A Station Eight Fan Web Site
I was just reading through the Ask Greg archives and I found this mentioned, JUSTICE LEAGUE/CAPTAIN ATOM/GARGOYLES. What's the title and where can it be found?
You're a bit late, I think. It was some kind of Justice League Giant Size thing. (I'm not in my office and I can't remember exactly what it was called.) There was one Captain Atom-era JLE story in there which I wrote, that's basically a short little Garg parody and a treat for anyone who has fond memories of Cary and my days on Captain Atom. (Which as far as I know includes only me, Cary and Simon Del Monte.)
You might try asking in the comment room for more info. I'm sure someone must have picked it up.
Oh, and this is a little "general response" to "Max Steel", since my initial comments on the pilot episode also got lost in the crash.
I haven't fully made up my mind about it. On the one hand, the genre (secret agent-type adventure) isn't as much my personal piece of cake as the genre (urban fantasy with medieval connections) of "Gargoyles" was, so I haven't gotten as much into "Max Steel" so far. But I do think that it's quite well-written, with a good job on the conflicts that the hero has to face between his everyday life as Josh McGuire and his Max Steel role. My favorite part in it so far, however, has been the scenes involving the "mastermind villain" (Dredd, I believe his name was), who's got that same "calmly logical" quality that I found so appealing in Xanatos; I like how he responds to defeat in that very philosophical fashion. (In "Strangers", when discovering that L'Etrange's attempt to kidnap the German government for him failed, he just says with a shrug, "My fault, for entrusting such an important assignment to free-lancers", and in "Sphinxes", his commentary on the whole adventure at the Pyramids at the end definitely sounds Xanatosian, as he dwells on what they succeeded at and not what they failed at. I'm finding this element very appealing, not just because of its Xanatos-reminiscent style, but also because I rather like that kind of villain in general.
Yeah, Dread is very Xanatosian (or rather both of them are quite Eiling-esque). I was bothered by that for awhile. Like I wasn't being original. But the truth is I had plans for Dread that would have clearly set him apart from Xanatos. (Plans that I won't be executing now.) And at any rate, I agree with you. That's the kind of villain I like. One I can respect.
And it's Josh McGrath, by the way, not McGuire.
Out of curiosity, do you have any opinion on the works of former Animal Man and JLA scribe Grant Morrison? (While he did a good job with most of his stories, he was also responsible in JLA for killing General Wade Eiling and placing his mind in the body of the Shaggy Man.)
I'm not familiar with Grant's stuff.
However, if Grant took Eiling and put him in Shaggy Man then I pretty much hate him. How's that?
You mentioned your friend Tuppence Mcintyre (I hope that I got the spelling right) who's a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles. Is there any connection between that being her profession and your having made Margot Yale an Assistant District Attorney in "The Journey", or was that just a coincidence? (Not that I seriously think that you'd have made a friend of yours that much of an inspiration for Margot, mind :)
It's Macintyre. Mac, not Mc. And no, I didn't model Margot on Tup. For starters, when Michael Reaves first created Brendan & Margot, I didn't know just how important they were going to be down the road. "The Journey" wasn't even a glimmer in my eye back then. Margot's occupation became an issue only at that point. I tend to think that she would have been an A.D.A., even if I didn't know D.D.A. Macintyre.
On the other hand, I did model a character after Tup. Her name was Tuppence MacRae and she was Plastique's lawyer in one of my last issues of Captain Atom. The judge in that comic was modeled after Bruce Cranston, my boss at Disney at the time. This was back when I was still working simultaneously for Disney and DC. (Note: when I say modeled, I don't mean visually, since I didn't draw the pictures or supply photo reference. I just let the "models" guide me when I was writing the dialogue.)
Oh, and I was also interested in hearing that you're currently a co-writer of a story pitting Captain Atom against the gargoyles of Notre Dame (as Alex Wittenberg mentioned in the Station 8 Comment Room). How's it feel to be writing a story about gargoyles again (although different gargs, and presumably ones that are a lot closer to the traditional negative imagery held by most humans than Goliath and his clan were)?
I hope by now many of you have read that story. It was almost more of a Gargoyles story than a Captain Atom story. (And I was the sole writer, not a co-writer.)
It was a lot of fun to join up two of my professional passions. it was great to write Cap and Bette again. And I stuffed as many gargoyle in-jokes into the ten page story as could possibly fit.
My DC Comics editor finally sent me a few copies of that Justice League comic with the Captain Atom/Gargoyles story. I had forgotten just how many Gargoyle in-jokes I put in that story. There's much more there for a Gargoyle fan then for a Captain Atom fan. Though I think the scenes of Cap kissing Bette (and the mention of Las Vegas) would make a couple people (Simon Del Monte, Melissa Page, for example) a bit nostalgic. I think the story turned out pretty well. Anyway, I'm happy. My editor made a couple small changes. He removed the two references to the year the story took place (1991). And he changed the title. It was called something like: "An Exercise in Self-Indulgence". Now it's called "The Flashback of Notre Dame". Both are accurate, but his is much more clever.
Lately, I've been giving away a lot of ASK GREG tidbits for some reason. Not sure why. I'm just in the mood, I guess. But it suddenly occured to me to register this caveat.
There's canon and there's canon.
As far as I'm concerned the only true canon is the 66 episodes of the series running from "Awakening, Part One" through "The Journey". As many of you know, I don't like to consider the other twelve episodes of Goliath Chronicles to be canon, let alone whatever other stories got published by Marvel or Disney Adventures Digest or whatever.
But to be honest, even some of my ASK GREG answers cannot truly be considered canon. They're closer. But I won't be held to them in any absolute sense. Part of the wonder of producing the first two seasons of Gargoyles involved things discovered along the way. I won't etch things in stone (pun intended) just for the sake of making these ramblings and off-the-cuff answers sacrosanct. If I got the chance to produce the show (or one of its spin-offs) again, I'd ABSOLUTELY incorporate much of what's here. But I'd be a fool not to hold everything up to a microscope and decide with consideration what would and wouldn't be best for the new series.
Having said that, I've been giving some particular thought to G2158 recently, studying timelines for example. And I've changed a few things in my head. Nothing major. But certain things have changed that would in turn effect things in TimeDancer and present-day Gargoyles. Maybe even New Olympians and Pendragon. (So far nothing that would alter Bad Guys or Dark Ages.)
The good news is that none of these changes effect our three current contests. (Wouldn't that be an ASK GREG disaster?)
And all this thought has gotten me thinking about how I might handle a couple of thorny problems in any revival of the original series, specifically the time gap between 1996 and whenever the new show hit the air, and/or the existence of those 12 non-canon Chronicle episodes.
And frankly, I think the internet is the answer.
Goliath Chronicles exists. I can't change that. But I think I can ignore it. For example, if I wanted to do my version of the trial of Goliath -- the one where the question before the court is his very sentience -- couldn't I just do it?
New fans wouldn't know about the Chronicles trial and thus wouldn't be upset about it. Old fans could check here and find out why it was being ignored.
That only leaves a small percentage of people, who, for example, see the Chronicles episode on Toon Disney and wonder about it, but don't have the resources or whatever to find a site like this and learn the rationale. Would they be very put off? Is that too selfish an approach for me to take?
Likewise, the time gap. What if in the fist season, I did that Halloween story I've mentioned before. I wouldn't mention what year it was. For a new audience, they'd just assume that the story took place in say, October 2002. No harm done. But I could post here and tell people it took place in 1996. Then, by the end of the first season, I could have the series caught up to 2002, but still have gotten to do the stories that would have depended (continuity-wise) on proximity to the events in Hunter's Moon and The Journey.
What about that?
I'm very interested in all of your opinions on these notions. Please post them here.
Do you currently read any comic books?
Have you done any comic book work recently?
No. I gave them up cold turkey in 1996. I was already down to very few books. Bone. Cerebus. Maybe a couple of others. But it was getting too hard to find the books I liked. And many had been cancelled, discontinued or rendered unreadable.
As I'm sure you know by now, I did write a JUSTICE LEAGUE/CAPTAIN ATOM/GARGOYLES story that was just published. But that's it.
I'd love to write comics again, but no one's busting down my door, and I don't have the energy to initiate a hard sell of my own.
I'm back. And determined to pour through these questions. I can't believe I'm still backlogged until JULY!!!
But first, let me give you a quick update on what I've been up to recently.
Post-Production has been completed on my first arc of stories. They are all set on the jungle moon TESCA NEMEROSA. I think they turned out wonderfully. I'm still very proud of the writing, but I'm wildly impressed with the CGI. (And yes, there are a few small things that bother me, but...) Overall, I think it's a very powerful set of stories.
We've completed writing and recording all 13 episodes for the first season. Post-production should begin after the first of the year. The CGI series should premeire in February on the WB's Saturday Morning. And now that the heavy lifting is done, I'm all but unemployed, which means I should have plenty of time for ASK GREG.
A good friend of mine did the English dub for this Japanese Anime series. Thom Adcox does the voice for one of the leads, and I do a few incidental voices here and there. (Yes, the man who brought you "Nice Mask!" and "Father, the rockets aren't working!" is back behind the microphone. God help us all.) It's available on home video in stores starting mid-January.
JUSTICE LEAGUE GIANT
As many of you already know, I did a CAPTAIN ATOM/JLE/GARGOYLES parody team-up for this comic book. I wrote it a year ago and I still haven't seen the final result, but I'm told it turned out all right. And every copy you buy puts about a tenth of a penny into my pocket... Seriously, it wouldn't hurt if this issue sold out and was followed by a letter writing campaign asking DC to do an actual Gargoyles comic. Don't know if it would work, but it wouldn't hurt.
For those of you living in the L.A. Area, Kevin Hopps and I are teaching a twenty week course on writing for Television Animation through UCLA Extension's Writer's Program at Universal CityWalk starting this Spring and running through the Summer. Hope to see some of you there.
Now, back to your questions...
Reprinting (for posterity) what I just posted in the comment room:
Just a quick response/explanation to Alex (aka Simon).
I couldn't really do a full-on Captain Atom story. I was limited to 10 pages (and it takes a lot of time to write that short) and it was a JLA GIANT, so I was obligated to include the JLE from that era. Those were my marching orders.
So Dan Raspler (my editor) and I decided to do something fun. Something with Captain Atom elements, but something more in the tone of the JLE of that era -- admittedly, a sillier mag than the CAPTAIN ATOM book I used to write back then. But even in those days, when I put the JLE into Cap's book, I tried to split the difference on the tone, so that the transition wasn't too jarring.
I suggested making it a real exercise in self-indulgence by including a bit of a GARGOYLES parody. He went for it.
Now, in my first draft, I did open the story by showing the Funeral-At-Sea of Heinrich Megala. But my editor felt that it was too serious. That it clashed with the tone of the rest of the story. I didn't disagree. (I just didn't care.) But he didn't like it. So we went with what you saw.
Or so I assume. I haven't seen it yet. I called Dan yesterday, and he promised to send me a copy. Originally, Pat Broderick was supposed to do the pencilling -- a reunion of sorts. I don't know exactly what happened, but Pat didn't end up doing the story. So I can't even imagine what it looks like. And I don't know how much or how little I was edited. I hope it plays.
And I hope that clears things up.
By the way, I'm almost done with the writing and editing of Max Steel. I promise that after the first of the year, I'm going to try to MUSCLE through the backlog here at ASK GREG.
Sorry for the delays.