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Hey Greg! I'm really excited about the Spectacular Spider-Man series and the direction its taken so far. I seriously haven't been this into an animated series since back when I was a kid. At first I was a bit skeptical about the decision to make the character designs more simplistic, but I found it to work quite well with the speed of the animation and the story line in general. Can't wait to see the next episode, and I hope there will be several seasons to come :).
Me too, Moe!
Hey Greg! Long-time reader, first time writer </cliche>
Well, typically Entertainment Weekly waits for the first three episodes of a new series to come out before they write a review, so I thought I'd do the same. Short version: I liked it.
I'll admit I was skeptical at first, since WB's new Batman show not only didn't live up to movie, it wasn't even better than the 90s TV show. I am, however, one of the few who despised the Spider-Man movies, and going back to the 90s Spider-Man, I realized it didn't hold up too well over time, so I would tentatively say your version surpasses both of them.
If I had to pick the show's strongest point, it would be the animation. When Spider-Man fights Lizard on the train their fight technique is all one fluid motion, and each comes back from a hit right away, using the momentum for their next strike. It reminded me of a martial arts film, and was better looking than all the CGI that was dumped into the films. Also, I liked how Peter's tag is always sticking out of his shirt; it's a subtle thing, but it works great to play up the 'nerdiness' of his everyday persona.
Another development i enjoyed was the characters. I'm interested to see where you're going with Brock (especially after the animosity he showed at the end of episode 3), and I think not bringing in MJ right away was the smart thing to do (personally, I hope she doesn't show up for a good long while; it will make it seem more significant when she does). My only complaint is Gwen: not that I don't love the way she's written, it's just...well, as any Spider-fan knows, it's Gwen's destiny to die, and the fact she may do so before she even leaves high school just seems unbearably bleak. But you never know; she could go the distance after all.
Summing up, I haven't had occasion to watch ANYTHING on Saturday morning for a good long while now, but you can bet I'll be coming back for Spider-Man. Heck, the average fan would probably prefer this to the "Brand New Day" storyline that's going on in the comics right now.
Oh, and since this is a Q&A column: are there plans for any crossover episodes with other Marvel characters, such as Spider-Man teaming up with Daredevil or fighting against Dr. Doom?
Thank you for taking the time to read my comments. Hope to hear from you soon.
P.S. I thought I was so clever for catching the Broadway cameo, but I apparantly completely missed the Hudson one. Blerg.
No current plans for crossovers.
How about asking Cary Bates to write the intro for the next trade paperback. It'd be a nice tie-in to your early comic book work on Captain Atom and he's certainly had a hand in shaping Gargoyles to what we know today. If nothing else it'd be nice to hear his take on Gargoyles.
I'm really enjoying Spider-Man so far. I think there's a lot of smart storytelling in the show; the same thing that attracted me to Gargoyles. I like that stereotypes are skin-deep. For example Flash fits the jock stereotype nicely, but you see some of his jock friends definitely don't. Likewise not all geeks are, well, geeks. That'll make Eddie's turn especially hard to watch.
I think you're a great match for the job of writing/editing Spider-Man. It's filled with characters that are neither "bad" or "good", but all sorts of in between. You've got an annoying (but in a good way!) habit of developing those sorts of characters in ways that make it hard to hate them and root for the "good guy". Xanatos awakens the gargoyles to use them for his own purposes like they're just tools. Then he tries to "discard" them. Then he helps them. Then he gives them a place to stay and helps to protect them. I want to hate him. I know he's going to try and (ab)use the gargoyles again. They know it as well. But I can't hate the guy. It's damn frustrating (but in a good way!) and Spider-Man is going to give you more opportunities to do that with other characters. You've already started doing that with Electro and Vulture.
My understanding is Electro was "created" when Max was struck by lightning. Was the change in his creation a nod to Gargoyles with respect to the creation of the mutates or was that more coincidence than anything else?
No, Electro's change of origin was designed to (a) make it feel more real to a 2008 audience and (b) make it fit into the arc it was a part of.
What's gonna happen to the show? Is it really gonna show some of Chiro's past? Will Skeleton King win? Are you really going to end the show. Will someone die again?I hope not. I don't want the show to end. What about the Alchemist? What about Valina, Mandarin, and Sokko?
What the heck are we talking about?
Now i noticed and a may be wrong but Titania seemed less effected by iron as did puck then Oberon himself. I was wondering if maybe this was because they are less Allergic to it being his children, and is Titania just less effected in general?
They're not LITERALLY his children. And I'm not sure why you say they were less effected?
I just heard that The Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association telling me that Gargoyles has been nominated for an Ursa Major award in the comic book category.
The winner will be announced on May 17. It looks like anyone can vote--the ballot is here: http://www.ursamajorawards.org/Voting.htm
Clan Building Volume 2 Forward Candidates.
- Michael Reaves seems like an obvious choice, and he's popular in the animation/sci-fi/fantasy circles.
- Cary Bates? His Superman run is still well regarded, I think. He seems like a logical idea, and you're both old friends.
- Crispin Freeman? He's extremely popular in anime circles.
- Frakes or Sirtis? Might help boost interest among the Trekkies.
- Tad Stones. He seems to be having hits with his Hellboy DVD movies, and being that he was at Disney for a long time, and suggested a "big heroic gargoyle", he seems like a good choice.
- Very Long shot, but according to my brother, Brian Michael Bendis liked "Gargoyles". He says at G2003, he was in an elevator with Bendis. If you remember, they had that big comic convention at Madison Square Garden that weekend, and a lot of the guests were staying in our hotel. I heard this from my brother though, but thought suggesting it would be harmless.
All great suggestions.
You asked people who should do the forward in the next trade and so far the only name I have seen come up is Joss and I figured given that you indicated that may be easier said then done I figured another good name to throw out there is Paul Dini.
Paul's great, but I have no idea if he's even seen Gargoyles.
Okay, I hadn't planned on giving a review for each Spidey show that came out, (& I'm still not planning on it as of right now) but I had to give you and all the people who worked on the episode "Natural Selection" props. I feel this has been the best episode so far, and hey, this is only the 3rd one. I really felt for Spidey at the end of the episode, having to look like a coward in front of his friends so he could keep his Spiderman secret. I guess I'm just a sucker for characters who save the day and never get the recognition they deserve, and even worse, look like they wimped out when they really didn't. The whole story was great, and I can't wait to see more.
Thank you for your time and all that you do.
Thank you too!
Hey Greg! I'm still keeping up with Spectacular Spider-Man and "Natural Selection" didn't disappoint. I feel like each episode is slightly stronger than the one before it as everyone gets more in-tune with the material and each other.
I think you found just the right note with the Billy subplot, where it was genuinely emotional and not cloying. I liked the "I took a cab" bit with Eddie at the zoo. Just a fun little jab a typical cartoon logic. I was not expecting Peter to be fired, so that was a cool moment for me as well. Somehow I have a feeling we'll be seeing the serum again.
Nice continuity nods with the ring-tone alarm, the mention of Electro, and especially Peter and Eddie calling each other "Bro", then having Spidey try to cover it up when he does the same.
One thing I noticed was that during Peter's voice-over before he plans on taking the serum is that he mentions "a hard 9PM curfew" where before it had always been 10.
The cast continues to be amazing (or rather spectacular). In particular, Kath Soucie and Lacey Chabert just completely nailed their parts this week.
Since this is "Ask Greg", I do have a quick question: For small parts i.e. the people at the coffee shop in "Interactions", or Thug #1 in this past episode do you have certain people in the cast in mind, or do you just ask whoever's in that day if they want to do it?
Thanks for your time!
We plan ahead, dealing out our bit parts from among the actors who will be present for the session. SAG rules allow us to ask any actor to do one additional character for free.
If you had wirten a story How would you do it t make people intersted more in the book?
You're looking at it.
I love your work and would really value your advice; I have decided to produce a comic/graphic novel from one of the stories I have designed. I have no experience of any budget to speak of and in this moment I can only recruit people who are willing to use it as a learning experience with just a hope of reward if all goes well. So far so good, I have a couple of writers on board, a few artists in training and a colourist. I guess this won't be a straighforward question as such, I ask for advice really. How much time is reasonable to spend on one issue, where do I turn to for recognition, do you have any general tips you could give on getting published or sponsored?
I'm not sure I'm the guy to advise you. I've never self-published anything and know little or nothing about it. I'm also not clear... you're the writer, but you have a couple of writers? Most self-published things don't employ other writers, I'd think.
As for how much time per issue... well, I usually write a couple pages per day, so that I can write two comics a month (more or less). It takes me between twenty minutes and an hour per day.
How can Owen/Puck have a relationship when he can't age?
How does one thing preclude the other?
Thoughts on the Spectacular Spider-Man episode "Natural Selection."
First off, I like this incarnation of the character of Peter Parker a lot, more so than in other cartoon versions. He's still a kid with a lot to learn, and like most kids, he thinks he knows everything. I like how even getting a good picture of himself as Spider-Man is a learning process.
And I also like the continuity in the series. In the previous episode, we see Connors's formula get shocked. And Curt puts it in his pocket. And now we see the consequences (unless, of course it just resulted from months of him injecting himself, and that last one was the proverbial back-breaking straw). The animation was awesome, in particular his morphing into and out of the Lizard. I like how the tail was formed. And the pacing of the fight scenes reminded me of the movies, which was fine. Those gave us a fantastic sense of Spider-Man's agility, as do these.
I also didn't expect to find myself saying this, but I like Eddie Brock as a character. I wasn't thrilled when I first saw his name in the cast, but I love what you've done with him so far. Giving him this personal connection with Peter Parker might actually make Venom more interesting. He seems to be building a reputation of not being able to successfully tackle baddies in Connors's lab. And I like the way he and Spider-Man worked together at the end. He's a bit reckless, but he also seems to have a strong moral sense. So he and Peter have that in common. I'm actually finding myself caring about what sets him on the road to becoming Venom.
Anyway, favorite moment in the episode: Billy Connors confronting his mutated father. I'm not sure Curt recognized him, and I'm wondering if this might come up again. And I also like how Peter Parker chose not to take what might cure him of his powers, but he also didn't throw it away. More foreshadowing, I suppose.
All in all, you and the rest of the crew have done a fantastic job so far. I was never a regular reader of the Spider-Man comic, but I'm getting more and more excited about this show the more I watch it. Keep up the good work.
Thanks. We're doing out best.
In the new Spider-Man animated series, Gwen already has a small inkling into Peter's financial problems, so why get irritated when she perceived his photo-taking of The Lizard as selfish when it was to benefit his Aunt? Is she just following the crowd's attitude, or was she afraid for Peter's safety and her anger is a result of that?
Neither, really. She felt he was taking advantage of the Connors troubles. If you watch her, she's clearly conflicted, but she's troubled by her perception that Peter LIED about abandoning the antidote quest to get home -- but really went to take a picture.
hey greg wats upp! ur a good wirter but bad guy. why did u end gargoyles u @ss. u suck really. come on ! u mad epeople sad when u ended it and now i will get my revenge lol joking.
You're a riot, alex.
How would you like to team up with Kevin Eastman, Peter Laid, and Kevin Munroe, and Make the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles meet the Gargoyles based on a script I am Writing?
Previous in Ask Greg you've stated (from this page - http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=10195)
I've been crunching some numbers concerning the Avalon Clan and their breeding cycles.
Now, the beasts on Avalon should have already started breeding by 1996. No eggs should've hatched yet, but there should be one egg on Avalon waiting to hatch in 2038.
The gargoyles however are another matter since they must be much older than beasts to reach breeding age.
Lets take Ophelia for example. In 1996, Angela and Ophelia (who hatched in 1058) are about 39 years old. The need to be about 50 before their first mating. For Angela, in the real world, this will come 11 years later when she concieves the egg containing Artus in 2007. For Ophelia on Avalon however, 11 more years will equal 264 real world years! Which means she wouldn't be old enough to mate until the year 2,260 AD (To get her in tune with the Earth rhtyms we'll say the fall equinox of 2,267AD.)
So, what I'm wondering is, you've said that the Avalon Clan would be bringing eggs to Queen Florence Island in 2198, but I think they are only gonna have a beast egg or two to bring since none of the gargoyles will be old enough yet, is this correct? What are your thoughts on this?
I'm not sure your premises follow...
I'm fairly certain Ophelia will lay an egg at the same time as Angela -- assuming she's alive at the time. The physical maturity to lay an egg may be reached before the planetary bio-rhythm is, if that makes sense.
The truth is... I've worked all this out in the past, but I just don't have the energy or the time right this minute to go back and confirm my math. But I think I'm right.
Also, previous in Ask Greg you've stated - ( http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=7564 )
A while ago I noticed a short ramble of yours entitled 'While I'm thinking of it...' It was rambled on Monday 4th March 2002. I won't repeat the whole thing here, however the beginning started off with you repeating an exchange between you and Aris Katsaris concerning the date Angela and the other eggs on Avalon would have hatched and underneath your response you wrote;
"With all this in mind...
I know I've established -- both here and in my own head (particularly with regards to G2198) that eggs hatch on the Spring Equinox.
But does anyone remember whether (and where) I've established what month the eggs are laid in?
I can't recall if this has come up yet.
Anyone know? And would this solve my problems at all?"
Recently I remember another question previously submitted on Friday October 13th by Aris Katsaris that may help you.
"Aris Katsaris writes...
A small tidbit that you revealed through the last contest was that the hatching of the eggs takes place in March 21st - the Spring Equinox, that is.
Now, I always felt it would be on an equinox or a solstice- those are the only dates that make sense really... Is the laying of the eggs also done on the Spring Equinox (ten years earlier ofcourse)?
How about the egg's conceiving? Have you decided how much time is spent between the eggs's conceiving and laying?
That's interesting. Maybe.
As for conception, maybe I'll make it a six month term and put it on the fall equinox.
The truth is I chose March 21st because it's my son's birthday. But sometimes things in the Garg Universe just seem to come together. It's cool that way.
recorded on 10-20-00"
From your above response I assume that the eggs would be laid on the spring equinox, with the females being fertile on the fall equinox from the previous year.
I don't know whether this would clarify any problems over when the eggs hatched, but I hope it helps.
I agree, it helps. Thanks.
I also don't know if it fixes my math problems, but I'm hopeful. And I like the idea of females being in heat at the fall equinox and laying their eggs in the spring (and the eggs hatching ten years later in the spring). For a race, that is so attuned to the bio-rhythms of their planet, it just feels right.
I don't think that literally all the eggs are conceived on the EXACT same night. Same with laying. Same with hatching to some extent too. There's probably something like a three night window for these things (say, two nights on either side of the equinox).
Now, here's my questions: Assuming that the fall equinox of 2008 is at night time on Avalon,
1)is the window of opportunity for Ophelia to became pregnant on Avalon a few hours or a few days? I know this sounds rather dumb, but given that time passes more slowly on Avalon and the in real world, you've there a window of opportunity of 2-3 days before and after, I was wondering if that window of opportunity was shortened on Avalon because of the difference in the way time passes.
2)Normal gargoyle pregnancies are 6 months. If that time was spent on Avalon, that amounts to 6 months * 24 Avalon time differential to equal 144 months or 12 years in the real world. If Ophelia was to become pregnant in 2008 and stay on Avalon the entire duration of her pregnancy, her egg wouldn't be ready to be laid until 2020. 2020 is 2 years after eggs normally laid in 2008 would normally hatch. Would Ophelia be able to lay the egg in 2020 or would she have to wait until 2028 to lay the egg?
I don't know. I'm sorry, I should know, I guess. But this stuff is so damn complicated that I can't just answer off the top of my head anymore without getting myself in trouble.
Ramble on Spectacular Spider-man episode 3.
That attitude is gonna get Peter into a lot of trouble... so is actually having a happy life. Don't you read comic books, young man? Any time you're life is going WELL, that's when fate smacks you upside the head.
Still like that theme song.
Aunt May is okay. I think I jumped the gun when I watched the first episode.
Hmm... is Stan Lee always the executive producer on these marvel animated programs?
Stop meddling with weird science, Curt! It never results in good things. Though I do like the attention here. He's well intentioned. He's not selfishly just trying to heal his own arm. He's trying to save decapitated people all over the world.
Go Gwen. Yay! Random jock friend who's name I should really learn. Is he a classic Spider-man comics character that I don't know about?
"What are we celebrating? Oh... crazy god-defiling science!! This will end well."
Smart AND perceptive. Quite a man this Parker boy.
So Billy's a scientist too. They start them so young these days.
That's a very nice lizard design.
Peter the coward. That's nice of him. He could have come up with a better excuse than 'My aunt may won't be able to sleep unless I get home.' But I guess he didn't have much time.
Still very funny. I like Peter's banter. Feels very natural. And of course it fits the character perfectly.
Spider-man seems to like fighting on the subway/train lately. I guess the subway's a subterranean place for the Lizard to hide out.
People really should check on those over-anxious kids more often.
I wonder what kind of Lizard Curt blended his DNA with... a cocktail of iguana, and crocodile, or what?
Heh. Peter even cares about Polar Bears! What a guy.
And Aunt May proves herself more dangerous than the Lizard! That's three super-villains that she's beaten out with her telephone!
And the Lizard reverts back to normal.
That ending was really, really powerful. I'm feeling that one in my ribs. And hey, great responsibility, there are consequences for Peter's actions. Even if they weren't his fault per se. Halcyon would be proud.
The ending REALLY sold this one to me. And the general mood and feel of it. And I'm still not sure about the spider mask in the sky at the end. It's... interesting... but... yeah. Not sure about it.
Thanks. The spider-mask is a tribute to the old Ditko days.
Just stopping by to share my thoughts on the latest episode of Spectacular Spider-Man.
Survival of The Fittest.
I've always thought one of the best aspects of the Spidey mythos was the fantastic cast of supporting characters and this episode just proves it.
I absolutely love this version of Gwen, standing up to Flash, helping save Dr. Connors she's pretty heroic in her own right. Speaking of heroic, how about Eddie Brock using himself as lizard bait. It's going to be interesting to see what turns him into a Spidey hating psycho later in the series.
The Connors family are also noteworthy. In most other versions I've seen Martha and Billy don't seem to be much more then appendages to Curt's character but they really shine. I particularly liked Billy's understated yet heartbreaking portrayal of a traumatized kid desperately afraid of losing his dad.
But the real star of the show is of course everybody's favorite wall-crawler. A classic Spidey touch is to see Peter do the right thing despite being vilified for it. It's one thing to save the day expecting a medal or a parade afterwards, it's quite another to save the day knowing your going to get spat on for your trouble. That's something else Spidey has in common with certain other defenders of the night.
Glad you liked it. We're working pretty hard these days.
hi mr weisman again.
I was wondering what kind of beliefs do gargoyles incorparate from peoples religions into theirs
I'd advise browsing the Gargoyles Customs archive here at Ask Greg. Then if you still have questions, post again.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
Duchess Emma of Normandy (Katharine of Wyvern's aunt) marries King Aethelred the Unready of England.
NOTE: THIS WILL BE THE LAST TDIGUH for now. I've now gone through one entire calendar year. Though I'm constantly adding to the timeline, it would become a fairly repetitive exercise in the short term. Maybe in a few years, we'll bring the feature back. Hope you enjoyed it.
I just wanted to say that I really liked the transformation scene from human to lizard in "Natural Selection". I especially like the part where his head started to cave in. I dunno if that was your idea or not, but I applaud it. It really emphasizes that he's turning into a simple-minded, primal beast.
Also, some of The Lizard's roaring sounded a lot like Fox's in "Eye of the Beholder". Did you use a similar effect?
I'm not responsible for the transformation. That was the episode's director Dave Bullock, his boss Vic Cook and their storyboard artists.
I kinda doubt that they reused the sound effects. It's not even the same effects guy doing Spidey. But it is the same post-production house, so who knows?
Hello! First off, I want to say thank you for creating Gargoyles. It was an amazing show, truly. And it certainly modeled bits of my personality. When it premiered, I was still pretty young, but I can remember drawing pictures of Goliath and me. When I later rediscovered the show, I found out that the voice actor of my favorite character, at least when I was younger, Keith David, had the same first name as me! I just find that so cool, kinda geeky, but cool.
The comic books are great! I never would have imagined that one day there'd be more Gargoyles to enjoy. I have all the comics so far, and I plan to buy the book later. I'm still waiting for a little more Demona, though. Demona, I would say, is my favorite character. Then Macbeth and later Goliath.
I missed the premiere of The Spectacular Spider-Man, but I did watch the third episode today. First off, I know next to nothing about Spider-Man, so I'll admit I was somewhat confused with the characters. I do know some basic stuff, though, and when I watched it, I thought it was really great! I'm definitely going to tell my cousin about this, at least if she hasn't already discovered it. She's a big Spider-Man fan, and of the little knowledge I know of the franchise, I learned it from her.
Now, I hope its okay to ask a question that's not about any of the stuff above. Have you seen the film "Enchanted" yet? I'm a huge Disney fan, so I might be a little biased, but it is a terrific movie. I pre-ordered the film in January!
I did see it. But I'm afraid I'm not a fan. The animated world and the characters that emerged from it felt too generic to me. You'd never get away with them in a current animated movie. I know that was kind of the point, but it grated on me. And the real world wasn't real enough to me. Patrick Dempsey never tries to get her medical help. (Compare "Miracle on 34th Street".) Anyway, I can see why it charmed some people, but it just didn't work for me.
A few comments about the Lizard episode of "The Spectacular Spider-Man".
I enjoyed it. Another good capture of Peter's life; he starts off still taking poor photos of himself as Spidey, he has to give up dodging water balloons when he realizes that everyone else is going to get suspicious - and worst of all, after finally getting a good snapshot of himself as Spidey, he convinced everyone else that he deserted them in a crisis and now they're all angry at him! Yep, that's definitely Peter Parker all right.
Some great humor as well; I especially liked Spidey's indignant response to Lizard being able to walk on walls ("If you start spinning webs too, I'll sue!") and his element of surprise ruined by his cell phone going off (and wouldn't you know that its tune would be "Itsy Bitsy Spider")?
I noticed that he doesn't throw the gene cleanser away, but merely web-stashes it under his bed. Why do I get the feeling that it's going to return later, in another episode?
Keep up the good work, both you and everyone else on the production team.
Thanks, Todd. We'll try.
This is Claire i am a big fan of your work especially Witch
Gargoyles and other marvelous episodes u make.
I want to know if u are planning to make any new episodes of witch and if they will stop playing the episodes late at night. i have to wait till 3:oo just to watch witch.
Thanx for your time please respond back Hope Witch does not end
Your biggest fan Claire
I don't think Disney's planning on making any more, but you'd have to ask them.