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I just rewatched spectacular spiderman and I feel there were a few bits inspired by the Rami trilogy, is that true?
Since I don't know what the Rami trilogy is, I'm gonna say no.
What were the books and films (if any) that inspired the everything in the show Gargoyles, because I know that some of it was William Shakespeare's Works, some was D'Aulaire's Books of Greek and Norse Myths, maybe Le Morte D' Arthur by Sir Thomas Mallory,Holinshed's Chronicles in the case of the Weird Sisters, and The Mummy's Hand in the case of Tanna Leaves, and i know where stuff like Anubis, Anansi, Raven, Coyote, Grandmother, Thunderbird, Banshee, Crom Cruach, Cú Chulainn, Hound of Ulster (or Hound of Cullain), Fu Dog, The Green Knight, The actual Macbeth, the actual Duncan, The actual Canmore,Lulach, Gille Coemgáin of Moray, Gruoch of Scotland, Robin Goodfellow (AKA Puck), Quetzalcoatl, Yeti, Actual Crime in Manhatten, The Golem of Prague, Will-o'-the-wisp, and Tengu come from i just would like to know the books you probally read first that made you want to put that stuff in the show.
Didn't you list most of them above?
I don't have a concise reading list. It was everything that influenced me (and others who worked on the show, as I was NEVER a one-man band) all rolled together.
I've read a lot of Arthurian stuff, including Mary Stewart, Roger Lanclyn Green, Mallory, etc. I've read and seen all of Shakespeare. I've read Hugo and a lot of books on mythology of different cultures. Movies including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Pal Joey and many others, particularly those adapted from Damon Runyon stories. The list goes on. Plus tons of comics.
Still the biggest influences were probably HILL STREET BLUES, GUMMI BEARS and maybe STAR TREK (the original series).
For more, check out the INFLUENCES archive here at ASK GREG.
In "M.I.A.", after Goliath appears in the past and Griff saves him from the plane, Douglas asks "Clive, did you see that?" and Clive seemingly didn't. This greatly resembles the opening scene to the "Batman: The Animated Series" premiere episode, "On Leather Wings" (though it was obviously Man-Bat and not a Gargoyle in that case), which was then mirrored later in the DC Animated Universe as well as other shows.
My question is: Was that intentional here?
It always seemed ironic to me that the pilot being asked if he saw anything was named Clive when that's the name of the actor who played the pilot in the same position in the Batman episode (as well as Alfred for the first few episodes). Also, the "On Leather Wings" name and the humanoid bat in the episode seemed like a similar enough concept and Elisa does reference Superman in the previous episode, "Sanctuary": "This is a job for the Gargoyles."
No. Not intentional. Of course, I had seen the episode, so maybe it was floating around in my subconscious. But frankly, even that's a bit of a stretch. The name Clive was chosen because it's quintessentially British. Otherwise, most of what you're describing is purely situational.
I scoured the unanswered questions and the archives. As far as I can tell, nobody has asked this of you before:
1.)When did you know while writing Lexington that he would eventually realize that he's gay?
I'm a 25 year old gay man living in Minnesota. I loved Gargoyles as a kid. I had almost all the action figures (couldn't find the castle play set so I made my own out of cardboard boxes lol) and all the VHS tapes. Now I have all the released seasons on DVD. I grew up feeling different all the time from my peers. Your show resonated with me! It's still a viewing pleasure of mine. In retrospect, I think the clan was an allegory for how I felt in the world. In the minority, alone and isolated and misunderstood by society. I was always cheering when more Gargoyles were introduced from Avalon.
I have one more question that is about the writing of the show:
2.) Were you and the show's writers warned or advised that kids couldn't follow continuity in an animated series?
I was between 5-7 years old while Gargoyles aired and I was fascinated that the show relied on flashbacks and foreshadowing and slow builds of the storylines.
I'm so glad that the show was on when I was young. It had a profound impact on me. Lexington was ALWAYS my favorite and I just recently found out he was to be gay. Thanks for making me feel less alone growing up. I wish you continued success!
Thank you for your time!!
1. I don't remember exactly. (Twenty years ago, you know.) But it was probably some time during Season Two. Definitely before we wrote Turf.
2. No. Not then. That's come up on other shows since, but I was following a simplified version of the Hill Street Blues model on Gargoyles. One clean story per episode. Multiple storyLINES in play.
In anticipation of my FIVE panels at Long Beach Comic Con, here's a nice little article/interview on 13th Dimension:
I just realized that the second question I asked two days ago (about how Tom got from Avelon to Manhatten) is REALLY stupid...for some reason I was misremembering the entire situation and was thinking Tom went to Manhatten AFTER Goliath and co. got back from their trip (which makes absolutly no sense now that I remember correctly)...OOPS! Sorry. I'm verry much expecting a "Hey stupid, what the heck are you talking about?!" response to that question.
Anyway, since I don't want to clog the que with just an apology for screwing up a previous one, I'll ask a couple of actual questions too, this time regarding Brooklyn and Katana.
1. You once described their relationship as: "there's conflict." Can you elaborate (in a general sense, not specific situations...ie. they bicker a lot, they disagree on many things, ect.)?
2. I know that the real-world reason for Katana's name is the sward, but in-universe, did her clan use names? (Also, I know it's a "spoiler request," but if you feel like saying who gave her the name if it wasn't her clan, that would be awesome -- same for Foo Dog).
3. Were the parallels between the casts of the World Tour and Timedancer (ie. the lead Gargoyle: Goliath/Brooklyn; his mate: Elisa/Katana; the child: Angela/Nashville; and the beast: Bronx/Foo Dog) a deliberate decision or just a coincidence?
4. Has/will Foo Dog ever had/get a mate?
1. Watch Sam and Diane on Cheers or Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing.
2. We've established that the Ishimura Clan uses names. Whether they did back then is a SPOILER REQUEST.
3. More organic than anything. Keep in mind, it's just Brooklyn. Then it's Brooklyn, Finella and Mary. Later it's Brooklyn and Fu-Dog. Later still it's Brooklyn, Fu-Dog and Katana. Later still, it's Brooklyn, Fu-Dog, Katana and an egg. Then Brooklyn, Fu-Dog, Katana and Nashville. Then Brooklyn, Fu-Dog, Katana, Nashville and Egwardo. And that's assuming no one else temporarily joins them for some of the Dancing, a fact I'll neither confirm or deny.
4. SPOILER REQUEST.
So the #Gargoyles20 U.S. Tour continues. Stop #3 is CONvergence in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Well, actually in Bloomington, Minnesota, but close enough.) http://www.convergence-con.org
This is a big one for us. It includes a number of events that we used to do at the old Gathering of the Gargoyles Conventions, which ran from 1997-2009. And I know a bunch of Gargoyles fans will be attending, so it'll also be a reunion of sorts.
My schedule for the long weekend is quite packed - which is just how I like it!
THURSDAY, JULY 3, 2014
2:00pm - 3:00pm GARGOYLES RADIO PLAY AUDITIONS
Ever wanted to be in a radio play? Now is your chance! We are holding auditions for a live performance at CONvergence! You don't even have to be a fan of Gargoyles to enter. You just have to know how to read! Casting: Myself and Jennifer Anderson (Talent Coordinator on The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice). Casting decisions will be posted by 7:00pm on Friday, July 4th. ATRIUM 7.
3:30pm - 4:30pm BUFFYVERSE TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Okay, so Gargoyles ISN'T the only show celebrating an anniversary. The Buffy/Angel universe has been off the air for ten years. Let's reminisce and talk about the impact these shows have had on TV fantasy since their cancellation. Panelists: Myself, Tim Lieder, Cetius d'Raven, Madeleine Rowe, Mark Goldberg. EDINA.
7:00pm - 8:00pm OPENING CEREMONY
If it's not exactly a magical invocation, it is nonetheless our official kick-off for the convention! Join CONvergence mascot Connie as we welcome our Guests of Honor, give out some awards (including the Mark Time and Ogle winners), and get this party started. Panelists: Myself, Amy Berg, Emma Bull, C. Robert Cargill, Sarah Clemens, Scott Lynch, Marina Sirtis, Frank Paur, Matthew Ebel, Dawn Krosnowski, Greg Guler, Rob Callahan, Windy Bowlsby, Michael Lee. MAIN STAGE.
9:00pm - 10:00pm GREG WEISMAN'S FANCY BASTARD PIE COMPETITION
Geek Partnership Society is excited to host the Greg Weisman Fancy Bastard Pie Competition at CONvergence 2014! It is open to all CONvergence members who wish to participate. The goal is to make a pie that Greg Weisman, herein to be known as "Fancy Bastard", likes best. The winner will be told super-secret Young Justice spoilers. Find out [some of] what would have happened in Season 3! (But winner must swear to secrecy to claim prize.) See below for some helpful hints.* CABANA 110.
FRIDAY, JULY 4th, 2014
11:00am - 12:00pm GARGOYLES RADIO PLAY AUDITIONS
Ever wanted to be in a radio play? Now is your chance! We are holding auditions for a live performance at CONvergence! You don't even have to be a fan of Gargoyles to enter. You just have to know how to read! Last chance to audition! Casting: Myself and Jennifer Anderson (Talent Coordinator on The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice). Casting decisions will be posted by 7:00pm on Friday, July 4th. ATRIUM 7.
12:30pm - 1:30pm FROM TV TO COMICS
We'll discuss the TV shows that expanded into the comicverse, such as Buffy, Smallville, Young Justice and Gargoyles. Did they succeed? Were any of the comics improvements on the shows? How did canon change during the transition? Panelists: Myself (Gargoyles, Young Justice), Shawn van Briesen, Jonathan Palmer, Greg Guler (Gargoyles), Karine Charlebois (Gargoyles, Bad Guys), Christopher Jones (Batman Strikes, Young Justice, Bad Guys). PLAZA 2.
2:00pm - 3:00pm SIGNING
Myself, Christopher Jones (Young Justice, The Batman Strikes, Parallel Man) and Greg Guler (Gargoyles, Phineas and Ferb) will be holding a signing session. Both Chris and Greg always have an array of stuff (books, prints, etc.) to sell and sign. But this time I'm pretty darn prepared as well. First off, I'll be selling and signing copies of my first novel RAIN OF THE GHOSTS for $10 cash, which includes the book, a personalized signature and signed copies of the original development character designs by Kuni Tomita for the television version of Rain that never was. In addition - and by popular demand - I am selling and signing an array of my animation teleplays for $20 cash from such series as Gargoyles, Team Atlantis, DC Showcase (Green Arrow), Men in Black: The Series, The Spectacular Spider-Man, The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, W.I.T.C.H., Young Justice and even the 2009 Radio Play "The Spectacular Spider-Man Meets Gargoyles". I'll also sign anything else you bring and put in front of me for FREE - especially if you buy my book. ;) CONVERGENCE CENTRAL.
3:30pm - 4:30pm CREATING GARGOYLES
This is what we used to call (at the Gathering) the Rocky Horror Gargoyles Show. The creators of Gargoyles show clips and tell stories of how the show came to be. Lots of visual aids. Panelists: Myself (Creator, Supervising Producer/Story Editor, Writer), Frank Paur ( (Supervising Producer/Director), Greg Guler (Lead Character Designer). ATRIUM 6.
7:00pm - 8:00pm TIME TRAVEL THEORY
Let's assume for a moment that Time Travel is possible. This panel will explore the theories behind such technology. We'll explore quantum realities, temporal anomalies and all other challenges our theoretical time travelers will be face! [Now, I suggested this panel, but then they went and put some actual scientists on the damn thing. So I may quickly be embarrassed into silence.] ;) Panelists: Myself, Nicole Gugliucci, Jim Kakalios, G. David Nordley, Amy Berg. ATRIUM 4.
8:30pm - 9:30pm GARGOYLES Q&A
Join the cast and creators of the "Gargoyles" series and SLG companion comic books to ask and talk about the property. And, as always, Cosplayers are welcome! Panelists: Myself (Creator, Supervising Producer/Story Editor, Writer), Christopher Jones (Bad Guys guest artist), Marina Sirtis (voice of Demona and Margot Yale), Frank Paur (Supervising Producer/Director), Karine Charlebois (Gargoyles Guest Artist, Bad Guys Artist), Greg Guler (Lead Character Designer, Gargoyles Guest Artist). MAIN STAGE.
SATURDAY, JULY 5th, 2014
9:30am - 10:30am GARGOYLES SIGNING
Myself, Marina Sirtis (voice of Demona and Margot Yale) and Frank Paur (Supervising Producer/Director) will be holding a signing session. Again, I'll be selling and signing copies of my first novel RAIN OF THE GHOSTS for $10 cash, which includes the book, a personalized signature and signed copies of the original development character designs by Kuni Tomita for the television version of Rain that never was. In addition - and by popular demand - I am selling and signing an array of my animation teleplays for $20 cash from such series as Gargoyles, Team Atlantis, DC Showcase (Green Arrow), Men in Black: The Series, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, W.I.T.C.H., The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice and even the 2009 Radio Play "The Spectacular Spider-Man Meets Gargoyles". I'll also sign anything else you bring and put in front of me for FREE. CONVERGENCE CENTRAL.
11:00am - 12:25pm GARGOYLES RADIO PLAY REHEARSAL
This is a closed session - for those who were cast in the Radio Play - led by Myself, Jennifer Anderson (Talent Coordinator on The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice) & Marina Sirtis (voice of Demona, Margot Yale and Queen Bee). ATRIUM 6.
12:30pm - 1:30pm GARGOYLES RADIO PLAY PERFORMANCE
Fans and professionals - including Myself (voice of Donald Menken and Lucas "Snapper" Carr), Jennifer Anderson (Talent Coordinator on The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice), and of course, Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi from Star Trek TNG and the voice of Demona, Margot Yale and Queen Bee) - perform a LIVE, ORIGINAL Gargoyles radio play! ATRIUM 6.
2:00pm - 3:00pm GARGOYLES BIOLOGY AND CULTURE
A "what if" panel about the biology and culture of the Gargoyles universe. Creators and performers speculate about anything and everything going on outside the frames of the TV series. Panelists: Craig A. Finseth moderates Myself (Creator, Producer) and Greg Guler (Lead Character Designer). ATRIUM 7.
3:30pm - 4:30pm RAIN OF THE GHOSTS
I'll be reading from and talking about the world and characters of my novel "Rain of the Ghosts" and its sequel, "Spirits of Ash and Foam," which comes out July 8th, 2014, one week after the convention! ATRIUM 3.
7:00pm - 8:00pm ONE ON ONE WITH GREG WEISMAN
Hal Bichel will moderate a one-on-one panel with Myself. PLAZA 2.
8:30pm - 9:30pm SIGNING
Once again, I'll be selling and signing copies of my first novel RAIN OF THE GHOSTS for $10 cash, which includes the book, a personalized signature and signed copies of the original development character designs by Kuni Tomita for the television version of Rain that never was. In addition - and by popular demand - I am selling and signing an array of my animation teleplays for $20 cash from such series as Gargoyles, Team Atlantis, DC Showcase (Green Arrow), Men in Black: The Series, The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, W.I.T.C.H., Young Justice and even the 2009 Radio Play "The Spectacular Spider-Man Meets Gargoyles". I'll also sign anything else you bring and put in front of me for FREE. CONVERGENCE CENTRAL.
10:00pm - 11:00pm BLUE MUG
Ever wonder about the sexual habits of Gargoyles? Ever wonder who was sleeping with whom among the Young Justice Team or the cast of Spectacular Spider-Man? Join us for for a late night peek at your favorite animated series. This panel will get blue! (So attendees will be carded!) Panelists: Myself, Christopher Jones, Mara Cordova (Last Tengu in Paris Artist). It is also rumored that Edmund Tsabard (an unfancy bastard and Last Tengu in Paris Writer) may make an appearance. EDINA.
SUNDAY, JULY 6th, 2014
11:00am - 12:00pm PROTOFEMINISTS IN SHAKESPEARE
Shakespeare portrayed several intelligent, independent, and self-aware women--Juliet, Lady Macbeth, Katharine, Beatrice, Viola, Rosalind. We'll discuss the problematic and the remarkably (for the era) fleshed-out aspects of their representation. Panelists: Myself, Elizabeth Bear, Ashley F. Miller, Joseph Erickson, Alexandra Howes. EDINA.
12:30pm - 1:30pm GARGOYLES FAN PANEL
It's the 20th Anniversary of Gargoyles. Come share your favorite moments from the show. As always, Cosplayers are welcome! Panelists: Daniel Mohr moderates Myself, Ryan Alexander, Robert Wagner, Maggie Schultz, Jennifer Anderson, Karine Charlebois. ATRIUM 6.
2:00pm - 3:00pm SIGNING
Myself and Greg Guler (Gargoyles, Phineas and Ferb) will be holding one last signing session. Greg G. always has an array of stuff (books, prints, etc.) to sell and sign. And I'll be selling and signing copies of my first novel RAIN OF THE GHOSTS for $10 cash, which includes the book, a personalized signature and signed copies of the original development character designs by Kuni Tomita for the television version of Rain that never was. In addition - and by popular demand - I am selling and signing an array of my animation teleplays for $20 cash from such series as Gargoyles, Team Atlantis, DC Showcase (Green Arrow), Men in Black: The Series, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, W.I.T.C.H., Young Justice and even the 2009 Radio Play "The Spectacular Spider-Man Meets Gargoyles". I'll also sign anything else you bring and put in front of me for FREE - especially if you buy my book. CONVERGENCE CENTRAL.
3:30pm - 4:30pm YOUNG JUSTICE
Creative minds behind the Young Justice TV and comic book series will talk about this fan favorite. We're planning some special surprises as well. And, as always, Cosplayers are welcome! Panelists: Myself, Marina Sirtis (voice of Queen Bee), Christopher Jones (Artist YJ Comic). MAIN STAGE.
5:00pm - 6:00pm CLOSING CEREMONY
It's not over 'til the gynoid sings - or something like that. Join CONvergence mascot Connie and our Guests of Honor as we say farewell to another convention. Shenanigans may ensue. Panelists: Myself, Amy Berg, Emma Bull, C. Robert Cargill, Sarah Clemens, Scott Lynch, Marina Sirtis, Matthew Ebel, Frank Paur, Dawn Krosnowski, Greg Guler, Windy Bowlsby, Rob Callahan, Michael Lee. MAIN STAGE
SEE?!! I told you there was a lot. And that's only the stuff that I'm doing. CONvergence is jam-packed with all sorts of pop culture nutritional goodness. So stop by and say hello!!
*In the interest of Full Disclosure, Fancy Bastard would like all to know that he especially likes the following pies:
BERRY (pretty much any kind of berry or a mix of same)
BANANA CREAM (herein to be known as the funniest pie)
Combinations of some of the fruit pies can be great. Contestants are welcome to try other pies at their own risk.
Fancy Bastard does NOT especially like the following pies:
Anything with Chocolate or Lemon or Meringue
Raisins in Apple Pie
Almost never Cherry, though he has tasted the rare exception...
Hey, Greg, what an amazing show in Young Justice. I have a couple of questions for you.
1) I was hoping you could comment on this, because you've answered variations of this question at different times, but never this specific one. I thought of an idea that would make a lot of sense for where a certain character's situation would go after the events of Summit and Endgame, but I won't share it with you to avoid getting a spoiler. You've talked in interviews/answers before about Roy and Jade having to get married off-screen in order for CN to approve Lian being born. Were there any story-lines of similar controversial topics that you and Brandon had planned that could have created tensions between you and the network?
2) I recently rewatched JLU, specifically JLU's season 1, and I noticed a striking similarity in the way the format works there and the masterfully-crafted interwoven network of plot-lines of YJ. It seemed like you may have been inspired by that format where there were several stories being told all at the same time, as opposed to other shows that have a more episodic nature (like the first JL cartoon, before JLU). Was it a conscious decision to draw heavily from that idea, or was it something that just happened independently?
Thank you for a wonderful show.
1. None spring to mind at the moment. We didn't have a lot of fights with S&P.
2. I haven't seen all that much of JLU. (Started to when we were in the development phase, but ran out of time once pre-production got started. [I'm really not much of a binge watcher. The most of any show I can stand to watch in any one sitting - no matter how good it is - is two episodes, and for me, even that's pushing it.]) The way we plotted YJ is really more in line with the way I've done other series in the past, such as The Spectacular Spider-Man and Gargoyles. And all of that goes back to lessons learned from reading and writing comic books, and, of course, from Hill Street Blues.
Have you watched Neon Genesis Evangelion? I was just struck by a lot of similarities Superboy had to the Clone Rei Ayanami, the white outfit, the alien/human hybrid, labeled inferior by others because of his clone status, the manipulation by a equivalent of a father figure to further his goals and the moon motif. But I'm pretty sure Lex still is a better father figure than Gendo Ikari.
I think I saw the first episode back in the late nineties when I was working at DreamWorks. My memories are extremely vague. If it had any influence on Young Justice and/or Superboy, it would have to be entirely subconscious on my end. Can't speak for other members of the YJ crew, of course.
So in my car, I've been listening to the audio book of Michael Chabon's novel: TELEGRAPH AVENUE, read by the amazing Clarke Peters (of THE WIRE and TREME). I'm a little over halfway through the book, which is set (largely) in a used record store in Oakland in 2008 and revolves around a diverse cast of characters. It's full of all sorts of pop cutlure references, but I was still pretty stunned when suddenly the narrator starts talking about GARGOYLES. Not generic gargoyles, but our GARGOYLES televsion series.
I was going to try to cut and paste the section here, but Amazon won't allow that. So you can check it out yourself here: http://www.amazon.com/Telegraph-Avenue-Novel-Michael-Chabon/dp/006149335X/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=09RDPEC6XPYS8K9E3CQR
Or better yet, buy the book. I haven't finished listening to it yet, but so far it's definitely worth the price of admission.
The GARGOYLES' references begin on or about p. 293. (At least on the Amazon Look Inside function.) It's all pretty cool, and very specific. Though Keith David isn't mentioned by name, Goliath is, and his amazing voice is referenced, along with Goliath's backstory, etc. The character seems to have been part of a significant moment in the life of Julie Jaffe, one of the many protagonists of Chabon's book.
Chabon's written many books, including two particular favorites of mine: THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY and THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN'S UNION. So the fact that our little series registers with him is fairly gratifying.
The Wizard of Oz references in Gargoyles are among my favorites when it comes to your various literary sources. My all time favorite literary allusion in Gargoyles comes from issues 3-5 of Clan Building, where Lexington's "post-modern Tin Man" is the very cyborg visage he possessed when losing his heart in the Future Tense scenario.
Given that the original book is in the public domain, was there any thought ever given to how the events of the Wizard of Oz related to the Gargoyles Universe?
Like Frankenstein, I mostly thought in terms of references, rather than working the story into actual continuity. But you never know...
I'm a huge fan girl of YJ from Singapore. I really love your show and hope to see more seasons if possible.
My favorite character in the show is Artemis, she really struck me in season 1 and her tenure as Tigress in Season 2 was really impressive. So I would like to ask a few questions about her.
1) What served as your inspiration for creating her?
2) Are any of her character traits inspired by strong female characters from other sources? Cos I noticed that she was rather similar to some of my other favorite ladies, such as Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games, Eponine from Les Miserables, Mulan, Ravager (Deathstroke's daughter), to name a few.
3) How abusive was Sportsmaster? Cos I figured he had to be pretty bad to his girls for Jade to pack up and abandon her younger sister.
4) Unrelated but... Will YJ be translated into Chinese? I'm ethnic Chinese and I would love to know their Chinese names.
Thanks for looking through my queries, though they may have been answered. Thank you for giving us fans a really wonderful show while it lasted!
1. The DC Comics character.
2. Well, I'm not familiar with Katniss. I mean, obviously, I've heard of her, but I haven't read the books or seen the movies. I'm only passingly familiar with Ravager, though we had plans for her in YJ, given enough seasons. I would have done more research on her before bringing her in, of course. I don't really see much Mulan in Artemis, other than the fairly generic notion of a woman in combat. So that just leaves Eponine. And I can indeed see a bit of Eponine in Artemis. But if so, I wasn't conscious of the influence at the time.
3. He was emotionally and verbally abusive. He was not sexually abusive. It's debatable whether or not you'd consider him physically abusive. He didn't beat them. But he did endless combat drills with them, and they took punishment from him. Given that he was a full-grown man and they were young girls, it's absolutely fair to say he was physically abusive.
4. No idea.
These 2 are related...
1. While on the topic of inspirations I have a question about your series Gargoyles. When it originally came out I really don't remember it because I was really young, but I did always know of its existence. When I learned that you, who are producer of YJ, also created Gargoyles I was motivated to watch the series and I am doing so know (soon I hope to see SSM too!). It is very interesting and I really like your character portrayals and interesting plots. Now the question I have about inspiration is did you derive anything of Gargoyles from the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series, and if so what? I apologize if the question seems strange, but I notice how both series were produced in the close time frames, they both take place in NYC, and in essence both show are about groups of outcasts by society who in turn fight crime. I think what merely stood out for me is that when I see Elisa Maza and her friendship with the gargoyles it kind of reminds me of April O'Neil and the turtles. Besides there are mutants in both series, most cool stuff happens by night (for the turtles so they won't be seen); Gargoyles because they don't have a choice, etc. Anyway these are the similarities I see and I just wanted your opinion on them.
2. While on the topic of the TMNT, have you seen the new CGI series, and if so what do you think? I think it's a cool adaptation.
1. Not so much, because as you say, both were being produced at more or less the same time. There may have been some influence in little things, like when we started saying Jalapeña all the time - though the origin of that (as discussed elsewhere) was nevertheless very different. And I won't deny the two series have things in common. But just as often we tried to AVOID having things in common with Turtles. If the series started to veer in that direction, there were plenty of people (Frank Paur, especially) who would make sure to course correct.
2. I haven't seen it - or, frankly, most any version of TMNT. That's not meant as a critical comment. I just haven't had the opportunity.
I've seen the novel The Mysteries of Udolpho pop up multiple times in the series (Young Justice), and I've scanned the Wikipedia page (I would read it, but Outlaws of the Marsh isn't something you flick through in an afternoon, and my to-read list is long enough already), and I can't see anything tying it to the plot outside of a girl with a bad father, which would be Artemis, I guess?
1) Is there reason or rhyme to this, or is it just you showing off your literary power level, as you're known to do (which we all love, by the way).
And another question on a similar idea:
2) Where's the Shakespeare, man? Your name on a show promises Shakespeare, and YJ remains bardless. Bring a little of him back from Oregon for the team, wont you?
1. It's kinda the original gothic novel.
2. Stuff has to fit, you know? If I just wedge it in artificially, how does that help anyone? And I find it hard to believe there have been NO Shakespeare references at all. That seems unlikely.
Hey Greg! I think you adviced people that wanted to become writters to read great literature and the classics.
Beyond Shakespeare (who is a must read :) ) What kind of literature would you recomend for this purpose?
Homer, for sure.
The list of authors are probably endless. Personally, I'm a big fan of mysteries/detective stories, and my favorite author in that genre is Ross Macdonald, who I believe transcends the genre. I also like James M. Cain, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Michael Connelly and Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö, to name a few.
I'd scarf up myths and legends. Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, Arthurian, etc., etc., etc. And I wouldn't just limit myself to Western Culture. Chow down on the stories of the far east, of the mid-east, of aboriginal peoples everywhere...
History books. Biographies. Some are deadly dull, but others are fascinating.
Anyway, that should keep you busy for awhile.
I just wanted to say I love all th puns on your show! I especially love the Powerpuff Girls pun in "Darkest" or rather, the Rowdeyruff Boy reference xD
Not that I don't love the Powerpuff Girls and the Rowdyruff Boys, but you do realize that that nursery rhyme WAY pre-dates that show, right?
Also, it's not a pun.
I was wondering if you read Hellboy at all? It just occurred to me recently that the use of folklore and mythology in the series is kind of in the same vein as Gargoyles!
I've read some Hellboy and seen both movies. I see some overlap, though we did Gargoyles long before I read any Hellboy.
I'd like to make an observation about "Salvage."
It's that moment where the creature says (through Blue):
Where is the stillness of wood, of stone, of crystal, of metal? All this noise, all this life is pain. We sense the power in this place - power enough to destroy us, to end the pain, to be still again.
And Superboy says, "I can identify."
And then it hit me…
Oh that this too too solid flesh would melt…
the thousand shocks that flesh is heir to…
I wondered if we were intended to hear an echo of Hamlet in Connor and the… whatever it was. One of the reasons that Hamlet is so despondent is that he believes the girl he loves has betrayed him. Then, I remembered that the girl Connor loved and probably still does betrayed him.
So, my question is: am I reading too much in to this? Or, did you intend for there to be deliberate overtures of Hamlet in this scene and in Connor's character in general?
I'd love to say otherwise, but it wasn't in my conscious mind. But you know, it's all rattling around in my brain, so...
When you were creating the Superboy/Miss Martian breakup storyline, was the plotline from Buffy the Vampire Slayer where Willow erased Tara's memories of their arguments about Willow misusing her powers, leading to their breakup, an inspiration?
Not a conscious one.
In YJ did you based Wade Eiling on disgraced US Marine Lieutenant Colonel "Oliver North"?
No. We based him on Wade Eiling from the Captain Atom comic book that Cary Bates and I wrote in the 80s and early 90s. And Eiling was loosely modeled on Captain Kirk.
Did you have Beatrice and Benedict in mind when you created the Wally-Artemis dynamic?
Shrug. I suppose it'd be cool to answer yes, but the truth is - and I'm not pretending otherwise - it's a pretty common trope, and mostly what we had in mind was Wally and Artemis and tracking how they'd react as individuals.
I was wondering, was Blade a possible inspiration for Macbeth's modern design?
I heard down the grapevine you're a fan of Joss Whedon.
1.) Have you gotten to see the Avengers film yet?
2.a) If so, did you draw any inspiration from it, seeing as it's in the same "super-hero ensemble" genre you write (so well) for?
2.b) What modern works (be they film, television, literature, art, or not at all) do you draw inspiration from? Or just like?
3.) Over your career, you're written generally high-concept stories. Now more than ever, it seems like high-concept stuff has entered the mainstream (aliens, super-heroes and giant transforming robots running around everywhere). Since everyone's playing in the same sandbox artistically, does that make it more difficult to come up with original ideas? Without subverting or straight-up parodying the genre you're writing in?
4.) How do u rite so gudd? What would you recommend to new, ambitious writers, to help us learn to write with confidence and voice and stuff?
5.) Your decision to skip ahead 5 years (in YJ) shocked me, upset me and piqued my interest. I've never seen a show jump so much time, so I'm very excited to see how you all bridge the two season together. How did you let the studio powers-that-be let you take such a big narrative risk? Was it a big struggle?
Thanks for (presumably) taking the time to read and answer my questions. I love that Ask Greg makes it so easy to reach out to an artist I admire, whose work I respect. I'm the biggest fan ever of everything you've ever done, yadda yadda more accolades, etc. But really, you are an inspiration.
2a. We were WAY done by the time I'd seen the movie.
2b. Check out the "INFLUENCES" archive here at ASK GREG.
3. I'm not sure you're defining "High Concept" correctly. I think you mean "genre" has entered the mainstream. In any case, I just don't think in those terms. I'm just trying to tell good stories.
4. READ the classics. WRITE a lot. Proofread scrupulously. Get yourself VERY educated. Read newspapers. Etc. Or check the ASK GREG archives for a more complete answer.
5. No struggle. Everyone loved the idea.
I was having a religeous debate at work today with a staunch Christian. Long story short, she got to "Remember David Versus Goliath?" and I said to her, "Hold it. I know full well about them but the only Goliath I care about is eight feet tall and lavender."
And then it hit me: David V. Golaith. I never, ever thought of that connection before... so I check the Archive and sure enough I was right. It was intention, you said.
I get their relationship now on a different level... Very clever! :)
I know a lot of people consider Gargoyles to be an anti-Disney show due to its dark tone, but I think it actually has a lot of similarities. Both Gargoyles and other Disney films adapt mythology and famous stories in their own ways, while featuring strong emotions and conflicts(okay, those might be a bit general).
My question is, did Disney storytelling have an influence on the making of Gargoyles, and the eventual integration of different mythologies?
I'm sure it did, since I grew up on Disney movies. But we weren't consciously trying to either DO DISNEY or NOT DO DISNEY. We were just doing GARGOYLES.
I hope you don't shut down the site, it's excellent being able to reach out to a creator I so admire and discuss their work. On that subject, I was wondering who are some of your influences are as a writer (obviously Shakespeare). Which writers serve as your models or inspiration for plotting stories, writing dialogue, and the writing process as a whole?
Are you familiar with / a fan of Joss Whedon's work? Between Gargoyles and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you two wrote characters facing some similar challenges (tormented individuals, tragically and unwittingly bound to each other, frequently dealing with the burden of immortality). Obviously Gargoyles came first, I've just noticed you two writing about many of the same themes, and was wondering if you enjoy or find inspiration in his work in general.
Assuming I am granted it, thanks for your time!
1. This has been answered before. Please look at the "INFLUENCES" section of the ASK GREG archives.
2. Yes, as even a casual glance at the topics in the archive would indicate, e.g. "Buffyverse Geek-Out".
Hey man, been a big fan of Gargoyles since my early childhood days, and have been following your work from Spectacular Spider-Man to Young Justice.
My question refers to the primary antagonist of the Gargoyle universe, David Xanatos. What was the inspiration for you to create such a complex gray villain? Also, where'd the name come from for Xanatos too?
1. The most immediate inspirations were Captain Hook/Duke Igthorn mixed with a healthy dose of General Wade Eiling, plus some Bruce Wayne and Captain Kirk.
2. The name is a variation on Thanatos, the greek god of death. It also is a real name you can find in most phone books. Assuming you can find a phone book.
Just watched Performance and liked it a lot. I'm glad to see an episode focusing on Robin. Just curious was Robin's laugh inspired by the Shadow of pulp/radio fame?
Well, the Shadow's up there in my brain, but I really don't think so. It's inspired more by his youth and irrepressibility.
Hi Mr. Greg Weisman,
I have been a fan of yours since Gargoyles. One of the things that interest me is the basic structure of the themes and world building in the series. One of the styles I see continue to pop up in your series is the relationship between science and sorcery. This is something I have been a fan of in comics like Iron Man and Fantastic Four (specifically Dr. Doom versus Reed Richards). I love the simple explanation that energy is energy.
1. Now I didn't see much of this argument come up in your Spectacular Spider-Man series, because Peter debunked Mysterio, but can you say that you ever planned to and who you would've used to explore that science versus mystic aspect?
2. I am upset that directors such as Jon Favreau and Shane Black have knocked down the very idea of Mandarin showing up as not to approach the so-called mystic aspect. Though, it could be be alien in origin or something, as they claim and prove that even super-science isn't allowed in the MCU. Have you read and understand the Iron Man comics specific to Mandarin and Tony's relationship to science versus sorcery? Was it influential at all in your writing?
1. Well, we had Calypso. I'm not going to get into much beyond the fact that we would have explored her character more.
2. I'm not sure specifically to what you're referring. I've read comics from the 60s, 70s and 80s with Iron Man and Mandarin. Probably nothing more recent than that. In any case, I don't think it influenced me much if at all.
Did you name the London Clan's magic shop, Into the Mystic, after the Van Morrison song?
I didn't name it. I assume either Gary Sperling or Robert Cohen named it.
Though I haven't seen "Coldhearted" yet, I've read a bit about it, and learned that Perdita originated in a Green Arrow story that you wrote a couple of years ago, meaning that you created the character. Did you name her after the Perdita of "The Winter's Tale"? (I thought it likely, given your fondness for Shakespeare, but wanted to make certain.)
Yes. The Lost Girl.
More a philosophical question than one about any of your work (although it does relate to some of your characters):
What is your opinion of Friedrich Nietzche's quote "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you"? How do you think it relates to superheroes, and characters who struggle against "evil" in general? I'm very interested in your input on the subject.
I buy into it 100%. Doesn't mean every good guy goes bad, but every good guy's going to - at the very least - have those moments where it could go either way.
I have a MacBeth question this time. You mentioned a while ago that MacBeth has worked as a stage actor in the past. I thought that was such an interesting tidbit about a guy we don't necessarily know a ton about. Was that you idea, and if so, what inspired it?
You also mentioned that you saw MacBeth as acting in a lot of George Bernard Shaw plays probably. Why is that? Shaw was pretty political - do you think that influenced MacBeth's decision to do those plays?
1a. It just felt right. Plus I like the idea of him collaborating with Shakespeare.
2. Yeah. It just felt like Shaw's work would appeal to Macbeth.
I recently saw this line from an interview with Steven Bochco in the early 80's, talking about Hill Street Blues (which currently has its first two-and-a-half seasons on Hulu Plus, by the way):
"Maybe the biggest problem with Hill Street, in terms of popular success, is that it is a show that demands to be watched. And most people do not watch television. They simply are in its presence."
I love that quote. What an insightful way to encapsulate about what was essential and great about Hill Street Blues, without going into all the details of what made it so outstanding. Just leave at this: unlike nearly anything before it, in many ways it was a show that demanded to be watched. I think that characteristic also applies to Gargoyles as well, no doubt due to the major influence Hill Street Blues had on the show (as you've often mentioned).
Nowadays, that quality, of being a show that "demands to be watched," is characteristic of so many excellent shows that appear on HBO, Showtime or AMC (before hitting DVD boxsets and iTunes), places where popular success isn't the one and only yardstick. And again and again, we've seen how this kind of series can flourish in the atmosphere of creative freedom offered by these outlets.
Can viewers hope that someday soon, that kind of environment will produce an animated serial drama that has the same level of quality, complexity and acclaim as these channels' current headline series? If so, what might it take for that to happen?
Hey, Zach. Long time no see. I'd heard that quotation about Hill Street before, and couldn't agree more.
I appreciate you think Gargoyles falls in the same category. It's flattering and certainly what we strived for. I don't pretend that we were as good as Hill Street Blues, but no one can accuse us of not going for it.
As to your question, I like to think that W.I.T.C.H., Spectacular Spider-Man, Young Justice and Young Justice: Invasion also qualify. At least at Gargoyles' level. So I think it's already possible. But that's just my - apparently not so - humble opinion.
Recently, somebody asked you if you were familiar with C. S. Lewis' work, and you said "No", apart from seeing a couple of adaptations of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe". I thought that you might like to know that Lewis and Roger Lancelyn Green were friends, and that it's thanks to Green that "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" was finished and published.
When Lewis was writing "Lion", he read some of it to J. R. R. Tolkien; Tolkien had done the same to him with "The Lord of the Rings" when he was writing it, and Lewis wanted to return the favor. Tolkien thought that "Lion" was dreadful, however, and made that clear. Lewis was so saddened by Tolkien's critique that he considered abandoning the story, but first read it to Roger Lancelyn Green. Green told him, "No, this is a great story, you mustn't drop it," and his words encouraged Lewis to complete the story and get it published.
Green also included a tribute to Lewis in his King Arthur book. One of Lewis's fantasy novels for adults, "That Hideous Strength" had Merlin awakening in the modern world to help the main characters defeat an Illuminati-type organization; Lewis had Merlin sleeping beneath a forest called Bragdon Wood. In Green's "King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table", one of the places where Merlin is said to be sleeping is "beneath the Wood of Bragdon". Since you especially liked Green's book on King Arthur (and even drew on it for Blanchefleur, and Percival's parentage), I thought you might enjoy hearing about that (and I hope the Wood of Bragdon wasn't on your list of places for King Arthur and Griff to visit during their search for Merlin, since it was Lewis' invention!).
I did not know about the Green/Lewis connection. I did know about Tolkien/Lewis, but this is great additional info. Thanks.
A Young Justice related question that, rest assured, is not fishing with poor bait.
I've been thinking about the Light lately and, without posting my own speculation, one thing I really like about them is how much the concept seems to embrace the inherent absurdity of the DC universe. I can tell from observation that the Light is probably a fairly diverse group of people (and rightfully so, as this uses the DC universe to its vast potential). And I can't help but be fondly reminded of the Legion of Doom, the villainous alliance from the Superfriends animated series.
Though the Light is written with a much more sophisticated sensibility than the Legion of Doom, I can't help but feel they have a strong similarity. This isn't a slant against Young Justice at all, because I feel the Light uses this similar dynamic to its own unique way that I absolutely adore. But I do have a question, and luckily it has nothing to do with your future intent or anything like that.
Was the Light, on some level, inspired by the Legion of Doom? That is, the Superfriends group of villains who operated together despite their vast differences in genre identity (as an example, Scarecrow the grounded criminal alongside Bizarro the mirror universe Superman in Superfriends). Or was such an organization just a logical extrapolation from the setting that wasn't really meant to homage this group?
Question received on Wed, October 20, 2010 11:06:14 PM
Clark Cradic writes...
Did you like the original Legion of Doom?
As I mentioned before, I get all the names mixed up: Legion of Doom, Injustice League , Injustice Unlimited, Injustice Society, Secret Society of Super-Villains, etc.
I can't quite remember which group consisted of which villains and/or appeared in which series or story.
So the short answer is I like the idea of the villains teaming up, but I can't address the specifics without a more specific reference.
Response recorded on November 12, 2010
Took me less than a minute to find that, btw.
Anyway, they all blend together for me. I think the cartoon would have been less of an influence than the comics. But it's all in there.
Heya Greg! I have a quick question RE a fairly obscure adaption of the Arthurian mythos and your knowledge there-of.
Have you ever seen the episode of the '80s Twilight Zone series called "The Last Defender of Camelot"? If you haven't, to give an explanation without spoiling too much, it involves Lancelot, Morgan La Fay, Merlin and a modern boy named Tom *cough cough*. I was a little surprised to see many of the key themes that show up in Gargoyles, such as immortality, and how power and good intentions can lead one astray.
If you haven't seen it, and it wasn't an influence, I'd recommend checking it out if you should get the chance. Despite a certain cheestasticness and pretty bad special effects, there's some really solid and interesting writing.
It just struck me as an odd coincidence how the tone reminded me so much of Gargoyles at times (in the best possible way. It brought a smile to my face.) Though working from the same source material, not to mention pretty universal themes, some similarities would be inevitable. I guess I'm just curious as to whether it was kismet, or a case of one work having an influence, however small, on the other.
I wish you all the best and am waiting with bated breath for Young Justice's premiere!
I have seen the episode... or at least a chunk of it... but only recently. It didn't influence Gargoyles, though I'm sure both had common influences.
In response to Matthew and also to your answer earlier concerning "All You Zombies," doesn't changing what he did (let alone preventing his own birth) also change history? It is part of the past that the character said certain words in a certain order, and not other words. If he chooses to change the words, he must change history also. Isn't this true of Demona in Vows as well? But in Gargoyles, history cannot be changed.
The reason I focused on whether or not the character remembers the words spoken to their past selves is this: when Demona shows up with the Phoenix Gate, the events of her encounter with herself have not actually happened yet. So they appear not to be predetermined. But she remembers what she her future self said to her when she was on the receiving end, and she remembers watching her future self kick Goliath. The events are already in her memory, and therefore part of the history she has already participated in. If she remembers the events, then either her memories are wrong (and were wrong all along) or else the events were part of history. The other possibility I can think of is that when she went back in time, she temporarily forgot her previous encounter with her future self and was free to make it up from scratch.
What I don't follow is how she (or Heinlein's protagonist) can choose not to play along without altering history.
Nothing prevents you from TRYING to change history. Succeeding is something else. Nothing prevents you from trying to jump off a cliff in order to fly under your own power. Succeeding at flying under your own power is something else.
Again, free will is NOT the same as sudden control over things you never had control over.
There's no forgetting in a mystic sense going on with Demona. (No making it up from scratch.) But it has been a thousand plus years. Her memory is good, but not photographic. She tries to make some changes, and no changes are made. They can CHOOSE not to play along. But they DIDN'T choose not to play along. It's a loop. The fact that the CHOICE itself is part of the loop doesn't negate the choice.
If you're falling off that cliff (not flying) and AT THAT POINT choose not to jump... well, it's a little late. But the fact that you can't change it halfway down the mountain doesn't negate the fact that you made a choice in the first place.
In an earlier post the discussion was about Robert Heinlein's "All You Zombies..." and whether the protagonist had free will or was predestined to carry out his actions in the story. You said he could have chosen to do otherwise. I agree, but I'd like to point out that it wasn't much of choice. If he did not he would not have been born. So whether not he had free will, he had to do what he did to ensure his own existence.
If existence mattered that much to him. Like any of us, sometimes the choices we're presented with aren't particularly appealing. You're in a burning building. You can jump to your death or burn to death! Choose! (Yeah, not fun. But you get the idea.) Having free will doesn't make you omnipotent in real life, so why would it make you omnipotent in a time travel story?
Thanks for your response to my religion comment. You said that in some Bible passages, the Hebrew God is depicted in a way that you called "geotheistic." What do you mean by this? That in some passages the deity is represented, not as the supreme God of the whole universe, but just the supreme deity of a particular region or human group?
Exactly. There are without a doubt passages in the Old Testament at least where the existence of other gods is not questioned. Just their potency relative to the God of the Hebrews. Egypt has gods in some passages of Exodus. They're just weak and impotent relative to the God of Moses.
I studied this once upon a time. But it's been a LONG time. (And hell, I just turned another year older.) So I can no longer quote chapter and verse. But I know it's in there.
I imagine that you had to read alot of comics when making shows like Young Justice or Spiderman. So did you get those comics for free from the Marvel and DC saying you needed them to help with the shows or did you have to go out and buy?
Mostly, I went out and bought. Alan Burnette had a backlog of Young Justice comics he lent me, i.e. a bunch of individual issues, not always consecutive. Maybe a couple other things here and there. But mostly, I'm outlaying on my dime to do the research.
A comment this time, rather than a question. One of my favorite details in the "Stone of Destiny" story was Macbeth's presence at the Battle of Bannockburn. It recently occurred to me that this might be an example, if a subtle one, of the time-honored motif of a legendary hero from long ago who returns to his country to aid it in a time of need.
The concept has attached itself to King Arthur, of course, and his return has featured in "Gargoyles" (if with a premature re-awakening). The returns of the Golem and Cu Chullain, elsewhere in the Avalon World Tour, also evoke it. For that matter, I remember your once saying that the Avalon gargoyles looked upon Goliath (from what they had learned of him through their human guardians) as a great sleeping hero who would one day awaken and return if ever they needed him - and he did indeed return in their hour of need, when the Archmage attacked Avalon.
I also recall, outside of "Gargoyles", the legend that Theseus returned to aid his fellow Athenians against the Persians at the Battle of Marathon (and Mary Renault including it in her Theseus novels) - which forms a great parallel here to Macbeth's presence at Bannockburn, both cases of a desperate struggle against an invading army.
At the same time, your use of the "return of the king" motif for Macbeth's participation at Bannockburn (assuming you had it in mind at the time) came with a twist. Macbeth returns incognito; so far as we know, none of the other Scotsmen taking part in the battle know that he's fighting alongside them. Robert the Bruce is the Scottish king who will be associated with the victory (deservedly, of course, from what I've read about the battle). No chronicle or legend even hints at his presence there. As far as we know, only he knows that he was there (we don't know if Shari knows or not; the panel depicting him at the battle is in one of her stories, but she does not mention him in the text itself). The king returned to aid his country in need, but in secret, his presence unremarked on.
Very cogent analysis.
I read "All You Zombies" by Heinlein a while ago, based on your recommendation that it demonstrated working paradoxes in time travel, and although it was not recent I decided to finally type up and share what I thought from reading it. First of all, the story creeped me out!
But what I'm writing to you about is free will. Did the main character of that story have free will? On the surface at least, it appears to me that he did not for much of the story. He clearly remembered everything that had happened to him, yet he did not have to option not to seduce himself, or not to catch take past self back in the time machine, nor could he choose to change what he said and did in that bar when he was the bartender. When interacting with his past self, I think he had no choice but to say and do exactly what he remembered seeing his future self doing and hearing his future self saying.
He did have options regarding abducting the baby, mainly because he didn't remember being abducted, but one way or another he had to abduct that baby or get someone else to abduct her: he only had options in how he did it. This is comparable to Goliath time-travelling with Griff in M.I.A. Goliath could not possibly get Griff back to his clan in the 1940s, but he had plenty of options of what he could do instead. In that situation Goliath had far more options than the character in "All You Zombies" had when abducting the baby, but still this is a situation with free will.
But what options does a character really have when meeting their past self, if they DO remember the entire encounter? This is apparently what happened to Demona in Vows. She remembered Goliath's "little speech" (or maybe she was lying to him or to herself, but let's assume she was telling the truth this time) and so she must have remembered what her future self said and did. Does that mean she had no free will to change the encounter with her past self when she went back in time? For example, did she really have free will to change what words she said, or not to kick Goliath? It appears to me that this is a situation where she didn't have free will. When the Archmage(+) told his past self that the future is a place of science, not superstition, and that Demona and Macbeth were only "cannon fodder" he couldn't even have understood what he was saying, let alone invented it himself. In fact his entire bizarre mini-timedance seems to abrogate his free will, because as he said "I should (know what to do), I watched you do it."
Demona's PAST self certainly had free will in Vows, since she did not yet remember the encounter. Likewise, the Archmage clearly had free will during his first pass through his time loop. I would think that any time a character is in a stable time loop, they have free will as long as they are unaware of what "already happened." But when they do remember what happened because their past self is there at the scene, they don't have the option to change what already happened. They already KNOW what happened. If they already know what words they spoke to their past self, then those words are something they remember, not something they are thinking up freely, and they donât have the option of saying anything different from what they remember.
Am I missing something?
I tend to disagree with you about the free will thing. Heinlein's character could have chosen NOT to cooperate with his memories. Either because he liked the end result or because he felt oppressed by the inevitability of it all (or some other reason I can't think of at this moment), he CHOSE to play along.
Again, Free Will doesn't mean you get to live the life you want to lead. It means that at best you have the option of STRIVING for the life you want to lead. But some people use their free will to conform. Doesn't mean it's not a choice.
Now, that raises the obvious question: what would have happened to Heinlein's character, to Demona, to the Archmage had they chosen NOT to play along. We'll never know.
Hello again Greg,
This isn't so much a question as it is a comment/ramble on the subject of religion in Gargoyles.
In the past you've stated that you prefer not to confirm or deny the existence or non-existence of the Abrahamic monotheistic God in the Gargoyles Universe, and that you don't wish to define or describe GOD in the Gargoyles Universe as being specifically Abrahamic. I think that this is a wise decision. Many television or book series set in the real world have some take on the supernatural and spiritual; often they take one single religion to focus on as being "true." In my opinion this is usually fine for fiction, as long as the "incorrect" religions aren't depicted as being evil or a one-way ticket to Damnation; but it is a more difficult task to create a universe wherein all the religious beings exist, though not at all impossible! I've never been willing to accept any religion's claim of being The Only Truth No Matter What, including my own religion. (I find it interesting that you've comented on the Biblical God as being "geotheistic.") I also like that no episode ever makes explicit whether the Third Race are or are not divine. They clearly exist, but their religious significance (if any) is left for viewers to decide. Supernatural and magical things and beings exist in Gargoyles, but without eliminating the ambiguity of the real world.
But I'm wondering if you planned how you will handle the omnipotent Allmighty God(s?) in other monotheistic religions, such as Sikhism and some indigenous African religions. I think some forms of neo-Paganism may monotheistic as well, having an Allmighty Goddess or Creator. I think it would be only fair to have the same consideration towards the Allmighty of any religion that includes belief in such, but that's my opinion. And I don't know if you've thought about this yet.
Hinduism also has monotheistic denominations or forms. There are the many Hindu deities, and this makes the religion appear polytheistic, but not all the gods are the same. The Trimurti (Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma) and Krishna (an Avatar of Vishnu) sometimes appear as though they are just gods. But my limited understanding (not being Hindu), is that these four particular "creatures" are actually the names and manifestations of the Allmighty/Infinite/God/Creator of the Universe. Different sects or denominations consider one or another of these four to be THE God, while considering the other three to be alternative manifestations that the Creator sometimes takes. For example, the Vaishnava Hindus consider Vishnu the Omnipotent/Infinite God, creator, sustainer, and destroyer of the whole universe, and consider Krishna, Shiva, and Brahma to be manifestations in which Vishnu sometimes appears. I think Rama is also a manifestation or Avatar of Vishnu. In comparing Hinduism to other religions, at least some Hindus very much consider their concept of the Allmighty the equal of the Abrahamic God.
I can't ask how you would like to handle individual stories, since I know little about Biblical myths and almost as little about Hindu stories. I saw how Jacob was handled in the comic, but I don't know how that story was told in the Bible. But I'm a little curious what further thoughts you've had about this topic, if you feel like sharing.
Just to clarify, I believe God is presented as geotheistic in certain sections of the bible (parts of Genesis and Exodus especially) but not consistently throughout the bible. There are many chapters and verses where God is clearly presented monotheistically.
My basic fallback to your question is one word: research. If and when I start to deal with these issues, these cultures that I am less familiar with, I will first do a boatload of research (either myself or with the help of a research assistant like Kathy Pogge). Then I'll make decisions based on that research.
For example, I'm pretty well versed in the Judeo-Christian traditions. But when I set out to write in detail about the Stone of Destiny and how it might wind through those traditions, Kathy did a ton of research, and I reviewed it all and sorted through it and then made my decisions as to how I wanted to present things.
Very excited for your new series! Its good that you can move on to something else, especially after how spec spidey ended.
My questions are, how much have you watched of teen titans and justice league and JLU?
Will you watch the new ultimate spider-man cartoon when it comes out?
I've watched many Justice League, Justice League Unlimited and Teen Titans episodes (particularly from the early seasons of each) but not every single episode.
And, no, I won't watch Ultimate Spider-Man, though that's not a dig at it. If it's great, it'll just drive me crazy with envy. If it's not, it'll just drive me crazy with frustration. It's a no win proposition for me. So I might as well just avoid it.
I looked in the archives under "Influences" but didn't find anything on this, so I'm going to ask: Was the Beauty and the Beast TV series (1987-1990) in any way an influence in the creation of Gargoyles?
I'm a big fan of that BATB series (which starred Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman), and I've noticed it has certain elements/aspects in common with Gargoyles (like certain plot elements, similar settings, similar traits among certain characters, etc.)
I watched a bit of that series. Not religiously. But it's in there in my head, as are thirty other interpretations of Beauty and the Beast (from Disney) whether direct or 2nd generation.
Some time ago, I mentioned a book by Eleanor Prosser called "Hamlet and Revenge", which argued that Hamlet's goal to avenge his father on Claudius was not a righteous duty, but a misguided and dangerous quest. Recently, I thought about a passage in it in connection to "Clan-Building: Volume Two".
In one of the early chapters, the author discusses Kyd's "The Spanish Tragedy", one of the leading revenge-plays before "Hamlet". The protagonist, Hieronimo, is out to avenge the murder of his son Horatio. After discovering his son's body near the start of the play, he decides not to bury it until he can achieve his revenge, an act which, Prosser comments, would have unsettled the audience.
This reminded me of the scene in "Clan-Building" where, after Demona reports the slaughter of the Sruighlea cell by Constantine and Gillecomgain, True suggests that they hold a Wind Ceremony for the dead gargoyles, and Demona rejects it in favor of pursuing revenge on the humans who did the deed. I just thought I'd share it with you.
Thanks. I like the parallel a lot. And I agree with what it reveals about character... though I've never read "The Spanish Tragedy" unfortunately. At least not yet.
Are you a MARVEL or a DC?
And even if you aren't one or the other, did you like the movie "Watchmen?"
Was that particular comic book any good inspiration on the works you have done in this decade? And if so, who was a favorite character of yours from that particular story?
I'm both. I've worked for both companies, and even before that I was a fan of both sets of characters. When I was very young, I didn't even understand that they were too separate companies. I saw Superman team with Batman and Spider-Man team with Daredevil, and figured next issue I might see Daredevil team with Batman. Of course, I soon realized the truth, but it doesn't change the fact that I have an abiding affection for characters from both companies.
There were things I admired about the movie "Watchmen". But I thought Ozymandias was massively miscast, and that spoiled a lot of the film for me.
Watchmen's influence is probably in the mix somewhere, but I can't think of any specific way it has inspired me. As to my favorite character... I'm tempted to say Rorshach, but just because I donated his thumb prints to the original book.
Mr. Weisman, I was recently re-watching Excalibur (the bloody 1981 Arthurian adaptation), and was inspired to ask two questions of you:
1. When Quinevere is accused by Sir Gawain (whom I noticed was a young Liam Neeson) and Arthur is unable to act as her champion because the law demands he be her judge, he tells Quinevere (of her and Lancelot) "You are the two people I love most in this world." Having recently read Clan-Building Vol. 2, I was struck by the fact that this is what Peredur said to Duval and Blanchefleur, his wife and his best friend. Was that an intentional parallel, or is it just a coincidence?
2. The Excalibur film is noted for being one of the few Arthurian adaptations that didn't flinch from presenting the more violent and sexual aspects of the stories, which many other adaptations have glossed over or eliminated. I remember the copy my Father taped, and how he'd (roughly) attempted to edit the more graphic scenes (something my little brothers and I found amusing at the time). In his defense, we were quite young. But the question of how you'd have dealt with some of these aspects can into my mind. Obviously, even with the comic, you'd have to be more circumspect than an R-rated film, but even then, how much of, say Lancelot and Quinevere's infidelity would you have shown. Another example would be how Merlin arranged for Uther to be with Igraine, in return for their child (which, when I re-watched the film, couldn't help but remind me of Merlin's father and the events of The Gathering episodes). At the far end of the scale, some of the legend cycles have it that Arthur pulled a Pharaoh, ordering the death of the first-born in an attempt to eliminate a young Mordred, an act that, even in context of the time he lived in, makes him difficult to redeem. How much of these elements would have dealt with?
P.S.-In a previous post, I mistakely used "who's" when I should have used "whose." My apologies.
1. It was an intentional reference to the Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot relationship. Not necessarily a parallel. And not necessarily a specific reference to Excalibur, since I've seen those sentiments in many other Arthurian adaptations, including "The Once and Future King" and the musical "Camelot" which is based upon it.
2. Everything would have been dealt with. Whether "off-screen" or "on" is the question.
Just wanted to comment on the brilliance of the show, and you and your team being able to successfully weave different mythologies together to create a whole new mythology. It's works like that that inspire so many others to continue in the arts, whether it be writing, designing, or performing arts alike- myself included. So thank you for that and for continuing to share this amazing experience with us over a decade later. Whether or not we ever see the rest of the show released on DVD (or the next big media software), it is my belief that Gargoyles will continue to inspire all who have the privilege of watching.
Thanks. And I really liked your Oresteia too.
Dur, how did that happen? That comment about R.L. Green's other books retelling myths and legends was from me.
Chiming in after Todd's comment, R.L. Green also wrote books retelling Greek, Norse, Egyptian, and Biblical myths. I haven't ever read or seen any of them, I only saw numerous titles mentioned on Wikipedia and Alibris. Evidently he also has a Robin Hood book, and one named "Sir Lancelot of the Lake."
I've read the Greek book and I have the Robin Hood one but haven't had a chance to read it. I knew about the others, but haven't read them.
I checked out from the library today (I'd checked it out once before, but this time, I thought of mentioning it) a book by Roger Lancelyn Green called "Tales From Shakespeare", that retells many of the plays. (All of them comedies, tragedies, and romances: he doesn't tackle any of the histories, though in his retelling of "The Merry Wives of Windsor", he mentions near the start about Falstaff's association with Prince Hal.) Since you liked Roger Lancelyn Green's take on King Arthur (enough to even make it one of your sources for the "Gargoyles" take on him), I though that you'd be interested to know about it (assuming that you haven't heard of it yet).
I've heard of it, but haven't read it.
I just watch Gargoylese episode-future tense and I wonder if you have been inspired by x men -days of the future past storyline when you wrote that episode?
There is also a moment when brooklyn said that" thailog was killed during clone
wars"Was it intentional wink for star wars fans,or did you just wanted to gave George Lucas headache.
I appologise every Gargoyle if I made some mistakes in English.
Yes, as I've mentioned before, "Days of Future Past" was an inspiration for "Future Tense". The "Clone Wars" thing was a throwaway, though I have no interest in causing George Lucas headaches of any kind. And now the line has meaning.
In the scene in "The Gate" where Brooklyn scares the suspicious townspeople away from Mary and Finella, was the cry "Run away! Run away!" intended as a "Monty Python" allusion? (Especially since you'd done such an allusion in "Future Tense", with the Xanatos Program's "bite my knee-caps off" line.)
So, something a little different. Like you, I enjoy the work of William Faulkner immensely. I gained a taste for him in my senior year of High School when "Sanctuary" was on the curriculum.
So, if you had to pick a favorite novel written by Faulkner, which would it be? I have a soft spot for "Sanctuary" since it was my gateway book, even though the man himself said:
"To me it is a cheap idea, because it was deliberately conceived to make money. ... I took a little time out, and speculated what a person in Mississippi would believe to be current trends, chose what I thought would be the right answer and invented the most horrific tale I could imagine and wrote it in about three weeks and sent it to (Harrison) Smith, who had done 'The Sound and the Fury' and who wrote me immediately, 'Good God, I can't publish this. We'd both be in jail.'"
I also enjoyed "As I Lay Dying" quite a bit. I haven't read all his novels yet, and very few of his short stories. But I love what I have read.
Though the short story "Two Soldiers" is so perfect, I'd probably choose that even over Absalom...
1. You've often mentioned how you chose Tombstone as the new "Big Man of Crime" because the Kingpin was unavailable due to legal issues. What other characters besides Tombstone did you consider for this position? Also, is the phrase "Big Man" a title given out to whoever happens to be in control of New York's crime rings at the time and is passed on to their successor, (ie, like a king or queen) or is it an alias that is permanently attached to Tombstone? I've seen evidence to support both cases.
2. How exactly does Doc Ock get dressed in the morning? The part of his harness that lines up with his spine clearly goes on underneath his clothing but the ring around his waist goes overtop of everything else. Can the harness still open up in front or is that fused shut too? Just watching Ock go through his morning routine would probably clear most of this up, plus the notion of him using his tentacles to brush his teeth is just hilarious. (Just be glad I'm not asking how Rhino goes to the bathroom.) I also assume that for the duration of Season 2 he's had enough time to acquire or build a new power source for his harness that can last for years at a time?
3. You burned down the Big Sky Billiard lounge! I loved that place. Every comic book needs a place where the supervillains can go for some downtime and hang out. Please, I know you don't want to spoil anything you have planned for season 3 but at least give us a vague hint that we'll get to see a new "Bad Guy Bar."
4. Is Chameleon's white visage a mask that he wears with other masks going on top of it, or is that actually his face after being surgically altered to have any distinguishing features like a nose and ears removed? Typically one would expect a face-changer to remove as much of their original face as possible and then add on top of that as needed, (just look at Metal Gear Solid's Decoy Octopus, the guy shaved down his cheek bones and cut off part of his nose and ears.) Wearing two masks doesn't seem to be that effective since you're doubling the amount the disguise is lifted above your actual face.
5. Exactly how long has Norman been inhaling the gobulin green? I'd assume he'd either start as soon as he'd invented the stuff, shortly after he was nearly killed by a giant geriatric buzzard and wanted to make sure he didn't have to rely on Spidey the next time something similar happened, or shortly after his first dealings with Hammerhead when he started planning to overthrow the Big Man. By the way, what kind of guy develops an experimental highly dangerous performance enhancing drug and then brings it home to show his family and then just leaves some lying around where his son can start chugging the stuff without anyone noticing it's gone?
6. We didn't see much of Aunt May in Season 2, but with so many characters floating around this isn't too surprising. If May does play an important role in any season three episodes is she going to get a spot in the opening credits for that episode?
7. When comparing animated shows through the years there doesn't seem to be a large change in the style and tone from the 1960's through to the late 80's. All the animated shows had a simplistic plot and generally weren't mentally demanding. However sometime in the early/mid 90's we started seeing shows like Fox's Spider-man, Batman The Animated Series, Reboot and Gargoyles, all of which felt more sophisticated than earlier shows and had such features as real character development and story arcs that could last through a season. Somehow I have a hard time imagining an episode like "Lethal Force" being done on G.I. Joe. As someone who has been in the industry a while did you notice a change in attitude from networks or executives towards animation at around that time? When producing Gargoyles did you find that in general people were more willing to let you attempt making a show with more mature themes relative to what you had done before?
8. Should Spiderman not get a third season or become cancelled for certain after season three wraps up, how likely is it that production could continue on direct to DVD movies? Generally speaking is it easier to convince producers or whomever to greenlight a single movie length piece of work comparred to an entire season of an animated show?
1. No one really. Tombstone was pretty much my instant second choice to replace Kingpin. And as for the "Big Man" title, I've seen evidence to both sides too.
2. I'm mostly content to leave Ock's morning routine to your imagination. As for his power-pack, he has had time to find one that lasts a long time. But he still NEEDS the power-pack. The arms won't function without it.
3. Yes, eventually.
4. Again, I'll leave this to your interpretation.
5. As you indicated, he started immediately after surviving Vulture's attempts on his life. He did not like feeling that powerless.
7. I think Batman the Animated Series was a revelation to many of us, and gave us the courage and evidence of success that allowed us to at least attempt to match or better that great series. Simpsons helped too, as did Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Little Mermaid (the movie), and to a lesser extent The Great Mouse Detective. Animation seemed to be in something of a renaissance. But it shouldn't have been surprising. A generation of multi-discipline writers and artists who grew up on cartoons, comic books and genre fiction -- creative types who had learned to be discerning readers and viewers -- began to execute the kinds of shows they wanted to see. As for Gargoyles specifically, the miracle wasn't that people let me do what I wanted, but that they left me alone, which allowed me to do what I wanted. A subtle distinction, I know. But a significant one.
8. If we got cancelled or not picked up after Season Two is done airing, it would, I believe -- despite all evidence to the contrary and no matter how unfair that perception might be -- put the stink of failure on the series. Which would make it hard to get a greenlight on a DVD.
Just wanted to thank you for answering my last question... :) ... and ask you another.
Throughout the run of Gargoyles there were numerous references to various works of literature in its many forms (classic literature, Shakespearean works, philosophy and politics, comic books and graphic novels, horror, gothic romance, science fiction, fantasy, world mythologies, etc.). I recall being an avid fan of all of these literary genres or categories when I was very young, but Gargoyles certainly helped to further interest me in them. Other than the obvious works that you've made allusions to in the series, what do you like to read?
Lots of stuff. I'm listening to Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations" on CD in my car these days, and LOVING IT! (Of course, I've read it at least twice before.)
Generally, I read a lot of detective fiction, with my favorite author being Ross MacDonald. And as I've stated before, I'm a huge William Faulkner fan.
More Spidey questions!
1) Regarding JJJ: I think Daran Norris does an amazing job in the voice role, but i'm wondering if you ever considered having J.K. Simmons reprise the role.
2) With John Jameson, why did you choose him to fill the role of a rival hero? And why did you make Colonel Jupiter rather than, say, Man-Wolf?
3) The influence of Stan and Steve's work, the Ultimate line and the films is clear in the show. Did earlier Spider-Man programs influence it at all?
4) Regarding Green Goblin: Did you ever consider using the Ultimate demonic design or the movie's armored design or did you always want to use the classic Halloween costume look?
5) If you had to choose, who has been your favorite villain on the show?
Once more, I thank you.
1. It was discussed, but Sony Features vetoed the idea, as they wanted the two casts to be distinct.
2. I love the original Colonel Jupiter story from the Lee/Romita Sr. run of The Amazing Spider-Man. You should check it out.
3. I'm sure the 60s show is a deep influence, as I inhaled that series as a kid. But I consciously chose NOT to go back and rewatch it, so my memories of it are a bit vague. I'm not personally all that familiar with the other animated incarnations. I don't think I've seen more than an episode or two of any other version.
4. Classic. Always.
5. But I don't have to chose.
Their are obvious character similarities between Demona to the marvel comic book characters Magneto and Mystique. Was that intentional? Certainly physically Demona is a wringer for Mystique.
I don't think there was ANY attempt to make Demona intentionally look or behave like Mystique. Magneto probably was something of an influence on me to some small degree, but I think the similarities are more superficial than deep. They don't really strike me as having much in common in terms of psychological make-up.
Greetings from Spain, Greg :)
I've been gliding through the archives in the hopes of finding something, anything, that can help me remember what my absolutely vital question was las time Ask Greg was open (Ask Greg closed before I could submit it). I'm sure it was something super boring about insights and Gargoyle psychology (especially Goliath's, I find him complex and amazing) but well. I'll have to stick to the rant that went with it and spare you the question :D.
You've heard all kinds of praises and ear-candies about you and the show by now, so I really don't want to be boring and repetitive.But the fact is that more than twelve years after the show was first aired here, I'm still as hooked as I ever was. If not more. I was in college then (imagine, I'll love watching cartoons till the last day :D) and I couldn't believe how good that episode of this Gargoyles thing I randomly caught one day was. I ended up rushing out of classes for the rest of the term, not to miss a single episode more.
You've explained before how you really feel that the story it's out there somewhere, and you tapped into it, somehow. I understand what you mean. It feels that way. Exactly that way.
The characters are so dimensional that they make the story so intense and...well, real. To the point that I'm not only positive about it being the best tv show I've ever seen, but also feels like one of the best readings. Your story is better than 80% of the books I've read in the last, say, 12 years. One almost yearns for something like Gargoyles happening to the world, with the same intensity which half the female population around the world dreams of finding Mr. Darcy... And that is something I truly thank you for.
Goliath and Elisa deserve a special mention. I don't think I've fallen so in love with a fictional couple since..well..Mr. Darcy here and Elizabeth (mm..actually I think I might have subconsciously matched the two brooding heros with the two strong-willed women, even though their stories are so different..). No wonder Elisa couldn't get herself off Goliath's hook and viceversa. And by the way, going through the archives, I read something about clan wind ceremonies on Elisa's dying. I'm amazed, I couldn't even picture it. It's so sad, one or the other dying, that even if intellectually it's something obvious, I really don't want to know that far. Pretty childish of me I guess but, well. I want some things eternal :D
For a Gargoyles unconditional, I guess I was born in the wrong country, lol. But one day, who knows! I just hope Gatherings are still happening.
Thank you so much, Greg, for a lot of reasons. Not only for the show and the comics and being here to feed the beasts from time to time, but for your dedication. For not giving up. For believing in what you do, and therefore allowing some of us to go along for the ride, and end up believing in what WE do (doomed-storyteller here :))
Wish you all the best, Greg, and I really hope you can find soon a way to let the story go on. The clan would want you to ;)
PS: Just so you know, I showed Awakenings to Tania, a dear friend, and she watched the entire show, plus TGC (which she didn't really enjoy as much, by the way) in less than ten days.
PPS: I hope my english was understandable enough, by the way!
Hey, I'll take all the Jane Austen comparisons (particularly favorable ones) that you want to dish. I'm a big fan. And I'm sure she was (at least) an indirect influence on my work.
And your English is just great. Thanks for all the kind words.
Greg, what films are you a fan of and how have they inspired and/or influenced your work on the creation of Gargoyles?
Uh, I'm not going to list all the films I like. That would take forever. There's no specific film that jumps out to me as a direct influence on Gargoyles, though as I've said before, television series including Gummi Bears, Bonkers and Hill Street Blues were major direct influences on Gargoyles. In any case, check the "Influences" archive here at ASK GREG for more info.
In "Avalon Part One", Tom is dubbed Guardian of the Eggs by Princess Katharine, in a manner that evokes being knighted - and is indeed depicted as dressed like a knight as an adult, as well as (while he's still a boy in Scotland, at the time of Constantine's coup) wearing a sort of medieval uniform marking his new position. Was there any influence here from his namesake, the boy Tom whom Arthur knights at the end of "The Once and Future King" and charges with keeping the memory of Camelot alive (a parallel that stands out all the more because of the Arthurian links in "Avalon"), or was this just a coincidence?
Definitely influenced. I don't think we were being subtle.
Just a comment on an archetype that seems to be a theme in your shows. I can't help but notice that the series you produce are populated by tricksters.
Puck is an obvious and classic example, the original trickster. Also, "Gargoyles" has Raven, Anansi, and Coyote who were also literal tricksters.
Beyond that, one of the lead villains, Xanatos, was a trickster... he even said so himself. That's an interesting choice of archetypes for the primary antagonist.
Thailog, while you've cited the bastard archetype often enough, outside of that, he seems like a trickster as well. Which makes sense since he was programmed by one. Granted, he's a more malevolent trickster than Xanatos, but he still displays those characteristics.
Meanwhile, over in in "Spectacular," you have Spider-Man as, perhaps, the most benevolent trickster you have yet to write. Fitting, he is the hero after all, and the people he acts like a trickster towards usually have it coming.
And, of course, you have a more sinister trickster in Green Goblin, hie arch-nemesis.
I know from personal experience how difficult tricksters can be to write, as I've often had to jump through hoops to do it right,
I haven't seen WITCH so I have no idea if this archetype shows up there or not. But it seems to me like the trickster archetype is a favorite of yours to write, and you do it so well.
So, does it just come naturally? Is Greg Weisman a trickster himself, or do you ever find yourself jumping through hoops as I sometimes do to create schemes worthy of the trickster you're writing?
There's some definite hoop-jumping going on. Personally, I'm more of a bastard than a trickster. But I do enjoy both archetypes, so I do the work to make them worthy.
You'll notice, however, that each of the tricksters you named, with the exception of Xanatos, were based on existing sources, which helps. As for Xanatos, he was a variation on General Eiling (from Captain Atom), who was more of a bastard. And Eiling, in turn, was loosely based on Captain Kirk, or rather a dark mirror of Kirk (and, no, that's not a reference to the "Mirror, Mirror," as the Mirror Kirk in that episode couldn't fool anyone).
Thailog is more in the classic bastard mode than the trickster mode -- at least in my mind -- though I'll admit there's definite overlap between the two archetypes.
While I was looking in the GargWiki for information about the Olympians, I saw that you wanted to know the Ancient Egyptian name for the Egyptian pantheon.
The word which can be translated as "god" is _netcher_ or _netjer_, feminine _netcheret_ or _netjeret_, plural _netcheru_ or _netjeru_. TCH and TJ are just ways to spell the CH sound at the beginning and end of English "church," without confusing it with the German or Greek CH. As with every Ancient Egyptian word, the vowels were never written down, so the vowels in netjer and netjeru are speculatively added to make N-TJ-R and N-TJ-R-W pronounceable.
Netjeru refers to all the deities, including large numbers of minor deities who are servants to the greater deities, and who are often referred to in English as "demons" or "spirits." Netjeru sometimes also include other beings: deified mortals, the _akhu_ or souls of the dead, and divine beings like Ammut and Apophis that were not worshipped. Netjeru can also include the _bau_, which are "manifestations or emanations" send forth from a deity.
I do not know if netjer was also used to refer to gods of other religions, but I'm guessing it was.
What I have told you comes from Richard Wilkinson's "The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt." In my non-expert opinion this is one of the best books on Egyptian Mythology that I have seen for the non-specialist.
Wow, that's seriously helpful, both the info and the reference book. I'm definitely buying that book! Thanks.
I saw Watchmen recently (awesome, by the way), and I just had to ask...
Was David Xanatos in any way inspired by or modeled on Adrian Veidt?
Not particularly, though of course I had read Watchmen -- in fact, I worked at DC Comics when it came out (and provided Rorshach's thumbprints) -- so it's possible that Veidt had a subconscious influence. But Xanatos has WAY less in common with Ozymandias, then he does with General Wade Eiling from Captain Atom.
This is a comment rather than a question.
A few years ago, I mentioned here that the medieval flashback scenes in "Awakening Part One" had reminded me, the first time that I saw them, of a PBS animated adaptation of David Macaulay's "Castle". Recently, I was rereading the book that the PBS program had been based on, and discovered that the castle in it (a fictional castle, portrayed as part of Edward I's castle-building program in northern Wales) was called Aberwyvern, and stood by the Wyvern River. I'm certain that it must have been a coincidence (I assume that when you came up with the name "Wyvern" for the castle in "Gargoyles", you were thinking of the two-legged dragon-like creature), but it still astonished me, and I wanted to share it with you. (And Edward I *does* have a link to the Gargoyles Universe as the man responsible for the Stone of Destiny's removal from Scotland to Westminster Abbey.)
I think Michael Reaves came up with the name Castle Wyvern. So you'd have to ask him what his influences were.
I was recently rereading Roger Lancelyn Green's retelling of the Arthurian cycle (it was the January 2009 book for an Arthurian book club that I recently joined), and found this passage at the end of the section on the Quest for the Holy Grail:
"But when the last battle had been fought and the realm of Logres was no more, Percivale's kingdom made still a little light in the darkness of a Britain conquered and laid waste by the barbarians." (p. 248 of the old Puffin Books edition I bought as a boy).
Was this passage the inspiration (or at least, *an* inspiration) for your idea of Percival/Duval founding the Illuminati?
As many of you know, perhaps my favorite television series of all time is HILL STREET BLUES. A couple years ago, the first season was put out on DVD. There was no marketing that I noticed... but there was a bit of publicity. A year later the second season came out. This time no marketing and no publicity. Also, I'm GUESSING, not much in terms of sales -- as the third season isn't on the schedule. I've signed up at Amazon to be notified if-and-when it is released...
I bring this up, since it allows me to do a few things:
1. SPREAD THE WORD! I encourage you all to buy the first two seasons of Hill Street Blues. This was one of the truly seminal shows in television history, brilliantly written and acted and directed and a HUGE, HUGE influence on Gargoyles. Like Gargoyles it created a tapestry, a world of characters. Very much worth your time and disposable income.
2. CREATE A REALITY CHECK. For those of you who STILL seem to feel Disney is doing something unusual (let alone nefarious) in its treatment of Gargoyles, this is one of just many, many, many examples that demonstrates it's not. We can all sturm and drang about how business should be done, with marketing and publicity galore for every product, with a guarantee that once a company starts a project they must finish it (whether or not the economics justify it), etc. But the gnashing of teeth doesn't change the reality. Companies -- even companies as huge as Disney have LIMITED resources and must deal with the notion of OPPORTUNITY COST. So one company takes a flier on a Gargoyles DVD set, another takes one on Hill St. Both do fairly well in their first season releases, despite limited or no marketing and limited or no publicity. Both fair poorly in their second release. Both don't seem to rate a third release. It's sad. But it's life.
3. ENCOURAGE YOU TO SPREAD THE WORD! The best thing any one of you can do to help get the next release of ANY show you love -- short of spending your own money -- is to help us Spread the Word! About the DVDS, the comics, the Gathering. Oh, and about Hill Street Blues. (See, I practice what I preach!)
With that in mind, I depart in less than 48 hours for Chicago and my 12th Annual Gathering, followed immediately by a trip to Minneapolis for ConVergence (http://www.convergence-con.org/). I won't have internet access while I'm gone, but when I return I'll post my conjournalx2. I encourage all of you who are attending the Gathering to post/cut&paste their conjorunals, diaries etc. here to ASK GREG. It creates a central place where I can refer ignorant PTB-types. Also, if you see me at either con, please come up and say hello. I am notoriously bad with names, and I admit (with some embarrassment) that it often takes me two or three conventions to really nail a name down. But I do want to meet you, and I do want to get to know you. I'm not much at small talk, but I can talk about animation and comics and pop culture in general ad nauseum (just ask my wife).
My folks, Beth and the kids went to see a truly wonderful performance of "Big River" yesterday at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. "Big River" is of course based on "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn". Now keeping in mind that this is a show I've seen at least three times before, and that Huck is a book I've read at least four times, it stunned me that I NEVER noticed this fact before...
The girl that Huck has a huge unrequited yen for is named "Mary Jane Wilkes". And one of the women who takes Huck in at the beginning of the book is named "Miss Watson". It seems nearly impossible to think that the name "Mary Jane Watson" from Spider-Man wasn't lifted (consciously or otherwise) from Twain... I assume by Stan Lee (though possibly from someone else working at Marvel in those years).
How did this get by me?
Got "Bad Guys" #2 today. Here are a few comments on it.
Strong characterization for the members of the Redemption Squad, especially Yama. I liked how he was handled in it, especially the banishment scene and the remark that he had a "rigid and unforgiving" judge - himself. And his stiffly dignified response to Robyn's offer (as well as his wrath when she threatened his clan).
But the other members also had some great moments. Matrix's multiple heads all popping up to make their report to Dingo (just when you thought Matrix couldn't get any more bizarre....). Dingo commenting on how grating Robyn's brogue was (says the guy with the Australian accent). His way of introducing Matrix. His alarm when he learns that they're returning to New York, and Robyn's cool response.
The revelation that the bearded man entering the Labyrinth was Sevarius surprised me - but to add to that, we finally learn what Fang's real name is. (I immediately thought of Bill Sikes from "Oliver Twist" once I read that scene, but I don't know if you really did have Dickens in mind or if it's just a coincidence.) And who but Sevarius would deliver that "time to meet your maker" line to a Mutate?
I also enjoyed the various cameos: Vinnie (as misfortune-prone as ever), Brendan and Margot, Al, Claw, Shari.
Looking forward to #3 (especially since the other two Canmores will be guest-starring in it). Thanks for this issue, Greg!
Bill Sikes was an inspiration.
Which cartoons did YOU watch when you were younger? Did any of these inspire you?
I'm SURE I've answered this before, but...
I watched TONS of cartoons when I was a kid. And I'm sure MANY influenced me. The ones that seemed to most spark my imagination included...
THUNDERBIRDS (does Supermarionation count?)
FRACTURED FAIRY TALES
ROCKY & BULWINKLE
That's really just a partial list.
Was the structure of Gargoyle clans (in particular, children in common) at all influenced by Plato's ideal society in the Republic? Similarly, from where did Gargoyles derive their prediliction for protection? Sounds an awful lot like the Platonic guardians. Is this true, and if so, was it intentional?
More generally, what sorts of philosophical streams most strongly influenced your idea of the ideal gargoyle society?
Well... I read most of Plato's republic back in high school. I can't say my conscious memory of it is too clear at this point, but I suppose everything I do is the sum total of all that I've learned, so...
greg i dont know iff u will read this ortake it seriously ur great and im not just sayin that i have all the episodes where did you get the inspirtion for this samrt idea?
From actual gargoyles, largely. But for other influences, check the "influences" section of the ASK GREG archives.
Picked up my copy of Gargoyles #7 today. After all these weeks, it's finally here.
And, after the very mild disappointment I had with issue 6, it was worth the wait too.
More great story twists.
-I didn't see Maggie's pregnancy coming, oddly. Those were some great moments, with Talon and Maggie looking at each other like that.
-It was cool seeing Claw again, even if it was only for one panel, and he didn't do anything.
-The cover threw me off somewhat, which is a good thing.
-More Elisa and Goliath stuff. At least it's not too angsty this time.
-Does Goliath know that Brooklyn is bothered by B & A's relationship? I had the impression at first, when he looks over Brooklyn's shoulder at them, that he had a good idea. But then it occurred to me that Goliath may have been silently asking them to stay with his second. So which is it?
-Nice little Lex moments. I liked the expression on his face when he complains about 'I don't feel so hot.'
-On a semi-related note, who's this 'Amp'? Is Lex naming someone or simply giving them a nickname?
-I loved that MacBeth/King Arthur moment. Though I admit that, since I thought they left on good terms in 'Pendragon', I am a little confused. What's Arthur hiding/protecting? Also, since Arthur's here, kudos on introducing the new gargoyles at the end. And is that Griff behind Lex and Hudson?
-Nice throwback to the Cold Trio. And I'm eager to know what Xanatos, Coyote, and Coldsteel are up to. Whatever it is, it can't be good. Is this part of Xanatos' Illuminati assignment?
-The bits about Gathelus interested me greatly. Thanks, Greg. You made me want to do research on this guy.
As usual, Greg, you have left me with so many questions, and very few answers. Thank you.
The art was decent. Hedgecock has definitely come a long way since #1.
These are very minor things that I was able to let go of. They didn't really ruin my enjoyment too much.
-The biblical reference. Mainly because (and this is a self-personal quip. I'm not trying to offend anyone or push my beliefs.) I'm not really into religion. No offense.
-The constant time changes were a little confusing.
End the rant.
A near-perfect issue that I really enjoyed. Great writing, great story, and I loved the artwork. Plot threads left dangling, but then, I love being in suspense, so that was a big plus too. There were a couple of flaws, but I was able to ignore them.
What a hell of an great issue. I can't wait for #8. :)
Goliath now knows about Brooklyn's angst.
You don't have to be religious to appreciate the bible. I personally don't regard it as a religious text (for myself) -- but it's without a doubt a great repository for stories. It's definitely worth a read.
Finally got a hold of the issue today. My brother is passing on the spinoffs, but I'm still purchasing an additional copy for my friend. On to the comments.
It was certainly worth waiting for. It shows that the other characters can carry a series without Goliath and Company. My favorite moments include:
- Fang's "sensitivity" towards Dingo and Robyn's "spat" (who said he isn't observant).
- Dingo and Matrix's fight with Tasmanian Tiger. Reads a bit like an old super hero comic, and in a good way. Even though I started collecting in the late 90s, I tend to prefer the older comics with some exceptions.
- Dingo's reaction to learning of Matrix's insertion.
- What's the worst that can happen indeed.
As with Gargoyles #5, Karine did topnotch work on the art. Some questions.
1. I know that The Redemption Squad is based off the Dirty Dozen, but did DC Comic's Suicide Squad serve as any inspiration?
2. Is Tasmanian Tiger based off any particular super villain?
Keep up the great work.
1. It's not like I'm unaware of DC's Suicide Squad, but frankly I think both series were inspired by Dirty Dozen.
2. Not any one in particular.
Since your birthday's on September 28, I thought I'd share with you a piece of trivia I recently discovered.
I've been collecting Fantagraphics Books' reprints of "Peanuts", and discovered that on September 28, 1962, the "Peanuts" strip for the day was Snoopy pretending to be a gargoyle (the regular architectural variety, of course). In fact, it was one of three such strips (the other two were on September 27 and September 29 respectively). I thought you might like to know that. (If you'd like to see the strips, they're in "The Complete Peanuts 1961-62", on page 273.)
Very cool. Of course, 1962 was a bit before even my time, but I know I've seen Snoopy pose as a vulture, and I have a vague memory of him as a gargoyle. Maybe I saw it in a reprint edition.
Hey! Do you ever miss teaching in a classroom setting, like at a school? I seem to remember you saying that you taught English at a college. I am in the process of becoming a high school English teacher (though most people think I'm crazy to do so), & I was wondering what your favorite part was about teaching English, & what you might have done differently.
Thank you for your time and all that you do.
I do sometimes miss the classroom itself. But I hated reading papers. Once in a blue moon I'd read something that really... sang... but otherwise, it wasn't too fun. Even the good papers weren't exactly my idea of fun reading. Grading just isn't fun in general. But I like the classroom (most of the time). I guess it's the performer in me, maybe. But I liked imparting stuff too.
What might I have done differently? I don't know.
But I admire what you're doing. I had a number of great and very inspirational high school English teachers (Mrs. Diskin, Mrs. Wardlaw, Mr. West, Mr. Holmes, Mr. McGrew and Mrs. Wardlaw again) without whom, we would not be sharing this forum.
Hello again Greg,
I've been thinking about Greek mythology and the little glimpses we've seen of how it fits into the Gargoyles Universe (and hungering for more, of course! ;) ) I've gotten to wondering what books you've read about it, and which ones you liked the most? You've mentioned several times your particular fondness for Theseus (the bastard), and you and Todd have had conversations about favorite Arthurian books. Is Theseus your only favorite character in Greek Mythology, or are there any others?
I myself was first introduced to Greek myths as a child with the D'Aulaires book. I next read Edith Hamilton's book. Since then I've read bits and pieces of many books on the subject, but I've only read a few tragedies and the Odyssey from start to finish (I found the Odyssey pretty boring, at least in translation). So I guess I can't really say I have any favorite book on the subject.
Oddly, my favorite source for Greek Mythology I've used so far is not a book, but a website, www.theoi.com. (This will sound like an advert but I ~love~ this website) It's a very thorough collection of research and information about the Greek gods. It must have every god, spirit, monster, or giant ever, no matter how obscure. Perhaps this sounds strange (I hope it isn't presumptuous), but if you're ever looking for a great source about Greek Mythology for research, I think you'd find this website very useful.
What I like most about theoi is that it gives information in the form of quotes (translated of course) from lots of ancient texts, and provides all the different versions of each story and genealogy. Different ancient writers told different versions of the myths, and had different ideas about who was the son/daughter of who, but most print sources I've read only provide the most common version of each myth, or the one or two versions preferred by the author. So this is a source in which the information is minimally interpreted, so to speak, by intervening minds.
The big downside of this website is that it has almost no information about the heros and mortals, and even less information from archaeology. The webmaster is only just starting to add hero information. (I myself find gods much more interesting than heros, so I don't particularly mind). However, for the gods the information is excellent.
Theseus is my favorite character in Greek Mythology. I'll admit to having a fondness for bastards (in the literal sense) in literature/mythology. I'm fascinated with the archetype and its variations. Also the parallelism between Arthur and Theseus are quite startling to me.
The D'Aulaires' book is indeed one of my ALL TIME favorite books. Same with their book on Norse Gods & Giants. I still use both as a reference. Although I'm not generally a fan of Cliff Notes, I'll admit that their "Mythology" booklet is a VERY handy reference. I also have Robert Graves two volume book(s) on Greek Mythology, which has(have) been very useful. I've got a couple of geneology chart type books. But they're at home, and I'm at the office, and I don't remember the names of the authors or their exact titles at this moment. I've also read both the Iliad and the Odyssey. Probably liked 'em better than you did. A lot probably depends on which translation you read, I suppose. I might also recommend Isaac Asimov's Fantastic Voyage, a cool sci-fi take o the Odyssey.
I'm semi-familiar with theoi.com. I've used it on occasion. Though I guess I still prefer my books.
While the notion of mists surrounding the skiff on its journeys from and to Avalon during the World Tour was something that the story needed anyway, to give the proper sense of mystery about travelling to Oberon's isle and back again, I've sometimes wondered whether that concept was also intended as a visual reference to the title of Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Mists of Avalon". Do you know if the name of her book was an influence there (obviously not the book itself, since Bradley's Avalon is very different from the Avalon of "Gargoyles")?
I"ve never read Bradley's book. It was given to me as a gift, but I've been reluctant to read yet another modern treatment of the legend, so as not to color my own. Of course, I do know the title, so it's theoretically possible it influenced me, but I think it's much more likely that the choice was a pragmatic necessity combined with a cool moody choice.
About the Dracon and G. F. Benton name choice... I never stopped to think about it before.
And I have a pretty good guess where Cary might have gotten Benton from.
See, Dracon is pretending to be someone else, which is like an illusion. Another type of illusion is a hologram. The name of the man who invented the hologram is Stephen Benton.
Which is why it was chosen as the last name of the two sisters in JEM, the show you first wrote on with Cary. (The other Holograms last names, Leith and Elmsford, also come from pioneers in holographic tech FYI).
Or it could just be total coincidence...
You'd have to ask Cary.
I searched through archives and didn't seem to find this question answered anywhere. A world-wide vote was recently held for nominations for a new set of 7 Wonders of the World. Chichén Itzá happenned to win. I am wondering if Chichén Itzá in Mexico was an inspiration for the pyramid shown in "The Green".
To some extent, yes.
Was Una named after Lady Una from Spencer's The Faerie Queene, or simply because she was based on a unicorn?
Largely the latter, but I read Faerie Queene in college, so it may have been an influence.
My review for number four!...it's another long one.
Awesome story!! My favorite issue so far.
The interior art: well I have to say that Paniry(?) is a better comic artist than Hedgecock (though Hedgcock does do more detailed backgrounds.) From an artist's standpoint, the art is very good. Good fluid action sequences and nice facial and body expressions. Paniry has a better grasp on anatomy than Hedgecock as well. I don't mind the thick outlines. The one gripe I have is that Goliath looks a little too "Incredible Hulk" in some scenes-and Elisa, well she looks more like the REAL Princess Jasmine than Elisa in a Jasmine costume. I have some more thoughts on her costume later. Thailog and Angela look great throughout the book, as do the clones and mutates.
Evan's coloring is pretty decent. One thing though, why are Elisa's eyes blue?? And I could do without all the lens flares-and what's with the shiny white streaks in Goliath's hair?
Okay, sorry for that long babble-I'm an artist, so I'm anal about this stuff.
On to the story-(finally). So we start the book off with Yo' Mama jokes. I couldn't help groaning-oh it's the 90's! I like the kids' banter, though they look a little too "Mickey Mouse" cutesy to me. Also isn't Billy's hair blonde? Okay, I'll stop with the art, I promise :P I thought those Quarrymen were kids in costumes at first. Seriously though, I'de be more scared of those guys than of the gargoyles.
I really like the Hudson/Robbins scene. How awesome would it be to get halloween candy from a gargoyle? I love the panel with Bronx and Gilly sleeping by the fire. A dog is a dog no matter what it looks like! I have a feeling Robbins suspects Hudson is a gargoyle and is waiting for him to admit. I wonder why Hudson doesn't tell him though? Surely he's been in his company enough to know by now that Robbins wouldn't chase him out simply for what he is. Is that what Hudson is afraid of? I like his "mask" line though. It's so true-and it seems to be the theme of this issue (Where's the title?). Everyone wears masks-not just to hide their physical features-but also to hide their inner thoughts and feelings-to others and to themselves.
Ah, Margot and Brendan. I had always assumed for some reason that Brendan's last name was Yale. I guess they are not married. Love the Wizard of Oz costumes-particularly Angela's. Though Lex's choice is a bit creepy. Margot gets close and personal with Lex. For someone who's "seen these beasts up close" she can't tell he's a gargoyle when she's mere inches from his face. Which brings me to this thought; how dense are the people at the party that none of them seem to notice they have *real* gargoyles in their midst? I can understand the random party guests that don't get a good look at them--but those who go up to them like Margot and Morgan? No costume is THAT good. The wings, the tails, the feet. Morgan even *touches* Goliath. Does he suspect? It just seems odd particularly with the rumors that Xanatos harbors the gargoyles. Maybe I'm just being anal...
back to the story...Elisa shows up as Jasmine. We've got a theme here with the Disney Princesses. But is it really in Elisa's character to be dressed in such a skimpy outfit in public like that? I mean we hardly even saw her bare arms throughout the series. I see this as being much more out of character for her than when she breaks up with Goliath. Angela shows she has a bitchy side-it's great-she's not the sweet little angel so many people make her out to be. She's right to be annoyed at Elisa-I am too- but isn't Angela being a bit of hypocrite considering the way she and Broadway are around Brooklyn? She even seems to be flirting with him later on. I like how our heroines are showing flaws in their characters though-makes them more real.
I just love Judge Roebling here. I like how Greg takes all these bit characters we assume we'll only see once and brings them back and gives them personality. Robeling seems to have gotten in the bubbly a bit. His speech patterns remind me of Foghorn Leghorn lol. I love how he just comes up to Goliath and talks to him as if he's just like any other normal guy in the room. And I love the "wink wink nudge nudge" line. A reference to Monty Python? I have a friend who says that a lot and he likes both Monty Python and Gargoyles. This guy reminds me of him I guess. I like Goliath's terse "No!" when Roebling asks if Delilah is Demona. Goliath's in such a talky mood...One thing that is really missing from the comic books is tone of voice. I would like to hear how Goliath said "No!", how Brentwood said "free...will?" Oh well, I guess we just have to use our imaginations.
I love the akward moment when delilah talks about her genetic sources. She's so direct hehe, and then Elisa and Morgan show up. I think the term we are searching for during the party scenes is "Awkward." I love that long dark panel with just the four of them in the spotlight staring at each other. It's just them in the room...
I think drooling broadway and Lex is a bit much. We're trying to get away from the idea that Broadway is just a big eatint machine. I'm glad that Lex is drooling right along with him though. At least they're enjoying themselves-even Lex who doesn't have a signifiant other. Unlike Brooklyn who's moping and feeling sorry for himself again...he's getting on my nerves.
I got the connection with the Chungs. Ambassador Chung and Terry, the kid from the first few panels. Not too big of a deal for me since I've never been interested in the New Olympian spinoff in the least-don't really know why, I'm just not. Maybe if I went to the Gathering and learned more about it--though unfortunately I can't go this year. (I do intend to get to at least one). Though I wonder if we'll see more of these two in the current gargoyle universe.
Interesting bit of information about Alex's growth spurt. I haven't noticed. I'm also a bit surprised that only four months has passed since "The Gathering." Probably because we haven't gotten new material in ten years.
I'm not surprised that a high up Illuminati guy would be working in the white house-as a server no less! I can't even make any speculation on what they want to talk to Xanatos about.
Back to the labyrinth- Claw and Maggie come into their own here. Claw tackles Thailog-must have taken a lot of guts considering his timid personality. But I gotta hand it to maggie. She stands up to Thailog-a homicidal gargoyle armed to the teeth who had just subdued both Talon and Claw. I don't think a lot of people give her enough credit-she has a lot of courage-and she's buried for it...I hope she's okay. Didn't get the Norma Rae line until some people said it was a Sally Field movie. How old is the target audience again? ;)
I like the free will theme going on with the clones. Do they have a choice in following Thailog? Or maybe they just don't realize that they do. Brentwood stands out from the other clones here. He's even listening in the background when Goliath and Owen discuss Delilah's free will later on. I think he's going to break off from Thailog.
So labyrinth girl volunteers to go warn Goliath. She's a bit too late though- if she even went at all. I'm curious as to her motives. Back at the party Morgan is an idiot and reminds Elisa that she broke up with Goliath...dude, that's not the best way to romance a girl. He's perseptive, but Elisa and Goliath must have tension radiating from them that you can cut with a knife when they're next to each other. It can't be THAT hard to figure it out.
Elisa and Goliath are so kind to their dates hehe. I actually feel bad for them. Elisa just kinda ignores Morgan and stares into space, and Goliath just kinda ignores Delilah and stares at Elisa. Goliath just orders Delilah to "stay here" while he runs after Elisa. Yeah, real nice Goliath, treat Delilah like Thailog does. I love how morgan attempts to break the tension with his "having fun yet" line. I think they both realize they're being used.
I really like the Goliath/Elisa moment. It's so frustrating- Elisa is trying to run away from her feelings. Does she honestly believe that she can go on without Goliath? It's so pathetically obvious that she can't, yet she keeps trying. I love Goliath's speech. He actually uses the word "love" in reference to Demona and Elisa. Pretty strong admissin I think. This is the closest he has ever come to telling her he loves her...I get the feeling he was about to-but Elisa cuts him off, again. Maybe Elisa realized what he was about to say and that's why she ran off. ARGHH! DAMNIT ELISA! I'm surprised Goliath hasn't completely lost it with her by now-just grab her by the shoulders, tell her to "shut the hell up" and listen to him!
Thailog is true to his word and crashes the party. Poor Goliath, it's just going from bad to worse. I love Owen's response. So very "Owen." He had that goon squad ready relatively quickly-so maybe Labyrinth girl did give word? Hmmm...I love Owen's line about constantly repairing the castle. A little nod to all the times the castle is damaged because of all the craziness that goes on there. Owen makes the best possible choice he can and offers up Delilah. Poor Delilah, just a pawn in all this mess. I hope she eventually rips Thailog a new one. I really like the split panel with the halves of Goliath's and Thailog's faces. And then the cliffhanger...Wow, Thailog is one nasty SOB! First he buries Maggie alive for talking to the clones, then he stabs Goliath in the gut, who's just standing there!! I wasn't too surprised that this happened, since I seen the cover to #5 when it got out accidentally. Oh well. The look on Goliath's face while he's being stabbed is a bit comical. I'm not sure if that was the intention. But oh man, Greg really leaves us hanging! I can't wait for number five! I'm intrigued by Greg saying "Elisa makes a choice" on the back page. Maybe seeing Goliath nearly dying will convince that she's being an idiot and that her place is with him. I'm also curious as to what Delilah will choose to do.
All in all, an awesome chapter to this great story! My one major gripe is that it's too short! Great job to everyone who worked on it!
Foghorn Leghorn and Monty Python -- who says I don't have widespread influences?
As for the target audience, it's basically me. Just me. Only me. Me. Me alone. No one else. Just me. Me. Did I say "me"? Me. (The rest of you are just along for the ride. Hope you like the scenery.) Me.
[Oh, come on, like you haven't suspected it all along!]
This is also a comment, rather than a question.
I saw, not too long ago, the episode "Artifacts" that you wrote for "The Batman", and very much enjoyed it. My favorite part of it was the scenes where the archaeologists in the future are speculating about Batman's history and come to several wrong conclusions (such as that Thomas Wayne was the Batman and Bruce was Robin, or that the wheelchair that they found in the Batcave belonged to Alfred). It reminded me, incidentally, of my favorite part of Stoppard's "Arcadia" (which I read after you spoke highly of it in the Station 8 comment room some years ago): the part where the modern-day professor was convinced that the events in the Regency period of the play were connected to a scandal involving Lord Byron, and was deliberately ignoring all the evidence that didn't fit his theory!
Stoppard's "Arcadia" was the absolute inspiration for the entire episode. Call it an homage.
Of course, as we got into it, the work of Frank Miller inspired the near-future segments, which I thought turned out nicely. But for me, the real appeal of the episode was the far future stuff, which was very much Stoppard-inspired.
Still, it's fun when your influences range from Stoppard to Miller.
Greg, you mentioned in a recent post that the writings of Stephen J. Gould may have influenced you on GARGOYLES? How did you come to be exposed to his writings? For me, they were required reading in my Advanced Stats class for my MA in Communications (prof was a Gould fan). Thanks.
I was teaching Freshman Composition at U.S.C. and some of his stuff was in the textbook.
I haven't got the newest issues of the comic yet, I have to wait until they are available on Amazon. But in the meantime I wanted to write while the queue is open.
I watched Gargoyles when I was a kid and I really liked it, especially the mythology and medieval history episodes such as City of Stone. At the time, although I enjoyed City of Stone (and it is still my favorite episode) I thought it was peculiar to depict Macbeth as the hero. Of course, now I know that City of Stone is actually more historically accurate than Shakespeare's play.
Unfortunately I only saw a few episodes before it was cancelled/moved, and I didn't remember much of it. I'd pretty much forgotten about the show years ago, until I went to the Gargoyles panel at Convergence last year and was reminded about it. That panel was a good idea to tell people about the DVDs and comic, and to encourage old fans to get back into the show. But unfortunately for me, I hadn't known yet about things like Owen/Puck which you revealed at the panel.
I've gotten the two DVD sets so far (with some help from my parents) and having watched all the episodes so far, plus the rest on Toon Disney, I have to say how great a show Gargoyles is/was. It's like the old Batman and X-Men shows in being much more than just a cartoon. Of course the major draw for me is the gargoyles themselves which are a very interesting and appealing race, and visually pretty awesome. I've always loved the way gargoyles look, physically. I especially like their feet and talons, for some reason. Wings are also good. I also remember how I was very happy when Goliath came to Avalon and discovered that the species was not extinct after all. I love that the gargoyles from different parts of the world are the sources of various mythical creatures, and I'm very curious what the Chinese, Korean, New Olympian, and Loch Ness gargoyles look like.
I'm looking forward to getting a hold of issues 2 and 3 so I can get up to date but I also have some questions about the Gargoyles universe that are not answered in the archives. The setting is a pretty interesting one and I'm curious about some things. I don't want to flood the queue all of a sudden so I'm only starting with a single question:
Why did you choose to make the gargoyles an entirely "natural" species instead of being inherently magical like the Third Race? (natural is in quotes because, I suppose magic is a natural part of the Garg universe) What I mean is, why did you choose to have biological explanations for their evolution, wings, stone sleep, and great strength, instead of using magical explanations? Was it just more to your taste or was there a more specific reason, thematically or within-the-setting, that you didn't want them to be a magical species?
(I'm not trying to say your biological explanations don't work, I'm just curious about your choice from a thematic point of view)
We didn't want to make them inherently magical for a number of reasons. We didn't want them to be a "created" race. Creatures that could be woven and unwoven by magic. Or brought to life from stone and returned to unlife from stone. You get the idea. We wanted, in essence, to put them on equal footing with humans in terms of inheriting the Earth, so to speak. Creationists or Evolutionists or IntelligentDesignists or whateverelseists should see Gargoyles and Humans as equivalent. Whatever method was used to create humans (choose your poison) is the same method that was used to create Gargoyles.
There's an essay by Stephen J. Gould called something like "Equality is a contingent fact of human history". It's just worked out biologically that all sentient creatures are the same species Homo Sapiens Sapiens. But how would we deal if there were another species...? Gould probably influenced me more than I realized, come to think of it.
I just thought of this. Red eyes. Vader had 'em. Could have been explained as a property of his particular Sith power, but was there a connection?
I don't think so. (Let it go, dude.)
Do you think Demona influenced Darth Vader?
What I mean is, do you think when he saw City of Stone it influenced him to make the prequels?
Demona: If you are not my ally then you are my enemy!
Darth Vader: If you're not with me, then you're my enemy!
That line is way to similar to me. Sounds like a homage he thought people would pick up on.
If you don't like the prequels, sorry if I depressed you.
Are you gonna retaliate and make a ... Spawn Star or something?
I haven't seen the third of the pre-quels. But I wouldn't presume that we were any influence on them.
And the specific line that you're quoting is a sentiment that borderlines on the cliché, so it hardly appears to be evidence of anything.
For your Gargoyles Future Spinoff, was the idea of Brooklyn travelling into the future to help against the alien invaders from the old Superboy and Supergirl comics where they travel into the future and join the Legion of Super Heroes?
I can't deny that as a possible influence -- since of course I'm familiar with the Legion -- but I wasn't specifically thinking of that. The TimeDancer idea came to me before I thought to include Brooklyn in the cast of what eventually became Gargoyles 2198. It just seemed to make sense that if Brook was bouncing around, that one of the eras he'd bounce to is 2198.
All right. Hi. I already posted a question, but it was kinda sucky, and I wanted to ask one of a more intellectual/character-oriented nature. Demona's character in "Awakening" reminds me much of the character Andrea from Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. (Which is my favourite movie ever, by the way.) Both were love interests to the hero in the past, indepentant, intelligent and strong-willed love interests to be sure... but still love interests.
At a certain point, the hero and the love interest part ways. (With the hero being mis-led in terms of the love interests' parting.) And continue on their lives seperately. Leading very different lives. Eventually, the hero and his love meet up again, and the woman is now a very different person than she was before. Leading the hero to believe nothing's changed, she eventually reveals her true colours at the climax of the series of episodes/movie. (Both hiding themselves from their lovers, knowing that they would never accept what they've become.)
I was just wondering if this was intentional in your thought process, or just a comparison I've dreamed up. As I am a big fan of both of the aformentioned characters.
(P.S. As a side-question, what were your thoughts on the character of Andrea, and the performance of her Actress Dana Delany?)
I have had a crush on Dana Delany for longer than I'm sure either of us would like to admit. Way pre-China Beach. So I thought she was great. It's been years since I saw Mask of the Phantasm, but I thought it was just great at the time, and I still feel that way. I'm sure I liked both Andrea and Delaney's performance.
But as to how much influence Andrea had on me... I'm guessing none. Just because we were in production at the same time. The movie may (I don't remember) have come out first, but I didn't see it until it did come out, so...
Having said that, I think your argument about the parallels are fairly convincing. And although it's probably mostly a case of great minds thinking alike, I can't rule out the possibility of influence, as both Michael Reaves and Frank Paur worked on Batman TAS and may have worked on Mask as well. Still from a story standpoint, I was the guy in charge and we started developing the series including Demona back in 1991 or something, i.e. long before Mask came out.
I'll try to keep this short, as I kinda already gave my 2 cents yesterday.
I didn't catch the Star Trek reference at the time, b/c I hadn't heard of that episode. Now that I've seen clips of it, I realize it was a brillant (for want of a better term) spinoff. Although I think over all the Angie-Desie-Broad-Cold kiss was better than Kirk and Uhura (spelling, sorry- that chick who voiced Diane! That'll work!)'s. I mean, I haven't seen the whole Star Trek episode, so I don't know what the alien's relationship was like, but those 2 were so freakin SHAKY. They looked like they were having a seizure out of passion, or something.
(I am sorry if this offends any Treky's out there. Like I said, I haven't seen anything but a 5 minute clip of the kiss. I'm much more of a Next Generation gal, anyway. Two words: MARINA SIRTIS. Plus it's really fun to see "Xanatos" and "Demona" flirting.)
I'm assuming you left Ms. S out of the TNG voice credits in your ramble cuz she wasn't in the episode. I'm cool with that, and I realize that if you gave credit to all the Star Trek voices, we would be here all day.
So yeah. I'm not really a big Cold trio fan (although I am a big fan of Coldstone's icecream-sorry, couldn't resist! I think of Micheal Dorn whenever I go in that creamery now!), but this episode was okay. And I was really excited that I finally got to see Angela (even if she WASN'T white with red hair like I always imagined. Don't ask me WHY.)
Oh and one little confession: Before I could remember what her name was, I used to call Coldfire "Starfish Face." I sincerely apologize for this crudeness. I never really got a good enough look at her, and I thought her horns kinda made her look like she had a starfish on her head. I really hope the animators and fellow fans forgive me for this, as when I got a better view of her in "City of Stone" and "Legion", I realized she was actually quite pretty.
OK, so that's my confession for the day (again, REALLY REALLY sorry!) Now I better go before some random Treky or Desdemona fan gets some vitual tar and feathers for me!
P.S.: Was it ever confusing to have both a Demona AND a Desdemona? I realize that other than in the first "City of Stone" they never had an episode together (CF wasn't in "Reawakening, was she?) but it's still seems like kind of a nusiance to me.
P.P.S: Have i mentioned I'M SORRY?!
The episode with the famous Kirk-Uhura kiss was not the episode I was referring to as inspiration. I'm talking about an episode guest starring Diana Muldaur.
Desdemona was never a name used in dialogue.
I enjoyed your ramble on "Possession." This episode holds a special place for me as one of the very first I saw. In your "pre-ramble" you mention the complexity of this one - imagine the confusion to someone unfamiliar with the characters! But this complexity is part of what drew me to the series and why I still enjoy it so much. I still catch new things when I watch this episode.
I did, however, immediately notice the "Bewitched" reference as well as the parallels to the Star Trek body-switching episode (which helped me better understand what was going on, especially on repeat viewings). I'd wondered if the inspiration for the switching triangle came from Trek; thanks for the clarification! (Incidentally, that Trek episode was called "Return to Tomorrow." I much prefer "Possession" - it's a much better description of the action, and made me think of that old line "possession is nine-tenths of the law" when the characters were tempted to keep their new bodies).
I also prefer the "Gargoyles" resolution to the dilemma of where to put the newly-transferred personalities. In Trek they go off into oblivion, having decided our species isn't ready for them yet. But "Possession" offers the prospect of future stories with these characters.
I enjoyed seeing Alex's winged plushie and the expressions on Broadway's and Angela's faces when Othello and Desdemona leave them mid-embrace.
Other one liners I like are from Michael Dorn (Puck-as-Coldstone): "I trust you have no more questions" and "Wouldn't you like to know."
Thanks for the ramble.
We were heavily inspired by that particular Star Trek episode, but I do hope that we made it our own, so to speak. Organic to our series. And not slavish to the inspiration.
What inspired you to write Gargoyles.
Gargoyles did. The fact that I need to earn a living. Gummi Bears. Hill Street Blues. Shakespeare. Star Trek. Super-heroes. Check the Influence section for more.
When you rambled about "The Gathering, Part I", you mentioned a scene that reminded you of the famous "Tears" scene from Blade Runner.
This reminded me of Bonkers, of all things. In particular, I thought of an episode entitled "Do Toons Dream of Animated Sheep?" or something to that effect, obviously a play on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the novel Blade Runner was loosely based upon,
My question is: Was someone thinking of Blade Runner during the creation and/or production of Bonkers? I realize that any link between Bonkers and Blade Runner would be tenuous at best.
However, if I recall correctly, many humans in Bonkers felt uncomfortable actually being around 'toons. Maybe the tenuous link I mentioned is the notion that humans would be afraid of powerful non-humans; in Bonkers' case, toons that can survive terrible explosions and the like. Also, from some of the Piquel episodes, it seems that humans created toons (remembr Piquel's daughter and the magic pencil?). Then, could there also be a "Frankenstein" angle in here, which could add meat to the aforementioned tenuous link?
Still, no-one was "retiring" toons, unless you count Who Framed Roger Rabbit? as part of the Bonkers universe, and think about Judge Doom....
I'm quite sure that no one would have named a Bonker's episode "Do Toons Dream of Animated Sheep?" and NOT be aware of both the movie Blade Runner and the Dick story it was based on.
First of all, I apologize for posting the question about Crisis On Infinite Earths. I missed that one while browsing the archives, anyway I have a few comments:
1. I'll be getting the JLA Showcase. The issue with the Captain Atom/JLE/Gargoyles. For anyone else reading who has a question about the issue, its: JLA Showcase #1 (February 2000) 80 Page.
2. I'm sure this would be on topic since like question 1 it is about comic book heroes. You considered the Original Pack to be a cross between Power Rangers/Professional Wrestling, and Macbeth to be an Anti-Batman. Now could Xanatos be considered an Anti-Iron Man?
Both Xanatos and Tony Stark are both wealthy, as well as having facial hair and wear a suit of tech armor.
What do you think?
It's possible. But it wasn't what was in the forefront of my brain at the time... among other things, I didn't have the armor idea when we created the character.
But I've been a big Tony Stark/Iron Man fan since childhood, so maybe he was an influence.
Although one could easily and objectively demonstrate that Captain Hook was an influence too, so keep in mind that many things contribute to the whole.
I was wondering the character Xanatos has very similar lives with Tony Stark was there any influences on creating Xanatos with Ironman? Thanks in advance.
Well, obviously, I've been familiar with Tony Stark most of my life, so I can't positively say that there was no influence. But the similarities are all pretty superficial. Rich guy. Lots of property. I suppose the gargoyle armor might be considered reminiscent of Stark. But honestly, I think Bruce Wayne was a bit more of an influence, in that we were trying to create the nega-Bruce. (And Bruce may have been an influence on Tony when you think about it.)
This is more a comment than a question, but I found myself remembering something. You mentioned having worked on the development of the original version of "Bonkers", the one where he was teamed up with Miranda Wright. One of the episodes from that version of "Bonkers", I recall (my memories are a little over ten years old, and a bit rusty), had Bonkers and Miranda after a band of gangsters who were after a long-gone gangster's treasure, the clue to which was on "page 23" (I think that it was 23, though I could be wrong) of a book, but they didn't know which book. So they were stealing Page 23 from every book that they could find - and when they found the correct page, it led to what was at first sight a poetry book - and in the same episode, Bonkers had taken up poetry (even composing a poem that was a take-off on Lord Byron's "She walks in beauty like the night") and viewed the poetry book as real treasure.
It struck me that, although it might have been only a coincidence, the episode feels almost like a foreshadowing of both "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time" (both episodes had a strong pro-literacy message and the beauties of the written word proving to be the "real treasure") and "The Silver Falcon" (the antagonists searching for the treasure of a long-gone gangster). I just thought that I'd bring it up here.
I'd forgotten about that Bonkers episode. I should say that after the (Miranda version of the) series was developed, I wasn't all that involved with the day-to-day of the script writing, with a few notable exceptions (the Gloomy the Clown Banana Cream Pie bit, of course). And of course, once the new (Piquel) version of the series was developed, I had nothing to do with the show.
As I've stated before, the Miranda version of Bonkers was a definite influence on Gargoyles. Though I can't say that this particular episode was. But maybe...
In some of the episodes of Gargoyles I noticed how similar the storylines are to Star Trek. Did Star Trek influence some of your plot devices for Gargoyles?
Only one that I can think of, which was "Possession". The bit where three "ghosts" take over three of our leads and one wants to keep the bodies was partially inspired by a Star Trek episode, as I've always acknowledged.
I can't think of any others. What did you have in mind?
Can you give us fans a short little bibliography of all the mythology used in Gargoyles? Any other good reccomended reads? I dig your storytelling style, and I'm hoping that you write a novel sometime soon
I'd check the "Influences" section of the ASK GREG archives.
I've recommended a number of books there. But there's too large a list for me to compile a "short little bibliography".
I'd love to write a novel someday. So we're both hoping...