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Soraya writes...

Hi! Hope all is well and that Rain of Ghosts is selling well (I'm reading it on my tablet and it's awesome so far!) anyways a question I've wanted to ask for a while now was is the title for The Usual Suspects in season one of Young Justice in reference to the movie?

Thank you!

Greg responds...

If you mean Casablanca, yes. If you mean The Usual Suspects, not really, though of course THAT is also a reference to Casablanca.

Glad you're enjoying Rain. Hopefully now, you're done and have written a review on Amazon? Huh? Huh? ;)

Response recorded on April 02, 2014

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btgr writes...

Something I just want to let you know:

Ever since I've watched the Disney movie Frozen, I can never take any DC Comics ice villains seriously anymore. It's all because of the constant use of ice puns.

Greg responds...

Careful, an Ice Pun can knock you out at twenty paces.

CTD

Response recorded on April 01, 2014

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Harlan Phoenix writes...

I have a few questions about some of your unmade projects that've been mentioned in passing. Hopefully you'll be at liberty to discuss these, but I'd understand if not.

1. On a panel about developing television animation, you'd mentioned that your and Brandon Vietti's Green Lantern development "didn't even have the same lead [character]" as Green Lantern: The Animated Series. Though I'm very happy with how that show turned out, as it was left in very capable hands, I'm curious. Who was the lead in your Green Lantern development?

2. I was also surprised to hear you'd worked on a Space Ghost, as he's my favorite superhero. Though it didn't seem like you developed it for long, what was the general tone you and Vietti were pushing toward with that series?

2b.What was the cast like?

3. You mention working on a Thundercats reboot here (http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=14819). Was it the infamous "rock band" development of the series, or a different one entirely?

4. At Dreamworks, you'd developed Small Soldiers: The Animated Series. Was the show meant to be a series about the continuing battle between the toys or was it going to be a show that used the mythology behind the toys (the battle between the Gorgonites and the Commando Elite) as the basis for its stories?

Greg responds...

1. Charlie Vickers. Though pretty much every Earth Lantern you can think of would have gotten in there eventually. (Plus a lot of extra-terrestrial Lanterns, as well.) Hal would have had a prominent role in the pilot.

2. Space Ghost is also a favorite of mine. General tone: action, mystery, fun. Lots of HB action characters, including another of my personal favorites: the Herculoids.

3. So long ago... Might have been a rock band though my one episode didn't feature that as an element. It was for Duane Capizzi, if that helps narrow it down.

4. Even LONGER ago. But both, I think.

Response recorded on March 21, 2014

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Diversity

Diversity in pop culture has always been an issue that concerns me greatly. I've tried to do my share to increase diversity on series like Gargoyles, W.I.T.C.H., The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice.

Now, that I've entered the world of publishing, my sister Robyn brought this article to my attention:

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/opinion/sunday/where-are-the-people-of-color-in-childrens-books.html?referrer=

The article asks valid questions, and - yes, to toot my own horn - I'm going to provide at least a piece of the answer with my new books, Rain of the Ghosts and Spirits of Ash and Foam. Both feature protagonists of color. Rain Cacique is Native American, as is her grandfather Sebastian Bohique. Her best friends are Charlie Dauphin, who's African American and Miranda Guerrero, who is Hispanic-American. Many - if not most - of the other characters are also of color. This reflects the Caribbean setting of the novels, i.e. the fictional Ghost Keys and the actual mythology of that region.

The books are available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Rain-Ghosts-Greg-Weisman/dp/1250029791

and here:

http://www.amazon.com/Spirits-Ash-Foam-Ghosts-Novel/dp/1250029821/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379977280&sr=8-1&keywords=spirits+of+ash+and+foam+a+rain+of+the+ghosts+novel+by+greg+weisman

I urge you to check them out, and to suggest them at schools and libraries.


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Kenny McCormick writes...

Thoughts about Black Spider-Man? Heard anything about him?

Greg responds...

It's all about execution, which I have not seen. So no, no thoughts.

Response recorded on March 13, 2014

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Michael Chabon knows Gargoyles

So in my car, I've been listening to the audio book of Michael Chabon's novel: TELEGRAPH AVENUE, read by the amazing Clarke Peters (of THE WIRE and TREME). I'm a little over halfway through the book, which is set (largely) in a used record store in Oakland in 2008 and revolves around a diverse cast of characters. It's full of all sorts of pop cutlure references, but I was still pretty stunned when suddenly the narrator starts talking about GARGOYLES. Not generic gargoyles, but our GARGOYLES televsion series.

I was going to try to cut and paste the section here, but Amazon won't allow that. So you can check it out yourself here: http://www.amazon.com/Telegraph-Avenue-Novel-Michael-Chabon/dp/006149335X/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=09RDPEC6XPYS8K9E3CQR

Or better yet, buy the book. I haven't finished listening to it yet, but so far it's definitely worth the price of admission.

The GARGOYLES' references begin on or about p. 293. (At least on the Amazon Look Inside function.) It's all pretty cool, and very specific. Though Keith David isn't mentioned by name, Goliath is, and his amazing voice is referenced, along with Goliath's backstory, etc. The character seems to have been part of a significant moment in the life of Julie Jaffe, one of the many protagonists of Chabon's book.

Chabon's written many books, including two particular favorites of mine: THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY and THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN'S UNION. So the fact that our little series registers with him is fairly gratifying.


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Anthony Tini writes...

[Dexter Spoilers]

Well Dexter is over and I was very disappointed with the ending. If the series had ended with Dexter driving into the storm, then I would have been fine, but the whole lumberjack scene and the final season, in general, was horrible. I thought the characters acted very out of character. Of course there were exceptions to the rule and I thought Charlotte Rampling did a great job as Evelyn Vogel. Unfortunately, the story/writing was too convoluted for me to really enjoy her character but her acting was some of the best the show has ever seen.

In my opinion, this season didn't do anything to add to the overall story of Dexter, but I can't put all the blame on it. The show hasn't been up to the same caliber it once was. I really loved the first four seasons, but the last four didn't do the show justice. Sadly, it won't be a series I will recommend to anyone.

What did you think of the final season? What are your thoughts of the series as a whole?

Greg responds...

[Dexter Spoilers]

Personally, I enjoyed every season of Dexter to one degree or another, even this last one. It's hard to top the first season and the Lithgow season, of course, but I don't think that any of the other seasons were bad or even weak - except relative to those two stellar seasons.

There was a lot of great stuff in the final season, I thought, but it was highly flawed. And the last episode was, I agree, extremely disappointing. (And the fact that Breaking Bad's last episode was brilliant and perfect, didn't help poor Dexter in comparison.)

The main problem in the last season was the Brain Surgeon. There was good build-up, but he wound up being very uninteresting. Charlotte Rampling was great, as you noted, but her son wound up being bland. And bland is just no good for a series finale.

I also had a huge problem - not so much with Deb's death (though it did seem like too easy an out to me), but with the fairly ridiculous conclusions that Dexter drew from it, and the choices he made following it. Dexter had grown as a person through the seasons, so the backsliding at the end was horribly anti-climactic.

And there were other disappointments too. I had for years felt certain that the original showrunners were building toward the major revelation that Harry was Dexter's biological father. And that Dexter's brother was in fact his half-brother - and that Deb was his half-sister. Even now, I find it impossible to believe that that was not the original plan. So for me, the fact that that thread never played out was infuriating.

But again, I liked Dexter from the first episode to the second to last episode. And I would recommend the series to anyone who likes that sort of thing.

Response recorded on February 21, 2014

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Harlan Phoenix writes...

The Wizard of Oz references in Gargoyles are among my favorites when it comes to your various literary sources. My all time favorite literary allusion in Gargoyles comes from issues 3-5 of Clan Building, where Lexington's "post-modern Tin Man" is the very cyborg visage he possessed when losing his heart in the Future Tense scenario.

Given that the original book is in the public domain, was there any thought ever given to how the events of the Wizard of Oz related to the Gargoyles Universe?

Greg responds...

Like Frankenstein, I mostly thought in terms of references, rather than working the story into actual continuity. But you never know...

Response recorded on February 21, 2014

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Anonymous writes...

I know you said before that the New 52 has no effect on what goes on with "Young Justice," and to be honest confuses me still. I mean if the events of "Flashpoint" changes the entire history of the mainstream DC universe, then wouldn't that create some kind of domino effect that affects all other parallel Earths (including Earth-16) in some way or another, no matter how big or small that change could be? I mean, isn't the DC multiverse considered to be like a pyramid or a tree and the mainstream DC universe (Prime Earth) is the one that hold it all together in place?

Greg responds...

Oh, I see what you're asking. But I don't know how to answer THAT. Previously, I was asked whether the New 52 altered the production of YJ and/or influenced the creative choices we made, and it did not - because we were way too far along in production by the time we even knew the New 52 was coming, let alone by the time we had potential access to any of its creative content.

What it means IN-MULTIVERSE is a question that I guess you'd have to ask the folks at DC.

In my mind, it changed nothing. I would think that Earth-16 is still Earth-16, as Brandon and I envisioned it. But then again, I haven't had the chance to read Flashpoint, and the only New 52 issue I've read is the first issue of Justice League, so I'm very far from being an expert on the subject.

Response recorded on January 31, 2014

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A fan from far away writes...

Hi Greg!
I'm a huge fan girl of YJ from Singapore. I really love your show and hope to see more seasons if possible.
My favorite character in the show is Artemis, she really struck me in season 1 and her tenure as Tigress in Season 2 was really impressive. So I would like to ask a few questions about her.
1) What served as your inspiration for creating her?
2) Are any of her character traits inspired by strong female characters from other sources? Cos I noticed that she was rather similar to some of my other favorite ladies, such as Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games, Eponine from Les Miserables, Mulan, Ravager (Deathstroke's daughter), to name a few.
3) How abusive was Sportsmaster? Cos I figured he had to be pretty bad to his girls for Jade to pack up and abandon her younger sister.
4) Unrelated but... Will YJ be translated into Chinese? I'm ethnic Chinese and I would love to know their Chinese names.
Thanks for looking through my queries, though they may have been answered. Thank you for giving us fans a really wonderful show while it lasted!

Greg responds...

1. The DC Comics character.

2. Well, I'm not familiar with Katniss. I mean, obviously, I've heard of her, but I haven't read the books or seen the movies. I'm only passingly familiar with Ravager, though we had plans for her in YJ, given enough seasons. I would have done more research on her before bringing her in, of course. I don't really see much Mulan in Artemis, other than the fairly generic notion of a woman in combat. So that just leaves Eponine. And I can indeed see a bit of Eponine in Artemis. But if so, I wasn't conscious of the influence at the time.

3. He was emotionally and verbally abusive. He was not sexually abusive. It's debatable whether or not you'd consider him physically abusive. He didn't beat them. But he did endless combat drills with them, and they took punishment from him. Given that he was a full-grown man and they were young girls, it's absolutely fair to say he was physically abusive.

4. No idea.

Response recorded on January 30, 2014


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