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Paul writes...

Hi Greg! As you're a big Shakespeare fan, I was just wondering if you ever come over to London and check out any performances of Shakespeare's plays at the Globe Theatre? If you do, would you be able to share any memories of your favourite performances there, please? The Globe Theatre's a great venue - I try to get over there every now and then!

Greg responds...

I've never been to the Globe. Last time I was in London, it wasn't built.

I've been to London many times, but not once recently. I'd love to go again, but money is a bit tight these days. I wish a convention would invite me.

Past memories include seeing Ian McKellan as Coriolanus. An amazing Macbeth at a very small theater. I also saw a fantastic Henry V in Oxford.

Response recorded on March 05, 2018

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Marvelman writes...

1) Do you like film/tv adaptations of Shakespeare?

2) Which are your favorites?

3) Anthony Hopkins starts shooting King Lear for the BBC in
September. Excited?

Greg responds...

1. Many of them.

2. Branagh's Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing are favorites. But there have been many others that I've liked/loved/admired/etc.

3. Yes, actually.

Response recorded on March 05, 2018

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Clockwork writes...

Hi Greg

I'm curious to know, have you ever seen Epic Rap Battles of History and are you familiar with any of the battles? There are a lot of good Shakespeare and superhero battles that I'd think you would love. I'm also a contributing user of the ERB Wiki and we are an active and striving community of nerds who have noting else to do.

Thanks for you time and being the best.

Greg responds...

I'm not familiar.

Response recorded on October 31, 2017

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Todd Jensen writes...

I remember your mentioning that in the proposed "Weird Macbeth" story, you'd cast Goliath as Macduff. It recently occurred to me that that would fit the "none of woman born" element (as with Demona earlier) - if in a different manner than the Macduff of the original play.

I don't know if that was one of the reasons you'd cast Goliath for that role, but I thought I'd mention it.

Greg responds...

It's all in there.

Response recorded on June 30, 2017

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Marvelman writes...

1) For some reason, I can't get into stage productions of Shakespeare, but if you put Shakespeare on the screen, I usually love it. I don't understand this. Could it be that film and television have made my imagination lazy? Thoughts?

2) I know King Lear is supposed to be the pinnacle of the Shakespearean oeuvre, but I just can't get into it. Lear is such a jerk that I can't get past it! It's like asking me to sympathize with Donald Trump! Thoughts?

Greg responds...

1. I have no answers for you. I love Shakespeare on stage. LOVE IT.

2. I don't know what you expect me to say. I disagree. But I can't make you love Lear. Perhaps try to imagine a backstory for him. In any case, just in terms of language alone, he's lightyears more interesting than Trump.

Response recorded on June 16, 2017

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Beleg Aglar writes...

What were the books and films (if any) that inspired the everything in the show Gargoyles, because I know that some of it was William Shakespeare's Works, some was D'Aulaire's Books of Greek and Norse Myths, maybe Le Morte D' Arthur by Sir Thomas Mallory,Holinshed's Chronicles in the case of the Weird Sisters, and The Mummy's Hand in the case of Tanna Leaves, and i know where stuff like Anubis, Anansi, Raven, Coyote, Grandmother, Thunderbird, Banshee, Crom Cruach, Cú Chulainn, Hound of Ulster (or Hound of Cullain), Fu Dog, The Green Knight, The actual Macbeth, the actual Duncan, The actual Canmore,Lulach, Gille Coemgáin of Moray, Gruoch of Scotland, Robin Goodfellow (AKA Puck), Quetzalcoatl, Yeti, Actual Crime in Manhatten, The Golem of Prague, Will-o'-the-wisp, and Tengu come from i just would like to know the books you probally read first that made you want to put that stuff in the show.

Greg responds...

Didn't you list most of them above?

I don't have a concise reading list. It was everything that influenced me (and others who worked on the show, as I was NEVER a one-man band) all rolled together.

I've read a lot of Arthurian stuff, including Mary Stewart, Roger Lanclyn Green, Mallory, etc. I've read and seen all of Shakespeare. I've read Hugo and a lot of books on mythology of different cultures. Movies including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Pal Joey and many others, particularly those adapted from Damon Runyon stories. The list goes on. Plus tons of comics.

Still the biggest influences were probably HILL STREET BLUES, GUMMI BEARS and maybe STAR TREK (the original series).

For more, check out the INFLUENCES archive here at ASK GREG.

Response recorded on May 05, 2017

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Marvelman writes...

Have you ever read Shakespeare's Dog by Leon Rooke? (It is the story of Shakespeare's marriage to Anne Hathaway as told from the perspective of Shakespeare's dog.) Here it is on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Shakespeares-Dog-Novel-Leon-Rooke/dp/0880010932. It's quite funny.

Greg responds...

Nope.

Response recorded on July 13, 2016

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OREGON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL 2016

Really had a great time all last week at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon.

Went up with my dad, daughter, son and a couple of friends. We saw eight plays in four days, and every single one was - at minimum - highly enjoyable. And some just blew me away.

We saw:

Great Expectations
Roe
Twelfth Night
The Wiz
The River Bride
The Winter's Tale
Vietgone
Hamlet

Some truly amazing work. Plan on going back in September to see the three plays we missed: Yeomen of the Guard, Richard II, Timon of Athens.


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Daniel writes...

I estimate Macbeth is, or at least was, a fan of theater given that he knew Shakespeare well, liked the Macbeth play, and borrows his aliases from it.

1. What are some other plays he was particularly fond of? Of any genre or time period. The idea of Macbeth attending Broadway musicals makes me smile.

2. Did he ever try his hand at acting or play-writing? Especially in the more modern times, the stage seems like the last vestige for an immortal to physically revisit some of those olden days. Can't say if it would be nostalgic or not for him though.

Thanks Greg,
- Daniel

Greg responds...

1. I'll leave that to your imagination.

2. I think so.

Response recorded on April 27, 2016

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Giant Boy writes...

1. Was there any references to the works of Shakespeare in Young Justice?
2. Watched "Monsters" episode from Beware the Batman. Enjoyed the return of Metamorpho and the show's general take on him. Good work on the writing. Liked the reference to the Outsiders. Can't wait to see whether Harvey Dent takes up Anarky's offer.

--Giant Boy

Greg responds...

1. Yep. Nothing major, but I could hardly get through a series without sticking something in there.

2. Glad you liked it. Unfortunately, I missed it. Still haven't seen the finished product.

Response recorded on December 06, 2014

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Catherine B writes...

I just wanted to write and just give you some thanks for some of the great shows you have helped create, Greg.

Young Justice I enjoyed thoroughly, though I am more a fan of the first season than the second; I like fewer characters and more characterization as opposed to detailed plots just as a personal preference. I will also say I was not a fan of how Wally West was handled but I am sure you have heard your share of them. I will just say that the Wally of the comics and the Wally of Young Justice seemed to be entirely different characters which seemed a shame to me, given all that could have been done with him. He had such a rich comic book history that I really do not understand why more was not done with it but that is your creative decision. Just not my cup of tea.

I adored your version of Dick Grayson however. He was competent without being overly skilled; he suffered under pressure but learned from what he was exposed to. His relationship with Wally in Season 1 was one of my all time favorites. Thanks for the great run!

Secondly, I could not write you without mentioning Gargoyles. I mean, wow. I think I was in fifth or sixth grade when I first caught it on the air. I just remember being deeply enthralled with it. I thought Elisa was an awesome character, as I did not see a whole lot of strong female leads back then and she was definitely that. I also adored the interesting family background you gave her. So often, characters fall into the stereotypical white, black, etc and she brilliantly avoided those.

I also firmly owe you thanks for igniting my interest in Shakespeare. I remember that I saw "City of Stone" when we were having to pick plays and such to read/analyze for school and after seeing that awesome four parter, I went right to my English teacher and asked if I could read MacBeth. It is still my favorite of the Bard's works.

The characterization of Demona was incredible. Most villains are so one dimensional but all the villains of Gargoyles were so well fleshed out. I am a creative writer myself and working on my first work to aim towards publication and I definitely count Gargoyles among my top inspiration for how to do characterization. To this day, I will tell people if they want to see a well fleshed out villain, go watch Demona from Gargoyles. I honestly would rank her about equal to Gollum from "Lord of the Rings." She can be diabolical, sneaky, cruel and yet you can totally see why she would have turned out that way and I can switch very easily from feeling such anger at her to feeling overwhelming pity. Bravo, my good Sir!

Greg responds...

Thanks. Always nice to have the work thoughtfully appreciated.

Response recorded on October 07, 2014

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LINKS

I'm back (briefly) after a great trip to Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Saw eight plays (Comedy of Errors, Richard III, Tempest, Into the Woods, Great Society, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Wrinkle in Time, Family Album) in four days, and though I didn't love every play, I have to say that every production was stellar.

Then last night I saw a very cool production of King Lear at the Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon, starring Ellen Geer as Lear.

Anyway, I'm in town for just a few days, then I leave again to drop my daughter off for her junior year at Tulane and take my son (starting his senior year of high school next month) to look at a number of schools, including Tulane, Emory, Duke, UVA and Georgetown. ROAD TRIP!!

Starting in September, I'll be in town for the foreseeable future, and I promise to get back to answering questions here. Meanwhile, here are some cool links:

Warner Archive Podcast interview, regarding Young Justice:
http://bit.ly/wacyjpod

In case you need to know where to find the Young Justice Blu-ray:
http://bit.ly/yngjs1

And another podcast:

http://www.goldenspiralmedia.com/as-09-arrow-squad-episode-09-interview-with-greg-weisman-of-young-justice (specific episode for Arrow Squad)

http://www.goldenspiralmedia.com/ccu-02-central-city-underground-episode-03-interview-with-greg-weisman-of-young-justice (specific episode for Central City Underground)

http://www.goldenspiralmedia.com/ (general website)

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/arrow-squad/id891769883?uo=8&at=1l3v5ck (iTunes link for Arrow Squad)

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/central-city-underground-flash/id904991850?uo=8&at=1l3v5ck (iTunes link for Central City Underground)

And some sights promoting Rain of the Ghosts and Spirits of Ash and Foam:

Plain Talk Book Marketing http://www.plaintalkbm.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Gillianfx
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00EAUDZM6
Book Information: http://www.plaintalkbm.com/family-portrait-novel/
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/FamilyPortraitNovels


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APOLOGIES

Hey gang,

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.


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My CONvergence 2014 Schedule

So the #Gargoyles20 U.S. Tour continues. Stop #3 is CONvergence in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Well, actually in Bloomington, Minnesota, but close enough.) http://www.convergence-con.org

This is a big one for us. It includes a number of events that we used to do at the old Gathering of the Gargoyles Conventions, which ran from 1997-2009. And I know a bunch of Gargoyles fans will be attending, so it'll also be a reunion of sorts.

My schedule for the long weekend is quite packed - which is just how I like it!

THURSDAY, JULY 3, 2014
2:00pm - 3:00pm GARGOYLES RADIO PLAY AUDITIONS
Ever wanted to be in a radio play? Now is your chance! We are holding auditions for a live performance at CONvergence! You don't even have to be a fan of Gargoyles to enter. You just have to know how to read! Casting: Myself and Jennifer Anderson (Talent Coordinator on The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice). Casting decisions will be posted by 7:00pm on Friday, July 4th. ATRIUM 7.

3:30pm - 4:30pm BUFFYVERSE TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Okay, so Gargoyles ISN'T the only show celebrating an anniversary. The Buffy/Angel universe has been off the air for ten years. Let's reminisce and talk about the impact these shows have had on TV fantasy since their cancellation. Panelists: Myself, Tim Lieder, Cetius d'Raven, Madeleine Rowe, Mark Goldberg. EDINA.

7:00pm - 8:00pm OPENING CEREMONY
If it's not exactly a magical invocation, it is nonetheless our official kick-off for the convention! Join CONvergence mascot Connie as we welcome our Guests of Honor, give out some awards (including the Mark Time and Ogle winners), and get this party started. Panelists: Myself, Amy Berg, Emma Bull, C. Robert Cargill, Sarah Clemens, Scott Lynch, Marina Sirtis, Frank Paur, Matthew Ebel, Dawn Krosnowski, Greg Guler, Rob Callahan, Windy Bowlsby, Michael Lee. MAIN STAGE.

9:00pm - 10:00pm GREG WEISMAN'S FANCY BASTARD PIE COMPETITION
Geek Partnership Society is excited to host the Greg Weisman Fancy Bastard Pie Competition at CONvergence 2014! It is open to all CONvergence members who wish to participate. The goal is to make a pie that Greg Weisman, herein to be known as "Fancy Bastard", likes best. The winner will be told super-secret Young Justice spoilers. Find out [some of] what would have happened in Season 3! (But winner must swear to secrecy to claim prize.) See below for some helpful hints.* CABANA 110.

FRIDAY, JULY 4th, 2014
11:00am - 12:00pm GARGOYLES RADIO PLAY AUDITIONS
Ever wanted to be in a radio play? Now is your chance! We are holding auditions for a live performance at CONvergence! You don't even have to be a fan of Gargoyles to enter. You just have to know how to read! Last chance to audition! Casting: Myself and Jennifer Anderson (Talent Coordinator on The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice). Casting decisions will be posted by 7:00pm on Friday, July 4th. ATRIUM 7.

12:30pm - 1:30pm FROM TV TO COMICS
We'll discuss the TV shows that expanded into the comicverse, such as Buffy, Smallville, Young Justice and Gargoyles. Did they succeed? Were any of the comics improvements on the shows? How did canon change during the transition? Panelists: Myself (Gargoyles, Young Justice), Shawn van Briesen, Jonathan Palmer, Greg Guler (Gargoyles), Karine Charlebois (Gargoyles, Bad Guys), Christopher Jones (Batman Strikes, Young Justice, Bad Guys). PLAZA 2.

2:00pm - 3:00pm SIGNING
Myself, Christopher Jones (Young Justice, The Batman Strikes, Parallel Man) and Greg Guler (Gargoyles, Phineas and Ferb) will be holding a signing session. Both Chris and Greg always have an array of stuff (books, prints, etc.) to sell and sign. But this time I'm pretty darn prepared as well. First off, I'll be selling and signing copies of my first novel RAIN OF THE GHOSTS for $10 cash, which includes the book, a personalized signature and signed copies of the original development character designs by Kuni Tomita for the television version of Rain that never was. In addition - and by popular demand - I am selling and signing an array of my animation teleplays for $20 cash from such series as Gargoyles, Team Atlantis, DC Showcase (Green Arrow), Men in Black: The Series, The Spectacular Spider-Man, The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, W.I.T.C.H., Young Justice and even the 2009 Radio Play "The Spectacular Spider-Man Meets Gargoyles". I'll also sign anything else you bring and put in front of me for FREE - especially if you buy my book. ;) CONVERGENCE CENTRAL.

3:30pm - 4:30pm CREATING GARGOYLES
This is what we used to call (at the Gathering) the Rocky Horror Gargoyles Show. The creators of Gargoyles show clips and tell stories of how the show came to be. Lots of visual aids. Panelists: Myself (Creator, Supervising Producer/Story Editor, Writer), Frank Paur ( (Supervising Producer/Director), Greg Guler (Lead Character Designer). ATRIUM 6.

7:00pm - 8:00pm TIME TRAVEL THEORY
Let's assume for a moment that Time Travel is possible. This panel will explore the theories behind such technology. We'll explore quantum realities, temporal anomalies and all other challenges our theoretical time travelers will be face! [Now, I suggested this panel, but then they went and put some actual scientists on the damn thing. So I may quickly be embarrassed into silence.] ;) Panelists: Myself, Nicole Gugliucci, Jim Kakalios, G. David Nordley, Amy Berg. ATRIUM 4.

8:30pm - 9:30pm GARGOYLES Q&A
Join the cast and creators of the "Gargoyles" series and SLG companion comic books to ask and talk about the property. And, as always, Cosplayers are welcome! Panelists: Myself (Creator, Supervising Producer/Story Editor, Writer), Christopher Jones (Bad Guys guest artist), Marina Sirtis (voice of Demona and Margot Yale), Frank Paur (Supervising Producer/Director), Karine Charlebois (Gargoyles Guest Artist, Bad Guys Artist), Greg Guler (Lead Character Designer, Gargoyles Guest Artist). MAIN STAGE.

SATURDAY, JULY 5th, 2014
9:30am - 10:30am GARGOYLES SIGNING
Myself, Marina Sirtis (voice of Demona and Margot Yale) and Frank Paur (Supervising Producer/Director) will be holding a signing session. Again, I'll be selling and signing copies of my first novel RAIN OF THE GHOSTS for $10 cash, which includes the book, a personalized signature and signed copies of the original development character designs by Kuni Tomita for the television version of Rain that never was. In addition - and by popular demand - I am selling and signing an array of my animation teleplays for $20 cash from such series as Gargoyles, Team Atlantis, DC Showcase (Green Arrow), Men in Black: The Series, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, W.I.T.C.H., The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice and even the 2009 Radio Play "The Spectacular Spider-Man Meets Gargoyles". I'll also sign anything else you bring and put in front of me for FREE. CONVERGENCE CENTRAL.

11:00am - 12:25pm GARGOYLES RADIO PLAY REHEARSAL
This is a closed session - for those who were cast in the Radio Play - led by Myself, Jennifer Anderson (Talent Coordinator on The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice) & Marina Sirtis (voice of Demona, Margot Yale and Queen Bee). ATRIUM 6.

12:30pm - 1:30pm GARGOYLES RADIO PLAY PERFORMANCE
Fans and professionals - including Myself (voice of Donald Menken and Lucas "Snapper" Carr), Jennifer Anderson (Talent Coordinator on The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice), and of course, Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi from Star Trek TNG and the voice of Demona, Margot Yale and Queen Bee) - perform a LIVE, ORIGINAL Gargoyles radio play! ATRIUM 6.

2:00pm - 3:00pm GARGOYLES BIOLOGY AND CULTURE
A "what if" panel about the biology and culture of the Gargoyles universe. Creators and performers speculate about anything and everything going on outside the frames of the TV series. Panelists: Craig A. Finseth moderates Myself (Creator, Producer) and Greg Guler (Lead Character Designer). ATRIUM 7.

3:30pm - 4:30pm RAIN OF THE GHOSTS
I'll be reading from and talking about the world and characters of my novel "Rain of the Ghosts" and its sequel, "Spirits of Ash and Foam," which comes out July 8th, 2014, one week after the convention! ATRIUM 3.

7:00pm - 8:00pm ONE ON ONE WITH GREG WEISMAN
Hal Bichel will moderate a one-on-one panel with Myself. PLAZA 2.

8:30pm - 9:30pm SIGNING
Once again, I'll be selling and signing copies of my first novel RAIN OF THE GHOSTS for $10 cash, which includes the book, a personalized signature and signed copies of the original development character designs by Kuni Tomita for the television version of Rain that never was. In addition - and by popular demand - I am selling and signing an array of my animation teleplays for $20 cash from such series as Gargoyles, Team Atlantis, DC Showcase (Green Arrow), Men in Black: The Series, The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, W.I.T.C.H., Young Justice and even the 2009 Radio Play "The Spectacular Spider-Man Meets Gargoyles". I'll also sign anything else you bring and put in front of me for FREE. CONVERGENCE CENTRAL.

10:00pm - 11:00pm BLUE MUG
Ever wonder about the sexual habits of Gargoyles? Ever wonder who was sleeping with whom among the Young Justice Team or the cast of Spectacular Spider-Man? Join us for for a late night peek at your favorite animated series. This panel will get blue! (So attendees will be carded!) Panelists: Myself, Christopher Jones, Mara Cordova (Last Tengu in Paris Artist). It is also rumored that Edmund Tsabard (an unfancy bastard and Last Tengu in Paris Writer) may make an appearance. EDINA.

SUNDAY, JULY 6th, 2014
11:00am - 12:00pm PROTOFEMINISTS IN SHAKESPEARE
Shakespeare portrayed several intelligent, independent, and self-aware women--Juliet, Lady Macbeth, Katharine, Beatrice, Viola, Rosalind. We'll discuss the problematic and the remarkably (for the era) fleshed-out aspects of their representation. Panelists: Myself, Elizabeth Bear, Ashley F. Miller, Joseph Erickson, Alexandra Howes. EDINA.

12:30pm - 1:30pm GARGOYLES FAN PANEL
It's the 20th Anniversary of Gargoyles. Come share your favorite moments from the show. As always, Cosplayers are welcome! Panelists: Daniel Mohr moderates Myself, Ryan Alexander, Robert Wagner, Maggie Schultz, Jennifer Anderson, Karine Charlebois. ATRIUM 6.

2:00pm - 3:00pm SIGNING
Myself and Greg Guler (Gargoyles, Phineas and Ferb) will be holding one last signing session. Greg G. always has an array of stuff (books, prints, etc.) to sell and sign. And I'll be selling and signing copies of my first novel RAIN OF THE GHOSTS for $10 cash, which includes the book, a personalized signature and signed copies of the original development character designs by Kuni Tomita for the television version of Rain that never was. In addition - and by popular demand - I am selling and signing an array of my animation teleplays for $20 cash from such series as Gargoyles, Team Atlantis, DC Showcase (Green Arrow), Men in Black: The Series, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, W.I.T.C.H., Young Justice and even the 2009 Radio Play "The Spectacular Spider-Man Meets Gargoyles". I'll also sign anything else you bring and put in front of me for FREE - especially if you buy my book. CONVERGENCE CENTRAL.

3:30pm - 4:30pm YOUNG JUSTICE
Creative minds behind the Young Justice TV and comic book series will talk about this fan favorite. We're planning some special surprises as well. And, as always, Cosplayers are welcome! Panelists: Myself, Marina Sirtis (voice of Queen Bee), Christopher Jones (Artist YJ Comic). MAIN STAGE.

5:00pm - 6:00pm CLOSING CEREMONY
It's not over 'til the gynoid sings - or something like that. Join CONvergence mascot Connie and our Guests of Honor as we say farewell to another convention. Shenanigans may ensue. Panelists: Myself, Amy Berg, Emma Bull, C. Robert Cargill, Sarah Clemens, Scott Lynch, Marina Sirtis, Matthew Ebel, Frank Paur, Dawn Krosnowski, Greg Guler, Windy Bowlsby, Rob Callahan, Michael Lee. MAIN STAGE

SEE?!! I told you there was a lot. And that's only the stuff that I'm doing. CONvergence is jam-packed with all sorts of pop culture nutritional goodness. So stop by and say hello!!

*In the interest of Full Disclosure, Fancy Bastard would like all to know that he especially likes the following pies:
APPLE
BERRY (pretty much any kind of berry or a mix of same)
PEACH
APRICOT
PUMPKIN
BANANA CREAM (herein to be known as the funniest pie)
Combinations of some of the fruit pies can be great. Contestants are welcome to try other pies at their own risk.

Fancy Bastard does NOT especially like the following pies:
PECAN
Anything with Chocolate or Lemon or Meringue
Raisins in Apple Pie
Almost never Cherry, though he has tasted the rare exception...


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Todd Jensen writes...

I noticed that in the blurb for "Rain of the Ghosts" a) there are a few names borrowed from "The Tempest" (such as the Ghost Keys also being called the Prospero Keys, and your protagonist has a friend named Miranda), and b) the story is set in the area of the Bermuda Triangle. Was this influenced by the theory that one of the inspirations for "The Tempest" was a shipwreck in the Bermudas in 1609?

Greg responds...

I don't think it'll surprise anyone to learn that "The Tempest" will play a role in the Rain series as a whole, though not so much in the first two books. Beyond that, I'm not going to spoil.

Response recorded on January 06, 2014

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Matthew writes...

Since you are a big Shakespeare fan, I thought to ask if you've read A Midsummer Tempest by Poul Anderson? It's set in a world where all of Shakespeare's plays really happened?

Greg responds...

No. And I won't, so as not to crowd my head with other folks' ideas. Sounds really cool, though. We were trying to accomplish the same thing (among other things) on Gargoyles.

Response recorded on August 26, 2013

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Twitter vs. ASK GREG - To the Death!!!

Twitter vs. ASK GREG - To the Death!!!

So for the first time in nearly a month, I lurked on a few sites and someone was bitchin' (that's right, I said it) about the fact that I was tweeting a lot but hadn't spent much time here at ASK GREG.

Mostly, the responses that person received from other fans were dead obvious, but they bear repeating:

1. Twitter is a lot more convenient. I can tweet with my phone during downtime. (I tend to do it while I'm doing my isometric neck exercises.) I can also do Ask Greg with my phone during downtime (as I did yesterday when I was stuck at an airport), but (a) it's much more difficult because the screen is so small and (b) I have no access to the materials that some questions require. So Ask Greg answers done on the phone tend toward the short and unsatisfying.

2. Stop acting so entitled. Greg Weisman has NO obligation, explicit or implicit, to answer any questions on ASK GREG ever. Let me repeat that: Greg Weisman has NO obligation, explicit or implicit, to answer any questions on ASK GREG ever. I do it because I enjoy doing it (most of the time). But if for any reason I take a break for however long, that's life. I will not be made to feel guilty about it.

Those are the two main points, but there are a couple others:

3. I've been traveling A LOT. Since the end of May, I've taken four trips up north to Lucasfilm, one trip to Denver Comic Con, one trip to Oregon for their Shakespeare Festival and a family trip to EUROPE. I still have both San Diego Comic Con and New Orleans MechaCon (http://www.mechacon.com/) coming up in the next couple months, plus at least one more trip to San Francisco for Lucasfilm. When I travel, internet is a dicey prospect at best, and that's on top of the fact that the reasons for the trip tend to preclude me having the free time to post on ASK GREG.

4. I've been SWAMPED with work. That's a good thing. (In fact, these are all good things.) I have tight deadlines on Star Wars Rebels, a looming deadline on the second book in the Rain of the Ghosts series, plus a few other random freelance things that I'll mention (perhaps) when they're finished. Lots of work means less free time to post at Ask Greg.

As for Twitter, I'll admit I might be a little addicted, but the bald-faced truth of the matter is simply that I was basically coerced into joining Twitter by my book publisher, my agent/manager and my family. I am making an extremely conscious attempt to raise my profile there (and gain followers) for the sake of RAIN OF THE GHOSTS. I make no bones about that. I'm not trying to hide the fact AT ALL. I want/need the book to do well, and Ask Greg just was NOT reaching enough people. Hence Twitter.

Having said that, I have no interest in using or allowing Twitter to replace ASK GREG. Folks have asked me questions on Twitter, which I've either ignored or used as an excuse to nudge the askers over here. It's a tad difficult, since the ASK GREG Question Asking Function here is currently down until I catch up, but whatchagonnado? ASK GREG still matters to me, and Twitter hasn't changed that at all.

So really, the title of this ramble is a sham. The two resources are not in conflict at all. I'm hoping Twitter brings MORE people to Ask Greg and maybe, vice versa. (And maybe that's the real reason for this post. Heh heh heh.)


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Liam writes...

Ha, Dingo's name is Harry "Monmouth", and he's taken in by John Oldcastle, who takes the name Falstaff. I just got that. Well played, sir.

Greg responds...

Thanks.

Response recorded on December 12, 2012

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EXALT writes...

Some questions about Macbeth and Shakespeare...
1)Did Macbeth have a particular reason to choose the names Lennox and Macduff as his alias? I mean, why those and not, for example, Donalbain and Seyton?
2)You previously stated that Macbeth was mostly amused by the shakespearean version of his story. Is this true also regarding Shakespeare's portrayal of Gruoch?
3)A)What do you think is Macbeth's favourite shakespearean comedy?
3)B)And his favourite tragedy?

Greg responds...

1. I seem to recall Michael, Brynne or Lydia having a clever reason for why Macbeth specifically chose those two, but I can no longer remember what it was.

2. Ultimately, it was so far removed from the truth, that all Macbeth could be was amused at the bad history (which he was already long-accustomed to) and marvel at the artistry and the truths revealed there even if they were not hi truths. As for Gruoch, he saw so little (really nothing) of his wife in the boy playing Lady Macbeth that he couldn't be too upset. It may have also helped that the name Gruoch was.never used in the play.

3a&b. I'll leave that for each fan to imagine.

Response recorded on December 10, 2012

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F.H. writes...

I've seen the novel The Mysteries of Udolpho pop up multiple times in the series (Young Justice), and I've scanned the Wikipedia page (I would read it, but Outlaws of the Marsh isn't something you flick through in an afternoon, and my to-read list is long enough already), and I can't see anything tying it to the plot outside of a girl with a bad father, which would be Artemis, I guess?

1) Is there reason or rhyme to this, or is it just you showing off your literary power level, as you're known to do (which we all love, by the way).

And another question on a similar idea:

2) Where's the Shakespeare, man? Your name on a show promises Shakespeare, and YJ remains bardless. Bring a little of him back from Oregon for the team, wont you?

Greg responds...

1. It's kinda the original gothic novel.

2. Stuff has to fit, you know? If I just wedge it in artificially, how does that help anyone? And I find it hard to believe there have been NO Shakespeare references at all. That seems unlikely.

Response recorded on December 06, 2012

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Marvelman writes...

Hi Greg,

I'd like to make an observation about "Salvage."

It's that moment where the creature says (through Blue):

Where is the stillness of wood, of stone, of crystal, of metal? All this noise, all this life is pain. We sense the power in this place - power enough to destroy us, to end the pain, to be still again.

And Superboy says, "I can identify."

And then it hit me…

Oh that this too too solid flesh would melt…

the thousand shocks that flesh is heir to…

I wondered if we were intended to hear an echo of Hamlet in Connor and the… whatever it was. One of the reasons that Hamlet is so despondent is that he believes the girl he loves has betrayed him. Then, I remembered that the girl Connor loved and probably still does betrayed him.

So, my question is: am I reading too much in to this? Or, did you intend for there to be deliberate overtures of Hamlet in this scene and in Connor's character in general?

Greg responds...

I'd love to say otherwise, but it wasn't in my conscious mind. But you know, it's all rattling around in my brain, so...

Response recorded on November 28, 2012

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Marvelman writes...

Did you have Beatrice and Benedict in mind when you created the Wally-Artemis dynamic?

Greg responds...

Shrug. I suppose it'd be cool to answer yes, but the truth is - and I'm not pretending otherwise - it's a pretty common trope, and mostly what we had in mind was Wally and Artemis and tracking how they'd react as individuals.

Response recorded on November 14, 2012

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YOUNG JUSTICE: INVASION: EPISODE: 210: "Before the Dawn": Premieres!

YOUNG JUSTICE: INVASION: EPISODE: 210: "Before the Dawn": Premieres: this Saturday, October 13th as part of Cartoon Network's DC Nation block. (It repeats Sunday too.) Check local listings for times.

Keep in mind, this tenth episode of Season Two was plotted before we knew if we'd get the second half of the season. Once we got that pick-up, we assumed this would be our hiatus episode. Instead, we took the break after 207 (which was a great and exciting stopping point, so no complaints). But nothing changed about our story in 210. This is a significant episode on every level: plot, character and LOTS of action. Don't miss it!

I'm posting this reminder a couple days early, because I'm leaving this afternoon to head up to Ashland, Oregon for the Shakespeare Festival. But believe me, my DVR is set to record both YJ and Green Lantern.


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Battle Beast writes...

Greg:

I've told you this a couple of times, but I wanted to tell you again. It was the first time I saw "The Mirror," and Brooklyn uttered THE line: "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

At the time, 1995, I was only 12 and hardly knew what Shakespeare was, but the line... the name of the play... it stuck with me forever.

Because of you, and Michael, and Brynne, and the other writers... I owe my love of Shakespeare. Can't thank you enough!

My favorite of the Bard's works is, of course, "Dream" but, of the 18 or so of his works I have seen, I happen to love "the Tempest," and "Titus Andronicus" as well.

I got to see "Dream" again last night, for the third time, and again, I laughed myself silly.

I remember asking you if you'd ever seen the play, and you said "Many times."

I was just wondering, which of the Bard's plays is your favorite?

Once again, thank you for opening up a new world for me.

Greg responds...

I've answered this before, so you can check the archives for more details, but I don't have one favorite play. I like many, many of them, and even like bits in plays that I don't love entirely. And I'm always open to see a new production of ANY of Shakespeare's works.

But I'm very glad that we were able to inspire a love of Shakespeare in you. It's very gratifying.

Response recorded on September 05, 2012

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Anonymous writes...

Hello Greg,

I ask a question before about Superman and Superboy from Young Justice before, but now I have a personal question about Gargoyles that I have wondered about off and on, for a while now.

Much of Gargoyles was inspired by Shakespheare, whose works I became familiar with from Patrick Stewart, and really enjoy myself.

My question is: What Princess Kathrine in some way named for the character from 'The Taming of the Shrew,' because when we first meet her she certainly acted like a shrew and then later on she becomes 'tamed' in a way?

Thanks.

Greg responds...

I don't think so. Michael Reaves named Katharine, I think, before we all got started on the Shakespeare kick with Macbeth.

Response recorded on August 16, 2012

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Todd Jensen writes...

Though I haven't seen "Coldhearted" yet, I've read a bit about it, and learned that Perdita originated in a Green Arrow story that you wrote a couple of years ago, meaning that you created the character. Did you name her after the Perdita of "The Winter's Tale"? (I thought it likely, given your fondness for Shakespeare, but wanted to make certain.)

Greg responds...

Yes. The Lost Girl.

Response recorded on May 16, 2012

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Mel writes...

Hi Greg,

I have a MacBeth question this time. You mentioned a while ago that MacBeth has worked as a stage actor in the past. I thought that was such an interesting tidbit about a guy we don't necessarily know a ton about. Was that you idea, and if so, what inspired it?

You also mentioned that you saw MacBeth as acting in a lot of George Bernard Shaw plays probably. Why is that? Shaw was pretty political - do you think that influenced MacBeth's decision to do those plays?

Greg responds...

1. Yes.

1a. It just felt right. Plus I like the idea of him collaborating with Shakespeare.

2. Yeah. It just felt like Shaw's work would appeal to Macbeth.

Response recorded on May 04, 2012

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Harlan Phoenix writes...

1. Would you be willing to get into the inspiration behind "Doc Shakespeare"?
1b. If so, what was it?

2. Was the pursuit of a live action pilot at the time driven by a purely creative desire, or more about taking advantage of specific commercial/economic advantages present at the time? Or a combination?

Greg responds...

1. Research, research, research. The more research I did on Shakespeare and his family, the more fascinated I became with his eldest daughter.

2. Both.

Response recorded on March 06, 2012

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Phoenician writes...

So the story behind this ramble actually goes back two years, starting when I first read your Ramble on EQUIVOCATION:

http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?rid=817

Regrettably I would not have the chance to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival that year, dedicating my travel expenses to the last Gathering in Los Angeles. Before I go any further, can I say that I am quite jealous that you and your family go every year to Ashland? Because I am d:

Anyways, it didn't hit me until about month or so later that I could simply buy a copy of the script just as you had mentioned doing. A thorough look at (and a telephone call to) the OSF's Tudor Guild Gift Shop revealed they had quickly sold out of their entire supply, and that odds were, it'd be a while till they got more, if ever. Of course, by the time I DID check back with them, the OSF was done foe the season and Equivocation was not being performed again in the near future.

Fast forward to summer 2011, where I stumbled upon a copy of the play script at my old college in Los Angeles. I don't know how the conversation started, but the person I was talking to mentioned that the school was trying to get permission to perform the play that school year!

But before I allowed myself to get excited, I remembered I was only in town for the week to visit some friends I hadn't seen in over a year since I graduated in May 2010. My friend sympathized that my horrible, horrible timing wouldn't have me in Los Angeles if and when they did perform the play (and especially after hearing me recite your ramble from 2009 with alarming precision) he was generous enough to let me take a script with me back home!

I tried to be patient, reminding myself that I had waited two years to find a copy and that the AskGreg queue was closed during the Young Justice hiatus, but that VERY short flight back to Phoenix was suddenly felt like an eternity. Of course, its just my luck that even though I read it back in early August, I only JUST now remembered to write this rambling as yesterday (November 5th, 2011) was Guy Fawkes Night.

So did I enjoy the play, even when I only read it as a script?

In a word: YES. :D

But one thing is for sure: I really, really want to catch an actual performance now. I won't go into too much detail here (since you've seen the play and I don't want to spoil others that might read this before catching/reading the play themselves), but I will say this play reminds me quite a bit like Shakespeare in Love (a film I also remember you writing about more than once), though its obvious that (even if Stoppard and Cain were working with the same muse) this is a noticeably older Shag than the Will we saw in the 1998 film. For one, Shag's working for the King James VI/I and not Queen Elizabeth. For another, the only person caring for him these days is the very mature Judith. Finally, he's now an established name (he'll still be remembered in, oh, fifty year's time!), though the romances and comedies seemed to have been eclipsed with his slew of historical plays, earning him the reputation of killing "more Kings than any man alive."

The various references to Shag's other plays were fun, especially Hamlet and Macbeth. Speaking of the Scottish Play, remembering what you said about how Macbeth (in the Gargoyles Universe) was a drinking buddy of Shakespeare's, I vaguely wonder how the events in Equivocation looked from his perspective. ;)

I'll also say that after briefly mentioning "Doc Shakespeare" in your Equivocation ramble, I made sure to pay close attention to Judith's interactions with Shag, if only to one day have them as a reference point in understanding the characters . . . much like I hear Roger Lancelyn Green's works are a good place to see your early inspirations for King Arthur.

I must also admit to re-reading your thoughts from 1999/2000 about how Shakespeare in Love opened a door to understanding Will as a man . . . and having missed out on the 2005 Gathering in Las Vegas, I can only imagine how you treated Will (and Judith) in Doc Shakespeare. I guess I'm just hopeful to one day see you a work of yours introduce William Shakespeare the man, be it in the Gargoyles Universe or some other original work (and references in shows like The Spectacular Spider-Man will always be fun too).

I'll end this by saying THANK YOU so much for recommending Equivocation. I look forward to watching a performance one day (may the stars align soon) and its only a matter of time before I find my way to Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Greg responds...

Well, I've seen Equivocation twice now. That first time in Ashland, and again here in Los Angeles (Westwood, specifically) at the Geffen Theatre, starring Joe Spano (from Hill Street Blues) as Shag. He was also fantastic in the part. I just love this play.

His take on Judith is different from mine, as is his take on Susannah (who doesn't appear but is mentioned). But I've got no complaints.

I do tend to shy away from portraying Will Shakespeare himself in my stuff. It makes me nervous. Even in Doc Shakespeare, Will is an off-screen presence. Talked about - but never appearing.

We do try to go to Ashland every year, and I've never been disappointed. Ashland was also the first place I ever saw Stoppard's ARCADIA, which may be one of the most brilliant plays I've ever seen.

Response recorded on February 08, 2012

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SO WHERE HAVE I BEEN? Updates & Debunks

Hello everyone,

Haven't posted here in a while, and since I did a bit of message board lurking this morning, it seems to have led people to believe all sorts of odd things, so...

Where have I been?

Well, in early June, my family and I went to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon.
We saw seven plays in four days. Six of them (Henry IV, Part Two, The Language Archive, To Kill a Mockingbird, Julius Caesar, Love's Labours Lost and Measure for Measure) were just stellar productions. Everyone was great, but I'd like to particularly single out Susannah Flood in both Language Archive and Mockingbird, Dee Maaske in Mockingbird and Michael Winters as Falstaff in 2HenryIV.

Coming back from that, I was understandably swamped and didn't have time to post.

Next, I went to Minneapolis for the always great ConVergence convention. I did about thirteen panels. Some of which, like Gargoyles and Spider-Man and Young Justice, I felt qualified to be on. And some, like Dexter and Galaxy Quest, my only qualification was being a fan of whatever we were talking about. This was my third ConVergence, and it continues to be the best run convention I've ever attended. And now that the Gathering of the Gargoyles is no more, it has become my FAVORITE convention to attend.

Returning from ConVergence, I then got quite ill. In fact, I'm still home sick today. (Home sick as opposed to homesick, clear?)

So THOSE are the reasons I haven't posted. Nothing nefarious.

Next topic: YOUNG JUSTICE UPDATE.

We have aired episodes 101-109 (i.e. Season One, episodes 1-9).

(Yes, episode 110 accidentally was posted on Cartoon Network's website, but I'm going to pretend that never happened.)

Episodes 110-115 are in the can, i.e. they are completed and ready to air.

Episode 116 awaits only the final on-line, i.e. the final review of the episode. This has been delayed ONLY because I've been out sick this week.

Episode 117 will have it's sound mix on Friday. (I hope to be back at work by then.)

Episode 118 has been edited and work progresses on scoring and sound effects.

Episode 119 is ready to begin post-production.

Episodes 120-123 are being animated in Korea.

Episodes 124-126 are in layout in Korea, while we finish the final color models here in the States.

Episodes 201-202 (i.e. Season Two, Episodes one and two) - Are fully recorded and are in storyboard. (201 was written by me. 202 by Nicole Dubuc.)

Episode 203, written by Kevin Hopps, is almost fully recorded. We have one actor left to pick up, who has been out of town. It is also in storyboard.

Episode 204, written by me, will record this week. It is also in storyboard.

Episode 205 - Brandon Vietti, has turned in his draft of the script. I have to read and edit it.

Episode 206 - The outline, written by Peter David and edited by me, went out Monday for notes, which are due tomorrow.

Episode 207 - Kevin Hopps turned in his outline, which I need to read and edit.

Episode 208 - I'm writing this one. I'll start the outline, after I've edited the outline to 207.

Episode 209 - Jon Weisman turned in his outline, which I need to read and edit.

Episode 210 - Kevin Hopps is working on his outline.

We do NOT yet have a pick-up beyond episode 210, but our bosses have told us to start blocking out episodes 211-220 in anticipation of one.

Episode 211 - We've broken this story. I still need to find time to write up the Beat Outline, though I have it all on index cards.

Episode 212 - We've got the basics of this one down, but we (i.e. myself, Brandon and Kevin) still need to finish breaking the story.

Episodes 213-220 - We've got a very clear sense of the arc and what things need to happen, but we haven't started on these yet.

NEXT TOPIC: DEBUNKING YJ RUMORS

False Rumor #1: YJ IS A GREG WEISMAN PRODUCTION
Everywhere on the Internet, all I see is that YJ is Greg Weisman's show. That's just blatantly false. This is a VIETTI/WEISMAN production. Just as Spectacular Spider-Man was a COOK/WEISMAN production and Gargoyles was a PAUR/WEISMAN production. I am not, nor have I ever been, a one-man show on ANY project I've EVER worked on. EVER. And in particular, on YJ, it's extremely unfair to Brandon to leave him out of consideration. Brandon is heavily involved in every aspect of production, INCLUDING SERIES DEVELOPMENT AND STORY. He's been right there with myself and Kevin Hopps breaking every single episode. It's been a team effort from day one. Many of the series' best ideas came/come from Brandon. And this is aside from the fact, that of course, Brandon can write - but I cannot draw, which arguably makes him MORE important to the production than I. I am exceedingly proud of this series and my own work on it - though certain very vocal fans seem to think I shouldn't be - but that doesn't change the fact that Brandon and I are a team.

False Rumor #2: YJ WAS RUSHED INTO PRODUCTION
Another blatant misconception. Look, Brandon and I are both perfectionists. Neither of us would deny that we'd LOVE to have more time on each and every episode. But that's not the same as being rushed. Let's make a comparison: on Spectacular Spider-Man, I basically had one week to develop both the series and the entire first season. Then Vic Cook came aboard, and we raced to get into production in less than two months. Brandon and I had seven months to develop the series, break the first season (which granted had twice as many episodes as the first season of Spidey) and head into production. The show isn't and never has been rushed. That's not to say the schedule isn't tight. But we haven't aired a single episode that wasn't ready to air. And we won't.

False Rumor #3: YJ ISN'T AIRING NOW BECAUSE WE'RE REWORKING EPISODES BASED ON INTERNET CRITICISM
This is my favorite. I love it the most because the first person I saw who posted this rumor also said that I'd deny it. So here I am denying it, which of course serves to PROVE that he or she was correct, see? Let's be clear: for better or worse, this series is COMPLETELY unaffected by internet criticism BECAUSE of schedule. Everything of any significance was set and DONE before even the pilot movie aired last November, so we couldn't address fan concerns even if we wanted to. And, honestly, we don't want to. We don't in part because there is way less consensus than some people seem to think. For example, for every post I see expressing hatred for "Hello, Megan!", I see a post that likes it. And personally, I like it. Brandon likes it. So why would we change it, even if we could? In fact, even Season Two is moving forward more or less disregarding "fan" criticism. Brandon and I always had very clear ideas for what we wanted to do in Season Two (and even Season Three, should we get one) and those ideas haven't changed. As with every series I've co-helmed, all we can ever do is write and produce to OUR OWN passions - and then just cross our fingers and hope enough people share our passions to make it a success. Anything else is doomed to failure, because if we're not passionate about it, it'll show in the work, and then no one will like it. And just to make it clear: WE LIKE OUR SHOW!! Doesn't mean you have to - but don't try to tell me I don't.

So why aren't we airing new episodes now? That's a fair question that I don't have an answer for. After all, we have six unaired episodes in the can, with four more on the verge of completion. It's a Cartoon Network decision. Some fans have argued that they shouldn't have started airing ANY episodes until ALL episodes were in the can. But that too is a decision above my pay grade.

My best guess - and that's all it is - is that CN will air new episodes - starting with 110 ("Targets") - in September. The good news is that the later they wait, the more weeks they can go uninterrupted by reruns. I do know that Season Two (i.e. "Young Justice: Invasion") will begin airing as part of DC NATION in March of 2012. And by then ALL of Season One will have aired. So do the math.

People have asked me if I'm bummed about losing momentum by this delay. But the thing is we've ALREADY lost all momentum. So as long as they PROMOTE us whenever they finally do start airing us again, then pragmatically I'm good. Yes, I'll admit to a certain level of frustration in that I want our stuff to get out there, but if CN has a plan to make the most of the episodes, then more power to them.

Anyway, I think that's it for now. I'll get back to answering questions on ASK GREG as soon as I can find the time. (But keep in mind that San Diego Comic-Con is fast approaching. Note: Young Justice has a panel scheduled for Sunday, July 24th at 10am, with a signing to follow. I'll also be signing Gargoyles comics (and whatever else anyone might want) at the SLG Booth from 11:30am to 12:30pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (July 21, 22, 23).


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Liam writes...

Gargoyles obviously had a lot of influence from Shakespeare, and so did Spectacular Spider-Man, towards the end of the series. Will we be seeing at least a little bit of that theme in Young Justice?

Greg responds...

No comment.

Response recorded on March 18, 2011

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Todd Jensen writes...

I think that this is just a coincidence, but I decided I should mention it to you.

I was rereading Chapters Three and Four of "Bad Guys" today, because of their link to New Year's Eve, and noticed that the captions stated that the Eastcheap Island adventure took place five days after the confrontation with Sevarius. We know that the Sevarius adventure was on New Year's Eve, so the encounter with Falstaff must have taken place on January 5. And January 5 is Twelfth Night - a holiday after which one of Shakespeare's comedies was named.

I was amazed and impressed by that revelation, but I assumed that it must be a coincidence; the Eastcheap adventure draws on Shakespeare, of course, but on Falstaff rather than on "Twelfth Night". Still, when I mentioned it in the comment room, Matt suggested that I share it with you, so I did.

Greg responds...

Thanks. I'll be honest, it was PROBABLY a coincidence. I think. But it's been SO long since I actually wrote the script (way before the book came out, which was already some time ago) that it's possible that I had Twelfth Night on the brain and timed it that way to amuse myself. I just can't remember.

Response recorded on February 01, 2011

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Richard Jackson writes...

Have you ever seen Orson Welles' adaptation of of Henry IV, Chimes at Midnight (titled Falstaff in some countries)? I really enjoyed it. After all, Welles as Falstaff. It doesn't get any better than that.

On the same note, who is your favorite Shakespeare screen actor? Olivier? Welles? Branagh?

Greg responds...

I have not seen Chimes at Midnight, and I definitely consider it a gap in my education.

I guess I'd have to say Branagh... just because -- from a cinema standpoint -- Henry V was a revelation to me.

Response recorded on January 20, 2011

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Todd Jensen writes...

Some time ago, I mentioned a book by Eleanor Prosser called "Hamlet and Revenge", which argued that Hamlet's goal to avenge his father on Claudius was not a righteous duty, but a misguided and dangerous quest. Recently, I thought about a passage in it in connection to "Clan-Building: Volume Two".

In one of the early chapters, the author discusses Kyd's "The Spanish Tragedy", one of the leading revenge-plays before "Hamlet". The protagonist, Hieronimo, is out to avenge the murder of his son Horatio. After discovering his son's body near the start of the play, he decides not to bury it until he can achieve his revenge, an act which, Prosser comments, would have unsettled the audience.

This reminded me of the scene in "Clan-Building" where, after Demona reports the slaughter of the Sruighlea cell by Constantine and Gillecomgain, True suggests that they hold a Wind Ceremony for the dead gargoyles, and Demona rejects it in favor of pursuing revenge on the humans who did the deed. I just thought I'd share it with you.

Greg responds...

Thanks. I like the parallel a lot. And I agree with what it reveals about character... though I've never read "The Spanish Tragedy" unfortunately. At least not yet.

Response recorded on July 29, 2010

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2010

Hey gang,

I just got back from taking my kids to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. Saw five uniformly great productions:

Hamlet

Henry IV, Part One

Twelfth Night

Merchant of Venice

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Can't recommend any or all of them strongly enough...


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David B. Jacobs writes...

Just felt like throwing this out there:
TSSM's cast are all BRILLIANT Shakespearean actors! Pass it on.

Greg responds...

Thanks. I thought they did a great job too!

Response recorded on March 08, 2010

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Todd Jensen writes...

I checked out from the library today (I'd checked it out once before, but this time, I thought of mentioning it) a book by Roger Lancelyn Green called "Tales From Shakespeare", that retells many of the plays. (All of them comedies, tragedies, and romances: he doesn't tackle any of the histories, though in his retelling of "The Merry Wives of Windsor", he mentions near the start about Falstaff's association with Prince Hal.) Since you liked Roger Lancelyn Green's take on King Arthur (enough to even make it one of your sources for the "Gargoyles" take on him), I though that you'd be interested to know about it (assuming that you haven't heard of it yet).

Greg responds...

I've heard of it, but haven't read it.

Response recorded on February 03, 2010

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oneuke writes...

CON-JOURNAL
OF A SORT

Never having truly posted to this site before (or any other for that matter) I thought that now would be an appropriate time to speak of the Gathering. I won’t bore you with memories like the look and grief I gave my brother (a PhD in Bio-chem.) who told me about a really well written Disney cartoon and the humble pie I ate after watching the first show. Or the joy my oldest daughter experienced after asking a question of Keith David at the 2001 con and he responded by giving his famous line “I’ve been denied everything, even my REVENGE.” Caiti was 8 at the time. Or of how my youngest daughter, Ally, started watching Gargoyles when she was 2 and became instantly enraptured with Lexington. Then heard his voice 2 years later in the dealer’s room, shouted out “It’s Lexington” and ran over to hug a complete and somewhat startled stranger (Thanks for being so understanding, both then and now, Thom). Or…but I digress.
And so, as per Greg’s request, and with apologies to W.S.:

Why so sad, coz?
This is the time call'd the Gathering of Gargoyles.
And he or she that shares this meet, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this time is nam'd,
And rouse at the name of Gargoyles.
He that shares this time, and sees old episodes,
Will yearly on the vigil recount to his clan,
And say ‘Tis the time of the Gathering.'
Then will he bring out his memories and show his photos,
And say 'These friends I met and these moments I had on this day.'
The old forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What adventures he had that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Greg the Creator, Keith, Salli and Thom,
Michael and Marina, Bill, Ed and Jeff-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his clan;
And the time of Gathering shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we clan of brothers;
For he or she to-day that shares this time with me
Shall be my brother; be he or she ne'er so far,
This day shall bring them near;
And those who stayed away
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold themselves cheap whiles any speaks
That Gathered on this final meet.

Thanks for the memoriesâ€"may there be many more to follow.
(Hey, Greg's not the only one who can borrow from Shakespeare)

Greg responds...

I LOVE THAT!!! Thanks...

Response recorded on January 06, 2010

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Kyle S. writes...

Hey Mr. Weisman, love Spectacular Spider-Man. One of my favorite episodes was Opening Night. I loved the Shakespeare interwoven with the story. Now, my friend just played Flute in a community production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. I thought it was fantastic, but it was very untraditional. The play opened with the 'How now spirit' line, and then broke into song out of the fairy's speech, and then proceeded to Act 1. Theseus entered setting up a hole of golf and Hippolyta was reading a fashion magazine. This was all very funny, but the one quirk I almost didn't like was that Puck was a puppet. Seriously, he was a little green muppet-looking guy operated by a girl wearing black to blend in with the background (even though her head and hands could be seen since it was outside in broad daylight). In a lot of cases, it worked out for the best, but it was odd. The dialogue was mostly unchanged (some parts were abridged), but my mom was able to understand the entire thing because it was so untraditional.
Which brings the question: what is your favorite adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream? Oh, and are the guys who played Lysander and Demetrius named characters from the comics? Were any other minor name characters given roles?

Greg responds...

Jason Ionello played Lysander in the M-cubed Dream. We never had to figure out who played Demetrius.

I've seen the play MANY, many times. I don't have one favorite production.

Response recorded on November 23, 2009

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Bazell writes...

You have a strong Shakespearian background, so hopefully you'll see where I'm going here. About Romeo and Juliet, there is discussion as to whether it is a tragedy of character or situation. That is, was the tragedy the circumstances in which the titular character found themselves caught in, or was it the characters' own folly in their youthful rush for love (seemingly damn the consequences)?
A similar argument could be made about Spidey. Although Spider-Man is the iconic hero, the story is largely the tragedy of Peter Parker. Over and over through the decades the fabled Parker Luck (though I don't think you use the phrase in your show) has always been there, overshadowing Spidey victories with Parkers personal woes (be they emotional, social or something more serious). How would characterize the situation? Is the Parker Luck a product of Pete's own foibles or is it more entwined with his surrounding circumstances?

Greg responds...

My thinking is more... holistic than an either/or answer can provide. We act, we react, etc. to varying stimuli -- some in our control and/or range of influence, some completely outside it. And then all that gets mixed together. We blame ourselves for things we can't control. We shift blame for things we might have. And everything in between. That's how I view life: as a mess, basically. So when I read about either Romeo & Juliet or Spidey/Peter my thinking runs the same way. Not either/or but characters (hopefully recognizably HUMAN characters) struggling to make sense of the mess.

Response recorded on November 13, 2009

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Shadow Wing writes...

Have you ever seen the play "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)"?

If you haven't, I strongly recommend it. It's a very intelligent, but extremely silly play that keeps people laughing almost constantly. As a Shakespeare enthusiast, I think you'd enjoy it.

Greg responds...

I have not seen it, but I'd like to.

Response recorded on September 30, 2009

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G2009 Radio Play

G2009 Radio Play - Act One

4. NARRATOR
The Spectacular Spider-Man Meets Gargoyles. RELIGIOUS STUDIES 101: A HANDFUL OF THORNS. Act One. Late that night atop the Eyrie Building…

Dominique and Kafka sit. GOLIATH and ELISA MAZA STAND and KISS.

5. GOLIATH, ELISA
<kiss>

6. GOLIATH
There are some human customs I will never get used to Elisa. <kisses her again> This is not one of them.

7. ELISA
You’re in a good mood.

8. GOLIATH
I am. Hudson and Lexington are back from Europe, bringing Coldstone and Coldfire with them.

9. ELISA
<chuckle> Not to mention Brooklyn returning from forty years of TimeDancing with a mate, a son, a beast and an egg.

10. GOLIATH
The clan has doubled in size. What challenge can the Fates throw at us now that we cannotâ€"

11. NARRATOR
The sun rises. Goliath turns to stone.

12. ELISA
<groan> You just had to say that out loud, didn’t you?

Elisa and Goliath sit. MAY PARKER and PETER PARKER STAND.

13. NARRATOR
Meanwhile, in Forest Hills…

14. MAY
Peter, what are you doing up?

15. PETER
Studying for today’s English final. It’s on Midsummer Night’s Dream. And I missed seeing the Cliff Notes version.

16. MAY
Which may explain why you and Miss Allan are no longer a couple.

17. PETER
Aunt May, you know we didn’t break up because I missed her play.

18. MAY
You’re right; I shouldn’t be glib. I suppose there’s no chance that you and Gwen…

19. PETER
I don’t know. Not now anyway. Not when Harry’s hurting so much from the death of his father.

20. MAY
It hardly seems possible that Norman Osborn is gone. The Bugle says he was the Green Goblin, but I’m not sure I can believe that.

21. PETER
Sometimes, Aunt May… it’s, okay, to believe everything you read…

May and Peter sit. GREEN GOBLIN and BLACKIE GAXTON STAND.

22. NARRATOR
At a dive bar downtown, the Green Goblin BURSTS in on his glider…

23. GREEN GOBLIN
<tsk, tsk, tsk> Blackie. This place is scummy even by your pond-scum standards. Quite a comedown from your last gig…

24. BLACKIE
Tell that to the whacko who set a flaming super-villain loose in The Big Sky. Oh, wait. That was you.

25. GREEN GOBLIN
Yes. Yes, it was. <maniacal laugh>

26. BLACKIE
Weren’t you supposed to be dead?

27. GREEN GOBLIN
I was also supposed to be Osborn, but you didn’t buy that, did you? Just one of the many little tricks I keep up my sleeve. Nothing’s changed, Blackie. The Goblin’s still in charge.

28. BLACKIE
You hear me arguing?

29. GREEN GOBLIN
No. Now, gather my Pumpkin-Heads…

Blackie and Goblin sit. Kafka and Dominique STAND.

30. NARRATOR
At Ravencroft, Dominique Destine and Dr. Kafka supervises six inmates who work to excavate a sub-basement.

31. KAFKA
I still don’t understand what you expect to find down here.

32. DOMINIQUE
Vertros Ravencroft, the founder of this Institute, was a quirky soul. An intimate friend of Freud and Conan Doyle, he was a true believer in both psychotherapy and spiritualism.

33. KAFKA
You speak as if you knew him.

34. DOMINIQUE
Now how would that be possible?

35. KAFKA
It couldn’t, of course… But the dig?

36. DOMINIQUE
Yes. Ravencroft was also a collector. I have reason to believe he buried certain items of his collection here. Now, Doctor, didn’t you say you had meetings scheduled…

37. KAFKA
You’ll be all right down here alone?

38. DOMINIQUE
Your orderlies are in the hallway. And I’m quite self-sufficient. So run along.

Kafka sits. OTTO OCTAVIUS STANDS.

39. DOMINIQUE
Excellent work, Doctor Octavius. Very precise.

40. OTTO
Thank you. I appreciate having something to occupy my hands…

41. DOMINIQUE
Your hands? Not… your arms?

42. OTTO
Arms? I… I hope you’re not referring to my unfortunate… b-b-breakdown.

43. DOMINIQUE
What would be the point? Believe me, Doctor, no one better understands the advantage of creating a false front.

ELECTRO STANDS.

44. ELECTRO
I’ve blasted away another section of cement.

45. DOMINIQUE
Thank you, Maxwell.

46. ELECTRO
Don’t. Call. Me. That.

47. DOMINIQUE
Don’t. Tell. Me. What to do… Electro.

48. ELECTRO
Uh… okay.
(asides to Otto)
She’s a little scary.

49. OTTO
Indeed.

Otto and Electro sit. DOMINIC DRACON, JOHN JAMESON, EDDIE BROCK and CLETUS KASSADY STAND.

50. DRACON
I blame Mace. When that crook cheated me, I lost face. But when I get the jewels back, they’ll respect me again. Did Mace bury the jewels here?

51. DOMINIQUE
Maybe he did, Dominic. Keep working.

52. JOHN
What’s the point? How is tearing up a basement supposed to bring me Colonel Jupiter’s power?!

53. EDDIE
Shut up and dig.

54. JOHN
You like doing this?!

55. EDDIE
I hate it. But I need that hate. I need to keep the hate alive.

56. DOMINIQUE
Such an interesting crew. And what do you want out of life, Cletus…

57. CLETUS
Nothing too fancy. <chuckles> Just a little carnage.

Cletus, Dominique, Eddie, John and Dracon sit. GWEN STACY and Peter STAND.

58. NARRATOR
That afternoon, at Midtown High…

59. GWEN
Hey, Pete. How’d you do?

60. PETER
Ugh, horrible, probably. I mean you know English is like my worst subject. It’s all so subjective andâ€"

61. GWEN
Peter.

62. PETER
Okay, okay… not the look! I probably aced it. Happy?

63. GWEN
That you did well. Always.

64. PETER
Thanks. Look, Gwen, I--

HARRY OSBORN STANDS.

65. HARRY
Well, what have we here? My best friend and girlfriend conferring in a corner. Planning a surprise party for me?

66. PETER
Uh, it’s not your birthday, Harr.

67. HARRY
I thought maybe it was a thank you bash. For giving you both these…

68. GWEN
(reading)
“You are cordially invited to spend Spring Break traveling by private jet to Miami, where you’ll stay, all-expenses-paid, at the Osborn Winter Compound on the Beach…"

69. PETER
You’re inviting the three of us to spend a week together in Florida?

70. HARRY
Not just the three of us…

KENNY KONG, FLASH THOMPSON and MARY JANE WATSON stand.

71. KONG
Osborn, dude! You rock!

72. FLASH
Seven days in the sun and surf.

73. KONG
All you can eat!

74. FLASH
Girls in bikinis!

75. FLASH, KONG (UNISON)
Score! <laughter>

76. MARY JANE
Hi, Sha Shan. Hi, Glory.

77. FLASH
Sha Shan… uh… So… how much of that did you hear?

78. KONG
Look, Glory, you know I meant you, right? I mean who else would I want to see in a bikini. Uh, you’re not gonna break up with me again, are you?

Kong and Flash sit. SALLY AVRIL, RAND ROBERTSON, LIZ ALLAN and JASON IONELLO STAND.

79. SALLY
Oh. My. God. Harry, I just found the invitation in my locker. And all I have to say is that you can be my super-dweeb sugar-daddy anytime you want!

80. HARRY
You okay with that Rand?

81. RAND
‘Scool. You can be my super-dweeb sugar-daddy too.

82. PETER
Exactly how many people did you invite to this thing?

83. HARRY
A handful. Kenny and Glory. Flash and Sha Shan. Rand and Sally. Hobie and Mindy. M.J. Gwen. Oh, and you and Liz, of course.

84. GWEN
Harry… Liz and Peter broke up.

85. HARRY
You did?! Wow. I had no idea. Guess I’ve just been so focused on my own problems. My Dad dying and everything. That’s why I need this trip. Gotta clear my head, you know? But maybe you two could reconcile…

86. SALLY
I don’t think so!

87. LIZ
It’s too late for that Harry. I’m with Jason now. We totally fell in love doing the play together.

88. JASON
We did?

89. SALLY / LIZ (UNISON)
Yes, you did. / Yes, we did.

90. LIZ
You don’t mind if I bring Jason instead of Petey, do you.

91. HARRY
The more the merrier.

92. LIZ
Thanks, Harry. You’re a doll. Kisses!

Liz, Sally, Jason and Rand sit.

93. HARRY
Pete, you’re still invited too. Course, it’s more of a couple’s thing. But M.J.’s guy is in prison…

94. MARY JANE
Thank you, Harry. Hadn’t been reminded of that in the last five minutes.

95. HARRY
Sorry, sorry. It’s just that I can’t help remembering the Fall Formal. You two made such a great pair! Don’t you think so, Gwen?

96. GWEN
Great.

97. PETER
I… suppose we could go… as friends. Just as friends.

98. MARY JANE
We’ll talk later, Tiger.

Mary Jane, Peter, Gwen and Harry sit. Kafka and CURT CONNORS STAND.

99. NARRATOR
Late that afternoon in Dr. Kafka’s office…

100. KAFKA
Doctor Connors, it’s good to see you. I’d heard you moved to Florida.

101. CURT
I did. But I never stopped working on a cure for Max Dillon. I think I’ve made some real progress.

102. KAFKA
That’s wonderful news. Max is downstairs… doing “work-therapy”. I’ll take you to him…

Kafka and Curt sit. Otto, Dominique, Electro, Dracon, John, Eddie and Cletus STAND.

103. ELECTRO
Ms. Destine. I think I found something.

104. DRACON
Is it my jewels?

105. OTTO
It… it appears to be a spearhead. It looks quite old.

106. DOMINIQUE
Give it to me.

107. ELECTRO
Sure, sure.

108. DOMINIQUE
Yes. This is it. I think we’re done, boys.

109. OTTO
Indeed. And just as the dig brought us right up against Ravencroft’s outer wall.

110. ELECTRO
You mean this wall?!

111. NARRATOR
Electro blasts a huge hole in the wall. When the smoke clears, the Vulture is waiting. He grabs Octavius.

VULTURE STANDS.

112. VULTURE
You’re coming with me, Otto.

113. OTTO
No, no, stop. I don’t want this life anymore… I’m trying to get better!! Let me go!!

114. ELECTRO
Shut it, Doc! It’s for your own good!

115. OTTO
Nooooooo!!!!

Otto, Electro and Vulture sit.

116. NARRATOR
Vulture and Electro leave with Octavius. Dominique watches them go.

117. DOMINIQUE
Well, that was diverting. And such excellent timing as well: it’s sunset. <transformation scream>

118. NARRATOR
With the setting of the sun, Dominique Destine transforms into a gargoyle… just as Kafka and Connors enter…

Kafka and Curt STAND.

119. KAFKA / CURT
Oh my god… / What in the world?!

120. NARRATOR
Demona effortlessly slams them both against a wall and turns to the remaining inmates…

121. CURT, KAFKA
<impacts, moans>

122. DEMONA
Listen carefully, humans. For I have listened to you. I can make all your petty little dreams come true. Dominic demands respect.

123. DRACON
Yes.

124. DEMONA
John craves power.

125. JOHN
Yes!

126. DEMONA
Eddie needs hate.

127. EDDIE
YES!

128. DEMONA
And all Cletus desires is a little carnage.

129. CLETUS
Or a lot. I’m not picky.

130. DEMONA
Then stick with me, boys. Respect, power, hatred, carnage. These are things I know…

DEMONA, Cletus, Eddie, John and Dracon sit. ALAN O’NEIL and GEORGE STACY STAND.

131. NARRATOR
Later, the police arrive to investigate…

132. O’NEIL
And you never met this broad before in your life…

133. KAFKA
She had excellent references, Officer O’Neil. It’s not like I grant just anyone access to my patients…

134. O’NEIL
And you wonder why people think they belong at Rykers.

135. GEORGE
There’s nothing else you can tell me, Doctor?

136. CURT
I’m sorry, Captain Stacy, but no. It was a creature.

137. GEORGE
Like that Lizard-thing from last fall?

138. CURT
No! No. Nothing like that. More like… like those things on the news that blew up the clock tower.

139. GEORGE
You mean the 23rd Precinct.

140. CURT
Yes.

141. GEORGE
You’re saying a gargoyle kidnapped those men.

142. CURT
Yes. No. I don’t know. Can I leave now?

George, O’Neil and Kafka sit. DILBERT TRILBY and NED LEE stand.

143. NARRATOR
But outside…

144. TRILBY
Doctor Connors! Dilbert Trilby, Action News. What can you tell our audience about the escape?

145. CURT
Nothing. No comment.

146. NED
Hey, Doc. Remember me? Ned Lee from The Bugle. Can you just tell me who escaped? Doc Ock? Electro? Colonel Jupiter â€" I mean, Colonel Jameson?

147. CURT
I’m sure the police will issue a statement. Now, I have to go.

Trilby sits. CALYPSO EZILI, KRAVEN THE HUNTER and GULYADKIN STAND.

148. NARRATOR
Connors hurries away down the street, as a limousine with dark-tinted windows pulls up in front of Ravencroft.

149. CALYPSO
We are too late, my love. The Christian Totem is gone.

150. KRAVEN
Gulyadkin and I will track it for you.

151. GULYADKIN
<low lion growl>

152. CALYPSO
I’m afraid that is beyond even your impressive abilities, Sergei, my love. But I have my own ways, as you well know…

153. KRAVEN
Of course, Calypso.

154. CALYPSO
Who is that? That man trying to hail a cab?

155. KRAVEN
He is a stranger to my eyes. Yet his scent is familiar.

156. CALYPSO
His aura glows with primal energies and may be of use to us.
(to Curt)
You need a ride.

157. CURT
What? No. No, thank you. I’ll get a cab.

158. KRAVEN
She wasn’t asking.

159. CURT
<scream>

160. NARRATOR
Kraven drags Connors into the limo, which quickly drives away…

Curt, Kraven, Calypso and Gulyadkin sit.

161. NED
Hello, Robbie? I’ve got something.

J. JONAH JAMESON, JOE “ROBBIE” ROBERTSON and FREDERICK FOSWELL STAND.

162. JONAH
Is that Lee? Put him on speaker.

163. ROBBIE
Now, Jonah, stay calm…

164. JONAH
Don’t you tell me to stay calm, Joe Robertson. It’s not your son at risk. Lee, you there?! I’ll give you exactly three-point-seven seconds to tell me John’s all right!

165. NED
Wish I could, Chief. But he disappeared with the rest. There are six inmaâ€" uh, patients missing. It’s not clear if they busted out or were kidnapped.

166. JONAH
Well, of course John was kidnapped. You think my son would--

167. ROBBIE
Ned, give me the whole list.

168. JONAH
Who cares about the listâ€"

169. ROBBIE
It could provide a lead to John.

170. NED
Doc Ock. Electro. John. Uh… let’s see. Edward Brock Jr., Cletus Kasady and Dominic Dracon.

171. FOSWELL
Dominic Dracon? The old mob boss? There’s a name I haven’t heard in a while.

172. JONAH
Foswell, you know that world! Find out where Dracon might have gone!

173. FOSWELL
You got it, J.J.

174. JONAH
Lee, you stick to the damn super-villain angle! Ock, Electro. What’s their next move?!

175. NED
Right, boss!

176. JONAH
Robbie, I want every available man on this. No, damnit, I want every man, woman and child on this, available or not. Call Parker. Put Benny the copyboy on it. But Ms. Brant on it. I want John Jameson safely back in his mother’s arms in six-point… six-point…

177. ROBBIE
It’s okay, Jonah. We’re on it.

178. JONAH
Good. Good. I’ll… I’ll hit the streets myself. I’m still the best damn reporter in New York City! Just have to make a call first. Well, what are you all waiting for, get out! Out!

Robbie, Ned and Foswell sit.

179. JONAH (CONT)
Hello, is this WVRN? Travis Marshall, please. Travis? It’s Jonah. I got a lead for you on the Ravencroft thing.
(pauses, listening)
Whaddayou care why I’m helping the competition?! I know I hate television! You don’t have to tell me that! I’m not trying to sandbag you, damnit, I… I’m just trying to find my son… any way I can.

Jonah sits. SPIDER-MAN STANDS.

180. NARRATOR
That night finds Spider-Man swinging through the city…

181. PETER (VO)
If I didn’t know better, I’d think Harry was trying to torture me and Gwen. Then again, M.J. is quite the consolation prize. Ah, man, what am I saying? I’m in love with Gwen. Gwen. Gwendolyn Stacy. Just have to get through the next few weeks and then Harry’ll be in a better place, and she and I--

182. NARRATOR
Pete’s ringtone plays Itsy-Bitsy Spider.

183. SPIDER-MAN
Hello?

Robbie STANDS.

184. ROBBIE
Pete. Joe Robertson. There’s been an incident at Ravencroft.

Robbie sits.

185. SPIDER-MAN
Uh huh… uh huh… Wait, who’s missing? Uh oh. Him too? Oh, crap. Sorry, I mean-- What?! Seriously?! Uh, right. Yeah, I’ll keep my eyes open. Camera lens at the ready. Thanks for the heads up. Bye.
(to himself)
Whoa. At least this day can’t get any worse!

SMUGGLER #1 stands.

186. SMUGGLER #1
What the hell are those things?!

187. SPIDER-MAN
When am I gonna learn not to say that out loud?

188. NARRATOR
Spidey swings down to find two men in a van being attacked by two gargoyles, Obsidiana and Zafiro…

ZAFIRO and OBSIDIANA STAND.

189. SPIDER-MAN
Hi there. Hate to interrupt, but this lady-esque-blue-creature-thing matches the description of another lady-esque-blue-creature-thing who just busted some folks out of Ravenâ€"

190. ZAFIRO
What is he babbling about?

191. OBSIDIANA
I have no idea. I sense no connection between him and the source of the disturbance. But these two…

192. SMUGGLER #1
Keep her away from us!!

193. SPIDER-MAN
You see, now I’m on the horns of a dilemma… Uh, no offense. It’s just an expression; I wasn’t referring to your rather striking… Never mind. See in this particular Spider-Man’s experience, when genetic misfits attack ordinary human beings, I’m gonna have to side with the humans.

194. ZAFIRO
Qué sorpresa. A human with no knowledge of the situation leaping to defend one of his own.

195. NARRATOR
Zafiro attacks Spidey.

196. ZAFIRO, SPIDER-MAN
<ad lib battle efforts, impacts>

197. NARRATOR
Obsidiana rips open the top of the van.

198. OBSIDIANA
<rip effort>

199. SMUGGLER #1
Stay back!

200. NARRATOR
The two humans open fire on her, forcing her to leap away… The van peels out. Obsidiana tries to follow, but Spidey webs her wings together.

Smuggler #1 sits.

201. OBSIDIANA
Por favor! You don’t understand the powers that are gathering!!

202. SPIDER-MAN
And you’re the one doing the Gathering, I take it!

203. OBSIDIANA
No!

204. ZAFIRO
Enough!

205. SPIDER-MAN
<impact grunt>

206. NARRATOR
Zafiro slams Spidey into a wall. By the time the web-slinger recovers, the gargoyles are gone…

Zafiro and Obsidiana sit.

207. SPIDER-MAN
<groan> For a guy with no legs, that snake-thing can move…

Spider-Man sits. George and MARIA CHAVEZ STAND.

208. NARRATOR
Not far away…

209. GEORGE
Captain Chavez.

210. CHAVEZ
Captain Stacy. What brings you to what’s left of the 23rd?

211. GEORGE
It’s the Ravencroft thing. I’ve got corroborating witnesses telling me a gargoyle was involved.

212. CHAVEZ
<sigh> I miss the days when being a cop didn’t involve a working knowledge of The Twilight Zone.

213. GEORGE
Welcome to the Freak Show.

214. CHAVEZ
Anyway, as it happens, the Gargoyle Taskforce is meeting right now. First trailer on the right. Ask for Bluestone.

Chavez sits. MATT BLUESTONE, MORGAN MORGAN, MARGOT YALE and Elisa STAND.

215. NARRATOR
Minutes later…

216. GEORGE
And that’s all I know…

217. MATT
Well, that is interesting, or, you know… really, really scary.

218. MORGAN
I’ll say, Detective. With or without a gargoyle, I’ve heard Ock and Electro are bad news. And that Cletus Kasady: he killed five people before--

219. MARGOT
Forget Kasady. Any idiot can bring a serial killer down. It’s the gargoyle we should be concerned with. It’s what I’ve been saying all along! Those monsters are dangerous!

220. MATT
I think what A.D.A. Yale is saying, Captain, is that the Taskforce is on it. We’ll let you know if we hear anything. And we’ll be checking in with all our sources, won’t we, Detective?

221. ELISA
And fast.

Elisa, Matt, Margot, Morgan and George sit. Smuggler #1 and Demona STAND.

222. NARRATOR
Meanwhile, a van with a torn up roof pulls up to a Gramercy Park Mansion… The driver speaks into the intercom…

223. SMUGGLER #1
Longinus sent me.

224. DEMONA
Leave the package. Then take your money and go. While you still can.

225. SMUGGLER #1
Geez, who lives here? Dracula’s daughter?

Smuggler #1 sits. Eddie, John and Cletus STAND.

226. NARRATOR
Demona collects her package.

227. EDDIE
The old guy’s asleep. What’s that?

228. DEMONA
A simple wooden shaft. The prize of Adolph Hitler’s personal collection. After his… demise, his remaining followers smuggled it to Brazil. I paid handsomely to have it smuggled to me.

229. EDDIE
Why? I mean sure, it’s the shaft of a spear. Completes the set with that arrowhead you took from Ravencroft. But why do we care?

230. DEMONA
Here’s why.

231. NARRATOR
Demona joins the spear and spearhead together. Instantly, it radiates incredible power.

232. DEMONA
The Holy Lance. The Spear of Destiny. The weapon that pierced the side of the Christ. Do you still want power, John? This is power.

233. JOHN
Give it to me. Give it!

234. DEMONA
No. This power is mine. But I will use it to give you back your own…

235. NARRATOR
She points the Spear at John Jameson. The magic surrounds him and transforms him into Colonel Jupiter!

236. COLONEL JUPITER
<transformation scream> Yes! The power is mine! I am Colonel Jupiter!

237. DEMONA
For what that’s worth… Now for Eddie.

238. VENOM
<transformation scream>

239. DEMONA
Happy now?

240. VENOM
Extremely. We are Venom again.

241. DEMONA
And what about you, Cletus?

242. CLETUS
(pointing at Venom)
I’ll have what he’s having…

243. DEMONA
As you wish… Carnage.

244. CARNAGE
<transformation scream>

245. VENOM
All right, Demona. You’re the Mirror Universe Wizard of Oz. But what now?

246. DEMONA
Mine is the Power. But I still require the Kingdom and the Glory. This is only the first act, humans… or whatever you are now. The main event is still to come…

Demona, VENOM, CARNAGE and COLONEL JUPITER sit.

END ACT ONE

TOMORROW: ACT TWO...


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Hal_Emmerich writes...

Hey Greg

In several responses, you have indicated that the events of A Midsummer Nights Dream did occur, albeit in a different manner. This actually leads me to a series of questions surrounding the existence of the Immortal Bard I was wondering if you'd answer.

#1: Was the play itself written in the Gargoyles universe?
#2: Did Shakespeare actually have knowledge/involvement of the events, or was he merely writing from folklore and legend?
#3: We've seen that characters from both Macbeth and Midsummer Nights Dream exist in the Gargoyles Universe and are real. Did any of the other plays occur as well (The Tempest for example)? If so, were they written in Gargoyles Chronology, and did Shakespeare have any special inspiration/connection to writing them.

Thank you for your time.

Craig

Greg responds...

1. Yes.

2. I'm not revealing that at this time.

3. All the plays were written. As I've mentioned before, a version of events in "The Tempest" and other plays also took place at various times. Sometimes Shakespeare had special knowledge. Other times he didn't.

Response recorded on July 02, 2009

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2009

I've been meaning to post this all week.

Last Friday, my family and I headed up to Ashland, Oregon to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The Festival runs for nine months a year, producing 11 different plays. During the summer months, there are nine productions going on in repertory at any given time. We saw five plays in three days, and just had a blast.

We started Friday night with Shakespeare's HENRY VIII, and this was the best production of this play I've EVER seen, including the production I saw in London years ago. Vilma Silva as Katherine and Anthony Heald as Wolsey were both fantastic.

On Saturday, we saw EQUIVOCATION, a new play by Bill Cain that was the highlight of the entire trip (which is saying a lot)! Equivocation is set during the reign of King James I of England (a.k.a. James VI of Scotland). William Shagspeare has been commissioned to write a play about the Gunpowder Plot, and his attempts to tell the truth -- and not get hanged in the process -- are played out. The cast of characters includes his daughter Judith (and for those of you who saw my "Doc Shakespeare" radio play at the 2005 Gathering in Las Vegas, you can imagine how fascinated I was by this), the King, SIr Robert Cecil, Guy Fawkes and various members of the Kings Players. It also features bits of King Lear, Macbeth and Henry VIII, giving a sense to the origin of those plays as well as Shakespeare's later "romances" such as Pericles, Winter's Tale, Cymbeline and The Tempest. Anthony Heald, so good the night before as Cardinal Wolsey is fantastic as Shag. An actress, whose name escapes me unfortunately, is wonderful as Judith. (She played Anne Boylen in Henry VIII) and four other actors (all fantastic) cover all the other parts. I liked this play so much, I immediately went to the gift shop and bought the text. And stayed up reading it that night.

Saturday night, we went to see a Nigerian play called "Death and the King's Horseman", based on a true story and set during World War II. This was a fascinating look at African vs. European (Western) values and theater.

Sunday, we saw Shakespeare's MACBETH. I've seen a LOT of productions of Macbeth of course, but there were a lot of cool elements to this version, including a sense that the Weird Sisters weren't done with Fleance at the end, which was something completely fresh to me. It was also great to see it right after seeing Equivocation.

Finally, Sunday night we saw a wonderfully funny production of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.

In addition to the shows, we had a number of wonderful meals -- and okay, a couple mediocre ones too -- in Ashland. And my daughter, father and I had a great hike through an absolutely gorgeous park.

All and all, I can't recommend the Festival, Ashland and especially EQUIVOCATION enough.


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Anonymous writes...

Why was the role of Tombstone recast? I know Keith David originally voiced him in the pilot and that Kevin Michael Richardson replaced him.

Greg responds...

Keith went to New York to play Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream. So Kevin stepped in. Both did a great job.

Response recorded on June 09, 2009

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RTS writes...

*SPIDEY SPOILERS*

Hi Greg.

Great work on Season 2, I might not know exactly how the system works, but I see no reason why it shouldn't be renewed. Hopefully by the time you answer this you will have good news to tell about that, but for now, a few questions regarding what's been done so far.

1) In season 2 episode 8, "Accomplices", we see Black Cat spray something onto a window before going through it, we then see the window wobble around or something after she goes into the vent. What did she do to the window, exactly?

2) Was the lead into Hobie Brown first speaking in the role of Puck something you planned well ahead of time, or did Hobie's silence become a running joke before you made that decision?

3) On the subject, any chance that you tried to get Brent Spiner to do the role?

4) In "Growing Pains", I couldn't help noticing that a certain "Greg Weisman" is named on the cast list shown at the end. I was just wondering whether you have ever performed any role in "A Midsummer Night's Dream", since it is mentioned in one of the FAQs that you've taken acting classes in the past.

5) You're the best. (This isn't a question)

Greg responds...

SPIDEY SPOILERS!!!!!!

1. First she melted the real glass with acid. Then she replaced it with a reflective "paper" that mimicked the look of the glass. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

2. The former.

3. The role of Hobie? No.

4. Yes, I've been in "Midsummer" as Theseus and in another production as Philostrate.

5. Right back at ya.

Response recorded on May 20, 2009

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Blaise writes...

Hey Greg! Long time, no question.

I know I should ask something related to "Gargoyles," or "Spider-Man," but instead, my question is about a Shakespeare character.

A couple of nights ago I caught a televised version of the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of "King Lear" on KCET (with Sir Ian McKellan as Lear, no less). Seeing this production, I was reminded of your affinity for the character of Edmund.

I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on Edmund's "change of heart" towards the end of the play. Why the change? What brought it about? You played Edmund in a production, yes? How did you perform this scene?

Greg responds...

My interpretation is that Edmund's world has been rocked. Up to just before receiving his mortal wound, he was consistently atheistic, a non-believer capable of exploiting the beliefs of others for his cynical ends. I believe he KNEW he was fighting Edgar at the end, and I believe he was confident that he was the better warrior. But if Edgar could beat him, despite his "legitimate" brother's lack of ability, then maybe there's some truth to the notion that God favors the sword of the man in the right. To Edmund, that might be the only possible explanation for him having lost that duel. (Ironically, he wouldn't take non-superstitious factors into account, like the psychological hardening of Edgar over the course of the play.) "Some good I mean to do before mine own end," says Edmund. At the end of his life, the victory of Edgar has made him -- if not quite a believer -- superstitious. If Edgar can win, then maybe God, the soul, fate, the stars, right and wrong, etc. do have an influence on the actions of man. So he's hedging his bets on the afterlife by providing some truth. It's not exactly selfless, though not ENTIRELY cynical, since I can't imagine he's fully conscious of all this, given the complete lack of time to process events.

I'm not sure if I was a good enough actor to play all the nuances of the above, but that's how I view it. And in the one act play that I wrote about Edmund in college, that's the interpretation I used.

Response recorded on April 29, 2009

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Wesley Nichols writes...

One thing I am curious about is your view of the events in Shakespear'es Midsummer Nights Dream. After seeing the play, I had always been more sympathetic to Titania than Oberon, yet from your responses, in the Gargoyle Universe,you seem to set the actual event as more sympathetic to Oberon. What caused your decision to take that route?

Greg responds...

I'm not sure I'm more sympathetic to Oberon AT ALL. I think he has some positive qualities in the play and some extremely NEGATIVE qualities, and my theory that he's the (illegitimate) father of the changeling boy born of a young virgin he therefore must have seduced before she died in childbirth, doesn't per se make him sympathetic, though I do think it makes his actions more understandable. Admittedly, if your interpretation was that he wants the boy for sexual purposes, he's a monster, and I sound like a sympathetic revisionist/apologist/jerk by comparison. But if you don't attribute that horrific interpretation to the play, then all I've done is motivate his actions with something specific.

Response recorded on April 16, 2009

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DarkFae writes...

Did the events of a Midsummer Night's Dream happen in the Gargoyles Universe? And if so did they happen as Shakespeare wrote them or differently?

Greg responds...

Events occurred, but I'm not going to go into it at this time.

Response recorded on August 22, 2008

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Wesley Nichols writes...

I once heard/ read that when the Midsummer Nights Dream was performed during William Shakespears time, Puck was usually portrayed by a child (can't remember where I heard this, but I believe it was an english teacher in high school). Did you ever consider giving puck the appearance of a child?

Greg responds...

I've never heard that, and it doesn't sound too likely to me. So... no.

Response recorded on August 11, 2008

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Algernon writes...

I'd like to start by wishing a happy Easter to those who cerebrate it and to those that don't, have a great day anyway. Now lets talk Spidey...

S
P
O
I
L
E
R
S

Market Forces

Another solid episode with a lot of different threads running through it. We start getting to know J. Johna Jameson and he's a lot of fun, I especially liked the whole hyperactive 'perpetually ten minutes to deadline' attitude they gave him. Interestingly this incarnation of ole Jolly Jonah doesn't seem to be particularly Anti-Spidey, I don't know if you've completely dropped it or if you're going to incorporate it later.

Also returning are Flint Marko and Alex O'Hirn AKA the future Sandman and Rhino respectively. O'Hirn's "ram him with a truck" move is a very Rhino-esque tactic, nice bit of foreshadowing.

When I first heard that Shocker wasn't going to be Herman Schultz I was a little weirded out but this episode erased all my doubts. Montana makes for a pretty charismatic villain with warped sense of honor. by the way, how weird is it to see the bad guy espousing the Moral of The Day(TM)?

We also meet Betty Brant and Robbie Robertson, I'd guessed that Randy from Peter's school was indeed his son but it's nice to have confirmation. big shout out to Phil LaMarr who managed to make father and son sound both reminiscent yet distinctive. Some nice interaction between Pete and Betty but is he trying to get the poor women tossed in jail.

Norman Osborn gets some nice development in this episode, teaming up with the Big Man to set up a sort of Supervillians'R'Us. That's what sets Osborn apart from Spidey's other rogues. Take away Vulture's wing and he's just a bitter old man. Take away Electro's lightning and he's just the school handyman. Take away Venom's symbiont and he's just a dweeb with a persecution complex. But take away Green Goblin's Glider and Pumpkin Bombs and he can still make your life a living hell as plain old Norman Osborn.

When I first heard that Keith David would be replaced as the Big Man I was rather disappointed but I was very impressed by Kevin Michael Richardson's performance. he really nailed the part, so much so that I wouldn't have noticed the change if I hadn't heard about it before hand.

All in all another job well done.

Greg responds...

Keith did a great job in Episode One, but then he headed out to New York to play OBERON in Central Park. (Still can't compete w/Shakespeare.) Kevin stepped in and I think did an admirable job. He's really made the part his own without making it a different character.

Response recorded on April 17, 2008

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Anonymous writes...

what is lady macbeths plan to kill duncan?

Greg responds...

In which universe?

Response recorded on June 05, 2007

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KirK writes...

2 - In the gargoyle version of macbeth retold via City of Stone flashbacks, why is it that the character of hecate seen in the original play was never featured?

Greg responds...

What role would she have played?

Response recorded on May 01, 2007

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Anonymous writes...

With particular reference to act 4 scene 3, is it believable that in the space of one scene Iago is able to convince Othallo that Desdemona is unfaitful

Greg responds...

Depends on the performance, I would think. I've been convinced of it many times.

Response recorded on March 30, 2007

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Danny Dyche writes...

I've read a book which might interest people who understand certain references in "Gargoyles". Ruled Britannia by Harry Turtledove is an alternate history novel in which William Shakespeare writes a play about Queen Boudicca.

Greg responds...

Sounds cool.

Response recorded on March 09, 2007

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Makhasu writes...

You've said that Macbeth sometimes works as a stage actor. In what sort of productions? How well does he get along with taking orders from the directors? =)

Greg responds...

He's done some Shakespeare, certainly. Probably other stuff as well. Maybe some Stoppard or Shaw. I could definitely see him doing some Shaw.

And I'm sure he got along just fine with the directors. He's not a prima dona or anything.

Response recorded on March 06, 2007

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maricar writes...

im asking about the famous line of lady mcbeth one of shakespeare's charater which starts with "blood, blood, blood"

Greg responds...

What about it?

Response recorded on January 22, 2007

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Psycho girl writes...

(Cough, Cough HACK!!!)

(Sniff) Oh, my head.....I know that I said I was going to do a HUGE ramble on my favorite episodes, but (cough) gosh darn it, I got pneumonia and have been in and out of the ER lately. :( I sad.

So, since this is the last day in Jan. and your closing down the asking part of the site, I decided to post one...last.....post for now. (Cough)

Greg: "OH, THANK GOD!!!"

Have you ever been to the Utah Shakespearean Festival Greg? Its very good, heck it's a Tony Award-Winning program! They do tones of great shows, some of them even out doors on their....well out door stage. This year, they are doing:

The Merry Wives of Windsor
Antony and Cleopatra
Hamlet

From June 22 to September 22 this year! (Plus more but Im not typing it...im tired.)

For more info on the Festival: please go to www.bard.com for tons of info and stuff!!! Its COOL!!! I go almost every year. (its a little easier for me because I live in Utah, and I LOVE da mountains!! Born and raised here baby!!)

I have a website that you might like, its www.lost-civilizations.net. Its got info on the Easter Island heads, Atlantis and much more! Since you like that sort of stuff, Im sure you'll like it.

Well, good by America and all the ships at sea. (Mwah-ha-ha.....COUGH, COUGH, COUGH!!!)

Greg responds...

I've had pneumonia myself. I'm hoping you're fine by now. But I do sympathise. It sucks.

I have twice been to the Utah Festival. Once with my wife. Once with my brother. Had a great time both times. Would love to go again, but haven't been able to manage it.

Response recorded on January 16, 2007

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Psycho girl writes...

Hi.....uhhhh.........hi again.......I have some more questions about Oberon and Titania...but they refer to the show, not the play. So I put up a separate post so it could go under a separate...thingy.

1. When was the changing boy born in your show? (I KNOW....I used changeling last time!!! I SPELL BAD!!!....or wuz I right last time...? ARG!!!)

2. Is the boy a grown-up now in the show?

3. What did Titania think of the play "A Midsummers Nights Dream?"

4. So....I was wondering......what did Titania whisper to
Fox?.................Uhh......Mr. Weisman.......hello?.....hrm, where did he go?

(DING-DONG!!!)

Oh my, the doorbell! I have company! Yay!

(Opens the door to find Greg Weisman standing at the door with a baseball bat)

Oh my goodness! Its Mr. Weisman at my house! Have you come to tell me what Titania said?

Greg: (lightly tapping the bat up and down on his hand) Yeah....something like that...Are you familiar with the story "The lady, or the Tiger" by Frank R. Stockton?

Yeah....

Greg: Well, its sort of like that.

Oh.....ok.

Greg: And for asking me that question in the first place....(raises the bat)

Uh, oh.....erk!..... :)

Im just being stupid right now. Thanks again.

Greg responds...

1. Changeling. And I haven't placed this event on my timeline as yet.

2. I'm not saying.

3. I'm sure when she first saw it she was far from pleased. I like to think that she's matured enough now that she's come to appreciate its finer qualities.

4. <cricket chirp>

You're welcome.

Response recorded on January 11, 2007

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Psycho girl writes...

Hello! (snickering).......Ah, another glorious day to be alive!!! What an honor to live in such a world we live in!! :)

Well Im back, with a vengeance.

I have to tell you something, when I twas a little girl watching "The Mirror" and hearing (learning) about "A Midsummers Nights Dream", I was curios and whipped out my mothers "Completed works of William Shakspere" book and tried to read it. But.....I was to young (or stupid...?) to understand it, so I tried it again when I was 16 and really enjoyed it! Also, when I bought the second season DVD set and watch "The Mirror", it re-kindled my interest and I re-read it. WHY is I telling U this? Well, I have a question about the story that I still (unfortunately) don't get... :(

1. WHY did Oberon want the changeling boy? And......

2. Why wouldn't Titania let him have the boy? (I know that Titania and the boys mother were friends...is that why?)

I hope that I don't sound too stupid...but I just don't understand that part. Well, that's my Shakspere Q. Have a nice, happy, and all-around good day!

Greg responds...

1. I have this theory that the boy was his son. Many scholars theorize that he had a romantic interest in the boy. Others point out that fairy lore is just FILLED with fairies capturing and keeping small children.

2. That's it mostly, I think. I also believe there's a certain perverse satisfaction in keeping something from Oberon that he wants. And like Oberon, there's the fairy tradition of capturing and keeping small children.

Response recorded on January 11, 2007

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Axem Gold writes...

A few months ago at the library, I checked out the VHS Macbeth (Orson Welles directed and played the lead role). According to the credits, Malcom was played by Roddy Mcdowall (Proteus). Did you know about that?

Greg responds...

Yep. I have my copy of that version of Macbeth sitting right over there on the shelf. No, the other shelf. Yeah. See?

Response recorded on December 22, 2006

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Mandolin writes...

Greg -

(Insert Mandi's G2005 con journal here.)

For a variety of reasons which involve exploding lightbulbs, bad cosplay, and a possessed automobile that no one really wants to hear about, I don't think I'll get my con journal done before August 31st. Oh, I'll get it done anyway, but I have the feeling it won't be done by the deadline and you just need the numbers before then. Better a late con journal that's not crappy and tainted by my need to hurt various contractors. So I was there, I came, I saw, I had fun, G2005 was over far too soon, and I'm looking into making you a "Lunatic Most Trusted" button.

(Incidentally, if I don't make it to G2006 or you read this before I do, I forgot to ask you something at the Blue Mug-A-Guest when you said you were a Shakespeare freak - did you ever see "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)?" I'd recommend it if you haven't; best play I've ever been involved in, and it messes with Othello and Romeo and Juliet SO MUCH...)

Now watch. Now that I've given up getting it done before the deadline, I'll get it done in time anyway. Oh well...

Greg responds...

Haven't seen that play. No. Sounds cool though.

Response recorded on December 15, 2006

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Dan writes...

How far does Iago's manipulation fuel Othello's jealousy?

Greg responds...

All the way to Cyprus.

Response recorded on November 08, 2006

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renee writes...

what is the whole concept behind racism in the drama of orthelo

Greg responds...

Read OTHELLO and find out.

Response recorded on November 07, 2006

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Mercy writes...

I have no questions, just writing my review and support for the Gargoyles DVD.

I love it so much. I watched it all the minute I ripped it out of the Christmas wrapping!It brought back so many memories! I was fourteen when the show aired and watching it all over again has made me more aware of storylines I didn't pay attention to before. Really, no other animated series has ever topped Gargoyles.
I especially love the commentaries and wished there had been more, but I'm sure that's simply asking too much. I love all the inside information and spoilers. I especially enjoyed the warmth and humor through out the commentaries.
I would like to put in my part in saying that I desperately, desperately want to see Gargoyles Season II come out and soon. I may be a poor college student but I would happily spend my financial aid money to buy season two instead of textbooks!

On another note, I want to thank you Greg Weisman for adding Shakespeare into the series. It inspired me to read Shakespeare, love Shakespeare and now I'm on my last year of college hoping to one day soon, teach Shakespeare.

Greg responds...

That is tremendously gratifying. Thank you for relaying that here.

Response recorded on October 24, 2006

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Josh writes...

Why are there no pauses between scenes in Shakespear's plays?

Greg responds...

By "pauses", do you mean "act breaks"? Cause they have those between acts.

Response recorded on October 19, 2006

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Laura (Ackerman) Sack writes...

Just read the resume you posted- two things caught my curiosity: One was in reference to the Disney Afternoon block, "Developed animated feature length idea, The Tempest", and the other was "1999: Macbeth, DREAMWORKS FEATURE ANIMATION. Writer". I hope my memory isn't failing me, but I don't remember either being discussed on Ask Greg. Were these straight adaptations of the Shakespeare, inspired by, reminiscent of...?

Thanks in advance for answering.

Greg responds...

At Disney, the Tempest idea I had was inspired by the play. Followed the basic outline of the story, but wasn't the play itself.

At DreamWorks, I developed TWO versions of Macbeth. One dead on, i.e. the actual play. And one that was inspired by the play, but told from a different point of view.

Of course, none of this stuff was for the Disney Afternoon block.

Response recorded on September 20, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

Just looked over the resume that you included in one of your most recent answers, and thought that I'd tell you that I found it amusing and very appropriate that two projects that you'd worked on were feature-length animated versions (which apparently wound up being scrapped before completed) of "The Tempest" and "Macbeth". I certainly can't say that I'm too surprised that you'd be working on them.

Greg responds...

No, it's not particularly surprising, just a bit depressing. I also spent some time working on a Midsummer Night's Dream animated feature. But that never got off the ground either.

Response recorded on September 19, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

I remember your mentioning at the Gathering 2001 about your idea for the odd little two-parter about Goliath and Co. getting trapped in a performance of Shakespeare's "Macbeth". Was this idea of yours at all influenced or inspired by the famous superstitions revolving around the "Scottish Play"?

Greg responds...

Not per se.

Response recorded on September 14, 2006

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Paladin writes...

Dear Mr. Weisman-

I was wondering if you could clarify how William Shakespeare fits into the Gargoyle universe. Was he aware of the Third Race in some regard, or was he just a very talented writer whose stories were closer to truth than fiction?

Thank you for your time, and for your creation.

Greg responds...

Will's place in our world is a story I've yet to tell, but want to tell -- eventually in the comic book. So I'm not going to spell it out here, other than to reiterate what I've already revealed: i.e. that Macbeth was a friend to Will, though Will never knew that Macbeth was MACBETH.

And, oh, yes, Will wrote his plays.

Response recorded on September 13, 2006

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Laura (Ackerman) Sack writes...

I was reading your answers to the Oberon/Titanina Family trees (November 2004) and two things caught my attn:

"Lord Oberon married Titania (who became Queen Titania after Mab was overthrown). (Note: Oberon intentionally did not take the title of King. Retaining his "Lord" title is his semi-skewed attempt at being more... egalitarian.) "

-When you say that Titania 'became' queen while Oberon chose not to 'take' the title king- do you mean that Oberon's claim came from Titania and not from Queen Mab or his conquest of her? (Queen Mab is his mother, right?) Is Titania queen or queen consort?

I know in many cultures that seem to have inherited kingship the facts are actually differnt. Take Macbeth, for example: Luach was probably the first son to directly inheret a crown from his father in Scottish history. Macbeth's claim was as good as Duncun Canmore's, but Gruach came from an older line than either. Are Oberon's children similarly not straight forward? With near imortality succession probably doesn't come up all that much anyway.

You also wrote:
"Oberon also has at least two sons by mortal women: Merlin and the changeling boy from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". "

I cannot believe I didn't notice you saying that before! When I read/saw Midsummer, (one of very few plays I can't get into while reading but love to watch), I always assumed the boy was the mortal child of a beloved, all-to-mortal, devotee of Titania's. The complete disregard for the boy shown by Oberon stealing him away (both physically and magically from Titania's attention) always left Oberon a bit too scummy for me to be fully happy with the 'all the couples were reunited and lived happily ever after." (Though, I'm told if my knowledge of mythology were more complete I would know the royal mortal couple don't end so happily, or at least longly, either.)

If the boy was in fact Oberon's, than the disregard might be feigned as a ploy to get him from Titania. Oberon is immediately made less scummy.

Barage of questions:
1.In the Gargoyles universe, how true to the Shakespeare is the 'true' story?
2.Was Titania aware that the child was her husband's?
If so, was her care for the boy as innocent and real as they seem (to me) in the play?
3.What made Oberon father a child with a worshiper of his wife? Coincidence? Meaness? Was she a worshiper of Titania at the time or did that come after?
4.I think, but do not remember clearly, that the woman did not die in childbirth. What did she die of, and could Oberon have been of help preventing it? Did he try?
(My pet theory is that Titania has tried to help Renayrd out a bit in his illness, but there is only so much she can do without being obvious. And even if she were to use blatant magic, there is still only so much she can do. Medicine and healing, though we take it for granted, is still 'big magic'.)
5. What ever did happen to the changling after the events of the play? Or, if you don't want to go into specifics, is he alive or at least have a unnaturally long life?

Apropo of very little- last summer I caught a rather good preformance of Midsummer in a Shakespeare in the Park(ing Lot). (Not as good as their Richard II that they seemlessly reordered to make the first half as flashbacks during the second.) Uneven. but with real flashes of brillance. Instead of dual roles, they had the traditionally dual roles played by exchangable pairs. The Oberon and Titania I caught had fantastic presence.

thank you

Greg responds...

Titania is Queen Consort, technically, but it's also a position of not a little authority at the top of the feudal pyramid, answerable ONLY to Oberon... and even he is somewhat reluctant to order his Queen around. Note that when the Weird Sisters report that everyone but Titania and Puck have arrived for the Gathering, Oberon immediately states that Titania may come and go as she pleases.

In any case, Oberon's claim to his throne comes from both being the son of Mab and being the one who took Mab down. It does not come via Titania.

As for your Midsummer Questions, this is a story I hope to tell one day, so I'm going to be stingier...

1. We'll have to see.
2. I prefer to leave the answer to this ambiguous.
3. She was already a worshipper. His motives... are also best left ambiguous for now.
4. I'm not revealing this now.
5. Ditto.

Response recorded on September 05, 2006

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Troubies Do Doobies

I've plugged 'em before. Now I'll let them plug themselves...

Subject: Much Adoobie Brothers EXTENDED!

Troubadour Theater Company EXTENDS

Los Angeles Times' Critics' Choice

Much Adoobie Brothers About Nothing

NOW Playing through Sunday, September 24.

Scroll down to read the rave reviews.

Miles Memorial Playhouse
August 10 - September 24
Thurs - Sat 8 pm, Sundays 4 pm
1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica CA

La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
October 1, 2006 7pm

All Tickets $25

On Sale Now and Going Fast!
troubie.tix.com

CRITICS' CHOICE! "Put it all together and you have the truest hallmark of any Troubadour show...bad wigs, rock star preening and outrageous comic riffs (that) LEAVE THE AUDIENCE BREATHLESS WITH LAUGHTER!"
--Daryl Miller, LA TIMES

["All true" --Greg Weisman]

GO! "A SCREAM! Another LAUGH FILLED TRIUMPH FOR THE TROUBIES!"
--Martin Hernandez, LA WEEKLY

"HILARIOUS! DELICIOUSLY FUNNY! UNDER MATT WALKER'S FIRST RATE DIRECTION, THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE is a RAMBUNCTIOUS BUNDLE OF JOYFUL COMIC ANARCHY!"
--Terry Morgan, VARIETY

["Matt Walker is an effing genius" -- Greg Weisman]

CRITIC'S PICK! "IT'S ALL TOTALLY BITCHIN'! MATT WALKER, WHO ACCOMPANIED BY HIS USUAL PARTNER IN HILARITY, BETH KENNEDY, AND THE LOVELY LAUREN GIRA - BRINGS DOWN THE HOUSE! A PITCH-PERFECT JEN SEIFERT PARRIES BRILLIANTLY WITH ERIC ANDERSON! A BALLS-OUT ROCK 'N' ROLL BASTARDIZATION OF SHAKESPEARE! RIGHT ON!"
--Jennie Webb, BACKSTAGE WEST

CRITIC'S PICK! "WILD! HILARIOUS! THE IMPRESSIVE SMARTLY MOUNTED PRODUCTION, AND WALKER'S SHARP SAVVY DIRECTION WITH ROLLICKING PERFORMANCES JUST ASTONISHES! DON'T MISS IT!"
--Gerri Garner, AMERICAN RADIO NETWORKS

"Nobody does Doobies like the Troubies"

www.troubie.com


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Richard von Heinz writes...

1) Why did the producers of the show go with iron as the general weakness for Oberon's Children when many of them like Raven, Odin or Anubis were figures from mythologies that didn't see iron as a sort of "god kryptonite". In fact the Fenris wolf from norse mythology was able to snap his iron chains and had to be finally chained with a magical one and many of the gods and demons of the Far East didn't seem to have a problem with iron.

2)In relation to the first question why was Oberon the king and lord of the third race that included such beings as Odin and possibly Zeus and other godhead when in the traditional stories he was just a minor king of the fairies or elves?

In general I'm just rather curious why you put so many of the qualities found in fairies and elves such as Oberon and the iron weakness onto mythological figures such as Odin, Coyote or Anasi which in the end from my point of view kind of diminishes the gods.

Greg responds...

1) When combining so many mythologies, certain choices have to be made. Since we were putting a traditional "fairy" figure like Oberon at the top of our feudal pyramid, using iron made sense. I understand your objection, even sympathize with it, but I also don't regret our decision.

2) Well, a short answer is that we wanted to diminish the gods a bit... or put another way, we wanted to create a unifying system for them all. A feudal system. Oberon and Titania got priority, because in general SHAKESPEARE got priority. Titania, as far as I know, is not a traditional figure but an invention of ol' Will's. I've always freely admitted to being a Shakespeare fanatic, so his characters, including Macbeth, Oberon, Titania, Puck, the Weird Sisters, etc. were always going to have featured roles in this series. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, and I was the guy in charge. That doesn't make me RIGHT in some transcendent sense, just means that I had the right to create the universe I wanted to play in. So I did.

Response recorded on August 24, 2006

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Troubies

In my praise of the Troubador Theater Company, I forgot to include their website address:

www.troubie.com

The website itself may not be that impressive, but bookmark it for future reference. Heck, a bunch of you are coming to Gathering 2006 in Los Angeles. Maybe we can all plan to attend a Troubie show together.


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"Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1599..."

Yesterday, I took my kids to see "Hamlet, The Artist Formerly Known As Prince Of Denmark". It's a fairly faithful adaption of Shakespeare's Hamlet, set to the music of Prince with a ton of clown shtick thrown in for good measure. For folks of a certain age, like me, who remember the 1984 joy of total emersion in Purple Rain, it was a blast. And my kids really liked it too. Plus, hey, Shakespeare to boot!

And all of it, the brilliant work of the Troubador Theater Company. Matt Walker, who directed the show and leads the company and plays Hamlet, is an f-ing genius.

(Oh, and that guy on stilts... Whoah!)

I think this is my favorite Troubie show since "A Midsummer Saturday Night's Fever Dream".

The talented Troubies are celebrating their tenth anniversary. Other shows of theirs include:

"Fleetwood Macbeth"
"The Comedy of Aerosmith"
"It's a Stevie Wonderful Life"
"Alls Kool that Ends Cool"
"A Christmas Carol King"
"Funky Punks with Junk in their Trunks"
"Santa Claus is Coming to Motown"
"Twelfth Dog Night"

Coming in November... "Little Drummer Bowie"

If you're in L.A., you really don't want to miss it.


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Todd Jensen writes...

This is another comment rather than a question, but I thought that you might find it interesting.

A few days ago I was visiting the local Borders, and noticed a book in the Shakespeare section about Shakespeare in popular culture. When I peeked inside, I found that it briefly mentioned the inclusion of Macbeth, Oberon, Titania, and Puck in "Gargoyles" as an example of Shakespearean characters cropping up in pop culture. It didn't say anything more about the series than that or go into detail, but I thought that you might find it amusing.

Greg responds...

Cool. Do you remember the name of the book?

Response recorded on June 21, 2005

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Christina (CelebornEstel@aol.com) writes...

I've been a fan of Gargoyles for a while and I was wondering what a few characters were based on. The mythology is put into the sotry so well and fits like a puzzle. Anyway, I was wondering who the Weird Sisters and Megus. The mythology of the story is beautiful and the plot is extraordinary. So, That's my question- What were Megus and The Weird Sisters based on?

Greg responds...

The Weird Sisters were based primarily on the Weird Sisters, from William Shakespeare's play MACBETH. They were also influenced by various triple/lunar goddesses from various mythologies, in particular the Graces, The Furies, the Fates/Norns.

The Magus is more of an "original" creation. He begins, I think, as fairly standard D&D wizard material. But I like to believe that he transcends the stereotype.

Response recorded on June 28, 2004

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Balrog writes...

I have been reading the archives and was wonderig about one thing about a Shakespeare character and wondering something about it.

Why is Calaban(presumuble Caliban)to be a antagonist, I been cheking about the Tempest and thougt that he would be more suited in a role of protagonist,given to childis presonality.

That's just my opinon on the issue.

Greg responds...

You have no idea what I have in mind for the character, so it's a little odd to be challenged on the point.

But your welcome to your opinion.

Response recorded on June 25, 2004

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DeShawn writes...

Did you make up Oberon, or is he apart of real legend and myth.

Greg responds...

He's part of real myth & legend, and more importantly Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

Response recorded on June 03, 2004

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Orianna, the elven mage writes...

Alright, this may seem a bit strange to ask, but I'm working on a fan fiction that included Puck.
I need to know all I can about him.
So will you please help me out on this.
Bassically I need to know about his history and if he has a girlfriend or not.
Thanks for your help.

Greg responds...

My advice is to go to "original" sources such as Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" or Kipling's works.

Or study episodes with Puck and/or Owen.

I'm not revealing more than that now.

Response recorded on April 28, 2004

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jamie dayment writes...

hi plese could you tell me all the characters in scene 1 act 3 in a midsummers nights dream wrote by william shakespeare

Greg responds...

I could. I've got the play over on my bookshelf. But I figure you're better off learning how to look that up for yourself.

Response recorded on April 02, 2004

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Todd Jensen writes...

My thoughts on "Avalon Part One".

First off, a little about the eggs. I honestly hadn't expected to see anything further with the eggs at this point. The reason was that I'd always assumed that the eggs were indeed all gone, as Xanatos had claimed in "Awakening Part Two", even after we found out what he was really like, for this simple reason: the thousand years between the Wyvern Massacre and the Awakening. Since I didn't think it likely that gargoyles live naturally for a thousand years, my assumption always was that the eggs had hatched long ago and that the gargoyles that had hatched from them had grown up, lived out their lives, and died long before as well. I hadn't taken into account the possibility of a place where time moved slower.

(Of course, thinking over it some more, I should have expected the eggs to return, simply because, if they weren't going to, their inclusion to date would have been almost pointless. After all, they'd had no real impact on the storyline in "Awakening" - the mere fact that the video version was able to edit them out is proof enough of that - so that would have to mean that something further with them would have to be done, or else why include them in "Awakening" at all?)

Regarding your multi-parter comments: I also prefer it when the first episode of a multi-parter clearly labels itself as "Part One". That way, I'm already prepared for the "To Be Continued" part. So I'm glad that you always labeled the multi-parters as such.

I was a bit amused to notice the Brigadoon alternative to Avalon, in light of the fact that you did manage to use Brigadoon as the Avalon-substitute in your "Gargoyles meet Captain Atom" story. And, yep, I was definitely looking out for King Arthur to show up at some point in this story, given that the thing that Avalon is most famous for is being his resting-place. (More about that in my ramble on Part Two when it comes).

Needless to say, I enjoyed the flashback. More 10th century Scotland! And more real Scottish history! In some ways, it was even more fun than the Macbeth backstory in "City of Stone"; after all, I already knew about the historical Macbeth before "Gargoyles" ever came out, but I'd never heard of Kenneth II and Constantine III before. After seeing this episode, I eagerly looked up everything on them that I could at the local library (although I wasn't able to find much, thanks to the scanty records for this part of Scottish history).

Constantine definitely struck me as shrewd when he provided a very convincing "innocent reason" for the secret meeting in the drying-house (the argument that it would be better for Kenneth's dignity to have Finella turn down his suit in private, rather than before his entire court). I thought he made a good antagonist here, even if for only one episode.

(I haven't seen the McKellen "Richard III" movie, by the way, but I do have a book that McKellen wrote about the making of it, including the screenplay, which I found fascinating reading.)

I also liked the mention of Michaelmas, which added to the medieval flavor of the story. (It's things like this that make me regret the fact that you never got to make the "Dark Ages" spin-off. Of course, I suppose that an animated series set entirely in 10th century Scotland wouldn't be all that commercially viable, more's the pity.)

I'm looking forward to your rambles on Part Two and Part Three, as well.

Greg responds...

I have that same McKellen book. I've seen the movie of course, but I found the screenplay and his commentary on how and why he made the decisions he made, very informative.

I don't know that Dark Ages wouldn't be commercially viable. I do know it's tough to convince Network Executives that it's commercially viable.

Response recorded on March 12, 2004

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Saboor Ghafoor writes...

in A shakespeare's book;
Who murders a king and marries the widow
What is the alternative title of 'Twelfth Night'?
In which play will you find the stage direction 'Exit pursued by bear'?
Who demands a pound of flesh as a guarantee on a loan?
Which play begins with;
'If music be the food of love,play on?'
'Now fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour/Draws on apace?'

Who is the 'Serpant of old Nile'?

Who attempts to kill himself after the high Roman fashion?

which play has a female character disguises herself as a boy?

Who dies in a vat of malmsy

If the second line of the sonnet is; Thou art more lovely and more temperate what is the next line

Greg responds...

Now it's getting more annoying and less amusing.

What's the point of this?

Response recorded on March 03, 2004

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Saboor Ghafoor writes...

which play ends with:

a)We that are young/Shall never see son much nor live so long?

b)So thanks to all at once and to each one,/whom we invite to see us crowned at Scone?

c)Give me your hands, if we be friends,/And Robin shall restore amends?

d)But that's all one, our play is done/and we'll strive to please you everyday?

Greg responds...

a. Lear
b. Macbeth
c. Dream
d. 12th Night

I'm not sure why you're quizzing me. It's both annoying and (admittedly) a bit fun. I didn't look any of them up, but I'm extremely confident of a-c and fairly darn confident of d.

Response recorded on March 03, 2004

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jamie writes...

what are the roles of puck and oberon in a midsummers night dream

Greg responds...

In the Shakespeare play, Oberon is King of the Fairies and Puck is his servant.

Response recorded on February 12, 2004

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NEEDS HElP writes...

AHH! I need to know what Shakespear's The Tempest and King Lear were about my monday!!! HURRY!!! plez a breif discription 2 or 3 sentances for each :(

Greg responds...

You wrote this on a Sunday?

Forget that I'm two years behind. How were you EVER going to get this answer in less than 24 hours?

Tempest: Guy and daughter are set adrift. Guy gets magic. Punishes his tormentors. All ends happy.

Lear: Dad has three daughters. Splits his kingdom between the nasty two. All ends sad.

Does that help?

No?

Good.

Response recorded on January 21, 2004

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Alfred Manifesto writes...

Yo
Long time watcher, first time question asker, I happen to be doing a research paper for colege concerning the literary references within Gargoyles (shakespeare and mythology). I was wondering what comments you might have concerning the way which you used these works. For example, your re-telling of McBeth in city of stone parts 1-4 is very different from the play. This makes sense because the play is an altered versain of the actual historical story to make it more entertaining as well as aceptable to the king of england. As i intend on focusing a majority of my paper to Mcbeth I was wondering how you went about combining history, shakespeare, and your own storyline. If you could make any general comments or speak about mythology in any way would be greatly apriciated. I ask not only because it would help my paper, but also it would be a personal thrill to even get a responce. I've known about this site for a while, but this is the first time i've had a decent question. Lastly, I know its quite possible this has been answered before, but i have not yet read all of the entries in the archives, you are creator and producer of one of my favorite cartoons of all time, how does one find themself in that possition of creater and producer? thanx for your time

Greg responds...

Well, unless your paper wasn't due until 2004, I guess I'm too late to help you there.

Macbeth (with an "a" and a lower case "b") the play was indeed a major influence on our version of Macbeth, but we chose to follow the less-told tale that was the true (or truer) history. But we kept the Weird Sisters in it, and even a few lines of Shakespeare where possible. Plus of course we added the gargoyle race, weaving Demona in and out of Macbeth's story. Or rather, we weaved Macbeth's story into the tapestry that is the Gargoyles' Universe.

As to my background, I'd suggest checking the FAQ and coming back here if you have more specific questions that the FAQ didn't answer.

Response recorded on January 21, 2004

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Todd Jensen writes...

This is something of a musing that I've been pondering for some time about your hinted-at plans to bring Prospero (and other characters from "The Tempest") into "Gargoyles" (it's more a ramble than a genuine question, actually). I was not the least bit surprised by your mention, when you first started up "Ask Greg", to include Prospero in "Gargoyles" somewhere; after all, a series that had already made use of "Macbeth" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in its framework would obviously have to bring "The Tempest" in somewhere as well. What I do find myself wondering, from time to time, is the role that Prospero (and Ariel and Caliban as well, if they were to show up - and it's obvious that they would also) would have played in the series, in relation to the other characters.

Because I noticed that the other major Shakespearean characters (Macbeth, Puck, the Weird Sisters, Oberon, and Titania) were actually made an important part of the framework of "Gargoyles", linked up strongly to the central and near-central characters. Macbeth and the Weird Sisters were part of Demona's story (explaining, in particular, how she survived from 994 down to the present day). Oberon, Titania, and Puck were part of Xanatos's story (or Titania at least as Fox's mother and Puck as Owen's true identity, not to mention that Oberon and Titania's attempt to kidnap Alex was what led to the end of the feud between Xanatos and the gargoyles). From this, I believe that we can safely presume that, when Prospero, Ariel, and Caliban would have shown up somewhere in the series (if it had only lasted that long), they would have likewise had strong links with the major characters in the series as part of the framework.

I won't ask what those links were, of course (I know that you don't want to reveal that yet, at least, not in this forum), but that's one reason why a part of me still hopes that you can find some way of continuing "Gargoyles" some day; I'd certainly enjoy finding out when/if that happens just where Prospero, Ariel, and Caliban fit into the Gargoyles Universe, and which major figures in the series they are linked to, at least initially (of course, everybody tends to wind up getting linked to everybody else anyway - Puck with Demona in "The Mirror", the Weird Sisters,Oberon and Titania with the Avalon clan, Macbeth with King Arthur, etc.)

Greg responds...

There's truly nothing I'd like to do more, professionally, than to find a true forum (in some medium) for bringing the Gargoyles Tapestry back. I have so many stories still to tell, including those involving Prospero, etc.

And just so you know, so you all know, I'm still working on it. I haven't given up.

Response recorded on September 24, 2003

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angel writes...

hi greg,would you mind tell me what sonnet 116 is all about!

Greg responds...

Yeah.

Response recorded on August 26, 2003

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for your comments on Asimov's "Guide to Shakespeare"; I agree with you that Asimov's analysis of "Hamlet" weakened the play in making Hamlet's actions and thoughts centered almost entirely around "How can I kill Claudius without being disqualified from the succession to the Danish throne?" I certainly feel that other matters seem far more important in Hamlet's thoughts in the play than just becoming king - his troubled feelings over his mother being so quick to forget about the old King and marry Claudius when her first husband has only just been buried, for example.

Incidentally, have you ever read "Hamlet and Revenge"? I can't remember the author, but it's a very interesting analysis of the play focusing on the revenge issue (and, to a certain extent, on the Ghost). The thesis that the author takes is that Hamlet's choice of revenge is wrong - and also focuses on how, in fact, the Ghost, when examined closely, doesn't seem too reassuring (even pointing out that the fact that the Ghost is telling the truth about how Claudius killed him doesn't necessarily mean that it's an "honest ghost"; after all, the Weird Sisters similarly "tell the truth" to Macbeth in his play). It's very good reading.

Greg responds...

It's definitely a good question as to whether or not the Ghost is in fact a ghost at all. The play clearly raises the question as to whether it might not be a demon from hell, sent to cause Hamlet's downfall. The fact that it tells Hamlet a truth, notwithstanding.

The title "Hamlet and Revenge" sounds very familiar, but I've read so much about the play over the last 25 years, that I'd be hard-pressed to tell you whether or not I've read that analysis.

Response recorded on August 22, 2003

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lorena murati writes...

what type of character has titania in midsummer nights dream shakespear

Greg responds...

I'm not sure what you're asking. She was Queen of the Fairies. I'd recommend reading the play or, even better, attending a production.

Response recorded on August 06, 2003

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G2003 Journal (6/30)

MONDAY, JUNE 30, 2003:

Today, in the middle of my two week vacation was a work day -- or at least half of one.

I got up and headed back to Krispy Kreme for more donuts. Then I walked to midtown for my first meeting.

Then I had a meeting at MTV. Just what we call a Meet & Greet. Hi. Nice to meet you. Hope we get to work together some day. It was nice, and they're doing some interesting stuff. So I do hope I get to work with them someday. I talked to her (I'm not giving names on purpose) about the project that Vic and Greg and I have, but I didn't pitch it, as we're waiting to see if Warners wants to sign on and pitch it to MTV with us.

Then I had time to kill. I had passed Midtown Comics on my way to MTV, so I headed back there. I don't frequent comic book stores, much these days. Wound up quitting that world more or less cold turkey in 1996. But the commercials for "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" movie had intrigued me. When the "FROM HELL" movie came out, I didn't go see it, but I went into a bookstore and bought Alan Moore's graphic novel, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I had been haunting bookstores for League, thinking that the movie would bring the GN into similar wide release. Hadn't been able to find it, so I finally broke down and entered a comic book store. Midtown Comics is a great looking store. I found LXG immediately, and then looked around. It's the same old thing for me. I'm out of the world and too far behind. If I started buying anything (on impulse that is) I'd have to buy EVERYTHING. So I stuck to my original purchase.

Then it was up to William Morris for my meeting with DAG Entertainment. Me and the DAG guys really hit it off. We spent a good chunk of time talking about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, how much we liked the series and how disappointed we were in the final episode. (My main gripe: too much to fit into one hour; it should have been a two-parter.) They talked about a project they had that they were interested in me working on. It sounded cool, and now that I'm back (two weeks later) it looks like I actually got a job thanks to the Gathering.

We talked so long, I realized I was going to be late for my next meeting. I called ahead and then took off rather abruptly.

Soon enough I arrived at Noodlesoup Productions to meet with the guys there. It was another really fun Meet & Greet. I hope to do some work someday with these guys too.

After that it was back to the hotel. I was supposed to meet up with my old friend Bruce Cranston, a former Disney boss of mine who now lives on the East. But his daughter was sick, so he had to cancel.

I decided to head for McDonalds. I ran into Mandi in the lobby, and she kept me company at McD's. It didn't seem to air-conditioned, so we took the food back to my room. I ate and then felt VERY sleepy. I didn't want to find myself sleeping through the play that night, so I kicked Mandi out to take a nap.

Only, I didn't fall asleep. Oh, well.

We now segue right into dinner. Dreamie, Carol, Patrick, Karlyle, Liz, Kelly and Montreal Rob all headed to P.J.Clark's, which was one of my haunts back when I lived in NYC. It was a place I always went to with my dad for burgers, whenever he came to town. And the last time I was there was probably in 1996, when I dragged Keith David and a few other folks there after a Gargoyles event (sort of a pre-Gathering) at a Gallery in Queens. Had a great burger.

But then Carol and Patrick and I had to hustle to attend Shakespeare in the Park. We raced uptown via subway, and then took a cab across the Park. We got out and ran to the Delacourt Theater. Fortunately, Carol had already picked up our tickets (a gift from Keith David and his manager Josh Silver).

The show was really terrific. Liev Shrieber was great as a conflicted Henry V. The rest of the cast, especially the Chorus, was also great. And I loved the production -- with the small exception of a gratuitous direct reference to Bush & Hussein. It was so unnecessary.

After the show, the three of us hung out. We walked around, past another one of my old apartment buildings, this one on Amsterdam near 76th. The neighborhood has changed so dramatically since I lived there my first summer in New York. Then I realized that it has been TWENTY YEARS, so I suppose it's entitled to change in that much time. But suddenly I felt old.

Back at the hotel, the three of us watched, uh, THE BLUES BROTHERS Movie or something on tv, while we killed off the last of the bottled water Carol had given me on Thursday and the last of the Peanut M&Ms that Kathy had given my on Sunday.

Then I kicked 'em out. I read some of LXG. Again it fit the theme of the rest of my reading this week. Mixing new fiction with old fiction, legends and history. Alan Moore, a writer I've long admired, seems interested in the same sorts of things I am. ALL THINGS ARE TRUE. Creating a grand tapestry of characters that can interact. But I was stunned at the breadth of his knowledge. For example, I was surprised to see that he had portrayed Captain Nemo as an Indian. I had read 20K Leagues and had not gotten that impression. Turns out, that in Mysterious Island, Verne establishes Nemo's ethnicity. And that's just the most obvious example. The research represented in this work is nothing short of MASSIVE. All I can say is... thank god I've got Kathy Pogge to do my research for me. I'm way too slow a reader to cover that much ground.

Anyway, I quite enjoyed the book. I haven't seen the movie yet, and some of the changes seem needless and less-than-helpful. Still, you can't ask for better Quatermain casting then Connery, so I'll keep an open mind.

TUNE IN TOMORROW FOR GREG & GREG'S HARROWING "ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK..."

It's the entry Bishansky's been dreading for the last two weeks...


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Treena writes...

I have seen on some sites Coldstones girlfriend being refered to as Desdemona just wondering if that is offically what she is called or just a name someone tagged her with and if it is offical what is the thought behinded is it in reference to Orthelo??

Greg responds...

The Desdemona and Iago names were used in our scripts to identify the characters before they got their Coldfire and Coldsteel names in "Possession". The name Othello was also used in the script to refer to Coldsteel in flashback scenes, before he became a cyborg.

None of these names were ever used in dialogue on the series. But both Desdemona and Iago were used in the credits to identify the actors (C.C.H. Pounder and Xander Berkeley) who voiced the two characters. (Othello was never used, because we simply listed Michael Dorn as Coldstone.)

So obviously, yes, we saw the relationship between the three characters as being very "OTHELLO". Particularly in their first appearance, "Legion". With Goliath in the Michael Cassio role.

Response recorded on June 03, 2003

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HANNA BERHANU writes...

Macbeth:
what is king Duncan's reaction to the news that cawdor is a traitor ?what will happen to his title'
2-do Macbeth and Banquo have the same reaction to ROSS'NEWS?
3-WHAT ANNOUNCEMENT IS MADE ABOUT MALCOLM? WHAT IS MACBETH'S REACTION?
4-HOW DID LADY MACBETH FIND OUT ABOUT THE WITCHES' PROPHECIES?
5-HOW WILLING IS MACBETH TO GO ALONG WITH LADY MACBETH'S PLANS FOR HIM TO ATTAIN THE THRONE?

Greg responds...

Are you writing a term paper, Hanna?

Or are you just quizzing me on my Reading Comprehension of the play?

This seems rather pointless.

Response recorded on May 28, 2003

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Aaron writes...

Enquiring minds want to know, Greg: When you were in college, did you ever wall yourself into your dorm room and spend two days writing fan fic about an animated show? ;)

Greg responds...

No. I didn't have a t.v. in college -- and thus there's a four year gap in my otherwise copious television knowledge.

Of course, I didn't have a computer until the last semester of my senior year. And I hated typing before computers. I wrote everything long hand and then typed it up only when I was confident that I didn't want to make any changes. So I typed very little. And the internet? Forgeddaboudit. Didn't exist -- at least not to my knowledge.

Also, I was an English Major with an emphasis in Fiction Writing, so I had plenty of writing to do for classes. And starting in my sophomore year, I was already writing professionally for DC Comics. So any non-school writing at that time, tended toward paid work, not fanfic.

Besides, the whole concept of fanfic didn't really exist for me until after the Garg fans told me about it.

I guess I did right a King Lear fanfic once -- as a term paper.

Response recorded on May 09, 2003

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Colleen Thompson writes...

Could you translate Shakespere's sonnet 116?

Greg responds...

Without looking, I'd still hazard a guess that it's in English. So pick the language you want me to translate it to... and pretty much no matter what, I'll tell you that I don't speak that language.

Response recorded on April 02, 2003

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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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Chapter XXXVIII: "Heritage"

Time to ramble...

This chapter was written by Adam Gilad. Story Edited by Gary Sperling, and directed by Frank Paur.

FAME

As I watch each episode with my family, I've got my journal open in front of me to take notes for these rambles. During the opening credits, my five-year-old son Benny said: "I like Gargoyles." I was very pleased, of course. Then he said, "Can you write down that?" So I did. And so I have.

SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT

Back on the skiff, and Elisa still hasn't QUITE gotten the idea. She still anticipates being back in Manhattan. Like visiting Scotland was an anamoly, but now surely Avalon will send them home. (What did you all think at the time?)

And boy, that girl likes her hot dogs. Make her one with everything, you know?

A.K.A. CECIL

Our Sea Monster attacks. It's a cool design, based on research that we did. (It happens to look a lot like a pre-historic whale I saw last night on a Discovery Channel special: "Walking with Pre-Historic Beasts".)

I wish we could have found a less generic name for the creature than "Sea Monster". Thunderbird is a cool name -- particularly since I have fond memories of the L.A. T-Birds from Roller Derby telecasts of my youth -- but our research never turned up another name for the Sea Monster.

Keep in mind that though we did research, we also had time constraints. We couldn't keep researching a topic indefinitely. Eventually, we'd have to use what we had and run with it in order for the story and script to be delivered on time.

But I know Gary and Adam did quite a bit of backgrounding for this story. The Sea Monster, Thunderbird, Raven and Grandmother all came from Haida stories -- though we conflated quite a bit, I think. We did always try to be as true as possible to the history and legends we were riffing on.

HEY, WEREN'T THERE FOUR OF YOU?

As the battle with the Sea Monster came to a close, my seven-year-old daughter Erin said: "What about Elisa? Where's Elisa?"

Five seconds later, Goliath surfaces and says pretty much the same thing, before fearing her drowned by shouting "ELISAAAAA!!" (Shades of things to come -- in Hunter's Moon III.)

TOTEM POLES

Speaking of research, the origin of the whole episode was the fact that Totem Poles caught my eye as being a particularly gargoylesque deal. Then we did some preliminary research and found that they weren't carved in anything that seemed to resemble a gargoyle tradition. They were 'carved to honor animal ancestors'. So rather than stretch (or abuse) the truth, we decided to let the characters (and audience) be lured off course by the poles, just as we had been.

Fake GARGOYLES, right here in North America.

In many ways, I think it could be argued that what takes place in this episode is handled or covered in other episodes to come. We have another episode with a 'sea monster'... a more famous sea monster in a certain loch... coming up rapidly in "Monsters". Also in that ep, one of our cast is lost and feared drowned after an early attack by that monster. And much of Nick/Natsilane's dilemma is also re-covered with a more-important recurring character (Peter Maza) in our other Native American-themed episode: "Cloud Fathers". We even do more with a volcano in "Ill Met by Moonlight". On some level I suppose I regret the duplication of efforts. I don't think we usually did this sort of thing.

But I don't regret the episode. I had plans for Raven. Plans for Queen Florence Island. Plans for Nick/Natsilane. I still think the ep has some cool stuff in it. And I think we NEEDED to cover Totem Poles. It was a natural.

HAR with a V. VAR with a D.

I went to a high school in North Hollywood, CA named "Harvard High School". Named after the University. (Some people have incorrectly stated I went to Harvard for college. But I went to Stanford for Undergrad and U.S.C. to get my Masters.)

I don't remember who's idea it was to have Nick be a graduate of Harvard. Might have been mine. Harvard of course is useful as a symbol.

I like Nick/Natsilane. He's got some nice attitude here and a nice shift. Maybe not the most impressive of our so-called "International Heroes". But very likable.

I give a lot of credit to the voice actor for bringing him to life. Gregg Rainwater was brought in by our Voice Director Jamie Thomason. Gregg was terrific. We used him again in Cloud Fathers, but I've used him many times since Gargoyles. I've even written parts with Gregg in mind. He was Jake Nez in Max Steel. And I cast him as Jake MacDonald in 3x3 Eyes. He always brings incredible humanity to a part, I think. Heroic, but real.

THAT'S NOT A CROW

It's a raven. Our second Trickster makes his first appearance. Of the four (Puck, Raven, Anansi and Coyote), Raven was the guy we gave the most evil bent to.

I like all the shape-shifting he does. (Though when he flees at the end, I wanted him to flee in his bird form, not his Raven-Goyle form.) I also like how he lies by using pieces of the Truth.

Raven-Goyle: "There is an evil sorceress named Grandmother. She summoned the monster that you fought."

When he said that, did you believe him?

Of course, Grandmother does have magic power and she did, in a way, summon the Sea Monster.

IT COULD BE WORSE. I ONCE LIVED ON 28TH STREET.

While doing our research, we encountered names of Islands off the Canadian coast like Queen Charlotte Island. So I named the fictional island we'd be using "Queen Florence Island."

Growing up in Woodland Hills, California, I lived on Queen Florence Lane, a street off Queen Victoria Road. Victoria and Florence were the daughters of Michael Curtiz, the director of such films as CASABLANCA. Curtiz, at one time, owned all the property in that area, so he named the two streets after his daughters.

OR so I once was told... by a ghost named Humphrey who tried to convince me that he was Humphrey Bogart, though you could tell by looking at him that he wasn't.

WHO EXACTLY IS THE SICK ONE HERE?

Elisa is so strong so much of the time, that it's kinda sexy to see her vulnerable and feverish.

Notice that Grandmother doesn't use Fairy magic to heal Elisa. She uses Haida medicine. Thus the rule of non-interference is bent not broken.

I like when Nick comes back in and the Fever's broken. And he says just don't tell me you cured her with tree bark.

When she says, "...and roots." His expression is priceless.

SEEING RED

I like the lighting in the Volcano scene.

Goliath is so glad to learn that other clans have survived, that he doesn't notice -- in fact defends -- the inconsistencies in Raven's story.

Angela, on the other hand is suspicious. This was done, in part, to further develop her character. She's naive about certain things. Having been raised by humans, she's not inclined to judge them harshly or fear their prejudices. But she's not stupid. Something doesn't smell right and she notices.

For once, Bronx though does not. I chalk this up to the high quantity of magic being tossed around on this dying island. Grandmother is not what she seems. Neither is Raven. Bronx is confused.

Anyway, Goliath speaks to Gargoyles protecting to explain away why "Raven's Clan" can both hate humans and protect them. You get the sense that he understands all too well. Like despite everything, there's a part of him -- a prejudiced part -- that hasn't forgiven the human race for what happened at Wyvern. (Also keep in mind, he was just at Wyvern again, rehashing all those old memories.)

Of course, once Goliath learns that Raven was pulling something, he's furious at the trickster. Playing on his hopes AND his prejudices, Raven has risked G's wrath.

At the end of this scene, the three silent gargs vanish magically.

Erin said: "What happened? What just happened?"
Benny said: "How did they just vanish?"

They know I know the answer. But I resist telling them. It's a touch cruel. What did you guys think?

YOU CAN TAKE THE GIRL OUT OF THE CITY...

Elisa is such a New Yorker. Everything is compared to that. "This sure isn't Central Park."

Anyway, Raven, then a bear, then Bronx and finally Angela and Goliath find Elisa. I love Goliath and Elisa's hug. It's so unselfconscious. They were so worried about each other that they forgot the usual distance that they maintain.

SUSPICIOUS MINDS

So who did you trust? When the gargs disappeared, that had to indicate that something was up with the Raven-goyle.

So when Goliath tells Elisa that Grandmother is a sorceress, particularly given that Grandmother saved Elisa's life, we all tend to think that G's been duped. Then we spot Grandmother turning into Thunderbird. What did you all think then?

Benny noticed "her ears" and suspected her even before she turned into T-Bird.

THAT'S GOTTA HOIT

A cool moment in the battle against T-Bird is when Goliath rakes the creature with his claws.

Then Angela spots the Illusion. And plays it cool with Raven.

I like Goliath's line to Grandmother: "We live. We do not thrive."

Grandmother than establishes that Raven is a Trickster and that they are both "Children of Oberon". Thus we establish that aspect of our series.

She states that they are forbidden from directly interfering in human affairs. Reinforcing what the Weird Sisters said a few episodes before.

Raven joins the party. The jigs up, but he revels in it. He's got a few decent lines too.

I like "It's so messy."

POOR HORATIO, ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID, NEVER A BRIDE

Elisa more-or-less quotes Shakespeare: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Natsilane, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

I've always loved that line.

Anyway, Goliath and Angela depart to fight Raven. They arrive first, but given the fact that Nick had to...
1. Have a final change of heart.
2. Change clothes.
3. Get up to the volcano without wings.

...He makes good time, don't you think?

Raven brings the totem beasts to life. This was always a bit weird. We introduce illusion gargs based on the totem beasts. But then when we bring the totem pole to actual life (or semblance) we have new designs for the woody creatures.

Does everyone see Goliath play dead for that bear?

Raven has a nice exit line here: "This place no longer amuses me."

Neither does this Ramble.


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Chapter XXXIV: "Avalon, Part One"

There's no memo, outline or script for this one on my computer, so we'll head right into my ramble on...

"AVALON, PART ONE"
DIRECTOR: Dennis Woodyard.
WRITER: Lydia Marano.
STORY EDITOR: Brynne Chandler Reaves.

THE RECAP

...is all over the place. So much was coming together in this three-parter. The Weird Sisters, the eggs, the Archmage, Tom, Princess Katharine, the Magus, Macbeth, Demona. This was our most ambitious story yet. Which given episodes like "The Mirror" or "Vows" and multi-parters like "Awakening" and "City of Stone" was saying something.

Of course "Avalon" was never designed to be the cohesive single story movie that "City of Stone" was. It was designed as a tryptych. Part one would bring our heroes up to date. Part two would bring our villains up to date. Part three would pit them against each other.

"Avalon I" also represented the first episode in our fourth tier. The three-parter was what we called a 'tentpole'. We knew we couldn't air it until all the Tier 3 episodes had aired. And we knew we couldn't air any other Tier 4 episodes until this three-parter had aired. Despite the fact that "The Price" aired out of order, generally our Tentpole/Tier system worked very well. Out of 66 episodes that I worked on only two: "The Price" and "Kingdom" aired out of order, hopefully with minimal damage to the continuity.

THE TITLE

The title was one of mine. But initially I wasn't sure that we were going to call the island Avalon. Now, it's mind-boggling to me, but I actually had my assistant Monique Beatty (who's now a producer in her own right) research Brigadoon to find out if that name was created only for the musical, or if it was something pulled from legends. I was thinking of Avalon, but looking for something from a Scotish tradition as opposed to British. Fortunately, Brigadoon was created for the musical. So we were 'stuck' with Avalon. Which made including King Arthur a natural.

Many series don't reveal that an episode is going to be a multi-parter until you get to the 'To Be Continued' line at the closer. "Avalon, Part One" could have just been titled "Avalon". The conventional wisdom is that people are reluctant to commit the time to a multi-parter in advance. That it is better to hook them on the story before revealing that they HAVE to come back to see the end. I always felt that was cheating. What is your reaction to seeing "Part One" attached to a title?

OPENING

Another cool shot of our gargs waking up. Always nice to reiterate that at the start of our bigger stories.

Bronx gets left behind. Of course, this often happens. It was one of the things that the World Tour would set about correcting in a BIG way. But we made his getting left behind a bit more obvious here. Usually, he just doesn't go. This time they won't take him and he's sad. We were laying pipe.

My 5-year-old son Benny asked where Hudson and the Trio were going. I had to think about it. "On Patrol, I guess."

OLD FRIENDS

Then the GUARDIAN shows up. I love his cool, Goliath-inspired armor. My 7-year-old daughter Erin immediately demanded to know who he was. I wouldn't tell her. (I'm so mean.) Did any of you guess?

Of course he immediately encounters BRENDAN & MARGOT. (What would one of our multi-parters be without him?)

Then comes the three gang-bangers from "AWAKENING, PART THREE". As usual, Keith David does the voice for one of them -- making it distinctive from both Goliath and MORGAN, who's about to come in and speak. The problem is we got a touch confused. In Awakening, Keith voices the bald white guy. Here he does the same voice, but it's assigned to the black guy. Hard to say which is wrong, except by virtue of which came first. It annoys me though.

Morgan's fun in this. I really like him. No one but Simon DelMonte will get this, and I don't know if he even reads these rambles, but Morgan kind of reminds me of Jeff Goslin, a character that Cary Bates and I created in Captain Atom.

Anyway, I like how Morgan talks Guardian down. And I like how the sword is much heavier than he thought it was going to be. His cop buddies tease him, but he maintains his sense of wonder and goodness when talking about the Guardian to Elisa.

That's kind of a cool scene. First off he describes Guardian's armor: "Real armor. King Arthur stuff." Anyone think this was a clue to what was coming in the next episode? Even with the Avalon title? Then he tells her the guy's looking for Gargoyles. Elisa of course discourages her fellow officers from taking Garg reports seriously. Everyone who's seen one must be a nut-case. These guys should form 'a club'. Then she finds out that this Guardian was asking for Goliath by name. BOOM.

BELVEDERE CASTLE

Site of our last encounter with Demona and Macbeth. Another clue.

Once Elisa got a look at the Guardian's armor, she must have thought -- yeah, there's a Goliath connection here all right.

Goliath shows with Bronx, who gets to come along and come along and come along for once. Bronx always seemed underutilized to us. We knew we couldn't bring the whole clan along. (Too many characters and no poignancy.) But Bronx was an easy addition. Of course, Bronx is also useful as a kind of living personality test. If Bronx likes you, it's a damn good sign. Bronx likes Tom. Does he remember him? What scents do you figure the Guardian carried back from Avalon. Anyway, Bronx engenders immediate trust in the Guardian for Goliath.

I love this scene. Guardian gives everyone so little time to catch up. He talks about the Archmage, reveals that he's Tom and talks about 'the eggs' being in danger. *That was a fun idea. Keep you guys thinking in terms of eggs for twenty minutes and reveal that it's just a pet name for the Avalon Clan.*

Benny asked: "What kind of Eggs?"
Erin: "Gargoyle Eggs."
Benny: "I didn't know Gargoyles hatch out of eggs." [Well, keep in mind it's been a year since he saw the first thirty episodes. And he's too young to remember the first time he saw the ones we're watching now.]

Then there's the skiff. Elisa: "Where'd that boat come from? ... To where? The other side of the lake? ... Wait for me!"

This all sounds fishy to her. Nothing makes sense. I wanted to get a clear shot in there of the pond in Central Park so that you could see objectively that it doesn't go anywhere. But I never quite managed that. I wanted you guys to be confused. Or at any rate to have a million questions. But like Elisa, no matter how suspicious, I figured you'd want to go along for the ride.

FLASHBACK

Mary, Katharine, the Magus and young Tom are all reintroduced. It's very clear that the first three have all learned their lesson from Awakening. They've all really become better people. Tom, of course, didn't need to learn that lesson. But he does learn to be a hero. He officially becomes the Guardian. It begins, I believe, as just a nice gesture on the part of the Princess. Later, of course, it'll become the truth. Then there's the long journey. I like the montage there. Hardship. We never had the time to show enough of the hardship of tenth century life.

Our gang heads into Edinburgh. Constantine's followers are all over the place. They all seem to look like Disney storyboard artists for some reason. ;)

VOICES

There's some stellar voice work in this ep. Morgan Shepard as King Kenneth II. Sheena Easton making her Garg Premiere as Finella. Ian Buchanan as Constantine. (I've already mentioned Keith's versatility.)

But as usual, real props must be handed out to Jeff Bennnett and Kath Soucie.

Jeff plays Brooklyn, the Magus and Maol Chalvim. (No Bruno or Owen or Vinnie in this ep, I'm afraid.)

Kath plays Katharine, Mary and all three Weird Sisters.

They're amazing.

SOAP OPERA

Benny saw Finella and said: "That's one of the witches."

A year ago, Tom was his favorite character. Now Tom barely registered. And he really is fascinated with the Weird Sisters. Anyway, I corrected him, but I was glad that they were appearing later.

Ian Buchanan, once of General Hospital, is playing a cad here. We have to very quickly set up a lot of politics, sexual and otherwise. This story was as historical as we could make it based on the available research, the fact that we had to fit in a few fictional characters and eggs, and screen time compression.

Believe it or not, we also had another character originally that we cut early on because it was just getting too damn complicated. Katharine and Maol Chalvim's cousin: the future King Kenneth III. The father of Bodhe. Yep. That Bodhe. The father of Gruoch.

Kenneth III winds up being made High King of Scotland after Constantine is killed. To get a sense of their relationship, at least as I see it, you might want to check out "Once upon a time there were three brothers..."

(Or to give you a hint, ten years after the events depicted here, King Kenneth III would be murdered by Maol Chalvim's operatives during a civil war. Maol Chalvim was also known as Malcolm Forranach, the Destroyer. We used the Maol Chalvim version of his name so as not to confuse him with Katharine's father Prince Malcolm. Just as in City of Stone we emphasized Malcolm Canmore's Canmore name for the same reason.)

Anyway, Maol Chalvim seems intense but right on the money here. He's even kind of heroic when he and the Magus bring Tom back to Katharine's apartment, and he begs Katharine to go. Kind of heroic. He still leaves her. We were trying very hard to balance out his minor role here with his future roll as the grandfather of and major influence on Duncan. (Of course, he's also Macbeth's grandfather, as well.)

After Katharine tells Maol to go, there's a weird cut of him just standing there smiling. We needed some kind of transition before he took off running, and I guess that was the best we could do. But it's still awkward as hell.

THE MURDER

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

We establish early on that Katharine doesn't think much of Constantine. You wouldn't know it from Awakening, but obvioulsy she's learned to be a decent judge of character.

Kenneth isn't quite so sharp. Everyone can see that he's a fool for Finella. And he doesn't recognize Constantine's threat (despite the fact that Constantine's father was a bitter enemy and) despite the fact that his son flat out tells him to beware. My thinking was that the crown had kept bouncing back and forth between different branches of the royal family. Kenneth had hoped that by taking Constantine in, instead of banishing him, he'd be able to be a positive influence on the boy. A nice idea perhaps, but maybe Kenneth was too innattentive to pull it off. And Maol probably was too covetous to really be a brother to young Con.

Anyway, Constantine tricks Finella and kills the king. We hear Finella sobbing, just to prove that she was neither in on it nor that she would approve of it. (Though one wonders what her reaction would have been down the road if Constantine hadn't spurned her in favor of Katharine. Would she have adjusted to the crime? Or did Constantine become an unredeemable villain in her eyes immediately? I hate to say it, but I tend to think it's the former. Actually, I don't hate to say it. She's more interesting to write that way.)

Erin asked: "He killed King Arthur? Why?"

That's a tough question. So first I had to explain that it was King Kenneth, not King Arthur. Then my wife Beth helped out by explaining that Constantine wanted to be king.

We come back from the act and we see that Constantine was ready for the takeover. The Banners are immediately changed in a scene clearly inspired by the Ian McKellan (spelling?) movie version of Shakespeare's Richard III. (A version I heartily recommend, by the way.)

We also continue to set up the Magus' own tragedy. He loves Katharine. Has loved her since before Awakening. That feeling is shown to deepen here when she is once again in danger. And when Constantine tries to coerce her into marrying him. (The astute Mary and Tom have to hold him back.) Here, we sense that maybe Katharine might some day return that love. That's what I wanted you all to think anyway. Did you?

Constantine takes his crown. Originally we wanted to stage this with the Stone of Destiny as we did with Macbeth. But again, I think we just had too many sets.

Michaelmas. I just like that word.

Constantine is fairly astute himself: "You have 36 very good reasons to obey." We kept reiterating the number of eggs for what was coming later.

THE ESCAPE

The Magus disguises broken pots as eggs and vice-versa. But it always seemed to me that the kitchen staff at Edinburgh sure broke a lot of pots. I mean a LOT!

I like the lines: "Taking the wee bairns for a walk?" and "I don't think I like Gargoyle eggs." Very menacing.

Princess K burns her wedding dress. She feels she cannot leave because C will follow her to "the ends of the Earth." So the Magus responds: "Then I will take you beyond them." Again. Very romantic moment between them.

Finella joins the troop. The WOMAN SCORNED. She's really fun now. Dangerous. I always laugh when Constantine drinks the brew and collapses so abruptly.

Erin: "The Weird Sisters". My kids are just fascinated with this trio. I wonder if they still will be by the end of this three-parter or if like many fans, they will be disappointed?

They get turned into owls. But the Magus worries about giving up the source of his power. K doesn't care about that.

And Finella and Mary agree to take the book. I love these two. I think they'd make a totally kick-ass team. I doubt it would be commercial enough, but I'd love to do a spin-off show just with these two women. At any rate, there was the plan to include them as recurring characters in TimeDancer.

Tom has to leave his mother and his childhood behind. Now his role as the Guardian is a way for Katharine to make him accept the loss. It is the start of their relationship, though neither knows it. I watch this now, and I can't help thinking of the Anakin & Padma relationship and where that's destined to go.

AVALON

Back to the present. We see the impressive shores of Avalon. Very cool painting.

Bronx reacts. Guardian: "He's found the eggs..." And the music swells and two gargs and a garg beast appear on the cliff.

Now is that a cliff-hanger or what? What was your reaction?

Erin and Benny wanted "to see ther rest!" I told them they'd have to wait a week and we got a lot of protesting. Just what I was hoping for.

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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Lord Sloth writes...

1) I was reading FAQ and in the timedancer section you talked about an antagonist called Calaban. Who is Calaban?
2) In the FAQ for bad guys, you mentioned an antagonist named Falstaff. Who is he?
3) Thanks a bunch

Greg responds...

For both these guys, I have no intention of revealing my intentions at this time. But if you want a look at the original sources...

Caliban appears in William Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST.

Falstaff is introduced in Shakespeare's HENRY IV, PART ONE. He reappears in HENRY IV, PART TWO and is spun-off in THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR. He dies off-stage in HENRY V.

Response recorded on April 26, 2002


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