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THE BUFFYVERSE [SEASONS 1-3] TOP FORTY

Yes, we're back with another look at the most memorable characters in the Buffyverse.

[For more information on what I'm doing here and why I'm doing this, I recommend an archive search using the word "Buffyverse". That'll show you the character countdowns for the first two seasons.]

Keep in mind, this is a subjective exercise that I've tried to make as objective as possible.

The following horserace takes the first three seasons into account. All three seasons. NOT just Season Three. However, it does not include the last four seasons of Buffy or any season of Angel.

First some honorable mentions from the third season (in reverse order of importance)...

*The Lunch Lady who tried to poison the entire student body.
*D'Hoffryn, the Demon who gave Anya her powers and refused to give them back when she lost them. This is cheating a bit. He may not have made that much of an impression if I didn't know he'd be more important later.
*Tucker Wells - The student who sent hellhounds to the Prom. This is WAY cheating. If I didn't know Tucker's brother Andrew would become important, I'm not sure I'd have remembered this guy much at all.
*Mr. Platt - A sympathetic guidance councelor killed by a Mr. Hyde like student. He just had a couple of great scenes with Buffy.
*The Shrouded Sorceror who helped Angel and Buffy con Faith and the Mayor into thinking Angel had lost his soul. Two memorable things. The way he'd exit a room backwards into darkness. And the fact that Giles had introduced him to his wife.
*Ms. Gwendolyn Post - The fallen watcher who cons everybody.
*Zackary Kralik - The serial killer turned vampire, that Buffy tricks into drinking holy water. A real fun sick puppy, played by the always interesting Jeff Kober.
*Balthazar - You may not remember the name, but I'm sure you'd remember the obese demon body sitting in a wine vat, with vamp slaves ladeling some liquid onto his skin. One of the best and most fun creatures they ever created. Funny too. "Unacceptable. Unacceptable." The Wallace Shawn of the Demon World.
*The First - Makes its first appearance this season, trying to turn Angel. Mostly uses Ms. Calendar's form.
*Sheila Rosenberg - Willow's mom. Wish we had seen more of her.
*Lily (alias Chanterelle alias Sister Sunshine alias Anne). The former Vamp-wannabe reappears in Buffy's life as a homeless girl. Buffy seems to set her on a more positive path... and I know that in Angel, the actress Julia Lee who plays Lily winds up playing a homeless advocate. I'm looking forward to seeing whether or not I can discern if she's playing the same character -- now with her act together.
*Quentin Travers - Head of the Watcher's Council has a neat first appearance.
*Mr. Miller - The one teacher at Sunnydale High who keeps making continuity appearances over and over across Buffy's Junior & Senior years. Has one fun scene in the Graduation 2-parter where he's leading the class in a game of Hangman: "They always go for the E."

And now the top 40...

#40 THE JUDGE (Previous Rank: 30)
Dropping ten slots from last season, the big blue smurf is still holding on to the top 40. Barely.

#39 NORMAN PFISTER THE WORM GUY (PR:29)
Also dropping 10 slots. But still a cool idea a year later.

#38 LUKE (Previous Ranks: 14 (1st Season), 27 (2nd Season))
Our first episodic villain is still pretty memorable, though this may be his last season in the rankings. He's fallen eleven slots from last season. 24 from the first. Of course, it's still impressive that actor Brian Thompson still has two characters (Luke & the Judge) in the top 40.

#37 HANK SUMMERS (PR:21, 25)
Hank's falling fast (12 slots this season alone), as the guy rapidly becomes a dead-beat dad -- due more to story space constraints than anything we would have gleaned from the times we've seen him in person. He goes from taking Buffy for an entire summer to not even showing up for her birthday. And his inattention is only going to get worse.

#36 DETECTIVE STEIN (PR:32)
Down only four slots, and I'm sure you're all asking, "Who?" But if you had just finished the third season, you'd know. This guy is a subplot that never quite came to life. He's an honest cop, who suspects Buffy's up to no good -- or at least that something no good is happening around her. He's interrogated (or tried to interrogate) her three times. After the deaths of Ted, Kendra and the Deputy Mayor. He interests me. But I don't think we'll be seeing him again.

#35 UNCLE ENYOS THE GYPSEY MAN (PR:21)
Still holding on in points from Season Two. But he's fallen 14 slots, and counting.

#34 JESSE (PR:13, 20)
Falling another 14 slots, Jesse, the forgotten sacrificial lamb of the pilot is still hanging on.

#33 SCOTT HOPE (First appearance)
Scott's the nice guy who tries to date Buffy on the rebound from Angel's "death" in Season Two -- and while she's trying to nurse Angel back to health in Season Three. He winds up dumping her because she's so angsty. Wish we had seen a bit of him at the end of the season, but he vanishes after Homecoming.

#32 DEPUTY MAYOR ALLAN FINCH (First appearance)
The Mayor's right hand man -- until he decides to betray the Mayor to Buffy. He goes to find her, and winds up getting accidentally killed by Faith. He then becomes a guilt trip for both slayers.

#31 WHISTLER (PR:18)
Falls 13 slots in the rankings. But still a memorable character. The guy who brought Angel back from the brink.

#30 KENDRA (PR:17)
The first supplemental slayer. Begins to pale now that we've met Faith.

#29 ETHAN RAYNE (PR:22)
Ethan falls seven slots despite another interesting appearance as a Band Candy distibutor.

#28 DEVON (PR:37)
The lead singer for Oz's band (Dingoes ate my baby), has multiple brief funny appearances. He's likely to fade after Oz leaves the show.

#27 AMY MADISON THE RAT (PR: 17, 23)
She's fallen four slots, but that's more a factor of so many more characters coming in. I even gave her partial credit when she appeared ONLY as a rat.

#26 PERCY WEST (First appearance)
Percy was the Basketball Player that Willow was forced to tutor. He tried to take advantage of her, but VampWillow put a stop to that. He makes a number of appearances afterward and joins the final battle against the Mayor. I keep watching that last episode, but I can't see if they show us his final fate.

#25 LARRY (PR:35)
Larry actually gains ten slots, as he continues to make appearances. He's memorable as one of the "White Hats" in the alternate universe that Anya creates for Cordy. He's also fun as the jock who comes out as gay and mistakenly tries to help Xander come out as well. He appears to die heroically fighting the Mayor, but I like Larry, and I'm hoping he was merely knocked unconscious.

#24 PRINCIPAL BOB FLUTIE (PR:9, 16)
Falling another 8 slots. But still with enough first season points to keep him a fond memory.

#23 DARLA (PR: 11, 15)
Also falls eight slots. Still a potent memory. And she'll make a comeback.

#22 ANYA/ANYANKA (First appearance)
Who knew? She was fairly disposable in her first appearance, and I'm convinced she was only brought back a second time, because Joss was fascinated with VampWillow. But Anya made a strong enough impression in her second appearance, to warrant a comeback for the Prom. She quickly becomes fascinating opposite Xander. She bolts from Sunnydale during the pilot. But I should have known she'd be back.

#21 WILLY THE SNITCH (PR:24)
Up three slots. Just fun to be around. He'll start to fade as actor Saverio Guerra became a regular on Becker...

#20 HARMONY KENDALL (PR: 18, 26)
Up six slots from last season (although still down two from season one), she just has a few memorable bitchy/ditzy/comic appearances. And a couple of really great lines. If you look carefully, you can in fact see her get bitten by a vamp during graduation.

#19 COLIN THE ANNOINTED ONE (PR:10, 14)
Fallen five slots and still coasting on big point totals from season one and the beginning of season two.

#18 MR. TRICK (First appearance)
A breath of fresh air who I was really sorry to see get staked by Faith.

#17 JONATHAN (PR:19)
Jonathan moves up two slots (in an increasingly tougher field) based on strong appearances as a near-suicide and as the guy who gives Buffy her School Protector award at the Prom. Hard not to love.

#16 THE MASTER (PR: 8, 13)
The Big Bad of Season One falls three slots, despite having a delicious appearance (where he gets to kill Buffy AGAIN) in the alternate universe episode.

#15 WESLEY WYNDAM-PRICE (First appearance)
It's amazing how this goofball got us to care about him more with every year. He may be the single character who grew the most over the course of the serieses. Maybe even more than Spike.

#14 MAYOR RICHARD WILKINS III (PR:40)
The Mayor barely leaps 26 slots -- which would be even more impressive if he had actually appeared in Season Two, instead of just getting some points there for interesting foreshadowing. He certainly lived up to the bill.

#13 JENNY CALENDER (PR:15, 11)
Jenny falls a couple slots (though she's still ahead of her season one ranking) despite appearing as The First.

#12 SPIKE (PR: 9)
Spike, who'll be making quite a comeback of course, falls three slots, despite a very fun appearance as a drunken lout who wants Dru back.

#11 DRUSILLA (PR: 8)
Dru still manages to just barely stay ahead of Spike, based on her Season Two point total.

#10 FAITH (First appearance)
Faith is number ten with a bullet (or at least a very fancy knife). It's a stunning accomplishment to see how she enters partway through this season and rises so far, so fast.

#9 PRINCIPAL SNYDER (PR: 12, 10)
Snyder continues his slow rise, up another slot. But after being eaten by the mayor, he's poised to begin a slow slide. Always thought that his death was great, but it did surprise me as I thought the Mayor was less of an ingrate than that.

#8 JOYCE SUMMERS (PR:7, 7)
Joyce drops down a slot from seventh place to make room for Oz.

#7 OZ (PR:12)
Oz leapfrogs five hard-earned slots. Has some nice werewolf moments too.

#6 ANGEL (PR:6,6)
The top six haven't changed. Angel just can't quite pull up even with Cordy. Of course, next season, his own show'll put him on the fast track. Maybe even for #2.

#5 CORDELIA CHASE (PR:5,5)
Got some real great moments this year.

#4 WILLOW ROSENBERG (PR:4,4)
Inching closer to Xander, but doesn't quite pull up even in points.

#3 XANDER HARRIS (PR:3,3)
Nuf said.

#2 RUPERT GILES (PR: 2,2)
I keep expecting Giles to slip relative to Xander & Willow, but in fact he extended his lead this season. Probably, because they so evenly split each other's screentime as Buffy's best buds.

#1 BUFFY ANNE SUMMERS (PR:1,1)

That's it for now. But here's my plan... I'm going to get the DVD's for Buffy Season Four AND Angel Season One. I'm going to watch the episodes (44 total) in AIRING ORDER. When I've gone through 22 episodes (the equivalent of one season), I'll be back with another update.

Hope this is at least mildly interesting. If not, well, then just skip it. Who's holding a gun to your head, anyway?


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25%

Nothing to sneeze at -- and with gratitude to those who have participated -- but right now, Todd tells me, we only have about 38 Gathering Journals posted at ASK GREG.

That's about 25%. I was hoping for at least FIFTY PERCENT cooperation. C'mon, guys. Put your keyboard where your mouth is!!

You only have until midnight on the 31st!!

Thanks


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THE GATHERING OF THE GARGOYLES 2004 JOURNAL - Sunday, August 8 (The Voyage Home)

So I showered and packed. Carol came knocking to say good-bye.

Then I headed down to the lobby.

Said good-bye to Zehra.

Then Patrick and I headed out.

I'd like to be able to tell GXB that our journey was something out of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, but the truth is it went incredibly smoothly and we arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare.

Sorry, Greg. But you're still my best Gathering Travel story.

Anyway, Patrick & I shook hands on a great convention. And off I went.

I went through American Customs up in Montreal somehow. Then I had some Burger King.

Got on the plane. Slept finally. Missed the meal and the movie. Woke up. Read a bit. Landed. Was picked up VERY promptly by the driver, who seemed surprised to see me coming out so soon.

Got home to my family. Gave my family stuff. T-shirts, pins, Canadian coinage, sketches drawn by someone whose name escapes me at the moment.

Then I shaved off the beard for my newly ten-year-old daughter. Just as well. I'm growing too dependent on the beard anyway. But it seemed to make things official. The Gathering was Over.

EPILOGUE:

We had an extended family birthday dinner for Erin that night, which included my parents, my 94 year-old-grandmother, my sister, my brother and his wife and TWO kids, ages not-quite-two-years-old and not-quite-one-week. Plus of course, me, Beth and Benny.

The next day we drove down to San Diego for a little family vacation. We were staying with Gary & Jane Krisel. Gary was my boss during the Gargoyles years at Disney. He was a big contributor to the show's development. A big believer in the concept. And the guy who basically left me alone to run it. So tip of the hat to Gary. When I told him about the Gathering, he thought I was kidding at first. ("An entire convention dedicated to one cartoon?") I thought HE was kidding about me kidding him, because I'm POSITIVE that I invited him to G2001 in L.A.

Anyway, it was great to see him again.

We did the Theme Park rounds. A day at SeaWorld. A day at the Wild Animal Park. A day at Legoland. Then we headed home again, picking up Norman at the vets on the way.

Norman's wearing a cone/lampshade around his head. But he's doing well.

I finished "I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason". I really liked it and am looking forward to Cece's next adventure: "Nancy Drew Blue".

Then I read Walter Mosely's "Fear Itself". Which was also great.

Today, I saw an early cut of the DVD Documentary. David Grabias and his editor Amy did a terrific job. I'm not going to go into any specifics, because (a) it's not a final cut and (b) I don't want to spoil anything. But trust me it's very cool. And you all look great!

That's about it for now. See you when I get back from Vegas.

Oh, and one last time -- SPREAD THE WORD. GATHERING REPORTS/JOURNALS/DIARIES need to be posted here by AUGUST 31st. PLEASE!!!!


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THE GATHERING OF THE GARGOYLES 2004 JOURNAL - Saturday, August 7 (Nightpart III - The Long Goodbye)

With the costume & cosplay contests over, things started to relax. My assignments were over, and I could just kick back. Unfortunately, I was leaving the hotel at 6am the next morning. For the first time, I'd miss Closing Ceremonies, which was a huge bummer. I'd also miss spending any real time with Keith. But my daughter's TENTH birthday was Sunday the 8th. I had hoped to bring the whole family to the Gathering this year, but I just couldn't afford it, and I wasn't going to miss her birthday. In fact, Erin was very gracious about allowing me to fly home Sunday on her birthday instead of Saturday night. The trade-off was I agreed to shave off the beard when I got home. Benny likes it, but Erin doesn't. So it's gone now.

I promise though that next year, the whole family's coming to Las Vegas. In fact, we're leaving for Vegas the day after tomorrow. That's right, I'm so anxious to get back to the Gathering, I'm leaving an entire year early. (Or maybe, it's because my in-laws live in Vegas, and we're going to see them. I get confused sometimes.)

Anyway, we hung out downstairs for awhile. I had a number of nice chats... with Crazyman Marty Lund and his decidedly saner wife Lexy... with Kathy... with Ellen... with Carol... with Shaun... with Tony & Andrea...

Keith and his kids came back down for the Karaoke. Keith couldn't find a song he liked, so he just sang (wearing a baby no less). He truly is one of the coolest and smoothest individuals on the planet.

We've got some great singers in the fandom. Taylor sang the Love Boat theme AND better still "The Summer Winds". Cindy, Zehra & Jen all have amazing voices too. And that YMCA was a classic.

There is no way you're ever going to get me to sing. Never gonna happen. Have to maintain some dignity. But just because I'm a thrill-seeker, here is a brief list of songs I sometimes sing in my car...

Nat King Cole's "When I Grow To Old To Dream"
Joe Jackson's "The Other Me"
Joe Jackson's "Hometown"
Bruce Springsteen's "One Step Up"
Don McLean's "American Pie"

Karine dragged me onto the dance floor. After I made her promise not to go into labor, we did a couple of swing moves which was fun (especially when she eventually let me lead). I definitely think the Gatherings need more swing in general.

Around 2am-ish the downstairs party began to break up. I know I was saying good-bye all night. I was really on the fence about whether or not to stay up all night and take off at six, or try to go to bed and worse try to wake up at five.

Because, I was having too much fun, I opted (mostly by default) for staying up all night.

Karine, Jen, Zehra, Patrick, Tony, Andrea and I went up to the consuite to hang. Had an apple and some chips. Liz, Kelly, Karlyle & Chameleon Girl showed up for a bit, and Liz dropped off a very cool hand-drawn Angela conbadge for me. We watched a surreal live-action Sailor Moon. This is something my kids would go nuts for, so if anyone can copy this stuff to VHS, I'd be interested...

It was all very punchy and silly and cosy and fun. I made one of the most truly tasteless jokes I've EVER made in my life. It was semi-avian in nature.

I love all-nighters. And I loved spending time with these people.

Then finally at about 5:15 it was time to hit the showers. I said goodbye to Karine, Tony & Andrea at the Consuite. To Jen in front of my room.

Of course by this time, it was way past officially Sunday, so I'll finish my last Journal entry tomorrow...

NEXT: The Trip to the Airport: ¿Can Toman top Bishansky?


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THE GATHERING OF THE GARGOYLES 2004 - JOURNAL (Nightpart II - The Masquerade)

I had time to run upstairs once more. Talked to Beth. Norman, our basset had had his surgery and was doing fine. Though, unfortunately, he was now completely deaf. (Although, today, when the doorbell rang, Norman started barking just like old times. It was the first time I had heard him bark since the surgery. But I have no idea how he could possibly have known that there was someone at the door. Freaky, but cool.)

While I was upstairs, various members of Keith's family began to straggle in. His son Owen. His lovely wife Dionne, Dionne's niece (whose name escapes me, I'm afraid) and Keith & Dionne's daughters: Maelee and Ruby. Many of you know that Dionne and Keith's first date was his appearance at G1997. That's right. Those of you who saw Keith's surprise entrance might also have noticed a beautiful woman standing in the back watching him. That was Dionne. After he and I did our Q&A, I was so grateful, I treated the two of them to dinner. (How's that for slick? The guy didn't even buy dinner for his wife-to-be. ;)

I came back downstairs and joined Keith as we prepared to judge the Masquerade. Daniel, our hotel contact, was the third judge. His girlfriend Lucy also kinda participated, and we drafted Christine to help us keep everything straight.

Idiot that I am, I forgot to keep my notes, so I tried to recreate them from memory on a groggy Sunday. I apologize in advance for any errors or ommissions.

I will say that the costumes this year were truly amazing -- both in quality and QUANTITY. The last couple years, we've had plenty of the former, but were kinda shy on the latter, as fewer and fewer people seemed to be dressing up. But this year, I'm sure thanks to David Grabias and the DVD Crew, people really went to town. I was especially gratified to see so many canon characters. All the original characters are neat, but for me it's much more fun to see one of my "babies" brought to life.

BEST IN SHOW: Having said that, the runaway hit was an original Gargoyle named, I think, KORUL: the Gargoyle who was afraid of heights. He had an amazing costume, with detractable wings and sang a filk song to the tune of Rubber Ducky. Brilliant.

The awards for Canon Characters:
1st: Shari as Ekidna (bloody amazing)
2nd: Jade as La Belle Elisa (so cute)
3rd: John as the Renaissance Hunter (very cool)

The awards for non-canon:
1. Caille as Argenta (also with amazing wing action)
2. Somebody as Dancer
3. Space-Babie as Laurie Canmore

The Thom Adcox Memorial Award went to Revel as Dracon. Just for the attitude. But he refused to drop trow.

Cutest Couple: Alan & Jackie as Xanatos & Fox from "Eye of the Beholder"

Cutest Old Married Couple: Tony & Andrea as Dracon & Bad Elisa (I loved Jen's line that "Bad" means "Cleavage".)

The Gorelisa Award went to Laurean as Tom. (Staff weren't supposed to be eligible, but (a) it was a limited field of cross-dressers this year and (b) she was just so darn cute and funny.)

We gave a late-comer award to Lynati, who showed up at the very last second with a truly amazing Ophelia costume. Kicked ass.

Winner in the Junior Division was Becca as a terrific Bronx.

The Cosplay winners were Sapphire, Chameleon Girl and Ethan, doing a hilarious recitation (complete with props) of our opening Narration. Totally cracked me up.

There were other great costumes as well:
Elisagargoyle
Fox in her evening gown with the Eye of Odin from "Eye"
Thailog
A Quarryman

And the staff... with all they had to do, they still managed (almost to a man) to dress for the occassion. And they truly looked great.

Jen & Alan came as Gruouch & Macbeth
Patrick & Cindy came as Puck & Titania
Kaylee & Si came as Princess Katharine & Tom (and that kiss was great)
Rob was Lex Luthor (by default, I gather)
And of course Karine showed up as a Pregnant Fox from "Walkabout"...

And the DVD Crew got it all on tape... I am such a proud Papa.

NEXT: THE NIGHT IS YOUNG. (Well, actually, the night is fortyish, but every once in a while, the night has to behave as if it's still in college, you know?)


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GATHERING 2004 JOURNAL - Saturday, August 7 (Nightpart I)

After my interview with Emru, but before I headed upstairs, I finally had time to browse the wonderful art show. There were a lot of great pictures and some very funny action figures. Not enough smut for my taste, of course, but it's hard to top the Gargoyles fandom in the art department. I just love seeing your stuff every year.

But the one piece that really spoke to me was Andrea Zucconi's portrait of Elisa. I'm not sure if I can exactly put my finger on why, but I really found it stunning. I don't vote in the contest. I never seem to have the time and the sheer number of categories is a bit overwhelming, but I would have voted that Elisa painting as best in show. JMHO.

Anyway, at 6pm I came back downstairs for the banquet. By the time I got there most everyone was seated. Keith still hadn't arrived but was due within the hour. Becca Morgan drew a number out of a hat, and Karine sent me to sit at a table on the far right. I sat down next to Liz -- who then proceeded to kick me out. I hadn't heard it, but I guess Karine had mistakenly announced that Liz's table would get Keith. So Liz sent me away. I returned to Karine, who sent me back to Liz. I felt like a definite consolation prize right about then. (At best.) But considering that Keith didn't arrive until the Q&A, making it impossible for him to simply converse with his table mates, I still think Liz got the better deal. But you'd have to ask her.

Anyway, dinner was very enjoyable. I shared the table with the Zucconis and Liz and Kelly and Chameleon Girl and Taylor, I think. Karlyle, were you there? A couple other people too. I'm blanking out at the moment.

Kelly told us all of her obsession with Dr. Doom. (How obsessed is she? Well, let's just say I found myself getting jealous.)

The menu cards, printed up by our hotel contact Daniel were extremely cool, featuring a nice portrait of Goliath.

The Menu:
*Nordic shrimp cocktail with avocado sauce
*Mixed greens with walnut oil
*Stuffed pair of quails ith grape and Port sauce
*Potatoes and market fresh vegetables
*Seasonal fruit charlotte with strawberry coulis
or
*three chocolate Bavarian cake with rasberry coulis
*Coffee & tea

Truth is, I'm a man of simpler tastes. The shrimp and salad were great. But I'm not a big quail fan. Not a big poultry fan, honestly. I think of birds as hassle food. Too many bones. But everything tasted great, and as you all know I'll eat anything but lamb.

As the hour came and went without a sign of Keith, Patrick or Carol, Karine asked me if I could get Carol's cellphone number. It was up in my room. So I made a quick run upstairs.

I reentered only to hear an unmistakeable voice announce: "Ladies & Gentlemen, Greg Weisman". Keith had arrived in the couple minutes while I was gone. (And vengeance belonged to those that I had fooled in the past.)

Anyway, food was saved for Keith and Patrick. Though Carol had to go back to the airport to gather up Keith's family. Keith struggled to eat while I tried to moderate the Q&A. Unsurprisingly, there were a LOT more questions for him than me. And unsurprisingly, if you know him, he had a lot to say. A lot of wonderful stories to tell. I love that man. I tried to give him a bit of time to eat. But hey, he's his own worst enemy in that department. Thank God.

(I'll refrain from commenting about the caterwaulling from the next room.)

We finally brought the Q&A to an end to give people time to change into their costumes.

COMING SOON: The Masquerade!!!


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Still recruiting journals...

Todd informs me that 21 of you have posted Gathering Journals here at ASK GREG.

I'm very grateful to you guys, but that's less than 14% of this year's attendance, which frankly is kinda pathetic.

Please, PLEASE, take a few minutes to write up your journals and cut and paste them here. And if you've already done it, pressure those who haven't and or spread the word.

This isn't a whim. I need the numbers to show the PTB.

Thanks.


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THE GATHERING 2004 JOURNAL - Saturday, August 7 (Daypart)

Despite a wake-up call that I DO remember receiving, I WAY overslept on Saturday, barely managing to shower and get downstairs in time for our second set of Auditions at 10am. Jen was putting out some fire somewhere, so we got to a bit of a late start, but we still had plenty of time to fit everyone in.

As usual, we were using the original audition sides that the actual voice actors used to audition for Gargoyles. Demona, Hudson, Goliath, Elisa, Brooklyn, Lexington, Broadway and Xanatos were all written by Michael Reaves and edited by me. Angela was written a year or more later by me.

We got a good turnout, with plenty of women auditioning, including many staff members.

At 11:30, Jen and I went upstairs to my room to cast the piece. There was time for lunch, but neither of us bothered.

We posted the cast list at 12:30pm, but not who was playing what parts.

I had a mug-a-guest next. One or two intriguing questions got asked, and I think I answered one of them, but from what I've seen posted, some conclusions were then jumped too based on facts not in evidence.

Next up was the Radio Play Rehearsal. With a cast of 31, I was very pleased that every one showed up and more or less on time too. I passed out the parts and scripts and we just had time to run through each act once. My favorite bit there was when Jen as Fleance said: "If he gets past us again, you can KISS our paychecks goodbye." And Zehra as Elisa responds with: "Pucker up." I made a rude remark that got a big laugh. But honestly, aren't the possibilities intriguing?

Anyway, as many of you know, we performed "THE JOURNEY" in the auditorium. This version was re-edited for the Radio Play, but came closer to reflecting my original intentions for the script than the strangely edited version (with those awful Goliath voice overs -- which I did not write) that they used in Goliath Chronicles.

THE GATHERING PLAYERS (2004 Edition):
Goliath - Rob St. Martin
Elisa Maza - Zehra Fazal
Brooklyn - Dylan Blacquere
Broadway - Revel
Hudson - Alan Torvik
Lexington - François Ferland
Angela - Annie S.
David Xanatos - Rob Irwin
Owen Burnett - Seth Jackson
Bronx - Syrth
John Castaway - Erik Mambu
Vinnie Grigori - Michael McAdam
Banquo - Ethan Gilchrist
Fleance - Jen Anderson
Art - Alex "Carter" Garg
Billy's Mom - Laurean Broadbent
Travis Marshall - Lanny Fields
Margot Yale - Cindy Kinnard
Matt Bluestone - Eric "Gorebash" Tribou
Lennox Macduff - Chris Rogers
Maria Chavez - Natalie "Vashkoda" Quanquin"
Lois - Jade Griffin
Fox - Kaylle
Alex Xanatos - Liz Chesterman
Cagney - Mary "Stormy" Pletsch
Jogger - Isabelle Filiaircault
Quarryman #1 - Tony Zucconi
Quarryman #2 - David Brown
Quarryman #3 - Sarah McEvoy
Quarryman #4 - Taylor Hord
Announcer - Dan Blundon
Narrator - Greg Weisman

Everyone was just great. Dylan & Revel actually kind of did pretty good Brooklyn & Broadway impersonations. I also loved hearing Lex with a French accent and cast François for that intentionally.

I loved how Jen & Ethan played off each other. And I really loved how Chris & Cindy played off each other.

And Lanny, I believe, has been in all seven radio plays. An impressive record.

And real props to our four leads: Michael, Eric, Zehra & Rob, who were all terrific. Rob had a particularly difficult job subbing for a still MIA Keith David. And Eric was really brilliant. His final "Dream of Me" line gave me chills.

As usual, the DVD squad was around filming. It was hard for them to predict who was going to speak and to mic those people, but hopefully they got some useable footage.

I'd also like to thank everyone who auditioned and didn't get cast. It really is appreciated when you lend your support. And keep trying!!!

Immediately after the radio play, I signed some scripts. (Alan got lucky as his Hudson script was signed by Ed Asner, thanks to Carol snagging Ed's signature when she went to record him for the Opening Ceremonies welcoming tape.)

I was supposed to have a signing with Keith about then. But of course, Keith wasn't there yet. And there isn't much left for me to sign in the fandom. So I sat there for about 45 minutes, talking to Emru Townsend for his magazine FPS. Emru had interviewed Keith and I years ago over the phone. So this was something of a follow up interview. Emru (who by the way has an AMAZING voice) and I had never met in person, so it was great to see him finally. He and I just talked. I don't remember exactly what I said though I have the distinct impression that SOME of what I said about the animation industry should probably have been "Off the Record". But, hey, getting blacklisted at studios is nothing new to me. (Oh, well.)

Around 5:30pm, I went back upstairs to rest and change to a slightly nicer shirt before the banquet. I think I called Beth and the kids. And I almost dozed. But I stayed awake... for a LONG time.

STAY TUNED for (Nightpart)


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THE GATHERING OF THE GARGOYLES 2004 JOURNAL - Friday, August 6 (Bring on the Night)

After Opening Ceremonies, Karine wanted to make another effort to go to the Crepe place that we had missed the night before. I ran upstairs to drop off all my junk and to quickly call home.

Then we were off and walking into Old Montreal. This time I had a sweatshirt, which kept me comfortable. Our group included myself, Karine, Mark & Mark, Zehra, Kathy, Shaun, Laurean, Ian and... Gen? (Sorry, I just can't remember.) It was a great group. I heard all about Zehra's plans to translate a Japanese play into English and then direct and produce it at Wellesley. Wow. I also listened to Laurean & Zehra compare notes on Japan, and caught up a bit with Kathy.

Karine wanted to eat outside, because they have a beautiful multi-tiered patio, but that would have been a half-hour wait and by eating inside we could be seated right away. So we admired the patio and, well, sat. Inside.

Dinner was great. I had Crepes Florentine, and then a terrific dessert crepe with Vanilla Ice Cream. I was also seated between two lovely ladies, Karine & Zehra, all the lovlier because they were generous enough to let me taste their dessert crepes as well.

Of course, our waiter was very nice, but a tad dangerous. Dropping plates. Shattering dishes. Spoiling food and even dropping a knife in MY LAP!!! YIKES!

We had plenty of time to eat, but because of delays caused by the server's lack of grace, I found myself observing what's unfortunately become another Gathering tradition: Kathy and I RACING back from dinner to arrive late to my next scheduled event: in this case the Blue Mug in the packed con suite.

This was perhaps the least Blue Mug we've ever had. And I have to admit I missed spending some quality time in the gutter. Some of the lack of azure is probably directly attributable to the absense of a certain pants-challenged voice actor with the initials TA, but I think frankly a bigger reason was that everyone's curiousity about details of the DVD overwhelmed other topics. We did have a couple of smutty moments though. Christine still thinks she scares me. And she did manage to catch me with a question I hadn't given any thought to, but I'm harder to shock than that. (I know Keith had been looking forward to the Blue Mug, as well. And I'm sure he would have done well in Thom's place, but unfortunately, Keith STILL hadn't arrived. In fact, it had become clear that Keith was going to miss most of Saturday's activities as well.)

At around 2am, Karine used the excuse of my bathroom break to end the session. I headed back down to my room. Ate one of Maui's Godiva Chocolate bars. Called Beth, thanks to the time difference, and then went to bed around 2:30am, which was decidedly early for me.

NEXT UP: THE DAY THAT KEPT ON TICKING...


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THE GATHERING 2004 JOURNAL - Friday, August 6 (Opening Ceremonies)

I typed most of this up yesterday, but then a glitch ate it. So here we go again.

Now one of my LEAST favorite things to do is to recreate a lost document. It's much worse than composing something from scratch. You're always trying to reclaim the "magic" of whatever you wrote on your first pass. And it never quite works. So if the following is magic-free, you know why…

… I came to OPENING CEREMONIES loaded for bear, with 5 Video tapes, 2 Audio tapes and color xeroxes of a Buena Vista Home Entertainment PowerPoint Presentation.

Karine got the ball rolling, welcoming everyone to the con.

Jen got up and awarded the FAN GUEST OF HONOR award to GOREBASH. He can protest all he wants, but the guy deserves this award simply for inspiring the Gorelisa Award. (And, oh yeah, there's also Station 8 the Gargoyle Fiendsite and ASK GREG too.)

Chris Rogers came up to pitch G2005 in Las Vegas, which sounds really, really cool. I loved Laurean's new mascot. I know that there's a traditional naming of the mascot contest, but I loved the name "Blue-Eyes". So if no one wins, I'll be okay with that.

Cindy spoke, and Liz, and then the Ceremonies were hi-jacked by Abram & Maui and the Clan Olympics. The first event was goofy fun to watch. Eventually things settled back down, and shortly it was my turn to speak…

And, boy, did I have a lot to say this year. More than usual.

Carol Wagner had assembled a welcome tape recorded by various members of the show's cast & crew: myself, Keith David, Producer-Director Frank Paur, Board Artist Troy Adomitis, Board Artist Vic Cook, Development Art Director & Producer Bob Kline, Development Art Director Dave Schwartz, Actor Crispin Freeman (a past Gathering Guest) and of course Ed Asner, the wonderful voice of Hudson.

I played my little, "Ladies & Gentlemen, Keith David!" trick. And everyone looked, just as they had in 1997 at the first Gathering. It's cruel, I know. But I'd never do it if I thought that Keith wouldn't eventually show up. Which he did. Although not for another 26 hours or so, unfortunately.

I made a little sales pitch for a few of the con's events. The Blue Mug that night, for example. But especially for the Radio Play. I had need of a huge cast and needed more people (especially females) to audition. On top of that, I was nervous that if I did get a full cast, they would outnumber the audience, so I also made a plea for people to attend the show.

I gave my thanks to Karine and her extremely hard-working staff: Rob, Ian, Shaun, Cindy, Patrick, Jen, Kaylee, Laurean, Liz & Carol. I also thanked a few select people who I know helped out: Kelly, Kathy, Christine, Steph and Alan. I'm sure I fogot a bunch of people then and now, and for that I apologize.

I plugged both G2005 in Vegas again, as well as ASK GREG, Gorebash & Station 8, reminding people ONE MORE TIME to please post Gathering Journals at Ask Greg ASAP after the end of the con. (So, have you?) I also pointed out A Fan's map of attendees at the back of the room.

Then it was time for hand counts. How many Gathering Con Virgins? [A goodly amount.] How many had been to at least two Gatherings? At least Three? Four? Five? Six? Seven? ALL EIGHT? The number of the latter was very gratifying. [I'm forgetting a couple people, but I think they included A Fan, Karine, Noelle, Lanny, myself (if I count) and at least a couple of others.] These are the troops that should really inspire the rest of you.

I then held up the materials that Buena Vista had sent me. Of course, they were probably IMPOSSIBLE to see even from the front of the room. But they included a few remaining postcards promoting the DVD's release from the THOUSANDS that were distributed at the San Diego ComicCon earlier this summer. (I ended up giving these to Patrick to pass out to the hard-working staff.)

Also on hand was Buena Vista's 7-Point PowerPoint Presentation Slide Show, which I've transcribed here [with a few comments]:

1. GARGOYLES

2. "Visually Stunning and Dramatically Stirring, Gargoyles Defines Fantastic."
--Ray Stackhouse, TV Guide

3. A Mythical World
--An Animated Series About Ancient Creatures Who Come to Life at Night to Protect Manhattan from Evil
--10 Year Series Anniversary
--Voiced by Well-Known Talent from the Star Trek Franchise Including:
*Jonathan Frakes
*Michael Dorn
*Brent Spiner [who doesn't actually appear in the first season. whoops.]

4. A Loyal Fan Base
--Gargoyles Was the 23rd Most Requested Disney Title of Q2 '04 [certainly, we can do better than that, right?]
--Chat Rooms and Fan Websites Are Buzzing with News of the Upcoming DVD Release:
"OMG! I can't wait. 10 long years and finally my fave cartoon will be on DVD!" - SportyShorty, IMDB Fan Posting
--Annual "Gathering of the Gargoyles" Convention Attended by Thousands of Fans [If you add 'em all up, sure.]
--Gargoyles Airs Every Night on TOON DISNEY CHANNEL and Saturdays on ABC FAMILY

5. A Product Fans Are Clamoring For
--Two-Disc DVD Set
--Includes All 13 Episodes of the First Season of Gargoyles [uncut, I should add]
--Special 10th Anniversary Edition [as opposed to all those other editions, right?]
--Bonus Features:
*The Gathering of the Gargoyles [original documentary filmed at G2004]
*Original Show Pitch by Greg Weisman - Show Creator [previously available ONLY by attending the Gathering]
*Audio Commentary on Origanl Episodes 1-5 [Originally, I had been hoping for commentary on all 13 episodes. Budget constraints made that impossible, as Buena Vista truly has no idea how well this will sell. (We'll have to show them, won't we?) They came back to me saying they could only afford commentary on two episodes, suggesting either the first two episodes or the first episode and "Deadly Force". I went back to them, protesting that our pilot was five episodes and that it would just be weird not to at least have commentary on the whole thing. They discussed it and agreed. So we wound up with five episodes with commentary instead of two, more than doubling the budget. I then tried to convince them to do "Deadly Force," but they ignored me. Oh, well.]

6. On-Air Synergy Support
--Synergy Support from:
*TOON DISNEY CHANNEL
*ABC FAMILY

7. Pricing and Timing
--Perfectly Timed for Holiday Gift Giving and Gargoyles 10th Anniversary
--U.S.: Two-Disc DVD $29.99 SRP/$19.95 MAP
--CE: Two-Disc DVD $36.99
--NAAD: December 7 [THAT'S RIGHT!!!! THAT'S THE BIGGEST NEWS OF ALL. An official release date: DECEMBER 7th, 2004!!!!!!]

The point I was generally trying to make, is that this is really a make-or-break year for the fandom. The DVD is coming out. And you have yourselves to thank. Particularly those of you who have attended previous Gatherings. Disney took notice, and you're continued support gave me the wherewithal to push them. But now the ball is squarely in your court.

People are always asking me what they can do to get the show back in some way, shape or form. Now the answer is obvious. You want the show back? Prove it!!

Buy the DVD! You want the second season on DVD? Buy the first. Buy it for yourself. Buy it for friends, family and co-workers for Birthdays and Holidays.

More than that, SPREAD THE WORD!!!!! Even if everyone attending G2004 bought ten copies, that would only be a drop in the bucket. We need to reach out to fans who have drifted. To people who don't yet know about the fandom. To people who perhaps haven't even seen the show yet.

Disney has no idea how many units this thing is going to sell. Their downside is fairly protected, but the upside is potentially huge. FAMILY GUY sold so many DVDs that they're making new episodes. FIREFLY, a series that didn't last one season on television (despite its brilliance), sold so many DVDs that they're making a theatrical feature film. We would have to sell a ton of DVDs to match their success. But if we do, the sky's the limit.

You're my missionaries here. So support the fandom. Make ASK GREG a weekly stop… I'm going to try to coordinate efforts to boost DVD sales, so keep posted for news and updates:

www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/

Pre-Register to G2005 (or at the least purchase a fully-upgradable Supporting Membership).

Keep checking

www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com

[It's still the G2004 site for now, but it'll shortly turn over to feature info on G2005.]

Keep in mind that money that comes to the con EARLY is worth more than money that comes late. To afford multiple guests, the con needs funds earlier than later. That's why pre-registering is cheaper. Buy now, save money and the worst thing that happens is that you cannot attend and you've contributed a few bucks to the fandom you love.

[Keep in mind, I earn nothing from Gargoyles or the fandom - other than massive ego boosts. Nothing to sneeze at.]

But don't give up on attending G2005 either. You have a year to save up a Gathering fund. A year to arrange for roommates or pals for a road trip. Flights to Vegas are traditionally inexpensive from most locations. Again, bring in new newbies by showing them the show and addicting them. We want to break all attendance records.

Now, you may think I'm riffing here and have gotten off topic. But in fact, I said all this and more at Opening Ceremonies.

Right about then, I introduced the DVD Vid-Documentary Crew (David, Howard & Thierry). They were there to tape the entire convention. All the primo events. But they were also there to interview the fans about how Gargoyles changed their lives.

Then … finally… I got to what I like to call my own version of the Rocky Horror Gargoyles Show.

I showed the original Gargoyles Pitch Video.
The original Gargoyles Promo Video.
The original Gargoyles Presentation Video (narrated by Jonathan Frakes).
The original pitch for "The New Olympians" spin-off series.
The original pitch for "Gargoyles: The Dark Ages" prequel series.
The animatic/storyboard/leica reel for the "Bad Guys" spin-off.

That was followed by the Audio Tape of the never animated "The Last". This was a cross-over episode between Team Atlantis & Gargoyles featuring the voices of Marina Sirtis, Frank Welker, Sheena Easton, Cree Summer and others. As usual, the grunts of battle had different implications in a vacuum. And given the dirty minds of most of the attending, those implications are fairly self-evident.

And thus ended Opening Ceremonies. But Friday wasn't over. Stay tuned for more…


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ARGGHH

I just typed up half a ramble and it vanished.....


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THE GATHERING 2004 - Friday, August 6 (Part One)

And we're back...

Friday was an eventful day, so I'm breaking it down into two rambles.

I got my wake-up call, lingered for a few minutes, showered and shaved (or trimmed, I should say). Then I went upstairs for my big interview with David Grabias and the DVD guys (Howard the DP and Thierry on sound, I think). David asked me some questions, I'm sure looking for some great short pithy responses that would make nice sound bites for the DVD documentary.

Of course, I have many talents, but being short & pithy ain't one of them. My 45 minute interview lasted an hour and a half. At one point, David sent me back to my room to change shirts so that he could pretend that a little intro I was doing for the original Gargoyles pitch (which will also be on the DVD) was shot on a different day. The thing that interests me is that you'll be seeing me intro the thing at age 40 and then jump back to me at age 30 pitching. I think as an Easter Egg or something they should create a little mini-morph of me aging rapidly.

After that I brought Erin & Benny's art down to Cindy. We took a few minutes to figure out which piece went with which title card. But it was all fairly self-evident.

I saw Zehra at that point, I think. I was really glad she came back this year. Also saw Noelle somewhere in here and Lexy & Marty and others.

Next up was the Voice Acting Seminar. I brought the same old stuff to cover. Stuff I developed doing a Seminar for Telemarketers (waves at Sapphire), a.ka. that time I was truly doing the Devil's Handywork. I've used it for at least a couple years now, but I wasn't afraid of it getting old, because the plan was for Keith and I to do this seminar together. His take on the stuff (his take in general) would provide us with a unique experience. Problem was that Keith hadn't arrived on Thursday night as planned. His movie in Miami was rained out a couple days which caused a delay in his flight for said couple days.

So I'm doing this on my own. Which isn't a problem, per se, except that it's the same old stuff. But there were enough newbies to let me get away with it.

I began by reciting my meager qualifications as stage actor, stage director, voice actor and voice director. Then I broke out the scenes.

We started with the Demona audition side, which Jen read -- way too well. It was frustrating as my schpiel sort of depends on some amount of badness in order to allow me to riff on how to improve. She didn't really provide that. Damn her talent!!

Anyway, Seri got up and read Demona. And she did a good job, but I was able to force her to read the last line over and over in order to make a point about acting choices.

Then we did a few others scenes. The Tea Scene from MIA is one of my favorite acting lessons. The tag from Thrill of the Hunt. And the "Friend" scene from Awakening 1. It was all fun. The DVD crew came in and filmed a bit, which was a running theme throughout the con. It actually made everything feel fresher and more exciting.

I think I have a new reality series to pitch....

Anyway, next up was our first round of auditions. Of course, I had forgotten the audition forms in my room. So I searched for the elevator. BTW, the hotel was great, but the entire weekend I had some kind of weird trouble finding my bearings, i.e. the elevators and/or restrooms. I constantly found myself walking in circles.

Jen and I ran the auditions, like old times. I get to force people to bark like a dog or meow like a cat and when I remember to speak with either English or Scottish dialects. Every year is unpredictable. There have been years when almost no men audition and I have to drag Hudson off the street to play a part. This year, at the Friday audition, we have tons of men and only two women. It's panic time as this particular radio play has an IMMENSE cast of 31 (not counting me). And at minimum (even with some cross-gender casting) I feel I need at least seven women for clarity.

Throughout the day, Keith's flight keeps getting pushed back.

And people keep giving me stuff.

Maui gives me a box of Godiva chocolate bars. Not a box of chocolates, mind you, but a box of chocolate BARS.

Kathy feeds my Buffyverse obssession by giving me a Buffy Companion book.

Tony gives me his Annual Gathering CD. (Which I listened to on the way back from San Diego. It's great.)

Wingless gives me a Banana Splits CD. (Which I listened to on the way to San Diego. It's VERY Cool.)

Michael gives me his Demo CD. (Which I haven't listened to yet, but I will. But Michael, here's my question: I already know you're good. But are you planning a move to L.A.? What good is your CD if you're not here to audition if and when I get something (please God anything) to have you audition for?)

I got four cool con t-shirts and pins (which I had paid for) from the staff, as well as a staff t-shirt from Jen (which I did not pay for).

I got Subway from Alan, which I also paid for, cuz frankly Alan still intimidates me a bit. It must have something to do with how cosey I get with his wife.

I got my con badge and the VERY cool program that Si put together. It includes a picture of me with a pillow over my head. I'm told this is a great picture. I find it interesting that the best picture of me is one where my face is covered.

I got a G2005 Vegas t-shirt from Chris at some point.

I got a UPS package which contained stuff from the Buena Vista Home Entertainment folk for use at the Opening Ceremonies.

And best of all, I got BLACK ROSES from Christine. Which is cool. But cooler still, is the dedication, to me and Salli and I guess all of you. I have never had a book dedicated to me before. I can't tell you what that feels like. It really makes my day on a day that makes my year.

NEXT UP: OPENING CEREMONIES (the never-ending story)


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GATHERING 2004 JOURNAL - Thursday, August 5

Time to journal.

As usual, let me open with a few caveats, apologies, etc.

I'll try to be as complete as possible, but inevitably I may forget a few names or forget to include a few people or events. My apologies. Please don't feel slighted. The con for me is always a great time, but also a whirlwind of people. With few exceptions, I only manage a few minutes with everyone. Sometimes it takes me two or three years to really nail a name to a face. (The fact that many of you have multiple names doesn't help either.)

I'd also like to mention a few of the people I didn't see, people I hope to see next year. Former con-chairs like Jubes and Batya and especially Mae Lee. People who made an impression, like Spike and Vanessa and many, many others. I'd like to ask all of you who did attend and/or all of you who are reading this now to reach out to fans who have wandered. As many of you know (and as Friday's G-Journal will soon make clear) this is really a make-or-break year for the series. We need to re-energize, rejuvenate and REAWAKEN the fandom. Especially those who have drifted away. We need everyone!

Speaking of which, here's ANOTHER reminder to post your GATHERING JOURNALS here at ASK GREG. Cut & Paste. If necessary, enter them a con-day at a time as I'm doing. If you're reading this and you know of people who attended the convention who haven't yet posted their journal, get on their cases. I think we've got about a dozen so far. I appreciate them all, but that's NOT nearly enough. We had 200 people attend the con. If we can't get at least 100 journals here at ASK GREG, I'm going to be VERY disappointed.

Finally, as most of you know, my diaries tend to center around food. Basically, I love to eat, and it's something I really have a talent for. I love great food and horrible junk. And I'm often obssessive about the subject. Strangely, or perhaps not-so, my memories of this adventure do NOT revolve around food. In part, because I didn't get to eat as often as usual. Just not enough time. In part, because I had such a blast just spending time with all of you. Thanks.

ANYWAY, enough preamble. Let's get gathering.

The week before the Gathering had been extremely eventful. Good things and bad things were happening to my family, especially my siblings. For more info on both check out the very well-written websites of Robyn Weisman...
http://barbaricmysticalandbored.blogspot.com/
and/or Jon Weisman...
http://www.all-baseball.com/dodgerthoughts/

Over at my house, things were almost as crazy. We had taken out a loan to paint the exterior of our house. Right after we were financially committed to that endeavor, our upstairs bathroom cracked its shower pan, creating (ultimately) a hole in the ceiling of our entry hall. We have had to totally demolish that bathroom in order to repair it, which caused further damage to our bedroom, living room and powder room. Even our doorbell has stopped working.

Plus, I got a stye in my eye. For a couple of days, it was swollen up, and I thought: "YAY, MY DISFIGUREMENT CAN BE IMMORTALIZED FOREVER ON THE DVD!" Fortunately, it faded by Thursday and was all but gone by Friday.

Also, there was that ladder thing. How many Gargoyles-Creators does it take to screw in a light bulb? I was up on a ladder changing a ceiling bulb. I had the old bulb out and in hand, when the ladder (which is missing three out of four rubber feet) tipped me off. I landed on the hand holding the lightbulb, which <SHATTERED> on the brick floor. Blood and glass everywhere. The wounds, such as they were, turned out to be very superficial once they were cleaned off and the imbedded glass was tweezered out. I was wrapped in gauze for a night and my daughter took to calling me "Daddy Mummy" or "Dummy" for short. Smart kid. Anyway, by the next day, I was down to two band-aids. By Thursday, the puncture wounds were barely noticable.

More seriously, there's Norman, our ten-year-old Bassett Hound. Earlier this year, Norman was stricken with a life-threatening ear infection. We tried multiple courses of anti-biotics (including some human versions). Nothing worked. Finally we had to have his ear canal surgically removed. Then last month, the other ear got infected. It soon became clear that we were going to have to have his remaining ear canal removed, rendering him completely deaf. It was very upsetting to all of us, and I felt horrible that I was going to be out of town during the surgery. Of course, I had made a commitment, and to be honest I really didn't want to miss the Gathering.

And the fact was, I was already planning to miss a portion of it. My daughter's birthday is August 8th, 1994. I wasn't going to miss her tenth birthday, which meant I'd be leaving VERY early on Sunday morning in order to make it home in time for her birthday dinner. That meant that I was going to have to stuff all my G2004 fun into a few short days.

So, Thursday morning I got up at 7am, reminding myself that I couldn't use my own demolished bathroom. I showered in the kids' bathroom, and made my way downstairs. I had been vaguely Atkinsing for the last three weeks and had in fact lost about eleven pounds. But the diet was done for the duration. I had Cereal and banana.

I was picked up at the house at 9:30 am. The trip to the airport was uneventful. Got to LAX and got through all the various lines without incident. Then I bought a loaf of sourdough bread and ATE the entire thing. Also had a Three Musketeers bar and a bottled water. Obviously, I was craving carbs and sugar.

Aboard the plane, I began to read "I DREAMED I MARRIED PERRY MASON" by Susan Kandell. This is a very well-written murder mystery by a friend of ours. The protagonist is Cece Caruso, a biographer who stumbles onto two murders (one old, one new) while researching the life of Erle Stanley Gardner, the creator of Perry Mason. I definitely recommend it.

On the plane, I had Tomato Juice and toyed with my meal: beef, biscuits, cole slaw, rice and a roll.

The movie was "Day After Tomorrow" and even though it was free, I couldn't bring myself to watch it. Though I did get curious about how it would end -- about what could possibly be considered a coda for it, so I ear-phoned up for the last ten minutes or so. Uggh.

The flight, like the whole trip, was easy. Customs in Montreal was a long line, but had the advantage of non-stop movement, which at least makes the wait FEEL more palatable.

Patrick, Jen & Rob were waiting for me. I was already in a good mood, but I immediately felt better. Now, the Gathering had really begun for me.

We had a completely uneventful ride to the Delta Centre-Ville (our G2004 Hotel). In the lobby, I saw Carol, Kathy & Kelly. Mandi, I think? Abram. A Fan. I checked in, and hit my room to do a VERY quick unpacking before meeting everyone in the consuite. I saw Becca right away, and asked where her parents were. Christine was standing just behind me and gave me a big hug.

The constaff had planned in advance to go to dinner as soon as I got in. There was some miscommunication, which I really regret, as some non-staffers were waiting to join us and the restaurant we were heading toward couldn't accomodate us all. Sad irony, we didn't even end up at that restaurant (as its kitchen was closed) and the place we did eat at had plenty of room. In the future, I'm gonna make an effort to be more inclusive at these things.

Not to rub it in, but those of us who did attend: Lanny, Derek, Michael, Karine, Cindy, Rob, Jen, Alan, Kaylee, Shawn, Patrick, Laurean, Liz, Carol and I had a great meal. We had taken a long walk to get to the crepe place that Karine wanted us all to enjoy. The weather was lovely but just a tad cool for a guy from California in a t-shirt. If I had just brought my sweatshirt along, it wouldn't have been a problem, but I was shivering by the time we sat down in our second-choice restaurant.

Which was great, by the way. Lobster Bisque, Fettucine Alfredo, Bread, bruschetta, a mussel and coke.

And great company. I enjoyed the walk back a bit more, even though I was still freezing. Karine offered to lend me her sweatshirt, but I'm still enough of a gentleman (just barely) to refrain from taking a pregnant woman's wrap.

Back at the hotel, I ran into Lynati, Mara, GXB, Alex, Eric, Hudson, Ethan, Maui, Kyt, Chris & Aaron. I hung out in the lobby with a few of them for a bit. But it was getting late, and I wanted to call Beth and the kids and talk to them before they went to bed.

So I headed up to my room. Called home. Then tried to sleep. Wound up watching TV until at least 3 or 4am, though that was only midnight or one my time. Then I finally went to sleep.

TO BE CONTINUED...


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A Plea and/or Reminder

I'm back in Los Angeles after an amazing trip to Montreal and a fun family half-week in San Diego.

My own Gathering Journal will be forthcoming in installments, as usual.

But in the meantime, I'd like to remind everyone who attended G2004 to please, PLEASE, take a few minutes and write up your experiences in as much detail as possible.

Were you on staff? Were you a dealer? Were you there for the whole weekend or just for a few hours? Whatever your situation, please write up a Gathering Journal and post it HERE at ASK GREG. It's great if you have your own website or livejournal and want to post it there or even in the S8 Comment Room, but please CUT & PASTE your journals and put them here as well. No links please. Cut & Paste.

For those of you who've already done this, thanks. For those of you who started but didn't quite make it through the weekend, please don't run out of steam. For those of you who haven't started, START. Trust me, your memory isn't going to improve with time.

We had about 200 people at the Gathering. I'm hoping to get at least 100 diaries/journals here at ASK GREG. AT LEAST. (Frankly, I'd be thrilled with 100% journaling.) Getting them all here allows me to direct the Disney/Buena Vista powers-that-be to this site as a single clearing house.

Guys, this is important. Prove that you are going to do what it takes in the coming year to support the show by taking this simple first step.

It will be very much appreciated at this end.


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GATHERING 2004

Okay, gang,

I'm going to be off-line for a while.

I leave early tomorrow morning (8-5-04) for Montreal and the Eighth Annual Gathering of the Gargoyles.

I come home on the 8th, but then the family is immediately going to San Diego for some SeaWorld/Legoland action.

So I won't be back at ASK GREG for over a week.

But when I come back, you can look forward (I would hope) to my ramblings about the Gathering.

PLEASE, PLEASE post your own Gathering Journals, Gathering Diaries, etc. as well.

Seriously, I'm using this as a tool with Disney. We have about 200 people attending the Gathering this year. I'd like to see at least 100 Gathering Diaries posted here at ASK GREG.

Thanks.

P.S. Remember, if you see me at the Gathering, don't hesitate to come up to me and say hello. Don't be shy. Please introduce or re-introduce yourselves. I know many, many of you, but I'm traditionally not great with names. Sometimes it takes me a couple gatherings to remember. For that I apologize, but please don't take offense. I really do want to meet all of you. See you soon.

Greg


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some REAL rambling...

Okay, this is not GREG SPEAKING FROM THE MOUNT...

This is just me thinking aloud. (Well, not really aloud. I'm sitting here typing.) I don't even know if I like these ideas. They're definitely not canon.

But the following notions occured to me today...

Gargoyles don't seem to have a native language. They acquire human language ... perhaps much the same way that they acquire names. Naming is clearly addictive. And language, in many ways, is just sophisticated naming.

Clearly gargoyles are just as intelligent as humans. Before humans developed tools, Gargoyles were at the top of the food chain. They may not have created/invented as much "stuff" as humans have, but they also had way fewer needs. Necessity being the mother of invention, they had less motivation for inventing sophisticated shelter, clothes, tools, etc. But that in and of itself isn't a comment on their brain-power.

So why no need for language and names?

When it comes to naming, gargoyles clearly felt that names were superfluous if not somewhat limiting, if not downright harmful to the spirit. Humans must define things. Gargoyles know that things just are.

We are friends. What other name do we require, etc.

It fits in with their animistic/monotheistic view of a higher power. A higher power that requires no name.

Does beg a question, though if you go back far enough.

Does the sky need a name? Does the river?

Elisa responds: "The river's called the Hudson."

But she could have responded: "The river's called a river."

Did the gargoyles have a language that they ABANDONED in favor of human words -- even if those human words were Atlantean (like the term "Gorlois", the true Atlantean etimology for "GARGOYLE")?

Or perhaps...

Gargoyles are so attuned to the earth. They have biological clocks that match the seasons. They have relationships that require no names, until those names have been imposed.

Is it possible, that gargoyles once... long ago... had mild psychic abilities that left them with no need to create language? It wasn't words that they intuited (or transmitted or read or whatever) but emotions, maybe images or sensations.

Maybe it was tied to magic. Not that Gargoyles are magical creatures, but if magic was free-flowing before the Will-O-The-Whisps evolved into the Children of Mab (or whomever) and somewhat confiscated that power for their own, perhaps that magic was just part of the Earth that gargoyles were so attuned to, and allowed for some psychic congress.

Or perhaps, it is a biological ability -- based on biio-elecricity and brainwaves -- that has faded with disuse. Perhaps the very language skills that Gargoyles learned from the human race dampened their psychic intuitiveness, much as Fox's natural magical abilities were stunted by her human upbringing.

Either way, it suggests that this ability could be latent.

I'm NOT saying that the gargs we know are psychic. They've all been fooled enough, even by the INTENSELY emotional Demona (who would theoretically be broadcasting as well as receiving) to bely that notion.

But I wonder if this isn't an interesting area of speculation.

If you see me at the Gathering THIS WEEKEND, it's a topic I'd be interested in discussing.


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REBORN!!

As I'm sure many of you have noticed, Gorebash has rebooted ASK GREG in a major way. It's still a work in progress, so feel free (politely) to offer your input to Gore.

But don't forget to thank him as well for his hard, hard work.

Thanks, Gore! It's very much appreciated.

Gregs


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Buffy Season Two Character Countdown

As noted yesterday, I'm as big a geek -- if not bigger -- than anyone in the room.

So now, for no particular reason, I've put together a countdown of the GREATEST BUFFYVERSE characters from Seasons One & Two.

I thought about doing Season Two separately, as if it stood alone, but that felt artificial. (Like the rest of this feels natural? Yeah, right.) Think of the Buffyverse as an eight year horse race. You're not sure which nag is going to go the distance... But cumulatively, you begin to discover things.

So here's the top 30 characters of the Buffyverse for Seasons One & Two combined. In reverse order...

#30 - The Judge. Medieval demon raised by Spike & Dru to burn the humanity out of, well, humans. Killed by a rocket launcher. (Previous Rank: Did not appear in first season.)

#29 - Mr. Norman Pfister, a.k.a. Worm Guy. One of the assassins hired by Spike to kill Buffy. Could transform his whole body into worms. Stomped by Xander & Cordy. (Previous Rank: Did not appear in first season.)

#28 - Dalton. A relatively brainy vampire flunky, who appeared in a couple of episodes working for Spike & Dru. Burned by the Judge. (Previous Rank: Did not appear in first season.)

#27 - Luke. Still a fairly memorable first opponent for Buffy even a year later. (PR: #14. Okay, he's memorable, but not that memorable, falling 13 rankings with no where to go but down.)

#26 - Harmony Kendall - Made another humorous appearance. (PR: Honorable Mention.)

#25 - Hank Summers. Still, if barely, a part of his daughter's life. (PR: Honorable Mention.)

#24 - Willy. The weasley guy who runs the demon-bar hangout and plays both sides of the fence. (PR: Did not appear in first season.)

#23 - Amy. Back as a full-fledged witch. (PR: Honorable Mention.)

#22 - Ethan Rayne. Giles old chaos-worshipping "friend". (PR: Did not appear in first season.)

#21 - Uncle Enyos, a.k.a. Gypsy Man. Jenny Calendar's vengeance-seeking Gypsy uncle. Killed by Angel. (PR: Did not appear in first season.)

#20 - Jesse. (PR: #13. Drops seven rankings, and counting, as he's been totally forgotten.)

#19 - Jonathan (variously spelled Johnathan and Jonathon, a.k.a. Student and/or Hostage Kid and/or Freshman (which he later turns out not to be, unless he skips a couple grades by the time Buffy graduates). Jonathan with something like 6 appearances but VERY little screen time in each really makes an adorable impression, thus it's not surprising that he winds up playing an increasingly larger role with every year. (PR: Did not appear in first season.)

#18 - Whistler. The demon, played by the always interesting Max Perlich, who helped redeem Angel from the gutter. This guy interested me a LOT, but never (as I recall) returned. I always wondered if Doyle was a reworking of Whistler when they couldn't get Perlich to be a regular on Angel. (PR: Did not appear in first season.)

#17 - Kendra the Vampire Slayer. Came and went. But before you know how interesting Faith can be, she was very cool. (PR: Did not appear in first season.)

#16 - Principal Bob Flutie. (PR: #9. Drops 7 places and being still dead, likely to keep heading south.)

#15 - Darla. Appears in a wonderful flashback, where she sires Angel. (PR: #11. Only drops 4 ranks, and is likely to make a comeback, because death plays much more fast and loose with Darla than with Principal Flutie.)

#14 - The Annointed One. Spike just overwhelmed this guy (and then flambéd him). I suppose it was also a liability to have an eternally youthful child in an ongoing series. It won't take long before a growth spurt changes the kids looks significantly. (PR: #10. Another four rank drop and falling.)

#13 - The Master. Influence still being felt... (PR: #8. Down five rankings.)

#12 - Oz. Becomes Willow's guy after a slow burn. And gets to be a Werewolf to boot. (PR: Did not appear in first season.)

#11 - Jenny Calender, a.k.a. Janna the Gypsy spy. Becomes SO important that Angel has to snap her neck, breaking Giles heart -- and falling into a Buffy/Angel trap that is common to most TV dramas (except Gargoyles) which states that no relationship really has long term potential. (PR: #15. Actually moves up 4 rankings, while most are moving down.)

#10 - Principal Snyder. (PR: #12. Also moving up a bit.)

#9 - Spike, a.k.a. William the Bloody. Enters the list in the top ten.

#8 - Drusilla. This surprised me a bit. Would not have guessed that Dru would beat out Spike. But in their first season, she's actually a tad more important. His villainy culminates in hers. (Of course, both are overshadowed by Angelus) (PR: Did not appear in first season.)

#7 - Joyce Summers. (PR: #7. Holding her spot.)

#6 - Angel, a.k.a. Angelus. Really starts to come into his own here, but missed a couple episodes and Cordy had a headstart from season one. (PR: #6)

#5 - Cordelia Chase. And Cordy also begins to truly come into her own in this season. Evolving out of her funny but one-note stereotype from Season One and beginning a relationship with Xander that I was sorry never got to be played again in Angel (even historically). (PR: #5)

#4 - Willow Rosenberg. Xander's headstart kept him ahead in a season where they had a much more neck-and-neck pointscore. (PR: #4)

#3 - Xander Harris. (PR: #3)

#2 - Rupert Giles. Still a bit surprised how he continues to rank above X&W. (PR: #2)

#1 - Buffy Summers. (PR: #1)

Honorable mention goes to the following (for making one or two memorable appearances):

Catherine . Okay, normally, I'm not going to honorably mention someone in consecutive seasons, but that great scene where Oz is watching the Cheerleading trophy follow him with his eyes, is priceless continuity.

Absalom. Vampire working for the Annointed One trying to raise the Master. The last champion of the Season One storyline. Buffy burns him.

Nurse Greenliegh. Eaten by fishboys. Probably gets extra juice because I like actress Conchatta Ferrell in just about anything.

Ted Buchanon - Psycho Robot Serial Killer. Lots of evil fun. Trashed by Buffy.

Devon - Dopey lead singer of Oz's band.

Inca Mummy Girl, a.k.a. Empada. Poor kid. She just fell apart on us.

Larry. School bully who turns out to be a sensitive gay guy.

Lyle Gorch - Cowboy vampire, barely smarter than his brother.

Chanterelle - Goofy vampire wannabe.

Detective Bob & Detective Stein - Each appeared twice. Bob was Snyder's cop. The one who helped Snyder cover up the macabre doings at the school. Stein was Buffy's vague nemesis. The one who questioned her about Ted's "death" and suspected her of Kendra's. Both are interesting and feel more important than they wind up being.

The Mayor. Doesn't appear at all. But Snyder's both scared of him and desperate to impress him.

And that's it. But Season Three just came in the mail today. It'll obviously take me some time to watch it. But eventually, I'll be continuing this pointless exercise...

Aren't you glad?


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Buffy Season One Character Countdown...

Yes, that's right, I'm as big a geek -- if not bigger -- than anyone in the room.

I bought the 1st and 2nd Seasons of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER on DVD. And I've been watching the episodes. Or studying them actually.

So now, for no particular reason, I've put together a countdown of the GREATEST BUFFYVERSE characters from Season One.

(WHY, you ask? Because it amuses me and appeals to my geeky mind. <Yeesh, what a dopey question.>)

Now, this is a truly subjective (if not pointless) exercise that I've tried to reduce to an objective task. I've awarded points per episode to each character based on a number of criteria. Then I totalled up the points for each character for the season. In case of a tie, I made a subjective call.

I tried NOT to make the point totals reflect what happened with characters in subsequent seasons. This is a countdown reflecting Season One only. Though I won't deny the fact that if a character reappeared later in the series, it probably meant that said character was memorable to the creators (and the viewers) in his or her original appearance(s). So I allowed some bias to filter in. But I tried to be strong.

Most of the results aren't particularly shocking, but a few things surprised me a bit.

Originally, I was just doing this for myself. But I figured, what the heck, might as well share my obssessive behaviour with you poor victims.

So here's the top 15 characters of the Buffyverse for Season One in reverse order...

#15 - Jenny Calender. In season one, she's merely the computer teacher/techno-pagan. But she already seems to have some interest in Giles.

#14 - Luke. The vampire who was the surrogate for the Master's "Harvest" during the 2-part pilot. An impressive first foe, who'd be topped many times over. But he set the bar well. He received the same point total as Jenny, and long-term she's MUCH more important, but in the first season, I think Luke's role was much more crucial.

#13 - Jesse. Jesse was Xander's best friend, who became a vampire in the pilot and was accidentally staked. Jesse would have been more important if anyone had EVER mentioned him again -- even in episode three. It strikes me as a very un-Joss like thing that Jesse completely faded from memory... INSTANTLY.

#12 - Principal Snyder. The new and harsh replacement principal makes an immediate impression.

#11 - Darla. The vampire who served the Master and was revealed as Angel's sire. Jealous, vulnerable, greedy and sweet all rolled into one. She was staked in her third appearance, but it's not surprising she came back both in flashbacks and in ANGEL.

#10 - The Annointed One. Also known as Colin and/or the Boy. This guy was built up to be VERY important in Season One, though he wound up not being important at all.

#9 - Principal Bob Flutie. The conflicted original principal of Sunnydale High. For obvious reasons, adjusted to be MOST sympathetic just before he was eaten by the quartet of Hyena-Avatars.

#8 - The Master. The main recurring villain for Season One. Staked at the end of the season, though his influence would continue into Season Two and beyond. (FYI, one of the DVD extras revealed that his real name was Heinrich Joseph Nest.)

#7 - Joyce Summers. Buffy's mom.

#6 - Angel. Made a pretty big impression in relatively few appearances. Obviously.

#5 - Cordelia Chase.

#4 - Willow Rosenberg.

#3 - Xander Harris. This surprised me. I would have thought that Willow and Xander would have been neck and neck -- impossible to declare as anything but a tie. But at least in Season One, Xander really got more screen time and a much bigger overall role in the series.

#2 - Rupert Giles. This surprised me a bit too, as I would have guessed that Xander & Willow would have both scored ahead of Giles. But nope. Not when you break it down.

#1 - Buffy Summers. Duh.

Honorable mention goes to the following (for making one or two memorable appearances):

Catherine & Amy, mother & daughter witches. Amy obviously will become more important, but Catherine's end, forever imprisoned in the cheerleading trophy, was too cool.

Dr. Gregory. Buffy's biology teacher. Made two appearances before being killed by the She-Mantis. Was the only teacher who believed in Buffy.

The She-Mantis. A fun villain.

Harmony Kendall. Only made two brief appearances, but she stood out enough as one of Cordelia's "Cordettes" that she would wind up being brought back again and again. A certain comic timing, probably.

Hank Summers. Buffy's dad.

Joy. The Senior Cheerleader.

Sid. The human trapped in the body of a ventriloquist's dummy.

That's it. I'll have Season Two shortly. I bet you can't wait.


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Announcement for August...

Hey gang,

Just wanted to let everyone know that Gorebash, Todd & I will be re-opening the Question Submission function for the month of August 2004.

Gore is working on revising the whole site. We're not 100% sure that the new version will be ready by then, but either way, you'll be able to submit questions and rambles from August 1st to August 31st.

I'm going to ask (and pray) that people NOT post frivolously. I'm still over two years behind on answering questions. Try and do your homework just a bit before posting a question. Check the Archives or at least the FAQ. Heck, it wouldn't hurt to pre-post your question at the Station 8 Comment Room. Give your fellow fans a chance to direct you to the answer, before you post it for me. Keep in mind that it will take me a LONG time to get to your questions, so if you can get them answered another way, it'll be MUCH FASTER for all concerned.

But with that caveat in mind, I'm very pleased to be reopening the site to you, if only for one month. In particular, I'm anxious to get as many GATHERING 2004 DIARIES as possible. Seriously, we have close to 200 people attending this year, and my goal is to get at least 100 diaries posted at ASK GREG as an historical record. So please, that's one kind of post that I'm really looking forward to. So don't hesitate.

Thanks,

Greg


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What else can I do?

"Sure," you say, "I'd love to come to the Gathering, but..."

There are always reasons, I suppose. Some good, some not so good, some very good.

I'd still like you to come. Even now. With less than a month left, I'd like to see you make the effort and show. It's a great year for it, what with the Disney folks there shooting footage for the DVD. Heck, don't we want them to see how strong our fanbase is?

The Gatherings have been the lifeblood of this fandom. Why are we getting DVDs this year. Because of the annual Gathering. Just that simple.

And, yes, I am talking to you. And you in the back there too, trying to sneak out.

But let's say you just CAN'T make it this year. This happened. Or that happened. You just can't. You ask me to understand, by saying, "What else can I do?"

Here are a few things...

1. Buy a supporting membership. It's much less expensive than a trip to Montreal. It helps support the convention. And you're entered for a free t-shirt.

2. Heck, just ORDER THE T-SHIRT. It's also much less expensive than the trip. And you get a T-shirt.

3. Order a pin or the Phoenix Gate Anthology.

4. At least go to the website and check these things out:

http://www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com/

5. Start planning now to attend G2005 in Las Vegas. Start saving. Show your true support for the series and the fandom.

Thanks.


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SPIDER-MAN 2 - SPOILERS

Took the kids to see Spider-Man 2 yesterday.

SPOILER WARNING

The murder of all those doctors seemed gratuitous to me. Trashing them, sure, but why did the arms (particularly at this early stage) feel the need to kill. I know, I know, self-defense. But in a movie like this, where otherwise I thought it was more-or-less okay to bring my kids, I thought it was really unnecessary.

The death of Otto's wife didn't bother me. Except that it became gratuitous as nothing at all was done with it. Her entire character became gratuitous. And I like Donna Murphy.

I've already talked about my whole Kirsten Dunst would make the perfect Gwen Stacy but is unconvincing as Mary Jane Watson thing. Nothing in this movie convinced me otherwise, despite the "Go get 'em, Tiger" line at the end. I guess you just have to get used to the idea that they've combined these two characters into one and chosen MJ's name.

Peter's objection to dating MJ, because it could put her at risk seems a little preposterous given how much risk she's been put in over these two movies even though they haven't been dating. I don't mind this, I just wish that someone, specifically MJ in their last scene together would have pointed that out.

The theme of this movie is "LET'S REVEAL MY SECRET IDENTITY TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE". At the end of the previous film, it was beyond clear that MJ had figured out that Peter was Spider-Man. This is somewhat successfully slid by in this film. But by the end of the second film, the list of people who have seen Spidey's face is nearly endless:

MJ
Doc Ock
Harry
The New Green Goblin
About thirty-seven people on the train

and let's face it, even Aunt May seemed to be strongly implying that she had figured it out.

A little bothered by the way some of Peter's late-arrivals were staged.

Did he really lose THAT much time delivering Pizza.

But more importantly, it seems clear that being Spider-Man aside, he just flat out didn't leave enough time to get to MJ's show in the first place. Face it, he lost his mo-ped but arrived in the bad-guys car. And it took less than a minute to capture them. And he was still late. This bugged me because he was blaming Spidey for screwing up his life, when clearly if he had left for the play in a timely fashion, he would have arrived on time (and missed the crime completely).

I didn't quite know what to make of the whole thing with the landlord's daughter. Kept expecting her to see Peter with MJ in the last scene and turn into a super-villain or something. She was sweet. Didn't catch the character's name, though it's a very similar character to the character that same actress plays on Joan of Arcadia.

Everyone seems wowed by Molina's performance and by Doc Ock, especially as compared to the last film's Green Goblin. I have no objections to either Molina or Doc, but I don't get the raves. Green Goblin's motivations made a lot more sense to me than Ock's. Sure the arm effects were cool. But the whole AI thing effecting his brain seemed forced. And frankly, a bit unnecessary.

From all of the above, I'm sure it must seem like I didn't like the movie. But in fact I did. I even liked how nearly everybody now knows Parker's secret. How did it help any of those people to not know?


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Gwen vs. Mary-Jane

Okay, I haven't seen the second Spider-Man movie yet, so this is mostly based on the first (and commercials for the second).

But am I the only guy out here who thinks Kirsten Dunst is a perfect Gwen Stacy?

I think she's wonderful in the first film. Bu I mean, aside from the hair color (which, from other movies, we know is artificial), her persona is totally Gwen. Yeah, yeah, she's an actress, but she's got nothing of that John Romita tigress that is Mary-Jane Watson.

She's Gwen Stacy.

Right?


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BIG NEWS ON THE DVD FRONT

HEY GUYS...

BIG NEWS. SO BIG I'M LOCKING DOWN MY CAPS.

AS MANY OF YOU KNOW, THE FIRST SEASON OF GARGOYLES IS BEING RELEASED THIS YEAR ON DVD TO COINCIDE WITH THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SERIES.

I'VE JUST BEEN INFORMED THAT DISNEY IS SENDING A VIDEO CREW TO THE GATHERING OF THE GARGOYLES, OUR ANNUAL CONVENTION, TO TAPE THE FANS, GUESTS, EVENTS, ETC. FOR THE EXTRAS SECTION OF THE DVD.

THAT MEANS IF YOU ATTEND THE CONVENTION THIS AUGUST 6-8 IN MONTREAL, YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO ACTUALLY BE ON THE DVD. LET THAT SINK IN FOR A SECOND.

IF YOU'RE ALREADY SIGNED UP, GREAT. BUT IF NOT -- WELL -- WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!!!

CHECK OUT THE CON'S WEBSITE AT:

http://www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com/

DON'T MISS THIS GATHERING!!!!!!!!


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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO SECOND & THIRD BASE?

The following RANT is somewhat ADULT. You've been warned.

There are two prime time television series that I'm fond of that I'm annoyed with for a very specific reason.

One is GILMORE GIRLS. The other is JOAN OF ARCADIA.

Last week, on Joan of Arcadia, 16-year-old Joan nearly decided to lose her virginity with Adam.

Last week on on Gilmore Girls, 19-year-old Rory lost her virginity with Dean.

In both cases, it's not the losing or not losing that bothers me.

It's just that in both cases, we've more or less been witness to these girls sexual awakening. And I've never gotten any indication that either girl has done anything beyond kissing, that neither guy has ever gotten past what we used to call first base.

One of my biggest pet peeves about television is that second & third base (including anything and everything in between kissing and sexual intercourse) do not exist. Oral sex? Doesn't exist. Touching and/or nudity without intercourse? Doesn't exist.

I don't need to see it. (Not that I'd object, but this isn't about me being a pervert for once.) But I would think that two shows as smartly-written as Gilmore & Joan should be able to find a way to suggest that such "intermediate steps" DO exist. I mean if they can talk about full-on intercourse, why can't they talk about things that are safer, younger, more exploratory, with FEWER consequences.

I feel it's TERRIBLY irresponsible to teach kids and teens that there's no way to express themselves sexually, once they've gotten past a kiss, except by going all the way. By hitting home runs, by scoring, so to speak.

Look, when I was a teen, there was a LONG, LONG gap between my first kiss and my first time engaging in sexual intercourse. There was a pretty substantial gap between my first kiss with the girl that I would end up losing my virginity to and the actual act of losing said virginity. In fact, in every relationship I ever had, up to and including my wife, kissing was a prelude to touching, etc., which was in turn a prelude to "making love"... assuming the relationship lasted that long.

The frustrating truth is that I really like both Gilmore Girls and Joan of Arcadia. I even really liked the episodes that are currently annoying me. But I'm still waiting for someone to brave the taboo and bring back second and third base.

PROPS TO "THE WONDER YEARS" for the only example of Second Base on a Prime Time series that I recall. But what was that -- ten years ago? Has there been no progress since?



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