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So, here was Matt, enjoying his evening, finishing up dinner and dishes and about to settle down to a good book before bedtime when alas he decides to peak into the Comment Room and realizes the Ask Greg queue closes in mere hours (so he gathers) and he has forgotten to post his 2007 Gathering Journal!!!
So in a mad rush to finish he begins to type. Without further ado...
After barely arranging to get Friday off work and saying the goodbyes to my Jason (the boyfriend who will probably attend G '08 with me) I hit the road around 5 AM CT. It had been a while since I had a nice road trip and there is always that fun feeling about leaving when it is still dark outside. Long (and boring) story short, I arrived in the town of Pigeon Forge at about 3:15 PM ET. My first impression of the town was that it seemed to be brimming with traffic and pancake houses. I was relieved to discover the hotel without incident (aside from the aforementioned traffic) and checked in. I quickly found my room, threw down my stuff and made my way to the convention area. I found it a good sign that right after checking in at the Staff table, I ran back to my room to leave some stuff there and on my way back ran into Greg Weisman himself. I was amazed that Greg seemed to remember me by face alone (or maybe he read my badge, but he seemed like he knew me). I wish I had his talent of face/name recognition. I'd only met him once before briefly in 2002. Anyway, Greg tried to convince me to try out for the Radio Play. I had considered it for months, but I greatly enjoy listening to the production so I opted out. Perhaps next year. I'll think about it. Greg seemed in a hurry for something and I made my way back to the art room/dealer's room area. On the way I ran into Harvester of Eyes. We hadn't met before and chatted about Putt-Putt golf a bit and how he dislikes it and then I finally made it back to the main convention room. As I was looking around the wares, I noticed one space left on the sign up sheet for Mug-A-Guest with Greg and I eagerly signed up. I went to examine the art, which was naturally quite good. There were a few really fun pieces, kudos to those who submitted art. I was happily surprised to see a few sample pages for Issue #5. I felt almost guilty seeing Brook's costume, Dr. Sato and Mary and Finella. Of course, at the time I didn't know that I was going to soon learn much more about Issue #5. Ran into Greg X and chatted about the comics, the Comment Room and other silliness for a bit.
The time for Opening Ceremonies came around and I eagerly found a good seat... of course, not long afterwards I found myself sitting on the floor. It was all very kindergarten story/naptime-esque.
I don't care how many times Greg has been through the Opening Ceremonies stuff, I loved seeing and hearing it all. However, I guess Greg felt that he needed to add something new to the routine, so he proceeded to destroy the hotel podium to the delight and amusement of the con-goers .
After the end of Opening Ceremonies, I was famished and made my way to dinner at Shoney's across the street. I went back to my room and laid on the bed and enjoyed that "I'm on vacation" feeling for a while and then, feeling fat, went swimming to burn off the Shoney's. Exhausted, I went back to the room and passed out.
Slept pretty late. Reveled in the feeling of not waking up to an alarm. Took my time getting ready and went down to the complimentary breakfast. Finding no fruit in sight, I shrugged and gorged on biscuits and gravy like I hadn't done in years. Vacation, right?
I made my way back to the con and attended the "Fan to Pro" panel with Karine (and Samuel). I felt guilty again when Karine accidently let slip Quincy's name, but that was nothing compared to later. Anyway, the panel was great, I really enjoyed listening to Karine and there were some great questions. Even though I'm not much of an artist, it was fun. After that I had the Mug with Greg. This was a lot of fun and it really made me realize why the Gathering is so great. When a group of people can sit in an (ever growing) circle (in person!) and chat about Gargoyles, it makes me feel a great sense of community which is only faintly felt via the internet community. Somehow Greg revealed to us that the Jogger is Billy and Susan's uncle. Not sure how we got that out of him, but I thought it was a neat tidbit.
After the Mug, I decided I needed/wanted a walk so I wandered down to Taco Bell for lunch and ended up counteracting the purpose for the walk there when I got a big ole quesadilla thing... ugh, I ate too much on this trip.
I waddled back to the hotel with enough time to get a great seat for the Radio Play. Wow, that was fun. To have brand new canon material revealed to us as a big group like that was just awesome. Something I haven't felt since I was watching the episodes as the came out 11 years ago with grade school friends and talking about them at school. So much fun. Thom Adcox was hilarious as Brentwood (great casting there, ha!), but I was also impressed by a lot of other people, namely Phoenix-Talon as Elisa. Honestly, I can't read the line "I'm a part of this clan. Nothing will ever change that." without hearing Phoenix-Talon. I should be hearing Salli Richardson, I know, but her Radio Play counterpart deserves a round of applause. Great job.
After the Radio Play I congratulated Greg on a great job and then excused myself to call my friend Ryan (another Gargoyles fan who couldn't attend due to med-school) and told him exactly nothing except that I heard the script for Issue #5. He was good about it, but I couldn't stop gushing about how great it was so I decided to spare him (and spot tempting myself) and just get back to the convention. [On a side note, I happened to witness the most interesting scenario involving a baby duck and a fisherman in the stream behind the hotel during this phone conversation. But that, as they say, is a story for another day...]
I went back and made my way to MGT3K, which was one of my favorite events at G'02. Had a lot of fun making fun of the episodes (and Greg's intros for the eps). I truly do feel, however, that the Goliath Chronicles was made for MGT3K, and hope to see TGC in that (and only that) venue at future Gatherings.
Next came the Blue Mug. Never attended that before and I was not disappointed. Goliath's genitalia, Thom Adcox removing his pants and humping a fan (separate incidents of course), and lots of pornographic Gargoyles art and video clips. And I hear this was a MILD year. Yikes. Lot of fun though. I didn't want to miss a minute of it so I remained even though I was very sleepy. Found myself attempting to flirt with Thom from across the room (can't help it, he's cute) but nothing came of that (truly for the best) and after the Mug broke up, I went back to my room to sleep. Instead, on a whim, I jumped in the pool and swam around until the thought of swimming in the dark had me totally freaked out ( I was actually getting "the shivers" imagining monsters below me in the darkness). Well aware of my exhaustion, I went to my room and slept.
Woke up early and got things packed up. I needed to be on the road asap, cuz I had to get back home for stuff on Monday.
Fortunately, I had time for a quick breakfast at that Rooster pace next door. Finally had some fruit for breakfast, although the restaurant insisted on immersing it in some sort of sugary fruit syrup. Went back to the con and listened to a couple of the open-story stuff. Some people had some pretty good stuff, and the stillness of the room and the singular voice was refreshing after the Blue Mug the night before.
Next attended a panel I'd been waiting for all weekend; Gargoyles Physiology and Culture. Though I certainly disagreed with a lot of the ideas floating around that panel (especially involving Gargate evolution), I had a great time. It was nice to actually be able to have that conversation outside of the Comment Room. And we all agreed, for various reasons, that gargoyle eggs do in fact need to be turned. I felt that this consensus, minor though it was, was a good place for us to move to the culture part of the panel. I was surprised that I ended up enjoying this part of the panel even more. Greg really inspires me when he talks about Gargoyle culture. It really was fascinating and wonderful stuff, and Greg explained his thoughts so well. It made me feel I got a glimpse, for a moment, into that universe Greg is always tapping into.
After the panel, most of us moved on to the "Bad Guys" panel. Turned out that Greg, naturally, wasn't ready to reveal much there and the panel turned into a Marketing seminar. Not much I can say about that that others have not already.
After the so called "Bad Guys" panel ended, I realized I needed to hit the road. I said my goodbyes to Greg and a few others and made my way back home. I arrived in my apartment in St. Louis very very late Sunday night (Monday morning?).
It was a great trip and I'm thrilled that the Gathering next year will be even closer! Hopefully, I'll be able to bring my friend Ryan and boyfriend Jason along next year, but I know I'll be there at least.
Now, I need to get this posted before the queue closes again.
Thanks Greg, Thom, Karine, the entire Gathering Staff and everyone who came! It was a lot of fun!
Thank you, Matt. I'll admit I did cheat and glanced at your nametag, but now I swear I know your face. (It usually takes me a couple of Gatherings to nail a name and face together on anyone.)
I really enjoyed the Phys/Culture panel also. I'm such a science moron, it felt like a great crypto-education. And, as I'm sure ALL of you know by now, I LOVE talking about this stuff.
If a gargoyle saw and herd the spell in City of Stone whould he stay stone at all times.
Yep. He might have a few seconds here and there, but yep.
If Latin and Hebrew are magical becose of thare age and that the spells where originaly righten in them, why dosn't the Emir in "Grief" read the Egyptian spells in Coptic (the Ancient Egyptian language).
Latin and Hebrew are no more magical than modern languages, but many spells were written originally in those languages. Obviously, for whatever reason, the Emir had his spell translated into English. You may ask, why the heck would he do that? And it's a DARN good question, you know? Darn good. Darn. Good. Darn.
Gargoyles #5: Bash
First off I have to say how spectacular the artwork is looking in this issue; usually I have no problem with the art and actually quite like Hedgcock's work - but Karine Chalebois' experience of the characters certainly shines in what has to be the best looking issue to date! It's not perfect, some of the characters look quite stiff at times (a minor, trivial annoyance in comparison), but there are some scenes which literally shine off the page. I love the view Brendan has of the gargoyles fighting, Thailog and Brentwood gliding off from the Eyrie look spectacular, and Delilah really looks gorgeous as she shines out as her own gargoyle. This issue has made me all the more excited for Bad Guys; with artwork like this hopefully the series will blossom.
But let's get back to the Bash - this issue brings an end to the first all new canon 'episode' and nicely wraps up the story in 3, 4 and 5 whilst setting up even more intriguing questions for future issues.
Side points that really shone out:
There's a couple of familiar faces waiting for us outside the lift; seeing Mary and Finella makes me all the more impatient for Timedancer.
Super-goyle: Brooklyn coming out of the elevator like that really made me chuckle - loved it!
The action scenes - this issue was jam packed with action, so much so that I forgot that Thailog's was waiting for Delilah.
Brentwood - Now that was a surprise! I really thought that he would be the one to rebel against his master, but more on that later.
Now onto the story:
One con about getting the comic a week after everyone else is that the internet is a minefield of spoilers. Despite my best efforts to avoid spoiling the story I somehow found out that Delilah didn't choose Thailog and that Thailog's real goal in attacking was to obtain DNA from the gargoyles.
This latter revelation disappointed me before I'd even got the comic- why? When I heard DNA I thought more clones all over again - which didn't make sense. Thailog already had minions which listen to his beck and call why make more? I didn't understand it. I still don't really.
But as I thought about it (after I actually read the story) I became intrigued. What does Thailog actually want with DNA of the clan? What more could Sevarius do with gargoyle DNA that he hasn't done already (aside from Voodoo magic)? And I'm sure Thailog being a member of the Illuminati (which was a shock of sheer genius) complicates the matter even further. I suppose I'll just have to wait for the rest of Clan Building (and hopefully the rest of season 3) for all of this to be answered. But I have to say I'm intrigued, even excited. And as for Shari, well, she's certainly full of surprises - a number 9! Greg you certainly know how to leave us begging for more! So Shari, the mysterious unnamed woman who's been hanging around in the Labyrinth, is now Thailog's new executive assistant and outranks him as a fellow Illuminatus. And what exactly do the Illuminati want with the gargoyles?
Speaking of the Illuminati, we're certainly learning a lot more about them; Duval is actually no. 2 alongside Quincy Hemings. Who is number 1 then? Hmmm…
So the greeting that started off as 36 : 32 and ended as 36 : 9 is actually a ranking system; with thirty-six 36s, thirty-five 35s, all the way up to two 2s and one 1 that leads up to 666 members!
The Illuminati are certainly turning into the big players of this season, with their fingers in almost all the pots; financing the Quarrymen, overviewing the taskforce, a high ranking member is now working for Thailog, and now they're sending Xanatos on secret missions. These guys are really coming out to the forefront dominating the entire scene from behind the curtains.
Enough of secret societies; lets talk clones again.
One interesting thing about Bash is that the clones, especially Delilah, really come out of their shells.
Delilah: One interesting point was Owen finding her standing around in Xanatos' lab. Wonder what she was doing in there.
I was actually surprised by her language skills; they seem to be a lot better than that of the other clones.
"Is that an order, Angela? Or am I truly free to make my own choices?"
I said that I unfortunately knew already from spoilers that Delilah didn't go with Thailog. So when I first read Delilah say "I believe this fighting may cease now" I thought that she was going to spurt something cheesy to Thailog about him attacking her "friends" so she isn't going to go with him. But to my surprise and delight she makes the above retort to Angela. And after that she starts digging into a wounded Goliath.
"You used me!"
Wow! Not only had she been secretly listening to Goliath and Elisa's heart to heart from the previous issue, but she now reproaches Goliath for bringing her to Xanatos' Masque Ball. Her general attitude towards the Manhattan clan seems to be one of a cold unconcerned frigidity; her short responses to Goliath's proposal in "Invitation Only" at first seems as if she is only acting under her 'Obey Thailog' instincts. And throughout "Masque" she seems quiet and unresponsive; she doesn't stand out. It's only in response to seeing her "brothers" in trouble that she comes out of herself. At first I thought her command to stop the fighting was addressed to Thailog, but I'm now starting to think as to whether she was also addressing the Manhattan gargoyles who she feels are attacking her brothers.
Now onto her brothers;
Malibu: Well he's certainly Brooklyn's clone; this green gargoyle's smitten with Delilah and I think the main reason he stopped fighting is because Delilah arrived and suggested leaving for the labyrinth.
Hollywood: Gar-girl (lol!) that's all I'm going to say!
Brentwood: This guy is turning into a real character! Interestingly he takes a passive role in the fighting and just sits on the sidelines watching. From his constant utterances of "free-will" on Maggie's prompting I was thinking that if anyone would leave Thailog to join the side of the Angels, it would be this guy. I'm going to be following his character development with great interest (hopefully it'll involve gaining better diction and vocabulary). "Thailog smart."
"Dude, you're really making me look bad!"
Lex's reaction though is priceless, but still quite shocking. I feel sorry for the clones at times; these poor souls compelled by their master to attack their "parents" who then later shun them making them live in the underground sewers. Lex doesn't seem concerned that his clone is aligning with the "bad guy" but rather that Brentwood's choice plays badly upon himself.
The Manhattan clan wanted nothing to do with their clones originally; but I feel this only helped to bring this band of misfits even closer. And maybe this abandonment helps explain Delilah's coldness to Goliath's clan. Last time they met she was beaten and chained by Angela; her brothers also beaten and then the five of them are taken in by Talon.
Delilah shines out as the more astute and most intellectually developed and as thus stands out as their natural leader. The other clones seem like children in comparison - "Labyrinth good", "Hollywood not fight" - and in turn Delilah seems to have picked up the 'big sister' role. I think this clan's development is going to be interesting.
Thailog and Sevarius interestingly rendezvous at Nightstone. One thing that struck me when Thailog attacked the Labyrinth to collect his "property" - this is the gargoyle that swindled Xanatos of $20 million and tried to kill Demona and Macbeth only to obtain their fortunes, why would his first course of action upon resurfacing be to collect his minions? He had invested millions into Nightstone and I thought his primary goal would have been to recover his company from Demona. Surprisingly (this issue is full of surprises) it seems Thailog doesn't think he needs to take back Nightstone hostilely; it's obviously more profitable to bankroll Sevarius behind Demona's back.
Dr Sato's reappearance was a welcome return. And it seems he's now been thrust into friendship with the gargoyles. Look forward to how this turns out.
Brendan seems to be close to the end with Margot; he's also got another up close view of the gargoyles.
This review's seems to have turned more into a ramble; all I can say is that this issue was spectacular. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 5/5 well done!
Glad you like it. I wouldn't count Margot out as far as Brendan's concerned though...
Hi Greg. With the success of the Transformers movie and the CGI that went with it, if you got an offer to do a Gargoyles movie with the gargoyles being CGI, would you do it? If you did, I would assume that you would want to use the original voice actors for the gargoyles, but what about the humans in the series? Would you use the original actors or bring in new people? Who would you have play the various roles like Elisa, Xanatos, Fox, and Owen?
Of course, I'd be interested. If for no other reason then it would guarantee the release of the rest of the episodes.
As to casting, I'd love to cast Salli, Jonathan and Jeff as their respective characters. As much as I love Laura, though, I'm afraid she doesn't really look anything like Fox. Don't have anyone in mind... because Laura's so vocally wonderful in the part. But the truth is, casting of the humans would depend quite a bit on financing issues. So this hypothetical is really just that.
Oh dear freaking god!!
In all the joyful bouncing I was doing, I totally forgot something.
The KISS! (Once again, this is where the giant pink sparkly heart would go).
Greg, the next time I make it to The Gathering (ha!) I totally owe you a major hug (how about a bum pinch, that ok too?) :D
Let's start with the hug and see where things go... ;)
I can't remember if I sumbitted a review for the last 4 issues, so I made sure to write one up today :D
I wish we could use HTML on this page, as I would write the word LOVE in giant pink letter, maybe with a sparkle effect. Because I truly do love it.
It's so exciting to get new stories, and this one, oh it just keeps getting better and better. Some questions are answered, a heap more asked and the tension kinda went through the roof :)
Brooklyn's costume reveal gave me the giggles, and I can't help but have a little soft spot for Brendan. I'd like to think he was the one who told Dr Sato that there was someone injured out in the courtyard.
Karine and Steph make an excellent art team, I can't wait to see how Karine goes with Bad Guys.
Greg, thank you once again for giving us Gargoyles.
Thank you, Julie, for being there to receive it!
Did Fox know about Owen/Puck before The Gathering. Though she is suprised by the revelation of her mother's identity? She just doesn't appear startled by the existence of purly magical beings (though, she was preoccupied by worry for her child).
I'm not sure she did.
Wow! What an awesome new gargoyles comic! Number 4 & 5 were brilantly written. I also would like to say that Guler is the man, and Lostimolo is coloriffic. When I saw the cover of #5 I was thrilled as well as horriffied (poor goliath). I had to read it twice to get all the refferences stright.
The Illuminati's numbering system seems to indicate that for every number, there is that amount of people involved, is this the same all the way from 1 to 36?
I also feel bad for Lex since he was dressed just like his "future tense" self as a costume, and his clone brentwood chose to stay with Thalog. Could this be an Omen?
O.o Actullay Brooklyn wasn't having a good night either, witnessing all the couples holding each other at the end. I'm beggining to think that "Time Dancer" may play a role in his future (since everyone seems to be taken)Care to elaborate?
*>.<* still can't believe that Brooklyn's clone is going to make it with someone before he does, any chance that Delilah's affinity for Malabu is really because of her feelings for Brook?
I can't wait for the next Issue!
As alway's you ROCK Greg!
Delilah probably isn't quite as shallow as Brooklyn, I'm guessing.
And yes, just as it's described in the issue, you've got the Illuminati number system right.
I really, really hope the other colourists on the comic take note of Stephanie's colours here. One of the big issues in "Awakening" was the colour and beauty of the city and this is the first time that I've felt the comic has really conveyed that to full effect. The colours on the comic have been good so far, and obviously the darker shades are more intuitive for a comic of this nature, but this issue really captures the feel of the series.
Obviously a big part of that is the tag-team with Kanthara's line-art. And I think you really see the benefit of having people on the art who have a long experience with the series, from little things -- check out the moon, just like the series! -- to the real meat of the story: the characters. Odd things like Brooklyn's superhero pose, the Lex/Brentwood panel really nail the essence of the characters, their movements, the way they carry themselves. All the star characters look amazing, the battle sequences, the cityscapes... a real joy. Smashing work by Kanthara and Stephanie.
Greg B mentioned that the 'Gargoyles' and spin-off art teams would be better off switched around and I do tend to agree. Kanthara rocks the core characters but is on the spin-off book charting new territory in the universe. David Hedgecock is the fresh eye but he's in the shadow of the original series which entrenched a very specific vision of these main guys in our mind. It seems counterintuitive. But I rate both artists and I'm really excited by the prospect of seeing their work on alternate months.
Script-wise, I enjoy the focus on a major narrative strand at last. I found #4 highly entertaining but with so many different things happening, no single plot seemed to have something big happening. This issue has much more momentum and while I love the expansive universe, I hope most stories won't have quite so many separate subplots.
- The clones seem to have characteristics of their 'parents' and it's fun to see how a few lines kind of sets them apart from each other. Brentwood has Lexington's appreciation for intelligence and perhaps some of his capacity for hero worship. Hollywood seemed to enjoy 'playing monster' ("ROOOARR") rather than being genuinely villainous; he's also the only clone who specifically says he wants to not fight. Malibu has Brooklyn's weakness for women, and seems to follow Delilah as keenly as Brooklyn briefly followed Demona. Actually the Clone-Trio's stories here remind me a lot of moments from 'Deadly Force'. Lex falls in with the Pack; Brentwood falls in with Thailog. Brooklyn is starstruck by Demona; Malibu by Delilah. Broadway plays with a gun; Hollywood plays monster. Hard to tell much about Burbank except that he seems to have Hudson's love of the home -- he latches onto the idea of the Labyrinth specifically.
- "I wouldn't want to inhibit you, dear boy" -- great line.
- Thailog in the Illuminati will be very interesting. I wonder how fast our four 36es will climb the pyramid... especially Thailog and Xanatos.
- Thailog doesn't want Goliath dead. Which isn't a big surprise thinking about it (even in "Double Jeopardy", the planned murder wasn't the main aim, and he's already seen the benefit in Sevarius), but shows his Xanatosian strategist side is alive and well.
- Picking up some earlier Ask Greg comments by Alex Garg and Greg B, the slight hypocrisy in the clan's treatment of the clones fascinates me. They boss them around, call them "stupid clone!" and "forgery" and "bastard" (admittedly two of these to Thailog where their disgust is quite justified). But the gargoyles are seen to have 'attacked' the city and the people of NY are lashing out at them, calling them monsters, inhuman, without emotions. But outside Goliath croaking Delilah's name, none of the clones are addressed by name, or even shown any warmth or respect. Lex can't even look Brentwood in the eye at the end, he's more worried about his own standing with the clan. They seek tolerance, but don't offer it to the clones in a meaningful way.
- I like the Xanatosian plan-within-a-plan ending but it does mean that, at the end, this story turns out to be a bit of a cue-chalker for Thailog and Xanatos. Where's this going? Suspense!
- In #3, Hacker said that Duval went to a lot of trouble to arrange the meeting at the White House -- but now we find that it's Duval's equal he's talking to. I can see inviting a couple of ex-cons to a White House party might be politically risky, but I wonder if it was more of a comment on the relationship between the two Twos.
A couple of questions:
1. If #3-5 was an episode, which title would it have gone by? It would be nice to have a single name to refer to it (like #1-2's overall title is still "The Journey" to me) as rather than just issue numbers or a bunch of titles. I think "Masque" seems to be the most all-encompassing title, and we start #3 with a mask on the table and end with an unmasking.
2. I'm not really clear what the function of the Clan-Building title is. Can we expect the last story in the arc to provide some form of (what I imagine would be very open-ended) closure for the story elements currently prominent in the comic, or is it just like a banner title for ease of reference (and for selling trades?), e.g. The World Tour.
Anyway, I'm having a blast. Everyone involved with the comic is doing great work.
1. I've answered this, but I also disagree with the premise. #1&2's "overall title" is only "The Journey" because you know what it was adapted from. But that's old news. The title of issue 1 is "Nightwatch". The title of issue #2 is "The Journey". The title of issue #3 is "Invitation Only". And etc. We're in a different medium. It's pointless to attempt to import tv traditions into it.
2. One would hope that it's more than just a banner. You can decide for yourself in a year.