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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 

Scott Allie Talks Buffy and Angel and Faith with TFAW

20 November 2011 Leave a comment

Scott Allie: Behind Buffy Season 9 from Comic Book Resources

13 November 2011 Leave a comment

BEHIND BUFFY SEASON 9: BUFFY ENTERS “FREEFALL”

Thu, November 3rd, 2011

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9” #s 1 and 2, in stores now.

You can’t keep a good slayer down. Back in comic shops full time from of Dark Horse’s is the canonical continuation of Joss Whedon’s “Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season” – a story comprising the “BTVS: Season Nine” series as well as “Angel & Faith.”

And CBR News is back with BEHIND BUFFY SEASON 9 – a monthly column featuring interviews with the creators and staff behind the creation of Buffy’s latest two comic series. Going behind the scenes for an in depth look he future of the entire Buffy franchise, this week we welcome “Buffy” editor extraordinaire Scott Allie to discuss the start of “Season Nine” proper in issues #1 and 2.

With the first comic written by Whedon himself and part two the first effort from incoming scribe Andrew Chambliss (and both drawn by returning artist George Jeanty), the comics comprise the start of the inaugural “Freefall” arc. And as Allie explains, Buffy’s new life in San Francisco holds plenty of new friends, new foes, new dangers and classic character-driven moments to kick off “Season 9.”

CBR News: Welcome back, Scott! It’s been a few long months since we last saw Buffy in comic shops, and a busy time for both you guys and Joss. What’s it like to finally have “Season 9” underway? Has the launch been what you’d hoped, and what’s the reaction been like from readers?

Scott Allie: Yeah. It’s been great. The reaction’s been really positive so far. Our first issue came out right in the middle of the whole New 52 thing, and that was kind of a bummer that the whole industry was focused on one event when our biggest event of the year was happening. But the fan response has been good. Sales have been good. And mainly I’m really happy with the team. The new writer on the book Andrew Chambliss has been great. He’s been really good to work with, and he’s really busting it to keep doing this while he’s working on a TV show “Once Upon A Time” right now. That keeps him pretty busy, but things are going good.

Let’s talk about the new “Freefall” arc. Right from that name is really telling because the end of “Season Eight” from the reveal of Angel as Twilight to the death of Giles was so big that the whole bottom of Buffy’s world kind of fell out from beneath her. How did you and Joss talk about starting this with such a focus on the lives of the cast?

We wanted to be able to make it more about their real lives and where they’re at personally. So in the first issue, there’s a lot of the main plot points for the season twisting up around Buffy and the rest of the cast, but we wanted time for them to interact as people and take their relationships to the next level. Everything’s changed for everyone in the wake of “Season 8.”

Joss scripted issue #1, and I think if I pointed out every little detail and line of dialogue that jumped out at me in his story, we’d be on the phone for three hours. It seems on every page there’s a nod to past stories or great specific character moments. Was the plan for him to really set up the core of where everyone is before Andrew moved forward with the bigger adventure?

Yeah. Plotwise and storywise the pieces were in place based on our various meetings about the book. So this was more about Joss setting a tone and establishing what she’s acting like and how that’s affecting everyone else. A lot of this series is just us looking to execute the plan laid out, but what Joss did was show Andrew and all of us “this is the tenor of the humor we’ll have” and “this is the vision for the series.” And also, there were some little things in the script that weren’t so much surprised but were things where we had to go “What’s up with that, Joss?” and he’d let us know what new things had occurred to him while writing that hadn’t come up in our overall discussions previously.

What’s the process been like comparing “Season 9” to “Season 8”? Has everything been structured as much as the arcs last time, or are you running more loose?

It’s different because the truth is that in “Season 8,” Joss was running a show to such an extent that we didn’t know where the story was going sometimes. I came in to co-write the finale with him, and at that point I was still learning things he hadn’t said to us as well as things he was still working out as he went. I wouldn’t say one was more or less laid out than the other, but I would say in “Season 8” that Sierra [Hahn, the book’s other editor] and I knew less of the plan while in “Season 9” we were there to help create the plan and will be controlling the rollout. He’s so tied up. So with “Season 8,” even in a comic Joss didn’t write, he was the editor on the script. I’d never see anything before a second draft for most scripts. He did a series of notes with the writer and then he’d send us their second draft. I guess it was Jane Espenson’s arc where she started sending scripts to me before she did to Joss, and then Brad Meltzer sent them to both of us simultaneously. But with “Season 9,” we’re editing the scripts while Joss is doing the more high level planning and talking things through with Andrew. But when a script comes in and needs to go to an artist, that’s coming to us.

Looking at the page, we meet Buffy’s new roommates Anaheed and Tumble. Instantly upon seeing them, I thought back to the show and how we’d meet someone like Oz as a social friend of the gang who would then slowly be pulled into the craziness of Buffy’s world one way or another. What can you say about the role these two will play in the stories as they mesh with the gang some?

Well, the thing is that the gang isn’t very enmeshed. You see this big party in issue #1, but the gang isn’t as tight as they used to be. They’re not as intimately and constantly involved as they were before. So don’t expect that to happen. Don’t expect Anaheed and Tumble to get absorbed into a group that doesn’t totally exist right now.

And is there any significance we can make that Tumble’s real name remains a mystery?

[Laughs] The whole thing happens where Dawn’s trying to get more about his name, but don’t expect too much more information on that front. I think his name suits him pretty well.

The issue is framed by the morning after the party as Buffy tries to remember what happened the night of. That makes the story stand on its own very well, but it also kind of lets Joss’ part stand free from the rest of the arc as Andrew writes it. Will we see a more stand alone feel across the series issues like that?

I think that is partly the reason why Joss wanted to write the issue – the opportunity to do that weird structure. There’s also a pretty weird structure to issue #5 and how Andrew tells that story, but #2 through 4 is pretty much straightforward action adventure storytelling.

Part of the build to that is this feeling of dread that Spike has, but I get the feeling here that this isn’t just a gut reaction thing. There’s still a vampire community he’s engaging with. How strongly will that play into the series?

There is one. And I think you’ll see that in “Angel & Faith” too – the way the natural underground continues to exist and work together with [society] or the two against each other. In the “Angel & Faith” book that’s more what the story is about than in “Buffy,” but without saying too much, the greater community will be an important part of where Buffy’s story goes.

We also get our first glimpse of this hunter villain who’s introduced in a scene where he’s breaking through some portal. The big question after the Seed was destroyed in “Season 8” taking magic away from the world is how much magic is left. Does this villain show us there’s still a connection to the world of magic, or is everything we’re seeing here pretty much earthbound?

In that scene we are somewhere on earth. It’s kind of irrelevant where, but as one of the demons says, the spells that bound him have weakened. We talked about this a lot, and we thought it was okay to be a little vague on when exactly this two-page scene happens. Did it happen a few months ago? Did it happen right after the Seed was destroyed? Whatever the case, it happened sometime after the Seed was destroyed so the spells were weakened and it allowed this creature named Koh to break free.

He very much feels like a villain from the show. I can imagine a guy decked out in the makeup and stalking Buffy around town. A big part of “Season 9” for Joss was taking the size of things down a notch after “Season 8” was so big. Does a villain like that fit in with that conception?

It’s funny. Nobody knows quite yet what’s happening as far as Koh is concerned, but we’re still telling a Buffy story here. Even though we’re smaller than “Season 8,” we still got to throw some players on the table. Koh doesn’t lead a giant army of demons or anything. He’s not the next great Apocalypse necessarily. But like you say, he’s a singular demon character who shows up, and it’s going to be a bit more personal than Buffy against an army of demons.

Of course, artist George Jeanty is back with the book, and I think his standout page from this issue is the party montage where Buffy of the next morning floats mid-page. She’s so removed from what happened to her the night before even as she remembers it in pieces. What’s it been like to have Georges back and what he brings to the series and characters?

I feel like Georges is really given us his A+ game again. And it hasn’t slacked off. I’ve got pencils through issue #6, and he’s not backing off of any of the detail or the life he’s giving to this. That particular page you mention, there’s just so much storytelling and so much happening in different ways there. Georges is uniquely suited to pull that off and bring so many characters to life. I love what happens on that page with Buffy looking so pouty at the same time you’re seeing her have a blast.

The final question on this issue is in regards to the idea that we’re really introduced to a mystery through its structure. We want to know what exactly happened and who Buffy was with, and it turns out she meets the unseen neighbor whose name is Heinrich. When will we learn more about this guy?

There are a great number of things that I can’t say anything about right now, and that is certainly one of them. [Laughter] It’s rewarding and fun to watch speculation that things like that turn up. And the point is to throw out a number of things that’ll have people scratching their heads. Nobody knows right now what the Big Bad or big challenge or theme of this year is. But there’s a number of things floating out there that different readers are focusing on and saying, “Ah ah! We need to know about this!” And some of those things are absolutely essential to know, and some of them are, for right now, maybe just there to mess with you.

Let’s talk a bit about issue #2 then. One thing that stood out to me jumping in to this scene where the demon is chasing Buffy down for her student loan payments is how it synched up with Anaheed’s line in issue #1 about how she went through four years of grad school to be at age 30 working as a fact checker for a website. Overall, it feels like the story is shaping up to be about a whole new phase in the life of Buffy and the cast. In the TV show, we had them in high school and then transitioning to college and 20-something life. How much did you guys talk about this being a phase of life that’s reflected differently than the past?

Part of the challenge as we were trying to shape up this season was that when “Buffy” started, it was entirely about the changes you go through in high school. And there’s a way in which for you or me or anybody else, you look back on your high school years with a kind of mythic reverence that doesn’t necessarily apply to the other years of your life. There’s a heightened drama and a falsely heightened sense of conviction to what’s going on in your life. That was a big part of what the show was when it started, and then when they went to college, there was not that same mythic aspect in the way that your identity is shaped in high school. So what we had to do was talk about what a similar metaphor was that you could come up with for in your life – a similar mode of expressing what this post-college moment is. What point in Buffy’s life is she at that people can really relate to and that we can explore through the kinds of stories we like to tell?

The thing you referenced about Anaheed and the state she’s in or Buffy facing down that student loan…they just show how there’s a way we have to decide who we are in our 20s that will take us into the future. I think these days a lot of people put those decisions off into their 30s even, but in your 20s there’s really an aspect where you’ve got to figure out what your life is going to be. That’s a pressure that isn’t on most of us when we’re teenagers or even necessarily in college. Even though you pick your major, you know as well as I do that most people when they reach 45 or 50 aren’t doing the job that they trained for in college. In college, you think you’re making decisions about the rest of your life, but it’s really “Eh, I don’t know.” But into your 20s, you are making decisions about what your life is supposed to be.

And Buffy always thought that he adult life was going to be cancelled. She thought she was going to die. She had to either save the world or fail to save the world, and that was going to be everything for her. But now maybe Twilight was the final Apocalypse she had to put off. Maybe she really won and succeeded in that Slayer existence that most girls never got through. She won and she survived. “Oh shit. Now what?” In my mind, that’s what a lot of us are facing when we’re 24 or 25. You go, “I’m not apparently a rock star or the president or whatever I thought I’d be to change the world. I’m just me dealing with my crap. What does that mean?” That’s where Buffy’s at.

You mentioned the gang being very much on their own right now, and one of the standout scenes in issue #2 was where Buffy tries to crash at Xander and Dawn’s to realize the couch was made up for Xander and not her on the lamb. Will we continue to watch the other characters develop on their own, or will it be more through the prism of Buffy crashing into their lives?

Well, that is kind of Buffy’s M.O. [Laughs] But there is this thing evolving with Xander and Dawn, and within the first five issues you’re going to barely get a glimpse of it. It’s just because with the amount of room we’ve got to use to tell Buffy’s story, the supporting cast’s stories will move along a bit slowly. But there’s major developments for Willow before issue #6. You won’t see too much transpire with Xander and Dawn until further into it, but there’s a really cool storyline cooking with those two that doesn’t have much to do with Buffy. That will develop on its own a bit more while she’s dealing with her own terrible crap.

The other big plot point for this arc is that Buffy has been caught by the police slaying – some might say at long last – and while we saw a lot about vampires in the public eye in “Season 8,” is this story with the cops a sign that we’ll continue to learn about how the magical world intrudes upon human lives?

A little bit, but not that much partly because we want to stay focused on the main characters, and the main characters aren’t run of the mill humans. The vampires went public before the Seed was broken, so society has changed a bit. One thing you’ll see through our characters and these San Francisco cops is that the cops have to figure out what to do with vampires. If vampires are an accepted part of society, how do you deal with that? How do you deal when you have a bunch of murderous vampires and a girl kills them, but there’s no evidence left behind? What do you do with that? How do you process that crime scene? One could make the argument that the vampires came out months ago, so shouldn’t the cops have figured it out by now? Yeah maybe, but we’re going to see them figuring it out. We’re going to tell that story instead of just saying it happened, and we’ll tell that story through Buffy and Spike and some other various interactions.

Finally, I have to ask about this new guy with this new kind of Slaying ability. I’m sure everything around him is secretive, but my question is whether we can assume that’s he’s been around a while or whether the Seed breaking has affected who he is and what he can do?

The breaking of the Seed has something hugely significant to do with his origins that you’ll find out next issue. He’s been at this only a very short time. The ability that he has emerged very recently, and he’s just kind of figuring it out. But the way in which it emerged has a lot to do with vampires going public and the destruction of the Seed. In issue #3, he reveals a lot about that.

Be sure to check out “Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 9” #3 in comic shops next week and stay tuned for more “Behind Buffy Season 9” on CBR!

Original Interview at Comic Book Resources

 

Interview with Scott Allie from Insert Geek Here

13 November 2011 Leave a comment

NYCC ’11: Interview with Dark Horse Editor Scott Allie

Posted by @Wilderowens

The Whedonverse is very precious to me. It kept me sane as a teenager, and Buffy: Season 8 was my gateway drug into comics. So when the chance to talk to Whedonverse editor Scott Allie, I lost my cool and went total fangirl. Luckily, I got myself together before I met him at NY Comic Con.

I was desperate to talk with him about Buffy, so I immediately asked about what challenges he wants to see Buffy take on in Season 9. He responded that she needs to figure out what the next stage of her life will be. As he puts it, “Her life was on this trajectory that was kinda up, up, up, up and now all that’s behind her. She just has to be a girl living a life in San Francisco, and it’s like the epic scope of that part of her life is behind her, and she just has to figure out how to move forward.”

Then I asked him about the pressures of dealing with such dedicated fans. As he puts it, there are many differences between each fan groups. Even the Whedon subgroups are radically different. Then he gave me a great quote….

“There have been challenges that I have publicly not done a great job with, which is part of the learning curve. You are ever aware of this very driven fan group….But if you spend too much time thinking about it, you can’t do your job.”

I asked a question for my inner fangirl about if we were going to see more Sugar Shock. Allie said it was on Joss’s to-do list, but nowhere near the top. Allie did tell me that he feels like Sugar Shock is perfect just the way it is, so he doesn’t think it needs to continue. He did concide that there are places to take these characters but it is such a high energy comic, which is hard to recapture. While part of me agrees with him, part of me also pushed him to bring it back in Dark Horse Presents, where it debuted.

He did confirm that Joss wants to write some of Buffy Season 9 as soon as Avengers is finished. They also want to dedicate time to Serenity projects but Joss is just too busy!

I had reached to our fans on twitter to ask for questions. The first one came from the infamous One True B!X. He asked for details about the Star Wars/Serenity flip book. Free Comic Book Day will have one book featuring both series. While Allie couldn’t tell me too much, here is what I did find out. They have a great writer, are still confirming an artist, and overjoyed about cover artist that he had been wanting to work with. For the story I got a little bit more so…..

SPOILER ALERT!!! For Serenity Comics Continuity SPOILER ALERT!!!!

The Serenity side of the story is focused on a particular aspect of Mal, as the most loveable rouge in the galaxy. I pried about where in the Firefly/Serenity timeline this will take place and it is still in discussions. Right now, it will definitely take place after Shepard’s Tale. It is “likely” that it will take place after Float Out, so we will see either pregnant Zoe or even new mom Zoe! The story has already been pitched to Joss, and hopefully they will add Baby Washburne in!

Spoilers Are Over, It is Safe to Read Again.
he other fan question came from @JDianeAbela. She asked about Allie’s involvement with the Dr. Horrible comics. It surprised me to learn that it was actually Allie’s idea to do the Captain Hammer story in Dark Horse Presents. This was the first comic that Zack Whedon wrote. With the success of that, it was so easy to decide to do a Penny story.

On his end, Allie has been busy writing as well as editing. He has been working on B.P.R.D., and Star Wars. I was hoping for some more independent work, but nothing coming up. He did hint at something called Lightrail, that he just can’t find the time for it. When it does come to “light”, it will be with artist Todd Herman.

All in all, it was a really fun chat. He was interesting to talk with, and while I probably didn’t get all of the info I should have, I am still so excited I got to meet him!

Original Interview at Insert Geek Here


Buffyfest Interviews Scott Allie at NYCC 2011

27 October 2011 Leave a comment

Scott Allie Talks Buffy and Firefly Comics with Very Aware

27 October 2011 Leave a comment

NYCC INTERVIEW: DARK HORSE COMICS SCOTT ALLIE ON BUFFY & FIREFLY COMICS

JASON TABRYS | OCTOBER 15, 2011

NYCC INTERVIEW: Dark Horse Comics Scott Allie on BUFFY & FIREFLY comics

Jason Tabrys October 15, 2011 1

There always has to be someone to make sure the trains come in on time, and for Dark Horse Comics (HELLBOY, STAR WARS, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER) that person is Scott Allie, Dark Horse’s Senior Managing Editor.

I met up with Scott at the Dark Horse booth at New York Comic Con where I’m almost sure he stood throughout the first full day of the east coast answer to San Diego, meeting fans, pros, and press alike.

Accommodating and forthright, Allie spoke about Joss Whedon’s involvement in this “season” of the BUFFY comic, the future of FIREFLY comics with Dark Horse, and the digital future of comic books.

Is Joss’s involvement on BUFFY this year less than it was last year?

SA: It’s different. He wrote a lot of last season, and he’s not writing any of it right now. He wrote the first issue. So it’s definitely less in that way. But we’ve got more going on, you know. So he’s overseeing the script that Andrew’s writing and that Chris is writing on the two different titles. And he’s still in control of the covers and that kind of stuff. Yeah, so there’s a little less day to day. And he’s not writing as many issues as he was.

He’s probably going to come back to write some when he really wraps up AVENGERS. But for right now Andrew Chambliss is writing all of BUFFY and Chris is writing all of ANGEL AND FAITH.

Any possibility of a FIREFLY monthly title?

SA: Not a monthly title. We don’t have any interest. It’d be great to do commercially, but creatively that’s not where we’re headed. But we are going to do more FIREFLY. We actually just announced yesterday that our Free Comic Book Day book will have STAR WARS and SERENITY. And then we’re going to follow up with some more stuff later in 2012.

Any more graphic novels like THE SHEPHERDS TALE?

SA: Depending on what we come up with it might be straight to graphic novel or it might be serialized like in the past.

You guys are really at the forefront of digital comics; Where do you see the industry five years from now? Do you see it more digital, or still paper and ink?

SA: There will be a shifting balance towards digital. Right now digital is not really a significant part of anyone’s financial life, but everybody’s being really aggressive and ambitious about building it.

We’re doing our thing, comiXology has what they’re doing, and there are other companies. I think that will continue to grow. Right now it’s a relatively small portion of income in the industry. So I’m sure it’ll shift a little bit more towards that in the next 5 years.

What about the pricing model? Do you think it’ll stay similar, or drop down to due to less overhead?
SA: It’s all over the place. I think our digital pricing is the right way to go. But there are a lot of companies that charge a lot more for digital. So right now it’s everywhere. I imagine over a short period of time it will fall in line with ours, but you never know. Maybe when it takes off people will start charging more. Right now it seems like a lot of pricing is based off of pamphlet pricing. And we’re not exactly doing that. We’re a little lower, because you’re not paying for printing

Original Interview at Very Aware

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

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