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Angel : Aftermath

Mariah Huehner - "Angel : Aftermath" Comic Book - Buffyfest.blogspot.com Interview

Friday 11 December 2009, by Webmaster

As we count down the days to December 16th and the relaunch of the Angel series at IDW, I had the good fortune to do a host of interviews with the creative team behind it. While I love talking about what’s to come, my favorite thing to do is really dig in deep and find out what people love about the characters and the stories before they get creative control. Mariah Huehner, editor for the upcoming arc, and I had an epic IM interview where we talked about everything we love about Angel and co. We talked so much that I’ve split the interview in two just so you don’t get overwhelmed. Enough of my yammering. To the interview!

Buffyfest: Fancy meeting you here.

Mariah Huehner: Hi!

Buffyfest: How goes it?

Mariah Huehner: Not too bad. Looking at a proof of Angel #29, actually.

Buffyfest: Nice! How’s it look?

Mariah Huehner: Pretty fantastic. Getting in the bigger narrative, fun character moments, etc. I’m enjoying working on it. Partly out of a very fannish "squee!" factor, but also because, obviously, I love a good story.

Buffyfest: I can’t even imagine. Brian [Lynch] and I used to talk about how exciting but daunting it is to write for a character you’ve been a fan of.

Mariah Huehner: Well, there’s definitely more anxiety around it and I tend to be concerned with maintaining with continuity and character integrity, without stifling the team. Editors generally get the lion’s share of the blame if someone doesn’t like something, so, I’ve learned to live with that.

Buffyfest: I think fans have a tendency to spread the blame around but, you’re right, as an editor I think the buck does ultimately stop with you. I sometimes wondered how Chris [Ryall] dealt with the continuity and canon related backlash that came from the whole Dark Horse vs. IDW situation. Do you find yourself thinking about that now that you’re taking charge at all?

Mariah Huehner: I honestly try not to think about it. I mean, like it or not, the editor is responsible for greenlighting any content in a book. So, while I certainly don’t want to upset fans, I also want to make sure we tell the best story possible.

Buffyfest: Was there anything either of the Bills [Williams or Willingham] proposed that you rejected?

Mariah Huehner: Thankfully, they both came into it knowing the show, and already having a really great sense of the characters and where they needed to go. We’ve had a lot of awesomely nerdy conversations about why so and so does what, where they’re going, what would be funny, what needs to be explored, etc. By the time we were talking about the details of the story lines, it was more about making everything fit than needing to throw anything out.

Buffyfest: Did you ever consider starting the numbering of the comics over again since you had a whole new team involved?

Mariah Huehner: I’m not sure if that was discussed before I came on board, but I think we wanted to make sure the fans knew this was on-going. So they could feel safe getting invested.

Buffyfest: Tell me the story of how you took over for Chris.

Mariah Huehner: Well, I’d been here for awhile, working on collected editions. I’d let it slip a few times that I’m a Whedon fan, and that I was really interested in how they were handling "Season 6" in the comics. It may or may not have involved some really geeky conversations about themes in Angel, and commiserating on the galvanizing episode, "A Hole in the World". Chris asked if I had any interest in assistant editing on some of the Angel books, which of course I said yes to. Then Bill Willingham came up as a potential writer for the new storyline, and Chris knew I’d worked with him on "Fables". That was pretty much it. When Bill came on board, it was like we hadn’t stopped working together, and I just sort of transitioned into being the editor for this series. Chris still works on plenty of Angel titles, of course, and he’s a huge help on this one too.

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