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Well, I'm about to head out of town to tour colleges with my wife Beth and my son Benny...
But before I go, here are a couple of podcasts to keep you entertained...
On the first, I discuss everything from Gargoyles to Rain of the Ghosts.
On the second, the focus is on the development and first episode of The Spectacular Spider-Man:
Had fun doing both! Hope you like 'em!
I'll be back at ASK GREG on April Fools Day!
I'm on the @ComicBookCast podcast with @TheDVDGrouch.
Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbdjyK0aLUQ&feature=youtu.be&a
Hi Greg, a quick question about The Spectacular Spider-Man. I believe you've said in the past that your plan was to do 5 seasons which would culminate in Peter's high school graduation. The thing is though, since Peter was still in his first year at the end of season 2, I'm wondering how you would have managed to reach the graduation by the end of season 5. Would you have skipped over the Summer holidays to accomplish this?
If season 1 was September to November, and season 2 was December to early March, and if each month of the Summer were to still get the usual 3-4 episode coverage, then logically a 65 episode, 5 season run would not quite reach the end of Peter's second year, so I'm wondering whether you were thinking of skipping over things like the Summer holidays to reach your goal?
The following was our pie-in-the sky hope:
We wanted to do a direct-to-DVD Spring Break movie between Season Two and Season Three, set in Florida. If that was not approved, it would have been incorporated into Season Three.
We also wanted to do another direct-to-DVD movie to cover Pete's summer vacation between Junior and Senior year (and also between Season Three and Season Four).
We then felt we could cover Pete's senior year over Seasons Four and Five, with at least one more movie between those two seasons.
And then we'd follow up the series with a series of movies covering his college years, etc.
If the movies hadn't been approved, then the series would have gone on for more seasons (in this hypothetical scenario) so that we could cover the same ground on television.
Of course, none of this was to be...
Spidey's a pretty skinny dude at the beginning of your series which is great since it makes him more relatable as our underdog hero. I was wondering though, was your Idea of his gradual growth going to reflect in the physical aspect as we'll with his muscles growing larger and him getting gradually taller as well?
We talked about him getting a little bigger and taller, but Vic and Cheeks and I all agreed that Spidey works better chiseled and honed, not buff or ripped.
A few questions about the Third Race.
1. Did they take anything with them to Avalon, or did they mostly just drop whatever it was that they were doing?
2. Did they take technology with them? Electronics. I mean, I'm sure magic compensates for most actual work they would have to do, but that doesn't mean that a few wouldn't like to take their Game Boy or something with them when they go home. No batteries on Avalon, I'm sure, but they might be able to make it work.
3. Would Oberon ALLOW them to bring technology onto Avalon, or does he consider it foreign magic?
4. I'm guessing that those who were married to humans at the time weren't allowed to bring their spouses along, were there a lot of broken homes made that year? You would think Oberon would make concessions about those things but then Avalon might see a spike in mortal inhabitants.
5. That brings me to another question; Would Oberon see a marriage between one of his race and a mortal as anything of significance? Anyways, I am glad you're still doing this, thank you! ^_^
1. Stuff isn't a big issue for a magical race.
2. Again, I'm not sure that's necessary. But if it pleases you...
3. He doesn't consider technology to be magic - much to his chagrin at times.
4. Oberon isn't big on concessions. But I'm not going to confirm or deny this one. Feels spoilery.
5. It would depend on a lot of factors.
Damn it, Greg. It happened with Young Justice. It happened with Gargoyles, though I was a (very) late comer. It happened with YJ: Legacy. I told myself it wouldn't happen again. But, once again, I am obsessed with a Greg Weisman production. Rain of the Ghosts was fantastic! An amazing story, a perfect amount of humor, mysteries that made my head ache, and lovable characters. I won't say anything plot-wise, due to not wanting to spoil.
But one thing I found interesting: I found myself atributing voices to the characters, taken from YJ and Gargoyles. Rain's dialogue came out as Elisa's voice in my head. Charlie was Jaime/Blue Beetle, while Bastian became Peter Maza. Callahan changed often, jumping from Vandal Savage to Macbeth to Deathstroke, though none of those are Australian. Probabley shoulda gone Dingo. (I'm an odd, odd person.) And I don't say this to say the characters were carbon copies, or even a little similar; it's just what my brain did.
Overall, a very enjoyable read. Don't think i spoiled anything but character names. (And, by God, I love Maq and Opie already.)
Thanks. That's so gratifying. (And a bit of a relief too. I've never been as nervous about the reception of something I've worked on as I am about Rain.)
If you wouldn't mind, please consider PRE-ordering the next book in the series, SPIRITS OF ASH AND FOAM, available here: http://www.amazon.com/Spirits-Ash-Foam-Ghosts-Novel/dp/1250029821/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379918087&sr=8-1&keywords=spirits+of+ash+and+foam+a+rain+of+the+ghosts+novel+by+greg+weisman
And please consider posting (or reposting) your review on Amazon, and marking a few of the many 5-Star reviews as "Helpful".
Anything that can help spread the word/create a buzz about Rain would be great.
As for the voices, I usually cast parts in my head. But though I hear their voices clearly, I can't name the actors so much on Rain, because the lead characters are only thirteen, and I don't know enough actors of color in that age range to help me cast. Would definitely have to hold auditions.
But Maq is W.C. Fields. Definitely. (Doesn't look like him. But that's the voice.)
Opie's kinda me for now. But I think I could do better.
I have a few questions about some of your unmade projects that've been mentioned in passing. Hopefully you'll be at liberty to discuss these, but I'd understand if not.
1. On a panel about developing television animation, you'd mentioned that your and Brandon Vietti's Green Lantern development "didn't even have the same lead [character]" as Green Lantern: The Animated Series. Though I'm very happy with how that show turned out, as it was left in very capable hands, I'm curious. Who was the lead in your Green Lantern development?
2. I was also surprised to hear you'd worked on a Space Ghost, as he's my favorite superhero. Though it didn't seem like you developed it for long, what was the general tone you and Vietti were pushing toward with that series?
2b.What was the cast like?
3. You mention working on a Thundercats reboot here (http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=14819). Was it the infamous "rock band" development of the series, or a different one entirely?
4. At Dreamworks, you'd developed Small Soldiers: The Animated Series. Was the show meant to be a series about the continuing battle between the toys or was it going to be a show that used the mythology behind the toys (the battle between the Gorgonites and the Commando Elite) as the basis for its stories?
1. Charlie Vickers. Though pretty much every Earth Lantern you can think of would have gotten in there eventually. (Plus a lot of extra-terrestrial Lanterns, as well.) Hal would have had a prominent role in the pilot.
2. Space Ghost is also a favorite of mine. General tone: action, mystery, fun. Lots of HB action characters, including another of my personal favorites: the Herculoids.
3. So long ago... Might have been a rock band though my one episode didn't feature that as an element. It was for Duane Capizzi, if that helps narrow it down.
4. Even LONGER ago. But both, I think.
My new novel, RAIN OF THE GHOSTS, has been getting some great reviews. Here's just a sample:
If you haven't checked out RAIN, please consider it. If you've liked my work on Young Justice, Spectacular Spider-Man, W.I.T.C.H. or Gargoyles, I can guarantee you'll like this.
If you HAVE already read the book - and especially if you liked it - please consider posting a review on Amazon, and marking a few of the many 5-Star reviews as "Helpful".
Also, we're not that far away from the second book in the series. SPIRITS OF ASH AND FOAM is out July 8th. And I've started work on the third book: MASQUE OF BONES.
What was your reason for having Dicks character be such a womanizer?
I don't think he is a womanizer, at least not in the traditional sense that most people use that word. He doesn't lie about who he's with. He's been exclusive for periods of time. He's never cheated on any girl. He always calls the next day. Etc.
Dick has tremendous respect for women, in my opinion. And that respect makes him interested in many women for each one's very different qualities. And that fundamental respect (alongside his other attributes) makes him extremely attractive to a diverse group of powerful women, who know he's secure enough not to require them to be 'less powerful' when dating him.
Also keep in mind, he's still pretty darn young. Should he really be settled down by age 19? I just don't think he's quite ready to settle down, and obviously Barbara agrees.
As for why we made that creative choice, given his history, it just seemed right for the character.
I was wondering what aspects of Peter and Mary Jane's characters would lead them to becoming closer together if Stan Lee as well as you believed that Gwen was always the perfect girl for Peter.
Did any of the runaways consider superhero names for themselves? I mean virgil is static, but did any of the others think of names to use?
Not that they said out loud.
1.) What part of Europe was Vandal Savage born in (Cave bears were largely confined to Europe (more specially romania hungary and croatia, as well as northern italy, southern german and north spain although there were cases when they were in the caucuses as well, and even iran)? I'm not asking specific coordinates, just general region.
2.) Does the Light have a central HQ akin to the Watchtower?
3.) Which historical figures has Vandal been throughout history?
4.) Are the members of the Light planning to double cross each other?
1. I knew this. Once. But I don't remember. I'd have to research it again. Sorry.
2. Yes. You saw it in the episode where Deathstroke was introduced.
3. Well, in our series bible, I wrote that he was Genghis Khan, Atilla the Hun and Blackbeard the Pirate. Don't know if I'd stick to that, but it sounds right.
1).So here something I have been wondering. What exactly was Secret? I mean I do take she was a ghost, so maybe I should rephrase the question. How exactly did she come to be as she was? Was it her meta gene? If so how come it activated upon her death? Or was it some form of magic related to harm or the sword?
2). Black manta was under the assumption that kaldur and tigress were lovers. Did he come to this assumption by himself or did kaldur and/or artemis deliberately imply that they were in order to help their cover?
3). Does anyone in the light hold black manta responbile for kaldur's actions?
1. She was an unquiet soul. Period.
2. I'll leave that to your imagination, I think.
3. Spoiler Request. No comment.
Hi, Greg, just following up from what you said on twitter. Did you hear the comments Paul Dini made about why shows like Young Justice were not renewed?
Here's a link to the specific clip
And a link to the full podcast in case anyone else wants it
What are your thoughts on this?
For the record, I listened to the clip but not the entire podcast. So if I missed out on some important context, I apologize.
I agree with a lot of what was said, but I don't agree that the executives didn't want girls to watch. (And I'm not really sure that's exactly what was being said, though that's the way it's been reported on that internet thing.) The target audience for Young Justice was ALWAYS Boys 6-11. If we ALSO got girls that was fine. If we got older kids, tweens, teens and adults, that was fine. If we got younger kids, that was fine.
But we had to hit the target: Boys 6-11. And we did to some extent, but not enough to compensate for the loss of our toy line. Anyone who says the show was cancelled because too many people (of any specific demographic) were watching us, is, I think, grasping at straws. It's not that too many were watching, it's that NOT ENOUGH were watching in our target demographic. Even then, if the toys had sold, we would have been fine. But the toy line was cancelled, which took away our financing for the series. And that was that.
Just finished Legacy. Loved the story (though the gameplay was....alright. Just alright. Fun enough is what I'd call it). And after Invasion, it was refreshing to see the original team again operating out of the cave, before all the shake ups in the 2nd season. I was kind of bummed about there still being nothing on Ocean Master, but I will survive. I had a few questions about it though.
1. Who is canonically on the Team during Legacy? Between the unlockable heroes, and DLC characters, it gets hard to tell.
2. The voice cast wasn't listed with the characters they played. Obviously if a character's regular actor was in the credits they obviously played them (so Superboy and Superman were obviously played by Nolan North) but a few characters regular actors weren't listed, and some of them have noticably different voices(like Beast Boy). Can you tell us who voiced who as far as non regular roles were in Legacy? If you can't say, or don't know, can you at least tell us who you voiced since you were listed in the credits? Or was this an error?
3. Was there any specific reason Rocket had such a small role? She doesn't seem to appear in the story at all, and you unlock her by finishing the game on hard, at which point there's really nothing else to do.
4. Did the characters that left the team between Legacy and season 2 all do so due to the results of Legacy's....final mission? Don't want to spoil it for others but you probably know what I'm talking about. In the game it seemed like only Aqualad did.
5. This might be just my imagination, but does Tempest not like Wally? He seems to keep glaring at him in cutscenes.
6. Rumor is Little Orbit mentioned the possibility of another DLC character pack. If this is true, would you be involved in this in any way such as selecting, designing etc?
1. It's pretty much the characters that you can play without downloading, plus Bumblebee and Lagoon Boy.
2. See below.
3. I don't know. I wasn't aware that was going to be the case. She didn't have a major emotional arc for this particular adventure, but she wasn't the only one who did not.
4. I think it had a major effect on many members of the Team (if not all). But I think everyone who left, including Aqualad, would list the end result of Legacy as only part of the reason for their departure. Even Tempest.
5. I think that's your imagination.
6. This is news to me.
2. Checking my files, I dug out my master-cast list for Young Justice Legacy. It's covered with cross-outs and my handwritten corrections. And though I attended nearly all of the voice sessions for the game, I missed a couple, and there may be changes I'm unaware of or forgot to note. So what follows seems right, but it's best to take it with a grain of salt. Jamie Thomason, Curtis Koller and I attempted to get as many of the original actors as we could. A few were unavailable, and Little Orbit also had some budget restrictions that forced us to double up some smaller roles and/or roles that were slightly less familiar to our audience that we thought we could get away with recasting with minimal distraction. Still, we managed to get 21 of the regulars (not counting me) to play their regular roles and only had seven character recastings (Bane, Batgirl, Beast Boy, Killer Frost, Psimon, Riddler, Rocket). Casting Mae Whitman to play Helena Sandsmark is something we would have likely done on the series (cf. Aqualad and Black Manta).
The cast of Young Justice Legacy (in alphabetical order by actor and then by character):
01. Adcox, Thom - Klarion, Riddler Goon, Sportsmaster Minion
02. Bennett, Jeff - Psimon, Red Tornado, Villager
03. Bowen, Cameron - Icicle Minion, Ninja, Robin
04. Chabert, Lacey - LexCorp Bot, Tourist, Zatanna
05. Chinlund, Nick - Riddler Goon, Sportsmaster, Statue
06. Greenwood, Bruce - Batman
07. Hu, Kelly - Cheshire, Manta Trooper, Tourist
08. LaMarr, Phil - Aquaman, Tourist, Villager
09. Lemelin, Stephanie - Artemis, Computer, Riddler Goon
10. Lopez, Eric - Bane, Bane Thug, Blue Beetle
11. Lowenthal, Yuri - Icicle Jr., Lagoon Boy, Tempest
12. Marshall, Vanessa - Black Canary, Killer Frost
13. McCartney, Jesse - Icicle Minion, Nightwing
14. McKellar, Danica - Batgirl, Miss Martian, Ninja
15. North, Nolan - Superboy, Superman
16. Payton, Khary - Aqualad, Black Manta, Tourist
17. Richardson, Kevin Michael - Bane Thug, Bialyan Soldier, Green Lantern
18. Rolston, Mark - Blockbuster, Lex Luthor, Sportsmaster Minion
19. Spisak, Jason - Beast Boy, Kid Flash, Riddler
20. Summer, Cree - Aquagirl, Rocket
21. Whitman, Mae - Helena Sandsmark, Wonder Girl
22. Weisman, Greg - Tourist, Undead Soldier
I am a long time Gargoyles fan. I grew up with it actually. I've always loved it's depth, characters, story, and emotions. Honestly? Cartoons now-a-days don't even compare.
Anyway, I digress;
I was re-watching the show the other day and a question struck me... Can Goliath and Elisa have kids? I mean, Goliath is humanoid right? So, is it possible?
I hope it is because Goliath has gone through too much tragedy in his life to not be able to have a family with his soul mate I think.
That said, I haven't read the comic but I heard someone say that they break up in it... Is this true?? If it is, I just might cry....
Anyway, even though the series is long over, I still want to compliment you on such a fantastic masterpiece. It is a classic that will endure for a loooonnnggg time. :)
Thanks for your time! I know you are very busy.
ASKED AND ANSWERED. Check the archives and/or ask the fans at http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/comment/index.php to point you in the right direction. And by all means, check out the trade paperbacks from SLG. I think you'll truly enjoy them.
Thanks for your kind words.
Shortly after Ask Greg Live, you revealed that Donna Troy had been a leading candidate for Team membership at a very early stage in the development of the show - I was wondering if you could please list a few others who were serious contenders for a spot on the season 1 main cast but didn't make the cut?
As I've stated before, there was a list of over fifty teen DC heroes, all of whom were considered, at least briefly.
We then cut that list down considerably to more or less the folks that became members of the Team that you saw in Season One: i.e. Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Superboy, Miss Martian, Speedy/Red Arrow, Artemis, Zatanna and Rocket.
Others that were briefly considered for the final cut include, as I recall, Donna, Garth, Mary and Cissie. But Donna was declared off-limits (at that time). Kaldur replaced Garth. Artemis' backstory offered us more interesting secrets than Cissie's might have, and three archers (Artemis, Roy and Oliver) seemed like plenty to start with in one series. Finally, our developing plans for Captain Marvel in Season One worked better if Mary was not yet part of the equation.
As planned, Garth guest-starred (and had a nice role in Legacy). And we managed to slip a Cissie cameo in, with bigger plans for her later, if we had gotten more seasons/episodes/issues. We had planned to include Mary and Donna in Season Two, but as I've already discussed, Phil Bourassa just didn't have time to design them both for the sake of a couple cameo appearances. We had more plans for both of those characters, as well, but never got the opportunity.
Heck, we had eventual plans for nearly everyone on the original list of fifty-plus.
Do the gargoyles actually see the sunrise or do they turn to stone at first light? I know that,we, as the viewers, see it, but the sun seems to rise and set much more quickly in the Gargoyles universe. I figured it is probably exaggerated to show the viewers what is about to happen; the gargs are going to wake or sleep.
I guess the next question would be, do they see the sunset? I feel somehow that this is more likely as they are often depicted waking at about that time, but it could be, again, an exaggeration.
They've seen the sun rise a bit. But mostly the first beams of light trigger their stone.
Puck, Gathering part 2: "I was intrigued, what was so special about these mortals that would make the queen dally among them?"
His explanation for Owen sounds like. I've never hung out with mortals before, why don't I try it now?
1. Now, after the thousand year banishment is almost up, he's finally wondering what all of the fuss with humans about?
2. Or, was it simply THESE mortals, him getting a good look at Renard's integrity and thinking, oh, that sounds boring, why is the queen wasting her time here with him?
I always got the idea that Puck is just too social to have not tried to blend in with the humans before this and see what they're about.
I don't think he'd spent any quality time with many mortals, though of course he'd posed as a mortal often enough for some quick fun. But I think the main interest wasn't in the mortals at all, but in trying to figure out why the Queen was interested in them. But before long, he developed a true interest in Fox and David.
I'm a guest on the Coffee With Kenobi Podcast. It was a fun interview, covering Star Wars Rebels, Gargoyles 20th Anniversary, Young Justice, Rain of the Ghosts and Spirits of Ash and Foam. You can find it here:
Diversity in pop culture has always been an issue that concerns me greatly. I've tried to do my share to increase diversity on series like Gargoyles, W.I.T.C.H., The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice.
Now, that I've entered the world of publishing, my sister Robyn brought this article to my attention:
The article asks valid questions, and - yes, to toot my own horn - I'm going to provide at least a piece of the answer with my new books, Rain of the Ghosts and Spirits of Ash and Foam. Both feature protagonists of color. Rain Cacique is Native American, as is her grandfather Sebastian Bohique. Her best friends are Charlie Dauphin, who's African American and Miranda Guerrero, who is Hispanic-American. Many - if not most - of the other characters are also of color. This reflects the Caribbean setting of the novels, i.e. the fictional Ghost Keys and the actual mythology of that region.
The books are available here:
I urge you to check them out, and to suggest them at schools and libraries.
I liked the use of snapshots from the episode to come in the opening titles for season 1, with a different flurry of shots from each episode right before the Team's pose and the title coming onscreen. I was just wondering what the source of your inspiration was when you made the decision to incorporate clips from the episode during the opening theme. Did JLU (I know it used episode-specific clips in the opening theme for the early episodes) inspire you to do this? Or did you get the idea from somewhere else?
It was Brandon's idea. Ask him on Twitter (@BrandonVietti) what his inspiration was.
I was wondering why the White Martians are treated so badly on Mars? If they have telepathy Green and Red Martians must be aware of White Martians feelings to a degree how can beings with telepathy be cruel to one another when they can literally feel their pain? Maybe telepathy does not create empathy but it is hard to believe that the majority of them would enjoy feeling how others are suffering, indifference perhaps but I do not think you can rationalize lets discriminate against others when again you can read their thoughts. I obviously do not know their history, culture, or if their telepathy works differently on each other so if it is not a massive spoiler and this writing does not seem imposing could you provide some context?
I don't think it's hard for us as human beings without telepathy to know that others are in pain over our behavior. And yet...
So I don't see why telepathy would change anything. If you truly believe that another is "Less than," then you can teach yourself to disregard. Not defending the practice of course, but it makes sense to me that it would happen.
1. What is the general Martian Population on Mars?
2. What is the general Atlantean population on Earth?
3. Is the color green a scarab class or something else entirely?
4. Are there any other scarab classes that we did not see?
5. What does Arsenal think of Lian? Interesting relationship to say the least:)
1. You mean a number? I don't know.
2. I don't know.
3. No. When B'arzz attempted to adjust his blue scout scarab, it turned green.
5. SPOILER REQUEST.
Where Artemis's parents married? I know I saw a wedding pic at the house when Paula got out from jail, but it looked too happy to be them (Vol 2, couple pages in)...Did they kill the original occupants and take their house or something?
They were married. And they were once VERY happy being assassins together. But six years in prison and in a wheelchair can offer a new perspective.