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My CONvergence 2014 Schedule

So the #Gargoyles20 U.S. Tour continues. Stop #3 is CONvergence in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Well, actually in Bloomington, Minnesota, but close enough.) http://www.convergence-con.org

This is a big one for us. It includes a number of events that we used to do at the old Gathering of the Gargoyles Conventions, which ran from 1997-2009. And I know a bunch of Gargoyles fans will be attending, so it'll also be a reunion of sorts.

My schedule for the long weekend is quite packed - which is just how I like it!

THURSDAY, JULY 3, 2014
2:00pm - 3:00pm GARGOYLES RADIO PLAY AUDITIONS
Ever wanted to be in a radio play? Now is your chance! We are holding auditions for a live performance at CONvergence! You don't even have to be a fan of Gargoyles to enter. You just have to know how to read! Casting: Myself and Jennifer Anderson (Talent Coordinator on The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice). Casting decisions will be posted by 7:00pm on Friday, July 4th. ATRIUM 7.

3:30pm - 4:30pm BUFFYVERSE TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Okay, so Gargoyles ISN'T the only show celebrating an anniversary. The Buffy/Angel universe has been off the air for ten years. Let's reminisce and talk about the impact these shows have had on TV fantasy since their cancellation. Panelists: Myself, Tim Lieder, Cetius d'Raven, Madeleine Rowe, Mark Goldberg. EDINA.

7:00pm - 8:00pm OPENING CEREMONY
If it's not exactly a magical invocation, it is nonetheless our official kick-off for the convention! Join CONvergence mascot Connie as we welcome our Guests of Honor, give out some awards (including the Mark Time and Ogle winners), and get this party started. Panelists: Myself, Amy Berg, Emma Bull, C. Robert Cargill, Sarah Clemens, Scott Lynch, Marina Sirtis, Frank Paur, Matthew Ebel, Dawn Krosnowski, Greg Guler, Rob Callahan, Windy Bowlsby, Michael Lee. MAIN STAGE.

9:00pm - 10:00pm GREG WEISMAN'S FANCY BASTARD PIE COMPETITION
Geek Partnership Society is excited to host the Greg Weisman Fancy Bastard Pie Competition at CONvergence 2014! It is open to all CONvergence members who wish to participate. The goal is to make a pie that Greg Weisman, herein to be known as "Fancy Bastard", likes best. The winner will be told super-secret Young Justice spoilers. Find out [some of] what would have happened in Season 3! (But winner must swear to secrecy to claim prize.) See below for some helpful hints.* CABANA 110.

FRIDAY, JULY 4th, 2014
11:00am - 12:00pm GARGOYLES RADIO PLAY AUDITIONS
Ever wanted to be in a radio play? Now is your chance! We are holding auditions for a live performance at CONvergence! You don't even have to be a fan of Gargoyles to enter. You just have to know how to read! Last chance to audition! Casting: Myself and Jennifer Anderson (Talent Coordinator on The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice). Casting decisions will be posted by 7:00pm on Friday, July 4th. ATRIUM 7.

12:30pm - 1:30pm FROM TV TO COMICS
We'll discuss the TV shows that expanded into the comicverse, such as Buffy, Smallville, Young Justice and Gargoyles. Did they succeed? Were any of the comics improvements on the shows? How did canon change during the transition? Panelists: Myself (Gargoyles, Young Justice), Shawn van Briesen, Jonathan Palmer, Greg Guler (Gargoyles), Karine Charlebois (Gargoyles, Bad Guys), Christopher Jones (Batman Strikes, Young Justice, Bad Guys). PLAZA 2.

2:00pm - 3:00pm SIGNING
Myself, Christopher Jones (Young Justice, The Batman Strikes, Parallel Man) and Greg Guler (Gargoyles, Phineas and Ferb) will be holding a signing session. Both Chris and Greg always have an array of stuff (books, prints, etc.) to sell and sign. But this time I'm pretty darn prepared as well. First off, I'll be selling and signing copies of my first novel RAIN OF THE GHOSTS for $10 cash, which includes the book, a personalized signature and signed copies of the original development character designs by Kuni Tomita for the television version of Rain that never was. In addition - and by popular demand - I am selling and signing an array of my animation teleplays for $20 cash from such series as Gargoyles, Team Atlantis, DC Showcase (Green Arrow), Men in Black: The Series, The Spectacular Spider-Man, The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, W.I.T.C.H., Young Justice and even the 2009 Radio Play "The Spectacular Spider-Man Meets Gargoyles". I'll also sign anything else you bring and put in front of me for FREE - especially if you buy my book. ;) CONVERGENCE CENTRAL.

3:30pm - 4:30pm CREATING GARGOYLES
This is what we used to call (at the Gathering) the Rocky Horror Gargoyles Show. The creators of Gargoyles show clips and tell stories of how the show came to be. Lots of visual aids. Panelists: Myself (Creator, Supervising Producer/Story Editor, Writer), Frank Paur ( (Supervising Producer/Director), Greg Guler (Lead Character Designer). ATRIUM 6.

7:00pm - 8:00pm TIME TRAVEL THEORY
Let's assume for a moment that Time Travel is possible. This panel will explore the theories behind such technology. We'll explore quantum realities, temporal anomalies and all other challenges our theoretical time travelers will be face! [Now, I suggested this panel, but then they went and put some actual scientists on the damn thing. So I may quickly be embarrassed into silence.] ;) Panelists: Myself, Nicole Gugliucci, Jim Kakalios, G. David Nordley, Amy Berg. ATRIUM 4.

8:30pm - 9:30pm GARGOYLES Q&A
Join the cast and creators of the "Gargoyles" series and SLG companion comic books to ask and talk about the property. And, as always, Cosplayers are welcome! Panelists: Myself (Creator, Supervising Producer/Story Editor, Writer), Christopher Jones (Bad Guys guest artist), Marina Sirtis (voice of Demona and Margot Yale), Frank Paur (Supervising Producer/Director), Karine Charlebois (Gargoyles Guest Artist, Bad Guys Artist), Greg Guler (Lead Character Designer, Gargoyles Guest Artist). MAIN STAGE.

SATURDAY, JULY 5th, 2014
9:30am - 10:30am GARGOYLES SIGNING
Myself, Marina Sirtis (voice of Demona and Margot Yale) and Frank Paur (Supervising Producer/Director) will be holding a signing session. Again, I'll be selling and signing copies of my first novel RAIN OF THE GHOSTS for $10 cash, which includes the book, a personalized signature and signed copies of the original development character designs by Kuni Tomita for the television version of Rain that never was. In addition - and by popular demand - I am selling and signing an array of my animation teleplays for $20 cash from such series as Gargoyles, Team Atlantis, DC Showcase (Green Arrow), Men in Black: The Series, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, W.I.T.C.H., The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice and even the 2009 Radio Play "The Spectacular Spider-Man Meets Gargoyles". I'll also sign anything else you bring and put in front of me for FREE. CONVERGENCE CENTRAL.

11:00am - 12:25pm GARGOYLES RADIO PLAY REHEARSAL
This is a closed session - for those who were cast in the Radio Play - led by Myself, Jennifer Anderson (Talent Coordinator on The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice) & Marina Sirtis (voice of Demona, Margot Yale and Queen Bee). ATRIUM 6.

12:30pm - 1:30pm GARGOYLES RADIO PLAY PERFORMANCE
Fans and professionals - including Myself (voice of Donald Menken and Lucas "Snapper" Carr), Jennifer Anderson (Talent Coordinator on The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice), and of course, Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi from Star Trek TNG and the voice of Demona, Margot Yale and Queen Bee) - perform a LIVE, ORIGINAL Gargoyles radio play! ATRIUM 6.

2:00pm - 3:00pm GARGOYLES BIOLOGY AND CULTURE
A "what if" panel about the biology and culture of the Gargoyles universe. Creators and performers speculate about anything and everything going on outside the frames of the TV series. Panelists: Craig A. Finseth moderates Myself (Creator, Producer) and Greg Guler (Lead Character Designer). ATRIUM 7.

3:30pm - 4:30pm RAIN OF THE GHOSTS
I'll be reading from and talking about the world and characters of my novel "Rain of the Ghosts" and its sequel, "Spirits of Ash and Foam," which comes out July 8th, 2014, one week after the convention! ATRIUM 3.

7:00pm - 8:00pm ONE ON ONE WITH GREG WEISMAN
Hal Bichel will moderate a one-on-one panel with Myself. PLAZA 2.

8:30pm - 9:30pm SIGNING
Once again, I'll be selling and signing copies of my first novel RAIN OF THE GHOSTS for $10 cash, which includes the book, a personalized signature and signed copies of the original development character designs by Kuni Tomita for the television version of Rain that never was. In addition - and by popular demand - I am selling and signing an array of my animation teleplays for $20 cash from such series as Gargoyles, Team Atlantis, DC Showcase (Green Arrow), Men in Black: The Series, The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, W.I.T.C.H., Young Justice and even the 2009 Radio Play "The Spectacular Spider-Man Meets Gargoyles". I'll also sign anything else you bring and put in front of me for FREE. CONVERGENCE CENTRAL.

10:00pm - 11:00pm BLUE MUG
Ever wonder about the sexual habits of Gargoyles? Ever wonder who was sleeping with whom among the Young Justice Team or the cast of Spectacular Spider-Man? Join us for for a late night peek at your favorite animated series. This panel will get blue! (So attendees will be carded!) Panelists: Myself, Christopher Jones, Mara Cordova (Last Tengu in Paris Artist). It is also rumored that Edmund Tsabard (an unfancy bastard and Last Tengu in Paris Writer) may make an appearance. EDINA.

SUNDAY, JULY 6th, 2014
11:00am - 12:00pm PROTOFEMINISTS IN SHAKESPEARE
Shakespeare portrayed several intelligent, independent, and self-aware women--Juliet, Lady Macbeth, Katharine, Beatrice, Viola, Rosalind. We'll discuss the problematic and the remarkably (for the era) fleshed-out aspects of their representation. Panelists: Myself, Elizabeth Bear, Ashley F. Miller, Joseph Erickson, Alexandra Howes. EDINA.

12:30pm - 1:30pm GARGOYLES FAN PANEL
It's the 20th Anniversary of Gargoyles. Come share your favorite moments from the show. As always, Cosplayers are welcome! Panelists: Daniel Mohr moderates Myself, Ryan Alexander, Robert Wagner, Maggie Schultz, Jennifer Anderson, Karine Charlebois. ATRIUM 6.

2:00pm - 3:00pm SIGNING
Myself and Greg Guler (Gargoyles, Phineas and Ferb) will be holding one last signing session. Greg G. always has an array of stuff (books, prints, etc.) to sell and sign. And I'll be selling and signing copies of my first novel RAIN OF THE GHOSTS for $10 cash, which includes the book, a personalized signature and signed copies of the original development character designs by Kuni Tomita for the television version of Rain that never was. In addition - and by popular demand - I am selling and signing an array of my animation teleplays for $20 cash from such series as Gargoyles, Team Atlantis, DC Showcase (Green Arrow), Men in Black: The Series, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, W.I.T.C.H., Young Justice and even the 2009 Radio Play "The Spectacular Spider-Man Meets Gargoyles". I'll also sign anything else you bring and put in front of me for FREE - especially if you buy my book. CONVERGENCE CENTRAL.

3:30pm - 4:30pm YOUNG JUSTICE
Creative minds behind the Young Justice TV and comic book series will talk about this fan favorite. We're planning some special surprises as well. And, as always, Cosplayers are welcome! Panelists: Myself, Marina Sirtis (voice of Queen Bee), Christopher Jones (Artist YJ Comic). MAIN STAGE.

5:00pm - 6:00pm CLOSING CEREMONY
It's not over 'til the gynoid sings - or something like that. Join CONvergence mascot Connie and our Guests of Honor as we say farewell to another convention. Shenanigans may ensue. Panelists: Myself, Amy Berg, Emma Bull, C. Robert Cargill, Sarah Clemens, Scott Lynch, Marina Sirtis, Matthew Ebel, Frank Paur, Dawn Krosnowski, Greg Guler, Windy Bowlsby, Rob Callahan, Michael Lee. MAIN STAGE

SEE?!! I told you there was a lot. And that's only the stuff that I'm doing. CONvergence is jam-packed with all sorts of pop culture nutritional goodness. So stop by and say hello!!

*In the interest of Full Disclosure, Fancy Bastard would like all to know that he especially likes the following pies:
APPLE
BERRY (pretty much any kind of berry or a mix of same)
PEACH
APRICOT
PUMPKIN
BANANA CREAM (herein to be known as the funniest pie)
Combinations of some of the fruit pies can be great. Contestants are welcome to try other pies at their own risk.

Fancy Bastard does NOT especially like the following pies:
PECAN
Anything with Chocolate or Lemon or Meringue
Raisins in Apple Pie
Almost never Cherry, though he has tasted the rare exception...


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Liam writes...

Ha, Dingo's name is Harry "Monmouth", and he's taken in by John Oldcastle, who takes the name Falstaff. I just got that. Well played, sir.

Greg responds...

Thanks.

Response recorded on December 12, 2012

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Greg Bishansky writes...

For the GargWiki's timeline, I was wondering if you would please share the dates and descriptions from your timeline of the events of "Bad Guys"?

Thanks!

Greg responds...

I'm feeling generous, so:

Saturday, June 15th, 1996
That evening in Ishimura, the gargoyles hold a council meeting with their human neighbors. Yama is banished until his honor can be restored.

Sunday, October 27th, 1996
Robyn Canmore is arrested.

Friday, November 1st, 1996
The Director gives the Hunter Robyn Canmore a choice between staying in prison or leading an elite squad of desperadoes on dangerous missions. Robyn chooses the latter.

Tuesday, November 5th, 1996, 7:00pm AEDT
In Australia, Dingo and Matrix defeat the Tasmanian Tiger. They are then defeated by Hunter. She offers Dingo a choice between prison and charter membership in her new Redemption squad. Dingo reluctantly elects to join. Matrix chooses to sign on as well.

Friday, November 8th, 1996, 7:07pm UTC+09
Vinnie tries to find the train to Ishimura. Hunter, Dingo and Matrix coerce the gargoyle Yama into joining their team. They head for Paris.

Friday, November 8th, 1996, 9:27pm EST.
Sevarius poses as “Fred” to sneak into the Labyrinth past Al, Benny, Tasha, Claw, Shari and Thug. He reveals himself to Fang, whom he calls Fred Sykes.

December 22nd, 1996
Dingo, Matrix and Yama train in the Squad’s headquarters beneath the Eiffel Tower. Hunter walks past Notre Dame and remembers…

Wednesday, December 31st, 1996
After midnight, the Redemption Squad arrives in Manhattan to investigate Anton Sevarius, ensconsing themselves at the Casablanca Hotel. After sunrise, Robyn Canmore visits Jason Canmore at Rikers and John Castaway (a.k.a. Jon Canmore) at the Quarrymen Brownstone. John washes his hands of her. Dingo and Matrix go off on their own to pursue Sevarius before sundown. After sunset, Yama and Hunter follow them into the Labyrinth but split up. Hunter is about to be attacked by Fang. Yama rescues Hunter, but Fang shocks both unconscious and takes them to Sevarius, who has already mutated Thug, Tasha, Erin and Benny. They are rescued by Dingo and Matrix.

Thursday, January 1st, 1997
The Squad prevents Fang from releasing Sevarius’ CV-1997 virus on Times Square. Later, they discover that Sevarius has escaped and Tasha has hanged herself. Yama nearly executes Fang, but Hunter talks him out of it. Thug takes Erin and Benny back to the Labyrinth. Hunter is forced to admit Fang to the Squad.

Saturday, January 3rd, 1997
Hunter briefs Dingo, Matrix, Yama and Fang on their mission to attack an Illuminati Society stronghold.

Monday, January 5th, 1997
Dingo, Matrix, Hunter, Yama and Fang approach Eastcheap Isle, when their battle-copter Redemption is blown out of the sky. Matrix saves them. Seven robots attack. Fang abandons them. Yama destroys Robot #6 but is targeted by Robot #7. Hunter and Dingo destroy Robot #1. And, while Matrix armors up around Dingo, Hunter also destroys Robot #2 â€" but is targeted by Robot #4. Meanwhile, Fang destroys Robot #5 and then saves Yama by destroying Robot #7. Dingo/Matrix saves Hunter and destroys Robot #4. Hunter destroys Robot #3. Yama destroys the newly-arrived Robot #8 and the two Sentry Robots #9 and #10. They enter the island’s interior and battle Points, Doll, Bardolph, Quickly and Pistol. But Dingo recognizes Pistol as an associate of his former mentor John Oldcastle, now known as Falstaff, King of Thieves. Falstaff, the Illuminati’s treasurer, welcomes the squad to Eastcheap and, with the help of Fiona Canmore and Thailog, tries to convince them to change sides. The Squad plays along, but Falstaff is not fooled. A battle results in Falstaff submerging his island/ship. The squad survives, adrift. Meanwhile in Paris, the Director confers with his assistant Dolores and his superior Monsier Le Maire.

Response recorded on March 06, 2012

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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

Bad Guys #5 & 6: I wanted to post my Bad Guys reactions all at once, but I wrote my #4 reaction long before this one. So here's the rest, in no particular order.

I just noticed that nobody is willing to sit next to Fang. I wouldn't either!

I continue to wonder about the (constrained) choices made by the members of the squad -- there's lots of tension in Losers about this. They don't know any more about their boss than they do about the Illuminati. Less, in fact, and it's the revelation that Oldcastle and Thailog work for the Illuminati that persuades the Squad not to join. But they still know so little about their own boss... for all they (and I) know, he's could be just as bad. If Robyn knows more she isn't telling, and the rest know basically nothing. They've been given very little choice, of course. They know the Illuminati are untrustworthy... but they can only hope that their mysterious boss is any better. Dingo finally asks, but somehow I doubt Interpol is the truth!
Of course I know the Illuminati are bad news. But I don't know any more about the Director than the Squad do. From what I've seen, they take an "ends justify the means" attitude just like the Illuminati does.
I was seriously worried that Matrix would join the Illuminati and spell Bad Things for basically the whole planet. The Redemption Squad is composed of criminals on the run from the law, and if anyone pointed out to Matrix that the Australian shaman's logic in Issue #1 wasn't actually logical (Dingo can't fight for law and order if he's breaking the law!) then the Illuminati might have looked more attractive to Matrix than its current situation. Fortunately the Matrix isn't bright enough to figure that out. At this point, Matrix is largely at the mercy of whoever controls its access to information about how laws actually work!

Humorous moments: Yama falling asleep mid-sentence, Matrix eating a fork, Yama freaking out over his broken sword, and Doll calling Matrix "that thing."

Yama being impaled on a sword and continuing to fight with no noticeable weakness is hard to believe, especially since Goliath was so much worse off after a much less serious wound in Long Way Till Morning, and completely incapacitated in Bash by a knife wound that definitely did not impale him. It shows how tough a warrior Yama is, but... makes him look literally immortal, Highlander style. This is one place where gargoyle healing abilities are not believable to me without magic.

And Dingo's childhood was finally revealed ... the creep who raised him is the same guy who murdered his mother! That's creepy, ick. The look on John's face is suspicious from the start, but I did not expect that. No wonder Dingo became a criminal.

Yama continues to be impressive. And the scene with Matrix holding up the light under the huge Illuminati banner just looks cool.

I have to wonder why the Illuminati is hoarding priceless art objects, and not even using them for anything. I'm impressed but surprised that Dingo cares enough to prevent their destruction.

Overall, Bad Guys is a good comic, but it leans heavily towards the superhero genre (Oldcastle's gang even seems to include super powers) and as with the Pack, that doesn't appeal to me nearly as much as the other elements of Gargoyles. (Fortunately, nobody except Tasmanian Tiger has a goofy supervillain costume). Not that I wouldn't buy more Bad Guys, if more were published and I could afford it.

Thanks for the stories.

Greg responds...

I'd argue that BOTH of Goliath's wounds that you mentioned were WAY MORE serious. Yama intentionally guided that blade to go through organ-free tissue -- a through and through cut that did minimal damage to his side -- which wasn't the case with either of Goliath's injuries: he had internal damage/internal organ injuries both times.

Just look at the visuals again, and it should be clearer. There's nothing magical or Highlander about what Yama does. He's just a tough s.o.b.

Response recorded on August 17, 2010

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Matt writes...

My Review For Bad Guys #5, "Strangled"...

- The first thing I did upon checking in at the Gathering this year was seek out my copy of Bad Guys, Volume 1 and read it. Couldn't go through the Gathering out of the loop, could I? Anyway, the point is that I first read this chapter several weeks ago, and many times since then. I'll try to focus on my initial thoughts, however.

- As usual, I'll start with the cover. After a very cool "Louse" cover, it seems we are back to the somewhat dull 'Wanted' poster covers. It isn't that I don't think these covers are a fun way of highlighting the character of focus in the chapter, 'cause it works well for that purpose, but in terms of drawing new readers in, in terms of color and action, they just don't grab me. This cover is also the only one we don't get to see in color at all, which is a shame, but since it doesn't strike me as being particularly colorful anyway, I suppose we are not missing too much by only seeing it in b&w.

- Moving on to the content, we start off back at our island battle. A cool thing here is that these island battle scenes have moved from being flashbacks and become the current story (intercut with new flashback scenes). So, a robot has its grip on Hunter and Dingo really gets to be the hero here. He flies in at high speed, rescues the damsel in distress and vanquishes the monster. Fun stuff and a cool sequence, and the strongest indication yet of the relationship between Dingo and Hunter. Too bad Hunter has no interest in being a damsel. She is so fun as she lets her guard down for a second and then snaps back into tough-girl mode. I get the sense that Dingo both loves and hates that about her.
Meanwhile, Yama saves Fang without a word (quite the contrast between these two and Hunter and Dingo). Yama dives down to the island and immediately draws his swords to take on a couple smaller 'bots. This is a fun little battle also. It is neat to see that when Yama is disarmed, he still has his natural weapons, his strength and claws. A gargoyle without weapons is still a gargoyle.
So, Hunter comes crashing in and the others land nearby, bringing our team back together. There is a brief moment where Dingo helps Hunter to her feet and she brushes him off followed a few moments later by him guarding her from the supposed trap behind the island doors, which she again ignores. These two really get a lot of subtle, but fun, play in this chapter. Of course, the Hunter-Dingo relationship serves as a great reference to Harry's relationship with his mother.

- And speaking of Harry's mother, lets not forget these very interesting flashbacks. We get to learn a lot about Dingo's past. We see that he was a good kid that came from a rough part of town and was raised by a seemingly 'good guy'. A simple thief who raised poor Harry to live a life of crime. It really makes me want to go back and watch some of those Pack episodes again. Dingo was always the good guy doing the bad guy thing. Which is, of course, a fun contrast to John Oldcastle, the bad guy doing the good guy thing. I recall at the 2008 Gathering in Chicago, Karine had a panel in which she talked about various issues she had drawing this chapter (which she had been doing at the time). One thing she mentioned in particular was that one panel was simply hard to draw due to the content. I remember thinking to myself that after drawing a suicide, what could be worse. I suppose the answer should've been obvious given the title of the chapter, but the last page of the comic was a surprise to me. Pretty sick, this John. I have to wonder why he killed Mariah though. What happened? And he seems to so calmly adopt and raise Harry afterwards. Anyway, a true villain. Which is ironic since Dingo seems to think somewhat highly of the man, though I get ahead of myself.

- Anyway, so the Squad moves into the island itself. Matrix gets a brief moment to shine here (haha), and the team comes across the most hilarious piece of art a secret society would ever possess, a giant tapestry with their insignia on it. "Guess we came to the right secret lair." Uh, yeah. And after this long battle with the drab, mindless robots outside we get this quick battle with this colorful bunch of characters inside. These new people are fun. They've got some neat tricks. I love how easily 'Doll' takes out Fang. And the dude with the swords taking on both Yama and Matrix is a lot of fun too. But Dingo knows this Pistol guy and immediately guesses who else is around. So John (AKA Falstaff) makes his appearance. I have to admit that I don't know much about the Shakespearean Falstaff, but this guy is quite the character. We saw that he had gained a lot of weight through the montage of training Harry, but here he has obviously been living the easy life. I love that he walks around with a turkey leg this whole scene. He ominously welcomes Dingo and his friends to "Eastcheap Isle" (uh, haven't you been attacking them the whole time?) and then 'strangles' Dingo with a bearhug. Creepy. Falstaff is an interesting character. He seems so cheerful and friendly and Santa Claus-like that you have to like him, but knowing what he has done... Well, suffice to say that Greg Weisman really likes to push the boundaries in Bad Guys of what is right and wrong, who is good and bad and who we are supposed to like or dislike. Fun stuff.

- So, all in all, a great chapter. We got a lot of interesting background on Dingo and finally moved beyond the Bad Guys Leica Reel. The story order is well laid out. The flashbacks don't just inform the present story, they are a rich part of it, enhancing it. When going from a present day scene to one of the flashbacks, there is no jarring shift because the two seemingly separate stories work so well together. It is very reminiscent of the Stone of Destiny story in the main Gargoyles comic in that the presence of a flashback at a particular moment actually adds new insight that wouldn't have been so clear had the story been told entirely chronologically. I suppose this is what Greg meant when he said that working the Stone of Destiny story has helped in how he wrote Bad Guys. Anyway, truly brilliant, great stuff!

Greg responds...

Thanks. Glad you liked it.

Definitely felt freed up by the Stone of Destiny arc. It helped me use the medium better.

Response recorded on March 02, 2010

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Todd Jensen writes...

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.

Greg responds...

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.

Response recorded on February 24, 2010

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Greg Bishansky writes...

"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...

Greg responds...

Yep, she's dead all right.

Response recorded on February 22, 2010

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Blaise writes...

BAD GUYS
REDEMPTION
STRANGLED

SPOILERS!!!!!!!!

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.

Greg responds...

Glad you liked it.

Response recorded on February 11, 2010