A Station Eight Fan Web Site
I know this isn't a forum, but I would like to respond to another poster who asked if Demona was ticklish by saying:
Would you really want to find out?:)
I'm not touching this one (or her).
Been a long while since I've asked you anything here. I hope things are well with you. Sounds like you're busy these days and I'm glad to hear it.
I'm writing to ask you about Gargoyles. It's crazy to think that the property is approaching its 25th year. And very cool to think that "in-universe" Artus and other gargoyles around the world are less than a year away from hatching!
But what I'm writing about is the future of Gargoyles on television, in comics, novels, etc. It feels like the last few years have been very quiet for Gargoyles. The last Gathering is nearly a decade behind us. We've had no new material in even longer. Revisions on GargWiki only trickle in these days. Gargoyles fan sites are steadily being abandoned or dying. Even Ask Greg is far more of a Young Justice site these days. The Comment Room is pretty quiet, a shadow of what it was when I first discovered it over 17 years ago. And we fans are slowly growing older. And with all of these disheartening facts, I'm beginning to lose hope in new Gargoyles material from here on out.
It's hard for me to even admit that. I can remember getting very fired up and launching into pep talks when others would express similar thoughts over the years. Maybe I'm writing this in hopes of getting a pep talk myself. I don't know. Really, I just want to know what your thoughts on the future of Gargoyles is. Good or bad, I'd just like to hear it from the man himself.
Let me be clear: I'm not asking if you've given up on the property. I know that you have never failed to look for an outlet to tell your stories and I know that if you were given a chance you'd happily tell those stories in any medium. I'm just curious about your personal and professional opinion on any future Gargoyles products.
I will always be a fan. I will always love the stories you've told us. I will always have some hope that more stories will be told and I'll be quick to support the property if/when that happens. I'm just feeling like Gargoyles is all in the past. Honestly, am I right? Or am I just being dramatic? And if Gargoyles does have a chance in the future, what can we do to help it along after all these years?
Thanks, Greg. You rock. Thanks for everything!
You're just being dramatic. Which doesn't mean you aren't also right. Which doesn't mean there isn't hope. Confused yet?
Here's a hard truth: Disney bought Marvel and Lucasfilm. Why take a chance on a 25-year-old action property that (to their mind) has an aging/shrinking fanbase when you can exploit sure things like Star Wars and Spider-Man?
That's the big hump right now.
In addition, comic book publishing of Disney's licensed properties has been in disarray. As I'm sure you've noticed, we made some progress with Joe Books... and then it all fell apart. We're now waiting for Joe's license to lapse and are hopeful -actually hopeful - that we can make new comics happen with a new publisher. [Name of new publisher being withheld for now until a deal is made.]
So, no, of course I haven't given up. Gargoyles is my baby, and I'll never give up on it. I hope the fans won't either, but I understand there isn't much new to talk about these days, so it's natural that interest wanes. But I hope if and when there is something new to talk about, the fans will help me launch a campaign to get that new stuff noticed.
I truly believe that our best bet right now is, in fact, comic books. I can tell original canon stories (with little or no interference), and then we can use the comics to demonstrate that the property is still viable, just as we used Netflix to prove that Young Justice was still viable.
I'm also hopeful that once Disney has its own version of Netflix up and running in 2019 (just in time for our 25th Anniversary), that they'll put Gargoyles up there for streaming. Then we can begin a #KeepBingingGargoyles campaign, and who knows what might happen?!
Meanwhile, though it's true we haven't had an official Gathering since 2009, we did have a Gargoyles-convention-within-a-convention that was VERY successful at CONvergence in 2014 in Minneapolis, honoring the show's 20th anniversary. We did all the old Gathering stuff: showed the videos, multiple panels on the subject (including the biology/cultural panel), an original Gargoyles Radio Play, and we had Marina Sirtis, Frank Paur & Greg Guler there, as well. Many old Gargoyles fans showed up, and we had a blast. http://www.convergence-con.org/about/archive/2014-convention/
I'll be back at CONvergence in July of 2018, and although it won't be a full-on Gargoyles convention-within-a-convention again, we will do a Radio Play, and I always do at least one Gargoyles panel.
Plus, I've been talking with a venue to do another Garg-con-within-a-con to celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2019. I'll keep you posted here, but you should think about attending. It'll get the juices flowing.
So, no, don't despair. I'm always pretty upfront about the likelihood of anything happening, and right now it's a bit slim. But down the road, I still see a lot of potential. Stick with us!
Hello Mr. Weisman, let me just start by saying that Gargoyles is now My #1 favorite Disney Series, and I've gotten and read the first 6 issues of the Clan Building Comic books and the 4 first issues of the 'Bad Guys' Comic Books, and here are 2 questions that I do have
1. Do you have any general comment to all of the Fans out there Who make Fan Art and/or Write Fan Fictions about 'Gargoyles', or any cartoon show you created?
2. What general advice would you give to a Fan who writing a Fan Fiction about 'Gargoyles'?
1. Not sure what you're looking for. Um... Go for it!
2. I don't read any fanfiction to protect myself legally. So I'm hardly an expert with advice and the like. So... try to be true to the characters, I guess?
Happy belated holidays. This is more of a ramble of sorts in regards to Gargoyles. Now me personally I'm more of a superhero fan which is why I like Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice better but Gargoyles is still a blast to watch. Going through the archive and watching a couple episodes of Gargoyles, it's easy to see that you put a LOT of thought and passion into it in regards to crafting the Gargoyles mythos. I'm assuming that since it is more or less an original work out of your head and other writers of the show, you probably had a real blast in writing it. The rambles you wrote on how the episodes came together and whatnot were really entertaining to read. Probably my two favorite parts of the show were the Third Race and the Gargoyles interpretation of Arthurian lore. Weaving so many mythologies and folklore under one umbrella was a pretty neat idea. And I had no idea that the island of Avalon came from the legends of Arthur. I know Disney is in control of the property but if they ever give SLG (I think that's the company) the license again I would read it in a heartbeat. You both implied in the show and outright stated so many interesting things about the future of where you going to take the stories that my interest is beyond piqued. Thanks for reading this and hope it didn't waste your time or anything.
Thanks for the kind words. We always thought we were working firmly in the super-hero genre - bastard genre though it is - in our storytelling, just minus the trappings (capes, tights, etc.). Glad the show's working for you. Obviously, I'd recommend watching all 65 episodes of the first two seasons in order, followed by the eighteen existing issues of the SLG comic book series.
And, yes, we're all hopeful that the comic will come back sooner than later.
What websites do you usually look at when you want to see the fandom's reaction to something?
I actually try NOT to do that at all. It makes me a bit crazy. One loves the praise and hates the haters, but if one values the praise, then one must place value on the hate. So I've learned the hard way - believe me - that I'm better off NOT. Just not.
Once in a blue moon, I can't resist however. But there's no set place I go. Just what I stumble upon, usually, that I don't have the willpower to click away from.
Well, my first thought in reading the first sentence was: "how completely obnoxious." And it only gets worse from there.
Look, no one has to like Gargoyles or appreciate it. But the writer makes all sorts of false assumptions about the MAKING of the show and the INTENT of those creating it. That's annoying to me.
See, I'm a HUGE fan of Batman, the Animated Series, and I have always openly admitted that the fact BTAS was successful gave Disney the courage to put Gargoyles on the air. But the assumption that we were chasing it, content-wise, is just wrong. So the idea that we were trying to emulate it and somehow blew it is ridiculous.
But in the end, to each his or her own. This review doesn't change my opinion. And if it had praised the series unrelentingly - that is, if it had praised something that I didn't feel deserved praise - it still wouldn't change my opinion of the series. My take: it's not perfect, but I'm extremely proud of the work we did.
Frankly, though, I'm not sure why you felt the need to bring this review to my attention. Is it fun to piss me off? Cuz it ain't fun to be pissed off.
I have a comment, and a question.
1. I hope you never have trouble finding work, your writing is quite inspiring. I just rewatched and, with great difficulty, reread the comics (hard to find them without paying a month's rent). It's nice to remember why I loved it so much as a kid, and find a lot more to fall in love with, like how I -never- even noticed 'David and Goliath' before.
2. Would you ever consider Kickstarter or Fig in order to get fundage to be able to work on Gargoyles more in some way?
1. Thank you. I have had trouble finding work at times, but that's the business I chose.
2. I can't crowd-fund something I don't own. And I don't own Gargoyles.
I'm way behind reading Ask Greg so I can't comment on anything current except this: Just showed my 7 year old her first episode of Gargoyles. (Also her almost 4 year old sister: My big one was willing to wait till seven, but not until we found a time my little one wasn't watching too, so she agreed to let her sister come into her bed if she woke up scared. I'm not being overprotective; she's crawled into my lap on Sofia the First episodes.) No big surprise, but they loved it. They begged to watch the second episode past bedtime because of the cliffhanger. (I would have caved had Awakenings been just a two parter.) It was pretty fascinating to keep my mouth shut and see them guess who was a good guy and who was a bad one.
You have made my day!
Today I was reflecting on a few instances in my life where I had to make difficult choices: the easy road or the right road. I can specifically remember thinking about integrity in those moments, thinking about Renaud's "What have I become?" versus Demona's "What have they done..." Ultimately, despite the difficulties, I tended to do the right thing and tell the truth, both to myself and to others. In one case, this resulted in me being fired from a job.
The reason I'm telling you this is that, while I had some excellent role models growing up who showed me integrity, it would be unfair to say that Gargoyles didn't have a strong influence in my youth that would lead me to become the man I am today. I am now a teacher of elementary school students and see many young people with and without strong moral role models. In either case, it is clear to me that they are very influenced by the movies, TV shows, celebrities and social media in their lives. And it is my hope that mixed into all the stimuli they are receiving the kind of moral reinforcement that I had in Gargoyles. I am very grateful to you and your peers for creating a program that I not only wanted to watch, but that made me a better person. There is a lot of red tape that goes into public school education, and I know that in your field there is a lot of that too. But I wanted to encourage you to remember the impact you can have on young people. It is not all about ratings and toy sales and demographics. You have the power to guide the adults of tomorrow. You certainly helped to guide me.
Keep up the great work! And thank you from a lifelong fan.
You just made my day. Thank you.
Hello, Mr. Weisman.
I've been rewatching some episodes of "Gargoyles" and reading some of your ramblings about the show, and I had a couple of interesting thoughts about the Pack:
The two most human members of the Pack, Fox and Dingo, are also the first to break off from the group. Fox basically ditched them as soon as Coyote entered the picture; she'll manipulate or work with her former co-stars if the mood strikes, sure, but otherwise, she's pretty much done with them. Dingo took a bit longer, but he left as well, and he also seems to be pretty much done with the Pack, apart from working for Fox in "Walkabout".
On a similar note, Fox and Dingo are also the only ones out of the Pack to have had their real names (or, in Fox's case, her birth name) revealed. They go by Fox and Dingo, but they were born Janine Renard and Harry Monmouth.
Contrast the others: long after Fox and Dingo have (mostly) gone straight, Wolf, Jackal, and Hyena continue a life of crime. On top of that, we have no other names by which to identify them (although, for some reason, I keep thinking that Wolf's first name is something like "Thomas"; probably just getting a little mixed-up with one of Clancy Brown's other roles on the show). They're the ones who discard their humanity for an extra edge. Unlike Fox and Dingo, who are people with vague beastly motifs, Wolf, Hyena, and Jackal are beasts in human skin (metaphorically speaking). We know them by no other names because they need no others. What their parents called them is irrelevant. Not only that, but they stayed together as a team up until Egypt (and will eventually reunite under Coyote as the Ultra-Pack). The beasts stayed a Pack, and the people set off on their own.
One last remark on the Pack's chosen names: Fox's and Dingo's mirror their heritages ("Renard" is French for "fox", and Dingo's Australian), while the other members have names that reflect who they are (Wolf was always a huge, growling brute, Hyena's a cackling killer, Jackal's amoral). Fox and Dingo CHOSE their names; Wolf, Hyena, and Jackal already WERE their names.
So, what do you think? Is this little analysis accurate at all (I could be way off, or reading too much into it; you, sir, would, of course know better than I would)?
In conclusion, thank you for taking the time to read this, and have a good day, Mr. Weisman.
I like it!!
I'm guessing you're a fan of Star Trek? Anyways, you're the man. Gargoyles kicks butt.
1. I am.
2. I like to think so.
I just wanted to write and just give you some thanks for some of the great shows you have helped create, Greg.
Young Justice I enjoyed thoroughly, though I am more a fan of the first season than the second; I like fewer characters and more characterization as opposed to detailed plots just as a personal preference. I will also say I was not a fan of how Wally West was handled but I am sure you have heard your share of them. I will just say that the Wally of the comics and the Wally of Young Justice seemed to be entirely different characters which seemed a shame to me, given all that could have been done with him. He had such a rich comic book history that I really do not understand why more was not done with it but that is your creative decision. Just not my cup of tea.
I adored your version of Dick Grayson however. He was competent without being overly skilled; he suffered under pressure but learned from what he was exposed to. His relationship with Wally in Season 1 was one of my all time favorites. Thanks for the great run!
Secondly, I could not write you without mentioning Gargoyles. I mean, wow. I think I was in fifth or sixth grade when I first caught it on the air. I just remember being deeply enthralled with it. I thought Elisa was an awesome character, as I did not see a whole lot of strong female leads back then and she was definitely that. I also adored the interesting family background you gave her. So often, characters fall into the stereotypical white, black, etc and she brilliantly avoided those.
I also firmly owe you thanks for igniting my interest in Shakespeare. I remember that I saw "City of Stone" when we were having to pick plays and such to read/analyze for school and after seeing that awesome four parter, I went right to my English teacher and asked if I could read MacBeth. It is still my favorite of the Bard's works.
The characterization of Demona was incredible. Most villains are so one dimensional but all the villains of Gargoyles were so well fleshed out. I am a creative writer myself and working on my first work to aim towards publication and I definitely count Gargoyles among my top inspiration for how to do characterization. To this day, I will tell people if they want to see a well fleshed out villain, go watch Demona from Gargoyles. I honestly would rank her about equal to Gollum from "Lord of the Rings." She can be diabolical, sneaky, cruel and yet you can totally see why she would have turned out that way and I can switch very easily from feeling such anger at her to feeling overwhelming pity. Bravo, my good Sir!
Thanks. Always nice to have the work thoughtfully appreciated.
Since your famous show was on the blog, I figured I could watch the pilot episode of Gargoyles for the first time.
Enjoyed it. I had some questions about who was the hooded traitor, but I feel the twist with the Captain's betrayal will soon get resolved.
Keep up the good work, even though this episode was made 20 years ago. Wow, that's a long time ago...
Yes, yes it is. But we're always glad to have new viewers. Keep up the good watching.
Greg Weisman: "I'd like to see a music video from Goliath's POV -- but featuring Elisa -- of "Amazing".
As per request:
I hope it's the right "Amazing." Thank you for your time and the suggestion.
I'll be honest, I don't actually remember asking for this, so I'm not sure if it's the "Amazing" I was thinking of, but boy it's perfect, isn't it? Anyway, whether or not I was smart to suggest it, you did a fantastic job.
I don't really have a question, but I want to thank you...
I am currently 17, and some of the best memories of my childhood involve your shows. I pitty those who will never know the joys of shows like Gargoyles... I know you get hundreds of messages saying this, but thank you, and I miss your work. You are a genious!
Thanks. (But I'm hoping you have no one to pity, because everyone's buying DVDs. Right? Right?)
ASK GREG LIVE! - WONDERCON 2013 REPORT
First, a little background. I'm going to quote a section from the introduction I made to to Station 8 Comment Room, waaaaaay back in July 2010:
"Given that I was three when Season 1 of 'Gargoyles' first began airing, I was obviously quite outside the target audience at that point, and if I watched any of the episodes on first airing I definitely don't remember them. Rather, my first clear memories of 'Gargoyles' were watching it during the late 90s when Toon Disney was first starting up. This produced some interesting experiences; for example, I never saw and indeed never even had a clue that 'Deadly Force' existed until Toon Disney started airing it again in 2002 or so.
At the time that I first was watching this show voraciously it was amongst a litany of dozens of other cartoons, some well-written ('Batman: The Animated Series,' 'Darkwing Duck,' etc.) and some...well, not so much (here's looking at you, 'Captain Planet'). To an eight year-old, there was little differentiation between the relative qualities of these shows, and it was not until a few years on that I really began to appreciate what a true gem 'Gargoyles' was.
I'm not entirely sure when my perspective changed, though it might have had something to do with the aforementioned first viewing of 'Deadly Force.' By this point I was a pre-teen, and old enough to understand the basics of S+P...so to see one of the protagonists shoot another one in the chest accidentally, nearly causing her to die was an absolute revelation to me. Around this time I began watching the entire series with new eyes, and what I saw astounded me.
The depth, the complexity, the characterization was unlike anything else I had ever seen on the small screen, live-action or animated. The little things that escaped me on the first, second, or even tenth viewing (yes, I watched a LOT of Toon Disney) suddenly rared to life and showed me how amazing this show was, is, and always will be. Everything from the sheer emotion that Tony Shalhoub brought to the show's single greatest cameo role to the little nuances about Lexington that made me think, 'Oh, of course!' when I learned that Greg considered him to be homosexual all became clear to me, and clearer and clearer with each viewing.
'Gargoyles' did much for me over the years. To take a particular example, when I first began really reading Shakespeare during mandatory reading times in high school, I went with 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' then 'Macbeth,' and then, after the obvious 'Hamlet,' moving to 'Othello.' It shouldn't take too many guesses to figure out what attracted me to those plays specifically.
I have many obsessions in my life, some that have faded and some that have stayed with me forever. 'Gargoyles' stayed with me forever, and by the time I was about 13 or so it overtook virtually all of my other obsessions to become forefront in my fiction-dominated mind. I began searching around the internet for various little tidbits and behind-the-scenes stuff, and was blown away when I first discovered Greg's Master Plan. That someone could have so intricately designed such a massive and complex fictional universe intrigued me to no end...particularly 'Bad Guys,' since Dingo was at the time my favorite character.
On one of my frequent revisitings of the Master Plan in 2004, I ended up clicking around some links that brought me to the FAQ...and consequently to AskGreg. If the Master Plan had blown me away, then this site caused my mind to spontaneously combust. So many hints and clues to what the future might hold for the series, should Disney allow it to somehow continue...straight from the mouth of the creator himself! In all the years since that I've been up and around the world wide web, never have I again seen such a direct, easy-to-access method of communication to the artist behind such a masterful work.
Over the years, I have read virtually every single post in the AskGreg archives, some of them several dozen times. It is one of the websites that I frequent several times a day without fail, and I have gained an uncountable amount of enrichment from reading it constantly. It was through this site that I first learned of the DVDs and comics, all of which I purchased as soon as I could possibly get my hands on them, and of the Gathering, the scope of which shocked and awed me.
One of my greatest regrets is that I was never able to attend one of these amazing events; convincing your parents to let you fly out of Hawaii to the mainland for a convention on a 90s cartoon isn't the easiest thing in the world. And although I WAS actually in town for the final one, Gathering 2009 happened to fall on the EXACT same weekend as my college orientation. If the Gathering had been just one week later, or my introduction to Pomona College just one week sooner...but I guess it's pointless to deal with hypotheticals.
In any event, my praise goes out to all of you unbelievably dedicated individuals who kept it alive for so long. If ever you are able to arrange some sort of smaller event in the future, you have my word that I will attend.
AskGreg also gave the chance to really get to know Greg Weisman (or at least, as much as this is possible without real-world contact), and he is currently one of my absolute greatest heroes in all of entertainment. I am not using hyperbole when I declare him to be the single most talented writer in animation history, and in my mind absolutely anything he touches turns to solid gold. I avidly watched 'W.I.T.C.H.,' 'The Spectacular Spider-Man,' and the various episodes he freelanced for favorite shows of mine like 'The Batman,' 'Kim Possible,' and 'Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!'...many of which turned out to be some of the best in their respective series. And I wait with bated breath (and fanboyish panting) for 'Young Justice.' Spider-Man is my favorite Marvel superhero and DC is my favorite comic book universe...so to have Greg interpret both with his usual flair for complex, multi-layered story arcs and deeply involved character development has left me positively salivating."
Now, as you can probably tell from these words, this was a moment I've been waiting on for nearly 10 years. So as you might expect, I was...anxious. Despite my personal contact with Greg over the past couple years due to my moderating duties here, as well as friends who had met him previously who assured me that he was a really nice guy in-person, I was still a little worried I'd screw this up somehow.
Thankfully, ASK GREG LIVE! turned out to be a great experience, and truly the highlight of the weekend. There was somewhere between 15-20 guests in attendance, including myself, my girlfriend, and Blaise (whom it was awesome to meet in person). Kudos to Matthew for holding up the event sign for over an hour, and to whoever it was that cosplayed as Batgirl.
We pretty much just jumped straight into an hour-and-a-half of questions, which I hope I didn't hog too many of. A few highlights from the revelations presented therein:
- Following the Season 1 finale, Vandal immediately called up Hugo Strange and told him, "Open all the doors." Which explains a lot. Now, Greg W. ALSO said that by Team Year Five, Belle Reve was fairly full again...but at least it explains why so many imprisoned villains were walking the streets again in Season 2.
- The Joker was originally considered to appear in "Auld Acquaintance," controlling the Justice League. But for a variety of reasons (mainly budgetary; they needed Klarion anyway for the "magic stuff"), they switched him out for Klarion.
- Greg also responded to my question about whether the Joker of Earth-16 knows he's in a cartoon show by saying, "I think he's crazy enough to believe that, even if he's NOT."
- Lieutenant and Sergeant Marvel were originally considered to be on the Team in Season 2. But with only 20 episodes, several intended arcs were cut or reworked to have occurred during the Time Skip: a Marvel Family arc, a Red Tornado arc, and a Zatanna arc. With nothing to do anymore, Mary and Freddy were slotted into the Time Skip.
- He hinted pretty damn strongly that we'll be hearing more about "poor, disgraced Ocean-Master." Presumably in "Legacy," which I am personally excited as all hell for.
- Clone!Roy, post-"Satisfaction," is a stay-at-home-dad. For the most part. He and Cheshire are "trying to make it work," to the degree that people like them can.
- I asked if working on YJ had made him give more thought to who the 16 Sixteens in the Illuminati are. He basically said, "not really," while adding that he's got most of the major players in the Illuminati pretty well figured out, and has for a while. Which isn't to say he doesn't leave a fair few slots open for moments of epiphany.
- Darkseid has been the Light's silent partner since Season 1. Which most of us had assumed, but it's nice to have firm confirmation.
- Victor Cook did a fly-by. No time for questions, just said hi and name-dropped "Mecha-Nation." But still...really cool.
- He described Jason Spisak's last recording with them. Jason came up afterward and said that it was rare for an actor to be able to end his role on such a great, final note, "instead of just flying off into the sunset, with no one having any idea if you survive or not." Having now seen "Dark Matter," Greg believes that may have been coded snark.
- Oh, and surprising no one with a head on their shoulders...Greg disproved the rumor that DC wanted Wally killed off because of the New 52. Though it WAS amusing to hear him call those rumors, and I quote: "Complete horse"...baloney.
- He said he's deliberately keeping mum on "Rain of the Ghosts" until he knows if his publisher is doing any advertising. If they don't, he may start teasing some plot tidbits on Ask Greg.
- He talked a bit about availability issues...about how it came to be that Wentworth, Kittie, and George were replaced toward the end of the season. Just a whole lot of REALLY bad luck regarding other projects. But he also revealed the replacement that almost was...if it wasn't for the fact that no one on Earth could do an impression that did justice to him.
That's right...they once almost lost Tim Curry.
He was shooting something or another toward the middle of the season. They simply could not get him before the episodes had to ship. So what they did...was Greg recorded the lines. Taaaaaaaaalking liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis sooooooooooo thaaaaaaaaat theeeeeeeey cooooooould AAAAAAADR iiiiiiiiiiiit aaaaaaaaafteeeeeeer theeeeeeey reeeeeetuuuuuuurned froooooooom ooooooverseeeeeeeeeeas.
Which they would NEVER do otherwise. For no one but Tim Curry. Greg had to do a bunch of takes, because Jamie kept having to stop him and shout, "SLOWER!" Needed the mouth movements SO exaggerated that no one would notice it was ADR'ed. Which I don't think anyone did.
- I think those are all the big revelations, but there was lots of real fun little stuff on Greg's writing process, the backroom thinking that went into Darkseid's cameo, and Greg's hopes for the future. As he said at one point, "I still haven't given up on Gargoyles, and that's going on 20 years at this point! Why would I give up on a series that ended THIS month?"
Beyond that, it was just an incredible experience to be in the presence of the guy - to hear him speak, to ask questions (even utterly silly ones) directly answered to our faces, to shake hands, and to be personally thanked for my years of hard work on Ask Greg...which, needless to say, was incredibly gratifying.
The atmosphere was great - casual, friendly, and with no pressure on either the askers or on Greg. We chatted, we laughed, and we got to hear Greg at his absolute "frankest." Which is to say, a little...off-color. And oh it was glorious.
At my request, we also did an impromptu signing at the end; I got my Clan-Building Volume 1 trade, my SpecSpidey Season 1 DVD, my Young Justice Volume 1 trade, a Captain Atom comic, and the essay I wrote for Contemporary Political Theory last semester (and submitted to Ask Greg afterward) signed, and pretty much geekgasmed into the floor. SOOOOO utterly wonderful.
[If you want to see pics of said signed stuff and/or other stuff I snagged at the Con, you can go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/94547312@N04/sets/72157633137324644/with/8608204054/].
We also got to chat a bit privately, which was of course very good fun. And he even indulged my stupid, silly, obsessive request...to pose with my Fluttershy toy and say, "Fluttershy is best pony." His response was golden, too.
Greg: I have no idea what that means.
Me: I didn't expect you to.
Greg: Nah, what I mean is, am I saying something that will get a thousand angry bronies coming after me?
Me: No, most bronies tend to agree that Fluttershy is best pony, anyway.
Unfortunately, my girlfriend's phone appears to have recorded only the first second of the line. But I still posted it to YouTube because the image is gold:
Overall, my first in-person meeting with Greg Weisman proved to be everything I was hoping for it to be, and more. He's a massively cool guy who doesn't operate on any pretense; he is what he is, and what he is is a genius at writing/interpreting fiction.
It was truly an honor to spend that time with him, and I very much hope it won't be the last.
Greg Weisman, you rock (woo-hoo!). Don't let anybody tell you different. Because this kind of treatment of your fans makes me truly proud to be involved with helping out here.
Thank you for ASK GREG LIVE!
Thank you for all the wonderful shows you've brought us over the years.
And thank you for never giving up hope. I await "Rain of the Ghosts" with bated breath, and I can't wait to here the announcement when you get your next television gig.
Because it's coming. And I look forward to watching the hell out of that show, whenever it comes.
Wow. Dude, do you really want to stoke my ego THAT MUCH?
Anyway, it was great meeting you too. You're contribution to Ask Greg has been invaluable.
I hope you're thinking about coming to ConVergence this July for the Gargoyles Reunion convention within a convention. More details on that should be forthcoming this month.
Years ago in a long ramble (http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?rid=225), I mentioned that: "I'd like to see a music video featuring Demona to Dido's'White Flag.'"
Well, NeillGargoyle found that obscure request and posted this:
Pretty much exactly what I had in mind!
Now if someone would just do this one: "I'd like to see a music video from Goliath's POV -- but featuring Elisa -- of "Amazing". (I think that's the title. I'm not sure who the artist or band is.)"
Hello Mr Weisman,
I just wanted to thank you for your amazing work. I really hate to see Young Justice over so soon but loved every minute of it as a huge comic fan.
I also loved Gargoyles. My mom and I used to watch it together all the time. We loved the series from start to finish. My mom died a few years back and when I really miss her, I watch Gargoyles. Even after all this time I can still remember her comments on her favorite episodes and it's very comforting to have that to fall back on. I don't think I'm explaining myself well, but thank you for giving us something we could enjoy so much together, and something to help me remember her with. I look forward to your next projects.
Kris, my condolences for the loss of your mother. And thank you for such kind words. You could hardly have paid me a nicer compliment, and I truly appreciate it.
An attempt at alliteration.
Alice asked "And aliens are attacking? "
"Aye." Articulated Andrew "Asia, America and Australia are annihilated."
Astounded, Alice approached an alcove as Andrew advanced.
"Assaulted as an apparition approached." Andrew answered.
"Appearing as?" asked Alice annoyed.
"Ant's, antlers, and arms amalgamated."
"Aye, Alice. An abomination, absurd, appalling and approaching."
Angrily Alice answered, "As always Andrew, Anonymous' annoying artifice as absurd as…"
"Ain't artifice, Alice." Andrew answered, "Article's accredited and authority approved."
"Aha! All authorized article are a__" Alice added acidly "And another airhead against acknowledging actuality approves absurdity again!"
Annoyed, Andrew absconded.
As an affiliate, Andrew acquiesced an alternate angle and amusedly appraised another acclaimed article about an author annoying an audience at an auditorium, apparently articulating asinine abstractions abundantly as animatronics animated and artificially attempted an aria affronted an attendant.
"Alice's always abrogating and annulling aberrations." Andrew accounted ambulating amongst an alley, again approaching Alice's abode.
Awakened and activated at Alice's anguished articulation; Andrew approached an alarming appearance and aspired. An aliens arm arrested Alice against an archway.
Attempting an assault at an abdomen as Andrew appraised, an appendage altered and abated Andrews advancing attack. Astounded at an accelerated adaptation, Andrew arsled away, aimed an armament and applied an alternate approach.
Appearing accomplished, Andrew articulated again. "Ain't artifice Alice."
Astonished Alice answered, "Well, do you freaking blame me?"
(backs away slowly...)
Which fandom do you honestly appreciate the most:
1- Gargoyles fans
2- Spectacular Spider-Man fans
3- Young Justice fans
4- Greg Weisman fans
See, now, the Hulk is more powerful because the madder he gets, the stronger he gets. But the Thing can still beat him if he keeps his wits about him.
Hey Greg! Hope that you're doing well, and that the holiday season is treating/did treat (depending on when you read this) your family happily.
What follows is a paper I recently submitted to my Contemporary Political Theory class at Pomona College, interrelating several of the concepts from the book we discussed that week ("You Are Not a Gadget" by Jaron Lanier) with the notion of namelessness in traditional gargoyle culture.
My professor (unfamiliar with the show, but very intrigued when I explained it to her) really got a kick out of the piece, and I earned a more-or-less "A-" equivalent for it. But as long as I've got it sitting around, I figured you might enjoy giving it a read as well.
[NOTE: You may want to review this post you made on Ask Greg in 2004 beforehand, as it is cited frequently: http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?rid=387].
Now, without further ado, the essay. It has been edited from the submitted version only by rearranging paragraph breaks...
The 1994 animated television series Gargoyles posits a highly intelligent species which dominated the Earth prior to human genesis and ascendance.
These gargoyles possess a unique culture which predates humanity's by a significant period, but the first on-screen depiction of the gargoyle species takes place in the 10th century, after millions of years of convergent evolution between the two cultures.
Indeed, the pilot episodes depict the essential death of one lingering component of gargoyle culture, at least for the series protagonists: that gargoyles lack personal names. This idea is first discussed in a conversation between two gargoyles and a human boy:
TOM: I'm Tom. What's your name?
GARGOYLE #1: Except for Goliath, we don't have names.
TOM: How do you tell each other apart?
GARGOYLE #1: We look different.
TOM: But what do you call each other?
GARGOYLE #2: (shrugs) Friend.
For context, "Goliath" is the leader of the clan of gargoyles to which the protagonists belong, and their liaison to the humans with whom they share an uneasy alliance; those humans felt incapable of dealing with a nameless entity, and Goliath did not bother to reject the name they selected for him.
Still, he does not use the name in communicating with his own clan until a betrayal by their human allies and a magical curse cause the protagonists to sleep as statues and then reawaken in 20th century Manhattan.
Here they meet and befriend Elisa Maza, a police detective who is both confused by and - for reasons she has trouble articulating - uncomfortable with this traditional lack of names. The following exchange takes place between Elisa and the clan's elderly mentor:
ELISA: Are you coming on the tour…uh, what do I call you, anyway?
GARGOYLE: Must you humans name everything? Nothing's real to you till you've named it, given it limits!
ELISA: It's not like that! It's just that…well, uh…things need names.
GARGOYLE: Does the sky need a name? Does the river?
ELISA: The river's called the Hudson.
GARGOYLE: (sighs) Fine, lass…then I will be 'the Hudson' as well.
ELISA: Great! Hudson it is.
From that point onward, that particular gargoyle is known as Hudson, and only Hudson.
The younger gargoyles who survived the centuries follow suit; the two who conversed with Tom become Lexington and Brooklyn, for example. And Goliath more-or-less fully accepts the moniker afforded him by the Dark Age humans.
As Gargoyles creator Greg Weisman points out, "naming is clearly addictive," and once they are established the convenience they offer makes doing away with them virtually impossible. Thus, for the Manhattan Clan of gargoyles, namelessness largely remains a thing of the past for the remainder of the series.
In "You Are Not a Gadget," Jaron Lanier describes the phenomenon experienced by these gargoyles using the term "lock-in."
As Lanier puts it, "lock-in…removes design options based on what is easiest to program, what is politically feasible, what is fashionable, or what is created by chance." Furthermore, the process "also reduces or narrows the ideas it immortalizes, by cutting away the unfathomable penumbra of meaning."
Despite originally referring to programming language, this is a perfect description of the process that "Hudson" has been subjected to in the previous scene.
Names are a method of defining identity, which necessarily must involve "giving it limits." But in traditional gargoyle culture, identity has greater meaning than that; it is amorphous, and changes with the circumstances.
The gargoyle who first made a compact with the humans at Castle Wyvern is the same gargoyle who mated three times and produced three progeny; he is the same gargoyle who fought the evil Archmage and received a wound that blinded him in one eye; he is the same gargoyle who slept for centuries and once awakened, found himself fascinated with the television show "Celebrity Hockey."
Does one name - Hudson - really encapsulate all of these aspects of his identity?
In-and-of-itself, all it signifies is that the place Hudson awoke in was modern-day New York (a cut line from the episode's script even has Elisa commenting, "Good thing we weren't facing Queens," emphasizing with humor how off-hand and esoteric the choice was).
That name was "locked-in" as the full and entire representation of the character from that point onward, solely because it was politically feasible (it makes dealing with Elisa and later human allies far more expedient), it was fashionable (every other intelligent being in 1994 New York has a name, so why not the gargoyles?), and it was created by chance (quite literally in this case, as the "Queens" quote illustrates).
And the result is that the very meaning of his identity is narrowed. He is no longer capable of being someone at a particular moment, and someone else in the next.
He is always Hudson.
There is an even greater story here, however, which Weisman's later musings have helped to illuminate. As he once observed, "Gargoyles don't seem to have a native language. They acquire human language, perhaps much the same way that they acquire names…And language, in many ways, is just sophisticated naming."
This is a compelling point. As he later notes, a different and arguably much more persuasive response that Elisa could have offered is that the river is called "the river."
Languages are systems for describing objects, concepts, actions, etc. using strict and uniform definitions, confining them to names that society calls words.
But does a name like "the sky" really fully encapsulate the meaning inherent within the depths that humans observe from below? Does it even begin to provoke a holistic understanding of its astronomical, religious, chemical, or poetic contexts?
And even more to the point, what of metaphysical concepts like "justice"? Can a single clear definition even exist for such a weighty and nebulous notion - and if not, does sticking the name "justice" to it not necessarily limit it?
Lanier certainly appears to believe so. As he conceives it, the system of symbology under which all current human languages operate is itself a lock-in; at best, a "middleman" between intent and "directly creating shared experience" that he wants to work to cut out.
His method for doing so is improvements on virtual reality, until researchers develop "the ability to morph at will, as fast as we can think."
Lanier envisions a world where the rather simplistic words "I'm hungry" will not be the only way to communicate the sensation which has brought them on - instead, he sees potential in the power of virtual reality technology to place us in the bodies of others, as a way to intimate the sensation itself.
Humanity would no longer have to be limited to extracting some piece of the concept it calls "hunger," giving it that name, and using it as code so that others who know the symbology of the English language will understand some approximation of that concept.
The concept would simply be understood, and communication would be a straightforward matter of imparting that understanding.
But perhaps there is an even better solution than this - although one that is, unfortunately, largely forgotten.
Presented with the puzzle that gargoyles are highly gregarious and intelligent by nature and yet appear to lack any notion of their own language, Weisman has mused that perhaps, long before human language evolved and became the locked-in method for communication, the gargoyle species possessed "mild psychic abilities that left them with no need to create language."
While emphasizing that he was only asserting a possibility, the communication he imagines - where it was not "words that they intuited (or transmitted or read or whatever) but emotions, maybe images or sensations" - sounds exceedingly similar to what Lanier hopes to achieve through virtual reality.
Such communication would be consistent with what audience knows about pre-human gargoyle culture, where definition and identity are situational as opposed to consistently codified.
But if that is the case, it leads to a rather lamentable conclusion. As Weisman puts it, "perhaps the very language skills that gargoyles learned from the human race dampened their psychic intuitiveness;" in other words, lock-in of a very particular method of communication (symbology) "locked-out" another method that presented communicative possibilities human technology can currently only dream of.
The initial insistence on not using personal names, then, can be considered a lingering hold-out of a bygone era where every concept was considered unlimited, and every sensation intimated in their full depth.
In dealing with nascent human cultures, gargoyles must have gradually accepted the limiting of concepts like "sky" or "river" because this made interspecies congress significantly more efficient, but they resisted the longest on the limiting of the very depths of the self.
But with the permanent instatement of "Hudson" and the rest, there does not appear to be room to return to the possibilities an unlimited identity presents. Human language has killed them.
Of course, both the gargoyle race and their culture are fantastical constructions, but that does not necessarily mean that humans cannot learn from their fictional example.
While humans do not seem to share these "mild psychic abilities" (although there are some who would vehemently disagree with that statement) that Weisman hypothesizes, that there are methods of sensation and communication which precede language skills is clearly documented.
As with gargoyles, members of the species Homo sapiens did exist well before the development of the earliest known language, and while current understanding of those early cultures is limited at best, there is also a much more immediate example to turn to.
Newborns spend a few years before they learn to define the world around them in the code of words - the sun is an experience to them long before the strictly defined, limiting name of "the sun" is ever applied to it.
The depths of what could be learned from observing children raised without learning language skills, interpreting sensations and intimating them to others via methods of their own device, are boundless; of course, the enormous ethical travesty presented by such experiments means they are not a viable avenue for inquiry.
So instead, humans turn to fiction - attempting to realize through others what that they have long since lost, and yearn to find again.
Greg Weisman has often described gargoyle culture, and pre-human gargoyle culture specifically, as something of a wish fulfillment for him. "I'm such a human," he laments with a written-out sigh, "But I aspire to gargoylosity."
Well, if the virtual reality morphing that so excites Jaron Lanier can indeed allow humans to experience sensation as a pre-human gargoyle (or a pre-language human, or a baby, or even a cephalopod) did/does - if it has the potential to turn the clock back as well as forward, and show what it is like for things simply to be, without the cumbersome and restrictive middleman of naming them - then perhaps that is an aspiration that more humans should share.
At first, when you mentioned 'You Are Not a Gadget', I couldn't help thinking the follow-up statement would be 'You Are a Chip, a Dale or a Monterey Jack'. Talk about lock-in.
Anyway, is it immodest to say that your essay warmed my heart? I enjoyed reading it. And I found it quite insightful. I do believe my own thinking has evolved since I wrote that ramble on gargoyles' latent psychic abilities. My thinking now is less psychic and more intuitive based on sensory clues.
But it doesn't change my positive response to your thesis. And it also speaks to one of my goals - perhaps even needs (NEEDS) - as a writer. Using words, multiple, multiple words, in an attempt to reach beyond the lock-in that comes with words like river or sun or Hudson or, most especially, Greg. The original version of Hudson's line was something like: 'Nothing is real to you until you've named it, defined it, given it limits.' More words to more fully illustrate the concept. And often in my writing I find myself trying to paint pictures with more and more words in an almost poetic sense. That verbosity is often counterproductive when writing dialogue. But I LIKE to think it lends - even when cut back and cut down - a certain depth to the dialogue. But it's a constant push and pull in my writing between trying to find just the one right word and using many, many to paint that fuller picture.
Hello once again, Mr. Weisman.
Fully expecting it to be months before you get to this question, but patience is a virtue, so...
1) Is the Brain gay? I suspect that you may not answer this one, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I thought I'd ask.
2) How did the Brain become a disembodied... well, brain?
3) Two previous posts had you give Wonder Woman's age as 90, then 85. Was the difference because you'd already started working on the post-timeskip timeline?
4) For your production bible, do you assign real names to characters who traditionally lack them (Bane, the Joker, the Brain, etc.)?
5) How does the Light recruit supervillains to work for them (apart from the League of Shadows and the member's own forces)?
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, and thank you for Gargoyles, a series I greatly enjoyed when I was younger (I've had the misfortune of not seeing an episode in several years). It meant a great deal to me, and helped inspire my interest in storytelling and Shakespeare (the former more than the latter, but Gargoyles introduced me to the Bard's work). It is very much appreciated, and I will remember Gargoyles for a very long time indeed. Have a good day, sir.
1. He's still in the canister.
2. See Young Justice issue #19.
3. I dunno. The timeline is very long, and sometimes I misread it.
4. Generally, no. But I do - with the help of loremaster John Wells - reach back to find any name that might exist in the DCU canon.
5. It's all case-by-case.
Heya Greg! I know your focus has been on Young Justice lately (as it should be) but hopefully you wonât mind kicking it a little old-school and reading fans gush about Gargoyles. This is more of a ramble than a question but hopefully you wonât mind.
I have a good friend that lives in another state that is fairly arduous driving distance away so we only see each other in person every couple months. Naturally one of our main ways of staying in touch is talking via IM. And one thing we do is choose shows one of us has never seen (mostly her, but occasionally me) and watch episodes at the same time we talk to each other, so weâre watching âtogetherâ even if weâre not actually together. We actually have a standing list of things we want to go through this way. And a short while ago my friend chose to start Gargoyles. We blew through all five parts of Awakening in one session and I thought you might get a kick out of seeing some choice bits of our conversation. (And yes my friend did give permission for me to share this with you.) Thereâs going to be more of what she has to say than me because I feel like reading me responding to her reactions with, âWhy yes that IS awesome and part of the reason I love this showâ would get old after awhile. The âchoice bitsâ are still pretty long, but hopefully you wonât mind too terribly.
Quick background. We are both of the female persuasion. Iâm 24 and have a B.A. in English and am going back to school in the fall for a Library Science degree. Sheâs 20 and a Creative Writing major at a University that feels there is very clear divide between âliteratureâ and âentertainmentâ and that all genre fiction falls into the latter category by default.
Needless to say, since both of us are fans of Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Animationâ¦we disagree with that. A lot.
Iâm going slightly out of order, starting with her reaction to seeing the theme song before getting into the actual episode stuff. Iâll use  to indicate me making a comment or an edit after the fact. âJâ indicates my comments. âMâ is my friend.
Oh and THEME SONG OF EPICNESS
Awesome visuals are awesome
Hey wait a minute
I've totally heard this before
The interwebs loves Gargoyles
I've never seen the visuals to the theme song though
So you probably have
As the interwebs should
I KNOW RIGHT!!??
[Start of Episode 1]
What do you know about Gargoyles already?
There are charries named Puck and Oberon
That's all I know
[First battle between Vikings and Gargoyles]
Ooooh that was really good animation
[Meaning that itâs still impressive now, and considering that itâs from 1994, is even more-so]
Hi hot lady
Hi fabulous Pegasus-like man
[Pegasus is a villain from season 1 of Yu-Gi-Oh with long white hair and aâ¦distinctive personality]
I know your voice
Hi Jeff Bennet?
[Re Demona and Goliathâs conversation with the Captain of the Guard after leaving the Banquet]
Redhead needs a haircut
I really like their relationship though so far
It seems rooted in a mutual respect
WHY AREN'T RELATIONSHIPS IN TV LIKE THIS ANYMORE
THIS IS WHAT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO
THANK YOU GREG WEISMAN
THIS IS HOW RELATIONSHIPS IN TV SHOULD WORK
[Goliath and Hudson falling into the Vikings trap]
They turn to stone in the sun
And at night they're awake
That was a good bit of exposition
I just got back from seeing Puss in Boots yesterday and while it was good there was a *ton* of unnecessary exposition in dialogue
[The start of the Wyvern Massacre with the Hakon and the Captain arguing over smashing the Gargoyles]
Hello high [conflict]
DON'T DO IT
I feel bad
And I don't even know who that guy is
That gargoyle rather
[J] why didn't I watch this show as a kid?
I love the Magus
Can I marry Keith David's voice?
GET IN LINE
I love you already
"He's going to slay her!"
Wait is she really dead?
*is behind you*
"You are the betrayer?"
"All of my kind are dead"
"YOU LYING SCUM!"
"What sorcery is this?"
Can I marry the Magus?
Get in line :P
Oooooh nice twist
Hello long time in the future?
long time passed*
Who is this guy and when can I [censored] him?
And his tech guy?
Xanatos is dark hair and beard
Blonde glasses is Owen
And again get in line :P
"Pay a man enough and he'll walk barefoot into hell."
He has a HELICOPTER
I want him
He just needs to shave and clip the ponytail
I think the goatee and ponytail are sexy. So clearly I love him more than you do and should have him.
I'll take his tech guy happily
Yeah you can't have him either :P
You're about eighteen years too late :P
Do we get to see the Magus anymore?
I can't tell you :P
No spoilers remember
Because if I don't I will cry
This may be an off guess but are any of the present-charries descended from the past-charries?
But you can't answer that either
No spoilers LOL
This is fuuuun
Seeing all my wild guesses
I love Xan
I know you do.
This show has been really good about engaging right from the pilot
So far it hasn't really been talk-heavy
Owen is totally Magus
I think they're both voiced by Jeff Bennet
They're totally related in some way
Elisa is quipping a la Buffy before Buffy
But Goliiath wil save her
I love the Gargoyles
It's a nice deviation from what you'd expect
They're very respectful
And not all grrrrr
They have morals and principles they go by and they're fairly peaceful
Heeeee hundreds of spells
On a floppy
My 1TB talisman can kick its ass
I really really like this show so far
AND IS THAT THE REDHEAD LADY?
I saw poof
I'm so confused
But it's *really* hard for me to get into most shows and I'm into this one
Honestly I didn't think I would.
Am I not awesome at showing you things you'd like?
I mean I didnât think I'd hate it
Detective lady is wearing mom jeans
I really like that concept
Of not having names for things
And they utilize a large cast very well by having a few characters around at a time and having their different reactions ot the same world
We get expositoon that way and viewers aren't bogged down or feel the need to spread their interest too thin
Just "oh hey going on a NY adventure"
[When the Trio fight off the gang after saving Brendan and Margot]
That the guys react with fear initially and then charge
This show is really well-crafted
I mean you could just classify this as 'low-brow kids' entertainment' but it's really more than that
It's a beautiful work of art and storytelling that's fun and fanciful
There's so much work put into it and it shows.
And it has layered, deep conflict
IMO it's art
Very good, show!
Tranqs take a while to take effect
But yeah [censored] 'high art.' This is art
It's got all the complexity of a Shakespearean drama. It just happens to be animated and feature fantastic elements.
Oh yeah. I agree 100%
This show handles exposition beautifully
Seriously Greg Weisman is the MASTER of set-up and payoff.
It really works.
THIS IS WHAT I SHOULD BE LEARNING IN FICTION CLASS
[Re Elisa hiding from the goons]
Way to make the tension rise
THAT'S HOW YOU DO PACING FICTION CLASS
I rather like the music for this show too
I'm still kind of enamored by the whole show
It does action sequences very well too
Greg Weisman is incredibly talented and I bet my fiction prof would hate his guts
Oh yeah. The physicality is great. Not overdone and very realistic.
[Re Demona and Goliathâs reunion]
That's an evil smile
I don't like that
Awwww wing hug
That's so BEAUTIFUL
SEEE LITERARY FICTION?
SEE WHAT YOU CAN DO?
SEE THAT THIS IS NOT BULL[CRAP]?
I totally wrote a paper for a Shakespeare course that involved Gargoyles. I got an A in that class. :)
You are amazing
They said KILL
Do not mess with old guys and dogs
Especially if they're Gargoyles
And hi G-rated version of Lethal Weapon line
And that is why you back up your files
[Re the Blimp being on fire and falling]
And that would not be a scene post 9-11
No it would not
I think there'd be a lot less stuff blowing up in general
[Again re Demona and Goliath]
THIS NEEDS TO BE THE MODEL FOR FICTIONAL RELATIONSHIPS
GOD WHY IS THIS SO AMAZING
Look at Lexington his laptop
That has like 250 MB memory LOL
You want to marry her too yes?
I don't like her hair :P
Aside from the hair :P
I kneeeeeew it
You villain sluuuuut
I can't heeeelp it
Heh Chinese food
That's a funny way to spell Patriots Jess
[This was soon after the Super-Bowl. Sheâs based in New England and Iâm from New York.]
And that's it
THIS IS WHAT ART IS SUPPOSED TO BE
THIS IS WHAT ENTERTAINMENT SHOULD STRIVE TO BE
SCREW THAT HIGH ART CRAP
Exactly. I have taught you well young Padawan.
Hopefully that put a smile on your face. We will be watching the rest of Gargoyles, and eventually W.I.T.C.H, Spectacular Spidey, and Young Justice.
I did want to ask, would you be interested in reading more of what we say as we watch?
Subsequent conversation snippets will probably be shorter, but I understand youâre very busy and that Ask Greg can get backlogged. Iâd only want to continue sending this kind of ramble if itâs something that you would enjoy reading, as a small way to pay you back for the excellent entertainment you provide. Iâd never want it to be a chore or something you feel you have to slog through.
So yeah. Hope you enjoyed! Please continue making awesome shows so we can keep watching. :)
I would be interested - though even admitting that fact makes me sound conceited. It's like, "Hey, post praise!" But basically, what I mean to say is, "Hey, post praise!"
But of course, in the interest of accuracy, I should point out that in your responses to her you really give all the credit to me, and that's, well, silly. Michael Reaves wrote all five scripts that you were praising. Frank Paur supervised all the storyboards and editing. (And those two talented guys are just the TIP of the Gargoyles iceberg.) I'm not saying I didn't contribute. I like to think I contributed a lot to both script and picture, but it was NEVER a one man show.
Hi there! This isn't actually a question, but it's the only way I saw of contacting Greg. I just wanted to say thank you for creating Gargoyles and thank you for making such a rich, elaborate show. Your cartoon formed a big chunk of my childhood, and the storytelling introduced me to so many different aspects of the world of fantasy. It was my favorite thing to watch when I was little. I hope this gets passed along and you get to see it. This show just means a lot to me.
Thank you for the kind words, Briget. It meant a lot to me to. Still does.
I've mistakenly put typos in my name for my last two questions now & I'm terribly sorry for that especially since you put yourself out to answer all of our questions.
Don't worry about it.
As of writing this, it is the 17th anniversary of Gargoyles. Made a comment in the room but wanted to share here:
"Sorry about the double, I saw vinnie took two spots and decided THIS was a countdown I wanted to be a part of. My countdown number is especially fitting, as I was 10 when Gargoyles premiered.
17 years. My God. I remember seeing the preview commercial once or twice. Running home after school, literally running, so I could catch the premier and every episode thereafter. Enough to make me feel a little choked-up. Nearly getting a lump in the back of my throat.
Phoenician> I do believe I will join you in watching one episode of awakening everyday [this week]. It must be providence. I just received my season one back from a friend, to whom I lent my seasons so she could show her son.
She said that at first, he was watching the episodes alone. After a while, she remembered why she liked the show so much and they now watch them together. They are now somewhere in season 2.
It's nearly 1 AM. I believe I will put in the DVD, raise a toast, and enjoy the beginning chapter of a phenomenal series.
In the already spoken words of Vinnie, "And away we go on with the show."
Lurker - [!)]"
Greg, the show is something that has always stuck with me, as it has many others. In case you didnt know ;) I just wanted to thank you for continuing to work on the show, in the sense that you have never given up on it. Thank you for allowing fans to interact with you and ask you various things. Thank you for the contributions to my childhood and all the wonderful memories.
You're very welcome. And thanks to all the Gargoyles fans who have kept the faith and stuck with me and the show for all these years.
Less a question, more of a comment. While visiting one of my dearest friends over in Long Island over the summer, one of the things we did together was watch Gargoyles (as part of a little trade of interests-her offering was showing me a documentary on the legacy and fandom of the Rock-a-Fire Explosion series of animatronics, which was fairly interesting and quite enjoyable in its own right). As we've mostly communicated online for our 9 or so year friendship, doing something like this isn't a common thing. Especially considering we've only been in person together for two visits, each lasting about a week.
I'm happy to report that after a viewing of The Mirror, Double Jeopardy, and Eye of the Beholder, she became quite fond of the series and has expressed interesting in indulging further. I was beyond happy that she did, as being able to share Gargoyles with her joins the rest of that week as one of many memories I feel lucky to have.
Thought you'd like to know.
That's great. Thanks.
Not a question, more something you might like: http://nebezial.deviantart.com/art/gargoyles-goliath-3d-fun-200441030?q=sort%3Atime%20gallery%3Anebezial&qo=1
It's great that folks are still doing fanart of the characters.
Not a question this time, just a comment I want to apologize I didn't think they'd send you both vesions of my initial questions cause I thought the first one was too leading and the second one was more civil.
I am still watching the series and not making too many judgements yet, my point wasn't to come off like I was attacking I was just wondering why you didn't do some things, you've got a good track record so I'm hoping things turn out.
I apologize if it seemed like I was attacking.
Don't sweat it. I apologize if my response(s) got snippy.
also i know since i did not write a question it wont get posted but to the person that sends this to greg please let him get this. its real important to me. thank you again
Everything comes to me, unless it breaks one of the rules. Doesn't have to be a question.
Hello greg my name is charles and im currently in the navy. in about 4 months i will be a film student and i was interested in producing one of your works. i have a strong passion for film and i eat breath and sleep it. with that being said the school said i should contact you and maybe get to know you. so this is the only way i know that what i have to say will reach you. but i am very serious about my passion and when i finish school i have ideas of what i want to produce as far as film goes. so if you can please email me. im gonna put my email so you can contact me so i can have a better way to contact you. also the school i will be attending is full sail university. my email is email@example.com so i hope this reaches you . thank you for your time.
I'm afraid I have a policy not to contact folks directly. It's a fairness thing. If I did it for one, I'd have to do it for all, and that's just not practical.
Happy to answer your questions and/or communicate here at ASK GREG though.
Good luck in your last few months in the Navy and at film school.
Heya Greg! This isn't really a question. Rather a resounding "THANK YOU" for pretty much all of the work you've done over the years. Right now a few of my fandoms that are still on-going have come out with new installments that have, well, been disappointing me. I'm not going to name names because I don't want to put you in the position of having to bash a fellow professional's work and there's no guarantee you're familiar with the specific ones I'm speaking of anyway.
But to me it feels like the writer(s) have been failing, not because they're not talented, but rather because a) When they began their projects they failed to think far-forwardly to where they wanted their stories to go once the initial conflicts they set up have run their course. And B) Instead of letting plot-lines flow from characters that are complex and change over time, they fall back on comfortable clichÃ©s, simple black-and-white conflicts, and cookie-cutter romance. To put it simply, when given the opportunity they take the 'easy' dramatic choices.
Seeing this happen over and over has made me much more appreciative of the insane amount of world-building and planning that you must put into the things you undertake, and your skill as a storyteller to dig into the well of timeless archetypes and situations and do things that are new and exciting with them.
For me it's a relief to know that when Young Justice premieres as a series (I did see the pilot movie and loved it) I'll have something where I can sit down and be entertained, and trust that the people behind it are doing everything they can to ensure that it's the best it can possibly be. And even if at the end it hasn't matched my vision for what it could have been, I know it will definitely be just as good, and most likely a whole lot better. So, in conclusion: Thanks for being awesome! Please keep it up. :)
Thanks for the kind words. One strives for awesomeness... and settles for "Hey, we did our best."
I just re-read The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw. It's a book I mentioned in a much earlier question to you, one about a changeling girl who is half human and half fae, and the weirdness and difficulty she has fitting in with either because she is different from both species. (It's even set in medieval Scotland.) It prompted me to ask you how different or similar, emotionally and psychologically, the Third Race are to humans, because the depiction in this book is of quite inhuman fae who really can't relate to humans. You have consistently answered that the Third Race are quite similar to humans, emotionally and psychologically -- that the main difference is that of great power without great responsibility, of never growing old or having to work, and of being able to look however they want on a whim. You've even said that a human could imagine what it is like to be such a being by imagining what life for one of us would be like with those benefits.
Reading The Moorchild again got me to wondering about what it is like growing up as a hybrid (in a family of non-hybrids), or as a non-hybrid changeling raised by another species, in the Gargoyles universe. The personality differences don't seem nearly as pronounced between humans and Third Race as they are between humans and fae in The Moorchild, so it seems like fewer problems should arise, although physically there seems to be quite a lot of difference between mortals and the Children even when they look human. Clearly a half-mortal child like Fox can grow up without ever figuring it out, or learning magic. But did she ever feel different from the mortal children around her? Did other humans notice anything different about her? Or was there nothing really out of the ordinary, no noticeable outward signs of her magical heritage?
And what about Morgan le Fay, who according to what you have revealed is a purely Third Race changeling. Was it strange for her to grow up among humans? I assume she looked human, but did she feel human, or did she feel different from those around her? Did she seem unusual to her human parents and siblings, or did they never really notice anything out of the ordinary, personality-wise or physically? Did she just seem like a regular human being to them?
As for Nimue, well, she can't have helped but notice she was different, not having the same nearly-effortless magical abilities and shapechanging that the Third Race have. That and not being made of pure magic, along with whatever that entails.
I imagine a slightly different dynamic for the Avalon Clan, since there was no human society around them and they actually outnumbered their foster parents 11-to-1, but I'm sure that was at least somewhat weird, especially for the humans.
I guess if the question is: "Did they feel different?" then the answer is a resounding "YES!". Because, I'm pretty sure I'm not a magical hybrid and I felt different. Doesn't everyone?
I originally wrote this for my blog, and decided to paste it in here.
Well, what do you know? This is my one hundredth entry. Appropriate that it is about Greg Weisman's newest TV series.
Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge fan of Greg Weisman's work. "Gargoyles" is my all time favorite TV series; I adored "The Spectacular Spider-Man;" I was quite fond of the second season of "W.I.T.C.H.;" and the freelance scripts he wrote for shows like "Men In Black" and "Buzz Lightyear of Star Command" were always fun.
Okay, I really hated "Max Steel" and couldn't watch more than one episode, but that show had all sorts of behind the scenes problems that were not his fault. And sadly, "Roughnecks: Star Ship Troopers Chronicles" never aired in my area, so I've never really seen it. But, overall, Greg Weisman is responsible for high quality television. So, I was greatly anticipating his newest series, "Young Justice."
"Young Justice" is loosely based on a DC Comics title by the same name, but draws from many other sources. It focuses on a group of sidekicks (but don't call them that) who band together to become a covert ops team connected to the Justice League. The stars of the show are Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Superboy, Miss Martian, and Artemis. Although, we have yet to meet Artemis and only briefly met Miss Martian.
The theme of the first season is "secrets and lies" and this is very apparent within the pilot already. The Justice League is keeping secrets from the members of Young Justice... which was enough to piss off Speedy, and get him to storm off. And Project Cadmus was keeping secrets from the rest of the world.
I love a good mystery, and we've got one set up with a shadowy organization called The Light, who were behind Project Cadmus. Although, I am somewhat reminded of the Illuminati from "Gargoyles" (Hmm... Light - illuminated - Illuminati) and the Council of Thirteen of the Guild of Calamitous Intent in "The Venture Bros." although, I highly doubt Davie Bowie is L-1.
The writing and dialogue are very sharp, and considering the pilot was penned by Mr. Weisman himself, that was to be expected. The animation is very strong, and I kept wondering what their budget was, because it looks great. The voice acting was also phenomenal, which is to be expected from any series voice directed by Jamie Thomason.
This series has just about everything going for it, and already, in my mind, blew the competition out of the water. Yes, I enjoy "The Avengers - Earth's Mightiest Heroes" quite a bit, but the quality of that show just doesn't compare to the quality of "Young Justice." The funny thing about that is that outside of Batman, and some Vertigo comics, I have no attachment to DC Comics at all. I've always been a Marvel reader. But Marvel has never had animated series as good as DC's, with the exception of "The Spectacular Spider-Man" which was just as great as "Batman the Animated Series." But then, look at who the mastermind behind Spidey was.
I give the pilot of "Young Justice" a solid five stars. It also left me intrigued enough to come back for more when the series really gets going in January.
Glad you liked it!
Another comment, rather than a question. I've mentioned before about how well Goliath's statement in "M.I.A.", "Human problems become gargoyle problems" had been borne out so often in the series (especially when we saw how the struggles over the Scottish throne between 971 to 1057 - definitely a human problem - affected the gargoyles in Scotland, not to mention the Quarrymen being ultimately about a human unwilling to face his responsibility for seriously injuring his brother). Recently it occurred to me that the Humility Spell, though not actually a *problem* for the gargoyles (except maybe the occasion when it prevented Brooklyn from recovering Goliath's half of the Phoenix Gate in 997), is also an example of this at work.
We know from your statements (canon-in-training, of course) that the Humility Spell stemmed from Caesar Augustus' wish to improve the morals of the early Roman Empire, which extended to his disapproval of gargoyles awakening in the nude because their clothes were torn apart with their stone skin shells at nightfall. Thus, it's the result of another human problem which came to affect gargoyles worldwide (even gargoyle clans that presumably never even suspected that the Roman Empire existed).
That's one way to look at it, certainly.
I just want to say thank you for creating such a wonderful world. Filled with complex, multi layered characters. I am nearly twenty three now, but I can still remember watching the premier of episode one just two days after my seventh birthday. The show definitely affected my childhood both conscioussly and subconsciously. Anyway I digress. I recently learned about the annual Gargoyles Gathering. I was disappointed to find out that it has been cancelled. So my question is why it was cancelled, and if there is any chance that it will start up again in the future?
Check the archives.
Nothing stops fans from starting up a new or another Gargoyles convention. But I'd read the archives carefully before I tried. Keep in mind, I'm always happy to attend. But I don't want to see fans go into debt just so that I can have a fun weekend.
Recently watched "Long Way Til Morning"
And this is hopefully the first question that leads to what I hope to complete soon as a long essay on how fascinating Demona is as a character as well as her impact on her estranged clan "family".
In this we see three characters. All with relatively strong familial bonds. First we have the Father, Hudson. Then of course the rookery children Goliath and Demona.
My actual question is this:
What had to be going through Hudson's mind during all of this? I know he acknowledged the two as a mated pair, but in essence he had to save his son from his daughter. That could not have made him all too plussed.
Secondly, the dialogue in this last scene really shows how even now, they still have latent feelings of being family...
Hudson: "Give it up girl, you can't win.." Which even as a boy, first watching this I always received as a Father being parental in some way to his daughter.
Then there is Demona, who is as bananas as it gets. She, even in her tirade tips her hand. She, through raw, volatile emotion expresses she still has love for Hudson.
"I would have ended this quickly! Your pride will cost you your life!" Even though I know at this point in her life she is past redemption, I still feel that the way she exclaims these sentiments is a tell she doesn't want to HAVE to say them. She loves her rookery father. And in a way, still NEEDS him. As all grown children do once we reach adulthood. But nothing can stand in the way of her vengeance. The vengeance for her murdered family. Not even surviving FAMILY.
All too fascinating Greg, and thank you!
1. Who is Demona's great love?
2. When was Gwen gonna die?
3. Will you spoil your entire series plan for "Young Justice story beat by story beat?
5. Why does the Monarch hate Rusty Venture so much?
LOL, I'm just kidding. Instead here's a comment.
I recently put the entire timeline from the GargWiki into my word processor, and it came out to about fifty-four pages. Obviously, about 98% of that timeline is directly quoted from ASK GREG's "This Day in Gargoyles Universe History" and since you last said that your timeline hit three hundred page mark, well, I am in awe.
In awe mostly because, I knew you were holding out on us... but damn. Sixty-five episodes and eighteen comics, and we still have not scratched the surface of what you have in your head for this world.
I am impressed, sir. Impressed. And, I hope you consider bringing "This Day in Gargoyles Universe History" back sometime soon.
I'm a little to swamped to do that right now. And besides, I don't think that much has changed.
My timeline is currently 330 pages long. But it also has a lot of math.
A comment this time, rather than a question. One of my favorite details in the "Stone of Destiny" story was Macbeth's presence at the Battle of Bannockburn. It recently occurred to me that this might be an example, if a subtle one, of the time-honored motif of a legendary hero from long ago who returns to his country to aid it in a time of need.
The concept has attached itself to King Arthur, of course, and his return has featured in "Gargoyles" (if with a premature re-awakening). The returns of the Golem and Cu Chullain, elsewhere in the Avalon World Tour, also evoke it. For that matter, I remember your once saying that the Avalon gargoyles looked upon Goliath (from what they had learned of him through their human guardians) as a great sleeping hero who would one day awaken and return if ever they needed him - and he did indeed return in their hour of need, when the Archmage attacked Avalon.
I also recall, outside of "Gargoyles", the legend that Theseus returned to aid his fellow Athenians against the Persians at the Battle of Marathon (and Mary Renault including it in her Theseus novels) - which forms a great parallel here to Macbeth's presence at Bannockburn, both cases of a desperate struggle against an invading army.
At the same time, your use of the "return of the king" motif for Macbeth's participation at Bannockburn (assuming you had it in mind at the time) came with a twist. Macbeth returns incognito; so far as we know, none of the other Scotsmen taking part in the battle know that he's fighting alongside them. Robert the Bruce is the Scottish king who will be associated with the victory (deservedly, of course, from what I've read about the battle). No chronicle or legend even hints at his presence there. As far as we know, only he knows that he was there (we don't know if Shari knows or not; the panel depicting him at the battle is in one of her stories, but she does not mention him in the text itself). The king returned to aid his country in need, but in secret, his presence unremarked on.
Very cogent analysis.
Mr. Weisman, I read your response on my question about the novel I wrote. I can't say I was thrilled with the response_ but I think that maybe it was because you didn't understand my motivation behined it. I posted a comment on your blog about the "Gargoyles" movie Disney wants to release. I was hoping you would read it and then perhaps we could discuss my motivation and reasons in more detail.
A few things...
1. I apologize, but I get so many questions here, I can't remember either what you wrote here about your novel or how I responded. So I can't tell you whether or not I understood your motivation.
2. I don't have a blog. Just ASK GREG here. So I don't know where you posted your "comment" about the Gargoyles movie or how that would effect my mindset about your novel.
3. You're welcome to post your motivation here, but if your novel is in any way based on Gargoyles (and if it's not why are we having this discussion?), I can't see WHAT motivation would make me excited about it.
4. I'm sorry if all this isn't "thrilling" but I really don't understand what you expect from me. Why would I be happy about someone else doing a Gargoyles-based property, either as a movie or a novel?
But perhaps I'm completely off-base (see response #1 above) so I'll stop now.
Man, every Spidey question you answer that ends with some form of "it's moot now" or "we'll never see it" is depressing. I miss the show so much, miss anticipating what great new direction you guys were going to take it in, miss the awesome surprise of each new design by Cheeks, the great voice acting and sharp writing, the structure of the seasons and the way you were organically growing Spidey's world, etc. I'm really excited for Young Justice and think it looks great, but at heart, I'm mostly a Marvel, and specifically Spider-Man, fan. So basically, just thanks for the show. I loved it, it's a credit to your great talent in the field, and it was unquestionably the best animated Marvel adaptation ever made, series, movie, or otherwise.
Bad Guys #5 & 6: I wanted to post my Bad Guys reactions all at once, but I wrote my #4 reaction long before this one. So here's the rest, in no particular order.
I just noticed that nobody is willing to sit next to Fang. I wouldn't either!
I continue to wonder about the (constrained) choices made by the members of the squad -- there's lots of tension in Losers about this. They don't know any more about their boss than they do about the Illuminati. Less, in fact, and it's the revelation that Oldcastle and Thailog work for the Illuminati that persuades the Squad not to join. But they still know so little about their own boss... for all they (and I) know, he's could be just as bad. If Robyn knows more she isn't telling, and the rest know basically nothing. They've been given very little choice, of course. They know the Illuminati are untrustworthy... but they can only hope that their mysterious boss is any better. Dingo finally asks, but somehow I doubt Interpol is the truth!
Of course I know the Illuminati are bad news. But I don't know any more about the Director than the Squad do. From what I've seen, they take an "ends justify the means" attitude just like the Illuminati does.
I was seriously worried that Matrix would join the Illuminati and spell Bad Things for basically the whole planet. The Redemption Squad is composed of criminals on the run from the law, and if anyone pointed out to Matrix that the Australian shaman's logic in Issue #1 wasn't actually logical (Dingo can't fight for law and order if he's breaking the law!) then the Illuminati might have looked more attractive to Matrix than its current situation. Fortunately the Matrix isn't bright enough to figure that out. At this point, Matrix is largely at the mercy of whoever controls its access to information about how laws actually work!
Humorous moments: Yama falling asleep mid-sentence, Matrix eating a fork, Yama freaking out over his broken sword, and Doll calling Matrix "that thing."
Yama being impaled on a sword and continuing to fight with no noticeable weakness is hard to believe, especially since Goliath was so much worse off after a much less serious wound in Long Way Till Morning, and completely incapacitated in Bash by a knife wound that definitely did not impale him. It shows how tough a warrior Yama is, but... makes him look literally immortal, Highlander style. This is one place where gargoyle healing abilities are not believable to me without magic.
And Dingo's childhood was finally revealed ... the creep who raised him is the same guy who murdered his mother! That's creepy, ick. The look on John's face is suspicious from the start, but I did not expect that. No wonder Dingo became a criminal.
Yama continues to be impressive. And the scene with Matrix holding up the light under the huge Illuminati banner just looks cool.
I have to wonder why the Illuminati is hoarding priceless art objects, and not even using them for anything. I'm impressed but surprised that Dingo cares enough to prevent their destruction.
Overall, Bad Guys is a good comic, but it leans heavily towards the superhero genre (Oldcastle's gang even seems to include super powers) and as with the Pack, that doesn't appeal to me nearly as much as the other elements of Gargoyles. (Fortunately, nobody except Tasmanian Tiger has a goofy supervillain costume). Not that I wouldn't buy more Bad Guys, if more were published and I could afford it.
Thanks for the stories.
I'd argue that BOTH of Goliath's wounds that you mentioned were WAY MORE serious. Yama intentionally guided that blade to go through organ-free tissue -- a through and through cut that did minimal damage to his side -- which wasn't the case with either of Goliath's injuries: he had internal damage/internal organ injuries both times.
Just look at the visuals again, and it should be clearer. There's nothing magical or Highlander about what Yama does. He's just a tough s.o.b.
Bad Guys #4: Finally I am going to write my reactions to this, many months after I finally got a hold of my copy. It's difficult to come up with my reactions since I first read it a while ago.
I think the "cliched villainy" of Sevarius and Fang would be more horrific if I wasn't already used to mutates, and if was more plausible as a real-life event. Now Sevarius has extended his atrocities to children. It's hard to imagine what kind of life these people can possibly have... and on top of everything else, I guess that Sevarius probably had to wreck their immune systems just to mutate them at all.
Art nitpick: the new mutates look very good and are well drawn, but there's no way that Tasha's shirt and pants can go _under_ her shell, which is part of her skin.
Robyn is trying too hard to sound angry and tough, and she can't pull it off. A little hard to, when it's too late and she's in a cage. Her reaction to Sevarius wanting to mutate her implies that she's more horrified by gargoyle DNA, than by the mutation itself. That, along with other behaviors and statements throughout the six issues, make me think that she is still deeply prejudiced against gargoyles, and is playing nice partly to obey the Director's orders. She doesn't want to kill them all anymore, and her (private?) conversation with Jon shows how far she's already changed her attitudes, but she doesn't seem to regard gargoyles as equals. A lifetime of hatred and ignorance cannot be unlearned quickly or easily.
The big shock in issue 4 is the suicide of Tasha. I did not expect that such an event would be depicted in the comic books. Sadly, it's very believable. Sevarius utterly ruined her life, in what was surely an extremely traumatic experience. For one moment, Fang almost looks like this suicide upset him, but the he starts making repugnant jokes. If some of his _other_ jokes weren't still funny, I think this is one character I would completely hate. I certainly don't blame everyone else for hating him.
The ending, where Robyn's mysterious superior (presumably the Director who got her out of jail and created the squad) put Fang on the team, is confusing. I assume there must be some passage of time that I missed, but it appears as though Fang instantaneously acquires a tailored uniform.
An finally, now I can re-read the bits and pieces at the beginnings of the first 4 issues and make sense of them.
Dingo is angry that they "barely survived the last time" and I wonder what he's even referring to -- to the battle against Fang? Was that really a suicide mission? The reason Dingo barely survived is because Matrix decided to drop him in mid-air off a skyscraper. On the other hand, I have to wonder why they swallow these "missions" when they have no clue who is ordering them around, and no reason to know if they're being told the truth. OK, they've all been threatened with Bad Things, but they don't even ask who they're working for. (Maybe they already asked and Robyn just isn't telling). I also wonder how anyone, including the Director, thinks that Fang is remotely trustworthy, and isn't going to betray the others.
The entire helicopter gets blown up by missiles, but of course the characters aren't going to die just like that. Matrix saves them. The Illuminati possesses combat robots, like the Cybots and Steel Clan. Robyn's combat skills and acrobatics are amazing, when I think about it.
Yama looks great in these issues. I'm liking him. I also like Fang yelling at Yama.
Glad generally you seemed to like the stuff!
Not a question so much as a comment. You've said several times you think you missed a bet in "Grief-" namely, that Coyote should have killed the travelers, to show that death was impossible with Anubis locked up. I may be in the minority on this, but I prefer the story we got to this alternate version.
First of all, it would reopen the Highlander-esque questions that you get regarding Demona and Macbeth. So, Angela's shot through the heart but doesn't die- when Anubis is freed, is the wound still there? If so, would the wound then kill her? If Goliath were decapitated, would the head still talk, or would it sprout spider legs and walk back to him (sorry, I just watched The Thing the other night- incidentally, Keith making a surprise appearance in a movie is something that always makes me smile)? I imagine that, if only for S&P reasons, the death would simply be through bloodless laser beams (sorry, "particle beams") and the issue wouldn't have come up, but it's still confusing.
The bigger point, though, is that it cheapens the characters' abilities. I've read most of the Lee/Ditko and Lee/Romita Spider-Man comics, and while they're great stories, one thing that always bothered me was how supervillains always let Spidey live. Typically, a new villain would dominate the wallcrawler and then arrogantly announce "I don't need to kill Spider-Man- I can beat him any time I want!" I don't have a count, but I really think this happened dozens of times in the Silver Age. I could understand if the villain had a reason to run, like Doc Ock's power running low in your show, but most of the time they just seemed stupid, since of course Spidey trounced them next time. The point is that it seemed like he was surviving more through luck than any particular skill. Likewise, our gargoyles have survived countless battles because of their own abilities. To say that they finally lose- but it doesn't count because, for this one day, they can't die, seems to cheapen their earlier successes. It feels like the only reason they're winning is because the writers want them to win, and if they get in big trouble, a deus ex machina twist will save them. The show starts to feel artificial, and I wonder if these characters are really that special, or if they're just the designated heroes.
Now, of course, this is hypothetical. It's possible that, if I'd seen the episode the way you envision, I would have loved it. As it is, it's kind of hard for me to imagine it working. Just something to chew on.
I guess I wouldn't agree about one lucky break cheapening earlier victories... I guess I wouldn't agree with that at all.
I'm also not big on deus ex machina saves myself, but when an ENTIRE episode is ABOUT arresting death, having them live because death has been arrested doesn't feel like deus ex machina at all to me, even with a deus (Anubis) present.
And, as you noted, the beheading (et al) issue just wouldn't have come up.
I know you're arguing for the success of what we made, and I'm in the odd (very odd) position of arguing that we could have done better, but I still think a bet was missed...
I'm a big fan. I work in South Korea teaching English and I thought you would be interested in your creations' progress over here.
I did some research on the internet and Gargoyles: The Movie and some season 1 episodes were released on VHS over here. What a collector's item those would be? The official translated name of the show is "Champion Goliath", but happily enough online Korean fans just call it "Gargoyles."
Channel surfing, I did see The Spectacular Spider-Man on the cartoon channel, 5:30, Saturday morning. That's actually a good time, since Korean children have Saturday school and 5:30am would be just the right time they're waking up.
Keep up the good work and hopefully I'll see Young Justice in Korea.
Very cool! Thanks, Richard.
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.
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.
A fan from England here.
Not so much a question but I just wanted to let you know that thanks to my lovely University Iâve managed to book a lecture theatre once a week to show Gargoyles on a big screen to my friends, and watch it again myself on said glorious big screen. We should be finished at the end of summer.
Currently theyâre enjoying it, some more than others, and it feels great to expose people to a real classic of western animation. Weâve even got a running joke about how Xanatos is behind everything. Theyâre not liking the rather varied Scottish accents, or takes on them at least, but I understand thereâs only so much an American production can do to get proper accents right.
Weâre just starting the Avalon World Tour and Iâm curious to see what they make of the revelations in the Gathering. Specifically Puckâs role but also Foxâs heritage and Xanatosâ shift into not quite being such a bad guy.
Just thought to tell you that the Gargoyles love is being spread to people across the pond that never saw it the first time âround.
Wow, W.C., that's really cool! Thanks!
Sorry, about those accents. We do have a range of actors playing Scots. (Americans. Englishmen. And even the occasional Scot, like Sheena Easton, who's lived in America so long, she admits to having trouble summoning it up.) And since, Jamie and I aren't British, it can be tough for us to know whether we're getting it right. So generally we settle for being in the ballpark.)
This is more of a commendation than a question. I just want to say thank you for your patience and honesty with the fans. I notice that if something gets mentioned that could remotely relate to Gargoyles (ex: the whole Marvel/Disney thing), twenty people will ask the same question that day without seeing if someone else has already asked it. But do you shut those people out? No, you answer the same question twenty times, and I'm impressed by that. I can guess at some authors who would stop answering questions after giving the same answer 20 times, but you continue to allow fans this amazing connection to you and your work. And I really like that.
I think you're giving me more credit for patience than I deserve, but I do try. Thank you.
Not a question just a quick apology. When I asked my question about the Marvel/Disney thing there wasn't much if anything about it in the archives as I could find anyhow. Since then I've read the responses and understand you being to the point of "nauseum" as you put it. I'm probably almost as tired of seeing people ask that same question as you are so I do apologize for the monotony. Its such a lingering hope for all of us die hard fans that something wonderful will happen to allow Gargoyles to continue. I want my children to enjoy it the way i have, I want there to be new wonderful stories. There are few people I talk to that aren't aware of the show and fewer still that have a negative thing to say about it. Just the other day I had a lovely young lady nearly swoon when I told her that there was a Gargoyles comic book series, almost got myself a date actually (small matter of me already being engaged, lol).
Sorry for being another bother but we're all just clinging to hope and rooting for you :)
Hi Greg, this is not a question but a statement: I have been a gargoyles fan for many years and I think your work is one of the greatest animated legend in history.
We the fans will not stop until the remaining 26 episodes are released on DVD. Your ability to capture the attention of adults as well as kids are outstanding. By the way, I do have Season One and Two. Thanks
No, thank YOU!
Dear Greg, I join the army three years ago. I recently returned From a fifteen month tour in Afghanistan.I didn't have much to do (besides working in the motor pool all the time)I've watched gargoyles for the last two months of my tour. When the show stopped at 3-13-3(you tube)I was a little disappointed. I couldn't understand why Disney would do such a thing. I was going through some hard times, watching the show really help get through my endeavors. I know this isn't a question, more like a thank you note.so I say, Thank you. Sincerely a BIG fan David.
And thank you, David!
hi love your work. i just want to ask if you read any fanfics of yore work.
I've already answered this question. Please check the archives.
All too often in cartoons (specifically nowadays) female characters fall into the role of giggling love interest, counterpart to a male character to eliminate homosexual themes or are just there to fill a demographic. Writers don't seem to know what to do with them after that.
That is why I would like to sincerely thank you for your part in fostering strong female characters like Elisa, Demona and Fox.
Also, what influenced you to write those characters the way you did? Did you have specific females from your past in mind or did you choose character traits from literature and sort of mesh them for a well rounded feel?
I honestly don't know. I've always liked writing female characters. Two of my first (unfortunately unpublished) projects for DC Comics were Black Canary and Supergirl.
I just try to write honestly for them -- removing as many of my biases as possible -- just as I would for any male character. And the result -- for better or for worse -- is what you have seen...
"Does anyone know if "Maza" means "iron" in any Native American language or dialect?"
According to my book of names (it's got like 20,000 names and their meanings, which is totally cool, especially the Athurian names) Maza blaska, which is a Dakota name means "flat iron." So if it's one of those languages where the adjective comes after the subject, then Maza does infact mean Iron in Dakota. Which interestingly enough adds more irony since Dakota was an early choice for Demona's name. ^_^
And you know that J.R.R. Tolkien claimed that all of his novels were fact...you seen to have the same symptom with the Gargoyles.
I'm not claiming they're fact so much as acknowledging that sometimes storytelling on this show just seems to click with history, existing legend and with dramatic necessity. It's a rare feeling, and I'm humbled by it. All I'm saying is it sometimes feels like the stories are true somehow somewhere, and all I'm doing is (imperfectly) tapping into them.
But I'm not actually delusional.
Ok, this is TZ now......
I was looking over the archives and was simply amazed by this response of yours, Greg. I have always felt that art (in all forms, from literature to sculptures to music) is discovered, not created. I subscribe to that theory because there are such famous examples of great work that endure for years, sometimes even centuries. Why would something like Michelangelo's David or Beethoven's 9th remain so popular through the ages? I think it's because those pieces already existed and were "discovered" by those artists, because certain works like theirs touch us so deeply. When one of us "finds" that piece of art, and shares it, it seems to strike something in all of us. I think creativity is God's alone, but I think He gives some of us a gift to find or tap into (as you've put it) something He's already created that reveals a great truth or lesson or feeling. Anyway, just a ramble of mine to share based on something I was amazed to see here. I'm not sure if I got my point across to others (I found it really hard to put this into words) but I think you get it. Thanks for "discovering" more great art for us all!
You're welcome. Glad you get what I'm getting at, more or less.
Just wanted to comment on the brilliance of the show, and you and your team being able to successfully weave different mythologies together to create a whole new mythology. It's works like that that inspire so many others to continue in the arts, whether it be writing, designing, or performing arts alike- myself included. So thank you for that and for continuing to share this amazing experience with us over a decade later. Whether or not we ever see the rest of the show released on DVD (or the next big media software), it is my belief that Gargoyles will continue to inspire all who have the privilege of watching.
Thanks. And I really liked your Oresteia too.
One of the big changes you made from canon-in-training to canon, in "Clan-Building", was having the Phoenix rather than the Phoenix Gate be the cause of Brooklyn's timedancing. I thought about it recently, and think that it was a good change.
Aside from it providing a good explanation for why it took so long for Brooklyn to get back (it would probably have seem far-fetched if each time the Phoenix Gate appeared during those forty years, he always failed to grab it before it disappeared again), I think it added something to his journey. While we don't know exactly what the Phoenix is as yet, or what its agenda is, the way it was depicted (and Brooklyn's own comments) made it clear that it deliberately took Brooklyn to Scotland in 997, that this was not just some accidental fluke, that the Phoenix has a purpose and intentions like those of any sentient being. Brooklyn isn't being battened about the time-stream by an out of control magical talisman, but is being sent places to fulfill a mission, like Goliath and his companions on the Avalon World Tour. His adventures up and down history, past and future, are the product of a plan, not just the whims of chance. I think it made for a much better story.
My Review For Bad Guys #6, "Losers"...
- Alright! I'm glad we are ending this mini-series with a pretty strong cover. And I'm really pleased that this cover is what made the cover for the trade. I had kinda figured we'd be getting a group shot for this final cover and it looks great. Matrix is very cool here and Hunter and Dingo look awesome here. My only complaints is that Fang looks a bit too cat-like and Yama looks like Goliath. But I can get over it.
- So, here we go. We don't pick up where we left off at Eastcheap Island, but back in Paris where the Mr. Director is chatting with Dolores and later Monsieur Le Maire. A bunch of characters we don't know anything about really, aside from the fact that they are part of the organization that formed the Redemption Squad. Hunter at one point claims this group is Interpol, but I'm not sure if I'm supposed to believe her or not. I hope (and suspect) these three unknown characters will be expanded down the road, particularly the Director. On a related note, I was expecting to see the story of Hunter's recruitment in this chapter, but it was not to be. A story for another day, I suppose. This issue has a lot to work with already.
- Back at Eastcheap, everybody chills out (except Hunter) and sits down to a nice meal. Falstaff couldn't be more right when he called this lot a motley crew. Something that has always appealed to me about the Redemption Squad is that they seem like they'd be perfect for and a lot of fun fighting another group. I've been looking forward to a Redemption Squad versus The Ultra-Pack battle for years, but Falstaff's Band of Thieves seems like they'd make a great group antagonist also, and I'm sure we'll see more of them in the Bad Guys series.
- We continue on with a lively discussion at the dinner table. Falstaff, Dingo and Hunter all have this great dynamic with each other. It is like none of them really like each other, but are trying to get along. Dingo in particular plays the middle-man so well here. Mediating between these two groups. And it is funny because he doesn't have much reason to trust either Falstaff or Hunter. He doesn't know or understand what Falstaff is doing here, but Hunter won't even tell him who he is supposed to be working for. And on top of that, he has this past relationship with Falstaff and this blooming future relationship with Hunter, so he really is stuck in the middle here, and it seems to me now that Dingo has always been the middle-man. Balanced. Not good or bad. Anyway, a fun scene. We also get a cool bit where Fang is chowing down... and Matrix is eating a fork! Funny.
- And speaking of Matrix. I find him to be very interesting is this chapter. What strikes me most is his non-direct interplay with Falstaff. Falstaff really seems to be bothered by Matrix a lot. Looking at him funny, thinking over the things Matrix says. I can't put my finger on it, but I suspect something is going on in Falstaff's mind concerning Matrix. And Matrix continues to be an incredibly resourceful and useful teammate. In that aspect, he is sorta the R2-D2 of the group. Maybe not the main hero, but consistently saving and supporting the hero. That kind of character has always appealed to me and Matrix is no exception. I do remember hearing Greg talking about Matrix doing something truly incredible down the road and becoming a foe the Redemption Squad must face. I hope we get to see that story eventually because Matrix really is fascinating.
- Meanwhile, Falstaff tries to convince the Squad that they really are the good guys. And he does this in such an interesting way. Falstaff himself talks to Dingo. Tries to show him that he has reformed and is some sort of guardian these days. And Falstaff sets up some communications with a couple other Illuminati members: Fiona Canmore and Thailog. This is just brilliant, great stuff. There are so many conflicting things going on around here. You have a team of villains who don't know who they are working for that are trying to be good guys confronting a team of possibly bad guys who are trying to prove they are good guys working for a possibly good organization and as proof they get a couple not-so-protagonists to vouch for them. And one of them is a gargoyle and the other a gargoyle hunter. Wow.
I'm not sure if it was just luck that Matrix went along with Hunter to talk to Fiona instead of, say, Yama. Would've been an interesting conversation with Aunt Fiona with a gargoyle standing next to Hunter. Nice to see Fiona in the canon finally. And not far away we get Yama make something of a joke for us ("Someone fix the color!" Very funny.) and he and Fang chat with Thailog. These conversations don't seem to go as planned for Falstaff though. Hunter has left the family business, but Fiona indicates that there is more to things than that. We don't see what happens next, but it seems to me that Hunter has a hard time going along with whatever else Fiona has to say. And Fang vouching for Thailog means little since no one trusts Fang. So, in the end it seems only Dingo is willing to give the Illuminati the benefit of the doubt. Maybe.
- So, the Squad takes a few minutes to confer. As a side note, anyone else notice the tapestry in the room they are left in? Looks like a gargoyle fighting a human to me. Hunter gives it a passing glance anyway. Safe inside the Matrix Isolation Sphere, we see some sharing of notes. Of course, all of this is intercut with the following scene. Like the last issue, these flashes back and forth in time really keep the suspense up. Sometimes it even comes across as if the scenes were talking to each other, if you get my meaning. Dialogue in one scene inter-plays with dialogue in another. And we are not always sure what each group, even each character, is up to until the end. Really great stuff. Kudos to Greg for that. And Fang starts off a pretty climactic battle. Matrix takes out Mistress Quickly pretty easily, which makes his point. He wraps her up in some sort of shell. Greg indicated at the Gathering that she was, in fact, still alive, but in some sort of hibernation. That can't be fun for her, yikes. Of course, her teammate Points is dealing out some damage of his own, stabbing Yama in the gut. I like how Yama admits that Points is a superior swordsman, but endures the injury to take advantage of his own superior traits, namely his strength and knowledge that he will heal. Still, must've hurt, yowch. Dingo pulls out his old bolas. I don't think we've seen Dingo use the bolas since "Thrill of the Hunt". Falstaff pulls a Goliath by snapping his way out of them though. Guess he still has some muscle under the medieval getup and pounds of fat. And Hunter kicks the face of the amazing, fire-breathing Bardolph. I guess his face was already messed up, but still...
But the Squad is outnumbered and out-gunned... seemingly. Falstaff and Dingo play a game of bluffing and Falstaff bails. He reveals that Eastcheap isn't an island, but a submersible vessel of huge size. Didn't expect that! The Band of Thieves leaves the Squad to its fate in the soon to be flooded chamber. I can't help think that despite his words, Falstaff knew they'd escape and survive like we all did. Matrix saves the day again and we get our last scene with our heros(?)
Hunter is frustrated that they did not manage to capture the island or the treasure or Falstaff. No one points out that they did escape with a prisoner however. Anyway, Fang is content just to survive and Yama... actually agrees with Fang sort of. Yama tells the team that the road to their redemption is a journey and that gaining a captive or an island or whatever isn't as important as walking the road. These results are not the destination, more like perks along the road. There is a beautiful but brief moment of comraderie here with everyone, but most notably between Fang and Yama. Yama actually puts his hand on Fang's shoulder (must be the blood loss) and Fang listens so intently to Yama's words. Of course, the sun rises and we don't get to hear the obvious answer of when we've reached redemption. Fang goes back to being Fang and gives us one last curse word for the books. His use of the word "crap" really serves to re-emphasize to me, the reader, about how dark this comic was able to get at times, yet how fun and comedic it was too. A cool moment. Hunter and Dingo's last little look at each other is nice too. Honestly, the last three pages are just wonderful. Very poignant and satisfying. A great ending to this mini-series. I really hope to see more of the Bad Guys spin-off down the Redemption Road.
P.S. Can't help notice that the Humility Spell didn't turn Yama's clothes to stone... guess the Squad is in for an eyeful at sunset. : )
Glad you enjoyed the issue and the volume...
Hi Greg. A quick response on your "accessibility" ramble. I actually really appreciated the way you approached it in the comics. It was handled in a very classy way that wasn't redundant or insulting for existing fans. In fact, the spread in Issue #1 was elegant, fit the story well, and was a fun extension of the opening credits monologueâ"which, of course, was intended to bring new fans up to speed in the first place, and ended up becoming a touchstone for the loyal existing fans. I feel like the same was accomplished here (the spread, Al's story, etc.), and as someone mildly irritated whenever a story feels it has to "talk down" to me, I appreciate it.
Well, I tried.
My Review For Bad Guys #5, "Strangled"...
- The first thing I did upon checking in at the Gathering this year was seek out my copy of Bad Guys, Volume 1 and read it. Couldn't go through the Gathering out of the loop, could I? Anyway, the point is that I first read this chapter several weeks ago, and many times since then. I'll try to focus on my initial thoughts, however.
- As usual, I'll start with the cover. After a very cool "Louse" cover, it seems we are back to the somewhat dull 'Wanted' poster covers. It isn't that I don't think these covers are a fun way of highlighting the character of focus in the chapter, 'cause it works well for that purpose, but in terms of drawing new readers in, in terms of color and action, they just don't grab me. This cover is also the only one we don't get to see in color at all, which is a shame, but since it doesn't strike me as being particularly colorful anyway, I suppose we are not missing too much by only seeing it in b&w.
- Moving on to the content, we start off back at our island battle. A cool thing here is that these island battle scenes have moved from being flashbacks and become the current story (intercut with new flashback scenes). So, a robot has its grip on Hunter and Dingo really gets to be the hero here. He flies in at high speed, rescues the damsel in distress and vanquishes the monster. Fun stuff and a cool sequence, and the strongest indication yet of the relationship between Dingo and Hunter. Too bad Hunter has no interest in being a damsel. She is so fun as she lets her guard down for a second and then snaps back into tough-girl mode. I get the sense that Dingo both loves and hates that about her.
Meanwhile, Yama saves Fang without a word (quite the contrast between these two and Hunter and Dingo). Yama dives down to the island and immediately draws his swords to take on a couple smaller 'bots. This is a fun little battle also. It is neat to see that when Yama is disarmed, he still has his natural weapons, his strength and claws. A gargoyle without weapons is still a gargoyle.
So, Hunter comes crashing in and the others land nearby, bringing our team back together. There is a brief moment where Dingo helps Hunter to her feet and she brushes him off followed a few moments later by him guarding her from the supposed trap behind the island doors, which she again ignores. These two really get a lot of subtle, but fun, play in this chapter. Of course, the Hunter-Dingo relationship serves as a great reference to Harry's relationship with his mother.
- And speaking of Harry's mother, lets not forget these very interesting flashbacks. We get to learn a lot about Dingo's past. We see that he was a good kid that came from a rough part of town and was raised by a seemingly 'good guy'. A simple thief who raised poor Harry to live a life of crime. It really makes me want to go back and watch some of those Pack episodes again. Dingo was always the good guy doing the bad guy thing. Which is, of course, a fun contrast to John Oldcastle, the bad guy doing the good guy thing. I recall at the 2008 Gathering in Chicago, Karine had a panel in which she talked about various issues she had drawing this chapter (which she had been doing at the time). One thing she mentioned in particular was that one panel was simply hard to draw due to the content. I remember thinking to myself that after drawing a suicide, what could be worse. I suppose the answer should've been obvious given the title of the chapter, but the last page of the comic was a surprise to me. Pretty sick, this John. I have to wonder why he killed Mariah though. What happened? And he seems to so calmly adopt and raise Harry afterwards. Anyway, a true villain. Which is ironic since Dingo seems to think somewhat highly of the man, though I get ahead of myself.
- Anyway, so the Squad moves into the island itself. Matrix gets a brief moment to shine here (haha), and the team comes across the most hilarious piece of art a secret society would ever possess, a giant tapestry with their insignia on it. "Guess we came to the right secret lair." Uh, yeah. And after this long battle with the drab, mindless robots outside we get this quick battle with this colorful bunch of characters inside. These new people are fun. They've got some neat tricks. I love how easily 'Doll' takes out Fang. And the dude with the swords taking on both Yama and Matrix is a lot of fun too. But Dingo knows this Pistol guy and immediately guesses who else is around. So John (AKA Falstaff) makes his appearance. I have to admit that I don't know much about the Shakespearean Falstaff, but this guy is quite the character. We saw that he had gained a lot of weight through the montage of training Harry, but here he has obviously been living the easy life. I love that he walks around with a turkey leg this whole scene. He ominously welcomes Dingo and his friends to "Eastcheap Isle" (uh, haven't you been attacking them the whole time?) and then 'strangles' Dingo with a bearhug. Creepy. Falstaff is an interesting character. He seems so cheerful and friendly and Santa Claus-like that you have to like him, but knowing what he has done... Well, suffice to say that Greg Weisman really likes to push the boundaries in Bad Guys of what is right and wrong, who is good and bad and who we are supposed to like or dislike. Fun stuff.
- So, all in all, a great chapter. We got a lot of interesting background on Dingo and finally moved beyond the Bad Guys Leica Reel. The story order is well laid out. The flashbacks don't just inform the present story, they are a rich part of it, enhancing it. When going from a present day scene to one of the flashbacks, there is no jarring shift because the two seemingly separate stories work so well together. It is very reminiscent of the Stone of Destiny story in the main Gargoyles comic in that the presence of a flashback at a particular moment actually adds new insight that wouldn't have been so clear had the story been told entirely chronologically. I suppose this is what Greg meant when he said that working the Stone of Destiny story has helped in how he wrote Bad Guys. Anyway, truly brilliant, great stuff!
Thanks. Glad you liked it.
Definitely felt freed up by the Stone of Destiny arc. It helped me use the medium better.
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.
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.
I finally got my copy of "Bad Guys" today, and here's my review of the final two chapters in it, as a single post (they blended so well, I thought, that I decided to review them together).
I'll start with one word: Falstaff! I'd hoped, after Dingo's real name was revealed, that he'd get into "Bad Guys" in some way, and I was right. And as a bonus, we not only get Falstaff, but also his familiar gang (Mistress Quickly, Bardolph, Pistol, Doll, and Points [sic] - was his name deliberately changed from "Poins"?). I was delighted that in the last chapters of the comic, we'd get some fresh Shakespeare into "Gargoyles" - this time, you make use of the history plays for the first time.
And I got a big laugh out of Falstaff's original name being "Oldcastle", and his headquarters being named "Eastcheap". Not to mention, also, young Harry saying about his mother Mariah "She's the wind." Though the laughter quickly dried up after I saw, at the end of Chapter Five, what *really* happened to her.
I get a kick out of the way Fang's sitting at the conference table when Hunter's telling them about their new mission.
Was Bardolph's fire-breathing ability inspired by all the jokes about his Shakespearean namesake's fiery complexion in the Henry IV plays?
When Falstaff says that the Illuminati want to save the world, I couldn't help thinking that he might be right about that. We learned in "Gargoyles" #9 that the Illuminati's goals (at least, from Peredur's perspective) had something to do with Arthur's anticipated return, most likely to help him out when that happens - certainly a worthy aim. But of course, as Monsieur le Maire brings up in his phone conversation with the Director, the Society's taking the attitude of letting the ends justify the means (enrolling people like Xanatos, Thailog, and Mace Malone, running the Hotel Cabal, supporting the Quarrymen, stealing a national treasure like the Stone of Destiny, etc.).
Incidentally, even if you hadn't mentioned that the Director was at odds with the Illuminati in "Ask Greg", I think we'd have suspected that the Redemption Squad would be facing them at some point. The conversation between Hunter and Castaway in "Estranged" about who each other's financial backers are, and the Casablanca Hotel (whose name echoes the Hotel Cabal's), set up enough of a parallel to the Illuminati Society that a clash would *have* to take place. (Your philosophy about what makes a good antagonist at work, clearly.)
So Fiona Canmore's a member of the Illuminati. It's not a total shock (I'd seen speculations about it before), but a fun surprise, all the same - and so logical, too, in light of Hunter's identity. Thailog's cameo was fun as well (especially Yama's initial belief that the color on the monitor's gone wrong).
Despite Fang's many bad habits, I was impressed that he helped alert his teammates to the Illuminati's nature through his comments on Thailog, and his part in the battle that followed. Maybe, just maybe, there's hope for him yet.
I was delighted when Dingo urged his teammates not to destroy the island, because of all the artwork and historical artifacts stored there (it reminded me a bit of Broadway and Hudson urging Goliath not to burn the Scrolls of Merlin). Another reason why I've grown fond of the guy.
I liked the ending - Falstaff gets away and the Redemption Squad have only managed to capture one of his gang, but that wasn't the real issue. The real issue was their search for redemption, as Yama points out. (I liked the leavening of humor here - Matrix still displaying his single-minded interest in law and order; even Yama is amused here - and his turning to stone in mid-speech, to Fang's exasperation.)
Thanks for the spin-off, Greg. I hadn't initially expected to like "Bad Guys" (I thought it would be just another conventional action series), but I really enjoyed it a lot - especially with Falstaff and his gang, as I said above. And thanks for the eighteen new chapters in the Gargoyles Universe that you gave us with the comics. I hope that they shan't be the last - but even if they were, they've enriched us all the more.
Yes, Poins was deliberately changed to Points to fit his skills... and Bardolph's ability was indeed inspired by the "hellfire" within that the Shakespearean Bardolph is always described as having.
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.
WOw. Thank YOU!!
Review for GARGOYLES CLAN-BUILDING; CHAPTER 10: THE GATE
Okay, this has been the most anticipated story-line in the entire Gargoyles Fandomâ¦and man it did not disappoint.
First, a shout out to the AMAZING art by Greg Gulerâ¦Karine Charlebois said that the art was beyond description at the 08 Gatheringâ¦but seeing it nowâ"it knocks Karine from my favorite gargoyles comic artist to my second fave. (No offense to her, I do still LOVE her work)
So Brooklyn goes gliding away from the Eerie Buildingâ¦presumably to get away from the Lovey-dovey couple. Too bad they appeared to have followed him. The look of annoyance on Brookâs face was priceless. (Oh, incidentallyâ¦it took me ages to figure out what the sign on the building they landed on said. At first, I thought it might be the GOLDEN CUP building from the series, or perhaps the CASABLANCA HOTEL. I finally realized that itâs THE DAILY BUGLE. Cleverâ¦you placed so many GARGOYLES references in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN; it was kinda nice to see a Spidey reference in Gargs.)
You waste no time, the Gate appears, and Brook tries to pick it upâ¦and it disintegrates. An enormous two-page Phoenix emerges and swallows Brooklyn whole, leaving Broadway and Angela behind, looking on in horrorâ¦I could hear Broadwayâs voiceâ¦
997, Brook emerges from the flamesâ¦I note that the Phoenix itself does not seem to appear, but rather an orange glow just off-screen. It makes me wonder if the Phoenix actually shows up when Brook is arriving, or if he just tumbles out of the flames, with no actual Phoenix manifesting.
I recognized Gillecomgain, Constantine III, and Mail Brigti right away (though, I did not know Mailâs nameâ¦just that he was Gillyâs father.) Their reactionâs to Brooklynâs appearance was not unexpected. Brigti seems indifferentâ¦oh look, a gargoyle. Oh look, a cow. Oh look, a horse. No big deal.
Gilly calls Brook a âdemonâ. BIG shock there. (Rolls eyes) Constantine orders them to kill it. It reminds me of his âI donât like Gargoyle Eggsâ line in âAvalon Part 1â C and G fail miserably to take Brook downâ¦but this fourth figureâ¦Brother Valmont, uses potent sorcery to shoot a flaming arrow that hits Brooklynâs leg.
From what the Magus said in âAvalon Part 3â I thought one needed a conduit to use magicâ¦like the Grimorum, but this guy seems to be able to use magic without one.
The next few pages are the most interesting to meâ¦Brook breaks apart the arrow and it bursts into magical flamesâ¦makes me wonder if it would have done that if heâd left it in.
Finella tears the wanted poster off the doorâ¦and mysteriouslyâ¦thereâs anotherâ¦and when the guard tears off the posterâ¦thereâs yet another. Is this another one of Brother Valmontâs magics?
And then the minions comeâ¦and it canât help the gargoyle-human relations that Brook is redâ¦with horns. Based on Finellaâs expressions, I donât think sheâs ever seen a gargoyle before.
Moving onâ¦Maol Chalvim and Kenneth III (AKA The Grim). I like The Grim, but it surprised me that heâs Bodheâs dadâ¦and it upset me slightly that when I did the historical research that Maol would overthrow him. Butâ¦I liked Findlaechâs appearance too.
Then we some cool new gargoyle designs, including a new beast in the foreground, only to see them get smashed. I especially liked the female with the âbeardâ of spikes. She was cool. And another wanted poster is posted.
And Brooklyn awakesâ¦I love how much Mary has changed in her attitude in just three short yearsâ¦and Brook makes a Quantum Leap referenceâ¦very cool, considering that that show was quite popular in the 90âs. (And still is in some circles)
I love that Brooklyn GETS why heâs here so quickly. He understands how Avalon works, and figures that the Phoenix works the same way. I also think heâs actually pleased with the situationâ¦considering that heâs now away from Broadway and Angelaâ¦I would be too in his shoesâ¦and I HAVE been in those shoes before.
And we end with a full page picture of Demona that was so cool I took a picture and made it the wallpaper on my phone, and Iâm not even that big a Demona fan. I note sheâs holding the wanted posterâ¦and wonder if there is a new one on the cave wall.
I think that I will post my reviews of 11 & 12 at a later date, but I look forward to the arrival of my Bad Guys.
And I look forward to your reviews, Chip. Thanks!
Okay, Iâve been holding off on reviewing till I had my Bad Guys Trade in my hot little handsâ¦itâs been almost four weeks and I still have no BG tradeâ¦*Sigh* so I figure I might as well review now.
GARGOYLES CLAN-BUILDING; CHAPTER 9: ROCK & ROLL
Not much to say here, Iâve been sitting on this story for almost a year, as I was in the 2008 Radio Play. (Playing Griffâ"My Favorite Characterâ"thank you again for the gift of that role again Greg, and whoever else was involved. Wish I could have been at the 09 Gatheringâ¦but I just couldnât afford a trip to LAâ¦apologies) I knew how it would turn out, but the art was spectacularâ¦and using the art, Greg managed to throw a few more curves my way.
I didnât expect to see Macbeth battling alongside Robert the Bruceâ¦makes me wonder just how involved Mac was with Scottish History. Didnât expect Duval to be a cyborgâ¦THAT was a huge curveball. Also, I didnât realize it before, but even though she appeared, Fleurâs name was never spoken aloudâ¦which means itâs technically still Canon in Training, even though she herself has appeared and is ranked â3â.
Also didnât expect to see Leo and Una atop Knightâs Spurâ¦that was a pleasant surpriseâ¦though I was disappointed that we couldnât get a good look at Old Pogâ¦I really like that gargoyle.
Glad it wasn't a letdown, even when spoiled...
My Review For Gargoyles #12, "Phoenix"...
- So, we have finally come to the last chapter of Clan-Building. As with Issue #11, I'll do my best to review this one with my initial impressions at the forefront, though I know I won't be able to resist mentioning further information and insight from the Gathering.
- Again, lets start with this awesome cover. After all the mixed feelings I've had about the numerous covers (both from Gargoyles and Bad Guys), I'm happy that this final cover really hit all the right spots. It is brightly colored and visually interesting. It is funny due to the obvious Star Wars reference and thus works well to grab the attention of comic book store shoppers. It has a lot going on without giving anything away or being too busy. I really think it is the best cover (aside from Issue #1 and possibly #5) and so I was thrilled it made it to the cover of Clan-Building Volume 2.
- On to the meat of the book now (and boy, is there a lot of meat, this thing is crammed full), we open, no in 997 with Brooklyn as I suspected, but rather in 1997 with Goliath. His monologue here is really great. It bookends this chapter, but more importantly it bookends the Clan-Building series as it parallels directly with Goliath's monologue to Elisa (and us) in Issue #1 about his clan. You could even say it goes all the way back to the opening sequence of the Season 2 episodes. Anyway, it works beautifully here. I can't help but think of Closing Ceremonies at the Gathering when I read it now. Greg Weisman talked about how the moment was so bittersweet, and it was... is. But reading this issue, and Goliath's monologue in particular, really gives me hope for this franchise and this fandom.
- Meanwhile, a thousand years ago, Brook is giving his own inner monologue, but he isn't doing it in quiet solitude, he is giving it in the thick of the Battle of Rathveramoen! I like that even as people are dieing all around him and his own life is truly at risk, his thoughts dwell on his family back home. We worries that they are worried about him, but of course, they barely have time to worry at all, but he doesn't know that yet. But he realizes to get home to see his family again, his job is to help the Grim win the battle, keep the Grimorum out of the wrong hands, and keep the last bunch of gargoyles in Scotland safe. Of course, all of these objectives are in jeopardy of going undone. Ironically, the battle itself seems to be going well. Brooklyn, "Demona" and the clan are kicking some ass (or rather breaking some necks, slicing some flesh and causing some heavy damage from high-altitude drops). This battle is a lot of fun visually. And there is a lot going on. Brook has a couple really great moments. First he and a fellow gargoyle, "Bro", have this great exchange about being rookery brothers. It was very cool to finally meet a rookery sibling of the trio (knowing that they were, of course), but it wasn't until the Gathering where Greg Weisman pointed out that the gargoyle behind these two watching this exchange is probably Brooklyn's BIOLOGICAL brother. How cool is that?! We get a great example of how relationships work within gargoyle clans. So cool, and such a contrast to what we see going on with the humans, where blood relationships define everything (and seem to be causing a lot of trouble). Then Brooklyn gets a very cool moment with Demona where they discuss Goliath. She is such a hypocrite here. She bitches that when the humans are finished fighting each other, they will come after the gargoyles, but her plan is to kill their human allies once they've defeated their rivals! Does she even hear herself? Well, this is Demona, her own worst enemy after all.
- While the battle rages, not far away, the Grimorum has finally fallen into the wrong hands. Mary and Finella (and Magus the horse) do what they can to get the book back, but to little avail. Valmont uses the book to cast a pretty nasty spell that seems to amplify the one he has used a few times before. Fiery arrows rain down on the battle and a lot of gargoyles are injured or killed. We get a really sad scene of the sacrifice of one gargoyle for her mate. But this whole thing makes me so angry at Demona. She uses these deaths (both in this chapter and in City of Stone) as fuel for her hate, but in doing so she negates all that they are fighting and dying for. And THEN, she remarks how she cannot undo these awful things that have happened. Well, duh, girl, but making things worse is not the solution! What a hypocrite and a bitch! She drives me nuts, and to all of the Demona-apologist fans out there I ask you to pay attention to what is going on here.
- Meanwhile, the humans are battling it out. Constantine and the Grim seem evenly matched until Constantine threatens Bodhe, then the Grim really lets him have it. Constantine's reign as King ends as it begins, with someone getting stabbed, though at least this isn't a cold murder, but a death in battle. The Grim has that over Constantine. And speaking of Bodhe, he seems to be getting trounced by Gillecomgain, which is no surprise in that Gille is twice his size and probably much more skilled in battle. Bodhe seems to barely survive, and only luck saves him when Gille gets distracted by his father's death, but you can tell the event probably traumatized him for life (Greg indicated at the Gathering that this event, the murder of the Grim a few years later and the murder of Bodhe's own sone a few years after that all lead to his behavior in City of Stone. This all has made Bodhe very interesting to me). Findlaech really comes across as a good guy here, he wanted to share with his brother and Mail Brigti refused, he didn't want to kill his nephew because after it all he didn't want to end his brother's line. It really makes me wonder what Findlaech thought when Maol Chalvim usurped the Grim a few years down the line. And speaking of that, some of Constantine's final words seem almost prophetic. He senses Maol's thirst for the throne and blattanly tells the Grim of it. He even inspires Gillecomgain to become the first Hunter.
- Anyway, the battle ends, the arrows are stopped and just when things seem to have called down the Phoenix reappears. Brooklyn is understandably annoyed. He doesn't get to see what comes next, and we can relate, we don't either. Guess it is off to hit the history books to see what happened next... for now. Before he is off, Brook smoothly recovers the Grimorum from Demona and passes it back to Finella and Mary. I was a bit surprised that Finella didn't get a chance to use magic herself as I thought she would due to her talk in #11, but I wasn't surprised that Mary and Finella asked to go with Brooklyn, having had that idea spoiled for me years ago online. I suspect that all three of them thought they would be going right back to the time and place Brook came from and I suspect therein lies Mary's real motivation. I think she wants to see Tom again and knows he is safe and alive (and married) in Brook's time. Well, we don't get to find out... yet. The Phoenix, once again, seems to have Brooklyn singled out and we can assume the "Time-Fowl" snatched up Mary and Finella and the Grimorum too.
- So we, the audience, pop back to 1997 to the moments right after Brooklyn left... and he reappears. We are told that he is not alone, and I think the less-informed (or less spoiled) fan might think Finella and Mary are with him, but most of us know better. Back at the Castle, Hudson and Lex finally come home from London and as I suspected Coldstone and Coldfire came with. I'm thrilled that they are finally members of the Clan in full. And then we come to probably the most anticipated moment for fans for the last ten years. The reveal of Brooklyn's family. I have to admit, I didn't know what to expect outside of a female Ishimuran gargoyle, her and Brook's son and a gargoyle beast (and an egg, okay I had a good idea what the egg would look like). Katana is very cool. I love that we finally have a beaked female in the canon, I love that attention was paid to her number of fingers and toes to reflect her clan of origin. I do have a slight worry that the two beaked gargoyles would end up together. I know that a beaked gargoyle could just as well mate with a non-beaked gargoyle, but I worry that some fans might not see this. I dunno. A minor worry for me. Gnash is a lot of fun, he seems older than his age indicates. Must be the weapon. Really, the whole family seems like they have a lot of stories to tell. Or rather, for Greg to tell. I like Brooklyn's line about his journey being a long story and "some of it even true". Ties us nicely with the journey Goliath set us on back in #2 and with Shari's tales. And lets not forget Fu-Dog. I LOVE Fu-Dog's design. Very cool. I hope he and Bronx get along. Other nice things about this final scene include Hudson laughing and being so happy. When I see him here, I think back to his line in "The Gathering" where he is so happy that they are not the last and not alone. He gets to see his decimated clan grow. How cool. I really like how Angela wants to hold 'Egwardo'. I never thought about her never having seen an egg before (I suppose I figured she saw the clutches in Ishimura or ChacIxChel), but I love the motherly aspect this gives her and Broadway's reaction to it. A lot of fans seem to focus on Katana's reluctance to let go of the egg, but I don't see that as that big of a deal. It isn't like she violently refused, and after all they've been through, you have to understand her reluctance. Anyway, Elisa's reaction to showing up was really cool. I mean she was probably expecting Goliath, Bronx, Broadway, Angela and Brooklyn at most. Instead she comes out of the elevator too see this whole motley crew. Coldstone, Coldfire, Katana, Gnash, Fu-Dog and even Brooklyn must've been a real shock. I like her "Whoa... Goliath...?" But, there isn't time for explanations, we have to go kick some butt. As Greg indicated at the Gathering, I'm sure they did. All these gargoyles versus Wolf, Jackal and Hyena. As Lex states, they'll "never know what hit 'em!" A GREAT ending to this awesome Clan-Building arc. Of course, it is "Never The End..." Not for the Manhattan Clan or the Gargoyles series or the fandom. This comic couldn't have been released at a more poignant time. Great job, Greg. Really, this is awesome stuff. And ALL of the artists made it work so beautifully as well. Thank You!
Eagerly awaiting Gargoyles #13, "Manhattan, Chapter One"...
Thanks, Matt. I can't wait to write it!
"Gargoyles, Bad Guys: Redemption. #6: Losers"
We pick up where we left off, but, at last we meet the mystery man who is behind the Redemption Squad. A man obscured in shadow called 'the Director.' We don't see much of him, but he works for an organization which, I suspect, is trying to bring down the Illuminati.
Anyway, Falstaff introduces his band of freaks. Pistol (a gun fighter); Points (swordsman); Bardolph (He breathes fire); Mistress Doll (a contortionist); and Mistress Quickly.
Falstaff then invites the Redemption Squad to dinner. Dingo is asking Falstaff the questions; Hunter is sitting there fuming in silence; Yama is listening; Matrix is absorbing metal; and Fang is stuffing his face.
Falstaff decides that the Redemption Squad would make a great asset, and on behalf of the Illuminati, he offers them membership. Besides, the Illuminati is only trying to save the world. Which I am sure is true... from their point of view. And he can prove it.
Hunter is given a chance to speak with her great-aunt, Fiona Canmore. This made me bug out a little, because a year or so ago, I asked myself "if Fiona Canmore is supposed to still be alive in 1997, when she was hunting Demona in 1920... what if she was an Illuminatus and had access to their rejuvenation drugs?" But I never expected to see it in the canon. Gargoyles Fans Collective Conscious strikes again!
Across the room, Yama and Fang are connected to... Goliath. Except the coloring is off, and Yama asks for someone to fix the color. Whoops, it's not Goliath it's... Thailog. He asks Fang to vouch for him. Which Fang obliges.
Meanwhile, Dingo cannot believe that Falstaff got out of the life... but, what better job is there for the world's greatest thief than to guard the world's biggest treasury. The island: Eastcheap Isle is the Illuminati's treasury. And we see a room that would make Scrooge McDuck green with envy.
So, the Redemption Squad are left to confer. Join the Illuminati or not. But Yama knows the Illuminati cannot be trusted. And why? Because Fang vouched for Thailog and Fang knows the rest of the squad doesn't trust him. Really sneaky Fang.
So, we have a nice fight between the squad, and Falstaff's gang of freaks. But when the Redemption Squad gains the upper hand, Falstaff sinks the island... which is actually a ship. The Redemption Squad manage to escape... having lost this round.
Now, some might find it a bummer that the Redemption Squad didn't really achieve a victory here... beyond capturing Mistress Quickly. Falstaff and the rest of his crew escape, with the treasury.
But, Yama sums up what this was really all about. The never ending struggle for redemption. But Fang is just happy to have survived. He's not interested in redemption... maybe one day, but not yet.
Overall, a fun introduction to what I am sure would have been a great series. Greg's writing is as sharp as ever. But I have to say that I've always admired Karine Charlebois' art. I've watched her grow as an artist since 1997. But, with these comics, you can see her getting progressively better with each issue. She's great.
I know that if we get a license renewal and we get more spin-offs, Greg is planning a Dark Ages story, then a Pendragon story, then a TimeDancer story. But, I'll be honest. This really whetted by appetite. I want to see more of these characters and this team.
"Gargoyles, Bad Guys: Redemption. #5: Strangled"
This issue is told somewhat non-linearly, but no where near to the extent as the recent Stone of Destiny story in "Gargoyles."
Parts of this center around Dingo's past. We see Dingo/Harry Monmouth as a small child rush home only to be told by his surrogate father figure, John Oldcastle, that his mother, Mariah, has run off again. Mariah is apparently a bit of a free-spirit... and this was the 1970s. Young Harry seems hardly surprised, as Mariah has done this before. But John promises to take care of him. And, for the next decade or so of his life, John... a professional thief and criminal trains Harry and the two of them pull off a series of heists.
In the present day (hee hee, 1997), Hunter informs the now full squad of Dingo, Matrix, Yama, and Fang, that their next target is an Illuminati stronghold on an island. So now, it all comes together. This is the island that we've been seeing this squad battle those giant robots.
The squad destroys the robots and enters the stronghold, where they discover a gigantic Illuminati banner, and they are ambushed by a bunch of freaky villains in Renaissance get-up. Dingo immediately recognizes one of them as someone he worked with when he was younger and pulling jobs with John Oldcastle, and knows who they're up against.
Enter John Oldcastle, who now calls himself Falstaff. And like the Falstaff of William Shakespeare's "Henry IV," Falstaff is a rather large individual who loves to eat and drink. He also refers to himself as the "King of Thieves." The Shakespeare character was a thief as well. Gotta hand it to Greg, if he can reference the Immortal Bard, he will. Shakespeare is always a wonderful thing to include, and like the series, you don't need to be fluent in it to enjoy it.
And while I'm on the point, there was a historical John Oldcastle. He was arrested for heresy, escaped from the Tower of London, and plotted to capture King Henry V (they used to be friends) and his family. He was eventually executed... hanged and burned. They say Shakespeare based his Falstaff off of John Oldcastle. Which makes Weisman's choice in the name very appropriate.
Falstaff greets Dingo with a big manly hug... and then we cut back to our flashback to Dingo's youth, when he returned home to discover his mom had taken off again. Only, she didn't take off... John Oldcastle strangled her to death in their bedroom.
I liked this issue. Everything seems to be coming together, and the story has caught up with itself. I also think that final page outlines the advantages of the comic book medium. "Gargoyles" on TV got away with a lot, but S&P would hardly allow any cartoon series to depict a man with his hands around the throat of a dead woman (and make no mistake, she is already dead in that shot) in their bedroom.
To be concluded...
Yep, she's dead all right.
Thanks for the final act of the Radio Play, Greg.
The ending, with the Illuminati getting their hands on the Spear and the Crown of Thorns, surprised me. Well, apart from the fact that a part of me thought that, in light of the Illuminati's links to the Holy Grail, it would be appropriate if they eventually got the Spear of Destiny, which turns up in the medieval Grail romances a number of times (in the role of the spear that crippled the Fisher King). And so Tombstone's an Illuminatus as well - pity that it can't be canon.
I was also surprised at Dominic Dracon's death - killing off a canonical character in a non-canonical script!
A few other highlights: more people telling Margot to "give it a rest", the "Casablanca" quote at the end, and Demona stuck at Ravencroft - though I doubt that she'll be there long.
Thanks for such a delightful piece, Greg.
My Review For Gargoyles #11, "Tyrants"...
- Alright. I'm a liar. I said in my "Rock of Ages" review that I planned to read each issue independently and review them before moving on to the next chapter, so as to get my true first impressions of each story without influence from later chapters or talking with fans. I was doing pretty well until this issue. By the end of it, I could hardly stop before moving on to #12. What is worse is that I've recently returned home from the Gathering and have had lots of discussions and revelations about the entire book. Nevertheless, I'll do my best to write these reviews as separate issues, focusing on my initial impressions for the most part.
- So, as usual, I'll start with the cover. Brooklyn meeting his past, frozen self is a neat idea. The cover made me wonder immediately if Brook will ever meet and talk to himself at some point in his TimeDancing. I guess we'll have to wait and see. Anyway, it is a good, fun cover.
- We pick up more or less where we left off, though I get the sense that some time is passing in 10-12 that we are not seeing. There is a lot of traveling through Scotland going on and I'm sure Brook is spending days on the road. What strikes me about that is that this time is passing without note, which contrast greatly with the previous three comics where every minute was accounted for. So, Mary, Finella and Brooklyn arrive back at Wyvern. A few years have passed since the Massacre and all seems quiet and calm at the old Castle. Brooklyn finally gets a chance to really face what happened to his Clan. Their crushed remains lie all around him. Brook is such a rich character. Capable of such sorrow and anguish and still be one of the most humorous characters in the series. Great writing. Brooklyn learns quickly that it isn't a great idea to talk about future events to people in the past when Mary asks about Tom. I get the sense here that Mary and Finella know and believe Brook is from the future, but not from how far in the future. I doubt Mary knows about how time passes on Avalon, so I suspect that she might only believe Brook is from a few decades down the road. Interesting. Also of note here is that Brook finds an old scabbard for the sword he obtained in the last chapter. I think this merits note because suddenly Brooklyn feels the need to carry a weapon, something he has never needed before. He also discovers that Goliath's half of the Phoenix Gate is not available.
- Meanwhile, in less quiet corners of Scotland, the busy world of war and politics is ticking along. Constantine fulfills his moniker of "Constantine the Bald" by shaving his head. Thanks to Todd Jenson and the GargWiki I was well aware of this historical tidbit before reading this chapter and it gave me a cool feeling. Constantine's relationship with Gillecomgain is very interesting, and thus the relationship with Mail Brigti is interesting as well. Constantine seems creepily fascinated by the teenager and this seems to worry Brigti, though he is probably wise to say nothing of it. Most strongly on Constantine's mind seems to be the war however. I like how he mentions the "Three Brothers". Valmont is cool here too. He deduces that Katharine and Magus have left "this world", Tom is with them or dead and that the Grimorum remains in Scotland all by reading the entrails of goats! A talented and creepy sorcerer to be sure.
- And finally, in another corner of Scotland, Demona arrives to her clan's cave with bad news. "They're all dead". Yikes. She seems mostly pissed off, but everyone else seems more shocked and sad. I like that distinction. And lets talk about this clan. The male gargoyles are not new to us, but the females and the beasts are. I can't help suspecting that the beasts are Bronx's biological parents and that the young female is 'True', Hudson's biological daughter. As it turns out, both suspicions were correct as revealed at the Gathering. Apparently, this cell is of gargoyles that originated at Wyvern. Kinda cool. We also get our first canon mention of the Wind Ceremony (just as earlier we got our first canon mention of the Humility Spell, this is a good chapter for canonizing things). I like how young, innocent 'True' suggests a Wind Ceremony, but the older, harder, angrier Demona just wants vengeance. For me this symbolizes Demona's ironic drift from the true gargoyle ways.
- And in yet one more corner of Scotland, the army of the Three Brothers assembles. I love their emblem being the three swords. A symbol of unity as opposed to Constantine's claw being a symbol of domination. So, while Demona plots to kill all humanity, Grim is hoping they will be strong allies, that is pretty cool. Really plays into how much I like the Grim. And he gets some luck when Brooklyn arrives and immediately allies himself, with hope that he can bring an army of gargoyles. Things are looking up for the army of the Three Brothers. I also want to mention that I found it funny to see Bodhe and Brooklyn standing next to each other. Not two characters I ever really suspected of being in the same scene, but I suppose TimeDancer will give us plenty of surprises along that line.
- So, we've visited all the 'camps' in this issue and now they all start coming together. After a really funny moral message to his audience beyond the fourth wall, Brooklyn leaves to find the last remaining gargoyles in Scotland. I get a good sense of a lot more time passing here. Maybe a few days or even longer. Brook finds more smashed clans and spends his days hiding before finally being discovered by an old acquaintance, the gargoyle who will be Demona. Naturally, he attacks her immediately. She is amazed to discover she knows him and he barely keeps his anger in check. I like how they both start lying to each other about how they survived the Massacre. After Demona stammers out her line about being in the forest, Brook brushes it off with a "Doesn't matter". I love how he knows she is lying and yet doesn't call her on it. Good restraint on his part and from the other angle it makes me wonder what Demona's reaction will be when she realizes Brooklyn was not being entirely honest either.
- Back at the ranch, Finella wants to try to use the Grimorum. Mary says this sounds dangerous, and I have to agree. Everyone else who has used the book was probably in training for years. We'll see if she can pull it off. I suppose knowing Latin and seeing magic performed before is a good start, but still...
- And at the opposing army's camp, Constantine the Artist is doing some really fun face-painting for the kids... or actually creating an emblem of fear, hatred and genocide which will last for centuries. And all the while is being a real jerk. Killing the messenger and all that. And finally we come to the Battle of Rathveramoen, which we've been building towards for a while. The army of the Three Brothers seems way out-gunned until sunset. And then we get this AWESOME two page spread of Brooklyn leading the gargoyle army into the battle. I noted a couple cool things with this battle. I liked how the gargoyle beasts are seen already chomping down on Constantine's men. I like how Demona's Clan left the young gargoyles behind which contrasts with Bodhe being in the battle, against Gillecomgain, no less. I like how Demona's Second is thrilled at the thought of a 'true battle' rather than the hiding the scattered clan had been doing, and I find it cool that he (and apparently the whole clan) has started calling Brooklyn "The Gargoyle of the Sword". Not a name, of course, but just gargoyles being gargoyles. Why call it 'The Hudson' and not just 'the river', why call him 'Brooklyn' and not just 'the gargoyle of the sword'? The are just called what they are, I love it.
- And lastly we get the battle coming to where it wasn't supposed to get. Mary and Finella's guards are quickly taken out by Valmont and the Grimorum is snatched away. And we get this iconic Gargoyles moment where Demona and her enemy speak the same passionate line. In this case both desire to control Scotland. Really great stuff.
- This was a really interesting issue. Lots of new, cool things to look at, new canon stuff and a great battle begins. A fun issue that clearly left me desperate for more as I was unable to stop reading at this point. And I can still in my mind almost hear Valmont or Constantine's voice-over say "To Be Concluded..."
Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I did really try to put everything I could into those issues...
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.
Praise is always welcome!!!
Thanks for the second act of "A Handful of Thorns". I enjoyed it, especially all the in-jokes (Brooklyn's spin-off remarks, the Green Goblin thinking of calling up Disney about the gargoyles, Elisa repeating her "street pizza" line from "Awakening Part One", Demona's remark about the stage being crowded enough, etc.). You must really have had a blast writing it.
So how good would a couple of gargoyle beasts be at looking after an egg? (At least nobody is going to try stealing it with Bronx and Fu-Dog on guard duty!)
On the more serious note, I liked your exploring of the impact of Brooklyn's Timedancing adventures upon the trio.
A great cliffhanger ending (I hope it won't offend any of the readers). I'll admit that I would expect the Spear of Destiny to be in a different location in the Gargoyles Universe - I won't say where, because it would break the "no original ideas" - but I've read enough about the medieval legends concerning that same spear to guess.
Looking forward to Act Three (I hope the weekend won't seem too slow).
I'm not sure "blast" is the word I'd use for the writing process. (Too many characters; too little time.) But we definitely had a blast performing it.
I think you asked and answered your own question re: Beasts and egg.
And now we meet the Director. Sort of. We never get a clear look at his face, or learn his real name. In a way this makes him the opposite of another surprise character, Monsieur Le Maire, who appears to be the Director's superior! We know his name (or alias at least), but we never see him, or learn exactly what organization they belong to. Just what we need, another "super-secret organization." At least this one seems to be trying not to fall into the "ends justify the means" trap.
I just noticed on my second read through that Falstaff stuffs his leg of meat into his tankard while talking. I guess if you enjoy beer soaked meat....
We get introduced to Falstaff's motley crew, and Dingo introduces his group (poor Fang's out cold for his intro), and we move to dinner. I love the look on Fang's face after Hunter says they "won't be breaking any bread" ("Uh...we won't?" with a mouthful of food). Interestingly, the Matrix seems to be sampling the silverware. I also enjoy Hunter's reaction to Dingo's defense of Falstaff as having raised him ("That's a recommendation?").
Matrix seems to confound Falstaff from the get-go. I particularly like the look he gives Matrix when it makes a statement in regards to its attempt to take over the world "with geometry."
Of course, we come to the part we saw in the trailer where Falstaff makes the claim that the Illuminati are the good guys, and brings in character witnesses for that. Namely, Fiona Canmore and Thailog (love Yama's initial call for someone to fix the color after thinking it was Goliath).
Both offer some wonderful character/plot moments. For Fiona, there's the revelation that the "family" has been looking for Robyn (just how big is the Canmore family anyway?), and that "the Hunt" is just a part of something larger (of which we are not told right now). Thailog describes himself as Goliath's "rookery son" (I felt I had to laugh at the audacity of that lie), and then says Fang will vouch for him. Fang's next line ("Sure. Thailog's my kinda gargoyle") floored me. Saying that EXACT phrase to Yama pretty much guaranteed that Yama would want nothing to do with the Illuminati. Actually, Fang brings a lot of surprises in this issue, but I'll deal with the rest later.
That is a LOT of treasure. I just had to say that.
I find it hilarious that everyone has to hop for the Matrix to form a "privacy bubble." It's a fun image--as is all of them crowded together inside. Meanwhile Falstaff is stymied in his attempts to eavesdrop on their conversation. The Matrix has done nothing to endear itself to him.
The inter-cutting of the Squad's "signing up" with the Illuminati and their earlier private conference in the bubble do an effective job of keeping the reader guessing. At first I was a bit confused, but on my second read through I finally figured out what was going on. They make the decision that the Illuminati cannot be trusted, but Dingo doesn't want to just nuke the place. In addition to wanting to spare the lives of his foes, he also wants to save the treasure and all the art and history contained therein (and proving himself closer to "hero" than "anti-hero" in the process), so they play along. Their attempt at infiltration goes south, however. Maybe it was Falstaff's halfhearted acceptance of Hunter's claim that she works for Interpol, or the fact that the Thieves were already surrounding them, but something convinces Fang that Falstaff is onto them, and he starts blasting (taking out Doll first, probably for payback).
There's a lot of stuff with this fight I like:
-how quickly and easily the Matrix neutralizes Mistress Quick.
-Dingo's unhappy look at having to face off against his old mentor.
-Yama's rather unique method of defeating Points (yet another showcase of something that would NEVER have made it on television). Interestingly, I think there are actually stories from Japan of swordsmen defeating opponents with such tactics.
-Hunter's graceful handling of Bardolph.
-And Pistol's surprise entrance with a BFG.
It wouldn't surprise me at all if Matrix really could blow up the island (I find that more believable than it lying about such a thing--doesn't seem programmed for that yet). The fact that the island is a freakin' submarine caught me by surprise, but not as much as Falstaff's casual dismissal of them all drowning. After all that he'd seen/heard about the Matrix, did he really think something like this would kill them? And he didn't seem too upset about the capture of Mistress Quick (who has a whole "screaming statue" thing going on). Speaking of which, I wonder if she's at all conscious throughout this sequence.
Matrix makes a nice raft. I really enjoy the conversation here at the end, especially Yama's little speech. Even if he doesn't feel he has redeemed himself yet, he certainly seems more at peace than he was in "The Lost." I also enjoy everyone's surprise at Yama's statement that Fang was actually "more right than wrong." Actually, Fang is surprising in several ways, not the least of which is how helpful he is to the squad. He subtly indicates that Thailog (and by extension, the Illuminati) is untrustworthy, doesn't give Falstaff time to trap them, and sounds almost philosophical about losing the mission but surviving. The serious look on his face while Yama gives his speech caught me off guard, too. I never would have pegged Fang as interested in redemption before. I wonder if Tasha's suicide had something to do with it.
So Yama turns to stone in mid-sentence before he can say how they'll know they are redeemed, much to Fang's (rather humorous) consternation. I love how Yama's Squad uniform does not turn to stone with him. I'm also rather surprised at the smile Hunter and Dingo share. It's nice to see them not sniping at each other for once.
Nothing left to say really, except about that sketch on the inside of the back cover. I don't remember Hunter kissing Dingo like that in these comics! Here's hoping we see something like that in a comic in the near future.
As I often say, "Give me enough issues..."
Wow. We finally get to where the leica reel ends (with all the requisite high action). All the while it is interspersed with flashbacks--the most interesting being the look at Dingo's past. It's sad to see how quickly the news his mother's walked out again quells his joyous mood (did anyone else see how he crushed his math test in his fist? One thing about Karine's art: it's so full of little details). I knew something wasn't quite right with John from the way he was holding the door closed, and the look on his face. I will admit, I kind of figured he had killed Mariah, but I didn't expect the shot at the end of the comic with his friggin' hands still around her throat! That one was a shocker (though after the suicide, I wonder why that should be). Actually, seeing John Oldcastle's interactions with the young Harry is very disarming. He does seem to genuinely care about the boy (but that could just show how good a liar he is). As a side note, I know that the comic gets away with a lot, but young Harry's joking question about John being a "molester" raised an eyebrow.
The "teaching montage" is just beautiful. Shows where Dingo learned most of his skills, but not necessarily his style (the surprise on John's face when teen-Harry proudly displays his new haircut is hilarious). One question that is not resolved: WHY did Oldcastle kill Mariah? A story for another day, I guess.
Loved the shot of Dingo saving Hunter. The look on her face during that sequence is priceless. Of course, immediately after that "moment of weakness" (so to speak) she pushes off Dingo and free-falls(!) to take out another robot. Damn!
I loved Dingo's reaction to Robyn's rather melodramatic description of the Illuminati as a "super-secret organization trying to take over the world. ("Seriously?") You've got to feel for Dingo. Even after leaving the Pack, his life refuses to stop acting like a comic book. At least this time he's a hero.
Yama's still not happy about Fang coming along. He's even less happy about losing that sword. I loved the robot POV just before its destruction, as well as Yama's casual inspection and then discarding of the head.
Dingo tries to help up Hunter, she blows him off, and for some reason has a smug smile on her face (is she just proud of blowing up a robot herself?). Actually, Dingo really seems to be looking out for Hunter here--when he calls out the possibility of a trap, he has his right arm out as if to shield her or hold her back. She is not impressed, of course.
Matrix as a light source (that's a little TOO bright). Win!
"Guess we came to the right secret lair." Indeed, you have to admire the subtlety of that gigantic wall decoration.
And then we are introduced to a nimble young woman apparently named "Doll." All I can say about the last panel of her introductory page, where she sends Fang flying with a flip that leaves her doing a handstand with her legs wide open, is "SWEET JEEBUS!"
Other folk include a heavily scarred fire-breather, a woman who runs really fast, a guy who looks like a "Pirates of the Caribbean" extra (who manages to cross blades with both Yama and the Matrix), and a guy who would look at home in a Robin Hood film except he's armed with guns. And is fast enough to outdraw Hunter, not to mention skilled enough to shoot the gun out of her hand. Oh yeah, and his name's Pistol. At least that's what Dingo calls out because he apparently knows him--and who he's connected with.
And here comes the revelation: Dingo's old mentor John Oldcastle is the one calling the shots, and he's now known as "FALSTAFF, KING OF THIEVES!" (Am I the only one who hears this guy being voiced by BRIAN BLESSED?) Okay, how does he manage to get BOTH nubile young women hanging off him like that? And he does it while sitting in a throne, with a leg of meat in one hand and a tankard in the other. A more important question would be, how can I put myself in that position?
As I said, the artwork is incredible and rich in detail. I am a little sad at not seeing the cover for issue #5 (Dingo's wanted poster) in color, but that's a minor gripe.
Glad you liked it.
Once again, excellent art from Ben Dunn that also remains consistent with the work of the previous two artists. I feel he sometimes puts in a few too many wrinkles/flecks/spots on Goliath and Brooklyn, and he has a tendency to draw some of the women's faces (especially Finella) in a style too similar to Japanese manga. Also, Maol Chalvim's face looks a bit...off to me on page 11 (it doesn't look as "long" as it should to me). Demona's, too, on occasion. But overall, a bang up job.
This chapter actually begins in 1997 with Goliath (in his "thinker" pose) ruminating on how a thousand years ago "the humans" thought they had crushed his kind completely, before we go back to Brooklyn in 997 thinking about how "a thousand years from now" Broadway and Angela are wondering if he'll come back. I like that bit of parallelism.
"Damn good question." I'll never get over the casual swearing (no matter how mild).
For the next few pages, we're treated to Brooklyn's interior monologue as he dishes out exposition. I love how he calls the Phoenix the "Time-Fowl." He would be the type to give a casual name to a magical entity.
I can't help but wonder what kind of sword Brooklyn's using. I've heard people call it a broadsword, but Brooklyn sometimes swings it two-handed. Wouldn't that make it a bastard sword?
Meanwhile, Valmont is gloating about having the Grimorum. "First of the Three Keys to Power...the pathway to Avalon...the fate of Scotland in my hands!" Okay, it's official: Valmont is Archmage Jr.
Well, Mary's clever enough to pull the wagon out from under him. Pity it wasn't enough to make him drop the book.
Back to Brooklyn, as he continues to think about what his actions mean for the gargoyles he brought out of hiding. After he and the gargoyle with the beaky nose lift and drop a couple of soldiers, Brook gets carried away and calls him "bro" and tries to give a high-five (or high-four, in this case). He's able to recover quickly enough, though (easy when you can say "bro" is short for "rookery brother"). I like the camaraderie he managed to pull off with the other garg here.
I also like how he refers to Demona as his "least favorite personal demon." Brooklyn's no fool, he knows Demona's planning a betrayal, but he's got to play along.
Let me take this moment to say that, even if she is the Demona from 997, I am REALLY glad to see Demona back again. I've really missed her. And she is VICIOUS in battle! Clawing people across the face seems to be a thing with her.
Brooklyn's response to Demona's compliment on his battle prowess ("I had a good teacher...Goliath") is wonderful. To me it both shows the respect he has for Goliath, and also acts as his way of sticking it to Demona. She, however, takes it as an opportunity to disparage Goliath's trust of humans, and state that the humans will turn on the gargoyles at the end of battle (you're one to talk, Ms. Backstabby McBackstab).
Meanwhile Constantine taunts Kenneth with talk of "superior numbers" and how he has no mercy (which he says with a vicious smile). Okay, Constantine belongs under the "Complete Monster" category of villain. You know the kind of villain you love to hate? Well, this isn't that kind of villain. This is the type of villain you just want to see die horribly. And Gillecomgain is putting himself in that very same category with his actions here. Sure he was a monster in "City of Stone," but somehow what we see of him here makes him even worse! He's trying to kill poor Bodhe (no wonder the kid grew into a coward) and he's doing it with glee! And Constantine is egging him on. "It is the Hunter's Moon, be a hunter for your king!" (I love the close-ups of both Constantine and Gillecomgain in those two panels--page 9). Findlaech makes an offhand remark to his adversary, Mail Brigti, to the effect of Gil seeming like Constantine's son.
Mail just ignores that, fights him and reveals...that he and Findlaech are half-brothers! I had remembered hearing about this (that Gillecomgain and Macbeth were actually related), but I wondered why Gil would be a peasant if that was the case. Now we get a story where this is explained. It also explains why Mail always acted so angry (bitterness, and he may have taken some of it out on Gil). Findlaech definitely comes across as having the moral high ground, having offered to share Ruaidri's (their father) inheritance, but Mail seems determined to have everything, even if it means siding with a Complete Monster.
And then Brother Valmont casts a spell. While Finella is trying to figure out the translation, Maol finally shows up. Turns out he's quicker to understand Latin, and orders the women to take cover while he threatens Valmont to make him call off the spell. Actually, this shot of Maol Chalvim could almost be considered a hero shot. Maol's a strange character. Not nice, by any stretch of the imagination, and I know he's going to turn on poor, good Kenneth eight years on, but somehow he's able to pull of these "hero" type moments. Unfortunately, the threat doesn't work on Valmont. And Finella figures out the spell just in time to take cover.
The spell? Arrows begin to rain down from the skies (what IS it with Brother Valmont and arrows?).
Demona's Second's Mate shields him from the arrows with her own body and dies (NOOOOO!)! And she's not the only one getting hit--there are several gargoyle silhouettes in the background, some pierced with the arrows (NOOOO! multiplied by however many died). But she is the one we've seen the most of, and the fact that she's the mate of a gargoyle we are (slightly) more familiar with, helps to personalize it as he grieves for her, poor guy. Brooklyn and even Demona are horrified by this turn of events.
To be fair, I kind of figured she'd die before the end of the comic arc simply because we never saw her in "City of Stone." Of course, we never saw the beasts or "True" there either, so....
At any rate, farewell, oh web-winged female. We hardly knew ye.
Poor Magus the horse gets hit, too (NO! NOT THE HORSE!).
Valmont takes this opportunity to gloat to Maol...and loses his right hand to Brooklyn for his troubles. I was actually quite impressed, Greg, that you managed to go this far. Granted, we don't see the actual stump of the hand, but it's still a pretty shocking turn of events. And of course, it couldn't have happened to a more deserving jerk.
Maol's line, "The arrows...they still reign." Love the wordplay there (something that wouldn't come across in spoken dialogue, sadly).
Is it just me, or does Finella REALLY want to do magic. Maybe she's just trying to do SOMETHING and not feel useless. At any rate, a real sorceress steps in: Demona. She manages to reverse the spell (and look cool while doing it), but she can't bring any who died back to life, of course.
And one last casualty of the arrows is revealed: Mail Brigti (NOO--wait, what am I saying, YEEEESS!). Findlaech may be a big enough man to cry over his treacherous half-brother, but as far as I'm concerned, after following Constantine, a man he KNOWS is evil, just for his own gain, Mail Brigti got his just deserts.
Unfortunately, the arrows didn't hit the selectively blind Gillecomgain, who chooses to not see the arrows and believe that his father died by Findlaech's hand. Findlaech warns Gil not to cross him, mostly because he doesn't want to see his brother's line end. Gil chooses to believe it's because Findlaech fears him. This whole confrontation, along with the struggle over Ruaidri's inheritance, adds a whole new level to the Hunter's assassination of Findlaech in "City of Stone." Damn. The only reason they don't fight now is because Constantine and Kenneth's fight passes right between them (even a rain of arrows doesn't stop these guys!).
Geez, Constantine just doesn't shut up! And this is the second time he's gone on about his "superior numbers." He promises to kill Maol Chalvim (while hinting at Maol's future turn) after he kills Kenneth's son Bodhe (well, he promises to gut Bodhe while calling him a very unflattering word). This is the last straw for Kenneth ("You shouldn't make Kenneth angry, Constantine...you wouldn't like him when he's angry"). Kenneth throws away his shield and begins attacking Constantine with both hands on his sword. He manages to unhorse Constantine and slay him. I love the look on both Constantine and Gillecomgain's face before Kenneth drives the blade home (where's your "superior numbers" now, Constantine?). In contrast to Constantine earlier, Kenneth is silent through all this part. It reminds me of a quote from Terry Pratchett's Discworld book "Men at Arms." To paraphrase it shortly, "If you are staring down a loaded crossbow, pray that the man on the other end is an evil man. Because an evil man will want you to know you are beaten, so he will talk and gloat and put off the moment of killing you for as long as possible the way a man might put off smoking a good cigar. A good man will just kill you without a word." Seems to fit this situation.
Well, Demona is in awe at having the Grimorum Arcanorum in her hands, while Brooklyn tries to figure out how to separate it from her. And then the Phoenix appears again. I wonder why Brooklyn focused on "Timedance" as his metaphor of choice, embellishing it with such gems as "chronal-boogie" and "temporal-tune." I can definitely understand his frustration at not being able to know how everything turned out (guess he'll be hitting the books when he gets back).
I loved Brooklyn's way of tricking Demona into giving him the Grimorum (playing on her desire for power, offering to hold the book while she got her half of the Gate). I can only wonder what Demona thought and did after he was gone. This whole thing also adds another level to "Temptation"--how much of this encounter did Demona remember through the years?
Well, Brook's ready to go, but so are Mary and Finella, much to his dismay.
But now we travel back to the present (well, 1997) and repeat the last few panels we saw of Broadway and Angela, and--THERE! In the last panel of page 20! In that panel, Angela has her collar (a bit more wrinkled than usual, but it's there), but in the panel before, and the panel after (first panel of page 21) she has no collar! Just let her keep the collar already!
Anyway, I liked Brooklyn's "Forever...forty years...forty seconds...however you keep time, the Dance is finally done." So cool. And yeah, I've already been spoiled so the "He's not alone" misdirection didn't work on me, but I can appreciate the effect it might have on readers not "in the know."
Well, we return to Goliath and his ruminations. But what's this? Lexington and Hudson have returned...and they brought Coldstone and Coldfire! Goliath is, needless to say, overjoyed by this turn of events. And then Broadway arrives to say that Brooklyn went on "a little trip" of his own and...well, Goliath has to see for himself.
Okay, this is IT! The part I've waited 12 years for. The first canon appearance of Brooklyn's mate, Katana. Not to mention his son, Nashville, and Fu-Dog, and how Brooklyn himself looks after his journey. I will admit, I had not expected him to so closely resemble his "Future Tense" self, but I'm not complaining (that armor just looks cool). And man is he armed to the teeth or WHAT? That Scottish sword (which he apparently kept with him throughout all 40 years), a Japanese Katana, a hand pistol (or blaster of some kind) and a Big Fricken' Futuristic Rifle. It also seems he lost his left eye somewhere along the way. Funny, that's the same eye Hudson lost sight in. You know, Broadway may be Hudson's biological son, but Brooklyn seems to me to take after the old garg a lot more than anyone else.
And Nashville (or Gnash, as he prefers to be called) is pretty much what I expected. I didn't know his coloring, and he looks a lot tougher than I would have thought (he's the physical equivalent of a 9-year-old, but then again, he's a time-traveling gargoyle), and I didn't expect him to be ARMED with a Japanese blade, but yeah, he's definitely Brooklyn's son. The clothes were a surprise, too--more modern than either of his parents, which makes sense I guess (so U.S.N. stands for "U.S. Navy?" Interesting).
And Fu-Dog...what can I say. He's like a green lion (and pretty darn cool looking).
But Katana...oh man, where do I begin? Well, let's start with the fact that she is the first major beaked female in the canon. I am ashamed to admit that in all those 12 years, I was never able to picture her beaked. I knew intellectually that it was a possibility, but for some reason I could never wrap my mind around it. Maybe it was the difficulty of trying to picture a beaked female that DIDN'T just look like Brooklyn with boobs.
But now Katana's been revealed and...the first word that popped into my mind to describe her was "cute." There's just something about her face that lends itself to that. Her beak is smaller than Brooklyn's, and maybe that helps. Her hair is gorgeous, and I love the style. But the real secret is in her eyes and expression. God, those eyes are perfectly shaped, and the look in them, coupled with her smile.... You said, Greg, that her and Brooklyn's relationship would have been like Sam and Diane, or Beatrice and Benedick, and I can just see ALL of that in the look on her face here.
As for the rest, I somehow always figured she'd be some shade of blue. I love the design of her clothes (I have looked extensively at Robby Bevard's design sheet for her). I'd really like to see her use those war fans at some point. I'm still surprised at her having one digit less per appendage (3 instead of 4). And then there's how she acts with her egg. When Angela asked to hold it, she seemed guarded. And she even takes the egg into battle with her! I can think of only one reason she would do that: she can protect that egg from ANYTHING the world can throw at her!
All this, and she didn't even get a single line in this issue (even Gnash got ONE). Damn. Well, you can't have everything. But I still can't wait for the next installment of the "GARGOYLES" comic, or for the "TIMEDANCER" spin off. I want to hear Katana speak (figuratively, of course). I want to see her fight. I want to see her and Brooklyn's relationship. I want to see her three-fingered hand intertwined with his four-fingered one. God, it's going to be a long wait.
"Egwardo?" Brooklyn, some things about you never change.
The group shot at the top of page 23 is kind of neat. I love all their reactions. Bronx and Fu-Dog are sniffing at each other, Angela's excited over the egg, Hudson's laughing, Lex seems to be chatting with Gnash, and Brooklyn...he just seems happy to be home again.
Then Elisa comes in and has a wonderful reaction to the overnight change in the clan's roster. Seriously, I can't help laughing everytime I imagine Salli Richardson saying that line.
Well, Jackal's busted Hyena and Wolf out of prison and they're wreaking Times Square, so the WHOLE FRICKEN' CLAN goes out to meat them. Lex is right, "The Pack'll never know what hit 'em."
This was a great issue, a great arc, and a great series. If I had any complaints about this particular issue it's that the last four pages felt very rushed. I mean it's like BOOM--Lex and Hudson--BOOM--Coldstone and Coldfire--BIG BOOM--Brooklyn and family--BOOM--Pack attacks--BOOM--attack Pack. I felt like I couldn't catch my breath! And this just makes me want another issue right NOW!
"Never the End..." eh? I'll drink to that, but like I said before "It's going to be a long wait." Still, here's to what we did get.
Thank you, Greg!
You're very welcome. Thanks for keeping the faith all these years.
Let's dive right in.
Once more, I will begin with the art. David Hutchison does a good job, and is a decent successor to Greg Guler here. This is especially true in regards to consistency. This and the Halloween arc ("Invitation Only," "Masque," and "Bash") are the only two that have a completely different artist for each issue within the arc. In the case of the Halloween arc, the contrast in styles between David Hedgecock, Nir Paniry, and Karine Charlebois was quite jarring at times. Here, however, the difference in styles between Greg Guler, David Hutchison and Ben Dunn isn't as drastic. Consequently, these three issues seem to..."flow together" better, I guess. The transition is easier.
At any rate, the only complaint I have is that Hutchison sometimes draws Brooklyn's wings in a semi-bat shape when their edges should be smooth. Other than that though, kudos to Mr. Hutchison.
Well, we pick up where we left off: Brooklyn, along with Mary and Finella, makes for Castle Wyvern ("Home sweet decimated home"). Brooklyn seems to feel like hooking his wing-claws on his shoulders (like his "Future Tense" version did) for now instead of caping them like usual. Interesting.
Brooklyn mentions getting back to his century, confusing Mary, who figured the 10th century was his century. It's funny--Brooklyn lived most of his life in the 900's, and yet after two years in the 1990's he already considers that his century. Of course, the fact that his clan's there probably has something to do with it.
I remember hearing a while back that the Constantine we saw on "GARGOYLES" was King Constantine III who ruled from 995-997 A.D. (what year is Brooklyn stranded in again?), and he was known as Constantine the...bald. Yeah, I kind of figured the "GARGOYLES" crew either missed that, or decided he looked better with a wig. But NOW we see why he was called that in the "GARGOYLES" universe. He cut his hair to turn his head into "the proper canvas." Canvas for what I wonder.
Given his reaction to Gillecomgain's brown-nosing answer, Constantine seems to like yes-men and toadies.
Mail Brigti (and now we know his first name) arrives with news about the Grim's army assembling at Rathveramoen, and Constantine sends him off to wait at the head of his (Constantine's) own army. Mail calls Gil, but Constantine wants to keep Gil nearby (it was the toadying that impressed him, wasn't it?), and begins an in-depth study of Gil's scars. Mail hesitates, but leaves when curtly dismissed.
Constantine then takes a moment to gloat about wiping out "the male line of the Three Brothers" (there's that reference only "Ask Greg" readers will fully understand again) before asking Brother Valmont about the Magus and Princess Katharine. Valmont..."read the entrails of half the goats in Scotland?!" YUCK!! EW! Okay, my appetite's gone. Anyway, short version, they're both out of Scotland, Tom's out of Scotland as well, but the Grimorum is still around and Valmont must get it.
"Okay, this is just freaky." Yeah, seeing your sleeping form would engender that reaction. But then Brooklyn moves among the remains of his massacred clan while thinking to himself how "freaky" is a nice, safe adjective in comparison to "horrific, traumatizing, or soul-killing." This is probably just as bad as living that night after the Massacre all over again. I like his description of it feeling like his heart is "turning to stone and Hakon is taking a mace to it."
He also finds a scabbard for his new sword. Interesting. I wonder what prompted him to keep the sword in the first place. He's been going for years without a weapon and now he decides to keep the first sword he grabs? Then again, with the King's army against you, a sword might come in handy.
Well, Mary asks after Tom, and Brooklyn starts to explain about Tom being married. This floors Mary who is still thinking of Tom as the little boy she left two years ago. Brooklyn leaps away (awkward transition that, since we don't see him actually leaving Mary in that panel), and resolves to keep his "big beak shut" just in case. Probably wise, things will be simpler that way.
I rather enjoy Brooklyn's annoyance at stone sleep (and wondering how Elisa can stand it). And we finally have a canon mention of the Humility Spell...but no explanation. Yes, we who have read "Ask Greg" and the GargWiki know the story, but for those who have only watched the series and read the comic, I wonder if this mention (along with the one about the "Three Brothers" and the later one about the Wind Ceremony) will whet their appetite for more stories and for the background on these references.
Given that Brooklyn's most likely stuck in the 10th century now without the Gate, he seems quite calm about it. No whining, no rage, just a sigh and "I guess this IS my century again, after all." Man, Brook's made of some pretty stern stuff. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be that calm.
And he calls Demona a witch. Oh, come on Brooklyn! Just replace the "w" with a "b" and be done with it. We all know you want to!
Demona arrives at a cave and announces to the gargs there the death of the Sruighlea cell (damn, I do not know how the hell that name is pronounced). Okay, so Demona's clan is split into separate cells. I did not know that (in fact, I've always wondered why the number of gargoyles Demona led in "City of Stone" seemed to change, and now I finally know). This particular cell she leads is full of familiar faces, though. There's her Second, and apparently his Mate (I know she's called something else in the scripts, but since she isn't referred to as that by the characters, I'm just going to call her Second's Mate). Also a new young gargoyle face and two beasts, one of whom looks like Bronx except for coloring, and one of whom is colored like Bronx. Oh, and the new young one has Hudson's skin tone and white hair and...okay, yes she's Hudson's biological daughter (True), and the beasts are obviously Bronx's biological parents. I wonder why this female beast's eyes glow red but Boudicca's didn't?
At any rate, "True" says they should hold a Wind Ceremony for the fallen (the first canon mention of that, too), but Demona once again shows that vengeance trumps all other concerns for her (save her own survival, of course). Bitch.
Maol Chalvim is his usual self as he spells out to Kenneth just why they can't count on gargoyle support...and then one shows up in their camp, carted in by Mary and Finella. I must admit, I hadn't realized Maol might hold some animosity towards Finella, but it makes perfect sense.
I wish I could have seen the first meeting between Brooklyn, Kenneth, Maol and Finlaech, but I guess something had to be sacrificed for page space.
Seeing Brooklyn pointing at the map and telling Kenneth to engage Constantine's forces at Rathveramoen while he (Brooklyn) brings reinforcements seems to cement the image of Brooklyn as strategist. Brook also seems intelligent enough to realize that he needs Demona's help and must put his own personal feelings aside (our boy is FINALLY growing up in that area!).
Brooklyn's little "break the fourth wall" bit in the last panel of page 13 seems to have provoked a mix of reactions. I've read a few people who seemed to think it was Greg's way of directing an "educational" message directly at them, and hating it just for that. Me? I find it a hilarious character moment of Brooklyn joking around. I mean, heck, *I* sometimes address a non-existent audience! It can lighten up a strange situation and make it bearable.
I liked the shots of Brooklyn discovering the massacred cell, and him hiding in a tree during the day. And then he encounters Demona...and immediately attacks her. Demona's too shocked by the fact that he's someone from Wyvern (still love the "By the Dragon" exclamation) to be too upset about this. Brooklyn tries to regain his composure, and almost loses it again just thinking about her betrayal. Still, they manage to keep from splatting and Demona...is smiling? Wow, she really looks happy to see an old clan-mate alive again. She mentions her new clan and asks how Brooklyn survived and if any others did. Brook, clearly uncomfortable at having to make nice, has to tell a half truth--omitting himself being cursed as well (and almost calling Hudson by name). Demona sees red (literally) at hearing about the sleep spell, until Brooklyn undercuts it by pointing out she managed to escape both fates and now Demona has to stammer an explanation. In the end, Brooklyn brushes it all aside for the greater good.
Wow, no sorcerers for Kenneth's side? Finella decides she'll try the book herself just because she knows Latin. Mary points out the danger, and Finella points out that they're already in danger. I love the little "Magus--the man, not the horse" bit.
Constantine has the messenger killed. And he does it for no reason, it would seem, other than he just likes being able to. Douche.
Mail Brigti seems saddened by that action, too. If that's the case, why does he stick with Constantine anyway (yeah, I know the answer will come in the next issue, and if anything shows how much of a sell-out Mail really is)? Gillecomgain on the other hand, seems to approve of Constantine's behavior (look at that smile).
And now we see Constantine's war-paint. The roots of the Hunter's mask. In addition to the three red slashes across black on the front, he has the same design on the back along with two false eyes (doubtless to confuse and unnerve foes in the heat of battle). I think Gil likes the new look. I recall, Greg, you saying at the Gathering that this was a way to explain how people wouldn't immediately conclude that Gillecomgain was the Hunter based on the design of the mask in "City of Stone." Whatever the reason, it's a striking visual.
The armies converge and Findlaech notes there are fewer Irish (Constantine's soldiers) than he thought. Yeah, Fin, that's because the rest are hiding in the forest waiting to outflank you! There's some great art here for the battle, especially in regards to the light of the setting sun. In the last panel of page 21, I think I can see winged shapes in the sky behind the fighting Constantine and Kenneth. Three guesses what they are (and the first two don't count).
Sure enough come the next page and we get an excellent two-page spread of the gargoyles arriving into battle. Second's Mate appears to have the same wing structure as Lexington--COOL! The striking visual of the gargoyles attacking is almost enough to make one forget there's fighting on the ground, too. Gil knocks Bodhe off his horse, Mail and Finlaech are heading towards one another, and Constantine and Kenneth are still fighting. I wonder where Maol is in all of this?
The last page brings us parallel panels of simultaneous events again. Demona's Second apparently likes a good battle, and is glad they followed the "gargoyle of the sword" (looks like Brooklyn just picked up a new name). Demona (who casually BREAKS A MAN'S NECK), is already planning to turn on the Grim after the battle is won (wow, Demona's planning betrayal, what a surprise). Meanwhile, Finella is still intent on learning a spell, and doesn't realize until too late that all her guards have been killed by the flaming arrows of Brother Valmont, who snatches the Grimorum and reveals his intention to turn on HIS boss, Constantine. And then both he and Demona share the EXACT same thought at the EXACT same time: conquering Scotland! (Yeah, they haven't quite graduated to "take over the world" yet.)
Damn cliffhanger! Then again, I didn't have to wait two months for the conclusion to this story....
There are certain advantages to our publishing pattern, huh?
Yes! Finally! The "TIMEDANCER" story! A three-comic arc focusing on my favorite "GARGOYLES" character! I have been looking forward to this for (literally) YEARS. And it did not disappoint. Okay, maybe there are a few nitpicks here or there, but who cares? It still rocks! So let's start with the first part.
First of all, I must address the art. Greg Guler did a fantastic job here. I mean, good God, this is probably the best art I've seen throughout the entire "Clan-Building" comic run (Karine, I love you and your work on "Bash" but this...wow, just...wow). I mean, the issue even starts out with what could only be called a "hero shot" of Brooklyn, and it kicks ass! The only nit is that in the first panel it looks like Brooklyn has the "one-claw" style wings instead of his normal ones. Well, maybe the other two claws are hidden. Regardless, it's still great!
Anyway, Brooklyn seems to be enjoying a glide out by himself...and then Broadway and Angela show up. And they're holding hands (and just what had they been doing to make their eyes glow like that?). Brook is not happy (I love his expression here). Broadway remarks how dull it's been with Lex and Hudson off in London (really, Broadway? Is spending "quality alone time" with Angela THAT boring?). He wishes they'd come back, to which Brooklyn responds "Yeah, that's one of my wishes...". Wow, for being the two most intuitive members of the clan, Broadway and Angela are REALLY blind to Brooklyn here. I mean, it's like (to borrow from "The Princess Bride") they're giving him a nice paper-cut and pouring lemon juice on it--and they don't even realize they're doing it!
Actually, Brooklyn's kind of interesting here. He seems to bottle most of his feelings up around them. I mean, it's like he's trying not to make a big deal about his disappointment over not "getting the girl" and just trying to avoid being constantly reminded of it, but all the body language and subtle hints in the world aren't piercing through the little "love bubble." I can only wonder what this little powder keg might have become had he not gone on his little Dance. But I'll get to that in a minute.
A little art tangent here: Angela's collar. Now, we've seen Angela's new two-piece since the start of the comics, but one thing that's always been inconsistent about it is the presence or absence of a high collar. Well, there's also the number of threads covering the, um..."low cut" area on the chest. Whenever Greg Guler draws Angela, whether on the covers, or right here in his own issue, he draws her with the collar, and only two threads over the low cut area. The ONLY OTHER artist who did that is Gordon Purcell (in Issue #6 "Reunion" for the "present" scenes). Every other artist who drew her in her "normal" outfit draws her top without the collar and with a LOT more threads. This is something that's always bugged me. It's a new outfit for her, designed by Greg Guler (I believe), so why not follow his design all the way? Why do so many make her new two-piece look like her original one-piece with just a section missing. Maybe I wouldn't care so much except I LIKE that collar. I like the distinctive look it gives her. And yes, I admit, I would not say "no" to less threads obscuring the low-cut area. ;-)
Okay, there, I've said all I need to say about that. Sorry for the digression--on with the comic.
The Phoenix Gate arrives, bouncing off one of the letters in the sign before coming to rest on the rooftop. Angela is really concerned about this development, while Brooklyn seems rather calm (and even flippant). Maybe he's just glad for the distraction from the happy couple. I like the glow of the Gate reflecting off Brooklyn's eyes.
Brooklyn reaches for the Gate (not unreasonable, from his POV--you don't want to leave something like that lying around), and...it disintegrates. Ummm, okay, in the 12 years I'd known about "TIMEDANCER" I never thought that the Gate would do this. First disintegrate, and then spit out a huge flamin' Phoenix that would swallow Brooklyn whole and vanish! I especially like that first panel on page 6--with the Phoenix's eyes looming over the three gargoyles. Maybe it's because he's closest to center, but Brooklyn does seem to be the focus of that gaze (no surprise there).
And now we begin the real meat of this tale--Brooklyn's adventures in the past. I easily recognized Constantine and Gillcomgain. Gil's father I didn't recognize until Gil referred to him as such, and a few pages later we finally get a name for him, Brigti. Anyway, poor Brook lands right in front of this rather hostile audience. Gil immediately calls him "demon" and Constantine (for reasons soon to become apparent) gives the order to "kill it." Brigti's reaction is the odd one out, if only because it's so calm and matter of fact. I wonder if Brigti sees gargoyles as something a person doesn't need to kick up much of a fuss about, at least no more so than any wild animal. This makes his reaction an interesting contrast to Constantine and Gil's rather vehement ones.
Young Gil trying to take out a surprised Brooklyn with a knife=FAIL! Constantine trying to take out Brooklyn with his HORSE=a considerably more dignified FAIL. That guy in green casting a fire arrow spell with no magic book or other noticeable conduit and getting Brooklyn in the leg=OUCH! Actually, overall, I'm impressed by how Brooklyn handles himself throughout this whole thing. He doesn't panic, keeps his head (even manages to crack a few smart remarks), correctly figures the place and century he landed in, is able to get enough height to glide somehow (it looked like a hilly bit of land, I guess) and even manages to take a FIRE ARROW in the leg and keep going (much to Constantine's displeasure). Go Brooklyn!
Anyway, we learn more about what Constantine is doing out at this hour--posting "Wanted" posters for the Magus, Tom, Mary and Finella. It would also seem that he's also hunting down gargoyles because of past history (and for those of us who have read the "Three Brothers" story, this is an added bit of icing on the cake). Oh, and the wizard in the green cloak is called Brother Valmont...and maybe it's the bald head but he looks strangely similar to someone from the previous chapter....
And just what is this "Grim" that is amassing an army?
As soon as I saw that feminine, blue-sleeved hand rip off that poster, I knew Filella and Mary had arrived. Constantine, that jerk, has been doing a bit of spin-doctoring it would seem. Among other things, the poster accuses Finella of "turning to sin and Satan" (even with the violence and minor swears the comics have been able to get away with, that line surprised me) in grief over the loss of her son.
MARY: You had a son?
Okay, that line and the look on her face leave me to wonder if she was telling the truth there.
To get past the Porter, Mary introduces Finella as the Lady...Fiona (the name of *another* "GARGOYLES" character voiced by Sheena Easton). Meanwhile, Brooklyn lands nearby and pulls out the arrow. Wow, hardcore. The expression of pain on his face is great, as is the surprise and lighting when the two halves of the arrow dissolve into flames (he should be thankful they didn't do that while he was holding one in his mouth).
Well, gold is enough to get the past the Porter, but not the Guardsman, who pulls off the poster...what, wait a minute! Didn't Finella already tear it off? Yeah, there she is holding it, and now the Guardsman's holding one and...THERE'S ANOTHER ON THE DOOR?! Okay, Finella looks about as surprised as I feel. Does the poster have some sort of magic spell on it that creates an exact copy if it is torn off?
Things go south very fast for our heroines. The jerk Guardsman can apparently follow orders enough to want them alive, but no one else in the town seems to agree. Finella tries to bluff her way out with the Grimorum (LOVE that last panel on page 15), but the Guardsman is not as easily cowed as the townspeople. Until Brooklyn arrives, that is. Brook even pulls a Goliath and takes the sword in his had by the blade (leaving a fair amount of blood in the process). And then he pulls a Hudson by taking that sword and keeping it with him. I loved his lines here (especially, "You wait here for my clan to come eat your brains..." and "Now that I've set back human-gargoyle relations for the next millennium").
"RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!" You've just been waiting to put that Monty Python bit in, haven't you, Greg?
One art nit: It would seem the top part of a word bubble is floating just above the bottom of panel 6 on page 16. Oh, well.
I love Finella's expressions first after Brook appears and then after he turns to stone. I'd guess this is the first time she's been this close to a gargoyle in her life. She seems concerned about the wound on his hand though (YIKES, yeah, you wouldn't have been able to show that much on the TV show). Mary seems to wear a concerned expression, too in the final frame of page 17.
Mary named the horse "Magus?" Heh. That's kind of cool.
And now we meet "The Grim"--jolly Kenneth (soon to be King Kenneth III), cousin of Maol Chalvim and Princess Katharine. We see Maol, too (as gregarious as ever), and surprisingly enough, a younger Findlaech. Oh, and Bodhe as a boy, ready to follow his father into battle (or so he says). I got the Shakespeare reference (either Kenneth or Shakespeare must have been psychic), and the irony about Ken being called "The Grim" instead of Maol. After some exposition on how the war against Constantine goes, Kenneth brings up gargoyles ("the solution of our fathers") and we cut to a group of gargoyles sleeping in a cave...right before they fall to the mace. Gillecomgain, not surprisingly, is in a frenzy, screaming at them to "DIE" as he smashes their unconscious forms to rubble. He is so into this, it impresses even Constantine (who had smashed the first one with a smile on his face). And unless I miss my guess, it unnerves Brigti somewhat.
Why would they put a poster there? Do they really expect people to stop by that cave? Or is it for any other gargoyles that might happen along?
Loved Brook's wake up (and the detail of stone flakes on Mary's hood a few frames later). Brook and Mary recognize each other from Wyvern and exchange names (and I wonder if Brook had already heard about Finella from Goliath or Angela retelling Tom's story). Brook's response to all this? "Oh, this is too cool!" Wow...that would not have been my response. I mean, seriously, Brooklyn has adapted to this situation admirably fast. Maybe that's because he HAS seen "Star Trek" and "Quantum Leap" (loved those references, by the way). At any rate, he certainly is handling himself well, all things considered.
"The year of our Lord Nine Hundred and Ninety-Seven." I don't know why, but I love that Finella stated the year that way. Brooklyn figures that the only way he'll get back is with the Phoenix Gate, and because he knows his "997 Clan History" he knows that half the Gate is with Goliath and the other half with...
...Demona, in a FANTASTIC final image!
Here's to the first part of a great Brooklyn story!
I'm glad you like it!!
Well I finally got my copy of Clan Building 2 last week; it was weird, even though I'd been waiting MONTHS to read this, when I had the book in my hands I wasn't in that much of a rush to read it. Maybe subconciously I was registering that this would be the last few stories of Gargoyles that I would read for some time. :(
Anyway, I have to say when I did read it I loved it, couldn't put it down.
Just one question (for now at least):
As of 1994 (or "Awakening part 4") did Demona remember her encounter with "the gargoyle of the sword" back in 997? If so, how did she reconcile it with Brooklyn waking up in 1994 after being put under the sleep spell?
I have to say, I loved the 997 arc btw; thought it was brilliant. Especially loved the end pages of #12; finally we get to see Katana, Nashville (or Gnash as he likes to call himself) and Fu-Dog (& not to mention Egwardo) after all these years.
It was also a surprise seeing Coldstone and Coldfire rejoin the clan.
On the whole loved the book; here's hoping for more soon.
Yes, she remembered. She must have put SOME of it together. And it may be why she chose Brooklyn in "Temptation".
..sorry.. i know this isn't a question. just wanted to hopefully tell Greg he's an awesome storyteller and a great human being.. the funny thing is at least 50% of the cartoons i grew up with and loved had something to do with him, if not written, voice directed, etc. by him. he was nearly everything in my childhood that made it great to watch cartoons(with very few exceptions). I hope this gets to him....and..well.... Greg, you're an awesome Human Being.
P.S. Todd, you're a great guy too, even if this never gets to Greg,,,,, heh.... there should be a "Thank Greg for being so awesome" area too i guess.
Sincerely, Mike Greenwood
P.P.S. I'm 23...and still love classic cartoons cause of you ;) and i probably always will. thanks, Greg!
P.P.P.S. i LOVE the "you DID check the archives first, right?" bit ;)
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Poor Brooklyn, having to walk through the remains of his entire clan. The TV show never seemed to pay any attention to the psychological trauma and grief that the survivors must have felt, so it is good to see it addressed here. Depressing and tragic, of course, but it had to be mentioned. If only he'd had time to cremate them all before he left.
I'm glad that Mary is being more friendly towards Brooklyn than when last they met. Avalon implied that her attitudes had changed after the Massacre, but it's still good to see it. And I hope she can be reunited with Tom someday.
Mary: "Married?! My little Tom?!"
Just wait till she finds out that he eloped instead of having a proper Christian wedding... I don't think that sort of thing was accepted in the Tenth Century. Not that I mind, but she might have a fit.
Mary and Finella named their mare after the Magus?
How can Maol Chalvim blame Finella for Kenneth's death? And how can she blame herself? It's obvious to anybody who knows how he died, that she isn't to blame. Unless there's a lot more to the story than what I saw in Avalon.
I do not like it when Brooklyn breaks the fourth wall. This is something I have never liked in fiction.
Brooklyn has to learn fast how to control his temper around Demona. He has every right to confront her for what she did to their clan. But if he did that, she would never help him against Constantine.
I still wonder how Brooklyn decided so quickly that he had to protect Mary, Finella, and the Grimorum, and how he decided he had to help defeat Constantine. He probably still thought that Xanatos learned about their clan by reading the Grimorum... maybe that's it.
Constantine's messenger/herald man is noticeably upset when Kenneth's herald is murdered. Constantine on the other hand just displays his lack of redeeming features yet again.
His facepaint is creepy! Eyes on the back of his head... and what made him want to put Gillecomgain's scars on his face? Obviously this is what inspired the Hunter mask, but how did it get into Constantine's head?
I'm surprised to see Bodhe ride to battle at that age. I know kids were expected to grow up fast in ancient times, but he looks so young.
And Brother Valmont turns out to be another power-hungry mage bent on conquering Scotland. This is... familiar. And nothing will come of it unless more books can ever be published.
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Again, Brooklyn knows all about Mary, Finella and the Grimorum from Goliath and Elisa, who heard the story from Tom, Katharine and the Magus.
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TEN: THE GATE
"Yes, Angela, I know it's dangerous. Why do you think I want to play w-- I mean, protect it?"
Whoa, that Phoenix is huge! Is there a living creature inside the Phoenix Gate? Or is it simply an emanation from the magic that only looks alive? The two-page spread is amazing.
"I come in peace!"
"What do we do?! What do we do!?" (cue panic)
"...wait for my clan to come eat your brains..."
"Run away! Run away!" (shades of Monty Python)
"...why don't you get in the cart before they realize my clan's not coming.... and I don't eat brains." ROFL
"Badly then?" "Aye."
Saeth ... that's one powerful spell. One word to create a very dangerous weapon that leaves no trace, except for the wounds. And how can Brookly stand, or walk, after that?
Why is the wanted poster written in Elvish?! Well, maybe medieval Scottish writing just looked that way. But it looks just like Tolkien's Elvish.
Several allusions throughout whole arc to Once Upon a Time There Were Three Brothers. I sure hope that it or Dark Ages can be published some day.
Constantine blames Finella for murdering the king... thus the official history is written. But did Kenneth II actually kill her son? Did she actually have more part in Kenneth's death than what was shown in Avalon?
Brooklyn comes to a decision to help the women surprisingly quickly, just as soon as he recognizes the Grimorum. This, and his reference to the Spell of Humility, make me think that his trip to medieval Scotland is not his first time-trip, only one taken out from the middle. But other parts of the arc make me think that it must be his first trip. Either way, he has his wits about him. But how does he know the Grimorum will be so important? Because he still believes that Xanatos read the Magus' story from it?
There's unfortunately an art error on the page with the brain-eating comments. Part of a speech balloon from the last panel is showing up in the panel above it as a white area.
I'm surprised to see Bodhe show up as a child. In City of Stone he looks to be about Findlaech's age. But since Kenneth III is clearly about the same age as his cousin, Bodhe is still a small child.
I am happy to see and examine the new gargoyle and beast models in this whole arc. And it is also wonderful to see so many of them together. Of course it is terribly tragic to see any pre-modern clan, because I know they will all die. It is especially horrible with that little girl in #11. And that green, beaked fellow looks like just a kid, too.
I'm slightly confused by the red-eyed beast. Boudicca's eyes glow white.
Gillecomgain's joy as he murders gargoyles... it is repulsive.
And there's a great full-page art of Demona.
Overall, I enjoyed the Timedancer arc the most, out of the 12 issues. That's no surprise considering that City of Stone, Awakening, and Avalon are some of my favorite episodes. I just enjoy the medieval flashbacks a lot. I suspect that if Dark Ages was ever written, it would be my favorite spin-off.
==== SPOILERS!!!!!============SPOILERS!!!!!========= SPOILERS!!!!!========
This is Brooklyn's first stop on his TimeDance. But of course he knew the Grimorum was important. Remember "Temptation". And he knew from Goliath, the role it played on Avalon later...
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FINALLY the book was published. I had concluded that the book was cancelled. I'm still waiting for Bad Guys. Very glad that I finally have Volume Two. It is still sinking in.
Anyway, I like the book a lot, especially the medieval flashbacks. And the art has been for the most part consistent and nicely done. I actually read through all twelve issues of Clan-Building, although it took me until 3 am. That wasn't so smart. Oh well. Thank you for writing the new Gargoyles stories and jumping through hoops to get somebody to publish them.
Nothing eloquent from me, just scattered thoughts from the single issues as I re-read them:
I find it interesting that Lexington tells Alex to call him by his name. "Doggie" could be responded to in any number of ways, such as "I'm a gargoyle." But Lex is insisting on his name. Quite a contrast to Awakening.
The non-chronological format of the Stone of Destiny arc (and to a lesser extent Bad Guys, Timedancer, and Reunion) is very confusing, though of course now I know why 7-9 are written this way. But I still find it confusing, especially with the different time-zones, and the +# stuff which I do not get. I did not understand the button-pressing, nor the stone-switching, until I read the ramble. I'm still not sure what happened on the bridge.
Gathellus and Scota's wardrobe. I never noticed it before, but now this irritates me. Gathelus (Gathelos?) is an ancient Greek, and Scota is an ancient Egyptian. He and his men should be wearing tunics, chitons, or kilts. She should have a nearly shaved head, and a tripartite wig (at least at first -- after wandering around for years, maybe she couldn't replace her wigs after a while).
Vinnie: "Can you believe it? I'm going to Japan!"
Random passenger: "So is everybody on this plane, genius!"
I can hear most of the TV characters' voices in my head, but I can't get a good voice in my head for most of the new ones.
I want Constance to have an alto English accent, but in my head she always sounds like Fleance. Eugh.
I imagine doing research on legends and myths about himself feels pretty weird for King Arthur. Good thing Avalon made him literate in English (and prevented him from speaking with an incomprehensibly thick accent, too.)
NINE: ROCK OF AGES
Nice cover! I like Griff.
I am confused what King Arthur is apologizing to the Westminster guards for.
"Define this." I laughed out loud. Great line to put in Coldstone's mouth! Was it a deliberate allusion to Warf's "Assimilate this." in the movie with the Borg? Either way, it's hilarious!
Ms. Three must be Blanchefleur (sp?). Interesting that she can get into Castle Carbonek at will, without a problem.
Creepy Borg-Picard-Guy is Creepy! This is Duval. And Peredur fab Ragnal is Percival. I'm quite surprised that they are not the same character, as I had expected. Now I wonder who Duval is. In the words of Fox: "...who is this guy?"
I like that you used Peredur's Welsh name, instead of the French one. Peredur makes more sense than Percival for an ancient Brython. And it's interesting to see it confirmed that he is the son of Ragnal, which presumably makes Gawain his father. Now I wonder if he grew up in obscurity in the woods (like in R.L. Greene) and if so, what could have caused his parents to break up. I would like to learn more about what happened in the Gargoyles universe. In fact, I would probably enjoy just reading a graphic novel about the Gargoyles version of the King Arthur legends, and how the gargoyles and Third Race participated in the stories. Same for the Greek myths.
Also, I'm relieved that Peredur is not a creepy, ill-tempered cyborg. It's sad enough that a guy like Peredur has stooped to supervising the Illuminati's horrible activities, not to mention their eventual allying with the Space-Spawn. I am surprised that he looks so young and fit.
Macbeth's breaking the Stone, and its reaction, is pretty funny. He actually did a fairly poor job gluing it, there's crud oozing out of the crack.
From there it just gets bizarre. This Stone, and a bunch of other sacred and/or magical stones around the world, are temporary or shared vessels for some vast, sapient force of destiny? It even talks to Xanatos and King Arthur simultaneously, from two different stones. Once you suggested that it might be either a magic talisman or a Child of Oberon, but now I feel like it must not, cannot, be either of these. I want to know what it is! And also, why the Holy Grail can talk!
The burden of Sisyphus... he's dead and Tartaros, so isn't his rock a piece of ghostly ectoplasm, or something?
Peredur has expected King Arthur to arrive in 200 years. No surprise that that was his original intended "destination" -- a time when Earth will be conquered and bereft of all its political leaders. But how did Peredur know this? And if this was planned in advanced by some force of destiny, instead of being a hypothetical "What if?", does that mean the Space-Spawn invasion is, within the Garg-universe, an unpreventable event that's fated to happen? That would imply the aliens lack free will, which I doubt.
Also, what is Blanchefleur wearing? Her pants are falling down!
Coldsteel really is a jerk.
Why do I get the feeling Xanatos didn't actually disable that tracking device?
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"I am confused what King Arthur is apologizing to the Westminster guards for."
For knocking them out.
At long last, I have Clan-Building Volume Two in my hands! Like most fans, I have been dreaming of this for a full year. To be able to have it in hand and read it is delightful beyond words. So Iâll just start on my review then, shall I?
SPOILERS FOR CLAN-BUILDING VOLUME TWO
PLEASE DONâT READ IF YOU DONâT WANT SPOILERS
Chapter Nine: Rock of Ages
Just a few months before CB2 came out, I got the chance to spend three weeks in England and Ireland and a single day I Scotland. On that day, I got to tour Edinburgh Castle and view the Treasures of the Crown, including the Stone of Destiny. I got a little giddy seeing the Stone in Scotland because I could imagine the battle between gargoyles and robots being fought over it the night before its transportation. Sadly, I wasnât allowed to take a picture; I could only gawk for a moment before getting shooed down the line with the other tourists. So itâs a pleasure to have seen the Stone of Destiny before reading the conclusion of this arc. (On the same trip, I visited and Eskimo-kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland; however, I had no idea until reading CB2 that one of the theories of the Blarney Stoneâs origin was from the Stone of Destiny. Quite exciting I visited the pieces from the same Stone twice :D)
We got to see the conclusion of the big air battle from the last issue. I liked the glance back to Tibet and seeing the two monks from âReunionâ. I think its fitting that Coldstone returned to them to show he had overcome his inner turmoil.
As always, it is a pleasure to see what new way the Coyote Robot will bite it next. And I love the free will chit-chat between Coldsteel and Coyote.
I will admit that I was one of the readers who was confused about who had the ârealâ Stone of Destiny by the end of it: Xanatos, the Illuminati, or Scotland? But, with the help of your Ramble and by rereading it a few times, I came to understand the fact that all the pieces of the Stone (whatever their name and location) are considered to be part of the Stone of Destiny. I am guessing that the Spirit of Destiny (I believe thatâs what itâs called on GargWiki) can jump between the fragments as it sees fit. Hence being unable to be possessed by any one mortal.
Favorite part of the whole arc: the greetings exchanged between the Stone of Destiny and the Holy Grail. I think itâs simple and just so totally perfect that these two artifacts of immense power say, âHey.â Its beautiful. I may cry.
And Shari ends things right where they began. That is some fine storytelling on her part. I like her as a storyteller.
All in all, I thought it was a fantastic conclusion to the Stone Arc. Iâll admit, the non-linear storytelling took some getting used to but I was hooked by the end of it. My only disappointment is that we donât know why the London Clan doesnât have any gargoyle beasts, which we are all curious to know because it seems like there is more of a story behind it than simply âThey all died outâ. Oh well, gotta save some mystery for when the Gargoyle Graphic Novels get picked up, right? Well done, well done!
I just got my copy of Volume 2 and read it. I am thoroughly impressed with your still-amazing storytelling. The Stone left me slightly confused, but I think I understand what the point was; the stone may take many shapes and names, but it will always be the stone. I like that the stone and the grail can talk to eachother, that was just funny (That and Brooklyn's PSA panel). And I absolutely loved, I repeat, LOVED finally seeing Katana and Gnash. The artists all get my deepest compliments and gratitude fro bringing form to some great characters. I really hope you can get the licenses approved and tell the rest of Brooklyn's story. This was amazing, and I hope I can talk more people into reading such great work.
Thanks. Appreciate the kind words.
And now, the final story, "Phoenix".
* SPOILERS FOLLOW*
Great opening, with Goliath brooding at Castle Wyvern in his "Thinker" position.
A fine epic battle scene (looks more 13th century than 10th, but then, so did the medieval portions of "Awakening").
Nice touch with Brooklyn's "Bro" slip.
Bodhe's already timid, even as a kid.
Whoa! Constantine crying out about the Hunter's Moon! Gargoyle-haters using that moon goes back further than I'd thought.
I see you've found a way to reconcile Gillecomgain's historical parentage with his depiction in the animated series as a peasant. Good solution.
Valmont's spell of fiery arrows was another unsettling moment - especially since we got to know at least one of its casualties (Magus the horse), and see the grief of Demona's second as he loses his mate to the enchanted shafts.
I like Demona's line "The spell? Perhaps. Its consequences... never". Very true to the spirit of "Gargoyles".
Constantine clearly foresees Maol Chalvim's future treachery.
So now we get to meet Katana, Nashville, and Fu-Dog at last. (And the egg - I wonder whether "Egwardo" will turn out to be another case where canon replaces the old canon-in-training expectations.) And we know what Brooklyn's injury is. (As I said, missing eyes seem to be turning up a lot in the Gargoyles Universe.)
I wonder whether the Pack's attack was meant as a set-up for #13 - had there been one - or a "hero's work is never done" moment. But it was a great way to end the story, as the expanded clan heads off into battle....
And so "Clan-Building" comes to an end. Thank you very much, Greg, for these new stories.
* SPOILERS END *
Thanks to all of you guys for keeping the flame alive and giving me the CHANCE to tell these stories.
The thing is... Clan-Building was really only about the equivalent of five episodes (give or take). I'm not close to being done telling all the stories I have to tell.
My review for #11, "Tyrants".
* SPOILERS *
I'd long had a vision of Brooklyn, during his Timedancing, confronting his stone self at Castle Wyvern - so I was amused to see that happen here, and on the "cover page".
I'd read since "Avalon Part One" aired about Constantine's nickname being "the Bald", and got a kick out of seeing you incorporate that here.
I liked Constantine's "Three Brothers" line, alluding to your four-parter here.
Another priceless moment: Brooklyn accidentally blabbing about Tom's future to Mary.
Just his luck: the Phoenix Gate trapped inside the stone pouch. And now the Humility Spell's name becomes canon, rather than canon-in-training. Followed by the Wind Ceremony.
Demona's second-in-command from "City of Stone" shows up in her clan. Nice touch.
I liked Brooklyn's "Hit those books" moment - very funny, and such good advice. And I'm certain you've encouraged your readers to study up on 10th century Scottish history with this story.
And Brooklyn has to make an alliance with his old enemy Demona (who hasn't even done the thing he'll hate her for yet). I liked his slip about Hudson's name. (Also Demona frantically lying about her whereabouts during the Massacre.)
Another great cliff-hanger, with a double threat from Demona and Valmont.
* SPOILERS END *
Brooklyn was fun for me here. I was worried I was almost making him too competent... not thrown ENOUGH by what had happened. But it just seemed right, that he'd take things as they came...
My review for "The Gate".
* SPOILERS FOLLOW *
I'd been expecting Brooklyn's Timedancing to be the next story after the Stone of Destiny one. For one thing, its consequences (which turned out to be canon, not just "canon-in-training") would indeed help to build up the clan with the new additions. For another, with Brooklyn, Angela, and Broadway left behind in New York while Hudson and Lexington went off to London with Macbeth - I suspected that you were laying the groundwork at that point.
The appearance of a literal phoenix was a definite surprise, though (except that I'd gotten a glimpse of it in Slave Labor Graphics' official teaser). Somebody had said once that you'd stated that, in the same way that the Eye of Odin would turn out to be literally Odin's missing eye, the Phoenix would eventually be associated with the Phoenix Gate - but I didn't think that would happen so soon!
Trust Brooklyn to bring in another "when" as well as "where", once he finds himself time traveling.
A new villain in the form of Brother Valmont, and a creepy one at that.
The writing on the wanted poster reminded me of Tolkien's tengwar (Elvish lettering, for those not familiar with the details of Middle-earth).
Gillecomgain and his father showing up to help Constantine was another surprise.
Another touch I enjoyed: Constantine's lie about Finella having a son murdered by Kenneth (I recognized that at once from the research I'd done on the original Scottish histories about Kenneth and Finella).
And her alias of "Fiona". (No relation to a certain Canmore, I assume.)
I really liked the medieval Scotland setting in this story and the next two issues; another of my favorite aspects of "Gargoyles".
I liked the cameos of Findlaech and a surprisingly young Bodhe. (I hadn't thought he was that much younger than Findlaech!)
Ah, another touch of Shakespeare, as Kenneth III quotes "Hamlet" (if it counts as a quote when that play isn't to be written for another six hundred years).
Got a kick out of Brooklyn referring to various sci-fi series he'd seen.
And a great cliff-hanger (I hadn't even thought that Brooklyn might be looking for the pieces of the Gate extant in 997 - and, yes, just his misfortune that Demona has half).
* SPOILERS END *
Glad you liked it.
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.
I just wanted to say that I like the new Spectacular Spider-Man Animated Series concept. At first, I was skeptical; being that I am a fan of the 90's cartoon Spider-Man, but I like it..and so does my son. Secondly, I personally do not care for the idea of Peter Parker in a romantic relationship with Gwen Stacey. She's too drab for him. Yes, they are kind of cute together in an all too predictable way. And so, makes for boring T.V. drama. I'd prefer it if Gwen ends up with Harry instead. That would actually make for a more interestingly dramatic twist. The concept of Peter with Liz is not so bad. But being that this versions Mary Jane Watson is soo much more intriguing, I would love it if Peter ends up with her; or at very least, Spider-Man with Black Cat. Either or is fine with me. ^_^ I just hope that Mary Jane does not suddenly turn into a scaredy cat type. (Shudder...) ~_~
Thank you for your time in reading this and allowing me to submit our comments. Best wishes on your journey. Peace. - A Fan ^_^"
I just read your obituary for Hermione, and wanted to send you my condolences. I'm sorry to learn about her passing.
This is not realy a question but i hope you read it.
I asked a question, but i total blew off the instructions in the begining. And i asked a question that had been asked a billion times before. Now looking back i worded it rudely too. I am sorry. I didn't mean to sound mean or to ask an over asked question. i am sorry. Yes i am the one writing the book and i am done. I didn't use the same location or anything that you ever did. I am sorry. I wish i could remove some of the questions i asked, but as you know i can't and if you read them before you get to this one, I AM SO SORRY. Please forgive my rudeness and the fact that i didn't read the instructions. Sorry. =(
Consider yourself forgiven... assuming ANY forgiveness was even necessary.
This is kind of a ramble/response to "stanley dean cowens" question/comment on how some shows take fan response into consideration when plotting out future stores.
Not knocking anyone, but in my personal experience, when most of the shows, comics that I liked started catering to fans more than telling their stories, it was usually not for the better. Most of the time, the author knows better than the fans when it comes to the theory (I say most, because there are some exceptions to this rule).
So, while some fans may have wished Goliath and Demona to reunite, or Brooklyn and Angela to hook up, I am glad you stuck to your guns and did what was right for the characters.
"Give the audience what they need, not what they want," is a phrase I personally subscribe to.
To be honest, that's why, as much as I like and admire Joss Whedon, I always felt that until he got a soul, the Spike/Buffy relationship seemed very forced. Even having Spike interact with the Scooby gang from season four on seemed forced... I love the Spike character, but a lot of what happened with him seemed to fly in the face of what had been established with the mythology up until that point. But, Spike being a very popular character, both with the fans and the writers, was put into a position he didn't really belong in, to his detriment, I thought. Of course, I was eventually vindicated in that, sadly, brutal scene near the end of season six in her bathroom.
I know that's an unpopular opinion, but it just never clicked with me until Spike was re-ensouled.
So, in that sense, I thank you for continuing to stick to your guns. Even in the "Gargoyles" comics, well... we all wanted more Demona, I know I certainly did. But you didn't force her in early to provide fan service. You serviced the story instead.
Thank you for that.
I liked the chipped-Spike.
I am the one, again that is writing the book. If i put that my main characters were in a one thousand and ten year sleep, would that be copying you? I am so sorry that i keep asking these questions. They just keep being brought to my attention. I would never want to copy anyones work.
Seriously... stop asking.
On the one hand, I'm absolutely not the first writer to put a character to sleep for a long period of time. (Rip Van Winkle ring any bells?)
But if you're close enough to my work that you feel the need to check if you're too close to my work, then the odds are you are too close to my work.
So stop asking. If you feel you're doing something original, go for it. If you don't don't.
I'm not sure if you are aware of it, but Internet Celebrity Douglas Walker (The Nostalgia Critic) Recently did a review of Gargoyles. This guy does reviews of a lot of old things from the 90s that often impacted people childhood; and in the case of Gargoyles, this is equally true for me. Regardless, in the past he has spoken positively of Gargoyles, and so I think you might be interested in watching the review when it goes up in a week (or when you get around to answer this question). I'm also curious as to your thoughts on it.
Here is the link to Nostalgia Critic's list of reviews:
I did see it. And I was glad for the -- generally -- good press!
P.S. - I'm a HUGE and long time Gargoyles fan. Thank you so much for creating such a wonderful story and world.
You're very welcome. And thank you.
Ever get any fan mail by overseas fans on how they reacted to their countries Gargoyles (Japan, Guatemala, London, etc.)? Did they like how they were depicted?
Haven't actually. At least none that I can recall off the top of my head.
Greetings from Spain, Greg :)
I've been gliding through the archives in the hopes of finding something, anything, that can help me remember what my absolutely vital question was las time Ask Greg was open (Ask Greg closed before I could submit it). I'm sure it was something super boring about insights and Gargoyle psychology (especially Goliath's, I find him complex and amazing) but well. I'll have to stick to the rant that went with it and spare you the question :D.
You've heard all kinds of praises and ear-candies about you and the show by now, so I really don't want to be boring and repetitive.But the fact is that more than twelve years after the show was first aired here, I'm still as hooked as I ever was. If not more. I was in college then (imagine, I'll love watching cartoons till the last day :D) and I couldn't believe how good that episode of this Gargoyles thing I randomly caught one day was. I ended up rushing out of classes for the rest of the term, not to miss a single episode more.
You've explained before how you really feel that the story it's out there somewhere, and you tapped into it, somehow. I understand what you mean. It feels that way. Exactly that way.
The characters are so dimensional that they make the story so intense and...well, real. To the point that I'm not only positive about it being the best tv show I've ever seen, but also feels like one of the best readings. Your story is better than 80% of the books I've read in the last, say, 12 years. One almost yearns for something like Gargoyles happening to the world, with the same intensity which half the female population around the world dreams of finding Mr. Darcy... And that is something I truly thank you for.
Goliath and Elisa deserve a special mention. I don't think I've fallen so in love with a fictional couple since..well..Mr. Darcy here and Elizabeth (mm..actually I think I might have subconsciously matched the two brooding heros with the two strong-willed women, even though their stories are so different..). No wonder Elisa couldn't get herself off Goliath's hook and viceversa. And by the way, going through the archives, I read something about clan wind ceremonies on Elisa's dying. I'm amazed, I couldn't even picture it. It's so sad, one or the other dying, that even if intellectually it's something obvious, I really don't want to know that far. Pretty childish of me I guess but, well. I want some things eternal :D
For a Gargoyles unconditional, I guess I was born in the wrong country, lol. But one day, who knows! I just hope Gatherings are still happening.
Thank you so much, Greg, for a lot of reasons. Not only for the show and the comics and being here to feed the beasts from time to time, but for your dedication. For not giving up. For believing in what you do, and therefore allowing some of us to go along for the ride, and end up believing in what WE do (doomed-storyteller here :))
Wish you all the best, Greg, and I really hope you can find soon a way to let the story go on. The clan would want you to ;)
PS: Just so you know, I showed Awakenings to Tania, a dear friend, and she watched the entire show, plus TGC (which she didn't really enjoy as much, by the way) in less than ten days.
PPS: I hope my english was understandable enough, by the way!
Hey, I'll take all the Jane Austen comparisons (particularly favorable ones) that you want to dish. I'm a big fan. And I'm sure she was (at least) an indirect influence on my work.
And your English is just great. Thanks for all the kind words.
So I unexpectedly came off work early today and found myself with a bit of free time-- not much, mind you, but enough. I don't know what it says for my intelligence or creativity that my thoughts immediately wandered to television, but eh . . . free time is supposed to make you feel good, not benefit humanity as a whole. And it felt like it'd been awhile since I'd gotten to actually sit down and watch anything (as opposed to, say, piping up the volume and listening from another room while I do this, that or the other thing). I wasn't sure what, if anything, I was in the mood for, and cast a casual eye onto my DVD shelf.
Well, why not Gargoyles? The quality ratio and fun factor with that show is so high that the only difficult part there is choosing which episode to run. So I pulled down Season One.
Initially I thought to watch Awakenings, but that's a lot of time to commit for one sitting when I had other things to be doing later on. I decided I'd watch "Enter Macbeth" instead.
It is, of course, one of my all-time favorites. mainly because of its titular character.
I actually watched it two times through for the hell of it. When I was finished, I ended up thinking and rethinking through a lot of it . . . and then somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered ASK GREG.
So, I thought I'd ramble. That *is* allowed, isn't it?
Yeah, we'll tell the truth on this one: The episode does kinda look like . . . well, crap. I have a much more affectionate eye for the episode than I did upon first viewing and look past a lot of it now, but there are still moments of "Enter Macbeth" that I can't get out of my head as something to say, "God, that's some [your negative adjective goes here] animation." I can't quite put my finger on what it is-- the whole episode just feels so off from a visual standpoint.
This would, in fact, become the start of one of the things I disliked most about this particular studio. When gargoyle wings fold over cloak-like, you should not see the three "limbs" as you do when seeing their interior. Or at least, you don't in the better animation studios. Drive me nuts; don't know why.
And of course, there was that one shot of Macbeth with the most yellow friggin' teeth. WTF?!
Greg, it's been many years since I've checked the archives in any great detail, but I think I remember you saying something like, "I was sure that the bad animation would make it so that almost no one would be interested in seeing Macbeth again." Well, this is one of those instances where the characters and plot shine through to make up for an episode's lackluster animation. (I call them "Korean Incidents".) It never detracted from the story. Not for me, anyways.
Let's start with Macbeth himself. This is an interesting character. At first glance, he appears to come out of nowhere. His motivations are unclear, so for now he's just "the bad guy". So how do you sell him without the cool backstory that will be developed later?
You have him kick copious amounts of ass, both literally and figuratively.
The scene with him posing as a prison guard is a highlight. So much of the credit for this episode should go to John Rhys-Davies, who from what I can tell just leapt into the role. Although, is it my failing memory or is this practically the only time that Xanatos and Macbeth have any real interaction with one another? If this is true, then that's a shame because they play well off of one another. But why would Macbeth introduce himself as . .. well, *himself*, rather than Lennox MacDuff (presuming that this is the identity he's gone by for many hundreds of years as a cover)?
Look at this guy, though. Not only does he wait for the gargoyles to awaken, he takes them all on single-handedly and wins. Not only that, but he takes prisoners. All on their home turf, and without so much as breaking a SWEAT. His knowledge in these "creatures" is so expert that he knows precisely what to do and how to do it with cold and calculated precision.
Check that attack. He throws (an admittedly off-guard) Broadway into Hudson and over the castle edge with ease. Then before anyone else can react, he tosses the smoke pellets and gains the upper hand over everyone else. Confusion ensues. The gargoyles who can't see and don't move end up blindsighted by gargoyles who can't see and DO move in very wrong directions. Or by Macbeth himself, who most assuredly can see and makes short work of Brooklyn before he can do a damned thing.
From there, it's just zap zap zap and it's finished. "Captured me three gargs in under 20 seconds, EL-OH-EL."
I always found this battle to be interesting in and of itself. Macbeth, for as much as we know this far in the game, is ordinarily human. He doesn't have biological enhancements or special powers or even henchmen; he's as human as you or me. And he takes them ALL down. Hell, Goliath himself probably gets the worst of it-- the outcome is so nakedly humiliating that I'm blushing. Oh, and that body slam into the fusebox didn't help either.
And is it me, or was Elisa WAY too close when Goliath came swooshing down after being electrified by the hull of Macbeth's ship? I say that she was damned lucky: If he had actually COLLIDED with her at that speed, I say that she might've been crushed to death.
So now Goliath leaves to track them down. Hudson and Broadway are left to defend the castle, but of course that's another subplot all its own.
Elisa warns Goliath that it's not safe to stay at the castle. Hell, she says it three times in a row. And his best reaction is to shrug her off-- something he won't be so apt to do in later episodes. He took off awful fast to rescue the other gargoyles at that point, almost as though he couldn't avoid the conversation fast enough.
Something else we don't see a lot of in later episodes tends to show in abundance with regards to Season One and particularly "Enter Macbeth", and that's Goliath Pissed Off. It was only juuuuuuust last episode that he was in a rage over what he thought was Elisa getting shot by Dracon. Goliath holding Dracon over the railing was a powerful dramatic moment. (Although in hindsight, he does that a LOT. Twice in "Awakening" with Hakon and Xanatos, Dracon in "Deadly Force" and I think at least once more somewhere down the line, although I can't remember when.) But in "Enter Macbeth", it's kinda flipped around. Goliath caught Dracon with relative ease, and it was clear what he would have done had Broadway not fessed up in time. Goliath never catches Macbeth, though. And he spends so much time chasing mirrors and shadows that I think Goliath might have been pissed enough to do worse than simply drop him. So we get to see a lot of vicious anger on his part in this ep. Roaring. Tearing through walls. Getting into a slugfest. Goliath isn't just another species, he's a dangerous one when it comes to the defense of his clan.
But that just makes Macbeth even cooler. Now it's Goliath who's handled with ease. Think about that for a moment. GOLIATH. A gargoyle warrior who is more than a match for just about any human out there. But against Macbeth, and especially on his turf, that same gargoyle finds himself at a disadvantage. And what makes that so interesting is that Macbeth isn't this ZOMG "genetically-engineered gargoyle sorceress hybrid mutant clone" superior foe. He's a human being. A human being with technology up the wazoo, but still human.
Look at the way he handles himself in their duel, after the chase is over. It's completely even. It was smart of Goliath to grab for a weapon when he got the chance, because even if weaponry isn't his habit I think he knew that against a sword-swinging Macbeth it was his only real chance. Even so, Macbeth doesn't relent. Goes on and on. Fights until the mansion is about to go up in flames . . . and he never gets too angry or panicked even when forced to escape. Is he pissed because the plan went to rot and his house burned down? Sure, why not? But he still takes it all with a certain amount of stride. No loud threats for vengeance, no personal grudge against Goliath, no real "villainous" actions taken at all (except, maybe, leaving the other gargoyles to burn alive). He just leaves when the gettin's good, and knows a little more for next time.
Love that little slip-out-of-the-jacket thing, by the way.
No, Macbeth doesn't have extra emotions to waste on Goliath and company. He wants Demona, Demona, Demona. The other gargoyles are just pawns (albeit useless ones as it turns out). I think it was a wise decision for her to not show up in this episode at all; it would have been too convenient, not to mention that it would also have detracted from Macbeth's character study. This is his episode.
Back at the castle, the remaining Gargoyles decide to take the Grimorum off Xanatos' hands. Now Owen gets his moment, too.
Hudson: Who's going to stop us? You?
You can tell by Hudson's attitude that he didn't expect Owen to knock his ass onto the floor. I don't think any of us did! Then, before Broadway can intervene, he's got a loaded gun pointed at his head. (I don't think that S&P would let that slide nowadays.) Owen is capable and reasonably prepared, no matter the circumstances. I think it's great that it's Elisa throwing a crutch at him that effectively turns the tables-- for all their strength, the gargoyles ended up pretty helpless otherwise.
Ah, well. All part of the job for Owen Burnett. However, I wonder if he faced some sort of penalty or reprimand for failing to prevent the theft of the Grimorum.
I despise when recurring characters are introduced via Korean outsourcing. I would say, introduce them some other way, and then give them crap animation somewhere down the line. Macbeth has a great character design; it should have been introduced through one of the better studios, perhaps the best one. (Not that I'm implying fault. You can give only so many episodes to Japan's Tokyo outlet; you make your choices and you live with 'em.) This is one of those episodes that I say to myself, "Damn, I'd love to see what this would'a looked like with kickass animation."
The "City of Stone" four-parter becomes interesting for this reason, given that we see how many changes Macbeth has gone through throughout the centuries . . . again, both figuratively and literally. It's not done by the Tokyo studio, but we're given so many designs for Macbeth. It's wonderful.
I've gotta start dinner now, so I guess that about does it for me. Later!
We couldn't know while writing scripts which episodes were headed for Korea vs. Japan. Of course, nowadays, things in Korea have improved quite a bit. ALL of The Spectacular Spider-Man is animated there, and we're generally thrilled with the results.
I just thought you might like to learn about this - especially now, when any piece of good news involving "Gargoyles" would be welcome.
I've been asked to write an article on "Gargoyles" for a book of essays on the Middle Ages as depicted on television (apparently, other articles in the book will include such shows as "Roar" and "The Tudors"). I don't know how much word it'll spread (I suspect it's going to be the kind of book found mostly in university libraries), but if it informs one person about "Gargoyles", it'll be worth it.
That's great. Congratulations! And keep us posted.
You asked for my ramble, and here it is!
Okay, let me start off with the animation here. I don't know what studio did this ep, but I wish they did EVERY episode for the show! It has the feel of some sort of Animated Film or an Anime. The action is smooth, and even when the characters aren't talking, they aren't just standing there(something I've recently found in cartoons that I don't like), their always doing something. Little nuances that makes the scenes more realistic are EVERYWHERE.
Example: In the first scene, when we open on Hudson watching Brook and Lex glide in, you can tell how disturbed he is that they're alone, without Goliath. More often then not scenes of a similar vein have the character have more ambiguous expression.
Another example is Fang and Talon's areil fight in the Labyrinth: Real cool. They even got the wings to flap! (Bat's wings remember?)
And I looked for that Cross-Eyed Xanatos you mentioned(I got the DVD), and I think I saw it, but it was barely a blink in the animation. two or three frames tops I'd say.
And I liked Maggie and Claw's interation during Fang and Talon's fight. I got the impression that Claw was quite smitten with her at one point.
But by far, my absolute FAV bit was right when Fang took Maggie Hostage. It was fluid, and the animator really put effort into making Maggie look like she was trying to escape, or at least look ticked off. I could watch that footage loop all day, I'm THAT impressed. I also got a ThunderCats vibe from it for some reason.
And how about Lex breaking through that ceiling in the final scene? Arms crossed and all that.
Not much to say here. But the performances are-as always- top notch.
"Do I really need an excuse to have a good time in my own home?" I laughed out loud there.
However, Katie Soucie's portrayal is off this time. Her Maggie voice isn't what it was. It's deeper, smoother this time around, when before it was a tiny bit higher and somewhat raspy. She's still giving a great performance, it's just that the voice itself is out of continuity. I know that you weren't in charge of Voice Direction, but I just thought at least Katie would remember the voice she used a few months prior.
I guess the in-show answer could be that either the mutation has set up in her vocal cords(and stops there), or that it's to show her standing up more, sort of speak.
And am I the only one who finds the fact that Jeff and Katie are acting characters that are acting funny?
I didn't know Gargoyles existed, let alone watch it, until maybe '95 or '96. I remember watching something on TGIF about the new One Saturday Morning block when/if it had Gargoyles. (I remember a gag with the host that night with a Gargoyle's eyes glowing red) I watched the show on and off over the years(NOT that I didn't love it, I just could catch the reruns all the time). Anyway, I can't remember the first time I watched this episode, so I can't give my first impression sadly.
And Brooklyn's lack of action is understandable, and doesn't come off as fear, which is important. And that first scene shows that, while they probably couldn't do so for long, the clan does have an idea of what needs to be done without a leader(to many shows have the 'non-leader' types fall to peices without an authorety figure too quickly). It also shows what a minipulative punk Hudson can be! ^_^ (That's a good thing)
You mentioned the question of a Power Vaccume, and I agree that no organized group can exist without a leader type, be it an individual, or a group. I also think that, without some form of disciplinary threat, no organization is safe, as Talon's lack of action against Fang shows, and a fact Maggie subtly brings up, and Talon gives the stereotypical arguement for no punishment.
And it seems Xanatos has become Talon's Demona, something Fang expertly exploits beautifully.
And yes, the new security stinks. I think the next version might not be so...destructive.
As to your concern about the lack of use of "Xanatos knows!!" nugget, I think-even if he couldn't find a use for the info directly-it could still be useful in making the Gargs needlessly wary.
Now those blaster, am I correct to assume that Cyberbiotics was up against Xanatos Enterprises for a lasor weapons military contract?
Speaking of, I can only assume that Talon and the others didn't come down with a fatal case of Dead By Lasor is that Fang, Claw, Chaze and Lou didn't know how to aim those things.
And I think Maggie was very brave in her own way. To many crimes go on because those who COULD stop it by going to the police, WON'T out of fear. She could have easily just gone with Fang's regime, but she went to the Gargs. Be it out of love for Dereck, or a since of Justice.
During the battle at the end, I always feel worried for the homeless people and their stuff, cause that's quite literally all they have in the world.
And I'm impressed by Fang when he gets Maggie, "I have no gripes with you. Leave now and Maggie goes free." This is fundamentally different from, say, Demona, whose only response to anyone-human OR Gargoyle-standing against her is 'KILL 'EM! KILL 'EM ALL!!!!' Fang however, is willing to let them all go, even let Maggie-a vital bargining chip with Talon- leave with them. This-to me- hints that he has a grasp of who's his enemy, and-grudes aside-could be an okay guy. ...Or an idiot with no sense of strategy. Your choice.
And those great acting skills you keep telling us about! Give 'er a hand everybody! And hey, even if Maggie's looks keep her off most of the plays out there, like I always say: she would be a shoe in for CATS.
And there is one more lesson that I'm surprised no one else got. Or at least, no one's mentioned. Fang calls out to Claw, asking him if he wants to be weak. Claw shakes his head no. No, he doesn't want to be weak... anymore. He chooses to be strong in a different way, and abandons Fang to team up with Talon and Maggie.
And so the 'Mutate Trilogy' has ended, with the Labyrinth Clan firmly established and allied with the Manhattan Clan. Maggie and Talon are firmly established(Much to the joy of the Maglon shippers, though to the woe of the Broogie shippers), and Brooklyn and Talon have fully accepted their respective roles as leaders.
I enjoyed this ep. Saddly Doc Sevarius isn't present(any Tim Curry is AWESOME), but that's okay, 'cause he really wasn't needed here. I hope to do the other Mutate eps, and the rest of the episodes sooner or later.
Good luck with the comic!
Though I wasn't the voice director (that was Jamie Thomason), I was in fact in charge of the voice performances/direction, so I'll take responsibility for what you didn't like. But be aware that we made a conscious choice here. This wasn't us (me, Jamie or Kath -- and it's Kath Soucie, not Katie) forgetting what she used to sound like. This was the three of us deciding that changes in personality, mutation and confidence would give us the voice you heard.
You are so the man. I was afraid the new Spider-Man series might just be a rehashing of old stories for the youngins but I'm having a ball with it. How does it feel to write a script and know it's gold? :D I had some solid laughs, and that line about "...Harry losing his dad..." was chilling. The voice acting is quality (some familiar ones in there too, I don't know all the names like some of the hardcores here I do remember them ;)). I've only seen the first episode yet and I love how it wasn't just linear with one villain, one small fight where Spider-Man gets beat down, and one big fight Spider-Man eventually wins. Multiple arcs, both high school and super hero life, and multiple villains building in the same episode is where it is at. I didn't actually realize you were so involved in this project but I am so glad you are. The powers that be chose wisely! No pun intended. Every since it went off the air I've urned for Gargoyles to make reappearance on the small screen or, be I so bold as to say it, the big screen! I guess in some way your legacy will live on vicariously through this series, not that Spider-Man should fit in a Gargoyle's mold, but you get my drift. Keep it real pisano.
Well, hopefully you're picking up the Gargoyles comic books... which is where Gargoyles truly does LIVE AGAIN!
But thanks for the kind words on both shows.