Angel & Faith: "Their" take on Angel

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Postby Buffyversefantic » Tue May 08, 2012 2:11 pm

Two Part covers for Angel & Faith # 13 and solicitation. ... -dimension


How we drew Angel, Willow, and Faith hanging out in a hell dimension

For August's issue of Angel & Faith, artists Rebekah Isaacs and Steve Morris teamed up on a two-part cover of the comic's Whedonverse heroes hanging out in the vastly unpleasant demon dimension of Quor'Toth.

The two artists took io9 through the process of designing this piece — behold an exclusive first look at Angel and company stuck in the pits. But first, here's a synopsis of this issue, which hits stores August 29 from Dark Horse Comics:

Angel & Faith #13:

Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Rebekah Isaacs

The expedition to Quor'Toth has taken an unplanned turn for Angel, Faith, Willow, and Connor. While they struggle to survive the horrors that surround them, they have also taken on a mission to stage a great escape-and not just for themselves! They must act fast, before the effect that this hell dimension is having on their thoughts and emotions overcomes them!

Rebekah Isaacs: Most covers for Angel & Faith start with a prompt from the editors — one sentence to a paragraph describing what will be going on in the cover. It may or may not specify the setting or even the specific characters to be shown, but just a general feeling to be conveyed. This prompt was pretty specific and straightforward though — Angel and Connor (and for Steve's, Willow and Faith) looking hot and bad-a** in Quor'Toth. I think neither of us had done a straight-up heroes-looking-heroic pin-up style cover in a few issues, and every now and then it's fun to throw one of those in to the mix.


Steve Morris: Rebekah got the ball rolling on this, sending me a couple of sketches of the two-cover spreads, which looked really good. And Dark Horse had previously divvied up who was doing which characters, thus avoiding the inevitable medieval death-match between Rebekah and I for character drawing rights! Since I was buried in work, Rebekah moved forward with her pencils, which she then passed to me so I could draw my half.

RI: I tried to keep the composition fairly simple so that all four heroes could be mostly on the same plane and featured equally. But you always want some depth in a cover — everyone standing shoulder to shoulder looks flat and boring — so one character in each cover was pushed more into the foreground. I chose to put Connor in the foreground on mine since it was my first time drawing him in Angel & Faith. Building a sense of depth further, there would be large landscape features in the midground, and then the Necropolis in the far distance.




SM: The original sketch had Rebekah's cover on the left and mine on the right, but Dark Horse wanted them flipped, so I needed to rearrange the positions of Faith and Willow to work with the composition of Rebekah's half, which was now on the right side. Also, having seen Rebekah's cool pencils and the final poses, I wanted to increase the drama on mine, mostly by putting Faith in a poised-to-strike pose.

I started with a sketch in Photoshop, keeping the edges of Rebekah's line art visible, in order to line up key elements. My sketches are usually loose (this being no exception), my main goal is to get across my basic premise and I accompany it with some additional text so that Dark Horse can full understand my blobs and chicken scratches.

RI: I often change a lot from my sketch to my pencils as I start to get more of a feel for what the big picture, and this one was no exception. In my sketch, Angel and Connor are looking cool, but too much like a Levi's ad. Too posed and definitely not bad-a**. Along with the new action-hero poses, Angel's coat is always an easy way to add extra motion and energy to a scene.

I wanted to create a nice sweeping curve in my composition from the top to the bottom, so I built in some space for a giant demon/monster skeleton to lead the eye down. I got a little worried that it might appear to be a LIVING skeleton monster (like a giant version of Baphon from #2) which our heroes were just casually ignoring, so I threw in some demon birds with lots of little spider-eyes perched on his horns.

SM: Once my sketch was approved, I started the line art (also in Photoshop). Christos had supplied us with a very useful description of how he envisioned Quor'Toth. His description included: "post-apocalyptic, blasted landscape," "nuclear winter type ash storms," "they'd (demons) use bones, corpses, skins, etc. in all aspects of life, including shelters and clothes and vehicles," and "trees, forests, rivers, etc. should all look poisonous and diseased." So with all that bouncing around my mind, I focused on creating a landscape that was caked with layers of ash over rotted skulls forms, while tortured trees and megalith sized bones rose over the decay.

The large tree and bones were useful to frame our two heroines and I carried over Rebekah's smoke (at the top) and river/swamp water-flow (at the bottom) which helped tie the covers together in both line and motion. Concerning the likenesses, I already had plenty of images for both actresses, from previous covers; so I followed my typical route of triangulating the likenesses from several pictures and bridging the gaps with educated guess work. When drawing likenesses at a small scale, I try to convey the impression of the actress/character rather than fussing with the exact shapes of features.


RI: Likenesses were a huge challenge for me at the beginning of the series, but I eventually developed a method that worked for me. When I tried drawing from photo references first in the beginning, the finished product ended up looking like a funhouse mirror — somehow I'll have missed the forest for the trees, and while the individual features look fine, they'll be out of proportion and in all the wrong places.

Eventually I'd studied the character's faces so much that I found I could draw them more or less accurately from memory, and then by going back in and refining and correcting features while crosschecking reference photos I could fix anything that wasn't quite right.

SM: With the line art approved, I dove into the coloring (again in PS). I decided to keep my line art visible, rather than color over it with a more painterly style, since I knew it would blend more seamlessly with Rebekah's cover/inks. My color choices were pretty straight forward, in that I wanted it to look real rather than stylized, so I didn't need to experiment much and just focused on colors that would evoke ash and acid. A harmony was created by repeating the grayish-purple of the ground, in the upper clouds and carrying the acid green/yellow hues of the water, into the horizon of the sky. The real polish on the piece was the burning bits of falling ash which brought the image to life. I had been waiting from the time I started the cover to do that burning ash lol. The bonus was that it created another element of motion which could be pulled across both covers.

RI: Yeah, the falling ash was a real stroke of genius on Steve's part! It tied the two pieces together and set the tone so incredibly well. And Dan Jackson duplicated it really beautifully on our side of the cover as well. As always, his colors gave my lines entirely new life.

SM: With my colors done, I passed my file to Dan Jackson, so he could duplicate some of the textured parts and match up his colors on Rebekah's inks. He did a great job making the two covers feel like a continuous scene.


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Postby Double Dutchess » Tue May 08, 2012 4:30 pm

Thanks for posting this, Buffyversefantic. I always love seeing the artistic process, and these are very nice covers.
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Postby raith » Wed May 09, 2012 8:09 pm

As usual, I'm loving these cover arts. I like the fact that the story will progress so much soon. I really want to see Willow's reaction when she meets Angel after the fiasco that was season 8/Twilight.
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Postby Buffyversefantic » Tue May 15, 2012 1:02 pm

Preview pages for Angel & Faith # 10. ... w&id=12413

EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW: "Angel & Faith" #10

Courtesy of Dark Horse, CBR presents an exclusive preview of "Angel & Faith" #10 by Christos Gage and Chris Samnee, with covers by Rebekah Isaacs and Steve Morris. On sale May 30.


Angel and Faith are forced into battle, less by choice and more by circumstance, when two mysterious women from Giles’s past call on the unlikely duo for help. But that’s only the beginning of Angel and Faith’s troubles as the ladies settle in for the night!

Series writer Christos Gage (Avengers Academy) and guest artist Chris Samnee (Thor), the creative team of Vertigo’s Area 10, reveal more about Giles’s past and further Angel’s quest in bringing the Watcher back from the dead!




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Postby Buffyversefantic » Tue May 22, 2012 6:51 am

First Angel & Faith # 10 advanced review. ... rtain-age/

Review – Angel & Faith #10 Women Of A Certain Age

By Jenny– May 21, 2012


Script: Christos Gage
Art: Chris Samnee
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Rebekah Isaacs with Dan Jackson
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

After a trying, emotional battle, Angel and Faith return home to find a couple of guests waiting for them. They are quickly acquainted with Lavinia and Sophronia (Sophie for short), Giles’ Great Aunts. They seem to be well versed in magic…and trouble. Their visit is not just for the free wine and accommodations, they seem to have brought along some guests that Angel and Faith must eradicate. They have an obsession with staying young and this is the real source of their problems; however, they blame Angel for the loss of magic in the world, therefore they blame him for all of their problems and they expect him to clean up their mess. Once it appears the coast is clear, Angel and Faith begin pumping Lavinia and Sophie for Giles’ family history/drama. Here we get to see Giles as a young boy, we learn how his magical powers were discovered, what his childhood dreams were and how those dreams were crushed. Just when Lavinia and Sophie seem useless, they give Angel something that may help him bring Giles back but manipulation is in play and their end game is still unknown!

Any issue that has a Giles origin story is fine by me. I love learning more about him and we also get to see what I’m assuming is the first use of the nickname “Ripper” and it won’t be at all what anyone expected! As an added bonus the issue ends with a surprise guest which will undoubtedly be an awesome addition to the story. Angel & Faith #10 has a lot of funny dialog which doesn’t detract from some of the seriousness of the issue. The introduction of the Great Aunts fits right in and is a great way to present Giles’ back story. Based on some of what happened in the issue, Angel and Faith’s relationship may be getting a bit more tenuous in the near future, but I think with everything they have been through it will be a minor bump in the road. The art is great; I love the variations in the monsters that come calling for Lavinia and Sophie. The bottom line is that this is a very strong issue and a great addition to the continuing story line!

Release Date: May 30th, 2012
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Postby Buffyversefantic » Wed May 23, 2012 6:57 am

Second advanced review for Angel & Faith # 10. ... 2135936755

ADVANCE "Angel & Faith" #10 Review: Magically Living Beyond Your Means!!!

Tuesday, May 22 2012

Contributed by: williamdabloody


Greetings, Scoobies! Out of the shadows the Comic Book Slayer steps once more to bring you an advance review of the latest issue of Angel & Faith. Regular artist Rebekah Isaacs only provides the alternate cover, sitting this issue out and allowing artist Chris Samnee to step in and take a swing. After wrapping up a heavy arc in the last issue, writer Christos Gage gives us a lighter tale this time that still pushes the story forward and introduces several new elements.


The Good:

A spoon full of humor helps the brooding gloom go down. As much as I am a fan of the brooding with extra darkness, it is nice to take a break from the drama and have a lighter issue. Gage handles the humor well, never relying on tired jokes and never straying too far into farce. Samnee’s art really helps with this effect by easily alternating between epic and cartoonish from panel to panel.

Living beyond your means - Buffy-style. This issue introduces us to Lavinia and Sophronia, Gile’s shallow and magic-obsessed great aunts. Both Lavinia and Sophronia have been living the high life by staying young and beautiful with magic that they acquire through rigged deals that they never expect to pay. They’re playing the system, and they have to pay the piper now that the Seed has been shattered and magic has left this plane. It’s an interesting metaphor for those who have lived beyond their means and now find themselves scrambling to avoid the consequences of their debt. I’ll expand further on this idea in my full review that will be posted on Thursday on

The arrival of an old friend. There’s big ending here. Most of you probably already know what’s coming, but for the spoiler-free, big things are coming and they start on the last page of Angel & Faith #10.

The Bad:

Chris Samnee has big shoes to fill. While I personally really love Chris Samnee’s art and love when they have an opportunity for a guest artist, I feel like Rebekah Isaacs work has been so on par lately that many will notice the absence and will be eager for the return. Hopefully, Samnee won’t get trapped in her shadow, but, on the positive side, it is good news for Isaacs.

That’s all for now, Scoobies! If you want to read my full, spoilerific review, it will be posted on Thursday over at!

’Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer
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Postby Buffyversefantic » Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:47 am

Some reviews of Angel & Faith # 10 which came out last week.I should have my copy by Wed. at the latest. ... 10-review/

29, 2012 · 5:05 am



It is Angel’s desire and duty to bring back from the dead, Rupert Giles, the Watcher. It hangs over everything Angel and Faith do. The new arc, “Women of a Certain Age,” introduces us to two sisters: one who can help; and one who can hinder the process!

Series writer Christos Gage teams up with guest artist Chris Samnee to create some work with a smilar noir vibe as in their colloboration in Vertigo’s “Area 10.” This creative team is wonderful in tackling this opening story which has its fair share of vintage glamour revolving around the two mysterious young women that have all but crash landed into Angel and Faith’s lives.

Here is Gage and Samnee working together on “Area 10.”


Now, compare that with their work in this issue of “Angel and Faith.”


Samnee is a master with light and dark. We see it from the first page on as he provides perfectly places spots of black where needed. He introduces us to the two mystery girls byway of two dark shadows with fresh bright red polish just applied to their nails. Ah, that’s the mood we’re looking for as this story is not exactly crime fiction. It’s more ’60s mod meets young romance comics. The two girls in questions are really Giles’s great aunts, Lavinia, the redhead, and Sophronia, the blonde. They’re a couple of hotties although each is well over a hundred-years-old. What’s their secret? Any chance they’ve had to use magic, it’s all gone into keeping their youthful glow. This obsession with youth has made them two shallow old crones who simply look fabulous. Oh, and they happen to owe an array of monsters and ghouls for providing magical fixes along the way to avoid those crow’s feet and the like. Angel and Faith spend a good long while defeating various baddies before they can get some answers from the girls.

What Lavinia and Sophronia provide is a look back to London in the ’60s and a particular tale involving Rupert Giles as a boy. This story is key to what follows so I won’t go too much into it except to say that it is connected to Angel’s quest to bring Giles back. It is also jolly good fun. It is a family affair involving the supernatural and might bring to mind, “Bell, Book and Candle” or episodes of “Bewitched.” All in a good way, mind you. The upshot to this story is pretty big. And, just as everyone is ready to turn in to bed, we get a last minute surprise guest that is sure to add much to the mix. All in all, a very colorful and enjoyable opening chapter.

Issue 10 is out May 30. Visit Dark Horse Comics. ... -faith-10/

Buffyversity: Angel and Faith #10

posted May 30, 2012 in Reviews by Gilbert Short

Have you read “Angel and Faith” yet? You haven’t? Well, open it up immediately and after you do, come back and check out our commentary for the issue, which is filled with spoilers. It’s your twice-monthly installment of Buffyversity, y’all!

Written by Christos Gage
Illustrated by Chris Samnee

Angel and Faith are forced into battle, less by choice and more by circumstance, when two mysterious women from Giles’s past call on the unlikely duo for help. But that’s only the beginning of Angel and Faith’s troubles as the ladies settle in for the night!

Series writer Christos Gage (Avengers Academy) and guest artist Chris Samnee (Thor), the creative team of Vertigo’s Area 10, reveal more about Giles’s past and further Angel’s quest in bringing the Watcher back from the dead!

•Samnee and Gage reunite!

This month’s “Angel and Faith” was an important one. Since the last arc is what put our two heroes on the same page rather than tearing them apart even further, it seemed only natural that the dormant other lead, Giles, would take somewhat enter stage in his own way. It turns out his family takes its turn as the source of much of his childhood angst, much like our heroes Angel and Faith had in the previous four issues. Instead of a father or a daughter, though, it’s Giles’ creepy old great aunts that aren’t actually that old…or great, for that matter.

His aunts were witches, much like Willow was, but they used their powers for shallow gain, mostly giving in to their vanity. While they are quite old (over a century by some hints), they appear to be not much other than Faith. All of their magic was focused on keeping themselves young and beautiful, which is where our heroes come in.

As it turns out, they’ve sold their souls to many demons along the way, and while they were safe as long as they appeared young, the disappearance of magic in the world means that they’re debts are being called in. In their mind, this is all Angel’s and Faith fault. So who has the clean up the mess? Angel and Faith, obviously.

As new characters, Lavinia and Sophronia Fairweather are some of the most fun characters that have ever had the privilege to come from the United Kingdom. They’re very droll and, well, English. Their posh attitudes come into direct conflict with Angel and Faith’s somewhat…more working class backgrounds. It fits perfectly because of their distinct differences to our leads.

Their introduction gives a great, action packed epilogue with plenty of comedy to cleanse the palate from the earlier, much heavier storyline. While our heroes decapitate and disembowel the demons that came to get the souls they’re due, Sophie and Lavinia drink wine and generally act like Angel and Faith are the rude ones for not topping off their wine. It was all very much in tone with what I expect Giles’ family to be like, but there was a missed opportunity for Angel to bring out his Irish roots to intimidate or attempt to intimidate the sisters. However, the comedy didn’t fail, as even when there’s a fight for the lives of these two women going on, Angel and one of his enemies can appreciate another demon forcing a kiss upon Sophie as part of her payment for a talisman that prevented cancer.

However, In terms of story and character progression, there wasn’t a great deal, but there was enough to move the story along in a pleasing manner. This book still introduced two great characters and told us how they fit into Rupert Giles’ backstory before he joined the Watcher’s Council (against his will), and it also served a great twist to the book at the very end. One that might bury an important lead.

Giles was actually quite the adorable child. He dreamed of being a pilot (presumably for the RAF) but when his latent magical abilities kicked in, activating a mystical artifact that looks like it can transmute matter into energy and vice versa. Considering that everything is a state of energy, this Shard can also help raise the dead, which seems to be quite important to Angel, whose whole quest is to bring back Giles (interestingly enough, there seems to be a piece of Giles within in the shard itself, as his innocence was lost when he activated his magical abilities). This is also quite important as Angel was looking for what looked to be pieces of Giles’ soul, for lack of a better term.

Finally, the sisters Fairweather decided to play whatever mind games they could on our eponymous heroes, Faith and Angel, one telling Angel that what he was doing is necessary; while the other tells Faith that she might have to kill her companion, the vampire with a soul. One wonders what exactly their endgame is. It seems to me that they might want to resurrect Giles for their own use, being witches and all, or they’re simply bored. That’s a likely scenario as well.

But I think it’s more than that. I think these were likely the most important pages of the issue, as they were buried as soon as they finished. Like clockwork, the big twist that sets up the next leg in the season’s arc shows up as Willow comes with the broken scythe that was instrumental to the end of season seven, probably looking for some help of her own trying to restore magic in the world. She’ll probably even stick around for the sext arc or two, and then move on to her own series as planned.

One thing’s for sure, Angel’s never been around so many women in a while, as far as I can remember. When Angel was still on the air, there were precious few female characters on his show, with the women limited to Cordy and Fred, until Charisma Carpenter left the show. On the other hand, Buffy was much more women centric, with a mostly female cast dominating the cast (well, relatively). How will he cope? Well, I hope.

I personally can’t wait for the next arc. This issue was a lot of fun, and we can only hope it continues at this level. ... ew&id=4806

Angel & Faith #10

by Greg McElhatton,

"Angel & Faith" has been a fun series -- in many ways surpassing parent comic "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9" -- but "Angel & Faith" #10 takes it a step further. Here, I'd go so far as to say that Christos Gage and Chris Samnee have created a comic that surpasses a lot of the episodes of the "Angel" television show.

The issue itself at first appears to be a simple enough one-off, as Angel and Faith (living in Giles' London home) meet Giles' two great-aunts, who quickly turn out to be there for more than a social call. What happens next is a perfect mix of action and humor, as the slightly bitchy duo of Lavinia and Sophie get grudging protection from our title characters.

If that's all we got in "Angel & Faith" #10, it would still be a lot of fun. Gage's dialogue is especially zippy and strong here; it's hard to not actually laugh at a lot of the little moments as barbs flight left and right even as the duo dispatches demon after demon. There's also a nice reminder here that the destruction of magic in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8" has far-reaching consequences, with predicaments like the ones that Lavinia and Sophie are in being just the tip of the iceberg.

Gage takes it a step further, though, and what could have been a throwaway story has in fact a lot greater meaning. It's that extra little punch (and we aren't even talking about the final page, here) that makes "Angel & Faith" #10 so good in the writing department. Gage gets to make us think that we're on a fun side story, but when it loops back in to the center of the series and we see the greater purpose, well, you'll appreciate the ride that much more.

If that's not enough, though, Samnee steps on board to provide some guest art for "Angel & Faith," and he's an artist who just keeps getting better with each new project. I love his art here; it reminds me a bit of artists like Tommy Lee Edwards with that blocky, thick ink line that Samnee uses. It's remarkably clean and uncluttered art, though; the transitions from one panel to the next are easy to follow and strong. Samnee completely understands how to get the most impact from Gage's script. For example, at the bottom of page 8, the final two panels flow wonderfully, shifting from the destruction of the tentacle to Angel and Faith looking up and their faces moving from startled to understanding. It leads in to the next page and the big reveal perfectly, and it's a reminder of why Samnee's such a good artist. As an added bonus, Samnee's characters all look like their television counterparts, but still remain loose and fluid. There's an energy here that you don't often see in licensed comics, and I'm that much more impressed as a result.

If you aren't reading "Angel & Faith" but were a fan of the "Buffyverse" over the years, this is the perfect introduction to the comic series. It gives you everything you need to know about what came before, as well as where the book is going; more importantly, it gives you a wonderfully written and drawn issue. Licensed sequels in comic form can be a difficult creation, but Gage and Samnee make it look easy. Joss Whedon fans, you need this comic.

Some tweets form Christos Gage about Angel & Faith # 10.!/christosgage

Christos Gage þ@Christosgage

Thanks for all the nice comments about ANGEL & FAITH #10. Just to clarify my understanding of how magic works, SPOILERS ahead...

Christos Gage þ@Christosgage

SPOILERS When there was magic most anyone could cast a spell with the right accessories, but some have a talent for magic in varying degrees

Christos Gage þ@Christosgage

SPOILERS Giles' Dad did not mean that everyone at Watcher Academy can do magic but that Giles would need training and the Academy was...

Christos Gage þ@Christosgage

SPOILERS ...the best place he knew for Giles to get it. Hope that clears things up.

Christos Gage þ@Christosgage

Boy that was a lot easier than the Marvel retreat discussions on how magic works.

Victor Gischler þ@VictorGischler

@Christosgage Tomorrow I will lecture on vampires who smoke cigarettes. ( we need a vomit icon here)

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Postby Shade of Pale » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:33 am

I thought that Giles's great-aunts were awful. They seemed to care so little for Giles. Maybe we were meant to find them unlikeable !
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Postby Buffyversefantic » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:27 pm

Finally have my copy of Angel & Faith # 10.

Here's Kairos summary and review first.

A&F #10, Summary and Review

Good news: this was a fantastic issue.

Faith and Angel are coming home, after an indeterminate length of time since the events of the last issue (although they still seem to be talking about it). Angel senses that someone is in their house, and they enter by kicking in the door, swords at the ready.

The intruders are a pair of beautiful women, sitting comfortably in the living room. One is painting her nails, the other is drinking wine and welcomes Faith by asking her for a top-off. "You must be Rupert's little friends," says the brunette. Faith demands to know who they are, Angel says, "You knew Giles?" They introduce themselves as Lavinia and Sophronia, Giles' great-aunts, and point to the portrait of young Giles with the two of them. Faith protests that he never mentioned them, and Sophronia (pouring herself more wine) says that they're in the will, which apparently says "All occupants of the country home may remain." (In addition to the London house, Faith inherited an estate in Bath, which she thought was occupied exclusively by her horses.)

Faith comments on the youth of the pair and guesses magic. Lavinia confirms it, saying that mystic talent runs in the bloodline and they used theirs to stay this way. Angel cuts in to tell them about the fate of Giles, but they already know, and won't hold it against him even when he insists that his own choices were to blame as much as his possession. Faith directs them to the guest room, saying they can all stay out of each other's way during their visit. Lavinia brings up the other matter that brought them here: "The end of magic has had a consequence we didn't expect." At that moment, the door smashes in.

It's a big, Godzilla-looking demon that's looking for Lavinia, saying her life and soul are forfeit. Angel hits it with the broken door, but it breathes fire and gives him and Faith a respectable fight. Angel asks the sisters for help, saying they must have the power for it, but Sophronia informs him that they used all their power for staying young, beautiful, and rich.

Faith and Angel decapitate the demon with their teamwork, and Faith confronts Lavinia, demanding the story. She says she made a deal to give him her soul on the day that she got her first grey hair, in exchange for a magical cellulite cream. She never expected that day to come, but with the end of magic, here it is, so she decided that Angel's to blame and he should solve the problem. Angel's response is, "Uh-huh. Y'know what? Even I'm not about to take the blame for this." Faith orders the sisters out now that the demon is dead, but Lavinia hesitates, saying, "...We made that sort of deal quite a lot." Right on cue, a tentacle creeps in the door.

Angel is about to ask how many, when he and Faith look outside and see for themselves. It's a huge crowd gathered outside, every kind of demon imaginable. He and Faith shut the door and try to bar it with a loveseat, Faith asking the sisters if Giles hated them as much as she does. "Oh, rather more, I should think," Lavinia responds.

For the next few pages we get a montage of the demons that Faith and Angel have to fight while the sisters offer self-absorbed commentary and a few grudging tips. A particularly disgusting demon explains that all he wants was the kiss he was promised, so Faith stands back for Lavinia to pay up while Angel calls a cease-fire so everyone can watch.

After there have been no new visitors for ten minutes, Angel installs the last spare door while Faith asks the sisters about something that's been bugging her: what's the family drama that kept Giles from mentioning them even though he's got their portrait on the wall? They tell him about their other sister, Edna: Giles' grandmother. He got his sense of honor and duty from her, including his view on how one should employ one's mystical gifts. Angel says there's more - he's seen mentions of "consulting the girls" in the Watcher's Files, and wants to know the whole story on why this was such a sore subject for Giles (who was, as Angel says, pretty up front about his mistakes).

The girls bring us into a flashback to Rupert's childhood. He's running around in an aviator cap with a toy plane while his aunts (looking much the same as they do in the present) scold him. His father picks him up with obvious affection and pride to take him upstairs, and Sophronia returns to the discussion she was trying to have with Edna (who looks like the naturally aged grandmother that she is). Edna says the discussion was over: the Watcher's Council would never approve of entrusting the "Shard of Stronnos" to her sisters. Sophronia says she's asking her family, not the Council.

Giles' father agrees with his mother, but he calls Sophronia "auntie", which Edna objects to on the grounds that it's playing into Sophronia's attempt to make him feel like a child disobeying his elders. She goes on to say that her sisters have never been responsible with their gifts, and they won't even reveal what they want with the shard, which is a dangerous artifact that can convert matter into energy. The Council lacks the raw power to tap into it themselves, but they can at least keep it out of the hands of "flighty dilettantes". The three sisters start to argue about the way Lavinia and Sophronia use magic to retain their youth, while Giles Sr. notices how bright it's getting, and looks out the window.

The brightness is coming from a light demon, a man-shaped anti-shadow. He says that the shard can also make energy into matter, which is how the Fairweather Sisters (L&S) intend to bring back their lovers from the trap that he's put them in: transformed into beings of light, stuck within the sisters' mirrors. He wants the shard to give his people substance, so they can conquer the physical plane, and the Fairweathers have led him right to it. He senses it and then sees it on the shelf, a hand-sized purple crystal. Edna grabs it to shatter it, but the demon shoots a beam of light that makes her drop it. Before he can pick it up from the floor, though, another hand reaches for it. Little Rupert holds it out, there's a burst of light and a ZZVVMM sound effect, and the anti-shadow is now a bright crystalline humanoid thing. He's reveling over his new body when Edna comes up behind him with an axe. Rupert's father shields his eyes as she does the deed.

Rupert asks if he did something bad, and Sophronia gushes over how brilliant he was and how much raw power and skill he just showed - and what it means. Giles Sr. looks at the boy gravely and agrees: "He shall have to enter the Watchers' Academy straight away. He will be a target for beings like that, as well as a danger to himself and others. He must be properly trained." Sophronia offers to train him, and Rupert's father rejects them angrily and takes his son away. Rupert reaches for his toy plane, but his father says he won't need it any longer. Edna thrusts the shard at the Fairweathers and orders them out.

We're back in the present. Angel says that Giles' talent would have come out sooner or later, but Sophronia says he could have had a few more years as a child. The two explain that they knew how horrible the Watcher Academy was, and they felt an obligation to watch over Rupert over the years. They helped him out from time to time with information and magic. Angel tells them his plan to bring Giles back, while Faith does a subtle facepalm. The sisters already knew about it: they've brought him the shard, and explain that it (probably) contains Rupert's childhood innocence. Angel holds the crystal, awed, while Faith asks if they really think this plan has a chance.

Lavinia says it's a splendid idea; Sophronia thinks it's daft. ("Don't you remember the zombie Jim Morrison incident?") Faith is about to back her up, but she goes on to say that Angel seems reasonably clever and both he and Faith seem to care about Rupert, so the plan has their blessing. She asks to be shown to her room. Angel says there's only one small guest room and offers them the master bedroom, saying Faith can have his. Lavinia says she can't share a room with Sophie, who snores, and that she'll take Angel's room and he and Faith can share the guest room. He smiles, defeated, and tells Faith he'll take the floor.

In Angel's room, Lavinia says she's glad she finally has a moment alone with him, and he recoils from what he thinks is a romantic advance. She clarifies that she just wants to tell him that he can't let anyone talk him out of his plan to resurrect Rupert: the world needs him, and "we" need him. On the other half of the page, Faith is alone with Sophronia in the master bedroom, telling her that there's something important that they need to discuss: Faith is the level-headed one, and she needs to be ready to stop Angel if his plan gets too dangerous.

Faith and Angel meet on the staircase, telling each other that everything's fine. Lavinia lies back in bed, saying she can feel Rupert scowling at her and that she intends to see Angel bring him back, if there's a way. Sophronia lies back in bed and says, as a continuation of Lavinia's speech, that if Angel must be stopped, they'll make sure that Faith stops him. Giles may have thought that they only used people, but really they're just "helping them play the roles they so desperately want", and it's time for him to let his aunties watch over him.

Faith and Angel are wondering how long their visitors will stay when there's another knock at the door. Angel, believing it's another demon, answers with a threat on his lips to snap its neck like a toothpick. It's Willow, of course, holding the broken Scythe. "Uh-huh," she says. "Kinda your wheelhouse, isn't it?"


Well, that took a while. If anyone was waiting for it, sorry!

I got the Steve Morris cover, mostly because my comic shop didn't give me a choice. Later, though, I felt rewarded when I looked at the cover after reading and realized that what I thought was a naughty sheepish look on Giles' face is actually an exasperated but resigned smile. I admit I had worried a little bit about his relation to these women - if it was kinky, I wouldn't want old stalwart Giles reminiscing with a portrait on his wall.

So, Lavinia and Sophronia? Not at all my favorite kind of people, fictional or otherwise, but somehow they worked for me. I think the way the story was constructed helped a lot, as it starts by giving us questions and then spaces out the answers: not only "Who are they and what do they want?", but why Giles tolerated them and why he kept them secret. That last was especially crucial, as it's always a gamble to insert important backstory and find a reasonable explanation for why we've never heard it before, but my credulity doesn't feel stretched by this.

A particular bonus was the way the information in the flashback dovetailed with what we learned way back in "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date". Aside from the fighter pilot business, there's a solid basis (finally) for why Giles' career was apparently both destined and voluntary. It would feel a little too close to a Hogwarts letter if the implication was that magic=admittance, but I got the impression instead that Watchers aren't necessarily magical - there's just no other institution that provides safety and training for those who are.

It was good to see lil' Rupert's father again. I remember some comment from Gage about differentiating him from Wesley's father by making him more compassionate and less rigid, but those qualities showed up much more this time. Grandma Edna was clearly a good woman with a lion's heart, too, and that's a context that really jives with the Giles we know. Unlike other characters, who built themselves through their newer experiences with each other, he was already wise and dedicated when we met him, and now we know a little about how that came to be.

Of course, as important as Giles is, his name isn't in the title. Angel and Faith didn't have a whole lot to do here other than kick demon ass, drop funny bits of snark, and hammer in their respective purposes a bit more, but they did all of these extremely well. The fight scenes were enjoyable, not only because of how cleanly they were drawn but because of how much they were played for laughs - the characters' battle prowess actually came out more when we could see that they were working hard but annoyed rather than afraid or desperate.

All in all it's the details that make the issue, though, especially for Angel. His guilt comes up at all the right moments, and he gets accordingly called out for it. He forgoes the usual tragic monologue about his love life and just tells Lavinia that she freaks him out. He micromanages sleeping arrangements and needs to be reminded that this isn't even his own house. Throughout the issue he's himself, if a bit more lighthearted than usual - and that's not only a break, but also a natural development, given his new purpose and his friendship with Faith.

Faith doesn't get the same attention this time, but she doesn't fade into the background. The subtle touches like her messy bedroom (contrast it with Angel's smaller but neater room) make me feel like the team is showing a lot of respect for the characters and building up a world for them. Okay, team, how about those horses? While you're at it, I'd love to hear more about zombie Jim Morrison.

Finally, the interior art - like most fans, I look first for character likenesses, so I went into this one expecting disappointment, just from the preview. And it's true enough that Faith doesn't look much like Faith and Angel's panels are rather hit or miss. There are a few excellent ones, though, like Angel drilling the spare door into place, and of course every character but those two (and Ms. Final Page) had no live-action face to dictate them. I'd say the Fairweathers looked great, and no qualms about the rest of the Giles family, either. More importantly, though, the artist's style was fantastic in its own right. The bold lines and limited palette, especially in the flashback sequence, gave all the action an intense, in-the-moment feel that was both visually entertaining and easy to follow.

Regarding the story's next step, I have to say I'm excited about seeing Willow back and about to interact with Angel and Faith, if only for the crossover value. Everything else I'm not too sure about. It seems we're keeping L&S, at least temporarily. That could be good times, but at the end of the issue their narrative purpose seemed to be summarized as reinforcing Angel's and Faith's respective plans, and I can't yet see much point to that. It's clear enough that at some point Angel will believe he's ready and able to resurrect Giles and Faith will believe it's time to stop him - or that's just what we're supposed to think. There have been a lot of threads left dangling so far, so I wouldn't commit to any supposition that didn't include them.

And yeah, we all knew it was going to be Willow with the Scythe, but this time? Didn't bother me. Bring on the spoilers!

I really loved this issue.The whole back story for Giles was aces (they've becoming one of my favorite things in this series and this flashback was a very big and important one with a nice kickoff from some lines in the episode,"Never Kill a Boy on the First Date" )and I really like the new additions of Lavinia and Sophronia.I'm curious now,since they were originally created for the BBC Ripper much was Gages additions and how much of these characters were from Joss's concept for the Giles spin-off.

It's interesting by the end of the issue how the two are mirroring Angel and Faith's feelings/concerns about bringing back Giles.

And of course Willow showing up on Angel and Faith's doorstep was a expected but great cliffhanger.

I'm keeping this short but I really enjoyed this issue.
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Postby Buffyversefantic » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:21 am

New Christos Gage interview about Angel & Faith. ... ngel-faith

Damaged goods: writer Christos Gage talks about "Angel & Faith"

Christian Lipski

Portland Comic Books Examiner

This Thursday, Things From Another World's new Portland location will welcome writer Christos Gage as he signs copies of Vol 1: Live Through This, the first trade paperback collection of his Dark Horse comic series Angel & Faith. The title, which spins off the popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic, follows the adventures of the titular vampire and rogue vampire slayer in London. Drawn primarily by Rebekah Issacs (DV8: Gods and Monsters, Magus), Angel & Faith will run for twenty-five issues.

Gage has written for the screen as well as comics, penning scripts for comic book film Paradox and TV series Law & Order: SVU among others. In addition to Angel & Faith, he is also the current writer on Avengers Academy and X-Men Legacy.

The writer took time to answer some questions about his supernatural series, the Marvel front line, and his writing process.

What attracted you to the Angel & Faith job in the first place, and how did it come about? Were you already acquainted with Joss Whedon from your work on Astonishing X-Men?

Astonishing X-Men was really the only thing I knew Joss from, as I hadn’t seen his shows before! I’d met him once, when I randomly sat across from him on a train back to L.A. from the San Diego Comic-Con in 2007 or so, and we talked comics the whole time – I thought his run on Astonishing was amazing, and it turned out we grew up loving a lot of the same stuff. When [Dark Horse editor] Scott Allie approached me at the first C2E2 show to ask if I’d be interesting in writing an Angel book (Faith wasn’t yet firmly set as co-star, that was Joss’ idea) I was intrigued because I knew his influences were similar to mine, which led me to believe I’d really enjoy the Buffyverse. So I saw it as, worst case scenario, a chance to buy some cool DVD box sets and write them off on my taxes. Now, of course, having watched them all, I totally see why these characters and stories mean so much to people – they’re wonderful, the best kind of modern mythology…characters you feel are as real as your best friends. I’ve consciously held off watching Firefly or Dollhouse because I know when I do I’ll want to write them too, and right now I don’t have time.

What kind of research did you do for Angel & Faith when you took the job - were you a fan already? Did you receive any notes from Whedon before starting?

I was not a fan, actually. I had never seen an episode of Buffy or Angel. I watched all the shows and read all the comics over the course of about nine months or so. During that time, we did a lot of development work and Joss was very involved…we had a Buffyverse writer summit at his house at the beginning of 2011 with Jane Espenson, Drew Greenberg, Andrew Chambliss, Zack Whedon, and Scott and Sierra from Dark Horse. There were also several Angel & Faith-specific conference calls at various times. Joss knew that once he started shooting Avengers in earnest, it would be a lot tougher for him to keep a day-to-day handle on the comics, so he wanted to make sure everything was right before we dove in. He’s still involved (unless Scott’s perpetuating a huge scam on me), but thanks to the early work we did, we haven’t had to keep bugging him with “How about this?” emails right at the exact time he was shooting an alien invasion of New York or attending the Moscow premiere or whatever.

One of the coolest things for me was that Joss shared with us some of the ideas and characters he would have used in the Ripper TV series he was developing with the BBC, and encouraged us to use them if it worked. The characters of Giles’ eternally-young great-aunts, Lavinia and Sophronia Fairweather, just debuted in Angel & Faith #10 and they are among the most fun for me to write. If I recall correctly, they would have been played by Anthony Stewart Head’s real life daughters in the show.

What are your favorite qualities of the characters Angel and Faith?

I’m a sucker for damaged characters seeking redemption, especially when that goal is pretty close to impossible. I mean, what could Angel ever do that would make up for a century of mass murder? But he keeps trying anyway. I dig that. Faith has less of a hill to climb, but can she ever really make up for killing that innocent old professor in the Buffy show? And even if she could, she keeps shooting herself in the foot. These are my favorite kinds of characters to write. I think they fit together perfectly.

Angel & Faith is scheduled for 25 issues. How does having a finite run change the way you structure your story?

It’s structured somewhat like a season of a TV show. You know you have a larger arc for the season, and it helps to know where you’re going. But you also want each piece of the story – each issue, or story arc – to stand on its own, as each episode of a TV show should. The shows themselves are excellent examples of how to do this…a Buffy episode about the ghosts of doomed lovers haunting Sunnydale High tells that story completely within the hour, while at the same time tying into and furthering the larger tale of Buffy and Angel’s own doomed romance. Joss is a master at it.

Do you think that Angel & Faith is a title that readers can pick up without needing to have read the eight previous Buffy seasons?

I hope so. Ideally in each issue, and certainly in each collected volume, there should be enough basic information conveyed for people to understand the story. Being only a recent convert myself, I try to be sensitive to people who might be intimidated at the thought of having to commit to twelve seasons of television and a couple seasons of comics before cracking open this month’s issue. The idea is that after reading it they’ll WANT to go back and check out all that stuff, but we don’t want to be impenetrable.

How does your experience as a screenwriter affect the way you write comic scripts?

It probably predisposed me to being spare, to understanding the importance of economy in storytelling, and the old “show don’t tell” maxim. I hear that for novelists it can be more of a difficult transition. I know when I first started I had to keep reminding myself to take advantage of the freedom of comics…it’s not any more difficult, logistically speaking, for two people to discuss their love life in a spaceship than in their living room. I mean, you don’t do crazy things just to do it, but if it gets you a more visually gripping scene, why not set that birthday party in the Andromeda Galaxy?

Following on that, how much detail do you provide to your artists?

Just what they need, I hope. In film school screenwriters were taught not to try to direct the movie for the director, and I carry that over to the artist. I describe what’s important for the artist to put in each panel, and leave exactly how they do it to them. They’re the experts on making things look visually awesome, why not let them do what they do best? I know there are writers, like Alan Moore, who will literally describe everything in the panel and how it’s composed. And Joss himself, being a director, in his comic scripts will sometimes call shots – two-shot, medium close up, etc. I’m not Alan Moore or Joss Whedon. I’m gonna let the people with the talent do the heavy lifting. With Rebekah, I probably give her even less detail than usual because we work so well together (at least from my perspective, it may be miserable for her!) and I trust her so much I get very spare indeed. I know that in most cases she will just read the dialogue and compose the perfect scene for what’s being said. Plus her creature designs are amazing.

This is your first series with Dark Horse - how has it been working with the Portland-based publisher?

It’s been great. I give Scott a hard time because I had approached him at Comic-Con a couple times in the past and he kind of blew me off…not surprisingly, given how busy everyone is at Comic-Con, and the fact that Scott doesn’t follow many superhero comics so he didn’t really know my work. He finally was exposed to it when he read my original graphic novel Area 10 from Vertigo, which was more of a crime/horror thing. Now whenever he wants to talk about doing something else I’m all, “Oh, NOW you’ll talk to me?”

In issue 10 you reunited with the artist of Area 10, Chris Samnee (also from Portland) - was it easy to get back into the same rhythm with him?

Yeah, it was wonderful. We just kind of picked up where we left off. He’s another one where you give him some basic guidance and let him go to town, because he’s so brilliant. We had so much fun with issue #10. It was quite different tonally than Area 10, despite the horror/noir trappings, but I knew he’d knock it out of the park, and he did.

You're currently writing both Avengers Academy and X-Men Legacy, and have previously written for various Avengers and X-Men titles. Do you feel like a man without a country, writing on both sides of the Avengers vs. X-Men conflict? Do you have an affinity for either side?

It’s not as tough as people think. As a writer you have to be able to get into your characters’ heads, and that includes the villains. So you have to be able to put yourself in Dr. Doom’s shoes, for example, and see that the reason he wants to conquer the world is because things really would be better for everyone if he was in charge! A more nuanced situation like Avengers vs. X-Men, where it’s essentially a question of two different belief systems (as to how dangerous the Phoenix is) coming into play - that’s easy. I can see both sides equally.

How do you merge such a universe-spanning event like Avengers vs. X-Men into your existing titles - are there guidelines, a timeline to match up to the main title?

Generally you know these things are coming for a while, so it’s easy to plan for it. And if you don’t want to tie in you don’t have to – for example, X-Factor isn’t, I don’t think. But the way things are planned out nowadays, with summits and email chains and just the fact that you see other creators at shows and talk – you have a pretty good idea what’s coming, so it’s a matter of putting in the work so the event furthers what you’re doing in your book rather than derailing it, which is a problem I think we saw a lot in the nineties, when books would tie into events they weren’t suited to just for the hope of a sales boost. I mean, from my perspective. I wasn’t there. It may just have been harder to coordinate in the days before email, now that I think about it.

What do you have on the horizon in your many arenas? IMDB notes that you're attached to Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama - can you comment on that?

Rama was one of the first things my wife (and frequent screenwriting partner) Ruth and I wrote, for Morgan Freeman’s company. It was a while ago, and I’m honestly not sure of the current status of the project. Even then, I know the intention was for it to be an all-CGI environment, except for the actors. And even with how far the technology’s come, I’m guessing that’s a pretty complicated thing to do. I hope it happens some day…it could be really cool!

As for what I’m working on now, there’s the First X-Men miniseries for Marvel where I got to team with one of my heroes, the legendary Neal Adams. There’s a top secret video game. My original graphic novel for Top Cow, Sunset, comes out this summer. Ruth and I are collaborating on an OGN for Oni Press that’s a historical epic, The Lion of Rora. And a second season of my project for Avatar Press, Absolution, should be out in 2013. Then, of course, there are the usual irons in the fire in Hollywood, but these things are better not discussed until they’re closer to reality.


Gage will be at the event at the Portland Things From Another World from 7-10 p.m., with free food and beer (21 and over) provided. Copies of Angel & Faith Vol 1: Live Through This will be available at the event, one week before its official release date.
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Postby Buffyversefantic » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:57 pm

Preview pages for Angel & Faith # 11. ... w&id=12688

EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW: Willow Guest Stars In "Angel & Faith" #11

Dark Horse has provided CBR with an exclusive preview of Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs' "Angel & Faith" #11 featuring special guest star Willow! This issue goes on sale June 27.


When yet another unexpected visitor shows up on Faith and Angel’s doorstep, the pair are pulled into a quest that has the potential to give Angel everything he’s been looking for—you know, if they succeed and survive.




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Postby Lostsoul666 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:58 am

I'm nervous about how Connor will be written. I really hope that he doesn't go back to hating Angel after he learns about Angel's actions as Twilight.
I rather read a good non-canon story, then a bad canon story.
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Postby Buffyversefantic » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:56 am

First Advanced review for Angel & Faith # 11. ... on-part-1/

Review – Angel & Faith #11 Family Reunion Part 1

By Jenny – June 16, 2012


Script: Christos Gage
Art: Rebekah Isaacs
Colors: Dan Jackson
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Rebekah Isaacs with Dan Jackson
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

One flat in England just got a little more crowded. Faith’s (Giles) house is full, Giles Great Aunts, Lavinia and Sophie are still making themselves comfy and now everyone’s favorite red-headed witch has just landed in town. Willow quickly lets Angel know that she’s privy to his resurrecting Giles plan and just as quickly lets him know that she thinks it’s a bad idea. The twist though is that Willow, on her own mission to restore magic to the world, needs Angel’s help and agrees to help him as long as he returns the favor. Angel is leery to help her, making Willow none too happy to which she immediately tells (and shows) him so! After an outburst or two, Willow succeeds and the group is on their way to a fresh locale where they meet up with another old favorite. After some pleasantries their mission begins! Will Willow be able to restore magic to the world and will there be any casualties along the way?

The writing in this issue is fantastic. It harkens back to “Angel” and really comes across genuine and completely in line with the characters we know and love. It ends with suspense and leaves the reader with a lot of anticipation for the next issue. The art, as always, is great. All the feelings and emotions jump out of the page. The new arc/storyline and the special guests are amazing! I found myself completely immersed in what was going on, bummed when it ended and anxious for the next issue. Pretty much everything you could want in a comic. There’s not much more to say except that I absolutely LOVED this issue and this new arc has the makings of being the best yet!

Release Date: June 27th, 2012


CBR Rebekah Isaacs interview. ... e&id=39208


"Angel & Faith" artist Rebekah Isaacs joins CBR for the latest SUNDAY CONVERSATION, an in-depth chat with the creators of your favorite projects and their lives away from the books themselves.

Alex Dueben, Staff Writer

Welcome to the CBR SUNDAY CONVERSATION, a new weekly feature where we speak in-depth with some of the most interesting members of the comic book community. These conversations will range from analyses of their current projects to a look at the lives they lead outside of comics.

Rebekah Isaacs had been working in comics for years at Devil’s Due and Marvel Comics before she made a splash in 2010 with "DV8: Gods and Monsters," the Brian Wood-scripted miniseries that relaunched the '90s Wildstorm superteam for a new generation. Isaacs redesigned the characters and showed that she was as adept with the small character moments as she was with the fight scenes. Since then Isaacs has worked on a few projects at Marvel including "Iron Age: Alpha," "Iron Age" Omega" and "Captain American and Falcon." She also illustrated the miniseries "Magus" published by 12 Gauge Comics and written by her then-boyfriend, now-fiancé Jon Price.

Currently, Isaacs pencils and inks the monthly "Angel and Faith" series from Dark Horse Comics. The Sunday Conversation reached her at her home in Florida.


CBR News: Rebekah, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. It’s funny because the purpose of these conversations are to talk a little about life outside of work, but the running theme seems to be that most people’s free time is spent doing work or on a work-related hobby.

Rebekah Isaacs: Yeah. I guess when you’re in a creative field, everything does end up tying back in some way. If you’re doing it right, you can draw inspiration from just about everything but it’s nice to have something that doesn’t actually involve sitting in front of a computer if you’re a writer or using pencils if you’re an artist.

When we spoke before about what you’re into, you mentioned gaming and collectibles and that before you were working in comics you were cosplaying at anime conventions.


You knew I was going to bring that up.

Oh yeah. That’s the piéce de résistance. [Laughs] That’s the fun one that everybody really likes to hear, but I don’t think that many people really know it. I love costuming. I really tire people who know me complaining about how creators are kind of discouraged from doing things like that. I mean, we could do it if we wanted to. Lately I’ve been thinking about just taking maybe a Friday or Sunday at the next convention I go to and going in costume.

Being a professional, you can’t really do that because all the other people you deal with will be like, "hmm…"

Yeah I wouldn’t be able to show up for signings or sit at my table that’s for sure. [Laughs] I’m pretty sure [Dark Horse editor] Scott Allie would deny ever having met me. Ever. For the rest of his life. [Laughs]

So how did you first get into gaming?

We had a Playstation and we didn’t have anything before that. I saw "Final Fantasy VII" on the racks at Blockbuster. I think it was ‘97. I was maybe thirteen. I’d never played anything like that before but the cover looked cool to me for whatever reason. I convinced my parents to let me rent it and that was the first game that I really played on a Playstation. I ended up finishing the entire game just by renting it. I don’t think I bought it until after I beat it. I ended up renting it like twenty times just going back and re-renting it. I was dumb and didn’t get that it would be more practical for me to just buy the game. [Laughs] But from then I was really hooked on RPGs. That’s mostly what I play. Action adventure stuff sometimes, but I’m really just a big RPG nerd.

What are you playing now?

Right now I don’t have anything going right now. I’m playing "Yakuza 4" on Playstation 3. That was my last big gaming purchase. I finally got a Playstation 3 after I’d had a few too many beers at the mall. That’s my drunk shopping damage. I don’t go out and Internet shop or buy a bunch of clothes. I come home with high dollar game machine purchases. [Laughs] I got "Yakuza 4" for that. That’s really cool so far. I discovered that there’s a huge Playstation 1 RPG library on the online Playstation Store so I’ve been trying to get through some of those. I’ve been playing "Xenogears" on that right now.

Okay, you’re clearly getting drunk too early. You have to go out later when the stores are closed.

[Laughs] There’s this really great mall around here where all the stores stay open really late. It’s an outdoor mall and there are all these restaurants and bars and you have to pass through the store area to get back to your car so [Laughs] it’s very deviously planned. But yeah, you’re right.

You moved to Florida recently. Last time we spoke you were still living in New York City.

We moved here in December of last year.

What made you move to Florida? Or maybe I should ask what made you leave New York?

I think we just had our fill of it, especially the cost of living. We figured, if we can work from anywhere, might as well just give the tropics a shot for a while.

So why Florida?

Jon has some family here. His dad lives down here. I was actually born in Florida and lived here for about five years. We both had a fairly decent grasp of the way of life here. We’re fairly comfortable here. We’ve both spent time here in the past. We also knew that it was super cheap and that’s a big part. We’re here just kind of taking an extended vacation in a way. Regrouping and planning our next move.

Do you have any idea where that next move will be?

Definitely Portland.

So you can join everyone else in comics.

Exactly. [Laughs] In a couple years every sequential arts professional will live there. I love it out there. We visited there for ECCC two years ago and it was just amazing. I have a lot of friends from Savannah College of Art and Design there. It’s a great place.

I didn’t really work in a studio in New York but I had a lot of artist friends who I would hang out with now and then and I didn’t realize until I moved down here just how important it is to be close to people who work in a similar field to you. When you’re entirely around people with 9 to 5 jobs it just drives you a little crazy. The grass starts to look a little green over on that side. [Laughs] There’s no one to empathize with you and help you pull through those nights when you’re just having a really tough time and you’re not drawing anything right and you’re working until two in the morning. It’s really great to have that kind of camaraderie, so I’m really looking forward to that about Portland.

Portland is nice because it’s smaller and cheaper than New York or San Francisco and it’s a city where you don’t need a car.

Yeah. And I don’t drive, so that’s a big deal. Probably one of the worst things about living in Florida is the not driving thing. [Laughs]

In Florida where you are, is there much to do without a car? Are you out in the suburbs where you have to drive everywhere?

Yeah, kind of. There is some public transportation here, but it’s really poor. Basically people only use it if they have absolutely no choice, so I rely on Jon to get most places. [Laughs] Which is good in a way because I can’t be distracted. I can’t just be like, I’m going to go shopping and just decide that I want to leave my desk at any time. It keeps me working, but yeah, that’s been a big problem. I have a fear of driving. I’ve actually never had a license and never driven except for trying to practice with my parents. It just never stuck. I’m just one of those weirdos.

Did you grow up in a city where it just wasn’t a big deal?

No, actually I grew up in the middle of nowhere in the Appalachian foothills. We lived about twenty minutes away from any sort of town. I think that probably had a lot to do with how I turned out and what I do for a living and the skills that I developed. I wanted to just sit around and read and draw all day. I was very much a homebody, but it never really bothered me when I was growing up. I never really thought about it until I was an adult and I needed to get places. New York was great for that.

You mentioned that you’re a big collector. What do you collect?

I collect a lot of random old lady knickknacks. I love any sort of tacky wall art. My favorite piece is one of the sad-eyed children prints. Have you ever seen these from the '70s? It’s little children with huge, huge sad eyes where you can see the tear drops are just about to start and they’re just standing there looking sad. [Laughs] It’s really bizarre to me but I was really obsessed with them for a while and I have this great print in a frame.

And I collect anything with Princess Leia on it, but especially action figures or dolls. Any kind of figurative representation of her.

Why Leia?

I got the collecting thing from my parents because they’re hoarders -- not the scary ones that you see on TV, but the flea market/antique-ing kind. They always had great knickknacks and toys and old vintage things around the house. There was this huge bag of action figures that they’d collected over the years and most of them they didn’t even know what they were. They had just found them at random yard sales and kept them for me and my brother. I found, I didn’t know at the time, but it was a 1977 original Princess Leia figure. It was from the first line where the costumes are in no way representative of what they actually are in the films. She has pants on and doesn’t have a cape. She’s basically just wearing a white pantsuit and this little black belt. For some reason I was obsessed with her. I hadn’t seen "Star Wars." I didn’t know that this was a Princess Leia action figure or anything else about her, but I carried her around with me everywhere. I think I was maybe seven or eight. I would tuck her into the waistband of my pants or skirt so that her arms were hanging over so she would stay there. [Laughs] It was so pathetic. But I loved this little figure and my mom recognized the character and they rented "Star Wars" for me and I absolutely fell in love with it. That was how I got introduced to "Star Wars," just randomly finding this action figure. I eventually lost this one Princess Leia which was just a tragic moment in my childhood. [Laughs] Since then I’ve got two others that were the exact same one and tons of others of newer editions.

Do your editors at Dark Horse know of this particular obsession?

I think so. I’ve mentioned it to them a couple times. They know that I am definitely interested in doing something "Star Wars" in the future, although I have heard that it can be very stressful dealing with the licensing portion of that and the approval portion.

So "Star Wars" was your first geek obsession.

Definitely. About the same time I started watching the "Star Trek" movies with my dad and so I got really into that. I wanted my parents to buy me the models of the Enterprise and things. I hadn’t seen any of the TV shows, though. I had this huge crush on Kirk and then my dad and I went to go see "Generations" in the theater and that was horrifying. [Laughs] Since then I’ve seen a lot of the TV shows and "Next Generation" but I’ll never really love any of them as much as I love the movies. But "Star Wars" was what really got me into sci-fi in general. I think it will always be my greatest fan love.

How did you end up cosplaying?

It was high school. I think sophomore year might have been the first time I did anything at an actual convention. My mom used to be a seamstress so she’d always make me things, costumes for halloween, things for different dress up events at school or wherever. So I’d been Princess Leia for Halloween of course, and I don’t remember how I heard about Anime Weekend Atlanta -- and I don’t even remember how I heard about cosplay because it wasn’t a big deal at that time. There weren’t special cosplayers at that point, there weren’t cosplay expos. The masquerade was very simple and nothing elaborate whatsoever but somehow I did hear about it. I showed my mom a picture of Luna from "Lunar: Silver Star Story." It’s this obscure Japanese anime RPG. I forget who made it. It’s one of the ones that had tons of actual anime cut scenes thrown in to it. It was a cute little game. It wasn’t a classic by any means but it was fun. I really liked this character. My mom did most of the work with that and I just helped a little. I ended up winning an award the first time. I think I won a gift certificate to one of the booths where I picked up some random manga. "Maison Ikoku," I think. From then on I was obsessed with it. I didn’t do it for very long after that but I started to get really serious about it and wanting everything to be perfect. Some of the people doing it now their costumes are so beautiful and so professional I don’t know how they have time for anything else because the ones I did were nowhere near that and it still took up every waking hour of my time for months.

Sometimes I feel like they’re doing this as a job try out more than a hobby.

Yeah and sometimes I think they do. I know people who cosplay who work in fashion or costume design and I think they’d be crazy to not use them as their portfolio when trying to get work. It’s amazing. I have a lot of respect for it.

Do you watch the parades or masquerades at cons?

I haven’t had time to go to one of those in so long. Or even the masquerade or the costume contest. Although I did get to go to the one at WonderCon last year and it was pretty cool. Staying at the table and doing sketches and commissions takes up so so much time, I’m thinking about maybe doing something for Dragon Con this year, maybe Sunday.

Something that covers your face?

Yeah. [Laughs] I mean I’m not worried about people seeing me. If I’m not shirking my duties and I’m still making myself available for panels or for anybody who wants stuff signed the other days I’m not going to be embarrassed by it. Do you know Ming Doyle? You may have seen the costumes that she does. She did a really cool Thor one time. At a convention she actually was working her table in costume. I don’t know if I’ll go that far. I’m a little shy about doing it at my actual table.

You mentioned that one of your great obsessions is potato chips.

Chips of any kind.

Strange ones, especially.

As long as it’s not rotten or it’s still alive, I’ll eat it. I’ve eaten silkworms. I’ve eaten scorpions. Those were all cooked. I’ve had raw beef liver, which is actually really delicious. I’m not scared of anything as long as it’s not like I saw a picture once of some sort of bird embryos and they’re pickled and people actually eat them. I forget where. It’s actually a delicacy. I draw the line at anything like that, but just about anything else. I have an iron stomach.

But yes, I am a big fan of potato chips. Especially since we moved down here. In New York the grocery stores don’t always have the most expansive stock. The new special limited edition kinds of chips or cookies or ice cream or whatever can be really hard to find. We would always hear about these potato chip flavors that are coming out and we would get so frustrated trying to find them. If we ever did find them, it was like we just won the lottery. Here they get everything. There’s an entire department of potato chips at Walmart. [Laughs] Which is sad and kind of awful, but for now it’s great. If we hear about a new flavor we have to go get it immediately. I mean I think we’ve probably got five different kinds of bags just waiting to be opened in the pantry right now. We don’t have backups of anything else, just potato chips. [Laughs] For the readers I would definitely recommend going out and trying to find the Classic BLT flavor that Lay’s just came out with. It’s amazing.

Is it different from "New BLT?"

I don’t know. I must have missed the modern BLT.

Maybe it was like New Coke? We blinked and missed it.

I don’t know. Maybe they felt people would be too confused by an acronym, but it’s incredible. Like in Jelly bellies where you can almost taste the different layers of flavor, you can taste the bread part and the tomato part and the bacon part and the mayonnaise part. It’s really a feat of food engineering.

Now I’m hungry. [Laughs]

[Laughs] Well you’ll probably be hungry after eating them for an actual BLT, but it’s a good snack.

We’re talking about our geeky obsessions, but your day job is drawing "Angel and Faith." Were you a Buffy fan?

Not before I got the job. Not before I started auditioning for the job. They had me test me out for the book at first. I started watching Season One about six months before I got the e-mail asking me to try out for the book. Jon is a huge Buffy fan. I just couldn’t get into Season One. Now I love Season One. It’s so fun to go back and watch it knowing what the characters are going to grow into, but at the time I just wasn’t feeling it. I hated high school dramas because I hated high school. [Laughs] So I didn’t really get into it until I started trying out, but now I love it. It’s a great show.

I have to ask, have you ever spoken with Joss?

[Laughs] No. Everyone’s a little disappointed when they find out that I haven’t. He's obviously an insanely busy dude lately. He sent me a very nice e-mail one time saying that he really liked my stuff. That was awesome. Just to get a personal reply from him. Every now and again something will get forwarded from him and I’ll be on the e-mail chain but just getting a few words form him personally was so great. I haven’t met him in person yet. I hope to remedy that soon. Hopefully I won’t go all fan girl and assault him. [Laughs]

Security will run in at the sound of screaming.

I worry more about what Jon will do if he’s in the same area when it happens. [Laughs]

Or if he’s not allowed to be in the same area when you meet him.

Oh yeah. [Laughs] He’s more likely to go crazy and start blubbering than I am.

Rebekah, thanks so much.

Rebekah Isaacs' work can be seen each and every month in "Angel & Faith" from Dark Horse Comics. The first trade paperback, "Angel & Faith: Live Through This," collects the first five issues and goes on sale this Wednesday, June 20.
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Postby Buffyversefantic » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:59 am

Second advanced review for Angel & Faith # 11. ... 11-review/

June 20, 2012



ANGEL AND FAITH takes a definitive turn with the new arc, Family Reunion. There is a very animated feeling going in as Willow makes a surprise entrance which is such a game changer that, well, it totally changes everyone's game! Willow knows what she wants but, alas, she can't claim to know that she's going to get it. She needs Angel's help like it's nobody's business. But what would motivate him to help her in the first place? They aren't exactly close.

It's not long before it's Willow vs. Angel! He's had it trying to make sense of what Willow's proposing. It's too nutty and just plain too dangerous. Angel, ever the martyr, at first has a hard time making eye contact with Willow, given he and Buffy ended up wiping out magic in the world. But when Willow's answer to that is to put Angel's son, Connor, to work to bring back magic, that settles it. Willow would have Connor return to a form of hell so scary that even demons avoid it. Quor'toth was where Connor grew up and eventually escaped from. It is only through Quor'toth that Willow can proceed to other realms in her pursuit to restore magic. She will need to use Connor as a magic compass. Of course, Angel reacts badly to this and tells Willow that she is no better than he is for causing disaster. Willow turns around and slaps Angel. She brings him down a few pegs. When the dust settles, Angel is at her mercy, more or less. The compromise is that they will seek out Connor and let him decide if he wants to help!

Christos Gage, as fans already appreciate, is quite good with writing about family dynamics. Angel may have just given a half-hearted approval to Willow's plans but he really doesn't approve. Gage presents us with a very conflicted father. He deeply loves his son but, at the same time, he has concluded that he shouldn't upset the balance and interfere with Connor's life, especially now that Connor really has a well-put-togehter life. How can he step in now and possibly destroy any chance of happiness for Connor? Or is he mistaken?

Rebekah Isaacs does a beautiful job of teasing out all this angst. Her drawing goes beyond bringing the characters to life. Here we see poor Angel caught between doing his own thing, which is resurrecting Giles; leaving his son to do his own thing, which is majoring in social work; and allowing their paths to cross all thanks to Willow. Angel is wrung through the wringer. We see him go through more emotions, and facial expressions, than we're used to.

And Willow makes a very good case for those of a zealous bent. The way she sees it, she and Angel need each other. Angel can't resurrect Giles without magic in the world (no matter how hard he tries) and Willow can't restore magic to the world without working with Angel and Connor. Neither Angel nor Willow will ever admit that their own plans might be impossible to achieve. And that's another reason why these two need each other.

Angel and Faith #11 comes out June 27. Visit Dark Horse Comics.
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Postby Buffyversefantic » Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:34 am

Third advanced review for Angel & Faith # 11. ... ak-review/

Angel & Faith #11 – Sneak Review

Posted on 22 June 2012 by Nicci

** The following review while careful not to reveal any actual spoilers from this issue, it does tease the reader with hints as well as spoilers from issues past. Please feel free to purchase this issue on 06/27/2012 **

Aptly named “Family Reunion” the first issue of this new arc has the wonderfully familiar feel of the Angel television series. It kicks off with the return of Willow, and will be bringing into play the return of other familiar characters that promise the start of an action packed journey also right along that same vein of the Angel television series.

I always love when Dark Horse’s arcs remind us of the original Buffy and Angel tv shows because it shows us how big of fans the teams behind these arcs are themselves. I think the only way to fairly adapt such amazing characters and continuity is to definitely be a fan first.

This is a very emotional issue for each Willow and Angel in their own rights. Despite Willow continuously attempting to bring up the consequences of destroying the Seed, Buffy was determined not to listen. As such all of those feelings Willow had been previously been holding back out of regards to Buffy come pouring out now in London with Angel and Faith.

There are serious consequences at work here, confirmed in this issue by others and not just Willow. Zompires are only the outer surface of a wound that goes much deeper into the fabric of both the universe and every day life.

Angel on the other hand must deal with familiar issues that he had been trying to avoid, and will have plenty of time to do so over this arc. Beyond the success of the mission, I also really hope this little adventure ends on a happy note for Angel, he could really use it now.

There is also a deeper delving into how magic can be accessed in a world without magic via the classic concept of magical residue. Gage is doing a great job handling this mythos, and Issacs really brought the ritual to life. I am really looking forward to seeing where they take the ascetics and mythos over this new arc.

Despite these serious and deeper themes, like with the series so far and again reminiscent of the Angel television series, this is a very funny issue. I found both the drawer and hoodie bit hilarious.

With all this fun and action amongst so many familiar faces and the promise of most certain and impending danger I seriously can’t wait for the next issue! -N
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