Tag: Christos Gage

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    You Don’t Know Gamora Until You Read This Comic

    This week we look at two Guardians, Titans, our favorite Slayer and the terror of the deep, Hook Jaw. There were many more comics that came out this week. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Star-Lord #1
    By: Chip Zdarsky, Kris Anka, Matthew Wilson

    Things are tough for Peter Quill. After the events of Civil War II, the Guardians are stranded on Earth and have gone their separate way for the time being. Kitty Pryde has broken things off with Peter, and the only other person he knows who isn’t missing, dead, or crazy is Howard the Duck. Yeah, you’d be depressed too.

    Chip Zdarsky is in a fine form combining his incredible sense of humor with such relatable and human scenarios. He makes you forget you’re reading a superhero comic when you’re obviously reading a superhero comic. Kris Anka’s pencils expertly transition from the comical and conversational aspects to stunning bar battles with ease.

    Packed full of guest stars, Star-Lord #1 is a great day-in-the-life book. Just in time to get people primed for the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie in just a few months. Don’t miss it. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    SEE ALL GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY “GROUNDED” ISSUES

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eleven #2
    By: Joss Whedon, Christos Gage, Rebekah Isaacs, Dan Jackson, Steve Morris

    This issue is all about the aftermath of Buffy Season Eleven #1 (still in stock at press time, BTW).

    And “Safe Zones.”

    Buffy Season Eleven is going to be one of those comic book series that challenges what comics can do to encourage thought and dialogue. Christos Gage (Angel and Faith, Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers Academy) is using Season Eleven as a vehicle to get people to think about civil rights.

    This is a natural extension of the Buffy TV show, and I’m excited to see where they take us this season. As always, Rebekah Isaacs’ (Angel and Faith, Buffy Season Ten) art is unique and fun, but remains true to who the characters are. I’m excited to see **** and Buffy in a relationship where they bring out the best in each other. She deserves that. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    PS: I am freaking loving Steve Morris’ covers for the Buffy Season Eleven covers. Absolutely gorgeous!

    JOIN BUFFY SEASON ELEVEN TODAY

    Teen Titans Go #19
    By: Heather Nuhfer, Paul Morrissey, Ivan Cohen, Marcelo DiChiara, Dan Hipp, Jeremy Lawson

    Beast Boy snifs out the future in the first story, and ends up partying with Raven’s Dad! With a few LOL moments, Paul Morissey and Heather Nuhfer made a fun 6-page story that fits right in with the TV shorts.

    “The Herring King” is the second short we get in this $2.99 issue. We find out Beast Boy has a pet Herring (Mentioned in “Coming Soon Comics” issue #12 which has the cover of Teen Titans Rebirth). His herring is sad and they’re taking him home to Springenstandt where they meet characters that resemble Thor and work for a S.H.I.E.L.D. type organization.

    Artist Marcelo DiChiara and Jeremy Lawson work on both stories. They do a fantastic job matching the show’s tone. Both artists really surprised me on how versatile there styles can be. Take a look at Marcelo’s Deviant art page and Jeremy’s website for more!

    This is perfect for comic readers young and old. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    ADD TEEN TITANS GO! TO YOUR COLLECTION

    Gamora #1
    By: Nicole Perlman, Marco Checchetto, Esad Ribic, Andres Mossa

    Set long before she ever became of Guardian of the Galaxy, Gamora #1 explores the life of the daughter of Thanos. Back when they were still on speaking terms. A lot of times prequel stories can come across as forced, or containing information that’s not really needed. Gamora, on the other hand, I feel is a great character to explore since not much has been revealed about her time with Thanos. What we get to see in this book is going to be a definitive mission for the character.

    Nicole Perlman captures the voice and tone of the character perfectly. Gamora walks the line between the most dangerous person in the galaxy, split between morality and loyalty to the father she hates. Exploring this is one of the most exciting aspects of the book. Marco Checchetto’s art just keeps further defining him as one of the best pencilers currently working in the industry.

    If you’re looking for a brutal book that gets into the past of one of Marvel’s rising stars, Gamora #1 is a must read. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    EXPLORE GAMORA’S PAST

    Hook Jaw #1
    By: Simon Spurrier, Conor Boyle, Giulia Brusco

    From the pages of the British anthology comic Action (which only lasted a year due to its controversial violence) comes Hook Jaw. A new series from Titan Comics. Who’s no stranger to revitalizing old British Comics (see Johnny Red).

    Hook Jaw introduces us to a crew of a research ship who are trying to prove that Great White Sharks have cooperative behavior. The blood-soaked first issue also gives us a 2 page history of Action and Great White 101. Now I know what you’re thinking. “Isn’t this JAWS as a comic?” and you could say that. What separates this series from JAWS, is that Hook Jaw speaks. Now I don’t mean a Finding Nemo kind of way. We get a tidbit of what’s going on in their head.

    I was intrigued by the premise when I heard about this series months ago and Si Spurrier, Conor Boyle and Giulia Brusco did not disappoint. I will definitely be keeping up with Hook Jaw as they tear through our ship of survivors. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    SINK YOUR TEETH INTO HOOK JAW

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    Buffy stabs her way into Season 11

    New Comic Book Day is here! Buffy the Vampire Slayer kick soff s highly anticipated new season. Along with the super fun adventures of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, and Hellboy gets a new mission. Every week we review a select few NCBD books. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #13
    By: Brandon Montclare, Amy Reeder, Natacha Bustos, Tamra Bonvillain, Leonard Kirk

    She’s the smartest girl in the room…well, the world actually. Lunella Lafayette AKA Moon Girl is a nine-year-old prodigy who pals around with a bright red time-displaced Tyranosaurus Rex named Devil Dinosaur.

    Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #13 kicks off a new story arc “The Smartest There Is,” and serves as a great entry point for new readers. The thing I like most about this series is that it’s just plain fun. Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder are adept at writing for kids and adults, keeping the language easy, but expertly incorporating nods to Marvel’s history.

    This issue also has a fun dream (or is it a glimpse of the future?) sequence illustrated by Leonard Kirk. This sequence alone makes this issue worth the price of admission. I’m also a fan of the surprise character who pops up on the final couple pages of this issue…

    If you’re looking for a fun and colorful (literally, Tara Bonvillain’s colors are lovely) series to break up the standard capes and cowl books on your reading list, this Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is highly recommended. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    JOIN THE NEW STORY ARC TODAY

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11 #1
    By: Christos Gage, Rebekah Isaacs, Dan Jackson, Steve Morris

    For those new to the series, yes, Buffy The Vampire Slayer has lived on in the form of a comic series for 3 seasons after it’s television ending. Now with Season 11 being the perfect jumping on point for new readers. After the end of their last crisis, Buffy, and vampire boyfriend Spike, are now supernatural crime consultants for the San Francisco police department.

    The bulk of the issue is reintroducing the reader to a lot of familiar faces. Giving exposition hinting at how that character has changed over the course of the last few seasons, making brand new readers to the comic series welcomed. Which is great, because before you know it, the action is turned up to…11 (get it?).

    Christos Gage has been working with these characters since Season 9 (originally on Angel & Faith before taking over the main book). He writes the cast with the same tone fans have come to rely on. Rebekah Isaacs, captures the characters likenesses perfectly. Making it feel like we’re once again seeing some old, familiar friends.

    If you’re a fan of Buffy, Joss Whedon, great female characters, or fun in general. Make sure you’re getting this first issue of another great adventure with the Scooby Gang. [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    JUMP BACK ON THE BAND WAGON SEASON 11 IS HERE!

    Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1954 – The Unreasoning Beast #1
    By: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Patric Reynolds, Dave Stewart, Mike Huddleston

    Since the end of Hellboy, it only makes sense to go backwards. It all started with Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952. The first mission Hellboy ever went on. Continuing through the years with 1953 and 1954. This is the start of the second mission for 1954 (that we’re shown). Involving a haunted family by a firey monkey.

    Having not read a Hellboy since the end of Hellboy in Hell. After reading The Unreasoning Beast #1, I’m back in the fold. As this is Mike Mignola’s baby, I didn’t expect anything less than a stellar story. Especially with Chris Roberson co-writing. Artist Patrick Reynolds’ style is immediately recognizable and works so well within this world.

    Although the story ends with a happy ending. As much as it can when dealing with the supernatural. You get this eerie feeling we’re not done yet, and it has nothing to do with the fact that there is a second and third issue already solicited. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    GET HAUNTED BY HELLBOY ONCE AGAIN!

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    Beyond Burnside continues, Captain Marvel is torn, we get introduced to a new western comic Kingsway West, Deadstroke goes on a mission through time, and we wipe our noses with Snotgirl.

    NCBD reviews for August 24th 2016

    Has it really been a week since our last New Comic Book Day comic book review? Man, time flies. Here are a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    Batgirl comics at TFAW.com

    Batgirl #2
    By: Hope Larson, Rafael Albuquerque

    Beyond Burnside continues as Batgirl tries to decode the cryptic words in the last issue from the mysterious Fruit Bat. Barbara’s path leads to train in mixed martial arts in an attempt to get over her past. As she takes a beating in the ring, things start heating up between her and Kai, which might be a little more than she, and Kai can handle. What Babs quickly discovers is that even her years of training and experience still can’t prepare her for what’s next.

    Hope Larson delivers another issue that balances the brains and determination Batgirl is known for, with the melodrama that makes her such a great character for all ages. Rafael Albuquerque’s art does a great job balancing each scene by being wide and dynamic during fights, but soft and fun during personal moments. Batgirl brilliantly separates itself nicely from the Earth-saving feats in the other Rebirth titles in exchange for a personal and relatable journey. If you’re looking for a fun story with a resourceful character, Batgirl #2 will treat you well! [Mikey N. at TFAW.com]

    Captain Marvel #8
    By: Ruth Fletcher Gage, Christos Gage, Kris Anka, Andy Owens, Matt Wilson

    Carol Danvers is torn. She wholeheartedly believes that the predictive justice movement is saving lives, but she’s being questioned (by virtually everyone) at every turn. She remains committed to the cause, but the pressure is starting to get to her and the seeds of uncertainty are starting to get to her. This issue of Captain Marvel dovetails in very well with the events that have been unfolding in the pages of Civil War II as Ruth Fletcher Gage and Christos Gage prove a strong grasp of Danvers’ motivations.

    You can really feel that we’re getting dangerously close to a boiling point (as if the events in Civil War II #3 hadn’t heated things up enough), and the events that unfold in this issue only add more uncertainty for Carol and the crew. Captain Marvel #8 has some great character moments with Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and Hawkeye. Looking forward to next issue! [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Kingsway West #1
    By: Greg Pak, Mirko Colak, Wil Quinta

    Greg Pak’s latest book opens with an alternate look at the United States. With the West Coast being divided mainly between Mexico and the Chinese. We’re given a bit of information in this world. Where Magic and Monsters exist alongside something called Red Gold – a mystical mineral that lives underneath the surface of the earth much like salt and gold.

    We’re introduced to our protagonist – in the same way most westerns start out – a mysterious man who is being hunted and has his hand forced into doing something he doesn’t want to do. The first issue jumps ahead several years in different spots, which isn’t a problem when setting up the environment of the story. Kingsway West #1 has the promise to be an excellent Western with magic/mystic influence. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Deathstroke comics at TFAW.com

    Deathstroke #1
    By: Christopher Priest, Carlo Pagulayan

    This issue is great for old and new readers of the famous Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke. Writer Christopher Priest makes sure to bring every angle of Deathstroke’s personality through time and captivate our interest of what the heck is going on! It seems that Slade’s partner, WinterGreen is stuck in a time loop and the president’s life is in danger. This problem has Deathstroke’s name written all over it, but where is he?! With a mix of action and snarky humor, this is a great start to the new Deathstroke series. [Darcey M. at Univseral Citywalk TFAW]

    Snotgirl comics at TFAW.com

    Snotgirl #2
    By: Bryan Lee O’Malley, Leslie Hung

    Lottie is a very self-obsessive person and Bryan Lee O’Malley does and excellent job showcasing that. He writes her in a way that reads as if we are reading one of her blogs – she writes her blog exactly how she thinks.

    In this second issue, we get a little more information on what is going on in Lottie’s life, from her boyfriend status to what the heck is going on with her stalker?!

    Leslie Hung again does a fantastic job with the art of this book. I really enjoy the sense of style she brings to this series. If you are missing the humor that Bryan Lee O’Malley delivers in books like like Scott Pilgrim and Seconds, then this is a series you should be reading. It’s not all about selfish fashion bloggers, she’s got bigger problems than that. Snotgirl #2 keeps the narrative running even if you try and wipe it away.
    [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    Review: ROM #1

    Review Rom #1

    ROM #1 (cover)ROM the Space Knight first appeared in print in December 1979 as a crossover between Marvel Comics and Parker Brothers in an attempt to build interest in a spaceman toy that Parker Brothers had designed. It’s not as strange as that sounds. Transformers, Care Bears, Sectaurs (I had them all, by the way), GI Joe, Masters Of The Universe, Pound Puppies, and My Little Pony all have similar origin stories. The toy flopped, but Marvel was able to draw the backstory into a 75 issue run that lasted until February 1986. The franchise sat largely dormant for three decades until Free Comic Book Day 2016, when IDW publishing gave us ROM #0 and announced a reboot of the series.

    The first comic book I ever owned was ROM #66. I remember the day I bought it, after riding my sister’s new red ten-speed bicycle to the grocery store to get bread and milk for my grandmother. I don’t remember why I was riding my sister’s bike. I do remember smashing that bike into the back of a parked mail truck on the way home because I was reading ROM #66 while riding hands-free. I sat on the curb and finished the book while the mailman yelled and cursed at me. I don’t know what that guy’s problem was. After I finished the story, I headed home with a loaf of smashed bread, a leaking gallon of 2% milk, a potentially broken nose, and what was left of my sister’s bike. True story, although if my sister ever reads this and asks me about it, I’m sticking to the story I told that day. Something about ninjas, if I recall correctly.

    ROM’s story began when an alien race of shape shifting space sorcerers known as Dire Wraiths invaded the peaceful utopian society of planet Galador. In a desperate attempt to fight the Dire Wraiths off, the Galadorian ruler called on the citizens of Galador to volunteer for the Spaceknight program, sacrificing their own humanity to become cyborg warriors. The Spaceknights’ humanity was stored on Galador until such time as the Wraith war would end and they could reclaim it. ROM was the first to volunteer and undergo the transformation.

    When the Solstar Order drove the Dire Wraiths from Galador, ROM chased them back to their home planet to finish them off. The Wraiths used their best weapons, deception and black magic, to escape ROM’s wrath and scatter throughout the galaxy. ROM felt responsible for allowing the Dire Wraiths to spread throughout the galaxy and decided not to reclaim his humanity until the entire species had been found and banished to Limbo.

    ROM #1 picks up right where FCBD ROM #0 left off. In case you missed that one, IDW has kindly reprinted that 11 page story here for your convenience. In his quest to rid the galaxy of the Dire Wraiths, ROM follows the Wraiths’ trail of destruction to a heavily infiltrated planet Earth. Cooper’s Mill, the first town ROM finds on Earth only has one real human living in it, a soldier suffering from PTSD named Darby. All the other inhabitants are Wraiths disguised to appear human. Oddly, even with this level of Wraith infestation, ROM finds no Wraith hives and no signs of planetary subjugation. Further analysis is needed.

    There is an obvious throwback look and feel to the new series, but some tweaks have been made to update ROM’s look and technology. This may seem a little nit-picky, but classic ROM never had fingers. Not sure why they changed that detail, but it was the first thing that I noticed. The new armor also has a lot more detail and lines in it than the classic version. There was something about the old design that was very classic and clean. I know they’re trying to put their own stamp on the franchise, but it’s going to take some getting used to. On the whole, Christos Gage, Chris Ryall, and David Messina have done a slick job bringing this nostalgic title into the 21st century.

    ROM #1, IDW Publishing, released July 27, 2016, written by Christos Gage and Chris Ryall, art and color by David Messina and Michelle Pasta, letters by Shawn Lee, $4.49

    Review by Brendan Allen

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    Free Comic Book Day – Review of ROM #0

    rom #0, free comic book day“Just what are Dire Wraiths? Why are they at war with ROM? And just who is ROM, anyway?”

    Good questions, but a better question is where has ROM been all these years? Comic readers of the 80’s and toy collectors alike should be giddy with the return of ROM this summer. Originally a licensed Parker Bros toy slated to be called COBOL after the programming language, it was changed to ROM for obvious copyright reasons. Luckily for comic fans, to generate buzz for the lighted LED toy, Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema were tasked with making the fairly rigid toy cool for kids on the page of a Marvel comic.

    Unfortunately for toy fans, the Comic was much cooler than the toy!

    75 issues and some awesome crossovers later, ROM was remembered as a comic SpaceKnight, and not the toy which only sold less than half a million units.

    So here we are at New Comic Book Day 2016, with a new launch of a comic that combines ToyFarians (yes that’s you ToyFare readers), 80’s comic kids, and publisher IDW that is based on a character created by the tragically iconic Bill Mantlo.

    This 11 page teaser with plenty of additional concept art will not disappoint. If you’ve enjoyed IDW’s relaunch of the Micronauts, then I’m sure you will enjoy ROM’s IDW #0 teaser. Chris Ryall and Christos Gage are bringing ROM into the T+ realm but teens and adults will appreciate David Messina’s artistic skills that balance alien and earthling violence without delving into unnecessary gore.

    This is definitely a title I’m looking forward to collecting when issue 1 hits the shelves in July.

    Rom #0, by Chris Ryall, Christos Gage and David Messina. Published May 7, 2016.

    Review by Luke Howell.

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    Christos Gage Reveals His Crime Noir Graphic Novel, Sunset

    Sunset Christos GageChristos Gage is one of comics’ busiest writers right now, with monthly series Angel & Faith, Avengers Academy, X-Men Legacy, and the upcoming First X-Men with Neal Adams on his plate. However, when the opportunity to helm a creator-owned graphic novel dropped in his lap, Gage didn’t miss a beat, teaming up with artist Jorge Lucas to create Sunset, a crime noir starring an elderly former mob enforcer who is pulled out of retirement when his past catches up with him.

    We had the chance to chat with Gage about Sunset and how he manages to successfully write for multiple genres–check it out, below. We’ve also got a six-page preview. Read it, and then pick up your copy of Sunset and save 10%. Don’t forget the Sunset First Look One Shot for just $.90!

    TFAW.com: Can you introduce us to Sunset?

    Christos Gage: Sunset is about Nick Bellamy, a veteran in his late 70s who, decades ago, was a leg-breaker for a Vegas mob boss. Realizing the future held little more than a bullet in the head and a hole in the desert, he pulled off “one last heist” to set himself up for life, got his boss sent to jail, and made off with a stash of his money. Nick’s lived quietly since then, but now the boss is out and sends his men for revenge. But Nick has kept in shape, and he might just surprise them . . .

    TFAW.com: What spurred you to write a crime-noir story at this point in your career?

    CG: I actually love the genre. Two of the movies my wife and I have written, The Breed and Paradox (which has only come out overseas so far), were crime noir movies with another genre mixed in, like horror or fantasy. My graphic novel for Vertigo Crime, Area 10, with Chris Samnee, was like that as well. So I guess I had a hankering to do a crime noir story that didn’t have another genre in there . . . just pure crime!

    TFAW.com: You’re a writer who crosses all genres—superhero, horror, and now noir—how do you alter your approach for each, if at all?

    CG: I don’t have a hard-and-fast rule. I just go by what feels right for the specific story I’m telling, and the artist I’m working with, if I know who that is.

    Sunset Preview Page 1Sunset Preview Page 2Sunset Preview Page 3

    TFAW.com: One thing I’ve always appreciated about your writing is your ability to create strong, distinct “voices” for each character. How did you create Nick’s?

    CG: Thanks! Nick’s voice is probably just the grouchy old man who lives in my head. 😉

    TFAW.com: What intrigues you about Nick? What do you find most interesting about him?

    CG: That he’s a guy who is violent by nature, but he has tried to temper that, and direct it against those who deserve it, in recent years. He’s definitely a morally compromised guy, but he’s actually tried to change in his life. In some respects. In others . . . like use of smart phones . . . not so much.

    TFAW.com: Sunset was originally supposed to be a monthly miniseries, but is instead being published as an original graphic novel. How will this affect the reader’s experience?

    CG: Hopefully not at all. As a miniseries, it was always intended to be a complete story, so it’s not as if it was cut short or anything. Now you get the whole story in one package, is all!

    Sunset Preview Page 4Sunset Preview Page 5Sunset Preview Page 6

    TFAW.com: Do you have a sequel or continuation in the works?

    CG: Not specifically, but if there’s interest I’d love to do one . . . or even a prequel!

    TFAW.com: Can you talk a little about the differences, as a writer, between creator-owned, publisher-owned, and licensed comics?

    CG: For me, there isn’t much. I go all out regardless. With creator-owned stories, you have less research to do in terms of getting the characters right . . . you create them, so you make the rules. But then you have to stick to them! In some ways it’s easier to make a mistake and have a character do something inconsistent when you haven’t been reading or watching them for years.

    TFAW.com: What do you have coming up that you’re excited about?

    CG: Let’s see . . . Avengers Academy, X-Men Legacy, the First X-Men miniseries with the legendary Neal Adams hitting August 1, Angel & Faith, and in 2013, a second season of Absolution from Avatar Press!

    Our thanks to Christos for taking the time to answer all of our questions! Sunset is in stock now, so make sure to pick up your copy and save 10%.

    ORDER SUNSET AND SAVE 10%

    SEE ALL CHRISTOS GAGE COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

    What do you think of Sunset? Post your comments below!

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    Christos Gage and Rebekah Issacs Update Us on Angel & Faith

    Angel & Faith ComicsShockwaves rocked the Buffy universe in August 2010 when it was announced that Angel, then at IDW Publishing, would return to Dark Horse Comics, home of Joss Whedon’s other properties, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Serenity, and Dollhouse. Some fans of IDW’s interpretation were wary, especially when they discovered that Angel would be paired with Slayer Faith Lehane instead of original show characters like Gunn, Illyria, and Connor–and after the events of Buffy Season 8, everyone was wondering how Angel could possibly come back from killing fan-favorite Giles.

    Fortunately, the creative team of writer Christos Gage (Avengers Academy) and artist Rebekah Isaacs (DV8) knocked it out of the park when Angel & Faith debuted in August 2011. Focusing on the close-yet-sometimes prickly relationship between Angel and Faith, relocating them to England, and giving Angel a shocking goal (bringing Giles back to life), Angel & Faith has been an action-packed exploration of two fascinating characters grappling with redemption, responsibility, and hope.

    We caught up with Gage and Isaacs as part of Dark Horse Month. Check out our interview, below, and enjoy an exclusive three-page preview of Angel & Faith #4!

    TFAW.com: We interviewed you both shortly after you were announced as the writer and artist for Angel & Faith. How do you feel after getting several issues under your belts?

    Christos Gage: I feel better about each issue than the last. The downside is I feel like I didn’t do a very good job on the first few. I think I hit more of a comfort zone with #5. I think Rebekah started great and has only gotten better, and Dan (our colorist) has been aces from the word go. I’m really happy people seem to like it.

    Rebekah Isaacs: Much less anxious about my two greatest worries at the time: likenesses and whether I’d be accepted by fans. Everyone I’ve met or heard from has been so welcoming and enthusiastic! I love meeting Buffy/Angel fans at cons now and hearing their viewpoints on the storyline.

    Angel & Faith #4 Page 1TFAW.com: What’s surprised you the most about taking on Angel & Faith?

    RI: How many hardcore Faith fans there are out there! It’s great that we got to do this series because she’s a character that hasn’t really gotten her due until now. I love that we’ve been able to make those fans that have been waiting for a starring role for Faith since “No Future For You” happy.

    CG: Honestly? That there haven’t been more people angry at me. I got a lot of warnings–mostly from the Whedonites themselves–that they are a passionate bunch. It was actually really sweet; it’s like they were saying, “Listen, I may be cursing you out later but please don’t take it personally.” But so far everyone’s seemed pretty pleased with the book and they’re being very kind to me.

    TFAW.com: Christos, as you know, Angel has a lot of very dedicated, very vocal fans–many of whom weren’t happy about the prospect of an Angel comic without Gunn, Illyria, and the other regulars from the TV show and IDW comics. Do you think you’ve won them over?

    CG: I don’t know, I hope so. As I’ve said before, Joss called dibs on Illyria pretty quick in the story summit; he has plans for her. And you will see various supporting characters pop up from time to time–Harmony, Clem, Drusilla, Connor. But this was always going to be a very Angel and Faith-focused book. I think the readers understand that, given where they are right now, their journey does not call for a big ensemble cast. And that Season 10 may well be a whole different thing.

    TFAW.com: One thing that strikes me about your writing is how spot-on Angel and Faith’s voices are–they’re recognizable right off the bat without being overly hammy or catchphrase-y. How do you achieve that?

    Angel & Faith #4 Page 2CG: Thanks! I just watch the shows. When you absorb 12 years of TV in a year or so, it leaves an impression, especially when the voices are as distinctive as Joss’ characters tend to be. I also have to give credit to editorial; they’ve had a lot of experience with these characters, and Scott will always tell me when Faith gets a little too talky, for instance, which is a risk when you take someone who’s mostly been a supporting character and make them a lead.

    I’m flattered that people think I’m doing a good job and wish I could better articulate how I approach it; I guess it’s just something I’m used to. My wife and I have written TV before, and in TV, unless you create the show, your job is to identify and be true to voices someone else established. That’s all I’m doing here; it’s no different than doing it for Law & Order: SVU, for example. You pay close attention to what’s been done and try to do be true to it. I guess it’s a lot like, say, if your best friend said something that didn’t sound like them, you’d know it. If I write a line that doesn’t sound like Angel, it’s usually pretty glaring.

    TFAW.com: I’m really loving the relationship between Angel and Faith right now. How do you feel about them as a duo?

    CG: I think they’re great. These are two people who have been through a lot, and helped each other through a lot. They’re flawed, they’ve hurt people, they’ve hurt themselves . . . they’ve hit rock bottom, and they’ve worked hard to come back. And their roles in the relationship have almost come full circle–with Faith now the strong one–which I think is very cool.

    TFAW.com: I’m sure many, many readers are wondering: are they going to become a romantic duo? Do you see that in their future?

    CG: I’m gonna resort to the ever popular “keep reading!” But I do want to say that I really dig the fact that these are two attractive young heterosexual people of the opposite sex and yet their relationship is very deep, meaningful and complex while not having anything to do with sex and/or romance. Not to say that it couldn’t at some point, but even if it went there, that wouldn’t be the sum total of the relationship. Which I think shows how strong they are as characters . . . it’s not about “will they or won’t they.” There’s so much more to them.

    Angel & Faith #4 Page 3TFAW.com: Faith’s in a really interesting place right now–in many ways, she has a lot of the things Buffy used to have: the support of Giles (in the form of most of his worldly possessions), a mentor relationship with the other Slayers, and a close relationship with Angel. Do you think Faith sees it that way?

    CG: I think Faith sees it much less that way than other people might. She’s just now coming to grips with the idea of being the responsible one. But ultimately she’s not Buffy, and things are not going to unfold for Faith the way they would for her; Faith will make different choices, for good or ill.

    TFAW.com: She’s also balancing a lot of lies and secrets–with the best of intentions, of course. Is this part of her growing up? Is it a mistake?

    CG: Faith has always been someone who wouldn’t hesitate to play a little fast and loose with the truth. She’s a lot better than she used to be–as you mention, she wouldn’t lie to hurt people any more, or purely out of self-interest; it’s to help or protect others. But all lies create the potential for complications, and some may well be coming.

    TFAW.com: Can Nadira and the other Slayers ever forgive Angel? What could he do to redeem himself in their eyes?

    CG: That’s a good question. A very good question. Stay tuned.

    TFAW.com: What about in his own eyes? Does Angel consider himself beyond redemption? What’s your opinion?

    CG: I think Angel said at one point in his show that nothing he ever does can make up for what he did as Angelus . . . some acts are so horrible you can’t atone for them. So clearly, in that sense, Angel feels he is beyond redemption; I think he accepted that and planned to spend the rest of his existence doing good as a way to not erase, but maybe counterbalance the evil he had done. What’s different now is that he is trying to atone for things he did as Angel. He didn’t choose to be made a vampire; he did choose to be Twilight, even if he wasn’t always in total control of himself.

    Angel & Faith #4 Rebekah IsaacsThat’s why he’s so obsessive about bringing Giles back . . . it’s a microcosm of the wrong he’s done as Angel. For me, I think he is redeemable. Nothing will ever erase his wrongs, but if he dedicates himself to doing the right thing long enough, I think the scales can be balanced . . . they probably already have been. I think he’s a good man. But good luck convincing Angel of that.

    TFAW.com: The huge game changer in the Buffy universe has been the destruction of magic, which keeps resulting in unexpected repercussions over and over again. How on earth can Angel think that NOW’S the right time to bring Giles back–something that was considered impossible before the Seed was destroyed?

    CG: Well, Giles wasn’t dead before the Seed was destroyed. Angel just can’t live with the fact that he killed Giles . . . this man who meant everything to the woman he loves, this man who forgave him even after Angelus killed Jenny Calendar, who Giles loved. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in the world, Angel is going to try to bring him back, come hell or high water . . . or both. Is he thinking calmly and rationally? No. Does he have any reason at all to think he can actually do it? Yes . . . and wait until you see what that is.

    TFAW.com: Rebekah, I’m loving your art more and more with each issue! How are you enjoying the job?

    RI: It’s been amazing. Every issue new designs and set pieces to sink my teeth into–my favorites have been the demon fight club, Kurth, and Alastair’s house. I was so excited to find out I’d be drawing Drusilla, and I love Victorian clothing, so it was really fun to design a dress for her first scene. (Although Steve painted her in such a lovely gown for #7 that I had to copy it for her second change of clothes in that issue.) There’s always something surprising and challenging to keep me on my toes artistically in every issue.

    TFAW.com: What’s the most difficult aspect of drawing Angel & Faith?

    Angel & Faith #5 Rebekah IsaacsRI: I never thought I’d say this back in April, but the likenesses are no longer the biggest challenge. Lately it’s been making the environments rich and detailed enough to feel realistic, especially with the London street scenes. I found out there’s a huge Buffy fanbase in the UK and I wanna make ’em proud! When I visited London a few months ago I took tons of photo reference all around the city and I’ve been using it religiously. It’s time-consuming, but so worth it. Even if readers have never been to London, having unique details in backgrounds makes the whole experience feel more genuine.

    TFAW.com: How often do you use references for likenesses now?

    RI: I’ll sometimes pull up reference for covers, but for interiors I try to avoid it entirely now. I find it screws with my head after drawing the faces from memory for so long; I focus too much on the details and not enough on the big picture. I’m certainly still conscious of the eternal need for improvement, though. When I watch an episode, pass by our DVD shelves, or see a screencap online I take a second and examine it really closely and try to take away one feature that I can draw a little different to make it more accurate next time. It’s definitely easier for me now, but it’s ultimately up to the readers whether I’m getting it right!

    TFAW.com: Any other characters/actors from the television show that you’re–ahem–practicing drawing right now?

    RI: I’ve drawn about a dozen pages of Dru now, and I’m getting geared up to draw another major player from Angel’s life soon!

    TFAW.com: The new “big bads,” Nash and Pearl, are gorgeous–and terrifying! How did you come up with the design for them?

    Angel & Faith #7 Rebekah IsaacsRI: I was only told their powers and that they should look otherworldly or alien-like. I’m a huge Bowie fan and I immediately thought of the Thin White Duke era and his look in The Man Who Fell to Earth. For Pearl I used Lady Gaga and Karen O. from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs as a starting point. I have a weakness for clothes that I could never pull off myself, so I love designing outfits for these spoiled psychopaths who’ve styled themselves as demon royalty.

    TFAW.com: There are a lot of fight scenes for you to draw in Angel & Faith. I really enjoy the sense of motion I get from your pages–how do you create that?

    RI: Good karma and lots of desperate prayers before drawing them, I guess! I like to cheat a little by giving everyone hair and clothes that move with them. If only I could give Angel his old Angelus hair back . . .

    TFAW.com: What’s been more difficult: drawing a comic set in another country, or drawing the demons?

    RI: Definitely drawing a foreign country. When you live in a city, I think you get a sixth sense for how it feels; even if a scene is 90% right, there might be some essence that’s missing that only a native would pick up on. It’s like how a New Yorker can always tell when a movie’s set in NYC but shot in Toronto. Because I’ve never lived in London, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to convey that mood perfectly, but it’s been fun to try! Getting reference firsthand has been invaluable, though. I’d be totally lost if it was still just me and Google Images.

    TFAW.com: What’s your process like for creating covers?

    Angel & Faith #7 Steve MorrisRI: I’ll email the editorial team and Chris, and they’ll suggest one or two concepts they’d like to see that tie into the issue. Sometimes it’s deliberately vague if the issue is still being revised, or we don’t want to reveal spoilers, but lately I’ve been drawing specific scenes. I’ll do three to five tiny sketches from those concepts, and they’ll vote on which one they like best. I get pencils revised before moving to inks because I’ll often think of new elements to add after the sketch stage.

    TFAW.com: How have you liked working with Dark Horse?

    RI: They’ve been so incredible. I think the only person who knows this universe better than these guys is Joss himself!

    Our thanks to Christos and Rebekah for giving us some extra insight into Angel & Faith! You can find all of their Angel & Faith comics right here at TFAW and save 10-20%.

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    Georges Jeanty & Christos Gage Talk Buffy, Angel & Faith

    Hi folks! We’ve returned from WonderCon 2011 with an exclusive interview with Buffy Season 9 artist Georges Jeanty and the newly announced writer of Angel & Faith, Christos Gage! Watch the video below to hear about their plans for the Whedon universe:

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    Dark Horse Names Buffy S9 and Angel & Faith Teams

    Wow! Dark Horse Comics had an awesome WonderCon panel for Whedon fans. Not only did they announce the Buffy Season 9 creative team–longtime artist Georges Jeanty (yay!) and Vampire Diaries writer Andrew Chambliss–but they announced that the Angel book will actually be called Angel & Faith, and feature the art of Rebekah Issacs (DV8) and Christos Gage (Avengers Academy).

    Meet the teams and see exclusive artwork in the video below!

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    Is your mind blown? Are you looking forward to the Whedonverse Season 9? Post your comments below!

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