A Station Eight Fan Web Site
Hi Greg, this is not a question but a statement: I have been a gargoyles fan for many years and I think your work is one of the greatest animated legend in history.
We the fans will not stop until the remaining 26 episodes are released on DVD. Your ability to capture the attention of adults as well as kids are outstanding. By the way, I do have Season One and Two. Thanks
No, thank YOU!
Dear Greg, I join the army three years ago. I recently returned From a fifteen month tour in Afghanistan.I didn't have much to do (besides working in the motor pool all the time)I've watched gargoyles for the last two months of my tour. When the show stopped at 3-13-3(you tube)I was a little disappointed. I couldn't understand why Disney would do such a thing. I was going through some hard times, watching the show really help get through my endeavors. I know this isn't a question, more like a thank you note.so I say, Thank you. Sincerely a BIG fan David.
And thank you, David!
hi love your work. i just want to ask if you read any fanfics of yore work.
I've already answered this question. Please check the archives.
All too often in cartoons (specifically nowadays) female characters fall into the role of giggling love interest, counterpart to a male character to eliminate homosexual themes or are just there to fill a demographic. Writers don't seem to know what to do with them after that.
That is why I would like to sincerely thank you for your part in fostering strong female characters like Elisa, Demona and Fox.
Also, what influenced you to write those characters the way you did? Did you have specific females from your past in mind or did you choose character traits from literature and sort of mesh them for a well rounded feel?
I honestly don't know. I've always liked writing female characters. Two of my first (unfortunately unpublished) projects for DC Comics were Black Canary and Supergirl.
I just try to write honestly for them -- removing as many of my biases as possible -- just as I would for any male character. And the result -- for better or for worse -- is what you have seen...
"Does anyone know if "Maza" means "iron" in any Native American language or dialect?"
According to my book of names (it's got like 20,000 names and their meanings, which is totally cool, especially the Athurian names) Maza blaska, which is a Dakota name means "flat iron." So if it's one of those languages where the adjective comes after the subject, then Maza does infact mean Iron in Dakota. Which interestingly enough adds more irony since Dakota was an early choice for Demona's name. ^_^
And you know that J.R.R. Tolkien claimed that all of his novels were fact...you seen to have the same symptom with the Gargoyles.
I'm not claiming they're fact so much as acknowledging that sometimes storytelling on this show just seems to click with history, existing legend and with dramatic necessity. It's a rare feeling, and I'm humbled by it. All I'm saying is it sometimes feels like the stories are true somehow somewhere, and all I'm doing is (imperfectly) tapping into them.
But I'm not actually delusional.
Ok, this is TZ now......
I was looking over the archives and was simply amazed by this response of yours, Greg. I have always felt that art (in all forms, from literature to sculptures to music) is discovered, not created. I subscribe to that theory because there are such famous examples of great work that endure for years, sometimes even centuries. Why would something like Michelangelo's David or Beethoven's 9th remain so popular through the ages? I think it's because those pieces already existed and were "discovered" by those artists, because certain works like theirs touch us so deeply. When one of us "finds" that piece of art, and shares it, it seems to strike something in all of us. I think creativity is God's alone, but I think He gives some of us a gift to find or tap into (as you've put it) something He's already created that reveals a great truth or lesson or feeling. Anyway, just a ramble of mine to share based on something I was amazed to see here. I'm not sure if I got my point across to others (I found it really hard to put this into words) but I think you get it. Thanks for "discovering" more great art for us all!
You're welcome. Glad you get what I'm getting at, more or less.
Just wanted to comment on the brilliance of the show, and you and your team being able to successfully weave different mythologies together to create a whole new mythology. It's works like that that inspire so many others to continue in the arts, whether it be writing, designing, or performing arts alike- myself included. So thank you for that and for continuing to share this amazing experience with us over a decade later. Whether or not we ever see the rest of the show released on DVD (or the next big media software), it is my belief that Gargoyles will continue to inspire all who have the privilege of watching.
Thanks. And I really liked your Oresteia too.
One of the big changes you made from canon-in-training to canon, in "Clan-Building", was having the Phoenix rather than the Phoenix Gate be the cause of Brooklyn's timedancing. I thought about it recently, and think that it was a good change.
Aside from it providing a good explanation for why it took so long for Brooklyn to get back (it would probably have seem far-fetched if each time the Phoenix Gate appeared during those forty years, he always failed to grab it before it disappeared again), I think it added something to his journey. While we don't know exactly what the Phoenix is as yet, or what its agenda is, the way it was depicted (and Brooklyn's own comments) made it clear that it deliberately took Brooklyn to Scotland in 997, that this was not just some accidental fluke, that the Phoenix has a purpose and intentions like those of any sentient being. Brooklyn isn't being battened about the time-stream by an out of control magical talisman, but is being sent places to fulfill a mission, like Goliath and his companions on the Avalon World Tour. His adventures up and down history, past and future, are the product of a plan, not just the whims of chance. I think it made for a much better story.
My Review For Bad Guys #6, "Losers"...
- Alright! I'm glad we are ending this mini-series with a pretty strong cover. And I'm really pleased that this cover is what made the cover for the trade. I had kinda figured we'd be getting a group shot for this final cover and it looks great. Matrix is very cool here and Hunter and Dingo look awesome here. My only complaints is that Fang looks a bit too cat-like and Yama looks like Goliath. But I can get over it.
- So, here we go. We don't pick up where we left off at Eastcheap Island, but back in Paris where the Mr. Director is chatting with Dolores and later Monsieur Le Maire. A bunch of characters we don't know anything about really, aside from the fact that they are part of the organization that formed the Redemption Squad. Hunter at one point claims this group is Interpol, but I'm not sure if I'm supposed to believe her or not. I hope (and suspect) these three unknown characters will be expanded down the road, particularly the Director. On a related note, I was expecting to see the story of Hunter's recruitment in this chapter, but it was not to be. A story for another day, I suppose. This issue has a lot to work with already.
- Back at Eastcheap, everybody chills out (except Hunter) and sits down to a nice meal. Falstaff couldn't be more right when he called this lot a motley crew. Something that has always appealed to me about the Redemption Squad is that they seem like they'd be perfect for and a lot of fun fighting another group. I've been looking forward to a Redemption Squad versus The Ultra-Pack battle for years, but Falstaff's Band of Thieves seems like they'd make a great group antagonist also, and I'm sure we'll see more of them in the Bad Guys series.
- We continue on with a lively discussion at the dinner table. Falstaff, Dingo and Hunter all have this great dynamic with each other. It is like none of them really like each other, but are trying to get along. Dingo in particular plays the middle-man so well here. Mediating between these two groups. And it is funny because he doesn't have much reason to trust either Falstaff or Hunter. He doesn't know or understand what Falstaff is doing here, but Hunter won't even tell him who he is supposed to be working for. And on top of that, he has this past relationship with Falstaff and this blooming future relationship with Hunter, so he really is stuck in the middle here, and it seems to me now that Dingo has always been the middle-man. Balanced. Not good or bad. Anyway, a fun scene. We also get a cool bit where Fang is chowing down... and Matrix is eating a fork! Funny.
- And speaking of Matrix. I find him to be very interesting is this chapter. What strikes me most is his non-direct interplay with Falstaff. Falstaff really seems to be bothered by Matrix a lot. Looking at him funny, thinking over the things Matrix says. I can't put my finger on it, but I suspect something is going on in Falstaff's mind concerning Matrix. And Matrix continues to be an incredibly resourceful and useful teammate. In that aspect, he is sorta the R2-D2 of the group. Maybe not the main hero, but consistently saving and supporting the hero. That kind of character has always appealed to me and Matrix is no exception. I do remember hearing Greg talking about Matrix doing something truly incredible down the road and becoming a foe the Redemption Squad must face. I hope we get to see that story eventually because Matrix really is fascinating.
- Meanwhile, Falstaff tries to convince the Squad that they really are the good guys. And he does this in such an interesting way. Falstaff himself talks to Dingo. Tries to show him that he has reformed and is some sort of guardian these days. And Falstaff sets up some communications with a couple other Illuminati members: Fiona Canmore and Thailog. This is just brilliant, great stuff. There are so many conflicting things going on around here. You have a team of villains who don't know who they are working for that are trying to be good guys confronting a team of possibly bad guys who are trying to prove they are good guys working for a possibly good organization and as proof they get a couple not-so-protagonists to vouch for them. And one of them is a gargoyle and the other a gargoyle hunter. Wow.
I'm not sure if it was just luck that Matrix went along with Hunter to talk to Fiona instead of, say, Yama. Would've been an interesting conversation with Aunt Fiona with a gargoyle standing next to Hunter. Nice to see Fiona in the canon finally. And not far away we get Yama make something of a joke for us ("Someone fix the color!" Very funny.) and he and Fang chat with Thailog. These conversations don't seem to go as planned for Falstaff though. Hunter has left the family business, but Fiona indicates that there is more to things than that. We don't see what happens next, but it seems to me that Hunter has a hard time going along with whatever else Fiona has to say. And Fang vouching for Thailog means little since no one trusts Fang. So, in the end it seems only Dingo is willing to give the Illuminati the benefit of the doubt. Maybe.
- So, the Squad takes a few minutes to confer. As a side note, anyone else notice the tapestry in the room they are left in? Looks like a gargoyle fighting a human to me. Hunter gives it a passing glance anyway. Safe inside the Matrix Isolation Sphere, we see some sharing of notes. Of course, all of this is intercut with the following scene. Like the last issue, these flashes back and forth in time really keep the suspense up. Sometimes it even comes across as if the scenes were talking to each other, if you get my meaning. Dialogue in one scene inter-plays with dialogue in another. And we are not always sure what each group, even each character, is up to until the end. Really great stuff. Kudos to Greg for that. And Fang starts off a pretty climactic battle. Matrix takes out Mistress Quickly pretty easily, which makes his point. He wraps her up in some sort of shell. Greg indicated at the Gathering that she was, in fact, still alive, but in some sort of hibernation. That can't be fun for her, yikes. Of course, her teammate Points is dealing out some damage of his own, stabbing Yama in the gut. I like how Yama admits that Points is a superior swordsman, but endures the injury to take advantage of his own superior traits, namely his strength and knowledge that he will heal. Still, must've hurt, yowch. Dingo pulls out his old bolas. I don't think we've seen Dingo use the bolas since "Thrill of the Hunt". Falstaff pulls a Goliath by snapping his way out of them though. Guess he still has some muscle under the medieval getup and pounds of fat. And Hunter kicks the face of the amazing, fire-breathing Bardolph. I guess his face was already messed up, but still...
But the Squad is outnumbered and out-gunned... seemingly. Falstaff and Dingo play a game of bluffing and Falstaff bails. He reveals that Eastcheap isn't an island, but a submersible vessel of huge size. Didn't expect that! The Band of Thieves leaves the Squad to its fate in the soon to be flooded chamber. I can't help think that despite his words, Falstaff knew they'd escape and survive like we all did. Matrix saves the day again and we get our last scene with our heros(?)
Hunter is frustrated that they did not manage to capture the island or the treasure or Falstaff. No one points out that they did escape with a prisoner however. Anyway, Fang is content just to survive and Yama... actually agrees with Fang sort of. Yama tells the team that the road to their redemption is a journey and that gaining a captive or an island or whatever isn't as important as walking the road. These results are not the destination, more like perks along the road. There is a beautiful but brief moment of comraderie here with everyone, but most notably between Fang and Yama. Yama actually puts his hand on Fang's shoulder (must be the blood loss) and Fang listens so intently to Yama's words. Of course, the sun rises and we don't get to hear the obvious answer of when we've reached redemption. Fang goes back to being Fang and gives us one last curse word for the books. His use of the word "crap" really serves to re-emphasize to me, the reader, about how dark this comic was able to get at times, yet how fun and comedic it was too. A cool moment. Hunter and Dingo's last little look at each other is nice too. Honestly, the last three pages are just wonderful. Very poignant and satisfying. A great ending to this mini-series. I really hope to see more of the Bad Guys spin-off down the Redemption Road.
P.S. Can't help notice that the Humility Spell didn't turn Yama's clothes to stone... guess the Squad is in for an eyeful at sunset. : )
Glad you enjoyed the issue and the volume...
Hi Greg. A quick response on your "accessibility" ramble. I actually really appreciated the way you approached it in the comics. It was handled in a very classy way that wasn't redundant or insulting for existing fans. In fact, the spread in Issue #1 was elegant, fit the story well, and was a fun extension of the opening credits monologueâ"which, of course, was intended to bring new fans up to speed in the first place, and ended up becoming a touchstone for the loyal existing fans. I feel like the same was accomplished here (the spread, Al's story, etc.), and as someone mildly irritated whenever a story feels it has to "talk down" to me, I appreciate it.
Well, I tried.
My Review For Bad Guys #5, "Strangled"...
- The first thing I did upon checking in at the Gathering this year was seek out my copy of Bad Guys, Volume 1 and read it. Couldn't go through the Gathering out of the loop, could I? Anyway, the point is that I first read this chapter several weeks ago, and many times since then. I'll try to focus on my initial thoughts, however.
- As usual, I'll start with the cover. After a very cool "Louse" cover, it seems we are back to the somewhat dull 'Wanted' poster covers. It isn't that I don't think these covers are a fun way of highlighting the character of focus in the chapter, 'cause it works well for that purpose, but in terms of drawing new readers in, in terms of color and action, they just don't grab me. This cover is also the only one we don't get to see in color at all, which is a shame, but since it doesn't strike me as being particularly colorful anyway, I suppose we are not missing too much by only seeing it in b&w.
- Moving on to the content, we start off back at our island battle. A cool thing here is that these island battle scenes have moved from being flashbacks and become the current story (intercut with new flashback scenes). So, a robot has its grip on Hunter and Dingo really gets to be the hero here. He flies in at high speed, rescues the damsel in distress and vanquishes the monster. Fun stuff and a cool sequence, and the strongest indication yet of the relationship between Dingo and Hunter. Too bad Hunter has no interest in being a damsel. She is so fun as she lets her guard down for a second and then snaps back into tough-girl mode. I get the sense that Dingo both loves and hates that about her.
Meanwhile, Yama saves Fang without a word (quite the contrast between these two and Hunter and Dingo). Yama dives down to the island and immediately draws his swords to take on a couple smaller 'bots. This is a fun little battle also. It is neat to see that when Yama is disarmed, he still has his natural weapons, his strength and claws. A gargoyle without weapons is still a gargoyle.
So, Hunter comes crashing in and the others land nearby, bringing our team back together. There is a brief moment where Dingo helps Hunter to her feet and she brushes him off followed a few moments later by him guarding her from the supposed trap behind the island doors, which she again ignores. These two really get a lot of subtle, but fun, play in this chapter. Of course, the Hunter-Dingo relationship serves as a great reference to Harry's relationship with his mother.
- And speaking of Harry's mother, lets not forget these very interesting flashbacks. We get to learn a lot about Dingo's past. We see that he was a good kid that came from a rough part of town and was raised by a seemingly 'good guy'. A simple thief who raised poor Harry to live a life of crime. It really makes me want to go back and watch some of those Pack episodes again. Dingo was always the good guy doing the bad guy thing. Which is, of course, a fun contrast to John Oldcastle, the bad guy doing the good guy thing. I recall at the 2008 Gathering in Chicago, Karine had a panel in which she talked about various issues she had drawing this chapter (which she had been doing at the time). One thing she mentioned in particular was that one panel was simply hard to draw due to the content. I remember thinking to myself that after drawing a suicide, what could be worse. I suppose the answer should've been obvious given the title of the chapter, but the last page of the comic was a surprise to me. Pretty sick, this John. I have to wonder why he killed Mariah though. What happened? And he seems to so calmly adopt and raise Harry afterwards. Anyway, a true villain. Which is ironic since Dingo seems to think somewhat highly of the man, though I get ahead of myself.
- Anyway, so the Squad moves into the island itself. Matrix gets a brief moment to shine here (haha), and the team comes across the most hilarious piece of art a secret society would ever possess, a giant tapestry with their insignia on it. "Guess we came to the right secret lair." Uh, yeah. And after this long battle with the drab, mindless robots outside we get this quick battle with this colorful bunch of characters inside. These new people are fun. They've got some neat tricks. I love how easily 'Doll' takes out Fang. And the dude with the swords taking on both Yama and Matrix is a lot of fun too. But Dingo knows this Pistol guy and immediately guesses who else is around. So John (AKA Falstaff) makes his appearance. I have to admit that I don't know much about the Shakespearean Falstaff, but this guy is quite the character. We saw that he had gained a lot of weight through the montage of training Harry, but here he has obviously been living the easy life. I love that he walks around with a turkey leg this whole scene. He ominously welcomes Dingo and his friends to "Eastcheap Isle" (uh, haven't you been attacking them the whole time?) and then 'strangles' Dingo with a bearhug. Creepy. Falstaff is an interesting character. He seems so cheerful and friendly and Santa Claus-like that you have to like him, but knowing what he has done... Well, suffice to say that Greg Weisman really likes to push the boundaries in Bad Guys of what is right and wrong, who is good and bad and who we are supposed to like or dislike. Fun stuff.
- So, all in all, a great chapter. We got a lot of interesting background on Dingo and finally moved beyond the Bad Guys Leica Reel. The story order is well laid out. The flashbacks don't just inform the present story, they are a rich part of it, enhancing it. When going from a present day scene to one of the flashbacks, there is no jarring shift because the two seemingly separate stories work so well together. It is very reminiscent of the Stone of Destiny story in the main Gargoyles comic in that the presence of a flashback at a particular moment actually adds new insight that wouldn't have been so clear had the story been told entirely chronologically. I suppose this is what Greg meant when he said that working the Stone of Destiny story has helped in how he wrote Bad Guys. Anyway, truly brilliant, great stuff!
Thanks. Glad you liked it.
Definitely felt freed up by the Stone of Destiny arc. It helped me use the medium better.