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Battle Beast writes...

Hello! I haven't posted anything to "Ask Greg" in quite some time, although I do enjoy reading responses.

I just got through reading the trades for the hundredth time (in only four days mind you.)

Sooooo.... How could you so this to us?! Shame on you!!!

The trades were the hight of awesomness, and worth ever second of wait time, but you ended both books on such cliff-hangers! Not really, but... Brooklyn et. al show up at the end of CBV2, the Redemption Squad doesn't complete their objective... leaving the door open for more... I mean, I want to see more! I turn the page and there isn't another page! It's really a big tease, to me at least.

I know it will be a long time before/if we get anything new, and I know how hard you worked just to get out what we have, so I will not complain but rather (how can I compliament you without gushing too much?) praise you magnificent job on all three trades and 12 comics.

I wanted you to know that I (and probably many, many, many others are ecstatic with the trades and the job done by all.

Thank you!

Greg responds...

Leaving you wanting more is the goal of most artists.

Response recorded on January 04, 2010

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Cynthia from Riverdale writes...

Dear Greg,
I just finished reading Clan Building Vol. 2 and I wanted to know, will there be more Gargoyle trade paperbacks? I know there is one for Bad Guys coming out, but I wanted to know about stories concerning the main Gargoyles. Also, speaking of Bad Guys, how many issues will be in the trade? Lastly, I thought the trade rushed Brooklyn's time traveling story, will there be a trade paperback to cover what wasn't told? Thanks so much for giving fans the unpublished issues.

Greg responds...

Bad Guys Trade is out. Contains six issues worth of content, including covers.

Brooklyn's story wasn't all that rushed to my mind. IF you're asking about his ENTIRE time-travel journey, then please understand there was NEVER any intent to show all of that here. That story takes place over FORTY YEARS of continuity. I hope to tell more of it eventually, but let's be honest -- there's no way I'm ever going to cover all forty years in my lifetime.

And, yes, I hope there will someday be more Gargoyles trades. Dan Vado and SLG are working on that now.

Response recorded on December 03, 2009

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philip writes...

hi greg,did you wrote lyrics "will to love"? ...when i searched the lyrics i found
the the full version...wich is a lot more than it was sang on tv...why? heres the rest of the song:I figured I’d stay on the shelf.
Truth be told, didn’t trust myself:
Always fade, don’t make the grade, too afraid
Of rejection. Oh…

I didn’t think I had the strength
To find a girl on my wavelength.
Just a runt, always punt. No will to hunt
For perfection.

Then everything changes.
She’s there. Life rearranges.
Winged angel from above…
Helped me find the Will… the Will to love…
The Will to love… The Will to love…

Game’s full of surprises.
Live our share of compromises.
Still when push comes to shove…
She’s just the Will to love.
She’s just the Will to love.
I found the Will to love.

And everything changes.
She’s here. Life rearranges.
Winged angel from above…
She is just the Will… the Will to love.
The Will to love… The Will to love… Oh…
The Wïll to love…

Greg responds...

We put as much of the song in the episode as there was time for. And, yes, I wrote the lyrics. The full version can be found in, of all place, the Gargoyles: Bad Guys trade paperback, available now from Amazon.

Response recorded on November 24, 2009

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ACCESSIBILITY

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.


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Todd Jensen writes...

I saw a promo for the "Bad Guys" trade paperback on YouTube this morning (an official one, done by Slave Labor Graphics), and was delighted by it. Especially the meeting between Dingo and a new (as in, introduced to us in this story) member of the Illuminati (we don't know his name yet - but I have my suspicions, which I can't reveal here because of the "no ideas" rule) - I enjoyed the Illuminatus's statement that the Illuminati are the "good guys" as an echo of the series title. And also the scene with Yama and Matrix at the end of the promo; it was great to see Yama, so solemn up until now, beginning to develop a sense of humor.

I'm looking forward to this book all the more now.

Greg responds...

Me too, believe me. It should be arriving in stores any week now. And I've been promised we'll have some copies available at the Gathering.

Response recorded on August 12, 2009

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TRADE PAPERBACKS!

Hey gang,

I know -- and share -- the frustrations over the vague release dates of the two remaining trades. Both are DONE. So it's just an issue of getting them from the printers, through customs, out to Diamond and then into stores, etc.

BUT, Dan Vado has ASSURED me that all three trades (GARGOYLES, CLAN-BUILDING, VOLUME ONE; GARGOYLES, CLAN-BUILDING, VOLUME TWO; GARGOYLES: BAD GUYS, REDEMPTION) will be available for purchase at the Gathering. Hopefully, they'll be available everywhere sooner or at least shortly thereafter, but at the very least -- if you come to the con, you can get the books!


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JLB writes...

First off just letting you know I love your work and especially Gargoyles.

This is a two part question about the future of your Gargoyles comic. It seems that the latest news I've seen is dated in 2008 so I was wondering if there were any updates since then if SLG will be doing any further arcs, after the current one is finished in the graphic novel, or if you've found another property to publish them. Lastly, is there anyway to help you like someone at Disney the fans can write to so they won't be stingey with their liscense?

Greg responds...

Trust me, if there's news I will post it here at ASK GREG. Right now, everything depends on the sales of the two trade paperbacks, due out this July and August.

And, no, I'm afraid I don't have a contact person for you to communicate with at Disney.

Response recorded on June 10, 2009

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Derek writes...

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?

Greg responds...

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!!

Response recorded on June 09, 2009

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Cartoonlover writes...

None of my local stores carry anything Gargoyles. Would buying it from Amazon suffice?

Greg responds...

Definitely!

Response recorded on June 02, 2009

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Litwolf writes...

Has there been a selection made in the guest who will write the introduction to Clan-Building volume 2? And is there going to be a guest intro for Bad Guys?

Greg responds...

There's no intro to Clan-Building Volume 2. I haven't seen the Bad Guys proofs yet.

Response recorded on May 18, 2009


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