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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:
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.
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>)
After over a year's wait, it's over. I finally get to read the final third of the Stone of Destiny story.
* SPOILERS FOLLOW*
I'd done a lot of speculating on what stories about the Stone Shari would tell in this issue, and researched the Stone. Three of the four stories I'd expected made the issue: Edward I's seizing it in 1296, Robert the Bruce giving a piece of it to Cormac Maccarthy which became the Blarney Stone, and the 1950 theft from Westminster Abbey. Not a bad record.
I was also pleased to note that Macbeth (apparently) helped out his fellow Scots at Bannockburn. I'm glad that he remembered his old country, despite all the centuries.
So it seems we're getting a taste of future Coyote developments when Coldsteel remarks that the robot has potential.
We meet Blanchefleur, Duval, and Peredur at last - and I was surprised to discover that Peredur (whom I assume to be the same as Percival; I know that "Peredur" is the Welsh form of Percival's name) is a different person from Duval. You really know how to surprise people; now we'll never take any "canon-in-training" information for granted again! There seem to be quite a few people with missing eyes running about the Gargoyles Universe: Odin (though that's been fixed), Hudson, and Duval - not to mention - but that has to wait for the review of #12....
Xanatos seems a bit less surprised than Macbeth, Arthur, and Peredur over the Stone's remarks (or maybe he's better at hiding it).
I liked all the Stone's titles (including the references to Sisyphus, the Philosopher's Stone, the Rosetta Stone, etc.). You really gave it quite an aura there.
So the Grail's a plain wooden bowl (or at least, takes on the form of a plain wooden bowl) in the Gargoyles Universe, rather than the golden goblet? Though since I've seen other such interpretations of the Grail before, I'm not too astonished. (Having the Grail say something as informal as "Hey", on the other hand - that definitely surprised me.)
So King Arthur wasn't due to awaken for another two hundred years? I can guess now what "Britain's greatest hour of need" was in the Gargoyles Universe.
And I like the touch of Shari launching into the very story we've been reading at the very end.
I really enjoyed the Stone of Destiny story; it incorporated some of my favorite elements of "Gargoyles" (Macbeth, King Arthur, various legends, etc.). Thanks for making it one of the stories in "Clan-Building".
* SPOILERS END *
You're welcome. It was a very rewarding story for me.
"Gargoyles, Clan Building Chapter Nine: The Rock of Ages"
Okay, been sitting on this for over a year, especially after that Radio Play. My thoughts on this one are still kind of jumbled. But I enjoyed it. A lot.
Xanatos attempts another gambit, but, as we soon discovered, it is pointless to try to possess the Stone of Destiny. Although it was very cool to see him try to pull a fast one on the Illuminati. That man has guts.
Great to see Coldstone and Coldfire again. They've both been missed, and the way Coldstone destroyed Coyote was just brutal. Loved it.
And, here we go, the Illuminati. The biggest surprise had to be the identity of their leader. For years Greg kept telling us that Duval was their leader, and that he is Sir Percival. That is no longer accurate. Peredur fag Ragnal is the leader of the Illuminati, the keeper of the Holy Grail, and Peredur is the Welsh version of Percival. Not to mention the Spirit of Destiny referred to Arthur as Peredur's old master. So, if Duval is no longer Percival, then who is he? I have a very strong notion on that, but I'll keep that to myself for now.
As for Duval. I'm not quite sure what I was expecting, but it most certainly was not... that. Granted, this particular arc was full of things I was not expecting. But, Duval as a cyborg? Not at all. I mean, I'd read that he was paying a physical price for his use of the Grail and his... sins. But, this is really not at all what I was expecting. So, at least one of his hands is cybernetic, and his left eye is cybernetic. I already want to see this guy's origin story.
The Stone of Destiny itself... wow... that blows the whole thing wide open. Just one of several thousand vessels for the Spirit of Destiny. And what is the Spirit of Destiny? I think it's something far bigger than any gargoyle, human, or Child of Oberon could comprehend.
So, what was so special about Fox's shoes? Um... they're really nice shoes? But, gotta give Xanatos credit, a shoe box is useful for a bomb scare.
And, as in the Radio Play, my favorite part had to be when the Holy Grail and the Stone of Destiny (real, fake, makes no difference) said hello to each other.
Good story. The art, well, I am so glad that Robby was the colorist, he does good work. Unfortunately, I am still no fan of Hedgecock's pencils. Aw well, the next three issues were visually stunning.
The one question I do have, which sadly isn't answered in this volume is... just how are the Manhattan Clan going to be able to keep living in Xanatos's castle? While Hudson and Lexington weren't his targets, they were still placed in harm's way when Xanatos unleashed Coyote 5.0, Coldsteel, and the rest on them. This is not the sort of thing Goliath would or should take likely.
I think it's par for the course, but we'll all just have to see.
G2008 Radio Play
No, that's not a misprint. Before I post the G2009 Gargoyles/Spectacular Spider-Man crossover radio play, I'm going to post (over the next few days) the G2008 Radio Play. This was a CHRONOLOGICAL adaptation of issues 7-9 of the Gargoyles comic, i.e. the Stone of Destiny three-parter which makes up the first half of the recently released trade paperback, GARGOYLES: CLAN-BUILDING, VOLUME II. Now that the trade is out, I'm okay with posting this. But there are some caveats...
1. Reading this does NOT replace buying the trade. Because...
2. This version of the story doesn't really work, dramatically or otherwise. The story wasn't designed to be told chronologically. It gets somewhat tiresome told in chronological order and the final dramatic moment with the Stone talking to Macbeth, Xanatos, Arthur and Peredur across four time periods has none of it's power.
Nevertheless, here it is... or at any rate, here is the title page, cast list and teaser. I'll post the three chapters over the next three days...
Chapter VII: THE ROCK
Chapter VIII: ROCK & ROLL
Chapter IX: ROCK OF AGES
(Radio Play Edition)
A Chronological Adaptation
(from his SLG comic book scripts)
The Twelfth Annual
Gathering of the Gargoyles
Performed June 28, 2008.
CHAPTER VII: THE ROCK
CHAPTER VIII: ROCK & ROLL
CHAPTER IX: ROCK OF AGESâ
(Radio Play Edition)
1. NARRATOR 86 lines.
2. MACBETH 34 lines.
3. SHARI 22 lines.
4. COLDSTEEL 22 lines.
5. LEXINGTON 21 lines.
6. STONE OF DESTINY 15 lines.
7. HUDSON 13 lines.
8. DAVID XANATOS 13 lines.
9. ARTHUR PENDRAGON 13 lines.
10. CONSTANCE/COCO 12 lines.
11. STAGHART/AMP 9 lines.
12. GRIFF 9 lines.
13. THAILOG 8 lines.
14. COLDSTONE 6 lines.
15. COLDFIRE 5 lines.
16. GOLIATH 5 lines.
17. COYOTE 5.0 5 lines.
18. PEREDUR 4 lines.
19. COLDSTREAM GUARD 4 lines.
20. ELISA MAZA 4 lines.
21. JAY SATO 4 lines.
22. BLANCHEFLEUR 3 lines.
23. CUSTOMS OFFICIAL 3 lines.
24. BROOKLYN 3 lines.
25. DUVAL 2 lines.
26. FOX 2 lines.
27. BROADWAY 2 lines.
28. HOLY GRAIL 1 line.
29. LUNETTE 1 line.
30. VINNIE 1 line.
31. AIRPORT INTERCOM 1 line.
32. OWEN BURNETT 1 line.
33. MAGGIE THE CAT 1 line.
34. TALON 1 line.
35. SCOTTISH PATRIOT 1 line.
CHAPTER VII: THE ROCK
CHAPTER VIII: ROCK & ROLL
CHAPTER IX: ROCK OF AGESâ
ARTHUR, MACBETH, PATRIOT & STONE STAND.
Gargoyles. Clan-Building. SEPTEMBER 29, 500. London.
And as High King, I, Arthur Pendragon, swear by the Stone of Destiny to protect Britain and to serve her people all my daysâ¦
SEPTEMBER 29, 1040. Scone.
And as High King, I swear by the Stone of Destiny to protect Scotland and to serve her people all my daysâ¦
DECEMBER 25, 1950. Westminster Abbey.
All right, lads. Now or--
APRIL 11, 1951, 1:06AM GMT. ARBROATH ABBEY. Macbeth has just finished repairing the Stone of Destiny with epoxy. Thereâs a visible crack, but itâs in one piece.
There. Good as new. You can barely see the--
The stone glows blue. The crack vanishes.
Thank you, Macbeth mac Findlaech, but the effort was pointlessâ¦
ARTHUR, MACBETH, PATRIOT & STONE sit.
Feeling too lazy for my usual 'what I like about this issue' review, and will instead make a page-by-page analysis of Bad Guys #4: Louse. Spoilers abound for whoever's seeing this and doen't have the comic yet.
Great cover. Doesn't really look too much like Fang, but I can let that go.
Page 1: Nice way to open, with Fang going electrical on a Gigantor Bot. Off to a good start.
Page 2: Liking Fang's expression when he says he was trying to run away gracefully, before he saves an annoyed-looking Yama.
Page 3: This is the sequence that I remember most from the BG panel at the Gatherings, when Fang delivers his lines on this page. Loved him blowing on his fists, it was cool. His expression at seeing Yama's lack of gratitude was priceless too.
"Hey, Yama... you're welcome!" Great line. Little non-comic related note: Jim Belushi, in the BG panel, delivered it so well.
Page 4: The transition from Fang's look of surprise to the ferocious snarl of 5 days prior was nicely done.
Page 5: "Doc doesn't care for tourists, sweet cheeks. So how 'bout I send you packing ...in pieces small enough to pack?" Great line. Very Fang-ish. I can actually hear Jim having fun with that bit of dialogue. A little surprised that Robyn is just sitting there, though. Wouldn't the Hunter be kicking his ass by now?
But, Yama steps in, smashing Fang's head into the wall. Nice.
Page 6: Robyn wonders if Fang is a Gargoyles, only to be assured otherwise. She doesn't seem to quite know to make of him here. And then Fang attacks.
Page 7: Poor Dingo, wandering around the sewers. Matrix cracked me up in the first panel.
Page 8: And the doctor is in. Hello again, Sevarius. He's actually one of my favorite villians. Not in the ranks of Thailog or Xanatos, but he is definitely up there. Robyn and Yama are in prison cells...
Page 9:... and, like any good evil doctor/villian/geneticist, he introduces them to their cellmates. Tasha, Erin, Benny, (I surmise those last two were named after your kids) and Thug, as the newest mutates.
"I'm a roly-poly bug." "You're a Pill bug."
Page 10: 'Doc isn't big on shifting into reverse!" Dunno why exactly, but I really liked that line. And Fang, with just a look from Sevarius, simply makes his exit? His relationship with the doc has come a long way since season 2's 'The Cage'. Nice touch having Matrix popping up in that bottom panel. Didn't notice it on my first reading.
Page 11: And Sevarius delivers the coup d'grace. He's made a new virus to make every infected human into a mutate. And guess where? The nicely-drawn crowd in Times Square would be a good target.
Page 12: Robyn actually seems frightened. That's a rarity.
Page 13: And Dingo makes a reapperence for the first time in 6 pages, Matrix armor and all.
Page 14: About time someone put Sevarius in his place. A prison cell. I'm wondering, why didn't they set the new Mutates free? Matrix can unlock cell doors...
Page 15: In regards to my earlier comment about the crowd, yep, they're gonna be mutated and Fang's involved. Loving the cameo by Margot and Brendan.
Page 16: Nice Tri Chang cameo. Dingo's constant reference to Fang as a 'misfit' was amusing.
Page 17: 'Doc and his damn drama.' Nice line, there. Sums up Sevarius perfectly. And here we have Yama attacking Fang. Loved Fang's eye when he tells Yama to 'Eat lightning, Schmuck-o!' And another great line, as well.
Page 18: "What keeps happening?!" Indeed, Dingo. He just can't seem to get his handle on the action. Nice touch having the Eyrie Building, and thus the castle, in the background.
Page 19. Nice touch, having the countdown on Sevarius' timer coinciding with the countdown for the New Year's balldrop. Poor Dingo, Matrix just leaves him like that? Geez. 'You just killed me, you flamin' gullah!' LOL.
Page 20: Matrix absorbing the mutagen at the very last possible second. Fun times. Hunter saves Dingo, but he smacks into the building fact-first. Ouch!
Page 21: Yama helps overpower Fang, and they take him back to the cells. Hunter had to think about saving Dingo? Nice. They get back, only to find...
Page 22: ...Tasha's apprent suicide, (didn't see that coming. It actually disturbed me.) and the mutate kids being comforted by Thug. Fang freezes up a second before he launches into inappropiate-joke-making mode. And of course Yama socks him for it, then tries to decapitate him.
Page 23: Fortunately, Dingo stops him, and I am liking Dingo more and more. He's come a long way from his days with The Pack, and he tells Yama that Fang is not worth it. Fortunately, Fang lightens the mood a bit. 'I'm not! I'm really not!' I liked the artistic work with Fang in that panel, too. And we get another 'whisper mystery'. What did Hunter say to Yama? Yama wouldn't reveal it. Would you, Greg?
Page 24: Robyn actually has someone she addresses as 'Sir'. Huh. Go figure. And Fang officially joins the team at this point. Liked Fang's get-up, (The gun holster was an especially nice touch) and Dingo's expression. And, of course, Yama is not pleased by this development.
End comic. What a great issue. A lot of Fang and Yama action, which is a big thumbs-up from me because I like those guys. Great art, a great story, some great twists, (Tasha's sucide in the cell) and great characterization just made this issue an all-around great comic.
Bring on Gargoyles #9 and BG #5.
Seems like a good time for an update on both trades. All the scripting is done.
Bad Guys Redemption Chapter #5 and Gargoyles Clan-Building Chapter #9 are both completely done.
Karine has completed the roughs for BG#6 and is working on finishes now.
Greg G. has one last page of art to finish on Garg#10. I believe Robby's already begun coloring the book.
New penciller, David Hutchison, has roughed out half of Garg#11 and is working on the second half.
The script for Garg#12 is just awaiting an available artist.
Dan Vado informs me he's planning to release both trades in January.
There seems to be some confusion about where things stand with the comic books, so I'm going to try again to clear things up. The SLG license expired on 8-31-08. That means there will be no more individual comic book issues on either Gargoyles or Bad Guys.
However, SLG does still have the right to put all existing material out in the Trade Paperback format. They are also allowed to include Bonus Material in these trades.
Gargoyles: Clan-Building, Volume One will remain available, and as soon as possible, we will be putting out Gargoyles: Clan-Building, Volume Two and Gargoyles: Bad Guys: Redemption out in trade.
Gargoyles: Clan-Building, Volume Two will include (obviously) Gargoyles issues #7-8, but it will ALSO include what would have been issues #9-12, including the covers, as QUOTE-UNQUOTE Bonus Material. You WILL get to see the end of the Clan-Building arc. Currently, issue #9 is done except for a few minor lettering corrections. Issue #10 is being pencilled as we speak. Issue #11 has been scripted, and we are looking for the right artist to pencil it. Issue #12 is being scripted now. The trade will come out when ALL this material is complete and approved.
The Gargoyles: Bad Guys: Redemption trade will include (obviously) Bad Guys issues #1-4, but it will ALSO include what would have been issues #5-6, including the covers, as QUOTE-UNQUOTE Bonus Material. You will get to see the end of the Redemption limited series. Currently, issue #5 is done except for a few minor art corrections and the lettering. Issue #6 is scripted, and Karine will begin roughing it out shortly. The trade will come out when ALL this material is complete and approved.
Hope that clears things up.
When does issue #9 come out? I can't wait!
It's being colored and lettered now. Should be completely finished by early next week. Then it has to go to Disney for approvals. But I'm still hopeful -- believe it or not -- that it'll be out by the end of the month or early September.
THE BIG BAD NEWS (and a little bit of good news).
As many of you have probably heard, we found out Saturday (7/26/08) at San Diego ComicCon that the GARGOYLES (including BAD GUYS) license will not be renewed after it expires on 8-31-08.
Just to be very, very clear... this is NOT the result of poor sales. GARGOYLES is still one of the best selling book SLG publishes (if not THE best). BAD GUYS doesn't do too badly either by SLG standards. Of course, delays didn't help sales... and there are probably other factors that reduced the upside -- including the writing -- but none of that is the point.
According to SLG's President, Publisher and Owner Dan Vado, the Disney execs told him that the money they were taking in did not justify their administrative costs. So they raised the license renewal fee to a rate that put it beyond SLG's reach. (Dan had hoped to renew both Gargoyles and Haunted Mansion -- though not Tron or Wonderland -- but neither book will now be picked up.)
I don't know what effect recent announcements about Kingdom Comics and Boom! Comics had on this decision. Dan was told one thing had nothing to do with the other. No one at either company has approached me about doing Gargoyles, and I don't know that there will be any interest now that the license is coming to an end.
That's the bad news. But there is a bit of a silver lining.
There will be NO STORY INTERRUPTUS!!
We will finish both GARGOYLES: Clan-Building and BAD GUYS: Redemption. That's the equivalent of seven more issues of material.
BAD GUYS #4 should be out next week. The book is done and has been done for some time. It's been sent to the printers.
GARGOYLES #9 will hopefully be out next month. David is done with the art. All that remains is for Robby to color it and David to letter it -- tasks that both these gentlemen have proven able to do with great speed.
Whether or not the remaining issues (BAD GUYS #5-6 and GARGOYLES #10-12) are published as individual issues is a bit up in the air. BAD GUYS #5 and GARGOYLES #10 have decent (if long) shots at getting out in time. But whatever doesn't get out as individual issues will still be scripted, drawn, colored or toned, lettered and published as "BONUS MATERIAL" in individual trade paperbacks that will collect GARGOYLES: Clan-Building Volume II and BAD GUYS: Redemption. And these compilations WILL come out! There's still a lot of work to be done. (Personally, I still need to script Gargoyles #11-12.) So I WON'T take this moment to thank everyone and say au revoir. That'll come later. For now, we're still a going concern.
In addition, Dan hasn 't given up on us. He wants to put out these two new trades and keep all three trades available for sale (and btw we sold a bunch of the trades at ComicCon -- when I left Sunday at 1pm, hours before close of con, we only had a handful of Clan-Building Volume I left to sell). After a year, he hopes to go back to Disney with a different, perhaps more modest offer to do Gargoyles Graphic Novels. Might work out. Might not. But he's still game and just in case it isn't 100% clear...
GREG WEISMAN HAS NOT GIVEN UP!!!!!!!!!!
I'm as determined as ever -- if not moreso -- to continue bringing you canon Gargoyles stories. The eighteen issues we've done/are doing have only whetted my appetite! I'm still going to be out here swinging... for more comics or graphic novels, for the DVD releases, for a live action film, etc. But I can't do it alone! So please don't you guys give up on Gargoyles either!
Remember, a few years ago, we didn't even have this. In that time, we will have brought you two big arcs, six big stories, eighteen "episodes" and numerous sub-plots, plot-twists, new characters and old familiar favorites. Would we have Shari, Quincy, Coco, Amp, etc. if the fans haven't kept the faith?! No. Would we grok the Illuminati number system?! No. Would we have seen Goliath and Elisa declare their love?! NOPE!!! (Oh, and for those of you who wish Demona could have figured more prominently in the comic... well, guys do you really think I'd do a twelve issue re-introductory story arc in Gargoyles without prominently including the crazy red head? Please.)
So what can YOU do? Well, nothing's changed on that front, really. We still need people to buy comics, trades, DVDs, HOT TOPIC T-Shirts. We still need people to attend the GATHERING. (Check out www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com ) And whether or not you've spent all the disposable income you have to spend on the property, then help us SPREAD THE WORD!!!! Make sure every gargoyle fan knows about what's out there. Show friends the first 39 episodes on DVD. Lend them the comics or trades. Create converts.
And mostly... just keep the faith.
"I have waited three months for this moment...And it was worth the wait." Gargoyles #8 "Rock and Roll" really does just that. ROCKS AND ROLLS! We learn so much about the London Clan, which was always my favorite clan, (and Knight's Spur, their estate, this clan has really strong ties to Arthur) Whoa! 196 members strong (or not so strong considering their form of Birth Control) with 25 to hatch in 2 years. I can't say for sure, but I believe that that is more than we saw in Japan, which makes the London Clan the strongest known clan. I wonder if other clans (Like Ishimura and Loch Ness) have similar breeding policies...hmmm No beasts though, that surprised me, as I figured Barghests, Grims, and other spectors were London beasts run amuk. Old Pog (Who looks cool as a Hypogriff type gargoyle) is prolly Griff's Biological father, (sorry, it's the human in me) and his staff having turned to stone with him was a nice touch, and cute little Lunette was obviously Leo and Una's Daughter. Cool.
Then there's Shari, who contradicts what she said last time (and nullifies my last review with my comments on Egypt, oh well now I feel "electric" sheepish.) "All things are true, few things are accurate." So which story is accurate? The first,second, both, or neither? And of course we've also got Cu Cullain, Carbonek, Moses, Jeremiah, Pelles, and not to mention Merlin. Major props for Merlin's design, very different from his stereotypical look, and very cool. (Ironicly Disney is primarily responsible for his look and Disney's Gargoyles is a sharp contrast I like it!) Plus the whole St. Columba story is just plain cool.
Let's give it up for Constance and Staghart, two very cool new gargs, I shall call them Coco and Amp. :) Do I sense something between Lex and Amp?
Arthur and Macbeth become better acquainted, and begin a friendship, and cement an alliance too. Nightstone? Thailog owns Starbucks?
And the meat of this story...tasty meat too. A battle with Lex, Hudson, Griff, Amp, Coco, Mac, and Arthur Vs. Coldsteel, Coyote 5.0, a Steel Clan Robot, and an Iron Clan robot. (Yes I caught that!!! You don't waste anything!) Naturally the Steel and Iron Clan robots are the first to go, and I'm sure Coyote is next. It remains to be seen weather Coldsteel will "live" or not. Coco's mid-air summersault was very cool as well. Dare I say it, but David Hedgecock's art has improved to the point where I actually love it! He has done a fantastic job, and Bevard's coloring is Phenominal.
And just when the chips are down and it looks as though Hudson is going to be dismembered, who should arrive but Coldstone and Coldfire. Time to Really Rock and Roll. I absolutely cannot wait for Gargoyles #9 there's just so much good stuff packed in here. Let's Rock and Roll. "Anyone order up the kitchen sink?"
Wow. NOW THAT'S THE KIND OF ENTHUSIASM I LIKE TO SEE!!!
Based on the information you shared with us on Monday, February 11, 2008, I compiled the list below for my website. Would you say the list below is accurate on the potential release dates for the future comics of Gargoyles? If not, what dates should I change? Thank you.
Bad Guys #2
Bad Guys #3
Bad Guys #4
Bad Guys #5
Bad Guys #6
It's as accurate as anything I guess. We're still waiting on Disney to approve G#8 and BG#2. They're both done.
Bad Guys #3 is fully penciled and inked. It's being finished and lettered.
Gargoyles #9 and Bad Guys #4 are both being pencilled now.
Gargoyles #10 is being scripted.
That's where things currently stand.