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POSTINGS 2008-07 (Jul)

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avalon writes...

A spectacular SpiderMan question (one of these days you'll probably need to devote a separate SpiderMan Ask Greg! :))....some of the script and storylines are flat out funny and witty, I love it! Do you come up with these lines in your writing as well or is there a separate staff that does this?

Greg responds...

There isn't a SEPARATE staff. There's just THE staff: myself, Randy Jandt, Kevin Hopps, Matt Wayne and Andrew Robinson on Season One. Nicole Dubuc joined the staff for Season Two. It's a team effort on breaking stories. Dialogue generally comes from the writer credited on the episode with an assist from me.

Response recorded on July 30, 2008

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Todd Jensen writes...

My comments on the season finale of "The Spectacular Spider-Man".

I enjoyed it, just like all the others. It had many fine moments in it. A few that I'll mention:

Spidey visiting Tombstone again to make it clear that the deal's off - after which Venom comes by, and Tombstone comments "I'll need to start locking the windows".

Venom's web with the words "Guess Who?" written in it (looking like a twisted version of "Charlotte's Web").

Spidey's spider-sense not working against Venom's attacks (which makes Venom all the more threatening).

The twist in making Venom's target Gwen Stacey rather than Mary Jane (which Peter and most of the audience would have initially suspected). And the part about Flash Thompson and his football buddies helping to rescue her.

The revelation that Aunt May had been writing a cookbook. (I definitely hadn't seen that one coming.)

Peter's disastrous attempt at cooking Thanksgiving dinner, and the consequences of his disposing of the gene cleanser. (I laughed at that last one - it fits Peter's characterization so well.)

Thanks for an enjoyable first season, Greg.

Greg responds...

You're very welcome. We worked hard -- and still had fun -- doing it.

Response recorded on July 30, 2008

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Algernon writes...

I wish I could keep a bit more up to date with these Spider-Man reviews but time is a tad scarce for me at the moment…


One of the reasons it's taken me over a week to review this episode is that it was so mind blowingly fantastic that when I first saw it I was left in a state of mind numbing euphoria! If you had asked me my opinion at the time it would probably have been something along the lines of "spidey, good!". So I decided to put it off for a few days before putting my thought in some sort of order.

I really liked the way you handled Pete's turn to the dark side in this story arc. It's been a subtle and gradual change, symbolized by the black suit's often evolving appearance. But it truly reaches a crescendo here with Pete viciously lashing out at his friends and even asking Tombstone for a job.

The "Journey to The Centre of Peter Parker" portion of the story is the real heart of this episode particularly with the rather surreal take on the classic origin. It was also a neat surprise to hear Ed Asner as Uncle Ben, I'm amazed you managed to keep that under wraps in the age of the internet. Liked the way you gave the symbiote More of an actual character here, hearing it talk to Pete in his own voice was particularly creepy. And I found the battle between the symbiote and the memory of Uncle Ben very dramatic.

I know I complained about Eddie Brock last time but I thought he was well portrayed here. His descent into homicidal mania is put in context, between losing his Job, education and the not so subtle influence of the alien.

Other random bits I liked…

A more three dimensional flash.

MJ telling Gwen to go for it.

"even Sally feels sorry for you.", so she does have a soul after all!

Curt Conners' rather cavalier approach to science, "genetically engineered super spider on the loose? What could happen?"

Thanks again, I'm looking forward to the season finale.

Greg responds...

Hope you liked it.

Response recorded on July 30, 2008

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Greg Bishansky writes...

"Nature Vs. Nurture"
So, a couple of days ago, I listened to a podcast interview of, perhaps my favorite Spider-Man writer, Roger Stern. Stern is perhaps best known for creating the original Hobgoblin (Roderick Kingsley), as well as the classic "The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man" story. He was also in the brainstorming sessions for the black costume story back in the 80s, and as a joke, suggested "it's alive." Stern then proceeded to apologize for Venom. As a non-Venom fan, that was very nice to hear.

So, drum roll...

I liked this. I liked it a lot. I actually liked Venom. I didn't expect to like Venom in this. I wasn't prepared to like Venom in this, but I did. I think that as long as this series avoids the traps the character in the comics fell into, he should be fine. So, no over-exposure. None of that "Lethal Protector" anti-hero nonsense, and we may have a winner here. He wasn't my favorite of the villains this season, but I liked him. Oh, and no Carnage. For the love of all that is holy, please, no Carnage.

So, in a sense, I think I finally get this version of Eddie Brock. Like he said, his and Peter's parents may have died together, but Peter had Aunt May and Uncle Ben. Eddie had no one, and from his point of view, Peter came off looking like this incredibly spoiled, petulant child who took all the good things he had for granted, and that was before he, from his point of view, screwed Connors over. I also think, that with the Connors' he was trying to fill a void, which is why he took it so damn hard. He wanted his own Aunt May and Uncle Ben.

I did enjoy the way Spidey beat Venom... right out of "Amazing Spider-Man #317." Nice homages to Venom's first two appearances in the comics, back when he was tolerable. Before Marvel decided to kill the golden goose... so to speak. The fanboy in me wishes that the Green Goblin was the first to unmask Spidey and use that to make his life a living Hell, but I am hoping for that in season two.

"We know who you love the most," yup, because we often tend to be the last people to realize when we're in love with someone. Peter/Gwen was built up really well over these thirteen episodes. Very subtly. I am sure some might complain that it came out of no where, but it really didn't. From my experience, a lot of people don't do subtle too well. I am also sure that the Mary Jane fans are upset, but to them I say, have patience. Gwen is the First Love. That is an important aspect of the mythos. While, MJ might be the one he is ultimately destined for, I think previous adaptions dropped the ball on it. She was The One in the 90s toon (with a tiny bit of Felicia Hardy as competition) and the movies declared MJ to be The One since birth. They'll get there, they just shouldn't be there yet. But in the mean time, I am definitely looking forward to seeing where and how things go with Gwen. The Gwen romance has never been done anywhere since the 1970s.

Oh, and I loved the "Romita's Pizza" nod.

As for the first season as a whole? The best "Spider-Man" we have gotten in any medium in a very, very long time. The movies weren't this good. The comics haven't been anywhere this close in a while either. I knew when this was announced that this series was in great hands. When you have the mind that created "Gargoyles", perhaps the best animated series of the last three decades, how can you go wrong?

Overall though, I think as far as this season goes, Tombstone was the greatest surprise. A nobody character in the comics, who I never cared about, is now a major character. A real break-out star. The three-episode Green Goblin arc was perhaps the height of it all for me, though I think that will also be a lot better in hindsight once we have a lot more Goblin material. As far as single episodes go, I think "Group Therapy" did it for me with their portrayal of Dr. Octopus.

But the real treat was having fun and admiring the work of two of my best friends. Greg Weisman, of course; and Post Production Assistant, Jennifer L. Anderson. Excellent work, you two. Excellent work, indeed. I wish I had the time and space to name everyone who contributed to the series, because this was great and I don't want to leave anyone out.

It's a shame to be getting off the roller coaster, but I can't wait to get back on it in the next few months. I can't wait for season two.

Greg responds...

"Oh, and I loved the "Romita's Pizza" nod."

Did anyone notice the Dit Co. sign in episode six?

Response recorded on July 30, 2008

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CON-ODYSSEY: ComicCon - Friday, July 25, 2008

CON-ODYSSEY: ComicCon - Friday, July 25, 2008

12:30am - Giving up on food, I return to my room to watch some TV and read BONE by Jeff Smith. I had bought the complete one-volume edition earlier that day, breaking my "no purchases at ComicCon" rule.

4am - I turn off the lights to go to bed.

5am - Can't sleep, so I turn ON the lights and read more Bone.

6am - Turn out the lights (just as the sun's coming up).

10am - Wake up.

11am - We have a press session organized by Lindsay Colker for Spectacular Spider-Man. I give a half dozen interviews, as do Michael Vogel, Vic Cook, Sean "Cheeks" Galloway, Jamie Thomason, Josh Keaton, Vanessa Marshall and Ben Diskin.

12:30pm - Spectacular Spider-Man panel w/myself, Michael, Vic, Sean, Jamie, Josh, Vanessa, Ben and Robert Englund. We show the music video, our "Quip Reel" and the preview of our Mysterio and Kraven footage. It all seems to go over pretty well. Vic and I attempt to make shout outs to everyone on the staff that we know is attending. Not sure if we got everyone, but we tried. The Q&A -- in fact the entire panel -- seemed to go pretty well. I judge this by the number of laughs we got.

2pm - We have a Spectacular Spider-Man two-poster/one postcard signing at the Sony Booth. The coolest giveaway is this great spider-signal. Very cool.

3:30pm - Vic and I do one last interview.

4pm - Back to the SLG Booth to sign Gargoyles stuff with Karine Charlebois and Robby Bevard. Jennifer brought me a Pinkberry.

6:15pm - Back to the room.

6:30pm - I get Michael Vogel and Chris into the Jetix party at Stingaree. I make some small talk with Mike Moon, Rich Fogel, Mark Seidenberg, Eddie Gamara, Peter McHugh, Matt Wayne, Nicole Dubuc, Brian Swenlin, among others.

7:30pm - I hook up with Eric Vesbitt, John, Carrie, Karine, Kyt and Jennifer for dinner at Mahoney's. We are literally driven out of the place by the ridiculously high volume of the music - taking our food to go. We ate outside, and the food was actually pretty good (Salad, Club Soda, Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich). But I was still shaking from the volume. So we went to Ghiradelli's for dessert. I had a "Domingo", which is basically a hot fudge sundae (Domingo=Sunday, get it?) with bananas. Afterwards, Jennifer, Kyt, Laura and Julia and I went to a bar. I had another club soda and then called it a night...


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Aldrius writes...

"Nature vs Nurture" The Review!

I loved this episode. I loved the 'creepy thriller' vibe the scenes at the parade had going. (With Spider-man searching the crowds.) And I loved each character's moment, I liked Liz, I liked Gwen (I really liked Gwen in this episode), I liked Mary Jane, I liked Peter and Flash, I liked Rand, I even liked Eddie. Well, no, I didn't like Eddie, but I understood Eddie.

Which is quite a leap from '*grumblegrumble*Eddie's an idiot.*Grumblegrumble*'. I got it in this one. The Connors are his Aunt May and Uncle Ben, and Peter was the one guy he thought he could really count on and depend upon. And then Peter hurt his Uncle Ben and Aunt May, and the symbiote manipulated him into being hateful and desiring nothing but solitude. After his 'Aunt May' turned him away (because he thought more of their relationship than was actually true), and after it seemed like Peter was no longer worthy of his friendship. A lot of the stuff in this episode made more sense, Peter calling Eddie to apologize about his job, after being responsible for him losing it. Eddie's comment about Peter saving Gwen to 'be the hero', clearly shows what he thinks of Spider-man's heroics: just another way to get glory and fame, by helping people. This was all stuff that I had considered before, of course, but for some reason it all clicked in this episode. It all made a lot more sense. I didn't need that 75 on the jerkometer anymore.

I am not a fan of the damsel in distress routine normally (even Lois Lane isn't really a 'damsel in distress' anymore), but here it kinda worked better for me. I think it was because Rand, Flash, Liz, Gloria, Mary Jane and even Sally helped out in rescuing Gwen. So she wasn't a 'damsel in distress', she was just someone who was in danger and needed helping out from her friends.

Loved the last scene too. Gwen finally works up her nerve and tells Peter how she feels (so to speak). All in the theme of 'responsibility' of course. Gwen not being able to date Peter has nothing to do with his ignorance, it has everything to do with her nervousness. She needed to take responsibility for her own feelings. And the theme of responsibility is prevalent in Eddie as well of course. He's allowed himself to be alone, because he's been too dependent on others for reassurance. He wanted the Connors to become his surrogate family, but they already had a family of their own. He wanted Peter to be his brother forever, but Peter had to grow up and branch out too. And that's Eddie's problem, really. He didn't look for another job after he lost his job at the lab. He didn't look for new friends after he 'lost' Peter. He just wallowed and wasn't proactive.

Where's Norman Osbourn to give an encouraging speech when you need him? "Man up!!"

And that really shows how different the stakes are here. With Gwen it's all about her romance with Peter. Her love of him. With Eddie it's all about his hatred, it's life or death. But both problems are equally important, because of the emotional stakes involved. It's just as important that Gwen tells Peter how she feels, as it is that Eddie kills Peter. And that's really good writing.

I did have some problems with this episode however. Nothing mind-shattering, as, as I've said before... I've enjoyed every single episode.

Problem 1 I had was that Peter still hasn't told Aunt May that he's Spider-man, but this is something that's always bothered me in any Spider-man story. The woman is supposed to be his surrogate mother, and yet he still won't be completely honest with her.

Problem 2 was that the 'Spider-man working for the Big Man' thing didn't really go anywhere, it just ended up being a set-up for Venom working for the Big Man. And now that Eddie's passed out on a roof top somewhere (was that resolved, by the way? If it was I must not have been paying close enough attention.) and the Symbiote is buried under a few feet of concrete, so that doesn't really seem to be going anywhere fast either.

But other than that, fantastic finale to a fantastic season, and I can't wait for next season. Let's hope it finds itself on a network that allows the show the same freedoms it was allowed on the KidsWB.

Greg responds...

We have a new network, though I'm forbidden from announcing what network yet.

Response recorded on July 29, 2008

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Edward writes...

I just started reading the comics there awesome.

I was just wondering how the gargoyles feel about the human race knowing they exist? Matt wants to cover them up, Xanatos wants to slowly expose them, and of course Castaway wants them all dead. But we don't really know what the Gargoyles want. They seem more concerned with their love lifes.

Greg responds...

Don't they though?

However, I think we were pretty clear about Goliath, Angela, Hudson, Brooklyn and Broadway's responses in issues 1 & 2. I'll let the issues stand.

Response recorded on July 29, 2008

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Alan Kistler writes...

Mr. Weisman, I am a journalist/reviewer for http://www.ComicMix.com and a big fan of your work. I will be attending the Gathering of the Gargoyles convention in Chicago and I wanted to ask if there would be anyway I could snag an interview with you for our readers. For your review, you can check out the kind of work we do at ComicMix.com and you can find previous interviews I've conducted at this link: http://alankistler.squarespace.com/journal/2007/11/20/alan-kistlers-interviews.html. My personal web-site is http://KistlerUniverse.com and my e-mail is KistlerAlan@gmail.com. Thank you in advance for your time.

Greg responds...

Hey Alan,

Of course by now, the Gathering is passed-- but of course we did have that interview. Thanks!!

Response recorded on July 29, 2008

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Simon Elst writes...

M. Weisman,

I'm a student soundengineering (final year) at the IAD (Institut des Arts de Diffusion de Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium ; http://www.iad-arts.be ). I take the liberty of writing you about my thesis. It had to handle on the role of sound in animationfilm. My ambition is to bring out the importance of sound in animation film, my passion in which I want to invest myself in the future. The fact is that the Gargoyles were my heroes wen I was young (thanks to belgian televisions to made it possible !).

I think Gargoyles would be an excellent example to analyse in detail for my thesis. To do so, I'd like of course your permission, but also, if possible, your help by means of a few questions to answer. Would you ? I can understand that answering all the questions may be heavy, so.. use the way you want ! :)

a) In your opinion, are there (or have there to be) differences in the aesthetic and the realism of the sound when handling on "live" film or animated film. If yes, wich ones, and why? If no, why?

b) What do you think about next three hypothesis :

1) "Reality Effect" : traditional animation film is, by essence, soundless : the elements (components) that forms the film (figures, objects, sets, …) are mostly "silent" and even if they could produce sounds, the fact of shooting image by image makes it impossible to record live. The artificiallity or virtuality of the elements on screen creates a lack of credibility : the audience isn't naturally absorbed in the represented world. In movies in general, sound permits to locate elements "off screen", to create a world of which a great deal isn't seen at the screen. It has to be the same in animation film. But, as the characters are artificial here, there presence and activity doesn't exist for the audience unless by a "sound confirmation".
2) "Sound inspires life into the virtuals worlds of animation film" : in the same way as the animator gives live to his figures, the soundengineer gives them a lively dimension (thanks to the voices, the presences and the interactions of the character with his environment).
3) Most of the animationfilms are shot at 12 frames per second. The result is tolerably well for the audience, but nevertheless less fluid than in a "live" film. Sound is a constant component that permits "to link up the frames", to put a smooth coating upon the frames, and so reduce partly the "jerky appearance" of the 12fps format.

Thanking you in advance for your answer, Simon Elst

Greg responds...

To begin with, you don't need my permission to do a thesis on Gargoyles. But if you want my blessing, I say go for it!

a. I've never done live action, so I'm not the guy to ask about comparisons. I know we want what is real to sound real, and what isn't to sound innovative, spectacular and yet still real.


1. I guess I'd buy that.

2. Sure.

3. We shoot at 24 frames per second, although we shoot on twos quite often, which makes it 12 drawings per second. Though I tend to agree with the general premise nevertheless.

Response recorded on July 29, 2008

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evr4 writes...

(spectacular spider-man questions)
first let me say you are too good (for Gargoyles and for bringing back interest in spider-man)!
1) did you watch "Intervention"? it was amazing and passed all my expectations of venom's origins. It was the perfect weave (of THE story (second most known history behind Peter's back story) I would think everybody knows) with a beautiful stylistic approach. All episodes so far, but especially this one, showed an approach with "we are going this direction with the storyline, but wait you (the viewer) were wrong because we are going to make a 180 degree turn and make you say, 'I can't believe they just did that!'" Genious...Utter Genious! My friends and I agree we can only dream the SEASON FINALE WAS A 2 PARTER. An interesting statement one of my friends made was Uncle Ben reminded him of Ben 10's grandfather. But one thing felt weird to me....was the episode's animation rushed or was it exactly how it was suppose to be...I can get the "it's in your (Peter Parker/Eddie Brock) mind" sequence so it resembles that of a "dream/fantasy" sequence....but during the episodes some of the lines didn't seem solid...and there was a scene where I think a screenshot stood still on Flash emotionless (though I do understand where the story was going with this) for an entire 1.5 seconds (AWKWARD)..but yeah was it rushed?

2) when Green Goblin has his first serious encounter with Spider-Man (after Spidey just saved Tombstone from Gobby), there was a scene where the glider went right through a building and GG acrobatically jumped over the building and landed on his glider, I saw this scene and immediately said, "TOO GOOD," and lowe and behold Spidey, says, "Okay wow, just wow." any information on who came up with Gobby performing the feat, and who wrote the lines, "Okay wow, just wow"?

finally, let me say, my circle of friends are either 20 or 21, and we love the direction spec spider-man takes every episode. One of my friend's girlfriends younger brother immediately hated the show when it came out but then changed his mind with the great direction and writing of the show (ironically he hated The Batman at first, then fell in love with it). And let me say for myself for one who notices all the smallest details and little intricacies of all your shows (not just Garg and Spec Spid), I will continue to say Greg Weisman is TOO GOOD!

Greg responds...

1. No. Or no moreso than usual.

2. It was some combination of myself and episode writer Andrew Robinson.

Response recorded on July 29, 2008

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