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Conventions in October

October Conventions:

Hey gang,

I've been invited to attend two more conventions (my eighth and ninth of the year >whew<) in October.

The first is "CON-Sequential" in Memphis, TN, October 14-15th.

http://www.Con-Sequential.com/

The second is the "Mo-Kan Comics CONspiracy" in Kansas City, MO,
October 28-29th.

http://mo-kancomicsconspiracy.com/

If you're in the neighborhood of either or both, please stop by and say hello.

Greg


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BUFFYVERSE STATS - Year Seven

BUFFYVERSE STATS

TOP 40 CHARACTER LIST:

Once AGAIN, I'm wasting my semi-valuable time (and hopefully yours) to bring you the latest update in my attempt to catalogue the most significant characters in the BUFFYVERSE. Previous CUMULATIVE updates covered the first, second and third years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After that, the task became more complicated as Buffy's fourth season aired simultaneously (day and date, literally) with the first season of Angel. So the Year Four update included Buffy S4 & Angel S1. Year Five covered Buffy S5 & Angel S2. Year Six, Buffy S6 & Angel S3. And now, Year Seven, which covers Buffy S7 & Angel S4.

As you may recall, I've tried to inform this subjective task with an objective formula. I tried, as much as possible, not to allow my knowledge of future events to influence the current standings. Still, I won't deny that subjectives have played a role. It's hard not to take extra notice of a character, whom you know is going to be important later. And ties were broken based entirely on subjective criteria.

The idea behind a cumulative tally is to mimic the original experience of following the Buffyverse. It's a horse race. Some of the winners and losers are decidedly predictable. Others are a bit surprising - surprising enough that it's become absolutely clear that my system is flawed. I've since dreamed up a new system, but it's too late to implement it. Someday, LONG after I've finished this first survey (but ONLY if I prove truly insane), I might just start over and see what the results are with OBJECTIVE SYSTEM 2.0. But for now - assuming you haven't nodded off - you're stuck with System One.

I have a list of ALL the characters that have appeared in both series up to this point. It's so long (including everything from leads to ridiculously minor characters) that I haven't even bothered to count how many there are. But my list of MOST significant currently tops out at 245 characters. (There will be one more update after this one, covering Year Eight, i.e. Angel Season Five, and maybe at the end of this silly game I'll do a countdown of all 245+ significant characters.)

But for now, I think listing the top 40 is both pleasantly traditional… and plenty. Or largely. I just want to note a few characters introduced (or revisited) in this set of episodes, who haven't yet or never will make the top 40, but whom I believe are memorable enough to merit honorable mention.

Starting with…

[SPOILERS]

#235 - Knox. Scientist at Wolfram & Hart, intro'd here. The only one of the W&H Tour Guides in the Angel Season Finale that has a major role to play in Season Five.

#234 - John Stoler. The first poor bastard to see the real Jasmine.

#228, 229, 242, 243, 244, 245 - Girl at Bat, Trailer Girl, Japanese Girl, School Girl, Indian Girl, Potential with Power #2. This was of course the season that introduced all the potential slayers. Those that survived actually become Slayers at the end of the season, as did a number of girls out and about in the world. The most memorable of the latter is the little girl playing softball and perhaps the Trailer Park girl, who will not be beaten anymore.

#226 - Bruiser. Lorne's "prison guard" in Las Vegas. Makes the list only because they kept the character around across two episodes.

#212 - Delivery Guy. Wesley's arms-supplier and "Q" in a couple episodes. [That's a James Bond reference, not a Star Trek reference for the geek-confused.]

#205 - Guardian. The woman in a crypt, who had been waiting centuries to explain the Scythe to Buffy - and still largely failed to do so - cuz Caleb killed her while she was busy being cagey. The anti-Watcher, I guess. Seemed like a former Slayer to me, and the notion that a Slayer MIGHT live a long life - and break the rules, might have been both interesting and helped explain how Buffy came up with her multi-Slayer solution, but…

#200 - Young Woman. The woman that Spike bit, killed and sired across two episodes, while he had a chip and thus theoretically shouldn't have been able to harm anyone.

#190, 237, 238 - Connor's Dad, Mom and Kid Sister. After Connor acquires his new revised life (ala Dawn) we briefly meet his new family. The parents at least, return in Angel Season Five.

#181 - Virgin. The innocent girl that Conner and Cordelia murder (over Darla's dead body, so to speak) to bring Jasmine into the world.

#172 - Spike's Mother Anne - Spike turns out to be a mama's boy. He loves his mother. Sires her and then has to stake her - cuz she's just too darn upsetting.

#158 - Rachel. Rachel appeared at a party in a previous season, but they brought her back to force Anya into confronting her redemoning. I give them credit for using an existing character instead of creating a new one. I wish they had done this more. Though perhaps I'm the kind of guy, who overdoes it. I know I'm almost making a point of overdoing it in the Gargoyles comic. It's just more for me that way.

#156 - Lissa. Latest in a line of Demon's that Xander dates.

#115 - Wu Pang. The Monk who removed Angel's soul to bring forth Angelus.

#110 -The Ubervamp. Mr. Tough-to-Kill had an army of fellow Ubervamps in the Hellmouth who turned out to be much less difficult to slay.

#105 - Cassie Newton - A high school student, who predicted her own death - and later had a memorable turn as the First, who tried to trick Willow into suicide (when actress Amber Benson proved unavailable to reprise Tara as the First).

#78 - Gwen Raiden. An actual X-Men-esque mutant with electrical powers in the Buffyverse. I thought she was being set up as a potential love interest for Angel, but she wound up being a brief love interest for Gunn, before vanishing forever - or going on to co-star in Pitch Black II.

#53 - Caleb. The First's big bad misogynist faux-priest, better known as Mal Reynolds in Firefly/Serenity. He was great at REALLY making you hate his guts.

#49 - The Beast. Pre-Jasmine's right-hand creature. A real tough monkey to kill, with some nice moments too. But what was the purpose of most everything he did? Why was he or any of his actions necessary to Jasmine's birth?

#44, 52, 63, 75, 85, 138, 140, 145, 165, 174, 178, 236 - Amanda, Rona, Molly, Vi, Chloe, Shannon, Caridad, Injured Girl, Eve, Annabelle, Colleen. A list of all but one of the potential Slayers. Amanda was the nerdy Slayer from Sunnydale high. She had ten appearances and died in the Hellmouth - the one "meaningful" slayer death in that battle. Rona had eight appearances. She was the one who was supposed to be keeping things real, I think. Molly was one of the three original potentials. Caleb killed her. She had been around long enough that we were supposed to feel something there, but her death was overwhelmed by the loss of Xander's eye in the same battle. Cho An was the potential who spoke no English. Largely used for comic relief. Vi had six appearances. She was kinda goofy, but really took to becoming a Slayer at the end. I liked her. Chloe, who had three appearances, is the potential that committed suicide. She also got a scene as the First. (And she went on to play a second banana in Lizzy Maguire on the Disney Channel.) Shannon, in the first of her three appearances, is used to introduce us to Caleb. Caridad also had a trio of appearances, but is most noteworthy for being one of Xander's fantasy dream girls. The Injured Girl appeared twice and was indeed injured. Eve is noteworthy because we never met the REAL Eve. She was already dead and replaced by the First before we ever laid eyes on her. (In fact, she's the only identity the First took on in this season, where we hadn't yet met the person who the First was impersonating or personifying or whatever.) Annabelle is the commonsense Brit potential - one of the first three that we meet -- who panics and is the first potential to die in Sunnydale. Colleen is noteworthy mostly for going on to star in some prime time soap I don't watch and for being another of Xander's fantasy dream girls.

#41 - Jasmine, a.k.a. the Beast-Master a.k.a. Cordelia Chase. The big bad of Angel Season Four. While possessing Cordelia, I'm not really sure if all her various and ultra-complicated manipulations track. But she sure was fun once Gina Torres of Firefly took over the role. Oh, and one other point of interest. Peter Renaday did the voice for the Beast-Master in Angelus' head. Peter voiced a few minor roles in the five-part Gargoyles pilot ("Awakening") and was - briefly - the voice of David Xanatos. He replaced Jonathan Frakes, and then was in turn replaced BY Jonathan Frakes.

And before we start, a fond Top 40 farewell to the Master (now at #45), the Groosalugg (#47), Gavin Park (#42) and Forrest Gates (#43).

AND NOW THE TOP 40
Abbreviations for previous rankings…
Y1 - Buffy Season 1.
Y2 - Buffy Season 2.
Y3 - Buffy Season 3.
Y4 - Buffy Season 4/Angel Season 1.
Y5 - Buffy Season 5/Angel Season 2.
Y6 - Buffy Season 6/Angel Season 3.
NR - Not Ranked that year.

#40 - Graham Miller. Y6: 32. Y5: 28. Y4: 22. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Riley Finn's second best friend falls eight rankings. And yet it's amazing he's still in the Top 40 at all. Graham, in fact, does a great job - right off the bat - at demonstrating the flaws in this original scoring system. He had a ton of screen time in Season Four of Buffy, and then came back more than once in Season Five. And despite no appearances, since, he's totally coasting on that old screen time (which was clearly too big a piece of the original formula) as opposed to true significance.

#39 - Glory. Y6: 34. Y5: 30. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Year Five's big bad drops 5 more rankings. I'm bummed that some of the season-long Big Bads like Adam and the Master aren't staying in (or in Jasmine's case even cracking) the Top 40. It feels like Big Bads deserve to be here. But again, a system skewed toward screen time is gonna favor supporting characters over villains. But I'm still glad Glory is hanging on.

#38 - Kennedy. Y6: NR. Y5: NR. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Kennedy, potential Slayer, eventual Co-Slayer and Willow's new main squeeze - or I should say squeezer - enters the countdown at 38 with a bullet. Of course, Kennedy is no Tara, but I think that was the point. So I certainly don't begrudge her knocking Groo, Gavin or Forrest out. (But I miss the Master.)

#37 - Maggie Walsh. Y6: 31. Y5: 27. Y4: 18. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. And Maggie Walsh? Maggie? Really? Adam doesn't make it, but his creator Maggie does, though she's dropped 6 slots in the ratings.

#36 - Mayor Richard Wilkins III. Y6: 33. Y5: 29. Y4: 19. Y3: 14. Y2: 40. Y1: NR. The Mayor loses only 3 rankings, thanks to some appearances by the First in Mayor guise, which gave him partial points. (Figuring out scoring for the First in its various glamours was really hard.) Gotta love the Mayor.

#35 - Ben. Y6: 30. Y5: 26. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Glory's alter ego drops five places. Again, like Maggie being ahead of Adam, there's really something wrong with Ben being ahead of Glory. It's about screen time, not actual character significance or OOMPH.

#34 - Jenny Calendar. Y6: 29. Y5: 25. Y4: 17. Y3: 13. Y2: 11. Y1: 15. Jenny also falls five rankings. Says something about Jenny's original significance that a non-regular like her is holding on for so long. And of course she was pretty much the first character we ever saw as the First, way back in Y3.

#33 - Harmony Kendall. Y6: 28. Y5: 23. Y4: 25. Y3: 20. Y2: 26. Y1: 18. Harmony also falls five rankings this year to her lowest point yet, thanks to two consecutive years without an appearance. Of course, Harm is poised for a resurgence in the last season of Angel.

#32 - The First. Y6: 143. Y5: 120. Y4: 85. Y3: 52. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. The original evil hasn't shown its face since Season Three. So it jumps up a whopping 111 ladder rungs to #32. I was never satisfied with the First, especially in the Season Finale, but I can't deny that he/she/it belongs in the Top 40.

#31 - Warren Meers. Y6: 36. Y5: 82. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Warren actually jumps up 5 rankings, which is a pretty neat trick for a dead guy. Credit the First, Willow and some flashbacks for keeping him "alive" and hopping.

#30 - Kate Lockley. Y6: 27. Y5: 22. Y4: 23. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Angel's cop friend is gone and largely forgotten now… She falls three rankings.

#29 - Lindsey McDonald. Y6: 26. Y5: 21. Y4: 29. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Lindsey has hit the road, and having also been absent for two seasons, falls three rankings too. But like Harmony, watch for a comeback in Angel S5 (a.k.a. Buffyverse Y8).

#28 - Daniel Holtz. Y6: 25. Y5: NR. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Captain Holtz, Angel's Big Bad for the previous Season (or surrogate, if you're counting Connor as the finale's final big bad) falls 3 rankings. His influence still very much felt.

#27 - Francis Doyle. Y6: 23. Y5: 20. Y4: 15. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Doyle falls four ranks. I'm surprised he got not even a mention in A4, given how Cordelia's fate largely is a result of his actions. But Jasmine-as-Cordelia was a bit of a mess in the does-this-really-track department.

#26 - Principal Robin Wood. Y6: NR. Y5: NR. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Talk about bullets. Robin Wood, son of Slayer and Spike-victim, Nikki Wood, enters the countdown at 26 with a bullet. This is a character that I would have LOVED to have seen a spin-off built around. D.B. Woodside is great; Wood has no super-powers, just training. And I would like to know who Robin's dad was and what happened to him. And the fact that a Slayer could survive long enough to have a kid… Loved this idea.

#25 - Jonathan Levinson. Y6: 24. Y5: 33. Y4: 24. Y3: 17. Y2: 19. Y1: NR. Jonathan, killed in his first appearance of the season, still manages to hang on - thanks to flashbacks and the First - to the Top 25, dropping only one ranking. Jonathan, you will be missed.

#24 - Andrew Wells. Y6: 37. Y5: NR. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Andrew, the definite third wheel of last Season's Evil Trio, jumps 13 rankings to #37, passing both Warren and Jonathan in the process. (It helps to be the only one actually left alive, I guess.). Really comes into his own this season… and one of the few Buffy characters (beyond Spike) to actually make an appearance in Y8.

#23 - Principal Snyder. Y6: 21. Y5: 18. Y4: 12. Y3: 9. Y2: 10. Y1: 12. Snyder falls two ranks but nevertheless manages to stay ahead of Principals Wood and of course Flutie (who, in case you were curious, is now down at #69).

#22 - Drusilla. Y6: 19. Y5: 16. Y4: 16. Y3: 11. Y2: 8. Dru has a few nice flashbacks and First appearances, but still falls three rankings and out of the Top Twenty for the first time.

#21 - Darla. Y6: 18. Y5: 19. Y4: 28. Y3: 23. Y2: 23. Y1: 11. Darla also loses three rankings and again falls out of the Top Twenty, despite a great ghost scene with Connor. Love Darla.

#20 - Lilah Morgan. Y6: 22. Y5: 31. Y4: 31. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Lilah climbs two more positions to finally crack the Top Twenty. Dead now, she'll peak here, but this was really a great season for her. She finally seems to be a woman IN CHARGE. A creature of depth and poignancy. Particularly after her death.

#19 - Faith. Y6: 20. Y5: 17. Y4: 13. Y3: 10. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Faith, back with a vengeance in both Angel AND Buffy, rises one ranking. But she's done too now, I think.

#18 - Connor. Y6: 41. Y5: NR. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Connor enters the Top Twenty after jumping 23 rungs. He's a huge pill this season, but he'll be much more fun in his limited appearances next year.

#17 - Riley Finn. Y6: 15. Y5: 12. Y4: 11. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Riley falls two more rankings. There was an opportunity, as Buffy and Spike revisit the Initiative to have brought him back, but I think they wisely thought that would be too distracting and off-point.

#16 - Tara Maclay. Y6: 13. Y5: 15. Y4: 20. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Tara moves down three rungs. According to the extras on the DVD, they wanted her to appear again as the First, but she wasn't available. But what the heck has Amber Benson been up to since? I never see her, and she is still so missed.

#15 - Lorne. Y6: 17. Y5: 24. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Lorne finally becomes a regular and jumps a couple rankings.

#14 - Joyce Summers. Y6: 14. Y5: 11. Y4: 9. Y3: 8. Y2: 7. Y1: 7. Joyce appears as the First and maintains the exact same ranking.

#13 - Daniel "Oz" Osbourne. Y6: 12. Y5: 9. Y4: 7. Y3: 7. Y2: 12. Y1: NR. Oz falls one more ranking to his lowest point yet.

#12 - Winifred "Fred" Burkle. Y6: 16. Y5: 50. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Fred climbs up 4 positions, but she's still got room to climb, I think. Can she pass Dawnie next season?

#11 - Dawn Summers. Y6: 11. Y5: 14. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Dawn plateaus at 11.

#10 - Charles Gunn. Y6: 10. Y5: 13. Y4: 37. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Gunn plateaus at 10. Can he pass Anya next season?

#9 - Anya Kristina Emanuella Jenkins. Y6: 9. Y5: 10. Y4: 14. Y3: 22. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Anya plateaus at 9, but being dead and on a cancelled series, I'm not sure if she can maintain.

#8 - Wesley Wyndam-Price. Y6: 8. Y5: 8. Y4: 10. Y3: 15. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Wesley plateaus at #8. I know it must seem like everyone's plateauing this high up, but wait for it…

#7 - Spike. Y6: 7. Y5: 7. Y4: 8. Y3: 12. Y2: 9. Y1: NR. Okay, STILL plateauing. But trust me… (And Spike's crossing over to Angel, so he may have somewhere to go still.)

#6 - Rupert Giles. Y6: 5. Y5: 3. Y4: 3. Y3: 2. Y2: 2. Y1: 2. Giles does not plateau. He falls one ranking, which this high up is quite significant.

#5 - Willow Rosenberg. Y6: 5. Y5: 6. Y4: 6. Y3: 4. Y2: 4. Y1: 4. Willow switches places with Giles, returning to the Top Five for the first time since Season 3. She'll peak here, putting her behind both Cordelia and Xander, which surprises me. As she was a Big Bad. And as she really should be equal with Xander, it demonstrates another significant flaw in the system. But at least she's in the Top Five.

#4 - Cordelia Chase. Y6: 4. Y5: 5. Y4: 4. Y3: 5. Y2: 5. Y1: 5. Back to Plateauing. Cordelia of course spends half a season as the Big Bad, but as she was pregnant in real life, she then spends the end of the season in a coma. They basically destroyed her character this season. A combination of the real life pregnancy, bad hairstyles and a coupling with Connor that's just too creepy and off-putting to even work as the actions of a villain. But she'll be back for one wonderful final appearance next season.

#3 - Xander Harris. Y6: 2. Y5: 2. Y4: 2. Y3: 3. Y2: 3. Y1: 3. Xander drops down one ranking. He's never been out of the Top Three and I think he'll PROBABLY finish here.

#2 - Angel. Y6: 3. Y5: 4. Y4: 5. Y3: 6. Y2: 6. Y1: 6. Angel moves up one ranking, finally passing Xander. And he has another season, and Buffy does not. Is it possible that by the end of Year Eight… that Angel might even pass Buffy to become the most important character in Buffy's own 'verse?

#1 - Buffy Anne Summers. Y6: 1. Y5: 1. Y4: 1. Y3: 1. Y2: 1. Y1: 1. Duh. But now that she's done… can she hold the top spot forever?


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Troubies Do Doobies

I've plugged 'em before. Now I'll let them plug themselves...

Subject: Much Adoobie Brothers EXTENDED!

Troubadour Theater Company EXTENDS

Los Angeles Times' Critics' Choice

Much Adoobie Brothers About Nothing

NOW Playing through Sunday, September 24.

Scroll down to read the rave reviews.

Miles Memorial Playhouse
August 10 - September 24
Thurs - Sat 8 pm, Sundays 4 pm
1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica CA

La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
October 1, 2006 7pm

All Tickets $25

On Sale Now and Going Fast!
troubie.tix.com

CRITICS' CHOICE! "Put it all together and you have the truest hallmark of any Troubadour show...bad wigs, rock star preening and outrageous comic riffs (that) LEAVE THE AUDIENCE BREATHLESS WITH LAUGHTER!"
--Daryl Miller, LA TIMES

["All true" --Greg Weisman]

GO! "A SCREAM! Another LAUGH FILLED TRIUMPH FOR THE TROUBIES!"
--Martin Hernandez, LA WEEKLY

"HILARIOUS! DELICIOUSLY FUNNY! UNDER MATT WALKER'S FIRST RATE DIRECTION, THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE is a RAMBUNCTIOUS BUNDLE OF JOYFUL COMIC ANARCHY!"
--Terry Morgan, VARIETY

["Matt Walker is an effing genius" -- Greg Weisman]

CRITIC'S PICK! "IT'S ALL TOTALLY BITCHIN'! MATT WALKER, WHO ACCOMPANIED BY HIS USUAL PARTNER IN HILARITY, BETH KENNEDY, AND THE LOVELY LAUREN GIRA - BRINGS DOWN THE HOUSE! A PITCH-PERFECT JEN SEIFERT PARRIES BRILLIANTLY WITH ERIC ANDERSON! A BALLS-OUT ROCK 'N' ROLL BASTARDIZATION OF SHAKESPEARE! RIGHT ON!"
--Jennie Webb, BACKSTAGE WEST

CRITIC'S PICK! "WILD! HILARIOUS! THE IMPRESSIVE SMARTLY MOUNTED PRODUCTION, AND WALKER'S SHARP SAVVY DIRECTION WITH ROLLICKING PERFORMANCES JUST ASTONISHES! DON'T MISS IT!"
--Gerri Garner, AMERICAN RADIO NETWORKS

"Nobody does Doobies like the Troubies"

www.troubie.com


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Tony Jay, R.I.P.

I just read in today's paper that actor Tony Jay has passed away.

I won't pretend that I knew Tony well. We only worked together once, when he played Anubis for us in the GARGOYLES episode "Grief". But what a great guest spot, huh?

I just loved what he did as Anubis a.k.a. the Jackal-God a.k.a. Death a.k.a. the guy who refused to play favorites. And one of my favorite bits in all of Gargoyles was how we combined Tony's voice -- first with Matt Frewer's and then with Tony Shaloub's -- to create the two Avatars of Anubis. Three totally different personae, one great talented actor. As one might imagine, that could have been a frustrating day, struggling to match up Matt's work with Tony Jay's. (Tony Shaloub recorded at a different time.) But Tony Jay made it easy for us.

He'll be missed.


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CHRONOLOGY REVISED

CHRONOLOGY REVISED

In the wake of completing the script to issue #3 of the comic book, I decided to take a careful look at my Gargoyles Timeline.

I wound up doing a whole new draft of the document. (It's now 249 pages long.) I actually incorporated some corrections suggested here at ASK GREG by folks like Aris and Matt and Todd and Kathy. Aris, as a few of you may recall, pointed out an error in my math, that shifted Angela's hatching back to 1058 from 1078. So I fixed that.

Other things have changed as well. BUT NOTHING CANON HAS CHANGED, i.e. nothing has changed from the first 65 episodes of the T.V. series or the first issue of the comic (or the second or third either, frankly -- though you guys haven't seen them yet). Even "The Last" (Team Atlantis episode featuring Demona and on view at Gatherings) is still holding its own. And I didn't change anything just for the sake of changing things -- not even to surprise you despite the spoilers I've already given out.

But some things have changed. So old info currently in the Archives at Ask Greg may or may not be dead on accurate now. But I think the biggest change is that 1058 thing. So nothing too major, change-wise. Lots of new stuff added. Hopefully fun stuff.

Just thought I should let you know.


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2006 SAN DIEGO COMICCON JOURNAL

2006 SAN DIEGO COMICCON JOURNAL

Just a quick and dirty rundown of how I spent this year's record-SMASHING attendance ComicCon.

WEDNESDAY JULY 19, 2006
8:30am - Wake up at home.

10:30am - Chiropractic appointment and Physical Therapy. (Always good to get worked on before a long drive and a long weekend in an unfamiliar bed.)

11am - Massage. (I know. I live the hard life.)

12pm - Home again to pack.

12:30pm - Hit the road in the not-that-old PT Cruiser.

3:30pm - Arrived in San Diego. Drove down to the Convention Center, but even on Wednesday, parking was impossible. Wound up parking all the way up at Ash & First and walked the many, many blocks to the Con. But I like walking, so frankly that worked fine for me. Stood in the Exhibitor line to pick up badges for myself and my family. (Thanks to SLG and Dan Vado.)

4:30pm - Called my old boss Gary Krisel to tell him I was on my way. I was staying with him and his wonderful wife Jane. They live about twenty minutes north of San Diego.

6:30pm - TWO HOURS later I arrived at their house. Now that's some traffic! Gary and I went to Chilis for a Build-My-Own-Burger. Then it was back to the Krisels. Gary and I talked for a bit. Then I retreated to my room to read Faulkner's Light in August.

1:30am - Lights out.

THURSDAY JULY 20, 2006
8am - Wake up.

9am - Grabbed some fresh OJ and hit the road.

10am - Not wanting to HUNT for a parking space, I just parked at First & Ash again. Walked to the con and found my way to the SLG Booth. Discovered I was scheduled to sign for FOUR HOURS a day for four straight days. That seemed excessive at first, but in the end I found I was GRATEFUL for (a) having someplace to sit and (b) something to do. The convention was completely overwhelming to me. Better to keep busy. Ran into a few people: Perrin Klumpp (of CONvergence) and Tad Stones (of Hellboy).

11am - Started signing GARGOYLES comic books with penciller David Hedgecock. Saw a few familiar faces, including Will H., Howard Bliss and Brian Dumlao.

1pm - Dave treats me to lunch from Café Express. Just a hot dog. (I know how little this guy makes on the comic.) But it was nice to just sit and talk. I really spent some quality time this weekend with Dave and with color artist Will Terrell. Both are great guys.

1:45pm - Headed up to the Panel rooms and caught the end of Tommy Kovac's spotlight panel. He's the creative mind behind SLG's WONDERLAND comic. Dan Vado and Tommy had some funny schtick going.

2:15pm - Had my own spotlight panel moderated by Dan. Talked about my background. Introduced Dave and Stephanie Lostimolo (our cover colorist). Talked about my hopes, plans and fears for the GARGOYLES comic. Answered some questions. It was a brief panel, but a lot of fun. I saw a bunch of familiar faces including Shan & Kevin, Shara (in costume), Seth, Scott, Brian, Jerry (taking pictures of course) and Michael. Met up with Sam Bernstein who was shooting B-Roll for a project we're working on together.

3pm - Sam, Seth, Michael McAdams, Scott, Brian, Tom and I went to Horton Plaza for my SECOND lunch of the day. Had Sushi at the food court. And Ben & Jerry's.

4pm - Started my very deliberate tour of the Exhibit Floor, covering aisles 0-500.

5pm - Second signing of the day - this time with Dave and Will, who had shown up (I'm told) during my panel. First time I had met Will in person. Good guy.

7pm - Went to dinner with the CONvergence gang: Pat & Tim, Perrin & Jenni, Chris & Melissa, plus Len Wein and his wife and Bob Skir. First of course, Pat and I had to walk all dem blocks to my car. Then we drove to a restaurant called Embers. It was a fun evening. But by 10pm we had closed down the place!

10:40pm - Back to the Krisels'. Read some of the Ape Entertainment Comics that Dave had given me (that's his company), including Athena Voltaire, Teddy Scares and The Black Coat. It was all fun stuff.

2am - Lights out.

FRIDAY JULY 21, 2006
8:30am - Wake up. More OJ and then off to the con, again parking at Ash & First.

10:30am - Walked the floor from 600-1000.

11am - Signing with Dave & Will.

12:30pm - Left the signing a half-hour early to attend the Gotham Group party at Rama. Saw a ton of people - most of whom live in L.A. as I do, though we never get together here - including, Bob, Bill, Steve, Bob, Andrew, Grace, Bob, Tramm, Michael, Dean, Nicole, Duane, Michael, Megan, Ellen, Peter, Eddie, Dmitri, etc.

2:30pm - Ted Murphy of Adult Swim interviewed me on camera. Not too sure whether that's going to get used. Have the feeling I wasn't quite on my game. But it was great to meet Ted. When the interview was done, I toured 1100-2000, and was definitely on the verge of burnout. But I ran into more old friends, including Kim, Kevin, Parker and Richard & Wendy Pini. We arranged to have dinner that night.

4pm - I went to the BET Animation Panel with Reggie Hudlin, Denys Cowan and Sydney. They're in the very early stages… but this white Jewish boy would love to get on that network. Honestly.

5pm - Back to the SLG Booth for another two hours of signing with Dave & Will.

7pm - Crispin Freeman and I hiked to my car, and then we met Richard, Wendy and Izzy for dinner at Todai.

10pm - Back at the Krisels'. Beth and the kids were already there, having driven down that afternoon from L.A.

1am - Lights out.

SATURDAY JULY 22, 2006
8am - Wake up.

9:30am - Depart with Benny for the Con. This time we parked near the Baseball Stadium and for Benny's sake we took a pedi-cab to the con.

10:30am - Stopped by the Animation Writers Caucus panel for a bit. But Benny was bored. So we went back to the floor and toured 2000-2500. None of my family had ever been to ComicCon before. It was - shall we say - eye opening.

11am - Back to SLG for our morning signing. Will had bugged out to hit the beach, so it was me, Dave and BENNY, who would have happily signed anything you put in front of him. He was actually a pretty good sport. Eventually, Erin and Beth showed up. Benny and Beth went exploring, and Erin sat with Dave and I for awhile.

1pm - Grabbed some Pizza from Café Express, but there was literally NOWHERE to sit. Wound up sitting single-file on a staircase. After lunch we toured 2500-3000. And then Beth had had enough. She left with the kids to go swimming at the Krisels' (where Benny got stung by a bee - which is one of his major nightmares, but it wound up not being too bad). After they left, I toured 3000-4500. Then I ran into Dave Schwartz, his wife Nanci and their daughter Kara (who I'm fairly certain was named after Supergirl). I was glad to get off the floor and we went to see Frank Miller's panel on THE SPIRIT movie that he plans to write and direct after he's done with SIN CITY II.

4pm - Caught the end of the TV Guide Panel, mostly cause I wanted to sit down and relax and wait for the NEXT panel in that room.

4:30pm - Veronica Mars panel with the creator and a whole bunch of the cast. I'm a HUGE VM fan. Love the show. (Oh, speaking of being a fanboy, I also stopped by Phil Foglio's booth/table. Wanted to introduce myself, but chickened out - and only bought his stuff. Wound up sending him a letter and a copy of GARGOYLES after I got back to L.A. We've since had a really nice e-mail exchange. Guess I was silly to be such a chicken.)

5pm - Back to SLG for more signings with Dave. Since at that point, we didn't know Will had gone to the beach, we were starting to worry about him.

7pm - Went to THE BATMAN panel. Wanted to know what THEY were giving away about the episodes I had written, so that I'd know what was fair game for me to talk about. I think there really taking some interesting chances with their fourth season, and I'm very proud of the episode "Artifacts" that I wrote for them. Also, I can now say that Brendan Routh (SUPERMAN) is appearing in another of my episodes: "The Everywhere Man". But he's NOT playing Superman.

7:30pm - Went to the Animation Writers Caucus party at a nearby hotel. Talked with Kevin, Kevin, Nicole, Jymn and others. (Yeah, I'm name dropping, but I'm only giving first names mostly, so you can try and make a game out of who's who.)

9pm - Dean, Brian, Andy, Erika, Andrew, Ian, Nicole and I headed out to attend the Jetix Party at a way-too-hip-for-me bar named Thin.

9:30pm - We arrived at Thin. But by this time, I had a headache, so I said hi to Jermaine and Tracy and then took off.

11:15pm - Returned to the Krisels'. Beth and the kids and the Krisels were already asleep.

2am - Went to bed.

3am - Fell asleep.

SUNDAY JULY 23, 2006
8am - Wake up.

8:30am - OJ and Rye toast. Said goodbye to the Krisels and my family. (The latter were going to swim some more and then head home.)

10:30am - Parked on the street up near Ash & First. Hit the floor to finish off the 4600-5300.

11am - Signing with Dave & Will.

1pm - Had Thai food with Joey Cavalieri of DC Comics. Pitched a few ideas to him. One of 'em may go. We'll see. But mostly Joey and I caught up. It'd been something like twenty years since we last saw each other.

3pm - Our last signing. All through the con, I think we had a nice steady flow of people coming up to buy books and get signatures and sketches. Felt good.

5pm - Departed the con.

8pm - Made it as far as Irvine and stopped off at Nicole's house for dinner.

10pm - Finally made it home. That's it!


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"Hunter's Moon" Memo #4B

And here is the rest of the 4th Hunter's Moon Memo...

Michael, the above represents my ideal Part Two. I think it paces down nicely from Part One, (and you'll note that the changes it requires to Part One are negligible). The Elisa/Jason relationship is allowed to build in a more natural, slower and step-by-step manner. Then it ends as planned, topping anything we've ever done before by blowing up the clocktower. I have two (probably obvious) concerns. One minor, one not so. The minor concern is that the middle is pretty talky for a stand alone episode. Not much we can do about that and still have all three parts play as one piece. So I vote to make each talk-scene as tight as possible, playing up the tension in the middle and otherwise not to sweat this minor concern. The major concern is that it's probably too long for one twenty-two minute episode. If I was being honest, it feels to me like we've got four acts worth of material instead of three. Call me about this either way. If you feel you can fit it in then go for it. If not, here's plan B:

PART ONE CHANGES:
Beat #12 would have to end with the following:
It's only after injuring Angela that the Hunters seem to realize that Angela is not the "demon" they've been hunting. Not that they're remorseful -- just surprised that Demona is NOT the last surviving member of her evil race -- as they had always been taught. Hunter/Robyn says this revelation explains the reports of numerous sightings of gargoyles in the Manhattan area, which is what brought them to town in the first place. Hunter/Jason is furious that the "demons" escaped and determined to hunt them down and exterminate them all. Hunter/Jon questions whether this is the correct course. They know the "demon" is evil. But these other gargoyles might not be. Hunter/Jason quickly and semi-violently reprimands his compatriot. As far as he's concerned the only good gargoyle is a dead gargoyle. And the only consolation from tonight's fiasco is that he's pretty sure he nailed one of them.

And at the beginning of beat13:
The trio and Bronx are already there when Hudson, Goliath and Angela make it back to the clock tower. They are horrified to see Angela's condition.

PART TWO CHANGES:
ACT ONE
Beat 14:
Should end on the Hunter's tirade about wiping every last gargoyle off the face of the earth -- not on Demona gliding away.

Beat 15:
Cut.

Beat 16:
Cut.

Beats 17:
Basically picks up where the revised beat 13 left off, with the trio already there and Angela dying. This beat is combined with beat 18 to form one uninterrupted beat. No act breaks.

Beat 18:
This beat is combined with beat 17 to form one uninterrupted beat. No Act Break. Also, just before the gargoyles turn to stone, Elisa would promise to find out everything she can.

Beat 19:
(Stay with me, 'cause this is complicated.) If there's room for beats 20 and 24 to stay as two separate beats, then beat 19 can stay the same. If not beat 19 can be cut here to show up later at beat 23A.

Beat 20:
If there's room for beats 20 and 24 to stay as two separate beats, then beat 20 can stay the same. If not beat 20 can be cut here and combined with beat 24.

Beat 21:
No change.

Beat 22:
Mostly stays the same, but at the end of the beat, we'd need to show the container of D/I-7 and the Borgia Tablet at Nightstone.

Beat 23:
No change.

Beat 23A:
Only necessary if you are combining beats 20 and 24. This is the former Beat 19. Elisa comes down stairs to find Matt (who would now just be coming on-shift as opposed to off). Matt's talking to reporter Jon. Elisa runs out alone. Jason follows her.

Beat 24:
No change, unless you need to combine it with beat 20 to save more space. If so, it combines as follows....
Outside by Elisa's car, Jason catches up to her. He can tell she's upset: "You didn't rush us out of there just so you wouldn't have to answer questions about gargoyles." Of course not, she replies. Gargoyles? Are you kidding? How silly. She's about to get in her car, but he puts a hand on her arm and stops her gently, but firmly: "Then what is it?" She hesitates, then tells him that a dear friend was violently attacked recently. She came very close to dying. He asks if they know who did it? No, not yet, and she feels so... so... He knows what she means before she can say it: "You feels frustrated. Helpless. You wants to nail the guy who hurt your friend." That's it, she says. That's it exactly. How did he know? Because he's been there. He's still there. She looks at him. He asks how her friend is doing now. Elisa says something like no news is good news, I'm sure she's all right. Jason: "And what about you? Are you all right?" She says sure, don't worry about me. I'm a rock. Feeling awkward, he turns to go. She hesitates, then surprises herself by asking if he's free for dinner. He considers it. Actually, there was something he was supposed to do, but...sure. He'd love to.

Beat 25:
After Goliath witnesses the kiss, we fade to black and end the act.

ACT TWO
Beat 25A:
Picks up where we left off and finishes out the former Beat 25.

Beat 26:
Instead of the blimp, Goliath finds and heads for the Hunter's High-Tech airship.

Beat 27:
Goliath, Lex and Brooklyn breaks into the airship. No immediate sign of a trap, but they soon runs into Demona inside the airship on a similar errand to erradicate the Hunters. This beat is combined with beat 28 to form one uninterrupted beat. No Act Break.

Beat 28:
This beat is combined with beat 27 to form one uninterrupted beat. No Act Break in between them. Demona is surprised to see Goliath, who physically attacks her demanding to know her connection to the Hunters. She tries to explain that she is their prey. But he doesn't listen. At least he doesn't listen until all four gargoyles are captured by Hunter/Jon and Hunter/Robyn. Act Break.

ACT THREE
Beat 28A:
The Hunters are waiting for their leader to show up. They imprison the gargoyles, (and Hunter/Robyn has the opportunity to plant a homing device on Goliath, though we don't know that she's done this yet). They leave them alone in their cells, giving Demona a chance to explain that the Hunters are gargoyle-haters who first appeared in the 11th century. They destroyed the last clan of gargoyles in Scotland. Only Demona escaped, and the Hunters have been hounding her ever since. Goliath tells Demona that the Hunters nearly killed their daughter Angela. Demona burns with cold fury. As much as she hates Goliath, Demona refuses to let the Hunters slay even one more gargoyle. She offers to help them escape. Goliath doesn't want escape, he wants vengeance. Finally, Goliath is sounding like a true gargoyle to Demona. Unfortunately, he's also sounding like an idiot. Vengeance will come, she promises that. But now they've lost the element of surprise on the Hunter's home turf. They must escape. And somehow, by working together, they do, seemingly taking out Hunter/Robyn and Hunter/Jon in the process.

Beat 28B:
Safely outside the airship, Demona is pleased. Perhaps she and Goliath are not so far apart. Perhaps not, Goliath agrees grimly. Demona veers away. Brooklyn cannot believe that Goliath is just letting her go. But Goliath: "She was not our enemy tonight." Oh, yeah?! What about the D/I-7? We'll worry about that later. Let's go home. They veer off for home. Time cut.

Beat 29:
Time has passed. Hunter/Jason has arrived on the airship and has clearly just been filled in on the night's events: "You LET them escape?!!" (We are beginning to see distinctions between the Hunters' personalities. Hunter/Jason is the fiery, passionate leader. Hunter/Robyn is coldly efficient. Hunter/Jon has some major doubts and is definitely not into this as much as the other two.) Hunter/Jason is furious that H/Jon and H/Robyn let the gargoyles escape -- particularly the "demon". That was the best chance yet to destroy them. Hunter/Jon still isn't sure that they're doing the right thing. They heard the gargoyle's in-cell discussion. The only reason they're attacking us is because we hurt the big one's daughter last night. H/Jon even suspects that the "demon" and the other gargoyles were at odds until our opposition united them. If we hadn't attacked them, they might have even been our allies against the "demon". Hunter/Jason can't believe his ears. He turns to Hunter/Robyn. He knew their brother had some weird ideas, but what's the story with her. She calmly points to images of Brooklyn and Lex on a monitor screen. These are new gargoyles. Different from the ones they faced last night. There's no telling how many more there might be. They had to allow these gargoyles to escape so that they could follow them back to their lair, otherwise we could waste our whole lives tracking them down. Hunter/Jason: So what? It was good enough for our father. H/Jason doesn't care how long it takes to exterminate this evil race of monsters. Hunter/Robyn comments wryly that she'd rather get it over with tonight, if H/Jason doesn't mind. H/Jason calms down a bit. So what's the plan?

Beat 30:
This changes completely. Goliath, Lex and Brooklyn arrive at the clock tower. Everyone else is already there. Goliath tells the others that the Hunters have been dealt a major blow. Brooklyn and Lex exchange concerned glances.

Beat 31:
Inside the airship, the trio of Hunters have locked onto Goliath's homing signal. Hunter/Jason is a bit concerned that they didn't plant a homing device on Demona. But Hunter/Robyn believes that the demon would never have let her touch her without noticing the plant. Besides Hunter/Robyn is confident she knows where to find the "demon". They track Goliath's signal to the clock tower. They know it's above the precinct house and may even be impressed that the gargoyles were clever enough to hide in such plain sight. H/Jason prepares to go in. H/Robyn stops him and begins to activate weapon systems instead. There could be a clan of thirty or forty gargoyles in there. H/Jon doubts if there's more than six. He can't believe what she's preparing to do. There's a building full of people in there. She's confident she can target the tower with some precision. A squeamish H/Jon fumfers, but suggests they wait a couple hours until sunrise. The gargoyles will be stone and can easily be destroy then . But H/Robyn shakes her head. We cannot count on that. She puts a picture of Demona on a monitor screen, side-by-side with a picture of Dominique. She then uses a sophisticated computer program to demonstrate that Demona/Dominique are one and the same person. Dominique has never been seen after dark, and since no one's ever spotted a gargoyle in broad daylight, H/Robyn correctly surmises that the "demon" transforms into Dominique every morning at sunrise. H/Jason wants to know how this is possible? H/Robyn shrugs. How is it possible that the demon has lived as long as she has? The obvious answer is sorcery, and if Demona/Dominique has shared this sorcery with the other gargoyles, then they could easily sneak out of the precinct house in the morning disguised as humans, and we'd never find them. H/Jon is still against the still unstated plan. Both turn to H/Jason for his final decision. Do it, he says. But let's make sure that none of them escape. It ends tonight.

Beat 32:
No change.

Beat 33:
No change.

Beat 34:
Lex notices the homing device stuck to Goliath's skin. Quick cut.

Beat 35:
No change.

Beat 36:
No change.


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Hunter's Moon Memo #4A

In anticipation of my ramble on "Hunter's Moon, Part Two", here is the first half of Memo #4 from back in the day...

"But wait!" you're asking, "What happened to Memo #3?!" Well, I have it -- on paper. But not on my computer for some reason, and I don't have either a scanner or the time to type it up afresh. So you'll have to settle for jumping ahead to Memo #4. This is my beat sheet breakdown on the first two parts of Hunter's Moon.

The whole memo was too long for one post, it seems, so I'll be posting the second half shortly.

WEISMAN 7-16-95

Notes on "Hunter's Moon" Outline...
Please note that any changes to the Beat Sheet for Part One will be in bold type.

BEAT SHEET
PART ONE
ACT ONE
1. PROLOGUE - SCOTLAND, 994 -- HUNTER'S MOON
We open with YOUNG GILLECOMGAIN confronting DEMONA (in either new footage or re-use from "City of Stone, Part One"). Very mysterioso at first. Then we realize that Demona is simply scavenging for food in Gille's barn. He surprises her and winds up scarred for life. She leaves.
Continue the scene. Hearing Gille's screams, GILLECOMGAIN'S FATHER comes rushing into the barn after Demona has left. He is largely unsympathetic, even a bit of a jerk toward his son. He sees the scratch marks and tells his son to suck it up, basically. It sounds to him like his son was attacked by a gargoyle looking for food. But Gille insists it was a "demon". And swears that she will pay along with her entire evil race.

MANHATTAN, 1996. - NIGHT ONE
2. A blonde woman (SALLI ROBERTSON actually ELISA MAZA in disguise) is alone on a subway platform. A real seedy place. Very scary. Suddenly a THUG appears out of the shadows. Invades her personal space. She tries to move cautiously away, but a SECOND THUG cuts her off. And then a THIRD, a FOURTH, a FIFTH. They don't attack her, but they do seem to be taking some real sadistic pleasure in intimidating the hell out of her. All are wearing long trenchcoats, which might or might not conceal weapons.
The subway finally comes. She gets onto a car which is sparsely populated by an OLD LADY, BRENDAN & MARGOT, a burly WORKER, etc. And we think she's safe, but at the last second the thugs also enter the car. The subway exits the station.
As the train races through dark tunnels, the thugs pull out Xanatos/Dracon particle beam weapons and demand all valuables. (Major overkill on the part of the thugs.) Maybe the burly worker gets brave, and although Salli tries to stop him, he gets hurt (but not shot) for his pains.
The train exits the tunnel onto elevated tracks. And to make a long explanation short, this is where the gargoyles (GOLIATH, BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON, BROADWAY and ANGELA) get involved. The fast-moving el-train should add to the challenge of stopping five heavily-armed thugs. At a crucial moment, Salli/Elisa should slam Thug #1, who had a bead on Goliath. She pulls off the blonde wig, revealing herself, saying that she doesn't like anyone messing with her best friend in the world. Everyone is saved. Though as usual, the passengers are more afraid of the gargoyles than the thugs. The gargoyles leave the moving train just before the next stop, promising to touch base with Elisa later. The train pulls in. MATT BLUESTONE, MORGAN and other COPS are waiting, (they've been trying to catch this gang of thugs for weeks). Matt (who knows about the gargoyles) sees the unconcious thugs, and says something like, "Had a little help, did we?" "No more than usual," she replies with a smile. Or something like that.

3. We catch up with the gargoyles in flight, who are pretty proud of themselves. Even Goliath. They've gotten this protection thing down. Stopping evil stone cold, etc. They glide in for a landing at the clock tower. HUDSON and BRONX welcome them back. Hudson fusses a bit as Brooklyn has a very minor injury from the subway encounter. But Brooklyn considers it a badge of honor, and besides the stone hibernation will heal him. Life is sweet. The sun rises and they all turn to stone. (Play this up for the video audience -- it's still one of our coolest trademarks.)

4. Downstairs in the precinct house a bit later, CAPTAIN CHAVEZ informs Elisa that she's being reassigned to the dayshift to show a new detective the ropes. Both Elisa and Matt protest. Why break up a good team? (Elisa's simultaneously thinking of Matt and her nighttime-only forays with Goliath and the gargoyles.) Chavez tells her it's temporary and in any case it wasn't a request. The new detective enters. It's JASON CONOVER. He's a big, rugged guy. Sort of a human Goliath. Elisa and Jason size each other up. And though neither would say it yet, they like what they see. At any rate, Matt notices that Elisa has suddenly stopped protesting the reassignment.

5. Dayshift with Elisa and Jason. She's showing him the city in her Fairlane. She asks him about himself. But he's subtly evasive and keeps turning the conversation back toward her. In particular asking what it's like to be a cop in the Big Apple. He's heard some weird stuff about alligators in the sewers and other urban myths. She smiles. She could tell him stories.

Suddenly, there's an explosion at a nearby XANATOS ENTERPRISES chemical storage warehouse on the East River. They call it in, head over, and it looks like they've caught two MASKED THIEVES who each have their hands full carrying containers of stolen chemicals marked D/I-7. They order the thieves to put down the containers, which they do. But the thieves had BACK-UP, and now it's Jason and Elisa who appear to be surrounded and in big trouble. It looks bad, and there ain't gonna be any gargoyle rescue at high noon.

ACT TWO
6. Jason doesn't hesitate. He shoots one of the chemical containers. It blows up and in the resulting chaos, the thieves grab the remaining container and take off in an unmarked panel truck. Elisa and Jason pursue in her car. Cool car chase. He's as impressed with her driving as she is with his shooting. All done fearlessly while under fire from the bad guys. Point is, they make a good team. Anyway, the good guys eventually capture all the bad guys (except THIEF #1, who escapes) and confiscate the D/I-7 without knowing what the theft was all about.

7. NIGHTSTONE UNLIMITED. It's twilight. Company president DOMINIQUE DESTINE is interviewing for a new personal assistant. The candidate is one ROBYN CORREY, who immediately impresses Dominique with her Owen-like efficiency and smarts. A man enters who we may or may not recognize as Thief #1. He's about to start blabbing in front of Robyn, but Dominique tells him to shut up and wait. Dominique turns to Correy and tells her she has the job. Correy is prepared to start right this minute if necessary. She's not afraid of long hours and happy to work nights with the boss if that's required. Dominique smiles. Correy may indeed work nights, but Dominique never does. She needs her beauty sleep. Robyn can start first thing in the morning. Correy exits and Dominique and the thief open a secret panel into a high-tech command center. The thief lets Dominique know that they didn't get the D/I-7. She's furious and comes close to doing something really nasty to him. But through a large (one-way) bay window she sees that the sun is about to set. She tells him he's lucky to work for such a kind employer and kicks him out. Well, if you want something done right you have to do it yourself. The sun sets and Dominique transforms into DEMONA.

ACT THREE
8. At the clock tower, Elisa arrives just as the sun sets on our gargoyles. They EXPLODE out of their stone shell. A sight that still impresses her no matter how many times she sees it. (Again, play up this series trademark for the video audience. Also make a point of showing that Brooklyn's minor injury is healed.) Elisa fills the gargoyles in on the attempted chemical theft. She speaks highly of Jason, and when Goliath notes that she seems highly impressed with her new partner, she stumbles all over herself to say that he's just o.k. Even she doesn't yet know why she got so flustered. But it doesn't escape Goliath's notice or Hudson's or Angela's. Elisa's just finished working a double shift and has to head home for some sleep, but she's afraid that whoever was behind the theft might try again tonight. Either at the same East River warehouse or at another one on the upper westside where computer records show Xanatos also keeps D/I-7. The gargoyles agree to split up and stake out both locations. But Goliath is suspicious. If Xanatos is involved.... Elisa knows exactly what he means. She wanted to question Xanatos herself, but (because Elisa is admittedly irrational in her hatred of Xanatos) Chavez said no and sent Matt instead.

NIGHT TWO
9. At the Eyrie Building, Matt is almost done questioning XANATOS about the theft. Xanatos is clearly more interested in playing with his baby son ALEXANDER, than in answering Matt's questions. He has no idea why anyone would want to steal this particular chemical. D/I-7 is a potent concentrated disinfectant, newly invented by Xanatos Enterprises, but hardly worth stealing unless you have a very big and very dirty house that needs cleaning. Matt's sure Xanatos is hiding something, but leaves when OWEN enters with Xanatos' next appointment: newspaper reporter JON CARTER. Xanatos hands Alexander over to Owen and tours his castle with Carter. (Note: Owen still has a stone fist. He can either keep it in his pocket or not. I don't care, but don't forget about it.) Carter asks Xanatos about the castle and the gargoyles that were part of the itemized price. Xanatos says something about them not suiting his aesthetic tastes and having them destroyed. Carter questions whether Xanatos would really destroy such ancient works of art. Xanatos: "If you brought them in front of me now, I'd pulverize them to dust right here." Carter asks about the gargoyle urban myths that have everyone in New York claiming that their best friend's uncle's dentist has seen real live gargoyles. Xanatos comments that he thought the only paper interested in that kind of "scoop" was The Daily Tattler. Somewhere in here, before he leaves, Jon drops his pencil and picks it up.
After the reporter's exit, Xanatos and Owen watch a replay of Jon Carter's little pencil drop which was picked up by hidden camera. They see that he picked up a sliver of stone -- most probably a left-over piece of exfoliated gargoyle stone. Xanatos takes his baby from Owen and says something like: "This Mr. Carter could cause a bit of trouble for our old friend Goliath." At this point it's ambiguous whether Xanatos is pleased about this or not.

10. Goliath, Hudson and Angela are staked out across from the East River Xanatos warehouse that the thieves hit earlier that day. A high-tech flying vehicle arrives on the scene and three figures leap out of it (two male and one female). Each wears a black mask with three stylized red slash marks painted diagonally across it. The masks completely obscures their faces, but we'll soon learn that these are the three HUNTERS (HUNTER/JASON, HUNTER/ROBYN and HUNTER/JON). The gargoyles assume that these are the thieves and attack, Angela impetuously taking the lead. The Hunters (whose voices are electronically filtered by their masks so that we don't immediately recognize them) are strangely not surprised to see the female gargoyle Angela (who they at first mistake for Demona) but are very surprised to see Goliath and Hudson. They thought there was only one "demon" left alive. No matter. They'll destroy them all. The battle is joined.

11. Cut to the second warehouse on the westside, where Brooklyn leads Broadway, Lex and Bronx on a second stakeout. Demona breaks in to steal the D/I-7, leaving tell-tale claw marks at the break in point. She wasn't expecting to see the gargoyles, but she's not unprepared for a fight. It's quite a battle, but Demona manages to get away with one container of D/I-7. (I'll leave the details to you, Michael.)

12. Back to first East River warehouse. A furious battle between Hunters and "prey". Hunters seem completely prepared to fight gargoyles specifically. Angela is very badly injured, and Goliath and Hudson are barely able to escape with her. It's only after injuring Angela that the Hunters seem to realize that Angela is not the "demon" they've been hunting. Not that they're remorseful -- just surprised that Demona is NOT the last surviving member of her evil race -- as they had always been taught. Hunter/Jason is furious that the "demons" escaped and determined to hunt them down and exterminate them all.

13. Hudson, Goliath and Angela make it back to the clock tower. Angela's in a bad way. If she can make it to dawn, she'll be healed by the transformation to stone. But dawn is hours away. It doesn't look good. We've NEVER seen Goliath so angry. (Which doesn't mean he's over the top. It can be internalized to the point of near-combustibility, but we need to know how deep the fury goes.) Hudson tries to calm him down. But Goliath swears that he will hunt down these Hunters. And he will KILL them.
END PART ONE

PART TWO
ACT ONE
14. PROLOGUE - FLORENCE, 1496 A.D. - HUNTER'S MOON
Demona steals an already ancient MYSTIC TABLET from the home of the BORGIAS, only to be pursued by a RENAISSANCE-ERA HUNTER, hunting the last of the "demons". He wears a version of the stylized Hunter's mask, wields an impressive cross-bow and other weapons and chases after Demona in a flying machine designed by LEONARDO DA VINCI. We have a cool action sequence, but Demona ultimately cripples the Hunter's "vehicle" and escapes with the Borgia tablet. The Hunter shouts after her that the battle isn't over. His family has hunted her across generations for 500 years. If he fails, then his son will take up the hunt. And his son's son. It may take another five hundred years, but the Hunt won't end until the last of the gargoyles is wiped off the face of the earth. We watch as Demona glides off in the distance and RIPPLE DISSOLVE TO:

MANHATTAN, 1996. - NIGHT TWO (CONTINUED)
15. Demona carrying the container of D/I-7 glides in for a landing at her Gramercy Park Mansion. She enters her study and places the chemical container next to the Borgia tablet. It's taken her 500 years but her plan to destroy the hated humans is finally coming to fruition. Now she must prepare for the coming day. "Dominique" has much to do before the Hunter's Moon.

16. We're at what appears to be the gutted shell of a condemned tenement building in the South Bronx. The Hunters' high-tech vehicle flies in and we realize that what appeared to be urban decay on the outside is actually an elaborate camouflage for the high-tech Hunter's Lair. The Hunters disembark (but do not remove their masks). We begin to see distinctions in their personalities. Hunter/Jason is the fiery, passionate leader. Hunter/Robyn is coldly efficient. Hunter/Jon is definitely not into this as much as the other two. Hunter/Robyn immediately checks their computers. Police radio calls indicate that while they were at Xanatos' East River warehouse, D/I-7 was stolen from Xanatos' upper westside warehouse. Probably by the "demon" herself. Hunter/Jason is frustrated that they missed a perfect chance to destroy the "demon". But all of them are still stunned at tonight's discovery that Demona is NOT the last surviving member of her evil race -- as they had always been taught. Hunter/Robyn says this revelation explains the reports of numerous sightings of gargoyles in the Manhattan area, which is what brought them to town in the first place. Hunter/Jason is determined to hunt down every last one, but Hunter/Jon questions whether this is the correct course. They know the "demon" is evil. But these other gargoyles might not be. Hunter/Jason quickly and semi-violently reprimands his compatriot. As far as he's concerned the only good gargoyle is a dead gargoyle. And the only consolation from tonight's fiasco is that he's pretty sure he nailed one of them.

17. At the clock tower, the trio come in for a landing with Bronx. Before they're through the clockface door they're already calling inside about how Demona got away with the D/I-7. But they shut up fast when they see the grim situation inside. Angela's bandaged up, but she's having trouble breathing, and it's very touch and go. Goliath tells her to hold on. Sunrise will come soon and heal her. But Angela's not going to make it until then. She suddenly goes into cardiac arrest. She has stopped breathing, and her heart has stopped beating.

ACT TWO
18. Suddenly Elisa is there, pushing past the other gargoyles to perform CPR on Angela, saving her life. It's pre-dawn now, just enough time to fill Elisa in on the Hunters and Demona. Just enough time for Goliath to reiterate his vow of vengeance against the Hunters. And then everyone turns to stone in a tableau around Angela. A disturbed Elisa is left alone to head downstairs.

19. Down in the precinct house, reporter Jon Carter is questioning Matt Bluestone (who's just coming off shift) about gargoyle sightings. (Including maybe witness reports of gargoyles helping to bust up the subway bandits the night before and/or breaking into a Xanatos warehouse last night.) Matt tells the reporter he doesn't believe in gargoyles -- but U.F.O.'s on the other hand, now Matt has plenty of theories about them. (Did you know the statues on Easter Island were modeled after space aliens?) Elisa sees her new partner Detective Jason Conover watching with some amusement as Matt makes a fool of the reporter. She grabs Jason and marches him out the door. She's in no mood to sit for an interview right now, and besides, they have a crime scene to investigate.

20. As Elisa drives across town in her Fairlane, Jason can tell she's upset: "You didn't rush us out of there just so you wouldn't have to answer questions about gargoyles." Of course not, she replies. Gargoyles? Are you kidding? How silly. They pull over in front of Xanatos' westside warehouse. She's about to get out of the car, but he puts a hand on her arm and stops her gently, but firmly: "Then what is it?" She hesitates, then tells him that a dear friend was violently attacked recently. She came very close to dying. He asks if they know who did it? No, not yet, and she feels so... so... He knows what she means before she can say it: "You feels frustrated. Helpless. You wants to nail the guy who hurt your friend." That's it, she says. That's it exactly. How did he know? Because he's been there. He's still there. She looks at him. Then they get out of the car and go inside.

21. Inside the westside warehouse crime scene, Owen is taking inventory of what was stolen. Elisa sends Jason to check the point of entry, so that she can speak to Owen alone. She's hostile. She suspects Xanatos of being in cahoots with Demona. Owen attempts to assure her that Xanatos has had no contact with Demona, and that in fact Xanatos still feels he owes Goliath a debt of gratitude for helping save his son Alexander. If there's any way that either Owen or Mr. Xanatos could be of assistance... No, thanks. She's had enough of Xanatos' help to last a lifetime. (Now, ironically, Owen is telling the truth. But he should relate it all in such a superior Owenesque manner, and Elisa should respond to it with such incredible suspicion and contempt that Elisa and our audience will be quite convinced that Xanatos is -- as usual -- up to no good. And for his part, Owen doesn't care if Elisa feels that way.)

Jason calls Elisa over. He's found a set of Demona's clawmarks at the point of illegal entry and asks Elisa what she makes of them. Elisa plays dumb. Jason comments that they look like claw marks. But what could be strong enough to leave clawmarks in solid stone?

22. Nightstone Unlimited, bio-labs. Dominique introduces her assistant Robyn Correy to Nightstone chief scientist DOCTOR ANTON SEVARIUS. He's demonstrating a new CARRIER VIRUS. Extremely contagious, very-fast acting, but harmless. (It'd be great if we could demonstrate this in some visual way that doesn't totally tip our hand.) Dominique tells her assistant that the virus can be molecularly bonded with curative medicines and thus be used to counteract epidemics. Robyn points out that it could just as easily be bonded with a disease and cause the epidemic in the first place. There's an uncomfortable moment of silence, but Robyn does not seem upset by the prospect she's outlined. "Either way," she continues, "A most profitable endeavor." Sevarius and Dominique exchange a glance, and Dominique smiles at her new assistant: "I think you're going to fit in just fine."

23. Sunset at the clocktower and the gargoyles EXPLODE from stone. Everyone's first concern is for Angela. She's all healed. Maybe just a bit tired still. Goliath is still determined to get vengeance on the Hunters. The other gargoyles agree, including Angela. Goliath is concerned for her, but she doesn't want any kid glove treatment. She's the one that they hurt. She wants her chance for revenge too. At the moment, this is logic that makes sense to Goliath. They split up in groups of two (Broadway & Angela, Lex & Brooklyn, Hudson & Bronx) to search for the Hunters. (And yes, Goliath is conspicuously without a partner.) Goliath gives strict orders not to engage them in battle. Find them and come back to report. All the gargoyles leave. And a few seconds later, Elisa comes up the stairs to find the tower empty.

NIGHT THREE
24. Outside by Elisa's car, Jason catches up to her. He asks if there's any word on her friend. Elisa says something like no news is good news, I'm sure she's all right. Jason: "And what about you? Are you all right?" She says sure, don't worry about me. I'm a rock. Feeling awkward, he turns to go. She hesitates, then surprises herself by asking if he's free for dinner. He considers it. Actually, there was something he was supposed to do, but...sure. He'd love to.

25. Elisa and Jason arrive at her apartment. Elisa didn't feel up to facing a crowded restaurant. Besides, she has one of the best stocked refrigerators in the county. (With a friend like Broadway, it's safer.) She brings him a soda in the living room, spills it, etc. They kiss. A soul kiss, as Joe Jackson would say. (And that's when we see Goliath, watching the whole thing from Elisa's rooftop terrace window. He's just standing there like he's been hit in the head by a brick and expects another brick to come along any time now.) Elisa pulls away from Jason. What's wrong, he wants to know? Well, we're partners for one thing. He doesn't buy that excuse. That's a temporary assignment. In a week, she'll be back on the night shift with Bluestone. She doesn't respond. Jason asks if there is someone else? She says yes, but then after a long, long pause, she changes her answer to no. (And for Goliath, that would be brick #2. He glides away.) Jason is really sympathetic. He realizes he's been rushing things. He also realizes that he hadn't known how lonely he had been until he met Elisa. But he knows she's vulnerable now because of her "injured friend". He doesn't want to take advantage. He leaves Elisa alone -- and more confused than ever.

26. Goliath is gliding through the sky, and as he comes around a building, he can't help but spot a big black blimp with three huge red claw marks painted across it. (Note: this is not the Hunters' Hi-tech airship. This is a blimp, Gothic in design, but slow-moving and relatively low-tech.) Goliath's not the only one to spot it. Lex and Brooklyn glide up along side him. Brooklyn assumes that Goliath is going to want to go back to the clocktower for the others, as planned. But Goliath's in no mood to be patient. He glides toward the large undercarriage cabin; Brook and Lex follow.

27. Goliath glides alongside an outer cabin door, digs his talons into it and rips it off. (It plummets down and lands on VINNIE, the guy who once hit Goliath with a banana cream pie. Vinnie gets a concussion. Spends a few years in physical therapy and then begins to hunt Goliath with a hot fudge sundae. No, just kidding.) The three gargoyles enter the cabin. As soon as they do, a laser grid activates, covering the doorless entrance with pinpoint beams. No one's in the cabin, and all three realize it's some kind of a trap. An explosive one, as Lex points out. The laser grid is hooked up to a whole lot of plastique. If the light from any of the laser beams on the grid is interrupted, the blimp blows to kingdom come. They cannot exit. (Make it clear that the rest of the hull and even "windshield" is beyond their ability to pierce.) Brooklyn: It's a flying roach motel, and we're the roaches. "Very astute," says Demona, who glides up alongside the open door.

ACT THREE
28. Goliath demands to know Demona's connection to the Hunters. "I'm their prey," she says. We all are. She explains that the Hunters are gargoyle-haters who first appeared in the 11th century. They destroyed the last clan of gargoyles in Scotland. Only Demona escaped, and the Hunters have been hounding her ever since. Goliath tells Demona that the Hunters nearly killed their daughter Angela. Demona burns with cold fury. As much as she hates Goliath, Demona refuses to let the Hunters slay even one more gargoyle. She offers to help. Lex is tearing down control panels. The blimp's clearly being operated by remote control. He can't figure out why the Hunters haven't blown them up already. Brooklyn suggests that maybe they don't want to blow the blimp up while it's still flying over a city full of people, which may also explain why the blimp is already heading slow but steady toward the river. Lex needs more time. Demona buys it for him. She glides up to the blimp's rudder and physically forces it to turn back toward the city. Inside, Lex is recrossing wires, etc. Very tense. One wrong choice and that's all she wrote. Finally, he's got it licked. Now he controls the explosives and the blimp. Goliath wants to know if he can figure out where the remote signal was coming from. Lex can't name the location, but he can send the blimp there. Make it so, says Goliath.

29. In their faux-tenement H.Q., Hunter/Jason enters the control room, apologizing for being late. Hunter/Jon and Hunter/Robyn are already there, studying monitor screens that show various angles on the blimp and the gargoyles. Hunter/Jason sees Demona on a monitor. It's the "demon". Blow the blimp up now; Demona's gliding too close to escape the explosion. Hunter/Jon says it's too late. They've lost control of the blimp. Then why did you wait? Because the blimp was still over the city! So what?! Hunter/Jason is furious that Hunter/Jon missed their best chance yet. He turns to Hunter/Robyn. He knew their brother was a softie, but what's the story with her. She calmly points to Brooklyn and Lex on another monitor screen. These are new gargoyles. Different from the ones they faced last night. There's no telling how many more there might be. They have to allow these gargoyles to escape so that they can follow them back to their lair, otherwise we could waste our whole lives tracking them down. Hunter/Jason: So what? It was good enough for our father. He doesn't care how long it takes to exterminate them. Hunter/Robyn comments wryly that she'd rather get it over with tonight, if H/Jason doesn't mind. H/Jason calms down a bit. What's the plan? First, she says calmly, we let them blow us to smithereens.

30. The blimp is closing in on the Hunter's Lair. On Goliath's orders, but with some reluctance and uncertainty, Lex has everything ready. All four gargoyles flee and watch from a nearby rooftop as the blimp smashes into the Bronx tenement H.Q. and BLOWS UP REAL GOOD. It's Hindenburg time. Nothing could survive that inferno. Demona is pleased. For once, Goliath is acting like a true gargoyle. Perhaps she and Goliath are not so far apart. Perhaps not, Goliath agrees grimly. She departs. Brooklyn cannot believe that Goliath is just letting her go. But Goliath: "She was not our enemy tonight." Oh, yeah?! What about the D/I-7? We'll worry about that later. Let's go home. They depart. And after they're gone, the Hunters' Airship, rises out of the flaming wreckage like a dark phoenix.

31. Inside the airship, the trio of Hunters have locked onto the three gargoyles. Hunter/Jason is a bit concerned about letting Demona get away, but Hunter/Robyn assures him that she knows where to find the "demon". None of them much care that the H.Q. was sacrificed. It'll be worth it, if they can destroy the gargoyles. From a distance, they track Goliath, Lex and Brooklyn to the clock tower. They know it's above the precinct house and may even be impressed that the gargoyles were clever enough to hide in such plain sight. H/Jason prepares to go in. H/Robyn stops him and begins to activate weapon systems instead. There could be a clan of thirty or forty gargoyles in there. H/Jon doubts if there's more than six. He can't believe what she's preparing to do. There's a building full of people in there. She's confident she can target the tower with some precision. A squeamish H/Jon fumfers, but suggests they wait a couple hours until sunrise. The gargoyles will be stone and can easily be destroy then . But H/Robyn shakes her head. We cannot count on that. She puts a picture of Demona on a monitor screen, side-by-side with a picture of Dominique. She then uses a sophisticated computer program to demonstrate that Demona/Dominique are one and the same person. Dominique has never been seen after dark, and since no one's ever spotted a gargoyle in broad daylight, H/Robyn correctly surmises that the "demon" transforms into Dominique every morning at sunrise. H/Jason wants to know how this is possible? H/Robyn shrugs. How is it possible that the demon has lived as long as she has? The obvious answer is sorcery, and if Demona/Dominique has shared this sorcery with the other gargoyles, then they could easily sneak out of the precinct house in the morning disguised as humans, and we'd never find them. H/Jon is still against the still unstated plan. Both turn to H/Jason for his final decision. Well, he says, they blew up our home. The least we can do is blow up theirs. But let's make sure that none of the gargoyles escape. It ends tonight.

32. Hunter/Jon and Hunter/Jason exit the ship on sky-sleds, and swing around to guard the clock tower from the air in order to make sure no gargoyles escape what's coming. Below him, Elisa's Fairlane pulls up in front and Elisa goes inside. Hunter/Jason spots her, whispers "no, not now" and after some hesitation, takes his sled down and right toward the front door of the precinct. Hunter/Jon spots him going down and calls out, "You fool, what are you doing?!!"

33. Hunter/Jason smashes through the precinct's front door on his airsled. As cops and perps dodge out of the way, he makes a bee-line for a stunned and surprised Elisa.

34. Up in the tower, Goliath has just finished describing tonight's events to the rest of the gargoyles. They have nothing more to fear from the Hunters.

35. And onboard the airship, Hunter/Robyn presses a button.

36. A missile is launched from the airship, it targets the clocktower, blowing it to hell and gone.
END PART TWO


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San Diego ComicCon 2006

Hey gang,

I'll be heading down to San Diego tomorrow for ComicCon. I have a panel in Room 9 on Thursday, July 20th at 2:15pm. And I'll be signing Gargoyles comic books (or whatever else people dump in front of me) at least twice a day with David Hedgecock at the SLG Booth. Please stop by and say hello!

And whether or not you personally are going to ComicCon, please help SPREAD THE WORD! There's a lot going on down there, and I don't want to be at that panel all by my lonesome. Help us let the people attending know about the panel, the Gargoyles Comic Book and SLG. (I'll also have fliers and reg forms for G2007.)

Thanks!


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Chapter  LXIII : "Hunter's Moon, Part One"

Time to ramble...

Chapter  LXIII : "Hunter's Moon, Part One"
Story Editor: Michael Reaves
Writer: Michael Reaves
Director: Dennis Woodyard

The title, I believe, was Michael's.

PREVIOUSLY
It's always a bit of a question what to include on the first "Previously" of a multi-parter. Here -- knowing that we'd be opening the movie with a Gillecomgain flashback -- we chose to establish the idea of the never-ending Hunter by using Duncan & Canmore. We followed that with the bit about Xanatos' debt to Goliath, which I think was me playing fair with the audience for Part Three. Because I spend the rest of David's brief appearances in Hunter's Moon trying desperately to make him seem like a threat -- or at least like someone unsympathetic. Finally, we have Demona's "death" from the Reckoning.

GILLECOMGAIN
We decided -- particularly when Hunter's Moon became a three-parter instead of a Direct-to-Video -- to open every episode with a flashback, starting with the oldest of flashbacks and working our way forward.

We begin by reprising Gillecomgain's scarring at Demona's talons, but I didn't simply want it to play like an elongated "Previously..." so we added new material. We meet Gill's dad, a real prize... that just might help explain why Gill grew up to be such a jerk. But we see that not everyone in medieval society thought of gargoyles as mystic creatures. Dad sees Demona (without actually having seen her) as just one of the risks of doing business.

SUBWAY
Okay, try to remember. When you FIRST saw this episode, did you know that the blonde was Elisa? This is a trick we did before on "Turf"? The idea being that characters in animation generally look enough alike that a clothing and hair color change is usually enough to indicate that similar modeled characters are two different persons. (Look at Krusty and Homer.) Even with the same voice, we often had our regulars play bits. (Of course with our show, sometimes those bits became regulars too.)

Then we have a rogue's gallery of Manhattan regulars aboard that subway. I spot Brendan & Margot, of course. But also Sarah (Billy & Susan's mom), the construction worker and Art & Lois. And of course our trio of gang-bangers. Later, we have Morgan. And later still, in the park, we see the Jogger too. Partially, it's simply fun to use familiar faces throughout. But we were also very consciously trying to parallel and bookend Hunter's Moon with events from Awakening in particular and other early episodes.

There's some fun stuff in this sequence. The gargoyles really attempt to scare the gangsters straight by hanging them OUTSIDE the subway train. And as usual, the victims are more frightened of the Gargs than of the robbers...

Brooklyn: "We stil got a little P.R. problem." (All quotations approximate.)

(Still. Honestly. SPREAD THE WORD!!!)

I didn't like how when the crowd exited the subway how they all spoke ONE AT A TIME! That was supposed to play as more general overlapping walla. Oh, well.

Matt's response is a neat little wink. Now that he knows about the Gargs and is there friend, which provides us with some nice balance... and helps set up the status quo.

Elisa: [I had some help from a few] "concerned citizens with wings."

And that was the idea behind this opening sequence. To establish the status quo. Life in Manhattan is far from perfect. I mean guys with particle beam weapons are mugging people on the subway. But Elisa, Matt and the Gargoyles seem to have things in hand. Brooklyn is even injured, but it's all pretty minor. The sun'll fix that. It's "the concrete cure-all". Yep, the gargoyles are there, "stopping evil stone cold" (one of the taglines from our commercials reprised here). Heck, Broadway's even got an appetite joke in here, a bit we haven't really played with him since season one.

Life is good.

CHANGE HAPPENS
So immediately, after this nearly bucolic bit of action and complacency, we muck things up. Chavez temporarily puts Elisa on dayshift with a new partner. Elisa protests that the Captain is "breaking up a good team [her and Matt]. Better than you know [her and Goliath]." But that's not the scary bit. The scary bit is that Elisa stops protesting when she gets a gander at her new partner Jason Conover. Holy Gargoyles, Batman! She's smitten. Matt sees it right away and smiles. And if I might jump ahead quickly, Goliath sees it too -- but he's not smiling. He comments innocently enough that Elisa seems impressed with her new partner. And Elisa fumfers out a response, backtracking and full of guilt. Because she knows that on some level that she's attracted to Jason. And she knows that on some level that means she's cheating (or at least contemplating cheating) on Goliath. At least emotionally, since technically, she and Goliath are not in a relationship. Goliath wasn't bothered by her praise of Jason's shooting. But the moment she goes all girly and denially (can that be a word briefly?), he groks the truth. It's her flustered response that makes him jealous.

JASON CONOVER
But let's backtrack to Jason himself. There's a note somewhere that we wanted Jason to be as much like a human Goliath as possible. I don't know if that comes across at all. But he is heroic and he does have a deep voice. My daughter Erin hated him immediately, as she vaguely recalls him kissing Elisa later. [It's been years and years since she's seen Hunter's Moon.] She knows -- or thinks she knows -- that Jason is a bad guy. I am curious. In his first scenes with Elisa, did EVERYONE know or guess Jason was a villain? Or does that matter less on a show like ours, where the villains are complex and interesting? Were you trying to guess even or just going along for the ride?

Jason is evasive. But I like some of the exchanges that he shares with Elisa.

Elisa: "More than a job. A way of life." is a nice line. Plus references to Sondheim ("Sunday in the Park with dirtbags"), Bonnie & Clyde are fun. (Then later Xanatos gives us a Mr. Rogers ref too: "Can you say harrassment. I knew that you could.") I love how diverse our reference set on this series always was.

During the car chase, Benny kept demanding that the cops "Shoot a tire out. That's all you have to do." I was prepared to say it's not that easy, but since of course that's exactly what Jason did, I held my tongue.

THE NIGHTSTONE TEAM
And we intro another new castmember. Robyn, who comes across as another of our efficient assistant types. Like a female Owen. Her interactions with Dominique are quite fun. All (non-sexual) double entendre. And I love how smooth Dominique is with Robyn, while being vicious to the incoming burglar. (Is this one of the burglars from "The Mirror"?)

And what is D/I-7. Did you believe Xanatos when he said it was only a potent disinfectant? Benny wondered if Demona wanted the D/I-7 to clean herself.

And how about that Destine to Demona transformation? Good one, huh? More anime than usual, I think. It really did seem to hurt. I've been asked whether Demona usually allows her clothing to be destroyed. I think not. My guess is she usually has time to unsuit up before sundown, but the burglar's arrival through off her timing.

ICONS
We did make an effort in this episode -- since we were originally planning it as a direct to video -- to put all the iconic elements of our series in here, before messing with it all. That included having a great turn to stone sequence earlier and a great wake up from stone sequence now. We didn't do it every episode, because we didn't want it to lose its specialness or become stock footage-esque. But once in a while, you need to go for broke on it.

Elisa: "I never get tired of that." Me neither, sister.

WVRN
And now, Jon Carter of Mars. No, wait. Jon Carter of WVRN. I consciously wanted to create identities for ALL three Canmore siblings in the real world. I wanted them to have stuff to do. Roles to play. But I also wanted to both play fair and create some confusion by intro'ing some new characters.

HALF-MOON
It's rare in a gargoyles ep that you see the moon in anything other than her full glory. We cheated here too, as she goes from half to full Hunter's Moon in the course of very few nights. But at least, we tried. Moon subtlety is not our series strong suit.

That night, Hudson, Goliath and Angela return to the scene of the crime. Hudson knows from t.v. that thieves always go there. (TV being the basis of his modern world education.) Angela points out that he's told her (having learned the lesson with the Pack) that TV is also not always to be trusted. But this time he seems right. Or not. It's not the thieves who return, but the Hunters looking for the thieves.

Meanwhile, Brooklyn's leading the Trio & Bronx at the other site. He's a good leader -- except when D's involved. Then his brains melt at the sight of her. "So much for the element of surprise."

That bit where Demona turns up the juice on her weapon to shoot THROUGH the cars is cool. But then we cheat. Brooklyn rips a car door off and uses it as a shield. But we've JUST established that Demona's weapon can now shoot through that. Oh, well. Another screw up. Not the first. Not the last.

Of course, the night is a debacle. Broadway and Bronx receive minor injuries. There's tons of property damage. And Demona escapes with her prize. Brooklyn asks: "Who wants to explain this to Goliath?" The visual joke that follows, where both Lex and BW point at Brook, passes so quickly, I'm not sure if you guys caught it.

SHOCK & AWE
Of course, the night was even worse for Golaith's team as Angela ends the episode on death's door. (Did any of you worry that we might actually kill her off?)

The Hunter tells us that the only good gargoyle is a dead gargoyle. Echoing the prejudice of a thousand generations past. And he may be about to get his wish. But at what price? For he's awakened Goliath's inner vengeance demon here.

We wanted the SHOCKING last line to come from Goliath: "I will hunt them down. And I will KILL them."

Of course, we'd NEVER get away with saying that in today's environment. And it was even a BIG discussion back then. Kudos again to Adrienne Bello for understanding why just this once, it was SO important.

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?



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