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ANSWERS 2002-08 (Aug)

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Andrea "Elisa Maza" Ivanovs writes...

Hi Greg!

I hope you had a nice birthday! :)

I have a profane question, to which you might not even have an answer, but I figured I'd try. I'm hosting ELISA MAZA'S WEBSITE, all about her, have been for a pretty long time now. I've been considering getting "elisamaza.com" as a domain, but even though there's no profit involved, I'm not quite sure if I'd get into deep trouble with that.
"Gargoyles" is not a copyrighted name, so sites titled "Gargoyles.com" don't have problems - but "Elisa Maza" is a copyright by Disney...you worked with those guys, so maybe you can tell me your thoughts on that. I don't want Disney's hitmen on my doorstep or something.

Thanks for your time, and seize the night!

Greg responds...

Hey Andrea,

By now, you must be married or darn close to it. Say hi to Tony for me. Tell him the CD was great. (Although the song he credited to Alanis Morissette wasn't by her.)

Anyway, I can't answer your question. I'm not a lawyer. I don't work for Disney and I don't know what the rules are for this thing. Is it expensive? I mean would it kill you if you did it and at some point down the line, Disney asked you to stop? They wouldn't punish you -- at least not at first -- they'd just send a cease and desist.

I don't know what the likelihood of even that is, but I wouldn't want to advise you to do something that could cause you problems down the road. Good luck.

Response recorded on August 13, 2002

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lily writes...

Okay, I've never been able to get to S8 before, and I don't have the extensive amount of time to read through EVERY answered question, but I did skim through the archive and FAQ contents, so I'm hoping not to repeat an old question. Anyway, I was curious as to whether you felt Disney (or more precicely cartoon form) was the best outlet for your vision, considering the amount of pressure ratings, time slots, ect. puts on those types of entertainment. I would have thought that you would have built a comic or graphic novel (and I differenciate them due to the difference in quality of art/story)fanbase like more sucessful Jap Cartoons (Dragonball, Pokemon, ect.)have done. I'm not questioning methods and I'm not exactly an expert on your past in the greater Disney hierarchy, what's dodne is done, just curious.

Greg responds...

Are we talking generally or about Gargoyles specifically?

To take Gargoyles out of the context of its creation at Disney is to remove any reality from my answer. I'd love, at this stage, to do Gargoyles in any format that would have me and it. But at the time, the show was created by a specific group of people in a specific place.

If we're talking generally, again, I'd love to do any of my ideas in any format that would have me. But no one is battering down doors to get me. I'm scrounging these days for every freelance assignment.

Response recorded on August 13, 2002

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matt writes...

when Arthur begins his quest for Excalibur and to find Merlin, how does he know if Merlin is still alive or if Excalibur still exists? are Excalibur and Merlin so powerful that they will always be around?

Greg responds...

He certainly thinks so.

Response recorded on August 13, 2002

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Galvatron writes...

Do the space-spawn in 2198 still use the brainwashing trick that Nokkar is familar with?

Greg responds...


Response recorded on August 12, 2002

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Gipdac writes...

I read a Japanese legend about the Tengu - winged, gnomelike creatures, that studied martial arts.
Was this one of the legends that inspired the Ishimura Clan?

Greg responds...


Response recorded on August 12, 2002

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Gipdac writes...

I think I just found the myth/legend (or at least one of the myth/legends) that inspired the Pukhan clan. http://www.csun.edu/~hcedu004/goblin.html
It's a little long to post here.
But am I even close to being right about the legend?

Greg responds...

Well, there's no way I can confirm or deny this. Because the Korean clan was Frank Paur's idea (including the love of justice). I can't answer what did or didn't inspire him specifically.

Having read the linked fable, the goblins in it don't seem particularly gargoylean to me. But if one extrapolates the origins of the fable. And think in more Gargoylean terms, I'm sure we could find common ground.

Response recorded on August 12, 2002

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Carmen.E.G.C writes...

Dear Greg why is there so little female Gargoyles?

Greg responds...

Well, with the exception of the few survivors at Wyvern and their clones, the premise of your question isn't accurate.

We tried to indicate that most of the other surviving clans (including Avalon) had a pretty much equal ratio of gals to guys.

As for the Wyvern survivors, well, the within-the-show explanation is just the story as presented. Goliath and Hudson chased the Vikings. The trio and Bronx were on detention in the Rookery. Demona hid. The ratio comes out of story.

Behind the scenes... well, there are probably a bunch of reasons.

1. Demona stands out more as the only female survivor, and the whole thing is more tragic (before you know there are other gargoyle clans) when the ONLY female survivor is a villain now.

2. By the same token, Elisa's influence is more pronounced if there aren't other females in the group.

3. Females are generally nurturing. Having a nurturing character can be problematic sometimes dramatically. They solve problems too quickly. This is BTW the main reason IMHO why so many Disney Animated mothers are DOA. If Ariel's mom was alive, she'd fix things too quickly. Same with Snow White or Cinderella or Jasmine, etc. Culturally, we don't seem to mind making dad an idiot. But making mom (as opposed to evil step-mom) into a clueless wonder seems flat-out unbelievable.

4. We were probably influenced by the core target audience we had to reach which was boys 6-11 years old and the conventional (but I believe incorrect) wisdom that boys that age don't want to see female characters in lead rolls. I know Kenner did everything in their power to push us toward more males and fewer females.

5. Broadway was initially a female. But (and I'm not proud of this) we were scared to present the politically incorrect picture of a heavy-set female who loves food.

Response recorded on August 12, 2002

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Galvatron writes...

Just curious is Coyote-X for the Space-spawn occupation of Earth or is he against it?
What about the Space-Spawn are any of them against the occupation of Earth?

Greg responds...

Coyote-X views the invasion as an eye-opener. It resets his parameters. Who holds the status quo is of less interest than who will ultimately hold the Galaxy.

The Space-Spawn are no more monolithic than the humans or the gargoyles or anyone. So some may object. But you're not going to meet many of them early on.

Response recorded on August 12, 2002

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Design work memo...

The following is a memo I sent to Walt Disney Japan. They sent us character designs (based on inspirational work by Greg Guler and Dave Schwartz) on Goliath, Lex, Broadway and Brooklyn by at least five different designers. (Maybe more, I can't remember.) We immediately liked designer E (Kazuyoshi Takeuchi) and he eventually became the lead character designer for the series' first season.

I know what follows may be a tad frustrating since it refers to art you can't see. But I thought you might be interested anyway.

To: Motoyoshi Tokunaga 7-21-93

From: Greg Weisman


Dear Mr. Tokunaga,

We were very excited to receive the preliminary design work on the four major gargoyle characters. Designer "E" seemed to come the closest to capturing our vision of the series. His or her work impressed us, but begs the question whether or not you believe we could effectively animate designs that are this complex?

If the answer is yes, we'd like to see Designer "E" continue his development of the characters, focusing particularly on heads, faces and wing design. As a secondary concern, we might attempt line drawings, turnarounds and even some color.

Gary and Lenora have asked me to gather together a few notes, thoughts and suggestions for you. So here goes...

E-1, E-3. A major concern for all of us is figuring out how the wings attach to the gargoyles' backs so that there is a real feeling of believable musculature. How does it look from the rear, for example, when we can't hide where they attach behind a shoulder blade?

E-3, E-4. When the wings are spread, and particularly when they are in flight, we probably want to cheat them larger, so they fill the screen except from an extreme distance. We really need to believe they are large enough to carry his weight.

E-3. We like the dramatic posing on all the shots. But in E-3, he looks satanic rather than heroic. Occasionally, we'd like to see a more classically heroic pose. We want to make sure that Goliath and the others don't look consistently demonic.

E-5. It's lovely how the wings are draped here.

E-2, E-5, E-6. This is a great start in terms of facial expressions. We'd like to see more of them...a greater range of expressions. Intelligent. Laughing. Pensive. Wry. Perplexed. Noble. Mildly amused. Etc.

Gary also has some concerns about the head's design. He wants to make sure that the head or face does not lose its "depth"; (meaning "depth" as a measurement like "width" or "height", not "depth" as a personality trait). I'm not sure I see this problem myself, but I might suggest keeping the ears back, the jawline long and the jaw square.

E-3, E-5. We want to make sure that the hair on his head has mass, but falls like hair, and doesn't look like a removable helmet. The key here might be in the way it is layered.

I've included some old designs done by one of our artists last year. They should give you some ideas on color, simplicity, etc. Don't feel bound by them. I've numbered them for discussion, Disney-1, Disney-2, etc.

In Disney-1, Gary felt very comfortable with the simplicity of the lines and design of the body. But he did not like the head, again feeling it did not have enough depth.

It's also important to set the balance between the animalistic and human in all of these characters. Some of the "Disney" drawings may be too human in the face. And there's a nice animalistic quality about some of the "E" drawings. But we need to be careful we're not losing Goliath's nobility either. We need to strike a balance.

Disney-1 gives an example of the classically heroic pose that we will need on occasion.

Disney-1 also serves to illustrate how we'd like the hair to fall.

Other questions raised by Disney-1, include whether or not Goliath looks broad enough in chest and shoulders?

Also, whether he should have Disney-1's high weight-lifter's belt around his stomach, or whether we should lower it to his waist as in Disney-4?

Disney-4 also illustrates a head shape that may have the depth that Gary's looking for.

Also, notice the arm hair in Disney-1. It's always been a bit problematic, a bit stiff. But we think it might add something in color. Helps break up the design a bit. But we're not sure if it's worth it. It might be something for all of you to experiment with.

Disney-5 helps illustrate how the length of Goliath's wings will constantly be cheated to suit the situation or pose. But they should always give the illusion that if they were spread out to full size, the wing-span would be fairly enormous.

E-7, E-9, E-10. We have similar concerns for Brooklyn & Broadway, regarding wing construction, attachment and musculature.

E-8. Lexington's glider-wings in the down-shot seem to be coming out of his stomach and the bottoms of his arms. We prefer how it looks in the up-shot, where they are webbed between his back and the tops of his arms. I like how the wings are attached to both sets of arms, not just the upper arms as in our original designs. A big improvement.

E-7, E-8, E-9. As for faces, Gary is concerned about animating emotions and expressions when we don't have pupils in their eyes. We discussed the possibility that they normally have pupils, but that when they are in battle, their eyes glow solidly. Again we'd like to see a range of expressions. Particularly because it is so easy for the trio (Lexington especially) to look demonic, we'd like to see some softer, gentler expressions.

E-10. We're also interested in the trio's scale relative to Goliath. Goliath should still be the biggest of them by some visible amount.

Thanks again for all your efforts. Good luck on the next go 'round.

cc: Bruce Cranston, Barbara Ferro, Lenora Hume, Gary Krisel, Paul Lacy, Tom Ruzicka, Dave Schwartz.

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Galvatron writes...

1.Did the Porter from MacBeth the play exist in the gargoyles universe?
2.What about the Lennox from MacBeth the play? Banquo(not the mercenary)? Fleance(not the mercenary)?
3.Did Hecate from MacBeth the play exist in the gargoyles universe?

Greg responds...

1. Probably.
2. Probably in one form or another.
3. In some form.

Response recorded on August 08, 2002

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