By Alyssa Pak
Wizard World Portland again hosted a Buffy/Angel panel in the home city of Dark Horse Comics featuring Buffy Season 10 / Angel and Faith Season 9 writer Christos Gage, Buffy Season 10 / Angel and Faith Season 9 artist Rebekah Isaacs, and Dark Horse Editor-In-Chief Scott Allie. The panel opened with Gage and Isaacs on stage and Allie joining them a few minutes later.
Christos Gage: (Holding up his name tag for the panel.) I am Christon Gage. Makes me sound like I'm a figure from the Bible.
Rebekah Isaacs: Hey I'm happy they spelled my name perfectly right!
Moderator: What was your favorite part about Angel and Faith Season 9?
Christos Gage: Season 9 saw Angel and Faith living in London and fighting the forces of evil. Faith was trying to find her place in the world and Angel was trying to undo a great wrong he had done. It was fun and Rebecca drew the hell out of it and it was a beautiful piece of work.
Rebekah Isaacs: One of the things that interested me most about the series is that it involves a lot of the material that Joss had developed for the Ripper series that never got made. So it focuses a lot around Giles and his past. Since Giles is my favorite character, that was a big selling point for me.
Moderator: Can you explain Season 10?
Christos Gage: Season 10 of Buffy opens up with the Scoobies back together for the first time since Season 8. They are back together living in San Francisco. I've always felt that what was so great about Buffy was that it takes you through the life stages we all go through, but with a supernatural bend to it. This season is the first step into adulthood. Everyone has responsibilities and decisions that they have to live or die by … literally.
[*After this point the duo was joined by Dark Horse Editor-In-Chief Scott Allie]
Moderator: How is Nicholas Brendon involved?
Christos Gage: If anyone was here this time last year at Wizard World, we announced that Nicholas Brendon is co-writing several of the issues this season. Basically, we get together and act really immaturely and write.
Scott Allie: A couple years ago there was a panel that I ended up on with him in San Diego. Afterward Nicky said he would love to talk to us about more stuff. We ended up bringing him on a panel at NYCC, which was really the first time I got to talk to him. We discussed his interest in writing and talked about personal stuff he was working on. We felt that out for about another year and we then invited him to the writer's summit and everyone really hit it off. We decided the best way for him to contribute was to have him Co-write with Chris. Now he is a pretty regular part of Season 10.
Moderator: Why did you switch over from Angel and Faith to Buffy Season 10?
Chris Gage: I was really comfortable with Angel and Faith but wasn't so sure about writing Buffy. I didn't know the characters as well so it was a bit intimidating After the writers summit and getting to work with everyone I was reassured and was excited to work on Buffy.
Rebekah Isaacs: I'm working on getting artists getting added to the summit. Its also very important to the creative process that it be a Joss' house, preferably around the pool. (Laughs followed.)
Scott Allie: We've told this story before, but Rebekah and Chris both stated they were fine being on either book after Andrew Chambliss had to leave because of his work on Once Upon A Time and George Jeanty went over to Serenity: Leaves On The Wind. So we needed creators for both books and there was talk of moving Chris and Rebekah over to Buffy if they wanted to, and most important to them was staying together. Although, Rebekah did check with me to make sure staying with Chris didn't mean giving up a chance to work with Joss… (Laughs followed.)
Moderator: Is there anything you can say about cover artist Steve Morris?
Rebekah Isaacs: I feel so lucky to have him on the series. I mean how many fandoms get fine art pieces made for them. They are museum quality. The compositions and symbolism blows my mind.
Scott Allie: The amount of symbolism brought to the work is amazing. His work is just gorgeous.
Slides for the panel confirm that Season 10 will be 30 issues. The first trade is out, the second trade will be out in April, with volume 3 in September.
Angel and Faith Season 10 will also be 30 issues and the first trade is out, with the second in May, and third in October.
There will be three Library Editions for both Buffy Season 9 and Angel and Faith Season 9, with each collecting two trades and extras in hardcover editions like the previous Library Editions. The first Buffy Season 9 Library Volume is already out, and the second will also contain the Willow Wonderland miniseries. The Angel and Faith Season 9 first Library Volume will be out in March, with the second volume will contain the Spike: A Dark Place miniseries.
The question and answer portion continued the lively pace as the audience started asking questions:
Q: Is it hard for Nicholas Brendon to write for other characters?
Christos Gage: Nicholas Brendon has said his personality is like Xander's except he is into sports and Xander is into nerdy stuff. It's easy for him to get into Xander's head. He also suggests a lot of stuff for young Giles since he can relate to him. There are some characters that I think is probably more challenging for him to get into their heads.
Q: Is there more to tell for the Spike: Into The Light hardcover?
Scott Allie: That story was just a piece and there wasn't more back story that James Marsters wanted to tell as far as I'm aware.
Q: What happened to Miss Kitty Fantastico?
Christos Gage: I understand there was some illusion by fans that Dawn accidentally shot her with a crossbow while trying to figure out how to use it. I like to pretend that Miss Kitty Fantastico got adopted by more responsible pet owners and lived happily ever after.
Bleeding Cool: Will the Drusilla miniseries ever be published?
Scott Allie: I don't know if that will ever see publication. There was a ton of work done for it, though.
With fifteen minutes remaining the panel launched into a Buffy Trivia Challenge to win prizes.
Some questions included:
-What artist drew the most issues of Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
-What is the name of the diner that Buffy worked in at the start of Season 2 (though it was actually season 3)?
-What is Giles' first name?
-What is the subtitle of the Buffy video game that Dark Horse did a prelude for?
-Which insanely popular female villain from the Angel and Buffy series appeared in Angel and Faith Season 9?
The two that stumped the audience were:
-What real life figure did Rebekah Isaacs base Faith's father on?
-What were the name of Giles' Aunts that first appeared and were in Angel and Faith Season 9?
When the last question couldn't be answered, except by Gage, they then asked:
-What was the name of the demon that owned Giles soul and was defeated in Angel and Faith Season 9?
The last two got their lucky winners exclusive early copies of Angel and Faith Season 9 Library Edition Volume 1 almost two months early and ended the panel.