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IDWs Canon Status

Discussion in 'Angel: After the Fall' started by Black Eye Guy, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Black Eye Guy

    Black Eye Guy Taking over the World!

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    Black Thorn
    This thread was created from moving some posts out of another thread to discuss IDW Angel comic


    He didn't label the comics fan fiction, he made a joke about Brad Meltzer arc being fan fiction, just 4 issues. And it was definitely a joke, it's a very typical joke from him.

    IDW were very clearly trying to jump on the official Buffy continuing calling their stories cannon, but even from the start it was very difficult to get confirmation from anyone outside IDW as to what was cannon. It makes perfect sense that Joss gets to choose whats cannon, he doesn't having the licensing control does he? Fox does, so they license it cuz they want money, Joss does it to continue the story. It was always clear to me IDWs stories were a sketchy cannon.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  2. Robb Stark

    Robb Stark King in the North

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    I hope it was a joke. I totally admit, sometimes it's hard to tell with Joss. It would seem strange if he wasn't joking, because again, it's his story. He selected the writer and had creative control, so the responsibility for the success or failure of the arc ultimately rests with him.

    If a company is legally given the rights to publish or produce BTVS stories, then to me I don't see the conflict. I find it incredibly petty for Joss or anyone else to say the IDW stuff doesn't count when they purchased the right to publish the content. I'd be pretty miffed if I went out and bought the rights to Angel, and then Whedon came out publicly and said none of it counted. What's the point of the investment then? It would be like saying BTVS S1-5 doesn't count in S6-7 because it was on another network. It's not like IDW stole the rights. They didn't cheat to acquire them. And sure, the story is licensed out for profit, no question. But that doesn't mean the quality automatically dips in the IDW content. S8 makes virtually no sense whatsoever, from start to finish. This is obviously opinion, but the Angel IDW books on the whole trump S8 quality wise.

    And Joss very much has control over does and does not go to print in regards to BTVS. This is an interview from Jeff Mariotte, about Joss and the input he has. Granted it's from 2005, so it's a little old.

    I don't think there's any way Whedon doesn't have major input into everything BTVS related. Fox isn't just going to go out and license his product without consulting him first. I don't know the intimate specifics of the falling out, but the interviews that have come out since then haven't seemed very professional to me. I know you won't agree with me on this, but the way I see it is if the product has been licensed out, and the company continues producing stories which are very, very clearly a continuation of an arc which everyone has said counts (After the Fall), then there's no reason not to consider it canon.

    But like I said, I know know everyone shares my interpretation of this. It's just the way I see it, and my view is probably more than a little colored by the fact that I really like the bulk of the IDW stuff :).
     
  3. Black Eye Guy

    Black Eye Guy Taking over the World!

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    If you watch interviews with him he says stuff like that all the time, he does it in print interviews as well, which he really shouldn't cuz it never translates well in print.

    For example, when talking about the Buffy reboot he said something like "people shouldn't reboot other people work, which is why I'm working on an idea I created called the avengers"


    But thats just not how it works, with anything. Just cuz someone makes it doesn't make it part of the story, in Star Wars for example, they have someone that keeps track of everything cannon, so their cannon goes between movies, books, animated stuff or whatever, they can make other stories set in the verse but doesn't mean they get added to the cannon story of the universe.

    Joss does have some level of approval on all BtVS stuff, he's said before he has approved book and other comics, but there is stuff in those that contradict his story, the only way he has to control that and make sure everything makes sense is for him to have approval of what is officially part of the story.

    Thats just not true, some parts of it are crap, but it does make sense.

    Yeah thats opinion, I prefer Season 8 over IDW Angel, I have up on it after like 6 issues I think, I didn't like it at all.
     
  4. Robb Stark

    Robb Stark King in the North

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    Okay, cool. That's a good thing, and I'm glad he's not just a dick lol.


    But IDW was the one who initially produced "After the Fall". When it was announced that BTVS and Angel were being restored in comic form, under the huge marketing banner of "It's canon!", IDW was the company given the reigns to Angel. It was plastered all over the advertising that S8 and ATF were canon. And "After the Fall" is an excellent story. So obviously Whedon had confidence in and approved of them. Then they keep producing stories under the same banner and their, I don't know what to call it, "canonness" is suddenly stripped. It's not like the Buffy novels to me. Joss/Fox was fine with it as canon, until they weren't, because they wanted things to be under the Darkhorse banner and IDW took issue. That's not done to honor the story to me.

    Not really. There are a few arcs that do, sure, but the bulk doesn't. Twilight is not in any way logical. There are so many parts of Twilight's plan which have zero need to happen and are never explained. Buffy stealing so much gold (as opposed to, you know, money) from a Swiss bank that she can buy a freaking castle and then never has to answer for it makes no sense. Buffy's military decisions get so bad that you actually have to question her sanity. I can go into it if you like, but that probably belongs on another thread (I am happy to debate the point though. It's a fun topic).

    Give it another try. "Aftermath" wasn't good at all but it really picks up. Connor in particular becomes a great character.
     
  5. Black Eye Guy

    Black Eye Guy Taking over the World!

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    I moved the posts discussing the cannon stuff to it's own thread cuz I think it could be its own topic.

    The difference for me is, in like all the interviews with Joss at the time he confirmed and confirmed again that BtVS was cannon, But when taking about Angel it's kinda mentioned but no were near as much as BtVS.
    For example he took to Whedonesque and posted from his own account to announce Buffy season 8, but didn't do the same for Angel. He mentions it, but its not mentioned on the same level as BtVS is.

    For me, with IDW it got to a point were the writers started looking desperate to be considered canon, the people involved kept going on about it being canon and continuing to be canon, but does Joss keep mentioning it? I didn't think so, but I could be wrong?

    Same way when Dark Horse got Angel back, they said they would try and respect what IDW did, but didn't say its 100% the official story, so they always made it seem like they wouldn't be bending over backwards to make things work from what IDW did, if it didn't gel with what they wanted to do.


    I agree, I'm gonna check cuz I think I made a topic on this within the last year, if not I'll make a new one, cuz I remember thinking when I reread S8 for our reread it was no where near as bad as I had originally thought.

    I did, when we got to it for the BB reread, but I couldn't do it, I only lasted a few issues. I didn't like the story, I didn't think the characters sounded right, didn't like the new characters and I HATED the art.
     
  6. AndrewCrossett

    AndrewCrossett Satsu Otaku

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    My rule of thumb is it's only canon if Joss had a direct involvement in it, or if he specifically says it's canon.

    Fans are of course free to think of anything they like as canon, but they have to expect that stuff will not be referenced in Joss's stories, and may be directly contradicted.

    Canon is not a measure of quality. A story being good doesn't make it canon, and a story being bad doesn't make it non-canon.
     
  7. Robb Stark

    Robb Stark King in the North

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    Oh, I know. I just find it more than a little ridiculous that IDW is canon for "After the Fall", but the continuations following that arc now don't count, even though they directly continue that story. The company was licensed to publish what I'm sure they understood to be canon, "official" stories, did so, and then once they got into a tiff with Whedon had their stories be retroactively made non-canon.

    When something counts, and then doesn't count, and then sorta counts, well, for me, that really erodes the credibility of the enterprise as a whole. Whenever Marvel and DC retcon stories they make it work within the current structure. They make it (most of the time anyways), make sense.
     
  8. AndrewCrossett

    AndrewCrossett Satsu Otaku

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    When IDW got the rights to the Angel comics from Fox, Joss agreed to sit down with Brian Lynch (because he liked Lynch's Asylum and Shadow Puppets comics) and plot a 12-issue series that would show what happened after the end of "Not Fade Away." After the plot was hashed out, Joss would leave Brian to write the script, which he did.

    After that, Brian wrote enough script to fill 14 issues. IDW decided they wanted to extend it a bit more, so they took a 3-issue miniseries Brian wrote ("First Night") and added those into the middle of the "After the Fall" issues. (I don't know whether Joss was consulted at all on those three issues.) That gave them 17 issues that came out of the collaboration between Brian and Joss. Brian also "freestyled" the Spike: After the Fall miniseries and the issue 23 epilogue, based on his talks with Joss.

    After issue 17, IDW wanted to continue the series. so they hired other writers and picked up the story where Brian and Joss left off. These were licensed comics, the same as Dark Horse used to do back before season 8. The stories were written without any input or consultation from Joss. In fact, he admitted he didn't even have time to read the issues.

    Some of those comics were good and some not so good, but they had nothing to do with the main Buffy/Angel story that lives in Joss's head. If the licensed comics contradict that story, then Joss's takes precedence... although the Dark Horse people say they've been making an effort not to contradict the IDW comics. That doesn't mean they or Joss consider those comics canon... just that they don't want to be jerks to IDW or spoil the experience for the fans of those comics.

    I haven't heard of any tiff between Joss and IDW, or that he was upset about anything they did in the comics. Joss wanted Angel and Buffy back under the same roof so he could do both in season 9, and so when IDW's license expired Fox sold it back to Dark Horse. IDW wasn't happy to lose the license, I'm sure, but they've got lots of other comics and have since passed Dark Horse by in sales.
     
  9. Black Eye Guy

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    Thats one of the clearest breakdowns I've ever read of what happened, nice!

    Thats pretty much what I always though, it always seemed like they got the 'official' label but then started to smuggle as much as they could in under the same heading and used that to claim it all as cannon.
     
  10. The Bronze

    The Bronze Rogue Demon Hunter

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    What a relief this was. It's one story and should be kept as coherent as possible!
     
  11. Buffy Summers

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    On one hand I think that Joss can make whatever he wants canon, but on the other personally I count it all as much as it actually hangs together. I don't really think ATF is very good, BUT it was presented IMO as Season 6 so I treat it that way. *shrugs*

    Having said that, I get that some people don't want to treat it as such. However, people can't pick and choose issues just so it suits their own argument.
     
  12. Robb Stark

    Robb Stark King in the North

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    [MENTION=8509]AndrewCrossett[/MENTION],

    Very concise, informative breakdown, and thanks for providing it. I understand your guys' points, really I do, but there's a part of me that just gets innately annoyed when a liscence is sold/rented to a company with the understanding that what they produce will be part of the official story, it then is to a point, and then isn't. It annoys me as a fan of the series and the comics, and it annoys me a bit from a moral standpoint as well. If the agreement stipulated that what IDW published was canon, then it should count, regardless of if Joss changes his mind midstream. Now granted, I/we don't know the specifics of the deal between Joss/FOX and IDW, so there's no real way short of knowing whether or not the original agreement was supposed to be strictly for the "After the Fall" arc or not. I mean, "After the Fall" references a number of other stories published by IDW. Are those canon? At the very, very least it's murky to me.

    If however, the deal was specifically for "After the Fall", then I will happily eat my words and be content to do so. I have no issue whatsoever with Joss/FOX wanting the entirety of the Buffyverse under the banner of one company, and there's no bias on my part of IDW over Darkhorse. Frankly I don't care which one produces the comics, as long as someone is. Once the license expires and the property reverts back to Joss/FOX, he/they is perfectly within his/their rights to sell it to whomever they wish. No problem with that whatsoever. But they should stick to the terms of their agreement. It seems, to ME, and again if presented with evidence to the contrary I'll freely admit I'm wrong, that IDW purchased the rights to Angel with the understanding that what they published would be canon. That was then reversed. I've read all the Bryan Lynch interviews too, and he really only discusses ATF, I would assume because that's what he was heavily involved with. I've seen nothing to contradict my interpretation so far. If you guys don't see it that way, hey, no problem.

    One thing though, @black eyed guy, I don't understand the use of terms like they "smuggled" stories in. Do you have any evidence whatsoever to show that IDW was acting unethically or in an underhanded manner? If there's a deal you can show that stipulates only ATF was canon, then yeah, I'd agree with you. But if not, how can you say they're acting unprofessionally?
     
  13. Black Eye Guy

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    No none, but I didn't say they did do it. Like I said they'll never address what exactly the contracts and discussions were for, but it always seemed to me that IDW stretched the official banner.

    Whedon planned out 12 issues. Thats were his involvement was done, as far as people say. Then it got stretched out to 14, after Joss was done discussing it with them, then they they put in 3 more issues in the middle of the canon story so it gets bumped up to 17.

    Was After the Fall actually even meant to be a season 6, Joss refereed to it as a 'sort of season 6', and it's talked about more as a continuation of season 5. Unlike Buffy which had an officially season 8 title. To me, it always seemed like they were gonna gonna do a 12 issue series continuing Angel, and they plumped it out becasue it was so murky.

    How much the writes go on about it's canon credibility also made me think the same, their usual argument is that the continued comics didn't contradict anything in the previous issues or the Buffy series - but thats not a confirmation on cannon. Same when they had Willow cross over, there was always talk of playing nice and no one ever confirmed cannon, just the fact no one (that didn't write for ATF/work for IDW) would confirm its cannonness when there shouldn't be a problem to do it always seemed suspicious to me.
    Compare that to season 9, where Joss is hands off except for overseeing the project, but the day to day running is done by Chambliss, but there's still no question of cannon.
     
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  14. AndrewCrossett

    AndrewCrossett Satsu Otaku

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    Bear in mind that Fox doesn't care about "canon" or "non-canon," they just want to make money. The whole question of canon is for Joss and the fans to decide.

    I consider canon important because I see Joss as Buffy's (and Angel's, etc.) creator and THE storyteller... these characters' "reality" lives inside his head. The stories he personally participates in are what's "really" happening to them, and the other stuff is stories and rumors which may or may not be true.

    That is, it's not just Buffy and Angel I'm interested in, it's Joss's Buffy and Angel.
     
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  15. Robb Stark

    Robb Stark King in the North

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    Now, I understand this perspective completely, but contrast it with, the new Star Trek film franchise for instance. At first it seems like a reboot, but throughout the movie we discover that it isn't, that it actually has a canon continuation within it, that the entire premise of the movie is built from the original series. Now, and please be aware that I'm just spitballing because it's something I thought of just now, Star Trek was directed and produced by Abrams. It wasn't directed, produced or written by any of the original creators, and yet it is clearly shown to be canon (having a blockbuster level budget obviously helps). I mean, what happens when Joss dies, or if he loses interest in the Buffyverse? Unlikely, sure, but stranger things have happened.
     
  16. Black Eye Guy

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    Completely get that, and I hope something like that does happen, Buffy is to good a premise to just be Whedons story, I hope someone else goes on to use it, either reboot it or base something in the same verse, but I think it will need to be many many years in the future if its not to involve Whedon.

    I think the difference is though that ST doesn't have a creator/storyteller like Whedon - I dont know that for sure honestly, but I've never heard of him, I'm not a ST fan, but I'm also not a Star Wars fan and I've heard of George Lucas, and from what I gather he had complete say in what was official cannon, they employ someone specifically to keep track of whats official and whats not, the only difference with BtVS is Joss doesn't employ someone else to do it he does it himself.

    Joss is as known among BtVS as the actors and becasue he's still running the story people turn to him as it's his story to tell.
     
  17. Buffy Summers

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    Gene Roddenberry, dude. Gene Roddenberry.
     
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  18. AndrewCrossett

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    If Buffy is still a pop culture phenomenon after 50 years like Star Trek, I'll certainly be happy one way or another.

    Star Trek is an unusual case. Its creator was Gene Roddenberry, but he started his career at a time when the idea of "canon" in a TV series was considered irrelevant. Every episode was written to stand alone, and the backstory could be changed at will to suit the needs of whatever story was being told that week. Sometimes, shows would even re-make episodes from a few seasons before on the assumptions that viewers wouldn't remember the first one. It was considered disposable entertainment, and there was no organized fandom yet or Internet for people to analyze and obsess on.

    And Roddenberry himself only had control over the first 2 seasons of the original series, and the first season of The Next Generation.

    Star Trek was his idea, but it was never *his* story in the same sense that Buffy is Joss's story. Kirk and Spock were not his "avatars" in the way Joss says Buffy is his avatar. It's much more personal for him.

    If Joss ever loses interest in the Buffyverse, or gets kicked off it by some future idiot executive at Fox, or dies before finishing the story, then my interest in it probably ends right there. If he himself were to appoint someone and give his blessing to continue the story, I would definitely consider it, but I guess I'd have to make my decision based on the results.
     
  19. Black Eye Guy

    Black Eye Guy Taking over the World!

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    I wanted to find some of the quotes that lead me to my conclusion about IDW "smuggling" in stories while they had the official title. Cuz I know I read some but they were ages ago, but I came across some:

    interview with ComicBookResources in 2010

    The Write Environment Interview 2008


    Newsarama

    It was basically the impression I got from a load of little quotes.

    Just the fact he didn't want to commit to calling it season 6, and wasn't even aware of all the stuff they did past the (extended) mini-series. He basically said they could call it season 6, becasue the original ideas were his. It's kinda like with The Origin, which is a comic book retelling of the Buffy Movie based on his script, he says he has issues with it, but you can basically call it cannon cuz it's close enough I always figured this was the same deal.
    Even how he said when they bring the two series together, he'd have Angel basically refer to it as "some stuff went down" but wouldn't address it specifically, it always seemed like he was playing nice with a company but wouldn't actually outright confirm the series as cannon