A Station Eight Fan Web Site
I finally found a comic shop semi-near my apartment and figured out how to get there by bus. It's kinda creepy standing alone at a totally unfamiliar intersection after dark, but I got my comic the day it came out. And the store only had 2 left when I got there, that same day.
So yes, this is pretty hard to follow, it's hard to review the story when we don't have #8 and #9, but all that Withheld stuff will be useful now. Even though... we have the times right there in the comic. Here's my initial thoughts:
*I am happy to see Macbeth, and being friendly with the clan. He's my favorite 'antagonist' in the series. "Don't you have minions for this?" is a great line.
*Goliath has healed very nicely, there's not even a mark.
*Brooklyn wants to stay in NY to get a break from seeing Broadway and Angela holding hands and being all "OMG WE'RE IN LOVE!!" when they wake up in the evening. Then they decide to stay too. Poor Brooklyn. And I wonder what Angela whispered. I wouldn't feel sorry for Brooklyn because he is being jealous, except he still feels like there are no more females of his species left. Does he not realize there is a whole clan in England? I would have expected him to want to meet them, especially after he asked Goliath "When do we get our World Tour?"
*Jetlag and gargoyles, interesting. It is a nice way of demonstrating (like Broadway underground in the animated series) that gargoyles have a biological clock, that they don't just react to sunlight. And there's Macbeth, drinking lots of coffee to keep himself awake, and looking bored. He should have brought a book. I was wrong about thinking Lex was cold when he woke up, thanks for clearing that up. I'm not surprised they feel lousy.
*Hey look, its the little green guy from Demona's clan. I liked that character design. And there's Gruoch and Demona, too. But no Lulach.
*Maggie is pregnant! I guessed it from the way Dr. Sato says "condition" and the way she and Derek are looking at each other. I'm surprised it happened so soon. Are they going to get married then? Or at least have a ceremony, since the legal benefits won't be useful in the Labyrinth. It is nice to see Dr. Sato becoming an ally of both NY clans. I wonder how Maggie will explain all this to her folks in Ohio, though, because we haven't seen her contact them yet. And I'm eager to learn what their offspring will look like. Human, mutant, half-human and half-mutant... it could be anything.
*The conversation between Goliath and Elisa is interesting. The same panels and poses from #3 are deliberately repeated, the contrast is good. And I like her conclusion. "Normalcy is so overrated." She's thinking about Derek and how he seems to be gaining happiness in spite of not having a normal life. And she touches his hair, so he kisses her. :)
*Shari's watching Thailog take a bath!? Also, he has a surprisingly modern-looking computer for 1996, but what with all the cyborgs and super-robots and nanobots running around the Gargverse, I guess Thailog's rich enough to afford something "futuristic."
*I do wonder if the stories told of the Stone are true or not. Probably they are, but how did a handful of Greeks and Egyptians conquer all of Ireland? If that Stone is a Child of Oberon (as you once suggested it might be), it seems to be very patient with sitting around for long boring stretches of time being a rock. Then again, I don't think you intend it to be a Child of Oberon anymore, since it isn't at the Gathering.
*I wonder what are Thailog and Brentwood looking for, and where are they? Maybe we'll find out in #8.
*The new Coyote robot is one of the uglier ones in my opinion, though not as ugly as 4.0. Generally I think the one in Cloud Fathers (5.0?) was the sleekest-looking. That's not a critique of the penciller or the character design, but a critique of whoever (Xanatos?) designed the robot itself.
*I'm not surprised to see King Arthur, but I am surprised to see him do ~that~. Guess he and Macbeth have some more issues to work out yet! I wonder why he's so mad at Macbeth. And his motivations... it would be so bizarre if he was an antagonist in this story arc.
*New gargoyles! Plus Griff is back, I really like Griff. I am happy to see new gargoyles, as I've been very curious about non-Scottish clans, but I admit to being very disappointed with the new character designs. I am sorry to tell you this, but I dislike them. It doesn't make any biological sense that each one's heads just happens to ~exactly match~ his/her feet, when they aren't mammals nor related to those particular animals at all. I'm still very happy to see new gargoyles, though, but I was hoping for gargoyles that looked like they could have evolved, instead of like they were designed to look ~exactly~ like specific mammals. I still think that "chameleon genes" in general are plausible, and I ~love~ the variation in the other clans, but the London clan is no longer plausible for me (except Griff, who has mixed-together body parts). Each other gargoyle has his or her specific feet and tail cherry-picked to match ~perfectly~ his or her specific head, so that he/she looks like a winged, anthropomorphic/mutate version of one single, specific mammal, instead of a gargate that happens to remind humans of some animal. The white male has the face of a deer, and also antlers and a deer's cloven hooves (not horse-like hooves like Una), and they all match. The brown female has boar's hooves and a boar head to match. You have said that evolution and creation are supposed to be equally possible origins for gargoyles, but so far each London gargoyle (except Griff) is designed to look exactly like a single animal. I hope this isn't an indication that the rest of the clan will all be like this. They all live together and mate each other. Wouldn't offspring inherit a mix of their parents' traits?
But other than that, it is interesting to see the combination of wing-claws with the feather-like surface. Also surprising that some London gargoyles have the leathery wings instead. And that female has neat clothing. I agree with others who are happy to see a female who isn't thin or attractive by human standards.
Although the new gargoyle character designs bother me a lot, I'm still happy with lots of information and events, and I like this issue. TONS of teasers, and an intriguing storyline of which I look farward to learning more. Overall, the format is a confusing way to tell the story and I wonder why you are telling it this way, surely not only to mess with our heads (though I'm sure you enjoy that too!). Perhaps the next two issues will reveal the reason for the unusual format. As for the art, David Hedgecock is much better than before and this is the best colorist to be paired with him yet; Thailog's not black anymore, and the Mutates are tailless again. But Broadway is still off model in almost every panel and it bothers me. Everyone else looks really great, though, especially Goliath, Elisa, and Angela. It is true that sometimes Goliath's head is too big, but I didn't notice until other reviews pointed it out. I like this issue's art better than #6. I hope you guys stick with this art team from now on, Hedgecock is looking good and Robby Bevard brings out the best in his inks.
LONDON CLAN - Look, I understand what you're saying, but you're ignoring the NEEDS of creating a fictional universe here. I have to define parameters first -- the breadth of the possibilities. I assume you're not saying that if such and such a foot exists, it CAN'T appear with a so-called "matching" head. Leo's feet don't match a lion's, so I'm not sure why you're not including him with Griff as okay by your standards, in which case I've got two that are a mix and three that represent extremes. But you've only seen a smattering of London gargoyles anyway, not enough of a sample to judge. So, I simply request your patience until you've seen more than a handful to base your opinion on. I mean it's not like I haven't thought about all this. Haven't I earned a little trust at this point?
FORMAT - Okay, yeah, I enjoy messing with your heads, but that's definitely NOT the reason I'm telling this story this way. The ultimate reason why I felt it HAD to be told this way won't be clear -- assuming it's ever clear -- until issue #9, but I think even with this issue there are plenty of obvious advantages to telling this story this way. Information may not always be revealed chronologically, but sometimes that's not the best way to receive information. Content rather than strict chronology rules this story. What do you need to know? When do you need to know it? Besides, the story is MUCH more chronological (certainly across the three issues) than people probably realize. It's not at all random. Not at all. And when I didn't have a reason not to, I resorted to a strict timeline. And the dates and times are all there, so that the chronologically needy can still put it all together.
David and Robby are hopefully both here to stay.
Hi Greg, this is something I meant to ask in my earlier comment, but I forgot to. For the comic, how much direction do you give to your artists in coming up with the designs for new canon characters?
I am specifically referring to the two new London Gargoyles at the end of #7. I know you had mentioned before that the London gargs would look like unicorns, lions, or griffins. Did you change your mind recently, or had it always been your plan to make them look like other heraldry animals, and you were just teasing us? Did David Hedgecock talk you out of it? Did the two of you decide together what animals they would resemble, or had you already decided? If you chose beforehand, did you give him specific details about their appearance, or relatively vague details and let him come up with them himself? I would be interested to know any information you can tell me about this. I find the process of creating a character's look to be very interesting.
Also, feel free to volunteer information about the development of the designs of other new characters which have appeared in the comic. Shari, the Tasmanian tiger villain in Bad Guys, Coyote's new look, etc. Whatever comes to mind.
Here's my description in the script of the two characters, minus a couple of personal details that I don't choose to reveal at this time:
[New Male Gargoyle] - Biologically age 19. [New Male Gargoyle] is a gargoyle of the London Clan. His head is modeled off a large stag (i.e. male deer) with fairly magnificent silver antlers. He should have feathered white wings. And deer-like hooves for feet, but his hands should look like normal gargoyle hands. He should be tall (and feel even taller thanks to the antlers) and slim in build. Not so slim that he looks fragile, but he's definitely not the bulky type. This is a new character, but for inspiration take a look at UNA at http://lynativerse.artchicks.org/Screencaps/GL_Una.htm.
[New Female Gargoyle] - Biologically age 19. [New Female Gargoyle] is another gargoyle of the London Clan, this one modeled off a wild boar or sow. She has a pig-snout and tusks. She is brown. Her wings are the more traditional bat-like wings we're familiar with. Normal gargoyle hands, more pig-like feet. She's medium-height, muscled and burly - nothing fragile about [New Female Gargoyle].
As you can see, the basic choices were mine, but I give Dave full credit for bringing them to life.
Here's my descriptions of the other characters you asked about (and some you didn't)...
COYOTE 5.0 - This is only SORT OF a new character. Basically, there have been four Coyote robots that preceded this one. They all have a lot in common thematically, but they're all different too. And lucky you get to design the new one! To see Coyotes 1-4, check out: http://gargoyles.dracandros.com/Coyote_%28robot%29 or the episodes "Leader of the Pack" (for Coyote 1.0) and "Upgrade" (for Coyote 2.0) both on the Season Two, Volume One DVD. (Coyotes 3.0 & 4.0 aren't out on DVD yet.) Note the basic color scheme and the coyote-head motif. And the fact that all the later robots have a circular VID-SCREEN that displays an image of a robotic head. The head appears to be half-Xanatos and half-robot-skull. This version of the robot will have the large Coyote Diamond inside its chest cavity… with lasers shooting into it. We may want a transparent cover for that, so we can see the Diamond even after the cavity is closed. Or not. In either case, Coyote 5.0 should be BIG.
SHARI - Arabic female, age 18. A pretty, goth-teen runaway type. She wears a lot of chains, necklaces, pendants, etc. around her neck. [Shari was also visually inspired by a real person, and I provided Dave with a photo as reference.]
DETECTIVE CEDRIC HARRIS - African-American male.
DETECTIVE TRI CHUNG - Chinese-Vietnamese male.
TERRY CHUNG - Asian-American boy, age 12. He's wearing a GOLIATH Halloween costume.
AMBASSADOR CHUNG - Terry's mother, age 42. She's a short Asian-American woman, wearing a white evening gown and carrying a white, feathered mask on a stick.
QUINCY HEMINGS - He appears to be about 60. African-American. Gray hair, trim build. He's dressed in a white tuxedo jacket with epaulets and gold buttons. White gloves, a red bow tie, black pants. He has for decades been the "Chief Steward" at the White House, a job loosely based on the job of Chief Usher. See http://www.whitehousehistory.org/06/subs/06_a07.html for info on Chief Ushers.
TASMANIAN TIGER - (Age 24.) The Tasmanian Tiger is a somewhat clichéd costumed super-villain. His garb is inspired by the extinct Tasmanian Tiger (a.k.a. the Thylacine), and he's flanked by two actual (cloned) THYLACINES (Benjamin & Natasha). (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thylacine.) His costume is largely form fitting with black tiger stripes and a cowl with Tiger ears and clawed gauntlets. On his chest is a symbol with two interlocking letter Ts. (Similar to the interlocking Ds on Daredevil's costume: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Daredevil41.jpg.) The Tasmanian Tiger also carries a large blaster weapon.
BENJAMIN - A male Thylacine, one of Tasmanian Tiger's trained pets. To see how wide a thylacine's jaw can open, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Tasmanian_tiger.gif.
NATASHA - A female Thylacine; the Tiger's other trained pet.
As you can see, sometimes I gave quite a bit of detail, sometime I pretty much left nearly the entire design to Dave or Karine or Nir's imagination. Usually, the artist does a design and sends it to me. We might do a bit of back and forth on it... but honestly, looking at the above list, with the exception of Quincy (who started out looking a bit too old and jowly for my tastes), I feel like the artists hit all of these characters on the first time out.
My Review For Gargoyles #7, "The Rock"...
- Picked up a couple copies of "The Rock" today. There were only a couple issues left and the store had only been open an hour, which was cool. It was also nice to see that the store apparently had ordered some more issues of "Reunion". When I checked out, the clerk said "Good choice" which led to a long discussion about the series and the comic. She is apparently a huge Elisa fan. Our discussion reminded her to put the DVDs on her x-mas list. We talked a while more and she is really wanting to go to the Gathering, so who knows, she might end up riding there with me (St. Louis to Chicago). Nice to make friends over Gargoyles.
- On to the comic. When I first saw the cover (we didn't have any released previews this time!) I laughed. Reading "Stone... At Night?!" I actually said (under my breath) "What sorcery is this?!" Spotting Big Ben I quickly figured out what was going on. Nice to see Hudson featured better than he has been on covers so far. Lex looks good too. Nice cover.
- Okay, so the book itself. I knew it was going to be non-linear, and I knew Greg could pull that off. I guess I didn't know what to expect, but I loved it. I've read the book twice already and like all the previous chapters it is exciting to read, full of surprises and finishes with a bunch of anticipation and questions. This is the kind of story that I will almost have to wait until Issue #9 to really review. That said, there are a couple things I really enjoyed:
- I know it is a very minor point, but I liked seeing many of the recurring human characters (Macbeth, Fox, Xanatos) in something besides their typical series costume. That is definitely a strength of the comic book. Of course, Elisa is still in her usual jeans, black t-shirt and red jacket. Maybe it helps her keep a sense of "normalcy"!
- One of the neatest traits of the Gargoyles Universe, and Greg's writing abilities, is that nothing ever gets wasted. I'm happy to see the Coyote Diamond again, and surprised to see it planted (for some reason) in the newest Coyote robot. Is this the first time the Diamond has been put into Coyote or has every version of him contained the Diamond? Just another question this chapter leaves us asking.
- I love how Shari's tales are told to us in sepia tones and scrolls. One has to ask where she is learning all this (particularly the Coldtrio stuff), but I like the way it is shown and told. Which leads me to the art of the book. I always liked Hedgecock's work from Issue #1, and I think he is getting better and better. Hedgecock maybe hasn't been drawing Gargoyles characters for the past eleven years, but he is catching up fast, IMHO. This is absolutely his best issue so far, and I'm glad to see him back on the book regularly. Great stuff.
- Who would've thought we'd be seeing Gruoch this soon in the comic, and who would've thought we'd EVER see the little green gargoyle from Demona's Clan (a fan favorite, I think) in the comic! Cool cameos.
- Ah, the never ending drama of Brooklyn, Broadway and Angela. This slow boiling plot is getting awfully fun to watch. I think I've said it in nearly every review so far, so I can't leave out a "Poor Brooklyn"... Seems Goliath is starting to get wise to the situation as well. And since when can Broadway just say he and Angela are gonna stay in Manhattan when Goliath has more or less ordered them to accompany Macbeth? Ah well. Speaking of Goliath, we get a nice follow-up to the Elisa-Goliath Halloween story. Well done. It really says something when fictional characters cause such an emotional reaction for the reader/viewer. And not to leave out Talon and Maggie the Cat, who may be expecting a Mutate-ling in a few months. When Sato mentioned Maggie's "condition" I wondered if maybe she was preggers, though I though maybe we are just talking about the Mutate thing in general. Then with the mention of "O.B." I got excited. Cool stuff. Nice to see that Elisa is taking advantage of Dr. Sato's expertise after the revelation to him in "Bash". Ya know, it's refreshing to think that years ago when I wrote a review for "Deadly Force" I mentioned something about how I'd love to see Dr. Sato become a friend of the Clan. Sort of the antithesis of Sevarius. Very fun.
- Still have no idea what is up with Fox's shoes. Guess I'll wait til Issue #9 to talk about that. But seriously, Xanatos is a multi-billionaire, just buy the damn shoes, hell, buy the STORE! No biggie.
- I like that gargoyles "jetlag" and I like that that is canon-ized now. I also think it's fun that Hudson and Lex can feel it. Macbeth is fun here too. It's like he keeps waiting for them to wake up and is thinking the are a bit late and a bit more late and a bit more late and finally he gets his look like "Ummm... you guys gonna wake up or not?" Long time to stand there drinking coffee.
- I guess I shouldn't have been surprised to see the London Clan once we ended up in London, but I was a bit. Arthur was a bit of a surprise as well. I guess the most surprising thing was the APPEARENCE of the two London Clan members we could see clearly (it looks to me like the third in the foreground is Griff, we'll see). All these years Greg has said that Unicorns, Lions and Griffons were all we'd get. Now we see a stag-like dude and a (very cool) boar-like female. I dunno if Greg's comments were simply along the lines of "I don't want to tie the hands of the artists" or if he was just being totally elusive and deceitful, but either way it led to a great and fun ending to the book. Very very cool.
- So, overall a great book. Great writing, great reveals, great mysteries, great art. There were no errors I could find save one, in "Etched in Stone" Greg writes "Clan Building, Chapter Five: Reunion" when of course he means Chapter Six. That is one error I can live with. Looking to the trade paperback, Bad Guys #2 and Gargoyles #8. What a great time to be a Gargoyles-fan!!!
That's also an error I can take FULL responsibility for, which is as it should be. I'm the only one who should be screwing up the book! ;)
Anyway, in prepping this three-parter and Pendragon, I've given a lot more detailed thought to the London Clan. More revelations to come, obviously.
I do feel I missed a bet on the Macbeth waiting page. There should have been a panel right before the last panel on the page showing only the stone Lex and Hudson and no Macbeth. The copy would have read as follows:
CAPTION 1: NOVEMBER 3, 6:44PM GMT.
CAPTION 2: BATHROOM BREAK.
How is it that the Manhatten, Guatamalen, and London clans have flourished by 2198? 5 individuals (with only one female) is hardly enough for a proper breeding pool... let alone 2 males and one female.
The Mayan Clan has a rookery full of eggs.
The London Clan -- well, let's just say you've ONLY seen three of its members. There are many more on their estate.
The Manhattan Clan... stay tuned.
Was Una named after Lady Una from Spencer's The Faerie Queene, or simply because she was based on a unicorn?
Largely the latter, but I read Faerie Queene in college, so it may have been an influence.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
A crisis brings together representatives of four clans.
Lexington continues his journey.
at the end of M.I.A there's a guy walking by playing on a Gameboy (not looking like the real one for legal issues or what?). The game he's playing looks so much like "Solar Striker". This can't be a coincidence, can it?
Oh... speaking of M.I.A. Una has a line like "I know the books I'm selling". Do the customers know, the books of the store actually contain real spells?
I'm not a gamer, so I can't answer your first question.
As to your second question, I'd say some do and some don't.
i just watched "MIA" last night. i wrote down some notes:
- first off, the English gargoyles. for years i didn't like them, i mean physically. they seemed so different from the other gargs around the world and they looked like birds, lions and horses. that really irked me, but i've gotten over it. i started to think of different reasons they look like they do, and Greg had some theories as well, so i'm ok wth it now, and frankly, they are now my favorite gargoyle race to draw. i find them really neat. i did notice that they are the only gargs we've seen whose eyes seem to be tinted when NOT glowing. Leo and Griff's eyes were tinted tannish-gold and Una's were more light blue. interesting.
- it made me sad for years that there were only three gargoyles in the English Clan. i remember thinking to myself that they were another clan that was dying out, just like the Manhattan Clan. much to my surprise and excitement, i discovered the fandom online and soon discovered a whole Clan was never seen on the show! and they are one of the more populated Clans at that! very cool.
- it always amazes me how good a likeness of Griff and Goliath those statues are... guess Leo, Una and the pilots had excellant memories.
- when the English thugs surround Elisa i think how rascist they must be against her. kinda feel sorry for them... esspecially when the gargs kick their @$$! i LOVE Angela's line, "Surely we were sent her for something more important than this..." she gets that from her mother i think,
- i remember thinking that it was weird that Angela instantly recognized Leo and Una as gargoyles. esspecially because they were robed and she had recently been tricked by Raven. plus Leo and Una look so different than most gargoyles. maybe she smelled them or something. or maybe she was somehow familiar with the idea of what English gargs looked like.
- i like how comfortable Leo and Una are around humans. so used to them. its certaintly new to not see humans running away in fear of gargs.
- good touch when Goliath transports into the 1940 sky and falls cuz he was standing up. kinda like having the rug pulle dout from under you.
- i instantly love Griff when he saves Goliath from a propellor blade and says, "You know old boy, that could've been a bit nasty!" love his accent, hes great, i love Griff!
- when Griff honors Leo and Una for "minding the store" i think about how Hudson and Bronx are always left behind and how that is honorable too.
- when Goliath and Griff take on the pilots its great animation, it reminds me of the Trio taking on the Pack's helicopter. i like these sky battles, i guess.
- every time i see Goliath's wing get shot, i cringe. "OW!" thats gotta hurt, i mean theres a hole in his wing!
- destiny really had it out for Griff, one thing after another tried to kill him. i remember i was a little afraid that Goliath would be unable to prevent his death and hjave to go back to tell Leo and Una how Griff had died. fortunatly, Goliath was smart enough to get out of the warzone and back to the 90s.
- and back in the 90s theres a reunion, but a weird and awkward one. talk about your love triangles. Una is stuck between the gargoyle she loved in her youth and has been missing for so many years and the gargoyle who has been her companion for all those years! it doesn't help that Griff and Leo are such good friends either. its an ugly situation, i think and i totally understand why Griff would want to stay with King Arthur, but thats a story for another day...
Glad you came around to liking the London clan. Maybe we can explore them more in the future...
1. you've said before that Una, Leo and Griff hatched in 1898. Leo and Una haved aged normally, but Griff was pulled forward in time 55 years or so. so, the closest generation in biological age to Griff is the rookery that hatched in 1958, correct? that would make him just slightly biologically older than Brooklyn, but not as old as Goliath, right?
2. will Griff find a new mate since Una is with Leo now (and WAY too old for him)?
3. you once mentioned that "The Three" taught the London Clan the nursery ryhme about King Arthur that Griff quoted in "Pendragon". who were/are "The Three"?
4. how much time was there between when Goliath brought Griff to the modern age (MIA) and when Arthur showed up in London (Pendragon)?
1. In 1996, Goliath was biologically 29. The Trio were biologically 19. Griff was biologically 22. That would put him closer in biological age to Sora (hatched in 1958) then Yama (hatched in 1938).
2. One would hope.
3. I just tried to search through the archives for "The Three" and couldn't find an appropo reference. But I think I've covered this before... if not, I guess I'm revealing something... the three I assume you're referring to are Morgana le Fey, Nimue and the Lady of the Lake.
4. Griff gated to the present on January 24th, 1996. Arthur arrived in London on May 18th, 1996. (Though he and Griff didn't actually meet until after midnight, i.e. on May 19th.)
Almost every gargoyle clan we've meet in the show or that you've us about protects something. The Guatemalan clan protects the rain forest. The Loch Ness clan protects the Loch Ness Monster, the Manhattan, London and Ishimura clan naturally protects New York City, London and Ishimura respectively. And the Avalon clan protects Avalon while the Labyrinth clan presently protect the homeless of New York.
1. So what does the New Olympus clan protect? Mount Thanatos? The whole of New Olympus? Or have they abandoned their duty much like the London clan when they lost Griff(since you did say they were isolationists)?
2.What does the Pukhan and Xanadu clans protect?
3.What exactly do New Camelot and New Wyvern clans protect?
4.What abou the Queen Florence Island Clan(after they've been freed from their stasis)?
5.What about the Notre Dame Clan?
1. I think they have become too insular. It's something I would have made an issue of, given the chance.
2. Pukhan Clan is more interested in protecting their concept of justice. Xanadu Clan protects the endangered Gargoyle Beast species.
3. New Wyvern is very traditionalist. So they protect Wyvern and it's surroundings. By contrast, New Camelot is very internationalist.
4 & 5. Haven't gotten that far in my thinking yet, but at the least they'll protect the Island and Paris, respectively.