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September 13 2008

"Angel: Aftermath" Interview with Kelley Armstrong. Where she talks about her favourite character, her favourite episodes, the canonization of Angel: Aftermath, and more.

[ edited by Enisy on 2008-09-13 18:37 ]

I feel bad for reading this only for the canonization information, which was...inconclusive.
I'm a bit wary about the "one or two" new characters myself. Is there really any place for them within so few issues?
You say "inconclusive". I say (quoting gossi quoting Chandler), "Can open, worms everywhere."
I guess it depends on who lives, Enisy. I got all confused on the round-about, previous exit vs. sharp turn left thing. I guess what's to come in AtF is still safe, spoiler-wise.

Personally, "canon" = counts. So I'm happy.

I can't wait to see how AtF goes! I don't want it to end, though.
I just wish someone would ask her whether Joss will contribute to, or at least approve of, her storyline. That's all I need to know.
I thought Kelley said on her board Joss was approving her storyline. Personally, I adore Kelley Armstrong. She writes very strong characters. I think she will do this verse justice. Have all the wormy/worried/people read her books??
I thought Kelley said on her board Joss was approving her storyline.

Only mention of Joss I saw was this:

"Ah, there's the question and the answer is... it depends. It will follow from the events of Angel: After the Fall, it will continue that storyline and subsequent storylines will follow from it. So, yes, it's considered canon. That said, though, I know to many readers, if it didn't come from Joss Whedon himself, it's not canon, and I'm fine with that."

Which, also inconclusive.

Personally, I adore Kelley Armstrong. She writes very strong characters. I think she will do this verse justice. Have all the wormy/worried/people read her books??

Just started reading "Bitten" today, out of curiosity. (Not far enough into it to comment on her ideas or her writing style yet, though.)

[ edited by Enisy on 2008-09-13 19:20 ]
I don't see any problem with it. She came straight wit to the fans and I consider that amicable.

As for the storyline, I'll save that thought after I read the book.
Well I'm sure (hope) Joss has approval. He's said it's official canon and how can it be official if he's not approving it?
Enisy, Vinity was referring to an earlier post (Aug 3, 2008), where this was said:

Q: What is Joss Whedon's input in the story?

A: The story will be approved by him.

I think you saw the same thing, but the other quote to quote.

What I don't get is how involved does the man need to be for it to be considered canon? I mean, Joss & Brian hashed the AtF story, Brian ran with it, Joss approved it, and I love it. Similar things are being done on Buffy Season 8 (see Faith arc, individual issues, Wolves at Gate arc...). Similar things were done with the TV shows. He saw & approved each script (maybe did some tweaking here & there), but we won't know how much he contributed to Jane E or David Fury's work, will we?

I just don't get it.

Now, what I do get is if IDW ran an Angel series that had nothing to do with Joss, never came to his attention, and disrupted the flow of thinking... then yeah, I could see some issues with that. But I haven't yet. So I'll keep reading.
Ah, I hadn't seen -- or at least I didn't remember -- that quote. That makes me feel much more comfortable with the whole thing.
I don't think Joss need be involved at all for work to be deemed canon - he just needs to say it's canon. Him saying that, of course, implies some level of approval/review, but that level could vary (e.g. between BtVS S6, or AtS:AtF = low involvement, and earlier BtVS seasons/Firefly = maximus involvement).

Does it matter? We've had lengthy threads debating that very subject. For me it does. For others it doesn't. YMMV. It probably makes a difference to sales, I'd imagine.
My biggest concern is that Joss didn't pick Kelley himself. If he actually approves the story, it's all fine by me, but the farther they get away from the original "After the Fall" arc, the more I begin to get suspicious of just how liberally the use of Joss' name is being thrown around. Is this a genuine, Joss sat down with the author and outlined from beginning to end what the plans are for this set of comics, or is this more, IDW paid [ed. sorry, my spelling is truly awful] Joss $100k to use his name on cover while IDW goes to town?

There is no indication that Joss has ever been the type to do the latter, especially with the early Buffy/Angel comics and books, so my personal belief is that this new series has at least been run by him. Buffy and Angel as series have had excellent artistic integrity in this regard thus far, and I would be sad to see it end.

[ edited by archon on 2008-09-14 00:42 ]
I think his level of involvement in Angel: After the Fall has been the lowest, since he only co-wrote the storyline. With Buffy Season 6 he plotted a big chunk of it, and checked and edited every single script.

Anyway, I don't require Joss to actually write the story -- in fact, many people have argued that After the Fall has been the better for Joss's limited involvement. I was only looking for confirmation that he has given Aftermath's storyline the thumbs-up, that he believes it makes sense for the characters to go down those journeys. I really don't want the Buffyverse to turn into your average comic universe, where everything's so jumbled and contradictory that you have to pick and choose your own canon.
Joss seems to care deeply about the comic version of the stories being taken seriously. (Even though he himself has said he'd scrap the whole thing as not canon if he had to for a movie.)

As for Kelley, well she knows information about the end of "After the Fall". She's surely constructed the "Aftermath" story based on that future knowledge, one way or another. She was also very clear in the interview that it is canon in that "it counts". Since clearance like that can only come from the boss, I have total confidence in the whole thing. I'm very excited about it now!
For me, canon means Joss Whedon says "this is canon." And that doesn't mean "approved by Joss Whedon and/or his offices." That means Joss coming out publicly and saying "oh yeah this is the official continuation, BTW."
Interesting Interview
For me, canon means Joss Whedon says "this is canon." And that doesn't mean "approved by Joss Whedon and/or his offices." That means Joss coming out publicly and saying "oh yeah this is the official continuation, BTW."

I agree.
What I found most interesting is the fact she refers to Fred in the past tense.
What I found most interesting is the fact she refers to Fred in the past tense.

How is that interesting? The character died in season five.

Re: canon - It seems pretty clear that this isn't. But I'll probably pick it up, because I'm interested in what'll happens next. Kelley Armstrong's both a well-established author and a fan, although I don't think she has any experience writing comics.

Actually, has Joss Whedon ever confirmed the canonical status of After the Fall? I think Brian Lynch and Chris Ryall have said that it was canon, but I don't recall the Purple J ever commenting on it.
"It probably makes a difference to sales, I'd imagine."

Indeed. Pre-After the Fall, IDW's Angel and Spike books were selling about 12-15,000 copies per issue. The Whedon co-plotted and officially canonized Angel: After the Fall has sold roughly 40-50,000 copies per issue, IDW's best-selling title of all time. So I can see why they - and Joss, out of courtesy and kindness - might be hesitant about spelling out if a series is less of an official continuation.

Though it could be hoped that people could be impressed enough with IDW's work on A:ATF to stick around for some of their other work, giving subsequent titles the higher sales number which (some, at least) of the previous tales may have deserved.
Wait... No more Lynch/Whedon awesomeness?
I'm even less interested after reading that interview. Sorry to go here but to say canon is whatever you think is canon means the word has no meaning. And to think the issue is whether Joss personally wrote it or not misses the point to a breathtaking degree (most of the actual show wouldn't be canon if that were the case)
I've always had my own little theory about how the writing room within Mutant Enemy worked. Joss knew the beginning and the end roughly of the whole Buffy story. He knew the different events (like Angel turning in Season Two, or Joyce's death), that he wanted to utilise and what the overall themes might be, like "school is hell", "what makes us us", "how do you grow into adulthood". There would have been no go areas, but then everything else is open.

Therefore, other writers could pitch stories to get from a-b. It's similar to what's happening now in my mind.
I sure hope Kelley Armstrong doesn't come here and see all of this rousing negativity. Sometimes, I get really embarrassed for my fandom when I look at these comments.

As for me, I can't wait for the series. She seems like such a nice lady, and--like Enisy--I've bought "Bitten" to check out her writing style. I've read a short story of hers before, however, and I think that ANGEL is more than safe in her hands.
She seems to have a particular interest in werewolves, so we can probably expect a lot of Nina (whom I've slowly and steadily come to adore, starting with Power Play). :)
I sure hope Kelley Armstrong doesn't come here and see all of this rousing negativity. Sometimes, I get really embarrassed for my fandom when I look at these comments.

I hear you pat, but you should see what's said by some in the Bones fandom. In comparison, this is kind.

Personally, it seems as though Joss has approved something here and therefore this is a canon continuation of Angel's story. And while I'll miss Brian's writing, I'm sure Kelley will do a great job. I fully plan on buying the books (subscribing if possible.
Canon is important to me, but only because then I see it as 'real'. But if I don't like the direction the 'real' storyline takes ... I just ignore it (for example, for me the Alien story ended after Aliens).
I don't see any real negativity, just honest questions from the fans. Again, I think we should allow her to tell the story before we pass judgement.
I haven't read a lot of her work, and haven't been overly impressed one way or another by the short stories I have read, but I take pride in a Canadian writing Angel. I'll wait and see what I think of her take on things.

It'll be hard, because I've fallen in love with Brian Lynch.

His work, I mean! I wasn't stalking him at Comic Con! Really!
Remember, no one heard of Joss Whedon as well until the mid 90's.
Kelley's short stories are background for stuff, events or characters mentioned in the books. They prolly don't come across as well as stand-a-lones.

I totally agree with patxshand in that I hope Kelley doesn't come in here and see negative comments. She is a wonderful writer and her books have gotten better and better each time. She has created one of the richest verses of any writer I've ever read. She switches up narrators so you get to know the inner thoughts of a great many of her characters. I can not express how much I love her work. I was overjoyed when I saw she was doing this. Geesh people, give her a chance.
I was really intrigued by the not-so spoilery comments she made. I'm interested in seeing if the "new" characters she talked about are in fact new or crossover characters. Also, she says she's returning to a "previous exit". Does that mean they're going back to the alley when the fight began? With all the time-slip stuff happening, I can't help but wonder if some change in time or an alternate universe will play a part in the end of After the Fall.
Writers can take it. They didn't get to be writers without receiving criticism from teachers, bosses, and colleagues throughout their lives. No embarrassment on other fans' behalf necessary. Fans wondering/worrying a bit about the future of the franchise they've invested over a decade of some of their leisure time in, that's to be expected. It's a very civil thread anyway. If I said something like "I don't know if I trust a writer about to handle the Angel side of the franchise who says their favorite Angel character is Fred", maybe not so much, but it's just an opinion. Okay I mean it. I liked Fred/loved Illyria, I've seen some massive hate for the character--TwoP reviewers come to mind--so I've seen some (IMO) decent reasons for not liking the character, but seriously--Wesley, Angel, Cordy, Lorne, Doyle, Connor, Gunn...and you pick Fred ? I can see ranking her above some of them, but absolute fave ?

I'm gonna pick up the two Angel hardcovers real soon, get my first taste of the series at IDW (aside from some sample pages of the stuff they did before "After the Fall"). I'm too curious to see what Brian Lynch did with it at this point to put it off much longer.
I'm wondering the same thing, slayer. There has been so much time-slip stuff in "After the Fall" so far....and if they don't wrap up what that was all about, then I can only surmise that that's where things might be headed in "Aftermath" when she says "previous exit". Which to me is very cool. And the idea of the new characters being crossover characters is equally intriguing.

Also, yes patxshand...hopefully she doesn't take anything here as overly negative (which it hasn't really been too bad). But she's a very nice person and her experience with our community hasn't even really begun yet! So I think it's jumping the gun. Once the story begins, well that's a different story.
I don't get overly worked up about canon. But I am nervous about replacing Lynch with anyone.
I have loved what he's done with After the Fall as well as the Spike Asylum and Shadow Puppets so I'm a bit leery of anyone taking over.
I'm glad that some of you are familiar with her and approve, and she seems nice enough in the interview but she doesn't even mention Spike.
I just hope she isn't a Spike hater.
Xane, I was wondering why you would think she was a Spike hater just because she didn't mention him? She didn't mention Cordelia, Wesley or Gunn either. The only reason she mentions Fred is because she's her favorite character and the interviewer asked that question directly. This is Angel's story, so it makes sense that the focus would be on him and not supporting characters.
It's not that every comment here made is harsh or negative, because a lot aren't. It's just that literally for every single, "Awesome, Angel is going to continue," there has been--no joke--twenty "Is this canon? If it's not etc etc", and five "I won't be reading this" and other various negativity. And that is for every single time there has been an "Angel: Aftermath" link. It's so, so tiring to see more fans getting snippy about Angel continuing than those getting excited.

Kelley addressed the question. Joss approved the storyline. Not his offices, Joss himself. That was over a month ago that she said that, and still every thread the book is mentioned in looks like this. Why can't we just be happy that we're getting more comics? As she said, if you don't like what happens in the book, ignore it. If you like it, fine. I'm just really freaked out to see two people celebrating "Aftermath" while everyone else is worrying about whether the story counts (which she said multiple times that it does). One would think, after reading "After the Fall" and seeing how much ass it kicks, that we'd give a bit of our trust to the IDW camp.

[ edited by patxshand on 2008-09-14 21:13 ]
"Xane, I was wondering why you would think she was a Spike hater just because she didn't mention him?"

Not thinking she is, slayer,the, just hoping she isn't.
I really got hit hard by Scott Allie and Darkhorse's attitude, and have been spoiled by Brian Lynch. Just worried. Like I said I have really been enjoying Lynch's work, and I have no idea where Kelly Armstrong is coming from.
She did say in the interview that her favorite episodes were "Hero" and "A Hole in the World" which are two very emotional and well-written episodes, so I get the impression that she's got a pretty good eye for packing an emotional punch which is something that the Buffyverse never runs away from.

As for the Scott Allie thing, I didn't see his comments as bad. He was giving his opinion, but in the end, it's Joss Whedon's story and that's what will matter. I agree that Lynch is doing a great job, but people were weary of him in the beginning, too.
I agree, slayer the. Scott Allie was more than kind with his response to the "ZOMG he hatez Sp1ke!" people. He explained it rationally, and overall showed quite a lot of class.
I actually read a commentary from DragonCon and they said that Scott Allie was afraid to comment on anything to do with Spike. That really makes me feel bad for him and embarrassed for us. I'm new to this, so am I allowed to put the link for the DragonCon commentary in here or is it against the rules?
patxshand, when did Joss Whedon ever say this was canon? Approved is one thing--he and/or his offices also approved all of the non-canon Buffy and Angel comics, as well as the novels, and the large majority of those were non-canonical. I really don't feel like wasting time/money on something that doesn't even count in the actual Buffy universe. And frankly you can tell when Whedon's hand isn't involved. It lacks that Whedon oomph.

It's fine if you want to read those stories too. I'm not saying they shouldn't exist because obviously it's more money for the franchise, which hopefully means more quality stories that will actually take place in canon. So by all means, keep buying in. I am not criticizing anyone for reading them or anyone for writing them, just that before I invest in the stories I want to know that they'll count and have the quality I've come to expect from Whedon-sanctioned works (for the most part--I'm looking at you "Beer Bad").
I'm a bit wary about the "one or two" new characters myself. Is there really any place for them within so few issues?

Enisy, I think there's more than enough room for a new character or two. One area I'd really like a new character for is "villain". Look at the amazing villain Brian Lynch has introduced in Spike After the Fall - that chick is badass. Plus we need some people to save, right? The villains and the "helpless/hopeless" were the driving force for the adventures of the Angel gang. If these ancillary characters didn't exist, I think we'd be looking at a work equal to fanfiction where all the fan favorites - Angel, Cordy, Fred/Illyria, Gunn, Wesley, Lorne and Spike - just hang at the Hyperion and rehash all their history. New characters to me speaks to the story moving forward and new challenges and experiences for our beloved core characters. New characters - bring 'em on.

Every new bit of news I get about Aftermath and Kelley Armstrong just make me more excited for this work. She's seems very insightful and demonstrates a great understanding of the characters. I can't wait to see how she'll write the characters, how true her writing is to the character's voices. Can't wait :)
Well I totally disagree with you on the Allie thing, but we can agree to disagree. The very first issue where he printed that Spike loathing letter set me off. Then his Spike the rapist stuff on Slayalive clinched it. It was really the deciding factor in me finally giving up on the Buffy comics, which I wasn't particularly enjoying but buying out of loyalty and curiosity.

I don't want any writer who feels like that about Spike anywhere near him.
Granted, Allie isn't a writer, thank god, but I'm sure he has some influence. Just glad Spike is at IDW.

And by the way I'm glad that Allie decided to keep quiet about Spike. Too little, too late, but still, it was he who I thought should be embarrassed. Pretty sure he isn't though. Whatever.
[ edited by Xane on 2008-09-15 00:12 ]

[ edited by Xane on 2008-09-15 00:13 ]
I don't want any writer who feels like that about Spike anywhere near him.

Well that's not really you're choice, Xane.
Well that's not really you're choice, Xane.

But it is his opinion, and he's welcome to feel that way.
absolutely, but I'd feel bad for him if it actually goes that way because that's how some writers really may feel.

[ edited by 2SpuffyOrNot2Spuffy? on 2008-09-15 01:04 ]
But it is his opinion, and he's welcome to feel that way.

True, but why are we even discussing this under a comment thread about an article with Kelley Armstrong? There was no mention one way or the other about Spike in the interview.

All that said, the interview definitely piqued my interest in Aftermath. I picked up a copy of "Bitten" too and what I've read I've liked. I think her style is going to mesh really well with the Angel universe.
Of course it's not my choice. Puzzled. How would it be? But it doesn't change the fact that I feel it. And it is my choice to not buy anything written or published by someone who hates Spike.
And by the way I'm glad that Allie decided to keep quiet about Spike.

But don't you think this will then alienate the creators/writers/ publishers and force them to write characters exactly the way the fans want instead of challenging them. There are many things that have been said by people affiliated with Buffy or Angel that I didn't agree with, but I'm not creating this, just going along for the ride.

By the way, that DragonCon info is here:
Of course it's not my choice. Puzzled. How would it be? But it doesn't change the fact that I feel it. And it is my choice to not buy anything written or published by someone who hates Spike.

Good luck with that.

[ edited by 2SpuffyOrNot2Spuffy? on 2008-09-15 01:18 ]
project bitsy, just wait, Bitten is just the beginning, it's the first scratch of the universe :D And for the person upthread who was worried she's mainly werewolves, she SO isn't, after the first 2 books. We've had all sorts supernaturals as narrators. I really envy anyone first starting the books?

So, anyone here read the new series, Darkest Powers? In a world where young girls are going nuts over the likes of Twilight drivel {sorry Twilight fans but those books are, at the very least, not a good role model for young girls} THIS is what they need to be reading as young adult. Something beautifully written and empowering for young people.

You have to also give Kelley Armstrong credit for being amazingly prolific. My very first thought after reading the Angel thing after "YAY, my fandom worlds collide" was I hope this doesn't get in the way of her other series.
That link from Dragon-Con, slayer, the, makes me even more worried. It sucks that Scott Allie feels stifled. I hope Kelly Armstrong (or any writer) doesn't get pushed the same way. No offense to what anyone wants. I just wish writers would stick to their vision no matter what the audience ships. I don't want the fandom to affect authority, that's bad all around.

That other bit in the Dragon Con link about Georges Jeanty drawing Buffy closer to Angel (in the threesome pic) by Joss's demand is quite surprising.
I vaguely remember a not-a-fan-of-Spike letter being published in Buffy Season 8, but did people seriously take Scott Allie to task for that ? The letters column is often boring when it's just drooling praise, I'm glad when any editor/creator runs a letter in a comic that is contrary to the majority view. Letters columns are pretty redundant anyway now that we have message boards for the same purpose (except for the very few comic book readers who don't have the internet). I don't think Spike is in any danger of fan or editor influence altering his story in the Buffy comic. Why would you think that, Xane ? Scott Allie really doesn't seem the type to try to impress his preferences on his stable of creators and Joss would probably take note but do what he wanted to do anyway. Season 8 is almost solely guided by Joss' hand, with Mutant Enemy writers and a couple others fleshing it out with the scripts. To worry that Scott Allie might damage the book is paranoia.

I'm curious about the other part of the story though, about Allie saying something online about how he felt about Spike. Anyone got a link ?

" was he who I thought should be embarrassed. Pretty sure he isn't though. Whatever."

Why should an editor be embarrassed of an opinion about a fictional character ? Granted, in that position it might be a smarter PR move to stay away from criticising the parts of the franchise you don't love, but at the same time he's been manning Buffy for Dark Horse since the beginning, so...

Not an attack, just trying to get a read on where you're coming from (and I'm curious about what Allie wrote online, never heard anything about it).
Yeah, hope I'm not opening a can of words, but what did Allie say about Spike?

I'm merely curious. I really can't see how the editor's opinion of a character who isn't even in the Buffy comics affects the comics. Especially when he doesn't have a part in either writing or plotting
I'm curious about the other part of the story though, about Allie saying something online about how he felt about Spike. Anyone got a link ?

Clicky. (The real kerfuffle went down over at LiveJournal, but no way am I linking to that.)
That other bit in the Dragon Con link about Georges Jeanty drawing Buffy closer to Angel (in the threesome pic) by Joss's demand is quite surprising.

2SpuffyOrNot2Spuffy?, I thought that was pretty interesting as well. It also makes a good point that no matter what Kelley Armstrong writes or anyone else says, it's Joss who makes the final call.
I'm still interpreting that as an attempt to capture the dynamic of the triangle (with Angel and Buffy as one "unit" and Spike as the underdog, you know) for the sake of my sanity.
Scott Allie: Cut and pasted from SlayAlive

"The comments I've made about Spike having raped Buffy—and I'm happy to have anyone argue that with me—were made in response to the question of Buffy + Angel or Buffy + Spike. Yes, it is my opinion that Angel is her true love, and that every relationship that followed, including Spike—and Satsu, and Riley—pale in comparison to her love of Angel. This is a matter of opinion. I know some fans agree; I know some feel the opposite. The fact that Spike did what he did to her on that bathroom floor, to me, reflects on his love of her. If your sister met with that treatment at the hands of her boyfriend, would you judge? I think you would. Love's a complicated thing, in life as in the Whedonverse, but to me, Angel and Buffy were the real thing. While I think Spike loved Buffy more than she loved him, his frustration led him to express it in some bad ways. That's not a healthy kind of love ... in life, as in the Whedonverse."
Yeah. This is the part that pissed me off. His Buffy is not my Buffy. I am not interested in his version.

[ edited by Xane on 2008-09-15 02:31 ]
Zane, I can understand you being upset by that, but not everyone can get what they want all of the time and if you force the creative team to be silent, what kind of creative team will that be?
He does give the impression that he watched another version of Seeing Red ("Spike having raped Buffy"... o-kaaay), and that his mind's version of Spike is somehow still running around soulless and evil.

(How long before this thread is locked by the moderators? Countdown...)
Yikes, this thread has derailed somewhat. I'll avoid the giant shipper-war-shaped tendencies in this discussion (as I'm sure our lovely mods would want us to), but I do want to state the following:

Disagreeing with someone's assessment, is fine. But I'd say that saying Scott Allie should be ashamed of an opinion he expressed on a fictional character (who is part of a world we've all invested in extensively, sure) is uncalled for, as was this comment: "Granted, Allie isn't a writer, thank god". I'm sure you didn't mean to come across like that, Xane, I'm just pointing out what it read like to me.

We don't do personal attacks here (and my apologies if I'm stepping on ground reserved for moderators now) and I think Scott Allie - who works closely with Joss Whedon and is editing Buffy S8, which many of us are enjoying - at the very least deserves our respect. Disagree with his opinions, sure, but don't belittle the man, who - as far as I can tell - did not even do anything wrong to begin with. If he is currently being singled out by a part of this fandom for expressing an opinion, then that is a scary thing indeed. I'd like to think we're more accepting and inclusive than that.
I think the only silly bit in all of this is
And by the way I'm glad that Allie decided to keep quiet about Spike.

mainly because if this was said about, say, a commenter here rather than about Scott who isn't here at all, it would be considered a rather daft and rude thing to say.

I don't think we should ever be "glad" that someone, anyone, has become afraid to express their opinion.

(Although I rather suspect that what Scott said at D*C was more out of simply finding the way the non-issue had become an issue to be tiring, and not out of some actual fear of expressing his opinion.)

[ edited by theonetruebix on 2008-09-15 03:01 ]
"Yeah. This is the part that pissed me off. His Buffy is not my Buffy. I am not interested in his version.

Xane, you don't like Scott Allie: we get it. What does this have to do with Kelley Armstrong? Are we still talking about whether or not her forthcoming story will be canon? Are you saying that any story written by someone who doesn't ship a certain way does not count in your eyes? Having been a fan of much longer running shows than Buffy, I've learned that continuity is absolutely in the eye of the beholder. My only caveat in this case would be that it seems silly to assume someone (writer or otherwise) would be unable to separate their personal preferences from their professional obligations. I have to believe that, even biases taken into account, there are checks and balances in place to prevent characters from being completely misrepresented.
"(How long before this thread is locked by the moderators? Countdown...) "

I really hope that doesn't happen, Enisy! Kelley Armstrong deserves more than that for graciously sitting down for our interview.

It must be hard for the writers to feel like they can stick to their own idea without being influenced too much by us fans, but it's kind of a bad idea to be influenced as there are so many diverse opinions/emotions about these complex characters. You can't please us all anyway. It's probably better that the creative team doesn't even look at our community sites and boards for that very reason.

In the end, I'll take whatever they throw at me, so long as it's canon. I don't always love it all, but the good has always outweighed the bad for me.
I don't think anyone is begrudging Scott Allie his opinion. However, there are people who based on his posts have found they're no longer interested in following the Buffy comics his company produces. That seems to me simply a consumer making a choice. Others don't see the views of Mr Allie as being the least bit relevant to the contents of the comics and some others may even feel happier about the comics after reading his statements. Considering that Mr Allie has a vested interest in fans buying his comics I'd not be surprised if his reluctance to say more on the Spike issue was more to avoid alienating any more fans, though Bix's comment it might just be a diplomatic way to avoid a tiresome issue also works for me.
Agreed, buffyfest, it would be sad to see the link to this interview go because this thread derailed somewhat. I'm looking forward to the continuation of Angel in comic book form. Also: Joss' word is good enough for me to consider it canon. Having said that, I do notice that with the property switching media, even if, like Buffy S8 it is written by Joss, it's hard to connect everything and let them form one story in my mind. In my head, the S8 comics are canon and do continue on from the series, but they're still seperate because they live in a different place in terms of certain style elements, types of stories and "feel". And the same goes for the Angel comics, though I love reading both and will keep doing so for some time to come.

From the interview, Kelley seems like a nice person with a genuine love for the property. I'm interested to see what she'll do with it. Plus, anyone who lists Fred as her favorite character and 'A Hole in the World' as one of her favorite episodes, can't be all bad ;).
I don't think this discussion has to do with consumer choice. It started with comments by Zane saying:

I'm glad that some of you are familiar with her and approve, and she seems nice enough in the interview but she doesn't even mention Spike.I just hope she isn't a Spike hater.

The assumption that the creative people have to bow down to fan pressure seems like a slippery slope and if people don't want to hear the PTB's opinions if they're not saying what a fan wants then we won't get interviews with people like Kelley Armstrong. That would be sad.
None of these Buffyverse writers these days EVER mention Marcie in interviews. I hope they aren't all Marcie haters.
Again I miss the bit where fans are trying to pressurise any of the creative people into anything. Xane has said she has enjoyed the ATS comics and likes Brian Lynch's take on Spike. She is anxious to know if the new writer will have as positive view of the character and thus up the chances of Xane continuing to enjoy the comics. She didn't seem to be saying she won't buy them unless the writer proclaims any kind of pro-Spike agenda first up.
OK, I think the mods were all out enjoying the weather (or something) today, but the Scott Allie discussion (a) has nothing to do with the Kelley Armstrong interview; (b) has been done here already, and there's no new there; and (c) as several members have pointed out, has sailed too close to bad shipping-land. So that's enough of that. Thanks.
Helcat, Zane has in fact said she stopped purchasing the Buffy Comics because of the interview with Scott Allie. This conversation derived from the fact that Kelley Armstrong didn't mention Spike and the above statements about Allie which led to a discussion about pressuring the creatives in the comic.
Thanks so much SNT, for stepping in.

I would like to get back to when she said "I'm returning to a previous exit on the roundabout". Does anyone else think she means this literally? Meaning in a former place in time in the story?
Wow. Sorry this went kind of wonky. I had no intention of that. I thought I was just expressing my opinion, how I feel about the comics. It's not that big a deal. I just love the Angel comics and I hope with the new writer that I still do. That is all. I am a little worried because I don't know if I will still love them, and I will be sad if I don't.
Buffyfest, I said this above somewhere, so sorry for repeating myself, but I really think it has to do with altering time. There's too much of the time slip stuff going on not to have it be extremely important in the end.
OK, can anyone point out where anyone has advocated pressuring the creative team to say or do anything? There's wishing they hadn't said/done something, there's deciding to use your options as a customer to stop buying something in part because of an interview but that really doesn't seem to me to be the same thing. I'd also suspect that had Xane (note the lack of a Z here) been loving the comic to begin with she would have stuck with it.
If you'd like to continue the discussion about Allie and BtVS:S8, helcat, slayer, the, or anyone else, feel free to take it to e-mail - just don't do it here. As I might have said once already. Thanks.
None of these Buffyverse writers these days EVER mention Marcie in interviews. I hope they aren't all Marcie haters.

*GASP* Oh my god, bix. You mean...*pants*...are you saying there's a Buffyverse conspiracy against Marcie?!!
Excellent use of sarcasm. I actually noticed it the first time.
Perhaps bix and Emmie should take the Marcie discussion to email as well.
Oh no, I'm sorry. Levity withdrawn. No intention to offend anyone. I just found the comment about ignoring Marcie amusing because she's invisible. It seems kind of appropriate that she'd go unnoticed.

Bringing it back to Kelley Armstrong - anyone here read her books? How would you describe her style of writing? The characters she creates?
I'm not enormously enjoying Angel: After the Fall - not not enjoying it, but not loving it - and I'm reading it largely because I want to know "what happened next" after the end of S5. Because it is canon, and the storyline came from Joss, from what he had intended to have happen after S5.

To me that is what is canon about it. Not that Joss "approved" it after someone else came up with it, but that he was involved in its genesis and it includes elements at least which he'd intended to use if the TV show hadn't been cancelled.

If this is just slapping Joss's seal of approval on after the fact, I'm personally a lot less interested in it.

And if this next one is some sort of "reboot" making ATF redundant, then, well, I'll feel maybe a little suckered.

I remember Joss explicitly saying somewhere that ATF would be canon and explaining his involvement in it from the start. If there were some comment along those lines about this one, I'd love to see it. These comics might well be great, but for me personally, the question of canon or not is crucial. I've never read any of the previous non-canon Buffy & Angel spin-off comics where there wasn't direct Joss involvement, and I have no interest in starting now. But if this is canon, I'll probably want to carry on with them once ATF has finished. So it's a pretty important question for me.
And if this next one is some sort of "reboot" making ATF redundant, then, well, I'll feel maybe a little suckered.

I don't think it will be. Isn't it supposed to continue After the Fall's storyline? Ms. Armstrong didn't even want to talk about Aftermath in fear of spoiling the end of After the Fall. Nothing in this situation indicates "reboot".
I'm one of those people that's happy to go with presumed-canon, at least unti I have official word either way. Even then, if the story was a good one then that's 99% of what matters to me.

There is enough to suggest to me that Aftermath is being considered canon and so for now I'll presume that it is. If Joss says that it's not then it's not. If it's a good story then I won't care anyway.

That's a nice Interview -interesting thoughts on Fred. I'm looking forward to Angel:Aftermath.
I liked a few of the Mutant Enemy-penned, pre-Season 8 Buffy comic mini-series and one-shots. At the time, I even considered some of them appropriate for canon (Jane Espenson's Season 3/Season 4 bridge involving Faith and what was left of the Mayor's essence, "Haunted", worked for me at the time, though I've never re-read it to see if it still holds up. I think a few others could still fit into continuity as well). Joss wasn't commenting on the Dark Horse Buffy and Angel comics prior to Season 8 and "After the Fall" (with the exception of the time he was involved in the short-lived Angel Volume 2), at least that I can remember, so fans sorta had to decide for themselves what worked and what didn't, although for me the show would always come first and the comics were still often fun even if they weren't canon (exception: Fray, always without-a-doubt canon from issue #1 to her part in Tales of the Slayers, plus maybe the Jonathan comic since it was featured in the show as a prop. And personally I like to consider both Tales comics canon, especially since there's a lot in there written by Joss and other ME scribes, though I can't remember if everything in them lines up nicely with continuity).

It stood to reason that the main Buffy comic series (pre-Season 8) was outside of continuity. Partly because it wasn't often all that well-written compared to the show, but also because sometimes writers either weren't careful enough to make it fit, or later episodes and seasons made the comic stories impossible to have happened, which was understandably out of their hands and I was prepared to see happen right from when I started buying the series at #1. Whereas when the Mutant Enemy writers were involved, it was often apparent that they'd made more effort to make them "count". One exception I have in much as I love Doug Petrie's Season 2, Angelus-period, post-"Passion" "Ring of Fire" graphic novel, it's almost impossible to make it fit for a couple glaring reasons. And that's okay, because it's an okay little tale and I loved Ryan Sook's art, some of his best Buffy work. But nowadays I'm more choosy with what I buy, I'm way less buy-everything-to-do-with-Buffy than I was when the show was running.

Which is pretty much why I skipped IDW's initial Angel minis and one-shots, because I just wasn't interested in paying for fanfiction and the occasional bit of nice art based on the setting and characters anymore. And was more than a little disappointed that an opportunity to continue or wrap up Angel after not getting Season 6 was passed by because no one from the TV production was interested/prepared/had the time to get into it, so instead we got what just looked like IDW making a buck (although it also gave writers and artist a chance to play with something they were fans of and I can't deny that that's cool for them, didn't effect me any, you simply have the option to not buy it). Brian Lynch coming in was an interesting development because we had the impression of Joss hovering over the project at the beginning to approve and give it his blessing, but at the same time the guy really making the story happen was someone brand new (outside of his non-canon Angel stuff beforehand). It's encouraging to see that most of the fandom (at least on this site) seems to enjoy what he's doing, despite the odd worry or gripe here and there. That praise is what's getting me to check out the book after initially deciding to ignore it.

[ edited by Kris on 2008-09-15 19:58 ]
"can of words" Lol, luvit!
Who cares if Armstrong doesn't like Spike?? Her stories don't count (canon wise) anyways! :P

So if you want to read it, read it. And if you don't like it, forget it.

[ edited by Buffy the Slayer Layer on 2008-09-16 01:14 ]
Question: Do other comics get killed with the "canon" issue?

I just can't imaging Spiderman fans making those sort of decisions, or Batman getting passed by because it didn't have the stamp of approval.

But, alas, Buffy & Angel are my first comics. Are the pros from DC & Marvel this crazy about "canon" as well? Or is it more of "here's the comics, this is what happens, read it" mentality?
I don't know if any comics are "killed" with the canon issue, but the majority of fans definitely appreciate the efforts of the various rotating creative staffs when they adhere to it (or even fix mistakes by previous teams in creative ways!). If the writer is a fan of the material (and IMO, if you're not, go write something else and leave it to someone who knows the material better...with artists it's a little different, they aren't driving the direction of the story, so I don't care if they are well-versed in and absolutely love the material they're adapting/continuing, nice as it is like how Jeanty is with Buffy).

Folks who've been reading comics for a while though understand that Spider-Man and Batman have been written by hundreds of people at this point, and that truly solid and seamless continuity ain't gonna happen in that situation. As great as some stories have been in those series, I wouldn't want to see Buffy and Angel become the messes that these multi-title, oft-crossed-over universes are. Also, they're purely driven by money. Spider-Man and Batman will almost for sure never end because they are enormous cash cows. Buffy and Angel, on the other hand, could conceivably end for good. And they did, for a few years. Most of the most popular mainstream superhero comics can't say that.

It's tricky because those comics have always been comics. Things almost work in reverse compared to the situation with the Buffyverse. Fans gripe about the movies and cartoons not being true enough to the comics, but then again a lot of fans understand that the movies and TV show adaptations are re-imaginings, they're not trying to fit into the comic book continuity. Buffy on the other hand, has the show as its basis and to me feels like it has considerably less wiggle room in messing with the continuity in the comics. Even the non-canon comics are still centered around what took place in the show, and those versions of the characters. Not new takes on Angel and Buffy and their supporting characters.

And who would give the stamp of approval to Spider-Man and Batman anyway ? Batman's creator is dead. Spider-Man's whores his creations out for all to enjoy and probably doesn't lose any sleep over it. I figured out Marvel's game after three or four years of reading them regularly in my teens (and sporadically before and after that). While a great story can and will come along every now and then (they're way better at hiring capable writers than they used to be), the sad fact is, there will be no overall, series-spanning drive to those titles. I may not live to see them drop in sales so bad that they are cancelled and concluded. Both were started before I was born. So I simply choose to not buy into it. Yeah, the canon/tight continuity issue definitely effects sales, I care about that sorta thing (millions of other readers don't. Some aren't aware yet what they're in for, the disappointment that will eventually set in, unless their expectations are pretty low). IMO, your overall product just isn't gonna be as strong and compelling, in the long run, if you don't have the option of eventually ending it. Also helps when the original creators stick around, but even then that's no guarantee (see: George Lucas. He's the obvious example, though it feels cheap to use him, especially since I'm not a huge Star Wars fan).

[ edited by Kris on 2008-09-16 23:17 ]
Yep. I was a big Marvel fan as a boy/teen, but the increasing preponderance of cross-overs and the multiple titles for each popular supergroup or hero just lost me and my wallet in the end. It wasn't that I felt the need for canonical consistency at the time - I just lost interest in the dilution of it all. As Kris suggests, you stopped getting the great series, like the Korvac Saga of The Avengers, or Dark Phoenix in the X-Men. Or perhaps they were still there, but obscured. In any case, I stopped reading and never caught back up.

Astonishing X-Men lost me too with its production delays but I finally went out and bought the TPB of the final arc - and I have to take back a lot of my meh. It really is a very very good work. It's not weighty like Moore or Gaiman, but it's a bloody good book, and made me cry at the end. Which is all I can ask for really. :-)
I waited until I Astonishing X-Men was ending before I bought the TPBs. I really enjoyed them- it introduced me to new characters that I've never seen on screen, as well as fleshed out characters I had taken for granted (see Kitty Pryde).

Thanks for answering my question, Kris & SNT. Sometimes I just wonder how we would all feel if Buffy had started as a comic instead of a movie. Seems like the Buffy/Angel comics get criticized more for canonocity than other comics (& I can see why). I find it useful to step back and see the rest of the world our comics are in, and how lucky we are that they do have some cohesion. It might loosen our vice-like grip on how far we let our writers roam. ;)

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