1. Emmie: I was surprised to learn that Jim Krueger would be writing the Faith/Giles story for Issue 24. A lot of fans were predicting that would go to Doug Petrie since he wrote a number of pivotal episodes for Faith's character on the series (Bad Girls, Enemies, This Year's Girl). Any insight you can share regarding how the writing duties were divvied up for issues 21 through 25?
Scott Allie: After deciding who'd be involved--lining up the writers who'd only have time for one issue--Joss threw out a rough outline of what needed covering. Some issues he had a basic story idea, some he just knew he wanted to check in with a character, and some he had nothing. Writers called dibs on slots that way. With Doug, I believe Joss wanted him tackling the particular beat he had planned for #25. Kru requested the F&G spot, which moved, due to writers' schedules, from #23 to 24.
This is sort of how writing duties are worked out for each arc. A mix of what we need, what they wanna do. In no case did Joss simply hand out an outline.
2. patxshand: I saw in the back of the issue that #20 was advertised as "After These Messages... We'll Be Right Back part 1." Was the issue expanded into a two issue story, or was this just a misprint?
Scott Allie: Oops, misprint. Sorry about that, not sure how it happened ... But "We'll Be Right Back" is a standalone.
3. hitnrun017: In your interview with Darkstars Fantasy News, you jokingly (I think) mentioned Season 10. Would you be up for that?
Scott Allie: We'd love to do Season 10, but we have to figure out 9 first. That was a joke, in that interview, yes.
4. lmblack21: Regarding the Riley reveal, are we meant to infer from the issue that Buffy is attempting to reconnect with Riley romantically?
5. bamph: The last we saw and heard from Riley was in season 6's 'As You Were' and season 7's 'The Killer In Me' and he was okay with Buffy.Will we learn the circumstances as the season continues about how Riley ended up alligned with Twilight and why he has turned on Buffy?
Scott Allie: ImBlack & Bamph—I obviously can't give anything away about Riley right now, but that's one interesting interpretation of what this means. And yes, over time you'll understand how he came to be in Twilight's camp.
6. enisy: Something about The Long Way Home that many people were wondering at the time - were the scenes featured in Buffy's dream-cubes chosen by Joss, or Jeanty? And are they supposed to mean anything (like where Buffy's heart/mind is this season, or what the most important events/people in her life were), or are they just random selections?
Scott Allie: Great question. The script contained some suggestions from Joss, but mostly those images were chosen by Georges. Some of what Georges threw into the panels at first were shot down by Joss, though, so you can be sure that everything that is there is essentially what Joss wanted there. Sort of surprised he let Georges keep the drawing of Joss himself in there ...
7. buffyfest: Re: Issue 20, Jeph Loeb confirmed it is taking place during the time of the animated series (season 1) with Dawn included. Will we get to see interaction between characters who never met onscreen like Dawn/Angel and Dawn/Cordy?
Scott Allie: What the hell, spoilers: You technically do not. Dawn's role is sort of limited, and she doesn't get involved in a lot, although there's a great scene with her and Joyce and Buffy.
8. mikey: Was the intention to make us think that Present Day Willow was going to get the axe (er, scythe) through the portal, via an accident? Because I totally thought so, and it scared the bajeebers out of me!
Scott Allie: Not at all. I hadn't thought of that.
9. Emmie: The Buffy fandom loves to delve into how the stories are created, embracing and appreciating episode commentaries, interviews and shooting transcripts that show us the 'Behind the Scenes' moments. Any chance fans will get to see some of the scripts and notes for Buffy Season 8?
Scott Allie: Yes, but it won't be for a while. We want to do deluxe editions, but it'll be much further down the road.
10. moscowwatcher: Is there a chance of Evil!Parker also working for Twilight? Just kidding. Real question: Do you already know the ending of season 8 and do you think that the enormous success of Twilight the movie may cause some changes because of a big-screen Buffy movie possibility?
Scott Allie: Yes, the ending is worked out, and no, I can't see changing it because of that movie, or True Blood, or any of the other vampire stuff happening.
11. wenxina: Hey Scott. This may be a semi-ridiculous question (it could also be full-on out there ridiculous), but seeing how crazy Twilight-Mania has been going (Twilight, the book series), was there a point where anybody in the writing/creative team just saw art imitating life (in light of the upcoming vamps in the spotlight arc), and pointed it out?
Scott Allie: I haven't talked to Joss about that, but I wondered if there was some intention there. Vampires are strangely trendy right now, and we've all certainly talked about how Harmony's upcoming storyline segues with vampire popularity, in particular the premise of True Blood. But I think it's a coincidence.
12. bamph: Considering how issue 19 ends, is it safe to assume the Fray future remains and more stories could be told within it one day?
Scott Allie: Absolutely, more Fray stories remain to be told. We've always said we want to do more with Fray. I spoke to Joss today, and there were things he's doing right now that I wasn't even on top of—so I'm going to be staying focused on Buffy S8 with him, and continue to put off my wishes to do more Fray, more other things. We'll keep doing Doc Horrible related things with Joss and Zack, but sadly I don't think there'll be more Fray soon.
13. sosalola: Hi Scott - do you know where in Scotland Buffy is exactly? And will we ever know why she chose to set her hiding place in Scotland of all places?
Scott Allie: The exact location in Scotland is undetermined for now. As I've said in other similar Q&As, it's best to keep that stuff vague until you HAVE to pin it down in the context of the story.
14. amuk: Terrific issue ending a great arc. I can hardly wait to find out what Future Dark(ish) Willow's "long story" is - not to mention whatever she showed Fray to enlist her help in trapping Buffy. So my question is, will we eventually get all that backstory?
Scott Allie: I doubt you'll see all your questions answered regarding their futures. Some more will be revealed, but do not expect a big fill-in-the-blanks issue.
15. richshag89: Is the panel with present willow's hand coming out of the portal supposed to have anything to do with the panel in the original fray book when urkonn is telling her about the past and we see a hand through a portal? Also, will we find out more about future past? Meaning will we find out exactly what happens with the portal and final battle that urkonn was alluding to?
Scott Allie: No on that hand, but yes on more about the future.
16. kingofcretins: I'd ask you to break us off any kind of 'shippy spoilage at all, but you'd say something about Warren and Amy's little spat. So, how about this -- now that Riley is revealed as being villain-ish, can you confirm whether or not most of our theories for why Riley might be Twilight are right? Namely, does his turn have *something* to do with his wife?
Scott Allie: I cannot help you with that, sorry. No spoilers about Riley, that story definitely remains to be told.
17. Trey: Hoping this for not to be a dumb question, but will anything important be revealed in Issue 20? Like major revelations that'll answer questions brought up in the past that haven't been answered?
Scott Allie: I guess the answer to your question is probably no, but it's hard to say what will be important to readers. Maybe things in #20 will confirm some of your ideas, but there aren't any major shockers coming down.
18. CowboyGuy: While I can't think of any good questions, that are answerable/non-spoilery...I am wondering if you have decided on an official name for the upcoming arc for Issues 20-25?
Scott Allie: the next arc is actually 21-25—#20 was the tail end of the #16-19 story. But we don't have a name for this arc yet. And yes, we've heard the suggestion Five by Five. But since Faith does not utter that line in #24—and a lot of other reasons—we're probably not gonna use that title.
19. enisy: How do you (and Joss, if you can tell us) estimate the fan reaction to certain issues, or arcs, or characters, or events? Do you browse fan forums, Whedonesque, LiveJournal etc., or do you rely mostly on the letters you receive?
Scott Allie: Besides the lettercol, Whedonesque is probably the place we look the most. And we'll sometimes look at threads that a friend sends us to, which is how I wound up here. In answer to the inevitable followup—the reaction we see on the interwebs has made us clarify things that we thought were clear already, like the cinnamon kiss back in the first arc, but it hasn't changed the course of anything in the story so far. We mainly look for confirmation—did they think Dark Willow was actually Drusilla? Good. Do they have a hundred suspects for Twilight? Good.
20. sosalola: Can we get the last names of Renee, Satsu, Leah and Rewena?
Scott Allie: still no names for the other Slayers. Sorry ... Details like that will come up when the story naturally requires them.
21. faith0tvs: Hello Mr Allie - Will we find out more about the Snake Lady and her past in future issues?
Scott Allie: We WILL find out more about the Snake Lady, yes.
22. Skytteflickan88: Does Dark Horse have any plans on releasing any extras? For example, a whole book with nothing but Season 8 goodies, sketches, interviews, fun facts, etcetc or maybe just some extras within a hardcover or tradeback of the issues (For example a Season 8 Omnibus)? Futhermore, would that be possible for the other Buffy comics?
Scott Allie: As mentioned in another post, yes, we do want to work in some extras, some more behind the scenes material.
23. enisy: Do you think you might write an issue for Season 9 or so? And if you were to, which characters and/or relationships would you most want to tackle?
Scott Allie: I can't say I don't want to write an issue of Buffy, but I have mixed feelings about it. I sort of feel it would be inappropriate, because of my relationship to the book. Mike Mignola recently asked me to write a short Hellboy-related story—that's a book I've edited for fourteen years. I'm gonna do it, because it's small, and focused elsewhere from the main character. I'm arrogant enough to think that I'd do a great job with these characters, because of how closely I've studied them, how closely I've identified with them over the years, and how much I've come to understand how their stories should work. But no, I wrote those stories for Pocket in Tales of the Slayers because they were so far from my own editorial work, and because I was glad to be asked by the editors there. I pushed myself into the spot of writing Solomon Kane for Dark Horse because I honestly believe I was the best guy for the job. As long as I have Joss or Jane or Steven or Drew's, etc., phone numbers, I am not the best guy for the job.
24. dane5by5: I'll submit two questions and if you would, just answer which ever you fancy more.
- Are any writers picked for Season Nine yet? (Yes, I am aware we're about three years early) Or who would you like to write for Season Nine?
Scott Allie: No firm plans on Season Nine. I'd love to see Joss write it all, but I don't imagine there's a chance of that. Another possibility would be that one show writer writes it all. Or we do just what we've done on Season 8. All doors remain open.
25. CowboyGuy: Here is another simple question, did Buffy return to present day with her Scythe in tow? It didn't seem like she had it after Willow pulled her back to the 'now'...might just be me being scared for nothing.
Scott Allie: She returned with her scythe. Crap, I don't have a copy of it here, but she damn well better have returned with that damn thing ... Now you have me scared.
26. tiewashere: Can you please clear up Dark Willow's plan in Time of Your Life? Was it just to die? Was there more? Or are we not supposed to know what it was yet?
Scott Allie: I cannot clear up Dark Willow's agenda there, except to say that there was more than was apparent, and the fact that you don't understand it all yet is, as usual, intentional.
27. richjk413: Hey Scott - Looking down the road a ways, am I correct in that season 8 will not end until approx July-Aug 2010? And if that is the case and you begin season 9, do you think you'll have it finished before the world ends in Dec 2012?? You don't have to answer that second part. And thank you for Buffy season 8, this fan appreciates it very much!
Scott Allie: Wow, you raise a good point. Your timeline is correct. Doesn't sound like there's time to do Season 9. I'll have to tell Joss to do it in twelve issues, or call it off ...
28. Whedon Fan: With Harmony appearing in issue 21, this shows that she did get out if Los Angeles before it went to hell so will we find out how she got out in time because as we saw in After The Fall LA went to hell about 10 minutes after we last saw her.
Scott Allie: Your question about how Harmony got out of LA cannot be answered at this time. I hope it can be answered before the end of Season 8, but I'm not positive it will.
If the above question is too spoilery then:
Is there a cover for the Time Of Your Life TPB yet, is there a round about date for it to be released and...can we see it? Please, come on this will make up for the loooong wait for issue 19.
Scott Allie: And to make up for the long wait, how about I answer the other half of your question—Yes, Jo has done the cover to Time of Your Life, the collection, and it is gorgeous. One of my favorite of her covers, honest. Damn, I wish it was online, but no, sorry, not yet. I let my marketing department decide when to release the covers, but I think that one will be out there soon. We've had it about a month, I think.
29. Illyria's Pet: If you're still willing to do more I have one. It's kinda a follow-up question to Whedon Fan's and I'm not sure if it's too spoilery but... can you give us any kind of description of the TOYL TPB cover? Or who's on it?
Scott Allie: The cover to the next trade has Buffy and Fray, with a big Dark Willow looming in the background behind them.
30. narflet: My question is as follows...the Time of Your Life retailer bonus poster in four pieces was really shiny, and I'm aware there have been a couple of other retailer bonuses - posters and the LWH HB. However, is there any plans to have any Season 8 related merchandise, that is additional to the collected issues (in whatever form, TPB or those possible deluxe editions), that will be available for public purchase? I'm thinking along the lines of the things featured in the DH 'products' section - figures, prints, statues & et cetera.
Scott Allie: We're not producing a lot of other merchandise because those licenses are held by other companies. So we come up with unique ones, like the tarot set (awww) and the ouija board, but we can't sell posters without taking out a poster license with Fox. If we want to do a poster, we can't sell it, but have to give it away as a promotional item.
31. wenxina: I was wondering if there would be any more fan opportunities to somehow be involved in S8, i.e. like in #10?
Like say... a competition for the best submission for a title for the #21-25 arc collectively. Considering how the arc allows the reader to view an event from the different perspectives of the characters, it would be a unique opportunity to include one more perspective, i.e. the fans', via their submission. Just throwing that out there. Thanks again for doing this.
Scott Allie: No further plans for contests, or anything like that. That one worked out great, in my opinion, but it was sort of a pain in the ass. We're not set up for dealing with entries like that, takes forever.
32. enisy: Which established Buffy character do you think translates the best to the comic medium (because of speech pattern, or design, or abilities, etc.)? Is there any character that you think might not translate quite as well as others? (I should note that favourite / least favourite characters are irrelevant to the question, just in case it wasn't immediately apparent.)
Scott Allie: Another good one from Enisy—I don't know. While all the Buffy characters are unique, they all work the same way, storytellingwise. That is, what makes them distinctive is their appearance, although conventional and attractive; their speech patterns, which rely on a lot of talking. If anything, I'd say Angel himself poses some problems, as his brooding is harder to convey in a comic than in the show. Hard to make it look cool, that is. I think Willow and Buffy translate great, because Will's magic and Buffy's fighting are easier to go wild with in comics than on TV. If there was a character who whistled a lot of showtunes, that character probably would not come across that well in comics.
33. thealphagamer: What's with all the sexual stuff in this season? there was never this much sexual stuff in the program, i mean we've had Dawn naked in a river, Dawn topless, Faith and Gigi in a bath together, Buffy and Satsu, Willow and Kennedy, Saga Vasuki(Did i spell that right?) and we're only 19 issues in. Is it that you can get away with it more in a comic than you could on tv? That you just want more horny teenage boys to buy the comics? or something else?
Scott Allie: Sexuality has always been part of the storyline, but yes, it's easier to get comic-book characters to take their clothes off than actresses. Some actresses. But if you wonder why people on this site found you abrasive, lemme suggest that accusing me of pandering to horny teenage boys doesn't sound like you're trying to win me over, just like asking this board why they get writers coming on here when there are better boards. What's gained by suggesting I pander to horny kids? What's gained by telling them there are better boards? Ask your questions without putting people down.
34. Cordy to the C: Will Drusilla be featured in any upcoming Angel or Buffy comics?
Scott Allie: No spoilers about Dru or anyone else, sorry.
35. Sosalola: Is the Scotland squad Xander's? I mean, is it just Xander's squad not Buffy's as well?
Scott Allie: The structure is different than it's ever been, but Xander is essentially a Watcher (basically), and he's the Watcher of the Scottish squad. Buffy's the Commander in Chief of the whole thing, so all the squads are hers.
36. Uncle Spike: Which issue will Spike be in? You can't fool me, I know he's coming back.Riley being in issue #19 gave it way. Like I said in aother thread: "You can't have one without the another".
Scott Allie: By your logic, Riley would have been in IDW's book (has he been?) ... as well as Season Two of Buffy. And nooooooo spoilers.