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Buffy : Season 8

Georges Jeanty - "Buffy : Season 8" Comic Books - February 2009 Slayalive.com Q&A

Tuesday 24 February 2009, by Webmaster

Hey all!

So Georges has been kind enough to agree to do one of these. I’m calling it session 1 for now... I’m keeping this open through the weekend (until Sunday night), so that all will have a chance to participate. He promised that he would try his best to answer these as soon as he could, but there may be a slight delay between questions and answers.

Rules are simple: Maximum of two (2) questions per member until your previous questions are answered. This is to account for the possibility that there may be a delay. Keep it clean, keep it civil. Simple right?

I’ll start the ball rolling.

1. wenxina: Georges, regarding your sketchbooks, great work! Should we expect one per arc that you work on? If so, when can we expect the one for WatG?

Georges: That’s kind of what I had in mind. I am trying to stay current with the trades, but I have no idea what I’m gonna do with the Fray arc which I had very little to do with. I do have a lot of art just sitting around so maybe that might become a misc. sketch book with all kinds of do-dads I’ve used in the past.

2. wenxina: We heard from Scott Allie that you were the one who came up with the character design for Satsu, and that you had given Jo Chen two references for her cover for "Swell". Can you tell us who these references are?

Georges: References in the sense of how the character looked or what actress I might have used to stand in for Satsu? Joss had the most description for Satsu when he started Season 8. He new how ’involved’ Satsu would become with Buffy so he wanted t make sure that she was well thought out. He made a mention to the Fruits books that are full of photographs of Asian kids dressed in all funky way. He said use that as your spring board. She can be the hardest to draw at times because she’s always changing. Her look, her hair, all of it. So the reader may have a tough time recognizing her at times. I just gave Jo an interpretation of one version of Satsu. I think Jo really brought her into being with the covers. She looks great.

3. AndrewCrossett: In the scene in "Predators & Prey" where Andrew slams the door open, the Twilight Symbol seems to be subtly worked into the art. Was this intentional or is it just a coincidence?

Georges: I’m thinking coincidence. While I like to leave things in the pages that the fans may pick up. That would have been just too sophisticated for someone like me. I love that you are looking at the work that closely! But sometimes Andrew opening a door is Andrew opening a door. I would love to hear where you see the symbol, though.

4. AndrewCrossett: Was the character Roden in "No Future For You" inspired at all by Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols?

Georges: Roden was inspired by Conan O’Brien. I wish I could be more crafty and say it was Joey Ramone or something like that, but no. And for some reason I have this thing about villains having some sort of facial hair, so that was the goatee part. Brian K. Vaughan wrote that the character should be a red head and I just thought Conan.

5. Emmie: There are two very similar panels of Gigi (NFFY part 3) and Satsu (#22 Swell) both holding up a sword and grinning a bit evilly - is this meant to convey a shared bloodlust in certain Slayers? An inner darkness in every Slayer who glories in the fight? Buffy has never really shown this bloodlustful expression before as I can recall - would you say it would not fit on her face the way it easily fits on Gigi and Satsu? Were these similarities intentional?

Georges: Man, that is such a good answer to an otherwise good question, but again, I would have to say you’re giving me too much credit. When I draw I think very cinematically. And when those intense scenes come up I think of the camera cutting close to the hero’s face in a movie, so I’m prone to doing panels like that. But I like you’re reasoning so much more! So let’s go with that one.

6. Emmie: Which expressions define each of the main characters (Buffy, Xander, Willow, Dawn, Giles, Faith, etc)? Have you mastered a trademark look/expression that each of them have?

Georges: I’m still trying to draw the characters as they look in general, so I haven’t mastered any "go to" faces yet. I have dozens of pictures of all the actors and I try to draw the expression I want and then go look for the picture that best fits that expression. I think I’m getting better because I don’t have to spend as much time on them now a days.

7. iloveromy: I love your personal little touches that you add to each issue. Things like a slayer reading Fray, or adding Joss in a dream panel, are always a treat. While I think and probably most on this board would agree that you have been appropriately conservative with them, do you ever find yourself sometimes having to refrain from adding to or maybe think that you have too many? Are there any easter eggs for upcoming issues that we can look out for?

Georges: I always love getting this question. I do I love to throw things into what I’m doing. It just keeps things fresh for me. And yes there have been things that I couldn’t put in. I would have put a lot of Firefly references but Joss wanted me to refrain from doing that because he wanted to keep these worlds separate. I did sneak one in,,, did you find it? I’ll give you a hint, it was the 1st reference I did. I don’t know when those little "easter eggs" will be coming. I don’t do it as a general plan, but I’m always putting stuff in. A lot more when Andrew is around because they just seem to fit when he’s there. So look for them more when Andrew’s on the page.

8. iloveromy: Even though it is a ways off, would you be up for doing season 9? I hope so.

Georges: I would Love to be involved in Season 9, but to what degree... who knows.

9. Enisy: Is the presence or the absence of scenes/characters in Buffy’s dreamscape in Issue #3 of The Long Way Home in any way significant (indicative of Buffy’s current state of mind, or the events and people that generally shaped her life the most, or anything like that), or did you and Joss pick them pretty much randomly?

Georges: That was a weird Page to do at the time because I was still very young to the world of Buffy. I had seen the last 2 seasons and that was it. When Joss wrote out that page he said I want these cubes to represent Buffy’s mind visually, so put moments in her life that would be relevant. I have a good friend by the Name of Crystal who’s a huge Buffy fan and she helped me with the more important moments in Buffy’s life and from there I had a stack of the Buffy magazines so I went through all of them and just started to pick out images that I saw multiples of. Joss said he could give me descriptions for the cues but I really wanted to impress him so I told him I could handle it. When that page came out he sent me an e-mail and said he was looking at that page and he congratulated me on a job well done, and that he especially like that handsome young devil in the bottom cube. I was high the rest of the day. I did right by Joss. Yay!

10. Enisy: Which of your original character designs are you most fond of? (Satsu, Renee, Twilight, etc)

Georges: I think I’m most proud of Twilight. As I’ve said in my sketch book. this was an important design, after all, he was the big bad of the Season and given who he’s revealed to be (in the future, don’t worry it’s coming) I thought Joss and I would be going back and forth with designs for weeks. As it turned out I think I did 2 versions and Joss said perfect. The whole thing lasted a couple of days. I was floored. Happily.

11. narflet: Feb 20, 2009, 5:21pm, AndrewCrossett wrote: Ooo. I have a couple...

In the scene in "Predators & Prey" where Andrew slams the door open, the Twilight Symbol seems to be subtly worked into the art. Was this intentional or is it just a coincidence?

Likewise in ’Swell’ where I thought when Satsu fires the flare it looks a lot like the Twilight symbol. Are there more subtle references like this in the Predators and Prey arc?

Georges: Wow. Again, More than I put in. I did not mean to pt the symbol in there, so if it looks like it it’s really note. Damn, I’m just not that clever! The only thing that stands out in that issue is the Backpack that Satsu is wearing. It’s a Hippopotamus because that’s the mascot to my web site.

12. Paul730: Hi, I can’t remember if you’re doing the artwork for the Oz arc, but either way, can you tell us how the artist plans to approach the werewolf design? On the show, the original werewolf that appeared in "Phases" was big, walked on two legs, and had a long snout. In season three, they retconned this and the werewolf became smaller, four-legged, and snout-less. As Maggie Walsh put it, it looked almost like a "gorilla". However, the old Dark Horse comic books continued to use the original design (which, IMO, was way cooler) for stories like the Oz mini-series. So in Season Eight, do you plan to use the gorilla werewolf or the (cooler) "Phases" werewolf?

Sorry if this is considered too spoilery.

Georges: Haven’t gotten to that part yet, but I think Dark Horse wants the big Feral looking Oz. After all, there is not limit to the budget here. But I kinda liked Oz as a small version of a wolf since he himself was smallish. That whole arc is going to bring the Buffyverse into some serious drama! Just the kind you like. You know you do!

13. Paul730: Oh, also... you’ve probably been asked this before, but who’s idea was it to include the Doctor and Rose in "NFFY"? Cos that was cool.

Georges: For something so small I get asked that so often! I was just getting back into Doctor Who at the time I took the Buffy gig and when the script read that Giles and Faith were in England I thought how cool would that be if the Doctor and Rose just happen to be walking by Gile’s flat? After all, Tony Head made an appearance on their show, why not return the favor? While I’m not interested in taking credit, it was just something I put in there. I didn’t think anyone would notice.

14. bamph: What is the creative process with the other Buffy writers. Do you deal directly with them on their arcs or is most of your direction filtered to you from Joss himself?

Georges: Joss is executive producing the book. That means he sees all the scripts, reads them and then gives his notes. Just like on the show. I haven’t gotten a script from anyone that hasn’t gone through at least two drafts. It has been a joy to work with all the writers on this book. All of which I have had personal contact with. I e-mail and phone at the beginning when I’ve gone over the script a few times and have questions. Everyone of the writers have been generous enough to give me numbers where they would be and go over the script. I take this more as a testament to how much they love the subject matter. I don’t think any of the writers have written the Buffy books for the money. They really do miss Buffy and the gang!

15. bamph: It’s been pretty much confirmed by Joss that both Angel and Spike will be showing up for real before season 8 is over.You’ve already gotten to draw them both once back in #3 with the threesome image.Since it’s most likely that no other Angel centric characters will be dropping by other than the two souled vampires then here’s my question.What Angel centric character other than Angel and Spike themselves would you love to get a shot at drawing if you were allowed to?

Georges: I would love to draw Angel and Spike in some adventure some time! I’ve seen all the Angel episodes as well! I would love to handle the Illyria character. And, damn, I can’t remember her name at the moment. The girl who controlled electricity. It’s gonna bug me that I can’t remember her name now! And, I have to say I miss Cordelia.

16. cheryl: After hearing you speak out on the fact that Joss wants to and has always wanted to do a "Buffy movie" and that money seems to be the issue, is there anything that fans could do, to help nudge Fox in the right direction? Target Fox and make some noise maybe?

Georges: While I have no Official say on this I would think the old ways are the best. Write letters! Get a petition together, send them into Fox. Demand that they do a movie or that they continue Buffy in some way. It worked for so many shows that were on the chopping block, like Star Trek, Family Guy and dozens others, I’m sure you could name. Maybe that’s something all the sites and what not could get together on and do together. I saw that 10 anniversary get together they did last year and it sounded like everyone would be up for a movie. That would be the coolest thing ever (said in my collector guy from the Simpson’s voice)!

17 & 18. Greer: In reference to all the little signs and symbols that you get to put into the comics(i.e. Joss in Buffy’s dream, Twilight’s symbol in random places), do you get to pick the reference pictures that are placed in the panels, or does Joss suggest them? Do you ever have any ideas to contribute to the storylines, after you’ve been given them to draw? If so, what were they?

Georges: Sorry, missed this one. Joss has mapped out all of Season 8 so the general direction is done. Most of the writers have been brought in to fill in the gaps. I would love to write something at some point. I’ve done so for other companies. I’m so focused on the art write now it’s hard for me to step out of my role in that and do writing on Buffy. And besides, how intimidating is that to come in after Drew Goddard or Steven D. Knight or Jane Espenson or dare I say it? Joss Whedon?! I wouldn’t know where to start.

19. hitnrun017: In Swell, was the reflection of the Slayer’s face, on Satsu’s sword, a homage to Renee?

Georges: Hmm, maybe I didn’t my job so good. That reflection in Satsu’s sword is of the other Slayer who’s with her, Ayumi.

20. vampmogs: Is there any scene (Buffy/Satsu in bed for example) that you were worried about drawing? Did you feel any pressure?

Georges: Okay, you’ve just described a typical day for me! I always feel a little apprehensive about doing this book. I know there are such big shoes to fill and the Buffy fans are merciless in their criticism. That’s why I try and stay away from sites like these. I just can’t handle the criticism. I don’t say that in a bad way, I just mean that if I keep reading what everybody thinks and why this was there and where is this going I tend to start second guessing myself, and that just takes time away from drawing the book which is on a tight deadline as it is, whew! Does that answer your question? Don’t get me wrong, I love to discuss all things Buffy, but more from a fan point of view. We can talk about why this and that all day long, but when it comes time to work I try not to have too many distractions. Why then, you may ask, would you write in this site? Because I think the Buffy fans are the best and I would never want anyone to feel that I was unaccessible. While I can’t promise that I can do this often, I will try and do it as often as I can.

21. El Diablo Robotico: Which characters are the most fun to draw, and are there any who cause problems that you have to work on harder to get ’right’?

Georges: Easy answer: yes, and, all of them. While the characters have gotten a little easier to draw just through sheer repetition, I still struggle with the likeness. I can’t say I get it right all the time, but I do try. Buffy seems to be the easiest for me these days, along with Giles and Xander. All the rest are torture! Kennedy in particular. I never felt I got her down right. The problem is the women are just so Beautiful that it’s hard to nail their likeness with just a line here or there. Tara is probably the hardest.

22. wenxina: How far along S8 have you finished penciling to date? Last we heard from Scott Allie, it sounded like you had finished #23 (“Predators and Prey”) and had started #25 (“Living Doll”).

This isn’t an answer from Georges, but from the answer to #12, I’m gonna infer that he’s done till somewhere in #25 at the most, as of now.

23. wenxina: We know that you aren’t penciling "Safe", but given how good you got with Faith and Giles in "NFFY", will you be penciling them again soon?

Again, not a direct answer from Georges, but since he said:

Quote: Buffy seems to be the easiest for me these days, along with Giles and Xander.

I’m going to assume for now, that Giles (at least) will be back. He always comes back anyway...

24. Emmie: Have you really been practicing drawing Angel as Joss joked about at NY Comic Con about "too much forehead"?

Georges: I think that was just Joss taking a jab at David. That or the fact that he’s probably been asked that question a million times by now. It really is a shame that Angel and Buffy are under 2 different publishing companies! Imagine the crossovers!

25. Emmie: Was there anything you particularly admired about the other interior artists’ contributions to Season 8 (Karl Moline, Paul Lee, Cliff Richards)?

Georges: I love that all the fill in artists are guys who have done the Buffy book in the past! When I first got the gig I couldn’t understand why they wanted me. They had so much good talent already doing the book before. I love Cliff Richard’s stuff on Buffy. He has an ease with the likenesses that I find myself cursing him when I’m trying to get a face right! I would really love to know his secret, if I ever see him at a show I mean to ask him. Karl’s run on Fray was great. He’s just genuinely a good artist and I’ve followed his stuff outside of Buffy. Paul Lee has a great ability to keep his style but still nail the characters. I especially like his Dawn issue years back. I still struggle with her!

26. AndrewCrossett: Do you find it difficult to talk about season 8 considering you always have to be careful not to accidentally reveal too much about secrets (e.g. who is Twilight, who betrays Buffy, who lives and dies, etc.)?

Georges: I have to be careful with every interview I do with not releasing too much about Season 8 Twilight is a big one, but seriously, I wouldn’t want to know who he is. This is what makes the series so much fun. Speculation can be infectious and it inspires debate which is great! If I wasn’t the artist on the book I wouldn’t want to know. I can say it’s someone you know... Doesn’t help, does it? The funny thing is the whole Twilight speculation is taking attention away from like 2 or 3 other revelations that are in store in the book. All I can tell you for sure is to read every single issue. Once Jane Espenson comes back, the story really starts taking off at a break neck speed. Oz is just one of the treats in store for you!

27. AndrewCrossett: Is Harmony’s "agent" in #21 the same guy who was with General Voll in "The Long Way Home," or is it just a similar-looking guy in a suit?

Georges: I hadn’t noticed that, but you’re right. They do look similar. but no. There is no relation to the two men. I’m impressed you picked that out. I had no idea. I thought for sure people would ask why was there a Gamera figure among all the little my little pony’s. oh, that Harmony!

28. lmblack21: I read somewhere that you had said Joss gave specific input for how he wanted Buffy positioned with regard to the threesome panel - that he wanted her leaning more in to Angel. Can you tell us what viewpoint Joss gave you and what he (or you) were hoping to convey with that panel?

Georges: I think it’s obvious what Joss was trying to convey with that panel! When he wrote the script he said "Georges, this is probably the most graphic thing I’ve ever written so it’ll be pretty detailed..." Not so much with Buffy Angel and Spike, but with all that was going on in the background! He wanted Buffy more toward Angel because she feels more for him, but in any event it was obvious the two of these guys were in her head! I was just happy that I got it right the first couple of times. Joss saw the first version made some comments then saw the second and said perfect! It was fun to do that page, and it’s stuff like that that I feel you can get away with in comics. We can have a character come in for just a panel and not have to hassle with agents or wardrobe (as little as there is) and just do it.