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Despite being undead, vampires are alive and well at Dark Horse Comics.  So much so that the publisher dedicated an entire panel to them on Saturday at New York Comic Con.  On hand were Dark Horse Director of Public Relations Jeremy Atkins, Managing Editor Scott Allie, Angel & Faith writer Christos Gage and artist Rebekah Isaacs.  

The panel got right into it, discussing the new ongoing series, Angel & Faith.  This spinoff from Buffy the Vampire Slayer focuses on the pair as they depart on a quest to *SPOILER* bring Giles back *END SPOILER*.  Faith thinks this is a bad idea, but Angel sees this as the only way to atone for his actions in Buffy Season 8.  More on this later.

The second series of Baltimore by Mike Mignola is set to wrap up soon.  The first series was a lot of fun. You can check out our review for that here.  Yes, Buffy is badass, but this is what she would be if she was a rough and tough soldier from WWII who saw her whole platoon eaten by vampires.  Oh, and she's a guy...with a peg leg.  

B.P.R.D. is going to be getting into vampires soon.  They've rarely made an appearance in the Hellboy universe.  It turns out they've been deliberately lying low this whole time.  The reasons for this will start to be revealed in the coming months.  

I can barely read my notes, but there's a two issue arc coming up called Pickens County Horror that was described as Vampires & Mushrooms.  I wish I remembered what the hell this was about.

Buffy Season 9 has kicked off recently, coinciding with Angel and Faith.  The slayer is trying to figure out her place in the new world where dead is dead and magic is no more.  Vampires are being accepted by everyone, but it brings up a lot of questions.  The cops don't really know how to handle them.  

Criminal Macabre is coming back in Dark Horse Presents.  I recently read through the omnibus that they released a few months back to get up to speed on the adventures of Cal Macdonald, so I'm looking forward to this.  Atkins wasted no time getting to the root of the story: Cal dies.  But he comes back as a zombie!  

The Goon still hates vampires.  That is all.

There's a Hellboy original graphic novel in the works.  House of the Living Dead will mark the first time that Dark Horse has released an OGN in the Hellboy world.  It's written by creator Mike Mignola and illustrated by Richard Corben.

House of Night is scheduled to debut next month.  Based on the popular paperback series, it's being given the funny book treatment.  Jonathan Case, the artist behind The Green River Killer and Dear Creature, will be handling some art for the book.

Guillermo del Toro's The Strain is being adapted by Dark Horse beginning in December.  It's not a straight adaptation though as there will be some added content that wasn't in the books.  The art released so far (seen below) is sick.

The Vampire Hunter D stories will be slowing down as Dark Horse has caught up to the Japan publications.

At this point the panel turned to the audience for questions.  Someone asked about Buffy and the Angel and Faith series and Allie explained that the two books are not intertwined but are happening at the same time.  It would be a very bad thing if one of them started shipping late.  Joss Whedon isn't as involved in Buffy Season 9 as he was with the previous season since he's busy with that Avengers movie I've heard about, however he's provided the outline of what he wants to do and they're checking with him as often as possible.  Allie went on to say that the scope of Buffy Season 9 is much smaller and more personal, unlike the big globe-trotting adventure that season 8 became.  Also, unlike the previous season, this one along with Angel and Faith will primarily be written by one person throughout the entire run.

When asked about the continuity between the IDW Angel series and the Dark Horse version, Allie said that the IDW series still happened.  They're trying their best to make it work, but some things will be contradicted.  They're going to be respectful of the other stories and part of the deal to bring Angel back to Dark Horse gave IDW the rights to keep their books in print.  Some notes were dropped about upcoming issues of Angel and Faith, too.  Issue 5 will see the return of Harmony.  This was met with a surprising round of cheers which the panel commented on.  They're not used to hearing that when it comes to Harmony.  Issue 6 will kick off an arc called Daddy Issues where we'll meet Faith's father.  In response to this, the crowd went "oooooo."  Writer Cristos Gage said that it's a great and terrible story.

Allie also pointed out that Joss Whedon has plans for Illryia and Conner.  Both will be making an appearance in the series, but it will be primarily about Angel and Faith.  There are no one shots planned currently, but there are two five issue mini-series in the works that would tie in to these books.  

Much to my dismay, there are no plans for a Buffy / B.P.R.D. crossover at this time.  

Cristos Gage said that he hadn't watched a single episode of Buffy or Angel until he was asked to do the writing on Angel and Faith.  This was met with an audible gasp from the crowd.  After he was approached to write the book he watched both series in the span of maybe two weeks.  As a result, he's been pulling in bizarre tidbits from the Angel series into the comic.  

A fan asked if there was a plan to do a Faith solo series as the TV producers had wanted to do, but Eliza Dushku wasn't up for.  Allie said they didn't have any at this time as they were focusing on Angel and Faith.  Whether or not they'll be together at the end of this season, they don't know.  They want to do a tenth season of Buffy, but there are no details yet.  

Someone asked about Fray and how that mini-series ties in to the current continuity of the Buffyverse.  There are some unanswered questions out there and they're being kept vague for now.  Does Fray even exist anymore?

Conner and Illyria will be going where Joss wants them to go as characters.  Allie explained that one pitch from Joss was to send Conner back to the ‘60s and make him an ad executive.  

The last question came from a peppy fan who was looking for Drucilla to return to the Buffy comics.  Allie slowly asked if the fans would want that and was met with a huge applause.  I couldn't care less about her as a character at this point.  There are no plans to bring her in any time soon, but Allie appreciated the feedback.

That wrapped up the panel.  Everyone in attendance received a free copy of Angel and Faith #1 which I later got signed by Cristos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs at the Dark Horse booth.



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About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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