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SPONSES 2014-02 (Feb)

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Anthony Tini writes...

[Dexter Spoilers]

Well Dexter is over and I was very disappointed with the ending. If the series had ended with Dexter driving into the storm, then I would have been fine, but the whole lumberjack scene and the final season, in general, was horrible. I thought the characters acted very out of character. Of course there were exceptions to the rule and I thought Charlotte Rampling did a great job as Evelyn Vogel. Unfortunately, the story/writing was too convoluted for me to really enjoy her character but her acting was some of the best the show has ever seen.

In my opinion, this season didn't do anything to add to the overall story of Dexter, but I can't put all the blame on it. The show hasn't been up to the same caliber it once was. I really loved the first four seasons, but the last four didn't do the show justice. Sadly, it won't be a series I will recommend to anyone.

What did you think of the final season? What are your thoughts of the series as a whole?

Greg responds...

[Dexter Spoilers]

Personally, I enjoyed every season of Dexter to one degree or another, even this last one. It's hard to top the first season and the Lithgow season, of course, but I don't think that any of the other seasons were bad or even weak - except relative to those two stellar seasons.

There was a lot of great stuff in the final season, I thought, but it was highly flawed. And the last episode was, I agree, extremely disappointing. (And the fact that Breaking Bad's last episode was brilliant and perfect, didn't help poor Dexter in comparison.)

The main problem in the last season was the Brain Surgeon. There was good build-up, but he wound up being very uninteresting. Charlotte Rampling was great, as you noted, but her son wound up being bland. And bland is just no good for a series finale.

I also had a huge problem - not so much with Deb's death (though it did seem like too easy an out to me), but with the fairly ridiculous conclusions that Dexter drew from it, and the choices he made following it. Dexter had grown as a person through the seasons, so the backsliding at the end was horribly anti-climactic.

And there were other disappointments too. I had for years felt certain that the original showrunners were building toward the major revelation that Harry was Dexter's biological father. And that Dexter's brother was in fact his half-brother - and that Deb was his half-sister. Even now, I find it impossible to believe that that was not the original plan. So for me, the fact that that thread never played out was infuriating.

But again, I liked Dexter from the first episode to the second to last episode. And I would recommend the series to anyone who likes that sort of thing.

Response recorded on February 21, 2014

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Anonymous writes...

I think the problem that quite a few people have, myself included, with Wally's character/story on Young Justice might stem from the fact that he was the 'normal' one amongst the members of the original team. And on a show that at it's core is built around angst and drama, the normal characters tend to get lost in the shuffle since they don't come with built-in storylines like a character with a criminal family/background (Artemis and Kaldur), leadership issues (Kaldur and Dick), an inferior clone made by the enemy (Superboy), or a Martian used to discrimination living on Earth. They're just harder to fit into the story of the show. So it's much more important to their characters for the show to create an emotional connection to the audience and develop some meaningful relationships for that character to make them relevant to the show at large. And that's where I think the show failed as far as Wally was concerned.

For instance, you've said that Wally was a very insecure person during the first season and one of the big reasons why you paired him with Artemis. But out of all the members of the team, he always struck me as being the only one that wasn't insecure about who he was, or his role on the team. He was never shown to be bothered by his inferiority to Barry in season one, and even a good portion of the fandom didn't even know Barry was faster until BLOODLINES in season two. In fact, it was Conner who got the inferiority to the mentor storyline fleshed out in season one. And it was never said that Barry didn't originally want him to be his sidekick on the show. Plus the only insecurity he showed with girls was with Artemis. But that was more of a by product of him thinking she hated him because he was a jerk to her when she joined the team, not because he was insecure about who he was. So the show never really established him as an insecure character during the first season. He just came across as an idiot and an occasional selfish jerk simply because he was an idiot and an occasional selfish jerk; not because he was trying to overcompensate for his insecurity because of that.

And it's more of the same in the second season. Wally had became a completely different character between seasons and the only explanation the show gives is basically time-skip happened. I mean, Wally nearly killed himself just to become a hero and absolutely loved being one throughout the first season despite everything that happened. He also was pretty much supportive of his friends no matter what during that season, too. But during season two, Wally wanted absolutely nothing to do with being a hero and was accusing friends of being traitors and blaming them for trying to stop an alien invasion that he couldn't care less about for the majority of the season. It's like the show tossed away whatever previous characterization he had to justify his retirement and get him out of the way before reverting him back to something much closer to his previous characterization in the final two episodes. Which is why I found it a little hard to use Wally's previous characterization during the first season to defend his character in season two when he's not even close to being the same character. And I don't mean to say it's impossible that he could change that much over the gap, but it's such a drastic change that I think it deserved some sort of in-universe explanation.

Another thing I'd like to mention is that you said that Wally's 'humanity' was what you liked most about his character, but I'd say that that was the biggest flaw that this version of Wally West had. I mean, one of the things I've always loved about Wally in the comics and on other shows is that he would normally do the right thing simply because it was the right thing to do. That was missing with the Wally on Young Justice to me. Everything was always about him and what he wanted. Sure, he'd say some nice things to his friends on occasion, but he was the guy that would basically throw an inner-fit at the thought of saving a little girl's life instead of working on another mission with the League. And whatever development he was suppose to get from COLDHEARTED didn't seem to stick or didn't happen as he was practically thrilled that someone got kidnapped simply because he was bored at the beginning of the Young Justice video game. And Wally sitting out the majority of an alien invasion where things get worse and worse goes against everything I've ever loved about him over the years, and the scene at the end of DARKEST pretty much destroyed the character for me. The only times he was shown to help out was when the situation suited his interest, such as retrieving Artemis in SUMMIT, or helping out his family in BLOODLINES and ENDGAME. If the situation didn't have something directly to do with him, he couldn't be bothered to help and that's just not Wally West in my opinion.

As for his relationships, I think the issue for me was how unbalanced they seemed to be. I mean, I can appreciate the slow build and subtlety the show did with building up Artemis' side of their relationship; though I did think the show relied a little too heavily on telling us that they were going to get together in an effort to make her small moments such as asking about his parents in MISPLACED or making the sling for his arm to mean more than they really did. The problem is that the show basically punched me in the face with Wally's side of the relationship in contrast. The show pretty much shouted that he should get together with Artemis in DENIAL, he had an entire episode in FAILSAFE where she's almost all he could think about, was basically her number one fan for the majority of INSECURITY, and was shown to do nothing but worry about her in season two. Artemis never had anything remotely close to those type of things during the two seasons while he was alive. That's because Artemis had a lot going on besides Wally, as she had her family/trust issues, being a mole suspect, and the undercover mission. Where as with Wally being the normal one, the show made Artemis his thing and smashed us over the head with it. That's why I always preferred the M'gann/Conner relationship despite never being big fans of their characters since neither side dominated their relationship. It was balanced. It never felt like one of them was way more committed to the other like it did with Wally and Artemis. And like a previous poster before me mentioned, I think his friendship with Dick was handled in a similar way. It's why their reactions to his death fell completely flat and contrived to me because Wally wasn't really ever shown to be as important to them as they made him out to be after he died. And as a character, Wally got very little out of those relationships himself.

And like most of the 'normal' characters, Wally was killed off because there's only so much a show feels they can do with them. You guys milked about as much drama/angst you could get out of his relationship with Artemis over the two seasons and because of that, Wally was no longer useful to the show because he didn't bring any drama/angst as his own character. In essence, as a standalone character he had no real story of his own and that made him an expendable character.

Unfortunately, it just seemed like the majority of the things that made Wally tick and were important to his character would seem to have been left out of the show for the most part. And I'd say that he's the only one out of the main cast of either season that was handled that way. It's why while I normally enjoy Wally in the comics and other shows (I loved him and Jay/Barry in the episode "Requiem for a Scarlet Speedster!" that you wrote for Batman: The Brave and the Bold, by the way), I had a hard time getting invested into his character on Young Justice. And the Wally you talk about here and the Wally that was on the show just seem like two completely different characters to me.

Greg responds...

Well, to some extent, I'll grant that there were things about Wally we didn't spell out as clearly as we might have in the series, though if you were also reading our companion comics, Wally's insecurity about his relationship to Barry would be hard to miss. But I'll also grant that you shouldn't have to read the comics to enjoy the series.

But I think we painted Wally consistently. His insecurity is there to see, certainly in "Infiltrator" and other episodes. We might not have stated it, hammered the nail on the head, so to speak, but I'm confident it's there. If you chose to see him as an idiot and selfish jerk, I can't stop you. But Brandon and I thought the insecurity was pretty clear. Clear enough that we were afraid we overdid it. Perhaps we were wrong. But I still don't think so, and the fact that a handful of fans disagree with me isn't exactly changing my mind. That's neither meant as a criticism of you or any other fans. Nor am I simply being defensive. In the end, all I can do is trust my own creative judgement (and that of my partners in crime - in this case Brandon Vietti), for better or for worse. If that judgement is faulty - and again, I'll grant that it could very well be - that doesn't change anything. Because if I start second-guessing myself all the time, the work, I'm sure, would suffer. In general, I think my instincts are decent, and the proof of that, I believe, is that most fans seem to respond positively - both to Wally and to the show in general. Doesn't make me right, of course, but what other recourse do I have?

As for some of your analysis, I believe you are choosing to interpret Wally in the most negative light possible, and that's certainly not how we saw him, and given the extremely vocal love for our version of the character expressed by a vast majority of fans, I will once again suggest that we simply agree to disagree. I'm not going to convince you. You're not going to convince me.

Having said all of the above, I still appreciate your post and your point of view. And who knows? Everything I read gets absorbed into my brain and tossed around into the mix. Maybe a Star Wars Rebels character will benefit from your words.

Response recorded on February 21, 2014

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Harlan Phoenix writes...

The Wizard of Oz references in Gargoyles are among my favorites when it comes to your various literary sources. My all time favorite literary allusion in Gargoyles comes from issues 3-5 of Clan Building, where Lexington's "post-modern Tin Man" is the very cyborg visage he possessed when losing his heart in the Future Tense scenario.

Given that the original book is in the public domain, was there any thought ever given to how the events of the Wizard of Oz related to the Gargoyles Universe?

Greg responds...

Like Frankenstein, I mostly thought in terms of references, rather than working the story into actual continuity. But you never know...

Response recorded on February 21, 2014

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Tupka writes...

Back during production of Legacy, it was revealed the last boss had to be replaced because the Greek Gods were good(ish) guys on Earth-16.

Considering the ocean/earthquake theme, was the last boss originally Poseidon? Tiamat was never really in command of quakes, but Poseidon was.

Greg responds...

Honestly, I don't remember.

Response recorded on February 21, 2014

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Todd Jensen writes...

I bought my copy of "Rain of the Ghosts" at the local bookstore yesterday, and just finished reading it.

Thanks for mentioning me in the Acknowledgements; it was a pleasant surprise.


I enjoyed reading it. I was put off a bit by the "head-hopping" (switching from one character's point-of-view to another in the course of a chapter), until I understood that the narrator was able to tell what all the characters were thinking.

As I'd picked up from the blurb, a lot of references to Shakespeare's "The Tempest" - even more than the names mentioned in it (Prospero, Miranda, and Sebastian), with Alonso, Ariel, Sycorax, Setebos, and maybe Iris (since the Iris of Greek mythology turns up in the play during the masque Prospero conjures up). Plus a different Shakespeare reference (or at least, one to 15th century history) in Charlie Dauphin's name, and a Mark Twain allusion with Rebecca Sawyer from Hannibal. (The preview of the next book also had a J. M. Barrie allusion with the Kim children's names.) And, to top it off, another Terry Chung.

I found Rain, Charlie, 'Bastian, and those around them vividly-characterized, and the adventure, especially the last flight of the "Island Belle", exciting. (Was that part of the story, incidentally, inspired by the loss of Flight 19? The time period and location in the area of the Bermuda Triangle both reminded me of that.) And I can see why you plan it to be a nine-book series, with the other eight objects to be found. There'll obviously be more developments to come (such as finding out more about the objects, what Callaghan and Setebos are up to, Judith Vendaval, and, of course, the true nature of your narrator - apparently a dog, but a remarkable dog - and Maq), and I'll be keeping an eye out for the next book next year.


Congratulations on becoming a published author, Greg.

An effective story with Rain and Charlie vividly characterized.

Greg responds...

And my first ASK GREG Rain review!!

Thanks, Todd. I'm glad you liked it.

I don't think Flight 19 was a major influence, but you never know what all is crowding around in my brain!

Response recorded on February 20, 2014

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James Musgrove writes...

Caught your appearance on the nerdy show (linked from bleedingcool.com) and I'll be honest...I wasn't looking for a new book series. It was your passionate talk about how you wanted to tell Rain's story that got my attention and I just picked up my copy today. Tearing through it! Very relatable dialogue and clear narrative! Anyways, I had a few questions regarding this book:
1) Rain Cacique...how is this pronounced?
2) is Charlie's last name pronounced the French way?
3) while I definitely wouldn't expect it anytime soon because you're selling the book now, but would you give some thought to posting the script for the radio play/pilot some time in the future, after book nine comes out? :)
I don't suppose the audio of this exists and would ever be postable?
4) without SPOILING (of course), can you give any insight to elements that were changed/dropped/added in the rewrite of book one from the original manuscript?
5) all I can add right now is that I'm spreading the word and I haven't event finished it yet. That and WE NEED EXPANDED UNIVERSE RAIN OF THR GHOSTS COMICS!!! :)

Thanks so much. I'll probably be around here quite a bit!

Greg responds...


1. Rain's family pronounces Cacique: kah-SEEK.

2. Charlie's family pronounces Dauphin: DAWF-in.

3. I don't know if anyone recorded it way back when. I might, down the road, post the script. Not anytime soon, though.

4. One major character was added. (Not to the series as a whole but to the first book.) A few minor characters were also added.


Response recorded on February 20, 2014

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Anonymous writes...

The last time i asked this question, i was one of the unlucky ones to happen to get their questions mocked and ridiculed on April foos day...i hope this reaches you on a better day, as i realy think it is a valid question, so here goes:

if Shayara were to have a child, would she give live birth or lay an egg?

Greg responds...

I doubt it would be an egg. But I guess I'd have to do research.

Response recorded on February 20, 2014

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Stephen Murphy writes...

Hey Greg. First off just want to say I'm a big fan of your work I've loved everything you've done and I thank you for all your hard work. My favourite of your shows is Spectacular Spider-Man because for me anyway this series and Mark Webb's Amazing Spider-Man movies are what truly captured Spider-Man for me which is a teenage boy trying to balance out a duel identity that is Spider-Man to me and like everyone else I was sad it was cancelled but things happen. I'm a big Star Wars fan too so I look forward to your work on Star Wars Rebels next year. I actually watched the interview you did with The Everything Geek podcast and it was very fascinating to listen too. I'm also a good friend of the people who run the podcast so seeing some of my friends interview one of my inspirations as a writer was cool to me. Anyway onto my 3 questions all Spectacular Spider-Man related:

1. What was it like getting the voice cast together and finding the right voices for these characters?

2. Were there any actors you had already considered to voice a new character for Season 3 before the show was cancelled?

3. Were there any actors you wanted for the show but were unable to get so they were replaced by someone else?

Anyway thank you for your time Greg. Can't wait for Rebels and whatever work you do next

~Stephen Murphy

Greg responds...

1. A dream, really. We held a ton of auditions for a huge quantity of characters, but there wasn't any real disagreement. Myself, Vic Cook, Jamie Thomason and executives at Sony, Marvel and Kids WB all loved the cast we chose.

2. We didn't get that far.

3. Well, the obvious was Keith David, who was originally our Big Man but then became unavailable. But we think Kevin Michael Richardson did a great job too.

Response recorded on February 20, 2014

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SBlueMonkey writes...

Hello Mr. Weisman,

You've shared some of the pitches for Gargoyles spin offs such as Dark Ages and 2198 without potentially spoiling anything if they ever get a shot at being made. Would you ever do the same with the bibles for Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice? That would make for fun reading, but if they contain anything you wouldn't want judged out of context it's understandable why not.

Greg responds...

I'm not ruling out the possibility.

Response recorded on February 20, 2014

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Greg's Gallifrey One Schedule

Greg's Gallifrey One Schedule

Hey, gang. As some of you know, I'll be at Gallifrey One this Saturday, February 15, 2014.


The convention is located at:

Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel
5855 West Century Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045

I'm told convention membership is sold out, but even if you don't have a badge/ticket, we've got an event for you (see below).

Here's my schedule for the day:

2pm - 3pm - I'll be doing a signing at Christopher Jones' table. I'll pretty much sign anything you put in front of me for free. However, I'll also be bringing multiple copies of my new novel RAIN OF THE GHOSTS. For a mere $10 in cash, you get a signed copy of the book and signed copies of the original inspirational character designs (drawn by Kuni Tomita) for the animated series version of Rain that we never made back at DreamWorks in 1997-98. (While supplies last.)

3pm - 4pm - Christopher Jones and I will be doing a KaffeeKlatsche with a small group of fans. You need to sign up for this in advance, I believe, as space is limited.

5pm - 6pm - The big YOUNG JUSTICE event!! I'll be moderating a Q&A panel of THIRTEEN GUESTS who worked on the series in Program Room B. In alphabetical order, the guests are:

1. Cameron Bowen - Voice Actor: Robin/Tim Drake, Toyman
2. Kris Carter - Composer: Dynamic Music Partners
3. Christopher Jones - Comic Book Artist
4. Stephanie Lemelin - Voice Actor: Artemis/Artemis Crock/Tigress, Catherine Cobert/Computer
5. Eric Lopez - Voice Actor: Blue Beetle/Jaime Reyes, Scarab
6. Vanessa Marshall - Voice Actor: Black Canary/Dinah Lance, Amanda Spence, Ida Berkowitz, Noor Harjavti, Red Inferno/Firebrand
7. Michael McCuistion - Composer: Dynamic Music Partners
8. Masasa Moyo - Voice Actor: Bumblebee/Karen Beecher, Reach Scientist, Amber Joyce, Cat Grant, Secret/Greta Hayes, Sharon Vance, Wendy Harris
9. Lolita Ritmanis - Composer: Dynamic Music Partners
10. Andrew Robinson - Writer: "Drop-Zone," "Targets," "Disordered"
11. Brent Spiner - Voice Actor: Joker
12. Jason Spisak - Voice Actor: Kid Flash/Wally West
13. Greg Weisman - Producer; Writer: "Independence Day," "Fireworks," "Terror," "Humanity," "Misplaced," "Auld Acquaintance," "Happy New Year," "Salvage," "Satisfaction," "The Fix," "Summit"; Voice Actor: Lucas "Snapper" Carr

6pm - 6:30pm - Immediately following the panel, we'll conduct a signing right there in Program Room B. Not all the guests may be able to stay, but I know, for example, that Kris, Michael & Lolita will be there, signing and selling copies of the Young Justice Soundtrack CD. And once again, I'll be signing and selling RAIN OF THE GHOSTS ($10 in cash, for the signed novel and the signed character designs, while supplies last).

6:30pm (more or less) - ??? - And then right after the signing, we'll move out to the lobby of the Marriott for a Young Justice Fan Meet-Up. This is the part that does NOT require you to have paid for the convention. Just show up and hang out, as we chat with fans, take pictures with Cos-Players, sign and sell stuff (say, for example, RAIN OF THE GHOSTS) in a more informal setting. Chris Jones and I will stay for the duration, frankly until it begins to wane of its own accord. I'm sure some of the other guests will hang out for at least a little while (though that's not guaranteed).

So stop by #gally1 for the big #YoungJustice multi-event!!!!!

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