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Gargoyles, 1: Clan-building Paperback – January 23, 2008
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- Publisher : SLG Publishing (January 23, 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 168 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1593620969
- ISBN-13 : 978-1593620967
- Reading age : 13 - 16 years
- Grade level : 4 - 6
- Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.7 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,768,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Issue #1 reiterates the events of the end of the show's second season before initiating the "Quarrymen" storyline, which carries over to issue #2. Issues #3 through #5 focus on the schemes of the Illuminati (of all entities) and the return of Thailog. Issue #6 is told largely as a flashback and ends the book in an open-ended manner with a revelation and the resurfacing of an old foe. Recurring throughout the comics is the development of Goliath's and Elisa's relationship (enthusiasts rejoice!) and how New York is receiving the now-not-so-secret Gargoyles.
The show was notable for featuring dramatic narrative over action scenes, and this approach carries over to the comics. Though there is a handful of exhilarating fight/chase scenes spread throughout the issues, you will not be able to understand the complex plot simply by looking at the pictures. The storytelling is smarter than ever and remains big on character development. The cast is consistent: the Manhattan Clan, Elisa, Xanatos and Fox, Matt Bluestone, the Mutates, Thailog and the clones, Coldstone, and the rest of the cast (with the exception of Demona, only seen briefly) have not undergone any changes to compromise their onscreen selves. Some reviewers contradict me on that last statement, but I stand firm that any significant change is solely in the eye of the beholder.
The art is good...four out of six times. The issues are illustrated by four different artists: David Hedgecock (issues #1-3), Nir Paniry (#4), Karine Charlebois (#5), and Gordon Purcell (#6). While none of the artists are bad, there are those illustrators whose art style matches the content more than others' - namely, that of Hedgecock and Charlebois, who exercise familiar and likeable designs well suited to what we remember from the series. Paniry draws heavy outlines and relies on shadows more than any other artist, and while this looks great in the issue's fight scene, it's too grave and weighty for the more lighthearted scenes and makes the characters look dreadful in closeups. Purcell has a sketchy, rawer style that - combined with the color scheme - looks as though he drew with chalk instead of ink.
Another detraction is the uneven "page time" that the characters get to express their personalities. For example, about 70% of the illustration is given over to Goliath, Elisa, and non-Gargoyle characters, while only about 40 of the approximate 150 pages feature other members of the Manhattan Clan, in half of which they're merely in the background. Nevertheless, the issues are full of little character tidbits that make the story worth following on their own: little things that are insignificant to the plot but nonetheless meaningful to fans who have missed seeing their favorite characters for so long. There's Broadway's first documented kiss with Angela, the tender interaction between Alex Xanatos and Lexington and Bronx, and Brooklyn's skintight "Super-Goyle" entrance (so funny and sexy at the same time...) - all of which are sure to tickle the needs of those of us who have spent the time between the show's cancellation and the comic's publication wondering what our old friends are getting up to.
Simply put, if allowed to exist for the indefinite future, I have no doubt that "Gargoyles" will grow as endearing in the comic world as it did on Saturday morning TV. It exists because of the fans, and does not aim to disappoint its base. Like the Gargoyles themselves, the series has adapted effectively to a new environment and are well on the way to making it their own. Fans, get it. Now.
The narrative that Weisman has crafted here is as sprawling and complex as the series that preceded it. The depth and maturity of the show even increased with the introduction to the comic book format. Unfortunately it is this same depth and complexity that will leave many who read it wanting for more. As the comics lay the ground works for many different threads of the plot to be followed but is cut off before realizing any of them fully.
For those of you who are new to the story I suggest watching the first two seasons of the show, the third aside from the first episode is "non-canon" as it does not follow Weisman's story, before reading the comic. The book does offer a refresher at but it is hard to fully appreciate the story if you skip the start.
I would definitely buy this again but be prepared to be at least a little disappointed here boys and girls there's no resolution to be had.....yet.
I highly recommend this graphic novel collection to any fan of the Gargoyle series, especially one who craves the further adventures of Goliath and company and who won't settle for the non-canon garbage that is The Goliath Chronicles.
Top reviews from other countries
Die Qualität der Seiten machen einen sehr guten Eindruck und die Comics sind sehr gut gezeichnet. Ein Buch fast mehrere Episoden/Hefte zusammen, die vorher mal einzeln erschienen sind. Die Episoden von mehreren Zeichnern erstellt worden. Daher findet man auch verschiedene Zeichenstile. Bis auf ein oder zwei Stile sagen mir alle sehr zu und die Coloration muss sich bei Leibe nicht verstecken. Allerdings bin ich kein Fachmann, was wertige Hochglanz-Comics angeht.