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tomi writes...

Neither borrower nor a lender be: For loan loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge og husbandry
-William Shakespere.

Being original is never too easy: as amateur writer myself, and as misunderstood loner, i spend often much of my time crafting my own stories and developing characters of my own, and as certain perfektionist, it is long process.

Of course, i dont think it is a bad thing to be influenced by others and perhaps occasionally paying certain hidden tributes to them, but as any at least somewhat intelligent knows, too much borrowing is bad thing too: it only makes final product to look and feel predictable, facile and empty.

Many writers these days seems to be struggling between two choices:
When maing something original, how to make it to feel on its own and as much unpredictable and enjoyable as possible...
Or, whenever taking upon him/herself to craft from something that,s already been done in some form at least, to make sure not to repeat too much on the past, but still maintaining certain loyalty to its history.

Although i can certainly see many influences which must,ve been crafting on makers minds when gargoyles was crafted, it still manages to maintain it,s own fresh sense and certainly stand on its own. You and your fellows managed to make intresting world which was filled with intresting characters, deep themes and surprising plot-twists, something what is only very rarely seen in tv these days.

Then, you were showrunner on Spectacular Spiderman and have done work in The Batman for example. In The Gargoyles, you were given freedom to make your own characters, places and objects to use, and to use them in almost anyway possible, as long as it would seem to fit in. But whenever working on Spiderman, some things that fans of the franchise had grown to love in the past had to be maintained: Peter Parker/Spider-Man has to be portrayed as outcast whom fights against both city,s evildoers as well his own problems in his personal adolescence, or in Batman,s case, Btsie has to be this dark and tormented warrior of justice, Alfred loyal(and cynically sharp) butler, and Joker to be sick psychopath. And yet, repeating too much on the past, and you get scratched.

Having worked on something original and taking upon something you had been fond of in the past, which one do you consider to be easier/pleasent to do and how often, as a writer, you struggle between all these choices?

Greg responds...

Um... I honestly enjoy all of these things.

Gargoyles, of course, was my baby. Still is. Nothing in the world I'd rather work on.

But working on Spider-Man was a joy. It seemed to come easy. And I still miss it.

I'll admit Young Justice is harder, but I honestly believe that's because Brandon Vietti (my producing partner) is constantly challenging me to make both my work and his own (and every one else on the production) better and better - which, in case it isn't obvious, is a good thing... a REALLY good thing. I have a pretty high standard myself, of course, but I really should say that if you like the stories we're telling on YJ, then a ton of credit should go to Brandon. He has really raised the bar.

Response recorded on January 20, 2011