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I didn't get this in before the last cutoff, but here's my ramble/review/response to "The Rock". Many people already commented on it, so I'm going to delve into something that hasn't been gone into in-depth: the non-linear structure. (I posted this a couple of weeks ago in the comment room, but here it is at "Ask Greg", too.)
When I first read the story, I didn't get the point of not telling it chronologically. I enjoyed the issue and thought it might be the best one yet, but the structure was distracting and kept me from fully getting into it. However, having faith in your skills, I analyzed the issue and have come to the conclusion that you're a creative genius. Basically, the story is told in order, not chronologically, but logically, revealing to the readers what they need to know as they need to know it, and not before.
The first few pages serve two purposes: 1) to warn us right up front about the structure of the story, and 2) to hook us like a barbed fishing hook. By the end of page two we can't put the book down even if we wanted to. But by the end of page three, I was starting to wonder how this all fits together. What does Jacob's stone have to do with anything? Macbeth answers on the next page. "It's called the Stone of Destiny."
Page four begins the meat of the story. Macbeth asks the gargoyles to help protect the Stone. There's a one-panel flashback to illustrate his connection to the Stone. Everything progresses chronologically for a few pages until...
There break in the story for travel time, so page seven introduces the villain of the story. Xanatos is aware of what's going on, but he's unconcerned. We see that he's in London with his family. And speaking of family...
Gathelus and Scota are introduced and the backstory of the Stone progresses. By the end of the page, Scota is obviously pregnant. And speaking of pregnant...
Page nine advances some (not just one, but several) subplots from previous stories. Dr. Sato's presence emphasizes that the mutates are creatures of biology, and not magic. And speaking of biology...
The main story continues. We're reminded that gargoyles are biological creatures; they suffer from jetlag. Macbeth says there are ten days until the Stone is moved, which prompts a flashback to Gathelus and Scota moving the Stone. Then ten days later, Hudson and Lex are on the job.
By this time we're wondering, where are the others? Page thirteen gives us an answer while advancing another subplot and setting up future Clan-Building.
Back to the main story again on page fourteen. Although everything looks secure, Macbeth's not so confident, and we see another one-panel flashback to illustrate why and to reinforce his connection to the Stone.
There's another break in the action of the main story, so it's a good time for Shari to take up another page and provide more backstory. But after that we're back to London. Hudson asks, "Who exactly are we expecting?" And the answer is given.
The villain part of the story is filled in with Xanatos, Coyote, and Coldsteel. At this point, some newbies might ask, who is this "Coldsteel"? Shari is right there to answer on the next page and at the same time set up some more future Clan-Building. "It's really a timeless love story..."
Which leads right into Goliath and Elisa. They've got a beautiful scene, and since Goliath doesn't vocalize everything that's in his heart we're treated to a flashback of a happily expectant couple to say what he left unsaid. He and Elisa give in to true love, but...
Sometimes true love ends in tragedy. Gathelus dies, and Scota's life crumbles. Her sons carry on.
That almost wraps up the story. The only thing left is to return to Macbeth and the main plot to set up the cliffhanger that will bring us all back in two months. Make that "cliffhangers, plural," since Macbeth and Arthur would have been cliffhanger enough. But you double the suspense by bringing in the London Clan, too. Plus there are the teases back on page two that leave us anticipating more.
The non-linear structure is fascinating to me. Although everything seems to jump around randomly, each panel and page logically connects to the ones around it in thought or theme, if not chronology. That's not to say I'd want every issue to be like this; it takes a lot of thought and study to understand it all. But as an experimental or occasional format, there's a lot to like.
And before I close, a few words about Shari. Somehow I think that if you had worked on season three back in 1996, Shari would not exist as we know her. But with a ten-year gap there's a lot of backstory to exposit, and I have seen too many times when characters awkwardly discuss things they already know just to inform the reader or viewer. So introducing a storyteller like Shari and connecting her to Thailog (who was in a surprisingly few episodes) is such an elegant solution to that problem. And of course you don't just abandon her in her expository role; there's a lot more to her than that.
Anyway, there's my ramble, better late than never.
Hey Phil, you can call me a "creative genius" anytime you want!!
"That's not to say I'd want every issue to be like this; it takes a lot of thought and study to understand it all. But as an experimental or occasional format, there's a lot to like."
That's not to say I'd want every issue to be like this; it takes a lot of thought and study to WRITE it all.
Anyway, I love your analysis, because among other things... YOU GOT IT! All that thought, study, time, hair-pulling and packages of index cards feel worth it now.
Season's Greetings, Greg!
I'd just like to share some comments on Gargoyles #7 "The Rock". Another great chapter in the "Clan-Building" series...though I have to say following this particular storyline as it bounced around to different dates and times was a bit confusing at first, but I also think it was effective overall. Great to have Macbeth back in the series, and I liked the origin tale of the Stone of Destiny (incorporating Old Testament Biblical figures Jacob and Moses) - very cool!
Two major plot points that stood out in a great way:
- Dr. Sato examining a pregnant Maggie. I certainly didn't see Maggie's pregnancy coming, but I think it's wonderful! Derek/Talon will be a father, Peter and Diane Maza will be grandparents, and Elisa will be an aunt. Gotta love that! :-)
- Elisa and Goliath getting back together (I loved the dialogue between them in those scenes), and I always love seeing them smooch...it's a beautiful sight!
Also, it'll be interesting to see what develops with the "team-up" of Xanatos, the Coyote robot (now with the Coyote Diamond inside him), and Coldsteel. And I gotta say I really like the design of the two "new" UK clan gargoyles (the female boar gargoyle and the male white stag gargoyle) Can't wait to find out more about them!
Many thanks to all who work on these Gargoyle comics - I love them! Bring on #8! :-)
Thanks. I'll pass on the kind words to the rest of the team!
So... Last week, I finally managed to pick up #6 (the corrected version), #7 and Bad Guys #1. I knowingly overdrew my checking account getting these issues (don't worry, I won't do that again...$30 overdraft charges aren't always fun to deal with...) and I was eager to catch up with everyone else. I'll briefly share my thoughts on these issues.
I almost laughed when Goliath, Elisa, Bronx and Angela ended up in a huge pot of...whatever was boiling in there... Bronx looks good in a sherpa (it is a sherpa, right?). It seems Avalon has sent them to find Coldstone and reunite the clan. They end up waking up upon a lake and whether or not they were successful has yet to be known. Coldsteel working for Xanatos... That's surprise for me. It made me wonder what Coldsteel had been doing since he disappeared after being seperated from Coldstone's body.
Now I see why all those dates and times were withheld. Lots of skipping around in terms of time. Made for interesting reading I have to admit. I'm wondering if issue #8 will reveal what happened on the morning of November 15... Fox is shopping for shoes...and curiosity as to why is killing me a little. Shari is quite a story teller. Perhaps her knowledge is why she ranks high in the Illuminati? I'm wondering what Xanatos has planned, especially since the Stone of Destiny might be involved... The page with Macbeth waiting for Lexington and Hudson to wake up was funny. I know jetlag is not a fun thing to experience... I noticed Angela whispers something to Broadway... Perhaps it's alluding to something that will be revealed later? Wow...Macbeth tried to steal the stone back in 1950. Very interesting... Another Coyote and Coldsteel...helping Xanatos... Definitely lots of foreshadowing present in this issue. "...and normalcy is over-rated." So true... So very true... It's good to see Goliath and Elisa patching up things. Maggie is pregnant! Yay! Is she getting a baby shower? King Arthur! Good to see him make an appearance, although having him hold a sword to Macbeth's neck has me wanting to read #8 to see what happens. The London Clan makes an appearance too. Again, can't wait for #8 to be released...
Bad Guys #1
After reading through it the first time, I found myself having mixed reactions from the content (it's not that bad though). I liked seeing Matrix with a boombox. It seemed very apropos for him. Hmm...I'm curious as to who attacked the group... The Tazmanian Tiger was something I wasn't expecting. I'll admit, it's something new, but it didn't distract me too much. In a way, he looked like Batman in a tiger suit...at least that's what first came to mind when I first read through it. I'm glad there was a panel that shows where Dingo was being "inserted." Otherwise, I would've had to imagine where...and it would be very, VERY awry just to think about that... I liked Dingo's reaction to it though. The song lyrics... I'm wondering if that's alluding to some foreshadowing... Perhaps I'm reading too much into it? I won't know until the next issue... Nicely written lyrics, by the way... So far, I think it's off to a good start and I hope it gets better from here.
I guess I should mention now that I'll soon be a proud owner of the Season 1 DVD box set! I haven't ordered it just yet, but I will be after Christmas. In two weeks, Season 2 Volume 1... I can't wait!
My review for issue #7.
I won't cover every little thing since I don't have the time, but I will address the things that stuck out at me the most.
I was able to pick up issue 7 from a comic shop in Seattle and I have to say, what a fantastic issue! So far I think this is my favorite, with issue 5 being a close second. I've been a huge Gargoyles fan since the 6th grade and I'm so happy that the series is being continued in a new format with all new canon.
-I'm really thrilled to find out that Dr. Sato is indeed someone to trust and has allied with the Gargoyles and mutates. You also did a really good job showing the readers that although he's more than willing to help them, but also that finding out about the Gargoyles and the mutates has been very taxing on him mentally.
-Finding out that Maggie is pregnant is very interesting and I look forward to see how this develops. (no pun intended) It's funny because I was actually very curious if Talon and Maggie were able to produce offspring/or were going to have offspring in the future. (Searched the archives one time and didn't find much info on that)
-When Goliath mentiones that he is "healed but not whole", I'm assuming that he means mentally he is not quite healed yet but that his physical injuries are fully healed by now. Since I'm on the topic of Goliath, I absolutely loved the Goliath/Elisa scene at the end of the comic. That almost gave me tears of joy to see. I also noticed how you wonderfully had the beginning set up to parallel the scene from issue 3 where Goliath and Elisa are sitting very far away from each other on each side of the castle balcony. I liked that. It actually made me nervous about the conversation, but then once I read through, I got this very good feeling of joy being able to see that Elisa indeed re-affirmed her change of heart and the end of issue 5. I've been pro "Goliath/Elisa" since I started watching the series in middle school. Props to Hedgecock for bringing out the great emotion and facial expressions of Goliath in those last panels.
-Loved the designs of the new London clan gargoyles we saw towards the end. I especially give you props for having a female gargoyle who isn't the stereotypical "elegant and beautiful" type. Not that I think the other females have that problem, in fact I always have been happy that most of the female gargoyles have a bit of musculature to their bodies and that they are just as capable of being great warriors as the males. This new female boar gargoyle expands even further on this.
-The art is quite decent in this issue for the most part. Hedgecock has improved quite a bit since issue 3 in terms of being on model, although there are still a few errors here and there. Most noteably is that he sometimes makes subjects heads too large for their bodies. I think someone else might have pointed this out before but I'm not sure. The coloring looked fantastic. I really love what Bobby Bevard brings to the table.
-It was also very nice to see Hudson and Lexington in a main role so to speak. The jetlag issue was briliant, and it perfectly explains what was going on in the cover of this issue. Pretty good trick there. :P
-Macbeth is becoming more and more interesting as the series goes on. It's good to see him on the side of the good guys now. I look forward to seeing what happens between him and King Aurthur in the next issue.
I know there's many more elements in this issue I could cover, but I am running out of time, however I'd like to say that I really hope Gargoyles stays alive for a long time to come, whether it be through comics/dvds/anything else. I purchased season 1 and season 2 volume 1 dvds, and all of the comics including Bad Guys 1 up to this point to help support Gargoyles. Sad about Season 2 volume 2 but I am not giving up hope on it, and will buy it first thing if they ever decide to release it.
Keep up the great work!
The Goliath/Elisa scene actually REVERSED the scene from issue #3, panel by panel, pretty much. Glad you liked it.
I think Goliath is still tired, as I think I mentioned before.
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.
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.
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.
Greetings from England
Got Gargoyles 7 from Midtowncomics.com (2 copies) on Wednesday and I love it,
Wow can't beleive it Maggie's pregnant, I'm guessing that Maggie due sometime in July 1997 but i got a feeling this aint going to be a easy pregnancy
Goliath chooses Brooklyn, Broadway, Angela and Lex to go to England with Macbeth but Brooklyn chooses to stay behind I guess to avoid Angela and Broadway but after Angela whisper something to Broadway (I love to know what she said) they stay behind too which Brooklyn doesn't seem happy about it.
I hope Brooklyn gets over Angela Choosing Broadway because I got this feeling he could get himself into trouble by doing something stupid before he goes on his Timedancing Journey.
Anyway Hudson goes with Lexington to Englan to help Macbeth
Elisa and Goliath kiss again (squeals)
As I live not far from London (30 miles north of London)It's great to see the Gargoyles in England
which Airport did you use was it Gatwick or Heathrow as they are the 2 main Airports just outside London, I wonder if Hudson and Lex are going to glide up the M1 next (thats one of our main Motorways)
Funny that I live in England but don't really know that much about the Stone of Destiny or the transporting it from London to Scotland in 1996 (14 years old at the time)
Interesting story about Gathelus and Scota that Shari is telling Thailog.
I like the 2 new Gargoyles.
Can't wait till issue 8 but first Bad Guys 2
I'm thinking Gatwick...
I love how jam-packed each of these comics are. Some comics you've got all there is to get first read-through; this gets better and better with each successive reading. The non-linear structure flummoxed me first off, but now I'm completely in love. It's got a rhythm completely of its own. (Piecing together the Ask Greg clues to work out where the missing parts of the story are made it doubly fun so thanks for that 'Easter Egg'!). I'm really curious about the inspiration for this. Obviously in literature there are plenty of books which disassemble time but usually to mirror consciousness. 'Memento' is the only film I can recall which is this fragmented, but again there's a strict order. (Sometime, not while the story's still running necessarily, but eventually, I'd be interested to read about the thought processes behind this structure.)
Here, we're really dotting around but it gives the impression of a patchwork of themes: sibling rivalries (Jacob/Esau, Brooklyn/Broadway, Othello/Iago) particularly stand out. Perhaps also lineage -- never has the interconnectedness of man been so apparent than seeing the links from Egypt to Portugal to Ireland; and in modern times, we have the Maza family expanding into new boundaries, with Elisa & Goliath and Talon & Maggie's child. And of course, we have all these dark mirrors to our leads: Xanatos and Coyote, the ColdTrio and the Angela triangle, Lex/Brentwood, and as has been mentioned, Thailog/Shari who look very Goliath/Elisa in some panels.
I love the scene of Thailog & Shari playing chess though -- more Fox & David. I wonder if the bathtub scene is meant to suggest how Sevarius would like to spend his nights. Shari is by far my favourite new character so far. She's utterly fascinating. And while we have no evidence there's anything between them, they certainly seem pretty intimate. And whatever their relationship is, it fits that while Goliath & Elisa's life is based on protecting and serving, Thailog & Shari's seems to be about knowledge and power.
Although this is another story on a huge scale, I'm really glad the clan is proactive at the centre this time. I love, adore, the big, eclectic 'Gargoyles' cast, but more than that, I love our core guys. And Macbeth. Broadway and Angela seemed kind of mean to Brooklyn -- I hope this is in aid of them intervening to resolve their issues. Lex and Hudson taking centre stage fills me with joy.
(Oddly, I was in central London in November 1996. My brother was in Great Ormond Street getting his cochlear implant and it was around this time that we'd recently discovered 'Gargoyles'. I know he watched 'A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time' on television with his ward; and also I remember looking for 'Gargoyles' figurines in a London toy shop and coming out with a Lexington one for his Christmas. It's one of my most vivid memories, but it gives me a real kick to think that the 'real' Macbeth and Lexington would have been running around about the same time only a few miles away.)
The cover -- bit of a quiet one. I don't mind covers that don't reflect the inside too well (#1 and #3 are probably my favourites to date and have no real relevance to the interior), but this one attempts to find a hook from inside and comes up with something pretty mild. I still love Greg Guler's covers though. Will be very interested to see David Hedgecock on #8 but I hope Greg sticks around.
The art -- Really gorgeous. David Hedgecock has received some flak for his model work, but I have to say... I grew up on lisenced books. Spidey and X-Men were all too convoluted to get into, but Turtles, Sonic, Bucky O'Hare -- this stuff I knew where I was. And I know being 'off-model' is considered a pretty heinous crime by people who read these kinds of books. But my favourite artists, and often the most popular artists, were never the most on-model. Often the artists who tacked closest to the models produced characters who looked just a little plastic, a little too perfect, a little dead behind the eyes. David's model work is decent given the scores of characters he has to master each issue, but more than that, we really get a sense of the characters' intelligence and purpose, of momentum and fluidity. It's good, compelling art and I'm so glad he's having a good run at it. (My only hope is that if it is necessary to switch artists for a future issue that we can have the same person working on a sequence of stories -- this was what felt a little jarring about #3-5, though it was for entirely understandable reasons).
The colours -- Rich, atmospheric, true to the original, but really dramatic and bold as well. I particularly appreciate London on the last page looking like the late 20th century and not the late 19th -- alive with light. Often I'll see American presentations of London -- including in 'M.I.A.' where admittedly there was probably pressure to reuse the same backdrops for the 1940s and 1990s sections -- where it feels somehow dated. And of course, parts of it are historic. But growing up in London, all this seemed normal to me and so presentations which really honed in on the ancient aspects always startled me a bit. The Shari/Thailog colours are especially splendid. (Although -- being ultra-pernickety -- stars can't turn up in front of the shadowy portion on a crescent moon!).
I'm thrilled King Arthur is turning up, the London clan look amazing, and the details about the history of the stone and the naming of Portugal really stand out for me. I'm completely psyched to see where this goes next.
Big thanks to Greg, David, Robby, Greg G and the guys at SLG!
Scripting issues #7-9, my guiding principle was to reveal info not in the order it happens but rather on a "need-to-know" basis for the reader, indeed emphasizing the connectivity of all that was taking place.
This isn't really a question as it is a review/comment/whatever. Anyway, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for deciding to have the London Gargoyles resemble more animals than just lions, unicorns, and griffins. For the last ten years or so, I had always assumed that the London clan gargoyles would resemble other animals of heraldry as well, such as bears, boars, wolves, foxes, stags, rams, bats, etc., and when I read in the wiki a few months ago that they would all look like unicorns, griffins, and lions, I was SO disappointed. I am so glad that this is not the case. The two new gargoyles are beautiful and I am looking forward to learning more about them in the next two issues, and possibly seeing some other London Clan members as well. Once again THANKS!
Also, I just wanted to mention that Hedgecock's art is greatly improving and is really, really good in this issue. There are still a few things that seem a little off, like for instance he often seems to make the characters' heads a little too big which makes them seem cartoony, and they sometimes look really angular instead of organic. But overall he's doing a great job. He's really good with facial expressions. I LOVE the look on Lex's face when they first wake up with jetlag! Also the pages where Shari is telling Thailog those stories are all really great. Of course the final page is beautiful as well. And he does a really awesome job with mechanical characters; the page with Coldsteel and Coyote is awesome! Anyway kudos to Hedgecock!
Overall #7 was a great issue. The non-linear format was great (incidentally, although I miss the cartoon it's worth noting that this non-linear format likely would not have worked as well on the TV show). Thanks for all you do.
The non-linear thing -- especially to the extent I did it in issues #7-9 -- would not have worked AT ALL on television. Snippets so brief, they would barely register. Not enough time for visual cues, and without the captions to indicate date and time, impossible. But if you left an image on screen long enough for a chyron to register, you'd blow the rhythm of the whole thing. I definitely WOULD have told this story, but it would not have been in this format at all.
Thanks for the kind words, and I've passed on to Dave that he seems to be winning some people over with his latest stuff.
Are the scrolls depicted in #7 just a creative way to present the story in the comic, or do they actually exist in the Gargoyles Universe?
They're an artistic conceit.
My review for #7, "The Rock"
I really like the non-linear format. I think it's really creative. It's like a puzzle with missing pieces that makes me ache for more. The first time I read it, it appeared to be totally random-but the more I read it, the more I realized that it's not random at all-the panels all seem to be very deliberately placed the way they are for a reason. This leads me to think that those three enigmatic panels on page two,(Bomb unit, "Amp", and Fox's shoes), are tied together somehow.
I like the little snippets of Shari's stories to Thailog, and the muted sepia tones used to convey the stories. It took my third reading to realize that the story pages are shaped like scrolls, nice little touch. I just love those little glimpses we get of Shari and Thailog (and sometimes Brentwood). For some reason I find it humorous to see Thailog performing mundane tasks like bathing, being on the computer, and playing chess while Shari drones on to him. I wonder what their relationship is exactly-probably more of a power struggle than anything, but in a bizarre way, they are kind of a match for each other.
It's nice to see Macbeth working with the gargoyles and becoming the clan's ally. I trust him, but I'm mildly surprised that Goilath is so quick to send his clanmates out to help him-seeing as he wasn't always their friend. I guess all one needs to do to convince Goliath is to pull the "Xanatos card." And it turns out they're right-Xanatos is working behind their backs.
Goliath's line is interesting-"healed but not whole." I was under the impression that gargoyles fully heal at sunrise. So I take it to mean that he's emotionally drained.
Personally, I don't feel sorry for Brooklyn. He had the chance to go to London and potentially meet unattached female gargoyles...but he passed on it. Angela didn't choose him, he needs to get over it. Though I am very curious as to Angela's and Broadway's intent-they were so happy at the prospect of going to Scotland-but then easily changed their minds. Angela's got some sort of plan brewing-to try to cheer Brooklyn up maybe? She's got to realize that brooklyn is pining for her-she's always been able to catch on to things pretty quiclkly in the show.
The clans seem to have found another ally in Dr. Sato-that's very good-especially since he can be a very helpful ally in troubling times.
Hehe, I loved the panels of Macbeth waiting for Lex and Hudson to wake up-nice subtle humour there. And gargoyle jetlag, lol. I once lost a whole day thanks to jetlag. I'm kind of curious as to what Lex and Hudson did in that ten day interim.
I found that panel that shows Macbeth trying to take back the stone in 1950 hilarious. "Scotland Forever!" LOL. "You'de be surprised" indeed.
Telling panel placement here-the scheming Xanatos scene taking place directly after the panel in which Hudson asks "Who exactly are we expecting?"
The Coyote Diamond...Nothing ever wasted in Gargoyles. Xanatos, Cyote, and Coldsteel...not a good combination. Part of the Illuminati's plan? Or something else?
I love the Othello/Desdemona/Iago story page. The way they're subtley turning to stone, and the iconic Hakon mace image. That must've been their last sunrise as flesh beings. And I love how the "Timeless love story" caption integrates into the Goliath and Elisa scene.
Speaking of the G/E scene, love it. The way it parallels the breakup scene in issue #3. Goliath and Elisa are careful not to mention the children issue, a discussion for another night. But the not-so-subtle placement of the panel where Maggie is revealed to be pregnant is brilliant. It's nice to see Goliath so happy-he's been having a tough week. And I love how passionate that kiss looked. Did Goliath initiate it?
I wasn't all that surprised at Maggie's pregnancy for some reason. Though if I were her, I would be terrified. What is their kid going to be? Mutate? Human? A mixture of both? I have kind of a bad feeling that things are going to be rough for them.
And the exciting cliffhanger-King Arthur and the London Gargoyles are up to something as well. Are they on the same side? Nice designs for the new London gargs, and as others have mentioned, it's nice to see a full figured female gargoyle.
The art: There's a few minor problems-like that closeup of Elisa's face-kind of reminds me of Ariel from the Little Mermaid-but Hedgecock's art has vastly improved, I think. Characters are much more on-model. I'm impressed. And kudos to Robby Bevard and his terrific coloring. The best coloring work on the book, in my opinion. He really payed attention to giving the correct lighting to the diffrent settings, and like I mentioned earlier, I love the effect of the scroll scenes.
Terrific start to an intrigueing new story arc, and I can't wait to see what happens next.
I'm not sure Shari would appreciate you saying she's "droning". And I'm not sure Thailog would stand for droning. (Now you're on the Illuminati's list!)
Healing -- depending on the wound -- is exhausting. Remember Angela after she nearly died at the hands of the Hunters. One day as stone heals, but it exhausts the body. Goliath is in fact physically not at 100% in #7.
I think Goliath did initiate the kiss... AFTER Elisa stroked his hair. Think of it as the best kind of cultural exchange.