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Ashley AkA NeoGold2000 writes...

Hey Greg.

Max Steel is my fav show, and I've been watching it sense the first season. My question is:

Is Josh's last name McGrath -or- Geraurd? Because I was watcing the show and Max groaned about "Another Geraurd" When he was on vacation with Laura

Greg responds...

His last name is McGrath.

Guerard is his English Lit professor. When he said "another Guerard" he was referring to the Prof. And in fact these other Guerard's turned out to be his professor's sons.

Sorry, if that wasn't clear. (Did you miss the first few minutes?)

Response recorded on September 21, 2000

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Laura 'ad astra' Ackerman writes...

I while back I asked about the Ntek company emblem in Max Steel, a thumbs-up. I noticed it had four digits, namely 3 fingers and a thumb and asked if it was a Gargoyles reference or in-joke. You nit picked on my grammar and asked if I was saying a thumb had four digits. Here is take two- that hand with four digits instead of the human average of 5- were you having fun there, or was that somebody else's doing.

Greg responds...

The logo was designed by Mattel before I got involved, so whatever it is, it's not a gargoyle in-joke.

Sorry about the nit-pick.

Response recorded on September 06, 2000

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MXONE writes...

Hiya, I was just surfin' around, and I found this. I had a couple questions.
1. Why'd ya have to make Mairot the DREAD spy?! I liked him!
2. Psycho is Josh's dad, isn't he?

Greg responds...

1. I liked him too. And in my continuity, he wasn't a Dread spy. He was going undercover. But I don't know what the new regime plans to do. If anything.

2. No. Not in my version of the show.

Response recorded on August 23, 2000

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Coyote the Bando writes...

Oh, and just for good measure, one Max Steel question based on something I noticed in your reply to the question about the production company ...

Was it a conscious decision to have all the episode titles in the first season begin with "S?" Or was that a pure fluke?

Greg responds...

Concscious. (that would have been one heck of a fluke.)

Response recorded on July 30, 2000

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Quickswitch writes...

Max Steel questions:

Hi mr. Weisman. By now, I learned that WB did not invite you to continue on Max Steel for the second season. How do feel about WB's decision? Do you know who will take over the show? Will you become a consultant for Max Steel, just like you were in Gargoyles: TGC?

I'm concerned about the show's future. It's all seem deja vu. The last time someone took over one of your show, it got pretty ugly...

Greg responds...

1. Originally, I was pissed off. Not so much that I wouldn't be doing the second season [because participating in the first season was so unpleasant], but because I wasn't being given the option of deciding for myself. Now, I'm just glad to be free of it. I don't miss it at all.

2. The new story editors are Tom Puggsley and Greg Klein. I know Tom. He's a good guy.

3. No. I have no involvement in the series now. In fact, this time no one even called to ask me what I had planned for the second season. They're on their own.

Response recorded on July 29, 2000

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Laura 'ad astra' writes...

Funny little thing I noticed: The thumbs up on the suits on Max Steel have four digits (three fingers and a thumb). Is that a coincidence or an in-joke?

Greg responds...

Thumbs have four digits?

Response recorded on July 27, 2000

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Whm writes...

Where can I get the "Max Steel" episodes and the descriptions of the episode?

Greg responds...

Well you can watch them Saturday mornings on the WB. You can also take a look at the Max Steel Archive on this site. And you can run a search on the internet.

As far as I know, the episodes are not available on home video.

Response recorded on July 26, 2000

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N-Tek Covert-Op writes...

Max Steel question:

Is it John Dread or John Dredd?

Greg responds...


Response recorded on July 26, 2000

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LEE ROBINSON writes...


Greg responds...

Max's real name is Josh McGrath. His biological parents were Big Jim and Molly McGrath. Molly died in a boating accident when Josh was two. Big Jim died (at least in my mind) on a mission when Josh was four. Josh was then adopted by Big Jim's best friend, Jefferson Smith, who is African-American.

Response recorded on July 26, 2000

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Mordavian Wraith writes...

Hi mr. Weisman

Yet another Max Steel question:

I saw the episode with the Chang and the decryp software ploy and I think it's one of best yet (don't know which title this episode is)!

I didn't understand where Max got the mask to breathe underwater, because Chang's goons would have found it on him earlier on the yatch.

Greg responds...

The episode was called "Seraphim". The mask was waiting for him under the water. There was a blinking beacon there to guide him to it.

Response recorded on July 26, 2000

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Emilie writes...

Dear Greg:
My question is actually regarding the t.v. series "Max Steel" and not "Gargoyles." (I have a few questions and someone referred me to this site.) My aunt is translating the cartoon series from English to French, but does not currently have any internet service. She does, however, need background information. She would like to know if the characters "Rachel Leeds," "Jeff," and "Roberto Martinez" were created just for the T.V. series or if they existed previously like Max Steel and Pyscho. If you could also give me the meaning to "Max probes," and any other additional information about the characters, it would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your help.
PS- I will check this website for a response, or you can email me at Puppyluv82@aol.com

Greg responds...


Sorry you and your aunt had to wait so long for a response.

Rachel, Jeff and 'Berto were all created for the show. Largely, so were Max and Psycho, though the toys existed.

Max Probes refers to the microscopic Nanotechnology robots that have altered Josh McGrath's body and given him his Max Steel powers.

As for additional info, I'm not sure what you need. If she's translating the scripts, the info should all be there. But feel free to ask me any other specific questions you have.

Response recorded on July 26, 2000

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Chapter XVIII: "The Mirror"

Story Editor: Brynne Chandler Reaves
Writer: Lydia C. Marano

Arguably the best single episode of the series. The animation is fluid, dynamic and very strong. The writing is sharp, even quite funny over and over. And yet, dramatically the story is still potent. It really advances the Goliath & Elisa romance arc. Changes Demona permanently. And introduces Puck -- and by extension, the entire third race: The Children of Oberon. All in a mere 22 minutes.

It's also very gratifying for me. A bit of a vindication. As you may have seen from the memos I wrote to Brynne & Lydia, there was some considerable resistance to the notion that none of the characters would notice their own personal change from one species to another. Most of my collaborators thought the idea was way too complicated to pull off. I argued that it might seem complex, but in fact it would play cleaner on screen -- and funnier and more directly to theme. In my mind, another title for this episode could have been -- had we already not been using it for our Werefox episode -- "Eye of the Beholder", because all the transformed characters really noticed was when someone else was "OTHER". Being a monster or being "normal" was based on their point of view, not any objective look in the mirror. [As it is, the title is the kind I like. Simple, objective and yet metaphoric. At one point, it was titled: "Mirror, Mirror". But we simplified it even more.]

But anyway, when the human Brooklyn, Lex and Broadway are confronted by "Gargoyles", the scene is an intentional mirror of the scene from AWAKENING, PART ONE where Brooklyn says, "If they think we're beasts and monsters..." Again, this is playing with the idea of "beasts and monsters" being merely in the eye of the beholder. The species have reversed, but the situation is exactly the same simply because the Trio remain in the minority. I suppose that's one thing that X-Men's mutants have in common with the Gargs. Both are a metaphor for being part of a minority. Feared almost automatically.

On the other hand, when Elisa is transformed, she believes that Goliath & Co. have been transformed into something like her. I think her immediate reaction is very telling about how she ALREADY felt about Goliath at that point. She's thrilled. She throws her arms about him. Now they're the same species. There's no impediment to their love. What's interesting is that if you stopped and asked Elisa under normal circumstances whether she would wish for Goliath to be transformed into a human, the answer would most certainly be "No." She knows that being a Gargoyle is fundamental to who he is. You can't change that without changing him -- and yet in that instant, in that unguarded moment, her desire to be with him overwhelms that rational knowledge. She's just happy.

At the museum, Elisa looks at herself in the mirror. She then moves, but the reflection holds. That was the idea of one of our board artists. A little clue that the mirror is magic. (It's not an animation error.)

Family Reactions #1

During that museum chase, my wife wanted to know why no alarms were going off. I figure Demona or the thieves just shut them off.

Erin didn't realize that that was Elisa dressed as a security guard at first. We were trying to withhold that information for a bit.

"Titania's Mirror", "The Children of Oberon", "Oberon sent me." We were laying groundwork to expand the entire series' base. But I don't know if back then I knew that much about what if anything I had planned specifically for Titania & Oberon.

Anymore than I knew then what I'd do with the "Dracula's Daughter" reference. But we try not to waste anything.

Coming up with that "Children of Oberon" name was a struggle. And so many people have asked me since whether or not Oberon is literally everyone's father, I almost regret landing on that choice. Our thought process is largely present in the episode when Goliath et al, go through various noms: Fair Folk, Dark Elves, Changelings, Shape-Shifters. Of course, at the time we were misusing the term Changeling. I think that was Odo's influence frankly, but I should have known better. I suggested "The Oberati". But the Reaves didn't care for that. I think they thought it sounded too much like an Italian sports car.

I do love the moment when Brooklyn cites Shakespeare's play as a sort of reference work on the Children. I hope we sent a few people to the library with that line. Did we?

I also love Hudson's line in response to Elisa's question: Are they real?

Hudson: "As real as I am, if the stories be true." It's full of delicious dramatic irony. If you can suspend belief on a bunch of gargoyles, then this shouldn't be a problem for you. I love things that work on multiple levels.

I also love Hudson's "Be careful what you wish for" line.

We were trying to show a bit here how Demona had managed to operate in the modern world up to this point. One of the thieves has clearly worked for Demona before without ever having laid eyes on her. Of course, showing Demona's M.O. here, was like giving it a swan song. Because after this episode, though she clearly doesn't realize it yet, her life is going to get MUCH easier. Being a human during the day is a great boon to all her scheming. I'm very curious about everyone's reaction to that? Shock? Amusement? I also tried to work very hard so that in that last two minutes of epilogue, everyone would get that she only was human during the day. I was very afraid that the audience would think she was permanently transformed into a human. Was anyone confused? Or was anyone surprised that Puck's revenge/gift STUCK? We wouldn't really explore the change until HIGH NOON. Had you forgotten about it by then?

Family Reactions #2
As Demona's casting the spell that will summon Puck. (Which I always thought was very cool, with the feather and all.)
Benny: "That's a magic mirror. Is Demona going in there?"
Erin: "Puck's gonna come out."

As I've mentioned before, during the writing of this story we figured out that Owen was Puck. So to play fair we dropped a hint here. Demona (who knows) says to Puck: "You serve the human. You can serve me." Puck changes the subject, replying "Humans [note the plural] have a sense of humor, you have none." This was done intentionally to distract the audience away from the hint we had just dropped. But obviously, in hindsight, it's a clear reference to Owen serving Xanatos. Anyone get it right off the bat? Anyone even take note of the line the first time? Originally, the line read, "You serve him, now you can serve me." With the "him" referring to Xanatos. But our S&P executive was afraid the "him" could be taken to mean Satan. I know that seems silly now. But keep in mind, we were very paranoid back then about the show being attacked for promoting devil worship. So we made the change.

Sensitive Broadway: "Maybe even love." It's a nice moment. Wistful.

Puck reminds Demona that the mirror isn't "Aladdin's lamp". At the time, the Aladdin series was still in production at Disney. So that's a bit of an in-joke.

And how about that: Demona is still carrying a torch for Goliath. On some level, she wants him more than almost anything. Yet she continually allows her hatred to get in the way. And the irony is, that at this point, pre-Vows it isn't yet too late for them. But her actions further serve to cement the Goliath/Elisa relationship. More now than ever before.

Puck/Brent Spiner is just fantastic. I love that "charming personality" line. And "You don't know what you're asking, believe me." And "I'll do EXACTLY as you asked." And "My mistake." And "A very long nap." He's just so rich.

Plus the boarding and animation on Puck is just great. As is the sound work that accompanies him zipping around.

I always wanted Puck to be the one character who could break the fourth wall and talk directly to the audience. Every time he appeared, we'd put a line or two in the script that was addressed to the audience. And every time, Frank or Dennis Woodyard would cut it out of the board. They didn't like breaking the fourth wall. (A lot of guys don't. I tried to do that with Max on Max Steel, but Richard Raynis and Jeff Kline wouldn't allow that either.) Oh, well....

Puck also establishes that Oberon's Children generally use rhyming spells instead of Latin or Hebrew or whatever. (Thus making life slightly -- but ONLY slightly -- easier on me and the writers.) But Puck isn't too formal: "Human's love a battle hearty, so does Puck, come on, let's Party!" Fun. (And I like Brooklyn's line, "Party's over." too.)

Family Reactions #3
When Elisa's transformed into a gargoyle.

Erin: "She looks cute." [I very much agree. Though I always wonder where her red jacket goes.]

Ben then asked why she was transformed.

Beth explained that Demona didn't want Elisa to be human anymore.

Erin then corrects my wife and explains that Puck is tricking Demona.

KIDS GET IT! Adults need to pay closer attention!

Goliath suddenly has lust in his heart:
G: "I never realized when you were human just how beautiful you were."
E (with a smile): "You mean you thought I was ugly?"
G: "Uh... careful! Updraft!!"
Man, that guy is smooth.

Anyway, that's one of my all-time favorite exchanges. I think it reveals so much. Somewhere underneath, Goliath has been attracted to who Elisa IS deep-down -- at least since AWAKENING, PART THREE. But he never thought of her as a potential love interest. He wasn't brought up liberally enough to think that way. After all, she has no wings, no tail. And those human shaped feet!

But suddenly, she's revealed as a FEMALE. Now, even when she goes back to being human, his perspective is permanently altered. Hers, however, is not. She's already consciously had those thoughts. Consciously rejected them. So at the end of the episode, he wants to discuss these (for him) new feelings -- but she does not. And the sun helps shut him up.
G: "That's not what I meant."
E: "But that's the way it is."
Another of my all-time favorite exchanges. (I'm really partial to things involving the G/E relationship. I know, I know, I'm a romantic sap.]

I also like the ongoing confusion. Elisa: "Everyone in Manhattan has been turned into... HUMANS!" Goliath: "No, no, no, no, no." And when the Gargoyles are changed into humans, Brooklyn is so sure that they've always been humans, it's funny. Like that moment in CITY OF STONE, when he's convinced that the "statue of Elisa" is a bad likeness of her: "They got the nose wrong."

FYI, there was an honest attempt, within the logical parameters of what our gargs looked like, to make their human versions resemble the actors who played them. Thus Goliath has darker skin than the others, because Keith David is African-American. (Though otherwise Goliath really looks like Conan to me.) The bald Lex has brown hair and the bald Broadway has blond like Thom Adcox and Bill Fagerbakke respectively. Brooklyn resembles Jeff Bennett but with Brooklyn's white hair instead of Jeff's blond. And Hudson looks like Ed Asner with a beard. More or less. Thom Adcox is the one who most looked like the human version of his character.

Cool little touches:

Demona nudges an unconscious Puck with her tail.

She continues to call Hudson, "Old Soldier". Her tenth century "name" for him.

Her line about the "gift of being a gargoyle". I love that superior attitude.

Lexington's "Fun, but weird" line.

Hudson wrapping the sheet over the mirror.

Elisa and Demona have a brief "cat-fight" as Gargoyles. Not quite as diverting as the one they'll have as humans in High Noon. But it was nice to put them on equal physical footing for a change. Let them have it out.

Demona mentions that Puck isn't too tired to make himself "invisible to the crowd". This was us trying to plug a hole in our story. We felt it would undercut the mob's reactions to our newly human heroes if they had the same reaction to seeing Puck. And yet Puck clearly looks more human than Gargoyle. More "other". So we slid that line in to avoid the whole problem.


Beth laughed at Hudson's very Scots reading of "No doubt about it." Which is pronounced more like: "No doot aboot it."

More sappy stuff (which I love):

Goliath's line: "I'll always be there to catch you."

Elisa completely forgetting her fear of flying in order to save the MAN she loves.

That brief moment when both Elisa and Goliath are humans at the same time.

Hudson's wistful line about seeing the sun, just once.

Although it had little to do with the metaphor, we couldn't really resist the notion of showing Bronx transformed into a dog. We picked the biggest dog we could think of, a Wolfhound type, though a bulldog might have been more reminiscent.

In the script, Demona smashes the mirror upon seeing her human reflection in the glass. But somehow the scene never got animated. So we added the sound of the mirror being smashed to the exterior shot at the end. This was important in order to give the story full closure. The initial point of the episode was to prevent Demona from getting Titania's Mirror. Structurally, therefore, I couldn't allow her to keep it.

But no fear, later we introduced Oberon's Mirror (clearly part of a matching set) in THE GATHERING, PART ONE.

I wonder what all those Manhattanites thought when suddenly they realized they were all barefoot.

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jp12@mail.csuchico.edu writes...

I love the show. I can't watch it here in Chico, Ca. But, your work with villians is great. One vision for 2 seasons is very rare.
1. How much does it cost to produce 66 episodes?
2. Does it vary much for different studios/companies?
3. Any way I can get some of the material you show at the gathering? NY is pretty far from CA. I can't afford the trip.
4. What do you feel is your best work (not a specific "1", but things you'd recommend)?
5. I know and like Max Steel. Anything else you're working on now (even single episode plots)?

Thanks for listening. If you're even half as busy as I am, you'd be pressed to answer these in a timely manner. I'm glad just to hope for a response eventually.

Best Wishes, John Peacock
P.S.: Gargoyles is one of the few shows I'd be proud to watch with children. Hope yours keeps enjoying it.

Greg responds...

1. We averaged between 400K and 500K per episode in the first two years. The third year had, I believe, a lower budget.

2. I'm not sure what you mean.

3. New York isn't that far from Orlando, Florida -- which is where this year's Gathering is. (Next year's is in California.) And where were you during the TWO NYC Gatherings in 97 and 98? Anyway, what material did you have in mind?

4. On Gargoyles or period? Gargoyles is my best work. I'm fond of Starship Troopers and the comic book Captain Atom too.

5. I just completed voice directing a Japanese Anime video series called 3x3 Eyes. It should be available in September.

Response recorded on July 24, 2000

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Robert Vigue writes...

We Recently Started Watching and Taping Max Stell on Kids WB, But they do not do Subtittles on the show, We have all the subtittles written down but it is hard to match them up with certain Episodes, Do you know any website or a list somewhere that tell what each Episode is about with the apropiate subtittle, My E-Mail Adress is FHawk00003@AOL.com
If you could help us that would be great, or if you know someone that would know.

Greg responds...

Uh, no, I rarely have website info. And I'm not sure what you mean? Subtitles, like close-captioning? Or episode titles?

If it's the latter, here's a primer, I guess...


#1 Strangers. The Pilot. Max Steel (aka Josh McGrath) is in Berlin when his partner Rachel Leeds and the entire Reichstag conference disappears. Max (with the help of 'Berto Martinez) helps Rachel and the others escape from freelance mercenary L'Étranger.

#2 Sacrifices. Josh's foster-father and boss Jefferson Smith is kidnapped by Psycho (aka Smiley), John Dread's right hand cyborg.

#3 Shadows. Paris is suffering from mysterious blackouts, as is Max, who's also flashing back to his origin.

#4 Sportsmen. Josh quits the Del Oro Extreme, but when mysterious lightning threatens the Triple Threat competition, Max Steel is forced to enter the contest.

#5 Seraphim. N-Tek agents Max Steel and Sophia Skarsgaard infiltrate the Cyberdragon organization in order to recover a stolen computer disk and keep it out of the hands of Dragonelle and Dread.

#6 Spear-Carriers. Team Steel gets a new mobile base of operations, but it's stolen with 'Berto trapped inside.

#7 Snow-Blind. Josh and his friends Laura Chen and Pete Costas vacation in Aspen, while Dread and Psycho plot to use the Bio-Link to kidnap Max and destroy Del Oro Bay.

#8 Sharks. Max and Rachel are on a tense undersea plutonium salvage mission aboard the N-Tek sub shark. But they have competition from L'Étranger. Plus Josh has to come to terms with his mother's death.

#9 Sabres. Max and Jake Nez attempt to salvage N-Tek's orbiting space station. But Psycho and Vitriol have other ideas.

#10 Sphinxes. Max, 'Berto and Rachel travel to Egypt to uncover Dragonelle and Dread's latest plot against world peace.

#11 Swashbucklers. Spring Break for Josh and Laura translates into a little pirate adventure for Max Steel. This one has Earthquakes.

#12 Scions. This one has volcanos. Plus a flashback adventure with Josh's biological father, Big Jim McGrath.

#13 Shattered. The final (for the season) showdown between N-Tek and Dread. Del Oro Bay. New York. Munich. Explosions. Fungus. And practically the entire cast. This one's got it all.

(It sort of embarrasses me that I'm so facile at the above.)

Response recorded on July 11, 2000

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Cookie writes...

I've been watching the Max Steel series and I'm rather curious why his features are different in #9 & 10 than they were in the first episodes. Could you offer any insight? Thanks!!!

Greg responds...

Actually, his features in #9 shouldn't be ANY different from the first episodes.

NETTER DIGITAL animated episodes 1-4 and 9.

FOUNDATION IMAGING animated episodes 5-8 and 10-13.

That's why the characters look slightly different in some episodes.

Response recorded on July 10, 2000

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Raseirian Captain writes...

Max Steel questions:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the episodes I've seen so far, all the guards of Psycho and l'Étranger appear to be women. Am I wrong? If not, then why?

If they are indeed women, this amuse me a bit, since Max Steel is essentially meant for boy audience and sometimes people complaint that there not enough girls in a boy show.

Greg responds...

Yes, you're wrong.

Psycho has Dread Minions. Male and female. You haven't been paying very close attention if you didn't notice that. Even their voices are male and female.

In the pilot, L'Étranger was working for Dread and also used male and female Dread Minions.

In "Sharks" (the submarine episode), L'Étranger was no longer working for Dread. And indeed, in this one episode only, he used ONLY female "SIRENS". This is the only episode in the entire first season, where that was the case. (In some later episodes, FOUNDATION erred and used the Sirens interchangably with female DREAD MINIONS, but there were always Male Dread Minions about -- in Dread episodes that is. Chang, Breamer and Carreras each had their own troops.)

As for why, I just thought that the romantic L'Étranger would want to surround himself with women.

Response recorded on July 10, 2000

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Ambrosia writes...

As long as I'm here...
What gives with Max Steel?
You'd said Snow-Blind was supposed to air today, but it was a rerun of... Shadows? The good news is, I heard that line: "I can see the Berlin Wall from here." I'd missed it last time. I think it made Max look more dumb than it did you, Greg. :)
Anyways, since you'd said just yesterday that Snow-Blind was going to air, did they do that without letting you know? The bums.
*Regardless*... I love the show! Particularly the ep that just repeated. Berto's so cool. Chess-boy.
"'Swell' comes to mind, but then English isn't my first language."
Yet another triumph, Greg and crew!
see ya around!

Greg responds...

I'm glad you liked it. At some point I completely lost track of when and where they were airing which episodes. It may be that after they decided not to bring me back for the second season (but before they told me) they sort of kept me out of the loop for obvious reasons.

Response recorded on July 10, 2000

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Entity writes...

Hi Greg,

I just wanted to say that, in regards to Max Steel, I am outraged by what WB is doing to the series episode order. I've not yet seen the show (though by the time you see this, that very well may change) but the fact that the episode order is causing problems demonstrates to me that it has a structure, and isn't just some random, ep-to-ep series (though how could I suspect otherwise from you?).

Something just like this happened to "Crusade," the short-lived spin-off series to "Babylon 5." TNT, the network upon which it aired, felt the need to literally RUIN the show by messing with the episode order. If you know anything about "Babylon 5" you know about the highly-structured plotline, and that carried over to "Crusade" in a large part. I believe it was because of TNT that the show failed.

I hope the same fate doesn't befall "Max Steel." Why do networks buy shows that they know to be structured - presumably a trait they were attracted to - only to mess it up?

I guess networks are just not changing with the times, which are leaning more towards continuity in television shows. But you'd think they would at least have the decency to reject a show, rather than accept it and then twist it.

Greg responds...

Actually, you can't put all the blame for the episode ordering problems on the Network. Netter Digital did not deliver all the episodes on time. Certain episodes that weren't already in the works with Netter were pulled away and given to Foundation. Than other episodes wound up being pulled away. This resulted, just as an example, in episode #6 being the last out of the thirteen to be completed. WB couldn't air it in order unless they were prepared to air months of reruns with no new episodes until May. They obviously were not prepared to do that.

Now there may be times where Networks, including the WB, DO chose to air episodes out of order. But this isn't exactly one of those times. Not really.

Response recorded on July 10, 2000

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Zeliard writes...

Max Steel, N-Tek questions:

1.About N-Tek, I figured they are fully autonomus: they have their own resources, techonology, information network, etc.
However, who created N-Tek and for whom they work for?

2.What are there main objectives besides countering terrorists?

3.Is N-Tek known to the general public?

4.What are the power and influence of N-Tek compare to other agencies like CIA, FBI, KGB, etc?

Thanks, love the show and the CGI.

Greg responds...

Well, I can only comment on what my plans would have been. I have no involvement in the second season. No idea what they have in mind. They certainly haven't asked me what I had planned, so there's no way they can know. So what I right here may not reflect the series as it ends up. But...

1. N-Tek was founded by Marco Nathanson as a response to the terrorist attack on the 1972 Olympic Games. It is an anti-terrorist organization chartered by the United Nations.

2. That's the only real objective.

3. Only as a sporting goods company.

4. N-Tek is more international in scope than any specific nation's intelligence agency. It's only motivation is to save lives. No politics involved.

Response recorded on July 10, 2000

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Anonymous writes...

Hey Greg

Is there a reason that so far all the Max Steel Episodes have started with an 'S'?

Thanks! *runs*

Greg responds...


Response recorded on July 10, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

Oh, and this is a little "general response" to "Max Steel", since my initial comments on the pilot episode also got lost in the crash.

I haven't fully made up my mind about it. On the one hand, the genre (secret agent-type adventure) isn't as much my personal piece of cake as the genre (urban fantasy with medieval connections) of "Gargoyles" was, so I haven't gotten as much into "Max Steel" so far. But I do think that it's quite well-written, with a good job on the conflicts that the hero has to face between his everyday life as Josh McGuire and his Max Steel role. My favorite part in it so far, however, has been the scenes involving the "mastermind villain" (Dredd, I believe his name was), who's got that same "calmly logical" quality that I found so appealing in Xanatos; I like how he responds to defeat in that very philosophical fashion. (In "Strangers", when discovering that L'Etrange's attempt to kidnap the German government for him failed, he just says with a shrug, "My fault, for entrusting such an important assignment to free-lancers", and in "Sphinxes", his commentary on the whole adventure at the Pyramids at the end definitely sounds Xanatosian, as he dwells on what they succeeded at and not what they failed at. I'm finding this element very appealing, not just because of its Xanatos-reminiscent style, but also because I rather like that kind of villain in general.

Greg responds...

Yeah, Dread is very Xanatosian (or rather both of them are quite Eiling-esque). I was bothered by that for awhile. Like I wasn't being original. But the truth is I had plans for Dread that would have clearly set him apart from Xanatos. (Plans that I won't be executing now.) And at any rate, I agree with you. That's the kind of villain I like. One I can respect.

And it's Josh McGrath, by the way, not McGuire.

Response recorded on July 10, 2000

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Coldplasma writes...

Max Steel questions:

1.In the first episode of Max Steel, I noticed the reference to "biting the knee caps off". It was amusing to see that, at least for us Gargoyles fans :-) Will all the Max Steel episodes have references to Gargoyles, just like Futurama has reference to The Simpsons?

2.What company created the CGI Max Steel? Is it the same that did Roughnecks? These are the best CGI I've seen so far. The hair detail and the backgrounds are very well made.

Greg responds...

1. I doubt I slipped a garg reference into EVERY episode of Max. For starters, you want those things to be fairly organic. If they're forced they're not funny, even to those in the know. They're just labored. And besides, for those not in the know they'd stick out like a soar thumb.

But trust me, there are a number of Garg references, though to be fair, the one you cite above is really a Monty Python reference common to both shows.

The fun thing was slipping garg in-jokes into our English dubbing of 3x3 Eyes. Once both volumes are out on video and dvd, I'm gonna hold a contest here to see who can find the most garg references in that one. Some slap you in the face and are pretty funny. Some are much more subtle.

2. Two different companies worked on Max Steel. The first was Netter Digital. They did episodes 1-4 and 9. That's "Strangers", "Sacrifices", "Shadows", "Sportsmen" and "Sabres". Then Netter and Sony had a parting of the ways. And Foundation Imaging, which did the bulk of the Roughneck/Starship Troopers episodes took over for 5-8 ("Seraphim", "Spear-Carriers", "Snow-Blind" and "Sharks") and 10-13 ("Sphinxes", "Swashbucklers", "Scions" and "Shattered").

But I'm afraid I can't agree with your glowing assesment of the CGI. Generally, I think Starship Troopers is MUCH stronger.

Response recorded on June 23, 2000

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Stephen R. "Coldstone" Sobotka, Jr. writes...

Greetings Greg!

To reply to you answer on my "Max Steel" question on 2-23-200:

Some time ago - around mid-1980's or so - Tonka (or Mattel) released a toy line called "Max Steel's Robo-Force"; basicly a series of cylindrical, claw-armed robots whose major gimick was you could attach them to any flat surface via a suction-cup. They had good guys and bad guys, and I assumed there was to be a show made for them, but the toy line never really took off. (This was during the time when shows like "Transformers", "GoBots" and the like were very popular.)

Now for a question:

If you've ever read the book "Planet X" (a Star Trek:TNG/X-Men crossover novel) then you should understand this query: If you ever got around to writing novels or making a graphic novel with Gargoyles in it, would you ever consider doing a crossover story that pits the Gargoyles with another group of characters from another licensed universe of characters (with the creator's permission of course)?

P.S. - Here's to seeing you in Orlando (if I'm lucky enough to get down there). Maintain and Check Six!

Greg responds...

Hey, Stephen, hope to see you right back.

I've never read Planet X. Frankly, it sounds awful. I can't think of two universes less suitable for crossover than Trek and X-Men. As for whether I'd consider it... the answer is maybe. First, I'd love the chance just to be doing garg stuff sans crossovers. (I've got enough ideas to crossover on my own, including New Olympians, Bad Guys, Pendragon, etc.) Then it would depend on what universe exactly we were trying to cross with. Some might be good fits. Some would not. Then the method of crossover would matter too.

As for Max Steel, it sounds like that's where Mattel got access to the name. Nothing else similar. And I'd never heard of it.

Response recorded on June 21, 2000

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Greg Weisman Update

As promised, here's a little update on what's been going on in my professional life...

The first season (all thirteen episodes) of MAX STEEL have been completed. I've lost track of how many have aired. I think they turned out pretty good. At any rate, the show is a success and will be back for a second season. Unfortunately, I won't be. The WB didn't invite me to produce/edit/write season two. So you can forget about any long term plans/arcs I had for the series. Still, I wish the show well. (After all, it'll still carry my "Developed By" credit.)

In other news, today I finished recording all of the two volume (seven episode) video anime series 3X3 EYES. I think we assembled a terrific cast for the English dub. Here's a complete list:

Christian Cambell* as Yakumo Fujii
Brigitte Bako^ as Pai/Sanjiyan/Pabo Ayanokoji/Parvati/Howasho

Thom Adcox^* as Monkey
Edward Asner^* as Grandpa Ayanokoji
Earl Boen as Benares
Leslie Boone as Ken-Ken
Susan Chesler as Lee Ling-Ling
Bill Faggerbakke^ as Steve Long
Elisa Gabrielli^ as the Doll Demon
Jean Gilpin* as Mrs. Wong/Xunquai
Taliesin Jaffe as the Frog Demon and Feihong
William Katt as Tinzin
Mia Korf* as Natsuko
Ralph Lister as Choukai
Erin Matthews as Mei-Shin Long
Yuji Okumoto* as Chou and Naparva
Gregg Rainwater^* as Jake MacDonald
Dina Sherman as Dawn and Ran-Pao-Pao
Rick Simone as Tatsuya
Keith Szaribajka* as Professor Fujii and Ryouko
Rosie Taravella as Grandma Ayanokoji
Greg Weisman^ as Hide

and Keith David^ in a roll so rocking, I can't reveal it here. :)

* indicates a Voice Actor I worked with on MAX STEEL.
^ indicates a Voice Actor I worked with on GARGOYLES.

Anyway, the voices are all recorded. I've got three mix sessions left to do. I should be done in a week or so, at which point -- I'm unemployed.

Or nearly. I'm still teaching the animation writing course through UCLA extension. That's been a lot of fun and it keeps me pretty busy. Plus I'm working on writing a spec screenplay with my brother. And I go on the occasional job interview.

All this means is that it looks like I'll soon have plenty of time to dive back into ASK GREG. At one point we were closing in on completely catching up. Now we're over three months behind. But I'll try to make some fast progress. We've now got Todd Jensen helping Gorebash out to keep the site current, so that should help us avoid the "Nothing in queue" problems that were slowing us up before.

And I hope to see most of you at Gathering 2000 this August. It should be a GREAT con this year. I'll be there with Thom Adcox plus my wife and kids. We'll have new and special treats from Gargoyles, 3x3 Eyes and another EXCLUSIVE radio play event -- something that I guarantee you won't want to miss. Plus Disneyworld is a shuttle ride away. Make your reservations now.

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More Max

For some reason the WB chose to air a Max Steel rerun last week instead of the already completed episode 7. This week (i.e. Saturday 4/21) they're skipping 7 again to air episode 10 (I think).

Episode 10 was written by former Garg writer/story editor Gary Sperling. Its title is "Sphinxes".

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Max Update...

Queue is still empty...

Meanwhile, Max Steel episode #7 airs this Saturday. It's called "Snow-Blind" and was written by Mike Ryan. This continues Sony/WB's current tradition of airing the durn things in REVERSE order.

For those keeping track, the following episodes have aired in the following bizarre order:

#1 - "Strangers"
#3 - "Shadows"
#2 - "Sacrifices"
#4 - "Sportsmen"
#9 - "Sabres"
#8 - "Sharks"
#7 - "Snow-Blind"

#10 should follow shortly. It features the villain Dragonelle. After that #5 will air, which INTRODUCES Dragonelle.

This is how my life is running these days.

Maybe someday the WB will air them all in order.

But I wouldn't count on it.

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Zeliard writes...

We got Max Steel in Teletoon, Canada! I saw a preview and must say, I can't wait to see rest of the show!

Greg responds...

Hope you like it!

Response recorded on April 07, 2000

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Belated warning...

For those of you following MAX STEEL on the WB...

This past Saturday, episode nine "Sabres" aired. (This is the one largely set on a space station.) It was written by Cary Bates.

And yes, it was supposed to be the ninth episode. But instead it aired fifth.

So far we've aired...

#1 "Strangers"
#3 "Shadows"
#2 "Sacrifices"
#4 "Sportsmen"
#9 "Sabres"

And, yes.... ARGGHHHHH!!!!

Anyway, next up this coming Saturday (4/8) is episode #8, "Sharks", written by Katherine Fugate.

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MAX STEEL 104: "Sportsmen"

The fourth episode of Max Steel airs tomorrow morning on the WB (in order for a rare change).

It's called "Sportsmen" and was written by Jon Weisman.

It features a few guest voice actors that might be familiar to you guys.

Cam Clark for starters, the voice of Erik Sturluson and Young Gillecomgain.

And oh, yeah, a couple of guys named Adcox and Bennett. (Tried to get Faggerbakke, but he was unavailable.)

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Max update

The "second" episode of Max Steel, "Sacrifices", should air this Saturday morning on the WB (check local listings).

For those hopeless few attempting to keep track continuity-wise, this one was designed to fit between the two you've already seen, i.e. after the pilot episode (set in Berlin) and before the origin/flashback episode (set largely in Paris).

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Chapter IX: "Enter Macbeth"

Another episode by episode ramble. Feedback encouraged.

So here's where all that great continuity got us in major trouble.

The episodes were all designed to play in a certain order. But I didn't tell my bosses that in advance. I know it sounds sneaky, but it wasn't really. We wrote the darn things and sent them off in order. It never occured to me they wouldn't be able to come back and air in order. I mean, how could a newer episode get the jump on an older one? How could an older episode not be ready before a newer one? Then the footage came back on "Enter Macbeth".

This was the first episode not animated in Japan. And immediately we knew we were in trouble. I'm not talking about the version you all have seen. The one that aired. I'm talking about stuff you never saw. Much of the original footage we got was unusable. This wasn't about just calling retakes. This wasn't about us bitching how "Thrill" wasn't as well animated as "Awakening". This was a major disaster. So my bosses said: "Air the next one." And I responded, "We can't."

And not just because they were all designed to air in order. It was a horrible coincidence, but this episode, this episode that was unairable, was a tentpole. Yeah, if Thrill or Temptation had been reordered it would have been sad. Same with "The Edge" and "Long Way To Morning". But big deal, right? Better to get a new episode out and not make the audience deal with repeats this early in the season. (Remember, we had aired our first five episodes in one week. This was only week five. In those days, week five was considered way too early in the year for reruns.)

But this was the follow-up to Elisa's injury. It was important to us that we continue our policy of "repercussions". We put her on crutches to show that a gunshot wasn't something that was solved in twenty-two minutes. This was an ongoing recovery. If you pulled the crutches out by airing Edge next, you blew out the sense of repercussions.

But that wasn't the clincher. Of course, the clincher was the Clock Tower. This was the episode where the Gargs were "banished" from the castle and moved to the Clock Tower. That was a major shift. If we cut straight to Edge, the audience would be lost. Fortunately, Gary was convinced. In a way, I was lucky that our first crisis of order came on such a pivotal "tentpole" episode. We couldn't reorder these. So we went with reruns. But it was a lesson learned. And it would effect the way we approached the second season.

But meanwhile, we had the problem at hand. We couldn't reanimate the entire show. So we picked shots to redo judiciously. There are still some awful looking scenes. When Goliath says, "How Dare You?!" to Elisa, he looks like an Animaniacs parody of Goliath. And that sarcophogus/iron maiden thing that Goliath follows Macbeth through looks like a prop out of CHIP N DALE'S RESCUE RANGERS. (Another perfectly good series, but with a slightly different art style, if you know what I mean.) Or how about the GIANT remote that Macbeth pulls from his duster in order to summon his ship? "Enter Macbeth" is still, as aired, the worst looking episode of the first season. And that really killed Frank and I, because we both really loved this story. We were sure that the bad animation would kill any interest in Macbeth. The fact that generally, the character did catch hold of fandom's collective imagination is a true testament to the work of Steve Perry, Michael Reaves, John Rhys-Davies and Jamie Thomason. And, oh, yes... William Shakespeare.

The weak picture forced us to use a lot of little tricks to get a final cut. One thing we did, which I regret, is reuse dialogue. Elisa says "You aren't safe here" like three times. And it isn't three different takes. It's just the exact same take reprinted and reused. Lex & Brooklyn also reuse lines to get Bronx to find Goliath. That sort of thing drives me nuts.

There is one really nice moment in the animation. When Macbeth chooses his sword off the wall, the reflection effect is quite sweet. And I also like the down shot of Bronx running right down the middle of Broadway (the street not the gargoyle). I also love how Goliath makes no attempt to hide. That really spoke to the Gargoyles attitude about living among humans. They wouldn't hold press conferences, but they would not cower.

Anyway, we ran reruns. Awakenings. And obviously all five episodes on five consecutive weeks. That might have been a good thing for people who had heard about the show by word of mouth in week two or later and needed to catch up. But for anyone who had been following the show from its premiere, it was a long time to wait for new episodes. By the time we came back, so much time had passed since "Deadly Force" that we felt the need to put a "Previously on Gargoyles" at the head of the episode. Another trick I cribbed from HILL STREET BLUES. Cartoons rarely did that sort of thing. Sure multi-parters had to. But single episodes... For some reason, it made me feel very grown up. (Which only proves how immature I really am.) The "Previously" also allowed us to cut 30 more seconds of bad looking footage out of the episode. That little bonus was something I'd remember for season two as well.


As we pushed guns in the previous episode, this one is laced with the imagery and language of home. What is it? What makes it? What price is one willing to pay to keep or secure it? There are four homes depicted. Well, really five. The Gargoyles' castle. Xanatos' prison. Macbeth's mansion. The Clock Tower. And the Castle again, once it is reclaimed by Xanatos and thus becomes a very, very different place.

I tried to make sure, as much as possible, that every episode had that kind of underlying theme. (I recently tried with very limited success to do the same thing in MAX STEEL. Someone asked me once, why the one-word S-Titles for all the Max Steel episodes. They were my attempt to make me and the writers focus on the theme of each story.)

And how do all these homes turn out? Macbeth is so obsessed that he loses his home to a fire. Xanatos finally gets out of prison. (Not on Halloween by the way, or that would make the dates depicted in Double Jeopardy innacurate. Obviously, Halloween was circled on his calendar because the guy just loves Halloween. And after all, Owen specifically says in a LATER scene that Xanatos has one week left before he gets out. The wall calendar had shown only a few days.) The Gargoyles lose the castle, gain the clock tower, but realize that home is literally where the heart is. And Xanatos... well all other concerns of Grimorum and gargoyle of destruction and competition pale next to the simple pleasure of being back home.

And how many of you were suprised that the Gargoyles lost the castle? That was supposed to be another pretty shocking development. I mean, sure, Batman might lose the Batcave for an episode, but for 56 episodes? When Goliath said "We'll be back to claim that which is ours" at the end, did most of you think he'd be back next week? Next month? By the time, the gang finally did return in chapter 65, did anyone still remember Goliath's vow?


I've discussed this before, but Macbeth's origins (at least in terms of our series) were (ironically) an early attempt to play the notion of THE HUNTER. I was looking for someone human who could physically take on the Gargoyles as prey. Someone smart, with an agenda. We actually started with the notion of trying to create our own KRAVEN THE HUNTER type character. But it quickly moved in its own direction. Frankly, away from Kraven and more toward BATMAN. In those days, we were constantly being told that we would be accused of ripping off Batman. So Frank, Michael and I decided to create a villain who, at least in M.O. would be our Batman.

I had a semi-separate idea to add a human to the cast who was from Goliath's time. Thus creating a good thematic nemesis or opposite for him. (The key to creating a good villain, in my opinion.) But this villain would have lived through the centuries. So that he was familiar with the very latest in technology. This dove-tailed with our anti-Batman, and was also exactly how we viewed Demona. So it soon became clear to Michael and I that the two characters must be connected in some way. That suggested that he shouldn't merely be 1000 years old. He should be Scottish as well. All that was left was a name. And given my love of Shakespeare, I'm surprised it took me so long to figure it out. Our nemesis was Macbeth himself. An immortal Scottish King. What Scottish King was more immortal than Macbeth? More mortal too for that matter.

This was the beginning of countless Shakespearian references that I would either slide (or force) into the show, or that the writers would stick in knowing I was a sucker for them. And I love the little exchange between Lex & Brooklyn...

[dialogue approximate]
LEX: "Wasn't "Macbeth" the name of that play by that new writer Shakespeare that Goliath was talking about?"

BROOKLYN: "Have you read it?"

LEX: "No. Have you?"

BROOKLYN: "No. But maybe we should."

This was my little way of trying to encourage our viewers to read or at least learn about the play. If they wanted to know who Macbeth was, it wouldn't hurt to go to the primary source.

And at the time, Shakespeare was my primary source for Macbeth. This was long before Tuppence Macintyre and Monique Beatty did all their research for me for "City of Stone". Back then, the only Macbeth I knew about was Shakespeare's.

We gave him a sense of honor, but a twisted one. And we gave him a very interesting motivation. I didn't yet know the particulars, but this guy was after Demona in a major way. He had stained glass windows in his home depicting the two of them. He was the man who named her. It was all pretty intriguing stuff to me. I love the exchange between him and Goliath. Goliath is a pawn. Mac wants the queen and believes that endangering Goliath is the surest way to ensnare Demona. And how does Goliath respond? By gum, if he doesn't laugh -- MANIACALLY!! And watch how the tables turn. Macbeth is not infallible and suddenly Goliath has him on the defensive. Goliath even uses a MACE!! Great stuff.

Incidentally, we had in the script described Macbeth as wearing a thin layer of exo-armor. And Goliath was supposed to dig his claws into it. Macbeth would escape by detaching from the armor. Instead, the artists did the bit with the duster coat. But I remembered the claws in armor thing and eventually found a place for it... in HUNTER'S MOON, PART THREE.

Finally, watching the episode tonight, my five year old daughter said she spotted the Mona Lisa on Macbeth's wall. I didn't see it. But I believe her. And I wouldn't be at all surprised if that was the original. Too bad about that fire.

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A quick Max Steel update...

Last Friday and Saturday, the Max Steel pilot, episode #1: "Strangers" aired on the WB... twice.

Unfortunately, the rest won't be airing in order. For a change, this isn't being caused by some bizarre scheduling perversion. The truth is that episode #2 isn't ready yet. Almost. But not quite.

So instead, this coming Saturday (March 4) the WB will present episode #3: "Shadows", written by Lydia Marano.

As the writer of episode #1, I do want to point out that I do know that the Berlin Wall was torn down over a decade ago. After Max says, "I can see the Berlin Wall from here." He was supposed to listen to 'Berto and say, "Oh, right. Some other wall then." I haven't been participating in the post-production on this series, so I'm not entirely sure why the second line was cut. And normally, I wouldn't mention it. But I think it makes me look like an idiot. So I'm gonna be petty and set the record straight.

I will say that the "Developed by" credit I get on the opening titles is without a doubt the COOLEST-LOOKING credit I've ever had.

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Stephen R. "Coldstone" Sobotka, Jr. writes...

Hi Greg! Even though this may not get seen for a while, I had to submit it anyway... so here's a comment and a question:

First, I find it wild that Gummi Bears were one of your major influnces. I can only assume you're talking about the candy or the animated show, for that I wish I could show you the one story I wrote that crosses Gummis with another group of characters... well, you fill in the rest. :)

Now, my question: You mentioned a series called Max Steel that you've been working on. Is this in any relation to a toy line called "Max Steel's Robo Force", or is this something completely different?

Anyway, will talk at you later! Maintain and Check Six!

Greg responds...

I was of course referring to the Disney TV series, not the candy.

Max Steel IS based on a Mattel toy line. It's called MAX STEEL and became available in Stores in the US starting in January of this year. I don't know where you got the "Robo-Force" tagline. Are you sure you're not confusing the name with something else?

Response recorded on February 23, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

I read your little piece about the new "Max Steel" series that you're working on, and found myself wondering one odd little question.

Is there any particular reason as to why all the episode titles begin with an S?

Greg responds...

There's a greater parallel between the titles then simply the Ss.

But honestly, the main reason was to amuse myself.

Response recorded on February 09, 2000

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Zeliard writes...

Hi mr. Weisman!

1.Are you still in touch with Michael Reaves, Frank Paur and Laura Perrotta?

2.Do you know what they're doing now since Gargoyles was cancelled?

Greg responds...

I haven't seen or talked to Laura in some time. She left Gargoyles between the first and second season of the series to become an Associate Producer on SANTA BUGITO at Clasky-Czupo, I believe. I ran into her in a restaurant once since then, but that's it. I think she told me she had moved to Warners, but I can't remember.

I last talked to Frank, last summer. He was trying to get to the Gathering 99 and was having flight trouble. Instead of calling the Gathering staff, he kept leaving messages for me at my hotel room. I called him back at an airport payphone. He had just finished work on season two (three?) of SPAWN. I'm not sure what he's been doing since. Maybe more SPAWN?

Michael Reaves and I worked together fairly recently. He wrote a couple of the STARSHIP TROOPERS and one of the MAX STEEL scripts that I edited.

Response recorded on February 03, 2000

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Airwalker writes...

How did you get Tom Wilson and Sheena Easten for the show? Did they come to you, did you call them?

Greg responds...

Tom auditioned for one or more of the Trio. He wasn't right, but I really liked him, and I suggested him to Jamie Thomason when we created Matt.

I am now a HUGE Tom Wilson fan. I created the role of Pete Costas in MAX STEEL with Tom in mind. (Originally it was a bigger role, but the WB cut it back. He's still great in it though.) And I think the work he's doing on NBC's FREAKS & GEEKS is brilliant. He does so much with so little. Taking a cliche that we've seen a hundred times before (remember Robert Picardo in THE WONDER YEARS) and investing it with so much humanity. I can't tell you how great I think he is. Someone should really give this guy his own live action show.

As for Sheena, she was my original choice for Princess Katharine. She wasn't available and Kath Soucie who I had never worked with before was terrific. But Sheena was always in my head to give something to. Finella seemed a great opportunity. So we brought her in. She was great. So we brought her back. She was astounding as Molly/Banshee, so we brought her back again. I was prepared to build the entire BAD GUYS series around her and Jim Cummings (with some help from Jeff Bennett, Jim Belushi and William Devane) but I couldn't sell it. I tried to cast her in as Molly McGrath in Max Steel, but again she wasn't available.

But I'd work with either Tom or Sheena again, anyday.

Response recorded on December 30, 1999

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Hi Gang,

I'm back. And determined to pour through these questions. I can't believe I'm still backlogged until JULY!!!

But first, let me give you a quick update on what I've been up to recently.

Post-Production has been completed on my first arc of stories. They are all set on the jungle moon TESCA NEMEROSA. I think they turned out wonderfully. I'm still very proud of the writing, but I'm wildly impressed with the CGI. (And yes, there are a few small things that bother me, but...) Overall, I think it's a very powerful set of stories.

We've completed writing and recording all 13 episodes for the first season. Post-production should begin after the first of the year. The CGI series should premeire in February on the WB's Saturday Morning. And now that the heavy lifting is done, I'm all but unemployed, which means I should have plenty of time for ASK GREG.

A good friend of mine did the English dub for this Japanese Anime series. Thom Adcox does the voice for one of the leads, and I do a few incidental voices here and there. (Yes, the man who brought you "Nice Mask!" and "Father, the rockets aren't working!" is back behind the microphone. God help us all.) It's available on home video in stores starting mid-January.

As many of you already know, I did a CAPTAIN ATOM/JLE/GARGOYLES parody team-up for this comic book. I wrote it a year ago and I still haven't seen the final result, but I'm told it turned out all right. And every copy you buy puts about a tenth of a penny into my pocket... Seriously, it wouldn't hurt if this issue sold out and was followed by a letter writing campaign asking DC to do an actual Gargoyles comic. Don't know if it would work, but it wouldn't hurt.

For those of you living in the L.A. Area, Kevin Hopps and I are teaching a twenty week course on writing for Television Animation through UCLA Extension's Writer's Program at Universal CityWalk starting this Spring and running through the Summer. Hope to see some of you there.

Now, back to your questions...

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Captain Atom & the Gargoyles

Reprinting (for posterity) what I just posted in the comment room:

Just a quick response/explanation to Alex (aka Simon).

I couldn't really do a full-on Captain Atom story. I was limited to 10 pages (and it takes a lot of time to write that short) and it was a JLA GIANT, so I was obligated to include the JLE from that era. Those were my marching orders.

So Dan Raspler (my editor) and I decided to do something fun. Something with Captain Atom elements, but something more in the tone of the JLE of that era -- admittedly, a sillier mag than the CAPTAIN ATOM book I used to write back then. But even in those days, when I put the JLE into Cap's book, I tried to split the difference on the tone, so that the transition wasn't too jarring.

I suggested making it a real exercise in self-indulgence by including a bit of a GARGOYLES parody. He went for it.

Now, in my first draft, I did open the story by showing the Funeral-At-Sea of Heinrich Megala. But my editor felt that it was too serious. That it clashed with the tone of the rest of the story. I didn't disagree. (I just didn't care.) But he didn't like it. So we went with what you saw.

Or so I assume. I haven't seen it yet. I called Dan yesterday, and he promised to send me a copy. Originally, Pat Broderick was supposed to do the pencilling -- a reunion of sorts. I don't know exactly what happened, but Pat didn't end up doing the story. So I can't even imagine what it looks like. And I don't know how much or how little I was edited. I hope it plays.

And I hope that clears things up.

By the way, I'm almost done with the writing and editing of Max Steel. I promise that after the first of the year, I'm going to try to MUSCLE through the backlog here at ASK GREG.

Sorry for the delays.

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Where have I been...

I can't believe I'm still answering questions from back in July.

Please have patience with me. I have been completely swamped working on a new series for SONY (makers of MIB & Starship Troopers) and the WB (the network of BATMAN BEYOND). It's called "MX1: MAX STEEL", and if I survive the production process it should be a pretty cool show.

Here's a little info:

I'm the story editor and one of the producers.

It's not the same job/responsibility/freedom that I had on Gargoyles, but it is the closest I've come to it since way back then.

The Executive Producers are Richard Raynis and Jeff Kline.

The other Producer (on the art side) is Bob Richardson.

Sue Blue is our voice director.

We've got an order for 13 episodes. Each stands alone, hopefully, but as usual with my stuff they'll play better in sequence. I hope they air in order someday.

As of today, the writing breaks down as follows:

1. "Strangers" by Greg Weisman.
2. "Sacrifices" by Greg Weisman.
3. "Shadows" by Lydia Marano.
4. "Sportsmen" by Jon Weisman.
5. "Seraphim" by Michael Reaves.
6. "Spear-Carriers" by Kevin Hopps.
7. "Snow-Blind" by Mike Ryan.
8. "Sharks" by Katherine Fugate.
9. "Sabres" by Cary Bates.
10. "Sphinxes" by Gary Sperling.
11. "Swashbucklers" by Jon Weisman.
12. "Scions" by Cary Bates.
13. "Shattered" by Kevin Hopps.

The voice cast is pretty impressive to, with quite a few names familiar to Gargoyles fandom...

Our five regulars...
Christian Campbell
Jacob Vargas
Shannon Kenny
Chi McBride
Lauren Tom

Recurring & Guest Cast includes (in order of appearance):
John de Lancie
Keith Szarabajka
Jean Gilpin
Martin Jarvis
Thomas Wilson (aka Matt Bluestone)
Edward Asner (aka Hudson)
Jason Marsden
Jeff Bennett (aka Brooklyn, Owen, etc.)
Julia Kato
Obba Babbatunde
Cam Clarke (aka Young Gillecomgain & Eric Sturlesson)
Thom Adcox Hernandez (aka Lexington)
Greg Rainwater (aka Natsilane & Coyote Trickster)
August Paro
Robert Cait

And that's just after having recorded five episodes.

The show is 100% CGI. We have high hopes.

In other news, I just attended what could be called my first GARGOYLE wedding. Marc Perlman (our music editor) and Laurel Whitcomb (our publicist) met at the Gargoyle Premiere Party in 1994. They've been an item ever since, and finally made it official yesterday. The wedding was great fun, and I was singled out as being responsible for bringing them together.

Geez, talk about pressure.

I loved it.

I will get back to answering questions as soon as I can. Hope this little update tides you over a bit.

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