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Harlan Phoenix writes...

The Wizard of Oz references in Gargoyles are among my favorites when it comes to your various literary sources. My all time favorite literary allusion in Gargoyles comes from issues 3-5 of Clan Building, where Lexington's "post-modern Tin Man" is the very cyborg visage he possessed when losing his heart in the Future Tense scenario.

Given that the original book is in the public domain, was there any thought ever given to how the events of the Wizard of Oz related to the Gargoyles Universe?

Greg responds...

Like Frankenstein, I mostly thought in terms of references, rather than working the story into actual continuity. But you never know...

Response recorded on February 21, 2014

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A fan from far away writes...

Hi Greg!
I'm a huge fan girl of YJ from Singapore. I really love your show and hope to see more seasons if possible.
My favorite character in the show is Artemis, she really struck me in season 1 and her tenure as Tigress in Season 2 was really impressive. So I would like to ask a few questions about her.
1) What served as your inspiration for creating her?
2) Are any of her character traits inspired by strong female characters from other sources? Cos I noticed that she was rather similar to some of my other favorite ladies, such as Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games, Eponine from Les Miserables, Mulan, Ravager (Deathstroke's daughter), to name a few.
3) How abusive was Sportsmaster? Cos I figured he had to be pretty bad to his girls for Jade to pack up and abandon her younger sister.
4) Unrelated but... Will YJ be translated into Chinese? I'm ethnic Chinese and I would love to know their Chinese names.
Thanks for looking through my queries, though they may have been answered. Thank you for giving us fans a really wonderful show while it lasted!

Greg responds...

1. The DC Comics character.

2. Well, I'm not familiar with Katniss. I mean, obviously, I've heard of her, but I haven't read the books or seen the movies. I'm only passingly familiar with Ravager, though we had plans for her in YJ, given enough seasons. I would have done more research on her before bringing her in, of course. I don't really see much Mulan in Artemis, other than the fairly generic notion of a woman in combat. So that just leaves Eponine. And I can indeed see a bit of Eponine in Artemis. But if so, I wasn't conscious of the influence at the time.

3. He was emotionally and verbally abusive. He was not sexually abusive. It's debatable whether or not you'd consider him physically abusive. He didn't beat them. But he did endless combat drills with them, and they took punishment from him. Given that he was a full-grown man and they were young girls, it's absolutely fair to say he was physically abusive.

4. No idea.

Response recorded on January 30, 2014

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A Flash Fan writes...

These 2 are related...

1. While on the topic of inspirations I have a question about your series Gargoyles. When it originally came out I really don't remember it because I was really young, but I did always know of its existence. When I learned that you, who are producer of YJ, also created Gargoyles I was motivated to watch the series and I am doing so know (soon I hope to see SSM too!). It is very interesting and I really like your character portrayals and interesting plots. Now the question I have about inspiration is did you derive anything of Gargoyles from the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series, and if so what? I apologize if the question seems strange, but I notice how both series were produced in the close time frames, they both take place in NYC, and in essence both show are about groups of outcasts by society who in turn fight crime. I think what merely stood out for me is that when I see Elisa Maza and her friendship with the gargoyles it kind of reminds me of April O'Neil and the turtles. Besides there are mutants in both series, most cool stuff happens by night (for the turtles so they won't be seen); Gargoyles because they don't have a choice, etc. Anyway these are the similarities I see and I just wanted your opinion on them.

2. While on the topic of the TMNT, have you seen the new CGI series, and if so what do you think? I think it's a cool adaptation.

Greg responds...

1. Not so much, because as you say, both were being produced at more or less the same time. There may have been some influence in little things, like when we started saying Jalapeña all the time - though the origin of that (as discussed elsewhere) was nevertheless very different. And I won't deny the two series have things in common. But just as often we tried to AVOID having things in common with Turtles. If the series started to veer in that direction, there were plenty of people (Frank Paur, especially) who would make sure to course correct.

2. I haven't seen it - or, frankly, most any version of TMNT. That's not meant as a critical comment. I just haven't had the opportunity.

Response recorded on March 22, 2013

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F.H. writes...

I've seen the novel The Mysteries of Udolpho pop up multiple times in the series (Young Justice), and I've scanned the Wikipedia page (I would read it, but Outlaws of the Marsh isn't something you flick through in an afternoon, and my to-read list is long enough already), and I can't see anything tying it to the plot outside of a girl with a bad father, which would be Artemis, I guess?

1) Is there reason or rhyme to this, or is it just you showing off your literary power level, as you're known to do (which we all love, by the way).

And another question on a similar idea:

2) Where's the Shakespeare, man? Your name on a show promises Shakespeare, and YJ remains bardless. Bring a little of him back from Oregon for the team, wont you?

Greg responds...

1. It's kinda the original gothic novel.

2. Stuff has to fit, you know? If I just wedge it in artificially, how does that help anyone? And I find it hard to believe there have been NO Shakespeare references at all. That seems unlikely.

Response recorded on December 06, 2012

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celestia writes...

Hey Greg! I think you adviced people that wanted to become writters to read great literature and the classics.

Beyond Shakespeare (who is a must read :) ) What kind of literature would you recomend for this purpose?

Greg responds...

Homer, for sure.

Cervantes.

Austin.

Dickens.

Hardy.

Faulkner.

Even Hemingway.

The list of authors are probably endless. Personally, I'm a big fan of mysteries/detective stories, and my favorite author in that genre is Ross Macdonald, who I believe transcends the genre. I also like James M. Cain, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Michael Connelly and Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö, to name a few.

I'd scarf up myths and legends. Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, Arthurian, etc., etc., etc. And I wouldn't just limit myself to Western Culture. Chow down on the stories of the far east, of the mid-east, of aboriginal peoples everywhere...

Read NEWSPAPERS.

History books. Biographies. Some are deadly dull, but others are fascinating.

Anyway, that should keep you busy for awhile.

Response recorded on December 05, 2012

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Sammy writes...

I just wanted to say I love all th puns on your show! I especially love the Powerpuff Girls pun in "Darkest" or rather, the Rowdeyruff Boy reference xD

Greg responds...

Not that I don't love the Powerpuff Girls and the Rowdyruff Boys, but you do realize that that nursery rhyme WAY pre-dates that show, right?

Also, it's not a pun.

Response recorded on December 03, 2012

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Toasthider writes...

Hi Greg,
I was wondering if you read Hellboy at all? It just occurred to me recently that the use of folklore and mythology in the series is kind of in the same vein as Gargoyles!

Greg responds...

I've read some Hellboy and seen both movies. I see some overlap, though we did Gargoyles long before I read any Hellboy.

Response recorded on November 30, 2012

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Marvelman writes...

Hi Greg,

I'd like to make an observation about "Salvage."

It's that moment where the creature says (through Blue):

Where is the stillness of wood, of stone, of crystal, of metal? All this noise, all this life is pain. We sense the power in this place - power enough to destroy us, to end the pain, to be still again.

And Superboy says, "I can identify."

And then it hit me…

Oh that this too too solid flesh would melt…

the thousand shocks that flesh is heir to…

I wondered if we were intended to hear an echo of Hamlet in Connor and the… whatever it was. One of the reasons that Hamlet is so despondent is that he believes the girl he loves has betrayed him. Then, I remembered that the girl Connor loved and probably still does betrayed him.

So, my question is: am I reading too much in to this? Or, did you intend for there to be deliberate overtures of Hamlet in this scene and in Connor's character in general?

Greg responds...

I'd love to say otherwise, but it wasn't in my conscious mind. But you know, it's all rattling around in my brain, so...

Response recorded on November 28, 2012

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B writes...

When you were creating the Superboy/Miss Martian breakup storyline, was the plotline from Buffy the Vampire Slayer where Willow erased Tara's memories of their arguments about Willow misusing her powers, leading to their breakup, an inspiration?

Greg responds...

Not a conscious one.

Response recorded on November 27, 2012

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btgr writes...

In YJ did you based Wade Eiling on disgraced US Marine Lieutenant Colonel "Oliver North"?

Greg responds...

No. We based him on Wade Eiling from the Captain Atom comic book that Cary Bates and I wrote in the 80s and early 90s. And Eiling was loosely modeled on Captain Kirk.

Response recorded on November 19, 2012


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