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Joss Whedon & Erika Alexander Send Buffy’s Giles Back to School

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Joss Whedon & Erika Alexander Send Buffy’s Giles Back to School

What can you share about Giles’ “mysterious new friend” Roux?

Alexander: Roux is a student attending Living Legend Academy and Charter School and she’s got a secret. Well, she’s got lots of secrets. As a self-proclaimed “Watcher” she spends her day guarding her ward and she’s a bit of a busy body, so she’ll clash with Giles’ investigation. Roux has survived a tragic, complicated past and now she spends her time ruminating on how to survive the future and can she get a date to the prom. In that way Giles and Roux are two of a kind.

Will other main Buffyverse characters appear in this series?

Alexander: Yes, beautiful Willow will make a cameo. She’s Giles confidante and connection to his other life. She reminds him that while sailing the ocean he should be careful not to fall over the edge.

Artist Jon Lam is a newcomer to the Buffyverse. What made him the right fit for this series?

Alexander: Jon’s work rocks and he has a beautiful sense and sensibility for story. That’s a killer recipe.

Do you think about Anthony Stewart Head when you write young Giles?

Alexander: I do. As Giles, Anthony did a wonderful portrayal and he is beloved, but I for this project think of Joss more. I mean, isn’t he the original template for the character Giles? Joss’ dry sense of humor, quick intelligence, shyness, and self-deprecating existential battles are charming and make a rich palette for my ear. So, that’s a lot of who this young Giles is now.

Is adult Giles in his teenage body a spin on when adult Giles reverted back to his teenage self in the show in “Band Candy”?

Alexander: Joss would have to answer that, but that’s a great guess.

Whedon: Not really. Giles in “Band Candy” was a teen in an adult body. Here he’s the opposite, a 50-something guy in an even younger teen’s body. The fun here is, his mind knows way too much, but his hormonal little body is calling way more of the shots than he’s been used to for a while. When we’re out of that phase we think we remember it, but the physical and mental taffy-stretching-machine of adolescence is something you have to be feeling to truly understand. We make it an origin story after the fact: how I came to be me. During… well, it is an origin story, but it’s the falling-in-a-vat-of-radioactive-acid kind.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Giles #1 interior art by Jon Lam and Dan Jackson

In terms of look and personality, Giles would probably be considered a nerd in school. Any possibility of a story about bullying? I imagine that his knowledge and experience would make him the wrong kid to pick on.

Alexander: Hey, maybe you should write this series, because you’re right on time! [Laughs] Yes, bullying does come up in this high school, as it would any. But our Giles is uniquely armed to handle it. Imagine, you get to go back to school as your young self with your adult mind? Boo-yah! Now deja vu becomes foresight. Dude, it’s Freaky Friday meets the Matrix with an 8-Ball. Sweet.

Being a big fan of classic rock and a guitarist, what’s the likelihood of Giles starting a garage band in high school?

Alexander: The 8-Ball says, “Not so likely,” at least in this iteration. But a Giles Playlist is embedded in this series, so that’s something.

Whedon: I thought no one did that any more, but my son’s in a band and he and his friends are voraciously listening to all the old stuff. So, I guess it’s a real possibility. Of course, Giles would be insufferably exacting and his band mates would constantly be quitting.

RELATED: Joss Whedon Is Writing A New Buffy The Vampire Slayer Comic

Is there any possibility of that Ripper spinoff series still happening?

Alexander: Joss, are you listening? We’re all hoping. Ruminating.

Whedon: I will never give up hope on that one. And Tony seems to be getting younger in real life, too…

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Giles #1 is scheduled for release on Feb. 28.

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