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Justin writes...

Dear Greg,

Recently watched "Long Way Til Morning"

And this is hopefully the first question that leads to what I hope to complete soon as a long essay on how fascinating Demona is as a character as well as her impact on her estranged clan "family".

In this we see three characters. All with relatively strong familial bonds. First we have the Father, Hudson. Then of course the rookery children Goliath and Demona.

My actual question is this:

What had to be going through Hudson's mind during all of this? I know he acknowledged the two as a mated pair, but in essence he had to save his son from his daughter. That could not have made him all too plussed.

Secondly, the dialogue in this last scene really shows how even now, they still have latent feelings of being family...

Hudson: "Give it up girl, you can't win.." Which even as a boy, first watching this I always received as a Father being parental in some way to his daughter.

Then there is Demona, who is as bananas as it gets. She, even in her tirade tips her hand. She, through raw, volatile emotion expresses she still has love for Hudson.

"I would have ended this quickly! Your pride will cost you your life!" Even though I know at this point in her life she is past redemption, I still feel that the way she exclaims these sentiments is a tell she doesn't want to HAVE to say them. She loves her rookery father. And in a way, still NEEDS him. As all grown children do once we reach adulthood. But nothing can stand in the way of her vengeance. The vengeance for her murdered family. Not even surviving FAMILY.

All too fascinating Greg, and thank you!

Justin

Greg responds...

You're welcome...

Response recorded on November 03, 2010

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Greg Bishansky writes...

1. Who is Demona's great love?
2. When was Gwen gonna die?
3. Will you spoil your entire series plan for "Young Justice story beat by story beat?
5. Why does the Monarch hate Rusty Venture so much?

LOL, I'm just kidding. Instead here's a comment.

I recently put the entire timeline from the GargWiki into my word processor, and it came out to about fifty-four pages. Obviously, about 98% of that timeline is directly quoted from ASK GREG's "This Day in Gargoyles Universe History" and since you last said that your timeline hit three hundred page mark, well, I am in awe.

In awe mostly because, I knew you were holding out on us... but damn. Sixty-five episodes and eighteen comics, and we still have not scratched the surface of what you have in your head for this world.

I am impressed, sir. Impressed. And, I hope you consider bringing "This Day in Gargoyles Universe History" back sometime soon.

Greg responds...

I'm a little to swamped to do that right now. And besides, I don't think that much has changed.

My timeline is currently 330 pages long. But it also has a lot of math.

Response recorded on October 14, 2010

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Todd Jensen writes...

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.

Greg responds...

Very cogent analysis.

Response recorded on September 29, 2010

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Lorranon of Oberon writes...

Mr. Weisman, I read your response on my question about the novel I wrote. I can't say I was thrilled with the response_ but I think that maybe it was because you didn't understand my motivation behined it. I posted a comment on your blog about the "Gargoyles" movie Disney wants to release. I was hoping you would read it and then perhaps we could discuss my motivation and reasons in more detail.

Greg responds...

A few things...

1. I apologize, but I get so many questions here, I can't remember either what you wrote here about your novel or how I responded. So I can't tell you whether or not I understood your motivation.

2. I don't have a blog. Just ASK GREG here. So I don't know where you posted your "comment" about the Gargoyles movie or how that would effect my mindset about your novel.

3. You're welcome to post your motivation here, but if your novel is in any way based on Gargoyles (and if it's not why are we having this discussion?), I can't see WHAT motivation would make me excited about it.

4. I'm sorry if all this isn't "thrilling" but I really don't understand what you expect from me. Why would I be happy about someone else doing a Gargoyles-based property, either as a movie or a novel?

But perhaps I'm completely off-base (see response #1 above) so I'll stop now.

Response recorded on September 17, 2010

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Anonymous writes...

Man, every Spidey question you answer that ends with some form of "it's moot now" or "we'll never see it" is depressing. I miss the show so much, miss anticipating what great new direction you guys were going to take it in, miss the awesome surprise of each new design by Cheeks, the great voice acting and sharp writing, the structure of the seasons and the way you were organically growing Spidey's world, etc. I'm really excited for Young Justice and think it looks great, but at heart, I'm mostly a Marvel, and specifically Spider-Man, fan. So basically, just thanks for the show. I loved it, it's a credit to your great talent in the field, and it was unquestionably the best animated Marvel adaptation ever made, series, movie, or otherwise.

Greg responds...

Thank you.

Response recorded on August 30, 2010

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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

Bad Guys #5 & 6: I wanted to post my Bad Guys reactions all at once, but I wrote my #4 reaction long before this one. So here's the rest, in no particular order.

I just noticed that nobody is willing to sit next to Fang. I wouldn't either!

I continue to wonder about the (constrained) choices made by the members of the squad -- there's lots of tension in Losers about this. They don't know any more about their boss than they do about the Illuminati. Less, in fact, and it's the revelation that Oldcastle and Thailog work for the Illuminati that persuades the Squad not to join. But they still know so little about their own boss... for all they (and I) know, he's could be just as bad. If Robyn knows more she isn't telling, and the rest know basically nothing. They've been given very little choice, of course. They know the Illuminati are untrustworthy... but they can only hope that their mysterious boss is any better. Dingo finally asks, but somehow I doubt Interpol is the truth!
Of course I know the Illuminati are bad news. But I don't know any more about the Director than the Squad do. From what I've seen, they take an "ends justify the means" attitude just like the Illuminati does.
I was seriously worried that Matrix would join the Illuminati and spell Bad Things for basically the whole planet. The Redemption Squad is composed of criminals on the run from the law, and if anyone pointed out to Matrix that the Australian shaman's logic in Issue #1 wasn't actually logical (Dingo can't fight for law and order if he's breaking the law!) then the Illuminati might have looked more attractive to Matrix than its current situation. Fortunately the Matrix isn't bright enough to figure that out. At this point, Matrix is largely at the mercy of whoever controls its access to information about how laws actually work!

Humorous moments: Yama falling asleep mid-sentence, Matrix eating a fork, Yama freaking out over his broken sword, and Doll calling Matrix "that thing."

Yama being impaled on a sword and continuing to fight with no noticeable weakness is hard to believe, especially since Goliath was so much worse off after a much less serious wound in Long Way Till Morning, and completely incapacitated in Bash by a knife wound that definitely did not impale him. It shows how tough a warrior Yama is, but... makes him look literally immortal, Highlander style. This is one place where gargoyle healing abilities are not believable to me without magic.

And Dingo's childhood was finally revealed ... the creep who raised him is the same guy who murdered his mother! That's creepy, ick. The look on John's face is suspicious from the start, but I did not expect that. No wonder Dingo became a criminal.

Yama continues to be impressive. And the scene with Matrix holding up the light under the huge Illuminati banner just looks cool.

I have to wonder why the Illuminati is hoarding priceless art objects, and not even using them for anything. I'm impressed but surprised that Dingo cares enough to prevent their destruction.

Overall, Bad Guys is a good comic, but it leans heavily towards the superhero genre (Oldcastle's gang even seems to include super powers) and as with the Pack, that doesn't appeal to me nearly as much as the other elements of Gargoyles. (Fortunately, nobody except Tasmanian Tiger has a goofy supervillain costume). Not that I wouldn't buy more Bad Guys, if more were published and I could afford it.

Thanks for the stories.

Greg responds...

I'd argue that BOTH of Goliath's wounds that you mentioned were WAY MORE serious. Yama intentionally guided that blade to go through organ-free tissue -- a through and through cut that did minimal damage to his side -- which wasn't the case with either of Goliath's injuries: he had internal damage/internal organ injuries both times.

Just look at the visuals again, and it should be clearer. There's nothing magical or Highlander about what Yama does. He's just a tough s.o.b.

Response recorded on August 17, 2010

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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

Bad Guys #4: Finally I am going to write my reactions to this, many months after I finally got a hold of my copy. It's difficult to come up with my reactions since I first read it a while ago.

I think the "cliched villainy" of Sevarius and Fang would be more horrific if I wasn't already used to mutates, and if was more plausible as a real-life event. Now Sevarius has extended his atrocities to children. It's hard to imagine what kind of life these people can possibly have... and on top of everything else, I guess that Sevarius probably had to wreck their immune systems just to mutate them at all.

Art nitpick: the new mutates look very good and are well drawn, but there's no way that Tasha's shirt and pants can go _under_ her shell, which is part of her skin.

Robyn is trying too hard to sound angry and tough, and she can't pull it off. A little hard to, when it's too late and she's in a cage. Her reaction to Sevarius wanting to mutate her implies that she's more horrified by gargoyle DNA, than by the mutation itself. That, along with other behaviors and statements throughout the six issues, make me think that she is still deeply prejudiced against gargoyles, and is playing nice partly to obey the Director's orders. She doesn't want to kill them all anymore, and her (private?) conversation with Jon shows how far she's already changed her attitudes, but she doesn't seem to regard gargoyles as equals. A lifetime of hatred and ignorance cannot be unlearned quickly or easily.

The big shock in issue 4 is the suicide of Tasha. I did not expect that such an event would be depicted in the comic books. Sadly, it's very believable. Sevarius utterly ruined her life, in what was surely an extremely traumatic experience. For one moment, Fang almost looks like this suicide upset him, but the he starts making repugnant jokes. If some of his _other_ jokes weren't still funny, I think this is one character I would completely hate. I certainly don't blame everyone else for hating him.

The ending, where Robyn's mysterious superior (presumably the Director who got her out of jail and created the squad) put Fang on the team, is confusing. I assume there must be some passage of time that I missed, but it appears as though Fang instantaneously acquires a tailored uniform.

An finally, now I can re-read the bits and pieces at the beginnings of the first 4 issues and make sense of them.

Dingo is angry that they "barely survived the last time" and I wonder what he's even referring to -- to the battle against Fang? Was that really a suicide mission? The reason Dingo barely survived is because Matrix decided to drop him in mid-air off a skyscraper. On the other hand, I have to wonder why they swallow these "missions" when they have no clue who is ordering them around, and no reason to know if they're being told the truth. OK, they've all been threatened with Bad Things, but they don't even ask who they're working for. (Maybe they already asked and Robyn just isn't telling). I also wonder how anyone, including the Director, thinks that Fang is remotely trustworthy, and isn't going to betray the others.
The entire helicopter gets blown up by missiles, but of course the characters aren't going to die just like that. Matrix saves them. The Illuminati possesses combat robots, like the Cybots and Steel Clan. Robyn's combat skills and acrobatics are amazing, when I think about it.

Yama looks great in these issues. I'm liking him. I also like Fang yelling at Yama.

Greg responds...

Glad generally you seemed to like the stuff!

Response recorded on August 17, 2010

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Jurgan writes...

Not a question so much as a comment. You've said several times you think you missed a bet in "Grief-" namely, that Coyote should have killed the travelers, to show that death was impossible with Anubis locked up. I may be in the minority on this, but I prefer the story we got to this alternate version.

First of all, it would reopen the Highlander-esque questions that you get regarding Demona and Macbeth. So, Angela's shot through the heart but doesn't die- when Anubis is freed, is the wound still there? If so, would the wound then kill her? If Goliath were decapitated, would the head still talk, or would it sprout spider legs and walk back to him (sorry, I just watched The Thing the other night- incidentally, Keith making a surprise appearance in a movie is something that always makes me smile)? I imagine that, if only for S&P reasons, the death would simply be through bloodless laser beams (sorry, "particle beams") and the issue wouldn't have come up, but it's still confusing.

The bigger point, though, is that it cheapens the characters' abilities. I've read most of the Lee/Ditko and Lee/Romita Spider-Man comics, and while they're great stories, one thing that always bothered me was how supervillains always let Spidey live. Typically, a new villain would dominate the wallcrawler and then arrogantly announce "I don't need to kill Spider-Man- I can beat him any time I want!" I don't have a count, but I really think this happened dozens of times in the Silver Age. I could understand if the villain had a reason to run, like Doc Ock's power running low in your show, but most of the time they just seemed stupid, since of course Spidey trounced them next time. The point is that it seemed like he was surviving more through luck than any particular skill. Likewise, our gargoyles have survived countless battles because of their own abilities. To say that they finally lose- but it doesn't count because, for this one day, they can't die, seems to cheapen their earlier successes. It feels like the only reason they're winning is because the writers want them to win, and if they get in big trouble, a deus ex machina twist will save them. The show starts to feel artificial, and I wonder if these characters are really that special, or if they're just the designated heroes.

Now, of course, this is hypothetical. It's possible that, if I'd seen the episode the way you envision, I would have loved it. As it is, it's kind of hard for me to imagine it working. Just something to chew on.

Greg responds...

I guess I wouldn't agree about one lucky break cheapening earlier victories... I guess I wouldn't agree with that at all.

I'm also not big on deus ex machina saves myself, but when an ENTIRE episode is ABOUT arresting death, having them live because death has been arrested doesn't feel like deus ex machina at all to me, even with a deus (Anubis) present.

And, as you noted, the beheading (et al) issue just wouldn't have come up.

I know you're arguing for the success of what we made, and I'm in the odd (very odd) position of arguing that we could have done better, but I still think a bet was missed...

Response recorded on August 17, 2010

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Richard Jackson writes...

Hi Greg,

I'm a big fan. I work in South Korea teaching English and I thought you would be interested in your creations' progress over here.

I did some research on the internet and Gargoyles: The Movie and some season 1 episodes were released on VHS over here. What a collector's item those would be? The official translated name of the show is "Champion Goliath", but happily enough online Korean fans just call it "Gargoyles."

Channel surfing, I did see The Spectacular Spider-Man on the cartoon channel, 5:30, Saturday morning. That's actually a good time, since Korean children have Saturday school and 5:30am would be just the right time they're waking up.

Keep up the good work and hopefully I'll see Young Justice in Korea.

Greg responds...

Very cool! Thanks, Richard.

Response recorded on August 13, 2010

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Todd Jensen writes...

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.

Greg responds...

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.

Response recorded on July 29, 2010


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