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Clan-Building #8: Rock & Roll

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Blaise writes...

GARGOYLES #8: ROCK AND ROLL

I didn't get my copy of #8 until last Friday (I was working the day it came out and by the time I got to Golden Apple, they were sold out--mostly because they had cut back on their orders). Well, I'm on a list now, so hopefully that won't happen again any time soon.
The extra wait was painful for me, but it was still worth it.

I enjoyed the "previews" of what was to come. "Knight's Spur" is a cool reveal, as is Hudson vs. Coldsteel (and their lines directly follow their initial exchange later in the book). And I was pleasantly surprised when Vinne showed up. I'm still wondering how he enters into this story, but we'll find out eventually.

Ahhh...I recall some people posting about different tales of the Stone's journey to Ireland, and now Shari starts telling them. I like how Thailog (speaking for the audience as well) points out that this contradicts her earlier story, and she is not fazed but subtley reinforces the "..who can say if it be true" bit.

Wow, Arthur and Macbeth share the same coronation day. Maybe they should throw themselves dual coronation day parties.
I don't know who called that Mac and Art would compare notes and then become chummy again, but they were right. I love how they suddenly panic that the gargoyles "will be at each others' throats" when, in fact, they're getting along like a house on fire.

I wonder what Xanatos's little button-thing is for. Like Phil, I'm half suspecting he may have summoned Colstone and Coldfire with it....
-I absolutely LOVED the scene where Mac and Art compare their immortal lives. Who knew Nightstone had coffe shops?
I did not miss that the second half of Mac's line, "Here's to the Immortals--there aren't many like us..." topped a page (and panel) of Shari...telling a tale of Chu Chullain.
I was surprised at how much like Rory young Chu Chullain looked here.

I enjoyed Hudson's objection to being called "yank." And kudos to whoever called the (nick)names.
Constance=Coco
Staghart=Amp
Cute.

Just as Coco says that no one calls Staghart "Amp," We flash forward to the big battle where Lexington calls him by that name. I'm not ready to say there's anything special going on yet, but it certainly seems like Lexington's already pretty close to Amp.
I was surprised that this particular section of the fight scene (very cool, BTW) lasted as long as it did (seriously, how often do we follow a specific time for more than a page?). I, too, noticed the Iron Clan robot alongside the Steel Clan one. I also like how Griff recognizes the resemblance to Goliath, and Macbeth knows the robots are Xanatos's. Just as Mac says the battle might be a diversion, he notices Arthur's gone. I thought I knew why he was missing, intially, but some theories have been flying around that make me wonder....

Nice Arthurian story bit, and we finally get our first true glimpse of Merlin. His design surprised me, I must say. I expected something like blue or grey garments with a hood, if not the typical pointy hat. But I really like this design (and the use of the word "clep'd"). Took me a minute to remember who Pelles was, though.

"All things are true...few things are accurate." "Aye. No bloody kidding." I enjoyed that exchange, and that Arthur's trying to catch up on his Arthurian literature.

London Clan 101. A very informative look at just how fricken' HUGE this clan is, along with other interesting tidbits (like "enforced isolation"--ouch!). Good reactions to Lex's question (whether Coco and Amp are mates), and also to Lex's unspoken query about beasts.

Nice bit with Loch Ness, but why is "story time" advancing by one minute each day? It seems too regular to be coincidence.

I liked Coldsteel's "no sign of life" quip. And it's confirmed that the Xanatos-head in Coyote's mouth IS a view screen. Good to know.
Like Demonskrye I recognized the Philip K. Dick reference.
I liked how we jumped from Lexington saying they weren't going anywhere until they figure out what Xanatos *and Fox* are up to (showing how much he still distrusts her) and we jump back to Fox buying her shoes. Now, about those shoes...at this point, they're starting to become a bigger mystery than anything else in this story.

Thailog doesn't like losing (or even getting close to it), but he's like his father (one of them anyway) when it comes to subordinates pretending to lose.
I thought Kenneth Macalpin looked cool.

Seeing Coco's happy reaction to the Iron Clan's "delimbification" coupled with her "Like I need a gun" line led me to believe she was dangerous. This impression lasted until I turned the page and saw that she was REALLY dangerous.

She's topped by Coldsteel, though, who's willing to do it to his own father. But his tentacles are melted before he can (and I am NOT used to seeing anything but a scowl on his robotic face, so his surprised look here caught me by...well, surprise).

Since the fire came, I knew Coldfire was there at least, so Coldstone couldn't have been too far behind. I second Amp's "Anyone order up the kitchen sink?"

All in all, I'm just waiting for the concluding chapter.

Greg responds...

It's jam-packed, I promise.

Response recorded on May 21, 2008

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sky_warrior17 writes...

Hey Greg,
Have to do a first time post finally, too many things in Gargoyles #8 that made me smile. Been a fan since it first came out when I was 7 or 8 and it stuck with me, but I'll keep it a short review.

First, noticed the thicker paper on the cover, more like the first one. Both ways are fine, but I'm hoping thats a good sign as to the success of the comic.

Second, noticed two of our heros drinking Nightstone Unlimited coffee. Made me smile, but also made me wonder, what all does Nightstone actually produce and own?

I liked that Hudson resented being called a Yank, he's a true Scott at heart and it shows.
All the back story on the English Clan was also great, all that kind of stuff is fascinating, and it was great to see a few more gargs, even as statues. Hopefully we'll get to see more of them awake, you've really left the openings for it there in a nice way. Did I miss somewhere where Griff may have met Hudson and Lex before? I thought he'd only ever actually seen Goliath, and the phrasing made me think they may have met in person at some previous point.

The bit where Thailog used Xanatos's line "I'd fire you if you did" actually made me laugh out loud. Loved that so much. I forget the episode, but remember the Judo match against Owen.

Also, I also must send praise for what Hedgecock is doing with the art now, he's on a great track and it shows that he's really learned the characters we love so much, and the new ones look great! This combined with Robby's coloring was a real treat. The only thing that even remotely bothered me was the inconsistency of Shari's nose, specially with all the closeups in this issue. Pg 4 and 20 she has a very prominent nose bridge, yet on 12 it's perfectly smooth. It also varies a bit in issue 7. Both ways are fine, but it would be nice to see just one for those of us that like to do our own fanart.

Overall, no major complains, and you continue to amaze and give more each time. Keep up the great work, it's really appriciated!

Greg responds...

As to Nightstone, you'll just have to wait for things to be revealed in the fullness of time...

Response recorded on May 13, 2008

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Craig writes...

I must make a brief comment on the terrific advances David Hedgecock has made since this series has begun. A lot of fans were quick to criticize his early work. Unfortunately, now that his art has improved by leaps and bounds, I have not seen a corresponding amount of praise.

Right off the bat, we have the cover. Since I was ten, I've thought Hudson was the coolest looking gargoyle, and Hedgecock and Jorge Molina prove it in style! I was really disappointed to hear that Guler would no longer be doing the covers, so I was biased against Hedgecock in that regard...but even with that bias, I feel that this is the second coolest cover, after #5!

Other highlights for Hedgecock this issue: Thailog's victorious grin (and subsequent contrite look) upon catching Shari in a lie, and then being reminded of her disclaimer. Macbeth's look when he talks about "sleep-walking" (what a PERFECTLY written scene, by the way!). The wide-eyed optimism in Lex's eyes when he asks about the beasts, and the sadness in Griff's face when he replies (this exchange is odd and without context at this point, and yet Hedgecock lends it exactly the right tension and emotion to make us curious for an explanation). The design of Merlin...precisely the right balance of benevolence and mystery. And our first foggy glimpse of Castle Carbonek...! What a thrilling moment for us Illuminati nuts, after all these years of waiting.

I never thought Hedgecock's work was "bad" by any standard. However, I think the improvement from issue one to the current issue is comparable to the difference between a TV episode animated by Sun Woo and one animated by Koko...the art goes from supporting the story to elevating it. This is a massive testament to Hedgecock's commitment to this project...I cannot begin to imagine the hours he must have put into exploring this world, not to mention the new characters he has to learn for every issue. So I hope that you will forward this comment to Dave as some small motivation to keep up the terrific work. And as always, Greg, thanks for making all of this possible, and for bringing David and the rest of us to your world!

Greg responds...

I've always been a fan of Dave's, so you're preaching to the converted over here.

Response recorded on May 08, 2008

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Purplegoldfish writes...

Here's my review for #8

A good all-around issue. I'm usually more interetested in the stories dealing with the Manhattan happenings, but there was some really interesting stuff in here that I enjoyed.

I love Staghart and Constance. Fun characters-kind of like modern teenage gargoyles. I hope we see more of them after this story concludes. And I like all the little tidbits about the London Clan. I bet their numbers make up at least half the world's gargoyle population-probably more.

It seems almost selfish for them to keep couples from laying a third egg, being such a decimated species. I wonder what Goliath would think of that. I hope the issue is brought up again-could make for some nice drama.

I like the new bit of info on gargoyle biology-that it's hard to keep gargoyles in heat from mating-like it's more of a biological imperative. I've always wondered about that.

I love how Shari's stories sometimes contradict each other. Goes back to Hudson saying "Maybe we shouldn't believe everything we see on television." Not all stories are true-but there's usually some bit of truth in each of them. (Also reminds me of what Goliath says in "Mark of the Panther". I really like how the comic makes me think of happenings from past episodes). I like how all kinds of different myths and legends from around the world are incorporated-and that they're not stated as fact-but we have to make up our own minds about them. And I just love those scenes with Shari and Thailog-they have a strange sort of chemistry that I'm really starting to like.

Arthur and Macbeth-So cool that these two are becoming friends. Trading their strange tales over coffee...Nightstone's coffee, lol! I bet it's WAY overpriced ;)
"All things are true...few things are accurate"-Great line! I've been wondering about Hudson's enigmatic look though-maybe he's thinking about the human/gargoyle relations trouble at home, and humans' thoughts about gargoyles in general, and what it's cost his species.

Fox's shoes-erm, ok hehe. I personally think that it really has nothing to do with the story at all-except as a humorous commentary on the people behind the scenes. While this big battle is going on, the wife of the man responsible for all this mayhem is doing something totally mundane as buying shoes. I can almost hear the Musak in the background of that shoe store lol.

And again, the timeline format really does this story justice-I love all the little hints you drop with the logistic placing of the panels. Not a whole lot of people would have the patience to do all the work you do for this comic book. That's just one of the reasons why we love you ;)

I can't wait for #9!

Greg responds...

Keep Hudson's look in mind. You'll love me even more if you do.

Response recorded on April 30, 2008

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Jake McAlpine writes...

Just got done reading issue #8 and wanted to write to let you know how great I think the comics are. The story is actually richer through this medium I think. I watched the show as a kid and was thrilled to see you continue the story line. As I read this issue with all the kings being crowned I thought "this is about the time period of King Kenneth" and a few pages later there he was! Thank you for writing such an imaginative story that draws so much on history. I can't wait to read this to my children and use it as an excuse to teach them about a piece of their family history. So a big thank you from the McAlpine Clan.

Greg responds...

Your post seriously tickles me. (Not literally, though.)

Response recorded on April 29, 2008

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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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