Joss Whedon bitten by the comic creating bug with 'Fray'

If you're Dark Horse Comics and it turns out that Joss Whedon, creator of the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" television series -- which has done quite well for you as a licensed comics franchise, incidentally -- says he wants to do a comic about a vampire-slaying girl, you let him. And, having done so, it turns out to be a pretty good decision.

"It's been tremendous, really," series editor Scott Allie told the Comic Wire on Friday. "We got more free publicity for this than anything we've done since I've been here. The magazines have been all over us. It's been great. When the book came out, I was instantly deluged with fan mail, and the thing sold out that weekend. We're going back to print on issue one, and I think this is the first time we've done a second printing of a comic since I've been here. The one other time may have been 'Buffy' #1, but I think that was some special printing. I'm not sure. Anyway, we're very excited about this book. It's opening a lot of doors, and retailers are telling us they have people coming in looking for it who've never been in a comics store before."

Some of the publicity for the book has seemed strangely circumspect about describing "Fray" as a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" tie-in, given that it's by the creator of "Buffy" and features, well, a vampire slayer girl. Allie clarified the situation, after a fashion.

"It depends on what you mean by tie-in. It's definitely the same universe, definitely connected. There is a subtle reference to Buffy in issue three. And it is all the same mythology. But we didn't want the Buffy logo on it, we didn't want to try to sell it as a Buffy book. It's a Joss Whedon book, and that seems to be selling it quite nicely."

And while Whedon is clearly a fan of comic books -- it's hard to miss the comic book references in the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" television shows -- "Fray" is his first time at bat as a comic creator himself. But you can consider Whedon bitten by the bug, though, and if readers want another "Fray" series, that's certainly possible.

"There's definitely chance of another one after these eight issues. We've talked about how to do it, what we'd do, but with four issues left to write, plus the Angel series to wrap up, we're trying not to get ahead of ourselves. We've also talked about a few other projects, a few other things we want to do which might precede another Fray series. She is popping up, though, in this fall's 'Tales of the Slayer' book."

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