A Station Eight Fan Web Site
Hello, Mr. Weisman.
I've been rewatching some episodes of "Gargoyles" and reading some of your ramblings about the show, and I had a couple of interesting thoughts about the Pack:
The two most human members of the Pack, Fox and Dingo, are also the first to break off from the group. Fox basically ditched them as soon as Coyote entered the picture; she'll manipulate or work with her former co-stars if the mood strikes, sure, but otherwise, she's pretty much done with them. Dingo took a bit longer, but he left as well, and he also seems to be pretty much done with the Pack, apart from working for Fox in "Walkabout".
On a similar note, Fox and Dingo are also the only ones out of the Pack to have had their real names (or, in Fox's case, her birth name) revealed. They go by Fox and Dingo, but they were born Janine Renard and Harry Monmouth.
Contrast the others: long after Fox and Dingo have (mostly) gone straight, Wolf, Jackal, and Hyena continue a life of crime. On top of that, we have no other names by which to identify them (although, for some reason, I keep thinking that Wolf's first name is something like "Thomas"; probably just getting a little mixed-up with one of Clancy Brown's other roles on the show). They're the ones who discard their humanity for an extra edge. Unlike Fox and Dingo, who are people with vague beastly motifs, Wolf, Hyena, and Jackal are beasts in human skin (metaphorically speaking). We know them by no other names because they need no others. What their parents called them is irrelevant. Not only that, but they stayed together as a team up until Egypt (and will eventually reunite under Coyote as the Ultra-Pack). The beasts stayed a Pack, and the people set off on their own.
One last remark on the Pack's chosen names: Fox's and Dingo's mirror their heritages ("Renard" is French for "fox", and Dingo's Australian), while the other members have names that reflect who they are (Wolf was always a huge, growling brute, Hyena's a cackling killer, Jackal's amoral). Fox and Dingo CHOSE their names; Wolf, Hyena, and Jackal already WERE their names.
So, what do you think? Is this little analysis accurate at all (I could be way off, or reading too much into it; you, sir, would, of course know better than I would)?
In conclusion, thank you for taking the time to read this, and have a good day, Mr. Weisman.
I like it!!
I'm guessing you're a fan of Star Trek? Anyways, you're the man. Gargoyles kicks butt.
1. I am.
2. I like to think so.
I just wanted to write and just give you some thanks for some of the great shows you have helped create, Greg.
Young Justice I enjoyed thoroughly, though I am more a fan of the first season than the second; I like fewer characters and more characterization as opposed to detailed plots just as a personal preference. I will also say I was not a fan of how Wally West was handled but I am sure you have heard your share of them. I will just say that the Wally of the comics and the Wally of Young Justice seemed to be entirely different characters which seemed a shame to me, given all that could have been done with him. He had such a rich comic book history that I really do not understand why more was not done with it but that is your creative decision. Just not my cup of tea.
I adored your version of Dick Grayson however. He was competent without being overly skilled; he suffered under pressure but learned from what he was exposed to. His relationship with Wally in Season 1 was one of my all time favorites. Thanks for the great run!
Secondly, I could not write you without mentioning Gargoyles. I mean, wow. I think I was in fifth or sixth grade when I first caught it on the air. I just remember being deeply enthralled with it. I thought Elisa was an awesome character, as I did not see a whole lot of strong female leads back then and she was definitely that. I also adored the interesting family background you gave her. So often, characters fall into the stereotypical white, black, etc and she brilliantly avoided those.
I also firmly owe you thanks for igniting my interest in Shakespeare. I remember that I saw "City of Stone" when we were having to pick plays and such to read/analyze for school and after seeing that awesome four parter, I went right to my English teacher and asked if I could read MacBeth. It is still my favorite of the Bard's works.
The characterization of Demona was incredible. Most villains are so one dimensional but all the villains of Gargoyles were so well fleshed out. I am a creative writer myself and working on my first work to aim towards publication and I definitely count Gargoyles among my top inspiration for how to do characterization. To this day, I will tell people if they want to see a well fleshed out villain, go watch Demona from Gargoyles. I honestly would rank her about equal to Gollum from "Lord of the Rings." She can be diabolical, sneaky, cruel and yet you can totally see why she would have turned out that way and I can switch very easily from feeling such anger at her to feeling overwhelming pity. Bravo, my good Sir!
Thanks. Always nice to have the work thoughtfully appreciated.
Since your famous show was on the blog, I figured I could watch the pilot episode of Gargoyles for the first time.
Enjoyed it. I had some questions about who was the hooded traitor, but I feel the twist with the Captain's betrayal will soon get resolved.
Keep up the good work, even though this episode was made 20 years ago. Wow, that's a long time ago...
Yes, yes it is. But we're always glad to have new viewers. Keep up the good watching.
Greg Weisman: "I'd like to see a music video from Goliath's POV -- but featuring Elisa -- of "Amazing".
As per request:
I hope it's the right "Amazing." Thank you for your time and the suggestion.
I'll be honest, I don't actually remember asking for this, so I'm not sure if it's the "Amazing" I was thinking of, but boy it's perfect, isn't it? Anyway, whether or not I was smart to suggest it, you did a fantastic job.
I don't really have a question, but I want to thank you...
I am currently 17, and some of the best memories of my childhood involve your shows. I pitty those who will never know the joys of shows like Gargoyles... I know you get hundreds of messages saying this, but thank you, and I miss your work. You are a genious!
Thanks. (But I'm hoping you have no one to pity, because everyone's buying DVDs. Right? Right?)
ASK GREG LIVE! - WONDERCON 2013 REPORT
First, a little background. I'm going to quote a section from the introduction I made to to Station 8 Comment Room, waaaaaay back in July 2010:
"Given that I was three when Season 1 of 'Gargoyles' first began airing, I was obviously quite outside the target audience at that point, and if I watched any of the episodes on first airing I definitely don't remember them. Rather, my first clear memories of 'Gargoyles' were watching it during the late 90s when Toon Disney was first starting up. This produced some interesting experiences; for example, I never saw and indeed never even had a clue that 'Deadly Force' existed until Toon Disney started airing it again in 2002 or so.
At the time that I first was watching this show voraciously it was amongst a litany of dozens of other cartoons, some well-written ('Batman: The Animated Series,' 'Darkwing Duck,' etc.) and some...well, not so much (here's looking at you, 'Captain Planet'). To an eight year-old, there was little differentiation between the relative qualities of these shows, and it was not until a few years on that I really began to appreciate what a true gem 'Gargoyles' was.
I'm not entirely sure when my perspective changed, though it might have had something to do with the aforementioned first viewing of 'Deadly Force.' By this point I was a pre-teen, and old enough to understand the basics of S+P...so to see one of the protagonists shoot another one in the chest accidentally, nearly causing her to die was an absolute revelation to me. Around this time I began watching the entire series with new eyes, and what I saw astounded me.
The depth, the complexity, the characterization was unlike anything else I had ever seen on the small screen, live-action or animated. The little things that escaped me on the first, second, or even tenth viewing (yes, I watched a LOT of Toon Disney) suddenly rared to life and showed me how amazing this show was, is, and always will be. Everything from the sheer emotion that Tony Shalhoub brought to the show's single greatest cameo role to the little nuances about Lexington that made me think, 'Oh, of course!' when I learned that Greg considered him to be homosexual all became clear to me, and clearer and clearer with each viewing.
'Gargoyles' did much for me over the years. To take a particular example, when I first began really reading Shakespeare during mandatory reading times in high school, I went with 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' then 'Macbeth,' and then, after the obvious 'Hamlet,' moving to 'Othello.' It shouldn't take too many guesses to figure out what attracted me to those plays specifically.
I have many obsessions in my life, some that have faded and some that have stayed with me forever. 'Gargoyles' stayed with me forever, and by the time I was about 13 or so it overtook virtually all of my other obsessions to become forefront in my fiction-dominated mind. I began searching around the internet for various little tidbits and behind-the-scenes stuff, and was blown away when I first discovered Greg's Master Plan. That someone could have so intricately designed such a massive and complex fictional universe intrigued me to no end...particularly 'Bad Guys,' since Dingo was at the time my favorite character.
On one of my frequent revisitings of the Master Plan in 2004, I ended up clicking around some links that brought me to the FAQ...and consequently to AskGreg. If the Master Plan had blown me away, then this site caused my mind to spontaneously combust. So many hints and clues to what the future might hold for the series, should Disney allow it to somehow continue...straight from the mouth of the creator himself! In all the years since that I've been up and around the world wide web, never have I again seen such a direct, easy-to-access method of communication to the artist behind such a masterful work.
Over the years, I have read virtually every single post in the AskGreg archives, some of them several dozen times. It is one of the websites that I frequent several times a day without fail, and I have gained an uncountable amount of enrichment from reading it constantly. It was through this site that I first learned of the DVDs and comics, all of which I purchased as soon as I could possibly get my hands on them, and of the Gathering, the scope of which shocked and awed me.
One of my greatest regrets is that I was never able to attend one of these amazing events; convincing your parents to let you fly out of Hawaii to the mainland for a convention on a 90s cartoon isn't the easiest thing in the world. And although I WAS actually in town for the final one, Gathering 2009 happened to fall on the EXACT same weekend as my college orientation. If the Gathering had been just one week later, or my introduction to Pomona College just one week sooner...but I guess it's pointless to deal with hypotheticals.
In any event, my praise goes out to all of you unbelievably dedicated individuals who kept it alive for so long. If ever you are able to arrange some sort of smaller event in the future, you have my word that I will attend.
AskGreg also gave the chance to really get to know Greg Weisman (or at least, as much as this is possible without real-world contact), and he is currently one of my absolute greatest heroes in all of entertainment. I am not using hyperbole when I declare him to be the single most talented writer in animation history, and in my mind absolutely anything he touches turns to solid gold. I avidly watched 'W.I.T.C.H.,' 'The Spectacular Spider-Man,' and the various episodes he freelanced for favorite shows of mine like 'The Batman,' 'Kim Possible,' and 'Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!'...many of which turned out to be some of the best in their respective series. And I wait with bated breath (and fanboyish panting) for 'Young Justice.' Spider-Man is my favorite Marvel superhero and DC is my favorite comic book universe...so to have Greg interpret both with his usual flair for complex, multi-layered story arcs and deeply involved character development has left me positively salivating."
Now, as you can probably tell from these words, this was a moment I've been waiting on for nearly 10 years. So as you might expect, I was...anxious. Despite my personal contact with Greg over the past couple years due to my moderating duties here, as well as friends who had met him previously who assured me that he was a really nice guy in-person, I was still a little worried I'd screw this up somehow.
Thankfully, ASK GREG LIVE! turned out to be a great experience, and truly the highlight of the weekend. There was somewhere between 15-20 guests in attendance, including myself, my girlfriend, and Blaise (whom it was awesome to meet in person). Kudos to Matthew for holding up the event sign for over an hour, and to whoever it was that cosplayed as Batgirl.
We pretty much just jumped straight into an hour-and-a-half of questions, which I hope I didn't hog too many of. A few highlights from the revelations presented therein:
- Following the Season 1 finale, Vandal immediately called up Hugo Strange and told him, "Open all the doors." Which explains a lot. Now, Greg W. ALSO said that by Team Year Five, Belle Reve was fairly full again...but at least it explains why so many imprisoned villains were walking the streets again in Season 2.
- The Joker was originally considered to appear in "Auld Acquaintance," controlling the Justice League. But for a variety of reasons (mainly budgetary; they needed Klarion anyway for the "magic stuff"), they switched him out for Klarion.
- Greg also responded to my question about whether the Joker of Earth-16 knows he's in a cartoon show by saying, "I think he's crazy enough to believe that, even if he's NOT."
- Lieutenant and Sergeant Marvel were originally considered to be on the Team in Season 2. But with only 20 episodes, several intended arcs were cut or reworked to have occurred during the Time Skip: a Marvel Family arc, a Red Tornado arc, and a Zatanna arc. With nothing to do anymore, Mary and Freddy were slotted into the Time Skip.
- He hinted pretty damn strongly that we'll be hearing more about "poor, disgraced Ocean-Master." Presumably in "Legacy," which I am personally excited as all hell for.
- Clone!Roy, post-"Satisfaction," is a stay-at-home-dad. For the most part. He and Cheshire are "trying to make it work," to the degree that people like them can.
- I asked if working on YJ had made him give more thought to who the 16 Sixteens in the Illuminati are. He basically said, "not really," while adding that he's got most of the major players in the Illuminati pretty well figured out, and has for a while. Which isn't to say he doesn't leave a fair few slots open for moments of epiphany.
- Darkseid has been the Light's silent partner since Season 1. Which most of us had assumed, but it's nice to have firm confirmation.
- Victor Cook did a fly-by. No time for questions, just said hi and name-dropped "Mecha-Nation." But still...really cool.
- He described Jason Spisak's last recording with them. Jason came up afterward and said that it was rare for an actor to be able to end his role on such a great, final note, "instead of just flying off into the sunset, with no one having any idea if you survive or not." Having now seen "Dark Matter," Greg believes that may have been coded snark.
- Oh, and surprising no one with a head on their shoulders...Greg disproved the rumor that DC wanted Wally killed off because of the New 52. Though it WAS amusing to hear him call those rumors, and I quote: "Complete horse"...baloney.
- He said he's deliberately keeping mum on "Rain of the Ghosts" until he knows if his publisher is doing any advertising. If they don't, he may start teasing some plot tidbits on Ask Greg.
- He talked a bit about availability issues...about how it came to be that Wentworth, Kittie, and George were replaced toward the end of the season. Just a whole lot of REALLY bad luck regarding other projects. But he also revealed the replacement that almost was...if it wasn't for the fact that no one on Earth could do an impression that did justice to him.
That's right...they once almost lost Tim Curry.
He was shooting something or another toward the middle of the season. They simply could not get him before the episodes had to ship. So what they did...was Greg recorded the lines. Taaaaaaaaalking liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis sooooooooooo thaaaaaaaaat theeeeeeeey cooooooould AAAAAAADR iiiiiiiiiiiit aaaaaaaaafteeeeeeer theeeeeeey reeeeeetuuuuuuurned froooooooom ooooooverseeeeeeeeeeas.
Which they would NEVER do otherwise. For no one but Tim Curry. Greg had to do a bunch of takes, because Jamie kept having to stop him and shout, "SLOWER!" Needed the mouth movements SO exaggerated that no one would notice it was ADR'ed. Which I don't think anyone did.
- I think those are all the big revelations, but there was lots of real fun little stuff on Greg's writing process, the backroom thinking that went into Darkseid's cameo, and Greg's hopes for the future. As he said at one point, "I still haven't given up on Gargoyles, and that's going on 20 years at this point! Why would I give up on a series that ended THIS month?"
Beyond that, it was just an incredible experience to be in the presence of the guy - to hear him speak, to ask questions (even utterly silly ones) directly answered to our faces, to shake hands, and to be personally thanked for my years of hard work on Ask Greg...which, needless to say, was incredibly gratifying.
The atmosphere was great - casual, friendly, and with no pressure on either the askers or on Greg. We chatted, we laughed, and we got to hear Greg at his absolute "frankest." Which is to say, a little...off-color. And oh it was glorious.
At my request, we also did an impromptu signing at the end; I got my Clan-Building Volume 1 trade, my SpecSpidey Season 1 DVD, my Young Justice Volume 1 trade, a Captain Atom comic, and the essay I wrote for Contemporary Political Theory last semester (and submitted to Ask Greg afterward) signed, and pretty much geekgasmed into the floor. SOOOOO utterly wonderful.
[If you want to see pics of said signed stuff and/or other stuff I snagged at the Con, you can go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/94547312@N04/sets/72157633137324644/with/8608204054/].
We also got to chat a bit privately, which was of course very good fun. And he even indulged my stupid, silly, obsessive request...to pose with my Fluttershy toy and say, "Fluttershy is best pony." His response was golden, too.
Greg: I have no idea what that means.
Me: I didn't expect you to.
Greg: Nah, what I mean is, am I saying something that will get a thousand angry bronies coming after me?
Me: No, most bronies tend to agree that Fluttershy is best pony, anyway.
Unfortunately, my girlfriend's phone appears to have recorded only the first second of the line. But I still posted it to YouTube because the image is gold:
Overall, my first in-person meeting with Greg Weisman proved to be everything I was hoping for it to be, and more. He's a massively cool guy who doesn't operate on any pretense; he is what he is, and what he is is a genius at writing/interpreting fiction.
It was truly an honor to spend that time with him, and I very much hope it won't be the last.
Greg Weisman, you rock (woo-hoo!). Don't let anybody tell you different. Because this kind of treatment of your fans makes me truly proud to be involved with helping out here.
Thank you for ASK GREG LIVE!
Thank you for all the wonderful shows you've brought us over the years.
And thank you for never giving up hope. I await "Rain of the Ghosts" with bated breath, and I can't wait to here the announcement when you get your next television gig.
Because it's coming. And I look forward to watching the hell out of that show, whenever it comes.
Wow. Dude, do you really want to stoke my ego THAT MUCH?
Anyway, it was great meeting you too. You're contribution to Ask Greg has been invaluable.
I hope you're thinking about coming to ConVergence this July for the Gargoyles Reunion convention within a convention. More details on that should be forthcoming this month.
Years ago in a long ramble (http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?rid=225), I mentioned that: "I'd like to see a music video featuring Demona to Dido's'White Flag.'"
Well, NeillGargoyle found that obscure request and posted this:
Pretty much exactly what I had in mind!
Now if someone would just do this one: "I'd like to see a music video from Goliath's POV -- but featuring Elisa -- of "Amazing". (I think that's the title. I'm not sure who the artist or band is.)"
Hello Mr Weisman,
I just wanted to thank you for your amazing work. I really hate to see Young Justice over so soon but loved every minute of it as a huge comic fan.
I also loved Gargoyles. My mom and I used to watch it together all the time. We loved the series from start to finish. My mom died a few years back and when I really miss her, I watch Gargoyles. Even after all this time I can still remember her comments on her favorite episodes and it's very comforting to have that to fall back on. I don't think I'm explaining myself well, but thank you for giving us something we could enjoy so much together, and something to help me remember her with. I look forward to your next projects.
Kris, my condolences for the loss of your mother. And thank you for such kind words. You could hardly have paid me a nicer compliment, and I truly appreciate it.
An attempt at alliteration.
Alice asked "And aliens are attacking? "
"Aye." Articulated Andrew "Asia, America and Australia are annihilated."
Astounded, Alice approached an alcove as Andrew advanced.
"Assaulted as an apparition approached." Andrew answered.
"Appearing as?" asked Alice annoyed.
"Ant's, antlers, and arms amalgamated."
"Aye, Alice. An abomination, absurd, appalling and approaching."
Angrily Alice answered, "As always Andrew, Anonymous' annoying artifice as absurd as…"
"Ain't artifice, Alice." Andrew answered, "Article's accredited and authority approved."
"Aha! All authorized article are a__" Alice added acidly "And another airhead against acknowledging actuality approves absurdity again!"
Annoyed, Andrew absconded.
As an affiliate, Andrew acquiesced an alternate angle and amusedly appraised another acclaimed article about an author annoying an audience at an auditorium, apparently articulating asinine abstractions abundantly as animatronics animated and artificially attempted an aria affronted an attendant.
"Alice's always abrogating and annulling aberrations." Andrew accounted ambulating amongst an alley, again approaching Alice's abode.
Awakened and activated at Alice's anguished articulation; Andrew approached an alarming appearance and aspired. An aliens arm arrested Alice against an archway.
Attempting an assault at an abdomen as Andrew appraised, an appendage altered and abated Andrews advancing attack. Astounded at an accelerated adaptation, Andrew arsled away, aimed an armament and applied an alternate approach.
Appearing accomplished, Andrew articulated again. "Ain't artifice Alice."
Astonished Alice answered, "Well, do you freaking blame me?"
(backs away slowly...)