Here for the first interview with Fabian
Fabian Nicieza was the writer of the original
Buffy the Vampire Slayer monthly
series from Dark Horse, as well as the one-shot
from summer '02, Lost and Found. Just as the
monthly series was wrapping up, the Comic Book Guide managed to catch
up with Fabian one more time to ask him what wasin
store for the end of the monthly and the future of
the Buffy comic.
QUESTION: As everyone has
probably heard by now, the Buffy monthly, as we
know it, is winding down... why Fabian, why?! Why
drive a stake through our hearts (no pun intended)
and end the monthly right after the television show
That's a question I've asked my editor time and
again!! Seriously, Dark Horse makes publishing
decisions that are logical for them. If they decide
one-shots and limited series make a better
publishing program for BUFFY right now,
that's their choice. I just hope to continue to be
involved in the creative process.
QUESTION: What's been the
fan reaction to your work on Buffy? Have they liked
the new direction you took Buffy in?
Overall, I think it's been positive. It's a tougher
barometer to gauge it against that stories that are
clearly set during the show's seven year run, since
you are exploring the characters in different
Something Buffy might do or say in our Year One
arc could easily be "out of character," because
it's taking place before the character most readers
and viewers are familiar with had fully developed
Besides the fact that the monthly is exploring an
area no one has bothered to explore before (Buffy:
Year One), what makes your run on Buffy different
than previous Buffy scribes?
I think exactly because of that fact our stories
are different. I mean, it's like asking aside from
the fact that your status quo is completely
different than what everyone else has done, how is
your status quo different?
Exploring a rookie Slayer at a point where she
really hadn't accepted her role, indeed, barely
even knew she had a role, makes it fertile,
QUESTION: What do you like
the best about working on Buffy, than on
I like visualizing the comic I'm working on AS a TV
episode, trying to see if it work -- does it have
strong Act Breaks, good pacing, good dialogue,
QUESTION: Why wasn't the
'Year One' project made into a maxi-series, rather
than take over the monthly for a full year; so we
could've gotten a healthy dose of early Buffy and
current Buffy from seasons six and
I think it was just a refreshing change of pace.
Since we all knew the Seventh Season would most
likely be the last one, it would have been tougher
for us to set our comic continuity within the
context of what was occurring in S-7 since we would
have had to tread SO lightly around the inevitable
conclusions. This way, while the show was ending,
we could have fun and express unlimited potential
by showing the Beginning.
QUESTION: After the
monthly ends, what do
you recommend we do with our measly $2.50?
Buy HAWKEYE in October and
CABLE/DEADPOOL in November.
QUESTION: How have you
enjoyed writing the Buffy monthly? How has it
differed from previous scribe work, such as the
I enjoyed it a lot. Scott and I had an odd working
relationship in that after #50, we were practically
working solo on the book. I did the majority of the
work on Viva Las Buffy, he did the majority
on Slayer Interrupted, now A Stake
[To] The Heart is all me.
The ideas that both Scotts (Lobdell and Allie)
brought to the table fueled the entire "Pre-Season
One" run and I thought it was very fresh, fertile
ground to cover.
Every book is different. When writing X-Men way
back when, I had to get that buzzing sound of Chris
Claremont's voice out of my head. I mean, they were
"his" characters and it was "his" book, and it took
me a while to figure out how to accommodate that
reality with the reality that I was writing the
book now. On Buffy, I didn't want to get Joss
Whedon's voice (or that of the writing staff) out
of my head because in order for Buffy to click, it
had to have that signature cadence of dialogue,
mood, tone, etc.
Combining that with the fact we were writing a
younger Buffy than we've seen for a while now made
for a fun challenge.
Let's talk about "A Stake to the Heart." Buffy's
about to face the darkest chapter of her life yet:
her parent's divorce. Solicitations show that by
the climax, she's ready to give up on her life. How
on earth are you going to bring her back to that
light-hearted, breezy Buffy self that she displayed
at the beginning of the cult favorite television
I wouldn't say that by the end she's ready to "give
up on her life." I would say that the entire
process is a journey. The demons in the story
reflect the natural moods one goes through when
dealing with a parents' divorce and just as
traumatic, a move to a new town.
Though creepy, eerie and downright depressing,
I'd have to say that ultimately, the story arc is
very emotionally uplifting as well. It's about
working your way through emotional tragedy and
climbing up the ladder towards a better frame of
QUESTION: What gave you
the idea for the "Blackshed" sub-plot running
through "Viva Las Buffy" and "Slayer,
wanted to do something fun with Giles. Something
that bridged the gap a bit between what
(shamefully) little we've seen of his past and the
"stuffy" Giles we saw in Season One. I wanted Giles
to confront those issues himself and thought facing
his "inner demons," analogous to a lot of what
Buffy was going through when first becoming the
Slayer, would make for an interesting subplot.
QUESTION: Is "Stake" the
final arc of the monthly or do you have any final
aces rolled up your sleeves?
I think it's the last arc. Anytime they say they
want to do more, well, just tell me when in the
series continuity we want it to be set and I'm
ready to rock and roll!
QUESTION: Are there any
future Buffy projects you're involved in or know
about and would like to share with the
Not currently, but we've discussed the possibility
of things for the future.
QUESTION: What's your next
project after Buffy?
Two new monthly series from Marvel. A
HAWKEYE solo low-spandex, high-noir
crime-adventure book in October with Stefano
Rafaelle, who did The Blackburne Covenant
with me at Dark Horse. And a madcap,
action-philosophy buddy book, CABLE/DEADPOOL
coming in November with artist Mark Brooks.
Both are fun, tasty treats that are also good
QUESTION: Were there any
Buffy stories that you still wanted to tell, but
never got to?
Only about seventy eight. Eventually...
Of all your Buffy arcs, which has been your
favorite and for what reasons?
"A Stake Through the Heart," our current storyline
is my favorite, mostly for selfish reasons, because
I'm not co-writing it, but also because the kinds
of stories we tried to tell were very different.
Creepy and moody, closer in tone and feel to "The
Body" or "Hush" that to the average
QUESTION: Who's been your
favorite character to work with?
I like them all. I enjoyed writing a younger Buffy,
I liked exploring the previously unexplored
character of Pike, I liked writing Whistler, who is
a fun wise-ass and was played by Max Perlich, an
actor I've always enjoyed. I liked writing Dawn,
mostly just because everyone else doesn't!
QUESTION: Which Buffy
story-arc did you enjoy (either monthly or special)
that you were not involved with?
I loved the TALES OF THE SLAYERS stuff that
the series writers worked on.
QUESTION: So far, we've
been treated to a guest full of cameos including
Quentin Travers, Whistler, Cordelia, Willow and
more. What other familiar faces will be popping up?
Any Principal Flutie?
In the last arc we will see Principle Flutie, we'll
also see Harmony and Cordelia, Jessie, Xander,
Willow and some others.
QUESTION: If you were able
to do a team-up between Buffy and another comics
superhero, who would it be and why?
I think Buffy and Batman would be fun for obvious
reasons. I would enjoy Buffy and Dr. Strange, just
cause he'd have that whole Gile-Watcher vibe going.
Buffy and Witchblade could be cool.
And of course, Buffy and Speedball, just because
he'd spend all his time hitting on her and she
could beat the crap out of him and he'd always
bounce back for more!
If you had the power to decide Buffy's future
post-"Chosen", what would you do with her and the
rest of the Scoobies?
Well, if you follow the real life analogies they
established for the show's pacing, they've all
technically "graduated college," so it's tIme to
grow up and "get real jobs."
Sometimes, that means separating from longtime
I'd have lots of the Scoobies serving as
Watchers for new Slayers all over the world. I'd
have Buffy enjoying a bit of a peaceful time, maybe
training new Slayers in a "school/monastery" type
situation. And I'd have Faith out in the field
cruising town to town on her Harley and kicking
QUESTION: Are you happy
with the way the BUFFY TV show ended? Are you happy
that it ended now, and didn't go into its eighth
I think from a character and story content, it
could have gone on forever, but I also think they
chose to end it at a good time. There were some
things about the last season I thought were great,
some not so great. I did enjoy the final episodes
that led to an entertaining and potentially
unlimited new status quo.
QUESTION: In five years
from now, where do you see yourself
Answering e-mail interview questions about some
project or another
QUESTION: Fabian, it was
great to have you again, and I will end this
interview much in the same way I did with the
previous one, "Any last words you'd like to leave
If you haven't tried the monthly Buffy material,
check out the tradepaperbacks. If you want my kids
to eat and live happy, healthy lives, buy my new
books from Marvel.
Book Guide to Buffy
of the Slayers