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The Flaming Tortoise writes...

Hi Greg,

Good to see this place open again!

My question is basically, how do Gargoyle populations sustain themselves? With females having (almost always I've believe you've said) a maximum of three eggs, and as you said in reference to why gargoyles practice communal parenting: "Perhaps this is the result of the high Gargoyle mortality rate. " would it not be an intense struggle to just maintain a clan's population?

And with this in mind, even considering that in modern day mortality rates for gargoyles has probably dropped significantly, wouldn't the practice of the London clan of limiting each pair to two eggs total be very risky for the continuation of their clan?

Thanks for you time

Greg responds...

1. Yes, it has been a struggle since at least the Iron Age of Man.

2. Obviously, if the population starts dropping dangerously low, they'll allow the third eggs to get it back. The point is to maintain a consistent quantity, not blindly follow rules for the sake of rules.

Response recorded on April 08, 2009

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Chip writes...

1) When did you create the characters of Staghart and Constance? What about Old Pog? Lunette?

2) Who is Una's second in command? Have we seen them in the comics so far?

3) I have a third question...but I think I'll wait until Issue #9 is out before I ask it.

Greg responds...

1. Some time ago.

2. Constance.

3. Okay.

Response recorded on September 26, 2008

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Chip writes...

I've got a few questions about Sir Griff specifically, and the London Clan in General. I looked for them in the archives and found nothing.

1) In "Pendragon" King Arthur wondered how he was going to get Griff back to London. I've been thinking about it for a while and wondered myself: how did Arthur get Griff (and himself) back to London?

2) I'm assuming he met Staghart and Coco shortly after he arrived in 1996, what was his impression of the duo? Why does he not refer to them by their nicknames? (I'm assuming again that Staghart introduced himself by his nickname of Amp) Why did they choose to help Griff and Arthur protect the Stone of Destiny?

3) I doubt you'll answer this, seeing as you didn't at the Gathering, but just in case this question catches you on a generous day: when did the London clan's beast population go extinct?

4) Do Leo and Una have any biological children, and have we seen them so far in the comics?

5) Are there any heraldic archetypes besides [Lion, Unicorn, Griffin, Stag, Boar, and hippogryphs] that exist in the London Clan?

6) What was the London clan's population in 1940 when Griff vanished?

7) Besides the Manhattan Clan, are the London gargoyles aware of any of the other clans? In other words, before they met Goliath did they think that THEY were the last?

Some of these questions tend towards character analysis, and the others are just me wanting to get to know the London Clan a little better.

GARGOYLES LIVES FOREVER!!!!!!! We will rise again! The mere non-renewal of the series will not stop us!

Greg responds...

1. Macbeth.

2. Arthur tends toward the formal with all but his intimates.

3. When indeed?

4. Lunette is theirs. That wasn't meant to be a secret. Leo + Una = Lunette.

5. What you see and what you may see is what you get.

6. I haven't done the math. (Who knew this property would have so much math?)

7. Not saying.

Response recorded on September 24, 2008

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Chip writes...

You've indicated in the past that Demona probably knows about the London Clan. Does the London Clan know about Demona?

Greg responds...

One's as likely as the other.

Response recorded on September 10, 2008

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Matt writes...

London Clan

1. Are the two gargoyles pictured with Hudson, Griff, Lex, Staghart and Constance in the brief frame of them as stone at Knight's Spur the Lunette and Old Pog that Staghart mentions or are they just two different members of the London Clan?

2. What year did Old Pog hatch?

3. Is Old Pog the only gargoyle still alive from his rookery generation among the London Clan?

4. As of 1996, do the London Clan gargoyles raise their hatchlings communally or are members aware of their biological parents?

5. How long has the London Clan been using names?

Thanks Greg!

Greg responds...

1. It's Old Pog and Lunette.

2. 1798.

3. The only one.

4. Communally.

5. Long time.

Response recorded on April 29, 2008

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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greg responds...

1. Do you mean Lunette?

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

Response recorded on April 23, 2008

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JANUARY 24

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

January 24th...

1995
Elisa Maza gives the Trio a helicopter simulation video game.

1996
Goliath, Angela, Elisa Maza and Bronx rest through the day in London, allowing Goliath's injured wing to heal. That night, they return to Avalon. Griff, Leo and Una become protectors of London again.


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JANUARY 23

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

January 23rd...

1996
The travelers immediately depart Avalon again, landing in London, where they meet Leo and Una, who remember Goliath from 1940 and blame him for the death of Griff. Goliath is mystified, and uses the Phoenix Gate to travel back in time to 1940, in an attempt to learn the truth and save Griff. He and Griff return to 1996, reuniting Griff with Leo and Una.


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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

#7
I finally found a comic shop semi-near my apartment and figured out how to get there by bus. It's kinda creepy standing alone at a totally unfamiliar intersection after dark, but I got my comic the day it came out. And the store only had 2 left when I got there, that same day.

~~~~~~~~~~SPOILERS~~~~~~~~~~~
So yes, this is pretty hard to follow, it's hard to review the story when we don't have #8 and #9, but all that Withheld stuff will be useful now. Even though... we have the times right there in the comic. Here's my initial thoughts:

*I am happy to see Macbeth, and being friendly with the clan. He's my favorite 'antagonist' in the series. "Don't you have minions for this?" is a great line.

*Goliath has healed very nicely, there's not even a mark.

*Brooklyn wants to stay in NY to get a break from seeing Broadway and Angela holding hands and being all "OMG WE'RE IN LOVE!!" when they wake up in the evening. Then they decide to stay too. Poor Brooklyn. And I wonder what Angela whispered. I wouldn't feel sorry for Brooklyn because he is being jealous, except he still feels like there are no more females of his species left. Does he not realize there is a whole clan in England? I would have expected him to want to meet them, especially after he asked Goliath "When do we get our World Tour?"

*Jetlag and gargoyles, interesting. It is a nice way of demonstrating (like Broadway underground in the animated series) that gargoyles have a biological clock, that they don't just react to sunlight. And there's Macbeth, drinking lots of coffee to keep himself awake, and looking bored. He should have brought a book. I was wrong about thinking Lex was cold when he woke up, thanks for clearing that up. I'm not surprised they feel lousy.

*Hey look, its the little green guy from Demona's clan. I liked that character design. And there's Gruoch and Demona, too. But no Lulach.

*Maggie is pregnant! I guessed it from the way Dr. Sato says "condition" and the way she and Derek are looking at each other. I'm surprised it happened so soon. Are they going to get married then? Or at least have a ceremony, since the legal benefits won't be useful in the Labyrinth. It is nice to see Dr. Sato becoming an ally of both NY clans. I wonder how Maggie will explain all this to her folks in Ohio, though, because we haven't seen her contact them yet. And I'm eager to learn what their offspring will look like. Human, mutant, half-human and half-mutant... it could be anything.

*The conversation between Goliath and Elisa is interesting. The same panels and poses from #3 are deliberately repeated, the contrast is good. And I like her conclusion. "Normalcy is so overrated." She's thinking about Derek and how he seems to be gaining happiness in spite of not having a normal life. And she touches his hair, so he kisses her. :)

*Shari's watching Thailog take a bath!? Also, he has a surprisingly modern-looking computer for 1996, but what with all the cyborgs and super-robots and nanobots running around the Gargverse, I guess Thailog's rich enough to afford something "futuristic."

*I do wonder if the stories told of the Stone are true or not. Probably they are, but how did a handful of Greeks and Egyptians conquer all of Ireland? If that Stone is a Child of Oberon (as you once suggested it might be), it seems to be very patient with sitting around for long boring stretches of time being a rock. Then again, I don't think you intend it to be a Child of Oberon anymore, since it isn't at the Gathering.

*I wonder what are Thailog and Brentwood looking for, and where are they? Maybe we'll find out in #8.

*The new Coyote robot is one of the uglier ones in my opinion, though not as ugly as 4.0. Generally I think the one in Cloud Fathers (5.0?) was the sleekest-looking. That's not a critique of the penciller or the character design, but a critique of whoever (Xanatos?) designed the robot itself.

*I'm not surprised to see King Arthur, but I am surprised to see him do ~that~. Guess he and Macbeth have some more issues to work out yet! I wonder why he's so mad at Macbeth. And his motivations... it would be so bizarre if he was an antagonist in this story arc.

*New gargoyles! Plus Griff is back, I really like Griff. I am happy to see new gargoyles, as I've been very curious about non-Scottish clans, but I admit to being very disappointed with the new character designs. I am sorry to tell you this, but I dislike them. It doesn't make any biological sense that each one's heads just happens to ~exactly match~ his/her feet, when they aren't mammals nor related to those particular animals at all. I'm still very happy to see new gargoyles, though, but I was hoping for gargoyles that looked like they could have evolved, instead of like they were designed to look ~exactly~ like specific mammals. I still think that "chameleon genes" in general are plausible, and I ~love~ the variation in the other clans, but the London clan is no longer plausible for me (except Griff, who has mixed-together body parts). Each other gargoyle has his or her specific feet and tail cherry-picked to match ~perfectly~ his or her specific head, so that he/she looks like a winged, anthropomorphic/mutate version of one single, specific mammal, instead of a gargate that happens to remind humans of some animal. The white male has the face of a deer, and also antlers and a deer's cloven hooves (not horse-like hooves like Una), and they all match. The brown female has boar's hooves and a boar head to match. You have said that evolution and creation are supposed to be equally possible origins for gargoyles, but so far each London gargoyle (except Griff) is designed to look exactly like a single animal. I hope this isn't an indication that the rest of the clan will all be like this. They all live together and mate each other. Wouldn't offspring inherit a mix of their parents' traits?
But other than that, it is interesting to see the combination of wing-claws with the feather-like surface. Also surprising that some London gargoyles have the leathery wings instead. And that female has neat clothing. I agree with others who are happy to see a female who isn't thin or attractive by human standards.

Although the new gargoyle character designs bother me a lot, I'm still happy with lots of information and events, and I like this issue. TONS of teasers, and an intriguing storyline of which I look farward to learning more. Overall, the format is a confusing way to tell the story and I wonder why you are telling it this way, surely not only to mess with our heads (though I'm sure you enjoy that too!). Perhaps the next two issues will reveal the reason for the unusual format. As for the art, David Hedgecock is much better than before and this is the best colorist to be paired with him yet; Thailog's not black anymore, and the Mutates are tailless again. But Broadway is still off model in almost every panel and it bothers me. Everyone else looks really great, though, especially Goliath, Elisa, and Angela. It is true that sometimes Goliath's head is too big, but I didn't notice until other reviews pointed it out. I like this issue's art better than #6. I hope you guys stick with this art team from now on, Hedgecock is looking good and Robby Bevard brings out the best in his inks.
~~~~~~~~~~SPOILERS~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Greg responds...

LONDON CLAN - Look, I understand what you're saying, but you're ignoring the NEEDS of creating a fictional universe here. I have to define parameters first -- the breadth of the possibilities. I assume you're not saying that if such and such a foot exists, it CAN'T appear with a so-called "matching" head. Leo's feet don't match a lion's, so I'm not sure why you're not including him with Griff as okay by your standards, in which case I've got two that are a mix and three that represent extremes. But you've only seen a smattering of London gargoyles anyway, not enough of a sample to judge. So, I simply request your patience until you've seen more than a handful to base your opinion on. I mean it's not like I haven't thought about all this. Haven't I earned a little trust at this point?

FORMAT - Okay, yeah, I enjoy messing with your heads, but that's definitely NOT the reason I'm telling this story this way. The ultimate reason why I felt it HAD to be told this way won't be clear -- assuming it's ever clear -- until issue #9, but I think even with this issue there are plenty of obvious advantages to telling this story this way. Information may not always be revealed chronologically, but sometimes that's not the best way to receive information. Content rather than strict chronology rules this story. What do you need to know? When do you need to know it? Besides, the story is MUCH more chronological (certainly across the three issues) than people probably realize. It's not at all random. Not at all. And when I didn't have a reason not to, I resorted to a strict timeline. And the dates and times are all there, so that the chronologically needy can still put it all together.

David and Robby are hopefully both here to stay.

Response recorded on January 21, 2008

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Rebel writes...

Hi Greg, this is something I meant to ask in my earlier comment, but I forgot to. For the comic, how much direction do you give to your artists in coming up with the designs for new canon characters?

I am specifically referring to the two new London Gargoyles at the end of #7. I know you had mentioned before that the London gargs would look like unicorns, lions, or griffins. Did you change your mind recently, or had it always been your plan to make them look like other heraldry animals, and you were just teasing us? Did David Hedgecock talk you out of it? Did the two of you decide together what animals they would resemble, or had you already decided? If you chose beforehand, did you give him specific details about their appearance, or relatively vague details and let him come up with them himself? I would be interested to know any information you can tell me about this. I find the process of creating a character's look to be very interesting.

Also, feel free to volunteer information about the development of the designs of other new characters which have appeared in the comic. Shari, the Tasmanian tiger villain in Bad Guys, Coyote's new look, etc. Whatever comes to mind.

Greg responds...

Here's my description in the script of the two characters, minus a couple of personal details that I don't choose to reveal at this time:

• [New Male Gargoyle] - Biologically age 19. [New Male Gargoyle] is a gargoyle of the London Clan. His head is modeled off a large stag (i.e. male deer) with fairly magnificent silver antlers. He should have feathered white wings. And deer-like hooves for feet, but his hands should look like normal gargoyle hands. He should be tall (and feel even taller thanks to the antlers) and slim in build. Not so slim that he looks fragile, but he's definitely not the bulky type. This is a new character, but for inspiration take a look at UNA at http://lynativerse.artchicks.org/Screencaps/GL_Una.htm.
• [New Female Gargoyle] - Biologically age 19. [New Female Gargoyle] is another gargoyle of the London Clan, this one modeled off a wild boar or sow. She has a pig-snout and tusks. She is brown. Her wings are the more traditional bat-like wings we're familiar with. Normal gargoyle hands, more pig-like feet. She's medium-height, muscled and burly - nothing fragile about [New Female Gargoyle].

As you can see, the basic choices were mine, but I give Dave full credit for bringing them to life.

Here's my descriptions of the other characters you asked about (and some you didn't)...

• COYOTE 5.0 - This is only SORT OF a new character. Basically, there have been four Coyote robots that preceded this one. They all have a lot in common thematically, but they're all different too. And lucky you get to design the new one! To see Coyotes 1-4, check out: http://gargoyles.dracandros.com/Coyote_%28robot%29 or the episodes "Leader of the Pack" (for Coyote 1.0) and "Upgrade" (for Coyote 2.0) both on the Season Two, Volume One DVD. (Coyotes 3.0 & 4.0 aren't out on DVD yet.) Note the basic color scheme and the coyote-head motif. And the fact that all the later robots have a circular VID-SCREEN that displays an image of a robotic head. The head appears to be half-Xanatos and half-robot-skull. This version of the robot will have the large Coyote Diamond inside its chest cavity… with lasers shooting into it. We may want a transparent cover for that, so we can see the Diamond even after the cavity is closed. Or not. In either case, Coyote 5.0 should be BIG.
• SHARI - Arabic female, age 18. A pretty, goth-teen runaway type. She wears a lot of chains, necklaces, pendants, etc. around her neck. [Shari was also visually inspired by a real person, and I provided Dave with a photo as reference.]
• DETECTIVE CEDRIC HARRIS - African-American male.
• DETECTIVE TRI CHUNG - Chinese-Vietnamese male.
• TERRY CHUNG - Asian-American boy, age 12. He's wearing a GOLIATH Halloween costume.
• AMBASSADOR CHUNG - Terry's mother, age 42. She's a short Asian-American woman, wearing a white evening gown and carrying a white, feathered mask on a stick.
• QUINCY HEMINGS - He appears to be about 60. African-American. Gray hair, trim build. He's dressed in a white tuxedo jacket with epaulets and gold buttons. White gloves, a red bow tie, black pants. He has for decades been the "Chief Steward" at the White House, a job loosely based on the job of Chief Usher. See http://www.whitehousehistory.org/06/subs/06_a07.html for info on Chief Ushers.
• TASMANIAN TIGER - (Age 24.) The Tasmanian Tiger is a somewhat clichéd costumed super-villain. His garb is inspired by the extinct Tasmanian Tiger (a.k.a. the Thylacine), and he's flanked by two actual (cloned) THYLACINES (Benjamin & Natasha). (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thylacine.) His costume is largely form fitting with black tiger stripes and a cowl with Tiger ears and clawed gauntlets. On his chest is a symbol with two interlocking letter Ts. (Similar to the interlocking Ds on Daredevil's costume: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Daredevil41.jpg.) The Tasmanian Tiger also carries a large blaster weapon.
• BENJAMIN - A male Thylacine, one of Tasmanian Tiger's trained pets. To see how wide a thylacine's jaw can open, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Tasmanian_tiger.gif.
• NATASHA - A female Thylacine; the Tiger's other trained pet.

As you can see, sometimes I gave quite a bit of detail, sometime I pretty much left nearly the entire design to Dave or Karine or Nir's imagination. Usually, the artist does a design and sends it to me. We might do a bit of back and forth on it... but honestly, looking at the above list, with the exception of Quincy (who started out looking a bit too old and jowly for my tastes), I feel like the artists hit all of these characters on the first time out.

Response recorded on January 17, 2008


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