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Bad Guys was an excellent story, but I do have one question about one of the protagonists. Yama makes a point at the end of the story to note that each Bad Guy has an inner need to redeem himself or a greater purpose found in redemption. Matrix, however, is distanced from the rest of them almost immediately in terms of motivation as his mission is simply to preserve "law and order."
Now, I'm not knocking this at all; Matrix is my favorite protagonist in the book. But I think the distinction is interesting.
1. Does Matrix understand the concept of redemption?
2. Will he eventually find a reason why his own redemption might be necessary?
1. Good question. One that we'll explore given the opportunity.
2. Have to answer #1, before we can get to #2.
1. Were any of the Falstaff's Band of Thieves members Illuminati or are they just minions or henchmen?
2. If they are members of the Illuminati, what is the rank of:
A. Falstaff (John Oldcastle)?
C. Mistress Quickly?
3. What's the real name of:
B. Mistress Quickly?
4. Did Dingo know any of the Band of Thieves besides Falstaff and Pistol?
5. Why did John Oldcastle (Falstaff) strangle Dingo's mom?
6. What did the Redemption Squad plan on doing with Mistress Quickly?
1. Not saying.
2. Not saying.
3. Not saying.
5. Not saying.
6. Not saying.
So I've been lurking a bit, and I see folks are questioning the accessibility of the Gargoyles comics.
And I know I shouldn't do this, but I'm going to defend my own work here instead of just letting it stand on its own.
I totally reject the notion that the comics aren't accessible to new readers, unfamiliar with the GARGOYLES property. Now, granted Clan-Building, Volume II is pretty inaccessible IF you haven't read Clan-Building, Volume I. But in fairness to me, the Clan-Building arc is published in two volumes for commercial reasons, not creative ones. It's not two six-issue arcs; it's one twelve issue arc. So if you read Clan-Building in it's entirety OR if you read Bad Guys in it's entirety, I think both these arcs are extremely ACCESSIBLE.
And, yes, I've seen the reviews that claim that they're not. But I notice that those reviews are written by people who ARE passingly familiar with the cartoon and are making the ASSUMPTION that the books would be inaccessible to new readers. But I don't buy it. I've been doing this for a LONG time. And I know how to fill in my reader and/or viewer, introduce new concepts, etc.
Every issue in sequence introduces all the necessary information to a new reader that said reader would need. Does a reader benefit if they know all the backstory? Of course. But they don't have to know that backstory to enjoy the comic.
Let me take a specific example -- one that a reviewer specifically brought up. At the very end of issue #2 of Bad Guys, Sevarius appears. The reviewer (who knew exactly who Sevarius was) thought that I was blowing off new readers, because I gave NO backstory or introduction to Sevarius in that issue. But I'd argue that no introduction was necessary at that point. We've seen a mysterious figure descend into the Labyrinth, taser a guard, shed a disguise and confront Fang, claiming to know his real name and stating that he is Fang's "maker". That's ALL you need to know at that point as a new reader. It's perfectly okay if you DON'T know who this guy is. It's intriguing enough on that level. And in the very next issue (or chapter if you're reading the trade) Hunter gives all the backstory on Sevarius that you need to appreciate his role in issues/chapters #3 and #4. Yes, a hardcore fan is going to get extra juice when Sevarius pulls off his disguise because they'll recognize him. But even if Sevarius had been a brand new character, I wouldn't have handled his introduction any differently.
Look at Tasmanian Tiger. He is a new character. I hope he's at least a little bit intriguing. But is a new reader lost because they DON'T know that this is his first appearance? Readers, whether they are hardcore Garg fans or complete newbies, know as much about TT as they need to know -- and no more.
Yes, there are resources on the web -- BUT I don't count on those AT ALL, with one exception. And that exception is if people wonder why I'm ignoring Goliath Chronicles. And a new reader isn't even going to KNOW about Goliath Chronicles, so it's NOT an exception to him or her.
Otherwise, I use the tools I have within the book to explain what an audience needs to know. Someone familiar with the property may THINK the reader needs to know more, but I flat-out think they're wrong. My proof is anecdotal but it exists. I know people who've read the books and enjoyed them even though they never saw the show. Has it interested them in finding out more about the original series? Yes. And that's good and fine. But there's a difference between a new reader being intrigued and WANTING to learn more and a new reader being confused and NEEDING to know more to get what's going on.
You don't need to KNOW Brooklyn's entire history to know he's hurting because he can't get a date, to know he's pining for Angela and to know he's trying to get away from Angela and Broadway before chapter 10 of Clan-Building comes along -- and he's thrust into the past. Everything you NEED to know about him is present in issues 1-9. One benefits from knowing more, but that doesn't make it necessary to know more.
Of course, the greatest blockade to accessibility is the non-linear structure of chapters 7-9. But that's not property-based or familiarity-based, that's me using a non-traditional structure, which I might have done on an issue of, say, Captain Atom or Spider-Man or whatever. Hopefully, if a reader has read the first six chapters, they're intrigued enough to want to follow along despite the difficult structure.
Remember, issues 1 & 2 are designed to introduce you to the world of Gargoyles and any relevant information about said world. I got slammed by one reviewer for opening the comic book series with that adaptation of "The Journey", but I thought it was essential for new readers. One could argue fairly that each succeeding issue isn't as accessible as those first two, but complications and characters were added gradually through those first six issues. Anyone reading the book in order would not have been lost for a minute. If we hadn't been plagued by delays and late deliveries (which I had no control over and did not anticipate) it wouldn't have been the same kind of problem.
Any comic book or animated series that employs serialization and continuity is subject to these difficulties. And the middle chapter of any story (including a twelve-part story like Clan-Building or a six-part story like Redemption) can be tough to follow without having read the first few chapters. But just as I feel you can enjoy, say, "Leader of the Pack" without ever having seen any episodes from Season One of Gargoyles, I think Clan-Building can be enjoyed without having seen ANY of the Gargoyles TV series. Is the same true for "Avalon, Part Two" or "Avalon, Part Three"? No. But I think it IS true for "Avalon, Part One" and/or the three-part "Avalon" series when considered as a single unit.
My point is, I'm very familiar with the dilemma, and I know how to compensate. Or in any case, I'm VERY aware of the need to compensate. One can argue that I failed, I suppose. It does become subjective at some point. But nothing I did was done without very conscious thought on my part vis-a-vis the needs of a new reader. So any reviewer who claims that I didn't care or didn't try to make the book accessible is just -- well, wrong. And I think they are making assumptions based on THEIR knowledge of the richness of the property. They get all these resonances and call-backs, etc., and ASSUME a new reader would be lost without them. But you know what they say about the word "ASSUME". The resonances and call-backs are gravy. (And if you don't know they exist you won't know you're missing anything.) The meat, in my opinion, is all right there on the page.
Could humans be turned into Gargoyles by the same process that was used on the mutates? Sevarius didn't say he couldn't do it but that he had no Gargoyle DNA to play around with. Would Gargoyle DNA too complex to use in the same way as the jungle cats, eels etc?
Clearly, you have not been reading the BAD GUYS comic book. So I'll refer you to the Bad Guys trade paperback, due out in August. Enjoy!!
Got Bad Guys #2 today and really enjoyed it. I'll have to read it again before I do any kind of review, but I have a question.
Toward the end we see Shari hanging out in the Labyrinth as "Fred" wanders through. Without making suggestions that may be construed as ideas, what is the time frame for this scene? Am I correct in assuming its sometime before Halloween?
Since we're on the subject, I'd like to fill in the Bad Guys timeline:
1) What date did Hunter recruit Dingo and Matrix?
2) What date did Hunter recruit Yama?
3) What date did Sevarius spring Fang from the Labyrinth?
4) What date did the Redemption helicopter get blown out of the sky?
Any other Bad Guys-related dates you'd like to provide would be greatly appreciated.
1. Tuesday, November 5th, 1996, 7:00pm AEDT
2. Friday, November 8th, 1996, 7:07pm UTC+09
3. Friday, November 8th, 1996, 9:27pm EST
4. Monday, January 5th, 1997
Others and myself noticed that Dingo's Pack armor seems to have disappeared in Bad Guys comic issue #1. Did Matrix completely absorb Dingo's armor so that Dingo's original Pack armor doesn't exist out of Matrix?
SLG informed me today that Gargoyles: Bad Guys #1, "Redemption, Chapter 1: Strangers" will hit the stores on Thursday, November 29th, 2007.
Good news in and of itself, but what pleases me most is that it's out in November (if just under the wire). That means our goal of having some MONTHLY gargoyles product has been achieved. And since there's really NO reason why the already completed Gargoyles #7 shouldn't be out in December, that gives us a running start to STAY monthly! And don't forget the Trade Paperback, collecting the first half of "Clan-Building" which is also completed and approved and should be out in December or early January. C'mon! Tell me it's not a great time to be a Gargoyles fan! I dare ya!
Anyway, "Strangers" is by myself and Karine Charlebois with lettering by David Hedgecock and a cover featuring Matrix by Greg Guler and Stephanie Lostimolo. I hope you like it!
When does Bad Guys #1 come out?
End of November or beginning of December, 2007.
Okay, here's what I know as of right now.
First off, the reprint of Gargoyles #6 should be in stores tomorrow (11/14/07). You SHOULD be able to exchange first printing copies for the reprint if you'd like. Notice the emphasis on SHOULD. Let me quote a recent e-mail from SLG publisher Dan Vado in answer to my question as to whether local stores know about this:
"The store issue is a tough one. They have been as informed as they possibly can be, that is we paid to have notices sent to them, there will be an item on their invoice and there was a mention in the weekly newsletter from Diamond Comics as well as from me personally in my retailer newsletter and on a retailer message board. That being said, I was on a conference call with two retailers yesterday, two who buy direct form me regualrly and are among those stores I would count as hard core supporters, and they had no clue they were getting new copies this week or about the replacement issue. So, as I have been mentioning to fans, the best thing to do if the retailer looks at them like they were crazy is to not bother them or get angry with them, just tear off the cover [of their old printing copy] and send it to us [at SLG] and we will replace the book directly. This is why we have not sent copies to Amazon yet and why it has not been on our website yet."
So, not a perfect world, but I really do think it's as good as it gets given the situation.
Next up, Bad Guys #1. This SHOULD be out by the end of this month. Unfortunately, because of Thanksgiving, that's not a lock. But if it's not out the last week of November, it will be out the first week of December. (In any case, it's ALL finished -- and approved.)
After that, expect Gargoyles #7 approximately three weeks after Bad Guys #1 hits the stores -- which SHOULD still put it in December -- unless Christmas messes that up, in which case it should be out the first week in January. The book is also ALL finished, but has not yet been approved.
After that, the Gargoyles Clan-Building Volume #1 Trade Paperback. Galleys are being reviewed now, but it should be out in late December or early January. We may delay it a week or two so that it isn't coming out the EXACT same week as BG1 or G7. Then again we may not.
After that, um, I guess Bad Guys #2, which is currently being finished by Karine.
After that Gargoyles #8, which is being pencilled by David.
After that Bad Guys #3, which is being scripted now by me.
After that Gargoyles #9, which has ALREADY been scripted by me. Uh... how did that happen?
Anyway, that's all I know at this time.
I was just curious as to how you went about choosing the villains for Bad Guys. Please note that I am completely pleased with the current Redemption Squad line-up, so I'm not complaining, I'm just curious. What was it about these guys that helped them make the cut, whereas other villains in the Gargoyle universe didn't make it? Where there some other villains who nearly got included but didn't quite make the cut? If so, who are they and why'd you decide against them? Feel free to volunteer any other interesting tidbits of information about how you went about picking the Bad Guys villains.
I've answered this -- and recently. Check the archives. Or maybe I covered it in a recent interview. Ask around the comment room. I'm sure someone'll know where to direct you.
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