A new Angel comic book mini-series (from IDW, rather than Dark Horse), Angel: The Curse, picks up after the end of the TV series.

In this first issue of a new Angel tale, Angel has survived the conclusion of his TV show and finds himself in a mysterious Romanian forest. There, his search for the Gypsy tribe that cursed him years ago takes a turn for the worse.

I suspect we’ll get a “once out of the pit…” explanation (i.e. no explanation at all) and the cliffhanger’s resolution will remain open for Joss to deal with in a movie-of-the-week or something.

But what galls me is that the book is supposed to have four covers. OK, one variant every once in a while is nice, and I can even go for Dark Horse’s early efforts to have one drawn cover and one photo cover to get the newsstand audience (is there such a thing anymore?)… but the only reason to do four covers for one book is to get collectors to buy four copies. It was an insulting gimmick in the early 1990s, and it annoys me that the practice never quite went away. Worse, TV Guide took it mainstream. I guess we’ll know we’re in trouble when Time or National Geographic starts doing multiple collectors’ covers.


When it comes to serial entertainment, everything will end at some point. I’m sure even Superman and Spider-Man comics will cease someday. A show can end before or after it’s run out of things to say, but it’s worst when it hasn’t finished speaking.

We’ve all seen shows that kept going long after, by any rights, they should have been cancelled. Is there any doubt that Voyager only lasted 7 years because it was Star Trek, on a studio-owned network, and the previous two Treks had also run that long? “The Far Side” and “Calvin and Hobbes” ended while the artists were at the top of their form. Compare that to “Peanuts,” whose last 20 years were hardly worth reading, or the new “Opus” from Berkeley Breathed (although it does have its moments). Continue reading

Miss two weeks and they pull the rug out from under you:

…the cast, crew, writers and producers of Angel deserve to be able to wrap up the series in a way befitting a classic television series and that is why we went to Joss to let him know that this would be the last year of the series on The WB

At least the WB had the decency to let them know in time to do some sort of wrap-up, unlike the way certain other shows were treated by channels that shall not be named.

Unfortunately we live in a world where the offbeat has to make way for the mainstream. I don’t care if the WB puts up some new “reality” show, as long as I can find the kind of shows I like to watch. With so many hundreds of cable and satellite stations available, you’d think there’d be room for shows like VR.5 and Crusade.

Still, Angel managed five years, which is pretty damn respectable – especially in the modern era of cancelling shows without even airing half a season.

Joss Whedon sums up the perils of producing anything that strays too far from the beaten path:

“Two roads diverged in a wood,
and I took the road less traveled by
I totally shoulda took the road
that had all those people on it.