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RIP Peter Scolari

I only met Peter Scolari on the handful of occasions that he came in to play Preston Vogel for us on Gargoyles. But he was wry and funny and thoroughly professional. He had most of his scenes with the late Robert Culp, who was a ton of fun bur a challenge in the booth. But Peter played off Culp wonderfully and kept the sessions flowing. Outside, the booth Peter had great stories that kept us laughing and fascinated.

And, man, was he talented. Gargoyles and Vogel aside, I ADORED Scolari in Bosom Buddies, and treasured his performances in Newhart.

He will be missed.


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How I Spent My Weekend...

So... I had a LOT going on this past weekend.

On Saturday, DC FanDome premiered trailers for both CATWOMAN: HUNTED and YOUNG JUSTICE: PHANTOMS, and revealed that the first two episodes of the latter were dropping THAT DAY!

I spent considerable time online - and I don't usually do the online thing over the weekend; in fact, I don't even check my email most weekends - trying to #SpreadTheWord.

But to sum up, here's the news...

CATWOMAN: HUNTED, an anime movie based on my original script, is being released in early 2022. You can see the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYPqTLS_g9c. It stars Elizabeth Gilles as Catwoman and Stephanie Beatriz as Batwoman. Voice directed by our old friend Jamie Thomason, it also features Jonathan Banks, Lauren Cohan, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Ron Yuan and my peeps, Steve Blum, Keith David, Zehra Fazal, Jonathan Frakes, Kelly Hu, Andrew Kishino, Eric Lopez and Jacqueline Obradors. Folks have asked me if it's in continuity with Young Justice. My answer: it's YJ-adjacent, much like that old Green Arrow/DC Showcase short I wrote years ago. A version of these events happened on Earth-16. If you're a completist, you're going to want to watch. (Also, I really think it turned out great!)

Meanwhile, the fourth season of YOUNG JUSTICE, i.e. YOUNG JUSTICE PHANTOMS, dropped its first two episodes this past Saturday on HBOMax. Episode 403 will drop this coming Thursday, 10/21. With another episode (through 413) dropping every Thursday through December 30th. The back half of the season (i.e. 414-426) will drop weekly in Spring, 2022. I'm truly excited for the fans to see the season - and evil creator that I am - also glad that the show isn't all dropping at once. I firmly believe television - especially a show like YJ - is a better experience if you have time to savor and sort and absorb and predict for a week in between episodes.

As for the fourth season's production, we have 21 episodes in the can and ready to air. The last five have all been animated and are currently in post-production. And since there was no IATSE strike today, we're still hard at work. (And to be clear, I'm a member of IATSE as part of the Animation Guild, and I was 100% supportive of the union.) We should be done with all 26 episodes by the end of November.

IMPORTANT ADDENDUM: YOUNG JUSTICE has NOT yet been picked up for a fifth season. So if fans want more of Earth-16, the answer is simple: #KeepBingingYJ (all four seasons) over and over. And over and over. And help us #SpreadTheWord. We want to #SaveEarth16.

So use the following hashtags ad nauseam - just as I'm doing in this post:

#CatwomanHunted
#YoungJustice
#YoungJusticePhantoms
#KeepBingingYJ
#SaveEarth16
#SpreadTheWord

And watch the show on HBO Max!!! Please...

For international fans, I wish I could give you info on when any or all of the above will be available in your countries. But unfortunately, TPTB do not keep us folks in the trenches well-informed. Asking me over and over won't magically reveal that information to me so that I can reveal it to you.

Finally, by the time all my work was done on Saturday, I was completely exhausted and took a nap. In the nap, I dreamed I wrote a hit song. Seriously. Now, normally, my dreams slip away entirely upon waking. And even when I do remember the gist of a dream, the details are lost within seconds. But I actually woke up with a clear memory of the song - both the lyrics AND the tune. Here are the lyrics:

I'm taking my pants off,
Cuz it's that kind of party!
I'm walking a straight line,
And it's luminous!

That's the whole song. You can see why it was such a big hit in Dreamland. I'm expecting the Dream-Royalties to roll in any minute.

STAY WHELMED, everyone!


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EMPTY QUEUE

Well, it took me YEARS, but I finally have cleared the ASK GREG queue. I'm going to take a bit of a break now, but we'll open the question asking function for DC FANDOME on October 16th. I honestly don't know what YJ will be doing for Fandome, but I assume we'll have some presence of some kind, and by then I should have had enough of a rest to jump back in.

Thanks for your patience.


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Kevin writes...

1. Now I am not much of a math person but what do you imagine the populations of Martians and Atlanteans are like? Would it be correct to assume it is in the high hundred thousands to low million range?

2. Is Aquaman a metahuman since his marine telepathy does not seem to be Atlantean sorcery?

Greg responds...

1. I don't know, honestly. Answering those questions would take a lot of research and math.

2. No spoilers.

Response recorded on September 01, 2021

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Alex writes...

1. Do you think Xanatos will ever form a club with Lex Luthor and Norman Osborn? I can't imagine he would find Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark fun for long :)

2. Regarding their wealth do you think Xanatos and Luthor are billionaires and Osborn was a multi millionaire in terms of wealth?

Greg responds...

1. I think we touched on this in one or two of the RadioPlays. You can check 'em out on YouTube. There are links in the Gargoyles Wiki.

2. I haven't done the math.

Response recorded on September 01, 2021

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Kevin writes...

1. Were Hudson and Bronx close in the Dark Ages as they are in the present day?

2. Was the Blue Nosed Beaked Gargoyle that was with Demona's clan of the generation that hatched with Goliath's and Demona's or the one with the Trio's?

3. Does Bronx and other Gargoyle Beast like to have their bellies scratched like dogs do?

Greg responds...

1. Sure.

2. I'm not sure which gargoyle you're referring to. Check out the Gargoyles Wiki. Most of those unnamed Gargoyles were given out-of-universe names for reference. Find the one you're talking about, and then let me know.

3. Sure. I mean, I like that, too.

Response recorded on September 01, 2021

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Ashanti Mills writes...

Hi Greg! Young Justice: Invasion is one of my favorite seasons of television. Really looking forward to season 4. I have questions about which characters you have access to and are personally interested in using for the show

1. What's the legal status of created specifically for the Static Shock tv show (e.g. Shebang, Ebon, Madelyn Spaulding, Ebon, etc.)? More to the point, are you allowed to use them in Young Justice? I'm assuming they exist under different circumstances than characters created for Milestone characters who were adapted later.

2. If you were able to use them, are you at all interested in those characters? Or would you prefer to keep the show focused on characters who are a bigger part in DC's history?

Thanks for your time, and for the great TV!

Greg responds...

1. At this point, no character we've wanted to use is off limits. That could change. But so far as S4 goes, we had no issues.

2. It's not really about who's a bigger part of DC history. It's about telling the story we want to tell.

Response recorded on September 01, 2021

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KarrinBlue writes...

1) Where exactly in Eastern Europe is Markovia? Is it neighboring Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, or is it further away, like Hungary or Romania?
2) What was going on with the Doom Patrol - the one Dayton was a part of as 'Mento'? Were they an old TV show, a real hero team, a group of actors with very bad luck?
3) You've been working on Magic the Gathering books - would any of the Team/Outsiders members play MtG, and do you have deck themes in mind for anyone in particular?
4) Was Ilona Bedlam's older or younger sister?
5) Was Tara aware that Cassandra Savage liked her?

Greg responds...

1. We placed Markovia on a map. And the map is at my office on the Warner Bros Ranch. And I haven't been to that office in over a year. I can't quite remember. But I know it borders Vlatava and is close to Latvia.

2. A real hero team. The only (former) actor on the Patrol was Rita.

3. I've been off MtG for so long now that I've already forgotten what "deck themes" means. I think I'll leave it to your interpretation which heroes play the game.

4. Ilona's the older sibling.

5. They got along well enough.

Response recorded on September 01, 2021

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EDWARD ASNER

So...

This is hard.

It's been a bit of a stressful weekend, as my father went into the hospital with chest pains. A stint that had been replaced last year had failed and was replaced again Saturday morning during an angioplasty. I've been concerned, worried. But the procedure seemed to go well, and he was set to go home today. We seemed to have dodged a bullet.

But there was a second gun.

I slept in today. I woke up to two pieces of news:

1. My dad was good. Solid. My sister picked him up at the hospital and took him straight to breakfast. (My mother was annoyed at not being included - but that's a whole other story.) He's home now. I've talked to him. He sounded cheerful. All good.

2. Ed Asner had passed away.

I spent most of the day doing laundry and other mundane tasks. Life goes on, right? It has to. But it's been difficult getting my head around the whole thing. I've gotten many calls and texts today, offering condolences as if I were part of the Asner family. Folks seem to know how close I felt to Ed. But I don't want to exaggerate. Ed was my friend. I hope he knew I was his, as well. But I haven't talked to him in at least a couple of years. (You can partially blame that on the pandemic, I suppose. There are a lot of people I've lost touch with. If anything, this is a reminder to GET in touch. And I'm going to make an effort to do that.) In any case, there are many, many people who knew Ed better than I did, who were closer to Ed than I was.

Nevertheless, at the risk of turning this post into my own self-aggrandizement, I am going to spend a few paragraphs here on the subject of the Ed Asner that I knew and loved.

I was a fan of Ed's long before I met him. Like many, many people, he first entered my awareness playing Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. (Later, I got a kick out of picking him out of reruns, where he usually played the heavy in such series as The Wild Wild West and others.) But as Lou, Ed was simply brilliant. One of the truly classic scenes in all of television is the scene in the TMTMS pilot, where Lou interviews Mary for a job. Do yourself a favor and view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj286uBKCu0

That scene had a major effect on me, even seeing it as a kid.

Now, having just rewatched it, the genius of the writing and the two performances still knocks me out. But there was something else about Lou and Mary. Watching their interactions was a bit like watching my parents. The connection in my mind between Lou and my dad was especially strong.

Ed and my father were two Ashkenazi Jews from the midwest. My dad was from Chicago; Ed, from Kansas City. They were gruff AND loving. They even had mannerisms in common. There was much more, I'm sure, that they DIDN'T have in common. But something connected the two men in my mind. And, meanwhile, my admiration for Asner as a performer knew no bounds. When I saw him in the Lou Grant series, in Rich Man, Poor Man, in Roots, that admiration only increased. When I learned of his activism - and the price he paid for it - that admiration shot through the roof.

Years later, when we had begun pre-production on GARGOYLES, I thought of Ed Asner - or of Lou Grant, at least - as the inspiration for Hudson. In fact, when we held auditions for the role, I wrote at the bottom of the character description that "Hudson hates spunk." This was, of course, a variation on Lou's classic line from the above job interview scene. Now, to be clear, I never imagined we'd get Ed to play the role. I figured he was way too big a star for us to land. But low and behold, a few days later, Ed came in to audition for the part. Later, he told me that when he read the character description, he was initially thrilled. The "Hudson hates spunk" line made him feel like he was a lock to land the role. Then a couple minutes later, he thought that if he didn't land the role it would really be awful. But of course, he immediately understood the character and nailed his audition... only for Jamie Thomason and I to throw him a curveball, asking him to do it again in a Scottish accent. He nailed that, too.

Working with Ed was a joy. He was fun and funny and so supportive. In addition to playing Hudson (and Burbank and Jack Danforth/Dane) on Gargoyles, I also cast him as recurring characters on Max Steel (Chuck Marshak), 3x3 Eyes (Grandpa Ayanokoji), W.I.T.C.H. (Napoleon the talking cat), Young Justice (Kent Nelson) and Rain of the Ghosts (Joe Charone). When casting Peter Parker's late Uncle Ben in The Spectacular Spider-Man, Ed was the only person I ever considered. He always brought so much to each and every role.

And more than that he was a great friend to me. After the first season of Max Steel, when I couldn't find a job for over a year and thought I might have to give up on my writing career, Ed was there, offering me support. We had lunch at Musso & Frank's. He looked at pictures of my kids out of my wallet and told me to laminate them. He introduced me to his son, Matt Asner, a producer. He didn't allow me to wallow in self-pity or to badmouth guys who I believed had done me wrong. He just reassured me that I had ability and would find my way through. He was, in essence, my work dad.

So today, as you might imagine, has been complicated. My dad is home and healthy. And Ed is gone. I'm grateful and sorrowful. And struggling. But life goes on. It has to, right?

Finally, I'm going to quote Hudson from Gargoyles. In "The Price," an episode that spotlighted the character, Ed as Hudson told Xanatos: "A friendly word of advice: True immortality isn't about living forever, man. It's about what you do with the time you have. When all your scheming's done, what will be your legacy, Xanatos?"

I think we all know that Ed Asner did amazing things with the time he had. And though we'll miss him dearly, his legacy is clear and shining.


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KarrinBlue writes...

So, since the askbox is closing soon to get a chance to catch up, I thought I'd finally send in an ask about one of my favorite bits of the new season - Terra's plotline. I'd been hoping to see a Young Justice take on Terra since s2, and when we started seeing the first trailers of the team going to Markovia, I got even more excited. And I was not disappointed! So often Terra is a flat character, a betrayer, a monster, a madwoman - if there's any sympathy towards her, it's usually in a vague tragic backstory of abandonment, or her having a moment of realization before the end and taking Slade down with her (and often with an implication that Slade is the more reasonable, understandable one in the equation.) It was so refreshing to see a take on her that remembered she had been a child, was [i]still[/i] young, and being manipulated and abused by a much older adult - and that made that abuse and manipulation [i]not[/i] a death sentence. Terra doesn't die, she lives, she chooses to face justice - and, in a note I'm particularly fond of, she does all of this not because she's fallen in love with a heroic boy, but because of her platonic and familial bonds - with Artemis, with her siblings, and with Halo. Seeing her finally get to turn her back on Slade, come clean, and [i]live[/i] made the entire finale for me. So thank you for that, and now some questions about Tara Markov herself:

1) Why did Bedlam originally have her kidnapped, then tarred, then sold off? Had Slade's 'rescue' of her been a scheme between those two?
2) How much time passed between her original kidnapping, tarring, and the 'rescue'?
3) Tara can be extremely reticent in the show, often holding back in large conversations (though her glances around, gestures, and expressions have been very interesting to keep an eye out for on my rewatches). When she chooses to speak she's generally very forthright and direct, even if she's not sparing with her words. How did you decide on this pattern for her, and how did you decide on when she'd speak up and when she'd hold back?
4) Tara seemed very reluctant to tell Slade when Gregor was visiting them in America - had she expected the coup to take place, and if so, how did she expect it to end? Once Slade ordered her to kill Gar, what had she thought would happen afterwards?
5) In the ending montage, we see Tara and Halo attending Happy Harbor High, after her trial at the Hague. Even if Snapper Carr smoothed over any legal issues, how did the other students, teachers, and parents react to finding out that a foreign princess assassin had been attending, and would continue to attend, public high school in Rhode Island?

Greg responds...

1. DeLamb had learned he was a meta-human and wanted to see if his niece was, too.

1a. In essence, yes.

2. Tara was abducted on July 28th, of Team Year Six. She was meta-activated in early August of that year, and "rescued" by Deathstroke in Early September.

3. It seemed to work for someone who was keeping secrets.

4. Tara was conflicted - and so turned around that the notion of consequences had been blurred to non-existent in her mind.

5. It may have been overshadowed by Fred Bugg revealing himself as Forager. But basically, having two Outsiders at the school was largely applauded by the student population. Some teachers and parents may have been more reticent, but there wasn't any significant protest...

REALLY GLAD OUR VERSION OF TERRA WORKED FOR YOU! I MEAN IT!

Response recorded on August 26, 2021


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