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Anime Expo

Attention anime lovers...

I will be at Anime Expo on Saturday, July 2nd in Anaheim, California. I'll be on the New Generation Pictures panel at 1pm, where I'll largely be discussing 3X3 EYES. Other topics of discussion include NAZCA and NURSE NANAKO. (I'm not involved with the last one at all, so I hope I got the title right.) Stop by and say hi.

3X3 is a really fun series that I just finished voice directing into English. It stars Christian "Max Steel" Campbell and Brigitte "Angela" Bako, and features many former GARGOYLES actors including Goliath, Thailog, Morgan, Broadway, Hollywood, Lexington, Brentwood, Obsidiana, Coyote Trickster, Natsilane, Hudson, Jack Danforth and Burbank. It's the story of a three-eyed three hundred year old demon girl with multiple personality disorder and the teen-age zombie bodyguard who loves her.

Hope to see you there.


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More of the "Leader" memo...

Here we have Act Two from the Beat Sheet I gave Michael Reaves in my 7/94 memo on "Leader of the Pack":

ACT TWO
4. Hyena and Jackal are ready to kill Xanatos/Coyote for revenge. X/C puts them down hard. He reminds them that it was Fox who told them to go after him. She's out of the picture now. Besides, it was the gargoyles who really sent you down. They put him away once too. They've destroyed enough of his plans. He wants them bad. He's [sic] works the Pack up into a revenge-fest frenzy. They want the gargoyles. But how do they find them? As X/C puts on his helmet, he says, we let them find us.

5. Goliath, Broadway and Hudson arrive at the castle. Owen is there, but not Xanatos. Goliath is confrontational but cautious. Woen has the Pack's social calender and says they should be at PackMedia studios shortly. Goliath is immediately concerned about the others. They take off.

6. From a nearby shadowed rooftop, Brooklyn, Bronx and Lex watch the police (Elisa, Matt, maybe Morgan) check out the Studios. It gives Brooklyn time to talk to Lex. He knows how Lex feels. Everytime Demona's name get's [sic] mentioned Brooklyn feels the same way. But you can't let it take you over. You need to remember what's really important, etc. Lex isn't listening. The police leave. Lex insists on going in. Brook & Bronx follow.

7. Inside, the place is deserted -- UNTIL SUDDENLY the floor begins to open up beneath them. The PACK Assault vehicle, rises up from a secret entrance beneath. Brokklyn suggests retreat, at least until they can get reinforcements from Goliath, et al. Lex ignores him and wades right in. The battle is on. Lex (followed by Brooklyn) goes after the four pack members they recognize. Lex is a holy terror and they're doing all right, at first. His shocking ferocity making up for any deficiencies. Bronx for some reason beelines for Coyote. (Basically, he smells robot.) It's a good fight, but soon all three gargoyles are out cold and at the Pack's mercy.

ACT THREE
(To be completed next time... Finally.)


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More of the "Leader Memo"...

Sorry, everyone, I know this is going very slowly. But transcribing is really boring. So I can't stand to do too much at a time. Anyway, here's another chunk of my 7-2-94 memo to Michael Reaves regarding "Leader of the Pack":

Beat sheet:
ACT ONE
1. Sundown. Open w/prison break. Let's make it much more fast and furious. It can start quier, but almost immediately should go to explosions, alarms, etc. The guards become aware of the break IMMEDIATELY. A big action set-piece. No time for a lot of talk. Also, let's have Dingo bust out the boys, and Coyote bust out the girls. It's a more practical plan. They'll all meet up in the NEW all-terrain PACK ATTACK vehicle. (And no, Kenner isn't asking for this, I am. Xanatos has the resources. After he saw Macbeth's hover-thing, he'd start his people on R&D. This is the result. The Pack should not be hand-to-mouth. This thing should be a flying submarine multi-purpose thing. Real cool.)

2. Just after sundown at the clock tower, Elisa informs the argoyles that there's a prison break and the Pack's involved. Lex goes bananas. WE'VE GOT TO BRING THEM DOWN. Goliath agrees with the sentiment, if not he intensity. Manhattan is their castle to protect. But Broadway wants to know, how do they find the Pack? Lex is sure they'll return to Packmedia Studios. Elisa disagrees, that's the first place the cops are going to look. Lex is positive. They're like animals. They'll eventually return to their cave to hide. He's going there to wait and watch. Goliath figures on being more pro-active. He knows Xanatos is behind the Pack from Elisa's talk with Fox in "Brother's Keeper". He's going to the castle. Broadway & Hudson are going with him. Brooklyn is concerned about Lex. He insists on going with Lex to the studio. He also insists on taking Bronx.

3. Aboard the Pack's vehicle, Coyote and Wolf fight for the right to lead. (Let Wolf make the first challenge, so that we aren't forced to make Hyena politely step aside.) Coyote wins, but Hyena and Jackal insist on seeing his face. Coyote vouluntarily removes his helmet, revealing that he is "Xanatos".

ACT TWO
(to be continued...)


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Me and my daughter Erin

My daughter Erin is here with me, and together we will answer some ASK GREG questions for you.


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More of the "Leader of the Pack" memo...

This continues my transcription of the memo I wrote to Michael Reaves on 7-2-94 regarding Steve Perry's original outline on "Leader of the Pack"...

Specific Notes & Questions...
Some of these will be rendered moot by other changes, but for future reference...

--No YoYo's for Brooklyn. He's too old to be playing with that. (Not that I don't enjoy a well-balanced yo-yo myself, but it's embematic [sic] of being really young. Like having him play jacks. Remember, this is a guy who likes motorcycles.)

--I liked the Hudson game show scenelet. Maybe slip that in right before Elisa tells the gargs about the prison break. If it no longer fits, save it for another episode.

--I think Wolf is a descendant of Hakon's. [It's interesting to me now that I put this comment in this memo. It's absolutely apropos of nothing. I must have just wanted to write it down somewhere so that I'd remember. Greg 2000]

--The gargoyles exo-sheathe remnants don't dissolve into vapor.

--Is a smoking jacket really Xanatos' style?

--Suddenly, on the bottom of page 3, Goliath has spider-sense. Maybe not.

--Goliath seems to be brooding about things he's already come to terms with. "...enemy one day, friend the next." He learned that lesson from the Captain in episodes 1 & 2.

Beat sheet:
ACT ONE
(to be continued soon...)


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SEASON TWO

Well, my plan had been to finished transcribing the "Leader of the Pack" outline memo. Then start on my new ramble on seeing the episode last week. However, I'm at home today and the only copy of the memo is still at the office. So I'll finish the memo soon. Meantime, here's a ramble that "Leader" inspired with a little background info on the transition to Season Two...

So the second season begins. And we had a new system in place. Tiers and tentpoles. As you may recall from a previous ramble we had run into huge scheduling difficulties with "Enter Macbeth". The animation had come back very problematic and the nature of the story was such that we couldn't air it out of order. I received a mandate to make sure in Season Two's fifty-two episode killer schedule that we do everything possible not to run into that kind of problem again.

Trouble was, I liked the sequential nature of the series. If all the episodes could air in any order with no effect on each other then how could the characters grow, evolve, change? How could the situations?

My solution was tiers and tentpoles. We would create tiers of episodes that could air in any order as long as they aired BETWEEN their tentpole multi-parters. We'd pay special attention to the Tentpole episodes to make sure THEY didn't get into production trouble that would derail the entire airing schedule. But if an individual episode within a tier ran late, we could skootch another one forward without causing any harm.

Tentpole One was retroactively set as the "Awakening" five-parter. Tier One was retroactively everything between that and "Reawakening", which became Tentpole Two by default. (Now obviously the Season One airing order was very important, but they had aired already, so I didn't have to worry about them anymore.)

Tentpole Three would be the "City of Stone" four parter. Tier Two would include eight episodes: "Leader of the Pack", "Metamorphosis", "Legion", "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time", "The Silver Falcon", "The Mirror", "Eye of the Beholder" and "Vows". In theory, I was supposed to make sure that these eight could air in any given order.

In practice, it never turned out to be that simple. For example, how could I air "Vows", the episode where Xanatos & Fox wed before "Eye of the Beholder" the episode where they get engaged? I wound up having a strong order preference for ALL 65 episodes. Tiers and Tentpoles be damned. But the truth is, the system served us well. It did tend to keep us on track. Creatively, it allowed us to build to strong multi-parters. And we rarely ever HAD to air episodes out of my preferred order. We only screwed up twice. "The Price" aired too soon. "Kingdom" aired too late. But only someone paying VERY careful attention would notice that. (Of course, anyone fanatical enough to be reading this was probably one of those people paying VERY careful attention.)

So anyway, "Leader" was my choice to open the new season. Lots of action. Some really great twists and turns. Some great character moments. It all seemed like a great way to intro potential new viewers to the series. BTWE, is there anyone out there for whom "Leader" was their first GARGOYLES episode? I'd love to hear from you here at ASK GREG.

We made other changes off the first season, as well. We had rebuilt the opening titles sequence to include some new footage. Keith David/Goliath's narration was added as well. This was written by Gary Sperling and myself. And hotly debated around our offices. Hotly debated inside my own brain as well. Frank Paur and I both felt that the titles were more powerful, more dramatic WITHOUT the narration. But we wanted to make sure that the series was still accessible to new viewers. The narration would serve the same function as the GILLIGAN'S ISLAND theme song. If you missed our pilot, you could still get the set up. Frank & I could see the wisdom of both positions. Even our boss, Gary Krisel, could. He left it up to me. I finally decided to err (and air) on the side of caution. I needn't have worried about "drama". Keith's voice, as usual, was so dramatic, that the opening narration became a classic -- reprinted on nearly every garg website I've ever seen. My kids love to shout out "WE LIVE AGAIN!" in chorus with Keith.

Another thing we did was to permanently install those "Previously on Gargoyles..." recaps at the head of EVERY episode. This was done for three reasons. One, see above, we wanted new viewers to have a chance to get what was going on without requiring them to see every episode that had come before. So the salient points could and would be summed up in those recaps. Two, since at some future time there was the possibility that the episodes WOULD air out of order, the recaps would help ground a viewer in when this particular episode was falling. And most important, three, it helped us in editing.

You see, footage would come back from overseas. And sometimes it would be great. And sometimes not. But no matter how good it was there wasn't a single episode that couldn't be improved by trimming a few frames here, a few frames there. No scenes were cut wholesale, but timing was improved and sped up. Mistakes were edited out. The recap gave us thirty extra seconds per episode of editing flexibility.

Now, on some level, the recaps may have backfired. Though they provided useful information, they may have given new viewers the IMPRESSION that there was too much to learn. I'm not sure it's true, but I've heard that argument. Also, I started hearing from the Disney Afternoon mailing list that everyone hated the recaps, because what they included tended to give away too much in the episode that was about to air. We fixed that problem midway through the season. Me, I still have no regrets. As I've mentioned before, HILL STREET BLUES was a major influence. The "Previously on..." format (which everyone uses today) came right out of Hill Street, so I was comfortable with it. And that 30 seconds of editing flexibility absolutely helped the shows play better.

NEXT TIME ON GREG'S RAMBLES...
More from my original memo to Michael Reaves and my specific responses to reviewing "Leader of the Pack"...


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I'm shocked...

There's nothing in the queue. I've got another hour and twenty minutes to kill and there's nothing left in the queue. ARGGGHHH!!!

Gore, Todd, help!!!!!


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Greg Weisman Update

As promised, here's a little update on what's been going on in my professional life...

The first season (all thirteen episodes) of MAX STEEL have been completed. I've lost track of how many have aired. I think they turned out pretty good. At any rate, the show is a success and will be back for a second season. Unfortunately, I won't be. The WB didn't invite me to produce/edit/write season two. So you can forget about any long term plans/arcs I had for the series. Still, I wish the show well. (After all, it'll still carry my "Developed By" credit.)

In other news, today I finished recording all of the two volume (seven episode) video anime series 3X3 EYES. I think we assembled a terrific cast for the English dub. Here's a complete list:

LEADS
Christian Cambell* as Yakumo Fujii
Brigitte Bako^ as Pai/Sanjiyan/Pabo Ayanokoji/Parvati/Howasho

SUPPORTING
Thom Adcox^* as Monkey
Edward Asner^* as Grandpa Ayanokoji
Earl Boen as Benares
Leslie Boone as Ken-Ken
Susan Chesler as Lee Ling-Ling
Bill Faggerbakke^ as Steve Long
Elisa Gabrielli^ as the Doll Demon
Jean Gilpin* as Mrs. Wong/Xunquai
Taliesin Jaffe as the Frog Demon and Feihong
William Katt as Tinzin
Mia Korf* as Natsuko
Ralph Lister as Choukai
Erin Matthews as Mei-Shin Long
Yuji Okumoto* as Chou and Naparva
Gregg Rainwater^* as Jake MacDonald
Dina Sherman as Dawn and Ran-Pao-Pao
Rick Simone as Tatsuya
Keith Szaribajka* as Professor Fujii and Ryouko
Rosie Taravella as Grandma Ayanokoji
Greg Weisman^ as Hide

and Keith David^ in a roll so rocking, I can't reveal it here. :)

* indicates a Voice Actor I worked with on MAX STEEL.
^ indicates a Voice Actor I worked with on GARGOYLES.

Anyway, the voices are all recorded. I've got three mix sessions left to do. I should be done in a week or so, at which point -- I'm unemployed.

Or nearly. I'm still teaching the animation writing course through UCLA extension. That's been a lot of fun and it keeps me pretty busy. Plus I'm working on writing a spec screenplay with my brother. And I go on the occasional job interview.

All this means is that it looks like I'll soon have plenty of time to dive back into ASK GREG. At one point we were closing in on completely catching up. Now we're over three months behind. But I'll try to make some fast progress. We've now got Todd Jensen helping Gorebash out to keep the site current, so that should help us avoid the "Nothing in queue" problems that were slowing us up before.

And I hope to see most of you at Gathering 2000 this August. It should be a GREAT con this year. I'll be there with Thom Adcox plus my wife and kids. We'll have new and special treats from Gargoyles, 3x3 Eyes and another EXCLUSIVE radio play event -- something that I guarantee you won't want to miss. Plus Disneyworld is a shuttle ride away. Make your reservations now.


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"Leader of the Pack" Background memo...

ASK GREG is back up and running. (Thank you, Gorebash.)

Unfortunately, Murphy's Law in in effect, and I'm now swamped with work. (More on that tomorrow.) I'll try to get to your questions and comments A.S.A.P. In the meantime, I've watched another episode "Leader of the Pack". I've taken notes to write a ramble but I don't have time to compose it tonight. But I also wanted to post my July, '94 memo to Michael Reaves regarding his first draft outline on this episode. (Like the one I posted for "Reawakening".) I have a hard copy of this memo, but unfortunately -- there's that Murphy's Law again -- I don't seem to have a computer file for it. (Which, frankly, is truly bizarre.) Still, retyping this is faster than composing something original. But I don't know if I'll have time to retype the entire five page memo tonight. So bear with me. This could take a while... (I'll try to keep all the typos intact. And I'll add a few new comments in [brackets].)

Greg Weisman 7-2-94

NOTES ON OUTLINE for "Leader of the Pack"
Michael, I think we can focus the story a little more. And I think there's quite a bit of padding that we can trim down, but on the whole, a good start.

General Notes...

--Let's focus this by making it Lexington's story. A real companion piece to "Thrill of the Hunt". In that story, Lex was too trusting. In this he'll be hell-bent on REVENGE. That's today's theme. And today's lesson is about setting priorities -- and how revenge ain't a great one. Lex comes close to letting his lust for revenge take priority over his concern for his life and his friends. Same with the Pack. They break prison; they could head for Rio. But they want revenge on the gargoyles more. It gets them in trouble. Ironically, only Xanatos has his priorities straight. He didn't give a damn about revenge on the gargoyles. He just cared about his "friend" Fox and getting her released from her unfortunate incarceration. [A DESIGNING WOMEN reference -- Greg 2000]

--Given the above. Let's see Lex as the true monster he can be. As frightening as possible, as often as possible.

--The stuff w/Dingo's change of heart was nice. It gave me a great idea for a story about him trying to go straight, set in Australia during the WORLD TOUR. But I think it's out of place here. It's distracting to the main story. I don't want Dingo to start to turn yet. He didn't have to come back from Europe to help the others. Let's keep him gung-ho for now. (When we do the Pack Upgrade Story, in which Wolf will submit to Doc Sevarius' genetic treatment ala Talon, and Hyena and Jackal will undergo cyborgizing ala Coldstone, we'll plant the seed there that Dingo thinks things are getting carried away. He'll choose removable robot-armor, and we'll play some of these beats then.) [When you're working on 65 episodes you try not to waste anything. And the characters begin to define their own destinies. But you need to pace them. -- Greg 2000]

--Coyote's abilities need some clarification. Let's start by thinking this is a stranger wearing some kind of power-armor. Jet black, anubis-headed armor. We'll modify or harmonize Jonathan's voice. Then when he removes the dog-faced armored head, we reveal that it's Xanatos inside the armor. The audience will buy this because of "The Edge" story. When COYOTE has the "helmet" off, we'll use Jonathan's voice un-harmonized. But obviously for battle scenes he'll put the helmet back on. A slight clue that Coyote isn't the real Xanatos will be that Coyote seems more determined to get revenge than we'd normally expect from the rational Xanatos we've come to know and love. Then at the end, we'll reveal the robot beneath the Xanatos face. We also need to make a bigger deal of this reveal. I think it would be cool, if after the body is damaged beyond repair, the semi-damaged head, takes off, shooting into the sky like a comet, abandoning the Pack. At any rate, we can now have Coyote be very powerful throughout the episode, without our audience suspecting the truth. What can the Coyote "armor" (i.e. the Coyote/Xanaots robot) do? Does it have built-in jet-boots and weapons systems? Let's make it real tough and cool.

--In general, we need to be really careful not to let the Pack seem weak or incompetent. I doubt Elisa can outshoot them. They've been defeated twice already. If we don't up the ante, we've lost these characters as effective adversaries.

--The huge emphasis on updrafts can be dumped. We've already shown the gargoyles glide to and from Liberty Island in "The Edge". How far out in the water is this tanker? Better not to go into too much detail.

--Same with the Pack's search for the gargoyles. Why raise the issue about how easy it is to find the gargoyles? Besides, the method used here could take weeks, if not months. Let the gargoyles find the Pack. We can dump the CD-ROM disk.

--The mirrored shields was a good idea. But it pre-supposes a Lexington who is rational enough to use his head and come up with it. Not this story. But remember it for later use. [O.K. I guess some things did get wasted. --Greg 2000]

--We definitely don't need or want Derek in this story. If it comes before "Metamorphosis" than we don't want to mess with his loyalty to Xanatos. If it comes after, then obviously he's not Derek anymore, but Talon. Anyway, we won't need him. The way I figure it, Elisa's role in this story is fairly minimal. I didn't like her as victim/hostage, so I largely dumped her. So we can leave Derek out, as well.

--Fox should protect he guard first, then refuse to go. When she refuses Hyena's inclined to kill her too. Coyote prevents it by indicating there's no time. Also, I've cut the middle Fox scene 14. Better that the audience forget about her until the end.

Specific Notes & Questions....
[to follow tomorrow, hopefully...]


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Reprinting a ramble...

Just reprinting my response to an AIRWALKER post in the comment room. (Like to save this stuff for posterity. I don't mean to pick on Airwalker.)

AIRWALKER - I don't know if you're already en route to Israel (have fun by the way) and I hate to defend my own stuff (after all if it doesn't speak for itself then I'm doomed anyway). But I have to heartily disagree with the following statement you made:

(I know the reasons that were given by Greg as to why this edited version was used for the video release but
still it stands out as a not particularly good edit. There were so many other, better ways to do an editing - the
version that is usually shown on Halloween on UPN is a hundred times better than the AWAKENINGS that's
out on video, mainly because they spliced the episodes together while leaving in as much material as possible...)

To the contrary, AIRWALKER, I believe the version that wound up on video is a VERY GOOD EDIT. If what we're talking about is the edit itself. You don't like it because so much was cut. You prefer the episodes -- and so do I -- because they are more complete. You even prefer the version BVTV edited together without any input from the producers (me & Frank). Also because it's more complete. But I'd argue that's an objectively WORSE edit. If what we mean is the editing itself. I wouldn't go so far as to call it sloppy, but it is choppy. This is mostly a lesson in semantics. You like to have more material. So do I. The five parter is 110 minutes long (total give-or-take). The recut movie version is 90+ minutes long (give-or-take) enough to fill a two hour tv timeslot. The version we did for the Orlando Big Screen premiere screening (which wound up -- against my advice -- going on the home video) is under 80 minutes. That's all the time we were allowed. Plus we were given an absolute mandate that the thing stand alone. The egg references, for example, HAD TO GO. That wasn't a choice, that was an order. Given those parameters, I think we did the best possible job we could. And I think the work that the editor did is terrific.

Basically, all I'm saying is that you shouldn't confuse the editing with the assignment the editor was given. Feel free to have a preference in terms of which cut you like. But if you're going to criticize the editing itself... Look very carefully at that work, before you disparage...


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Batman vs. Gargoyles...

As I believe I've mentioned before, there was once some fear at Buena Vista (our distribution arm) that GARGOYLES would be perceived as a rip off of BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. Now, that seems all but laughable, but then it was a sincere concern at BVTV. (The fact that we had Frank & Michael on our show, both of them major contributors to B:TAS, probably didn't help.) So they asked me to write up a memo showing the differences. That memo follows, unedited. Note the date.

(6-14-94)

Random thoughts on the differences between Gargoyles and Batman:

--Batman was traumatized as a child, by witnessing the death of his parents, which left him totally alone and psychologically scarred for life.
--Goliath had a major tragedy occur in his life, but it happened when he was an adult. He was not left totally alone. He is mature enough to realize that bad things can happen to good gargoyles and he is creating a positive life for himself and his clan.

--Batman fights criminals because of a deep-psychological need to stop their evil.
--Goliath and the gargoyles protect the innocent because they are protective by nature. It is a very primal instinct to them. They are not taking eternal vengeance.

--Batman is one man in a suit. (Two men if you count Robin.) He wears a mask to protect his secret identity.
--There are six gargoyles, each with unique personalities. And they are a different species -- monsters. Nothing put on. No secret identies. No posing as normal. Very little technology.

--Gotham City is New York at it's worst. Dark, ugly, cynical.
--Goliath's Manhattan is a dangerous but beautiful place, w/a rich colorful palate. A place of Hope.

--Batman faces a colorful array of villains, all with their own separate backstories.
--The Gargoyles face a colorful array of villains, whose backstories intertwine with the gargoyle's own rich history in ancient Scotland and modern Manhattan.

--Batman is reality based w/a few exaggerations and sci-fi elements thrown in.
--Gargoyles is more fantastic. Magic is quantifiable, but it exists. Immortals and sorcerers walk the earth.

--Batman is a man for his time.
--The gargoyles are creatures who are displaced in time trying to adjust to the modern world.

--Batman has no regular female character (unless you count villains like Poison Ivy or the occasional use of Batgirl.)
--The gargoyles are supported by Elisa Maza, a strong, capable but tender, female New York Police detective.

--Batman wears a cape.
--The gargoyles have wings which can fold over like a cape, but can also be used to glide through the air, simulating true flight.

--Batman wears a utility belt with gadgets included.
--Gargoyles don't. Hudson wears a sword though.

--Batman wears boots.
--Gargoyles are barefoot.

--Batman doesn't have super-human strength or powerful claws or a tail.
--The gargoyles do.

--Batman doesn't turn to stone every morning and then explode out of stone every night.
--Gargoyles do.

--Batman doesn't have a dog.
--Gargoyles have Bronx.

--Bruce Wayne has nearly unlimited wealth to subsidize his heroics with technology.
--Xanatos has nearly unlimited wealth to subsidize his villainy with technology. The gargoyles have a medium-sized t.v. set and a used barca-lounger.

--The Batcave is a high-tech top secret location located underneath stately Wayne Manor.
--The clock tower is a low-tech place to hide above the police precint in Manhattan.

--Batman has a butler.
--The gargoyles don't.

I hope this is helpful. Though I don't know why it would be.

As you can see, I didn't take the assignment too seriously. The only real key point for me is the first one. The differences between the tragedies and the heroes' reactions to those tragedies. Also that Xanatos is the anti-Bruce Wayne. But c'mon... "Batman has a butler. The Gargoyles don't". Was I stretching or what?


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Scientific Addendum to Wind Ceremony

Even in peaceful times, Gargoyles -- even very old gargoyles -- all but never died in their sleep. Sleep for gargoyles is borderline suspended animation. If an old, weary Gargoyle actually made it to daylight and stone, that bit of sleep would tend to freeze the aging process, the deterioration if you will. Rejuvenate the gargoyle even just a little bit. They'd be much more likely to die after the sun went down, after transforming back into flesh. Even before the iron age, when Gargoyles had little to fear from most any species, when turning to stone was an excellent daytime defense and not a liability, most ancient Gargoyles died just before sunrise, after an exhausting night, rather than after the sun had risen.

So again, the disturbing notion of surviving gargoyle mourners having to pulverize a perfectly preserved stone corpse is a veritable non-issue. The practice of reducing stone remains to dust was a result of gargoyles having to come to terms with stone-sleep having become a vulnerability. If you're loved one is already rubble, there isn't much reason to keep the rubble intact. That doesn't mean the process isn't emotionally painful. But not much more painful, I would think, then cremating a corpse of flesh. (Though of course it's more immediate. You are doing the damage, not the Fire.) At any rate, that was the custom that evolved.


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The Wind Ceremony

When a gargoyle dies, the disposition of his or her body depends only slightly on whether the gargoyle died during the day or at night.

If at night, the corpse is cremated.

If during the day, the rubble is pulverized.

(The notion of pulverizing the undamaged stone corpse of a gargoyle who has died peacefully in his sleep is disturbing. But in fact, gargoyles so rarely die peacefully in their sleep as to make this a non-issue.)

In either case, the cremated or pulverized remains are taken by the gargoyle mourners to the highest point on the local map. A memorial is held. Everyone who wishes to speak of the departed, may. No one, not even the departed's enemies, may be denied a voice. In the end, the mourners spread the remains upon the wind, saying, "Ashes to ashes OR dust to dust. All is one with the wind." (Over time, humans began to use a variation of the same at their funerals.)

The gargoyles then spread their wings, soaring amid the ashes or dust in the hope that part of the departed will stay with them forever.

[Note: There was no one to perform the wind ceremony for Coldstone, Coldfire or Coldsteel. That, and the location's ambient magicks coupled with the trio's own passions, may explain their accessability to Demona's ressurection spell.]


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Chapter XIII: "Reawakening" (The new ramble...)

As promised, I'll now attempt to recreate the lost ramble on this episode, which I recently watched again with my family.

For those of you who haven't seen it, I refer you to my recently posted "Memo" on this episode dated back in April of 1994. One thing you might have noticed was that the title of the episode was "The Awakening". In the memo, I suggested what I thought was the more appropriate title "Reawakening". Michael liked that idea but had a suggestion that did it one better. He suggested renaming our pilot five-parter "Awakening". I jumped at the idea. At the time, the five-parter was simply titled "Gargoyles, Part One", "Gargoyles, Part Two", etc. I've never liked that sort of cop out where the pilot's title is simply the series' title. Among other things, it lacks imagination. And it's dishonest. By that standard, "The Journey"'s real title should have been "Gargoyles, Part Sixty-Six". So giving our pilot its own title seemed like a very good idea to me.

But there was another reason why I liked Michael's plan. We were working on our last episode of the first season. It was April of 1994, nearly a year before that episode would air. And a good six months before our premiere. There was no way of knowing whether or not there would ever be a SECOND season. And so to protect myself (emotionally) I had to operate on the assumption that their might not be. Obviously, I wasn't going to do anything apocalyptic. I wanted there to be a second season, so I wanted to leave the doorway open for it. So Michael, Frank, Brynne and I discussed the idea of open-ended closure. If there never was a second season, we'd go out with a bang. We'd give some small amount of closure to our characters. Let them reach a turning point. If this was to be it, we'd have created a little 13 episode novel that brought the Gargoyles from the past to the present and renewed (reawakened) their sense of purpose.

Nice. We'd done the open-ended closure thing (to a lesser degree) at the end of what would eventually be called "Awakening, Part Five" and we'd eventually do it again at the end of "Hunter's Moon, Part Three". And I'd do it for myself in my script for "The Journey".

But there are tricks to achieving a sense of closure. And one of the tricks is to create parallels with the episodes that launched your story.

So by retro-titling our pilot "Awakening" and naming our last ep "RE-Awakening" you can see how we gave ourselves a headstart.

But there were other parallels. The flashback to the past, (which we intentionally built so that it could theoretically be edited into the pilot if necessary) included the Magus at his most pre-Avalon obnoxious. Obviously, that flashback also intro'd pre-Coldstone, but it served the purpose of calling those first couple of flashback episodes clearly into the viewers' minds. (The only problem with that scene, is that Hudson has his sword in a couple of the shots. This is a mistake, as any good Garg fan knows that Hudson first acquired his sword in the battle with the Vikings that took place the following night.)

We also did the big event VILLAIN TEAM-UP thing, bringing Xanatos and Demona back together for the first time since "Awakening, Part Five". (I love the exquisite tension that plays between them. They are both SO using each other. When Demona tells Coldstone that X is her servant, you know that she's partly doing that to circumvent Coldstone's questions, but that she also partly believes that it's true.)

We also used Morgan in Times Square in a very similar way to how he was used in "Awakening, Part One" (reiterated in "Awakening, Part Two").

And then there's that moment near the end where Elisa asks Goliath if there's anything he needs. He answers "A Detective" verbally echoing a key moment from their first meeting in "Awakening, Part Three". That still tickles me.

HOMAGE

Obviously, Frank and I both worked overtime to pay homage to the classic Universal "FRANKENSTEIN" movie. I can say "pay homage" with a straight face (as opposed to rip off) because we so clearly acknowledged the source. Frank's art direction of the lab. X's line: "It's alive! Alive!" (Wonderfully undercut by Jonathan Frakes' reading of the follow-up "I've always wanted to say that.") And the whole idea behind Coldstone. (More on this when I eventually ramble on "Legion".)

Coldstone would be our Frankenstein's monster. Pieced together. Gargoyle & Machine. Reanimated (reawakened). I even love the Coldstone name. And wasn't Michael Dorn's sepulchral tones just perfect for the role?

And Goliath's reaction is so multi-faceted, so Dr. Frankenstein... [You know Goliath's response to his brother here, would be echoed later in his response to his "son" Thailog in "Double Jeopardy". Initially, Goliath's simply repulsed by what he sees, calling Coldstone "an abomination". But given a bit of time, Goliath quickly sees past appearances and attempts whole-heartedly to save his brother. He'll go through the same changes with Thailog. Well... at least we (and Goliath) were consistent.]

CONTINUITY

Snow. It started snowing in "Her Brother's Keeper" and now the city is blanketed in the stuff. (And doesn't Elisa look cute in her scarf and gloves.)

Brooklyn's still pissed off at Demona, specifically and sarcastically asking if she has anymore "spells to save you now". In fact, we wanted to make clear that the spell used to resurrect (reawaken) Coldstone was one of the spells she tore out of the Grimorum in "Temptation". Instead, we cheated a bit. By having her tell Xanatos that the "Cantrips have already been spoken" it saved us the trouble of getting another spell translated into Latin. We were either lazy or short on time or -- most likely -- both.

Following out of "The Edge", and until the helmet comes off at the bridge, the gargs assume that Xanatos in his armor is simply another Steel Clan Robot. The next upgrade. The red model. They have no idea it's actually Xanatos himself in armor.

Small observation: Mirrors don't fare too well in the Gargoyles Universe.

Emotionally, I think the story is very successful at taking the audience through Goliath's spiritual reawakening. I love how he starts out pensive and brooding, listening to that great exchange between the trio and Hudson, realizing that all of them have lost track of their true purpose. Hudson recites the Gargoyle credo merely as an excuse not to go out in the cold. (And I love Thom's reading on Lex's "We don't even live in a castle anymore" response.) The trio are clearly missing the point, but methodical thinker Goliath isn't sure he remembers what the point is either.

And that dovetails SO nicely with Elisa revealing the Police motto "Protect and Serve". The police motto/gargoyle credo connection is so perfect, it struck me even at the time as further proof that we were tapping into something very true in our little fictions. (And don't cops -- for better and sometimes for worse -- act just like a clan?)

From there, Goliath moves past the notion of simply being a reactive character, struggling only to SURVIVE one crisis after another. Now he will strive to be proactive. To rededicate (reawaken) the clan toward their original life purpose. Extending the term "castle" to Manhattan island was always our plan. Even that was intentionally primitive in our view. Goliath doesn't protect New York City. Not all five burroughs anyway. That's beyond his medieval scope at this still-early stage. He can get his head around protecting an island surrounded by water. Not the whole world. But eventually, the plan would include expanding the clan's definition until Castle Earth was the only thing that made sense. Of course, that might not have been fully realized until 2158. But we'd have gotten there. And the World Tour was part of that process too.

PROBLEMS
(Besides Hudson's sword...)

--One line in the ep. that for some reason still makes me cringe is Elisa's "My car's big." It just seems awkward to me. Not sure why.

X & D watch Coldstone's progress from the castle. Almost instantaneously they're at Times Square. We always knew we were just skating by on that.

Goliath & Coldstone go into the water at the bridge TWICE within the span of a couple of minutes or so. The first time, Goliath nearly drowns. The second time he's completely uneffected (physically) by the experience. We get away with it because the second time he's diving in on purpose. But just the fact that we had to dunk them both twice is an awkward construction (and my fault). At least, Goliath looks good with wet hair.

Some really graceful animation here. Goliath has some great moves, and I love that moment when Matt and especially Elisa are diving into the snow, out of the way of the car that Coldstone has just thrown... And speaking of that scene...

TIMES SQUARE SEQUENCE

There's some very interesting, fun stuff here besides what I've already mentioned about it above. A sampling:

Explosions in Bambi. :)

Demona's Clan: Herself, Coldstone, a Steel Clan Robot and Xanatos in Gargoyle Battle Armor. It's so twisted. I love it.

Goliath's very smart here. He doesn't want the fight to take place in public and basically convinces Xanatos to take his side on the issue by flattering him. Goliath refers to Manhattan as "your city" (i.e. Xanatos' city), this despite the obvious fact that Goliath does NOT regard Manhattan as Xanatos' personal property. And Xanatos, usually immune to such stuff, falls for it -- maybe BECAUSE it comes from the ultra-sincere Goliath.

I also am very fond of the Mr. Jaffe book-ends. I think they're a lot of fun. And I love how Matt talks about Mr. Jaffe. It gives us insight into Matt's character, his background, his youth. His empathy for Jaffe really helps humanize him. Matt was always eminently human.

Signing off now...

"Because six monsters just told me to..."


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Chapter XIII: "Reawakening" (background rambling)

I'm trying something different with this ramble. And because of recent difficulties, I'm going to break the Ramble into two parts. My thoughts on reviewing the episode last Friday night will need to be recreated from scratch. And I'll get to that as soon as I can.

But first I thought you guys might appreciate a little background. What follows is a long memo that I wrote to Story Editor Michael Reaves after receiving the first draft of writer Brynne Chandler Reaves' outline on our thirteenth and final episode of the first season. Pay careful attention to the date of the memo and the title of the episode. I'll comment on both sometime in the next few days...

THE MEMO (unedited):

To: Michael Reaves Date: 4-10-94

From: Greg Weisman Ext: 7436

Re: Notes on "The Awakening" / Outline for 4319-013 of GARGOYLES

GENERAL NOTES
This is a tough one, because in this episode, we have a very specific mission, which is to remind Goliath of his. In order to accomplish this, I'd like to focus both our efforts and Goliath's soul-searching. These aren't simple concepts but I'm gonna try and go through them in baby steps. This is less for our benefit than for the benefit of our audience & Goliath. (Remember, Goliath is a determined thinker if not a quick one.)

Goliath spends the episode searching for the true meaning behind the gargoyle motto, "A gargoyle can no more stop protecting the castle than breathing the air."

We begin by defining our terms. Goliath first needs to understand the following equation: "Castle = Home = Family = Community". He more or less learned the Castle through Family section in "ENTER MACBETH", but we'll need to reiterate the lesson in some way for our audience. Then we need to take him the final step from Family to Community.

After that (or perhaps simultaneously), he needs to decide on what is meant by "protect". Protect what? The physical structure he lives in? No. Again, Home leads into Family which leads into Community.

Protect why? To survive in a hostile environment? Ultimately and by the end of the episode Goliath decides/remembers that to survive is not enough. Coldstone and Demona provide cautionary proof; both of them are abominations of a sort, created in the name of "Survival". Survival ("breathing the air") is important, but clearly survival isn't enough. Goliath and his clan need purpose. They need to return to the mission: Protect the castle (i.e. protect the community).

This dovetails nicely w/Elisa's mission as a cop: "To protect and serve." And leaves us, at the end of our first season, with a more pro-active group of heroes.

SPECIFIC NOTES
Just a few specifics that aren't covered in the beat outline that follows.

Page 1.
--The trio saw snow last episode. Let's make the winter weather the backdrop to the action. Not part of the story.
--I don't think we want to light any fires in the clock tower.

Page 2.
--We no longer need Madame Serena in this story. Plus she adds another new element to a pretty full plate.
--Remember this is one of the spells that Demona ripped from the Grimorum back in "Temptation".

Page 3.
--Coldstone wouldn't name himself. It's not gargoylean thing to do. And he hasn't been awake long enough to know he needs a name. Let Demona do it.

Page 7
--I think we can fit the action of this story into one night, so this is kind of a moot point, but I don't think Demona would risk sleeping as stone in Xanatos' castle. She doesn't trust anyone that much.
--Let's not overplay Matt's conspiracy fettish. It's o.k., but we don't want him to come off as a "babbling".

Page 11
--Remember, unless we're getting biblical here, Gargoyles weren't "created". They have very strong territorial and protective instincts. These instincts are as strong as their survival instinct. But I want to make sure we don't imply that they were magically created by someone or something who gave them a mission.

Finally, if I could recommend a title change... how about "Re-Awakening" instead of "The Awakening". I think it's a bit more appropriate all the way around.

ACT ONE
1. Prologue #1 - Present Day Manhattan - All-Nite Grocery - Winter Night
--It's snowing in Manhattan and will continue to snow until the last scene.
--A lone thief holds up the owner of a small and otherwise empty All-Nite grocery store.
--Thief tells the owner: "I guess we just live in dangerous times.

2. Prologue#2 - Flashback to 994 A.D. Scotland - Castle Wyvern - Night
(Note this scene happened off-camera during part one of the five-parter, somewhere around page 24 of script #4319-001.)
--Goliath informs Hudson that they must leave to harry the vikings far away.
--He'll need Hudson's tracking skills.
--Demona and "pre-Coldstone" gargoyle (Goliath's rookery brother) are also present.
--Magus comes thru and says or does something obnoxious.
--Demona, secretly desperate for Goliath to bring them all along, asks why they bother protecting the human's castle at all?
--Pre-Coldstone agrees: "Let them keep the castle, we can survive anywhere."
--(We see he is of a semi-simlar mind-set to Demona, which explains why she uses him 1000 years later for Coldstone.)
--Hudson firmly states the gargoyle mission statement: "A gargoyle can no more stop protecting the castle than breathing the air..."
--Goliath instructs his rookery brother to stay w/Demona and protect.

3. Present Day - Winter - Clock Tower - Night
--Goliath's been daydreaming (at night) about old memories.
--Trio are going to a movie; they invite Hudson along.
--Hudson's a couch potato. He'll wait to see it on cable. Besides he's got to guard their home.
--Trio: We live over a police station. What could happen? We don't have to guard the place every night.
--Hudson tosses off gargoyle truism: "A gargoyle can no more stop protecting the castle than breathing the air..." (But that's just an excuse to be left alone.)
--Goliath reacts silently, realizing their mission has lost meaning for the gargoyles, even Hudson. Maybe even himself.
--Trio leaves ("We don't even live in a castle anymore...")
--As Elisa enters.
--She wants to know how gargoyles are "surviving" the cold weather.
--G says they're fairly immune... to the elements.
--Elisa starts to leave for her shift w/offhand remark: "Time to do a little of the old 'Protect and Serve'."
--G stops her to find out what she means.
--Police motto.
--But what does it mean? Protect who?
--(Maybe Elisa can get us from Castle to Family here.)
--Goliath decides to accompany Elisa on the night shift.
--Which is a bit problematic now that she has a partner.

4. Castle
--Demona has talked a reluctant Xanatos into another attempt to destroy Goliath.
--Xanatos & Demona use science & sorcery to revive creature made from cybernetics and mismatched gargoyle parts. (The head is that of Goliath's rookery brother, our pre-Coldstone, augmented by cybernetic-eye & etc.)
--Demona names him Coldstone.
(--Perhaps she represents Xanatos as her servant. Perhaps he allows it.)
(--Note: in this episode, I think we want to sense a tension between X & D, but I don't think we want to bust them up here. It's distracting and we have enough to deal with.)
--Coldstone's confused. Last thing he remembers is Goliath & Hudson leaving the castle. Then came sunrise and oblivion.
--Demona: "Goliath abandoned us to the mercy of humans."
--He has been seduced by their beliefs.
--It is because of him that you look like this....
--It's mirror time.
--Does audience see him or do we save that revelation?

5. Manhattan Streets / All-Nite Grocery / Rooftop across the street.
--Elisa & Matt are driving in her car.
--Goliath is following them from above. (She's given him a walkie-talkie or headset or something. She's basically wearing a wire so that he can be on her shift with her.)
--They investigate All-Nite grocery store robbery from scene 1. (Not a crime in progress. Remember, they are detectives, not beat cops.)
--While Matt questions the owner...
--Goliath, watching from above, is able to talk quietly w/Elisa.
--We get from Family to Community.
--Elisa: No one wants to live a prisoner of their own castle anymore. We live in a community. The whole community needs to work together...
--G: "To survive." (He still hasn't gotten it yet.)
--Radio call: "All available units."

6. Times Square.
--That tortured soul, Coldstone, is going bonkers.
--(He hated "Cats". No, wait... he hates humans.)
--(Physical strength only. No robotic weaponry yet.)
--Morgan and other cops are just securing the perimeter, keeping people clear.
--From a distance, Goliath surmises another Xanatos robot ploy. (He sees the occasional metallic glint. The rest is in shadow.) He won't be dragged into another of Xanatos' schemes.
--Elisa & Matt don't have that luxury. They approach the thing. Tell it to cease and desist, etc.
--Coldstone prepares to throw a small car at them or something.
--As Goliath reacts, we fade out.

ACT TWO
7. Times Square.
--With Elisa endangered, Goliath doesn't hesitate to intervene and save her and a flabergasted Matt.
--Now Coldstone really goes ballistic. Literally. Barrel rises from robotic arm and fires.
--Goliath dodges or maybe he is hit, but Coldstone is too shocked to notice. --He didn't know he could do that.
--(Xanatos had a pre-programmed battle mode built-into his circuitry.)
--While C is figuring this out, Goliath comes in and smashes him.
--It's only in close that Goliath realizes he's not fighting a robot.
--(Is this the audience's first full look at Coldstone too??)
--And it's only now that Coldstone recognizes G.
--But all this convinces Coldstone that Demona was telling the truth.
--Goliath is attacking his own rookery brother to defend a human.
--But Goliath is out-matched, and soon losing.

8. Inside Orpheum Theatre (Times Square).
--Trio are watching movie from balcony.
--(As Broadway did in "Deadly Force").
-- "There sure are an awful lot of explosions in this movie."
--But are those explosions coming from outside?
--Suddenly movie stops. House lights come up.
--On ground level, Morgan is ushering people out the back entrance, calmly and for their own safety.
--Trio exit to see what's going on.

9. Times Square.
--Trio arrive in time to save Goliath from Coldstone.
--Coldstone surrounded by all four gargoyles.
--Looks like the tide of battle might have shifted.
--We see gargoyles thru Coldstone's robot POV.

10. Castle.
--Matchcut to Xanatos office monitor.
--Seems he gets a direct feed on whatever Coldstone sees or hears.
--X to D: Looks like sonny-boy's having trouble making friends.
--(No indication that they're going to help yet.)

11. Times Square.
--Goliath does not attack; he's still trying to put everything together.
--Could this abomination really be his rookery brother?
--At first, Goliath doesn't talk to Coldstone, rather he speaks about "it".
--Which of course doesn't endear him to Coldy one bit.
--G tries a kinder, gentler approach.
--Might even be starting to reach him.
--G: What happened to you, pal?
--From off-screen Demona says: "We did."
--Goliath, trio and Coldstone turn to see Demona, Xanatos in Gargoyle armor and a Steel Clan Robot. Fade to black.

ACT THREE
12. Times Square.
--Stand-off.
--Demona: If you're going to bring your whole clan, you can't expect me not to bring mine.
--G: You call that a clan?
--Coldstone is torn, confused. What should he do?
--Demona: "Destroy Goliath. Destroy him, and we survive."
--Coldstone looks down at his cobbled-together form: "Is this survival?"
--Demona tells him not to be fooled by appearance.
--Goliath and the others have been corrupted by humans.
--"We are the only real gargoyles left."
--Travis Marshall pulls up in newsvan.
--While cameraman is setting up, Elisa uses "wire" to warn Goliath.
--Goliath appeals to Xanatos
--(Probably doesn't yet know that Xanatos IS one of the robots.)
--(G thinks he's talking by radio-link via the robots.)
--G: It's your city, X, shouldn't we reconvene someplace less fragile.
--Demona doesn't like the idea, but Xanatos insists.
--(She's not ready to sever their partnership yet).
--Xanatos quietly names a spot that only Goliath (and Elisa via their wire) can hear.
--The eight combatants fly off, severally.
--Marshall only gets the tail end on camera.

13. Clock Tower.
--Hudson sees Marshall's report on t.v.
--Discusses dilemma (theoretically w/Bronx, but he's really talking to himself).
--Goliath told them to stay and guard the tower.
--What should he do?

14. George Washington Bridge.
(Or whatever bridge is closest to Times Square.)
--Your basic battle royale...on the bridge, in the air. Among other things...
--Brooklyn goes after Demona.
--He's still mad at her from "Temptation."
--Which allows Goliath and Coldstone to continue their face-off.
--The Steel Clan robot is destroyed.
--Xanatos is forced to unmask.
--But generally, the bad guys are winning, if barely.
--Coldstone & Goliath plunge into the icy river.

15. The River.
--Coldstone's got a built-in breathing apparatus that extends over his mouth and nose automatically.
--As they struggle underwater, Goliath's losing air and consciousness.
--G. hears Hudson's voice: "A gargoyle can no more stop protecting the castle than breathing the air."
--Suddenly, Goliath is pulled out of the water... by Coldstone.

16. An Ice flow.
--As G. gasps for breath he sees that a battered Demona and Xan have the drop on an even more battered Trio. The fight is over; the good guys lost.
--Demona's glad Coldstone saved G. for her to finish off.
--But Coldstone wants some answers first.
--Coldstone: "You said if Goliath dies. We would survive."
--Again, he indicates himself: "Is that all there is... surviving?"
--Demona's almost tender with him, but what she says is something like: "That's all that counts."
--But Goliath has finally figured it out. Surviving is not enough. To merely survive at all costs is not the gargoyle way. Gargoyles protect the way gargoyles breathe. To forget that leads to true corruption. Not the corruption of humans, or even Coldstone's metallic corruption. But the bitter fanaticism of Demona's corrupt soul. Or something like that.
--Of course, Demona's not just gonna sit there and let Goliath speechify forever.
--She takes aim.
--Coldstone leaps between them, takes the blast and is blown off the ice into the water. He does not resurface.
--Goliath immediately dives in after his brother.
--Demona fires into the water at both of them.
--She is furious at Coldstone's betrayal.
--Trio try to take some advantage of situation, but Xanatos won't allow it.
--Suddenly, the ice seems to be hit from above by a cannonball that sends everyone reeling.
--That was no cannonball that was Bronx. Hudson dropped him from on high.
--Again, the tide has turned. And it's all Xanatos can do to grab Demona and rocket her out of there.
--Goliath comes up for air. There's no sign of Coldstone.
--Goliath has lost his only surviving brother.

17. Epilogue #1 - Bridge.
--The six gargoyles are climbing back up the bridge. (They'll need some height to glide home.)
--Hudson apologizes for abandoning their home, the clock tower.
--Goliath points toward Manhattan and says something like: "The clock tower is where we sleep. But our home is that island. Our castle is Manhattan. And gargoyles always protect their castle... and anyone, human or gargoyle who resides within."
--Elisa pulls up in her car. It took her awhile to get clear of Matt.
--Are they o.k.? Do they need anything?
--Goliath: "I need a detective."

18. Epilogue #2 - All-Nite Grocery - Dawn.
--The thief from scene 1 comes in again.
--The owner is scared at first but the thief is very contrite.
--He gives back all the money and asks the owner to call the police so that he can turn himself in.
--When the flabbergasted owner asks why, the frightened thief replies: "Six monsters and a cop told me to."

19. Rooftop across the street from the All-Nite Grocery - Morning.
--In the cold early morning wind amid hazy sunlight, Elisa stands on the roof across the street from the grocery store amid six horrific stone gargoyles.
--Elisa watches, as Morgan (at the end of his shift) takes the thief away in his squad car.
--Elisa: "Well, it's a start. Xanatos, Demona, you two are next."
--The sun breaks through the clouds, shining brightly on a beautiful winter's day in Manhattan.
--E: "You know, guys, the city feels safer already."
--She leaves them there to sleep and heads home after a long night.
--FADE.

End of memo. My real Ramble should come soon.


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Now my own test...

Unfortunately, just about the time the server crashed, I had just finished posting a mega-ramble, now lost, on "Reawakening". (The thought of trying to recreate it is fairly intimidating.) Also lost was the answer to a Todd Jensen question about iron. (Sorry, Todd you'll have to repost.) Since then I haven't been able to post anything. Hopefully, things are working today. (But the queue is empty again.)


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Test

Simple test ramble. Appears that things aren't working.

*sigh*

-Eric


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Bad news...

Because of the server crash the SUPER-LONG ramble on "Reawakening" which I posted last night was lost. The thought of recreating it is miserable and intimidating. But I'll get to it eventually. Maybe tomorrow.

Also lost was an answer to a Todd Jensen question about iron. Sorry Todd, but you'll have to repost the question.

ANd meanwhile, the queue is once again empty, which may also be a result of the crash or may be because Gore doesn't have time to fill it up right now.


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More Max

For some reason the WB chose to air a Max Steel rerun last week instead of the already completed episode 7. This week (i.e. Saturday 4/21) they're skipping 7 again to air episode 10 (I think).

Episode 10 was written by former Garg writer/story editor Gary Sperling. Its title is "Sphinxes".


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Max Update...

Queue is still empty...

Meanwhile, Max Steel episode #7 airs this Saturday. It's called "Snow-Blind" and was written by Mike Ryan. This continues Sony/WB's current tradition of airing the durn things in REVERSE order.

For those keeping track, the following episodes have aired in the following bizarre order:

#1 - "Strangers"
#3 - "Shadows"
#2 - "Sacrifices"
#4 - "Sportsmen"
#9 - "Sabres"
#8 - "Sharks"
#7 - "Snow-Blind"

#10 should follow shortly. It features the villain Dragonelle. After that #5 will air, which INTRODUCES Dragonelle.

This is how my life is running these days.

Maybe someday the WB will air them all in order.

But I wouldn't count on it.


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3x3 Update

Hello gang,

Well, my queue is still empty and I haven't watched Re-Awakening yet, so I thought I'd give you guys a 3X3 EYES update...

Today, we finished recording all the actors for the first volume. Here's the current cast list (and you can expect more familiar names in Volume Two).

Again, our two leads are...

Brigitte "Angela" Bako as Pai/Sanjiyan &
Christian "Max Steel" Campbell as Yakumo Fujii

Other Volume One cast members include...

Thom Adcox
Earl Boen
Susan Chesler
Mitch Cohen
Keith David
Bill Faggerbakke
Scott Forno
Jean Gilpin
Taliesin Jaffe
Jonathan Klein
Mia Korf
Erin Matthews
Yuji Okumoto
Rick Simone
Keith Szaribajka
Greg Weisman
Kelly Wilson

Of course, I worked with Brigitte, Thom, Keith D. and Bill on GARGOYLES.

And Christian, Thom, Jean, Mia, Yuji and Keith S. on MAX STEEL.

And I worked with Earl way back on BONKERS.

It's really a terrific cast. We've mixed 3/4 of the volume and it should be available from Pioneer this summer. (We'll be previewing it, or so I'm told, at Anime Expo in early July.)

Questions welcome...


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Poor Gorebash...

He's working so hard -- probably much harder than me these days -- and I just keep answering ASK GREG questions.

The Queue is empty again...


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Thank you Blaise

Blaise wrote:

In the end, two things above all others IMHO should be remembered in ANY debate of Goliath vs. Brooklyn:
1) Brooklyn admires and looks up to Goliath, despite any disagreements.
2) Goliath made Brooklyn Second-in-command because he felt Brooklyn was best suited for the job.
To put down one is actually indirectly putting down the other.

That bears repeating:

TO PUT DOWN ONE IS ACTUALLY INDIRECTLY PUTTING DOWN THE OTHER.

You guys can do what you want, of course.

And I certainly don't mind in depth discussions of either character. I thought Toku Kaioto's essay on Brooklyn was fantastic.

And I don't mind a fun poll like: "Ladies, which garg-hunk do you prefer?"

But I don't really see what you get by putting the characters' natures in opposition debate, as if they were or are in some competition with each other.

Now I promise, that was my last word on the subject.


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Pet Peeves

More a rant, than a ramble...

One thing I'm less than fond of is people who seem to think that the only way to praise someone or something is to attack someone or something else in order to make the quote-unquote praiseworthy object more praiseworthy by comparison.

Look, if a thing is worth praising, then praise it. It doesn't matter how good, better or awful something else is.

I hear this all the time with movies and tv shows, music, etc.

Worse, in the business I'm in, I hear it all the time with people.

And I've heard my share of it regarding the characters of Gargoyles.

FOR EXAMPLE:
Someone's a huge Brooklyn fan. Can't figure out why Angela chose Broadway or whey "the clan puts up with Goliath". It's not enough to praise Brooklyn, the Brook-fan feels the need to attack BW or Goliath -- slinging mud on them so that Brooklyn's light shines brighter.

Or the reverse. People determined to defend Goliath or. Outraged by the tactic outlined above, praise Goliath not with actual praise for Goliath, but by attacking Brooklyn, i.e. by utilizing the same tactic. It just makes me nuts.

Now, I'm not saying that you have to like every character equally. (I pretty much do, but I'm daddy.) You're all welcome to have your favorites. And it's even fine with me if there are some characters you just HATE. Either because you think they're ill-conceived, or because you think they're unpleasant or whatever.

But what's the fortune in comparisons? It's all subjective anyway. In High School, in my AP English class (days of yore) I remember a long debate about Othello vs. Iago. Most of the class seemed determined to prove that Iago was a great villain by arguing that Othello was a feeble hero. But I didn't buy it. (Well, I did for about five minutes, but the mind rebelled.) If Othello is feeble, than Iago's villainy achieved nothing. A triumph over a feeble leader. Big Deal.

End of rant.


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Theseus Addendum

One more thing, Aris,

About the Helen thing. I'm not trying to defend it, but I think the motivation wasn't any desire to possess a barely-pubescent Helen. I can't believe a guy who loved Antiope, wanting that. I think he was trying to stick it to all those young heroes of the new generation. I don't approve of his methods, and he wasn't able to pull it off even. But it was an act of rebellion. An act of societal perversion (as opposed to sexual perversion).

Anyway, that's my take.



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