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CONTEST UPDATE

Six left:

74
129
510
517
518
519


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More on villains...

Fred Schaefer was still working on villains. We had one great art card of Goliath confronting an insect-like robot scaling a building. Those of you who have seen the final pitch at a Gathering have seen it. I'm guessing -- cuz I don't remember for sure -- that the art came first and that Fred was writing up info based on that. But it's possible it's the other way around. Anyway, we were still working on Catscan (the proto-Talon/proto-Sevarius). We were looking for Catscan's real name. Fred's picks seemed too goofy to me, which is why my initial impression of the name Sevarius was negative. Too hokey. Now I'm used to it.

As for the robot, it never appeared in the actual series, but I liked the "Scarab" name and made it (at least unofficially) the name of Xanatos' robotics company.

RECEIVED BY
JAN 29 1992
GREG WEISMAN'S OFFICE
THE GARGOYLE -- VILLAINS
(Schaefer 1-29-92)

DISTRIBUTION: Cranston, Fair, Felix, Guler, Kline, Krisel, Ryan, Stones, Weisman

CAT SCAN -- Thumbnail Sketch

CAT Scan is a ruthless mutant [I altered "mutant" to read "mutate"] -- part man, part panther -- who was once a dedicated scientist working for our master villain, Xavier. The victim of a grisly lab accident, he was forced to abandon his life as a scientist and become one of Xavier's most deadly weapons.

Too bad for our nocturnal Gargoyle who can't hide from the doctor's panther-like night vision and power blasts.

Alternative (non-code) names for CAT SCAN

Dr. Rapier
Dr. Havelock
Dr. Skulk
Dr. Lurk
Dr. Jag
Dr. Panzer
Dr. Pincer
Dr. Sinew
Dr. Jag Sinew
Dr. Flint Kragmore
[I wrote "Too Silly" next to all these names.]

(Does it make sense to give this character a tough, evil sounding name, when he doesn't begin as a villain? He's a dedicated scientist who later gets screwed by Xavier. He's mortified over his metamorphosis and becomes very bitter and dangerous.) [Next to this paragraph I wrote: "Think SOUND like we did w/Cade & Togo, Not Words." Cade & Togo were two characters from another show we were developing set in a virtual reality world.]

THE ROBOT -- (A Possible) Thumbnail Sketch

Part insect. Part crustacean. All machine. It's an indestructible robot that's been developed by Tech-Pod Industries (whatever). It's controlled via remote from corporation headquarters. It can scale buildings using its powerful front claws and, although massive in weight, can leap from building to building with amazing ease. Deadly. Relentless. Inexhaustible.

A termite eats through wood -- this baby eats through stone, steel, and glass. Can draw blood from a gargoyle. [I wrote "GOOD" under this.]

Possible names for the robot:

SCARAB [I put "++++" next to this, indicating that I liked the name.]
THE KRAW
THE LOCUST
THE CUSP
DECAPOD ["+++" by this one.]
DECAPODA
DECAPITATOR (because of its massive front claws)
THORAXIAN
THE TECH-POD

The Robotics Organization---(A Possible) Thumbnail Sketch

This corporation is involved in the cutting edge of robotics. Some of its divisions are clandestine, particularly the one that's a member of the Business Alliance of Infra-world Technology (B.A.I.T.). The Alliance is a [sic] underground network of weapons facilities and research labs that sells technology to worldwide crime syndicates.

Possible names for the robotics organization:

SCARAB MACHINES
SCARABEOUS, INC.
KRAY-BOTICS
KRAW-BOTICS
LOCUST, INC.
BIOCHINE, INC.
HUMACHINES, INC.
HUMECHANICS, INC.
ANTHRO-TECH, INC.
TECH-POD INDUSTRIES

[Next to all this "Robotics organization" material, I wrote: "fine don't need it now" Indicating that we wouldn't use the organization for the pitch. Just the robot itself.]


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QUEUE'S EMPTY...

Here's a contest update.

The following blanks remain unfilled:

74
129
293
446
510
517
518
519

Only eight left, though it seems like people have really slowed down on guessing. The funny thing is that none of these are particularly series-specific. I never would have predicted that any of these would have been the last to go. Some of them, frankly, seem kind of obvious to me, but of course, I'm coming from a very different perspective. In hindsight, that last set of three may really be tough because there's less context.

But anyway, keep at it. I want this over with.


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Chapter XX: "Eye of the Beholder"

Written by Steve Perry. Story Edited by Michael Reaves.

It's really just a coincidence that we watched this so close to Halloween (11-2-00). I wasn't trying for that. This was just the next episode in the sequence. Still, when I mentioned before we started that this was the Halloween episode of Gargoyles, the kids got very excited. Erin pointed at the framed cell we have in our bedroom which depicts Goliath and La Belle Elisa dancing. She remembered that it came from the episode we were about to watch. Benny then commented that Elisa and Goliath are going to get married. Erin, who has a clearer memory of the last time we completed the 66 episode sequence corrected him. But I said something cryptic, like you never know. Erin said I needed to make more episodes so that we could find out. From her mouth to God's ears.

In general, the kids were very verbal during this episode, or at least Erin was. Benny started out verbal, but fell asleep with his mom rubbing his tummy somewhere during Act One.

In the opener, a classic scene I think, when he first saw Xanatos and Fox together he said: "That was you, Erin. I was him." in reference to the Fox and Xanatos costumes they wore to the Gathering 2000's masquerade.

Erin really bought into the tension of the episode. And it is very tense. Some terrific pacing to this. She remembered this one with much greater clarity than most. "Uh oh. That's not just any necklace." Etc. Personally, I just love Xanatos' pragmatic proposal. The truth is X should have already known that he was truly in love with Fox. I've just done some research into sentencing while working on and reworking my Gargoyle timeline. Fox & Wolf each received a 16 month sentence for briefly holding that model hostage in "Thrill of the Hunt". They had the opportunity to be parolled after eight months. They were rejected. Instead of waiting a mere eight more months for them to be released free and clear, an impatient Xanatos sets up the events in "Leader of the Pack". Is that a man in love or what? Nevertheless, we get his whole "We're genetically compatible and have the same goals" speech. She asks about love, and he feels himself largely incapable of the emotion. He thinks he's too amoral for that. "I think we love each other as much as two people like us can." (Or something like that. I'm approximating all these quotations.) It's fun.

Then comes the sequence in Mr. Jaffe's store. Erin is still very tense: "Uh oh, that's Fox. She's wearing the necklace." and "She wants to stop it [the necklace] with one arm. But she doesn't want to with the other." Here, Erin's hit right on Fox's internal conflict. Part of her is fighting the Eye, but part of her wants to surrender to its power. When X first confronts her in her bedroom, and when the Werefox emerges and attacks, it doesn't shred him. It throws him down on the bed. There's some powerful primal energy swirling 'round that room. Lucky thing Owen is there, or I'm not sure Xanatos escapes with his dignity intact.

Xanatos takes note and activates Plan A, which will be followed by B and C. And a makeshift D. It becomes almost a parody of all his contingencies and "Xanatos Tags" from previous episodes. For once, he's out of control. And he can't bear to admit it. He pretends (even to himself) that he just needs to recover the valuable Eye of Odin, when what he obviously really wants is to save Fox. "...I'd never have just given it away. Ah, well, spilled milk." (I always thought that was a great and yet feeble cover for his real feelings.)

Speaking of the Eye, how many knew back when it was intro'd in "The Edge" that it would be so important? As I think I've mentioned, the Eye was actually the creation of Disney Interactive which was working on a GARGOYLES VIDEO GAME at the time. They told us about the Eye, and I loved the idea and decided to incorporate it into the show. Unfortunately, we didn't use their design, which had this great crow/raven theme to it, appropriate to Odin. Instead, our design always looked vaguely Egyptian to me. I can't remember, but I think that maybe they're design wasn't ready when we needed to complete our model for "The Edge". Or it might have been poor communication. The Eye was designed at Walt Disney Animation - Japan. At any rate, we knew from the gamer folk that the Eye had metamorphic powers. But I wanted to be more specific. Yes, it would grant power, but it had to grant power that suited the legend of Odin's Eye. The Eye traditionally provided Mimir with the gift of sight. That easily translated to "insight" for me. Which is a kind of power in its own right. The Eye in the Gargoyles Universe would externalize and amplify a major trait of the wearer. And, yes, even then I had plans to eventually intro Odin himself and have him stick the thing back in his empty socket.

I think that shot from inside the elevator shaft when Fox smashes her way in is very cool.

Owen with an Elvis tribute: "Fox has left the building."

CONTINUITY
--The Eye of Odin, of course.

--Mr. Jaffe's poor grocery store.

--X's commando squad (including Bruno) is at the ready, yet still unprepared for the Werefox's fury.

--Since "The Mirror", Goliath is more open about his growing feelings for Elisa. She again defuses things by turning his concerns for her into a more objective statement about friendship.

--Goliath is back in the library. This time studying Werewolves. The information won't be useful, but isn't that just like him?

--Elisa immediately jumping to the conclusion that the were-thing is another of Xanatos' mutated victims like her brother.

HALLOWEEN - The trio are very excited to be able to stroll into the open. "No one'll know who we are." Better yet, "No one will know WHAT we are." The taste of conformity they got in "The Mirror" has opened a window on their need to be a part of something larger than the clan.

Another cool visual: Fox and Goliath circling each other, with Fox on all fours.

I love when Goliath tries to reason with Fox. "If Xanatos is your enemy, then believe me, WE are your friends." How little he knows. The Werefox immediately attacks him. Still conflicted. Throughout the story, Fox fights, but the Eye reasserts.

Time for Plan C. But Owen has noticed the flaw in Xanatos' usually stellar power of contingency. X claims that all he cares about is the Eye. But he's only setting things up so that the gargs will get the eye. Subconsciously, all he wants is Fox. But we have Goliath arrive and interrupt just at that moment so that neither X or the audience has time to focus on the contradicition.

X breaks down. Appeals to Goliath. He's out of control. Up to a point. ("Old habits die hard -- he still has the forsight to plant a bug on Goliath ala "Awakening, Part Three".

Gotta love Goliath's line: "Not a good night for you." It's great as a writer when you can legitimately turn the tables and give Goliath a Xanatos line.

HALLOWEEN 2
Broadway REALLY wanted to dress up as a Detective. So he's got a new trenchcoat and hat. Brooklyn, ever the swashbuckler, is a pirate. And Lex... hmm... what should we make Lex. We settled on a pilot, in keeping with his helicopter prowess, I guess. But it was never too clear what Lex would or should be, and I can't help thinking that Lex had trouble deciding on a costume too.

Of course, Goliath doesn't wear a costume.

Vinnie has a line here. Though officially, it's not Vinnie's first appearance, this one line of Jeff Bennett spoken dialogue "A costume over a costume." is the obvious inspiration for all that followed with the Vinster.

And I love Keith as that witch saying "That is a great, great costume." What a great, great line reading.

BEAUTY & THE BEAST. Finally, we get to hit the nail on the head. A moment so romantic (in a very romantic episode) that even the characters take note. Elisa lets her self go for a moment. Goliath just is. The kids are happy for them.

But "Things are not always as they seem". Goliath breaks the moment by attacking a guy in a werewolf costume.

Note: That Goliath now refers to Manhattan as "My castle, my city." A year earlier (more or less) he was calling it Xanatos' city. I love the notion that Goliath sees hope in Xanatos LOVING someone. And of course, he's right. Xanatos' love for Fox (and later Alex) will result in Goliath getting the castle back. Not war, but love.

Brooklyn and Lex finally get to eat pretzyls. Remember that in Awakening, Broadway ate them all. Meanwhile Broadway eat's a hot dog and BELCHES MIGHTILY. This was really more about all of us indulging ourselves in low humor. We put the burp into the script. Bill Fagerbakke burped loudly. But our sound effects guy Paca Thomas, put in the burp to end all burps.

CONTINUITY AGAIN
--Lex gets very intense (briefly) and wants to go after FOX. He still hates anything or anyone connected to his Pack experience.

--The return of Brendan & Margot.

Gotta love Elisa's costume. Holster for a garter belt. Very sexy. Solved our nudity problem with Fox too. I'm amazed we got away with that.

In a larger sense, I'm amazed we got away with the entire episode. I was very nervous that the notion of X and Fox getting engaged would be rejected. But the BIG BOSSES didn't focus on the fact that the engagement might lead to marriage. And fortunately, they weren't paying attention when that engagement led to marriage, pregnancy and a kid. I don't think they would have allowed it.

I could have done without Broadway eating his hat.

Fox's internal conflict is visualized when she sees Elisa as herself and attacks to silence that human voice inside her once and for all.

When, in slow motion, Goliath intercepts Fox and saves Elisa (who's usually fairly self-sufficient) it may be the purest moment of Hero saving damsel we have in the series. The dress helps of course.

A little HIGHLANDER inspiration here with Fox and the exploding sign.

I love that Owen's right there with the helicopter.

X is still trying to interpret things to suit his old (and dated) world view. He thinks Goliath is trading the Eye for Fox, which of course he wasn't. Goliath doesn't think that way.

"Now you know my weakness."
"Only you would consider love a weakness."
"You've never looked more heroic."
"A momentary lapse, I assure you."

All great lines.

Let's go home.

And Owen, who signed on BECAUSE Fox and Xanatos were so interesting to the Puck, SMILES.

And now a word about the episode from Erin Sydney Weisman (she typed this herself):

I am most interested in this episode. And the episode I watched was a spooky episode. And I liked the episode, because it was a very enchanting episode.


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MARINA SIRTIS

I'd just like to point out that I'm a man of my word. At the 2000 Gathering in Orlando, I vowed that the 2001 Gathering in L.A. would have a MINIMUM of 20 special guests. As of today, we officially have 21. And we're not done by a long shot.

Of course, the big news is MARINA SIRTIS, the voice of Demona, will be attending.

Here's the official announcement reprinted by permission of the G2001 staff:

The Fifth Annual Gathering of the Gargoyles
The Gathering 2001: City of Angels
June 22-25, 2001 -- Los Angeles, CA

UPDATES!

The staff of The Gathering 2001 is pleased and excited to announce the addition of SIX NEW GUESTS. We're most excited because the list of new
additions starts with the voice of Demona herself, MARINA SIRTIS! Also well known for her role as Counselor Deanna Troi in the "Star Trek: The Next
Generation" television series and films, Ms. Sirtis joins the voice of Lexington, Thom Adcox-Hernandez, on the sure to be growing list of "Gargoyles"
voice actors and actresses who will be in attendance at The Gathering 2001.

But wait, that's not all! We also have five new names joining our guest roster from the "Gargoyles" staff and production crew: Lisa Salamone, Jamie
Thomason, Karen Peterson, Dave Schwartz, and Julie Morgavi. Many said it couldn't be done when we promised at least 20 guests - more than every
previous Gathering combined - but our complete list is now up to 21! And even more are sure to be added in the future!

For the complete guest list and most recent info, visit:
http://gathering.gargoyles-fans.org/guests.htm

With such a terrific guest list and so many exciting events planned, it's a sure bet that The Gathering 2001 is going to be THE place to be for "Gargoyles"
fans next June. Our goal is to have 500 people or more in attendance at what will be the BIGGEST and BEST Gathering yet, and only YOU can make it
happen. If you have already registered and purchased your membership, we thank you! But if you haven't, please don't wait too much longer! The
early-bird membership rate of $30.00 for adults ($15.00 for children ages 10 to 14) will only last until December 31, 2000! Don't lose out on what could
be as much as a 50% discount! The rate goes up to $40.00 for adults ($20.00 for children) as of January 1, 2001, and the adult membership rate at the
door will $60.00.

And while you're signing up for your membership, don't forget to reserve a place at the Gala Awards Banquet! Many of our special guests - including
Marina Sirtis, Thom Adcox-Hernandez, and Greg Weisman - are scheduled to be in attendance at this special event, and we hope to see YOU there, as
well. Tickets are only $60.00 per person and they are going fast! Seating is limited, so don't delay!

For more information about the convention, visit us on the web at:
http://gathering.gargoyles-fans.org/

Or contact us by e-mail at gathering2001@art-chicks.com

We hope to see YOU in Los Angeles next June!


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CONTEST UPDATE

The following blanks remain to be filled:

42
44
74
129
293
446
510
517
518
519

Down to the last ten.


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Still trying to find focus...

Again, I went to work on putting a pitch together on the series. Now again called "GARGOYLES" instead of "The Gargoyle". I was still stuck on the poignancy of the proto-Goliath having been alive and alone for the thousand years, something that we'd eventually trade over to Demona, where it sat better.

GARGOYLES Mini-pitch
(Weisman / 1-29-92)

We all think we know what GARGOYLES are. Ugly, stone statues squatting on the rooves of old buildings...
(Card 1: trio.)

But a thousand years ago, gargoyles were real, living creatures.

At night, they were the kings defenders.
Led by the Gargoyle-Master...
(Card 2: The Gargoyle.)
All the gargoyle warriors and squires would guard the castle from attack.

Everyday, they slept. Frozen in stone on the ramparts.
(Card 3: Stone.)

The one day the castle was overrun. Sacked. The people dragged away in chains. Most of the gargoyle warriors were destroyed.

The Gargoyle-Master took full responsiblity.

As punishment, a wizard layed a curse on him. He said, "Your job was to safeguard the people of this castle.
You failed. Now you will guard this empty relic alone, until it rests in the clouds."

Now, that's the kind of curse that's designed to last forever.

And our tragic hero does in fact guard the castle alone for a thousand years.

The few young gargoyles who survived the attack stay frozen in stone both night and day.

The Gargoyle-Master despairs.

Then the castle is purchased by an American.
It is moved to the top of a sky-scraper in Manhattan.
(Card 4: Castle on skyscraper.)

...Where it rests in the clouds; the curse is lifted.

And the Gargoyle is no longer alone...

He meets a young police detective who can see past his ugly form.
(Card 5: Detective.)

She offers him hope, a sense of purpose.
(Card 6: Moonlight.)

Together they'll fight tough villains...
(Card 7 & 8: Catscan and the robot.)

...and try to keep the newly awakened young gargoyles out of trouble.


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NEW CONTEST UPDATE

NOTE:

The two contests are now for

1) Who gets the most points for filling in the most blanks.

2) Who fills in the very LAST blank. (Not #525 which has already been filled in, but the last empty unfilled blank, whatever number that is).

We're no longer going to award a prize for reprinting the whole essay filled in. I'll do that (for free) when we're done.

The following blanks still need to be filled:

42, 44, 74, 129, 233, 292, 293, 408, 446, 510, 517, 518, 519

That's only thirteen left.


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CONTEST UPDATE

The following blanks remain to be filled:

42, 44, 74, 125, 129, 133, 134, 233, 244, 292, 293, 314, 322, 327, 328, 408, 433, 444, 446, 490, 508, 510, 517, 518, 519.

That's only 25 left out of 525. Very good work, people.

Now the "bad" news. I'm cancelling the second part of the contest, the part where the first person to list the entire essay correctly gets a prize. I apologize, but the whole thing just became unwieldy, and I can't imagine having to go through twenty or thirty of the full-length essays just to find one or two words wrong in them.

Whether or not you think you have enough points to win the other part of the contest, I still urge everyone to keep guessing these last 25 blanks. First of all, I want this monster over. And second, I can't answer ANY questions about 2198 until the contest is completed. And third, well, it's just nice for everyone to be working together to solve the thing.

Thanks,

Greg


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CONTEST UPDATE

The following blanks remain to be filled:

42, 44, 74, 125, 129, 133, 134, 233, 244, 292, 293, 314, 322, 327, 328, 408, 433, 444, 446, 490, 508, 510, 517, 518, 519.

That's only 25 left out of 525. Very good work, people.


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"The Gargoyle" still taking form...

In late January of 1992 we were still searching for our series. Ultimately, we'd return to a more dramatic version of our old comedy development. But here was an earlier version where our proto-Goliath is still an immortal magical construct.

THE GARGOYLE
(Weisman / 1-24-92)

DISTRIBUTION: Cranston, Fair, Felix, Guler, Kline, Krisel, Ryan, Schaefer, Stones

PITCH BREAKDOWN
(Third Pass - Version 1/Backstory...?)

[Please note that the dialogue is just here to show the flow of the pitch. It's not intended to be even a first pass at the correct words.]

1. Typical stone gargoyles. (Perhaps stone versions of our squire characters.)

"We all think we know what GARGOYLES are. Ugly, stone statues squatting on the rooves of old buildings..."

2. OPTIONAL - "Medieval Woodcut" showing gargoyles repelling barbaric invaders from the castle walls.

"But there was a time when gargoyles were real, living creatures. The kings defenders...[or something]..."

3. Modern day, beauty shot of our Gargoyle on top of a skyscraper with the full moon behind him.

"That time has come again."

4. Castle being lowered onto skyscraper by giant airships. Laputaesque. It's sunset.

"Manhattan, 1994. And an ancient scottish castle is the newest addition to the New York skyline."

5. Our FEMALE POLICE DETECTIVE hot on the trail of a major badguy.

"But JANE DOE, New York Police Detective, doesn't have time to worry about that now. She's hot on the trail of a major badguy."

6. She follows him onto a rooftop. But it's an ambush by multiple baddies. (By now it's nighttime.)

7. She's doing o.k. in the fight. Holding her own. But someone's about to nail her from behind. And from another rooftop, someTHING is watching in the shadows.

8. Reveal THE GARGOYLE, as he dives into fray from above.

9. Gargoyle lifts a badguy with either hand. While a third shoots at him, the bullets glancing off his stone-like hide. (Basic demonstration of his strength and invulnerability.)

10. OPTIONAL - Then he's gone, as quickly as he came. Leaving her to wonder.

11. OPTIONAL - But she's a born detective, innately curious. Tracks him down. They meet. Quiet moment. He'll tell her his story.

12. 1000 years ago, EVIL WIZARD creates our very menacing GARGOYLE. (Does Gargoyle have a name?) Wizard is perverting a gargoyle's true protective function, wants Gargoyle to destroy the near-by castle of the good princess.

13. PRINCESS (does she look like our detective?) convinces Gargoyle to fight for good and not evil. Touches his heart.

14. Gargoyle prepared to fight for Princess...just as the sun begins to rise. (Castle folk open gates to let Gargoyle out?)

15. Gargoyle turns to stone at rise of sun. (As the wizard's army attacks thru open gates?)

16. Sunset. The castle has been sacked. The princess is gone. Our Gargoyle is heartbroken. (More TRAGIC than pathetic.) He's failed.

17. The years pass. He haunts the ruined castle. Howling in front of the full moon?? Years spent in solitude.

18. Occasional forays into humanity? (Stealing books from library?) (World War II? Ripping the wings off a German plane?)

19. Back in present, he tells Detective how all he has left is isolation and futility. Nothing for him in this world. Nothing for 1000 years.

20. But now there's her. She offers him hope, a sense of purpose. And real human friendship. If he sees humanity as an unchanging blight on the planet, she sees humanity as an unending source of potential. She is not naive. She's a cop. She's seen good men corrupted as often as she's seen Bad men redeemed. Working to make things better is the only way they'll get better.

21. From atop the skyscraper, she shows him Manhattan. (Beauty shot of the city in the moonlight.) If Gargoyles are supposed to protect from Barbarians at the gate, then he's found the right town. Manhattan is full of "Barbarians".

22. Gargoyle fighting crime. A mugging? A car full of bank robbers?

23. Escalate. Major villain card. XAVIER perhaps.

24. Escalate. Major villain. One of the Crazies.

25. Escalate. Even tougher villain card. One of the Big Guys. (Gargoyle and Big guy fighting?)

26. Escalate. The toughest villain card. The Wizard in his new incarnation. (Any relation between Xavier and the wizard?)

27. Discussion of mood and tone. Gargoyle in city atmosphere. Emphasize gothic melodrama in very modern setting.

28. Supporting characters. (Other gargoyles, perhaps, or our lead girl's kid? Other cops? The old librarian?)

29. Where does he live? Still in Xavier's tower? With Xavier? The library maybe?

30. Other types of stories?

31. End Card.

Some possible names for our Gargoyle:

Gargoyle
Gar
Griffin
Gryphon
Lear
Calaban
Othello


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Danger!

January of '92 was a busy month for Gargoyles Developers. Tad was working on other projects. Maybe Darkwing Duck (if "LP" below stands for "Launchpad"). But he was still helping us out with advice on our show. As I noted earlier, some of Fred Schaefer's villains were problematic. Too dark even for our series. I tended to agree with Tad about Catscan (the proto-Talon). But we did wind up incorporating a bit of the attitude that Tad was concerned about into Fang. (Which makes Catscan the proto-Talon, proto-Sevarius and proto-Fang all rolled into one.)

[2] From: Tad Stones 1/17/92 8:25AM (712 bytes: 11 ln)
To: Greg Weisman
Subject: Cat-scan

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

Read the villain stuff on Cat Scan. Considering I'm getting notes from Michael Webster about cutting scenes that show LP littering, and GK is worried about doing gags about coffee and showing a gorilla wearing a dress ... do you really want to portray a character who's pumped up by violence, who says he's never felt more alive than when he was fighting?

Even though he's a villain, he's attractive because he's smart and powerful. I think this guy is over the line, however fuzzy that line is.


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CHAPTER XIX: "The Silver Falcon"

It's been awhile, but I watched "The Silver Falcon" with my kids the other night, so here's my ramblings on the episode:

This was Cary Bate's first GARGOYLES script as writer and story editor. And it feels very Cary to me. The love of old movies. The twisty-turny detective story, etc. But the main thing I remember is that Cary consciously wanted to start out slow. Not to have to be immediately fluent in each and every member of our large cast. So we focused this on Elisa and Broadway.

CONTINUITY:

Broadway likes b&w genre flicks. First SHOWDOWN. Now this detective film.

Elisa keeps her gun in a lockbox now.

Broadway hates Dracon, but can't immediately place Glasses.

Broadway is extremely protective of Elisa.

Broadway has trouble reading, but he's clearly been studying.

Dracon now has a white streak in his hair. This was primarily done because I thought Tony's model looked too bland. But it made for some cool continuity, given how frightened he was in "Deadly Force". I actually had a brief weird notion to also give Glasses that white streak, but fortunately decided against that weird coincidence.

FUN LINES:

"Ears like these don't miss much."

"This is for my apartment, jerk!"

Picking up on Michael Reaves' suggestion that Matt is a conspiratorialist, we lay the groundwork for the Illuminati's eventual surfacing -- while simultaneously leave it open here to still think that Matt is way off base. Still Martin Hacker is intro'd here. He helps Matt out this time, because he knows the DD angle is a dead end Illuminati-wise. Mace is also mentioned and we see a photo of him. I already knew we'd be bringing back Hacker and meeting Mace soon enough. I knew they were both Illuminati.

Matt's FBI background is also revealed here for the first time. I always like filling in the blanks on characters we think we know.

We into Pal Joey here. Primarily, because Glasses made too BIG of an impression in Deadly Force. We needed someone that the audience (and Elisa and Broadway) wouldn't immediately recognize as a Dracon flunkee. Glasses (his name, his design and Rocky Carroll's performance in what was designed to be a throw-away role) made a strong impression on all of us. Maybe, it's the Owen syndrome. But I always wanted to do more with Glasses.

When Elisa heads for Matt's apartment, we weren't supposed to know it was Broadway hiding on Matt's balcony. The idea was to have multiple levels of suspence. A man in a ski-mask (Joey) ransacking Matt's place. Another man in a trenchcoat watching him from the balcony. Elisa about to enter. Who's on who's side? But instead, it's obvious from moment one that it's Broadway in the coat and on the balcony. Undercutting the suspense instead of expoiting it.

Where did Broadway get that trenchcoat on such short notice? Obviously, it was his Halloween costume. And obviously, since this coat wound up getting destroyed, he had to rush out and get a new one for Halloween.

The trenchcoat and hat is a tribute of sorts to Ben Grimm, alias Thing of the Fantastic Four. The oversized guy in the trenchcoat and hat was a Kirby trademark. Also that moment at the end, where Broadway knocks Tony out by simply flicking him with his finger a couple times. That was very Thing.

Elisa nearly shoots Broadway by accident, while he's pursuing Joey in the hallway at Matt's apartment building. It's a nice moment. And loaded with potential irony.

Originally, Benton and DD were two different people. Development Associate (now Story Editor/Writer) Eddie Guzelian suggested making them one and the same to add a last complication to the story. You can see that at the end. Matt deals with Pal Joey -- in a kismet kind of retaliation for the destruction of Matt's apartment. Broadway deals with Dracon, paralleling the old movie we saw at the beginning. And the story seems to be over. (Which originally it was.) Broadway even says: "Case closed." But then Elisa still has a villain to face. Dominic Dracon. Brought back to tie up loose ends, and add one more twist. Now my question is, how many people guessed that DD and Benton were one and the same? Cuz originally they weren't.

I'd have liked a little more visual clarity on the "Falcons" where the jewels were hidden. I'd have liked it better if they had been BLACK with grime and city soot. Then I'd have liked to have seen them shine like silver when Elisa does her quick polish act at the end. It basically works, but the clarity isn't quite their. Because the falcons are neither very black when dirty nor very silver when clean.

Finally, we made clear in this episode that the Gargoyles transformation to and from stone was really driven by an internal clock, not the sun itself, as Broadway turns to stone while underground. This was done, at least in part, to try and make it clearer that the gargs were not magical creatures but a mortal, biological species.


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Developments converge...

Having gotten very far afield, we began to re-incorporate our old comedy development into our new drama. Demona, Ralph (proto-Hudson) and "Lassie, Belushi, Goslyn" (proto-Trio) are back in the show. The Master-Gargoyle (proto-Goliath) is no longer a magical creation but the leader of a different species. We've still got him living through the thousand years -- something we'd eventually give over to Demona -- but we're getting closer to where we want to be.

The following document is notes written up after a development meeting. I'm guessing the write-up is by Fred Schaefer, but I'm not sure.

RECEIVED BY
JAN 20 1992
GREG WEISMAN'S OFFICE

GARGOYLE: Notes from meeting 1/16/92
GK, GW, KF

The Gargoyle pitch needs to show the Master gargoyle as sympathetic and exciting. Need to emphasize empathy, emotion, heart and humor in series. Open in the city and flashback to brief backstory? (No mention of princess or wizard. Optional Messerschmitt card.)

Long ago there were lots of gargoyles - not millions, but thousands, all over the world. They were killed in vast numbers by humans because they were ugly, powerful, and too hard to control, although they did protect the humans by night. By day, the gargoyles sleep. A protective crust covers them, and this is shed when they wake up as the last rays of the sun disappear. Gargoyles are instinctually protective and territorial. They are not impervious to bullets, it hurts when they get shot, but bullets bounce off their thick skins. Lasers and bombs do not.

Master Gar has lived 1000 years. He tried to save as many gargoyles as he could from extinction. Put them to sleep? Has been waiting until for a time that is safe to awaken them. Detective convinces him now is the time, they're needed?

Master Gargoyle lives in the locked attic rotunda of a large downtown municipal building. Lots of arches, arched windows and outside entrances. Gar had to leave his old haunt, now owned by evil Xavier. Female police detective has key to rotunda. (Some stories with janitor accidentally coming in. Lots of boxes, some of the boxes are a door?)

CAST:

Master Gargoyle (1) - Educated, sad, world-weary.

Girl detective (1) has seen a lot, but not totally cynical. Still believes there's some good in humans.

Gargoyle Warriors (1 - Demona) - adult, vicious brutes

Gargoyle Elders (1 - Ralph) old gargoyle warrior, caretaker of the apprentices.

Apprentice/squire gargoyles (3 - Lassie, Belushi, Goslyn) - young (teen), playful, uneducated, emulate the Master.

Villains - (3 - Xavier, Cat Scan, 1 other (a gargoyle warrior?)

Need to stay away from a fatherly relationship between our Master Gargoyle and the little gargoyles.


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CONTEST UPDATE

These forty-one blanks remain unanswered:

42, 44, 74, 76, 125, 129, 133, 134, 233, 235, 236, 238, 241, 244, 254, 290, 292, 293, 306, 307, 314, 322, 327, 328, 333, 335, 408, 409, 420, 433, 444, 446, 450, 455, 490, 507, 508, 510, 517, 518, 519.

That's more than I thought, but still not that many left, considering.


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Enter "The Sculptor"...

I don't know who came up with this guy. There's no name on it. The character as described here was too horrific for the tone of our show, but touches of him survived. In Coldstone particularly. But also in Jackal and Hyena. Particularly in that fantasy sequence where Jackal "redesigns" Goliath in THE GREEN.

[Read by GDW on 1/15/91]

GARGOYLES: Villains

THE SCULPTOR: Was a well-known eccentric artist until shark attack. Now he sculpts his victims as he was sculpted by shark. "You'd be surprised how many body parts you can do without." [Next to these first few sentences, I wrote: "Yikes".] Lives in a dim, open, downtown loft. Carefully chooses his victims, stalks them, kidnaps them and takes them to the loft for "redesigning." He's missing a right foot, a left hand, a left ear, a lower right arm, a chunk from his left thigh, and his nose. He's replaced his missing parts with cybernetics, giving him super-human (machine) strength and endurance in those parts (maybe he can run super fast or for long distances, super hearing, one strong hand for crushing, etc.). The nose just looks nasty.


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I'm back... and so is Catscan...

Hi. I'm back from my sojourn in Louisiana (hi Green Baron). And it's time to continue our reprinting of old development documents from the show...

This one features two villains, Catscan & Shard, that were created by Fred Schaefer, who coincidentally traveled with me in New Orleans this past week. Catscan would eventually split into Sevarius and Talon. Shard would fade away -- too violent and without enough imagination or flare to make the cut.

[Read: GDW 1/15]

THE GARGOYLE -- VILLAINS
(Schaefer 1-13-92)

DISTRIBUTION: Cranston, Fair, Felix, Guler, Kline, Krisel, Ryan, Stones, Weisman

CAT SCAN -- Part man; part panther. Has a muscular, taut, and sleek body. Walks upright most of the time, but can hit some whopping speeds on all fours. His powerful hind legs allow him to leap from one rooftop to another. He also has x-ray night vision, which is capable of duplicating objects (living or non-living) in 3-D. He uses these convincing (if short-lived) holograms as decoys to fool his enemies. He's highly dangerous (razor-sharp claws and teeth), and can kill very quickly. [Greg wrote: "Fitting the name/ May not fit origin" beside this paragraph.]

FIRST EPISODE INTRODUCING CAT SCAN

Dr. Grun is a shamelessly ambitious scientist doing top secret research on vision -- human vs. animal -- for Xavier's corporation. Xavier is involved in developing a highly-advanced "night vision" for jets and a new revolutionary decoy device using holograms. Unfortunately, Dr. Grun's experiments requires an enormous amount of animal research. Mostly on wild cats.

One day, an animal rights group infiltrated his lab. [I underlined this sentence and wrote "Makes them villians".] A violent clash ensues; Dr. Grun accidentally receives a massive dose of his own newly developed x-ray, a controversial device that melds CAT Scan technology with genetics. [I circled "CAT" and wrote "abbreviation has nothing to do w/Cats."] He's hospitalized in Xavier's in-house medical center.

Dr. Grun's body begins to undergo some drastic and extremely painful mutations. Slowly, he turns into a panther/human. He becomes angry, bitter, self-denigrating -- his career as a scientist is over! [I wrote: "Why"] Xavier becomes angry (and sickened by Grun's pathetic self-loathing; remember, powerlessness is Xavier's biggest fear); he reprimands Dr. Grun, telling him that he has acquired skills that no other human possesses. He is powerful and dangerous. Xavier wants to recruit him in his villain team.

At first, Dr. Grun is mortified. The life of a criminal is no substitute for the intellectual life of a scientist! Indignant, Dr. Grun storms out of Xavier's headquarters. That night, while wandering through dark back alleys, Dr. Grun is hounded by a beggar. In a fit of fierce anger (coupled with his feelings of frustration and self-revulsion) he lashes out and attacks the man. The Gargoyle comes to the man's rescue. He and Dr. Grun battle. Dr. Grun escapes.

Safe from the Gargoyle, Dr. Grun reflects on the violence. Surprisingly, he admits that he's never felt more vigorous in his entire life. Pumped up. visceral. ALIVE!!!! (He returns to Xavier as the self-proclaimed CAT Scan, and joins his team.)

THE SECOND EPISODE FEATURING CAT SCAN
[I crossed this out and added an arrow to the paragraph below to move it up with the previous.]

CAT Scan confronts the Gargoyle while trying to pull off one of Xavier's crimes. CAT Scan has been waiting for this moment ... a chance to face his very first opponent again. Only this time, he's more powerful and more skillful at using his CAT Scan vision. It's a tough, grueling fight.
CAT Scan loses, but not by much. He vows to get even. The score is not settled.

THE THIRD EPISODE FEATURING CAT SCAN

CAT Scan discovers that the raid on his lab a long time ago was a hoax perpetrated by Xavier himself. It was no accident that Dr. Grun was dosed by the replicating device. Xavier's rationale was: who better to understand and deal with the psychological stress of becoming a panther than a man who's studied wild cats all his life. A man who understands the physical effects of genetic mutations and the capabilities of the advanced CAT Scan x-rays. Dr. Grun was simply a tool ... and now he's a freak. An enslaved freak. He decides to kill Xavier.

The Gargoyle now finds himself in the odd position of protecting Xavier from CAT Scan. In the end, though, CAT Scan is defeated again.

HERE'S ANOTHER ONE ...

SHARD -- Randall Craig is a New York window cleaner. He's a large man, and yet has an amazing sense of balance; his bulk belies his agility. He's comfortable scaling skyscrapers and definitely not afraid of heights. Some of his coworkers think he's a little too casual on the job.

Although bulky, he's really a shy, somewhat innocent-looking man. A man who's hiding a deep secret: he has an uncontrollable violent streak in him that's triggered when he's being mocked, condescended to, or is ridiculed. Unfortunately, his co-workers make fun of him all the time, but he resists smashing their skulls in because he doesn't want to get fired. [By this section, I wrote: "We all feel this way".] He internalizes his rage and late at night releases it on innocent victims on the streets of New York. [By this I wrote: "can't be to [sic] uncontrollable".]

One day on the job, he cracks up. He crashes through the window of an office tower and beats the [expletive delted] out of an executive who he thought was mocking him as he worked. The broken glass severely scars his face. He's fired.

Plastic surgery can correct the damage, but he decides that he ' likes his new look -- the scars, covering most of his face, resemble a shattered mirror or window. [By these last two paragraphs, I wrote: "Won't be able to do this".]

After the incident he becomes a recluse. He always was an outsider, a loner, but now he disappears for a long period of time. When he resurfaces, it's as a maniacal, senseless murderer. Now he has an "occupation" that people will respect ... even fear. It's hard to be condescending the moment before you're murdered!

Shard spends his nights scaling skyscrapers. When-he sees his next victim, he swoops down on a rope and snatches them from the sidewalk. As he climbs up the building (to the rooftop where his crimes are committed), his victims quickly stop struggling. They are so high up, so quickly, that they don't want him to let them go. Unfortunately, they don't know what awaits them on the roof.

At the scene of Shard's crimes (always on the top of skyscrapers, leaving the police puzzled about how the killer and the victim got up there without anyone noticing them), he leaves a shard of glass -- perfectly clean, like a diamond; no fingerprints, no smudges. And as sharp as a knife. His repeated murders make the headlines of the New York Times.

Xavier relishes the mystery and the ferocity of the killer's crimes, so he sends his men out to track him down before the police do: Xavier wants him on his team! [I circled the word "team" and put a question mark beside it.]

One night, Shard swipes one of Xavier's men and begins scaling a skyscraper to the man's final resting place -- on the roof! The Gargoyle tries to save the man (unknowingly saving one of Xavier's henchmen); a high wire fight ensues; Xavier shows up in a helicopter, joins in the battle against the Gargoyle, but all of the villains are defeated... just barely.

Later, Shard is confronted by Xavier who is eager to recruit him. Shard, however, is furious and almost drops Xavier off the side of a building: he doesn't need him; the world doesn't need him; the world has Shard! Xavier, however, is amused with Shard's look on life. He can't help but laugh. Here is a man who understands ego and power! (Of course, Xavier concludes, he's not bright enough to properly use it; that's why he needs Xavier.) Shard thinks Xavier is laughing at him, so he drops him from the building top. Halfway to the ground, Xavier's saved by his helicopter. Undaunted, apparently not even angry that Shard almost killed him, Xavier laughs out loud and vows to recruit Shard one day... one day.

THE SECOND EPISODE FEATURING SHARD

Well, that day comes soon enough. Cut to the action: Shard is trapped; he's going to be captured by the Gargoyle. Only Xavier can save him, but he'll do so only if Shard vows to work for him. Reluctantly, he agrees, and is saved by Xavier, who laughs demonically at his catch. Shard is having second thoughts...

[I wrote: "Xavier doesn't have to be in everything".]


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New Orleans...

I'm heading down to Louisiana tomorrow to do some research and to attend the wedding of former Gargoyles Casting & Voice Director Jamie Thomason to former Gargoyles Talent Coordinator (and now a talented voice director in her own right) Julie Morgavi.

So I won't be on-line for about a week.

Take good care of each other.


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CONTEST UPDATE

Well, we're still answering more apace. Don't know if anyone's keeping track, but by my records here's what still remains unanswered:

17, 42, 44, 67, 68, 74, 75, 76, 108, 124, 125, 127, 129, 133, 134, 148, 214, 225, 226, 227, 233, 235, 236, 238, 241, 244, 253, 254, 256, 290, 292, 293, 306, 307, 313, 314, 321, 322, 326, 327, 328, 333, 335, 336, 356, 395, 404, 408, 409, 410, 420, 421, 433, 444, 446, 447, 450, 455, 472, 490, 502, 506, 507, 508, 510, 517, 518, 519.

Only sixty-eight blanks left out of five hundred twenty-five.

Wow.


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More e-mails: CATMAN

Another e-mail exchange here. This one is from Fred Schaefer who was creating our proto-Talon character. He wanted some background on DC's Catman character. So I gave it to him.

[2] From: Greg Weisman 1/13/92 10:47AM (5292 bytes: 87 ln)
To: Fred Schaefer
bcc: Greg Weisman
Subject: GARGOYLE VILLAIN
------------------------------- Message Contents ------------------------------
[FRED WROTE:]

Greg, I've created a villain (yes, he's big and powerful) called CAT SCAN. Later, I realized that you said avoid silly villains, using Cat Man as an example. What do you know about Cat Man, so I don't duplicate the character? I doubt that I have, though.

fs

[GREG RESPONDED:]
Catman is a batman villain. At his worst, he was just a guy who liked to steal cat related items. The Egyptian Cat god statue or a gold cat with ruby eyes. He was a former big game hunter who took on the identity of Catman when he got bored, I think. He'd use cat-related items to commit crimes, like a cat-o-nine-tails or a Cat-amaran or a catalogue. (I'm not kidding. At this level, he was simply stealing all the sillier aspects of the Catwoman's schtick.)

At his best, he had a couple of other twists that made him a bit more interesting. He had this cape, that he claimed gave him 9 lives. It was left intentionally vague whether he was just lucky to escape all these dangerous situations, or whether because he believed in the cape he had the confidence to survive, or whether the cape actually worked. One time when Batman ripped off part of the cape while Catman was trying to escape, Catman survived jumping thru a "wall" of high temperature steam. The next time he resurfaced, part of his face was scarred (sound familiar) and burnt by the steam. He blamed Batman, and the fact that a piece of the cape was torn. Even after that, it was still intentionally unclear whether he was just lucky to have survived at all, or whether the cape was in some way responsible. Since then writers have often forgotten that story, and Catman has been fairly inconsistent. Plus since he's now been around for many years, he's used up his nine lives (assuming he ever had them), and writers try to beat around that bush as well.

Another interesting element to the character was the rivalry between Catman and Catwoman, with Batman in the middle. Catwoman & Batman have this love-hate thang going. Plus she occasionally tries to go straight for his sake. (In one old story, that is no longer part of the "cannon" of the DC Universe, Batman and Catwoman got married and had a daughter who grew up to become a heroine named "The Huntress".) Catman and Catwoman used to fight over who had the right to the name, etc.

The key thing however is motivation, look and goal. Catman is a good example of a silly villain, because he has no real motivation beyond liking catstuff. No good reason to even like catstuff. His goal of stealing is just the kind of thing cops should handle. He's not dangerous enough. In later stories, his goal became more murderous. He wanted revenge on Batman and/or Catwoman, but that was because they had defeated him while he was just a glorified catburglar. Finally, his look is silly. He wears a mask with little cat ears, and he wears traditional superhero tights and a cape with a "CM" on his chest. I can bring in a shot of him tomorrow if you want.

There you go, more than you ever needed to know about him.

Except this: when I set out to write my Black Canary mini-series, which never got published, I thought that cats would be natural enemies to a canary, so I teamed up Catman with a Wonder Woman villainess called the Cheetah. I gave them a romance, because Cheetah was mentally scarred (i.e. crazy) and Catman's face was scarred by the steam. They loved each other because no one else would. This was done to off-set the fact that Black Canary's love-life (with another superhero named Green Arrow) was stagnant and hollow. "Even the badguys can have a committed relationship." It was the first issue of the four parter which would act as a catalyst for the two heroes to marry. The series was killed, because DC was approached by a very popular artist/writer who wanted to do Green Arrow. But wanted to keep the character single.

There. Now that's really more than you ever needed to know.


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A species is born (again)...

More e-mail. Same day. Tad sends me back word that he can't go to the comic book store, and that I worry too much about Marvel.

But it's clear here that my own thinking is starting to crystalize a bit. I don't want our proto-Goliath to be a cursed/transformed human. In fact, I'm clearly leaning away from him being "created" at all. I'm leaning toward a species with multiple members. I'm bringing it back toward the comedy development but through the dramatic prism.

The Zot! reference below goes like this. I once (more than once actually) tried to get the various companies that I have worked for to option Zot! for animation. Someone once suggested to me that I just create my own Zot!. Obviously I balked at the notion of stealing the essence of someone else's idea. Here on Gargoyles, I felt we had developed something unique and our own. I didn't want, after the fact, to have been accused of stealing someone else's idea. As it turned out, I was accused of that anyway. But at least I could document that it wasn't true.

[20] From: Greg Weisman 1/10/92 11:55AM (1799 bytes: 28 ln)
To: Tad Stones, Mike Ryan, Kathy Fair, Fred Schaefer

cc: Hali Helfgott
bcc: Greg Weisman
Subject: Gargoyle

------------------------------- Message Contents -------------------------------
[TAD WROTE:]
Sorry, I have a lunch today.

I think human to gargoyle is open territory because it's traditional horror transformation and certainly fairy tale stuff. Beauty and the Beast is the direct reference. The fact that both Marvel and DC have those characters shows that it's open territory. Not that I think the human to beast idea is necessarily the way to go.

[GREG RESPONDED:]
Personally, I don't like Human to beast. I feel a) like it's been done to death and b) like no matter how many times he says he can't be cured, you're gonna look for the cure and get frustrated when it doesn't come in a series.

It seems more unique to me if we are creating this new breed. They existed. He may be the only one left, though I might argue both sides of that issue, but it was something that has it's own traditions and mythology. Just another guy transformed ugly, Thing, Hulk, Beast, Beast, Gargoyle, Demon. That doesn't strike me as special.

And I think you underestimate the trouble that Marvel's Gargoyle might give us. We've developed to this character in a natural progression from an original notion. I personally would like to avoid taking turns that would make it look after the fact like we were copying them. It's like the Zot! situation in reverse.


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Whew....

I thought this was gonna be a marathon, but it's turning into a sprint. We're WAY past the halfway point already.

Now I'd just like to facilitate people not posting answers to blanks already filled.

So here -- according to my records -- are the blanks that haven't yet been guessed correctly:

7, 16-17, 19, 22, 42-44, 53, 57-61, 66-68, 72-77, 104, 108, 112, 117, 119, 124-125, 127, 129-130, 133-134, 148, 151, 155, 158, 183, 186, 214, 225-227, 233, 235-236, 238, 241, 244, 253-254, 256, 290, 292-293, 296, 298, 306-314, 316-318, 320-322, 326-328, 332-336, 338, 356, 371, 374, 395, 404, 407-410, 420-421, 433-435, 444, 446-447, 450, 455-456, 464-465, 467, 472, 474, 478-479, 490, 498, 502, 506-510, 517-520.

Only 122 blanks left to fill out of 525.

Like I said, "Whew..."


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More Tad e-mails...

Here's more of the e-mail exchanges between Tad Stones and the development department. Tad reminds me to be more adventurous (in more ways than one).

At the end, I ask if he's "geekin'", which was our word for going to the local comic book shop during lunch hour. (Or was that obvious?)

[3] From: Greg Weisman 1/10/92 11:41AM (1483 bytes: 26 ln)
To: Tad Stones, Mike Ryan, Kathy Fair, Fred Schaefer
cc: Greg Weisman, Hali Helfgott
Subject: Gargoyle

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

[TAD WROTE:]
We should be careful with any "boy adventure" show we do. We've trained ourselves away from it to such an extent, that it's a kind of release to finally be able to handle different subject matter. You might rush in and put a good, solid show together ... without taking the time to make it special. I'm talking about more than good stories and characters ... we have to take the time to make it different, as different as DuckTales was from other funny animal shows. I think the romance might help give it a special tone.

[GREG'S RESPONSE:]
I don't disagree. And I'd love to have romance. (Sex and Death are the two things I miss from comic books.) I just don't know how much we're allowed to get away with romance-wise. Far from the "release" causing me to leave it out, is the conservative approach that the last two years have taught me.

And by the way, we can't do him as a human cursed to Gargoyle form. Both DC's Demon and Marvel's Gargoyle are humans cursed to monstrous form.

Are you geekin?


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Mike responds to the guru...

Yesterday, I posted Tad Stones' response to our new "THE GARGOYLE" development. Here's staff assistant Mike Ryan's response to Tad.

Coincidentally, I had lunch with Mike yesterday. And he and Tad and I chatted briefly walking over to the Disney commissary.

[2] From: Mike Ryan 1/10/92 8:29AM (907 bytes: 16 ln)
To: Tad Stones, Greg Weisman, Kathy Fair, Fred Schaefer
Subject: Gargoyle
------------------------------- Message Contents ------------------------------
Tad,

It's great to get a "fresh" perspective on this stuff. I was having the same nagging problem with the princess in the backstory, but couldn't quite pin down what the problem was. She really has no place in this show.

I think we sometimes we underestimate [executive] intelligence (you don't hear that statement too often!) and we are overexplaining everything in this pitch. Even if [an executive] doesn't know exactly what gargoyles were created for, he does have an idea of what they are. We can assume that much for all of our audience.

Finally, I agree that we're making a mistake to sidestep the romance.


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CONTEST CORRECTION

Vashkoda pointed out an error:

The clue to 155 should read:

8 letters + "'s"

hopefully that's the first and last mistake I've made.

Sorry. (But I warned you.)


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My guru speaks...

When I started at Disney in 1989, my boss Bruce Cranston was immediately sent to Europe for SIX MONTHS to help open two studios there. That left the entire development department in my hands. And I had been there all of four days. It was a tremendous time for me. I learned a ton. And one of the guys I learned the most from was Tad Stones. We developed DARKWING DUCK together. (Or rather he developed it and I tried to help.) Tad was instrumental in convincing us to switch our comedy development to dramatic action. The idea of a proto-Goliath was really his. I gave him a copy of our latest pitch breakdown (already posted here, check the Archive). Here's his feedback, sent by e-mail.

[2] From: Tad Stones 1/10/92 7:17AM (5251 bytes: 85 ln)
To: Greg Weisman, Kathy Fair, Mike Ryan, Fred Schaefer
Subject: Gargoyle

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

The latest presentation list looked pretty good. Just a few thoughts:

Don't shy away from romance. It's more than friendship between the girl and gargoyle.

I'd dump the Princess in the backstory. You don't need the parallel to- present day, and it weakens the present day relationship. He loves her for who she is ... not because of a guilt trip in the past or emotional transference.

Backstory: You don't need it except for the tragic betrayal, and that should be simple. Should the wizard literally create the gargoyle? Or is that too godlike? Two thoughts on gargoyle creation: 1) Start the pitch with a drawing of a stone gargoyle... or a photo from Notre Dame. "People think of gargoyles as grotesque decorations left from another age..." Then a medieval woodcut showing a gargoyle tossing knights over castle ramparts. "But there was a time when they were real." Then go to your Manhattan/Gargoyle beauty shot, "That time is today!" Actually, that last line is catchier than it is clear. The point is - don't waste time and art explaining gargoyles any more than you'd explain dinosaurs. They were demonic creatures. Period. I got it. Unless you tell me different, I'll assume there were all sorts, good and bad. You can go into all sorts of backstory in the two hour movie but it's not necessary for the pitch. There was the "king" of the gargoyles who protected the castle of Arthur (or whoever) but he was set up (framed) by the evil wizard. The walls of Camelot were breached and the Gargoyle is seen as a betrayer. Merlin has him sleep a petrified slumber as punishment. "You failed to guard it this night. Then you shall guard it for all eternity!!" As simple as possible, probably avoid using names because that complicates it.

2) He was human and framed. His punishment was a spell of petrification. But this spell has no cure, no princess's kiss or beauty's love will change him back.

The sunlight/sleep aspect of the gargoyle could be saved for a explanation of powers/weaknesses in the present day.

Art: Lose cards #2, 3 (redundant), 5 (seems like the gargoyle is taking action while the castle is still being lowered), 9 (one action card, not three. The guy has wings so I assume he can fly. Have him about to toss a truck while bullets bounce off him - show scared crooks and the cop amazed in the BG), 10 (for now - you can add it later if you need it), 12-18 (Simplify as discussed. WWII stuff fun but I'm not sure what it adds to the pitch. Isn't it more special that he hasn't helped until now - because of the love of the girl?) 19 and 20 (What kind of visual could Bob possibly draw. Pitch gets preachy and deadly) 21 (The "beauty shot" aspect fights what she's saying - Modify. Make it a poster, city as castle. It's the hook of the show, design this card as a showpiece.) 22 (We've already seen this when he saved her), 27 (redundant - if they don't have it by now, give up.) 28 through 30 (If you have great ideas on this stuff, add them. Is there a way to make them as fun as the crockery in Beauty and the Beast without making them gargoyles? Put your time in the villains. That's what Hasbro and the boy audience will be interested in. Supporting characters should be developed by the story editor anyway, not needed for the pitch.)

One last thought: He is the only gargoyle. No goofy gargoyles. No evil gargoyles (except MAYBE late in the series). Keep him special and unique one against the world - that's the gothic/heroic/tragic/romantic element. Don't diffuse it.

Put the pitch together without the art cards I've noted and write a pitch. Only then should you put the shackles on Bob to do the "Would be nice if you have the time" stuff. You might find you want completely different shadings. But run it by GK/JK [Gary Krisel and Jeffrey Katzenberg] before you go farther. Consider painting/airbrushing card 21 - the poster.

Neat stuff. Wish you had more time.


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G-2198 CONTEST CLUES

Here are the promised clues. Most of them are incredibly straight forward. Blank #1 for example is an 8-letter word. A few are fancier. But not very. The last two words (524 & 525) are clueless. Didn't want to make it too easy.

And, yes, I am a bit evil. But just a bit. Between the contextual help and these clues, I don't think it'll be too hard.

1. - 8 letters
2. - 3 letters
3. - 4 letters
4. - 3 letters
5. - 7 letters
6. - 5 letters
7. - 6 letters
8. - 6 letters
9. - 5 letters
10. - 5 letters
11. - 4 letters
12. - 6 letters
13. - 5 letters
14. - 5 letters
15. - 6 letters
16. - 8 letters
17. - 8 letters
18. - 2 letters
19. - 4 letters
20. - 4 letters
21. - 4 letters
22. - 7 letters
23. - 9 letters
24. - 5 letters
25. - 10 letters
26. - 4 letters
27. - 5 letters
28. - 4 letters
29. - 4 numbers
30. - 2 letters
31. - 9 letters
32. - 8 letters
33. - 9 letters
34. - 5 letters
35. - 6 letters
36. - 8 letters
37. - 6 letters
38. - 6 letters
39. - 5 letters
40. - 6 letters
41. - 13 letters
42. - 12 letters
43. - 8 letters
44. - 5 letters
45. - 9 letters
46. - 8 letters
47. - 8 letters
48. - 10 letters
49. - 3 letters
50. - 6 letters
51. - 7 letters
52. - 7 letters
53. - 8 letters
54. - 6 letters
55. - 5 letters
56. - 9 letters
57. - 7 letters
58. - 6 letters
59. - 10 letters
60. - 6 letters
61. - 7 letters
62. - 7 letters
63. - 5 letters
64. - 10 letters
65. - 8 letters
66. - 8 letters
67. - 10 letters
68. - 4 numbers
69. - 6 letters
70. - 5 letters
71. - 8 letters
72. - 6 letters
73. - 6 letters
74. - 9 letters
75. - 6 letters
76. - 9 letters
77. - 8 letters
78. - 4 letters
79. - 5 letters
80. - 8 letters
81. - 6 letters
82. - 4 letters
83. - 5 letters
84. - 6 letters
85. - 4 letters
86. - 5 letters
87. - 5 letters
88. - 10 letters
89. - 6 letters
90. - 3 letters
91. - 10 letters
92. - 8 letters
93. - 6 letters
94. - 5 letters
95. - 4 numbers
96. - 5 letters
97. - 8 letters
98. - 6 letters
99. - 6 letters
100. - 4 letters
101. - 7 letters
102. - 6 letters
103. - 8 letters
104. - 7 letters
105. - 7 letters and an apostrophe
106. - 7 letters
107. - 10 letters
108. - 8 letters
109. - 6 letters
110. - 6 letters
111. - 7 letters
112. - 10 letters
113. - 5 letters
114. - 4 letters
115. - 9 letters
116. - 7 letters
117. - 7 letters
118. - 6 letters
119. - same as 117
120. - 4 letters
121. - 10 letters
122. - 10 letters
123. - 7 keystrokes
124. - 6 letters
125. - 6 letters
126. - 8 letters
127. - 9 letters
128. - 5 letters
129. - 10 letters
130. - 5 letters
131. - 5 letters
132. - 5 letters
133. - 7 letters
134. - 8 letters
135. - 5 letters
136. - 5 letters
137. - 6 letters
138. - 7 letters
139. - 6 letters
140. - 6 letters
141. - 10 letters
142. - 6 letters
143. - 6 letters
144. - 9 letters
145. - 4 digits
146. - 8 letters
147. - 7 letters
148. - 10 letters
149. - 7 letters
150. - 7 letters
151. - 8 letters
152. - 5 letters
153. - 9 letters
154. - 6 letters
155. - 8 letters
156. - 8 letters
157. - 3 letters
158. - 8 letters
159. - 4 letters
160. - 7 letters
161. - 9 letters
162. - 4 keystrokes
163. - 6 letters
164. - 5 letters
165. - 6 letters
166. - same as 144
167. - 8 letters
168. - 6 letters
169. - 2 letters
170. - 7 letters
171. - 9 letters
172. - 6 letters
173. - 6 letters
174. - 10 letters
175. - 7 letters
176. - 7 letters
177. - 9 letters
178. - 4 letters
179. - 5 letters
180. - 4 letters
181. - 5 letters
182. - 9 letters
183. - 7 letters
184. - 5 letters
185. - 8 letters
186. - 6 letters
187. - 3 initials
188. - 5 letters
189. - 4 letters
190. -6 letters
191. - 11 letters
192. - 5 letters
193. - 7 letters
194. - 8 letters
195. - 7 letters
196. - 9 letters
197. - 8 letters
198. - 7 letters
199. - 6 letters
200. - 6 letters
201. - 6 letters
202. - 10 letters
203. - 6 letters
204. - 6 letters
205. - 5 letters
206. - 4 letters
207. - 7 letters
208. - 9 letters
209. - 9 letters
210. - 6 letters
211. - 5 letters
212. - 9 letters
213. - 9 letters
214. - 9 letters
215. - 5 letters
216. - 5 letters
217. - 5 letters
218. - 7 letters and a bonus keystroke
219. - 6 letters
220. - 7 letters
221. - 6 letters
222. - 7 letters
223. - 8 letters
224. - 6 letters
225. - 9 letters
226. - 7 letters
227. - 8 letters
228. - 6 letters
229. - 5 letters
230. - 8 letters
231. - 5 letters
232. - 3 letters
233. - 8 letters
234. - 9 letters
235. - 8 letters
236. - 9 letters
237. - 4 letters
238. - 9 letters
239. - 4 letters
240. - 8 letters +
241. - 4 letters
242. - 6 letters
243. - 8 letters
244. - 8 letters
245. - 3 letters
246. - 10 letters
247. - 7 letters
248. - 8 letters
249. - 5 letters
250. - 3 letters
251. - 5 letters
252. - 5 letters
253. - 7 keystrokes
254. - 8 letters
255. - 6 letters
256. - 4 letters
257. - 6 letters
258. - 6 letters
259. - 5 letters
260. - 9 letters
261. - 8 letters
262. - 5 letters
263. - 5 letters
264. - 5 letters
265. - 5 letters
266. - 5 letters
267. - 10 letters
268. - 8 symbols
269. - 10 letters
270. - 6 letters
271. - 5 letters
272. - 4 letters
273. - 7 letters
274. - 4 letters
275. - 7 letters
276. - 5 letters
277. - 6 letters
278. - 7 letters
279. - 9 letters
280. - 9 letters
281. - 3 letters
282. - 7 letters
283. - 4 letters
284. - 7 letters
285. - 9 letters
286. - 9 letters
287. - 5 letters
288. - 5 letters
289. - 9 letters
290. - 5 letters
291. - 6 keystrokes
292. - 5 letters
293. - 10 letters
294. - 4 letters
295. - 4 letters
296. - 9 letters
297. - 7 letters
298. - 11 letters
299. - 7 letters and help
300. - 4 letters
301. - 4 letters
302. - 7 letters
303. - 5 letters
304. - 4 letters
305. - 4 letters
306. - 3 initials
307. - 3 initials
308. - 7 letters
309. - 9 letters
310. - 7 letters
311. - 11 letters
312. - 9 letters
313. - 7 letters
314. - 6 letters
315. - 7 letters
316. - 4 keystrokes
317. - 4 letters
318. - 9 letters
319. - 6 letters
320. - 5 letters
321. - 6 letters
322. - 6 letters
323. - 10 letters
324. - 5 letters
325. - 5 letters
326. - 6 letters
327. - 6 letters
328. - 3 keystrokes
329. - 8 letters
330. - 10 letters
331. - 11 letters
332. - 6 letters
333. - 3 initials
334. - 3 numbers
335. - 3 keystrokes
336. - 4 keystrokes
337. - 6 letters
338. - 10 letters
339. - 11 letters
340. - 6 letters
341. - 8 letters
342. - 6 letters
343. - 8 letters
344. - 6 letters
345. - 4 letters
346. - 5 letters
347. - 5 letters
348. - 6 letters
349. - 6 letters + "'s"
350. - 10 letters
351. - 6 letters
352. - 5 letters
353. - 4 letters
354. - 6 letters
355. - 10 letters
356. - 10 letters
357. - 4 letters
358. - 6 letters
359. - 7 letters
360. - 12 keystrokes
361. - 9 letters
362. - 5 letters
363. - 10 letters
364. - 5 letters
365. - 3 letters
366. - 3 letters
367. - 3 letters
368. - 10 letters
369. - 8 letters
370. - 8 letters
371. - 3 letters
372. - 7 letters
373. - 9 letters
374. - 7 letters
375. - 4 numbers
376. - 6 letters
377. - 8 letters
378. - 5 letters
379. - 3 letters
380. - 5 letters
381. - 8 letters
382. - 6 letters
383. - 3 letters
384. - 4 letters
385. - 5 letters
386. - 6 letters
387. - 6 letters
388. - 5 letters
389. - 2 letters
390. - 3 letters
391. - 2 letters
392. - 3 letters
393. - 8 letters
394. - 5 letters
395. - 4 letters
396. - 6 letters
397. - 5 letters
398. - 4 digits
399. - 8 letters
400. - 2 letters
401. - 3 letters
402. - 5 letters
403. - 8 letters
404. - 8 letters
405. - 6 letters
406. - 6 letters
407. - 6 letters
408. - 8 letters
409. - 3 "letters"
410. - 4 numbers
411. - 5 letters
412. - 5 letters
413. - 5 letters
414. - 6 letters
415. - 7 letters
416. - 8 letters
417. - 2 letters
418. - 3 letters
419. - 4 letters
420. - 3 initials
421. - 3 numbers
422. - 5 letters
423. - 6 letters
424. - 5 letters
425. - 5 letters
426. - 6 letters
427. - 5 letters
428. - 5 letters
429. - 11 letters
430. - 5 letters
431. - 7 letters
432. - 5 letters
433. - 4 letters
434. - 9 letters
435. - 4 letters
436. - 6 letters
437. - 7 letters
438. - 10 letters
439. - 8 letters
440. - 5 letters
441. - 6 letters
442. - 5 letters
443. - 5 letters
444. - 8 letters
445. - 7 letters
446. - 9 letters
447. - 12 letters
448. - 7 letters
449. - 10 letters
450. - 5 letters
451. - same as 299
452. - 10 letters
453. - 5 letters
454. - 8 letters
455. - 5 letters
456. - 10 letters
457. - 9 letters
458. - 9 letters
459. - 4 digits
460. - 5 letters + "'s"
461. - 8 letters
462. - 8 letters
463. - 6 letters
464. - 9 letters
465. - 10 letters
466. - 9 letters
467. - 12 letters
468. - 6 letters
469. - 9 letters
470. - 5 letters
471. - 5 letters
472. - 9 letters
473. - 10 letters
474. - 13 letters
475. - 10 letters
476. - 7 letters
477. - 7 letters
478. - 7 letters
479. - 9 letters
480. - 7 letters
481. - 6 letters
482. - 5 letters
483. - 5 letters
484. - 5 letters
485. - 5 letters
486. - 8 letters
487. - 10 letters
488. - 7 letters
489. - 8 letters
490. - 10 letters
491. - 10 letters
492. - 6 letters
493. - 10 letters
494. - 5 letters
495. - 5 letters
496. - 7 letters
497. - 7 letters
498. - 7 keystrokes
499. - 10 letters
500. - 6 letters
501. - 6 letters
502. - 8 letters
503. - 5 letters
504. - 10 letters
505. - 12 letters
506. - 5 letters
507. - 6 letters
508. - 7 letters
509. - 6 letters
510. - 8 letters
511. - 6 letters
512. - 1 letter
513. - 4 letters
514. - 5 letters
515. - 5 letters
516. - 5 letters
517. - 8 letters
518. - 9 letters
519. - 10 letters
520. - 6 letters
521. - 8 letters
522. - 9 letters
523. - 4 keystrokes
524. - no clue
525. - no clue


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GARGOYLES 2198: THE CONTEST

GARGOYLES 2198
(Fill-in-the-Blank Contest / 9-26-00)

Written by

Greg Weisman

Well, here it is. This contest took me almost as long to put together as it did to develop the show it's based upon. Below is a good-sized document on GARGOYLES 2198 with tons and tons of info about the proposed spin-off series, its characters, settings and situations. The only problem is that there are five hundred and twenty-five blanks making it slightly difficult to read. Actually, those aren't quite blanks. They're place-holders. Numbers. Each number has a corresponding clue which I'll post right after I've posted this. Those clues should help you RE-place those holders.

As requested, there are two prizes to be handed out. One is for the person who contributes the most answers overall. The other is for the first person to TOTALLY COMPLETE the puzzle.

At this early stage, I think it's pretty useless for people to reprint the entire essay attempting to fill in ALL the blanks at one fell swoop. So early entries should read like this:

212: Mayberry
303: Andy
444: Opie
521: Fife

Notice, there's no need to guess all of them every time. (And please don't.) Just guess the ones you think you know or we'll be here forever. Capitalization does NOT count. But spelling does. [I do reserve the right to admit later that I made a mistake here and there. I don't think I have, but it's been quite an undertaking, so who knows…]

Let's say in the above answer that "Mayberry", "Opie" and "Fife" were right, but Andy wasn't. The person who posted it would get three points. UNLESS, someone's already posted the correct answer to, say, 444. In which case, this poster only gets points for Mayberry and Fife. Clear? Obviously, it's important that you use a consistent screen name to post your answers in order to get credit for all your points. Anonymous postings will be deleted by Todd in advance. (Waves at Todd.)

I know the contest looks imposing, but in many ways, I think this is easier than the Clan Contest. There are a lot more clues and you all have a lot more information. Once we've filled in a bunch of the blanks (say 500 out of the 525) then we can start seeing completed answers being posted with the blanks filled in.

I encourage teamwork. And everyone remember that this is just a game. Just a diversion. Just some fun. Don't take it too seriously. As usual, the prizes (again, one for points and one for the completed answer) will be of no real value. Hopefully, they'll be interesting though.

I'm hoping we'll have finished this by next June's Los Angeles Gathering. Go to it…

One thousand years ago…
Superstition and the sword ruled.
It was a time of darkness.
It was a world of fear.
It was the age... of gargoyles!
Stone by day, warriors by night,
We were betrayed by the humans we had sworn to protect,
Frozen in stone by a magic spell for a thousand years.
Finally... the spell was broken, and we lived again!

But our 1 was 2 from 3...
For the last 4 5 6 we have faced the 7,
Navigating an 8 9 with the 10 11.
But now the 12 13 itself is 14 15!
16 is 17!
And 18 may be 19 20 21 for 22…

We are 23 of the 24!
We are 25 of 26 27!
The 28 is 29.

And 30… are 31!

In 1996, humanity and the world at large discovered there were gargoyles living among them. Fortunately for the human race, Gargoyles are by nature a protective species. Unfortunately for the gargoyle race, humanity is by nature an intolerant species. Humans did not welcome having to share their world with other 32 33. Many were quick to 34 the gargoyles as 35, 36, 37 or worse. Gargoyles were 38 basic "39" 40. They were 41 against. 42 upon. 43. 44. And sometimes 45.

Despite this, GOLIATH, the leader of the gargoyles, maintained hope that one day humans and gargoyles would live in peace. Eventually, that day came. The "46 47 48 49" was adopted by the 50 51. Gargoyles were 52 full "53 54". Though Gargoyle 55 were 56 across the globe, they were collectively granted 57 58 as an 59 60. 61 Gargoyles became a crime.

True acceptance, however, is not so easily legislated. At best, Gargoyles were still barely tolerated by their human neighbors. Real peace would have to wait.

But the gargoyles would take what they could get. The 62, once on the 63 of 64, began to make a 65. Clans that were 66 helped to 67 those that were not. By 68, 69 70 comprised the 71 72. Each was strong in 73 and 74. Now it was time to 75 again. As a potent act of 76, every clan brought its 77 78 to 79 80 81, off the 82 83 of 84. The 85 would 86 together to demonstrate gargoyle 87. Some of the 88 would eventually return to the other 89 Clans. But many would stay to form the basis of a 90 clan. A 91 clan.

Someone should have told the gargoyles that 92 is NOT a lucky 93.

94, 95. 96 97 98. From around the globe, human Heads of State and all 99 Gargoyle 100 101 have come to this small 102 for the 103. They wait within the 104 of the 105 dormant 106 to witness the new 107 of gargoyles 108 out of their 109. Meanwhile, 110, a young gargoyle 111 is stuck on 112 113 114 at the base of the mountain. Out of nowhere, an immense 115 materializes above the 116. It emits a blinding beam of light that stabs down into the 117. 118 races up the slope, but it's too late. The 119 is empty. No 120. No gargoyles. No humans. No World Leaders!

Simultaneously, another giant 121 hovers over 122. Another beam stabs downward. And 123 124 125 126 -- the 127 system for nearly everything on the planet -- vanishes.

It all happens so fast, there's no time to react. 128 is paralyzed and 129 when the 130 131-132 133. In less than twenty-four hours, the planet is 134, absorbed into the 135-136 137. There is very little loss of life. Very little damage done. Unless 138 matters to you.

It matters to 139, the new 140 of the 141. One by one, he gathers his team…

142 - 143 of the 144 Clan hatched in 145. Though his 146 is different, it's obvious to anyone who'd care to look that he is descended from 147. Still no one knows how many 148 generations 149 from 150 he is. He might be the biological 151 of either 152 or 153, 154 and 155 first two biological 156, or he might be the biological 157 of 158, their third born. Frankly, it doesn't really matter. There were many 159 in that 160. All raised collectively by the 161 Clan.

By 162, 163 is 164 years old, but only 165 biologically. He has been trained as a Gargoyle Warrior both in 166 and in 167. He demonstrated enough promise to have recently been named 168-169-170 of the 171 Clan. Now, a reluctant 172 must become 173 not just of his clan, but of the entire 174.

175 - 176 of the 177 Clan is a 178-179. Mostly Gargoyle… but 180 181 as well. Her 182 include her namesake, the 183 that 184 185 186 by combining the 187 of 188 189 with that of 190. Being 191 part of both 192 has left 193 feeling like she's not truly a part of either. Upon learning of her "194", humans seem to react with fear and even disgust. And 195 has never been confident that the 196 she was raised with don't feel the same way. All this has made her tough on the outside, but desperately insecure on the inside. Nevertheless, she's a fierce young 197 198 (the same age as 199), and 200 makes her his 201 in the 202.

203 - 204 of the 205 Clan hails from the 206 207 of 208. He's a descendent of 209 and the 210 from "The 211". He has 212 wings, 213 features and skin the color of 214. From the 215 down, he looks like a 216 217. He's 218 contemporary and close friend. 219, 220 and 221 all trained together as Gargoyle Warriors, studying 222 in 223; they have a Three Musketeers kind of rapport. 224 isn't quite the fighter that the other two are, but he has other strengths. He's more 225, more intellectual, more book-smart. He has also been entrusted with his clan's 226 and sacred 227 228; this magical 229 230 prevents him from turning to 231 during the 232.

233 - 234 year old 235 236 237 is a scion of both the 238 and 239 families (which technically makes him a distant relative of 240). 241 was 242 among gargoyles and has taken the family tradition to heart. He too has traveled to 243 to join the ORDER OF THE 244. He has trained as a Gargoyle Warrior, embracing the Gargoyle 245 of 246 & 247. He's as much a 248 as a guy can be and not have 249. He's eager, perhaps a little too eager, for a chance to prove that he can hold his own with any other gargoyle. Only he's 250 a gargoyle. He's one hundred percent 251, with a 252 253 unique strengths and weaknesses.

254 - 255 (the original model for the mysterious 256 statues of 257 258) landed on 259 260 ago to stand 261 and protect our 262 from the 263-264. But by the time the 265-266 actually arrived, their 267 so far surpassed his, he was completely caught off guard. Now, there's nothing he can do but join 268 269 cell and try to pitch in. 270 is deeply shamed by his failure to protect his adoptive 271. He would gladly sacrifice his life to redeem himself.

272 273 - 274 275 was Chief of 276 of the 277 278. An indispensable aide to 279 General 280 281 282 IV. In fact 283 has been an indispensable aide to the 284 family since before 285 was born. But now the 286 General is gone. Taken by the 287-288 and put in stasis with the rest of the world's leaders. The new acting 289 has surrendered the 290 to the enemy. He has no use for 291 292 293 and intensity. And 294 has no use for a man who won't fight. So 295 has left public service to rejoin the private sector. Secretly, he has placed all the resources of the 296-297 298 at 299 disposal. Of course, we all know that 300 is really the 301. But since he already failed to 302 his charge, and certainly has no opportunity to 303 him anything at the moment, he's stuck as 304, stone 305 and all.

306 - 307 (a 308 of the 309-310 311) stands for 312-313-314, a line of 315 personal assistants that were all but ubiquitous in 316. Almost everyone who was anyone had one of the cute little, 317-foot tall, 318-shaped chrome 319. Each 320 was directly connected via satellite to the 321 322 in 323, giving each one the ability to instantaneously summon any or all of mankind's collective knowledge. But when the 324-325 attacked, one of their first acts was to steal the 326 327. Now each 328 is on its own. Each one still has a powerful 329 brain with crude 330 intelligence and long-term adaptive 331. But now, knowledge is finite, and experience is becoming the best teacher. Actually, two of these 332, 333-334 and 335-336 will play a role in our series. When we open, these 337 will be all but indistinguishable from each other. 338, merely. But as the series progresses, each will slowly develop its own 339.

340 - For over a 341 years, 342 has plotted against 343, blaming them for 344 against the gargoyle 345. Now that a greater threat, the 346-347, has reared it's many ugly heads, 348 has reluctantly joined 349 350 cell. But no one, including 351 herself, is fully confident that she'll continue to 352 on the 353 of the 354. This may be her last chance at 355... or her final opportunity to 356 the human 357. Still, 358 felt it necessary to actively 359 her. It's hard to pass up the help of a warrior who's survived a 360 worth of battles, a 361 who knows how to combine ancient 362 with modern 363. And then there's that bit about her turning into a 364 during the 365. The only question is how she will use her talents. 366 367, she's siding with the 368. But can that last?

369 - 370 is a young gargoyle warrior from our 371 372 day. In our second episode, he'll 373 374 to 375. The 376 is as new and strange to him as it is to our audience, and often 377 will be the point of view character to introduce us all to this 378 379 380. 381 does hope to 382 to his 383 384 someday, and so makes a special effort not to 385 too much about his own "386". But he has no intention of abandoning 387 or 388 in their time of need. Someday, however, he may have to make a choice.

389-390 - 391-392 is a 393 394 395 by the 396 Clan in 397, who arrives in 398 with 399. 400-401 is fiercely 402 (especially to 403). The ultimate 404.

[NOTE: Eventually, the large cast will be split in half. 405 will take 406, 407, 408 and 409-410 into 411 to hit the 412-413 where they live. 414, 415, 416, 417-418, 419 and 420-421 will remain on 422, thwarting the 423 at every turn and engaging in many non-424-425 stories.]

Anyway, those are our 426. (Other characters will be added over time.) Here's who they're up against…

THE 427-428 - Our main 429. This 430 race was literally "431 in 432", born amidst the 433 of an 434 435. For thousands of years, they have expanded their 436 in all directions, and 437 has been able to stand in their way. Their 438 is far 439 to anything we had on 440. They possess 441-than-442 443 travel, 444 devices, powerful force 445 and 446 447. They also have 448 capable of 449 the entire 450 in a matter of minutes. This creates a dilemma for 451 452. If 453 becomes more trouble than it's worth, the 454 will simply evacuate the 455 and 456 it.

THE 457 - Decades ago, the 458 organization fell out of favor. They were no longer "politically correct". But the events of March 21st, 459 changed all that. Because most of the 460 leaders were abducted while attending the 461 462, many 463 became convinced -- at least in part due to 464 465 -- that the 466 had conspired and 467 with the 468. Now the 469 are making a comeback. They don't much care for the 470-471, but their 472 of choice is still the Gargoyles.

THE 473 - Of course, the Gargoyles are not 474. But THE 475 476 is. The 477 is an 478 479 organization made up of almost all the true movers and 480 on 481 482. Many of the 483 leaders abducted by the 484-485 were 486 members of the 487 -- proof that the 488 definitely did NOT have advanced warning of the 489. But once the 490 was complete, the 491 wasted no time capitalizing on it. They negotiated a secret treaty with the 492, promising to infiltrate, sabotage and expose any sign of 493. In exchange, the 494-495 promised to release those world 496 that the 497 was prepared to vouch for. This 498 agreement was the beginning of a profitable arrangement for all concerned -- and the onset of a major headache for the 499.

500-X - 501-X is a super-502 503 with a highly evolved and Machiavellian 504 505. He has multiple 506 and 507 operatives, and any number of 508 509 that can accommodate his 510. Once upon a time, 511-512 had designs on taking 513 the 514. But that was before the 515-516 showed up and 517 his 518 519. Now anything less than total control of the entire 520 would strike him as under-achieving.

And that's the series in a 521.

522 523. The 524 is 525!


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WELCOME TO 2198...

As many of you know, one of the proposed Gargoyles spin-offs developed at Disney in 1996 (by myself and Gary Sperling) was set in the year 2158. The original title of the series was "GARGOYLES: FUTURE TENSE". But later, working here at Ask Greg, I came to two conclusions. (1) That it was too confusing having a spin-off series and an episode of the original series with the same title. (2) "Future Tense" wasn't that great a title for a spin-off series. So the series was renamed GARGOYLES 2158, which frankly sounded cooler and more immediate.

A couple months ago, however, I took a close look at the development for that series. And lots of stuff started bugging me. Some of it was literally MATH related. I had clearly made some mistakes in calculating WHEN certain things would happen. But creatively, I decided I wanted to make some changes as well. So I started from scratch. Everything was up for grabs. And I rebuilt the show.

The result is "GARGOYLES 2198". The immediate benefit is that I think this is an even better title. Being closer to the end of a century mark seems slightly more dramatic to me (an incidental benefit, since that wasn't why I did it). But beyond that, I think the idea is now much stronger, more cohesive and powerful.

But you won't have to take my word on that. You can read all about it...

Assuming you like contests, that is. Instead of just telling you guys everything, I've turned it all into our latest contest here at ASK GREG.

And I WON'T BE ANSWERING ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT 2198 until the contest is OVER!!

Enjoy...


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Farewell to 2158...

Say good-bye, finally, to GARGOYLES 2158.

The proposed GARGOYLES spin-off series originally known as "GARGOYLES: FUTURE TENSE" and later retitled "GARGOYELES 2158" has been redeveloped.

For more information, check out the "GARGOYLES 2198" ASK GREG archive.


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More on villains...

The same day as our last memo, Fred re-submitted the villain guidelines (his interpretations of stuff I told him) along with some notes on proto-Xanatos and proto-Magus/Arch-Mage.

RECEIVED BY
JAN 09 1992
GREG WEISMAN'S OFFICE

THE GARGOYLE -- WEISMAN GUIDELINES FOR VILLAINS
(Schaefer 1-9-92)

DISTRIBUTION: Cranston, Fair, Felix, Guler, Kline, Krisel, Ryan, Stones, Weisman

THE CRAZIES

-- Batman-esque villains. E.g. The Joker; Two Face (half of face scarred by acid; duality); Scarecrow (plays on people's fears, scares them to death). Avoid silly villains (e.g. the Penguin, the Riddler, Cat Man, Mr. Freeze).

-- The villains' craziness should be life-threatening. Attempted murder represents the majority of their crimes.

THE BIG GUYS

-- Considering what they'll be up against (The Gargoyle), physically they should be BIG, perhaps MUSCULAR, villains. Some may be hired by Xavier.

-- Fantasy-based. ogres, Trolls, etc.

-- Horror-based. A Mummy, A Werewolf, etc.

-- Empower the villains; make them formidable!

[Of course, there will be overlapping between the above two categories.]

AND THEN THERE'S XAVIER...

Very big, very rich, and very powerful. On a good day, he's vain, ruthless, lecherous, wicked, deceitful, unscrupulous, and vile. His corrupt hand is involved in a slew of nefarious endeavors. A self-taught Machiavellian; a manipulator, by nature.

He's a big, muscular man. His three-piece suit can scarcely contain his conspicuous bulk, much less maintain the air of civility desired by most businessman. But Xavier disdains most businessmen; they're weak, spineless cogs. Worker ants. Cowards. Powerless.

Powerlessness. Xavier abhors this more than anything in the world. It's his one big fear and the root cause of most of his frustrations.

A FINAL VILLAIN CATEGORY ... THE ANCIENT WIZARD

This is the Brit who created The Gargoyle 1000 years ago. Now he's back and he's mad as hell, but he doesn't know who to take it out on. The princess who turned the Gargoyle against him is long since dead. Of course, there's the Gargoyle. Well, what should the Ancient Wizard do? What's his big plan? Does he have a talisman that can place the Gargoyle (and the little gargoyles) under his power? How does it work? And how much power does it exert over them? Maybe Xavier discovers the Wizard's existence and views him as a threat. After all, the Wizard has powers that Xavier can never have and they both want the same thing -- The Gargoyle.


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Finally...

The queue is again empty.

But this time, I don't think Todd has fallen behind. I think finally, after, what, three years, I have caught up. Completely, totally, caught up.

I know it won't last. Won't even last a day, probably. But let me revel in the moment.

I'm caught up. I'm caught up. YES!


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Villain-work...

After Fred Schaefer's attempt at Villains like Mortify, I must have sat him down to give him some pointers on more dramatic villains for our new dramatic series. He wrote up the following:

THE GARGOYLE -- WEISMAN GUIDELINES FOR VILLAINS (1-9-92)

DISTRIBUTION: Cranston, Fair, Felix, Guler, Kline, Ryan, Stones

-- Batman-esque villains. E.g. The Joker; Two Face (half of face scarred by acid; duality); Scarecrow (plays on people's fears, scares them to death). Avoid silly villains (e.g. the Penguin, the Riddler, Cat Man, Mr. Freeze).

-- The villains' craziness should be life-threatening. Attempted murder represents the majority of their crimes.

-- Considering what they'll be up against (The Gargoyle), physically they should be BIG, perhaps MUSCULAR, villains. Some may be hired by Xavier.

-- Fantasy-based. Ogres, Trolls, etc.
-- Horror-based. A Mummy, A Werewolf, etc.
-- Empower the villains; make them formidable!
(Compiled by Schaefer 1-9-92)


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And now "THE GARGOYLE:

Now that we had left the comedy development behind, it was timE to start working on a pitch to sell our new dramatic development. I wrote what follows, breaking it down so that our artists could figure out what pictures they might need to draw.

NOTE: The show was (briefly) retitled "THE GARGOYLE". And the Gargoyle (proto-Goliath) was a magical creation who lived in despair through the thousand years. Some of which background was later better incorporated into Demona's story.

THE GARGOYLE
(Weisman / 1-7-92)

DISTRIBUTION: Cranston, Fair, Felix, Guler, Kline, Krisel, Ryan, Schaefer, Stones

PITCH BREAKDOWN
(First Pass)

1. Title Card

2. Typical stone gargoyles. (Perhaps stone versions of our mini characters.)

3. Pull back, we see them on the ramparts of a castle under seige by the evil army of the WIZARD. Stalemate.

4. Evil Wizard creates our GARGOYLE king.

5. GARGOYLE sets out very menacing to do the wizard's bidding.

6. PRINCESS turns our Gargoyle to the side of good. Touches his heart.

7. Gargoyle prepared to fight for Princess...(with small goofy army of little gargoyles?)...just as the sun begins to rise.

8. Gargoyle turns to stone at rise of sun. (As the wizard's army attacks?)

9. Sunset. The castle has been sacked. The princess is gone. Our Gargoyle is heartbroken. (More TRAGIC than pathetic.) He's failed.

10. The years pass. He haunts the ruined castle. Howling in front of the full moon??

11. Years in solitude. (Stealing books from library??)

12. Occasional forays into humanity? (World War II? Ripping the wings off a German plane?)

13. Always left with sense of isolation and futility. Nothing for him in this world. Nothing for 1000 years.

14. Than everything changes. Castle lifted by giant airships. Laputaesque.

15. Castle lowered onto XAVIER'S skyscraper.

16. Introduce NEW menacing XAVIER??? (Maybe save til later?)

17. Introduce our heroine. Female police detective? (Do we reuse the Princess model??) How does our Gargoyle meet her?

18. As before, this woman gives him hope, a sense of purpose. And real human friendship.

19. Gargoyles protect from Barbarians at the gate. Manhattan is full of "Barbarians". Gargoyle stops a mugging?

20. Escalate. He stops a car full of bank robbers in it's tracks.

21. Escalate. Major villain card.

22. Escalate. Even tougher villain card.

23. Escalate. The toughest villain card. (Show villain and Gargoyle fighting?)

24. Gargoyle in city atmosphere. Gothic melodrama in very modern setting.

25. Maybe introduce Xavier here? Or perhaps in some way, shape or form, reintroduce threat of the Wizard? Are these two related?

26. Supporting characters. (Other gargoyles, perhaps, or our lead girl's kid? Other cops? The old librarian?)

27. Where does he live? Still in Xavier's tower? With Xavier? The library maybe?

28. Other types of stories?

29. End Card.

Open to suggestions and input. (Particularly from you, Gary. Call me if you get a chance. I don't want to lose time while your out of town.) There are a lot of open issues here. Most important, is this the structure your looking for, or do we want to begin in the present, with a compact flashback for explanation? It's harder to get the capital-T Tragic element in that way, but we're less likely to get the question "So this takes place in the past?" from JK or ME at the end of the pitch.


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Clarification...

Someone asked me whether or not gargoyles would accept a homosexual gargoyle into the clan with open arms.

My response:

"The world isn't perfect. I think generally they would be tolerant. (Tolerant, in my book, is unsatisfactory.) But generalities do not
define individual reactions to individual revelations. Open arms would exist in many cases. "

My brother read that and wrote:

"I think writing "Tolerant is unsatisfactory"could be interpreted as you saying that they should not be tolerant, that you are against
tolerance rather than tolerance being insufficient."

So, just to be clear, I was saying that I find tolerance insufficient. Certainly, tolerance is better than hostility or neutrality, but I'd prefer acceptance.


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brainstorming villains...

Now that we had put our comedy development aside and moved on to an action-drama approach, I must have asked Fred Schaefer to come up with (a) some possible names for our new lead gargoyle (the proto-Goliath) and (b) some possible villains for him to combat. Unfortunately, the results were a bit underwhelming. But this was a new area to Fred. We had never developed a show like this before at Disney. It was an adjustment for all of us.

GARGOYLE DEVELOPMENT
(Schaefer 1-6-92)
[My handwritten notes in brackets.]

OUR MAIN GARGOYLE -- POSSIBLE NAMES

Griffin
Crag
Palisade
Dover (carved from the Cliffs of Dover, Wales)
Mortar
Igneous
Granite

GARGOYLE - POSSIBLE VILLAINS

MORTIFY- A sleazy unemployed (yellow) journalist. Humiliation and embarrassment are his weapons. He's a walking tabloid magazine (not literally), eager to expose people's emotional weaknesses. He gets under people's skin the way Hannibal Lector does, by prying into their personal affairs, but he's much more outlandish and not as gracious and composed as Lector. Mortify obviously relishes an awkward or scandalous moment.

Perhaps he wears a yellow suit with matching hat. He used to be a newspaper reporter, but his journalistic methods were so sloppy and immoral that he was fired and never hired by another paper. So, he decided that he doesn't need to work for a tabloid newspaper to do that damage he loves to inflict. He goes directly to the source -- the innocent citizens of Manhattan. [By these two paragraphs I wrote: "Does our audience 'get' yellow journalism?"]

(E.g. A CEO receives flowers at her home from her secretary. She's confused, but her spouse is obviously perturbed (is she having an affair?) and an argument ensues. Of course, it was Mortify who sent the flowers. In fact, he delivered them himself so he could see the disconcerted reaction of his victim. Now the CEO has been emotionally weakened and Mortify can sabotage the business further (in whatever devious plan he ultimately was up to). [By this paragraph, I wrote "Very subtle."]

LICHEN -- a strange, demented man who lives in the tree tops of Central Park; responsible for your basic muggings, but revels in terrorizing his victims beforehand. He claims that South Central Park is his territory and he won't stop his reign of terror until everyone refuses to enter it again. He's skinny, agile, resembling a spider monkey without the tail. He's petrified of cement -- sidewalks, actually -- and won't venture out of the park. [I wrote "too weak" here.] Strangely, he seems to have control over a large pack of rats that inhabit the Park. Like Willard, they obey his every command. Scary. (Aka Tree Rot, because of his fungus, lichen-encrusted face; and Tree Rat, for obvious reasons.)

VAL STARCH -- Owner of a string of second rate cleaners which are fronts for his illegal business -- counterfeit fashion. Fake name-brand clothes. He always wanted to be a fashion designer, but had none of the talent. Now he doesn't need it as he leeches off the fashion industry and makes a bundle doing it. His ulterior goal, however, is to destroy the New York fashion industry and its most creative talent. On a small scale, he occasionally loves ruining people's clothes at his cleaners. (So he loses a customer, big deal, that's not where he makes his money!) On a larger scale, Starch sabotages other fashion businesses.

(E.G. A big day in the fashion world -- Ellis Perry is unveiling his new line of clothes at the most talked about fashion show of the year. Unfortunately, Val Starch has secretly swiped the clothes and replaced them with replicas, which will fall to pieces by remote control. The fashion models are supremely embarrassed. Cameras flash. Ellis Perry faints. More camera flashes. (Perhaps this one is a co-crime venture with Mortify.) [I wrote: "Too specific. Too gymicky [sic].]


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The paradigm shift...

Shortly after the last document I posted, we finally pitched the comedy version of the GARGOYLES series to Eisner, Katzenberg, etc. They passed. So it was back to the drawing board. I showed what we had to Tad Stones, producer of numerous Disney shows including Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck and Aladdin. Tad suggested we go the action-drama route, creating a MAIN Gargoyle protagonist who was more of a tragic figure. He pointed to the success of the Disney BEAUTY AND THE BEAST feature film, and suggested that there was something in that for us.

This, given my comic book background, of course struck an immediate cord with me. Thus the proto-Goliath known simply as "Gargoyle" was born. We deconstructed all that we had created for the comedy series (much of which would later work its way back in to the show) and started from scratch. In some ways this version is even farther away from the end result than we were at our last glimpse of the comedy development. But it was an important step.

What follows is a memo that I wrote up summarizing a development meeting we had late in 1991. Elisa's starting to take a more familiar form. So is Xavier/Xanatos. And "THE GARGOYLE":

THE GARGOYLE
(Weisman / Summary of meeting 12/19/91)

1000 years ago in barbaric Briton, an evil Wizard wanted to ransack the castle of the good princess.

Gargoyles are stone sculptures that are used to decorate castles. Inspired by this, the wizard creates his own giant (Beauty & the Beast-sized) Gargoyle. He instructs this engine of destruction to fly to the castle tonight, while the wizard's army attacks from the outside.

(Perhaps he gives the Gargoyle a powder that will temporarily bring the other little stone gargoyles to life.)

The Gargoyle, which is stone colored, even when it isn't stone, flies to the castle, intent on destroying it.

He meets the princess who teaches him the error of his ways. He will fight against the wizard. But as the sunrises [sic], he falls asleep turning to stone. A part of the spell he was not aware of.

When the sun sets again, and he awakens, it is too late. The princess is gone (dead?). The castle has been ransacked. Even the wizard has left him behind. Angry at his betrayal...He is alone. Cursed as an outsider, able to function only during night hours. Frozen as stone during the day.

He stays in the ruined castle over the centuries. Making occasional forays to the outside world. Sometimes briefly, to steal books. Sometimes for long periods to fight evil (World War II, perhaps). But always returning to the castle and his loneliness. He despairs of ever finding a true friend. Despairs of ever having a purpose to his life.

One night he awakens, and finds that some repair work has been done on the castle. Each night he finds that a little more work has been done while he slept during the day. Construction equipment has gathered outside the castle walls.

One day, as he sleeps, the castle is lifted, lock, stock and gargoyle and flown whole across the atlantic to New York, by giant airships.

It is placed on the top of the Xavier Enterprises skyscraper.

Xavier is our arrogant villain. Not comic. Evil behind the scenes. Manipulator. Respectable to the rest of the world. Untouchable.

Our Gargoyle finds himself in this strange new world. Here he meets a young idealistic girl (perhaps a plain clothes police detective) who will be his friend and teach him not to despair. That he can help make the world a better place. In New York, the barbarians are at the gate, every night. This time, he can do something about it.

He becomes a de facto super-hero of sorts, though we don't have to flag it.

Xavier can hire other minor villains, plus we need to create some real psychos, and powerful ones at that, for Gargoyle to battle. Plus the ancient wizard could return in some form. Perhaps he has put his spirit in a amulet. Whoever wears it is possesed by him.

Perhaps, our Gargoyle can still temporarily awaken other gargoyles, little mischevious things who aren't too bright, but would try to follow his orders. But when they sleep each day, they have to be awakened by the magic dust each night or they will remain as stone. Only our hero awakens by himself every night.

Does our young girl have a child?

Who else populates this world?

Is the Gargoyle named Gargoyle, or is there another name for him?

Other villains?

cc: Bruce, Gary, Kat, Bob, Mike, Fred, Tad, DoMo
[This cc list includes my bosses, Bruce Cranston and Gary Krisel, our development associates, Kat Fair, Mike Ryan and Fred Schaefer, our Art Director Bob Kline, "consultant" Tad Stones, and Dolores Morris (DoMo) who was my opposite number in developing MovieToons like "A Goofy Movie".]


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The queue is empty....

Does this mean I'm finally, finally all caught up?

Or does it mean that Todd is slipping?

I'll leave that to you to decide.


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Gargoyles protect...

In our next document, Kat Fair was clearly given the assignment of pulling all our various threads together, yet what I find the most interesting is my own handwritten note about gargoyles being protectors but being treated like dogs. That was me returning to the series key idea. But we weren't quite there yet:

RECEIVED BY
NOV 20 1991
GREG WEISMAN'S OFFICE
[My handwritten notes are in brackets.]

[I wrote "Protectors -- treated like dogs" across the top of the page.]

GARGOYLES
Fair 11/20/91

Long afar and way ago gargoyles were disgusting but necessary things. They were kind of like messy flying watchdogs with an aberrant sense of humor. No one really liked them much, but they were a necessary evil because they chased away nasty evil things that would come into town. In their own way, they helped keep the peace, although they were anything but peaceful.

Finally, the evil Sorceress Morgan had enough. There was a particularly annoying group of gargoyles who were spoiling too much of her fun. She enchants some talismans and tricks the gargoyles into wearing them. No sooner are the talismans around their necks than the mischievous gargoyles turn into nasty monsters, bent on destruction. Gleefully, Sorceress Morgan harnesses them to her chariot and sets about wreaking havoc on the countryside.

When good Wizard Xavier hears about this, he takes immediate action. In a confrontation with Morgan, he turns the gargoyles upside down in a monsoon. The talismans fall from their necks and into his hands. He quickly banishes the talismans across the sea (around Manhattan.) Meanwhile, the gargoyles instantly transform into their pesky selves again, furious with Morgan, whom they unceremoniously dump. Then they start fighting with each other. Accusations fly as they blame each other for falling for Morgan's trick.

*Xavier's trying to referee as the gargoyles almost come to blows, so no one sees Morgan sneaking up. She's battered, humiliated and pissed off. At the last moment, Xavier deflects her spell to zap the gargoyles into oblivion. Instead, the fighting gargoyles are frozen in sleep for 1000 years.

OR

*Battered and humiliated, Morgan returns to her castle to plot revenge. Knowing the gargoyles can't resist a party, she sends them an invitation to a gala to be held in their honor, as an apology for all the trouble she's caused them. The gargoyles are suspicious, but talk themselves into being magnanimous and accepting her apology. Once there, the gargoyles have the time of their life, singing, dancing and drinking Morgan's 'special' spiked punch, which puts them asleep for 1000 years. Gleefully, in the dead of night, Morgan puts them over the gates of Xavier's castle. Xavier is horrified and saddened by what has happened to the gargoyles, but there's nothing he can do to counter the spell. [I crossed out "spell" and wrote "drug". Then I crossed out "drug" and wrote "potion".]


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Another trip to the drawing board...

Obviously, after showing Gary and Bruce our development in September of 1991, we were sent back to the drawing board to rework our backstory a bit. I'm not sure why anymore. The old one seems much cleaner than what we have here.

Anyway, the way I worked things back then was to have big brain-storming meetings with my staff. We'd all talk out ideas. Reach a general consensus, and then I'd assign Development Associates to write up what we discussed. What follows is the combined work of Kat Fair (I think) and Fred Schaefer. Kat was given the assignment to write up the tenth century backstory. Fred was given the assignment to write up the awakening in the twentieth century. Kat tried two different approaches (A and B) both of which lead into "Fred's outline". At that time, I clearly favored the notion that Xavier's ancestor was good and Morgan's evil. That way we could have a nice flip on the gargoyles and the audience's expectations when we got to the twentieth centuries.

Fred's outline changes Morgan's job (for the first time) to cop. Actually the Police Commissioner. (Elisa winding up a detective ends up being quite the step down.)

Anyway:

RECEIVED BY
NOV 14 1991
GREG WEISMAN'S OFFICE
[My handwritten notes in brackets.]

GARGOYLES BACK STORY:

A. Gargoyles were put to sleep by the evil wizard for revenge when the good wizard got the talismans.

Once upon a time gargoyles were good citizens whose main job was to fly about stopping evil-doers. They were loyal to Good Wizard Morgan (BSF), who cared for them. Everyone loved the gargoyles except Evil Wizard Xavier (WSM). The gargoyles were-always spoiling his fun, so he invented some evil talismans. When he put these around the gargoyles necks, they became evil, too, and obeyed his every command. The good people were terrified, and begged the Good Wizard Morgan to do something. Morgan warned them that a direct confrontation might mean the destruction of the gargoyles, not to mention damage to their town and possible loss of life. So, knowing the gargoyles couldn't resist a party, he and the townspeople organized a big celebration to lure the gargoyles to the town. While the gargoyles were singing and dancing, Morgan cast a nap spell, which made the gargoyles fall asleep and turn to stone, as sleeping gargoyles do. As soon as they were asleep, the townspeople quickly removed the talismans, and Morgan banished the amulets to a secret place. But before Morgan -could wake the gargoyles, Xavier came, furious that his gargoyles had been stolen. He was even angrier when he saw that the talismans were gone. The gargoyles would be no use to him now, and would become the annoying things they had been before, thwarting his evil plans. If Morgan and the townspeople wanted them asleep,then asleep they'd be. Before Morgan could stop him, Xavier zapped the gargoyles into a 1000 year sleep. . Furious Morgan threw Xavier to the other side of the ocean. [I wrote "Not necessary" by this sentence.] The townspeople, saddened by the loss of their friends, carried the stone gargoyles from the square. They hoisted them onto their favorite perch, above the gate to Morgan's castle, where they remained until they woke up 1000 years later in NYC. [Next to this paragraph, I wrote "Flip Evil Morgan Good Xavier in Back story".]

The last thing the gargoyles remember was being at a party. And wasn't it in their honor? And wasn't Morgan there? Morgan was the only one at the party with enough clout to put them asleep for so long. Boy, you'd think he'd forgive them for what they did when they were Xavier's slaves. The gargoyles can't agree what to do next. Coco wants to find Morgan, Amp tells her she's stupid - Morgan is long gone. Accusations fly as to who got tricked into wearing the talismans to begin with, and who just had to go to the party, anyway. They all fly off in separate directions, never wanting to see each other again. (see Fred's outline)

B. Gargoyles were put to sleep by the good wizard when the evil wizard controlled them through-their talismans.

Long ago and far away gargoyles were disgusting but necessary things. They were kind of like messy flying dogs with an aberrant sense of humor. No one really liked them much, but they were tolerated because they chased away vagrant evil spirits looking for work.

In a small town outside Paris, the evil wizard [I wrote "sorcerous" above the word wizard, but I think I meant "sorceress"] Morgan (BSF) [I put a question mark next to "BSF", but I now realize it means Black Single Female] thinks she could use some of these gargoyles for her own mischief, and decides to unionize the few that guard her town. She tells them they aren't getting the respect they deserve, the townspeople aren't paying them enough for the work they do. What's a few measly scraps and all the stale crepes you can eat when you are literally putting your life on the line every day? The gargoyles had never really thought about it before, but it sounds right. Morgan suggests they come to work for her. She'll feed them, give them uniforms, and make them the most respected flying force in the land. And as a gesture of good faith, she offers them matching medallions, with a new crest of their own imprinted on them. Soon everyone will know and fear - um, love - this crest. Their feats will be heralded far and wide. If they don't like working for her, they can always quit, no hard feelings. The gargoyles try on their medallions. Pretty cool. They feel different already. But when Morgan gives her first order, which is to harness themselves to her chariot, they balk - with surprising results. The medallions burn and hurt! [I wrote: "Not evil. Just forced. We want to see them as gleefully evil w/med. on"] Laughing maniacally, Morgan tells them they are now under her control, and must obey her. The amulets directly connect Morgan to them. The gargoyles valiantly try to remove the medallions, but it's no use. They get into the harness, prodded by the amulets when they move too slow. Off they fly. The wreaking havoc part isn't so bad, it's being at Morgan's beck and call that bugs them. And the food is lousy. [I wrote: "The issue of Morgan-evil etc. is independent of scenario.]

Morgan delights in her new power, and drives the gargoyles unmercifully. Morning, noon, and night, they're out burning down the fields, pillaging villages, and being a general nuisance. Morgan feels confident that she can now take on the Good Wizard--Xavier (WSM), her archnemesis. The gargoyles really don't like this. Xavier's very powerful things could get dangerous. Morgan hitches up the gargoyles and sneaks to Xavier's castle. But the gargoyles are fed up. They're tired of Morgan. If she beats Xavier, the country will be at her mercy - and she has no mercy. At the hottest moment in the heat of the battle, they freeze. In a flash, Morgan screams, the medallions burn, the gargoyles hang tough. Xavier sees his chance, zaps a spell at Morgan, who deflects it onto the gargoyles, turning them all to stone! [I wrote "sleep" here by the word stone. And I also wrote "messy" next to the whole sentence.] Xavier overcomes Morgan and banishes her to a land across the sea. In honor of the gargoyles, Xavier has their stone figures mounted on his castle-above the gate. There they stay until they wake up in NYC 1000 years later. (See Fred's outline)

GARGOYLES/ FROM FRED

The Movie in the Series:

1) Gargoyles wake up in Manhattan; they argue amongst themselves about who was responsible for their falling into Sidero's trap (and hence the 1000 year sleep) . Their argument is so-heated, they take off in different directions, furious with one another. [I crossed out "Sidero" and wrote "Evil Morgan".]

But not without being witnessed by some New Yorkers.

2) Newspapers report on the recent sightings of gargoyles flying between the buildings. Dismissed as a hoax.

3) Sidero's modern heir, Xaxier, sees a television news broadcast about the sightings and immediately knows what's happened. He plans to catch them with the talisman and make them his slaves.

4) Meanwhile, the gargoyles are off separately causing mischief.

5) Ralph and Pandora run into each other. Ralph tries to make-up with her, but she's still bitter. In the middle of their argument, Ralph is captured by one of Xaxier's 3-piece suits and taken away screaming. Pandora is horrified and desperately flies off to search for the others.

6) Morgan Reed, Police Chief of New York, throws down a tabloid newspaper that announces the city has been invaded by flying demons. She curses the media. Their crazy stories are disturbing the peace! There are no such things as gar... suddenly, she sees one ... goyles ... sleeping in a corner of her apartment. The gargoyle (AMP) wakes up and they frighten each other. Morgan backs away. It's stress... that's it ... too much stress on the job. [I wrote "Tough to swallow" by this paragraph.]

7) Ah, make that TWO gargoles, because a hysterical Pandora spots Amp and flies into Morgan's apartment, frantically rambling on about Ralph being kidnapped; the talisman; the possible evil transformation of Ralph, etc. They must find the remaining gargoyles (Lassie and Coco) before Xaxier does!

Morgan doesn't know what to make of all this. All she knows is that the Police Chief of New York can't say she's seen (much less, spoken with) a gargoyle! Reluctantly, she offers to help them out. ("Now what's this about a talisman?")


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TIME TO SELL...

The following was our first attempt (in September of '91 -- NINE YEARS AGO!!!) to write a pitch to sell our new Gargoyles comedy-adventure show to our higher ups (Michael Eisner, Rich Frank and Jeffrey Katzenberg). This isn't necessarily the version they saw, however. First Kat Fair and I had to get it past our TV Animation bosses: Bruce Cranston and Gary Krisel. This is the version that went to them for approval. The phrases in parentheses describe the visual on the art cards we used. The words that follow are the "script" of the pitch. What I would say as I flipped the cards and showed the pictures. Most, if not all, of this art was drawn by Bob Kline, who was Development Art Director at that time. (I wish I had that art now.)

For those of you who have been to the Gathering and seen the final pitch of the Drama version of the show we all know and love, you'll recognize verbal echoes of that pitch here in this first one. Phrases like "there was a better place for a medieval castle than a picturesque hill in Europe [or Scotland]" and "lock, stock and gargoyle" made it all the way from this pitch to the last. (And sometimes even into the series itself.)

Other points of interest:
--Morgan's last name is now Reed (a surname we eventually gave to Maggie the Cat), and she's now a second grade teacher and amateur acheologist. This was done to give her and our 'goyles ready access to kids.
--Xavier is now Xavier's FIRST name, which I had forgotten about.
--Amp, though he still looks more like Lex, is now firmly Brooklynian.
--Coco, though still female, is very Broadway.
--For some reason, I was spelling DeMona, with a capital M in the middle. I have no memory of that either.
--And I had completely forgotten about Xanatos' multi-racial "suits", though they were clearly the origin of both his "Goon Squad" and the Steel Clan.

Anyway, here it is:

GARGOYLES PITCH Script
(Weisman/Fair: 9/17/91)

#1. (Three stone gargoyles.)

We all think we know what GARGOYLES are. Ugly, stone creatures squatting on the roofs of old buildings. But have we ever asked how they got that way?

Well, one thousand years ago, Gargoyles were mischievous, troublemakers, driving us humans up the wall.

#2. (Medieval LORD XAVIER of Glint.)

Particularly this human--LORD XAVIER of Glint, who decided he'd had just about enough of their destructive fun and games...

#3. (Lord Xavier drugging the 'goyles.)

So he threw them a party complete with ice cream, cake...and punch, spiked with a sleeping potion guaranteed to last a millennium!

And because Gargoyles automatically turn to stone when they fall asleep...

#4. (The Castle.)

He used them to decorate his castle, where they stayed for a thousand years.

#5. (XAVIER.)

Until his great-great-great-great-great-grandson, XAVIER GLINT, the President of Xavier Enterprises, decided there was a better place for a medieval castle than a picturesque hill in Europe.

#6. (Castle on the skyscraper, up-angle.)

He moved the whole place--lock, stock and gargoyle--to the top of his personal headquarters in Manhattan...just cuz he felt like it.

#7. (The six stone gargoyles.)

But as the castle settled, things got unsettled. The gargoyles...

#8. (The 'goyles stir.)

...woke up!

#9. (The 'goyles wake up.)

They've been sleeping for a thousand years...

#10. (The 'goyles rise and shine.)

...and now they're ready to PARTY!!

#11. (National Enquirer headline:"Gargoyles alive in NYC!")

Now, that may all sound pretty far-fetched, but this is the kind of world that only the National Enquirer could love. The public may not be able to decide whether the Gargoyles are a new urban myth or a full-on media hoax...

#12. (AMP flying.)

But the Gargoyles know they're real enough, and just as prone to trouble as they ever were.

#13. (Four-pose Amp composite.)

Particularly AMP. Trouble used to be his middle name--his last name, too. It's not that he's bad, he's just easily tempted by...well, uh, temptation!

Fortunately, this self-proclaimed leader has no ready followers. All the Gargoyles are too busy having fun to obey orders.

#14. (Four-pose COCO composite.)

Take Coco, for example. This female John Belushi has the soul of a dancer and the grace of a rhinoceros. She's always up for adventure in this brave, new, 20th Century world.

#15. (Five-pose PANDORA composite.)

Then there's PANDORA. The sneakiest of the 'goyles. I wouldn't exactly say she's a pathological liar, just a born actress who loves to improvise.

#16. (Four-pose LASSIE composite.)

And LASSIE. (He picked his own name.) Loyal, goofy and easily distracted, Lassie's just as likely to be fascinated with the villain's shoelaces as with his ray gun.

#17. (Four-pose RALPH composite.)

Finally, there's RALPH, who thinks adventure is a great thing to watch on television. He's a couch potato kind of gargoyle, who keeps the home fires burning...

#18. (MORGAN.)

...Which isn't always good news if you're MORGAN REED, a second grade teacher and amateur archeologist who's befriended the Gargoyles. She tries to take care of them, keep 'em fed and gives them a place to stay.

#19. ('goyles causing trouble in Morgan's apartment.)

Sometimes to her regret.

#20. (Longshot of castle-scraper.)

Still, it's better than where they used to live. Not that the location was bad, just the landlord...

#21. (Two-pose composite of Xavier looking oily.)

Our old pal, Xavier. This guy makes Gordon Gecko look like Santa Claus. Greed isn't just good, it's GREAT!!

#22. (Xavier admiring his race car.)

Whether it's gold bullion, a race car or a castle on a skyscraper, this is a guy used to getting what he wants...

#23. (Xavier burned by his race car.)

...Prone to getting what he deserves.

#24. (Three-pose composite of Xavier looking frustrated, shocked and angry.)

But now, he's set his sights on the one prize money can't buy--Immortality. If the gargoyles can live a 1000 years, so can he.

#25. (Xavier, OWEN, DeMONA and the SUITS.)

So with help from OWEN, his aardvark aide-de-camp, DeMONA, the one bad apple in the Gargoyle bunch, and his Cadre of muscular 3-piece suits, Xavier's out to steal every magical totem he can find.

#26. (Conflict card: Xavier & DeMona vs. the 'goyles.)

And only the Gargoyles can stop him.

#27. ('goyles save copter.)

You see, the Gargoyles are determined to make up for all the trouble they caused a thousand years ago. This time they wanna be the good guys.

#28. (GARGOYLES cast/title card.)

Trouble is, when you're one of the GARGOYLES, making trouble is so darn much fun.


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THE LOST CAUSE DIAMOND (and other stories...)

Another old document from the file. This one doesn't have a name or a date attached. Kat Fair, maybe? It's certainly from this September 1991 era that we've been exploring recently. I don't have any specific memories of these stories, but they obviously served to plant seeds for things that would surface later. Xavier's quest for BIG DIAMONDS and IMMORTALITY surfaces. Amp (half Lex, half Brooklyn) wants to do a little joy-riding. You get the idea.

seeds... seeds....

GARGOYLES STORIES:

LOST CAUSES:

The Lost Cause Diamond has been... misplaced. And the museum wants to keep it quiet. Knowing that Xavier has always coveted it, Morgan manuvers [sic] to get assigned to retrieve the jewel before he finds out it's up for grabs. Unfortunately, Lassie accidentally spills the beans. Xavier and his crew trail Morgan, planning to let her do all the work, and then snatch the diamond from her. When Lassie takes off to rectify his mistake, the rest of the gargoyles soon realize things are too quiet around the house. They are horrified to discover Xavier is after Morgan - and she's only got Lassie to protect her! They're off to the rescue, making more trouble than Morgan and Lassie can possibly handle.

WHAT MONEY CAN'T BUY:

Xavier has always been fascinated by immortality. It's the one thing his money can't buy. Hoping to impress her boss, Demona pretends to know the hiding place of the last Flaming Zealot, who holds the secret to immortality. Amp and the other gargoyles try to foil her plans and protect the ancient and sacred FZ, who, it turns out, can protect its own nasty self from Xavier, them, and everyone else.

WHO'S GOT THE CAR?

Amp has pushed one too many of Pandora's buttons in the right sequence, and she's mad. Meanwhile, Xavier is preparing for the unveiling of his new Omnitrans. Amp sneaks in for a look, but can't resist test driving the one of-a-kind car. He returns it, but the next morning it's gone! Xavier is furious to find his car is missing, and accuses Morgan, who is arrested. Pandora confesses that she hid it, hoping to get Amp in trouble, but now it's not where she left it! The gargoyles turn the city upside down to get the car back before Morgan is put in jail.


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Dakota's out. Demona's in.

A couple of new memos today. The first seems to be something that I more or less dictated to intern Regina Dixon during a meeting that took place in September 1991. Here you can see that Dakota has been removed as the leader, mostly for being too intense and serious for a comedy show.

In the second memo, which I'm only guessing was written by Kat Fair, Dakota has finally become a power-hungry Demona. She starts out as their leader, but when they won't do things her way, she teams up with Xavier. No pathos, but the early stirrings of the character.

You may also notice that I resisted the notion of "Gargoyles Protecting" for the comedy version of the series. It was inherent in the idea, but I felt for a comedy, I wanted them to have a more party-garg impulse. Protecting was NOT second nature, it would have to be something they learned -- reluctantly. I wasn't looking for NOBILITY. I was looking for jokes.

GARGOYLES

Notes from Meeting 9/6/91

Backstory - MORGAN and XAVIER

MORGAN and XAVIER are business partners. Their relationship goes way back to when they were kids and ran a lemonade stand together. Xavier financed it, and when Morgan starts giving away peanut butter crackers, business really booms. Even so, money's no substitute for Xavier's cheating ways. Morgan catches him watering down the lemonade, and overcharging people. Morgan tries to get Xavier to see they're already making lots of money, and cheating isn't necessary, but Xavier just doesn't get it.

Morgan continues to be the thorn in Xavier's side as their partnership grows and changes from lemons, to high-tech aerospace and engineering. Although they're intellectual equals, Morgan continues to outdo Xavier with her ingenious inventions. This is the last straw. Xavier's so fed up with Morgan always outshining him, and standing in the way of his evil schemes -- he cheats her out of every penny she's earned.

Now ousted from the company, Morgan is angry and vows revenge on Xavier. Soon she realizes by competing on his terms, she'll become just like him.

So Morgan retreats to her modest brownstone to collect her thoughts. To make ends meet, she'll have to take in a few boarders. A family (like the Muddlefoots) move in.

In addition to boarders, Morgan's helicopter will help her earn money and help combat Xavier's evil schemes whenever and wherever she can.

Morgan accesses the positives in her new situation: - she can now be her own woman
- she can go back to doing the things she loves
(inventing, flying aircraft, mechanical tinkering)
- she'll no longer be partners with the devil
- rather than be a victim, she can fight Xavier's schemes at every turn

As for the Gargoyles... there is no real leader as such, but AMP acts as De facto in command most times.

Except for LASSIE, and sometimes COCOA, no one is accustomed to following orders. Which means Morgan has her hands full trying to lead this motley crew.

gw:rld

RECEIVED BY
SEP 10 1991
GREG WEISMAN'S OFFICE
[Greg's 1991 handwritten notes in brackets and quotation marks.]

GARGOYLES BACKSTORY:

Once upon a time there were millions ["well, thousands"] of gargoyles, whose main job was to protect and serve. [Strangely, I crossed out "main job was to protect and serve" and wrote "No" beside it.] This was before dogs got the job, and it was because of the gargoyles' tendency to be just a little bit too smarty pants [I underlined "just a little bit too smarty pants" and wrote "Not strong enough".] that the humans finally got fed up and eliminated them in various human ways.

Our gargoyles came from Oldenberg,- a small Prussian town that no longer- exists, having been destroyed in various human ways during WWI. But about 900 years before that, [I crossed out this paragraph up to this point and wrote "Distracting".] Demona was the top gargoyle in the village, with aspirations to supervise greater realms, maybe even going as far as the next town. Her minions were many, her top aides Amp and Pandora. As a group, gargoyles aren't of the "herd" persuasion, which means orders have a 50/50 chance of being carried out. Gargoyles tend to improvise, make an assignment their own, and get sidetracked and bored pretty easily. Demona didn't have the motivational management skills needed to keep her crew in line - Pat Riley would have had a hard time with this group. Left to their own devices, the gargoyles were everywhere they weren't wanted, wreaking minor but very annoying havoc. [I wrote "light" beside this section. And, no, I no longer know what that note was supposed to mean.] They'd spill the milk, ruin the bread, sour the beer, steal the shoes put out for the elves to repair, etc. And they had the most annoying habit of laughing hysterically as they hovered overhead when their latest prank was discovered. The final straw was when they ran all the sheep through town.

So when the Oldenbergians decided to throw a big party to thank the gargoyles for their hard work, and Demona warned that it was all a trick, having been alerted by a minor kitchen gargoyle, not one gargoyle in all of Oldenberg listened, and they all wound up heavily sedated by the spiked punch. [I wrote "Why" by this sentence. But I was an executive then.] And when gargoyles sleep, they turn to stone. Demona was the last to fall. She'd been tied up and dipped into the punch bowl by a cheering crowd of humans.

Once assured that all the gargoyles were dead asleep, the townspeople then didn't know what to do with them, but finally decided they might make nice decorations. Some were placed as gateposts, others made handy hat racks in the local taverns, or were used as planters in the local gardens. A nice grouping was made over the castle gates, with Demona, Amp, and Pandora (and Lassie, Ralph, and Coco, who were just laying around extra.) The grouping served as inspiration for the townspeople in years to come, having proved to themselves that they could handle their own problems, and giving them the confidence they needed to go out and enslave their neighbors. [Next to this section, I wrote "Used to scare off minor". Minor what? Who knows?]

And so they slept. And slept. And slept. Until, just as the crane was lowering the castle onto the top of Xavier's tower, a pesky fly landed on the crane operator's nose, causing him to sneeze, which caused the castle to be placed just a little harder than planned, which finally woke up our gang.

Once awake, Demona-and the group hid out for awhile. This obviously wasn't Kansas anymore, Toto. Their cautious first forays into their new world brought wonderful new discoveries - like ice cream, TV, cars, Xerox machines, Nikes. It also gave them a chance to think about how they got there. While-Demona was drawn to Xavier and the power that he commanded, the other five decided there was too much fun to be had exploring this new world. They liked it here and wanted to stay. Maybe if they didn't cause so much trouble, no one would put them to sleep again. Demona didn't care if these puny gargoyles couldn't see the potential in siding with the brilliant and omnipotent Xavier. Let them go off on their own. Xavier promised things beyond her wildest imaginings. She'd follow her dream- head of the largest security force in the world.

[Below the memo, I wrote "1000 YEAR PUNCH". Which still sounds cool to me.]


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Morgan starts to morph...

Kinda.

The following document from the old development file was written by Kat Fair to myself and Art Director Bob Kline. There's no date on this one, but I'm guessing it's from early September 1991. Morgan (Elisa) is changing from an archaeologist type to an engineer (the first change of many) and is being given a personal gripe against Xavier (Xanatos). This is the first of many career changes for the young lady.

Mr. Owen, the clumsy soon-to-be-aardvark precursor to Owen Burnett is hanging around too.

Greg and Bob:

I really didn't mean to do this from Morgan's point of view - it just came out that way. I hope this is what you were looking for, Greg. I sure had fun. I realize none of this will ever be used, unless we go to a prequel Movietoon for the series, but it might start and settle some discussion on these two base characters.

Kat

MORGAN AND XAVIER:

Ever since Morgan was a child, she's been what her father called a "tinkerer." When she was three, she fixed her first toaster. (To this day, when she's worried or upset, she starts tinkering with her toaster, or any other appliance that's handy.) When she was 9, she broke her arm testing her new invention, the Human Kite. Unfortunately, the proper materials weren't available, and she had to use an inferior substitute. Tin foil doesn't hold up as well as mylar. Her first date was a disaster. When the car broke down, she fixed it. Her first human love ended with bittersweet goodbyes when the Arco station closed, and her young mechanic moved on to oilier fields.

Morgan has always risen like a phoenix from the ashes in her life. With her trunks stuffed with blue prints, and her head filled with dreams and new ideas, Morgan started looking for a job with the largest aerodynamics corporation around, X Co. Rejected there, she quickly worked her way down to a small cargo company, who hired her as a mechanic, with permission to use the shop in her off hours. Always adept with mechanical things, Morgan soon learned to operate and repair every moving thing in the company - trucks, forklifts, small planes, cargo planes, helicopters. She finally completed the prototype for her lightweight engine, and was quickly swept up in a tornado of corporate bids for its exclusive use.

Although astonished at the money she was being offered, Morgan didn't jump at the first offer she got. She enjoyed being courted and dined and flattered. Each new meeting and meal brought bigger and bigger promises of a bright and financially secure future. Finally, the really big guns called. A Mr. Owen from X Co sent a limo to bring her to Mr. Xavier's penthouse offices in the internationally famous Castle X. Wow! X Co - the biggest, most prestigious aerodynamics corporation in the world! Everyone knew who X Co was. They built practically everything that moved in the world - jets, cruisers, missiles, satellites, space shuttles, even race cars and automobiles. With promises of being able to oversee the entire production of the lightweight engine, and, most importantly, approval on all its applications, plus her own research lab to continue work on her inventions, Morgan decided to go into business with the famous Mr. Xavier of X Co He seemed a little slimy, but with his entire company almost at her disposal, and control over the lightweight engine's applications, she felt she could keep a handle on her inventions.

Of course, from the very first day, nothing went right. She'd never had so many failures. First the Frictionless Fulcrum project ignited, and the plans for the lightweight engine were lost in the lab fire. As she struggled to redesign them, her other projects fell behind schedule, which Xavier patiently excused. Finally, Xavier called her into his office and sadly told her "it just wasn't working out" and he must regretfully terminate their business relationship. Her continued failures just made it too expensive (and too embarrassing) to keep her. Naturally, he wouldn't breathe a word of her failure to anyone else, and would help her find another position. Dejectedly, she signed her resignation.

As she was packing up her lab (and her toaster), shy Mr. Owen came by to wish her well. He'd always expressed an interest in her projects, which seemed to go beyond just keeping tabs for Xavier, and they found they shared a common interest in computers. Unfortunately, as she cried into his handkerchief about her failures, Owen let slip that all her setbacks weren't really her fault, and that he was looking at the plans on the lightweight engine just the other day and commenting to Mr. X on just how brilliant they were. Oops. Suddenly Owen was up against the wall, looking into the eyes of a very angry female. Owen wasn't up to the tapdance necessary to fool Morgan, who stormed into Xavier's office, demanding an explanation and the plans - yes, those plans spread out on his desk!

Cooly, Xavier told her exactly what had been going on over the past few months, and how she had played right into his ingenious plan. When he first heard of the lightweight engine, he had his henchmen find out all they could about her - how she broke her arm when she was 9, her first love, her penchant for repairing toasters when under stress anything and everything so he could make her an offer he knew she wouldn't refuse, but give him access to all of her inventions - especially the lightweight engine. Under his orders, Owen sabotaged each of her experiments, although Xavier had reserved the fun of igniting the Frictionless Fulcrum for himself while Owen was busy sneaking the plans out of the lab and making it look like they had been burned in the fire. And now all her ideas and work were his, everything she had brought to X Co, to do with as he pleased. Her initial agreement stated all ideas and work performed during her employment were the exclusive property of X Co, and now that she was officially gone, those properties were officially his.

Morgan realized she was beat. Calmly, she rose, told him she would never forget him, emptied his coffee cup on the plans, and with a withering glance to the cringing Owen, left the room.

Despite Xavier's attempts to discredit her, she got her old job back with the cargo company, flying exotic freight to exotic and not so exotic places. And she takes every opportunity she can to aggravate, annoy, badger, exasperate, irk, vex, peeve, and provoke X Co.


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Interns again...

Intern Ideas

Continuing our reprinting of old documents from the Gargoyles Development File.

This one was written by Regina Dixon, who was a college intern working at Disney TV Animation for the summer. Refer to previously posted documents to see what she was basing these ideas comedy springboards on.

I hate to say it, but in hindsight this seems like busy work to me. We hadn't even sold the show. We were a long way from needing story ideas. Still, I suppose it was good practice.

For some reason, Regina's ideas didn't post yesterday, so I'm reposting them here along with a set of ideas from our other intern Hoyland Ricks.

July 3, 1991

Story premises for GARGOYLES submitted by H. Ricks
[Greg's handwritten notes in brackets, as usual.]

"Pandora's Box's

Pandora finds an old chest encased in stone in one of the uninspected crevices of the castle, but she doesn't realize that Sidero put it there 500 years ago when he and the gargoyles first lived. Morgan tells Pandora to leave it alone so that she can study it, but Pandora accidentally cracks it open when Morgan is absent. Out of the chest comes an evil assortment of ogres, demons, and/or trolls--all of whom were faithful helpers of Sidero's back in the 15th century. The helpers go out and cause mayhem in the city and try to keep the goyles from interfering with their actions. The helpers take Xavier as a hostage and he is forced to conjure up Sidero. Now, Sid has several workers that are loyal to him and that will carry out his evil plans to rule the world. The goyles trap the helpers in the chest once again. [I wrote "good enough" next to this paragraph.]

"The Amazing Goyles"

Xavier is about to buy a circus from Barnum Dingling, a near-bankrupt circus owner. Everything that Barnum has worked for in his life to create is about to be lost to Xavier--unless he finds a way to bring in sell-out crowds so that he can repay his debts. The gargoyles run into Barnum and he hires them to be in his show--Cocoa on the tightrope, Lassie as a clown, Pandora fire-eating, Dakota taming lions, Amp as the ringmaster, and a terrified Ralph on the trapeze. The goyles turn out to be a hit, saving Barnum from bankruptcy and keeping Xavier from taking away the man's life. [I circled the word "circus", because I knew my boss Gary Krisel hated circus stories.]

"Stargoyles (Second Season)

An evil alien being, Metero, lands on earth with plans to take it over. [I wrote "standard" above this sentence.] Sidero learns of the alien's presence from Xavier. Sid coaxes Xavier to bring Metero to him and Sid allies with the extraterrestrial. The gargoyles become aware of Metero and his plans to rule Earth with Sidero. The goyles surprisingly encounter the Stargoyles who are futuristic alien gargoyles that have travelled to earth to throw a wrench in Metero's plans. [I circled the word "Stargoyles" and wrote "saves it."] The Star- and Gargoyles team up to stop Metero and Sid, and they eventually undermine the evil duo's plans--sending Metero back to his home planet with a sense of frustration.

Story ideas for GARGOYLES
by Regina Dixon
7/3/91
[As usual, my handwritten notes are in brackets.]

"Two Good To Be True"

XAVIER'S long lost identical twin brother XELLENT [I wrote "confused" by this name], shows up on his doorstep with a handful of books and a-family tree. Xavier, thinks he's only after his money. He puts him through various tests and finally brings him to Sidero. Xellent is able to call Sidero forth and Sidero enthuses at the thought of having any other heir besides Xavier. He tells Xellent about the Goyles and sends him to capture one. Xellent watches them play, when he tries to join in, they mistake him for Xavier and run away. They prepare for combat with Xellent. He befriends them and refuses to use his magical powers to harm them. Sidero's delicious delusions of power dissipate when he learns that though Xellent is very bright, he is too kind for words and therefore useless. When Xellent refuses to go along with any of Sidero's schemes he is banished from the castle.

"Goyled Again"

Sidero muses over a book of sorcery, but one ingredient's missing. He sends Xavier and Owen off to get it. Morgan and her class are on a dig in the very area, they leave just as Xavier arrives. Morgan finds what's valuable to Sidero --an amulet. Morgan wants to authenticate her find, but their isn't enough existing data, so she takes it to the Goyles to see if they know what it is. They too recognize it as being evil and valuable to Sidero and urge her to get rid of it. Before she can, Xavier and Owen corner her; only the goyles can save her now. [I wrote "STANDARD" next to this idea.]

"T.V. HELL"

RALPH has fallen asleep in front of the t.v. and is discovered by the air-conditioning maintenance man who carts him to his truck. He gives him to his mother in law who he hates. RALPH wakes to the sound of the t.v. thinking he is still at home. He finds himself surrounded by hundreds of t.v.'s. He thinks he's in rerun heaven. Only, the maintenance man makes Ralph help with his home repair business, which keeps Ralph from watching t.v. He rigs up some kind of signal through a television set to the others. They come and break him out. [I wrote "FUNNY" below this idea.]


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MUSINGS

Had a good time at the Gargoyles Adult Chatroom the other day, and it got me thinking. Someone named VP (or VJ?) made the point that everything I've done after, well, "The Journey" I guess, is fanfiction. At first, I misunderstood him. For example, I thought he was confusing Katana with Sata. But he made it clear, that he meant the quote-unquote Master Plan. My initial reaction was to balk.

But I think he's got a point.

Some of this stuff was completed while I was still on the Disney Payroll in late '95, early '96, but none of it's canon in my mind. Canon, as far as I'm concerned only includes the 66 episodes running from "Awakening, Part One" through "The Journey". The other 12 Goliath Chronicles are debatable. Because the show ISN'T on the air, I think I personally am free NOT to regard them as canon. If and/or when the show does get going again in some shape or form, then a more definitive decision will have to be made at that point about those additional 12 stories.

But putting Goliath Chronicles (and Marvel Comics and Disney Adventures, etc.) aside for the moment, that still leaves us with what to do about things like:

--"Once Upon a Time There Were Three Brothers..."
--Various ASK GREG and other revelations.
--The Spin-Offs: DARK AGES, GARGOYLES 2158, TIMEDANCER, PENDRAGON, THE NEW OLYMPIANS, BAD GUYS
--My further plans for the GARGOYLES main series itself.

Calling the work I've done on any of the above "fanfic" rankles at first, but that's largely a problem of semantics. It certainly isn't canon. At this point, legally, I have no more connection to the GARGOYLES property than any of you do. Plus, as I've said many times before, I won't be held to any of it. Hell, for all you know everything I've revealed is just one big snow-job to keep you from guessing my real plans. (It's not, but it might have been smarter of me if it was.)

I do think I'm something of an authority on the subject of Gargoyles. And I also think that if the show is ever brought back, the PTB at Disney would be likely (at least given current management) to come to me first to try and revive it. Plus I'm actively working on getting the show revived, again "in some shape or form".

But that doesn't change anything regarding the question of canon.

As many of you know, I've been working on a major revision of 2158. This is taking me longer than I thought, because -- and I shouldn't have been surprised by this, but -- it's effecting the ENTIRE chronology of the series. In addition to changing the year (and thus the title) of GARGOYLES 2158, I've already been forced to go back and make adjustments to both DARK AGES and "Once Upon A Time...Three Brothers". I now know that the last posted chapter of three brothers wound up being the last chapter of that little story period. Because "3Bros" really wound up being just a prologue to DARK AGES. And where "3Bros" leaves off is in fact right at the beginning of where DARK AGES begins.

The 2158 revamp has also necessitated minor changes in TimeDancer. And has clarified my thinking on Pendragon and Bad Guys as well.

[Thankfully, none of it has effected the Clan Contest. We should still be able to put that monster to bed soon.]

All this flux has made it difficult for me to keep certain details clear in my head. For example, at that Friday 9/1/00 chat, I revealed that Hudson had two biological children, Hyppolyta and Broadway. That was an error. Hudson had THREE biological children. (I got my dates mixed up.)

I'm hoping that the work I'm doing now will clean a lot of stuff up. I'm hoping that clarity (and my personal certainty) will return. But this flux isn't necessarily a bad thing. I know I screwed up at least a few times (Garg Universe-wise) within the 66 episodes. I tried to keep those mistakes to a minimum, but they happened. I'd like to avoid making more mistakes, even here at ASK GREG. I definitely feel like I'm getting closer to the "true" Gargoyles Universe, if that's possible and/or makes any sense.

Updates on all this should come over the next ten months. But I'm targeting Gathering 2001 for completion. I'm hoping to be able to make some big announcements there. So bear with me.

But to be fair to VP, he was right. I wouldn't call what I do "fanfiction". For starters, none of it is in the form of fiction. And so calling it that may be giving it TOO MUCH credit. But at the moment, I have no more claim to canon than anyone.

Rather, I'd say that if you like the stories I did come up with on the original 66, and think you might enjoy what I'd do next -- the way you might enjoy what Christine Morgan or Christi Smith Hayden or TGS does next -- than stay tuned. I've got more to tell you and more to reveal by and by.


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Intern Ideas

Continuing our reprinting of old documents from the Gargoyles Development File.

This one was written by Regina Dixon, who was a college intern working at Disney TV Animation for the summer. Refer to previously posted documents to see what she was basing these ideas comedy springboards on.

I hate to say it, but in hindsight this seems like busy work to me. We hadn't even sold the show. We were a long way from needing story ideas. Still, I suppose it was good practice.

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Enter Owen -- The Aardvark!

Continuing to reprint the old Gargoyles Comedy Development...

Another document from Kat Fair and Cindy Chupack. This one brings Xavier's assistant Owen into play. What's interesting to me is that we clearly already knew that Owen had been turned into an Aardvark. It's information taken for granted in this document. It's possible that the idea originated as artwork. I do remember Bob Kline's design of Owen being pretty funny.

Morgan [the Elisa precursor] is quite different, yet still fulfills the same basic function.

Pre-Xanatos Xavier is clearly inspired by Duke Igthorn and Captain Hook. Both are favorite comic villains of mine. Of course, in the drama that Gargoyles became, Xavier would have annoyed the hell out of me. But for a comedy show, I thought he was great.

RECEIVED BY
MAY 09 1991
GREG WEISMAN'S OFFICE
[NOTE: GREG'S HANDWRITTEN NOTES in {brackets}]

GARGOYLES: Characters
(Fair and Chupack, 5/8/91)

OWEN: Owen always had trouble asserting himself, and now that he's an aardvark, well, things aren't getting any better. He's terribly defeatist and apologetic, as in "Xavier, I know you're busy and all, but do you think you might possibly make me a human again, at your convenience. I understand if you can't. I was just checking."

Occasionally Owen will suggest a solution or plan, but he only gets credit when it backfires. (Xavier thinks positive reinforcement is an oxymoron.) However, Xavier is Owen's hero. He's rich, powerful and best of all, tall. Owen strives to be like Xavier, and he's always working for his approval.
The upside to being an aardvark is that Owen doesn't have to shave anymore. The downside is that he has no social life. (Xavier likes to point out that Owen never had a social life, but that's not true. Owen was recording secretary of Knights of the Floppy Disk.) Yes, Owen is a computer geek. He can tap into anything anywhere anytime, which makes him invaluable to Xavier. Of course, he's underpaid.

Next to becoming a human, Owen's greatest aspiration is to impress Morgan.

MORGAN: Even as a young girl, Morgan was fascinated with the medieval time period. She preferred toy dragons to dolls. She dressed up as Guenivere for Halloween. She faked doctor's notes that said she had the black plague. As an archeology grad student in Europe, she was appalled to learn that some rich American brat was buying her favorite castle and taking it to the States, so she finagled her way into a curator position to keep on [sic] eye on its transport and reconstruction. {I wrote "already" next to the above paragraph.}

Morgan finds Xavier totally reprehensible--a real sleaze. Stupid to boot. She'd be perfectly content if she never saw him again, but that won't be the case because she can't resist helping the goyles. (She and Dakota have become real friends, and the goyles often go to her because she knows all the castle's secret passageways.)

Currently, Morgan does research for various historical societies by looking into past records and invariably uncovering mysterious events. The goyles are always on hand to help and/or hinder her research. {I wrote "research dull" next to this paragraph.}

Morgan might seem all business, but she has a warm heart and a nice laugh. She has a hard time tolerating the goyles' silliness, especially in a crunch, but somehow their play always turns out for the best. The goyles might even help her lighten up.

XAVIER: You can't say many nice things about Xavier, but he looks great in a tux. He's always contemplating whether to run for public office, but when it comes to real work he's a lost puppy. (Not that it stopped Dan Quayle.) Xavier is all hot air with that nasty edge that comes from insecurity. He must continually feel like he's on top, and he only drops his condescending tone when he's addressing Sidero. Since he's after acclaim and recognition, flattery will get you everywhere.

Did we mention that Xavier is completely self-centered? He is. So much so that his narrow vision often prevents him from seeing the larger evil picture. Anything that doesn't relate to him isn't worth his attention. Therefore Sidero will probably remain a smoke signal, and Owen will probably remain an aardvark.


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G2K DIARY: Chapter VII

WEDNESDAY: We had a late afternoon flight and some time to kill. We asked for a late checkout from our rooms, but that still meant we had to vacate a couple hours before we needed to leave for the airport. We moved to the lobby. The kids got to spend some more time with Siryn, Heather Rice and a bunch of others. I hiked over to McDonalds and brought us back some food. And then Kellie drove us to the airport.

Everything went very smoothly on the way home. Flight was on time, and I even made it to my Wednesday night class only an hour late. (Kevin Hopps, my co-teacher, was there to cover for me.) Heck, Gathering attendee and animation writing student Carol didn't even make it. So I was pretty proud of myself.

And that's it.


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Comedy development coming together...

Continuing our reprinting of old garg development documents...

Again, this is Cindy & Kat trying to pull our ideas together into one document. I had mentioned having a problem with the mundane names. So Georgette became Dakota (another step toward her being Demona). Trouble, a name I DON'T remember having problems with, became Amp. Isa Dora became Cocoa. Pan Dora could safely become Pandora. "Sorcy" became Sidero. I had them stick with Ralph for the comic value. Of course, there was no rhyme or reason to any of these names. But we weren't trying to "figure it all out" at this stage. Just have something that felt fun, cool and funny enough to sell our bosses on.

Also, note in our "Backstory" Kat & Cindy were thinking 15th century, not 10th.

GARGOYLES - From Cindy & Kat 4/25/91

DAKOTA, the leader of the goyles, is an Indiana Jones with scales. She's brave, intelligent, and quick with a comeback (usually to Amp.) Her main concern is keeping the goyles out of danger. That's easier said than done. The only thing she can't resist is Chinese food, and she's phobic of pigeons.

AMP (as in "volume and distortion") is an Eddie Murphy type. He's cool, he's with it, he's now - and he's impossible. He knows right from wrong, but only in hindsight. Amp would like to be leader, but he's just too impulsive. He'll jump into any situation to prove himself, usually with Cocoa right behind him.

COCOA is not particularly concerned with her goylish figure. She's lovable and frenetic, everyone's friend, enthusiastic about any plan just on principle. Her passion is dancing and singing, although her dancing can register on the Richter scale, and her singing has been known to crack glass. (Dakota thinks these skills might come in handy.)

PANDORA is a serious actress who nobody takes seriously. She doesn't discuss, she gives monologues. She doesn't talk, she performs. She doesn't lie, she's just great at improv, which explains why the rest of the group gives a collective groan whenever she says, "Let me handle this-" In the eyes of strangers, she is almost cute enough to pull it off. Almost being the operative word.

LASSIE (not the smartest in the group) can be described in two words: easily sidetracked. He thinks everything is equally fascinating, which means he's just as likely to become fascinated with the villain's shoelaces as the villain's death-blaster. He may be manic, but when it comes to the goyles, he's as sweet and loyal as they come.

SUPPORTING CAST

RALPH loves adventure, provided he doesn't have to go along. An older goyle, Ralph is perfectly content to stay at home and hold down the fort ... as long as he has his popcorn popper, microwave, TV, Walkman and fuzzy banana slippers. He learns about humans by watching television, which makes for some dangerous assumptions. The other goyles often go to him for advice, and to watch the soaps. Goyles love soaps.

MORGAN, an archeologist, works for the Historical Preservation Society. She got inextricably tangled up with our cast when she agreed to oversee the transfer and restoration of Xavier's castle. Morgan was always fascinated, even obsessed, with Medieval lore, maybe because it was at a safe distance. Not any more. Thanks to the goyles' contagious enthusiasm, her Felix Unger approach to life no longer works. Morgan's first reaction to the goyles (after she stopped screaming) was purely scientific. "Here's something you don't see every day." Although wary to admit it, Morgan is beginning to like the goyles, and she'll do what she can (she know the castle inside and out!) to protect them.

SIDERO was once a great, albeit evil, sorceror, but now he's just a ghost-like image that his nephew can summon, and, thankfully, shut off. He continually browbeats his nephew for thinking small. ("You can't go through life hoping cashiers will give you too much change!!!") But until he finds a way out of this Wizard of Oz-like state, he must convince his ineffectual nephew to carry out his grandiose schemes for him. He is not happy about having the goyles on the loose because he knows how one pesky goyle can ruin a perfectly sinister day.

XAVIER inherited enormous family wealth at a very young age, and from his medieval castle penthouse atop New York City's Toppling Towers high-rise, he's doing his best to spend it. Although Xavier comes from a long line of evildoers, the family genes are fading. Try as he might, Xavier's schemes will never match up to the brilliant misdeeds of his great-great-great-great uncle.

BACKSTORY

In the 15th century, there was a very evil sorceror named Sidero who spent his final years seeking the secret of immortality. Failing with cryogenics (he got frostbite) and rockology (although he got rid of a few gargoyles), he settled for a genie-like state that would preserve his soul and image, but not his body, in The Mirror. In reflection, Sidero realized there were some drawbacks. Primarily, he was no longer the master of his destiny, because he could only be summoned if a direct descendant was standing in front of The Mirror. After five centuries someone finally moved the potted plant (in fact, someone moved the whole castle) and Sidero found himself face to face with a major disappointment -- his heir. Xavier, being of little and stingy mind, tried a few small potato schemes before realizing Sid's potential. ("Let the amazing Sidero guess your weight!", "Let Sidero organize your closet!", etc.)

To Sid's dismay, when the castle was moved a few of the gargoyles' stone shells were cracked. It was dank, cold and dark in those shells. They've had plenty of sleep, and now they're ready to party!!



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