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September 02 2010

(SPOILER) Slayalive's Scott Allie Interview about Buffy Season 8. Covers many topics.

Great interview, Emmie. I know I'm supposed to be excited about the S8 wrap-up, but S9 sounds really intriguing and cool.
And apparently #39 is the issue to look out for. Bring on December!
I second that... great interview! But, sigh, we just got through waiting four months for #36, and now it's not until #39 that we're to know what's really happening. The endless deferment on when we get to know what's happening does take a toll.
I love how completely wrong our speculation was about future Angel. Oh, fandom. We really miss the mark sometimes, don't we?

Glad y'all enjoyed!
Interesting info. I hope Dark Horse can get Brian L. on for some of Season 9.

Personally, I was kinda "meh" on the concept of Dollhouse comics until the John Cassaday comment... that'd be PERFECT! Joss and Cassaday reunited with John C doing the art for Dollhouse- wow. For that matter, it'd be amazing if he could do some Firefly comics, but he's worked with Dollhouse before and that'd probably be the best immediate fit for that.

Also, I wonder if Scott Allie was at the Bob Dylan concert outside of Portland this past weekend. :) Dylan's still got it!
This was an especially great interview, I am struck by how nice and what a gentleman Scott Allie has always been. Thank you so much for taking the time to compile this information for us. It's great to have the interviews with him back!
"This is very much on my mind as we start planning Season 9. If we do it, it wonít be anything in the vein of Apollo and Midnighter, I donít think. Wasnít that stuff sort of shock value?"

And what the whole space fraking bit wasn't then? Talk about double standards.

"The character moments that we take the time for are those essential to getting the story through the climaxómostly between him and Buffy. Definitely some interaction between him and the others, but as with Angel, there just doesnít wind up being the time for it. I wish we could stop it for all of that, each of the characters you mention, particularly Xander and Dawn. But itíd stop the momentum of the climax dead, and there is not that much of that."

And how long has this series being going on for? And they couldn't find the time to pace this whole thing better to enable better interaction with other characters? Good grief.

Thanks for that Emmie, very interesting, but for me It just confirms a few things that I already suspected unfortunately.

[ edited by sueworld2003 on 2010-09-02 08:24 ]
Nice interview.
Okay so if it's not Time Travel, then it is trans-dimesional travel??
Am most relieved to hear that "Twilight" is an influnceing factor. Like a drug.
And am wishing we had #39 already. it sounds like it will be the lynchpin for everything.
Wait, how did you land this interview? I read on the intratubes that Scott Allie and Emmie had like, gangsta rap level beef!

Sorry, can't resist a chance to mock absurdity :)

Excellent interview, Emmie, really got to details of things that Allie had sort of avoided answering in the past. I guess 8.39 is the season-defining issue at this point. 8.40, by default, sounds more like a "Restless"/"Home" type of denouement.
The interview had great questions Emmie, but the answers only confirmed what I felt all along. The comic is too far removed from the show for me to view them as being part of the same thing and they don't work on their own.

No more comics for me.
"Lame excuse, like all my excuses, but that kind of marketing copy sometimes gets written by committee, sort of with too much back and forth, and you lose sight. That line used to make sense, then was edited until it didnít, and went to print not making sense. Sorry about that. Will fix, hopefully in time for #37."

Is it just me or is that really ambiguous? I can't find the Buffyfest response so maybe someone can clarify. He doesn't say anything outright like "No, he's definitely a soul having vampire" - just woops bad editing. Reading too much into it? Given what's been going on at IDW...
@kamw30

The line was probably longer, something about Spike once being an evil vampire, then it got edited down, but obviously a little bit too much to the sense that it makes it seem like he is no longer a vampire at all.
I found only one really interesting comment, this:

"Are Buffy and Angelís actions and behavior true to who they are now or the result of an outside influence?

SCOTT: Both. The outside influence of Twilight has been a big factor, for sure."

This sure makes it seem as though Angel and Twilight are not the same thing or person.
Twilight's also a place and event. Angel seems to have adopted the name from those.
I'm willing to use the outside influence of Twilight as an explanation not only of Angel's behavior but also the behavior of the writers and publisher in selling us this stuff and our buying and reading it . . . .
Nice interview, Emmie!

The only thing (well, not the only thing but the only thing *at the moment*) I'm puzzled over is how it's not time travel?
Exellent interview Emmie.

Menomegirl, it could simply be alternate dimensions. It's been shown in the Buffyverse that time can move slower or faster in an alternate dimension. So perhaps that's where this Angel came from. Might also explain why Angel was willing to play the badguy as Twilight. Being told by Whistler, Ptb's and simply believing it would be amazingly weak. But if he saw this destruction,ruins for himself then i could believe Angel would go to this extreme.

So maybe evil Angel's dimension is ahead by 5 years. He stuck with Buffy, fought by her side and they lost.
If he were to come to this dimension it would sorta be like time-travel except for the differences between the dimensions.

And maybe why there is no Connor(the real love of his life) and Angel doesn't seem to care about him is because this Angel never had him. Maybe he never left for La, maybe he tried and stayed with Buffy. Or it can all just be badly written and doesn't make any sense, who knows.
sf- but it is not completely clear that this is the case, though. It is, I think, an interesting comment made there.
Menomegirl, I could very easily be wrong, but I took "not time travel" to mean that we don't have two Angels running around. I think that this is more along the lines of a "reset switch" where Angel is the only one to remember how things happened the first time. Consider the S1 episode of AtS, "I Will Remember You" where Buffy and Angel do x, y, and z but then Angel has it reversed and finds himself back at the moment where Buffy walks in and he does things differently.

While technically "time travel" I think Allie's point is that we now have an Angel and a Future!Angel. Rather, we have one Angel, but one who is knowledgeable of how things went down the first time around. Also like in AtS's S4 finale (and even if we consider Dawn!). This idea of rewriting events seems to be a theme in the Buffyverse. (Or maybe a motif? I can never exactly tell which...)

Anyhow, that's my take on the situation and for me, it fits with what Scott said in the interview.
Good job on the interview Emmie. Cool answers for the most part, but the following bit makes not one lick of sense:

"He believed this was the inevitable evolution of the world and reality and all things great and small. He was letting the world end, but none of that had to do with him being destroyed or not destroyed. His own life is not the pointóhe didnít bring Twilight about because someone threatened him, so while I think his motivation deserves scrutiny, I donít know that that line to Connor is the point. No, in the end, Connor would not be okayóbut whether Angel himself is destroyed or not wasnít the question. Angel has shown his willingness to sacrifice for the greater good, and heís shown his imperfection at identifying that greater good."

Also, why he's confused about the time travel question bothers me. What? How else were we to interpret #36?
I think Allie just misunderstood that question. Obviously Emmie was asking why Angel would be willing to forsake the world with Connor in it when he cares so much about him. But Allie thought the question was about Angel and self-sacrifice because of the quotation.
What did I love?

When the preview pages for 36 came out, everyone started talking about time travel. What did I say? "There's nothing in the text that even remotely hints about time travel." I don't think anyone saw my comment. It's Angel from after the last issue of his series. No time travel involved. We'll see what happens to him after issue 44, or whatever "Angel" will end with before merging with dark horse.

What did I see here?

Right away, Scott puts to rest any time-travel theories by saying he feels that fans misunderstood.

I'm gonna go give myself a cookie. Or something.
Dark Horse 2010.
They screwed up.
A lot.


Not all of the time of course. But from little details like the "former vampire" line to announcing IDW's losing the Angel license to releasing the Angel/Twilight cover in advance to saying that they didn't realize that they had so much plot in S8 that they were getting away from the "intimacy" (which I believe that they should have noticed and course corrected for in their first year), I truly have wondered how they can keep making so many mistakes?

I truly hope that they examine what has gone right and what has gone wrong with this Season before beginning the next one.
Risch22, just to offer another example, there were plenty of spelling and punctuation typos in the IDW books. It happens. They fix it before it goes to trade paperback form. All is well.

[ edited by Emmie on 2010-09-03 03:53 ]
I like the confirmation that the glowy Twilight influence is like drugs. That gives me some hope. The answer about Connor, however, makes no sense at all--I'm hoping there's a better explanation somewhere in the next 4 issues. If not, it's pretty much going to ruin the season for me ... because it will be so inconsistent with pre-season 8 Angel that I won't be able to believe it at all. (And I'm not even an Angel fan especially! I mean, he's a good character and all, but my favorite AtS character was always Wesley.)
Scott Allie said:
"Season 9 will be 25 instead of 40 issues."

Awesome ! They could even shorten it further, and I wouldn't mind.

Do they mean that the comic entitled Buffy will be 25 issues, or that the Buffy book, along with Angel's and whoever else gets a spin-off, will comprise the entirety of the stated 25 issues ? (like ten for Buffy, ten for Angel, and five for unnamed spin-off, just as an example) I know it's more likely that "25 issues" is in reference to just the Buffy comic, with Angel and the supporting character books also being released some time during that 25-issue run...though only 25 issues could provide for a fast-paced, super-tightly-constructed/well-planned-out comic run.

"Weíre leaning toward one writer per title, rather than a new body every arc."

More awesome ! (conditional on who gets picked for each title)

"We want to stay closer on core characters, in each title. Less global, more personal, but still use the visuals in the way that comics allows."

Yeah...here's me being a hypocrite and jumping the gun when I'm always saying it's too early to tell...Season 8's not even finished...but at the very least, Season 9 sounds like it'll be delivering a more consistently rewarding read/potentially something closer to what the majority of fans (on this site, at least) want from Buffyverse stories.
Emmie- this was a very good job you did, and kudos. As I read this and have had time to think about it, you were asking Allie about the touchy issue of "cosmic forces leading Buffy to have sex with Angel" (a euphemisn for cosmic rape). And he, I think, sort of finessed his answer by noting that the universe did not force Buffy to do this, but instead she had the ability to make choices amd might not have made the best one, but yes, there are some subtle influences acting on her. And as I thought about this, I had a sort of realization: Allie really does not understand these characters. Not at the level that the people who post here do. He has not devoted the past 10 years of his life to examining these characters and their motivations, of reading the text and the subtext and the metattext, and knowing the ins and outs of the tale like the cognoscenti do. He sells and edits comic books, and is good at that and he is bringing his very real expertise to doing just that. But maybe he watched the entire series once in preparation for working with Joss on this. I think he is a bit caught off guard by the level of knowledge we have, knowledge issues that might not ever occur to him were it not for us commenting on it. From past interviews, it sounds like they always wanted Bangel cosmic sex, and they made it happen. But for (some of) us, this is way OOC for Buffy, because we know she would not jump in the sack with anyone when an apocalypse is happening; she would forego her own pleasure- as she has in the past- to do the right thing. This is the woman who sent the man she loved to a hell dimension to save the world; now, she's jumping his bones instead and the world can go to hell? Angel ditto- he'd allow Connor to die, when before he went to the ocean bottom and allowed his son to forget who he was in order to save him? OOC. It seems to me he is interested only in the story, not what came before the story. It is us who now see all the things that don't add up, that are outside our experiences with these characters.
Dana, you cannot possibly know how many times someone has watched Buffy, except for yourself and the people you personally know. Purely as a guess, I'd say Scott has watched the entire series, a minimum, of three times: once way back when it was on, once right before they started S8 and once again most recently as he prepared himself to co-write the final issues.

As for the story itself, the "they" in question who always wanted "Bangel cosmic sex" is only one person: Joss. It has always been Joss's story. He works with others, but nothing happens in Buffy without his consent and direct input. And I refute any claim that the fandom 'cognoscenti' knows the character's better than their creator. Not just in Buffy, but in any fiction.

[ edited by Kaan on 2010-09-03 15:07 ]

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