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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

*~

Christios Gage Talks Angel and Faith and Avengers Academy with CBR

21 November 2011 Leave a comment

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/hqUXgt6_fAI width=”480″ height=”300″]

CBR TV @ NYCC: Christos Gage Guides “Angel & Faith” and “Avengers Academy”

“Angel and Faith” writer Christos Gage visited CBR TV during New York Comic Con where he discussed how he got the gig helming the new title telling the further adventures of the Joss Whedon creations, his lack of familiarity with the Whedonverse prior to accepting the job and the challenge of matching the Whedon “tone” when writing the popular vampire and Slayer. Also discussed is the relationship between the titular characters and artist Rebekah Isaacs ability in translating the look of the actors to the page while avoiding a stiffness that would be detrimental to the storytelling.

Shifting focus to his Marvel work, Gage talks about introducing the Runaways to the cast of “Avengers Academy,” the organic way in which it came together, untangling the characters’ previously established relationships within the pages of the book, the deep-frying of an issue of the title on “30 Rock” and much more.

http://a.blip.tv/api.swf#hqUXgt6_fAI

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

9 October 2011 Leave a comment

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?
S

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

Buffy Season 9 Wallpapers

19 July 2011 Leave a comment

Dark Horse have produced some new wallpapers to promote the forthcoming Buffy Season 9 comics. They come in several sizes including for the iPhone and iPad. You can download them www.darkhorse.com

Assignment X Interviews Scott Allie

27 April 2011 Leave a comment

Exclusive Interview: More BUFFY Season 9 and ANGEL AND FAITH comics news from Dark Horse

Senior Managing Editor Scott Allie gives us a preview on what to expect from the comics, SERENITY, the WILLOW mini-series and more.

By PETER BROWN / Contributing Editor

Posted: April 19th, 2011

At WonderCon 2011, ASSIGNMENT X had the chance to sit down with Senior Managing Editor for Dark Horse Comics, Scott Allie, to talk about the upcoming new series for BUFFY – SEASON 9 and the new title ANGEL AND FAITH.

While we revealed much of the details about these comics during WonderCon (and in our previous stories from our interview with him which are listed below), Allie has much more to say on the topic including a possible WILLOW mini-series as well as information about a possible SERENITY comic coming down the pipe from Dark Horse.

Serenity: Float Out

ASSIGNMENT X: What are Dark Horse’s plans for SERENITY?

ALLIE: No immediate plans. We have been so focused on re-launching BUFFY. Anything we do with [Joss] he is really heavily involved. So, with THE AVENGERS and everything else going on, we can’t get more of his time to work out what we would need to work out with SERENITY. We have talked about what we would do. We all want to do more. It’s just a question of us putting the resources and the time into it and working with the right writers. We can’t just pull in anybody. We have an idea of what we will do to get SERENITY up and running again. But it requires the right people to have the time and most importantly Joss to have the time. So it is a ways off still. I really wanted to get something out by the end of this year, but that is clear that isn’t going to happen.

AX: Now that the ANGEL comic is coming under the Dark Horse umbrella will we see lots of interaction between the BUFFY Comics?

ALLIE: It’s not going to be a constant cross-over where you have to read both to understand what’s going on, but major events in the world will affect both [titles]. We are referring the whole project [ANGEL AND FAITH, BUFFY – SEASON 9 and other related mini-series titles] as Season 9 because both come out of the events of Season 9. People are like “If it is ANGEL then it must be Season 6 or Season 7”. We are not thinking of it so much as that but all of this takes place following Season 8. The events of Season 8 sets both series in motion.

AX: Will both the ANGEL and BUFFY comics have two covers?

ALLIE: Both will have two covers.

AX: As far as the mini-series you were talking about. Can you tell me who they will focus on?

ALLIE: There will probably be a Willow one. We have talked about a lot of other ones. Right now, the potential is every single [character]. We have talked about what we could do with Spike, what we could do with Illyria, what we could do with anybody, but it is truly going to be in service of the greater story. There is really one big story of Season 9. Just like with Season 8, we will do side projects that build that story, but we are not going to throw out random comics. We are not going to throw this stuff out to pile more books on the heap. ”

Buffy Season 8

AX: Concerning the Xander/Dawn relationship, what are the plans with that? I know some fans maybe thought the relationship was a bit creepy.

ALLIE: The history they have together makes it a little bit weird, but that’s part of the reason they are so close. My hopes for those two is that they just get to be happy. I’ve always wanted Xander to be happy. Xander is the one guy that I really think deserves to be happy.

AX: Now the SPIKE mini-series is almost over at IDW, does that lead into what will happen in Season 9?

ALLIE: Everything IDW did effectively takes place before Season 8. Nothing they did leads directly into Season 9, it all leads into Season 8. The current arc that Brian Lynch is writing for IDW gets [Spike] into the bug ship and he is in the bug ship in Season 8. So anything IDW has coming out now leads into Season 8 rather than leading into what we have coming up.”

AX: Did you work with IDW on coordinating the plot for the SPIKE mini series at all?

ALLIE: There was a certain amount of interaction and some scripts and artwork being sent back and forth to coordinate a little bit. We coordinated, but we didn’t do it so slavishly that everything matches up, although it does match up. We didn’t spend all day working together.

AX: Can you tell me a bit about Andrew Chambliss’ [co-writer on the BUFFY – Season 9 comic] previous comics work?

ALLIE: He’s done a little bit of comics before. He’s relatively new to comics but he is working closely with me and Sierra Hawn [the other editor on the Whedon comics]. We’ve been working really closely with the DOLLHOUSE scripts and loving what we have been getting. We find that Joss’ TV writers transfer really easily and naturally into comics and that works out great for us.

Buffy: Season 8

AX: What is the biggest strength in doing a comic based on a TV series?

ALLIE: I’ve though about that a lot lately. I don’t watch a lot of TV. I don’t like a lot of TV. Yet, I find myself really compelled by comics spun off of TV shows. I used to be purely interested in creator-owned stuff. I’ve worked with Mike Mignola forever. I’ve worked with Sergio Aragonés. All these great guys. Now I am finding myself intrigued by comics spun off of TV. It has led me read a bunch of comics from other companies. I’ve read a bunch of SUPERNATURAL stuff and TRUE BLOOD stuff from IDW.

In constructing a TV show that works, you end up with pretty interesting, strong premise and a great cast of characters, if the show works. And I think nowhere do you see that better executed than in Joss’ stuff. So, it creates really fertile ground for continuing [the show] in comics. If you have a concept, like BUFFY, that’s colorful enough, that’s action packed enough and has enough distinct interesting elements to it, than it is a suitable premise for a comic. With Joss’ stuff in particular, with BUFFY in particular, the set up to the TV show was so heavily inspired by comics that it is no surprise that it makes a great premise for a comic.

The way that Joss writes this stuff and the way he gets other people to write his stuff, is a beautiful form of character-driven genre fiction where you get these action packed, fun stories that are really about something and about people. It works great in a serialized format. That’s what I like and that’s what I have learned from working with him. I’ve learned so much from watching Joss’ shows and really trying to study his shows to figure out what they are really about. To figure out how that translates into comics. And there is a lot there that translates to comics and a lot that works for serialized fiction of any kind.

AX: Did you get a chance to look at the BUFFY motion comic at all? Do you know if there will be a second half of the season as a motion comic?

ALLIE: I did not see it and I do not know if there are plans. I don’t think they have announced yet. I don’t know why they would wait so long.

AX: ALIENS, PREDATOR or ALIENS VS. PREDATOR, anything you can tell us?

ALLIE: No news at this time. There is stuff we are talking about but nothing we can talk about.

AX: Any other franchises – TV or movies – that you are working on?

ALLIE: MASS EFFECT is a big deal for us. We are doing a lot with MASS EFFECT this year. We acquired the license to AVATAR – THE LAST AIRBENDER. We’re first repackaging all the Nickelodeon stuff in a big brick Omnibus and then we are going to be doing new stuff down the road that we are not ready to announce yet.

AX: MASS EFFECT 3 game is coming out this year, is that going to be what the comics will be?

ALLIE: The comics will continue to be tied pretty close to the developments of the game. We continue to work with the writers of the game and we are really tight with that company. It is a really good relationship.

Original Interview at Assignment X

Diary of a Fangirl Interviews Rebekah Isaacs

12 April 2011 Leave a comment

Rebekah Isaacs

***NOTE***

This was an interview I did for my college project about comic book writers and illustrators etc.. I have no objections if people wish to post parts of the interview on forums. But please do not post it without credit back to this blog.

__________________________________________________________

Hey, Rebekah. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview
with me. So although you’ve been doing pencilling for a while now,
this is your first time doing anything Buffyverse. Can you tell us how
you were approached about doing the art for the new Angel series
“Angel & Faith”?

I’d never really had much contact with Dark Horse before, so when I
got an email from editor Sierra Hahn asking me to do test work, it was
kind of out-of-the-blue. But I found out later that she’d gotten wind
of me through Brian Wood, who I’d worked with on DV8: Gods and
Monsters, and who Sierra worked with during her years at DC. I did a
couple test pages and several rounds of likenesses (I had a really
tough time with them at first). They had the writers summit at Joss’s
house a bit after and I think my samples were shown to him there. He
must’ve liked them because I was offered the A&F job soon after!

Can you tell us anything about the new series?

Unfortunately, not anything that hasn’t been said since WonderCon…
but for people who are still catching up, Angel & Faith finds our
heros in London, in the flat that Giles gave to Faith in his will.
Faith is helping Angel work through his guilt over what he did as
Twilight, much in the way he helped her in the past. He finds a new
sense of purpose in Giles’ old journals, and in tying up the loose
ends that he finds therein.

What’s it like working along side Christos Gage?

Chris is great, and there’s good reason he was chosen for this book.
He has a really great sense of character and drama. It’s been
mentioned that we see Giles on page 1 as part of a flashback, and it’s
a flashback that’s so beautifully sensitive to this character that we
all know and love and miss that I got teary at the end. That’s just
about the highest compliment I can give a writer, especially just a
few pages into the first issue!!

Working on the new Angel & Faith series, do you try to make sure
that the characters look like the actor and actress that portrayed
them in the Buffy and Angel TV series. Or are you going to be
drawing them with your perception of the characters?

The likenesses have to be recognizable more as the essence of the
character than as a portrait of the actor or actress. Photorealism
can end up looking stiff and fake, especially in sequential work where
characters are interacting and reacting to things. Covers can be more
photorealistic, I think. So I’ve been trying to become familiar
enough with the character’s defining features that I can mostly draw
them from memory, and then go back in and tweak things while looking
at photographs if needed. So far, it’s working pretty well.

Do you have any artists that inspire you personally?

My favorite artists these days are Steve McNiven and Chris Sprouse.
But I’m inspired by just about every artists I see on the stands today.

What’s your creative process before jumping into a new project?

A lot of costume and character design. There are several new
characters and monsters being introduced in A&F and I got to design
those, which was a ton of fun. For this series, I obviously had to
work a lot on getting my likenesses down, not only for mine and my
editors’ purposes, but also to get official approval from the actors
being portrayed. All the likeness and design work took about a month
for A&F, while we were waiting for the first scripts to come in.

How did you get into the comic book industry?

I went to the Savannah College of Art and Design, and I had made a lot
of contacts through classmates and professors there. I got my first
published work at Devil’s Due through a former classmate who was a
staff artist there at the time. My first mainstream work, Ms. Marvel
#38, came out New York Comic Con, where I met a few Marvel editors
through another SCAD alum. DV8 came from meeting editor Ben Abernathy
in-person at NYCC, who had received my portfolio previously from
Vertigo editor Will Dennis, a good friend of SCAD. He recognized my
work when I showed it to him at the Con and I got the job shortly
after. So it was a combination of networking and convention attendance.

Are there any tips you could give to people who want to be doing the
same line of work as you?

Draw every second you can. It’s not always gonna be fun and if you
don’t have someone to financially support you, or have friends who
work regular 9-5 jobs, it’s going to be especially rough, and can take
its toll, mentally, physically, and socially. But constantly
improving is the only way to get and keep work, and if you really love
to draw more than anything else it’s totally worth it. Knowing people
and going to the right conventions and posting your work on the right
messageboards is only going to get and keep you in work if you can
draw really well, and the only way to do that is to draw constantly.
There’s not really a trick or a cheat to it, unfortunately.

How long does it take you to pencil an issue of a comic book?

I can pencil and ink an entire issue in 5 weeks… but I don’t
complain if I’m given a longer deadline!

Do you enjoy drawing in your spare time? do you create pieces of
artwork for yourself? or is it strictly work based only?

I would like to be able to but I rarely have time, and when I do, I
have to let my hand rest so that I don’t have pain or cramps when it
comes time to start on another page for work. Luckily, I get to draw
really awesome stuff, including characters that I love. I basically
get paid to draw fan art! So it’s a fair trade.

Do you have a favourite project that you’ve done so far?

DV8 was really great, and I really grew to love those characters. I
also felt like I “owned” a part of it since I got to be directly
involved in redesigning the characters so drastically. And Brian is
one of my all-time favorite writers! Although I have to say, A&F has
been an absolute blast so far, it being the only series I’ve done
where I was really familiar with the story and characters BEFORE I got
the job. I didn’t grow up reading comics, so although I love drawing
superheroes, for the most part I’ve been learning about many of them
as I go.

If you had the chance, is there a specific comic that you would like
to do the artwork for?

I am a HUGE original Star Wars trilogy nut, so I would love to draw
something set post-ROJ. I’m afraid I never got into the Clone Wars
stuff because I didn’t like the prequels much, but I’ve heard it’s
really good so I could probably be persuaded…

Also, if anyone ever wanted to do a GN adaptation of Jonathan Strange
& Mr. Norrell, I would jump through some pretty major hoops to draw it.
If you could work with anyone in the industry who would you want to
work with and why?

A while ago my answer would have been Joss, but I can cross that one
off I guess! My wish list is the same as most, I think; Vaughan,
Ellis, Ennis. I really hope I can work with Brian again someday too.

Thanks again, Rebekah for taking the time to speak with me. So to wrap this up, here’s a few random fan questions for you.

What is your favourite comic book of all time?

Heck, it’s cliched, but Watchmen will always be my favorite for being
the first “real” American comic I ever read — real meaning something
that wasn’t a giveaway in a cereal box or in the funnies section of
the paper.

How did you get into Buffy The Vampire Slayer?

Dating a giant Buffy nerd.+ I had seen and loved everything else
Joss had ever done, but for some reason always held out on Buffy and
Angel — I think my impressions of the original movie and the
knowledge that it was set in high school turned me off at some point.
My boyfriend Jon finally needled me enough that I caved about a year
ago, and I’m glad I finally did!

Do you have a favourite season from the show? and a moment from that season?

I love the humor in Buffy so my favorites are the funny ones. The one
I’ll always remember disarming me with how funny it was, especially
since I had no idea what to expect going into it, was ‘Superstar’.
But looking at the seasons as cohesive units, I like Season 5 the most.

Which character do you prefer. Angel or Faith?

It’s tough to choose a favorite because my reasons for liking them are
kinda the same for both. I do agree with Chris, though, that Faith is
probably the character that has grown and matured the most throughout
the entire series.

Who is your favourite character from DV8?

Hector: Scruffy beard. Suit jacket. ‘Nuff said.

 

Original Interview at Diary of a Fangirl

Angel and Faith Cover Art

7 April 2011 Leave a comment

The variant cover art for the first issue of Angel and Faith was revealed at WonderCon last weekend, and artist Steve Morris has also posted it on his website.  Here it is:

 

Angel and Faith

Source: Steve Morris Art

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