Gargoyles in the Media!
article by: C. S. Hayden, aka Spike
issue date: 9/2/03
print friendly / pdf file
Can't get Toon Disney? Missing your daily fix of Gargoyles? Not to worry! There's plenty of fictional gargoyles out there if you know where to look. Here's a listing of some of gargoyles, both literary and online, that everyone could enjoy. A brief review will follow those which I have read; hopefully other fans will contribute reviews of their own.
Greystone Inn by Brad J. Guigar (http://www.greystoneinn.net/)
Spike's review: It's about a fictional comic strip -"Greystone Inn" - and the crew that produces it on a weekly basis: The star, Argus the gargoyle; the producer, Mackenzie; the public relations director, Samantha; the head writer, Keagan; and the rest of the crew. The strip takes place in Guigar's hometown of Philadelphia and runs in some local newspapers there. Guigar frequently crosses over with other comic casts ? wouldn't it be cool to invite him to a future Gathering and see his Angus interact with the Wyvern clan?
Darius the Lonely Gargoyle by Micha Estlack, Nancy R. Thatch (Editor)
God bless the gargoyles by Dav Pilkey
Spike's review: A beautifully done book by the author of (and I still can't believe this) "Captain Underpants" and "The Dumb Bunnies". Pilkey shows his artistic side in this book with his vivid colors and dynamic picture compositions adapted from various art periods. Some pictures are gothic, others cubist, others echoing of early American illustrators ? Pilkey merges them all into a glorious whole which makes the accompanying poem all the more poignant.
Night of the Gargoyles by Eve Bunting (Author) and David Wiesner (Illustrator)
Spike's Review: I discovered this book in a roundabout way ? I got to see David Wiesner's original illustrations on display at the Dallas Museum of Art as part of an exhibit on children's book illustrators. The black-and-white illustrations complement the whimsical tone of text as gargoyles wake from their stone slumber and roam the city at night.
The Gargoyle on the Roof by Jack Prelutsky (Author), Peter Sis (Illustrator)
Spike's Review: This is one of those book's that absolutely must be read out loud. Prelutsky has the most infectious rhythm to his poetry! It is impossible to read it in a monotone. The book is not confined to just gargoyles, although they feature a unifying theme thoughout the book; other misunderstood creatures such as trolls, ogre, vampires and werewolves are also featured. Peter Sis, a Czech artist who now lives in New York City, brings a unique Eastern European feel to the illustrations, almost a Byzantine, iconoclastic in their detail.
Gargoyles of Gaylord (Michigan Chillers, 5) by Johnathan Rand, Jonathan Rand
Gargoyles Don't Drive School Buses by Debbie Dadey
The Headless Gargoyle (Critters of the Night , No 4) by Erica Farber, John R. Sansevere
Spike's review: Anyone who has ever read the "Little Critter" books by Mercer Mayer will see the resemblance in "The Critter of the Night" books, which Mayer created specifically for older readers, ages 9-12. The main characters are all monsters ? friendly, happy, family-oriented monsters ? but monsters that a kid can sink their teeth into. "The Headless Gargoyle" is a mystery story with clues in every chapter and some of the most adorable illustrations. It's probably too cute for most adults but my kids really enjoyed it.
The Queen of the Gargoyles (Bone Chillers, No 16) by Betsy Haynes (Creator), Gene Hult
Revenge of the Gargoyle (Scream Shop, 4) by Tracey West, Brian W. Dow (Illustrator)
(coming out in Nov. 2003)
Stoneflight By Georgess McHargue
Spike's review: This is one of the first 'older' books that I remember checking out from the library and when I came across a copy years later as an adult, I snatched purely out of sentimental value. The protagonist of the story is a pre-teen girl whose parents are on the verge of divorce and her way of coping is to go up to the roof of her building and sit with the stone griffin that's up there. After one particularly bad encounter with her parents, she learns that she has the ability to waken the spirit of the stone when her friend 'Griff' comes to life. He tells her about his life as a gargoyle and she becomes curious about the other stone creatures in New York City. She takes to the streets with her sketchbook under the pretense of sketching things for her summer art class but what she's really doing is waking up all the creatures of stone for one grand event on Mid-Summer's Eve. This book was optioned by Disney in 2001. I don't know what's become of it but I think it would make a great movie!
Rats and Gargoyles by Mary Gentle
In the Shadow of the Gargoyle by Nancy Kilpatrick (Editor), Thomas S. Roche (Editor)
Spike's review: I leafed through this one but never picked it up. It does mention the show "Gargoyles" in the editor's preface and it contains the short story that later became "St. Patrick's Gargoyle" by Katherine Kurtz.
St. Patrick's Gargoyle by Katherine Kurtz
Spike's review: A good book overall, but not extraordinarily great; I liked the characterization of the main characters and the premise was good but Kurtz got bogged down with some esoteric mysticism where she had the gargoyles actually be transformed seraphim, sent to earth as guardians. (Apparently if you saw a gargoyle in reflection, you'd actually see a six-winged angelic warrior instead.) I would have liked the book better if it had been more grounded instead of going off on this side tangent.
Beyond World's End by Mercedes Lackey (Author), Rosemary Edghill (Author)
Spirits White as Lightning by Mercedes Lackey (Author), Rosemary Edghill (Author)
(sequel to "Beyond World's End)
Spike's review: Both of these books are in Lackey's "Bedlam Bard" series and focus on Eric Banyon, the flute-playing busker turned Bard who has returned to New York City to finish his music studies. The building he lives in is called the Guardian House and possesses a sentience of its own, as well as its own resident gargoyle who is as big a TV-watching couch potato as Hudson. Both books are great reads, especially if you've read Lackey's early Bedlam Bard series but even if you haven't, they fill in the gaps while moving along in a tightly-paced plot. Very entertaining!
Images credits & copyright:
(http://www.amazon.com) - August 4, 2003
Stankewitz, Daniel. Gargoyles-fans.de.
(http://www.gargoyles-fans.de) - July, 2003
(http://www.toondisney.com) - August 4, 2003