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POSTINGS 2008-03 (Mar)

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Todd Jensen writes...

I saw the first two episodes of "The Spectacular Spider-Man" this morning, and enjoyed them. I immediately spotted a few of the elements that people have commented on here before me: the stone gargoyles in the first episode (knowing that you'd written that one, I wasn't at all surprised that they showed up), Keith David being cast as the mysterious boss determined to get rid of Spider-Man, and the way that Electro's accident evoked "Metamorphosis".

I'm looking forward to seeing the others - and I'm pleased that it's easy to follow for someone who (like me) has only a general familiarity with Spider-Man (though I got a few of the allusions, such as to Uncle Ben's death and the significance of lizards in Dr. Connors' lab). Congratulations.

Greg responds...

Thanks. We're having fun. We're exhausted, but we're having fun.

Response recorded on March 13, 2008

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Chuck Logan writes...

Greg I have enjoyed reading the new gargles comics immensely. I have bought each issue along with the paperback edition. To find out where each issue is going to hit the stance I go to the SLG publishing website. You are a terrific storyteller, and I would love to see your take on the red tornado. The SLG website has a link to that post their publishing schedule for certain comics. Does the DC website do the same? Will you let us know on AskGreg.com when these issues are supposed to hit the stand at our local comic book store? I get the same feeling from reading the comic book as I did from watching the show so many years ago. I will continue to buy anything having to do with the gargles universe in the hope that season two volume 2 is released and furthering the growth of the franchise. If buying other projects you work a lot and will also help the gargoyles. I will be right there showing my support.

You mentioned that the Red Tornado is one of your favorite characters. Would you explain why this particular character stands out in your mind and why you are excited about getting to write about this character.

Greg responds...

I don't know what DC has on their website. Check it out and let us know.

I will of course keep everyone as up to date as I can right here at ASK GREG.

I don't want to go into TOO much detail about Red Tornado now -- because I don't want to scoop the mini-series.

Response recorded on March 13, 2008

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Ricky writes...

Hey Greg,

This is my last question-posting, it'll be my third today, so I'll have filled my geekly quota!

I just (not two minutes ago) read about SLG switching formats to only putting out graphic novels. If the license is renewed, I think this could bode incredibly well for Gargoyles. Here are my thoughts on why:

1. Given the fact that a graphic novel is the same as a trade, and we got three complete stories in Clan-Building Vol 1, this would mean we would get a much larger helping of Gargoyles in one sitting. Whether it's an entire arc in one book, or one arc and the beginning of the next, or just a bunch of standalones, I think it would feel really satisfying, especially to those of us who crave Gargoyles like addicts.

2. Increased sales (which I'm sure appeals to everyone for a multitude of reasons). What happens a lot, which I'm sure you know but I'll say anyway, is that a lot of people by the individual issues and then don't by the trade, or people simply wait for the trade, which means lower sales for the issues. Releasing Gargoyles as a graphic novel and not as individual issues could mean that sales for the individual issues and the trade won't be sort of competing in that way.

3. No delays between individual issues and less delay between the completion of a story arc. Personally the delays don't bother me, I'd wait years if I had to for the next issue (I'd probably just run around like a chicken without a head). But I know that some people get discouraged and become uninterested as a result of them.

4. Less production costs. I'm assuming printing individual issues AND a trade would cost more than just producing graphic novels.

5. Hopefully less approval time from Disney. This might be a stretch, but I dunno… it's good to be hopeful.

6. Well, I'm sure there are plenty more reasons that my feeble little brain have yet to think of, but I'm sure someone else will, and you've probably thought of them all by now anyway.

Ok, so, now that I'm done with all my blabber, we can get to the actual questions.

1) You said in the past that you were unsure about whether or not the Gargoyles license will be renewed. Has there been any change, good or bad, that may have changed your feelings about that?

2) I read on a forum (yea, I know, not a very reliable source) that Dan Vado had stated that he planned to let every Disney license lapse except for Gargoyles. Do you know if there's any truth to this? Is it something he might have said in the past that may have changed? Or…is it just BS I read on a forum? 

3) Dumb question. Will you be discussing the possibility of Gargoyles continuing in this format before the final decision is made about the renewal of the license?

Ok, that's all for now. Sorry to take up so much of your time, I've just got a lot of things running through my head at once, and wanted to get them all out.

Thanks again for everything!

Greg responds...

1. At WonderCon, Dan said he planned to renew it. But he hadn't heard back from Disney yet. So it's looking more hopeful, but it's not definite.

2. I have no idea what he's planning for the other licenses.

3. I have no direct knowledge of this graphic novel thing. Dan hasn't mentioned it to me. But I'd be fine doing it that way, I guess.

Response recorded on March 13, 2008

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Demonskrye writes...

I'm really glad we're able to give you our feedback on "Spectacular Spider-Man". My husband and I watched it this morning. We're big Spidey fans - the kind with all the Essential volumes on a easily accessible bookshelf - so I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear that we both loved it. The "Cheeks" designs look great in animation and I'd even say this series looks better than any previous animated incarnation of Spider-Man. My husband got a kick out of seeing the Enforcers and we both really liked the takes on Liz Allen, Gwen Stacy, and Eddie Brock. Great buildup to the upcoming Lizard episode and nice subtle tease of the Sandman too. I was also impressed that we're two episodes in and there's no direct reference to Spidey's origin. I think by now it's fair to assume most viewers know what happened. I'm sure I won't be the first person to comment on the cameo by Hudson and a couple of Broadways (or was the other one Hollywood?)), but it was really fun.

So since I feel like I should ask a question, do I recall correctly that you mentioned reading "Untold Tales of Spider-Man" in a previous interview about the show? It's one of our favorite Spider-Man comics and we'd both be thrilled to see some aspects of it make their way into the show.

I know the show has been a lot of hard work for you and likely everyone else involved, but it looks like you're having a lot of fun too. Keep up the great work; it's paying off big time.

Greg responds...

I missed what the actual question was there. But I'm glad you liked it. We did reference the origin, both in the main titles and in the first episode. But we won't be TELLING the origin for a bit.

Response recorded on March 13, 2008

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KingCobra_582 writes...


Weeks of waiting, and it's finally here. Video-taped "The Spectacular Spider-man" this morning on Kids WB! (the only reason I would ever watch that channel) and thought I'd leave my two cents.

It has a lot of nice touches to it. Loved the brief, but still informative info on the characters. Peter's infamous spider-bite, etc. I figured the entire first episode would've been devoted to it, instead of a little scene. Nice to be proven wrong, for once.

Of course, I loved the little nods to 'Gargoyles'.

Recognized Robert Englund right off (having been watching Fred Kruger movies since I was 7 or 8, not to mention his other horror films over the years, how could I not?) and thought he was just spot-on as Vulture. Vulture is now on my growing list of favorite Spider-man characters, thanks to Robert's performance and your writing. I don't know much about the character in the comics, but in the series, I think you did Vulture justice. Hope I get to see him again!

Electro. Another great villain, and another character that I could get used to. Gotta feel sorry for the guy, thrown into a situation that he didn't ask for nor could do anything about. I am curious, though. Why, when Dr. Connors said he needed more time for a cure, did Electro rage "I don't have time!"? Was he dying? Did he have something that's now impossible to do? Or was he just being impatient? Curious...

Captivating show, Greg. Definitely can't wait for next week's episode.

Never used to be a Spiderman fan, but then the movies came out, which (Not as much on part 3, though I still liked it) made me like it a little. Now we have this show, and now I just want to start reading the comics. I think I'm on the path to full fledged-spidey geek.

Thanks for that. :)

Greg responds...

Re: Electro. "Impatient" doesn't quite cover it.

Response recorded on March 11, 2008

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Rachel N. writes...

Hi Greg!
I got the Clan-Building Vol 1 TPB, and I think it's really great! I especially loved the Introduction by Wendy Pini. This past summer I attended the 20th Anniversary fan convention for the Beauty and the Beast TV series (1987-1990) where I got to meet Wendy Pini in person (she was a special guest at the Con). She's terrific, and I like the fact that being both a BatB fan and Gargoyles fan, she wrote the intro to this Gargoyles TPB.
My question is: Did you contact Wendy and ask her to contribute, or was she the one who contacted you to say she'd like to contribute an intro to the TPB?

Greg responds...

I asked her, and she very graciously agreed to do it.

Actually, any thoughts from anyone on who might be a good choice to write an intro to Volume Two?

Response recorded on March 11, 2008

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Jess writes...

Hey Greg! Just watched the premeire episodes of Spectacular Spider-Man, and I loved them! The scripts were tight as usual. I thought the way you used voice-overs for Peter was perfect. It didn't feel gimicky at all, and gave a lot of insight into Peter's thoughts. My favorite moment is during the fight with the Vulture, where Spidey's quipping away and then all of a sudden we hear "I can't let Harry lose his dad the way I lost Uncle Ben." Beautifully understated and very powerful.

The animation style took a little time to adjust too, but it grew on me, and IMO felt very fluid. Also, I noticed the Gargoyles that showed up during the opening shot and at the end of the first episode. Nice shout out.

I'll also add that the cast is very strong. Was it just me, or was Keith "Goliath" David the mysterious man on the phone?
I'm amused at find out that Josh Keaton and James Arnold Taylor have played each other's characters in various videogames, but both were great at the parts they won in the series.I was also very very happy to hear Crispin Freeman as Electro. I'm something of a fan, espicially since I just finished The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

I can't wait 'til next week!

Greg responds...

I'm glad you liked the "Uncle Ben" line. Certain people behind the scenes wanted to cut it. Vic and I fought to keep it in.

Keith David did indeed play the Big Man in the first episode.

Response recorded on March 11, 2008

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Ed Reynolds writes...

Hi Greg.

I love the trade. Wasn't sure what I'd make of the size, but it's actually great (and seeing the art large-format is a good incentive for people not to trade-wait, hopefully). Some of the writing looks a bit grainy on the inside front and back pages but otherwise the presentation is superb -- sleek and attractive, nice paper, and a lovely clear spine that can be read from the bookshelf. Thanks to Scott Saavedra and everyone else who made it happen.

Couple of questions about the future of the comic...

1. When will a decision on the lisence renewal be made?

2. Since SLG's announced that it's moving to mainly producing graphic novels, is it possible Gargoyles could continue in that format after #12? I'm enthusiastic for whatever format, but I can see a lot of positives in moving away from "floppies". (More accessible for newbies given the huge casts and complex plots; a less frequent release schedule might help fend off the perception that the comic's dogged by delays; infrequent comic-readers buying mail order would save on postage, etc.)

Greg responds...

1. Dan has told me he'd like to renew it. He was, as of WonderCon, waiting on Disney to respond.

2. This is the first I've heard of the announcement. Me, I'll take what I can get.

Response recorded on March 11, 2008

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Lumpmoose writes...

Hey, I just saw the first 2 episodes of Spectacular Spider-Man and I thought they were fantastic. I found them very engaging, so the writing-on-multiple-levels thing is working great. I caught three Gargoyles references: Hudson at the beginning, Broadway crumbling in the middle, and the policewoman that had Elisa's hair and skin color. Did I miss any? ;)

I have only one technical question. Victor Cook said at the Comic-Con panel that the series was being produced in high definition. I was watching my local affiliate of CW in HD, but the show was in 4:3 pan and scan. All the publicity screenshots before the premiere were released in 16:9 widescreen, including one in an HD resolution: http://marvel.toonzone.net/specspidey/media/gallery/04.jpg

So it seems the HD content is there, but someone just didn't put in the right tapes, or something. Spidey was born to be in widescreen, HD, digital sound, etc. Is that something you can fix?

Thanks! Love the show so far!

Greg responds...

I'm really not sure what's going on. We were trying to figure out what the CW is doing with it last night, and we think they're broadcasting it both ways... on CW and CWHD. But I don't really know for sure. I do know we're making it in HD, but making sure that all key images are in the normal TV cutoff. At the mix, we listen to the sound first in 5.1. Then we listen to it again on normal stereo speakers, to make sure it works for both.

Response recorded on March 11, 2008

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Matt writes...

Before Thailog showed up at the Eyrie on Halloween, 1996, what was Goliath's reaction, if any, to Lexington's costume?

Greg responds...

Did Goliath see it? Did he focus on it AT ALL... or perhaps was his attention focused elsewhere?

Response recorded on March 10, 2008

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