On October 5th 1999, the first episode of Angel – the spin-off to Buffy the Vampire Slayer – aired on the WB. The television show ran for five seasons and ended with a bang – or at least with a dragon – on May 19th 2004. The story continued in comic book form, including Angel: After the Fall (IDW Publishing), Angel & Faith Season 9 and Angel & Faith Season 10 (Dark Horse Comics). While the show has received critical attention in the form of journal articles in Slayage: The Journal of Whedon Studies, Critical Studies in Television, Refractory, and Intensities: The Journal of Cult Media, as well as a small number of books, the series has never received the same level of critical attention as its parent-text Buffy as well as other Whedon/Mutant Enemy texts. Yet its aesthetic hybridity and horror pedigree, as well as its preoccupation with themes of redemption, masculinity, corporate evil, apocalypse, and the need to keep fighting the good fight in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, make it increasingly relevant. More so than ever, Angel’s epiphany ‘If nothing you do matters, then all that matters is what you do’ speaks to the contemporary reality of our socio-political landscape.
The show’s 20th anniversary in 2019 is an ideal opportunity to reflect once again upon Angel, not only in terms of its significance as a series, but also the legacy and influence of the show, in terms of content, theme, and personnel. The editors of this special issue – Stacey Abbott and Simon Brown – thus invite proposals for papers on any aspect of Angel the television series and/or its comic-book spin-offs. As Angel tells his team as they face a horde of demons and monsters ‘Let’s go to work’.
Proposals may include, but are not restricted to:
- Aesthetics and production contexts
- Discussions of direction, editing, music, set design, and sound
- Representations of the city
- Examinations of key themes such as: masculinity, redemption, apocalypse, and/or Corporate Evil
- Issues of gender
- Angel as apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic fiction
- Angel and genre (comedy, horror, Film Noir, melodrama)
- The Angel finale
- Angel in relation to other Whedon texts
- Angel in relation to other vampire TV series (True Blood, Vampire Diaries, The Originals, The Strain, Penny Dreadful)
- Angel and TV Horror
- The legacy of the sympathetic/reluctant vampire
- Angel: After the Fall, Angel & Faith, and other comics
- Legacy of the creators of Angel (e.g. Joss Whedon, David Greenwalt, Jim Kouf, Tim Minear, Jane Espenson, Steven DeKnight, Ben Edlund, Drew Goddard, Jeffrey Bell, Elizabeth Craft, Sarah Fain, Marita Grabiak)
- Legacy of the cast
Please send a 200-300 word proposal and a short bio by the 15th January 2018 to Stacey Abbott (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Simon Brown (email@example.com). Decisions will be made, and everyone will be notified, by the 12th February 2018. If your proposal is accepted please note that a first draft will be due by the 29th June 2018.