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WEISMANSWERS 2009-04 (Apr)

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Clark Cradic writes...

I've loved this show ever since I was a kid. In fact you could say this show helped me get through elementary school cause I'd rush to get my homework completed so I could go right the tv when I got home to watch the newest episode. Now that I'm older I still get this wonderful since of nostalgia when I watch this and start asking questions about the Gargoyles I never thought of as a kid, specifically their biology and culture since I loved those electives in high school.

1. Are gargoyles more likely to get certain traits and characteristics if they're from a specific clan? If so, is it just genetics or do they aide them in their territory? If not, does that mean that all gargoyles are generally the same with just different looks that are just for show?

2. How do gargoyles see the sun? Do they see it with a sort of reverence like Demona and Hudson did in The Mirror, or do they see it more of a curse due to their vulnerability?

3. Are there any diseases only gargoyles can get?

Greg responds...

1. All of the above, if I understand your question.

2. All of the above, depending on the individual gargoyle.

3. None that I know of.

Response recorded on April 10, 2009

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Anonymous writes...

What age group is the target audience of The Spectacular Spider-Man?

I, and a friend who is a professional animator, can't figure it out. While much of the dialogue is quite advanced and the plots are standard, the pacing of the stories is roughly what you would need for a 6-year old with ADD. There is no time to savour any of the depth that could be there as the audience is rushed to the next "cool" scene. The longest story was the Symbiote/Venom introductory story which was crammed into two episodes. Every other major story arc is crammed into one.

Just in case it sounds too negative, we both appreciate what does get shown. It just feels like either too much is left out and should be spread out over more episodes with more exploration, or the story elements have to be shoe-horned into the single episode leading to a kind of story-indigestion. I'm curious as to what led to this.

Greg responds...

Well, it does sound pretty negative, actually. I should point out that I don't agree -- I suppose that's obvious -- with your assessment of the series. But you're entitled to your opinion.

Anyway, the core target is Boys 6-11. But that was true on Gargoyles and even on W.I.T.C.H. True on most shows I've worked on. My shows (at least the ones I produce) are always written to work on multiple levels. Concentric circles like any target. We've got to hit that bullseye in the middle for commercial purposes, but we're not satisfied with only getting that audience. I like to think my shows work for kids, tweens, teens and adults, for boys and girls and men and women, for intense fan-geeks and casual viewers. But mostly -- fundamentally -- I write and edit for a core audience of one, i.e. ME. I produce the show I'd like to see. If you don't like it, all that really means is that our tastes are different.

You're attributing the DENSITY of the show to the target audience, however, and that's just not true. It was my creative choice to make the show as dense as possible. To cram as much in as possible. That has nothing to do with your dismissive and somewhat insulting reference to "a 6-year old with ADD". That's a choice you can blame on me.

Most of our major arcs are three or four episodes long, not one or two, as you stated. But every episode is designed to stand alone and tell it's own story, and yet still be part of both the three or four episode arc and part of the larger arc of the season and the series as a whole. That's important if not essential to the series from both a commercial and a creative standpoint. And we're all pretty darn happy with the results, as both the ratings and the majority of critical and fan response seem to bear out.

Response recorded on April 10, 2009

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Juan writes...

In the spectacular spider-man we are going to see villains like Stegron, grizzly. And superheros from the spider-man universe like toxin, prowler, spider-woman and the rocket racer.

Greg responds...

No comment.

Response recorded on April 10, 2009

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Simon "writer in training" writes...

Do you think you would ever post the actual scripts of the shows you've worked on? W.I.T.C.H. , Gargoyles, Spiderman ect. I would love to read them. I've never actually seen a cartoon script and I was wondering the major differences format/process wise vs film scripts.(which seem easy to find off the internet, but I don't know any sites that offer libraries of animation and comic formats)Thanks!

PS love the new spiderman episodes!

Greg responds...

Different issues for different shows.

For Spider-Man, the answer for the time being is no. The show is (hopefully) on-going, and posting the scripts -- even first season scripts -- might reveal secrets I don't want revealed.

For Gargoyles, I don't have electronic copies of most of the scripts. Really, I only have "The Journey". And I definitely don't have the time to transcribe them.

W.I.T.C.H. is more of a possibility. But you're asking about Format and all formatting would be lost if I posted the script here at ASK GREG.

Response recorded on April 10, 2009

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Thorgrimur writes...

I know you weren't involved in the Goliath Chronicles and I do not wish to annoy you with questions from there that you couldn't possibly answer, but... in the episode Genesis Undone, Sevarius mentions having the middle name "Bartholomew". Do you consider this to be actually a part of his name?

Greg responds...

Not particularly. But I don't object to it either.

Response recorded on April 09, 2009

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Greg Bishansky writes...

"Shear Strength"

SPOILERS! (Gonna start marking them here)

And today, the Master Planner arc officially comes to a close. And what a close. As an old school Spider-Man fan, I've been anticipating this episode for a while. And it did not disappoint.

We open up with the identity of the Master Planner. None other than Dr. Octopus, and honestly, there is no way it could have ever been anyone else. And dammit, Ock was in top form in this episode. Loved him, and Peter MacNicol is terrific at making him sound so calculating and menacing.

So, Doc Ock's master plan, er, sorry, Master Plan, was to hijack the internet? The fiend! He wants to take away our access to free porn! That's just not right! Not right!

This episode rocked, and I mean more so than usual. Which for this show is impressive. This was straight Lee/Ditko, and I couldn't ask for any better. The action sequences were intense. The pacing was terrific, and the ending really pissed me off... and I mean that in a good way.

Nice to see George Stacy in the credits, and I liked his role in here. Yeah, he was cooperating with Ock, but I'd almost feel sorry for the good doctor if George got his hands on him first.

I really liked that Ock didn't get sent back to prison at the end of this. It gets tiresome when the villains constantly get thrown in prison and constantly escape. So Ock, Vulture and the Tinkerer are still on the loose. Electro and Mysterio are in custody. And where did Sandman, Kraven and Rhino go? For that matter, why wasn't Shocker among the Master Planner's "usual suspects" last time. Curious.

Spidey himself. It says something when I can both love and want to smack the protagonist. Loved him going Batman on Tinkerer. Really loved seeing him lift that huge weight, knowing that Gwen depended on him, and then... at the last moment in the episode. Oy. So close, so close, so close.

Peter, meet me at Camera 3

::Turns to Camera 3::

Look, I know Liz is hot, exotic and popular. But, four months ago this girl wouldn't even glance in your direction, and even if she was not an active participant in bullying you, she was definitely a witness. "Study with Petey, I'd rather fail." Remember that? Gwen is someone you've known for years, has always been your friend, and you know you care about. You've been such close friends for so long, you have a solid foundation to build upon. And yes, she's cute too. You have enough in common with her, and a history. You know you can trust her. Poor thing. Is there really any solid foundation with Liz? Really?

Okay, let's check in with our good friend, Stephen Colbert on this issue...


Thanks, Stephen.

::Turns away from Camera 3::

Okay, tangent over. It's the mark of great writing when a TV show can get a reaction like that out of me. Good stuff. Great stuff.

Little tidbits I enjoyed. Mary Jane suggesting Gwen take Peter to Times Square to "see the ball drop" with a wink... I love the innuendos on this show. I also cracked up at the good doctor's "Evil Genius" coffee mug.

The best episode so far this season. Maybe the best episode of the series to date. And we still have nine more to go.

Greg responds...

Thanks. Glad you liked it.

Response recorded on April 09, 2009

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anonymous writes...

How do you find out if someone is a character you can or cannot use on your show, whether or not they are a Spider-Man character? Who do you guys have to ask to make sure you can use said character(s) on the show?

Since Kraven is mutated, does that mean we won't see Puma on your cartoon?

Also, I hope that the next time we see the Sinister Six that they all attack together like they did in "Group Therapy".

Greg responds...


1. We have been provided with a list of characters as per Sony's contractual agreement with Marvel.

2. No comment.

Response recorded on April 09, 2009

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anonymous writes...

I had some questions in regards to season two, since you're answering these questions...


1 - I don't understand how Doctor Octopus could be the Master Planner. In the first two episodes of season two, Master Planner is heard talking with Tinkerer in the first one and Kraven in the second. In "Reinforcement", we saw Dr. Kafka treating Doctor Octopus and the Master Planner was seen in shadows on a video screen when he gathered the new Sinister Six together. At the end of that episode, Tinkerer uses Doc Ock's tentacles to break the seemingly cured Doctor out of custody. In the next episode, "Shear Strength", Doc Ock is revealed as Master Planner. I think I missed something. How was he able to contact them and then also watch them on the viewing screen? Did he somehow manage to sneak some equipment in to communicate with when he was in custody or what?

By the way, Master Planner's tease of a Sinister Seven -- oh, you know you HAVE to do that eventually! That'd be awesome!!

2 - I was a bit surprised to see that Electro, Vulture and Tinkerer were also a part of the "Shear Strength" episode. I was kind of hoping we'd get another solo Doctor Octopus story in season two. Any chance we can see just one solo Doc Ock episode in season three, with no Tombstone, no Hammerhead, no Sinister Six member(s) helping, etc.?

3 - So the Mysterio we saw in "Opening Night" was a robot, a fake. I'm confused. Does this mean that Mysterio broke out or had the Tinkerer help him escape at some point after Quentin Beck was seen in jail in "Identity Crisis", or was the Mysterio we saw arrested in the end of "Reinforcement" and put in jail always a fake? Man, you guys sure made Mysterio tricky on your show. I love it.

4 - I know that the Big Three villains for Spider-Man will likely return next season - Doc Ock, Venom, and Green Goblin (or in season three's case Hobgoblin ... or maybe both, with you guys we never know). Any chance we could see more of the other enemies too, like Hammerhead, the Shocker, Silver Sable and/or Molten Man?

Greg responds...


1. Yes.

2. No comment.

3. Thanks. (And, yes, he's tricky.)

4. No comment.

Response recorded on April 09, 2009

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baron keels writes...

now that slg lost the rights to gargoyles, will the comic come back in another company?

Greg responds...

SLG still has the three trades, and they remain our best bet for more new material. Obviously, we'll have to see how these last two trades sell.

Response recorded on April 09, 2009

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The Flaming Tortoise writes...

Hi Greg,

Good to see this place open again!

My question is basically, how do Gargoyle populations sustain themselves? With females having (almost always I've believe you've said) a maximum of three eggs, and as you said in reference to why gargoyles practice communal parenting: "Perhaps this is the result of the high Gargoyle mortality rate. " would it not be an intense struggle to just maintain a clan's population?

And with this in mind, even considering that in modern day mortality rates for gargoyles has probably dropped significantly, wouldn't the practice of the London clan of limiting each pair to two eggs total be very risky for the continuation of their clan?

Thanks for you time

Greg responds...

1. Yes, it has been a struggle since at least the Iron Age of Man.

2. Obviously, if the population starts dropping dangerously low, they'll allow the third eggs to get it back. The point is to maintain a consistent quantity, not blindly follow rules for the sake of rules.

Response recorded on April 08, 2009

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