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Anonymous writes...

Can you tell us the meaning of the colors of the index cards you use to plan your shows?

Greg responds...

It changes from show to show, even from season to season. And on YJ S3, because of index card shortages of specific colors (this happened, believe it or not), it changed more than once DURING the season.

As an example, in YJ S1:

Green - villains
Red - Justice League
Blue - The Team (hero stuff)
Purple - The Team (teen stuff)
Yellow - Stuff where a specific date matters (like holdays)
White - Stuff that we're laying pipe for but will not objectively reveal to the audience at this time

Response recorded on April 29, 2019

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Jack Carpenter writes...

I've heard a lot about the "core truth" concept you and your team use in your approach to characters.

Are some of these core truths secrets, or would you tell us any that we ask?

Greg responds...

I don't think they're secrets because we put it all up on screen. But my inclination is to let our interpretation stand on its own, influenced by each viewer's own interpretation, as opposed to explicating everything in writing here. Still, I don't mind talking process. I'm not going to go down a laundry list of characters, but if someone were interested in one specific character as an example of the process, I might - depending on my mood and clarity - answer this kind of question once or twice.

Response recorded on March 14, 2018

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FallenLegend writes...

I have questions regarding adapting DC comics.

You see there is certain fan adaptation running around on the net( I won't mention it for obvious reasons) , and to be honest all the changes seem silly, cringe inducing and fanfic like.

Yet all your changes seem logical. I mean replacing Aqualad with Kalduram or Cassie as Wondergirl would be controversial but it's logical and I like it. You even improved on many characters like from the source material like Artemis and Sportsmaster.

Most of the changes you have done are like apple products they just work.

So my question is How do you make earth 17 feel so cohesive and faithful despite doing some heavy changes to the source material?

Greg responds...

Well, for starters, it's Earth-16.

But otherwise the goal is to get down to the core of every character that you're adapting and be true to that. Not all the details matter, proven out by the fact that over 75 years of comics history, a lot of the details about any given character keep changing. But who the character is at her or his core does matter.

All this is influenced by what we've already done in a universe that we're trying to keep cohesive and coherent, so we think about how any new character would fit into that schema. Or if they'll fit. Things like scope effect us too. For example, we talked about including Supergirl in both Season One and Season Two, but her story was too big to fit in either season without derailing our main overall plot or skimping on her story. We'll get to her eventually - no promises as to when - but it'll have to be when we could do justice (YOUNG justice) to her story.

Response recorded on September 21, 2017

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B writes...

I think that in #3 of this question (http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=22075), Lenny was actually asking if a company would consider a recommendation *for* a more seasoned producer, not *from*. i.e. If the newbie who's idea was picked up by the company wanted Dini, Cook or Vietti to produce it, would the company consider that request or just provide their own producer? (I have a feeling I know the answer, but wanted to clarify what Lenny was asking)

Greg responds...

Ah. Yeah, I didn't get that.

I guess you could ask for whomever you wanted, but whether they can cooperate with that suggestion will depend on a load of factors, including but not limited to availability, cost, interest, studio needs, etc.

Response recorded on September 18, 2017

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Anonymous writes...

Hi! I'd like to ask you a question from a writing standpoint if you don't mind. When juggling a lot of plotlines, how important is it to develop relationships on-screen? On the one hand, obviously the main couples should be. But for the minor ones/background characters, I'm not sure if it's better to leave their relationship status static (which would be unrealistic for most) until I can properly develop something for them, or sometimes put them in side relationships based on chemistry even without much prior development. This would be provided that these relationships could be used to further individual storylines, just not important enough to warrant too much attention from the main plot. It's okay if you don't have an answer, but I'm curious if you do.

Greg responds...

Every character should have his or her own life, even if you don't always have the screen time for it.

Response recorded on September 11, 2017

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Eric writes...

I found a tumblr post that talks about great characters with the link below.

http://giancarlovolpe.tumblr.com/post/98392197924/a-study-in-creating-great-characters-by-aaron

I also remembered you answered a question like that.

"I believe they exist as fully as possible. I create backstories for them, whether or not those backstories will be revealed on screen or on the page. I make them real to me."

So for the actual questions:

1. What do you think about the tumblr post? I think "compelling" and "fascinating" seem too subjective.

2. What exactly do you mean by "exist as fully as possible"? I'm guessing you want to give as much of an image of a character as you can, but I'm also sure that's the main task of any story.

3. You also said that you want to make the characters seem real to yourself, but how do you make them real to the viewer?

4. This one might be redundant, so it probably doesn't need to be answered. But just in case, how do you make characters and stories that the audience can enjoy?

5. I also know you've said that you write your passion, but how do you know it will appeal to others? It all sounds like being hopeful.

Greg responds...

1. Perhaps. But so is "relatable" and "sympathetic". They're directions to head not a detailed map.

2. It's not the main task to make of any story to make EVERY character in the story fully realized. My feeling is - within reasonable parameters - that it SERVES the story to have fully realized characters, who have their own backstories and motives that are specific to them.

3. I cross my fingers that if it works for me, it'll work for a substantial portion of my audience.

4. I write what I like, and cross the above-mentioned fingers. The alternative is pointless. If I can't get passionate about my story, how can I possibly expect anyone else to?

5. That's all it is. Honestly. See above.

Response recorded on August 17, 2017

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Carl Johnson writes...

Hello Mr. Weisman,

I had just a couple of questions.

1. One thing about the animation industry is that once a season is over there is no guarantee that the next season will be picked up. Should some one have a plan B for another profession if the next season does not work out? Or is there plenty of work in California that if you did your job well, finding another one should not take long?

2.If someone has a animation idea they want to pitch and have all the details worked out (pitch bible, characters, story, and pilot script) how would they know when they could pitch the idea?

3. I had a question for attires for animation shows. Does it cost more to have different episodic attires for characters or do characters have only one attire to save time? I know in Spectacular, Peter had a winter attire with the jacket, or that one time he had the black shirt with brown pants during the symbiote removal episode but is there a choice on whether they can change their attire episode by episode to add more realism?
Thanks!

Greg responds...

1. Well, uh... There are no guarantees. I try to have other work lined up, pretty much always. And sometimes I'm just flat-out unemployed for stretches. This gig is not for the faint of heart, I guess.

2. I'm not sure I understand the question. If you're ready, pitch. But my caution would be to be careful not to poison the water. If it's a work in progress, and isn't actually very good (YET), then I wouldn't pitch. Make sure you're only showing the best possible version of what you've got. On the other hand, there's not much point in noodling forever on an idea. If it's solid, go for it.

3. Every design - and new clothes are a new design - cost time, which costs money. So, yes, in animation, we need a pretty good reason to give characters additional wardrobe. But if we need it, we need it.

Response recorded on April 24, 2017

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RexBlazer1 writes...

Hello Greg,

Not so much a question as an attempt to clear some things up. You said that you didn't remember our first exchange, so, here's a link:
http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=21729

The follow-up exchange:
http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=21290

I do hope this clears things up. I checked the links on my end and they appear to work. If they don't work for you then I'll just have to copy and paste, which will probably take up more space than I wanted to use.

Greg responds...

Okay, yeah, reread it all. (You've got the links switched, but they're both there.)

As I suspected, I wasn't upset the first time. I don't even seem to be annoyed. I was just giving you my honest response to your question, which was that I thought to some extent it was the wrong question for a writer to ask.

As for the second post, as I noted, you seemed to have a better handle on things.

So no worries on my end.

Good luck with your stories.

Response recorded on March 22, 2017

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qwerty writes...

As a general rule of thumb, how far do you like to plan ahead with stuff you write?

Greg responds...

All the way. At least to the end of each season, with at least some clear sense of where we'd go next.

Response recorded on March 20, 2017

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Joshua Starnes writes...

I am getting ready to write my first professional scripts for animation. At the risk of asking a really broad question, what is the number one thing from your experience you would tell a starting out writer in the medium to keep in mind?

Greg responds...

Proofread relentlessly.

Response recorded on March 20, 2017

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ClarkeC writes...

Hey Mr.Weisman, managed to check out Starbrand and Nightmask and it was pretty good to no one's surprise. Also congrats on a season 3 of Young Justice. I just have two questions regarding that show.
1. You mentioned that there was both a timeline(that only you and Brandon are privy to) and a series bible(with details like Vandal Savage being Attila
the Hun supposedly). In the context of Young Justice, is their a difference or are they more or less the same.
2. You mentioned on this site that you used post cards and a giant billboards with different cards with different colors to establish certain dialogue or plot points. Do you also use them for events off screen such during the time skip or prior to the series?
Thanks in advance for time.

Greg responds...

1. They are two different documents. I'm constantly updating the timeline. The bible, I haven't looked at in five years.

2. Index cards, not post cards. And, yes, sometimes.

Response recorded on February 28, 2017

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Zaggadabba writes...

1) How do you try to keep things unpredictable when you know that by the simple law of enough monkeys with enough typewriters, some fan out there will figure out any twist sooner or later?
2) How do you balance keeping a villain interesting/likable without making it so much so that the audience roots for them instead of the protagonist?

Greg responds...

1. Can't worry about that. We tell the stories that we want to tell. That our characters tell us we need to tell. Inevitably, some percentage of our audience will figure out our game. Inevitably, some will be surprised. If the story is well-told, hopefully both groups will still enjoy it.

2. Give them motivation that makes sense, but don't sugarcoat their actions.

Response recorded on February 16, 2017

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Robert Misirian writes...

Hi Mr. Weisman. I remember we met in WonderCon last year and I asked you questions about writing spec scripts for cartoons. I remember you said that I should write three scripts, then go over them, and only submit one of them if you're absolutely sure it's good.

Knowing what you and your crew got away with in Young Justice, how do how people like you and Gennedy Tartakovsky on Sym-Bionic Titan get away with the TV-PG content and make your show with teens in mind? And since I plan to make TV-14 shows for the main Cartoon Network channel, would the channel accept them?

Greg responds...

You'd have to ask them. The needs of ANY given channel are constantly changing.

And I don't write for an older audience. I write on levels so it works for the widest possible audience.

Response recorded on November 30, 2016

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Kelli writes...

Hi Mr. Greg! Firstly I'd like to say how much I truly enjoy your shows and shows you've written for, you've been an inspiration to myself as a writer for a long time. You're one of the greats!

I have some questions about writing, if that's okay.

1. As stated previously, I admire your writing greatly and wanted to know if there are some tips you could give me in writing a series focused on a team and writing for multiple characters? I'm currently working on my original ideas, and I'm a little embarrassed to admit that a lot of my writing pace and story planning/arcing is influenced by watching shows such as Spectacular Spider-Man, YJ, TMNT and many others including comics like Kanan: The Last Padawan (I own every issue)that you've written for. But writing for multiple characters can become difficult since I write in third person.

2. Have you ever gotten "bogged down" so to speak in writing a series planned on spanning over a period of time?

3. Lastly, do you find it hard to focus on what's happening in the series currently instead of jumping to the conclusion because of exciment for the end? If so, how do you stay focused?

Just for fun question: When not writing for tv, what's your prefered voice for writing, first or third?

Thank you for your time, and I can't wait to read/watch what you write next!

Greg responds...

1. I've answered questions like this before, so check the WRITING and WRITING TIPS archives here at ASK GREG for more details. But it's hard to answer your question, because I'm not clear what you're trying to accomplish. When you say you're "writing a series," what does that mean? Television? Movies? Books? Comics? Short stories? A proposal for one or the other or all? Are you asking me about choreographing action or about juggling storylines or something else?

2. Sure.

3. Sometimes. DEADLINES help me focus.

4. I don't have a preference. It depends on the needs of the specific story.

Response recorded on November 21, 2016

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Anonymous writes...

What do I need to write in character biographies? As I'm making my project, the way I do my character bios, I write a lot of backstor, the characters' personality, birthday and age, and a bit of present, etc. Is that all necessary or do I need to do them in a better order?

Greg responds...

There aren't any rules. You do what you need.

Response recorded on November 18, 2016

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Marvelman writes...

Hi. A little while ago I requested a character oriented slant for a hypothetical third season of Young Justice. I want to rescind my request. As I sit here working on my YA novel, I realized that no writer can work that way. He/she can only tell the story she wants to tell and hope other people like it.

Greg responds...

Yep.

Response recorded on October 10, 2016

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Taylor writes...

Hi Greg,

In your opinion, what are some of the key factors that separate a good story/script from a poor one (especially as it applies to writing in episodic television)?

Thanks

Greg responds...

Uh...

Good structure.

Story that comes out of character.

Dialogue that sounds like something human beings would actually say.

Some amount of surprise.

And if we're literally talking about the script itself: PROOFREADING!

Response recorded on October 07, 2016

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Mark Snelling writes...

Hello Mr. Weisman,

I'm very much a writer like yourself and am trying to break into the animation industry with a story of my own; its tone and maturity much like Young Justice, which I loved by the way (Go Robin!).

My questions are:

1.) How much should I have in my story's portfolio before I pitch my idea to various networks? I already have concept drawings, practice scripts, and I'm having an independent studio make three animated shorts, but what would you suggest?

2.) Who, generally, should I know or get to mentor me in breaking into the industry? I was trained as an Engineer before realizing my true passion for storytelling.

3.) Any other tips I may have missed?

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Greg responds...

1. Less is more. You already have way more product/content than I'd use to pitch an original idea. The thing you may be missing is experience. But you never know. Sometimes they go for it.

2. As many folks as possible. Networking is an important skill.

3. Proofread religiously.

Response recorded on October 06, 2016

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Mexi Gremillion writes...

Hi Greg!

My name is Mexi Gremillion and I am going to be writing for film and television when I finish college in May. I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions possibly about your experience as a creator and writer of fantastic television series like Gargoyles and Young Justice via email if possible, but it is totally fine if I ask you publicly on this sort of forum. I love your work and it's totally fine if you don't answer this, but I hope you do. Thank you so much for your time.

Sincerely,

Mexi Gremillion

Greg responds...

Hi Mexi,

I'd prefer to keep things in this forum. I know you asked this question nine months ago, so if you're still checking this, I'd recommend that you look at the Ask Greg archives under WRITING and/or WRITING TIPS. See if your questions were asked and answered already. If you still have more questions, post them here.

Response recorded on September 20, 2016

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RexBlazer1 writes...

Hi Greg,

I'll try and keep this short, as I'm sure your busy and having things to do, but basically I would like your honest opinion on something. And no, don't worry, it's not about ideas for any of the things you've worked on, nor anything that I or others have written.

Anyway, I'm an aspiring writer who wants to make his own series, and there's an aspect of storytelling that I can't seem to decide on. You see, I have always felt that there are, primarily, two types of villains:

1. The kind who do bad things and don't care
2. The kind who believe that their actions are justified

Summarily, I can't seem to decide which one is worse, as it could really be argued either way. I've asked some friends what they think, and have gotten back different answers.

Admittedly, the self-justifying villain tends to fall under a trope that I have a disliking towards:

Knight Templar - a villain who is convinced that he/she is the hero.

And, after thinking about it, there is at least one thing to appreciate about the "bad and don't care" villains; at least they have no illusions about what they want or what they're doing. Plus, we've seen a lot of the self-justifying villains in recent years, to the point where I think it might be overused. Which is why I think a balance between the two needs to be met, as too much of one can get old fast.

But anyway, I mainly just wanted to ask which type of villain you think is worse; the "bad and don't care" kind, or the self-justifying kind?

Greg responds...

I take some issue with the reductive nature of your question. And so I think you're going about things the wrong way. It's not about which is worse. It's about what fits your character. Take, as an obvious example for this website, GARGOYLES.

We have two rather unique and memorable lead villains, DEMONA and XANATOS. I suppose you could reduce Xanatos to your definition of a type one villain. And I suppose you could reduce Demona to your type two. But there are moments when Xanatos thinks what he does is justified, and moments when Demona does a bad thing and just doesn't care. There are also moments when each has done truly heroic things.

The point I'm making is that a great villain is nothing more or less than a great CHARACTER. Write a character with consistency, backed by consistent motivation and history and I don't really care if he or she is type one, type two or type three. (Because, among other things, I doubt that there are truly only two types.)

Response recorded on September 08, 2016

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CONvergence 2016

I leave tomorrow for CONvergence 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Okay, really Bloomington, MN, but close enough.) CONvergence is one of my favorite cons. And I have the honor of being their first fan-funded guest. Here's my schedule for the long weekend:

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 2016
GUEST RECEPTION 07:00pm - 09:00pm
Atrium 4

THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2016
"Why Gargoyles is Still Relevant" 12:30pm - 01:30pm
Atrium 6 w/Christopher Jones, Patrick Fisher, Alana Profit, Chandra Reyer.

RADIO PLAY AUDITIONS 02:00pm - 03:00pm
Plaza 3 w/Christopher Jones.

"Physics of Time Travel" 03:30pm - 04:30pm
Edina w/Renate Fiora (m), Dan Berliner, Melanie Galloway, Jim Kakalios.

"Fancy Bastard Pie Competition" 08:30pm - 09:30pm
Garden Court - Southwest w/GPS.

FRIDAY, JULY 01, 2016
SIGNING 11:00am - 12:00pm
Autograph Table B.

RADIO PLAY AUDITIONS 12:30pm - 01:30pm
Plaza 3 w/Christopher Jones, Khary Payton.

"Writing by Ear" 02:00pm - 03:00pm
Bloomington w/Patrick Marsh (m), Emma Bull, Aimee Kuzenski, Jim McDoniel.

"Don't Call Them Sidekicks: The Enduring Power of Teenage Superheroes" 03:30pm - 04:30pm
Bloomington w/ Christopher Jones, Jessa Markert, Khary Payton, Sylus Rademacher.

"Drawing with the Masters" 07:00pm - 08:00pm
Plaza 2 w/Christopher Jones, Ruth Thompson.

"Why Diversity Needs to be Deeper than Marketing" 08:30pm - 09:30pm
Edina w/ Trisha Lynn (m), Kate Norlander, Jonathan Palmer, Dirk Ykema.

"Xanadu Cinema Pleasure Dome Live Podcast" 10:00pm - 11:00pm
Edina w/Windy Bowlsby, Melissa Kaercher.

SATURDAY, JULY 02, 2016
"Building Worlds for Fiction" 09:30am - 10:30am
Plaza 1 w/Michael Carus (m), J.M. Lee, Melissa Olson, Lynne M. Thomas.

"Why We Need Representation in Superheroes" 11:00am - 12:00pm
Edina w/ Christopher Jones, Bri Lopez Donovan, Khary Payton, Lynne M. Thomas.

RADIO PLAY REHEARSAL 12:30pm - 01:30pm
Atrium 6 w/ Christopher Jones, Jim Kakalios, Khary Payton and a cast of tens.

RADIO PLAY PERFORMANCE 02:00pm - 03:00pm
Atrium 6 w/ Christopher Jones, Jim Kakalios, Khary Payton and a cast of tens.

"Superficially Strong Female Characters" 05:00pm - 06:00pm
Edina w/ Crystal Huff (m), Kathryn Sullivan, Chrysoula Tzavelas, Joan Marie Verba.

"One on One with Christopher Jones" 07:00pm - 08:00pm
Edina (m) w/Christopher Jones.

ANIMATION BLUE 07:00pm - 08:00pm
Atrium 6 w/Christopher Jones, Lyda Morehouse, Khary Payton, Jenna Powers, Edmund Tsabard.

SUNDAY, JULY 03, 2016
YOUNG JUSTICE 09:30am - 10:30am
Atrium 6 w/Christopher Jones, Khary Payton.

SIGNING 11:00am - 12:00pm
Autograph Table B.

RAIN OF THE GHOSTS 12:30pm - 01:30pm
Edina.

READING 02:00pm - 03:00pm
Rm 2201.

ONE ON ONE 07:00pm - 08:00pm
Atrium 6 w/Melissa Kaercher.


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Jack Johnson writes...

Hey Mr. Weisman

I consider your and your collaborators' take on Young Justice to be a masterpiece, not just in terms of action but in terms of planning and structure. And that leads me to ask the question of how, exactly, did you go about mounting that type of beautifully complex operation? I mean how were you able to develop all of those intertwining stories for literally hundreds of characters and feed them all into the larger agenda? Did you start by breaking a general story for where you wanted the series to go and which characters you wanted to take it there? Or did you start with the main characters and work your way out from there?

Greg responds...

I suppose we did start with general story. And characters, including general directions for each major character.

Then it's about index cards on a bulletin board. You move them around until you've got a cohesive set of stories, creating an arc or tapestry for the entire season.

Response recorded on May 23, 2016

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Sean writes...

Hello Greg,

I just had a few questions concerning Series Bibles if that's alright.

1. How are Series Bibles typically constructed? Is it divided into sections like characters, locations, and story events usually or does it depend on the show?
2. Do they contain much in the way of art or concepts? If so, are there perhaps unused versions or is it typically the finalized designs?
3. Given how much the passage of time is a factor in your shows, do you typically have a series timeline that gets added to as you progress? Do events tend to stay where they are or can things be moved around if need be?

Thank you for your time.

Greg responds...

1. It depends on the needs of the show. But generally, there's an introductory section. Then characters. Major settings. Perhaps gear. Stories. Conclusion.

2. Most don't include art because no art has been done yet. (I'm not sure what you mean by "concepts".) By the time there is art, generally no one bothers to update the bible with it. But there are tons of exceptions.

2a. Could be either or neither.

3. I do, yes.

3a. Nothing is canon until it's appeared on the air or in some other canon source, for example the YJ companion comic. So things can change until then. But we tend to stay on track most of the time.

Response recorded on May 16, 2016

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Ritesh writes...

Hello, Greg. I'm a huge fan of yours. I'm really interested in animation, and storytelling and writing- and would eventually like to have my own show at some point. And I'm a big fan of superheroes and comics, especially DC ones. So- Young Justice had a huge impact on me. Anyway I wanted to know-
1)What advice do you have for young aspiring writers?
2)What are the people in the industry/companies looking for, when they're hiring?(I would love your insight)
3)What's the first step one needs to take, in order to get into the TV animation field and break through?
4)What sort of educational background is preferred in the industry, or proves helpful/useful in it?

The last question, I wanna know specifically as I think that'll help me determine what I wanna take for my University course. I love storytelling, always have and I would love for you to share your knowledge of the industry, and insights of writing. :)

Greg responds...

1. Look through the "WRITING" and "WRITING TIPS" archives here at Ask Greg.

2. Good writers with good sample scripts.

3. Write scripts. Rewrite scripts. Rewrite some more. Get an agent.

4. No one cares. Seriously. Personally, I'm big on education, and I think it'll make you a better writer if you have a strong liberal arts background (even if you majored in the sciences or whatever), but no one looks at a resume and says, "Oh, no, he didn't go to Harvard! We can't hire him!"

Response recorded on March 24, 2016

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Dorphise Jean writes...

I'm starting a comic on my own with a superhero plot I want to know what does these comic publishing companies look for

Greg responds...

They're all different. The best way to analyze each company is to read what they're already putting out.

But frankly, for an original property, I think I'd recommend self-publishing online first.

Response recorded on February 25, 2016

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C. David Cole writes...

Hello Mr. Weisman,

I have some questions about creating teams and the personalities of its members.

1. When creating a team how do you decide what will be the personalities of characters in the group? I've read elsewhere that the best way to create a group is to make each member of the group have the opposite personality of another member. Is this the method you use?

2. How did you decide what personalities to use in the Manhattan clan in Gargoyles?

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions.

Greg responds...

1. No. Nothing quite that didactic. I do look for a mix. But I'd say my process is more organic and holistic than what you're describing. It also depends a LOT on whether I'm adapting an existing property or creating something original.

2. I'm not sure I remember. But if you look at the ASK GREG archive's "Original Development File," you can see how the characters evolved over time.

Response recorded on February 23, 2016

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Algernon writes...

You've often said that a good villain should serve as a dark reflection/contrast to the hero. Is that one of the reasons you choose Vandal Savage as one of Young Justices's Big Bads? Pitting the young heroes of the DC Universe against a character who is literally the World's Oldest Supervillain?

Greg responds...

Yep.

Response recorded on January 19, 2016

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Kalev tait writes...

In creating a fully realised world, you seem to create fully believable characters for all of your reoccurring roles. While I assume you don't do the same for mooks, I'm wondering about minor characters who only appear once or twice and only have one or two lines? Do you always try to make everyone be able to justify their existence beyond the protagonists, or is it just for major characters?

Greg responds...

I try to do it for everyone, at least retroactively. If we use a thug, I try to make him marginally interesting enough that we can bring him back. Then over time, a guy like Pal Joey in Gargoyles becomes an actual character, even if in his first appearance, he's basically a one line henchman.

Response recorded on January 19, 2016

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Luke writes...

Hi Greg,

Big fan here (I reply to you on Twitter sometimes!) and I thought I'd make use of this site to get some help with my intention to write for television in the future!

First off, I'd like to say how much I love Young Justice. From the moment I finished the first episode, I was hooked. I'm quite a seasoned animation fan but I must say Young Justice is probably one of the best things I have ever watched; particularly it was the animation and writing that drew me in the most. I wasn't really into comic books too much before with the exception of adaptions from TV like Adventure Time, and manga; but Young Justice awakened a part of me that just had to look further into the characters, and now I'm completely taken in by the DC universe, it's so wonderful and for that I thank you for helping to bring Young Justice to light!

The show is truly an inspiration for me; I intend to become a writer for television, animation being my ultimate goal, in the near future. In September 2014 I will be starting a screenwriting course at university. I live in the UK, but hope to move to America in future to have a better chance of landing a writing job in animation.

1) What would you recommend I seek to do when I finish university? Would becoming an assistant at a TV studio help as a start?

2) Do you draw storyboards? I am not very confident in my drawing abilities and I'm worried this might affect pitching and demonstrating my ideas.

3) What are some key terms or quotes that have stuck in your head during your writing career? Things that people have told you and you have remembered and applied to your work?

4) Who are your inspirations? What programmes did you enjoy when you were a kid/teenager?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and answer my questions!

Greg responds...

1. It wouldn't hurt. Get in there. See first hand how things are done. The main thing I recommend, you already plan to do, which is to move to where the work is. Second, WRITE. Third, REwrite. Fourth, PROOFREAD RELIGIOUSLY.

2. No, I can't draw stick figures well. I team up with very, very talented artists.

3. "Less is more."

4. Space Ghost. Speed Racer. Jonny Quest. Herculoids. Anything with Marvel or DC heroes in them. Hill Street Blues. Cheers.

Response recorded on July 06, 2015

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J writes...

Hello,

I was just reading your latest responses and someone asked why the Justice League didn't regrow Roy's arm, to which you responded: "Is that easier than I think it is?"

I don't get it...your a fantisy writer. Everything is easy in fantasy fiction. I mean your own show has the technology for cloning, instantanious travel as far as other solar systems, shrinking to subatomic sizes, manipulating elemental forces, traveling through time, etc. Most of which break all known laws of physics.
Regenerating lost limbs really isn't that far fetched even in the real world, where we're growing ears on the backs of mice & cloning whole animals or just organs, and advancing every day.
And all that aside, couldn't Zatanna just say "Worger S'yor mar!" at any time?

I understand that Roy had to be missing an arm for the story to play out how you wanted it to, and maby he likes his cybernetic arm better anyway and doesn't want a regular one...but why act like a near-reality wouldn't be a simple task (even for an okay writer, but especially for you) in a universe where the impossible is commonplace?

Greg responds...

If Zatanna could regrow arms just like that, don't you think she'd be doing that ALL THE TIME. It seems that would take a TON of mystic energy. (Besides, I'm not sure Roy wants his "ram" regrown.)

And in essence, in fantasy and science fiction, I'm against making anything too easy. For example, yes, we do teleportation, but we make sure there is a Zeta tube at EACH end, in order to NOT make teleporting too easy.

What makes me an okay writer, I think, is that I take these things seriously, and refuse to come up with easy solves. Of course, I could. But it's a bad idea.

Response recorded on December 06, 2014

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Sophie writes...

Hi there Greg!

How are you?

I just wanted to ask a few questions that have captured my curiosity, and I have spent the last hour searching through the archives to make sure they haven't been answered already. Still, I'm so sorry if they have been asked before!

1. Did Bart really go to school in the future? He talks about 'not being a good history student' but for some reason, the state of the future he lived doesn't make it seem like he would be able to attend school.

2. Did Bart live with both of his parents in the future?

3. What was Bart's life like in the future? For some reason, and I'm not sure why, I figure human-kind would be enslaved, and Bart would be living in a crappy house somewhere in a polluted world. (Yeah, I'm pretty much thinking Dystopia). Of course, I don't think it would be a Utopia by any means, but am I over-elaborating and over-thinking how bad it could be?

4. When writing and creating characters, do you create elaborate back-stories, with even little bits of un-needed info (like fave. color, food, stuff like that)? I've heard that it is a very helpful way to get to know one's characters. If not, how do you 'create' such believable characters? Do you draw from experiences and people you've met in real life.

Many thanks!

Wishing you all of the best!

-Soph

Greg responds...

1. He's clearly had some SCHOOLING. He knows how to read and write for example. Beyond that, I'm not committing.

2. NO SPOILERS.

3. It was very dystopic, for sure.

4. Yes, though I don't have rules as to what I do and don't have to figure out in advance. I figure out what I feel I need to. For one character, that might include his or her favorite color. For another, what they had for breakfast on their last birthday. For a third, who their biological parents REALLY are. And etc.

Response recorded on November 13, 2014

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Presto writes...

What does it take to get to a position of showrunner like you? How can an aspiring writer like me get started?

Greg responds...

Most folks have to work their way up through the ranks, starting as a freelance writer, etc.

You get started, frankly, by writing. Write a spec script to a series you like. Send it as a sample to agencies, because representation is very useful as a calling card. Remember to not send anything unless it's really good. You don't want to poison the water by sending something with your name on it that isn't your best, most mature work.

Response recorded on October 23, 2014

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Shola Akinnuso writes...

Greg, do you have any plans to post ANY of your scripts online? Your writing is clear, and structurally, they're a fantastic resources for writers trying to break into animation. The way you use sfx as action is a illuminating!

Currently, the ONLY way to see one of your scripts is to go all the way to The Writer's Guild in Los Angeles, and even there, you're not allowed to copy the script. Even if you feel uncomfortable showing the whole script ( just an act or two is all we need), posting it as a media resource on the site - perhaps as a .pdf so it is difficult to copy - would give peace of mind? It doesn't matter if the script is from YJ, Gargoyles, or Spider-Man...

Greg responds...

There's no way to post a script here at ASK GREG with the correct formatting. I know. I've tried.

Response recorded on September 30, 2014

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Presto writes...

Need some advice because I just became a screenwriter for a Television series based in Hong Kong. How much should I charger per 24 minute episode?

Greg responds...

I'm not sure how to advise you. The short answer is get as much money as you can squeeze out of them.

Animation Guild Union minimums are just over $7K per 22-minute episode, if that helps. WGA minimums are much, much higher.

Response recorded on September 23, 2014

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DENVER COMIC CON REVISED & UPDATED #3

ONE MORE TIME!! This looks to be as final a revision as it's going to get for Denver Comic Con website (http://denvercomiccon.com/), before I head for the airport in a couple minutes. But, again, follow me on TWITTER @Greg_Weisman to stay up-to-the-minute on when and where I'll be.

DENVER COMIC CON LATEST PANEL, INTERVIEW & SIGNING SCHEDULE

FRIDAY, JUNE 13th, 2014

10:30am - 11:20am - ART OF THE PITCH in ROOM 110/112.
Victor Cook, Greg Guler and myself will be talking about pitching and selling animated telvision series to the Powers That Be.

11:30am - 12:30pm - SIGNING at my BOOTH 122 on the main floor.
I'll be signing my novel RAIN OF THE GHOSTS throughout the weekend for $10 cash. (That $10 includes the book, a personalized signature and copies of the original development art by Kuni Tomita for the television version of Rain that never was.) I also have a half-dozen copies of Young Justice teleplays, which I'll sell (and sign) for $20 cash. I'll also sign anything else you bring and put in front of me for free - especially if you buy my book. ;)

12:50pm - 1:20pm - INTERVIEW with Tim Beyers of MOTLEY FOOL in the MEDIA LOUNGE.

1:30pm - 2:20pm - CARTOON VOICES I in the MAIN EVENTS ROOM.
I'll be moderating this panel, which features Kevin Conroy, Jim Cummings, Michael Dorn, Jennifer Hale & Veronica Taylor.

3:30pm - 4:30pm - SIGNING at my BOOTH 122 on the main floor.

4:45pm - 5:35pm - YOUNG JUSTICE in the MINI-MAIN ROOM.
This one includes myself (writer-producer, voice actor) & Christopher Jones (YJ companion comic book artist).

5:35pm - 6:05pm - OPENING CEREMONIES in the MAIN EVENTS ROOM.

7:00pm - 10:00pm - FOUR COLOR MIXER at Breckinridge Brewery/Hilton Garden Inn Denver Downtown.

SATURDAY, JUNE 14th, 2014

9:35am - 10:00am - INTERVIEW with BEYOND THE TROPE at my table at Booth 122.

10:00am - 10:20am - INTERVIEW with WESTWORD at my table at Booth 122.

10:30am - 11:20am - RAIN OF THE GHOSTS in ROOM 201.
I'll be reading from and discussing my new novels, Rain of the Ghosts & Spirits of Ash and Foam.

11:45am - 12:35pm - ANIMATION PROFESSIONALS in ROOM 201
I'm moderating this panel, which features Chris Beaver, Victor Cook, Greg Guler, Derek Hunter, Christy Marx, & Jan Scott-Frasier.

3:00pm - 3:50pm - SIGNING at my BOOTH 122 on the main floor.

4:00pm - 4:50pm - GARGOYLES 20th ANNIVERSARY in the MAIN EVENTS ROOM.
This is a big one, with me (writer-producer-creator), Victor Cook (storyboard artist), Jim Cummings (voice of Dingo), Jonathan Frakes (voice of David Xanatos), Greg Guler (character designer), Salli Richardson-Whitfield (voice of Elisa Maza) and Marina Sirtis (voice of Demona) .

5:00pm - 6:00pm - SIGNING at my BOOTH 122 on the main floor.

SUNDAY, JUNE 15th, 2014

9:30am - 10:20am - INTERVIEW with EXAMINER.COM at my BOOTH 122.

10:30am - 11:20am - THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN in the MINI-MAIN ROOM.
Includes myself (writer-producer-voice actor), Victor Cook (director-producer), Jim Cummings (voice of Crusher Hogan) & Greg Guler (artist).

1:30pm - 2:30pm - SIGNING at my BOOTH 122 on the main floor.

2:45pm - 3:35pm - CARTOON VOICES II in the MAIN EVENTS ROOM.
Again, I'm moderating for Robert Axelrod, Kimberly Brooks, Jennifer Hale & April Stewart.

4:00pm - 5:00pm - SIGNING at my BOOTH 122 on the main floor.

In addition to the times listed above, I'll often just be hanging out at my table, so stop by. Attend a panel, buy a book, say hello!


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Shola Akinnuso writes...

Greg,

Are any of your Young Justice, Spider-Man, or Gargoyles scripts available online? I attend an Animation Writers group in Burbank, and the guest speaker showed one of your scripts as an example. It was a revelation. I've never seen sound effects used as action before. Every line had momentum, the script read was super clean and efficient.

Since then, I've been emailing everywhere to obtain a copy, I had to go to the WGA to read one of your YJ scripts, which again, was incredibly helpful. You noted where every SFX goes, how man characters speak, and to my surprise, people rarely had over two lines of dialogue at any given time. Everything was TIGHT, and was something I really want to study. Even the formatting.

Obviously, I couldn't copy anything from the WGA, and there's NO trace of your work anywhere online. How can I get a copy of a script? Even just the first act would be helpful. Would you consider putting a .pdf online via your website? I have read other books on animation writing, but your script was a big jump for me.

Greg responds...

I don't have the capability of posting a script here in the correct format.

Are you able to come to any of my many convention appearances or signings this summer? I have in the past sold signed copies for fairly reasonable prices. I wasn't planning on bringing any this year, as my focus is on selling my books, RAIN OF THE GHOSTS and SPIRITS OF ASH AND FOAM. But if I know there's an interest, I can bring some scripts too.

Among the conventions I know I'm attending:

Denver Comic Con http://denvercomiccon.com/
CONvergence (Minneapolis) http://www.convergence-con.org/
San Diego Comic Con International http://www.comic-con.org/cci
MechaCon (New Orleans) http://www.mechacon.com/
Long Beach Comic Con http://longbeachcomiccon.com/lbcc.php

Responding here isn't practical, however. But if you contact me, via Twitter at @Greg_Weisman, we can make arrangements. And if other followers are interested in purchasing scripts too, I'm game. Let me know.

Response recorded on June 05, 2014

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Club Jade Interview

Had a great time doing a panel and signing at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore this past weekend. Also took some time out to do an interview about Rain of the Ghosts (mostly) with Jawa James at Club Jade. Here it is: http://clubjade.net/?p=58532.

Also talked a bit about the writing process and my thoughts on diversity.


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fallenlegend writes...

Hello Greg!

Just a quick question this time. The other time I asked you something about gargoyles and you said that you wouldn't write it for free... wich came as a bit of a shock to me as you have said before that it is your baby proyect.

It's understandable as this is your job and main source of income... But I have to wonder if you would ever have or if you have a personal proyect wich you would do for free.

You deserve every cent you get paid but.. Many (amateur/fanfic) writters write stories for fun and I wonder if this is the case with you. thank you!

Greg responds...

I don't write for fun anymore. To be honest, it's too much like work.

I don't write for free, though I do (occasionally) write "on spec". That is, I'll write something that has the chance of paying off later, even if no one is paying me for it immediately. For example, my first novel, RAIN OF THE GHOSTS, was written on spec. (And took over a decade to pay off - minimally.) The second book in the series, SPIRITS OF ASH AND FOAM, was not written on spec. My publisher, St. Martin's Press, ordered it. The third, MASQUE OF BONES, which I've barely begun researching, will also be written on spec, unless St. Martin's Press decides to pick it up.

But the big difference with those books, over something like GARGOYLES, for example, is that I OWN the RAIN property. I don't own GARGOYLES or YOUNG JUSTICE or WITCH or THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN. It would, frankly, just be foolish for me to invest my time (which is money to me) in something that isn't mine.

GARGOYLES is without a doubt my baby. I feel that strongly. But it doesn't change the hard, cruel fact that I hold no ownership in it at all.

Response recorded on May 01, 2014

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Windona writes...

You once mentioned that you write down character traits, or something of the like, to help with making sure all the characters are in-character; but on a show with multiple writers, and with character development over the course of a story, how do you write those traits down?

Greg responds...

I usually type up a document, generally called a series bible, and distribute that to everyone involved. Also, all writers have access to ALL of the outlines and scripts, so they can see how our characters are evolving.

Response recorded on January 27, 2014

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Philip Anderson writes...

Greg, congratulations on [i]Rain of the Ghosts[/i] and [i]Spirits of Ash and Stone[/i]! I'm looking forward to reading them and hoping to see the rest of the series, too.

As a writer myself (search [i]Pirate Journey[/i] on Amazon) I know that writing the manuscript is only part of the challenge. I've found that finding a publisher can be just as hard, in different ways. So here are my questions:

1. How did you get connected with St. Martin's?

2. If you have a publishing agent/agency, how did you connect with them?

If you have time, either here or in future rambles, I'd like to read your thoughts on your publishing experience (aside from your writing experience which you've chronicled pretty well with your chapter updates). Any information or advice or encouragement for aspiring and struggling novelists would be appreciated.

Thanks, and congratulations again!
Phil Anderson

Greg responds...

1. My situation may be unusual. My editor at St. Martin's was already a friend. He and I would have breakfast at San Diego ComicCon once a year to talk geek stuff. He knew that I had written Rain and that I had stalled out on a rewrite, and he would urge me every year to finish. So when I finally did in February of 2012, I sent it to him. Personally, I'm lousy at networking usually, but there's no doubt it can pay off. And this time I got very lucky.

2. I have an agent. Their main expertise is in animation, but they handle books, as well. When I originally wrote Rain, twelve or so years ago, they sent the book out to various publishers, who all rejected it.

I'm still figuring stuff out. For example, now that the book is out, I need to teach myself how to get the word out about it. That's the main reason I'm on Twitter, but clearly that's not going to be enough. I'm learning this stuff in fits and starts myself. Feel free to ask other questions, but following my progress will probably be equally instructive. (If anything is.)

Response recorded on January 13, 2014

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Avi writes...

1. You write strong female characters with skill(Demona, Gwen, MJ, Artemis, ETC). Since women can be portrayed weak sometimes, how do you do it?
2. Other than Stan Lee's run with Romita and Ditko, what era of Spider-man comics did you enjoyed reading the most?
3. What is your opinion on Spider-man: Kraven's Last Hunt, by JM Dematteis? Most people generally like it but others think it may have been too dark for Spider-man (Dematteis was actually going to have the story be a Batman and Joker story at first)

Thanks for the amazing shows! Spectacular Spider-man (I was looking forward to Season 3-5 and DTV's) was absolutely amazing along with Young Justice (I was so looking forward to the next season). I am only up to Avalon part 1, but Gargoyles has been tremendously fun to watch so far. I don't love Star Wars, but Rebels seems great so far and I can't wait. You are an inspiration to me. Thank you.

Greg responds...

1. I like to think I've portrayed some female characters as strong and others as weak. Some who stay strong, some who weaken. Some who stay weak, some who gain in strength. As to the 'how'… I don't have a magic formula. I'm sure it helps that I've always known, loved, admired and respected strong women all my life, starting with my mom. But really, I don't know any other way to do it.

2. There was some fun stuff for me in the 80s.

3. I haven't read it.

Response recorded on January 08, 2014

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A Flash Fan writes...

Greg,

Thank you again for answering my questions. A few comments I had...

1. When I asked about the grotto and the difference between League and Team members there you said

Greg responds... 1. No. It's about specific circumstances. Keep in mind, these are heroes who are dead (or thought to be, as in the case of Artemis). Nothing on the memorial says HOW they died. By this time, you know how Ted Kord perished -and it wasn't on a Justice League mission. You have no idea yet how Robin or Aquagirl passed. For all you know, the two of them might have been walking down the street in their secret identities, when a piano, a safe and an anvil fell from above. They both dodged the piano and the anvil, but the safe got Jason and then
Tula had a heart attack.

I am sorry, but I just had to say that you made me laugh with the last part! You have great humor and a way of putting things together so accurately... Immediately I thought back to the scene in Alienated where Aqualad is angry at his "former" team for letting Tula die, and I could imagine the scene you described like Nightwing saying "Kaldur they were on a mission and...well Jason got hit by the safe and Tula had a heart attack on their way to Bibbo's..." Anyway I just wanted to thank you...it made my day.

2. You said before the memorials the grotto was used for contemplation by the League? What about...battles? Family? The pizza delivery?

3. What I meant about THE Scene was a moment that could express all about the series in one moment. Like the core or heart of the work. The closest one for me of Season 2 may be when the entire Team gathers and fights in Summit or the very nice panoramic of heroes in Endgame, but for some reason I don't feel it as defined when Superboy and Robin fight Superman and Batman in Season 1. Did that make it a bit clearer?

4. You had reponded to someone else about providing a moral leson is important for you in your shows. I just wanted to thank you for that as well because some Tv today is really bad and doesn't care. It's great but do you think smoking is the worst problem? I totally agree with you but I think there may beother bigger things like war and poverty...well the little things really do make a diference, don't they?

Greg responds...

1. Happy to. (Some fans don't appreciate my sense of humor here quite as much. Glad you did!)

2. The grotto wasn't used for battles or pizza delivery. And Family doesn't gain automatic access to the Cave. But you could eat pizza in the grotto, I guess.

3. I've forgotten what the question is... If you're asking is their one scene that defines the entire season, I'm not sure. My mind doesn't work that way, I suppose. But there are a number of emblematic scenes, including the two you mentioned. Maybe Nightwing's "Business as usual" line?

4. I'm not sure about providing specific moral lessons so much as having a point of view. As for things like WAR and POVERTY, those are very big concepts, and there's not much a cartoon show can do about them EXCEPT have that point of view. But SMOKING is what the network's call an "imitatable action" that I think has serious consequences for impressionable kids. Personally, I have no desire to contribute to the ridiculous notion that smoking is cool.

Response recorded on November 14, 2013

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ANIME VEGAS 2013 - Corrected Schedule

Let's try this again with the correct dates:

As I've mentioned before, I'm a guest at ANIME VEGAS this weekend, November 1-3rd, 2013, at the Renaissance Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada:

http://www.animevegas.com/

Here's my schedule:

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2013
01:00pm - 02:00pm - OPENING CEREMONIES
Cosplay Ballroom.

02:00pm - 03:30pm - GARGOYLES/THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN Panel and Signing
Cosplay Ballroom.

05:00pm - 06:30pm - YOUNG JUSTICE Panel and Signing
Paramount Room with Yuri Lowenthal, the voice of Lagoon Boy, Tempest, Icicle Jr. and Tommy Terror.

06:30pm - 08:00pm - IKKI TOUSEN Panel and Signing
Paramount Room with New Generation Pictures Voice Director and Producer Jonathan Klein.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2013
10:00am - 11:30am - "WRITER'S ROOM" Panel and Signing
Summit Room.

06:30pm - 07:30pm - SIGNING
Summit Room with Jonathan Klein.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2013
09:00am - 10:30am - 3X3 EYES SCREENING, Panel and Signing
Paramount Room with Jonathan Klein.

10:30am - 11:30am - VOICE DIRECTING Panel
Paramount Room with Jonathan Klein.

12:30pm - 01:00pm - SIGNING
Paramount Room with Jonathan Klein.

As you can see, I'm doing a LOT of signing. I'll sign anything you bring along for free. But I'm also bringing a single copy of EVERY one of my Young Justice teleplays (i.e. the ones that I personally wrote), which I'll be selling for $20 per script (cash only) - autographed and personalized to the buyer's taste - on a first-come, first-serve basis, starting with the Young Justice signing at 6pm Friday evening.
So if you're in the vicinity, plan to be there. As you all know, I'm not big on SPOILERS, but I'm WAY, WAY more likely to tease a few things in person than I am on either Twitter or here. So come and be (slightly) better informed!!!


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Anime Vegas - Schedule!

As I've mentioned before, I'll be a guest at ANIME VEGAS this weekend, November 1-3rd, 2013, at the Renaissance Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada:

http://www.animevegas.com/

Here's my schedule:

FRIDAY, AUGUST 23, 2013
01:00pm - 02:00pm - OPENING CEREMONIES
Cosplay Ballroom

02:00pm - 03:30pm - GARGOYLES/THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN PANEL and SIGNING
Cosplay Ballroom

05:00pm - 06:30pm - YOUNG JUSTICE PANEL and SIGNING
Paramount Room with Yuri Lowenthal, the voice of Lagoon Boy, Tempest, Icicle Jr. and Tommy Terror.

06:30pm - 08:00pm - IKKI TOUSEN PANEL and SIGNING
Paramount Room with New Generation Pictures Voice Director and Producer Jonathan Klein

SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, 2013
10:00am - 11:30am - "WRITER'S ROOM" PANEL and SIGNING
Summit Room

06:30pm - 07:30pm - SIGNING
Summit Room with Jonathan Klein

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 2013
09:00am - 10:30am - 3X3 EYES SCREENING, PANEL and SIGNING
Paramount Room with Jonathan Klein

10:30am - 11:30am - VOICE DIRECTING
Paramount Room with Jonathan Klein

12:30pm - 01:00pm - SIGNING
Paramount Room with Jonathan Klein

As you can see, I'm doing a LOT of signing. I'll sign anything you bring along for free. But I'm also bringing a single copy of EVERY one of my Young Justice teleplays (i.e. the ones that I personally wrote), which I'll be selling for $20 per script (cash only) - autographed and personalized to the buyer's taste - on a first-come, first-serve basis, starting with the Young Justice signing at 6pm Friday evening.

So if you're in the vicinity, plan to be there. As you all know, I'm not big on SPOILERS, but I'm WAY, WAY more likely to tease a few things in person than I am on either Twitter or here. So come and be (slightly) better informed!!!


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Bianca Ruhland writes...

Hi Greg :)
My name is Bianca Ruhland and currently i have just started my final year getting my double major in Creative Writing and Animation. It's a big wish of mine to one day go on to write for or create a cartoon series of my own (especially of the superhero variety, haha.)
After the series final of Young Justice i just want to say, well done. It's shows like Young Justice i want to show to my own kids one day. It inspires me and i want to work with shows like it one day.
Visually, it's stunning, story wise it's even better. You've managed to find a way to introduce characters to keep existing comic book fans happy, but write it in such a way it introduces new fans as well. That's a very hard to do (from what i've heard). Not to mention, your show is built in such a way that it doesn't patronize children's intelligence. You have connecting story lines about big issues. You show them the power of love and friendship, but also show the realistic side that sometimes, friends fight and relationships end. People grow up on the outside, but not always on the inside. Also, the fact you broke the 'Rule of 3' and had such a large female cast was so awesome!
I'm writing to you as one of many voices of support for this show. It breaks my heart to see it go, especially in favor of other new shows that...well, that just kind of look like the same old stuff personally. It's really upsetting. After watching the final episode, there are so many cliff hangers! And Wally! Also, i've heard rumours that there were plans to bring in Cyborg, Starfire, Raven, Jason Todd and Damian Wayne into the next season. That would have just blown my mind.
I was wondering, Greg, exactly where the show stands right now. Is there a possibility at a Season 3 if Beware the Batman and Teen Titans Go don't fare too well? Can we get it outside of DC Nation or on another channel? Do you have plans for a Kickstarter (ala Veronica Mars?)Is there anything at all being done that you can mention? Like plans for a mini-series or an online follow up comic? (ala Smallville?)
If you can't tell me anything that's fine, but i just wanted to let you know Greg that you did a really great job on this show. You and Bruce Timm are my idols and i hope to be like you one day. If it's possible, please don't give up on the show just yet, not because I and other fans want it, but because i honestly feel that children everywhere NEED it, for what it is and what it teaches.
Thank you for your time.

Greg responds...

Okay, first of all, thank you so much for all the kind words. It's much appreciated.

In that spirit, and since you have stated a sincere interest in being a professional writer, I'd like to offer some advice, which I hope you'll take in the spirit in which it is given: you need to do a better job proofreading, especially when you're expressing your desire to be a pro to a pro. When I look at a potential writer, once I get to the second or third typo, I've generally written that person off. I know this wasn't a formal communication, but you took the time to give me your full name and to list your goals. You never know, and you don't want to poison the water by not ALWAYS putting your best foot forward.

As for the episode, I'm going to state again that there were no cliffhangers in it. Loose ends, yes. Cliffhangers, no.

As for the series' future, there isn't much to tell, but I'll try to answer your questions.

Our pick-up has absolutely NOTHING to do with the success or failure of either Beware the Batman or Teen Titans Go!

I don't know about the health of DC Nation, as I'm no longer at Warner Bros. But it is extremely unlikely that we'd ever get YJ on any channel other than Cartoon Network. Keep in mind that CN, Warner Brothers and DC Comics are all part of the same company, Time-Warner.

I have no plans for a Kickstarter and such plans are beyond my ability without the interest and cooperation of the folks who own YJ, i.e. Time-Warner. I've asked about this option and gotten no encouragement.

There are no current plans for more episodes, spin-offs, mini-series or movies, despite Brandon and I pitching multiple options for all of the above. I have asked DC Comics if they're interested in publishing more YJ or Earth-16 comics, and they have declined.

What there is, is YOUNG JUSTICE LEGACY, a video-game coming out next month with original cannon content, telling an important story from the five-year gap between Season One of Young Justice and Season Two. If this sells well - really well - then it represents our best chance of telling additional stories down the line. There's also the soundtrack album, the various DVDs and Trade Paperbacks collecting the comics. Again, the best way to get more YJ is to vote with your wallet or purse!!

And I'll NEVER give up on the show. It's important to insert reality into any conversation about bringing it back, but that doesn't mean I don't still have hope.

Response recorded on October 07, 2013

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Marvelman writes...

First, thank-you for doing this. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer our questions and respond to comments. I realize that it must try your patience. Many of the posters have clearly not read the rules, and many of the questions are blatant spoiler requests or have already been answered. And, as much as I hate to admit it, I may have broken the rules a few times myself.

I'm currently writing a fantasy novel for girls. I'd like to ask about the following:

1) I notice that you refer to using a board and cards. In your experience, is it better to do an outline before you start writing a novel whether it is on paper or on index cards? Some writers and writing teachers talk about finding the story as you go along. One writing teacher of mine said that he wouldn't bother writing a story if he knew how it was going to end ahead of time. (Personally, I find having an outline gives me great peace of mind, and if a better idea comes to me as I'm writing, I just change the outline.) What are your thoughts on this?

2) Another of my writing teachers recommended writing out a thirty page biography of your main character to give him or her more depth. Does this strike you as a useful exercise?

Sincerely,

Marvelman

Greg responds...

1. To each his or her own, but personally, I couldn't write anything of any length without outlining it in advance. Doesn't mean I stick to it rigidly. If better ideas come or the story wants to move in a different direction, so be it. But I need a base. I once tried writing a comic book script without outlining it in advance, and it was way more work for me, then if I had. And a comic is about the equivalent of a third of a television episode.

2. It could be. I don't know about giving a specific page count for that sort of thing. I tend to write bullet points. Things I've established, things I want to establish, etc. It's as long as it needs to be, as opposed to being a set thirty pages of prose. But again, to each his or her own.

Response recorded on September 24, 2013

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Blaze writes...

Hello, I'm a big fan of your work, especially W.I.T.C.H, which never seems to get the credit it deserves. So I've just a got a few questions on that front.
1. About how old is Phobos?
2. Was there ever a plan to show more about Elyon/Phobos's biological parents, and if so, what were they like, especially to Phobos?
3. I know this is a bit vague,so no worries if there's no answer. I like to write, but I always have a hard time coming up with villains. Any advice on how to create an interesting bad guy?

Thanks!

Greg responds...

1. I don't recall, I'm afraid. SO LONG AGO.

2. They were decent people. Perhaps over-indulgent. And probably in some denial.

3. Start with your hero and hold a mirror up to some aspect of him or her. Then twist.

Response recorded on March 14, 2013

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Connor writes...

Hi Greg! I wanted to ask about your methods of storytelling. For adapted shows like The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice, you seem to have planned out certain events and arcs in advance and seem to include nothing if you aren't going to follow up on it later. Do you have a personal set of rules or guidelines for when you work on projects like these?

Greg responds...

It's no different on any project. We try to plan as much in advance as possible, while still leaving ourselves open to discoveries along the way.

Response recorded on December 12, 2012

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C. David Cole writes...

Hi Mr. Weisman

When writing a series, especially a superhero series, there usually are a set of recurring villains that the hero(es) face off against.

My question is once you've introduced a villain for the first time, how do you decide when or if you'll bring a villain back for another episode/issue?

Is it random? Do you say to yourself "I haven't seen this character in a while so I'm bringing him/her back"?

Or

Is it more situational/theme-oriented? Do you say to yourself "This is the place my hero(es) are in right now and this is the message I want to convey"?

I'll use Batman as an example of what I mean by situational/theme-oriented. Let's say Batman has just lost a loved one, and since Batman is dealing with lost you use this as a perfect opportunity to introduce Mr. Freeze, a villain who is also dealing with the lost of a loved one. Mr. Freeze is thematically tied to the idea of isolation and lost; but you can't keep killing Batman's love ones just to bring Mr. Freeze back, so what do you do?

Greg responds...

If you follow ANY of the above paths, I don't think you're listening very much to your characters. Generally, when things are working right, they tell you what happens next.

See, you track them all. Track what motivates them and what they would do next and look for the intersections.

Response recorded on December 11, 2012

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C. David Cole writes...

Hi Mr. Weisman

I was re-watching Gargoyles and I was looking at how you give your characters' arcs: Goliath learning to trust humans again; the Manhattan clan expanding their philosophy of protecting the castle from the physical castle to the city itself.

I recently read an article by another writing about a type of character she called the mysterious stranger. This character is basically a character that doesn't change. I've read that characters like James Bond have been described as such a character. These type of characters sometimes change the lives of other characters in story but by the end of the story they are still the same character they were at the beginning.

A lot of superheroes are said to be these type of characters. One writer said that Batman shouldn't become happy, Bruce Banner shouldn't learn to control his anger, and the Hulk shouldn't become intelligent (though it has been done), or these characters lose what makes them who they are.

I wondering what are your thoughts on protagonist that don't change.

Can characters be kept the same after going through major events and still seem believable?

Or

Is character change necessary to make believable characters?

Greg responds...

I don't believe in hard and fast rules. And I don't think you've asked an either/or question.

Can characters be kept the same after going through major events and still seem believable? It depends on the character and the event.

Is character change necessary to make believable characters? Depends on the character and the change.

If a character is changed by everything that happens to him or her, than he or she is less a character than a leaf in the wind. So unless THAT is the type of character you're trying to portray, you haven't succeeded much.

If a character is NEVER changed by anything that happens to him or her, than he or she is less a character than a block of wood. So unless THAT is the type of character you're trying to portray, you haven't succeeded much.

But VERY interesting characters can be created from leaves in the wind and/or blocks of wood too.

So, again - I'm not big on sweeping generalizations or hard and fast rules.

Response recorded on December 11, 2012