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Hello Greg! How are ya? This is just part of my ramble for the Awakenings. I will have to post the rest later. :(
My ramble for Awakenings...(sorta)
AWAKENING part I
The Awakenings are some of my favorite episodes of the series. You kind of have to see these first episodes to understand the entire series. I have decided to watch all my tapes beginning to end to observe more carefully for things I have been meaning to ask but forgot over the years.
Scotland, 994 A.D.
I like how the episode starts,right in the middle of a battle between Castle Wyvern and the Vikings) I have always been interested in history, and wars are a big part of history. It looks like a real battle,(arrows flying everywhere)and I see a huge rock thrown at Wyvern and breaks off a large part of the castle.
And this is how far I got before the VCR ate my tape. I got stuck and i am afraid to try it again. I wouldn't care much because it is mostly The Goliath Chronicles episodes, but I also taped the "Awakenings" and "Hunter's Moon" part II and III. I have four tvs in my house, two have VHS, I have an individual VCR and NOTHING seems to work! I'm going to have to tape the episodes again(because they're my favorites!!) but I don't have a GOOD tv to do that with AND I do not have cable, satellite, DirectTV, etc... So it will be a LONG time.
Sorry for wasting your time but I'm frustrated and I needed to share this. :D
[I can't wait for the DVD.]
Thankx for your time.
Hopefully, by now you've got both DVD sets... (all of season one, including Awakening and half of season two... for a total of 39 canon episodes plus a number of cool extras).
8th Annual Gathering of the Gargoyles
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
August 6-8, 2004
My con journal. It's long (winded).
Thursday, August 5, 2004 (Abridged)
Driving from just south of Boston, MA to Montreal, Quebec. Left home around 6:30am. Picked up Vashkoda and her friend Sean (we met at the 2003 con) in the Bronx on my way. Didn't take the I-80 exit in Albany and went 200 miles west through New York before we figured out the error. Drove 200 miles east. Got back on I-80 and headed north torwards Montreal. Got in around midnight.
Friday, August 6, 2004
Vashkoda, Sean and I had breakfast in the hotel restaurant. We then headed over to the registration desk to pickup our badges and materials. We had a couple hours before the first session of the day, so we went in search of a universal remote.
Sean had brought his Playstation 2 with him in hopes of hooking it up to the TV in our room. However the hotel took every step they could to not allow hooking up external devices to the TV. We figured if we got a universal remote, we could then change over to the line input on the TV and bypass the hotel's attempt to stop such things.
Next door to the hotel was a Staples... or whatever it was they called Staples in Canada. No remotes, although I did pick up a silver Sharpie in hopes of getting Keith David to sign an issue of the Gargoyles comic book I had brought along.
We then headed west from the hotel trying to locate a Radio Shack a clerk at the Staples had said was nearby. We didn't find anything and turned around. As we passed under a bridge on the way back I was molested by one of the local fowl, deciding to use my shoulder as a convenient perch. Vash rescued me from the vile creature, and on we went.
Crosswalks in Montreal are much different than anything I was use to. For starters, you didn't have to push a button to get the lights to go red so we could cross. Seems Montreal has a thing for one-way streets, which allows a person to cross on any red light perpendicular to the direction you're crossing. They even provide a little counter on some corners to tell you how much time you have to cross. Very handy.
We then went east from the hotel to check out what was over on the other side. During our trip we found a Subway and a pasta shop, so food wasn't going to be an issue. Vash is big on pasta and so we planned to return later for dinner.
We got back to the hotel in time for our first session of the day. Greg was hosting a session on voice acting, partly in preparation for the radio play auditions that would follow. On our way in I ran into Greg and said hi. At the 2003 con I missed this session because I arrived Friday evening. Now I would finally get to attend the session.
Keith David was suppose to co-host the session, but we learned he had been delayed while shooting for the new film "Transporter 2" in Miami. No worries.
A little ways into the session the DVD film crew showed up. I tried to take it in stride, but was incredibly excited. The presence of the film crew showed that, yes, there really was going to be a DVD, and yes they really are going to do a documentary on the con. Of course we knew this ahead of time, but seeing the crew there in person cemented the reality of it all.
After some stories and a few pointers, Greg had people get up and read from some scripts he had with him. I got in on the last one. After the session ended, auditions for the radio play began. A bunch of us lined up outside of the room while Greg and Crzy Jen set things up. Like last year (and previous cons) four packets were given to the first four people in line. Each packet had a page of dialogged for a single character. As we moved forward in line and copy a copy of this packet, we would have to pick a character to read for when we auditioned for Greg.
With the packet also came a piece of paper where you had to fill out your info and if you could do a certain accent or bark or meow. The bottom half of that paper was for Greg to fill out during the audition. It included spaces to mark how well you performed based on various criteria. It also included a list of all the parts using 2-letter abbreviations to obfuscate which parts were which. It's a fun puzzle to look at those 2-letter abbreviations, try to identify which represent what characters, and figure out what the radio play will be. (Greg keeps the radio play content a secret until the show.)
I saw Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4 listed amongst the parts and instantly put together that these had to be quarrymen parts. Since the only episode Greg wrote that had Quarrymen in it was "The Journey" I guessed we'd be doing a version of "The Journey". Vash was able to identify far more characters based on the 2-letter abbreviations than I and helped confirm my hunch when she figured out that JC was John Castaway and VG was Vinnie Grigori, aka Vinnie from the episode "Vendettas". Both characters are in "The Journey" so at that point we felt that we had a pretty good guess.
Last year I had auditioned with Xanatos' dialogged, which I had picked at the last minute with no chance to review it to get a feel for the lines. This year I'd have time to prepare. I finally settled on Lexington's lines just as the DVD crew came over and asked if they could film us rehearsing for the audition. I think everyone was a little apprehensive and/or insecure about performing for the cameras, but a couple people mustered up the guts to do it. One of whom had read Lex's lines. Then all eyes were on me to perform for the camera too. WTF? Okay. For whatever reason, I didn't feel I could do Lex's lines since they already had that on tape now. So I switched over to Broadway and read for the camera.
Finally it came time for my turn to audition. I'd get away from the film crew and not have to worry about being on camera. Nope. The film crew followed me into the room to tape my audition. Swell. But I could focus on the script and ignore what was around me, which I did. I thought I did well enough to have a decent chance at getting a part which didn't involve just grunting (as was the case last year).
After my audition I waited around with Vash and Sean while IRC Goliath did his thing. Vash and Sean didn't seem to be into auditioning for the radio play, but there were something like 31 parts, the most for any radio play performed at a Gathering thus far. Several others there as well as myself tried to convince them to audition, but it wasn't happening.
Sean wanted Internet access and rumor had it that the hotel had a couple floors of newly-renovated "premier" rooms that would cost us about 25 bucks more a night, but had Internet access. So we talked to the people at the front desk and got our room upgraded. We were now on the 22nd floor and had a great view looking west from the hotel.
At the Opening Ceremonies, Karine got up and welcomed us to the con and introduced the staff. This year's staff put on a great con, I haven't heard one bad thing. Keeping 200 guests happy is certainly not an easy job. Thanks guys!
CrzyD presented me with this years fan guest of honor award. I had no clue this was coming until about halfway through her intro, she mentioned chat rooms and Vash nudged me. It was really cool, but I feel there are a large number of people who've done a lot more for the fandom than myself, and so I felt a bit awkward. I tried to somewhat convey that in a little piece I said after getting the award. I was trying to acknowledge that s8's 'success' is wholly due to Ask Greg and the content Greg provides to this fandom. It's his willingness to share new insight and information on the Gargoyles universe that keeps the spark alive. And of COURSE it's also everyone who visits the site, who posts to the comment room, who hit the chat room, who post questions to Ask Greg. It's the fans willingness to contribute content, THAT's the other half. I totally missed this while I was at the podium, and realized about 10 seconds after sitting down what an idiot I was. It's Greg and the fans, contributing and feeding off of each other, THAT's why s8 exists in the form it does.
But it was still cool to get the award.
Opening ceremonies got taken over by the clan olympics. The first event was your basic stuff-balls-down-shirt-with-holes sort of thing. The losing team would be eliminated. However a special "7-up" ball (I think... or it may have been a different "power-up" ball) that was found by one team could have been used to save the losing team from elimination. That wasn't happening. Very cold.
I juggled for the cameras.
Chris Rogers got up and talked about what was in store for Gathering 2005. This may have happened after Greg did his stuff because Siryn talked about working on the mascot picture during the Team Atlantis episode... but I'm getting ahead of myself. Gathering 2005 will be in Las Vegas as the Palace Station hotel and casino. Rooms will cost $89 a night. The mascot was created by Siryn with the suggestion of "What would Frank Sinatra look like as a gargoyle?". She calls him "blue eyes" but Chris planned to have a naming contest for the mascot. He also talked about registering the Gathering as a certain type of organization in which membership dues (gathering registration) would be tax-deductible. I'm sure we'll get more info on that in the coming months.
Onto the main course. Greg was about to get up so I grabbed a clean tape and tossed it into the video camera I had just bought, specifically so I could tape the events of the con.
Greg Weisman, creator of Gargoyles, gets up to the podium and begins his intro. He then cuts short and yells out "Ladies and gentlemen, Keith David", directing everybody to the back of the room. Everybody turned and ... Keith wasn't there. A sweet callback to the 1997 Gathering where he pulled the same stunt.
Greg played an audio tape of some people who worked on Gargoyles saying hi to the fans. The people on tape were Frank Paur (producer), Keith David (voice of Goliath), Bob Kline (director), Dave Schwartz (storyboard artist), Troy Adomitis (storyboard artist), Vic Cook (storyboard artist), Ed Asner (voice of Hudson), and Crispin Freeman (voice actor for various animated series). A big thanks to Carol Wagner who was responsible for going around and getting these guys on tape. It was a real treat.
Greg gave us the news on the DVD. He announced the release date, December 7, and that the 5-part "Awakening" would have a commentary track that included Greg, Keith David, and Frank Paur. It would also include a (15 minute?) documentary on the Gathering con, which is why the film crew was there. There will be advertising for the release on Toon Disney and ABC Family.
Greg went into the standard material at this point. The pitch. The re-pitch(es). The promotions leading up to the show. The "it's better than Barney" story. The video pitches for "New Olympians" and "Dark Ages" as well as the lieca reel for "Bad Guys". Anyone whose attended at least one Gathering is well acquainted with this material, but it's always fun to hear the stories again. It's part tradition, part pre-history story telling, and I always enjoy it.
Greg played the voice track for an episode of "Team Atlantis" called "The Last" in which Demona and one of the hunters make an appearance. "Team Atlantis" was based on the movie "Atlantis" but was canceled after "Atlantis" had disappointedly (to Disney) box office numbers. But not before a few episodes were recorded! It was a nice inside-look at the animation process, and especially nice to hear that the grunts and groans we've had to do during past radio plays sound just as funny when done by the professionals.
After Penning Ceremonies, Vash, Sean, IRC Goliath, Wingless, Dan and I headed out to that pasta place we'd found earlier for dinner. On the way I found an ATM machine that was on a network that my ATM card could use and snagged my first bit of Canadian cash. Crazy stuff, especially with the shiny holograms in the corners of the their $20 bills.
The pasta place was really sweet. You picked your choice of pasta from a list of about 20 or so and then picked your sauce from a list of maybe 35 or so. The chef would put the meal together and cook it right in front of you. This night I had angel hair pasta with the Orleans sauce, which was basically chicken in some sort of cajun sauce. The guy gave me a dumbfounded stare at how I pronounced Orleans. Vash, who speaks French very well, would later tell me that it's pronounced a little like "Or-lee-oh" in French. Whups.
After dinner we headed headed back to the room to chill for a little bit until Greg's blue mug-a-guest at 11pm. The mug-a-guest was pretty tame, although some curious screen caps from a couple episodes of Gargoyles were making the rounds. A question about Angela and Gabriel came up but Greg said the two had more of a brother/sister relationship than anything else. Some fun with tails. But for the most part, it was more regular mug-a-guest with lots of stories about the development of the show.
After the mug-a-guest I crawled back into bed and fell asleep quickly.
Saturday, August 7, 2004
I didn't have any plans until the 12:30 Greg Weisman mug-a-guest. Vash and Sean, at some point, took off to attend the radio play auditions that were happening earlier that morning. Vash had finally broken down and auditioned. I met her and Sean during auditions and we three decided to take off in search of an electronics store. Sean was still looking to find a universal remote for the TV in the hotel room.
We set out into Montreal and soon found a computer hardware store. We browsed for a bit and eventually asked one of the clerks if they knew where the nearest Radio Shack was. We were finally pointed in the right direction and made our way to a nearby underground plaza.
Underground?! Apparently this is common in Montreal. You'll walk into the lobby of some nearby building (in our case, the Royal Bank of Canada I think it was) and you'll find stairs or an escalator, off in one corner of the lobby, leading down into the underground mall. If there are signs that mark where these entrances are, I didn't see them.
In the underground mall we found a bunch of shops typical to any US mall I'd been to, including the elusive Radio Shack. Sean bought his remote and I grabbed some lunch at a Subway. On the way back Vash stopped at a McDonalds with a mad craving for fries.
We were back at the hotel in time for Greg's mug-a-guest.
At these types of events, the mug-a-guests, I usually have nothing that I feel is relevant to ask. I much prefer to take the more passive role of sitting back and enjoying the stories that Greg has to tell. But while I was rattling around potential questions in my head, a conversation Vash and I had on the drive up popped into mind.
We had been talking about the Gargoyles:2198 spin-off. I'm mostly interested in the LXMs which I see as having huge potential, both in their concept, and in their use as a plot device. In a pre-Space Spawn world, I see them serving very good purposes and serving very dark purposes. I see a parallel between the LXMs and distributed computing, with all the pros and cons that come with DC. It would come down the intentions of the person who controlled the LXMs. It also rattles the brain a bit to figure out just what the nature of the Lex/Xanatos relationship is or was.
But, more to the point, Vash brings up Nick Maza. Where does he come from? Elisa and Goliath are a couple, and they can't have kids, so who else is there? Beth Maza? I spent the trip up with the notion it could have only been a descendant of Beth Maza. Derek's a mutant. Elisa's parents, we might assume, have no other kids, and we have yet to hear of any cousins to Elisa, Beth & Derek. So I figured it had to be one of the three, and Beth was the only one "available" to have kids. The kink in that idea is that if Beth were to marry, traditionally, she'd take her husband's last name, and so would any kids. So how does Nick get the Maza name?
Then at the blue mug-a-guest, someone had brought up E&G having kids. Vash had brought up in the car that Greg had said (at some point) that E&G would probably adopt a kid, but that the adoption, or the relationship, or something relating to that kid would have sadness and serendipity.. or something like that.
Anyways, Greg responds to the E&G kids question by bringing up the adoption angle, and his response seemed pretty cemented in the idea that E&G would definitely adopt. So as I'm sitting at the Saturday mug-a-guest with Greg, I start putting 2 and 2 together. If E&G adopt, what is that kid's last name going to be? Goliath doesn't have one (...well, not in the sense that I'm talking about). Would the kid take Elisa's last name? How would the general public react to news that she and Goliath had adopted a kid? Some sticky points.
What if the kid takes Elisa's last name? Now we've got a way for the Maza name to carry down a few generations to G2198. So I started working out on a way I could ask this to Greg without being direct. It seems that approach sometimes works better at getting an answer out of Greg than just being direct.
Just as I was putting it together, Carol Wagner came over and let me know that the Gargoyles DVD crew were interviewing fans and that I should probably go see those guys within the next half-hour or so.
But before I left, I asked my question. Does G2198's Nick Maza have an ancestor, born around this time (2004 +/- 5 years) who is adopted? Greg thought about it for a moment and said yes. HAH! Vash was there with me and I think we were the only two who realized what Greg had just revealed. With that I stood up and took off to see the DVD crew. Perhaps a bit too dramatically, but I just had my big moment for the day, so I was buzzing.
In the ballroom where Opening Ceremonies were held, the DVD crew had setup a white screen which they were interviewing fans in front of. I arrived in time to see one guy (whose name I'm blanking on, even after I had time to talk with him after the masquerade... DOH!) take of his shirt and reveal the Demona tattoo across his chest. Those of us watching all bet that that particular moment will be making it on the DVD.
A couple more people went up for interviews, including Becca Morgan. The DVD guys started talking about breaking for lunch, but were able to get me in before the took off. There wasn't anything big about the interview. Just typical questions that they seemed to ask all the fans. I'm guessing they'll have a quick montage of responses to their "Who is your favorite gargoyle?" question. I said Broadway, and when asked why, quoted Broadway's "slow and steady" mantra. But I doubt that'll make it on the DVD as I stumbled across the words.
They needed a separate "Who's your favorite bad guy?" so I could go off on Fang and how much I love that character. Jim Belushi's delivery, and Fang's great one-liners combine to make some of the most memorable moments in any Gargoyles episode. (Probably overshadowed by only the "Here's Puck" scene from "The Mirror").
So after the DVD bit, I headed back up to catch the tail end of Greg's mug-a-guest. I was feeling overly-confident in my earlier success that I tried to get Greg to answer whether or not Fox is alive in G2198. I did so by asking if Alexander Xanatos IV's mother is alive in 2198. AX IV is the same as baby Alex from the original series. Remember that Alex is 1/4th fae, and as such, has a different 'life cycle'. Fox is 1/2 fae. So if 1/4th fae can have an extended life, wouldn't 1/2 fae mean twice as long a life? (Assuming no unnatural causes in death.) Then it would make sense that she's alive in G2198, and Greg's lack of an answer makes me think that she is, but that she's in some kind of ... odd situation or position. Because I don't see why she wouldn't get involved in fighting the Space Spawn if she were alive, but we get no mention of her in the G2198 synopsis Greg's provided. So her role is either subdued or simply not there because of some other, unknown, factor.
And I think that Fox's position in G2198 somehow relates to what Titania whispered in Fox's ear somehow. But... theories aside...
Greg wouldn't answer my Fox question. So I was batting .500, which is better than I expected.
But in my own head, I think the answer is "Yes" followed by a very big "but".
And way back in the dark recesses of my mind, the alternate answer to "What did Titania whisper to Fox?" is something to do with Titania's past relationship with Xanatos.
But Greg's right. Leaving some things unanswered can be more fun.
So after the mug-a-guest came the radio play rehearsals. I was lucky enough to get selected for the radio play this year. While a group of us were waiting for Greg to show up I got to be the meat in a Siryn and CrzyD sammich. Very nice.
Jen later (post-con) showed me an old pic from the 98 con where I was also the meat in a S&C sammich. Of course I was in drag, Jen had body paint, and Siryn had a horn. At the rehearsals, Jen didn't have body paint, and Siryn had no horn.
Greg showed up and handed out scripts to everyone for "The Journey". My earlier hunch had been proven correct. I was given the part of Matt Bluestone. No grunts and growls for me, this year I had real words! Vash got the part of Maria Chavez and so we had a scene together.
We went through the script once with Greg providing feedback on our performances.
Then it was time for the show. Greg had been worried that with 31 parts, there'd be nobody left to attend the show itself, but we had a great turnout. Riverdale did a great Vinnie and easily stole the show. The guy who played John Castaway (was his name Eric?) nailed his performance of John Castway and the scenes between him and Riverdale as Vinnie, I thought, were some of the best we've had in any radio play.
After the radio play we headed back to the room to get ready for the banquet.
At the banquet there was still no sign of Keith David, although rumor had it that he was on his way and would make it in time for the masquerade. At our table was Vash, Sean, IRC Goliath, Silver and her mom. The banquet started off with a shrimp cocktail which only Sean ate. I inspected mine, but I'm not a big shrimp guy. But we did have some dinner rolls the rest of us filled up on them. We think one of the roll types served at our table had bits of olive in it. And we think those olives caused a green discoloration on the outside of the rolls. This is what we think. But we also think we may have had a small anti-biotics factory in our bread basket as well.
There was also a salad, which I'm told the hotel does not normally serve with the dressing that came with it. Apparently, while taste-testing things out, the con staff enjoyed the salad we had, but liked the dressing from another salad they had taste-tested. The hotel was willing to accommodate. Pretty cool.
The main course was quail, which was very tasty. During this time Keith David arrived! He was seated and the staff began to serve him his meal. Greg started moderating questions for Keith, who would answer between bites. Greg was also willing to take questions, but I think everyone was focused on Keith. I found Keith to be incredibly open, willing to share, and very very friendly. The guy could read names out of a phone book and I think we'd all still hang on his every word.
Dessert was either with "seasonal fruit charlotte strawberry coulis" or "three-chocolate Bavarian cake with raspberry coulis" depending on .. luck, really. I had the three-chocolate one and it was damn nice. Best dessert I've had in a long time.
All throughout dessert Keith David continued to take questions. In the ballroom next to ours there was another party going on, during which they broke out the karaoke machine. So while we were all trying to listen to Keith talk, we were subjected to some less-than-stellar karaoke performances, barely muffled by the partition between the two rooms. At one point Keith yelled out "Somebody kill that horse!", during (I think) somebody's rendition of that Celine Dion song from Titanic (and, holy crap, was it bad).
We got to hear the story about the origins of Jalapena, and how there was a mini-revolt among the production staff to stop Greg from using it, lead by Frank Paur (I believe). Keith gave the name of the singer he got "Jalapena!" from, but I've already forgotten it. I wish I'd brought my video camera with me to the banquet.
After the banquet we had a break while the room was cleared and prepared for the masquerade.
The ballroom's lights were dimmed for some reason (maybe at the DVD crew's request?) so what I was able to video tape came out particularly odd (in terms of light).
I grabbed a seat to the side of the area where the cosplayers would be performing. The judges for the masquerade were Greg, Keith, the hotel manager and his wife. The hotel manager seemed to get really into it. The manager's wife seemed like a deer in headlights.
During the first skit, I discovered I was in a crappy place to video tape from. All I was getting were peoples sides. So I moved around to the back of the ballroom and started taping from there. I was in a nice place as I was able to get people as the entered and stood on stage.
Loopy's costume of a character named Korul, and his performance done to his song "The Gargoyle Who's Afraid of Heights" stole the show. It was a great costume, with functional wings, and the performance was fun. Jade Griffin came in as Elisa in her yellow (Belle) dress from the episode "Eye of the Beholder" and wowed the crowd as she tore the skirt off (nice) much like Elisa in said episode. Flanker came in as the Hunter, complete with a sword (a fencing foil I think). There was a Fox/Xanatos couple where Xanatos carried Fox down to the stage area. Their costumes were also from "Eye of the Beholder" so Fox was in just a trench coat while X had his jet pack on. There was a classy looking Fox in a black evening dress played by Annie (I think). There was an Ophelia who I think showed up late and missed the judging portion. Patrick Toman was done up as Puck. Karine (con-chair) was done up as pregnant Fox from the episode "Walkabout". Karine, herself, is a few months pregnant. Siryn was dressed as young Tom (the only one in drag this year, I believe). There was a sweet Echidna costume, complete with snake tail and a snake-form of danglies (old school s8 chat ppl knows about danglies). Cindy was done up as Titania (who knew Titania could sing?!), a Princess Katherine, and a Macbeth and Gruoch. There were some original character costumes whose names are just absolutely escaping me. One was a nurse; there was a gargoyle lady who had these spring-loaded wings which were sweet, ... I'm easily missing at least 10 more people. Sorry, my memory is crap.
After the masquerade, things transitioned into a sort of karaoke/dance party. This is probably the part of the con I most enjoyed. I got to meet and talk with a ton of other fans, many of whom I've met only online before this night.
Keith David came back down and did a song for us acapella. He said during the banquet he's wanted to always do a movie about Nat King Cole, and he could! It was a great song to listen to, and very memorable moment, made all the more so by Arno getting grabassed while slow dancing with another guy during the whole thing. Oh, and that's on camera too. Nice.
One guy got up (is this Eric?... someone was named Eric, and it totally threw me off) and did a parody of "Blame Canada!" from the South Park movie called "Blame Gargoyles" which was hilarious.
MAui is crazy. At some point she convinces somebody to play YMCA and tries to get me up to dance. Feh! I don't dance, at least there aren't any videos to prove it, despite urban myths of a certain "goats go to hell" song. Anyways, I didn't know the words to the song (as people started singing along) nor did I have any clue what the 'dance' was. Batting .000, finally back to my normal average.
But I wasn't the only one. And very quickly, the lyrics we sang became "something" for every word besides the refrain. Ah, mass crazy. This is what the con is all about.
A lot of people stuck around well into evening. Just before I left, Greg went over to this giant sketch pad (if you can all it that) and drew a gargoyle in orange marker. Where this thing is now I'd love to know. I think it was his own misc. gargoyle, although it did look like Brooklyn, wearing a pair of sunglasses.
Finally exhausted from the day, I headed back to the room to sleep.
Sunday, August 8, 2004
Having stayed up until 2am the night before, I slept in late on Sunday. I woke up around 10:30am. Vash and Sean had already woken up and taken off for who knows where. I was left to fend for myself. I got myself together and headed down in hopes of catching the first of two Keith David mug-a-guests.
The mug-a-guest was to take place in the same room where the art show and dealer room were located. When I showed up I discovered Keith had missed his first mug-a-guest. Later I was told this happened simply because he hadn't been informed about the mug-a-guest and didn't know he was scheduled to show up. No worries, there was still the afternoon mug-a-guest, and Closing Ceremonies.
I still hadn't found Vash and Sean and I wasn't up for lunch, so I decided to hit the art show. The art this year was some of the best stuff I've seen yet. Even Greg's kids got into the act and have a few pieces on display. The "wtf" of the show goes to Stormy's 'Caught in the Act'. Basically she took some of the Kenner Gargoyles figures and put them in dresses. Odd? Shocking? Different? I don't know, but I sure as hell won't be getting THAT image out of my head anytime soon. A lot of the con staff are exception artists and more than once I had to be reminded by IRC Goliath (who was there checking out the art as well) that I couldn't vote for them. I dug the etchings which I believe were made by Y2Hecate. I was very close to buying one and trying to put that in as a window on my computer case. I definitely wanted to buy a piece of art this year. I had a few extra bucks and I wanted to do my piece to support the artists in the fandom, so I was on the hunt. Most of the art that was up for sale were done through silent auctions. However the piece that caught my eye wasn't, it had a flat buy price, and so I quickly snatched it up. It's a profile of Demona's face done by Andrea Zucconi. I'd love to know what Andrea was thinking as she drew this. (I should probably e-mail her.) What I see when I look at it is a moment of vulnerability and perhaps sadness in her face. It's one of those things you just really never see or expect to see from Demona, which makes it all the more interesting. When I'm looking at it, I don't see the cold-hearted, walled-up Demona seen throughout much of the show, but someone who actually feels emotion. I dunno. I dig it. I've got to take it to a place and get it framed.
Still a few minutes before the mug-a-guest so I headed outside the door, onto the terrace, where I saw BrooklynX. I finally got a chance to check out BrooklynX's stash of cells. As he told to me, what Vic Cook (storyboard artist for the show) said at last year's con was true, he has more Gargoyles cels than Disney. BX even has the cel used in some marketing materials that shows the main cast lined up together. It's the same image of Owen, Xanatos, Demona, Goliath and Elisa that I've had on the front page of s8 for the past couple years. Incredible. He also had a couple cels from "Eye of the Beholder" which is a personal favorite of mine. He also has another book of cels from other shows and artwork that he's either commissioned or had given to him as a gift. The guy knows his artchicks.
Karlyl and Silver were also there and I sat down and hung out with them for a few. There were some oddball balloons floating around so I grabbed a couple to give a minor reenactment of the '98 con. Although these balloons were a bit on the large size, not that I minded, much.
I headed back into the art/dealer room to await Keith's eventual appearance. While I was waiting I was finally clued into who the line of 10 or so people sitting behind one of the tables were. They were the authors of the Phoenix Gate Anthology and they were signing copies of the book. Never one to turn down the chance for a good souvenir, I grabbed myself a copy and proceeded down the line getting autographs of all the authors. Stormy and Whitbourne were both in line and I they really made it an especially treasured souvenir as they both wrote comments about how they met each other through s8 and that they're planning on getting married. It's especially cool to hear about people who met through the fandom and developed a close relationship. I wonder, 20 years from now, how many kids there will be simply because this fandom exists. (Not to put any pressure on Stormy and Whit, hah.) And do we include Keith David's kids in that? He and his wife had their first date during the first Gathering back in 1997, as Greg tells it. Pretty cool.
Keith showed up to the mug-a-guest and went around the room shaking hands, checking out the artwork that was on display, and talking to the Phoenix Gate Anthology people. He was a real class-act, taking his time to meet everyone in the room. He seemed genuinely interested in the artwork and PGA stuffs. Very cool guy.
I was too busy paying attention to my camera, trying to get everything on tape, to hear everything he said. And I am presently away from my tapes of the mug-a-guest, so I don't have much to say about what was said. I can say that Keith was very open, very willing to talk and go into great depth on whatever he was asked. I remember his first question was about the cologne he was wearing, which a lady or two seemed to enjoy. He said he couldn't remember every show specifically, when asked about his favorite episode. He said one of his favorite lines from the show was "I've lost everything, even my revenge!", which Goliath yells out in Awakening (part 2 I think). He talked a bit about his interpretation of the line and what it meant to him. He also talked about the lack of killing in the show and how important he felt that was. "We beat [the bad guys] up pretty good, but we never killed anyone.", I think was what he said. He talked about other movies he's been in, told a story or two about filming "Men At Work" with Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez. He was very cool, very willing to talk, and it was really enjoyable.
After the mug-a-guest I caught up with Vash and Sean who had shown up for the mug as well. I paid for the art piece I had bought and we went back up to our room for a few minutes while we waited for Closing Ceremonies.
This would be the first time I was able to attend closing ceremonies as at previous cons I would have to leave early on Sunday to catch my bus or train home. Since I was leaving on Monday, I could stay and catch all the Sunday events. Karine got up and said a few words, got the crowed pumped for the 2005 con, and thanked the con staff and volunteers. The whole crew really did a great job putting together and managing the con. Greg wasn't around for the closing ceremonies as he had to leave early to be with his family and celebrate his daughter's birthday.
After closing ceremonies, Keith was available to sign autographs. I had brought with me a copy of issue #1 of the Gargoyles comic put out by Marvel, with the giant Goliath on the cover (and a bumpy cover too). I also had with me one of those new silver Sharpie markers that I picked up at the Staples (equivalent) next door to the hotel. I handed him the book to sign and he took a few moments to look through the comic. He seemed to get a kick out of it. I then asked him for a second autograph for a friend, and to sign it "Hey Dave, where were you?!!". An odd request no doubt, but he was very cool and signed it. It's for a friend whose autograph collection is made up of those collected by his friends, each one saying "Hey Dave, where were you?!!". It had started as a goof when he missed a signing by Kevin Smith way back in the day, and it's just snowballed since. He's got a Captain Atom book I had Greg sign last year as well.
Vash and IRC Goliath also had things to get signed. Vash had her picture taken with Keith, as did IRC Goliath. He gave Keith a t-shirt as well. I forget which one it was, but it had a line-drawing of a gargoyle (Goliath?) on the front. I think Step L.. I can't spell her last name, Raptor Woman, I think she had drawn it.
Anyways, with our autographed swag in hand, we got together, (Vash, Sean, myself, IRC Goliath, Wingless and Dan) and we headed out to the pasta place for dinner, again. This time through I ordered angel hair with the teriyaki sauce, which had dark-meat chicken in it. It was mighty tasty.
When we got back there was a group of people trying to get 30+ people together for a game of laser tag at a nearby place. But I declined. I wanted to get to bed fairly early so we could leave early the next morning. On our way back to the room, IRC Goliath stopped by the con suite to see if he could swing a couple of non-staff passes into their postmortem party. We continued on to our room. IRC Goliath showed up an hour or two later. We hung out for a while, then IRC Goliath took off, I watched TV for a little while, then went to bed.
Monday, August 9, 2004 (Abridged)
Drive home was fairly uneventful. Left Montreal around 11am. Dropped Vash and Sean off in the Bronx around 6pm. Got home just before 10pm. Slept. A lot.
Gorebash, I can't think of anyone who deserved a fan guest of honor award more than you. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't be here answering questions here at ASK GREG.
Tuesday Aug 10
We woke up to the sounds of popping. The early risers began to pop their knuckles and joints, waking ever one else up that joined in on the popping. After getting dressed and last minute packing done we carried ours suitcases down to the basement and placed them into Hyena and Mafia Cruiser.
Before we left the city we filled up the cars with gas and bought breakfast snacks.
We thought they were hard on us going into Canada. They were even harder on us coming back. We watched as they waved Emambu's car to the side. We were slightly worried, but the questions were a bit tougher but they did not wave us off.
As we drove we saw the Mafia Cruiser join us on the road and we regained contact via the walkie-talkies. We were informed the department of homeland security was interested in Lynati's tail.
Except for a stray backpack set on attack mode near the lovely town of Coxsakie, the trip back to Gregx's house was relatively dull.
We helped to take Grex's and Alex's suitcase out of Hyena and into his house before were retreated to the deck and enjoyed sodas. It was a cool and comfortable evening, made pretty by the candlelight and fireflies. Grex's and Alex's mother is an excellent cook. She fixed us a meal of pasta, delicious beans with bits of chicken and black olives. Sliced tomatoes with thin slices of cheese and slices of bread.
After dinner we watched the Buffy musical and some hilarious downloads before we retired for the night.
Wednesday Aug 11.
After waking up we brought Aaron and Mara's stuff into Hyena and gave Erik some of the snack foods. After a few last hugs and goodbyes we were on our way to Texas. We decided to avoid the most of Tennessee.
Emambu and Lynati separated from us when were in Pennsylvania. We continued to drive south passing through Maryland, the Virginias and into North Carolina where we stopped at a Denny's. I ordered mushroom Swiss burgers with seasoned fries.
We decided to keep going. I think the day officially ended somewhere in Alabama.
Thursday Aug 12
I kept weaving in and out of consciousness around the south. Waking up in Louisiana before drifting back for a brief nap before we entered Texas.
We returned to Revel's house around noon. We unpacked and set bags down around the house. Nearly everyone checked e-mail and took a nap. Aaron and Mara had to return to San Antonio around four. We had our goodby hugs with the promise to keep contact over IMs and LJs.
Revel and I had sandwiches before we did some drawing and went to sleep.
Friday August 13(No wonder it happened)
I woke up feeling sick from a head cold. Luckily I packed cold medicine for just in case.
The two of us left messages on messages boards before we did some more drawing and started on our gathering Journals.
That evening we ate fast food from Long John Silvers. I had a cup of fried shrimp with fries, a diet soda and some hush puppies.
While watching television we switched to the weather channel and saw Hurricane Charley bearing down on Orlando. I called my family and talked with everyone including my brother. The power went out at my house during mid conversation. We kept trying back every hour before we went to bed.
Sat Aug 14 (Why do I have to go back?)
Woke up and did some last minute packing. Revel and I both decided I should leave the art I won at his house and he could mail it to me.
We tried calling the house and no answer…tried everyone's cell and no answer.
To pass the time we watched Gargoyles on ABC Family. The episode was "Turf".
I checked on my flight to make sure it wasn't canceled. We did some more drawing and journal writing.
The power came on my house around 3:pm (My neighborhood is lucky) we called to confirm when my flight was landing and where I would be found.
We went to the airport around 5:00 and I said goodbye to Revel around 6:00.
Flight was uneventful. Ate a snack pack thing of a little sandwich with pretzels and a tiny candy bar. It is good to have a window seat when you are flying at sunset and at night. The fading colors are beautiful and the land below looks like various Light Brite sets.
There were plenty of lights in Orlando, but also a lot of dark patches. For anyone who flew in for the 2000 gathering might remember how the airport was designed. Imagine stepping off the plane and immediately walking down a narrow path created by a velvet rope. On either side where the chairs are there are chunks of ceiling scattered about and patches of water soaked carpet.
They told us it might be 45-minute wait for our luggage. I waited only about 20 for both of my suitcases. Stepped outside and my father had just pulled up to the curb in Riker (His white Sport Track)
After I returned to my house (And saw the broken fence) I greeted my mother and the animals. Reset my clock, gave Zelgadis's keyboard a tap and checked to see if it was working, called Revel to let him know I was home and then crawled into bed for much needed sleep.
And so it ends...
And so it begins....
This is it. Gathering 2006 this week. I can't wait!
How did you conclude Coldstone, Coldfire and Coldsteel's storyline or was you never given the chance to do that because they only aired 66 episodes?
I haven't concluded it yet. But I will CONTINUE it in the new comic book series. Look for them to reappear within sooner than later.
THESE ARE NON-HYPOTHETICAL, NON SUGGESTIVE QUESTIONS THAT I AM ASKING IN HOPES OF FINDING OUT WHAT IT WOULD TAKE TO BRING GARGOYLES BACK, AS WELL AS THE LIKELINESS:
What would be the most effective way of getting Disney to start up a new season of Gargoyles? Money? Petitions? Or maybe a plague of catchy t-shirts featuring the characters?
And how much of that would be necessary?
Also, as time passes, do you feel that a Gargoyle ressurgence is more and more unlikely? How long do you think it would be until it becomes too late?
Would you make another show for Disney, hoping that you can raise the needed funds and influence to continue Gargoyles again?
The most effective thing is MONEY. Specifically, the best thing that people can do if they have spare cash is to buy one or both of the two DVD sets, especially Season Two, Volume One, to buy the comic book issues as they come out and to spend money to attend the Gathering year after year.
The second most effective thing at this point is communication... not with Disney, but with fellow fans, folks who have seen the show but aren't in the fandom and friends or relatives who know nothing about Gargoyles whatsoever. We need to spread the word BEYOND the immediate hard-core fans.
We need MORE, many more, PEOPLE to buy DVDs, comics and to attend the Gatherings. The larger the fanbase grows, the less expensive it is for everyone while at the same time the more money and attention the property gets. THAT is what will attract Disney's roving eye.
Gargoyles has its BEST shot in ten years RIGHT NOW. But if the DVDs and Comics don't sell... that moment will have passed.
And of course, I'd always be willing to do another show for Disney. In fact, I'm in post-production for W.I.T.C.H. for them right now, and my episodes have already started airing on Toon Disney and ABC Family's Jetix block. If that helps us with Gargoyles great, but mostly I'd refer you up to paragraphs one and two.
1)Is there a story behind why Jeffery Robbins gave his dog the name Gilgamesh? 1a)If so, will you share it with us now? Admittedly, I didn't catch on until Todd pointed it that Gilly was short for Gilgamesh.
Yea, right now, in my World Literature class, we're talking about Gilgamesh. Yet another gargoyles connection. :-)
Robbins wrote a novel about Gilgamesh called "Gilgamesh the King".
There may be more to it than that or maybe not. (I'm not being cagey. I just don't know.)
Monday: Aug 9 (So embarrased I got the previous date wrong)
Slept in in again. Revel and I barely had enough time to get dressed and ready to go down stairs into the lobby to meet up with the gang heading towards La Ronde. Revel called the other people who were rooming with us that night. Lynati was the first to show up and I gave her one of the two keys. We kept the other one.
Karine lead us through the labyrinth like path to the Metro and paused at McDonald's to get breakfast.
The metro was unique in that it had rubber wheels and wooden tracks. As we rode Sapphire lead the group in reciting the intro lead of Gargoyles.
I was feeling a small headache developing. (Maybe it was because of the lack of coffee or food) I wasn't in the mood for some of the big coasters. Revel and I rode a couple of rides, including a small coaster with the carts designed to look like toboggans.
We met up with the others for food. Instead of combos they have trias. Either phrasing makes sense if you think about it. I had a chicken sandwich tria.
After we ate Revel and I rode the monorail around. It was a descent post lunch ride and we were able to hold hands and enjoy the scenery.
We exited the ride on the other side of the park where there was miniature golf. We played a half round: nine holes of the game on a course with a Camelot motif.
We went on several more rides, including my favorite: the swings and snacked on Dipping Dots. Before we left the park we bought a couple beverages. Just my luck I bought a soda from a machine that wasn't working properly. It was warm. Luckily we took it to the front desk. Told them where the defunct machine was and I was able to exchange it for a cold one.
While waiting for our train. I noticed my arms were a little burned. I broke out in laughter over the fact I have yet to get burned this summer in Florida but I get burned in Canada.
Nobody was in our room when we returned and we were hungry. We went to the McDonalds. I still had half a cold soda in my room so I didn't order a tria. I ordered a chicken nuggets and a small fries and a Mcflurry (They were out of yogurt parfaits.
The rest of the rogue squadron was back in our room when we returned in addition to Kathy. We chatted while we ate. Mandi came in and joined in the conversation while she groomed her Banshee wig.
Alex played a homemade video he downloaded of clips of Cowboy Bebop with Denis Leary's "@$$hole song")
We talked about fic, next years con. This years con and the possibilities of where 2006 might be.
Eventually we all grew weary. Kathy and Mandi left and we squeezed three people per bed with the Bishansky brothers on the floor.
Next up: The long voyage home.
Ahhh, the mellow bittersweet feeling of a gathering winding down...
No blow by blow Gathering Journal from me this year, just some comments:
Gatherings are never long enough. There are too many people to catch up with.
Creton (pork pate) is good for breakfast. Sugar pie is better than it sounds. Cheddar cheese should never be used on anything claiming to be Italian food.
I want Keith David's jewlery. Not to wear, just to take out and admire from time to time.
"My Heart Will Go On" should be banned from kareoke for all time.
Have I mentioned I enjoy our post-prandial racewalks through strange cities?
Viva Las Vegas!
I'd enjoy those walks more if I wasn't always RUNNING at the end because I'm late to the Blue Mug or whatever. Otherwise I love to walk.
I have been a huge fan of Gargoyles for years. It still remains my favorite TV series of all time. One of the reasons I was so pulled in was the intricate storyline. I love the way we were clued in, little by little, to what happened in the past, real identities, and real motives of the characters. My favorite moment was when Owen was revealed to be Puck. I literally fell off my chair!
I've always wondered how far in advance you would plan out the episodes. It seems like you must have had the entire storyline in your head before you sat down to write a single one. Or were these things thought up as you went? (Maybe one day you just thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if it turned out that Owen was really Puck?"). Did you come up with Demona and MacBeth's entire storyline in the very beginning?
Thanks in advance. I truly hope that I can have the pleasure of enjoying new Gargoyles episodes some day in the future.
Not everything was figured out from day one, no.
For example, while working on "The Mirror" it suddenly occured to me that Owen was Puck. Note the phraising. It wasn't: "Wouldn't it be cool if it turned out that Owen was really Puck?" It was more like: "Oh my God, Owen IS Puck."
I immediately called writer Lydia Marano and Story Editor Brynne Chandler to tell them. They're response: "We KNOW!!"
That's when you know a show is working... when the characters tell you there truths. When it all just feels right.
Much of course, was planned out in advance. I didn't have all the details down, but in "Awakening" we knew that Demona was lying about sleeping for a thousand years. Certainly by "Enter Macbeth", I knew the broad strokes of Macbeth and Demona's relationship.
We did have a plan.
I still do for that matter.
2004 Con Report
(apologies for the length)
WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY
Quindar and I headed up to Canada by car, thankfully without too many wacky hijinks ensuing from my mutual inability to drive OR navigate. Coming from the lovely and way too large state of Pennsylvania, we only got in around midnight through a single lane highway bordered by concrete barriers that looked like they'd been painted black by the same lunatic that put together the very strange road signs. (yes, I've already been told that they adhere to international sign standards whereas the U.S. doesn't - but I also swear the next time I go to Canada, I'm wearing a shirt that says "Sorry, I'm a stupid American" in several languages). While we were checking in, a group of gargy people were hanging out in the lobby looking strangely out of place. The hotel was outright beautiful - sadly enough, we didn't get any pictures of that - and my first impression was "swank.... how'd we get away holding a con here???"
Being tired, we headed back past the group of garg people - Greg included - to the ridiculously expensive parking garage, hauled luggage to the room, and returned to find people gone. :( Still, that meant at least some decent amount of sleep that night.
I had my first encounter with the row of elevators that faced the outside of the building and thus had a glass outer wall. I'm sure it was fairly amusing - door opens and innocent garg fans step inside, one wandering over to the fantastic view from the 21st floor, the other only going about halfway before the doors close, the elevator starts to practically freefall, and viewers find me plastered back against the door with appropriate "eeep!" sounds. Quindar seemed to enjoy the view the entire time, though. I will admit I really did like that they designed the hotel with the indoor pool viewable from those elevators, but trippyness aside, my fear of heights did not enjoy it enough to ever manage to comfortably stand next to the window. It did make for an interesting personal challenge throughout the con, though.
Found the registration desk and got a chance to talk with BrooklynX and Abe Wintersmith while signing in. Saw a few more gargoyles fans, and then we decided it was finally time to take a look around the city.
Well, actually it was more like a hunt for a place to exchange money, but this sounds better. The concierge gave us directions to I still don't know where, but it sure was pretty walking the few blocks looking for it. Aside from some gorgeous architecture, local interest was found mainly in the fact that one of the streets we were traveling was reserved for a movie shot later in the day. Sounds boring, until you realize that the city had pre-made signs for this purpose. Also, one of the trees growing from the protective grates had been removed, soil and all, and replaced with a mini-telephone pole. I guess just because.
I'm also silly enough to find it very amusing that there was a guy with a "Movie Surveillance" jacket watching over everything, mostly because I literally only know about 7 phrases of French, most of which I was mentally confusing with my 7 phrases of Spanish. Public education and the mandatory 3 months of assorted languages didn't help me much. I'll admit, as lovely as the location was, the French thing intimidated the heck out of me. There's just something about knowing that if I somehow get separated from known locations that it's even odds anyone would even be able to understand me. Due to nerves from that, I tended to make sure that every time someone spoke to us, I used specifically English phrases - it's a spiffy trick of all the waiters and service people have. Go up to helpless English speaking tourist, and a "Bonjour hello," and they take the cue of how you answer to speak whichever language.
We ended up wandering down into the subway system, a nifty little set of actual train and underground walkways. Beautifully kept up - though everything was pretty much monolingual, including a sign for either a movie or play about the life of Elvis (...) - and the walking part was intriguing. The thing that kept striking me about the city as a whole is they put a lot of work into making things aesthetically appealing, as compared to most of the US, where once you get past the Victorian period, architecture tends to be utility based. I mean, the subway system had sections that were clearly there mainly for art purposes. Pretty spiffy, all told.
After an interesting encounter with an overly helpful local and a map, we finally had lunch in a McDonalds in the underground area just by the hotel. - the first and only McDonalds I saw the entire time. We actually tried to go to the Subway (yes, the sandwich place - who says restaurants don't have a sense of humor?) first, but the person behind the counter just looked at us blankly as I gave my now standard introduction of "Hi, do you speak English?" Since we figured we could at least figure out how to order a large fry from a French only menu, we headed next door. Which was all well and good, but after getting food, I realized that I had neither been charged for nor gotten my drink. Rather than deal with the snarky mainly French speaking McDonald's person, I decided to wander back to the Subway. A different person was manning the counter, and he managed to speak - barely - some English. With a lot of gestures and many sheepish variants on "I'm sorry, can you repeat that?" I finally managed to get a bottle of Coke. Or, as he seemed to put it, "Cocola." Very nice guy, though, and I think I thanked him profusely enough about that.
Quindar and I somehow ended up finding ourselves randomly sitting next to Yggdrasil, so we had a spiffy chat over food about gargs, biology, politics, and a few of the con panels. Pity we didn't get a chance to pester him some more over the weekend. After watching lots of people in con paraphernalia brave McDonalds for food, we all headed to Opening Ceremonies. Lots of fun, and Greg seemed to be having a wonderful time - both with the good news about the first season coming out on DVD (December 7 is about a week after my birthday.... I know what I'll be getting from everyone I know!) and the Keith David gag. I also entertained myself by watching the DVD crew taping the documentary. It was amusing to watch the cameraman try to figure out what to film, and the expressions on all three of their faces when the crowd let loose with "It's better than Barney!" were absolutely priceless. They apparently didn't see it coming, even after Greg called OC the garg version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
The other highlight was a tape of hellos and good wishes from assorted people who'd worked on Gargoyles but couldn't make it. I honestly can't recall everyone on there, but both Ed Asner and Crispin Freeman had wonderful and touching things to say. It's good to hear that everyone, fans to voice actors to producers, loved this show.
And Vegas.... wow. That is going to be... interesting. Chris Rogers certainly knows how to put together a presentation. I've been turning over the idea of the Gathering in Vegas since I heard about it, and at first I had very mixed feelings. With the realization that the DVD will have documentary of the con, and going out there into the world, well, that means a pretty hefty increase in attendance, no matter what. And Chris really seems to not only have that well in hand, but any other random ideas that seemed to have been thrown at him. He had a really terrific talk about con plans, and it looks like it will be really cool.
I'm looking forward to Vegas, actually.
I think after that, another foray for food, a bit of time in Mystery Garg Theater, and then we headed up to the con suite early to see if anyone was there. Due to that, we got to hang around, listen to people chat about random things and Leo's strange screen shots, not to mention we actually snagged some chairs. Blue Mug wasn't too blue, but it was really amazing, because it's 30 odd people crammed into a room, and basically hanging out with Greg. Totally different atmosphere from Greg being the guy standing up in front of the crowd and talking - much more relaxed, cozy, and overall just very fun. This of course went until the wee hours of the night, until Karine kicked us out.
Happy thoughts and good wishes to Liz Chesterman's friend, who was not only a con virgin but hadn't made his way through the whole series, and so left early due to getting some massive spoilers during the blue mug.
We slept in a bit, and wandered around the hotel looking for people to chat with. I think somewhere in here we spotted the DVD camera crew talking amongst themselves, and I nerved myself up to talk to them. I asked if they were still looking for stories, and there was an exchange of looks before the camera guy told me they already struck the set. The director, however, asked what it was. Given it was Quindar and myself standing there, I guess he suspected another "couples" story, so as always I enjoyed myself too much pulling out the classic of "I got cancer in '96, gargs helped see me through to remission, Make-A-Wish sent me to 2000, been coming back ever since." Then add in Quindar's quiet "we met in 2002, and been together ever since," and I think we kinda surprised them with that. There was another, different look, then the director told us to check for them around Masquerade time.
That done, and having carried out part of Greg's mission (go forth and spread the word of gargs, and talk to the camera crew!), we finally headed out to the radio play, and what an event!
The talent in this fandom never ceases to amaze me. The script was for The Journey, and it was incredible. Rob St. Martin made for an incredible Goliath, Zehra once again portrayed a spiffy Elisa, and Vinnie, Castaway, Macbeth and Margot Yale all shone as well. Heck, EVERYONE rocked. As an interesting side note, Greg mentioned at some point that the lovely line of Macbeth's - "Madame, they burned witches like you in the middle ages!" was actually an improvisation by John Rhys-Davis. So when I got home I checked the 2000 Journey script, and found that the original line was "Madam, you are the most narrow-minded--"... and one can only wonder what word would've followed. Margot's return shot of "Mister, you are living in a fantasy world!" still makes me giggle immensely.
We headed down to the banquet after that, but people were preparing the room itself, so we hung around outside with assorted people. Then the camera crew showed up and started taping mock convos between people, trying to get real, lifelike interaction to tell personal stories to people that... probably knew at least some of it anyway. We spotted them, and so bit the bullet again and went up once they were done.
Noel Leas and her friend (apologies, I know I've seen you before, but I never catch your name!) were randomly snagged to try to talk to us about our story. I had my usual case of stage fright, and so I have no idea what I said AT ALL, other than WAY too many ums and ahs in there. Sigh. Ah well. Did our duty, told our story, and could therefore just chat with the film crew a bit before they moved on to their next group. I'm afraid I also don't recall what anyone else said.
Meanwhile, the room had finally opened up to let us in. The banquet followed, and was really, truly stunning. Admittedly in several different senses of the word, but I had a lot of fun. I'm afraid I don't recall who all we sat with, other than BrooklynX and Lynati for the bits when she wasn't working on her costume. There was a one day con-goer, to her first Gathering with her father, who looked a little overwhelmed by the insanity, but incredibly proud when his daughter went and gave Greg a picture of a gargoyle she'd drawn. I think that really made her night, if not her con. If she sees this, apologies for not remembering her name, and hope to see her next year!
The other person at our table was a Canadian fan, whose name I also didn't catch. Eeek. Sorry! He was also incredibly nice, and not only put up with Quindar, BrooklynX, Lynati, and myself talking obsessively about the con, but he also humored me and answered Stupid American General Questions About Canada. One of the most interesting threads was actually about the con shirt design. To paraphrase, there's the grinning Mountie beaver - Canada - riding along top the symbol of Quebec, which is a silly looking dog. I totally forgot about Quebec talking about secession a few years back, but with that in mind, I can see why he commented that it'd be a cute shirt for a kid, but not something he felt comfortable wearing. ::facefault:: One of those interesting commentaries about how different cultures lead to misunderstandings.
The other major interesting bit to the meal actually involved the menus. Yes, the menus. The cover was a nice Delta logo, the inside had the expected menu, but the inside of the cover had a picture of Goliath (picture 8c in the S8 misc image archive), above the Garg logo. When first seeing them, I think everyone made awed noises, and then moved on. I'll admit I did a bit of a double take at the logo, because I could see the classic clawmarks in the name - marks from the logo with Goliath standing above the letters. I'll admit I thought it was odd that a) the con mascot wasn't used and b) the normal logo wasn't used, but I figured what the hey. They're still darn pretty. More on this later.
Keith David finally arrived near the end of the dinner, and it was fascinating to just listen to him - the content was interesting, but it was the rumble that's naturally in his voice that really is nifty. I'm also rather proud of the fact that when he left the room for a few minutes, I noticed the waiter clearing away dishes - including Keith's! I snagged the man and told him that at least Keith was still eating, so he put the dishes back - and when Keith returned a moment later, he double checked to see if his food was still there. Glad I could help with that before anything happened!
Let's see... all else I really recall of the Q&A was that Greg didn't answer many questions, but I at least got to ask him about his project with Vic Cook that we heard about last year. Stuck in the cogs of the machine is the quick answer, unfortunately. After the Q&A broke up, Quindar and I got recruited to help move tables and chairs. I finally got to meet Ian "Sir Rowan", whose art I've been watching (and drooling over) for a long time, and he seemed happy to know there's a fan of him out there. Unfortunately I was too caught up in table moving to remember to mention I'd been hitting his Elfwood site for far too long, and could only tell him that I'd really enjoyed the comic he, Kanthara, and friends worked on.
Due to chair rearrangement, we got good seats right up front behind the judges. Which was interesting, because soon after we sat down, the hotel guy who'd been running interference with the Godawful Karaoke (tm) next door sat down at the judge's table. He was pretty hyper, grinning and clearly having the time of his life, especially after A Fan came up (wearing a suit and a Delta name tag of Daniel) and asked if he wanted his glass filled with water. They had some nice banter going, but unfortunately all that I remember was Fan recommending the Hilton across the street. Basically, the hotel person was almost giddy and clearly having a blast. When Fan finally wandered off (to stand by the door and try to help guests there), the hotel guy finally turned around and just had a bit of a ramble/conversation with us. Turns out that Daniel was the hotel contact person, and had been interested in the con from the get go, which is somehow (I'll admit to not knowing entirely how) related to him becoming a judge for the Masquerade. But he was really enjoying things - the strangeness, the energy, the fun. Then he proceeded to get up and grab one of the spare menus for himself, after all he did with it. He sat back down, turned around, and proudly showed us how he wanted to do something spiffy and special for the menus, so he went online to the Disney site, and picked up the garg logo, but that was black and white, so a little boring - so he cropped that, and snagged the Goliath picture to put above it.
I love this man. He is so cool. Then, when Greg finally came in and sat down next to him, Daniel asked him to autograph the menu. Greg did so, and Daniel turned around and gave us the niftiest thumbs up, "this is great!!" expression.
You can find it at http://norcumi.gargles-fans.org/photos/con2004/20040808_214602_1406 thanks to Quindar being quick with the camera. :) Daniel was not expecting that, so he just flopped over the table laughing, and went back to talking with Greg. We caught him later, and Quindar got a business card, so we will be sending on the memento. He was also kind enough to later pose for the camera with his menu: that one's also available at http://norcumi.gargles-fans.org/photos/con2004/20040808_224402_1433 :) It was also cool to have things from a non-fan's perspective as the people paraded by in costume, and Daniel would lean over and ask Greg if each of them was from the show or not. A little different type of attention for Greg!
The masquerade itself was awesome. The cosplayers themselves were stunning, the staff was clearly having fun (pregnant Kanthara as pregnant, Walkabout Fox was rather inspired), and the audience was highly dressed up and spiffy to boot! I have to make an offhand comment about why on earth did Cat as Hecate's Heccy (I think?) not join in??? Especially with the big battle-ax o' DOOOM? Also, there were several very nifty versions of the Eye of Odin running around, which really impressed me. Well, that and scared me, but right now I'm going with impressed. Beyond that, however, I'm still just too stunned to make much commentary. That, and I have no idea who people are in costume. ^_^; Sorry!
Single commentary: Ethan, Sapphire, and Chameleon Girl put on a hilarious and wonderful performance of the opening monologue that has to be seen to believed. Hit s8. S8.org is our FRIEND!
Once the judges adjourned to talk about costumes, the masquerade people were free to drift out into the hall and have their pictures taken, of which there were lots. The most memorable bit of that to me was the group photo after awards, when everyone in costume grouped together and let everyone take several dozen shots. And they vamped nicely for the cameras - including someone who was taking pictures with several cameras, clearly belonging to people IN the shot - until they declared they would be leaving in five... four... three... two... ONE! and just streamed out amongst the picture takers like some movie shot or something you'd see on camera. I have no idea if the DVD crew was still around for that. I hope they got it, but if not, it made for a fun moment anyways.
Quindar and I had finally managed to catch Lynati, and promised to kidnap her after the masquerade, and "hanging around for a few minutes for something." So we were right there as Emambu got up for karaoke, and did Lynati's filk of Blame Canada: Blame Gargoyles. Now, it's very strange to me to realize that when Emambu was doing his spiffy intro talk, Greg was busy chatting with someone, and utterly oblivious to the fact that someone was trying to get his attention. So Quindar went over, got his attention and told him he was wanted by people at the front of the room, and THEN Greg was noticing what was going on.
Blame Gargoyles, simply put, is stunning. In a very, very good way. All I really know what to say is, if you haven't seen it yet, go to s8.org and check the archives to see it. Thank you, Gore! You totally DO deserve the fan guest of honor award!
After this, Lynati went off to get less green (her Ophelia costume was amazing), then we all tromped back downstairs because Lynati had an art project to share. I'm still not entirely sure about the details, but she made several glass, wood backed friezes of the con mascot, and she wanted to give one to Greg. Since we found out during dinner that he'd be leaving very early the next morning, she wanted to catch him then.
We made it back to karaoke just in time to catch Keith David singing acapella - and my word, that was amazing! We just stood quietly in the back and listened, like everyone else... aside from Arno and whoever grabbed him for a dance. Heh. When that was done, Lynati snagged Greg and wowed him with her gift, which he really seemed to like.
Then we finally got to kidnap Lynati and talk until the wee hours of the morning.
So because of going until the wee hours of the morning, we decided to just get sleep. We slept late enough that we pretty much passed on the events, but were up and about to keep our appointment for dinner with BrooklynX, because both Quindar and I are finding to our amusement that the con is more a family reunion and a chance to get together and see people than about the panels - which is fun, no doubt about that, but the main thing is the people. It's strange how the fandom and the con become a strange but nifty mix like that. Anyway, we had a good meal and a nice chat, with a bit of ogling BrooklynX's cel and art collection. Lots of talk about gargs,, the DVD (of course!), and life. After unknowingly keeping the restaurant open a bit longer than they expected (in our defense, con time or no, they closed ridiculously early), we headed back to the hotel and went off to do our own things. Quindar and I ended up wandering around the hotel and finally trying to look at things - what we found was the Mezzanine level Muzak volume knob. No, seriously, we did. There's pictures of it, even. We considered playing with it, made jokes about how it was good that it hadn't been publicly advertised during the con itself, and then went off to write a note to Lynati. After all, the girl had gotten no more than 5 hours of sleep (I think rather less) because she had to be up for a biology panel, and it was late enough in the evening we figured it'd be good to make sure she knew how to contact us, considering she was visiting us at home post-con. So we wrote and dropped off the note, then wandered back down to the lobby - only to discover a very sleepy Lynati sitting and waiting for Aaron and Hudson to come back from laser tag.
Since talking helped keep her awake, we joined her and started chatting. We tried doing a few walks around the lobby itself, and while that didn't help her, we did pass Keith David coming out of an elevator, and he said hi. Then back to the chairs, and we talked. Mara and Emambu came down eventually to tell Lynati she had a note left under her door, then they sat down and we did this fun mixed convo that floated between all of us. Eventually, most of the laser tag people came back - but not the segment that had Aaron and Hudson, which had gone off for drinks and food. So we talked some more, as CKayote joined us, and maybe GregX, until the second group straggled back in. More talking, with Aaron (and GregX if he wasn't there before), and basically we were there until 3 am.
I love con time. It doesn't work like real time, but it's way cool. Things went until everyone was too tired to really hold conversation anymore, so everyone went to bed. The noon checkout time was not fun.
However, that meant by noon we were out of our room, stuff packed in the car, and saw us sitting with all the other non-park people who were waiting for the parkgoers to get back, so they could hit the road. It was an awesome group get together, with random people talking about anything and everything. Chris Rogers discussing next year's con, Kathy Pogge talking about the joys of con running, random American politics, and all sorts of other cool stuff I've unfortunately totally forgotten.
The part I keep forgetting to write down that WAS fascinating: at some point, while we were all hanging out, Keith David wandered by with drink in hand and at least one kid in tow, and he stopped to say hello to the group. That rather predictably led to him and his family being sat down for pictures of the group, before he wandered off, telling us that he was really looking forward to the Vegas con.
He. Is. Awesome. Unfortunately, I have no idea who the heck TOOK the photos! If they see this, or someone knows, could they please pass a copy of the picture my way? I'd love to add it to the con photo album, with appropriate credit.
We stayed around as long as possible, just hanging out, until it was clear we had to hit the road. Then heading back across the border - the stop at the border itself was interesting in two ways. One, the mail in rebate for Canadian taxes was interestingly with a massive cut (20%?) for the company doing it, rather than getting total back at the border itself. Which is just evil. Two, the bored guy quizzing us to see if we were legitimate enough to get back into the states asked us some questions. Why we were in Canada - for a convention - and what was it about - the show gargoyles - and while he didn't seem any less bored or uncaring, he did comment that he remembered the show.
.... and Disney canceled this WHY?
Anyway, there were more crazy hijinks with my lack of navigation, but in the end, we made it safely to our destination. It was interesting to check into the hotel that night. I was doing my typical thing of advertising post-con with the 2003 shirt, and as I finished signing us in, the night clerk did a literal double take at my shirt. "Where'd you get that?" After a strange moment of not getting how weird the universe is, I jumped right in to my spiel about the con. He seemed impressed, and while he laughed politely at my talk of Vegas, he did in fact write down the date of DVD release....
I love this fandom. It always amazes me how almost anyone I talk to that ever saw Gargoyles, says something along the lines of "Oh yeah, I remember that! I loved that show!"
Great con. For those interested, pictures can be found at http://norcumi.gargles-fans.org/photos/con2004 - pictures taken by Quindar, because my camera decided to die on me literally the day before the con.
My favorite picture of the lot: http://norcumi.gargles-fans.org/photos/con2004/20040808_230946_1452
Here's to Vegas, and the DVD!
As I write this, it's only ten days before G2006 in Valencia. Probably the only good thing about being so far behind here at ASK GREG is that it's timed out so that these 2004 reports are getting me really psyched for 2006.
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