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A-Fan writes...

What are the chances of a crossover between Spider-Man and Batman for the two cartoons?

Greg responds...

Zero.

Response recorded on June 20, 2007

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Todd Jensen writes...

This is also a comment, rather than a question.

I saw, not too long ago, the episode "Artifacts" that you wrote for "The Batman", and very much enjoyed it. My favorite part of it was the scenes where the archaeologists in the future are speculating about Batman's history and come to several wrong conclusions (such as that Thomas Wayne was the Batman and Bruce was Robin, or that the wheelchair that they found in the Batcave belonged to Alfred). It reminded me, incidentally, of my favorite part of Stoppard's "Arcadia" (which I read after you spoke highly of it in the Station 8 comment room some years ago): the part where the modern-day professor was convinced that the events in the Regency period of the play were connected to a scandal involving Lord Byron, and was deliberately ignoring all the evidence that didn't fit his theory!

Greg responds...

Stoppard's "Arcadia" was the absolute inspiration for the entire episode. Call it an homage.

Of course, as we got into it, the work of Frank Miller inspired the near-future segments, which I thought turned out nicely. But for me, the real appeal of the episode was the far future stuff, which was very much Stoppard-inspired.

Still, it's fun when your influences range from Stoppard to Miller.

Response recorded on April 17, 2007

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Aldrius writes...

All right. Hi. I already posted a question, but it was kinda sucky, and I wanted to ask one of a more intellectual/character-oriented nature. Demona's character in "Awakening" reminds me much of the character Andrea from Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. (Which is my favourite movie ever, by the way.) Both were love interests to the hero in the past, indepentant, intelligent and strong-willed love interests to be sure... but still love interests.

At a certain point, the hero and the love interest part ways. (With the hero being mis-led in terms of the love interests' parting.) And continue on their lives seperately. Leading very different lives. Eventually, the hero and his love meet up again, and the woman is now a very different person than she was before. Leading the hero to believe nothing's changed, she eventually reveals her true colours at the climax of the series of episodes/movie. (Both hiding themselves from their lovers, knowing that they would never accept what they've become.)

I was just wondering if this was intentional in your thought process, or just a comparison I've dreamed up. As I am a big fan of both of the aformentioned characters.

(P.S. As a side-question, what were your thoughts on the character of Andrea, and the performance of her Actress Dana Delany?)

Greg responds...

I have had a crush on Dana Delany for longer than I'm sure either of us would like to admit. Way pre-China Beach. So I thought she was great. It's been years since I saw Mask of the Phantasm, but I thought it was just great at the time, and I still feel that way. I'm sure I liked both Andrea and Delaney's performance.

But as to how much influence Andrea had on me... I'm guessing none. Just because we were in production at the same time. The movie may (I don't remember) have come out first, but I didn't see it until it did come out, so...

Having said that, I think your argument about the parallels are fairly convincing. And although it's probably mostly a case of great minds thinking alike, I can't rule out the possibility of influence, as both Michael Reaves and Frank Paur worked on Batman TAS and may have worked on Mask as well. Still from a story standpoint, I was the guy in charge and we started developing the series including Demona back in 1991 or something, i.e. long before Mask came out.

Response recorded on February 16, 2007

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DrNick writes...

Batman

1) Why weren't you allowed to use the Scarecrow in the new animated Batman series?
2) In regards to the Batman cartoon were the plethora of mechanical gadgets such as the jet pack, batman exosuit and the anti-freeze suit for the specific purpose of marketing batman toys towards younger viewers?
3) What did you think of the Batman Begins movie by Goyer and Nolan? Did you think it succeeded in translating and telling the origin story onto the screen?

Greg responds...

1. I gather because of the character's participation in Batman Begins.

2. Largely. We tried to make it work.

3. I've answered this before. I think the movie raised the bar on Batman movies and then didn't quite make it over that bar. The end falls apart for me. (I have other additional minor issues, but they're more nitpicky.) Though it's the best Batman movie ever made, I don't necessarily think that's saying much.

Response recorded on January 03, 2007

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Todd Jensen writes...

Your use of the Batman analogy to explain Canmore's actions in "City of Stone Part Four" reminded me that I still hadn't commented on your Mr. Freeze episode ("The Big Chill") for "The Batman", even though I'd seen it a few months ago. Very remiss of me, so I thought that I'd give my thoughts on it here.

I'll start off by confessing that, since my previous knowledge of Mr. Freeze came entirely from his portrayal in "Batman: TAS", I had a little trouble accepting the new version of him in "The Batman". In "Batman: TAS", Mr. Freeze was a very poignant figure on account of his wife Nora; the Mr. Freeze of "The Batman", on the other hand, was a simple super-powered jewel thief with almost no complexity or depth to him. For an analogy, it'd be as if somebody else were to do a remake of "Gargoyles" and portray Demona as a simple Hyena-style psychopath without any mention of the thousand years of human persecution that she'd undergone or her suppressed guilt over the Wyvern Massacre. Of course, I suspect that it was the higher-ups who'd decided how the series would portray Mr. Freeze, and you weren't given much say in the matter.

The bit that I liked, on the other hand (and which does counter the characterization of Mr. Freeze) was the impact that the discovery of Freeze's origins had on Batman, making him wonder if he was making things worse for Gotham if his actions had led to the upgrading of a regular jewel-thief into a super-powered jewel thief. The especial highlight of it was his nightmare about the murder of his parents where Mr. Freeze became their murderer.

(I still feel a little spooked by how much Detective Yin physically resembles Elisa. I'd certainly like to ask the people in charge of character design on "The Batman" about it, and whether it was a deliberate hommage to "Gargoyles" or just a strange coincidence.)

Greg responds...

I'm guessing the Elisa resemblence is a coincidence. I've met most of the designers on that show (none of whom worked on Gargoyles) and none of them gave me the wink, wink, nudge, nudge about Yin. (I suppose it's possible that they were subconsciously influenced, but even that may be unlikely.)

As to Freeze, I'll grant that the BTAS version has more depth, but our marching orders was to keep the depth charge on Bruce/Batman himself. When you've only got 22 minutes, it's tough to go deep, deep, deep on the villains without turning the hero into a cypher. By making Freeze more of a monster, it gave us room to do the bit you liked, which was to show how Freeze influenced and effected Bruce/Bats.

Response recorded on November 07, 2006

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Fllay Allster hater AND Kira Yamato hater writes...

Just a comment: I couldn't help to notice that detective Ellen Yin from "The Batman" has the same the color schemes as Elisa Maza.

Greg responds...

I've noticed that too. But I have to assume it's a coincidence. Red, black, blue isn't exactly an exotic choice for either character. I've worked on both series, and certainly, no one on The Batman has ever snuck up to me and whispered, "Ellen's a tribute to Elisa, you know."

Response recorded on September 06, 2006

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Frank White writes...

i am a great fan of your work. i know that gargoyles finished along time ago, but i was wondering if there was anything you will be working on in 2003 for disney or anybody else. also could you please give a brief description

Greg responds...

Thanks, Frank.

Of course, it's 2004 now. Here's a sample of how I've been keeping busy:

I worked a bit on "Bionicle: Mask of Light"

I wrote a number of episodes for "The Batman" and a couple for "Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!", plus one for "Alien Racers".

Right now, I'm working on the second season of W.I.T.C.H. (But I had nothing to do with the first season.)

Response recorded on November 19, 2004

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W.I.T.C.H.

Hey gang,

I got a job!!!!

I'll be producing the SECOND season of a series called W.I.T.C.H. for SIP Animation and ABC Family's Jetix block.

I had nothing to do with the FIRST season, but I'm rooting for its success... because frankly if it doesn't do well, then you'll never get to see the neatokeen stuff I'm planning for season two.

The first W.I.T.C.H. "minisode" premieres on Jetix on Saturday morning, October 30th. (Check your local listings.) Again, I had nothing to do with it, but I do think it's fun stuff. (And if you love me, you'll support it ;)

Oh, and while I'm at it, I think my first episode of THE BATMAN, "The Big Chill" featuring Mr. Freeze airs THIS Saturday, October 23rd on Kids WB. (Again, check your local listings.) It features the voice of Clancy Brown (Hakon, Wolf) as Freeze.

And also keep an eye out for the two episodes of SUPER ROBOT MONKEY TEAM HYPERFORCE GO! which I wrote for Jetix. I'm not sure exactly when they're airing, but I'll keep you posted.

Thanks!!


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Todd Jensen writes...

Here's my ramble on "Shadows of the Past".

First off, of course, this is where the Avalon World Tour begins (if you don't count the "Avalon" triptych), which makes it a biggie. I agree with you that the reruns in between the three instalments of it (which aired, as I recall, in November-December 1995, February 1996, and May 1996 - more or less) make the World Tour seem longer than it really was. (Incidentally, you're right that you were able to bring out more than 18 episodes of "Gargoyles" in the September-December period; I remembered that the "fall run" ended with "Grief", and so worked out that it was 30 new episodes during that period).

As I mentioned before, I enjoyed the Avalon World Tour, and agree with you that something like that was necessary for the series at some point (especially in bringing in enough other gargoyles to make it feasible for the species to survive and recover - as I've mentioned here before, something along the lines of the World Tour was probably the only realistic way for Goliath to discover that there were gargoyles left in other parts of the world, given that he couldn't simply hop on board the next flight from New York to London or Japan).

Angela's correct (from the original legends perspective) about it always being summer on Avalon; in fact, I remember that the old Welsh legends about Avalon (or, more accurately, its "literary predecessors") called it the Summer Country or the Region of the Summer Stars.

In hindsight from "Vendettas", I picked up on the significance of that axe that Goliath unearths - and agree with you now that Hakon's mace from the Wyvern Massacre would indeed have worked better. Too late for that now, though.

I also liked that line (which I considered very poetic) of Elisa's about "old wounds".

The Captain and Hakon's tormenting of Goliath was very effective - probably the creepiest part, in my opinion, was when Angela and Elisa appear in Goliath's eyes to be the Captain and Hakon - but then we hear Angela and Elisa's voices coming from the Captain and Hakon's mouths.

The Captain of the Guard's change of heart worked for me (again, I especially liked the bit that you mentioned where he's looking troubledly at his hands as he and Hakon solidify). In fact, it made sense in view of his role in "Awakening" - he'd never wanted the clan massacred, and was horrified as to how that had gone wrong. I might add that Hakon showed, again, just how creepy he is when he gets into the fight with Goliath and begins laughing as his fists pass through Goliath - the reason for that being now, not that Hakon's insubstantial and Goliath solid, but the other way around.

Incidentally, the Captain actually appears better-looking in the scene where he's giving Goliath his thanks, just before he ascends.

And I'll confess that I'm one of those who would have preferred Hakon to have remained trapped in the cave for all time - I felt, when "Vendettas" aired, that it destroyed some of the effectiveness, in retrospect, of Hakon's sentence: trapped alone for eternity, with nobody at hand for him to hate. (Also, "Vendettas" felt anticlimactic on the Hakon front; in "Shadows of the Past", he battles Goliath by skillfully undermining him with a lot of psychological subtlety; in "Vendettas", he's reduced to simply fighting him in a slugfest with a big dumb werewolf - though don't tell Wolf that I called him that. :) ). But I do think that you made a good point about how, ultimately, Hakon would have to be given more permanent resolution than just that.

Incidentally, your treatment of the megalith that the Captain and Hakon were using, and your comments on it, make me wonder now how you would have handled Stonehenge if you'd ever gotten to do an episode involving it (especially since you mentioned having had plans to send King Arthur and Griff there during their quest for Merlin) - a pity that we may never know the answer to that now.

Greg responds...

*I think it's appropriate that as the Captain is (in essence) redeemed and "ascends", that he is beatified a bit.

*I get what you're saying about Hakon, certainly. And yet, I really like "Vendettas" and hardly think that Hakon's post-Vendettas fate is likely to be any kinder than his post-Shadows fate. And although Hakon was the series' first big villain, he was hardly the most impressive of our villainous creations.

But, let's be honest, I just couldn't resist giving Clancy Brown the opportunity for a David Warner-esque tour de force performance. I'm sure I'll get into this topic more when (some day) I get around to rambling on Vendettas, but I think Clancy's double duty in Vendettas is perhaps even more impressive than what Warner did -- (a) because Clancy did what he did with a then amateur voice director (i.e. me) and (b) because the two characters he was playing (Wolf & Hakon) allowed for much less subtlty than Warner's two Archmages. (This of course, is not designed to take any credit away from the brilliant David Warner, simply to give Clancy his just desserts as well. And speaking of Clancy, he does a great Mr. Freeze in the new "The Batman" series.)

*The ideas used in Shadows for the Megaliths, were in fact cribbed from ideas I've had for Stonehenge for some time. (Pre-dating the creation of Gargoyles, in fact.) It would be interesting to see (even to me) how I handled Stonehenge now. On the one hand, I wouldn't want to repeat myself, but I'd also want to be consistent and I don't want to betray the notions I've had in my head forever. That's the problem when your brain begins to cannibalize its own ideas. A danger I find myself facing all the time.

Response recorded on April 12, 2004

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Jacob writes...

Hi all. Hello Greg.

Nice to see you doing all these rambles, they make some forgotten memories come up to my mind again. I would do some, too, if I got a chance to watch the episodes again. But neither are their re-runs here (I've asked my way through: they want to spend the money on new things, though I always see "Doug", "Darkwing Duck" and so on), nor is my internet connection fast enough to download the episodes (if there are any to download) and a faster connection is by now too expensive. But after all the years without Gargoyles I do still remember some things that I liked or liked not that much.
First the things that I did not like: though there was a continuing plot, sometimes it was all too much the same. In short and very sarcastic: "It was a nice evening. The birds were singing and everyone liked each other. Then suddenly a dark cloud brought evil to our main characters. But after a short and hard fight the evil was defeated and everything got back to normal." That's why I like the "Awakening", "Avalon" or "City of stone" parts. These eps were so interesting because there was enough time to create a very interesting story and a really cool atmosphere - BTW City of stone was my first touch with Gargoyles. I saw the scene where the weird sisters speak as statues of children with Goliath and later crush as Brooklyn touches one of them (I hope I'm not mixing something up). My brother thought it was stupid and switched it off and I pretended that I thought it was stupid, too (Hey, I was just a child which did not want to argue). But I guess I liked the characters and the whole atmosphere. - Of course I don't want to say that the whole series should be one continuing show, but I had liked to see more five-parters.
But of course there are things that I liked very much. Most characters do change during the show and keeps being surprising. Everyone is part of a complex story (sometimes it was too complex for me, but after seeing it the second time I knew what was going on. But unfortunately some eps were mixed up so that suddenly we saw Angela, though the world tour was not even started). One of the things I like most are the fantasy elements (BTW Was the dragon we saw in "Pendragon"(?) a real dragon or just brought to life by magic??) Time travel, magicians, fae and of course the Gargoyles (clear why Fang said "I love this body"!!)
I just hope the new episodes will go on air someday. Maybe until then I can watch a few re-runs.

p.s.: some things might sound meaner than they are meant. I'm not good in being polite when I am writing in a language that I don't use often enough.
And sorry about any mistakes:)

p.p.s. Anything new about the real life movie?
What are you by now working on?

Greg responds...

The dragon in "Pendragon" was animated by magic.

The live-action movie has been shelved for the time being.

Right now, I'm working on "The Batman" for Warner Bros.

Response recorded on March 11, 2004


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