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MONDAY: We let the kids sleep relatively late, cuz we knew they'd want to stay up to the bitter end.
Then we all packed into Kellie's car for the Journey to Disney/MGM studios. We got our double stroller and lemonade and headed into the Studio. It's a cool looking place, but MAN IS IT HOT AND HUMID. They had those TOY STORY LITTLE GREEN SOLDIERS running around shooting grateful people with water cannons. I spent the entire day literally pouring water on my head to no avail. It was kinda brutal.
The kids spotted Hercules, Aladdin, Minnie, Belle and quite a few others, so we bought them autograph books and did <surprise, surprise> some standing in line.
Then we met up with Sara and a bunch of others at a cool diner (with great food -- much better than at Disneyland) that's themed to look like a sitcom house. Sort of. Still, at this point it was family time, so we sat down and ate without the gang. Then we arranged a meeting time for later and headed out on our own.
Little Mermaid show (using a fast pass). The Movie ride inside the Chinese Theater. The Mu Lan Parade. The Doug Live Show. Muppets 3-D. Etc. Then we met up with everyone and headed over to Fantasmic. The kids loved all of it. I had fun, but man the heat.
On the way out, we spotted the Morgans, and I thought it was too bad that we hadn't spent more time together as families, but I also get the feeling that they're more adventurous than us.
Anyway, Kellie drove us home. I called Thom and said good-bye, and we all crashed.
TO BE CONTINUED... "ON TUESDAY"...
Unfortunately, I don't have the next step to post. After the document I posted yesterday, we had Development Art Director Bob Kline (creator of the New Olympians) do some preliminary designs, just some inspirational stuff. Keep in mind, we were still thinking Gummi Bears. He drew nine cute little gargoyles, and I assigned Cindy and Kat to come up with short bios for each one.
You can see a bit of Brooklyn in Nick (though his picture looked more like Lex).
There's a bit of Lex in Campbell and Lassie.
Georgette is a precursor to Dakota, who was in turn the precursor to Demona.
Ralph Fullmoon (teamed with his clearly "Honeymooners"-inspired Alice) was the precursor to the couch potato Ralph that eventually became Hudson.
And Isa Dora is a clear precursor to Coco, who led us to Broadway. So the beginnings are here. And I didn't write any of it. (Thanks, Kat & Cindy!)
APR 08 1991
GREG WEISMAN'S OFFICE
GARGOYLES: LIST OF CHARACTERS
(based on some sketches by Bob Kline)
from Cindy and Kat 4/5/91
NICK: [Greg's hand-written note in margin: Are Names too common?] This Bill Murray type is the leader of the goyles. real name is Melvin but he changed it. Nick's quick to come up with a plan---Unfortunately, his plans rarely work. Above all (gargoyles usually are) Nick loves women. Indiscriminately. However, his best lines solicit responses such as "You're not my type - of species" and "Come back when you've worked your way up the food chain."
CAMBELL: This guy is good-natured, curious and big-time naive. He looks at the modern world like a tourist, complete with camera. Subsequently no adventure is complete until he has a souvenir. He's an avid collector of everything, which comes in handy if you have time to sort through his mess of a collection. He's fascinated by the modern world. Read: easily sidetracked.
PAN DORA: The smaller of the adorable Dora sisters, Pan Dora is a pathological liar. And she's almost cute enough to pull it off. Almost being the operative word. She's as sweet as can be, but her first inclination in any situation is to lie. She takes pleasure in testing the limits of human gullibilty. Her motto is "If at first you don't succeed, lie, lie again." She rarely succeeds. Which explains why the goyles' give a collective groan when Pan Dora says, "Let me handle this."
ISA DORA: The larger of the adorable Dora sisters, Isa Dora loves to dance. Think hippo from Fantasia. But Isa Dora sings, too. She's lovable and frenetic, which makes for a dangerous hug. (We also have an alternate male version.)
ALICE FULLMOON: Think Gracie Allen--ditzy but self-assured. Alice gets into a lot of trouble, but always comes out on top. She's the eternal optimist. Which makes her the perfect contrast to...
RALPH FULLMOON: Think Al Bundy but with worse luck.
Nothing ever goes right for Ralph. Even his practical jokes backfire. In short, he's not thrilled to be awake.
GEORGETTE: Although Nick likes all women, held really like to turn to stone with Georgette. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) But she has more important things on her mind. Like keeping the goyles out of danger. Georgette is not only great with a comeback, she's fearless. She's a female Indiana Jones with scales. She should be the leader, but for some reason nobody listens to her until Nick's plan fails.
TROUBLE: As in "Here comes." If Matt Dillon was a gargoyle ... well, let's just say this is the kind of guy that gives gargoyles a bad name. Basically, he's from the wrong side of the tracks. He's a loner. He's quick to point out that trouble's not his middle name--it's his first name! He thinks the other goyles are really stupid and uncool, which makes him a good candidate for the nephew's sidekick. However, he's about as loyal as a parasite. He only looks out for himself, and when the going gets tough, he doesn't get going. He's gone.
LASSIE: Another candidate for the nephew's sidekick, Lassie is nothing like his name suggests. He continually misinterprets situations and attacks the wrong people at the wrong time. Plus he's easily distracted. We're talking the attention span of Kim Basinger. It's a wonder he found his way onto this page. He gladly accepts any mission, but only as an excuse to get out of the house. The villains try to spell out his instructions, but you can't teach a crazy gargoyle new tricks.
DUMB JOCK TYPE: All talk, really cowardly.
PIGLET TYPE: Very nervous.
STEVEN WRIGHT TYPE: Extremely zoned out. Never really woke up. (We need art.)
I really was beginning to think I'd never get to the end of July...
But I made it.
I'm less than one month behind.
Unfortunately, I'm about to leave town for a week and I don't know if I'll have net access where I'm going, so I'm bound to fall behind again. But at least we got this far...
SUNDAY - Got up and gave my little panel/Q&A on writing for TV Animation. Like a mini-mini-mini-version of the TWENTY WEEK class I teach through UCLA extension. (How come more of you don't take that, huh?) Anyway, it was kinda fun, and as usual, I would have kept talking forever if we hadn't had to clear the room for the auction and signing.
Thom had the time wrong and was late, but he got there eventually, and he and I and Greg G. and Vic signed stuff, while we marveled at the auction. $805 for the storyboard. $95 for the script. It makes me proud. (And sorta grumbly that I have no financial interest in GARGOYLES. Oh, well.) We raised a lot of money. You guys are all terrific. Later I re-signed the script for Lanny to personalize it. Least I could do, after $95 and four consecutive Gathering attendances.
I attended part of Greg Guler's character design session. It was very interesting. He's a good speaker. Made me sorry I missed Thom's acting session, and Vic's storyboard session. I like this stuff.
Somewhere in here, Thom and I did another Q&A. I can't remember exactly when. But it was fun. And then we screened the first two episodes of 3x3 EYES, which featured Brigitte Bako and Christian Campbell with guest appearances by Thom, myself and Keith -- in a very startling roll. I think the eps went over very well. We got a lot of roars for the Garg in-jokes I slipped in there. (But I knew that would happen. I was preaching to the converted.)
Then it was dinner time. I went back to collect my family, but Benny had passed out after another hot day of swimming and running around. So I offered to stay with him and let Beth take Erin to dinner. But she let me go so that Erin could spend some time with me. So Erin and I departed with Thom, Jen, Mitch, Kenna, the Morgans, Kathy and Patrick and Alan, I think. (As usual, I'm probably forgetting someone, sorry.) It was a very long hike to RED LOBSTER. Then I thought they'd never be able to seat us, but low and behold they did after not TOO long a wait. Jen and Erin and Kenna taught each other sign language. ERin and Becca played with a kind of sticker puzzle. And the food was great. But then service was very slow, and it soon became clear that we were going to be late to the Closing Ceremonies. We tried cell phones, but no one's worked. Finally, we forced Thom, since it was all his fault to run on ahead, as those of us with kids weren't gonna do much running at all. We hiked the long way back. And finally got there. WAY LATE.
But Closing Ceremonies were a blast. Everyone was so hyped. I made another pitch for G2001. Lots of cheers for G2K's staff. More awards. It was great.
Eventually, things calmed down a bit, and we showed two more episodes of 3x3. Bill F. was in these. They also went over pretty well. "Wu" "Wu".
When it was over, Jen, Thom, Kathy and I tried to go swimming, since we hadn't had time to get in the pool all con long. But predictably, the hotel told us it was too late. So we headed back to Patrick's room for a while. Then I took off to rejoin my family.
It was time to be a dad again. Next stop: DISNEYWORLD
To be continued... on "MONDAY"...
Continuing to reprint old documents from the development file. This one doesn't have a name attached, but I'd guess it was written by Kat Fair. The document consists of notes taken during a Development Staff Meeting where Gargoyles, among other projects, was discussed:
GARGOYLES: Staff meeting 3/20/91
Gargoyles will be both male and female. Debate as to how many (3-6).
Gargoyles turn to stone when asleep. Many funny gag opportunities when fall asleep at inconvenient times. Also, gives them an Achilles' heel. Hard to wake up (Discover what does wake them up.)
Gargoyles' motivations are:
1. To wake up other gargoyles;
2. Beware of sorcerer who put them to sleep for 1000 years;
3. To party!!!!! (not necessarily in that order.)
Living off of enormous family wealth from great-great-great-great uncle sorcerer; has blood line of bad guys, but has never quite matched up to sorcerer, whom he admires. Accidentally recalls sorcerer. Lives in Trump Tower with sorcerer's old castle on top. Should be some family resemblance between sorcerer and nephew.
Browbeats nephew continually for thinking small in his evil deeds, and drives him on to carry out his own grandiose schemes. Not happy when learns that gargoyles are around and active, knowing how pesky they can be in foiling his plans. He's a ghost-like/Wizard of Oz-like image that the nephew can call up - and shut off.
Not decided if this character should be a sarcastic scientific experiment gone bad, a smart-mouthed robot invented by nephew and animated by sorcerer, or if necessary at all.
Guardian for gargoyles. She oversaw bringing the castle to the Tower. Gargoyles bring fun into her staid and safe life. Discussed danger of making her as focused as Gadget. Also, discussed possiblity of her having younger sister and/or daughter who will also get involved with gargoyles for smaller stories. (FYI: Julia Morgan was the name of the architect who worked with Hearst on San Simeon.)
Counterpart princess guardian to female curator. (Idea type this: Maybe gargoyles were put to sleep for 1000 years while deflecting sorcerer's curse from princess.)
Start in past and move to future, or remain in past, leaving ending wide open for sequel/TV series.
You'll notice the early stirrings of the Elisa character in the Curator. And now I remember where we got the name "Morgan" from, which was one of Elisa's early monikers. You can also see the early comic Xavier/Xanatos in the Nephew character. And the Mr. Owen aardvark sidekick. Also the basic structure of starting in the past and waking in the present after a curse. Plus, already, we had the castle atop the skyscraper idea.
SATURDAY - And things were in full swing. It was a day largely dedicated to the radio play for me, Thom and Jen. We held more auditions. Again, with a mediocre turnout. (Hope this isn't the start of a trend. Do you guys still like the radio plays, or has it gotten old hat by now?)
Then Jen, Thom and I grabbed some food at the snack shop and cast the thing. Thom and I agreed that Jen was the best choice for the female lead. I was nervous about conflicts of interest, but what the hell, we just wanted the best possible show.
We posted the list. I went to get the BIG BOX OF SCRIPTS (which had been SUCH a pain to ship to Florida). And then we convened to rehearse. First problem, someone we cast didn't show. Didn't see her again for the entire convention. Wondered what happened. At first we figured she'd be there any minute, so we didn't recast. By the time we realized that she probably wouldn't be showing up at all, we figured it was too late to bring in one of the other people who had auditioned. There wasn't time to bring them up to speed. So we forced Jesse to play two parts. She did great.
Then we took a short break. I went to my room to get some water. Came back and had MORE trouble finding everyone to shove them into our "Green Room". Wanderer and Anne went off to grab a meal. They came back way late. THANKS. :) Anyway, the show got started and it went very well, I think.
Then we had another break, and I finally took some time to walk through the absolutely AMAZING art room. Stopped by the dealer's room too. Played with my kids. (I had been absent dad, so far that weekend.) And we all endured the delays caused by the blackout. Finally, dinner got started by candlelight. I shared a table with my family, Ashlee, A Fan, and a couple of other people (again, I apologize for forgetting.) We held the trivia contest. I was pleased that I knew most of the answers. Ashlee knew some that I didn't quite remember, but she wasn't always confident enough to make the rest of the gang listen. I hope she gets over that fast. Then Greg, Vic, Thom and I got up to do our Q&A, which was fun.
And there was another break, while people got costumed. Erin and Ben came as Fox and Xanatos from the Judo workout scene in "Outfoxed". (They wore their actual karate uniforms. And Jen, I think, helped them by painting a Fox tatoo on Erin and a mustache and goatee on Ben. Ben quickly tired of his facial hair however, and had his mom wash it off before the contest began.) Becca was an amazing Bronx. We sorta rushed the juvenal division of the contest into play, since it was getting pretty late for the kids. Tom, Greg, Vic and I declared it a tie between Becca and Erin&Ben. But I later went up to Christine and admitted that Becca should have won hands down.
Then the four of us sat down to judge the contest. It was terrific. Vic kept turning to me and asking "Was that character in the show?" No. No. No. Oh, wait, yes. No. No. No. Mostly.
Tim Morgan was a terrific Owen. But the freaky thing was, that without his mustache and with his hair died blond, he really looked A LOT like my college roommate from senior year, Cameron Douglas. And Aaron has always looked like a long-haired version of my junior year roommate Tom McMinn. So I had a picture taken with the three of us.
There were a ton of great costumes. We gave the big prize to Dreamie, who had real working wings. (I half expected her to glide off on them any second.) Of course, we just had to give a prize to Patrick "Chavez" Toman. The guys wanted "Most Disturbing", which I was fine with, but I wanted to also call it "The Gorebash Memorial Award". They didn't get that, but I insisted. Both designations got a big laugh.
After the contest, I hung around. Seth grabbed me and stuck me on ICQ for a couple minutes, and I gave some people a hard time for not being at the con. I also talked with a whole bunch of (mostly) new faces who asked a lot of questions, while Jen and Kelly and a few other people were, like, doing backflips on the dance floor.
Eventually, a few of us went back to Patrick and Kathy's room and hung out for a bit. Finally, I called it a night.
To be continued... ON "SUNDAY"...
FRIDAY - We ordered room service from the hotel, which was good. Then I left the kids with Beth to head over to the con for early auditions. Things were just getting started. Fairly organized chaos. It took awhile for Thom and Jen and I to gather and get started. And when we did....
Well, not too many people auditioned. I think we only had seven or eight that first day. That wasn't TOO surprising. Not everyone was there yet. We were only holding the early auditions to give us a hedge against being flooded with people on Saturday. We needn't have worried. We had a much lower audtion turnout this year than the last two. (I'm not sure why.) Even with me giving a number of the male roles to females, we still had to use EVERY male who auditioned. And nearly every female.
Anyway, with that over, I went to join my family in the pool. But they had spent the morning swimming and were just getting out. Our goal was to attend the ice cream social, but we wanted the kids to eat something vaguely healthy first, so we "repackaged" them and walked to Denny's. It took MUCH, MUCH longer than we thought it would. By the time we got back and located the Ice Cream Social, the Ice Cream had melted and nearly everyone was gone. Oh, well.
We went back to the room to kick back until opening ceremonies.
Opening Ceremonies was fun. Sara intro'd many, many people. Chris and Hudson discussed their very interesting ideas about organizing Gargoyle Fandom. Jen and I talked about G2001. Thom said hello. I introduced my family, though by this time my kids had largely lost interest and were playing with Becca Morgan in the corner.
Then I got up to do my standard schpiel. As I mentioned there, most of the attendees know it so well, they can practically recite it back to me as if it were the Rocky Horror Picture Show or something. But I showed the original GARGOYLES sales pitch. The "Power of One/Glory" Better-Than-Barney Promo. A "new" promo, i.e. one that I hadn't shown before, hosted by Jonathan Frakes. The pitches for New Olympians and Dark Ages. And the Story Reel for Bad Guys. As usual, despite the familiarity, everyone seemed pretty enthused to see this stuff again.
We had a quick G2001 staff meeting after opening ceremonies. It went well. We all got pretty excited about what we have planned for that.
I quickly slipped back to my room to exchange video tapes. Came back with SEVEN episodes of STARSHIP TROOPERS (aka ROUGHNECKS) and showed those, explaining what had gone on in the series leading up to these episodes, between them and after them. It was kinda fun, but we barely made it out of the room before the Hotel was ready to kick us out.
Then another group of twelve or so of us, including Kenna, Jen, Amy, Alison and others headed back to Denny's. We ate a bit. Laughed a lot. And headed back to the hotel...
The con was just getting under way. TO BE CONTINUED... ON "SATURDAY"...
Continuing to post old documents from the series' early development. This is new stuff to you -- and we can thank Jordan Mann for transcribing it. The date is iffy. There's no actual date on the page, but I know this memo comes before the next one, which is dated 3-20-91.
I didn't write this. These notes were written up by one of the development associates who worked with me. Probably Kat Fair (now at Nickelodeon) who's mentioned making her comments. The Gary referred to was my boss Gary Krisel:
LUNCH W/ GARY RE: GARGOYLES:
Beauty and Beast
Science experiment gone wrong
talisman, magic rain, lightening
Look into mythology, keep as much as possible Gary not comfortable with long past history.
Greg: Ancient enemy now 3-piece suit, turned gargoyles into stone
Who is enemy and what is purpose of gargoyles? To help caretaker against her enemies, against their enemies? What is enemy trying to do? Gain power? Gain money? Take over earth to what purpose?
Any gremlin-like qualities? Get bigger when fed, multiply when wet, etc.?
KAT: Gargoyles turned to human by lucky accident when scientist (nerd female) fell asleep and knocked over vials during a lovely dream, or let something overheat and boil over. (It was this happiness and positive feelings that infused the liquids and affected/infected the 'goyles.) Scientist works for evil 3piece/ex-mage who always has her working on new projects he comes up with. Scientist (at first) goes along with these orders because he's the boss. Eventually scientist sees that what boss wants is bad, and works to thwart him at every turn (with the help of the 'goyles.
Gargoyles have been stone for hundreds of years, are now so thrilled to be alive they're goofy, joyous. Always see the positive side to the point of ridiculousness. Just love life and play, because they know that if you don't play you turn to stone - and that's what they're trying to show scientist. Goyles are more human than the human scientist.
THURSDAY - We got lucky in that both Benny & Erin no longer need car seats. They can use these seatbelt adapters, which are a heck of a lot easier to carry around. This may seem like a weird way to start my diary, but let me tell you, it changed the whole tenor of the trip for the better.
We arrived at the airport, checked our bags at the curb and proceeded to our gate, already aware that the flight was going to depart (at least) an hour late. Thom was already there. He had done the same. But we were also flying with Jen Anderson, and she was no where in sight, not even after the time when the flight should have been leaving. We got worried. While Beth took Erin and Ben to McDonalds, Thom and I called Jen on her cell phone. She had brought her bags inside and was attempting to check in at the immense line at the ticket counter downstairs. We told her to go back outside to check her bags and come up to the gate, but she insisted that she was already most of the way through the line. Turns out they wouldn't check her in, and nearly wouldn't check her bags. By the time she got upstairs, the flight was already WAY OVERBOOKED. She couldn't get on. We all felt horrible, but there wasn't anything we could do. We boarded and figured she'd get to Florida some day.
Oh, we of little faith. As I understand it, she claimed to everyone who was in range that Thom was her husband and that they were getting married on Friday. She started to cry. Everyone let her on board. She wasn't able to sit with us, but she was on the plane. Never underestimate that woman.
Anyway, the flight was largely uneventful, which is good when you have kids. They were great. The movie was "Where the Heart Is" or something like that. I was reading "Reinventing Comics" with the earphones on, but not really paying attention. Suddenly, I heard Goliath's voice. I looked up, and sure enough Keith David was on screen. I hadn't even known he was in that movie. I considered it a good omen.
When we arrived in Orlando it was pouring rain. Sara, Kellie and Heather were there to meet us. The Weismans piled into Kellie's car, and she took us to the hotel. O.K., so it was more of a motel than a hotel, and the roof in one of our rooms leaked on occasion. But it didn't spoil my time one bit.
The kids were theoretically still on L.A. time, so we thought we'd take 'em out to dinner, but they didn't want to go, and neither Beth or I saw any point in having two cranky kids along. So Beth, for the first of many times that weekend, stayed with them, so that I could head out with you guys for some dinner.
But first, Thom and I did some grocery and donut shopping for Beth and the kids.
Then about fifteen of us took off for Denny's. But they couldn't seat us in Non-Smoking, so we crossed the street and ate at IHOP. I sat with Becca and Christine and Jen. Tim was there. Thom. Lanny and Derrick. Sara. Heather Rice. Alan? Brooklyn? Oh, hell, I'm forgetting people, which is going to be a curse of this diary. I wasn't taking notes. EVERYONE please accept my apologies in advance. Please.
Anyway, I had an International Passport Breakfast with Swedish Pancakes and hashbrowns. It was great to see everyone again, and I met a couple of knew people. And I was immediately on cloud nine.
After dinner, we headed back to the hotel...
I watched some tv in my underwear. And waited for the festivities to begin...
MORE TO COME ON "FRIDAY"...
Continuing my chronological reposting of all the early Gargoyles Development Documents. As you can see here, it's still just a notion... but all good things have to start somewhere:
They've been sleeping for a long time. It's been cramped, damp and uncomfortable up on those buildings. Now, it's time to wake up and PARTY!!!!!!!!
Gargoyles asleep for a thousand years.
Awaken in modern times.
They're the good guys.
We're working on villain.
Opportunity for a lot of broad cartoony, fun characters.
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