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Are you concerned for the future of Specatcular Spider-Man? I know season two is a go, but what about season three? Surely the ratings have been good enough. In fact, it had the honour of being the last super hero show Kids WB ever had. Is there any indication Sony wants to keep going?
The ratings have been fantastic, thankfully. Sony clearly wants to keep it going, but we still don't have a pick-up.
Did the events of a Midsummer Night's Dream happen in the Gargoyles Universe? And if so did they happen as Shakespeare wrote them or differently?
Events occurred, but I'm not going to go into it at this time.
Sunday like Saturday started with the Sun coming in very early and of course after 3 days you start getting less sleep and more worn out, but it's all worth it. Breakfast was Donuts at Dunkin Donuts and OJ, because I gots to have my juice in the morning if I can get it. I wanted to hit the the Gargoyles, Bad Guys comic panel, and I can't remember why I missed it, probably was just not keeping track of time.
Said my good mornings and complimented Siryn and Jen, because they are lovely ladies and earned a kiss from Jen (woot!) The first panel I got to was the Gargoyles Biology and I was really interested to hear what Lynati had planned and the questions that would be fielded. A great deal delt with the science of how the eye glow works along with some other points. Was a good panel.
We switched rooms afterwards for the Spider-man panel lead by Greg. While there was not much he could say about up coming stuff, naturally, it was good to discuss what could be discussed about season 1 including the transformation of Eddie Brock to Venom. I had misinterpreted the scene of Eddie and MJ on the bike as something vicious when it was just really Eddie being a dangerous, carless, reckless individual. I really can't wait to get the DVDs and see them again, always catch things you miss the first time round.
Michele convinced me to try the Iron Artist event again this year, it's goofy but really fun. The objective being that you are given a secret supply that you have to incorporate into a general theme. Everyone makes something a little different so it's fun. Some people came up with some very interesting ideas.
This was the first year I think I have skipped out on Banquet, money was tight this year so it was nothing personal against the food or those that set it up. Instead Michele and I went out to an Asian Fusion place called Koi. I had a tuna roll that was kind of disappointing. They substituted some of the tuna for cucumber which tasted good but I wanted just tuna and rice! My main dish was a Mongolian Chicken, big helping, very tasty.
I snuck in to the banquet hall at then end when they were playing trivia just to see what was going on. They soon cleared the room to set up a dance floor for the after dinner party.
Masquerade had some very nice costumes this time round, sadly only just a few. I really would like to rectify that next year and if not walk than at least just do like I did in 02 and just put SOMETHING on just to do so. Now, this should go without saying but I can't dance. I can have a good time and I certainly did, tearing the floor a little with a few different ladies and even Aaron for a bit, heh. We had a good time and a few of us, mostly guys were also distracted by a computer fighter simulator that featured something like 2000 possible fighters. It was insane the number of characters it had.
It was around midnight that I was worn out from moving and talking and the already cold room felt like it was just barely above freezing, crazy cold A/C. Some stayed and continued to chat the night away. It was really awesome how kind the hotel was to us, good service.
Not much happened on the last day, it is easily the most sad day where people leave and goodbyes are said. I wanted to make sure our bags were secured for later since the checkout was at noon. Gside was kind enough to hold our bags in his room since he was staying another night. Breakfast was once again Dunkin donuts for simplicity and lets be honest, they are pretty darn good. First up was the fanfiction panel with Lynati and Kimberly Towle. I kept most quiet at this one because there were certainly more experienced hands to speak up or give points.
Ran down stairs real quick to check out and grab the one piece of art that was not sold then ran back up to make the Blue Mug productions. Greg's alter ego Edmund and his Angels were the attraction to discuss a pay site that will feature new and original work done by some of the best fan artist and written by Greg W of the more Adult nature. More details on this will pop up later throughout the net.
Lastly was Closing Ceremonies. Awards to give away, a Pitch for next year in LA and general well wishes of a safe journey home. I won several ribbons including Best in Show for the painting which is sooooo freaking awesome and I really appreciate the compliments it received.
The only thing left to do then was hang out till the bus was suppose to arrive at 4:30pm. I however got a call from the shuttle company about 3pm that the bus they were going to send had a flat and they were not sending another… joy. They did however set up a cab and a flat rate of pay so that it would just be us going to the airport. My other have of the trip that was on my card was refunded later.
Made it to the airport in plenty of time, no real delays getting out and on the ground home right when we should have.
I had a wonderful time and hopefully all things will work out to come out to LA in 09!
Dude, it wouldn't be the Gathering without you guys!
Gathering 2008 Journal - Day Four and Four Plus One
Monday, June 30, 2008
Didn't have much motive to get moving earlier, so I didn't set out for the con areas until close to noon. I headed for the con suite with my card game, intending to try and demo it regardless of interest, but I found it was already closed up. So I picked up my Steel Clan figure and started asking around about the Navy Pier trip, with little in the way of definitive answers. I ran into Dracandros, Ed and Vince after the Blue Mug Productions panel wrapped up, brought my stuff back to my room, then went to their room to demo the card game to them. I wasn't able to drum up much interest, so we mostly watched episodes of Invader Zim instead.
Headed to the Closing Ceremonies, which went rather quickly - about 15 minutes - and mostly consisted of various awards which I am sure some other source will cover. I went to sign up for G2K8 (even if I don't go, they can use the money), only to find I was short on cash, so I went and retrieved my additional funds from the room safe. After paying, I hung out with Sarah the Great for a while and chatted, assuming the decent number of people hanging out in the Closing Ceremonies room were eventually going to the Navy Pier. I said bye to Aaron and to Emambu, and talked more with Sarah until a large group left, apparently for the airport. Sarah, a few others and I stuck around for a bit until heading for the lobby (Hobdemona's stuff was left there, but we made sure to tell him to grab it).
Hanging around the lobby, I saw Dracandros, Ed and Vince off to, I assumed, the Taste of Chicago, met up with Rob, and saw Phil off. Phil informed us that the Navy Pier trip was basically cancelled due to lack of interest, so everyone was going off and doing their own things. (One group went to the Field Museum, which would have been a rather good idea; Greg W. went somewhere with Patrick and Susan Leonard). So it was up to me and Rob to figure out how to use our now empty evening. We made one last run to the ninth, finding only one guy who was only there to retrieve his sunglasses. Rob and I resolved to meet later, probably for MUGEN, and in the meantime I updated my notes, did some Web sufing, took some pictures from the ninth floor (including the empty but still disorganized con rooms).
I ultimately met up with Rob for dinner, and we ate at a pizza place near the Hotel. Decent pizza, but a bit overpriced and with indifferent crust. We parted on our return (Rob had a cigar to smoke), but I later alerted Rob when I decided to hit Borders (figuring it'd be a good way to kill time until Dracandros and company returned - I was expecting to see a film with them, and the theatre was right across from Borders). He eventually met me there, and we talked a bit with each other and a young anime/manga fangirl before I bought a few items and we walked back.
I said goodbye to Rob, intending to spend the rest of the evening packing and sleeping. However, Dracandros and company finally returned, and they persuaded me to go see WALL-E against my better judgment. It was quite a good movie, but I was also correct in my suspicion that I'd return late enough to lose some sleep (I had to get up around 7 am to have time to catch my shuttle back to O'Hare). Regardless, I finished packing, spent a bit too long online, and eventually settled to sleep.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Got up, finished the last bit of packing, and got checked out and to the lobby with plenty of time. By total coincidence, I wound up returning on the Airport Express shuttle with Gside, and we chatted about various matters until we arrived. From that point, it's all airport stuff and plane stuff of little real interest until I returned...
Sleep always seems to take a backseat... in my life at least.
Gathering 2008 Journal - Day Three
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Forced myself out of bed a bit earlier so I could be sure to get to the Gargoyles and Bad Guys comic panel. Notable information:
- Bad Guys #4 is complete and will be out very soon. Bad Guys #5 is 3/4 inked, 1/4 still needing work, according to Karine. Bad Guys #6 was just over half scripted before Greg came to the con.
- Gargoyles #9 will be Hedgecock's final issue as artist; he simply can't keep up with the pace. Gargoyles #10 is being drawn at this time. Gargoyles #11 will be scripted after Greg finishes with Red Tornado #2. Greg doesn't know who will be doing the art for #11 or #12.
- Now that Disney has its own comic company ("Kingdom Comics", apparently), they may be reluctant to allow SLG to keep their license. Even if they let SLG keep it, they may increase the fee, in which case Dan Vado might have to drop it. (Although Gargoyles is SLG's best-selling title, the cost of the license fee cuts into those profits quite a bit already.)
- Although Greg originally planned otherwise, the next spin-off title after Bad Guys will be Dark Ages. There's a story for that that keeps poking him in the head, so he's placed it ahead of Pendragon. (The story wants told so urgently that he joked he might have to do it in some form even if he can't do it as a comic.) Unlike Bad Guys, Dark Ages will not be a series pilot of sorts, but rather a story that covers a substantial span of time. It will include the Children of Oberon; Othello, Desdemona, and Iago; and Hippolyta. Greg first conceived of the idea three years ago.
- Bad Guys is black-and-white for purely economic reasons, but both Karine and Greg think the story works well that way.
- There is every intention to release Bad Guys and the second six issues of Gargoyles as trade paperbacks. Bad Guys will remain in black-and-white when it becomes a trade.
- Dan Vado's main interest is in the primary Gargoyles title, so after Bad Guys is done, they will need to sit back and assess if doing a spin-off is worthwhile. If no more spin-offs are forthcoming, Greg may integrate elements from them into the main title.
- The new spin-off schedule is six issues of Dark Ages, then six issues of Pendragon, then six issues of Timedancer.
- Greg still has a second story arc in mind for Bad Guys.
- After Gargoyles #12, story arcs will be six issues long.
- Disney has been rather hands-off with Gargoyles, except for some issues with, of all things, grammar. They critiqued Hudson's accent in issue #1 (apparently not remembering that Hudson spoke that way in the series, too), and they though Shari's "The story is told..." introductions were too awkward. Greg won both times.
- The benefit that Coyote 5.0 receives from the Coyote Diamond is an enhanced A.I. (Coyote 5.0's mental processes are light-based, and the Diamond speeds them up.)
- No Children of Oberon will appear in the next few issues.
- Bad Guys is set around January 1997; the end of the Clan-Building arc in Gargoyles will catch it up to around that time.
- Greg decided Thailog was an Illuminatus after the series ended but a while back - maybe 1999. There's a story there that Greg would like to tell someday, but not in the immediate future.
- Oberon and Titania were consciously designed to be not white (as in, Caucasian).
- Sevarius isn't really worried about danger from Thailog, as he has more options for employment out there. Besides, Thailog isn't likely to harm Sevarius as long as he's useful. But Sevarius is just arrogant enough to overestimate his value.
- Greg noted how he and Neil Gaiman seem to write about a lot of the same stuff. He doesn't think it's likely they would collaborate on anything, because Neil either doesn't know him or might even think ill of him (after disapproving of Greg's use of Death of the Endless in a Captain Atom comic).
- The comic version of "The Journey" replaces the televised version, so all 13 episodes of The Goliath Chronicles are officially non-canon.
I considered going to the gargoyle biology panel, but instead I opted to return a call I'd received from my mom during the prior panel and recharge my phone. While waiting for my next panel I got a few more supplies from CVS, and read the last of my purchases from Comix Revolution. Returned for the Spectacular Spider-Man panel, with the following highlights:
- Season 2 is being animated, but Greg isn't sure when they're airing. Season 3 is hoped for but not confirmed.
- The basis of the series is the classic Lee-Ditko-Romita stories, although they are also using elements from other canon.
- Although Greg first interviewed to work on the series in February 2006, Greg only learned he had the job - more or less accidentally - in December 2006 (he'd assumed a fellow named Chris won it). He started in January 2007, and brought Vic Cook in to help.
- Greg's goal for the series was to make a Spider-Man series as definitive for the character as Batman: The Animated Series was for Batman.
- The staff followed four C's when making the show: Contemporary, Cohesive, Coherent, and Classic (Iconic). The overall theme was "The Education of Peter Parker."
- Season 1 takes place in September to November of Peter's junior year. Season 2 takes place in December to March of his junior year.
- When using characters who appeared later than Peter's high school years in the comic (such as Gwen), the staff tried to extrapolate them backwards to what they would have been like in high school.
- The chauffeur story Harry Osborn was telling in (I believe) the episode "Competition" was a reference to an incident with Greg W. and Greg B. following the 2003 Gathering.
- There are DVDs of the first season on the way, but each of the four blocks of episodes will be edited together into sort-of movies. The upside is that each "movie" will contain footage not aired on TV. Greg and Vic Cook want to record a commentary track, but they haven't. If a proper season set is released, it's unclear if the additional footage will be included.
- The opening theme was originally intended to be an update to the 1960s cartoon's theme, but the rights were too expensive. So a theme song with the same sort of energy was sought out instead. Greg sent out potential lyrics to all the prospective musicians, but the final musicians didn't use them. There were actually four finalists, and they wanted to put the ones that didn't win on the DVDs, but they weren't allowed.
- Greg would have liked Keith David to stay on as the Big Man, but he had a play to do instead (A Midsummer Night's Dream - he played Oberon).
- Season 2 will be 13 episodes long. There have been some issues with story length in this season. Black Cat will return in Season 2, as will Harry Osborn. One episode will deal with questions about how Peter gets his photos. The Tinkerer (played by Thom Adcox) will appear in episode #14.
- Greg and company can use anything from the Spider-Man corner of the Marvel Universe, but nothing outside it. This is why Kingpin wasn't used in Season 1. Although Greg would like to use the Kingpin, he can't really complain about getting an interesting character out of the Big Man.
- The new Eddie Brock was constructed as a dark mirror of Peter Parker, as Venom is a dark mirror of Spider-Man. So, Eddie lost his parents in the same way as Peter, but had no Aunt May or Uncle Ben; while Peter learned to appreciate life, Eddie learned to appreciate death. Eddie is reckless and flirts with death; the scene in "Group Therapy" where he appeared to be threatening Mary Jane was intended to show this recklessness (as well as his anger towards Peter), and not intended as Eddie being vicious towards her.
- Greg hasn't heard any confirmation of Season 3, and he's worried he might have to move on to another job before they decide to make it. (He'd happily do another decade's worth of seasons.) Season 3 would include Hobgoblin.
- Greg thinks J. Jonah Jameson was once like Peter, which is why JJJ can be nice (more or less) towards him at times.
- Greg first saw the voice actress for Aunt May when she played the nurse in Romeo and Juliet.
At one point, Keith told a funny joke about a fellow and his mechanical arm, albeit one rather Blue for an all-ages panel. Following the conclusion of the panel, I quickly went to get a light Burger King lunch and immediately returned for the auction. Even on low-bidding items, Gorebash and Seth Jackson kept things entertaining; Keith David also popped in a few times to spice things up. The big bids were $160 (Keith David, for the Goliath electronic talking bank), $275 (Leo (and others by proxy), for the set of six Applause figures (Goliath, the Trio, Hudson and a Demona with hair corrected to red), $95 (Hobdemona, for all four character mugs (Goliath and the Trio), beating out both Keith David and Thom Adcox), and $400 (Seth Jackson, for a rare lithograph image of Goliath). For my part, I was outbid on a Gargoyles stamp, and won a 200(-plus) piece Gargoyles puzzle for $8.
After retrieving my stuff and chatting with D. Taina, I hung out with Ed for a bit while he guarded his brother Leo's acquisitions. I dropped off my auction items, then returned to my room until the banquet. I was at "Table #7", which included Dracandros, Ed, Lacey and her sister Krystl, Gside and Phil. I tried to stir up conversation a few times, with mixed results; Keith David also briefly stopped by to see how we were doing and patted me and Dracandros on the back. (Perhaps he was trying to compensate for our lack of guest representation?) As for the food, I thought the main course was pretty good, but I find myself beginning to question whether I'm getting enough bang for my buck as far as Gathering banquets. After the trivia game started, I helped guide our table to near-victory, advising our spokespeople as needed. We were finally stumped by a question on something that had only popped up at the Radio Play (and is a spoiler at this time) - in other words, information that was about 24 hours old.
On the way back to my room (we took our chosen elevator to the ninth, as it skipped our floor) I talked briefly with Josh Silver. I returned a call to Dad, then updated my notes before going back to the Masquerade. Along the way, I shared an elevator with Karine-as-Hunter (who, no offense meant to the participants, had the best costume of the night). I won't cover the Masquerade itself much, as I'm sure others can detail the costumes and such better than I, but I will note that I was seated with King Cobra and Vid the Kid before prize deliberations began. Afterwards, they left, and were replaced by Lacey and Krystl. I talked at length with Lacey during and after the prize deliberations about previous Gatherings and general fandom matters, among other things, before they had to leave to walk back to their hotel (they were staying elsewhere).
Now on my own, I initiated my master plan. In previous Masquerades, I usually waited around awkwardly, not doing much, until things closed down or I'd had enough of nothing. This time, I brought my own entertainment - a laptop equipped with MUGEN, a downloadable 2-D fighting game engine with tons of characters (many from existing media) available for download. I walked over to Gside, who was also largely unoccupied, and asked if he wanted to try it out - but beforehand, I chatted with Emambu. Despite the increasing noise levels, we managed to catch up. (He also commented that if I'd wanted to show off my card game with its Gargoyles characters, I would have been well served to have advertised it beforehand. He had a point.) I eventually invited him along with Gside and King Cobra to check out MUGEN.
Once I set it up in the corner, the alternate activity attracted a respectable amount of attention - slightly fewer tried it out, but it appeared I had chosen well to bring it. Greg B. and Aaron attempted to settle a running debate on the merits of Galvatron vs. Megatron using MUGEN, which went somewhat unfairly in Greg (Galvatron)'s favor (he had played MUGEN before we left for the 2007 Gathering; Aaron was unfamiliar with fighting games in general). In the meantime, there continued to be increasingly themed dancing in the center. As we approached 1 am, people began to burn out on MUGEN, so (with company from Rob) I packed it up and left. (I was amazed the hotel let the dance run so late!)
I returned to my room for the night.
We now know that Spider-Man Season Two will premier in March 2009.
Gathering 2008 Journal - Day Two
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Woke up around 9ish, but lazed around until around 10. Surfed the Web for another hour before finally getting on my way. I headed up to the ninth floor to look for Dracandros and Ed, as well as to take a look around the other con rooms. Talked a bit with Greg B., looked at the dealer's room (a lot of T-shirts but not much else that appealed) and the con suite (honestly, not nearly casual enough for my tastes). After running into Dracandros and Ed, we took a walk through the art festival outside the hotel - some neat stuff on display, but a lot of it was too expensive (not to mention the difficulties involved in shipping it home). Did snag some tasty funnel cake, although the heavy dose of sugar (on top of a sugary breakfast) gave me a bit of a headache later.
I returned in time for the Combat and Weapons panel. Flanker, the fellow running this panel (a veteran of the Canadian Army who served in Afghanistan), wanted to use the conference room's TV screen, but it turned out the hotel charged for the cords to hook it to his laptop. So, he passed it around the audience instead. A fellow by the name of Phil was in the audience - when it was revealed he was with the U.S. Navy, Flanker encouraged some well-deserved applause. (We also learned a bit later Phil had served in Iraq.) Topics covered included:
- The difference between small and long arms, between other guns and carbines, between machine and submachine guns, and how some guns blur the lines between those distinctions.
- An explanation of how bullets work (interestingly, cops can use deadlier hollow-point ammunition, but soldiers can't).
- The mechanics of guns, including how automatic weapons work and how sniper rifles do, in fact, make noise.
- The tongue-in-cheek Rules of Gunfighting (i.e. #1 - Don't get in a gun fight).
- The problems with energy and electromagnetic weapons - primarily, that the high energy demands require heavy and immobile (or at least, impractical-to-move) power generation machinery.
- That under duress, people default to their training level - which, for many, is basically zero. This is why repetitive training is so useful.
- Non-lethal ammunition, such as rubber ball and beanbag rounds for shotguns.
- Weapon modification, such as sawed-off barrels (which spread the shot) and sawed-off stocks (more concealable, but more awkward to use).
- Which gun is the best gun (it's whichever is best for a given purpose and situation, and whichever caliber the gun's user is most comfortable with).
- Good gun research sites (Wikipedia isn't bad, and is particularly useful when you want to know what a character from a given organization in a given nation might use; word.guns.ru is also a very good and detailed resource).
- Experimental weapons such as flechette and gauss.
- The "bullpup" design, with the ammo and loading mechanism in the back of the gun (many weapons in Gargoyles resemble this design).
- The best ways to aim well (handguns are less accurate than rifles, and dual-wield anything is highly inaccurate).
- The best position for a holster (use your strong side, i.e. the same as your gun hand; a holster on the opposite side requires more motion to draw and use, although they are admittedly easier to conceal and more comfortable).
One fellow, who I will leave unidentified, asked an awful lot of the questions, making a not-so-favorable impression on the audience (he'd be regarded even more poorly following his behavior at other events).
I returned to my room to transcribe my panel notes, then went back to look at the silent auction items, placing a bid on a Steel Clan action figure. I also talked to Greg B. and looked at the art gallery. Returning to my room again (I was disinclined to hang out in the con suite), I killed some time before the Radio Play by reading the first two stories in the Items of Enchantment anthology.
The Radio Play was entertaining - an adaptation of Gargoyles issues 7-9 in chronological order. Greg Weisman was concerned that it came off poorly, but actually I thought it seemed to work rather well (excepting a rather unwieldly chunk of Shari monologuing). Apparently a rather substantial storm struck outside during it - the noise threatened to drown out some of the dialogue, and parts of the art festival suffered during it. Of course, I can't discuss any spoilers at this time...
Dinner was at Al's Italian Beef with Dracandros and Ed. Although I'd heard good things about the place, I found it good but not very exceptional. We followed dinner with a trip to Comix Revolution, which was an adequate store; picked up a few things. On the way back, we passed by a rather large group being led somewhere - dinner, I'm assuming - by Greg W. I told Dracandros and Ed I'd bring MUGEN down to their room to play, which I did after skimming my comic purchases. However, when I got there, I received no response to my knocking. Since there was also a "Do not disturb" sign on the door, I presumed they were either absent or busy, and left. (Turned out they simply hadn't heard me over the TV. Ah well.)
Trying to kill time before the Blue Mug, I took a trip to the ninth, and found everything closed up. Returning to my room, I read my newly acquired Invincible trade paperback, chatted with Jack, updated my convention notes, and surfed the Web. (Repeated opinion: A con suite open at this time would have been much appreciated.)
Finally, I headed to the Blue Mug. Greg was there first; Keith, then Thom, arrived later (they wanted to be a bit more tipsy before arriving). (Josh Silver also arrived with Keith.) Some notable revelations included:
- Greg has no idea of the what or where of Marvel's Gargoyles #12.
- "The Price" took the idea of a stone gargoyle replacing a sleeping gargoyle from a Disney Adventures strip.
- Greg said the Stone of Destiny wouldn't agree that it's a magical item.
- The Eyrie Building is so tall because Xanatos is looking for all sorts of immortality.
- Keith thinks Goliath simply isn't the sort to drink alcohol.
- Greg thinks gargoyles are less susceptible to the sort of chemical imbalances that lead to psychological disorders in humans, but that psychologically damaging traumas affect them the same way.
- In response to a question about Shari and Thailog's relationship: Keith opined that if he was in a hot tub playing chess with a willing woman by his side... more than his chess piece would be moving.
- Keith was asked about the famous fight scene between him and Roddy Piper in They Live - he confirmed that it was not a real beating, as rumored. He traced the origin of the rumor to an accidental real punch to Piper's face immediately following his reassuring Entertainment Tonight interviewers that the fight scenes were safe. (Keith also liked the South Park parody of the fight.)
- Greg said that if Gargoyles was parodied on Robot Chicken, he'd appreciate the recognition even if he didn't like the actual content of the parody.
- Broadway and Angela have not yet had sex at this point in the comic.
- Greg (jokingly?) sees The Spectacular Spider-Man as a show about sexual repression.
- Keith considers Goliath a fairly straightforward sort who wouldn't have any sexual festishes. Greg concurred.
- Writing the Stone of Destiny arc in the Gargoyles comic has been liberating for Greg - it helped free him from a TV mindset. He thinks Bad Guys has benefitted from this mindset-shift.
- Greg considers bushido (as seen in "Bushido") an example of gargoyles influencing human culture.
- Gargoyles are not attuned to human reproductive cycles.
- Greg has issues with how television has removed every "base" except for first and home in terms of sex. (In his younger years, he and some friends also calculated there were many more than four "bases" - he figured about 22.)
- We will see a bonding ceremony for Goliath and Elisa.
- Keith opined that although humans and gargoyles may be bound in some ways by their biology, they can learn new behavior - and that in some ways, Demona's behavior is becoming more humanlike.
- Gargoyles never really had a need to develop independent science and technology - by the time humans began to out-tech them, survival became a higher priority. However, Greg opined that gargoyles like Lexington and Amp may start to create their own innovations based on human technology. He also reminded of the Lexington-Xanatos Corporation.
- Greg doesn't see why gargoyles would develop issues with homosexuality. He also doesn't think there would be pressure for homosexual gargoyles to take a mate in low-population clans - if the situation was that desperate, a single additional egg would hardly matter anyway.
- The new Wyvern Clan will be a clan of gargoyles intentionally going back to the traditional gargoyle ways as a rejection of increasing cultural assimilation.
- The entire Manhattan Clan believed they were a species going extinct prior to the Avalon world tour. The revelation that they weren't the last was especially major for Hudson.
- Gargoyles did not have a hand in creating humans or the Children of Oberon.
- The idea that more humanoid gargoyles could have an evolutionary advantage was proposed - that is, looking more human might make humans slightly more reluctant to hate them. Greg seemed to think it was interesting, but he also pointed out it could work in reverse, so he didn't really agree with the premise.
- The fact that gargoyle beasts were more frightening to humans coud be a reason why there are fewer of them.
- Some gargoyles may have ruled over some humans at some point.
- Greg liked the analogy that learning mortal magic is like learning quantum physics - sure, anyone can learn it, but it'll be much harder or easier for certain people.
- Immigrant assimilation might be one of the metaphors in Gargoyles.
- There was no Demona-Macbeth romance in evidence in "City of Stone" IV.
- Greg doesn't know if female gargoyles are capable of laying unfertilized eggs.
- The first Magus was the first to combine the Eye of Odin, Grimorum Arcanorum and Phoenix Gate.
- Greg chose Manhattan for Gargoyles, rather than another city like Los Angeles (not a good gargoyle town, in Greg's opinion), because it provided the best contrast between modern and ancient. It also worked well, as an island as a protectorate was something Goliath could get his head around at that early stage. (Goliath is only now starting to widen his perspective even further.)
- Greg considers Demona one of his deeper creations, and thinks that Xanatos has defined a trope all his own.
- The original Gargoyles pitch used four different artists. Goliath's original design included jewelery, and Lex originally had four arms.
- Wolf's more wolfish transformation in "Upgrade" didn't get repeated because it spawned too many animation errors.
- Greg likes the idea of Thailog having a Xanatos-esque goatee, but he's reluctant to use it because it could weaken his stance against using fan original ideas, which could in turn be used against him at some point.
- Greg had about four or five more stories for the Avalon world tour, but it was cut short due to several factors, including frustration by one member of the crew (he said who, but I forget), the problem of not having the Trio appear for so long, and that mixing the arc with reruns was making it seem awfully over-long. Three of the "lost" stories included the Himalayas story (ultimately recycled in Gargoyles #6), a Korea story, and a China story.
- Greg comnmented that Goliath seems to be less of a fulcrum in the comic series than he was in the original animated series.
- The Avalon arc didn't sit so well with Thom, simply because Lexington wasn't in it and he wasn't getting paid! (Which caused some financial issues.)
- Greg was a bit put out that the toilets on the ninth floor made a sound like the Green Goblin's pumpkin bombs when they flushed.
- Greg said Bruce Wayne was more of an inspiration for David Xanatos than Tony Stark, and that Lex Luthor wasn't at all (because Greg's Luthor is the Silver Age mad scientist, not the modern businessman).
- In Iron Man, Greg took issue with Tony Stark's choosing Burger King for his cheeseburger after returning from Afghanistan. He also thought Stane's motives were kinda weak. He also opined that Marvel should have held back the release of The Incredible Hulk until later in the year, as now there'll be a big gap until the next Marvel Studios movie.
One thing that was interesting to me is how often Keith David had his own opinions on how Goliath and gargoyles worked, sometimes in mild conflict with Greg Weisman's POV. One wonders how often an actor playing a role puts such levels of thought into the world of their characters.
After the Blue Mug, it was pretty much straight to bed for me.
Blue Mug's are always fun and eclectic -- even when they're not all that blue.
Gathering 2008 Journal - Day One
Friday, June 27, 2008
I started waking up around 7 am or so, but kept going back to sleep until I finally decided to officially wake up around 9ish. Then I loungted a bit, watched TV and added more to my con notes before getting out of bed for real around 10ish.
My first priority was more supplies from CVS - a crate of bottled water and a few Diet Pepsis. Dracandros left a message inviting me to go to the Taste of Chicago festival that day (the original idea having been for Monday after Closing Ceremonies). By the time I'd called him back, the plan had changed - instead, he wanted to go downtown and see the Sears Tower. I agreed, but went to go pick up my registration first (and briefly meeting with Merlin Missy, who I last recall meeting at my very first Gathering in 1998). I also chatted a bit with Harvester of Eyes (Rob) and King Cobra before going with Drac and Ed.
The three of us met with three more - Leo, Doppleganger, and dtaina (D. Taina) - and we set off, taking the L (Chicago's elevated train system) from Davis on the Purple Line to Chicago/State on the Red Line. Along the way, we chatted, and also met a fellow in a Zelda shirt who offered some tips (such as not obviously using maps, as it's a clear sign of being a tourist). Before Sears, however, we went for the slightly shorter John Hancock Center and its Observatory, taking in some sights along the way (such as the Chicago Water Tower, one of the few buildings in the area to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871). The view from Hancock was pretty nice, and I took far too many pics while we were up there. (It also bragged of having a hyper-fast elevator that moved upwards at 20 mph - made your ears pop.)
After Hancock, we took a trolley to the Sears Tower, but before we went there we decided to get a late lunch/dinner at Giordano's, a well-regarded Chicago pizza parlor. Delicious stuff, and surprisingly filling - we got two pizzas for six people, but the first one was more than enough! (The second pizza had mushrooms, so I wasn't too distressed.) Dracandros brought the leftovers with us, leading to some envious looks from people in the Sears! At the Tower, we watched a neat intro movie and then saw even more great views (and again, I took too many pics). However, time was running out before Opening Ceremonies, so we needed to leave after only a short visit.
(Observation from my time downtown - Chicago architects really, really like revolving doors. Think we had enough of those for a lifetime.)
Unfortunately, our return trip - taking the Purple Line express from Quincy (a neat station restored to a vintage state) back to Davis took about 50 minutes, so we all returned about an hour after Opening Ceremonies was supposed to start. I wasn't too troubled, as I've seen most of the material many times by now, so I took the time to return to my room and clean up, as well as typing up more notes about the downtown trip before I started forgetting things. By the time I headed there, it was after 6:30 pm.
I initially checked the ninth floor for the opening ceremonies, only to find a succession of dark and empty rooms, but a member of the hotel staff kindly pointed me to the second floor. I arrived just in time to see most of the Bad Guys leica reel. When Greg (Weisman) renewed his review of Gargoyles production and fandom history, he mentioned something I'd never heard of before - a "proto-Gathering" in 1996 at an animation art gallery in Queens, with Keith David and Greg in attendance. Greg wrapped up after that, only to realize at the last moment that he'd forgotten to show "The Last", the Gargoyles-linked episode of the cancelled Team Atlantis series. It's fortunate he remembered, as the episode - gradually being completed by fans - added a lot of new material, with many new scenes added or improved. Turning out rather nice, it is! (While it played, I believe Keith David returned from... somewhere.)
With ceremonies genuinely finished, I talked a bit with Dracandros and Ed, and said quick hellos to Jennifer "CrzyDemona" Anderson and Mandolin as they passed by. I talked of hanging with Drac and Ed later, and meant to go back in to the emptying Opening Ceremonies room, but instead I wandered into the business center looking for a trash can. While I was there (and looking at the oddball picture of floating men in hats), I figured it'd be better to follow up on the phone calls I received and silenced during the ceremonies, so I caught up with Jack and Randy. By the time I was finished, everyone was gone (except a group that was doing some camera work - later, I learned they were working on some sort of documentary). I did talk a little bit with A Fan, though.
With not many con-goers obviously around (a problem that repeated itself several times during this Gathering - a late-running con suite would have been much appreciated at several points), I went to the terrace to take some pics, only to have my camera start running low on power. So I made another supply run to CVS, noticing that they were setting up some sort of festival on the nearby streets. (On the way out, I believe I also walked by Josh Silver, but I'm not positive.) Returned to my room, and updated my notes again.
Later still, I was invited to dessert with Dracandros and Ed, and we ate at Cold Stone (after some trouble finding it). (I would expect a fair number of us Gathering-goers to stop at a place called Cold Stone, but I dunno if that was the case. Good stuff, though!) On the way back, they hit CVS and I parted ways again, checking out the ninth floor again and seeing some group up there (not sure if they were with the con, though). The terrace was locked, and although I figured out it could be opened, it seemed like a bad idea to go against the hotel's intentions - so no night-time pics. I gave the workout room a try with fairly ineffective results, and after a little more wandering (and running into Thom), I returned to my room for the night. Did a bit of web surfing, organized stuff for my card game (not that I got much mileage from it in the end), then went to sleep.
Didn't even get into Chicago this trip, myself. Glad you managed it.
Gathering 2008 Journal - Day Minus One
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Woke up around 9:30 am, after staying up too late preparing some stuff for the con (that, ironically, I barely used). Quickly got ready to go and made some last-minute checks, before my folks picked me up for the airport around 10:30. I asked them to take me to a sidetrip to Weis, so I could pick up a few last-minute items, and they helpfully got me a Wendy's lunch in the meantime.
After I got to BWI, things seemed to be moving smoothly, until I attempted to take my shaving kit on board as a carry-on - not thinking that would run afoul of the TSA's security limits on liquids and gels. So I had to go back, take the shaving kit in its carry-on bag and check it as luggage. (The clerk was kind enough not to make me pay the fee for a second bag, at least.)
Once I was through security (again), I purchased an overpriced pair of headphones (Weis didn't have those) and headed right for the gate. And waited. I tried the wireless, but it cost money. I tried to play a bit of Advance Wars Dual Strike, but couldn't get into it (and I also realized I'd left my DS power cable back at home; guess it's required to forget something on these trips). So I settled for reading.
The flight was pretty straightforward and uneventful, although I lamented my lack of a good view to the outside. Even so, I got a look at Chicago from the air - very wide, very flat, excepting downtown, which appeared as a clump of tall buildings near Lake Michigan. Arrival in O'Hare was pretty basic, too (did you know they don't have a Baggage Claim #13?). By coincidence, I wound up sharing the Airport Express van with Gside, and we mostly talked about video games and such (as well as playing a brief download-play game of Jump Ultimate Stars). After the driver stopped for gas, however, the three of us had a heavier conversation about the geopolitics of oil and various tangents from that issue.
After arrival at the Hotel Orrington, Gside and I parted ways. The room I got was fairly nice, although a bit smaller than I expected for the price tag. The safe was good to have (considering the rather heavy amount of electronics I had with me), but I wasn't happy that the only refrigerator was a locked wet bar fridge. And the free wireless I'd heard about actually only appeared on the 9th (conference) floor and the lobby, although a free ethernet line was provided in the room, so I couldn't really complain.
After getting comfy and lounging for a bit (I toyed with taking a nap, but I figured that'd be a waste), I took a stroll through the ninth floor (and admired the view from the terrace near the Hinman Auditorium), the second, and then the first, then I took a quick walk around the block to see what was nearby. Being unambitious, I snagged a Burger King dinner, and as I returned, I bumped into Greg Bishansky. I ate while we talked while he was waiting for the rest of the con staff and guests (who were stuck in Chicago traffic). Said hi to Leo, then Dracandros and Ed, who were headed to dinner themselves. They invited me to see The Incredible Hulk at a nearby theater - since I had already seen it, I was ambiguous in my response. Gside also came by talking about getting food, but I'd already eaten and Greg B. still had to wait; and shortly after that, the staff and guests arrived, so I went back to my room.
My next couple hours weren't too busy - I tested to see if I could still get the 9th-floor wireless from my 8th-floor room (nope), started up my notes for this very journal, and went to get some supplies from CVS (but I was limited by my assumption I couldn't use a fridge). Dracandros and Ed asked me again about Hulk, and I agreed, enjoying my second viewing (although I was a bit disappointed I didn't notice much new). On the way back, we briefly ran into King Cobra and vidthekid, then we went back to Dracandros and Ed's room, where Dracandros gifted me with two T-shirts. (Unfortunately, I had no reciprocal gift.)
I decided it was about time for me to turn in, but before I did, I followed on Dracandros's comment that the wet bar fridge could be used for non-wet bar drinks and retrieved the key from the front desk, briefly running into King Cobra again along the way. Got ready for bed, watched a bit of Scrubs, then slept.
"Settled for reading"... so sad... ;)
I live in Ottawa. I would LOVE to go the Gathering at some point, but I can;t go because of the distance. I know the Gathering was held in Montreal, but I wasn't aware of that at the time. Will the Gathering be held in Ottawa or somewhere (Toronto would be good) anytime soon? I love Gargoyles and will like to interact with people who sare my intrest.
Gatherings are only planned -- at most -- 18 months in advance. G2009 is being held in Los Angeles. We don't yet know where 2010 will be, but if you want it in Ottawa, your best bet is to organize a group of fans there and put in a bid for the con. It's fans who organize each convention, usually local fans.
I have heard that season three of Spectacular Spider-Man is running trouble, and you might have to leave if season 3 dosen't start production. I'm starting to worry. Please tell me, on a scale of one to ten (ten being you're staying, one being you're leaving)ehat are the odds of you staying? I know season 3 will probably come at some point (I hope) but you and the crew aren't there, it won't be the same.
I can't give you numbers. They still haven't picked us up for Season Three, and today we had a farewell party for the majority of the crew (that is the majority that still remains -- many have already been laid off). This includes our character designer Sean "Cheeks" Galloway. After a few more weeks, we'll be down to myself, Vic Cook and our post-production team. We're hoping when we get a pick-up that we'll be able to bring the whole crew back more or less intact, but we already know that a few individuals on our staff already have new jobs and probably will not be coming back. Vic and I and our post-team are on until early January. One would hope we'd get the pick-up by then, but if it doesn't come soon I'll HAVE to look for a new job. Preferably a new job that will allow me to come back and do Spidey if/when (probably WHEN not if) it's picked up. But beggars can't be choosers, you know, and I have a mortgage to pay and kids, dogs and a cat to feed.
By the way, after losing all our pets over the last year, we have two new (not young but new) Basset Hounds, Murray and Hermione, and a new cat (Emmy).
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