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GATHERING 2009 - Sunday, August 23rd
1am - Got back to my room.
2am - Went to bed.
9am - I woke up. Wow, a real night's sleep. I showered and dressed quickly, attempting to make the tail end of the staff breakfast, but got waylaid along the way by arriving guests, like Bob Kline. Managed to snag one croissant, but that's it.
10am - Gargoyles Production panel with Frank Paur, Bob Kline, Brad Rader, Pamela Long, Vic Cook, Greg Guler and Doug Murphy. More fun old stories.
11:30am - Spidey Production panel with Bob, Pamela, Vic, Greg, Kevin Altieri, Jennifer Coyle, Sean "Cheeks" Galloway, Joey Mason and Phil Weinstein. We showed the unaired scenes clip from ComicCon and the animatic for the main title. And again, more fun stories.
1pm - I finally had a break, but I couldn't resist sitting in on the Composer's panel with Carl Johnson, Gargoyles Composer, and Dynamic Music Partners (Lolita Ritmanis, Kris Carter and Michael McCuistion) the Spider-Man composers. They were WELL-prepared. Way more well-prepared than I was for any of my panels. Brought a bunch of clips and talked process. It was fascinating.
2:30pm - Writers Panel. From Spidey: Andrew Robinson, Kevin Hopps, Nicole Dubuc and Matt Wayne. From Gargoyles: Bob Skir and Michael Reaves. Michael has Parkinsons, so first Bob and later Michael's daughter Mallory Reaves served as interpreters for him. It was great having everyone there.
4pm - The writers (and Karine) had a signing.
5pm - My wife dropped my son Benny off at the con. So we hung out a bit.
6pm - Benny and I went to the Banquet. We sat with Gayle, Lauren, Ryan, Grey Wolf, Read and Abbie. Real sweet spread at the buffet. But I've forgotten exactly what. I guess I'm just not that into the food this time. Is that progress?
7:30pm - Another Q&A. This time with myself, Bob Skir, Vic Cook, Greg Guler, Nicole Dubuc, Kevin Altieri, Jennifer Coyle, Ben Diskin, Crispin Freeman, Karine Charlebois and Wendy Pini. Michael Reaves kibbitzed a bit from the sidelines too.
8:30pm - By this time, Beth had picked Benny up again. I went to the bar and hung out with Vic, Guler, Kevin, Jennifer, Wendy and Karine. Just had a coke.
9:30pm - Masquerade time. The judges were myself, Wendy Pini, Keith David, Thom Adcox, Ben Diskin, Carl Johnson and Karine Charlebois. I will attempt to remember all the awards we handed out, but I forgot to save my award sheet...
Best Junior - Ryan & Lauren as Owen & Banshee
Best Performance - Abbie as the Lady in the Lake
Best Original Character - Rika as Venus
Cutest Trio - Jade, Eric and Kyari as Fox, Owen and Alex
If I give you this, I'll have to kill you award - Zehra, Tony & Andrea as Shari & the Illuminati
Best Canon - Aaron as Upgraded Jackal
Excalibur Award - Justin as King Arthur
Gorelisa Award - Charlie as Kalia Sartre
Thom Adcox Memorial Award - Rebecca as a Star Trek Dispensable Red
Best in Show - Esopus as ... okay, this was best in show and it was really great, but I just can't remember the name of the character! SORRY!!!!
10:30pm - We all just hung out in the Ballroom for awhile. I chatted with GXB, Carl Johnson, Zehra & Sarah and many, many others...
MORE NEXT WEEK!!!!!
GATHERING 2009 - Saturday, August 22nd
3am - Went to bed.
8am - Woke up, with five hours sleep being the most I'd had in any one night in over a week.
9am - Staff Breakfast. Usually, I'm all about telling you what I ate at every meal, but I just don't remember. Orange Juice and a croissant, I think. But also... uh... not sure.
10am - Jennifer and I were joined by Gargoyles/Spidey Voice Director Extraordinaire Jamie Thomason for our second round of auditions.
11:30am - Casting session. We only had thirteen slots for fans to participate in the play because of the LARGE pro "turnout". You see, most years I ask the pros to participate and we get one or two saying yes. But this year SIXTEEN said yes. So from a fan standpoint, we had an embarrassment of riches. Over forty people auditioned and most of those did great, so we decided to cast the thirteen slots, plus STEAL a role from Thom Adcox and give that to another fan, PLUS cast a couple of fans as understudies in case someone didn't show. (But everyone did.) We posted the cast list...
12pm - Lunch in the staff room with Marina Sirtis, Keith David, Karine Charlebois, Greg Bishansky, Thom Adcox and Keith's son Owen. It's always great to see Keith, but it was very cool to see Marina again, whom I haven't seen in years. And, man, has Owen grown!! Broccoli soup, salad, and... see, can't remember!
1pm - Gargoyles Voice Acting Panel with Jamie, Keith, Thom, Marina and Elisa Gabrielli. Fun stories told. Marina and I have very different memories about how she was cast. (I'm right, but I'd never say that.)
2:30pm - Spidey Voice Acting Panel with (again) Jamie, Keith and Elisa. Plus Dee Bradley Baker, James Arnold Taylor, Ben Isaac Diskin (what's with all these three name guys?), Steve Blum, Daran Norris, Deborah Strang, Vanessa Marshall, Josh Keaton, Andrew Kishino, Phil LaMarr, Crispin Freeman and Eric Vesbit. More fun stories. Jamie and I disagreed about how many characters we auditioned. And once again, I'm right. It's a blessing and a curse, as Monk would say.
4pm - Radio Play Rehearsal. We barely had time to do one full read through of the ridiculously long and over-stuffed radio play. There was really no time to direct the actors at all, beyond telling them to project louder, though Jamie and I tried to give an occasional pointer.
5:30pm - Radio Play. Gotta say, thanks to my shameless pandering in the script and the amazing talent of my cast, we really had a phenomenal success with the three night mess of a bloated script I wrote. Got lots of laughs, even a few gasps. Pros were spot on, of course, including some Gargoyles folks who hadn't played their characters in years. But our fan cast was great too.
Here's the cast list:
THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN MEETS GARGOYLES
"Religious Studies 101: A Handful of Thorns"
NARRATOR - Greg Weisman
DEMONA/DOMINIQUE DESTINE - Marina Sirtis
SPIDER-MAN/PETER PARKER - Josh Keaton
GOLIATH - Keith David
LEXINGTON - Thom Adcox
ELISA MAZA - Zehra Fazal
BROOKLYN - John Clemens
CURT CONNORS/LIZARD - Dee Bradley Baker
BROADWAY - Crispin Freeman
ZAFIRO - Joshua Poole
MAY PARKER - Deborah Strang
GREEN GOBLIN - Steve Blum
OBSIDIANA - Elisa Gabrielli
KRAVEN THE HUNTER - Eric Vesbit
HARRY OSBORN - James Arnold Taylor
DOCTOR OCTOPUS/OTTO OCTAVIUS - Michael McAdam
J. JONAH JAMESON - Daran Norris
MARY JANE WATSON - Vanessa Marshall
ELECTRO - Crispin Freeman
VENOM/EDDIE BROCK - Ben Isaac Diskin
GEORGE STACY - Lucas McClain
BIG MAN - Keith David
CALYPSO EZILI - Jennifer L. Anderson
ASHLEY KAFKA - Elisa Gabrielli
ROBBIE ROBERTSON - Phil LaMarr
LIZ ALLAN - Kaitlyn Robrock
SALLY AVRIL - Jennifer L. Anderson
GWEN STACY - Sarah Williams
MATT BLUESTONE - Eric Tribou
GREG BISHANSKY - Greg Bishansky
KENNY KONG - Andrew Kishino
COLONEL JUPITER/JOHN JAMESON - Daran Norris
NED LEE - Andrew Kishino
VULTURE - Seth Jackson
FLASH THOMPSON - Ian Bassett
SHARI - Zehra Fazal
FANCY DAN - Phil LaMarr
GULYADKIN - Dee Bradley Baker
CARNAGE/CLETUS KASADY - Ian Bassett
HOMUNCULUS #1 - Dee Bradley Baker
HOMUNCULUS #2 - Phil LaMarr
HOMUNCULUS #3 - Steve Blum
HOMUNCULUS #4 - James Arnold Taylor
HOMUNCULUS #5 - Thom Adcox
SMUGGLER #1 - Andrew Kishino
DOMINIC DRACON - Seth Jackson
BLACKIE GAXTON - Steve Blum
EMILY OSBORN - Kaitlyn Robrock
TINKERER - Thom Adcox
SEYMOUR O'REILLY - Steve Blum
SILVER SPOON MANAGER - Crispin Freeman
ANGELA - Sarah Williams
PUMPKIN BOMB - Nicki France
THAILOG - Keith David
MARIA CHAVEZ - Elisa Gabrielli
FREDERICK FOSWELL - James Arnold Taylor
ALAN O'NEIL - James Arnold Taylor
ROSIE THOMPSON - Vanessa Marshall
MARGOT YALE - Marina Sirtis
MORGAN MORGAN - Keith David
JASON IONELLO - Ben Isaac Diskin
RAND ROBERTSON - Phil LaMarr
BRENTWOOD - Fox Anderson
CHAMELEON - Steve Blum
NORMAN OSBORN - Eric Vesbit
DILBERT TRILBY - Steve Blum
Thanks to the entire cast. You guys were amazing, and totally saved my butt.
7pm - Once the play was over, all the tension and adrenaline that it had generated over the last week or so melted away, leaving me nearly comotose. I went to dinner in the hotel with my wife Beth and my son Benny. I didn't eat much. Clam Chowder, a roll, a coke and a shrimp cocktail. I was all but passing out. Fortunately, I got a second wind... and I'd need it.
9pm - Blue Mug w/Thom Adcox and the staff of Blue Mug Productions: Mara Cordova, Kalia Sartre, Jennifer L. Anderson and Boswell Bosley. I had to duck out for awhile, and I hear Edmund Tsabard showed up and pretty much insulted everyone in the room. (So what else is new?) I came back, by which time Edmund was gone. I picked up my water glass to take a drink, and someone told me that Thom's chihuahua had sipped from my glass. Someone else pointed at another glass and said that was the one the dog had lapped from. I shrugged it off and sipped from my glass. Then Jen told me Edmund had used that glass. I did a spit-take. I mean do you know where Edmund's mouth has been?!!! I hate to do anything to promote anything that reprobate is working on, but the work of the rest of the Blue Mug staff is so good that I'll ignore his contribution and recommend BlueMugProductions.com to all of you (who are 18 or over). I've seen the work, and it's really good!!! By the way, whomever took my Vox-made macrame Greg doll and put an eyepatch on it to turn it into an Edmund doll: UNCOOL!!! I don't even see the resemblance anyway!
11:30pm - After the mug, a few of us -- Jennifer, Mara, Eric and Tony -- went upstairs to the staff room. I had a virgin jello shot. Black Cherry!
GATHERING 2009 - Friday, August 21st
12am - Went to bed. I was completely exhausted from the last few nights of working on the Radio Play instead of sleeping...
2am - So of course I wake up two hours later.
6:30am - Finally fell asleep again.
10:30am - Woke up, having missed staff breakfast.
11:30am - I went downstairs to check out the Art Room-in progress. Aaron gave me a very cool Phoenix Gate pin. (Thanks, Aaron!)
Noon - Had my mug-a-guest with Leah, Fan, Abbie, Eva, Kathie and others. I'm embarrassed over how little I can remember already, I'm afraid.
1:30pm - Jennifer Anderson and I held the first batch of auditions. Some real good people.
2:30pm - Back to the art room. I also bought two copies of the Bad Guy Trade, one for myself and one for the Sperlings.
3pm - By this time, I was pretty hungry, so although they had JUST eaten, Tony and Andrea Zucconi accompanied me up to CityWalk so I could get a Tommy Burger, fries and a coke/Root Beer semi-suicide mix. I ate; we chatted.
4pm - We headed back down to the hotel/con.
4:50pm - My wife Beth arrived at the con. We hung out, waiting for Opening Ceremonies to start.
5:40pm - Opening Ceremonies. I got the ball rolling. We had a bunch of con virgins -- for whom this was their first Gathering. And of course we had four people who had attended ALL thirteen Gatherings: myself, Gathering Co-Chair Patrick Toman, Bad Guys artist Karine Charlebois and a Fan. Gathering Co-chair introduced her staff and then they presented me with a very cool macrame doll of me, commissioned by the staff and created by the talented Vox. I then stood up again and talked about the great programming we had in store for the weekend. Then I presented Patrick and Jennifer with the Fan Guest of Honor, represented by great prints of Puck and Demona by Karine and Kythera of Anevern. Next, I spoke a brief tribute to the late Gary Sperling, and we presented his wife and kids with a copy of the Bad Guys Trade and another fantabulous print by Karine. After that came the Rocky Horror Gargoyles Show, i.e. the same old schpiel I always do. Showed the Pitch, the Jim Cummings version of the pitch, the promo, the Frakes presentation piece, the New Olympian and Dark Ages pitch, the Bad Guys animatic and "The Last" animatic -- nearly finished and almost entirely done by fans.
8pm - Having eaten a late lunch, I decided to skip dinner. But I hear Edmund Tsabard and the staff of Blue Mug Productions (Mara Cordova, Kalia Sartre, Jennifer L. Anderson and Boswell Bosley) had a dinner business meeting at Versaille up at CityWalk. Edmund had Ropa Vieja, Plantains, Beans, Rice and a coke.
9:30pm - A few of us hung out in the staff suite upstairs on the hotel's top floor. Liz, Patrick, Mara, Jen, Nikki, Eric, Seth, Sammy, Rebecca, Fox, Sydney, Steph, Scott and Marina all stopped by at one point or another.
11:59pm - I went back to my room...
Well, gang, I'm back from the final Gathering. Had an amazing time. Truly. I'll start my conjournal now. One day at a time...
As always, all times and quotations are approximate. Please forgive any mistakes or omissions.
GATHERING 2009 - Thursday, August 20th
I was up all Wednesday night, prepping the scripts for the Radio Play, which I had written over the three (largely sleepless) nights previous.
7:30am - Finally went to bed.
11:30am - Got up. Drove to my office in Beverly Hills to finish prepping for the Gathering.
6pm - Finally finished prepping. Drove home to pack.
7pm - Left for the Universal Hilton. Parked and checked in and unpacked in my seventh floor room. The staff then gathered to go to dinner at Bucco de Beppo's in CityWalk. It was a big table. I think a complete list of those present would include me, Liz Chesterman, Mara Cordova, Joe, Susan Leonard, Sammy Behr, Seth Jackson, Eric Tribou, Jennifer L. Anderson, Kythera of Anevern, Rebecca Bochner, Patrick Toman, Tony Zucconi, Andrea Zucconi, Cindy Kinnard and Karine Charlebois. I had garlic bread, calamari, spaghetti and meatballs, apple gorgonzola salad, two kinds of fettucini, green beans and manicotti. Afterwards, we went back to the hotel to check out the rooms for the con.
10:30pm - I went back to my room to continue prepping my script for the radio play.
More tomorrow... please post YOUR ConJournal here at ASK GREG! Thanks!
Gathering 2009 - Los Angeles CA
Okay, gang, I leave tomorrow for the Gathering. This is our last one for the foreseeable future, so I plan to make the most of it. We've got a TON of programming (including panels on both Gargoyles and The Spectacular Spider-Man and ElfQuest, production panels, voice panels, writing panels, comic book panels), a TON of professional guests (Comic book pros, animation pros, actors, artists, writers, sculptors, directors, etc.) These guests include Frank Paur, Victor Cook, Sean "Cheeks" Galloway, Greg Guler, Thom Adcox, Keith David, Josh Keaton, Steve Blum, Crispin Freeman, Wendy Pini and Demona herself: Marina Sirtis.
We have screenings of exclusive Gathering footage, like the Bad Guys reel and the pro/fan Team Atlantis collaboration. I'm bringing the only once-before seen footage clip from Spectacular Spider-Man ONLY shown at ComicCon last month. And Michael Reaves, Gargoyles writer and story editor, is bringing his STAR TREK webisode, professionally produced and starring George Takei himself as Sulu.
We have a Radio Play (that has nearly killed me to get ready in time) that presents an ORIGINAL Feature-Length crossover between Gargoyles and The Spectacular Spider-Man, with EVERY voice actor guest performing with fans.
We have a Banquet with a pro/guest at every table. We have our "Mug-A-Guests", i.e. a chance for a small group of fans to chat with individual pro/guests. We have the Masquerade and Dance.
We have fan/pro discussion panels on Gargoyles Biology and Culture, mythology, ABJD, Fanfiction, etc. We have Mature Content programming -- including Edmund Tsabard and his Angels at the Blue Mug.
We have Universal Studios and Universal CityWalk right next door.
And we have the opportunity to purchase all three Gargoyles Trade Paperbacks, both volumes of Clan-Building and Bad Guys: Redemption. Plus the auction features more gargoyle merchandise than you could possibly carry home. Great art at the art show.
And a few surprises...
Anyway, if you're anywhere near the Universal Hilton in Los Angeles, we hope you stop by. Let's make this last Gathering the best one yet!
And I'll see you back here at Ask Greg next week...
Oh, and as always, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE post Gathering journals here at ASK GREG!!!!!
STONE OF DESTINY -- CLAN-BUILDING, VOLUME TWO SPOILERS!!!!
GXB sent me a question about the Stone of Destiny in Clan-Building. He wrote:
"Just to be clear... Xanatos has the original Stone of Destiny? Scotland has a fake? That's... kinda cool. :)"
Now, of course, I shouldn't have responded. The book SHOULD either stand and fall on it's own. But of course, if that was my policy, we wouldn't really have ASK GREG at all, would we?
I apologize that I wrote with so little clarity that an explanation is necessary at all, but here's my answer to him, and before the rest of you get a chance, to all of you:
You're missing the point.
Which was the original, the one Moses sent with Gathelus or the one Moses kept and used to bring forth water in the desert?
Which was the original, the half that stayed at Tara or the half that sailed to Dalriada? (Note that both halves are the same size as the so-called "original".)
Which was the original, the one that was kept in London or the one that became the Blarney Stone?
There is no original. There is no fake.
But if you're asking where the specific stone that had been at Westminster went, Peredur has it in Carbonek. Look at the timeline. Xanatos switched the stone at the bridge and was about to make a DOUBLE switch at Leith before Blanchfleur came to pick it up. He was planning to keep the one he assumed was the original, when the stone itself told him it was pointless. So he gave Blanchefleur the stone the Illuminati wanted, i.e. the Westminster stone.
Xanatos kept one of the two "fakes" and Edinburgh has the other "fake", except both are still real stones. (It's not like they're paper mache or something.) And ANY stone can be THE stone.
Reports indicate that the Gargoyles: Clan-Building, Volume II TPB has arrived in some (though not all) stores, and is being shipped out from SLG and other sources. As most of you know, this trade contains the previously published issues #7 & #8, plus the unpublished issues #9- #12. There is TONS of new material here, tons of revelations. Tons of new canon. And if we hope to get more Gargoyles comics of any stripe in the future, it is imperative that this volume sells. If you don't have it already, I'd recommend purchasing Volumes I & II together. Read the stuff in order in (more or less) one sitting, and you'll get more out of it.
If your store doesn't have the book, ask them to order it for you!
And please, please, please, help us SPREAD THE WORD!!!!
I know -- and share -- the frustrations over the vague release dates of the two remaining trades. Both are DONE. So it's just an issue of getting them from the printers, through customs, out to Diamond and then into stores, etc.
BUT, Dan Vado has ASSURED me that all three trades (GARGOYLES, CLAN-BUILDING, VOLUME ONE; GARGOYLES, CLAN-BUILDING, VOLUME TWO; GARGOYLES: BAD GUYS, REDEMPTION) will be available for purchase at the Gathering. Hopefully, they'll be available everywhere sooner or at least shortly thereafter, but at the very least -- if you come to the con, you can get the books!
Our basset hound Hermione passed away in her sleep yesterday. She had a large inoperable malignant cancer tumor, so it wasn't a shock.
I know it must seem like we go through these dogs rapidly, but that's because my wife and kids always choose elderly dogs from the Basset Rescue Ranch, because they feel that everyone always wants the puppies and young dogs, and the old ones never find a home. So we get dogs. They're old. They die. My family grieves. And we start the process again... all too often, I guess.
We still have one basset left, Murray. Plus our cat Emmy. I'd like to put off getting any more pets for the time being, but it's never up to curmudgeonly me.
Hermione was a handsome girl, definitely the Alpha Female of our pets. Very common sense. We'll miss her.
Blue Mug Productions is up and running!
If you're 18 or over, check out http://www.bluemugproductions.com/ for the very latest in story-driven mature content.
They've got preview pages of the web-comic LAST TENGU IN PARIS, so you can see what you're missing. But I suggest getting a membership which gives you access to all existing pages of LAST TENGU, as well as a forum, Gallery, even an ASK EDMUND feature and more. This is good stuff. You don't want to miss out.
[Okay, Edmund, I gave you your damn plug. Now put down the gun...]