I normally don't post these on my journal, but hey, I'm on pins and needles waiting for #37 to come out this Wednesday, so I thought it might make for interesting discussion.
1. bamph: We now know that Scott Allie is co-writing the final Season 8 arc with Joss due to Joss' demanding schedule and I think he said he's specifically has been working on issues 37-39 as co-writer. What has that been like for you with Scott shifting into a writing position for these issues in addition to his editing work or has there even been any changes for you and the way you've been collaborating with Joss and Scott as far as drawing these issues?
Georges: I think this would be a better question for Scott. As a story teller, it's my job to take the written word and make it move regardless of who's writing the story. I don't think I knew that Scott was co-writing until the end of issue 36. Having worked with Joss for so long now I did notice his little subtle differences. Little things really, that separate one writer from another. Like hearing two people play the same piece of music, there are going to be little differences here and there. As an editor, Scott is in his usual mode so there were no changes on that end.
2. bamph: It has been announced that Dark Horse has gotten the license back for Angel and all its characters and that Angel will be getting a new monthly series as part of Buffy Season 9.We also are starting to get a clearer picture of the new format.Instead of four years like Season 8, Season 9 will run two years with it sounding like two monthly ongoing series that I figure will be a Buffy monthly and the Angel monthly. Then there will also be various miniseries and maxi-series for individual characters and situations with the idea of creating sort of a early Marvel universe vibe for the Buffyverse with crossovers and characters floating back and forth. I know in past interviews and Q/As you said you didn't know yet if you would be back for Season 9 or not. But if you are back for season 9, would you be interested in moving from drawing the Buffy series to the Angel series or would you rather move from the ongoing monthly grind to one of the miniseries or semi ongoing maxi-series?
Georges: That does seem to be the million dollar question about what my involvement would be with Season 9 will be, doesn't it? You're right about the format, and when I talked to Joss about Season 9 and where he saw me in it, he figured I would do the trunk title, Buffy, and then things would branch out from there. It's not all clear just yet, so stay tuned.
3. veiriti: About Buffy – Buffy always was my hero, but now I’m strongly disappointed with her behavior… Why is she acting like a heartless and soulless b**ch? Is it an influence of the Twilight dimension or she has lost her soul during the space frak?
Georges: I think that's a good question that could have been worded better. I agree, as a fan, Buffy went through some serious changes in season 8. I always joked what would people have thought if the show did go through season 8 on TV, would people have gotten turned off? While it is true for long time Buffy fans, she may seem to be acting out of character, it is also true that she's growing up. If you watch seasons 6 and 7 you'll notice a more mature Buffy coming through the cracks. And with Season 8 everything is different. There's no more Sunnydale for one, so the landscape is totally changed figuratively and literally. Buffy has become a world traveler, with all of these very adult situations coming in and out of her life, so changes are going to happen and some may not be for the better, as some fans would contend, but I think at the core, she's still the Buffy we know. Sweet, insecure, sometimes clueless but always the good girl who'll do the right thing as she sees it. In many ways I think this is the completion of her arc that Joss never got to do on the show. Season 8 has given birth to the woman Buffy is to become and we see her not as the pretty blonde cheerleader, but as the mature, still sometimes clueless, woman of strength. I totally understand your passionate distaste, but I would ask in return that you give this Buffy a chance to win you over.
4. veiriti: About Angel. I was a fan of Angel before, but I deeply dislike him now. Will he get a punishment for all his crimes that he has done? I mean killing of the 206, thousand innocent people and almost destroying the world (again). Personally I wish Willow to turn him into a frog for good…
Georges: Oh man, if you don't like Angel now, you are going to really hate him soon!
5. veiriti: How do you think is Angel more worthy for her love than Spike? Is there still hope to see Spike and Buffy reunited in a romantic sense?
Georges: You know Joss. He's going to give you what you want, but not the way you want it. Read issue 37 and then ask this again.
6. maje77: Hi Georges. Great work in the current issue! This question sort of involves the previous arc and this one. Going back to Twilight Part 4’s issue, when Angel and Buffy left the new higher reality it wasn’t fully formed, it was still a void. I would assume that the Seed of Wonder, mentioned in the current issue, that Buffy and the gang need to retrieve is to help form the reality, and in the wrong hands, like the Master (by the way how cool was it to draw him?!), that can’t be good. But I was wondering if we were supposed to take what Spike mentions to Buffy about ditching the new universe at birth and that it may come looking for mommy, figuratively or literally?
Georges: Well this seed thing will be the thrust of the rest of Season 8, and as for where it is, sometimes all you have to do is look right under your nose to find it. It was very cool to draw the Master! This new universe is like creating a Pandora's box in my opinion. There will be ramifications...
7. maje77: In the Riley issue, we have Whistler telling Angel he has to choose between the world or the girl. At face value you would think that Angel chooses the world because he becomes Twilight, but two things have jumped out at me that is telling me otherwise. First in Twilight Part 4, Angel chooses to walk away from the reality they created for Buffy and to help her. And two, in Last Gleaming Part 1, we see him in the park with those vessels telling him that the consequences of Buffy’s actions in Chosen will bring the world down on her and that Buffy's enemies will come after her unless he gets control; which makes me think the TPTB (I’m assuming that since Whistler is guiding Angel) are trying to protect Buffy. So it appears that Angel was really “for the girl” from the start of his Twilight gig, or am I way off track?
Georges: Not so 'off track' I would think if Angel was a poker player he'd be an 'all in or nothing' player. Once you get to issue 39 I think you'll understand his actions a little more about whether he's for the planet of for the girl. It's a great ride, seriously. Now that we've come to the last few issues there are no deviations whatsoever, it's all meat, and believe me it will be a hardy meal once it's over! With just a little bit of indigestion...
8. Sarah B: Well it clearly seems that it's all going to end with happiness for Buffy and Angel, but do you know why it seems they just want to end Spuffy as fast as they can? Is it all as simple as it will end in Buffy with Angel, or is there gunna be a shocker ending?
Georges: Yeah, that last part. Big time!
9. Dorotea: In Riley's one shot Whistler speaks of entire time-lines disappearing, then in opening pages of 36 we see Angel being plunged back into this 'present time' from what looks like alternative future in which world is already in ruins and the war between the demonkind and humanity is lost. It does look suspiciously like Shanshu fulfilled - yet ( I assume the PtB's) possessing in turn all creatures alive are bent on preventing this particular outcome and thus maybe stopping the Shanshu. Enter Spike - with entirely new agenda and he is called the 'keeper of the prophecy'. Question is - which prophecy - old one or the entirely new one - like Twilight?
Georges: My guess is a new (or older) prophecy. Remember, that stewardess Angel saves tells him what's coming beats the hell out of the Shanshu Prophecy.
10. Dorotea: Continuing from here - Angel sounds and acts much more like himself in 36 ( thanks Gods ) yet it is not entirely clear why he is not looking that much upset about what's going on. Either he failed to fulfill his higher destiny by coming back to Earth with Buffy - in which case he should be mighty upset for failing to save the world, or his agenda was not really that well defined and he has no clue what is going on, apart from the demons raining on their heads. In which case he is also acting strangely as he is more concerned with Buffy than with what they caused - would you say that he is utterly resigned by now to the fact that whatever he does - he still is going to be the end of everything and that he lost all his fighting spirit?
Georges: Oh, poor Angel... the next few issues... well, no. I shouldn't say. Poor Angel...
11. Dorotea: Finally - Buffy. She believes that Spike has a simpler agenda than Angel ( I assume she refers to his Twilight agenda that already played out ) and she does not trust either of them - although she certainly gushes Angel with declarations of love and showers Spike with cold that is almost artificial. So, she is playing a game of good cop/bad cop with both of them and trying to extract maximum use out of both while concentrating on saving the day. If so, she is remarkably reckless with Spike - taking what he says about the Seed for granted - which runs opposite to her aloofness with him.
The question is - Buffy seems to have went into the mode of not trusting anybody - including her closest friends - her 'family'. Is it because she once again blaming herself for everything and trying to take it all on herself - as she was doing in S7? Is my guess anywhere near correct?
Georges: C'mon, has this triangle changed that much over the years? Even in the fan fiction? I always felt that Buffy is constantly at a crossroads with these two. They couldn't be more different and yet there is something about each of them that she can't ignore. If there seems a bit of favoritism, remember Buffy has spent more time with Spike than Angel so seeing Angel may seem a little more important at the moment and if we are to believe out Prophecies, Buffy and Angel are meant to be together on a higher level. They are both anomalies in their respected cultures. Buffy as a Slayer and Angel as a Vampire.
I think in Season 8 Buffy is still dealing with the ramifications of Season 7. If she blames herself for anything it's empowering all these potentials, which also plays out in the end of Season 8.
12. cheryl: With only a few issues left in this season it seems unlikely that we will have all our questions answered, will some of the burning questions be left for next season?
Georges: Like Joss is famous for, you'll not only have some burning old questions answered, but some scorching new ones!
13. cheryl: Are we supposed to find Buffy's bank robbing, sexual experience with Satsu, lack of interest in the innocents being killed during Fray, etc... as out of character for Buffy? Something that we were supposed to notice all along?
Georges: Again, I don't know if it's fair to say 'out of character'. I really feel Buffy is getting swept up in all of what's happening. Like it was stated in the beginning of Season 8, there's a war going on and in war there will be casualties. As for Buffy sleeping with Satsu, I wouldn't be wondering if Buffy sleeping with a girl is 'out of character', but what would be her motive to do such a thing. From there I think you get a better idea of the woman she's becoming. Bankrobbing was just a means to an end and I don't think she's too proud of that one.
14. cheryl: Does Buffy somehow know what happened in IWRY, specifically that Angel gave back his humanity to save her? The dialog between Buffy and Angel in this issue could have been applied to the events of IWRY as Angel gave himself and Buffy a perfect moment then too and then had to give it up for Buffy, which is why she tells him that she wants to spend her future with him. (Him having her heart aside.)
Georges: Ah. No. This is a whole new ball game with Buffy and Angel. All other bets are off. These events will set up the season 9 and the Angel series coming next year.
15. leyki: Shall we understand, by the end of issue #40, why Spike is the only character, so far, who just seems and sounds like himself? Everyone else, either has totally lost it, or have really been OOC for some major time in Season 8.
Georges: Again, I disagree that these guys don't sound like themselves. I assure you that Joss looks at EVERYTHING that goes into Season 8 and who better to monitor this book and these characters than him?
16. leyki: I am wondering if there is any chance for a backround story, or some hints in the next issues, pointing to what happened after "Chosen" and before Season 8 began.
We know a few details about Xander and Willow, but what about Giles and Buffy? Why he left her and what had Buffy being doing-feeling without any of the Scoobies around her?
Georges: I think you'll get a little of that in issue 40 but not much. Season 9 with its proposed format will give way to more details about the 'in between time'.
17. sosa lola: There are a lot of complaints about characters acting out of character -I disagree with them- which I think have more to do with the big gap between S7 and S8. Fans didn't see how Buffy developed from someone who doesn't kill humans at all to a Big Picture person, didn't see how Xander grew to be a confident and competent leader... and so on. Do you think the jump has been a mistake? That Joss should have given us the background for the characters so we can understand how they became the people they are now?
Georges: I think the events that happened in between Seasons 7 and 8 is all back story. Joss wanted to get to the heart of the issue and with Season 8 it was assumed that there was a certain amount of time that has gone by. I'm not saying you need to fill in the blanks, but telling all that back story would have made it a hell of a lot longer to get to the current story.
18. sosa lola: Another Out of Character question, Buffy saying that this day is the best day in her life seems very odd considering that in this day the world is being destroyed, many of her slayers died, and Andrew, who's part of their family now, is severely injured. Buffy has always felt guilt, even if it isn't her fault, to see her now dismissing all the damage she and Angel have caused just because they had awesome sex is very troubling. What do you think about that?
Georges: What I think is pure conjecture. Saying that this was the best day of her life I think Buffy was living more in them moment. Sure, if you asked her to stop and detail all the events that have been happening that day it probably would throw a wet towel on the 'best' part, but when you're in the moment you go with the first feelings that come to you, and honey... girlfriend was feeling it! (two snaps up!)
19: sosa lola: What do you think about Buffy completely getting over her feelings for Xander the second Angel showed his face? I know Xander rejected her, but just because they aren't going to be together doesn't mean her feelings will vanish right away. Buffy rejected Xander in S2 and he still had feelings for her the entire second season. Buffy rejected Spike in S5 and he still had feelings for her for a long time after that. It's how human emotions work, they don’t disappear the next die, they take time.
Georges: I don't think those feelings just disappeared the moment Angel came back. Haven't you ever felt that? You like this one person and are excited about the prospects of dating but then that other person that you had some serious history with comes back into the picture, that's gotta leave you a little... confused. And come one, when in Buffy's history has she been thinking straight when it came to boys?
20. 47kwest: Hey Georges! Kristina here from Phx comicon, if you remember me, my first question comes from my husband, what's your favorite beer? He figures he owes you at least a few for hooking me up with an awesome piece of your work. My thanks as well.
Georges: Hey Kris! Sure I remember you! I'm happy that I hooked you up! No beer needed (actually I don't drink alcohol)--a stiff Mountain Dew will do just fine!
21. 47kwest: Now that you have done Batman do you see yourself spending more time looking for other series to write for or would you prefer to stick with Buffy for Season 9?
Georges: There will be a little time in between Season 8 and 9 so that gives me the opportunity to do some other stuff. I love Buffy, don't get me wrong. But it will also be nice to do something else for a little while.
22. 47kwest: Maybe this has been asked of you already, but what advice would you give to young artists aspiring to enter a field that it seems has a lot to do with who you know and finding the right connections as well as being an awesome artist? Thanks!! Hope to see you 2011!!
Georges: I hate to say it, but yeah. Having connections is always great in any field. Comics are no different. I wish it were only about talent, but alas, no. All I can say is learn your craft as best you can so that when an opportunity does come your way, you'll be able to handle the challenge. I can't abide laziness. Work hard and you will be rewarded!
23. maje77: Are we to infer that the Power that is inhabiting all those vessels is a female? The actions of the dog, lol, and the woman’s suggestion to Angel after he saved her from the plane gave that impression.
Georges: I saw it as being more a personification of the Powers that Be. Woman, dog, whatever.
24. bamph: The return of the Master was a big surprise that actually stayed a secret until the new issue. Can you talk a bit about drawing him and how far in advance did you know to prepare?
Georges: I had a few months to draw the Master. It was a surprise to me too when I read that issue. Since he has such a defined look it was pretty easy to draw him. I did notice when getting his look down, that his jacket had changed over the years.
25. bamph: How was drawing the Buffy/Angel and the Buffy/Spike sequences in the issue and any challenges between them from a artist perspective since they were both big important moments each?
Georges: I just relied on the TV show for this. With Angel and Buffy, it mostly seemed like more of a perfect love affair, sappy glares of doe eyed longing, and with Spike and Buffy it seemed like a more realistic, looking more like at some point, Spike, you're probably gonna piss me off.
26. bamph: Spike's bug crew. How much of the design was up to you and did you look at real insects first before creating them?
Georges: It was all mine. When I read the script it said that the ship was piloted by big Roaches who have a uniform that allows them to run the ship, like a space suit. I thought what would a suit look like if a Cockroach actually designed one. The 'hands ' would be a little similar to their own but they would have appendages to grab things. They could walk on what I thought of as a 'gyro-ball' that had 3 legs so that they would never fall over (roaches wobble but don't fall down!) It was fun creating those suits. I hope they stick around a while.
27. moscowwatcher: I think you nailed Spike perfectly - thank you for gorgeous panels. Whose idea was to put Buffy and Spike together on the cover of #38? I'm asking, because in the beginning of the year, when Buffy/Angel covers have leaked, fans asked Scott Allie if there will be a Spike/Buffy cover, and he gave a negative answer. What has changed since then?
Georges: That cover is taken from events in the issue. It just seemed to work. I gave Dark Horse a bunch of ideas with Buffy and Spike in trouble (most of which will be available in future issues of the Buffy Sketch book!) and they went with that one. I had fun with all the monsters on that one!
28. moscowwatcher: One of the best things about this issue is the contrast in Angel's and Spike's style. Hollywood and London, glossy celebrity culture and old rusty punk. Had Joss given you notes to infuse the respective panels with these particular styles or did you come up with the visuals independently?
Georges: That's all Joss. He has very clear ideas about who these characters are. I thought it fit perfectly, that's why it's always great to get a script from him, it always just seems appropriate.
29. moscowwatcher: Fans speculate if the dog is Vincent from "Lost". Have you used Vincent as your model?
Georges: Ha! Funny you should say that. No, that's a good one. I didn't use Vincent the dog but I did use the plane from LOST, or at least the logo on the plane that Angel rescues, Oceanic.
30. AndrewCrossett: Is the man who sews Twilight's costume supposed to be the same Geppetto-like toymaker from the "Living Doll" issue?
Georges: Y'know, I thought when he was colored he would be some other skin color to ensure that this was more mystical than earthly. No, that's not supposed to be the Geppetto character. Interesting idea, though.
31. AndrewCrossett: Did you model the Oceanic Airlines stewardess on anyone in particular? She looks familiar.
Georges: Not really. I wanted to get away from any Buffy or Willow likenesses so when in doubt I usually put a beauty mark on faces. My little homage to Robert DeNiro.
32. AndrewCrossett: The upcoming Spike series at IDW will be in continuity with season 8. Have you been coordinating with Franco Urru at all to make sure things are visually consistent from one series to another... like Spike's ship, the bug creatures, etc.?
Georges: Strangely no. I would be more than happy to give them the specs on the ship and the Roach crew, but no one has gotten in touch with me as yet.
33. veiriti: Why are the bugs of Spike's crew calling him "Your Majesty", not Captain, Sir, etc?
Georges: I think to please Spike's ego he has them pay him only the highest declarations when calling on him. Kinda like Glory did in Season 5.
34. bamph: Will we be seeing Angel's Twilight costume again in this last arc or is the costume unnecessary now at this point in the story?
Georges: That's a good question. Joss?
35. bamph: Last Q/A back in May I asked,"what do you think Buffy/Angel shippers should feel now after issue 35 and what's coming up and with the arrival of Spike on the scene now? Be as vague as you want." Your answer was, "Afraid. Be very afraid."
Now after the romantic exchange between Buffy/Angel in issue 36 with Buffy sending Angel off to save Slayers but wanting Angel to find her soon while telling him that he has her heart and how much giving her paradise but giving it up meant to her along with the Buffy/Spike reunion with Buffy knowing Spike was back and getting a better idea from him about what's happened, I'll ask a similar question. Should Buffy/Angel shippers be really worried about the last four issues in light of issue 36 with Spike's revelations about the baby universe that was created and even getting the very warm scenes between Buffy and Angel this issue? Like last time, be as vague as you want.
Georges: What did I say last time? “Afraid. Be Very Afraid”? Well, take that and double it. If there are any of you who like their Buffy nice, neat and wrapped up in a pretty little bow at the end, don't read issue 39! Be even more AFRAID!
36. bamph: Can you give an update on where you're at as far as art for the rest of the season and have you gotten in the finished scripts for the last four issues?
Georges: I am starting issue 40. All of the others are in the can as the movie people say.
37. Dorotea: You don't seem to be drawing glow around Buffy and Angel anymore - can we assume that the pull of Twilight is gone now and when they express their feelings they are no longer under any mystical influence?
Georges: I think the glow was a lot like radiation. When you're first exposed to it you tend to low, but as time goes on that glow diminishes. Of course with radiation your skin boils and your hair falls out, but I don't think there's any of that here.
38. Dorotea: Is the prophecy Whistler talked about (the one that threatened timelines) the same prophecy of which Spike is the keeper? Be as ambiguous or precise as you want, of course.
Georges: That's a good question... Season 9 anyone?
39. Dorotea: Was it fun drawing Master with the Big Red Egg? Before this issue was released I saw some speculations about the 'Seed' being related to colored Easter eggs - is there any amount of sarcasm in this particular image? The Master is talking of the 'kids' and the egg does look sort of like something yet might hatch out of it. Or is the imagery entirely referring to 'Surprise' ?
Georges: I think the egg is more a seed which contains all of the things it's going to need inside of it once it hatches. Kind of like a cell in the human body. Question is, do you want this thing hatching?!
40. maje77: Without spoiling, could you expand on your comments in the TFAW interview at DragonCon regarding issue 39 upsetting fans (and you!); how so? Are we talking emotionally, character specific, storyline specific, etc?
Georges: All of it! It threw me for a loop because I didn't see it coming and I suspect the same will be said for you. Let me know if I'm right in a few months.
41. maje77: Also from the same interview, would you compare issues 39 and 40 to be the same type of set up of as the last two episodes of Season 4 where the current story line ends (like Primeval) and the new story is sort of set up for the next season (Restless), but in this case takes the story on a different path?
Georges: That would be telling...!
42. zamolxis: Hi Georges, Happy Birthday!
What was your favorite gift you received today (this year)?
Georges: Well thanks! And thanks to all of you who went on Facebook and Twitter and my site to wish me a happy birthday! While I can't say I'm excited about celebrating another year getting older, it is nice to know that there are such warm and loving people out there who care enough to give a shout out! You guys are the best!
What was the best gift? Massive love from so many Buffy fans!