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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending January 1, 2023

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ED - I once read a mini-fanfic (one of a set of humorous fanfics dealing with the loose ends of the series, such as Elisa's dressing up as Disney princesses for Halloween) where Goliath, upon awakening, is speaking Gaelic - and Xanatos's response is to bid Owen fetch him a Gaelic-English dictionary.

But the impression I had, from Greg Weisman's remarks on the subject, is that it was some sort of magical translation at work, probably a spell from the Grimorum courtesy of Demona. Though I doubt that the production team worried much about it.

Todd Jensen

Happy new year to everyone! And welcome back Battle Beast! I do wonder what happened to all those people who used to post in here for sometimes over a decade at a stretch like Blaise and Airwalker, let alone the scores of people who used to frequent either the S8 or TGS CRs. I hope sometime they all find their way back here.

Jurgan: To me, the timeframe is the issue. There are a lot of key concepts that flat out did not exist in the 10th century. The plus and minus symbols. Would the concept of zero have even made its way to Wyvern? Unlikely - unless of course, gargoyles have their own system of mathematics which would be interesting. Similarly, computer technology is many times more abstract and incorporates various sub skills of its own including typing. (Kind of reminds me of Greg W once commenting that he found it incredible that Frankenstein's monster's first book in Shelley was 'Paradise Lost').

(By the way, was there some kind of Grimorum spell used to cross the language barrier before the gargoyles awoke? Is this something that's been confirmed or denied? I guess this would help explain some of the divide, depending on the terms of the spell - it must have been fairly broad as besides the language itself, reading would be a completely different experience with many letters and punctuation marks having been invented in some cases hundreds of years after Goliath's first lessons. I mean, Xanatos isn't going to be very interested in acquiring gargoyles with whom he can't communicate - still less with gargoyles who require Demona to act as translator!!)

Anyway, I do agree the "savant" term in pop culture has somewhat warped the word into meaning something borderline superhuman and perhaps obscures more than clarifies. You're also right that there is something specific about maths that is psychological - the "I can't do maths" drives me up the wall as well and that thinking has lots of weird and awful consequences (for example, I forget the study, but it concluded that if you remind girls of their gender before they take a maths test, they will perform worse). That said, for someone to self-teach themselves - in days pre-wifi and where he can hardly waltz into a library or talk to anyone of equivalent or greater understanding than him - in the space of literally weeks and to an ostensibly quite high level of skill... that's way to the right on the bell curve. Of course, given he's a cartoon character, it's really impossible to determine this very meaningfully!

Matt: Interesting. I teach the equivalent of US grade 5 I think but I get to teach pretty much everything (including, of course, "A Midsummer Night's Dream"!).

On which Bardic note, I transition to talking about:

"City of Stone" Part 4 - VOICES FROM THE EYRIE

Caught up with the latest podcast. Another brilliant one.

Frank Paur's observation about the fluidity marking the difference between the animation is great and really puts his finger on a difference I'd felt but had never really enunciated about why the Japanese animation works so much better even when the storyboarding and models are the same.

I made the link about 5 seconds before Greg W pointed it out that the Macbeth/Canmore lack of recognition parallels Demona/Gillecomgain. I don't know if I'd noticed this before but it's... nifty.

I really liked that Greg W highlighted Bronx's behaviour with Demona - rewatching recently, that scene stood out to me too. It's interesting that he's not so hostile to Demona that he goes for her despite their previous encounters. Also, I suppose, he's been told to protect, not to attack and clearly takes that role seriously - if only Demona learned these lessons.

Greg W also highlights another great, often overlooked, moment - Demona and Macbeth both resisting Goliath's, ah, intervention. It's amazing how Goliath and Xanatos between them are basically the comic relief for much of this episode

Even though Salli Richardson only had a few words, it never occurred to me she wouldn't be given something here. I don't even think it's Greg being irresponsible as a producer as he humbly comments -- Elisa's jeopardy has been the driver of two of the three cliffhangers in the whole 4-parter. I really don't think you could land this one without her. That said, there are a couple of times where I feel like I have noticed characters with almost no lines make an episode, and not just Jeff Bennett doing double/triple duty - forget off-hand where now but will have to look out. It's an interesting reflection.

As much as Marina Sirtis or - imagine! - John-Rhys Davies (let alone Kath Soucie or Emma Samms) would have been amazing guests for this one, I do actually love that Frank Paur came back for this one specifically as it really is one of the absolute pinnacles of the show and certainly is the jewel in the crown of many great episodes he directed. (I do think it would be interesting in future episodes to get a bit more into the nuts and bolts of directing. I think most people now have a conception of directing for live action but animation has more moving parts, separate voice directors and storyboard artists (sometimes with separate credits and sometimes not.) Hopefully sometime someone like Dennis Woodyard will do an episode.

Also, I'm glad Frank was there to thank Greg and recognise all he's done.

There were a couple of bits where I couldn't quite hear. Greg talked about something in issue 2 and Jen shouted something at the end - I can't quite tell if these were intentional edits or just technical issues.

"Castle Gates" looks interesting. I will have to check it out in half-term.


Happy New Year, Everybody!

Happy new year!
Karrin Blue

Happy New Year!
Todd Jensen

Celebrating the New Year really varies on both the region, people and of course depending on what period of time they're from.
It wouldn't surprise me if the Ishimura Clan and Xanadu Clan celebrate it, the Lunar New Year that is.

Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

Happy New Year's Eve/Hogmanay, everyone!

*imagines Goliath and Hudson puzzling over why the humans make such a fuss over when one year ends and another begins - not to mention insisting on giving them numbers. To them, it would seem up there with humans insisting on naming everything.*

Todd Jensen

Thanks for mentioning that, it was very funny.

Just listened to the "Voices from the Eyrie" podcast on "The Edge" - which had the blessing of having Jonathan Frakes as a guest, alongside Greg Weisman. And Frakes shows a real fondness for "Gargoyles" and his role as Xanatos. (Wait until you hear the opening!)
Todd Jensen

I had no idea Keith David showed up on Mr. Rogers, looks like he played a carpenter in the Land of Make-Believe.
Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

Good to see you again, Battle Beast. It is indeed nice to see so many familiar faces from years (even decades!) ago.

Phoenician> I'm a middle school teacher as well. Science.

"Well, I'm back..." -Samwise Gamgee, Lord of the Rings

Checking online, it seems Keith David appeared a good handful of times on Mister Rogers Neighborhood.

One appearance I checked out for a different reason is a clip where a kid teaches Fred how to play the Donkey Kong arcade game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEKNWfuTitw


I was lucky to snag the deluxe copy of Journal 3, with glow-in-the-dark writing and eye piece. It's hefty, but wonderful. I could only imagine what the other two journals would contain, but I guess they don't want us making any deals with demon triangles d: Lost Legends was also a treat, and I love that even my blu-ray of the series has secret codes on the case.

Must remember to get the Marcy book.

Jurgan: While I primarily teach Language Arts, I wholeheartedly agree. Frankly, I feel like what I teach allows me to cover all sorts of interdisciplinary subjects, from history and civics to philosophy and science given what we read (and that's not exhaustive). I never let miss a chance to show my enthusiasm for topics far and wide to my middle schoolers.

As for Lexington -- I'm just excited to see more in store for the guy. Can't wait to see hear his narration issue!

Still waiting for the Greg Guler cover, but the others I ordered (nine of them for Issue 1; it'll depend on the artwork on which I keep subscribing to -- talk about famine to feast!) have been picked up and delivered. In other merch news that I don't think I've shared, my plushie of Demona arrived the week before the comic debuted, but I'm still waiting on my NECA pre-orders of Hudson, Brooklyn, etc. I've heard some word of them showing up at Targets, but I rather just wait then try to hunt them down at this point. Looking for Demona and Bronx in the wild back in the Spring was mighty exhausting when they ultimately just showed up in the mail in July.

And if I haven't written it yet, it is a delight tosee S8 filled with folks old and new.

Gus: "I always forget you're there." Hooty: "I forget I'm here toooooo."

I've got a copy of "Lost Legends" too, and enjoyed it. [SPOILER] Shmebulock's remark about wanting new stories about the characters certainly sounds like a sentiment that practically everyone in this room would agree with, where the cast of "Gargoyles" is concerned. [/SPOILER]

Just listened to the "Voices from the Eyrie" podcast on "Enter Macbeth", another good one. There's a fun remark in it about how, if the scene where Bronx running down the city streets and Goliath finding him had taken place nowadays, the gargoyles' existence would have become public knowledge a lot sooner; everyone would have taken photographs of them with their smartphones! (Leading to Greg Weisman admitting that the near-absence of cell phones from the show is its most dated quality.)

They also mentioned how Macbeth originated from the idea of giving the gargoyles a "Batman-like" adversary, which I found amusing, given those concerns that the show would be mistaken for a "Batman: TAS" rip-off. (I've thought, for that matter, that the Canmore Hunters - who have their own ties of a sort to Macbeth - also evoke Batman even more strongly.)

BATTLE BEAST - Welcome back!

Todd Jensen

And now I got the Gravity Fall DVD set, as well as Lost Legends.

Oh, and welcome back Battle Beast!
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

"So did anyone ever get the Journal 3 book tied to Gravity Falls?"

I have that, it's a pretty fun read, a lot of in-jokes. On a horror Discord, my icon is the "Dream Hipster" from that book, an obvious parody of Freddy Krueger.

"I wouldn't bet on Lexington coming from a genetic line of savant gargoyles."

Nothing about Lex suggests to me that he is a savant. As a mathematician/teacher, the idea of the savant as portrayed in popular culture bothers me. It's often suggested that you have to have some genetic predisposition to be good at math. I've lost count of the number of people who've told me "I'm just not good at math," and I don't believe it's true. I firmly believe that anyone with a reasonable intelligence and an interest in learning the subject could become good at math and science, and most people who think they are naturally bad at it were dissuaded by bad experiences early in school. Too many elementary school teachers don't really understand math beyond the rote facts needed to pass standardized tests. If Lexington were in my class, I'd say he was a bright and motivated student, but I wouldn't think there was anything unusual about his intelligence.

All that said, the helicopter fixing was a bit contrived. However, I don't think it was damaged that badly. It's not like he was building a new helicopter from scratch, he just had to patch it up and add some armor plating.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Battle Beast> Welcome back! It'll be great if the comics bring a host of new and returning "faces"!

ANTIYONDER - I've a copy of the Journal Three, and think it's very good. I'll have to order Marcy's Journal, too.
Todd Jensen

Got Marcy's Journal yesterday and it has been fun to read.

Yeah if anyone here is looking to order it, hardcover version is recommended due to the jacket having a map to Amphibia.

So did anyone ever get the Journal 3 book tied to Gravity Falls?


Happy new year!

Hello all!

Man, I haven’t posted here in YEARS! glad to see people like TODD JENSEN and ANTIYONDER are still posting!

Glad to see Season 4 is so popular!!

Battle Beast
That is all I will say.

Jurgan> I hadn't heard of that scene before. Yes, that would be a nice touch to keep in.

The heredity of intelligence is poorly understood and inexact among humans, so I wouldn't bet on Lexington coming from a genetic line of savant gargoyles.


It's a shame the scene in Awakening where Lex was watching a catapault got cut. It was a good way to set up that he's already interested in technology. It's perfectly plausible to me that someone from a thousand years ago would be able to master modern technology, the only question is how much time they would need to catch up on the intervening developments. Maybe he's taking correspondence courses in Calculus.
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Yes, the timing of Owen's report on Elisa's being shot was one of the great dramatic moments of the episode. Alongside many others (Broadway shooting Elisa and being horrified when he realizes what he's done, the moment where he's sobbing on the roof of an ornamented building, the moment where he's confronting the mugger in Central Park - and, as Greg Weisman once pointed out, seems even scarier than Goliath and Demona there, Goliath visiting Elisa in the hospital and stroking her hair, etc.).
Todd Jensen

I always figured that Owen was using Goliath as a means to recover the guns was pretty obvious; buying them off of Dracon was plan B. Even waiting to tell Goliath of Elisa's gunshot wound right before dawn to get him in the right emotional state. Whether he knew it was an accident or believed as most of the others did that it was an attempt on his life makes no difference, he wanted him to stew on that during his sleep.

I figured it was a way of showing the audience that Owen's more than just a faithful #2 for Xanatos, he knows how to play the manipulation game as well, just not as well as his boss.

Ain't nothing crazy 'bout me but my brain!

Sorry for the double post, but I listened earlier this evening to the "Voices from the Eyrie" podcast on "Deadly Force". A good discussion of one of the great episodes of "Gargoyles".

The podcast offered a new interpretation of Owen's actions in "Deadly Force" that I hadn't thought of before - that he might have been subtly encouraging Goliath to go after Dracon to make it easier to recover the stolen particle accelerators. (Though Owen clearly hadn't counted on Goliath destroying almost all of them after that!)

It also brought up an amusing irony; Disney Plus edited out the blood from this episode as much as possible, but forgot to do the same for the scenes from this episode in the "Previously On" section of "Enter Macbeth"!

Todd Jensen

ED - Good point about Lexington - the guy feels, now that I think about it, almost like a reverse version of Mark Twain's Connecticut Yankee. Here, instead of a modern (for Twain) person transported to medieval times and pulling off impressive feats of modern technology (in a way that suggests he must have memorized how to construct telephones, bicycles, explosives, and revolvers, since he apparently didn't bring any "how-to" manuals with him), we've a medieval person transported to the modern world and developing some pieces of modern technology.

(I'm half-expecting someone to respond to your questions about Lexington's biological family with "Stop thinking like a human!")

Todd Jensen

Craig: Oh man, Craig, I'm happy for a more distant Brooklyn if it means we're not billed for the extra 14 years! (Though to be fair, given gargoyles age at half the speed of humans, technically we've aged more than he has... but let's not go there).

Todd: Great to read your reactions to "Voices".

I will say that I feel closer to Michael Reaves about the vehicles. A trio of Dark Ages gargoyle teens figuring out how to repair and ride a motorcycle after barely a month in the new millennium? Dicey but I'll go with it. Repairing and flying a helicopter after three nights on a sim? Ugh. I love "Her Brother's Keeper" and I kind of love Greg's newfound "waste not, want not" attitude but I'm still with Michael Reaves - bury it. (Wasn't wild about Lex controlling R.E.C.A.P. either but I do think they dialled down Lex's savant-ness as time went on).

One thing that does occur to me though... clearly Lexington is incredibly intelligent. It certainly wasn't nurture that prepared him for the things he does which means that nature - indeed genetics - must be at play. One thing I'd be really interested in if we ever get into the tall grass of 'Gargoyles: Dark Ages' is meeting Lexington's biological family (admittedly there'd probably be some guesswork involved).


I was thinking about Brooklyn today in a different context: the audience could feel a bit detached from him as he’s had 40 years worth of experiences we’re not privy to at the moment. But then, it occurred to me that in a weird way, he’s the only character who has aged roughly the same amount as the audience since the original series (give or take a decade).

Our Christmas was quite pleasant!

They could/should have Brooklyn claim a new motorcycle.


On e other feature of "Temptation" - it wasn't discussed in the podcast, but came to me on its own. One of the examples of "the dark side of humanity" that Demona shows Brooklyn is domestic violence - a quarrel between a husband and wife, in which the woman throws a vase at her husband. The irony is that, in her last appearance in the series before that, Demona had been engaging in domestic violence herself, opening fire on her then-mate Goliath with a gun that was a lot more damaging than a thrown vase. I don't know if the production team intended that or not, but I think it's a great touch.
Todd Jensen

Hope you guys had a great Christmas. Wishing you all the best!

Just finished listening to the next "Voices from the Eyrie" podcast, which focused on "Temptation" and featured Jeff Bennett. Enjoyable, as usual. There's some discussion about how voice acting conditions have changed thanks to the pandemic, on whether Elisa's method of freeing Goliath from Demona's spell was a cheat or not, and a great description of Demona as smart about lots of things and dumb on a few others. And Jeff Bennett cheerfully proposed "Bonkers Meets the Gargoyles". They also talked about Brooklyn's short-lived motorcycle - Greg Weisman now regrets having it blown up - and there was even a little talk about having NECA come out with it as part of its "Gargoyles" line-up.
Todd Jensen

Good advice, Todd, I'll keep that in mind.


Another tidbit I picked up while listening to "Voices from the Eyrie". After Greg Weisman and Co. redesigned "Gargoyles" as a serious drama series (following the rejection of the comedy version), Greg pitched the new version giving lots of details about the supporting cast, antagonists (such as the Pack and Catscan - the original version of Talon), etc. Disney rejected it. They apparently rejected it in a way that indicated there was still hope of their accepting it with a different approach, so Greg drew up a new pitch, which this time focused on Goliath and Elisa - mentioning that there were other gargoyles woken up with Goliath, but concentrating on him and Elisa. This time, Disney accepted.

This strikes me as a good piece of advice to anyone with a story out there (whether a book, a television series, or something else) and needing to pitch it: focus on its core elements.

Todd Jensen

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]