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.
:How did "Angel: After the Fall” come about?
: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.
:How important was it to have "After the Fall” be the canonical continuation of the "Angel” characters?
: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.
:What will Joss Whedon's involvement be in the series?
: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.