San Diego, CA (August 19, 2010) – IDW Publishing today confirmed that it will launch the company’s final ANGEL story arc in November. IDW has published ANGEL comics since 2005, and this closing six-issue arc will serve as a bridge to Dark Horse Publishing, which will pick up the series in late 2011. Under the direction of BUFFY and ANGEL creator Joss Whedon, all parties are working together for as seamless a transition as possible. The companies have been coordinating storylines in both Dark Horse’s BUFFY and IDW’s ANGEL, creating a greater sense of cohesion and cooperation to ensure that this transition is true to both ongoing storylines and to the faithful fans of both series.
News of the upcoming change was recently revealed by Dark Horse Publishing, without coordination with IDW. “Dark Horse really regrets that this news was released before a joint statement from both companies was issued,” said Dark Horse Senior Editor Scott Allie. “Behind the scenes, we’d been working closely with IDW to ensure that the hand-off went smoothly. It was never our intent to catch ANGEL or IDW readers unaware. We’ve been working directly with Chris, Mariah and Brian on the interaction and the overlap between the storylines, and we think it’s gonna be a lot of fun for everyone.”
IDW’s ANGEL #39 is the first step in this closer co-existence. The issue introduces new series writers David TischmanANGEL: BARBARY COAST ) and his TRUE BLOOD co-writer, Mariah Huehner, who kick off IDW’s final six-part storyline entitled “The Wolf, The Ram & The Heart,” which should give fans a good indication of just who the final tale’s “big bad” will be. Longtime ANGEL readers know just how big and how bad Wolfram & Hart can be. Issue #39 is also an excellent jumping on point for new readers, as it begins a new storyline for Angel and his crew.
Chris Ryall, IDW’s Chief Creative Officer said, “We’ve loved the half-decade of publishing the exploits of both ANGEL, and the fan support has been truly inspiring and appreciated. The fact that steps are being taken by both companies to tie the books more closely together is something I’ve long wanted to do. This will not only ensure a smooth hand-off back to Dark Horse, it will also give the fans a cohesive storyline and explain some of the lingering questions they might have. While I hate to see Angel go, I know Joss has a vision for where things are headed and I’m excited to be a part of that.”
Starting in October, Brian Lynch and Franco Urru’s ongoing SPIKE series furthers the coordinated storylines. Not only does BUFFY “Scooby Team” member Willow appear in an upcoming issue of SPIKE, but the series will also explain how Spike appeared in BUFFY in a spaceship accompanied by giant alien bugs.
In addition to the storylines being told in ANGEL and SPIKE, November’s ILLYRIA miniseries by Scott Tipton and ongoing ANGEL artist Elena Casagrande will offer further ties with the two ongoing series, even as it vastly complicates the life of its title character.
Added Ryall, “I have nothing but good memories of our time managing Angel’s affairs. ANGEL was one of the first series I worked on upon joining IDW, and it introduced me to the great David Messina, who’s gone on to tackle the sexy vampires of TRUE BLOOD for us. David, Franco, [ANGEL artist] Elena Casagrande, along with Stephen Mooney, John Byrne and writers like Jeff Mariotte, Lynch, Tipton, Tischman, Juliet Landau and so many other talented folk… it’s truly been one of the most rewarding rides I’ve had at IDW. I trust that the license will be in good hands with Dark Horse.
“I know change is hard for fans – and us publishers, too,” Ryall continued, “but I want to remind everyone that we’re still going strong and have big plans for ANGEL well into 2011. Another point in our favor here is that the reversion nevertheless allows us to keep all of our Angel books in print long after we’ve stopped releasing new ANGEL comics. So the news might be surprising but the fact is, the stories you’ve loved aren’t going away any time soon. We’ve still got one last, big year to come, and we’ll fight the good fight until the end. Angel wouldn’t have it any other way.”
ANGEL #39 ($3.99, 32 pages, full color) will be available in stores in November. Diamond order code SEP10 0373.
SPIKE #1 ($3.99, 32 pages, full color) will be available in stores on October 13th. Diamond order code AUG10 0331.
ILLYRIA #1 (of 4, $3.99, 32 pages, full color) will be available in stores in November. Diamond order code SEP10 0368. (