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March 12 2009

(SPOILER) Five page preview of Angel #19. This'll be out next week.

Looks good. Now we know what the story with Dez is.Good banter between the two of them.Angel is really ripped in this tho lol...Boreanaz would be jealous:)
I really don't like the drawing for Angel, far too muscular, I guess they aren't going for likenesses anymore...
Yeah, and with the funky coloring he looks a little too Hulk-ish. Kate's likeness was a sore point from Aftermath #18 as well, the name was really needed because I wouldn't have recognized her otherwise. But I'm definitely not complaining about the writing. Kelley seems very confident in knowing the characters and the show's dialogue flavour, and that's what's most important to me.
Oh, good, so the woman with the knife wasn't named Jayneesha, or Jayne, or even Jane. If she had been , I would have sued, he says.
The art is completely throwing me out of the story. Angel looks like he's on steroids and has had plastic surgery done so that all the bones in his face protrude. I feel like I'm reading a cliched comic superhero's interpretation of ANGEL, not ANGEL. This extends to Kate going from her cool gear in AtF to now wearing clothes that show her mid-drift. The characters artistic design are completely divorced from their personalities. I'm really disappointed.
Emmie - I'm sorry to say that I feel the same way. Kate wouldn't have dressed that way imho. I don't know, it just doesn't feel like Angel.
If I were Tyler from last weeks HIMYM I would be saying: "Tyler no likey". After this I would be getting grief from Barney.
This is lacking the smart edge of self-awareness of cliches. Instead of subverting, it's embracing it fully in the art and character design. ANGEL-lite.

PHM, I just posted "Me no likey" on another boards. Ha!
Post went kerblooey.

[ edited by Emmie on 2009-03-12 20:51 ]
You know what they say about great minds.
I'm wondering if some people out there might read my view and think I'm drinking haterade, maybe discount it. I'm massively disappointed here. I had hopes that Aftermath would improve as it progressed and I feel like I got slapped down hard.
I didn't like #1 either. To me personally it feels a lot like a fanfic. That just goes to show how well Brian Lynch was doing.
I get an early season 4 Gwen vibe from Dez aka a Catwoman to Angel's Batman vibe.
Dez is very much Catwoman to Hulk-muscled!Batman in this scene. I'm just waiting for Angel to say, "Angel SMASH!"
Comparing Angel and Dez to Batman and Catwoman works oddly well. I wonder if that makes Kate Batwoman and turns Connor into Robin?

[ edited by Allycat on 2009-03-12 21:46 ]
I think it does, Allycat.
I'd pay good money to see Angel tell the gang "quick to the Angelmobile, away!". Then again I have already payed money to hear Spike say that.
The drawing of Kate in #18 looked exactly like any Disney princess: Ariel, etc. Yuck -- in terms of capturing the gritty feel of the show.

Is Aftermath 'canon' ? Joss's name isn't listed on the cover (or inside cover for overall story) as was the case for ATF.
#18 was a fairly good start. I was a bit let down after the awesomeness that was "After the Fall," and just hoped that things would get better.

And this is better. Much better. Dialogue is great, story is unfolding very nicely. The characters sound a lot more like themselves.

But yes, the art isn't really good. Is it bad enough to make a whole bunch of fun of it? Nah, no, it's not at all. It's just not the style that I expect to see with Angel; instead of likenesses Ross goes for archetypes, and I'm not really fond of that... but it isn't even close to being bad enough to really distract from the story.
Bad jokes never need to be justified.
I quite liked #18, in some respects I thought it was better than After The Fall. But it's a bit too early to tell about the arc I guess.
it isn't even close to being bad enough to really distract from the story.

Sadly, this wasn't true for me. IMHO the comic medium by its nature must rely heavily on the art establishing the tone of the piece. The dialogue has less power in this regard because it's written word, lacking a real voice's tone. So the art takes on this role and the art for this issue isn't establishing a tone true to ANGEL. And the art *is* the story, so bad art doesn't detract from the story - the art is part of the story and it's not a good part here. If the art wasn't part of the story, Armstrong could have just written it as a short story without the comic images. Frankly, it might have been better that way because Armstrong's dialogue has a better grasp of ANGEL's tone.

instead of likenesses Ross goes for archetypes

Which I find problematic because the Whedonverse is about taking archetypes and subverting them and personalizing them. This art does neither - they remain superficial archetypes lacking the characteristic depth true for the Whedonverse. An archetype is antithetical to what it means to be Whedonverse character.

Bad jokes never need to be justified.

See, I don't think they're bad jokes. We started off with real criticism, didn't we? It's all based on a foundation of seriousness. As all good jokes should be.
I really don't like the art either. I miss Urru!
Having said that, I think Kelley Armstrong is doing really well with the writing.
IMHO the comic medium by its nature must rely heavily on the art establishing the tone of the piece. The dialogue has less power in this regard because it's written word, lacking a real voice's tone. So the art takes on this role and the art for this issue isn't establishing a tone true to ANGEL. And the art *is* the story, so bad art doesn't detract from the story - the art is part of the story


No, I agree with this. My point was that I don't think the art is as bad as you do. It doesn't pull me out of the story like it seems to do with a few others.

Which I find problematic because the Whedonverse is about taking archetypes and subverting them and personalizing them. This art does neither - they remain superficial archetypes lacking the characteristic depth true for the Whedonverse. An archetype is antithetical to what it means to be Whedonverse character.


I disagree with this a looooot. Why? "Angel: Long Night's Journey." For this comic, which Joss Whedon wrote himself as a new start for the Dark Horse Angel comic... he picked out a guy whose Angel was even more archetypey than Ross's. His Cordelia was all boobs/butt, etc. The likenesses weren't very strong early on, and Joss told the artist to cut loose even more as the series progressed (see the book's commentary by Scott Allie). If Joss himself can deal with--or, rather, can specifically requent--archetypes, then I don't have a huge problem with it. Would I rather better art? Yes, yes, yes. I'd kill to have Mooney, Urru, or Messina on this book. But the thing is... I'm not really fretting over the art because I've seen it applied to Angel before, and it worked then, and, judging by the preview, it's working now. For me.

See, I don't think they're bad jokes. We started off with real criticism, didn't we? It's all based on a foundation of seriousness. As all good jokes should be.


I don't know. I'd hate to see Kelley Armstrong and Dave Ross show up to see their work being mocked with Hulk-smash jokes. In my opinion, honest critique is fine. People don't like the art, cool. People hate it, I feel bad for 'em, it's happened to me, but still cool. Voice that opinion. I just don't really like joking about it because it seems kind of mean spirited, when you take into account how often the creators of these wonderful works visit these boards.
See, I don't think they're bad jokes. We started off with real criticism, didn't we? It's all based on a foundation of seriousness. As all good jokes should be.

I don't think they're bad jokes either. Not bad bad, but silly bad. If that makes any sense at all. I agree though that these jokes came forth out of legitimate criticism.
Can't wait for Wednesday!
I'd hate to see Kelley Armstrong and Dave Ross show up to see their work being mocked with Hulk-smash jokes.

Which raises the question of fan-censorship of opinions in the presence of the creators. Are we being honest or being nice? In a critical format like this where what we're doing is completely recreational (meant to be fun) and not foremost intended for the creators to read (though they do), making a joke that extends the criticism into hyperbole seems oh-so-right to me. We're talking Whedonverse here - there should be a sign that says "Hyperbole is Welcome." Especially when we have scenes within the Whedonverse of the writers making fun of themselves like Cordy and Wes mocking the Buffy/Angel love story in Fredless.

I just don't really like joking about it because it seems kind of mean spirited, when you take into account how often the creators of these wonderful works visit these boards.

See I take issue with this philosophy. I've witnessed this form of self-censorhip recently to the extent that fans who didn't like After the Fall stopped commenting on it at all because they didn't want to hurt the creators' feelings. They abandoned the board entirely which meant that the discourse on the topic was one-sided. Their conversation was relegated to PM's - the only place they felt comfortable voicing their opinions. These boards are first and foremost for the fans. And this phenomena that can go so far as to make fans not feel free to express their opinion? Not cool. While I might mix it up with some hyperbole and jokes, I always bring it based on an area that I'm criticizing constructively. Again, hyperbole is welcome in the Whedonverse - it's practically a fan requirement that you appreciate hyperbole when done constructively.

Going back to art - art will be judged and it won't always be liked. Subjective realm of criticism. And is it mean-spirited if I'm actually thinking "Hulk Smash" when I read this preview or am I giving an honest critique of the piece because that's the actual thoughts it evokes? Where do you draw the line for me in terms of what's okay for me to say? It's now becoming a critique of a critique.

ETA: And considering I was critiquing the work and not the artist himself, I don't regret it one bit. Unlike recent Dollhouse reviews that crossed the line into personally insulting Eliza.

[ edited by Emmie on 2009-03-12 23:47 ]
Put me with the folks that are dissapointed in the art. I even made the steriods remark on another board. Is it really too much to ask that Angel look at least a little bit like Angel instead of some generic comicbook hero??? I don't think it is. It was bad enough that it did throw me right out of the story. More than once. And this is just 5 pages. It's not bad art ... it's bad Angel art. When I read Angel ... I want to see Angel. Also, Kate. If they didn't tell me it was Kate I wouldn't know it. Imo when you're dealing with established characters you need to render at least a semi likeness, not this generic 'hero-heroine' stuff.

eta: well said Emmie.

[ edited by resa on 2009-03-12 23:50 ]
Getting funny remarks about your work kinda comes with the territory and when there isn't any foul play it shouldn't offend anyone. Also, what Emmie said.
It doesn't pull me out of the story like it seems to do with a few others.

It seems to be pulling more than a "few others" out of the story. It's almost an overwhelming opinion here.
Hmmmm.
The creative choice pulling me away from the narrative is the
naked woman, who happens to have her naughty bits in shadow, always.
I find it bothersome, if you can't do all skin, clothe the character, it's not as if the spandex will be any less revealing.

As to likeneses, i would rather the artist spent time making the drawings interesting, not slaving over looking like the actor.

So far I like the tone of the writing, though i wish the running gag got about half as many lines as it did.
Which raises the question of fan-censorship of opinions in the presence of the creators. Are we being honest or being nice?


I like to think we're honest and nice (but not in a pallid, sycophantic manner) here. We certainly don't need to self-censor; even so, we can express criticism in a way that avoids gratuitous unpleasantness.

It is entirely valid and appropriate to say you don't like this art. (And "Angel smash" is relatively inoffensive, it seems to me). OTOH, posting four comments in fairly quick succession which basically express the same "I really don't like this art" reaction seems a tad unnecessary.
Emmie has a valid point, SNT. I'm one of the people who didn't like and/or had a problem with After the Fall and stopped commenting on threads because I felt uncomfortable voicing my opinions. But to be honest, a lot of that it was because of other Whedonesque posters, not really because of Brian Lynch or any other 'creator'.
That is a different point, menomegirl, and - if you noticed, - I was agreeing with Emmie that we shouldn't self-censor opinions (i.e. feel free to say you don't like something if you don't like something).

My point was about how we express opinions. My issue is when people pile on or chew out, and then feel "censored", when really they're just being asked to be reasonable. People will get pissed off, come what may, but why have that as an objective?
Then we have an agreement. I think everyone should be reasonable too, not only when critizing something but when in disagreement with another poster's opinions as well.
Heh. Before I came here I commented on another board that it looks like Angel got exposed to some gamma rays. Then I read the Hulk Smash comments and realize it's not just me. That's not Angel.

It's funny, because I was just looking at the cover for the Blood and Trenches that was just posted and thinking how gorgeous it was, captured Boreanaz, but made him prettier.
I don't know what the intent was here. Yikes!
Maybe Angel's been hitting the gym. :)
OTOH, posting four comments in fairly quick succession which basically express the same "I really don't like this art" reaction seems a tad unnecessary.

I didn't realize I was being so redundant. I swear they felt like new thoughts evolving at the point of hitting the Preview and Post buttons. ;) Perhaps my overzealous interest can be explained away by this being one of the few topics I found interesting today.
The art isn't doing it for me either. It's not the lack of likeness to the actors, I don't care about that. It's the fact that everybody look like generic comic books characters, all buffed-up (is that a word?). I'd rather they looked more like people. In time, if the writing is good, I may get used to it. But for now it really is jarring.
I wasn't a big fan of Issue #18. Over on Buffyforums I said how I feel disliking the art isn't the end of the world as long as the dialogue makes up for it. In Issue #18 I didn't think it did, so I had nothing to lean on. The character’s felt (aside from Angel mostly) unrecognisable in both speech and appearance which left me feeling disconnected to the story and to them. Kate might as well have been someone else entirely, not only did her voice lack “Kate-ness” but she didn’t look even remotely like her.

The dialogue in this preview is better but I'll have to see the issue in it's entirety before I start judging/ criticising it. If the writing picks up I’ll probably be able to overcome the art, if it remains mediocre than the art will continue to be a big distraction. As it stands Angel doesn’t resemble Angel whatsoever and yes it’s a little distracting.

I’m not someone who likes to complain about “likeness” and honestly I was fed up reading about people complaining about how some of the characters were drawn in season eight because they aren’t picture perfect copies of the actors. However, Jeanty works for me because he’s able to portray the emotions of the characters on their faces so incredibly well, Buffy was Buffy. I recognised her facial expressions even if she wasn’t always drawn exactly like SMG, (I actually think the likeness is pretty spot on but I don’t think it’s Jeanty’s main intention) she was still Buffy. But here I can’t “feel” Angel or “recognise” Angel through expression or the way he looks, it just doesn’t resemble him whatsoever.

Here’s hoping Kelly does a wonderful job with the dialogue and knocks it out of the park. Angel must be a very hard guy to write for, his deadpan sense of humour could come off very flat on the page if not handled well. His speech is more "generic" compared to some of the other characters and their notable patterns of speech, and without DB's delivery it must be difficult to capture Angel's uniqueness. Lynch did a fantastic job capturing Angel's voice so I hope and pray Armstrong can as well.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2009-03-13 09:59 ]
I haven't started reading Armstrong's work yet but I am looking forward to buying #18 and #19 next week. The only thing that really stands out to me is that, while it was explained away in After The Fall, Angel's tattoo is missing again. Since the timeline went back to the night in the alley, the tattoo should still be there. Its a minor contrivance, true, but I would have liked to have seen its return. That said, its not going to stop me from reading these. Happy Friday, all!

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