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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending June 3, 2018

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Last but not least!
Vinnie - [tpeano29 at hotmail dot com]
Deplorable and loving it!

1) This is the wrong part of the site to ask Greg questions. And, even if it wasn't, Greg never ever talks about what his plans were for canceled shows. He's the same way about Young Justice, and as it turns out that was for the best given that season 3 is in the works.

2) To say that Tolkien and Williams knew each other is a bit of an understatement. They were both members of the Inklings!


SPEN - I'm afraid I can't remember now how I first became introduced to the Arthurian legend. I know that one of the first few Arthurian books I read was a simplified adaptation of Howard Pyle - but the latter half was based on a lesser-known Arthurian retelling (though which came out around the same time as Pyle's) by a Henry Gilbert. I also read, early on, T. H. White's "The Sword in the Stone" (a copy from the school library that had a still on the front cover of a scene from the Disney adaptation), the section on the Arthurian legend in Bulfinch's Mythology, and a book by Joseph P. Clancy called "Pendragon: Arthur and his Britain", which was more about the theories about King Arthur being based on a fifth century Romano-British leader fighting against the Saxons. I'd discovered all of those by the time I was around eight or nine. (I also knew about the Disney adaptation of "The Sword in the Stone", though I didn't get to see it until I was in my teens, and the musical "Camelot"; my parents had a record with the songs on it and I liked to listen to it on my record player when I was a boy.)

Speaking of the "historical Arthur" concept, I'd like to recommend a take on that interpretation of Arthur in a Donald Duck strip done by Don Rosa called "The Once and Future Duck", in which Donald and his nephews go back in time to Arthurian Britain thanks to an experimental time machine of Gyro Gearloose's to encounter a "Dark Age warlord" take on Arthur. Though light-hearted, it shows a good knowledge of the early versions of the legend and the theories about how it originated. (You can find it in Volume Seven of the Don Rosa Library from Fantagraphics Books, "The Treasure of the Ten Avatars", which also features some other good stories, such as Scrooge McDuck on a hunt for the treasure of El Dorado, and a grand "villain team-up" as Flintheart Glomgold, the Beagle Boys, and Magica de Spell join forces against Scrooge.)

Todd Jensen

One, not on.

Todd: Not nearly as hard to find as you thought. I can download it on Kindle for $7.99. I prefer physical copies, but that would be more than twice as much.

And obviously, I'm going to have to check out White's original version on of these days.

Question while we're on an Arthurian kick: What was your introduction to the whole Matter of Britain? Mine was an abridged version of Howard Pyle's "Story of King Arthur and his Knights".

Gradually watermelon.

Hey, Greg.
[SPOILER] As a huge fan of Spectacular and Spidey in general, I'm asking on the behalf of a friend what your plans were for the show post-Season 2. [/SPOILER]

The God of Destruction - [minimateking30 at gmail dot com]
The God of Destruction

SPEN - Williams might have been mentioned in the History of Middle-earth series; I'll have to look it up. He and Tolkien knew each other, though Tolkien didn't care much for Williams' Arthurian poetry (it is, I should warn you, hard-going at times - heavy on philosophy and with a complicated style - though with an original interpretation of the Arthurian legend that makes it worth it. A line in one of the poems says "More than the voice is the vision", which is a good assessment of his poetry).

A book which you might find in a good public library about the medieval French romances that include Palomides is "The Romance of the Grail" by Fanni Bogdanow, where I got most of the information on Palomides' doings in the Post-Vulgate Cycle. It's probably written more for the academic than the layman - it quotes several passages from those works in the original medieval French - but is still worth reading.

White's original version of "The Queen of Air and Darkness", "The Witch in the Wood", provided a few good scenes involving Palomides that were sadly lost in the rewrite, including one where he's trying to help King Pellinore compose a love poem and tries explaining to him about the ABAB rhyme scheme. Unfortunately, Pellinore repeatedly muddles it, showing more and more with each attempt how little he's grasping what Palomides is trying to teach him, until Palomides, in exasperation, starts crying things like "Sweet swan of Thames, aka Chaucer, what crimes are committed in thy name!"

Todd Jensen

Todd: Thanks for the info! White's book is in my dad's collection, and I know I've read it, but that was close to 20 years ago, and I'm fuzzy on details past part one. (The fun part. Arthur learning about the evils of communism via ants! Which actually makes a bizarre sort of sense, given that Merlin is living backwards in time.)

Charles Wlliams, eh? The name rings a very vague bell. Did he get a mention in one of the History of Middle-Earth books, perhaps? I'll definitely try to track that one down. Large universities are in short supply around here, so I doubt I'll be able to find the original French story.

Incidentally, the term Logres also made its way into a quite recent Arthurian retelling. It was used as a sort of country name for "the land of Men" in the 1999 PC game "Lords of Magic".

Gradually watermelon.

SPEN - Palomides originated in a long French romance called the "Prose Tristan", which attempted to bring the story of Tristan and Iseult (originally independent of King Arthur's story) into the Arthurian legend, and from there, was later on brought into another medieval French work variously known as the Post-Vulgate Cycle or the Romance of the Grail, where he achieves the Holy Grail alongside Galahad, Percival, and Bors. However, both are extremely difficult to find; your best hope of locating a copy (whether in the original medieval French or an English translation) would be in a large university library. (Malory drew on the Prose Tristan when writing the "Tristram" part of "Le Morte d'Arthur", but not the latter parts of the Romance of the Grail, where Palomides appears.)

If you include modern Arthurian writings as well as the original medieval works, Palomides made his way into T. H. White's "The Once and Future King" (most prominently in the second section, "The Queen of Air and Darkness"), which offers an explanation for how Palomides replaced King Pellinore as the knight pursuing the Questing Beast. He also has a fairly prominent role in a much more difficult to find (though critically praised) Arthurian work, a set of poems by Charles Williams (a friend of J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, though less well-known than they are) called "Taliessin Through Logres"; three of the poems have Palomides narrate crucial moments in his life (such as beholding Iseult for the first time). (Though Williams' Arthurian poetry is difficult to find - I've only once ever found a copy of it - it is loosely linked to Greg Weisman's approach to the Arthurian legend in "Gargoyles". One of Greg's major sources was Roger Lancelyn Green's retelling of the Arthurian legend, which drew in places upon Williams' poetry - if through a science fantasy story by C. S. Lewis, "That Hideous Strength", which showed the strong influence of Williams' Arthurian poems - in such matters as calling Arthur's kingdom "the realm of Logres", "Logres" treated as a term for the ideals that Arthur's reign strove for).

Todd Jensen


Question for Todd: Offhand can you think of any Arthurian stories besides Malory that made any use of Sir Palomides? He was my favorite in Le Morte, mainly because he seemed to have more personality than some of the more generic knights.


Just had to wait a bit to be perfect once again.

So who's planning to get all the Gargoyles Funko Pops? I can't justify it to myself, but I think I might try to get the keychains (particularly the stone sleep variant).

Brainiac - [OSUBrainiac at gmail dot com]
There is balance in all things. Live in symmetry with the world around you. If you must blow things up and steal from those around you, THAT'S WHAT RPGS ARE FOR!

Fifth, for the end of the fifth month

Matt - [Saint Charles, Missouri, USA]
"For SCIENCE, which, as my associate Fang indicated, must move ever forward." - Sevarius

Scout, Jem and Dill
Muscles fade and the mind dulls.But as long as the heart is willing, strength remains.

Utena Tenjou and Anthy Himemiya.
Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"It is a pleasure to meet you. If it is your wish, I will travel anywhere to meet your request. I am Auto Memories Doll...Violet Evergarden." - Violet Evergarden

Number #1 with a bullet but always first over all!
Vinnie - [tpeano29 at hotmail dot com]
Deplorable and loving it!