This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Nobody wants to be moist"
11945 members | you are not logged in | 22 October 2014




Tweet







January 11 2010

(SPOILER) A comic book writer's reaction to Twilight reveal. A frank and forthright interview at Comic Book Resources.

Wow, that was pretty direct--dare I say blunt?
I think Bill sat on one of his pencils, and that pencil was pointing upwards.

Or, maybe(probably) he is smarter than I am and is purposely stirring up controversy since, as we all know:
controversy = free publicity and free publicity = better sales.
Well, that changes things.
How very arrogant of him. (I suspect Whedonesque would frown on me using the j-word to describe this behaviour so I won't.) A little diplomacy would not have gone amiss; I suspect his condemning of Whedon and the Buffy comic in this way will not endear him to Angel fans, or Whedon, or his editors at IDW.

His remarks that he's not co-ordinating anything with Whedon or even reading the Buffy comic (for fear of being influenced? Huh?) confirms what I've previously asserted: that IDW's Angel comics are no longer 'canon'.

This is probably the most disasterous way I have ever seen a comic book writer promote his own work. Complete own goal.

Also: complete sense-of-humour failure on his part.
Sounds like Bill Willingham is pissed.
He's just trying to reassert it is his story - not Whedons - I suspect. Which is probably not a smart thing to do in terms of sales.
I've reworded the entry as not to spoil people but give some indication as to what it's about. Not a fun task.
The easiest explanation is this: The continuity that Allie refers to is, specifically, the canonical work that Lynch and Whedon worked together on.
Though that could be wishful thinking on my part. I truly would hate to see the post-AtF works have any amount of direct control on what happens with the Twilight-is-Angel story.
Don't look at IDW for the explanation - look entirely in DH. Specifically, look at what we've seen in Buffy Season 8. I think they've already set things up to provide an explanation. Twilight is Angel, but that doesn't provide a lot of limitations.

I think the Angel that is Twilight fits right in with what we've seen in the Buffy Season 8 storyline - I think he is a time traveling Angel from the future. Perhaps a time traveling Angelus? Regardless, I think he is an Angel that wants to stop Buffy from destroying magic and is NOT the same character in the IDW series. Or at least, not one that fits directly with the series.
Wow. This isn't the most charming comment I've ever read. I was considering dropping the IDW Angel comics, as they've been lying unread on my pile since Lynch's ATF ended. This is pushing me closer to that decision, to be honest.

(And yeah, I can see where this would be a difficult one to rephrase spoiler neutral Simon. Heh :))
Thanks for the explanation and help Simon. I had just read the article when I posted and was still trying to absorb it all, as I was trying to come up with a thread title.

Willingham has been blunt in the past and clearly this is no exception. It seems very likely that he feels blindsided by what's going on in S8 and doesn't care at all for what the implications of the reveal mean for his work or that it may no longer be relevant to many readers. I hope that both IDW and Dark Horse can find a way to reconcile this.
Or we are looking at a future Angel, whose story really isn't going to impact IDW Angel and that's how there can be no continuity problems despite a lack of collaboration.

Meanwhile, Willingham's rant will probably sound justified to people who like what IDW is up to, and extremely grating to people like me who really don't care about the stories random writers want to write about Joss's characters.
Thanks for the explanation and help Simon. I had just read the article when I posted and was still trying to absorb it all, as I was trying to come up with a thread title.


In a normal situation what you wrote would have been fine. But unfortunately these are exceptional times. It's a real shame because Bill Willingham is a very talented writer and I thought it was a real coup for IDW to get him to write for Angel as his Fables material is exceptional. I'm hoping that the hotline between IDW and Dark Horse is in use right now.
His post isn't a turn-off for me at all. I dont think Bill Willingham did anything wrong. (Certainly nothing to warrant the name-calling thats happening in this thread)

As a Joss, BtVS and comic fan in general, I'm not turned off by his candid post because he has every right to be upset. An editor from a company that he doesn't work for said his work was the result of of someone else's efforts. He's got a good point if what he posted is fact and based on the specifics he names, it sure looks like fact to me.
It might be me, and in fact it usually is, but this sounds like the anger of someone who got blindsided by events and is left outside looking and wondering what just happened. I can completely understand the anger here; it might have been better to be diplomatic, for sure, but if this is all happening outside his knowledge as he works out his story, I think we could understand why he is upset. Bot saying I agree with the response, only that I understand it. What is certain is that there are complexities to this reveal that go beyond the simple initial anger of the fandom.
I’ve had exactly one short conversation, in passing, with Joss Whedon, which took place years ago and had nothing to do with these matters. To my knowledge I’ve never had a conversation with Scott Allie, beyond being introduced to him, at conventions and such, though I doubt even that much contact has occurred. I have however been told, in no uncertain terms, that Mr. Whedon is not available for contact concerning anything to do with the Angel series at IDW, because he is only working with Dark Horse.


Oh, hey. Thanks! Willingham has just confirmed what has been a mystery all along. Joss Whedon isn't collaborating with the ANGEL series post-After the Fall. Something I'd long suspected ever since Aftermath reared it's ugly head.

From what I've understood, Allie said that the stories would line-up. He didn't say that they were actively collaborating. In fact, he just said that he called Ryall with a heads-up. Which to me suggests that there's something special about Angel being in the Buffy comic that allows for him to be there without messing with Angel over at IDW (a future!Angel, perhaps).

I'm a big pile of not!caring over here. Willingham is upset. Okay, then. But I never got the impression that anyone was taking credit for his work over at IDW. And ironically, he's shooting himself in the face here by dissociating himself and his ANGEL comic with Joss. Sorry, but IDW might have the license currently (which is ultimately controlled by FOX), but Joss is and will always be the creator of this 'verse.

All told, the sheer lack of diplomacy here is unappealing. It's a rant from a "professional" writer calling "no fair!" that the creator of the Buffyverse is using a character in his continuation of the story. And they've worked out a way so that IDW still gets to write the ANGEL characters - have directly reassured them of that. Which like others, makes me think Angel is somehow from the future as that's a theme of Season 8.

As a fan who attributes the highest highs of the Buffyverse to Joss Whedon, Willingham's thumbing it to the Big Guy is pretty much ensuring I won't be reading his book.

extremely grating to people like me who really don't care about the stories random writers want to write about Joss's characters.

Yes. This. Joss's characters.


And just when we thought the dust was settling. I understand that Willingham is upset, he's without knowledge, but going to the press? Going to the press isn't about getting answers. Getting answers and reassurances would mean going to Ryall and Allie. This seems more like he feels the need to set the record straight that he's the only one writing his comic, no one else, and no one can take credit for his work (not that anyone was, but okay...). Basically, it reads like an artist's wounded ego going to the press to air out the dirty laundry. And considering how in an uproar fandom has been in the past few days, there is no consideration for the fans by Willingham here - I see him in fact motivated by self-interest.

Gasoline just got poured on the fire. Everybody stand back.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-01-12 00:48 ]
Scott Allie's comments don't give me the impression that he is trying to take credit for Bill or anyone else's Angel comic work at all. Sounds more to me like Scott was saying "Hey, we're doing our thing over here, we know you guys are doing your thing over there and what we're doing over here isn't going to mess up what you have going over there."
"By intentionally allowing, encouraging in fact, the notion to exist among the comics reading public, that Whedon and Dark Horse are in any way steering, or influencing, the stories I help to produce in IDW’s ongoing Angel series, Allie and Whedon are committing what is tantamount to taking credit for the work of others, a repugnant practice in any business, although I understand it is all too common in some."

"Repugnant practice?" Man. "Taking credit for the work of others?" Wow. Really? Those are incendiary, unfortunate words. From my readings of Scott Allie's words over the last few days, I don't see him (or Joss? how did Joss get dragged into this?) taking credit for Bill Willingham's work, directly or indirectly.

I hope that lots of back-channel diplomacy starts stat. What an unpleasant business.
Willingham sounds awfully whiny. If he doesn't want to conform, he'll just have to accept that his stories aren't canon. Or he'll be fired. ;-)

ETA: You know what? I'm dropping Angel. Thanks Bill!

[ edited by Riker on 2010-01-12 00:41 ]
All right, so I stopped reading Angel pretty quickly after ATF ended. (I really didn't enjoy the change in art or the loss of so many of my favorite characters.) Then I read Allie's interview saying that the continuities would jibe and saw some fan speculation involving the current Angel storyline and how it might be involved with the Twilight one and rushed to the comic store. I got all caught up and told the comic dude to add Angel back on to my box list (which was just Buffy). Now I read this and discover that the writer is not only NOT getting any direction from Whedon but is actually being publicly petty about a mistake made involving the actually cannon use of a character he should be grateful for being allowed to use in a profit making way. I get that he was blind sided, but I am not impressed.
The poor comic dude is just gonna have to take that right back off my list. :(
Yeah, I need to tell my comics guy to take it off my list too. I actually bought the first issue of Willingham's arc, though I haven't read it. I still haven't read the second part to the Drusilla story either. When my comics guy handed me Aftermath comics after the first issue, I handed them right back to him and said I wouldn't be reading them.

As of right now, I'm planning on reading Lynch's Spike comic to see how it turns out. I like Lynch's Spike when he's given the lead's role. Hopefully that too won't be a disappointment.

I feel bad for IDW. Anyone else feeling alienated in reaction to Willingham's post? I have no interest in reading his comic now. None.
I'm just going to repeat what the rest of you have said, but here goes;

I don’t get what this writer means by saying that Allie takes credit for his work. Where does Allie say that he or DH had influenced the newest Angel comics? He just says that it will work with the IDW continuation.

It seems kinda off, that Joss wouldn’t have worked together with IDW at all, but I won’t take Willinghams word for it, since he seems too upset to make sense. On the other hand, in case Joss has used Angel in a way that conflicts with the IDW series, that would be aweful, but I won’t jump to any conclusions until I’ve read the last issue of Season 8.
I think I'd understand his anger more if he was concerned that S8 would effectively nullify his work as even remotely canon (for people who care about that). However, it takes a great deal of sensitivity, and perhaps even some radical interpretation to be able to construe what Allie said about Joss making both franchises work as Allie and Joss taking credit for his own hard work.
From what I've read of his work on Angel so far, Willingham seems like a very talented writer, but much like Kelley Armstrong before him, he just doesn't seem to have the character's voices down. I'm sorry, but Lynch is the only one who has seemed to have grasped that on the Angel series so far. Everything since After The Fall has read like professional fan fic to me. That's just my feeling, but I'm sure a lot of others feel that way as well.

And to show even a hint of anger toward Joss over this and claim some sort of "ownership" over a character that Joss himself created is more than a tad ungrateful in my estimation. I guess there really is a difference between a true fan getting to play in Joss' world and a writer out to make a profit. Not cool, Mr. Willingham. And where else would Spike, Kate, Gunn, Illyria, a werecat and a fallen angel be standing around talking about nothing other than in a fan fic story anyhow? Or profit fic as it were. Sorry but Willigham's comments are more bothersome to me as a fan than the Angel/Twilight spoil.

[ edited by jay swif on 2010-01-12 01:32 ]
Good for Mr. Willingham. I love Fables, but I just can't get into the Angel comics, after collecting the first 17 or 18. Personally, I'm choosing to just ignore them. That's how I'll "jive" continuity.
But, surely, Willingham has every right to feel what he feels and say what he said. Though it may not be the case, it's easy to take offense to what is perceived as someone taking your credit. And much easier to send really pissy emails when you take offense to others interfering with your work. I've done this.
Wow. That's one pissed-off guy.
Oh dear, he's not a happy Bunny, and rightfully so it seems, but at least he's talking straight which Darkhorse's mouthpiece sometimes seems to have difficulty doing.

When it comes to this matter my sympathy's lie with IDW I'm afraid.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-01-12 01:47 ]
Dear Mr. Willingham,

This is not a winery.

Good day.

P.S. I just reread the seventh paragraph that he mentions, (which I would suggest anyone who side with him should do.) He is taking this personally on levels that are clearly beyond this situation, and he sounds a bit crazy. Scott Allie says NOTHING about him or his storyline, and especially nothing about taking credit for his story or creativity. Willingham comes off as an entitled brat. And confirms that the Angel series don't count, meaning I won't be revisiting those titles.
Accusing Joss Whedon (and Scott Allie) of repugnant, writing credit-stealing behavior is talking straight? If that's the case, I'd rather have a little circuitous, unstraightforward gabbing anytime.
My sympathy is with IDW, too, Sue. I feel sorry for what Willingham just did - it's going to negatively affect their business.
Anyone else feeling alienated in reaction to Willingham's post? I have no interest in reading his comic now. None.

I completely agree with you. And the sad fact is, I think he's screwed over IDW now too.
CaptainB, yes and no. He does have the right to hold these strong views, but given he is working with several other people on this series, he should exercise some restraint when it comes to broadcasting them.
Yes, there were some poor choices of words on Mr. Willingham's part, but I think he has a right to be concerned about the future of the story he's writing. Not to mention those of us that are fans of the Angel line. I get why people want to be loyal to Buffy or favor that series over the other line, but I'm not sure name-calling is the way to go here. The whole situation is a mess on both sides.
Willingham is completely throwing his toys out of the pram, not to mention killing the goose the lays the golden egg, if you'll excuse the mixed metaphor.

The truth of the matter is that if Joss wanted, he could write a story that would totally contradict what Willingham is writing for IDW, and that would totally put paid to the canonicity of the IDW story. It'd enter that sad twilight (pun pretty completely intended) realm of alternate universe stories that nobody can really find the heart to take seriously. All that Allie did was reassure that that wasn't going to happen, and that the IDW stories would be unimpacted.

As it is, by being horribly vocal about Joss not being involved, he's kinda made it obvious that Joss has zero input, which makes it noncanonical for us.

Ah well. I should pick up the rest of After the Fall...
deepgirl, Lynch and Ryall played it cool, spotted a marketing opportunity and snatched it. Instead of playing along, Willingham opted to fly off the handle in public. Epic fail.
"My sympathy is with IDW, too, Sue. I feel sorry for what Willingham just did - it's going to negatively affect their business."

Nah. *g*


[ edited by Changeling on 2010-01-12 02:37 ]
I'd already given them up; too many spin-offs and then not ebing able to get the issues of teh variosu spin-offs (nobody around ehre ever saw Issue 2 of the dru stories) but I agree, a bit intemperate.
Willingham sounds pissed and I can pretty much understand why. Allie's behavior so far has been a series of unprofessionalisms so far and while I can see how IDW can only sit and watch in horror, Willingham is entitled to voice his own anger, imho.

I'd never base an opinion on his comic on him critisizing Scott Allie, that I form when I read the piece.

[ edited by Changeling on 2010-01-12 02:38 ]
deepgirl, Lynch and Ryall played it cool, spotted a marketing opportunity and snatched it. Instead of playing along, Willingham opted to fly off the handle in public. Epic fail.


Maybe so, but like Changeling said, condemning the man's work isn't going to help anything right now. Willingham may be playing in someone else's sandbox, but everything that Dark Horse is doing right now still has an effect on his livelihood. I think he has a right to voice his opinion on the matter, even if it is unpopular or negative.
I actually own the first issue of this series. I'd been mustering up enthusiasm for reading it purely based on good things I'd heard about Willingham (e.g. Fables being great). So yes, liking Willingham was a factor in reinvigorating my flagging interest. Now, I don't really have a reason to read - there's nothing to muster my enthusiasm and make it worth the effort after reading the so-so reviews and the fact that the characterization is a bit clunky for quite a few characters.

So I'm not condemning his work. I just had little interest in reading it and now I have none because of his lack of professionalism here.
Not nearly as much of an effect as blasting the creator of what he's working on will affect his livelihood. Again, I'd ask everyone who sides with Willingham to at least read the 7th paragraph from the other CBR interview he references. In context, his statements are childish.
Totally unprofessional, childish and rude. He's had one issue ever in the Buffyverse and already he has the nerve to blast the creator, a rival company and another editor. Well done dude that's gonna get you real far!

Not to mention that he completely misinterpreted what Allie said anyway and it sounds as if he thinks he's a wee bit more important than he actually is. Allie spoke to Ryall *not* him.
*sorry for the double post*

[ edited by vampmogs on 2010-01-12 03:12 ]
Who?







Yeah, I could leave it at that and it would pretty much sum it up. But I won't. Willingham may be a professional writer, but he is forgetting himself. So is that entire house if they share his misplaced outrage.

I'll be perfectly blunt -- Willingham may be getting paid to write an Angel comic for a house licensed to tell stories about the Angel character, but he has no more say over truth and the course of who Angel truly is than *I* do. Which is to say, none at all.

If Rick Berman had gotten indignant in the late 80s because Gene Roddenberry had a plan for Star Trek that didn't meet Berman's vision, who is right?

If George Lucas decided he was going to make a post-"Jedi" trilogy and Timothy Zahn got upset because it contradicted his planned book, who is right?

Joss is right here because he's Joss. Willingham... well, who? Has Joss ever even met the man? To my knowledge, Joss didn't hire him, didn't vet him, and he comes to the Angel character third or fourth hand. His own words answer his complaint -- at no time was he consulted? Well, why the hell would he have been consulted?
This is out of character for whedonesque and too many of these comments are ad hominem. This has been a rough day all around in the comic Buffy world and I think prudence would be a better response here since so many are accusing Willingham of not exhibiting same. It's easy for us to sit in judgment as fans, but for these guys it is their livelihood.

I would guess that sometime in the next few days Joss will have to make a public comment. Something has to be done to get out in front of a story that is threatening to cause rifts and upset the fan base.
I think he has a right to voice his opinion on the matter, even if it is unpopular or negative.


Oh, he certainly has a right to voice his opinions. Heck, if he felt that the guys at DH were horrible flesh-eating zombies, he'd have a right to say so.

But in this case there's 'having a right' and 'having it right', and it's the second that seems missing. He's not implying, but saying out loud, in condemning words, that he thinks Allie and Joss are guilty of a 'repugnant practice' and are 'taking credit for the work of others'. This is at the very best a complete misunderstanding of the situation with which he headed straight to the press.

So does he have the right to air his criticism? He certainly does. But having made it public, we - the public - have the right to respond and, in some cases, react by posting our reactions on a public forum such as this one or - in some cases - withdrawing readership, which I've now pretty much decided on.

I know I'm buying the Angel comics from a left-over affection for the show, instead of the comics themselves. I started buying them because ATF was at least semi-canon and approved by Joss (plus: it was simply a good read, because mister Lynch "got" the characters).

I've already been becoming less and less impressed by the rest of the IDW-verse not written by Lynch, but was going to give this another chance based on Willingham's good reputation because of his Fables (I hadn't stopped my subscription to the title at my comic shop, because it's hard to unsubscribe from something Buffyverse related for purely sentimental reasons).

But now that Willingham distances himself from the creative mind behind Buffy and Angel and does so in quite unfriendly terms at that, he's lost my interest in being a part of his readership.
Exactly, GVH. Willingham just vehemently divorced himself from the creative force that drove the TV shows. I frankly don't understand how someone can write characters created by Joss while seeming to hold such malice towards him.
I was afraid of this. I enjoyed the Angel books more than the Buffy ones (except for the Armstrong run), and now it seems like anything goes as far as Angel in DH. I can see Willingham (a talented man) feeling like his work is being misrepresented by Allie.

I'm a hairsbreath from dropping the lot of it (except for Brian's Spike books). I don't need the stress.

[ edited by redeem147 on 2010-01-12 04:32 ]
His own words answer his complaint -- at no time was he consulted? Well, why the hell would he have been consulted?


I would like to respond to your article of January 8th, titled BEHIND BUFFY’S TWILIGHT REVEAL, and clear up a few points, making clear that I am speaking only for myself, not IDW or Fox.


As he states in the article, Willingham's made it more than clear that he's speaking for only himself. I don't think he's trying to say that he in any way is some kind of ultimate authority on where either set of comics are going. I will say that the parts about "taking credit for the work of others" is going too far, but it seems to me that Willingham is only trying to show his displeasure with how Dark Horse is handling things. And maybe I'm just voicing the unpopular opinion here, but I'm not that pleased either.

So does he have the right to air his criticism? He certainly does. But having made it public, we - the public - have the right to respond and, in some cases, react by posting our reactions on a public forum such as this one or - in some cases - withdrawing readership, which I've now pretty much decided on.


Which is completely your right. It just bothers me how some opinions seemed to equate Willingham's statement with the quality of the comics. But I think I'll take Dana5140's advice and step back a little. Fandom's getting a wee bit too tense for my blood. ;)

[ edited by deepgirl187 on 2010-01-12 03:34 ]
I don't see any outright ad hominem here. That said, some of the points made are drifting toward dangerous territory where such distinctions become tricky. So this is my reminder to keep it civil. And let the mods do the modding.
Ad hominem: "argument toward the person" or "argument against the person" is an argument which links the validity of a premise to an irrelevant characteristic or belief of the person advocating the premise.

Courtesy of Wiki.
Or as you usually see it here, "play the ball not the man."
but it seems to me that Willingham is only trying to show his displeasure with how Dark Horse is handling things. And maybe I'm just voicing the unpopular opinion here, but I'm not that pleased either.


To be clear: I agree that there is some beef to be had. Having your main character - and IDW sells a lot of comics because of the Angel licence - who is normally a hero, turn up as a bad guy in the competition's title could be quite a shock. I feel the company has taken it in stride (including the amusing Spike cover) and appreciate that, just like I appreciate DH making the effort - through Allie - to placate IDW by telling them the Buffy story wouldn't affect their Angel story, editor to editor. My problem is not that someone is now calling foul; it's the manner in which this has happened.

It just bothers me how some opinions seemed to equate Willingham's statement with the quality of the comics.


Just to be clear again: I don't think this is the case; and I don't think anyone else is saying that either. In my case I was already considering dropping the title. The quality of the product hasn't changed, but my - emotional - incentive to buy it has, simply because Willingham distanced himself from that part of the fandom (i.e. Joss, the original show and the (semi-)canonical continuation of the universe both in Buffy S8 and ATF) which I feel emotionally invested in and did so in unfriendly terms.

I do think that the timing of this article was just about as crappy as it could get (without that being anyone's fault) - right after Allie posted a very classy apology and things started to calm down. Maybe if we had seen this yesterday, before the Allie message, the overall reaction would have been different (though I doubt mine would've been).

Having said all this: I'm not overly angry, at anyone, not even at Willingham (just to be clear on that) and I doubt that others here are. I am a bit peeved about his message though ;)

I also in no way mean offense when I disagree with some other posters. We're all friends here, despite disagreeing on this one thing. Usually I'd take that as an implied given, but seeing that emotions are flaring somewhat, I'd thought I'd clarify :).
Willingham needs to learn to count to 10 and then talk to the people directly involved, professionally, like Scott Allie and DH. He may have a point to make about what is happening being confusing but reacting to such a degree venomously is just in bad taste. I really don't know how anyone can read that article and honestly say, ya that's a reasonable reaction. You don't poise yourself against the man who built the sandbox you currently work and make your livelihood, that's maybe the dumbest thing I've seen yet in this whole controversy.
Wow, Willingham. Way to shoot yourself in the foot. Regardless of who is right, don't give out that tone towards Joss.

I'm thinking Willingham has no real idea who Joss is, nor how loyal his fans are.

Either that or he's just pissed he got spoiled early by the big reveal.
Wow, what a mess.
Thanks, wenxina. I was too lazy to google.
I should point out that however "repugnant" one might contrive to declare Allie and Joss (the man whose shoulders ever Buffyverse writer, including Willingham, is standing on for their paycheck) to be, let's think about who is actually helping IDW's title this week.

Is it... Scott Allie, who is reassuring readers that IDW's continuity still has bearing on Angel's character leading up to him being Twilight?

Or is it... Bill Willingham, who is all but explicitly saying that his story doesn't advance the ball on Angel as Twilight one inch?

Because, see, someone curious to run Angel's backtrail might have sought out the IDW books. Yeah, maybe there was no intentional design, but Buffy fans are always finding subtext for things that was never intentional. That's what Allie's self-flagellating apologies may have won for IDW. Bill Willingham's answer amounts to "if you want to know or theorize how Angel became Twilight, don't buy my book!"
One thing I wonder is whether a lot of the apparent heat between the two houses might have been averted had DH actually let IDW know ahead of time (like before the leak) that they were planning on using the Angel character. I am not versed in licensing in comics, but long ago I recall DH (and maybe even Joss) stating that Angel and Spike COULD NOT be used in Buffy s8 because they were licensed elsewhere. So, I guess the 'use' of Angel is s8 must somehow not violate that agreement.
Nonetheless, it may be the case that Mr. Willingham had a reasonable expectation that was true and plotted out his arc with full confidence that his story wouldn't be undermined by contradictory matter appearing contemporaneously in 'canon'. Then, feeling a trust violated, he spoke out intemperately. I suspect he knew full well that 'taking on' Joss was a sure ticket to hell from fandom but was too hurt/incensed/aggravated at the time to censor. Of course, never having had such experiences, none of us can possibly empathize with his situation. Bring on the tar and feathers!
Been a messy week for the Buffyverse. Right now, all this real-life drama is getting as good as the actual stories.
Honestly I wonder if there's more heat and drama in the fandom than between the writers and publishers.
Maybe we're over-reacting. Maybe Twilight is Angel from Dexter.
I've been thinking on why DH didn't let IDW know ahead of time, baxter, as that would've cleared part of this mess up before it even started. Only thing I can think of is that they compartmentalized the 'who is Twilight' answer so much that they didn't want anyone to know, not even IDW who had a clear interest in knowing.

However: it seems pretty clear that DH & Allie did contact IDW after the leak, something Willingham could've checked quite easily. But even then, I can imagine him being angry that this might undermine his story.

An acceptable (to me - and as we all know, I'm the end-all and be-all infallible judge on these things ;)) personal non-IDW-approved response by Willingham would've stated something along the lines of: "the heroic main character of my ongoing story turning up in the competition's book as a bad guy, came as an unpleasant surprise to me. I was not aware of this situation upfront and I resent DH not filling me in on this development earlier. I can't guarantee to my readers that my story will conform to the possible implications in my competitor's story and take no responsibility if that proves to be the case." It would've also not have been the best option from a company standpoint (the so-far gracious IDW reaction is preferable) but at least he'd have had an undeniable point, which he does not currently have, talking about Allie and Joss being guilty of a 'repugnant practice' and that they are 'taking credit for the work of others'.
GVH, I agree about the tone (or tone-deaf) problem, including the patently absurd 'taking credit' line. I guess I can cut the guy some slack because (a)apparently blindsided and (b)it wasn't simply 'a competitor' but 'the big kahuna' who frankly holds most - if not all - the cards in this particular game.
As to motive on DH non-disclosure, even Bill Clinton wasn't THAT good at compartmentalizing ;-)
Sunfire, I think the letter linked here speaks for itself. I've seen a few threads of fans totally uninvested in the comics laughing at the drama created by the pros. They're virtually popping popcorn and watching the show.
So is there often a lot of drama in the comics world or something? I'm a relative newbie to the world.

GVH, you keep speaking my truth, sir. It really is hard to get beyond those vitriolic (and as far as I'm concerned, indefensible) accusations, isn't it? Sure, I've been crazy mad in my life and spouted off stuff I've later regretted. That doesn't mean that in those moments I was a hero or a paragon of "frank and forthright" communication. On the contrary. I've had my hands slapped metaphorically on those occasions and frankly, I've deserved it.

By the by, I don't yet feel I have a handle on Willingham's take on Angel. I do very much love his work on Fables.
My heart is with the IDW comics. The characters I care most about are all over there. Both stories, BUFFY: SEASON EIGHT and IDW's ANGEL, fully count to me. I dig both of them. It's just that the ANGEL title has been the one that has been most true to the series for me, aside from the "Aftermath" arc.

That being said, I'm not sure it was the slickest move for Willingham to do this. Would I be angry if I were him? Maybe. Excited, too, that I might eventually have the chance to tell the most heartbreaking ANGEL story ever told... his fall. Should IDW have been told? Oh, for sure. I'm shocked that they weren't, but I do hope that Willingham or whoever comes after him does work with what gets established in BUFFY continuity to create a cohesive Buffyverse. I'm confident that that'll happen.

I'm still going to read and hopefully enjoy both comics, because I love this 'verse and I dig the writers who are currently on scripts. We've had dark days on both comics ("Aftermath," "Predators and Prey," and a lot of "Retreat"), but things seem to be super exciting on both ends for me. I hope Willingham can work something out with Whedon.
Bill Willingham just saved me four bucks this week. ;-)
P.S. Does anyone else think the DH/IDW situation is sorta like the WB/UPN thingy?
I think it makes sense that Joss wouldn't include people he does not know, and thus cannot control, in his secret story writing plans. I'm sure that even in the tv series Joss did not share the big reveals and the season finales with most of the team except those that needed to know. Since Willingham and IDW weren't told, I'm guessing Joss didn't want them taking liberties with his story plans, especially as he doesn't have full control over what they do over there.
Hopefully they talk it out fast and it doesn't result in a situation where Willingham is Armed With Canon and not afraid to use it. That's when the real drama starts. From what I've read, the comics industry is rather famous for it.
Ditto what Pat said, basically. Mistakes on both sides of the fence, excited about the future, yada yada.
Positioning statement: Willingham's diatribe may be the single, most idiotic forms of "professional" catharsis I've ever seen. He has angered his customer, his boss, and sabotaged his own work. Next time, get a punching bag.

That said, professionally speaking I can't believe it happened. I understand the point of trying to restrict Twilight to the people "in the know", but its extremely irresponsible to allow the Angel team to simply write stories without any inkling of future implications. To me, it seems like Willingham is upset because he had a long term arc mapped out. I won't speak for him (since the last statement could be totally wrong), but it would break my heart if I had been given the impression I had creative license, I'd done the work, and then I read in the news, "just kidding, your character is actually THIS guy." No one questions it's Joss' right to create for his own characters. Still, ouch.

And I will say this, hasn't anyone heard of the non-disclosure agreement? I'm not sure how it works in business so well and yet creatives can't tell anyone anything without a leak. Odd... I'm referencing Joss informing other writers here, not the Twilight leak which seems to be a PR gaffe.

[ edited by azzers on 2010-01-12 05:52 ]
Wow.

Bill Willingham didn't have to make himself sound like a nine year old. I understand he may be upset that Joss is using Angel in BS8, but it's Joss' character. Saying he won't even consider working with Joss is very immature, and stupid. Bill's Angel issue(s) seem pretty good so far, but I'd rather have a writer who could handle this situation like an adult.
Please re-read Sunfire's admonition above, and let's refrain from calling out respected writers as immature and stupid, shall we?
I can totally understand why IDW wasn't in the know, they're a competing comics line. Non-disclosure protects against named-sources releasing information but not against leaks. Just look at the steroids list in Major League Baseball, which was to be anonymous, or whistle blowers in business. The more people who know a secret the better chance there is that it will be leaked. I'm not saying that IDW are a dishonest company but it isn't hard to imagine "someone hearing from someone who overheard a conversation" leading to a leak. Would it be unconfirmed, or course. But the info is still out there. That it got leaked anyway (accidentally by DH), is beside the point. There was no reason at all for Dark House to share who Twilight was with IDW.
Nancy, we can still call unrespected writers those things though, right? ;o)
All this rampant lunacy with the comics really makes me wish both the Buffy and Angel comics were just being done by one company. Dark Horse, IDW, I don't care, just get a single team of writers devoted to both series', working in the same place for easy contact so that crossovers are easily handled. Geez. Why are the Buffy and Angel comics being handled by separate companies anyway?
Why are the Buffy and Angel comics being handled by separate companies anyway?


It's been a couple years, but, wasn't the issue that IDW already had the rights to Angel?
Never cared for his writing based on the first isue of Fables I read. I didn't understand the praise, for me the writing was obnoxious. Was maybe curious what he had to offer on Angel, but based on this letter, my interest is gone, and my first impression remains.
Maybe we're over-reacting. Maybe Twilight is Angel from Dexter.


!!!
I don't think jw needs to comment about the thing here. It's all silliness which will blow over.
If you've got the 2nd Dru issue and not read it, do, because it has a really good pay off at the end.

This whole reveal has been a right cock-up and its not just Dark Horse that is effected. I'm seriously wondering about the longevity of Angel comics at IDW. . .
The comments by MilsonJ0 here (sorry can't do the link properly; about 6 comments down)
http://www.bleedingcool.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11168
clarifies a few things for me. It would seem Joss' sole involvement in ATF (remember his name WAS on the title page) was a 'deal' so that he would be free to use Angel over at DH (since he had already decided that Angel would be Twilight). End of story; not that interested in whatever happened over at IDW beyond, one imagines, being in place to eliminate anything in ATF that might queer the eventual s8 storyline for Angel.

I'm sure once the reveal happened Scott Allie did try to mitigate damage with IDW out of respect/sensitivity/professionalism to another 'house'. But no obligation to let them know in advance (see comments on lack of interest, above).
Well baxter - that makes me very sad. That Whedon would have so little care for the characters of Angel (the series) and of its fans, and of the character himself - to do a continuation of the show that got so many people excited and happy that it was back - just so he could negate the whole journey Angel took over the 5 years of his own show just to use him as a villain in Buffy.

Well while many of you are saying that you are boycotting Willingham-I am boycotting Whedon. He has lost my respect andd any appreciation for his work. Anything he does in the future will not be getting my support.

I will stick with IDW's Angel thank you very much.
angeliclestat I can understand why you would want to boycott Joss. But I don't think we know enough about Angel's role in Buffy season 8 to say that he's the villain. For all we know he could be the hero of the affair.
As long as that heroism involves 'mature themes' - maybe those cookies are finally baked ;-)
My heart is with the Dark Horse books because (unsurprisingly) they feel much closer to Joss' own work. Pat may be right that the "Angel" books feel more like the televised season, but that's because, to me, they are pretty much keeping their hands at 2 and 10. Had the metaphysics of "After the Fall" not turned out to be what they were, I wouldn't say so, but they are.

Here, though, there really just isn't much to complain about. For one thing, Willingham has no beef even if the story is a straight "... and then one year after IDW's story, Angel has become a supervillain." But since we don't even know if *that* is all there is to it, he is casting about in the dark just as presumptuously as he projected unto Scott Allie. Angel may be a future/alter character (my word do I think that would suck, always have, but I don't know that it isn't true, and neither does Bill Willingham).

And, for all that, my scorecard still says that Scott Allie has done more to promote IDW's product this week than Bill Willingham or IDW has. I would think IDW -- whose sales in this property are not what Dark Horse's are under the best of circumstances -- wouldn't mind the tacit green light being given to scour their products for completely unintentional or imaginary subtext to this storyline (as fans have found unintentional and imaginary subtext to storylines throughout the history of the Buffyverse).
I've been thinking a lot about this (too much, likely). I'm sure this is because not only am I a Buffy fan, and an Angel fan, but I'm a comic book fan.

I'm sure Willingham (and I do love Fables) thought that he had creative reign over interesting characters that he wanted to explore. He may have thought about consulting Joss as much as Joss thought about consulting Stan Lee on X-Men, because usually in comics once a product is out there, the writers run with it under the auspices of the editorial staff, not the original creators.

But knowing that Joss isn't involved with the books now has coloured my perception of them. And knowing Joss' plans for Twilight (such a badly chosen name) at least in WHO he is, has soured my interest in the Buffy comics.

So I really do think I'm going to drop the whole thing and stick to the Spike comics, since I know I like Lynch's take on him.

This makes me sad, btw, but it will save me money.
There was a point at which, even in the middle of "Aftermath", I was arguing on behalf of IDW's books having inherited nominal "canon" status from "After the Fall". The sad, sad irony here is that this interview has finally drummed the last of that out of me. If Joss' side of the project says "IDW's continuity still works!", I say "hey, maybe they are canon". Then IDW's side answers "maybe our continuity won't work, ever think of that, huh?", and I say "O RLY nevermind."
That Whedon would have so little care for the characters of Angel (the series) and of its fans, and of the character himself - to do a continuation of the show that got so many people excited and happy that it was back - just so he could negate the whole journey Angel took over the 5 years of his own show just to use him as a villain in Buffy.


I don't think that Whedon doesn't care about the characters in Angel (the series), angeliclestat. He's just not currently involved in writing their stories; he's also currently not involved in writing Firefly stories (as far as we know). Doesn't mean he doesn't like or care for those characters. After all, he was, for five years, involved with the TV show and gave IDW a broad sketch for where he was planning on going in an eventual sixth season. These characters are still, mostly, his babies, I'd say.

I also don't think he's about to 'negate' everything that happened on Angel - certainly not the show, maybe some of the IDW non-canonical work (but even that doesn't seem to be the case, from Allie's assurances). We're not sure about anything apart from the fact that Angel is Twilight. The story can go many a way from there, and I'd reserve judgment on what's happening with that story until we've, y'know, seen/read it ;).

However, given how much Joss values the characters on his shows and respects them - even in killing them off, turning them evil or whatnot - I don't for a second believe he was sitting behind his desk going "ouh, I could turn Angel evil. Wait, that doesn't make sense, he's been a hero and main character of his own show. Nah, I'll just ignore that and do it anyway. Fun!". ;)

And knowing Joss' plans for Twilight (such a badly chosen name) at least in WHO he is, has soured my interest in the Buffy comics.


While I could see that the eventual story would sour your interest, redeem147, or even this current state of affairs with the tiring drama and back-and-forth, I don't understand how the reveal itself could. That's not an attack or saying you're not entitled to your opinion, by the way, I just honestly don't understand it.

I mean - Angel is one of my favorite characters. The Buffy/Angel story arc in S2/3 remains one of my favorites from the parent show, and Angel's own show often eclipsed - to my mind - Buffy, during its run.

I don't for a second believe that Joss would make Angel a 'bad guy' again, without a great dramatic and consistent reason. In fact, this might be a great story, featuring one of my favorite Buffyverse characters. It might also suck, but I won't know that until I've read the run. This one detail tells us next to nothing about how the story ends up playing out.
I wonder if this Angel thing has anything to do with DH wanting the rights back, since apparently they are up for grabs this year.
Rather than $10k for the "Terminator" franchise, Joss himself should try to buy those rights back. I suspect he'd turn around and give Dark Horse a license, but it might reassure the greater fanbase that he, himself, wants control back.
GVH's statement is one that makes much sense to me.
Heh, now that'd be something I'd like to see, Riker ;). Having Joss (or, heck, Minear or any of the other ME writers) back at the reigns of the Angel comic, and both properties being under one banner again. Just as long as they take Brian Lynch with them, that is :).

But I suspect that probably won't happen. Plus IDW has been doing nicely with the property so far and I'd feel sorry for the company if it lost its biggest seller. Still: it's nice to think of all Joss' worlds being united under one banner, giving him license to tell the stories he wants to tell.
I thought 20th Century Fox decided who should have the rights to the Angel comic books? I understand that Joss has the right to approve/reject story lines but that's about it.
GVH, he doesn't seem to be having any problem telling them now.
So I'm pretty unconvinced that Whedon doesn't care about Angel, as has been suggested. I do think that he couldn't bring himself to run his own season six for Angel while simultaneously doing Cabin in the Woods, Dollhouse and Buffy season eight, and I don't think that's unreasonable. And it seems to me that whatever Angel being Twilight means, it is probably meant as a continuation of Angel's story as Whedon sees it. I don't buy that Whedon is making Angel the lynchpin of the season because he doesn't care about him. Whether Angel-is-Twilight will be successful, or whether Whedon's take on the character will match the fans', is an open question.

Personally, I'm very happy with the possibilities opened by Angel as Twilight. Season Eight has been pointing out the flaws in Buffy's philosophy throughout, and has given ample reasons to see Twilight as a villain and as being possibly right. Making Angel Twilight actually makes the central conflict of season eight between the 'verse's two protagonists.

As far as the impact on the IDW line: this will all, of course, depend on what the Twilight reveal means. I don't want to rag on Whedon for not telling IDW about the Angel-is-Twilight reveal, for two reasons: 1) we don't know the full details of what this means for Angel, yet, and more importantly 2) we don't know that he wouldn't have talked to IDW about the situation closer to the reveal. Allie is saying that this doesn't invalidate IDW's stories, so I believe that we should pay attention to 1; and probably the damage control would have been different if DH hadn't spoiled the reveal a few months ahead of time.

It is interesting to think about what the canonical status of IDW comics are. I simply assumed that they weren't canon, period, post-AtF, especially with some writers, I believe, stating that they didn't actually watch the show and just read AtF. IDW was publishing non-canon Angel comics before AtF, so why would this be different? Because, I guess, Whedon gave his go-ahead to make a canonical continuation with AtF, although he has been kinda reticent to give it the same kind of blessing he gave Season Eight. It does seem as if, if anyone believes that IDW is canon, there's a big problem if someone decides to kill off Angel or Spike.

Incidentally, Twilight seems pretty confident that he'll be okay out in the daylight, within his suit, in "Retreat." Is his suit so well designed that he's certain he won't burn up? Is he protected from the Sun by his magical flying ability? Or, dare I say it, is Angel human? Maybe AtF's prediction turns out to be true--Angel does, indeed, play a pivotal role in the Apocalypse FOR EVIL and then becomes human via Shanshu. I wondered why AtF would make a point of saying "The Shanshu is about Angel" when the ambiguity in the series (where Spike could be a major player) worked well. Since time travel has been established in S8 already, the idea that this is a future version of Angel, trying to stop himself from ending the world and doing whatever is necessary to do so, seems like it could work.
I understand all you are saying gang. But I am sorry - it has always been apparent to me that 'Angel' (the series) is the red headed step child of Whedons shows. ( No offense to red heads:)) It was always others that gave more attention to 'Angel' than Whedon (Greenwalt, Minear,DeKnight,Bell,Fury etc). Whedon only gave real attention to the show in Season 5 - *after* Buffy and Firefly went off the air. That says a lot to me.

And dont get me wrong. I am not trying to throw a hissy fit about that aspect. Buffy was his 1st show, Firefly his great love. 'Angel' just seemed to happen cos the character grew away from 'Buffy' and stories could be told about him away from Sunnydale. However there was no 'big metaphor' that Whedon seemed interested in as much as the other shows.

My problem with it is that it seems that even after 5 years away from 'Buffy', and all that has happened, we were only given After the Fall as a "deal" in order to use the character in Buffy. And as an 'Angel' fan 1st and foremost, that just sucks.

He has his own world now - his own friends, enemies and family. To bring him back into Buffy's world - as an apparent villain no less- just seems like a slap in the face to those fans who love 'Angel' and have followed and got hugely invested, in his story.

And Simon - yes you're absolutely right. Of course we do not know the outcome of this story yet. He *could* quite conceivably be the hero of the story. We'll have to wait and see.

I normally do not get riled up like this about uses of characters - I usually take the stance of let the writer tell his story. And Yes yes I know it's Whedons world and he can do what he wanta with it yada yada yada. But I swear now - if Angel's story ends in this Season 8, or he is evil or anything that will not allow IDW to tell any stories with him. Then Whedon can go.....well since this is a Whedon website I will not be rude. But you all get the idea.
Unless Season 8 ever commits itself to a firm time lock in relation to IDW's series, IDW never has to stop telling Angel stories no matter how this goes with Twilight. The only thing they can't do basically is kill them off -- which they pretty much already knew before the Twilight reveal.
Angeliclestat, I understand what you mean, and certainly Whedon wrote more Buffy and Firefly episodes. I agree that he probably loves Buffy and Firefly more than Angel, ultimately. But that doesn't mean he doesn't care. At the same time, Tim Minear has said before that Whedon was hugely involved in the show--that it was he who came up with many of the key decisions in the show, such as Angel's elevator ride to "Home Office" with Holland Manners, Darla returning pregnant, Darla staking herself to have Connor, going to Pylea, etc. (It was linked to in the thread: http://whedonesque.com/comments/8936, though sadly the link to Tim's comments are gone.)

Don't forget that Angel had David Greenwalt to run it in seasons 1-3, whereas Buffy didn't have any comparably experienced writer/producers. I feel like Greenwalt was a bit of a weak writer (at least in comparison to other heavy-hitters like Whedon, Noxon, Minear etc.), but it was clear that Whedon trusted him with the show. In Buffy 6/7 and Angel 3/4, when Marti Noxon was the showrunner on Buffy, Whedon wrote three episodes of Buffy and two of Angel. And one of those episodes was the series finale of Buffy.
Exactly, WilliamTheB. While it can certainly be argued that Joss spent less time on Angel - as has been done in the past - I'm always very hesitant to infer any information along the lines of "his favorite show", "loving Angel less" etcetera, from that. He did keep on writing Angel episodes - some of them among my favorites of that show, and he has given no other reason to think that Angel was the black - or even, gray - sheep of the Whedon-show family tree.

None of us can look inside Whedon's mind after all (although that would be something most fans would pay good money for ;)), and I for one have always assumed that he liked all his shows about equally. It's the same for me: whichever of his shows I'm watching right then, is always my favorite. It's very hard to decide if I like Buffy, Angel or Firefly more, and I think the experience is probably similar for Joss. But even if it isn't, that's all fine by me.

angeliclestat, a couple of points:

My problem with it is that it seems that even after 5 years away from 'Buffy', and all that has happened, we were only given After the Fall as a "deal" in order to use the character in Buffy. And as an 'Angel' fan 1st and foremost, that just sucks.


This is a personal spin on the facts. We know there was a rights deal involved with AtF. We don't know that it was the reason that AtF happened, though. So this is an assumption of intent there's no reason to believe based on just what's out there. So I wouldn't base any conclusions on that.

It's a pretty big stretch to get from what we know to assuming that Joss couldn't care less about Angel-the-show and therefore decided to hand over that story to the first guy and company to come along so he could have the rights to use his character as a Big Bad on Buffy, regardless of what all of that meant for - or if it even made sense considering - Angel: The Series. In fact, I'd say that's completely out of character for Joss and therefor not something I'd consider a valid conclusion based on what little we know.

But I swear now - if Angel's story ends in this Season 8, or he is evil or anything that will not allow IDW to tell any stories with him. Then Whedon can go.....well since this is a Whedon website I will not be rude. But you all get the idea.


Are you worried here that there'll be no more stories about Angel and his world, or that there'll be no more stories at IDW about Angel and his world? These are two separate things.

In fact: the current stories at IDW could be quite convincingly argued to be non-canonical anyway, they themselves having no bearing on the 'real', as-yet-untold continuing story of Angel: The Series (apart from, arguably, After The Fall).

So:

* If, for instance, Joss, or Minear, or Greenwalt decided to do an Angel revival (tv) movie which ignored the stories at IDW, would you be mad? There'd still be more Angel (in fact, more convincingly canonical Angel), just not the stories IDW is doing.

* If, for another instance, there would be another Angel comic over at Dark Horse, being run by Joss, or Minear, or Greenwalt or Bell, or any of the other former ME big shots on the show, would that be acceptable?

In the past, we've had Angel pop up in Buffy stories, even while he had his own show and own problems (just like Buffy popped up in his). There's just no way around the fact that this is one universe. If Angel is your favorite character in this verse - and he is definitely high on my list as well - why not welcome the major role he's getting in Buffy's new season? I know that's where I stand right now (though I reserve the right to change my mind of the Twilight story on S8 ends up being crap ;)).

And a final point: there's nothing here that seems to imply that IDW can't tell anymore stories about Angel, to begin with. Dark Horse have said as much and there's no reason to think that they're lying about that.
GVH - having read all your comments in the various threads I know you are not too bothered about IDW. That's fine.

I however am. They took the Angel propery when DH didnt want it. They have given us Angel stories since 2005 - not all have been great, but for the most part they are fans of the world and have given it great care and attention. And of course there is a business aspect to all of that - I'm not stupid. But they continued the Angel story - and for that I will be eternally grateful.

-----------------------------------

*In fact: the current stories at IDW could be quite convincingly argued to be non-canonical anyway, they themselves having no bearing on the 'real', as-yet-untold continuing story of Angel: The Series (apart from, arguably, After The Fall).*

The fact you typed 'arguably' After the Fall says a lot to me. The Angel comic has not been given the status it deserves. Even though Whedon gave story on AtF there are still people that dont consider it canon. (Of course there are those that dont consider Season 8 canon either but....not even worth discussing that!)

For those of us that take IDW's work as the continuing story of Angel then this Twilight thing is a big deal. Joss didnt have the time to write more Angel.? Well others do - so why not let them. ( I could say the same about Firefly...)

And I am sorry, but I am not one of those that think 'oh if Joss didnt write it then I dont count it'. I am interested in the *characters* - not the writer. I know this isnt the best site to go with that argument lol, but that is the way I am.

So to answer your question in a very roundabout way:) - if the *Angel* (and not Angel in *Buffy*) story continued somewhere else, then yes I would follow it there. But that seems to me unlikely to happen so I want what IDW is doing to be respected.---------------

*In the past, we've had Angel pop up in Buffy stories, even while he had his own show and own problems (just like Buffy popped up in his). There's just no way around the fact that this is one universe. If Angel is your favorite character in this verse - and he is definitely high on my list as well - why not welcome the major role he's getting in Buffy's new season? I know that's where I stand right now (though I reserve the right to change my mind of the Twilight story on S8 ends up being crap ;)).*

It all depends on how it is handled. If the whole Twilight thing makes sense, and they dont ruin the character or it ends in such a way that no more stories can be told about him post-Season 8...then how could I be happy?


-------------------

*And a final point: there's nothing here that seems to imply that IDW can't tell anymore stories about Angel, to begin with. Dark Horse have said as much and there's no reason to think that they're lying about that.*

Again it all depends on how the Twilight thing is handled. Let's say that it ends with him dead or irredeemable as a hero...then IDW cant really tell any Angel stories post-Season 8. They would be restriced to AAtS (After Angel the Series) and BT (Before Twilight)...which would be pretty restricting. And also since we would know the 'end' of the story...well it would just be 'how do we get there'.

---------------


Ok I know this post was extra extra long, but this means a lot to me. If come the end of Season 8 Whedon has turned around and made sense of the story and justified the use of Angel as Twilight...then I will eat my words and say so. I am not *that* proud:) But I am damn worried about this...I really am.

[ edited by angeliclestat on 2010-01-12 16:18 ]
So little trust in Joss is a shame, imo. Moving on from that....This guy Willingham, who thinks he may not have a job much longer? If they really aren't ALL in it together, this guy just bit the hand that feeds him.
Joss's characters. Joss's Universe.
Self deletion....dont want to get into it. Ignore this post.

[ edited by angeliclestat on 2010-01-12 16:51 ]
angeliclestat - fair enough to be worried, and I'm not here to deny your right to be worried :).

Couple of points though:

GVH - having read all your comments in the various threads I know you are not too bothered about IDW. That's fine.


I don't have much of an opinion about IDW, or DH for that matter, as companies either way. I don't much care under which label something gets released to be honest, and I'm not brand-loyal (apart from my love for Marvel superhero comics, but that's a whole other matter ;)).

I do, however care who writes something and whether or not it's officially a part of the universes I fell in love with on the television shows that spawned these comics.

For instance: I really did like Lynch's work on AtF - both because TPTB (i.e. Joss, and the ME-writers, with whom the canon resides to my mind) made AtF the closest thing to canon something not written by them can be, and because Lynch is a pretty great writer. In fact: I found myself preferring AtF from time to time to the Buffy S8 comic. (I have cared somewhat less for Lynch's Spike work, but then Spike both isn't high on my list of favorite characters, so that was to be expected, plus its status as canon is doubtful at best. Still love Lynch's work, though).

To me, all these comics have less impact than the shows they're derived from. I prefer Joss' season 8, because there's really no way around them being canon and because they're written a lot more closely resembling the style of the television shows I fell in love with.

To make a quick sidestep for clarification - it's not the medium of comics I have a problem with; I've been reading comics for years and Joss' run on Astonishing X-Men ranks highly among my favorite Joss works - it's just that I feel that both 'Buffy' and 'Angel' are first, and foremost, a filmed medium story and it's hard to marry a different format continuation to those television shows I love so dearly. Also: these stories (Buffy and Angel) were always very clearly portrayed as the product of Mutant Enemy writers, with Joss overseeing pretty much everything, either directly or indirectly. This is very different from other comic books, where a label owns the characters and the current writer of a title is usually the creative force running things.

Anyway: in the end it's the shows - and canon - where I hang my hat. It's the shows - and the characters on them - I fell in love with and I want my stories to be by the same guys who have entertained me so much before. I do enjoy non-canon continuations of these worlds from time to time, but I care for them less because they're not "real", from a regular Buffy/Angel-verse standpoint (in so far as the Buffy/Angel-verse is even a real place ;)). To me, these other stories are professional fanfic - which, to be clear, is quite fine and can be incredibly well-written. In the end it's not a question of quality :).

They have given us Angel stories since 2005 - not all have been great, but for the most part they are fans of the world and have given it great care and attention.


Didn't I read somewhere upthread that some of the writers of the non-canon portion had not even seen the show, just read AtF? If that's true, one can hardly call all of them 'fans of the world'. But fair enough, even if it is true: I'm also a fan of the world. And if I were to write Angel-stories, do an Angel fanfilm or whatnot, my stories would still be - at best - second string when compared to the authors with whom the canon resides. Not to mention the fact that I find that most writers - apart from Lynch - have trouble finding the 'voices' for these characters. Not only are they not canon, they seem 'off' somehow as well, when compared to the television show. But again, even if this is not the case, these stories are still less 'real' to me.

The fact you typed 'arguably' After the Fall says a lot to me. The Angel comic has not been given the status it deserves. Even though Whedon gave story on AtF there are still people that dont consider it canon. (Of course there are those that dont consider Season 8 canon either but....not even worth discussing that!)


I typed arguably, because there's still some debate on the point. In all honesty I do consider AtF canon. The only way I'd scratch that opinion is if some ME-production ended up contradicting the story. The same thing can happen with Buffy S8, by the way - a filmed ME-story contradicting the comic 'wins' in my mind. But those are both highly hypothetical situations which are very probably never, ever, going to happen.

For those of us that take IDW's work as the continuing story of Angel then this Twilight thing is a big deal. Joss didnt have the time to write more Angel.? Well others do - so why not let them. ( I could say the same about Firefly...)


Well, fair enough. And this would be fine, if Joss were to say 'guys, I'm done with Angel, I'm handing the reins to these guys.' But this is not what has happened. IDW has license to publish 'Angel' comics. There were, at one point, also Angel novels. There used to be a completely different line of Angel comics by Dark Horse, running alongside the show. And once Joss decides to stop writing Buffy stories, DH might decide to continue telling Buffy stories without him. These would then all not be canon. My heart lies with the show and the people who made the show. They created the characters and those characters and their stories live in their collective heads. Not in those of uninvolved writers brought in after the fact; unless they're brought in by - and collaborate with - those original writers, like BKV or Brad Metlzer on Buffy or Lynch on Angel.

And I am sorry, but I am not one of those that think 'oh if Joss didnt write it then I dont count it'. I am interested in the *characters* - not the writer. I know this isnt the best site to go with that argument lol, but that is the way I am.


Well, fair enough. No need to apologize for your point of view which is, frankly, just as valid as mine :). I just have a hard time wrapping my head around it. How do you, for instance, distinguish between what IDW is doing and fanfic? Because there has to be a mechanism somewhere that allows some stories to be true, for these characters, and others to be untrue, right? Or else everything would be true - contradictions and all - and we'd have a whole mess of trouble ;).

Let's say IDW drops the line next year, and after two years, another company picks up the discarded property. They start writing Angel stories, perhaps ignoring some things from the show they didn't like, perhaps ignoring some things from the IDW run. Are these, then, stories you would invest in? Or would you consider them - somehow - less 'real'? I'm not asking this to imply anything about your opinion, I'm just honestly trying to understand how you feel about this :).

Although all this is getting more and more off-topic and drifting more and more towards the old canon/not-canon discussions, I do find all of this quite interesting and think that the fact that angeliclestat considers the IDW stories 'real' and I don't lies at the heart of how we're both reacting to this :).

(Yikes, this post suddenly became huge without warning! ;))
Ya this post is getting longer and longer ha ha....and more off topic:) But thank you for taking the time to respond and do it so well - without bashing. Doesnt happen too often.


Without making this any longer let me try and sum up my views:

'Angel' is my favourite show. 'Angel' is my favourite comic and Angel is my favourite character. Because to my mind 'Angel' is not high on Whedons 'to do' list (not even number 2,3 or 10!) then I feel like I have to constantly fight for my love of that world. 'Buffy' got a 'Season 8', Firefly got a movie (and I would love more stories from that world too).'Angel' got a miniseries which Whedon only gave story guidance, and once it was done washed his hands of it.

So...

That's where I am coming from. And while there is a part of me that thinks it's cool that Angel will be featuring in more stories for the next few months, I have a great fear that the way the story will go will lead to the end of any further 'Angel' stories (post Twilight)which is where my heart is.

And let me make very clear. Although it may sound like it, I do not believe that Whedon 'owes' me anything ( not that you implied that)...however if there is a company willing to produce more stories in that verse...then I am there. And if the upshot of this is that IDW loses readers and the 'Angel' title is cancelled. Well to me this whole Twilight thing would not be worth it.


For the sake of this thread and everybodies sanity I think I will leave it at that. Until the story itself happens there is not point in me getting worked up (well more worked up!) about it, and I can comment more when the time comes.
If Willingham's job would ever be in danger, it's because he's basically telling an entire potential new audience (Season 8 readers who would like to comb IDW's books and fanwank themselves some clear signs that Angel is on his to becoming Twilight) not to bother spending money on IDW's product.
Fair enough, angeliclestat :). I do understand where you're coming from with this, and appreciate you clarifying. We will have to agree to disagree on some stuff, but that's nothing quite new on the black ;).
I wonder if this Angel thing has anything to do with DH wanting the rights back, since apparently they are up for grabs this year.

Rather than $10k for the "Terminator" franchise, Joss himself should try to buy those rights back. I suspect he'd turn around and give Dark Horse a license, but it might reassure the greater fanbase that he, himself, wants control back.

Yes, please, Joss. Buy back the rights. Please. I want the deafening chasm between BUFFY and ANGEL to stop being. This is way different from the UPN/WB debacle. Why? Because both BUFFY and ANGEL were being made through Mutant Enemy. With the DH/IDW thing - there is no Joss banner that unites the 'verse. I want the "war" to end. :(

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-01-12 18:31 ]
I have no real desire to see Buffy and Angel under the same roof. Heck there was some interesting theories going around when the shows were on the air that postulated that Angel was in a separate universe from Buffy.

I want the "war" to end


Where war?
My thought exactly. One guy's angry note is far from that.
Why it's in quotation marks there. Though I thought about deleting it. Closer to Cold War as it were. Just metaphorical phrasing for the divide between both companies and fandom. And if you're looking for an actual war, well that's being raged between fans debating IDW/DH's conduct and taking sides.

Which isn't new. Fandom is always taking sides. But this is the first time it's felt like the professionals sides were also in the mix. The fact that there even are sides for the professionals that's dividing the 'verse bothers me.

Simon, I didn't say DH should buy back the ANGEL license. I wished that Joss would. If the result is DH, oh well. But what I care more about is the Mutant Enemy:Joss banner tying ANGEL and BUFFY together. As it stands, that is not the case.

Right now it goes FOX trickles down licenses to DH and IDW. DH has BUFFY and Joss. IDW has ANGEL.

What I want is for Joss to still be connected to ANGEL. I want to draw that line even if it is just more like After the Fall where he contributes ideas, helps plot out the story and approves scripts.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-01-12 19:11 ]
Way I see it, there's probably about 70-80000 readers of the Buffy and Angel comics worldwide. At a rough guess, there's about 20-30 online fans in different forums who argue about the divide. And it's the exact same people. If I go to X forum, I know I will see posters A and B arguing. If I got to Y forum, I know I will see the same posters arguing. The vast majority of the readers don't care.
Sorry, I was editing my comment before I saw you posted. As I point out above, the 'verse is fractured as compared to the TV show. More so than when it was divided on UPN/the WB. Because Joss is no longer actively involved with ANGEL. That's the divide. There is no connection between the two. Even if people argued in the past that the TV show felt like it was in an alternate universe, Joss Whedon was still the uniting factor. That doesn't exist anymore - there is no connection between the two and what was once argued as alternate universes now has become more than a somewhat farfetched meta commentary on the TV shows. I think it's now the reality that they're not connected - not anymore. Not since After the Fall ended.

And again, like I said - more Cold War-esque. Not many breaks of outright hostility (though there are some that a few are aware of), but the divide is complete. There is no association between the two "countries" and collaborating is not tolerated. There is no shared Writer's Room in Mutant Enemy where Joss walks down the hall to chat with Tim Minear. They're not even in the same "country" anymore, let alone the same Writer's Room.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-01-12 19:18 ]
Even if people argued in the past that the TV show felt like it was in an alternate universe, Joss Whedon was still the uniting factor.


In name but during the first few seasons the fans of Angel always looked to David Greenwalt and Tim Minear rather than Joss. The show was their baby. The cult of Joss didn't really begin in a big way until Firefly got cancelled. When Joss did finally devote all his attention to Angel in season 5, there was a very noticeable difference in style and content.

Also there were a lot of Angel fans who didn't watch Buffy and vice versa.
But in the earlier seasons, we still had crossovers like Darla/Fool For Love and Willow showing up in the Season 2 finale, Angel in Forever and so on. Note how those crossovers didn't cause a writer from either ANGEL or BUFFY to post a letter lambasting Joss and who he works with. There is a divide. Whether fans are aware of it or not, there is a creative divide and it's affecting what can be done in the 'verse with a sense of joint continuity.

As for Season 5 being different, I see that being from Joss being more involved than before, not that he wasn't involved at all in the past. There's plenty of significant moments in Season 1-4 that have Joss marked all over them. Compare this to IDW's ongoing series now where the current writer is vehemently distancing himself from the creator of the 'verse. In Willingham's own words there is no communciation. Compare this to Joss doing his part as Exec Producer on AtS. Yes, there were times where he was less involved. But not involved at all and not even speaking to the writers who he shared offices with? Very much not.

As for fans not watching Buffy and vice versa, that doesn't really do much for the fans that do. The fans that only watch one have no reason to care. The fans that do, appreciate the continuity and do care. I'm talking about creative cohesion in a fictional 'verse. And that right now, we might as well say that the ANGEL IDW comics exist in their own 'verse. Because Angel (the character) still very much exists in BUFFY. So the comics truly are in different 'verses then (and I'm trying very hard to not use the "c" word because that's not done here, but...).
There's a big difference between a much more distributed model of various creative teams working on things housed in different publishing groups and a creative divide. The comics are a different creative process and distance is not necessarily a sign of hostility or creative disagreement.
Hostility is a sign of hostility, though, and we landed on hostility with a big wet thud with "repugnant practice" (and not before, IMO). Everything before that was at best mild mocking, like the very amusing Urru "cover" with Spike.

I agree with Emmie that it would be better to have a coherent vision to this, but I disagree that we don't already. Either (and I really, really hope not) Twilight is going to be somehow altered or some sort of stand-in version (clone, future, what have you) and that's how IDW's continuity will be proven intact, or Season 8 will basically be set up on the premise that it's a fixed "six months later..." from anything IDW does. Either way, the IDW continuity is essentially protected. Protected in a way, incidentally, that's been more than sufficient for basically every extended universe creative contributor of Star Trek, of Star Wars, Doctor Who, basically every licensed novel and comic series ever, and even the Buffyverse, until Mr. Willingham's interview.
Some of you with no faith, I do not understand. Joss is even working his butt off to make FRAY work out in the timeline, and that was only 8 issues. You really think hes not going to work his butt off to make the Angel series/After the Fall make complete sense too? He even had the very first pages of the Buffy comic deal with the fact that Buffy was dating The Immortal on Angel. Continuity and fitting pieces together seems to always be foremost on his mind for the fans. Stop looking for things to hate and feel betrayed about please.

EDIT: Right on, KingofCretins.

[ edited by narky on 2010-01-12 20:37 ]
Continuity and fitting pieces together seems to always be foremost on his mind for the fans.

Since when? I seem to recall a really bad Warren retcon....

Just saying.

For the most part, I think what's foremost on a writer's mind is what's before them in the present, not what's been in the past. And frankly, in my opinion, most fans know canon better than the writers do.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2010-01-12 20:47 ]
What I meant before is that what we have here is one person's hostility. I think the jump from that to a larger creative tension between people working on the different comic franchises is not warranted.
Don't get what the fuzz s about? Would you rather have Willingham lie and back those wishy washy hints at a collaboration, so that he can make afew bucks more from fans who are searching for clues he has no way of placing?
Sunfire, it's that I think the distance from the divide is what led to Willingham's hostility. The divide itself creates a cause for tension because of a lack of communication. Again, crossovers in the TV shows didn't cause this sort of professional backlash.
When I said "rights", I suppose I meant "license". I heard IDW's license for Angel is up this year, meaning Dark Horse could bid to get it back.
Just for fun and giggles here is another Angel writer's 2 cents on the matter. And one I personally agree with:
http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showpost.php?p=10333831&postcount=26

[ edited by angeliclestat on 2010-01-12 21:03 ]
After the Fall was originally supposed to be the 12-issue "Season Six" of Angel. Then it got expanded to 17 issues. Joss was clearly on board for "After the Fall/Season Six", and obviously when that ended, IDW decided to keep telling Angel stories (well within their rights, mind you). Joss' original commitment had been fulfilled. Maybe he had post-After the Fall plans that were to line up with Buffy Season Eight that were going to come to fruition at a later point. Who knows.
Interesting link, angeliclestat. But I disagree with what was said.* There's a very big difference between canon and fanfiction. However, that's a subject that's probably best not to bring up in these threads.

*I also found it kind of offensive. Anything put out by 'Mutant Enemy' on either series is canon, no matter who penned the episodes; it doesn't HAVE to state 'Joss Whedon wrote this'.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2010-01-12 21:46 ]
About the two IDW Angel writers and their comments: these guys understand absolutely NOTHING about copyrights and licensing; Joss Whedon ultimately holds the copyrights and ownership to and of the ANGEL property and the characters associated therewith, and therefore can do whatever he pleases with them, including utilizing them in comics released by another company, provided that the people who hold the current comics license to ANGEL - IDW (this means the bosses, not Mr. Willingham) - don't object. He is also within his rights to attempt to create a cohesive continuity between the Buffy and ANGEL comics, provided that the companies which hold the licenses to those comics - Dark Horse and IDW - are amenable to the situation and willing to work with him in doing so.

If IDW Comics is willing to work out a deal with Joss whereby their ANGEL comics can in some fashion be made to jibe with the comics being produced and released over at Dark Horse (and Angel's role therein), the people responsible for penning and illustrating IDW's ANGEL comics have only two options: they can either accept the parameters established by such an agreement, or 'take their balls and go home'. The statements made by Mr. Willingham and Mr. Williams do nothing except make them look ignorant, stupid, and petty.

[ edited by DigificWriter on 2010-01-12 22:52 ]
Joss Whedon ultimately owns the copyrights and ownership to and of the ANGEL property and the characters associated therewith


David Greenwalt co-owns the character of Angel from what I recall a20th Century Fox and even the Kuzuis have a say in what goes on.

The statements made by Mr. Willingham and Mr. Williams do nothing except make them look ignorant, stupid, and petty.


There have been warnings already about name calling, I really don't want this thread to get out of hand.
DigificWriter, 20th Century Fox owns those rights. Not Joss. Joss gets a fee from 20th depending on what the lawyers drew up, but he does not own those rights.
I was just about to say; Joss doesn't own the things people are saying he does in this thread.
If I'm wrong about the copyright issues, can somebody explain to me how I'm wrong?

[ edited by DigificWriter on 2010-01-12 23:21 ]
No, Digi. Go get a Buffy boxset and read the smallprint. Fox own Buffy The Vampire Slayer (the TV series) and the characters. Same with Angel. Lucas has a rare deal.

[ edited by gossi on 2010-01-12 23:23 ]

[ edited by gossi on 2010-01-12 23:24 ]
Lucas and Bill Gates are the true intellectual property genuises of the 20th century, for my money -- Lucas, for retaining the rights he did, Gates for inventing the site license that made him a bajillion dollars.

FWIW, my question to Ryall on his topic is the straight up, yes or no, is it this or that intellectual property question we're dithering over -- can Dark Horse do this without violating IDW's license?
Mr. Williams' examples are flawed because 1) Batman wasn't a character based off of TV shows (that were on for a combined 12 seasons) and 2) as someone mentioned, every Buffy story done under the Mutant Enemy flag is considered canon. Point number 2 reinforces that fact that the writers on the current Angel series don't really pay attention to the previous history of Angel.

To answer Mr. Williams' questions regarding the comics: sometimes yes but overall not really.

*edit* In fairness to Mr. Williams I continued reading the comments in the linked forum and he did state that he watched the Angel series and read the comics and is currently watching the Buffy series for continuity's sake.

[ edited by E-Rawk on 2010-01-13 00:07 ]
Interesting second link there, angeliclestat. I'd say that this is a clear example of the difference between regular comic practices and the television business in what's considered 'canon' by fans. In comics, it's very normal for creators to change over the course of time. For instance: Astonishing X-Men was created by Joss, as were some elements of that story. But there's no one who'd say that the current non-joss continuation isn't canon; just like Joss' work on Runaways, a title created by Brian K Vaughan, was canon despite him neither being the creator or (as far as I know) discussing his arc with BKV. So I can imagine that for writers who're used to writing for comic books, the reactions of the fans on this subject can seem quite strange.

On television, however, this changing-of-writers-on-one-title/show (nearly) never happens. I can think of one example from the top of my head: Aaron Sorkin leaving 'The West Wing', after having written nearly all of the first four seasons. What came after was written by his collaborators on the show, but Sorkin's influence was so large (he wrote pretty much every script) that the seasons that came after are not considered part of the 'real' story, by some of the fans. I, however, do consider it part of the complete story, and canon, because it shares actors, former co-writers, etcetera, but I'd say that's a judgment call.

So in the end, it's certainly a slippery slope. The new James Bond novel or the continuation of the Hitchhiker's Guide by new authors, are other problematic examples I can think of. But in all these cases the original creators/writers had either passed away (same thing goes for the post-Roddenberry Star Trek franchise, for instance), or left on their own accord, leaving the property to someone else.

With Buffy and Angel - more than most shows or properties I know of - the television series were very explicitly the product of Mutant Enemy (with, yes, Minear and Greenwalt being more important over on Angel than Joss, for most of the show). These writers are very well-known in the fandom (like Lucas is in the Star Wars fandom, or Roddenberry was in the ST fandom; they're all closer to the status a novel writer has on his own books than to the status showrunners/writers have on 'regular' tv shows) and the current post-ATF comics are very clearly not a product (co-)created by that group of people. It's not like Brian K. Vaughan writing a Buffy comic for S8; collaborating with Joss on the overall story structure.

I'd say that canon doesn't reside with quality - that's silly. There's some very good fanfic to be had, and that's certainly not canon. If BKV - who's my favorite comic book writer; I love his comics even more than I do Joss' - were to write a Buffy or Angel comic, I'd certainly be there and expect them to be great. But they wouldn't be canon, if he did them on his own, without collaborating with the ME writers.

I also think canon isn't solely a matter of having official publishing rights, as evidenced by the many franchises that publish non-canon stories (like, for instance, the original Buffy and Angel comic books at Dark Horse which ran alongside the shows, the 'extended universe' Star Wars stories, or the Star Trek tie-in novels).

In the end, many of the fans turn to Joss and other ME-writers for canon (a Buffy story written by Jane Espenson or an Angel story written by Tim Minear, would pretty much be considered canon by me, and probably by most - unless it was stated not to be). And that's just the way it is for most in this fandom (I think). And yes, that's very different from the way things are usually done in comics, but writing for tv-show/movie tie-ins is inherently different than writing for Batman or Spider-Man. If, for instance, FX decided to sell the rights to 'The Shield' to a comic book company which then independently continued the story of the show, without Shawn Ryan being involved, I think many of the show's fans would not consider that canon.

This, then, is the reason why his comic book examples cannot be translated 1-on-1 to Buffy and Angel, and why his examples from the TV show (which were all written by ME staff writers) are not applicable. IMHO.

While I could see that the eventual story would sour your interest, redeem147, or even this current state of affairs with the tiring drama and back-and-forth, I don't understand how the reveal itself could. That's not an attack or saying you're not entitled to your opinion, by the way, I just honestly don't understand it.


It was kinda a literal sour, as in upset tummy. I didn't really like Angel on Buffy (minds out of gutters, people) but I loved him on Angel. And I reacted.

But I had an epiphany on the subway coming home tonight. I like fan fiction. And as George Lucas said on the Daily Show in regards to people's reaction to his movies, it's all fictional. So I can live with two different takes on the same characters, even if they don't relate. And I can deal with the Angel/Twilight thing, especially when I remember my freaked out reaction to the spoiler that Spike was going to rape Buffy - a spoiler that turned out to be false.

None of it is real. None of it is the show. And darn it, I love comic books.

So, not dropping any of my pretty picture books. Including the ones written by Bill Willingham (cause gee whiz, the pictures in the last issue were pretty indeed.)
I think everyone should go read the entire thread that angeliclestat linked to. There's one reply that's freaking awesome.
The link to Bill Williams' comments was interesting, but I have to take it with a grain of salt. Bill Williams and Bill Willingham are long time colleagues on Clockwork Storybook, and Willingham was one of the 2-3 main writers for Williams' Lone Star Press Studios. Would Williams' position be exactly the same without their personal history? I genuinely have no idea, but the extent of their relationship causes me to think that Williams' reaction could simply be that of someone trying to support their friend.

I would agree with him that every project should be viewed with an open mind and that there are examples of TV shows and comics that have lived long after their creators have departed. There are writers who are capable of writing high quality Buffy/Angel/Firefly/Dr. Horrible/Dollhouse stories without the direct involvement of Joss and/or other key members of ME.

However, a key difference between the examples that he gave and the one here is that usually the creators of the character/franchise were not actively involved in trying to tell a story with those characters. It's one thing if the creator of _______ (insert show or comic here) leaves and the franchise continues on without him. It's something else if that creator is still trying to tell an important story set in that Universe at the same time. Bob Kane wasn't writing another Batman series for Marvel (then Timely) or anyone else. Gene Rodenberry wasn't writing Star Trek for another Network when Voyager or DS9 launched. David Chase was not trying to write Sopranos for Showtime while it was running for HBO. If the creator has moved on then that is one thing, if they haven't, then that's something else entirely, at least imo.

I also can't help but think that The Thunderbolts example was a poor one. Busiek did not even create the main characters in that title. He reinvented previously existing villains and made them villains impersonating heroes and performing good deeds in order to hide from the authorities.
@ GVH,

Your point about a difference between the television and comic industries is a good one and applicable in many instances, but I would argue that they are actually very similar. The differences arise when trying to make a comparison between two very different types of comics or TV shows.

A franchise like Batman or X-Men or Superman seems to me to be like that of a long-running show that has evolved into a franchise where the original creator is no longer as closely involved as he or she once was. I don't follow many TV show creators/runners as I do Joss Whedon, but examples that seem to me like they would be applicable would be Law & Order or CSI. I can't imagine that Dick Wolf, the creator of L&O, is still as highly involved in the day to day running of that show and all of it's spin-offs as he was when it began. Can the CSI creators stay closely involved with all three of their franchises? I have heard from several sources that J.J. Abrams doesn't pay too much attention to Lost.


But some creators do seem more highly involved in their shows, like JMS with Babylon 5 or Rob Thomas with Veronica Mars. In the same way, some comics are still very much run by their creators and are only ever done by them from start to finish. There are numerous examples, but this is why Neil Gaiman is the only writer for his version of Sandman, James Robinson was the only writer for his version of Starman, Mike Mignola is closely involved with all of the Hellboy comics, etc. I believe that there are good parallels between Joss' involvement in Buffy and Angel and those of some in the comic industry, just not those of many of the comic titles that immediately come to many people's minds, i.e. those published by the "Big 2"of Marvel/DC.

[ edited by Risch22 on 2010-01-13 02:50 ]
Risch22, agreed. You make a convincing point and I think you're correct. I did overlook creator owned/heavily influenced comics like Gaiman's Sandman or Mignola's Hellboy, and I ignored tv shows like CSI or L&O, or, even more comparable to Spider-Man or Batman, something like Dr. Who which changes lead character actors and show runners and has been going on for years.

This, then, makes the issue even more complex, though, and means the way we consider these issues - like a lot of fans feeling non-Whedon/ME Angel comics are not canon - depend on the 'type' of show/comic/book at hand and can't be described by generalized 'laws' or ways of doing things in different media (it was probably just my scientific background coming to the fore there, wanting to describe, classify and catalog ;)).
I think that probably is due in no small part to the original Buffy movie. It seems like (fair or not), that product was such a corruption of his idea that he freely went with the premise that the movie wasn't canon. When he did that, his fans (rightly or wrongly) stopped trusting the idea of canon ever originating outside the ME offices. And that might not be his intended goal, it's just what happened.

However, I don't think the reaction of his fans are lost on him. I think he "gets it" which also makes me wonder if post-AtF, this hasn't been intended. Because honestly he would do his Angel franchise (which is currently only being produced at IDW) a world of good by simply saying, "yes this is canon." Because if he meant it, its a no lose situation. The comics get more readership and he loses nothing.

[ edited by azzers on 2010-01-13 03:27 ]
I'd say things are fine as they are: post-ATF IDW Angel is non-canonical according to the majority of fans, but can be freely enjoyed by all. And if people want to invest in those stories and consider them the canonical continuation of Angel's story, in the same way that others don't: that's fine too. I see no reason for Joss to get involved with any of that.

Also: it's not a no-lose situation. Angel at IDW isn't his Angel franchise; it's IDW's. So he'd be effectively saying he no longer wants creative control of this part of the Buffyverse. Doesn't seem like something he'd want to do, to me :).
Thanks GVH. I think that you are from alone in overlooking the "creator owned/heavily influenced comics" that I mentioned. When comics are brought up then the vast majority think of the company-owned superhero titles. That makes sense though, as they are by far the most widely known, highest selling and best advertised. And I failed to think of Dr. Who, which does indeed seem a very appropriate example. Another would probably be soap operas. Those big name comic titles are published primarily not to tell a story, but oftentimes only to be continued simply for the sake of continuation, which seems to me to have the most parallels with soaps (no offense intended to soap opera fans).

I'd again agree with you that the question is not which medium it is that we are examining, but instead what 'type' it is.

There may be some simple rules for determining what is and isn't canon. I have to give this question further consideration, but some possible guidelines that immediately come to mind are whether or not the story under consideration was meant to be open-ended or closed-ended. The presence or absence or blessing of the show's creator probably might be a key criteria as well. The creators of Jericho, Farscape and soon Pushing Daisies have canon comic series being published and as the creators are actively involved then imo it is hard to deny their claims of canonicity.

Perhaps the question of canon needs to be addressed on a show-by-show or comic-by-comic basis, but I think that even if these questions that I've used can't determine the answer for every example, then they still may be valuable to the discussion.

[ edited by Risch22 on 2010-01-13 03:57 ]
Azzers, that is an excellent point about the Buffy movie.

As for Joss simply declaring all of IDW's stuff canon for the sake of convenience, I'd agree with GVH. And it would seem like a sell-out to me. If he labeled all the comics, whether just the IDW ones or if he included the dozens of past ones that have since been reprinted in the Omnibus', canon then it would be the easiest and least controversial way for him to go. It would also undoubtedly result in more sales on some of those items, but it doesn't seem to me to be the truth, especially as at least some of these are being written with no input by him. Willingham makes it clear that he's writing the current Angel series. Not he and Joss, or he and anyone else from ME. Willingham is writing a continuation of the franchise for IDW. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, but at least to me it doesn't seem right that it would be called canon and given the same weight as those episodes or comics that are created or collaborated on by anyone from ME.
Then what you're both saying is that Joss himself does not believe they are canon. And that's my point, his silence on the issue is all that you need to know.

The statement "what I've seen so far from IDW is canon" IS a no lose statement unless Joss doesn't believe it's canon. It isn't, "no matter what IDW does, it's canon." And I certainly don't see it as a statement of "I, Joss Whedon, do now and forever forswear creative control of Angel."

My point is not that it would be "convenient" for him to do this. My point was if he considered the stories good enough and considers them to be part of his storyline, he should say something. Mainly because it removes confusion. And if you've read this thread, you can see that it is quite a confusing topic at the moment.

A story can be canon to something even if the original creator has no input. But it usually requires the approval of the creator to be so. I'm just saying, if Whedon turns around and calls Angel's comic books canon, then I agree with him. They're his characters.

[ edited by azzers on 2010-01-13 05:36 ]
*idly muses* Maybe I should put something in the rules as to what canon is.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home