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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.