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Design work memo...

The following is a memo I sent to Walt Disney Japan. They sent us character designs (based on inspirational work by Greg Guler and Dave Schwartz) on Goliath, Lex, Broadway and Brooklyn by at least five different designers. (Maybe more, I can't remember.) We immediately liked designer E (Kazuyoshi Takeuchi) and he eventually became the lead character designer for the series' first season.

I know what follows may be a tad frustrating since it refers to art you can't see. But I thought you might be interested anyway.

To: Motoyoshi Tokunaga 7-21-93

From: Greg Weisman

Re: GARGOYLES DESIGN WORK

Dear Mr. Tokunaga,

We were very excited to receive the preliminary design work on the four major gargoyle characters. Designer "E" seemed to come the closest to capturing our vision of the series. His or her work impressed us, but begs the question whether or not you believe we could effectively animate designs that are this complex?

If the answer is yes, we'd like to see Designer "E" continue his development of the characters, focusing particularly on heads, faces and wing design. As a secondary concern, we might attempt line drawings, turnarounds and even some color.

Gary and Lenora have asked me to gather together a few notes, thoughts and suggestions for you. So here goes...

GOLIATH
E-1, E-3. A major concern for all of us is figuring out how the wings attach to the gargoyles' backs so that there is a real feeling of believable musculature. How does it look from the rear, for example, when we can't hide where they attach behind a shoulder blade?

E-3, E-4. When the wings are spread, and particularly when they are in flight, we probably want to cheat them larger, so they fill the screen except from an extreme distance. We really need to believe they are large enough to carry his weight.

E-3. We like the dramatic posing on all the shots. But in E-3, he looks satanic rather than heroic. Occasionally, we'd like to see a more classically heroic pose. We want to make sure that Goliath and the others don't look consistently demonic.

E-5. It's lovely how the wings are draped here.

E-2, E-5, E-6. This is a great start in terms of facial expressions. We'd like to see more of them...a greater range of expressions. Intelligent. Laughing. Pensive. Wry. Perplexed. Noble. Mildly amused. Etc.

Gary also has some concerns about the head's design. He wants to make sure that the head or face does not lose its "depth"; (meaning "depth" as a measurement like "width" or "height", not "depth" as a personality trait). I'm not sure I see this problem myself, but I might suggest keeping the ears back, the jawline long and the jaw square.

E-3, E-5. We want to make sure that the hair on his head has mass, but falls like hair, and doesn't look like a removable helmet. The key here might be in the way it is layered.

I've included some old designs done by one of our artists last year. They should give you some ideas on color, simplicity, etc. Don't feel bound by them. I've numbered them for discussion, Disney-1, Disney-2, etc.

In Disney-1, Gary felt very comfortable with the simplicity of the lines and design of the body. But he did not like the head, again feeling it did not have enough depth.

It's also important to set the balance between the animalistic and human in all of these characters. Some of the "Disney" drawings may be too human in the face. And there's a nice animalistic quality about some of the "E" drawings. But we need to be careful we're not losing Goliath's nobility either. We need to strike a balance.

Disney-1 gives an example of the classically heroic pose that we will need on occasion.

Disney-1 also serves to illustrate how we'd like the hair to fall.

Other questions raised by Disney-1, include whether or not Goliath looks broad enough in chest and shoulders?

Also, whether he should have Disney-1's high weight-lifter's belt around his stomach, or whether we should lower it to his waist as in Disney-4?

Disney-4 also illustrates a head shape that may have the depth that Gary's looking for.

Also, notice the arm hair in Disney-1. It's always been a bit problematic, a bit stiff. But we think it might add something in color. Helps break up the design a bit. But we're not sure if it's worth it. It might be something for all of you to experiment with.

Disney-5 helps illustrate how the length of Goliath's wings will constantly be cheated to suit the situation or pose. But they should always give the illusion that if they were spread out to full size, the wing-span would be fairly enormous.

BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON & BROADWAY
E-7, E-9, E-10. We have similar concerns for Brooklyn & Broadway, regarding wing construction, attachment and musculature.

E-8. Lexington's glider-wings in the down-shot seem to be coming out of his stomach and the bottoms of his arms. We prefer how it looks in the up-shot, where they are webbed between his back and the tops of his arms. I like how the wings are attached to both sets of arms, not just the upper arms as in our original designs. A big improvement.

E-7, E-8, E-9. As for faces, Gary is concerned about animating emotions and expressions when we don't have pupils in their eyes. We discussed the possibility that they normally have pupils, but that when they are in battle, their eyes glow solidly. Again we'd like to see a range of expressions. Particularly because it is so easy for the trio (Lexington especially) to look demonic, we'd like to see some softer, gentler expressions.

E-10. We're also interested in the trio's scale relative to Goliath. Goliath should still be the biggest of them by some visible amount.

Thanks again for all your efforts. Good luck on the next go 'round.

cc: Bruce Cranston, Barbara Ferro, Lenora Hume, Gary Krisel, Paul Lacy, Tom Ruzicka, Dave Schwartz.


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An old memo...

It's been awhile, but I'd like to try and continue to post old memos and such from my development file.

This is where we left off in July of 1993...

[2] From: Bruce Cranston 7/16/93 10:57AM (801 bytes: 10 ln)

To: Suzanne Prescott
cc: Greg Weisman, Paul Lacy, Adrienne Bello

Subject: CYBERCORP.

------------------------------- Message Contents -------------------------------

In our outline for the Gargoyle's pilot, we refer to a fictional robotics company named CYBERCORP. Adrienne suggested that I have you check that there's no real company by that name. They aren't bad guys or anything. The bad guys steal something from them. But I guess we should check. Does it cost money to check7

It isn't necessary to check it at this point, especially if the clearance fee is more than $100.00 or so.
Please just remember to do a check once we get the go-ahead to production.


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Chapter XXXIX: "Kingdom"

Time to get back to rambling...

Well, we've had our adventure in Avalon and made a couple stops on what I knew was going to be a long trip. Time to check in on the home front.

Only trouble is, as these things originally aired, this one actually didn't manage to get broadcast right here. It just wasn't ready in time, and we had enough trouble airing reruns without holding up episodes that were ready to go just because this one wasn't. And besides it was all part of Tier Four. So we couldn't justify waiting for it.

Still. Out of the 66 eps I was involved in, only two aired out of order. "The Price" aired too soon. "Kingdom" aired too late.

Hope it didn't screw too much with your sense of continuity.

Oh, by the way, Kingdom was

Directed by Bob Kline
Story Edited by Gary Sperling
Written By Marty Isenberg & Robert Skir

KINGDOM (BROOKLYN & TALON)

The title, I believe, was another one of my one word 'theme' titles. It refers, of course, to the newly established kingdom of the Labyrinth and who and how it will be ruled. Can any organization exist without leadership? Or will a power vacuum by nature be filled by something, positive or negative?

We have in this show two reluctant leaders. Brooklyn and Talon. Ironically, Talon seems to have no problem asserting himself to lead -- especially among the Gargoyles in the void of Brooklyn's unleadership. He wants the authoritiy of leadership without the responsiblilty that comes with actually having the title.

Brooklyn feels a burden of leadership that's two-fold. On the one hand, he feels like acknowledging his role as leader is a betrayal of Goliath. Like he's giving up on finding his older brother. On the other hand, he feels intimidated by trying to fill Goliath's shoes (assuming Goliath wore shoes).

He's specializing in 'avoidance' or as Kent Brockman would say, "Avoision".

"Why are you looking at me?"
"Perfect."
"Stop asking me that. I don't know."

Everyone else is actually working on the missing Goliath/Bronx/Elisa problem. Brooklyn isn't even doing that, because any action risks being misinterpreted as leadership.

HUDSON

So throughout, Hudson uses psychology to gently nudge Brooklyn into the right mental space.

Guess he'll go to the Labyrinth to ask Elisa's brother if he's seen her. Might see Maggie there....

Suddenly Brooklyn is volunteering. For the wrong reasons, of course, but Hudson has at least gotten him started. Moved him from active to passive.

CAGNEY

Is fun in this. Didn't want to leave the poor cat alone for months now, did we? I like how Broadway and Hudson care for him. How the cat reacts, sleeping on Hudson's head, when Hudson wakes up. How he reacts to Maggie the (other) Cat. How Hudson, quietly admits just how much he loves Bronx in Cagney's presence.

AL, CHAS and ?

I like these guys. They're well characterized in just a few little bits.

Al's the homeless guy that Fang harrasses. Chas and his buddy (who's name I didn't catch this time through -- though I know I have it written down at the office) are Fang's cronies.

Jeff Bennett (as Chas' buddy) is very funny describing their discovery to Fang.

There's a brief moment at the end, where it looks like Lex and BW might be smashing these two guys heads in with rocks. But we pull back and see they're really smashing the guns. I don't think we'd get away with even the tease of that in the current S&P atmosphere.

I wonder where they went after Talon chased them out. Can't help thinking they were naturals to join the Quarrymen.

And how's Al doing?

FANG & CLAW

I love Belushi as Fang. (He's got a great growl that's a sound effect, but it works great with Belushi's stuff.) My wife Beth thought Jim was too over the top. But I think he's hilarious.

He's got a bunch of great lines:

"...Flying bug zappers."
"Now wouldn't that be a crying shame."
"Open the door, Fang. Protect the weak, Fang."
"There's a new Sheriff in town."
"Ahhh, mannn...."
"Mutate humor."

Talon: "You and what army?"

Fang: "This army, pal. And you're our first prisoner of war." (Though technically Talon is the second, since Maggie's already trapped in the gun chamber.)

My nearly eight-year-old-daughter Erin asked, "Is he greedy or jealous?" Both, probably.

And he is bright enought to trick Talon.

And Claw is just a love. Charming in his silence. He really comes into his own in this ep, you know?

Incidentally, this year "Kingdom" made the fan's top ten favorite episodes, alongside such others as: "Hunter's Moon, Parts One, Two and Three," "The Mirror," "Future Tense," and others.

I was a bit surprised. Most of the other ten look a hell of a lot better than this one. It's a tribute to Brooklyn's popularity probably, but also, I think to Claw.

There's great fun throughout with that darn key card. Fang trying to bust into the gun chamber initially. Being so frustrated, and Claw just lowering the card in front of him.

"Give me that!" Fang says and grabs it.

Later, after Maggie's escaped, and Fang regains consciousness to find out what happened, Claw does his intentionally indecipherable pantomime schtick. And Fang simply repeats: "Give me that!"

MATT

The scene with Broadway and Matt is oddly animated. Looks briefly like it's from some other show. But there's something strangely cool about the animation, even though it's off.

MAGGIE

Erin said, "I like Maggie. She's very..." But she didn't complete the sentence. Even with prompting from both Beth and myself. She just liked her, I guess.

Maggie begs Claw to let her out. So that she can join the fight? No. So that she can get help. That's Maggie's version of bravery. And I'm not knocking it. Frankly, it's what we teach our kids. You don't teach them to enter dangerous situations. You teach them to go get help. Dial 911. Maggie will never be a warrior, though she has the power for it. It's just not who she is. Normally, that might bug me. But this was a show with so many strong warrior female types, that I liked having the variety.

But this episode doesn't happen to have any of those strong female types like Elisa or Angela or Fox or even Demona. Did it bother anyone that Maggie was the only woman depicted and that she never participated in battle?

Maggie does get to shine in an area that comes more natural to her. Acting. She figures out at the end what Brooklyn is up to, and then performs her heart out to keep Fang in the dark, as she releases Derek. Well, I've always said she came from Ohio to make it in NYC as an actress...

She and Talon are now even more firmly established as a couple. Even in Brooklyn's mind. Finally, he adjusts and moves on.

XANATOS & OWEN

Hey, how about that new security system, installed as a result of Thailog's 'kidnapping' in Double Jep. Doesn't it... SUCK??!!!!!

The cannons do WAY more damage to X's castle than to anyone or anything else. And I also felt like we had done this before at Mac's place in Lighthouse and the Price.

So this is just weak. A failure on our part to come up with something stronger, more original, etc. We needed some action around now. But I still wish we had cracked this better.

There are some fun moments, if not always for the right reasons...

There's a comedy WAY off-model Broadway riding the exploding cannon.

There's a couple gargs falling through X's ceiling.

And it leads into a fun scene...

Owen's stone fist use (though a great idea) is actually a touch feeble, but X is in rare form...

Xanatos: "Do I really need an excuse to have a good time in my own home?"

And Xanatos: "A man has to make a living."

And Xanatos again: "I wasn't aware I needed permission."

Of course, on my tape that effect is spoiled when he suddenly goes cross-eyed. I'm hoping that's a retake that got corrected after the first airing.

BROOKLYN

Finally, after the debacle at X's place (which winds up being less of a debacle since we never figured out an episode that would show how X would take advantage of the info he learned) and after Maggie's plea for help (Brook could never resist a damsel in distress), Brooklyn finally takes up the role of Leader. Reluctantly.

Brooklyn: "This has nothing to do with what I want."

Hud: "Is that an order then."
Brook: "Yeah, I guess it is." Then look at him right there. That's a hero, am I right?

And Erin says, "Funny. All the leaders have long hair."

Hmmmm....

And so Brooklyn can't avoid leadership...

"Yeah, try as I might."

And he and Talon shake hands, as both accept the roles destiny has thrusted upon them. It looks good on them.

And that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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3x3 Eyes TV Premiere

FYI

I've been told that at midnight tonight (Friday 7/12/02 -- or more accurately Saturday 'morning' 7/13) the English dub of the anime series 3x3 Eyes that I voice directed will be airing on Encore (a.k.a. the Action Channel).


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GATHERING 2002 RAMBLE: TUESDAY

Got to sleep a touch later. Went down to the lobby and turned in my key. Kess and Arno drove Kathy and I to the airport. (Thanks guys!)

We had some Burger King.

Had a bit of a wait for our flight.

Then we flew to Atlanta -- I think I slept most of the way -- where I said good-bye to Kathy.

Then I had a layover waiting for my L.A. flight.

Ate some more, of course. Jambalaya, I think. And a candy bar.

Got on the plane. The movie was "The Rookie". I'd already seen it, and though I liked it, I figured I didn't need to pay $5 to see it again, so I read mostly. Finished a Hillerman mystery and started reading a biography of Queen Henrietta.

Got to LAX. Got home. Hugged my wife and kids and distributed much booty.

A great trip!!!

Thanks, all of you!!!


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GATHERING 2003 RAMBLE: MONDAY

I was probably operating on about eight hours sleep for the whole con going into Busch Gardens, which may explain what comes later.

Anyway, we all met in the hotel lobby and divided up cars. I went with Kathy, Lanny and Derek and the four of us pretty much stuck together for the entire day, with many other people entering and exiting and meeting back up and dividing off, etc.

We got to the park, and Sara and Kelly Fay joined us for muffins (or an Apple Strudel in my case) before we headed to our first rides. Kathy and I rode the Loch Ness Monster.

Everyone but Kelly (who had a cold) rode the Pompeii thing. This had WAY too much actual fire and gasoline for my tastes. We all got a bit soaked. But on the next water ride, Kathy got absolutely drenched.

While she bought new clothes, I bought some souvenirs for the kids.

Mandy found us and we road some kind of autopiaesque thing.

It's all a bit of a blur, of course. But eventually we wound up meeting up with Denis, Jade, Abram, Sara B./Liz, Dreamie, Winterwolf, KWS and Tore for lunch at the barbecue place. I had some good babyback ribs and a lemonade. (The food of course, I remember clearly.)

Then we divided up again. Saw some eagles, birds, snakes, hawks.

Met up again, to see some Irish Dancing in a wonderfully air-conditioned theater. (I nearly dozed off waiting. Kinda wish I had, as the naplet might have helped me later.)

We went to see the wolves, which was neat. But also that was the one part of the day where we were just standing in the sun baking. I literally poured nearly an entire bottle of water over my head. And I was still frying. So we didn't wait for the actual wolf show.

Kathy and I rode the Big Bad Wolf Roller Coaster.

Jubes and Lanny and I rode some twirly thing.

I got a carmel apple at some point.

Etc.

DINNER. Italian. Pretty good food at this park. Eggplant parmesian. Breadsticks. Watermelon. Spaghetti with Meat sauce. All good. We listened to a brief Swing Band set. It was nice.

Kelly and Tore kept planning on leaving after just one more thing, but they wound up staying all night.

We all met up again to see the Cirque de Soleil-ish "Imaginique" show. I saw the beginning and the end. But I spent the middle fighting off a major doze. I shouldn't have fought. If I had just let myself go, I probably would have slept for five minutes and woke up to see the show. Instead I really have no memory of the middle of the show. And I understand it was stunning.

Oh, well.

Then came the embarrassing incident with the banana split in a waffle cone. The less said the better.

On our way out we saw a couple Clydesdales. I was blown away. I had never seen one in person before. I had no idea just how big they were. Nothing in the Bud commercials gives you an idea of the massive scale. Dinosaurs literally came to mind. Wow.

Finally we left the park. The day had been one long series of goodbyes. Jubes gave me a couple of Monsters, Inc. t-shirts for the kids, prizes for the junior art contest. (They loved them, btw. They really cleaned up this trip.)

Then the four of us returned to the hotel and I went upstairs and just crashed.


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GATHERING 2002 RAMBLE: Sunday

Dragged myself out of bed Sunday Morning for the Roughnecks/Starship Troopers Q&A. We got the VCR working, but not the DVD player, so I couldn't show any of the new "Homefront Arc" DVD (now available in stores) as planned. But I did show those funny, funky Troopers music videos. They're always good for a laugh or two.

The Troopers Q&A bled right into a Team Atlantis panel with Greg Guler and myself. Lots of explanation of what happened, what went wrong, etc. Funny AND Depressing, right?

Then that panel led right into a VOICE ACTING SEMINAR. I had some fun playing with the Demona audition side, but we read a scene from M.I.A. and I just couldn't seem to get my act or thoughts together. Maybe I was tired. I'll try to do better next time. (I think I missed Thom.)

Next came the Auction. Greg G. and I sat in the back occasionally autographing things while the auction went on. As usual the free-flowing bids astounded us both. All my Team Atlantis/Gargoyles materials sold to Carol & Zach for $300. The high bid was for one of Roy Sato's original drawings of Demona: $510, I think. Though the funniest bidding was Kaioto desperately paying something like $276 for Roy's Lex sketch for Lexy. (More on that later.)

I think I signed WAY less stuff this year than in any previous year. Obviously no one has anything left for me to sign. Some of the stuff I did sign made me feel guilty; it seemed to me I was clearly spoiling someone elses artwork with my scrawl.

Some poor fools even asked me to do one of my horrible sketches in their books.

I also got to talk to some people. Noel stopped by. Glad to hear you're feeling better. I got to talk to Karine and her beau Adam. (Siryn's beau is also an Adam. Is that like a new rule?) Karine drew a very fun sketch of me looking tired and besieged. I'll cop to the tired. But I was hardly besieged. (Karine and Sara Berkeley's drawings are now both on my daughter's bulletin board.)

My kids' art tied for first in the Junior Division, among stiff competition, I assure you.

Siryn purchased Erin's "Ocean Sirin" and Kelly C. bought Benny's "Erika". Half the money went to charity. Half went right into my kids' hot little hands when I got home on Tuesday. (Thanks Si. Thanks, Kelly. It meant a lot to them. As did those cool laminated nametags.)

After the auction, Greg Guler and Carol Wagner had to leave for the airport. So we all said goodbye. They both did great, don't you think?

Somewhere in there, I feel like I must have had some lunch, if for no other reason then I love eating. But I swear I can't remember where I ate or with whom. Might I actually have skipped a meal? Hmmmm.

Anyway, closing ceremonies. Greg and I had already decided to give the Thom Adcox Memorial Award to Kai. Sure his fiancée has one already, but we felt he deserved it for emptying his wallet for a Lexington drawing for his bride-to-be. Jubes and I were supposed to call Thom and run our choice by him before hand. But we forgot. So he can live with it.

Afterwards, a group of us (myself, Derek, Lanny, Mandy, Jen, Kyt, Kathy, Patrick, Karine and Adam) went to a restaurant called the Whaling Company for dinner. I had some great shrimp, clam chowder and trout and most of a phenomenal dessert. The most astounding thing may have been the way the restaurant volunteered to give EACH of us separate checks.

Next we drove in cars to Yorktown and hopped on a bus to get on a boat for a little river tour. I have to admit that by this time I was so so sleepy that I could barely keep my eyes open. Before I knew it we were getting off the boat and back on the bus to take a walking tour featuring ghost stories of Yorktown.

(Around here we met up with Sarah and her relatives. NOTE: there are a TON of Sara/Sarah/Zehras at this con, including Dreamie, Jubes, Liz, etc. I mean lots!!)

The ghost stories were mildly interesting, but the tour guide was really getting on my nerves by punctuating every tale with a very cheesy maniacal laugh that made everything she told us seem phony as hell.

There was a funny moment when she looked at Kyt (on a leash) and Jen and asked if we were part of a fraternity prank. Kathy said it was a family reunion, which was both funny and true enough.

Cooler than the stories were the deer and fireflys we saw. The latter really made me feel like I was in Pirates of the Carribean.

We skipped a last bus ride and walked back to our cars. Then drove back to the hotel.

We stopped by the Dead Dog Party at the Con Suite. But eventually a few of us (Zehra, Zach, Lanny, Derek, Kathy, myself, Jubes, Mandy, Jen & Patrick) ended up in Kathy & Mandy's room. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard. When Kathy asked Zach why he was blinking (meaning his pager -- but we all thought she meant his eyes) I couldn't even look at Zach (trying to analyze his own eye blinks) without falling out of my chair.

I've known Zach for years now. He's been to Gatherings and I've taught him in my Animation Writing Class -- twice! But I only really got to know him on this trip. He is a really funny guy.

I always get a second wind REALLY late at night, but I knew I'd be hurting in the morning, so when Lanny & Derek called it a night, I did the same. I'm not sure I was coherent enough to focus on saying a real goodbye to the people I wouldn't see the next day. Whoops? Sorry.

I collapsed, more or less, and went to sleep.

MORE TO COME...


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GATHERING 2002 RAMBLE: SATURDAY

[Already, my memory is blurring, so forgive me...]

I set my alarm Saturday Morning for 7:00am. Sometimes I turn over and wake up later. But I don't remember that. I remember turning off the alarm and getting up and the clock reading 8:00am. Like I was abducted by aliens for an hour or something.

Anyway, I got downstairs and Jen Anderson joined me for our second round of auditions. We had a lot of good people try out but unfortunately, this year's radio play had a very small cast.

Jen and I went up to my room to cast the show. This year we were doing an episode that I wrote for the now defunct Team Atlantis series. The biggest part was for Doctor Sweet, so we put that aside at first. Then nearly forgot to go back and cast it. I will say that Jen has great casting instincts. Better than mine I think. Anyway, between us, we wound up with a great group:

MILO THATCH - Gabriel
QUEEN KIDA - Siryn
DR. JOSHUA SWEET - Adam Leigh
MOLE - Zach Baker
VINNY - Lanny Fields
OBBY - Kythera
WHITMORE - Ed Ketcham
FIONA CANMORE - Zehra Q. Fazal
THE GORLOIS - Fern A. Wharton
FRENCH DOCTOR - Sara Hutchinson
MALE PEDESTRIAN - Erik Mambu
FEMALE PEDESTRIAN - Jen Anderson

We posted the cast list downstairs and then went next door to -- surprise, surprise -- a Pancake/Waffle House for lunch.

Came back and ran our rehearsal, which went fairly well. I never know how much direction to give. I feel vaguely incompetent, but we're all just in it for a good time, so I try not to sweat it too much. The rehearsal went smoothly and quickly, so we had a little time off. I went to my room to change and decompress for a bit.

Then it was back downstairs for the production. It went very well. Everyone was great, though I think special kudos should go to Adam for being a kick-ass Sweet. And too Lanny and Zach who made a seriously hilarious comedy team with their Vinny and Mole.

After the Radio Play had ended, I played the actual audio tape of the Team Atlantis Episode that I had voice directed, featuring the following cast...

MILO THATCH - James Taylor
QUEEN KIDA - Cree Summer
DR. JOSHUA SWEET - Phil Morris
MOLE - Corey Burton
VINNY - Don Novello
OBBY - Frank Welker
WHITMORE - John Mahoney
FIONA CANMORE - Sheena Easton
THE GORLOIS - Marina Sirtis
FRENCH DOCTOR - Frank Welker
PEDESTRIAN - Frank Welker

(Note: the reason I had two pedestrians instead of one in the Radio Play was so that I'd have both male and female understudies available. This goes back to Orlando, where one of the people I had cast didn't show up to the rehearsal or performance.)

Anyway, it was fun.

After that, I think Mandy, Jen, Patrick, Kathy and I went to McDonalds. I know I had a Quarter Pounder and an apple pie at some point that day.

Next came another Mug-A-Guest. I remember nothing. All a blur. Sorry.

Next came dinner. Greg Guler and I sat with JEB and Jack(?) and ate hot dogs, Mac & Cheese and another hamburger. I actually have a personal rule that I won't eat more than one hamburger a day. (Think about what kind of eater I am, that I require that rule.) And anyway, I broke the rule.

After eating, Greg G. and I did a Garg Q&A. Because of the two-tiered banquet space, I actually used a microphone for the first time in forever. Usually my voice carries. It was fun. Although I don't know if I covered anything new.

Banquet over, I retired to my room again. Called home. Relaxed. Then it was time for the costume ball. Greg and I exchanged name tags, so that I could come to the ball 'dressed' as Greg Guler, and he could come as Greg Weisman. (Unfortunately no one got the joke without us explaining it.)

The costume contest seemed shorter this year. Like fewer people entered. But there were some GREAT entries. Greg, Siryn and I were the judges.

Lynati's costume was just amazing!

Jen & Patrick won the Gorelisa Award for dressing as Xanatos and Fox respectively.

Aaron & Mara made fun of me and were rewarded for that.

Tony kissed me and got no prize. (Take note!)

Cutest Couple went to Kyt and Robb(?) who separately came as Puck and Owen. It just worked.

There were other cool costumes too.

After the contest, some people danced. Many asked me to dance, but I declined. Sorry. It's my natural introvertness taking over. (You guys don't see that, cuz I'm such a big mouth. Don't ask me to sing either though.)

I talked with a bunch of people. Demona May told me about a job offer she has. Lots of people stopped by to say hello.

Eventually, as usual, I happily found myself on one side of the room talking with a group of you all. It was nice and low-key, and is my favorite part of the con.

Later still, a few of us (me, Patrick, Kyt, Kathy, Zehra, Gabriel and Jen) headed up to Jen and Patrick's room for Pizza. We tried to freak out Zehra and Gabe with tales of Gatherings Past. Both of them were in last year's radio play, but I didn't really get to know them until this year. That usually happens. I'll meet someone, forget (sorry SpaceBabie), remeet, become acquainted. But there are so many people, it usually takes me two or three Gatherings to really get to know anyone. I'm not complaining. It makes every Gathering fun.

Anyway, finally, like close to fourish, I dragged myself back to my room. I even got to sleep eventually.


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GATHERING 2002 RAMBLE: FRIDAY

Well, I got a wake-up call from the hotel. Dragged myself out of bed (it was still pretty damn early in L.A.) I was brushing my teeth, when Kathy did her traditional WAKE-UP stop by to give me my badge.

After showering and clothing, I headed downstairs and scoped things out. Almost immediately I got some cool stuff. My G2002 t-shirt. An "I Surivived G2001" T-Shirt from that staff. A very cool drawing of Elisa as a little girl, sleeping with a plush Goliath, while kitten Cagney cuddles a plush Demona and plush Hudson, Bronx, Trio, Angela and Coldstone sit on a shelf. This was drawn by Sara Berkeley aka Liz, who gave it to me. It was nice to get to know Sara/Liz a bit. She did some great stuff in the art show. (As did many.) I just wished she had asked me if she could put the picture she gave me up in the show. I would have gladly said yes.

I also gave Erin and Benny's pictures to Kelly to put in the art show. She put cool name tags up for them. It all looked very official. I was sorry they didn't get to see it.

I had a Mug-A-Guest next. At first only one person had signed up for it, but we wound up with a decent room. Already, though I remember none of what was said. But I had fun.

Then a group of us snuck away to IHOP for lunch: Myself, Jen, Patrick, Kathy, Revel and Emambu. As usual I ate like a pig. I got the wrong kind of eggs, and so wound up getting two sets of eggs and bacon. Ate most of both too.

Came back to begin Auditions for the Radio Play. Jen Anderson was my casting associate, returning to the roll she held in '99 and '00. (Jordan Mann covered that duty in '98 and '01.) A bunch of great people auditioned. But this year's cast was very small. I knew we'd have to leave out quite a few good people for lack of parts.

With more auditions on Saturday though, we didn't have to make any decisions yet.

So next was a Q&A on the Disney Afternoon. I showed a clip from Talespin and a few clips from Bonkers. I used a dry-erase board to try and explain what we were trying to do when programming the Afternoon. Ran out of time before we got to too many actual Qs or As. My fault. I just really like the sound of my own voice. Sorry.

After that Q&A, I'm not sure what I did for the next hour. Can't remember. Might have relaxed in my room for a bit.

Then came Opening Ceremonies. Greg and I sat up front. Siryn intro'd everyone. Kelly read her cool fandom poem. GXB, Mara and Aaron pitched the G2003 con. Then, more or less, it was my turn.

I asked to see a show of hands of Con Virgins and was so stunned by the high percentage that I thought at first that the question had been misunderstood. It was also great to see how many returnees we had from one or more previous years. Including a handful that had been to every con (like me).

I was happy to have some good news to impart. The con has started to make an impression on Disney. Toon Disney donated boxes and boxes of shirts, sweatshirts and hats as free give-aways. I'm sure they were just sitting in a box somewhere, but they now know the con exists. We didn't solicit these shirts. They offered.

And the BIG news. Disney DVD is going to release at least one Gargoyle DVD in 2003. Not many more details yet. But it's a major step. With consistent good sales, I think it's fair to say that they will eventually release the entire series on DVD. And that could lead to other things as well. This is a huge piece of good news and a direct result of my having the cons to tell them about. I've said it before, but the Gatherings represent the best possible way to get Disney to take notice and bring the show back in some way, shape or form.

Anyway, after the announcements, I started my standard schpiel with the standard videos. I tossed in a rarely seen promo that's narrated by Jonathan Frakes. And I forgot to tell people not to audio or video tape the BAD GUYS reel. I hope everyone listened when I asked later to destroy any tapes including Bad Guys.

After Opening Ceremonies, Greg and I went to Patrick and Kathy's adult fiction panel. But we BOTH got the distinct impression that our presence was hampering conversation so we left.

We went up to the Con Suite where Lexy and Kai were throwing a little Chinese Food party to celebrate their coming nuptuals. Great food. And I had fun.

We left again to go back downstairs to sit in on a portion of Hudson and Chris' fandom panel. Most of it was tech stuff that went over my head. There was a discussion on plaigarism, so I stood up to say how easy it is to avoid plaigarism by simply giving credit where it was due, etc. Then Greg and I left, as things got more technical again.

We went back upstairs to the con suite.

Then eventually I headed back downstairs again for my LATE NIGHT MUG-A-GUEST. This was supposed to be for people 18 and over so we could have adult themed conversations. But I think only one vaguely adult topic was briefly raised. Anyway, we just had a nice time talking until we got booted out.

I vaguely recall heading back up to the con suite for a while. But eventually I made my way to bed. VERY LATE as usual and I had to get up even earlier the next morning. So we're talking little sleep...

MORE TO COME...


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GATHERING 2002 RAMBLE: THURSDAY

Well, I'm back.

Time to ramble on the Gathering.

Let me start by saying, that as usual: IT ROCKED!!! I had a blast and I'm so grateful to the amazing staff: Siryn, Carol, Jubes, KWSapphire, MAui, Abram, Kess, Jessie and Mr. Andy. You guys all did a fantastic job. You should be very proud of yourselves. God knows, I'm proud of you.

Second, let me apologize in advance. So much happens in these weekends that I'm bound to forget things and people and stuff. But I was very glad to see you all, old faces and new.

Anyway, Thursday.

I got to the airport and immediately got in this ridiculously long line to check in. (I had an e-ticket and couldn't go to the gate first.)

I spotted Greg Guler outside and thought he was checking a bag with the skycap. When he came in I waved him over and he looked at me and said, "Are you checking a bag?" I said no. He said, "Then why are you waiting in this line?" Turns out he hadn't checked a bag, but rather was checking in with the skycap. So I walked outside and did the same and we both were at our gate within ten minutes.

Oddly, my parents were at the very next gate waiting to board a plane to Utah. I had a vague notion that they were going on a trip, but I had no idea I'd see them at the airport. So Greg and my mom and dad and I talked until they had to board. Then I grabbed some breakfast croissants (cuz I like to eat) and Greg and I got on the plane to Atlanta.

We both had aisle seats on an interior row, with a young woman sitting between us who had a faux fur blindfold to facilitate sleeping. She also had perfect lipstick which she spent a lot of time applying -- and I don't usually notice that kind of thing.

Anyway, when the food came she said the desert tasted like Tanning Oil. I also thought it tasted really bad. But she seemed convinced that it actually tasted like Tanning Oil.

We arrived in Atlanta early, but thunderstorms delayed our flight to Newport News, Virginia. Kathy Pogge joined us in the Atlanta airport, and the three of us just sat around talking. I did a lot of just sitting around and talking on this trip -- it's always the funnest part.

Finally, the plane departed two hours late. We tried to reach people in Virginia to warn them, but no one we called answered their cellphones.

Kathy and I sat next to each other on the flight and were treated to a stunning lightning storm. We were flying between two cloud banks and the lightning that arced between them was really amazing. Almost scary, though the flight wasn't even turbulent, so I guess we weren't that close to the storm.

We arrived in Newport News, where Carol had been waiting forever for us. She was great. Special thanks to her for all she did in getting Greg and me there and making sure we were taken care of throughout. Things were so crazed I barely got to spend any time with her, but I'm very grateful.

Anyway, it was a navigational adventure finding our way to the hotel, but we arrived. Immediately saw a bunch of familiar faces, including Jen Anderson and Patrick Toman. I hadn't thought Jen was coming... That was supposed to be a big surprise, but I was more confused than surprised. But I was VERY glad to see her. The con wouldn't be as much fun without her.

We checked in and met back down in the lobby for a VERY late dinner at Denny's. There was Greg Guler, myself, Jen, Kythera, Patrick, Kathy, Siryn and Kelly Creighton. Service was slow, but the food hit the spot. And I was just giddy to be with everyone again.

We got back to the hotel and I tried to crash, although honestly, I was so excited, I don't think I went to sleep until 4amish.

MORE TO COME...



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