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Is asking if you are thinking of or are in the process of creating a new show count as a spoiler?
No. Not if you aren't asking for details.
I read the are Greg's answers etched in stone question in the FAQ and that got me thinking
#1 Are any answers absolutely set in stone
#2 Would you consider Retconing or Altering anything from the series (aside from the Goliath Chronicles)
1. If you mean here at ASK GREG, then no.
2. Anything canon, like the first 65 episodes or the 18 SLG issues, is fixed. Mistakes exist in there, but we try to just incorporate mistakes into the universe. Is Sevarius' name misspelled on his briefcase? Yes. But we assume that mistake happened "In Universe" and that Sevarius got a discount because of the error. Of course, some things that you think you know from watching the episodes may turn out to be not as they seemed. For example, if you thought the Archmage died at the end of "Long Way to Morning" you were wrong. But not because we contradicted what was in the episode, but because when you see "Avalon, Part Two" you are presented with more information that changes what you thought you saw.
CONVERGENCE 2014 CON REPORT
DAY 5 AND DAY 6
SUNDAY, JULY 6
11:00 AM CDT
A few things happened in this hour, all of which I tried to get done as quickly as possible to make it in time for most of Greg's first panel of the day: "Protofeminists in Shakespeare."
The main thing was picking up my one successful acquisition from the charity auction: a coffee cup that Chris Jones had used at CONvergence 2013, with the caption…well, I'll just let the image speak for itself:
I had, naturally, bid on the thing as a lark - more or less solely for the reason of being able to say I did. But apparently nobody else at the con shared my particular sens d'humour, because I was the only one who bid. So while I lost out on all the posters and plushies and whatnot that I actually WANTED…Chris Jones' residual DNA was mine.
Which should make the reason for my hurrying clear, I think. Because Chris was doing his final signing of the weekend right at that moment…and if I was gonna be known as the guy who paid $5 for his coffee cup, then I figured I might as well MILK it.
So in addition to getting my "Recruits" print signed, I asked Chris to go ahead and personalize the cup; perhaps, with something that'd commemorate just how crazy I was to pay ANY amount of money for a used coffee cup.
And that is how the cup signed to "Krazy Kevin" that can be seen in the Flickr photos I linked in my first post came to be.
Anyway, with all that out of the way and my farewells said to Chris, I headed back into the Edina room for the aforementioned panel. I'd caught the first ten minutes or so while I was waiting for Chris' line to shorten, and overall I managed not to miss more than about 5-6 minutes, thankfully.
The conversation itself was really quite fascinating - an intelligent, scintillating discussion on some of my favorite of the Bard's plays and characters. It reminded me of being back in college, actually…y'know, in a good way.
This was also where I first learned, through Greg's discussion of the strong women in Will's life and the influence that might've had in how he wrote female characters, what the premise of "Doc Shakespeare" would've been. I'd heard the name bandied about on Ask Greg for years, but I never knew what it was ABOUT.
But now I do. And I want it to exist so very badly. Damn you, Greg Weisman.
I asked one question myself, though as it was at the tail-end of the panel there wasn't much time to really go into depth with it. My question was whether the backlash that "The Merchant of Venice" receives - rightfully - in the modern day over issues of race diminishes Portia's status as a "protofeminist" character (seriously, she spends pretty much the entirety of the final act making everyone else in the play her bitch). The answer Greg gave was that being a feminist character is not mutually exclusive with being a terrible person…and considering he's written for Demona, Nerissa, and Queen Bee, he certainly can say he knows what he's talking about.
A fun discussion, overall, that gave me a lot to think about - something that's been increasingly rare for me since I graduated last May, unfortunately.
SUNDAY, JULY 6
12:30 PM CDT
The last of the numerous, numerous events dedicated to Gargoyles that weekend was this "Gargoyles Fan Panel," composed of a mix of creators, long-time fans, and newer ones.
This one felt a lot more like the Harry Potter "panel" that'd started my weekend than anything else: an intensely, unabashedly geeky outpouring of gushing about how awesome the show was and still is, except with Greg Weisman happening to also be there.
I mean, Jennifer and Karine were up on the panel as well, but it was clearly in more of the capacity of "promoted fans" than as industry professionals. As Karine's epic Hunter cosplay made evident. :)
Favorite moments, episodes, characters; moments that made us laugh, and moments that made us cry; two decades' worth of stories of people discovering, falling in love with, and continuing to enjoy the series, even years after the last piece of canon material was published. All of it was shared, compared, and squeed upon in short order, in a space that felt perfectly safe to fans of all stripes.
Nothing new really came up, but it didn't have to. After a full weekend of bombshells and revelations, it felt good to kick back with the rest of the fandom and just CELEBRATE this show that has meant so much to all of us.
It's been a fantastic 20 years. And this mini-gathering was a great way to welcome many more to come.
SUNDAY, JULY 6
2:00 PM CDT
This was the last space open for walking around that was really available before the end of the con, and I took advantage of it for one final walk around Artist's Alley and the Dealer's Room. And for the first time since Thursday, I did indeed find some art I felt was worth spending my money on: a couple of prints based on Vinyl Scratch from "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic," and a collage of various villains from the same.
Heading back upstairs, I wandered over for the final Gargoyles-themed signing to make my last rounds. Ironically, despite getting over a dozen items signed across the course of the con by him, I had nothing left for Greg Weisman (indeed, all I ended up getting at that time were Greg Guler's and Frank Paur's autographs to complete my radio play script).
But I said goodbye to all of them, and wished them well on their flights back home. Though ironically, it actually WOULDN'T end up being my last time speaking with one of them that weekend (but I'll leave that little nugget until the end).
Anyway, most of the rest of this time was spent waiting in line for the next panel, as it was taking place on the Main Stage and we wanted to be sure to grab good seats. Which we definitely did.
I spent most of it chatting with Brainiac, Chip, and Bookwyrm on numerous topics, from Yu-Gi-Oh! to classic video games to various anime.
But eventually, it was time for one last chance to grill the Wise Man for details. And oh, did we take advantage it.
SUNDAY, JULY 6
3:30 PM CDT
This was the last actual "panel" of the day, but was certainly a great one to go out on: "Young Justice Q&A," with Greg, Chris, and Marina.
There were lots of details big and small dropped here, though there were just as many spoiler requests denied with the now memetic line. This naturally came full-circle when someone asked if Stephanie Brown would be showing up again; I mean c'mon, dude, what'd you EXPECT in response to that question? ;)
Of course, I got largely the same response when asking about the circumstances of Ocean-Master's disgrace, banking - obviously unsuccessfully - that he might be willing to share more about events that occurred during the timeskip by this point.
Still, he did at least share one little tidbit: that the reason Orm never got an episode to himself to be the Big Bad was because the "Under the Surface…Here There Be Monsters" two-parter from the tie-in comics was originally meant to be the A-plot of "Downtime," but the executives nixed it for some reason.
It worked out well enough, since subbing in Black Manta allowed them to build on that appearance in Season 2. But I still would've loved to hear Roger Craig Smith belting out Ocean-Master's great lines from those issues, which remain my favorite story from the comics run.
Other "SPOILER REQUEST; NO COMMENT" earners included Shining Knight (considering that one version in the original comics was married to Firebrand, AKA Red Inferno) and the aforementioned Steph. After a few of these, Chris was quick to re-term the panel "Young Justice Q, no A."
All kidding aside, though, there were a number of interesting details presented. When asked about the process of selecting the members of the Light, for example, Greg noted that he was tired of villain team-ups that essentially "defeated themselves" through infighting. As such, he wanted the Light's leaders to be characters whose temperaments would allow them to genuinely collude and work together toward a singular vision, without the constant mistrust and backstabbing previous comics/adaptations have taught us to expect.
Well…maybe except Klarion. But he can at least be kept in line with shiny new toys, LOL.
Speaking of Klarion, Greg also mentioned - in response to a very nice cosplayer of the Witch-Boy, stuffed Teekl included - that the reason he chose Klarion as a member of the Light was because he felt the main villains of "Young" Justice really should be composed of at least one kid (in appearance and disposition, if not literally.
Greg also dropped the bomb that he'd slipped a rather major YJ spoiler into the radio play, which he was EXTREMELY surprised nobody had asked him about to that point. Cue us all jumping to our scripts and flipping through without success…proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am selectively blind.
It wasn't until a few days after I'd returned home and reread the script that it became insanely, excruciatingly obvious; the spoiler was clearly in Tigress' line, "I left Roy at home alone watching Lian and J.W." Which I'd noted as a little odd every single time I read it, and then somehow promptly forgot about (several times in a row!) in the midst of all the action.
Not that it would've helped me much, of course, had I figured it out while I was still there. Because if my theory about the identity of "J.W." is accurate, then there is NO WAY IN HELL Greg would ever comment one way or the other on it.
At least, not without some serious pie-making skillz that I, unfortunately, sorely lack. ;)
Marina was (as always) an enormous hoot at this panel, butting into various topics to note that we were "the quietest and best behaved" audience of fans she'd ever seen…as well as that we tended to ask much more intelligent questions than she is used to. As she put it:
"If I get asked 'What's it like to work with Sir Patrick?' one more time…"
She also mentioned, when asked about her thought process in approaching the character of Queen Bee, that when she was initially cast she looked up the wrong reference image and actually thought she'd be playing a…well, a bee-person. So she asked during recording whether they wanted her to add a buzzing sound to her voice. XD
And finally, at one point she ended up going off on a random tangent involving comparing David Xanatos to Donald Trump (context has long since eluded me, though it didn't take much for Marina to go off-topic in the most delightful way). Greg took mock-offense to that, and she quickly noted:
"Of course not. Xanatos is much smarter. And he has better hair."
Since the topic we'd started at was the Light, I then couldn't help but shout from the crowd:
"SO DOES LEX LUTHOR!"
That got a lot of laughs. It was definitely one of my favorite exchanges of the con, and a great way to move toward finally wrapping it up.
SUNDAY, JULY 6
5:00 PM CDT
This was it. The final hurrah. One last celebration of everything this weekend had meant to us, with a chance for the "actors" to take their bows before the "curtains" came down.
After we filtered out of the Main Stage, Chip and his brothers elected to return to the hotel room, while Brainiac and I got back in line to await the Closing Ceremonies.
There really wasn't any more reason to walk around - the artists and dealers were packing up, the panels were over and done with, and we'd run all the errands we needed to (such as grabbing a couple items we'd picked up for Station 8's Algernon, who lives in Ireland and as such couldn't be with us that weekend). So we mostly just stood around and continued to chatter on about video games.
Brainiac was the only one of us who'd attended the Opening Ceremonies (I was busy watching Madoka at the time), so he had a bit more of an idea what to expect than I did.
The festivities started with a sort of elaborate skit involving superheroes, hobbits, and Time Lords…little of which I understood, and almost none of which I found particularly interesting. But there were some good lines here and there, and I certainly didn't begrudge the con's organizers the chance to take a victory lap and enjoy the fruits of their hard work.
The guests would each be individually presented and celebrated at a later point, but as Marina had to catch an early flight she came on shortly after the skit to say her goodbyes. And to my surprise, after seeing her in all her frankness and bluntness (meant only in the best possible way, I assure you!) all throughout that weekend, she was…overwhelmed.
With not even the slightest trace of snark, she thanked us from the bottom of her heart for making her feel so welcome. And she made it clear that, while she wouldn't have considered coming to CONvergence without Greg recommending it, she was extremely glad that she did.
Okay…so there was a LITTLE snark. Namely that when saying goodbye to Connie, she actually started to tear up, and blamed our favorite robotic mascot for making her makeup run. But it was all in good humor, and I won't lie - it warmed my own heart to see it unfold.
Speaking of Connie, I really came to fall in love with that cute little gynoid as the Ceremonies unfolded, as she interrupted the ongoing presentation repeatedly to complain about traffic laws and the DMV; it WAS her Sweet Sixteen, after all. Her material was pretty much all pure gold, and it made me kind of regret not attending Opening Ceremonies, if only to see what she might've come up with.
Anyway, while every Guest of Honor got thanked and applauded by name - complete with Chris Jones-created logos for each one - Greg's was a bit more…involved.
One of the con organizers mentioned that Greg had shattered their record for total numbers of panels sat at a single con, with a whopping 26! A clearly exhausted but excited Greg then took the stage to give a great speech about how grateful he was that CONvergence had so graciously opened itself up to the Gargoyles fandom for our little "con within a con"…going so far as to say that, with the Gatherings retired for the foreseeable future, CONvergence was without question his favorite con to attend.
Then, in what can only be described as a grand exercise in good-natured humiliation, said organizer had Greg play a very weird game to guess the total attendance number for the weekend. Various people were holding up signs with various digits, and Greg had to determine which four to use and what order to put them in.
Obviously, the odds were pretty strongly against him getting it with only one shot, and indeed he did not. But it was certainly entertaining - if more than a little bit strange - to watch him make his best attempt.
And for the most part, that was it. There was lots more applause, both for the guests and for the numerous, wonderful volunteers. There were slide shows and videos from the con, including both the rather unfortunate picture of "the role of Lexington will henceforth be played by PILLAR" and the much nicer one of me "on stage" with Marina. There was more Connie, interviewing various congoers in her uniquely cheerful style.
And finally, there was the announcement of CONvergence 2015's theme, which will apparently be run by Connie's totally trustworthy "little sister" Connie Mk. II on account of good behavior. The maniacal laughter and crowd-chanting of "All hail Mk. II!" that followed were only mildly disconcerting.
I haven't yet made up my mind about whether I'm going to try to attend again; I had an unbelievably amazing time, and 2015's "dystopia" theme is right up my alley ("1984" is my favorite book of all time). But scrounging the money for even this year was difficult enough, so I'm not counting anything as a guarantee yet.
Still…I'm thinking about it. And that definitely means they did SOMETHING right.
SUNDAY, JULY 6
6:00 PM CDT
We were informed during Closing Ceremonies that free pizza would be coming shortly, so Brainiac elected to stick around and wait for that. I, on the other hand, was absolutely starving after four days of eating basically only one meal of substance each, and so decided to return to TGI Friday's and splurge a bit.
This was a mistake.
I'll spare the gory details and just say that I had a wonderful ribeye steak that just so happened to give me severe food poisoning, which took me nearly two weeks to fully recover from.
Not that I realized it at the time, of course. After my dinner, I returned to the con to meet up with the rest of the gang - Chip and Dragonlord having returned due to the promise of pizza. We had a last round of chatting with other congoers and saying goodbye to the Doubletree as we waited, before finally driving back to spend our final evening together.
With all the action over with, we occupied ourselves with more Yu-Gi-Oh!, a few rounds of "Super Smash Bros. Brawl" (all of which I won handily, suck it Brainiac), and general geeking out about our various hauls.
Those still hungry ended up ordering in calzones for delivery, while I headed to the Crowne Plaza's business center so I could check my e-mail and Skype one time before takeoff.
I got most of my packing done once the games were over with - not that I really had all that much to pack - since I would be the one leaving first in the morning. Then at around 1:00 AM, we finally all turned in.
Not that I could fall asleep, myself, given what was beginning to happen with my stomach. Yeah, I'll leave out the details, but…let's just say I didn't end up getting to sleep until a couple hours later.
MONDAY, JULY 7
6:00 AM CDT
Unfortunately, since my flight was at 8:48 AM, I needed to get up fairly early to be sure the hotel shuttle would get me there in time to board. Skimping on sleep didn't exactly do wonders for my already precarious health, and by the end I was pretty much limping out of there, hoping my stomach would hold for the journey ahead.
The trip held no surprises - good or bad - until I finally made it to the gate, where I was extremely shocked to run into Susan and Karine. Both proceeded to point out the Wise Man himself, whom they were dropping off there and whom I had somehow utterly failed to notice, despite sitting only a few meters away.
For in the strange but happy coincidence to end all strange but happy coincidences, we were going to be heading back on the same flight to Los Angeles; only a couple rows apart, in fact.
Despite feeling utterly like death by that point, this one last chance to speak one-on-one with the man gave me the energy to keep going. It was, to be sure, utterly surreal - only a few years ago, meeting Greg Weisman was this mystical, unattainable thing. And now we were just holding a friendly chat as we awaited our (naturally, delayed) plane.
It was, I suppose, one last opportunity to wrangle answers to the countless questions that I hadn't gotten a chance to ask that weekend…though I didn't really take advantage of it. Mostly because I was WAY too out of it to remember any of the questions I still had burning within me, but also because that really wasn't how the encounter "felt."
Instead, we talked about his kids. About his rather grueling con-schedule that summer. About how Rain was doing, with encouragement that I was excited as all hell for Spirits. About "Young Justice: Legacy," Scooby-Doo, and our impressions of how the radio play had gone.
Not nearly for the first time that weekend, I also reiterated my interest in having him as a guest at Kawaii Kon 2015, and he reiterated his interest in coming. So far, not much has come of my attempts to push the organizers I know on the issue, but it's an ongoing process and I hope to have something more concrete to report soon.
It was an extremely low-key conversation, not the least because we were both pretty exhausted (he, Chris, and co. had made a run on Denny's at 3:00 AM the previous night, which "seemed like a good idea at the time, not so much now"). But it was exactly what I needed at the time.
The entire exchange truly underscored what I loved most about that weekend: that Greg and the rest of the Gathering alums had seen fit to really make me feel like one of their own, rewarding all the effort I've tried to put into Ask Greg with kindness and acknowledgement.
I initially volunteered to help out when Todd reached out in the Comment Room because I so appreciated everything that Greg's work, and Ask Greg itself, had done for me over the years. But no matter how grueling dealing with the umpteenth "Where is Season 3?" or angry rant about Wally can be, I absolutely feel that I've gotten ten times more out of it than I've ever put in.
And that means the world to me.
I said as much to Greg, at least to the degree that I had the energy to articulate it. But all good things must come to an end, and eventually the plane arrived and it was time to board.
We wished each other safe travels, and said our farewells.
And with that…CONvergence 2014 truly came to a close.
MONDAY, JULY 7
9:00 AM CDT
I'll be brief here, just to give an idea of what the aftermath of the con was like.
I flew to LA feeling like hell. I had an hour layover there, in which I felt like hell. I had another, longer flight back to Honolulu, if anything feeling worse than hell (since I hadn't eaten anything I'd kept down for well over 24 hours).
Eventually, though, I made it back home and was able to get the long rest and digestible foods I needed. I managed to make it back to work by Wednesday, though I'd be at least mildly off my game for the next couple weeks.
I called the Friday's in question to let them know about my situation, and calmly requested a full or partial refund; they called back at 6:00 AM two days later to tell me their investigation into the matter showed that they "did everything right that night" and so they wouldn't be able to accommodate my request.
I was too sick to really be willing to argue the point, but rest assured that I won't be visiting that particular restaurant again, should I ever return to CONvergence. And I urge any fellow attendees to do the same.
On a more positive note, Spirits arrived just a couple days after I got back, so once I was sufficiently recovered I got to reading. Once again, I'll be putting together a detailed review for Amazon/Ask Greg as soon as this report is finished and edited….but suffice to say, I dug the hell out of it.
Algernon got his package soon after as well, and was very happy with what we'd managed to find (a figure of Irish deity Brigid, a signed "Recruits" print, and a cuddly pink plushie of Cthulhu). And everyone else managed to get home with their own hauls without too much issue, thankfully.
Overall, despite the rather crappy end, I have little but positive things to say about the whole experience. I'm very proud of what I got to do, who I got to meet, and what I got to bring home…and it's definitely something I'd love the chance to do again.
It was my first "Gathering," such as it was, and it exceeded each and every one of my expectations.
Here's hoping it won't be anywhere close to the last.
NEVER THE END!
For the record: It was Brandon Vietti who wanted Klarion in the Light. Not that I disagreed, but my initial choice had been Wotan. But Brandon pointed out we needed a "kid" on our villain team, and as usual, Brandon was right.
Md - Thanks for this. And for all the work you do, here, at ASK GREG!
Happy New Year, everyone!
I've taken a bit of a break from ASK GREG, but I'm back. I also started a new job this week. (Can't wait to tell you what it is!) This means my schedule is a bit more regular, so I'm hoping to get back to answering questions here on a daily basis. But it may also mean that things may get a little crazy on occasion as I get acclimated, so I may also miss a few days here and there.
So... business as usual, right?
CTD? check the date?
Um, probably? Maybe?
What are we referencing?
Greg, do you have any plans to post ANY of your scripts online? Your writing is clear, and structurally, they're a fantastic resources for writers trying to break into animation. The way you use sfx as action is a illuminating!
Currently, the ONLY way to see one of your scripts is to go all the way to The Writer's Guild in Los Angeles, and even there, you're not allowed to copy the script. Even if you feel uncomfortable showing the whole script ( just an act or two is all we need), posting it as a media resource on the site - perhaps as a .pdf so it is difficult to copy - would give peace of mind? It doesn't matter if the script is from YJ, Gargoyles, or Spider-Man...
There's no way to post a script here at ASK GREG with the correct formatting. I know. I've tried.
I'd like to apologize for not getting to many of your questions recently. It's really due to all the travel I've been doing this summer - and the need to fit a LOT of work in between the trips.
Some of you have commented that the same excuses don't seem to apply to my Twitter account, and that's true. But the difference is that I can tweet from my phone at odd times and before bed - AND with little thought.
I've tried doing Ask Greg from my phone, but it's just too difficult. I'd rather give considerable thought and have the option of answering questions in depth. But if you want to make quick contact, by all means follow me on twitter at @Greg_Weisman.
The travel isn't over, either. I leave Monday for Ashland, Oregon, for my family's annual trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. For the curious, we're seeing the following eight plays over four days & nights:
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS by William Shakespeare
RICHARD III by William Shakespeare
THE TEMPEST by William Shakespeare
INTO THE WOODS by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine
THE GREAT SOCIETY by Robert Schenkkan
THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA by William Shakespeare
A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L'Engle and Tracy Young
FAMILY ALBUM by Stew and Heidi Rodewald
We're really looking forward to it.
Anyway, then I'm back for half a week, before the family takes another trip - this one to (a) drop my daughter off at college for her junior year and (b) take a road trip to look at five different colleges in five different cities with my son before he enters his senior year of high school. The entire trip will take eleven days, bringing me to the end of August.
But in September, my current plan is NO TRAVEL. (Stop #6 on the Gargoyles 20th Anniversary Tour is Long Beach Comic Con, which is driving distance. http://longbeachcomiccon.com ) So I should be back to answering a few questions every weekday regularly. Thank you for your patience.
ASK GREG LIVE! - WONDERCON 2013 REPORT
First, a little background. I'm going to quote a section from the introduction I made to to Station 8 Comment Room, waaaaaay back in July 2010:
"Given that I was three when Season 1 of 'Gargoyles' first began airing, I was obviously quite outside the target audience at that point, and if I watched any of the episodes on first airing I definitely don't remember them. Rather, my first clear memories of 'Gargoyles' were watching it during the late 90s when Toon Disney was first starting up. This produced some interesting experiences; for example, I never saw and indeed never even had a clue that 'Deadly Force' existed until Toon Disney started airing it again in 2002 or so.
At the time that I first was watching this show voraciously it was amongst a litany of dozens of other cartoons, some well-written ('Batman: The Animated Series,' 'Darkwing Duck,' etc.) and some...well, not so much (here's looking at you, 'Captain Planet'). To an eight year-old, there was little differentiation between the relative qualities of these shows, and it was not until a few years on that I really began to appreciate what a true gem 'Gargoyles' was.
I'm not entirely sure when my perspective changed, though it might have had something to do with the aforementioned first viewing of 'Deadly Force.' By this point I was a pre-teen, and old enough to understand the basics of S+P...so to see one of the protagonists shoot another one in the chest accidentally, nearly causing her to die was an absolute revelation to me. Around this time I began watching the entire series with new eyes, and what I saw astounded me.
The depth, the complexity, the characterization was unlike anything else I had ever seen on the small screen, live-action or animated. The little things that escaped me on the first, second, or even tenth viewing (yes, I watched a LOT of Toon Disney) suddenly rared to life and showed me how amazing this show was, is, and always will be. Everything from the sheer emotion that Tony Shalhoub brought to the show's single greatest cameo role to the little nuances about Lexington that made me think, 'Oh, of course!' when I learned that Greg considered him to be homosexual all became clear to me, and clearer and clearer with each viewing.
'Gargoyles' did much for me over the years. To take a particular example, when I first began really reading Shakespeare during mandatory reading times in high school, I went with 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' then 'Macbeth,' and then, after the obvious 'Hamlet,' moving to 'Othello.' It shouldn't take too many guesses to figure out what attracted me to those plays specifically.
I have many obsessions in my life, some that have faded and some that have stayed with me forever. 'Gargoyles' stayed with me forever, and by the time I was about 13 or so it overtook virtually all of my other obsessions to become forefront in my fiction-dominated mind. I began searching around the internet for various little tidbits and behind-the-scenes stuff, and was blown away when I first discovered Greg's Master Plan. That someone could have so intricately designed such a massive and complex fictional universe intrigued me to no end...particularly 'Bad Guys,' since Dingo was at the time my favorite character.
On one of my frequent revisitings of the Master Plan in 2004, I ended up clicking around some links that brought me to the FAQ...and consequently to AskGreg. If the Master Plan had blown me away, then this site caused my mind to spontaneously combust. So many hints and clues to what the future might hold for the series, should Disney allow it to somehow continue...straight from the mouth of the creator himself! In all the years since that I've been up and around the world wide web, never have I again seen such a direct, easy-to-access method of communication to the artist behind such a masterful work.
Over the years, I have read virtually every single post in the AskGreg archives, some of them several dozen times. It is one of the websites that I frequent several times a day without fail, and I have gained an uncountable amount of enrichment from reading it constantly. It was through this site that I first learned of the DVDs and comics, all of which I purchased as soon as I could possibly get my hands on them, and of the Gathering, the scope of which shocked and awed me.
One of my greatest regrets is that I was never able to attend one of these amazing events; convincing your parents to let you fly out of Hawaii to the mainland for a convention on a 90s cartoon isn't the easiest thing in the world. And although I WAS actually in town for the final one, Gathering 2009 happened to fall on the EXACT same weekend as my college orientation. If the Gathering had been just one week later, or my introduction to Pomona College just one week sooner...but I guess it's pointless to deal with hypotheticals.
In any event, my praise goes out to all of you unbelievably dedicated individuals who kept it alive for so long. If ever you are able to arrange some sort of smaller event in the future, you have my word that I will attend.
AskGreg also gave the chance to really get to know Greg Weisman (or at least, as much as this is possible without real-world contact), and he is currently one of my absolute greatest heroes in all of entertainment. I am not using hyperbole when I declare him to be the single most talented writer in animation history, and in my mind absolutely anything he touches turns to solid gold. I avidly watched 'W.I.T.C.H.,' 'The Spectacular Spider-Man,' and the various episodes he freelanced for favorite shows of mine like 'The Batman,' 'Kim Possible,' and 'Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!'...many of which turned out to be some of the best in their respective series. And I wait with bated breath (and fanboyish panting) for 'Young Justice.' Spider-Man is my favorite Marvel superhero and DC is my favorite comic book universe...so to have Greg interpret both with his usual flair for complex, multi-layered story arcs and deeply involved character development has left me positively salivating."
Now, as you can probably tell from these words, this was a moment I've been waiting on for nearly 10 years. So as you might expect, I was...anxious. Despite my personal contact with Greg over the past couple years due to my moderating duties here, as well as friends who had met him previously who assured me that he was a really nice guy in-person, I was still a little worried I'd screw this up somehow.
Thankfully, ASK GREG LIVE! turned out to be a great experience, and truly the highlight of the weekend. There was somewhere between 15-20 guests in attendance, including myself, my girlfriend, and Blaise (whom it was awesome to meet in person). Kudos to Matthew for holding up the event sign for over an hour, and to whoever it was that cosplayed as Batgirl.
We pretty much just jumped straight into an hour-and-a-half of questions, which I hope I didn't hog too many of. A few highlights from the revelations presented therein:
- Following the Season 1 finale, Vandal immediately called up Hugo Strange and told him, "Open all the doors." Which explains a lot. Now, Greg W. ALSO said that by Team Year Five, Belle Reve was fairly full again...but at least it explains why so many imprisoned villains were walking the streets again in Season 2.
- The Joker was originally considered to appear in "Auld Acquaintance," controlling the Justice League. But for a variety of reasons (mainly budgetary; they needed Klarion anyway for the "magic stuff"), they switched him out for Klarion.
- Greg also responded to my question about whether the Joker of Earth-16 knows he's in a cartoon show by saying, "I think he's crazy enough to believe that, even if he's NOT."
- Lieutenant and Sergeant Marvel were originally considered to be on the Team in Season 2. But with only 20 episodes, several intended arcs were cut or reworked to have occurred during the Time Skip: a Marvel Family arc, a Red Tornado arc, and a Zatanna arc. With nothing to do anymore, Mary and Freddy were slotted into the Time Skip.
- He hinted pretty damn strongly that we'll be hearing more about "poor, disgraced Ocean-Master." Presumably in "Legacy," which I am personally excited as all hell for.
- Clone!Roy, post-"Satisfaction," is a stay-at-home-dad. For the most part. He and Cheshire are "trying to make it work," to the degree that people like them can.
- I asked if working on YJ had made him give more thought to who the 16 Sixteens in the Illuminati are. He basically said, "not really," while adding that he's got most of the major players in the Illuminati pretty well figured out, and has for a while. Which isn't to say he doesn't leave a fair few slots open for moments of epiphany.
- Darkseid has been the Light's silent partner since Season 1. Which most of us had assumed, but it's nice to have firm confirmation.
- Victor Cook did a fly-by. No time for questions, just said hi and name-dropped "Mecha-Nation." But still...really cool.
- He described Jason Spisak's last recording with them. Jason came up afterward and said that it was rare for an actor to be able to end his role on such a great, final note, "instead of just flying off into the sunset, with no one having any idea if you survive or not." Having now seen "Dark Matter," Greg believes that may have been coded snark.
- Oh, and surprising no one with a head on their shoulders...Greg disproved the rumor that DC wanted Wally killed off because of the New 52. Though it WAS amusing to hear him call those rumors, and I quote: "Complete horse"...baloney.
- He said he's deliberately keeping mum on "Rain of the Ghosts" until he knows if his publisher is doing any advertising. If they don't, he may start teasing some plot tidbits on Ask Greg.
- He talked a bit about availability issues...about how it came to be that Wentworth, Kittie, and George were replaced toward the end of the season. Just a whole lot of REALLY bad luck regarding other projects. But he also revealed the replacement that almost was...if it wasn't for the fact that no one on Earth could do an impression that did justice to him.
That's right...they once almost lost Tim Curry.
He was shooting something or another toward the middle of the season. They simply could not get him before the episodes had to ship. So what they did...was Greg recorded the lines. Taaaaaaaaalking liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis sooooooooooo thaaaaaaaaat theeeeeeeey cooooooould AAAAAAADR iiiiiiiiiiiit aaaaaaaaafteeeeeeer theeeeeeey reeeeeetuuuuuuurned froooooooom ooooooverseeeeeeeeeeas.
Which they would NEVER do otherwise. For no one but Tim Curry. Greg had to do a bunch of takes, because Jamie kept having to stop him and shout, "SLOWER!" Needed the mouth movements SO exaggerated that no one would notice it was ADR'ed. Which I don't think anyone did.
- I think those are all the big revelations, but there was lots of real fun little stuff on Greg's writing process, the backroom thinking that went into Darkseid's cameo, and Greg's hopes for the future. As he said at one point, "I still haven't given up on Gargoyles, and that's going on 20 years at this point! Why would I give up on a series that ended THIS month?"
Beyond that, it was just an incredible experience to be in the presence of the guy - to hear him speak, to ask questions (even utterly silly ones) directly answered to our faces, to shake hands, and to be personally thanked for my years of hard work on Ask Greg...which, needless to say, was incredibly gratifying.
The atmosphere was great - casual, friendly, and with no pressure on either the askers or on Greg. We chatted, we laughed, and we got to hear Greg at his absolute "frankest." Which is to say, a little...off-color. And oh it was glorious.
At my request, we also did an impromptu signing at the end; I got my Clan-Building Volume 1 trade, my SpecSpidey Season 1 DVD, my Young Justice Volume 1 trade, a Captain Atom comic, and the essay I wrote for Contemporary Political Theory last semester (and submitted to Ask Greg afterward) signed, and pretty much geekgasmed into the floor. SOOOOO utterly wonderful.
[If you want to see pics of said signed stuff and/or other stuff I snagged at the Con, you can go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/94547312@N04/sets/72157633137324644/with/8608204054/].
We also got to chat a bit privately, which was of course very good fun. And he even indulged my stupid, silly, obsessive request...to pose with my Fluttershy toy and say, "Fluttershy is best pony." His response was golden, too.
Greg: I have no idea what that means.
Me: I didn't expect you to.
Greg: Nah, what I mean is, am I saying something that will get a thousand angry bronies coming after me?
Me: No, most bronies tend to agree that Fluttershy is best pony, anyway.
Unfortunately, my girlfriend's phone appears to have recorded only the first second of the line. But I still posted it to YouTube because the image is gold:
Overall, my first in-person meeting with Greg Weisman proved to be everything I was hoping for it to be, and more. He's a massively cool guy who doesn't operate on any pretense; he is what he is, and what he is is a genius at writing/interpreting fiction.
It was truly an honor to spend that time with him, and I very much hope it won't be the last.
Greg Weisman, you rock (woo-hoo!). Don't let anybody tell you different. Because this kind of treatment of your fans makes me truly proud to be involved with helping out here.
Thank you for ASK GREG LIVE!
Thank you for all the wonderful shows you've brought us over the years.
And thank you for never giving up hope. I await "Rain of the Ghosts" with bated breath, and I can't wait to here the announcement when you get your next television gig.
Because it's coming. And I look forward to watching the hell out of that show, whenever it comes.
Wow. Dude, do you really want to stoke my ego THAT MUCH?
Anyway, it was great meeting you too. You're contribution to Ask Greg has been invaluable.
I hope you're thinking about coming to ConVergence this July for the Gargoyles Reunion convention within a convention. More details on that should be forthcoming this month.
Terribly sorry to ask a few more questions Greg...
1. In the Arctic was it an oversight that the Team, particularly Artemis and Nightwing, were not wearing warmer clothes than their regular costumes? Even for a short time it must have been freezing I think, and they were in warmer costumes in the simulated mission in Failsafe.
2. At the beginning of the Season 2 we learned Superboy did not change externally but internally, however we never heard about it again toward the end. Does he still age in this fashion? Was it just mentioned to add some info or is there something else?
3. Does Superboy not like mirrors because it reminded him too much of how he is yet isn't like Superman, and does he use mirrors in Season2 or eventually?
4. Before you answer the oldest posts do you on occasion look at the latest questions of askGreg? I ask because I understand everyone is expressing their love for Wally, or wants to know
about Darkseid, or some other stuff, but they don't follow the
guidlines to not repeat questions. Do you ever plan onn giving a single post to just stop these ongoinv qustion into one?
1. There wasn't time to change.
2. Why would it have changed?
3a. Pretty much. Though I don't think he would have articulated it that way.
3b. Don't think he cares much about mirrors one way or another.
4. I don't. I have moderators for a reason, i.e. to protect me legally. It would defeat the purpose if I went ahead and read unmoderated posts.
I loved the show; thanks to all of you for doing a great job- I'm going to miss it(and GL)allot.
1. Do you have any irons in the fire for any more older-audience DC superhero animated shows,like GL and/or YJ?
2.How do you deal with the fan-crazy and headcanonry without popping a blood vessel in your brain? I admire your tolerance, sir!
To the next project(raises glass)!
1. Not me. (Though I did write one episode of Beware the Batman.) Not that I wouldn't love to, but it's not my sandbox and no one at DC or WB seems too interested in having me work on these characters right now.
2. I do pop the occasional vessel, but mostly it's rewarding and worth the time.