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Old 08-23-2007, 05:05 PM   #1

In September, Brian K. Vaughan returns the favor for Joss Whedon.

Whedon picked up the writing on Vaughan’s Runaways series when he left the series he started, and, with issue #6 of Dark Horse’s Buffy the Vampire Series, Vaughan steps in to write “No Future for You,” an arc staring Faith.

We sat down with the writer to talk about the gig, Buffy, Faith, and a mixup of film references.

Newsarama: First off, and obviously, how do you land a gig like this? Was it a just a cold call from Dark Horse or Joss? Did you even know you were in the running?

Brian K. Vaughan: A few years ago, before I moved to Los Angeles to work on Lost and adaptations of some of my comics, Joss invited me to write the screenplay for one of a few planned direct-to-DVD movies set in the Buffyverse. Sadly, those flicks eventually fell through, but getting to have dinner and break stories with Joss and Tim Minear and Drew Goddard was one of the best experiences of my life, one that helped inspire me to become the Hollywood sellout I am today.

It’s also where I pitched an idea for a Faith story that everyone seemed to dig, and which Whedon asked if I wanted to resurrect for the Season Eight comic. Since Joss was kind enough to adopt my kids after I cruelly abandoned Runaways, I was more than happy to babysit the Scoobs for a few issues.

NRAMA: Yeah, but you're a busy guy. How long did it take for you to say yes to doing an arc?

BKV: When Whedon says jump, I say, “Off which bridge?” I just love his writing and his stories are really important to me. Almost from the first episode, Buffy was a real obsession, true, unplug-the-phone appointment television. Like Lost, I instantly knew it was being guided by someone who loved and understood the world of comics, but had something new, something important, to say in a completely different medium.

With Y: The Last Man wrapping in a few months, I’ve made the decision to concentrate pretty much only on new creator-owned books from here on out, but if I’m going to deny myself the supreme pleasure of working on other people’s characters for the rest of my comics career, writing Buffy & Co. seemed like the perfect way to go out with a bang.

NRAMA: How is the series structured, overall? That is, when you came in, were you given your marching orders of "You've got the Faith story," or as you kind of said, you brought your Faith story along?

BKV: Like I said, Faith was my always my first choice, but I only had a really broad concept for her story, so it changed a lot in the move to comics. Joss and I met up, he filled me in on all the juicy secrets behind Twilight, and I think we found a really organic way to advance the themes and larger storylines of Season Eight through this Faith-centric arc.

NRAMA: So what’s the relationship/connection with Joss on this?

BKV: Joss is an effin’ taskmaster! When he sends me his Runaways scripts, I usually write back a short note telling him how much I loved it and how perfect it was, and when I send him my Buffy scripts, he writes back a nice note saying how much he loved it… and then includes ten pages of detailed notes explaining how I can make it better. And the annoying part is, he’s always right!

He’s definitely acting as a true Executive Producer on this book, and treating every issue of Season Eight as seriously as he treated every episode of the show. In ten years of writing comics, this is probably the hardest I’ve ever worked on something, but I think the story is much better for it. As am I.

NRAMA: That said, in writing this arc, and given that you're coming in right after Joss, did you find yourself adapting your style in any way, either to come closer to his "voice" or write the story with a structure similar to an arc of episodes from the television series?

BKV: I definitely tried to adjust my style, but Joss also made it clear that part of the fun of this for him was bringing new voices to explore these characters, so I like to think I brought something unique to the table. Inappropriately dirty jokes, mostly.

NRAMA: So why Faith? What's your attraction to/view of the character?

BKV: Much as I love Buffy, I’m way happier writing flawed, damaged people who don’t always make the right decisions. Faith is such a complex, beautiful character.

NRAMA: Where is she, both physically and mentally when we first see her in the arc?

BKV: Well, when we first meet up with her, Faith is living in Cleveland, so we know things can’t be going great for her…

NRAMA: You just can't leave Cleveland alone, can you?

BKV: I can’t! But ever since I heard that throwaway line on the show about there being another Hellmouth in Cleveland, I’ve been fantasizing about setting a Buffy story in my beloved hometown.

NRAMA: So what gets the ball rolling here?

BKV: Well, at the end of Season Seven, Buffy was nice enough to share her Slayer powers with hundreds of other young women, but as Faith knows better than anyone, just because you get great power doesn’t always mean you’ll use it with great responsibility. So when a new evil Slayer hits the scene, Giles knows there’s only one person he can turn to for a particularly nasty bit of wetworks…

NRAMA: So she's hunting another Slayer? A bad Slayer - is that, what, just a natural conclusion given the wider net that was cast to bring in new Slayers at the end of the series? There are going to be a few bad apples?

BKV: To say the least.

NRAMA: Touching on the mechanics again - that aspect of the story - Faith hunts a bad Slayer...was that from Joss or you?

BKV: “Faith the Slayer Slayer” was a big part of my original pitch, but Joss made it good.

NRAMA: What can you say about the bad Slayer?

BKV: What if Paris Hilton got Slayer powers? And more nightmarishly, what if she were British?

NRAMA: And Faith has to fit in to English society? Howzat work? Is there a nod to 'Enry 'Iggins and Eliza here?

BKV: Definitely, with Giles being the Professor Higgins to Faith’s La Femme Nikita. It’s an unholy mashup of cinema references.

NRAMA: Is this all Faith and Giles in the arc? Do we catch up with Buffy and the gang, and see where they are after the opening arc?

BKV: I definitely went for broke with this one. Giles, Xander, Willow, Principal Wood… I made sure I got to write at least a few scenes for all of my faves.

It was a genuine honor to get to write these characters, and a privilege to work with an artist as talented as Georges Jeanty. The thought of following Joss on something keeps me awake at night, and as a massive Buffy geek, I hope I don’t let my fellow fans down.
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:20 PM   #2
Faith the Slayer Slayer. I like it. Making Faith the "black ops unit" of Buffy's army sounds like a perfect fit.
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:24 PM   #3
Looking forward to this!

Buffy Season 8 has been a joy from the very beginning, and Brian's a great choice to write the first non-Whedon storyline. Add Faith to the mix and it's got the makings of a classic.
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:27 PM   #4
Geek moment! This sounds great...hope the evil slayer resembles Paris so it'll make not liking her even easier.
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:30 PM   #5
This sounds GREAT!
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:33 PM   #6
Artistic interpretations of Eliza Dushku can never do her justice!!! It's a cryin' shame!!!
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:33 PM   #7
i hated faith when she first appeared even though i love eliza dushku, it was her dialogue that annoyed me. but man once she woke up from that coma and went to angel and then back to buffy for season 7 i have been in love
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:36 PM   #8
The Shadow

I've been a Faith fan since I fist saw her. BKV is a great writer and has an obvious love for Faith, so it seems like a perfect fit!!!

I've been enjoying Buffy since the start too... can't wait!!
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:48 PM   #9
The Principal! Cool. The preview pages look fantastic.
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:51 PM   #10
The Monarch
A BKV penned Buffy/Spin-off film? Oh man that would have been a lot of fun. He does seem to have a really good handle on Faith from what I can see so far. Dark Horse will definately be getting some more of my money. Unless I can mooch off of someone and make it their money instead. Either way they're getting paid for this.
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Old 08-23-2007, 06:09 PM   #11
Just when I thought I was fed up with the comic book industry, came BRIAN K VAUGHAN and his incredible ideas. His stories are clever, original, amazing and spectacular!

Last edited by theodoros : 08-23-2007 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 08-23-2007, 06:12 PM   #12
This series has been a joy from the first issue. I can;t wait to pick up the NEXT issue...every time. The covers are sweet, the dialogue is pure Joss.
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Old 08-23-2007, 06:18 PM   #13
David Bird
I've been a little disappointed with Season 8 so far, but these pages are great! Best yet.
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Old 08-23-2007, 06:29 PM   #14
Joss' arc was pretty good, although its a bit tough waiting 4 months to cover the ground usually covered in 1 hour.

That being said.. WHAT'S WITH EFFING CLEVELAND!? I know all of these guys come from there, but first its being destroyed over in HALO, and now BKV is making it home of Faith. Maybe they can team up and Master Cheif and Faith can kick some vampire alien ass!
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Old 08-23-2007, 06:40 PM   #15
Man this arc look so cool. Can't wait.

Once they get enough issues out I would love to see a nice hard cover trade here.

Which reminds me I picked up a couple weeks ago the 3 hard cover trades of Brian's Runaways which I need to read.
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Old 08-23-2007, 06:42 PM   #16
I love Faith, too. Nothing like a good flawed character. And I love the fact that Giles is using her to hunt down rogue slayers. Although, it doesn't exactly help to further Faith's redemption...then again, only Angel seemed to be able to even get her to recognize that she could be a better person.

Ever notice how Buffy, Wes, Willow, and Xander just wanted her dead already?
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Old 08-23-2007, 07:01 PM   #17
I've always loved Faith, too. Nothing like the bad girl giving powers for good, then going right back to being bad. And then back to good.

But seriously, I loved her for the same reason BKV does, it seems; she's a complex character.

And those preview pages are killer. I can't wait for this arc.

Now if only Dark Horse could get the rights for Spike from IDW and put him in some $2.99 comics, I'd be happy.
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Old 08-23-2007, 07:13 PM   #18

Can't wait to check it out!
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Old 08-23-2007, 07:24 PM   #19
Crump's Brother
Man oh man, this sounds great. Take my money!
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Old 08-23-2007, 08:07 PM   #20
Evil Rick Shea
Brian K. Vaughan never fails to deliver. Everything he's written has been pure gold and I'm really looking forward to his take on Faith and the whole Buffyverse. I was a little scared when I saw that Joss Whedon wasn't going to write every issue but with talent like BKV lined up, I know this series will continue to be one of my favorite books with every issue. I'm really psyched for this story.

Evil Rick Shea
Famous Faces & Funnies
Melbourne, FL
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Old 08-23-2007, 08:23 PM   #21
David Bird
Originally Posted by Skatonic10
Joss' arc was pretty good, although its a bit tough waiting 4 months to cover the ground usually covered in 1 hour.

That being said.. WHAT'S WITH EFFING CLEVELAND!? I know all of these guys come from there, but first its being destroyed over in HALO, and now BKV is making it home of Faith. Maybe they can team up and Master Cheif and Faith can kick some vampire alien ass!

Yep. Cleveland is the new San Diego.

Actually, in the third season of Buffy it was established that Sunnydale wasn't the only place with a Hellmouth. Cleveland had one too. I think its a great idea to make it Faith's city.
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Old 08-23-2007, 09:03 PM   #22
Epic win. Epic, epic win.
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Old 08-23-2007, 09:33 PM   #23
Originally Posted by Switch625
Faith the Slayer Slayer. I like it. Making Faith the "black ops unit" of Buffy's army sounds like a perfect fit.

I totally agree. Wouldn't Faith and Spike make a great tag team? He's already put down two slayers.
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Old 08-23-2007, 10:07 PM   #24
James Asia
Looks frigging great. BKV's a genuine genuis and it's a pleasure to see him play in an established sandbox like Buffy.
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Old 08-23-2007, 11:27 PM   #25
I love BKV but it's Buffy so who cares. Brian needs to realise that he thrives and is at his best when he's working with his own characters. He's too good of a writer to be working on someone elses crappy tv properties. I mean, what was he thinking taking that Lost gig?
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