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GATHERING OF THE GARGOYLES
MONDAY AUGUST 24, 2009
And so we come at last to the last day of the last Gathering. There were several reasons why I felt a bit down that morning, but that very fact of finality was a very strong one. Fortunately, both Guardian and Gside were there to offer me sympathetic pats on either shoulder.
I had arrived at 9AM and was surprised to see almost no one by the Mandarin room when the past three days were always fairly poppin' by about that time. At first I was by myself, but then Gside arrived and soon after Guardian. After discussing various subjects, we were slowly joined by A Fan, then Gorebash, Abby and VickyUK arrived pretty much one after the other. I was sad to learn Gore would have to leave before closing ceremonies, as would A Fan. For my part, I was glad I would be able to attend since it felt like something I HAD to take part in.
I attended the "Gargoyles" and "Bad Guys" comic book Q&A panel. I wish I could have gone to both that and the "Future of the 'Gargoyles' fandom" panel, but they were both at the same time, and I hadn't attended the comic panel back in 2006, so I had to go with this one. A number of questions about plot developments and art styles were answered (and a few questions were actually raised). I remember asking Karine and Greg Guler who were there favorite characters to design. Karine felt she had way too many to choose from, but was particularly fond of the new mutate designs she had done. Greg G. didn't think he had designed any real "new" characters (except a few extras, but he liked the Porter) until Greg W. indicated that he designed The Grim (AKA, Kenneth III). Interesting note, they made him blonde in order to contrast him from Findlaech and Maol Chalvim (since they all have pretty much the same general style in beards). Also, Greg admitted that he fairly quickly dispensed with his idea of "nothing in the comic that wouldn't be in the animated series." He's pretty sure they wouldn't have been able to pull off Brooklyn cutting off Valmont's hand on TV (and even in the comic, he specifically instructed that they never show the "stump" of the severed appendage).
After that panel, I took one last look in the Dealer's Room, but they were already packing everything up. I briefly sampled Karine's "Animating with Flash" panel, which looked very well done and informative with excellent visual aids, but I found I had little interest in flash, and went to the "Gargoyles Biology & Culture" panel. I don't know why only the front half of the room had light, but apparently someone fell asleep in the dark half and began to snore. Greg, Jade Griffin and Matt Parker didn't notice (or at least pretended not to) and someone else woke the first person up. I remember asking about how most gargoyles have four digits per appendage, but now we've seen Katana, who has three per appendage. And of course Sora, who had the usual 4 per hand, but only 3 per foot. Apparently, the Ishimura clan (or all Japanese) gargoyles are just unique in that way. Just like how the Mayan clan can have snake-like lower bodies, and the Loch Ness clan can have "dolphinesque" lower bodies. Funny thing...I remember from Crispin Freeman's panel on dragons, that in China, the dragon is usually shown with four toes on each foot, unless it is the Imperial dragon (only for the emperor), which has five toes per foot. But in Japan, the dragon is usually shown with THREE toes per foot. Hmmmmm. Okay maybe I'm over thinking things.
At last, we came to Closing Ceremonies. This was it. The End (at least for the time being). The usual awards for art were given out (and we had some really great ones this year). And then Greg Weisman began making a final speech, and had to constantly fight back tears during it. A lot of jokes came flying just so we had some laughter to try to counteract the water works. Actually, laughter and tears were pretty much the theme of closing ceremonies. Thom Adcox, god, you could tell he loved the Gatherings just as much as anyone. For over an hour, various members of the con staff, as well as Greg W. and Thom, began telling stories about their first Gathering, and how much being a part of this brought joy to their lives. There was a whole lotta hugging going on! Greg W. emphasized how many things (the DVDs, the comics), were directly attributable to the Gathering. We even had a few members of the audience tell their stories (and get handed tissues).
I think...no, I know nobody wanted this (the ceremonies, the Gathering, anything) to end. But it had to eventually, and it did.
We all said our good-byes (and I discovered that Guardian actually lives within the LA area as well). I hung around for a bit, but there was really not much left to help pack, and I was getting hungry. So I made my way out of the Gathering and back to the real world.
That's my con-journal, but I do have a few final thoughts of my own that I'll post later on.
It was VERY emotional...