A Station Eight Fan Web Site
Hi Greg! I'm a journalist and a huge fan from Norway. I'm wondering if you are attending this year's SDCC? If so, can I contact you regarding a possible interview or at least buying you a drink at some poing?
I did - briefly - attend SDCC this past summer. Sorry I'm only seeing this now. For short term questions, you're better off trying to reach me on Twitter @Greg_Weisman
Now, the truth is that I don't check Twitter that often either, but I tend to close to an event like a convention.
Been a long while since I've asked you anything here. I hope things are well with you. Sounds like you're busy these days and I'm glad to hear it.
I'm writing to ask you about Gargoyles. It's crazy to think that the property is approaching its 25th year. And very cool to think that "in-universe" Artus and other gargoyles around the world are less than a year away from hatching!
But what I'm writing about is the future of Gargoyles on television, in comics, novels, etc. It feels like the last few years have been very quiet for Gargoyles. The last Gathering is nearly a decade behind us. We've had no new material in even longer. Revisions on GargWiki only trickle in these days. Gargoyles fan sites are steadily being abandoned or dying. Even Ask Greg is far more of a Young Justice site these days. The Comment Room is pretty quiet, a shadow of what it was when I first discovered it over 17 years ago. And we fans are slowly growing older. And with all of these disheartening facts, I'm beginning to lose hope in new Gargoyles material from here on out.
It's hard for me to even admit that. I can remember getting very fired up and launching into pep talks when others would express similar thoughts over the years. Maybe I'm writing this in hopes of getting a pep talk myself. I don't know. Really, I just want to know what your thoughts on the future of Gargoyles is. Good or bad, I'd just like to hear it from the man himself.
Let me be clear: I'm not asking if you've given up on the property. I know that you have never failed to look for an outlet to tell your stories and I know that if you were given a chance you'd happily tell those stories in any medium. I'm just curious about your personal and professional opinion on any future Gargoyles products.
I will always be a fan. I will always love the stories you've told us. I will always have some hope that more stories will be told and I'll be quick to support the property if/when that happens. I'm just feeling like Gargoyles is all in the past. Honestly, am I right? Or am I just being dramatic? And if Gargoyles does have a chance in the future, what can we do to help it along after all these years?
Thanks, Greg. You rock. Thanks for everything!
You're just being dramatic. Which doesn't mean you aren't also right. Which doesn't mean there isn't hope. Confused yet?
Here's a hard truth: Disney bought Marvel and Lucasfilm. Why take a chance on a 25-year-old action property that (to their mind) has an aging/shrinking fanbase when you can exploit sure things like Star Wars and Spider-Man?
That's the big hump right now.
In addition, comic book publishing of Disney's licensed properties has been in disarray. As I'm sure you've noticed, we made some progress with Joe Books... and then it all fell apart. We're now waiting for Joe's license to lapse and are hopeful -actually hopeful - that we can make new comics happen with a new publisher. [Name of new publisher being withheld for now until a deal is made.]
So, no, of course I haven't given up. Gargoyles is my baby, and I'll never give up on it. I hope the fans won't either, but I understand there isn't much new to talk about these days, so it's natural that interest wanes. But I hope if and when there is something new to talk about, the fans will help me launch a campaign to get that new stuff noticed.
I truly believe that our best bet right now is, in fact, comic books. I can tell original canon stories (with little or no interference), and then we can use the comics to demonstrate that the property is still viable, just as we used Netflix to prove that Young Justice was still viable.
I'm also hopeful that once Disney has its own version of Netflix up and running in 2019 (just in time for our 25th Anniversary), that they'll put Gargoyles up there for streaming. Then we can begin a #KeepBingingGargoyles campaign, and who knows what might happen?!
Meanwhile, though it's true we haven't had an official Gathering since 2009, we did have a Gargoyles-convention-within-a-convention that was VERY successful at CONvergence in 2014 in Minneapolis, honoring the show's 20th anniversary. We did all the old Gathering stuff: showed the videos, multiple panels on the subject (including the biology/cultural panel), an original Gargoyles Radio Play, and we had Marina Sirtis, Frank Paur & Greg Guler there, as well. Many old Gargoyles fans showed up, and we had a blast. http://www.convergence-con.org/about/archive/2014-convention/
I'll be back at CONvergence in July of 2018, and although it won't be a full-on Gargoyles convention-within-a-convention again, we will do a Radio Play, and I always do at least one Gargoyles panel.
Plus, I've been talking with a venue to do another Garg-con-within-a-con to celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2019. I'll keep you posted here, but you should think about attending. It'll get the juices flowing.
So, no, don't despair. I'm always pretty upfront about the likelihood of anything happening, and right now it's a bit slim. But down the road, I still see a lot of potential. Stick with us!
Here's my schedule for Grand Rapids Comic-Con this weekend:
GRAND RAPIDS COMIC-CON - DeVos Place
187 Monroe Avenue NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2016
*02:00pm - 05:30pm - I'll be at Booth 017 . All signatures and selfies are free, but I will - as usual - be selling all sorts of fun stuff. I'm bringing 40 animation and radio play scripts from the many shows I've worked on (including - but not limited to - Gargoyles, WITCH, Kim Possible, Young Justice, Young Justice Invasion, Spectacular Spider-Man, Star Wars Rebels, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers Prime, Ben Ten, Transformers Rescue-Bots, Shimmer & Shine, Men in Black, Starship Troopers, Team Atlantis, etc). I'm also selling Christopher Jones art prints for Gargoyles, Young Justice and Rain of the Ghosts. I'm selling my three published novels: Rain of the Ghosts, Spirits of Ash and Foam, and World of Warcraft: Traveler. And I'm selling the Rain of the Ghosts Audio-Play. The novels are ten dollars each. Everything else is $20 each. Cash only. Artist Mara Cordova will also be at my booth, helping out and selling her wonderful stuff too.
*06:00pm - 07:00pm - Television Production and Its Challenges. Monroe Rooms A-D w/Brandon Vietti . "Two of the most prominent television producers in animation today whose work includes "Gargoyles", "The Batman", and "Young Justice" will discuss the roles and challenges of their career as well as upcoming projects.
*07:15pm - 08:00pm - Booth 017. Signing & selling.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2016
*10:00am - 12:45pm - Booth 017. Signing & selling.
*02:00pm - 03:00pm - The Science of Shipping. Grand Gallery E-F w/Comfort & Adam, Thom Zahler. ""Shipping" is when a fan imagines possible romantic relationships between two characters in a story. Shipping is big, but why do we do it? Join husband and wife comic creators Comfort and Adam and special guests Greg Weisman and Thom Zahler as we talk about all the reasons we love our ships; from biological drivers to emotional and intellectual hooks, from the vast history of literary fiction to the present day. But that's not all! In the second half, panelists and audience will be creating a new couple that Comfort and Adam will draw live!"
*03:30pm - 04:30pm - Transferring Comics To The Screen and Vice Versa. Grand Gallery E-F w/Christopher Jones, Jason Spisak, Brandon Vietti. "Directors, producers, comic artists and voice actors discuss the challenges of taking a comic book and transferring it to a television show or movie and the expectations that fans have in this delicate and complicated process."
*04:45pm - 07:00pm - Booth 017. Signing & selling.
*07:30pm - VIP PARTY - Atrium Ballroom.
Stop by and say hello. (If we've met before, please reintroduce yourself. I'm horrible with names AND faces, but I mean well.)
Have got any plans to do any UK conventions this year? If so please come to MCM Manchester Comic Con. I've waited so long to meet you! :)
I'd LOVE to do a convention in the U.K. But I've never EVER been invited to one. If you want to see me at Manchester Comic Con, contact the convention and ask them to invite me.
Are there still gargoyles fan gatherings? And how do I get involved in it. I know it been along time, and it come out when I was born ., so I never got to be apart of any of it
I'm sorry. The last official Gathering of the Gargoyles was in 2009. Though in 2014 at CONvergence we had a reunion of sorts. Hoping to do something similar in 2019 for the 25th anniversary of the show. Keep an eye on ASK GREG. If we put something together, I'll announce it here.
Hello Greg Weisman. We at Georgia State University are having a Geek Culture Convention on March 4th 2017. There will be games, panels, vendors for art, comics, and food, an arts show, and much more. We would be honored if you came out and spoke for one of our panels? If you are interested, please contact us at email@example.com. Thank you so much for your time.
Thanks for the offer. But I'm a bit swamped these days. Maybe next year?
Sorry for forgetting to include this in my review of "World of Warcraft Traveler", but I noticed that the front cover was done by a "Samwise Didier" - a name that stood out to me since this is the first I've come across a real-life Samwise. I don't know if this one was named after the Tolkien character (unless he's close to Aramar's age, it probably wasn't due to the Peter Jackson movie adaptations) or if it came from some other source, but it still caught my eye. (Not long after "The Lord of the Rings" was published, Tolkien got a letter from an actual "Sam Gamgee" who hadn't read the book but heard there was a character with his name in it; an astonished Tolkien wrote back to him and even sent him a copy - perhaps thinking it fortunate that Samwise Gamgee was a heroic figure in it. According to his biographer, Humphrey Carpenter, he feared for a while receiving a similar letter from an "S. Gollum".)
I met Samwise Didier at BlizzCon. Great guy, and of course I love his art. In addition to the cover, he did ALL of "Aram's art" inside the book. Not sure of the origin of his name, i.e. I'm sure it is definitely inspired by Tolkien, but I don't know if it was his parents who were thus inspired or if he took on the name himself.
Grand Rapids Comic-Con Journal
October 21-23, 2016
This past weekend I spent three days at the Grand Rapids Comic Con where I finally got my chance to meet Greg Weisman. I've been following him at Station 8 for almost twenty years, but I never made it to any of the Gatherings so I had never met him in person before.
After weeks of anticipation Friday came. I took the afternoon off work and set out for the convention center, ten minutes from my house. Comic Con is a different world; there were a lot of people wearing costumes, some quite impressive and others not so much. Harley Quinn (Suicide Squad version) is the most popular this year.
I grabbed a program, checked the map, and made a beeline for Greg's table. I arrived to find him talking to a Penguin. (Not the flightless Antarctic bird, but a man in a tuxedo wearing a pointy rubber nose and carrying an umbrella.) I circled around a few times, watching for my opportunity while trying to remain inconspicuous. The Penguin and his friend finally walked away and I stepped up to the table.
"Hi, I'm Phil," I said.
"Hi Phil," he replied. He pointed out the scripts, books, and posters he had for sale. "Let me know if you have any questions." (Do I have questions?!)
He was responding to an important text on his phone, so I hesitated for a moment. "I'm a big fan. I've been following you on Ask Greg at Station 8 for almost twenty years."
He looked up at me. "Oh, you're *that* Phil." He shook my hand.
I don't remember what I said next. Something fanboy-ish, I'm sure. He smiled. I didn't know what to say next. He didn't seem to know what to say. It was awkward. Very awkward.
I told him I would see him again soon, since I had a lot of stuff for him to sign, and walked away. Then I remembered that I wanted a picture to send my daughters (who were driving home from college to meet Greg on Saturday) so I went back. He came out from behind his table and we took a selfie. He looks a little uncertain in the picture.
After walking around a little more, I left to pick up my teenage son, Henry, from school and bring him back to the Con with me. We explored together, commenting on the interesting and the weird. He seemed a little overwhelmed.
We passed by Greg's table again and met Mara, who was there with Greg. She was easier to talk to than Greg. I introduced Henry, and mentioned that he was a fan of Young Justice. Greg told us about the Young Justice presentation he was doing that evening. Henry looked over the scripts and art prints Greg was selling and determined how much money he would need to bring the next day. Then we continued on our way. It was less awkward this time.
Henry and I went to the Young Justice presentation. To be honest, Young Justice never grabbed me, despite Greg's involvement. (I'm more of a Marvel fan.) But it was enjoyable nonetheless. Greg is much more personable and engaging in front of a group. He talked about the strategy for getting Season 3: binge watch Netflix and buy the comics online (so WB sees the money).
After that, the Con was winding down for the night, so we drove home. Henry asked to watch Young Justice again on Netflix that night, but there was homework and housework to do. He also asked how he could get the Young Justice comics in time for Greg to autograph them.
Late that night my two oldest daughters arrived home from college with five friends. Saturday morning eleven of us were ready for Comic Con (my wife and I, our four kids [three daughters and a son], and five college friends). My girls all wanted to dress up, but there was a bit of conflict over who would be what character. The older and younger ended up both going as Elisa Maza, while the middle one painted a blue fox tattoo around her eye. Henry was planning to wear a Star Wars T-shirt and carry a lightsaber, but his sisters pressured him into painting three red stripes on his face and going as Young Gillecomgain. My oldest daughter's boyfriend wore a Gargoyles T-shirt that we later realized was not official merchandise. We were ready to go.
Upon entering Comic Con on Saturday we headed straight for Greg's table. I introduced my family and Greg seemed a little overwhelmed. My daughters were all speechless and my oldest gave a fangirl squeal. My wife (who only came along so she wouldn't have to spend the day at home alone) asked Greg about his convention schedule and how many he goes to each year. They had a normal conversation, no awkwardness at all.
During the course of the day we stopped back at Greg's table several times. We bought books and scripts and art prints. We had him sign stuff we brought from home: DVDs, comics, a Gargoyles picture book, and printouts of "Three Brothers" and "Hyppolyta" (which Greg said he had never signed before). I tried to get some clarification on the Percival/Duval/Peredur relationship, but all Greg would say is "All things are true."
We went to a panel that afternoon led by Comfort Love and Adam Withers. Greg was participating and when we trooped in a few minutes before it started he pointed us out to his fellow panelists. Later in the day when we walked by Comfort and Adam's table she recognized us as "Greg's posse" which my daughter thought was the best moment of the day.
We couldn't make it Sunday morning, so I missed Greg's presentation on "TV Production from Beginning to End" but I was there in the afternoon in time for another panel with Comfort and Adam. After the panel Greg had to leave soon to catch his flight, so I hurried to his table to buy a couple more things and shake his hand one more time.
Overall it was a fun weekend. Greg Weisman is a celebrity at my house and it was great to meet him. Each time I stopped at his table it was a little less awkward, and I enjoyed talking to him. I still have a lot of questions, but none that I actually wanted him to answer in person. I don't just want to know what happens next, I want to see/read/experience it. So here's hoping for more Greg and more Gargoyles in some form, someday.
From your lips...
It was great meeting you in person. I hope I wasn't QUITE so awkward or unapproachable. I am better in front of an audience than I am at making small talk. But I get by. :)
Reminder: convention arrangements are often in flux, so the following may change.
But here's what I have scheduled so far in 2017:
February 17-19: Gallifrey-One in Los Angeles. I'll only be there for one day - probably Saturday, February 18th. http://www.gallifreyone.com
May 5-7: Wizard World Minneapolis. http://wizardworld.com/comiccon/minneapolis
June 16-18: Wizard World Sacramento. http://wizardworld.com/comiccon/sacramento
October 20-22: Grand Rapids Comic-Con http://www.grcomiccon.com
That's it, so far. I'm sure there will be others, particularly if Warner Bros decides to start sending Brandon Vietti and I "on tour" to talk about Young Justice. I'll try to update as I know more. BUT - ALL OF THIS IS TENTATIVE!!! ALL OF IT!!
I've seen other con journals in the past, so I thought I could take the time to write my own. This summarizes my experience at Convergence 2016 and meeting Greg Weisman, Christopher Jones and Khary Payton.
I caught a 6am flight from Oklahoma, changed planes in St. Louis and arrived in Minneapolis around 1pm. I unfortunately missed the "Why Gargoyles is Still Relevant" panel, but my plane ticket and hotel had been reserved months beforehand, so that's life…
My friend picked me up from the airport and we had lunch and checked into the hotel. I made my way to the con and got my bearings. I attended one panel and then attended the opening ceremony. It was so funny. The emcee was Paul Cornell, a novelist/comic book writer/screenwriter. The mascots of the ceremony were Connie the Convergence Robot and Connie Mark II, her evil younger sister. You had to be there, but there was something enduring and hilarious about the way Connie Mark II kept calling Paul by his last name, "Corrnnneelllll." The guests of honor were also introduced, Greg Weisman and Christopher Jones being among them. Khary Payton hadn't arrived yet, but they played a pre-recorded message of him.
After the ceremony, there was the Fancy Bastard Pie Competition. It was my chance to finally meet Greg. Greg arrived and stood behind a table and sampled the pies. He was very thorough and made his decision. The prize was that he would give someone an exclusive spoiler. Wish I had contributed a pie…. I waited around and I finally got to meet Greg, which was awesome. I also got some pie as well.
For Greg to come to Convergence, there was a crowdfunder on Genorosity and those who contributed were rewarded with prizes. In my case, I contributed enough to have breakfast with Greg and Christopher Jones. The breakfast was nice. I got to chat with two men I admire and they were gracious enough to sign my stuff and take a picture with me. Towards the end of breakfast Greg had to take a call and Paul Cornell walked up and asked if he could join us for breakfast. Chris told him regretfully that we had just asked for the checks. Oh drat, if Paul had come just a little earlier, I could have had a bonus breakfast mate.
I went to the Mall of America with my Minnesota friend (I'm such a tourist!) and returned in the early afternoon to attend several panels. A panel on teenage superheroes with Greg, Chris and Khary was the highlight. After the panel, I was able to get Khary to confirm that he was on General Hospital as Dr. Terrell Jackson. He seemed to be flattered I knew that. Several other panels later, I returned to the hotel.
Saturday was a long day. I arrived at the Double Tree Hotel area around 8:30am and didn't go home till about 1am that night. The day pretty much consisted of attending panels and being a Greg-head.
I attended "Building Worlds for Fiction" panel with Greg as one of the panelists. Then I attended "Why We Need Representation in Superheroes" with Greg, Chris and Khary as panelists. Then the Radio Play, "The Cosmos" with Greg, Chris and Khary as actors along with 20 other fans who had auditioned. The play was the thing. It totally pandered to Greg's fans and was so funny. A rich, rewarding experience.
Later I attended a panel "Superficially Strong Female Characters" with Greg as one of the panelists. Then I attended a one on one with Christopher Jones and Greg Weisman, with Greg interviewing Chris about his career. Something I noticed that Greg and Chris have in common is that they were good at anticipating things when they wanted to break into the comics business. After seeing a Marvel talent search, Greg prepared a packet for DC, knowing that they would have a similar talent search and was one of the first ones to apply. In Chris' case, he knew that when The Batman and Young Justice premiered, there would undoubtedly be a tie-in comic and threw his hat into the ring early on.
Late, at 11:30, I attended the "Animation Blue" panel, with Greg, Chris and Khary as panelists. It was based on the Gargoyles Blue Mug which I have read about where the panelists and audience get into the sex lives of cartoon characters. It was interesting.
I got up and attended a "Young Justice" panel with Greg, Chris and Khary as the panelists. Then I went to a signing that Greg, Chris and Khary were having. I left the con with many signed art prints of Chris Jones. I bought a Young Justice script and Spirits of Ash and Foam from Greg. I also got a signed picture of Aqualad from Khary. Then I decided it was time to get back to my hotel and get to the airport. It was sad that I had to miss Greg's Rain of the Ghosts panel, a one on one panel in which Greg would have been interviewed about his career, and the closing ceremonies.
This was my first real vacation in over two years and it was a blast. Convergence was such a nice event, emphasizing the stereotype of "Minnesota nice." Most of the people at the con seemed to be local fans. Many were surprised that I had come all the way from Oklahoma. It was as if I had journeyed halfway around the world for them. Although I mainly attended because of Greg, Chris, and Khary, I got the chance to encounter many other talented and intelligent individuals, such as Paul Cornell, Ytasha Womack, Max Gladstone, Mark Oshiro, "Duck" Washington and many more. I definitely want to come back to Convergence and make it a yearly vacation if possible.
I'm glad you have fun. CONvergence is pretty much my favorite convention. I always have a blast there. Love the people. Do a lot of panels. It's great!
It was also great meeting you! Hope to see you again sometime soon.