A Station Eight Fan Web Site
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.
hey greg let me say im very excited for young justice i currently have one question you said the show takes place in earth 16 in the dc multiverse
i did a searched on the internet and it said that earth 16 is home to the "super sons"which is not connected to young justice. so im wondering they you know this before or did you ignored it.
We asked DC for one of their unused 52 Earths, and they assigned us Earth-16. I wasn't aware at the time that pieces of it had been explored already. So we're ignoring that stuff...
Did you have Darth Vader in mind when you made Manta, the father of Aqualad?
You'd have to ask Geoff Johns. That was his idea. (Though I LOVE it!)
Hello again, Mr. Weisman.
I've had a question in the back of my mind for some time, and now seems like a good time to ask it.
Recently, you released the writer's rotation for the first 24 episodes of YJ.
I've always been fascinated with television writing,as there seems to be no one way to do it, so I wanted to ask a few questions on how you approach it.
1. Back when i first wanted to ask this, I checked the SpecSpiderman archives to see what you mentioned about writing for that show. When going over writing duties, you mentioned that some of the episodes that you "reserved" some of the episodes you wrote. Since Young Justice finds you in a similar position of being both a producer and staff writer, I'm curious to know, what factors do you use when picking episodes to reserve for yourself (and confirming that reserve wasn't just a metaphor you were using)?
2. While I'm here, I was hoping you could also shed some light on how much freedom your freelance writers are given. Do they ever get the chance to write an episode completely from scratch, or because the shows you work on are so arc based, are they always given a firm foundation to start with, and if so, how rigid is this foundation (generally)?
1. Sometimes I end up writing an episode for pragmatic reasons... or a combination of the creative and the pragmatic. For example, I wrote the two-part pilot of Young Justice (i.e. episodes 1 and 2). Of course, I had a creative desire to write these episodes, but it also would not have been pragmatic for anyone else to write them. I needed to set the tone of the series for the other writers to be able to get it.
Another example: staff writer Kevin Hopps and I were set to write the last two episodes (25 and 26) of the first season. Though we know the basics of what takes place in them, based on meetings that Kevin, producer Brandon Vietti and I had over a year ago, we hadn't broken those episodes yet, and creatively I hadn't decided which of the two I wanted to write. But scheduling realities last week made it apparent that Kevin would HAVE to write 25, meaning I was writing 26. All of which is just as well. I started the season; I might as well finish it. But the decision wasn't creative; it was purely pragmatic. The creative decision might have been no different. But the creative decision became moot for pragmatic reasons.
On the other hand, I've also written three other episodes. In those cases, the pragmatic need was for me to write one episode each between 6-11, between 12-17 and between 18-24. Within those parameters, I chose 11, 15 and 19 for purely creative reasons. Those were the ones I felt a special affinity for (based on reasons I can't reveal now without spoilers). So going into the three writers' meetings for each of those three "sets" of episodes, there was SOME flexibility as to which writer took which episode (keeping scheduling pragmatism in mind), but I had "reserved" for myself the one I wanted to write in each case.
2. My freelancers have, for better or worse, very little freedom when it comes to WHAT stories we are telling. The premises were all approved long before the freelancers came aboard. If a specific writer feels no affinity for a specific story, then he or she doesn't have to take that episode. I always try to give each writer an episode that jazzes him or her. But the basics of the stories are set. Now, the writers are very involved in the execution of those stories. That's where their freedom comes in. But they still have quite a gauntlet to wade through... beat outlines, outlines, scripts (and notes from many sources). Ultimately, I take responsibility for every episode, and I'm the guy doing the final pass on every beat outline, outline and script. But I couldn't do this job without stellar writers providing me with great stuff. And on this series, I couldn't do it without Brandon and Kevin actively participating in the inception and breaking of every single story.
Not a question but...THAT GREEN ARROW SHORT WAS F***ING AMAZING!!! Hard to believe a ten minute dvd short is better than half the crap superhero movies hollywood is putting out. Thank you and everybody else who worked on it for this.
Glad you liked it!!
Following (far) behind my long-overdue reaction to Bad Guys, here's my first question about it:
Why does Yama ask which specific gargoyle and human Sevarius used for the mutate DNA he was planning to use on Robyn and Yama? Why does Yama care? Is some human DNA more undesirable than others, or is he just curious?
I'll leave that for your interpretation for now.
Did Matt ever tell Elisa that he was a member of the Illuminate? I ask because in the episode Revelations Matt says that it didnât pay to keep Elisa in the dark about things (speaking about the incident with the Dracons in The Silver Falcon). After going on and on about how they should trust each other in the episode Revelations, it would seem contradictory of what Matt had just been through to not tell Elisa. But then, maybe he has his reasons to keep it a secret. Care to shed some light on the subject?
Thank you for your time and all that you do,
I do not care to shed light on the subject.
In High Noon, why could Elisa see Coldstone, Demona, Macbeth, and the gargoyles at the park when no one else could due to the spell that Demona had cast on them?
Thank you for your time and all that you do,
It was a condition of the spell that bystanders wouldn't notice, but "players" would.
Does Talon have a second in command down in the Labyrinth?
If so, who? Neither Maggie nor Claw seem like leader material to me, but then I could be wrong. I figure one of the clones might work, maybe. If not one of the clones, does Talon have someone else in mind to lead in his place, maybe someone we havenât seen who lives down in the Labyrinth (a human)?
If not, why doesnât Talon have an official second in command? Wouldnât he know that (if something happened to him) without a leader the Labyrinth could turn to chaos trying to get a new one (worst case scenario)?
Thank you for your time and all that you do,
Talon isn't a gargoyle, and hasn't particularly structured the Labyrinth after a clan. He's more or less been elected leader. I guess he figures - if he thinks about it at all -- if he goes down, someone else will get elected.
There are people down there he trusts, like Thug and Maggie and Claw... and I'd guess Delilah.
But nothing official.
I'm going to hope that this isn't one of those pesky "question masquerading as an idea" things, but here goes. Any chance you've seen this? It's a fairly recently made mock trailer for a "Saturday Morning" style cartoon based on Watchmen by a prominent member of the flash community who goes by "HappyHarry".
You worked on Watchmen as an assistant editor and on several animated shows as a development executive during the late 80's/early 90's, I'm assuming at least some of them were of the "Saturday Morning" variety, so I just thought you might have an interesting perspective on the general idea behind that video.
The video is obviously a joke and exaggerated on several levels, but practically speaking could that kind of thing have been made in that style back then? Which is to say, would it be the kind of thing that would have a reasonable chance of getting picked up as a series, in your opinion?
And while I'm on the subject.
What did your job on Watchmen consist of while you were at DC?
Did you ever work directly with Alan Moore or Dave Gibbons during that time?
What led to you being the fingerprint model for Rorschach?
I NEVER worked on Watchmen. I shared an office with Julia Sabbah, who worked on designing the book. And she used my thumbprints for Rorschach's criminal file because, frankly, I was there. That's the sum total of my involvement in the project.
And, no, I can't see Watchmen as a Saturday Morning cartoon. But there are a lot of cartoons that are on that I still am mind-boggled by, so what do I know?
I've never worked with either Alan Moore or Dave Gibbons. I met Alan once when I was 21 at San Diego Comic-Con (1985). Never even met Dave.
I originally posted this in the comment room a few weeks ago when I finally got the chance to buy the first issue of Mecha-Nation from my local comic shop. Bad timing had the Ask Greg question queue already closed. Nevertheless, I thought I'd post my review and comments here, as I've been genuinely excited and eager for some Greg Weisman/Vic Cook/Greg Gular material all summer (I blame the lack of a complete second season DVD of SpecSpidey . . . I reckon I'll just buy the last four volumes after a few more paychecks come in *sigh*).
The first issue starts 'in media res' with First Wave fighting . . . well, our heroes with a to-be-determined team name.
Team-themes aside, the Mecha-teens go by Stealth, Blast! Tank, Charge, and Fahrenheit. First Wave on the other hand consists of Flood, Grunt, Crane, Velocity and Pulse. As you probably can tell, each individual's name relates to their particularly unique power (like Fahrenheit able to wield fire and Stealth being able to be camouflaged in his surroundings).
They're still shopping for team names mid-battle as a matter of fact (well, at least Blast! is), which rightly leads to some standard obligatory banter . . . which is SO a rule, according to Blast (his profile at the end of the issue lists Dragonball and X-Men as favorites of his, though I wonder and hope if he's seen Spectacular Spidey, hehe).
The battle ultimately cuts short and just as Charge calls it out for what must be an entirely pointless battle, First Wave tells our new heroes that in coming out to fight nearby a Glass Lake Senior High Bowlathon so quickly, they've quite possibly just slipped their hand and given away their non-Mecha-identities. Cue a few Dun Dun Duns.
The story moves on to the next day with Kevin (Stealth), Marcus (Blast!), Zahra (Charge), Ray (Tank), and Fahrenheit (Susie) making their way to school, still somewhat shaken from last night's events. Determined not to out themselves as Mecha-Sapiens, they promise not to 'Metal-out' for any reason to varying successes. We're soon treated to a funny side effect when maintaining one's human form for too long ('the itches' . . . I can only imagine).
While the five try to hide in their metal shells, we get some fun social interactions at Glass Lake Senior High, where Susie is very much a popular and can never-be-seen by the "freaks and geek." Zehra, a 'freak,' meanwhile has connections at the school she would prefer to ignore, given her (and her teammates) current troubles.
The rest of the issue has some fun introductions with the science teacher (who's got a particularly annoying verbal tic) and the school principal, all the while with the blooming mysteries of who the First Wave folk are (and have we already seen them at school?) and what "The Factory" is (evidently First Wave's . . . employers?) Clearly the questions are rhetorical; no doubt I'll get a better sense of the answers in the next two issues . . . <Heh Heh> d:
Tangent -- One issue in, and already with the Shakespeare references? Granted, its Romeo and Juliet which seems to be the typical standard selection for all high schools these days (in my own case, I read it in Eighth Grade and thus begged my freshman English teacher if we could do another tragedy -- Macbeth, I wonder why I recommended that? haha -- instead of his initial selection of Romeo and Juliet). Still, as a long time fan of your work, this brief mention made me chuckle. :)
Overall, a fun first issue that makes me want to see more very soon.
Glad you liked it. We're really proud of Mecha-Nation and hope it catches on...
Hey Greg, a couple Spectacular Spidey ?'s that I hope you'll be able to answer:
1.) Someone asked a question on whether you had plans for S.H.I.E.L.D., and you said "No", not "No comment". So I'm curious, where do you see Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. at this point in time? Have the government approved the group, or has there not been a reason to create the group yet?
2.) The Lizard in his first appearance was not seen as talking, but was seen as a mute, savage beast. I'm curious, what was the thought process behind making him that way?
3.) What happened with MOI animation in the second season? Blueprints, Shear Strength, Growing Pains, & Gangland are in my opinion the weakest animated episodes of the series. Their season 2 work just felt alot less fluid than their season 1 work, and compared to Dong Woo and Hanho their animation from season 2 was alot more fluid looking than what MOI was doing. I know there's a camp of people who complained about Hanho going off model, but I always accepted the squash and stretch being used alot more, since that's how Victor Cook intended the animation to be.
These next 2 questions are tricky to ask since I'm not sure if they break the "won't spoil because their better off being revealed in execution" code you've gone by, but I'll give it a shot anyways:
4.) You said that Roderick Kingsley owning a perfume company would be brought up in his next appearance. Does that mean you had plans to introduce Belladonna?
5.) You said you know who the main villains of each arc would be in season 3, but you didn't have everything planned out beyond that. Hobgoblin sounds obvious, Scorpion, Maybe. So are the main villains of each season 3 arc, something you'd be willing to reveal(at the very least), or not?
6.) About the radio play, when Cleatus says to Demona, "I'll have what he's having.", how come Eddie wasn't saying "YES, YES, OH GOD YES" when he became Venom again before that?
Looking forward to Young Justice!
1. I don't have my Spec Spidey research notes with me here at Warner Bros. But as I recall, Nick has not yet been recruited to run SHIELD yet. But in any case, at the time I'm sure I didn't have access to Nick or the SHIELD characters. Spidey Universe only.
2. It seemed right. He seemed more dangerous that way. More Lizardy.
3. I really don't remember.
4. No comment.
5. Not really.
6. For whatever reason, I didn't have quite as firm a grasp on "When Harry Met Sally" as you seem to. I was in a rush.
I was watching DC Showcase Green Arrow. (Which was really cool by the way). I did not something kind of odd. In most of the other adapations I have seen of him, ke Batman the Animated series and The Batman, he cause people to become dizzy with his eye patch gadget. However in the film he was using his hand. Why such a dramtic change for his power source?
You'd have to ask the director why he made the choice he did, but I know Vertigo has used the power in a myriad of ways over the years in the comics, including how you are describing it and by directing it with his hands and by using an EARpiece.
You may or may not have followed the hubbub earlier in the summer when Donald Glover (young and very charismatic black comedian/actor) was campaigning on Twitter for a chance to audition for the role of Peter Parker in the new Spidey movies. Nothing ever came of it, but it sparked a huge internet debate over whether a black Parker was true to the character.
I myself was very open to the idea. After all, nothing about Peter's character or circumstances dictates that he has to be white. Heck, May isn't even related to him by blood; the only characters that would need to be adjusted are his parents, Uncle Ben, and Ben Reilly-- assuming any of those even make it into the new film.
Given that SpecSpidey is my very favorite version of the mythos, and given that the show was notable for, among other things, mixing up the races of various (mostly minor) characters, I was curious as to your thoughts on the subject. Not to the point of any conclusion, but just a reasoned opinion. Are there some things about Spidey that are just TOO traditional, too sacred, that changing them dilutes people's perception of the character? Is his race one of them? You went with the classic white-with-brown-hair interpretation, and I don't think there are many arguments that you succeeded quite well at adapting Parker.
I'll admit I'm wary of making this post, as I don't mean for you to look like you're choosing sides or giving some definitive answer. After all, I've already made up my mind on the issue; I'm sure most people have. Or they sure seemed to have when this controversy was still fresh. But being that you are something of an expert at adapting this specific property, as well as someone who was willing to add diversity where it was appropriate, I'd really like to pick your brain and hear any thoughts you might have regarding this issue.
I think of Peter Parker as Everyman, so I can see why Mr. Glover and others would identify with him and have no trouble changing his ethnicity.
I myself KNOW that Pete is (whether practicing or not) of the Christian persuasion, because I've seen him celebrate Christmas over and over, but it always struck me as window-dressing to make the character appeal to the widest possible American audience. Because he's ALWAYS seemed Jewish to me. Perhaps that's because Stan Lee was/is Jewish and wrote him that way. Or maybe it's just me, being Jewish, reading it in. I toyed with the idea of having Pete's late mother being Jewish on Spec Spidey. But really, what would be the point? (And that was without asking Marvel if they'd have an issue with it.)
So I don't in a theoretical sense have any problem with an African-American Peter Parker. If Nick Fury can look like Samuel L. Jackson, etc., etc., etc.
The question of course is one of ICONOGRAPHY. Is the caucasian, brunette Peter to iconic to change. I certainly felt that M.J.'s red hair and Gwen's blonde hair were too iconic too change (which at least suggests that they needed to both stay Caucasian). But what about Peter?
As you guessed, I don't have a definitive answer for you. Stan and Steve (and maybe Jack) designed the costume so that it would hide race and ethnicity completely. Then WROTE Spidey's dialogue as if he were a Borsht Belt comic. (See why I thought he was a Jew from Queens?) So maybe all that matters is the nebbish -- not the color of it.
But maybe not...
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.
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.
In an earlier post, (March 4, 2002, to be exact) you said, "I think Fox has some issues. The fact that even when she is in love, she thinks she can't love or be loved, that she doesn't deserve love, etc. is central to her problems. Her parents and their relationships to her and each other play in too."
I read, also in an earlier Ask Greg post, that Fox was 25 when her parents divorced. We the audience don't know how long the marriage lasted happily before Titania grew bored from Renard's rigid ways, or even how long it took her to divorce Renard. A child first learns about relationships from his or her parents, for better or for worse. Growing up and choosing fun over integrity has its key role, of course, especially with her father. So even though Fox wasn't a child when her parents separated, can Fox' feelings that she cannot love or be loved be, at least in part, as a result of her parents' divorce?
Sure. Though of course troubles precede any final divorce decree.
Hi Greg, this is a rather silly question...
I was watching the "Avalon" trilogy the other day, and it came to the part where King Arthur, Elisa, and the Magus arrived at Oberon's Palace after Arthur is awakened. Elisa introduces Arthur to Goliath and the others, and Arthur comments that he needs someone to tell him "what is going on".
So, here's the thing...I find it hard to believe that neither Elisa nor the Magus gave Arthur any background info on the walk back from the Hollow Hill. Were they talking at all? ( I know if I were personally taking a hike with King Arthur, I would be embarassed to say anything dumb and would just cast sidelong glances at him awkwardly lol).
I imagine Arthur was largely still in recovery mode from a LONG sleep.
There may have also been some delaying tactics on the part of Elisa and the Magus as they struggled to figure out exactly how to explain everything.
Mostly, my answer is "Use your imagination!" ;)
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?
Can't wait for young justice! From the limited we've seen ad heard, it looks great. I was wondering if you were planning on using any of the plotlines from the young jusice comic in the show, sort of like how the teen titans took the judas contract storyline and turned that into one of the major plotlines of the second season.
Also, i have to say I'm a little worried about robin being voiced by jesse mcartney. No offense to him, but being as he has a pretty high voice, and you said robin is 13, not 3... I was wondering about how you went about choosing voice actors? Robin for example has been voiced by a number of other people on all the batman shows as well as teen titans. Did you all have. Certain tone in mind for each charecters voice before casting?
Lastly, I know you probably won't dignify this with an answer, but I have a strong urge to ask (I don't HAVE to like that other person lol) I read one of your responses about the number sixteen being involved in the show so much, and you responce wa something like "chuckles evily" or something. I know you can't and won't specify, but was there a reason for using 16 so much?
Thanks for taking the time to deal with all of us :)
Jesse does an EXCELLENT job. And his normal speaking voice is NOT particularly high. Not for a guy his true age and certainly not for a thirteen-year-old. Have you actually heard him speak... you know, anytime recently?
And, as I've said before, we chose our leads by AUDITIONING a ton of people for each part (i.e. Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Miss Martian, Artemis and Superboy/Superman). I think we probably heard something in our heads in advance -- Brandon more than I, probably -- but we knew enough to stay open to serendipity. In any case, I'm thrilled with our leads, as well as our HUGE recurring/guest cast.
How hard was to come up with the story for DC showcase Green Arrow since you didn't have the same amount of time you have for a tv episode?
It wasn't that hard. I had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted to do.