With "Angel: After the Fall” from IDW following in the footsteps of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 8” from Dark Horse as a hit in the comic book market, IDW's publisher and editor-in-chief Chris Ryall answered some questions about how the series came together. Q:How did "Angel: After the Fall” come about? A:It's something we've wanted to do since we started publishing Angel comics three years ago, but didn't think would ever happen. At the time, the show had just ended, and Joss (Whedon) moved on to other things. And none of us wanted to presume to do the next "season” of the show without him, even if it had been allowed. Then there was talk of Angel straight-to-DVD flicks, which would catch up with some of the characters from the show. So we'd pretty much given up the idea and just focused on doing comics (that tried, in various ways, to ineffectively allude to maybe taking place after the show ended). Cut to maybe nine months ago, and the start of our "Spike: Asylum” series. The writer, an extremely talented sort named Brian Lynch, just happened to live in Los Angeles and fortuitously bumped into Joss Whedon at breakfast the day before the first issue of his series hit stores. He said a quick hello to Joss, and mentioned the comic, and Joss checked it out the next day... and loved it. I quickly heard from Joss that he was finally ready to tell the story of what happened next, if he could do so with Brian. He felt like Brian just nailed the characters and their voices and would be the perfect partner to tell the tale. Brian fairly jumped through the phone when I mentioned this to him — to agree to do it, I mean, not because he has strange, electrical superpowers that allow him to travel across phone lines — and we were off and running. Brian and Joss met and discussed what they wanted to do, and fleshed out a long proposal of where the series would go, and "Angel: After the Fall” was born. Q:How important was it to have "After the Fall” be the canonical continuation of the "Angel” characters? A:I think that's the only way it could be done or should be done. No one would want to read what would essentially be nicely illustrated fan-fiction that presumed to tell a story that Joss had in his mind, and we wouldn't have wanted to presume to tell a tale that wasn't ours to tell. Q:What will Joss Whedon's involvement be in the series? A:Much like I outlined above: he and Brian discussed the series and where it should go, he gave extensive notes on Brian's overall proposal, and he sees everything every step of the way. Brian scripts, and Joss serves as our Watcher on the entire affair. Q:Which characters will fans see in "After the Fall?” A:Ah-hah! I see how this goes — you throw me a few innocuous questions and hope that by this point in, I'll get so comfortable that I blurt out "we bring Tara back from the dead even though she wasn't a character on this show and Cordelia is alive again and married to Connor's ghost,” is that it? Well, I ain't falling for it, my man. I can promise you that you'll see Angel quite a bit. And we've already revealed that Connor plays a big role in this series. And there's a very good chance that a certain blondie-bear vampire with a soul will show up (since he's already been shown to be the focus of issue 2's cover, that's a safe bet), but there will be lots of other familiar faces that appear in ways people won't be expecting, too. Q:Is there a plan for how many issues "After the Fall” will run, or how many issues will be in the first arc? A:The first five issues tell the first major story in this epic, after which time we'll do a one-shot called First Night. Because After the Fall #1 begins a few months after the end of Season Five, we also want to explore what happened on that first night after the climactic battle in the alley. So that book will feature multiple stories that look at some lesser-seen characters and what became of them. Which will then lead into the next major storyline. Q:Chris, IDW has lined up several high-profile projects and licenses. How important is "After the Fall” to the company's overall strategy, and what is it about IDW that allows you to land these projects? A:Well, we've been doing Angel-related comics for three-plus years now, and that entire time, this has been a story people have asked about and wanted to see. And I've long wanted to get Joss back on the characters he created/co-created. So it's a joy to be able to do this now, and even more so because we get to not only do it with Joss but also with Brian Lynch and artist Franco Urru — who Joss also requested, along with Brian. Q:Can you tell me about the art team for "After the Fall?” A:I can — the artist on the book is Franco Urru, the same artist who illustrated Brian's Spike: Asylum and Spike: Shadow Puppets series. He's an Italian artist who came to me through our other Angel artist, David Messina. And he's talented and dedicated and just one of my favorite people. So this really is the dream team of talent to work on the project. We also have award-winning guys like Tony Harris and Andrew Robinson providing some covers for the series, too. Each story in the Angel: First Night one-shot will be illustrated by a different artist, including Franco, David Messina, industry legend John Byrne, and some other talented folks, too.Comments
"Angel: After the Fall” follows the characters from the "Angel” television series.