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This is going to be a bit of an odd question, but...
Is the "a" in Shari's name pronounced as in "air" or "are"?
The way she's said it in issue #5 is share-ee.
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.
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.
I was wondering about Shari's role as Thailog's executive assistant. We've already seen her feeding Thailog grapes, and telling him stories, alongside playing chess with him. The latter reminded me of Xanatos and Fox in "Upgrade" while the image of her being carried by Thailog in flight seemed very "Evil Goliath & Elisa" to me, but that's just a tangent.
My question is, who is Alexander Thailog's public face? Before "The Reckoning", obviously Dominique Destine was able to speak for both herself and Thailog. Now with Thailog operating Nightstone alone, and Demona laying low, I wonder. Does Shari represent Alexander Thailog in any corporate capacity? Or does someone else? He probably has a middleman of some kind.
I don't think Shari is all that corporate-genic.
Approximately ten years passed between your resignation from "Gargoyles" and your return to it for the comic book. You've indicated that during those ten years, your ideas about the Gargoyles Universe have undergone some alterations, and new ideas have come along.
The three new stories that have come out in the comic book series so far are the Double Date with Goliath and Elisa (Gargoyles #3-5), the encounter with Coldstone in Tibet (Gargoyles #6) and the formation of the Redemption Squad (begun in Bad Guys #1). We know that you'd planned all three of those (in their basic forms) by the time that you resigned from "Gargoyles". What I'm curious about is: which of the following characters or elements had you come up by the time you left the television series, and which did you come up with afterwards?
1. Quincy Hemings
3. Brentwood deciding to team up with Thailog
4. The reason for Duval's phone call to Xanatos in "The Journey" being the mission that Quincy gives Xanatos in #5
5. The Tazmanian Tiger and his thylacines.
You're really determined to peek behind the curtain, aren't you?
1. I had the character, not the name.
4. Not all the details, but the basics, yeah.
5. The Tiger then. The thylacines since.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
Just after midnight, Angela and the Trio head out into the city. They're glad that both Goliath and Maggie are recovering.
Just before dawn, Shari tells Thailog the story of Goliath, Angela, Elisa and Bronx's journey from Avalon to the Himalayas in Tibet - where they encountered Coldstone - and of their subsequent arrival in Shambahla.
At dawn, Coldsteel joins Xanatos at Scarab Corp.
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This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
Using the Phoenix Gate, Goliath, Demona, David Xanatos, Petros Xanatos and Fox come back in time from the year 1995. Demona immediately uses the Gate to disappear again. Xanatos saves the life of Princess Elena of Normandy. He is rewarded with a coin, which he gives to the Norman Ambassador, a fellow member of the Illuminati Society. The 1995 Goliath encounters the 975 Hudson. The 975 Demona is studying under the Archmage as his apprentice. He instructs her to steal the Phoenix Gate from Princess Elena, which she does. But then she is confronted by the 1995 Demona and Goliath. After a brief trip for all three to 994, the 975 Demona returns them to her time and winds up on the outs with the Archmage. She breaks the Phoenix Gate in two and gives half of it to the 975 Goliath at the wedding of Malcolm and Elena. Meanwhile, all the 1995 participants return to their own time.
David Xanatos receives an anonymous gift of a medieval coin worth $20 grand. It is the start of his fortune, and was actually sent to David by his 1995 counterpart, via the Illuminati Society from the year 975.
A fully-grown Thailog is released from his maturation chamber and takes up residence at the Eyrie Building. Xanatos receives a letter from the Illuminati Society. It is from himself, sent in the year 975. It explains that he sent himself the medieval coin that was the basis of all his wealth. The letter also explains how he set this all up by turning his wedding to Fox into a time travel excursion to 975.
Xanatos gets a new assignment from Quincy and the Illuminati. Hudson confirms he is a gargoyle to Robbins. Thailog and the clones fight the Manhattan Clan. During the battle, Thailog gets DNA samples from Goliath, Angela, Broadway, Lexington, Elisa, Brooklyn, Hudson and Bronx. Delilah, Malibu, Burbank and Hollywood reject Thailog, but Brentwood chooses to depart with him. Thailog gives the DNA to Sevarius and gains a new personal assistant, Shari. Doctor Sato treats Goliath. Goliath and Elisa declare their love for each other.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
In part because both he and Elisa want to conceal the gargoyles' existence, Xanatos and the D.A.'s office agree to a plea bargain. He pleads guilty to the sole count of Receiving Stolen Property. He will be sentenced to six months in county jail including time served, with every hope that the sentence will be reduced to three months for good behavior.
Xanatos confronts Fox and attempts to get the Eye back from her. She transforms in front of him and escapes. Xanatos intentionally involves Goliath and Elisa in an attempt to manipulate them into helping Fox and retrieving the Eye. Goliath quickly catches on and initially refuses to help. Later that night, the Trio, Goliath, Elisa, Vinnie, Brendan and Margot all attend a Greenwich Village Halloween block party. When the Werefox attacks, Goliath and Elisa agree to help Xanatos save Fox. Together, they manage to remove the Eye from the creature, which reverts to Fox. Goliath takes possession of the Eye.
Matt Bluestone convenes a meeting of the Gargoyle Taskforce (including himself, Elisa, Officers Morgan & Travanti, Detectives Harris & Chung, Margot Yale and Martin Hacker). Hacker has Illuminati meetings with Matt, Xanatos and Castaway. Morgan asks Elisa on a date. After turning him down and spending time with Jason in the hospital prison ward, she goes to the Eyrie. The gargoyles awaken at sunset. Fox has Halloween costumes for Brooklyn, Lexington, Broadway and Angela in anticipation of the Masque that Xanatos is throwing later that night. Elisa breaks up with Goliath. Demona recovers the Atlantean crystal that was at the heart of the Praying Gargoyle. In, the Labyrinth, Al is showing Shari around. Goliath and Brooklyn arrive. Brooklyn wants to ask Delilah to the party, but Goliath does instead. Goliath, Brooklyn and Delilah depart. Thailog attacks. Terry Chung, Billy Greene, Susan Greene and Sarah Browne trick-or-treat at Jeffrey Robbins' home, where Hudson and Bronx are visiting. Following Illuminati orders, Xanatos takes Fox and Alexander to a party at the White House. They chat with Ambassador Chung, and David meets Illuminatus Quincy Hemings. Meanwhile, Xanatos' Masque goes on without him at the Eyrie. Attendees include Judge Roebling, Doctor Sato, Brendan, Margot, Lexington, Brooklyn, Angela and Broadway. Elisa and Morgan arrive together, as do Goliath and Delilah. Thailog, having taken the male clones from the Labyrinth, arrives to collect Delilah and stabs Goliath.
Xanatos' probation expires.
Questions about issue #6
1. In this issue, I noticed that Shari, #9, had black around her eyes. I scanned through the previous issues and noticed she didn't have this before. Was this an artistic error or is it part of her look?
2. On the next to last page, I noticed that Thailog turned to stone, but his clothing did not. Was this deliberate or an artistic error?
1. Neither. It's artistic interpretation.
2. Deliberate. A choice I made at the script stage.