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March 22 2010

(SPOILER) An epic interview with Scott Allie. The transcript of Mike Russell's wide-ranging interview with Scott Allie about the Whedonverse, comics, and sundries. Plus: hear how the Twilight reveal fiasco went down. Marked spoilers mainly for artwork from the upcoming Serenity comics.

There are also random spoilers for other comics (Hellboy) and TV shows (Dexter) and political assassinations (Lincoln), so if you don't want those, don't read.

Also an excellent section on "fan management", and a great discussion on how licensing works.
Great interview
The stuff about fan management in this interview is fantastic. Scott's absolutely right in his observations.
That was a really fantastic interview. I like Scott Allie a lot, I think it's a shame he has to take the beatings he does sometimes. His honesty is nice and refreshing.
Scott Allie's explanation for "Twilightgate" still doesn't make sense: Angel was described as Twilight in the text of the solicitation for #34, so it couldn't have been just a cover mix-up.
"Epic" is correct! I love the Simon and River traveling medicine show idea. "Aw crap, all my customers are dead."
Invisible Green, it's quite likely that you can substitute "information" for "covers", it's just that covers, being so much more immediately obvious, is what always gets discussed.
The second part of Scott Allie's Q/A from ECCC is up also.We get to hear the rest of what Scott was saying about season 9 before the first part of the video cut it off.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty3WRGx-V2A
It still seems strange to me that they never told the guys at IDW that Angel was going to turn out to be Twilight. If I were IDW, having paid good money for the Angel license, I would feel like the rug had been pulled out from under me. If Joss and Scott Allie were worried about too many people knowing the big secret (which would be ironic considering how massively Dark Horse blew it) I suppose they could have had people sign confidentiality agreements or something, but as the situation was handled, it seems unfair to IDW.
I don't see how it's unfair. The only thing that was ever technically canon at IDW was After The Fall. Twilight's storyline doesn't interfere with that. Dark Horse (let alone Joss) is under no obligation to make its canon storyline fit with IDW's non-canon storylines.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2010-03-23 01:12 ]
Dark Horse (let alone Joss) is under no obligation to make its canon storyline fit with IDW's non-canon storylines.


Yes, but this goes beyond storylines and into the crux of the character IDW bought the rights to tell stories about. When IDW bought the rights to tell stories about Angel, they assumed he was the character as presented on the Angel TV show: that was what they were buying. But he's not that character now: he's a villain who is responsible for the death of hundreds of people. Maybe he'll be redeemed and maybe he won't but that certainly wasn't what IDW thought they were buying when they purchased the license. If, for example, I bought the rights to make X-Files comics and then Chris Carter wrote a series for another publisher about the secret life of Dana Scully in which it was revealed that she had actually been working for the Syndicate all along, I'd be pretty annoyed. Sure, I would still get to tell my non-canon X-Files stories, but one of my characters would have been fundamentally altered.
Great interview. I never get the negative commentary Allie gets from some corners, and interviews like this show exactly why he doesn't deserve that.

The One True b!X, if nothing else it's a matter of respect. I support Dark Horse's handling of the spoiler debacle in everything except this--they knew they were doing something that would have a profound impact on IDW's book (if not in its stories then certainly in the fans' reception of it) and instead of informing them and possible forming a united front and putting a positive spin on things for both publishers, Dark Horse just pushed IDW under the bus. This is like Fox having the rights to licence Firefly comics--they're under no obligation not to do it, or to even check with Joss, but being respectful simply keeps everyone happy.

And I'm not getting into the canon debate.
I doubt IDW tells Dark Horse everything they are doing, even though certain characters it uses could be used by Dark Horse as well. I don't see anyone complaining IDW disrespects Dark Horse for not sharing their storylines.
Good interview. Nice to get a little more detail on how the secret got leaked, and what ever happened to that Lincoln guy.
Scott Allie's explanation for "Twilightgate" still doesn't make sense: Angel was described as Twilight in the text of the solicitation for #34, so it couldn't have been just a cover mix-up.

Invisible Green, you've got your facts mixed up. Twilight's identity was not revealed in the text of the solicitation, but in the covers themselves. Specifically, the Jeanty cover which revealed Twilight without his mask on, but wearing the rest of his costume.

*

Abraham Lincoln got shot in a theater.

SPOILER ALERT: that was hilarious.

We're not the mayor. We're Cuba. We're not the locals or the natives. If anything, we're the oppressor who needs to be crushed.

Excuse me while I fall over dying of laughter...

Fabulous interview. Allie and Russell have a wonderful chemistry going.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-03-23 03:50 ]
Damn... this is what happens when you don't grow up on American history... you get spoiled when reading an interview about comics. Sheesh!
B!x, isn't mentioning that there was a Lincoln assassination a spoiler!?
Man, that took me almost an hour to read! Awesome interview, though.
I am on the side of DarkHorse having given a little respect and courtesy to IDW regarding there very early plans to have Angel end up as Twilight - it was not mandatory, but it would have been, IMO, the proper thing to do.

Anything that I have read since the unintended reveal has made me see the Angelverse with the filter of Twilight on the character. Irrespective of how Joss Whedon concludes his season eight - it will impose on the IDW Angelverse.
DH stuck Angel in a mask and kept his identity a secret for 3 years to accommodate IDW and use Angel “sparingly.” Which means that a large part of S8 was built around accommodating a rival company that they had no legal obligation whatsoever to take into consideration. As far as I’m concerned that’s more than enough.

That's "courtesy" and "respect" in my book.

Not to mention that Joss leant his name to AtF, which gave IDW a massive boost in sales (something like a 70% drop after Whedon’s name was taken off the title) that they wouldn’t have had without his involvement. He didn’t have to do that either, he approached them with the idea, if I remember correctly, after he read Lynch's comic. Now obviously I’m not saying Joss consciously did that to boost their numbers, but nobody from IDW can claim Joss has done anything to hurt them over the past few years. Far from it.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2010-03-23 11:18 ]
Damnit! He did actually spoil me on Dexter.
Hellmouthguy said:

When IDW bought the rights to tell stories about Angel, they assumed he was the character as presented on the Angel TV show: that was what they were buying. But he's not that character now: he's a villain who is responsible for the death of hundreds of people.


Wasn't he a villain responsible for the death of hundreds of people before? I mean, it's not like it is an outragously new idea that Angel is a killing beast. We've seen it before. It's kinda "in character". I mean... if Joss went and turned Angel into a frog that was crucial in the creation of Atlantis, then maybe I would be a little bit pissed if I were IDW, but the S8-storyline simply doesn't seem like such a out-of-the-box thing to me. (Which, granted, is based on the stories we've read so far. If, by issue #38 Angel does turn out to be a frog, my whole argument falls flat, of course. ;)
I now want to meet Allie almost as much as I want to meet Mr. Joss. That was a great interview, obviously done one friend to another. As to the Twilight-gate and IDW/Dark Horse issues, I am still of the opinion that we should wait until the next issue to see what becomes of the Angel reveal before we throw stones, shoes, TPBs...
vampmogs - DH didnt 'stick Angel in a mask and kept his identity a secret for 3 years to accommodate IDW and use Angel “sparingly.” Joss Whedon did, because that is what suited the story he was telling. Are you honestly trying to say that if Angel wasnt at IDW (or anywhere else) that Angel would have been revealed earlier?

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

I think it is completly wrong what Whedon and Dark Horse have done. Not the use of the character...but the way that his use was handled. If Whedon and Allie had approached Chris Ryall or Brian Lynch and said 'Look Angel is gonna be Twilight, it's not to be revealed to anyone, but this does not affect your property, but out of professional courtesy we are giving you the heads up' - I would have less of a bad taste in my mouth about the whole thing.

You could say 'why should he'? - but after his involvment in 'After the Fall' I thought that maybe he was giving a little bit of attention to 'Angel', and actually cared about it. But no...it is my opinion that the whole reason for After the Fall was to get fans to not consider Angel as Twilight

"Hey - hes in his own canonical adventures at another company....so Angel is definately not Twilight"

Anyone else think that back when AtF was goin on? I sure did - but it was all smoke and mirrors and pretty cynical one at that.

I always wondered why, after giving a story and help to 'Angel' at IDW, he didnt give them anymore guidance after #17 of After the Fall. And now we know. It's because he always knew that this reveal was coming, and was more interested in having Angel in 'Buffy' than in 'Angel'.

And Alleycat- ya he spoiled me on Dexter too. Another reason to be pissed at him!!!:) He's annoyed since his thinly veiled attacks on IDW and Angel. Of course knowing what we know now about Angel as Twilight he must have not been a happy bunny seeing Angel at such prominance at another company.
vampmogs - DH didnt 'stick Angel in a mask and kept his identity a secret for 3 years to accommodate IDW and use Angel “sparingly.” Joss Whedon did, because that is what suited the story he was telling. Are you honestly trying to say that if Angel wasnt at IDW (or anywhere else) that Angel would have been revealed earlier?


Yup that's exactly what I'm saying considering that’s exactly what Joss said in his interview with CBR;

"Basically, to go back...IDW got the "Angel" license, and Dark Horse still had the "Buffy" license. Scott and I concocted "Season 8," and Dark Horse has license to use any of the characters from Buffy, including Angel, Spike, Wesley and all of that. Not that anybody was going, "Let's do it! Let's use them!" but I thought, "The other company has them. Let's not bone them. At some point, Buffy and Angel have to be in the same panel. That's a given. But we can give them literally years before that happens. There's no sense in creating confusion amongst the fans and hurting a company that's just trying to do their best and put out good comics....

...So I always did have the idea of Twilight as Angel, but I was always going to save it for as long as possible, which God willing, would have been three more months from now.”


It was done to accommodate IDW.

And no, Joss did not come up with AtF as a way to keep people from guessing Twilight's identity. You're making things up. From the same interview,

"This was before I got at all involved with IDW. Then I read Brian Lynch's "Spike" series for them, and I was so impressed with what Brian did, I decided to hand him my concept for "Angel" Season 6."

[ edited by vampmogs on 2010-03-23 14:46 ]
DH stuck Angel in a mask and kept his identity a secret for 3 years to accommodate IDW...


Where has it ever been stated by Joss or any of the season 8 writers that Twilight wore a mask to accomodate IDW? He wore a mask because that way Joss could have a big season-long mystery villain, obviously.
I'm of those who think that knowing who Twilight is has made the whole series a tad more interesting, so personally I think they should have revealed who it was far earlier in the proceedings.

Hell I think the whole thing could have done with speeding up as this comic has dragged on now for flaming ages.

And I'm with those who believe that Joss and co were very remiss in how they delt with the whole licensing to IDW malarkey. Very dodgy to say the least.
Hellmouthguy, right above you I just posted an excerpt from an interview conducted by CBR with Joss Whedon. Joss talks about why he decided to keep Angel's identity a secret and why he did for so long,

"The other company has them. Let's not bone them. At some point, Buffy and Angel have to be in the same panel. That's a given. But we can give them literally years before that happens."

So that’s what they did. They kept Angel’s identity a secret and prolonged the reveal for 3 years so IDW could have Angel all to themselves.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2010-03-23 15:03 ]
Vampmogs, I think you're inferring things from that quote that are leading you to make some assumptions here. I’ve seen that interview too, and nowhere in that interview did Joss say, “Well, my original plan was for Buffy and the gang to know that the season’s Big Bad was Angel right from the first arc, but then when IDW started up their Angel comics I decided he would wear a mask and call himself Twilight.” In the quote you're referencing Joss could just as easily be referring to the fact that Angel made no appearances in Buffy season 8 as Angel, and that's what I believe to be the case (making my own inferences of course, which could be wrong, since I am not secretly Joss Whedon.) I could easily envision an early outline for the season in which Joss originally wanted to sprinkle a few Angel appearances in to throw readers off the track of Twilight’s true identity, and I can also see Joss deciding to pull those appearances in deference to IDW’s stories. But the notion that he would so drastically change his own season-long story just to accomodate IDW when he could have simply let them in on the secret from the beginning instead and kept his story completely intact makes no sense to me. Think about how different Joss’s original plan for the season would have to have been if what you’re saying is true: Buffy would have known she was fighting Angel from the start, and that would have changed every single thing that came after. A significant share of the narrative thrust of the season has been the mystery of Twilight’s identity. Without that it’s a different season eight entirely.

I'm not saying you're neccesarily wrong, by the way. I'm just saying that the quote from that interview can be interpeted in more than one fashion.
I think the main point of providing the quote was to demonstrate that cries of Dark Horse being unfair to IDW by not considering their product are, plainly, nonsense.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2010-03-23 15:32 ]
And, okay, I am officially Twilighted out now. I think I'm putting way too much effort into criticizing comics I don't even like. I still reserve the right to be outraged at whatever comes next in season 8, but I'm going to try to obsess about...oh, 40% less over it. Yes: it is the twilight of Twilight for me. Tomorrow I'm going down to the comic shop and picking up The Guild #1 (both covers), where no one is Twilight, and no one is acting bizarrely out of character, and everyone is drawn like a distinctly different person, and no one talks about Nick Fury or Kitty Pyde or Superman. And people know the difference between scythes and axes. Okay, I'm just assuming that last one.
Vampmogs, I think you're inferring things from that quote that are leading you to make some assumptions here. I’ve seen that interview too, and nowhere in that interview did Joss say, “Well, my original plan was for Buffy and the gang to know that the season’s Big Bad was Angel right from the first arc, but then when IDW started up their Angel comics I decided he would wear a mask and call himself Twilight.”


Hm, don't believe I stated that did I? I never made the assumption Joss had a plan and then changed it to accommodate IDW. In fact, that doesn't even make sense because IDW were making Angel comics before S8 even started. I stated that Joss worked his season around IDW by creating a storyline that would allow him to use Angel and still accommodate them, which I think is clear from his interview. Why else would he say "we can literally give them years" if accommodating IDW wasn't the reason he wrote Twilight's story like he did? He is clearly stating that he did this (and kept it for going for so long) so IDW would have years before being impacted by this, and because he didn't want to "bone them."

I think it's clear what he's saying and I don't think I'm "inferring" anything at all. I think you have to do an awful lot of twisting to interpert what he's saying any differently.

And yes I'm well aware that this would mean S8 was largely affected by IDW, which was... my point. Joss did think about them from the very beginning and therefore, IMO, doesn't deserve to be criticised for not telling them about Twilight's identity. He did more than enough and much more than he was ever contractually obliged to do.

[ edited by vampmogs on 2010-03-23 16:07 ]
I don't get why there's all this concern for IDW. They aren't conferring with Joss about what they want to do with the characters -- which in some cases is to render them completely unrecognizable versions of the characters bearing the same name in the shows. If they could not care less about continuity and character development, I don't see why anybody thinks Joss owes them anything. They got a license from Fox. The main reason they've made money with that license is because Joss gave them a boost on AtF. Since then, they have run the value of that license into the ground with crappy story telling that doesn't respect the source material.
Joss = Canon. S8 is canon. AtF is canon. Everything else is licensed non-canonical products (not saying if that makes them good or bad). If the actual show were still on and Joss decided to, lets say, kill Spike for good, I doubt he would be going... "oh I better go tell DH/IDW/Whoever, who I have no dealings with (and may not know Brian[insert any other writer]Lynch is writing a Spike series), all my plans for my characters."

Do you think that back when Scott was editing the original Buffy comics that as soon as Joss came up with an idea he told DH about it? That Buffy would sent Angel to hell in S2, or get a sister in S5, or that Willow would go dark in S6?
Joss is doing what he wants to do and IDW are doing what they want to do.

re:the article.
we are going to ramp up Whedonverse efforts

Really looking forward to seeing what this is gonna amount too. I'd love for a 'verse book each week, but don't think we'd ever get to those levels. Also more original comics from Joss would be pretty sweeet!
Another key note, IDW wasn't able to tell post-Not Fade Away stories until Joss conferred with them on After the Fall. So no, IDW didn't buy the Angel license with the intent to have any control over how Angel's future would shape up--they weren't bamboozled. They weren't able to tell stories post-finale until Joss handed them his plans for what would have been Angel Season 6 and worked with them. Again, this is because FOX out of respect for Joss had kept Angel's future story for him to tell.

Also, well-said, Maggie. I completely agree about how the story over at IDW has plummeted. And I find it more offensive the way the story is doing a disservice to the characters and the mythos.

I also agree with the point that Angel has been planned out as Twilight since before IDW could even tell post-NFA stories. You know how this could have all been simplified? Joss could have never shared his story plans and worked with Lynch. We'd never have gotten After the Fall. And IDW would still not be able to tell post-Not Fade Away stories as they were restricted by terms of their license until Joss collaborated with them on AtF. Now, that would be a shame to not have the After the Fall story, so I'm glad Joss went out of his way to work with a company he had no affiliation or history with in order. So thanks, Joss.
Disclaimer - anything I say is coloured by the fact that I believe that Angel should be kept on 'Angel' and not back on 'Buffy'.

It is my opinion (oh that good old IMO) that Joss Whedon does not give 2 tuppenny craps about 'Angel the series' - it was never his baby like Buffy and Firefly were. Greenwalt and Minear (and to a lesser extent DeKnight and Bell) were the ones that guided that ship. Whedon of course provided guidance and 'cared' bout it to an extent, but he let others to shape it and really define what it was. It was not until the last series with no other shows on the air that he took a more hands on approach. That shows how much he was interested in it for the rest of the time.

Now that 'Angel' is no more,it seems that he has brought back Angel to where he has only ever had any use for him - as Buffy's love (all be it in a more twisted form). Therefore as far as I am concerned he is pissing over 5 years of character development for Angel, as well as all the characters that have touched his life while in LA.

Because of this whole thing of 'Oh if Joss doesnt write it then I am not interested' thing that goes on in regards to 'Angel' (ironic as he didnt bother with it a whole lot during its run), the only time 'Angel' fans were thrown a bone, was the 17 issues of After the Fall - which dont get me wrong I was very glad to get.


But I'm sorry I cannot shake the impression that Joss did it as a way to deflect attention from Angel as being Twilight. Of course the great writing of Brian Lynch on 'Spike:Asylum' led him to think that Lynch would be the man to do the 'Season 6 type' story...but you cannot tell me that Joss did not think that by doing an official continuation of 'Angel' that that would immediately stop people suspecting that Angel was Twilight.

And after the 17 issues (which he thought would be 12) he withdrew his name from the 'Angel' license because he didnt want to do anymore in that verse because he was bringing over Angel to 'Buffy'. Yet he let IDW go ahead and tell post-AtF stories without his guidance, and without the knowledge that he was about to use their title character (which they have the rights to) in the 'Buffy' comic.

No matter what you think of the current storyline on 'Angel', you have to recognise that that is a bit dodgy. And shows his true colours when it comes to Angel. He's a 'Buffy' character as far as Whedon is concerned.


Now if in a years time he somehow manages to

a - not kill Angel
b- not completely ruin the character by making him a total villain or reducing him back to no2 man on 'Buffy'

then I might change my opinion and will be totally proven wrong. But for now that's what I think of the whole situation.
Did he withdraw his name? Or was it simply that his involvement was solely on "After the Fall"? As pointed out, Joss saw Brian's work, thought he was suitable to write his ideas for a "Season 6", and so approached him. They worked out the story... from what I remember, Joss just gave Brian the usual treatment he gives his writers (e.g. gave him the major beats of the story, and let him do his own thing).

Angel is a Buffyverse character. And as long as both shows/series occur within the same universe, so are the other licensed characters that never appeared on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". Their non-appearance is more a licensing issue than a creative one. Angel made many appearances on "BtVS", even after moving to LA, and Buffy made at least a couple of appearances on "AtS". Having Angel be Twilight doesn't necessarily mean that Angel is being moved permanently back to "BtVS". I think the commonly used term is "crossover"?

Isn't arguing based on assumptions rather unproductive? Since nothing can be proven/verified.
"Isn't arguing based on assumptions rather unproductive? Since nothing can be proven/verified."

Yes wenxina-but isnt that we all do most of the time anyway - its what the internet is based on:)

" Angel made many appearances on "BtVS", even after moving to LA, and Buffy made at least a couple of appearances on "AtS". Having Angel be Twilight doesn't necessarily mean that Angel is being moved permanently back to "BtVS". I think the commonly used term is "crossover"?"

Yes I do believe that is the term - but in this case it's a bit more than Angel coming over for a nice chat and a cup of tea. Its potentially character destroying stuff. And if most people believe that 'Angel' only counts when Joss gives his name to it, then Joss would have to give his name to it again when/if Angel returns to his own property in an 'official' capacity - which doesnt like it is ever going to happeb again.. Therefore it is not a crossover rather than Joss bringing him back to 'Buffy' with no intention of ever having another 'official' Angel story..
Some of the better-reasoned posts here would prove that we don't have to argue based on assumptions.

As for what we know right now, isn't the fear that Joss won't be working with IDW in some capacity again rather unfounded? He did say that the two series will be made to work, instead of just contradicting each other. That itself means that he will be lending his time, and possibly name to the ANGEL franchise.
No assumption here. Just paraphrasing what he said.
Because of this whole thing of 'Oh if Joss doesnt write it then I am not interested' thing that goes on in regards to 'Angel' (ironic as he didnt bother with it a whole lot during its run)


Well, IMHO, Season 5 is the only good season of Angel, so there's that. The first time I tried watching the show I gave up after 3 episodes. It wasn't until I'd watched every episode of Buffy a couple times that I became starved enough for mythology that I finally watched Angel. I'm glad I did, there are some great moments (and some bad ones). But there's no mistaking content that Joss is directly involved with on a daily basis, and content that he isn't.
Umm... I think this whole notion of Joss not caring about AtS is completely unfounded in facts. Sure Greenwalt had a lot to do with it(he was co-creator of course), so did Minear, but they did something Joss never did and could have at any time: they both left the show. First Greenwalt to do that show I can't remember the name of, then Minear after moving to Firefly. Are you suggesting that they didn't 'care' about Angel?

Now that 'Angel' is no more,it seems that he has brought back Angel to where he has only ever had any use for him - as Buffy's love

Joss could have brought Angel into Buffy whenever he wanted with crossover's and IIRC one one the main reason he created the Angel spin-off is because he didn't want the B/A relationship to overshadow what he was trying to do with the Buffy character.
Joss could have brought Angel into Buffy whenever he wanted with crossover's


After Buffy went to UPN, The WB said no to crossovers from what I recall. Hence the off camera meeting after Buffy came back from the dead.

and IIRC one one the main reason he created the Angel spin-off is because he didn't want the B/A relationship to overshadow what he was trying to do with the Buffy character.


I think another reason was that "Hey popular character! Spinoff! Success!".

Got to say that Angel season 2 was the best season. 5 was good but it felt incoherent a lot of the time and the characters just felt odd. Especially Wes and Gunn for some reason.
Wenxina - you are very generously paraphrasing there. Next year it seems that Whedon will be too busy to give time to Buffy, never mind Angel so I would be *very* surprised if he gives any more time to ANGEL.

And are you saying my posts arent well-reasoned:)

I am just making an opinion based on my knowledge of the history of Angel, which is pretty extensive. Whedon gave more time to Buffy+Firefly than he ever did to Angel. That cannot be disputed. He felt more attached to them than to Angel, and that's cool - I dont mind that. But I do mind my favourite character and show/comic suffering jsut cos he seems to be more interested in having him back in Buffy, instead of off in his own story.

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

Kann - Fair point about Greenwalt and Minear leaving. But they did more for the show than Whedon did. From the amount of episodes written to finding the tone of the show,and really establishing the characters.

-----

dispatch-

Care to point out content that Whedon was directly involved in and what he wasnt. I certainly couldnt - except for the 'gimmick' episodes which he resorted to for the last few years (like on Buffy) i.e 'Ballet!', 'Returning to teenagers' 'Puppet!' (which he co-wrote and came up with the idea)etc. Angel was always more about telling the straight stories rather than the 'gimmick' episode which is what Whedon did. Not that those episodes weren't good...but they weren't 'normal' Angel episodes.
Talking giant cheeseburger!
Yeah Simon, didnt mean to suggest that was the only reason AtS was created. And that whole UPN/WB situation was weird because they still did those small crossovers in S7.

Gimmick? How is 'Ballet' a gimmick? How is a demon fighter being turned into a puppet a gimmick when it was done in Buffy S1 with Sid? Sure there were some gimmicky things in both shows, but their whole concepts were gimmicks.
"Talking giant cheeseburger!"

That appeared for about twenty seconds and which worked in context.
Great posts angeliclestat. I agree with everything you've said.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-03-24 00:41 ]
"Another key note, IDW wasn't able to tell post-Not Fade Away stories until Joss conferred with them on After the Fall. So no, IDW didn't buy the Angel license with the intent to have any control over how Angel's future would shape up--they weren't bamboozled. They weren't able to tell stories post-finale until Joss handed them his plans for what would have been Angel Season 6 and worked with them. Again, this is because FOX out of respect for Joss had kept Angel's future story for him to tell."

Actually, that's not entirely accurate. IDW in fact did publish multiple mini-series set post Angel season 5, such as "Angel: Old Friends", as early as 2005, a couple of years before they began publishing ATF. They never directly discussed what happened immediately following "Not Fade Away" - that specific part of the story apparently being held for Joss, it seemed, and good on Fox if that was their initiative. But, they did publish several stories depicting Angel, and eventually the group as a whole, post-season five. (With the arrival of ATF, iirc, IDW initially said those stories could still happen later in Angel's story rather than throwing them out completely, but I don't think I've heard any mention of them in quite some time, maybe since before it was announced ATF would become "Angel ongoing".) So, they definitely did believe that they had the ability to depict future adventures of the character, if not from the time they first bought the license, then at the least some time before Joss brought them the season 6 concepts.

I'm of mixed mind about how IDW's been dealt with in this situation. I do think Hellmouthguy makes a good point with his X-Files analogy above (and also agree with him that, while it was very good of Joss to be considerate of IDW in not crossing- over characters all along, that specific quote doesn't necessarily mean that Twilight's hidden identity was due to it. It also could have been something more like discouraging the writers of earlier arcs from having Spike pop over for a guest issue, and knowing "Hey, Twilight's identity is being saved for the big near-end of the season swerve, anyway, so - as it happens - these guys at IDW won't be affected by it for years, anyway!"). OTOH, Kaan makes a good point that the television shows likely never gave Dark Horse the head's up about any upcoming developments back in the old days of BtVS and Angel comics. It does feel a little different now that it's one comic company against another, rather than show vs. comic; more a conflict of equals. But, ultimately Dark Horse's book is, at least at this point, more indisputably canon than IDW's - similar to, while apparently canon status is supposedly to be conferred to the Star Wars comics "Expanded Universe", George Lucas can freely contradict it at any point. I don't expect that he needs to warn the publisher - Dark Horse, as it happens - of what he's doing, nor do I feel that he should. So, ultimately, I guess, while feeling a courtesy call to IDW regarding something which could affect the status of their highest-selling title would have been nice, I can also see why, reasonably - especially with the added concern about security of the secret - it may not have happened.

This shared license of characters does create problems, doesn't it? If Dark Horse can legally use, apparently, any characters orginally created on BtVS, including Angel himself, what exactly is IDW's license? Just for characters created on that show, with some sort of shared use/custody of the rest? Are Spike's rights really primarily with that license, despite his much greater screen time on Buffy? Is a property where the titular character is equally available to another company, to use in any way they see fit, really a fair package to offer? I mean, obviously IDW has made quite a few titles and presumably a nice profit from the property, and has even had a couple of small crossovers of their own (the Loan Shark, Halfrek [in Spike: Old Times]). But, this whole snafu - the fact that the star of their best-selling title can be used as the main antagonist in another publisher's series without even their knowledge of the fact - really makes me question whether a separate "Angel license" should have even been offered as a - supposedly - independent property.

[Edit to fix a crucial missing "r"; and then another typo; then another, and because I went British on the spelling of “license“ for some reason and don‘t want to mislead people about my nationality]

[ edited by LKW on 2010-03-24 00:51 ]

[ edited by LKW on 2010-03-24 00:54 ]

[ edited by LKW on 2010-03-24 01:01 ]
@angeliclestat: No, I'm not calling your posts not well-reasoned. I'm just saying that despite your claims that what we do is mostly argue based on assumptions, there are many posts in this thread alone that are not based merely on assumptions.

As for the paraphrasing bit:
But again, it's a question of leaving everything that IDW is doing – and I'm not aware of everything they're doing, and I haven't read a lot of the stuff – and giving just enough [on our end] so it'll jibe with whatever they're doing. It's not like Spike's going to turn up and now he's a werewolf. He'll still be Spike, and we won't constrict them from doing whatever stories they want.


What I said was:
As for what we know right now, isn't the fear that Joss won't be working with IDW in some capacity again rather unfounded? He did say that the two series will be made to work, instead of just contradicting each other.


So I don't see how I'm "generously paraphrasing".

I think the quoted Joss quote pretty much says that Joss isn't in the business of screwing IDW over, and letting them continue to tell the stories they want to. He may not write whatever connecting bit needs to be written, but he will work with IDW (thus, lending time, since he will have to make things work) as he seems to think rather highly of Chris Ryall, and how cool and accommodating Ryall has been to him.

ETA: Isn't Bill Willingham signed on to write the ANGEL books for a while? He's already expressed his non-desire to coordinate stories with Dark Horse... so, I guess they have a while before needing to actually make things work out.

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-03-24 01:09 ]

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-03-24 03:18 ]
"ETA: Isn't Bill Willingham signed on to write the ANGEL books for a while? He's already expressed his non-desire to coordinate stories with Dark Horse... so, I guess they have a while before needing to actually make things work out."

Can someone post how long Bill Willingham is scheduled to write the current Angelverse -
Don't think it's ever been said specifically, other than an allusion to Willingham's talent and tendency to plan long term.

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