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Craig writes...

I must make a brief comment on the terrific advances David Hedgecock has made since this series has begun. A lot of fans were quick to criticize his early work. Unfortunately, now that his art has improved by leaps and bounds, I have not seen a corresponding amount of praise.

Right off the bat, we have the cover. Since I was ten, I've thought Hudson was the coolest looking gargoyle, and Hedgecock and Jorge Molina prove it in style! I was really disappointed to hear that Guler would no longer be doing the covers, so I was biased against Hedgecock in that regard...but even with that bias, I feel that this is the second coolest cover, after #5!

Other highlights for Hedgecock this issue: Thailog's victorious grin (and subsequent contrite look) upon catching Shari in a lie, and then being reminded of her disclaimer. Macbeth's look when he talks about "sleep-walking" (what a PERFECTLY written scene, by the way!). The wide-eyed optimism in Lex's eyes when he asks about the beasts, and the sadness in Griff's face when he replies (this exchange is odd and without context at this point, and yet Hedgecock lends it exactly the right tension and emotion to make us curious for an explanation). The design of Merlin...precisely the right balance of benevolence and mystery. And our first foggy glimpse of Castle Carbonek...! What a thrilling moment for us Illuminati nuts, after all these years of waiting.

I never thought Hedgecock's work was "bad" by any standard. However, I think the improvement from issue one to the current issue is comparable to the difference between a TV episode animated by Sun Woo and one animated by Koko...the art goes from supporting the story to elevating it. This is a massive testament to Hedgecock's commitment to this project...I cannot begin to imagine the hours he must have put into exploring this world, not to mention the new characters he has to learn for every issue. So I hope that you will forward this comment to Dave as some small motivation to keep up the terrific work. And as always, Greg, thanks for making all of this possible, and for bringing David and the rest of us to your world!

Greg responds...

I've always been a fan of Dave's, so you're preaching to the converted over here.

Response recorded on May 08, 2008