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Did you name the London Clan's magic shop, Into the Mystic, after the Van Morrison song?
I didn't name it. I assume either Gary Sperling or Robert Cohen named it.
Though I haven't seen "Coldhearted" yet, I've read a bit about it, and learned that Perdita originated in a Green Arrow story that you wrote a couple of years ago, meaning that you created the character. Did you name her after the Perdita of "The Winter's Tale"? (I thought it likely, given your fondness for Shakespeare, but wanted to make certain.)
Yes. The Lost Girl.
More a philosophical question than one about any of your work (although it does relate to some of your characters):
What is your opinion of Friedrich Nietzche's quote "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you"? How do you think it relates to superheroes, and characters who struggle against "evil" in general? I'm very interested in your input on the subject.
I buy into it 100%. Doesn't mean every good guy goes bad, but every good guy's going to - at the very least - have those moments where it could go either way.
I have a MacBeth question this time. You mentioned a while ago that MacBeth has worked as a stage actor in the past. I thought that was such an interesting tidbit about a guy we don't necessarily know a ton about. Was that you idea, and if so, what inspired it?
You also mentioned that you saw MacBeth as acting in a lot of George Bernard Shaw plays probably. Why is that? Shaw was pretty political - do you think that influenced MacBeth's decision to do those plays?
1a. It just felt right. Plus I like the idea of him collaborating with Shakespeare.
2. Yeah. It just felt like Shaw's work would appeal to Macbeth.
I recently saw this line from an interview with Steven Bochco in the early 80's, talking about Hill Street Blues (which currently has its first two-and-a-half seasons on Hulu Plus, by the way):
"Maybe the biggest problem with Hill Street, in terms of popular success, is that it is a show that demands to be watched. And most people do not watch television. They simply are in its presence."
I love that quote. What an insightful way to encapsulate about what was essential and great about Hill Street Blues, without going into all the details of what made it so outstanding. Just leave at this: unlike nearly anything before it, in many ways it was a show that demanded to be watched. I think that characteristic also applies to Gargoyles as well, no doubt due to the major influence Hill Street Blues had on the show (as you've often mentioned).
Nowadays, that quality, of being a show that "demands to be watched," is characteristic of so many excellent shows that appear on HBO, Showtime or AMC (before hitting DVD boxsets and iTunes), places where popular success isn't the one and only yardstick. And again and again, we've seen how this kind of series can flourish in the atmosphere of creative freedom offered by these outlets.
Can viewers hope that someday soon, that kind of environment will produce an animated serial drama that has the same level of quality, complexity and acclaim as these channels' current headline series? If so, what might it take for that to happen?
Hey, Zach. Long time no see. I'd heard that quotation about Hill Street before, and couldn't agree more.
I appreciate you think Gargoyles falls in the same category. It's flattering and certainly what we strived for. I don't pretend that we were as good as Hill Street Blues, but no one can accuse us of not going for it.
As to your question, I like to think that W.I.T.C.H., Spectacular Spider-Man, Young Justice and Young Justice: Invasion also qualify. At least at Gargoyles' level. So I think it's already possible. But that's just my - apparently not so - humble opinion.
Recently, somebody asked you if you were familiar with C. S. Lewis' work, and you said "No", apart from seeing a couple of adaptations of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe". I thought that you might like to know that Lewis and Roger Lancelyn Green were friends, and that it's thanks to Green that "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" was finished and published.
When Lewis was writing "Lion", he read some of it to J. R. R. Tolkien; Tolkien had done the same to him with "The Lord of the Rings" when he was writing it, and Lewis wanted to return the favor. Tolkien thought that "Lion" was dreadful, however, and made that clear. Lewis was so saddened by Tolkien's critique that he considered abandoning the story, but first read it to Roger Lancelyn Green. Green told him, "No, this is a great story, you mustn't drop it," and his words encouraged Lewis to complete the story and get it published.
Green also included a tribute to Lewis in his King Arthur book. One of Lewis's fantasy novels for adults, "That Hideous Strength" had Merlin awakening in the modern world to help the main characters defeat an Illuminati-type organization; Lewis had Merlin sleeping beneath a forest called Bragdon Wood. In Green's "King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table", one of the places where Merlin is said to be sleeping is "beneath the Wood of Bragdon". Since you especially liked Green's book on King Arthur (and even drew on it for Blanchefleur, and Percival's parentage), I thought you might enjoy hearing about that (and I hope the Wood of Bragdon wasn't on your list of places for King Arthur and Griff to visit during their search for Merlin, since it was Lewis' invention!).
I did not know about the Green/Lewis connection. I did know about Tolkien/Lewis, but this is great additional info. Thanks.
A Young Justice related question that, rest assured, is not fishing with poor bait.
I've been thinking about the Light lately and, without posting my own speculation, one thing I really like about them is how much the concept seems to embrace the inherent absurdity of the DC universe. I can tell from observation that the Light is probably a fairly diverse group of people (and rightfully so, as this uses the DC universe to its vast potential). And I can't help but be fondly reminded of the Legion of Doom, the villainous alliance from the Superfriends animated series.
Though the Light is written with a much more sophisticated sensibility than the Legion of Doom, I can't help but feel they have a strong similarity. This isn't a slant against Young Justice at all, because I feel the Light uses this similar dynamic to its own unique way that I absolutely adore. But I do have a question, and luckily it has nothing to do with your future intent or anything like that.
Was the Light, on some level, inspired by the Legion of Doom? That is, the Superfriends group of villains who operated together despite their vast differences in genre identity (as an example, Scarecrow the grounded criminal alongside Bizarro the mirror universe Superman in Superfriends). Or was such an organization just a logical extrapolation from the setting that wasn't really meant to homage this group?
Question received on Wed, October 20, 2010 11:06:14 PM
Clark Cradic writes...
Did you like the original Legion of Doom?
As I mentioned before, I get all the names mixed up: Legion of Doom, Injustice League , Injustice Unlimited, Injustice Society, Secret Society of Super-Villains, etc.
I can't quite remember which group consisted of which villains and/or appeared in which series or story.
So the short answer is I like the idea of the villains teaming up, but I can't address the specifics without a more specific reference.
Response recorded on November 12, 2010
Took me less than a minute to find that, btw.
Anyway, they all blend together for me. I think the cartoon would have been less of an influence than the comics. But it's all in there.
Heya Greg! I have a quick question RE a fairly obscure adaption of the Arthurian mythos and your knowledge there-of.
Have you ever seen the episode of the '80s Twilight Zone series called "The Last Defender of Camelot"? If you haven't, to give an explanation without spoiling too much, it involves Lancelot, Morgan La Fay, Merlin and a modern boy named Tom *cough cough*. I was a little surprised to see many of the key themes that show up in Gargoyles, such as immortality, and how power and good intentions can lead one astray.
If you haven't seen it, and it wasn't an influence, I'd recommend checking it out if you should get the chance. Despite a certain cheestasticness and pretty bad special effects, there's some really solid and interesting writing.
It just struck me as an odd coincidence how the tone reminded me so much of Gargoyles at times (in the best possible way. It brought a smile to my face.) Though working from the same source material, not to mention pretty universal themes, some similarities would be inevitable. I guess I'm just curious as to whether it was kismet, or a case of one work having an influence, however small, on the other.
I wish you all the best and am waiting with bated breath for Young Justice's premiere!
I have seen the episode... or at least a chunk of it... but only recently. It didn't influence Gargoyles, though I'm sure both had common influences.
In response to Matthew and also to your answer earlier concerning "All You Zombies," doesn't changing what he did (let alone preventing his own birth) also change history? It is part of the past that the character said certain words in a certain order, and not other words. If he chooses to change the words, he must change history also. Isn't this true of Demona in Vows as well? But in Gargoyles, history cannot be changed.
The reason I focused on whether or not the character remembers the words spoken to their past selves is this: when Demona shows up with the Phoenix Gate, the events of her encounter with herself have not actually happened yet. So they appear not to be predetermined. But she remembers what she her future self said to her when she was on the receiving end, and she remembers watching her future self kick Goliath. The events are already in her memory, and therefore part of the history she has already participated in. If she remembers the events, then either her memories are wrong (and were wrong all along) or else the events were part of history. The other possibility I can think of is that when she went back in time, she temporarily forgot her previous encounter with her future self and was free to make it up from scratch.
What I don't follow is how she (or Heinlein's protagonist) can choose not to play along without altering history.
Nothing prevents you from TRYING to change history. Succeeding is something else. Nothing prevents you from trying to jump off a cliff in order to fly under your own power. Succeeding at flying under your own power is something else.
Again, free will is NOT the same as sudden control over things you never had control over.
There's no forgetting in a mystic sense going on with Demona. (No making it up from scratch.) But it has been a thousand plus years. Her memory is good, but not photographic. She tries to make some changes, and no changes are made. They can CHOOSE not to play along. But they DIDN'T choose not to play along. It's a loop. The fact that the CHOICE itself is part of the loop doesn't negate the choice.
If you're falling off that cliff (not flying) and AT THAT POINT choose not to jump... well, it's a little late. But the fact that you can't change it halfway down the mountain doesn't negate the fact that you made a choice in the first place.
In an earlier post the discussion was about Robert Heinlein's "All You Zombies..." and whether the protagonist had free will or was predestined to carry out his actions in the story. You said he could have chosen to do otherwise. I agree, but I'd like to point out that it wasn't much of choice. If he did not he would not have been born. So whether not he had free will, he had to do what he did to ensure his own existence.
If existence mattered that much to him. Like any of us, sometimes the choices we're presented with aren't particularly appealing. You're in a burning building. You can jump to your death or burn to death! Choose! (Yeah, not fun. But you get the idea.) Having free will doesn't make you omnipotent in real life, so why would it make you omnipotent in a time travel story?
Thanks for your response to my religion comment. You said that in some Bible passages, the Hebrew God is depicted in a way that you called "geotheistic." What do you mean by this? That in some passages the deity is represented, not as the supreme God of the whole universe, but just the supreme deity of a particular region or human group?
Exactly. There are without a doubt passages in the Old Testament at least where the existence of other gods is not questioned. Just their potency relative to the God of the Hebrews. Egypt has gods in some passages of Exodus. They're just weak and impotent relative to the God of Moses.
I studied this once upon a time. But it's been a LONG time. (And hell, I just turned another year older.) So I can no longer quote chapter and verse. But I know it's in there.
I imagine that you had to read alot of comics when making shows like Young Justice or Spiderman. So did you get those comics for free from the Marvel and DC saying you needed them to help with the shows or did you have to go out and buy?
Mostly, I went out and bought. Alan Burnette had a backlog of Young Justice comics he lent me, i.e. a bunch of individual issues, not always consecutive. Maybe a couple other things here and there. But mostly, I'm outlaying on my dime to do the research.
A comment this time, rather than a question. One of my favorite details in the "Stone of Destiny" story was Macbeth's presence at the Battle of Bannockburn. It recently occurred to me that this might be an example, if a subtle one, of the time-honored motif of a legendary hero from long ago who returns to his country to aid it in a time of need.
The concept has attached itself to King Arthur, of course, and his return has featured in "Gargoyles" (if with a premature re-awakening). The returns of the Golem and Cu Chullain, elsewhere in the Avalon World Tour, also evoke it. For that matter, I remember your once saying that the Avalon gargoyles looked upon Goliath (from what they had learned of him through their human guardians) as a great sleeping hero who would one day awaken and return if ever they needed him - and he did indeed return in their hour of need, when the Archmage attacked Avalon.
I also recall, outside of "Gargoyles", the legend that Theseus returned to aid his fellow Athenians against the Persians at the Battle of Marathon (and Mary Renault including it in her Theseus novels) - which forms a great parallel here to Macbeth's presence at Bannockburn, both cases of a desperate struggle against an invading army.
At the same time, your use of the "return of the king" motif for Macbeth's participation at Bannockburn (assuming you had it in mind at the time) came with a twist. Macbeth returns incognito; so far as we know, none of the other Scotsmen taking part in the battle know that he's fighting alongside them. Robert the Bruce is the Scottish king who will be associated with the victory (deservedly, of course, from what I've read about the battle). No chronicle or legend even hints at his presence there. As far as we know, only he knows that he was there (we don't know if Shari knows or not; the panel depicting him at the battle is in one of her stories, but she does not mention him in the text itself). The king returned to aid his country in need, but in secret, his presence unremarked on.
Very cogent analysis.
I read "All You Zombies" by Heinlein a while ago, based on your recommendation that it demonstrated working paradoxes in time travel, and although it was not recent I decided to finally type up and share what I thought from reading it. First of all, the story creeped me out!
But what I'm writing to you about is free will. Did the main character of that story have free will? On the surface at least, it appears to me that he did not for much of the story. He clearly remembered everything that had happened to him, yet he did not have to option not to seduce himself, or not to catch take past self back in the time machine, nor could he choose to change what he said and did in that bar when he was the bartender. When interacting with his past self, I think he had no choice but to say and do exactly what he remembered seeing his future self doing and hearing his future self saying.
He did have options regarding abducting the baby, mainly because he didn't remember being abducted, but one way or another he had to abduct that baby or get someone else to abduct her: he only had options in how he did it. This is comparable to Goliath time-travelling with Griff in M.I.A. Goliath could not possibly get Griff back to his clan in the 1940s, but he had plenty of options of what he could do instead. In that situation Goliath had far more options than the character in "All You Zombies" had when abducting the baby, but still this is a situation with free will.
But what options does a character really have when meeting their past self, if they DO remember the entire encounter? This is apparently what happened to Demona in Vows. She remembered Goliath's "little speech" (or maybe she was lying to him or to herself, but let's assume she was telling the truth this time) and so she must have remembered what her future self said and did. Does that mean she had no free will to change the encounter with her past self when she went back in time? For example, did she really have free will to change what words she said, or not to kick Goliath? It appears to me that this is a situation where she didn't have free will. When the Archmage(+) told his past self that the future is a place of science, not superstition, and that Demona and Macbeth were only "cannon fodder" he couldn't even have understood what he was saying, let alone invented it himself. In fact his entire bizarre mini-timedance seems to abrogate his free will, because as he said "I should (know what to do), I watched you do it."
Demona's PAST self certainly had free will in Vows, since she did not yet remember the encounter. Likewise, the Archmage clearly had free will during his first pass through his time loop. I would think that any time a character is in a stable time loop, they have free will as long as they are unaware of what "already happened." But when they do remember what happened because their past self is there at the scene, they don't have the option to change what already happened. They already KNOW what happened. If they already know what words they spoke to their past self, then those words are something they remember, not something they are thinking up freely, and they don't have the option of saying anything different from what they remember.
Am I missing something?
I tend to disagree with you about the free will thing. Heinlein's character could have chosen NOT to cooperate with his memories. Either because he liked the end result or because he felt oppressed by the inevitability of it all (or some other reason I can't think of at this moment), he CHOSE to play along.
Again, Free Will doesn't mean you get to live the life you want to lead. It means that at best you have the option of STRIVING for the life you want to lead. But some people use their free will to conform. Doesn't mean it's not a choice.
Now, that raises the obvious question: what would have happened to Heinlein's character, to Demona, to the Archmage had they chosen NOT to play along. We'll never know.
Hello again Greg,
This isn't so much a question as it is a comment/ramble on the subject of religion in Gargoyles.
In the past you've stated that you prefer not to confirm or deny the existence or non-existence of the Abrahamic monotheistic God in the Gargoyles Universe, and that you don't wish to define or describe GOD in the Gargoyles Universe as being specifically Abrahamic. I think that this is a wise decision. Many television or book series set in the real world have some take on the supernatural and spiritual; often they take one single religion to focus on as being "true." In my opinion this is usually fine for fiction, as long as the "incorrect" religions aren't depicted as being evil or a one-way ticket to Damnation; but it is a more difficult task to create a universe wherein all the religious beings exist, though not at all impossible! I've never been willing to accept any religion's claim of being The Only Truth No Matter What, including my own religion. (I find it interesting that you've comented on the Biblical God as being "geotheistic.") I also like that no episode ever makes explicit whether the Third Race are or are not divine. They clearly exist, but their religious significance (if any) is left for viewers to decide. Supernatural and magical things and beings exist in Gargoyles, but without eliminating the ambiguity of the real world.
But I'm wondering if you planned how you will handle the omnipotent Allmighty God(s?) in other monotheistic religions, such as Sikhism and some indigenous African religions. I think some forms of neo-Paganism may monotheistic as well, having an Allmighty Goddess or Creator. I think it would be only fair to have the same consideration towards the Allmighty of any religion that includes belief in such, but that's my opinion. And I don't know if you've thought about this yet.
Hinduism also has monotheistic denominations or forms. There are the many Hindu deities, and this makes the religion appear polytheistic, but not all the gods are the same. The Trimurti (Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma) and Krishna (an Avatar of Vishnu) sometimes appear as though they are just gods. But my limited understanding (not being Hindu), is that these four particular "creatures" are actually the names and manifestations of the Allmighty/Infinite/God/Creator of the Universe. Different sects or denominations consider one or another of these four to be THE God, while considering the other three to be alternative manifestations that the Creator sometimes takes. For example, the Vaishnava Hindus consider Vishnu the Omnipotent/Infinite God, creator, sustainer, and destroyer of the whole universe, and consider Krishna, Shiva, and Brahma to be manifestations in which Vishnu sometimes appears. I think Rama is also a manifestation or Avatar of Vishnu. In comparing Hinduism to other religions, at least some Hindus very much consider their concept of the Allmighty the equal of the Abrahamic God.
I can't ask how you would like to handle individual stories, since I know little about Biblical myths and almost as little about Hindu stories. I saw how Jacob was handled in the comic, but I don't know how that story was told in the Bible. But I'm a little curious what further thoughts you've had about this topic, if you feel like sharing.
Just to clarify, I believe God is presented as geotheistic in certain sections of the bible (parts of Genesis and Exodus especially) but not consistently throughout the bible. There are many chapters and verses where God is clearly presented monotheistically.
My basic fallback to your question is one word: research. If and when I start to deal with these issues, these cultures that I am less familiar with, I will first do a boatload of research (either myself or with the help of a research assistant like Kathy Pogge). Then I'll make decisions based on that research.
For example, I'm pretty well versed in the Judeo-Christian traditions. But when I set out to write in detail about the Stone of Destiny and how it might wind through those traditions, Kathy did a ton of research, and I reviewed it all and sorted through it and then made my decisions as to how I wanted to present things.
Very excited for your new series! Its good that you can move on to something else, especially after how spec spidey ended.
My questions are, how much have you watched of teen titans and justice league and JLU?
Will you watch the new ultimate spider-man cartoon when it comes out?
I've watched many Justice League, Justice League Unlimited and Teen Titans episodes (particularly from the early seasons of each) but not every single episode.
And, no, I won't watch Ultimate Spider-Man, though that's not a dig at it. If it's great, it'll just drive me crazy with envy. If it's not, it'll just drive me crazy with frustration. It's a no win proposition for me. So I might as well just avoid it.
I looked in the archives under "Influences" but didn't find anything on this, so I'm going to ask: Was the Beauty and the Beast TV series (1987-1990) in any way an influence in the creation of Gargoyles?
I'm a big fan of that BATB series (which starred Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman), and I've noticed it has certain elements/aspects in common with Gargoyles (like certain plot elements, similar settings, similar traits among certain characters, etc.)
I watched a bit of that series. Not religiously. But it's in there in my head, as are thirty other interpretations of Beauty and the Beast (from Disney) whether direct or 2nd generation.
Some time ago, I mentioned a book by Eleanor Prosser called "Hamlet and Revenge", which argued that Hamlet's goal to avenge his father on Claudius was not a righteous duty, but a misguided and dangerous quest. Recently, I thought about a passage in it in connection to "Clan-Building: Volume Two".
In one of the early chapters, the author discusses Kyd's "The Spanish Tragedy", one of the leading revenge-plays before "Hamlet". The protagonist, Hieronimo, is out to avenge the murder of his son Horatio. After discovering his son's body near the start of the play, he decides not to bury it until he can achieve his revenge, an act which, Prosser comments, would have unsettled the audience.
This reminded me of the scene in "Clan-Building" where, after Demona reports the slaughter of the Sruighlea cell by Constantine and Gillecomgain, True suggests that they hold a Wind Ceremony for the dead gargoyles, and Demona rejects it in favor of pursuing revenge on the humans who did the deed. I just thought I'd share it with you.
Thanks. I like the parallel a lot. And I agree with what it reveals about character... though I've never read "The Spanish Tragedy" unfortunately. At least not yet.
Are you a MARVEL or a DC?
And even if you aren't one or the other, did you like the movie "Watchmen?"
Was that particular comic book any good inspiration on the works you have done in this decade? And if so, who was a favorite character of yours from that particular story?
I'm both. I've worked for both companies, and even before that I was a fan of both sets of characters. When I was very young, I didn't even understand that they were too separate companies. I saw Superman team with Batman and Spider-Man team with Daredevil, and figured next issue I might see Daredevil team with Batman. Of course, I soon realized the truth, but it doesn't change the fact that I have an abiding affection for characters from both companies.
There were things I admired about the movie "Watchmen". But I thought Ozymandias was massively miscast, and that spoiled a lot of the film for me.
Watchmen's influence is probably in the mix somewhere, but I can't think of any specific way it has inspired me. As to my favorite character... I'm tempted to say Rorshach, but just because I donated his thumb prints to the original book.
Mr. Weisman, I was recently re-watching Excalibur (the bloody 1981 Arthurian adaptation), and was inspired to ask two questions of you:
1. When Quinevere is accused by Sir Gawain (whom I noticed was a young Liam Neeson) and Arthur is unable to act as her champion because the law demands he be her judge, he tells Quinevere (of her and Lancelot) "You are the two people I love most in this world." Having recently read Clan-Building Vol. 2, I was struck by the fact that this is what Peredur said to Duval and Blanchefleur, his wife and his best friend. Was that an intentional parallel, or is it just a coincidence?
2. The Excalibur film is noted for being one of the few Arthurian adaptations that didn't flinch from presenting the more violent and sexual aspects of the stories, which many other adaptations have glossed over or eliminated. I remember the copy my Father taped, and how he'd (roughly) attempted to edit the more graphic scenes (something my little brothers and I found amusing at the time). In his defense, we were quite young. But the question of how you'd have dealt with some of these aspects can into my mind. Obviously, even with the comic, you'd have to be more circumspect than an R-rated film, but even then, how much of, say Lancelot and Quinevere's infidelity would you have shown. Another example would be how Merlin arranged for Uther to be with Igraine, in return for their child (which, when I re-watched the film, couldn't help but remind me of Merlin's father and the events of The Gathering episodes). At the far end of the scale, some of the legend cycles have it that Arthur pulled a Pharaoh, ordering the death of the first-born in an attempt to eliminate a young Mordred, an act that, even in context of the time he lived in, makes him difficult to redeem. How much of these elements would have dealt with?
P.S.-In a previous post, I mistakely used "who's" when I should have used "whose." My apologies.
1. It was an intentional reference to the Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot relationship. Not necessarily a parallel. And not necessarily a specific reference to Excalibur, since I've seen those sentiments in many other Arthurian adaptations, including "The Once and Future King" and the musical "Camelot" which is based upon it.
2. Everything would have been dealt with. Whether "off-screen" or "on" is the question.
Just wanted to comment on the brilliance of the show, and you and your team being able to successfully weave different mythologies together to create a whole new mythology. It's works like that that inspire so many others to continue in the arts, whether it be writing, designing, or performing arts alike- myself included. So thank you for that and for continuing to share this amazing experience with us over a decade later. Whether or not we ever see the rest of the show released on DVD (or the next big media software), it is my belief that Gargoyles will continue to inspire all who have the privilege of watching.
Thanks. And I really liked your Oresteia too.
Dur, how did that happen? That comment about R.L. Green's other books retelling myths and legends was from me.
Chiming in after Todd's comment, R.L. Green also wrote books retelling Greek, Norse, Egyptian, and Biblical myths. I haven't ever read or seen any of them, I only saw numerous titles mentioned on Wikipedia and Alibris. Evidently he also has a Robin Hood book, and one named "Sir Lancelot of the Lake."
I've read the Greek book and I have the Robin Hood one but haven't had a chance to read it. I knew about the others, but haven't read them.
I checked out from the library today (I'd checked it out once before, but this time, I thought of mentioning it) a book by Roger Lancelyn Green called "Tales From Shakespeare", that retells many of the plays. (All of them comedies, tragedies, and romances: he doesn't tackle any of the histories, though in his retelling of "The Merry Wives of Windsor", he mentions near the start about Falstaff's association with Prince Hal.) Since you liked Roger Lancelyn Green's take on King Arthur (enough to even make it one of your sources for the "Gargoyles" take on him), I though that you'd be interested to know about it (assuming that you haven't heard of it yet).
I've heard of it, but haven't read it.
I just watch Gargoylese episode-future tense and I wonder if you have been inspired by x men -days of the future past storyline when you wrote that episode?
There is also a moment when brooklyn said that" thailog was killed during clone
wars"Was it intentional wink for star wars fans,or did you just wanted to gave George Lucas headache.
I appologise every Gargoyle if I made some mistakes in English.
Yes, as I've mentioned before, "Days of Future Past" was an inspiration for "Future Tense". The "Clone Wars" thing was a throwaway, though I have no interest in causing George Lucas headaches of any kind. And now the line has meaning.
In the scene in "The Gate" where Brooklyn scares the suspicious townspeople away from Mary and Finella, was the cry "Run away! Run away!" intended as a "Monty Python" allusion? (Especially since you'd done such an allusion in "Future Tense", with the Xanatos Program's "bite my knee-caps off" line.)
So, something a little different. Like you, I enjoy the work of William Faulkner immensely. I gained a taste for him in my senior year of High School when "Sanctuary" was on the curriculum.
So, if you had to pick a favorite novel written by Faulkner, which would it be? I have a soft spot for "Sanctuary" since it was my gateway book, even though the man himself said:
"To me it is a cheap idea, because it was deliberately conceived to make money. ... I took a little time out, and speculated what a person in Mississippi would believe to be current trends, chose what I thought would be the right answer and invented the most horrific tale I could imagine and wrote it in about three weeks and sent it to (Harrison) Smith, who had done 'The Sound and the Fury' and who wrote me immediately, 'Good God, I can't publish this. We'd both be in jail.'"
I also enjoyed "As I Lay Dying" quite a bit. I haven't read all his novels yet, and very few of his short stories. But I love what I have read.
Though the short story "Two Soldiers" is so perfect, I'd probably choose that even over Absalom...
1. You've often mentioned how you chose Tombstone as the new "Big Man of Crime" because the Kingpin was unavailable due to legal issues. What other characters besides Tombstone did you consider for this position? Also, is the phrase "Big Man" a title given out to whoever happens to be in control of New York's crime rings at the time and is passed on to their successor, (ie, like a king or queen) or is it an alias that is permanently attached to Tombstone? I've seen evidence to support both cases.
2. How exactly does Doc Ock get dressed in the morning? The part of his harness that lines up with his spine clearly goes on underneath his clothing but the ring around his waist goes overtop of everything else. Can the harness still open up in front or is that fused shut too? Just watching Ock go through his morning routine would probably clear most of this up, plus the notion of him using his tentacles to brush his teeth is just hilarious. (Just be glad I'm not asking how Rhino goes to the bathroom.) I also assume that for the duration of Season 2 he's had enough time to acquire or build a new power source for his harness that can last for years at a time?
3. You burned down the Big Sky Billiard lounge! I loved that place. Every comic book needs a place where the supervillains can go for some downtime and hang out. Please, I know you don't want to spoil anything you have planned for season 3 but at least give us a vague hint that we'll get to see a new "Bad Guy Bar."
4. Is Chameleon's white visage a mask that he wears with other masks going on top of it, or is that actually his face after being surgically altered to have any distinguishing features like a nose and ears removed? Typically one would expect a face-changer to remove as much of their original face as possible and then add on top of that as needed, (just look at Metal Gear Solid's Decoy Octopus, the guy shaved down his cheek bones and cut off part of his nose and ears.) Wearing two masks doesn't seem to be that effective since you're doubling the amount the disguise is lifted above your actual face.
5. Exactly how long has Norman been inhaling the gobulin green? I'd assume he'd either start as soon as he'd invented the stuff, shortly after he was nearly killed by a giant geriatric buzzard and wanted to make sure he didn't have to rely on Spidey the next time something similar happened, or shortly after his first dealings with Hammerhead when he started planning to overthrow the Big Man. By the way, what kind of guy develops an experimental highly dangerous performance enhancing drug and then brings it home to show his family and then just leaves some lying around where his son can start chugging the stuff without anyone noticing it's gone?
6. We didn't see much of Aunt May in Season 2, but with so many characters floating around this isn't too surprising. If May does play an important role in any season three episodes is she going to get a spot in the opening credits for that episode?
7. When comparing animated shows through the years there doesn't seem to be a large change in the style and tone from the 1960's through to the late 80's. All the animated shows had a simplistic plot and generally weren't mentally demanding. However sometime in the early/mid 90's we started seeing shows like Fox's Spider-man, Batman The Animated Series, Reboot and Gargoyles, all of which felt more sophisticated than earlier shows and had such features as real character development and story arcs that could last through a season. Somehow I have a hard time imagining an episode like "Lethal Force" being done on G.I. Joe. As someone who has been in the industry a while did you notice a change in attitude from networks or executives towards animation at around that time? When producing Gargoyles did you find that in general people were more willing to let you attempt making a show with more mature themes relative to what you had done before?
8. Should Spiderman not get a third season or become cancelled for certain after season three wraps up, how likely is it that production could continue on direct to DVD movies? Generally speaking is it easier to convince producers or whomever to greenlight a single movie length piece of work comparred to an entire season of an animated show?
1. No one really. Tombstone was pretty much my instant second choice to replace Kingpin. And as for the "Big Man" title, I've seen evidence to both sides too.
2. I'm mostly content to leave Ock's morning routine to your imagination. As for his power-pack, he has had time to find one that lasts a long time. But he still NEEDS the power-pack. The arms won't function without it.
3. Yes, eventually.
4. Again, I'll leave this to your interpretation.
5. As you indicated, he started immediately after surviving Vulture's attempts on his life. He did not like feeling that powerless.
7. I think Batman the Animated Series was a revelation to many of us, and gave us the courage and evidence of success that allowed us to at least attempt to match or better that great series. Simpsons helped too, as did Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Little Mermaid (the movie), and to a lesser extent The Great Mouse Detective. Animation seemed to be in something of a renaissance. But it shouldn't have been surprising. A generation of multi-discipline writers and artists who grew up on cartoons, comic books and genre fiction -- creative types who had learned to be discerning readers and viewers -- began to execute the kinds of shows they wanted to see. As for Gargoyles specifically, the miracle wasn't that people let me do what I wanted, but that they left me alone, which allowed me to do what I wanted. A subtle distinction, I know. But a significant one.
8. If we got cancelled or not picked up after Season Two is done airing, it would, I believe -- despite all evidence to the contrary and no matter how unfair that perception might be -- put the stink of failure on the series. Which would make it hard to get a greenlight on a DVD.
Just wanted to thank you for answering my last question... :) ... and ask you another.
Throughout the run of Gargoyles there were numerous references to various works of literature in its many forms (classic literature, Shakespearean works, philosophy and politics, comic books and graphic novels, horror, gothic romance, science fiction, fantasy, world mythologies, etc.). I recall being an avid fan of all of these literary genres or categories when I was very young, but Gargoyles certainly helped to further interest me in them. Other than the obvious works that you've made allusions to in the series, what do you like to read?
Lots of stuff. I'm listening to Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations" on CD in my car these days, and LOVING IT! (Of course, I've read it at least twice before.)
Generally, I read a lot of detective fiction, with my favorite author being Ross MacDonald. And as I've stated before, I'm a huge William Faulkner fan.
More Spidey questions!
1) Regarding JJJ: I think Daran Norris does an amazing job in the voice role, but i'm wondering if you ever considered having J.K. Simmons reprise the role.
2) With John Jameson, why did you choose him to fill the role of a rival hero? And why did you make Colonel Jupiter rather than, say, Man-Wolf?
3) The influence of Stan and Steve's work, the Ultimate line and the films is clear in the show. Did earlier Spider-Man programs influence it at all?
4) Regarding Green Goblin: Did you ever consider using the Ultimate demonic design or the movie's armored design or did you always want to use the classic Halloween costume look?
5) If you had to choose, who has been your favorite villain on the show?
Once more, I thank you.
1. It was discussed, but Sony Features vetoed the idea, as they wanted the two casts to be distinct.
2. I love the original Colonel Jupiter story from the Lee/Romita Sr. run of The Amazing Spider-Man. You should check it out.
3. I'm sure the 60s show is a deep influence, as I inhaled that series as a kid. But I consciously chose NOT to go back and rewatch it, so my memories of it are a bit vague. I'm not personally all that familiar with the other animated incarnations. I don't think I've seen more than an episode or two of any other version.
4. Classic. Always.
5. But I don't have to chose.
Their are obvious character similarities between Demona to the marvel comic book characters Magneto and Mystique. Was that intentional? Certainly physically Demona is a wringer for Mystique.
I don't think there was ANY attempt to make Demona intentionally look or behave like Mystique. Magneto probably was something of an influence on me to some small degree, but I think the similarities are more superficial than deep. They don't really strike me as having much in common in terms of psychological make-up.
Greetings from Spain, Greg :)
I've been gliding through the archives in the hopes of finding something, anything, that can help me remember what my absolutely vital question was las time Ask Greg was open (Ask Greg closed before I could submit it). I'm sure it was something super boring about insights and Gargoyle psychology (especially Goliath's, I find him complex and amazing) but well. I'll have to stick to the rant that went with it and spare you the question :D.
You've heard all kinds of praises and ear-candies about you and the show by now, so I really don't want to be boring and repetitive.But the fact is that more than twelve years after the show was first aired here, I'm still as hooked as I ever was. If not more. I was in college then (imagine, I'll love watching cartoons till the last day :D) and I couldn't believe how good that episode of this Gargoyles thing I randomly caught one day was. I ended up rushing out of classes for the rest of the term, not to miss a single episode more.
You've explained before how you really feel that the story it's out there somewhere, and you tapped into it, somehow. I understand what you mean. It feels that way. Exactly that way.
The characters are so dimensional that they make the story so intense and...well, real. To the point that I'm not only positive about it being the best tv show I've ever seen, but also feels like one of the best readings. Your story is better than 80% of the books I've read in the last, say, 12 years. One almost yearns for something like Gargoyles happening to the world, with the same intensity which half the female population around the world dreams of finding Mr. Darcy... And that is something I truly thank you for.
Goliath and Elisa deserve a special mention. I don't think I've fallen so in love with a fictional couple since..well..Mr. Darcy here and Elizabeth (mm..actually I think I might have subconsciously matched the two brooding heros with the two strong-willed women, even though their stories are so different..). No wonder Elisa couldn't get herself off Goliath's hook and viceversa. And by the way, going through the archives, I read something about clan wind ceremonies on Elisa's dying. I'm amazed, I couldn't even picture it. It's so sad, one or the other dying, that even if intellectually it's something obvious, I really don't want to know that far. Pretty childish of me I guess but, well. I want some things eternal :D
For a Gargoyles unconditional, I guess I was born in the wrong country, lol. But one day, who knows! I just hope Gatherings are still happening.
Thank you so much, Greg, for a lot of reasons. Not only for the show and the comics and being here to feed the beasts from time to time, but for your dedication. For not giving up. For believing in what you do, and therefore allowing some of us to go along for the ride, and end up believing in what WE do (doomed-storyteller here :))
Wish you all the best, Greg, and I really hope you can find soon a way to let the story go on. The clan would want you to ;)
PS: Just so you know, I showed Awakenings to Tania, a dear friend, and she watched the entire show, plus TGC (which she didn't really enjoy as much, by the way) in less than ten days.
PPS: I hope my english was understandable enough, by the way!
Hey, I'll take all the Jane Austen comparisons (particularly favorable ones) that you want to dish. I'm a big fan. And I'm sure she was (at least) an indirect influence on my work.
And your English is just great. Thanks for all the kind words.
Greg, what films are you a fan of and how have they inspired and/or influenced your work on the creation of Gargoyles?
Uh, I'm not going to list all the films I like. That would take forever. There's no specific film that jumps out to me as a direct influence on Gargoyles, though as I've said before, television series including Gummi Bears, Bonkers and Hill Street Blues were major direct influences on Gargoyles. In any case, check the "Influences" archive here at ASK GREG for more info.
In "Avalon Part One", Tom is dubbed Guardian of the Eggs by Princess Katharine, in a manner that evokes being knighted - and is indeed depicted as dressed like a knight as an adult, as well as (while he's still a boy in Scotland, at the time of Constantine's coup) wearing a sort of medieval uniform marking his new position. Was there any influence here from his namesake, the boy Tom whom Arthur knights at the end of "The Once and Future King" and charges with keeping the memory of Camelot alive (a parallel that stands out all the more because of the Arthurian links in "Avalon"), or was this just a coincidence?
Definitely influenced. I don't think we were being subtle.
Just a comment on an archetype that seems to be a theme in your shows. I can't help but notice that the series you produce are populated by tricksters.
Puck is an obvious and classic example, the original trickster. Also, "Gargoyles" has Raven, Anansi, and Coyote who were also literal tricksters.
Beyond that, one of the lead villains, Xanatos, was a trickster... he even said so himself. That's an interesting choice of archetypes for the primary antagonist.
Thailog, while you've cited the bastard archetype often enough, outside of that, he seems like a trickster as well. Which makes sense since he was programmed by one. Granted, he's a more malevolent trickster than Xanatos, but he still displays those characteristics.
Meanwhile, over in in "Spectacular," you have Spider-Man as, perhaps, the most benevolent trickster you have yet to write. Fitting, he is the hero after all, and the people he acts like a trickster towards usually have it coming.
And, of course, you have a more sinister trickster in Green Goblin, hie arch-nemesis.
I know from personal experience how difficult tricksters can be to write, as I've often had to jump through hoops to do it right,
I haven't seen WITCH so I have no idea if this archetype shows up there or not. But it seems to me like the trickster archetype is a favorite of yours to write, and you do it so well.
So, does it just come naturally? Is Greg Weisman a trickster himself, or do you ever find yourself jumping through hoops as I sometimes do to create schemes worthy of the trickster you're writing?
There's some definite hoop-jumping going on. Personally, I'm more of a bastard than a trickster. But I do enjoy both archetypes, so I do the work to make them worthy.
You'll notice, however, that each of the tricksters you named, with the exception of Xanatos, were based on existing sources, which helps. As for Xanatos, he was a variation on General Eiling (from Captain Atom), who was more of a bastard. And Eiling, in turn, was loosely based on Captain Kirk, or rather a dark mirror of Kirk (and, no, that's not a reference to the "Mirror, Mirror," as the Mirror Kirk in that episode couldn't fool anyone).
Thailog is more in the classic bastard mode than the trickster mode -- at least in my mind -- though I'll admit there's definite overlap between the two archetypes.
While I was looking in the GargWiki for information about the Olympians, I saw that you wanted to know the Ancient Egyptian name for the Egyptian pantheon.
The word which can be translated as "god" is _netcher_ or _netjer_, feminine _netcheret_ or _netjeret_, plural _netcheru_ or _netjeru_. TCH and TJ are just ways to spell the CH sound at the beginning and end of English "church," without confusing it with the German or Greek CH. As with every Ancient Egyptian word, the vowels were never written down, so the vowels in netjer and netjeru are speculatively added to make N-TJ-R and N-TJ-R-W pronounceable.
Netjeru refers to all the deities, including large numbers of minor deities who are servants to the greater deities, and who are often referred to in English as "demons" or "spirits." Netjeru sometimes also include other beings: deified mortals, the _akhu_ or souls of the dead, and divine beings like Ammut and Apophis that were not worshipped. Netjeru can also include the _bau_, which are "manifestations or emanations" send forth from a deity.
I do not know if netjer was also used to refer to gods of other religions, but I'm guessing it was.
What I have told you comes from Richard Wilkinson's "The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt." In my non-expert opinion this is one of the best books on Egyptian Mythology that I have seen for the non-specialist.
Wow, that's seriously helpful, both the info and the reference book. I'm definitely buying that book! Thanks.
I saw Watchmen recently (awesome, by the way), and I just had to ask...
Was David Xanatos in any way inspired by or modeled on Adrian Veidt?
Not particularly, though of course I had read Watchmen -- in fact, I worked at DC Comics when it came out (and provided Rorshach's thumbprints) -- so it's possible that Veidt had a subconscious influence. But Xanatos has WAY less in common with Ozymandias, then he does with General Wade Eiling from Captain Atom.
This is a comment rather than a question.
A few years ago, I mentioned here that the medieval flashback scenes in "Awakening Part One" had reminded me, the first time that I saw them, of a PBS animated adaptation of David Macaulay's "Castle". Recently, I was rereading the book that the PBS program had been based on, and discovered that the castle in it (a fictional castle, portrayed as part of Edward I's castle-building program in northern Wales) was called Aberwyvern, and stood by the Wyvern River. I'm certain that it must have been a coincidence (I assume that when you came up with the name "Wyvern" for the castle in "Gargoyles", you were thinking of the two-legged dragon-like creature), but it still astonished me, and I wanted to share it with you. (And Edward I *does* have a link to the Gargoyles Universe as the man responsible for the Stone of Destiny's removal from Scotland to Westminster Abbey.)
I think Michael Reaves came up with the name Castle Wyvern. So you'd have to ask him what his influences were.
I was recently rereading Roger Lancelyn Green's retelling of the Arthurian cycle (it was the January 2009 book for an Arthurian book club that I recently joined), and found this passage at the end of the section on the Quest for the Holy Grail:
"But when the last battle had been fought and the realm of Logres was no more, Percivale's kingdom made still a little light in the darkness of a Britain conquered and laid waste by the barbarians." (p. 248 of the old Puffin Books edition I bought as a boy).
Was this passage the inspiration (or at least, *an* inspiration) for your idea of Percival/Duval founding the Illuminati?
As many of you know, perhaps my favorite television series of all time is HILL STREET BLUES. A couple years ago, the first season was put out on DVD. There was no marketing that I noticed... but there was a bit of publicity. A year later the second season came out. This time no marketing and no publicity. Also, I'm GUESSING, not much in terms of sales -- as the third season isn't on the schedule. I've signed up at Amazon to be notified if-and-when it is released...
I bring this up, since it allows me to do a few things:
1. SPREAD THE WORD! I encourage you all to buy the first two seasons of Hill Street Blues. This was one of the truly seminal shows in television history, brilliantly written and acted and directed and a HUGE, HUGE influence on Gargoyles. Like Gargoyles it created a tapestry, a world of characters. Very much worth your time and disposable income.
2. CREATE A REALITY CHECK. For those of you who STILL seem to feel Disney is doing something unusual (let alone nefarious) in its treatment of Gargoyles, this is one of just many, many, many examples that demonstrates it's not. We can all sturm and drang about how business should be done, with marketing and publicity galore for every product, with a guarantee that once a company starts a project they must finish it (whether or not the economics justify it), etc. But the gnashing of teeth doesn't change the reality. Companies -- even companies as huge as Disney have LIMITED resources and must deal with the notion of OPPORTUNITY COST. So one company takes a flier on a Gargoyles DVD set, another takes one on Hill St. Both do fairly well in their first season releases, despite limited or no marketing and limited or no publicity. Both fair poorly in their second release. Both don't seem to rate a third release. It's sad. But it's life.
3. ENCOURAGE YOU TO SPREAD THE WORD! The best thing any one of you can do to help get the next release of ANY show you love -- short of spending your own money -- is to help us Spread the Word! About the DVDS, the comics, the Gathering. Oh, and about Hill Street Blues. (See, I practice what I preach!)
With that in mind, I depart in less than 48 hours for Chicago and my 12th Annual Gathering, followed immediately by a trip to Minneapolis for ConVergence (http://www.convergence-con.org/). I won't have internet access while I'm gone, but when I return I'll post my conjournalx2. I encourage all of you who are attending the Gathering to post/cut&paste their conjorunals, diaries etc. here to ASK GREG. It creates a central place where I can refer ignorant PTB-types. Also, if you see me at either con, please come up and say hello. I am notoriously bad with names, and I admit (with some embarrassment) that it often takes me two or three conventions to really nail a name down. But I do want to meet you, and I do want to get to know you. I'm not much at small talk, but I can talk about animation and comics and pop culture in general ad nauseum (just ask my wife).
My folks, Beth and the kids went to see a truly wonderful performance of "Big River" yesterday at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. "Big River" is of course based on "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn". Now keeping in mind that this is a show I've seen at least three times before, and that Huck is a book I've read at least four times, it stunned me that I NEVER noticed this fact before...
The girl that Huck has a huge unrequited yen for is named "Mary Jane Wilkes". And one of the women who takes Huck in at the beginning of the book is named "Miss Watson". It seems nearly impossible to think that the name "Mary Jane Watson" from Spider-Man wasn't lifted (consciously or otherwise) from Twain... I assume by Stan Lee (though possibly from someone else working at Marvel in those years).
How did this get by me?
Got "Bad Guys" #2 today. Here are a few comments on it.
Strong characterization for the members of the Redemption Squad, especially Yama. I liked how he was handled in it, especially the banishment scene and the remark that he had a "rigid and unforgiving" judge - himself. And his stiffly dignified response to Robyn's offer (as well as his wrath when she threatened his clan).
But the other members also had some great moments. Matrix's multiple heads all popping up to make their report to Dingo (just when you thought Matrix couldn't get any more bizarre....). Dingo commenting on how grating Robyn's brogue was (says the guy with the Australian accent). His way of introducing Matrix. His alarm when he learns that they're returning to New York, and Robyn's cool response.
The revelation that the bearded man entering the Labyrinth was Sevarius surprised me - but to add to that, we finally learn what Fang's real name is. (I immediately thought of Bill Sikes from "Oliver Twist" once I read that scene, but I don't know if you really did have Dickens in mind or if it's just a coincidence.) And who but Sevarius would deliver that "time to meet your maker" line to a Mutate?
I also enjoyed the various cameos: Vinnie (as misfortune-prone as ever), Brendan and Margot, Al, Claw, Shari.
Looking forward to #3 (especially since the other two Canmores will be guest-starring in it). Thanks for this issue, Greg!
Bill Sikes was an inspiration.
Which cartoons did YOU watch when you were younger? Did any of these inspire you?
I'm SURE I've answered this before, but...
I watched TONS of cartoons when I was a kid. And I'm sure MANY influenced me. The ones that seemed to most spark my imagination included...
THUNDERBIRDS (does Supermarionation count?)
FRACTURED FAIRY TALES
ROCKY & BULWINKLE
That's really just a partial list.
Was the structure of Gargoyle clans (in particular, children in common) at all influenced by Plato's ideal society in the Republic? Similarly, from where did Gargoyles derive their prediliction for protection? Sounds an awful lot like the Platonic guardians. Is this true, and if so, was it intentional?
More generally, what sorts of philosophical streams most strongly influenced your idea of the ideal gargoyle society?
Well... I read most of Plato's republic back in high school. I can't say my conscious memory of it is too clear at this point, but I suppose everything I do is the sum total of all that I've learned, so...
greg i dont know iff u will read this ortake it seriously ur great and im not just sayin that i have all the episodes where did you get the inspirtion for this samrt idea?
From actual gargoyles, largely. But for other influences, check the "influences" section of the ASK GREG archives.
Picked up my copy of Gargoyles #7 today. After all these weeks, it's finally here.
And, after the very mild disappointment I had with issue 6, it was worth the wait too.
More great story twists.
-I didn't see Maggie's pregnancy coming, oddly. Those were some great moments, with Talon and Maggie looking at each other like that.
-It was cool seeing Claw again, even if it was only for one panel, and he didn't do anything.
-The cover threw me off somewhat, which is a good thing.
-More Elisa and Goliath stuff. At least it's not too angsty this time.
-Does Goliath know that Brooklyn is bothered by B & A's relationship? I had the impression at first, when he looks over Brooklyn's shoulder at them, that he had a good idea. But then it occurred to me that Goliath may have been silently asking them to stay with his second. So which is it?
-Nice little Lex moments. I liked the expression on his face when he complains about 'I don't feel so hot.'
-On a semi-related note, who's this 'Amp'? Is Lex naming someone or simply giving them a nickname?
-I loved that MacBeth/King Arthur moment. Though I admit that, since I thought they left on good terms in 'Pendragon', I am a little confused. What's Arthur hiding/protecting? Also, since Arthur's here, kudos on introducing the new gargoyles at the end. And is that Griff behind Lex and Hudson?
-Nice throwback to the Cold Trio. And I'm eager to know what Xanatos, Coyote, and Coldsteel are up to. Whatever it is, it can't be good. Is this part of Xanatos' Illuminati assignment?
-The bits about Gathelus interested me greatly. Thanks, Greg. You made me want to do research on this guy.
As usual, Greg, you have left me with so many questions, and very few answers. Thank you.
The art was decent. Hedgecock has definitely come a long way since #1.
These are very minor things that I was able to let go of. They didn't really ruin my enjoyment too much.
-The biblical reference. Mainly because (and this is a self-personal quip. I'm not trying to offend anyone or push my beliefs.) I'm not really into religion. No offense.
-The constant time changes were a little confusing.
End the rant.
A near-perfect issue that I really enjoyed. Great writing, great story, and I loved the artwork. Plot threads left dangling, but then, I love being in suspense, so that was a big plus too. There were a couple of flaws, but I was able to ignore them.
What a hell of an great issue. I can't wait for #8. :)
Goliath now knows about Brooklyn's angst.
You don't have to be religious to appreciate the bible. I personally don't regard it as a religious text (for myself) -- but it's without a doubt a great repository for stories. It's definitely worth a read.
Finally got a hold of the issue today. My brother is passing on the spinoffs, but I'm still purchasing an additional copy for my friend. On to the comments.
It was certainly worth waiting for. It shows that the other characters can carry a series without Goliath and Company. My favorite moments include:
- Fang's "sensitivity" towards Dingo and Robyn's "spat" (who said he isn't observant).
- Dingo and Matrix's fight with Tasmanian Tiger. Reads a bit like an old super hero comic, and in a good way. Even though I started collecting in the late 90s, I tend to prefer the older comics with some exceptions.
- Dingo's reaction to learning of Matrix's insertion.
- What's the worst that can happen indeed.
As with Gargoyles #5, Karine did topnotch work on the art. Some questions.
1. I know that The Redemption Squad is based off the Dirty Dozen, but did DC Comic's Suicide Squad serve as any inspiration?
2. Is Tasmanian Tiger based off any particular super villain?
Keep up the great work.
1. It's not like I'm unaware of DC's Suicide Squad, but frankly I think both series were inspired by Dirty Dozen.
2. Not any one in particular.
Since your birthday's on September 28, I thought I'd share with you a piece of trivia I recently discovered.
I've been collecting Fantagraphics Books' reprints of "Peanuts", and discovered that on September 28, 1962, the "Peanuts" strip for the day was Snoopy pretending to be a gargoyle (the regular architectural variety, of course). In fact, it was one of three such strips (the other two were on September 27 and September 29 respectively). I thought you might like to know that. (If you'd like to see the strips, they're in "The Complete Peanuts 1961-62", on page 273.)
Very cool. Of course, 1962 was a bit before even my time, but I know I've seen Snoopy pose as a vulture, and I have a vague memory of him as a gargoyle. Maybe I saw it in a reprint edition.
Hey! Do you ever miss teaching in a classroom setting, like at a school? I seem to remember you saying that you taught English at a college. I am in the process of becoming a high school English teacher (though most people think I'm crazy to do so), & I was wondering what your favorite part was about teaching English, & what you might have done differently.
Thank you for your time and all that you do.
I do sometimes miss the classroom itself. But I hated reading papers. Once in a blue moon I'd read something that really... sang... but otherwise, it wasn't too fun. Even the good papers weren't exactly my idea of fun reading. Grading just isn't fun in general. But I like the classroom (most of the time). I guess it's the performer in me, maybe. But I liked imparting stuff too.
What might I have done differently? I don't know.
But I admire what you're doing. I had a number of great and very inspirational high school English teachers (Mrs. Diskin, Mrs. Wardlaw, Mr. West, Mr. Holmes, Mr. McGrew and Mrs. Wardlaw again) without whom, we would not be sharing this forum.
Hello again Greg,
I've been thinking about Greek mythology and the little glimpses we've seen of how it fits into the Gargoyles Universe (and hungering for more, of course! ;) ) I've gotten to wondering what books you've read about it, and which ones you liked the most? You've mentioned several times your particular fondness for Theseus (the bastard), and you and Todd have had conversations about favorite Arthurian books. Is Theseus your only favorite character in Greek Mythology, or are there any others?
I myself was first introduced to Greek myths as a child with the D'Aulaires book. I next read Edith Hamilton's book. Since then I've read bits and pieces of many books on the subject, but I've only read a few tragedies and the Odyssey from start to finish (I found the Odyssey pretty boring, at least in translation). So I guess I can't really say I have any favorite book on the subject.
Oddly, my favorite source for Greek Mythology I've used so far is not a book, but a website, www.theoi.com. (This will sound like an advert but I ~love~ this website) It's a very thorough collection of research and information about the Greek gods. It must have every god, spirit, monster, or giant ever, no matter how obscure. Perhaps this sounds strange (I hope it isn't presumptuous), but if you're ever looking for a great source about Greek Mythology for research, I think you'd find this website very useful.
What I like most about theoi is that it gives information in the form of quotes (translated of course) from lots of ancient texts, and provides all the different versions of each story and genealogy. Different ancient writers told different versions of the myths, and had different ideas about who was the son/daughter of who, but most print sources I've read only provide the most common version of each myth, or the one or two versions preferred by the author. So this is a source in which the information is minimally interpreted, so to speak, by intervening minds.
The big downside of this website is that it has almost no information about the heros and mortals, and even less information from archaeology. The webmaster is only just starting to add hero information. (I myself find gods much more interesting than heros, so I don't particularly mind). However, for the gods the information is excellent.
Theseus is my favorite character in Greek Mythology. I'll admit to having a fondness for bastards (in the literal sense) in literature/mythology. I'm fascinated with the archetype and its variations. Also the parallelism between Arthur and Theseus are quite startling to me.
The D'Aulaires' book is indeed one of my ALL TIME favorite books. Same with their book on Norse Gods & Giants. I still use both as a reference. Although I'm not generally a fan of Cliff Notes, I'll admit that their "Mythology" booklet is a VERY handy reference. I also have Robert Graves two volume book(s) on Greek Mythology, which has(have) been very useful. I've got a couple of geneology chart type books. But they're at home, and I'm at the office, and I don't remember the names of the authors or their exact titles at this moment. I've also read both the Iliad and the Odyssey. Probably liked 'em better than you did. A lot probably depends on which translation you read, I suppose. I might also recommend Isaac Asimov's Fantastic Voyage, a cool sci-fi take o the Odyssey.
I'm semi-familiar with theoi.com. I've used it on occasion. Though I guess I still prefer my books.