Without question, one of my favorite parts of working on this website is the opportunity it provides to get to hang out and talk with really talented and fun people. Shortly before my trip to LA, Brian Lynch dropped us a line to let us know he was gearing the proverbial hype machine for LAST ANGEL IN HELL, the Angel Annual that will be coming out in December. What was intended to be a quick interview over IM turned into a two hour long discussion about, well, just about everything. Today we're bringing you the first part of two where we concentrate on Angel #'s 26 & 27 as well as LAST ANGEL IN HELL. Without further ado, here's the conversation we had with the man himself:
Buffyfest: Shall we?
Brian Lynch: Let's DO THIS
Buffyfest: Let's do a recap of what's coming up. We've got the two part Angel and Spike go to San Diego story and an annual.
Brian Lynch: Yes, ANGEL 26-27 is Angel and Spike's big movie date night, and the Annual is a whole other beast.
Buffyfest: So for the comic con story the concept is essentially that all the geeks at the con become whatever they are cosplaying as, right?
Brian Lynch: Whatever costume they are wearing, they become. People are dressed as superheroes, super villains, jedi, ninja turtles, vampires, robots. So Angel has to deal with thousands of suddenly very powerful and confused people.
Buffyfest: And Spike is dressed as Angel.
Brian Lynch: Spike is dressed as Angel, so Angel also has to deal with Spike acting like what he thinks Angel is like.
Buffyfest: Which begs the question: what does Spike think Angel is like?
Brian Lynch: Self-important, tortured, a bleeding heart, but also this really noble hero, who is selfless to a fault. We really get a chance to see what Spike thinks of Angel in ways Spike would never, ever admit. I think there's some very sweet moments among the funnier asides, and action. Tons of action, though. Maybe more than I've written in an ANGEL book.
Buffyfest: That makes sense considering all the sudden super powers. How about these con goers? Are they all aware of Angel and the happenings of After the Fall?
Brian Lynch: Some are definitely aware, some think he's simply dressed as a character from LAST ANGEL IN HELL, the movie based on Angel's adventures in hell. Angel hasn't reached Stan Lee levels of fame at the con, though.
Buffyfest: But geeks who are in the know tend to be very critical. Any chance we'll see some of them criticizing LAST ANGEL IN HELL as not being accurate to what actually happened?
Brian Lynch: There is some of that, for sure. A character we haven't seen since AFTER THE FALL is actually very angry about how the movie portrays events. As well he should be. They mess a lot up.
Buffyfest: That sounds hilarious. Did you feel tempted at all to gently rib some of the bigger Buffy and Angel geeks who tend to get caught up in the obsession of story canon when you were writing this story (since comic book geeks will be in it) or have you always felt it best to let sleeping dogs lie when it comes to that sort of thing?
Brian Lynch: I think it is absolutely best to let sleeping dogs lie and not poke fun at canon debates. That said, in ANGEL 26, I have woken the dog and poke fun at canon debates.
Buffyfest: FANTASTIC! I have been waiting for a long time, sir.
Brian Lynch: I've had this idea for years, I just couldn't figure out WHY Angel and Spike would go to a comic con. The fake movie allowed for it, I was thrilled. Angel works best when he's thrown into situations he doesn't understand and/or has to talk to a lot of people. Here, he's in the most crowded location I could think of, dealing with something that makes little to no sense. I mean, we explain everything for the reader, but Angel isn't privy to all the info. Oh, and Angel fights zombies and Spike deals with a chubby power ranger.
Buffyfest: So what other kind of super powers will we be seeing people get? Spidey sense?
Brian Lynch: Hmmmm. Lots of lasers, super strength, tons of ninjas, but my favorite is Explodo. I will not tell you what he does, you will NEVER get it.
Buffyfest: Alright. Let's move along to LAST ANGEL IN HELL
Brian Lynch: Hoooray
Buffyfest: Because talking about a theoretical Angel movie is awesome
Brian Lynch: Well, LAST ANGEL IN HELL should never ever be the ANGEL movie. It is written by someone who witnessed some of Angel's heroics, and pieced together what he thinks the story is. Then I gave it an extra gloss of the script being handed over to a committee that clearly didn't care about facts and went crazy. It's a big Bruckheimer-seque ANGEL romp. There are moments in the comic that are clearly put in to sell action figures. Like a character comes in and out and looks cool and leaves. Or action beats happen for no reason. There is a sex scene in the book that is literally put in, even though it is completely pointless and at the worst time, because I pictured the studio executive going "we need a sex scene HERE." I think it's my first sex scene in comics.
Buffyfest: and it involves Angel?
Brian Lynch: Yes
Buffyfest: Does the curse get a mention or is it completely glossed over?
Brian Lynch: It isn't mentioned because the screenwriter wouldn't have known about it.
Buffyfest: And it's definitely not with lady Spike?
Brian Lynch: Lady Spike is sexy...but I cannot confirm or deny if Lady Spike has sex with Pseudo Angel.
Buffyfest: speaking of Lady Spike. What would happen if Lady Spike and Actual Spike met?
Brian Lynch: Oh they will, I think. Spike would definitely take an interest in the girl who played him in a movie, for sure. It's not in ANGEL 26-27, but he does show an interest in meeting her. Like, I know the actress who plays Lady Spike, so when I'm ready to put her into the world, I have all of her background, real name, all sorted out.
Buffyfest: I remember you mentioning cameos Are these Angel character cameos only or might we get a glimpse of some characters from other comics you've written?
Brian Lynch: There is only one cameo in LAST ANGEL, and that is a lead from AFTER THE FALL. I pictured the studio execs going out to all the characters, and only one person said "yes, I will be in this". Although he's not really a person. And he doesn't play himself in the movie. He cameos as a waiter.
Buffyfest: If it's who I think it is... how does he "wait" exactly? With his mind?
Brian Lynch: There's a tray on his back and he floats around. It's in the James Bond type scene, where Angel dons a tux and infiltrates the villain's party.
Buffyfest: James Bond scene you say? Any other major franchises whose style you utilize?
Brian Lynch: Definitely some BATMAN moments, some old Western type beats, a little buddy comedy thrown in. Some product placement, there's a lot going on. And the fake ads, oh the fake ads. This might just be the perfect comic.
Buffyfest: Let's talk about the movie versions of the characters. What we know so far is that Angel is a Nic Cage type, Spike is a Lady, Gunn is a wacky Hurley buddy guy, and Betta went from fish to dog. How about Illyria and Wes? I know Illyria is black suddenly but what else has changed?
Brian Lynch: Illyria is a bad-ass black lady with a secret. And it's not at all close to Illyria's actual secret. Also she's dyslexic so there are very special moments. Wes is Angel's best friend and partner. Hard to describe what he does without spoiling, but a moment with him in the beginning kinda sets the stage for Angel's character arc. Basically, if Angel is Riggs in LETHAL WEAPON, Wesley is Murtaugh. It is really fun. I love IDW, they're taking a chance on this book. I hope people want to check it out even though it is 100% not canon. I've wanted to get to this issue forever and the fact that's it a big annual, like double-sized? So much fun.
Buffyfest: Have you found out officially how many pages it's going to be yet?
Brian Lynch: I think it's just short of 50 pages. Nothing but story and fake ads, though, it's ALL Last Angel related. No IDW solicits or anything. I think we even get the back cover and inside back cover and such. Mooney has had to draw Nicholas Cage a billion times for this one, ORDER IT FOR MOONEY! Or, I should say, someone who kinda looks like Nicholas Cage, not actually Nicholas Cage, because that would be illegal-ish.
Buffyfest: Right. Totally not actually Nicholas Cage (please don't sue)
Brian Lynch: My hope is Nic Cage sees it on the comics shelf and thinks he starred in the movie verson.
NEVER SEEN BEFORE IMAGE: (Not)Nic Cage as Angel Cartwright is about to be married. SPOILER ALERT The wedding will not go well END SPOILER ALERTBuffyfest: There's a distinct possibility that might happen. I'm sure he doesn't remember half the movies he's in.
Brian Lynch: I just want this comic to be one gigantic punking on Nic Cage. So he talks about it in interviews. "Shooting LAST ANGEL was fun, yeah."
Buffyfest: "It was a great experience. The fat guy from Lost is a real professional"
Brian Lynch: Maybe they will become friends in real life, thinking they made a movie together. LAST ANGEL IN HELL brings people together.
Buffyfest: It's a real people pleasure. Two thumbs up!
Brian Lynch: Oh, the sequel should be 3-D. I just thought of that, that could be fun.
Buffyfest: there should be a 3-D section, I think. Like it is when they do the special IMAX releases of films.
Brian Lynch: Oh yeah, just for a few pages here and there. But it should be the wrong pages. Explosions and sword fights, no 3-D. Long conversation scenes and Angel napping, 3-D!
Buffyfest: It's like I can reach out and feel him snoozing!
Brian Lynch: FINALLY.
Buffyfest: I've been waiting like forEVER. Thank you, Brian Lynch. Thank you.
Brian Lynch: ANGEL: NAPPING is going to be a five issue series, I think.
Buffyfest: We might have to self publish that bad boy
Brian Lynch: So in summation, LAST ANGEL IN HELL is good.
Buffyfest: It most certainly is.
And that's the end of Part One. Stay tuned later this week for Part Two where Brian and I talk about the Drusilla comic, the Spike ongoing, and more!
EDIT: CHECK OUT PART 2 OF OUR INTERVIEW WITH BRIAN LYNCH HERE!