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Annonymous writes...

After Gargoyles #7 came out, someone asked on here if you could post the descriptions you gave to the artists of some of the new characters, and you were able to provide some.

With a lot more issues out, would you be willing to post more of these descriptions for more of the new characters? I'd love to compare your words to the artists's final products for anyone, but especially Katana, Fu-Dog, Nashville, Sacrifice, Falstaff and his crew, the top tier Illuminati, etc.

Greg responds...

Maybe this'll hold you over for now:

NEW CHARACTERS â€" (in order of appearance)
• FALSTAFF a.k.a. JOHN OLDCASTLE â€" (Age 60.) Falstaff is a huge man, very tall and seemingly very fat (though it’s mostly muscle like a sumo wrestler). He’s Caucasian with a full head of snow-white hair and a big white beard and mustache. He’s almost always smiling, and there’s something jolly, even Santa-esque about him. But he’s actually quite dangerous. He affects a medieval style of dress. John also appears at age 31 in flashback. Back then, John had bristly jet black hair, beard and mustache. He was broad-shouldered and beefy back then, but not at all fat. He wore normal clothes for the time (1968). He had a kind expression on his face. In a montage sequence, he ages from 31 to 48, gaining weight and grey hair along the way. (See page 22 for the details.)
• DOLL â€" (Age 20.) A pretty, tall, slim Asian girl wearing a lot of make-up â€" almost a cross between kabuki and goth. She’s got very long limbs, and she’s a contortionist. Her clothes are strategically placed tatters. She’s barefoot. Think of an Asian Daryl Hannah in Blade Runner.
• BARDOLPH â€" (Age 44.) African male, bald with many burn scars all over his face, hands, etc. One eye is almost closed over with scarring. Like most of Falstaff’s crew, he wears Renaissance Fair garb. He breathes fire.
• QUICKLY â€" (Age 29.) Caucasian woman with long loose blonde hair. She wears a loose fitting Renaissance-style sundress, but she’s actually wearing it over a sports bra and long thigh length running shorts. She wears what appear to be boots, but there’s no heel. There really camouflaged track shoes. She has super-speed.
• POINTS â€" (Age 25.) Hispanic male with long dark hair and a Fu Manchu mustache. In Renaissance garb. He is a master of all bladed, sharp things. He has multiple swords, knives, daggers, etc., including short throwing blades, a samurai sword, a broadsword, a rapier, etc.
• PISTOL â€" (Age 52.) Caucasian male with a grey crewcut in Renaissance garb. He is a master of firearms, and has multiple holsters, containing pistols, guns, a sawed-off shotgun, a sniper’s rifle, a grenade-launcher, etc. He NEVER smiles. In a montage sequence, we see him at age 40, looking much the same, but with darker hair. (See page 22 for details.)

MARIAH MONMOUTH â€" (Age 26 in 1968.) Dingo/Harry’s mother. A pretty young thing â€" or we would have thought so if we had seen her under different circumstances. She was something of a free spirit and flower-child, with long hair and hippy clothes.

Response recorded on June 28, 2010

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Greg Bishansky writes...

"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...

Greg responds...

Yep, she's dead all right.

Response recorded on February 22, 2010