While Season 8 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer comes to an end, we take some time to catch up with editor and now co-writer of the comic over at Dark Horse, Scott Allie.
In case you’re not familiar, Scott has been around the Buffyverse for quite some time now, his work spanning back to stories in the Tales of the Slayer collection a number of years ago. With other horror titles under his belt, Scott currently stands as the senior managing editor for Dark Horse comics.
ComicAttack: Before we dive into the Buffy-related questions, tell us a little bit about yourself. Have you always wanted to work in comics? What led you to pursue a career in one?
Scott Allie: I didn’t really think of comics as a career option until I stumbled into it. I wanted to be in publishing, but didn’t think that specifically about comics. Out of college I came to Portland not knowing Dark Horse was here, got a great job at a literary magazine, and saved up to finance my own comics. Doing that for a while caught Dark Horse’s eye, and got me the entry level job here.
CA: Looking through your colorful resume, other popular titles like The Devil’s Footprints, Conan, Solomon Kane, and even Hellboy have all been under your name. Considering they’re all in the horror genre, one can only assume you’re quite the fan. Have you always been one? What has been your greatest influence in paving the way for your horror preference?
SA: Yeah. I was in to horror before I was into comics. Horror was my genre of choice before I was ten years old. The biggest factor in that was probably Stephen King. I started reading his books early on, and they had a huge effect on me. Also the magazine Famous Monsters, Forry Ackerman’s old magazine. I ate that book up.
CA: You’ve also been involved with the Buffy character for quite some time now. Do you have personal interest in the character and story? Are you a fan of the series itself?
SA: I am now. I wasn’t interested in it before I got the job editing it back in 1998 or so. I accepted the job based on the word vampire in the title, and started watching the show and reading the scripts ahead of time. I’ve definitely grown to love it, mainly through the writing. All the writers associated with that show are amazing.
CA: Which season of Buffy is your favorite; comics or otherwise, and why?
SA: Favorite season? I don’t know. Probably two. It probably changes every time you ask me, but I loved Buffy having to go against her boyfriend. I thought that was incredible. The best episodes came later, but the best season was maybe the second.
CA: Do you believe the new form of media the Buffyverse has taken has fundamentally changed the series? If so, is it for the better or worse?
SA: I don’t think that. Fundamentally it’s the same show, the same characters, the same story.
CA: Sometimes too much freedom can overwhelm and burn-out a solid story. Do you think the freedom comics has allowed for the Buffy Universe to expand has limited or increased your passion for the future of the series?
SA: Is it freedom that burns out a story? I’m not sure. My involvement is what’s increased my passion for it. The honor of pushing the story forward with Joss makes me more invested than ever in the characters.
CA: Angel has been around since the beginning, and has affected numerous points in Buffy’s life as well as the world’s. Now that we have this future world of his to contend with, how will that impact the future of the universe and Buffy’s life to come? What will his role entail this time around?
SA: Angel’s definitely impacting her life pretty heavily in the here and now, but where that goes and how it will lead into Season 9 remains to be seen.
CA: Despite some fans’ reactions to the Buffy they have seen change, do you think most are satisfied with what has been created for her? The situations she has been put in: do you think this new Buffy, one who’s been seen both as a god, deity, and villain, will have made the same choices she made a few years ago?
SA: I don’t know. The loudest voices on the internet are usually the least happy, and we’ve definitely got our share of that. Some are very happy, some are not. I hope the happy ones are in the majority. And Buffy’s definitely not making the same choices she was making a few years ago. Everything around her has changed, and she’s grown in both good ways and maybe bad. I’m not making the same choices I would have made a few years ago.
CA: Though there has been criticism about taking Buffy on a global level and losing a bit of its personal charm, how do you feel about the direction it has taken? Will Season 9 exist more to appease fans’ and critics’ wishes?
SA: It’ll exist to appease Joss and my wishes. We’re making some changes in scope, because of ways in which we think we let it get too big in Season 8. We do want to get more personal, small, yeah.
CA: What’s it like working with the master of all women who kicks ass himself, Joss Whedon?
SA: It is great. It is a mercy that he doesn’t send women to kick my ass, as he is, I hear, their master.
CA: Which story arc or personal contribution has given you the most personal satisfaction?
SA: Working out the ending with him. Plotting the end, even more so than writing it. Being able to contribute to giving shape to the climax was a blast, and I think I learned a lot.
CA: There have been teasers about the impending death of Buffy’s sister, Dawn, in the upcoming issues. As a longtime Buffy fan, I know Joss isn’t afraid to kill off important characters, and tends to make a habit of it in season finales. Do we have another tragic ending to look forward to?
SA: It will be terrible.
CA: Speaking of Dawn, what is your opinion on the character and her introduction back in Season 5? Do you think she flourished in the comics? Do you like her better now?
SA: I can’t wait till she’s dead. What? I think the introduction of a little sister from Buffy was typical Joss—take a tired TV trope and do something fresh and brilliant with it, defy expectations. I love Dawn. I hope we don’t kill her.
CA: Finally, what’s your preference in the age-old Buffy debate – Spike or Angel?
SA: I think there’s a website about that.
CA: Anything else you can tell us on Season 9 and the future of the Buffy universe? I promise I won’t tell.
SA: We hear Zombies are the next Vampires, so we’re gonna retcon the whole thing, and Buffy’s love life is gonna take on a whole new tone.