Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Top Ten Best Moments of the Whedonverse - Buffyfest Edition

It's that time of year again, one of reflection on the past 365 days in the Whedonverse. Here's a look back at the Top Ten Best Moments of 2009 - Buffyfest Edition. Happy New Year, Everyone!

#1 - Dr. Horrible Wins an Emmy
As it should. Plus, there was an awesome appearance by the cast of Dr. Horrible, too. Good times.

#2 - New York Comic Con 2009
Oh boy, was this a bit of craziness mixed with amazing. It was out first year covering the convention and we got to interview Super Scott Allie, the Amazing Brian Lynch and Buffy's own Amber Benson. We also heard Joss speak and I was inappropriately touched by a blind man, but that's a story for another day.

#3 - Buffyfest 2009
It was the year of the Guerilla Drive-in. We thought we might get arrested or at least a little harassed, but alas, it went off without a hitch.

#4 - "Don't Spuff 'til You Spuff Enough"
Words can't properly express how we feel about this song. In truth, it's really the anthem of our year and the pride of our blog.

#5 - Angel's 10 Year Anniversary in Los Angeles
What's more fun than Buffyfest all together in the same room? It's when Buffyfest are all together in the same room that also happens to be the courtyard of the Hyperion Hotel.

#6 - Dollhouse
It was the little engine that could and against all odds, Dollhouse made it to a 2nd and final season with awesome guest appearances by quite a few Whedon alum.

#7- Can't Stop the Serenity Charity Screenings
There's always reason to celebrate charitable giving, especially this amazing group and their determination to help stop Human Rights abuse around the world. As proud sponsors of this year's event, we're happy to report that they had a record breaking year in '09!

#8 - Buffy Season 8 Motion Comic
We still have no idea what this will entail, but it's Buffy and she'll be moving her arms and legs and words will be coming out of her mouth, so this is absolutely a cause for celebration.

#9 - Twilight
A year later we're still asking, "Who the hell is this guy?", but it's finally inching a bit closer to one of the most exciting reveals in the Buffyverse.

#10 - The Buffy High School Reunion
It was a fun-filled two nights in NYC with an extra special Spike performance by our very own Bitsy.

We'd also like to add a very special thanks to the Guest Bloggers we've had throughout the year. We were lucky enough to get some amazing peeps to take over the posting reigns for a bit. A huge heap of gratitude goes out to JayUnderscoreZero (here and here), InyRules, Steph, Danner, Heidi, and Heroine_TV (Part I and Part II).

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top 13 Whedonverse Search Phrases of 2009

It might go without saying, but many people land here on Buffyfest through search engines like Google and Yahoo. People search for all sorts of things that bring them to this little blog, from the unfortunately obvious ("big breasted vampire lesbian slayer porn free movies"), to the sort of unrelated ("I am Russian, hear me roar"), to really long and rambling ("buffy saves willow from an ordinary vampire, but loses track of jesse with kendra murdered by drusilla, willow in the hospital with head trauma.") and just plain funny ("kuzuifail!").

So what are the most popular searches that bring Whedonverse seekers here, you ask? Well now that it's near the end of the year, we thought it would be fun to answer that question and compile a list of the top search Keywords of 2009. So besides the term "Buffyfest" in some form, here is a list of the top 13 search phrases of the year:

1. 'buffy/angel watching guide' or "buffy/angel episode order"
2. 'and then buffy staked edward the end'
3. 'dollhouse theme song'
4. 'david boreanaz cheating'
5. 'dr horrible september nyc'
6. 'buffy vs twilight'
7. 'angel/buffy star-crossed lovers'
8. 'buffy tarot'
9. 'buffy ds'
10. 'charisma carpenter leaving angel'
11. 'angel aftermath'
12. 'yummy sushi pajamas'
13. 'sarah michelle gellar howard stern'

Poor Boreano. I mean his bad press came at the end of the year and there it is, right towards the very top of the list.

And WTF does 'angel/buffy star-crossed lovers' even mean, anyway? Oh, after further research, it points to a quote made by Joss over here, but that's pertaining to the Twilight books/movies. Neither he, nor anyone on this blog actually wrote that search phrase in full, so where did that come from? The internets are just so odd.

This last one brought just a single visitor: "buffy:the vampire slayer counter productive" - that just may have been mine! Still won't stop any of us here at Buffyfest from blogging on straight into 2010.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Whedonverse Ornament Swap 2009 Recap

The 2009 Whedonverse Ornament Swap is now over. Thanks to everyone who participated in another fantastic year of Whedonish Yuletide fun! Most of the ornaments landed, but for those who still haven't sent theirs, please do so as soon as possible so that your group mates can enjoy the ornaments for next year. In the mean time, check out creative fabulosity above.

If you haven't yet posted your pictures to the Flickr group page, please do!

P.S. FYI, most, but not all of the photos show up in the group unless you're logged in to Flickr.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas the Night Before Sunnydale

It's Christmas Eve, so why not celebrate with this awesome parody of the famous poem, "Twas the Night Before Christmas" garnished with a twist of Buffy, of course!

'Twas the night before Christmas at Sunnydale High,
The vampires were stirring and hoped for a bite,
Buffy had hung all her stakes up with care,
For a night at the Bronze and was fixing her hair.

Giles was still studying in his librarian's room,
Studying ancient writings, scrolls, books and tomes,
Cordelia and Xander were up to some frolic,
They made out in secret in the janitor's closet.

For Willow 'twas Chanukah, she was making some spells,
But could only make green flames and sickening smells,
Angel was restless, his stomach was growling,
So in the moonlight that vampire was prowling.

The zombies were restless, their bodies decaying,
With some hapless human the demons were playing,
Spike and Drusilla were plotting their plans,
And Oz played guitar at the Bronze with his band.

Down in the Hellmouth, a master vampire,
Was stalking and snarling, all lit by hell-fire,
He wanted revenge on the Sunnydale Slayer,
To maim her and rend her and make her afraid.
The rest of the poem can be found here.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Buffy, Twilight and Obama Walk Into a Bar: Update with Scott Allie


Is Buffy corrupted beyond repair? Are Dawn and Xander a perverted mockery of a couple? Is Obama really putting Twilight Kool-Aid in the Swine Flu vaccine? You can find all these answers and more in the recent interview we had with Dark Horse Comic's Super Scott Allie.

Buffyfest: Last year at NYCC, I asked you a question about theme in Buffy Season 8. You weren't able to answer because the comic was in its early stages, but now, 3/4 of the way through, can you comment on what you think is/are the overall theme(s) of the story?

Scott Allie: Sorry, still a no-go! I'll start being apparent in the next few months.

Buffyfest: There's been a lot of talk on the “internets” about Buffy's corruption and how it's been sitting heavy on the Season. Do you think Buffy's been corrupted by power or is this just a girl who's stressed out and/or maybe a little jaded?

Scott Allie: I don't know that power corrupted her so much as pressure. But I do think she's made some unfortunate compromises.

Buffyfest: What do you think those compromises are?

Scott Allie: Well, I agree with fans that financing her operations with theft is not a very heroic thing. But I think Buffy is a very imperfect hero, so I don't think it's so much out of character, as some fans have suggested, but rather a not so positive bit of character development.

Buffyfest: Regarding Obama's reveal as Twilight, did he get his superpowers from a new socialist health program that helps boost people's strength in order to fight against the free market?

Scott Allie: Like all lesser deities, he got his powers from the sacrifices and devotion of his followers. So basically Season Eight ends when everyone loses faith in him, he loses his invulnerability, and becomes an easy target. I'm still talking about Twilight, right?

Buffyfest: Can you give us one personality trait that would characterize the person under the Twilight mask?

Scott Allie: I cannot.

Buffyfest: Doesn't hurt to try. Moving on. There's been a lot of nay-saying over Xander and Dawn's relationship. Why do you think people are so reluctant to embrace this pairing? Was this issue something you and Joss talked about before the story was released?

Scott Allie: We knew it was coming. We never hesitated. We knew people would hate it because of their history, but I guess we disagree. I don't think that age difference would stop many people. I think 200-year-old Angel (and slightly younger Spike) hooking up with high-school-age (or slightly older) Buffy is a lot worse, and we're all still arguing about which one of those relationships was the most True Love. Xander knew her as a child--when he was a slightly older child. Xander's pretty immature, would’ve met her when she was in 6th grade or so. He wasn't changing her diapers.

Buffyfest: Speaking of controversial relationships, we had Buffy and Satsu, Xander and Dawn and Willow's cheating scandal with the Snake Lady, Saga Vasuki. Are there any other shocking parings yet to be seen in Season 8? If so, without going in to detail, what makes it controversial in your eyes?

Scott Allie: Yes, and no, I won't say.

Buffyfest: Continuing with Willow, the One-Shot comes out soon. Besides Kennedy, will we see any other Buffy characters in the story?

Scott Allie: Ohhhhhhhh yeah.

Buffyfest: Switching gears to some of the other Whedonverse titles: With the success of the Dr. Horrible One-Shot, do you think doing a mini or an ongoing in that universe is viable?

Scott Allie: Viable, yeah, and we have specific plans, not ready fo' unveiling.

Buffyfest: What about Sugar Shock? Any chance we'll be seeing more stories there?

Scott Allie: I doubt it. Maybe. Next time he feels like doing something like that, I suspect he'll make up something new.

Buffyfest: Did you watch Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles before it was canceled? I loved it! Is there anything you can tell us about the overall time frame of Zack Whedon's Terminator story or how it links to the television show and/or any of the movies?

Scott Allie: All I'll say is that the Terminator license is a very strange thing. Unique in such properties, the original movie, T2, Salvation, and the show are all separate licenses--like Angel and Buffy are. So we only have the original movie. So we're focusing on characters from the film, and situations from the film, and nothing from the other films, or the show.

Buffyfest: With Exurbia coming to "My Space Dark Horse Presents", will it be a continuation of the story with characters like The Rat making appearances or is this a whole new story?

Scott Allie: It takes place before the graphic novel, focused on The Rat. At first we thought we'd do Gage, but while we were on that book tour where we saw you, we came up with this story. I think it's because we were listening to Patton Oswalt's “My Weakness Is Strong”, with all its rat humor...

Buffyfest: As you know, like many women, I was introduced to the comic world through Buffy Season 8. What do you think would attract readers like me to the pulp fictional character of Solomon Kane which you’ve written the next installment for (being released in January)?

Scott Allie: Ohhh, I dunno. Kane is really traditional adventure stuff. For Joss, the monsters are sort of secondary concerns. The monsters are pretty central to Kane. I'm actually surprised at how many women are fans of Conan (created by the same writer as Kane). I think those women will dig Kane, but women who come to comics through Buffy might find Exurbia or Devil's Footprints an easier next step into comics. The Kane artist really likes gore.

Buffyfest: Finally, do you have any comments on the recent cancellation of Dollhouse? Any plans to continue the story in comic form?

Scott Allie: No plans, but we talk. Right now it's just time for him to wrap things up. I loved how Season Two started, much more than Season One. I thought he'd nailed it, and it was like they played a game to see how they could screw it up. Fox %#$@ed this really nice guy.

Check out this quick preview of the Willow One-Shot being released this Wednesday.

Joss Whedon and Cast Celebrate Dollhouse...Drunk

These and more pics from Dollhouse's wrap party from @motancharoen Twitpic Stream. Go check out the rest and RIP Dollhouse.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

fanvid sunday

Running, running, always running so far and so fast but there's never any escape from what's coming. The job you know you'll fail at, the friends you know you'll disappoint, the world you never feel like you're a part of. The love we find we will most certainly lose and the bonds we forge will all but inevitably be broken. No wonder when she is about to sacrifice herself, when she is finally going to die, Buffy... smiles.

David Boreanaz Is Moving Out

The Real Estalker blog has some serious scoopage on Boreano selling his 3 bedroom Hollywood Hills home. Wonder if he will be leaving LA? Michelle will be sad.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Alyson Hannigan Freaks Us All Out

WTF? Seriously what the fuck. @AlyDenisof  tweeted the above twitpic which she accurately titled "If Eliza and Sarah were combined into one person..."

How is that real? And where did she find this mysterious hybrid person? I'd like to dream that if Buffy was still airing, that Whedon would some how write her into the story (not in that way perv!!!!)

So strange.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The 2009 Whedonverse Gift Guide

The holiday shopping season is once again coming to a closes and if you're having trouble deciding what to get your fellow fandom friends, have no fear...we gotcha covered. Below you'll find a list of the coolest, newest Whedon-ish stuff out there.

(Make sure you check out last year's list too as most of that stuff is still available and still awesome!)

For the Casual Viewer or Newbie:
The Serious fan:
Recession Specials!
  • Create your own Whedonverse Ornaments (See the Flickr Group from our Whedonverse Ornament Swap for some inspiration)
  • This "Browncoat Field Ration" soap by Geeky Clean is a mere $4.99 and $1 of each bar is going towards this year's Can't Stop The Serenity total. Clean, cheap and charitable!
  • The documentary "Done the Impossible" (The story of the rise and fall and rebirth of the cult TV show "Firefly,"as told from the perspective of the fans who helped save it) is not only is it a cool $9.99, but if you buy now, you get one free! Hint: keep it for yourself.
  • Keeping with the Browncoat theme, every Firefly fan needs their own Reaver Doll - on sale for just $11.95!
Last Minute Larry - don't even need to leave the house for these finds!

Crazy-super-duper-hard-core-fan that has everything:
Happy shopping!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Countdown to Angel #28: Bill Willingham Interview

Tomorrow is the day of days: the release of the much anticipated Angel #28 and, as we wind down our countdown, we've saved our interview with Eisner Award winner (many times over), Bill Willingham, for last. In case you're a living under a rock demon, Bill is the man who will be writing the main story for the coming Angel arc and is probably best know for his absolutely incredible, ongoing Vertigo book (seriously, go read it), Fables. He recently took the time to answer a few of our questions. Here's what went down:

Buffyfest: What frame of mind is Connor in as we begin this story?

Bill Willingham: He’s feeling the guilt that we all feel when we reach a certain age in our maturity and realize what a complete shit we’ve been to our parents at times. We thought of them as stupid and mean and unfair, when we didn’t get our way, only to realize later that they were smart and loving and fair, acting in our best interests all along, but in ways a childish mind couldn’t grasp. Connor has more excuses than most in being a vindictive brat. He got a dealt a bad turn, and so it was understandable that he lashed out at his father the first time – and then the second time – but by the third or fourth betrayal it was getting a bit much. Connor had some growing up to do, and like everyone else, he eventually matured enough to wonder at how smart the old man has gotten lately.

Buffyfest: Who does he trust and who is he wary of?

Bill Willingham: He trusts his dad – finally – which makes him distrust himself. His own instincts are still to strike out and fight and undermine. That’s the residue of his basic immaturity. But a certain amount of wisdom comes from age, whether we seek it or not. Connor has realized that his instincts have been 100% off practically all of the time. So maybe it’s time to follow his father’s guidance, even when (or especially when) he doesn’t fully understand the reasoning behind it.

Buffyfest: What about Angel? Where’s his head at?

Bill Willingham: Angel’s head is spinning. He’s not built to be famous. In his long past life (and unlife) he was most famous when he was doing the most terrible things imaginable. Anonymity has been his greatest asset in his ages-long struggle to redeem himself. But he doesn’t get to be anonymous any longer. He has some adjustments to make and needs to do so quickly. Unfortunately, a guy who’s been around as long as he has forgets how to do anything quickly.

Buffyfest: And the rest of the team?

Bill Willingham: Spike is more or less still the same old Spike. He’s a contrarian by nature and the one who will always ask, “Why do we have to do it that way? Who says, and why listen to him?” We’ve seen this before and it’s a strong streak in him. Why can’t he be the great love of Buffy’s life? Why can’t he be the vampire-with-a-soul that is featured in the Shanshu Prophecy. Of course questions lead to actions. Spike is about to do some things to really test the system. Who decides who gets to write prophecy, and why can’t I do it? And so on. Needless to say, it will cause some ripples.

Gunn is a mess. He’s screwed up and he knows it. The fact that his betrayals never actually happened, in the great Reality Reset, doesn’t help much when everyone can still “remember” what he did. He’s got a lot to make up for.

Illyria is perplexed. For better or worse she’s thrown her lot in with these people, to fight the good fight against evil. Now all she needs to do is learn what differentiates good and evil. It isn’t part of her mental makeup. She only looks human, but her mind is pure demon and her natural value system is as alien to ours as it can be. But she has an impressive intellect, which will lead her to work the problem and come up with a solution. The solution she comes up with will add (one hopes) a very Whedonesque mix of dark humor and terrible jeopardy to our story.

And since this answer is rambling on so long, I’ll just add that the other regulars each have their own concerns that will lead to interesting story possibilities.

Buffyfest: Connor was born from prophecy and his father is in several prophecies. How do you think Connor sees his own predestination versus free will?

Bill Willingham: I don’t see prophecy and destiny as absolute or perfectly synonymous. In my mind prophecy is what could happen, provided the central players step up and do their duty when the storm comes. Not to get all Biblical on you, but this is too good an example not to use: According to the New Testament, Jesus was the messiah of prophecy, but his ordeal on the mount, the night before he was arrested, heavily implies (if it doesn’t outright state – my biblical reading is tardy of late) that he had a choice in the events to come. He could agree to be sacrificed and fulfill his mission, or he could have opted out to save himself.

So, with that said, Connor is confused about his place in the grand scheme of things. No one likes to be confused and uncertain about the important stuff, so he’s going to want to look into the nuts and bolts of the various prophecies concerning him and his father. Spike, as we’ve seen above, will play a part in this, and hilarity, or tragedy, or both, will ensue.

Buffyfest: The upcoming story seems to involve Angel being kidnapped and forced to turn celebrities into vampires.

Bill Willingham: Yes.

Buffyfest: Are we actually going to see other vampires with souls in "Immortality for Dummies"?

Bill Willingham: No comment. Seriously, that’s the crux of the entire story arc, so it’s the one thing I really shouldn’t give away. But we are definitely going to meet an interesting new vampire or two. Fun times.

Buffyfest: How would that affect the Shanshu Prophecy?

Bill Willingham: I suspect it would add to the already overwhelming confusion.

Buffyfest: Kelley Armstrong's Aftermath arc began with Angel saying, in so many words, that he's redeemed himself.

Bill Willingham: Yes.

Buffyfest: Do you think he's redeemed?

Bill Willingham: That’s the vital question, isn’t it? I think, despite his supernatural alteration, Angel is fundamentally human – at least as far as his psychology – and every single human who has lived or will ever live has this much in common: We think one thing one day and think something else the next day. One day I might believe I’m a greatest living writer in the English language, while the next day I can suddenly look at the same material and conclude that I should be arrested for crimes against locution and syntax. Does that make me a hypocrite? Nope. It just makes me human. So, Angel may have truly meant it when he said his redemption is complete. He was enjoying a rare moment in the heights. But we’ve also seen that Angel can suffer the lowest of lows. Therefore I believe the question is still outstanding. We’ll see.

And this brings up another interesting question, one that Spike might ask, for instance: Who gets to decide? Who’s the redemption authority? It might make an interesting story to try to find that out in the Angel/Buffyverse.

Buffyfest: Can any of the Angel characters ever truly be redeemed without losing a necessary part of the narrative?

Bill Willingham: I hope so, because I have to hope there is at least the possibility of a light at the end of this very long, dark tunnel. But we’ll just have to wait and see.

Buffyfest: While rewatching the Angel series, were there any episodes or story arcs that struck you as being really exceptional?

Bill Willingham: Of course. The best of the best of course has to be the final scene of the final episode, where one fight has been won, at a terrible cost, only to find out that the war continues. That’s where Angel showed his true character: “We still have a job to do, so let’s get to work.” It may be the best ending to any bit of serial fiction ever, so much so in fact that, had I been offered the helm of the Angel comic book then, I would have had to turn it down. I’m not so arrogant or suicidal as to think I could have followed up on that.

Buffyfest: Are there any characters from Angel that you find yourself feeling especially connected to, that you really identify with?

Bill Willingham: Connor. It’s time for him to stop being a brat and grow up a little. It won’t be smooth sailing, but it’s time. I like Spike, of course, because how can you not love the rogue? Illyria has tons of interesting potential, provided I not yield to the temptation to try to bring Fred back. Illyria only works as a character (for my skills at least – maybe a better writer could do what I can’t) if Fred is irretrievably gone. Then the sacrifice and drama actually has meaning. Wesley had the best character arc of the entire series, so I’m almost happy he isn’t available to me, because there’s nothing there that needs fixing or improving, so I could only do damage.

Buffyfest: If you could tell a story anywhere in the continuity other than what's happening now, where would it be?

Bill Willingham: It would be the Last Angel Story of course. Who could resist the challenge of telling the story’s end, whether happy or otherwise? And yes, a certain you-know-who would have to have a significant part in such a tale.

Buffyfest: Chris Ryall said in our last interview that he wanted to steer clear of telling too many crossover stories but, if you could take Angel (or any other character in his universe) and team him up with/pit him against any other established character, who would they be and why?

Bill Willingham: I love crossovers. In the trade we’re calling them mashups now. They’re tough to do well and easy to screw up. Once again, who can resist that kind of challenge? Hell, let’s make some news here and make it official. I’m right this minute seriously proposing that we do an Angel/Bigby Wolf (Fables) crossover. Two tough bastards fighting the good fight, side by side. Guest starring their two sons of course, Connor and Ghost. I know exactly how we can get Bigby into Angel’s fictional universe. Chris, Mariah, I assume one or both of you’ll pick up the phone to DC/Vertigo and make this happen, please?

Buffyfest: You’re in a demon karaoke bar seeking guidance: what song do you sing and what are you drinking to build up your courage to get on stage?

Bill Willingham: An easy question at last: Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner (from the merely magnificent Warren Zevon), fueled by three strong mixed drinks: vodka with fresh-squeezed (don’t you dare come near me with anything out of a can) grapefruit juice. Tall glass. Lots of ice. Did you know Williams used to be a bartender? Damn good one too. How do you think he got this gig?

And that, my friends, is that. A huge thanks to the entire team for taking the time to answer our questions. If you're as curious as I was about the chances of an acutal Fables/Angel mash up I can only say that, yes, there is a serious desire to make that happen but, as with all things, it's gonna take some work. I'm hopeful though, as are Mariah and Chris, that it's possible.

I'll try and have a review up for Angel #28 as soon as it drops but, honestly, don't wait for my opinion. Just go get it. This team is truly amazing and there's no doubt that they are all huge fans of these characters. Our fandom is in very, very good hands.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Countdown to Angel #28: Bill Williams Interview

Continuing right along with our countdown to the release of Angel #28, we're proud to roll out the interview we conducted with Bill Williams, the writer who will be handling the secondary story arc involving new character, Eddie Hope. Let's dive right in and see what we have time to see!

Buffyfest: Eddie Hope is a man on a mission, what is that mission and how far is he willing to go to complete it?

Bill Williams: Eddie's life was fundamentally changed in the events of After The Fall and he thinks that his life was destroyed. He wants to get even for what happened to him and to others. Now it just so happens that he has his devil powers and he knows the very worst people in Los Angeles. So Eddie sets out to make the world a better place by removing these terrible people from the Land of the Living. When the series starts, Eddie is willing to do just about anything to punish LA's wicked. He sees himself as a lost soul tidying up his part of the world. I think he realizes that like any gunfighter he might run into someone who might out-quick him and he is fine with that. That is Eddie's starting point, but it starts to change in small ways from the first few stories on. Writing in Joss Whedon's world practically demands that you have the reversals and twists that he used so effectively on the various television series.

Buffyfest: Kelley Armstrong's Aftermath arc began with Angel saying, in so many words, that he's redeemed himself. Do you think he's redeemed? Can any of the Angel characters ever truly be redeemed without losing a necessary part of the narrative?

Bill Williams: Redemption for a character like Angel or Spike means that you move to a slightly different kind of story similar to the shift between the Buffy and Angel TV series. Buffy had one type of story thread running through it and Angel had another kind of story in play. The Whedon characters are more interesting because they have these monumental flaws. Wesley has a tremendous arc as a character. I think that you can have a character that has redeemed himself or herself and done something to wipe a slate clean. That does not necessarily mean that they have to get boring. There will always be someone out there who will stand up and tell you that you still owe a little.

Buffyfest: While rewatching the Angel series, were there any episodes or story arcs that struck you as being really exceptional?

Bill Williams: I loved the Fifth Season of Angel. It had excellent episodes like Harm's Way and Time Bomb, but the best of that season had to be the finale, Not Fade Away. That episode tied together long-running sub-plots, gave a few characters a graceful way off of the stage and wrapped the series up in grand fashion with a big bold statement. I did a podcast recently and the same question came up about Buffy. People picked the low-hanging fruit naming 'The Body' or the musical or 'Hush', which are all fine episodes. I picked the episode that starts Season 3, 'Anne' where Buffy is miserable because she has cut out her friends and family and because she is denying her basic nature. Thankfully in that episode, events conspire to get Buffy back in the game in that Hell Factory in a tremendous kick ass action sequence. By fully accepting the role of the Slayer, it sets the tone for the next few seasons.

Buffyfest: Are there any characters from Angel that you find yourself feeling especially connected to, that you really identify with?

Bill Williams: I love Electric Gwen Raiden and managed to work her into the Eddie stories as soon as I could. When it comes to the writing, I'm a crime guy so I love Gwen because she is always playing some sort of angle. She's always running a scam. Gwen is not as squeaky clean as the rest of Team Angel. She's more fun to bounce off of the more heroic, honest characters.

Buffyfest: If you could tell a story anywhere in the continuity other than what's happening now, where would it be?

Bill Williams: I would love to write an Angel story that is a pulpy bit of Chandler-era LA demon noir. They used that approach on the Angel stories with some luck in the first season or two of the television series. Angel was established in LA in the Hotel Hyperion- centric episode titled 'Are You Now or Have You Ever Been.' Maybe the story of Angel's 100 years in Hell after Buffy ran him through with a sword and kicked him into a gate might be a fun challenge too.

Buffyfest: Chris Ryall said in our last interview that he wanted to steer clear of telling too many crossover stories but, if you could take Angel (or any other character in his universe) and team him up with/pit him against any other established character, who would they be and why?

Bill Williams: How much fun would a Spike/ Blade the Vampire Slayer buddy road-trip project be? It would be like the movie Midnight Run but with way more stabbing. Maybe a zombie-fighting Angel/ Lone Ranger western in old New Orleans would be entertaining. The nice thing about Whedon's creations is that they are strong enough to stand in almost any genre and any era.

Buffyfest: You’re in a demon karaoke bar seeking guidance: what song do you sing and what are you drinking to build up your courage to get on stage?

Bill Williams: Hurm. If I wanted to maintain my geek cred, I would say "We Used to be Friends" by The Dandy Warhols which was used as the theme to TV's Veronica Mars, but it would more probably be something by Dean Martin. Last night, I was at a place called The HiBall in Austin and I had a few ripping good Old Fashioneds. I think that maybe the bourbon would make me sing better. It would certainly help if the audience had a few.

Our thanks to Bill Williams for taking the time to talk with us. The more I hear from this new creative team, the more excited I get. Stay tuned for tomorrow when Bill Willingham will join us.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Countdown to Angel #28: Mariah Huehner Interview Part Two

Welcome to part 2 of our interview with IDW editor, Mariah Huehner. In this scond installment, Mariah and I trade thoughts on the changing comic books industry, what she'll be working on with Angel and other books as well, and we launch courageously right into the most polarizing of all Buffy related discussions. Enjoy!

Buffyfest: How about this industry of ours, huh?

Mariah Huehner: Ha!

Buffyfest: How do you think IDW will change in the coming decade? It seems, more than ever, that smaller publisher's have to really think ahead of the curve.

Mariah Huehner: I think everyone is going to have to adjust to a more digital push which IDW is already doing a lot of, thankfully, with making our comics accessible online, etc. I don't think actual print is dead, but it's definitely shifting.

Buffyfest: Well I think trades are safe but what about floppies? Do you think they are going to die out?

Mariah Huehner: I don't know. So much of how comics does things is based on the floppies model but TPB's have become increasingly important, and if you're going to reach an audience outside the comics shops, you can't rely on floppies. People who aren't already familiar with them don't know what to do with them. I think they'll likely become more of a collectible

Buffyfest: Now that we're living in a Disney/Warner Bros. world

Mariah Huehner: Yeah, I'm really curious about both of those. I know people at both companies, and I worked for DC/Vertigo for 4 years, so, it's certainly some interesting times.

Buffyfest: How do you think the industry's push towards the mainstream will affect the content itself? Do you think it'll be good for feminism in comics?

Mariah Huehner: I do, actually. I think having to cater to a wider audience will have a definitive impact. Not that prose is immune to sexism or anything, but you get more variety.

Buffyfest: Do you think IDW has any books on the shelves now or coming out in the future that will appeal to a feminist audience?

Mariah Huehner: I think so. Obviously none of them have an overt feminist "agenda" or anything, but I tend to see feminist stories as those that treat characters equally. Locke and Key is a book I'm continually impressed with. Angel, obviously.

Buffyfest: Joe Hill really outdid himself with the most recent issue of Locke & Key. That was a book and a half.

Mariah Huehner: That book gives me actual chills. Sometimes something just...clicks and I think that book manages something really hard, which is real visceral horror. Which is hard in any format, but I think it's a particular challenge in comics because of how the form tells a story.

Buffyfest: To do a battle between two ghosts and make it really intense is no mean feat.

Mariah Huehner: We're also adapting The Last Unicorn, which I think should appeal to a lot of different readers. I'm working on that one, and just the sketches so far are amazing.

Buffyfest: Who is drawing it and who is adapting it?

Mariah Huehner: Peter B. Gillis is doing the adaptation from the book, and Renae De Liz is doing the art. She's done a few things for us before, but her work is just PERFECT for this. You can see a promo image here. I'd forgotten we'd put this up this week.

Buffyfest: I can't believe I didn't catch this. Peter S. Beagle is an AMAZING novelist.

Mariah Huehner: I'd forgotten how wonderful the novel is.

Buffyfest: Do you have any other projects that are in the early stages you can tell me about without getting into trouble?

Mariah Huehner: At this stage, probably not, although I can say I'm working on another Angel mini which will revolve around him at a much earlier time.

Buffyfest: Is this a John Byrne/Franco Urru project perchance?

Mariah Huehner: It's not, actually. But it's in that vein of the "Angel in Time" stories. They're a lot of fun.

Buffyfest: I'll be very curious to see who you've got to write it.

Mariah Huehner: It's a writer I've worked with before who is not stranger to vampire stories. But that's all I say. I think we'll be announcing it relatively soon.

Buffyfest: Alright. That's enough to get the fandom buzzing so it satisfies me. If you could write a story for IDW, though, do you know what it would be? Would you want to do an Angel book or something original?

Mariah Huehner: That's a tough call. I'd kind of love to do an Illyria story... The character really does fascinate me. If I could tell any story, though, I'd want to do a horror tale. I was really impressed with Jennifer's Body, which will probably be polarizing to some folks, but I love that genre something fierce. I'm personally just a total Diablo Cody fan which I've noticed can be controversial for whatever reason. The longer I'm in this industry, the more I realize how much my opinions could get me in trouble.

Buffyfest: It's true. So... Angel or Spike?

Mariah Huehner: Spike. Without a doubt. Well, not with Buffy. Just Spike overall. The Spike relationship [with Buffy], as it ends up, is way different than the beginning but I don't know that you can get past that level of screwed up.

Buffyfest: The bathroom scene in "Seeing Red". I just don't think there's any way of coming back from that.

Mariah Huehner: Ugh, yeah, I can't watch that.

Buffyfest: I just never thought Buffy should ever be that helpless. I hate the idea of Buffy as a victim because it goes against everything she is for me. It physically pained me watching that arc unfold.

Mariah Huehner: It's a pretty dark place to take those characteres. Dealing with the consequences of her resurrection was fine. Getting dark even, was fine. Season 6 is actually my favorite, weirdly, because of that.

Buffyfest: Season Six is your favorite?

Mariah Huehner: Yeah, I like tragedy.

Buffyfest: What about Angel?

Mariah Huehner: Season 5, definitely. Probably because Fred dies and it upsets me so much. I like Season 5 of Buffy a lot too and 7 is exactly what you want out of a "grrrl power" story.

Buffyfest: What about the earlier seasons?

Mariah Huehner: Three [of Buffy] is great. The Mayor is the best villain, flat out. Buffy and Angel are sort of weird in that I love them no matter what season, but there are ones I go back to again and again. Angel Season 3 I like a lot, and the noir feel of 1 is a great way to open.

And that, a little abruptly, ends part two. We literally talked for over three hours and, at that point, the IDW offices were experiencing a mass exodus. I was really lucky to get to sit down and talk with Mariah and I know we'll be hearing from her a lot more in the future.

Keep an eye out next week, folks, when we'll be rolling out our interviews with Bill Williams and Bill Willingham just in time for Angel #28.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Angel #28 Countdown: Mariah Huehner Interview Part One

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.

Buffyfest: That's awesome. So you'll be handling the main Angel ongoing, you have been editing Scott Lobdell's Only Human mini, and Brian mentioned you'd be editing his Spike book next year. Is that everything you're working on?

Mariah Huehner: That I can announce, yeah. Although working on Brian's Spike series is something that hasn't been made official. I hope to, though. Brian's so much fun.

Buffyfest: He really is and he's passionate about telling a story that will satisfy fans. He's kind of happened into becoming the voice of Spike.

Mariah Huehner: Well, he really "gets" Spike, I think, on a fundamental level which is harder than people might think. Spike isn't as broody as Angel, but he's got some interesting layers going on.

Buffyfest: I think getting his own story was way overdue. It always felt like he was vying for attention in someone else's series

Mariah Huehner: Which he sort of is, really. He's always second fiddle to Angel, because of the Shanshu. Although Spike's motives as a "hero" are less ambivalent than Angel's, which I find interesting.

Buffyfest: What do you think motivates Spike to be the hero?

Mariah Huehner: Earning his soul, I think. He didn't have it forced on him, he fought for it. Even when he was evil, he sought it out.

Buffyfest: Do you think he feels that he always has to be earning it? That he has to fight for justice or else what's the point of having gotten the soul at all?

Mariah Huehner: Sometimes. But I also think Spike, once he got over the crazy basement phase, understood that he'd chosen this, so he had to live up to it. He doesn't dwell on it the way Angel does.

Buffyfest: Is he still fighting for the love of that blonde girl with the wooden, pointy thing who shall not be named?

Mariah Huehner: Probably yes and no. I'm sure some part of him will always be fighting for her, because that's Spike. He's a fighter. He doesn't know how to quit but I also don't think doing the "right" thing is all that difficult for him. Just like being evil wasn't when he had no soul.

Buffyfest: You talked a bit on your journal about the ups and downs of the Twilight fandom and one of the big downsides was the normalizing of the abusive and unhealthy relationship between the protagonists. Is there a big difference between that and the relationship that Spike had with Buffy. What about Angel and Buffy? We saw a lot of unhealthy stuff in both of those pairings. What's the difference? Is there one?

Mariah Huehner: Well, Buffy is a supe. Things that apply to "normal" or regular girl characters don't with her. Plus, it's pretty clear every time Angel or Spike do anything negative towards Buffy that's it not okay. Or vice versa, really. The Buffy/Spike relationship in particular was all about self-destruction through sex. It was sort of mutually abusive, and I never got the impression that it was supposed to seem in any way good.

Buffyfest: I agree with you but I know that many people wouldn't.

Mariah Huehner: Sure, and I can see why. A lot of what's great about the Whedonverse is that interpretation is largely encouraged. It doesn't shy away from being difficult or challenging to assumptions.

Buffyfest: Maybe that's another difference between those relationships and the ones in Twilight. There seems to be an openness and an honesty in what's happening even though there's a lot of gray area. I don't know that Edward and Bella have that kind of depth.

Mariah Huehner: I think it's also the difference between portraying something and advocating it. You can portray abusive relationships in a nuanced and gray way, but just the act of portraying it doesn't mean you're encouraging it or saying, hey, that's a great idea. With Twilight, it seems to be suggesting that this is love and that it's okay in some way.

Buffyfest: Right. I want to bring this idea of telling complicated narratives that portray choices and relationships that are very gray area back to the Angel comic. What kind of issues are our heroes going to be dealing with in this upcoming arc?

Mariah Huehner: A lot of the next arc will focus on Connor and Angel and trying to figure out their relationship. They're not the most demonstrative father/son team and Connor has a lot to learn about being a champion. During the Hell Moment was one thing, but being part of Angel Investigations is something else. We start out with Angel being mysteriously missing, so Connor steps up. And quickly learns that doing what Angel does is not easy or simple at all.

Buffyfest: The right way to handle these extraordinary situations is not so black and white.

Mariah Huehner: Nope. Angel makes it look easy, but when you're dealing with so many other personalities, you really start to see why Angel needs to be a leader and why that's such a heavy burden sometimes.

Buffyfest: Will wee see Connor make mistakes?

Mariah Huehner: Boy, will we. When you think about it, there's so much they all have to adjust to. There was something simpler about the Hell Moment. It was pretty obvious what they had to do in terms of fighting, helping, and defeating evil. Now you've got L.A. back to "normal" and everyone remembers what happened. Only it technically didn't.

Buffyfest: Seems like the lines between right and wrong came into sharp focus in Hell but, now that they're out, the lines are blurrier than ever.

Mariah Huehner: Exactly. There's the whole Super Famous Heroes thing to deal with, too. L.A. is pretty celebrity obsessed as it is.

Buffyfest: Right. And there's this subplot of Angel being forced to turn people into vampires which opens up so many issues. We've seen how people with souls can act pretty savagely. It's almost like the lines between monsters and humanity have blurred too.

Mariah Huehner: Absolutely. Which has always been an interesting concept in that world. There's also some really fun Spike/Gunn stuff coming up, and Illyria will be playing a significant role in dealing with Angel going missing.

Buffyfest: How are those relationships. Spike and Illyria had an intense relationship in the Hell Moment and, in the here and now, Gunn and Illyria have gotten close. What will those relationships look like as we begin this arc?

Mariah Huehner: Even though Illyria hs been getting closer to some of the other people in the team, she still has a fundamental disconnect about what it means to be human and she really doesn't get emotions at all.

Buffyfest: She's kind of like Evil Spock.

Mariah Huehner: A bit. And she's almost sexless, too. Or beyond it.

Buffyfest: So no more kisses between her and Spike (or anyone else for that matter)?

Mariah Huehner: Well, I won't go that far, but she's definitely not going to be the "hot chick" anytime soon.

Buffyfest: She's definitely "awkward" personified, that's for sure. Does anyone in that group not feel like the odd man out? The team isn't very team-like these days.

Mariah Huehner: I think they're all kind of struggling with that, how to get back to that place. Most of these characters have gone through some pretty traumatic stuff during AtF and it's going to take awhile for them to really get it together.

Buffyfest: Is there a way to get back to where they were or do they just have to move forward and hope for the best?

Mariah Huehner: I think they have to move forward. Too many things have happened, too many consequences. Too much loss.

Buffyfest: Angel has a line in "Aftermath" and I'm going to actually quote it since I pulled out the book. "I've redeemed my past and am coming to terms with my possibly uncertain future." More than any either part of that arc, that was the thing people zeroed in on so I'm going to ask your opinion: do you think Angel has redeemed himself?

Mariah Huehner: I would say that he can't really redeem himself. He might be able to reconcile it, and work at it, which is sort of his pathos...always striving. Being good doesn't come easily or naturally to Angel so, maybe he thought he had for awhile...but really, he can't ever be non-vigilant about that part of him. The part of him that's been evil. Plus, his story is, to me, less about redemption as it is about fighting the good fight no matter what. Even when you don't want to. Even when it's hard. Even when there are terrible sacrifices. Redemption would be nice, but I don't know that, deep down, he thinks that can happen. Being good now doesn't change anything he did. There's no, save one life, make up for killing another, equation.

Buffyfest: Do you think it's good for Angel to work with others even though anyone who gets close to him winds up being emotionally and physically damaged, dead, or irredeemable (sometimes all three)?

Mariah Huehner: I think it's the only thing that keeps him honest. Even though tragedy tends to follow him around, without other people, I suspect he'd revert back to the way he was just after he was ensoulled. Eventually, anyway.

Buffyfest: Do you think he could ever commit horrible atrocities even with his soul if ever he lost everything that ever mattered to him? Can Angel be even worse than Angelus?

Mariah Huehner: I think that's what he struggles with. He wasn't a particularly stellar human, but he wasn't evil, either. I think the whole conundrum with the Shanshu is that in the right circumstances, with the right amount of despair, Angel can do some less than great things even with a soul.

Buffyfest: Do you think you could tell a story where he totally crosses the line while still having the soul and still redeem him enough by the end of it to bring him back to hero status?

Mariah Huehner: Good question. I'm really not sure. I'd like to think it would take a lot to get him to that place. Something worse than the Apocalypse, probably.

Buffyfest: He'd have to lose everything. For a loner, he's got a lot to lose.

Mariah Huehner: He's been pushed before. Losing Cordelia and Fred were what snapped him out of the Wolfram & Hart ends justifies the means haze...and Connor's death let him see how to get out of the Hell Moment.

Buffyfest: Sometimes that loss spurns him to do the right thing against impossible odds.

Mariah Huehner: I think sometimes loss is the only way we truly see what something is costing us. Angel has a tendency to be really self-involved, and that's been disastrous at times.

Buffyfest: He's surprisingly human that way. Let's talk favorites. What were your favorite episodes of Angel?

Mariah Huehner: "A Hole in World" is, without a doubt, my favorite. Which sounds incredibly morbid, I know. "Not Fade Away" is also way up there.

Buffyfest: Was Fred one of your favorite characters?

Mariah Huehner: My favorite, really. Her character arc is really impressive.

Buffyfest: How did you feel about Illyria during that last act of Season five?
Mariah Huehner: Sort of a weird love/hate thing. She's fascinating as a character. Something that old, that vast, that completely inhuman now trapped inside this much less powerful body. Adjusting to a world that's completely and entirely alien.

Buffyfest: I want to go back to Fred. I'm curious what it was about her specifically that made you so attached to her. Did you identify with her at all?

Mariah Huehner: A lot, although we're not necessarily all that alike. Some of it is just that she's so...normal and she's the only one who retains a sense of conscience. Although she certainly deals with the W&H thing, she's not really seduced by it the same way.

Buffyfest: Do you think her connection to her own ethics and to humanity is rooted in the fact that she's the only character who still has a positive relationship with her parents?

Mariah Huehner: Definitely. Having that relationship is what kept her from being any more crazy in Lorne's world and I think it's what makes her vital to the team in a lot of ways. She had a consistency of heart.

Buffyfest: Will we see anyone take up that role in the new team?

Mariah Huehner: It's hard to say. That type of character is pretty unique, and we've come to a point where everyone is pretty damaged and unsure of themselves in certain ways. Part of the reason Fred sort of had to be the character that died, is because that kind of...uncomplicated goodness is such an easy target. Her dying mattered in a way a more "gray" character wouldn't have. So it's tough to say who could fill that role again.

Buffyfest: Does Kate have any of that in her or is she just as damaged as the rest of them?

Mariah Huehner: I think she might, but after AtF and even being a former cop, she's probably seen a lot of uglier things than even demons can manage. I don't know that that means that she doesn't have heart, but probably not in quite the "pure" way as Fred.

Buffyfest: The team is pretty big, come to think of it. Are they all going to make it out of this next arc alive?

Mariah Huehner: Ha! You know I can't give that away. But who knows? Whedon never had a problem killing folks off.

Buffyfest: Speaking of dead characters: do you think it's best to move forward and leave characters like Wes and Cordy out of the narrative from now on or can you still make them a part of the current storyline in a meaningful way without sullying what came before?

Mariah Huehner: I think it's important to know when characters are gone. Even though it's fiction, endlessly resurrecting characters feels like a cheat to me, and lessens the impact of their loss. I think this particular universe has always been really careful about that. Resurrections always come with major consequences and some deaths are final.

Buffyfest: Do you think Wes's death is final at this point?

Mariah Huehner: I do. I think he's done everything he can and he should get to rest. I loved that character a lot, another great arc, but without Fred, I don't think there's a lot for him. He helped Angel in AtF, he had his moment, isn't the right word, but I respect the idea that some love is not diminished. Like sometimes someone really won't move on.

Buffyfest: Wes had that final moment. In a way he gets a satisfying end because he and his friend get to work hand in hand one last time to save the world before he walks off into the sunset. That's about as good as it's ever gonna get for him without Fred.

Mariah Huehner: Pretty much. I believe really strongly in endings.

Buffyfest: Me too. In an ideal world, how does Angel's story end?

Mariah Huehner: Oooh, now there's a question. Since so much of his narrative is about the good fight never really ending. I mean, he should get an ending...he deserves one but I'm not sure it's "and he lived happily ever after with the woman he loves". Because A. boring! but also B. the good fight really can't end.

Buffyfest: He has to die sometime. This was something Bill Willingham talked about when he said he wouldn't have written this story at all if someone hadn't already started it. The ending on the show was so perfect

Mariah Huehner: I feel like a bit of a cad, but I agree. Even though I think there clearly are more stories to tell, that's still the only way I can see it ending. On Angel heading out and fighting. There's something really powerful about that.

Buffyfest: Part of me will always imagine Angel and Buffy together in the end though but that's a personal preference. Maybe that would be fair: another ending where he's fighting but she's at his side. Too cheesy?

Mariah Huehner: No, I think both those characters deserve that. I don't know that heroes always get what they actually deserve, but they should.

Buffyfest: What do you think it is about Angel and his story that is so universal that it continues to connect with people in such a deep and powerful way? Is it just the tragedy of it all or is there something more?

Mariah Huehner: Oh, there's definitely more.Redemption stories are, I think, universally appealing, surmounting great odds. Plus, I think we have a deep fascination with immortality.

Buffyfest: We do. I've heard it argued that we need the reminder of our own inevitable death to make life worth living but I wonder, if we were immortal, wouldn't we keep finding a reason to keep going? Angel has.

Mariah Huehner: Well, I think we're sort of intrigued/horrified/envious of the idea of immortality because imagining it is as close as we're going to get to it. So we project. It would be a terrible burden. It would be worthwhile. We could do so much good. We'd lose everyone we love.

Buffyfest: If you could take Angel (or any other character in his universe) and team him up with/pit him against any other established character, who would they be and why? Bonus points if you choose another immortal

Mariah Huehner: Any other established character ever? Hm. Well, I'm a Tolkien dork, so I'd probably love to see Angel team up with Gandalf sometimes. The conversations alone would be worth it. Angel could be broody, Gandalf could be bristly.

Buffyfest: Will there be hobbits?

Mariah Huehner: Though I love some hobbits, probably not. But maybe Death from the Discworld novels.

Buffyfest: Here, I was just going to team Angel up with the titular immortal from Doctor Who because, if there's anything more dangerous than immortality, it's time travel.

Mariah Huehner: That's a pretty swell team up, too: Angel in Space.

Buffyfest: Now, for the most important question of all. You’re in a demon karaoke bar seeking guidance: what song do you sing and what are you drinking to build up your courage to get on stage?

Mariah Huehner: Well, I'm a light probably something really boring like red wine. Although lately I've wanted to try an Old Fashioned. As for singing, that's a tough one. I nearly checked my ipod. "Feelin' Good" by Nina Simone, I think. You know who'd be great in a Whedonverse karaoke off? Lorne and Sweet.

Buffyfest: Oh my God. I think a million fanfictions were just born.

Mariah Huehner: They probably already exist. I doubt I could think of any combo that someone else hasn't first. And probably slashed.

Buffyfest: Oh, for pete's sake. Yes, and furries are probably involved. Also: some dude gets impregnated somehow. Oh, internet...

Mariah Huehner: It's a fun, fun, fun place.

aaaaaaand that's it for part one! Stay tuned right here for more details on what's to come and more of Mariah and I obsessing over Angel, Spike, and the rest of the gang.