Q: What is the Damned?

ObliqueReference: The Damned is a web comic based loosely on characters from the Jossverse. (Legal disclaimer: We're strictly non-profit. And the original Jossverse characters and concepts are still the intellectual property of Mr. Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy Inc. The rest is ours and the rights for those are reserved.)

Q: So tell me, Mr. Reference, what gave you the idea for The Damned?

ObliqueReference: Honestly, it was all my brain's fault. I'd fully intended on leaving all fan fiction behind when I managed to write a clever way out of a corner in "My Lazarus Stance". And it spurred this idea I had: If you had absolute knowledge that you were damned, that anything you did would be punished, what would be the force keeping you going? And I realized that it's uncertainty, and in its more celestial form, hope. And that question's forced my hand with this project.

Q: Do I have to read all your previous fanfics to be able to understand what's going on in The Damned?

ObliqueReference: It wouldn't hurt, and you'd be missing some of the nuances of the older relationships, but I suppose I could summarize them for you.

Q: So, why the change of format all of a sudden? Why comics?

ObliqueReference: Well, the first reason is just to do something different. I didn't see any point in making a series about a Damned Vampire slayer when the majority of fan fiction is just about happy endings and fuzzy puppies. Not that I'm against puppies. So I thought about what I wanted the series to feel like, and the more I did, the more I realized it was as visual as it was plot based....

Now, the second reason is that with the boom in web based comic books, there's a whole new way of telling stories being developed. I'm a comic book afficianado from way back, and I've always admired how a good comic book can layer meaning with words and pictures. Web based comics are just growing up, and I wanted in on the game.

Plus: cool.

Oh course, if I had my Druthers, I'd have had it be fully animated and voice acted, but some people just didn't think that was likely.

Q: So, what techniques are you going to use with the art?

ObliqueReference: Well, as that I'm the writer and primary artist, and a mediocre artist at that, I decided right off the bat that I needed some way to reliably produce scenes that looked good. (comic book will be continued without the use of poser for reasons explained in the site history)

Q: Mediocre artist, huh?

ObliqueReference: Well, not as good as I want to be. Luckily, the program Poser came to the rescue.

All the models are high-resolution, fully-detailed 3d models, and the textures are all amazingly detailed. So what I have, essentially, is a virtual set, with a virtual camera and virtual actors.

Q: Sounds like a big project for one guy?

ObliqueReference: Well, luckily I have people who are keeping me from collapsing in a pile of goo. Right now I have Frost working as my PR representative and my uber accurate editor.

Frost: And interviewer.

ObliqueReference: Right, that too. And the talented Wolf doing post-production art and web design.

Q: Okay... so... this is still fanfic?

ObliqueReference: Yes and no. Yes in the sense that I was inspired by the TV show Buffy and the characters to write stories involving the characters therin. No in the sense that the source of the comic, the inspiration, at this point, is so far removed from the events of the show, and so many of the characters are my own that its no longer derivative, at least, I hope not.

But how many people have been inspired by other artist's work to create their own, involving those characters?

Q: What of the Jossverse as we know it is going to be included?

ObliqueReference: I like to think of this as a slight offshoot of the Jossverse. The interesting thing, to me, about the Jossverse is that it seems confined to California, at least the detail work is.

This series is taking place in NYC, which has a whole history and culture that is a thousand times different from anything on the West Coast. I like seeing how vampires and demons who'd had centuries to adapt to America live.

Then I inject a pissed off slayer and watch her get all Payback on them.

Q: So, the Big Apple, huh?

ObliqueReference: Yeah. Cities just don't get more East Coast than that. And it's big enought that I can tell a whole story involving one neighborhood.

Q: Apart from Kennedy, are there any other old acquaintances among the characters?

ObliqueReference: Kennedy, a contoversial character, does form the base of the central cast. The other central characters are my own, but there are a few guest stars planned.

For example, in "My Lazarus Stance", I bring Tara back to life. So from time to time, Kennedy will make a phone call to Tara. Willow is slated to show up, and maybe even Faith.

Q: Yes, the thing we're dying to know, of course... Kennedy's in, as we know, but what about Willow? And Tara? Is there hope of seeing any of these three girls together again?

ObliqueReference: Well, to be honest, this first season is Kennedy's show. She's gone from a brash little brat to a woman who sacrificed literally the most precious thing to save the women she loves. And of course, a personality like that will attract other loves. Now will it be Willow or Tara? That would be telling.

Q: So no spoilers, huh?

ObliqueReference: Okay, maybe one. Kennedy, at some point, will get both parties in the same room with her. Where that conversation goes, well, you never know.

Q: You're such a tease, you know that?

ObliqueReference: It's part of my charm.

Q: What about the new characters? Who are they? Can you give any examples?

ObliqueReference: The first lot of characters you're gonna be introduced to are the people who live in Kennedy's apartment in The Village.

She has a pair of warring crazy religious ladies as her neighbors.They've been plotting the Second Coming since JFK was president, and neither wants the others plan to come to fruition. Of course, they're both crazy, so their plans involve tin foil helmets and wallpaper made of magazines

Q: Sounds rather... funny?

ObliqueReference: I'm a big fan of humor. If you can't laugh in the most serious situations, then you probably won't be able to handle it.

Of course, this is inspired by Buffy, Angel, and even Firefly, as well as a thousand other sources, but the thing that set those apart from every other crappy genre show was the humor. And every good book, movie, story, from Hamlet to The Godfather, has liberal doses of humor.

Q: "The Damned" sounds like a plural. Other people who are damned as well?

ObliqueReference: Well, yes. If you will, Kennedy does manage to get herself a little gang of her own. There are all kinds of damnation, and Kennedy's is just the most literal. Without revealing to much, all the other character have made choices that seem to curse them to one course of action.

Q: Sounds gloomy.

ObliqueReference: Well, to an extent, it is. But I think there's a far more positive message that can come out of it. after all, who knows what the future holds? In that sense, being Damned is just an illusion.

But then I have a crazy old lady and a group of bickering crime lords, so it's all good.

Q: So, when do we get to see all this? And how often will there be new episodes?

ObliqueReference: There's still a bit of work to do, but I'm slating it for a Summer release. It will be arranged in episodes, each one self contained to an extent, but all following a main arc. It will come out monthly.

Q: Let's say I'm really talented and willing to commit myself to a project like this and I have no life... d'you need help by any chance?

ObliqueReference: YES! Yes, I most definately do. As much as I'd like to think I can do it all by myself, I will need 3d Prop makers, set designers, and anyone with digital artistic talent. Although, I do want a high level of talent on board, so I do have to ask for some example of work. But I also will give out copies of my first script if you are on board, so it's a trade off... I'm trying to convince you this project is worth your time.

Q: So, is there anything you'd like to say to the audience?

ObliqueReference: I'm well known for doing some very unexpected things in my plots, and some of them make things get really dark, but I hope it's always worth your time. I'll see you all soon. Figuratively.