Another Q&A was held over at Slayalive. For your spoilery reading pleasure, enjoy!
1. Emmie: This is a question to touch base with the production schedule behind the scenes - how far along are the writers and artists into the future issues?
Scott Allie: Scripts are final through #25, and #24 and #25 are being drawn simultaneously.
2. bamph: I suppose I'll be the elephant in the room and ask since I imagine someone is bound to. Buffy's line to Willow, in order to cheer her up over Cordelia's insult, about maybe someday she'll be dead has caused a lot of controversy with some having no problem with it while others believing it was in poor taste. So my question is, since we've gotten mixed signals on what she does and does not know, does Buffy actually know Cordelia died and how much does Buffy know about the events of Angel Season 5? If that's too spoilery a question though then what are your thoughts on the controversy that line has caused?
Scott Allie: I try not to think too much about the controversies—like do we want more faces from the past, or fewer: see questions 8 & 10 below. We just tell it like we gotta. My simple, vague answer is that we can assume that Buffy knows everything that any characters in her organization, like Andrew, know, or could find out. Cordelia's death would be a known fact, I should think, nothing secret about it.
3. dane5by5: A little while ago Georges Jeanty revealed that there are plans to do a "summer special" for the series after Season Eight ends in 2010, can you reveal any details of this? Like, writers, story or characters?
Scott Allie: First I've heard of it ... might be a misread of something Georges said? We did have an idea for something that would sit between Seasons 8 & 9, but now we're backing off that idea. But it was never a summer special.
4. pablo: We know cross-overs are kind of complex to set up, but have you ever discussed the hypotetical chance of referencing Team Angel and Hell-A? We know how far the two stories are now, but we're still talking about the same universe, and furthermore, they're on the same side against evil. And since Joss is behind both comics, has he ever expressed interest in bringing the two stories together for a one-off?
Scott Allie: The main reason Joss provided the outline for After the Fall was so Fox would give us unlimited permission to use any Angel character we wanted in Season Eight. We just haven't had cause to use those characters yet, but we will use some at some point. You wouldn't call it a crossover, though, I don't think.
5. Tyler "tiewashere": Is the castle considered a public place? What makes something someone's home? Because vampires seem to get inside the castle. Or is it like the Hyperion where the separate rooms are homes and vamps can't enter?
Scott Allie: Great question! I vote for Hyperion.
6. enisy: Semi-related to bamph's question: As an editor, are you encouraged to point out potential problems with characterization, as well, or just problems with continuity?
Scott Allie: Whatever strikes me as a problem, I point it out. I've seldom had issues with characterization. Whenever I do, I talk it over with Joss first, then the writer in question, same as other editorial issues—Joss is the story editor, so I defer to him in all things.
7. iloveromy: Scott, the halfway point of season 8 was marked by a very stylized and unique issue. I know Season 8 stories are pretty much set but is there any chances any upcoming stories incorporating a drastically different look than what we have seen with Jeanty and guest artists?
Scott Allie: Buffy #24 will be drawn by Cliff Richards, but only for the sake of the schedule, nothing to do with the story. He does draw a very good Faith, though. There are no plans for anything like Buffy #20 in the future. No plans, but always possibility.
8. Witchy: Some people are getting tired of characters coming back, and the whole Twilight being someone we might or might not know. So, are we going to meet new characters (apart from the new slayers) in the rest of this season?
Scott Allie: See question 10 below. The most common questions we get have to do with when this or that character is coming back, including repeated questions about that one invisible girl. And if no one asks in this Q&A when Tara's coming back, I'm gonna have a mojito to toast all of you. There'll be more familiar faces, more slayers, and more new faces of other backgrounds, in an incalculable mix. Oz will have a very significant role in #26-30, and you'll meet some new faces there.
9. trunktheslayer: This is kind of a clean up question that probably falls into "Too spoilery" but it's worth a shot.
Future Willow's "It's a long story" line....By the end of season 8, will the relevance of that be shown? I'm not asking for the details or anything, just that we'll have some comprehension of it. I, and several others, just want to know that we'll at least have the general questions about that 'long story' answered by season's end.
Scott Allie: Not the full relevance, but you'll learn more.
If that's too much with the spoilerness, then how about this: Oz's trademark was his stoicism mainly. Not much with the actual verbal communication. We know we're seeing him in the arc following the upcoming one so I've meant to ask: How well do you think Oz will/has translated onto paper?
Scott Allie: With Jane writing, Oz will translate great, I have total confidence ...
10. cheryl: Some of us really enjoy seeing old faces from the series pop back in. Can we expect Giles to stick around after he reappears? Buffy should never be without her watcher/father.
Scott Allie: See question 8 above. Giles will be in Buffy #24, but no spoilers beyond that
11. dane5by5: Is Georges Jeanty going to do the art for issues 26 - 40 like you were hoping, or have you scheduled another artist to do an arc? It was news to everyone here that Cliff Richards is doing the art for #24 and not Georges Jeanty.
Scott Allie: Our hope remains that it's all him after Cliff, but schedules may foil our plans. The switch to Cliff on #24 was a last minute decision, again due to schedule. And I believe Emmie announced that here first, before we released the news anywhere else. So you're all very, very special to us.
12. Tyler "tiewashere": How long of a break between Season 8 and 9? And is Season 9 going to be the same length as Season 8?
Scott Allie: Unknown. It's been very hard to keep up, frankly, so we're probably gonna be conservative in taking our break, and get safely ahead on the work before putting anything on the schedule. And Season 9 will likely be shorter, but we're not sure, and haven't even really talked about a specific issue count.
13. ligeia: Why do the TPBs take so long to come out ? I only buy TPBs since it would cost too much to buy all the issues because of the shipping fees (I'm from France).
Scott Allie: Variety of reasons. We print in China, and it takes a long time for them to come over on the boat, and the bookstore market works on a much different schedule than comic book stores, so its easier to get something out fast to the comics shops.
14. wenxina: So a long time ago, S8 was reported to be 25 issues long, then the word was "50, could go a little higher", before the number was finalized at 40 issues for S8. Were there many changes in the S8 plot that caused such large fluctuations in issue numbers; i.e. new plot developments, removal of plot elements, organic pow-wow sessions with writers, etc?
Scott Allie: Yes and no. Really, it was just feeling out the pace. At the point that we said 25, or 22, or whatever it was, we were still figuring out the story. Almost right away, when Joss brought up the Fray crossover, which would be in the middle of the Season, we did some math and realized it needed to be longer. Frankly, the way I remember it, we went right from 25 to 40—I don't remember ever saying 50, I don't remember jumping around that much—but the number could still change. It's not all written yet. The story will end when it needs to, and I hope it's right at forty, but there's still some stuff left to be determined.
15. bamph: This issue is the first meeting that we've seen between Buffy and Angel since End Of Days & Chosen even though the Angel is from season 1. With that in mind, were there any special notes or directions from Joss Whedon to Jeph Loeb that you were aware of or even notes from Joss to yourself on how he wanted the Buffy and Angel interplay and interaction in this issue to be? Were there specific ways Joss and Jeph wanted their interaction in this issue to play that you know of?
Scott Allie: One of you guys will probably know this better than me, but this issue was based on an episode of the unproduced animated series. There was a lot of discussion between Joss and Jeph about how to rewrite it to make it fit Season Eight, but I believe the Angel scenes are mostly lifted from the animated script Jeph wrote.
16. enisy: Is Riley's absence from Buffy's "The Long Way Home" fantasy a result of the "pink elephant rule" (Buffy was only shown the fantasy that would be most embarrassing to her at the time), or is it also indicative of where Riley stands (or ever stood) in Buffy's love life?
Scott Allie: In my opinion? The latter. I'm not gonna get burned for that one, am I?
17. Jay: Will we get to know more about Satsu's, Rowena's, and Leah's (Is it pronounced LEE-uh or LAY-uh?) intentions and past lives? It seems right from the start that those three were Buffy's favorites since they are the most featured potentials.... whereas the rest basically served as background art. I just love how well original Season Eight characters are starting to become favorites. It makes me wonder if we'll get to learn any of the potential's surnames. Also, we know that Renee's part in Season Eight is pretty much done (for now anyways *wink*), but will she ever be significantly referenced again?
Scott Allie: One question per person! LAY uh.
18. hitnrun: Can't really think of smart-complex question, so I'll choose an easy one: What's your favorite moment in "After These Messages..."?
Scott Allie: Buffy getting distracted by the music and dancing. Those are some cute drawings.
19. Whedon Fan: Are you able to give us the names of any further issues, any at all?
Scott Allie: #24 is "Safe," And #25 is "Living Doll."
IF THIS IS TO SPOLIERY THEN:
Is there one thing in Buffy season 8 that you or Joss regret doing. For example Mech Dawn, Faries, Talking army trees, Lack of Giles...anything at all. Just curious, if not any regrets what did you doubt in the season so far?
Scott Allie: I can tell you that the LAST thing we're gonna regret is Mecha Dawn! When Drew pitched that, I wrote a frantic email saying, We HAVE to do that!, and Joss immediately replied to say I didn't have to convince anyone on THIS team.
20. Witchy: At some point in this season and maybe the 9th, are we going to know what happened to some characters between s7 and s8, if not everything at least some things that are to the fans... like why Faith is in Cleveland or Kennedy's death?
Scott Allie: Yes.
21. El Diablo Robotico: knowing that there are probably many fans of the TV series reading S8 who are not normally comic-book buyers, have you done anything different editorially with that in mind, to make it more accessible to the relative comic newbies (like me)? As for example, I know from other series I've read in the past that it can sometimes take a moment to figure out what order to read the panels/dialogue balloons in, so has it been a conscious thing to try to keep the layout of those straightforward in this series?
Scott Allie: Yes and no. I hate comics where you have to think too much about what order to read things in. Formal experiment in comics shouldn't make it hard to read, it should only make it interesting to read. I know some people, like my mom, unaccustomed to reading comics can have a hard time following them at all, but as long as you have the basic left-to-right then top-to-bottom rule in mind, you can read any book I edit. Comics that are hard to read are usually the work of a sloppy storyteller. If you, as a newbie, have found Buffy Season Eight easy to read, then I'm doing my job. You never have to worry about which line of a novel or frame of a film you're supposed to look at next ...
22. Emmie: Can you give us any idea where the present time framing story of #20 was set? Is that a new headquarters location for Buffy & co?
Scott Allie: Yeah, they have a new temporary HQ elsewhere in Scotland, which they'll occupy through the next arc. Oh, and I can finally announce the title for the next arc: Predators and Prey. I don't think we've released that anywhere yet, Joss told me today that that's definitely the one.
23. Iloveromy: Do you know if Dark Horse will ever make their back issues available for download? Also as far as using the Buffy license in unique ways, have you guys thought about animating your issues the way Marvel did with Astonishing X-Men #1?
Scott Allie: Yes, we no doubt will make the comics available as downloads, but there's not a way of doing it that we're happy with yet. And there is talk of doing some animations of the comics, but I'll leave that for a later Q&A.
24. sosalola: Last time we've seen Riley in S6, he had a scar on his face. In #19, the scar was missing. Was he healed or it was forgotten by Jeanty?
Scott Allie: Forgotten by me, I guess.
25. narflet: Do we have an arc title for issues 21-25 yet?
Scott Allie: Yes. [see above, Predators and Prey]
26. Illyria's Pet: Who's living with Buffy in that mansion shown in issue 20? Is it just Buffy, Xander, Willow, and Dawn for now (cause that would be sweet)? Or are there some slayers?
Scott Allie: Some Slayers live in the HQ, all are nearby. Or at least all of the Scotland squad.
27. Wyndam: My question is about the origin of Twilight's symbol. I'm not asking about what it means or why it is important in the comic, but really who thought of the design? Was it something Joss first sketched, or maybe Jeanty when he was drawing the first issue?
Scott Allie: Joss didn't sketch it, but he described it very specifically, and we went through revisions and revisions before we had it just right. But all the design was between Joss and Georges.
28. Whedon Fan: Are you and Joss aware that the Buffy Animated Pilot was put up onto the internet? How did it get there, was it Joss or someone at FOX who did it? It just got me wondering as I was reading issue 20 and noticed some similarities.
Scott Allie: I think Joss knew that. I don't think he was involved, though. We didn't talk much about that.
29. Skytteflickan88: There's a line that's repeated, almost word for word, by Dream-Tara in Restless, Dracula in season 5 and by Vasuki in issue 15.
Tara:" You think you know ... what's to come ... what you are. You haven't even begun."
Dracula:"You think you know what you are, what's to come. You haven't even begun."
Vasuki:"Darling Willow. Did you think I could not find you? Did you think you could hide from what you are? Or what's to come?"
Twice, this quote seemed to be about Buffy, but in issue 15, it's directed at Willow. Is there a important link between these lines or was just Joss or Drew thinking "Hey, it would be fin to re-use this line, see if someone recognizes it"?
Scott Allie: Sorry, can't answer. Nothing we've talked about. I'd say those first two are clearly intentionally similar, but the one Drew wrote isn't that close, jsut the sort of line you're inevitably gonna come across in a story like this.