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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 

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

Jane Espenson on Crazy Sexy Geeks Podcast

24 December 2011 Leave a comment

Jane Espenson chats about Husbands and Once Upon a Time with The Crazy Sexy Geeks. You can listen to the podcast here.

Jane Espenson: Is TV Writing The Best Job Ever? from the Huffington Post

16 December 2011 Leave a comment

Jane Espenson

Writer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Rge O.C., Gilmore Girls and more.

Is TV Writing the Best Job Ever?

Posted 12/14/11


Hello, Gentle Readers. Who’s up for a good blogging? I know I am!

I used to blog on my own site, expounding on the art and craft of television writing. But I stopped one day when I realized that I had expounded myself into the ground. There was nothing left for me to teach. That was a few years ago, though, and since then I’ve learned new things and refined my thinking on a lot of the old things. Right now, I’m writing for the network hit Once Upon a Time (ABC), and for my own web series Husbands, so I’m topped off to overflowing with knowledge.

When I get a chance, now and then, to contribute to these pages, I can explain how storytelling has to change as audiences get better at anticipating twists, and how to write compelling stage directions, and how to deal with the fact that you can’t goddamn swear on the TV, but right now I’d like to start out by addressing the fundamental question: IS TV WRITING THE BEST JOB EVER?

Well, it is stressful. Parts of it can be awful, just awful. You will make mistakes that will be broadcast to millions of people. You will be kept away from your bed by work, and kept awake in your bed by worry. You will almost certainly be made fun of by people with cruelly fast wits. You’ll be rewritten. You will have to say “thank you” when complimented for lines you didn’t write. You will have to bite your tongue when criticized for choices you didn’t make. You’ll be asked to make decisions about costumes and hairstyles. You will have to compromise your vision because an actor or set or special effect or executive isn’t cooperating. You will be punched in the self-esteem. You will cry.

The answer is YES.

It’s the best job ever, because as down as that downside is, the upside is so much upper. The up is so up even the down is up. You are handsomely paid to sit around with intelligent people, talking about a TV show. You laugh all day long. And if you’re writing for a comedy, you get to stay late and laugh all night, too. You quite probably drive through the big gates of a Hollywood studio on your way to work, just like Lassie did. And sometimes you get to put computer to paper and put words in the mouths of talented actors who then, get this, act out your story for you. That part is crazy. Even after 20 years, it still seems nuts to me that these gorgeous talented people breathe life into words I wrote. And if that weren’t enough, another talented person points a camera at it and shows it to everyone you went to high school with. It’s frakkin’ amazing.

It does suffer a bit from being hard to attain. People talk a lot about how hard it is to get into TV writing. And that’s true. But there are new TV writers every season. I see them showing up, shiny and scared, every year. Also, there is the new and amazing world of web series, which meets almost all of the goals except the part about the handsome pay. I recently entered that world withHusbands The Series, and found that not only did it provide most of the upside, it also avoided a lot of the downside. You get to hear the words you wrote all the more clearly when you’re listening just to satisfy yourself, not several layers of bosses.

TV writing (and web writing) is the best job ever. I feel lucky every day. I learn every day. And they pay for lunch every day. Score. Hang around and I’ll tell you what I know.

Original Post at The Huffington Post

Jane Espenson Talks Husbands with We Love Cult

6 December 2011 Leave a comment

Jane Espenson is a crown short of being named “The Queen of All Genre Television”, so when she teamed with Youtube sensation Brad “Cheeks” Bell, actor Sean Hemeon, Alessandra Torresani from Caprica, and sitcom director Jeff Greenstein, the geekosphere took note.

I interviewed Jane, Cheeks, and Sean about the now concluded first season of Husbands, concerns about typecasting, and if they care about offending people. Take a look at what #TeamHusbands had to say.

Sean, Brad, Jane, season 1 is through, you earned your success merit badge, is season 2 definitely happening and can we expect a Husbands DVD, Blu Ray, or Betamax in the future? Not VHS, VHS is gauche.

Brad “Cheeks” Bell: VHS is so not gauche. It’s totes got retro hipster appeal now. Cassette tapes too. Now, CDs? Those are gauche.

Jane Espenson: We don’t know yet about a season two, but we are exploring the idea of some kind of bonus content. We’ll see. And we’d like to make a DVD or iTunes version – this is all still up in the air.

Are you looking to aggressively sell Husbands as a TV show or are waiting for TV to come to you?

Brad “Cheeks” Bell: Ha! TV coming to us? Does that ever really happen? I don’t think anything can get done in Hollywood unless you’re shopping it in some capacity or another. Unless maybe you kill someone and they want an exclusive… say, there’s an idea. 

I’m open to many future avenues for Husbands. My main priority is the ability to produce the show we envision and to retain the incredible creative team and cast we have assembled. The platform is all a part of the details.

Jane Espenson: We’re not waiting. On the other hand, I wouldn’t say we have a “TV or nothing” attitude. We are talking to people with the means to help us continue the show, through whatever means.

The world that you have created for the show is, sadly, a fantasy world where full marriage equality exists, and where a baseball player can be out of the closet and in the spotlight. I’m curious, what made you choose to make Brady a baseball player?

Brad “Cheeks” Bell: I think I might have suggested athlete and Jane is the one who settled on baseball. I wanted someone who was opposite of Cheeks in every possible way and also high profile. Obviously there is still plenty of taboo about openly gay men in the sports world, so it just sort of made sense. 

Jane Espenson: We wanted Brady and Cheeks to both be public figures, to raise the stakes in maintaining the marriage, but we wanted them to have different relationships with their fans.  By making Brady an athlete, we gave him a much more conservative fan base, which gives him very different concerns than Cheeks.

If you will, talk about Jeff Greenstein’s involvement in the project and what that meant to you all. 

Sean Hemeon: I have been absolutely spoiled by having Jeff as a director! He’s the real deal – a genuine stand up guy. He’s the biggest little kid I know and really tries to keep a fun and drama free set. He has a graceful way of steering the ship. He makes it look effortless. And certainly has enough great stories to keep anyone entertained for days!

Jane Espenson: Oh, man, we couldn’t have done this without Jeff.  Jeff is a long-time writer and executive producer, and also an accomplished director.  We needed his keen eye and keen mind. More than anything, it was Jeff who made the show look like a show. 

Sean, Brad, is there a concern about typecasting? 

Brad “Cheeks” Bell: If my role as Cheeks provides so much media exposure that the public just can’t see me as anything else, I’d consider that a high end problem. I should be so lucky. I also think that much of that question is up to the actor and his abilities. Ultimately, I see it like this: I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and cross that bridge should I come to it.

Sean Hemeon: Not at all worried about it. Brady’s not a typical gay character – he’s just a guy who happens to be gay. You could see him in straight situations and gay.

Glee just had an episode where two gay characters lost their virginity. The sun still rose, the seas did not part, and kittens didn’t take to the streets with switch blades. Naturally though, some people were up in arms. You guys didn’t really seem to offend anyone with Husbands and I’m wondering if that was a surprise and if you would have cared about offending people?

Sean Hemeon: We, as gay men, offend people every day just by being out and open in our daily lives. If others want to be bothered by it, then its fine by me cause its their day they’re ruining, not mine. I’m happy in my gay world.

I don’t think, though, Husbands set out to offend people but rather to support people… we got a fan letter from a young boy in the middle of the midwest who saw Husbands and became hopeful that one day he could be out, married and HAPPY!

Brad “Cheeks” Bell: I would have cared about offending people if we’d done so for the sake of a joke, such as throwing a group of people under the bus to make a gag or punchline work. Other than that, for the people that are already morally opposed to what we’re creating, why should I care about offending them? They’re not our audience. They can watch Nancy Grace. They’ll be happier in doing so, as will Nancy Grace.

Jane Espenson: I was kind of looking forward to the kitten gangs because that sounds adorable. But yeah, the viewers are much more ready for content like Husbands than I think some people realize. As we’ve taken Husbands online, we’re finding that we don’t just have a lot people watching, but that there is a core of highly engaged superfans. What we have not found is the opposite – there’s been very little negative reaction and certainly no core of haters. The world has changed a lot in recent years and Glee is a show that’s reflecting that change. So is Husbands.

——————-

You can re-watch or discover Husbands for the first time by going to HusbandsTheSeries.com. 

Oh, and genre fans, here’s a bonus question for Jane Espenson…

Did Barnabas really die in Caprica?

Jane Espenson: I didn’t see a body.  If you don’t see a body, the writers are probably keeping it open for a reason.

Original Interview at We Love Cult

 

Scott Allie Talks Buffy and Angel and Faith with TFAW

20 November 2011 Leave a comment

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