It's been crazy watching License-gate unfold over the last 24 hours. Buffyfest has been privy to this juicy bit of news for quite some time now and we were just waiting for the official announcement to hit the web so we could finally talk about it! As you'll see from the following interview with Scott Allie, this wasn't the way it was all supposed to go down. But the truth is out and it's time to look forward to Season 9 while still relishing in the awesome stories that IDW is putting out right now.
Buffyfest: How did this huge announcement wind up in the back of the Riley one-shot?
Scott Allie: STUPIDITY. I screwed up. I am a slob.
Buffyfest: Was there a particular reason this wasn't announced at San Diego Comic Con?
Scott Allie: Yeah. Me promising Chris Ryall we'd wait until later in the year. That was the specific reason it was not announced at San Diego. Apparently it did not prevent me from writing it in a goddamn column that I blacked out of my memory until I got a phone call from Chris, and he ... refreshed me.
Buffyfest: Now that the Angel franchise is back with Dark Horse, what does this mean for the characters of that universe? Will Angel have his own title? Will any other characters get their own books? Any specifics?
Scott Allie: Well, it's not here yet. IDW has a bunch of stories yet to tell. But yes, Angel will eventually have his own title, as will some other characters. Some to last the whole of Season 9, some shorter. Details won't be coming for a little bit yet. I'll give you guys something exclusive at New York Comic Con.
Buffyfest: Will Joss be overseeing the Angel titles like he is with Buffy?
Scott Allie: Yeah, all titles of S9 will be part of a singular plan. Avengers will definitely take up more of his time than Dollhouse did, but we've got a plan we're gonna manage together.
Buffyfest: IDW's press release mentioned that their Angel series will tie in with what's happening with your story at Dark Horse. To what extent is that happening?
Buffyfest: Will all the Buffy and Angel characters be interacting with one another throughout Season 9?
Scott Allie: Yes, but believe me, it sucks to have too many characters in a single book. All these characters will be in continuity with one another, there will be as much fluid crossover as we want, but S9 will not be all about getting twenty pithy characters in a room together.
Buffyfest: Will we see Buffy in Angel's book or Angel in Buffy's? What about secondary characters such as Connor or Illyria interacting in Buffy's book?
Scott Allie: Yep, yep. Can't give you specifics, but what you're talking about is sort of the point. Think early Marvel universe. This will be the Buffyverse.
Buffyfest: Switching gears to the Riley One-Shot. It seems like Jane Espenson was really paralleling Riley and Sam's relationship with Angel and Buffy's.
Scott Allie: Thank you, Michelle! Bingo. Has anyone else figured that?
Buffyfest: For example Riley's line, "No, it's okay. We're together even when we're not" can just as easily be Angel's line. Are we supposed to see it that way?
Scott Allie: Jane Espenson is HOTTT!
Buffyfest: What makes the relationships between Riley and Sam and Buffy and Angel similar? What makes them different?
Scott Allie: That is such a great question, but I think it's really for readers to think about, not for me to answer. But when we decided to do a Riley oneshot, our reasons were fairly simple. We felt that Riley's role in S8 needed a bit of explanation, and that it could shed some light on Twilight's days before he revealed himself to Buffy. But the stuff Jane came up with really elevated it. It revealed more about Season 8 than we'd imagined when Joss and I first decided to do the oneshot. Much praise upon Jane.
Buffyfest: A few questions about the surprise appearance of Whistler. How long has Whistler been back in the picture as of this issue and how long has Angel been Twilight as of this moment? Will we be seeing Whistler again?
Scott Allie: You will see Whistler again. Yeah. No hard answers to the other part of your question. We don't like defining the timeline more than we have to, but it was my suggestion to put Whistler in that role—we needed someone Angel trusted to talk to, and I came up with Whistler— and Jane and Joss were real into it, because he's been out of it for so long.
Buffyfest: In the preview to Buffy #36, we see Angel seemingly hearing voices from a number of strange, random sources, including a bird. What's up with that? Is Whistler really Whistler?
Scott Allie: Whistler is Whistler, but you'll see what's up with those other voices shortly. It's pretty clear a few pages into #36. It's already at the printers.
Buffyfest: The subtitle of the Riley One-Shot "Commitment Through Distance, Virtue Through Sin" seems to be Angel's destiny in this issue and many times in his past. Can you talk about how that title came about?
Scott Allie: Sure. Jane was working on the script, sent me that title in an email asking if I thought it was cool, and I just thought, Man, that is a lot of words to put on the cover. But it had a great, military-recruitment-ad vibe to it, and hit the theme right on the noggin. So, as I often do with Jane, I said, Yes.
Buffyfest: Does that title have implications going forward as we head into the final arc?
Scott Allie: Eh, sort of, but it's more where we've been, where a lot of our characters have been, how these relationships go.
Buffyfest: Is this the last we'll see of Riley this season? What about season 9?
Scott Allie: We will see more of him in the future, but I won't say exactly when.
Buffyfest: Finally, since the Angel title is back at Dark Horse and since everyone knows you HATE Spike, can we expect Spike to be dusted and dead forever in the first issue?
Scott Allie: Well, I start co-writing as of #37 ...
And there you have it!
Photo Credit: Dirk Wood