A Station Eight Fan Web Site
As many of you know, perhaps my favorite television series of all time is HILL STREET BLUES. A couple years ago, the first season was put out on DVD. There was no marketing that I noticed... but there was a bit of publicity. A year later the second season came out. This time no marketing and no publicity. Also, I'm GUESSING, not much in terms of sales -- as the third season isn't on the schedule. I've signed up at Amazon to be notified if-and-when it is released...
I bring this up, since it allows me to do a few things:
1. SPREAD THE WORD! I encourage you all to buy the first two seasons of Hill Street Blues. This was one of the truly seminal shows in television history, brilliantly written and acted and directed and a HUGE, HUGE influence on Gargoyles. Like Gargoyles it created a tapestry, a world of characters. Very much worth your time and disposable income.
2. CREATE A REALITY CHECK. For those of you who STILL seem to feel Disney is doing something unusual (let alone nefarious) in its treatment of Gargoyles, this is one of just many, many, many examples that demonstrates it's not. We can all sturm and drang about how business should be done, with marketing and publicity galore for every product, with a guarantee that once a company starts a project they must finish it (whether or not the economics justify it), etc. But the gnashing of teeth doesn't change the reality. Companies -- even companies as huge as Disney have LIMITED resources and must deal with the notion of OPPORTUNITY COST. So one company takes a flier on a Gargoyles DVD set, another takes one on Hill St. Both do fairly well in their first season releases, despite limited or no marketing and limited or no publicity. Both fair poorly in their second release. Both don't seem to rate a third release. It's sad. But it's life.
3. ENCOURAGE YOU TO SPREAD THE WORD! The best thing any one of you can do to help get the next release of ANY show you love -- short of spending your own money -- is to help us Spread the Word! About the DVDS, the comics, the Gathering. Oh, and about Hill Street Blues. (See, I practice what I preach!)
With that in mind, I depart in less than 48 hours for Chicago and my 12th Annual Gathering, followed immediately by a trip to Minneapolis for ConVergence (http://www.convergence-con.org/). I won't have internet access while I'm gone, but when I return I'll post my conjournalx2. I encourage all of you who are attending the Gathering to post/cut&paste their conjorunals, diaries etc. here to ASK GREG. It creates a central place where I can refer ignorant PTB-types. Also, if you see me at either con, please come up and say hello. I am notoriously bad with names, and I admit (with some embarrassment) that it often takes me two or three conventions to really nail a name down. But I do want to meet you, and I do want to get to know you. I'm not much at small talk, but I can talk about animation and comics and pop culture in general ad nauseum (just ask my wife).
Hey Greg, I Might not be able to Attend The Gathering Of The Gargoyles this year because I'm going to Israel, but if it's allright can i attend and meet you in the 2009 gathering of the gargoyles, and can it again, just for once, be in Chicago, i really, really do want to be there and see you. Can we come to an arrangement? Please?
I don't know what to tell you, Daniel. The Gathering IS in Chicago for once... THIS YEAR, THIS SUMMER, JUNE, 2008. In 2009, it's in L.A. But we'd love to see you at either or both.
Hey Greg, are you giong to be in The Gathering Of The Gargoyles in Chicago this year, I'm developing My own Gargoyles series for my school, also with Titania, Oberon, Puck, And Others (But it's not related to this series),I'm not giving you suggestions and i'm not asking for you to hire me, i just want to talk to you, and ask you for some suggestions for my series, and to pay you and Disney money for what I'm doing. Can I Talk to you there? can i meet you and have you help me?
I will be at the Gathering in Chicago. But...
You can't pay me for what you're suggesting, and I can't take money on Disney's behalf, and I CANNOT/WILL NOT listen to anything like an original idea relating to Gargoyles in ANY way. So I'm not sure HOW I could help you. But I'm happy to talk to you generally about being creative. But some advice: create something ORIGINAL. Don't crib off of a series you don't own.
I've got good news, i'm flying all the way from the UK to come to the Gathering in Chicago and I can't wait and i'm a little bit nervous. It's also my first time coming to America. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone so i'll see you there.
"I know where my copy of the Gargoyles Trade Paperback "Clan-Building" Volume one is, Do you?"
It's in the post (all 3 copies)should get it next week.
That's great!! I'll be sure to look for you there, uh... Anonymous...
I know this is far too early to ask...but... Will you be making an appearance at Comic-Con 2008 in San Diego? I'm just hoping SLG will have a booth set up with you (and hopefully the Gargoyles comics) appearing in hopes of spreading the word before/during/after the convention. :)
I will indeed be at ComicCon this summer. In fact I'm at quite a few conventions this year...
February 22-24 - WonderCon in San Francisco
June 27-30 - The Gathering in Chicago
July 3-6 - ConVergence in Minneapolis
July 23-27 - ComicCon in San Diego
August 27-September 1 - CopperCon in Arizona
Gathering Journal - Friday, June 22, 2007
Setting a pattern for the next few days, I lazed around and watched TV before actually getting on my way to the con. After getting lunch and yet more supplies, I picked up my registration (bumping into Aaron en route) and decided to check out the dealer's room. This year's dealer room was much more impressive than in most prior Gatherings - of course, I may be biased, since we had a comic book seller there for the first time. I snagged a couple comics (anyone besides me heard of Doctor Spektor?), browsed the art gallery, snagged a neat T-shirt, sat for a bit, back to the room. (While there, I also ran into A Fan, Jade Griffin and Mandi "Mandolin".)
Second trip out, decided I would see what the con suite looked like, and wait there for opening ceremonies. While there, I engaged in conversation with Emambu, Stephanie and Kathy Pogge, whereupon I discovered there's at least one person who actually reads things like my comic reviews and multiverse maps... (By the way, whoever had the bright idea of having oatmeal cream pies among the snacks deserves a commendation.)
Next was the opening ceremonies. Fairly standard for Gathering veterans, but just as entertaining as always. Due to the TV's necessarily inconvenient positioning, it was proposed, and accepted, that we should all sit on the floor. (Made me feel like I was back in elementary school - not that I minded.) We had the introductions of staff and guests, and the study of newbies vs. veterans (a goodly number of the new this year!).
Notable information from Greg:
- Regarding the DVD of Season 2, Part 2: No progress, but Greg does know who the new exec to talk to about it is. (Apparently they have a lot of turnover there.) Greg re-emphasized that the comparatively lower sales of Season 2 Part 1 vs. Season 1 hurt the chances of getting Part 2, and probably lost us Disney's attention. And he emphasized that we need to each find 1000 more fans and spread the word...
- Regarding the comic: Issue #5 concludes the current storyline. Issue #6 is a stand-alone story. Issues #7 through #9 will "blow your minds" - something strange, weird, cool and universe-opening. The first graphic novel, which will include issues #1-6, will be released this winter.
- Regarding the movie: Yes, it's still being considered! Greg was contacted regarding this earlier in the year. At this point, they've gone through 10 or so writers - none of which produced a script they liked. But they still keep trying.
Then, the so-called "Rocky Horror Gargoyles Show" began. Greg described the development of the series; showed us the Jim Cummings version of the original dramatic pitch, and his version of the same pitch (from the Season 1 DVD); showed us the original press pitch (with "It's better than Barney!"), and the pitch sent to sci-fi cons.
At this point, Greg covered Gargoyles: Bad Guys. All the art will be by Karine Charlebois, in black-and-white, and the series will last six issues. If it sells well, it will be followed by Gargoyles: Pendragon, Gargoyles: TimeDancer and maybe even another Bad Guys series. And why was Bad Guys the first spin-off to get this treatment? Because continuity-wise, it needed to be told now...
Back to RHGS! According to Greg, the Gargoyles spin-offs were proposed after Disney considered, and rejected, buying Marvel Comics around 1994-1995. (The idea was tempting, due to Warner Bros' ownership of DC, but Marvel was too unstable and chaotic at that time.) Thus, Gargoyles was selected to be the core of a possible "Disney action universe." Greg followed with the usual spin-off videos: The New Olympians, Gargoyles: Dark Ages and the Gathering-exclusive Bad Guys leica reel. Lastly, we saw the vastly enhanced fan "leica reel" of "The Last" from Team Atlantis. (If you want to help, contact Vashkoda!)
Following the completion of the ceremonies, I went out to a most enjoyable dinner at Red Lobster with Lynati, Emambu, Stephanie and Mandi. (The original plan was to eat at this place with Chinese acrobats, but they didn't serve food.) Emambu regaled us with the hilarious tale of how his brother wound up causing a massive traffic jam on I-95 (which he should really write up as a story or something!).
Upon our return, we wound up going to the temporary con suite in Atrium 2. I got there too late for the open gaming (I was hoping to show off a little game of mine), but mostly just relaxed there until Hudson's Rant began on the opposite end of the room. After Hudson ranted for a good while, the session concluded with Emambu's terrific imitation of Christopher Walken trying to order a pizza. Things slowed down quite a bit after that... after seeing some impromptu renditions of Rent tunes from Mara, Lynati and Stephanie, and Hudson et al discovering they were ripped off on pizza, I headed by the closed con suite, then went to my room.
I do try to keep the "Show" interesting for both old and new fans alike. I think the greatest roadblock to that is my self-doubt as to why returning attendees would want to hear this same schpiel for the umpteenth time.
Greg, I just wanted to let you know that I am seething with jealousy over the radio play from Gathering 2007! I bet that was an incredible experience, and I can't wait for issue 5 so I too can know what everyone else now knows! My question for you is this: Are there any plans in the comics for Xanatos' Red Steel Clan Gargoyle armor to show up in the near future? To this day, the big reveal as he pulls off the helmet in Season One is one of the images that pops into my head every time I even think about Gargoyles!
Also- it's very exciting to hear that Gathering 2008 will be in Chicago. That's also the weekend of Wizard World Chicago 2008 (an unusual coincidence since WWC is usually in August), so I think I will finally get to attend a Gathering! (as well as WWC, since we do that every year.) I am sure it's too early to think about, but will you be taking advantage of the overlapping scheduling and attending Wizard World as well?
Thanks for everything you do for Gargoyles, Greg!
As you can imagine, I'm not to anxious to give away stuff in the upcoming comics.
It's not thrilling actually to learn that Wizard World is COMPETING with us. I suppose that some people might come to both though. I'll probably stick to the Gathering.
Gathering 2007 Journal
As it so happened, I woke up a good hour and a half later than I had hoped to - or, more precisely, I woke up to the alarm and proceeded to turn it off so that I could sleep for an additional hour and a half - and so was not in the best of moods as I made my way out the door.
While I still left early enough to avoid significant traffic leaving D.C., the trucks were out in force on I-81, as were the state and local police. Honestly, in the years that I traveled 81 in order to get to and from school, I have never seen the kind of police presence as I did going to Pigeon Forge. Neither, it seemed, had many of the travelers, and this led to a problem: The left lane was going painfully slow so as to avoid receiving a ticket, while the right lane had taken up a "Damn the torpedoes!" mentality. I, wanting to neither take 10 hours to get to Pigeon Forge nor 30 seconds to get a court date 350 miles from home (been there, done that) navigated between the two lanes as best I could.
Tennessee, however, was an entirely different story. Traffic became nonexistent and moved along speedily, that is until I made the turn to get to Pigeon Forge. Having varied between 65 and 75 miles per hour for most of the trip, I was not happy to find myself in a miles-long traffic crawl that moved along at under 20 miles per hour, despite the much higher posted speed limit.
In all, it was an eight hour trek down, not including the very quick stop for gas at a station adjacent to a fireworks stand.
I walked into the lobby and saw none other than Greg W. himself, and were it not for this encounter I would have probably wandered aimlessly around the hotel looking for the registration desk - one of those significant things that I failed to do on Thursday was get Leo's cell phone number.
Once I got upstairs and registered, I made my way over to familiar faces and chatted with many people, among them Revel, Spacie, Mandi, Greg B., Gside, and Jade Griffin. The conversation was brief, however, as I then went on a quest to find my roommates, Leo, Kelly, and D. Taina.
The quest was unsuccessful, so instead I got in line to audition for the Radio Play and met up with even more people. It was while waiting in this line, however, that Leo, Kelly, and Taina found me, and who brought in tow Rob and Doppleganger.
I was next to last to audition, but not before I met Kathy, and after which time I finally got to the room and briefly put my feet up to watch "Army of Darkness" before heading over to Opening Ceremonies.
Opening Ceremonies was the usual stuff, with the exception that we had to sit on the floor in order to be able to see the television in the conference room, and further excepting that, as Greg talked about the need to bring more people to the Gathering, a very bright light went on in my head to signal that, as "advertisement guy" for Gathering 2008, that task would be in very large part up to me.
Come to the Gathering in 2008! It's Chicago, it's Gargoyles, it's friends, and it's my self-esteem at stake!
I'm still working on taglines.
After Opening Ceremonies were finished, I introduced myself to Susan, co-chair for next year's Gathering (in Chicago!) and we briefly discussed plans before she was overwhelmed by other people. Afterwards my roommates, Doppleganger, Kathy and I discussed our dinner options, and we settled on Huck Finn's Catfish - as would several other congoers, we would learn. No, I did not violate my rule of not eating seafood when more than 200 miles from a shoreline or major tributary, I had the chicken fried chicken, as opposed to the chicken fried steak, which three of the other five had.
But one thing that never changes from one Gathering to the next is that I always end up sleeping on the floor, and after a long day of driving, I must say that the floor of our room was quite comfortable</lie>.
Well rested, my roommates and I woke up and headed off to breakfast. We settled for the Red Rooster Pancake House, where we encountered Kathy, John, Sarah, and Mike. Actually, we didn't encounter them, John had to throw a wad of paper at me to get my attention; and when that failed, he got up from his chair, came over to our table and proceeded to "fire" us as friends.
On firing, he mentioned that his group was headed over to a firing range and asked if we wanted to come. I don't know what possessed him to invite a bunch of people who were too tired to notice good friends sitting at a nearby table to go off and fire guns, but we agreed to go all the same.
We had fun to say the least, and our lack of sleep had no ill effects on our health.
From there we all branched off to do our own things, and I headed up to the art show/dealer's room to look at the pretty things and talk with more people. I also learned in this time that I had been cast in the Radio Play, as had apparently half of the Gathering-goers.
I am sworn to secrecy on the specifics of the Radio Play, but let me say in no uncertain terms that it is a must - a MUST - that you go buy Gargoyles #5; and if you haven't already, get Gargoyles #3 and #4 as well. The story is fantastic and a half.
And a half, people.
After that entertainment, Garrett, who I had met earlier in the dealer's room, informed me that a group was getting together for pizza and mini golf. In the last few weeks I have had my mini golf efforts thwarted time and time again, so this was not an opportunity I planned to miss!
My roommates, however, weren't too enthusiastic about the affair, as they had already had it in mind to order pizza, so I went across the street to Papa Johns with Revel, Spacie, Greg B., Aaron, Gside, Mike, and… I'm trying so desperately to remember his name, but I'm failing horribly. My apologies.
I had leftover pizza, so I went back to the hotel room and tried once more to rally my roommates around mini golf, and this time Kelly and Leo decided to attend, while D. Taina and Doppleganger (roommate de facto at this point) decided to stay behind. And so our teams were formed, and off we went, although Doppleganger and D. Taina would eventually join us.
I think there was a reason fate had conspired so many times to keep me from playing mini golf: I suck. After 27 holes, which had a combined par of 69, I took third place of our group of four - me, Kelly, Leo, and Garrett - with a score of 97. My reasoning for this is that I "beat" my local mini golf course back in high school, and not having returned since, I am woefully out of practice.
Yes, woefully out of practice.
The reason we cut our second game short by nine holes was so that we could be back to the hotel for the Blue Mug, the "anything goes" Q&A. I was pretty well zoned out for most of it, so when the panel adjourned at 1:30 a.m., despite Greg's insistence that we could stick around for another half hour, I was more than ready to get back to my cozy floor space.
I slept well past the alarm in order to be as rested as possible for my long drive home, the price for doing so being the foregoing of breakfast. I packed up my things and then headed over to Jade Griffin's writing/reading panel, for which I had completely forgotten to write anything.
Following this panel was the science & culture panel, hosted by Greg, Jade, and Lynati, and which was by far one of the better panels I have attended in all my Gatherings. The discussion was intelligent, informative, civil, and very enjoyable.
Immediately following the panel, however, I had to hurry through my goodbyes in order to get onto the road and home. Given the nature of the drive down, I did not want to risk getting home too late so as to be too tired to go to work on Monday.
That didn't work out too well.
While I managed to get through Tennessee without much incident, after I crossed over into Virginia, the skies began to open up. I pulled over for dinner at Outback Steakhouse and to let the storm pass, adding much time to my journey (but giving me some delicious, heart attack-inducing leftovers).
Storms aside, I managed to get home at about 10:30 p.m., at which point I had little left to do but crawl into bed (yay, no more floors!), forget to set my alarm, and go to sleep.
Having forgotten to set my alarm, I woke up 15 minutes before I had to leave to get to work. The easy going pace of the Smokey Mountains was as removed from me mentally as physically, and with added urgency I began my daily routine.
I still managed to get out of the house on time, but it was all for naught, as the train I got on ended up breaking down, resulting in me arriving at work 30 minutes late. And as I sorted through the 121 e-mails which had piled up since Thursday afternoon, I knew I was back home.
This year's Gathering was fantastic, and my hat's off to the staff for getting it together. I apologize to all the people who I didn't get the chance to say goodbye to in my rush to get home. Hopefully I will get to see you in Chicago in 2008 so that you can tell me in person just how much I hurt your feelings.
Carter - Always great to see you. Glad you had fun. And folks help him SPREAD THE WORD!!
Check out www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com
SUNDAY, JUNE 23rd, 2007
Despite going to bed at 4am, I woke up for no good reason at 5:30am. Stayed in bed for 45 minutes, hoping I'd get back to sleep. No go. So I got up and worked. Checked my e-mail, did an Insta-Journal and worked on the outline for Spider-Man episode #7. Jamie Thomason, Gargoyles & Spider-Man voice director, called, and we reviewed the recording script for Spidey ep. #4. Then at noon I went to my first panel of the day: Gargoyles Physiology & Culture with Lynati and Jade. It was truly a fascinating panel for me. I love hearing and talking about this stuff. At 2pm, Karine and I had the Gargoyles & Bad Guy Comic Book panel. Since, I'm reluctant to reveal too much beyond issue #5 (since everyone at the Gathering saw #5 the night before), the panel turned into a fan marketing seminar. But I guess that's okay. At 3:30, I met with Ted, a Cartoon Network writer to discuss a project we're working on together. Then at 5pm came the Banquet. I sat with Karine, Samuel, Thom and Nikki. The food was very good. I really liked the Apple Pie. We had one more Q&A, led by Abbie, mostly, who is VERY enthusiastic and fun. After that, Thom and I played Air Hockey. People began to gather, and I beat all comers (Thom twice, Ed, Yami Raven) -- except Flanker, who beat me twice. Our last game, I was winning at one point 6-2 and I just lost all energy, like someone flipped a switch. I only needed one more goal, and he still beat me 7-6. Next came the Masquerade. The big winner -- best in show -- was Aaron as Hal the Gargoyle Halloween King. AMAZING costume. There was some dancing and singing and lip synching. After that, Mike and Tracy helped Thom, Susan and I record a You Tube promo for G2008. I went back down to the Masq, but I was pretty tired. Stopped by Jennifer, Gore & Karine's room and then went to bed. Slept for SEVEN hours, which for me is just great!
FRIDAY, JUNE 22nd, 2007
The first real day of the Gathering -- and I spent a TON of it working on Spider-Man, which is more than a little frustrating. The whole morning was Spideyesque. Got my G2007 t-shirt, and toured the art room. Attended a bit of Thom's voice actor panel at 1:30pm, before I had to break off for another Spidey-related business call. Went to lunch with Jennifer, Patrick, Thom, Rebekah, Tony, Andrea and a couple of others. Finally at 3pm we held the first auditions for the Radio Play. Then at 5pm, Opening Ceremonies. A welcome to fans and guests. The Fan Guest of Honor Award went to Karine Charlebois, for years of dedicated (never-miss) Gathering attendance, con-chairing Montreal's Gathering (pregnant no-less) and being such an amazing fan artist that she is now a pro, pencilling Gargoyles #5 and the Bad Guys Mini-series. Susan Leonard, co-conchair of G2008 in Chicago spoke, and sent regrets from her well-but-recently hospitalized co-conchair Ellen Stolfa. Then I got up and did my schpiel, including the old promo's and pitches (for Gargoyles, New Olympians & Dark Ages) and a couple of animatics: Bad Guys and "The Last". Vashkoda has done an amazing job at continuing to put this "episode" together. Then it was mini-golf with Mike and Tracy and Susan. I got the top score on my team, but Sarah the Great on the other team, beat me handily. Then Dinner at Huck Finn's Catfish. I had fried chicken. Good stuff. Back to the hotel to try and get some work done, but the hotel connection, which only works in the lobby kept shutting down. Then Jennifer, Seth, Sammy, Tony, Andrea and myself talked on the balcony overlooking the pool. Then I went back to my room. Should have Spidey'd it up then too, but I was too beat. So I watched some tv and then went to sleep.
MORE TO COME...