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Buffy : Season 9

Scott Allie - "Buffy : Season 9" Comic Book - Assignmentx.com Interview

Friday 22 April 2011, by Webmaster

At WonderCon 2011, ASSIGNMENT X had the chance to sit down with Senior Managing Editor for Dark Horse Comics, Scott Allie, to talk about the upcoming new series for BUFFY – SEASON 9 and the new title ANGEL AND FAITH.

While we revealed much of the details about these comics during WonderCon (and in our previous stories from our interview with him which are listed below), Allie has much more to say on the topic including a possible WILLOW mini-series as well as information about a possible SERENITY comic coming down the pipe from Dark Horse.

ASSIGNMENT X: What are Dark Horse’s plans for SERENITY?

ALLIE: No immediate plans. We have been so focused on re-launching BUFFY. Anything we do with [Joss] he is really heavily involved. So, with THE AVENGERS and everything else going on, we can’t get more of his time to work out what we would need to work out with SERENITY. We have talked about what we would do. We all want to do more. It’s just a question of us putting the resources and the time into it and working with the right writers. We can’t just pull in anybody. We have an idea of what we will do to get SERENITY up and running again. But it requires the right people to have the time and most importantly Joss to have the time. So it is a ways off still. I really wanted to get something out by the end of this year, but that is clear that isn’t going to happen.

AX: Now that the ANGEL comic is coming under the Dark Horse umbrella will we see lots of interaction between the BUFFY Comics?

ALLIE: It’s not going to be a constant cross-over where you have to read both to understand what’s going on, but major events in the world will affect both [titles]. We are referring the whole project [ANGEL AND FAITH, BUFFY – SEASON 9 and other related mini-series titles] as Season 9 because both come out of the events of Season 9. People are like “If it is ANGEL then it must be Season 6 or Season 7”. We are not thinking of it so much as that but all of this takes place following Season 8. The events of Season 8 sets both series in motion.

AX: Will both the ANGEL and BUFFY comics have two covers?

ALLIE: Both will have two covers.

AX: As far as the mini-series you were talking about. Can you tell me who they will focus on?

ALLIE: There will probably be a Willow one. We have talked about a lot of other ones. Right now, the potential is every single [character]. We have talked about what we could do with Spike, what we could do with Illyria, what we could do with anybody, but it is truly going to be in service of the greater story. There is really one big story of Season 9. Just like with Season 8, we will do side projects that build that story, but we are not going to throw out random comics. We are not going to throw this stuff out to pile more books on the heap. ”

AX: Concerning the Xander/Dawn relationship, what are the plans with that? I know some fans maybe thought the relationship was a bit creepy.

ALLIE: The history they have together makes it a little bit weird, but that’s part of the reason they are so close. My hopes for those two is that they just get to be happy. I’ve always wanted Xander to be happy. Xander is the one guy that I really think deserves to be happy.

AX: Now the SPIKE mini-series is almost over at IDW, does that lead into what will happen in Season 9?

ALLIE: Everything IDW did effectively takes place before Season 8. Nothing they did leads directly into Season 9, it all leads into Season 8. The current arc that Brian Lynch is writing for IDW gets [Spike] into the bug ship and he is in the bug ship in Season 8. So anything IDW has coming out now leads into Season 8 rather than leading into what we have coming up.”

AX: Did you work with IDW on coordinating the plot for the SPIKE mini series at all?

ALLIE: There was a certain amount of interaction and some scripts and artwork being sent back and forth to coordinate a little bit. We coordinated, but we didn’t do it so slavishly that everything matches up, although it does match up. We didn’t spend all day working together.

AX: Can you tell me a bit about Andrew Chambliss’ [co-writer on the BUFFY – Season 9 comic] previous comics work?

ALLIE: He’s done a little bit of comics before. He’s relatively new to comics but he is working closely with me and Sierra Hawn [the other editor on the Whedon comics]. We’ve been working really closely with the DOLLHOUSE scripts and loving what we have been getting. We find that Joss’ TV writers transfer really easily and naturally into comics and that works out great for us.

AX: What is the biggest strength in doing a comic based on a TV series?

ALLIE: I’ve though about that a lot lately. I don’t watch a lot of TV. I don’t like a lot of TV. Yet, I find myself really compelled by comics spun off of TV shows. I used to be purely interested in creator-owned stuff. I’ve worked with Mike Mignola forever. I’ve worked with Sergio AragonÚs. All these great guys. Now I am finding myself intrigued by comics spun off of TV. It has led me read a bunch of comics from other companies. I’ve read a bunch of SUPERNATURAL stuff and TRUE BLOOD stuff from IDW.

In constructing a TV show that works, you end up with pretty interesting, strong premise and a great cast of characters, if the show works. And I think nowhere do you see that better executed than in Joss’ stuff. So, it creates really fertile ground for continuing [the show] in comics. If you have a concept, like BUFFY, that’s colorful enough, that’s action packed enough and has enough distinct interesting elements to it, than it is a suitable premise for a comic. With Joss’ stuff in particular, with BUFFY in particular, the set up to the TV show was so heavily inspired by comics that it is no surprise that it makes a great premise for a comic.

The way that Joss writes this stuff and the way he gets other people to write his stuff, is a beautiful form of character-driven genre fiction where you get these action packed, fun stories that are really about something and about people. It works great in a serialized format. That’s what I like and that’s what I have learned from working with him. I’ve learned so much from watching Joss’ shows and really trying to study his shows to figure out what they are really about. To figure out how that translates into comics. And there is a lot there that translates to comics and a lot that works for serialized fiction of any kind.

AX: Did you get a chance to look at the BUFFY motion comic at all? Do you know if there will be a second half of the season as a motion comic?

ALLIE: I did not see it and I do not know if there are plans. I don’t think they have announced yet. I don’t know why they would wait so long.

AX: ALIENS, PREDATOR or ALIENS VS. PREDATOR, anything you can tell us?

ALLIE: No news at this time. There is stuff we are talking about but nothing we can talk about.

AX: Any other franchises – TV or movies – that you are working on?

ALLIE: MASS EFFECT is a big deal for us. We are doing a lot with MASS EFFECT this year. We acquired the license to AVATAR – THE LAST AIRBENDER. We’re first repackaging all the Nickelodeon stuff in a big brick Omnibus and then we are going to be doing new stuff down the road that we are not ready to announce yet.

AX: MASS EFFECT 3 game is coming out this year, is that going to be what the comics will be?

ALLIE: The comics will continue to be tied pretty close to the developments of the game. We continue to work with the writers of the game and we are really tight with that company. It is a really good relationship.