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Michael writes...

What do you think about the Disney Marvel merger? Do you think it will change anything for you(or in other words you're struggle to get more episodes of Gargoyles made)? Do you think we will see you're gargoyles comics published by Marvel in the future?

Greg responds...

1. I'm withholding judgement.

2. I don't know.

3. No.

Response recorded on January 22, 2010

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The Fox Bandit writes...

I see there are two other questions about Disney buying Marvel - but I'm going to ask two other related questions:

(1) Were you aware ahead of time that Disney would be purchasing Marvel?
(2) I'm sure the legal complexities involved in this transaction are very... well, complex... as they interface with your show. However, to your knowledge, how does Disney's purchase of Marvel impact the possibilities of using previous off-limits characters on Spectacular Spider-Man? (Especially Kingpin, but also other characters you said you wanted to use on rare occasion, such as Human Torch.)

Greg responds...

1. No.

2. No idea.

Response recorded on January 22, 2010

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Joltman writes...

Now that Disney is buying Marvel, do you think will affect, positively or negatively, The Spectacular Spider-Man's future?

Greg responds...

I really don't know.

Response recorded on January 21, 2010

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Chris writes...

Will Disney buying Marvel Comics mean anything for the Gargoyles comic book series?

Greg responds...

I don't think so, but I don't know.

Response recorded on January 21, 2010

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Spawn Guy writes...

Hey Greg,

I've always wondered how building a writing team works exactly. Obviously Sony liked your pitch for Spectacular (and I'm very glad they did)and we wound up with great efforts from Matt Wayne, Kevin Hopps, Andrew Robinson and Randy Jandt. But did you hand pick these people or were they provided for you by Sony? Or did they have their own takes on Spidey that convinced you that they, out of the many people who must have been vying for a spot on the show, had the right stuff for the series? And you guys had a pretty solid rotation system, so how does whatever selection process used differ from freelancing for a show?

Greg responds...

Hmmm.... the order of things...

I think it started with Randy, who had been my script coordinator on many previous series. We offered him the job of apprentice writer, a union position that would allow him to be a script coordinator but also take the next step up and write one script per season.

My next hire was Kevin Hopps, who was brought on as a staff writer. Kevin and I go way back to my Disney days. He's given me work; I've given him work. He's great and someone I can count on.

The rest of the "staff" was in fact freelance. Andrew Robinson was an obvious choice. He had done great work for me on W.I.T.C.H. I didn't know Matt Wayne, but my boss Michael Vogel was big on Matt's stuff... so I gave him a try (with great results).

Having chosen these writers, we did start something of a rotation.

I wrote the pilot and reserved the twelfth (origin) episode for myself. Then staff writer Kevin, was followed by freelancers Matt and Andrew for episodes 2-4 and 5-7. Randy took episode 8, a middle episode that would give him a chance to get acclimated on the series. 9-11 were taken by the "rotation". I did twelve. Kevin did 13.

For season two, I added Nicole Dubuc (another W.I.T.C.H. success story) as a freelancer to give us a another voice. While Nicole got acclimated, we began with the same Kevin, Matt, Andrew rotation for episodes 14-16. Randy did 17. Then we had planned to start the rotation again, with Nicole added in. (So the PLAN was to have 18-21 be Kevin, Matt, Andrew, Nicole). But by this time, Matt was getting pretty busy on other series. So Nicole also jumped in and took Matt's spot in the rotation, and 18-21 became Kevin, Nicole, Andrew, Nicole. We then started a new rotation without Matt. And Kevin, Andrew and Nicole took 22-24. I had reserved 25 for myself. And Kevin again finished out the season with 26.

That's the way I like to work. Have a small "staff" (mostly freelancers for budgetary reasons) that do multiple episodes. That way the writers really learn the show. We all break episodes together, helping each other out pre-outline. It really becomes a team.

Response recorded on December 11, 2009

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Robby writes...

My brothers and I are impressed by the fluid animation in Spectacular Spider-Man. We imagine it must be very expensive. How much does it cost to do those cool action scenes?

Greg responds...

I can't spit out a number for the action scenes in a vacuum. SpecSpidey had a fairly standard "per episode" TV Animation budget. We tried to get as much bang for our buck as possible.

Response recorded on November 24, 2009

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Tonya writes...

Hi Greg! I was reading an earlier post of yours where you mentioned that it's harder to pitch original ideas (I'm guessing to networks, but maybe it's the same with comics, books, etc...?) now than it was when you originally pitched Gargoyles:

1. Why is it more difficult to pitch original ideas now than it was then? (I would think they'd be anxious for new concepts???)

2. What's probably the #1 thing that the people being pitched to are looking for?

3. Is a successful pitch sometimes tied to the person you are pitching to? (I mean, if you're pitching to one guy on Tuesday, but had you gone on say, Thursday and had a different guy, could the outcome of the pitch be different? I guess I mean do you depend on getting lucky with whomever you're scheduled to pitch to? And if not, can you ask to pitch to someone else?)

Thanks! I hope my questions were clear enough to get across what I'm trying to ask. I'm thinking of writing professionally (IF I'm any good) and wondered how hard it would be to "pitch". Thanks again! (Love your work by the way.)

Greg responds...

1. They're not. They're afraid of new concepts and would rather have something that's "proven" in some other medium or era. This, in my opinion, is a direct result of the vertical integration of these companies that makes the decision making process a long uphill struggle.

2. It differs all the time, but marquis value doesn't hurt.

3. Luck-of-the-draw and incidental timing are huge factors.

Response recorded on November 02, 2009

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MARVEL-FAN writes...

Greg, how come in the Spectacular Spider-Man it doesent use realistic gunshot sounds? But, Batman: The Brave and The Bold it uses realistic gunshot sounds, other Batman cartoon shows.

Greg responds...

Different networks have different rules, I guess.

Response recorded on October 27, 2009

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Bazell writes...

In response to two of your previous responses to me (via everyone):

You wrote, "If I am going to "lift", I try to be direct and on the head about it, so that I'm acknowledging the debt as opposed to trying to get away with something."
Would you say that this is simplified explanation of the difference between 'homage' and 'rip-off'?

As for Free Comic Book Day, it's the first Saturday in May every year and is sponsored by some of the larger comic book companies as a way to support the industry and local comic shops. Here is their website:

Greg responds...

Yes, I think in bald terms that is the difference between 'homage' and 'theft'.

Response recorded on September 25, 2009

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Bobby Drake writes...

Hey, Greg. I heard some scenes in Gargoyles were censored by Disney. In one episode in season 1, I remember a part where Hyena says "Would you like an autograph?" a girl (forgot her name) pulls out a knife on the guy and says, "Maybe I should sign it on your face!" And that's when Jackal says, "Might as well get in on the fun." And I heard there were a few more episodes that had censors.

I would say Spectacular Spider-Man is a little violent for a children's show. So far, your show has had drug addiction, Tombstone getting stabbed in the back by the Green Goblin, Doc Ock promising Rhino the "permission" to impale Spiderman's heart, George Stacy saying the F word in "Shear Strength", a funeral, and also violent fights. I've considered most of the fights in this show (especially the season 2 fights) a little bit violent for little kids.

So here's my question: Will Spectacular Spider-Man suffer from censors the same way some scenes of Gargoyles have? Were there any censored scenes in the show so far in Spectacular Spiderman on Disney? If yes, which scenes? Also, I heard the "Natural Selections" episode had censors. Is that true?

Thank you for answering my questions.

Greg responds...

GARGOYLES wasn't censored in the traditional sense of the word when the shows first aired. Since then, I'm told, ToonDisney/Jetix/DisneyXD may have made some cuts. But I haven't watched their versions of the shows.

George Stacy never said the "F-word" unless you and I have VERY different ideas of which F the F-Word stands for. I don't think THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN is too violent for kids. Of course, I grew up on Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons.

You're sort of throwing the c-word (censorship) around willy-nilly. I'm not sure you really get what it means in a practical sense. But in any case, the 1st Season and half the second season have all aired on DisneyXD, and nothing has been cut from the versions we made.

And, no, nothing was censored out of "Natural Selections". Where did you hear that?

Response recorded on September 15, 2009

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