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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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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 #6, "Losers"...

- Alright! I'm glad we are ending this mini-series with a pretty strong cover. And I'm really pleased that this cover is what made the cover for the trade. I had kinda figured we'd be getting a group shot for this final cover and it looks great. Matrix is very cool here and Hunter and Dingo look awesome here. My only complaints is that Fang looks a bit too cat-like and Yama looks like Goliath. But I can get over it.

- So, here we go. We don't pick up where we left off at Eastcheap Island, but back in Paris where the Mr. Director is chatting with Dolores and later Monsieur Le Maire. A bunch of characters we don't know anything about really, aside from the fact that they are part of the organization that formed the Redemption Squad. Hunter at one point claims this group is Interpol, but I'm not sure if I'm supposed to believe her or not. I hope (and suspect) these three unknown characters will be expanded down the road, particularly the Director. On a related note, I was expecting to see the story of Hunter's recruitment in this chapter, but it was not to be. A story for another day, I suppose. This issue has a lot to work with already.

- Back at Eastcheap, everybody chills out (except Hunter) and sits down to a nice meal. Falstaff couldn't be more right when he called this lot a motley crew. Something that has always appealed to me about the Redemption Squad is that they seem like they'd be perfect for and a lot of fun fighting another group. I've been looking forward to a Redemption Squad versus The Ultra-Pack battle for years, but Falstaff's Band of Thieves seems like they'd make a great group antagonist also, and I'm sure we'll see more of them in the Bad Guys series.

- We continue on with a lively discussion at the dinner table. Falstaff, Dingo and Hunter all have this great dynamic with each other. It is like none of them really like each other, but are trying to get along. Dingo in particular plays the middle-man so well here. Mediating between these two groups. And it is funny because he doesn't have much reason to trust either Falstaff or Hunter. He doesn't know or understand what Falstaff is doing here, but Hunter won't even tell him who he is supposed to be working for. And on top of that, he has this past relationship with Falstaff and this blooming future relationship with Hunter, so he really is stuck in the middle here, and it seems to me now that Dingo has always been the middle-man. Balanced. Not good or bad. Anyway, a fun scene. We also get a cool bit where Fang is chowing down... and Matrix is eating a fork! Funny.

- And speaking of Matrix. I find him to be very interesting is this chapter. What strikes me most is his non-direct interplay with Falstaff. Falstaff really seems to be bothered by Matrix a lot. Looking at him funny, thinking over the things Matrix says. I can't put my finger on it, but I suspect something is going on in Falstaff's mind concerning Matrix. And Matrix continues to be an incredibly resourceful and useful teammate. In that aspect, he is sorta the R2-D2 of the group. Maybe not the main hero, but consistently saving and supporting the hero. That kind of character has always appealed to me and Matrix is no exception. I do remember hearing Greg talking about Matrix doing something truly incredible down the road and becoming a foe the Redemption Squad must face. I hope we get to see that story eventually because Matrix really is fascinating.

- Meanwhile, Falstaff tries to convince the Squad that they really are the good guys. And he does this in such an interesting way. Falstaff himself talks to Dingo. Tries to show him that he has reformed and is some sort of guardian these days. And Falstaff sets up some communications with a couple other Illuminati members: Fiona Canmore and Thailog. This is just brilliant, great stuff. There are so many conflicting things going on around here. You have a team of villains who don't know who they are working for that are trying to be good guys confronting a team of possibly bad guys who are trying to prove they are good guys working for a possibly good organization and as proof they get a couple not-so-protagonists to vouch for them. And one of them is a gargoyle and the other a gargoyle hunter. Wow.
I'm not sure if it was just luck that Matrix went along with Hunter to talk to Fiona instead of, say, Yama. Would've been an interesting conversation with Aunt Fiona with a gargoyle standing next to Hunter. Nice to see Fiona in the canon finally. And not far away we get Yama make something of a joke for us ("Someone fix the color!" Very funny.) and he and Fang chat with Thailog. These conversations don't seem to go as planned for Falstaff though. Hunter has left the family business, but Fiona indicates that there is more to things than that. We don't see what happens next, but it seems to me that Hunter has a hard time going along with whatever else Fiona has to say. And Fang vouching for Thailog means little since no one trusts Fang. So, in the end it seems only Dingo is willing to give the Illuminati the benefit of the doubt. Maybe.

- So, the Squad takes a few minutes to confer. As a side note, anyone else notice the tapestry in the room they are left in? Looks like a gargoyle fighting a human to me. Hunter gives it a passing glance anyway. Safe inside the Matrix Isolation Sphere, we see some sharing of notes. Of course, all of this is intercut with the following scene. Like the last issue, these flashes back and forth in time really keep the suspense up. Sometimes it even comes across as if the scenes were talking to each other, if you get my meaning. Dialogue in one scene inter-plays with dialogue in another. And we are not always sure what each group, even each character, is up to until the end. Really great stuff. Kudos to Greg for that. And Fang starts off a pretty climactic battle. Matrix takes out Mistress Quickly pretty easily, which makes his point. He wraps her up in some sort of shell. Greg indicated at the Gathering that she was, in fact, still alive, but in some sort of hibernation. That can't be fun for her, yikes. Of course, her teammate Points is dealing out some damage of his own, stabbing Yama in the gut. I like how Yama admits that Points is a superior swordsman, but endures the injury to take advantage of his own superior traits, namely his strength and knowledge that he will heal. Still, must've hurt, yowch. Dingo pulls out his old bolas. I don't think we've seen Dingo use the bolas since "Thrill of the Hunt". Falstaff pulls a Goliath by snapping his way out of them though. Guess he still has some muscle under the medieval getup and pounds of fat. And Hunter kicks the face of the amazing, fire-breathing Bardolph. I guess his face was already messed up, but still...
But the Squad is outnumbered and out-gunned... seemingly. Falstaff and Dingo play a game of bluffing and Falstaff bails. He reveals that Eastcheap isn't an island, but a submersible vessel of huge size. Didn't expect that! The Band of Thieves leaves the Squad to its fate in the soon to be flooded chamber. I can't help think that despite his words, Falstaff knew they'd escape and survive like we all did. Matrix saves the day again and we get our last scene with our heros(?)
Hunter is frustrated that they did not manage to capture the island or the treasure or Falstaff. No one points out that they did escape with a prisoner however. Anyway, Fang is content just to survive and Yama... actually agrees with Fang sort of. Yama tells the team that the road to their redemption is a journey and that gaining a captive or an island or whatever isn't as important as walking the road. These results are not the destination, more like perks along the road. There is a beautiful but brief moment of comraderie here with everyone, but most notably between Fang and Yama. Yama actually puts his hand on Fang's shoulder (must be the blood loss) and Fang listens so intently to Yama's words. Of course, the sun rises and we don't get to hear the obvious answer of when we've reached redemption. Fang goes back to being Fang and gives us one last curse word for the books. His use of the word "crap" really serves to re-emphasize to me, the reader, about how dark this comic was able to get at times, yet how fun and comedic it was too. A cool moment. Hunter and Dingo's last little look at each other is nice too. Honestly, the last three pages are just wonderful. Very poignant and satisfying. A great ending to this mini-series. I really hope to see more of the Bad Guys spin-off down the Redemption Road.

P.S. Can't help notice that the Humility Spell didn't turn Yama's clothes to stone... guess the Squad is in for an eyeful at sunset. : )

Greg responds...

Glad you enjoyed the issue and the volume...

Response recorded on March 08, 2010

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Todd Jensen writes...

One detail about the Illuminati's immense treasure in "Losers" caught my eye; amid all these ancient artworks and historical artifacts stands what appears to be an ordinary everyday lamp. Was including it in that scene your idea or Karine's?

Greg responds...

Karine's. Though I won't confirm or deny it's ordinariness.

Response recorded on February 25, 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. #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.

Greg responds...

Me too!

Response recorded on February 22, 2010

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Blaise writes...

BAD GUYS
REDEMPTION
LOSERS

SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!

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.

Greg responds...

As I often say, "Give me enough issues..."

Response recorded on February 11, 2010