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"See how I'm not punchin' him? I think I've grown."
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April 11 2008

(SPOILER) Ryall gives preview pages from Angel #9 and Spike #1. This shows art from new Angel artist Nick Runge, and b+w page from Urru on Spike.

What do you all think of the new artist on Angel?

eeeek... i'll withhold judgement till i've seen some more pages.
I like what I'm seeing. Just makes me eager for more.
aapac, didn't you already pass judgement, on account of the "eeeek"? Oh internet!
This comic book stuff is so confusing. I just got the first bunch of issues of the Buffy one, and there are Angel and Spike ones too? Are they canon? Is there somewhere that spells this all out of the comically-challenged?
Yes, they are canon, avengingophelia. There are official comic continuations of both Buffy and Angel (though Angel has only the one writer, Mr. Brian Lynch, as opposed to Buffy's... several), and now there will be a miniseries spin-off of the Angel series about Spike. They're all what officially happened after the end of the series. es. Series plural.

[ edited by Jobo on 2008-04-10 23:41 ]
The new art looks OK so far, but I am a Franco fan. I would rather have had the whole series done by Franco so it would all look the same, but I am not going to complain too much or freak out or anything. I think Runge will do a fine job.
The first After the Fall collection is released in June in the UK, according to Amazon. Already got mine pre-ordered. Can't come soon enough. I'm very excited, it's official.
Both pages look good.
I am EXCITED!

Hey, Brian, who's BURGE?
Burge is the Lord of Downtown LA. He first appeared in ANGEL:ATF # 1.
The "Spike: After the Fall" page looks astonishing. I'm a little confused by Runge's art on this page, though. Comparing this to the work from him we've seen in "First Night" (the Wesley pages) it looks like a different artist did it. Page is interesting, though. Panels don't look as detailed or good as Franco's, but Franco is pretty much one of the best around, so that's not surprising. I'll have more of a reaction to the art when I see it in the context of the issue, but what we got today is admittedly enough to get me realllly excited. Again, the Spike page rocks.
I like both. Is it July yet?
Whats this pre-IDW reference we're supposed to get in that page?
Me no get it....
aus-mitch - I think the pre-IDW reference is the little green monster wearing the Burge t-shirt and the guy standing by him. They were characters in some of Brian's earlier comics, Patchouli and Monkey Man. They had a cameo appearance in Spike:Asylum.
I'm very happy that Franco is doing Spike: After the Fall. He draws a great Spike. And it's really striking how much more clean and detailed his art looks without the colouring, as a whole. (I reiterate that Ilaria Traversi would make a great colourist for the rest of the series, hint hint. :P)
Both drawings look great, but what's up with that scene, demons all looking to Spike's entrance, Spike comes flying in on a bike with a chain in hand, next panel Spike is on the floor with a demon foot on his head and the demons are examining his bike.
I'm quickly getting bored with this, it's like every Spike-scene is there to illustrate how much of an incompetent demon-hunter/push-over he is.
The loan shark looks dramatically different....
I'm worried about this change in artist. In a comic which follows a tv series (which obviously as filmed media depicts the exactly the same visuals consistently), a change in artist and thus a drastic change in visuals and character depiction might upset the... flow and whatnot. Hmmm, shall have to just wait and see.

I'm sure I will be proven wrong... right Brian?
aus-mitch, when people were so very critical of Franco's work on ANGEL:ATF, Ryall and I commented on how everyone would miss him if he left. It's good to see people do.

And Vergil, I would disagree with you. Spike has gotten knocked down a total of once before SPIKE:ATF, from Angel. The very next issue, he helped Angel, and then he didn't get in any fights until 5, at which point he kicked ass. Back again in FIRST NIGHT, he won that fight easily. And in this one, there's a ton of those lizard dudes, so...

...unless you're reading some vergil-cut that I am unaware of, not quite sure what you mean.
Brian, it's great that you come here and clear things up for us. I appreciate your contribution.

Vergil, what would be wrong with Spike getting knocked down off of his bike? He's not like Gru, who charges in without a plan, or Angel, who hangs back until he sees an opportunity (which usually involves snippy comments in battle). He's SPIKE- the man who makes a plan, but then gets frustrated with it because it's no fun and deviates from the plan... usually ending up with "bollocks". Is it "bollocks" or "bolloks"? Whatever.
Sure Brian, he did only get knocked down once in total, but that's to be expected, After the fall isn't about him. And i would argue that it's not the times he was knocked down that bothers me as much as by whom, a human. Someone that Spike always made clear that he wasn't going to let himself be pushed around by him. And does the human in question even realize that Spike could have snapped his neck if he chose to?
It's as if you weaken the character just because the lead has been weakend.

Korkster, That might be true for soulles Spike, souled Spike has shown great ability to change, but fighting wise he's still one of the most powerful warriors in the verse.
Okay, so you say "all he does it get knocked down" and I point out he's only gotten knocked down once. So now the new argument is that the ONE time he did, you didn't like the specifics.

I think it's a waste of time to defend a scene that speaks for itself, but Angel was looking for a fight, Spike wasn't. Spike was relaxing and happy and off-duty and drinking some form of weird demon brew, Angel was fully expecting to throw down.

"Weaken the character". I think I've proven how much these characters mean to me, but again, look at number 5 to see how "weak" Spike is.

As for the (ONE!) page from SPIKE:ATF you've seen, the odds are against him in that page. So, reserve judgment until you've, you know, seen more than four panels w/o words.
Ah, for once, I love Angel art.

And, as ever, Franco's art looks way better before it gets colored.
And, as ever, Franco's art looks way better before it gets colored.

Yep, that's exactly what I said. Can we grab one of the Issue 6 colourists as a regular?
I'm experiencing a conundrum here. On the one hand I think that Brian Lynch is a genuinely smart, funny, all around great guy and I truly appreciate that he takes the time to post here. If every creator took this much interest in their audience I think the medium would be a much better place.

However, on the other hand... I'm bothered by the persistent feeling that I'm not allowed to express any negative opinions. The only reason to give advance looks at upcoming issues/art is to promote interest and presumably get some feedback. But when that feedback is less than complimentary the go-to defense is, "Well you've only seen one unfinished page so don't judge too quickly." Not sure how that would jibe with the warm fuzzy glow created by happy squeeing feedback, from fans who also have only seen one unfinished page. If the response is positive that's cool, if not then it's too early for them to form an opinion?

Again I'll say that I respect Brian and have been very pleasantly surprised by AaTF so far. I've had my share of negative words to say in the past and I'll gladly admit that I've eaten more than a few of them already. But that doesn't mean I can't still have problems with some aspect or other. I've never been the biggest Urru fan, and from the four panels without words that I've seen of Runge's work I'm unlikely to be his biggest fan either. Doesn't mean either of them are terrible people. And it also doesn't mean that *I* am a terrible person. I'm just a fan doing what I'm supposed to be doing... forming opinions based on what I'm shown. When I see more than four unscripted panels I may change those opinions. Till then, when I'm shown preview art specifically for the purpose of giving me a taste of what's to come I'll go about forming an opinion based on what I'm told to expect is coming.

So while I appreciate Mr. Lynch taking the time to talk with us here and would never EVER be so arrogant or presumptuous as to suggest he no longer do so, I also every once in awhile feel like daddy is hanging out at the kid's party and slapping hands whenever anyone raises their voice too loud.
I really don't mind taking a leave from Whedonesque, don't worry about it. I'm not offended, I still love ya Haunt, but maybe it's best I stay away so you guys can voice your opinion. I'd hate to get in the way of you guys having fun discussing it, and yeah, absolutely, I think reading some of the comments (which, yes, I think are negative before anything really is shown) is bad for creativity on my end.

So I take my leave of you for a while, Whedonesque! I will return someday!
Well bloody hell, sir. Not my intent at all to make you take a leave of absence (or even ASK you to.) I think getting your thoughts and feedback help the discussion quite a bit, and I personally have enjoyed hearing what you've had to say and it's played a role in winning me over to the idea of continuing the story after "Not Fade Away".

So please don't think I was suggesting you need to not play with us here. I was just voicing my inner conflict over having negative comments. I'm certainly not intimidated to say anything negative just because you're here, and I of course never say negative things just to take a jab at you because you ARE here. I was just hoping that we could both (and by "we" I mean the creators and fans) agree to talk openly and respectfully to each other no matter how our opinions may differ... which I think we've managed to do for the most part.

(*sigh* Now someone's gonna jump down my throat for chasing off the writer... )
Well to be fair, you were the one that brought up the number-game, i just went with it. But you are right, and thanks for explaining that fight to me. For me comics are more difficult to understand, being new to this medium.
I did notice the differences in issue 5 when Spike and Angel were fighting back to back, Angel had a flaming sword and Spike was fighting bare-handed.

I'll try to reserve my judgement until Spike:ATF comes out,
I just hope we aren't going to get a weaksoft Spike.
The problem most people have with expressing criticism online is that there's always going to be at least one person who goes completely overboard with negativity. It doesn't even have to be the same person all the time either, I've been guilty of it in the past.

When being given the unique privilege of communicating with an artist, it'd behoove every fan involved to try to give only constructive criticism, and understand that it's easy for said artists to take it personally. I've seen it happen with Brian K. Vaughan, I've seen it with Orson Scott Card, I've seen it on many video game fan sites, and now here to a lesser extent. I just wish there was someplace online where it was different.
Well that certainly backfired. I'll miss getting Brian's input. I was always excited to see what he had to say. Score one for Internet viciousness and negativity. Civility gets 0.
Well I didn't feel I was being vicious, or even uncivil. Certainly hope that wasn't the impression I created. Brian had gone to great lengths to win me over to the story he was telling so it would be painfully ironic if I made some rather tame (at least for me) remarks convinced him to no longer post anything here.

*shrug* Not sure how many times I need to be reminded to keep my opinions to myself before I learn to just shut up and keep to my own lonely, poorly lit corner of fandom...
Brian left? Crud. The only way I can participate in these threads is by completely spoiling everything because my issues arrive a month later than everyone else's. Brian's comments make it worthwhile. Even if I don't understand what everyone is talking about (pretty much most of the time), it always gave me that much more to look forward to.

Well, I'm bummed.

[ edited by MysticSlug on 2008-04-11 23:25 ]
And now you're the victim, Haunt? Really?
Hey, wanted to doubleback and make sure that this didn't lead to more in-fighting. I just don't want negativity or people's opinions about handling of characters creep into how the book is written (or, to be honest, my enjoyment of the process).

It's not one person, it's just good for the overall quality of the books if I step back to avoid negativity.

Love you guys, see you soon, just not, you know, sooooon.
Umm, okay sure... yeah, that's what I said. Right.

Look, I'm sorry I said anything. Truly. I wasn't even trying to stir anything up, which I admit I've done from time to time. But in this particular instance I wasn't being a d-bag or anything. I followed the link, checked out the preview art and felt disappointed. When I came back here to comment that I didn't think the new artist looked particularly good I saw that Brian had been posting comments. That's cool, as I've said I enjoy his comments and he played a significant role in getting me past my initial skepticism of continuing Angel this way. However he does have a tendency to remark back directly to anyone with anything negative so say. And of course that's all fair play, I have no real problem with that.

My initial post was to comment on my mixed feelings. Respect and appreciation for the writer and gratitude that he takes the time to even come here in the first place. And frustration over the fact that in the past I've felt that any criticism I had became mischaracterized as being intentionally argumentative or impossible to please.

So, again I apologize if I somehow chased anyone off. However I feel it really needs to be said that it's pretty alarming if my pathetic (and generally inoffensive) post actually caused Brian to forever give up coming to Whedonesque. I was not saying anything offensive to or about Brian (I don't think), and actually hadn't even yet gotten around to voicing my complaints about the new artist. I made some vague reference to having a negative opinion. Now seriously, if THAT had enough venom to single-handedly drive off Mr. Lynch than a) I apologize again, and b) he's clearly never drawn any REAL internet snark and loathing... 'cause anything I said was pansy-assed in comparison to the outright hatred and ugliness that online fans are capable of.

In the meantime, while I continue to sincerely apologize if I have in fact driven off Brian Lynch, I think I'd like to ask for the same sort of courtesy that Mr. Lynch himself asked for. In other words try not to judge Haunt too harshly until you've seen the whole story (e.g. has Brian REALLY left for good or not?).

ETA: And just like that I hit 'Submit' and find that Brian has posted while I was typing. Hopefully you've read my follow-up posts Brian and seen that I wasn't trying to chase you off. Hope you'll stick around and continue to discuss the issues with us. You remember how skeptical I was of you at the beginning, and now I truly am a fan and looking forward to seeing where it's all heading. :)

[ edited by Haunt on 2008-04-12 00:05 ]
Well, isn't the panel on fan interaction with creators going to be interesting next month ;) On a slightly more serious note, I will say once again that I am enjoying ATF and Season 8 both and that the art on both titles is significantly better than I would expect considering my past experience with licensed properties or the like.

If I were writing these books and coming here without already having spent a lot of time here, I have to say that I might be a little defensive, too. Sure the point of this is to give fans a sneak peek, and to solicit a little feedback, but you really can't judge a lot from the one page. Everyone's of course free to say what they like, but making sweeping statements about character X based on panel 2 of page 1 of a preview seems a little over the top. On the other hand, over the top torch-carrying for our specific characters of reference is some of what we do here. That said we should endeavor to critique in a constructive and civil maner.

The Spike fans will chime in, the Angel fans will chime in, etc. etc., etc. and at the end of the day you have to continue where you were going with the story because someone has to be the guardian of whats best for the story as opposed to individual characters. As fans, part of what we do is nitpick and rip everything apart and then later look back on what we disemboweled and say "G-d damn that was some awesome tv/comic book/stick figure flipbook".

So, a grain of salt on both ends is recommended.

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