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They live again! After a long slumber, Gargoyles – the critically-acclaimed 1990s animated series from Walt Disney Animation – has roared back to life, thanks in part to the current ongoing monthly comic series from Dynamite Comics. Launched in December 2022, written by Gargoyles co-creator Greg Weisman and featuring electric artwork by George Kambadais, the series continues the canon adventures of the Manhattan Clan, taking them to places fans could only dream of.
Now, Gargoyles is set to both kick-off the second half of its opening 12-issue “Here in Manhattan” arc – offering a great entry point for new readers – and launch a six-issue spin-off series, Gargoyles: Dark Ages! James Harvey of The World’s Finest recently caught up with Weisman to ask a few questions about the future of the Manhattan Clan, what it means to return to the world of Gargoyles, and drop a tease or two of what’s to come. Continue on for more!
The World’s Finest: Gargoyles is back! Launching to strong reviews and massive numbers with issue #1, and remaining a solid seller since, it’s been a joy as a fan to get back deep into this world. As a part of the creative force behind the series, and now the Dynamite Comic series, what’s the experience been like for you to step back into the Eyrie after so long?
Greg Weisman: I love these characters. I love this world. I’ve been unable to stop myself from imagining more and more stories over the last twenty-something years. To be able to finally tell those stories, get them out to new fans and old, with such great artists bringing them to life, is really a dream come true.
WF: And, as a follow-up, seeing the positive sales numbers, reviews and fan reaction, does it feel almost vindicating to know that the hunger for the Manhattan Clan remains nearly 30 years later?
GW: In a word: *&%% YES! (Okay, that’s two words, but only one of them is printable.)
WF: “Here in Manhattan,” the first story-arc of Dynamite Comics’ Gargoyles, not only serves as a continuation for long-time fans of the classic cartoon and SLG titles, but it also needs to introduce new readers to the Manhattan Clan and their world. Is it difficult to balance that, to make sure that both audiences will end up on somewhat the same page?
GW: I think we did most of the heavy lifting in issue #1. Hopefully, from that point on, our readers – ranging from hardcore fans, who just needed a refresher, to newbies, who’ve never seen a single episode before – were then able to just sit back and enjoy the tapestry – with characters, backstory, reminders, Easter eggs and other info – revealed gradually, as needed, along the way. It’s a bit of a challenge, but its the kind of thing I’ve done many times before, so I feel pretty good about what we managed to achieve in the page and panel space we’ve had.
WF: To help clarify for long-timers, and for the benefit of new readers, could you explain where the Dynamite Comics Gargoyles title fits into the overall Gargoyles canon?
GW: Sure. Gargoyles Universe canon to my mind includes the original sixty-five episodes of the series’ first two seasons. Then the twelve issues of the old SLG Gargoyles comic and the six issues of the spin-off comic, Gargoyles: Bad Guys. And now the Dynamite issues, which includes the twelve-issue “Here In Manhattan” arc and the six-issue Gargoyles: Dark Ages mini-series. The more of the above that a reader has consumed, the more they’ll get out of each new issue. But the goal is to make sure that you won’t need to have seen any of what came before in order to enjoy what you’re reading now.
WF: After the first six installments of “Here in Manhattan” stirred up some big problems for Goliath & Co., things seem to escalate to an even higher degree with the return of Demona in issue #7. With issue #7 also providing as an entry point for new readers, can you perhaps drop a little tease about what her returns means for our heroes?
GW: Rainbows and lollypops. Oh, wait. No. Kinda the opposite.
As you know, James, I’m not too big on spoilers, but I think it’s safe to say that the return of Demona will only serve to further complicate our heroes’ lives – in the most dangerous and fun way possible. Demona is many things – but never boring. And wait until you see George Kambadais’ take on her!
WF: Speaking of Demona, she’s going to be a major player in the new mini-series Gargoyles: Dark Ages, which takes us all the way back to the 900s, before the events of the series opener, “Awakening.” What can readers expect from this series, and what’s the inspiration behind it?
GW: We originally pitched Dark Ages as a spin-off prequel mini-series to CBS’ Saturday morning line-up way back in 1995/96. They didn’t buy it, but we had all these story ideas that [artist] Drew Moss and I now get to tell. The series is set in the year 971, which is over two decades before the medieval sections of our pilot.
What we’ll be seeing is the formation of the Human-Gargoyles Alliance, warts and all. We’ll see familiar characters such as Hudson, Goliath, Demona, Coldstone and others at a younger age. Plus we’ll meet many new characters (of both species) that were important to the Wyvern Clan in that era. As for the inspiration, I think we’ve always wanted to see the origins of these characters. Now, we get the chance to do just that.
WF: The press details for Dark Ages mention events in that series will see consequences impacting our heroes in the present day. Will we perhaps see such reverberations start to crop up in the arc beginning in Gargoyles #7?
GW: Or sooner.
WF: Gargoyles: Dark Ages will also be a little thicker than average monthly, clocking in at 40 pages and including a special prose-style back-up. What was the inspiration behind taking this route for the format and with the back-ups, and what will these tales explore?
GW: We always want to maximize value to our readers as much as possible. So the back-up prose stories, which are set even before 971, provide more adventure, more context and more characters. But these stories are substantially human-focused, and the book isn’t called Humans: Dark Ages. It didn’t make a lot of sense to dedicate art pages to stories about these humans. But we wanted to find a way to bring these tales to our readers. So editor Nate Cosby and I figured this would be a good way to do just that.
WF: Is it safe to assume that Gargoyles Dark Ages will be just the beginning for mini-series and other specials spinning out of the Gargoyles series?
GW: Pretty safe. Assuming sales stay strong!
WF: To ensure Dynamite Comics’ Gargoyles series enjoys a lengthy run – and to keep seeing more mini-series, specials and collections – the key is to support the title month-to-month, pre-ordering if possible. Could you explain why adding Gargoyles to pull lists and pre-ordering, instead of perhaps waiting for the collection (not that there’s anything wrong with that), is important to keeping this title around?
GW: It’s fairly straight-forward, I think. Collections only exist if enough individual issues are published to get collected. And the individual issues only get published if the sales of previous issues justify it. And the main indication of sales is pre-orders. So keeping those pre-orders high, keeps the train of issues chugging along, eventually leading to them being collected. But if pre-orders fall off, it puts the whole system at risk.
WF: So, as we reach the end, if you could be so kind for perhaps one last little teaser for Gargoyles #7 and Gargoyles: Dark Ages #1?
GW: You’re killing me, James. But, okay…
In Gargoyles #7 – Demona will be shown keeping a careful eye on the Clan, while launching her next big plan against the human race…
And in Gargoyles: Dark Ages #1 – Prince Malcolm will approach the leader of the Wyvern Clan (i.e. a younger Hudson) with the hope of an Alliance. Some of the Clan will be all for it. Others will not…
WF: And, let’s wrap things up on a fun note. What’s been one unexpected treat about returning to the world of Gargoyles, any why is now the right time for long-time fans and readers to dive in?
GW: One treat has really been the art of both George and Drew. They’re both very different, but both are bringing incredible energy and draftsmanship to the property and the characters, including new characters that each has been able to design themselves.
As for why this is a good time, well… cuz this is the moment. The first in a long time when new stories, new content is coming out every month. It’s exciting. There’s a lot going on, and frankly, no one should miss out!
Gargoyles is on sale monthly in print and digital from Dynamite Comics. Continue below for pre-order and release dates for upcoming issues of both Gargoyles and Gargoyles: Dark Ages:
Release Date: July 26, 2023
Pre-Order By Date: July 03, 2023
Release Date: August 30, 2023
Pre-Order By Date: August 07, 2023
Gargoyles: Dark Ages #1
Release Date: July 5, 2023
Pre-Order By Date: June 12, 2023
Gargoyles: Dark Ages #2
Release Date: August 2, 2023
Pre-Order By Date: July 10, 2023
Gargoyles: Here in Manhattan TPB/HC
Release Date: July 12, 2023
Pre-Order By Date: June 19, 2023
Thanks to Greg Weisman and Dynamite Comics for arranging this Q & A! To learn more about Gargoyles, please continue exploring this very The World’s Finest subsite dedicated to the exploits of the Manhattan Clan! Plus, be sure to catch Voices from the Eyrie, a dedicated Gargoyles podcast featuring news, reviews and regular commentary by Weisman.