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JANUARY 25

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

January 25th...

1995
Elisa Maza and Derek Maza trail David Xanatos to the Diamond Exchange, where Xanatos buys the Coyote Diamond. Hyena and Jackal, on orders from Fox, attempt to steal the Diamond. They are thwarted by Derek, Elisa and Xanatos. Xanatos seems impressed with Derek and offers him a job as his pilot and bodyguard.

1996
The travelers arrive in Egypt and follow Coyote into a temple hidden inside the Sphinx.


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Rebel writes...

Hi Greg, this is something I meant to ask in my earlier comment, but I forgot to. For the comic, how much direction do you give to your artists in coming up with the designs for new canon characters?

I am specifically referring to the two new London Gargoyles at the end of #7. I know you had mentioned before that the London gargs would look like unicorns, lions, or griffins. Did you change your mind recently, or had it always been your plan to make them look like other heraldry animals, and you were just teasing us? Did David Hedgecock talk you out of it? Did the two of you decide together what animals they would resemble, or had you already decided? If you chose beforehand, did you give him specific details about their appearance, or relatively vague details and let him come up with them himself? I would be interested to know any information you can tell me about this. I find the process of creating a character's look to be very interesting.

Also, feel free to volunteer information about the development of the designs of other new characters which have appeared in the comic. Shari, the Tasmanian tiger villain in Bad Guys, Coyote's new look, etc. Whatever comes to mind.

Greg responds...

Here's my description in the script of the two characters, minus a couple of personal details that I don't choose to reveal at this time:

• [New Male Gargoyle] - Biologically age 19. [New Male Gargoyle] is a gargoyle of the London Clan. His head is modeled off a large stag (i.e. male deer) with fairly magnificent silver antlers. He should have feathered white wings. And deer-like hooves for feet, but his hands should look like normal gargoyle hands. He should be tall (and feel even taller thanks to the antlers) and slim in build. Not so slim that he looks fragile, but he's definitely not the bulky type. This is a new character, but for inspiration take a look at UNA at http://lynativerse.artchicks.org/Screencaps/GL_Una.htm.
• [New Female Gargoyle] - Biologically age 19. [New Female Gargoyle] is another gargoyle of the London Clan, this one modeled off a wild boar or sow. She has a pig-snout and tusks. She is brown. Her wings are the more traditional bat-like wings we're familiar with. Normal gargoyle hands, more pig-like feet. She's medium-height, muscled and burly - nothing fragile about [New Female Gargoyle].

As you can see, the basic choices were mine, but I give Dave full credit for bringing them to life.

Here's my descriptions of the other characters you asked about (and some you didn't)...

• COYOTE 5.0 - This is only SORT OF a new character. Basically, there have been four Coyote robots that preceded this one. They all have a lot in common thematically, but they're all different too. And lucky you get to design the new one! To see Coyotes 1-4, check out: http://gargoyles.dracandros.com/Coyote_%28robot%29 or the episodes "Leader of the Pack" (for Coyote 1.0) and "Upgrade" (for Coyote 2.0) both on the Season Two, Volume One DVD. (Coyotes 3.0 & 4.0 aren't out on DVD yet.) Note the basic color scheme and the coyote-head motif. And the fact that all the later robots have a circular VID-SCREEN that displays an image of a robotic head. The head appears to be half-Xanatos and half-robot-skull. This version of the robot will have the large Coyote Diamond inside its chest cavity… with lasers shooting into it. We may want a transparent cover for that, so we can see the Diamond even after the cavity is closed. Or not. In either case, Coyote 5.0 should be BIG.
• SHARI - Arabic female, age 18. A pretty, goth-teen runaway type. She wears a lot of chains, necklaces, pendants, etc. around her neck. [Shari was also visually inspired by a real person, and I provided Dave with a photo as reference.]
• DETECTIVE CEDRIC HARRIS - African-American male.
• DETECTIVE TRI CHUNG - Chinese-Vietnamese male.
• TERRY CHUNG - Asian-American boy, age 12. He's wearing a GOLIATH Halloween costume.
• AMBASSADOR CHUNG - Terry's mother, age 42. She's a short Asian-American woman, wearing a white evening gown and carrying a white, feathered mask on a stick.
• QUINCY HEMINGS - He appears to be about 60. African-American. Gray hair, trim build. He's dressed in a white tuxedo jacket with epaulets and gold buttons. White gloves, a red bow tie, black pants. He has for decades been the "Chief Steward" at the White House, a job loosely based on the job of Chief Usher. See http://www.whitehousehistory.org/06/subs/06_a07.html for info on Chief Ushers.
• TASMANIAN TIGER - (Age 24.) The Tasmanian Tiger is a somewhat clichéd costumed super-villain. His garb is inspired by the extinct Tasmanian Tiger (a.k.a. the Thylacine), and he's flanked by two actual (cloned) THYLACINES (Benjamin & Natasha). (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thylacine.) His costume is largely form fitting with black tiger stripes and a cowl with Tiger ears and clawed gauntlets. On his chest is a symbol with two interlocking letter Ts. (Similar to the interlocking Ds on Daredevil's costume: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Daredevil41.jpg.) The Tasmanian Tiger also carries a large blaster weapon.
• BENJAMIN - A male Thylacine, one of Tasmanian Tiger's trained pets. To see how wide a thylacine's jaw can open, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Tasmanian_tiger.gif.
• NATASHA - A female Thylacine; the Tiger's other trained pet.

As you can see, sometimes I gave quite a bit of detail, sometime I pretty much left nearly the entire design to Dave or Karine or Nir's imagination. Usually, the artist does a design and sends it to me. We might do a bit of back and forth on it... but honestly, looking at the above list, with the exception of Quincy (who started out looking a bit too old and jowly for my tastes), I feel like the artists hit all of these characters on the first time out.

Response recorded on January 17, 2008

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DECEMBER 15

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

December 15th...

1995
The trio realize that the rest of the clan is missing and -- utilizing a tip from Fox and a plan from Brooklyn -- manage to find the Pack and rescue their friends. Coyote-II is destroyed, and Dingo, Jackal, Hyena and Wolf are left for the police. (And thus Fox wins the little game she was playing against David Xanatos.) Goliath chooses Brooklyn as his Second-in-Command.


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DECEMBER 14

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

December 14th...

1995
The trio have grown steadily more at odds over Goliath's inability to choose one of them as a Second. They have begun competing to see who can stop the most street crime. Elisa, Goliath, Hudson and Bronx are captured by a newly upgraded Pack. Coyote has a new robot body. Hyena & Jackal are now cyborgs. Wolf is a mutate. And Dingo has new battle armor. Meanwhile, Halcyon Renard, who had been searching for some means to fight the disease that is killing him, discovers an incantation that will transfer his soul into the Golem of Prague.


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NOVEMBER 16

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 16th...

1995
The Pack is approached by the Coyote robot's severed head. On Xanatos' behalf, the head offers the Pack the opportunity to be upgraded by using genetic engineering, cybernetics, armor and robotics. They agree to differing degrees. While back at the Eyrie Building, Fox & Xanatos begin a game that will eventually pit the gargoyles and Pack against each other. Meanwhile, Peter & Diane Maza confront Elisa about Derek Maza's disappearance. Elisa talks them out of filing a police report on her brother.

1996
5:44am EST - [withheld]


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SEPTEMBER 5

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

September 5th...

1995
After midnight, Goliath, Hudson & Broadway free Brooklyn, Lexington and Bronx from an oil tanker in the bay. Coyote, revealed to be a robot, is destroyed by Bronx and Lex, though the robot's head and the Pack escape.


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SEPTEMBER 4

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

September 4th...

1995
Coyote and Dingo bust the rest of the Pack out of prison. Fox refuses to join them, and even protects a guard from Hyena. Coyote becomes the new leader of the Pack. At sundown, the Gargoyles join the hunt to track them down, and the Pack captures Lex, Brooklyn and Bronx.



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