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Clan-Building #3: Invitation Only

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Nate Grey writes...

Issue #3, Wow ... anywho. Cuddos on the late this time (one month). I'm loving the comic book, I'm just concerned what the other people would think if they knew I bought the last issue :( . Alas poor Jason, we knew him well, but a toss up for Morgan Morgan (some name), asking out Elisa wow. And was that anger in Goliath's voice with "LIMITED?!". I honestly forgot about Delila and thought Elisa was talking about Demona (the next page, who knew?) "Thirty-six, Thirty-two" what kind of greeting is that from the Fishing Lord. Did Elisa get invited to the ball, or was Xanatos expecting Goliath to bring her? (I think he might have a thing for her). And last but not least, who is the new girl that is in the laberynth,my "Amazing Spider-sense" is telling me that her name might be important. Also, howmuch leeway do you have for violence?

Greg responds...

So far I've been allowed to do everything I want, violence-wise. I'm not an ultra-violence kinda guy though, so...

Response recorded on April 30, 2007

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Shannon 'Shan' Muir writes...

Greg, you said in regard to another response to issue 3 -- "To answer your question, I generally view each issue of the comic as being equivalent to one act of an episode. This is not a hard and fast rule, but it seems to be how things are breaking down. I was able to fit my adaptation of "The Journey" into two issues because the first issue had extra pages. But normally, I'll need three issues to do MOST stories justice. (Three acts to a TV episode = three issues of the comic.) Or so it seems. I'll admit that I'm still thinking TOO MUCH in TV terms."

I have to say it's a relief to hear you say you recognize this this because this was precisely my reaction to Issue 3. It felt like an Act 1, all story setup, which is precisely why I can't really make a review on it. Personally, I wouldn't want anyone judging my whole 22 minute episode on just seeing the first act, so why would I do the same?

Though this also opens the door for me to bring up another concern of mine.

Both issues 1 and 2 have things in them that feel like subplots, so that each issue within the arc has some sort of beginning, middle, and end within itself. In Issue 1, the subplot is Vinnie and will he or won't he join the Quarrymen. There's that 'climax' if you will in the few panels when he comes to tell Castaway about the job in Japan and it becomes a will-he-or-won't-he moment (even though his story continues to issue 2, that's the real place where a choice is presented). In Issue 2, the suplot turns to Elisa, where the will-she-or-won't-she question becomes one of how will she respond to Goliath in the aftermath of being attacked before going on the date.

Issue 3 does not have this, as far as I can tell. We track Elisa for a while as she's given input about her relationship (Morgan's shock at not knowing she had someone, Jason encouraging her to have the best relationship possible), makes a decision to see other people, and the natural question becomes will-she-or-won't she start to act on this herself or will she back out. However, the rest of the issue switches to GOLIATH'S POV, providing no sense of resolution within the issue itself and leaving a sense of incompleteness. I am concerned what impact this would leave on anyone reading #3 as a first issue, would they feel they got their money's worth for an individual issue? Not being one myself, I honestly don't know.

As a former student, it's not easy to express concerns to someone who once taught me, especially in such a public forum but this is the only way I know you want to discuss this. Overall, I personally do enjoy what you're doing. But I know you have larger goals (especially regarding readership) and I'm concerned they're not being met as efficiently as maybe they could. I feel the need to at least express those concerns, but ultimately I respect that it is your story.

Greg responds...

Well... I don't think I'm doing anything much different there than the other comics I've been reading recently. There's no pretense that issue #3 tells a complete story. (And I think you are really STRETCHING things, saying that #1 or #2 does either.) The issue opens with a radio announcer saying don't worry about any garg saying trick or treat and ends with a garg saying trick or treat that you should really be worried about. For me that presents a level of closure (or at least open-ended closure) that appeals and is satisfying. But you're right, it may not work for everyone. But I can't try to make my stuff work for everyone. I ONLY try to make it work FOR ME. (With a bit of common sense thrown in.) If it works for me, I have hopes it'll work for enough people to make the book a success. If it doesn't work for me, than I feel there's no chance of success for anyone.

So I write to please myself.

Response recorded on April 26, 2007

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Orange Soda writes...

This is my first submission, though I've been reading the site for a few years now (I love the rambles).

Anyway, regarding this thirty-six, thirty-two business that you've been dodging... Would I be correct in assuming that this protocol (or whatever it is) wasn't in place in the year 975 AD (as depicted in "Vows")?

Secondly, there's a kid running around in the underground (also from issue 3) with a G on his T-shirt in the style of the Superman "S". Is there some significance in that that you intended ("Gargoyles", "Greg Weisman is Superman", etc) or is it a little flourish that was added in the art phase that you didn't know about?

Greg responds...

Nothing is safe to assume.

The artist added the "G", but I liked it.

Response recorded on April 25, 2007

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Matthew writes...

I read issue #3. I'm just so glad that Gargoyles is back. I can't wait to find out what Thailog is up to and what Demona is going to do with that gem. I thought the conversation between Elisa and Goliath was heart rendering. I remember reading a review that called it a kick in the shins to the readers (the reviewer also did not seem to understand that by definition of the work different species can't interbreed). I don't think so because A) I doubt it's permanent B) it is very natural for Elisa to want normalcy (it's normal to want to be normal). I do want to know how it's played out and what will turn Elisa around. The only problem I had was with the review with the origins of the clones, but I realize that was a necessary evil. The two characters who were discussing it are we going to see more of them.

Greg responds...

You will see more of Al and his new friend.

Response recorded on April 25, 2007

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Sabina writes...

My comicdealer seemed to have anticipated my needs or maybe Gargoyles is just of interest in Germany, too, I got the third issue Saturday.

It's nice to see the new stories and I'm eagerly waiting to see where this goes.

But there were also a couple of things I didn't like:
- The wings, in quite a few pictures they are just to small, especially one panel in issue 2 has Goliath with wings that wouldn't even support Lexington
- Hacker, I just don't like the secret worldspanning grey emminence organisation thing, and I despise Hacker in particular. That's a topic I have to deal with, well, one can't have everything, I'm sure the Pack will be back, too, sometime, and I don't like them either.
- I have the feeling that you are too fast, the comic reads kind a nervous, jumping madly from one scene to the next. Partially that feeling is probably due to me reading Japanese comics who by their very nature seem too have a slower pace and take more panels or space to develop a scene. There is one thing I found particulary weird, that's the Goliath/Elisa thing, just at the end the end of the series we had the first acknowledgement of feelings, the first two comics had Elisa making herself pretty and a botched up date and suddenly we are at: "I didn't want to talk to you, because I didn't want to hurt you, but I want something different." Where did that come from, I never got the feeling that Elisa felt that way or wanted a standard family. The whole thing came out of the blue, while the text implies that is has been brewing for some time from Elisa''s side, would she really have gone through all the trouble witht he nice dress from the first two issues when she already had these deep rooted reservations? It seems like there is missing some back story or Elisa is somewhat fickle.

Ah, ok, I'm done ranting and will go back to winter sleep till the next issue is out.

Greetings,
Sabina

Greg responds...

Once again, I'm going to strive to let the Elisa/Goliath story stand on it's own and not get all defensive. I'm sorry it didn't work for you. All I'll say is that it fits my interpretation of Elisa's character, and I've been thinking about her for a LONG time.

Response recorded on April 23, 2007

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Gabriel writes...

Hey Greg
Congrats on getting caught up with the que (at least for the moment).

Picked up Issues 2 and 3 today. (almost missed them, as Golden Apple had them in the Kids section while I was expecting them to be in the Alterntaive section, but I found them, so all is well).

Anyway I love the image on the last page! I'm hoping for a few rockin' panels of Talon vs. Thailog in issue 4, seeing as how they are 2 of my favorite characters, both visually and psychologicaly.
There were quite a few references to series history, most I caught, but for a few I had to really dredge though my memory (and the ask greg archives) to get them, since I haven't seen any of the second half of season 2 since it aired. (and yes I am spreading the word about both the comic and the DVD's that are out in the continuing hope that the sales numbers will reach the levels BVHV requires for that last set to be released.)

I love the Illuminati machinations that you're setting up. I always enjoy "wheels within wheels".

Okay here's a question since this is "Ask Greg":
Are the comic sales numbers reaching levels that will ensure production beyond the "Clan Building" arc? The greenlight for "Bad Guys" makes me think that numbers are doing good, but I don't want to take anything for granted. Especially after many of us blindly assumed we'd get Season 2 vol. 2.

One final note- You've had a rather expensive influence on my DVD impulse buying habits. I picked up Ben 10 season 1 on DVD having seen none of the show, solely on your recomendation at the Gathering last year. Totally worth it, by the way. I also picked up Gummi Bears Vol. 1, but that was an equal part personal nostalgia as much as that series influence on you for Gargoyles.

Anyway keep up the good work, looking forward to future issues of Gargoyles.

Oh also congrats on the Spider-Man gig, I'm totally stoked for that series! (Are you gonna set up a place to ask you about that series so we don't bog down this site with non-Garg questions? like that one :) )

Ciao,
Gabriel

Greg responds...

I know I'm not totally caught up (again), but I don't feel too bad about it now. 65 messages, only a few weeks behind. We're at least in the ballpark. But managing one ASK GREG site is plenty. So Spider-Questions'll have to come here as well.

I don't know how we're doing sales-wise, to be honest. I think the phrase "don't take anything for granted" is wise. I don't think we're in any immediate danger of cancellation, but it seems to me that this is a business of fairly thin margins.

Response recorded on April 23, 2007

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Ntripy writes...

It is so awesome to finally have a new story in my hands, too good.

The first panel is a little confusing. Why would X and F have an invitation to their own party on the desk? Or was that an invite they sent to the Pres which he has sent back with his own invite?

The colors of the seal change on the next page and the invite now has a red section, weird.

I like the contrast of the panel with the announcer saying, "--but it's not like the beasties can talk, right?" while Alex says, "Doggie!" in a Gargoyles costume.

I'm surprised that Elisa would go along with Matt saying, "My taskforce. My rules." I mean since he's introducing her as his partner, shouldn't it be "our"?

Great to see some new characters as well as Hacker, gotta love Hacker! He's hacking into everyone's operation.

I was disappointed to only see Goliath in stone sleep, but I thought the art for the awakenings was really good.

Brooklyn doesn't get many lines and he didn't used to fold his wings like that unless he was wearing a jacket.

The Illuminati ring changes in appearance from when Hacker shows his F.B.I. id to when he takes it off. First it looks like a triangle with one horizontal line within it, making a smaller triangle with an eye inside. Then, when he takes it off, it seems to have three horizontal lines within it. Could this be Fox's enchanted jewelry?

I also think the girl in the Labyrinth is Elisa, just checking that Goliath does try with Delilah. And Goliath asks Delilah after he picks up Elisa's scent, and realizes she's there watching.
That's probably wrong, but it seems too weird to me that Goliath would ask out a being that he knows has been programmed and probably doesn't have enough awareness to even know what she is agreeing to.
If Brooklyn hadn't seen Goliath ask her out and then asked her out himself, she probably would have given the same response that she gave Goliath, "If that is your wish..."

Castaway saying, "no hammers" suggests he doesn't have much confidence in his own men to distinguish between a real garg and a human in a costume. A bit like his inability to distinguish between a monster and an intelligent being.

On the second last page Al is talking to the new girl when the alarms sound and he runs off, there is a strange image left in his place, is that just meant to be someone's shadow?

THAILOG!!! Yay, Thailog looks cool and pretty pleased about his, "Trick or treat?" one liner. As someone else mentioned, it does look like he is wearing a mask like the one Xanatos had on his desk, just part of Thailog's joke I guess. And I don't think he has fired a shot just yet, those lasers are from the sites at the top of the gun, not from the barrel itself.

With so many characters involved, this issue felt like The Gathering (but of the first and second races) or City of Stone. It has a lot going on but did not feel rushed and left me hanging for the next iss. Great work, keep it up.

Greg responds...

Um... I don't know about you, but I always keep a copy of my own invitations. Gotta remember what exactly I invited people to. Or, to be honest, just like to have a copy.

Matt and Elisa are partners, but (a) Matt outranks her and (b) he's been put in charge of the Taskforce.

Response recorded on April 20, 2007

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Phoenician writes...

Hey Greg! Finally found the time to submit my tale/review on Clan Building: III - "Invitation Only." (I did a shorter version in the CR already).

Frankly, I was pretty anxious if I was going to be lucky enough to grab it on March 28, 2007, the day of the release. With the last two issues, the timing worked just right where I was able to buy them at my local comic book store in Phoenix. However, this issue was coming out while I was still at school in Los Angeles. Thus, I had to find a new comic shop QUICK. So the MINUTE I found out the release date, I asked anybody I knew if they had a reliable comic shop - and with a stroke of luck one of my buddies down the hallway in the dorm told me he went to one nearby for years, and was willing to give me a ride!

As I entered the shop, I rushed toward the wall where it said "New Releases" -- with a panic in my eyes when I DID NOT SEE IT!! Then a split second later, my good friend taps my shoulder and shows me a giant table where they place the new releases just released for all the customers to see . . . and right there, in the front of them all, was five or six copies of "Invitation Only." I snatched one quite quickly and ran to the register. My friend was quite amused by my giddyness (I've actually been showing him my Garg DVDs and we're currently at the point of "Protection").

I was able to restrain myself not to read my copy during the ride back so that I could thank him a bunch

Personally, I'm quite comfortable with Elisa sitting on the battlements, and thinking about it, after all she and Goliath have gone through, if she DID slip, Goliath - hurt or unhurt - would still jump to save her (he is a gentleman, after all).

I also loved Thailog's line at the end, clearly proving that radio announcer guy was COMPLETELY wrong! (In truth, I didn't notice this one on my own, until it was brought up in the Comment Room . . . nevertheless, I love it!)

Other random thoughts:

I love the invitation by the Xanatos family . . . I don't know, I just think the Eyrie Building rocks.

Alex is so cute in that costume (I'd love my kid to have one of those . . . heck, "I" want one of those!)

I do have a feeling Tri Chung is related to another Chung we may know one day . . . .

Love the clarification that it's Officer Morgan Morgan.

Love to hate Margot for being so "Margot-y" -- wonder what Brendan's doing??

Hacker is . . . wow. Cool to see him doing an Illuminati job of his that isn't just throwing Matt on wild goose-chases.

I'm curious if Jason is using his English or Scottish accent when talking to Elisa? Hmmm . . . .

Love the enchanted jewelry line -- Fox is such a great match for X.

Owen rocks, even though he's in just one panel.

I wonder where I can get a ring like Hacker's?? (and no, I won't visit the Hotel Cabal to earn one!)

I love the symmetric panel of Goliath and Elisa when talking about their relationship.

I love that little kid in the Labyrinth with the Superman "G" shirt. Wonder what that stands for?? :P

Love the whole flashback scene, and I know I'm going to be losing alot of those points in the Contest the CR had a couple of weeks ago . . . .

And finally, I enjoyed the more intelligent Castaway.

Once again, Greg, a thousand thanks for everything you've done for Gargoyles, even after ELEVEN years (I was eight when the show ended!) And seriously - May can't come soon enough . . . but after eleven years waiting, I think its possible, no?

Greg responds...

What the DJ meant to say was, "If he says Trick or Treat he's obviously a clone!" (Kidding, kidding.)

Jason is, from his point of view, no longer affecting any accent, i.e. to Elisa, it's Scotish.

I do hope people are liking Castaway better now from these first three issues. This is the way I had always hoped to characterize him. Of course, if anyone prefers his Goliath Chronicle characterization, then... just don't tell me!

Response recorded on April 19, 2007

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Harvester of Eyes writes...

Picked up a copy of Issue #3 from a shop on Jefferson Davis Highway earlier today (I was out for another reason, and happened upon this place by accident). Read it as soon as I got home. What follows is a review:

First off, I have to say that I was more impressed with the coloring in this one. The coloring in the last issue was a huge nit with me, perhaps moreso than the pencils. I think the coloring in this issue has perhaps, more than the other two, best captured the feel of hopefulness that I know I heard someone mention on one of the bonus features on the first DVD (I can't remember if it was you or not; haven't watched the bonus stuff in a while).

Elisa and Goliath have the talk already, and Elisa actually brings up some good points. I think it was probably on Elisa's mind, but it had never actually been brought out in the open until now. Seems a little sudden, but Elisa's probably had a lot on her mind of late. I also found the chat between her and Jason interesting. For some reason, I always had the impression that Jason knew that the one Elisa was referring to at the end of "Hunter's Moon" was Goliath. But I think it's actually more interesting that he doesn't know.

It was also nice to see Hacker again. His conversation between him and Matt has me wondering if the Society had planned for Bluestone to head the Gargoyle Task Force. And I love how the Society "approves" of everyone's actions. Makes one wonder what their real agenda is.

I also liked Delilah's response to Goliath's invitation. Served as a subtle reminder that she was created to be Thailog's pet. Looking forward to hopefully seeing more dialogue between her and Goliath in the next issue.

The last panel was also quite good. Thailog with the dual guns. Thankfully, it reminded me of Spike from "Cowboy Bebop" and not a character from a John Woo movie. Don't think we've seen a gargoyle wield two guns before. I liked it.

I'm very much looking forward to Number 4 now.

Greg responds...

ME TOO!

Response recorded on April 18, 2007

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Matt writes...

My Issue #3 Review, mostly a collection of random thoughts:

- First off, I have to say. I was (and still am) extremely excited to finally have the first canon story in 11 years! Ask my boyfriend, for the last couple days I've been running around the apartment, usually with the comic in hand, saying things like "It's TOO good." and laughing like a kid. I had no idea I'd be this excited. Thank you so much to Greg, the rest of the fandom, the comic staff and Disney. This is wonderful.

- The cover is very nice. Coloring is gorgeous and it is kinda cool having the group "pose" for the "camera. I do wonder, however, why Hudson is all darkly put in the background. It makes him look like he is going to be the villain in this issue or something.

- I noticed that the invitation to the White House states the month and day but not the year. That seems different from most invites, even when the year is understood. I'm guessing Greg didn't mention the year so as not to date the series much and keep it relatively "current". Of course, we sadly don't get a street address for the Eyrie, so I can't send them anything. Pity.

- Okay, Alex is adorable in his gargoyle costume. I was sad to no longer see the winged teddy bear that we saw in "The Journey" TGC episode, but Alex's costume more than makes up in the cuteness department.

- The radio (?) dialogue gives a nice sense of what the mainstream public is thinking about gargoyles. "Infested... monsters... can't talk, right?" Clearly the public is still uncertain what these things are, though the prevailing feeling is negative. "Humans fear what they do not understand." Too true. Also, I know Greg's writing well enough that when I read "So if the creature knocking at your door tonight roars "Trick or Treat", odds are you're safe!" I had a pretty good idea how the issue would end, though I wasn't sure exactly who would be saying the line... or whether they'd be friend or foe.

- The Gargoyle Taskforce. It is so exciting to see this group developed more. Elisa and Morgan are members, which is pretty cool, but we also have Margot and Hacker, so we know there is plenty of opportunity for conflict within the group. Then of course there are the new characters, who knows what they'll be like. Can't say much about Detective Harris yet. Tri Chung makes me think or Terry Chung, though I doubt Greg is gonna reveal the connection there is any at this point. Officer Travanti looks familiar. Is he Morgan's partner, the guy we saw with Morgan in "Temptation"? Are Harris and Chung partners as well?

- Looking at the Gargoyles Taskforce, I can't help but get the sense that Season 3 is going to be a big one for Matt Bluestone. Heading the Taskforce with both his current police partner and former FBI partner as members is interesting. Moreover, I think having him pulled in the different directions (allegiance to Chavez and the NYPD, friendship with the gargoyles, membership in the Illuminati) will really be hard for him, and a lot of fun for us fans to watch.

- As for Hacker himself... well, honestly, I can't help but think about the Weird Sisters. See, when we first saw the Sisters in "City of Stone", they seemed so benevolent, like they were trying to help. They definitely seemed like the "good guys". Of course, we come to find out that things and people are not often so black in white, not in real life and not in Gargoyles. Hacker in "The Silver Falcon" seemed like such a good guy. Trying to help Elisa out and all that. In the beginning of "Revelations" he still seemed like a pretty good guy until the ending, where I began to feel like maybe he had his dark side too, or at least his dark secrets. Now in "Invitation Only", I'm really feeling the same "Is he a good guy or bad guy?" feeling I had with the Sisters. He seems to be yanking a lot of people around. Is he just "following orders"? I dunno, Hacker has me worried now. The Illuminati is up to something, and I don't know whether to feel sorry for Hacker or not.

- Having Jason in the episode was nice. It seems that in a lot of ways he understands Elisa a lot better than Goliath does. I think this is largely a cultural issue. Goliath thinks like a gargoyle. Elisa is like his mate. Jason knows that Elisa is human and has human needs and wants. This is all very heart-breaking. Jason loves Elisa but doesn't feel like he can give her what she wants, and maybe has felt he lost his chance. Goliath loves Elisa and is starting to realize that he may not be able to give her what she wants either "You do not want a mate. You want a husband." Ugh, brutal, Greg, brutal! And Elisa herself may be starting to wonder what it is she really wants in life. It's sad stuff, and I must say that I've never been as interested in the Goliath-Elisa relationship as I am right now after reading "Invitation Only". Can't wait to watch the development. I'm only happy that at least Goliath and Elisa are finally talking about their feelings, even if they might be holding back a little too.

- I remember saying something to the effect of "Poor Brooklyn" when I reviewed "The Journey". I have a feeling I'll be saying that a few more times... Poor Brooklyn. Even before Delilah enters the picture you could see that he is still very distracted by Angela and Broadway. And then this episode really stabs him hard. He goes to the Labyrinth and gets to see Maggie... with Talon and then sees Delilah... and she goes off with Goliath. He must feel that life is terribly unfair. I keep wanting to say, "Stick it out Brooklyn, keep the faith! She is out there... somewhere."

- Demona's first real appearance in Season 3. Nice to see what happened to the Praying Gargoyle remnants, and nice to have the crystal inside be recognized as canon.

- One thing about this episode... it has SOO many characters in it. I have the feeling the reason we didn't see TV episodes with this many characters in it was the cost of all the voice actors, and now the pages are exploding with characters. By the time I was half-way through the book, I was beginning to think I'd turn the page to see Oberon or Zafiro or Nokkar or Dracon! It is kinda fun to have such a big cast in this one though. Gives us a lot to think about. It is fun to see Al again, and fun to see him take a more prominent position in the Labyrinth. I love his omission of Fang when he is talking to the new girl. Who is she anyway? We also hear a mention of Chaz, who apparently is a Quarryman now. Swell. It's a lot of fun to see the Mutates and the Clones. I noticed the weird black teeth are gone from the Clones. A lot of fans actually suspected this would change in time for purely biological reasons, so it is cool to see they have more normal mouths, like Thailog. The cloning must've really weirded up their hormones. All the male clone's eyes glow red and Delilah's glow white. I'm really interested in Burbank. It is fun to see a younger version of Hudson, though I sometimes feel that with the beard this isn't neccesarily visually obvious.

- And finally, Thailog makes his first appearance since "The Reckoning". What is after in the Labyrinth? The Clones? Delilah in particular? Maybe even revenge? I dunno, but I find it interesting that he enters with laser guns blazing. The homeless can't get a break...

So, thats my thoughts on this episode. I'm excited to learn what is coming up next!!!!

Greg responds...

Hudson on the cover - It's simply a composition thing of Guler's. Don't read too much into it.

Travanti is indeed Morgan's partner from "Temptation" and "Upgrade". And Harris and Chung are indeed partners. (FYI, the real Cedric Harris and Tri Chung were my freshman roommates. In real life, however, neither are currently members of the NYPD or their Gargoyle Taskforce. )

"Stick it out Brooklyn, keep the faith! She is out there... somewhere." Didn't you mean "someWHEN"?

Quantity of characters... my artists HATE me. Wait until you see issue #7. Talk about cast of thousands.

Response recorded on April 17, 2007


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