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Angel : Aftermath

Chris Ryall & Mariah Huehner - "Angel" Comic Book - Buffyfest.blogspot.com Interview

Monday 23 August 2010, by Webmaster

The past couple of days have been a whirlwind of Whedonverse comic news. Yesterday, we caught up with Dark Horse about their recent reacquisition of the Angel title. Today we spoke with IDW’s Chris Ryall and Mariah Huehner to get their take on what’s happened. Check it out:

Buffyfest: Let’s start at the beginning, the business end of things. How does the world of licensing work? How did IDW passing the Angel license to Dark Horse happen?

Chris Ryall: Well, there’s the usual licensing world, which works one way, but this one worked a bit differently. When the universe’s creator is still actively involved in the property, it does change the rules a bit. So as it turns out, Joss getting back involved in Buffy Season 8 was the probably the real catalyst.

Now, it’s a strange thing, this – I would never want to keep the characters out of the hands of their creator. So in that respect, I understand and can live with it. It’s not a license I wanted to see leave, but all things considered, it’s one license for a company that puts out 40-50 titles a month, and we won’t go wanting for vampire comics with new projects like True Blood. The simple gist of it is, Joss called his characters home. I would’ve liked to continue on, but I understand from that aspect.

Buffyfest: How did you find out about this development? How long have you known?

Chris Ryall: I found out about it in a discussion with our Fox rep. And I’ve known for a little while now, and been working on this side the best way to make this work. This isn’t a small thing, so there’s a lot that needs to get figured out before we were ready to have the news get out publicly. We do a good amount of Angel-related comics, so many freelancers and jobs are potentially affected by this so it’s important to me to do right by everyone.

Buffyfest: A few weeks ago, you, Scott Allie, Mariah Huehner, & Brian Lynch all had a conference call. Since you knew what was happening at that time, did you all outline what would happen in the coinciding stories in that call?

Chris Ryall: We’d been talking about ways to integrate some story points for a while now, and this was more of that, yep.

Mariah Huehner: Not all of it, but a lot. We’ve got some really fun ideas to play with, and Brian’s stuff is obviously amazing. I have no idea how he does it, but he can take pretty much take anything and run with it and make it both hilarious and touching. I’m looking forward to what he does. As for Angel, that one is a lot trickier. But we’re working really hard to make sure we tell a story fans of IDW’s stories feel closure with, while not conflicting with Buffy Season 8.

Buffyfest: What about original characters like Beta George that were created at IDW, will they be fair game now at Dark Horse?

Chris Ryall: Typically, any characters created in a licensed comic are the licensor’s property. It remains to be seen if that’s the case here. Which is why we’ll be killing all of them in Angel 44...

Buffyfest: Scott said he got a call from you once this was all accidentally leaked in the back of the Riley one-shot. How did that conversation go?

Chris Ryall: I think I liked making it as much as Scott liked taking it.

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