Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Exclusive Interview: Scott Allie on Dollhouse Comic, the Buffy Motion Comic, SDCC and More!

San Diego Comic Con hasn't even begun yet and there's major Whedonverse news spreading all over the internets. With the release of the Buffy motion comic and the announcement of the Dollhouse comic, we thought it was time to talk to Super Scott Allie about the latest developments. Stay tuned for our 2nd interview with Scott and much more info live from SDCC starting tomorrow!

Buffyfest: So, the Dollhouse comic release was announced yesterday and people are really excited to see more of this story. Of course, with most announcements, there's a little confusion. Let's start by clearing the air with some logistical questions.

Will there be a comic included in every Dollhouse Season Two dvd/blue ray or only limited copies?

Scott Allie: I'm pretty sure it's all copies, at least of the first run of these. I don't think it's limited in any way.

Buffyfest: Can people pre-order it from both comic con and Amazon to ensure they get your hands on the comic?

Scott Allie: I believe so. I actually didn't know about the Comic Con preorder thing until yesterday. That sounds like a challenge—my sympathies are with Fox on that. But I think it's important people know the comic itself will not be available at San Diego—you do not leave the show with a comic in hand. Jed and Maurissa and Joss and Felicia and Zack Ward are signing in our booth, and they're signing a litho of the comic cover by Steve Morris. Steve, by the way, is also the cover artist on the Shepherd Book graphic novel. But the comic itself is only getting finalized this week, so no copies will be available until the DVD comes out, which is I believe in October.

Buffyfest: How many copies are being released and will they be sold at the local comic book shop eventually?

Scott Allie: However many DVDs they're making, I guess. I dunno what that number is, but it's a lot by comic-book standards, for sure. And by hook or by crook, we definitely want to offer Dollhouse comics to the direct market down the road. Something will come of this. I know the rollercoaster question of Dollhouse DVDs has been confusing for fans. The truth is, the last time I publicly said there were not gonna be comics was at a time when we were trying to get this very comic going, but it looked like it was gonna fall apart. Joss had once upon a time told me definitely no Dollhouse comics, never. Then when "Epitaph One" happened, he said, If we ever do comics, this is how we do them. That was, I think, over breakfast at San Diego. Then later he said no way. Then we convinced Fox that the best added value item for the DVD would be a comic written by Jed and Mo, and they went for it, and that breathed life back into the idea.

Buffyfest: Is the comic going to be DVD-sized?
Scott Allie:Yeah, really small. And instead of just shrinking a regular-sized comic down to little proportions, this one was written and drawn, and most importantly lettered, for this size.

Buffyfest: For those outside the US, do you know if the DVD will be region-free?

Scott Allie: I don't know about that. Sorry.

Buffyfest: Did you approach Jed and Marissa with the idea of writing it or vice-versa?

Scott Allie: Actually, here's how it went. Michael Boretz, Joss's former assistant, now produces DVD extras for Joss-related DVDs–among other producing jobs. I tend to forge good relationships with Joss's assistants. So when Michael was set up to do material for the Season 2 DVD, he pitched the idea of a comic. He approached Jed and Maurissa and me, and got the ball initially rolling, convinced Fox Home Entertainment. So it was really Michael who pulled the Dollhouse comic-book idea back into the realm of possibility.
Buffyfest: Tell us a little about the story. When does it take place? What characters will we see? Will there be an Alpha citing?

Scott Allie: The comic takes place at 10:07 on the day that the Active technology went global, and it takes place entirely in LA. The characters in the comic are the characters on the cover, and some new ones. Mags, Griff, Zone—we see how the three of them had their lives come to a screeching halt, care of a screeching over the phone lines.

Buffyfest: Was this a story that would have been told if Dollhouse had been picked up for another season?

Scott Allie: I don't know. It's not at all about Echo—but I know that Joss and Jed and Maurissa were increasingly interested in that Epitaph scenario, so it's quite possible that this could have been "Epitaph Three" at the end of season three, or that season three could have been entirely about the end of civilization and free will as we know it.

Buffyfest: Will we see more Dollhouse comics in the future? Do you think there's more stories to tell in the Dollhouse-verse?

Scott Allie: There absolutely is room for more stories, there are real points of fascination for me. There will be at least a little more comics-wise next year, although how much remains to be determined.

Buffyfest: As a fan yourself, what's something you wish was explored if we had another season of Dollhouse?
Scott Allie: Well, honestly, it is the Epitaph stuff I'm most fascinated by at this point. Sounds self-serving in this context, but it's true. I think they set up a cool milieu, a darker milieu, and I'm all over that. The other thing I'd like to see more of would be Sierra and Victor's relationship before that. I'd like to see some relatively good times between them before things apparently fall apart, as happens based on "Epitaph Two". What I find so interesting about them is the bond that they have that transcends their ability to remember each other. They're drawn to each other in a really interesting way, and I know Joss would have gone somewhere cool with that season by season, if he had the chance. I love how he builds relationships over the course of a few years, and theirs was the most interesting to me in Dollhouse.

Buffyfest: Another big story in the Whedonverse yesterday was the release of the Buffy Season 8 motion comic which is also causing a little bit of confusion for fans. What's Dark Horse's involvement with the project?

Scott Allie: Zero.

Buffyfest: And have you seen it? Any Thoughts?

Scott Allie: Nope!

Buffyfest: How do you feel about the idea of motion comics in general?

Scott Allie: I think it's a challenge to do something that's beyond cheap, inferior animation. And animation's so friggin' amazing now, it's easy to look lame up against it. If motion comics is a legit entertainment form, it should probably be more than simply repurposing existing artwork that was never intended to be animated. Dark Horse did a trailer for Umbrella Academy that I was really happy with—it was limited in scope and ambition, and therefore graceful and dignified and didn't try to be more than it could be. I liked that a lot. We're working on some new stuff now, including something we're gonna unveil on the Dark Horse panel at the show. This is more ambitious stuff, work in progress that could be the next step in motion comics.

Buffyfest: Will there be a full 40 issues of Buffy shown in motion comics?

Scott Allie: I don't know. Sounds like it, though.

Buffyfest: Do you know if any of the actor's were approached to lend their voices?

Scott Allie: I don't know.

Buffyfest: Okay, so San Diego Comic Con is just a day away! Let's talk about what's coming up there. Will you be part of the The Guild panel? Any news on that front?

Scott Allie: I will be there, and we will be revealing a new piece of art, if the technology cooperates. The Guild panel was one of my favorite parts of the convention last year, so I'm really looking forward to it this year. We've got a plot for the first oneshot, and we've got some artists on board, and we're pretty psyched to get the word out on that.

Buffyfest: Joss is doing a signing at your booth on Friday. Do you expect there to be no booth left when it's done? How can people get tickets for that signing?

Scott Allie: We are extremely lucky, in that Joss fans tend to be really well behaved and gracious. Honest to god. We do these massive events with Joss and Gerard Way, and for the mass-times-velocity of humans we get through, we get out of it relatively unharmed. We've worked with some famous people in the past whose fans were a little more destructive. We appreciate Whedonites, honest to god. As far as getting into the signing, we generally ticket these things by lottery, so what you do is you come to the DH booth, ask when we're giving tickets. Get a ticket when you can, then come back to see if you won the lottery. That's basically it. Being patient and polite has certain benefits too, sometimes. And do not mess with Tim Wiesch or Amy Huey.

Buffyfest: Thanks for the tip! Joss is also doing a panel called "The Joss Whedon Experience" on Friday. Will he be revealing any Buffy Season 8 or 9 news that day?

Scott Allie: I believe so. That panel will be probably about half Q&A and half him updating folks on what he has going on. That morning Sierra and I are having breakfast with him to talk over some Season 8 and 9 stuff, Cabin [in the Woods], some other stuff, and so some of what we go over there will probably come out in the presentation. Come prepared with questions. Sometimes I'm surprised at what he's willing to answer. I have watched my publicist's jaw drop to the floor during Joss Q&As. It's fun.

Thanks so much Scott and see you at Comic Con!

Scott Allie: Thanks, Michelle, looking forward to it.


Nicole said...

YES the dollhouse comic will be available later in stores whoooo!

also, great interview, lots of cool new info for me to mull over.

Anonymous said...

awesome love dollhouse... Love when she played faith on buffy... love buffy comics as well..