Saturday, October 9, 2010
Buffyfest: This is Dan aka Bitsy and I'm here on the floor of NYCC with Bufyfest and we're with David Tischman and Mariah Huehner who are the co-writers of the Angel book.
Buffyfest: How are you doing at the con so far?
David Tishman: Having fun.
Mariah Huehner: Yeah, we're good. I mean we're kind of crazed but we're good.
DT: Busy day.
Buffyfest: Have you managed to do anything that is not con related while you've been in New York, Mariah?
MH: Not really. I saw my mom, that's it.
Buffyfest; So you've been working on something that was originally based around someone else's story (Bill WIllingham) but in #39, you're gonna be taking over. It's going to be all you.
DT: It's a brave, new world with #39. It's a world (dramatic pause) that James T. Kirk could have done. And I reference Captain Kirk and Star Trek because as I'd mentioned in another interview (once it's in two interviews it's research), as of issue #39... you know, Angel has such a great cast and a lot of, I think, Mariah and I, as writers and I think the fans as well... you know Connor is such a big character and there's so much about Connor and so many things are happening to Connor right now and there's also Angel and obviously Angel, his name's on the book. The name's on the cover, it's about him. So we tried to find a way to get the best of both worlds and in fact we have the best of both worlds and we did that by taking Angel and getting him transported into the future.
Buffyfest: Tell me what you can about what the future is like.
MH: Uh... has anybody watched Blade Runner?
B: Are there any flying cars?
DT: You know what? There's no flying. It's a shit hole.
MH: Yeah. We really wanted this to be different than After the Fall. After the Fall ias hell is a very specific kind of LA. This is a very different, very bleak, very unpleasant, very demon-centric (because that's going on everywhere) and Angel really doesn't know this for a while so you kind of just jump right in and I think here's an interesting juxtaposition between him and Connor. You know some of the earlier storytelling stuff definitely put the focus on the cast of team Angel. THis is doesn't really do that in thae sense that Angel is at the center of this book. But there's a parallel going on in the story that starts to get pretty weird and it has a lot to do with things that are upcoming for Angel as we near the end of this arc. So there's going to be a lot of general stuff that he's gonna have to deal with.
B: How far in the future is he going?
DT: It's far in the future.
MH: It's far.
B: Would anybody else be alive? Nobody?
DT: You're going to have to be it and see the last page of issue #39. Let me put it this way: it is far enough in the future what James, who is our big bad, who as we have seen in some of the earlier issues ... James has turned Earth into a demon breeding ground. It's a farm. Okay? it's a puppy mill for demons and because of that demons, vampires, humans they all sort of live side by side. They're all sort of this underclass. james doesn't care about ecology. He doesn't care about anything really other than birthing these demons which, by the way, he needs humans to host.
MH: It's nasty.
DT: So it's really gross. So there is this underclass of demons, vampires, humans, all kinds of things going around but the other thing is that Earth has become kind of a company town and James is the company. So everything is around him. Now, you might ask yourself, in a world like that, who are the good guys? Well, believe it or not, Angel is brought to the future by the one group who wants to get rid of James more than Angel does. DO you know who that might be?
B: Wolfram & Hart?
DT: Because as James has taken over the planet, Wolfram & Hart has been completely sidelined.
B: Their apocalypse is kind of ousted.
DT: Nobody cares about them anymore.
MH: It's been hinted before, that no matter how much they want to present themselves as this all knowing, all powerful group... you know, Illyria hinted that, oh, hey were really not that far above the vampires at one point so it's clear that they can screw up and screw up monumentally and the time shift that brought everybody back to the alley, we've been showing for a while that it's been having a lot of consequences. This keeps that going and shows that this has farther reaching rammifications than they were prepared for. They just sort of do things and then go "Oops". Thi is a really big "oops" because it allows a lot of things back that wouldn't have been able to get back and James is really taking advantage of the situation. Wolfram &Hart is not in the position they once were and they want t be. You know, they don't like being not in charge.
B: Are humans bad in this future? Is there an upper class that includes humans?
DT: That's actually a very good question because humans are actually an underclass.
B: Right but are there exceptions to that rule?
DT: Well there are always exceptions to that rule, but I'm not sure we're necessarily going to see that. What I will say is that by us bringing Angel to this future and having him kind of fighting with Wolfam &Hart against James, he is very much a return to Angel the TV show Season One. In it's tone, in who Angel is and what his mission is and remember we've got all this great supporting cast. They have their own story. It's also a world where Angel doesn't have to hold back. It's also a world that is so ecologically screwed up that no sunshine gets through so he can walk around anytime day or night.
B: He's without limit at that point.
DT: Correct. Now in our time, in the past, you have Angel Investigations.
MH: We have Connor, Gunn is back. There's a little bit of tension between those two but we do explore that relationship a little bit further because there was that whole sort of melt down. Illyria is off for a bit for her own little miniseries. That does tie into Angel #42 and there will be a really big reveal for that. kate goes off to do her own thing.
B: Oh, yeah, Kate.
DT: Yeah, chances are you won't see Kate. In a panel. Once.
MH: Maybe. But Laura and Polyphemus are still and around and they are still figuring out how to sort of run everything. it sounds very complicated but the reality is that it's two parallel stories that are working towards each other and when they finally get to the crux of where things need to go it's a really big, epic story.
DT: And because the Angel Investigations story has its own space to breath, one of the things Mariah and I have talked a lot about is trying to play with Larua and Mr. P (as I like to call him) and really play that as Thin Man, like real weird psycho love story. He's in love with her but he's a ball of rock. And there's fun stuff to play with there.
MH: I personally really like the floating, demon library. I think that's fun.
B: You've got six issues to do all this.
DT: That's all you need.
B: So that's not been a challenge to you at all.
MH: The real challenge has been #33 to #38 which is wrapping up someone else's story line which is not an easy thing to do. Bill was great as we were coming in, giving us the plot and his plans and I think that was really terrific, but we had to make sure that ended up where we needed it to so that #39 could really just take off and we could really do what we needed to do with it and that story line, I think David just really took it and ran with it. he said "This is what I think we need to do with this" and I said "Yes. The character needs to end up here, this is how we need to take it and he did it really quickly, and I think it came out pretty easily. Not to get too much into what's happening at Dark Horse but we're not telling the pre-Twilight story. We are telling our own story. But, you know, there are some there are some easter eggs for the fans to look for throughout the course of this story line that fans should keep their eyes peeled for.
B: I want to switch gears. David, I want to talk about these two other books that you're working on.
DT: I announced a book today that is going to be digital and be released on the MTV Geek site. That is called Beowolf Jones. Beowolf Jones is a warrior for hire. He likes his meat rare and his damsels young. he is a Raymond Chandler style hero in a barbarian world. it is Conan meets Shaft. There are wizards instead of drug dealers, there a slave merchants instead of pimps, and there are whores because there are always whores. Beowolf Jones is contacted by the Protorian Guard to find a girl. It turns out the girl is really his long ago love who once meant more to him than anything in the world.
B: That's a real classic story.
DT: Exactly. As he unravels this, in a Chandler way, we find out that it is never about black and white, it's always about green. it's about money and the greed, it's about power, and it's about what people have to do to survive.
B: Do we know when MTV is going to debut this?
DT: It should debut in February 2011. The artist on it is Todd Harris. He did a book called prodigal for APE. Todd is a storyboard artist so his action sequences are phenomenal. It's a really great balls to the walls action story with a guy who keeps it close to the vest but there's really a lot going on there.
B: Let's talk about the other book.
DT: There is another vampire book.
B: Tell me about it.
DT: I can't say a whole lot right now.
B: Vague it up.
DT: Have you seen "Let Me in"?
B: I haven't.
MH: You really should.
DT: D you watch the True Blood
B: I do watch the True Blood.
DT: Were you a fan of Godrich?
DT: I think if you were to put Godrich and "Let Me In" in a box and shake it. That's sort of where we might be.