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Not a question (so no need to answer)...just wanted to say that I've recently discovered this site and am tremendously impressed with your fan accessibility. I have found Spectacular Spider-Man to be THE best interpretation of Spider-Man - continually making smart decisions about what to take from the various iterations (original, Ultimate, Raimi) to make something that is both classic and new at the same time. Also - the show's casting decisions are genius. I will do everything I can to encourage my friends to find Disney XD and watch all they can in the hopes that the series continues.
For every person who asks you a question on this site, there are a hundred people like me who have no questions, but DO have an immense appreciation for your work. Good luck to you and I hope to see more of your Spectacular work!
Now that "Clan-Building" and "Bad Guys: Redemption" have been completed, and while we pause for a while (hoping that you and SLG will get to do further "Gargoyles" stories together), I thought I'd look over the Master Plan document you shared with us over ten years ago, and see how that was fulfilled in the eighteen chapters.
First, the spin-offs. "Bad Guys" obviously was represented here, with the six-chapter origin story for the Redemption Squad. Also, "Pendragon" and "TimeDancer" both found their way into "Clan-Building", "Pendragon" with the Stone of Destiny story in #7 to #9 (you even mentioned the Stone of Destiny story in the "Pendragon" section) and "TimeDancer" in #10 to #12, where we saw the beginning of Brooklyn's TimeDancing, his first adventure with Mary and Finella, and the end with his return to New York with his new family.
We also got a taste of "The New Olympians" with Terry Chung's cameos, and maybe even a trace of "Gargoyles 2198" when Peredur mentioned that Arthur wasn't expected to awaken for another two hundred years (Britain and the rest of the planet would definitely be in an hour of need then - definitely shades of "Camelot 3000"). Nothing directly from "Dark Ages", however (Brooklyn's adventure in 997 comes close, but it takes place three years after the Wyvern Massacre that would presumably have formed the series finale) - though we know that you planned to do a story about that next.
Now I'll turn to your list of the planned elements for "Gargoyles"'s third season from the same document.
The Quarryman problem: I would have liked to see a bit more of that (to serve as an antidote to the "Goliath Chronicles" depiction of the Quarrymen), but I enjoyed what we saw. Castaway in Invitation Only" and "Estranged" showed himself to be shrewd and prudent as well as vengeful; I liked the details of his forbidding the Quarrymen to carry hammers on Halloween patrol (in case they mistake costumed trick-or-treaters for gargoyles) and the television commercial that Robyn and Jason see making the Quarrymen seem more like a charitable organization to help people in need than like a hate group.
Xanatos' conversion: And, of course, we saw that he didn't change that much; he's as much a trickster as ever, even ready to, after stealing the Stone of Destiny for the Illuminati, give them another duplicate and keep the original for himself. Life with him is certainly going to be interesting for the clan.
Broadway and Angela's relationship: Not much of this (beyond the library scene), but we clearly see that they're a couple.
Goliath and Elisa's relationship: Definitely there, with the Double Date story and their reconciliation (especially the big moment in "The Rock" when they get back together).
The four Tricksters and Alexander: One of the few threads from your list that didn't get in, but there's always next arc.
The Illuminati: And how! We learn more about the Society, including its internal structure (I'm still delighted with the revelation of exactly how many membership slots there are), and several new members (new in the sense of being "new characters"): Quincy Hemings, Shari, and Falstaff, not to mention our look at Peredur, Duval, and Blanchefleur at the top. We also learn that Thailog's joined the Society (that was one of the biggest surprises in the comic for me), and Fiona Canmore's a member as well. And we get a hint, in the scene between Peredur and the Stone of Destiny in Carbonek, of what the Illuminati's goal is (or at least, what Peredur's goal for the Illuminati is). Not to mention we see more of their shrewdness, with Hacker presenting a different story about the Illuminati's intentions towards the gargoyles to Matt, Xanatos, and Castaway separately.
The Ultra-Pack: We haven't seen them yet, either, but I've no doubt that the big fight with Jackal, Hyena, and Wolf in Times Square is going to encourage the Pack to upgrade again. And after reading "Bad Guys", I have a strong suspicion who the new member will be.
Coldsteel and Coyote: We saw their team-up in the Stone of Destiny story (another of the big surprises was Xanatos using the Coyote Diamond to improve Coyote 5.0 - even after seeing how you keep on bringing back elements from earlier episodes and expanding on them, I hadn't foreseen that).
The Clones: And we saw much of them, as well. I think that almost everyone expected to see Thailog seek to recover the Clones - but we then had the treat of that adventure providing character development for Delilah (who became an especially appealing character in "Bash") and Brentwood.
So we got quite a lot of the MasterPlan in those eighteen chapters. And I hope, someday, we'll see even more of it.
It is almost amazing to me how... consistent the vision of the series has stayed over the years. I don't know if that's me being stubborn or me knowing a good thing when I stumble upon it or what, but although I'm constantly adding to the pre-canon in my head, most of the stuff I came up with as far back as 1994 is still valid.
Now that Marvel is own by Disney how will it affect your plans with Gargoyles comics or other media?
Asked and answered multiple times. Check the archives.
It caught me off guard, but it seems my issue of The Amazing Spider-Man (i.e. #622) is out. So I've asked Gorebash to open Ask Greg to allow comments and questions about it. Normally, we wouldn't reopen this soon, given that I still am about 200 questions behind -- so don't assume it'll stay open long -- but I figured I should give you all the opportunity.
And the release of the trade paperback allows me to say something that I'd wanted to say for over a year, but can mention here at last.
In the spring of 2008, I learned that the solicitation for "Bad Guys" #5 involved Dingo meeting an old acquaintance on the robot-guarded island, and hoped that it would be Falstaff (because of his name). I even mentioned that hope (now fulfilled, so I can mention it here) in the Station 8 comment room.
A few days later, the Sinister Six episode of "The Spectacular Spider-Man" aired on Kids WB for the first time, and in it, Aunt May and Anna Watson went out to see a performance of "The Merry Wives of Windsor", specifically mentioning Falstaff in their conversation. I was flabbergasted with the timing - so soon after my speculation! (And then, St. John Devereaux, who was playing Falstaff, made a phone call to a friend of his named Sydney - and Dingo's from Sydney - was that an in-joke?)
It's a pleasure to be able to share that with you at last.
I don't think Sydney was an in-joke, just because I didn't write that line.
But Falstaff was clearly on my mind, and when I saw a picture of Devereaux, it seemed a natural.
I finally got my copy of "Bad Guys" today, and here's my review of the final two chapters in it, as a single post (they blended so well, I thought, that I decided to review them together).
I'll start with one word: Falstaff! I'd hoped, after Dingo's real name was revealed, that he'd get into "Bad Guys" in some way, and I was right. And as a bonus, we not only get Falstaff, but also his familiar gang (Mistress Quickly, Bardolph, Pistol, Doll, and Points [sic] - was his name deliberately changed from "Poins"?). I was delighted that in the last chapters of the comic, we'd get some fresh Shakespeare into "Gargoyles" - this time, you make use of the history plays for the first time.
And I got a big laugh out of Falstaff's original name being "Oldcastle", and his headquarters being named "Eastcheap". Not to mention, also, young Harry saying about his mother Mariah "She's the wind." Though the laughter quickly dried up after I saw, at the end of Chapter Five, what *really* happened to her.
I get a kick out of the way Fang's sitting at the conference table when Hunter's telling them about their new mission.
Was Bardolph's fire-breathing ability inspired by all the jokes about his Shakespearean namesake's fiery complexion in the Henry IV plays?
When Falstaff says that the Illuminati want to save the world, I couldn't help thinking that he might be right about that. We learned in "Gargoyles" #9 that the Illuminati's goals (at least, from Peredur's perspective) had something to do with Arthur's anticipated return, most likely to help him out when that happens - certainly a worthy aim. But of course, as Monsieur le Maire brings up in his phone conversation with the Director, the Society's taking the attitude of letting the ends justify the means (enrolling people like Xanatos, Thailog, and Mace Malone, running the Hotel Cabal, supporting the Quarrymen, stealing a national treasure like the Stone of Destiny, etc.).
Incidentally, even if you hadn't mentioned that the Director was at odds with the Illuminati in "Ask Greg", I think we'd have suspected that the Redemption Squad would be facing them at some point. The conversation between Hunter and Castaway in "Estranged" about who each other's financial backers are, and the Casablanca Hotel (whose name echoes the Hotel Cabal's), set up enough of a parallel to the Illuminati Society that a clash would *have* to take place. (Your philosophy about what makes a good antagonist at work, clearly.)
So Fiona Canmore's a member of the Illuminati. It's not a total shock (I'd seen speculations about it before), but a fun surprise, all the same - and so logical, too, in light of Hunter's identity. Thailog's cameo was fun as well (especially Yama's initial belief that the color on the monitor's gone wrong).
Despite Fang's many bad habits, I was impressed that he helped alert his teammates to the Illuminati's nature through his comments on Thailog, and his part in the battle that followed. Maybe, just maybe, there's hope for him yet.
I was delighted when Dingo urged his teammates not to destroy the island, because of all the artwork and historical artifacts stored there (it reminded me a bit of Broadway and Hudson urging Goliath not to burn the Scrolls of Merlin). Another reason why I've grown fond of the guy.
I liked the ending - Falstaff gets away and the Redemption Squad have only managed to capture one of his gang, but that wasn't the real issue. The real issue was their search for redemption, as Yama points out. (I liked the leavening of humor here - Matrix still displaying his single-minded interest in law and order; even Yama is amused here - and his turning to stone in mid-speech, to Fang's exasperation.)
Thanks for the spin-off, Greg. I hadn't initially expected to like "Bad Guys" (I thought it would be just another conventional action series), but I really enjoyed it a lot - especially with Falstaff and his gang, as I said above. And thanks for the eighteen new chapters in the Gargoyles Universe that you gave us with the comics. I hope that they shan't be the last - but even if they were, they've enriched us all the more.
Yes, Poins was deliberately changed to Points to fit his skills... and Bardolph's ability was indeed inspired by the "hellfire" within that the Shakespearean Bardolph is always described as having.
I don't know if people have asked you this, but anyway -- with Marvel now part of Disney, would you write more Gargoyles stories assuming that Marvel decides to revive the Gargoyles comic series, maybe do some limited series for the spin-offs?
It's been asked and answered. Check the archives for a more detailed answer, but the short answer is... for now, I'm sticking with SLG, as they currently represent our best chance of getting more comics.
I just got Clan Building vol. 2 and Bad Guys today. I'd post a long elaborate review of just how much I love this comic and how hopeful I am that we get more Garg stuff, but many people have said what I'd say and better. So, I'll just post a short review:
These were quite possibly some of the most badass comics I've ever read in my life. Thank you.
WOw. Thank YOU!!
Hey Greg! I loved the Radio Play - thanks for posting it!
Now, I know that it is not canon with either series, but I still have to ask: do the ideas present in the crossover indicate your ideas for either series in any way? Now, I know that it isn't very likely for them to REALLY team up, but, for example, are the reactions of all the Spidey characters to the Peter/Liz break-up indicate of what may actually happen, or did you just invent entirely new material?
Both... up to a point, i.e. I won't be held to anything that appears in that Radio Play. But I tried to characterize the players honestly.
Hello Mr. Weisman
I just wonder do you take time to draw as well as write? With the free time you have, have you ever thought of returning to your artist roots and just letting it take you over to relax your spirit? I am a painter, and I always find landscapes to be the most relaxing works of art to practice. Do you have a favorite fine-art style you like to work on?
It's not a matter of time but of talent. And when it comes to drawing... I have none. And I have NO "artist roots" unless you're counting the one basic drawing class I took in college. I'm not sure where you got the impression that I'm any kind of artist.
And by the way, I have free time? It is to laugh.
I've enjoyed your use of discarded elements for the "behind-the-scenes" parts of "Gargoyles" in the comic book (such as Constance and Staghart's nicknames, or the Canmores' pursuit of Demona to the Parisian catacombs after Charles Canmore's death). But they give me one misgiving. Now I wonder - if we get more "Gargoyles" graphic novels, what horrible fate you might have in store for Owen?
(That's a rhetorical question, I hasten to add.)
Oh, the aardvark thing? (I had to think about it to remember what you were referring to.)
But given Sevarius' recent experiments... No promises.
Does Brooklyn meet Katana before or after his adventures in the future with Samson and the resistance?
Review for GARGOYLES CLAN-BUILDING; CHAPTER 10: THE GATE
Okay, this has been the most anticipated story-line in the entire Gargoyles Fandomâ¦and man it did not disappoint.
First, a shout out to the AMAZING art by Greg Gulerâ¦Karine Charlebois said that the art was beyond description at the 08 Gatheringâ¦but seeing it nowâ"it knocks Karine from my favorite gargoyles comic artist to my second fave. (No offense to her, I do still LOVE her work)
So Brooklyn goes gliding away from the Eerie Buildingâ¦presumably to get away from the Lovey-dovey couple. Too bad they appeared to have followed him. The look of annoyance on Brookâs face was priceless. (Oh, incidentallyâ¦it took me ages to figure out what the sign on the building they landed on said. At first, I thought it might be the GOLDEN CUP building from the series, or perhaps the CASABLANCA HOTEL. I finally realized that itâs THE DAILY BUGLE. Cleverâ¦you placed so many GARGOYLES references in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN; it was kinda nice to see a Spidey reference in Gargs.)
You waste no time, the Gate appears, and Brook tries to pick it upâ¦and it disintegrates. An enormous two-page Phoenix emerges and swallows Brooklyn whole, leaving Broadway and Angela behind, looking on in horrorâ¦I could hear Broadwayâs voiceâ¦
997, Brook emerges from the flamesâ¦I note that the Phoenix itself does not seem to appear, but rather an orange glow just off-screen. It makes me wonder if the Phoenix actually shows up when Brook is arriving, or if he just tumbles out of the flames, with no actual Phoenix manifesting.
I recognized Gillecomgain, Constantine III, and Mail Brigti right away (though, I did not know Mailâs nameâ¦just that he was Gillyâs father.) Their reactionâs to Brooklynâs appearance was not unexpected. Brigti seems indifferentâ¦oh look, a gargoyle. Oh look, a cow. Oh look, a horse. No big deal.
Gilly calls Brook a âdemonâ. BIG shock there. (Rolls eyes) Constantine orders them to kill it. It reminds me of his âI donât like Gargoyle Eggsâ line in âAvalon Part 1â C and G fail miserably to take Brook downâ¦but this fourth figureâ¦Brother Valmont, uses potent sorcery to shoot a flaming arrow that hits Brooklynâs leg.
From what the Magus said in âAvalon Part 3â I thought one needed a conduit to use magicâ¦like the Grimorum, but this guy seems to be able to use magic without one.
The next few pages are the most interesting to meâ¦Brook breaks apart the arrow and it bursts into magical flamesâ¦makes me wonder if it would have done that if heâd left it in.
Finella tears the wanted poster off the doorâ¦and mysteriouslyâ¦thereâs anotherâ¦and when the guard tears off the posterâ¦thereâs yet another. Is this another one of Brother Valmontâs magics?
And then the minions comeâ¦and it canât help the gargoyle-human relations that Brook is redâ¦with horns. Based on Finellaâs expressions, I donât think sheâs ever seen a gargoyle before.
Moving onâ¦Maol Chalvim and Kenneth III (AKA The Grim). I like The Grim, but it surprised me that heâs Bodheâs dadâ¦and it upset me slightly that when I did the historical research that Maol would overthrow him. Butâ¦I liked Findlaechâs appearance too.
Then we some cool new gargoyle designs, including a new beast in the foreground, only to see them get smashed. I especially liked the female with the âbeardâ of spikes. She was cool. And another wanted poster is posted.
And Brooklyn awakesâ¦I love how much Mary has changed in her attitude in just three short yearsâ¦and Brook makes a Quantum Leap referenceâ¦very cool, considering that that show was quite popular in the 90âs. (And still is in some circles)
I love that Brooklyn GETS why heâs here so quickly. He understands how Avalon works, and figures that the Phoenix works the same way. I also think heâs actually pleased with the situationâ¦considering that heâs now away from Broadway and Angelaâ¦I would be too in his shoesâ¦and I HAVE been in those shoes before.
And we end with a full page picture of Demona that was so cool I took a picture and made it the wallpaper on my phone, and Iâm not even that big a Demona fan. I note sheâs holding the wanted posterâ¦and wonder if there is a new one on the cave wall.
I think that I will post my reviews of 11 & 12 at a later date, but I look forward to the arrival of my Bad Guys.
And I look forward to your reviews, Chip. Thanks!
Okay, Iâve been holding off on reviewing till I had my Bad Guys Trade in my hot little handsâ¦itâs been almost four weeks and I still have no BG tradeâ¦*Sigh* so I figure I might as well review now.
GARGOYLES CLAN-BUILDING; CHAPTER 9: ROCK & ROLL
Not much to say here, Iâve been sitting on this story for almost a year, as I was in the 2008 Radio Play. (Playing Griffâ"My Favorite Characterâ"thank you again for the gift of that role again Greg, and whoever else was involved. Wish I could have been at the 09 Gatheringâ¦but I just couldnât afford a trip to LAâ¦apologies) I knew how it would turn out, but the art was spectacularâ¦and using the art, Greg managed to throw a few more curves my way.
I didnât expect to see Macbeth battling alongside Robert the Bruceâ¦makes me wonder just how involved Mac was with Scottish History. Didnât expect Duval to be a cyborgâ¦THAT was a huge curveball. Also, I didnât realize it before, but even though she appeared, Fleurâs name was never spoken aloudâ¦which means itâs technically still Canon in Training, even though she herself has appeared and is ranked â3â.
Also didnât expect to see Leo and Una atop Knightâs Spurâ¦that was a pleasant surpriseâ¦though I was disappointed that we couldnât get a good look at Old Pogâ¦I really like that gargoyle.
Glad it wasn't a letdown, even when spoiled...
What was Oberon's purpose for The Gathering?
It was planned 1001 years ago... to reunite the Children after their banishment.
Hi there. Let me preface this by saying that I understand Disney owns Gargoyles and what you can get by them is limited. That being said, I was wondering, with your announcing that Lexington is gay, if you had any ideas of giving him a mate in the future. I understand he's young and still hasn't fully developed his sexual identity (let alone coming out to the clan), but with time, surely he'd develop a relationship with someone (even though any expression of the relationship would have to be through allusion due to Disney and angry parents).
So if you have decided he would have a future mate, who would it be?
P.S. I know Lexington wasn't created to be gay, but that over time you began to see him as such. Thank you for allowing your characters to develop in a way that is natural to them as opposed to rejecting aspects of their personality that might seem controversial.
I'm not revealing Lex's mate at this time. But I'm glad you like how his character is developing.
My Review For Gargoyles #12, "Phoenix"...
- So, we have finally come to the last chapter of Clan-Building. As with Issue #11, I'll do my best to review this one with my initial impressions at the forefront, though I know I won't be able to resist mentioning further information and insight from the Gathering.
- Again, lets start with this awesome cover. After all the mixed feelings I've had about the numerous covers (both from Gargoyles and Bad Guys), I'm happy that this final cover really hit all the right spots. It is brightly colored and visually interesting. It is funny due to the obvious Star Wars reference and thus works well to grab the attention of comic book store shoppers. It has a lot going on without giving anything away or being too busy. I really think it is the best cover (aside from Issue #1 and possibly #5) and so I was thrilled it made it to the cover of Clan-Building Volume 2.
- On to the meat of the book now (and boy, is there a lot of meat, this thing is crammed full), we open, no in 997 with Brooklyn as I suspected, but rather in 1997 with Goliath. His monologue here is really great. It bookends this chapter, but more importantly it bookends the Clan-Building series as it parallels directly with Goliath's monologue to Elisa (and us) in Issue #1 about his clan. You could even say it goes all the way back to the opening sequence of the Season 2 episodes. Anyway, it works beautifully here. I can't help but think of Closing Ceremonies at the Gathering when I read it now. Greg Weisman talked about how the moment was so bittersweet, and it was... is. But reading this issue, and Goliath's monologue in particular, really gives me hope for this franchise and this fandom.
- Meanwhile, a thousand years ago, Brook is giving his own inner monologue, but he isn't doing it in quiet solitude, he is giving it in the thick of the Battle of Rathveramoen! I like that even as people are dieing all around him and his own life is truly at risk, his thoughts dwell on his family back home. We worries that they are worried about him, but of course, they barely have time to worry at all, but he doesn't know that yet. But he realizes to get home to see his family again, his job is to help the Grim win the battle, keep the Grimorum out of the wrong hands, and keep the last bunch of gargoyles in Scotland safe. Of course, all of these objectives are in jeopardy of going undone. Ironically, the battle itself seems to be going well. Brooklyn, "Demona" and the clan are kicking some ass (or rather breaking some necks, slicing some flesh and causing some heavy damage from high-altitude drops). This battle is a lot of fun visually. And there is a lot going on. Brook has a couple really great moments. First he and a fellow gargoyle, "Bro", have this great exchange about being rookery brothers. It was very cool to finally meet a rookery sibling of the trio (knowing that they were, of course), but it wasn't until the Gathering where Greg Weisman pointed out that the gargoyle behind these two watching this exchange is probably Brooklyn's BIOLOGICAL brother. How cool is that?! We get a great example of how relationships work within gargoyle clans. So cool, and such a contrast to what we see going on with the humans, where blood relationships define everything (and seem to be causing a lot of trouble). Then Brooklyn gets a very cool moment with Demona where they discuss Goliath. She is such a hypocrite here. She bitches that when the humans are finished fighting each other, they will come after the gargoyles, but her plan is to kill their human allies once they've defeated their rivals! Does she even hear herself? Well, this is Demona, her own worst enemy after all.
- While the battle rages, not far away, the Grimorum has finally fallen into the wrong hands. Mary and Finella (and Magus the horse) do what they can to get the book back, but to little avail. Valmont uses the book to cast a pretty nasty spell that seems to amplify the one he has used a few times before. Fiery arrows rain down on the battle and a lot of gargoyles are injured or killed. We get a really sad scene of the sacrifice of one gargoyle for her mate. But this whole thing makes me so angry at Demona. She uses these deaths (both in this chapter and in City of Stone) as fuel for her hate, but in doing so she negates all that they are fighting and dying for. And THEN, she remarks how she cannot undo these awful things that have happened. Well, duh, girl, but making things worse is not the solution! What a hypocrite and a bitch! She drives me nuts, and to all of the Demona-apologist fans out there I ask you to pay attention to what is going on here.
- Meanwhile, the humans are battling it out. Constantine and the Grim seem evenly matched until Constantine threatens Bodhe, then the Grim really lets him have it. Constantine's reign as King ends as it begins, with someone getting stabbed, though at least this isn't a cold murder, but a death in battle. The Grim has that over Constantine. And speaking of Bodhe, he seems to be getting trounced by Gillecomgain, which is no surprise in that Gille is twice his size and probably much more skilled in battle. Bodhe seems to barely survive, and only luck saves him when Gille gets distracted by his father's death, but you can tell the event probably traumatized him for life (Greg indicated at the Gathering that this event, the murder of the Grim a few years later and the murder of Bodhe's own sone a few years after that all lead to his behavior in City of Stone. This all has made Bodhe very interesting to me). Findlaech really comes across as a good guy here, he wanted to share with his brother and Mail Brigti refused, he didn't want to kill his nephew because after it all he didn't want to end his brother's line. It really makes me wonder what Findlaech thought when Maol Chalvim usurped the Grim a few years down the line. And speaking of that, some of Constantine's final words seem almost prophetic. He senses Maol's thirst for the throne and blattanly tells the Grim of it. He even inspires Gillecomgain to become the first Hunter.
- Anyway, the battle ends, the arrows are stopped and just when things seem to have called down the Phoenix reappears. Brooklyn is understandably annoyed. He doesn't get to see what comes next, and we can relate, we don't either. Guess it is off to hit the history books to see what happened next... for now. Before he is off, Brook smoothly recovers the Grimorum from Demona and passes it back to Finella and Mary. I was a bit surprised that Finella didn't get a chance to use magic herself as I thought she would due to her talk in #11, but I wasn't surprised that Mary and Finella asked to go with Brooklyn, having had that idea spoiled for me years ago online. I suspect that all three of them thought they would be going right back to the time and place Brook came from and I suspect therein lies Mary's real motivation. I think she wants to see Tom again and knows he is safe and alive (and married) in Brook's time. Well, we don't get to find out... yet. The Phoenix, once again, seems to have Brooklyn singled out and we can assume the "Time-Fowl" snatched up Mary and Finella and the Grimorum too.
- So we, the audience, pop back to 1997 to the moments right after Brooklyn left... and he reappears. We are told that he is not alone, and I think the less-informed (or less spoiled) fan might think Finella and Mary are with him, but most of us know better. Back at the Castle, Hudson and Lex finally come home from London and as I suspected Coldstone and Coldfire came with. I'm thrilled that they are finally members of the Clan in full. And then we come to probably the most anticipated moment for fans for the last ten years. The reveal of Brooklyn's family. I have to admit, I didn't know what to expect outside of a female Ishimuran gargoyle, her and Brook's son and a gargoyle beast (and an egg, okay I had a good idea what the egg would look like). Katana is very cool. I love that we finally have a beaked female in the canon, I love that attention was paid to her number of fingers and toes to reflect her clan of origin. I do have a slight worry that the two beaked gargoyles would end up together. I know that a beaked gargoyle could just as well mate with a non-beaked gargoyle, but I worry that some fans might not see this. I dunno. A minor worry for me. Gnash is a lot of fun, he seems older than his age indicates. Must be the weapon. Really, the whole family seems like they have a lot of stories to tell. Or rather, for Greg to tell. I like Brooklyn's line about his journey being a long story and "some of it even true". Ties us nicely with the journey Goliath set us on back in #2 and with Shari's tales. And lets not forget Fu-Dog. I LOVE Fu-Dog's design. Very cool. I hope he and Bronx get along. Other nice things about this final scene include Hudson laughing and being so happy. When I see him here, I think back to his line in "The Gathering" where he is so happy that they are not the last and not alone. He gets to see his decimated clan grow. How cool. I really like how Angela wants to hold 'Egwardo'. I never thought about her never having seen an egg before (I suppose I figured she saw the clutches in Ishimura or ChacIxChel), but I love the motherly aspect this gives her and Broadway's reaction to it. A lot of fans seem to focus on Katana's reluctance to let go of the egg, but I don't see that as that big of a deal. It isn't like she violently refused, and after all they've been through, you have to understand her reluctance. Anyway, Elisa's reaction to showing up was really cool. I mean she was probably expecting Goliath, Bronx, Broadway, Angela and Brooklyn at most. Instead she comes out of the elevator too see this whole motley crew. Coldstone, Coldfire, Katana, Gnash, Fu-Dog and even Brooklyn must've been a real shock. I like her "Whoa... Goliath...?" But, there isn't time for explanations, we have to go kick some butt. As Greg indicated at the Gathering, I'm sure they did. All these gargoyles versus Wolf, Jackal and Hyena. As Lex states, they'll "never know what hit 'em!" A GREAT ending to this awesome Clan-Building arc. Of course, it is "Never The End..." Not for the Manhattan Clan or the Gargoyles series or the fandom. This comic couldn't have been released at a more poignant time. Great job, Greg. Really, this is awesome stuff. And ALL of the artists made it work so beautifully as well. Thank You!
Eagerly awaiting Gargoyles #13, "Manhattan, Chapter One"...
Thanks, Matt. I can't wait to write it!
What animal noises and sound effects were used to make the gargoyle sounds, like when they roar, growl, sigh? Also for Bronx and gargoyle beasts as well? What sound was used for when the gargoyles would dig their claws into stone? That one sounds a bit familar, almost like popping bublbe wrap.
I don't recall. Sorry. Been too long. And I was never at foley sessions anyway. Just the mixes, when the effects had already been created.
"Gargoyles, Bad Guys: Redemption. #6: Losers"
We pick up where we left off, but, at last we meet the mystery man who is behind the Redemption Squad. A man obscured in shadow called 'the Director.' We don't see much of him, but he works for an organization which, I suspect, is trying to bring down the Illuminati.
Anyway, Falstaff introduces his band of freaks. Pistol (a gun fighter); Points (swordsman); Bardolph (He breathes fire); Mistress Doll (a contortionist); and Mistress Quickly.
Falstaff then invites the Redemption Squad to dinner. Dingo is asking Falstaff the questions; Hunter is sitting there fuming in silence; Yama is listening; Matrix is absorbing metal; and Fang is stuffing his face.
Falstaff decides that the Redemption Squad would make a great asset, and on behalf of the Illuminati, he offers them membership. Besides, the Illuminati is only trying to save the world. Which I am sure is true... from their point of view. And he can prove it.
Hunter is given a chance to speak with her great-aunt, Fiona Canmore. This made me bug out a little, because a year or so ago, I asked myself "if Fiona Canmore is supposed to still be alive in 1997, when she was hunting Demona in 1920... what if she was an Illuminatus and had access to their rejuvenation drugs?" But I never expected to see it in the canon. Gargoyles Fans Collective Conscious strikes again!
Across the room, Yama and Fang are connected to... Goliath. Except the coloring is off, and Yama asks for someone to fix the color. Whoops, it's not Goliath it's... Thailog. He asks Fang to vouch for him. Which Fang obliges.
Meanwhile, Dingo cannot believe that Falstaff got out of the life... but, what better job is there for the world's greatest thief than to guard the world's biggest treasury. The island: Eastcheap Isle is the Illuminati's treasury. And we see a room that would make Scrooge McDuck green with envy.
So, the Redemption Squad are left to confer. Join the Illuminati or not. But Yama knows the Illuminati cannot be trusted. And why? Because Fang vouched for Thailog and Fang knows the rest of the squad doesn't trust him. Really sneaky Fang.
So, we have a nice fight between the squad, and Falstaff's gang of freaks. But when the Redemption Squad gains the upper hand, Falstaff sinks the island... which is actually a ship. The Redemption Squad manage to escape... having lost this round.
Now, some might find it a bummer that the Redemption Squad didn't really achieve a victory here... beyond capturing Mistress Quickly. Falstaff and the rest of his crew escape, with the treasury.
But, Yama sums up what this was really all about. The never ending struggle for redemption. But Fang is just happy to have survived. He's not interested in redemption... maybe one day, but not yet.
Overall, a fun introduction to what I am sure would have been a great series. Greg's writing is as sharp as ever. But I have to say that I've always admired Karine Charlebois' art. I've watched her grow as an artist since 1997. But, with these comics, you can see her getting progressively better with each issue. She's great.
I know that if we get a license renewal and we get more spin-offs, Greg is planning a Dark Ages story, then a Pendragon story, then a TimeDancer story. But, I'll be honest. This really whetted by appetite. I want to see more of these characters and this team.
"Gargoyles, Bad Guys: Redemption. #5: Strangled"
This issue is told somewhat non-linearly, but no where near to the extent as the recent Stone of Destiny story in "Gargoyles."
Parts of this center around Dingo's past. We see Dingo/Harry Monmouth as a small child rush home only to be told by his surrogate father figure, John Oldcastle, that his mother, Mariah, has run off again. Mariah is apparently a bit of a free-spirit... and this was the 1970s. Young Harry seems hardly surprised, as Mariah has done this before. But John promises to take care of him. And, for the next decade or so of his life, John... a professional thief and criminal trains Harry and the two of them pull off a series of heists.
In the present day (hee hee, 1997), Hunter informs the now full squad of Dingo, Matrix, Yama, and Fang, that their next target is an Illuminati stronghold on an island. So now, it all comes together. This is the island that we've been seeing this squad battle those giant robots.
The squad destroys the robots and enters the stronghold, where they discover a gigantic Illuminati banner, and they are ambushed by a bunch of freaky villains in Renaissance get-up. Dingo immediately recognizes one of them as someone he worked with when he was younger and pulling jobs with John Oldcastle, and knows who they're up against.
Enter John Oldcastle, who now calls himself Falstaff. And like the Falstaff of William Shakespeare's "Henry IV," Falstaff is a rather large individual who loves to eat and drink. He also refers to himself as the "King of Thieves." The Shakespeare character was a thief as well. Gotta hand it to Greg, if he can reference the Immortal Bard, he will. Shakespeare is always a wonderful thing to include, and like the series, you don't need to be fluent in it to enjoy it.
And while I'm on the point, there was a historical John Oldcastle. He was arrested for heresy, escaped from the Tower of London, and plotted to capture King Henry V (they used to be friends) and his family. He was eventually executed... hanged and burned. They say Shakespeare based his Falstaff off of John Oldcastle. Which makes Weisman's choice in the name very appropriate.
Falstaff greets Dingo with a big manly hug... and then we cut back to our flashback to Dingo's youth, when he returned home to discover his mom had taken off again. Only, she didn't take off... John Oldcastle strangled her to death in their bedroom.
I liked this issue. Everything seems to be coming together, and the story has caught up with itself. I also think that final page outlines the advantages of the comic book medium. "Gargoyles" on TV got away with a lot, but S&P would hardly allow any cartoon series to depict a man with his hands around the throat of a dead woman (and make no mistake, she is already dead in that shot) in their bedroom.
To be concluded...
Yep, she's dead all right.
Nine years ago (has it been that long?) there was an Arthurian survivors contest here at "Ask Greg". With the recent "Stone of Destiny" storyline in which Percival seems to have been split into Duval and Peredur, I'm wondering if what change have occurred on the list of Arthurian survivors.
Just to refresh your memory (and for those who don't remember it at all), here's the list as of nine years ago:
1. King Arthur Pendragon. Slept under a spell in the Hollow Hill.
2. Merlin. Son of Oberon by a mortal woman. Imprisoned in the Crystal Cave.
3. The Lady of the Lake. One of the Oberati.
4. Sir Percival. The Fisher King. Mr. Duval. Founder of the Illuminati. Spends a lot of time in Castle Carbonek, a sort of mini-traveling-Avalon, where time passes differently. Also uses the Holy Grail to maintain his youth, though at a very real physical cost, due to his, shall we say, sins.
5. Lady Blanchefleur. Percival's wife. Queen of Castle Carbonek. She lives there and uses the Grail. The only cost being her estrangement from Percival.
6. Morgana le Fay. A changling in the old-fashioned sense.
7. Nimue. A sorceress with connections to Merlin, the Oberati and Morgana. (Think about it.)
8. The Green Knight. An Oberati.
So what, if anything, has changed in the past decade? Are there still only eight survivors? If we replace "Percival" with "Peredur" and take out the reference to Mr Duval is the list still accurate?
(By the way, I loved both Gargoyles: Clan-Building and Bad Guys: Redemption, and I'm looking forward to more in the future!)
Hi, Greg. My name is Evan Wilder. I have tried to contact you repeatedly but my efforts had proven unsuccessful. I want to say that you inspired me to create my fantasies into a screenplay. I would also want to work alongside with you on this new concept.
Contact me at
Thank you for your time.
Good luck on your screenplay, but I'm afraid I won't be contacting you. It's nothing personal. But I'm not looking for this kind of partnership. And I make it a general policy not to solicit original ideas on this site.
Having, read your 2009 radio play for Gargoyles/SSM, I have to ask, but did Demona briefly become an avatar of Christ like Jackal and the Emir with Anubis and Goliath with Odin?
Uh... I don't think so.
Thanks for the final act of the Radio Play, Greg.
The ending, with the Illuminati getting their hands on the Spear and the Crown of Thorns, surprised me. Well, apart from the fact that a part of me thought that, in light of the Illuminati's links to the Holy Grail, it would be appropriate if they eventually got the Spear of Destiny, which turns up in the medieval Grail romances a number of times (in the role of the spear that crippled the Fisher King). And so Tombstone's an Illuminatus as well - pity that it can't be canon.
I was also surprised at Dominic Dracon's death - killing off a canonical character in a non-canonical script!
A few other highlights: more people telling Margot to "give it a rest", the "Casablanca" quote at the end, and Demona stuck at Ravencroft - though I doubt that she'll be there long.
Thanks for such a delightful piece, Greg.
After the Wyvern Massacre, why did Demona not try to find her eggs? She clearly saw Magus and the Princess take them from Wyvern.
Mostly, I'm inclined to leave the answer to this question to your interpretation, but a few words come to mind: guilt, shame, depression, denial. Check as many boxes as you like.
My Review For Gargoyles #11, "Tyrants"...
- Alright. I'm a liar. I said in my "Rock of Ages" review that I planned to read each issue independently and review them before moving on to the next chapter, so as to get my true first impressions of each story without influence from later chapters or talking with fans. I was doing pretty well until this issue. By the end of it, I could hardly stop before moving on to #12. What is worse is that I've recently returned home from the Gathering and have had lots of discussions and revelations about the entire book. Nevertheless, I'll do my best to write these reviews as separate issues, focusing on my initial impressions for the most part.
- So, as usual, I'll start with the cover. Brooklyn meeting his past, frozen self is a neat idea. The cover made me wonder immediately if Brook will ever meet and talk to himself at some point in his TimeDancing. I guess we'll have to wait and see. Anyway, it is a good, fun cover.
- We pick up more or less where we left off, though I get the sense that some time is passing in 10-12 that we are not seeing. There is a lot of traveling through Scotland going on and I'm sure Brook is spending days on the road. What strikes me about that is that this time is passing without note, which contrast greatly with the previous three comics where every minute was accounted for. So, Mary, Finella and Brooklyn arrive back at Wyvern. A few years have passed since the Massacre and all seems quiet and calm at the old Castle. Brooklyn finally gets a chance to really face what happened to his Clan. Their crushed remains lie all around him. Brook is such a rich character. Capable of such sorrow and anguish and still be one of the most humorous characters in the series. Great writing. Brooklyn learns quickly that it isn't a great idea to talk about future events to people in the past when Mary asks about Tom. I get the sense here that Mary and Finella know and believe Brook is from the future, but not from how far in the future. I doubt Mary knows about how time passes on Avalon, so I suspect that she might only believe Brook is from a few decades down the road. Interesting. Also of note here is that Brook finds an old scabbard for the sword he obtained in the last chapter. I think this merits note because suddenly Brooklyn feels the need to carry a weapon, something he has never needed before. He also discovers that Goliath's half of the Phoenix Gate is not available.
- Meanwhile, in less quiet corners of Scotland, the busy world of war and politics is ticking along. Constantine fulfills his moniker of "Constantine the Bald" by shaving his head. Thanks to Todd Jenson and the GargWiki I was well aware of this historical tidbit before reading this chapter and it gave me a cool feeling. Constantine's relationship with Gillecomgain is very interesting, and thus the relationship with Mail Brigti is interesting as well. Constantine seems creepily fascinated by the teenager and this seems to worry Brigti, though he is probably wise to say nothing of it. Most strongly on Constantine's mind seems to be the war however. I like how he mentions the "Three Brothers". Valmont is cool here too. He deduces that Katharine and Magus have left "this world", Tom is with them or dead and that the Grimorum remains in Scotland all by reading the entrails of goats! A talented and creepy sorcerer to be sure.
- And finally, in another corner of Scotland, Demona arrives to her clan's cave with bad news. "They're all dead". Yikes. She seems mostly pissed off, but everyone else seems more shocked and sad. I like that distinction. And lets talk about this clan. The male gargoyles are not new to us, but the females and the beasts are. I can't help suspecting that the beasts are Bronx's biological parents and that the young female is 'True', Hudson's biological daughter. As it turns out, both suspicions were correct as revealed at the Gathering. Apparently, this cell is of gargoyles that originated at Wyvern. Kinda cool. We also get our first canon mention of the Wind Ceremony (just as earlier we got our first canon mention of the Humility Spell, this is a good chapter for canonizing things). I like how young, innocent 'True' suggests a Wind Ceremony, but the older, harder, angrier Demona just wants vengeance. For me this symbolizes Demona's ironic drift from the true gargoyle ways.
- And in yet one more corner of Scotland, the army of the Three Brothers assembles. I love their emblem being the three swords. A symbol of unity as opposed to Constantine's claw being a symbol of domination. So, while Demona plots to kill all humanity, Grim is hoping they will be strong allies, that is pretty cool. Really plays into how much I like the Grim. And he gets some luck when Brooklyn arrives and immediately allies himself, with hope that he can bring an army of gargoyles. Things are looking up for the army of the Three Brothers. I also want to mention that I found it funny to see Bodhe and Brooklyn standing next to each other. Not two characters I ever really suspected of being in the same scene, but I suppose TimeDancer will give us plenty of surprises along that line.
- So, we've visited all the 'camps' in this issue and now they all start coming together. After a really funny moral message to his audience beyond the fourth wall, Brooklyn leaves to find the last remaining gargoyles in Scotland. I get a good sense of a lot more time passing here. Maybe a few days or even longer. Brook finds more smashed clans and spends his days hiding before finally being discovered by an old acquaintance, the gargoyle who will be Demona. Naturally, he attacks her immediately. She is amazed to discover she knows him and he barely keeps his anger in check. I like how they both start lying to each other about how they survived the Massacre. After Demona stammers out her line about being in the forest, Brook brushes it off with a "Doesn't matter". I love how he knows she is lying and yet doesn't call her on it. Good restraint on his part and from the other angle it makes me wonder what Demona's reaction will be when she realizes Brooklyn was not being entirely honest either.
- Back at the ranch, Finella wants to try to use the Grimorum. Mary says this sounds dangerous, and I have to agree. Everyone else who has used the book was probably in training for years. We'll see if she can pull it off. I suppose knowing Latin and seeing magic performed before is a good start, but still...
- And at the opposing army's camp, Constantine the Artist is doing some really fun face-painting for the kids... or actually creating an emblem of fear, hatred and genocide which will last for centuries. And all the while is being a real jerk. Killing the messenger and all that. And finally we come to the Battle of Rathveramoen, which we've been building towards for a while. The army of the Three Brothers seems way out-gunned until sunset. And then we get this AWESOME two page spread of Brooklyn leading the gargoyle army into the battle. I noted a couple cool things with this battle. I liked how the gargoyle beasts are seen already chomping down on Constantine's men. I like how Demona's Clan left the young gargoyles behind which contrasts with Bodhe being in the battle, against Gillecomgain, no less. I like how Demona's Second is thrilled at the thought of a 'true battle' rather than the hiding the scattered clan had been doing, and I find it cool that he (and apparently the whole clan) has started calling Brooklyn "The Gargoyle of the Sword". Not a name, of course, but just gargoyles being gargoyles. Why call it 'The Hudson' and not just 'the river', why call him 'Brooklyn' and not just 'the gargoyle of the sword'? The are just called what they are, I love it.
- And lastly we get the battle coming to where it wasn't supposed to get. Mary and Finella's guards are quickly taken out by Valmont and the Grimorum is snatched away. And we get this iconic Gargoyles moment where Demona and her enemy speak the same passionate line. In this case both desire to control Scotland. Really great stuff.
- This was a really interesting issue. Lots of new, cool things to look at, new canon stuff and a great battle begins. A fun issue that clearly left me desperate for more as I was unable to stop reading at this point. And I can still in my mind almost hear Valmont or Constantine's voice-over say "To Be Concluded..."
Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I did really try to put everything I could into those issues...
Mr. Weismen I just got finished reading the Clan Building Vol 2 comic and I've got to say thank you. I felt the magic all over again. For us fans who have all been waiting years for this comic it was well worth the wait. The history and adventure in the story arcs were awesome. If felt the magic of Gargoyles all over again. Thank you for your dedication to the fans and keeping the dream alive for us all over the years. Thanks much no questions just wanted to give some praise to a job well done.
Praise is always welcome!!!
My Review For Gargoyles #10, "The Gate"...
- Having the next chapter a page turn away but forcing myself to refrain from proceeding until I write up a review is really good motivation for writing said review. So even though I'm not feeling well and just want to read the next chapter and go to sleep, I'm gonna write up my #10 review instead. Who knew I could be so disciplined?
- So, lets start with the cover for this one. A cool cover, though I wonder if it is a bit bland. I'm not sure it would do a great job of catching the eye and bringing in new fans, though I suppose that criticism is moot given that it never hit the stands anyway. Being an old fan (and knowing what the Phoenix Gate is and why Brooklyn's hand is reaching for it), I thought it was very cool. Very exciting.
- Beyond the cover we find ourselves in a new adventure quite separate from the last couple chapters. A different setting, a different bunch of lead characters and, most strikingly, a different artist. Like many others I've greatly anticipated Greg Guler's art in this issue. And, to no one's surprise, he didn't dissapoint. Like Karine Charlebois, Guler's style here really echoes the TV series. This, of course, isn't a shock since Guler designed many of these characters for the series in the first place. It's impossible not to like Guler's work here since it feels so Gargoyles. That doesn't mean I don't like Hedgecock's (or other artists') work on the book, because many people know I liked Hedgecock's work a lot. But one thing I greatly enjoyed about Hedgecock is that he kept well-known characters recognizable while still maintaining his own style. With Guler, the style is the same style as the show. I think both are great, honestly. The ironic thing I noticed immediately when reading this chapter is that some characters not directly designed by Guler (such as Broadway) are spot on, while others he did work on extensively (like Angela) seem a little off at times. All of it looks great though.
- So our story starts back in Manhattan where the oh so melancholy Brooklyn endures the Broadway-Angela relationship. This must be especially tough with Lex and Hudson off in London. Clearly, Brook wants them back for their company. He seems so lonely. I wonder how much he hangs out with Goliath. Who else can he hang out with? How many times in these reviews have I said "Poor Brooklyn"?
- Anyway, the three young gargs are hanging out and a portal opens and out pops the fiery Gate. I wonder if this is where the Gate immediately came after Goliath tossed it in "Future Tense". And if so, why here and why now? Did Goliath's mind have some influence? Or did the Gate come here and now completely on its own accord? Hard to know, though the events that happen next make me suspect the latter. Before anyone has a chance to do anything, the Gate seems to... evaporate or something and out from the ashes (how neat is that?) comes one huge flaming Phoenix. Woah! Thats a big bird. I wonder what nearby New Yorkers thought of that pyrotechnic display. I really like how the Phoenix seems to single out Brook. I wonder why, but no one gets any answers here. The bird gobbles him up as if it didn't have a moment to spare (haha). This leads to one of my favorite moments in this chapter; Broadway and Angela. Now, having the general idea of this moment spoiled to me nearly ten years ago, I've had a lot of time to imagine how it goes down. In ways I'm not too far off, in other ways I was surprised how I reacted. As I suspected, Broadway and Angela do what they can to rescue Brook from the flames and are not successful, but after he is gone and the flames have died out we get one great little panel. Broadway says, "We've... we've lost him..." And Angela responds, "Maybe forever..." How chilling that was! I'm serious, the first time I read it, I got chills from Angela's line. And I think I know how this sort of ends even! Broadway has this sad moment of fear and helplessness and frustration and Angela responds with this great line that contains this mix of pragmatism and sorrow. Like she is trying to comfort Broadway, reassure herself, but ultimately face reality all at once. Leave it to Greg Weisman to deliver such powerful moments in such little dialogue. I mean I am really impressed. A couple frames to look at and no voice actors and I still totally feel for these characters. Great stuff. Really great.
- And what about our poor Brooklyn? Well, he seems to barely have time to catch his breath before he faces danger yet again. This chapter just keeps moving forward, which contrasts greatly with the last three issues. As fun and interesting as the non-linear storytelling was, it really is a relief to get back to a more standard format. One big catch is that I seem to read through these issues even quicker. Anyway, Here we are again in the tenth century, much to the delight of many fans, I'm sure. Flashbacks and time travel and other adventures in the past really are one of the great things about Gargoyles. It is no surprise to me that nearly all the multi-part episodes contain them as they seem to be bursting beyond the seams of a normal length tale. There is so much neat stuff going on in (the year of our lord) 997 that I barely know where to start. Some of the cool things that come to mind include the use of tenth century 'slang' and viewpoints, the natural alliance of Gillecomgain and Constantine, the appearance of one of Constantine's aforementioned sorcerers, and Mary and Finella's continued life on the run. All these characters are so fascinating. I look at Finella and wonder if she has ever seen a real gargoyle before. She seems so amazed that they actually bleed. I love that Constantine is a jerk, but a smart one, he knows his enemies will seek the help of gargoyles and moves to destroy them. I like how he kills the gargoyles out of strategy and maybe a bit of evil joy, while Gillecomgain's destruction of them is pure anger and vengeance.
- And how about the gargoyles themselves? Naturally, I'm thrilled to see a new bunch of Scottish gargoyles, especially since they include females and a beast! They didn't last long though, and boy is Demona pissed about that. Of course, she hasn't been named Demona yet, right? But damn isn't she getting an awful lot of non-speaking cameos in the comic. Isn't this the fourth or fifth book we've seen her, but not heard from her? I know thats about to change, but it strikes me as interesting. Like Greg is baiting along those diehard Demona fans! Haha.
- And as for Brooklyn himself, we see here so clearly how he, more than many other Gargoyles characters can lead his own spinoff. He is a warrior and has issues and aspirations and problems and a keen mind. But most of all he has that sarcastic humor we all love him for. He really had me laughing out loud in this one. Kudos Greg! Some great lines: "Okay, now that I've set back human-gargoyle relations for the next millennium..." and "Look, I know you've never seen Star Trek or Quantum Leap, but I need you to understand - I'm from the future." Great, great stuff.
- One other scene I want to point out is the meeting between the rightful heirs of the Scottish throne. There is a lot of cool stuff going on here. You've got this new character called "The Grim". The moniker is such a contrast to how he seems to actually be. I like him. He seems wise and kind and good-natured. A really good guy in a really ugly world. I love how he knows from his own family history that gargoyles can be powerful allies. He makes me wish that his wisdom and optimism about gargoyles would lead to a good future between the species, though we know this is not to be. Not yet. The other three characters are not new at all. We've got Maol Chalvim just as brooding as ever. Findlaech, who has always been such a great mix of "look at the bright side" and "face reality". And then young Bodhe. Bodhe was a fun surprise. I was surprised he was the Grim's son, I was surprised at his relative youth next to his future friend Findlaech, and most of all I was surprised by his eagerness to follow his father into battle. This is very different from the somewhat cowardly man we know he grows to be. I have to wonder what changes him down the road?
- One final note before I wrap this review up. The "wanted posters" that Constantine is displaying all over Scotland... they seem to have been drawn by the same artists that are designing the characters in Spectacular Spider-Man. Tom especially has a strong resemblance to Peter Parker. I find myself looking for the mole... Anyway, kinda funny. I guess now that references to the other show goes both ways.
- This issue was just awesome. One of the best of the ten chapters, in my humble opinion. The art, the plot, the writing all of it was perfection. My only gripe would be the cover, but one message of this series has always been to not judge a book by its cover and that axiom certainly bears truth for me here. This chapter really leaves me desperate for more, so I'm off to read #11!
If Greg Guler was consciously trying to ape Sean Galloway's style for those wanted posters, it's news to me...
am i going 2 have a gurl
I swear there's a smart-ass response in here somewhere, but I just can't find it.
Thanks for the second act of "A Handful of Thorns". I enjoyed it, especially all the in-jokes (Brooklyn's spin-off remarks, the Green Goblin thinking of calling up Disney about the gargoyles, Elisa repeating her "street pizza" line from "Awakening Part One", Demona's remark about the stage being crowded enough, etc.). You must really have had a blast writing it.
So how good would a couple of gargoyle beasts be at looking after an egg? (At least nobody is going to try stealing it with Bronx and Fu-Dog on guard duty!)
On the more serious note, I liked your exploring of the impact of Brooklyn's Timedancing adventures upon the trio.
A great cliffhanger ending (I hope it won't offend any of the readers). I'll admit that I would expect the Spear of Destiny to be in a different location in the Gargoyles Universe - I won't say where, because it would break the "no original ideas" - but I've read enough about the medieval legends concerning that same spear to guess.
Looking forward to Act Three (I hope the weekend won't seem too slow).
I'm not sure "blast" is the word I'd use for the writing process. (Too many characters; too little time.) But we definitely had a blast performing it.
I think you asked and answered your own question re: Beasts and egg.
In the comics are we ever going to find out what happened to Brooklyn in his 40 years of time travel?
If I'm given the opportunity, yes.
My Review For Gargoyles #9, "Rock of Ages"...
- Well. That was worth the wait. Okay, so I couldn't wait any longer and had SLG ship a couple copies of Gargoyles: Clan-Building Volume 2 to me directly (or rather to my workplace so I could get them even faster). Just to finally have it feels great. Ask my coworkers, I was bouncing off the walls today. And here is the funny part; I've only read half the book so far. I decided in advance not to just read through the whole thing in one big gulp, no matter how badly I want to. I know that over the next weeks, months, years, new Gargoyles material is going to be scarce if existent and I want to make this last. So, with that in mind, I'm reading one issue at a time, reviewing it and waiting til I've assimilated it pretty well before moving on. You have no idea how much temptation I have. So, the reviews for 9-12 will be given without any idea of what happens in the following issues (and hopefully there will be more beyond 12). Being that as it may, I'm happy that the first issue I read happens to be #9 as I witnessed the Radio Play in 2008 in which it was a part and thus received major spoilers. I was eager to actually see it though. And to see how the fractured timeline thing worked itself into the issue.
- So, without further ado... the cover. Gorgeous. Perfect. Lex and Hudson look great, but Griff is just awesome. I mean, I've always liked the guy, but this is just so cool. At no other time has Griff (or any other English gargoyle) looked so... well... gargoyle-like. Turn Griff to stone with that expression and you can see him on some building or church. He is scary and cool and so dynamic. I LOVE Griff on the cover.
- So, on with the story. It has always been difficult to review this story 'in order', but I'll do my best. (I sometimes think I should've written these reviews then randomly mixed up the paragraphs for effect.) So, with a few side-bars, we continue with the battle above Westminster while Arthur checks out the Stone inside. Lex wakes in Staghart's arms (*sigh*) and quickly takes control of the situation. Go Lexington; he is pretty impressive here. After waking from unconsciousness, he quickly gathers "the gist" of the situation, comes up with a plan and implements it to spectacular effect. Don't ask me why, but I especially liked the viewpoints of the Steel Clan and Iron Clan robots in infrared. I had fun deciphering their little codes. Great attention to detail with all that. 'ICR', 'SCR', 'Tracking:Lexington' and cool how they just identify Griff and Amp as "U.G.-1" and "U.G.-3" since they don't know their names. Neat. So after the ICR and SCR are taken care of (by Coyote, whoops). Coldsteel and Coyote make a quick exit. Coyote's light blast was cool, though I wonder why he didn't use it during the battle. Anyway, a fun end to a fun battle. And Coyote makes it away nearly unscathed, he must be thinking his luck has finally turned.... nah.
- So morning comes and the Stone is being moved and we move to the second airborne battle. This one was a lot of fun too. The way Coldsteel ties up Coldfire is just so darn suggestive, ya know? Coyote's chain-saw, Coldfire's head-butt and especially the way Coldstone takes out Coyote are great attacks that came as really fun surprises. It isn't always easy to keep these battles fresh and original, but Greg does a great job. Kudos there. And it isn't just the actions, the lines are superb. The dialogue of the whole scene is great and flows so well. Coldsteel has a lot of good ones, but Coldstone's "Define this!" got a laugh out of me, probably because when he said it I could just hear Mr. Worf saying to some Borg "Assimilate this!" in a similar situation. I have to admit that it struck me as odd that Coyote would refer to Xanatos as "David" when talking to Coldstone. He always called him "Xanatos" before, why the first name basis now? I also liked that Coldsteel's self-repair initiation seems to mention the Matrix technology. Kinda a cool little thing. Oh yeah, Coldstone running around the bottom of the river is cool too.
- Alright, on to the Stone itself. We get several more stories from Shari. I have to admit, these don't grab me the way they did in #7-8. Maybe it was that I was less familiar with the legends and characters mentioned or maybe I was too interested in the modern day stuff. I dunno. I imagine in time I'll become more familiar with these legends and historical figures. Gargoyles is always good for that, eh? One thing I immediately wondered is if the man behind Robert the Bruce is, in fact, Macbeth fighting on the sly for Scotland. Or is he the Irishman Cormac Maccarthy? Or is he some random dude who happens to look like Macbeth? Or is Cormac just one of Macbeth's alias'? Hard to say, though I suspect talk with the fans and some research will reveal more. Gargoyles sure has a way of making you hit the books. Kudos to Greg for that.
- Now we get to where I get a bit confused. So, we know the Illuminati wants the Stone. They get Xanatos to help. But I'm not sure I understand why, or what exactly Xanatos is up to here. The Stone is in the car being driven by some English military dude (presumably). Xanatos uses the shoe box to stall the convoy on the bridge. Coyote and Coldsteel head to the bridge but don't make it there. While the cars are stopped, Xanatos hits a button which flips the stone with a replica. Alright. The shoe box is found to not be a bomb and the convoy moves on to Scotland. But the same car (with this woman driving now) arrives at some warehouse a little later with the Stone and it is later taken to Carbonek. So... what happened? I'm afraid I didn't figure it out. And I really hate that. I'm not sure if I should feel dissapointed or just stupid. The whole plot leaves me with a lot of questions. The Stone itself seems to say it is every rock and that protecting, mending, stealing or hoarding it is utterly "pointless". Well, great. So that means it doesn't matter which Stone is real and which a fake. But I still want to know what Xanatos' plan was. Was he trying to obtain the Stone for himself while making both the Illuminati and the authorities believe they have the real stone in their possession? Why did he send the robots to attack the gargoyles the night before and what were Coldsteel and Coyote going to do had they reached the bridge? Why did Xanatos summon Coldfire and Coldstone? What happened to stone that was flipped in the car? How did the car get to be driven by the Illuminati woman? I've read the book several times over trying to understand this stuff and I hate to say I don't, but I just don't. *shrugs*
- But moving on, we get to Carbonek. These characters are not what I expected. They are modern. Modern clothes, modern personalities, even beyond modern cybernetics. I guess it makes sense to think about it now, but I sure didn't expect it. The Stone's long dialogue to the four men is just awesome. So cool to think about. What a list. I especially love some of the references like the Megalith Dance and Uluru. Cool. And for the past year I've been thinking about the Stone's little comment to Duval about Arthur being awake and his reaction. This is really interesting stuff. I want to know how the Illuminati knew he'd sleep for another 200 years, but I suppose that is a story for another day. It is funny, for a long time we heard in the series a lot of characters (including Arthur himself) talk about how he'd been awakened early. I always suspected that they were wrong and that Arthur woke precisely when he was destined to and that no one knew what they were talking about. Looks like I might be wrong. And looks like Elisa might've really screwed up the future. Guess Samson will just have to do his best without Arthur.
- Okay, the "Hey" "Hey" Stone/Grail scene is just hilarious. It was hilarious during the Radio Play and it is hilarious in the book.
- So we come to the end of this tale. Which is really just the beginning. Hudson, Lexington, Coldstone and Coldfire decide to hang out with the London Clan a while and it sounds like the latter two might just rejoin the Manhattan Clan when Hudson and Lex return. We'll see. Meanwhile, it is fun to see Una and Leo (and presumably Pog) in the background. And Lunette gets her little line. Coldsteel is off again, but this time he is untraceable, or so Xanatos promises. Xanatos gets the Coyote Diamond back. I like the bit about being it's minder only.
- For the most part, I loved this chapter. Yes, Xanatos' scheme still alludes me, but I'm not worried too much about it. Though I don't understand how things happened exactly, I get the gist of it and know what the end results are. The book itself is filled with so much good stuff, that I'm willing to overlook this problem. And perhaps it is only a problem for me anyway and someone will explain it to me soon. Anyway, I'm off to read #10 now... SO EXCITED!
"What happened to stone that was flipped in the car? " The stone that WOUND UP ON TOP was installed at Edinburgh Castle. The other was transported to Xanatos in Leith.
It's unimportant who drove the stone from Edinburgh Castle to Xanatos. Some flunky. Or someone Xanatos bribed. In any case, it was not "the woman" who drove this leg. The "woman" (i.e. Fleur) drives the stone FROM Xanatos to Carbonek.
Xanatos was trying to obtain the Stone for himself and give a fake to the Illuminati, but after being told how pointless that was, he went ahead and gave the "original" to Fleur to take to the Illuminati.
The robots were all a distraction, a feint. A way to make Macbeth and Company feel like they accomplished something when in fact they did not. (No sense giving them a reason to investigate further.) Bringing Coldstone and Coldfire in amounts to the same thing. The transport was happening during the day. So X needed witnesses that his attack "failed". Did he have additional reasons for wanting our ColdCouple back in the picture? Well, is he Xanatos?
I'm TRULY sorry this stuff wasn't clear. I can now see why it wasn't, though what seems obvious now wasn't at the time. It was NOT my intent to be unclear on the above points. And the occasional (AND EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING) uncorrected date-time-stamp typo didn't help much.
In Act One of "Religious Studies 101: A Handful of Thorns", when Jameson's handing out assignments to everyone at the Daily Bugle, he sends Foswell to investigate the Dominic Dracon part of the story with the words "You know that world!" Now, while I'm not an expert on Spider-Man, I picked up from the discussions of "The Spectacular Spider-Man" in the Station 8 comment room that in the comics, Foswell had apparently lived a double life as a reporter and a crime boss. Was Jameson's line an in-joke about that?
In OUR (Spectacular Spider-Man) continuity, Foswell lead a double life as a reporter and a small-time stooge named Patch. He also had (long ago) a pulitzer for an expose on the gangster Silvermane. That's what that reference refers to. Not an in-joke.
What does Disney's aquisition of Marvel mean for the future of Gargoyles?
I read Act One of the Radio Play and enjoyed it (it might be second-best to actually hearing the voice actors reprise their roles, but I could still imagine their voices while reading it). I enjoyed the way you wove the two universes together. A few moments that especially stood out to me:
1. Peter's mention of the "Cliff Notes version" of "A Midsummer Night's Dream".
2. Dominique reminiscing about the founder of Ravencroft (these kinds of speeches by spectacularly long-lived characters are generally a lot of fun).
3. The portrayal of Dominic Dracon as still crushed by the denouement of "The Silver Falcon". (I know that this isn't canon, but I think this is exactly the way he'd have gone after the marbles disappointment.)
4. Jonah Jameson getting Travis Marshall on the phone.
5. The meeting between Captain Stacy and Captain Chavez, especially Chavez's "Twilight Zone" remark.
6. The echo of "The Mirror" when Demona's smuggler delivers part of the Spear of Longinus to her home.
7. Demona's meta-reference to the first act at the end.
I look forward to the next instalment tomorrow.
Glad you like it. Tried to make it fun for fans of both shows.
Now that Marvel Comics, a company that once published a Gargoyles comic series, and Disney have now merged into one, would there be any chance that Marvel/Disney could bring back Gargoyles in some fashion? Since one of the reasons for Disney to aquire Marvel was to gain access to a market that catered more towards teenage boys, it seems that one of the only action series it produced on it's own could find a new home under this merger.
Also, has there been any update on the release of Season 2 vol.2, perhaps the best string of Gargolye episodes made, again, particularly now that Disney is one with Marvel it could be labeled under a Marvel logo (since again at one time an actual Marvel comic) and gain more fan/dollar support that way.
I have no news.
Wow, I just read the first act of the Spectacular Spider-Man Radio Play. And it was very good, I really cant want for act 2. But I was wondering, if season 3 is a yes, will you make this into a stright to dvd movie? I'll buy it, if it come on dvd.
Dear Mr. Weisman,
After Goliath falls in love with Elisa, would her menstrual cycles have any biological effect on him? Yes, I know...that's a very ODD question, to say the least. Thank you, regardless.
Why would it?
What is the future for Gargoyles?
Hi Greg, I have some questions for you about the functions of gargoyle stone sleep. I checked the archives and saw lots of questions about stone sleep, but as far as I could tell, no one asked these questions specifically.
We know that stone sleep serves the following functions:
-rest and rejuvenation
-healing of injuries
-storing of energy (as hypothesized by Sevarius)
However, based on what we've seen in the series and comics, it seems like it probably serves other functions as well. So I have some questions for you about other possible functions of stone sleep.
1. Does it cleanse the gargoyle? We've never heard any mentions of gargoyles bathing and there probably wasn't a shower in the clock tower. So does dirt, grime, and body emollients turn to stone with the gargoyle, or does it sit on top of their stone skin and get sloughed off when the gargoyle awakens?
2. Does it cleanse the gargoyle's clothes? If stone sleep cleanses a gargoyle, it seems logical to me that it would clean the gargoyles' clothes as well. After all, the Humility Spell would turn a gargoyle's clothes to stone because he considers those clothes to belong to him. But, presumably, he would not consider any dirt that is on those clothes to be his, so it seems like any dirt on his clothes might get shed when he wakes up. This could explain why the gargoyles in the show are always wearing the same clothes and we've heard no mentions of doing laundry.
3. Does stone sleep serve as a way to expel wastes? When gargoyles wake up, they end up shedding a bunch of skin. Where does all that mass come from? That's probably at least a pound or two of stone skin being shed per gargoyle, and they do it everyday. If gargoyles are shedding all that stone skin AND pooping, it seems like they would constantly be losing mass or having to eat more to put on mass. Yet if the mass from their food goes towards the outer-most layer of stone skin everyday, that makes sense to me from a conservation of mass perspective. That's why I'm wondering if the stone skin that gets shed every night is mostly gargoyle solid waste.
Not a question about stone sleep functions, but a question about it in general
4. Did Lexington and Hudson get to watch the sun rise (or at least part of it) when they were in London? It seems logical that if their awakening got delayed due to jet lag, maybe their falling asleep got delayed too.
1. On some level at least, yes. Cleanses them of toxins, certainly. And the rest, which isn't to say they might not enjoy a shower now and then.
2. Makes sense to me.
3. Yes, I think so.
Okay, so the London Clan has a strict limit of two eggs per breeding couple to avoid a Clan population that could not be supported at Knight's Spur. This I understand. What I'm curious about is Coco's comment about how the limitation is enforced by isolating Gargoyles from their mates âduring the FEMALE'S final heatâ. Does this mean that the mating seasons only affect the fertility of female Gargoyles and that male Gargoyles might possibly be fertile throughout most of their life and not just during the mating seasons? I mean, if male Gargoyles can only become fertile at the same ages as the females (50, 70, and 90 years old), then how could Yama and Sora have a third child (not that they necesarily WILL have a third child, or any children for that matter, I'm just saying COULD they have a third child?) Sora's third potential egg would be laid when she's 90, at which point Yama would be 110 years old (he's from an older rookery). Females cannot become pregnant at the age of 110 and if males are the same way, Yama would not be able to impregnate Sora with a third egg at the ag of 110. So, do male Gargoyles follow the same fertility pattern as females or could Yama and Sora potentially have a third child?
These are good questions. Normally, I'd refer these questions to the Gargoyles Biology & Culture Panel at the Gathering, but since we're all out of Gatherings for the time being...
My guess based on my very limited knowledge of biology is that male sperm is less cyclical than female eggs. But I'm open to input here. Matt? Jade? Lynati? Anyone?
I thought Duval and Percival were the same person but after reading Gargoyles Clan-Building Volume Two, I just learned that Duval is a Illuminati member one rank below Percival (named Peredur in the comic, Peredur being Welsh version of Percival's name).
1. Didn't you mention or hint at some point before that Duval would be the name Percival uses in modern times?
2. If you answered yes to question 1:
2.a. Did you change your mind and decide to make Duval and Percival seperate characters?
2.b. Did you decide you liked the name Peredur better than Duval and then recycled the name Duval for a new character?
1. Check the Ask Greg Archives.
2. I didn't.
Which one of the multiple characters in Gargoyles were you aiming towards Dracula being an antagonist and foil for?
What was the fate of Tom's father? What can we know about him? Was he a soldier? Farmer?
Dying to tell you, really! But I just can't right now. (I've already said too much.)
Did you find it spooky that Disney bought Marvel so soon after you wrote and put on the Gargoyles/Spectacular Spider-Man crossover Radio Play for the Gathering? I know that it was just a coincidence, but I still found the timing a bit eerie.
Eh... few things (in this business) truly surprise me these days. Which is NOT to say I saw this coming, because I did not. But hearing about it, I was hardly shocked.
Just a couple of questions about "Opening Night"
1. How did Norman Osborn manage to contact Spider-Man so he could request that Spidey help test the Vault?
2. Well, we know where Harry was. We know why Norman was "occupied". But why didn't Emily Osborn go to the play? How was she "otherwise occupied?"
1. Does it matter? Pick your poison.
2. Such a good question.
And now we meet the Director. Sort of. We never get a clear look at his face, or learn his real name. In a way this makes him the opposite of another surprise character, Monsieur Le Maire, who appears to be the Director's superior! We know his name (or alias at least), but we never see him, or learn exactly what organization they belong to. Just what we need, another "super-secret organization." At least this one seems to be trying not to fall into the "ends justify the means" trap.
I just noticed on my second read through that Falstaff stuffs his leg of meat into his tankard while talking. I guess if you enjoy beer soaked meat....
We get introduced to Falstaff's motley crew, and Dingo introduces his group (poor Fang's out cold for his intro), and we move to dinner. I love the look on Fang's face after Hunter says they "won't be breaking any bread" ("Uh...we won't?" with a mouthful of food). Interestingly, the Matrix seems to be sampling the silverware. I also enjoy Hunter's reaction to Dingo's defense of Falstaff as having raised him ("That's a recommendation?").
Matrix seems to confound Falstaff from the get-go. I particularly like the look he gives Matrix when it makes a statement in regards to its attempt to take over the world "with geometry."
Of course, we come to the part we saw in the trailer where Falstaff makes the claim that the Illuminati are the good guys, and brings in character witnesses for that. Namely, Fiona Canmore and Thailog (love Yama's initial call for someone to fix the color after thinking it was Goliath).
Both offer some wonderful character/plot moments. For Fiona, there's the revelation that the "family" has been looking for Robyn (just how big is the Canmore family anyway?), and that "the Hunt" is just a part of something larger (of which we are not told right now). Thailog describes himself as Goliath's "rookery son" (I felt I had to laugh at the audacity of that lie), and then says Fang will vouch for him. Fang's next line ("Sure. Thailog's my kinda gargoyle") floored me. Saying that EXACT phrase to Yama pretty much guaranteed that Yama would want nothing to do with the Illuminati. Actually, Fang brings a lot of surprises in this issue, but I'll deal with the rest later.
That is a LOT of treasure. I just had to say that.
I find it hilarious that everyone has to hop for the Matrix to form a "privacy bubble." It's a fun image--as is all of them crowded together inside. Meanwhile Falstaff is stymied in his attempts to eavesdrop on their conversation. The Matrix has done nothing to endear itself to him.
The inter-cutting of the Squad's "signing up" with the Illuminati and their earlier private conference in the bubble do an effective job of keeping the reader guessing. At first I was a bit confused, but on my second read through I finally figured out what was going on. They make the decision that the Illuminati cannot be trusted, but Dingo doesn't want to just nuke the place. In addition to wanting to spare the lives of his foes, he also wants to save the treasure and all the art and history contained therein (and proving himself closer to "hero" than "anti-hero" in the process), so they play along. Their attempt at infiltration goes south, however. Maybe it was Falstaff's halfhearted acceptance of Hunter's claim that she works for Interpol, or the fact that the Thieves were already surrounding them, but something convinces Fang that Falstaff is onto them, and he starts blasting (taking out Doll first, probably for payback).
There's a lot of stuff with this fight I like:
-how quickly and easily the Matrix neutralizes Mistress Quick.
-Dingo's unhappy look at having to face off against his old mentor.
-Yama's rather unique method of defeating Points (yet another showcase of something that would NEVER have made it on television). Interestingly, I think there are actually stories from Japan of swordsmen defeating opponents with such tactics.
-Hunter's graceful handling of Bardolph.
-And Pistol's surprise entrance with a BFG.
It wouldn't surprise me at all if Matrix really could blow up the island (I find that more believable than it lying about such a thing--doesn't seem programmed for that yet). The fact that the island is a freakin' submarine caught me by surprise, but not as much as Falstaff's casual dismissal of them all drowning. After all that he'd seen/heard about the Matrix, did he really think something like this would kill them? And he didn't seem too upset about the capture of Mistress Quick (who has a whole "screaming statue" thing going on). Speaking of which, I wonder if she's at all conscious throughout this sequence.
Matrix makes a nice raft. I really enjoy the conversation here at the end, especially Yama's little speech. Even if he doesn't feel he has redeemed himself yet, he certainly seems more at peace than he was in "The Lost." I also enjoy everyone's surprise at Yama's statement that Fang was actually "more right than wrong." Actually, Fang is surprising in several ways, not the least of which is how helpful he is to the squad. He subtly indicates that Thailog (and by extension, the Illuminati) is untrustworthy, doesn't give Falstaff time to trap them, and sounds almost philosophical about losing the mission but surviving. The serious look on his face while Yama gives his speech caught me off guard, too. I never would have pegged Fang as interested in redemption before. I wonder if Tasha's suicide had something to do with it.
So Yama turns to stone in mid-sentence before he can say how they'll know they are redeemed, much to Fang's (rather humorous) consternation. I love how Yama's Squad uniform does not turn to stone with him. I'm also rather surprised at the smile Hunter and Dingo share. It's nice to see them not sniping at each other for once.
Nothing left to say really, except about that sketch on the inside of the back cover. I don't remember Hunter kissing Dingo like that in these comics! Here's hoping we see something like that in a comic in the near future.
As I often say, "Give me enough issues..."
Wow. We finally get to where the leica reel ends (with all the requisite high action). All the while it is interspersed with flashbacks--the most interesting being the look at Dingo's past. It's sad to see how quickly the news his mother's walked out again quells his joyous mood (did anyone else see how he crushed his math test in his fist? One thing about Karine's art: it's so full of little details). I knew something wasn't quite right with John from the way he was holding the door closed, and the look on his face. I will admit, I kind of figured he had killed Mariah, but I didn't expect the shot at the end of the comic with his friggin' hands still around her throat! That one was a shocker (though after the suicide, I wonder why that should be). Actually, seeing John Oldcastle's interactions with the young Harry is very disarming. He does seem to genuinely care about the boy (but that could just show how good a liar he is). As a side note, I know that the comic gets away with a lot, but young Harry's joking question about John being a "molester" raised an eyebrow.
The "teaching montage" is just beautiful. Shows where Dingo learned most of his skills, but not necessarily his style (the surprise on John's face when teen-Harry proudly displays his new haircut is hilarious). One question that is not resolved: WHY did Oldcastle kill Mariah? A story for another day, I guess.
Loved the shot of Dingo saving Hunter. The look on her face during that sequence is priceless. Of course, immediately after that "moment of weakness" (so to speak) she pushes off Dingo and free-falls(!) to take out another robot. Damn!
I loved Dingo's reaction to Robyn's rather melodramatic description of the Illuminati as a "super-secret organization trying to take over the world. ("Seriously?") You've got to feel for Dingo. Even after leaving the Pack, his life refuses to stop acting like a comic book. At least this time he's a hero.
Yama's still not happy about Fang coming along. He's even less happy about losing that sword. I loved the robot POV just before its destruction, as well as Yama's casual inspection and then discarding of the head.
Dingo tries to help up Hunter, she blows him off, and for some reason has a smug smile on her face (is she just proud of blowing up a robot herself?). Actually, Dingo really seems to be looking out for Hunter here--when he calls out the possibility of a trap, he has his right arm out as if to shield her or hold her back. She is not impressed, of course.
Matrix as a light source (that's a little TOO bright). Win!
"Guess we came to the right secret lair." Indeed, you have to admire the subtlety of that gigantic wall decoration.
And then we are introduced to a nimble young woman apparently named "Doll." All I can say about the last panel of her introductory page, where she sends Fang flying with a flip that leaves her doing a handstand with her legs wide open, is "SWEET JEEBUS!"
Other folk include a heavily scarred fire-breather, a woman who runs really fast, a guy who looks like a "Pirates of the Caribbean" extra (who manages to cross blades with both Yama and the Matrix), and a guy who would look at home in a Robin Hood film except he's armed with guns. And is fast enough to outdraw Hunter, not to mention skilled enough to shoot the gun out of her hand. Oh yeah, and his name's Pistol. At least that's what Dingo calls out because he apparently knows him--and who he's connected with.
And here comes the revelation: Dingo's old mentor John Oldcastle is the one calling the shots, and he's now known as "FALSTAFF, KING OF THIEVES!" (Am I the only one who hears this guy being voiced by BRIAN BLESSED?) Okay, how does he manage to get BOTH nubile young women hanging off him like that? And he does it while sitting in a throne, with a leg of meat in one hand and a tankard in the other. A more important question would be, how can I put myself in that position?
As I said, the artwork is incredible and rich in detail. I am a little sad at not seeing the cover for issue #5 (Dingo's wanted poster) in color, but that's a minor gripe.
Glad you liked it.
Once again, excellent art from Ben Dunn that also remains consistent with the work of the previous two artists. I feel he sometimes puts in a few too many wrinkles/flecks/spots on Goliath and Brooklyn, and he has a tendency to draw some of the women's faces (especially Finella) in a style too similar to Japanese manga. Also, Maol Chalvim's face looks a bit...off to me on page 11 (it doesn't look as "long" as it should to me). Demona's, too, on occasion. But overall, a bang up job.
This chapter actually begins in 1997 with Goliath (in his "thinker" pose) ruminating on how a thousand years ago "the humans" thought they had crushed his kind completely, before we go back to Brooklyn in 997 thinking about how "a thousand years from now" Broadway and Angela are wondering if he'll come back. I like that bit of parallelism.
"Damn good question." I'll never get over the casual swearing (no matter how mild).
For the next few pages, we're treated to Brooklyn's interior monologue as he dishes out exposition. I love how he calls the Phoenix the "Time-Fowl." He would be the type to give a casual name to a magical entity.
I can't help but wonder what kind of sword Brooklyn's using. I've heard people call it a broadsword, but Brooklyn sometimes swings it two-handed. Wouldn't that make it a bastard sword?
Meanwhile, Valmont is gloating about having the Grimorum. "First of the Three Keys to Power...the pathway to Avalon...the fate of Scotland in my hands!" Okay, it's official: Valmont is Archmage Jr.
Well, Mary's clever enough to pull the wagon out from under him. Pity it wasn't enough to make him drop the book.
Back to Brooklyn, as he continues to think about what his actions mean for the gargoyles he brought out of hiding. After he and the gargoyle with the beaky nose lift and drop a couple of soldiers, Brook gets carried away and calls him "bro" and tries to give a high-five (or high-four, in this case). He's able to recover quickly enough, though (easy when you can say "bro" is short for "rookery brother"). I like the camaraderie he managed to pull off with the other garg here.
I also like how he refers to Demona as his "least favorite personal demon." Brooklyn's no fool, he knows Demona's planning a betrayal, but he's got to play along.
Let me take this moment to say that, even if she is the Demona from 997, I am REALLY glad to see Demona back again. I've really missed her. And she is VICIOUS in battle! Clawing people across the face seems to be a thing with her.
Brooklyn's response to Demona's compliment on his battle prowess ("I had a good teacher...Goliath") is wonderful. To me it both shows the respect he has for Goliath, and also acts as his way of sticking it to Demona. She, however, takes it as an opportunity to disparage Goliath's trust of humans, and state that the humans will turn on the gargoyles at the end of battle (you're one to talk, Ms. Backstabby McBackstab).
Meanwhile Constantine taunts Kenneth with talk of "superior numbers" and how he has no mercy (which he says with a vicious smile). Okay, Constantine belongs under the "Complete Monster" category of villain. You know the kind of villain you love to hate? Well, this isn't that kind of villain. This is the type of villain you just want to see die horribly. And Gillecomgain is putting himself in that very same category with his actions here. Sure he was a monster in "City of Stone," but somehow what we see of him here makes him even worse! He's trying to kill poor Bodhe (no wonder the kid grew into a coward) and he's doing it with glee! And Constantine is egging him on. "It is the Hunter's Moon, be a hunter for your king!" (I love the close-ups of both Constantine and Gillecomgain in those two panels--page 9). Findlaech makes an offhand remark to his adversary, Mail Brigti, to the effect of Gil seeming like Constantine's son.
Mail just ignores that, fights him and reveals...that he and Findlaech are half-brothers! I had remembered hearing about this (that Gillecomgain and Macbeth were actually related), but I wondered why Gil would be a peasant if that was the case. Now we get a story where this is explained. It also explains why Mail always acted so angry (bitterness, and he may have taken some of it out on Gil). Findlaech definitely comes across as having the moral high ground, having offered to share Ruaidri's (their father) inheritance, but Mail seems determined to have everything, even if it means siding with a Complete Monster.
And then Brother Valmont casts a spell. While Finella is trying to figure out the translation, Maol finally shows up. Turns out he's quicker to understand Latin, and orders the women to take cover while he threatens Valmont to make him call off the spell. Actually, this shot of Maol Chalvim could almost be considered a hero shot. Maol's a strange character. Not nice, by any stretch of the imagination, and I know he's going to turn on poor, good Kenneth eight years on, but somehow he's able to pull of these "hero" type moments. Unfortunately, the threat doesn't work on Valmont. And Finella figures out the spell just in time to take cover.
The spell? Arrows begin to rain down from the skies (what IS it with Brother Valmont and arrows?).
Demona's Second's Mate shields him from the arrows with her own body and dies (NOOOOO!)! And she's not the only one getting hit--there are several gargoyle silhouettes in the background, some pierced with the arrows (NOOOO! multiplied by however many died). But she is the one we've seen the most of, and the fact that she's the mate of a gargoyle we are (slightly) more familiar with, helps to personalize it as he grieves for her, poor guy. Brooklyn and even Demona are horrified by this turn of events.
To be fair, I kind of figured she'd die before the end of the comic arc simply because we never saw her in "City of Stone." Of course, we never saw the beasts or "True" there either, so....
At any rate, farewell, oh web-winged female. We hardly knew ye.
Poor Magus the horse gets hit, too (NO! NOT THE HORSE!).
Valmont takes this opportunity to gloat to Maol...and loses his right hand to Brooklyn for his troubles. I was actually quite impressed, Greg, that you managed to go this far. Granted, we don't see the actual stump of the hand, but it's still a pretty shocking turn of events. And of course, it couldn't have happened to a more deserving jerk.
Maol's line, "The arrows...they still reign." Love the wordplay there (something that wouldn't come across in spoken dialogue, sadly).
Is it just me, or does Finella REALLY want to do magic. Maybe she's just trying to do SOMETHING and not feel useless. At any rate, a real sorceress steps in: Demona. She manages to reverse the spell (and look cool while doing it), but she can't bring any who died back to life, of course.
And one last casualty of the arrows is revealed: Mail Brigti (NOO--wait, what am I saying, YEEEESS!). Findlaech may be a big enough man to cry over his treacherous half-brother, but as far as I'm concerned, after following Constantine, a man he KNOWS is evil, just for his own gain, Mail Brigti got his just deserts.
Unfortunately, the arrows didn't hit the selectively blind Gillecomgain, who chooses to not see the arrows and believe that his father died by Findlaech's hand. Findlaech warns Gil not to cross him, mostly because he doesn't want to see his brother's line end. Gil chooses to believe it's because Findlaech fears him. This whole confrontation, along with the struggle over Ruaidri's inheritance, adds a whole new level to the Hunter's assassination of Findlaech in "City of Stone." Damn. The only reason they don't fight now is because Constantine and Kenneth's fight passes right between them (even a rain of arrows doesn't stop these guys!).
Geez, Constantine just doesn't shut up! And this is the second time he's gone on about his "superior numbers." He promises to kill Maol Chalvim (while hinting at Maol's future turn) after he kills Kenneth's son Bodhe (well, he promises to gut Bodhe while calling him a very unflattering word). This is the last straw for Kenneth ("You shouldn't make Kenneth angry, Constantine...you wouldn't like him when he's angry"). Kenneth throws away his shield and begins attacking Constantine with both hands on his sword. He manages to unhorse Constantine and slay him. I love the look on both Constantine and Gillecomgain's face before Kenneth drives the blade home (where's your "superior numbers" now, Constantine?). In contrast to Constantine earlier, Kenneth is silent through all this part. It reminds me of a quote from Terry Pratchett's Discworld book "Men at Arms." To paraphrase it shortly, "If you are staring down a loaded crossbow, pray that the man on the other end is an evil man. Because an evil man will want you to know you are beaten, so he will talk and gloat and put off the moment of killing you for as long as possible the way a man might put off smoking a good cigar. A good man will just kill you without a word." Seems to fit this situation.
Well, Demona is in awe at having the Grimorum Arcanorum in her hands, while Brooklyn tries to figure out how to separate it from her. And then the Phoenix appears again. I wonder why Brooklyn focused on "Timedance" as his metaphor of choice, embellishing it with such gems as "chronal-boogie" and "temporal-tune." I can definitely understand his frustration at not being able to know how everything turned out (guess he'll be hitting the books when he gets back).
I loved Brooklyn's way of tricking Demona into giving him the Grimorum (playing on her desire for power, offering to hold the book while she got her half of the Gate). I can only wonder what Demona thought and did after he was gone. This whole thing also adds another level to "Temptation"--how much of this encounter did Demona remember through the years?
Well, Brook's ready to go, but so are Mary and Finella, much to his dismay.
But now we travel back to the present (well, 1997) and repeat the last few panels we saw of Broadway and Angela, and--THERE! In the last panel of page 20! In that panel, Angela has her collar (a bit more wrinkled than usual, but it's there), but in the panel before, and the panel after (first panel of page 21) she has no collar! Just let her keep the collar already!
Anyway, I liked Brooklyn's "Forever...forty years...forty seconds...however you keep time, the Dance is finally done." So cool. And yeah, I've already been spoiled so the "He's not alone" misdirection didn't work on me, but I can appreciate the effect it might have on readers not "in the know."
Well, we return to Goliath and his ruminations. But what's this? Lexington and Hudson have returned...and they brought Coldstone and Coldfire! Goliath is, needless to say, overjoyed by this turn of events. And then Broadway arrives to say that Brooklyn went on "a little trip" of his own and...well, Goliath has to see for himself.
Okay, this is IT! The part I've waited 12 years for. The first canon appearance of Brooklyn's mate, Katana. Not to mention his son, Nashville, and Fu-Dog, and how Brooklyn himself looks after his journey. I will admit, I had not expected him to so closely resemble his "Future Tense" self, but I'm not complaining (that armor just looks cool). And man is he armed to the teeth or WHAT? That Scottish sword (which he apparently kept with him throughout all 40 years), a Japanese Katana, a hand pistol (or blaster of some kind) and a Big Fricken' Futuristic Rifle. It also seems he lost his left eye somewhere along the way. Funny, that's the same eye Hudson lost sight in. You know, Broadway may be Hudson's biological son, but Brooklyn seems to me to take after the old garg a lot more than anyone else.
And Nashville (or Gnash, as he prefers to be called) is pretty much what I expected. I didn't know his coloring, and he looks a lot tougher than I would have thought (he's the physical equivalent of a 9-year-old, but then again, he's a time-traveling gargoyle), and I didn't expect him to be ARMED with a Japanese blade, but yeah, he's definitely Brooklyn's son. The clothes were a surprise, too--more modern than either of his parents, which makes sense I guess (so U.S.N. stands for "U.S. Navy?" Interesting).
And Fu-Dog...what can I say. He's like a green lion (and pretty darn cool looking).
But Katana...oh man, where do I begin? Well, let's start with the fact that she is the first major beaked female in the canon. I am ashamed to admit that in all those 12 years, I was never able to picture her beaked. I knew intellectually that it was a possibility, but for some reason I could never wrap my mind around it. Maybe it was the difficulty of trying to picture a beaked female that DIDN'T just look like Brooklyn with boobs.
But now Katana's been revealed and...the first word that popped into my mind to describe her was "cute." There's just something about her face that lends itself to that. Her beak is smaller than Brooklyn's, and maybe that helps. Her hair is gorgeous, and I love the style. But the real secret is in her eyes and expression. God, those eyes are perfectly shaped, and the look in them, coupled with her smile.... You said, Greg, that her and Brooklyn's relationship would have been like Sam and Diane, or Beatrice and Benedick, and I can just see ALL of that in the look on her face here.
As for the rest, I somehow always figured she'd be some shade of blue. I love the design of her clothes (I have looked extensively at Robby Bevard's design sheet for her). I'd really like to see her use those war fans at some point. I'm still surprised at her having one digit less per appendage (3 instead of 4). And then there's how she acts with her egg. When Angela asked to hold it, she seemed guarded. And she even takes the egg into battle with her! I can think of only one reason she would do that: she can protect that egg from ANYTHING the world can throw at her!
All this, and she didn't even get a single line in this issue (even Gnash got ONE). Damn. Well, you can't have everything. But I still can't wait for the next installment of the "GARGOYLES" comic, or for the "TIMEDANCER" spin off. I want to hear Katana speak (figuratively, of course). I want to see her fight. I want to see her and Brooklyn's relationship. I want to see her three-fingered hand intertwined with his four-fingered one. God, it's going to be a long wait.
"Egwardo?" Brooklyn, some things about you never change.
The group shot at the top of page 23 is kind of neat. I love all their reactions. Bronx and Fu-Dog are sniffing at each other, Angela's excited over the egg, Hudson's laughing, Lex seems to be chatting with Gnash, and Brooklyn...he just seems happy to be home again.
Then Elisa comes in and has a wonderful reaction to the overnight change in the clan's roster. Seriously, I can't help laughing everytime I imagine Salli Richardson saying that line.
Well, Jackal's busted Hyena and Wolf out of prison and they're wreaking Times Square, so the WHOLE FRICKEN' CLAN goes out to meat them. Lex is right, "The Pack'll never know what hit 'em."
This was a great issue, a great arc, and a great series. If I had any complaints about this particular issue it's that the last four pages felt very rushed. I mean it's like BOOM--Lex and Hudson--BOOM--Coldstone and Coldfire--BIG BOOM--Brooklyn and family--BOOM--Pack attacks--BOOM--attack Pack. I felt like I couldn't catch my breath! And this just makes me want another issue right NOW!
"Never the End..." eh? I'll drink to that, but like I said before "It's going to be a long wait." Still, here's to what we did get.
Thank you, Greg!
You're very welcome. Thanks for keeping the faith all these years.
Let's dive right in.
Once more, I will begin with the art. David Hutchison does a good job, and is a decent successor to Greg Guler here. This is especially true in regards to consistency. This and the Halloween arc ("Invitation Only," "Masque," and "Bash") are the only two that have a completely different artist for each issue within the arc. In the case of the Halloween arc, the contrast in styles between David Hedgecock, Nir Paniry, and Karine Charlebois was quite jarring at times. Here, however, the difference in styles between Greg Guler, David Hutchison and Ben Dunn isn't as drastic. Consequently, these three issues seem to..."flow together" better, I guess. The transition is easier.
At any rate, the only complaint I have is that Hutchison sometimes draws Brooklyn's wings in a semi-bat shape when their edges should be smooth. Other than that though, kudos to Mr. Hutchison.
Well, we pick up where we left off: Brooklyn, along with Mary and Finella, makes for Castle Wyvern ("Home sweet decimated home"). Brooklyn seems to feel like hooking his wing-claws on his shoulders (like his "Future Tense" version did) for now instead of caping them like usual. Interesting.
Brooklyn mentions getting back to his century, confusing Mary, who figured the 10th century was his century. It's funny--Brooklyn lived most of his life in the 900's, and yet after two years in the 1990's he already considers that his century. Of course, the fact that his clan's there probably has something to do with it.
I remember hearing a while back that the Constantine we saw on "GARGOYLES" was King Constantine III who ruled from 995-997 A.D. (what year is Brooklyn stranded in again?), and he was known as Constantine the...bald. Yeah, I kind of figured the "GARGOYLES" crew either missed that, or decided he looked better with a wig. But NOW we see why he was called that in the "GARGOYLES" universe. He cut his hair to turn his head into "the proper canvas." Canvas for what I wonder.
Given his reaction to Gillecomgain's brown-nosing answer, Constantine seems to like yes-men and toadies.
Mail Brigti (and now we know his first name) arrives with news about the Grim's army assembling at Rathveramoen, and Constantine sends him off to wait at the head of his (Constantine's) own army. Mail calls Gil, but Constantine wants to keep Gil nearby (it was the toadying that impressed him, wasn't it?), and begins an in-depth study of Gil's scars. Mail hesitates, but leaves when curtly dismissed.
Constantine then takes a moment to gloat about wiping out "the male line of the Three Brothers" (there's that reference only "Ask Greg" readers will fully understand again) before asking Brother Valmont about the Magus and Princess Katharine. Valmont..."read the entrails of half the goats in Scotland?!" YUCK!! EW! Okay, my appetite's gone. Anyway, short version, they're both out of Scotland, Tom's out of Scotland as well, but the Grimorum is still around and Valmont must get it.
"Okay, this is just freaky." Yeah, seeing your sleeping form would engender that reaction. But then Brooklyn moves among the remains of his massacred clan while thinking to himself how "freaky" is a nice, safe adjective in comparison to "horrific, traumatizing, or soul-killing." This is probably just as bad as living that night after the Massacre all over again. I like his description of it feeling like his heart is "turning to stone and Hakon is taking a mace to it."
He also finds a scabbard for his new sword. Interesting. I wonder what prompted him to keep the sword in the first place. He's been going for years without a weapon and now he decides to keep the first sword he grabs? Then again, with the King's army against you, a sword might come in handy.
Well, Mary asks after Tom, and Brooklyn starts to explain about Tom being married. This floors Mary who is still thinking of Tom as the little boy she left two years ago. Brooklyn leaps away (awkward transition that, since we don't see him actually leaving Mary in that panel), and resolves to keep his "big beak shut" just in case. Probably wise, things will be simpler that way.
I rather enjoy Brooklyn's annoyance at stone sleep (and wondering how Elisa can stand it). And we finally have a canon mention of the Humility Spell...but no explanation. Yes, we who have read "Ask Greg" and the GargWiki know the story, but for those who have only watched the series and read the comic, I wonder if this mention (along with the one about the "Three Brothers" and the later one about the Wind Ceremony) will whet their appetite for more stories and for the background on these references.
Given that Brooklyn's most likely stuck in the 10th century now without the Gate, he seems quite calm about it. No whining, no rage, just a sigh and "I guess this IS my century again, after all." Man, Brook's made of some pretty stern stuff. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be that calm.
And he calls Demona a witch. Oh, come on Brooklyn! Just replace the "w" with a "b" and be done with it. We all know you want to!
Demona arrives at a cave and announces to the gargs there the death of the Sruighlea cell (damn, I do not know how the hell that name is pronounced). Okay, so Demona's clan is split into separate cells. I did not know that (in fact, I've always wondered why the number of gargoyles Demona led in "City of Stone" seemed to change, and now I finally know). This particular cell she leads is full of familiar faces, though. There's her Second, and apparently his Mate (I know she's called something else in the scripts, but since she isn't referred to as that by the characters, I'm just going to call her Second's Mate). Also a new young gargoyle face and two beasts, one of whom looks like Bronx except for coloring, and one of whom is colored like Bronx. Oh, and the new young one has Hudson's skin tone and white hair and...okay, yes she's Hudson's biological daughter (True), and the beasts are obviously Bronx's biological parents. I wonder why this female beast's eyes glow red but Boudicca's didn't?
At any rate, "True" says they should hold a Wind Ceremony for the fallen (the first canon mention of that, too), but Demona once again shows that vengeance trumps all other concerns for her (save her own survival, of course). Bitch.
Maol Chalvim is his usual self as he spells out to Kenneth just why they can't count on gargoyle support...and then one shows up in their camp, carted in by Mary and Finella. I must admit, I hadn't realized Maol might hold some animosity towards Finella, but it makes perfect sense.
I wish I could have seen the first meeting between Brooklyn, Kenneth, Maol and Finlaech, but I guess something had to be sacrificed for page space.
Seeing Brooklyn pointing at the map and telling Kenneth to engage Constantine's forces at Rathveramoen while he (Brooklyn) brings reinforcements seems to cement the image of Brooklyn as strategist. Brook also seems intelligent enough to realize that he needs Demona's help and must put his own personal feelings aside (our boy is FINALLY growing up in that area!).
Brooklyn's little "break the fourth wall" bit in the last panel of page 13 seems to have provoked a mix of reactions. I've read a few people who seemed to think it was Greg's way of directing an "educational" message directly at them, and hating it just for that. Me? I find it a hilarious character moment of Brooklyn joking around. I mean, heck, *I* sometimes address a non-existent audience! It can lighten up a strange situation and make it bearable.
I liked the shots of Brooklyn discovering the massacred cell, and him hiding in a tree during the day. And then he encounters Demona...and immediately attacks her. Demona's too shocked by the fact that he's someone from Wyvern (still love the "By the Dragon" exclamation) to be too upset about this. Brooklyn tries to regain his composure, and almost loses it again just thinking about her betrayal. Still, they manage to keep from splatting and Demona...is smiling? Wow, she really looks happy to see an old clan-mate alive again. She mentions her new clan and asks how Brooklyn survived and if any others did. Brook, clearly uncomfortable at having to make nice, has to tell a half truth--omitting himself being cursed as well (and almost calling Hudson by name). Demona sees red (literally) at hearing about the sleep spell, until Brooklyn undercuts it by pointing out she managed to escape both fates and now Demona has to stammer an explanation. In the end, Brooklyn brushes it all aside for the greater good.
Wow, no sorcerers for Kenneth's side? Finella decides she'll try the book herself just because she knows Latin. Mary points out the danger, and Finella points out that they're already in danger. I love the little "Magus--the man, not the horse" bit.
Constantine has the messenger killed. And he does it for no reason, it would seem, other than he just likes being able to. Douche.
Mail Brigti seems saddened by that action, too. If that's the case, why does he stick with Constantine anyway (yeah, I know the answer will come in the next issue, and if anything shows how much of a sell-out Mail really is)? Gillecomgain on the other hand, seems to approve of Constantine's behavior (look at that smile).
And now we see Constantine's war-paint. The roots of the Hunter's mask. In addition to the three red slashes across black on the front, he has the same design on the back along with two false eyes (doubtless to confuse and unnerve foes in the heat of battle). I think Gil likes the new look. I recall, Greg, you saying at the Gathering that this was a way to explain how people wouldn't immediately conclude that Gillecomgain was the Hunter based on the design of the mask in "City of Stone." Whatever the reason, it's a striking visual.
The armies converge and Findlaech notes there are fewer Irish (Constantine's soldiers) than he thought. Yeah, Fin, that's because the rest are hiding in the forest waiting to outflank you! There's some great art here for the battle, especially in regards to the light of the setting sun. In the last panel of page 21, I think I can see winged shapes in the sky behind the fighting Constantine and Kenneth. Three guesses what they are (and the first two don't count).
Sure enough come the next page and we get an excellent two-page spread of the gargoyles arriving into battle. Second's Mate appears to have the same wing structure as Lexington--COOL! The striking visual of the gargoyles attacking is almost enough to make one forget there's fighting on the ground, too. Gil knocks Bodhe off his horse, Mail and Finlaech are heading towards one another, and Constantine and Kenneth are still fighting. I wonder where Maol is in all of this?
The last page brings us parallel panels of simultaneous events again. Demona's Second apparently likes a good battle, and is glad they followed the "gargoyle of the sword" (looks like Brooklyn just picked up a new name). Demona (who casually BREAKS A MAN'S NECK), is already planning to turn on the Grim after the battle is won (wow, Demona's planning betrayal, what a surprise). Meanwhile, Finella is still intent on learning a spell, and doesn't realize until too late that all her guards have been killed by the flaming arrows of Brother Valmont, who snatches the Grimorum and reveals his intention to turn on HIS boss, Constantine. And then both he and Demona share the EXACT same thought at the EXACT same time: conquering Scotland! (Yeah, they haven't quite graduated to "take over the world" yet.)
Damn cliffhanger! Then again, I didn't have to wait two months for the conclusion to this story....
There are certain advantages to our publishing pattern, huh?
Yes! Finally! The "TIMEDANCER" story! A three-comic arc focusing on my favorite "GARGOYLES" character! I have been looking forward to this for (literally) YEARS. And it did not disappoint. Okay, maybe there are a few nitpicks here or there, but who cares? It still rocks! So let's start with the first part.
First of all, I must address the art. Greg Guler did a fantastic job here. I mean, good God, this is probably the best art I've seen throughout the entire "Clan-Building" comic run (Karine, I love you and your work on "Bash" but this...wow, just...wow). I mean, the issue even starts out with what could only be called a "hero shot" of Brooklyn, and it kicks ass! The only nit is that in the first panel it looks like Brooklyn has the "one-claw" style wings instead of his normal ones. Well, maybe the other two claws are hidden. Regardless, it's still great!
Anyway, Brooklyn seems to be enjoying a glide out by himself...and then Broadway and Angela show up. And they're holding hands (and just what had they been doing to make their eyes glow like that?). Brook is not happy (I love his expression here). Broadway remarks how dull it's been with Lex and Hudson off in London (really, Broadway? Is spending "quality alone time" with Angela THAT boring?). He wishes they'd come back, to which Brooklyn responds "Yeah, that's one of my wishes...". Wow, for being the two most intuitive members of the clan, Broadway and Angela are REALLY blind to Brooklyn here. I mean, it's like (to borrow from "The Princess Bride") they're giving him a nice paper-cut and pouring lemon juice on it--and they don't even realize they're doing it!
Actually, Brooklyn's kind of interesting here. He seems to bottle most of his feelings up around them. I mean, it's like he's trying not to make a big deal about his disappointment over not "getting the girl" and just trying to avoid being constantly reminded of it, but all the body language and subtle hints in the world aren't piercing through the little "love bubble." I can only wonder what this little powder keg might have become had he not gone on his little Dance. But I'll get to that in a minute.
A little art tangent here: Angela's collar. Now, we've seen Angela's new two-piece since the start of the comics, but one thing that's always been inconsistent about it is the presence or absence of a high collar. Well, there's also the number of threads covering the, um..."low cut" area on the chest. Whenever Greg Guler draws Angela, whether on the covers, or right here in his own issue, he draws her with the collar, and only two threads over the low cut area. The ONLY OTHER artist who did that is Gordon Purcell (in Issue #6 "Reunion" for the "present" scenes). Every other artist who drew her in her "normal" outfit draws her top without the collar and with a LOT more threads. This is something that's always bugged me. It's a new outfit for her, designed by Greg Guler (I believe), so why not follow his design all the way? Why do so many make her new two-piece look like her original one-piece with just a section missing. Maybe I wouldn't care so much except I LIKE that collar. I like the distinctive look it gives her. And yes, I admit, I would not say "no" to less threads obscuring the low-cut area. ;-)
Okay, there, I've said all I need to say about that. Sorry for the digression--on with the comic.
The Phoenix Gate arrives, bouncing off one of the letters in the sign before coming to rest on the rooftop. Angela is really concerned about this development, while Brooklyn seems rather calm (and even flippant). Maybe he's just glad for the distraction from the happy couple. I like the glow of the Gate reflecting off Brooklyn's eyes.
Brooklyn reaches for the Gate (not unreasonable, from his POV--you don't want to leave something like that lying around), and...it disintegrates. Ummm, okay, in the 12 years I'd known about "TIMEDANCER" I never thought that the Gate would do this. First disintegrate, and then spit out a huge flamin' Phoenix that would swallow Brooklyn whole and vanish! I especially like that first panel on page 6--with the Phoenix's eyes looming over the three gargoyles. Maybe it's because he's closest to center, but Brooklyn does seem to be the focus of that gaze (no surprise there).
And now we begin the real meat of this tale--Brooklyn's adventures in the past. I easily recognized Constantine and Gillcomgain. Gil's father I didn't recognize until Gil referred to him as such, and a few pages later we finally get a name for him, Brigti. Anyway, poor Brook lands right in front of this rather hostile audience. Gil immediately calls him "demon" and Constantine (for reasons soon to become apparent) gives the order to "kill it." Brigti's reaction is the odd one out, if only because it's so calm and matter of fact. I wonder if Brigti sees gargoyles as something a person doesn't need to kick up much of a fuss about, at least no more so than any wild animal. This makes his reaction an interesting contrast to Constantine and Gil's rather vehement ones.
Young Gil trying to take out a surprised Brooklyn with a knife=FAIL! Constantine trying to take out Brooklyn with his HORSE=a considerably more dignified FAIL. That guy in green casting a fire arrow spell with no magic book or other noticeable conduit and getting Brooklyn in the leg=OUCH! Actually, overall, I'm impressed by how Brooklyn handles himself throughout this whole thing. He doesn't panic, keeps his head (even manages to crack a few smart remarks), correctly figures the place and century he landed in, is able to get enough height to glide somehow (it looked like a hilly bit of land, I guess) and even manages to take a FIRE ARROW in the leg and keep going (much to Constantine's displeasure). Go Brooklyn!
Anyway, we learn more about what Constantine is doing out at this hour--posting "Wanted" posters for the Magus, Tom, Mary and Finella. It would also seem that he's also hunting down gargoyles because of past history (and for those of us who have read the "Three Brothers" story, this is an added bit of icing on the cake). Oh, and the wizard in the green cloak is called Brother Valmont...and maybe it's the bald head but he looks strangely similar to someone from the previous chapter....
And just what is this "Grim" that is amassing an army?
As soon as I saw that feminine, blue-sleeved hand rip off that poster, I knew Filella and Mary had arrived. Constantine, that jerk, has been doing a bit of spin-doctoring it would seem. Among other things, the poster accuses Finella of "turning to sin and Satan" (even with the violence and minor swears the comics have been able to get away with, that line surprised me) in grief over the loss of her son.
MARY: You had a son?
Okay, that line and the look on her face leave me to wonder if she was telling the truth there.
To get past the Porter, Mary introduces Finella as the Lady...Fiona (the name of *another* "GARGOYLES" character voiced by Sheena Easton). Meanwhile, Brooklyn lands nearby and pulls out the arrow. Wow, hardcore. The expression of pain on his face is great, as is the surprise and lighting when the two halves of the arrow dissolve into flames (he should be thankful they didn't do that while he was holding one in his mouth).
Well, gold is enough to get the past the Porter, but not the Guardsman, who pulls off the poster...what, wait a minute! Didn't Finella already tear it off? Yeah, there she is holding it, and now the Guardsman's holding one and...THERE'S ANOTHER ON THE DOOR?! Okay, Finella looks about as surprised as I feel. Does the poster have some sort of magic spell on it that creates an exact copy if it is torn off?
Things go south very fast for our heroines. The jerk Guardsman can apparently follow orders enough to want them alive, but no one else in the town seems to agree. Finella tries to bluff her way out with the Grimorum (LOVE that last panel on page 15), but the Guardsman is not as easily cowed as the townspeople. Until Brooklyn arrives, that is. Brook even pulls a Goliath and takes the sword in his had by the blade (leaving a fair amount of blood in the process). And then he pulls a Hudson by taking that sword and keeping it with him. I loved his lines here (especially, "You wait here for my clan to come eat your brains..." and "Now that I've set back human-gargoyle relations for the next millennium").
"RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!" You've just been waiting to put that Monty Python bit in, haven't you, Greg?
One art nit: It would seem the top part of a word bubble is floating just above the bottom of panel 6 on page 16. Oh, well.
I love Finella's expressions first after Brook appears and then after he turns to stone. I'd guess this is the first time she's been this close to a gargoyle in her life. She seems concerned about the wound on his hand though (YIKES, yeah, you wouldn't have been able to show that much on the TV show). Mary seems to wear a concerned expression, too in the final frame of page 17.
Mary named the horse "Magus?" Heh. That's kind of cool.
And now we meet "The Grim"--jolly Kenneth (soon to be King Kenneth III), cousin of Maol Chalvim and Princess Katharine. We see Maol, too (as gregarious as ever), and surprisingly enough, a younger Findlaech. Oh, and Bodhe as a boy, ready to follow his father into battle (or so he says). I got the Shakespeare reference (either Kenneth or Shakespeare must have been psychic), and the irony about Ken being called "The Grim" instead of Maol. After some exposition on how the war against Constantine goes, Kenneth brings up gargoyles ("the solution of our fathers") and we cut to a group of gargoyles sleeping in a cave...right before they fall to the mace. Gillecomgain, not surprisingly, is in a frenzy, screaming at them to "DIE" as he smashes their unconscious forms to rubble. He is so into this, it impresses even Constantine (who had smashed the first one with a smile on his face). And unless I miss my guess, it unnerves Brigti somewhat.
Why would they put a poster there? Do they really expect people to stop by that cave? Or is it for any other gargoyles that might happen along?
Loved Brook's wake up (and the detail of stone flakes on Mary's hood a few frames later). Brook and Mary recognize each other from Wyvern and exchange names (and I wonder if Brook had already heard about Finella from Goliath or Angela retelling Tom's story). Brook's response to all this? "Oh, this is too cool!" Wow...that would not have been my response. I mean, seriously, Brooklyn has adapted to this situation admirably fast. Maybe that's because he HAS seen "Star Trek" and "Quantum Leap" (loved those references, by the way). At any rate, he certainly is handling himself well, all things considered.
"The year of our Lord Nine Hundred and Ninety-Seven." I don't know why, but I love that Finella stated the year that way. Brooklyn figures that the only way he'll get back is with the Phoenix Gate, and because he knows his "997 Clan History" he knows that half the Gate is with Goliath and the other half with...
...Demona, in a FANTASTIC final image!
Here's to the first part of a great Brooklyn story!
I'm glad you like it!!
Does Owen need sleep
The Gathering 2009 - Con Journal - Part Five...
Woke up on Monday to find one of my roommates was in the shower. I had the staff breakfast to get to, but I wanted a shower. So I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. When I was fifteen minutes late, I took off for breakfast. After waiting forty-five minutes for the shower. Aw well. I got one after breakfast.
Breakfast was short and fun, I forget what I ate, but I remember we called Laurean and sang Happy Birthday to her. I guess we owe someone some royalties for that song ;)
After that, I helped clean up the art room a bit before attending the "Gargoyles" and "Bad Guys" comic book panel. We got some cool question in there. Greg confirmed there was indeed a connection between Duval and Brother Valmont, but wouldn't confirm or deny if they were one and the same. Also, on the subject of Duval, the topic of his identity came up, since the presence of Peredur fab Ragnal seems to have thrown us all for a loop. Still, Greg refused to comment on whether Duval is or isn't Percival. Now, at the moment, I do have a very strong theory on who Duval really is. If Blanchefleur is one of the two people Peredur loves most in the world, who would logically be the other? Chew on that for a while.
Among the topics, Greg said that Dan Vado and SLG are still our best bets. But who knows what will happen with Disney buying Marvel. Speaking of, funny how that happens days after that Radio Play. Guess Greg could make that canon if he wanted to. LOL!
After that, it was the Biology panel, which I've never attended before. To quote Greg, I am a writer, not a biologist. There was a lot of interesting stuff discussed there as well, but I will admit, a lot of it went over my head. Math and science were never my strongest subjects in school. English, history, and art were. I was called out early, but I forget the reason why.
I did get a phone call from my brother, who couldn't make it. So, I briefly put Thom Adcox on the phone with him. While they're talking, Thom motions me to come closer and then he lightly slaps me. My brother asked him to. LOL!
Finally it was time for Closing Ceremonies. And, well... let's just say it was one of the most emotional hours of my life. I'm just glad it managed to be bittersweet and not just bitter. Prizes were handed out. People got up and shared memories. I wanted to, but I was too busy trying to keep it together, I don't think I could have spoken without breaking. There were a lot of tearful good-byes.
Once that was over, we tore down the art room. Karine had a comic book page there, and I told her that if I had the money, I'd take it off her hands. But then she turned around and gave it to me. It was from #5 of "Gargoyles" where Goliath and Elisa kiss and declare their love... thank you Karine. That was awesome.
We eventually retired to the staff suite where Chris bought the entire staff pizza. That was very generous. We all laughed, and enjoyed ourselves. Eventually Greg had to leave, and we all hugged him good-bye. Well for some of us, it was more of a see you later, but I'll get to that in a bit.
So, we partied. Jenn-Bob showed up on her webcam since she couldn't attend the convention. Bra-clad boobs were involved.
Later on, we all took a walk up to City Walk, where Cat and I shared some fries. Flanker and I talked about his time in Afghanistan. Eventually Thom Adcox came to pick Flanker up so they could go hang out, and we all piled into Thom's car... just to mess with him. We all got out, and said our laters to Thom as well.
Then we went back to the suite and just hung out until it was time to say good night.
I woke up to all my roommates gone. Grabbed a shower, and then went downstairs to check out. Patrick came down with Karine to take her to the airport, and I hugged Karine in a see you later way.
I refused to say good-bye to anyone. It was all "see you later." Because, as far as I'm concerned, I will. I think a lot of us forged lifelong friendships at these conventions that will continue even if the convention does not.
I then called Revel, because he and Michelle couldn't make it to the con. They had just gotten back from her ultrasound. It's a girl. As I got the news, Jen and Mara came down to drop Mara off at the airport. I briefly handed my phone to Jen so she could congratulate them.
Went upstairs to the suite and hung out with Jen's kids, Fox and Sydney, and we watched a mockumentary on the Weather Channel about a Katrina sized hurricane hitting NYC. I couldn't tell if this was trying to be "The Day After Tomorrow" or not.
Jen came back, and we chilled, finished off the last of the pizza. And when Patrick came back, we all checked out, and loaded up the cars. I hugged Jen and we talked about how if we ever won the lotto we'd have another one. So, she got into her very full car with her kids and took them home. Patrick then dropped me off at the house.
And so the Gathering came to an end... for most. But for me, it continued... because fatigue, stress and friends are a part of it.
Having no time to recover from the convention, I had to pack up my car, and prepare myself for another cross country drive. I had left the hotel at noon on Tuesday. By 4am on Thursday, I was on the road... for a very long drive. But I had twitter and a few texts with Jen on the way to keep me sane. I stopped off to sleep in El Paso.
The next day I hit the road, I had a meeting in San Antonio. Now, I expected to be there at 1:15. But, my GPS didn't account for timezones, so after switching it manually, I had to update the plans. Finally, at 3:15, I arrived at Antarctic Press in San Antonio, and met, for the first time, my last good friend in the fandom I never met in person. Robby Bevard. I got him to sign my copy of Clan Building Vol. 2 and Bad Guys. David Hutchinson, who drew #11 was there, and he signed it too. So, overall, my book is signed by Greg Weisman, Greg Guler, Thom Adcox, Marina Sirtis, Keith David, Robby, and David Hutchinson.
Aaron showed up, he couldn't make the Gathering. But the three of us went for lunch at Chile's. It was fun. A lot of fun. We hung out for five hours before I had to hit the road again. I was off to Conroe, which is forty miles north of Houston.
So, I ended up spending a week at Revel and Michelle's place. They are still working on baby names. We went out and bought a crib with Revel's mom... who threatened to kick Michelle's ass if she doesn't take Revel's last name before the baby is born. LOL, come on, it's the 21st century... wives never take their husband's last names anymore. Look at every married woman in "Gargoyles" ;)
Seriously, it was a lot of fun. We went to this great Tex-Mex place at one point which had, and I kid you not, the best salsa I have ever eaten. I need to get that place's info, and call them for a recipe, or something.
Thursday rolled around, and I left... later than I should have. I drove, and drove, and drove, and then I got caught in terrible traffic in Louisiana. Along the way, I discovered that in Louisiana there is a strip club called "Road Kill."
The traffic was so bad, I stopped to sleep in Mississippi. I didn't cover as much ground as I wanted to. It happened again the next day in Virginia. God... when I drove down to Conroe, two years ago, I did in two days as opposed to three. But then, I had Aaron as my second driver.
So, yesterday, I finally arrived in New York. Only temporarily. I'm heading back to California. My career is out there. A career I would have probably never considered if not for these conventions, and meeting and greeting so many people. And it will happen. This is one of many things that the Gathering has given me, and it will live on in my memories.
And I will say this, if there is ever another one, I will be there. I will staff it. I will help make it happen. Until then... it was a blast. I mean, thirteen conventions... that's not bad for a small fandom dedicated to a series that hasn't had new episodes since Bill Clinton's first term as president.
And out of those thirteen, I attended eleven. After missing 2000, I promised myself I'd never miss another one... and I didn't. I kept that promise. After 2003, I promised myself I'd never staff another one, but that's one promise I am glad I broke.
Never the end...
From your keyboard to God's eyes...
The Gathering 2009 - Con Journal - Part Four...
I woke up on Sunday morning, grabbed a shower and rushed down to the staff breakfast. I have no idea what I ate, but it was good.
This was another day spent, mostly ushering guests to panels. It was good. I remember having lunch in the conference room with Mara and Susan and talking about yesterday's Radio Play.
I remember completely not recognizing Frank Paur, as he had grown his hair out. He and I discussed the show, and the current comics. He still does not like "jalapena!" Then it was time for the "Gargoyles" production panel. Mostly stories I've heard before, but I love listening to these people tell them.
After that, it was the Spidey production panel. That was very cool. I loved seeing the unused footage, especially Shocker being dragged off by Ox and Fancy Dan disguised as cops. I hope all this footage makes it's way onto the second season box set as a special feature.
I had them all sign my Radio Play script and my Spidey DVD.
Finally, it was time for the writer's panel. As a writer myself, I really enjoyed this one. Writers from both "Gargoyles" and "Spidey" were there, including Michael Reaves. Seeing Michael Reaves there with Parkinson's like that was tough. His work has been a part of my life since I was a child, as he has written for almost every cartoon I loved growing up. Not to mention seeing him at the previous California cons in much better health. But, he was still an awesome guest, and he still had stories to share. I'm glad he came.
I had all the writers sign my script, and I chatted for a while with Bob Skir. We talked, especially about a series he story edited called "Beast Machines." A series I admitted that I had some issues with, but I was honest, polite, and we talked because I was interested, and he is a very nice and cool guy. I think I walked away from that making a friend. Good guy, a real pleasure.
Afterwards, it was time for the banquet. Having left my tie at home, I wore a suit with no tie, which I felt weird about at first, but I'm told I still looked good... no, I was not trying to look like David Xanatos. If I was, I'd have never chopped off the ponytail. The ladies on staff looked terrific, especially Jen and Karine who were both dressed to kill. I sat with Susan, Karine, Jade Griffin, her husband, kid, Patrick, and... I'm sorry, it's a blurr. We had a nice, delicious buffet. Having been on the Ramen diet, I had to sample a little of everything, and it was all good.
After that, people left to get ready for the masque. I chatted for a little bit with Ben Diskin... he really got into the whole con, it was awesome having him. Then came the masque. We didn't have many costumes this year, but what we had was awesome. Jade and her family as Fox, Owen, and baby Alex were beyond cute. Zehra gothed up as Shari with Tony and Andrea as random Illuminati members. We had a great King Arthur. I am truly going to miss this.
Finally, the contest was over. I spent the next few hours chatting. Greg told people the story about the drive to LaGuardia airport, which we clearly have two different versions of. I clearly remember him keeping his cool a lot more than how he now tells the story. But it was fun, lots of laughs. Greg and I also discussed recent happenings in the Amazing Spider-Man comic book, and his opinions on the finale of the "American Son" arc, and #600. #600 consisted of Dr. Octopus taking control of all the computers and electronic devices in the city, and I told Greg that I liked it better when he did it in "Shear Strength."
Eventually, we all called it a night... at about 1am.
Ahh, those were the good ol' days...
The Gathering 2009 - Con Journal - Part Three
Saturday, what a day...
Woke up and once again went down for breakfast. I forget what we had today, I know the eggs benedict was on Monday... but, oh, getting ahead of myself.
So, today involved a lot of meeting and greeting and bodyguarding guests. Josh Keaton showed up bright and early for his panel, and as I walked up to introduce myself, he said "Hi, Greg." We've been Facebook friends for a few months, so he already knew me. Actually, he knew me before that, through my message board posts. And when I got into the car accident a month ago, and twittered it, he was the first to ask if I'm okay. Good guy. Very good guy. He is Spider-Man. So, I got him a glass of water and escorted him to his Mug a Guest. I had done the same for Keith David earlier.
After that, Marina Sirtis had finally arrived to do her signing. Rebekah and I decided to stand vigil over her, to keep the line moving. Chatted with her briefly. I've actually met Marina before, a few years back. She didn't remember me, but she does so many conventions and meets so many fans, I'd have been surprised if she did. She was a great guest, and I think she really enjoyed meeting all the Gargoyles fans. Once the line was empty, I had her sign my copy of Clan Building Vol. 2.
After that, I joined some of the staff and guests in our green room for lunch. I wasn't all that hungry... but when am I going to have a chance to eat lunch with Greg Weisman, Thom Adcox, Keith David, and Marina Sirtis again? Well, Greg I know I'll eat with again many times... he's become one of my closest friends over the last few years. Thom, I'm sure too. Keith and Marina... heh, I just had to do it just so I could say I did. All of them an absolute pleasure to be around.
After lunch, I browsed the Art Room, and went into the OtherCon section where I spotted a piece I saw Mara working on yesterday... Demona, Venom, and the Green Goblin engaged in activities that... um... I think I'll save this one for Ask Edmund Tsabard. I wonder who ended up with that piece.
After that, it was time for the Gargoyles voice panel with Greg, Jamie Thomason, Keith, Thom, Marina and Elisa Gabrielli. Greg and Marina both have contradicting stories about how she got cast, which was fun to hear. Also fun that Marina chucks jolly-ranchers at people ;)
Next up was the Spectacular Spider-Man voice panel with Greg, Jamie, Josh, Keith, Elisa, Thom, Steve Blum, Vanessa Marshall, Andrew Kishino, Phil LaMarr, Daran Norris, Dee Bradley Baker, Ben Diskin, Crispin Freeman, Eric Vesbit, Deborah Strang. It was a lot of fun. I had to walk up to Jen and ask her "best job in the world, wasn't it?" A spectacular cast... I hope we see more of them.
After the Spidey panel, it was time for rehearsals for the %*@&ing Radio Play. Greg handed out our parts. The pros each got their respective characters. The fans got cast in some fun parts... and then Greg told me that I'd be playing myself... oh boy, I knew where this was going. LOL. I'll never live that down.
Rehearsals went well, without a hitch. We barely had time for a bathroom break before the Radio Play, oops, I mean the %*@&ing Radio Play started... and it was beautiful. Hearing Steve Blum do the Green Goblin in person was jaw dropping. Eric Vesbit as Kraven... I thought my TV was on and playing his episode. Keith was on as Goliath, of course. Thom was fun as always. Among the fans, I really loved Jen as Sally Avril... and Greg even admitted he wrote the %*@&ing Radio Play like that so Jen could yell at me! LOL! Nice. But hearing Marina voice Demona one more time was such a treat. She seemed to not quite have it during the rehearsal, but by the time the play started, she wasn't just playing Demona, once again, she was Demona. She nailed it. It was like she never left the role. Demona was in the room, and it was awesome. The whole cast was spectacular. And I feel bad for not mentioning some people, because everyone was awesome.
On that note, this Radio Play was a fanboy's dream for me. I've been a HUGE "Gargoyles" fan since October 24th, 1994... the moment it premiered, I've loved it... never stopped loving it. It had such a profound impact on me. And as far as Spider-Man goes, I grew up with Spidey. When I was three years old, I had this gigantic coloring book featuring Spidey battling the Green Goblin... and my first comics were a reprinting of the Stan Lee/Romita story where the Green Goblin first unmasked Spidey. These two franchises meant so much to me, that it was just a dream for me to not only have this Radio Play exist, but to participate in it. Just... wow.
After the Radio Play ended, it was time for the voice actors signing, and once again, I helped to crowd control. When that was done, I got my stuff signed, and Daran Norris asked me why I was playing myself... and so, I told them all the story about that trip to the airport with Greg Weisman after the 2003 Gathering. When I got to the part where the truck tore my mirror off, Deborah Strang's jaw dropped and she asked if I was okay. She really is Aunt May. But it was fun, I actually made a few new friends among the cast.
Once that was over, Rob and I made a run to Tommy's in City Walk for burgers, before heading back for Blue Mug. Blue Mug was, as always, a lot of fun. Raunchy. Plenty of laughs and eye candy. But, it's mostly a blur now because, I was running on so little sleep. But that would change...
After Blue Mug, I took a shower... and fell asleep the moment my head hit the pillow... like a stone.
Greg, you were very convincing as yourself. I almost believed it was you there in the room with me.
The Gathering 2009 - Con Journal - Part Two
Woke up early to head downstairs and finally set up the art room. We've had great layouts before, but I have to say, I really liked this layout. lots of panels, and a nice curtained off space for OtherCon.
Afterwards it was time for the staff breakfast. I think it was pancakes this morning. Yummy stuff. Everyone was there, although Greg slept in. Obviously the %*@&ing Radio Play took it's toll on him. The things he puts himself through for his fans. LOL
With breakfast over, it was time to set up registration and begin letting people in. I saw a lot of familiar faces and a lot of new faces. It was a lot of fun. Eventually, Ben Issac Diskin (voice of Venom/Eddie Brock) arrived, and I introduced him to Susan Leonard. Let me say this, Ben is a great guy. It was a real pleasure to meet him and speak to him. Although, as I have said, it's hard to believe Venom comes out of him.
After that, Rebekah and I ran the auditions line for the %*@&ing Radio Play. This year we had audition sides for not only the "Gargoyles" cast, but the "Spectacular Spider-Man" cast as well. A lot of people seemed to be auditioning reading Green Goblin's sides. Gave them an opportunity to do a really crazy voice. I decided to audition, and did so as soon as the line was empty. As soon as I walked in Jen guessed that I chose to read Norman Osborn's sides. God, I hate being that predictable. But, it was either Norman or Xanatos. I've done Xanatos previous years... except for 2008 when I read Angela's in my best drag queen voice, intentionally throwing it, just to amuse them all ;). But, my audition this year went well, but, as I soon would learn, I really didn't need to audition... but we'll get to that tomorrow.
After that, more registration, and then it was time for Opening Ceremonies. I ran the door, and had to keep out the impatient masses, as well as let guests inside. Among them were the family of the late Gary Sperling. I told them that I met and spoke to Gary at 2001, and that he was a very nice man, and I greatly enjoyed talking to him.
Finally we let everyone in, and we had a sweet and emotional Opening Ceremonies. Greg Weisman presented Jennifer L. Anderson and Patrick Toman with their Fan Guest of Honor awards. They didn't know this was coming, but, considering how we wouldn't have gotten this many Gatherings without them, and how much these two have done, I can't think of anyone who's ever deserved it more.
Then Greg Weisman was presented with his gift. A doll made by Vox. Very cute.
Finally, it was time for the same show we had every year, but we never got tired off. The pitch, the media preview, the Dark Ages and New Olympians pitches, the Bad Guys leica reel, and finally the fan-made animatic "The Last." I've seen these all so many times, but I am honestly going to miss them all. Sigh... I'm nostalgic already.
After that, a large group of us went down to Fat Burger for, well, burgers. Matt joined us, and he and I talked the GargWiki, as well as other fandom and comic topics with Susan Leonard. The burgers here were good, and I was kicking myself for never having gone before.
Then came the walk back... up a very steep mountain. By the time I got back, I was completely rank and exhausted. So, after chatting with my roomies... my very tolerant roomies... I took a much needed shower (once I was able to stand up again), and then went to bed.
Saturday was going to be a big day.
Ahhh, nothing like walking up a massive hill with a FatBurger weighing you down, huh?
The Gathering 2009 - Con Journal - Part One
Well, I certainly delayed writing this one. For many reasons, the least of which being that I've been on the road for a couple of days.
For me, this convention started in April, 2008. I think Jen had finally decided she really wanted to do it again in Los Angeles, and while out with her, Greg Weisman, and my brother, for lunch, we toasted the 2009 convention. I never staffed two Gatherings in a row, but I wanted to be on this one. I was the Con Chair for 2003, I worked promotions for 2006, was doing it again for 2008 and Chicago, and I figured, hey... two in a row, why not? I'd take 2010 off, maybe.... but I am about to get ahead of myself.
I volunteered the house I was living in at the time out for boxes to be delivered to. Mountains of boxes from fans donating to our auction; as well as four boxes full of graphic novels from SLG. "Gargoyles, Clan Building: Volume One"; "Gargoyles, Clan Building: Volume Two" and "Gargoyles, Bad Guys: Redemption."
BTW, all three are available here, so buy 'em now, if you haven't already...
Thursday morning, Patrick Toman picked me up, and we loaded this mountain of boxes into the back of the SUV he rented. Then, we headed off to the bank to have some capital in our cash box... they took their sweet time approving of it. Finally we arrived at the hotel and were greeted by Jennifer L. Anderson... big hug, and we got hotel staff to play Tetris with the boxes. We went up to Patrick's room and hung out for a bit, we stalked Karine Charlebois' plane, bringing her to LA from Montreal, on the internet.
Patrick left to go pick up Karine and Kythera, and Jen and I went downstairs to Starbucks, and then to get her checked into the staff suite. And, this suite was... impressive, to say the least. It was the diplomat's suite, and the ceiling was at least twenty feet high. It was on the twenty-fourth floor, so we had a nice view of Universal Studios.
Once that was done, we drove off to the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank to pick up Mara Cordova, and arrived back in time to meet Rebekah, Cindy, and... ugh, I am so blanking out... but we went across to City Walk to Tommy Burger for, well, burgers.
Later on, my roommate, Rob and his girlfriend, Stephanie, arrived. And I went down to the room to drop off my suitcases and take a shower. Went back up to Jen's room, where by now, most of the staff had gathered, and we stuffed envelopes, prepared con badges, and then, upon Greg Weisman's arrival, we went to dinner at Bucco de Beppo's in CityWalk.
We had at least seventeen people at this table. But, it was good. We ordered lots of Italian food, and we shared everything. We all got caught up, traded funny stories... Cindy winning with her story about the obnoxious French tourists at the museum. I got caught up with Tony and Andrea Zucconi, whom I haven't seen in two years. It was good. Karine and I both had a birthday two days before this, so we got a little Happy Birthday song(s) from the rest of the crew.
The rest of the evening is a bit of a blurr, but on our way back to City Walk, we ran into Jade and met her baby for the first time. Cute kid.
Once we got back, I think we continued prepping con packets until we called it a night. We all needed rest.
BTW, the Greg Weisman line of the year is "The %*@&ing Radio Play" ... he arrived after finally finishing his prepping of the %*@&ing Radio Play. But, more on the %*@&ing Radio Play when we get to the %*@&ing Radio Play.
I feel like I should have a funny smart-ass response about the Radio Play. But nothing occurs...
In "The Gate" and "Tyrants", Brother Valmont summons up fiery arrows with the word "Saeth". Is this word an invention of yours, or an actual word from some ancient language (presumably Gaelic, by the look of it)?
Dur, how did that happen? That comment about R.L. Green's other books retelling myths and legends was from me.
Chiming in after Todd's comment, R.L. Green also wrote books retelling Greek, Norse, Egyptian, and Biblical myths. I haven't ever read or seen any of them, I only saw numerous titles mentioned on Wikipedia and Alibris. Evidently he also has a Robin Hood book, and one named "Sir Lancelot of the Lake."
I've read the Greek book and I have the Robin Hood one but haven't had a chance to read it. I knew about the others, but haven't read them.
I checked out from the library today (I'd checked it out once before, but this time, I thought of mentioning it) a book by Roger Lancelyn Green called "Tales From Shakespeare", that retells many of the plays. (All of them comedies, tragedies, and romances: he doesn't tackle any of the histories, though in his retelling of "The Merry Wives of Windsor", he mentions near the start about Falstaff's association with Prince Hal.) Since you liked Roger Lancelyn Green's take on King Arthur (enough to even make it one of your sources for the "Gargoyles" take on him), I though that you'd be interested to know about it (assuming that you haven't heard of it yet).
I've heard of it, but haven't read it.
If a gargoyle got a permanent tattoo (as opposed to henna), would it stay on their skin or would teh stone sleep break it down the next sunset?
I don't know. Kinda feel like it would go away, but I'm really not sure.
In the season one finale introduction, why did you decide to not have spidey speak during the battle? I loved that battle scene though. I felt like it was a thank you to all the hardcore fans who knew about this show from the very beginning and saw the first teaser trailer.
DIsney messed up the sound.
ROCK OF AGES
Finally. That's a word to describe both the feeling of the wait for this chapter, and for my writing my review/ramble--two weeks after I got the darn thing.
For anyone who worries about that sort of thing:
Well, the first panel of page one is obviously spoken by Hudson...and by the reference to "the banished and the badduns" I guessed he was referring to Coldsteel. But in regards to what? With the second panel, however, we're right back where we left off (over a YEAR ago), and I'm ready to see the rest...until page two, which begins with yet ANOTHER clip of Fox's shoe adventure. #%*&^$ SHOES! It's a good thing I'm going to find out in this chapter what the %#^$ those shoes have to do with all this!
And now Arthur is saying that maybe the heroes don't need to guard the Stone...which would render this whole adventure nearly superfluous! Of course, it's easy for Arthur to say that--he got to look at the dang Stone! Here I was, fearing that something bad might have happened to him in the last issue when Macbeth turned around and he wasn't there, and he just went to have a peek. Jerk.
I liked the use of the parallel columns on page four to show the simultaneous occurrence of events both in the Lantern of the Abby with Arthur, and in the skies with Lex and Amp. Arthur apologizes to the poor guards he had to knock out. Gee, that's nice of him. It's interesting how he also takes the time to put his crown (or is it a coronet?) on his head before he opens the chest containing the Stone. Does he think the Stone won't recognize him without it? Or does he just not feel right addressing the Stone without it?
An interesting note about the Steel/Iron Clan POV shots on page five: they seem to see in different colors. The Iron Clan robot sees in a red tint, while the Steel Clan's view is colored in green. Kind of interesting. Also, I like how the robots are programmed to recognize Lexington by name, but refer to the others as "U.G." ("Unidentified Gargoyle" I'd guess) 1-3.
Love Coco's indignation at Amp stealing the robot's attention. For a slight change of pace, instead of maneuvering the robots into hitting each other like the gargs usually do on the show, Lex and Amp instead lure them into Coyote's line of fire and have THAT robot do the work. Nice variation on a classic move.
Hmmm. On page six, we see Coldfire, in Tibet, reacting to some sort of signal at 6:01 AM on Nov. 13. Going back to the exact same page (six) of Issue #8, we see Xanatos push a button in London at 10:00 PM on Nov. 12, which given the eight hour time difference, means that he pushed that button about a minute before Coldfire received the signal that apparently led her and Coldstone to Coldsteel.
...XANATOS CALLED IN COLDSTONE AND COLDFIRE! I KNEW IT! And now he has a way to talk himself out of any possible trouble he could get into with the clan for this little escapade.
When Coyote covers its and Coldsteel's departure, it seems to generate a bright light using the Coyote Diamond. Seriously, the 6th panel on page six shows the Diamond compartment opening and light coming from it. Just felt like mentioning it.
That's Macbeth in Robert the Bruce's army, isn't it? Makes sense. Just as it makes sense that Shari has kissed the Blarney Stone that grants the "gift of gab" a couple of times.
I love the shot of Mac and Arthur on either side of a smiling Xanatos. "Well, it's a momentous occasion...and such a lovely day." Ah, Xanatos...how I have missed your inimitable style.
Coldstone and Coldfire fight Coldsteel over the Coldstream river...you just couldn't resist that, could you, Greg?
RE: Coldsteel holding Coldfire with his tentacles. Okay, what is it about tentacles? Even when they're metallic, there's still something..."naughty" about them. Look, on page ten, Coldsteel even uses one to caress Coldfire's face (right before she head-butts him in HIS face--YOU GO GIRL!). Those things fit his slimy personality quite well.
I really like the look on Coldfire's face when she blasts Coldsteel. Seriously, Xanatos's folks at Scarab Corporation deserve kudos for how expressive the completely robotic faces of Coldfire and Coldsteel seem to be.
(*spit take*) A CHAINSAW?! Coyote the ROBOT is armed with a CHAINSAW?! Okay. He just upped his "cool quotient" considerably.
Coyote calls Xanatos by his first name. For some reason I find that interesting. Of course, it could just be to get the rather ironic phrase "Out of DAVID'S respect for GOLIATH..." but still....
Okay. The way that Coldstone took out Coyote=WIN! Seriously, the punch through the mouth/view-screen/Xanatos-Skull-face was SO COOL, that even the red lights serving as the Coyote-head's eyes managed to look surprised! Look at 'em! They went wide!
The parallel of the two times Coldsteel commented on Coyote's "potential," was neat, as was Coyote's mention that he's not programmed for free will. That last part is a bit foreboding, too--Xanatos better be careful.
Based on the timestamps it looks like Coldstone was searching for Coldsteel for about a half-hour. Dedicated.
And so the Stone finally arrives in Scotland. OR DOES IT? The Land Rover (I finally know what it is now, thanks to your Radio Play Script, Greg) arrives at a warehouse where Xanatos is waiting. A little over three hours later (plenty of time for David to get into mischief...) a VERY high-ranking female Illuminatus arrives to take the Land Rover and...a DUPLICATE STONE?! Wait, what?! The Land Rover was rigged to flip the Stone's Container and replace it with a fake while the band covered the noise?! HOLY $#^%! All that crap with the robots was just a distraction? My mind has just been blown by the genius that is Xanatos!
But what was all that about the Bomb Squad? Wait...a shoebox. The shoebox Fox's new shoes came in? All that stuff about Fox's shoes was just so Xanatos could get a SHOEBOX to put on the bridge and stop the convoy long enough to make the switch?!
ARRRRGH! (*mind is blown again*)
But wait, doesn't this mean that the good guys lost? Well....
The mysterious woman (until I hear her name in canon I will call her #3) drives the Land Rover to a mist enshrouded Castle (that will later be identified as Carbonek). Something odd I noticed--the driver's side in the Land Rover is on the left side, but most cars in Britain have the RIGHT side as the driver's side, don't they? Is it just a peculiarity of the Land Rover's design? Oh well, at least she drives on the left side of the street.
And now we meet a bald, cyborg-type guy who reveals himself as...#2?! DUVAL?! Ghu--buh--WHAT?! #3 really doesn't seem to like Duval, but before they get into a spat, some good-looking blond guy comes up and calls them the two people he loves most in the world. Wait...is this...#1?
Thailog looks very pleased at being able to check Shari in chess. Sad to say, though, that the time stamp for this on page 18 seems to be in error. It reads "Nov. 13, 5:40 AM," but that was the exact same time stamp for Shari's story about Edward I on page 3. I'm pretty sure the stamp is supposed to read "Nov. 15, 5:43 AM."
Unfortunately, there's another (slightly lesser) time stamp error on the next page: I'm pretty sure Arthur's conversation with the stone was supposed to be marked "1:06 AM." It's all the more a pity this issue didn't get a single release, because I'm sure then the errors would have been corrected in time for the trade.
Anyway, I liked the Stone healing itself and then THANKING Macbeth, but mentioning how it was pointless. "Pointless" seems to be the Stone's word of choice for all the efforts and machinations people have been making about it.
The stone is talking to Arthur at 1:06 AM, but the panel on page two shows Arthur looking in on the Stone at 12:18 AM. Okay...that is a LONG time to just stand there and look at a stone (even if it is glowing...). Did they have a whole conversation before the Stone got to its speech or something? At least now we know why Arthur said that maybe they didn't need to protect the Stone--the Stone itself told him it was pointless.
XANATOS WAS GOING TO TRY TO PULL A SWITCH ON THE ILLUMINATI! Damn, man. Xanatos, you've blown my mind enough times this issue. Please, let me rest for a bit before you do it again. According to a ramble from Greg, it seems that the Stone straight out telling Xanatos how pointless it was to do such a thing managed to dissuade X. And Xanatos is SMILING as the Rock talks to him. Neat.
"Peredur fab Ragnal?" Wait, Ragnal was the name of Sir Gawain's wife in some legends, and Greg likes the idea that Percival is the (bastard) son of Gawain, so...AHA! I see...Peredur is the ORIGINAL WELSH name of Percival. Okay, makes sense...wait, doesn't this mean he and Duval are NOT the same, and thus that Greg actually changed his plans? (Of course, I've already heard your rather cryptic comment at the Gathering, Greg, so I know there's more going on here than meets the eye...).
And now the big speech. The two page spread that inspired Greg to make this a non-linear story. What can I say? It's fantastic (well, my original thoughts were more along the lines of "(censored) COOL!"). The Stone reveals itself to be a lot more than any of the players (or we members of the audience suspected). One thing I love here are the facial expressions: the wonderment on Macbeth's face, Xanatos's intrigued look (he just eats this stuff up, doesn't he?), the solemn expression on Arthur's face, and Peredur (who the Rock mocked for his efforts)...the only word I can use to describe his expression is "shock." I wonder what is so special about 1:07 (whether AM or PM) that the Stone felt the need to make this exact same speech at that exact time across several different days (or decades in one case). And did the stone just give the same speech on four separate occasions, or did it just give ONE speech at four separate times simultaneously?
"Do not dream of possessing me, mortal." Nice.
Peredur doesn't seem happy to hear that his old boss is awake again. Something about being 200 years too early. Hmmm, now what could possibly happen around the year 2196 or so that would--oh, yeah, right. #3 also seems surprised by this revelation and leaves quietly before Peredur even notices her. This pretty much convinced me that she was that Blanchefleur woman I had been reading about in Ask Greg, a suspicion confirmed by the Radio Play script. But, until she is referred to by that name in the comic, I will continue to call her #3.
I LOVE the informal "Hey" the Stone and the Grail (which I assume the simple, wooden bowl is) give each other. After that huge show of majesty and antiquity the Stone just gave, this casual greeting is just so funny!
When Coldsteel gives Xanatos back the Coyote Diamond, Xanatos says that he's "just its minder." What could he mean by that?
Hudson, and Lex decide to stay with the London Clan for a while. I love the group shot there (awww, Lunette is just so gosh darn cute!). Coldstone seems about to argue that he and Coldfire should continue to pursue Coldsteel, but Hudson...says what we read at the beginning of the chapter. A nice philosophical bit for him, and hey, if it gets Coldstone and Coldfire to rejoin the Manhattan clan, so much the better!
Thailog checkmates Shari! I don't know why, but for some reason I like that Thailog beat Shari at chess (this is the same game they've been playing for the past few nights, right?). Of course, he was playing the white side, which has a slight strategic advantage due to having the first move. Let's see him beat her while he's playing the black side, and then I'll be really impressed.
And, just for a bit of a "full circle" feeling, Shari ends the chapter and the story arc...by beginning to tell the story arc we just read. Okay, seriously, HOW DOES SHE KNOW THIS? Is she just psychic like that or something? I am very interested in what secrets she holds.
On the art side of things, this looks great overall. Granted, in panel 1 of page fifteen, Xanatos seems to have an overly large head in comparison to his body, but otherwise the art is nice. And the two-page spread from 20-21 is just awesome.
So, that's the story of the Stone of Destiny. We got a lot of great new characters, and some interesting new plot developments. A lot of questions, too. What is going on with Peredur and the Illuminati? Why were Thailog and Shari in Dominique Destine's office on the 3rd? And what were they and Brentwood looking for in Saint Damien's Cathedral on the 6th?
I look forward to learning the answers in the future.
Glad you liked it. (And believe me, no one is driven more nuts by the errors than I am. Especially since I gave notes about them MONTHS before publishing. In fact, that was the problem. The notes came SO far in advance, that by the time SLG was ready to publish the volume, the notes had been forgotten. <grrrrrrrrrr>)
Of the stories in the gargoyle comics that were originally planned for the television show such as the stone of destiny and double date stories, how much of what appeared in print was conceived during your time as the producer of the show and how much was developed as you started writing the story for the comic?
Was the Double Date story always suppose to feature the return of Thailog and was the Stone of Destiny story intended to be always non linear or for that matter to show that the Stone had multiple vessels?
The broad strokes have all been in my head for years. Little details were ALL worked out at outline and script, i.e. relatively recently.
Just wanted to both thank you for the sheer awesomeness of Spectacular Spider-Man, which I think is both the best Spidey cartoon ever and your own best work (not that I don't love Gargoyles, mind you), and ask a couple (non Season 3 related, I can assure you) questions:
1. In "Gangland", what recording of Rigoletto did you use?
2. There are a couple moments in the series where the Green Goblin seems to break the fourth wall: in "The Uncertainty Principle" when he turns to the camera and says, "Anyone else getting deja vu? Oh well, let's run with it!" and in "Opening Night" when he looks up at the camera and says, "I'm in a rhyming mood tonight." Were these meant to have any larger significance or were they just fun breaking-the-fourth-wall jokes?
1. The one provided by Sony, because they had the rights to use it.
2. Mostly they're just fun, but it's also being done to show what a Trickster the Goblin is.
Unfortunately, I no longer remember what my first reaction to Gargoyles was as I was eleven when the show aired, I just know what I saw stuck with me. In the back of my mind the memory of being enthralled by the characters and stories always hovered with one thought, "that was an amazing show." I do, however, recall my reactions to watching the volume one DVD oh so many quick years later. Needless to say, a spell had been cast and my love for the tale was born anew.
Having been blessed with a decent memory, there weren't any new big surprises for me as an adult, and so I felt drawn towards watching character relationships more than the action. Two characters in particular caught my interest: David Xanatos and Owen Burnett. Being a lover of duality in life, these two business men stirred my imagination and had me laughing in what was probably a very Puck-like manner.
To the average Joe on their streets, Xanatos is a charismatic -I swear I can hear Jonathan Frakes smiling-, eccentric man with just enough brains to know what to do with his money. His assistant, Owen, is the opposite, so stoic in nature some might see it as borderline masochistic, despite no doubt equaling his employer in brains, and perhaps money. There were times Xanatos treated Owen with such disregard, it was a wonder the blond man stayed on with a man, who for all appearances, viewed the worth of his life as being only as valuable as he was useful. It's that last line that never fails to put a smile on my face, because with the knowledge that Owen is the Puck the meaning twists.
Puck is an actor, arguably the best ever born, so I went through and watched Owen not just being Owen, but as Puck playing Owen. Once I did that I realized that even if the pact between them didn't exist, and given Xanatos knew Owen was born fey, Puck would probably stay on for the simple reason he and David are part of one of the biggest pranks in history. Their interactions, comments, even the extent to which Puck stays in character, it reads as one gigantic private joke on the world. After reading through some of the archives, I also had the startling notion that any person Owen were to become involved with more than likely would not know of the true nature of his soul since trapped as human he would be breaking character if he told. The "prank" continues, and Puck goes down in unwritten history as the greatest actor to live. His magic and form were suppressed, his personality wasn't, yet he keeps to his character. And to all those who would think he would go mad spending the rest of his life locked behind a mask, I don't believe so, not one bit, not when breaking character is more maddening a thought than living with it. The proof is in the scene Oberon proclaimed his sentence upon his servant, Puck swallowed his tongue the second Owen appeared. If begging for his magic were more important than his reputation as an actor he wouldn't have let transforming into Owen stop his lament. Besides, he still has his dreams, in sleep he can be as he wishes.
I have to agree, too, that the idea of Puck being Oberon's boy is absurd. Perhaps the reason so many see a resemblance is similar to how some cannot tell different people of the same nationality apart. I will grant that Oberon appears to view Puck as a child who doesn't know what is best for him and that can be seen as paternal nature, but there was never a doubt that theirs is that of master and servant. My sympathies lie with Oberon, though, for as a personal servant Puck was privy to the intimate on goings of Oberon's life as Owen is to David. To personally go and fetch your own servant, then to hear him choose another over you; I would surmise Oberon came as close to feeling like he'd lost his best friend as he ever could. Sad as I am to say it, I see Puck dying as Owen. If the great ones burn brightly to die young, Oberon's Children will never forget their Lord's pale trickster, and I venture the wisdom Hudson shares in "The Price" struck not David, but Owen.
Pardoning the lengthy analysis, I did have a few questions floating through my brain. They're lovely, potentially silly little ones those of us who love to read into everything ask. If any of it is a repeat, I'm truly sorry, I haven't made it much beyond the Owen Puck archives, the FAQ, and a few random links.
1. In your mind, do Puck and Owen share the same eyes, or at the very least eye color? Animation and comics have their faults and reasons, I'm curious to how you see it.
2. Throwing out a rough guess that there is about six inches height difference between Owen and Puck, would he have even noticed the difference it makes when standing, or being prone to floating at all heights, not have noticed at all?
3. You've previously stated that if Owen dies as the result of external forces, i.e. car crash, he gets shot, then he's dead, no coming back, good-bye. Makes perfect sense. Then there is his pact to serve Xanatos, which if I understand, counts for the whole of Xanatos' life. Also makes sense. I cannot seem to correlate the two, as Owen dying first would breach the terms. Is this a loophole in their contract?
4. Common sense, and how into character Puck gets says they wouldn't be, despite Fox and Alex proving otherwise, but any children he were to sire as Owen would be fully human wouldn't they? Or because his magic has been locked away as opposed to removed, would it be passed on like a recessive gene?
5. Speaking of suppression, as a fey caught in a mortal shell, if someone or something were to remove the inherent magic within him, would Owen die? I would think so, but you may see it differently.
Anyway, thank you -and whoever else happens upon this- for taking the time to read it. May the plot bunnies bless you. :)
1. I haven't thought about it, but I doubt they share the same eyes. Eye color? Maybe.
2. I'm sure he noticed.
3. Death negates most contracts.
4. Depends. But Fox might serve as a cautionary example.
5. I'd think not.
Liked your analysis, btw.
Ok, Greg, here is my Gathering Journal. I'll admit this is the one year I almost didn't make besides the first 3 Gatherings (learned about after the fact). Money ended being rather tight because I needed to get my wisdom teeth out back in July. But I managed to catch a couple breaks, so I was able to come.
Wednesday, August 19th:
My Gathering trip started by driving down to Sunnyvale from Sacramento to meet Tigris for the drive down to convention. I left my house a little later than I wanted and got to her place around 10 pm. We gamed for a little while and decided to leave around 10 am the next morning.
Thursday, August 20th:
I got up around 8 and slowly started to unpack a few items I didn't need to bring on the trip. Around 10, we took off and hit Safeway where I picked up some Gatorade for the trip before we got gas. After those two things, we hit the road for the long drive south.
Around 12:45 we stopped at Harris Ranch for lunch. I got a hamburger with jack cheese and wished they had pepper jack. After eating, I picked up a shot glass to add to my collection. Our next stop was just north of the Grapevine for some more gas.
Traffic was pretty smooth until we hit the 1-5/ CA-14 junction where there was a pretty big slowdown. Speed up for a little bit until we hit Valencia. After got just south of the 405 junction, it was nice and smooth all the way to the hotel.
We managed to arrive around 5:10 and we saw Jennifer Anderson and Karine right we got out of the elevator. On the way to check in, we also ran into Cindy, Patrick and a couple of others. Managed to hi before getting our room keys. Much to our surprise, they didn't work, so we had to go back down to get them recoded. Went back up and got rid of our backpacks.
Our next trip was for the main suitcases and we when we got back, they had put in the mini-fridge that we had requested. The final trip was the drinks and cooler that had come along. Wandered back to the lobby where I ran into Vicky (from the U.K.), Banshee, and Gside. We talked for a while before Jade Griffin and her husband showed up.
Around 8:30 to 9 pm Tigrise, Jade, her husband and kid, Karl, and I all walked over to City Walk to get some dinner. We ended up at a sushi place. I ended up having the Salmon salad, which was actually pretty good. We talked about a variety of things before heading back to the hotel around 10:30 pm.
We said good night to each other before trying to crash for the night. I think I managed to pass out close to midnight.
Friday, August 21st:
I woke up around 8 am. I took a shower and then tried to call Gside to meet up for breakfast around 9. Never did manage to meet up with him, so I went over to City Walk and ended up going to Jamba Juice for breakfast. While it wasn't the greatest choice in the world, it was something.
Went back to the hotel where I ran into Sarah the Great. We chatted for a while before putting her luggage into my room before trying to track the registration desk. I got my stuff and proceeded to help Patrick.
Around 11:45, I helped Greg X move the items for the silent auction and books down to the dealers room. After all of that was taken care of, Susan and I got to work unpacking everything. After a while, it became clear that there wasn't enough room for everything. Once the stuff was labeled and out of the boxes, I helped Karine with the pricing and trying to condense all the auction items.
After that was finished, I sat down with Cindy to take a break. We chatted for a while trying to juggle the sales of the graphic novels and keeping an eye on the art room. I picked up a copy of both Gargoyles novels and the Bad Guys one as well. I spent some time reading through them was happy that we had gotten some additional material since the show got canceled.
I helped Cindy close up the art room around 6 before heading down to the opening ceremonies. I missed part of it, but did get to catch Greg's usual talk and videos. Granted I had seen them nine times before, the tenth time was still a treat.
After that was over, Tony, Andrea, Jade Griffin, Trevor, Cindy, Karine, several others and I headed down to Fat Burger for some dinner. After the guy taking the orders for my name, I spelled it out for him and somehow, it came out it as âAhunâ on the receipt. Usually, most folks mispronounce my last name, but I think this was the first time my first name got mangled.
I decided to take a picture of it since I found it highly amusing after showing the receipt around. Before I got to finish, the second round of folks showed up. Seth, Sammy, Greg Bishansky, Patrick, and several others whose names escape me. And poor Seth's receipt ended up with being named Sith. Most us were highly amused by the misspelling of our names.
After eating, most of us walked back up that blasted hill to hotel before heading to bed.
Saturday, August 22nd:
I got up some time between 7:30 and 8. I decided to check my email, read some web comics and took a look at Station 8 briefly. After a taking a shower, I decided to make a quick run to get some breakfast. I was half way to Jamba Juice when I got a call from Cindy saying Patrick needed help at the registration desk, but by the time I got back, the crowd had cleared up.
I ended up helping at the dealers table once again. At one point, I managed to get away for a few minutes to get Marina Sirtis to sign in Gargoyles Clan Building Volume 1, when I should have had her sign the second one. Oops. I also managed to get my picture taken with her, which was nice.
I joined Guardian at the desk for a bit before she went off to a panel. I decided that while Brianna Garcia was doing some commissions, I asked for her to draw one of my characters. While waiting for that, we tried to get folks to vote in the art show.
And by the time we closed down for the night, I knew how much it was to buy all three of the graphic novels. Or a combination of two of the three. Karine, Cindy, Tony, Andrea, Shing, and I headed over to Universal City Walk for dinner. We stopped at the crepe's place whose name I didn't catch. I had a nice one that was made with ham and cheddar.
After we found a place to sit down to chow down, we wandered into the Lush store for a while before walking back to the hotel. It proved to be a bit interesting since we ended up walking against the crowd that was leaving Universal Studios. After getting back, we chatted for a little before everybody got ready for the Blue Mug panel.
During the middle of the panel, Greg has to leave for a little and Edmund Tsabard showed up. Just in the heck is that guy? I swear, he sort of looks like Greg's evil twin, but I could be wrong. After insulting us and talking about his âLast Tengu in Parisâ project, he left and low and behold Greg came back into the room. Talk about weird.
After a number of questions, none of which I can remember, the panel closed down for the night. I headed back up the room and was going to make an attempt to try and get 8 hours of sleep after checking a couple things on the laptop.
Just before Tigris and I were about to crash, Cindy's husband Max called while trying get in touch with her. After taking a note to have her call him in the morning, we ended up talking for about an hour or so before finally going to bed for the night.
Sunday, August 23rd:
This time I decided to shower a bit earlier before hunting down Cindy to drop off the message. I loaned her my cell phone so she could call Max while I went off to get breakfast. Once again, I ended up at Jamba Juice. Anybody sense a theme?
Once again I ended up back in the art and dealers room to help out since I was able to do the math for making change in my head. Sales of Clan Building Volume 1 and Bad Guys seemed to be fairly brisk, but we did sell some Volume 2 from time to time.
Most of us ended up talking for a while about a variety of random things. At 3, we closed the auction for all of the goodies that got sent to us. After sorting out what was going to live auction, we started selling everything else. Over the next couple of hours, we managed to take almost everything in the back, save for a few items.
At 5:30, we shut down the bidding for the art auction. After taking care of a few folks who were leaving during the night or very early tomorrow morning, we shut down around 5:50. I quickly back to the room and changed for the banquet and left behind the backpack.
I managed to find a seat with Tigris and several other fans whose names I didn't get. Our guest was one of the Spiderman writers, Nicole Dubuc. We ended up chatting about a variety of things, including how she was nervous about working for Greg at first.
The food was pretty good this year. I loaded up on some of the salad, a roll, chicken, mashed potato and roast beef. And decided to get a slice of German chocolate cake to finish it off. There was supposed to be a trivia game during dinner, but that didn't happen. Oh, well. The Q&A went pretty well despite Thom Adcox showing up a bit late.
After that was the masquerade. There was a pretty decent group of folks in costumes this year. I think the most amusing one was Rebeka as a red shirt. After the awards were announced, some folks danced and others circulated around and talked.
I think around 11:15 or so I headed back to the room to get some sleep.
Monday, August 24th:
I woke up around 7:30 and slowly got to work on packing up things. After I took a shower around 8:15, Tigris took hers. After everything was packed up, we did one run down to the car to drop off the suitcases and drinks. Came back up to get what was left and checked to make sure we didn't leave anything behind.
After checking out, we hung out in the lobby for a little bit before heading out to get some breakfast. I ended up going to Jamba Juice one last time. I had thought about going somewhere else, but decided to go one last time since I very rarely go to the ones up in Sacramento. Probably because the closest one is a good 3 or so miles from my house.
I went back up to the art and dealers room to help out Cindy once again. While she wrote out the receipts and looked up the total including tax, I took the money and gave folks their change. Ah, nothing like doing math in the head. A couple times I tried to calculate the wrong amount of change and she mocked me over it, but hey, it was in good spirit.
Once it started getting closer two, we started to wind things down and started to put some things into boxes to move up to Patrick's room after closing ceremonies. At 2, we walked over to that room and it was a bittersweet moment.
Cindy handed out the art show awards and thanked the few of us who helped make sure she didn't go insane. Quite a few folks were taking this being the last Gathering rather hard. I think a few folks did start crying and I don't blame them. I know Greg, Thom, and quite a few others took it rather hard.
After it was over, we opened up the dealers for a shot time to try and sell a few copies of the trade paperbacks and sell off as many shirts as possible. I decided to pick up another 2009 shirt. After about 20 minutes, the last of the stuff was put into boxes and was hauled upstairs.
A number of us hung out up in Jennifer's room for a bit and chewed down on some pizza. Around 5, Tigris and I said our goodbyes and hit the road for San Jose. I'm going to miss getting to see Jennifer, Patrick, Set, Sammy, Greg X and others year after year.
I felt sad that it came to end, but understand why. Hard to believe that I managed to go to ten Gathering, yes, ten. My first one was the 2000 Gathering in Orlando. I had missed '97 and '98 because I had learned about them after the fact. '99 I learned about 3 months ahead of time, which wasn't enough time for me to save the needed money.
It has been a great ten years. And it's been an honor getting to meet you Greg.
And here are the photos I took this year: http://www.shaunpup2.com/gallery2/v/g2009/
Pardon the red eye. I couldn't find the needed software to fix them up.
Sean, thanks for all your help over the years!
You said that there's going to be new Sinister Six every season. That's great, but do you plan to make the original line-up?