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Clan-Building #8: Rock & Roll

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Todd Jensen writes...

A few questions about Gargoyles #8:

1. Is the man crowning Arthur in the September 29, 500 flashback King Pelles? The clothing, hair, and beard look right, but his face has a different shape than that of Pelles in Shari's "Sword in the Stone" flashback. Or is that just a slip of Hedgecock's pen?

2. In Shari's account of Arthur drawing Excalibur from the Stone of Destiny, she calls London "Londontown". Is that a reference to the Disney animated "Sword in the Stone" movie, where the opening narration describes the Sword in the Stone as appearing in "Londontown"?

3. Is Lunette named after the Lunette of the story of Yvain/Owain and the Lady of the Fountain?

Greg responds...

1. Yes, that's Pelles.

2. Uh, maybe subconsciously. It's been some time since I last saw that movie.

3. Yep.

Response recorded on April 29, 2008

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Matt writes...

My Review For Gargoyles #8, "Rock And Roll"...

- After a not so great day, I finally reached the high point when my friend Ryan and I picked up our copies of Gargoyles #8. The first thing I noticed when I picked it up was that we were back to the firmer cover material, which pleased me, though it was fine either way. The second thing I noticed was how gorgeous the cover art is. Kudos to Greg Guler and Jorge Molina. This thing is a beaut. I wish I could get a full size poster of this cover, it is spectacular. It truly is the way comic book covers should be done. The layout is great and the coloring is amazing (particularly in places like Hudson's hair and beard). For a character all too often left behind in the Gargoyles stories, Hudson is really doing well on the comic covers! My one complaint about the cover would be the glow of Hudson's right eye. Almost looks like his eye is exploding!

- On to the story itself, we continue the non-linear format, which continues to be a bit daunting and a lot of fun. As Phil so observantly noted in Etched In Stone, there is a purpose to the specific layout and that purpose leads to hints, nudges and winks that one would otherwise not notice. In #8, the hint that is most interesting is Macbeth mentioning how there are few immortals and we cut to Shari... but also CuChullain, who has a different sort of immortality in his reincarnation.

- I'm pleased that we get a lot of information on the London Clan in this issue, and also of Constance and Staghart. They are really fascinating, so gargoyle and yet so different than what we are used to and expecting. They all have names and take to them so easily. Old Pog's gotta his name, sure, but even young Lunette's got her name. And of course, there's the biggie, while the gargoyle species is teetering on the brink of extinction and at least a few clans around the world have been decimated or otherwise face a real problem of population growth, the London Clan is consciously working to keep itself small and contained! It is also interesting that there are no beasts. Sir Griff leads me to think there is a sad story to that fact.

- There was a lot of humor in this issue, which was great. I loved Thailog confronting Shari about conflicts in her (maybe not so true) stories, Constance's "Nobody calls you Amp, Luv" line and her dismemberment of the Steel Clan robot (which, while funny, was also extremely cool. I also got a big kick out of Constance and Staghart's reaction to Lex's question about their being mates. I must say, I'm really fond of these two gargoyles and I hope (and suspect) we will see more of them beyond Issue #9. Staghart and Lexington (AKA Amp and Lex) seem to be forming a bond at any rate. Their mutual life-saving is nice and there are some subtle moments that I really like. I don't want to say much more in this review though, least I be wrong in my suspicions. Lets just say I look forward to watching their... relationship develop.

- The battle scenes in this one are a lot of fun. The five gargoyles vs. the four robots is neat. I'm curious why there is both a single Steel Clan and a single Iron Clan robot present and not two of one or the other. Coldsteel is getting rather creepy. The thought that he would have actually removed Hudson's arm is terrifying. I mean, they are enemies of course, but Hudson is Coldsteel's rookery father. The contrast between Coldsteel and Coyote is striking. Here you have Coyote warning his enemies to leave or else, upset when they don't and outright stating that he would only "terminate" if neccesary and then you have Coldsteel, who is somewhat gleeful at the thought of engaging in battle and causing painful bodily harm. It's almost funny that the enemy with a true soul is the more heartless of the two.

- We end the book in a similar fashion to how we ended #7, the arrival of some more new gargoyles to the Abbey. I have to say that I predicted that Coldstone and Coldfire would arrive, so it wasn't a surprise to me to see that they did. That said, their arrival is no less fun for me. I love to see everyone coming out of the woodwork. Amp wasn't kidding about the kitchen sink.

- A couple more small notes: I thought Vinnie's brief appearance was interesting and very unexpected. How does he fit into this? I absolutely LOVED Merlin's depiction. He looks so original and like a character I want to know more about. I suppose I was expecting a more Gandalf-like look, I should've had more faith in Greg and the artists. Griff, on the other hand, was a bit rough. I don't neccesarily hold this against Hedgecock though, I have seen very few drawings of Griff that looked great (in the series or in fan-art). He is just a tough character to draw, I think. Aside from Griff, Hedgecock is doing a great job. Always been a fan, of course, and he is getting better and better. And of course, Greg's writing continues to be superb. It all just flows so well. All in all, a great, great comic. It does come off as a bit of a "middle story", but the action and the non-linear format help make it very climactic. Definitely leaves me desperate for #9.

Greg responds...

The cover to issue #8 was by David Hedgecock and Jorge Molina.

Hopefully the non-linear storytelling won't just be a cool device by the end of 109. But I'll admit I'm glad I did it either way. It really freed up my writing in general, pulling me out of my animation safe place into something more appropriate for comics. Bad Guys has definitely benefitted from the lessons learned in 7-9.

Response recorded on April 25, 2008

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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

My thoughts about #8: This is a good issue but perhaps less exciting than #7.

I was hoping we'd get to see meet many more members of the London Clan, but maybe we'll see more in #9. We do see a cool-looking hippogriff dude and somebody who may or may not be Una, it's hard to tell.
The London Clan have such an ironic situation. 196 members is still not a healthy breeding population for an endangered species, but it is pretty good for a modern gargoyle clan. It's nice to know that some clans are doing relatively well. (I imagine Ishimura is also large) But because of that, they have to restrict their own reproduction and cannot contribute anything to increasing the gargoyle population and helping the species increase. I can see how a clan in this situation would be happy to send members or eggs to another clan if they thought it was reasonably safe. Being unable to mate and having to resist strong instincts must be really unpleasant. I certainly hope that the exchanges mentioned in 2198 start happening soon, so the population can increase more easily.

Lexington's shocked expression in that scene is well done.

It's quite funny when Thailog starts complaining that Shari's stories are inconsistent.
I like the way the stuff with the Stone of Destiny and the Sword in the Stone is handled. I am surprised that you went with a Gandalf sort of look for Merlin, not that I dislike it. Kenneth on the other hand is one scary and ugly looking dude.

I'm glad that King Arthur and Macbeth didn't get in a fight. And I like the scenes where Macbeth's coronation on the Stone is compared with that of Kenneth and Arthur.

Then they go to a coffee shop and Nightstone sells coffee!? I suppose Demona needs a lot of it to keep awake during the day since she has a day job and rarely sleeps.

The format is still very confusing. The art is nice for the most part, except for Staghart on the page facing CuChullain (sorry, there are no page numbers!)

I like the London Clan and especially King Arthur's confusion about the robots.

And King Arthur is researching himself, this is funny. Macbeth's comment about accuracy is funny too, he certainly can complain. (Even though he doesn't actually mind Shakespeare's play)

I notice that the London Clan's way of speaking is more contemporary/modern than Lexington's.

Questions:
1. Is the female gargoyle with the unicorn horn (in the stone sleep scene) Una, or a different character?

2. Other than the phone (mentioned in previous responses) what sort of modern amenities does Knight's Spur have? Do they have electricity? running water? garbage service? mail delivery?

Greg responds...

1. Do you mean Lunette?

2. Not mail delivery. Mail would go to the store. But all the rest, yes.

Response recorded on April 23, 2008

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Todd Jensen writes...

Bought Gargoyles #8 today. After this, I'm all the more certain on one thing: the Stone of Destiny story is my favorite story in the Gargoyles comic to date.

I enjoyed the continuation of Shari's tale about the Stone of Destiny. Some of it was familiar to me (Jeremiah and Tamar bringing the Stone to Ireland, the Stone's links to Fergus, Columba, and Kenneth mac Alpin), but there were some surprises. The Stone turning out to be the stone that Moses struck to get water for the Israelites, for example. Cuchulain breaking it in half (though that explains how there's still supposedly a Lia Fail at Tara). Pity that even Shari can't reconcile the Gathelus and Scota version with the Jeremiah version (I liked Thailog's response to that)!

I wasn't surprised that Merlin was responsible for the Stone showing up at London for the young Arthur to pull Excalibur out (especially since he's got a reputation for taking stones from Ireland and bringing them to Britain for the benefit of the Pendragon family). What did surprise me was King Pelles' role in the story. And Merlin wearing a cowboy hat.

I liked the nicknames for Constance and Staghart as well. Now I know for certain where Xanatos gets that recycling habit that he displayed in "Cloud Fathers".

We also get to learn more about the London clan and their own customs (pity about the no beasts part).

And great surprise entry for Coldstone and Coldfire, too.

Finally, I enjoyed the little tidbits along the way: the number of Vinnie's flight to Japan, the name on Arthur and Macbeth's coffee cups (and it's even in the Gargoyles font), Arthur's line "All things are true... few things are accurate" (a good commentary on Shari's story, incidentally, though I doubt that Arthur knows about it), Hudson's "So many books" line (how appropriate, with Arthur and Macbeth both in the room), Lexington's "electric sheep" line, and Thailog and Shari's "The Edge" moment.

Now I'm looking forward to #9 all the more, to see how it all turns out (and the significance to Vinnie's cameo, Fox's shoe-buying, and Xanatos pressing the red button).

Thanks for a great issue, Greg!

Greg responds...

It's not a cowboy hat.

Response recorded on April 22, 2008

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Greg Bishansky writes...

Okay, before I review "Gargoyles".

Holy crap... Dr. Doom got his ass kicked! Okay, we've seen him get beaten before, but not like that.

Now, with that out of the way...

Okay, so the entire issue takes place in London, with the exceptions of Shari telling Thailog more about the history of the Stone of Destiny.

Macbeth and King Arthur team-up, and Lexington and Hudson team up with the London gargoyles, Sir Griff, Staghart (Amp) and Constance (Coco). Xanatos unleashes Coldsteel, Coyote 5.0 and two Steel Clan robots to attack the gargoyles in what has to be a distraction while he steals the Stone.

Speaking of Amp. I began to suspect it in December, so I'm calling it here... Amp is going to be Lexington's "special friend".

I loved the bit where Arthur and Macbeth are talking about why they're not centuries dead.

Arthur: ... mortally wounded in 542. So they shipped me off to some Magic Hill and put me to sleep for a thousand four hundred fifty-three years.
Macbeth: Sounds lovely.
Arthur: And you?
Macbeth: Deal with a demon in 1040. Officially died in 1057... been sleep-walking for nine hundred thirty-nine years.
Arthur: .... Guess I got the better bargain.

Then they toast to the immortals (toast Nightstone coffee! Demona and Thailog started their own Starbucks, they are EVIL!) and we get implication that Shari is immortal.

Oh, and Coldstone and Coldfire are back too. Though, I wouldn't call in the kitchen sink yet. Now, if Demona and Tony Dracon popped on over with Eric and Gunther Sturlisson, then yeah, I would expect the kitchen sink next.

Greg responds...

What's this about Dr. Doom?

Response recorded on April 22, 2008

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Jack-Pumpkinhead writes...

Dear Greg, I got my copy of gargoyles #8 today, and I must say, you and everyone involved have once again done an excellent job. I personally enjoyed Arthur and Macbeth comparing immortailties and Coco's commentary. From the artists, I rather like Merlin's look; unique, yet appropriate. I would also like to thank you all for indirectly confirming my suspicions concerning Shari, which I won't post here for now. Anyway, again, excellent job everybody, keep it up, and I'll keep doing my part to convince people to buy Gargoyles merchandise.

Greg responds...

Thanks.

Response recorded on April 21, 2008

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Ricky writes...

Hey Greg,

This is something I've been wondering about for a while now..ever since Gargoyles #7 came out, and since we found out that #10 is called "The Gate." You've begun to incorporate plot points that were supposed to be from Pendragon and, with #10, Timedancer, into the main book.

1) Are there any other titles you can reveal, GargWiki has Gargoyles #11 as "Tyrant" and Bad Guys #4 as "Louse." Have you figured the titles out anywhere past those?

2) Is incorporating these elements into the main book a contingency plan, in case the spin-offs don't end up getting their own series, so that elements from them can still be used? Or is this to provide a jumping off point for the spin-offs to pick up from once they're being made?

3) Is there any word on how successful Bad Guys has been?

I know it's only been one issue for Bad Guys and ridiculously too soon to ask, but I'm also curious as to your thoughts about how likely Pendragon and Timedancer are at this point.

Last question:
Are the release dates set for Gargoyles #8 and Bad Guys #2? I know you're busy, and by the time you get to respond to this, they might both be out, if that turns out to be the case, you can disregard the question. ;)

Thanks a lot!

Greg responds...

1. Yes.

2. The latter.

3. I don't have any definitive info.

I think Gargoyles #8 should be out on Wednesday, March 26th. I think. Not sure about Bad Guys #2, although BOTH it and Bad Guys #3 are complete, complete.

As good a time as any for an update...

Bad Guys #4 is fully roughed out and being pencilled and inked by Karine.

Gargoyles #9 is also fully roughed and being pencilled by David.

Gargoyles #10 is fully scripted.

I'm scripting Red Tornado #2 right now, and then I'll jump onto Bad Guys #5.

You know, in between this Spider-Man thing.

Response recorded on March 25, 2008

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Anthony Tini writes...

Greg,

Based on the information you shared with us on Monday, February 11, 2008, I compiled the list below for my website. Would you say the list below is accurate on the potential release dates for the future comics of Gargoyles? If not, what dates should I change? Thank you.

March 2008
Gargoyles #8

April 2008
Bad Guys #2

May 2008
Gargoyles #9

June 2008
Bad Guys #3

July 2008
Gargoyles #10

August 2008
Bad Guys #4

September 2008
Gargoyles #11

October 2008
Bad Guys #5

November 2008
Gargoyles #12

December 2008
Bad Guys #6

Greg responds...

It's as accurate as anything I guess. We're still waiting on Disney to approve G#8 and BG#2. They're both done.

Bad Guys #3 is fully penciled and inked. It's being finished and lettered.

Gargoyles #9 and Bad Guys #4 are both being pencilled now.

Gargoyles #10 is being scripted.

That's where things currently stand.

Response recorded on March 10, 2008

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Where things stand...

Uh... they don't. Not for me. They run at break-neck speed, these days. Here's what I'm up to.

GARGOYLES
Issue #8 is complete. Late last week it was sent to Disney AND the printer, so that the moment the former approves it, the latter can send it to press.
Issue #9 is written. David Hedgecock is doing roughs and original designs now. The cover, already pencilled and inked by Greg Guler,is being colored by Robby Bevard.
Issue #10 needs to get written. I'll get to that as soon as I'm done writing Red Tornado #1 (see below). Dave will be pencilling that cover off his rough.

GARGOYLES: BAD GUYS
Issue #2 is currently being lettered. The art is complete: pencils and inks by Karine Charlebois, finishes by Karine and Robby. The cover, a Guler/Bevard job featuring Yama, is done.
Issue #3 is currently being roughed out by guest artist Christopher A. Jones. Chris is the regular penciller on The Batman Strikes, and he and I worked together on the Captain Atom/Gargoyles/Justice League Europe parody from a few years back. The cover, a Guler/Bevard job featuring Hunter, is done.
Issue #4 is currently being roughed by Karine. The cover, a Guler/Bevard job featuring Fang, is done.
Issue #5 will get scripted as soon as I'm done scripting Red Tornado #1, Gargoyles #10 and Red Tornado #2. Guler is currently working on the cover, which features Dingo.

RED TORNADO
DC Comics has hired me to write a six issue limited series featuring one of my favorite characters, i.e. Red Tornado. (Duh.) I'm currently scripting issue #1. I'm hoping that any attention I get on this book will help us over on the Gargoyles books.

THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN
And, oh yeah... there's my actual job... and the main reason why I'm completely exhausted these days.
Episode #1 - This week we have a music and fx preview. The episode will preview at WonderCon on 2/23 and premiere on KidsWB on 3/8.
Episode #2 - We had a music and fx spottting session last week. This episode will ALSO premiere on KidsWB on 3/8. Or so I've been told.
Episode #3 - I've seen the Teaser and Act One. Hopefully, I'll see the missing acts this week, so that we can do our first pass edit and call retakes. We also have a music spotting session late this week.
Episode #4 - We should get it back from Korea this week to edit and call retakes.
Episodes #5-12 - We're waiting to get these back from Korea.
Episode #13 - Reviewing final color models.
Episodes #14-15 - Seeing design work daily and waiting to see storyboards.
Episodes #16-17 - Seeing design work daily. We'll be recording some pick-ups this week with a couple of actors who missed the main recording sessions earlier this month.
Episode #18 - We're recording this one on Thursday of this week.
Episode #19 - I need to finish editing the script for this one tonight.
Episode #20 - I'll start editing this script tonight or tomorrow.
Episode #21 - The writer should deliver this script late this week.
Episode #22 - The writer's working on this script now.
Episode #23 - The writer's working on this outline now.
Episode #24 - The writer will start this outline when she finishes writing the script to #21.
Episode #25 - I have to write this outline... you know, on my free time.
Episode #26 - The writer will write this outline when he's done writing the script for #22.

And I think that's it. Whew!


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Sabina writes...

Ha, I finally got Gargoyles #7. Took long enough, atleast it brought the TPB with it. :)

The new stories are quite interesting and it's nice to see how everything is set up and interwoven.
I hope the comic will be around for a long time.

Goliath looks rather seductive on the TPB's back.

Greetings,
Sabina

Greg responds...

That's a Hedgecock Goliath on the back, I believe. (Going from memory here. Don't have the book in front of me.)

Response recorded on February 07, 2008


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