Alyssa Pack reports from the DC Uncharted panel at ECCC for Bleeding Cool,
The Whedonverse in comics is celebrating their 20th anniversary at Emerald City Comic Con by having a panel to tell fans more about the Whedon universe and also answer questions. The Whedonverse includes comic books based on shows created by Joss Whedon including: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Serenity/Firefly. Announced at the panel the Serenity hardcover is being released March 29th and the new volume of Buffy the Vampire slayer: The High School Years is coming out on June 28th. Writers Chris Gage, Chris Roberson, and Kel Mcdonaldson answered some questions about their working in the Whedonverse.
Q: What is it like working on Serenity?
Chris Roberson: “It’s amazing. I really love the universe and the characters. One thing I asked for was for the Chinese to be romanized instead of written out in Chinese characters like they have in the past. That way readers who don’t speak Chinese can sound out the phrases … some of which are pretty vulgar … lol. One of my friends who speaks Chinese called it ‘white man’s Mandarin’.
In addition I really get to flesh out the universe which is good and bad. It’s easy to get handle around the whole universe with just the show and the movie and a few comics. It’s allowed me to bring in stuff from the RPG as well when figuring out things like new planets. However, that means I have to come up with a lot which Joss is very supportive of. “
Q: Could you two switch comics?
Chris Roberson: “Buffy is such a vast universe that it would be a little too much to get a handle on it. I’d have to go back and watch all of Buffy, Angel, and then there are both sets of comics. It would just be a huge project that I’m not really prepared to dive into.”
Chris Gage: “I really love the Buffy universe so I wouldn’t want to give that up but I could definitely see myself writing Serenity. I would also have to go through and rewatch all of the show but since there is much less it wouldn’t be as big of an ordeal as having to learn the ins and outs of the Buffy universe. I’d just have to get rid of this guy (points at Roberson).”
Q: How much research do you have to do into the Buffy shows for the comics?
Chris Gage: “Well you really have to go back and get specifics from the show especially with certain events happening at the right times and also certain spells. Fans would know if I didn’t use the correct ones so its really important to go back and make the comics fit into the universe perfectly.”
Kel Mcdonaldson: “I really have to go back and look at specific events in the show. I was writing about Buffy’s mom and I had to make sure that the characters knowledge matched with the show. I couldn’t write about Buffy’s mom knowing about anything unless it matched with the show. For example in the new book Buffy’s mom is in the book a lot but it is before Buffy knows Angel is a vampire so I had to research when Joyce first met Giles which was in the episode ‘Angel’.”
Q: How hard is it to write terrible events happening in Buffy to characters that you love?
Chris Gage: “It’s really hard but necessary. It’s the Joss Whedon universe and I have to follow that formula to make it interesting. If I always showed what fans wanted to see it wouldn’t be as good as it is. It would get boring and not have the following that it does. I have to be true to the story and to the universe.”
Q: Are we going to see more of the baby in Serenity?
Chris Roberson: “Actually yes! The story does a time jump so when we see her she is a toddler living on this ship. A toddler on a spaceship poses its own problems as you would imagine.”