Tuesday, April 21, 2009

James Marsters vs. Dark Horse Comics

Mtv's interview with James Marsters probably started out innocent enough. During the discussion, Marsters talked about his unhappy experience while penning the "Spike and Dru" comic back when Buffy and Angel were still on the air and back when Dark Horse Comics had control of both series.

"I thought that if I wrote a comic, I’d have ultimate power over everything,” said Marsters. “It was a rude awakening to find out how little power writers have.”

His biggest complaint was with the art work.

“I thought that was kind of cool for me, but Juliet Landau didn’t write this and didn’t want her character drawn like a hideous beast… This is a twisted romance. This is not a gothic thing. And in romance, the leads have to be romantic. They have to be characters that the audience wants to kiss.”

He said he complained to Dark Horse, but ultimately it was too late to change anything and as a result he wasn't entirely proud of the final product. After Mtv posted this interview, Dark Horse immediately responded.

“The artist James was referring to was Ryan Sook, and he was
someone Joss really liked,” explained Dark Horse Senior Managing Editor Scott Allie. (The artist was misidentified as inker Keith Barnett in the original post.) “When James expressed his concerns about Ryan, Joss talked to James for me, and told him this was how he wanted the book handled. I talked to Juliet about this recently, and she had no problem with any of it — she’d seen the book and thought it was fine...."To Joss and me, it was a horror story, focused on two of the best villains from the show — this was before Spike’s redemption. We wanted it to feel like a horror comic.”

All this "Spike and Dru" controversy comes on the heels of the announcement of Brian Lynch's new Spike series and his collaboration with Juliet Landau on a Drusilla story for IDW Comics. Doesn't matter what happened behind the scenes in the past, as long as Lynch can bring these two crazy kids back together again. It's been way too long since we've gotten to see any kind of Spike and Dru interaction.

Click below to read the entire Marsters interview:

Click below to read the entire Dark Horse response:


Lucinda Lane said...

James was right. The artwork was atrocious. When you can't even tell that the characters being drawn are supposed to be Dru and Spike's likenesses from the tv show, that's bad. I realize that its not easy reproducing people's actual looks, but who that guy was, its like he didn't even try. If one wasn't familiar with the fact that Dru and Spike are Buffy characters, one certainly couldnt' tell it by the comic character's looks. Yes, the story was a horror story-it came over as a horror story. Didn't James write this? I had no problem with the stories, but the art-yuck! It's hard to believe that Joss thought this was all okay.Sometimes I think that he is too forgiving when it comes to comic book art. I know that he loves the comic medium, but the people who draw Superman and Batman have no problem reproducing those images, and they have had an ever changing group of illustrators for almost seventy years now, if not that long. I know that Batman is not a real person, but one still expects him to look like one, since he is a human being.

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