StephenT (stormwreath) wrote,

(Meta) Some background information

Some of you may already have seen a big interview that Scott Allie of Dark Horse Comics gave to Ain't It Cool News recently... but if you haven't, he gave the clearest statement I've ever seen about the copyright and licencing situation regarding 'Buffy' and Joss's other creative works. I thought it might be interesting to repeat it here:

SCOTT: Joss doesn't own any of this stuff or have a legal claim on it. Fox owns all of it... Universal owns "Serenity." He doesn't license it or lease it to Fox and then they license it or lease it to us. Out of courtesy and respect and pragmatism, Fox gives Joss as much say as he wants with this stuff.

INTERVIEWER: Because it's good for sales.

SCOTT: And it's good policy. If Fox Licensing started pushing Joss around, Fox's film and TV divisions would come in and squash them and say, "Why are you pissing off this incredibly important guy?"

INTERVIEWER: And his audience.

SCOTT: Exactly. My contact Debbie [Olshan] at Fox Licensing likes working with Joss. She's going to respect Joss' wishes on all this stuff. Which is great, and gives the creator some control over his creation, which is really nice -- and not legally built into it. Nobody has to do it, but it's a really good choice that they're all making constantly.

So in short, FOX controls everything, but they respect Joss's wishes about it out of professional courtesy. Specifically, they're ultimately the people who decide who can write comics about which characters...

Another part of the interview which I know will be interesting to a few is Scott's description of how he and Joss work together on the comics:

INTERVIEWER: How do you and Whedon, who has clear editorial ideas, divvy up editorial responsibility when you're collaborating on a book like "Serenity"?

SCOTT: "It's my job, and then he does as much of it as he wants" is the short answer. But it's all my job: to whatever extent he doesn't have time to do something, I have to make sure it gets done. But of course, scheduling, budgeting, all that B.S. is all, of course, me.

INTERVIEWER: All the fun stuff. [laughs]

SCOTT: All the really rewarding.... On a project that he's executive-producing -- like any "Serenity" comic we've done or any issue of "Season Eight" -- generally, he breaks the story with the writer, he gets the script before I get it, he gives notes to the writer, and usually gets a second draft and okays it before I ever see it. Then Joss sends it to me or the writer sends it to me. And then, if I have any major notes, I go by Joss before I go to the writer -- but if it's minor stuff I just work it out with the writer.

He and I picked Georges Jeanty together. Any time there's been a fill-in artist, I've found somebody to run by him -- and it's not like there's been a bunch of new faces. Like we're setting up a one-shot that we're doing in August, I think, and I said, "Hey, I want to have Karl Moline draw this one," Joss said, "Yeah, that's great," and then I made sure Karl was available.

Joss is very hands-on with the script -- much more so than I am, generally. He generally pitches cover ideas -- especially Jo's covers -- although Brad Meltzer pitched a lot of the covers on his arc. Joss sees cover sketches. He sees and gives feedback on the layouts -- the artist will do layouts and send them to Joss, Joss' assistant, the writer on the individual arc, me, Sierra, assistant editor Freddye Lins, and then Joss will write notes. Usually, I write more notes on layouts than anybody else does, but Joss will chime in on that stuff, and if it's an arc or issue that he's writing, he'll chime in a lot.

So that's the majority of his involvement.

INTERVIEWER: Does his involvement wax and wane depending on how involved he is with filming and directing?

SCOTT: And depending on how much he's needed. There have been times when he's at his busiest that I need him the most, and just have to stretch him really, really, really thin. That's been the worst, when we're at a point where we really need him to be hands-on about a script or decide exactly what we're doing. Sometimes he rewrites scripts after they've been technically turned in and approved -- even lettered -- and more than a couple of times, that's happened when he's really been in the thick of it with "Dollhouse" or something like that.

But the best situation is when we have a writer where things are laid out well enough in advance that he just doesn't need to be that involved -- where they break the story together and it's just kind of good to go. That doesn't really happen that much. [laughs] But I like to think that it happens.

Tags: buffy, comics, meta, season 8
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