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CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Tuesday, July 1, 2009
4:30am - Finally went to sleep.
9:30am - Wake-up.
11:15am - Car took me to the airport. Grabbed some McDonalds: Quarter-Pounder w/cheese, fries, coke and an apple pie.
2:15pm - Flight departs for Minneapolis. Had some tomato juice on the plane.
3:45pm - Arrived in Minneapolis.
4pm - Lex Larson, my CONvergence guest liason picked me up and took me to the Sheraton in Bloomington to check in.
5:30pm - We arrive at the amazing new (to me) Guthrie Theater. We had dinner at Cue, the restaurant there. The food was amazing. Breadsticks and bread, Salad, Flatiron Steak, potatoes, green beans...
7:30pm - We saw THE SECRET FALL OF CONSTANCE WILDE, a play about Oscar Wilde, his lover Bosie and especially his wife Constance. It was a great production. Very creative. Amazing performances... and PUPPETS!
10:30pm - Back to the hotel.
MORE TO COME...
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Monday, June 30, 2009
12:30am - After the ballroom dancers went their separate ways, a few of us (Susan, Jennifer, Mara, Gore, GXB, Patrick, Karine and I) went up to Susan's room to hang out, talk, laugh, debate the virtues of Twizzlers vs. Red Vines, etc.
4am - Back to my room. Had another apple.
4:30am - Bed.
8:30am - Wake up call.
10am - Had breakfast with my cousin Alex and her friend Tobin. Orange Juice, Begniets, toast, potatos, eggs, bacon.
11:30am - Took a break, but as I understand it that one-eyed pig Edmund Tsabard had a panel with Jennifer, Karine and Mara to talk about Blue Mug Productions and show some samples. For more info, stop by BlueMugProductions.com.
1pm - Closing ceremonies. Always bittersweet.
3pm - Goodbyes. Pretty much everyone took off, except myself, Patrick and Susan and her family. Susan took Patrick and I to her house, where we met her many, many, many, many dogs and saw her many, many, many cells. Very cool.
5pm - Susan, Rob, Carly and Chloe took us to yet another great dinner. Had shrimp, clam chowder, coke, steak, lobster tail, rice, slaw. Then Rob and Chloe took Patrick and I back to the hotel.
7pm - I was back in my room. And pretty darn tired.
9pm - Sleep.
11:30pm - Knew it was too good to be true. Woke up. Had another apple. Watched some television and read some Ross Macdonald.
The end of another FANTASTIC Gathering... and yet my trip is only half over!
MORE TO COME...
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Sunday, June 29, 2009
1am - Returned to my room and ate an apple.
2am - Went to sleep, which for me is early.
8:30am - Wake up call.
10am - Had the Gargoyles and Bad Guys panel with Karine. Fewer questions about Gargoyles #9 then I would have thought, but it was fun.
11:30am - Gargoyles Biology and Culture panel w/Lynati & Kimberly. A perrenial favorite of mine. Not sure anything quite as revelatory as last year in Tennessee, but it was fun.
1pm - Spidey panel w/Keith, Thom and Jennifer. Again, no major revelations, but I like talking Spidey. Next year we're probably going to do a series of Spidey panels at the L.A. Gathering 2009.
2:30pm - Went for stir fry lunch with Sammy, Jennifer, Thom, Adam and Laurean. Good stuff. Afterwards, a couple of us went to Jamba Juice.
4pm - Though we were told we didn't need to get back to judge the Iron Artist competition until 4pm, by the time we arrived it was all over. The medium was macaroni and the theme was the Ultra-Pack.
4:30pm - Sat down to watch the end of the auction, and then we had our signing.
6pm - Banquet: Salad, roll, Chicken, potatoes, carrots, asparagus, tart. I sat with constaff mostly: Nikki, Seth, Sammy, Susan, Jennifer, Karine, Patrick, Greg, Rebekkah. During the Trivia Contest, Matt led his table to victory.
9pm - Masquerade. Fewer entries every year. I hope we can reverse that trend. But what was there was pretty cherce:
1st: J.W./Jennifer Rynmoor
2nd: Gypsey/Noel Leas
Cutest Couple: Ranmaru & Arazia
Thom Adcox Memorial Award: Justin as Odin
No Gorelisa award this year.
Best in Show: Patrick Fisher as the Tourist Gargoyle
Also, Karine had a kick-ass Hunter costume.
There was dancing next. I even swing-danced Jenn-Bob right off a table.
MORE TO COME...
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Saturday, June 28, 2009
2:00am - Back to my hotel room.
4:00am - Finally went to sleep.
8:30am - Wake up call. I showered, etc., and went down to the ConSuite, where I had a Danish and OJ at the tail end of the staff meeting.
10:00am - We held our second set of auditions.
11:30am - Over a catered lunch of a French Dip Sandwich, Broccoli Soup and fruit, Keith, Thom, Jennifer and I cast the Radio Play.
2:00pm - I was interviewed for an article by Alan.
3:00pm - The Gathering Players had their one and only rehearsal.
5:00pm - The Radio Play. This year's script was a chronological retelling of Chapters VII, VIII & IX of Clan-Building (i.e. "The Rock", "Rock & Roll" and "Rock of Ages"). I think the performers were terrific, but I don't think the script worked chronologically. Oh, well... A highlight was the massive rainstorm that nearly overwhelmed Shari's storytelling. Here was the cast:
THE GATHERING PLAYERS - 2008 Edition
NARRATOR - Greg Weisman
MACBETH - Erik Mambu
SHARI - Jennifer L. Anderson
COLDSTEEL - Eric Tribou
LEXINGTON - Thom Adcox
STONE OF DESTINY - Justin Summerhill
HUDSON - Jordan Mann
DAVID XANATOS - Jaret Morlan
ARTHUR PENDRAGON - Patrick Fisher
CONSTANCE/COCO - Laurean Leigh
STAGHART/AMP - Seth Jackson
GRIFF - Chip
THAILOG - Keith David
COLDSTONE - Revel
COLDFIRE - Sarah the Great
GOLIATH - Keith David
COYOTE 5.0 - Jaret Morlan
PEREDUR - Seth Jackson
COLDSTREAM GUARD - Chip
ELISA MAZA - Phoenix Talon
JAY SATO - John/Flanker
BLANCHEFLEUR - Laurean Leigh
CUSTOMS OFFICIAL - Patrick Fisher
BROOKLYN - Jae
DUVAL - John/Flanker
FOX - Phoenix Talon
BROADWAY - Lucas McClain
HOLY GRAIL - Lucas McClain
LUNETTE - Phoenix Talon
VINNIE GRIGORI - Jae
AIRPORT INTERCOM - Lucas McClain
OWEN BURNETT - Jae
MAGGIE THE CAT - Sarah the Great
TALON - Revel
SCOTTISH PATRIOT - Jordan Mann
7:00pm - Dinner at Pete's, w/Josh, Susan, Nicole, Eric, Greg, Rebekkah, Patrick, Laurean, Keith, Thom, John, Sammy, Seth, Jennifer, Nikki, Karine and me. Fantastic meal: Iceberg wedge salad, amazing bread, NY Strip Steak, Garlic Mash Potatos, Creamed Spinach, mushrooms, Berries. Raced back to be on time for...
10:00pm - The Blue Mug. Fairly raunchy this year. (Though not with every single question.) Teased Blue Mug Productions a bit. At some point, I took a bathroom break. Discovered that the self-flushing urinals in the hotel SCREAMED like the Green Goblin's pumpkin bombs! Freaked me out! Later Nikki gave me a colored sketch of a Green Goblin screaming urinal.
MORE TO COME...
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Friday, June 27, 2009
10:30am - Wake-up call gets me up. I slept for nearly twelve hours. Guess I was tired.
11:30am - I head up to the con to collect my box of RadioPlay scripts. Say hi to some people. Tour the dealer's/art room, which is a work in progress at this point.
12:00pm - My first panel of the con(s). Thom and I hold the Voice Acting Seminar that we've done in previous years. Phoenix gets up to play Demona and does a great job. We also do the Griff, Leo, Una, Goliath scene and a couple different runs at a Peter Parker, Spider-Man, Symbiote, Uncle Ben scene. Everyone does pretty darn well.
1:30pm - First round of auditions for the Radio Play, w/Keith, Thom, Josh and Jennifer helping with the casting and Sammy manning the door. Vox stops by to give me the crochet'd Goliath she made for me. It's pretty amazing, as is the Hunter she's made for Karine and all the rest. Tthe one that makes me laugh the most is the Owen... which was the last to sell. No accounting for taste.
3:00pm - Mug-A-Guest. I remember having fun, though none of the questions stand out in my memory at the moment.
5:00pm - Opening Ceremony. (It's been pointed out to me that it's a Ceremony not multiple Ceremonies.) We opened with a full hour plus of music videos. Susan then stepped up to offer opening remarks and intros. Jen pitched G2009 in Los Angeles (check out gatheringofthegargoyles.com). Susan thanked her staff, including Nikki, Jennifer, Greg and Patrick (who am I forgetting?). Then I went up to do my schpiel and show the now-familiar pieces: the pitch, the promo, the New Olympian and Dark Ages pitches, the Bad Guys reel (much of which is now canon thanks to the comic) and "The Last". The fans have made great progress on "The Last" - but there's still more work to be done. If you're interested in helping, contact Vashkoda.
After opening ceremony, it was time for a Blue Mug Productions Dinner. Edmund Tsabard, was out whoring, so I sat in with Jennifer, Mara and Karine (who has since had to bow out of the project, much to our sorrow). We got a lot done/decided in preparation for the Monday panel. Plus the food was great: Edimame, Rangoon, Dumplings, Miso soup, Shrimp Pad Thai. Then a stop at Ben & Jerry's after dinner for a Banana/fudge/Cherry Garcia sundae.
I stopped by my room to call home, then came back downstairs to the bar (Indigo... I think the restaurant I mentioned yesterday was called Blue or something). Later a small group of us (Susan, Jen, Mara, Karine, Seth, Sammy, Rebecca, Gore, BrooklynX, Patrick, Thom & John) went up to Susan's room to hang out and laugh.
MORE TO COME...
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Thursday, June 26, 2009
5:00am - I stop watching Dexter with three episodes left to finish the season. (Still have one left as I write this.) Time to start my day and take a shower.
6:20am - Jennifer, Rebecca and Thom Adcox arrive to pick me up. They're early and I'm not quite packed. But I hussle and we head to the airport. In the parking lot we meet up with Seth and Sammy and take a shuttle to the airport, where we meet up with Josh Silver... and my kids Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Leakley (how weird is that?). I buy a water and a Snickers and a can of Pringles, saving the latter for the plane.
10:00am - The plane leaves for Chicago a mere half hour late. I have tomato juice and Pringles on the plane. I read the L.A. Times, and then continue reading THE ARCHER FILES - The complete short Lew Archer stories by Ross Macdonald, edited by Tom Nolan. Good stuff. I'm sitting with Jennifer and Thom and across from Rebecca and Mrs. Leakley. Josh, Seth and Sammy are further back. Thom sleeps through most of the plane ride.
4:00pm - We land... but are kept aboard waiting for a gate for an hour.
5:00pm - We finally disembark, meeting up with Keith David (who was flying in from New York) in baggage claim.
5:45pm - I didn't check any bags, but others did, and it takes 45 minutes for the bags to come out. We meet up with Patrick, Susan and Rob outside and pile into three cars. I think Josh and Keith went with Susan. Jennifer, Sammy and Seth went with Rob. Thom, Rebecca and I went with Patrick. Traffic was a nightmare.
7:30pm - We finally arrive at the lovely Hotel Orrington in Evanston, Illinois, just outside Chicago. This is a great area for a con, with lots of walking distance food nearby. I go up to my very nice room, where cheese and grapes are waiting for me. Then it's back downstairs for Dinner at the hotel's restaurant (Indigo?). I'll probably forget someone, but I think it was me, Karine, Jen, Greg Bishansky, Thom, Keith, Maelee, Josh, Dionne, Ruby, Susan, Rebecca, Patrick, Seth and Sammy. Also saw Ellen, Fan, Nikki, Jenn-Bob, etc. I had Sushi, Tempura, pork dumplings, Beef asparagus rolls and a couple cokes.
10:00pm - I went back to my room, leaving dinner early, exhausted. I called home, did just a bit of channel flipping, and...
11:00pm - Crashed.
MORE TO COME...
And so begins my conjournal, which I'll serialize over the next few days...
I was gone for nearly two weeks to attend two terrific conventions. I had a great time at both, and really the best aspect of both was just hanging out with people, fellow pros and fans. I'll try to be complete, but I'm bound to make mistakes, skip over some people, etc. So I beg your forgiveness and indulgence in advance.
Wednesday, June 25, 2009
Still a work day for me... as I tried to frantically get everything done and ready for my trip.
10:30am - I had an Attended Edit of Spectacular Spider-Man episodes 125 and 126 with our editor Terry over at Studiopolis. This is the point where we take our voice recordings and edit it into a natural pause tape that the board artists and timers can use to get the feel of the flow of dialogue. Last two episodes of the second season are now completed on the writing and voice side before I leave. (Note: I find out today 7/9 that the board artists and directors never got these dialogue reels. GRRRRRR.)
12:00pm - I arrive at my office at Sony's Apple Building, i.e. the grim warehouse where we produce Spidey. I'm trying to clear the decks, since I don't plan on bringing my computer on the trip and/or checking e-mail.
7:00pm - I stop by Golden Apple to pick up a few comics before I go. Some Amazing Spider-Man (Brand New Day) and Justice League, which I buy for work-related reasons and Angel, which I buy for Whedon geek-out reasons.
8:00pm - I get home and sleep for a couple of hours.
10:00pm - I say good night to the kids and Beth. Then I do some more prep work for the conventions. Printing out my itinerary, etc. Then I watch a bunch of episodes of Season Two of Dexter (even better than Season One). No point in going to sleep tonight - I have to get up too early...
MORE TO COME...
As many of you know, perhaps my favorite television series of all time is HILL STREET BLUES. A couple years ago, the first season was put out on DVD. There was no marketing that I noticed... but there was a bit of publicity. A year later the second season came out. This time no marketing and no publicity. Also, I'm GUESSING, not much in terms of sales -- as the third season isn't on the schedule. I've signed up at Amazon to be notified if-and-when it is released...
I bring this up, since it allows me to do a few things:
1. SPREAD THE WORD! I encourage you all to buy the first two seasons of Hill Street Blues. This was one of the truly seminal shows in television history, brilliantly written and acted and directed and a HUGE, HUGE influence on Gargoyles. Like Gargoyles it created a tapestry, a world of characters. Very much worth your time and disposable income.
2. CREATE A REALITY CHECK. For those of you who STILL seem to feel Disney is doing something unusual (let alone nefarious) in its treatment of Gargoyles, this is one of just many, many, many examples that demonstrates it's not. We can all sturm and drang about how business should be done, with marketing and publicity galore for every product, with a guarantee that once a company starts a project they must finish it (whether or not the economics justify it), etc. But the gnashing of teeth doesn't change the reality. Companies -- even companies as huge as Disney have LIMITED resources and must deal with the notion of OPPORTUNITY COST. So one company takes a flier on a Gargoyles DVD set, another takes one on Hill St. Both do fairly well in their first season releases, despite limited or no marketing and limited or no publicity. Both fair poorly in their second release. Both don't seem to rate a third release. It's sad. But it's life.
3. ENCOURAGE YOU TO SPREAD THE WORD! The best thing any one of you can do to help get the next release of ANY show you love -- short of spending your own money -- is to help us Spread the Word! About the DVDS, the comics, the Gathering. Oh, and about Hill Street Blues. (See, I practice what I preach!)
With that in mind, I depart in less than 48 hours for Chicago and my 12th Annual Gathering, followed immediately by a trip to Minneapolis for ConVergence (http://www.convergence-con.org/). I won't have internet access while I'm gone, but when I return I'll post my conjournalx2. I encourage all of you who are attending the Gathering to post/cut&paste their conjorunals, diaries etc. here to ASK GREG. It creates a central place where I can refer ignorant PTB-types. Also, if you see me at either con, please come up and say hello. I am notoriously bad with names, and I admit (with some embarrassment) that it often takes me two or three conventions to really nail a name down. But I do want to meet you, and I do want to get to know you. I'm not much at small talk, but I can talk about animation and comics and pop culture in general ad nauseum (just ask my wife).
I know this is far too early to ask...but... Will you be making an appearance at Comic-Con 2008 in San Diego? I'm just hoping SLG will have a booth set up with you (and hopefully the Gargoyles comics) appearing in hopes of spreading the word before/during/after the convention. :)
I will indeed be at ComicCon this summer. In fact I'm at quite a few conventions this year...
February 22-24 - WonderCon in San Francisco
June 27-30 - The Gathering in Chicago
July 3-6 - ConVergence in Minneapolis
July 23-27 - ComicCon in San Diego
August 27-September 1 - CopperCon in Arizona
Just got back from CONvergence in Minnesota. I had a great time at the convention. Met a bunch of new Gargoyles fans, signed comic books, dvds and posters and read "BLATHER" as the secret ingredient for their Iron Artist competition. FYI, "Blather" can be found at...
Of course, I did a panel on Gargoyles, but I also had fun doing panels on writing characters, on writing subtext, on DC Comics characters in animation, on creating cartoons that aren't just for kids, on how fans can revive dead properties and even on Veronica Mars.
It's a great con. So check out their website at:
I'd like to give particular thanks to Chris Jones, who brought me into the Convergence fold. Chris was the penciller on the Captain Atom/JLE/Gargoyles parody story ("The Flashback of Notre Dame") that I did for DC Comics all those years ago. It was great to finally meet him in person.
Special thanks also to Perrin Klumpp, their guest guru and to guest liason Mark Tempel, for putting up with me all weekend and to guest liason Lex Larson, who picked me up at the airport and hung out with Mark and I when she could.
I also had a great time with fellow guests Bridget Landry and Ken Hite and the rest.
Thanks also to Windy, Tim, Pat, Ishmael, Jeremy, Melissa, Melissa, Mandy, Anton, Jenni, Amanda, Eryn and everyone else who made it such a great experience.
WOW! Two great cons in a row. I'll be at the San Diego ComicCon in a couple weeks, but there's almost no way that monstrosity could ever be as much fun as the Gathering and Convergence combined.
Finally, I'm now in love with Jucy Lucy. And Soylent Theater is People.