BtVs: News/Interview w/ Fabian Nicieza

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Fabian NiciezaFabian Nicieza was one of the writers of the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer monthly series from Dark Horse, as well as the one-shot from summer '02, Lost and Found. The Comic Book Guide caught up with Fabian to ask him about what he and co-writer Scott Lobdell had in store for Buffy.

QUESTION: What made you decide to work on Buffy?

Well, at first I was just doing Scott Lobdell a favor because he was tight on his comic book deadlines while dealing with some Hollywood mogul stuff. Then I became friendly with editor Scott Allie -- and reliable -- so it just kept being a matter of pitching in whenever I was needed.

QUESTION: What made her so special for you?

I've been watching the show since its very first episode. A group of us used to watch them during lunchtime at Acclaim Comics when I worked there and we really enjoyed it. In lieu of writing scripts for the actual show itself, working on the comics is fun.

QUESTION: Do you find it difficult trying to work on a title when you are not the only writer?

Yes, it could have some difficulties. Sometimes the plot or the intent might be loose and I have to work it through on my own, other times I might not agree with a certain story direction or choice, but I have to script it as best i can because it's what Scott L =[obdell] wanted.

QUESTION: What do you like the best about working on Buffy, than on other titles?

I like visualizing the comic I'm working on AS a TVSeason Six's only story: Withdrawal episode, trying to see if it work -- does it have strong Act Breaks, good pacing, good dialogue, etc.

QUESTION: Changing the topic to the current storyline, "Viva Las Buffy" takes place right after Buffy: The Origin. With the only story set during Season Six being "Withdrawal", what made you want to go back to the beginning and not explore Season Six a little more in the comics?

That was something that Scott L[obdell] had sold Scott A[llie] on doing. Everyone involved was very enthusiastic about looking at Buffy's "in-between year" as very fertile ground for story material.

I have to say, after plotting and scripting the majority of Viva Las Buffy, I have to agree. It is an interesting chance to write an inexperienced, uncertain Buffy, an isolated, conflicted Angel and the interesting clean slate that is Pike, who in many ways is the focal point of the arc, since his narrative helps fuel our look at Buffy's newfound Slayer status.

QUESTION: While you are showing in these "Year One" stories what happened between the movie and the tv show, they include Dawn in them, which alters the history of what actually happened since they are false memories. Is it a neccesity that Dawn appear, and not show what really happened without the false memories being built into them?

I plead innocence if people don't like it, since I wasn't involved in the decision-making process at all. It happened before I jumped aboard. But I happen to be a pretty big fan of Dawn -- I realize I'm in the minority, but I like the character and I like Michelle Trachtenberg in the role -- so getting to write her at age 10 is fun.

Slayer, InterruptedQUESTION: What's coming after "Viva Las Buffy"?

Cover artist Paul Lee is writing and drawing #55, a stand-alone issue set during the "in-between yeat." Then Scott L[obdell] is plotting and scripting (unless I have to pinch-hit) an arc called "Slayer Interrupted," which deals with Buffy's little visit to the funny farm.

During this arc, I'm plotting and scripting the running Giles sub-plot, which is sort of a story-within-a-story called "The Blackshed." It has to do with him trying to "get rid of" the Ripper in order to become appointed the new Watcher.

QUESTION: Will the "Year One" story arc have a 'Big Bad' that Buffy will have to face before she ventures to Sunnydale?

I'm not really sure what Scott L[obdell]'s plans are for the third arc -- #60-63. I know I have them somewhere in my computer, but I haven't read it yet...

QUESTION: Scott Lobdell stated in an interview earlier this year that he was planning after the "Year One" story arc, that we'd see Buffy venture off into outer space. Is that still happening?

I think that might have been misinterpreted, I think he said that the Buffy Comic is unrestricted by budget so we can do things the show never could -- and he used Buffy going into space as an example. I don't see that happening, but you never know.

I did pitch Scott Allie on doing a Buffy vs. Predator one-shot -- I kinda thought that would be pretty cool!

QUESTION: "Note from the Underground" debuted just after Season Six ended and contained reminders of events that happened during the last episodes of the Season. In order to do that, you would have needed to know that Willow and Spike weren't around after Season Six ended, so as not to incorporate them into the story. Do you guys get an all access pass to spoilers happening on the show ahead of tiem to incorporate them into the stories?

Well, I have the script through Episode 11 of this season in my sweaty meaty paws -- so the answer is yes, we do get scripts in advance -- though not in advance of our long-term plotting. I think they might have had some geenral information regarding which characters could be used or not before the season premiere script was even broken down and that was relayed to Scott Allie.

QUESTION: If Sarah Michelle Gellar decides to not to return for Buffy's eighth season, can we still count of the comics to supply us with our thirst forBatman Vs. Buffy? Buffy?

Funny, we were just discussing that last week! Since none of us know how the show is going to end yet -- or even IF it is going to end -- or if there will be a spin-off, etc., we can't make that decision yet. We've discussed various options, including limited series, etc.

I am pretty sure -- at least I sure hope! -- that Dark Horse intends to continue publishing Buffy-related material. What form that will take remains to be determined.

QUESTION: Any plans for Buffy stories outside of her own monthly. Rumor has it that a Buffy/Batman story is in the works?

Hey -- I think I pitched that one! I answered this question above -- we're discussing what kinds of books we can do in late 2003 into 2004 right now.

QUESTION: Any last words you'd like to leave our readers with?

Buy the comic! I have children to feed. And get more active posting on the various boards discussing the comic book -- or at least direct me to where the comic posting activity is! I love interacting with the readers.


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Comic Book Guide to Buffy


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Tales of the Slayers


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Joss Whedon's Fray


Comic Monster Guide
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Hellmouth Central
Hellmouth Central

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