A Station Eight Fan Web Site
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So, you've been working in writing and producing animated shows for a long time. Since the shows you work on are generally targeted to younger viewers, I was curious about the impact, if any, that your kids and being a parent to them has had on your work. How much an influence has your being a parent been to these shows? And have your kids in particular had any general or specific influences on anything you've worked on?
Just curious. Thanks.
Well, I often throw in little things to amuse my kids. Like making them genomorphs in YJ. Or using their birthdays on timestamps. And I'm sure they influence me in a hundred small ways I'm not even conscious of.
But mostly, I still write for myself.
It's been ages since I posted a question. Aside from suggesting Ed Asner as a candidate to write an intro to one of the trades, it may have been years. It's not that I haven't been reading, nor that I haven't had questions, but I fell way behind and couldn't post till I caught up.
First of many questions....I guess I'll start with the one that comes to mind connected to the main reason I fell so far behind in the first place; an adorable, now one year old, time hog.
Years back I read Viewing Violence after it was suggested on this site. I commented how it was ironic that the author praised Gargoyles, (and ~very~ few other shows), to high heaven for, among other things, its clear depiction of consequence; Broadway plays with a gun, Elisa is shot -ELISA IS STILL ON CRUTCHES THE NEXT EPISODE, and yet she placed it, and all cartoons, in the chapter about the age before children have a sense of long term consequence. Having the good guys win in the end doesn't excuse bad behavior earlier when children won't make the connection. The next chapter follows children old enough to deal with complex plots and long term ramifications - her praises of Gargoyles to a T.
So my question is this: What is the youngest age you would recommend starting a new fan? (Of course ignoring the fact my little girl is an absolute genius, who will most probably finish all Shakespeare before kindergarten- I'm not looking forward to explaining the bloodier ones;)
Well, I may not be the best person to go to for this advice. Not like I'm some parental expert. Just a parent. But I started my kids on Gargoyles VERY YOUNG. And it held their interest, which was my main concern. There's stuff there for them to enjoy, and IF THEY ASK about any of the more mature aspects of the show, there are teachable moments. That is to say, I didn't sit them in front of the TV and walk away. I watched WITH them. We had fun. And we learned some stuff together. But I think they were each about two when they started watching Gargoyles.
That's right! TWO!!! <chuckle>
Okay, yeah, I'm a bad parent. I mean I watch Dexter with my fifteen-year-old daughter. So don't listen to me.
But I do think the key is to watch Dexter WITH your kids and not let them watch it alone. Oh, and when Dexter's over, put on an episode of The Office or something light and funny before bedtime.
In Clan Building Issue 4 (or 5, don't have my issues at hand) there is a scene of all sorts of people in the Labyrinth. The scene reminds me a lot of Issue 2 of Bad Guys where Anton/"Fred" is greeting people and Erin and Benny are running around.
In CB 4, are the kids running around Erin and Benny also, or just another pair of kids?
Sure, why not?
There were a number of scenes in this issue that just made me say, "Oh...my god."
The first one was, of course, the revelation of the "New Mutates." This is shocking, because we've seen at least three of them (Tasha, Benny, and Thug) as humans. It becomes even more shocking because of the nature of their mutations. The original Mutates, despite having six working limbs and enough eel DNA to channel electricity, don't seem anywhere near as strange as these four. Perhaps that's because their main body ("anthropomorphic big cats" if you will) is still...I don't know. Beautiful? Acceptable? My point is, in comparison what happened to these four seems even more outlandish and strange. Tasha at least is a mammal (albeit not a pretty one), but Thug is now reptilian, and so is Erin I think (a turtle with hair it looks like). But Benny's the weirdest out of all of them. HE'S A FRICKEN' INSECT! How the hell did Sevarius manage that? You know, it's strange--out of all the things I willingly suspend my disbelief for, this one takes the cake. Are insects even considered vertebrates? Still, if Sevarius can isolate and manipulate the genetic code for hexopodial limbs, I guess it's not too much of a stretch for him to do this, too.
The next shocking thing would seem to be the kids' reactions to their predicament--they don't seem that phased. Benny actually seems somewhat proud of being a "roly-poly bug." Erin is more interested in arguing with her brother.
The final shocking thing about this scene to me is...those are GREG'S KIDS! Good god, man! What did they do to you? ;-)
Of course, all of these shocks pale in comparison to the suicide. It's a very powerful scene (despite, or maybe because, we don't see the noose or anything). The shocked reactions of the squad (minus the largely emotionless Matrix), and the reactions of Thug and the kids are well done. Poor Benny can't hug Thug, so he goes into the wood louse version of a fetal position. As if they weren't traumatized enough--homeless, then mutated, now witness to a suicide. I ask again: Greg, what the HELL did your kids do to you?!
Unfortunately, "Fridge Logic"--what you think about after the fact, usually while looking through your fridge for a snack--leaves me wondering how exactly she hung herself.
At any rate, those were the big ones for me. The rest of my impressions will be listed, more or less in the order they occurred.
Fang takes out the robot with a double blast of both gun and electricity. Nice. I liked the "Gigantor" reference.
I love Fang's expression in the 4th panel of page 3. I knew that Fang would get a cliff-hanger, but I never thought the (apparent) threat would be from Yama. Given later (earlier) events, that resonates all the better, though.
"5 Days Ago." Wow...that doesn't sound like a lot of time in the grand scheme of things, does it?
Fang's line about sending Robyn packing "in pieces small enough to pack" made me go "Yikes!"
I wonder if Robyn quite took in the irony of her life being saved by a gargoyle.
I was tickled to get a confirmation that a gargoyle's sense of smell is better (or at least more sensitive) than a human's. Yama knows Fang isn't a gargoyle just by the scent. "Fish," eh? I wonder if that's from Fang's genetic make-up, or his diet.
I was a bit surprised when Yama's attack seemed to knock out Fang. Of course, it didn't.
Matrix and Dingo are fun! I found Matrix's line about "taking matters into my own nanobots" a rather interesting twist on the old phrase.
I'm ashamed to admit that I had forgotten that Sevarius knew Robyn previously.
It never occurred to me that the client Sevarius spoke of might be someone we knew until others mentioned the possibility. Whether it is or not, this new client has certainly helped the good doctor out--right down to apparently providing a lab with holding cells in New York's sewer system (how many "Labyrinths" do they have down there?).
As others have mentioned, we now know what motivates Sevarius: science, money, and...DRAMA!!!!! That last part actually becomes important to the plot, what with Sevarius's device set to go off at exactly midnight and no way to speed it up (much to Fang's annoyance). Of course, mutating all the people in times square, while dramatic, also seems a little...stupid. I mean, cameras are rolling, police are there..is no one REALLY going to notice thousands of people spontaneously mutating? But screw logic, this is...DRAMA!!!!!
He even numbers the carrier virus after the new year number (1997).
And now the term "gargate" is cannon. Sevarius wonders what would happen to a human mutated with gargate DNA, and vice versa...and I'm wondering how many of us, like Matt, have paused to consider that, over the years.
The reactions are intriguing. Robyn is disgusted (maybe even afraid?). No matter how she interacts with Yama, the old prejudice still has it's hold. Yama, on the other hand, just calmly inquires into the identity of the "donor." That surprised me--when it's a normal animal, nobody inquires beyond species, but with a sentient questions of identity arise. We learn the name of the gargoyle (and with it, one of the uses the samples are maybe being put towards), but Sevarius never mentions the human.
Dingo (wearing Matrix) saves the day! Hands up everyone who saw that coming.
Oh that Sevarius.... As soon as they left him in the cell, with that smug look on his face, I knew he'd escape somehow. Tasha immediately jumps on the idea that now Sevarius HAS to cure them. Poor lady....
Spot the cameo in Times Square! Naturally, we have Brendan and Margot. Tri Chung, and I guess his little brother Terry, are there as well. And Karine's roster of garg-fans.
I understood that Fang's electric attack reset Dingo's memory back a couple of seconds on the first incident. As if Dingo didn't need another reason to be wary of joining with Matrix.
"Damn drama." No, I will not get tired of every minor profanity that shows up in these books! Of course, the suicide will kind of steal the thunder....
"Flamin Gallah." We just don't use that insult enough.
Poor Dingo, though. His partner made a logical decision (and a good impression of the New Year's Ball) that left him in free fall. And even though Hunter saves him, his momentum is enough to swing him face-first into a wall. By the handkerchief a few panels later, I guess he got at least a bloody nose.
Love the Eyrie Building in the back ground.
Go Yama! I wonder how Fang's attacks hold up against Taro's electric fans.
I enjoyed the dicotomy between Fang's first reaction to Tasha's death, and his immediate switch to a joke (in extremely poor taste). A defense mechanism, I guess. Not a good one, since it nearly gets him beheaded. Fang's enthusiastic support of Dingo's "He's not worth it" line is in character and extremely funny. Hunter's reaction intrigued me the most, though. Her expression when Yama tries to kill Fang, and then her calming Yama down by...whispering something in his ear.
Great, as if "What the #$^& did Titania whisper" wasn't enough, now we've got "What the #$^& did Hunter whisper." You better answer ONE of those SOON, Greg! ;-)
Now Dingo gets some confirmation that Hunter isn't the top dog, after all. I wonder if her boss's interest in Thug and the kids was altruistic or pragmatic.
"Guess who made the team!" Fang almost seems like a high schooler who just made running back. The rest of the team seems less than thrilled, especially Yama (who's furious).
Good one. And definitely making use of the medium.
My kids chose the animals they wanted to be mutated into. I was both surprised and somewhat proud of their interesting and pragmatic choices. I built the armor theme around their choices.
The lab that Sevarius is using is part of the old Cyberbiotics complex. (It isn't called a labyrinth for nothing.)
And of course people would notice.
Terry and Tri are first cousins.
The answer to what Hunter whispered is (I think) so obvious in the context of the issue, that I'm NEVER going to reveal it.