Dark Horse artist Georges Jeanty wrapped up his visit to Sac-Con at the Scottish Rite Center in Sacramento with a question-and-answer session with fans. He gave a history of his career, some insights about his process, and a little clue on what’s coming in the new Serenity mini-series.
(Note: some spoilers below) He recalled how he started drawing for the series in 2007, after Joss approached Dark Horse with creating more adventures of the Slayer. Jeanty said he approached the project “like a love letter he (Joss) was writing to this girl that he was still in love with.”
However, he had never watched the show, and went through a lot of DVDs to familiarize himself. He asked many questions, like how strong Buffy really is, a subject that hadn’t been discussed much.
“He got back and he said ‘yeah, you know, I thought about that a lot. We never had to prove it,” he said, “’but I always saw Buffy as being more Spider-Man strength. She could probably lift a car, but it would really strain her to actually put it over her head, and she probably couldn’t throw it very far if it ever went to that extent.’” Jeanty said that’s why Joss liked creating new seasons of Buffy in comic form because it would allow him to do things, like Dawn suddenly becoming a giant, that he couldn’t do on a TV show.
“I always tell Joss that you didn’t create a show, you created a family,” he said. “Having done Buffy and done a lot of these, people come up to me just feel the need to tell me how it changed her life or their lives.” He also talked about travelling to conventions and meeting some of the cast, including Tom Lenk, Nick Brendon, Julie Benz, Elizabeth Rohm and Juliet Landau. He recalled that at a con in Paris, someone was afraid to approach Juliet with a bouquet, because she plays a scary vampire so well.
He took a little credit for convincing Felicia Day to turn her webseries The Guild into a comic-book. He had met her as she was getting season two produced. He even offered to do the covers for free. Of course, Dark Horse did turn her show to a comic book.
He also recalled how Joss approached him to do season nine of Buffy. Joss told him he would write for that season, but wasn’t sure what would happen to Angel after he killed Giles while possessed by a demon. Jeanty had an idea.
“You know what you should do? He should not be convinced that Giles is dead. So he has to go on a quest, or something, to bring Giles back because he thinks he can do it.” Joss asked if he means resurrecting Giles, and Jeanty said it was. That led to the Angel and Faith series.
Jeanty says sometimes there are times when he disagrees with some story ideas. When Joss decided that Buffy would have a lesbian fling with fellow slayer Satsu in 2008, Jeanty said he learned about it at a luncheon in San Diego with Dark Horse editors Scott Allie and Sierra Hahn. He admitted he was skeptical about it.
“If you’re going to want me to draw this issue, you’re going to have to explain it to me how that could actually happen.” He had the same reaction to the decision to kill Giles at the end of season eight, but he understood Joss’ argument that, at a pragmatic point of view, Giles had become unnecessary. Of course, he was resurrected as a 12 year old towards the end of the Angel and Faith series.
Jeanty is currently illustrating a new Serenity comic book series. He’s finished the first issue and is working on the second and third issues. This experience is different because he’s already a fan of Firefly. The new series would be set several months after the movie, and Zoe is close to giving birth to Wash’s child. He says the crew is the same as they were in the movie …except for Inara.
While Jeanty admits he sometimes have problems getting the likenesses of familiar characters just right, he gets the characters down cold. He uses Xander as an example.
“Whenever he’s making a point, he’s always using his fingers…or he’s crossing his arms.”
Willow, meanwhile, acts a bit nervous, while Buffy has her head down when she makes a point.
“Those little subtleties, I will say, I’m very proud that I brought to the comic book”, he said, because I thought this is what makes the character. I may not nail the likeness but I will nail that character trait of whoever it was I was doing.”
He also likes to add little pop culture references here and there, like two people who look a lot like the Ninth Doctor and Rose in one of the Angel and Faith issues.
To find out more about Jeanty, you can visit his website called the Kaba Lounge, which includes a blog, gallery of sketches and photos, and a store where you can buy original art, sketch books and t-shirts.