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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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