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August 19 2010

Angel returns to Dark Horse. The announcement you've all been waiting for. Dark Horse and IDW (SPOILER) have both issued press releases. IDW's Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall is answering questions in their forums.

With added joss. Sweet.
This is really exciting to me. I hope that fans won't have to have read all of the Angel books to know what's going on. I still don't consider anything after AtF canonical

[ edited by marvelknight616 on 2010-08-20 01:17 ]
IDW's press release has more details, too. And Chris Ryall is inviting questions here.
Well, sounds like every page of IDW's work is canon now. Is Dark Horse going to hire a fanwank staff to the transition team to work out all the arguable lorefrak?
@KingofCretins I definitely did not get that IDW is canon from any of that. I'm especially wondering about Spike's "status" from the mothership Angel book.
Sounds like this is going to work out for everyone. Good.
This is pretty sweet. But the transition aspect is going to be interesting to pull off.
Indeed, marvelknights616, I wonder if Spike is jettisoned from the mothership in that he isn't invited into DH.
On another bright note - Dark Horse Buffy comics are $2.99 and IDW Angel comics are $3.99, so at least that's some money savings! :-D
What does this mean for Brian Lynch's new Spike series then?

I have steered clear of the Angel comics since AtF also...
Marvel, what's the point of bothering with a transition arc if there is no continuity between the two publishers? There isn't one. If there's nothing to account for in mythology/continuity/canon that happened at IDW, at least post "After the Fall", then this transition arc would be a monumental waste of everyone's time. Everybody is going to show up at Dark Horse with the baggage of their character arcs at IDW.

It's canon now. I see no other possible interpretation of this announcement.

Now, that's not to say that we can't hope that things like Dez and James and the (from what I've heard) completely lore-breaking arc involving the creation of vampires can't be wrapped up and simply put off to the side with things like the Immortal before the canon moves back under one publisher, but... it's what happened. It's the story.
Once Buffy and Angel did the Sky Boff of Doom, I told myself that "None of this is canon, no matter what they say." I'm stickin' to it.
Internal Blah-de-blah much? I am happy at least they are not at each others throats. What ever they worked out it is better than we have managed so far at the forums. Not that anybody will ever convince me IDW issues post-AtF are canon.
I won't speak of the whole of the Angel stories but I am absolutely positive that the Brian's Spike series is canon. It's been repeated several times long before this debacle even happened.
Neither Dark Horse nor IDW nor Joss will ever ask anybody's opinion on that question, let alone try to do any convincing.

I don't think transition poses many problems from a characterization standpoint (although I know there are more than a few Spike enthusiasts who would disagree). I just hope they can sufficiently prowank the mythology derps -- see above re: cat-changers, angels of dubious intent, and mass produced vampires -- into oblivion.

Maybe to appease fans of the Angel series? If Joss's name isn't on it or he hasn't said acknowledged it as canon, then it's not. You're welcome to adopt it into yours but it hasn't been made official per one's interpretation of a press release.

I'm unsure why you are so matter of factly stating that the character arcs from IDW are going to carry over. I'm sure AtF will because Joss was actually involved in it, but the rest, (other than the Lynch Spike series) I seriously doubt. Willingham said during Twangel-gate that Joss never worked with him and that's enough for me to write off those stories as non-canon. If you can't see another interpretation of this announcement, then you clearly do not wish to. If Joss directly acknowledges it in or out of narrative, alright. Otherwise, it's just like pre-Tales Buffy books at DH.

EDIT: haha...I wrote lynch Spike.

[ edited by marvelknight616 on 2010-08-20 01:45 ]
"It was never our intent to catch ANGEL or IDW readers unaware."

Which makes putting it at the bottom of a letter in a comic you publish an interesting choice.

Marvel, I don't want to be too harsh here, but how are you not assuming that the characters' development in IDW will be reflected in their Dark Horse title? I mean, I'm serious -- read this bit again --

Under the direction of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel creator Joss Whedon, all parties are working together for as seamless a transition as possible. The companies have been coordinating story lines in both Dark Horseís Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight and IDWís Angel, creating a greater sense of cohesion and cooperation to ensure that this transition is true to both ongoing story lines and to the faithful fans of both series.

Emphasis added.

Please, I beg you or anybody to articulate a rational reason to even bother if the storyline in IDW isn't part of the continuity of those characters and their experiences when they go to Dark Horse. There isn't one. There's no reason, especially with Joss himself apparently having placed his blessing on this collaborative effort, to even bother if Dark Horse shows up with a clean sheet of paper about those characters. And if they don't have a clean sheet of paper, that means that other stories are part of those characters experiences, which by definition means those experiences are canonical.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-08-20 01:49 ]
I added the IDW press release and the link to ask Chris Ryall questions. Thanks for those links.

And this is where I remind everyone not to let the discussion get personal. I see it's heading that way already. Keep it respectful.
Does anyone else consider the Buffy Origin comic book to be canonical? I do and I'm pretty sure Joss didn't write that or have any involvement of its production.

Joss:"The origin comic, though I have issues with it, CAN pretty much be accepted as canonical. They did a cool job of combining the movie script (the SCRIPT) with the series, that was nice, and using the series Merrick and not a certain OTHER thespian who shall remain hated"

So what do we need, Joss to give his blessing to the post-ATF stuff so we can accept it? Or is this a blessing in of itself as KOC says above. If they are coordinating storylines and this last arc and the Spike series are setting up future storylines in Buffy season 9 then I don't see how you can not see that as canonical.
I'm assuming because Joss tends to NOT acknowledge work that he is not involved in. Because this is a press release, I'm reading between the lines. This reads to me like "thanks IDW, you did fine, but we'll pick and choose what counts."

I also think it's a little rude that I've been giving you perfectly logical reasons and you're basically calling them invalid. I understand why it would be upsetting for some fans if the IDW stories weren't canonical, but the subtext of this to me reads everything that Joss's paws weren't in will be tossed or at the very least permanently ignored. MAYBE the last arc will count, but I doubt it. Maybe I'm wrong, but we'll find out next year, won't we? Also, I don't think things were left so well with Willingham and DH/Joss.

[ edited by marvelknight616 on 2010-08-20 01:58 ]
So now that we've seen the press releases, I will say: I am for this. While it is sad to see the license leave IDW and the great writers and artists they have, cohesion has always been a constant nag about having the two books at different publishers, so putting them both under one roof (with a seamless transition - we'll have to see how that goes for ourselves ;P) should be a good thing.

In the meantime, IDW lined up a lot of great Angel books to finish their run, and by the gods and goddesses I will BUY THEM ALL!!!! (/Spartacus: Blood and Sand)
Crap. Ah well.
Big yes!!!

Now looking to the last arc, as is now canon for me, and the Spike miniseries.

[ edited by Angel TheVampire on 2010-08-20 02:03 ]
@Vortigun: Re: Lynch's SPIKE series, Allie said this in his recent interview with SlayAlive:

SlayAlive: Let's talk Angel and Spike. You confirmed that we would be seeing them in Season 9. Given that IDW will still be publishing books on these characters, is this something that's come up in your discussions with them, so that everyone's on the same page so nothing too crazy happens with a character (e.g. undergoes a secondary mutation into a more feral form or something like that)?

Scott Allie: Yeah, we've had the conversation with IDW, and S9 won't have the same continuity issues that S8 had with IDW's books. Angel won't be in Buffy's book very much, masked or otherwise, and whatever Spike does in the Buffy title will fit with what he's doing in his own title.

Since Allie's talking about S9 here, I'm interpreting this to mean that Angel and Spike will most likely have their own series under Dark Horse, and that they will occasionally intersect with Buffy's series (since Dark Horse plans of releasing multiple titles under the S9 banner). This of course is my interpretation of the response in light of recent developments.
Eddy, Joss actually did say that the comic adaptation of his script was "essentially canon". Long time ago. But even at that, the press release right there says that all parties are working under the direction of Joss Whedon on the transition. And, not gonna spoil, but read the IDW press release about the subject matter of that last big "Angel" arc -- I don't think that Joss (who we know is calling the shots) is going to let IDW deal with that in an arc that will ultimately be considered non-canonical.

I don't think there's anything ambiguous about the phrase "Under the direction of Joss Whedon". It's language that I don't think anybody is going to use by accident; it's not like they don't know that Joss would be perfectly happy to go "uh, no it's not" if it wasn't true. What we're seeing here is the culmination of what has basically been a year-long beatdown that IDW has been taking from bad spoilers and so on being made up to them in the only way it meaningfully could be -- by setting their story into canon. It may only be adopted in the core of it and not the details (such as, for instance, "Antique" -- I don't think Season 8 gives much support that Xander was literally a hunchback, for instance), but the implication is very clear. You don't transition, collaborate, and coordinate with someone whose contribution doesn't actually matter to what you're going to do.
double post.

[ edited by eddy on 2010-08-20 02:06 ]
Yeah when they said that there would be concurrent titles I thought they would have Satsu and Willow series. But now it looks like he was talking about the Angel series the whole time.
"Sorry for bashing you in our letter column and in interviews, blindsiding you with the Twilight deal, leaking the news about the change of publishers early in a letter column, and taking the license you've cared for for half a decade now (Joss wants it, deal), but hey, in exchange... those stories you wrote? THEY MATTER!"

Eddy, I don't think that rules out titles for characters that Dark Horse already had, at least I hope it doesn't. Brian Lynch once very wisely said that he thought any main character from either series could supports his or her own title. I agree with him.

If we're at the start of an expanded, comic-based Buffyverse that can be Dark Horse's own counterpart to Marvel or DC's universe, that will require more than just three titles, IMO.

Pat... I wouldn't mock it, given that the very, very easy alternative would have been "they don't matter".

EDIT: No, that's trite and unfair of me to say -- they couldn't have said "they don't matter" because you have it in black and white right there that this is what Joss is wanting done. It is, apparently, the only reason a deal was put together to get the rights back.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-08-20 02:10 ]
IDW makes it clear that they will continue to print their Angel comics. So those of us (such as me) who are completists might end up buying these Angel books long after they were published.
Eddy, I can honestly tell you that this announcement is gonna move a lot of paper for IDW -- stories I was happy to take a detached indifference to are now things that I feel obligated to read up on in the interest of knowing where the characters will be when they come to Dark Horse.

That "they matter" thing is going to also mean cash on the barrelhead for IDW.
I just picked up the latest Buffy which my local comic book store was holding for me and in the pile was the latest IDW Spike although I stopped reading it when Joss ceased to have anything to do with it. Odd.
And KingofCretins, you "transition, collaborate, and coordinate " when you want to bring the IDW fans over and ease the transition. That's all I see it as.
Lioness, but what are you luring them with the promise of, if they'll quickly be able to see that it didn't mean anything? A lure with no hook doesn't catch many fish. I can't think of a more profound waste of time for Dark Horse *or* IDW -- once again, under the direction of Joss Whedon -- to cooperate on a transition that would be, to borrow a phrase, a bridge to nowhere.
So given that #44 will be the last Angel comic with IDW... I wonder if this last six-month arc is going to be the story that sets up Angel as Twilight (and leads directly into #1 of S8)?
@eddy: I don't think it stops at just ANGEL and SPIKE books. Depending on how S8 ends, I think we'll all have a pretty good idea as to which characters will be getting their own series.

[ edited by wenxina on 2010-08-20 02:21 ]
Sincerely awesome would be if the last panel of the IDW "Angel" title was the Angel POV of the "flying boots" panel.
"what are you luring them with the promise of, if they'll quickly be able to see that it didn't mean anything?"

The promise that there is a smooth transition is the hook.

That seems like a decent possibility although that would really cram the continuity.

That would be a pretty cool final panel. Although, assuming the Spike series is running adjacent Angel, that would probably goof things up since Spike is supposed to be a fairly immediate prequel to his entrance in Season 8

[ edited by marvelknight616 on 2010-08-20 02:24 ]
YEEEEEEESSSSS!!!!! Finally, the verses join again. I hope we'll eventually find which stories are canon and what is not, so I won't be confused about what exactly have happened to certain character and what have not. And I hope that no one takes Spike away from Lynch. Okay, if Joss takes a personal interest in writing for Spike, that's fine, but I don't want Spike to be handed to just anyone. I haven't read anything after issue 27, so I don't know if it will be a loss if the currect Angel writers lose the Angel characters, but I know that Spike is in good hands.
Well, I'm excited about the news. I'm looking forward to what DH does with Ats and I think it's great that Buffy and Angel are going to be under the same roof. I can see there being a lot more crossovers with all the characters. Yay!
A smoothe transition is pretty much impossible if it doesn't actually... transition. This idea that the storylines would continue to be completely discontinuous and what happens in IDW wouldn't actually figure into what the characters do in a Dark Horse book is the opposite of "transition". "Bridge to Nowhere" really is a better analogy than I could have imagined.
I think IDW will give it their own ending. Not just segue into the storyline, but end the title in a sort of season finale/series finale way that makes it so readers will feel satisfied if they want to stop there.
KingofCretins-I fail to see how that press release promotes everything IDW did as canon.
Two comics, one of which is not canon, CAN flow together. It is possible. I don't think anyone is saying that the final arc definitely be canon. What came before, probably not so much. I really can't see Joss picking up the threads of Illyria, Spike, or Connor as they are in IDW right now. Maybe he will, but I seriously cannot picture that.
Glad it's finally official. Now I'd really like to know the fate of Brian Lynch's SPIKE ongoing.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-08-20 02:33 ]
Not sure what else I can offer, other than quoting the relevant text again. There's absolutely no rational reason, no hook, no lure, not purpose at all, in having a smooth transition that ends up in a place where the thing that's being transitioned from doesn't have any bearing on what is being transitioned to.

If an outgoing President decided at the last minute to just stay in the oval office and not step down, would the President-Elect have had a smooth transition? A collaborative effort here, once again under the direction of Joss Whedon*, that doesn't end up with "Angel" characters who've been through the core events of their IDW books is as smooth a transition as that kid in the old Far Side cartoon going from outside his school to inside it.

*I keep bringing that fact up because, for Joss to have actually taken a personal interest in this process means he's invested in there being this smoothness and continuity. If all he wanted, full-stop, was the rights back, he's got them, and there'd be no reason to take an interest in any collaboration between IDW and Dark Horse.

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2010-08-20 02:41 ]
Emmie, Lynch said yesterday that he had a while on his ongoing, so I would imagine he knows when it will end in 2011. With any luck, it will reboot at DH.
First of all, while I did love IDW's run (minus the last few Angel issues), I'm excited for this. I think Buffy & Angel under the same publisher is going to be great for the 'verse. Easier crossovers, combined stories, etc. And the ramifications of what happens in one title can/will be felt in another. I love the idea of a unified Buffyverse.

My only concern is that Dark Horse tends to not do many miniseries and they require Joss' direct involvement for his titles. Which is good, I guess... but at the same time, I loved all of IDW's miniseries and would hate to lose those little 4-6 issue stories. But Dark Horse is going with several titles/miniseries under the season 9 banner, so maybe Angel characters will continue to get their miniseries, too.

Also, I pray that Dark Horse will hire Lynch to work on an on-goin Spike title. Please, please, please, comic gods! We need Lynch writing in the 'verse. We really do!

[ edited by jesse on 2010-08-20 02:36 ]
EMMIE: Spike goes with Angel. Spike isn't a separate license, and Dark Horse is taking that as well. I don't know if they're continuing it. I asked Ryall about it over at IDW Forums, waiting for an answer.
Gee, I thought they were actively working on Spike transitions (e.g., the borrowing of Willow etc) with the new book.
One could always hope that Spike will go right on being an ongoing, even written by Brian Lynch. Any definite reason to think such a thing is impossible? As Baxter pointed out, the groundwork for how he'll intersect with Season 8 is already being put in, so it probably wouldn't require a radical shift in in creative direction for the book.
Very happy to hear/read that the two series will be with the same publisher again!!! I hope this means more opportunities for crossovers.

IDW has been lovely and gracious though and I'm grateful for that.

[ edited by lmblack21 on 2010-08-20 02:51 ]
Cheers to IDW being gracious and lovely.
I can see that weíre down to arguing legal semantics. Which, in the television world of Law & Order and other such sundry shows, means we plebeians are less than capable of understanding. Youíre looking at legal jargon used to grease the wheels. It is apparent, however, that this flagrant abuse of wording is to ease the confusion of readers and IDW of their loss. I am sure that IDW is going to be immensely compensated for Dark Horses reacquisition of the Angel franchise. It does seem that IDW kept getting surprised dicked by Scott Allie about every announcement and were forced to say they liked it. Remember their response to Twilightgate? They were all ďhuh-bu-what? You never told US!Ē I do seem to recall in The Write Environment Whedon talking about how even though he was executively producing S8 he had teamed up with Lynch, told him what the plans were for Angel season 6, the Spike movie and etc. They planned the first arc, which we know as AtF, and then gave them their blessing to continue on in their merry way. Maybe not in so much words. Also included in the back matter of the AtF trades was the discussion that Whedon told Lynch to include Betta George because he liked the Character. At this time Whedonís name was still on AtF so kinda got cannon there. After AtF, Aftermath, itís kind of fuzzy cause the writer, I forget her name, was all ďAre they canon? They could be. I donít know. Itís up to the reader really. I donít mind.Ē Which is when a lot of the Angel fans put down the book. But now weíve got Willingham, and Willingham has included the characters from Aftermath in his story. His story, from the looks will be wrapped but also set up the events in the last six issue arc in 2011. Those last issues will, as from the technical legal jargon is painting them to be, ease the existing characters back into the DH Ďverse. Itís already being said that Willow popping up in Spike at IDW is going to explain why Spike is in a spaceship in DH. We also know that whatever happens during the Willingham story is what sets Spike off to Vegas where he meets back up with Willow. So. Sounds like theyíre collaborating, maybe with gun pencils to their heads, but they are working the stories together to form a whole. So all in all, itís looking like IDW is going to get canonized. As far as Angel vs. Frankenstein, I canít say for sure, but it seems like the main books will. Phew that was wordy!

I personally am not too excited by this because I feel bad for IDW and the way that DH kept dicking them on things. I like IDW, I like a lot of their properties and Iíll miss seeing their name next to Angelís and co.ís logos. I do like that fact that DH usually keeps their books at 2.99 an issue rather than 3.99, and I am happy to know that the books will all be together in the same house. So, itís a win-lose for me about this whole thing.

Thatís my two cents. Imma hit the log out button and troll the topic cause I donít wanna argue. Iíve been told once before to knock it off.

[ edited by The Goose on 2010-08-20 03:06 ]
Yeah, that's what I mean. I read your question for Ryall, Pat, and I'm wondering if Lynch will continue SPIKE over at Dark Horse.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-08-20 03:05 ]
I'm so excited. I can't imagine this working out any better. Crossovers, here we come!
I can understand why KoC sees this as canon now. He has a point that if we weren't meant to see it as canon there'd be little need to make sure the stories all connect seamlessly. In the past canon has just completely ignored the comics/novels so this is different. Of course, I think the only reason they're doing this is to be kind to IDW 'cause it's certainly not because of the quality of their recent stories, but it's going to be interesting.

I'm very happy about this and "S9" sounds amazing. For years fans have talked about the end of the Buffyverse being this join effort with both teams and now it looks like we'll be getting this epic conclusion.
If this means we'll get Jo Chen Angel covers, I'm totally on board. But Buffy and Angel finally being back on the same network, for all intents and purposes, is pretty much an awesome thing either way. As is more Joss involvement.
Non sequitorially - did Sunfire go all orange just recently? Or am I a bit slow on the uptake and she's transitioned from blue --> orange just ages ago.

Congrats on your rite of passage whenever it was, Sunfire.

Back to our story already in progress...
This is good news, but I hope it doesn't mean I have to go read all the IDW Angel comics (the ones after After The Fall) to understand Buffy Season Nine....
@ Nicole, I don't think they'll reference the IDW comics so much that non-IDW readers will feel too left out. I think they'll give enough information in the comics. Otherwise, crappy writing.
I think anything belonging to the Whedon-created Buffy/Angel universe (this would include Spike) is now at Dark Horse.
Well, not yet. Not till next year anyway.
@Shapenew, I'm pretty sure Dark Horse has the publications rights to everything Joss has ever done... All of his TV shows, Dr. Horrible, even the Aliens franchise...

I think we need a HUGE Whedon-verse crossover event! Can you imagine Faith meeting Echo? Or Vi meeting Penny? Or Wash meeting Alpha? Geektastic!

[ edited by jesse on 2010-08-20 05:15 ]
I'd prefer an Angel/True Blood crossover, or an Angel/Everybody's Dead crossover, or an Angel/Fallen Angel crossover, personally.
Canon schmanon. The cohesion is to tell IDW fans that the story they've been following will be brought into loose enough conformity with the Dark Horse world that they can cross over with the license. It's going to boil down to "things were funky in LA for a while" is my guess, in terms of what matters for the story going forward -- the exceptions being the two projects that are actively being coordinated now.

I'm pretty much yay. I've always wanted Joss in charge of both sides of the 'verse. Here's hoping that Joss has enough energy to deliver stories that actually merit all the fuss were making over this stuff.
Buffyverse/Sookieverse would be an amusing fanfic challenge, if nothing else. Completely unfeasible, IMO, even if we didn't have the usual CDV* conflicts.

Also, though, I see what you did there.

*Completely Different Vampires. I just made that up.

Maggie: "things got wonky in LA" is not a conclusion that justifies the effort of Joss himself having insisted on some sort of collaborative resolution here (which seems to be the only likely reading of "under the direction of"). All the effort would be the same as building the Golden Gate bridge, except for the a nice 10 ft segment on the city side that keeps it from actually being useful as a bridge.
I do like CDV, sir Kingsley. Though, I wasn't talking srsbsns. Really just for the "see what you did there."

EDIT: Though, imagine Lafayette interacting with... uh, well any Buffyverse character? Would be amazing.

[ edited by patxshand on 2010-08-20 05:41 ]
Canon schmanon. The cohesion is to tell IDW fans that the story they've been following will be brought into loose enough conformity with the Dark Horse world that they can cross over with the license. It's going to boil down to "things were funky in LA for a while" is my guess, in terms of what matters for the story going forward -- the exceptions being the two projects that are actively being coordinated now.

No, I agree. I think it's mostly done to try and appease fans of IDW and out of some basic respect. I doubt the stories will rely much on what IDW has produced over the past year or so I just donít think theyíll contradict any of it either. I think it only becomes a canon debate if a Darkhorse writer directly references something that happened in Armstrong or Willinghamís arc. I just think KoC has a point that these stories definitely have a different status then previous ďun-canonĒ stories which used to be completely ignored by the main story. Things have changed and itís obviously become a bit more complicated and delicate than that. Personally, I wouldn't care if they blatantly contradicted all of the latest Ats stories because I think they're terrible. I won't be catching up on all of them because I have no will to and I don't think it'll be required to understand any of Darkhorse's stories anyway. But if it makes other fans happy then I'm ok with it.

Lynch's SPIKE series is another matter because Whedon's given him permission to write back story on Spike's crew ("alien bugs" apparently) and is overseeing Willow's appearance in the book. It ties into S8 therefore I gotta read it!
Well, for my part, I've decided to be optimistic. I still feel like there is a chance that the final issues of S8 will turn me around on the series, especially after a re-read. And I'm very optimistic about S9, as it seems like it will be a lot more cohesive and tight. And if it really is the end of the Buffyverse, then I feel like it will be good to have the Fang Gang (or what's left of them) and the Scoobies all back in the mix together. I for one really like the idea of all of the potential character interactions and relations. Gunn and Xander for example I feel would be an interesting duo to watch.

But I'm also really hopefully that the IDW work is taken into account. Because of all the hubbub and not really having anything to do today, I decided to reread all of After the Fall, and I am even more impressed than the first time. That series was amazing (regardless of how I feel about what has come since), and I just want to give kudos to all that worked on it, as I feel it was a really tight and well-thought-out book that got the characters spot on while not being afraid to take them new places and ultimately telling a compelling and emotional story. So, yeah. I really hope they don't ignore the IDW comics, ATF especially, and I am crossing my fingers that Brian Lynch will come to DH.
EDIT: Though, imagine Lafayette interacting with... uh, well any Buffyverse character? Would be amazing.

LAFAYETTE: In this comic business, the rights to "Angel" come with french fries, lettuce, tomatoes, mayo...
I'm finding this arguing about the semantics of thse press releases rather amusing. It's like a Bangel/Spuffy debate with corporate intrigue.

Forgetting the issue of what these releases mean (we'll know when Angel ends on IDW and begins at Dark Horse) I think a lot of people are overlooking a very key point on why the word collaborative is in here. It's actually in Joss's best financial interest if he wants to keep the franchises viable to WORK with the people who license his charecters if he can.

As much as it seems some people would like to see DH and Joss blow the IDW mythology out of the water, he hurts the title's value by doing so. Unlike a lot of comics, the name IS the story. It doesn't reboot. If Joss simply pulls the plug and says... "see that 4 years or so, that didn't count," he sends the signal that, "if you buy the rights to one of my stories, you do at your own risk."

Well that's great as long as Whedon and Allie are always on the same page. But suppose years down the line, they're having a little tiff (not likely, but this is why you don't do it) and the rights become available again and he wants to shop the story. Well... if you are any other publisher, the past history at IDW provides disincentive to bid. No publisher wants to publish a story that a creator can excercise control of demand AND does so. Not because Joss is mercurial (well, maybe he is... never met him), but because that is a major risk.

If Joss can work around what IDW has done and give it legs on the other hand, it's win-win-win. It's a win for IDW because it perhaps allows them to sell more reissues if they choose. It's a win for Joss because it gives him new tangents to explore and tie up as he wants to see them tied up and holds or increases the value of the name Angel, and it's a win for DH because Joss is happy.

To be fair, I'm not a huge fan of either comic series (comics were never my thing so this isn't a quality dig) but I really don't get the antipathy that this news seems generate. Or why simply not caring for the Angel comics seems to make certain people want Joss to simply blow them away. The 'ole, if I don't like something nobody does logic.

[ edited by azzers on 2010-08-20 08:08 ]
Buffyfest has an interview with Scott Allie re: the move. Check it out HERE.
I've enjoyed IDW's run with the Buffyverse and look forward to this final year with them while also looking forward to Angel's return to Dark Horse.
Vamps, I think we're on the same page. I would guess that attempts will be made to not contradict IDW. But I'm also guessing that reading Aftermath won't make you one jot better equiped to read and 100% fully appreciate the story at DH. And that's as non-canonical as I need that stuff to be.

I do suppose I'll have to start buying the IDW titles that are getting officially coordinated, because those will matter more. For me the only dark side here is Lynch's role in things going forward. I'm not a fan. But I can hope that the greater coordination will help shape Lynch's ongoing work in a way that is closer to the vision and complexity of AtS.

The final IDW arc about W&H has lots of potential to address your concerns about how Angel got to where he got to in season 8. Fingers crossed that it will be well done. I do like Mariah. Coordination can only be a good thing. So it's something I'm at least hopeful about.
I appreciate the IDW's attitude to this news. They're handling it very graciously.

Although I'm sad to see IDW stop their series, I also see how both titles under one roof can be a good things. I just hope that this means the Angel series is now officially canon, although I'm interpreting the press-release as a confirmation that it is.

My biggest hope though: that Brian is allowed to write for Dark Horse. If not, this is bad news, instead of good.

BTW: anyone notice Ryall and Allie both have the same profile picture on Twitter?

[ edited by Allycat on 2010-08-20 06:34 ]
@Allycat: Yeah, I noticed that a few hours ago, when I was checking to see if they had tweeted anything of interest to the topic.
It's actually in Joss's best financial interest if he wants to keep the franchises viable to WORK with the people who license his charecters if he can.

I think Joss gets diddly squat from the Buffy and Angel comics. 20th Century Fox are the ones who reap the benefits. Fray on the hand, I think he owns that character.
True, BUT (and there's a big but there, hence dramatic capitalization), I'd wager the indirect financial benefit of being seen as a champion of your past franchises, thus allowing future pitches to be more successful are still in play.

That, and in finance (which ultimately studios are interested in), less risk on your returns is always priced higher. So aside from feeling swell about the whole thing, there's something basic at play here - what his work is worth to a studio or the person writing the checks.

I thought someone would catch the ownership aspect, I'd just already gone nuts with paragraphs.

[ edited by azzers on 2010-08-20 08:08 ]
I'd wager the indirect financial benefit of being seen as a champion of your past franchises, thus allowing future pitches to be more successful are still in play.

I can see where you're coming from but Joss did try his best with the Buffyverse DVD movies several years ago but that ultimately came to nothing. I think he now just wants a cohesive universe so he can bring his story to a satisfactory end (for him maybe not for the fans).
Wow. Only just hearing about all this now, as in right this second. So, does this mean IDW Angel series will be ending soonish to make way for the DH Angel? Or will IDW keep publishing their separate continuity?

"IDW Publishing confirmed today that it will launch the companyís final Angel story arc in November."

Tehehe... and this is why I should read before posting comments. Bad, Carmen. Bad.

[ edited by Carmie on 2010-08-20 08:16 ]
Why is everyone saying how the story will end in season 9? Has someone hinted at this or something? Yeah I know theres supposed to be a endgame with Fray and all but I was thinking well..what if Joss changed his mind.
Well Allie did mention a season 10 in passing a while back.
I stopped picking up the Angel comics after Atf under Joss's supervision wrapped up. My hope is that I won't need to hunt down all those other releases in order to understand next season. Aside from that, happy to have them back together! When is the Spike miniseries out?
Nice to see some confirmation from both sides. Seems to be pretty much what we had already figured.

I'm very glad to hear that there will be continuity between where IDW leave off and Dark Horse pick up. In many ways it would have been so much easier for DH to start afresh with their own version of what happened after After The Fall, but instead they are making the IDW stuff count. That is a major bonus for me because a lot of it has been really good and deserves to stick.

I have to say, I agree with KingofCretins on the canon issue. While it would be absolutely possible to only take selected parts of the IDW stuff as canon, I actually think that doing so would be harder than just taking it all as fact now.

I mean, we know everything up to the end of ATF is canon. We know the final arc is being set up as canon and we also know that the Spike series is canon. So what if Laura, Eddie Hope, James and anyone else who was introduced in Aftermath and beyond now play a role in the stories that are definitely canon? No reason to think that they won't be. And what about any character development involving the likes of Angel, Connor, Spike and the rest of the core cast that bleeds through to the known canon material but was initially set up in the questionable issues? And what if there is some reference to an event that happened in the non-canon material in the canon Spike book, for example? Does that one mentioned event become canon? Does the entire issue it happened in become canon? The entire arc?

See how it all gets very messy, given what we know? If it's true that the final arc and the Spike book are to be considered canon and that ATF certainly was, then ignoring all that happened in between is going to lead to some real problems, especially if the likes of Laura and Eddie still play any part in what is to come.

In my opinion it would be far easier to simply say that the whole run is canon, and from what I've read in the official announcements so far, that is the plan. Just hope Joss will make it 'Whedon-Official' so that the debate can finally end now.
I wish DH wouldn't cultivate it's air of unprofessionalism so hard.

But I'm glad it's all under one roof now, so I can leave the comics all in one sweep in case S8 disappoints (when it finally get to the point in the last 5 issues) or go on if it finally picks up.
It is surprising that the main issue here under discussion is the canon one, not the actual real one of the fact that DH released information in advance of the joint press release- and that is a shoddy thing to have done. Just shoddy, and it does not elevate that company in my eyes. In the joint release, I feel that Ryall demonstrates grace and business savvy; DH does not. In the end, if there were business arrangments made, and there were, they cannot tinker with what IDW has published, since the release makes it clear that IDW wishes to continue to market those past issues in the future, likely via bound volumes (hard and soft cover) and perhaps online as well- thus, they cannot throw out the stories that have occurred (which I guess, makes them canon, not that I care in this case).

This is another example of how not to do business and it does make me question DH's business ethics, as patsxhand has shown a number of significant gaffes they have made. Since I don't much care for Angel all I can but hope is that his role in future Buffy is limited at best, since he stops the story for me every time he shows up. But that's me.
I agree on the being shoddy part. By now I find it mostly depressing.

Buffy comics, that sounded like two of my favorite things together a few years ago and now it turns out it's pretty much a beer and pudding combination...

I wish they'd get it over with.
To those who think Dark Horse purposely blindsided IDW, remember that Dark Horse accidentally leaked *the* major spoiler for Buffy Season 8. I believe Scott Allie in that it was purely accidental that this news was leaked out early.

I imagine the reason to keep the news under wraps was in order not to kill sales to IDW's series, as similar to if a series was being cancelled, it could lead to fans leaving the series.

As to the whole cannon debate, will Joss or any of the writers on the Angel series read up on all of the IDW series? As it's hard to bring them into the fold if they aren't even aware of the series. As it seems that a lot of the Buffy novels and even earlier Buffy comics, while Joss was aware they existed he didn't read any of them.

That said, count me in as one of the fans happy to see Buffy and Angel under one company again for more and easier back and forth between the series.
remember that Dark Horse accidentally leaked *the* major spoiler for Buffy Season 8.

And remember all the buzz and attention that got their comic book.

As for will people have to read the IDW comics to understand the DH Angel series, I suspect not,all DH needs to do is have a character give a brief summary of the 'important' bits of what's happened and then they'll forge ahead. I expect many of the IDW storylines will never be spoken of again,
"It is surprising that the main issue here under discussion is the canon one, not the actual real one of the fact that DH released information in advance of the joint press release- and that is a shoddy thing to have done. Just shoddy, and it does not elevate that company in my eyes."

To be honest I'm not exactly sure what there is to discuss on that particular topic. It's happened, for good or for bad. Whether you think it's a shoddy move or not, it's pretty much water under the bridge. Either you are annoyed by what Dark Horse did, or you're not. It's a done deal and frankly not one that I feel needs any further discussion. I mean, what good will it do? What difference will it make?

"As to the whole cannon debate, will Joss or any of the writers on the Angel series read up on all of the IDW series?"

It sounds to me as if they already are doing exactly that...

Chris Ryall - "The fact that steps are being taken by both companies to tie the books more closely together is something I've long wanted to do. This will not only ensure a smooth hand-off back to Dark Horse, it will also give the fans a cohesive storyline and explain some of the lingering questions they might have. While I hate to see Angel go, I know Joss has a vision for where things are headed and I'm excited to be a part of that."

I would have to think that it would be hard to accomplish this without the new Dark Horse creative team being well informed on what IDW have done.
I'm going to wait until "season 9" debuts before assuming all of IDW's Angel is canon. After the Fall and all of Lynch/Urru's other Angel work is great, but I have no desire to wade through some of the questionable material IDW's put out just on the off chance a press release might have granted mystical canon-ness to an entire series run of a comic.
I'm so excited for this!!! I completely lost interest when AtF ended. More Joss related material!!!
Nice to have all the Joss franchises under the same comic company roof!
I think it's been stated or implied that not just AtF, but everything Lynch has done was canon, and I tend to agree. He gets the voices and characters right, he has good instincts about when to bring back missing series characters and how much time to give them (i.e. Cordelia, Kate), and After the Fall was amazing. He's always been a good Spike reader. I think Aftermath and Willingham's run which uses its characters will be skirted around -- not completely ignored, but not brought up, either. I for one like to ignore a large chunk of Season 4 of the actual series, so I just sort of pick and choose anyway, but my point is that as much as Buffy may be feeling inconsistent, it is one long arc and is moving like a season of the show, if on slow-mo. After the Fall was paced better, but is basically the same thing -- a story headed for a conclusion in a grand fashion, like a season finale. The rest of the Angel issues, disregarding any myth-breaking, have read like episodes that aren't going anywhere -- they read like pure comics, which is how all the non-canon stuff felt. I think AtF and W&H will be the ones that truly count, because they will be the ones to actually have ramifications on the universe, in my opinion.

As far as I'm concerned, the IDW canon thing is After the Fall, the new Spike series, and the last arc of Angel as it transitions into Season 8 continuity. I still have an overall pleasant feeling toward the Buffy comics and am reserving judgment on the last couple of arcs until I see the Endgame and where it leads.
What a nice surprise! I'd dropped all the Angel books not long after After the Fall, deciding that they weren't canon enough for me anymore. I guess this means I'll have to start buying Angel again :)
I personally think everything IDW has done is canon. My reasoning is that Joss has acknowledged the IDW continuity and has tried not to conflict with it with what he has done in Buffy season 8. That makes it canon in my eyes.

Anyway, I'm happy Angel and Buffy will be under the same roof again. I'm just happy knowing that Joss will be able to take a more hands on approach with Angel and that some of the great Buffy/Angel show writers will be able to work on it again. While some are not liking recent events involving Angel in Buffy season 8, I have faith in Joss. Even after the crazy events surrounding Boyd in Dollhouse, Joss still wrapped the show up in a satisfying way and I think season 8 of Buffy will also end well

I liked what they did with Angel at IDW though. After the Fall was excellent, Brian Lynch's comic-con story was funny(though I couldn't quite get into Last Angel in Hell), I thought what Juliette Landau did with Drusilla was very cool(really appreciate the love she shows for that particular role she played) and I liked the classy Lorne tribute issue. I'm a bit behind on Bill Willingham's Angel run, but the last one or two issues I read showed the story getting interesting.

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