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The Gathering 2009 - Con Journal - Part Four...
I woke up on Sunday morning, grabbed a shower and rushed down to the staff breakfast. I have no idea what I ate, but it was good.
This was another day spent, mostly ushering guests to panels. It was good. I remember having lunch in the conference room with Mara and Susan and talking about yesterday's Radio Play.
I remember completely not recognizing Frank Paur, as he had grown his hair out. He and I discussed the show, and the current comics. He still does not like "jalapena!" Then it was time for the "Gargoyles" production panel. Mostly stories I've heard before, but I love listening to these people tell them.
After that, it was the Spidey production panel. That was very cool. I loved seeing the unused footage, especially Shocker being dragged off by Ox and Fancy Dan disguised as cops. I hope all this footage makes it's way onto the second season box set as a special feature.
I had them all sign my Radio Play script and my Spidey DVD.
Finally, it was time for the writer's panel. As a writer myself, I really enjoyed this one. Writers from both "Gargoyles" and "Spidey" were there, including Michael Reaves. Seeing Michael Reaves there with Parkinson's like that was tough. His work has been a part of my life since I was a child, as he has written for almost every cartoon I loved growing up. Not to mention seeing him at the previous California cons in much better health. But, he was still an awesome guest, and he still had stories to share. I'm glad he came.
I had all the writers sign my script, and I chatted for a while with Bob Skir. We talked, especially about a series he story edited called "Beast Machines." A series I admitted that I had some issues with, but I was honest, polite, and we talked because I was interested, and he is a very nice and cool guy. I think I walked away from that making a friend. Good guy, a real pleasure.
Afterwards, it was time for the banquet. Having left my tie at home, I wore a suit with no tie, which I felt weird about at first, but I'm told I still looked good... no, I was not trying to look like David Xanatos. If I was, I'd have never chopped off the ponytail. The ladies on staff looked terrific, especially Jen and Karine who were both dressed to kill. I sat with Susan, Karine, Jade Griffin, her husband, kid, Patrick, and... I'm sorry, it's a blurr. We had a nice, delicious buffet. Having been on the Ramen diet, I had to sample a little of everything, and it was all good.
After that, people left to get ready for the masque. I chatted for a little bit with Ben Diskin... he really got into the whole con, it was awesome having him. Then came the masque. We didn't have many costumes this year, but what we had was awesome. Jade and her family as Fox, Owen, and baby Alex were beyond cute. Zehra gothed up as Shari with Tony and Andrea as random Illuminati members. We had a great King Arthur. I am truly going to miss this.
Finally, the contest was over. I spent the next few hours chatting. Greg told people the story about the drive to LaGuardia airport, which we clearly have two different versions of. I clearly remember him keeping his cool a lot more than how he now tells the story. But it was fun, lots of laughs. Greg and I also discussed recent happenings in the Amazing Spider-Man comic book, and his opinions on the finale of the "American Son" arc, and #600. #600 consisted of Dr. Octopus taking control of all the computers and electronic devices in the city, and I told Greg that I liked it better when he did it in "Shear Strength."
Eventually, we all called it a night... at about 1am.
Ahh, those were the good ol' days...
The Gathering 2009 - Con Journal - Part Three
Saturday, what a day...
Woke up and once again went down for breakfast. I forget what we had today, I know the eggs benedict was on Monday... but, oh, getting ahead of myself.
So, today involved a lot of meeting and greeting and bodyguarding guests. Josh Keaton showed up bright and early for his panel, and as I walked up to introduce myself, he said "Hi, Greg." We've been Facebook friends for a few months, so he already knew me. Actually, he knew me before that, through my message board posts. And when I got into the car accident a month ago, and twittered it, he was the first to ask if I'm okay. Good guy. Very good guy. He is Spider-Man. So, I got him a glass of water and escorted him to his Mug a Guest. I had done the same for Keith David earlier.
After that, Marina Sirtis had finally arrived to do her signing. Rebekah and I decided to stand vigil over her, to keep the line moving. Chatted with her briefly. I've actually met Marina before, a few years back. She didn't remember me, but she does so many conventions and meets so many fans, I'd have been surprised if she did. She was a great guest, and I think she really enjoyed meeting all the Gargoyles fans. Once the line was empty, I had her sign my copy of Clan Building Vol. 2.
After that, I joined some of the staff and guests in our green room for lunch. I wasn't all that hungry... but when am I going to have a chance to eat lunch with Greg Weisman, Thom Adcox, Keith David, and Marina Sirtis again? Well, Greg I know I'll eat with again many times... he's become one of my closest friends over the last few years. Thom, I'm sure too. Keith and Marina... heh, I just had to do it just so I could say I did. All of them an absolute pleasure to be around.
After lunch, I browsed the Art Room, and went into the OtherCon section where I spotted a piece I saw Mara working on yesterday... Demona, Venom, and the Green Goblin engaged in activities that... um... I think I'll save this one for Ask Edmund Tsabard. I wonder who ended up with that piece.
After that, it was time for the Gargoyles voice panel with Greg, Jamie Thomason, Keith, Thom, Marina and Elisa Gabrielli. Greg and Marina both have contradicting stories about how she got cast, which was fun to hear. Also fun that Marina chucks jolly-ranchers at people ;)
Next up was the Spectacular Spider-Man voice panel with Greg, Jamie, Josh, Keith, Elisa, Thom, Steve Blum, Vanessa Marshall, Andrew Kishino, Phil LaMarr, Daran Norris, Dee Bradley Baker, Ben Diskin, Crispin Freeman, Eric Vesbit, Deborah Strang. It was a lot of fun. I had to walk up to Jen and ask her "best job in the world, wasn't it?" A spectacular cast... I hope we see more of them.
After the Spidey panel, it was time for rehearsals for the %*@&ing Radio Play. Greg handed out our parts. The pros each got their respective characters. The fans got cast in some fun parts... and then Greg told me that I'd be playing myself... oh boy, I knew where this was going. LOL. I'll never live that down.
Rehearsals went well, without a hitch. We barely had time for a bathroom break before the Radio Play, oops, I mean the %*@&ing Radio Play started... and it was beautiful. Hearing Steve Blum do the Green Goblin in person was jaw dropping. Eric Vesbit as Kraven... I thought my TV was on and playing his episode. Keith was on as Goliath, of course. Thom was fun as always. Among the fans, I really loved Jen as Sally Avril... and Greg even admitted he wrote the %*@&ing Radio Play like that so Jen could yell at me! LOL! Nice. But hearing Marina voice Demona one more time was such a treat. She seemed to not quite have it during the rehearsal, but by the time the play started, she wasn't just playing Demona, once again, she was Demona. She nailed it. It was like she never left the role. Demona was in the room, and it was awesome. The whole cast was spectacular. And I feel bad for not mentioning some people, because everyone was awesome.
On that note, this Radio Play was a fanboy's dream for me. I've been a HUGE "Gargoyles" fan since October 24th, 1994... the moment it premiered, I've loved it... never stopped loving it. It had such a profound impact on me. And as far as Spider-Man goes, I grew up with Spidey. When I was three years old, I had this gigantic coloring book featuring Spidey battling the Green Goblin... and my first comics were a reprinting of the Stan Lee/Romita story where the Green Goblin first unmasked Spidey. These two franchises meant so much to me, that it was just a dream for me to not only have this Radio Play exist, but to participate in it. Just... wow.
After the Radio Play ended, it was time for the voice actors signing, and once again, I helped to crowd control. When that was done, I got my stuff signed, and Daran Norris asked me why I was playing myself... and so, I told them all the story about that trip to the airport with Greg Weisman after the 2003 Gathering. When I got to the part where the truck tore my mirror off, Deborah Strang's jaw dropped and she asked if I was okay. She really is Aunt May. But it was fun, I actually made a few new friends among the cast.
Once that was over, Rob and I made a run to Tommy's in City Walk for burgers, before heading back for Blue Mug. Blue Mug was, as always, a lot of fun. Raunchy. Plenty of laughs and eye candy. But, it's mostly a blur now because, I was running on so little sleep. But that would change...
After Blue Mug, I took a shower... and fell asleep the moment my head hit the pillow... like a stone.
Greg, you were very convincing as yourself. I almost believed it was you there in the room with me.
The Gathering 2009 - Con Journal - Part Two
Woke up early to head downstairs and finally set up the art room. We've had great layouts before, but I have to say, I really liked this layout. lots of panels, and a nice curtained off space for OtherCon.
Afterwards it was time for the staff breakfast. I think it was pancakes this morning. Yummy stuff. Everyone was there, although Greg slept in. Obviously the %*@&ing Radio Play took it's toll on him. The things he puts himself through for his fans. LOL
With breakfast over, it was time to set up registration and begin letting people in. I saw a lot of familiar faces and a lot of new faces. It was a lot of fun. Eventually, Ben Issac Diskin (voice of Venom/Eddie Brock) arrived, and I introduced him to Susan Leonard. Let me say this, Ben is a great guy. It was a real pleasure to meet him and speak to him. Although, as I have said, it's hard to believe Venom comes out of him.
After that, Rebekah and I ran the auditions line for the %*@&ing Radio Play. This year we had audition sides for not only the "Gargoyles" cast, but the "Spectacular Spider-Man" cast as well. A lot of people seemed to be auditioning reading Green Goblin's sides. Gave them an opportunity to do a really crazy voice. I decided to audition, and did so as soon as the line was empty. As soon as I walked in Jen guessed that I chose to read Norman Osborn's sides. God, I hate being that predictable. But, it was either Norman or Xanatos. I've done Xanatos previous years... except for 2008 when I read Angela's in my best drag queen voice, intentionally throwing it, just to amuse them all ;). But, my audition this year went well, but, as I soon would learn, I really didn't need to audition... but we'll get to that tomorrow.
After that, more registration, and then it was time for Opening Ceremonies. I ran the door, and had to keep out the impatient masses, as well as let guests inside. Among them were the family of the late Gary Sperling. I told them that I met and spoke to Gary at 2001, and that he was a very nice man, and I greatly enjoyed talking to him.
Finally we let everyone in, and we had a sweet and emotional Opening Ceremonies. Greg Weisman presented Jennifer L. Anderson and Patrick Toman with their Fan Guest of Honor awards. They didn't know this was coming, but, considering how we wouldn't have gotten this many Gatherings without them, and how much these two have done, I can't think of anyone who's ever deserved it more.
Then Greg Weisman was presented with his gift. A doll made by Vox. Very cute.
Finally, it was time for the same show we had every year, but we never got tired off. The pitch, the media preview, the Dark Ages and New Olympians pitches, the Bad Guys leica reel, and finally the fan-made animatic "The Last." I've seen these all so many times, but I am honestly going to miss them all. Sigh... I'm nostalgic already.
After that, a large group of us went down to Fat Burger for, well, burgers. Matt joined us, and he and I talked the GargWiki, as well as other fandom and comic topics with Susan Leonard. The burgers here were good, and I was kicking myself for never having gone before.
Then came the walk back... up a very steep mountain. By the time I got back, I was completely rank and exhausted. So, after chatting with my roomies... my very tolerant roomies... I took a much needed shower (once I was able to stand up again), and then went to bed.
Saturday was going to be a big day.
Ahhh, nothing like walking up a massive hill with a FatBurger weighing you down, huh?
The Gathering 2009 - Con Journal - Part One
Well, I certainly delayed writing this one. For many reasons, the least of which being that I've been on the road for a couple of days.
For me, this convention started in April, 2008. I think Jen had finally decided she really wanted to do it again in Los Angeles, and while out with her, Greg Weisman, and my brother, for lunch, we toasted the 2009 convention. I never staffed two Gatherings in a row, but I wanted to be on this one. I was the Con Chair for 2003, I worked promotions for 2006, was doing it again for 2008 and Chicago, and I figured, hey... two in a row, why not? I'd take 2010 off, maybe.... but I am about to get ahead of myself.
I volunteered the house I was living in at the time out for boxes to be delivered to. Mountains of boxes from fans donating to our auction; as well as four boxes full of graphic novels from SLG. "Gargoyles, Clan Building: Volume One"; "Gargoyles, Clan Building: Volume Two" and "Gargoyles, Bad Guys: Redemption."
BTW, all three are available here, so buy 'em now, if you haven't already...
Thursday morning, Patrick Toman picked me up, and we loaded this mountain of boxes into the back of the SUV he rented. Then, we headed off to the bank to have some capital in our cash box... they took their sweet time approving of it. Finally we arrived at the hotel and were greeted by Jennifer L. Anderson... big hug, and we got hotel staff to play Tetris with the boxes. We went up to Patrick's room and hung out for a bit, we stalked Karine Charlebois' plane, bringing her to LA from Montreal, on the internet.
Patrick left to go pick up Karine and Kythera, and Jen and I went downstairs to Starbucks, and then to get her checked into the staff suite. And, this suite was... impressive, to say the least. It was the diplomat's suite, and the ceiling was at least twenty feet high. It was on the twenty-fourth floor, so we had a nice view of Universal Studios.
Once that was done, we drove off to the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank to pick up Mara Cordova, and arrived back in time to meet Rebekah, Cindy, and... ugh, I am so blanking out... but we went across to City Walk to Tommy Burger for, well, burgers.
Later on, my roommate, Rob and his girlfriend, Stephanie, arrived. And I went down to the room to drop off my suitcases and take a shower. Went back up to Jen's room, where by now, most of the staff had gathered, and we stuffed envelopes, prepared con badges, and then, upon Greg Weisman's arrival, we went to dinner at Bucco de Beppo's in CityWalk.
We had at least seventeen people at this table. But, it was good. We ordered lots of Italian food, and we shared everything. We all got caught up, traded funny stories... Cindy winning with her story about the obnoxious French tourists at the museum. I got caught up with Tony and Andrea Zucconi, whom I haven't seen in two years. It was good. Karine and I both had a birthday two days before this, so we got a little Happy Birthday song(s) from the rest of the crew.
The rest of the evening is a bit of a blurr, but on our way back to City Walk, we ran into Jade and met her baby for the first time. Cute kid.
Once we got back, I think we continued prepping con packets until we called it a night. We all needed rest.
BTW, the Greg Weisman line of the year is "The %*@&ing Radio Play" ... he arrived after finally finishing his prepping of the %*@&ing Radio Play. But, more on the %*@&ing Radio Play when we get to the %*@&ing Radio Play.
I feel like I should have a funny smart-ass response about the Radio Play. But nothing occurs...
Ok, Greg, here is my Gathering Journal. I'll admit this is the one year I almost didn't make besides the first 3 Gatherings (learned about after the fact). Money ended being rather tight because I needed to get my wisdom teeth out back in July. But I managed to catch a couple breaks, so I was able to come.
Wednesday, August 19th:
My Gathering trip started by driving down to Sunnyvale from Sacramento to meet Tigris for the drive down to convention. I left my house a little later than I wanted and got to her place around 10 pm. We gamed for a little while and decided to leave around 10 am the next morning.
Thursday, August 20th:
I got up around 8 and slowly started to unpack a few items I didn't need to bring on the trip. Around 10, we took off and hit Safeway where I picked up some Gatorade for the trip before we got gas. After those two things, we hit the road for the long drive south.
Around 12:45 we stopped at Harris Ranch for lunch. I got a hamburger with jack cheese and wished they had pepper jack. After eating, I picked up a shot glass to add to my collection. Our next stop was just north of the Grapevine for some more gas.
Traffic was pretty smooth until we hit the 1-5/ CA-14 junction where there was a pretty big slowdown. Speed up for a little bit until we hit Valencia. After got just south of the 405 junction, it was nice and smooth all the way to the hotel.
We managed to arrive around 5:10 and we saw Jennifer Anderson and Karine right we got out of the elevator. On the way to check in, we also ran into Cindy, Patrick and a couple of others. Managed to hi before getting our room keys. Much to our surprise, they didn't work, so we had to go back down to get them recoded. Went back up and got rid of our backpacks.
Our next trip was for the main suitcases and we when we got back, they had put in the mini-fridge that we had requested. The final trip was the drinks and cooler that had come along. Wandered back to the lobby where I ran into Vicky (from the U.K.), Banshee, and Gside. We talked for a while before Jade Griffin and her husband showed up.
Around 8:30 to 9 pm Tigrise, Jade, her husband and kid, Karl, and I all walked over to City Walk to get some dinner. We ended up at a sushi place. I ended up having the Salmon salad, which was actually pretty good. We talked about a variety of things before heading back to the hotel around 10:30 pm.
We said good night to each other before trying to crash for the night. I think I managed to pass out close to midnight.
Friday, August 21st:
I woke up around 8 am. I took a shower and then tried to call Gside to meet up for breakfast around 9. Never did manage to meet up with him, so I went over to City Walk and ended up going to Jamba Juice for breakfast. While it wasn't the greatest choice in the world, it was something.
Went back to the hotel where I ran into Sarah the Great. We chatted for a while before putting her luggage into my room before trying to track the registration desk. I got my stuff and proceeded to help Patrick.
Around 11:45, I helped Greg X move the items for the silent auction and books down to the dealers room. After all of that was taken care of, Susan and I got to work unpacking everything. After a while, it became clear that there wasn't enough room for everything. Once the stuff was labeled and out of the boxes, I helped Karine with the pricing and trying to condense all the auction items.
After that was finished, I sat down with Cindy to take a break. We chatted for a while trying to juggle the sales of the graphic novels and keeping an eye on the art room. I picked up a copy of both Gargoyles novels and the Bad Guys one as well. I spent some time reading through them was happy that we had gotten some additional material since the show got canceled.
I helped Cindy close up the art room around 6 before heading down to the opening ceremonies. I missed part of it, but did get to catch Greg's usual talk and videos. Granted I had seen them nine times before, the tenth time was still a treat.
After that was over, Tony, Andrea, Jade Griffin, Trevor, Cindy, Karine, several others and I headed down to Fat Burger for some dinner. After the guy taking the orders for my name, I spelled it out for him and somehow, it came out it as âAhunâ on the receipt. Usually, most folks mispronounce my last name, but I think this was the first time my first name got mangled.
I decided to take a picture of it since I found it highly amusing after showing the receipt around. Before I got to finish, the second round of folks showed up. Seth, Sammy, Greg Bishansky, Patrick, and several others whose names escape me. And poor Seth's receipt ended up with being named Sith. Most us were highly amused by the misspelling of our names.
After eating, most of us walked back up that blasted hill to hotel before heading to bed.
Saturday, August 22nd:
I got up some time between 7:30 and 8. I decided to check my email, read some web comics and took a look at Station 8 briefly. After a taking a shower, I decided to make a quick run to get some breakfast. I was half way to Jamba Juice when I got a call from Cindy saying Patrick needed help at the registration desk, but by the time I got back, the crowd had cleared up.
I ended up helping at the dealers table once again. At one point, I managed to get away for a few minutes to get Marina Sirtis to sign in Gargoyles Clan Building Volume 1, when I should have had her sign the second one. Oops. I also managed to get my picture taken with her, which was nice.
I joined Guardian at the desk for a bit before she went off to a panel. I decided that while Brianna Garcia was doing some commissions, I asked for her to draw one of my characters. While waiting for that, we tried to get folks to vote in the art show.
And by the time we closed down for the night, I knew how much it was to buy all three of the graphic novels. Or a combination of two of the three. Karine, Cindy, Tony, Andrea, Shing, and I headed over to Universal City Walk for dinner. We stopped at the crepe's place whose name I didn't catch. I had a nice one that was made with ham and cheddar.
After we found a place to sit down to chow down, we wandered into the Lush store for a while before walking back to the hotel. It proved to be a bit interesting since we ended up walking against the crowd that was leaving Universal Studios. After getting back, we chatted for a little before everybody got ready for the Blue Mug panel.
During the middle of the panel, Greg has to leave for a little and Edmund Tsabard showed up. Just in the heck is that guy? I swear, he sort of looks like Greg's evil twin, but I could be wrong. After insulting us and talking about his âLast Tengu in Parisâ project, he left and low and behold Greg came back into the room. Talk about weird.
After a number of questions, none of which I can remember, the panel closed down for the night. I headed back up the room and was going to make an attempt to try and get 8 hours of sleep after checking a couple things on the laptop.
Just before Tigris and I were about to crash, Cindy's husband Max called while trying get in touch with her. After taking a note to have her call him in the morning, we ended up talking for about an hour or so before finally going to bed for the night.
Sunday, August 23rd:
This time I decided to shower a bit earlier before hunting down Cindy to drop off the message. I loaned her my cell phone so she could call Max while I went off to get breakfast. Once again, I ended up at Jamba Juice. Anybody sense a theme?
Once again I ended up back in the art and dealers room to help out since I was able to do the math for making change in my head. Sales of Clan Building Volume 1 and Bad Guys seemed to be fairly brisk, but we did sell some Volume 2 from time to time.
Most of us ended up talking for a while about a variety of random things. At 3, we closed the auction for all of the goodies that got sent to us. After sorting out what was going to live auction, we started selling everything else. Over the next couple of hours, we managed to take almost everything in the back, save for a few items.
At 5:30, we shut down the bidding for the art auction. After taking care of a few folks who were leaving during the night or very early tomorrow morning, we shut down around 5:50. I quickly back to the room and changed for the banquet and left behind the backpack.
I managed to find a seat with Tigris and several other fans whose names I didn't get. Our guest was one of the Spiderman writers, Nicole Dubuc. We ended up chatting about a variety of things, including how she was nervous about working for Greg at first.
The food was pretty good this year. I loaded up on some of the salad, a roll, chicken, mashed potato and roast beef. And decided to get a slice of German chocolate cake to finish it off. There was supposed to be a trivia game during dinner, but that didn't happen. Oh, well. The Q&A went pretty well despite Thom Adcox showing up a bit late.
After that was the masquerade. There was a pretty decent group of folks in costumes this year. I think the most amusing one was Rebeka as a red shirt. After the awards were announced, some folks danced and others circulated around and talked.
I think around 11:15 or so I headed back to the room to get some sleep.
Monday, August 24th:
I woke up around 7:30 and slowly got to work on packing up things. After I took a shower around 8:15, Tigris took hers. After everything was packed up, we did one run down to the car to drop off the suitcases and drinks. Came back up to get what was left and checked to make sure we didn't leave anything behind.
After checking out, we hung out in the lobby for a little bit before heading out to get some breakfast. I ended up going to Jamba Juice one last time. I had thought about going somewhere else, but decided to go one last time since I very rarely go to the ones up in Sacramento. Probably because the closest one is a good 3 or so miles from my house.
I went back up to the art and dealers room to help out Cindy once again. While she wrote out the receipts and looked up the total including tax, I took the money and gave folks their change. Ah, nothing like doing math in the head. A couple times I tried to calculate the wrong amount of change and she mocked me over it, but hey, it was in good spirit.
Once it started getting closer two, we started to wind things down and started to put some things into boxes to move up to Patrick's room after closing ceremonies. At 2, we walked over to that room and it was a bittersweet moment.
Cindy handed out the art show awards and thanked the few of us who helped make sure she didn't go insane. Quite a few folks were taking this being the last Gathering rather hard. I think a few folks did start crying and I don't blame them. I know Greg, Thom, and quite a few others took it rather hard.
After it was over, we opened up the dealers for a shot time to try and sell a few copies of the trade paperbacks and sell off as many shirts as possible. I decided to pick up another 2009 shirt. After about 20 minutes, the last of the stuff was put into boxes and was hauled upstairs.
A number of us hung out up in Jennifer's room for a bit and chewed down on some pizza. Around 5, Tigris and I said our goodbyes and hit the road for San Jose. I'm going to miss getting to see Jennifer, Patrick, Set, Sammy, Greg X and others year after year.
I felt sad that it came to end, but understand why. Hard to believe that I managed to go to ten Gathering, yes, ten. My first one was the 2000 Gathering in Orlando. I had missed '97 and '98 because I had learned about them after the fact. '99 I learned about 3 months ahead of time, which wasn't enough time for me to save the needed money.
It has been a great ten years. And it's been an honor getting to meet you Greg.
And here are the photos I took this year: http://www.shaunpup2.com/gallery2/v/g2009/
Pardon the red eye. I couldn't find the needed software to fix them up.
Sean, thanks for all your help over the years!
My Con Journal for the Gathering 2009
My friend Kathie and I arrived late Thurs night (8/20) at the hotel. We both met up at LAX airport, she having flown in from Philadelphia, PA and I from Newark, NJ.
Highly recommend Prime Time Shuttle service to and from LAX. We used it and it was very reliable.
The Hilton hotel at Universal Studios: Really nice!!! As was our room.
First day of the Gathering - Friday (8/21):
Waiting for the Registration table to open (which it did @ 10am), Kathie and I met some of our fellow Con goers, including Carol (Guardian) and Gorbash. They were all so nice and welcoming (as I figured my fellow Gargoyles fans would be).
Kathie and I picked up our Gathering t-shirts, badges, and programs at the Registration table, and then I had to go and set up my 3 artwork pieces for the Art Show. As Kathie was helping me out with this, and as we took a peek at everyone elseâs artwork being set up, Greg Weisman showed up to observe the Art Show set-up (it was mine and Kathieâs first time seeing Greg in person, and it was exciting to see him taking a look at my artwork).
Around noon, Kathie and I were lucky enough to attend Gregâs âMug-a-Guestâ session, and it was really great! Gregâs answers to all the questions asked were very interesting, insightful, and sometimes funny. We learned A LOT!
1:30pm â" Kathie and I sat in on the panel âFanfiction in the Post-Canon Marketâ, where many great and new ideas for Gargoyles fanfic were tossed around and discussed. Tigris did a really good job as panel moderator, and she had some very interesting ideas and suggestions for all the fanfic writers in the room.
3pm â" Kathie and I attended Thom Adcoxâs Q&A panel, which was a lot of fun. Thom is such an entertaining and funny guy! Like Greg, Thom has a great sense of humor, and heâs so down-to-earth and easy-going. He told some great stories and shared memories of his career and working on Gargoyles.
A little after 5pm were the Opening Ceremonies (led by Greg Weisman, Patrick and Jennifer), and Kathie and I were there of course. Wow â" it was awesome! Being first-timers, we really enjoyed all that took place, especially getting to watch the videos of the Pitches for Gargoyles and its spin-offs (New Olympians, Bad Guys), and the fan-made âTeam Atlantisâ episode that tied in to the Gargoyles universe. Terrific job to all who worked on it, and itâs still a work-in-progress! Hereâs hoping we get to see it completed one day.
Second day of the Gathering - Saturday (8/22):
11am â" Kathie and I were really lucky enough to attend Keith Davidâs âMug-a-Guestâ session (having been among the last two people to sign up for it), and it was without a doubt one of the highlights of the Gathering for me. Pardon me for gushing just a bit, but Keith is awesome!!! Iâm such a great admirer of his film and stage acting and his voiceover work, and of course Goliath is my favorite Keith David character. To be able to sit in the same room with him (among my fellow fans) and listen to him talk about his career and the work he did on Gargoyles was so wonderful! And man do I LOVE his voice!!! I could listen to him read the phone book. Anyway, it was such an honor to meet him in person, and Kathie felt the same way. I do hope we get to see him again at a future gathering/convention of some kind. And have I mentioned how much I REALLY like those âMug-a-Guestâ sessions!
Right after the session, I got the chance to meet Marina Sirtis and she autographed a Demona poster for me. She has a warm smile and was so nice! Iâm a great admirer of her work on both Star Trek TNG and Gargoyles.
Kathie and I managed to catch the last half hour of Crispin Freemanâs panel on Anime Mythology, and it made us wish we had seen the entire panel because what we did see was fantastic. Crispin is a very engaging and dynamic speaker, and what he spoke about was fascinating! I learned a lot about dragon lore and its influences on certain anime series. Great job, Crispin!
Then around 1pm we attended the panel for âGargoyles: The Voice Acting Processâ
which featured Greg W., Thom, Keith, Marina, Elisa Gabrielli, and Jamie Thomason. This panel was another highlight of the Gathering for meâ¦it was so awesome to see all these Gargoyles voice actors together and the interactions btw them were great! As Greg said in his Con journal, some great stories were told, and a lot of laughs were shared.
Next, Kathie and I sat in on the âAnatomy of Fantasy Creaturesâ art panel, which was really interesting. And then came the final big event of the day â" the Radio Play. Two words: TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!!!!! A Gargoyles and Spider-Man crossover was a wonderful idea for the Radio Play at this Gathering, and I can say for sure that Kathie and I really enjoyed it! All the Players, both pro and non-pro, were terrific! They all totally made it work so well, so congrats to them, and congrats to Greg W. on a very successful Radio Play!!! Afterward, Kathie and I stuck around and got autographs from some of the Radio Play actors.
Third day of the Gathering - Sunday (8/23):
10am â" Kathie and I attended the panel for âGargoyles: The Production Processâ, and it was awesome to see all the Production crew members there and listen to them as they shared their experiences working on Gargoyles. Another wonderful panel at this yearâs Gathering! Afterward we stuck around and got autographs from some of the Production members.
4pm â" The other panel Kathie and I attended that day was Wendy Piniâs âAdapting Stories from Novels to Filmâ. We learned quite a bit about the history of ElfQuest and its journey to becoming a film. Wendy gave a great talk, and I know Iâm definitely going to be seeing the ElfQuest movie whenever itâs released.
6pm till rest of the night:
Good food was had at the Banquet, great conversations with those who sat at our table, and the Guest Q&A afterwards was very entertaining! Then came the Masquerade Costume Contest and Dance. I wore a costume but did not enter the contest, instead choosing to observe it all. It was awesome â" some really terrific costumes! And while the judges took a break to choose the winners, we watched some fabulous music videos paying homage to both Gargoyles and Spider-Man.
Congrats to all the winners of the Costume Contest!
Fourth (and final) day of the Gathering - Monday (8/24):
10am â" Kathie and I attended the panel for âThe Future of the Gargoyles Fandomâ, and some very good ideas were discussed and debated. So hopefully with all the interest there appeared to be in keeping the fandom going, weâll all be able to attend Gargoyles-related events and gatherings of some kind in the future.
11:30am â" Next was the very interesting âGargoyles Biology and Cultureâ panel led by Greg W., Jade and Matt. Now I know why itâs one of Gregâs favorite panels at the Gatheringâ¦it was fascinating with some really great questions being asked.
And finally, after I collected my artwork from the Art Show closing, it was time to attend the Closing Ceremonies of the Gathering. And what emotional and moving Ceremonies they were!!! I think there wasnât a dry eye in the room! I cried along with everyone else, even though this Gathering had been my one and only, but maybe because of that too, I just didnât want it to end. Which really made me wish I had attended all the past 12 Gatherings (believe me, Iâm kicking myself now). Kathie and I were really touched by all the love in that room; we could see how it was like one big family, and no one wanted to say goodbye. But like Greg said, this final Gathering definitely went out with a BANG!
Kathieâs flight back home to Philly left that night, and my flight back to NJ left early Tuesday morning.
To conclude my Con journal, I want to say that for those who couldnât attend, you all missed a fantastic Gathering; a really great weekend was had by all!!! It was both fun and bittersweetâ¦we laughed and cried, and enjoyed every moment. It was an unforgettable Gathering! BIG thank-youâs go to the entire staff for all their hard work and dedication in organizing such a wonderful Con. And of course, special thanks go to Greg W. and all the terrific guests from both Gargoyles and the Spectacular Spider-Man, including fellow Gargoyles fan and ElfQuest creator Wendy Pini. It was an honor and pleasure to meet you all, and hereâs hoping we can all meet up again at a future Gargoyles-related event. Iâm keeping my fingers crossed!
I am really upset that I couldn't make it to the Gathering (no seriously, I am - and it was THE LAST ONE??? ;_;), but unfortunately, plane tickets ARE kind of expensive.... And I'm somewhat broke.... (No seriously, I really DO wish I could've gone! I don't care that I would've been a newbie there! I ACTUALLY wanted to go!)
What I most regret missing is that Spidey/Gargoyles crossover. I would've LOVED to be able to see that! (In fact, it was when I heard about that that I was convinced I wanted to go.) But then, just last night, I thought of this: Is there any chance that you could post the script here on Ask Greg?
I understand if you can't, but I would REALLY appreciate if you did, and I'm sure a lot of other people would too.
Thanks for your time!
This wasn't my first con, but it was my first gathering. I was only 4 or 5 when Gargoyles first aired--so now, at the age of 20, it really felt like I was part of this younger generation just barely getting to the point of shouldering the responsibility of the fandom. There were people twice my age who lived with this show and supported it by attending the con, working with Greg and forming these very close bonds--it was really something to see, how your own love and appreciation is reflected in so many other people, especially when they've had to go farther for it, like maintaining the expense of the Gathering and bringing it back for so many years.
So I was a bit sad going in--my first gathering, and it would be the last one? It was hard not to feel this way at certain times, but mostly everything was so fun and exiting I was on cloud nine all weekend long.
I'm from Arkansas, and our NATIONAL AIRPORT in our capitol of Little Rock has a total of TWELVE GATES. This meant a connecting flight in Dallas, which meant a long delay due to bad weather, which ultimately meant arriving at the Gathering at 2 instead of 12, despite those handy hours we gained on the trip. Got my badge, and bought a copy of Bad Guys, talked with some people and eventually found my way for Thom's panel. It was so cool! He's such an interesting guy, and really really funny. I wish I had told him how when I was younger my cousin and I would fight over who got to be Lexington when we played Gargoyles, but I only thought of it after...oh well. Opening ceremonies: it was cool to see how many con-virgins their were--myself included. Huzzah for young blood, if I may cheer for myself. Seeing all the promos and clips was great, because I hadn't seen a lot of them. Was very late for supper, but my dad who came with me (I'm old enough to drive and vote and go to school out of state, but alone in LA for one weekend? Forget about it. But I love my dad and he's good company, even though he doesn't get Gargoyles or cartoons in general) was waiting for me and we got dinner at the hotel. Sushi and smoked salmon, like they don't have in Arkansas. So good.
I wavered and missed out on Keith David's mug-a-guest, so I went to audition for the radio play. Brought back all those delightful feelings I had in high school drama of the nervous audition, the fragile hope, and ultimate rejection. So I called a friend and CHILLED OUT. And I read for Gwen, and gave my best high pitched shriek. Walking away, and I swear I really thought this--I figured if I got any part at all it would be for the screaming bit.
Went to Cripsin Freeman's panel on Dragons for a lark and was really surprised. I hadn't expected it to be so good--it was really thought out, informative, and entertaining. I've been listening to Freeman in my anime for years (he brought be to tears for his work in Wolf's Rain, but I didn't mention that either--shoot!) but I never expected him to have the same passion for myths and folklore I do. I need to check out his site.
Then I stayed for the Gargoyles and the Spectacular Spider-Man voice panels--words cannot describe how hilarious they were. I asked a few questions but mostly listened and laughed, utterly content. After I shook Phil Lamarr's hand, and told him that I loved his work and could always tell when it was him, even though his range is so varied, which is true--that man has acted in probably every cartoon I've loved (and a few that I merely liked) since I was 11. I took a bit of time out to chat with Karine Charlebois, artist of Bad Guys. I want to work in comics or animation one day, so her insight was very useful. Thanks Karine!
After the voice panels I went to check the cast list, certain that I would merely be watching the players tonight and attending David Hedgecock's panel during the hour before the play--but my name was on this list! It felt like magic. And if wasn't magic it was certainly a little weird, as I had been given the role of the Pumpkin Bomb--the shrieking part. Score one for my intuition!
I was elated all night. Hearing all the actors reprise their old roles and work off of all the other actors WAS magic. It made it seem like that show I loved, those stories and those characters were still out there, just waiting to be brought back. It was amazing fun, and I shrieked with all my might! Phil Lamarr who sat in front of me, I'm sorry if I hurt your ears!
And after the play, I met my dad and we both walked and ate in Universal city. I gushed out everything to him, and while I'm certain he was extremely bemused he was also happy for me. A really wonderful night. Thanks Greg (and Mir. Thomason, and Victor Cook who thought up the screaming pumpkin bomb) for allowing me to be a part in that magic. I'll be the pumpkin bomb forever.
I attended both panels of the production process for both shows--if Saturday was all about fun and play, Sunday was (for me, anyway) all about fun and learning. I learned so much about how it felt to make a show, both from Greg and his comrades and from Victor Cook, whose mug-a-guest session I attended. Mr. Cook even gave me his card--the shining dream of working in animation (and um...the potential scary parts of that shining dream) seemed so much closer! I came in a bit late for the writer's panel, but still learned a lot. After the panel I shook Michael Reeves' hand, and I was really sad to hear that he was ill. He wrote some of my favorite shows on Gargoyles, and I hope he gets better. I also got Greg to sign my script, and told him how glad I was to be the pumpkin bomb. I still am, Greg! I still am!!
At the banquet I sat at Crispin Freeman's table, and had a nice dinner. The Q & A was also great then too--though I felt bad that everyone had to stand on stage like that; their feet must have been killing them, especially Greg. The Masquerade was great too. If there ever is another one, I'm definitely dressing up at least once. I had to leave pretty soon, as my dad and I had an early flight out Monday. So I didn't get to go at all on Monday, but I still felt that twinge of sadness that I'm sure was felt more acutely at closing ceremonies. I had a great time, but I had a long drive waiting to go to school once I got back home, and not enough time to say goodbye properly. I don't think I want to say goodbye.
Instead, I'll just say good night, and thank you. To Greg, to Michael Reeves and Vic Cook, to the con staff, to the guests, to the attendees and to the fans who couldn't go but were there in spirit: thank you. I hope I'll see you again.
Your shriek was stunning!!!
I'm glad you had a great time!
Longtime fan, first-time con-goer here. I attended the 2009 Gathering (sadly, now I'm regretting not going sooner since I had a good time and now it's over) and noticed during the Radio Play that the session's audio was being recorded. Is there an intent to release these recordings or is it for internal use only?
Is there a way to get a hold of the older recordings, if any?
There was an intent to release it. Not sure what happened with that. I know there's at least one old radio play available on YouTube in like three or four parts.
"We have a Radio Play (that has nearly killed me to get ready in time) that presents an ORIGINAL Feature-Length crossover between Gargoyles and The Spectacular Spider-Man, with EVERY voice actor guest performing with fans."
Question, is it canonical to either side?