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WEISMANSWERS 2009-09 (Sep)

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Bazell writes...

In response to two of your previous responses to me (via everyone):

You wrote, "If I am going to "lift", I try to be direct and on the head about it, so that I'm acknowledging the debt as opposed to trying to get away with something."
Would you say that this is simplified explanation of the difference between 'homage' and 'rip-off'?

As for Free Comic Book Day, it's the first Saturday in May every year and is sponsored by some of the larger comic book companies as a way to support the industry and local comic shops. Here is their website:

Greg responds...

Yes, I think in bald terms that is the difference between 'homage' and 'theft'.

Response recorded on September 25, 2009

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Bibg Bob Letus Boy writes...


Mysterio - Great accent. I love how he always replaces himself with a robot before getting arrested. This Mysterio is more of a "magical crook" which is a great idea. Mysterio in this show is way better than he was in the 90s where he got blown up in a cave with a disfigured girl (What the heck?!! so random!!)

Tinkerer - I love his white suit or whatever and I also like how he's not a grandpa like in the comics. And Finally!!! Tinkerer adapted on the screen!

Master Planner - Great way to trick us. I was sure Doc Ock was the Master Planner at first because he was in the comics but after seeing him in "Reinforcement" I was having second thoughts. Then in "Shear Strength", everything made sense.

Kraven - Most people will complain about his transformation into a lion or whatever. I think that's a great idea and that's how Kraven should have been all along from the start. It was always a little weird how a human dressed like Tarzan could overpower Spiderman. Thebest part about Kraven is that he is for once like in the comics. In the 90s show, he was a good guy (Which was a little weird).

Calypso - We haven't seen a lot of her so far but she's still better than the scientist Calypso from TAS.

Colonel Jupiter - Well, he was pretty good. I was expecting Man-Wolf but I'm pretty sure he will become Man-Wolf in the first episode of season 3 (I don't know why I think that; I just have this feeling he will be in the first one). That will probably set up for the Scorpion.

Silver Sable - I like her better as the daughter of Silvermane than some crazy Russian lady leading a bunch of soldier or whatever.

New Enforcers - I like the Enforcers better as human but the New Enforcers are also pretty good.

Silvermane - The mecha suit was a little off character but he is still way better than the Silvermane from the 90s who used some magic tablet to restore his youth and then being strong enough to fight the Lizard. And don't get me started on hiim being a toddler with an adult mind.

Molten Man - Mark makes a better Molten Man than the scientist one from the comics. But I have a question: Since the Green Goblin had the remote and now he is defeated, did Spidey find the remote somewhere in the stashes and gave it to Mark or something? In other words, what happened to Mark after the Goblin's "death?"

Walter Hardy - I like how he's connected to Black Cat with this. Great choice!!

Greg responds...

Thanks again. As for Mark/Molten Man -- you'll just have to wait and see.

Response recorded on September 24, 2009

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Big Bob Letus Boy writes...

Hey Greg. First of all, thanks for Spectacular Spider-Man. Not only it is the best Spider-Man adaptation ever (even better than the Spider-Man movies) but it is also the second greatest cartoon in the history of cartoons. Your show has pretty much surpassed every single show out there. The only show it did not surpass yet is Batman: The Animated Series. When Spectacular Spider-Man will reach 65 episodes, it will definitely surpass Batman: TAS and then it will be the best show ever. But until that day comes, Spectacular Spider-Man will stay as the second best show ever. I have no question but I have some opinions about the villains you created that I want to share:

Vulture - I was never really a big fan of the Vulture so I wasn't really excited to see him but he turned out great. Way better than the Vulture from the 90s show who sucked out youth from people (what the heck?!!)

Enforcers - Finally! The first Spider-Man show to have the Enforcers! I've been waiting for this for a long time.

Hammerhead - His voice and attitude are incredible. This is how Hammerhead should have been done from the beginning.

Electro - AWESOME LOOK!! I've always hated Electro's look with the stupid star mask. His new look is sweet. Beautiful look! BEAUTIFUL!!! And I'm so happy he is not the Red Skull's son like in the 90s show.

Lizard - I love how Connors keeps experimenting on himeself from the start of the series and eventually turns into the Lizard. I've never really liked the idea of Lizard having a human mind. It love how he is all brainless in this show.

Shocker - Many people hate Shocker because you he is Montana. I personally think Montana makes a way better Shocker than Herman. Great choice!

Sandman - Here are the 3 reasons why I like Sandman in this show:
1. He was introduced as a bank robber always humiliated by Spider-Man and later turned in by him every single time until he becomes Sandman
2. Him not being uncle Ben's killer like in Spider-Man 3
3. For once his personality is like the one from the main comics

Rhino - Two things I will say:
1. Great design and voice actor
2. He is really funny and that's why I like him

Tombstone - Once again, grat voice actor and design. I like him better as the king of New York crime than as a hitman.

Green Goblin - I won't say anything. This villain is so awesome that I'm speechless. I don't know what to say. It's hard to believe taht a human can create such a character. Words don't even describe what a great job you did.

Doc Ock - Just like the Green Goblin, I'm speechless.

Black Cat - This version of Black Cat is 100% like the one from the comics. I love how she flirts with Spidey and I'm also happy that she's not a supersoldier with a six pack(which was a ripoff of Captain America). She's also the hottest girl in the show so far.

Chameleon - Once again, amazing, no! SPECTACULAR job! I love his accent and how he is for once based on the original Chameleon (with the masks and not the magic belt)

Sinister Six - Great line-up for both and great teamwork. I'm glad Doc Ock's the leader and not Kingpin like the 90s show.

Venom - Same as GG and Doc Ock - SPEECHLESS!!! I love how Spider-Man's suit starts out as the one from the movie and then changes more and more like the one from the comic. I also like how the symbiote slowly takes over Peter's life instead of him being taken over right when the symbiote bonds with him. The flashbacks with Uncle Ben in "Intervention" makes that episode my favorite one out of all 26 episodes. As for the character Venom, as I said earlier, SPEECHLESS!!!

I am going to stop right here because it's late and I'm tired. I'll continue tommorow with the season 2 villains.

Greg responds...

Thanks. I'm really glad you like the show!

Response recorded on September 24, 2009

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a spider-man fan from sweden, writes...

Hi greg, when is season 3 coming out?, why do you hate carnage? and why is kingpin offlimits? hehe just joking. ;) I didn't really want to ask any thing. i just want to thank you, and say that i love the Spectacular Spider-man. so keep upp the good work. :)

Greg responds...


Response recorded on September 23, 2009

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Greg Bishansky writes...

Hi Greg,

This is kind of a ramble/response to "stanley dean cowens" question/comment on how some shows take fan response into consideration when plotting out future stores.

Not knocking anyone, but in my personal experience, when most of the shows, comics that I liked started catering to fans more than telling their stories, it was usually not for the better. Most of the time, the author knows better than the fans when it comes to the theory (I say most, because there are some exceptions to this rule).

So, while some fans may have wished Goliath and Demona to reunite, or Brooklyn and Angela to hook up, I am glad you stuck to your guns and did what was right for the characters.

"Give the audience what they need, not what they want," is a phrase I personally subscribe to.

To be honest, that's why, as much as I like and admire Joss Whedon, I always felt that until he got a soul, the Spike/Buffy relationship seemed very forced. Even having Spike interact with the Scooby gang from season four on seemed forced... I love the Spike character, but a lot of what happened with him seemed to fly in the face of what had been established with the mythology up until that point. But, Spike being a very popular character, both with the fans and the writers, was put into a position he didn't really belong in, to his detriment, I thought. Of course, I was eventually vindicated in that, sadly, brutal scene near the end of season six in her bathroom.

I know that's an unpopular opinion, but it just never clicked with me until Spike was re-ensouled.

So, in that sense, I thank you for continuing to stick to your guns. Even in the "Gargoyles" comics, well... we all wanted more Demona, I know I certainly did. But you didn't force her in early to provide fan service. You serviced the story instead.

Thank you for that.

Greg responds...

I liked the chipped-Spike.

Response recorded on September 23, 2009

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haley writes...

I am the one, again that is writing the book. If i put that my main characters were in a one thousand and ten year sleep, would that be copying you? I am so sorry that i keep asking these questions. They just keep being brought to my attention. I would never want to copy anyones work.

Greg responds...

Seriously... stop asking.

On the one hand, I'm absolutely not the first writer to put a character to sleep for a long period of time. (Rip Van Winkle ring any bells?)

But if you're close enough to my work that you feel the need to check if you're too close to my work, then the odds are you are too close to my work.

So stop asking. If you feel you're doing something original, go for it. If you don't don't.

Response recorded on September 22, 2009

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stanley dean cowens writes...

I reading a question someone asked you about if demona and goliath would ever be a couple again and you said no. I was some what unhappy about that development as I was always had hope they would be a couple again at some point. I also find Elisa to be a some what uninteresting character to be honest compared with demona. I know many shows will take into consideration input from the fanbase and bring certain characters back to life,give popular characters with a small amount of screen time more time and so one. I was wondering if you basically have a vision set in stone for your characters or do you ever make any changes in gargoyles or any other show based on fan feed back? I hope this questions does not violate your rules for answering questions,but I was really wondering about what level you take fan input into consideration regarding existing characters and events? Great show and keep up the good work. I'm kind of burnt out on spiderman to be honest,but now that I know you're involved in it I guess I'll have to buy the box sets and check it out.

Greg responds...

Hmmm... I really don't change stories based on fan desires. First off, fans don't all agree on what they want (for example a lot of folks think Elisa is great), and sometimes (like Demona getting back together with Goliath) they want things that just don't make any story sense and would be bad for the property.

On the other hand, I do respond to what the fans respond to. Brooklyn's popularity was probably one of the things that lead me to the creation of TimeDancer.

Response recorded on September 22, 2009

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Dane Tullock writes...

I recently came across a stand-up arcade cab version of the Gargoyles video game produced for the Sega Genesis. This game is themed in Gargoyles artwork and can play any Sega Genesis game via a cartridge slot in the control panel. I am trying to find more information about the origin, construction and marketing of this unit. I have reviewed the FAQ's and understand that you are not a gamer, but if you can point me in the right direction where I can get more information about this cab, I would greatly appreciate it.

You can see pictures of this unit on my blog at http://www.2old2play.com/Blog/waterborn


Dane Tullock
Community Manager

Greg responds...

I'd be interested too, but I know nothing about this. Sorry.

Response recorded on September 22, 2009

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Phoenician writes...

Well, having seen "Reinforcement," I've got to say that at this point it is my favorite of the first three. Though to be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if my favorite keeps changing as the season progresses.

And this one is off to such a great start, with Spidey doing a little Q&A with Blackie Gaxton and company at the local bar . . .

"Wow Did your parents have foresight or what?" . . . why do I feel that this line MAY have went over Patch's head?

Reading this will no doubt show I loved every minute of this episode, but what was really notable for me was the fact that I really began to love the Electro character here. Despite me enjoying the previous episodes with Electro, the guy just didn't really appeal to me like the other villains have. Maybe it was this dynamic turn of "Enough with Max, I'm Electro!" . . . it just really stood out.

"I've had bad experiences with cats" . . . I hope we get some more elaboration on that one day d:

Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Square . . . this is so New York-y I love it . . . not really for New York City's sake, but the fact that the crew ir really taking advantage of the setting.

And I have to be honest -- my thought of the Christmas Tree lighting up DID throw my mind back to Home Alone 2 . . . oh I can hear the John Williams music now X-)

Flash's face is hilarious when it looks like Kong is about slam him.

And then Gwen/Peter hit the fan . . . ouch. Totally don't blame Gwen here . . . Peter's eyes have been EVERYWHERE these last few episodes.

And as if Mary Jane could read my mind, she totally calls out Peter for being 'too distracted' . . . THANK YOU, MJ :) This is no doubt my favorite scene with MJ . . . even knocking the classic "Face it, Tiger" back in season one. She's only seen Pete ogle at Gwen, Liz, and herself . . . if only she knew of Black Cat d:

"Spider-Man . . . come out to play!" -- Not a remarkable line, but Electro really delivered it well. Kudos to Crispin Freeman (and by the end of the ep, probably the entire cast as well)

And then Spidey's tongue is burnt . . . he just can not catch a break this winter, can he? First its too cold and now its too hot -- hilarious!

Flash not getting shocked -- that was cool.

"Yu burwnt da Cwistmas Twee? DEE Cwistmas Twee? Hawrsh!" I wonder if Home Alone's Kevin is crying his eyes out at this very moment.

"Sign my cast?" -- Spidey should . . . he could use the good PR :)

"Sparks and Flaps were just the appetizer!" . . . Wonder what he calls the rest of the Six?

Rhino trying to be clever . . . let's just say I really appreciate Spidey's banter all the more :)

"Can't we put our differences aside for one night?" SMACK "No" . . . another reason why this Christmas episode rocks so much (shame it couldn't come out at that time last winter)

"I hate you. SO much." Perhaps my favorite moment in the series ever.

"ARACHNID!!" I know it was Kraven as it was shouted . . . but I can see how he was trying to impersonate Doc Ock (especially with the hologram projection).

Speaking of which, I also like how Shocker was in the hologram . . giving Spidey the false sense that its the same Six he's beaten (or not beaten, given the symbiote's role) before.

Speaking of which, why WASN'T Shockey hired to the new Six? Did he get the Knicks tickets this time around?

"Yikes. Lock your chimneys folks!" -- Still haven't seen JJJ in person yet, but it feels like he's around, doesn't it?

"The pack wears prey down . . . For Alpha-Male to crush" -- Kraven seems quite content, doesn't he?

And then we hit the mall for some last minute shopping . . . with some wonderful background music.

"Nullae satisfacionis potiri non possum!" . . . love that line.

Other great quips:
"Well you ARE expert of premature glotalation"
"Call my lawyer / NO Christmas Spirit!" These little guys are seriously growing on me.
"Aw, Fudge" . . . its been a long night, Spidey . . . I think you're allowed ONE swear word before the year ends. d:

And then Mysterio gets called out for wearing both a Fishbowl AND a snowglobe . . . Spidey's really been on a bantering role tonight. You know, while finally pounding and defeating the Six on his own.

Creepy ending with Ock being kidnapped like that . . . can't wait for the next ep.

And just as this awesome and action episode come to a close, we are reminded that, hey, it is the holidays . . . and the first one without Uncle Ben . . . what a great way to end the episode.

Greg responds...

Shocker still is way more in the Big Man's camp than the Master Planner's.

Response recorded on September 22, 2009

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So I've been lurking a bit, and I see folks are questioning the accessibility of the Gargoyles comics.

And I know I shouldn't do this, but I'm going to defend my own work here instead of just letting it stand on its own.

I totally reject the notion that the comics aren't accessible to new readers, unfamiliar with the GARGOYLES property. Now, granted Clan-Building, Volume II is pretty inaccessible IF you haven't read Clan-Building, Volume I. But in fairness to me, the Clan-Building arc is published in two volumes for commercial reasons, not creative ones. It's not two six-issue arcs; it's one twelve issue arc. So if you read Clan-Building in it's entirety OR if you read Bad Guys in it's entirety, I think both these arcs are extremely ACCESSIBLE.

And, yes, I've seen the reviews that claim that they're not. But I notice that those reviews are written by people who ARE passingly familiar with the cartoon and are making the ASSUMPTION that the books would be inaccessible to new readers. But I don't buy it. I've been doing this for a LONG time. And I know how to fill in my reader and/or viewer, introduce new concepts, etc.

Every issue in sequence introduces all the necessary information to a new reader that said reader would need. Does a reader benefit if they know all the backstory? Of course. But they don't have to know that backstory to enjoy the comic.

Let me take a specific example -- one that a reviewer specifically brought up. At the very end of issue #2 of Bad Guys, Sevarius appears. The reviewer (who knew exactly who Sevarius was) thought that I was blowing off new readers, because I gave NO backstory or introduction to Sevarius in that issue. But I'd argue that no introduction was necessary at that point. We've seen a mysterious figure descend into the Labyrinth, taser a guard, shed a disguise and confront Fang, claiming to know his real name and stating that he is Fang's "maker". That's ALL you need to know at that point as a new reader. It's perfectly okay if you DON'T know who this guy is. It's intriguing enough on that level. And in the very next issue (or chapter if you're reading the trade) Hunter gives all the backstory on Sevarius that you need to appreciate his role in issues/chapters #3 and #4. Yes, a hardcore fan is going to get extra juice when Sevarius pulls off his disguise because they'll recognize him. But even if Sevarius had been a brand new character, I wouldn't have handled his introduction any differently.

Look at Tasmanian Tiger. He is a new character. I hope he's at least a little bit intriguing. But is a new reader lost because they DON'T know that this is his first appearance? Readers, whether they are hardcore Garg fans or complete newbies, know as much about TT as they need to know -- and no more.

Yes, there are resources on the web -- BUT I don't count on those AT ALL, with one exception. And that exception is if people wonder why I'm ignoring Goliath Chronicles. And a new reader isn't even going to KNOW about Goliath Chronicles, so it's NOT an exception to him or her.

Otherwise, I use the tools I have within the book to explain what an audience needs to know. Someone familiar with the property may THINK the reader needs to know more, but I flat-out think they're wrong. My proof is anecdotal but it exists. I know people who've read the books and enjoyed them even though they never saw the show. Has it interested them in finding out more about the original series? Yes. And that's good and fine. But there's a difference between a new reader being intrigued and WANTING to learn more and a new reader being confused and NEEDING to know more to get what's going on.

You don't need to KNOW Brooklyn's entire history to know he's hurting because he can't get a date, to know he's pining for Angela and to know he's trying to get away from Angela and Broadway before chapter 10 of Clan-Building comes along -- and he's thrust into the past. Everything you NEED to know about him is present in issues 1-9. One benefits from knowing more, but that doesn't make it necessary to know more.

Of course, the greatest blockade to accessibility is the non-linear structure of chapters 7-9. But that's not property-based or familiarity-based, that's me using a non-traditional structure, which I might have done on an issue of, say, Captain Atom or Spider-Man or whatever. Hopefully, if a reader has read the first six chapters, they're intrigued enough to want to follow along despite the difficult structure.

Remember, issues 1 & 2 are designed to introduce you to the world of Gargoyles and any relevant information about said world. I got slammed by one reviewer for opening the comic book series with that adaptation of "The Journey", but I thought it was essential for new readers. One could argue fairly that each succeeding issue isn't as accessible as those first two, but complications and characters were added gradually through those first six issues. Anyone reading the book in order would not have been lost for a minute. If we hadn't been plagued by delays and late deliveries (which I had no control over and did not anticipate) it wouldn't have been the same kind of problem.

Any comic book or animated series that employs serialization and continuity is subject to these difficulties. And the middle chapter of any story (including a twelve-part story like Clan-Building or a six-part story like Redemption) can be tough to follow without having read the first few chapters. But just as I feel you can enjoy, say, "Leader of the Pack" without ever having seen any episodes from Season One of Gargoyles, I think Clan-Building can be enjoyed without having seen ANY of the Gargoyles TV series. Is the same true for "Avalon, Part Two" or "Avalon, Part Three"? No. But I think it IS true for "Avalon, Part One" and/or the three-part "Avalon" series when considered as a single unit.

My point is, I'm very familiar with the dilemma, and I know how to compensate. Or in any case, I'm VERY aware of the need to compensate. One can argue that I failed, I suppose. It does become subjective at some point. But nothing I did was done without very conscious thought on my part vis-a-vis the needs of a new reader. So any reviewer who claims that I didn't care or didn't try to make the book accessible is just -- well, wrong. And I think they are making assumptions based on THEIR knowledge of the richness of the property. They get all these resonances and call-backs, etc., and ASSUME a new reader would be lost without them. But you know what they say about the word "ASSUME". The resonances and call-backs are gravy. (And if you don't know they exist you won't know you're missing anything.) The meat, in my opinion, is all right there on the page.

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