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January 14 2010

(SPOILER) Buffyfest eloquently sums up "Why IDW's Angel Comic Still Matters". " matter what happens in a Dark Horse galaxy far, far away, right here, right now, IDW is putting out compelling stories that are worth reading."

This, this, this.

Best Buffyfest article ever.
Good read. I completely agree with it.
Nice article. A bit preachy but okay otherwise.
IDW's Angelverse comics have always mattered to me.
I guess I'm not seeing what the big deal is continuity-wise. My understanding was that season 8 started a year and a half after the show ended (roughly) and Angel went on for another season and then it's own comic series picks up pretty much immediately (a month at most?) after the show ended. By my math, which admittedly isn't the mathiest math, but nevertheless it looks to me like Buffy's story is still a few months ahead of Angel's. So we just haven't seen the why or how of getting Angel from where he is now, to what's going on (will be going on) in Buffy. If I'm wrong, by all means, splainy.
The quality of the series has sadly had some major lows (still a few highs) since After the Fall ended. I agree they still matter though, who doesn't love Angel? The IDW series is a great way to get an Angel fix.
Great article, I couldn't agree more.
My wife and I stopped reading Angel (still collecting 'em... just haven't read 'em yet) because there were too many stories going on. There was "Angel After the Fall", "Angel Old Lang Syne", "Angel Spotlight X", "Angel Blood and Trenches", "Angel Puppet Thingy", "Spike Puppet Thingy, too", etc., etc., None of the stories were interconnected or dictated to be in a certain order, you know like "hey dummy, read this one first, this one second, this one third..."

To make matters worse, IDW removed the month/year from the front covers somewhere along the line. This meant when I tried to organize all the Angel comics we have collected, I had to remove issues from the plastic covers we keep them in order to look inside the front cover and read in tiny, tiny print the publication date. I sorted by that.

Buffy, on the other hand, is much more organized. I know the order I'm suppose to read them in, and even if the story jumps around, it has continuity. Heck, it has a number and date info on the front cover!

So yeah, sometime I will get around to reading Angel again. It would help if they settled on one continuity, or at least put the month/year back on the cover.
I think IDW got off to a bad start with the first few Angel mini-series which I just bought out of loyalty. Getting Peter David to do the Spike vs Dracula comics made IDW's Angelverse interesting again.
Peter David is pretty much always worth reading yeah.

Anyway: the thing that has been keeping me from the IDW books has been all the side-stories and issues, just like quantumac. I get those automatically (even if I usually find them less interesting), because my local comic shop finds the IDW line confusing and simply orders all their Angel/Spike things for me. But: the IDW line doesn't always deliver - either that, or my comic shop orders incorrectly - which means I have a huge stack of half-finished IDW Angel/Spike miniseries with missing issues.

To this day, I've only gotten two of 'em in their entirety (which reminds me: who knows a good place to buy single back issues of comics with low shipping costs to European countries?). This is, obviously, frustrating, as I often don't want to read the incomplete series and just put the issues I do own on a stack unread. Fortunately, the Angel main line is pretty much complete - I'm only missing two, and I read synopses on the ones I missed.

Anyway, the upside to this entire controversy, is that I've started reading my IDW comics again - I've now gotten through the non-lynch part after ATF (which, as far as I'm concerned, noticeably dipped in quality) and am up to the remaining Lynch issues now (which I'm bound to prefer) on the main series, and will get to a completed, but as yet unread, miniseries after finishing those.

I was one of the people who - after those comments were posted - said he was going to drop the IDW Angel line. Now that the dust has settled, though, I - well - haven't. Ryall's Q&A session certainly helped on that count. Plus: I've realized I still enjoy reading the continued story of Angel, even if I don't consider anything post-ATF as canon (although I might - in my mind - consider the other stories penned by Lynch something more than not canon and something less than canon, but that's beside the point).
Lynch is the man. Too bad he's done with Angel. I think he's better with a smaller cast anyway. Like his Angel Annual. That was awesome, going to Comic-Con like that. Angel & Spike should just be BFFs already!
who knows a good place to buy single back issues of comics with low shipping costs to European countries?

Actually eBay can be pretty effective, especially if you buy multiple issues as once shipping cost from the UK to the Netherlands are acceptable. Try these sellers: fantasticrealm_uk, economiccomics, or evobooks.
I never found the IDW series confusing.

I mean since After the Fall there is the ongoing (which is very clearly numbered), and there has been the 'historical comics', 'Only Human' which spins out of #23 (and quite clearly says that at the end of #23) and there have been the episode adaptations.

I suppose it depends what you are looking for. I love getting all these Angel comics every month (and it's usually only 2, sometimes 3 so that's not too many).
Thanks for the tip, Allycat. It would appear that these back issues are indeed available at reasonable prices through eBay :)
I can't keep up with all of them, so I often just wait for the TPBs. I get some of the mini arcs and one shots though. Smile Time. A Hole in the World. I want Shadow Puppets and Blood and Trenches but my comic shop doesn't have all of the issues.
I gave AtF a shot, and found it disappointing -- and apparently that's as good as it gets over at IDW. It's not really their fault. Whedon created an amazing cast of characters that are really complex. Most people writing stories about these characters only catch a few aspects of them but fail to grasp them in their complexity. That's been true of everything I've seen at IDW, nor have I read any reviews that suggest subsequent IDW offerings are any better. It's enjoyable to read ongoing stories about these characters, even when the writers only have parts of them. The problem is there's a ton of those stories available for free. And I don't really see any point in parting with cash for stories that aren't significantly better in quality than the stories that are available for free.
Maggie, that's the usual argument against paying for fan-fiction, which is what non-canon adaptations are. Whether they're offered for free by fan authors online or cost money from the comic book store. Regardless of the fact that IDW currently has the Angel license/Fox approval, everything after Joss and Lynch's contributions in "After the Fall" is fan fiction until stated otherwise. Not a word IDW and its changing stable of writers probably wants associated with their Angel comics though, I imagine it sounds a little cheap to the average person.

It's what I've sometimes gone by when extending myself beyond the original TV versions of certain favorite shows has gotten kinda ridiculous and maybe sometimes out-of-budget-range. Though when Buffy and Angel were on TV, I was buying all the non-canon comics, back when everything was at Dark Horse--although a few of the minis turned out to be canon, like Fray and arguably Jane Espenson's Faith 4-parter, or maybe hers is just more fill-in-the-gap-helpful than solid canon, I dunno, can't recall if Joss ever mentioned it. It was good enough that I liked it for canon, that's all I remember.

I suppose the only incentive in your case would be if you really like the art. There's tons of Buffy and Angel fan art online, but I don't know that anyone is producing their own monthly 22 to 24-page comic for free with great covers.

[ edited by Kris on 2010-01-15 21:48 ]
Bill Williams pretty much covers the whole "these books are fan fiction" theory at this link:

I, for one, simply don't understand that kind of mindset. There are ideas that I don't really agree with, but I can at least see where the person is coming from. The logic behind the "these comics are non-canon and, thus, fan-fiction" statement completely escapes me.
I like fan fiction.

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