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Clan-Building Volume Two

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Voice Chaser? writes...

Thanks for answering my question about Fleur and the Grim's voices.

Who do you imagine for the following characters?

Amanda Chung
Brother Valmont
True
Nashville

Greg responds...

You know, I'm not going to keep playing this game. It's occurred to me that it's better to let you guys hear what you hear in your heads. That's all I'm doing.

Response recorded on January 19, 2011

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Todd Jensen writes...

Some time ago, I mentioned a book by Eleanor Prosser called "Hamlet and Revenge", which argued that Hamlet's goal to avenge his father on Claudius was not a righteous duty, but a misguided and dangerous quest. Recently, I thought about a passage in it in connection to "Clan-Building: Volume Two".

In one of the early chapters, the author discusses Kyd's "The Spanish Tragedy", one of the leading revenge-plays before "Hamlet". The protagonist, Hieronimo, is out to avenge the murder of his son Horatio. After discovering his son's body near the start of the play, he decides not to bury it until he can achieve his revenge, an act which, Prosser comments, would have unsettled the audience.

This reminded me of the scene in "Clan-Building" where, after Demona reports the slaughter of the Sruighlea cell by Constantine and Gillecomgain, True suggests that they hold a Wind Ceremony for the dead gargoyles, and Demona rejects it in favor of pursuing revenge on the humans who did the deed. I just thought I'd share it with you.

Greg responds...

Thanks. I like the parallel a lot. And I agree with what it reveals about character... though I've never read "The Spanish Tragedy" unfortunately. At least not yet.

Response recorded on July 29, 2010

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YLu writes...

Hey Mr. Weisman,

I noticed that in the Bad Guys issues, character's inner thoughts were shown through narration boxes, while in the final few issues of Clan-Building, Brooklyn's thoughts were shown in cloud-shaped thought balloons. Is there any reason for the difference?

Greg responds...

It's stylistic. I think captions are more distancing... so they feel more thoughtful, less immediate. Thought balloons seem more casual.

I decide those kind of things on a case-by-case basis.

Response recorded on April 29, 2010

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Random Fan writes...

About "Egwardo" how far along is he (or she seeing as it will hatch into Tachi)
in the incubation process as of the family coming back to the manhaten clan

Greg responds...

Egwardo will hatch in 1998. Just over a year from when Brooklyn returns to "the present" in January 1997.

Response recorded on April 21, 2010

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Laura 'ad astra' Sack writes...

Quick couple of comments on the recent graphic novels...

It was such a pleasure to read new material and emerse again in the world of gargoyles. I hope we get a chance to do so again quite soon.

Clan Building-
Loved the Star Wars homage cover

I was a little confused by the events with the stone. The explanation helped, but I still liked it.

There is a thread on the Girl-Wonder forums about female characters who look fantastic and none sexualized. Coco met with approval. I'd have to go back and check, but I believe the word was "awesome" :)

I found it odd that the Rosetta Stone was included among the list of stones. Are there legends about the stone? I thought it was just the one in the British Museum. Absolutely loved the "Hey" "Hey" between the stone and grail.

Also surprised by the "Bugger Off". Isn't that rather obscene in the UK? I know the intent to keep the comics as all age friendly as the cartoon has slipped a bit. (Strangely the hand being cut off flew by me (no pun intended). Dingo's mother's death shocked me.) But a substitution phrase would be easier that replacing events. (Of course I am blanking on such a phrase at the moment...unless Sod Off is a smidge more polite. Drop Dead doen't sound particularly British.)

Loved the Timedancer part. Had you always intended to start Time Dancer so soon? Had the cartoon continued on air, would Brooklyn have gone and returned season 3 or did it come sooner in response to the new medium. In general did any events move up for the comics?

I know I am in a minority, but I didn't love the art at the end. It's probably just a question of personal taste. The line was more detailed, but the distortions less to my taste. I've heard some say it looked a little more anime looking, and that only sometimes appeals to me.

The relationship between Gilcomgain and the king was wonderfully creepy.

I would have thought Bodhe to be older than Gilcomgain.

Odd.. in the Gargoyles universe it seems sparing a child's life comes back to haunt you. Bodhe's father did it, Macbeth did it, death, war and heartbreak follow.

As whenever we go back in time in these stories, there is a bittersweetness to it. Most, and most probably all, of the gargoyles we meet will be murdered in the next few years. Especially when we see child gargoyles. (I think, though not prominant, one of the gargoyles we saw smashed was a child.)

"Call me Gnash" :)
"Egwardo" :)!
(I don't remember knowing that was coming, but I may just have missed it.)

Bad Guys
Already mentioned, the murder of Dingo's mother shocked me. As did Tasha's suicide earlier, (though I could see how that might have been finageled into the cartoon). Similarly, when I read over the begining of the trade I realized that we had briefly met Tasha and the others as humans. Even in that little bit it made it all the more poignant. A little thing I noted aside from all the big things others have already noted was how the aligator thug was instinctively hugging and holding the little girl to comfort her. Not just the guy with a gun we met before.

I'm a little tight for time, so I'll just say I really enjoyed it and I felt it was very successful in setting up a new series. Yes it is connected, but in the back of my mind I was expecting it to just be an extension of Gargoyles- a way to see more of that universe and extend the stories we were seeing. Instead this is its own story, in that universe, but its own.

Greg responds...

Rosetta Stone is what it is.

Same with "Bugger Off". Perhaps because my primary audience is in the U.S. it just doesn't feel as dirty as it is.

The start and finish of TimeDancer was always supposed to occur in Season Three of Gargoyles. The forty years in between was always a spin-off idea.

I'm glad that in general you liked the stuff!

Response recorded on March 26, 2010

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Todd Jensen writes...

Now that "Clan-Building" and "Bad Guys: Redemption" have been completed, and while we pause for a while (hoping that you and SLG will get to do further "Gargoyles" stories together), I thought I'd look over the Master Plan document you shared with us over ten years ago, and see how that was fulfilled in the eighteen chapters.

First, the spin-offs. "Bad Guys" obviously was represented here, with the six-chapter origin story for the Redemption Squad. Also, "Pendragon" and "TimeDancer" both found their way into "Clan-Building", "Pendragon" with the Stone of Destiny story in #7 to #9 (you even mentioned the Stone of Destiny story in the "Pendragon" section) and "TimeDancer" in #10 to #12, where we saw the beginning of Brooklyn's TimeDancing, his first adventure with Mary and Finella, and the end with his return to New York with his new family.

We also got a taste of "The New Olympians" with Terry Chung's cameos, and maybe even a trace of "Gargoyles 2198" when Peredur mentioned that Arthur wasn't expected to awaken for another two hundred years (Britain and the rest of the planet would definitely be in an hour of need then - definitely shades of "Camelot 3000"). Nothing directly from "Dark Ages", however (Brooklyn's adventure in 997 comes close, but it takes place three years after the Wyvern Massacre that would presumably have formed the series finale) - though we know that you planned to do a story about that next.

Now I'll turn to your list of the planned elements for "Gargoyles"'s third season from the same document.

The Quarryman problem: I would have liked to see a bit more of that (to serve as an antidote to the "Goliath Chronicles" depiction of the Quarrymen), but I enjoyed what we saw. Castaway in Invitation Only" and "Estranged" showed himself to be shrewd and prudent as well as vengeful; I liked the details of his forbidding the Quarrymen to carry hammers on Halloween patrol (in case they mistake costumed trick-or-treaters for gargoyles) and the television commercial that Robyn and Jason see making the Quarrymen seem more like a charitable organization to help people in need than like a hate group.

Xanatos' conversion: And, of course, we saw that he didn't change that much; he's as much a trickster as ever, even ready to, after stealing the Stone of Destiny for the Illuminati, give them another duplicate and keep the original for himself. Life with him is certainly going to be interesting for the clan.

Broadway and Angela's relationship: Not much of this (beyond the library scene), but we clearly see that they're a couple.

Goliath and Elisa's relationship: Definitely there, with the Double Date story and their reconciliation (especially the big moment in "The Rock" when they get back together).

The four Tricksters and Alexander: One of the few threads from your list that didn't get in, but there's always next arc.

The Illuminati: And how! We learn more about the Society, including its internal structure (I'm still delighted with the revelation of exactly how many membership slots there are), and several new members (new in the sense of being "new characters"): Quincy Hemings, Shari, and Falstaff, not to mention our look at Peredur, Duval, and Blanchefleur at the top. We also learn that Thailog's joined the Society (that was one of the biggest surprises in the comic for me), and Fiona Canmore's a member as well. And we get a hint, in the scene between Peredur and the Stone of Destiny in Carbonek, of what the Illuminati's goal is (or at least, what Peredur's goal for the Illuminati is). Not to mention we see more of their shrewdness, with Hacker presenting a different story about the Illuminati's intentions towards the gargoyles to Matt, Xanatos, and Castaway separately.

The Ultra-Pack: We haven't seen them yet, either, but I've no doubt that the big fight with Jackal, Hyena, and Wolf in Times Square is going to encourage the Pack to upgrade again. And after reading "Bad Guys", I have a strong suspicion who the new member will be.

Coldsteel and Coyote: We saw their team-up in the Stone of Destiny story (another of the big surprises was Xanatos using the Coyote Diamond to improve Coyote 5.0 - even after seeing how you keep on bringing back elements from earlier episodes and expanding on them, I hadn't foreseen that).

The Clones: And we saw much of them, as well. I think that almost everyone expected to see Thailog seek to recover the Clones - but we then had the treat of that adventure providing character development for Delilah (who became an especially appealing character in "Bash") and Brentwood.

So we got quite a lot of the MasterPlan in those eighteen chapters. And I hope, someday, we'll see even more of it.

Greg responds...

Me too!

It is almost amazing to me how... consistent the vision of the series has stayed over the years. I don't know if that's me being stubborn or me knowing a good thing when I stumble upon it or what, but although I'm constantly adding to the pre-canon in my head, most of the stuff I came up with as far back as 1994 is still valid.

Response recorded on February 25, 2010

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Harlan Phoenix writes...

I just got Clan Building vol. 2 and Bad Guys today. I'd post a long elaborate review of just how much I love this comic and how hopeful I am that we get more Garg stuff, but many people have said what I'd say and better. So, I'll just post a short review:

These were quite possibly some of the most badass comics I've ever read in my life. Thank you.

Greg responds...

WOw. Thank YOU!!

Response recorded on February 24, 2010

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Kalara writes...

Mr. Weismen I just got finished reading the Clan Building Vol 2 comic and I've got to say thank you. I felt the magic all over again. For us fans who have all been waiting years for this comic it was well worth the wait. The history and adventure in the story arcs were awesome. If felt the magic of Gargoyles all over again. Thank you for your dedication to the fans and keeping the dream alive for us all over the years. Thanks much no questions just wanted to give some praise to a job well done.

Greg responds...

Praise is always welcome!!!

Response recorded on February 22, 2010

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Blaise writes...

GARGOYLES
CLAN-BUILDING
ISSUE #9
ROCK OF AGES

Finally. That's a word to describe both the feeling of the wait for this chapter, and for my writing my review/ramble--two weeks after I got the darn thing.

For anyone who worries about that sort of thing:
SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

Well, the first panel of page one is obviously spoken by Hudson...and by the reference to "the banished and the badduns" I guessed he was referring to Coldsteel. But in regards to what? With the second panel, however, we're right back where we left off (over a YEAR ago), and I'm ready to see the rest...until page two, which begins with yet ANOTHER clip of Fox's shoe adventure. #%*&^$ SHOES! It's a good thing I'm going to find out in this chapter what the %#^$ those shoes have to do with all this!
And now Arthur is saying that maybe the heroes don't need to guard the Stone...which would render this whole adventure nearly superfluous! Of course, it's easy for Arthur to say that--he got to look at the dang Stone! Here I was, fearing that something bad might have happened to him in the last issue when Macbeth turned around and he wasn't there, and he just went to have a peek. Jerk.

I liked the use of the parallel columns on page four to show the simultaneous occurrence of events both in the Lantern of the Abby with Arthur, and in the skies with Lex and Amp. Arthur apologizes to the poor guards he had to knock out. Gee, that's nice of him. It's interesting how he also takes the time to put his crown (or is it a coronet?) on his head before he opens the chest containing the Stone. Does he think the Stone won't recognize him without it? Or does he just not feel right addressing the Stone without it?

An interesting note about the Steel/Iron Clan POV shots on page five: they seem to see in different colors. The Iron Clan robot sees in a red tint, while the Steel Clan's view is colored in green. Kind of interesting. Also, I like how the robots are programmed to recognize Lexington by name, but refer to the others as "U.G." ("Unidentified Gargoyle" I'd guess) 1-3.
Love Coco's indignation at Amp stealing the robot's attention. For a slight change of pace, instead of maneuvering the robots into hitting each other like the gargs usually do on the show, Lex and Amp instead lure them into Coyote's line of fire and have THAT robot do the work. Nice variation on a classic move.

Hmmm. On page six, we see Coldfire, in Tibet, reacting to some sort of signal at 6:01 AM on Nov. 13. Going back to the exact same page (six) of Issue #8, we see Xanatos push a button in London at 10:00 PM on Nov. 12, which given the eight hour time difference, means that he pushed that button about a minute before Coldfire received the signal that apparently led her and Coldstone to Coldsteel.
...XANATOS CALLED IN COLDSTONE AND COLDFIRE! I KNEW IT! And now he has a way to talk himself out of any possible trouble he could get into with the clan for this little escapade.

When Coyote covers its and Coldsteel's departure, it seems to generate a bright light using the Coyote Diamond. Seriously, the 6th panel on page six shows the Diamond compartment opening and light coming from it. Just felt like mentioning it.

That's Macbeth in Robert the Bruce's army, isn't it? Makes sense. Just as it makes sense that Shari has kissed the Blarney Stone that grants the "gift of gab" a couple of times.

I love the shot of Mac and Arthur on either side of a smiling Xanatos. "Well, it's a momentous occasion...and such a lovely day." Ah, Xanatos...how I have missed your inimitable style.

Coldstone and Coldfire fight Coldsteel over the Coldstream river...you just couldn't resist that, could you, Greg?

RE: Coldsteel holding Coldfire with his tentacles. Okay, what is it about tentacles? Even when they're metallic, there's still something..."naughty" about them. Look, on page ten, Coldsteel even uses one to caress Coldfire's face (right before she head-butts him in HIS face--YOU GO GIRL!). Those things fit his slimy personality quite well.

I really like the look on Coldfire's face when she blasts Coldsteel. Seriously, Xanatos's folks at Scarab Corporation deserve kudos for how expressive the completely robotic faces of Coldfire and Coldsteel seem to be.

(*spit take*) A CHAINSAW?! Coyote the ROBOT is armed with a CHAINSAW?! Okay. He just upped his "cool quotient" considerably.

Coyote calls Xanatos by his first name. For some reason I find that interesting. Of course, it could just be to get the rather ironic phrase "Out of DAVID'S respect for GOLIATH..." but still....

Okay. The way that Coldstone took out Coyote=WIN! Seriously, the punch through the mouth/view-screen/Xanatos-Skull-face was SO COOL, that even the red lights serving as the Coyote-head's eyes managed to look surprised! Look at 'em! They went wide!

The parallel of the two times Coldsteel commented on Coyote's "potential," was neat, as was Coyote's mention that he's not programmed for free will. That last part is a bit foreboding, too--Xanatos better be careful.

Based on the timestamps it looks like Coldstone was searching for Coldsteel for about a half-hour. Dedicated.

And so the Stone finally arrives in Scotland. OR DOES IT? The Land Rover (I finally know what it is now, thanks to your Radio Play Script, Greg) arrives at a warehouse where Xanatos is waiting. A little over three hours later (plenty of time for David to get into mischief...) a VERY high-ranking female Illuminatus arrives to take the Land Rover and...a DUPLICATE STONE?! Wait, what?! The Land Rover was rigged to flip the Stone's Container and replace it with a fake while the band covered the noise?! HOLY $#^%! All that crap with the robots was just a distraction? My mind has just been blown by the genius that is Xanatos!
But what was all that about the Bomb Squad? Wait...a shoebox. The shoebox Fox's new shoes came in? All that stuff about Fox's shoes was just so Xanatos could get a SHOEBOX to put on the bridge and stop the convoy long enough to make the switch?!
ARRRRGH! (*mind is blown again*)
But wait, doesn't this mean that the good guys lost? Well....

The mysterious woman (until I hear her name in canon I will call her #3) drives the Land Rover to a mist enshrouded Castle (that will later be identified as Carbonek). Something odd I noticed--the driver's side in the Land Rover is on the left side, but most cars in Britain have the RIGHT side as the driver's side, don't they? Is it just a peculiarity of the Land Rover's design? Oh well, at least she drives on the left side of the street.
And now we meet a bald, cyborg-type guy who reveals himself as...#2?! DUVAL?! Ghu--buh--WHAT?! #3 really doesn't seem to like Duval, but before they get into a spat, some good-looking blond guy comes up and calls them the two people he loves most in the world. Wait...is this...#1?

Thailog looks very pleased at being able to check Shari in chess. Sad to say, though, that the time stamp for this on page 18 seems to be in error. It reads "Nov. 13, 5:40 AM," but that was the exact same time stamp for Shari's story about Edward I on page 3. I'm pretty sure the stamp is supposed to read "Nov. 15, 5:43 AM."

Unfortunately, there's another (slightly lesser) time stamp error on the next page: I'm pretty sure Arthur's conversation with the stone was supposed to be marked "1:06 AM." It's all the more a pity this issue didn't get a single release, because I'm sure then the errors would have been corrected in time for the trade.

Anyway, I liked the Stone healing itself and then THANKING Macbeth, but mentioning how it was pointless. "Pointless" seems to be the Stone's word of choice for all the efforts and machinations people have been making about it.
The stone is talking to Arthur at 1:06 AM, but the panel on page two shows Arthur looking in on the Stone at 12:18 AM. Okay...that is a LONG time to just stand there and look at a stone (even if it is glowing...). Did they have a whole conversation before the Stone got to its speech or something? At least now we know why Arthur said that maybe they didn't need to protect the Stone--the Stone itself told him it was pointless.
XANATOS WAS GOING TO TRY TO PULL A SWITCH ON THE ILLUMINATI! Damn, man. Xanatos, you've blown my mind enough times this issue. Please, let me rest for a bit before you do it again. According to a ramble from Greg, it seems that the Stone straight out telling Xanatos how pointless it was to do such a thing managed to dissuade X. And Xanatos is SMILING as the Rock talks to him. Neat.
"Peredur fab Ragnal?" Wait, Ragnal was the name of Sir Gawain's wife in some legends, and Greg likes the idea that Percival is the (bastard) son of Gawain, so...AHA! I see...Peredur is the ORIGINAL WELSH name of Percival. Okay, makes sense...wait, doesn't this mean he and Duval are NOT the same, and thus that Greg actually changed his plans? (Of course, I've already heard your rather cryptic comment at the Gathering, Greg, so I know there's more going on here than meets the eye...).

And now the big speech. The two page spread that inspired Greg to make this a non-linear story. What can I say? It's fantastic (well, my original thoughts were more along the lines of "(censored) COOL!"). The Stone reveals itself to be a lot more than any of the players (or we members of the audience suspected). One thing I love here are the facial expressions: the wonderment on Macbeth's face, Xanatos's intrigued look (he just eats this stuff up, doesn't he?), the solemn expression on Arthur's face, and Peredur (who the Rock mocked for his efforts)...the only word I can use to describe his expression is "shock." I wonder what is so special about 1:07 (whether AM or PM) that the Stone felt the need to make this exact same speech at that exact time across several different days (or decades in one case). And did the stone just give the same speech on four separate occasions, or did it just give ONE speech at four separate times simultaneously?

"Do not dream of possessing me, mortal." Nice.

Peredur doesn't seem happy to hear that his old boss is awake again. Something about being 200 years too early. Hmmm, now what could possibly happen around the year 2196 or so that would--oh, yeah, right. #3 also seems surprised by this revelation and leaves quietly before Peredur even notices her. This pretty much convinced me that she was that Blanchefleur woman I had been reading about in Ask Greg, a suspicion confirmed by the Radio Play script. But, until she is referred to by that name in the comic, I will continue to call her #3.

I LOVE the informal "Hey" the Stone and the Grail (which I assume the simple, wooden bowl is) give each other. After that huge show of majesty and antiquity the Stone just gave, this casual greeting is just so funny!

When Coldsteel gives Xanatos back the Coyote Diamond, Xanatos says that he's "just its minder." What could he mean by that?

Hudson, and Lex decide to stay with the London Clan for a while. I love the group shot there (awww, Lunette is just so gosh darn cute!). Coldstone seems about to argue that he and Coldfire should continue to pursue Coldsteel, but Hudson...says what we read at the beginning of the chapter. A nice philosophical bit for him, and hey, if it gets Coldstone and Coldfire to rejoin the Manhattan clan, so much the better!

Thailog checkmates Shari! I don't know why, but for some reason I like that Thailog beat Shari at chess (this is the same game they've been playing for the past few nights, right?). Of course, he was playing the white side, which has a slight strategic advantage due to having the first move. Let's see him beat her while he's playing the black side, and then I'll be really impressed.
And, just for a bit of a "full circle" feeling, Shari ends the chapter and the story arc...by beginning to tell the story arc we just read. Okay, seriously, HOW DOES SHE KNOW THIS? Is she just psychic like that or something? I am very interested in what secrets she holds.

On the art side of things, this looks great overall. Granted, in panel 1 of page fifteen, Xanatos seems to have an overly large head in comparison to his body, but otherwise the art is nice. And the two-page spread from 20-21 is just awesome.

So, that's the story of the Stone of Destiny. We got a lot of great new characters, and some interesting new plot developments. A lot of questions, too. What is going on with Peredur and the Illuminati? Why were Thailog and Shari in Dominique Destine's office on the 3rd? And what were they and Brentwood looking for in Saint Damien's Cathedral on the 6th?
I look forward to learning the answers in the future.

Greg responds...

Glad you liked it. (And believe me, no one is driven more nuts by the errors than I am. Especially since I gave notes about them MONTHS before publishing. In fact, that was the problem. The notes came SO far in advance, that by the time SLG was ready to publish the volume, the notes had been forgotten. <grrrrrrrrrr>)

Response recorded on February 03, 2010

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Tyger writes...

Hey! Loved meeting you at the Gathering these last two days. My sister, however, has a conundrum. She was unable to get the books while we were at Con, and she really wants them signed by you. Is there anyway that, after she gets the books, she could mail them to you (with a self addressed, stamped, return package included, of course), and you could sign them for her?

Greg responds...

I'm afraid, I can't give out my home address to strangers. If you know someone on the constaff and want to mail it to him or her and have him or her mail it to me, then the S.A.S.E. thing works, I suppose.

Response recorded on January 06, 2010


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