence would you say they have, compared to the greater fictional lexicon of zombie/alien/monster things?

Scott: I think the difference is partly in the fact that Chris writes Angel & Faith a bit like a crime book, and his criminal monsters use the zomps as thugs; in San Francisco, we’re not dealing with a structured monster class, no order or organization, so the zomps are running around like zombies. We’ll see a little more of the unorganized zomps in A&F, probably not any of the ordered zomps in Buffy. In terms of intelligence, I think they’re a little more intelligent than what we normally think of as zombies, but not much more.

19. Matrim: How is it possible for Harmony to “reform”? We had seven seasons where it was repeatedly stated that vampires can’t do that. Spike needed a chip, support from Buffy and he still had to go get a soul. And now suddenly not just Harmony but apparently tons of other vampires just decided to stop killing as if this is no big deal? Don’t you think that’s a bit inconsistent? And shouldn’t Angel, Faith, Buffy and the rest of the principal characters ask themselves how is that thing possible and what are its ramifications as far killing vampires (as opposed to refusing to kill even the vilest of humans) goes?

Scott: The vampires are following Harmony’s rules so they can get by in society. They’re getting their blood in other ways, and probably a lot of them are continuing to do it the old way, and still doing it in secret. There is a lot of conflict or the main characters in terms of what they’re supposed to do in this new world order. It’s not the total focus of the story, but it’s in there, and you’ll continue to see it come up in dialogue.

20. AndrewCrossett: Are there any plans as of yet to “check in” with any of Buffy’s close associates in the Slayer Army last season — such as Satsu, Leah, Rowena, Vi, etc.? It would be interesting to get an update on what they’re doing and how they feel about Buffy.

Scott: We’re going to see some of those girls in #11. We’re tempted to push more of them into the story, but we don’t want to force it, or cut away from the main characters.

21. Sosa Lola: Hi, Scott, I’ve seen this asked somewhere else and figured it’ll be fun to hear what you think: Xander came up with the name “zompires” in #3 of BtVS, how did Angel know about it?

Scott: Xander did coin it, and it spread virally through a certain social networking site that will go unnamed for now …

22. Moscow Watcher: Hi again, Mr.Allie,

I’m sorry if my previous question sounded like concern about the possibility of whitewashing. I asked about your awareness of certain parallels because I’m curious about the creative process, and how much fandom reactions influence the final product.

My question: on the eve of the New Year, could you tell fans what to expect in 2012? And what do you expect from us in return?

Thank you for answering our questions!

Scott: I just want to understand the notion of whitewashing, because it seems like it’s a topic among readers. I’ve gotten a few emails about it, and the word was used in someone’s questions yesterday. I’ve had emails this week saying that we’re either condemning him, trying to destroy him as a character, or whitewashing him, which I think reveals the strong perspectives in the readership. In terms of the new year … there’ll be some shocks and surprises, some fury directed at us, and some announcements about side stories that I think will be exciting. At this moment, we’re working on the collections of the first arcs, and the first hardcover collection of Season 8. So I’m gonna have an increasing stack of books I’m proud of, and we’re going to get a lot of input from readers.

23. Dorotea: I would like to ask about Whistler and his role in S9, besides being the most irrelevant and badly dressed Big Bad the verse had ever known. With him being stuck in England – are we to assume that his fixation on ‘setting things straight’ with Angel is his personal obsession, or is this more of a general ‘juctice always finds its mark’ thing? I mean – he used to be a prominent figure in BtVS verse, why is he currently only concerned with Angel’s end of things, when it was really Buffy who ended Twilight?

Scott: Whistler has a complicated agenda that’ll be revealed over time. But I think he’s always been more interested in Angel than Buffy.

24. Wenxina: Hey Scott. Other than the FCBD flipbook, can, or should we expect more ancillary projects in the vein of the MDHP shorts for Season 9/Angel & Faith?

Scott: We don’t have any plans for more short stories, actually—something might come up that we decide to do in DHP or something like that, but for the most part the stories will be told in the two monthlies, and in side miniseries under their own title.

25. Morphia: Hi Scott

In view of the fact that Faith is keen to get Angel to put his past behind him, and you say that we’re not likely to see them talking about Connor, can we hope to see any scenes where they discuss Angel’s past in some fashion?

I ask because I really enjoyed the panel in 5 where Faith says she can’t think why she gets called the slutty one given that she seems to be the only one who hasn’t slept with Spike, and Angel looks all guilty and embarrassed. That was fun, and because Mr Gage writes Faith’s dialogue so well, I would love to see more of her putting Angel’s past into perspective with her unique view on things.

Scott: Sorry, I misspoke if I said they’re not going to talk about Connor. And I got an email from someone that makes me think I really garbled my answer on that—I understand that Connor and Faith met in the Angel TV series, and I also know that there is a complicated situation around Connor’s history and what characters remember of it. We’re going to skip over all of that, because there is a very simple and obvious explanation: these things have been covered in conversations we the readers are not privvy to. If we were to write a conversation in which Angel explains to Faith that he has a son that she met but doesn’t remember meeting … this would be excessively boring, bad drama, inside baseball. So they’re not going to have that conversation. But as Chris has said, Connor is going to feature in the upcoming arc, and there will be a lot said dealing with Angel’s relationship with his son, said by Faith as well as other characters. I love what Chris has written about it so far, and I think it will please readers.

26. Maggie: Hi Scott,

Faith keeps drawing parallels between her and Angel — but their falls are actually quite different. Will that difference become part of the story? Or are all redemption stories more or less the same?

Scott: Yeah, their sins are very different, but I think the more important difference is their redemption and where they’re at now. You’re totally right, Maggie, absolutely, but the story is about the differences in where they’re at now. In the upcoming arc you get some of what you’re asking about, but it’s more about redemption than the sins themselves.

27. janas: Hello, Mr. Allie

This is the first time that I have submitted a question. I’m happy to know that Connor will be in London with Angel and Faith, and I can’t wait for him to show up again in the comics.

Is there a remote possibility of seeing Connor in San Francisco too? I remember that before Season 9 began, you have spoke of this and to me it was an incentive to follow the comics, but Mr. Andrew Chambliss said recently that for now there are no plans to bring Connor to Buffy, and that’s a disappointment.

My question is simple:
Will Buffy meet the son of Angel in Season 9?

Scott: No plans for that to happen. Possible, but the plans for Connor are all about his interaction with his father and the people he’s traveling with. Sorry. I think my earlier comment that you might be refering to was the potential in Season 9 that any character from either show can take on a role in either comic. There will be some mixing and matching, but maybe less than you’d like to see. One of the complaints with Season 8 was that we were dragging in too many supporting characters—in Season 9 we’re definitely only bringing in characters that are essential to the story being told.

Thanks, all, and happy new year—
S

This concludes the final Q&A session of 2011! Thank you all for your continued interests, and we hope to continue doing these in the new year, time and availability permitting, of course.
Happy New Year, and thanks again, Scott, for continuing to do these sessions with us!

Original Interview at Slayalive

*~

Slayalive Q&A with Georges Jeanty for Buffy Season 9 #4

3 January 2012 Leave a comment

Q&A with Georges Jeanty for Buffy Season 9 #4

Hey all!

Rules are simple: Post up to THREE (3) questions per member until I submit your questions to Georges. I will post a note to let you know when I send off questions to reopen the floor.

Keep it clean, keep it civil. Simple right? Entries are welcome until I post a closing post.

This is a whole new era so be creative with your questions. Within reason, of course. No questions that are meant to simply further your agenda (especially in shipping!). Everything else is fair game, but be respectful of each other AND the artist who’s gracious enough to take your questions. Please also remember that Georges is the artist and not the writer; he may not be the best person to ask editorial or writerly questions.

Anyone who’s reading this and not a member, I’m accepting questions at wenxina[AT]slayalive.com. Feel free to send me your questions and I’ll add them to the queue with credit to you.

Alright… GO!

1. hann23: The art in this issue was fantastic. You really captured the quick pace nature of the dialogue. I particularly loved the sequence of scenes where Severin is siphoning power off of both Buffy and Spike. Can you give us any more information about how you decided to draw those two scenes of Spike’s face while he is presumably starting to/really is losing his powers?

Georges: As it was written by Andrew Chambliss who has written the Buffy world ever so capably, this is the climax of the arc. It would have been fun to draw it out even more, but the tension is very high. My job as an artist is to make sure the script is translated visually. When I read that passage, I was taken by how much Spike would be willing to sacrifice for Buffy. No hesitation, no pause on his part and that’s what I wanted to show with Spike. Say what you want about him, that guy cares for Buffy, sometimes to his detriment.

2. Bamph: What are your thoughts now that the first arc of season 9 is concluded as far as your art in “Freefall”? Any easter eggs from the first four issues you want to point out or anecdotes?

Georges: I was ecstatic to have Dexter Vines come in and ink the first arc. If anyone upped my game, it was him. Of course it was great to have the first issue written by Joss. This arc felt like I was coming back home. I was on very familiar territory and it was nice to still feel wanted. Any hidden gems? I never intentionally set out to put something in, it always happens organically if someone else hasn’t already suggested it. Hmm, Buffy’s hair at the party in issue one is her tribute to Satsu. The pool area in Buffy’s apartment is kinda inspired by Melrose Place the TV series. The ‘Nomed Realty’ that Spike goes to is really Demon spelled backward (kind of a cheat, I know).The shirt that Xander wears ‘Human See Human Do’ is a nod to a friend of mine who lovesPlanet of the Apes. The shirt Xander wears in issue 4 is a School House Rock one. The shirt on one of the Zompires is a music group called Fishbone which is a personal favorite of the inker. That’s about it, unless someone else catches something I missed.

3. Bamph: I think it’s clear now that Severin is the guy in the glasses from Buffy #40. Back when that issue came out, I think I remember you saying that at the time you knew nothing about that mystery character. So when did you find out that Severin was the guy in the last issue of season 8 and knowing what you and we know about Severin, would you of approached his cameo and how he was drawn any different?

Georges: You’re right. I probably would have had him glow a little or have static lightning coming off of him. As it was, we reverse engineered him, suiting him more to what he was in issue 40 and using that in Season 9. You haven’t seen the last of Severin.

4. Bamph: I’ve got to say I love your cover for Buffy #6 with The Tomb Of Dracula #10 homage. I was waiting for a first comic cover homage this season and you delivered a fun one. We know the issue has Robin Wood and Nikki Wood factoring in so it’s very easy to see how this cover works and why. But how did this cover come about? Was it you ,Andrew Chambliss or Joss who came up with doing this homage?

Georges: I have to take credit for this one because some of that issue takes place in the 70s and that’s when Blade was created and I was a big Tomb of Dracula fan, but as soon as I did that cover I was kicking myself for not doing it years ago when Buffy teamed up with Dracula. Really, it would have been so cool to do the same cover but with Buffy. Oh well. It was a good substitute regardless. I loved that issue and thought Andrew really outdid himself. I always felt Robin was underused in Season 8 so it was a joy to have him come in for a whole issue. I really hope he makes it into the Angel & Faith book. There is a lot of unresolved stuff between him and Faith in my opinion.

5. cheryl: Hi Georges, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. As always, nice artwork.
The hint that Buffy’s spark is somehow different…is that a new concept into the story or something creeping back in from the past?

Georges: I’m not sure I know about the spark. Thanks for the compliment!

6. cheryl: Can we expect to see Buffy reflect on her feelings regarding the loss of Giles or Angel anytime soon?

Georges: Yeah, I was wondering about that. We are led to believe that there has been some months between Season 8 and 9. I’m sure it’s nothing that Buffy will ever get over and just like reality, will hit her at odd times, so her feeling toward Giles will always be on the fringe and surface from time to time.

7. cheryl: The Scooby dynamic is pretty much MIA at the moment, do you think it’s too much to hope for that it will be found again?

Georges: You’re right, it is MIA. And it’ll be that way for some time, but sometimes you gotta go away in order to come back. Life does take over and the Gang does have their own lives at this point, but the great thing is that they are always there for each other. But things are different now.

8. Tennyo_elf: Thank you for your hard work, you are doing a fantastic job with season 9 and I’m looking forward to more! Also, I loved the Dalek in Xander’s apartment! Thank you for adding that for us Doctor Who fans!

Georges: Oh yeah! Daleks! Everyone behind the couch! I forgot about that. Glad you like. I wouldn’t be surprised if a little blue box happen to show up somewhere…

9. Tennyo_elf: You mentioned before that the new characters are loosely based on real people. I’m curious who you referenced for Robert Dowling? (He’s such a really sweet cop, I’m enjoying his character so far, and Koh too!)

Georges: I think that might be a better question for Andrew. I hate to admit it but Dowling is more a generic character. I didn’t have anyone in mind at the time and he showed up so infrequently that I never got around to referencing him. He is a good guy. I hope he survives…

10. Tennyo_elf: So far, who has been your favorite new character to draw and which character do you have the most creative freedom with? Are you looking forward to drawing anyone in particular?

Goerges: It’s really great to draw more of Spike. The new guys are fun to draw but there are no favorites just yet. It was great drawing Robin Wood. There are some other characters which were on the the series that I’ll get to draw soon so that should be fun, no spoilers!

11. Tennyo_elf: I do really like your fashion for Spike! Will you be able to experiment more so with his wardrobe in the future? And was it specified that Spike should be wearing light colors instead of his usual black? (I loved Spike in Green, since that’s my favorite color!)

Georges: Now that Spike is living on the Ship it’s easier to experiment with his threads. The jacket is a mainstay, but everything else is fair game.

12. zamolxis: Hi Georges, I absolutely loved the Spike and Koh’ boat trip, the Dalek in Xander’s flat and the cynical heavy machinery loading corpses at the end.
A lot of Severin’s magic in #4 is colored green (opposed to #3 yellowish only) and so much green reminded me of Twilight griffin. Is there any connection between Twilight and Severin or is the green just a means to describe bad people’s magic?

Georges: Thanks, by the way, and the green of Severin’s power was more due to intensity. I don’t think it’s related to Twilight in any way. Although there was a comic once where the residential Mage proclaimed that magic was green, so maybe you’re right.

13. zamolxis: So Severin was revealed to be the “red glasses guy” from issue #40, but why was he covered in blood there and not at all now? Was he killing a Slayer?

Georges: Officially the answer might be that Severin was at his work for a while and that pic in issue 40 was just a glimpse of him as some point. Realisticly as it has been stated, Severin was created before it was certain what function he would serve. Joss had an idea about the character, but not the details. We covered most of it pretty well so far.

14. zamolxis: In the panels where Severin is drawing power from Buffy and Spike, to whom is Buffy saying “don’t..” (Sev or Spike)?

Georges: That’s a good question…

15. Morphia: Hi Georges.
Interesting issue. I especially liked the Eldre Koh/Spike scene.
In the scene where Severin is draining Buffy and Spike, you drew a tear coming from Spike’s eye. Is this significant in any way of something deeper going on, or just comic book shorthand for showing that Spike is in a lot of pain?

Georges: It was something I added, reasoning that as Spike was getting back his humanity the guilt was also coming back seemingly overwhelming him. I don’t know this for fact, but it’s what I was thinking when I drew it.

16. Morphia: In the Xander/Dawn scene, their body language seems rather stiff and closed off. Was this to show that they’re still having relationship troubles?

Georges: That’s what I was thinking. I didn’t know if they’ve gotten over their little tiff or if it’s from an entirely new tiff, but that stiffness was on purpose.

17. Morphia: Could you say what Spike is actually doing in the final panel he’s in? He’s either jumping off a roof or running away, but as I’m not clear where he and Koh are standing (on a level with Buffy? Above her?), I can’t tell which it is.

Georges: It was written that they are on a roof top not far from the action. Maybe I should have done more of an establishing shot of them to make that clearer. When Spike leaves he’s jumping off the roof.

18. Moscow Watcher: Congrats with another strong issue. The art in the issue is very expressive and faithful to the characters. Thank you for great work.
On the panels where Buffy and Spike think that they’re dying and say each other’s names – how the script described them? I feel a real connection between them. Am I supposed to feel it? Or it’s just a fantasy of a fan who cares about them too much?

Georges: I think at this point it’s safe to say they care for each other. No ambiguity needed. There’s a scene in issue 7 which will solidify that if nothing else. Besides that, it’s always a dramatic devise when there is the threat of mortal danger, characters will call each other’s names.

19. Moscow Watcher: On page 8 Spike sends group text messages about Siphon. On page 14 Xander and Dawn haven’t got it yet. At least they act like they haven’t. Has it something to do with the plot? For example, Spike didn’t include them into the group message? Or maybe somebody (you, or writers, or editors) decided to move Xander and Dawn panels further away from the panels of Spike texting — for keeping the momentum of the action scenes?

Georges: I think their service was Verizon, they’re always slow!

19. Moscow Watcher: In the scene where Buffy’s roommates discover her slayer arsenal, the stuff on her bed looks too neatly laid out. Plus, there are hand grenades – something very un-Buffy-esque. How this panel is described in the script? Are we supposed to wonder if somebody is framing Buffy?

Georges: The way that I read it is that Anaheed laid out all of the contents of Buffy’s chest, and only after seeing it does she then call Tumble. Those weren’t grenades, they were supposed to be bottles of holy water.

20. spuffyspangellover: Georges, your art continues to astound me. I tweeted Andrew Chambliss this, but both of you completely nailed issue #4. That page when Severin is zapping both Buffy and Spike is arguably the most intense and emotional page of any comic I’ve ever read. It reminded me of how emotional I got while watching the television show, and if reading the comic can remind me that much of the television show, then I know both you and Andrew have done your job in leaps and bounds. In my opinion, it has never been a better time to be a Buffy fan and I could not be more excited to see what the rest of Season 9 has in store

Your new characters have always been fantastic (Detective Dowling, Anaheed, etc.) but I especially love Eldre Koh. It’s nice to see that someone is there that Spike can confide in. Who has been your new favorite character to draw and why?

Georges: I think we covered this, but Koh is a good start. He’ll stick around a while and I’m still artistically getting to know him. I love drawing all of the gang and Andrew is providing some great stuff to go from. He really is the breakout star of Season 9 in my opinion.

21. spuffyspangellover: You’re obviously a fan of Buffy. Did you get overtly emotional when drawing the scene when Severin is zapping Buffy and Spike? If I got as emotional as I did, I can’t imagine the artist! That page is the most memorable page to me since the Buffy comics have started. It is so haunting, beautiful, heart-breaking, tender, intimate, dark and morbid. Thank you, thank you, thank you for that.

Georges: I have to say I didn’t think about it as much as some of you did. I did treat it like it was, the climax. And if you’re ever going to grab a reader it should be at the climax. I’m so happy that this came off as effective as it did. I do feel vindicated that I have done my job. I still love the Buffy universe and I’m always affected when I read the next script, I’m glad I carry that effectiveness on to you the reader!

22. spuffyspangellover: If you don’t mind me asking, how far along are you with the art in Season 9?
Thanks for your time and keep up the incredible work! It’s issues like this that keeps my obsession for Buffy alive and strong.

Georges: I am now doing issue 11. This book will be coming out every month with no breaks this time around, so we have hit a fever pace. In theory I’ll be done with the series about 5 issues before it actually ends. It’s a wild ride as I’ve said before. I hope you guys are along for the long haul!

23. Bamph: The next arc is two issues,#6-7. Will issue 8 be drawn by you or is it another one issue story like next month’s #5 with a guest artist and do you know if the arc following ‘On Your Own’ is a short one or more normal sized?

Georges: Wow, so many questions at once! Maybe these are better questions for Scott. He’s got to be around here somewhere… yo, Scott!

24. Bamph: Relating to the above question,are there any major differences in drawing a two issue arc like the upcoming,’On Your Own’ vs. a normal four or five issue arc from the artistic prespective? Or even a one issue story and which format do you enjoy dealing with more?

Georges: There is no difference when drawing one issue or 4. It’s all about the flow of the story. The only thing I concentrate on is telling the best story I can. I love the character stuff. If there is more in an issue with that, then great.

25. Bamph: Buffy and Angel & Faith started going day and date digital with this month’s new issue. DC started it with the New 52 in August. Marvel soon followed with many of their big books. Dark Horse is now doing it with Buffy Season 9 and their other books and just this week IDW announced day and date digital. As a creator, I’m very interested in your thoughts about day and date digital publishing both for the Buffy franchise and the industry as a whole? Also do you have a preference on which way to read comics?

Georges: I have to say, I’m old school. I like to hold my periodicals, but that’s not the only way I read stuff. I also read on the computer or on my phone. I don’t see digital taking over, just supplementing paper. I have a crap load of long comic boxes full of books and I can tell you that paper is heavy. I enjoy the idea that every thing I’m interested in reading I don’t have to buy and keep in a box that just gets heavier. The stuff I really am interested in and want to keep and collect I like to physically have. I am a supporter of anything that gets the material in a customer’s hand whether paper or digital. So while I understand that paper is on a decline it won’t disappear all together. The was a lot like the iPod. I must have had literally hundreds of CDs and when I was first told that I could have access to all those CDs in the palm of may hand, I scoffed. I felt like I had collected all this music over the years and these CDs were a personification of that, but in reality I bought the CDs to listen to the music and that is what the iPod was giving me. The collectable aspect was secondary and I did keep some of my CDs, but when I let go of the physical I realized all I wanted was the music. I didn’t need the CDs. That’s what I feel about books and the such. Digitally the enjoyment is there.

26. Moscow Watcher: Whenever Severin siphons vampires, he sparks mostly green. In Buffy’s case it was mostly yellow. At those 3 panels that he was siphoning both Buffy and Spike his power was sparking yellow mostly. And when he is almost ready to kill Spike, he sparks totally yellow instead of also green. Then the detective shoots him, he lets go of Buffy and Spike, and he starts sparking green again trying to heal himself.

Was it specified in the script that both Buffy and Spike should spark differently (yellow) when Severin zaps them?

And – thank you again for replying our questions.

Georges: I wanna say I suggested that, but I’m not sure. I know it was done because Severin was syphoning Slayer power so it should be a different color. When Buffy stabs him earlier the point of impact is also a different color. We really wanted to get across that this was a power that was affecting Severin, and not coming from Severin himself.

27. Sosa Lola: From their expression and body language, Xander comes off as angry and resentful while Dawn comes off as worried about Buffy. Can you tell us what was said specifically in the script about how they should be drawn?

Georges: They are both concerned for Buffy, but they’ve both been down this road before. I wanted to get across that maybe these guys were growing up a little and that Buffy and her antics were wearing a little thin. The script just said that they were sitting in the living room watching the TV.

28. nmcil: Just want to say how very much I love your close-ups of Buffy when you are showing her emotional state, particularly her extreme emotional stress. I also really like how you are drawing Spike and with this issue you have equaled your quality with the Buffy emotional close ups. The panels showing them being drained are outstanding. Also loving your Eldre Koh.

I was wondering if you were thinking of the often used expression that the eyes are the reflections of the human soul for these panels.

The simplicity of using such little amount of words, the one tear drop, the shift in eye color, the same darkening of the eye area. Were those visuals used to convey emotional content specific to the event or did you intend to show their emotional state beyond just this encounter? Sorry if I am being simplistic but I really am very interested in how you approached the treatment for these panels.

Georges: When I read the script I am always aware of how I’m feeling. I really try to portray that emotional moment as I felt it when I draw. I’m always thinking what would this have looked like if it was an actual filmed episode. I’ll lay out the whole scene in little sketches just to see how the it plays out. I’ll spend a lot of time at this stage looking at how the scene is staged, what shot looks better, how many panels would work in the. Lots of little things. A good way to see if you’re doing a scene justice is to look at it without the words added. If you can get the gist of what’s going on, chances are you’re doing a good job.

29. FangedFourLover: Hey Georges! Amazing job so far. I can’t imagine Buffy having any other artist

My question is, have you read “Angel and Faith”?

And do you, Christos and Rebekah ever email back and forth?

Also, what’s your favorite season of the TV show “Buffy”?

Thanks!

Georges: Yes I do read the Angel & Faith book. I love it. It’s a part of the Buffy universe that I have no part in creatively so I can read it like a regular person. I go every month to my comic shop and pick up an issue. It’s really very good. Christos is a great writer who has found the voice of the characters. I do talk to those guys once in a while. I’ll certainly see them when we’re at a show together. Rebekah is doing a fine job. She has certainly upped my game on Buffy.
I know I’m in the minority here but my favorite season of Buffy is Season 6. It was the season of change. I love how all the characters grew up in this season. I absolutely love Willow going all dark! That is drama at its best!

30. Jasmin: Hey Georges!
My question: Why does Willow only care about the loss of magic? The loss of Giles she has never mentioned.
Thanks!

Georges: Again, when we get to Season 9 a few months have gone by. Most of the grieving over Giles has already happened. The loss of magic is still an ongoing issue for Willow. I’m sure Will isn’t over Giles’ death and we will see some private moments for her coming up but getting back the magic is what’s ahead of her. Also, magic has always been Willows comfort zone. If she can get it back she knows she can make things right again…

31. Wenxina: Hey Georges. Just wanted to know if you knew in broad strokes where the season is headed and if you had to sum it up with a word, what would it be? Or three words.

Georges: How about 5 words? You can’t go home again.

Original Interview at Slayalive

Karl Moline Talks Buffy Season 9 #5 with Comic Book Resources

3 January 2012 Leave a comment

KARL MOLINE PENCILS “BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER’S” FUTURE

By Shaun Manning, Staff Writer

Mon, December 26th, 2011

Karl Moline, the artist perhaps best known for his role in bringingJoss Whedon’s future Slayer “Fray” to life, returns to the Buffyverse with a tale of prophetic dreams and friendships on the edge of breaking. Moline, who also illustrated the “Time of Your Life” arc and a Willow one-shot during “Buffy Season 8” and more recently provided art for “BPRD: The Dead Remembered,” joins series writer Andrew Chambliss for a single-issue story“Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9” #5, coming in January fromDark Horse.

Following the events of Season 8, magic has been banished from the world and decisions that Buffy took to save the world have alienated her from the Slayer army and, more significantly, from her closest friends. In the early episodes of Season 9, Buffy has established herself in a new environment — San Francisco — and resumed patrolling for vampires, a role which has drawn increased scrutiny now that the bloodsuckers are revered as near-celebrities thanks to Harmony’s reality television program. Meanwhile, a new player called Severin is on the scene, who seems to kill vampires by reverting them to human form — dead rather than undead.

Comic Book Resources spoke with Karl Moline about his latest engagement in Buffy’s world, as well as a look back at his contributions to the Slayer mythos.

Looking back to his work on “Fray,” Moline said he worked with Whedon to create a future city based on a logical progression of architectural design and societal progress. “When I started working on the look of Fray’s world, I remember Joss describing a desolate dirty future landscape, where all of the major cities in the world had grown up and out, becoming impossibly high and connecting with other cities, forming major mega-tropolises. I think he cited ‘Blade Runner’ as a specific source of inspiration,” Moline told CBR. “I started there, and while there was some really interesting architecture in the film, a lot of the look of the movie comes from these very vague, hazy, smoggy shots where the breadth of civilization is suggested by lights alone. I found myself with only a little reference and making up the rest. So I just tried to put myself into the shoes of the city designers. If I were trying to expand a city without knocking down all of the existing buildings, how would I build? I found myself trying to create layers of architecture that became more technologically advanced as I moved vertically and I tried to tie all of the buildings together with walkways, etc., to lend structural support and keep them from all falling down.”

Character design in “Fray” was also accomplished with Whedon’s direct input, though Moline said there was even more discussion in this regard — particularly with regard to the heroine’s appearance. “With Fray it was more of a back and forth, collaborative effort. Joss started with a description of a tough as nails late teen who was both beautiful and modestly built. More of an athlete than a supermodel, as most comic heroines tend to be,” the artist said. “I would supply some designs and he would come back with the qualities he liked or didn’t and I would re-adjust again. After a few rounds, we had the beginning of the character, but truthfully, that initial jumping off point is a far cry from where she ended up. As I got to know her better and as my own talent evolved, so did she.

“As for Harth and Erin, they were just the initial impressions I had when I was presented with the characters,” Moline added, referring to Fray’s twin-brother-turned-vampire and the twins’ older sister, respectively. “They popped in my head that way and that’s how I drew them. I have come to realize that Harth pretty much looked exactly like me. I didn’t mean for him to but that’s how it is when you use yourself for a model long enough. I even wore those signature glasses for a while, years later.

After the “Fray” miniseries, Moline returned to the present-day Buffyverse in Season 8’s “Time of Your Life” story arc, which also saw Buffy navigating Fray’s future timeline and butting heads with the far-flung Slayer. CBR asked Moline whether the five-plus years that elapsed between the two assignments had changed his perception of what Fray’s future should hold. “My ideas about the world hadn’t really changed at all. I had longer to think things through and I had spent a bunch of years working on ‘Route 666′ for CrossGen Comics, which was based in 1960s America, so a lot of that design stuff had worked its way into the new Fray stories,” he said. As to whether it was fulfilling to work with Buffy in the future environment he had created, Moline said, “I think I would enjoy drawing anybody or anything in that environment — it’s basically a living, breathing character all by itself and its personality is as wide and varied as my own.”

Although he now has a full “Buffy” arc under his belt, as well as Willow and Riley one-shots plus shorts starring the vacuous vampire Harmony for “Dark Horse Presents” (not to mention non-Slayer titles like the aforementioned “Route 666,” “BPRD” and more), Moline said that Fray remains his most requested sketch. “I think Joss did such a good job infusing her with class and sass that everyone wants to know her or be her,” the artist said of the character’s appeal. “Everyone who reads that book falls in love, me included, the same way they do for Joss’ other characters. Basically we’re all just falling in love with the man himself. I think there’s a ton of his own heart in each story he creates.”

Like his one-shots “Riley” and “Willow” during Season 8, Moline will be lending his skills to a one-issue story in “Buffy Season 9” #5. Moline told CBR that these shorter stories centered on a specific character allow him to “switch gears and learn someone new.” “The way they look, the way they carry themselves is always very specific and figuring that stuff out is scary and fun at the same time,” he said. “It’s like going to a new school or working at a new job. The first few weeks are full of brand new emotions and experiences and your senses are all on high alert trying to take it all in. Willow was a little different since I had some time to play with that character in the ‘Buffy’ books and had already come to know and love her. I really enjoy drawing her as her face is such an interesting blend of awkward and beautiful simultaneously.”

Buffy’s environment and cast has changed a bit since “Time of Your Life” with the army of Slayers disbanded and even the core Scoobies keeping their distance from the series’ lead. Though Season 9 has already introduced several new characters, such as Buffy’s roommates and the mysterious un-vampirizing Severin, Moline said he’s on more familiar ground for his issue and “only worked with the new characters long enough to exchange pleasantries.” “My issue focuses more on Buffy and Willow,” he said. The changed environs, however, did take some getting used to. “San Francisco is a really pretty city, very charismatic and very difficult to draw,” Moline said. “With all of the immense hills, perspective drawing is a nightmare. I think with more time to get the feel of it, I could really come to love it, though. The small amount of exposure I had was enough to make me want to visit, at least.”

Moline was coy about giving away details to issue #5’s story, which follows the conclusion of Season 9’s first arc, but teased that, “like every good story, nothing will ever be the same again.” The story finds Buffy experiencing apparently prophetic dreams and visions that seem to suggest the magic-less world will soon grow even darker. “I actually feel very lucky that I was the one who got to draw this issue, as I think it will be a landmark in years to come,” Moline told CBR.

With prophetic dreams suggesting forward-looking theme and Moline being so strongly associated with Fray, CBR News asked whether fans might expect the future Slayer to appear. “All I can say is that you should definitely expect the unexpected,” the artist said. “There is a long-lost Slayer who comes back to say nothing at all, and Buffy’s life will change forever.

“Cryptic enough? Good. I hope you enjoy it. I know I did.”

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9” #5 is on sale January 11.

Original Interview at Comic Book Resources

Behind Buffy Season 9: Angel and Faith from Comic Book Resources

3 January 2012 1 comment


BEHIND BUFFY SEASON 9: GAGE BUILDS BONDS IN “ANGEL AND FAITH”

by Shaun Manning, Staff Writer

Fri, December 23rd, 2011

For hundreds of years, before he was cursed with a soul, the vicious vampire Angelus committed countless atrocities, savage acts of torture and murder as he tore a bloody path through Europe, purely for fun. As Angel, however, he has struggled to atone for his sins and forge a hero’s path. Last year, his redemption was compromised by his role as the mystery villain Twilight during “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8,” in which Angel was manipulated toward a confrontation with his star-crossed lover that would end in tragedy. “Angel & Faith,” under the Season 9 family of titles with “Buffy,” teams Angel with another hero who has undergone a difficult journey, a rebellious Slayer who, with no claim to demonic possession or lack of soul, once betrayed her friends but now walks the righteous path.

The title’s first four-issue arc by writer Christos Gage and artistRebekah Isaac concluded in November, with both Angel & Faith facing hard and surprising choices. Comic Book Resources spoke with Gage to talk about the heroes’ new status quo, what comes next and how Harmony and Drusilla fit into it all.

In the climactic final chapter of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8,” Angel, possessed by the Twilight deity, murdered Buffy’s longtime friend and Watcher Giles, a crime which sent Angel into a catatonic state once he regained his senses. At the beginning of Season 9, though, Angel has regained a sense of purpose, deciding that Giles and his arcane knowledge are too dear to lose — so the vampire with a soul begins planning a resurrection. Enlisting Faith as backup, Angel searches out methods hinted at in the Watcher Files that may still operate in the magic-less world.

Over the course of the first story arc, “Live Through This,” Gage established an interesting status quo for the titular duo: Faith backing Angel up, even though she’s dead set against his plan, and Angel trusting Faith to stop him if he goes too far. Gage said that while this may be where things stand going into the second arc, “this is when we’re going to see that dynamic start to be tested, as well as explore the fact that Faith herself, even as far as she’s come, has some demons of her own.”

Despite Angel getting top billing in the title and being the driving force behind the series’ action, there is a sense that Faith is the true lead in “Angel & Faith.” Faith is the point-of-view character for narrative captions, for starters, and, despite the fact that Angel’s life spans centuries, she appears to be the level-headed adult in their relationship. Given Faith’s rogue history — and Angel’s — CBR asked Gage how readers are meant to view Angel’s grandiose plans, whether we should be rooting for him or whether the tension lies in waiting to see what disasters he provokes. “It’s my hope that readers look at Angel’s plans the same way Faith does…with trepidation,” Gage said. “You know he means well, but let’s face it, Angel’s good intentions have paved more than one road to Hell. But at the same time, don’t you kind of hope you’re wrong about it being a train wreck waiting to happen? That’s how Faith feels. She knows this is what Angel needs, so she’s sticking by him, helping him — and also keeping a watchful eye on things to make sure that if he ever goes too far, she’s there to stop him. She is definitely the level-headed adult in their relationship. It’s come full circle from when she had hit rock bottom and Angel was the one helping her.

“But it’s a valid point: can these two damaged people help each other without dragging each other — and themselves — down in the process?”

December’s issue #5 features guest artist Phil Noto and very special guest star Harmony, who had a big impact on human/vampire relations during “Buffy Season 8,” but hasn’t had much direct contact with the series’ leads in Season 8 or 9 so far. It was Harmony, of course, who brought vampires into the spotlight in her reality television program, winning a PR battle against the Slayers that has cast the bumpy-forehead crew in a positive light. Now, however, like any reality star, she’s paying the price of fame. “Harmony needs help from Angel & Faith in quashing an impending scandal that could threaten her status as the celebrity face of new human/vampire relations,” Gage told CBR. “As much as our heroes find Harmony vapid, shallow and annoying, they realize that making the volatile post-magic situation worse by threatening the standing of the world’s top vampire icon is not in anyone’s interest.

“Oh, and three words: Harmony sex tape.”

The Harmony issue also sees an appearance from Clem, the amiable floppy-eared demon. Asked what Clem has been up to since fans saw him last, Gage said he’s pretty much just soldiering on. “Well, when we last saw him, he was Harmony’s best friend and trusty sidekick, doing the heavy lifting for her with a smile on his face and a song in his heart. And that’s still what he’s up to!” As to why he wanted to tell a story with Clem, Gage replied, “Why wouldn’t I? He’s just so lovable!”

With Harmony and Clem on board, issue #5 looks to be more lighthearted fare than the first arc, a shift in tone reflected in a change in visual style as Phil Noto steps in to relieve series artist Rebekah Isaacs for the month. “Phil is a big fan of the Whedonverse and has built a strong fan following for his beautiful depictions of various Joss-created characters,” Gage said. “He’s also a brilliant talent who does a great job with the humor in this issue. Even Harmony’s dogs get loving attention in every panel!”

After this brief interlude, things get a little complex. Drusilla makes her return in issue #6, as does “a deadly, new kind of demon with ties to Giles’ past,” Gage told CBR. “Also, Faith’s father — who has never been shown before — returns to her life, and you can bet that’s not going to be a simple situation. But the ‘Daddy Issues’ referred to in the title also allude to the relationship between Drusilla and her sire, Angel. Drusilla knows him like few others do, and will reveal to readers a major part of Angel’s plan to resurrect Giles — a part that will potentially cause huge problems down the road.”

Gage also told fans to expect the unexpected from Drusilla in this arc. “I think fans will be very surprised by Dru. You’ll see her in a way you haven’t seen her before. That’s not hype, it’s fact!” he said. “And yes, she’s a great deal of fun to write.”

The solicitation text for #6 describes an illness that turns ordinary humans into killers, and readers have already seen that things work a bit differently in this post-magic world — what once may have been a miracle turns into an unspeakable horror when drained of mystical properties, with a demon blood panacaea Angel had sought in the opening arc being a clear example. As to the nature of this latest threat, Gage played things close to the vest. “There are different kinds of illnesses. That’s all I can say about that without giving too much away.”

Since Angel returned to Dark Horse’s Whedonverse in “Buffy Season 8,” not much has been seen of the extended supporting cast he developed over the five seasons of his own television show and which carried over into Angel’s comics run at IDW. But, Gage said, that is about to change. “In future stories, you will see Connor and at least one more old friend from the ‘Angel’ TV show,” the writer said, “as well as a couple of characters Joss had planned to use in the proposed ‘Ripper’ TV series but has been generous enough to let us play with instead!” (“Ripper” would have been a spinoff television series with Giles in the starring role.)

“I just want to say that I’m tremendously gratified — and I know the entire creative team feels the same way — by the wonderful response we’ve received for this book,” Gage said in closing. “I know how much these characters mean to people and how important it is that they be treated right. I am thankful and humbled by the fact that most readers seem to feel we are giving them their due. From a personal standpoint, I feel like I was still feeling my way during the first arc and didn’t really find my groove until issue 5, so I thank the readers for their kindness and patience and hope you agree that it only gets better from here!”

“Angel & Faith” #5 is on sale December 28.

Original Interview at Comic Book Resources

Zack Whedon Flips Star Wars and Serenity With Comic Book Resources

26 December 2011 Leave a comment

ZACK WHEDON FLIPS “STAR WARS” AND “SERENITY” FOR FREE COMIC BOOK DAY

by Shaun Manning, Staff Writer

Wed, December 21st, 2011

For the next Free Comic Book DayDark Horse is giving readers a taste of two major licenses with its “Star Wars/Serenity” flipbook. Both stories are written by “Dr. Horrible” and “Terminator” writer Zack Whedon (whose brother Joss created “Firefly”/”Serenity”), with the “Star Wars” tale illustrated by Davidé Fabbri and the “Serenity” story featuring art by Fabio Moon. Comic Book Resources spoke exclusively with Whedon about the free comic, his fannish relationship with “StarWars,” and how Mal Reynolds and Han Solo might get along.

After playing around in the “Terminator” universe where he introduced new elements to the original moviestoryline, Whedon now has the chance to write another, perhaps even more famous, set of iconic characters in Han Solo and Chewbacca. “There is definitely something scary about it,” the writer told CBR. “These two characters are loved by, well, everyone. So you don’t want to screw it up. I care about these guys a lot, so that makes it easier. I can be a good gauge for what a fan would like and dislike since I am one myself.”

Whedon said that up to now, his “Star Wars” fandom has followed a familiar path. “It’s pretty much the same as most people my age (32), which is to say that I grew up watching these movies. I had all the toys, I dreamed of being Luke Skywalker, I’d have lightsaber battles with discarded wrapping paper tubes, I’d reenact over and over the moment where Han runs after the Stormtroopers firing his blaster and screaming and then turns around and runs back screaming. On cold winter nights I’d cut open the bellies of Tauntauns and stuff my friends inside,” Whedon said. He added that he’s engaging in some not-atypical “Star Wars” obsessiveness. “In all seriousness, a few years ago, outraged that I couldn’t get the original trilogy sans CG but with good sound, I bought a laserdisc player and the laserdiscs which have THX sound but no CG. Ultimately, the flipping required in laserdisc viewing takes more away from the experience than Han shooting first, so I gave in and bought the blu-rays. I know, I’m weak.”

With the vast canvas of the “Star Wars” universe, which Dark Horse has had a large hand in expanding, CBR asked Whedon why he honed in on Han and Chewie for his story and why he chose this moment in their careers. “Well, this is before they met Luke and Obi-Wan, which is when their life took a turn for the epic/problematic/Jedi-heavy,” he said. “They’re still small time smugglers just trying to get by at this point. I didn’t want to mess with any of the major storylines. I just wanted to write about these guys bumming around the galaxy. It’s a light story, so I didn’t want them dealing with heavy subjects like rebellion, fate and absentee fathers.”

Whedon went on to say that the Free Comic Book Day tale is “sort of a day in the life of these guys who are always on the wrong end of every deal, which means staring down the barrel of a gun much of the time.” “It’s about how they work together, how they don’t, how they talk to each other after being alone together on a spaceship for days on end,” he said.

“Serenity” has some affinities with “Star Wars,” but Whedon doesn’t see Han Solo and Mal Reynolds getting along. “I think if they could get past their initial misgivings — Mal with Han’s shifty, smooth-talking nature; Han with Mal’s stoic soldier routine — they’d have a lot to talk about. But I think it’s more likely they’d butt heads, possibly literally,” said the writer.

Whedon is working with long-time “Star Wars” artist Davidé Fabbri for the Han and Chewbacca story while Fabio Moon provides the visuals for the “Serenity” tale. The writer said he did not know which artists would bring his stories to life while he was writing them, but he has “seen the pages for both and they’re astonishing.” “They bring so much life to the pages and fill in millions of details that I could never think of,” Whedon added. “They’ve both done some fantastic character design work in these stories as well. I’m very excited about the art.”

Whedon has told a few “Serenity” stories in comics before, notably “The Shepherd’s Tale” graphic novel, revealing Shepherd Book’s checkered past, and a short for DH:HD on the “USA Today” web site. For the Free Comic Book Day Story, Whedon wanted a unified feeling with the “Star Wars” story on the other side of the flipbook. “I wanted to put Han and Mal in similar situations and through their reactions, see how they are different and how they are the same,” he said. “The one thing that these two ‘loners’ are never without is their loyal friends, so that’s part of it. I really focus on Mal but you get a taste of some other folks. [There’s] not as much Jayne as I would like, but there’s only so much you can do in ten pages.”

Having tackled both very short stories and longer works like ‘The Shepherd’s Tale,’ CBR asked Whedon about the fun or challenges of the very-short format. “The challenge with a short story like this is obviously real estate. You don’t have a lot of panels to tell your story,” the writer said. “That was part of my decision to have these be stand-alone stories that don’t effect the greater mythology of these characters. I didn’t want to do a disservice to a larger, course-changing story by cramming it into ten pages. I just wanted to have fun with these characters and shine a light on some of their unique qualities.”

As to whether readers will see more “Serenity” from Whedon in 2012, the writer said that he’d like to tell the story of “where they headed after the movie.”

“I’m having some pre-pre-pre-preliminary discussions with Dark Horse about that.”

“Star Wars/Serenity” arrives on Free Comic Book Day, May 5, 2012.

Original Interview at Comic Book Resources

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