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Marvelman writes...

I know this isn't a forum, but I would like to respond to another poster who asked if Demona was ticklish by saying:

Would you really want to find out?:)

Greg responds...

I'm not touching this one (or her).

Response recorded on October 18, 2019

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Matt writes...

Hi Greg.

Been a long while since I've asked you anything here. I hope things are well with you. Sounds like you're busy these days and I'm glad to hear it.

I'm writing to ask you about Gargoyles. It's crazy to think that the property is approaching its 25th year. And very cool to think that "in-universe" Artus and other gargoyles around the world are less than a year away from hatching!

But what I'm writing about is the future of Gargoyles on television, in comics, novels, etc. It feels like the last few years have been very quiet for Gargoyles. The last Gathering is nearly a decade behind us. We've had no new material in even longer. Revisions on GargWiki only trickle in these days. Gargoyles fan sites are steadily being abandoned or dying. Even Ask Greg is far more of a Young Justice site these days. The Comment Room is pretty quiet, a shadow of what it was when I first discovered it over 17 years ago. And we fans are slowly growing older. And with all of these disheartening facts, I'm beginning to lose hope in new Gargoyles material from here on out.

It's hard for me to even admit that. I can remember getting very fired up and launching into pep talks when others would express similar thoughts over the years. Maybe I'm writing this in hopes of getting a pep talk myself. I don't know. Really, I just want to know what your thoughts on the future of Gargoyles is. Good or bad, I'd just like to hear it from the man himself.

Let me be clear: I'm not asking if you've given up on the property. I know that you have never failed to look for an outlet to tell your stories and I know that if you were given a chance you'd happily tell those stories in any medium. I'm just curious about your personal and professional opinion on any future Gargoyles products.

I will always be a fan. I will always love the stories you've told us. I will always have some hope that more stories will be told and I'll be quick to support the property if/when that happens. I'm just feeling like Gargoyles is all in the past. Honestly, am I right? Or am I just being dramatic? And if Gargoyles does have a chance in the future, what can we do to help it along after all these years?

Thanks, Greg. You rock. Thanks for everything!

Greg responds...

Hey Matt,

You're just being dramatic. Which doesn't mean you aren't also right. Which doesn't mean there isn't hope. Confused yet?

Here's a hard truth: Disney bought Marvel and Lucasfilm. Why take a chance on a 25-year-old action property that (to their mind) has an aging/shrinking fanbase when you can exploit sure things like Star Wars and Spider-Man?

That's the big hump right now.

In addition, comic book publishing of Disney's licensed properties has been in disarray. As I'm sure you've noticed, we made some progress with Joe Books... and then it all fell apart. We're now waiting for Joe's license to lapse and are hopeful -actually hopeful - that we can make new comics happen with a new publisher. [Name of new publisher being withheld for now until a deal is made.]

So, no, of course I haven't given up. Gargoyles is my baby, and I'll never give up on it. I hope the fans won't either, but I understand there isn't much new to talk about these days, so it's natural that interest wanes. But I hope if and when there is something new to talk about, the fans will help me launch a campaign to get that new stuff noticed.

I truly believe that our best bet right now is, in fact, comic books. I can tell original canon stories (with little or no interference), and then we can use the comics to demonstrate that the property is still viable, just as we used Netflix to prove that Young Justice was still viable.

I'm also hopeful that once Disney has its own version of Netflix up and running in 2019 (just in time for our 25th Anniversary), that they'll put Gargoyles up there for streaming. Then we can begin a #KeepBingingGargoyles campaign, and who knows what might happen?!

Meanwhile, though it's true we haven't had an official Gathering since 2009, we did have a Gargoyles-convention-within-a-convention that was VERY successful at CONvergence in 2014 in Minneapolis, honoring the show's 20th anniversary. We did all the old Gathering stuff: showed the videos, multiple panels on the subject (including the biology/cultural panel), an original Gargoyles Radio Play, and we had Marina Sirtis, Frank Paur & Greg Guler there, as well. Many old Gargoyles fans showed up, and we had a blast. http://www.convergence-con.org/about/archive/2014-convention/

I'll be back at CONvergence in July of 2018, and although it won't be a full-on Gargoyles convention-within-a-convention again, we will do a Radio Play, and I always do at least one Gargoyles panel.

Plus, I've been talking with a venue to do another Garg-con-within-a-con to celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2019. I'll keep you posted here, but you should think about attending. It'll get the juices flowing.

So, no, don't despair. I'm always pretty upfront about the likelihood of anything happening, and right now it's a bit slim. But down the road, I still see a lot of potential. Stick with us!

Response recorded on December 20, 2017

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Emily the Disney Fan writes...

Hello Mr. Weisman, let me just start by saying that Gargoyles is now My #1 favorite Disney Series, and I've gotten and read the first 6 issues of the Clan Building Comic books and the 4 first issues of the 'Bad Guys' Comic Books, and here are 2 questions that I do have

1. Do you have any general comment to all of the Fans out there Who make Fan Art and/or Write Fan Fictions about 'Gargoyles', or any cartoon show you created?

2. What general advice would you give to a Fan who writing a Fan Fiction about 'Gargoyles'?

Greg responds...

1. Not sure what you're looking for. Um... Go for it!

2. I don't read any fanfiction to protect myself legally. So I'm hardly an expert with advice and the like. So... try to be true to the characters, I guess?

Response recorded on August 15, 2017

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ClarkeC writes...

Happy belated holidays. This is more of a ramble of sorts in regards to Gargoyles. Now me personally I'm more of a superhero fan which is why I like Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice better but Gargoyles is still a blast to watch. Going through the archive and watching a couple episodes of Gargoyles, it's easy to see that you put a LOT of thought and passion into it in regards to crafting the Gargoyles mythos. I'm assuming that since it is more or less an original work out of your head and other writers of the show, you probably had a real blast in writing it. The rambles you wrote on how the episodes came together and whatnot were really entertaining to read. Probably my two favorite parts of the show were the Third Race and the Gargoyles interpretation of Arthurian lore. Weaving so many mythologies and folklore under one umbrella was a pretty neat idea. And I had no idea that the island of Avalon came from the legends of Arthur. I know Disney is in control of the property but if they ever give SLG (I think that's the company) the license again I would read it in a heartbeat. You both implied in the show and outright stated so many interesting things about the future of where you going to take the stories that my interest is beyond piqued. Thanks for reading this and hope it didn't waste your time or anything.

Greg responds...

Thanks for the kind words. We always thought we were working firmly in the super-hero genre - bastard genre though it is - in our storytelling, just minus the trappings (capes, tights, etc.). Glad the show's working for you. Obviously, I'd recommend watching all 65 episodes of the first two seasons in order, followed by the eighteen existing issues of the SLG comic book series.

And, yes, we're all hopeful that the comic will come back sooner than later.

Response recorded on March 16, 2017

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what do you put in this thing writes...

What websites do you usually look at when you want to see the fandom's reaction to something?

Greg responds...

I actually try NOT to do that at all. It makes me a bit crazy. One loves the praise and hates the haters, but if one values the praise, then one must place value on the hate. So I've learned the hard way - believe me - that I'm better off NOT. Just not.

Once in a blue moon, I can't resist however. But there's no set place I go. Just what I stumble upon, usually, that I don't have the willpower to click away from.

Response recorded on January 30, 2017

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EXALT writes...

http://www.eruditorumpress.com/blog/sensor-scan-gargoyles/
Thoughts?

Greg responds...

Well, my first thought in reading the first sentence was: "how completely obnoxious." And it only gets worse from there.

Look, no one has to like Gargoyles or appreciate it. But the writer makes all sorts of false assumptions about the MAKING of the show and the INTENT of those creating it. That's annoying to me.

See, I'm a HUGE fan of Batman, the Animated Series, and I have always openly admitted that the fact BTAS was successful gave Disney the courage to put Gargoyles on the air. But the assumption that we were chasing it, content-wise, is just wrong. So the idea that we were trying to emulate it and somehow blew it is ridiculous.

But in the end, to each his or her own. This review doesn't change my opinion. And if it had praised the series unrelentingly - that is, if it had praised something that I didn't feel deserved praise - it still wouldn't change my opinion of the series. My take: it's not perfect, but I'm extremely proud of the work we did.

Frankly, though, I'm not sure why you felt the need to bring this review to my attention. Is it fun to piss me off? Cuz it ain't fun to be pissed off.

Response recorded on October 31, 2016

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Magnus writes...

I have a comment, and a question.

1. I hope you never have trouble finding work, your writing is quite inspiring. I just rewatched and, with great difficulty, reread the comics (hard to find them without paying a month's rent). It's nice to remember why I loved it so much as a kid, and find a lot more to fall in love with, like how I -never- even noticed 'David and Goliath' before.

2. Would you ever consider Kickstarter or Fig in order to get fundage to be able to work on Gargoyles more in some way?

Greg responds...

1. Thank you. I have had trouble finding work at times, but that's the business I chose.

2. I can't crowd-fund something I don't own. And I don't own Gargoyles.

Response recorded on September 21, 2016

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Laura 'ad astra' Sack writes...

I'm way behind reading Ask Greg so I can't comment on anything current except this: Just showed my 7 year old her first episode of Gargoyles. (Also her almost 4 year old sister: My big one was willing to wait till seven, but not until we found a time my little one wasn't watching too, so she agreed to let her sister come into her bed if she woke up scared. I'm not being overprotective; she's crawled into my lap on Sofia the First episodes.) No big surprise, but they loved it. They begged to watch the second episode past bedtime because of the cliffhanger. (I would have caved had Awakenings been just a two parter.) It was pretty fascinating to keep my mouth shut and see them guess who was a good guy and who was a bad one.

Greg responds...

You have made my day!

Response recorded on September 13, 2016

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Matt writes...

Hi Greg,

Today I was reflecting on a few instances in my life where I had to make difficult choices: the easy road or the right road. I can specifically remember thinking about integrity in those moments, thinking about Renaud's "What have I become?" versus Demona's "What have they done..." Ultimately, despite the difficulties, I tended to do the right thing and tell the truth, both to myself and to others. In one case, this resulted in me being fired from a job.

The reason I'm telling you this is that, while I had some excellent role models growing up who showed me integrity, it would be unfair to say that Gargoyles didn't have a strong influence in my youth that would lead me to become the man I am today. I am now a teacher of elementary school students and see many young people with and without strong moral role models. In either case, it is clear to me that they are very influenced by the movies, TV shows, celebrities and social media in their lives. And it is my hope that mixed into all the stimuli they are receiving the kind of moral reinforcement that I had in Gargoyles. I am very grateful to you and your peers for creating a program that I not only wanted to watch, but that made me a better person. There is a lot of red tape that goes into public school education, and I know that in your field there is a lot of that too. But I wanted to encourage you to remember the impact you can have on young people. It is not all about ratings and toy sales and demographics. You have the power to guide the adults of tomorrow. You certainly helped to guide me.

Keep up the great work! And thank you from a lifelong fan.

Greg responds...

You just made my day. Thank you.

Response recorded on July 22, 2016

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Tyler Reznik writes...

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.

Greg responds...

I like it!!

Response recorded on February 05, 2016

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Kcops writes...

I'm guessing you're a fan of Star Trek? Anyways, you're the man. Gargoyles kicks butt.

Greg responds...

1. I am.

2. I like to think so.

3. Agreed.

;)

Response recorded on December 17, 2014

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Catherine B writes...

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!

Greg responds...

Thanks. Always nice to have the work thoughtfully appreciated.

Response recorded on October 07, 2014

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Giant Boy writes...

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...

Giant Boy

Greg responds...

Yes, yes it is. But we're always glad to have new viewers. Keep up the good watching.

Response recorded on April 18, 2014

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Charisma82 writes...

Greg Weisman: "I'd like to see a music video from Goliath's POV -- but featuring Elisa -- of "Amazing".

As per request:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6roY5udD8c&feature=c4-overview&list=UURD-80g-99JdhBskN6OXGGg

I hope it's the right "Amazing." Thank you for your time and the suggestion.

Greg responds...

WOW!

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.

Response recorded on April 08, 2014

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Braylon Williams writes...

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!

Greg responds...

Thanks. (But I'm hoping you have no one to pity, because everyone's buying DVDs. Right? Right?)

Response recorded on January 21, 2014

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Masterdramon writes...

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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qVVtIsNeb4

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.

Greg responds...

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.

Response recorded on January 06, 2014

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Demona's "White Flag"

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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNGrg5Wm12E

Pretty much exactly what I had in mind!

Thanks, Neill!

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.)"


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Kris W writes...

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 W

Greg responds...

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.

Response recorded on December 06, 2013

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Barnabas Born writes...

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.
"And?"
"Assaulted as an apparition approached." Andrew answered.
"Appearing as?" asked Alice annoyed.

"Ant's, antlers, and arms amalgamated."
"Absurd!"
"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.

"AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH"

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?"

Greg responds...

Um.... okay....

(backs away slowly...)

Response recorded on August 26, 2013

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Anonymous writes...

Which fandom do you honestly appreciate the most:
1- Gargoyles fans
2- Spectacular Spider-Man fans
3- Young Justice fans
4- Greg Weisman fans

Greg responds...

See, now, the Hulk is more powerful because the madder he gets, the stronger he gets. But the Thing can still beat him if he keeps his wits about him.

Response recorded on April 16, 2013

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Masterdramon writes...

Hey Greg! Hope that you're doing well, and that the holiday season is treating/did treat (depending on when you read this) your family happily.

What follows is a paper I recently submitted to my Contemporary Political Theory class at Pomona College, interrelating several of the concepts from the book we discussed that week ("You Are Not a Gadget" by Jaron Lanier) with the notion of namelessness in traditional gargoyle culture.

My professor (unfamiliar with the show, but very intrigued when I explained it to her) really got a kick out of the piece, and I earned a more-or-less "A-" equivalent for it. But as long as I've got it sitting around, I figured you might enjoy giving it a read as well.

[NOTE: You may want to review this post you made on Ask Greg in 2004 beforehand, as it is cited frequently: http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?rid=387].

Now, without further ado, the essay. It has been edited from the submitted version only by rearranging paragraph breaks...

The 1994 animated television series Gargoyles posits a highly intelligent species which dominated the Earth prior to human genesis and ascendance.

These gargoyles possess a unique culture which predates humanity's by a significant period, but the first on-screen depiction of the gargoyle species takes place in the 10th century, after millions of years of convergent evolution between the two cultures.

Indeed, the pilot episodes depict the essential death of one lingering component of gargoyle culture, at least for the series protagonists: that gargoyles lack personal names. This idea is first discussed in a conversation between two gargoyles and a human boy:

TOM: I'm Tom. What's your name?
GARGOYLE #1: Except for Goliath, we don't have names.
TOM: How do you tell each other apart?
GARGOYLE #1: We look different.
TOM: But what do you call each other?
GARGOYLE #2: (shrugs) Friend.

For context, "Goliath" is the leader of the clan of gargoyles to which the protagonists belong, and their liaison to the humans with whom they share an uneasy alliance; those humans felt incapable of dealing with a nameless entity, and Goliath did not bother to reject the name they selected for him.

Still, he does not use the name in communicating with his own clan until a betrayal by their human allies and a magical curse cause the protagonists to sleep as statues and then reawaken in 20th century Manhattan.

Here they meet and befriend Elisa Maza, a police detective who is both confused by and - for reasons she has trouble articulating - uncomfortable with this traditional lack of names. The following exchange takes place between Elisa and the clan's elderly mentor:

ELISA: Are you coming on the tour…uh, what do I call you, anyway?
GARGOYLE: Must you humans name everything? Nothing's real to you till you've named it, given it limits!
ELISA: It's not like that! It's just that…well, uh…things need names.
GARGOYLE: Does the sky need a name? Does the river?
ELISA: The river's called the Hudson.
GARGOYLE: (sighs) Fine, lass…then I will be 'the Hudson' as well.
ELISA: Great! Hudson it is.

From that point onward, that particular gargoyle is known as Hudson, and only Hudson.

The younger gargoyles who survived the centuries follow suit; the two who conversed with Tom become Lexington and Brooklyn, for example. And Goliath more-or-less fully accepts the moniker afforded him by the Dark Age humans.

As Gargoyles creator Greg Weisman points out, "naming is clearly addictive," and once they are established the convenience they offer makes doing away with them virtually impossible. Thus, for the Manhattan Clan of gargoyles, namelessness largely remains a thing of the past for the remainder of the series.

In "You Are Not a Gadget," Jaron Lanier describes the phenomenon experienced by these gargoyles using the term "lock-in."

As Lanier puts it, "lock-in…removes design options based on what is easiest to program, what is politically feasible, what is fashionable, or what is created by chance." Furthermore, the process "also reduces or narrows the ideas it immortalizes, by cutting away the unfathomable penumbra of meaning."

Despite originally referring to programming language, this is a perfect description of the process that "Hudson" has been subjected to in the previous scene.

Names are a method of defining identity, which necessarily must involve "giving it limits." But in traditional gargoyle culture, identity has greater meaning than that; it is amorphous, and changes with the circumstances.

The gargoyle who first made a compact with the humans at Castle Wyvern is the same gargoyle who mated three times and produced three progeny; he is the same gargoyle who fought the evil Archmage and received a wound that blinded him in one eye; he is the same gargoyle who slept for centuries and once awakened, found himself fascinated with the television show "Celebrity Hockey."

Does one name - Hudson - really encapsulate all of these aspects of his identity?

In-and-of-itself, all it signifies is that the place Hudson awoke in was modern-day New York (a cut line from the episode's script even has Elisa commenting, "Good thing we weren't facing Queens," emphasizing with humor how off-hand and esoteric the choice was).

That name was "locked-in" as the full and entire representation of the character from that point onward, solely because it was politically feasible (it makes dealing with Elisa and later human allies far more expedient), it was fashionable (every other intelligent being in 1994 New York has a name, so why not the gargoyles?), and it was created by chance (quite literally in this case, as the "Queens" quote illustrates).

And the result is that the very meaning of his identity is narrowed. He is no longer capable of being someone at a particular moment, and someone else in the next.

He is always Hudson.

There is an even greater story here, however, which Weisman's later musings have helped to illuminate. As he once observed, "Gargoyles don't seem to have a native language. They acquire human language, perhaps much the same way that they acquire names…And language, in many ways, is just sophisticated naming."

This is a compelling point. As he later notes, a different and arguably much more persuasive response that Elisa could have offered is that the river is called "the river."

Languages are systems for describing objects, concepts, actions, etc. using strict and uniform definitions, confining them to names that society calls words.

But does a name like "the sky" really fully encapsulate the meaning inherent within the depths that humans observe from below? Does it even begin to provoke a holistic understanding of its astronomical, religious, chemical, or poetic contexts?

And even more to the point, what of metaphysical concepts like "justice"? Can a single clear definition even exist for such a weighty and nebulous notion - and if not, does sticking the name "justice" to it not necessarily limit it?

Lanier certainly appears to believe so. As he conceives it, the system of symbology under which all current human languages operate is itself a lock-in; at best, a "middleman" between intent and "directly creating shared experience" that he wants to work to cut out.

His method for doing so is improvements on virtual reality, until researchers develop "the ability to morph at will, as fast as we can think."

Lanier envisions a world where the rather simplistic words "I'm hungry" will not be the only way to communicate the sensation which has brought them on - instead, he sees potential in the power of virtual reality technology to place us in the bodies of others, as a way to intimate the sensation itself.

Humanity would no longer have to be limited to extracting some piece of the concept it calls "hunger," giving it that name, and using it as code so that others who know the symbology of the English language will understand some approximation of that concept.

The concept would simply be understood, and communication would be a straightforward matter of imparting that understanding.

But perhaps there is an even better solution than this - although one that is, unfortunately, largely forgotten.

Presented with the puzzle that gargoyles are highly gregarious and intelligent by nature and yet appear to lack any notion of their own language, Weisman has mused that perhaps, long before human language evolved and became the locked-in method for communication, the gargoyle species possessed "mild psychic abilities that left them with no need to create language."

While emphasizing that he was only asserting a possibility, the communication he imagines - where it was not "words that they intuited (or transmitted or read or whatever) but emotions, maybe images or sensations" - sounds exceedingly similar to what Lanier hopes to achieve through virtual reality.

Such communication would be consistent with what audience knows about pre-human gargoyle culture, where definition and identity are situational as opposed to consistently codified.

But if that is the case, it leads to a rather lamentable conclusion. As Weisman puts it, "perhaps the very language skills that gargoyles learned from the human race dampened their psychic intuitiveness;" in other words, lock-in of a very particular method of communication (symbology) "locked-out" another method that presented communicative possibilities human technology can currently only dream of.

The initial insistence on not using personal names, then, can be considered a lingering hold-out of a bygone era where every concept was considered unlimited, and every sensation intimated in their full depth.

In dealing with nascent human cultures, gargoyles must have gradually accepted the limiting of concepts like "sky" or "river" because this made interspecies congress significantly more efficient, but they resisted the longest on the limiting of the very depths of the self.

But with the permanent instatement of "Hudson" and the rest, there does not appear to be room to return to the possibilities an unlimited identity presents. Human language has killed them.

Of course, both the gargoyle race and their culture are fantastical constructions, but that does not necessarily mean that humans cannot learn from their fictional example.

While humans do not seem to share these "mild psychic abilities" (although there are some who would vehemently disagree with that statement) that Weisman hypothesizes, that there are methods of sensation and communication which precede language skills is clearly documented.

As with gargoyles, members of the species Homo sapiens did exist well before the development of the earliest known language, and while current understanding of those early cultures is limited at best, there is also a much more immediate example to turn to.

Newborns spend a few years before they learn to define the world around them in the code of words - the sun is an experience to them long before the strictly defined, limiting name of "the sun" is ever applied to it.

The depths of what could be learned from observing children raised without learning language skills, interpreting sensations and intimating them to others via methods of their own device, are boundless; of course, the enormous ethical travesty presented by such experiments means they are not a viable avenue for inquiry.

So instead, humans turn to fiction - attempting to realize through others what that they have long since lost, and yearn to find again.

Greg Weisman has often described gargoyle culture, and pre-human gargoyle culture specifically, as something of a wish fulfillment for him. "I'm such a human," he laments with a written-out sigh, "But I aspire to gargoylosity."

Well, if the virtual reality morphing that so excites Jaron Lanier can indeed allow humans to experience sensation as a pre-human gargoyle (or a pre-language human, or a baby, or even a cephalopod) did/does - if it has the potential to turn the clock back as well as forward, and show what it is like for things simply to be, without the cumbersome and restrictive middleman of naming them - then perhaps that is an aspiration that more humans should share.

Greg responds...

At first, when you mentioned 'You Are Not a Gadget', I couldn't help thinking the follow-up statement would be 'You Are a Chip, a Dale or a Monterey Jack'. Talk about lock-in.

Anyway, is it immodest to say that your essay warmed my heart? I enjoyed reading it. And I found it quite insightful. I do believe my own thinking has evolved since I wrote that ramble on gargoyles' latent psychic abilities. My thinking now is less psychic and more intuitive based on sensory clues.

But it doesn't change my positive response to your thesis. And it also speaks to one of my goals - perhaps even needs (NEEDS) - as a writer. Using words, multiple, multiple words, in an attempt to reach beyond the lock-in that comes with words like river or sun or Hudson or, most especially, Greg. The original version of Hudson's line was something like: 'Nothing is real to you until you've named it, defined it, given it limits.' More words to more fully illustrate the concept. And often in my writing I find myself trying to paint pictures with more and more words in an almost poetic sense. That verbosity is often counterproductive when writing dialogue. But I LIKE to think it lends - even when cut back and cut down - a certain depth to the dialogue. But it's a constant push and pull in my writing between trying to find just the one right word and using many, many to paint that fuller picture.

Response recorded on December 30, 2012

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Tyler Reznik writes...

Hello once again, Mr. Weisman.
Fully expecting it to be months before you get to this question, but patience is a virtue, so...
1) Is the Brain gay? I suspect that you may not answer this one, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I thought I'd ask.
2) How did the Brain become a disembodied... well, brain?
3) Two previous posts had you give Wonder Woman's age as 90, then 85. Was the difference because you'd already started working on the post-timeskip timeline?
4) For your production bible, do you assign real names to characters who traditionally lack them (Bane, the Joker, the Brain, etc.)?
5) How does the Light recruit supervillains to work for them (apart from the League of Shadows and the member's own forces)?
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, and thank you for Gargoyles, a series I greatly enjoyed when I was younger (I've had the misfortune of not seeing an episode in several years). It meant a great deal to me, and helped inspire my interest in storytelling and Shakespeare (the former more than the latter, but Gargoyles introduced me to the Bard's work). It is very much appreciated, and I will remember Gargoyles for a very long time indeed. Have a good day, sir.

Greg responds...

1. He's still in the canister.

2. See Young Justice issue #19.

3. I dunno. The timeline is very long, and sometimes I misread it.

4. Generally, no. But I do - with the help of loremaster John Wells - reach back to find any name that might exist in the DCU canon.

5. It's all case-by-case.

Response recorded on September 20, 2012

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J&M writes...

Heya Greg! I know your focus has been on Young Justice lately (as it should be) but hopefully you won’t mind kicking it a little old-school and reading fans gush about Gargoyles. This is more of a ramble than a question but hopefully you won’t mind.

I have a good friend that lives in another state that is fairly arduous driving distance away so we only see each other in person every couple months. Naturally one of our main ways of staying in touch is talking via IM. And one thing we do is choose shows one of us has never seen (mostly her, but occasionally me) and watch episodes at the same time we talk to each other, so we’re watching ‘together’ even if we’re not actually together. We actually have a standing list of things we want to go through this way. And a short while ago my friend chose to start Gargoyles. We blew through all five parts of Awakening in one session and I thought you might get a kick out of seeing some choice bits of our conversation. (And yes my friend did give permission for me to share this with you.) There’s going to be more of what she has to say than me because I feel like reading me responding to her reactions with, “Why yes that IS awesome and part of the reason I love this show” would get old after awhile. The ‘choice bits’ are still pretty long, but hopefully you won’t mind too terribly.

Quick background. We are both of the female persuasion. I’m 24 and have a B.A. in English and am going back to school in the fall for a Library Science degree. She’s 20 and a Creative Writing major at a University that feels there is very clear divide between ’literature’ and ’entertainment’ and that all genre fiction falls into the latter category by default.

Needless to say, since both of us are fans of Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Animation…we disagree with that. A lot.

I’m going slightly out of order, starting with her reaction to seeing the theme song before getting into the actual episode stuff. I’ll use [] to indicate me making a comment or an edit after the fact. ‘J’ indicates my comments. ‘M’ is my friend.

J
Oh and THEME SONG OF EPICNESS
M
Preeeeetty
J
Awesome visuals are awesome
M
Hey wait a minute
I've totally heard this before
J
The interwebs loves Gargoyles
M
I've never seen the visuals to the theme song though
Heeeeee
J
So you probably have
M
As the interwebs should
J
I KNOW RIGHT!!??
M
IT'S EPIC

[Start of Episode 1]

J
What do you know about Gargoyles already?
M
There are charries named Puck and Oberon
That's all I know

[First battle between Vikings and Gargoyles]

M
Ooooh that was really good animation
J
1994
Damn straight
[Meaning that it‘s still impressive now, and considering that it‘s from 1994, is even more-so]

[The Banquet]

M
Hi hot lady
Hi fabulous Pegasus-like man

[Pegasus is a villain from season 1 of Yu-Gi-Oh with long white hair and a…distinctive personality]

M
Hey
I know your voice
Hi Jeff Bennet?

[Re Demona and Goliath‘s conversation with the Captain of the Guard after leaving the Banquet]

M
Redhead needs a haircut
I really like their relationship though so far
It seems rooted in a mutual respect
M
WHY AREN'T RELATIONSHIPS IN TV LIKE THIS ANYMORE
YES
M
THIS IS WHAT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO
M
THANK YOU GREG WEISMAN
M
THIS IS HOW RELATIONSHIPS IN TV SHOULD WORK

[Goliath and Hudson falling into the Vikings trap]
M
Hi horsies!
Oooooh
Uh oh
Raaawwwwr
Ohhhhh
I see
They turn to stone in the sun
J
Yep.
And at night they're awake
M
That was a good bit of exposition
I just got back from seeing Puss in Boots yesterday and while it was good there was a *ton* of unnecessary exposition in dialogue
Ummmmmm

[The start of the Wyvern Massacre with the Hakon and the Captain arguing over smashing the Gargoyles]

M
Oh dear
Oh dear
Hello high [conflict]
NO
DON'T DO IT
DON'T
NO
YOU DIDN'T!
NO!
M
Holy [censored]
I feel bad
And I don't even know who that guy is
That gargoyle rather
[J] why didn't I watch this show as a kid?

[Episode 2]

M
I love the Magus
J
Can I marry Keith David's voice?
M
NO
GET IN LINE

M
Maaaguuuus
I love you already
J
"He's going to slay her!"
J
Like Buffy
M
Heeeeee
Wait is she really dead?
GO MAGUS!
J
*is behind you*
M
"You are the betrayer?"
"All of my kind are dead"
M
"YOU LYING SCUM!"
Uh o
DON'T
FALL OFF
NO
Oh okay
Awwww Goliath
Uh oh
"What sorcery is this?"
M
Can I marry the Magus?
J
Get in line :P
M
Oooooh nice twist

[1994]

M
Pretty grass
Hello long time in the future?
long time passed*
Who is this guy and when can I [censored] him?
And his tech guy?
J
Xanatos is dark hair and beard
Blonde glasses is Owen
And again get in line :P
M
Heeeeeeeeee
DAMN
J
"Pay a man enough and he'll walk barefoot into hell."
M
He has a HELICOPTER
M
I want him
He just needs to shave and clip the ponytail
J
I think the goatee and ponytail are sexy. So clearly I love him more than you do and should have him.
M
Heeeeeeeeeeeeee
I'll take his tech guy happily
J
Yeah you can't have him either :P
M
Awwwwww
No fair
J says
You're about eighteen years too late :P
M
Heeeeeee
M
WAIT
Do we get to see the Magus anymore?
J
I can't tell you :P
No spoilers remember
M
Heeeeeee
Because if I don't I will cry
M
This may be an off guess but are any of the present-charries descended from the past-charries?
But you can't answer that either
J
No spoilers LOL
This is fuuuun
M
:P
Seeing all my wild guesses

M
Ooooh
I love Xan
J
I know you do.
M
This show has been really good about engaging right from the pilot
So far it hasn't really been talk-heavy

[Episode 3]

M
Owen is totally Magus
J
I think they're both voiced by Jeff Bennet
M
They're totally related in some way

J
Elisa is quipping a la Buffy before Buffy
M
But Goliiath wil save her
I love the Gargoyles
It's a nice deviation from what you'd expect
J
How so?
M
They're very respectful
M
And not all grrrrr
They have morals and principles they go by and they're fairly peaceful

M
Heeeee hundreds of spells
On a floppy
M
My 1TB talisman can kick its ass
M
I really really like this show so far
M
AND IS THAT THE REDHEAD LADY?
I saw poof
I'm so confused
M
But it's *really* hard for me to get into most shows and I'm into this one
Honestly I didn't think I would.
J
Am I not awesome at showing you things you'd like?
M
I mean I didn’t think I'd hate it
Heeeeeee
You aaare

M
Detective lady is wearing mom jeans
M
I really like that concept
J
Which concept?
M
Of not having names for things
M
And they utilize a large cast very well by having a few characters around at a time and having their different reactions ot the same world
M
We get expositoon that way and viewers aren't bogged down or feel the need to spread their interest too thin
Just "oh hey going on a NY adventure"

[When the Trio fight off the gang after saving Brendan and Margot]

M
Oooh interesting
That the guys react with fear initially and then charge
This show is really well-crafted
M
I mean you could just classify this as 'low-brow kids' entertainment' but it's really more than that
It's a beautiful work of art and storytelling that's fun and fanciful
J
Exactly.
J
There's so much work put into it and it shows.
M
And it has layered, deep conflict
Oh yes
J
IMO it's art
M
It's wonderful
Yes.
Exactly.
Very good, show!
Tranqs take a while to take effect

M
But yeah [censored] 'high art.' This is art
J
It's got all the complexity of a Shakespearean drama. It just happens to be animated and feature fantastic elements.
M
Oh yeah. I agree 100%

[Episode 4]

M
This show handles exposition beautifully
J
It does
Seriously Greg Weisman is the MASTER of set-up and payoff.
M
It really works.
M
THIS IS WHAT I SHOULD BE LEARNING IN FICTION CLASS
DARNIT

[Re Elisa hiding from the goons]

M
Uhhhhho oh
Way to make the tension rise
That's beautiful
M
THAT'S HOW YOU DO PACING FICTION CLASS
M
I rather like the music for this show too
M
I'm still kind of enamored by the whole show
It does action sequences very well too
M
Greg Weisman is incredibly talented and I bet my fiction prof would hate his guts
J
Oh yeah. The physicality is great. Not overdone and very realistic.

[Re Demona and Goliath‘s reunion]
M
That's an evil smile
I don't like that
Awwww wing hug
M
That's so BEAUTIFUL
SEEE LITERARY FICTION?
SEE WHAT YOU CAN DO?
M
SEE THAT THIS IS NOT BULL[CRAP]?
J
I totally wrote a paper for a Shakespeare course that involved Gargoyles. I got an A in that class. :)
M
You are amazing

J
They said KILL
M
THEY DID
J
Whooooo!

[Episode 5]

J
Do not mess with old guys and dogs
Especially if they're Gargoyles
M
Hee
J
And hi G-rated version of Lethal Weapon line
M
TRAAAIN
M
And that is why you back up your files

[Re the Blimp being on fire and falling]

J
And that would not be a scene post 9-11
M
No it would not
J
I think there'd be a lot less stuff blowing up in general
M
Yeah

[Again re Demona and Goliath]
M
THIS NEEDS TO BE THE MODEL FOR FICTIONAL RELATIONSHIPS
GOD WHY IS THIS SO AMAZING
M
Awwwww Goliiiiath

J
Look at Lexington his laptop
M
Heeeeeeee
J
That has like 250 MB memory LOL
J
Hi Demona
You want to marry her too yes?
M
No
J
Really?
M
I don't like her hair :P
*is shallow*
J
Aside from the hair :P
M
Yes
J
I kneeeeeew it
You villain sluuuuut
M
I aaaaaaam
I can't heeeelp it
J
Heh Chinese food
J says
HEEeeeeGiants
GO GIANTS!
M says
That's a funny way to spell Patriots Jess

[This was soon after the Super-Bowl. She‘s based in New England and I’m from New York.]

J
:P
And that's it
Final thoughts?
M
GAHHHHHHHH
THIS IS WHAT ART IS SUPPOSED TO BE
M
THIS IS WHAT ENTERTAINMENT SHOULD STRIVE TO BE
M
SCREW THAT HIGH ART CRAP
J
Exactly. I have taught you well young Padawan.
M
*bows*

Hopefully that put a smile on your face. We will be watching the rest of Gargoyles, and eventually W.I.T.C.H, Spectacular Spidey, and Young Justice.

I did want to ask, would you be interested in reading more of what we say as we watch?

Subsequent conversation snippets will probably be shorter, but I understand you’re very busy and that Ask Greg can get backlogged. I’d only want to continue sending this kind of ramble if it’s something that you would enjoy reading, as a small way to pay you back for the excellent entertainment you provide. I’d never want it to be a chore or something you feel you have to slog through.

So yeah. Hope you enjoyed! Please continue making awesome shows so we can keep watching. :)

Greg responds...

I would be interested - though even admitting that fact makes me sound conceited. It's like, "Hey, post praise!" But basically, what I mean to say is, "Hey, post praise!"

But of course, in the interest of accuracy, I should point out that in your responses to her you really give all the credit to me, and that's, well, silly. Michael Reaves wrote all five scripts that you were praising. Frank Paur supervised all the storyboards and editing. (And those two talented guys are just the TIP of the Gargoyles iceberg.) I'm not saying I didn't contribute. I like to think I contributed a lot to both script and picture, but it was NEVER a one man show.

Response recorded on April 28, 2012

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Briget writes...

Hi there! This isn't actually a question, but it's the only way I saw of contacting Greg. I just wanted to say thank you for creating Gargoyles and thank you for making such a rich, elaborate show. Your cartoon formed a big chunk of my childhood, and the storytelling introduced me to so many different aspects of the world of fantasy. It was my favorite thing to watch when I was little. I hope this gets passed along and you get to see it. This show just means a lot to me.

Greg responds...

Thank you for the kind words, Briget. It meant a lot to me to. Still does.

Response recorded on April 18, 2012

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Green Lantern's Nightlight writes...

I've mistakenly put typos in my name for my last two questions now & I'm terribly sorry for that especially since you put yourself out to answer all of our questions.

Greg responds...

Don't worry about it.

Response recorded on February 13, 2012

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Lurker writes...

As of writing this, it is the 17th anniversary of Gargoyles. Made a comment in the room but wanted to share here:

"Sorry about the double, I saw vinnie took two spots and decided THIS was a countdown I wanted to be a part of. My countdown number is especially fitting, as I was 10 when Gargoyles premiered.

17 years. My God. I remember seeing the preview commercial once or twice. Running home after school, literally running, so I could catch the premier and every episode thereafter. Enough to make me feel a little choked-up. Nearly getting a lump in the back of my throat.

Phoenician> I do believe I will join you in watching one episode of awakening everyday [this week]. It must be providence. I just received my season one back from a friend, to whom I lent my seasons so she could show her son.

She said that at first, he was watching the episodes alone. After a while, she remembered why she liked the show so much and they now watch them together. They are now somewhere in season 2.

It's nearly 1 AM. I believe I will put in the DVD, raise a toast, and enjoy the beginning chapter of a phenomenal series.

In the already spoken words of Vinnie, "And away we go on with the show."
Lurker - [!)]"

Greg, the show is something that has always stuck with me, as it has many others. In case you didnt know ;) I just wanted to thank you for continuing to work on the show, in the sense that you have never given up on it. Thank you for allowing fans to interact with you and ask you various things. Thank you for the contributions to my childhood and all the wonderful memories.

Greg responds...

You're very welcome. And thanks to all the Gargoyles fans who have kept the faith and stuck with me and the show for all these years.

Response recorded on January 30, 2012

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Harlan Phoenix writes...

Less a question, more of a comment. While visiting one of my dearest friends over in Long Island over the summer, one of the things we did together was watch Gargoyles (as part of a little trade of interests-her offering was showing me a documentary on the legacy and fandom of the Rock-a-Fire Explosion series of animatronics, which was fairly interesting and quite enjoyable in its own right). As we've mostly communicated online for our 9 or so year friendship, doing something like this isn't a common thing. Especially considering we've only been in person together for two visits, each lasting about a week.

I'm happy to report that after a viewing of The Mirror, Double Jeopardy, and Eye of the Beholder, she became quite fond of the series and has expressed interesting in indulging further. I was beyond happy that she did, as being able to share Gargoyles with her joins the rest of that week as one of many memories I feel lucky to have.

Thought you'd like to know.

Greg responds...

That's great. Thanks.

Response recorded on October 31, 2011

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Dan writes...

Not a question, more something you might like: http://nebezial.deviantart.com/art/gargoyles-goliath-3d-fun-200441030?q=sort%3Atime%20gallery%3Anebezial&qo=1

Greg responds...

It's great that folks are still doing fanart of the characters.

Response recorded on July 28, 2011

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Ozaline writes...

Not a question this time, just a comment I want to apologize I didn't think they'd send you both vesions of my initial questions cause I thought the first one was too leading and the second one was more civil.

I am still watching the series and not making too many judgements yet, my point wasn't to come off like I was attacking I was just wondering why you didn't do some things, you've got a good track record so I'm hoping things turn out.

I apologize if it seemed like I was attacking.

Greg responds...

Don't sweat it. I apologize if my response(s) got snippy.

Response recorded on March 17, 2011

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charles.wonsey writes...

also i know since i did not write a question it wont get posted but to the person that sends this to greg please let him get this. its real important to me. thank you again

Greg responds...

Everything comes to me, unless it breaks one of the rules. Doesn't have to be a question.

Response recorded on February 09, 2011

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Charles. wonsey writes...

Hello greg my name is charles and im currently in the navy. in about 4 months i will be a film student and i was interested in producing one of your works. i have a strong passion for film and i eat breath and sleep it. with that being said the school said i should contact you and maybe get to know you. so this is the only way i know that what i have to say will reach you. but i am very serious about my passion and when i finish school i have ideas of what i want to produce as far as film goes. so if you can please email me. im gonna put my email so you can contact me so i can have a better way to contact you. also the school i will be attending is full sail university. my email is charles.wonsey@med.navy.mil so i hope this reaches you . thank you for your time.

Greg responds...

Charles,

I'm afraid I have a policy not to contact folks directly. It's a fairness thing. If I did it for one, I'd have to do it for all, and that's just not practical.

Happy to answer your questions and/or communicate here at ASK GREG though.

Good luck in your last few months in the Navy and at film school.

Response recorded on February 09, 2011

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Jess writes...

Heya Greg! This isn't really a question. Rather a resounding "THANK YOU" for pretty much all of the work you've done over the years. Right now a few of my fandoms that are still on-going have come out with new installments that have, well, been disappointing me. I'm not going to name names because I don't want to put you in the position of having to bash a fellow professional's work and there's no guarantee you're familiar with the specific ones I'm speaking of anyway.

But to me it feels like the writer(s) have been failing, not because they're not talented, but rather because a) When they began their projects they failed to think far-forwardly to where they wanted their stories to go once the initial conflicts they set up have run their course. And B) Instead of letting plot-lines flow from characters that are complex and change over time, they fall back on comfortable clichés, simple black-and-white conflicts, and cookie-cutter romance. To put it simply, when given the opportunity they take the 'easy' dramatic choices.

Seeing this happen over and over has made me much more appreciative of the insane amount of world-building and planning that you must put into the things you undertake, and your skill as a storyteller to dig into the well of timeless archetypes and situations and do things that are new and exciting with them.

For me it's a relief to know that when Young Justice premieres as a series (I did see the pilot movie and loved it) I'll have something where I can sit down and be entertained, and trust that the people behind it are doing everything they can to ensure that it's the best it can possibly be. And even if at the end it hasn't matched my vision for what it could have been, I know it will definitely be just as good, and most likely a whole lot better. So, in conclusion: Thanks for being awesome! Please keep it up. :)

Greg responds...

Thanks for the kind words. One strives for awesomeness... and settles for "Hey, we did our best."

Response recorded on January 14, 2011

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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

I just re-read The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw. It's a book I mentioned in a much earlier question to you, one about a changeling girl who is half human and half fae, and the weirdness and difficulty she has fitting in with either because she is different from both species. (It's even set in medieval Scotland.) It prompted me to ask you how different or similar, emotionally and psychologically, the Third Race are to humans, because the depiction in this book is of quite inhuman fae who really can't relate to humans. You have consistently answered that the Third Race are quite similar to humans, emotionally and psychologically -- that the main difference is that of great power without great responsibility, of never growing old or having to work, and of being able to look however they want on a whim. You've even said that a human could imagine what it is like to be such a being by imagining what life for one of us would be like with those benefits.

Reading The Moorchild again got me to wondering about what it is like growing up as a hybrid (in a family of non-hybrids), or as a non-hybrid changeling raised by another species, in the Gargoyles universe. The personality differences don't seem nearly as pronounced between humans and Third Race as they are between humans and fae in The Moorchild, so it seems like fewer problems should arise, although physically there seems to be quite a lot of difference between mortals and the Children even when they look human. Clearly a half-mortal child like Fox can grow up without ever figuring it out, or learning magic. But did she ever feel different from the mortal children around her? Did other humans notice anything different about her? Or was there nothing really out of the ordinary, no noticeable outward signs of her magical heritage?

And what about Morgan le Fay, who according to what you have revealed is a purely Third Race changeling. Was it strange for her to grow up among humans? I assume she looked human, but did she feel human, or did she feel different from those around her? Did she seem unusual to her human parents and siblings, or did they never really notice anything out of the ordinary, personality-wise or physically? Did she just seem like a regular human being to them?

As for Nimue, well, she can't have helped but notice she was different, not having the same nearly-effortless magical abilities and shapechanging that the Third Race have. That and not being made of pure magic, along with whatever that entails.

I imagine a slightly different dynamic for the Avalon Clan, since there was no human society around them and they actually outnumbered their foster parents 11-to-1, but I'm sure that was at least somewhat weird, especially for the humans.

Greg responds...

I guess if the question is: "Did they feel different?" then the answer is a resounding "YES!". Because, I'm pretty sure I'm not a magical hybrid and I felt different. Doesn't everyone?

Response recorded on December 22, 2010

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Greg Bishansky writes...

I originally wrote this for my blog, and decided to paste it in here.

Young Justice

Well, what do you know? This is my one hundredth entry. Appropriate that it is about Greg Weisman's newest TV series.

Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge fan of Greg Weisman's work. "Gargoyles" is my all time favorite TV series; I adored "The Spectacular Spider-Man;" I was quite fond of the second season of "W.I.T.C.H.;" and the freelance scripts he wrote for shows like "Men In Black" and "Buzz Lightyear of Star Command" were always fun.

Okay, I really hated "Max Steel" and couldn't watch more than one episode, but that show had all sorts of behind the scenes problems that were not his fault. And sadly, "Roughnecks: Star Ship Troopers Chronicles" never aired in my area, so I've never really seen it. But, overall, Greg Weisman is responsible for high quality television. So, I was greatly anticipating his newest series, "Young Justice."

"Young Justice" is loosely based on a DC Comics title by the same name, but draws from many other sources. It focuses on a group of sidekicks (but don't call them that) who band together to become a covert ops team connected to the Justice League. The stars of the show are Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Superboy, Miss Martian, and Artemis. Although, we have yet to meet Artemis and only briefly met Miss Martian.

The theme of the first season is "secrets and lies" and this is very apparent within the pilot already. The Justice League is keeping secrets from the members of Young Justice... which was enough to piss off Speedy, and get him to storm off. And Project Cadmus was keeping secrets from the rest of the world.

I love a good mystery, and we've got one set up with a shadowy organization called The Light, who were behind Project Cadmus. Although, I am somewhat reminded of the Illuminati from "Gargoyles" (Hmm... Light - illuminated - Illuminati) and the Council of Thirteen of the Guild of Calamitous Intent in "The Venture Bros." although, I highly doubt Davie Bowie is L-1.

The writing and dialogue are very sharp, and considering the pilot was penned by Mr. Weisman himself, that was to be expected. The animation is very strong, and I kept wondering what their budget was, because it looks great. The voice acting was also phenomenal, which is to be expected from any series voice directed by Jamie Thomason.

This series has just about everything going for it, and already, in my mind, blew the competition out of the water. Yes, I enjoy "The Avengers - Earth's Mightiest Heroes" quite a bit, but the quality of that show just doesn't compare to the quality of "Young Justice." The funny thing about that is that outside of Batman, and some Vertigo comics, I have no attachment to DC Comics at all. I've always been a Marvel reader. But Marvel has never had animated series as good as DC's, with the exception of "The Spectacular Spider-Man" which was just as great as "Batman the Animated Series." But then, look at who the mastermind behind Spidey was.

I give the pilot of "Young Justice" a solid five stars. It also left me intrigued enough to come back for more when the series really gets going in January.

Greg responds...

Glad you liked it!

Response recorded on December 21, 2010

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Todd Jensen writes...

Another comment, rather than a question. I've mentioned before about how well Goliath's statement in "M.I.A.", "Human problems become gargoyle problems" had been borne out so often in the series (especially when we saw how the struggles over the Scottish throne between 971 to 1057 - definitely a human problem - affected the gargoyles in Scotland, not to mention the Quarrymen being ultimately about a human unwilling to face his responsibility for seriously injuring his brother). Recently it occurred to me that the Humility Spell, though not actually a *problem* for the gargoyles (except maybe the occasion when it prevented Brooklyn from recovering Goliath's half of the Phoenix Gate in 997), is also an example of this at work.

We know from your statements (canon-in-training, of course) that the Humility Spell stemmed from Caesar Augustus' wish to improve the morals of the early Roman Empire, which extended to his disapproval of gargoyles awakening in the nude because their clothes were torn apart with their stone skin shells at nightfall. Thus, it's the result of another human problem which came to affect gargoyles worldwide (even gargoyle clans that presumably never even suspected that the Roman Empire existed).

Greg responds...

That's one way to look at it, certainly.

Response recorded on November 19, 2010

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Trevor Doyle writes...

Hello Greg

I just want to say thank you for creating such a wonderful world. Filled with complex, multi layered characters. I am nearly twenty three now, but I can still remember watching the premier of episode one just two days after my seventh birthday. The show definitely affected my childhood both conscioussly and subconsciously. Anyway I digress. I recently learned about the annual Gargoyles Gathering. I was disappointed to find out that it has been cancelled. So my question is why it was cancelled, and if there is any chance that it will start up again in the future?

-Trevor Doyle

Greg responds...

Check the archives.

Nothing stops fans from starting up a new or another Gargoyles convention. But I'd read the archives carefully before I tried. Keep in mind, I'm always happy to attend. But I don't want to see fans go into debt just so that I can have a fun weekend.

Response recorded on November 09, 2010

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Justin writes...

Dear Greg,

Recently watched "Long Way Til Morning"

And this is hopefully the first question that leads to what I hope to complete soon as a long essay on how fascinating Demona is as a character as well as her impact on her estranged clan "family".

In this we see three characters. All with relatively strong familial bonds. First we have the Father, Hudson. Then of course the rookery children Goliath and Demona.

My actual question is this:

What had to be going through Hudson's mind during all of this? I know he acknowledged the two as a mated pair, but in essence he had to save his son from his daughter. That could not have made him all too plussed.

Secondly, the dialogue in this last scene really shows how even now, they still have latent feelings of being family...

Hudson: "Give it up girl, you can't win.." Which even as a boy, first watching this I always received as a Father being parental in some way to his daughter.

Then there is Demona, who is as bananas as it gets. She, even in her tirade tips her hand. She, through raw, volatile emotion expresses she still has love for Hudson.

"I would have ended this quickly! Your pride will cost you your life!" Even though I know at this point in her life she is past redemption, I still feel that the way she exclaims these sentiments is a tell she doesn't want to HAVE to say them. She loves her rookery father. And in a way, still NEEDS him. As all grown children do once we reach adulthood. But nothing can stand in the way of her vengeance. The vengeance for her murdered family. Not even surviving FAMILY.

All too fascinating Greg, and thank you!

Justin

Greg responds...

You're welcome...

Response recorded on November 03, 2010

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Greg Bishansky writes...

1. Who is Demona's great love?
2. When was Gwen gonna die?
3. Will you spoil your entire series plan for "Young Justice story beat by story beat?
5. Why does the Monarch hate Rusty Venture so much?

LOL, I'm just kidding. Instead here's a comment.

I recently put the entire timeline from the GargWiki into my word processor, and it came out to about fifty-four pages. Obviously, about 98% of that timeline is directly quoted from ASK GREG's "This Day in Gargoyles Universe History" and since you last said that your timeline hit three hundred page mark, well, I am in awe.

In awe mostly because, I knew you were holding out on us... but damn. Sixty-five episodes and eighteen comics, and we still have not scratched the surface of what you have in your head for this world.

I am impressed, sir. Impressed. And, I hope you consider bringing "This Day in Gargoyles Universe History" back sometime soon.

Greg responds...

I'm a little to swamped to do that right now. And besides, I don't think that much has changed.

My timeline is currently 330 pages long. But it also has a lot of math.

Response recorded on October 14, 2010

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Todd Jensen writes...

A comment this time, rather than a question. One of my favorite details in the "Stone of Destiny" story was Macbeth's presence at the Battle of Bannockburn. It recently occurred to me that this might be an example, if a subtle one, of the time-honored motif of a legendary hero from long ago who returns to his country to aid it in a time of need.

The concept has attached itself to King Arthur, of course, and his return has featured in "Gargoyles" (if with a premature re-awakening). The returns of the Golem and Cu Chullain, elsewhere in the Avalon World Tour, also evoke it. For that matter, I remember your once saying that the Avalon gargoyles looked upon Goliath (from what they had learned of him through their human guardians) as a great sleeping hero who would one day awaken and return if ever they needed him - and he did indeed return in their hour of need, when the Archmage attacked Avalon.

I also recall, outside of "Gargoyles", the legend that Theseus returned to aid his fellow Athenians against the Persians at the Battle of Marathon (and Mary Renault including it in her Theseus novels) - which forms a great parallel here to Macbeth's presence at Bannockburn, both cases of a desperate struggle against an invading army.

At the same time, your use of the "return of the king" motif for Macbeth's participation at Bannockburn (assuming you had it in mind at the time) came with a twist. Macbeth returns incognito; so far as we know, none of the other Scotsmen taking part in the battle know that he's fighting alongside them. Robert the Bruce is the Scottish king who will be associated with the victory (deservedly, of course, from what I've read about the battle). No chronicle or legend even hints at his presence there. As far as we know, only he knows that he was there (we don't know if Shari knows or not; the panel depicting him at the battle is in one of her stories, but she does not mention him in the text itself). The king returned to aid his country in need, but in secret, his presence unremarked on.

Greg responds...

Very cogent analysis.

Response recorded on September 29, 2010

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Lorranon of Oberon writes...

Mr. Weisman, I read your response on my question about the novel I wrote. I can't say I was thrilled with the response_ but I think that maybe it was because you didn't understand my motivation behined it. I posted a comment on your blog about the "Gargoyles" movie Disney wants to release. I was hoping you would read it and then perhaps we could discuss my motivation and reasons in more detail.

Greg responds...

A few things...

1. I apologize, but I get so many questions here, I can't remember either what you wrote here about your novel or how I responded. So I can't tell you whether or not I understood your motivation.

2. I don't have a blog. Just ASK GREG here. So I don't know where you posted your "comment" about the Gargoyles movie or how that would effect my mindset about your novel.

3. You're welcome to post your motivation here, but if your novel is in any way based on Gargoyles (and if it's not why are we having this discussion?), I can't see WHAT motivation would make me excited about it.

4. I'm sorry if all this isn't "thrilling" but I really don't understand what you expect from me. Why would I be happy about someone else doing a Gargoyles-based property, either as a movie or a novel?

But perhaps I'm completely off-base (see response #1 above) so I'll stop now.

Response recorded on September 17, 2010

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Anonymous writes...

Man, every Spidey question you answer that ends with some form of "it's moot now" or "we'll never see it" is depressing. I miss the show so much, miss anticipating what great new direction you guys were going to take it in, miss the awesome surprise of each new design by Cheeks, the great voice acting and sharp writing, the structure of the seasons and the way you were organically growing Spidey's world, etc. I'm really excited for Young Justice and think it looks great, but at heart, I'm mostly a Marvel, and specifically Spider-Man, fan. So basically, just thanks for the show. I loved it, it's a credit to your great talent in the field, and it was unquestionably the best animated Marvel adaptation ever made, series, movie, or otherwise.

Greg responds...

Thank you.

Response recorded on August 30, 2010

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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

Bad Guys #5 & 6: I wanted to post my Bad Guys reactions all at once, but I wrote my #4 reaction long before this one. So here's the rest, in no particular order.

I just noticed that nobody is willing to sit next to Fang. I wouldn't either!

I continue to wonder about the (constrained) choices made by the members of the squad -- there's lots of tension in Losers about this. They don't know any more about their boss than they do about the Illuminati. Less, in fact, and it's the revelation that Oldcastle and Thailog work for the Illuminati that persuades the Squad not to join. But they still know so little about their own boss... for all they (and I) know, he's could be just as bad. If Robyn knows more she isn't telling, and the rest know basically nothing. They've been given very little choice, of course. They know the Illuminati are untrustworthy... but they can only hope that their mysterious boss is any better. Dingo finally asks, but somehow I doubt Interpol is the truth!
Of course I know the Illuminati are bad news. But I don't know any more about the Director than the Squad do. From what I've seen, they take an "ends justify the means" attitude just like the Illuminati does.
I was seriously worried that Matrix would join the Illuminati and spell Bad Things for basically the whole planet. The Redemption Squad is composed of criminals on the run from the law, and if anyone pointed out to Matrix that the Australian shaman's logic in Issue #1 wasn't actually logical (Dingo can't fight for law and order if he's breaking the law!) then the Illuminati might have looked more attractive to Matrix than its current situation. Fortunately the Matrix isn't bright enough to figure that out. At this point, Matrix is largely at the mercy of whoever controls its access to information about how laws actually work!

Humorous moments: Yama falling asleep mid-sentence, Matrix eating a fork, Yama freaking out over his broken sword, and Doll calling Matrix "that thing."

Yama being impaled on a sword and continuing to fight with no noticeable weakness is hard to believe, especially since Goliath was so much worse off after a much less serious wound in Long Way Till Morning, and completely incapacitated in Bash by a knife wound that definitely did not impale him. It shows how tough a warrior Yama is, but... makes him look literally immortal, Highlander style. This is one place where gargoyle healing abilities are not believable to me without magic.

And Dingo's childhood was finally revealed ... the creep who raised him is the same guy who murdered his mother! That's creepy, ick. The look on John's face is suspicious from the start, but I did not expect that. No wonder Dingo became a criminal.

Yama continues to be impressive. And the scene with Matrix holding up the light under the huge Illuminati banner just looks cool.

I have to wonder why the Illuminati is hoarding priceless art objects, and not even using them for anything. I'm impressed but surprised that Dingo cares enough to prevent their destruction.

Overall, Bad Guys is a good comic, but it leans heavily towards the superhero genre (Oldcastle's gang even seems to include super powers) and as with the Pack, that doesn't appeal to me nearly as much as the other elements of Gargoyles. (Fortunately, nobody except Tasmanian Tiger has a goofy supervillain costume). Not that I wouldn't buy more Bad Guys, if more were published and I could afford it.

Thanks for the stories.

Greg responds...

I'd argue that BOTH of Goliath's wounds that you mentioned were WAY MORE serious. Yama intentionally guided that blade to go through organ-free tissue -- a through and through cut that did minimal damage to his side -- which wasn't the case with either of Goliath's injuries: he had internal damage/internal organ injuries both times.

Just look at the visuals again, and it should be clearer. There's nothing magical or Highlander about what Yama does. He's just a tough s.o.b.

Response recorded on August 17, 2010

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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

Bad Guys #4: Finally I am going to write my reactions to this, many months after I finally got a hold of my copy. It's difficult to come up with my reactions since I first read it a while ago.

I think the "cliched villainy" of Sevarius and Fang would be more horrific if I wasn't already used to mutates, and if was more plausible as a real-life event. Now Sevarius has extended his atrocities to children. It's hard to imagine what kind of life these people can possibly have... and on top of everything else, I guess that Sevarius probably had to wreck their immune systems just to mutate them at all.

Art nitpick: the new mutates look very good and are well drawn, but there's no way that Tasha's shirt and pants can go _under_ her shell, which is part of her skin.

Robyn is trying too hard to sound angry and tough, and she can't pull it off. A little hard to, when it's too late and she's in a cage. Her reaction to Sevarius wanting to mutate her implies that she's more horrified by gargoyle DNA, than by the mutation itself. That, along with other behaviors and statements throughout the six issues, make me think that she is still deeply prejudiced against gargoyles, and is playing nice partly to obey the Director's orders. She doesn't want to kill them all anymore, and her (private?) conversation with Jon shows how far she's already changed her attitudes, but she doesn't seem to regard gargoyles as equals. A lifetime of hatred and ignorance cannot be unlearned quickly or easily.

The big shock in issue 4 is the suicide of Tasha. I did not expect that such an event would be depicted in the comic books. Sadly, it's very believable. Sevarius utterly ruined her life, in what was surely an extremely traumatic experience. For one moment, Fang almost looks like this suicide upset him, but the he starts making repugnant jokes. If some of his _other_ jokes weren't still funny, I think this is one character I would completely hate. I certainly don't blame everyone else for hating him.

The ending, where Robyn's mysterious superior (presumably the Director who got her out of jail and created the squad) put Fang on the team, is confusing. I assume there must be some passage of time that I missed, but it appears as though Fang instantaneously acquires a tailored uniform.

An finally, now I can re-read the bits and pieces at the beginnings of the first 4 issues and make sense of them.

Dingo is angry that they "barely survived the last time" and I wonder what he's even referring to -- to the battle against Fang? Was that really a suicide mission? The reason Dingo barely survived is because Matrix decided to drop him in mid-air off a skyscraper. On the other hand, I have to wonder why they swallow these "missions" when they have no clue who is ordering them around, and no reason to know if they're being told the truth. OK, they've all been threatened with Bad Things, but they don't even ask who they're working for. (Maybe they already asked and Robyn just isn't telling). I also wonder how anyone, including the Director, thinks that Fang is remotely trustworthy, and isn't going to betray the others.
The entire helicopter gets blown up by missiles, but of course the characters aren't going to die just like that. Matrix saves them. The Illuminati possesses combat robots, like the Cybots and Steel Clan. Robyn's combat skills and acrobatics are amazing, when I think about it.

Yama looks great in these issues. I'm liking him. I also like Fang yelling at Yama.

Greg responds...

Glad generally you seemed to like the stuff!

Response recorded on August 17, 2010

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Jurgan writes...

Not a question so much as a comment. You've said several times you think you missed a bet in "Grief-" namely, that Coyote should have killed the travelers, to show that death was impossible with Anubis locked up. I may be in the minority on this, but I prefer the story we got to this alternate version.

First of all, it would reopen the Highlander-esque questions that you get regarding Demona and Macbeth. So, Angela's shot through the heart but doesn't die- when Anubis is freed, is the wound still there? If so, would the wound then kill her? If Goliath were decapitated, would the head still talk, or would it sprout spider legs and walk back to him (sorry, I just watched The Thing the other night- incidentally, Keith making a surprise appearance in a movie is something that always makes me smile)? I imagine that, if only for S&P reasons, the death would simply be through bloodless laser beams (sorry, "particle beams") and the issue wouldn't have come up, but it's still confusing.

The bigger point, though, is that it cheapens the characters' abilities. I've read most of the Lee/Ditko and Lee/Romita Spider-Man comics, and while they're great stories, one thing that always bothered me was how supervillains always let Spidey live. Typically, a new villain would dominate the wallcrawler and then arrogantly announce "I don't need to kill Spider-Man- I can beat him any time I want!" I don't have a count, but I really think this happened dozens of times in the Silver Age. I could understand if the villain had a reason to run, like Doc Ock's power running low in your show, but most of the time they just seemed stupid, since of course Spidey trounced them next time. The point is that it seemed like he was surviving more through luck than any particular skill. Likewise, our gargoyles have survived countless battles because of their own abilities. To say that they finally lose- but it doesn't count because, for this one day, they can't die, seems to cheapen their earlier successes. It feels like the only reason they're winning is because the writers want them to win, and if they get in big trouble, a deus ex machina twist will save them. The show starts to feel artificial, and I wonder if these characters are really that special, or if they're just the designated heroes.

Now, of course, this is hypothetical. It's possible that, if I'd seen the episode the way you envision, I would have loved it. As it is, it's kind of hard for me to imagine it working. Just something to chew on.

Greg responds...

I guess I wouldn't agree about one lucky break cheapening earlier victories... I guess I wouldn't agree with that at all.

I'm also not big on deus ex machina saves myself, but when an ENTIRE episode is ABOUT arresting death, having them live because death has been arrested doesn't feel like deus ex machina at all to me, even with a deus (Anubis) present.

And, as you noted, the beheading (et al) issue just wouldn't have come up.

I know you're arguing for the success of what we made, and I'm in the odd (very odd) position of arguing that we could have done better, but I still think a bet was missed...

Response recorded on August 17, 2010

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Richard Jackson writes...

Hi Greg,

I'm a big fan. I work in South Korea teaching English and I thought you would be interested in your creations' progress over here.

I did some research on the internet and Gargoyles: The Movie and some season 1 episodes were released on VHS over here. What a collector's item those would be? The official translated name of the show is "Champion Goliath", but happily enough online Korean fans just call it "Gargoyles."

Channel surfing, I did see The Spectacular Spider-Man on the cartoon channel, 5:30, Saturday morning. That's actually a good time, since Korean children have Saturday school and 5:30am would be just the right time they're waking up.

Keep up the good work and hopefully I'll see Young Justice in Korea.

Greg responds...

Very cool! Thanks, Richard.

Response recorded on August 13, 2010

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Todd Jensen writes...

Some time ago, I mentioned a book by Eleanor Prosser called "Hamlet and Revenge", which argued that Hamlet's goal to avenge his father on Claudius was not a righteous duty, but a misguided and dangerous quest. Recently, I thought about a passage in it in connection to "Clan-Building: Volume Two".

In one of the early chapters, the author discusses Kyd's "The Spanish Tragedy", one of the leading revenge-plays before "Hamlet". The protagonist, Hieronimo, is out to avenge the murder of his son Horatio. After discovering his son's body near the start of the play, he decides not to bury it until he can achieve his revenge, an act which, Prosser comments, would have unsettled the audience.

This reminded me of the scene in "Clan-Building" where, after Demona reports the slaughter of the Sruighlea cell by Constantine and Gillecomgain, True suggests that they hold a Wind Ceremony for the dead gargoyles, and Demona rejects it in favor of pursuing revenge on the humans who did the deed. I just thought I'd share it with you.

Greg responds...

Thanks. I like the parallel a lot. And I agree with what it reveals about character... though I've never read "The Spanish Tragedy" unfortunately. At least not yet.

Response recorded on July 29, 2010

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W. C. Reaf writes...

Hi Greg.

A fan from England here.

Not so much a question but I just wanted to let you know that thanks to my lovely University I’ve managed to book a lecture theatre once a week to show Gargoyles on a big screen to my friends, and watch it again myself on said glorious big screen. We should be finished at the end of summer.

Currently they’re enjoying it, some more than others, and it feels great to expose people to a real classic of western animation. We’ve even got a running joke about how Xanatos is behind everything. They’re not liking the rather varied Scottish accents, or takes on them at least, but I understand there’s only so much an American production can do to get proper accents right.

We’re just starting the Avalon World Tour and I’m curious to see what they make of the revelations in the Gathering. Specifically Puck’s role but also Fox’s heritage and Xanatos’ shift into not quite being such a bad guy.

Just thought to tell you that the Gargoyles love is being spread to people across the pond that never saw it the first time ‘round.

Greg responds...

Wow, W.C., that's really cool! Thanks!

Sorry, about those accents. We do have a range of actors playing Scots. (Americans. Englishmen. And even the occasional Scot, like Sheena Easton, who's lived in America so long, she admits to having trouble summoning it up.) And since, Jamie and I aren't British, it can be tough for us to know whether we're getting it right. So generally we settle for being in the ballpark.)

gdw

Response recorded on July 28, 2010

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Jack-Pumpkinhead writes...

Dear Greg,
This is more of a commendation than a question. I just want to say thank you for your patience and honesty with the fans. I notice that if something gets mentioned that could remotely relate to Gargoyles (ex: the whole Marvel/Disney thing), twenty people will ask the same question that day without seeing if someone else has already asked it. But do you shut those people out? No, you answer the same question twenty times, and I'm impressed by that. I can guess at some authors who would stop answering questions after giving the same answer 20 times, but you continue to allow fans this amazing connection to you and your work. And I really like that.

Thank you.

Greg responds...

I think you're giving me more credit for patience than I deserve, but I do try. Thank you.

Response recorded on July 13, 2010

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Lance writes...

Not a question just a quick apology. When I asked my question about the Marvel/Disney thing there wasn't much if anything about it in the archives as I could find anyhow. Since then I've read the responses and understand you being to the point of "nauseum" as you put it. I'm probably almost as tired of seeing people ask that same question as you are so I do apologize for the monotony. Its such a lingering hope for all of us die hard fans that something wonderful will happen to allow Gargoyles to continue. I want my children to enjoy it the way i have, I want there to be new wonderful stories. There are few people I talk to that aren't aware of the show and fewer still that have a negative thing to say about it. Just the other day I had a lovely young lady nearly swoon when I told her that there was a Gargoyles comic book series, almost got myself a date actually (small matter of me already being engaged, lol).

Sorry for being another bother but we're all just clinging to hope and rooting for you :)

Cheers!

Lance

Greg responds...

Thanks, Lance.

Response recorded on July 07, 2010

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Brenda W writes...

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

Thank you...........

Greg responds...

No, thank YOU!

Response recorded on June 10, 2010

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David Siegrist writes...

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.

Greg responds...

And thank you, David!

Response recorded on May 20, 2010

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Anonymous writes...

hi love your work. i just want to ask if you read any fanfics of yore work.

An Ask Greg Helper responds...

I've already answered this question. Please check the archives.

Response recorded on May 19, 2010

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Pixie writes...

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?

Thank you.

Greg responds...

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...

Response recorded on May 17, 2010

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TZ writes...

Tana writes...
You Asked:
"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.

Greg responds...
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!

Greg responds...

You're welcome. Glad you get what I'm getting at, more or less.

Response recorded on May 13, 2010

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Aeschylus writes...

Greg,

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.

Greg responds...

Thanks. And I really liked your Oresteia too.

Response recorded on March 12, 2010

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Todd Jensen writes...

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.

Greg responds...

Thanks.

Response recorded on March 12, 2010

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Matt writes...

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. : )

Greg responds...

Glad you enjoyed the issue and the volume...

Response recorded on March 08, 2010

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skeeJay writes...

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.

Greg responds...

Well, I tried.

Response recorded on March 03, 2010

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Matt writes...

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!

Greg responds...

Thanks. Glad you liked it.

Definitely felt freed up by the Stone of Destiny arc. It helped me use the medium better.

Response recorded on March 02, 2010

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Todd Jensen writes...

Now that "Clan-Building" and "Bad Guys: Redemption" have been completed, and while we pause for a while (hoping that you and SLG will get to do further "Gargoyles" stories together), I thought I'd look over the Master Plan document you shared with us over ten years ago, and see how that was fulfilled in the eighteen chapters.

First, the spin-offs. "Bad Guys" obviously was represented here, with the six-chapter origin story for the Redemption Squad. Also, "Pendragon" and "TimeDancer" both found their way into "Clan-Building", "Pendragon" with the Stone of Destiny story in #7 to #9 (you even mentioned the Stone of Destiny story in the "Pendragon" section) and "TimeDancer" in #10 to #12, where we saw the beginning of Brooklyn's TimeDancing, his first adventure with Mary and Finella, and the end with his return to New York with his new family.

We also got a taste of "The New Olympians" with Terry Chung's cameos, and maybe even a trace of "Gargoyles 2198" when Peredur mentioned that Arthur wasn't expected to awaken for another two hundred years (Britain and the rest of the planet would definitely be in an hour of need then - definitely shades of "Camelot 3000"). Nothing directly from "Dark Ages", however (Brooklyn's adventure in 997 comes close, but it takes place three years after the Wyvern Massacre that would presumably have formed the series finale) - though we know that you planned to do a story about that next.

Now I'll turn to your list of the planned elements for "Gargoyles"'s third season from the same document.

The Quarryman problem: I would have liked to see a bit more of that (to serve as an antidote to the "Goliath Chronicles" depiction of the Quarrymen), but I enjoyed what we saw. Castaway in Invitation Only" and "Estranged" showed himself to be shrewd and prudent as well as vengeful; I liked the details of his forbidding the Quarrymen to carry hammers on Halloween patrol (in case they mistake costumed trick-or-treaters for gargoyles) and the television commercial that Robyn and Jason see making the Quarrymen seem more like a charitable organization to help people in need than like a hate group.

Xanatos' conversion: And, of course, we saw that he didn't change that much; he's as much a trickster as ever, even ready to, after stealing the Stone of Destiny for the Illuminati, give them another duplicate and keep the original for himself. Life with him is certainly going to be interesting for the clan.

Broadway and Angela's relationship: Not much of this (beyond the library scene), but we clearly see that they're a couple.

Goliath and Elisa's relationship: Definitely there, with the Double Date story and their reconciliation (especially the big moment in "The Rock" when they get back together).

The four Tricksters and Alexander: One of the few threads from your list that didn't get in, but there's always next arc.

The Illuminati: And how! We learn more about the Society, including its internal structure (I'm still delighted with the revelation of exactly how many membership slots there are), and several new members (new in the sense of being "new characters"): Quincy Hemings, Shari, and Falstaff, not to mention our look at Peredur, Duval, and Blanchefleur at the top. We also learn that Thailog's joined the Society (that was one of the biggest surprises in the comic for me), and Fiona Canmore's a member as well. And we get a hint, in the scene between Peredur and the Stone of Destiny in Carbonek, of what the Illuminati's goal is (or at least, what Peredur's goal for the Illuminati is). Not to mention we see more of their shrewdness, with Hacker presenting a different story about the Illuminati's intentions towards the gargoyles to Matt, Xanatos, and Castaway separately.

The Ultra-Pack: We haven't seen them yet, either, but I've no doubt that the big fight with Jackal, Hyena, and Wolf in Times Square is going to encourage the Pack to upgrade again. And after reading "Bad Guys", I have a strong suspicion who the new member will be.

Coldsteel and Coyote: We saw their team-up in the Stone of Destiny story (another of the big surprises was Xanatos using the Coyote Diamond to improve Coyote 5.0 - even after seeing how you keep on bringing back elements from earlier episodes and expanding on them, I hadn't foreseen that).

The Clones: And we saw much of them, as well. I think that almost everyone expected to see Thailog seek to recover the Clones - but we then had the treat of that adventure providing character development for Delilah (who became an especially appealing character in "Bash") and Brentwood.

So we got quite a lot of the MasterPlan in those eighteen chapters. And I hope, someday, we'll see even more of it.

Greg responds...

Me too!

It is almost amazing to me how... consistent the vision of the series has stayed over the years. I don't know if that's me being stubborn or me knowing a good thing when I stumble upon it or what, but although I'm constantly adding to the pre-canon in my head, most of the stuff I came up with as far back as 1994 is still valid.

Response recorded on February 25, 2010

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Todd Jensen writes...

I finally got my copy of "Bad Guys" today, and here's my review of the final two chapters in it, as a single post (they blended so well, I thought, that I decided to review them together).

I'll start with one word: Falstaff! I'd hoped, after Dingo's real name was revealed, that he'd get into "Bad Guys" in some way, and I was right. And as a bonus, we not only get Falstaff, but also his familiar gang (Mistress Quickly, Bardolph, Pistol, Doll, and Points [sic] - was his name deliberately changed from "Poins"?). I was delighted that in the last chapters of the comic, we'd get some fresh Shakespeare into "Gargoyles" - this time, you make use of the history plays for the first time.

And I got a big laugh out of Falstaff's original name being "Oldcastle", and his headquarters being named "Eastcheap". Not to mention, also, young Harry saying about his mother Mariah "She's the wind." Though the laughter quickly dried up after I saw, at the end of Chapter Five, what *really* happened to her.

I get a kick out of the way Fang's sitting at the conference table when Hunter's telling them about their new mission.

Was Bardolph's fire-breathing ability inspired by all the jokes about his Shakespearean namesake's fiery complexion in the Henry IV plays?

When Falstaff says that the Illuminati want to save the world, I couldn't help thinking that he might be right about that. We learned in "Gargoyles" #9 that the Illuminati's goals (at least, from Peredur's perspective) had something to do with Arthur's anticipated return, most likely to help him out when that happens - certainly a worthy aim. But of course, as Monsieur le Maire brings up in his phone conversation with the Director, the Society's taking the attitude of letting the ends justify the means (enrolling people like Xanatos, Thailog, and Mace Malone, running the Hotel Cabal, supporting the Quarrymen, stealing a national treasure like the Stone of Destiny, etc.).

Incidentally, even if you hadn't mentioned that the Director was at odds with the Illuminati in "Ask Greg", I think we'd have suspected that the Redemption Squad would be facing them at some point. The conversation between Hunter and Castaway in "Estranged" about who each other's financial backers are, and the Casablanca Hotel (whose name echoes the Hotel Cabal's), set up enough of a parallel to the Illuminati Society that a clash would *have* to take place. (Your philosophy about what makes a good antagonist at work, clearly.)

So Fiona Canmore's a member of the Illuminati. It's not a total shock (I'd seen speculations about it before), but a fun surprise, all the same - and so logical, too, in light of Hunter's identity. Thailog's cameo was fun as well (especially Yama's initial belief that the color on the monitor's gone wrong).

Despite Fang's many bad habits, I was impressed that he helped alert his teammates to the Illuminati's nature through his comments on Thailog, and his part in the battle that followed. Maybe, just maybe, there's hope for him yet.

I was delighted when Dingo urged his teammates not to destroy the island, because of all the artwork and historical artifacts stored there (it reminded me a bit of Broadway and Hudson urging Goliath not to burn the Scrolls of Merlin). Another reason why I've grown fond of the guy.

I liked the ending - Falstaff gets away and the Redemption Squad have only managed to capture one of his gang, but that wasn't the real issue. The real issue was their search for redemption, as Yama points out. (I liked the leavening of humor here - Matrix still displaying his single-minded interest in law and order; even Yama is amused here - and his turning to stone in mid-speech, to Fang's exasperation.)

Thanks for the spin-off, Greg. I hadn't initially expected to like "Bad Guys" (I thought it would be just another conventional action series), but I really enjoyed it a lot - especially with Falstaff and his gang, as I said above. And thanks for the eighteen new chapters in the Gargoyles Universe that you gave us with the comics. I hope that they shan't be the last - but even if they were, they've enriched us all the more.

Greg responds...

Yes, Poins was deliberately changed to Points to fit his skills... and Bardolph's ability was indeed inspired by the "hellfire" within that the Shakespearean Bardolph is always described as having.

Response recorded on February 24, 2010

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Harlan Phoenix writes...

I just got Clan Building vol. 2 and Bad Guys today. I'd post a long elaborate review of just how much I love this comic and how hopeful I am that we get more Garg stuff, but many people have said what I'd say and better. So, I'll just post a short review:

These were quite possibly some of the most badass comics I've ever read in my life. Thank you.

Greg responds...

WOw. Thank YOU!!

Response recorded on February 24, 2010

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Chip writes...

Review for GARGOYLES CLAN-BUILDING; CHAPTER 10: THE GATE
Okay, this has been the most anticipated story-line in the entire Gargoyles Fandom…and man it did not disappoint.
First, a shout out to the AMAZING art by Greg Guler…Karine Charlebois said that the art was beyond description at the 08 Gathering…but seeing it nowâ€"it knocks Karine from my favorite gargoyles comic artist to my second fave. (No offense to her, I do still LOVE her work)
So Brooklyn goes gliding away from the Eerie Building…presumably to get away from the Lovey-dovey couple. Too bad they appeared to have followed him. The look of annoyance on Brook’s face was priceless. (Oh, incidentally…it took me ages to figure out what the sign on the building they landed on said. At first, I thought it might be the GOLDEN CUP building from the series, or perhaps the CASABLANCA HOTEL. I finally realized that it’s THE DAILY BUGLE. Clever…you placed so many GARGOYLES references in SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN; it was kinda nice to see a Spidey reference in Gargs.)
You waste no time, the Gate appears, and Brook tries to pick it up…and it disintegrates. An enormous two-page Phoenix emerges and swallows Brooklyn whole, leaving Broadway and Angela behind, looking on in horror…I could hear Broadway’s voice…
997, Brook emerges from the flames…I note that the Phoenix itself does not seem to appear, but rather an orange glow just off-screen. It makes me wonder if the Phoenix actually shows up when Brook is arriving, or if he just tumbles out of the flames, with no actual Phoenix manifesting.
I recognized Gillecomgain, Constantine III, and Mail Brigti right away (though, I did not know Mail’s name…just that he was Gilly’s father.) Their reaction’s to Brooklyn’s appearance was not unexpected. Brigti seems indifferent…oh look, a gargoyle. Oh look, a cow. Oh look, a horse. No big deal.
Gilly calls Brook a “demon”. BIG shock there. (Rolls eyes) Constantine orders them to kill it. It reminds me of his “I don’t like Gargoyle Eggs” line in “Avalon Part 1” C and G fail miserably to take Brook down…but this fourth figure…Brother Valmont, uses potent sorcery to shoot a flaming arrow that hits Brooklyn’s leg.
From what the Magus said in “Avalon Part 3” I thought one needed a conduit to use magic…like the Grimorum, but this guy seems to be able to use magic without one.
The next few pages are the most interesting to me…Brook breaks apart the arrow and it bursts into magical flames…makes me wonder if it would have done that if he’d left it in.
Finella tears the wanted poster off the door…and mysteriously…there’s another…and when the guard tears off the poster…there’s yet another. Is this another one of Brother Valmont’s magics?
And then the minions come…and it can’t help the gargoyle-human relations that Brook is red…with horns. Based on Finella’s expressions, I don’t think she’s ever seen a gargoyle before.
Moving on…Maol Chalvim and Kenneth III (AKA The Grim). I like The Grim, but it surprised me that he’s Bodhe’s dad…and it upset me slightly that when I did the historical research that Maol would overthrow him. But…I liked Findlaech’s appearance too.
Then we some cool new gargoyle designs, including a new beast in the foreground, only to see them get smashed. I especially liked the female with the “beard” of spikes. She was cool. And another wanted poster is posted.
And Brooklyn awakes…I love how much Mary has changed in her attitude in just three short years…and Brook makes a Quantum Leap reference…very cool, considering that that show was quite popular in the 90’s. (And still is in some circles)
I love that Brooklyn GETS why he’s here so quickly. He understands how Avalon works, and figures that the Phoenix works the same way. I also think he’s actually pleased with the situation…considering that he’s now away from Broadway and Angela…I would be too in his shoes…and I HAVE been in those shoes before.
And we end with a full page picture of Demona that was so cool I took a picture and made it the wallpaper on my phone, and I’m not even that big a Demona fan. I note she’s holding the wanted poster…and wonder if there is a new one on the cave wall.
I think that I will post my reviews of 11 & 12 at a later date, but I look forward to the arrival of my Bad Guys.

Greg responds...

And I look forward to your reviews, Chip. Thanks!

Response recorded on February 23, 2010

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Chip writes...

Okay, I’ve been holding off on reviewing till I had my Bad Guys Trade in my hot little hands…it’s been almost four weeks and I still have no BG trade…*Sigh* so I figure I might as well review now.

GARGOYLES CLAN-BUILDING; CHAPTER 9: ROCK & ROLL
Not much to say here, I’ve been sitting on this story for almost a year, as I was in the 2008 Radio Play. (Playing Griffâ€"My Favorite Characterâ€"thank you again for the gift of that role again Greg, and whoever else was involved. Wish I could have been at the 09 Gathering…but I just couldn’t afford a trip to LA…apologies) I knew how it would turn out, but the art was spectacular…and using the art, Greg managed to throw a few more curves my way.
I didn’t expect to see Macbeth battling alongside Robert the Bruce…makes me wonder just how involved Mac was with Scottish History. Didn’t expect Duval to be a cyborg…THAT was a huge curveball. Also, I didn’t realize it before, but even though she appeared, Fleur’s name was never spoken aloud…which means it’s technically still Canon in Training, even though she herself has appeared and is ranked “3”.
Also didn’t expect to see Leo and Una atop Knight’s Spur…that was a pleasant surprise…though I was disappointed that we couldn’t get a good look at Old Pog…I really like that gargoyle.

Greg responds...

Glad it wasn't a letdown, even when spoiled...

Response recorded on February 23, 2010

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Matt writes...

My Review For Gargoyles #12, "Phoenix"...

- So, we have finally come to the last chapter of Clan-Building. As with Issue #11, I'll do my best to review this one with my initial impressions at the forefront, though I know I won't be able to resist mentioning further information and insight from the Gathering.

- Again, lets start with this awesome cover. After all the mixed feelings I've had about the numerous covers (both from Gargoyles and Bad Guys), I'm happy that this final cover really hit all the right spots. It is brightly colored and visually interesting. It is funny due to the obvious Star Wars reference and thus works well to grab the attention of comic book store shoppers. It has a lot going on without giving anything away or being too busy. I really think it is the best cover (aside from Issue #1 and possibly #5) and so I was thrilled it made it to the cover of Clan-Building Volume 2.

- On to the meat of the book now (and boy, is there a lot of meat, this thing is crammed full), we open, no in 997 with Brooklyn as I suspected, but rather in 1997 with Goliath. His monologue here is really great. It bookends this chapter, but more importantly it bookends the Clan-Building series as it parallels directly with Goliath's monologue to Elisa (and us) in Issue #1 about his clan. You could even say it goes all the way back to the opening sequence of the Season 2 episodes. Anyway, it works beautifully here. I can't help but think of Closing Ceremonies at the Gathering when I read it now. Greg Weisman talked about how the moment was so bittersweet, and it was... is. But reading this issue, and Goliath's monologue in particular, really gives me hope for this franchise and this fandom.

- Meanwhile, a thousand years ago, Brook is giving his own inner monologue, but he isn't doing it in quiet solitude, he is giving it in the thick of the Battle of Rathveramoen! I like that even as people are dieing all around him and his own life is truly at risk, his thoughts dwell on his family back home. We worries that they are worried about him, but of course, they barely have time to worry at all, but he doesn't know that yet. But he realizes to get home to see his family again, his job is to help the Grim win the battle, keep the Grimorum out of the wrong hands, and keep the last bunch of gargoyles in Scotland safe. Of course, all of these objectives are in jeopardy of going undone. Ironically, the battle itself seems to be going well. Brooklyn, "Demona" and the clan are kicking some ass (or rather breaking some necks, slicing some flesh and causing some heavy damage from high-altitude drops). This battle is a lot of fun visually. And there is a lot going on. Brook has a couple really great moments. First he and a fellow gargoyle, "Bro", have this great exchange about being rookery brothers. It was very cool to finally meet a rookery sibling of the trio (knowing that they were, of course), but it wasn't until the Gathering where Greg Weisman pointed out that the gargoyle behind these two watching this exchange is probably Brooklyn's BIOLOGICAL brother. How cool is that?! We get a great example of how relationships work within gargoyle clans. So cool, and such a contrast to what we see going on with the humans, where blood relationships define everything (and seem to be causing a lot of trouble). Then Brooklyn gets a very cool moment with Demona where they discuss Goliath. She is such a hypocrite here. She bitches that when the humans are finished fighting each other, they will come after the gargoyles, but her plan is to kill their human allies once they've defeated their rivals! Does she even hear herself? Well, this is Demona, her own worst enemy after all.

- While the battle rages, not far away, the Grimorum has finally fallen into the wrong hands. Mary and Finella (and Magus the horse) do what they can to get the book back, but to little avail. Valmont uses the book to cast a pretty nasty spell that seems to amplify the one he has used a few times before. Fiery arrows rain down on the battle and a lot of gargoyles are injured or killed. We get a really sad scene of the sacrifice of one gargoyle for her mate. But this whole thing makes me so angry at Demona. She uses these deaths (both in this chapter and in City of Stone) as fuel for her hate, but in doing so she negates all that they are fighting and dying for. And THEN, she remarks how she cannot undo these awful things that have happened. Well, duh, girl, but making things worse is not the solution! What a hypocrite and a bitch! She drives me nuts, and to all of the Demona-apologist fans out there I ask you to pay attention to what is going on here.

- Meanwhile, the humans are battling it out. Constantine and the Grim seem evenly matched until Constantine threatens Bodhe, then the Grim really lets him have it. Constantine's reign as King ends as it begins, with someone getting stabbed, though at least this isn't a cold murder, but a death in battle. The Grim has that over Constantine. And speaking of Bodhe, he seems to be getting trounced by Gillecomgain, which is no surprise in that Gille is twice his size and probably much more skilled in battle. Bodhe seems to barely survive, and only luck saves him when Gille gets distracted by his father's death, but you can tell the event probably traumatized him for life (Greg indicated at the Gathering that this event, the murder of the Grim a few years later and the murder of Bodhe's own sone a few years after that all lead to his behavior in City of Stone. This all has made Bodhe very interesting to me). Findlaech really comes across as a good guy here, he wanted to share with his brother and Mail Brigti refused, he didn't want to kill his nephew because after it all he didn't want to end his brother's line. It really makes me wonder what Findlaech thought when Maol Chalvim usurped the Grim a few years down the line. And speaking of that, some of Constantine's final words seem almost prophetic. He senses Maol's thirst for the throne and blattanly tells the Grim of it. He even inspires Gillecomgain to become the first Hunter.

- Anyway, the battle ends, the arrows are stopped and just when things seem to have called down the Phoenix reappears. Brooklyn is understandably annoyed. He doesn't get to see what comes next, and we can relate, we don't either. Guess it is off to hit the history books to see what happened next... for now. Before he is off, Brook smoothly recovers the Grimorum from Demona and passes it back to Finella and Mary. I was a bit surprised that Finella didn't get a chance to use magic herself as I thought she would due to her talk in #11, but I wasn't surprised that Mary and Finella asked to go with Brooklyn, having had that idea spoiled for me years ago online. I suspect that all three of them thought they would be going right back to the time and place Brook came from and I suspect therein lies Mary's real motivation. I think she wants to see Tom again and knows he is safe and alive (and married) in Brook's time. Well, we don't get to find out... yet. The Phoenix, once again, seems to have Brooklyn singled out and we can assume the "Time-Fowl" snatched up Mary and Finella and the Grimorum too.

- So we, the audience, pop back to 1997 to the moments right after Brooklyn left... and he reappears. We are told that he is not alone, and I think the less-informed (or less spoiled) fan might think Finella and Mary are with him, but most of us know better. Back at the Castle, Hudson and Lex finally come home from London and as I suspected Coldstone and Coldfire came with. I'm thrilled that they are finally members of the Clan in full. And then we come to probably the most anticipated moment for fans for the last ten years. The reveal of Brooklyn's family. I have to admit, I didn't know what to expect outside of a female Ishimuran gargoyle, her and Brook's son and a gargoyle beast (and an egg, okay I had a good idea what the egg would look like). Katana is very cool. I love that we finally have a beaked female in the canon, I love that attention was paid to her number of fingers and toes to reflect her clan of origin. I do have a slight worry that the two beaked gargoyles would end up together. I know that a beaked gargoyle could just as well mate with a non-beaked gargoyle, but I worry that some fans might not see this. I dunno. A minor worry for me. Gnash is a lot of fun, he seems older than his age indicates. Must be the weapon. Really, the whole family seems like they have a lot of stories to tell. Or rather, for Greg to tell. I like Brooklyn's line about his journey being a long story and "some of it even true". Ties us nicely with the journey Goliath set us on back in #2 and with Shari's tales. And lets not forget Fu-Dog. I LOVE Fu-Dog's design. Very cool. I hope he and Bronx get along. Other nice things about this final scene include Hudson laughing and being so happy. When I see him here, I think back to his line in "The Gathering" where he is so happy that they are not the last and not alone. He gets to see his decimated clan grow. How cool. I really like how Angela wants to hold 'Egwardo'. I never thought about her never having seen an egg before (I suppose I figured she saw the clutches in Ishimura or ChacIxChel), but I love the motherly aspect this gives her and Broadway's reaction to it. A lot of fans seem to focus on Katana's reluctance to let go of the egg, but I don't see that as that big of a deal. It isn't like she violently refused, and after all they've been through, you have to understand her reluctance. Anyway, Elisa's reaction to showing up was really cool. I mean she was probably expecting Goliath, Bronx, Broadway, Angela and Brooklyn at most. Instead she comes out of the elevator too see this whole motley crew. Coldstone, Coldfire, Katana, Gnash, Fu-Dog and even Brooklyn must've been a real shock. I like her "Whoa... Goliath...?" But, there isn't time for explanations, we have to go kick some butt. As Greg indicated at the Gathering, I'm sure they did. All these gargoyles versus Wolf, Jackal and Hyena. As Lex states, they'll "never know what hit 'em!" A GREAT ending to this awesome Clan-Building arc. Of course, it is "Never The End..." Not for the Manhattan Clan or the Gargoyles series or the fandom. This comic couldn't have been released at a more poignant time. Great job, Greg. Really, this is awesome stuff. And ALL of the artists made it work so beautifully as well. Thank You!

Eagerly awaiting Gargoyles #13, "Manhattan, Chapter One"...

Greg responds...

Thanks, Matt. I can't wait to write it!

Response recorded on February 23, 2010

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Greg Bishansky writes...

"Gargoyles, Bad Guys: Redemption. #6: Losers"

We pick up where we left off, but, at last we meet the mystery man who is behind the Redemption Squad. A man obscured in shadow called 'the Director.' We don't see much of him, but he works for an organization which, I suspect, is trying to bring down the Illuminati.

Anyway, Falstaff introduces his band of freaks. Pistol (a gun fighter); Points (swordsman); Bardolph (He breathes fire); Mistress Doll (a contortionist); and Mistress Quickly.

Falstaff then invites the Redemption Squad to dinner. Dingo is asking Falstaff the questions; Hunter is sitting there fuming in silence; Yama is listening; Matrix is absorbing metal; and Fang is stuffing his face.

Falstaff decides that the Redemption Squad would make a great asset, and on behalf of the Illuminati, he offers them membership. Besides, the Illuminati is only trying to save the world. Which I am sure is true... from their point of view. And he can prove it.

Hunter is given a chance to speak with her great-aunt, Fiona Canmore. This made me bug out a little, because a year or so ago, I asked myself "if Fiona Canmore is supposed to still be alive in 1997, when she was hunting Demona in 1920... what if she was an Illuminatus and had access to their rejuvenation drugs?" But I never expected to see it in the canon. Gargoyles Fans Collective Conscious strikes again!

Across the room, Yama and Fang are connected to... Goliath. Except the coloring is off, and Yama asks for someone to fix the color. Whoops, it's not Goliath it's... Thailog. He asks Fang to vouch for him. Which Fang obliges.

Meanwhile, Dingo cannot believe that Falstaff got out of the life... but, what better job is there for the world's greatest thief than to guard the world's biggest treasury. The island: Eastcheap Isle is the Illuminati's treasury. And we see a room that would make Scrooge McDuck green with envy.

So, the Redemption Squad are left to confer. Join the Illuminati or not. But Yama knows the Illuminati cannot be trusted. And why? Because Fang vouched for Thailog and Fang knows the rest of the squad doesn't trust him. Really sneaky Fang.

So, we have a nice fight between the squad, and Falstaff's gang of freaks. But when the Redemption Squad gains the upper hand, Falstaff sinks the island... which is actually a ship. The Redemption Squad manage to escape... having lost this round.

Now, some might find it a bummer that the Redemption Squad didn't really achieve a victory here... beyond capturing Mistress Quickly. Falstaff and the rest of his crew escape, with the treasury.

But, Yama sums up what this was really all about. The never ending struggle for redemption. But Fang is just happy to have survived. He's not interested in redemption... maybe one day, but not yet.

Overall, a fun introduction to what I am sure would have been a great series. Greg's writing is as sharp as ever. But I have to say that I've always admired Karine Charlebois' art. I've watched her grow as an artist since 1997. But, with these comics, you can see her getting progressively better with each issue. She's great.

I know that if we get a license renewal and we get more spin-offs, Greg is planning a Dark Ages story, then a Pendragon story, then a TimeDancer story. But, I'll be honest. This really whetted by appetite. I want to see more of these characters and this team.

Greg responds...

Me too!

Response recorded on February 22, 2010

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Greg Bishansky writes...

"Gargoyles, Bad Guys: Redemption. #5: Strangled"

This issue is told somewhat non-linearly, but no where near to the extent as the recent Stone of Destiny story in "Gargoyles."

Parts of this center around Dingo's past. We see Dingo/Harry Monmouth as a small child rush home only to be told by his surrogate father figure, John Oldcastle, that his mother, Mariah, has run off again. Mariah is apparently a bit of a free-spirit... and this was the 1970s. Young Harry seems hardly surprised, as Mariah has done this before. But John promises to take care of him. And, for the next decade or so of his life, John... a professional thief and criminal trains Harry and the two of them pull off a series of heists.

In the present day (hee hee, 1997), Hunter informs the now full squad of Dingo, Matrix, Yama, and Fang, that their next target is an Illuminati stronghold on an island. So now, it all comes together. This is the island that we've been seeing this squad battle those giant robots.

The squad destroys the robots and enters the stronghold, where they discover a gigantic Illuminati banner, and they are ambushed by a bunch of freaky villains in Renaissance get-up. Dingo immediately recognizes one of them as someone he worked with when he was younger and pulling jobs with John Oldcastle, and knows who they're up against.

Enter John Oldcastle, who now calls himself Falstaff. And like the Falstaff of William Shakespeare's "Henry IV," Falstaff is a rather large individual who loves to eat and drink. He also refers to himself as the "King of Thieves." The Shakespeare character was a thief as well. Gotta hand it to Greg, if he can reference the Immortal Bard, he will. Shakespeare is always a wonderful thing to include, and like the series, you don't need to be fluent in it to enjoy it.

And while I'm on the point, there was a historical John Oldcastle. He was arrested for heresy, escaped from the Tower of London, and plotted to capture King Henry V (they used to be friends) and his family. He was eventually executed... hanged and burned. They say Shakespeare based his Falstaff off of John Oldcastle. Which makes Weisman's choice in the name very appropriate.

Falstaff greets Dingo with a big manly hug... and then we cut back to our flashback to Dingo's youth, when he returned home to discover his mom had taken off again. Only, she didn't take off... John Oldcastle strangled her to death in their bedroom.

I liked this issue. Everything seems to be coming together, and the story has caught up with itself. I also think that final page outlines the advantages of the comic book medium. "Gargoyles" on TV got away with a lot, but S&P would hardly allow any cartoon series to depict a man with his hands around the throat of a dead woman (and make no mistake, she is already dead in that shot) in their bedroom.

To be concluded...

Greg responds...

Yep, she's dead all right.

Response recorded on February 22, 2010

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the final act of the Radio Play, Greg.

The ending, with the Illuminati getting their hands on the Spear and the Crown of Thorns, surprised me. Well, apart from the fact that a part of me thought that, in light of the Illuminati's links to the Holy Grail, it would be appropriate if they eventually got the Spear of Destiny, which turns up in the medieval Grail romances a number of times (in the role of the spear that crippled the Fisher King). And so Tombstone's an Illuminatus as well - pity that it can't be canon.

I was also surprised at Dominic Dracon's death - killing off a canonical character in a non-canonical script!

A few other highlights: more people telling Margot to "give it a rest", the "Casablanca" quote at the end, and Demona stuck at Ravencroft - though I doubt that she'll be there long.

Thanks for such a delightful piece, Greg.

Greg responds...

You're welcome!

Response recorded on February 22, 2010

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Matt writes...

My Review For Gargoyles #11, "Tyrants"...

- Alright. I'm a liar. I said in my "Rock of Ages" review that I planned to read each issue independently and review them before moving on to the next chapter, so as to get my true first impressions of each story without influence from later chapters or talking with fans. I was doing pretty well until this issue. By the end of it, I could hardly stop before moving on to #12. What is worse is that I've recently returned home from the Gathering and have had lots of discussions and revelations about the entire book. Nevertheless, I'll do my best to write these reviews as separate issues, focusing on my initial impressions for the most part.

- So, as usual, I'll start with the cover. Brooklyn meeting his past, frozen self is a neat idea. The cover made me wonder immediately if Brook will ever meet and talk to himself at some point in his TimeDancing. I guess we'll have to wait and see. Anyway, it is a good, fun cover.

- We pick up more or less where we left off, though I get the sense that some time is passing in 10-12 that we are not seeing. There is a lot of traveling through Scotland going on and I'm sure Brook is spending days on the road. What strikes me about that is that this time is passing without note, which contrast greatly with the previous three comics where every minute was accounted for. So, Mary, Finella and Brooklyn arrive back at Wyvern. A few years have passed since the Massacre and all seems quiet and calm at the old Castle. Brooklyn finally gets a chance to really face what happened to his Clan. Their crushed remains lie all around him. Brook is such a rich character. Capable of such sorrow and anguish and still be one of the most humorous characters in the series. Great writing. Brooklyn learns quickly that it isn't a great idea to talk about future events to people in the past when Mary asks about Tom. I get the sense here that Mary and Finella know and believe Brook is from the future, but not from how far in the future. I doubt Mary knows about how time passes on Avalon, so I suspect that she might only believe Brook is from a few decades down the road. Interesting. Also of note here is that Brook finds an old scabbard for the sword he obtained in the last chapter. I think this merits note because suddenly Brooklyn feels the need to carry a weapon, something he has never needed before. He also discovers that Goliath's half of the Phoenix Gate is not available.

- Meanwhile, in less quiet corners of Scotland, the busy world of war and politics is ticking along. Constantine fulfills his moniker of "Constantine the Bald" by shaving his head. Thanks to Todd Jenson and the GargWiki I was well aware of this historical tidbit before reading this chapter and it gave me a cool feeling. Constantine's relationship with Gillecomgain is very interesting, and thus the relationship with Mail Brigti is interesting as well. Constantine seems creepily fascinated by the teenager and this seems to worry Brigti, though he is probably wise to say nothing of it. Most strongly on Constantine's mind seems to be the war however. I like how he mentions the "Three Brothers". Valmont is cool here too. He deduces that Katharine and Magus have left "this world", Tom is with them or dead and that the Grimorum remains in Scotland all by reading the entrails of goats! A talented and creepy sorcerer to be sure.

- And finally, in another corner of Scotland, Demona arrives to her clan's cave with bad news. "They're all dead". Yikes. She seems mostly pissed off, but everyone else seems more shocked and sad. I like that distinction. And lets talk about this clan. The male gargoyles are not new to us, but the females and the beasts are. I can't help suspecting that the beasts are Bronx's biological parents and that the young female is 'True', Hudson's biological daughter. As it turns out, both suspicions were correct as revealed at the Gathering. Apparently, this cell is of gargoyles that originated at Wyvern. Kinda cool. We also get our first canon mention of the Wind Ceremony (just as earlier we got our first canon mention of the Humility Spell, this is a good chapter for canonizing things). I like how young, innocent 'True' suggests a Wind Ceremony, but the older, harder, angrier Demona just wants vengeance. For me this symbolizes Demona's ironic drift from the true gargoyle ways.

- And in yet one more corner of Scotland, the army of the Three Brothers assembles. I love their emblem being the three swords. A symbol of unity as opposed to Constantine's claw being a symbol of domination. So, while Demona plots to kill all humanity, Grim is hoping they will be strong allies, that is pretty cool. Really plays into how much I like the Grim. And he gets some luck when Brooklyn arrives and immediately allies himself, with hope that he can bring an army of gargoyles. Things are looking up for the army of the Three Brothers. I also want to mention that I found it funny to see Bodhe and Brooklyn standing next to each other. Not two characters I ever really suspected of being in the same scene, but I suppose TimeDancer will give us plenty of surprises along that line.

- So, we've visited all the 'camps' in this issue and now they all start coming together. After a really funny moral message to his audience beyond the fourth wall, Brooklyn leaves to find the last remaining gargoyles in Scotland. I get a good sense of a lot more time passing here. Maybe a few days or even longer. Brook finds more smashed clans and spends his days hiding before finally being discovered by an old acquaintance, the gargoyle who will be Demona. Naturally, he attacks her immediately. She is amazed to discover she knows him and he barely keeps his anger in check. I like how they both start lying to each other about how they survived the Massacre. After Demona stammers out her line about being in the forest, Brook brushes it off with a "Doesn't matter". I love how he knows she is lying and yet doesn't call her on it. Good restraint on his part and from the other angle it makes me wonder what Demona's reaction will be when she realizes Brooklyn was not being entirely honest either.

- Back at the ranch, Finella wants to try to use the Grimorum. Mary says this sounds dangerous, and I have to agree. Everyone else who has used the book was probably in training for years. We'll see if she can pull it off. I suppose knowing Latin and seeing magic performed before is a good start, but still...

- And at the opposing army's camp, Constantine the Artist is doing some really fun face-painting for the kids... or actually creating an emblem of fear, hatred and genocide which will last for centuries. And all the while is being a real jerk. Killing the messenger and all that. And finally we come to the Battle of Rathveramoen, which we've been building towards for a while. The army of the Three Brothers seems way out-gunned until sunset. And then we get this AWESOME two page spread of Brooklyn leading the gargoyle army into the battle. I noted a couple cool things with this battle. I liked how the gargoyle beasts are seen already chomping down on Constantine's men. I like how Demona's Clan left the young gargoyles behind which contrasts with Bodhe being in the battle, against Gillecomgain, no less. I like how Demona's Second is thrilled at the thought of a 'true battle' rather than the hiding the scattered clan had been doing, and I find it cool that he (and apparently the whole clan) has started calling Brooklyn "The Gargoyle of the Sword". Not a name, of course, but just gargoyles being gargoyles. Why call it 'The Hudson' and not just 'the river', why call him 'Brooklyn' and not just 'the gargoyle of the sword'? The are just called what they are, I love it.

- And lastly we get the battle coming to where it wasn't supposed to get. Mary and Finella's guards are quickly taken out by Valmont and the Grimorum is snatched away. And we get this iconic Gargoyles moment where Demona and her enemy speak the same passionate line. In this case both desire to control Scotland. Really great stuff.

- This was a really interesting issue. Lots of new, cool things to look at, new canon stuff and a great battle begins. A fun issue that clearly left me desperate for more as I was unable to stop reading at this point. And I can still in my mind almost hear Valmont or Constantine's voice-over say "To Be Concluded..."

Greg responds...

Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I did really try to put everything I could into those issues...

Response recorded on February 22, 2010

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Kalara writes...

Mr. Weismen I just got finished reading the Clan Building Vol 2 comic and I've got to say thank you. I felt the magic all over again. For us fans who have all been waiting years for this comic it was well worth the wait. The history and adventure in the story arcs were awesome. If felt the magic of Gargoyles all over again. Thank you for your dedication to the fans and keeping the dream alive for us all over the years. Thanks much no questions just wanted to give some praise to a job well done.

Greg responds...

Praise is always welcome!!!

Response recorded on February 22, 2010

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the second act of "A Handful of Thorns". I enjoyed it, especially all the in-jokes (Brooklyn's spin-off remarks, the Green Goblin thinking of calling up Disney about the gargoyles, Elisa repeating her "street pizza" line from "Awakening Part One", Demona's remark about the stage being crowded enough, etc.). You must really have had a blast writing it.

So how good would a couple of gargoyle beasts be at looking after an egg? (At least nobody is going to try stealing it with Bronx and Fu-Dog on guard duty!)

On the more serious note, I liked your exploring of the impact of Brooklyn's Timedancing adventures upon the trio.

A great cliffhanger ending (I hope it won't offend any of the readers). I'll admit that I would expect the Spear of Destiny to be in a different location in the Gargoyles Universe - I won't say where, because it would break the "no original ideas" - but I've read enough about the medieval legends concerning that same spear to guess.

Looking forward to Act Three (I hope the weekend won't seem too slow).

Greg responds...

I'm not sure "blast" is the word I'd use for the writing process. (Too many characters; too little time.) But we definitely had a blast performing it.

I think you asked and answered your own question re: Beasts and egg.

Response recorded on February 22, 2010

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Blaise writes...

BAD GUYS
REDEMPTION
LOSERS

SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!

And now we meet the Director. Sort of. We never get a clear look at his face, or learn his real name. In a way this makes him the opposite of another surprise character, Monsieur Le Maire, who appears to be the Director's superior! We know his name (or alias at least), but we never see him, or learn exactly what organization they belong to. Just what we need, another "super-secret organization." At least this one seems to be trying not to fall into the "ends justify the means" trap.
I just noticed on my second read through that Falstaff stuffs his leg of meat into his tankard while talking. I guess if you enjoy beer soaked meat....

We get introduced to Falstaff's motley crew, and Dingo introduces his group (poor Fang's out cold for his intro), and we move to dinner. I love the look on Fang's face after Hunter says they "won't be breaking any bread" ("Uh...we won't?" with a mouthful of food). Interestingly, the Matrix seems to be sampling the silverware. I also enjoy Hunter's reaction to Dingo's defense of Falstaff as having raised him ("That's a recommendation?").
Matrix seems to confound Falstaff from the get-go. I particularly like the look he gives Matrix when it makes a statement in regards to its attempt to take over the world "with geometry."

Of course, we come to the part we saw in the trailer where Falstaff makes the claim that the Illuminati are the good guys, and brings in character witnesses for that. Namely, Fiona Canmore and Thailog (love Yama's initial call for someone to fix the color after thinking it was Goliath).
Both offer some wonderful character/plot moments. For Fiona, there's the revelation that the "family" has been looking for Robyn (just how big is the Canmore family anyway?), and that "the Hunt" is just a part of something larger (of which we are not told right now). Thailog describes himself as Goliath's "rookery son" (I felt I had to laugh at the audacity of that lie), and then says Fang will vouch for him. Fang's next line ("Sure. Thailog's my kinda gargoyle") floored me. Saying that EXACT phrase to Yama pretty much guaranteed that Yama would want nothing to do with the Illuminati. Actually, Fang brings a lot of surprises in this issue, but I'll deal with the rest later.
That is a LOT of treasure. I just had to say that.
I find it hilarious that everyone has to hop for the Matrix to form a "privacy bubble." It's a fun image--as is all of them crowded together inside. Meanwhile Falstaff is stymied in his attempts to eavesdrop on their conversation. The Matrix has done nothing to endear itself to him.

The inter-cutting of the Squad's "signing up" with the Illuminati and their earlier private conference in the bubble do an effective job of keeping the reader guessing. At first I was a bit confused, but on my second read through I finally figured out what was going on. They make the decision that the Illuminati cannot be trusted, but Dingo doesn't want to just nuke the place. In addition to wanting to spare the lives of his foes, he also wants to save the treasure and all the art and history contained therein (and proving himself closer to "hero" than "anti-hero" in the process), so they play along. Their attempt at infiltration goes south, however. Maybe it was Falstaff's halfhearted acceptance of Hunter's claim that she works for Interpol, or the fact that the Thieves were already surrounding them, but something convinces Fang that Falstaff is onto them, and he starts blasting (taking out Doll first, probably for payback).

There's a lot of stuff with this fight I like:
-how quickly and easily the Matrix neutralizes Mistress Quick.
-Dingo's unhappy look at having to face off against his old mentor.
-Yama's rather unique method of defeating Points (yet another showcase of something that would NEVER have made it on television). Interestingly, I think there are actually stories from Japan of swordsmen defeating opponents with such tactics.
-Hunter's graceful handling of Bardolph.
-And Pistol's surprise entrance with a BFG.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if Matrix really could blow up the island (I find that more believable than it lying about such a thing--doesn't seem programmed for that yet). The fact that the island is a freakin' submarine caught me by surprise, but not as much as Falstaff's casual dismissal of them all drowning. After all that he'd seen/heard about the Matrix, did he really think something like this would kill them? And he didn't seem too upset about the capture of Mistress Quick (who has a whole "screaming statue" thing going on). Speaking of which, I wonder if she's at all conscious throughout this sequence.

Matrix makes a nice raft. I really enjoy the conversation here at the end, especially Yama's little speech. Even if he doesn't feel he has redeemed himself yet, he certainly seems more at peace than he was in "The Lost." I also enjoy everyone's surprise at Yama's statement that Fang was actually "more right than wrong." Actually, Fang is surprising in several ways, not the least of which is how helpful he is to the squad. He subtly indicates that Thailog (and by extension, the Illuminati) is untrustworthy, doesn't give Falstaff time to trap them, and sounds almost philosophical about losing the mission but surviving. The serious look on his face while Yama gives his speech caught me off guard, too. I never would have pegged Fang as interested in redemption before. I wonder if Tasha's suicide had something to do with it.
So Yama turns to stone in mid-sentence before he can say how they'll know they are redeemed, much to Fang's (rather humorous) consternation. I love how Yama's Squad uniform does not turn to stone with him. I'm also rather surprised at the smile Hunter and Dingo share. It's nice to see them not sniping at each other for once.

Nothing left to say really, except about that sketch on the inside of the back cover. I don't remember Hunter kissing Dingo like that in these comics! Here's hoping we see something like that in a comic in the near future.

Greg responds...

As I often say, "Give me enough issues..."

Response recorded on February 11, 2010

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Blaise writes...

BAD GUYS
REDEMPTION
STRANGLED

SPOILERS!!!!!!!!

Wow. We finally get to where the leica reel ends (with all the requisite high action). All the while it is interspersed with flashbacks--the most interesting being the look at Dingo's past. It's sad to see how quickly the news his mother's walked out again quells his joyous mood (did anyone else see how he crushed his math test in his fist? One thing about Karine's art: it's so full of little details). I knew something wasn't quite right with John from the way he was holding the door closed, and the look on his face. I will admit, I kind of figured he had killed Mariah, but I didn't expect the shot at the end of the comic with his friggin' hands still around her throat! That one was a shocker (though after the suicide, I wonder why that should be). Actually, seeing John Oldcastle's interactions with the young Harry is very disarming. He does seem to genuinely care about the boy (but that could just show how good a liar he is). As a side note, I know that the comic gets away with a lot, but young Harry's joking question about John being a "molester" raised an eyebrow.
The "teaching montage" is just beautiful. Shows where Dingo learned most of his skills, but not necessarily his style (the surprise on John's face when teen-Harry proudly displays his new haircut is hilarious). One question that is not resolved: WHY did Oldcastle kill Mariah? A story for another day, I guess.
Loved the shot of Dingo saving Hunter. The look on her face during that sequence is priceless. Of course, immediately after that "moment of weakness" (so to speak) she pushes off Dingo and free-falls(!) to take out another robot. Damn!
I loved Dingo's reaction to Robyn's rather melodramatic description of the Illuminati as a "super-secret organization trying to take over the world. ("Seriously?") You've got to feel for Dingo. Even after leaving the Pack, his life refuses to stop acting like a comic book. At least this time he's a hero.
Yama's still not happy about Fang coming along. He's even less happy about losing that sword. I loved the robot POV just before its destruction, as well as Yama's casual inspection and then discarding of the head.
Dingo tries to help up Hunter, she blows him off, and for some reason has a smug smile on her face (is she just proud of blowing up a robot herself?). Actually, Dingo really seems to be looking out for Hunter here--when he calls out the possibility of a trap, he has his right arm out as if to shield her or hold her back. She is not impressed, of course.
Matrix as a light source (that's a little TOO bright). Win!
"Guess we came to the right secret lair." Indeed, you have to admire the subtlety of that gigantic wall decoration.
And then we are introduced to a nimble young woman apparently named "Doll." All I can say about the last panel of her introductory page, where she sends Fang flying with a flip that leaves her doing a handstand with her legs wide open, is "SWEET JEEBUS!"
Other folk include a heavily scarred fire-breather, a woman who runs really fast, a guy who looks like a "Pirates of the Caribbean" extra (who manages to cross blades with both Yama and the Matrix), and a guy who would look at home in a Robin Hood film except he's armed with guns. And is fast enough to outdraw Hunter, not to mention skilled enough to shoot the gun out of her hand. Oh yeah, and his name's Pistol. At least that's what Dingo calls out because he apparently knows him--and who he's connected with.
And here comes the revelation: Dingo's old mentor John Oldcastle is the one calling the shots, and he's now known as "FALSTAFF, KING OF THIEVES!" (Am I the only one who hears this guy being voiced by BRIAN BLESSED?) Okay, how does he manage to get BOTH nubile young women hanging off him like that? And he does it while sitting in a throne, with a leg of meat in one hand and a tankard in the other. A more important question would be, how can I put myself in that position?
As I said, the artwork is incredible and rich in detail. I am a little sad at not seeing the cover for issue #5 (Dingo's wanted poster) in color, but that's a minor gripe.

Greg responds...

Glad you liked it.

Response recorded on February 11, 2010

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Blaise writes...

GARGOYLES
CLAN-BUILDING
ISSUE #12

PHOENIX

SPOILERS!!!!!!

Once again, excellent art from Ben Dunn that also remains consistent with the work of the previous two artists. I feel he sometimes puts in a few too many wrinkles/flecks/spots on Goliath and Brooklyn, and he has a tendency to draw some of the women's faces (especially Finella) in a style too similar to Japanese manga. Also, Maol Chalvim's face looks a bit...off to me on page 11 (it doesn't look as "long" as it should to me). Demona's, too, on occasion. But overall, a bang up job.

This chapter actually begins in 1997 with Goliath (in his "thinker" pose) ruminating on how a thousand years ago "the humans" thought they had crushed his kind completely, before we go back to Brooklyn in 997 thinking about how "a thousand years from now" Broadway and Angela are wondering if he'll come back. I like that bit of parallelism.
"Damn good question." I'll never get over the casual swearing (no matter how mild).
For the next few pages, we're treated to Brooklyn's interior monologue as he dishes out exposition. I love how he calls the Phoenix the "Time-Fowl." He would be the type to give a casual name to a magical entity.
I can't help but wonder what kind of sword Brooklyn's using. I've heard people call it a broadsword, but Brooklyn sometimes swings it two-handed. Wouldn't that make it a bastard sword?

Meanwhile, Valmont is gloating about having the Grimorum. "First of the Three Keys to Power...the pathway to Avalon...the fate of Scotland in my hands!" Okay, it's official: Valmont is Archmage Jr.
Well, Mary's clever enough to pull the wagon out from under him. Pity it wasn't enough to make him drop the book.

Back to Brooklyn, as he continues to think about what his actions mean for the gargoyles he brought out of hiding. After he and the gargoyle with the beaky nose lift and drop a couple of soldiers, Brook gets carried away and calls him "bro" and tries to give a high-five (or high-four, in this case). He's able to recover quickly enough, though (easy when you can say "bro" is short for "rookery brother"). I like the camaraderie he managed to pull off with the other garg here.
I also like how he refers to Demona as his "least favorite personal demon." Brooklyn's no fool, he knows Demona's planning a betrayal, but he's got to play along.
Let me take this moment to say that, even if she is the Demona from 997, I am REALLY glad to see Demona back again. I've really missed her. And she is VICIOUS in battle! Clawing people across the face seems to be a thing with her.
Brooklyn's response to Demona's compliment on his battle prowess ("I had a good teacher...Goliath") is wonderful. To me it both shows the respect he has for Goliath, and also acts as his way of sticking it to Demona. She, however, takes it as an opportunity to disparage Goliath's trust of humans, and state that the humans will turn on the gargoyles at the end of battle (you're one to talk, Ms. Backstabby McBackstab).
Meanwhile Constantine taunts Kenneth with talk of "superior numbers" and how he has no mercy (which he says with a vicious smile). Okay, Constantine belongs under the "Complete Monster" category of villain. You know the kind of villain you love to hate? Well, this isn't that kind of villain. This is the type of villain you just want to see die horribly. And Gillecomgain is putting himself in that very same category with his actions here. Sure he was a monster in "City of Stone," but somehow what we see of him here makes him even worse! He's trying to kill poor Bodhe (no wonder the kid grew into a coward) and he's doing it with glee! And Constantine is egging him on. "It is the Hunter's Moon, be a hunter for your king!" (I love the close-ups of both Constantine and Gillecomgain in those two panels--page 9). Findlaech makes an offhand remark to his adversary, Mail Brigti, to the effect of Gil seeming like Constantine's son.
Mail just ignores that, fights him and reveals...that he and Findlaech are half-brothers! I had remembered hearing about this (that Gillecomgain and Macbeth were actually related), but I wondered why Gil would be a peasant if that was the case. Now we get a story where this is explained. It also explains why Mail always acted so angry (bitterness, and he may have taken some of it out on Gil). Findlaech definitely comes across as having the moral high ground, having offered to share Ruaidri's (their father) inheritance, but Mail seems determined to have everything, even if it means siding with a Complete Monster.

And then Brother Valmont casts a spell. While Finella is trying to figure out the translation, Maol finally shows up. Turns out he's quicker to understand Latin, and orders the women to take cover while he threatens Valmont to make him call off the spell. Actually, this shot of Maol Chalvim could almost be considered a hero shot. Maol's a strange character. Not nice, by any stretch of the imagination, and I know he's going to turn on poor, good Kenneth eight years on, but somehow he's able to pull of these "hero" type moments. Unfortunately, the threat doesn't work on Valmont. And Finella figures out the spell just in time to take cover.
The spell? Arrows begin to rain down from the skies (what IS it with Brother Valmont and arrows?).

Demona's Second's Mate shields him from the arrows with her own body and dies (NOOOOO!)! And she's not the only one getting hit--there are several gargoyle silhouettes in the background, some pierced with the arrows (NOOOO! multiplied by however many died). But she is the one we've seen the most of, and the fact that she's the mate of a gargoyle we are (slightly) more familiar with, helps to personalize it as he grieves for her, poor guy. Brooklyn and even Demona are horrified by this turn of events.
To be fair, I kind of figured she'd die before the end of the comic arc simply because we never saw her in "City of Stone." Of course, we never saw the beasts or "True" there either, so....
At any rate, farewell, oh web-winged female. We hardly knew ye.
Poor Magus the horse gets hit, too (NO! NOT THE HORSE!).

Valmont takes this opportunity to gloat to Maol...and loses his right hand to Brooklyn for his troubles. I was actually quite impressed, Greg, that you managed to go this far. Granted, we don't see the actual stump of the hand, but it's still a pretty shocking turn of events. And of course, it couldn't have happened to a more deserving jerk.
Maol's line, "The arrows...they still reign." Love the wordplay there (something that wouldn't come across in spoken dialogue, sadly).
Is it just me, or does Finella REALLY want to do magic. Maybe she's just trying to do SOMETHING and not feel useless. At any rate, a real sorceress steps in: Demona. She manages to reverse the spell (and look cool while doing it), but she can't bring any who died back to life, of course.

And one last casualty of the arrows is revealed: Mail Brigti (NOO--wait, what am I saying, YEEEESS!). Findlaech may be a big enough man to cry over his treacherous half-brother, but as far as I'm concerned, after following Constantine, a man he KNOWS is evil, just for his own gain, Mail Brigti got his just deserts.
Unfortunately, the arrows didn't hit the selectively blind Gillecomgain, who chooses to not see the arrows and believe that his father died by Findlaech's hand. Findlaech warns Gil not to cross him, mostly because he doesn't want to see his brother's line end. Gil chooses to believe it's because Findlaech fears him. This whole confrontation, along with the struggle over Ruaidri's inheritance, adds a whole new level to the Hunter's assassination of Findlaech in "City of Stone." Damn. The only reason they don't fight now is because Constantine and Kenneth's fight passes right between them (even a rain of arrows doesn't stop these guys!).

Geez, Constantine just doesn't shut up! And this is the second time he's gone on about his "superior numbers." He promises to kill Maol Chalvim (while hinting at Maol's future turn) after he kills Kenneth's son Bodhe (well, he promises to gut Bodhe while calling him a very unflattering word). This is the last straw for Kenneth ("You shouldn't make Kenneth angry, Constantine...you wouldn't like him when he's angry"). Kenneth throws away his shield and begins attacking Constantine with both hands on his sword. He manages to unhorse Constantine and slay him. I love the look on both Constantine and Gillecomgain's face before Kenneth drives the blade home (where's your "superior numbers" now, Constantine?). In contrast to Constantine earlier, Kenneth is silent through all this part. It reminds me of a quote from Terry Pratchett's Discworld book "Men at Arms." To paraphrase it shortly, "If you are staring down a loaded crossbow, pray that the man on the other end is an evil man. Because an evil man will want you to know you are beaten, so he will talk and gloat and put off the moment of killing you for as long as possible the way a man might put off smoking a good cigar. A good man will just kill you without a word." Seems to fit this situation.

Well, Demona is in awe at having the Grimorum Arcanorum in her hands, while Brooklyn tries to figure out how to separate it from her. And then the Phoenix appears again. I wonder why Brooklyn focused on "Timedance" as his metaphor of choice, embellishing it with such gems as "chronal-boogie" and "temporal-tune." I can definitely understand his frustration at not being able to know how everything turned out (guess he'll be hitting the books when he gets back).
I loved Brooklyn's way of tricking Demona into giving him the Grimorum (playing on her desire for power, offering to hold the book while she got her half of the Gate). I can only wonder what Demona thought and did after he was gone. This whole thing also adds another level to "Temptation"--how much of this encounter did Demona remember through the years?
Well, Brook's ready to go, but so are Mary and Finella, much to his dismay.

But now we travel back to the present (well, 1997) and repeat the last few panels we saw of Broadway and Angela, and--THERE! In the last panel of page 20! In that panel, Angela has her collar (a bit more wrinkled than usual, but it's there), but in the panel before, and the panel after (first panel of page 21) she has no collar! Just let her keep the collar already!
Sorry.
Anyway, I liked Brooklyn's "Forever...forty years...forty seconds...however you keep time, the Dance is finally done." So cool. And yeah, I've already been spoiled so the "He's not alone" misdirection didn't work on me, but I can appreciate the effect it might have on readers not "in the know."

Well, we return to Goliath and his ruminations. But what's this? Lexington and Hudson have returned...and they brought Coldstone and Coldfire! Goliath is, needless to say, overjoyed by this turn of events. And then Broadway arrives to say that Brooklyn went on "a little trip" of his own and...well, Goliath has to see for himself.

Okay, this is IT! The part I've waited 12 years for. The first canon appearance of Brooklyn's mate, Katana. Not to mention his son, Nashville, and Fu-Dog, and how Brooklyn himself looks after his journey. I will admit, I had not expected him to so closely resemble his "Future Tense" self, but I'm not complaining (that armor just looks cool). And man is he armed to the teeth or WHAT? That Scottish sword (which he apparently kept with him throughout all 40 years), a Japanese Katana, a hand pistol (or blaster of some kind) and a Big Fricken' Futuristic Rifle. It also seems he lost his left eye somewhere along the way. Funny, that's the same eye Hudson lost sight in. You know, Broadway may be Hudson's biological son, but Brooklyn seems to me to take after the old garg a lot more than anyone else.
And Nashville (or Gnash, as he prefers to be called) is pretty much what I expected. I didn't know his coloring, and he looks a lot tougher than I would have thought (he's the physical equivalent of a 9-year-old, but then again, he's a time-traveling gargoyle), and I didn't expect him to be ARMED with a Japanese blade, but yeah, he's definitely Brooklyn's son. The clothes were a surprise, too--more modern than either of his parents, which makes sense I guess (so U.S.N. stands for "U.S. Navy?" Interesting).
And Fu-Dog...what can I say. He's like a green lion (and pretty darn cool looking).

But Katana...oh man, where do I begin? Well, let's start with the fact that she is the first major beaked female in the canon. I am ashamed to admit that in all those 12 years, I was never able to picture her beaked. I knew intellectually that it was a possibility, but for some reason I could never wrap my mind around it. Maybe it was the difficulty of trying to picture a beaked female that DIDN'T just look like Brooklyn with boobs.
But now Katana's been revealed and...the first word that popped into my mind to describe her was "cute." There's just something about her face that lends itself to that. Her beak is smaller than Brooklyn's, and maybe that helps. Her hair is gorgeous, and I love the style. But the real secret is in her eyes and expression. God, those eyes are perfectly shaped, and the look in them, coupled with her smile.... You said, Greg, that her and Brooklyn's relationship would have been like Sam and Diane, or Beatrice and Benedick, and I can just see ALL of that in the look on her face here.
As for the rest, I somehow always figured she'd be some shade of blue. I love the design of her clothes (I have looked extensively at Robby Bevard's design sheet for her). I'd really like to see her use those war fans at some point. I'm still surprised at her having one digit less per appendage (3 instead of 4). And then there's how she acts with her egg. When Angela asked to hold it, she seemed guarded. And she even takes the egg into battle with her! I can think of only one reason she would do that: she can protect that egg from ANYTHING the world can throw at her!
All this, and she didn't even get a single line in this issue (even Gnash got ONE). Damn. Well, you can't have everything. But I still can't wait for the next installment of the "GARGOYLES" comic, or for the "TIMEDANCER" spin off. I want to hear Katana speak (figuratively, of course). I want to see her fight. I want to see her and Brooklyn's relationship. I want to see her three-fingered hand intertwined with his four-fingered one. God, it's going to be a long wait.

"Egwardo?" Brooklyn, some things about you never change.

The group shot at the top of page 23 is kind of neat. I love all their reactions. Bronx and Fu-Dog are sniffing at each other, Angela's excited over the egg, Hudson's laughing, Lex seems to be chatting with Gnash, and Brooklyn...he just seems happy to be home again.

Then Elisa comes in and has a wonderful reaction to the overnight change in the clan's roster. Seriously, I can't help laughing everytime I imagine Salli Richardson saying that line.
Well, Jackal's busted Hyena and Wolf out of prison and they're wreaking Times Square, so the WHOLE FRICKEN' CLAN goes out to meat them. Lex is right, "The Pack'll never know what hit 'em."

This was a great issue, a great arc, and a great series. If I had any complaints about this particular issue it's that the last four pages felt very rushed. I mean it's like BOOM--Lex and Hudson--BOOM--Coldstone and Coldfire--BIG BOOM--Brooklyn and family--BOOM--Pack attacks--BOOM--attack Pack. I felt like I couldn't catch my breath! And this just makes me want another issue right NOW!

"Never the End..." eh? I'll drink to that, but like I said before "It's going to be a long wait." Still, here's to what we did get.

Thank you, Greg!

Greg responds...

You're very welcome. Thanks for keeping the faith all these years.

Response recorded on February 11, 2010

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Blaise writes...

GARGOYLES
CLAN-BUILDING
ISSUE #11

TYRANTS

Let's dive right in.

SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!

Once more, I will begin with the art. David Hutchison does a good job, and is a decent successor to Greg Guler here. This is especially true in regards to consistency. This and the Halloween arc ("Invitation Only," "Masque," and "Bash") are the only two that have a completely different artist for each issue within the arc. In the case of the Halloween arc, the contrast in styles between David Hedgecock, Nir Paniry, and Karine Charlebois was quite jarring at times. Here, however, the difference in styles between Greg Guler, David Hutchison and Ben Dunn isn't as drastic. Consequently, these three issues seem to..."flow together" better, I guess. The transition is easier.
At any rate, the only complaint I have is that Hutchison sometimes draws Brooklyn's wings in a semi-bat shape when their edges should be smooth. Other than that though, kudos to Mr. Hutchison.

Well, we pick up where we left off: Brooklyn, along with Mary and Finella, makes for Castle Wyvern ("Home sweet decimated home"). Brooklyn seems to feel like hooking his wing-claws on his shoulders (like his "Future Tense" version did) for now instead of caping them like usual. Interesting.
Brooklyn mentions getting back to his century, confusing Mary, who figured the 10th century was his century. It's funny--Brooklyn lived most of his life in the 900's, and yet after two years in the 1990's he already considers that his century. Of course, the fact that his clan's there probably has something to do with it.

I remember hearing a while back that the Constantine we saw on "GARGOYLES" was King Constantine III who ruled from 995-997 A.D. (what year is Brooklyn stranded in again?), and he was known as Constantine the...bald. Yeah, I kind of figured the "GARGOYLES" crew either missed that, or decided he looked better with a wig. But NOW we see why he was called that in the "GARGOYLES" universe. He cut his hair to turn his head into "the proper canvas." Canvas for what I wonder.
Given his reaction to Gillecomgain's brown-nosing answer, Constantine seems to like yes-men and toadies.
Mail Brigti (and now we know his first name) arrives with news about the Grim's army assembling at Rathveramoen, and Constantine sends him off to wait at the head of his (Constantine's) own army. Mail calls Gil, but Constantine wants to keep Gil nearby (it was the toadying that impressed him, wasn't it?), and begins an in-depth study of Gil's scars. Mail hesitates, but leaves when curtly dismissed.
Constantine then takes a moment to gloat about wiping out "the male line of the Three Brothers" (there's that reference only "Ask Greg" readers will fully understand again) before asking Brother Valmont about the Magus and Princess Katharine. Valmont..."read the entrails of half the goats in Scotland?!" YUCK!! EW! Okay, my appetite's gone. Anyway, short version, they're both out of Scotland, Tom's out of Scotland as well, but the Grimorum is still around and Valmont must get it.

"Okay, this is just freaky." Yeah, seeing your sleeping form would engender that reaction. But then Brooklyn moves among the remains of his massacred clan while thinking to himself how "freaky" is a nice, safe adjective in comparison to "horrific, traumatizing, or soul-killing." This is probably just as bad as living that night after the Massacre all over again. I like his description of it feeling like his heart is "turning to stone and Hakon is taking a mace to it."
He also finds a scabbard for his new sword. Interesting. I wonder what prompted him to keep the sword in the first place. He's been going for years without a weapon and now he decides to keep the first sword he grabs? Then again, with the King's army against you, a sword might come in handy.

Well, Mary asks after Tom, and Brooklyn starts to explain about Tom being married. This floors Mary who is still thinking of Tom as the little boy she left two years ago. Brooklyn leaps away (awkward transition that, since we don't see him actually leaving Mary in that panel), and resolves to keep his "big beak shut" just in case. Probably wise, things will be simpler that way.
I rather enjoy Brooklyn's annoyance at stone sleep (and wondering how Elisa can stand it). And we finally have a canon mention of the Humility Spell...but no explanation. Yes, we who have read "Ask Greg" and the GargWiki know the story, but for those who have only watched the series and read the comic, I wonder if this mention (along with the one about the "Three Brothers" and the later one about the Wind Ceremony) will whet their appetite for more stories and for the background on these references.
Given that Brooklyn's most likely stuck in the 10th century now without the Gate, he seems quite calm about it. No whining, no rage, just a sigh and "I guess this IS my century again, after all." Man, Brook's made of some pretty stern stuff. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be that calm.
And he calls Demona a witch. Oh, come on Brooklyn! Just replace the "w" with a "b" and be done with it. We all know you want to!

Demona arrives at a cave and announces to the gargs there the death of the Sruighlea cell (damn, I do not know how the hell that name is pronounced). Okay, so Demona's clan is split into separate cells. I did not know that (in fact, I've always wondered why the number of gargoyles Demona led in "City of Stone" seemed to change, and now I finally know). This particular cell she leads is full of familiar faces, though. There's her Second, and apparently his Mate (I know she's called something else in the scripts, but since she isn't referred to as that by the characters, I'm just going to call her Second's Mate). Also a new young gargoyle face and two beasts, one of whom looks like Bronx except for coloring, and one of whom is colored like Bronx. Oh, and the new young one has Hudson's skin tone and white hair and...okay, yes she's Hudson's biological daughter (True), and the beasts are obviously Bronx's biological parents. I wonder why this female beast's eyes glow red but Boudicca's didn't?
At any rate, "True" says they should hold a Wind Ceremony for the fallen (the first canon mention of that, too), but Demona once again shows that vengeance trumps all other concerns for her (save her own survival, of course). Bitch.

Maol Chalvim is his usual self as he spells out to Kenneth just why they can't count on gargoyle support...and then one shows up in their camp, carted in by Mary and Finella. I must admit, I hadn't realized Maol might hold some animosity towards Finella, but it makes perfect sense.

I wish I could have seen the first meeting between Brooklyn, Kenneth, Maol and Finlaech, but I guess something had to be sacrificed for page space.
Seeing Brooklyn pointing at the map and telling Kenneth to engage Constantine's forces at Rathveramoen while he (Brooklyn) brings reinforcements seems to cement the image of Brooklyn as strategist. Brook also seems intelligent enough to realize that he needs Demona's help and must put his own personal feelings aside (our boy is FINALLY growing up in that area!).
Brooklyn's little "break the fourth wall" bit in the last panel of page 13 seems to have provoked a mix of reactions. I've read a few people who seemed to think it was Greg's way of directing an "educational" message directly at them, and hating it just for that. Me? I find it a hilarious character moment of Brooklyn joking around. I mean, heck, *I* sometimes address a non-existent audience! It can lighten up a strange situation and make it bearable.

I liked the shots of Brooklyn discovering the massacred cell, and him hiding in a tree during the day. And then he encounters Demona...and immediately attacks her. Demona's too shocked by the fact that he's someone from Wyvern (still love the "By the Dragon" exclamation) to be too upset about this. Brooklyn tries to regain his composure, and almost loses it again just thinking about her betrayal. Still, they manage to keep from splatting and Demona...is smiling? Wow, she really looks happy to see an old clan-mate alive again. She mentions her new clan and asks how Brooklyn survived and if any others did. Brook, clearly uncomfortable at having to make nice, has to tell a half truth--omitting himself being cursed as well (and almost calling Hudson by name). Demona sees red (literally) at hearing about the sleep spell, until Brooklyn undercuts it by pointing out she managed to escape both fates and now Demona has to stammer an explanation. In the end, Brooklyn brushes it all aside for the greater good.

Wow, no sorcerers for Kenneth's side? Finella decides she'll try the book herself just because she knows Latin. Mary points out the danger, and Finella points out that they're already in danger. I love the little "Magus--the man, not the horse" bit.

Constantine has the messenger killed. And he does it for no reason, it would seem, other than he just likes being able to. Douche.
Mail Brigti seems saddened by that action, too. If that's the case, why does he stick with Constantine anyway (yeah, I know the answer will come in the next issue, and if anything shows how much of a sell-out Mail really is)? Gillecomgain on the other hand, seems to approve of Constantine's behavior (look at that smile).
And now we see Constantine's war-paint. The roots of the Hunter's mask. In addition to the three red slashes across black on the front, he has the same design on the back along with two false eyes (doubtless to confuse and unnerve foes in the heat of battle). I think Gil likes the new look. I recall, Greg, you saying at the Gathering that this was a way to explain how people wouldn't immediately conclude that Gillecomgain was the Hunter based on the design of the mask in "City of Stone." Whatever the reason, it's a striking visual.

The armies converge and Findlaech notes there are fewer Irish (Constantine's soldiers) than he thought. Yeah, Fin, that's because the rest are hiding in the forest waiting to outflank you! There's some great art here for the battle, especially in regards to the light of the setting sun. In the last panel of page 21, I think I can see winged shapes in the sky behind the fighting Constantine and Kenneth. Three guesses what they are (and the first two don't count).
Sure enough come the next page and we get an excellent two-page spread of the gargoyles arriving into battle. Second's Mate appears to have the same wing structure as Lexington--COOL! The striking visual of the gargoyles attacking is almost enough to make one forget there's fighting on the ground, too. Gil knocks Bodhe off his horse, Mail and Finlaech are heading towards one another, and Constantine and Kenneth are still fighting. I wonder where Maol is in all of this?

The last page brings us parallel panels of simultaneous events again. Demona's Second apparently likes a good battle, and is glad they followed the "gargoyle of the sword" (looks like Brooklyn just picked up a new name). Demona (who casually BREAKS A MAN'S NECK), is already planning to turn on the Grim after the battle is won (wow, Demona's planning betrayal, what a surprise). Meanwhile, Finella is still intent on learning a spell, and doesn't realize until too late that all her guards have been killed by the flaming arrows of Brother Valmont, who snatches the Grimorum and reveals his intention to turn on HIS boss, Constantine. And then both he and Demona share the EXACT same thought at the EXACT same time: conquering Scotland! (Yeah, they haven't quite graduated to "take over the world" yet.)

Damn cliffhanger! Then again, I didn't have to wait two months for the conclusion to this story....

Greg responds...

There are certain advantages to our publishing pattern, huh?

Response recorded on February 10, 2010

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Blaise writes...

GARGOYLES
CLAN-BUILDING
ISSUE #10

THE GATE

Yes! Finally! The "TIMEDANCER" story! A three-comic arc focusing on my favorite "GARGOYLES" character! I have been looking forward to this for (literally) YEARS. And it did not disappoint. Okay, maybe there are a few nitpicks here or there, but who cares? It still rocks! So let's start with the first part.

SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First of all, I must address the art. Greg Guler did a fantastic job here. I mean, good God, this is probably the best art I've seen throughout the entire "Clan-Building" comic run (Karine, I love you and your work on "Bash" but this...wow, just...wow). I mean, the issue even starts out with what could only be called a "hero shot" of Brooklyn, and it kicks ass! The only nit is that in the first panel it looks like Brooklyn has the "one-claw" style wings instead of his normal ones. Well, maybe the other two claws are hidden. Regardless, it's still great!

Anyway, Brooklyn seems to be enjoying a glide out by himself...and then Broadway and Angela show up. And they're holding hands (and just what had they been doing to make their eyes glow like that?). Brook is not happy (I love his expression here). Broadway remarks how dull it's been with Lex and Hudson off in London (really, Broadway? Is spending "quality alone time" with Angela THAT boring?). He wishes they'd come back, to which Brooklyn responds "Yeah, that's one of my wishes...". Wow, for being the two most intuitive members of the clan, Broadway and Angela are REALLY blind to Brooklyn here. I mean, it's like (to borrow from "The Princess Bride") they're giving him a nice paper-cut and pouring lemon juice on it--and they don't even realize they're doing it!
Actually, Brooklyn's kind of interesting here. He seems to bottle most of his feelings up around them. I mean, it's like he's trying not to make a big deal about his disappointment over not "getting the girl" and just trying to avoid being constantly reminded of it, but all the body language and subtle hints in the world aren't piercing through the little "love bubble." I can only wonder what this little powder keg might have become had he not gone on his little Dance. But I'll get to that in a minute.

A little art tangent here: Angela's collar. Now, we've seen Angela's new two-piece since the start of the comics, but one thing that's always been inconsistent about it is the presence or absence of a high collar. Well, there's also the number of threads covering the, um..."low cut" area on the chest. Whenever Greg Guler draws Angela, whether on the covers, or right here in his own issue, he draws her with the collar, and only two threads over the low cut area. The ONLY OTHER artist who did that is Gordon Purcell (in Issue #6 "Reunion" for the "present" scenes). Every other artist who drew her in her "normal" outfit draws her top without the collar and with a LOT more threads. This is something that's always bugged me. It's a new outfit for her, designed by Greg Guler (I believe), so why not follow his design all the way? Why do so many make her new two-piece look like her original one-piece with just a section missing. Maybe I wouldn't care so much except I LIKE that collar. I like the distinctive look it gives her. And yes, I admit, I would not say "no" to less threads obscuring the low-cut area. ;-)
Okay, there, I've said all I need to say about that. Sorry for the digression--on with the comic.

The Phoenix Gate arrives, bouncing off one of the letters in the sign before coming to rest on the rooftop. Angela is really concerned about this development, while Brooklyn seems rather calm (and even flippant). Maybe he's just glad for the distraction from the happy couple. I like the glow of the Gate reflecting off Brooklyn's eyes.

Brooklyn reaches for the Gate (not unreasonable, from his POV--you don't want to leave something like that lying around), and...it disintegrates. Ummm, okay, in the 12 years I'd known about "TIMEDANCER" I never thought that the Gate would do this. First disintegrate, and then spit out a huge flamin' Phoenix that would swallow Brooklyn whole and vanish! I especially like that first panel on page 6--with the Phoenix's eyes looming over the three gargoyles. Maybe it's because he's closest to center, but Brooklyn does seem to be the focus of that gaze (no surprise there).

And now we begin the real meat of this tale--Brooklyn's adventures in the past. I easily recognized Constantine and Gillcomgain. Gil's father I didn't recognize until Gil referred to him as such, and a few pages later we finally get a name for him, Brigti. Anyway, poor Brook lands right in front of this rather hostile audience. Gil immediately calls him "demon" and Constantine (for reasons soon to become apparent) gives the order to "kill it." Brigti's reaction is the odd one out, if only because it's so calm and matter of fact. I wonder if Brigti sees gargoyles as something a person doesn't need to kick up much of a fuss about, at least no more so than any wild animal. This makes his reaction an interesting contrast to Constantine and Gil's rather vehement ones.

Young Gil trying to take out a surprised Brooklyn with a knife=FAIL! Constantine trying to take out Brooklyn with his HORSE=a considerably more dignified FAIL. That guy in green casting a fire arrow spell with no magic book or other noticeable conduit and getting Brooklyn in the leg=OUCH! Actually, overall, I'm impressed by how Brooklyn handles himself throughout this whole thing. He doesn't panic, keeps his head (even manages to crack a few smart remarks), correctly figures the place and century he landed in, is able to get enough height to glide somehow (it looked like a hilly bit of land, I guess) and even manages to take a FIRE ARROW in the leg and keep going (much to Constantine's displeasure). Go Brooklyn!

Anyway, we learn more about what Constantine is doing out at this hour--posting "Wanted" posters for the Magus, Tom, Mary and Finella. It would also seem that he's also hunting down gargoyles because of past history (and for those of us who have read the "Three Brothers" story, this is an added bit of icing on the cake). Oh, and the wizard in the green cloak is called Brother Valmont...and maybe it's the bald head but he looks strangely similar to someone from the previous chapter....
And just what is this "Grim" that is amassing an army?

As soon as I saw that feminine, blue-sleeved hand rip off that poster, I knew Filella and Mary had arrived. Constantine, that jerk, has been doing a bit of spin-doctoring it would seem. Among other things, the poster accuses Finella of "turning to sin and Satan" (even with the violence and minor swears the comics have been able to get away with, that line surprised me) in grief over the loss of her son.
MARY: You had a son?
FINELLA: I--NO!
Okay, that line and the look on her face leave me to wonder if she was telling the truth there.

To get past the Porter, Mary introduces Finella as the Lady...Fiona (the name of *another* "GARGOYLES" character voiced by Sheena Easton). Meanwhile, Brooklyn lands nearby and pulls out the arrow. Wow, hardcore. The expression of pain on his face is great, as is the surprise and lighting when the two halves of the arrow dissolve into flames (he should be thankful they didn't do that while he was holding one in his mouth).
Well, gold is enough to get the past the Porter, but not the Guardsman, who pulls off the poster...what, wait a minute! Didn't Finella already tear it off? Yeah, there she is holding it, and now the Guardsman's holding one and...THERE'S ANOTHER ON THE DOOR?! Okay, Finella looks about as surprised as I feel. Does the poster have some sort of magic spell on it that creates an exact copy if it is torn off?
Things go south very fast for our heroines. The jerk Guardsman can apparently follow orders enough to want them alive, but no one else in the town seems to agree. Finella tries to bluff her way out with the Grimorum (LOVE that last panel on page 15), but the Guardsman is not as easily cowed as the townspeople. Until Brooklyn arrives, that is. Brook even pulls a Goliath and takes the sword in his had by the blade (leaving a fair amount of blood in the process). And then he pulls a Hudson by taking that sword and keeping it with him. I loved his lines here (especially, "You wait here for my clan to come eat your brains..." and "Now that I've set back human-gargoyle relations for the next millennium").
"RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!" You've just been waiting to put that Monty Python bit in, haven't you, Greg?
One art nit: It would seem the top part of a word bubble is floating just above the bottom of panel 6 on page 16. Oh, well.
I love Finella's expressions first after Brook appears and then after he turns to stone. I'd guess this is the first time she's been this close to a gargoyle in her life. She seems concerned about the wound on his hand though (YIKES, yeah, you wouldn't have been able to show that much on the TV show). Mary seems to wear a concerned expression, too in the final frame of page 17.
Mary named the horse "Magus?" Heh. That's kind of cool.

And now we meet "The Grim"--jolly Kenneth (soon to be King Kenneth III), cousin of Maol Chalvim and Princess Katharine. We see Maol, too (as gregarious as ever), and surprisingly enough, a younger Findlaech. Oh, and Bodhe as a boy, ready to follow his father into battle (or so he says). I got the Shakespeare reference (either Kenneth or Shakespeare must have been psychic), and the irony about Ken being called "The Grim" instead of Maol. After some exposition on how the war against Constantine goes, Kenneth brings up gargoyles ("the solution of our fathers") and we cut to a group of gargoyles sleeping in a cave...right before they fall to the mace. Gillecomgain, not surprisingly, is in a frenzy, screaming at them to "DIE" as he smashes their unconscious forms to rubble. He is so into this, it impresses even Constantine (who had smashed the first one with a smile on his face). And unless I miss my guess, it unnerves Brigti somewhat.
Why would they put a poster there? Do they really expect people to stop by that cave? Or is it for any other gargoyles that might happen along?

Loved Brook's wake up (and the detail of stone flakes on Mary's hood a few frames later). Brook and Mary recognize each other from Wyvern and exchange names (and I wonder if Brook had already heard about Finella from Goliath or Angela retelling Tom's story). Brook's response to all this? "Oh, this is too cool!" Wow...that would not have been my response. I mean, seriously, Brooklyn has adapted to this situation admirably fast. Maybe that's because he HAS seen "Star Trek" and "Quantum Leap" (loved those references, by the way). At any rate, he certainly is handling himself well, all things considered.

"The year of our Lord Nine Hundred and Ninety-Seven." I don't know why, but I love that Finella stated the year that way. Brooklyn figures that the only way he'll get back is with the Phoenix Gate, and because he knows his "997 Clan History" he knows that half the Gate is with Goliath and the other half with...

...Demona, in a FANTASTIC final image!

Here's to the first part of a great Brooklyn story!

Greg responds...

I'm glad you like it!!

Response recorded on February 10, 2010

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Brigadoon Traveller writes...

Well I finally got my copy of Clan Building 2 last week; it was weird, even though I'd been waiting MONTHS to read this, when I had the book in my hands I wasn't in that much of a rush to read it. Maybe subconciously I was registering that this would be the last few stories of Gargoyles that I would read for some time. :(

Anyway, I have to say when I did read it I loved it, couldn't put it down.

Just one question (for now at least):

As of 1994 (or "Awakening part 4") did Demona remember her encounter with "the gargoyle of the sword" back in 997? If so, how did she reconcile it with Brooklyn waking up in 1994 after being put under the sleep spell?

I have to say, I loved the 997 arc btw; thought it was brilliant. Especially loved the end pages of #12; finally we get to see Katana, Nashville (or Gnash as he likes to call himself) and Fu-Dog (& not to mention Egwardo) after all these years.

It was also a surprise seeing Coldstone and Coldfire rejoin the clan.

On the whole loved the book; here's hoping for more soon.

Greg responds...

Yes, she remembered. She must have put SOME of it together. And it may be why she chose Brooklyn in "Temptation".

Response recorded on January 05, 2010

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Michael writes...

..sorry.. i know this isn't a question. just wanted to hopefully tell Greg he's an awesome storyteller and a great human being.. the funny thing is at least 50% of the cartoons i grew up with and loved had something to do with him, if not written, voice directed, etc. by him. he was nearly everything in my childhood that made it great to watch cartoons(with very few exceptions). I hope this gets to him....and..well.... Greg, you're an awesome Human Being.

P.S. Todd, you're a great guy too, even if this never gets to Greg,,,,, heh.... there should be a "Thank Greg for being so awesome" area too i guess.

Sincerely, Mike Greenwood

P.P.S. I'm 23...and still love classic cartoons cause of you ;) and i probably always will. thanks, Greg!

P.P.P.S. i LOVE the "you DID check the archives first, right?" bit ;)

Greg responds...

Thanks, Michael.

Response recorded on January 04, 2010

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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

==== SPOILERS!!!!!============SPOILERS!!!!!========= SPOILERS!!!!!========
ELEVEN: TYRANTS

Poor Brooklyn, having to walk through the remains of his entire clan. The TV show never seemed to pay any attention to the psychological trauma and grief that the survivors must have felt, so it is good to see it addressed here. Depressing and tragic, of course, but it had to be mentioned. If only he'd had time to cremate them all before he left.

I'm glad that Mary is being more friendly towards Brooklyn than when last they met. Avalon implied that her attitudes had changed after the Massacre, but it's still good to see it. And I hope she can be reunited with Tom someday.

Mary: "Married?! My little Tom?!"
Just wait till she finds out that he eloped instead of having a proper Christian wedding... I don't think that sort of thing was accepted in the Tenth Century. Not that I mind, but she might have a fit.

Mary and Finella named their mare after the Magus?

How can Maol Chalvim blame Finella for Kenneth's death? And how can she blame herself? It's obvious to anybody who knows how he died, that she isn't to blame. Unless there's a lot more to the story than what I saw in Avalon.

I do not like it when Brooklyn breaks the fourth wall. This is something I have never liked in fiction.

Brooklyn has to learn fast how to control his temper around Demona. He has every right to confront her for what she did to their clan. But if he did that, she would never help him against Constantine.

I still wonder how Brooklyn decided so quickly that he had to protect Mary, Finella, and the Grimorum, and how he decided he had to help defeat Constantine. He probably still thought that Xanatos learned about their clan by reading the Grimorum... maybe that's it.

Constantine's messenger/herald man is noticeably upset when Kenneth's herald is murdered. Constantine on the other hand just displays his lack of redeeming features yet again.

His facepaint is creepy! Eyes on the back of his head... and what made him want to put Gillecomgain's scars on his face? Obviously this is what inspired the Hunter mask, but how did it get into Constantine's head?

I'm surprised to see Bodhe ride to battle at that age. I know kids were expected to grow up fast in ancient times, but he looks so young.

And Brother Valmont turns out to be another power-hungry mage bent on conquering Scotland. This is... familiar. And nothing will come of it unless more books can ever be published.

More later...
==== SPOILERS!!!!!============SPOILERS!!!!!========= SPOILERS!!!!!========

Greg responds...

Again, Brooklyn knows all about Mary, Finella and the Grimorum from Goliath and Elisa, who heard the story from Tom, Katharine and the Magus.

Response recorded on December 17, 2009

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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

==== SPOILERS!!!!!============SPOILERS!!!!!========= SPOILERS!!!!!========
TEN: THE GATE

"Yes, Angela, I know it's dangerous. Why do you think I want to play w-- I mean, protect it?"

Whoa, that Phoenix is huge! Is there a living creature inside the Phoenix Gate? Or is it simply an emanation from the magic that only looks alive? The two-page spread is amazing.

Hilarious lines:
"I come in peace!"
"What do we do?! What do we do!?" (cue panic)
"...wait for my clan to come eat your brains..."
"Run away! Run away!" (shades of Monty Python)
"...why don't you get in the cart before they realize my clan's not coming.... and I don't eat brains." ROFL
"Badly then?" "Aye."

Saeth ... that's one powerful spell. One word to create a very dangerous weapon that leaves no trace, except for the wounds. And how can Brookly stand, or walk, after that?

Why is the wanted poster written in Elvish?! Well, maybe medieval Scottish writing just looked that way. But it looks just like Tolkien's Elvish.

Several allusions throughout whole arc to Once Upon a Time There Were Three Brothers. I sure hope that it or Dark Ages can be published some day.

Constantine blames Finella for murdering the king... thus the official history is written. But did Kenneth II actually kill her son? Did she actually have more part in Kenneth's death than what was shown in Avalon?

Brooklyn comes to a decision to help the women surprisingly quickly, just as soon as he recognizes the Grimorum. This, and his reference to the Spell of Humility, make me think that his trip to medieval Scotland is not his first time-trip, only one taken out from the middle. But other parts of the arc make me think that it must be his first trip. Either way, he has his wits about him. But how does he know the Grimorum will be so important? Because he still believes that Xanatos read the Magus' story from it?

There's unfortunately an art error on the page with the brain-eating comments. Part of a speech balloon from the last panel is showing up in the panel above it as a white area.

I'm surprised to see Bodhe show up as a child. In City of Stone he looks to be about Findlaech's age. But since Kenneth III is clearly about the same age as his cousin, Bodhe is still a small child.

I am happy to see and examine the new gargoyle and beast models in this whole arc. And it is also wonderful to see so many of them together. Of course it is terribly tragic to see any pre-modern clan, because I know they will all die. It is especially horrible with that little girl in #11. And that green, beaked fellow looks like just a kid, too.

I'm slightly confused by the red-eyed beast. Boudicca's eyes glow white.

Gillecomgain's joy as he murders gargoyles... it is repulsive.

And there's a great full-page art of Demona.

Overall, I enjoyed the Timedancer arc the most, out of the 12 issues. That's no surprise considering that City of Stone, Awakening, and Avalon are some of my favorite episodes. I just enjoy the medieval flashbacks a lot. I suspect that if Dark Ages was ever written, it would be my favorite spin-off.
==== SPOILERS!!!!!============SPOILERS!!!!!========= SPOILERS!!!!!========

Greg responds...

This is Brooklyn's first stop on his TimeDance. But of course he knew the Grimorum was important. Remember "Temptation". And he knew from Goliath, the role it played on Avalon later...

Response recorded on December 17, 2009

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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

TRADE PAPERBACK

==== SPOILERS!!!!!============SPOILERS!!!!!========= SPOILERS!!!!!========

FINALLY the book was published. I had concluded that the book was cancelled. I'm still waiting for Bad Guys. Very glad that I finally have Volume Two. It is still sinking in.

Anyway, I like the book a lot, especially the medieval flashbacks. And the art has been for the most part consistent and nicely done. I actually read through all twelve issues of Clan-Building, although it took me until 3 am. That wasn't so smart. Oh well. Thank you for writing the new Gargoyles stories and jumping through hoops to get somebody to publish them.

Nothing eloquent from me, just scattered thoughts from the single issues as I re-read them:

I find it interesting that Lexington tells Alex to call him by his name. "Doggie" could be responded to in any number of ways, such as "I'm a gargoyle." But Lex is insisting on his name. Quite a contrast to Awakening.

The non-chronological format of the Stone of Destiny arc (and to a lesser extent Bad Guys, Timedancer, and Reunion) is very confusing, though of course now I know why 7-9 are written this way. But I still find it confusing, especially with the different time-zones, and the +# stuff which I do not get. I did not understand the button-pressing, nor the stone-switching, until I read the ramble. I'm still not sure what happened on the bridge.

Gathellus and Scota's wardrobe. I never noticed it before, but now this irritates me. Gathelus (Gathelos?) is an ancient Greek, and Scota is an ancient Egyptian. He and his men should be wearing tunics, chitons, or kilts. She should have a nearly shaved head, and a tripartite wig (at least at first -- after wandering around for years, maybe she couldn't replace her wigs after a while).

Vinnie: "Can you believe it? I'm going to Japan!"
Random passenger: "So is everybody on this plane, genius!"

I can hear most of the TV characters' voices in my head, but I can't get a good voice in my head for most of the new ones.
I want Constance to have an alto English accent, but in my head she always sounds like Fleance. Eugh.

I imagine doing research on legends and myths about himself feels pretty weird for King Arthur. Good thing Avalon made him literate in English (and prevented him from speaking with an incomprehensibly thick accent, too.)

NINE: ROCK OF AGES

Nice cover! I like Griff.

I am confused what King Arthur is apologizing to the Westminster guards for.

"Define this." I laughed out loud. Great line to put in Coldstone's mouth! Was it a deliberate allusion to Warf's "Assimilate this." in the movie with the Borg? Either way, it's hilarious!

Ms. Three must be Blanchefleur (sp?). Interesting that she can get into Castle Carbonek at will, without a problem.

Creepy Borg-Picard-Guy is Creepy! This is Duval. And Peredur fab Ragnal is Percival. I'm quite surprised that they are not the same character, as I had expected. Now I wonder who Duval is. In the words of Fox: "...who is this guy?"

I like that you used Peredur's Welsh name, instead of the French one. Peredur makes more sense than Percival for an ancient Brython. And it's interesting to see it confirmed that he is the son of Ragnal, which presumably makes Gawain his father. Now I wonder if he grew up in obscurity in the woods (like in R.L. Greene) and if so, what could have caused his parents to break up. I would like to learn more about what happened in the Gargoyles universe. In fact, I would probably enjoy just reading a graphic novel about the Gargoyles version of the King Arthur legends, and how the gargoyles and Third Race participated in the stories. Same for the Greek myths.

Also, I'm relieved that Peredur is not a creepy, ill-tempered cyborg. It's sad enough that a guy like Peredur has stooped to supervising the Illuminati's horrible activities, not to mention their eventual allying with the Space-Spawn. I am surprised that he looks so young and fit.

Macbeth's breaking the Stone, and its reaction, is pretty funny. He actually did a fairly poor job gluing it, there's crud oozing out of the crack.

From there it just gets bizarre. This Stone, and a bunch of other sacred and/or magical stones around the world, are temporary or shared vessels for some vast, sapient force of destiny? It even talks to Xanatos and King Arthur simultaneously, from two different stones. Once you suggested that it might be either a magic talisman or a Child of Oberon, but now I feel like it must not, cannot, be either of these. I want to know what it is! And also, why the Holy Grail can talk!

The burden of Sisyphus... he's dead and Tartaros, so isn't his rock a piece of ghostly ectoplasm, or something?

Peredur has expected King Arthur to arrive in 200 years. No surprise that that was his original intended "destination" -- a time when Earth will be conquered and bereft of all its political leaders. But how did Peredur know this? And if this was planned in advanced by some force of destiny, instead of being a hypothetical "What if?", does that mean the Space-Spawn invasion is, within the Garg-universe, an unpreventable event that's fated to happen? That would imply the aliens lack free will, which I doubt.

Also, what is Blanchefleur wearing? Her pants are falling down!

Coldsteel really is a jerk.

Why do I get the feeling Xanatos didn't actually disable that tracking device?

More later...
==== SPOILERS!!!!!============SPOILERS!!!!!========= SPOILERS!!!!!========

Greg responds...

"I am confused what King Arthur is apologizing to the Westminster guards for."

For knocking them out.

Response recorded on December 16, 2009

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Litwolf writes...

At long last, I have Clan-Building Volume Two in my hands! Like most fans, I have been dreaming of this for a full year. To be able to have it in hand and read it is delightful beyond words. So I’ll just start on my review then, shall I?

SPOILERS FOR CLAN-BUILDING VOLUME TWO

PLEASE DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS

Chapter Nine: Rock of Ages

Just a few months before CB2 came out, I got the chance to spend three weeks in England and Ireland and a single day I Scotland. On that day, I got to tour Edinburgh Castle and view the Treasures of the Crown, including the Stone of Destiny. I got a little giddy seeing the Stone in Scotland because I could imagine the battle between gargoyles and robots being fought over it the night before its transportation. Sadly, I wasn’t allowed to take a picture; I could only gawk for a moment before getting shooed down the line with the other tourists. So it’s a pleasure to have seen the Stone of Destiny before reading the conclusion of this arc. (On the same trip, I visited and Eskimo-kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland; however, I had no idea until reading CB2 that one of the theories of the Blarney Stone’s origin was from the Stone of Destiny. Quite exciting I visited the pieces from the same Stone twice :D)

We got to see the conclusion of the big air battle from the last issue. I liked the glance back to Tibet and seeing the two monks from ‘Reunion’. I think its fitting that Coldstone returned to them to show he had overcome his inner turmoil.

As always, it is a pleasure to see what new way the Coyote Robot will bite it next. And I love the free will chit-chat between Coldsteel and Coyote.

I will admit that I was one of the readers who was confused about who had the ‘real’ Stone of Destiny by the end of it: Xanatos, the Illuminati, or Scotland? But, with the help of your Ramble and by rereading it a few times, I came to understand the fact that all the pieces of the Stone (whatever their name and location) are considered to be part of the Stone of Destiny. I am guessing that the Spirit of Destiny (I believe that’s what it’s called on GargWiki) can jump between the fragments as it sees fit. Hence being unable to be possessed by any one mortal.

Favorite part of the whole arc: the greetings exchanged between the Stone of Destiny and the Holy Grail. I think it’s simple and just so totally perfect that these two artifacts of immense power say, “Hey.” Its beautiful. I may cry.

And Shari ends things right where they began. That is some fine storytelling on her part. I like her as a storyteller.

All in all, I thought it was a fantastic conclusion to the Stone Arc. I’ll admit, the non-linear storytelling took some getting used to but I was hooked by the end of it. My only disappointment is that we don’t know why the London Clan doesn’t have any gargoyle beasts, which we are all curious to know because it seems like there is more of a story behind it than simply “They all died out”. Oh well, gotta save some mystery for when the Gargoyle Graphic Novels get picked up, right? Well done, well done!

Greg responds...

Thanks.

Response recorded on December 11, 2009

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Jack-Pumpkinhead writes...

Dear Greg,
I just got my copy of Volume 2 and read it. I am thoroughly impressed with your still-amazing storytelling. The Stone left me slightly confused, but I think I understand what the point was; the stone may take many shapes and names, but it will always be the stone. I like that the stone and the grail can talk to eachother, that was just funny (That and Brooklyn's PSA panel). And I absolutely loved, I repeat, LOVED finally seeing Katana and Gnash. The artists all get my deepest compliments and gratitude fro bringing form to some great characters. I really hope you can get the licenses approved and tell the rest of Brooklyn's story. This was amazing, and I hope I can talk more people into reading such great work.

Greg responds...

Thanks. Appreciate the kind words.

Response recorded on December 11, 2009

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Todd Jensen writes...

And now, the final story, "Phoenix".

* SPOILERS FOLLOW*

Great opening, with Goliath brooding at Castle Wyvern in his "Thinker" position.

A fine epic battle scene (looks more 13th century than 10th, but then, so did the medieval portions of "Awakening").

Nice touch with Brooklyn's "Bro" slip.

Bodhe's already timid, even as a kid.

Whoa! Constantine crying out about the Hunter's Moon! Gargoyle-haters using that moon goes back further than I'd thought.

I see you've found a way to reconcile Gillecomgain's historical parentage with his depiction in the animated series as a peasant. Good solution.

Valmont's spell of fiery arrows was another unsettling moment - especially since we got to know at least one of its casualties (Magus the horse), and see the grief of Demona's second as he loses his mate to the enchanted shafts.

I like Demona's line "The spell? Perhaps. Its consequences... never". Very true to the spirit of "Gargoyles".

Constantine clearly foresees Maol Chalvim's future treachery.

So now we get to meet Katana, Nashville, and Fu-Dog at last. (And the egg - I wonder whether "Egwardo" will turn out to be another case where canon replaces the old canon-in-training expectations.) And we know what Brooklyn's injury is. (As I said, missing eyes seem to be turning up a lot in the Gargoyles Universe.)

I wonder whether the Pack's attack was meant as a set-up for #13 - had there been one - or a "hero's work is never done" moment. But it was a great way to end the story, as the expanded clan heads off into battle....

And so "Clan-Building" comes to an end. Thank you very much, Greg, for these new stories.

* SPOILERS END *

Greg responds...

Thanks to all of you guys for keeping the flame alive and giving me the CHANCE to tell these stories.

The thing is... Clan-Building was really only about the equivalent of five episodes (give or take). I'm not close to being done telling all the stories I have to tell.

Response recorded on December 10, 2009

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Todd Jensen writes...

My review for #11, "Tyrants".

* SPOILERS *

I'd long had a vision of Brooklyn, during his Timedancing, confronting his stone self at Castle Wyvern - so I was amused to see that happen here, and on the "cover page".

I'd read since "Avalon Part One" aired about Constantine's nickname being "the Bald", and got a kick out of seeing you incorporate that here.

I liked Constantine's "Three Brothers" line, alluding to your four-parter here.

Another priceless moment: Brooklyn accidentally blabbing about Tom's future to Mary.

Just his luck: the Phoenix Gate trapped inside the stone pouch. And now the Humility Spell's name becomes canon, rather than canon-in-training. Followed by the Wind Ceremony.

Demona's second-in-command from "City of Stone" shows up in her clan. Nice touch.

I liked Brooklyn's "Hit those books" moment - very funny, and such good advice. And I'm certain you've encouraged your readers to study up on 10th century Scottish history with this story.

And Brooklyn has to make an alliance with his old enemy Demona (who hasn't even done the thing he'll hate her for yet). I liked his slip about Hudson's name. (Also Demona frantically lying about her whereabouts during the Massacre.)

Another great cliff-hanger, with a double threat from Demona and Valmont.

* SPOILERS END *

Greg responds...

Brooklyn was fun for me here. I was worried I was almost making him too competent... not thrown ENOUGH by what had happened. But it just seemed right, that he'd take things as they came...

Response recorded on December 10, 2009

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Todd Jensen writes...

My review for "The Gate".

* SPOILERS FOLLOW *

I'd been expecting Brooklyn's Timedancing to be the next story after the Stone of Destiny one. For one thing, its consequences (which turned out to be canon, not just "canon-in-training") would indeed help to build up the clan with the new additions. For another, with Brooklyn, Angela, and Broadway left behind in New York while Hudson and Lexington went off to London with Macbeth - I suspected that you were laying the groundwork at that point.

The appearance of a literal phoenix was a definite surprise, though (except that I'd gotten a glimpse of it in Slave Labor Graphics' official teaser). Somebody had said once that you'd stated that, in the same way that the Eye of Odin would turn out to be literally Odin's missing eye, the Phoenix would eventually be associated with the Phoenix Gate - but I didn't think that would happen so soon!

Trust Brooklyn to bring in another "when" as well as "where", once he finds himself time traveling.

A new villain in the form of Brother Valmont, and a creepy one at that.

The writing on the wanted poster reminded me of Tolkien's tengwar (Elvish lettering, for those not familiar with the details of Middle-earth).

Gillecomgain and his father showing up to help Constantine was another surprise.

Another touch I enjoyed: Constantine's lie about Finella having a son murdered by Kenneth (I recognized that at once from the research I'd done on the original Scottish histories about Kenneth and Finella).

And her alias of "Fiona". (No relation to a certain Canmore, I assume.)

I really liked the medieval Scotland setting in this story and the next two issues; another of my favorite aspects of "Gargoyles".

I liked the cameos of Findlaech and a surprisingly young Bodhe. (I hadn't thought he was that much younger than Findlaech!)

Ah, another touch of Shakespeare, as Kenneth III quotes "Hamlet" (if it counts as a quote when that play isn't to be written for another six hundred years).

Got a kick out of Brooklyn referring to various sci-fi series he'd seen.

And a great cliff-hanger (I hadn't even thought that Brooklyn might be looking for the pieces of the Gate extant in 997 - and, yes, just his misfortune that Demona has half).

* SPOILERS END *

Greg responds...

Glad you liked it.

Response recorded on December 10, 2009

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Todd Jensen writes...

After over a year's wait, it's over. I finally get to read the final third of the Stone of Destiny story.

* SPOILERS FOLLOW*

I'd done a lot of speculating on what stories about the Stone Shari would tell in this issue, and researched the Stone. Three of the four stories I'd expected made the issue: Edward I's seizing it in 1296, Robert the Bruce giving a piece of it to Cormac Maccarthy which became the Blarney Stone, and the 1950 theft from Westminster Abbey. Not a bad record.

I was also pleased to note that Macbeth (apparently) helped out his fellow Scots at Bannockburn. I'm glad that he remembered his old country, despite all the centuries.

So it seems we're getting a taste of future Coyote developments when Coldsteel remarks that the robot has potential.

We meet Blanchefleur, Duval, and Peredur at last - and I was surprised to discover that Peredur (whom I assume to be the same as Percival; I know that "Peredur" is the Welsh form of Percival's name) is a different person from Duval. You really know how to surprise people; now we'll never take any "canon-in-training" information for granted again! There seem to be quite a few people with missing eyes running about the Gargoyles Universe: Odin (though that's been fixed), Hudson, and Duval - not to mention - but that has to wait for the review of #12....

Xanatos seems a bit less surprised than Macbeth, Arthur, and Peredur over the Stone's remarks (or maybe he's better at hiding it).

I liked all the Stone's titles (including the references to Sisyphus, the Philosopher's Stone, the Rosetta Stone, etc.). You really gave it quite an aura there.

So the Grail's a plain wooden bowl (or at least, takes on the form of a plain wooden bowl) in the Gargoyles Universe, rather than the golden goblet? Though since I've seen other such interpretations of the Grail before, I'm not too astonished. (Having the Grail say something as informal as "Hey", on the other hand - that definitely surprised me.)

So King Arthur wasn't due to awaken for another two hundred years? I can guess now what "Britain's greatest hour of need" was in the Gargoyles Universe.

And I like the touch of Shari launching into the very story we've been reading at the very end.

I really enjoyed the Stone of Destiny story; it incorporated some of my favorite elements of "Gargoyles" (Macbeth, King Arthur, various legends, etc.). Thanks for making it one of the stories in "Clan-Building".

* SPOILERS END *

Greg responds...

You're welcome. It was a very rewarding story for me.

Response recorded on December 10, 2009

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BlkAngl Bradshaw-Koo writes...

I just wanted to say that I like the new Spectacular Spider-Man Animated Series concept. At first, I was skeptical; being that I am a fan of the 90's cartoon Spider-Man, but I like it..and so does my son. Secondly, I personally do not care for the idea of Peter Parker in a romantic relationship with Gwen Stacey. She's too drab for him. Yes, they are kind of cute together in an all too predictable way. And so, makes for boring T.V. drama. I'd prefer it if Gwen ends up with Harry instead. That would actually make for a more interestingly dramatic twist. The concept of Peter with Liz is not so bad. But being that this versions Mary Jane Watson is soo much more intriguing, I would love it if Peter ends up with her; or at very least, Spider-Man with Black Cat. Either or is fine with me. ^_^ I just hope that Mary Jane does not suddenly turn into a scaredy cat type. (Shudder...) ~_~
Thank you for your time in reading this and allowing me to submit our comments. Best wishes on your journey. Peace. - A Fan ^_^"

Greg responds...

Thanks.

Response recorded on December 02, 2009

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Todd Jensen writes...

I just read your obituary for Hermione, and wanted to send you my condolences. I'm sorry to learn about her passing.

Greg responds...

Thank you.

Response recorded on November 16, 2009

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Haley writes...

This is not realy a question but i hope you read it.

I asked a question, but i total blew off the instructions in the begining. And i asked a question that had been asked a billion times before. Now looking back i worded it rudely too. I am sorry. I didn't mean to sound mean or to ask an over asked question. i am sorry. Yes i am the one writing the book and i am done. I didn't use the same location or anything that you ever did. I am sorry. I wish i could remove some of the questions i asked, but as you know i can't and if you read them before you get to this one, I AM SO SORRY. Please forgive my rudeness and the fact that i didn't read the instructions. Sorry. =(

Greg responds...

Consider yourself forgiven... assuming ANY forgiveness was even necessary.

Response recorded on November 10, 2009

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Greg Bishansky writes...

Hi Greg,

This is kind of a ramble/response to "stanley dean cowens" question/comment on how some shows take fan response into consideration when plotting out future stores.

Not knocking anyone, but in my personal experience, when most of the shows, comics that I liked started catering to fans more than telling their stories, it was usually not for the better. Most of the time, the author knows better than the fans when it comes to the theory (I say most, because there are some exceptions to this rule).

So, while some fans may have wished Goliath and Demona to reunite, or Brooklyn and Angela to hook up, I am glad you stuck to your guns and did what was right for the characters.

"Give the audience what they need, not what they want," is a phrase I personally subscribe to.

To be honest, that's why, as much as I like and admire Joss Whedon, I always felt that until he got a soul, the Spike/Buffy relationship seemed very forced. Even having Spike interact with the Scooby gang from season four on seemed forced... I love the Spike character, but a lot of what happened with him seemed to fly in the face of what had been established with the mythology up until that point. But, Spike being a very popular character, both with the fans and the writers, was put into a position he didn't really belong in, to his detriment, I thought. Of course, I was eventually vindicated in that, sadly, brutal scene near the end of season six in her bathroom.

I know that's an unpopular opinion, but it just never clicked with me until Spike was re-ensouled.

So, in that sense, I thank you for continuing to stick to your guns. Even in the "Gargoyles" comics, well... we all wanted more Demona, I know I certainly did. But you didn't force her in early to provide fan service. You serviced the story instead.

Thank you for that.

Greg responds...

I liked the chipped-Spike.

Response recorded on September 23, 2009

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haley writes...

I am the one, again that is writing the book. If i put that my main characters were in a one thousand and ten year sleep, would that be copying you? I am so sorry that i keep asking these questions. They just keep being brought to my attention. I would never want to copy anyones work.

Greg responds...

Seriously... stop asking.

On the one hand, I'm absolutely not the first writer to put a character to sleep for a long period of time. (Rip Van Winkle ring any bells?)

But if you're close enough to my work that you feel the need to check if you're too close to my work, then the odds are you are too close to my work.

So stop asking. If you feel you're doing something original, go for it. If you don't don't.

Response recorded on September 22, 2009

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Nelio writes...

Hi Greg.

I'm not sure if you are aware of it, but Internet Celebrity Douglas Walker (The Nostalgia Critic) Recently did a review of Gargoyles. This guy does reviews of a lot of old things from the 90s that often impacted people childhood; and in the case of Gargoyles, this is equally true for me. Regardless, in the past he has spoken positively of Gargoyles, and so I think you might be interested in watching the review when it goes up in a week (or when you get around to answer this question). I'm also curious as to your thoughts on it.

Here is the link to Nostalgia Critic's list of reviews:
http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/nostalgia-critic

Greg responds...

I did see it. And I was glad for the -- generally -- good press!

Response recorded on August 11, 2009

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RobertD writes...

P.S. - I'm a HUGE and long time Gargoyles fan. Thank you so much for creating such a wonderful story and world.

Greg responds...

You're very welcome. And thank you.

Response recorded on June 24, 2009

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Clark Cradic writes...

Ever get any fan mail by overseas fans on how they reacted to their countries Gargoyles (Japan, Guatemala, London, etc.)? Did they like how they were depicted?

Greg responds...

Haven't actually. At least none that I can recall off the top of my head.

Response recorded on June 23, 2009

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Bela writes...

Greetings from Spain, Greg :)

I've been gliding through the archives in the hopes of finding something, anything, that can help me remember what my absolutely vital question was las time Ask Greg was open (Ask Greg closed before I could submit it). I'm sure it was something super boring about insights and Gargoyle psychology (especially Goliath's, I find him complex and amazing) but well. I'll have to stick to the rant that went with it and spare you the question :D.

You've heard all kinds of praises and ear-candies about you and the show by now, so I really don't want to be boring and repetitive.But the fact is that more than twelve years after the show was first aired here, I'm still as hooked as I ever was. If not more. I was in college then (imagine, I'll love watching cartoons till the last day :D) and I couldn't believe how good that episode of this Gargoyles thing I randomly caught one day was. I ended up rushing out of classes for the rest of the term, not to miss a single episode more.

You've explained before how you really feel that the story it's out there somewhere, and you tapped into it, somehow. I understand what you mean. It feels that way. Exactly that way.

The characters are so dimensional that they make the story so intense and...well, real. To the point that I'm not only positive about it being the best tv show I've ever seen, but also feels like one of the best readings. Your story is better than 80% of the books I've read in the last, say, 12 years. One almost yearns for something like Gargoyles happening to the world, with the same intensity which half the female population around the world dreams of finding Mr. Darcy... And that is something I truly thank you for.

Goliath and Elisa deserve a special mention. I don't think I've fallen so in love with a fictional couple since..well..Mr. Darcy here and Elizabeth (mm..actually I think I might have subconsciously matched the two brooding heros with the two strong-willed women, even though their stories are so different..). No wonder Elisa couldn't get herself off Goliath's hook and viceversa. And by the way, going through the archives, I read something about clan wind ceremonies on Elisa's dying. I'm amazed, I couldn't even picture it. It's so sad, one or the other dying, that even if intellectually it's something obvious, I really don't want to know that far. Pretty childish of me I guess but, well. I want some things eternal :D

For a Gargoyles unconditional, I guess I was born in the wrong country, lol. But one day, who knows! I just hope Gatherings are still happening.

Thank you so much, Greg, for a lot of reasons. Not only for the show and the comics and being here to feed the beasts from time to time, but for your dedication. For not giving up. For believing in what you do, and therefore allowing some of us to go along for the ride, and end up believing in what WE do (doomed-storyteller here :))

Wish you all the best, Greg, and I really hope you can find soon a way to let the story go on. The clan would want you to ;)

BeLa xx

PS: Just so you know, I showed Awakenings to Tania, a dear friend, and she watched the entire show, plus TGC (which she didn't really enjoy as much, by the way) in less than ten days.

PPS: I hope my english was understandable enough, by the way!

Greg responds...

Hey, I'll take all the Jane Austen comparisons (particularly favorable ones) that you want to dish. I'm a big fan. And I'm sure she was (at least) an indirect influence on my work.

And your English is just great. Thanks for all the kind words.

Response recorded on June 04, 2009

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Lemmy Pierce writes...

So I unexpectedly came off work early today and found myself with a bit of free time-- not much, mind you, but enough. I don't know what it says for my intelligence or creativity that my thoughts immediately wandered to television, but eh . . . free time is supposed to make you feel good, not benefit humanity as a whole. And it felt like it'd been awhile since I'd gotten to actually sit down and watch anything (as opposed to, say, piping up the volume and listening from another room while I do this, that or the other thing). I wasn't sure what, if anything, I was in the mood for, and cast a casual eye onto my DVD shelf.

Gargoyles.

Well, why not Gargoyles? The quality ratio and fun factor with that show is so high that the only difficult part there is choosing which episode to run. So I pulled down Season One.

Initially I thought to watch Awakenings, but that's a lot of time to commit for one sitting when I had other things to be doing later on. I decided I'd watch "Enter Macbeth" instead.

It is, of course, one of my all-time favorites. mainly because of its titular character.

I actually watched it two times through for the hell of it. When I was finished, I ended up thinking and rethinking through a lot of it . . . and then somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered ASK GREG.

So, I thought I'd ramble. That *is* allowed, isn't it?

ENTER MACBETH

Yeah, we'll tell the truth on this one: The episode does kinda look like . . . well, crap. I have a much more affectionate eye for the episode than I did upon first viewing and look past a lot of it now, but there are still moments of "Enter Macbeth" that I can't get out of my head as something to say, "God, that's some [your negative adjective goes here] animation." I can't quite put my finger on what it is-- the whole episode just feels so off from a visual standpoint.

This would, in fact, become the start of one of the things I disliked most about this particular studio. When gargoyle wings fold over cloak-like, you should not see the three "limbs" as you do when seeing their interior. Or at least, you don't in the better animation studios. Drive me nuts; don't know why.

And of course, there was that one shot of Macbeth with the most yellow friggin' teeth. WTF?!

Greg, it's been many years since I've checked the archives in any great detail, but I think I remember you saying something like, "I was sure that the bad animation would make it so that almost no one would be interested in seeing Macbeth again." Well, this is one of those instances where the characters and plot shine through to make up for an episode's lackluster animation. (I call them "Korean Incidents".) It never detracted from the story. Not for me, anyways.

Let's start with Macbeth himself. This is an interesting character. At first glance, he appears to come out of nowhere. His motivations are unclear, so for now he's just "the bad guy". So how do you sell him without the cool backstory that will be developed later?

You have him kick copious amounts of ass, both literally and figuratively.

The scene with him posing as a prison guard is a highlight. So much of the credit for this episode should go to John Rhys-Davies, who from what I can tell just leapt into the role. Although, is it my failing memory or is this practically the only time that Xanatos and Macbeth have any real interaction with one another? If this is true, then that's a shame because they play well off of one another. But why would Macbeth introduce himself as . .. well, *himself*, rather than Lennox MacDuff (presuming that this is the identity he's gone by for many hundreds of years as a cover)?

Look at this guy, though. Not only does he wait for the gargoyles to awaken, he takes them all on single-handedly and wins. Not only that, but he takes prisoners. All on their home turf, and without so much as breaking a SWEAT. His knowledge in these "creatures" is so expert that he knows precisely what to do and how to do it with cold and calculated precision.

Check that attack. He throws (an admittedly off-guard) Broadway into Hudson and over the castle edge with ease. Then before anyone else can react, he tosses the smoke pellets and gains the upper hand over everyone else. Confusion ensues. The gargoyles who can't see and don't move end up blindsighted by gargoyles who can't see and DO move in very wrong directions. Or by Macbeth himself, who most assuredly can see and makes short work of Brooklyn before he can do a damned thing.

From there, it's just zap zap zap and it's finished. "Captured me three gargs in under 20 seconds, EL-OH-EL."

I always found this battle to be interesting in and of itself. Macbeth, for as much as we know this far in the game, is ordinarily human. He doesn't have biological enhancements or special powers or even henchmen; he's as human as you or me. And he takes them ALL down. Hell, Goliath himself probably gets the worst of it-- the outcome is so nakedly humiliating that I'm blushing. Oh, and that body slam into the fusebox didn't help either.

And is it me, or was Elisa WAY too close when Goliath came swooshing down after being electrified by the hull of Macbeth's ship? I say that she was damned lucky: If he had actually COLLIDED with her at that speed, I say that she might've been crushed to death.

So now Goliath leaves to track them down. Hudson and Broadway are left to defend the castle, but of course that's another subplot all its own.

Elisa warns Goliath that it's not safe to stay at the castle. Hell, she says it three times in a row. And his best reaction is to shrug her off-- something he won't be so apt to do in later episodes. He took off awful fast to rescue the other gargoyles at that point, almost as though he couldn't avoid the conversation fast enough.

Something else we don't see a lot of in later episodes tends to show in abundance with regards to Season One and particularly "Enter Macbeth", and that's Goliath Pissed Off. It was only juuuuuuust last episode that he was in a rage over what he thought was Elisa getting shot by Dracon. Goliath holding Dracon over the railing was a powerful dramatic moment. (Although in hindsight, he does that a LOT. Twice in "Awakening" with Hakon and Xanatos, Dracon in "Deadly Force" and I think at least once more somewhere down the line, although I can't remember when.) But in "Enter Macbeth", it's kinda flipped around. Goliath caught Dracon with relative ease, and it was clear what he would have done had Broadway not fessed up in time. Goliath never catches Macbeth, though. And he spends so much time chasing mirrors and shadows that I think Goliath might have been pissed enough to do worse than simply drop him. So we get to see a lot of vicious anger on his part in this ep. Roaring. Tearing through walls. Getting into a slugfest. Goliath isn't just another species, he's a dangerous one when it comes to the defense of his clan.

But that just makes Macbeth even cooler. Now it's Goliath who's handled with ease. Think about that for a moment. GOLIATH. A gargoyle warrior who is more than a match for just about any human out there. But against Macbeth, and especially on his turf, that same gargoyle finds himself at a disadvantage. And what makes that so interesting is that Macbeth isn't this ZOMG "genetically-engineered gargoyle sorceress hybrid mutant clone" superior foe. He's a human being. A human being with technology up the wazoo, but still human.

Look at the way he handles himself in their duel, after the chase is over. It's completely even. It was smart of Goliath to grab for a weapon when he got the chance, because even if weaponry isn't his habit I think he knew that against a sword-swinging Macbeth it was his only real chance. Even so, Macbeth doesn't relent. Goes on and on. Fights until the mansion is about to go up in flames . . . and he never gets too angry or panicked even when forced to escape. Is he pissed because the plan went to rot and his house burned down? Sure, why not? But he still takes it all with a certain amount of stride. No loud threats for vengeance, no personal grudge against Goliath, no real "villainous" actions taken at all (except, maybe, leaving the other gargoyles to burn alive). He just leaves when the gettin's good, and knows a little more for next time.

Love that little slip-out-of-the-jacket thing, by the way.

No, Macbeth doesn't have extra emotions to waste on Goliath and company. He wants Demona, Demona, Demona. The other gargoyles are just pawns (albeit useless ones as it turns out). I think it was a wise decision for her to not show up in this episode at all; it would have been too convenient, not to mention that it would also have detracted from Macbeth's character study. This is his episode.

Back at the castle, the remaining Gargoyles decide to take the Grimorum off Xanatos' hands. Now Owen gets his moment, too.

Hudson: Who's going to stop us? You?
Owen: Indeed.

You can tell by Hudson's attitude that he didn't expect Owen to knock his ass onto the floor. I don't think any of us did! Then, before Broadway can intervene, he's got a loaded gun pointed at his head. (I don't think that S&P would let that slide nowadays.) Owen is capable and reasonably prepared, no matter the circumstances. I think it's great that it's Elisa throwing a crutch at him that effectively turns the tables-- for all their strength, the gargoyles ended up pretty helpless otherwise.

Ah, well. All part of the job for Owen Burnett. However, I wonder if he faced some sort of penalty or reprimand for failing to prevent the theft of the Grimorum.

I despise when recurring characters are introduced via Korean outsourcing. I would say, introduce them some other way, and then give them crap animation somewhere down the line. Macbeth has a great character design; it should have been introduced through one of the better studios, perhaps the best one. (Not that I'm implying fault. You can give only so many episodes to Japan's Tokyo outlet; you make your choices and you live with 'em.) This is one of those episodes that I say to myself, "Damn, I'd love to see what this would'a looked like with kickass animation."

The "City of Stone" four-parter becomes interesting for this reason, given that we see how many changes Macbeth has gone through throughout the centuries . . . again, both figuratively and literally. It's not done by the Tokyo studio, but we're given so many designs for Macbeth. It's wonderful.

I've gotta start dinner now, so I guess that about does it for me. Later!

~Da Lemmy

Greg responds...

We couldn't know while writing scripts which episodes were headed for Korea vs. Japan. Of course, nowadays, things in Korea have improved quite a bit. ALL of The Spectacular Spider-Man is animated there, and we're generally thrilled with the results.

Response recorded on October 08, 2008

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Todd Jensen writes...

I just thought you might like to learn about this - especially now, when any piece of good news involving "Gargoyles" would be welcome.

I've been asked to write an article on "Gargoyles" for a book of essays on the Middle Ages as depicted on television (apparently, other articles in the book will include such shows as "Roar" and "The Tudors"). I don't know how much word it'll spread (I suspect it's going to be the kind of book found mostly in university libraries), but if it informs one person about "Gargoyles", it'll be worth it.

Greg responds...

That's great. Congratulations! And keep us posted.

Response recorded on September 24, 2008

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K9: The First writes...

KINGDOM

You asked for my ramble, and here it is!

ANIMATION

Okay, let me start off with the animation here. I don't know what studio did this ep, but I wish they did EVERY episode for the show! It has the feel of some sort of Animated Film or an Anime. The action is smooth, and even when the characters aren't talking, they aren't just standing there(something I've recently found in cartoons that I don't like), their always doing something. Little nuances that makes the scenes more realistic are EVERYWHERE.

Example: In the first scene, when we open on Hudson watching Brook and Lex glide in, you can tell how disturbed he is that they're alone, without Goliath. More often then not scenes of a similar vein have the character have more ambiguous expression.

Another example is Fang and Talon's areil fight in the Labyrinth: Real cool. They even got the wings to flap! (Bat's wings remember?)

And I looked for that Cross-Eyed Xanatos you mentioned(I got the DVD), and I think I saw it, but it was barely a blink in the animation. two or three frames tops I'd say.

And I liked Maggie and Claw's interation during Fang and Talon's fight. I got the impression that Claw was quite smitten with her at one point.

But by far, my absolute FAV bit was right when Fang took Maggie Hostage. It was fluid, and the animator really put effort into making Maggie look like she was trying to escape, or at least look ticked off. I could watch that footage loop all day, I'm THAT impressed. I also got a ThunderCats vibe from it for some reason.

And how about Lex breaking through that ceiling in the final scene? Arms crossed and all that.

VOICE ACTING

Not much to say here. But the performances are-as always- top notch.

"Do I really need an excuse to have a good time in my own home?" I laughed out loud there.

However, Katie Soucie's portrayal is off this time. Her Maggie voice isn't what it was. It's deeper, smoother this time around, when before it was a tiny bit higher and somewhat raspy. She's still giving a great performance, it's just that the voice itself is out of continuity. I know that you weren't in charge of Voice Direction, but I just thought at least Katie would remember the voice she used a few months prior.

I guess the in-show answer could be that either the mutation has set up in her vocal cords(and stops there), or that it's to show her standing up more, sort of speak.

And am I the only one who finds the fact that Jeff and Katie are acting characters that are acting funny?

STORY

I didn't know Gargoyles existed, let alone watch it, until maybe '95 or '96. I remember watching something on TGIF about the new One Saturday Morning block when/if it had Gargoyles. (I remember a gag with the host that night with a Gargoyle's eyes glowing red) I watched the show on and off over the years(NOT that I didn't love it, I just could catch the reruns all the time). Anyway, I can't remember the first time I watched this episode, so I can't give my first impression sadly.

And Brooklyn's lack of action is understandable, and doesn't come off as fear, which is important. And that first scene shows that, while they probably couldn't do so for long, the clan does have an idea of what needs to be done without a leader(to many shows have the 'non-leader' types fall to peices without an authorety figure too quickly). It also shows what a minipulative punk Hudson can be! ^_^ (That's a good thing)

You mentioned the question of a Power Vaccume, and I agree that no organized group can exist without a leader type, be it an individual, or a group. I also think that, without some form of disciplinary threat, no organization is safe, as Talon's lack of action against Fang shows, and a fact Maggie subtly brings up, and Talon gives the stereotypical arguement for no punishment.

And it seems Xanatos has become Talon's Demona, something Fang expertly exploits beautifully.

And yes, the new security stinks. I think the next version might not be so...destructive.

As to your concern about the lack of use of "Xanatos knows!!" nugget, I think-even if he couldn't find a use for the info directly-it could still be useful in making the Gargs needlessly wary.

Now those blaster, am I correct to assume that Cyberbiotics was up against Xanatos Enterprises for a lasor weapons military contract?

Speaking of, I can only assume that Talon and the others didn't come down with a fatal case of Dead By Lasor is that Fang, Claw, Chaze and Lou didn't know how to aim those things.

And I think Maggie was very brave in her own way. To many crimes go on because those who COULD stop it by going to the police, WON'T out of fear. She could have easily just gone with Fang's regime, but she went to the Gargs. Be it out of love for Dereck, or a since of Justice.

During the battle at the end, I always feel worried for the homeless people and their stuff, cause that's quite literally all they have in the world.

And I'm impressed by Fang when he gets Maggie, "I have no gripes with you. Leave now and Maggie goes free." This is fundamentally different from, say, Demona, whose only response to anyone-human OR Gargoyle-standing against her is 'KILL 'EM! KILL 'EM ALL!!!!' Fang however, is willing to let them all go, even let Maggie-a vital bargining chip with Talon- leave with them. This-to me- hints that he has a grasp of who's his enemy, and-grudes aside-could be an okay guy. ...Or an idiot with no sense of strategy. Your choice.

And those great acting skills you keep telling us about! Give 'er a hand everybody! And hey, even if Maggie's looks keep her off most of the plays out there, like I always say: she would be a shoe in for CATS.

And there is one more lesson that I'm surprised no one else got. Or at least, no one's mentioned. Fang calls out to Claw, asking him if he wants to be weak. Claw shakes his head no. No, he doesn't want to be weak... anymore. He chooses to be strong in a different way, and abandons Fang to team up with Talon and Maggie.

And so the 'Mutate Trilogy' has ended, with the Labyrinth Clan firmly established and allied with the Manhattan Clan. Maggie and Talon are firmly established(Much to the joy of the Maglon shippers, though to the woe of the Broogie shippers), and Brooklyn and Talon have fully accepted their respective roles as leaders.

I enjoyed this ep. Saddly Doc Sevarius isn't present(any Tim Curry is AWESOME), but that's okay, 'cause he really wasn't needed here. I hope to do the other Mutate eps, and the rest of the episodes sooner or later.

Good luck with the comic!

Greg responds...

Though I wasn't the voice director (that was Jamie Thomason), I was in fact in charge of the voice performances/direction, so I'll take responsibility for what you didn't like. But be aware that we made a conscious choice here. This wasn't us (me, Jamie or Kath -- and it's Kath Soucie, not Katie) forgetting what she used to sound like. This was the three of us deciding that changes in personality, mutation and confidence would give us the voice you heard.

Response recorded on August 06, 2008

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Grant writes...

You are so the man. I was afraid the new Spider-Man series might just be a rehashing of old stories for the youngins but I'm having a ball with it. How does it feel to write a script and know it's gold? :D I had some solid laughs, and that line about "...Harry losing his dad..." was chilling. The voice acting is quality (some familiar ones in there too, I don't know all the names like some of the hardcores here I do remember them ;)). I've only seen the first episode yet and I love how it wasn't just linear with one villain, one small fight where Spider-Man gets beat down, and one big fight Spider-Man eventually wins. Multiple arcs, both high school and super hero life, and multiple villains building in the same episode is where it is at. I didn't actually realize you were so involved in this project but I am so glad you are. The powers that be chose wisely! No pun intended. Every since it went off the air I've urned for Gargoyles to make reappearance on the small screen or, be I so bold as to say it, the big screen! I guess in some way your legacy will live on vicariously through this series, not that Spider-Man should fit in a Gargoyle's mold, but you get my drift. Keep it real pisano.

Greg responds...

Well, hopefully you're picking up the Gargoyles comic books... which is where Gargoyles truly does LIVE AGAIN!

But thanks for the kind words on both shows.

Response recorded on March 25, 2008

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Antiyonder writes...

I'm going to work on a review for The Spectacular Spider-Man episodes 1 and 2 later today. I'll probably review them in the same style I review the comics, but I have been working on some paragraph styled reviews on tv.com. So I thought I'd present some for some episodes of Gargoyles and the Kim Possible episode Big Bother and see what you think of how I do:

1. This is for the Gargoyles Series as a whole:

"A show worth watching, and owning. The current comics from Slave Labor Graphics is equally worth buying.

I probably couldn't do the series justice in my review, but I'll certainly try.

Like many, I enjoy the show for it's appealing characters and interesting stories. The show demonstrates originality in coming up with rarely used ideas or putting a spin on established cliches.

An example would be the episode "Future Tense". The episode at surface appears to be a copout as the events were a dream. When infact it serves to foreshadow future episode/comic story elements.

The show is also well balanced. While I do have a share of favorite adult cartoons, Gargoyles manages to be adult/mature without relying on adult content nonstop. It's serious without being depressing.

Here's hoping the comic will continue for a long time."

2. Possessions (This review of course predated #6 being released):
"Didn't expect to see an immediate follow up on Puck teaching Alexander the use of his powers. It was also fun to see the return of Coldstone and crew. Coldstone's appearance in the Himalayas will be explained in #6 of the Gargoyles comic series.

What helped to make the soul transfer interesting was the choice to keep Broadway, Angela and Brooklyn's voice the same. That decision payed off even more since Brooklyn's behavior was puzzling.

As far as the forshadowing goes, I'm embarassed to admit I didn't see the pairing between Broadway and Angela coming. I thought she would end up with Brooklyn."

3. The Journey:
The episode could have done without the opening monologue as it can't hold a candle to the "Previously On Gargoyles" segment.

It's easy to see the differences between this and the rest of the season. One being that this is the only episode to deal with Xanatos' amoral nature (that he can't be trusted completely). This episode also brought up more of the Gargoyles continuity than the remaining episodes.

Seeing Vinnie make peace with Goliath was a nice little twist. Still where the episode fails, the comic improves.

4. Kim Possible - Big Bother:
"I saw it on Disney Channel.com, and made sure to record it during it's premiere. Recently my stepsister had a baby last summer, she's really adorable. So, I can really understand the Stoppable's feelings towards Hana. Right up there with Alexander Xanatos, as one of the best animated babies introduced.

Favorite moments include Ron's attempt at taking care of a sack of flour and sugar, Ron breaking the news to Yori concerning him and Kim and of course the end of the episode."

So, are my paragraph reviews ok, good or needs more work?

Greg responds...

Hey, as long as your being honest, who am I to review your reviews?

Response recorded on March 25, 2008

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Todd Jensen writes...

The only episodes of the original series that you never did rambles for were the final two parts of "Hunter's Moon". I don't know if you'll ever be able to do them or not, but I thought I'd give you my own ramble on both.

PART TWO: One of my favorite segments of this episode was the opening in Renaissance Florence, with Demona stealing the Medici Tablet and being pursued by a Hunter in a Leonardo da Vinci-style flying machine. (Though the Hunter does come out looking a little dense when he's cursing about having lost her, while Demona's only a few yards away from him, climbing out of the river. No wonder she's got that smirk on her face.)

Matt's reference to Nokkar at the press conference was also a lot of fun.

Elisa's scene with Jason outside the warehouse was great. It captured their feelings for each other effectively, with the added ironic twist that Elisa doesn't know that Jason was the Hunter who attacked Angela the night before, and Jason doesn't know that Elisa's friend was the gargoyle he'd almost killed the night before. (It reminds me now of the early stages of Buffy and Riley's relationship in Season Four of "Buffy", where Buffy doesn't know that Riley's part of the Initiative, Riley doesn't know that Buffy's a Slayer, and each sees the other as a civilian who needs to be kept out of the way when there's vampire-hunting going on. Though I think - and I hope you won't mind my saying this - that Joss Whedon topped you by having Buffy and Riley finding out about each others' secret lives simultaneously.)

The drama continues in the scene at Elisa's apartment later, when she and Jason almost kiss, followed by her admission (with Goliath listening) that there's someone else in her life, but a relationship with him would be impossible. The devastated response on Goliath's face is great, and moving. (No wonder he goes so berserk on the Hunters' airship shortly afterwards!)

Brooklyn and Lexington's uneasy response towards Goliath's destructiveness (including the scene where they're descending the clock tower steps with him near the end) is also well-handled.

And, of course, the build-up to the moment where Robyn opens fire on the clock tower.... It's a pity I can no longer remember what my initial response to that was.

PART THREE: You've heard this before, but I still think that the opening scene, with Demona killing Charles Canmore in front of his children, feels almost like a twisted version of the young Bruce Wayne seeing his parents' murder. (The difference is that Thomas and Martha Wayne were genuine innocent victims, while Charles Canmore brought about his own death through his pursuit of a pointless feud.)

I remember being curious over where the new Hunters had come from, since the original Hunters of "City of Stone" (except for Macbeth) were long since dead. The revelation that their surname was "Canmore" explained a lot - except that we never found out in "Hunter's Moon" how the hunt resumed, and why it revolved around Demona this time (since Duncan and Canmore's use of the Hunter's alias centered on their feud with Macbeth instead). I hope that the comic book will last long enough to answer that question in full.

The new Hunters stand out from the old ones; instead of scheming tyrants straight out of one of Shakespeare's history plays (as Duncan and Canmore were), they're more misguided. Their Shakespearean analogy (to me) is Hamlet, who also sets out to avenge his father's death, and in the process of his revenge inadvertently brings about more tragedy (the deaths of over half the cast, and Fortinbras being able to take over Denmark without a fight - and since the main thing we know about Fortinbras was that he invaded Poland over a worthless piece of land simply because his uncle wouldn't let him invade Denmark, he doesn't hold much promise as a wise and restrained ruler). The Canmores have nobler qualities than their forebears; Jason is capable of genuine feelings towards Elisa (and a change of heart at the end), in particular. They aren't the straightforward villains that the original Hunters were - which makes their conflict with Goliath's clan all the more tragic.

But they're still dangerous - especially since they blow up the clock tower in attempting to get rid of the gargoyles, which results at least in Captain Chavez getting a broken leg. Despite their having a similar modus operandi to Batman, this is another obvious difference between them; I can't imagine Batman blowing up a police station in Gotham City in an attempt to get rid of the Joker - and then, after discovering that the Joker got away, pretending that he (the Joker) blew up the police station. I've discussed Jon's behavior in framing the gargoyles for the destruction while aware of the truth about them, but Jason and Robyn don't come off much better. They've endangered and harmed their fellow humans in the course of their hunt - and instead of taking responsibility for it, blame it on the gargoyles. (To be fair to them, they do it in order to help flush the clan out rather than to evade arrest for their actions, but it's still far from honorable behavior.)

Which brings me to a side-point about the Hunters. The obvious reason why we see them as villains is that we know the truth about the gargoyles - that they're not all like Demona, and the Hunters are wrongfully persecuting an entire species for the crimes of a single member (and a member who's out of favor with her own former clan, at that). But even if the gargoyles were the demonic monsters that the Canmores believed them to be, the Hunters are still pursuing them out of a senseless vendetta, rather than to protect the public from them - and probably do more to endanger the public than the gargoyles could have done on their own. Their reasons for gargoyle-hunting are not noble ones. And while they're aware of Demona's plans to wipe out humanity, they seem to be after her more because of her past actions against her family, than because of her schemes to commit genocide.

Goliath's blaming the Hunters for Elisa going over the dam, when he's more to blame, is one of the most chilling moments of the series, and a further sign of how much the feud is warping him. Fortunately, Elisa's return snaps him out of it in time - though too late to save Jon Canmore from taking the steps that will transform him into Castaway. (His cry of "What have I done - what have *they* done?" is another chilling moment, especially to those who've seen "City of Stone Part One".)

And with Elisa saved, Goliath now shows us the best that he's capable of, in how he foils Demona's scheme. Since she's about to carry out her plan at the point that the human world has learned about the existence of gargoyles at last - and most of them are clearly hostile and howling for blood - Goliath's thwarting Demona is a truly heroic act; he's willing to endanger himself and his entire kind (not only from Demona's virus, but also from potential Quarryman-style movements to follow) in order to preserve the humans, even though most of the humans aren't likely to show any gratitude at this point.

The final scenes (following Xanatos's rescue of the gargoyles) make a fine wrap-up to the season. Elisa talking to Jason in the hospital (including the mention of Demona and Jon out hunting each other - a great way to resolve that issue if there wouldn't be a third season). Xanatos assuring Elisa that the feud with the clan is over (of course, we know now that he's still scheming - and his current scheme could lead to a clash with the clan anyway). The actions of the other gargoyles as they settle into their new (or old) home - and finally Goliath and Elisa speaking to each other atop the highest tower, and the kiss. A great ending.

Greg responds...

Thanks. I would like to do those rambles, but there's been such a gap in watching the series with my kids, that we'd almost have to start over. And frankly, now that my kids are older, I'm not sure when we'll be able to put together 33 hours (even scattered over 66 days) to do it.

Response recorded on February 04, 2008

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Anonymous writes...

Greg,

For the sake of brevity I will suspend sentence structure, condense context, and be as melodramatic as possible for full effect; I know testimonies have come your way in the past, but I also hope that such sincere ramblings from a fan to a creator never become tiresome.

I am a 24 year old female grad student who was raised in a closet of reality, in a single-minded religion, and without a good idea of my surroundings beyond that which I was taught to observe. At the age of eleven I saw the Gargoyles premiere.

Now whether it was a direct parallel to things already unspoken or a new and subtle influence on things to come, I can positively link what is now a lifetime of serious learning to the series that you sought to create with its multi-layered story, dynamic characters, and more verisimilitude than any other cartoon series I have ever encountered. From then until now I have studied (both on my own and in institutions of higher learning) comparative history, religion, mythology, literature, philosophy, art, and government. I have written a personal mission statement of tolerance, equality, and compassion for everything with a nervous system, and have maintained a wicked sense of humor and laissez-faire attitude that would make Xanatos proud. I seek to be a scholar, a trickster, and a strong, modern woman. Elisa, I should note, is a personal hero and I am OBSESSED with Gothic architecture.

I do not claim you and your efforts are the ultimate, godly force in my life, but I want to declare the power of such themes on a young girl, and want to thank you for not believing children incapable of understanding.

My question is: does this give you satisfaction?

Because I want it to.

-Valerie

Greg responds...

Does it give me satisfaction? Geez, Valerie, how could it NOT? Thank you. Those are very kind words, and a thrill to the creator, the television producer and the teacher in me.

Response recorded on February 01, 2008

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Todd Jensen writes...

A comment, rather than a question. One of my fondest memories from the days when "Gargoyles" was on the air was, after seeing "City of Stone" and "Avalon", reading up all that I could find about the historical Macbeth, and Constantine's murder of Kenneth II. I already knew some things about early medieval Scotland (enough to know that Gruoch was the name of the real Lady Macbeth, that Macbeth overthrew Duncan in battle in actual history, and about his stepson Lulach), but after seeing those episodes, I learned even more.

Now, after Bad Guys #1 and Gargoyles #7, I've experienced once again that feeling. I've looked up whatever I could find about thylacines, and Gathelus and Scota, after reading the issues that they appeared in. Now I know even more than ever that "Gargoyles" is back. Thanks, Greg.

Greg responds...

You're welcome. And thanks again to Kathy Pogge who did SO much research for me on the history of the Stone.

Response recorded on January 14, 2008

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david writes...

hi greg,i have not read all the questions,but peerhaps the first french who write here!!!
so first of all ,i'm not going to be original,but i wanted to say that all you have done,with this series is amazing .In france the series disapear since 1999 ,and i 'm still a big fan .since march i got all the episodes and how fun it is to see my heroes back .eight years happen and my vision of the series have not changed,i' m now more able to see the detail ,the important details,that i could not see when i was young.that mean for me ,that gargoyles is more an adult series ,the psikology of all the characters are perfest an so deeply worked.i do not remember seing this on any other series.I see the episodes one on one ,and after seing one reading for the first time your rambles.I think it was so fun to see how you create the show ,,your first thoughts,our what would you prefer.and so on .i wwanted to react for all of us ,but it would have bored you (64 e mail ,i think it's a bit hard)
at list i see the evolution in my perception of the series,my favorite character was brooklynn first time i saw the serie,then broadway ,i found him strong an funny.and now at 20,it is hudson i really like,his attitude ,his experience ,his warrior skills,his swords and in the price he is so good ,his dialogue with wanatos on immortality are for me one of the best moment of the series.meanwhile my favorite episodes is shadow of the past ,this is a killing one !!!!the story the animation ,all is nearly perfect ,keith david voice as goliath is wonderful,the atmosfere of hate and shadow is so great ,so spooky and so referated(i' m not sure it exists in english)to the past.I also like long way to mourning ,you know,hudson stuff,a good story ,and the fact hudson trick demona at the end with the sun .
During the multiple revision of the serie ,i discver lot of details ,you could not see when you see the episodes just one ,the last was owen when they received john carter at castle wyvern ,he hide his stony hand in the pockets of his smoking ,i had never figured before ,but what would a man say when you saw a stony arm .and i noticed a lot of scene like this.
i want to add a word on the comics,just as the serie ,great works ,we rally found what made the series a success.i have the hope that the comics will have a long life.
To end this ,i want just add a question,after all we are here to ask question!!i just want to know if you had infos about gargoyles in france for the future,not an original question i know!!!
and are you going one day to make a gathering in paris ? perhaps ,i always wanted to go at one ,but you know ,to young and it cost a lot for going ,but one day i'll come
so greg sorry for all i have written ,but i wnated to write for so long you know!!!!!!good luck for the future ,and long live to the comics (my principal hope)

Greg responds...

It's not up to me to make a Gathering in Paris -- it's up to Parisian fans.

And if you want to see more of Paris in the Gargoyles Universe, check out Gargoyles: Bad Guys, "Redemption, Chapter Three: Estranged".

Response recorded on January 08, 2008

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K9 the First writes...

"""Vaevictis Asmadi writes...
This is just a comment to K9...

I think you are thinking of some Amazonian Native Americans. The Mayans and other people in Mesoamerica certainly wore clothes pre-contact."""

AH! Yes. Okay. Sorry, I wasn't quite sure about that. I'm more knowledgible of the eastern and North American primatives, the Central and South American areas/tribes/What-have-yous tend to blend together for me.

Greg responds...

<twiddles thumbs>

Response recorded on November 13, 2007

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Ice Tyrant writes...

Hey. I got into gargoyles a few months ago when one night during summer break I was staying up late like always and noticed it on. Thought "Oh hey, Maybe I should watch that" so I set it on DVR. I'm a sophmore now, so I forgot just about everything (except for lexingtons name and Goliath it seems...) from back when I was a kid. Great show. Oh yes, and thank you. Thanks to you, and this site, I started reading macbet. Now I'm reading Beowulf (not sure if you've read that.) I owe my uhh... making reading more important to me, to you, so thanks. I'm still watching the series (Or I will start back on it I hope when I get my channels back.) and I haven't read the comics, though from what I hear they are good. Don't really have a question I guess. Just wanted to say thanks. Oh, Uhh...

1. Do you have any future plans for Nokkar in the current gargoyles series (Not 2198. Might be obvious...>_>)?

Greg responds...

You're welcome. I have read Beowulf. Great story.

1. I have plans for every character.

Response recorded on November 08, 2007

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Moe writes...

Hi Greg, i just wanted to say that i love your responses to some of these questions..lol. Short and sweet, it just cracks me up. Anyway, great job with the comics, I think they're awesome, and hopefully the rest of the cartoon series will be released as well. Good luck with spectacular spider-man, i'm looking forward to your creativity, p.s. and don't bog yourself down with answering too many questions as you seem really irritated by it lol :)

Greg responds...

I'm really dying to give you a short, sweet, FUNNY response. Can't think of ANYTHING. Sorry.

Response recorded on November 06, 2007

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Antiyonder writes...

Since it was brought back up, I too am sorry about your cat. Had a few cats we've had to say goodbye to ourselves.

Greg responds...

Thanks.

Response recorded on October 18, 2007

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dph writes...

I do not know if you realize this or not, but you have done "This day in Gargoyles' Universe History" for over 6 months now. Thank you for doing this for us, the fans.

Greg responds...

You're welcome. It's kinda fun for me too.

Response recorded on October 18, 2007

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Antiyonder writes...

Something that came to mind a while back. You mentioned in your rambling of The Mirror:
That the original dialogue from Demona was "You serve him, you can serve me". That was changed due to fear that "him" would be mistaken for Satan.

Kind of funny considering your ramble on "Her Brother's Keeper":

"Derek thinks Elisa thinks Xanatos is the "Prince of Darkness". "He practically is!" she responds. <SIGH> Tricksters are always being confused with Satan."

"But that was more irony. It's not the demonic-looking gargoyles who are being compared to Satan. It's the handsome, rich Bruce Wayne-esque playboy. I guess the goatee helps."

Makes his membership (666 members) in The Illuminati all the more fitting.

Greg responds...

Yep. Fun stuff, I think.

Response recorded on October 15, 2007

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Charisma82 writes...

Tuesday, June 25, 2007: Day 5 of Gathering of the Gargoyles

I guess there really isn't a day 5, and that's probably when everyone is getting home, but still… Here's the last day of my journaling from a non-gathering point of view.

Kay and I didn't wake up until 10:00am the next morning because we were wiped out from Disneyland the day before. We packed and left the hotel around 11:00am to go next door to IHOP for the 3rd time in the three days (IHOP, day 3… it's kind of a joke around here now). We were going to meet my grandparents and my aunt and her family there, and since they called and told us they had a table already, we knew we'd be in and out of there quick. When we went inside, they were nowhere to be found. What had happened is that they went to the other IHOP on that street (for some strange reason, the IHOP people decided to put two IHOPs on the same street, literally 4 blocks from each other). We drove to the other IHOP and had breakfast there (so I guess we went to IHOP 4 times all together on the trip). When we finished breakfast, my family drove to the parking structure and went on the tram again to get into the Disneyland Park while the rest of our party walked (they had a parking pass for their car somewhere else and we didn't).

We went to California Adventure on this day. And again, there was a problem with the ticket I had to get into the park (the whole name thing was off… it was annoying). What made it worse than the day before with the other Disney employee, was that the lady was even more perturbed at us than the one before. Usually, Disney employees are the nicest people ever, but the two that we got that ushered us in each day at the ticket booth needed to remember where they worked. Enough on that. We met up with the rest of our party at a shop at the front of the park after we rented a locker to stuff our extra stuff in. We went to Soaring Over California, and seeing that the line was over an hour, we got fast passes. We went by the Grizzly Peak River Run thing and it was over an hour to wait in line (not surprising because it was REALLY hot and muggy outside), so we kept on going. We finally decided to go watch the Bug's Life 3D show, which is cute, and then after that we headed over to Tower of Terror, which only my family got on because no one else wanted to lose their breakfast or were too scared to get on it. After that ride (which is one of my favorites at that park) my cousin and Tyson wanted to get on the Grizzly Peak Rapid Ride, and so we stood in line for over an hour to get on it. That had to be the longest hour of the whole day… no the whole trip. I was not in the best of moods waiting for that ride, especially because the last time I'd gotten on the ride, I'd been soaked and uncomfortable for the rest of the trip. So, I made my dad get me a poncho that I would sit on so my backside wouldn't get wet. I didn't care if the top half of me was wet, but the bottom half of me was going to stay dry. The ride was fun and I didn't get too wet like others in our group, so I was happy. When that ride was over we had a half hour to kill before we could use our fast passes (which are a blessing… I need to shake the hand of the guy who came up with the idea of fast passes and tell him he deserves the biggest raise in Disneyland history…) so we went through the tortilla and sourdough bread factories. I like these because they are a nice little break from the crowd and you get to learn stuff too. Once we were done in there, we used the fast passes to get on Soaring Over California. Just about everyone who has gone on that ride have had only nice things to say about it. It is a very cool ride. We've seen people cry once they get off of it. How did you like that ride?

After this ride, my aunt and her family said their goodbyes to us. They left the park to go visit a friend of my aunt's for the next day. My grandparents and my family ate dinner (I had a sourdough bread bowl from the bread factory and everyone else had Mexican food). When we finished there, my family and I rode the Mulholland Madness roller coaster. My grandparents left after that to go do whatever they wanted and then they left the park. My mom, Kay, and I got on the Boomerang ride and then my whole family got on California Screamin'. That ride is awesome. We headed back over to Tower of Terror because my mom wanted to ride it again, but the line was too long, so we went to my favorite place ever which is called the Disney Animation Studio. This place is my favorite place in both parks combined, hands down. I LOVE IT!!! Have you ever been in there? If not, you're missing out. We didn't get to go to any of the rooms to do anything because my parents wanted to leave soon, so we sat in the main room, listening to music from Disney movies while drawings of the movies were shown all over the round room. After this, we did some shopping (ran into my grandparents 2 other times) and then left the park around 9:30pm. When we got home around 12:30am, everyone went to bed as soon as we walked in the door.

So, that's the whole thing and I am now finished with the journals. I hope you and all the other Gargoyles fans had a great time at the gathering. Though I didn't get to go (hopefully one day I will), I did have a great time at Disneyland.

Thank you for your time and all that you do.

-Charisma82

Greg responds...

The first and only time I ever rode Tower of Terror was the day it opened at DisneyWorld. We were down there for the World Premiere of Gargoyles in September 1994. I was on the ride with my boss Gary Krisel, Marina Sirtis, Salli Richardson, Keith David and his manager Josh Silver.

Response recorded on July 13, 2007

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Charisma82 writes...

Monday, June 25, 2007: Day 4 of Gathering of the Gargoyles

Again, from a non-gathering view point… Kay and I woke up in our hotel around 8:00am. Kay takes forever to get ready, so she started right away in the bathroom while I dozed off and on into dream world and then back into reality. Once it hit around 8:30am I decided to get up for real. I turned on the TV to have some background noise and started getting ready. We planned to leave around 9:00am to 9:30am for IHOP, which was next door to where we were staying. I was glad that we left around 9:30am because I wasn't feeling so great while getting ready. When we walked into the IHOP I said "IHOP, day two," because we'd eaten at one the day before for dinner. Kay and I split something, me ending up with a pancake and her with eggs, hash browns, bacon, and sausage. I would've claimed more, but my stomach was still not up to eating much.

From IHOP we went to Disneyland. We were mad when we found out that Kay forgot the Disneyland CD in the hotel room so that we couldn't listen to it while we parked and all of that good stuff. We had to take a detour from where we usually go in to park in the parking structure because the regular way was blocked off, and so that took a bit more time. We finally made it in the parking structure and parked in the Goofy section. We took the tram to the front gate (I love riding the tram… it's really the first ride of the day at Disneyland, if you don't count the escalator). I had some trouble getting into the park because of the ticket I had. It was very annoying, especially because the Disney Cast Member wasn't very nice about it. What happened was that my ticket had a different name on it than mine because we'd let a friend borrow the ticket on a previous Disneyland trip and her name was on the ticket, but it was still our ticket (the ticket was good for up to 3 days at Disneyland and only one day had been used on it). They were asking me for ID and all that stuff, but I didn't even have that on me because I'd left it in the car. It was stressful for some people in my group who don't handle stress too well. Anyways, we finally got that taken care of and I was allowed into the park.

We had some time to kill before we met up with the rest of our party so we rented a locker to put extra stuff in, and headed for the board on Main Street that tells how long lines are. The Matterhorn was the shortest line with a 35-minute wait, so we went to that. After that ride we got on Thunder Mountain and then the Mark Twain boat that goes along the Rivers of America. Once that was over, we met up with my grandparents, aunt, cousin, and my aunt's boyfriend (who I will call Tyson, because I don's want to keep saying 'My aunt's boyfriend' the whole time). My aunt and her family wanted to ride on the Pirate Ship that goes on the Rivers of America, and since we'd already done that, we shopped while we waited for them (mainly shopped for trading pins, because I am REALLY into that). When they got off, we went to stand in line for Pirates of the Caribbean. We waited in the wheelchair line, since my aunt came in one due to health reasons. We ended up waiting there for an hour. My cousin (who is 13) told us that they'd never had to wait in a wheelchair line before. It was weird. After that ride, we went an Indiana Jones through the wheelchair line, which was fun because we got to ride on elevators and stuff to get to the ride. Once that ride was over, my grandparents left the park to go somewhere else. My aunt's family and ours went back to the Matterhorn, which was a big deal because my cousin had never been on a roller coaster ride before. They terrify her. She had to be bribed to get on it. She was promised $20.00 if she rode on it. It was funny because I sat in the car in front of her and heard her scream the whole time. That was the only roller coaster she got on all day (though she was bribed with $30.00 and a new sweatshirt of her choice if she got on Space Mountain… she still turned it down). After that ride, we went on the new Finding Nemo ride and waited over an hour in the wheelchair line, once again. The submarine was very stuffy and didn't have much air in it. It was a cute ride and is one of those you go on once to say you've been on it. After that, my aunt, mom, Kay, and I got on Space Mountain (my favorite ride of them all) through the wheelchair line. That was interesting. Everything was downhill and my mom, pushing my aunt, lost control of the wheelchair several times, almost ramming her into the wall. What was fun was when we got to the ride. All four of us got into our cars, which were not on the track, and then the cars were moved onto the track with us in them. I'd never done that before. I was bummed that the rockin' music from Red Hot Chili Peppers wasn't in the ride any longer. They'd had their music in there for about a month or two back around springtime. When the ride was over, it was VERY funny watching my mom push my aunt back up the ramps we'd taken to get there for the wheelchair people. It was SO funny because she was dizzy from the ride and she was swerving my aunt everywhere and almost hitting other people who were in the hallway. I won't forget it easily.

After that ride, my aunt and Tyson left the park for their hotel, and our family and my cousin had dinner at my favorite restaurant, Pizza Port. I love their spaghetti. Then we went on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters where I rode alone and got to use both guns to fire with. After that, we went to Main Street to get stuff out of our locker (catching the end of the fireworks show in the process) and then watched the 50 magical years show with Steve Martin and Donald Duck as the hosts. We'd seen it at least 5 times before, so it was just something to kill time with. Once that was over, we met up with my grandparents and Tyson, who'd come back to the park for the evening. It was dark by now and we left to go see Fantasmic, but ended up getting the times screwed up and missed it. My grandparents went their separate way from us and the rest of us got on the Haunted Mansion. It was probably the shortest line all day. After that, we realized that there would be another Fantasmic show at 11:30pm, so we stayed for that. I love the Fantasmic show. It's great. When it was over, we looked in a few shops and then left the park, parting ways with my cousin and Tyson. We got back to the hotel after midnight and were wiped out. Kay took a shower and I plopped down on my bed and was asleep very soon.

Well, one more day after this and the journals will all be over. Until then…

Thank you for your time and all that you do.

-Charisma82

Greg responds...

And thatnk you. Don't suppose you saw any Gargoyles walking around... or Gummi Bears... or Darkwing Duck?

Response recorded on July 09, 2007

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Charisma82 writes...

Sunday, June 24, 2007: Day Three of Gathering of the Gargoyles

Here's the 3rd day of my non-Gathering weekend. Okay… Let me remember… I woke up around 8:40am to get ready for church. I wasn't feeling good, and after being up for about 10 minutes, I decided to lie down for a while and hope that I would get better. I ended up getting to church late because of this. My mom stayed behind with me and she drove us there (It's about 10 minutes away from where I live) because when I'm sick I hate driving. I started feeling better during church services. After church ended, there was a potluck going on and I stayed with my sister (Kay) for it while my parents took one of the cars back home. I ended up sitting at a table with Kay, Fizz, D.C., Peaches (whom I have spoken of before), Sprite, CameraBoy, Cliff, and a new person whose name escapes me at the moment. Everyone was there except Morgana who was up at her family's cabin for the weekend. We all had a fun time talking about different stuff, but mostly about camp. We are all going up to a camp up in the mountains, about 10 miles from Yosemite, this next week. Everyone goes up once a year and has a great time. I haven't been in about 2 or 3 years, so I'm excited. We talked about past pranks pulled on all the cabins and all the stupid stuff people do up there.

After we were done with lunch, Kay and I took her car back home where we sat around and watched TV or did stuff on the computer. I worked on Word of the Day (a sort of contest thing that I help with) and sent it out to everyone who participates in it. Around 4:00pm we started packing up stuff for our trip to Disneyland. We left near 5:00pm. As usual, I took the middle seat and Kay took the very back seat in our Suburban while my dad drove and my mom watched movies on her DVD player in the passenger's seat. I quickly set up my seat so I could lie down and then I fell asleep.

It usually takes about 3 hours to get to Disneyland from where we live, which was how long it took this time. It was dark by the time we got to the hotel. We ended up staying in a hotel we'd never stayed in before called the Radisson. Dad went in while we waited for what seemed like forever in the car. I didn't mind so much because the hotel was playing Disney music outside and I was listening to that. I rolled down my window to hear the music better and after I did, some lady sat down on a bench not 3 feet away from my window, and started smoking. I might not have been so mad about it if she hadn't noticed my window open, but she was staring at our car which was right in front of her. Okay, if you're going to smoke, don't do it next to an open window, just out of courtesy. My dad came out of the hotel and motioned for me to come in too. I asked what was going on and he said that because we had two rooms (one for my parents and one for Kay and I) I had to sign some papers. So I waited by the counter for forever while they typed a lot of stuff and had my dad sign papers, and then they said that they didn't need me after all. They had a lot of pictures in their lobby of different Disney movies, which was cool to see. After that, we went back to the car, parked it, grabbed all our luggage/pillows/blankets/electronics, found the elevator, went up to the 3rd floor (my mom hates elevators and she's never happy when we aren't on the 1st floor), found our rooms, and finally emptied our arms full of stuff. Kay and I like to get drinks and snacks from the machines when we visit motels/hotels, so we grabbed the ice bucket, got some cash from my mom, and headed out looking for the vending machines. We found a drink machine next to the ice machine, which didn't have a great selection on it. It cost Kay $2.00 for a drink. We hopped on the elevator and took it to the 1st floor, looking for snacks, and found a mini store. I bought a lemonade (for less than $2.00, so I got the better deal) and some ice cream, and Kay bought something to snack on too (I don't remember what). We were lucky 'cause they were about to close the store.

When we got back to our room, we ate our snacks while we flipped through the channels on the TV. There weren't many channels and ended up on the Disney channel (coincidence?) where some Hillary Duff movie was on. Believe me, nothing else was on. After that ended, Kay tried to go to sleep while I surfed around for another movie. I found a movie that had just started with Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Lopez in it. I didn't catch the name of the movie, but it was about Jennifer's character going into the minds of people who are in comas, trying to get them to tell her stuff. Vince's character is a police officer that captures a serial killer who goes into a coma. Jennifer has to go into his mind to find out where a woman is whom he captured. It was interesting. And what was funny is that the boy who plays the serial killer in his mind was also the boy in the Hillary Duff movie that had been on earlier. I need to look up the name of that movie 'cause it'll bug me if I don't know the name of it. After the movie ended, I listened to some Fallout Boy and then went to sleep around 1:30am.

So that was Sunday. I'll get to Monday and Tuesday as soon as I can. Lots of Disneyland stuff going on those days…

Thank you for your time and all that you do.

-Charisma82

Greg responds...

Well, if you can't make the Gathering, I guess Disneyland is an appropriate alternative.

Response recorded on July 05, 2007

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TiniTinyTony writes...

*** BJ's and Jess's Weekend Wedding Bonanza sans The Gathering 2007 ***

- Friday, June 22, 2007

I went to sleep early the night before so that I could meet up with all the groomsmen and the groom at 9am to go clay pigeon shooting. I was supposed to meet my friend Dan at his house in Danville and follow him to the shooting range. Well he was very late getting ready and by the time we reached the range, they were done shooting. I was pretty pissed, but I didn't let it get me down. We still had golf to do later that day, and I didn't want to go into that sport angry, especially at the low level of experience that I am in the first place.

So we all went to BJ's house, and then took two cars to get something to eat at KFC/Taco Bell, grabbed some golf balls at Wal-Mart, and then proceeded to the golf course called Turbot Hills. We had a 1:15 tee time. It was only $19 to play and it was a pretty nice course. I had borrowed an old set of golf clubs from BJ's dad, Bill, a few days before so I didn't have to spend $4 to rent a set. We got three carts, two guys per cart, drank beers and played scrimmage style where everyone plays from where the best ball was hit to. I only lost 3 balls that day which I thought was pretty good. I got a few good shots over all throughout the day, but the best part was just hanging with friends, drinking beers, and driving the golf cart.

Once we were done with 9 holes, we headed back to BJ's house to get ready for the wedding rehearsal at 5:30pm. It was going well until BJ lost it. It took him about 10 minutes to calm down and regain composure and we proceeded to practice. I assured him that it was normal to get emotional and not to worry about it.

Once we got that out of the way, we were treated to dinner. It was a good time and everyone was enjoying my antics. We then proceeded to this dive bar to have a few drinks and then headed home around 10:30pm to get plenty of sleep for the big day tomorrow.

*** BJ's and Jess's Weekend Wedding Bonanza sans The Gathering 2007 ***

- Saturday, June 23, 2007

BJ wanted all the groomsmen to meet at his house at 9am to hang out and watch movies. I got up at 7am and arrived at his place around 9:15am. I was the first one there. We proceeded to Sheetz and got some breakfast biscuits or Shbizcuits or something bizarre like that. We went back to BJ's and hung out. We didn't end up watching movies, but we ended up cruising the internet for a bit and then played bocce outside once the other groomsmen showed up. Before long it was time to head to the church and get dressed in our tuxes.

It was 1pm and we left for the church where we had put our tuxes the night before so it was convenient for Saturday. Once we got dressed, it was Adam "Wags" Wagner and mine job to light the candles on the altar. We did a great job of course, and then we proceeded with the other groomsmen, to escort the other ladies into the church to their seats. That was probably the most fun part, for me, for no apparent reason. Once it was 3:00pm, it was time to begin. All of us lined up in front of the church with the priest, and the bridesmaids entered while music played. Then Jess came in with a huge smile on her face, as her dad brought her up to the altar. After only 20 minutes it was over, and BJ and Jess were now husband and wife.

We waited outside and blew bubbles at them. I miss the old days when you could throw rice. That was always fun. After that it was time to take pictures back inside the church. We did this for 40 minutes until the limos came at 4pm.

The limos took us to the reception where more pictures were taken. I believe it wasn't until 7pm until we finally entered the reception and sat down to eat. The picture taking seemed to take longer than usual, and I'm sure the guests were upset, but I wasn't complaining, but made jokes and had a great time.

The best man and the father of the bride gave their speeches; we toasted, and began to eat some really delicious food - steaks cooked right on this huge grill in front of us. There was plenty of wine to drink for the reception was at the Spyglass Winery, and there was a half keg of Yeugling Lager, a local favorite in Pennsylvania. Not a lot of people were on the dance floor, but I was out there having a good time. I didn't bring a date, so I danced with Jess's friends and her cousins. They were all very beautiful young women and very nice to talk to and dance with.

But like all good things, this wonderful event had come to an end. I danced the last dance of the night with BJ's mom, Susie. She is a really great lady and I consider her my second mom. Once the DJ started packing up, she was nice enough to give me a ride back to my car at the church. I got home around 11:15pm that night and I was beat. I passed out around midnight, but not before setting my alarm.

*** BJ's and Jess's Weekend Wedding Bonanza sans The Gathering 2007 ***

- Sunday, June 24, 2007

I had my alarm set for 10am. I got up around 9:30am. There was a post wedding celebration at Jess's parent's house at noon where my presence was requested.

I got to their house around 11:54am, and was the first groomsman there. BJ and Jess weren't there yet, but thankfully showed up 5 minutes later.

We had all the left over food from the wedding to eat, which was probably more delicious the next day. We played washers and horseshoes outside, while drinking beers and bullshitting, talking about how well the wedding went and how much fun everyone had.

People didn't stay very long, but I helped clean up and left around 4pm. I took the rest of the day to relax after the crazy and fun weekend that I just experienced.

Great job to all the groomsmen who helped make the weekend so memorable. Congratulations to BJ and Jess, whom I love and respect with all my heart.

Hopefully, next year I'll get to experience The Gathering experience in Chicago.

Greg responds...

We hope so too.

Response recorded on July 02, 2007

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Lloyd Frisone writes...

I asked a question previously but forgot to include my email. lfrisone@comcast.net

Greg responds...

See, you CAN find the time to stop back here occasionally...

Response recorded on June 29, 2007

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Charisma82 writes...

Saturday, June 23, 2007: Day Two of Gathering of the Gargoyles

After I was done typing up my journal for yesterday around 1:30am in the morning, I ended up staying up until about 4:30am watching stuff on You Tube. I also did some reading of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I've read all the books before, but since the 7th and final Harry Potter book is coming out in a few weeks, I thought I'd better refresh my mind by reading all the books over again. I also want to remember what happened in the 5th book because the 5th movie is coming out soon too. I don't want to sound like I'm a big Harry Potter fan, because I'm not the biggest Harry Potter fan out there, I just like the story. Have you read any of them? Anyways, I went to bed around 4:30am and didn't wake up until 11:00am, which I'm shocked I got away with. My mom usually makes sure my sister and I are awake by 10:00am at the latest. After I woke up, my sister and I got ready to go back down to the church building to help decorate the high school room with a couple other people. Since it's the summer time and people are doing a lot of stuff, only 2 other people showed up to help. So all together it was my sister (Kay), D.C., Fizz, (all nicknames in case they have a problem with me putting their names on here) and me. First, we played a couple rounds of ping-pong (play before work… it's out of order, I know…) to get ready for ping-pong at camp next week and then we went to work on the high school room. I'm not in the high school class, and neither is D.C., so we didn't really know what needed to be done in there. First we had to take down all the old stuff in the room. Then we called up a guy that teaches in there to get some ideas, and since they weren't solid ideas and just some thrown out there suggestions, I decided to go with the theme of going down the path of righteousness or going down the path that rocks (the path that rocks, being the one that shouldn't be chosen… I'll explain). We used Kronk from the Disney movie The Emperor's New Groove (Kronk is my favorite good guy Disney character ever) and used his shoulder angel and devil's line "He wants to lead you down the path of righteousness… I want to lead you down the path that rocks…" We had to enlarge a picture of Kronk on a light projector on a wall, which took forever, and then we had to outline him again in marker. Then we had to make speaking bubbles for them to talk. It took up a lot of time, and we still didn't get it all finished. Half of it is done, but we'll have to finish the rest next week.

Everyone was hungry and since I hadn't eaten anything all day, I was ready to choose a place and go there… except that no one could agree on anything. Around 4:30pm we finally left in my car, me driving of course, and headed to Subway in the mall. I will say that I advertised the Gathering of the Gargoyles while at Subway by telling my group that it was going on this weekend. D.C. has seen gargoyles and knew what I was talking about, and Kay, being my sister, knew about it too, but Fizz needed some informing about it. After eating (I had a BLT… I think it's funny when you ask for a BLT and they still want to know if you want lettuce and tomato on the thing…) we went into Borders, which is part of the mall, and I ended up running into someone I went to high school with. She was really nice and told me we should get together and do something next week, yet the problem is that I don't know where I put her phone number… Kay, D.C., and Fizz took off into the mall while I was talking with the girl and I had to call Kay to find out where they went. They ended up wasting money on a claw machine, gave up, and used the rest of their change buying candy. Fizz had to go home, so we left the mall and I dropped her off. Kay, D.C., and I didn't want to go home just yet so I spoke up and said we should go to Cold Stone (It's funny how that's the name of that gargoyle in Gargoyles) because I love their ice cream. We went there and I bought a Peanut Butter Cup Perfection… oh, that's living (I LOVE peanut butter). I couldn't finish it and had to throw half of it away. After that we went to Best Buy, which is right behind the Cold Stone. We played some video games and browsed the DVD isles. After that, we went to Game Stop, which is across the street from Best Buy. The same video game we'd been playing at Best Buy was also at Game Stop, so we played it again just for kicks. We left there and D.C. got the call from home that he had to go home. We drove to the other side of town to drop him off and were invited to see either Dream Girls or Epic Movie with him and his sister, but Kay called our house and our dad said we needed to get back home to get packed for Disneyland (we're leaving Sunday to go down there).

We left D.C. and Peaches (his sister) and got home around 7:00pm. Mom and Dad weren't around so we started watching the movie the Pacifier (which wasn't that great). Our parents finally got home after being at Walmart buying stuff for our trip to Disneyland and California Adventure. My dad sat down to watch the end of the movie with us while my mom printed out pictures from Kay's 16th birthday party 3 weeks ago. My mom needed to clear her camera of pictures so she can take some when we go to Disneyland. My mom gave up on the picture printing thing and told my sister to continue it, but Kay ended up getting me to do it while she took her shower. I ate an apple and listened to music on the Cinemagic channel. They were playing music from the soundtrack of Braveheart. Once Kay was done in the shower, she took over printing pictures and I went to my room to check up on my e-mails online. I wrote back to my cousin who lives in Colorado and then checked up on stuff in ASKGREG. After that, I wrote this. So now that I'm caught up, I'm going to sign off. I probably won't get any more journals in until the middle of the week, seeing as we're leaving for Disneyland today (it's just past midnight) and won't get back home until either Tuesday or Wednesday. Now, I'm going to blow dry my hair and then get to bed so I'll be good and awake for church in the morning.

Thank you for your time and all that you do.

-Charisma82

Greg responds...

I have read, watched and largely enjoyed the Harry Potter books and films with my family.

Response recorded on June 28, 2007

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Charisma82 writes...

Hey! Wow, has it already been a year since the last Gathering? It feels like just a while ago. Sadly, just like last year, I was not able to make it to the Gathering of the Gargoyles. I'm not as crushed over it as I was last year, or the year before that, or the year before that… but still, I figure that I will get to one of them one of these days, so keep having them, and I'll hopefully turn up some day. I didn't do a pre-gathering journal yesterday because nothing really happened yesterday. So here it goes for the first day of the Gathering of the Gargoyles (from the point of view of someone not being there)…

Friday, June 22, 2007: The First Day of Gathering of the Gargoyles

Today started way too early for me. All of my days for the past 4 weeks have started too early for me. I signed up for a summer class and was fool enough to sign up for a class that started at 7:00am. I've been waking up a little bit before 6:00am every morning because the school is in a different town and I have to drive a while to get there. I am definitely not a morning person. I'm used to going to sleep late and waking up late. I've been forcing myself to go to bed at midnight so I can be awake enough for the class every morning. But fortunately for me, today was my last day, so I no longer have to wake up so early. Actually, besides waking up early, I really liked the class. It was an English class that dealt with a lot of literature, which I enjoyed. We read a lot of short stories, poems, and a few plays in the class. The teacher even showed us the play "A Midsummer Night's Dream" on video that was made back in the 30's. I really liked it and was able to keep up with the names, mainly because of watching Gargoyles for as long as I have been. Since today was the last day, we had a final. We had to write a paper in class about 1, 2, or 3 different pieces of literature we'd read in class and connect them together to make a common point. I chose the poem entitled "The Ruined Maid" by Thomas Hardy and the play entitled "Overtones" by Alice Gerstenberg and talked about how moving up in social class isn't what makes a person happy, which I proved with the two pieces of literature that I chose. There was more to it, but I'm not going to get into all of that here. We were supposed to write out the paper by hand in MLA format in ink. I decided to write it out in pencil first so I wouldn't make mistakes on my final copy. Because I did this, I took up the entire 2 hours, continuously writing. My hand felt like it was going to fall off once I was done. Though it took me a lot longer to write the paper twice, I was glad I did. I didn't have any mess ups on the final draft. I was very fortunate that my paper was only 6 pages long, because that's all the paper I had on me. I couldn't afford to make mistakes.

After I finished there, I headed home (and got to hear Fuel's song "Hemorrhage" which I rocked out to). I got home just as my mom and sister went off to work. I got on the computer to do my usual rounds of checking up on e-mail and looking at my usual websites (including, of course, ASK GREG). After that, I sat around the house for a while before I became tired and knew I had to get a nap in if I wanted to last the rest of the day. I slept for about 3 hours and got up around 4:30pm to 5:00pm.

Around 6:00pm, my family (my parents and younger sister) and I took off for Family Fun Night at our church. Before we got there, we stopped by Carl's Jr. for some dinner. I didn't eat much since I wasn't feeling that great. We got to the church building a bit before 7:00pm and were the first ones there. After waiting for about 20 minutes, we had more people show up. We played cards and ping-pong. I've decided that I need to start playing ping-pong every day until next week when I go up to camp. I say this because one of the main sports up at camp is ping-pong and I found out how much practice I need when playing it tonight. I think the most fun game with ping-pong is Around the World in which a bunch of people line up around the table and take turns hitting the ball back and forth. It's not as easy as it sounds or looks. After ping-pong, about six of us decided to play hide-and-seek walky-talkies (which is basically hide-and-seek with a set of walky-talkies in the mix). That was fun. It's not so easy when the entire building is pitch black dark and you can't turn lights on. I have the best hiding spot in a closet under a set of stairs that no one ever wants to look in because there is so much junk in there and it is very dark. I was really mad when one of the younger girls decided to hide with me then decided not to because she was afraid of the dark, and then told everyone where I was once she herself was found. Now that my hiding spot has been blown, I have to find some other great hiding spot. Anyways, we ended up leaving there around 9:45pm.

When we got home, Dad really wanted to watch the baseball game that had the Colorado Rockies in it because he grew up in Colorado. He was sad when they lost at the very end of the game (sorry if I ruined that for anyone… I hope I didn't). My mom and I played Mancala (a game played with flattened marbles and a wooden board…I don't know how else to describe it) while we watched some show on the top 10 funniest women ever. It wasn't that great of a show, but there was nothing else on that the family could agree upon to watch (my mom, sister, and I wanted to watch Pirate Master, a show we got hooked on at the beginning of summer break, but my dad put his foot down and said no). My parents went to bed around 11:30pm and my sister and I stayed up to watch the AFI's top 100 movies in the past 100 years that we'd recorded on Tivo earlier in the week. It was good. We didn't know about half the movies in the countdown, but were excited to see the ones we did know. It finally ended around 1:30am. My sister went to bed, and now I'm in my room typing this.

So all in all, this was actually a busy day compared to the past couple of weeks around here. I wish I could say that I watched Gargoyles so it would seem that I'm keeping the spirit of Gargoyles alive during the Gathering of the Gargoyles (since I'm not there), but I'm too tired to start watching one of them. I'd probably fall asleep while my eyes burned trying to keep awake. Maybe tomorrow I'll do some Gargoyle watching…

Thank you for your time and all that you do.

-Charisma82

Greg responds...

Hardy's "The Mayor of Casterbridge" (I hope I'm spelling that correctly) is one of my all time favorite novels.

Response recorded on June 26, 2007

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Justin writes...

Dear Greg,
I have been meaning to write you this comment for a very long time. It seems that the longer things go on, the more my life parallels things you presented on Gargoyles. Not everything mind you, haha, but somethings certainly strike a new chord than when I watched the show at 13.

To start this off, on Sept. 28th, 2005 my mother passed away. It was hard but my sisters and I got through it. Eventually around the holidays, both my sisters left for verying educational pursuits while I was tasked with taking care of our home. This officially happened in January 2006. I thought I could handle it but all of a sudden the sheer realization that I was all alone in my childhood home ( save our 2 cats and a dog) became too much to bare.

Eventually I started feeling like I was losing myself. Well this went on for a few weeks then a month or so like this and then early february, our heat went out. I had no job then and I couldn't afford the bill. It just so happened this was the coldest time of the winter that this occured.

Anyway, my little sister was attending Indiana University at the time, got wind of the situation and arranged to get me out of there, to stay the night with a family friend. I had known this family for years and I didn't want to burden them. Nor did I want to abandon my pets to the cold. So in an insane headspace I told my sister no. That I was not leaving.

Long story short I left my house that night and stayed a few days with the friends mentioned above. Here is the kicker... this is the only Gargoyles reference I have made so far but I hope if I illustrated the story well enough you see the similarities already..

When I got to my friend's home they set me up on the couch and gave me free reign over the TV. I turned to Toon Disney knowing Gargoyles would be on soon, and you know what episode was running that night? HAHA, you guessed it, Enter Macbeth.

My little sister convinced me it was suicide to stay at my home, and I ended staying with family friends that were truly more like extended family. Hudson's line struck a deep chord.. "Where we can be together and safe" It wasn't my house I was protecting, althought I thought so.. I was protecting what I felt was all I had left. Eerily similar.

In any event, I felt I would pass that along. I won't be able to attend Pigeon Forge but now I live in Chicago, so I hope to see you next year!

Peace, Love, and Empathy,

Justin M. Lindley

Greg responds...

Hey Justin,

Condolences. And I'm glad in some small way we were able to help. And I look forward to seeing you in Chicago.

Response recorded on June 13, 2007

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Cedric Calles writes...

Hello Greg. I read the last post and this indeed is my real name if curious " Cedric franklin kaili Calles " Proud Scott/Irish man. When I was younen I enjoyed watching your "Gargoyles" very much. I was fasinated of medievil times. Where times of honor, glory, and magic lived in those mystical ages. Atlass when I saw the last episode and the unfortunate fate awaited for Goliath and his clan. I was bloody mad at the end and later cried. Hours passed and I began to think, the cartoon era was changing and were losing their ways. A New Era of twisted cartoons that contained stories of no moral, ideas, or reasoning to the common sense and violence to the extreme beyond of comprehision, strange ideas of doing wrong was right, and the idea of its ok to be stupid or do stupid things as a normal daily life, was born. Which comes to my question...

Do you believe it was the right call for " Gargoyles " to end as it was to be saved from the New Era of Corruption, keeping its Orgin?

My final question, why did you not make a book out of it? To open a world of their world to ours.

Greg responds...

I'm not sure I understand the question, Cedric. I'm wondering which "end" you saw. Hunter's Moon? Or the end of Goliath Chronicles? I hardly think our ending (Hunter's Moon) was twisted or promoted the notion that doing wrong is right. Quite the reverse. So when you throw out phrases like "New Era of Corruption" or "keeping it's Origin", I don't quite know what to make of it all.

As for your final question -- sigh -- asked and answered many, many times. I'd love to turn it into a book. Just need a publisher.

Response recorded on June 12, 2007

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Kaylle writes...

Way back in October 2005, the day they released the cover art for the second DVD set, I watched a bunch of episodes instead of doing my homework and typed up my musings on them (mostly on Hunter's Moon and the Goliath/Elisa relationship) in my livejournal. Today I'm *still* trying to avoid my homework, and the queue is open again, so I thought I'd dig up those old musings and get your opinion on them (I may have posted something like this in the CR once as well; my apologies if you happened to catch it there). So here they are. I wrote:

"At the end of HM3, Elisa and Goliath finally get some "resolution" to their relationship. The infamous kiss it took us (and them) 65 episodes to get to. I hate to call it resolution at all because it doesn't really resolve anything; their relationship is still in a pretty uncertain place and kissing hardly changes that. But it's the first time they both admit what's going on between them and do something, however small, about it. And it provided some small measure of satisfaction for the fans, who were just beginning to realize that was all we were going to get. I remember being so hopeful, so excited, 13 years old, watching in awe as finally, *finally* the two of them "got together." I hadn't realized it was the season finale, although really it was pretty obvious (I didn't know cartoon shows *had* season finales). And I certainly hadn't realized it was, for all intents and purposes, the end." [Of course, I know now what I didn't know in October 2005-- it wasn't the end! We have a comic book!]

"But I digress. Anyway, I noticed two things today. First, in HM1, during the scene on the subway: after he dispatches the muggers, Elisa goes to Goliath, lays her head down on his chest, and says, "Nobody messes with my best friend." I always thought that was kind of a dangerous thing to say in public, although sweet. But I noticed today the way that Goliath reacts to it. Maybe I never noticed before, or maybe I just don't remember, but he reaches to touch her hair and then stops himself, grimaces, and pulls away. It happens so quickly it's easy to miss it. But something about that aborted gesture of affection really intrigues me.

"Did he stop because he thought she wouldn't appreciate the sentiment? Haven't we seen him touch her that way before? It's hard to remember because the two of them get so very few explicitly affectionate moments. There aren't a lot of episodes that deal with them. (The most obvious is The Mirror, but that was so long before this that it's hard to use it as an indication of their relationship now. Although there is that moment, while Demona and Puck are spying on them via the mirror, when Elisa sort of nuzzles her face into Goliath's shoulder. I'd love to know what the conversation was that led her to do *that*...) Their relationship is very clear to the viewer, but it's also very understated. Any romantic moments like that are part of some larger scene, some larger conversation, etc. (I was half-convinced, when I was a kid, that it was because Disney didn't want to deal with the xenophilia aspect. Now I can see that it's in character for them to act that way; both of them know what's going on but they can't admit it, can't act on it because they're certain there's no future in it. But when you're 12-13 years old you miss some of the subtler points <g>.) So, while I can think of romantic moments between Goliath and Demona, MacBeth and Gruoch, etc, Goliath and Elisa are much more subtle than that.

"So then I went picking through episodes looking for Goliath/Elisa moments. (Aren't they cute in Eye of the Beholder, dancing in their Halloween 'costumes'? Even the trio notices. "They should have Halloween more often.") As early as Awakenings 5, we see Elisa take his face in her hands. The closest embrace I can find is in Heritage, after Elisa's disappearance. They both look pretty happy to see each other there, and she doesn't show any reluctance to touch him or be held by him.

"So anyway, it could be because he thinks she won't appreciate the gesture. She has shied away from discussing their relationship in the past. Or it could be because they're in a train full of people (although, again, she's pretty much given them away to everyone on the train already).

"Or it could be because he doesn't want to let himself touch her? Because letting himself caress her hair (the gargoyle equivalent of a kiss, even if Elisa doesn't necessarily know that) means pretending, if only for a moment, that they have a relationship? And because he can't stand doing that to himself over and over again? Something to think about, anyway.

"The other thing that I noticed was that, although Goliath saw Elisa kiss Jason and heard what she said about her feelings, she doesn't know that. As far as she knows, nothing between them has changed since HM1. Obviously they're both happy to see each other after Jason rescues her (although Goliath is probably "happier" than Elisa is; at least, she didn't think he was dead). But nothing has happened, to her knowledge, to bring things between them to a head. So why does she finally decide to admit her feelings to him? Her dialogue doesn't really tell us anything, either. He says, "So... Things have come full circle," and Elisa replies, "Somehow, they always do. You know how I feel about you, right?" She brings it up apropos of nothing. (He doesn't seem startled by it, either. Why is that? I sure as heck was!)

"Is it her relationship with Jason? The realization that, even when presented with someone human who seems to be everything she's looking for (at least at first), she still wants Goliath? When offered the normal life she thinks she wants, she still chooses Goliath and the clan, and all the uncertainty and upheaval they imply. Is that it? Of course, they've had a traumatic couple of days, and that could be a reason all by itself."

At that point I decided that I'd spent way too much time analyzing things and that I really ought to be doing work, so I stopped. But I'm still intrigued by it all. I guess if I had to distill it down into a few questions, they would be:

1) Is there a reason for Goliath's gesture (or lack thereof) on the train, or am I thinking too hard/paying too much attention to tiny details?

2) Does Elisa know that touching hair is the gargoyle equivalent of a kiss? (Maybe not in so many words, since I doubt the gargoyles think of it in terms of how their gestures of affection are equivalent to human gestures, but does she realize the sort of underlying meaning of a touch like that?) And if so, how does she know? Just from observation and intuition? Did someone tell her?

3) Why does Elisa finally speak up at the end of HM3? What changes her mind about keeping quiet?

Thanks for listening to me ramble on a bit, and for taking the time to answer our questions. It's only out of love that we analyze every aspect of things :)

Greg responds...

1. I think all your thoughts are right on target, and the gesture (or lack thereoff) was certainly intentional on our part.

2. She does by now, yes. Whether she did then... I'd have to look again.

3. Events. Momentum. Passion. Change. Or whatever you decide.

I liked your ramble, btw.

Response recorded on May 11, 2007

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Antiyonder writes...

Most of us have been talking about the yet to be released Volume of Gargoyles, whether it's in the comment room or submitting in the Ask A Question. I do agree that that the Disney blaming has gone overboard at times (I'm guilty of it as well). I can't speak for everyone of course, but I'm going to do my best to describe why we tend to blame the company so to speak (I know you don't mean any offense). Since, you have more business experience than some of us, your POV would be helpful.

1. Again part of the reason why we aren't seeing anymore DVDs are lack of purchases from the previous sets. Yes part of it is due to lack of sales, but also lack of advertising. It's not just DVDs, but with say network television (Not just with Disney). Aside from quality there are many reasons a show would turn up with low ratings, like:

- Lack of commericals, hence the viewer doesn't know it exist.
- The show is aired so much that the viewer gets tired of it, or so little they don't have a chance to draw in fans. Odd thing about that is that a particular program is aired constantly when it only has 13/26 episodes, yet when/if it has 65-78 episode, then it's not aired so often. Should be the other way around.
- The show is aired in a timeslot that most people don't watch.

It just seems like the higher ups don't really understand their audience, or they do but don't want to take responsibility. After all, admiting to a mistake is viewed by some to be a sign of shame and humiliation rather than being responsible.

1a. Also, with the comics, I heard sales lowered for #3. That's due of course to lack of a consistant release. My question is if Disney will acknowledge that lower sales are due to delaying approval, or will they assume that the comic itself is the problem. You can count on us hardcore (in my case semi-hardcore) fans to stick with it to the end, but as has been said in the comment room newcomers or casual buyers are going to be put off by the delays if it keeps up. Regardless, I'm trusting that the situation should improve.

2. Then there's the concept of money. It seems like the higher ups in the business never heard of the saying "You have to spend money to make money". It just seems like with any product (DVD, Comics, etc) they expect to make a fortune by investing a few cents (not literaly mind you).

2a. I know that companies like Disney are in the business to make money and I repsect that. The problem is it seems their ambition is more of an obsession. For instance, I know that you're sure as heck not doing all of this work for free, but for you the money isn't a one-tracked mind thing. Same could be said of folks like Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Tom Defalco, Peter David, Steve Loter, Mark McCorkie, Bob Schooley.

I really hope this came across as a constructive complaint, rather than a mindless hatefilled rant. After all, I'm not always good at using the right words, to voice my opinion.

Greg responds...

You're preaching to the converted, but there is an element of naivete here. Marketing costs money. Disney has LITTLE evidence that they can make much money off of Gargoyles relative to what they could make off of, say, Power Rangers. So they are less inclined to spend the FINITE amount of money they have to promote a product which will without a doubt be profitable, but which without a doubt won't be AS profitable as others they might release. That's called "Opportunity cost".

Gargoyles was a good bet for them, when (a) it seemed that the fans would do all the marketing work for them... making the release very inexpensive and (b) the sales seemed relatively high... making the profit margin relatively high. But when the fans do NOT do the marketing for them and when the sales aren't high, then Gargoyles seems like less the good bet.

Again, I'm not saying that the marketing SHOULD be the fans responsibility. I'm simply saying that if the fans do not take responsibility, then no one will.

Companies don't have obsessions. People do. Individuals run companies, which is why as companies have employee turnover, the character of the place and the opportunites shit and alter. But comparing Peter David with "DISNEY" is truly comparing apples and ... I don't know... steam engines.

So in the end, yours is NOT a "constructive complaint". (Though it's not a hate-filled rant either.) It's just a complaint. Period. And you're entitled to complain. Believe me. But now that you've complained, the question is both individually and collectively, what's your NEXT move? Just more complaining? Or do you want to find a new way to help us SPREAD THE WORD?

Response recorded on May 08, 2007

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Gerin writes...

Hi again Greg,

not a question really, but I recently read an older post of yours where you explain your negative opinion about "Return of the Jedi" and the confrontation between Luke and the emperor in particular. Since you sometimes ask your fans to ramble too, here's why I think this is one of the best standoffs in the history of movies:

THE EMPEROR:
High class villain. Fragile, feeble, understated. Gives definition to "sinister", implies awesome aura.
And witty! Usually, when Good Guy (James Bond, Superman, Elisa) is at the mercy of Bad Guy (Blofeld, Lex Luthor, Demona), isn't Bad Guy all outspoken and arrogant, but alas, Good Guy always has wittier deliveries, better puns etc.?
Whatever Luke throws at him, Palpatine's got the retorts. "Your arrogance is your weakness", says Luke. Any other villain would now start throwing around threats, acting all superior, unwillingly confirming the statement. Not Palpatine. He's even kind of agreeing by saying "The trust in your friends is yours." And Luke is speechless.

THE DARK SIDE EXPLAINED:
For two and a half movies, we've been lectured constantly on how fear and anger lead to the dark side. Morale, good and evil, yadda-yadda. Always play nice. Yeah, as if it matters. Power is power, right?
Suddenly, it does matters and the concept becomes tangible: Vader threatens Luke's sister, and boy does Luke get mad. And powerful! No finesse anymore, just sheer rage. It's filmmaking at its best! Listen to the choir. Watch how this outlashing is not strung out to minutes. It's a matter of seconds, the point is made.

FORCE LIGHTNING:
Eventually, Luke spares Vader. Luke states: "I'm a jedi.", again no threats from the emperor, just acknowledges the fact: "As you wish, jedi." And then, he tells Luke how puny he is. And shows him.
Unfortunately, the climax that these force lightings represent don't come across anymore because they have become common through the videogames, not to say Ep. II and III where they are used without abandon.

No intent to argue. Just my ramble, really. :-)

Greg responds...

No intent to argue back, but I just don't see those scenes that way at all. I thought they were awful and that the Emperor was one of the worst villains I can recall. But I'm happy to admit that that's just my opinion.

Response recorded on May 03, 2007

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Chip Coffin writes...

I figured I'd better separate this into two posts. I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate your comments to Vaevictus Asmadi about the creation of Gargoyles. I personally am a Creationist (Intelligent Design Theorist to be PC *Chuckles*) And I find that very few people actually respect my beliefs and I am very surprised and grateful that you are. I of course know that I'm vastly outnumbered in the fandom, and I know that you are not a creationist, but it means a lot to me that there is someone in Hollywood who acknowledges that there are creationists in their fandoms and haven't writen any "Travel to the Time of The Dinosaurs" stories (Mind you I believe in Dinosaurs, I just don't buy the 65 million years, We creationists call them Dragons)

Gargoyles have wings, and thus were made on day 5, (Putting them before humans on day 6, and thus they are still the first race even to us creationists) Once again, I thank you for respecting my beliefs.

Rock On-Chip

Greg responds...

Hmmm... well, I definitely respect your BELIEF. But I'm not sure ultimately if you'll think I'm respecting your BELIEFS. But I guess only time will tell...

Response recorded on April 23, 2007

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Shadow Wing writes...

Hi Greg, I'm back again.

I've been doing my best to spread the word about Gargoyles - I've told people about the comics, the DVDs, and the Gathering - I've even managed to bring a couple more people into the fandom by loaning them the DVDs - they were hooked from Awakenings.

Since December, I've managed to get the first two issues of the comic - would have gotten the third today, but I couldn't make it to my comic store. Hoping to get it Friday.

I loved the first two issues - and the fact that I already knew the story in them did absolutely nothing to reduce the pleasure I derived from them. I may or may not go into a more detailed review after I get the third ish.

Anyhow, I've spent the past three months watching my DVDs (the Toon Disney airing keeps moving to less and less convenient time slots, and on some level, I wonder if they're TRYING to get bad ratings for it), and have come up with a few questions/comments - but I don't want anything to be dropped from Ask Greg, so they won't be submitted now.

I'm trying like mad to make it to The Gathering this year - Pigeon Forge is the closest it's ever been, and I don't know how long before it comes close enough for me to attend again (limited budget, can't afford air fare). If I can make it, I hope to see you there.

Greg responds...

Hope to see you there also. And I do appreciate the efforts you've been making to spread the word.

I would like to (once again) disabuse everyone of the notion that Disney is TRYING to sabotage the property. That's just nonsense. (I realize you were half-kidding, but people might take the notion seriously if I let it stand unchallenged.) You can accuse Disney of at worst, benign neglect. They may not have exploited the property to the extent that you and I and the hardcore fans would like, but they are not, have not and will never intentionally sabotage it. Disney, as a company, is out to make money. Sabotaging their assets is not a path to making money.

Response recorded on April 03, 2007

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Quandra "Dusk Rider Q" writes...

Hello Again Greg,

I am trying 110% to keep this post friendly, and I will. More in light of a post some ways below mine, I'd like to thank and congratulate you and the rest of the producers for putting in so many "non-white" people, particularly black people. As a young black girl growing up with this series, it was exciting to see characters who looked like me and that wasn't token or there just to be the stooge to a lead white male (Power Rangers come to mind). In fact in retrospect I remember being surprised to find that Elisa was black! It seemed so odd and now I realize that it because we as children of color are conditioned to feel that inferiority when there are not any heroes or led characters for us to look to. Despite seeing Elisa's mother in the episode "Deadly Forces" later I almost couldn't still fathom that she was black. It's hard to articulate.

Having grown up in the Bay Area, just about the most diverse place in America aside from New York, I am more than used to seeing so many people of color in important positions, hearing so many different languages, and meeting so many people from other backgrounds. However, going away to college I realized that much of the world was not so fortunate as I to have known many lawyers and doctors of color. Therefore, you have no idea how I commend you for being to only show to this day I can think of that put a bi-racial or black female in a lead role without trying to cater to the black demographic. If only through Gargoyles, some kids could be introduced this possibility and not have their only concept of black people being through stats like "You have to ackknowlege that American Blacks have an IQ of 85 compared to a white IQ of 100, Blacks commit over half of the crimes in the USA," however true or untrue that is. It's saddens me when I meet white people who are either scared of me or have to prove to me that their not racist by rattling off the Black history they do know. I wish the media had more of us portrayed like Elisa who doesn't have to roll her neck to show that she is very aware of her blackness but more specifically her Nigerian Ancestry. She's assertive without being "ghetto" or loud. She's beautiful and sexy without being easy. Sadly, as a young black woman I find it's what people expect of me-that if I get angry I will smack my lips or snap my fingers, or they really want to know what I'm like at second base but they won't ask in front their friends- because they think of some Ying Yang Twin videos over Heather Headley videos, and they've never met black people outside of TV while growing up in white suburbia. If only there were more Elisas…

Also, I loved that Elisa looked different from the typical black person on TV. I find that we are actually the most diverse looking group of people on this planet, but actresses in Hollywood are always made to look darker if they are light-skinned like Elisa, or else they just aren't cast. Terrence Howard is the only light-skinned man in the business I can think of who has made it, but no women. And just for the record light-skinned people are not as few and far between as other races think. I had this discussion in one of my high school classes. My classmates tended to think you had to be mixed like Elisa to be light-skinned which is not the case. (I can trace my lineage back six generations on my mothers side to the slave ships, but the only person of another race was one of my great-great grandmothers, and Indian woman. Yet, Two of my dad's sisters, My mom's one sister, is lighter, and three of my grandma's sisters are light skinned like Elisa. It just happens.) I'm glad Elisa just didn't have to have big lips, a broad nose, an afro, and dark brown skin. Even though that's fine because it's kind of how I look, the media has this one image of how we all look in every cartoon, but she's a contrast for my auntie, and two of my best friends.

Finally, I'm glad black men get good treatment. Derek was a righteous, and good cop, a man looking to define himself outside of his parents. He reminded me of my cousins. Hudson's blind friend was intelligent and believable. Thank you for showing that not all black men wind up in prison. And though Glasses did go to prison, as the other poster pointed out he was the right hand man. In my studies as a Psychology major it may be several reasons for the fact so many of us go to prison rather than college, but it shouldn't be assumed blacks are inherently more dumb or evil. Could it be that more people of low socio-economic situation can't afford the best lawyers therefore if caught won't be aquitted as easily as whites? Yes. There are several reason in fact.

I don't feel that putting people of color has made this show somehow prejudice against white. Matt is very competent; I love him! Macbeth, despite his wicked schemes, is very honor-bound, and several of the World Tour episodes highlighted whites of Europe playing the hero. Likewise having Captain Chavez be a woman no more demeans men of strong positions on some fallacy of man-bashing feminism.

All that said it isn't likely that a ninja would be black. I had more problems with the fact that every time we see an Asian on TV they tend to know Karate or else can't speak proper English. But as a whole, Bushido and all the other episodes that visited other nations I felt treated the cultures with respect and beauty. The show found the magic in these culture reminding us that Medieval Europe is not the only place with magic and fantasy stories of interest. Can't say it enough-- Thank You, Greg.

Greg responds...

You're very welcome. We were and are proud of the diversity in the show, not because we had an agenda per se, but because it better reflects the reality that I observe daily. So our agenda was honesty, I guess.

Response recorded on March 13, 2007

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Shadow Wing writes...

Mr. Weisman:

I don't have an actual question, I just want to say that the first episode of Gargoyles aired on my birthday (not my FIRST birthday, one of the ones that came later), so I wanted to thank you for the birthday present, Greg.

Greg responds...

You're welcome. And Happy Birthday.

Response recorded on March 13, 2007

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Blaise writes...

HUNTER'S MOON, PART ONE

The beginning of the end (so to speak…).

I have to say, GARGOYLES was the first animated series I remember that actually seemed to have "Season Finales"--it just made it that much more special for me.

The "HUNTER'S MOON" title font is in red (as opposed to the usual blue color). It really helps set this apart from the other episodes, and indicates that "Big Things" are about to happen in the world of the show (at least, to me). I have to ask, Greg, when did you guys decide to change the font color for this three-parter?

The re-made Gillecomgain sequence is cool, despite the erroneous use of Demona's older model. I always notice that Demona's line from CITY OF STONE ("That'll teach you humans to betray us") is shortened here to just "That'll teach you humans." Was that done for time, or just to avoid getting bogged down with trying to explain the reference?
I can't help but hold a bit of fascination for Gil's father. The guy is an unsympathetic jerk, but his attitude toward the idea of "a rogue gargoyle looking for food" surprised me. He doesn't seem to view them with any of the venom or disdain (or even wonder) that we've seen others show. In fact, (like your ramble says) he just seems to view such things as a part of life. He almost reminds me of a quote attributed to W. C. Fields, "I am completely without prejudice; I hate everyone equally" (quote approximate). I guess, in that way, I dislike him a little less than I do Gillecomgain and many of the other Hunter's.

Anyway, flash forward to the present and the subway.
Yes, I did recognize Elisa in her disguise--the outfit may have been different but I'd already seen Elisa in that blonde wig, and well, "Fool me once…."
The three muggers make another of their little appearances, this time with slightly different character models: trench coats just big enough to conceal weapons (I only point this out here because I didn't really notice it until I read your memos, Greg).
The one thug's line (when threatening Elisa) about settling for a "first date" made me raise my eyebrows a bit. It's another one of those suggestive lines, and for me actually helped add another layer of realism to the scene.

We get our little list of cameos on the train (complete with a bickering session between Margot and Brendan), and then the gargoyles arrive.
One thing I've always noticed about the subway fight sequence (aside from the brief shot of Goliath with grey eyes), is that the only gargoyles who engage in any action are Goliath (who does pretty much everything), Brooklyn (who tears a hole in the ceiling only to get a shot across his arm) and Angela (who glides down to assist Brooklyn). What were Broadway and Lex given to do in all this? Play "Rock, Paper, Scissors?" And they're even the ones crowing loudest on their way home ("Are we good or what?"--I wouldn't know since you didn't DO anything!). ;-)

The third mugger's voice seems to change. When he first spoke back in the subway station he's voiced by one guy (kind of sounds like Tom Wilson) but when he pulls his gun on Goliath ("Tough luck, handsome") he's voiced by another guy (sounds like Jim Cummings). Another one of those things I always seem to notice.

You mentioned Demona's change being a bit "anime" in your ramble, Greg, and I noticed that as well, but it wasn't the only bit of "anime-like" animation I remember. When Elisa delivers her "Just some concerned citizens…with wings" line (LOVE that, BTW) and continuing through the next scene up until the gargs' arrival at the Clock Tower, the animation always struck me as having a style similar to anime. Mostly it's their eyes; the way they blink and close.

At any rate, Greg, you guys definitely established the status quo of life being good for the gargoyles at this place and time. And I was even beginning to see the Broadway/Angela relationship. I know that my brother was one of those who followed the idea of Brooklyn/Angela, and Angela's tending Brooklyn's wounds probably helped convince him, but for myself I figured it would be Broadway and Angela as soon as I saw them roosting next to each other. That's right; POSSESSION didn't influence me one way or the other, but seeing the two of them in such close proximity convinced me they were going to be an item. Just the funny way my mind works, I guess.

Now we meet Jason for the first time (and he's revealed in almost the same manner Matt was back in THE EDGE), but Elisa's reaction could not be more different (it's actually a nice little comedic beat the way she shifts gears like she does).
During the conversation in the car, it's obvious (to me at any rate) that Jason was hiding something (this is based mostly on the way he sidesteps the question of where he transferred from). One thing I notice is that although he brings up the subject of urban myths, he never mentions gargoyles. This provides an intriguing contrast with Jon's approach, which I'll get to later.

During the robbery and its subsequent chase sequence, Jason does all the things we say cops should do in that situation--he shoots the flammable material, he shoots out the tire of the getaway van. The thing is, to me, this is a subtle indication that Jason is not a real cop. I don't know for certain, but I think discharging a firearm (shooting a gun) from a moving vehicle is technically against regulations. Of course, Elisa doesn't bat an eye, but this is the gal who walked right into the men's locker room.

There are some fun moments in the chase. Elisa muttering, "My mechanic's going to love this" when she starts to drive "off-road" (said mechanic will love all the bullet holes even less). Also, the stage coach horse understandably rears up as the two vehicles pass pretty much under it's bucking legs, but the stage coach driver isn't fazed at all. I guess it's just another day at work for him.
Eventually, the cops catch the bad guys (most of them, anyway) and the new partners compliment each other's respective abilities. Then Jason offers to buy Elisa a cup of coffee. I hear that, and I think to myself, "Uh-oh." Another guy might be coming between Goliath and Elisa (unknowingly, of course). Our heroes "calm bay" has started to develop waves….

Anyway, Robyn is interviewing over at Nightstone Unlimited. I always wondered why she singled out that company as the one to infiltrate. Maybe she caught rumors about Dominique Destine's never having been seen at night….
I can definitely see the idea of her as a female Owen: stoic demeanor, "pointed" face, blue eyes, blonde hair. Give her a pair of wire frame glasses and it'd be a perfect match!
And may I just say that I love Dominique's business dress. In fact, Demona presents herself very well as a businesswoman, except when she gets angry, of course (it's almost comical when she looks about ready to rip the burglar to pieces in her business suit).
And yes, her change kicks ass. I just wish the animators had remembered to leave off her tiara.

Is it just me, or is Act 2 of this ep shorter than usual? I swear it just seems to fly by.

I love the scene of Xanatos playing with Alex while being interviewed by Matt. I did believe Xanatos when he said DI-7 was a disinfectant--I had no reason to suspect him of ulterior motives at this point. Matt, of course, tries to give his best, "I'm a good guy who knows you're dirty" barb, but Xanatos just deflects it by asking his son, "Alex, can you say 'harassment?'" Alex babbles some baby talk, and Xanatos says, "I knew that you could." I love that little moment.

Goliath's reaction to Elisa's description of her new partner always intrigued me. When she's doing nothing but complimenting him, he's smiling, even seems somewhat amused, but when she tries to downplay it, his smile vanishes. He's able to pick up on her personality quirks. Seems like they're in a relationship to me!

The gargoyles seem to be going REALLY fast when they glide past camera on their way to their stakeout locations. Just something that really struck me this time.

But now we meet Jon, posing as a reporter for WVRN. He also seems to be trying to collect information on gargoyles, but he's nowhere near as subtle as Jason. "Gargoyles" are practically the first thing Jon mentions, and the only thing he talks about. No wonder Xanatos is so suspicious.
"If you brought them before me now, I'd happily pulverize them on the spot." It's a funny thing, but I while I still believed in Xanatos's truce with the clan, I never doubted that he would love another sparring match with them.
I am surprised that Jon managed to find a piece of stone skin at the Eyrie Building, though. I mean, what with the fights in CITY OF STONE, KINGDOM, and THE GATHERING that little piece must have been on a very remote corner of the Roof not to get picked up by a cleaning crew. (I'm sorry, I don't mean to nit-pick this much, but…well, there it is!).

The gargs run into trouble at each of their respective stakeouts. I did get the little moment where Lex and Broadway point at Brooklyn in answer to the question "Who wants to explain this to Goliath." As for the bit where Demona's particle beam rifle (or whatever) is able to puncture glass and an entire van, but fails to go through Brooklyn's car door shield…I can only guess that her first few shots had drained her rifle's power cell. It's not much of an explanation but it works for me.
I love the animation of Brooklyn and Demona's fight; it's short but the play of lighting when they're struggling in the foreground and the fire's burning in the background is just wonderful.

But while the Trio and Bronx are dealing with Demona, Goliath, Hudson and Angela face the new threat. As soon as the Hunter's appeared, and I noticed there were two guys and one gal, I pretty much figured out who they were. It is interesting, for me, to compare and contrast their suits. The predominant color scheme is black and red, with a bit of blue thrown in here in there. Actually Jon and Jason's suits are almost opposites in this regard (some of the pieces of armor the two suits share are blue on Jason's suit, and red on Jon's). Of course, another difference is the manner of gloves on the costumes. Jason is the only one to wear full gloves. Jon wears none, but has full sleeves while Jason goes bare-armed. Robyn has gloves, but they don't cover her fingers, and her upper arms are bare (it leaves me to wonder how worried they were about fingerprints). . Then there are the masks. The men have the same traditional Hunter's mask, but Robyn wears a modified version, with the mouth area bare and the hair free. She shows even more skin, actually, what with her bare midriff and all.
But here I am going over the differences in their wardrobe while they're giving our heroes a really hard time.
The weapons they use against the gargs indicate the time, training, and money they put into their hunt. Seriously, they've probably brought as much technology against the gargs as Xanatos ever did. I'm especially enamored of Raptor, the robotic bird that Jon had and which, unfortunately, gets destroyed and never seen again. I can't say for certain why I like it--it strikes me as a pointlessly complicated hunting implement. Actually, now that I think on it, Raptor is the perfect weapon for Jon--after all, he just tells the thing to attack and then stands passively back while the bird does all his hunting work, as opposed to Jason and Robyn who use their own weapons.

Just before he shoots Angela with the electricity thing, Jason looks at her and narrows his eyes. This leads me to believe that he knew, even before he fired, that she wasn't "the Demon."

Later, in the airship, when one of the Hunter's (Jon, of course) brought up that the "other gargoyles might not be" evil, I was fascinated by this dissension in the ranks, so to speak. I liked that one of the Hunter's was questioning the idea of "all gargoyles" being evil, and I thought that maybe at least one of the Hunter's would end up helping the clan.
Boy, did I pick the wrong Hunter (but that comes later). For now, though, Jason is blinded by his hatred against the gargoyles. Robyn, prudently enough, takes no part in her brothers' "disagreement."

I wasn't quite sure if you guys were going to kill off Angela or not. On the one hand, I felt that you guys had too much development invested in her character to just kill her off like that. Besides, there was no way BS&P would allow it. On the other hand, you guys had surprised me in the past….
And you surprised me here, too, when Goliath swore vengeance on the Hunter's while glaring into the camera, saying, "…and I will KILL them." At that moment, I fully realized how rarely the word "kill" is used in American animation. GARGOYLES only used it once before, to my knowledge (DEADLY FORCE, where Broadway tells Goliath that he "can't kill" Dracon). Consequently, its use here had the desired effect; I knew that something had snapped inside Goliath, and he meant to do precisely what he said. Chilling.

All in all, an excellent start that left me eager for the next episode.

Greg responds...

I honestly have no memory of changing the font color. It is, I suppose, easy enough to blame my color deficiency, but the truth is I can tell red from blue. Either it was a call made by our post-production supervisor, Jeffrey Arthur or by Producer/Director Dennis Woodyard (and I either approved or didn't notice) -- or by me and it's just been too long for me to recall that I made that call.

Response recorded on February 19, 2007

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Blaise writes...

POSSESION

(Note: My ramble is a little patchier this time, most likely the result of spreading it out over a few days).

Puck gives Alex his first magic lesson, and Coldstone gets his personality problem resolved.

The opening in the Himalayas is pretty neat (I love how Coldstone takes out one robot by burrowing through the snow), and, personally, I'm kind of glad you guys didn't do the "Yeti" thing with him here (of course, I have no idea what would have happened in your lost "comic book story" set in the Himalayas (and all you've told us about it so far is that it takes place during the World Tour and features Coldstone) so I have no idea if you were going to do the "Coldstone-pretending-to-be-Yeti" thing or not).
One thing I noticed: the Steel Clan's POV shots are very different from how they were in the first season (there it was green night vision, here it's some sort of red vision). I guess I kind of like the style of the first season better there--just a personal preference.
One thing of note, this is the last appearance of the Steel Clan robots and Xanatos's gargoyle armor in the whole series.

Loved the "Bewitched" reference. Also loved the "gargoyle-teddy bear."
It would have been nice if the mention of the opera "Otello" had made it into the episode, but there's only so much time available.

Somehow, I kind of figured out who "Goliath" and "Hudson" really were before they revealed themselves. Although Puck may do a better Goliath than Proteus, he still doesn't sound quite like Goliath (and he smiles way too much). And, as soon as I guessed who "Goliath" was, it was fairly easy to deduce who "Hudson" was (and notice that he didn't say a word at all the whole time).

Actually, I was able to guess a lot about where things were going, especially when I heard about the "soul transference" bit. And as soon as Coldstone started working without any of his three souls, I kind of figured Puck was the one pulling the strings. Lex getting possessed I hadn't expected, but as soon as it happened, there was really only one character it could have been. And when Coldsteel and Coldfire were revealed, I kind of figured what the ending would be.

So, for me, this became more about character than plot. It was also a great way to listen to the actors performing a different character with the same voice. Kudos to the cast members for their wonderful work.
I, too, noticed that Desdemona seemed more reluctant than Othello to remain in their new bodies. Here, as in HIGH NOON and even in LEGION, she sometimes takes on the role of conscience and voice of reason for Othello. She compliments her mate very well.
And, as in those previous episodes (and RE-AWAKENING) Othello shows himself to be a little more selfish. In the end he tends to make the right decision (albeit with a fair amount of prodding). Actually, now that I think about it, I wonder if most people in the world aren't like Othello.

Great little moment: Othello/Broadway: "I had forgotten the warm touch of your hand…the sweet scent of your hair."
Angela/Desdemona: "But…it is not my hair."

And then Iago/Brooklyn arrives to whisper in their ears (isn't that what all Iagos do?). I love his little "Oh, yes, that's a plus" after Othello/Broadway talks about "the evil one" being gone.
Another note: at both the Clock Tower and Lady Liberty, when Broadway/Othello mentions "the evil one," the camera is on Brooklyn. I just noticed that here.

I love it how the ensorcelled Bronx just trots away and plops down next to the bound and gagged Lexington. It's just one of those cases where you can almost feel Lex's frustration.

Looking over your outline, Greg, I find myself rereading the ultimately discarded scene of Iago/Brooklyn hooking Lex up to a death trap and "telling his evil plot." Mostly just because of the brief bit of how he would "use his position as Goliath's right hand to destroy Goliath and rule the clan." I thought this extra bit of plotting was rather interesting because we know so little about Iago's goals beyond taking Desdemona.
Truth be told, he has always intrigued me because, in many ways he is the only "natural-born" evil gargoyle we've met so far in the series. I mean, we see Demona's tragic past and how she was "made a villain" so to speak; Yama was only misguided and foolish, but tries to repent; and Thailog (and even the rest of the clones) were more-or-less created to be what they became. Iago is the only gargoyle we know of who has been evil without any real explanation and for this reason (as well as the fact that he was a villain in their "old life" along with the Archmage) he fascinates me. I would have loved to see more of him in the "DARK AGES" spin-off, and I am hoping to see more of Coldsteel in the comic.

Overall though, comparing the outline to the episode, I'm kind of glad you guys just simplified beats 15 and 16. That added business about the Coldstone shell developing its own personality--while admittedly intriguing--was a bit superfluous (especially since we the audience already know Puck's behind it).

I love Lex's groan, "Twice in one night…". I feel sorry for the poor little guy-ensorcelled, jumped from behind, trussed up, and jumped from behind again! And after all that, he gets possessed himself! Of course, in this case, the new tenant is a pleasant one.

Iago/Brooklyn: "I'm sure she'll be heartbroken at first, but these new bodies should help ease the pain." For me, that is one of the most suggestive lines in the series. And hey, Iago knows how to say "good-bye" in French!

"By the Dragon!" This is the closest we get to any sort of "oath" in the series (well…there's "Jalapena" but I'm not counting that… ;-)). I still wonder what exactly this phrase is referencing.

Alex/Lex unties Hudson and Goliath, dropping them on their heads. Goliath's response: "Well, that's one way to do it." This stands out to me because it's one of the few times Goliath makes a joke or other humorous statement.

Othello/Broadway confronts Iago/Brooklyn by saying, "Brooklyn's body does not belong to you. Give it back!"
A rather hypocritical statement since he himself was seriously considering keeping Broadway's body a bare few moments ago. Now that I think of it, I wonder if Iago might not be referencing that when he retorts, "So that I can return to cyberspace or fade away into nothing? Is that the choice *you* were leaning towards?" Othello/Broadway looks like he's about to hit him, but then just drops him instead.

I love how Iago complains about Brooklyn's "fighting skills." If Iago's in control, shouldn't that mean it's Iago's fighting skills that are being used?

I was very pleased you guys got Coldsteel and Coldfire's voice-actors (Xander Berkeley and C.C.H. Pounder) to do the one or two lines each character had in their actual voice.

Brooklyn: "And this 'scrawny gargoyle' will be waiting!"
Reading over the outline, I was pleased you guys decided to have Brooklyn remember the experience. His line "I remember every creepy thing that jerk made me do" kind of highlights the sort of violation he must have felt at that. As a result, I'm left wondering how much the others remember of their possessions. Lex obviously seems to remember being inhabited by Alex, but what about Broadway and Angela? They did seem at least mildly surprised to "come back to themselves" while in an embrace (not that they seemed upset…).

Lex about Alex passing his lesson: "He had a little help."
I always took this to mean that Alex used Lex's language facilities (as well as motor skills) to properly cast the spell. But I wonder how well Alex understood what he was saying. As a child, I learned the Pledge of Allegiance word-for-word, but for years they were only a collection of words in a certain order. I never really thought about what they actually said. I wonder if it's the same for Alex and the spell.

I love Goliath's tired "Let's go home."

Going back to the outline again, beat 17 has Xanatos being momentarily surprised and/or confused by Owen's explanation that "the Coldstone dilemma has been solved." I never saw that in the actual episode myself. Actually, I've wondered if Xanatos's earlier "Bewitched" reference might not have been just a long shot by Xanatos of planting an idea in Owen's head. Of course, maybe I'm just giving Xanatos way to much credit on that score.

This is a good, solid ep all-around with great characters and performances.

Greg responds...

Always take the outlines with a grain of salt, at least. Only the final episode is canon.

Response recorded on February 19, 2007

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Blaise writes...

THE RECKONING

And once more, on with the Rambling!

I always found the revelation that this episode was originally supposed to be a two-part season finale kind of interesting. There certainly is a lot here that would work perfectly for a season finale (a mass battle between our heroes and their clones/counterparts, the actual meeting between Demona and Angela), and I will personally admit that I would have LOVED for this to have been a two-parter (there's just so much crammed into this one episode!). On the other hand, it is missing an element that I would consider important to any GARGOYLES season finale: Xanatos.
Sure, he would have been a bit superfluous to this ep, but considering that the season began with him as the "main villain" it seems only natural to me that he should play some part in any finale the season might have.

Anyway, onto the episode itself….

An interesting aspect about the episode's opening shot is that it changes to a POV shot through binoculars. Now, just who was spying on our heroes here? I would have to guess, Thailog, myself. Demona's already encased in her "clever tin can" robbing the Golden Cup (you'd think the government people running the place would realize that hiding in plain sight isn't working anymore).

Demona's exo-frame has a very unique design to it--bubble cockpit, hole for her tail, etc. It's also interesting just for the fact that this is the first time she's used it, and I find myself wondering why. Up until now, she's used spells, a poison dart gun, particle beam cannons, and occasionally a mace. Now here's the exo-frame. Part of the plan, maybe? Oh well, it makes for some great action.

Animation nit: Demona electrocutes Brooklyn, and the little electric aura stays around Demona for the remainder of the fight without seeming to affect anyone else. It is a bit distracting.

I have to admit, I did misread Angela's concern for Brooklyn here, a little bit. I realize I've used the excuse of "falling back on expectations for animated action/adventure shows" before, but it really is my chief explanation for misreading things like this.

I loved the tidbit about gargoyle culture concerning their punishments (nice to finally have that). And I was pleased that Brooklyn was the one who came up with a place to keep Demona, and I knew that it would involve the Mutates. But I didn't know it was the Labyrinth. Why? Because I had still not seen THE CAGE or KINGDOM by this point and had no idea it even existed. Consequently, this was my first view of the "new" Maggie, Claw and Fang (I had seen "new" Talon in UPGRADE). Somehow, I recognized that they were in the old Cyberbiotics underground lab. I also wasn't surprised to discover that one of the Mutates was a bad guy (I saw this coming since the scene in METAMORPHOSIS where the as-yet-unnamed-Fang indicated his enjoyment of his new body). Still, it always drove me crazy that I had missed out on those stories during their first run. Ah, well….

One thing that jumped out at me on this viewing was Elisa's line, "Do you know what you're committing yourself to?" in reference to guarding Demona. It is kind of easy to miss the sheer enormity of the task they are setting for themselves (guarding an immortal sorceress around the clock).

Angela wants to take the first watch--understandable, especially since she hasn't had the same experiences with Demona the others have. Goliath, just as understandably, tries to dissuade her, which only makes her angry. In the end, Hudson showcases why he's the "wise one" by giving Angela the first watch, but with an admonition that Demona "is capable of anything." And it is that warning that Angela flashes back to over THREE MONTHS LATER when she and her clan are facing certain death because of Demona.

When Demona awakens she leaps at Angela and latches onto the bars of her prison. Angela is understandably taken aback--Demona does indeed look ferocious. She's literally climbing the bars, snarling, wings flapping…but her eyes are not glowing. A subtle hint, perhaps, that this part, at least, is an act.
I do find myself thinking that Demona's disbelief over Angela's identity is more real than feigned, even if Sevarius has already clued her in about Angela's parentage. As you've said, Greg, knowing something and experiencing it are two different things.
At this point, Angela actually perks up and starts to tell Demona about Avalon, only for Demona to rant about humans stealing away "our children." Angela tries to disabuse her of that idea and explains that the Princess is a part of her clan "just as you are." It's almost sad how optimistic Angela is about Demona. I can almost hear Angela thinking to herself, "No matter what she's done, I know I'll be the one to redeem her."
Demona, starts trying to win over Angela, even trying to guilt her into it ("If you are *truly* my daughter…").
There is something a little melodramatic about all this…which makes it a wonderful moment when Fang interrupts the mood and observes "You chicks are better than soaps!"

I love the way Fang counts the days.

Demona unleashes the mosquito and suddenly the rest of the mosquito attacks from earlier in the episode take on a more ominous tone.
I loved seeing Sevarius again (why not, it's more Tim Curry!), but Thailog! Ah, that magnificent bastard. On my first viewing, I realized by this point that we would be taking on the clones of the rest of the clan, and was quite pleased by the prospect. A little…"shadow-boxing," shall we say, is always fun.

Actually, it's amazing how calm Sevarius seems around Thailog here, considering that the gargoyle tried to kill him the previous year. Amazing what a briefcase full of money can do. Of course, Sevarius offers the fruits of his experience about "programming" the clones, "Keep it simple. You don't want to end up with another you."
And during this time, Angela is trying to talk to Demona about the latter's crimes. I love Demona's line here: "How can you judge me? You have been hiding on a magical island while I have been living in the real world." Demona may be in the wrong about a LOT of things, but that is a pretty good point.

Demona starts to change (into a human), Fang rushes to watch and after it's over remarks, "Kinky." One would think he'd be used to it by now seeing as he's been her neighbor for FIVE WEEKS!! I guess, like Elisa's reaction to the gargs' awakenings, he never gets tired of it.

Now, I have to dwell on something about this episode that is real easy to miss. It takes place over the course of THREE MONTHS. That's actually a fair amount of time if you think about it. I find myself wondering about Demona and Angela's conversations, what things were like with the other gargoyles when they stood guard (particularly Goliath, Brooklyn and Hudson), Demona's full reaction to the Mutates (man, I would LOVE to see that) and about any of the adventures going on topside.
A lot can happen in three months…then again, a lot of nothing can also happen in three months.

Anyway, eventually the "breakout" occurs and even Fang gets freed. I love his reactions when he thinks Demona's going to fry him. Not just his lines (which are good and already transcribed elsewhere) but also the fact that he tries to hide under his bed sheet! And when Demona frees him, saying that "he's a fool but he might be useful" Fang immediately pipes up, "I can work with that!"

I am intrigued by what appears to be continued tension between Goliath and Talon. When the two track the escapees to the fun house, Goliath tells Talon to stay there while he goes to get reinforcements (I doubt Goliath realized he sounded like he was giving an order). Talon doesn't seem too happy about this arrangement, though he does make the best of it (scouting the place out). When I first saw this, I had left Talon still blaming the gargoyles for his mutation; so seeing them on friendly terms was a bit of a jump for me. This moment sort of "threw me back" as it were to the previous dynamic.

Anyway, our heroes make the classic horror movie mistake of splitting up to enter the not really deserted fun house, and they pay the price.

The clones themselves are a unique bunch in that they are not exact copies of the heroes, and I'm not just referring to coloring here. Burbank looks to have slightly broader shoulders and a narrower waist than Hudson, in addition to more hair and a longer beard (and a mace instead of a sword). Hollywood (and I just KNEW Broadway's clone would be named Hollywood) seems a bit larger than Broadway, and all the clones have bits and pieces of armor that the originals don't have.
Beyond that, the new clones are even different than Thailog. While Thailog may have different skin, hair, and even eye coloring (red instead of white corneas) than Goliath, his pupils are a natural black, his teeth a natural white, and his tongue and mouth a natural red/pink color. The new clones, however, have black teeth (indicative of a black skeleton), off-white pupils (indicative to me, at least, that they might literally see the world differently) and even discolored mouths. In this way, they are even more "freakish" than Thailog. I suppose it has to do with the fact that Thailog's gestation period was nearly a year, while these guys were rushed through in about three months or so.
But I digress….

The good guys are captured, and then shackled where they regain consciousness. Apparently, Thailog and Demona didn't want our heroes dead right away. Demona obviously wanted to show off her "new clan" (and turn Angela towards her side), while Thailog, I have come to believe, was testing Demona. After all, Angela didn't have to be first, and Thailog's little revelation that Demona knew about Angela since the beginning seemed to be a little too informative for it to have been accidental. This of course incenses Angela, who shows that she takes betrayal about as well as either of her parents.
"I hate you." Angela's eyes even glowed while she said it. And it really hurts Demona, who nevertheless will still not let Thailog kill her.

Delilah is revealed, and she is perhaps the most "normal" looking clone we have seen so far. I mean, not only are her teeth, mouth, and pupils the proper colors, even the corneas of her eyes are white! She looks more natural than Thailog, in other words. Since her gestation was the same as the rest of the new clones, I can only guess that Elisa's human DNA had something to do with this.
Leaving that aside for the moment, Delilah is a VERY attractive mixture of her two "mothers," and her very presence has offered us, the fans, endless speculations about Demona's reaction to her (a hybrid of herself and that most hated human) and Thailog's reasoning in creating her (a hybrid of the two loves of Goliath's life). I also love hearing Salli Richardson doing a gargoyle roar.

The worm turns, or in this case Demona does, and sets the heroes free while she goes after Thailog (who manages to do fairly well at first considering who he's up against). The rest of the heroes mix and match their enemies-the only "counterparts" who face off against each other are Talon and Fang (who inadvertently start the fire). An interesting bit here is that, while Talon's electric blasts are the usual blue/white color all the Mutates' blasts have been up to this point, Fang's are a more red/orange color. Not that I'm complaining, I actually kind of like the distinction from an aesthetic point of view (it's kind of like the color-coded lightsabers).

There are actually some fun, comical moments with the "clone wars." Hollywood's expression just before he crashes into the "test your strength" game, and Burbank and Brentwood's crashing into each other (it doesn't just work on robots!) are particular highlights (as well as Brooklyn's rather vehement "It's all over you…FORGERY!" to Malibu).
I do wish we had been able to see more of Angela and Delilah's "cat fight." What can I say; I can be a shallow guy sometimes.

Eventually, our good guys win, though Demona and Thailog do a "did they die?" disappearing act. The clones (who have some kind of slight reverb to their voice) are lost without the one their programming tells them to obey, and the gargs aren't comfortable around them, so Talon takes them in. This makes perfect sense, seeing as how he has turned the Labyrinth into a homeless shelter, and he promises to teach them to think for themselves, "and use verbs" (a nice little bit, that).
Maybe it's because I like Brooklyn, but I was always a little disappointed that Malibu never got any actual lines.

Angela and Goliath have their moment of doubt over Demona's fate, and Angela feels awful that "I hate you" may be the last thing she ever said to her mother. Now, I admit that, since I knew Demona was going to survive, I didn't quite get into this sentiment as much as maybe you guys would have liked me to, but I did like that Goliath mentioned that Demona's love for Angela was "the first sign of goodness that she has shown in a long, long time." Even "a new beginning," perhaps.

This is a really great episode, and I hope my (extremely overlong) ramble does it justice. I just wish it could have been a two-parter--that is the only real complaint I have with this ep, and that only exists because I found out it was originally supposed to be such.

Greg responds...

Heck, I wish EVERY episode could have been an hour instead of a half. But whachagonnado?

Response recorded on February 16, 2007

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E J writes...

I don't usually respond-ramble, but I feel kind of compelled to now that we're running out of show. But also because the Hunter's Moon tryptich is probably my favorite episode of the series.

Unfortunately, I first saw the show twelve years ago (I was ten), and I've watched these episodes a million times since then, so it's difficult to know what I was thinking the time around. It's like the Empire Strikes Back problem; you really can't go back to not knowing how that one ends.

Probably why I'm looking forward to Gargoyles #3.

What impresses me most about Hunter's Moon is how it takes several different storylines to their logical extremes. The last thing I expected in the final episode was to see a vengeful, homocidal Goliath. Very ballsy of you guys to break out a new side of the lead protagonist in the final episode of the series. I've certainly always respected the willingness of the series to demonstrate that these are dynamic characters. I do remember what I was thinking the first time I heard Goliath's last line in part 1, and it blew my mind. To be honest, it starts as a standard empty-threatish cliffhanger line, and I mostly expected it to end with something benign like "And I will make them pay." In fact, that's exactly what I expected next. It is always appreciated when television manages to surprise, so kudos on that last line. Superb.

Demona's plan is also the logical extension of what she's tried to do in already, first to eradicate the humans at Wyvern then to destroy New York. Just like Goliath's concept of what he should protect keeps growing, so does Demona's concept of what she should destroy. I love it.

A final episode usually has a fair amount of hype to live up to, in terms of both scope and closure. (I've always thought of TNG as an example of one that did it right, but that might just be my opinion. I'm also a fan of The Fugitive finale.) Hunter's Moon raised the stakes LOGICALLY to their extreme, so it manages to feel like an episode of the series and a worthy finale at the same time.

Greg responds...

Thanks. We tried!

Response recorded on February 16, 2007

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Twiggess writes...

My "Hunter's Moon Part 1 Ramble"
This is the only HM I've seen ( I don't know if any of you remember, but ABC family stopped showing Gargoyles after HM2-talk about a mean cliff hanger for the curfue-challenged!)
Me and my friend Danielle have always refered to what you called "the barn" scene as the apple scene, due to Demona's lovely table manners (yuck!)
I saw this one before City of Stone, but it was still very easy to follow. I noticed, however, in this flashback she's seems more middle aged than she did in CS. (Oh, the wrinkles. The stress of her life as a guilt-ridden refugee does NOT cause her to age very well, does it? I recall yelling something along the lines of "Macbeth, Macbeth, where for art thou, Macbeth?! Come forth and give this poor soul thy youth so my eyes can stop BLEEDING!" at the screen.)
Kids can be so cruel.
Danielle (who had already seen every episode) pointed Elisa in her wig before I really registered her. I think I suspected, though.
I still remember the commercials with "concerned citizens with wings" tagline. Oh, for the good old days!
Being preteen girls, we were really more concerned about how hot Jason was to really establish whether or not he was evil. I think Dani had already told me, but until I discovered TGS we never realized that Robyn was the girl Hunter, so I can't be sure. (don't take this too personally-sometimes I wonder what Gargoyles Danielle has been watching. When I first started to pump her about "Sanctuary", she told me Thailog had put a spell on Demona so that she would have amnesia during the day and she actually fell in love with Macbeth, only to remember him when she turned into a gargoyle after the wedding and pounce on him. ???? I think she may have just been trying to save my feelings or something, since at that time I thought McB and D were meant to be.)
In any case, we were too busy quibbling over who got Jason to really pay much attention to the scene (Danielle: Dude, he's so cute, I want him! Me: But you already called dibs on Xanatos! You can't have both! Dani (rolls eyes): Oh, fine, whatever. But you know he gets shot, right? Me: SO?)
Your the Greg Master. If gargess is a word, so is denially. :)
Okay, Brimstone Inc? DIERDRE (is that even French?) Greg, honey, can I just whole-heartedly thank you for having these names changed? I don't know, I guess it's because I'm so used to Nightstone and Dominique but both of the other one's just seem so- dry and corprate. Which I guess is the point, but it just didn't SUIT her (or Thailog, for that matter.) Plus I really love the name Dominique Destine. It's so brillant in it's irony- Demona always tries to dominate her destiny, but destiny just always seems to dominate HER.
Cut to Robyn. I remember this scene vividly, as it is was my first time seeing Demona in her human form. (Danielle: That's Demona. *camera angle moves* Me-pointing at Robyn-:The blonde one? *camera angle moves back* Danielle-pointing at DD-: No, you idiot, the redhead!)
Opps. Danielle and I both loved Robyn. Many a dull afternoon was spent making up stories about a forbidden corprate romance between she and Owen, given both of their stiff demeanors. I was crushed when I found out she wasn't really a mild-mannered assistant. I even thought for awhile that you picked the name Robyn after Puck's alias in "A MidSummer Night's Dream." It still works out pretty good, I think. (Did you ever notice the whole Robin Goodfellow thing?)
One line that I loved that you left out of your ramble was when Dominique was threatening Rutherford (is that his name? I'm not sure where I got that from, but I hear it referenced from time to time.) She dangles him by the neck (unless my memory is exaggerating) and yells at him for some screw up or other, glances over her shoulder at the setting sun and says, "You're lucky I treat my employees with dignity and respect."
This right before she throws him bodily from the room. I love it. Classic Demona. I was cracking up so hard I barely remember the transformation, just a ripped suit and her panting, "Do it yourself." Commercial.
Totally never thought they'd kill off Angie (um, I believe Dani might have mentioned something earlier about that whole "CPR- the gift that keeps on giving" line before I watched this, but I can't remember. If I hadn't had prior knowledge, I still don't think I would have thought her dead.)
I think this was one of the first 10 episodes I'd ever seen (surely one of the 1st 20), so I didn't completely understand what a big deal it was to see Goliath crave vengence like that. They attacked his daughter, and given what we normally see in cartoons it seemed like a natural course of action to seek retrubtion (spelling, yet again)
But of course, Gargoyles is NOT an ordinary cartoon. And in hindsight, oh boy- POWERFUL words, man. They had to be spoken. At some point, Goliath NEEDED to be confronted with the same emotional trails that corrupted Demona. So he could rise above them, and become a better garg for it.
Like Demmie goes on to say, they're really not that different, when it comes down to it.
Which kinda gives you both fear (for him) and hope (for her.)
P.s.: Saw "F for Facades" last night. Tell your brother kudos for me. It rocked! Hope the Weisman bloodline continues to thrive in writing and more. :)

Greg responds...

As I assume you know, we stuck with Dominique and Nightstone. And, yep, I'm aware of the Robin Goodfellow name. But the name Rutherford means nothing to me.

And thanks, I'll pass the word on to Jon.

Response recorded on February 13, 2007

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the ramble on "Hunter's Moon Part One", Greg. Here are a few comments on it.

I liked the opening flashback with Gillecomgain, filling in a little more about him - such as his very unpleasant father. And we see Gillecomgain vowing to wipe out the entire gargoyle race (over a few facial scars that a single gargoyle gave him - this is a definite case of "a life for an eye", so to speak).

One of the things that I like about "Hunter's Moon" is the feature that you mentioned - those deliberate hearkenings back to "Awakening". (And Season One in general as well - Elisa gets saddled with a new partner by Chavez and is initially less than thrilled about it, there are mentions of the Daily Tattler and the urban legend about alligators in the sewers, the robbery that Elisa and Jason break up is in the same area where Dracon's gang stole the particle beam accelerators from Xanatos at the start of "Deadly Force", etc.) I liked the hearkening back with the gargoyles and Elisa again rescuing the yuppies (and a few other familiar faces this time) from those three street thugs - and the rescuees being ungrateful as usual. (I also get a kick out of Margot saying "Great idea, Brendan. Ride the subway, meet interesting people." Well, they did get to meet a lot of interesting people, many of whom had wings.)

I didn't recognize Elisa until her blonde wig came off - and I'd already seen that wig in "Turf". I really need to be more observant.

One tidbit in Demona's interview with Robyn that I get a kick out of is that Robyn's references are from Edinburgh, Florence, and the Sorbonne - and the flashbacks of the three parts of this story are set in Scotland, Florence, and Paris.

I did get the brief visual joke of Broadway and Lexington looking accusingly at Brooklyn (and nice echo back to the incident with Vinnie's motorcycle).

One of my favorite details in Part One is the Hunters' robot falcon - pity that we didn't get to see it again.

I can no longer remember what my initial thoughts were about Jason when he showed up - or if I even connected him (or Robyn or Jon) with the Hunters in Part One. I did pick up on the way that the Canmores' aliases all began with a hard C, the same as their real surname. (Jumping ahead - that's why I suspected right away, when I first saw "The Journey", that Castaway was linked to the Canmores, the moment that I heard his name.)

One thing that I *definitely* remember was my response to Goliath's vow at the end of Part One to kill the Hunters. I was absolutely horrified at him - so much so that I was worrying far more about it than over whether Angela was going to live or not.

Now I'm looking forward to your rambles on Parts Two and Three....

Greg responds...

That shock value at the end of the episode was exactly what we were going for. And a good example of how great an S&P executive Adrienne Bello was. No S&P exec I've worked with before or since would have let us use the word "kill".

Response recorded on February 13, 2007

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Twiggess writes...

I'll try to keep this short, as I kinda already gave my 2 cents yesterday.
I didn't catch the Star Trek reference at the time, b/c I hadn't heard of that episode. Now that I've seen clips of it, I realize it was a brillant (for want of a better term) spinoff. Although I think over all the Angie-Desie-Broad-Cold kiss was better than Kirk and Uhura (spelling, sorry- that chick who voiced Diane! That'll work!)'s. I mean, I haven't seen the whole Star Trek episode, so I don't know what the alien's relationship was like, but those 2 were so freakin SHAKY. They looked like they were having a seizure out of passion, or something.
(I am sorry if this offends any Treky's out there. Like I said, I haven't seen anything but a 5 minute clip of the kiss. I'm much more of a Next Generation gal, anyway. Two words: MARINA SIRTIS. Plus it's really fun to see "Xanatos" and "Demona" flirting.)
I'm assuming you left Ms. S out of the TNG voice credits in your ramble cuz she wasn't in the episode. I'm cool with that, and I realize that if you gave credit to all the Star Trek voices, we would be here all day.
So yeah. I'm not really a big Cold trio fan (although I am a big fan of Coldstone's icecream-sorry, couldn't resist! I think of Micheal Dorn whenever I go in that creamery now!), but this episode was okay. And I was really excited that I finally got to see Angela (even if she WASN'T white with red hair like I always imagined. Don't ask me WHY.)
Oh and one little confession: Before I could remember what her name was, I used to call Coldfire "Starfish Face." I sincerely apologize for this crudeness. I never really got a good enough look at her, and I thought her horns kinda made her look like she had a starfish on her head. I really hope the animators and fellow fans forgive me for this, as when I got a better view of her in "City of Stone" and "Legion", I realized she was actually quite pretty.
OK, so that's my confession for the day (again, REALLY REALLY sorry!) Now I better go before some random Treky or Desdemona fan gets some vitual tar and feathers for me!
P.S.: Was it ever confusing to have both a Demona AND a Desdemona? I realize that other than in the first "City of Stone" they never had an episode together (CF wasn't in "Reawakening, was she?) but it's still seems like kind of a nusiance to me.
P.P.S: Have i mentioned I'M SORRY?!

Greg responds...

The episode with the famous Kirk-Uhura kiss was not the episode I was referring to as inspiration. I'm talking about an episode guest starring Diana Muldaur.

Desdemona was never a name used in dialogue.

Response recorded on February 09, 2007

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Abby writes...

I enjoyed your ramble on "Possession." This episode holds a special place for me as one of the very first I saw. In your "pre-ramble" you mention the complexity of this one - imagine the confusion to someone unfamiliar with the characters! But this complexity is part of what drew me to the series and why I still enjoy it so much. I still catch new things when I watch this episode.

I did, however, immediately notice the "Bewitched" reference as well as the parallels to the Star Trek body-switching episode (which helped me better understand what was going on, especially on repeat viewings). I'd wondered if the inspiration for the switching triangle came from Trek; thanks for the clarification! (Incidentally, that Trek episode was called "Return to Tomorrow." I much prefer "Possession" - it's a much better description of the action, and made me think of that old line "possession is nine-tenths of the law" when the characters were tempted to keep their new bodies).

I also prefer the "Gargoyles" resolution to the dilemma of where to put the newly-transferred personalities. In Trek they go off into oblivion, having decided our species isn't ready for them yet. But "Possession" offers the prospect of future stories with these characters.

I enjoyed seeing Alex's winged plushie and the expressions on Broadway's and Angela's faces when Othello and Desdemona leave them mid-embrace.

Other one liners I like are from Michael Dorn (Puck-as-Coldstone): "I trust you have no more questions" and "Wouldn't you like to know."

Thanks for the ramble.

Greg responds...

We were heavily inspired by that particular Star Trek episode, but I do hope that we made it our own, so to speak. Organic to our series. And not slavish to the inspiration.

Response recorded on February 08, 2007

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for your "Possession" ramble, Greg. (Just think - all that you've got left is "Hunter's Moon" and you're done with Season Two!) A few comments.

That opening with Xanatos hunting Coldstone down in the Himalayas makes more sense to me now that I know about that Marvel Comic story that you were going to write but never got to do.

The first time that I saw the episode, I initially thought that what Xanatos and Owen were trying to do (and needed more than technology to do) was repairing Coldstone after the damage done in the recent battle, but afterwards I understood that their goal was transferring Desdemona and Iago to Coldfire and Coldsteel. (And I agree that it would be like Xanatos to say "Chin up" to Coldstone while his head is disconnected from the rest of him.)

I like Alex's winged teddy bear, too.

I agree that Coldfire is a much better name than Goldfire; it certainly fits the pattern with Coldstone and Coldsteel in the way that Goldfire wouldn't. (It even makes me wonder how "Goldfire" was even a candidate to begin with.)

Another thing that I picked up on in later viewings was the consequences of Brooklyn's "Me three - except that you don't need three" line.

One of the big elements for me in the episode is how the voice actors demonstrate their versatility (as you pointed out); instead of taking the customary approach in cartoons of "when people switch minds, they also switch voice actors", we here got to hear, say, Bill Faggerbakke and Brigitte Bako altering their delivery to sound more like Michael Dorn and C. C. Pounder. And it was a very admirable performance.

One of my favorite bits: Puck-as-Coldstone saying, "Naughty, naughty, sneaking up like that on Uncle Coldstone". (As much from how Dorn delivered it as from the actual words.)

And I think that we can all agree that this is just the way that Puck *would* educate Alex.

Again, thanks for the ramble.

Greg responds...

Thank you.

I can never praise our voice cast (and voice director) Jamie Thomason enough. We were constantly presenting them with new challenges, and they ALWAYS rose to the occassion.

Response recorded on February 08, 2007

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Twiggess writes...

Ah, good ol' Possession. Oi, what a headache THAT was. Still, there's a little special place in my garg-lovin heart for this episode, as it was the first I ever saw with Angela in it (I started watching Gargoyles in summer 2004. Techincally the first WHOLE episode I ever saw was "Outfoxed", although I remember seeing the scene in "Long Way till Morning" where Hutson renounces his leadership to Goliath while channel surfing some years previous. "Outfoxed" was on at night, while about 2 weeks later "Posession" was on ABC Family on Saturday morning, to explain the long episode gap.)
Anyway. I was scratching my head a bit while watching this episode, but I thought over all the sentiment was sweet. And, in hindsight, the whole Brook/Iago thing was a good metaphor for Brooklyn's jealousy of Broadway and Angela. Nicely done.
Of course, it's always wonderful to see the Puck in action ;) I wish we could have seen more of that little guy in the series. Particularly along side Demona (amazingly, I'm not just saying this as an excuse have more Demona eps!) I mean, those two TOTALLY stole the show in "The Mirror." Yes, yes, the sexual tension between E and G was all very lovely but COME ON! That's like EVERYBODY's favorite episode (which I didn't get to ramble on, so sorry I'm losing focus on "possession.")
ANYWAY (pardon my short attention span), I don't really remember this episode too well since I only saw it once 2 years ago and I was too busy trying to figure out what the heck was going on and who was in who's body to pick up on the minor details (alright, plus I was secretly hoping Demona would show up at some random moment, that way if I didn't understand anything at least I'd get to see her. I didn't know about "The Reckoning" at that point. Sue me!) I do remember liking Xanatos' "wiggle your nose" line, which I still think is funny. I had heard from Danielle, my gargoyle mentor who got me into the show in the first place, about Puck but like Angie I don't think I had seen him prior to this episode.
Okay, to sum up, great episode, great series, created by a great guy named Greg (isn't iliteration fun? Particularly when it's spelled incorrectly?) and I'm hoping for a GREAT comeback! SPREAD THE WORD ( to quote X in "Reawakening", "I've ALWAYS wanted to say that.")

Greg responds...

Thanks. Possession was fun to work on, juggling all the misdirection.

Response recorded on February 08, 2007

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Harvester of Eyes writes...

Hi, Greg.

I just read your ramble on "The Reckoning," which is one of my favorite episodes, and just wanted to contribute my two cents. Ever since "Sanctuary," I had been wondering what would happen when Demona and Angela met again, and I'm happy to say that this episode did not disappoint. For an episode with a very large supporting cast (that also introduced several new characters to boot), it carried itself amazingly well.

It flowed wonderfully, and as you pointed out, contained a lot of memorable lines. Jim Belushi is not my favorite actor, but I loved him as the voice of Fang. I think Fang just might be one of his best roles. His delivery of the one-liners was superb.

If I had to pick a favorite visual moment, it would have to be the shot of Demona, Thailog, and the clones right before the end of the second act. It was like looking at a negative photographic image of Goliath's clan. Very chilling.

A few things I found interesting: Thailog and Sevarius in the same room together. I suppose it's not too surprising, since mentally, Thailog was programmed with Xanatos's slant on life. Xanatos kept the gargoyles alive because he thought they'd be useful (or I'm just going by what he told Goliath at the end of "City of Stone"). Similarly, I'm wondering if that was Thailog's line of thinking when Sevarius was hired to engineer the clones: the doctor does come in handy.

Also, concerning the relationship between Demona and Angela: I think that Demona does love Angela. But I find it interesting that she told Goliath to save their daughter instead of doing it herself. The thing she seemed more solidly focused on was punishing Thailog, because Thailog had just delivered a double whammy by not only ending their relationship, but also splicing her DNA with the human she seems to hate most. It almost looks like Demona loves revenge more than Angela. I look forward to seeing what happens between them in the comic. Your comments on those three small words were very intriguing.

All in all, a very well-done episode that exceeded my expectations. I will be posting comments on the new comic at a later date, but for now, let me just say thanks, and best of luck with your future endeavors.

Greg responds...

Jim is also an extremely nice guy and really fun to work with. And I tend to agree with you. Fang may have been one of his best cast roles ever.

Response recorded on February 06, 2007

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KingCobra_582 writes...

The Reckoning. Ah, yes. Great episode, one of my favorites. It was on TV the other morning. Unfortunately, we have satelite and it was storming out when it was on. *grumbles*

Anyway.

There were some great lines present here:

"My clan can beat your clan any day of the week."
"Some of my best friends are half-gargoyle, half-human babes with bad attitudes!"
"It's all over, you... you forgery!"
"Oh, but it's a very clever tin can."
"That doesn't sound like a subway car."

All classics. :-)

When I was younger, I used to stubbornly think that little moment between Brooklyn and Angela meant more then it did. Of course, I know otherwise now.

I loved Thailog's deviousness in this episode. Throwing Delilah in Demona's face, and Demona's reaction. I actually felt bad for Demona for a change. And, of course, I was blown away by her change in mannerisms ("Goliath, save our daughter!") when she actually helped save her former clan. I'd never have seen that coming. Especially after Angela's "I hate you." You always know how to surprise me, Greg.

I was never the biggest fan of Talon, though I never really hated him either. But he really started to come into his own when fighting Fang. Nice. Same for Angela vs. Delilah.

I always had trouble swallowing that the clan believed Demona dead even AFTER they already knew she was immortal, but that's a minor point.

9.5 out of 10 for one of my favorite episodes.

The comic was (is) a great read, also. A lot of people have commented on the art, but it doesn't bother me any. I'm not an art critic by any means, but still. Thanks for the 2 added scenes too. I'm looking forward to issue #2 and beyond. May the comic go on for years. :)

Greg responds...

Your mouth to God's ear, my friend.

Response recorded on February 05, 2007

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Twiggess writes...

Hi Greg! It's a shame, I know, but due to the unrealistic time Toon Disney has Gargoyles on (not that I'm complaining- i'm just glad it's still on @ all!) I have never actually SEEN the Reckoning. But i've read enough reviews and rambles and pumped my friend who HAS seen it that I feel confident enough to write a TINY little ramble.
I love Fang's lines in this one, and I would just personally like to thank whatever wonderful censor let "Kinky" slip. Cuz let's face it- she is. And I know he's kidding, but I for one would really like to meet his other friends who r 1/2 human 1/2 gargoyle babes. (hey-is this a hint at Delilah???) I'm sure Brooklyn would too :)
I really like the way you "killed off" Demona and Thailog. I'm not sure if you meant it to include this, but I see a lot of symbolism in it. Ah, the rollercoaster that is love, the ups and downs and the telling-her-to-marry-another-guy-for-his-money-ok-now-i'm-fed-up-with-you-now-meet-your-replacents, all ending in a big, beautiful fireball that is a breakup.
Okay. So I'm crazy. But this IS called a RAMBLE right? So it must be okay to get a LITTLE nuts. Besides, like I said, I haven't actually SEEN the episode. Until i saw some pics the other day, I thought they were fighting on top of A MOVING CAR, which is a lot better than wrestling on a track.
But still. I like my theory, and stand by it. I believe Greg has said many times that Thailog is modeled after the "Bastard." And now, he is a bastard in EVERY use of the word. >:) If God forbid my boyfriend ever cheats on me, I know what morbid fantasy I'm going to have first (only of course, he's TIED to the burning rollercoaster, and I'm pointing and laughing from a safe distance away. Am i being 2 morbid? Sorry)
Anyway,I really wish we could see a rematch....with Demona winning and then as soon as he's gone she starts crying. B/c she really thought she loved him.
Or better yet, get some info on who her NEW lovers are (Greg? C'mon, Greg, I know u hear me. PLEASE? Like maybe on Valentine's Day or your anniversary or whichever comes first? Before MY wedding, at least-FYI, i'm a minor-)
Anyway, really wanna see this episode, and it sounds totally awesome
Or, as Fang put it, "Better than soaps!" And just as edictive. ;)

Greg responds...

I'm glad that you like the episode even though you haven't seen it. Now THAT'S a talented producer! ;)

Response recorded on February 05, 2007

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Battle Beast writes...

Ah, The Reckoning. With your ramble, you answred one of my most pondered questions!

Anyway, I LOVE this episode. I've never seen it all the way through; I think it is the only episode I've NEVER seen fully (always came in right at the "tin can" line. But you mentioned that it was the fifth last episode, before possesion and HM?

I've always seen it aired AFTER Posession, though all other episodes were in correct oprder.

The Reckoning sets up the relationship between mother and daughter, develops relationships further between Talon and the Gargoyles, and shows us how naieve (SP?) Demona really is.

Demona didn't learn the Thailog was using her, even back in Paris; she still thinks he loves her. But then again Demona has a one-track mind.

I think Demona finally gets it when - enter stage left - Delilah is introduced by Thailog himself.

From what I understand, the idea of the "clan" was sacred back in 990 AD when there were clans in Scotland. Demona has been so messed up over the centuries so much so that if she calls a bunch of botched clones a "clan" then she really has forgotten what a CLAN truely is.

And of course the great delivery: "Ah, but it's a very clever tin can!" What a great line, like you said.

Tim Curry back as sevarious. Another great performance. His voice is so unique. And he does such a good job in the role.

"How many Gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?" That made for a great contest. And some of the responses were way past funny.

It was quite clever to use Californian names simialr to NY names.

Great episode all around.

P.S. Comic's been sold out everywhere I go. Read it 8 or 9 times. Bought 2 copies. Keep up the great work. Better than the Origianl Journey.

Greg responds...

Thanks. The L.A. names actually were a direct result of discussions on the old Disney Afternoon e-mailing list. Someone asked what the names would have been if Xanatos had built his castle in L.A. rather than N.Y. The question fascinated me, and so...

Although I cheated. I think Burbank's name would have been something more like Santa Ana.

Response recorded on February 05, 2007

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the ramble on "The Reckoning", Greg - and it's a pity that you had to wait half a year to get it up here. A few thoughts of mine about it.

One amusing little piece; when Sevarius started making the clones for Thailog, the first time that I saw this episode, I somehow was briefly expecting (from the combination of the robot mosquito and Sevarius's quip about "a growth industry") that Sevarius was coming up with some sort of giant insects - or something with insect-like components. (And, yes, the Clones make much better sense, especially when I discovered that the mosquito *was* a robot.)

I like the touch of Sevarius saying "Three down and two to go" - a nice subtle way of preparing the audience for the extra clone of Delilah.

One thing about the Clones' names; they reminded me a little of an episode in the first "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" cartoon where the Shredder decided to come up with some mutant frogs to counter the Turtles, and, echoing Splinter's naming the Turtles after his favorite Renaissance artists, named the frogs after *his* favorite historical figures - Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, and Rasputin. I found myself reminded of that with the Clones being named after Los Angeles features as a parallel to the names of Goliath's clan. (Do the Clones' names say anything, I wonder, about what Demona thinks of L.A.?)

I thought that Fang made a great comic-relief figure here - he certainly gets a lot of the best lines. (Regarding the "Kinky" line of his - he should have been glad that Demona wasn't in the same cell with him when he said that!)

It's interesting that "The Reckoning" should have been originally intended as the season finale, since Goliath's line at the end about "a new beginning for us all" sounds very appropriate to an open-ended season finale. But I think that "Hunter's Moon" made a much better season finale. For one thing, it brought in more of the major threads of the series that weren't in "The Reckoning" besides Demona (Goliath and Elisa's feelings about each other, the feud with Xanatos, and human hostility towards gargoyles). I hope that you'll get to ramble on those three episodes soon - after doing "Possession", of course.

Thanks again for the new ramble.

Greg responds...

Your welcome. Hope to get back to the rambles after I've caught up here. I know that sounds like a pipe dream to many of you, but I really feel I am making real progress.

Response recorded on February 05, 2007

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Laura 'ad astra' Sack writes...

I love it when Ask Greg reopens for questions! I know it'll be a few years before this gets read, but it adds to the vibrancy of the fandom.

Unfortunately I didn't get to the Gathering yet again- one of these days. Doesn't gall me as much as missing the last one in NYC, but at least I have my memories of the first two.

I looked through the new posts to see what others were saying about the comic. (There is less of a chance of saying something that has been said to death, but I don't want to lose the habit of checking first.) By in large the reviews are very good and I would have to agree. I couldn't get to my comic shop till Friday, but I read it and went through it with a fellow fan in great detail on the phone before sundown. (The rest of my weekly reading had to wait.) I won't say it was perfect, I had some serious concerns, but I was really happy.

First off, I must note this- The back says that the colorist is new to the field- what a fantastic start! There is nothing there that even hinted to anything novice like.

I have to be a little harder on the artist. It almost seems like the style switched halfway through. The first half struck me as more stylized, a little reminisent of craypas or those sidewalk chalk artists that wow you with what they can do. The second half was looser, even letting you see the pencil marks. My druthers would ask for the second style. The artist seemed far more comfortable with it. While the first page and sevel other panels throughout the begining were beautiful, other were rather awkward and boxy, especially in the none action scenes. (The artist drew some just plain fantastic fantastic action sceens.)

I did have a small quibble with the text...(though I feel like slime mentioning it here). Some of the lines that were lifted directly from the show didn't flow as well without Keith David's sonority. Goliath's formal speaking style sometimes needs that resonance. I have no fear of that being a problem in later books- all the sceens that started life in print read just fine while still conjuring that voice. I loved Goliath's 'discussion' with the shotgun wielding man. Though I have to ask- who has a shotgun in NYC?

Looking forward to issue 2- I do hope that independant Publisher doesn't mean Independate time frame :}

Greg responds...

I'm not sure I understand your comment about missing Keith. I mean we all miss Keith, but if I lifted the line directly from the show -- and it worked in the show -- how could it not work here? Oh, well.

As for a shotgun in Manhattan, anyone who occasionally heads upstate to go hunting might have one.

Response recorded on January 24, 2007

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Blaise writes...

TURF

I knew that at some point the Trio would fight over Angela, and I was kind of worried about how much dignity they would lose in so doing.
I suppose I was more disappointed with Brooklyn's behavior than with Broadway or Lexington's. After all, he is my favorite character, and I think anyone would find it aggravating to see his or her favorite character behaving like a goofball.
Not to mention the fact that he's Second-in-Command, and therefore should behave responsibly and competently in his office. The first time he splits them up so that he and Angela can be alone...well, if he really tried, I think he could have waffled a decent rationale for that decision. The second time however was just plain silly of him. ONE gargoyle at the Clocktower to wait for Goliath might have been wise, but not two of them.
However, more than all of that, when I first saw this episode, I had seen neither THE CAGE nor KINGDOM, and thus had no idea what had happened with Brooklyn's crush on Maggie. The resulting lack of closure actually made Brooklyn's behavior here seem even more annoying to me (crush or not, I couldn't believe Brooklyn would be as shallow as those "Well, hello...and good-bye!" guys from Saturday Night Live). Seeing the episodes in their proper airing order fixes this, of course--Brooklyn has effectively closed the book on the Maggie possibility, and now here is a REAL female gargoyle to court. HOT DAMN!
All things considered (1,000 years without a date) I suppose it's not unrealistic that each of the Trio would go overboard in trying to impress Angela and outdoing the other two. If only they realized how foolish they were looking instead (though I still love the brief bit of posturing they do in the Clocktower--Broadway actually sucks in his gut!).
The bit with them flying into the water tower (or whatever) was worth a chuckle as well. And "muttonheads?" You just don't hear enough people called that anymore. ;-)

In all of this I haven't said word one about the Brod-Dracon turf war. It is what it is, I suppose, the gangster side of GARGOYLES never particularly interested me.
I was surprised to see Brod reappear. Danforth, too, for that matter. I had figured both of them to be one-shot characters (yes, even at this late date in the series, I expected one-shot characters).

I have to wonder what the Witness Protection Program's reaction(s) will be when they learn what ol' Danforth has been up to. Seeing as how Jack is willing to give up a fairly safe and stable life as "a retired banker who likes to spend his afternoons in a health club" to help Brod beat Tony, he really must HATE the Dracons. I wonder why....
I would have liked to see a conversation or something between Jack and Matt--just a reference back to REVELATIONS or something. I just think it would have been nice.

As for Brod, yes, he is audacious. Not just for breaking into prison, but for trying to restart his criminal empire in New York City of all places. No starting small for this guy--go right for the big time!

I had no clue Salli was Elisa until she took off the wig. At the end of Act 1, I thought Salli was a separate character and saw this episode going off in a whole different direction (I'm not saying what direction exactly since it might break the submission rules).
It's interesting to see how she tries to balance her duty with her act--her attempt to reason Brod out of attacking Dracon is a nice example of this (and it's fun how her arguments are so quickly dismissed).

RANDOM THOUGHTS:
-Dracon and Glasses have a frank discussion about the turf war (with Dracon yelling at one point) and there's a trio of guards nearby. I always wonder just what they might have overheard (of course, the guards look like they're having their own conversation, so probably not much).
-Brod eats with his mouth full. Well, I guess manners aren't the most important part of being a gangster, anyway.
-The guy who goes crazy in the police station was the mugger Broadway attacked back in DEADLY FORCE. He also appeared in GOLEM as part of Brod's gang, and he even appeared earlier this episode on Brod's hovercraft. That guy gets around, doesn't he?
-For some reason, I love Elisa's reaction to Angela's, "boy trouble." She actually seems kind of amused by it.
-It wasn't until my viewing before this last one that I noticed Elisa looking at the payphone. I thought it was a nice touch and don't know why I missed it before (maybe my attention was focused on Brod).
-Were Dracon's men firing particle beam rifles? They looked and sounded like actual bullets to me. The guns did have stylized designs, I guess. No comment on the "selective penetration" of the guns (i.e. celing, but not seats).
-I love Pal Joey's taunt to Brod on the train top--just something that struck me.
-I'm similarly struck by the calm way Glasses is able to face what could be his own death. He has a lot more composure than Dracon does later on (of course, Glasses has an "out" while Brod stops to think).
-Poor Lexington--Brooklyn and Broadway are both busy helping Angela, so the little guy has to stand up all by himself.
-Interesting thing: Brooklyn says that he's the one who rescued Angela. I paused my tape at the actual rescue (yes, I am that lame) and I clearly see Broadway as the one who grabs Angela. Was this another case of communication breaking down between the writers and animators, or just Brooklyn himself attempting to ret con the last few minutes?
-"STOP CALLING ME ANGIE!" A funny moment, but I must admit I never realized, until you mentioned it, that Broadway did not call her "Angie" at all this episode. He was also the only one that attempted to reassure her when she was worried about Goliath. I guess some of the seeds were already there (just subtle as hell).
-Elisa/Salli: "We can't just break into a maximum security prison."
Brod: "Why not?" He asks this while gesturing to the sizable armory at the rear of his hovercraft. I find it funny. :-)
-"Sergeant, we've got a problem." I love the Tower Guard's reaction to the hover ship. I wonder if that guy got hurt jumping out of his tower like that.
-Brod seals the only entrance to the cellblock. Now, how did he plan on making his getaway? Have his hover ship blast a hole in the roof?
-I may not be a big fan of "Rocky and Bullwinkle," but that "Easy as shooting moose and squirrel" line would have been GREAT. I can grudgingly understand the S&P objections to the "Good thing we weren't facing Queens" line, and I prefer Puck not to break the fourth wall, but THIS line should have been in the show!
-Dracon revealing Elisa's identity strikes me as a "If I'm going down, I'm taking you with me," moment.
-I loved the two different distinctions Brod and Dracon give the gargoyles.
-The penitent Trio apologizes to Angela, and she gives them each a kiss (corny, perhaps, but I think there's some unspoken law that heroines in ensemble action shows have to give a peck on the cheek to all the males interested in them). Of course she also mentions all her sisters, and that makes the Trio even happier.
-Dracon and Brod as cellmates would never be allowed officially, but I could see a couple of mischievous guards engineering a temporary co-habitation. My brother (who saw this with me) was of the opinion that, given their differences in builds, Dracon needed to make the first punch.

All in all, it's not a bad episode, but it's always difficult for me to see Brooklyn embarrass himself like this. Oh, well.

And with that I should be caught up with the Rambles. For now, anyway.
I'm already looking forward to the next one!

Greg responds...

"-Interesting thing: Brooklyn says that he's the one who rescued Angela. I paused my tape at the actual rescue (yes, I am that lame) and I clearly see Broadway as the one who grabs Angela. Was this another case of communication breaking down between the writers and animators, or just Brooklyn himself attempting to ret con the last few minutes?"

I'd have to take a look again, but it sounds like the former.

Response recorded on January 15, 2007

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Blaise writes...

VENDETTAS

When this ep first aired, I wasn't quite sure what to make of it.
We had Wolf going after Goliath and Hudson along with Hakon-in-an-axe, and some other guy along the fringes as just comedy relief (these are my initial impressions, mind you). Nothing much more than fighting goes on, along with the revelation that Wolf is Hakon's descendent (and I may be alone, but I rather like that connection).
Regardless, the end made me laugh out loud (and I loved the in-joke of Vinnie humming the theme song).
Over time, I've come to view this episode as being perhaps the most problematic of the series...but I enjoy watching it.

I agree with you on the inherent problems of the piece, Greg. The animation was disappointing--the fight scenes were serviceable but not really involving for the most part, and some comedy was nearly lost. It took a couple viewings before I noticed that Goliath elbowed Hudson in the face while preparing to hit Wolf--the hits occur too quickly for the joke to really pay off--and the second time Goliath nearly elbows Hudson doesn't read that way to me (it just seems awkward that second time).
Then there are the missed opportunities. The mace, of course, is the biggest. As nice as the "battle-axe night" line sounds, I'd rather have the mace. Actually, there could still be a fun line put in there, I think. Maybe not "mace night," Todd's right that doesn't have the same ring to it, but Wolf doesn't strike me as picky about specific terms for melee weapons. "Tonight is CLUB night" would have a nice double meaning to it, or "Tonight is WARHAMMER night" (probably please fans of that old pen-and-paper RPG of the same name). Sorry, I digress.
And yes, I would have liked more resonance to Hudson's battle with Hakon. You get a *little* of "Hudson taking revenge" when he gives a little chuckle as he leaves Hakon trapped in the crusher, but I would have liked more. Love the "clan-slaughterer" title, though.

These complaints aside, I rather enjoy the episode. Vinnie actually helps. It's nice to see what happened to a supposedly "random" person due to the gargoyles' actions. I raised an eyebrow at ret conning him into the role of "big nose" on Air Fortress 1, but I was willing to shrug my shoulders and go with it. I had not seen THE CAGE when I first saw VENDETTAS so the bit with Sevarius getting kidnapped left me mystified and frustrated (it did not stop me from thinking Talon was the kidnapper when I finally did see CAGE, he and Goliath have *very* similar silhouettes).
At any rate, I did like the idea of a "regular person" taking on the gargs. Losing his motorcycle and TWO jobs as well--heck, I'D demand satisfaction for that, too! And I believed Mr. Carter was a real gun (loved the Acme reference, BTW--didn't get the "Kotter" reference because that was before my time). Of course, neither Vinnie nor his gun is quite "regular." Vinnie explains himself (justifies himself, I guess) to Mr. Carter, earning stares from people passing him on the street. Vinnie doesn't seem to notice, though. Of course, not paying attention is what gives him such a difficult night to begin with. My favorite is where he tells "Mr. C" about the second job he lost and then turns around the corner and is surprised that the gargs are gone (as though the world stops when he reminisces). I guess this is part of your point on vengeance, Greg; Vinnie is so wrapped up in "creaming" Goliath--"the Big One"--that he doesn't notice imminent hurt/humiliation until it happens.
But he does not give up! When all other foes are defeated, Vinnie is still the last man standing! I'll come back to him before the end.

On to Hakon and Wolf. I didn't immediately cotton to Hakon being the axe. I noticed it laughed in the car and sounded similar to Wolf, but only when Hakon appeared as himself at the end of Act 1 did I realize who it was.
And Hakon has a LOT of powers. I guess it's a combination of being around for 1,000 years in a magical cave, being full of hate, and possessing a blood descendent that allows him to do what he does with Wolf's body. Flight telekinesis, disappearing, illusions (Hudson sees Goliath as Wolf), and the ability to become insubstantial…I wouldn't mind being able to do that! Hakon was right; Wolf was a fool to give up that power before the gargs were defeated. Of course, Wolf's always been a bit bull-headed about doing things his way and being in charge.
I had no problems with Wolf being descended from Hakon. Quite the contrary, I saw a wealth of opportunity in this development. Of course, Wolf and Hakon don't specifically tell anyone but the audience about this connection so I don't know how anything would develop. But the seed's there.

One interesting point that's made about vengeance in this episode: sometimes, the feelings of vengeance are not mutual. Hudson views Hakon as the ultimate evil, but Hudson barely matters to Hakon--the old gargoyle is just another obstacle to get to Goliath. To Wolf, Goliath, the "alpha male" gargoyle, is the ultimate target, but I somehow doubt if Goliath views Wolf that way. He views Wolf as a powerful and tenacious enemy, sure, but I don't think Goliath singles Wolf out from the rest of the Pack as a "prime" foe. As for Goliath and Hakon, yes there is resonance there, and in the past Hakon was definitely a focal point of Goliath's vengeance, but I think after SHADOWS OF THE PAST, Goliath's enmity for Hakon is no longer as strong. Hakon on the other hand, has lost no hatred for Goliath.
And none of them have any clue that Vinnie even exists until he walks right up to Goliath and shoots a pie in G's face.

That last part still puts a smile on my face. I had not expected the pie, but in a way it makes perfect sense. Why would Vinnie want to KILL Goliath? The gargoyles have humiliated Vinnie multiple times, cost him property and two jobs, but he's still alive, in good health, and not TOO badly off if he can afford Mr. Carter. Based on that, a pie in the face seems a reasonable retaliation.

One bit of dialogue I rather like in this episode is this one:
Wolf: "Come on, are you afraid to die like a man?"
Goliath: "What would a mutate werewolf know about being a man?"
That, coupled with the scene of Wolf scrounging for food in a dumpster, show just how far this former TV idol has fallen. And all just to get Goliath.

I find Hakon's "death" an interesting contrast to the Captain's back in SHADOWS OF THE PAST. With the Captain it was a feeling of peace and ascendancy. Hakon's seems more violent (I love the little electric bolt at the end). It makes sense to me.

I hadn't realized this epsiode had a different voice director until I saw the credits. Honestly, there was no decline in quality so far as I could tell. So take a bow, Greg. And if you see Clancy Brown, tell him to take one, too--he differentiated between Wolf and Hakon very well.

So VENDETTAS, while obviously problematic, is still fun for me.

Greg responds...

I'm fond of it. That was the first episode I ever voice directed in its entirety. Of course, I chose it on purpose because it had such a small cast of TOTAL PROS, who knew me and would forgive my ... uh... shortcomings. Ed Asner, Jeff Bennett, Clancy Brown, Jim Cummings, Keith David. Couldn't ask for a more solid, talented and UNDERSTANDING cast for my first effort.

Response recorded on January 15, 2007

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Blaise writes...

THE GATHERING, PART TWO

I'm having a difficult time figuring out where I want to start with this episode.
The revelation of "Owen-is-Puck" is, of course, the high point, but I also find myself thinking about the battle with Oberon.

Oberon is, without a doubt, the most powerful adversary the gargoyles have ever had to face--and this time he's at full power! However, I find his more subtle uses of said power to be the most effective. I mean, he became a giant and while that's definitely threatening and awe-inspiring, it didn't help him much in any practical sense. But when he actually calms down ("Anger...clouds my judgment.") he really does become unstoppable. Even drained and withered, he proves more than a match for our heroes. The thing with the cape absolutely rocked, of course, but my favorite trick is when Goliath leaps at Oberon...and goes right through him (a trick that will be repeated in VENDETTAS). Oberon then hurls Goliath with a gesture (and a pretty cool line, "This altercation is OVER."). Even at the end, Fox's magic blast doesn't stop Oberon by overpowering him (in fact, when he comes flying back in he seems about ready to kick everyone's ass and take names--actually, I find his "I...have had...ENOUGH!" kind of funny as well as foreboding). In the end, Oberon isn't really defeated...he just changes his mind (thanks to said magic outburst and some choice words from Goliath).
One thing I really thought about here was that, despite banishing Puck and giving a rather curt/foreboding farewell, Oberon seems willing to let bygones be bygones. Partially due to your thoughts on Oberon, Greg, I've actually started to see the more magnanimous side of Ol' Blue Skin.
Over the years, I've come to think better of Oberon than I did during the initial airings. Now I think he's pretty cool.

This viewing, during the gargoyles's battle with Oberon, I noticed how quickly Lex and Hudson got taken out. Especially Lex, he didn't get off a single attack. At least Hudson got to whack at Oberon's hair with his sword (for all the good that did).

I can see one of those "cartoon" moments you mentioned, with Oberon swatting at the gargoyles like flies. I actually think it works as a "comic relief" moment before Oberon brings the statues to life.

That "stone figures" bit was actually pretty cool. Unfortunately, I liked the guy with the hammer and he destroys himself to take out Broadway (speaking of which, for Broadway that must have hurt!).

Count me as another who loves Xanatos's weak attempt to cover his saving Broadway.

"It's incredible how often that move works." I LOVE inside jokes like that.

The Iron Clan was a nice variation on the Steel Clan. I mean, we (my brother and I) knew they were bulkier than the SC, but only occasionally did I really notice just how much BIGGER they were (during the chase down the side of the Eyrie Building, you see a now human-sized Oberon go by, followed by the Cybots and a gigantic Iron Clan robot). I'm also absurdly pleased by the "launching points" for the Iron Clan...it makes me wonder how much of the buildings surrounding the Eyrie Xanatos owns or rents.

I loved seeing Renard come to the rescue. Renard sounds stronger here, to me, than he has since OUTFOXED. His words aren't as broken apart as they were even in PART ONE. I like this touch. I'm a little sad that the last we see of Renard in this is "I've failed him." It would have been nice if he were a part of the little "victory celebration" at the end. Heck, it would have been nice if Petros could have been a part of it--and his exit wasn't as dignified as Renard's. Petros just got knocked out and forgotten.

I always figured that while the iron harpoon hurt Oberon, the iron bell would basically rip the very fabric of his being apart. After all, at the right pitch, sound can shatter glass.

And finally we come to the big revelation. Any disappointment I felt at my brother being right was curtailed by my delight at this excellent little twist. And Puck's explanation for playing the straight man made perfect sense to me.
When I first saw Vogel, I thought he was just an in-joke, even after he became a character in his own right. Little did I know you guys had strong reasons for his similarity to Owen.
It still surprises me that Puck actually had his creations rough up Oberon. Dang, but the little guy's ballsy.

I just love "Oberon does not compromise...Oberon COMMANDS!" Mostly, I love it for Terrence Mann's reading of it. It's just...wow.

We all kind of figured that Fox would display some magic at the end. It was practically a given. However, Puck's reaction to it (which you've already quoted) is priceless.

I was a bit surprised when Oberon banished Puck. I have to admit, I hadn't expected that. And I actually kind of felt sorry for the little elf afterwards, but...he did kind of ask for it.

I was surprised and pleased when Xanatos thanked the clan like he did. Of course Goliath (ascribing to the "Fool me once..." school of thought) is suspicious. I like the actual sad look on Xanatos's face when Goliath snubs him. But then Goliath smiles as he talks about "the transforming power of a child's love." Xanatos may have been the "main villain" for the first season and most of the second, but already that title doesn't fit him as well as it once did.

Other little things:
-I love Oberon's exasperated "Now what?" when the Air Fortress shows up.
-I also liked seeing Oberon's giant footprints in the street (who's going to explain THAT?).
-You guys had Petros notice Oberon's "shrinkage." Only after we the audience had seen it happen twice. I like that, although the characters notice something quickly, they don't see it the instant it starts to happen.
-Hudson's "You've had quite an influence." I find Ed Asner's reading of that intriguing. I like it. I can't say why...it just struck me.
-After having been a major part of the World Tour, Bronx just sits this one out. He probably missed his soup bone.

I'll admit, I believed Titania when she indicated things had gone according to her plan. I don't know what she whispered to Fox (and have never asked), but I do start to see Fox smiling before the camera cuts away.

And yes, Greg, this is the first, last, and only time that Broadway calls Angela "Angie."

Okay, I think that covers THE GATHERING. Next...

Greg responds...

I'm glad you like Oberon. I like him too. You just have to walk a mile in his shoes to begin to understand him. NOTE: I'm not being an apologist for him or approving of everything he did. But I think it's worth trying to understand him, see things from his PoV.

Response recorded on January 15, 2007

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Blaise writes...

THE GATHERING, PART ONE

Hey Greg! Good to see you rambling again. I'm going to have to do a little mini-marathon to catch up, so without further ado....

When this episode first aired I had figured that this would be the ep when the Travelers (finally) got back to home base and the rest of the regular cast. I, for one, was looking forward to this, if for no other reason than to see more of my favorite character (Brooklyn).

Seeing the Gathering on Avalon was a nice little "curtain call" for the many supernatural beings the Travelers had encountered on the World Tour. Other than those we had met, Nought definitely had the most striking design (it also helped that he was pretty well featured for a walk-on).

I agree with you about Anubis--he should not be laughing. That part never seemed quite right to me.

It amuses me how, when the Banshee and Odin are fighting, Oberon at first enjoys the action immensely, but as soon as his mirror is nearly damaged he calls an end.

I may be alone in this, but I don't feel too sorry for the Banshee--she was a bit of a pain.

Selene (sp?) is in full fury mode here (I love her eagerness in offering to hunt down Puck).
I also enjoy Princess Katharine's reaction to Oberon contacting her magically.

I've always wondered what Renard thinks of Petros Xanatos. I'd imagine that they might have got along well enough, despite Renard's enmity towards David.

I hadn't figured out Titania and Anastasia were one and the same until Anastasia started talking. Only here did I recognize them as both having the same voice actress and draw the connection.
Of course I didn't get the Owen/Puck connection (or refused to--I'll explain later).
I, too, loved Vogel's reaction to Petros' question about him being related to Owen (an honest question if you ask me).

The child is born. And (for those of us who read the credits of FUTURE TENSE) we already knew his name (and what he'd probably look like all grown up).

Watching the bit with the jogger pouring out his drink after his "hallucination" this last time, I felt myself thinking that, while it's a nice old gag, I'd kind of like to see it with a new twist. For example, instead of pouring out the offending substance, after seeing the supposed hallucination, the subject instead smiles and starts chugging it.

The hypnotized guard is funny. The late Charles Hallahan did a great job with both that and Travis Marshall's snide "...both of them ex-convicts..." line. Great copy and great performance.

The confrontation in the Xanatos' bedroom was very well done. Oberon's reaction to Fox being Titania's daughter is, of course, a high point, but there are smaller things that stand out to me as well. Seeing a young and healthy Renard is a plus, and I love that Fox visibly reacts to seeing Xanatos' gun behind his back (it's small and if your attention is on Xanatos you wouldn't notice it).
As I was watching this time, I thought about Oberon's lines about how Xanatos should take comfort in having "fought admirably for [his] child against impossible odds," and that they have an hour to say good-bye before he takes Alexander away forever because Oberon is "not without a heart." These lines, looking at the words alone, are essentially making things more painful and frustrating for the Xanatos' (insult to injury, as it were), but Oberon does not intend them that way. He's actually being honest, maybe even paying compliment to them, and (in his own mind) is being nice about the whole thing.
In a way it reminds me of Xanatos' line to Derek in THE CAGE--"He's the scientist, you're just the experiment." Xanatos wasn't trying to hurt or insult Derek with that statement, he was just stating the fact of the matter. Similar to Oberon here, the words used by the speaker seem more hurtful than the speaker's intent.
I suppose all this is just a roundabout way of saying Oberon really is Xanatos' comeuppance. :-)

THE TRAVELERS FINALLY COME HOME!!!
Man, I was so happy to have them back on home territory and ready to get back to stories with the rest of the regular cast in their given setting. The World Tour was a nice way to expand and show more gargoyles, but there really is "no place like home."
When Goliath is telling about all the gargoyles around the world he sounds positively giddy. He's even SMILING! Of course he's been smiling since they got back, but here...it's just that seeing Goliath this happy is a bit uncommon.
The Trio of course has their first introduction to Angela...and I kind of suspected this would be the cause of a few waves with them. Three guys and ONE girl…oh, yeah, trouble. The bit with the chocolates is funny, too. And after tasting just ONE chocolate, Angela says, "I think I'm going to like it here." BEHOLD! The power of CHOCOLATE!!

Seeing Goliath and Elisa on her terrace...the first time I watched this, I had already decided that they were going to kiss or something by the end of the season. When G brought E back home, I thought, "This is going to be it!" Then Elisa had to be a party pooper and stop it (and my, wasn't that rain a convenient way of breaking it off).
This latest viewing, I found myself thinking, "...She left her lights on, the electric bill's going to be bad. Wait...how long have they been gone, exactly? It's a miracle she still even HAS her apartment--all the months she wasn't there to pay rent! What, does she pay several months in advance?!" Being a budding actor I have found myself struggling to cover such bills for the past two years, consequently thoughts like that have a tendency to occur to me.

Anastasia/Titania's revelation of herself to the gargoyles was a bit too quick for me, but there's only so much time in the average episode.

I love that the evacuating workers are actually questioning why they're being evacuated (I heard someone mumbling "fire drill"). It's a little detail I like.

The force field surprised me a bit, both because it's something we hadn't really seen before in the series, and because it was actually effective.

I love how Oberon goes from being amused to being pissed off when his magical bolt doesn't break the force field.
Nice effect where his eyes glow green when the lightning flashes.

Seeing Oberon wreak the one car makes me feel sorry for the car's owner (hope the owner's got good insurance). Then he puts everyone in the city to sleep and I start to wonder how many people might die (killed in a car accident, fell asleep while on a ladder or stairs, etc.) because of this. A lot of people are going to be inconvenienced by something they have absolutely no idea about (kind of like Vinnie!).

Oberon's put the city to sleep and both Petros and David Xanatos are in the "war room" with the former asking, "Has the attack begun?" I find that hilarious.

And then Oberon grows up ("Enuk-cha!"). That last shot of his laughing face through the glass of the atrium is great, especially as a cliffhanger.

Here, at the end of my ramble, it's time to talk about Owen. Now, of course he's acting weird but....
Okay, when this ep first aired I watched it with my brother. Now, I was the GARGOYLE nut in my family. My brother and mother thought it was all right and would watch it from time to time, but I was the one who lived, breathed and slept it. So, my bro and I watch this and my bro turns to me and says, "Owen's got to be Puck." And because it was my brother who said this, I disagreed with him. It wasn't that I didn't think it was possible Owen and Puck were the same (in fact, it seemed to me like a distinct and intriguing possibility), but it galled me that my brother (who would NEVER admit to being wrong) would be right about this. The fact that GARGOYLES was MY thing and not his made me more adamant.

Of course, in the end he was actually right...but I can't recall being disappointed about it in this case. It was just too cool of a twist.

On to part two, now....

Greg responds...

One has to assume that by "Night of the Panther" at least, Elisa had made some arrangement to deal with bills and etc.

Response recorded on January 15, 2007

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Justin writes...

I know this will not reach you for awhile. But I was perusing internet movie database and found an outstanding review of the series I thought and hoped you might enjoy.

This person captures the spirit of the fans in every way, on every level. We have bought the DVS's we WILL buy the comics, and Yes, I believe we will bring this timeless show back.

We cannot do otherwise guys.

I have just one question: How can Disney Television Animation produce such a wonderful show as "Gargoyles" for a couple of seasons and then go back to being Disney Television Animation? I simply cannot understand it, and if anyone has any thoughts, PLEASE share them with me! This show was a breath of fresh air on every level. If this wasn't a groundbreaking show, it certainly raised the bar sky high.

Voices--Many's the time I have thought that they could have chosen a better actor for a part in animation. Not here. The voice cast was so good that to this day I cannot imagine anyone else filling the bill. In the role of Goliath, Keith David demonstrated that he possesses one of the greatest speaking voices of any actor in the business. Jeff Bennett was also great as Brooklyn, my favorite character. (Loved the white hair!)

Music--Carl Johnson's scores were great. They beautifully set the tone and underlined the action and the drama.

Animation--Excellent. Dark, moody and stylish. The shots of the clan as stone statues are downright eerie at times. To this day, I still can't believe Disney did this one.

Plot--Action, drama, technology, mythology, humor and a little Shakespeare on the side. Folks, WHAT MORE COULD YOU POSSIBLY ASK FOR? This series had the most tightly structured story lines ever--there was not a single moment of dead air anytime.

The best thing about the series, however, was the characters. For being a clan of gargoyles (with a couple of humans), these characters were as real as you and I. Things HAPPENED to them! They actually got HURT as a result of violence. They matured, sometimes in ways unexpected. They found out the hard way who their friends and enemies were. And they had to live with the consequences of their actions, which sometimes came back to haunt them in later episodes.

Here's hoping Disney will realize the error of their ways and bring this show back. If you are already a fan, may you continue to enjoy the show. If you haven't seen it, give it a chance. But be advised: Once you have seen television and the world through the glowing eyes of a gargoyle, you will never want to settle for "standard kiddie fare" ever again.

I hope you enjoyed this Mr. Weisman

Greg responds...

Thanks, Justin. It's always nice to read praise. (I'm not shy about admitting that I like the ego-boost.) But I have to say that I don't see or understand the need to praise Gargoyles by BASHING Disney -- in particular the shows which preceded Gargoyles at Walt Disney Television Animation. "The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh", "Disney's Gummi Bears", "DuckTales", "Darkwing Duck", many episodes of "TaleSpin", "Chip 'N Dale's Rescue Rangers", "Aladdin" and a select few of "Bonkers" and "Goof Troop" strike me as some of the best TV Animation that's EVER been produced. Likewise shows since Gargoyles, like "Kim Possible" and a few episodes of "Hercules" and "Buzz LIghtyear of Star Command" also send me. (And there may be more, but I don't watch cartoons as much now as I did back when I was a Disney Exec.)

Obviously, not all these shows are going to send every Gargoyles fan. And that's fine. But I can't really understand not recognizing how superior they are to most of what's out there.

And remember: NO GUMMI BEARS; NO GARGOYLES.

Response recorded on January 15, 2007

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the "Turf" ramble, Greg! Only 6 to go now (though I doubt that you'll be able to do them all before the end of January - pity).

The trio definitely come across in this episode as the gargoyle equivalent of the Three Stooges, especially when they collide with the chimney, and when Brooklyn's shouting "Knock it off, you muttonheads!" Then again, as Elisa points out, what do you expect when they've been without female gargoyle company for a thousand years?

On a side note, I've noticed that practically every discussion among the fandom over which of the trio Angela ought to wind up with made it "Brooklyn vs. Broadway", with Lexington never seriously included in it. Of course, it makes sense now, in light of what we know about him.

I liked a lot of Brod's lines, such as "Chop shop? What is 'chop shop'?" and "This is why I never go in first" (not to mention what you brought up about "That was my favorite restaurant!") There were a lot of fun lines in here from the other crooks, such as Glasses' "Come on down to Dracon's House of Auto Parts. The prices are hot, and so is the merchandise", and Dracon's "What's going on here? I didn't order a break-out!" And finally, the hilarious ending with Brod and Dracon stuck as cellmates (though I doubt that such a thing would happen in real life).

I didn't recognize Elisa with that blonde wig, so it was a big surprise for me when she took it off and revealed who she was. (And naturally, the trio then go about saying that they knew it was her all along.)

Thanks for your comment about the payphone, by the way; I've been wondering for a long time about the significance of that scene where we look at it against the backdrop of the burning restaurant.

And interesting that Brooklyn should be the one asking about a world tour, in view of what we now know is in store for him (cf. "Timedancer"). One more example of "Be careful what you wish for."

Greg responds...

Brod was fun to write for. And a lot of the stuff you mentioned in terms of "given what we now know" is stuff that I THEN knew.

Response recorded on January 12, 2007

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Elana writes...

Dear Greg,

When people ask me why I proclaim that Gargoyles stands apart from other shows, I find it difficult to explain. The characters are great, the relationships are great, and overall it's just... great. But that hardly expresses its true charm.

In watching Gargoyles, I find that its appeal must come from its captivating and immersive mythos, the sense one gets of being transported to another, mystical world. Aside from that sense of awe and wonder, there's also that feeling one gets of really being a part of that world, and having an intimate understanding of it. It's like, even if a topic matter hasn't been thoroughly explored within the episodes, or blatantly described, one can derive how every little thing might be prone to work within the world of the Gargoyles.

Anyway (now that I'm done gushing), in light of all this, did you expect Gargoyles to affect and alter the lives of so many people in the way that it did? Objectively, it was only meant as a show for children, but somehow it's managed to capture and touch the lives of all kinds of people. Could you possibly have expected this? For many people, Gargoyles is more than just an interest or a "hobby." How does it make you feel to know that Gargoyles has nearly been a life-changing experience for so many people?

~Elana

Greg responds...

Expectations...

Even at the time and even given that it was the first show I had ever produced, I knew we were doing something special. Once-in-a-lifetime special.

(I've done a lot of work I'm proud of in this business, but nothing has been like GARGOYLES.)

And I had hopes that others would recognize what myself and my team saw in the series.

But, no... I had no idea the life that the series would take on with and for so many people. That's been incredibly gratifying. Beyond words, really.

As anyone who has been to a GATHERING (www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com) can tell you, I am in ego-heaven the whole weekend!

And having the chance to write these comic books is really a dream. As I'm sure SLG would acknowledge, the money I'm making is really just a token amount. Just enough to allow me mentally to convince myself I'm WORKING and not perpetuating a stubborn refusal to let a long-cancelled series die. So, clearly, I must be in it for the love of the property and because the fans have done so much for me.

Response recorded on January 10, 2007

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gargolye gril writes...

you people better not put brooklyn with demona or i'll kick your @$$.

Greg responds...

Us people?

Response recorded on January 09, 2007

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the "Vendettas" ramble, Greg! We're really coming along here beautifully.

The big problem that I had with "Vendettas" when I first saw it was Hakon's return. I thought that it felt anticlimactic after "Shadows of the Past" - particularly since Hakon's second ghostly attack with Goliath consisted of simply teaming up with a big dumb werewolf! But while I had some difficulties with the Hakon part, I really enjoyed the Vinnie part.

I was startled to learn that Wolf was Hakon's descendant, but did find their quarrels and Hakon's disgust at Wolf's stupidity amusing. (It now reminds me a little of the idea in the original comedy development of the evil sorcerer from the Middle Ages and his unworthy descendant Xavier being at odds with each other.)

I agree with you that Hakon and Wolf's weapon would have worked better as a mace - but I also liked (as you did) Wolf's line "Tonight is battle-axe night!", which makes up for that. I don't think that "Tonight is mace night!" would have been as amusing a line. (It certainly doesn't have as good a rhythm to it.)

When I first saw this episode, I thought it more than a little far-fetched that the motorcycle rider from "Awakening Part Three", the guard on board Fortress-1 in "Awakening Part Four", and the security guard at Gen-U-Tech in "The Cage" were all the same guy, but now I can accept it. I got a big kick out of Vinnie's narration and the way that it clashed with what really happened (especially the part where he was talking about doing everything that he could to stop Goliath from kidnapping Sevarius, while we see him with his nose buried in his newspaper). I got a real kick out of him in a hurry, in fact.

And it would be like him to give his pie-throwing gun a name (though, if you can accept swords like Excalibur having names, why not pie-guns as well? I can just see what Hudson would have to say about this, with his "Must you humans name everything?" comment).

Vinnie does remind me a bit of Wile E. Coyote beyond the Acme supplier; like Wile E., his humiliating moments wind up being mostly self-inflicted!

Another scene that I found entertaining (this one about Hakon and Wolf): when Goliath and Hudson go charging at Wolf, Wolf boastfully says that he'll swat them both like gnats, and the next moment, is sent flying through the wall before he even has the opportunity to do anything!

And the bit about the construction worker who, after seeing Goliath and Hudson, is convinced that it must be hallucinations imposed from his cough medicine (although if his cough medicine is that strong, he definitely shouldn't be operating heavy machinery!).

And then there's the bit at the beginning about Hudson wondering why New York's called the Big Apple.

I was definitely surprised when Mr. Carter's ammunition turned out to be a banana cream pie. But it was just the sort of thing that Vinnie would do. One thing about Vinnie: he's the only guy in the series who ever got revenge on Goliath, something that the Archmage, Demona, the Pack, the Hunters, etc. all failed to do - though the fact that his means of revenge were baked goods doubtless had a lot to do with that.

I still wonder where Vinnie heard the "Gargoyles" theme music sometimes. :)

The fact that Goliath, both times that he meets Vinnie (in this episode and "The Journey"), can't even figure out who he is, is all the more appropriate in light of your remark that Vinnie owes much to yourself. I'm reminded of a "Peanuts" strip that came out shortly after Charles Schulz was Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade. Lucy was shown watching the parade on television; Linus asked her if the Grand Marshal had shown up yet, Lucy replied, "You just missed him, but he wasn't anybody you ever heard of."

Greg responds...

" (It now reminds me a little of the idea in the original comedy development of the evil sorcerer from the Middle Ages and his unworthy descendant Xavier being at odds with each other.)"

Nothing is ever wasted on a Greg Weisman show. (I'm like Xanatos that way. I'm also like Vinnie. Heck, they're ALL me!) ;)

Why is New York called the Big Apple?

Response recorded on January 08, 2007

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The Masked Retriever writes...

My Puck/Owen Ramble:

I didn't see it coming, okay? Maybe I'm thick or something but I did not have the -slightest- clue that Owen was really the Puck. Did. Not. See it. I was blown away, to put it mildly. I fell out of my chair and frothed for a bit. Having managed to see these episodes in order, I'd seen all of Owen's episodes and Puck's and still didn't see it coming. Later, when I re-watched City of Stone, I fell over again: YOU KNEW ALL ALONG!! HINTS!!! EVERYWHERE!!! AGhthth!

As to the stone fist, I'd read it like this: Owen didn't know -what- the cauldron would do, but figured if it was something really bad, he could always get a new hand, given some time. His faith in Xanatos' technology was quite high, and there was ample evidence that Xanatos was developing loyalty-like emotions of his own. (I say loyalty-like because frankly Xanatos is one scary bugger, even post-Gathering.) As for Xanatos, I (wrongly, it turned out) read him as really feeling something there, some shock, some dismay and even sympathy, BUT knowing that the worst thing he could express was sympathy. It's not the Xanatos way to cry over spilled milk, or even a few gallons of spilled blood. You arch an eyebrow, make a mental note, and go on. To me at least, he did Owen a great service by reacting in the most Xanatos way possible, and in fact anything else would have been an insult to what I thought at the time was a huge (but on some level, justified as it IS freaking immortality) sacrifice.

(That last bit works really well even if you know about Puck, but it's far less dramatically heavy and more of a sublimely funny moment the two friends share. To translate the lines into Dude-where's-my-car-ese: "Hey, check it. Human form, human effects." "Huh huh. Awesome." The pair are actually -both- parodying themselves here, Owen being subserviant to the point of near-insanity, and Xanatos blowing it off. I like to think that here Xanatos is kind of thinking to himself "boy, I'm kind of a jerk, aren't I" but having more fun playing the part than any sort of remorse-like emotions.

If I somehow haven't said it enough, holy crap Gargoyles is the awesomeness, I've bought two copies each of the two DVD sets out, and I am obsessed with Xanatos' scary hotness. I have a LiveJournal icon of him from "The Edge" with the words "OMG XANATOS!" blinking underneath it. A toast to the prettiest, scariest, yummiest villain of all time.

Greg responds...

I appreciate your compliments, but I also really LOVE your analysis of the characters. The fact that Owen turned out to be Puck doesn't change most of what you wrote.

As for that revelation, our goal was to shock the audience (or most of it) but still leave them saying, "Of course! Why didn't I see it before?!"

Response recorded on January 08, 2007

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A.Bifolchi writes...

This isn't a question, but more to a comment to the now season 2, Vol 1 Dvd that has been realised to the public this December. Once again I would like to thank you Mr. Weisman for your continuing efforts to promote Gargoyles along with the comic, which I will be hunting for soon. I dearly hope that Vol 2 of season 2 will come onto dvd, and myself along with my family will be the first to purchase it.

Once more thank you Mr. Weisman for allowing old Gargoyles fans to reconnect with something that we loved.

Greg responds...

You're VERY welcome. And thank you for supporting the property.

Response recorded on January 07, 2007

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the "Gathering Part Two" ramble, Greg! Some of my thoughts on the episode.

One of my favorite touches in the early stages of the battle was Renard's involvement in the fighting (alongside Vogel and the cybots). I think that one way of giving a battle an epic tone is to bring in familiar supporting characters as well as the major characters; Renard's presence in Fortress-2 gave a real feeling of making the confrontation a really big one.

Oberon put up a truly fierce battle with a lot of great touches, I thought - particularly the animated gargoyles, the growing hair, and the limbo space within his cloak. It made him seem formidable indeed, even with the self-imposed limitation that his arts could no longer directly affect the clan.

I share that little delight in Xanatos's line about saving Broadway. How typical of him to cover up his true thoughts like that!

And the suspicion that I'd begun to develop about Owen and Puck being one and the same was confirmed. It still shocked me a little, but I quickly got used to it. My favorite part of it is still the bit where Puck says "He chose Owen", sounding truly impressed as he did so; you could just feel Puck being so intrigued and delighted that Xanatos would value Owen's non-magical efficiency over Puck's magic. (Mind you, after seeing how Puck granted Demona's wishes in "The Mirror", I'd say that Xanatos showed good judgment in choosing a lifetime of service from Owen!)

I remember a particularly fun remark about the scene where Fox at least unleashed her powers on Oberon; the reviewer commented that that scene was something that alert viewers saw coming - but what made it so fun was that she didn't just unleash her powers, but that she did so with such force as to send Oberon - who had seemed almost unstoppable at this point - through the wall!

In "Future Tense", Puck taught Goliath the hard way about being careful what you wish for. Now Puck gets a taste of that lesson himself; he gets what he was hoping for in "Future Tense" - getting to stay in the mortal world a while longer - but not in a way that he finds appealing! (I've recently found myself wondering, incidentally, whether Goliath, when he suggested Puck for the role of training Alex - though Puck was the obvious choice anyway - might not have been trying to get a little of his own back over that recent nightmare.)

That idea of yours about the gargoyles flying inside Oberon's head was funny - but it's probably just as well that we didn't see it.

And it definitely would be like Puck to say "I'm on a roll" to the audience - it would be perfectly in character for him to break the fourth wall.

Naturally, no ramble about "The Gathering Part Two" would be complete without a mention of the infamous Whisper. I don't want to know what Titania whispered, myself - but I've sometimes wondered if you've ever regretted putting that scene in, in light of how often you've been asked about it!

And we have a great ending with the beginnings of peace between Goliath and Xanatos - though even with the war over, there's still plenty of trouble to come in other directions.

Once again, thanks for the ramble, Greg.

Greg responds...

You're welcome. No regrets. Just no intention of revealing what I'm sure now would be an anti-climactic answer anytime soon.

Response recorded on January 05, 2007

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for your ramble on "The Gathering Part One", Greg! It's great to have another episode review from you here, and I hope to see at least a few more here soon, even if you don't make it all the way to "The Journey" this time.

I remember that, the first time I saw this episode, it jarred me a little (as I've mentioned before) to see Odin taking orders from Oberon, but since then, I've come to accept it. It certainly did give a sense of resolution from the World Tour to see so many of the mythical beings that Goliath, Elisa, Angela, and Bronx had met showing up in the palace - and in particular, to have the Banshee being subjected to punishment by Oberon for defying his command to return.

(Incidentally, I assume that you chose Odin as the "Child of Oberon" whom the Banshee got into an altercation with because his voice actor was already present in this episode, playing Petros?)

I also had a bit of fun seeing if I could spot any new Oberati in the crowd; I could glimpse a centaur, a winged horse, a Medusa-like figure, and a couple of Norse mythology-type giants in the great hall, as well as the people entering in through the gates carrying torches (one of whom was on horseback, I remember).

I had missed both "Walkabout" and "Ill Met By Moonlight" when they first premiered, so this was the first time that I was meeting Titania under either of her identities. Consequently, the revelation that Anastasia and Titania were the same person didn't have the same impact on me that it would have had on other viewers who had seen those two episodes first.

After such a long absence from New York, it was nice seeing all those familiar background characters (the Jogger, Travis Marshall, Officer Morgan, Brendan and Margot, Cagney) again.

The reunion of the gargoyles at the clock tower was a very moving moment, including the discovery by Hudson and the trio that they weren't the last of their kind after all. I get a particular smile out of Broadway giving Angela the half-eaten box of chocolates. Another bit that I enjoyed was Hudson's delight at being reunited with Bronx (I like the rapport that the two of them have).

Your remark that Avalon hadn't really released Goliath and Co. from their quest, but sent them back to Manhattan to thwart Oberon's attempt to kidnap Alex (apparently Avalon isn't always in harmony with its lord's intentions) reminds me of one thought that I had the first time that I saw this episode; I was wondering briefly if the fact that Avalon had sent Goliath back to Manhattan for a purpose rather than just to release him meant that they'd have to get back on that skiff for more adventures afterwards. Fortunately, they didn't have to (I didn't mind the World Tour as much as many viewers did, but I understood that it would have to come to an end sometime.)

It was when Owen nervously cleared out of the Eyrie Building after giving his security system specs to Xanatos, explaining that he couldn't risk being involved in the fight with Oberon, that I began suspecting for the first time that he might be Puck in disguise (given that Oberon's initial purpose in coming to New York had been to haul Puck back to Avalon). Oddly enough, I'd missed all the other clues earlier in the series (Demona's "You serve the human" line in "The Mirror" and her "You're the tricky one" line in "City of Stone", the striking physical resemblance of Owen and Vogel, and Owen's immediately recognizing the significance of Anastasia having remarried her first husband). Now, however, I began to wonder if Owen and Puck were really the same person, though I had to wait until Part Two to have it confirmed.

The activating of the security system struck me as an especially great scene, one of my favorite moments in "The Gathering". Another, of course, was Goliath and Elisa's parting at her apartment.

As I said, great to have another episode ramble - I'm looking forward to Part Two.

Greg responds...

Re: choosing Odin. Economics was indeed a factor. But I don't recall it being a creative disappointment or anything.

Response recorded on January 05, 2007

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Secret Agent Gerbil writes...

'Ello Mr. Weismen. Not a question, but a comment rather. I just wanted to say that despite my tender schooling age (I'm a freshman you see...but who knows what I'll be by the time you get around to this...) I just wanted to say that ever since I realized I wanted to be a comic book writer, your brilliant story, Gargoyles (and it's massively couldn't happen but you never know nowadays universe) has greatly inspired me! As I jot down my little ideas I wonder how I can expand upon them to create something truly unique!

And thus, I just wanted to tell you that Gargoyles has been a direct influence on my future attempts at possible creative properties of my own and I consider you (and your creative team) an inspiration!

And...also...

Nah, that's it. I got nothing else. Adios.

Greg responds...

Thanks. That's very gratifying. So I figure you're like a Junior now. High School? College?

Response recorded on December 18, 2006

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Jason writes...

For my questions to whomever,
1. If in the event that season two is released, would it be 1 whole set or multiple sets? My reasoning for this question is because of the fact that there are so many episodes in season 2.

2. If you read a little below you would see that I have the ability to watch the episodes when ever I want. With that aside, I have noticed that once and a while the animation style changes from episode to episode. It would mainly be in the solid and dark type setting but in some episodes, the animation changes to a more "goo'y" style that you would find in a show like Gooftroop. Can this be explained?

Now for my review of the first DVD set. I give it a 9.9. My only reason for not making it a 10 is because I was hoping there would be the featurette from the original VHS tape with the few voice actors and actresses talking and the background story narrated by Jonathan Frakes. That was my only real gripe.

I was surprised to see the video about the 2005 event on the DVD. I wanted to attend so bad, but there was no way I could afford the airfare. (Kind of bummed about that.)

Other then this, the DVD rocks. I will be very honest though, (Please don't hunt me down) I never thought that it would ever come to DVD so I looked around the vast internet and was able to acquire the episodes some time ago. Even though I have done this, I still bought the DVD because I feel that if it is worth buying, then the money should be spent to support the people that created it. This will go the same with season 2 and 3 when they come out (note I say "WHEN" wink, wink.)

I am happy to say that I am a Gargoyle fan (not as much as some but I'd like to think so) and will some day find my way into the amazing world. Thanks for the awesome work and the sheer genius of the Gargoyles Series.

Greg responds...

1. By now... I HOPE you know that Season Two was broken into two releases. The first release, SEASON TWO - VOLUME ONE, was a three-disk 26 episode set. The second release, SEASON TWO - VOLUME TWO, was also slated to be a three-disk 26 episode set. But it has not been released and isn't scheduled yet, due to mediocre sales on Volume One.

2. With the possible exception of a few scenes in "Enter Macbeth", I don't think we had any animation in the first two seasons that would have fit inside "Goof Troop". We did have a variety of overseas animation studios in multiple countries working on episodes. There's no doubt that our best stuff came from Walt Disney Animation Japan. But we got some VERY good stuff from a Korean Studio as well ("City of Stone") and other places. But we got some stinkers, I'll admit. But none that looked Goof Troopish. I do recall that there was an episode of the Goliath Chronicles that I think was done in Australia that had a distinct Aladdin flavor to it. But I've only ever seen the Goliath Chron eps once each (except for THE JOURNEY).

3. You're welcome. And THANK YOU. I do appreciate that you pitched in and paid for the legit DVDs.

Response recorded on November 28, 2006

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Billy Kerfoot writes...

I'm back everyone, just got back from the 4Kids.com Forum. I've been chatting on the forum with kids all over the world about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I lately just saw an episode called "Same As It Never Was" and it was a lot like the episode "Future Tense." It was just as creepy, the Turtles and Splinter except Donatello died (because he was transported there in the year 2035 with Shredder--he's not the one from your childhood because he's VERY evil), and it was a VERY possible future--not an illusion.
Anyway Greg, I just dropped in to keep up on your responses and things. Thanks for reviewing one of my favorite episodes,
"Future Tense." I just want to add, especially after reading a review on the imdb website about your show on DVD, that you and your show are going to be history. (Laughs) No, not dead history, but the famous kind of history! There really hasn't been nor will ever be any show like yours ever again. Ever since I started to watch it for the past four years or so, it's still in my top five list of specific things to watch! I'm planning to, after I retire from my job (which is hopefully a Baseball Tonight anchor on ESPN--I already stand an excellent chance and I've only got a quarter of a semester until I go to college) that I'll start my own action cartoon channel that I've wanted to put on the air since I was eleven. Of course Greg, your show will be there whether we get it back on and running or not. We may also be getting a new fan or two or more when I compared and told about your show when I went into that ramble comparing the "Future Tense" episode to the TMNT's
"Same As It Never Was" on that 4KidsTV.com forum.

Greg responds...

Thanks for the help SPREADING THE WORD. And when you get that channel, keep me in mind... I'll probably be available.

Response recorded on November 22, 2006

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Paolo writes...

yes I'm italian I like this show too but i wonder one thing

we said that the 3rd series was not good as the first and the second it's ok and i can undstand, but

I see that there are more and more fans in this world that love this show and they write write a lot.

from Germany France and much more of european state, I think that maybe fans can help in a strong way writer and so on than why don't try to say to disney that fans are much more and they got more and more idea for the show?

i see that Baffy fans make possible the choice for the 6th and 7th series ( infact they must finished at the 5th series with the death of baffy)

i know i'm hoping for the the 4th season like a lot of guys and girls are waiting like me and we know that it is very hard it can be true, but I belive that is better gargoyles and goliath chronicles that power rangers series ( we can see that gargoyles is intenser that power ranger and more other toon in air)

so hoping in the 4th series come true, hoping in new character (that can help with their personality more auditel) and that disney could consider that gargoyles is not bad as this ungly story do

best wishes and good luck for your work Greg

Paolo 19/03/2005

Greg responds...

Thanks, Paolo. I'm not 100% sure I'm following you here, but I get that you want more. So do I. Check out the new comic book series!

Response recorded on November 22, 2006

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Blaise writes...

FUTURE TENSE

Here's my ramble (finally)!

When I finished watching this ep the first time I was seriously amazed. So many twists and cool images and risks taken ("killing off main characters, sort of"), this ep just floored me that you guys managed to do this.
But let's backtrack a bit.

Goliath gets struck by lightning, and the clouds turn red. Now, I never for a moment bought that Goliath and the rest had been in Avalon long enough for 40 years to pass in New York (they would have needed to spend the greater part of 2 years in Avalon for that to happen). However, I did not rule out the lightning bolt being some weird "time warp thing" that propelled our heroes 40 years into the future, one made possible only by their absence. And that as a result of this being an "artificially created" future, if you will, the normal rules of time travel did not apply to this particular future. Then you guys killed Bronx....
That was the clincher for me. I didn't really care about the skiff's destruction (heck, I still missed seeing the head sink on this viewing), but as long as the "untouched" characters were around they could all go back and stop this dystopia from occurring. But then you guys killed Bronx, and I KNEW this was an illusion of some kind. I didn't know who was behind it, but I knew not a lick of it was real.

Anyway, back to when I actually did buy it. The new Steel Clan was amazing. Not only did they have Xanatos' face, which was a startling and kind of cool change, but they were also bulkier and seemed much more dangerous. It's interesting how the laser shot that destroys one of them hit its red lens in its chest. Made it seem like that was the only vulnerable spot.

When I saw the "boat" or whatever, I didn't immediately recognize either Matt or Claw. When Matt of course said his name, things started to fall into place (and I found myself thinking how remarkably well reserved he was for a guy in his 70's). But I still didn't recognize Claw. Why? Because I still hadn't seen THE CAGE or KINGDOM at this time. I *thought* he might be that tiger-mutate I saw in METAMORPHOSIS, but where were his wings, and when was he named Claw? Knowing who Claw is now makes the absence of his wings rather chilling, and makes me wonder what happened to them (or if Puck had bothered to think anything up).

The Talon-troops. Again, having missed the mutate-centered eps I had only the vaguest connection with these guys, but they were cool. It's interesting how this "Xanatos" seems to base his troops off the "Goliath" template (after all, the real Xanatos did intend for Talon to be an "anti-Goliath" of sorts, right?). I did notice that they (and later the Thailog Shock Troops) had "brain boxes" (to borrow a term from another animated series). I did not, however, take that to mean that a whole hemisphere of their brain had been taken out. Interesting that it's the right hemisphere--the one that's supposed to deal with creative thought.

Chavez's daughter was an excellent image and a chilling way of engaging the long-time fans.

The Xanatos broadcast. First of all, I was still surprised by the structures built onto the Eryie building (and I also did not know is was called that at this time because, again, of my missing those eps). It really made the whole city look a lot more techno. And then I find out that they act as Holographic projectors. But Xanatos' broadcast always seems so weird to me. Maybe it's just the lack of music, but also the way he says "Rejoice, my people," to folks who have no electricity, rat's on sticks, rags for clothes, and vast amounts of misery. The "Cinderella" bit doesn't fly much with me either. Of course, the sheer hypocrisy of that song-and-dance is probably the point.

I didn't recognize the Labyrinth for what it was until some time later (again, the missed episodes--last time I'll mention it, I promise).
I must admit I was not at all surprised to find that Hudson had died. After all, 40 years against this kind of set-up, when he was already in his 50's back in the present? It was a surprise that he had died so long ago (32 years, was it?) fighting with Xanatos. I believe, Greg, that you mentioned THE PRICE being the inspiration for that particular plot twist. I'll get back to the fight later, but Hudson's taking on Xanatos one-on-one really does elevate his status.
And for the record, I never thought that bronze statue was the real Hudson's remains.

Finally we see what Brooklyn looks like. Him being my favorite character, I was obviously most interested in him. And the armor does look cool. Physically he's...inconsistent. Seriously, when we first see him, he's obviously put on a few inches of height and bulked up some (he stood just a little shorter than Goliath here). However, once we get to Castle Wyvern, he seems to lose all that and looks like his modern day self with the armor on (this is especially noticable in the Great Hall--even though he's crouching down, he still seems smaller and skinnier than he was in Act 2).
But hey, his character is nicely done, and it was kind of fun seeing him punch out Goliath like that.

Broadway's "aging" was probably the most effectively done, at least for me. He of course has his battle scars, not the least of which being his empty eye sockets (which are quite chilling, especially when tears well up in them). His skin also seemed to have changed color, becoming more of a pale green than what I'm used to seeing. But the biggest change was his voice! Seriously, props to Bill Faggerbakke--Broadway sounds so much more somber and, well, mature here. He's lost the...well, I hate to say "duuhh" quality, 'cause that implies stupidity and Broadway's not stupid, but that's the only thing I can think of. It winds up making Broadway sound...exactly how he's supposed to sound, I guess.

When Brooklyn started dropping the names "Talon, Maggie and Coldstone" as well as "Sevarius and the UltraPack" (and hinting at the deaths of the first three) I didn't quite know what to think--I was still getting over Broadway's appearance. I do recall being somewhat affected by the mention of the other mutates (especially Maggie) since their's was the story arc I kept missing. I wondered what their relationship(s) with the gargoyles ended up being.

The Phoenix Gate is brought up in a logical fashion, and then quickly forgotten.

And now Demona shows up. I kind of figured she'd be on the "good guy's" team in this future 'cause that seemed to be the way the story was going, but her and Brooklyn being an item?! That caught me completely out of left field. I guess it's the only way to go since, you know, our Brooklyn hates Demona's guts, but it still struck me. My first reaction was to laugh my @$$ off, it was such a twist.
"Thailog was killed in the Clone Wars." DINGDINGDING! This was when I started thinking something wasn't quite on the level here. but that's when Lex showed up, so I forgot about it.

Lex as a cyborg was a chilling visual, and also rather appropriate for these events. But something differentiates Lex from the other cyborgs we've had on this show: his voice. There's a strange electronic reverb that makes him sound creepy. His reaction to Goliath is rather unique because there's nothing big about it. In fact, Goliath seems secondary in Lex's considerations, and all he does is give a sarcastic "Better late than never" before ignoring him for most of the ep.

Fox? Oh, Xanatos' son! Nice way to play with our expectations there, too. His design was great, love the melding of his parents' qualities. And yes, the rather "anime" styled fight between him and Xanatos is always fun to watch. Jonathan Frakes actually did a pretty good job at giving Alexander's voice a slightly different sound than Xanatos'.
When Xanatos' killed his son...that was a pretty jarring moment. There's even a moment where it looks like something's exploding out of Alexander's eyes just before the screen goes white. It was so intense, and the very act itself so appalling, that when I showed this to my mother years back, she couldn't restrain a shocked "Jesus...." Not a bad job you guys did there.

I always figured Brooklyn was sincere about Xanatos "{nuking] the place." Don't know why.

The sonar collar's a nice touch, as was Lexington's "circuit-board eye."

Then you guys kill Bronx. As soon as that happened, I knew this was all about as real as a $3 bill and decided to just sit back and enjoy the ride.

The Thailog Shock Troops were a nice touch, and subtly different from the real Thailog, not just in style, but also in the face (probably because of the aforementioned "brain box").

When Lexington got grabbed, I kind of assumed that meant he was dead, too. But then Broadway dies onscreen. He gets a really great moment here, where not only does he see again, but he sees the sun. It's well done, and the looks of anguish on Goliath and Brooklyn's faces are great, as is the music, and I really wish I could say it affected me more than it did. Remember, by this time I determined none of it was really happening to Broadway or anyone else, so all I could appreciate were the technical and artistic aspects of his "death."

Into the digital world. I like the "reenactment" of Hudson and Xanatos' final battle (Xanatos' techno-sword looks pretty cool). I love the idea that although Hudson fell in battle, he still managed to take Xanatos with him.
And the revelation of Xanatos' "immortality" is pretty neat, and led to a great line by Goliath:
"You're not immortal. You're not even Xanatos. The REAL Xanatos, at his worst, would not have done what you have done. You're just an unfeeling machine."
That did leave me wondering, if someone ever did manage to "download their brainwaves and personality profiles" or whatever into a computer, would that program really still be the same person?

Xanatos, has circuit-board eyes. A hint that I didn't quite pick-up on, but something told me it was supposed to be significant.

Then the Xanatos Program kills off Brooklyn (I recall getting a bit annoyed that my favorite character was disposed of so unceremoniously), Angela and Demona (the fact that he wasn't Macbeth didn't really matter to me, 'cause I knew they were fakes). Then Goliath tries to go after him only to be reduced to a talking head. The "Hamlet" reference was a given, but the "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" bit was just golden.
My favorite part though, was when Goliath starts to turn the tables. "Xanatos" gets a very worried look on his face even as he says "Whatever you're up to, it won't work." The *instant* he stops speaking the cloud of granite SLAMS into him and this computer program actually gives a cry of pain. And then the winged form that bursts forth is Goliath, in the flesh again. Very cool.

The new betrayal. Lexington as the ultimate villain. This caught me completely by surprise. Not only did I think he was dead, but I never thought one of the long-running "good guys" of the series would turn bad. But this Lexington actually fills the villain role incredibly well--just as good as Thailog or anyone else. I think he's especially chilling when he says (with that weird, electronic voice) "You've LOST, Goliath. Even if you destroy this terminal there are a THOUSAND others all over the city!" Then he does something rather foolish, he tries to do his "Alien" facehugger impression on Goliath, who just throws him into the nearest bank of computers. I got that Goliath killed Lexington here, but it never really affected me that much because A) part of it was self-defense, and B) that wasn't really Lex.

Nice fireball and explosion with the Eyrie building. The hole torn in Goliath's wing looked really painful and made me wince the first time I saw it--Goliath was always real.

Elisa gives a doom and gloom bit, and brings up the Phoenix Gate...for the third time. The first two times seemed perfectly logical, but here it started to seem suspicious. I always thought that the "warning bells" in Goliath's head started to go off when Elisa said "But I'm not [too weak to use it]. Give it to me." The close-up of his eyes there led me to believe that something was starting to pierce through the fog his mind had been surrounded by. But naturally, he's not going to just say no now, so he let's it drop to the ground. I love when "Elisa" reaches for the Gate but has to pull back and ask for it again (geez, how frustrated was Puck right there?). "Elisa" presses her request, but now Goliath KNOWS something's rotten in Denmark, and the whole thing comes crashing down around Puck's feet.

This was it. The final, ultimate twist in an episode chock full of them. And it was also a pleasant surprise to actually see Puck again, since the last time was THE MIRROR *waaaaay* back in the second week of the new season.
We get the idea that, like the Banshee, he wants to stay in the world of mortals (though I did not suspect the reason). We also understand that despite having enough power to create a huge false reality (where an hour or so takes place in just a few seconds in real life), he still must follow certain limitations, and thus can't take the gate unless someone physically puts it in his hands (again, talk about frustration).
Then he gives that whole "Dream or Prophecy" thing which has had just about EVERYONE pulling their hair out at one time or other.

Finally, back to reality. And Goliath decides being the eternal guardian of the Phoenix Gate just is not for him, so he calls up the flaming gate (great animation here, love the lightning ball just before it bursts into flame) and hurls the Gate into it.
Angela and Elisa are completely nonplussed by this turn of events, but Goliath only gives a cryptic response before propelling the skiff into the mists once again (and, as it turns out, for the last time).

I really enjoyed this episode, both because it kept the twists coming, and just because it seemed like a hugely daring thing to do.
I did figure that they would get home in the next episode, and I was glad. I was ready for the World Tour to be over. Glad it went out with a bang, though.

One last thing: I remember people trying to puzzle out "what really happened in those 40 years" even after it was revealed to be an illusion tailor made to just shock and break expectations. Just shows how compelling you guys' little "alternate future" was.

Greg responds...

Thanks.

Of course our plan was to play fair by dropping hints throughout, but to follow every hint with some new shocking revelation so that the viewer's mind (at least the first time through) wouldn't have time to focus on the hint. It's a smoke and mirrors technique of course, but your ramble suggests it was fairly effective.

Response recorded on November 15, 2006

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Wheeljack writes...

Greg responds...

"simply"

You think ANY of that is simple? Any of it?!!!!

Sorry... didn't mean to offend you. I thought the quotes stated clearly that this little word was meant ironically.
Of course I do understand that trying to convince some people who only see numbers to bring back a series is a very hard task.
You can do this.

Greg responds...

Greg responds... to WHAT exactly? I'm sorry but it's over a year since you posted this. Who knows how long since I "responded". I just don't have a clue as to what we're talking about here.

Response recorded on November 13, 2006

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The Bifolchi family writes...

I'm writing this on behalf of my entire family of five in response to the release of Gargoyles first season on dvd. Back in 1994 I was only 8 years old but even now I still remember the characters of Gargoyles and how much rewarding it was to sit down and watch Goalith and his clan figure out the ways of New York. My whole family watched the show since it always caught our attention and interest, but when it was cancelled my family felt sadden since it was the one cartoon that my whole family had enjoyed.

It's been 11 years since the series was created and I or my family have never seen a cartoon come close to beating Gargoyles was back then, but when we found out that season one was being released for dvd I got it straight away and we enjoyed it and hope that disney will deeply consider putting out season 2 & 3 for dvd. If not my family would still like to thank you for bringing this wonderful series back into our home once more and allow us to see something that had affected our lives so much.

Thank you,

from the Bifolchi family of Canada

Greg responds...

You're welcome.

Response recorded on November 09, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

This is more a comment than a question, but I found myself remembering something. You mentioned having worked on the development of the original version of "Bonkers", the one where he was teamed up with Miranda Wright. One of the episodes from that version of "Bonkers", I recall (my memories are a little over ten years old, and a bit rusty), had Bonkers and Miranda after a band of gangsters who were after a long-gone gangster's treasure, the clue to which was on "page 23" (I think that it was 23, though I could be wrong) of a book, but they didn't know which book. So they were stealing Page 23 from every book that they could find - and when they found the correct page, it led to what was at first sight a poetry book - and in the same episode, Bonkers had taken up poetry (even composing a poem that was a take-off on Lord Byron's "She walks in beauty like the night") and viewed the poetry book as real treasure.

It struck me that, although it might have been only a coincidence, the episode feels almost like a foreshadowing of both "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time" (both episodes had a strong pro-literacy message and the beauties of the written word proving to be the "real treasure") and "The Silver Falcon" (the antagonists searching for the treasure of a long-gone gangster). I just thought that I'd bring it up here.

Greg responds...

I'd forgotten about that Bonkers episode. I should say that after the (Miranda version of the) series was developed, I wasn't all that involved with the day-to-day of the script writing, with a few notable exceptions (the Gloomy the Clown Banana Cream Pie bit, of course). And of course, once the new (Piquel) version of the series was developed, I had nothing to do with the show.

As I've stated before, the Miranda version of Bonkers was a definite influence on Gargoyles. Though I can't say that this particular episode was. But maybe...

Response recorded on November 07, 2006

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Hannah writes...

Hi. I read that you are going to send these to Disney Executives and that they may or may not release a Season 2 of the Gargoyles. So, I just have to say that you absolutely must release a second season of Gargoyles on DVD. Not just for the little kids who like to stay up and watch it just because they saw it on TV and decided they liked it; but for those of us who grew up on it, that were introduced to it by older siblings or cousins or whatever, those who may or may not still be with us today. We grew up on it. I was about six I think when it first came came out, and watched it with my older sister who read the comics. My friend and I have lived withit most of our lives, before we can remember. We were once the little kids that stayed up passed their bedtime, just to watch it. As Highschoolers, we don't get the time to stay up and watch it. So when we heard it was coming up on DVD, we were ecstatic. It was a part of our childhood and with the dvd's we get a glimpse back to it. It would do you more harm than good to not put the others out. Do you remeber in the first season when the dude who kept on getting robbed and never closed down? And when Goliath asked why, Alisa told him it was because that store was the only food store in the community, that the people needed him to survive and Goliath decided then that he would protect the people of Manhattan. That's kind of how it is here. Not only would you make a profit off of the DVD's (instead of being robbed), but the people would be happy and grateful, whether the gratitude would be silent or not you would still be appreciated. So I am asking you people who work at Disney- Please don't discontinue any of the production. It would only break our hearts.

Greg responds...

See, Disney, see!

Response recorded on November 07, 2006

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Megan writes...

Just wanted to express my love of gargoyles and my new favouite christmas gift, The first Season of Gargoyles on DVD. I have already watched the season numerous times and shown many of my close friends this wonderful show. I really cant wait for the second season to come out, with many of my favourite episodes in it, so i can show all my friends that as well

Greg responds...

Thanks.

Response recorded on November 06, 2006

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matt writes...

"Future Tense" Ramble

first things first, i gotta comment on the animation in this one. this is definitly one of those episodes where everything from the characters to the backdrops were just gorgeously drawn. truely a work of art.

now the "Previously..." segment really added to what i felt was Goliath and Co getting home. when the Gathering was first mentioned by Banshee and then later by Oberon himself, i had a strong feeling they would be getting home when this Gathering happened. with "Ill Met by Moonlight" finished i was convinced that they would get home in the next episode. so when the "Previously..." segment was airing i remember thinking, this is it... and even during the first scene Goliath's comments made assured me that this was it, they are coming home... it wasn't til i saw Puck's Statue of Liberty that i knew something was up. and by the time i saw the Eyrie Pyramid covering New York and Matt and Claw show up i was pretty sure this wasn't real. i could not believe that the writers would make this kind of massive change in the series and make it permenant. so naturally i thought this must be an alternate future or that sorta thing. looking back i should have known that the "time is like a river" speech forebid this kind of history. but i do remember thinking, "that bolt of lightening wasn't normal, something is going on. this isn't real, but i'm not sure what it is..." so i let the story play out, was quite a mystery in my mind.

BAM! the first big shock for me... Hudson is dead. its one thing to make the world in shambles, but to lose a main character. part of me was saying "NOOO!" and part of me was saying "theres no way this is true, no way they'd kill off a main character..." but the mystery lingered, what the hell is going on?
and, for the record, i remember thinking, is that Hudson's actual body? did they encase him in bronze? it wasn't til i found "Ask Greg" that i knew it was supposed to be a memorial only. call me silly, but i simply didn't know that much about gargoyle death at that point. *shrugs*

when Brooklyn appeared, now clad in armor, i thought he finally was acting very much in his leadership role, but something about his speech to Goliath (post-punch) was very familiar. it didn't hit me til recently that its very reminiscient of Una's speech to Goliath in "MIA". where have you been all these years? why did you vanish? both so angry that they had been left on their own with no answers. thats a tough feeling.
and Puck nailed Brook's sarcasm wonderfully "oh, that makes everything much better"...

i love Goliath's line to Demona, "hiding is never a solution". its interesting because you gotta think of how much he lives in hiding, and how much his life will be shaken when he is exposed to the world in "Hunters Moon".

boy does Broadway pull the heartstrings in this one... his death still gives me chills. and its not just Goliath's grief that is so hard to watch. Puck certaintly puts some anguish in Brook's face.

and Lex, that bastard. i mean, his treachery goes way past Demona's. i think that outside the grief of losing nearly all his loved ones, Lex's backstabbing has to be the worst thing for Goliath to take. another Clan member destroying us all, and once again blaming it on me, is it me? do i bring nothing but death and suffering to my Clan? doubt is a powerful weapon that Puck uses.

doubt, grief, pain, helplessness... i think Puck was going a little too far trying to get the Gate. wasn't there any other way to get Goliath to hand it over?
well, regardless, Goliath once again withholds a talisman for one of Oberon's Children, but this time he probably does the right thing. and we see the final one of the "big three" talismans thrown (literally in this case) outside of the reach of our characters (or so we think).

and one of the most interesting things to discuss with other garg fans is Puck's "dream or a prophecy" line. nothing like a good prophecy to shake things up. obviously, we know know its not a dead on prophecy, but only a few episodes later we start scratching our heads. the Clocktower is destroyed. what else in Puck's illusion will come true we wonder... will there one day be an Ultra-Pack? sounds like it. will Demona rejoin our heroes? looks that way. will Lexington turn out to be evil? well, maybe in the minds of the religious fundamentalists and ultra-conservatives... ; )

one thing i remember clearly saying to a friend of mine at school the day after i first saw this episode was, "i'll bet you anything that they get home in the next episode!"
turns out, i won that bet.

Greg responds...

What made you think we were EVER bringing them home?

Just kidding.

The basic plan for "Future Tense" was of course to just keep Goliath and the audience so off-balance and over-wrought that there wouldn't be time to consider what was behind it. To make a story powerful even though at the back of everyone's minds they had to know that it couldn't be true.

And yet, I take some pride in thinking that if we didn't -- in the first place -- have a series where CHANGE happens (where Fox leaves the Pack and marries Xanatos and gets pregnant... where the clan is banished from their own home atop the castle.... where Derek becomes Talon and doesn't get changed back...), then I don't think you would have been able to buy into this episode as much as you did. Somewhere in the back of your mind, didn't you have this little fear, this little "They wouldn't dare..." insecurity?

"Would they?"

Response recorded on November 06, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the "Future Tense" ramble, Greg!

The first time that I saw this episode, I thought that the lightning striking Goliath was some sort of time warp that had sent the skiff forty years into the future (I certainly didn't believe that "Avalon time" was responsible for what had happened to them; all of the previous World Tour adventures had been in the present day, after all). Of course, now it's clear that it was Puck who was responsible for it (and I'd picked up on Goliath's wish giving the little trickster his loophole).

I don't remember too much else of my initial response, but I know that, the moment the skiff got blown up, I was wondering how they were going to undo that. Of course, Bronx's death (followed by Angela's) raised that question even more, though I don't know if I was specifically wondering that any more by that point. (I find myself reminded of a similar response that I had when I first watched the episode of "Buffy" where Cordelia wished for a Sunnydale that Buffy never came to and Anyanka granted her her wish, when the vampires killed Cordelia; the moment that that happened, I began wondering in earnest how they'd undo the situation with Cordy dead. But that's another story.)

The Steel Clan robots being redesigned to bear Xanatos's goatee was a great touch. Another was when Xanatos's image appeared on the Eyrie Pyramid to deliver his Xanatopia broadcast; the way that it was set up made it look as if he had three heads.

I don't know if I picked up on it when I first watched the episode, but it's clear now that it wasn't the real Xanatos. I certainly can't imagine him now taking over New York in an open dictatorial style (as you pointed out yourself in the Gargoyles Season One Bible, he doesn't need to take over the world because he's able to get almost all of what he wants under the current system), forcing the remainder of the populace to huddle in the streets eating rats, etc. Much too cliched villain-style for him.

I liked the contrast between the trio: Brooklyn bitter, Lexington worse than bitter (gone evil), and the blinded Broadway (in contrast) being a gentle soul who never gave up hoping for Goliath to return and believes that what's important was that he did come back. (Not to mention getting such a touching death scene, and I'm glad that you convinced Adrienne to let you include it.)

The part about Brooklyn and Demona being a couple that really amused me was that not only was Goliath shocked by it, but so was Bronx!

Lexington strikes me as an example here of "You can become like what you hate". As you pointed out, his cybernetic nature echoes Jackal and Hyena - and I noticed that he also had lines around one eye that bore an eerie similarity to Fox's eye-tattoo in shape. A great touch.

Lexington observing the deaths of Matt, Claw, and Bronx struck me as a bit of a cheat in how it was handled, in that it was the one scene in Puck's nightmare that wasn't done from Goliath's point of view (since everybody in the "Future Tense" sequence other than Goliath is just an illusion of Puck's). Though I'm not certain as to how else it could have been handled. (I also noticed that the Xanatos Program's eyes had the same design to them as Lex's eyes in that scene - another hint as to Lexington being behind it?)

I'd picked up on the cybernetic implants of the Thailog Shock Troops, but hadn't realized that the helmets that the Mutates were wearing were also implants.

Lex's capture by the Thailog Shock Troops didn't set off any warning bells; I'd just assumed that it was another "loss of a good guy" moment and was therefore genuinely surprised to see Lexington resurface as the villain.

Goliath and Xanatos definitely got a great fight to the death in cyberspace, which stands out all the more in contrast to how their feud would *really* end (as the next few episodes would show). And it struck me as just like Xanatos to quote from both "Hamlet" and "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".

I really thought that the Phoenix Gate was gone for good at the end and so your mention of the plans for "Timedancer", when I first read the MasterPlan document, definitely took me by surprise. (I'm glad that there was still a little time travel left - I like time travel stories, especially ones into the historical past, and when Goliath threw the Gate away, I had felt a little sad that it looked as if we wouldn't be getting any more of those in "Gargoyles".)

Thanks for a great ramble, Greg!

Greg responds...

You too, Todd.

Response recorded on November 03, 2006

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Angelo Bifolchi writes...

Hi I am from the west coast of Canada, and I have to say I am so happy to see the Gargoyles series has gone to dvd. Currently I am 19 and when I saw the first season on dvd I was overwhelmed with excitment. I always cherished the series and was deeply sad when it was taken off the air. But now with the first season on dvd I can rewatch all my favorite eposides. I know this isn't a question, but I wanted to show my support for Gargoyles, and the hopes that disney will allow season 2 to be put onto dvd. I can tell you right now if I see season 2 on dvd I would buy it in a second without thinking twice.

Lastly I would like to say thank you to Disney and Greg Weisman for bringing back the series that I most cherished when I was growing up. Thank you so very much.

sincerely your,
Angelo Bifolchi

from British Columbia, Canada

Greg responds...

You're very welcome. 2nd Season Volume One is currently available. Go forth and SPREAD THE WORD!

Response recorded on November 03, 2006

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Blaise writes...

ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT

I never misunderstood the title, although it wasn't until I actually read "A Midsummer Night's Dream" years down the road that I got the reference.

Our travelers are finally back in Avalon again. Sure, they may have stopped off between trips, but this is the first time since AVALON part 3 that we actually meet the characters again. I sometimes think Angela's line ("I'm beginning to think this Manhattan is a myth.") and Elisa's homesickness are nods to the audience as well as character moments. By this point, I was quite ready for them to get home. And I had a suspicion that it was going to be soon--both because of the above referenced lines, and also because I knew we'd be getting the big card and seeing Oberon and Titania. The "Previously on..." segment hinted that this would be the episode in which they made their appearance.
In answer to your question, Greg, I can't remember if I thought we'd be seeing Titania as early as the appearance of Titania's Mirror. I think not, simply because I didn't expect the plethora of Children that the World Tour brought out. And, after THE MIRROR, it wasn't until AVALON part 1 that Oberon was at all mentioned again.

The Lord and Lady's entrance was indeed grand (make a platform for yourself and materialize in a bolt of lightning), and their designs were nice. I'd always wondered about the skin-color choice, and I can appreciate and support the decision to not specify any human skin color on their preferred forms. I do wonder about the choice of color though--blue for Oberon, green for Titania. Was the choice based on their distinctions of "King of the Night" and "Queen of the Day" (I'm not sure, but I thought I heard them referred to as such)?

The female gargoyle with the triceratops plate finally speaks! And later on we learn her name, Ophelia! I was very glad for this--by virtue of both design and exposure in the AVALON three-parter, Ophelia really stood out. I'd hoped she'd be given a bit more in the way of character and was pleased to see that happen.

The "conversation" with Oberon always struck me as an exercise in "leaping before looking." Here you have two beings making a flashy entrance, and one of them the Weird Sisters refer to as "my Lord." So what do you do? You *demand* them to declare themselves while partially drawing your sword. You threaten to throw them out. You leap at them. You basically do all you can to piss them off.
Goliath was the one to have the right idea. I like his line "These strangers may fail in courtesy, but we need not." He actually manages to respectfully phrase a request for identification that Oberon finally answers. Of course, by this time Elisa had already pulled her partially-iron gun on Oberon and definitely pissed him off, so Oberon starts to "quicksand" everyone.
"Once and Future Queen"...I'm sorry, but I couldn't help but flash back to King Arthur with that line.
It always struck me that Oberon spoke in the third-person plural ("the Royal 'We'"). Really makes him sound like royalty of old.
Titania intervenes on behalf of our heroes (and just before Goliath's face was about to be covered with soil). "You are over-pert, my Queen." That's such a strange phrase, "over-pert." I'm not sure of its meaning (nor its proper spelling for that matter).
"Why bother with such foolish fairness." That has to be one of the most cliched-villain lines I've ever heard Oberon say. And his reaction when Titania offers herself as prize is just so great--he loses his dignity for a moment at his joy at the mere thought of remarrying Titania. Well, she is kinda hot.

Goliath, Angela and Gabriel are the chosen champions. Somehow, I just knew that was how things would turn out. I mean, they're the main gargoyles on this Island. It's kind of like Kirk, Spock and McCoy. You don't send out Kirk, Spock and Ensign Ricky unless Ensign Ricky's going to die horribly. Similarly, you don't send out Goliath, Angela and Job unless you want Oberon to make Job die horribly. It's all in good fun!

Now we have the "iron" discussion. This was a new aspect of the Oberati for me--they have a weakness! And I loved the "silver be for vampires and weres" line.
Sadly, this is one of the more foolish cuts I've seen Toon Disney make. They seem to want to cut out any close-ups of the gun or scenes where the ammo casing is shown being removed (they can't show how a gun can be loaded, Heaven forbid!). As a result, the whole conversation skips over this IMPORTANT bit of information. It goes from Elisa saying, "Oberon didn't seem too pleased when I pulled my piece on him," to the Guardian saying "Oberon's children have always been vulnerable to it..." It's like they're talking about the gun now! They can at least TRY to edit it in a way that doesn't screw up the information.
Sorry, my digression.

Gabriel complains about "running away from a fight" and Goliath says, "Consider it a strategic withdrawal." I kind of laugh at that simply because I just start thinking of other "pleasant euphemisms" for the same thing--kind of like, "I'm not going to the bathroom, I'm freshening up."
Angela says "Oberon's no stronger than a child now." Goliath corrects her, "As strong as any of Oberon's Children," but it's too late for me, my brother and some of my friends. I just get this vision of a mini-Oberon running up and kicking them in the shin or something.

Back at the ranch--er, palace--the forging has begun. I like Guardian's almost pleading line, "I still think a sword makes more sense." Here, Princess Katharine points out that Titania gave them a clue. Now I was quite interested to see what the weapon was going to be.

Oberon's "pillar of flame" bit is very nice. Even as a Child he has great power. But he still falls into the pit-trap. It's rather funny just how sure Angela and Gabriel are that it worked.
"Dare you try to make me look foolish, mortals?!" Every time Oberon says that, I just want to yell out, "Who needs to try?!" I don't know if I'd do that if I was actually in that situation, but it might almost be worth it to see Oberon's reaction. Is it possible for Oberati to have conniption fits?
Despite having his powers reduced, Oberon is able to pull rank over the terrain quite admirably.

I will confess, when Angela and Gabriel grasped hands in the air, and smiled at each other, I was one of those who misread that. Looking at it now, it seems more like a "coming up with an idea" expression. Immediately after this, they dive towards the volcano.

The flight over the lava is...problematic somewhat for me. Visually, it's gorgeous. This is the best lava in the series, period. And the hands are great (ironic that Oberon conjures up gargoyle hands to catch the gargoyles). And I love the way they turn Oberon's trick against him. However, once again, reality just wants to cut the suspension wires of disbelief. The fact that they fly so close to the lave without their skin searing off, the way they're able to maintain a steady altitude with all the hot air beneath them. Thankfully, the scene is still well done in the visual and staging department, so in the end, I'm all right with it.

I have to agree with you on the forging, Greg. I think I was okay with it until my brother pointed out that you're supposed to cool it AFTER it's been hammered into a proper shape. I never thought about the lack of a mold before, but pouring it on the ground never made much sense to me. Still, I love your little "forgotten scene," Greg.
Ophelia really did raise a good point here. And even though Elisa's argument seems to close the discussion, it really was kind of lame (at least my mother thought so we she saw this). I mean, how would Elisa feel if she came back from the World Tour and found a bunch of strangers squatting in her apartment? Oberon and his Children may have been gone for 1001 years, but as Luna said, "What is time to an immortal."
A better argument would have been that while Oberon can afford to be magnanimous and allow them to stay with no real problem, the Avalon clan couldn't so easily pull up stakes and leave to a world they are not really prepared for. Thus it becomes a question of necessity and survival. They HAVE to use the weapon, whether they like it or not.

Goliath typically tries to send Angela and Gabriel away, and typically they remain. "Gargoyles stand together. That is our way." So things have come to where Angela is reminding Goliath of the Gargoyle Way.
I love the way Oberon's hand looks when he calls up the ground to attack the gargoyles. I also enjoy Goliath's little dig, "But did Titania want the Island to defeat us, or you?"
Goliath has a real "Hulk" moment here. His eyes glow brighter then I've ever seen them, his roar manages to sound fiercer, and he breaks the rocks in front of him with a two fisted smash as he lunges at Oberon.
Then Oberon turns into a diamond. Jerk. I did love the "Now you're just quibbling" bit. And it's a wonder Angela and Gabriel didn't cut their knuckles on Oberon's cheeks and chin (those edges could probably cut glass). Even though his power is reduced, Oberon uses it more effectively than most of the Children we've found in this series.
But even after taking out Angela and Gabriel, Oberon gets caught off guard by one last attack from Goliath. His "Good, very good," actually sounds impressed.

A tangent here, I wonder if maybe Goliath really did impress Oberon--more then anyone else even. I mean, Goliath was the first one to speak to him with some amount of respect and decorum, and has displayed great strength and at the end a bit of wit and cunning. Of course, Oberon still knows that Goliath could never beat him, but maybe he gained a little respect for the gargoyle.

Oberon returns home to what was supposed to be victory and winds up facing defeat. I had not expected a bell--having not been as familiar with the old legends as Todd--but when Elisa gave a little re-statement of Titania's lines, it started to make perfect sense.
I don't know for certain if the Guardian was going to kill Oberon and only let up at the last minute. I kind of hope not, I hope it was more of a show for Oberon, but I admit it would be more interesting if that was the case. At any rate, Ophelia seems pleased that they weren't going to kill the proper Lord of the place. And heck, Goliath helps Oberon to stand.

Oberon says he will reward the "strange behavior" of mercy by allowing the clan to stay with his blessing and bestowing upon Goliath's clan the Honor Guard position as well as immunity to the arts of the Oberati. Still, the cynic in me wonders if maybe Oberon's just trying to save face with that "reward" bit. ;-D

When Titania calls Oberon "husband"...he smiles. He has a very quiet, but at the same time a very strong joy. I guess he really did miss her.

While Titania is speaking with Goliath, Oberon is in the background talking rather animatedly with...I think it was Angela and Gabriel. Complimenting them on their performance in the chase? I guess he can be a rather nice guy to speak with when he's not pulling rank.

And then Titania says she helped "To repay a favor rendered." I had not picked up that both she and Anastasia were voiced by Kate Mulgrew, and didn't until Anastasia spoke in THE GATHERING. As a result, this left me racking my brain trying to figure out when they came across Titania and whether or not it was in one of the two episodes I missed.

I figured, with all the talk from our travelers about going home, and with finally seeing the Lord and Lady of the Third Race, we'd finally get home in the next episode.
I wasn't quite right. :-))

A nice payoff to nearly a season's worth of pipe-laying.

Greg responds...

Hey, I'm nothing if not a good pipe-layer.

Response recorded on November 02, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

After reading your old outline of "Future Tense", I had a couple of comments on it.

1. I honestly hadn't realized the irony involved there in having Demona reform - only now Goliath still can't be reunited with her since now she's Brooklyn's mate! That certainly gives a whole new dimension to her role in "Future Tense". (Maybe I hadn't picked up on it since by now Goliath was moving towards Elisa anyway, in such a way that would make Demona's reform too late in another manner.)

2. I also noticed that, at this stage in the development, Talon had the role which would later be occupied by Alex in fighting Xanatos in cyberspace in Act II. I can't help but think that the later decision to make it Alex instead actually made the scene better, because it added a new and chilling element to it: Xanatos is killing his own son. That made the scene even darker than just killing Talon (who wouldn't have as much significance to him) - not to mention making possible the line "Since I'm immortal, I have no need for an heir."

Greg responds...

Yeah, being chilling was the whole point. So we tried to constantly up the stakes in that episode. Nowadays, you could never do half what we did in "Future Tense". Frankly, I'm amazed it still airs.

Response recorded on November 02, 2006

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Blaise writes...

CLOUD FATHERS

When this episode first aired, I had missed both THE CAGE and KINGDOM--leaving me very out of the loop as far as what happened with Derek was concerned, and making this episode the first time I ever saw Beth Maza. As a result, my initial feeling was one of frustration at having lost part of the continuity. Thankfully, however, it was easy enough to figure out that the Maza family had found out about Derek's condition and Xanatos' part in it. I guess that made it *slightly* easier for them to accept living gargoyles.
In addition, since I had missed KINGDOM, this was the first time I had seen Xanatos since the World Tour started.

And Xanatos is just GREAT here. He has his moment of "cliched villainy" with the death trap (and even looks upon it as such), but he also seems much more intense this time around. He has that large "staple gun" thingy that he uses to restrain Angela and Goliath, but he also uses it on two seperate occasions as a weapon--and this thing could really kill someone! Even as a villain, Xanatos is likeable enough that you kind of forget he has the potential to be a killer. Even the death trap doesn't drive that home to me as much as his battle tactics here do.
However, before that, Xanatos' admission that he really has no interest in killing Goliath and Angela is quite refreshing--and further proof that he's not the typical animated nemesis. I even love the almost friendly look on his face as he admits neither gargoyle has done anything he'd hold a grudge against (does Xanatos even HAVE any grudges?).
Naturally, once I found out he was after Coyote the Trickster, I figured he was after immortality. His whole conversation with the Trickster is just perfectly written.
I also loved Xanatos "annoyance" at the end--FINALLY he got handed a real defeat that he could not look on the bright side of. Finally, Goliath (with a little help from his friends) was able to get under his skin, if just a smidge. I wondered, and I'm sure I wasn't alone, if this indicated a "final confrontation" was brewing. Of course, that's not what happened, but this works as a nice little misdirection.

The Robot, Coyote 4.0 was also nice, and a real treat for me to have him and Xanatos interacting. Nice design, although the "face" looked weird. More angular than usual, and sometimes the "skull" side looked like it had an eyebrow. Regardless, I love the two playing off each other, and am goofishly pleased when Xanatos, with his helmet on, is talking with Coyote 4.0, whose "face" is showing. I've always wondered what someone flipping channels would have made of this scene where there appear to be two robots talking--one with a half-human face.
Actually, that particular conversation does not speak very highly for Coyote 4.0's intelligence. He releases the Trickster ("I will check...") and then allows himself to be goaded into bringing a building down on top of him ("I should warn you, I'm programmed for vengence"). Yeah, you can definitely see the Wile E. Coyote resemblence. Now if you could have just had him hold up a little pink umbrella a split-second before the building came down on him.... ;-)

The Trickster himself was unique--the only wholly sympathetic Trickster we have met. Raven and Anansi were the antagonists of their respective episodes, and Puck...while he was enchained by Demona he didn't seem to mind giving our heroes a hard time. Coyote (the Trickster, not the Robot) not only willingly helped our heroes, but actually showed some real affection for one of them--that, of course, being Peter Maza.
Also, this Trickster was a lot more subtle--he rarely used any overt magic (a little hypnosis here, vanishing there, changing his clothes inside the Robot...). He mostly goaded others into acting (influencing luck from the sidelines, of course), and managed to take out the Robot by just dodging behind the support beams.

As for Peter Maza himself, it's nice to see more development in Elisa's dad, and showcasing where he came from. His story kind of parallels with Natsilane's, but Peter is older, more set in his beliefs--it takes more than gargoyles to convince him to believe in Coyote the Trickster. Peter also had a much more bitter break with his traditions, a good deal of which comes through with what was probably his last conversation with his father. When I first saw this ep, I had no idea that Carlos Maza had died. Having Elisa and Beth refer to "Grandpa" made me think he was still around for some reason. Of course, that made the final scene all the more poignant.

It was also nice to see and learn more about Beth. I like how each of the Maza "kids" are distinctive in personality and looks as well.
It's also nice that when Elisa realizes where they are, her first thought has to do with her family ("Beth might be in danger"). And I love the surprise in her voice when she sees her father is there as well. She is really happy to see them.

Random thoughts:

It took me a couple viewings before I started to pick up on the skiff having arrived in a pool. I rather like that twist.

When Peter and Beth start to explain to Elisa about being arrested and she asks them to start from the beginning. I don't know why but I really find that scene interesting.

Beth and Peter's reactions to the gargs are nice. Peter shows that he's probably not 100% on the whole "gargoyle" thing when he refers to them as "strange company." Beth is obviously a bit more open to them, although even she admits they seem "alien" (and no, I did not take that to mean "extraterrestrial"). Elisa, however, is used to looking at them through her own eyes, and as she says, all she sees is the beauty.

Coyote the Trickster's reverse psycology was a rather nice touch. Even better was Elisa's later comment that it was "pretty blatant."

Xanatos tries to fire from his arm-cannon only to have it kind of blow up in his face since Bronx already chewed it up. Xanatos' line here ("Big mistake, people!") always struck me as odd for some strange reason. I guess I'm not used to hearing Xanatos say something like that.

"No way my luck's this bad." I just love that line.

Beth's little pause before clarifying "uh, The Trickster, not the Robot." A nice beat that also kind of winks at the audience.

"The last thing I remember was ordering a pizza." Another bit I just love for some reason.

Peter's change of heart and appearing in the kachina garment was something I had been expecting. However, Coyote the Trickster's little speech was a surprise. It added an extra level to what Coyote was doing and Peter's part in everything. I love that little "I had to get you back" moment.

I noticed that Beth Maza had a different voice actress here than she did in THE CAGE. I'm not offering this as a complaint or nitpick, I'm just curious if there's any particular reason why.

Xanatos and Coyote alone make this a worthwhile ep, but the other elements really help turn it into one of the best eps on the World Tour.

Greg responds...

It's been a long time. The casting change was the choice of our voice and casting director Jamie Thomason. But I can't now recall what the reason was. Perhaps the original actress was unavailable. And in any case Roxanne Beckford, who also played Tea in "Night of the Panther" is always great.

Response recorded on November 02, 2006

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Lady Brooklyn writes...

I just wanted to post a review for the Gargoyles DVD... something I waited for, and with great relish purchased, after 10 years of waiting! This DVD is awesome! I just finished watching (and listening to) the commentary track.... and was blown away by the factoids and the care that the creators still have for the show. Like many others... Gargoyles had a big influence on my life and artistic career! I certainly hope that Disney will satisfy my desire and put the rest of the Gargoyles episodes (yes the ENTIRE second season!) on another DVD set!

Thanks so much! Take care!

Greg responds...

Thank you. Hope you picked up Season Two, Volume One....

Response recorded on November 02, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the "Ill Met By Moonlight" ramble, Greg! (And it's a pity that people keep on misreading it, as well. Maybe they need to read a little more Shakespeare and come across the original line. :))

I'm at a slight disadvantage at reviewing this episode, since I missed "Ill Met By Moonlight" the first time that it aired (or, more accurately, wasn't able to see it properly, since I'd just gotten a new television set that didn't have an antenna yet and so wasn't able to make out the picture very well). By the time that I did get to see it properly, I'd also already seen "The Gathering" and so got to meet Oberon and Titania through it instead. (It also meant that I already knew that Titania and Anastasia Renard were the same person, and since I'd already seen "Walkabout" by this time, knew therefore what Titania was talking about when she made that remark to Goliath at the end.)

You didn't say much about the Weird Sisters in this episode, but there were two small bits about them that stick with me. The first is that, when Oberon's burying the Avalon clan alive, the Sisters exchange little smiles with each other in a way that makes them look almost like a school tattletale who's just gotten someone sent to the principal's office and is gloating about it.

The second (which I think is especially intriguing) comes at the end, when Selene (the Sister representing vengeance) is clearly angry over the way that events have turned out, but Luna (the Sister representing fate) holds up one hand silently. Fate restraining Vengeance - that definitely makes me wonder what was going on there, especially since you said that the Sisters still had other plots brewing. Pity that we'll probably never find out now what they were.

I don't know for certain whether I was expecting Oberon and Titania to show up in the series, but I'm glad that they got in; it would be odd if they were only to be mentioned but never actually appear.

This was definitely one of the more "Shakespeare-heavy" episodes. Oberon, Titania, and the Weird Sisters are on-stage characters, Puck is mentioned, the title is taken from Shakespeare, there's a gargoyle named Ophelia, plus the lines "The game is afoot" (I wonder how many people know that Shakespeare wrote that long before Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes) and "All's well that ends well".

Ophelia raised a good point about the issue of Oberon having a prior claim over Avalon. (Indeed, one question that I've seen raised once in the comment room is why the Avalon clan stayed so long on Avalon; the initial reason was to escape Constantine, but since he was overthrown only two years after they fled, that reason was now moot. On the other hand, anti-gargoyle sentiment didn't die with Constantine - not by a long shot - so I can see why it would want a hiding place that humans could never reach.)

The notion of casting the iron into the shape of a bell worked for me, and fitted in nicely with faerie lore, where the faerie-folk couldn't stand bells. (This seems to have been for religious reasons in the original stories - the bells in question were church bells and the faeries were imagined as being old gods dwindled with the waning of paganism - but here the concept used instead is that the bell is made out of iron.) I'll confess that I don't know enough metallurgy to recognize that the forging of the bell wasn't all that accurate. I also liked Titania's clever little word-play with "ring" in giving the clue.

Good explanation for why Oberon was acting in the same way towards mortals that he'd condemned Titania for acting a thousand years earlier. (Though I did wonder when I first saw the episode why Oberon hadn't had any problems with another mortal - King Arthur - sleeping on Avalon. Of course, the fact that Arthur was spending all that time in an enchanted slumber in an out-of-the-way location like the Hollow Hill would have made that different - as well as what you mentioned about Oberon owing Merlin a favor.)

Thanks again for the ramble. I'm looking forward to the "Future Tense" one next.

Greg responds...

Re: the Weird Sisters plots. I wouldn't say never. Especially now that we've got the comic book.

Response recorded on November 01, 2006

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Blaise writes...

BUSHIDO

LOVE the opening shot on the mask!

This was an episode I had been waiting for ever since I had read about the second season introducing Japanese gargoyles. Actually, this clan managed to make itself distinctive in more ways than mere physicality (although, even that was unique--Japanese gargoyles seem to have a profusion of horns, spurs and juts, and I love the "dragon-dog"). Their facing inward was an excellent touch, as was connecting them to samurai. Actually, this ep was the first place I'd ever heard about Bushido.

I never really picked up on the parrallels between this and AWAKENING until you mentioned them some time ago, Greg. Now, I can hardly understand how I missed them. Maybe because I never took Taro as seriously as Xanatos--I mean, c'mon...a theme park?! Xanatos wants immortality and his own super team. No contest, man. And whereas Demona was focused on "getting rid of the humans," Yama wants just the opposite: greater contact. Unfotunately, he seems to want it not just in his own lifetime, but immediately. Haste makes waste, I guess.
However, this time out, I really noticed the similarity between Kai and Goliath. Even in physicality--they've got the same damn chin!
Actually, I was quite surprised to see a couple gargoyles that looked even bigger and more muscular than Goliath.
And I do wish we had seen more of Sora. She had a very unique look (and not just because she's the only two-toed gargoyle I've seen). Exotic and beautiful. The chance of a guest appearance by her alone is enough to make me want "BAD GUYS" on the air. And she's Yama's mate! That guy didn't know how good he had it!

Of course, the biggest thing was the fact that the humans and gargoyles were buddies. It was nice to actually see gargs being able to stand in the street rubbing shoulders with the human inhabitants. One does wonder how it remains "the best kept secret in Japan" if they occasionally capture crooks from out of town (like the ones we meet at the beginning). I guess if a town has "monsters" on its side you'd just as soon leave and forget about it.

Yama and Taro's little asides indicate early on that they're up to something. It's very easy here--and later on with his rather stand-offish attitude--to assume Yama is as complete a villain as Taro. But Yama really does want a better life for his clan (and his kind in general), and that's probably why he remains blind to Taro's true nature until he hears about the press.

I, too, love Goliath's line, "And you will solve this problem by charging admission." I also love Taro's reaction--he ignores it.

"Gargoyle must not fight gargoyle!" I had never seen "Planet of the Apes" before this, so I didn't get that little tribute initially. Instead, it seemed like a further indication of the Ishimura clan's cultural distinctiveness--that they have some sort of "law" specifically stating this.

Hiroshi's sacrifice (of his car). Having been through three accidents myself (and with my brother's poor car being totalled this past weekend), I feel so sorry for Hiroshi here. I love the way he asks, "Is this the only way?"

Actually, Hiroshi seems to have a pretty good sense of humor about him. "Excuse me. I was looking for the snack bar."

It took me a while before I got the "TV stars" joke.

One bit I really started noticing recently is when Kai says to Yama something along the lines of, "You helped build this, so YOU may stay." Nowadays, that bit seems to indicate the "start" of Yama's exile.

What did that little gargoyle-head that Taro pulled do? Set off a silent alarm of some kind?

Taro dresses as a Samurai--even while deriding Bushido.
The electric fans are an excellent touch (and I love the shot of Taro passing them in front of his face).
Yama partially redeems himself here by taking on Taro. He sure is tough--look at the way he takes both fans on the shoulders! However, there is a moment in here I can't help but laugh at--Yama says, "He's mine" and squares off against Taro, only to be knocked down by an electric blast within five seconds.

For a character as arrogant as Taro (and that arraogance is part of the reason he failed), his humiliating "press conference" is an excellent punishment. And, of course, Elisa and Hiroshi don't help him (it's great the way they just throw themselves into their little act). And the Frank Welker-goylebot is just great.
Like Todd, I have to question Taro's holding the press conference at dawn. I suppose Taro just wanted to be sure the gargoyles didn't have any real time to escape, but if so it was a wasted effort.

Some other random thoughts:
Taro was voiced by an actor named James Saito. I'm wondering if this is the same James Saito who starred in the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie as the Shredder (the body, his voice was dubbed by another actor).

RE: Taro and Bruno having the same type of dart gun. Check the bottom--it's probably got "Made in Japan" stamped on it. ;-)

You don't consider being a "living walkaround character in a theme park" hell? I know I would!

It would have been nice to have some Japanese language in this ep (people forget that "Batman: The Animated Series" managed to pull it off), but at least samurai and Bushido were brought up.

I love how Yama JUST dodges the knife.

And Elisa in a kimono. 'Nuff said.

I really do enjoy this episode, and am only sad that we couldn't see more of Yama, Sora and the rest of the clan (here or in "Bad Guys").

Greg responds...

Technically, the line is a tribute to "BATTLE FOR the Planet of the Apes".

Response recorded on October 30, 2006

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Blaise writes...

SENTINEL

Here's my ramble (better late than never).

Up front I'll say this ep is always a bit difficult for me to watch because of the "unfairly accused" angle with Nokkar and the gargoyles. Injustice in any form has always raised my hackles, and the way Nokkar is so convinced of the gargoyles' guilt (without any REAL evidence) just ticks me off.
I admit, Nokkar gets less slack from me than either Talon or the Banshee in this regard. Talon was being deliberately deceived (by Xanatos--'nuff said), and the Banshee was a bit of an unscrupulous character anyway, but Nokkar is acting on his own judgement AND he's supposed to be the GOOD GUY! The sheer certainty with which he pronounces the gargoyles as invaders just strikes me as...well, deplorable.
I understand that he's a "sentinel" and all that, but still...if nothing else the fact that he couldn't identify "[their] planet of origin" should have sent off some warning lights in his head. Elisa bringing up "gargoyle statues" may not have immediately turned Nokkar's mind to the moai raised in his honor, but he might have at least thought to pursue that line of inquiry. And how long would it take for Elisa's memory to come back? A sentinel may not be "permitted to take prisoners" but he had no problem holding the gargoyles until he had them all, and had given Elisa the tour of his ship. Would it have been so bad to wait until Elisa's memories had returned?
Like I said, Nokkar's a good guy--and with Elisa he's down right pleasent (real nice and gentle--so just seeing how certain he is when he's in the wrong is very frustrating to me.

It can also be frustrating when Goliath is trying his best to (re-)connect with an amnesiac Elisa, but fun at the same time. One thing I've noticed is that Goliath's familiarity with Elisa kind of worked against him in the hotel room. I mean, his entrance (and line, "I'm afraid I cannot allow that") and behavior are almost the sort of things you'd expect from a villain, but he's just trying to protect his...uh, friend (his GOOD friend).
Actually, I love that line: "Elisa, please. We've been friends for over a year--GOOD friends! We've been...--"[I've always wondered if he was about to stumble into a verbal declaration of love here, but instead he follows it up with]--"traveling together with my daughter, Angela, and Bronx."
I, too, enjoy Elisa's calling him Tiny. And the "Holy Grail" bit was just sweet.
Goliath loves histrionics. Just look at the way he gestures when saying "The Castle...Xanatos...Gargoyles!"

I really like the presentation of Nokkar in terms of his physicality, and his technology. He truly is quite alien (I wonder if any fans have tried to puzzle out his science). Watching the episode today, I noticed just how tube like his body is--thin and ramrod straight. His weapons and ship are also fairly unique--the laser-tongue and mini-bot especially.
Still, it always throws me off how, when blasted, his seemingly metal ship appears to have the consistency of stone. Oh, well.

The archeologists from "LIGHTHOUSE..." return--much to my surprise. I had honestly expected never to see them again. I suppose it would have been a bit much for Dr. Sato from "DEADLY FORCE" to show up here as well. ;)
I'm glad to hear John Rhyes-Davies as Morwood-Smyth again (I apologize for my spelling here).

Actually, it's good voice acting all around as usual. Salli does a great job with Elisa's confusion and fear. Even Clyde Kusastsu (sp?) makes his "Dr. Arnada" sound different from the character he will be playing in our next episode.
Special note must be given to Avery Brooks and Nokkar's particular sound. Avery Brooks has a very distinctive way of speaking, and it works quite well for an alien who has had to learn English as a second (or even third or fourth) language. Also, the sound guys did a great job with the modulation for Nokkar--it has led me to speculate how his voice box must function.

The destruction of the Moai head...yeah, that always disturbed me, too.

I'm not sure what my initial reaction was to extraterrestrials being introduced into gargoyles like this, but I never had any problems with it. Some folks, I think, found it a bit TOO out there, but I just viewed it as another story possibility (and I have to admit I am VERY interested in G2198--though I do hope we see some of how Arnada and the Archeologists adjust to this new wrinkle in their lives).
As for putting the "Gargoyles are aliens" theory to rest...I think you'd have to insert a clip of yourself saying something like, "They're not aliens, they never were, they're completely home grown--get used to it." And even THAT might not stop it.

Random thought: Did Elisa remember the incantation to get to Avalon? Did Goliath teach it to her before sleeping? If not, that's going to be one LONG day at sea--especially with that storm on the horizon.

Greg responds...

Ya gotta figure that before he turned to stone, he'd have given Elisa the info she needed.

Response recorded on October 30, 2006

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Battle Beast writes...

Re: "Cloud Fathers"

Wile E. 4.0??? LOL

Xanatos: "It's so hard to program good help these days." LOL

Seriously, There is a great deal of great writing in this episode. The quotes you pointed out are just some great examples of how great the writers on this series were.

1) Did you write lines like those, "The deep end," "Hard to program good help..." or was that purly the writers?

Peter V. Carlos: "Cloud Fathers" deals with a serious topic. I know someone like Peter who hasn't spoken to a relative for a while. I know what it does to people, so I know what Peter might have been going through.

The Pool: I know it was a swimming pool right off the bat. My friends and I watched "Gargs" at 4:30 (we did it almost every weekday together) and I remember saying to my friends, "Man, that Skiff goes everywhere! Will it show up in my bathtub?"

I actually hated this episode the first few tiems I saw it. My friend (who i watched the show with) is Native, from New Mexico (He moved to Canada) and he thought the episode mocked native culture. Well we were wrong, and we actually like the episode a whole lot more now.

Greg responds...

1. Most of it, I'm sure, was the writers, though I did tend to throw in a line here and there, and/or tweak a line here or there. And of course, great lines are nothing without great line-readings... so credit also our actors and Voice Director.

And we certainly weren't trying to mock Native Culture at all. In fact, we ran the script by an expert or two to make sure we were being respectful.

Response recorded on October 26, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the "Cloud Fathers" ramble, Greg!

I will confess that I can't remember from my first-time viewing whether I was surprised or not by the revelation at the end that Carlos Maza had passed on. However, I do find myself wondering, whenever I watch it on tape now, whenever either Elisa or Beth asks Peter if he wants to "go visit grandfather" while he's in town, how many first-time viewers did suspect that Carlos was dead, and how many were surprised.

Arizona, incidentally, now has a little more personal significance to me than it did when the episode first aired; my mother and stepfather moved there a few years ago (they live in the Phoenix area). They've sometimes mentioned Flagstaff in conversations with me, but haven't as yet mentioned anything about sand-carvings of Coyote or Kachina dancers. :)

Xanatos's "cliched villainy" line is a particular favorite of mine; only Xanatos would make such a remark! Though the bit where he admits that he has no desire to kill Goliath or any of the other gargoyles - this is just a necessary part of his coyote-trap - definitely stands out to me as well. You don't see the main antagonist saying that to the hero too often in an animated adventure series!

I liked the touch of the Cauldron of Life being incorporated into Coyote 4.0. (As I mentioned once in chat, it reminds me a bit of the scene in "Camelot 3000" where Mordred incorporates the Holy Grail into his armor.) The mention of the iron obviously was a foreshadowing of what was coming in the very next episode. (Was Xanatos's follow-up remark of "Ironic" intended as a pun, by the way?)

I also got a kick out of the mild confusion over "Which Coyote are we talking about here?" - the best part of all being when Coyote the Trickster threatens to sue Xanatos for trademark infringement. (And Xanatos's response that he's a "trickster at heart" rings true to me - the man's living proof that you don't have to be a Child of Oberon to be a trickster. He fulfills the archetype just as surely as Puck, Raven, and the rest do.)

I hadn't noticed the similarity of the Coyote robot to Wile E. Coyote until you mentioned it here at "Ask Greg" (not in this ramble, but in earlier answers to questions), but I certainly see it now. (Though, judging from the name of a certain merchant in "Vendettas", Coyote the robot isn't the only "Gargoyles" character to be influenced by Wile E. Coyote!)

So the multiple trickster story was what you'd originally planned for the Puck-and-Alex story before you decided to merge it with the Cold Trio for "Possession"?

Thanks for another enjoyable ramble, Greg.

Greg responds...

I'm not sure the iron/ironic thing was an intentional pun. But it was so long ago, I may have forgotten.

The Multi-Trickster story was indeed slotted for our 64th episode... with Reckoning planned as our 65th. Then at some point, we learned that Hunter's Moon would not be a direct to video, but would instead have to be folded into our regular series. So HM1-3 became episodes 63-65. Reckoning was moved back to 61, so that we'd have at least a little Demona distance between Reckoning and HM. And then we had to combine a few springboards to make room for Hunters Moon. (For example, Vendettas was a combo of two springboards: (1) Vinnie's Vendetta and (2) Hakon & Wolf's Vendetta.)

So another couple of springboards we combined were the Multi-Trickster story and the Coldtrio story. Cary Bates and I worked the combo for some time, but we finally RAN OUT OF TIME. We were on deadline, and we just couldn't crack a story with so much going on. So we simplified back down to one Trickster, i.e. Puck.

Response recorded on October 26, 2006

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Heather writes...

I not asking a question. I'am just writing to rave about the Gargoyles season one dvd. I loved it. Ever since I was able to say the word Gargoyles I have watched the show religiously. I was so excited to see the first season I screamed in joy when I saw it on the shelf at the store. I have really high hopes that the second and third season will come out on dvd soon. I really hope so. Cause that would be so cool!

Greg responds...

It was and hopefully WILL be if we SPREAD THE WORD! (Have I said that recently?)

Response recorded on October 24, 2006

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Mercy writes...

I have no questions, just writing my review and support for the Gargoyles DVD.

I love it so much. I watched it all the minute I ripped it out of the Christmas wrapping!It brought back so many memories! I was fourteen when the show aired and watching it all over again has made me more aware of storylines I didn't pay attention to before. Really, no other animated series has ever topped Gargoyles.
I especially love the commentaries and wished there had been more, but I'm sure that's simply asking too much. I love all the inside information and spoilers. I especially enjoyed the warmth and humor through out the commentaries.
I would like to put in my part in saying that I desperately, desperately want to see Gargoyles Season II come out and soon. I may be a poor college student but I would happily spend my financial aid money to buy season two instead of textbooks!

On another note, I want to thank you Greg Weisman for adding Shakespeare into the series. It inspired me to read Shakespeare, love Shakespeare and now I'm on my last year of college hoping to one day soon, teach Shakespeare.

Greg responds...

That is tremendously gratifying. Thank you for relaying that here.

Response recorded on October 24, 2006

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N. Shaffer writes...

This is just a brief post to let everyone (especially the folks at Disney) know how wonderful the first season of Gargoyles DVD set is. I got it for Christmas and have watched it at least three times since then, hooking a new generation of kids too young to have seen the show during its original airing. I'm particularly glad the decision was made to keep "Deadly Force" in the set, instead of removing it entirely for its 'excessive violence'. That episode truly highlights the danger of guns, and I was very proud that my young nieces and nephews were able to grasp that concept immediately. I am waiting with impatience for the release of seasons two and three; they definitely have one sale already in the bag. Thank you.

Greg responds...

No, thank YOU!

Response recorded on October 24, 2006

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Brian writes...

It's funny how you would bring up "Ask Greg" in the commentary on the fifth episode of the five-part pilot. You've asked us to review the DVD so I'm going to give mine. I'll try to touch base with the same elements I have reviewed at Amazon.com, and if I don't get to them all, oh well. I'm only human.

Anyway...

First all, I have to say I like how much better it looks compared to when it was aired on television. I know, duh everything looks better on DVD than it does on television. But being able to see it in it's original, unedited form. I haven't seen it like that for a very long time. That is definately a plus.

I put the disc in, skip the introductory crud, and the first thing I see is the animated menu. I don't know how many times I just let it run through, I mean it is that good. I have never seen anything like it. Now getting back to the introductory crud, Power Rangers? How the hell did Disney ever have anything to do with Power Rangers? Ok, back on topic...

I start the whole thing through beginning with the five-part pilot. I like having all the key elements to the story unlike what The Heroes Awaken VHS that I got for Christmas nine years ago lacks. Back then I found that to be a disappointment. Another great disappointment that has been taken care of very well is Deadly Force. Not only is it there, but Elisa is lying in the pool of blood on the kitchen floor too. Not a single element has been booted out, and we can thank Disney for finally righting this wrong. If you ask me, justice has finally been served.

The audio commentary on the five-part pilot, though identified as spoilerish by a few others that have viewed it, tells of how this great idea came to pass and how the five-part pilot sets the stage for the upcoming events through the second season. I thought it was well done. Hearing the comment about the show pitch and seeing the tape that pulled through definately puts this rule of thumb into perspective - Don't you dare quit. Quitters only gain nothing.

Now for the part that says, "Where's the beef?" Viewing the part on the Gathering is the closest I've been to one. And according to a comment I have found here somewhere about costing $800 just for the trip, it's the closest I'm probably ever going to get. I'm like, dude, it costs that much $$ just to get there? As if I wasn't furious enough that I've never been to one. No plan D here. I'll have become a gargoyle long before I have the dough to cover all those expenses. Since all I have for this is beef I think I'll move on.

I would like to see the second season come out, but I feel there are a few things about it that need to be addressed. Compared to the first season, which has 13 episodes, the second season has a long string of 51. In order to put this on DVD, there are two possible outcomes. We would either find it on a set of four discs, or on a set of two double-sided discs. I think the double-sided ones would be better because it would fit in a regular case instead of a big monstrosity. Either way, it'll be a bit pricey but worth it. So a word to the wise - now is the time to start saving up for it.

Greg responds...

Indeed.

Response recorded on October 23, 2006

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Tom Lahr writes...

Hello. I wasn't sure where to put this so I decided to submit it this way. I heard that in Febuary talks will be held to decide if Gargoyles season 2 and onwards should be put on DVD, and that people should write brief reviews of the show that could be shown to execs and such to show why we need season 2 on DVD. I should probally start with the fact that I didn't watch the original broadcasts. For some reason I just "missed" the show. However I had seen a few episodes prior to my DVD purchase due to the fact that Disney still shows Gargoyles every so often. I had high expectations when I bought the DVD, due to the fact that Gargoyles has a HUGE fanbase, just like Family Guy, one of my other favorite animated shows. Let me tell you, the DVDs didn't dissapoint. I loved everything about the show, from the beautiful choice of colors used to animate night in Manhattan to the brilliant script and acting. The only thing I would want different in the 2nd season boxset is MORE COMMENTARY! I found the commentary on the first 5 episodes facinating, and if the 2nd season had commentary on (hopefully most of) the episodes I would be estatic! I don't want to ramble any further, but all I can say is that I want more! I never got the chance to see how the series progresses, and a Season 2 DVD release would finally let me see how the series plays out.

Greg responds...

Agreed.

Response recorded on October 20, 2006

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Kelsi Parker writes...

I was lucky enough to recieve the Gargoyles Season one DVD for Christmas, and reaffirmed my love of the show. I think I appreciate it now more than ever, since I've read some Shakespeare and no longer rely on Disney Adventures for fandom news. Through various internet linkages, I discovered your site, and think it's amazingly wonderful that you're still feeding our obsession.

Watching the show as a kid, I saw a cool story, interesting imagery, and something worth running to the television for when it came on. Watching as an adult, I still see the cool story and amazing visuals, but also the tiny details, little tidbits that are easily overlooked in a casual viewing. I would like to add my voice to those asking to see the further seasons released on DVD, as the first has only whet my appetite for more.

Greg responds...

Thanks. That was the goal. Something to appeal to all age groups.

Response recorded on October 20, 2006

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Jay R Kreige writes...

Gargoyles is the best show ever made. Thank you Mr. Weisman, the cast and crew, and especially Disney for taking a chance and scoring big with myself, and all those who still love the show, and those who have just been distracted, thank you.

Greg responds...

You're welcome, Jay.

Response recorded on October 20, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the "Bushido" ramble, Greg!

I hadn't realized the "Awakening" parallel (at least, not the parallel with the 994 portion of "Awakening") until you brought it up (not in this ramble, actually, but in an earlier reply here at "Ask Greg"), but it certainly works for me. And I agree that Yama, fortunately for the gargs, had held on to more of his courage and understanding of the "gargoyle way" than Demona had (I especially liked the scene where he discovers to his disgust that Taro had been lying about the first visitors to the theme park being a group of schoolchildren who wished to learn bushido - the fact that he had believed that those would be the first visitors illustrates his good intentions there).

The Ishimura gargoyles remind me a little of the tengu, a race of winged beings in Japanese legend who sometimes taught humans bushido (continuing the concept that you'd used in the Avalon World Tour of tying gargoyles in with other legends, as I mentioned before).

I agree with you that Taro isn't up to Xanatos's level. For one thing, though Xanatos might get defeated, he always did so in a way that essentially preserved his dignity; I simply cannot imagine him winding up dangling from a gigantic animatronic gargoyle in front of a crowd of reporters. (For that matter, I also can't help wondering why Taro would have wanted to have the reporters show up at dawn rather than dusk to get their first glimpse of the gargoyles; if I wanted to introduce people to gargoyles in an impressive way, I'd want it to be when they were bursting out of their stone shells in the evening. That'd be much more powerful and dramatic.)

Yama's concerns about gargoyle secrecy certainly worked for me, and although he went about solving the problem in the wrong way, I can certainly agree with him about the secrecy having its drawbacks. It does strike me that part of the reason why humans fear gargoyles is because about all that they usually see of them is their charging about growling, with eyes glowing, in battle-fury - a condition that certainly makes it easier to jump to the wrong conclusion about them. Would humans be so ready to make that mistake if they got to see more of the gargoyles when they weren't simply fighting? Also, there's the danger that if you just keep secret, somebody else might reveal you to the world under less favorable circumstances than the ones that you'd have chosen (such as claiming on a news broadcast that you blew up a police station in New York). It does make one wonder whether the gargoyles have been a little too passive in working for peace with humans, just sitting around and hoping that the humans will learn to accept them on their own, rather than actively working towards it.

And I got a big kick out of the metareferencing in Elisa's "TV stars" line, and Goliath's horrified cry of "No!" (Goliath's line was made all the funnier, for me, by Keith David's reading of it - making it sound as if Goliath truly considered such a prospect a fate worse than death!)

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of "Bushido" is that it shows a community where humans and gargoyles live together harmoniously, showing that Goliath's belief that such a thing is possible is indeed accurate. (We saw a bit of that on Avalon, but that was an unusual case - humans raising young gargoyles as if they were adopted children. This is a more "conventional" community.) Hope is indeed possible.

Again, thank you for the ramble.

Greg responds...

A big theme of the World Tour was hope. Intentionally.

Response recorded on October 20, 2006

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Storyseeker writes...

Just to let people know that I received the Garg DVD, and it was absolutely brilliant! The special features were ace, I loved watching the interviews from folks at the Gathering. It was the closest I've ever come to actually going to the convention, so it was cool to see what the place was like. It was quite funny when I saw some of the original pictures for the clan and I saw the one of Hudson, as he looked more like a dog than Bronx ever did. And all the sound and picture quality on all the episodes was excellent, I enjoyed watching the 1st season again and again and again...

Greg responds...

I'm glad!

Response recorded on October 20, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the "Sentinel" ramble, Greg!

I can no longer remember a lot of my initial responses to the episodes in "Gargoyles", but I can for "Sentinel". And what I remember most about it was this: when I saw the two archaeologists from "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time" in the "Previously On" section, I eagerly thought that the episode would have something to do with King Arthur and Griff's quest for Merlin (which I wanted to see more of), since Morwood-Smith and Duane were the ones who'd discovered the Scrolls of Merlin. And I was at first a bit disappointed when it turned out that the background mythology was Easter Island and ancient astronauts, instead - though at least it had that "Holy Grail" line. I've come to accept that since then, however (I suspect that the Quest for Merlin would have worked far better in the projected "Pendragon" spin-off, anyway, since it would be too artificial to have Arthur and Griff constantly bumping into the Manhattan clan on their search).

You can feel reassured that I never thought that the gargoyles were aliens, either before or after the episode. Mostly this was due to the fact that I'd always seen them as fantasy creatures rather than science-fiction creatures; living gargoyles are found far more often in fantasy than science fiction, Goliath and his clan originally hailed from medieval Scotland (and medieval settings fit the fantasy genre better than the sci-fi genre, though they aren't necessarily incompatible with it), their means of being brought into the 20th century involved a wizard's spell, etc.

The business with the amnesiac Elisa struck me as well-handled, although I'm afraid that I don't have anything more to say about it than you already have.

And, yep, I'm afraid that Elisa does wear her short-sleeved black shirt on the Avalon World Tour - and what makes it all the more embarrassing is that we see it on the preceding episode, "The Green"!

I will confess that, although he showed seriously faulty judgment at first, I rather like Nokkar. Despite his stubbornness in believing the gargoyles to be agents for the Space-Spawn, he also displayed a strong sense of concern over the world that he was supposed to protect. After subduing Goliath, he immediately turns to Elisa and asks her if she's all right. He trusts her enough to give her the guided tour of his spaceship. And he chooses to ask her first why she helped the gargoyles escape instead of taking a "shoot first, ask questions" later attitude - and accepts her answer, recognizing that he'd been in the wrong. It makes the resolution at the end (including his finding some new friends) all the more convincing - and makes it clear that he truly is a "protector-figure" like Goliath and Elisa.

Greg responds...

Yeah...

Does make me wistful for all the plans we had for both Nokkar and Merlin...

Well, if the comic succeeds...

Response recorded on October 20, 2006

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Gingitsune writes...

I don't have a question, actually I was just directed here from another part of Station 8 were it was said you wanted commentary on the DVD. Best DVD Ever, for the best show ever created, I cannot thank you enough for creating this great series. I was fascinated by the commentary on the "Awakening" and even more thrilled when it directed me to this site. Thank you again, I cannot wait for season 2 to be released on DVD, which hopefully is in the works!

Greg responds...

Thanks!

Response recorded on October 19, 2006

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WingedBeast writes...

I recently got the DVD and there's little enough I can say about the episodes without launching into long rambles.

I looked at the extras, the commentary had a lot of nice information that put little bits in a light. Kieth David's growl not needing reverb... there are odd lengths I would go through if I could count on getting a voice like that.

But, above all, let me thank you for making the changes to the series that you did from the original pitch.

I do think that the more rounded image of the Gargoyles would have been a nice look to them. It reminded me more of the savagery of a rabbid gorrila than the Gargoyles I know which are animalistic in the proud vissage of an eagle. (sort of, I mean, Lexington is a little too cute to be eagle-esque, but there you go).

But, mostly, I like the fact that the Trio aren't just a mischevious group of kids. They're warriors from a time when you had to grow up fast. Yeah, they get in trouble and act pretty much like you'd expect brothers to act, but the seriousness in them makes the funny bits all the funnier.

Finally, best for last, thank you for making Bronx not into an ear-flapping comedy piece. Bronx is so much better as this dog-like beast than he is as something that chews on fire-hydrants.

And, to look to Awakenings, Bronx's reaction to the Trio giving him a name is far better comedy than eating various things. It's just such a perfect dog-like animal reaction, the kind that makes you think he knows exactly what's being said. If I could put words to his reaction, it would be "If you're going to name me, leave me out of it."

All in all, thank you for making the changes you did.

Greg responds...

You're welcome. They were all pretty organic, developing over time as more people (like Frank Paur and Michael Reaves) joined the project.

Still the pitch you saw is what SOLD the show, so I'm not sorry it had all the comedy it did.

Response recorded on October 11, 2006

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El Kevo writes...

I loved this show when I was but a young lad but, as many people do, I grew up and forgot about it. Then one day two years ago, quite by accident, I found this website. It rekindled my love for the show and brought me back to a place I hadn't been in years. I started to watch the reruns on Toon Disney almost religiously and become obsessed all over again. I started checking this site daily, hoping to hear some news that Gargoyles was coming back in some way, either in a new form or a release of the classic in DVD format. Finally the news came and I was ecstatic.

Got the Season One DVD for Christmas and I must say FANFREAKIN'TASTIC!

Comments:
Starting with the menus, I loved them. Slow? Yes, but I didn't mind, they looked good. Then I selected to watch Awakening with the commentary. Loved it. Most of it we have read here on Ask Greg, but there were some other things that I hadn't and was interested to find out.

And I have to agree with Mr. David, one of my favorite lines from anything ever is "Know her? I named her!"

All the other episodes looked great! Haven't looked better. Even Enter Macbeth, which in my opinion was lacking the most visually, looked great.

The sound quality was great too! Hearing that music clear and crisp and all the great voices, I was in heaven.

Complaints/Botherings
There's only one thing I would have liked to see and that's more commentary. I'm sure all of you are busy and probably don't have a whole lot of time to just sit around and talk about episodes, and yes we have your Rambles here on Ask Greg, but it would have been nice. Other than that, loved it!

And though the other extras were few, they were great. I loved seeing the original pitch, seeing how the ideas started out and then comparing them to how they turned out.

In conclusion to this rambling collection of praise and my personal story with your amazing show I would like to say thank you and I hope the DVD does good enough for a Season Two release and hopefully the rebirth of Gargoyles.

Greg responds...

The lack of commentary on additional episodes had nothing to do with us being too busy. This was a budgetary decision on BVHE's part.

Response recorded on October 11, 2006

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StarCreator writes...

I just finished watching the first season DVD. Since Ask Greg seems to be open for questions again (probably proving how infrequently I stop in), I figured it would be as good a place as any to leave my comments.

The first thing I checked out was the commentary. It's always interesting to hear the staff talk about their work, and you get some gems of information you would never hear otherwise. However, I'm a bit disappointed that Keith didn't talk a little bit more frequently in the three episodes of commentary that he participated in. Not that disappointed though, since he did have a few good bits here and there.

That bit about the gun change surprised me; even though my old VHS tape from TV had all the next ep previews/credits/openings cut to run the whole thing in sequence, I had never noticed. Nearly fell out of my couch for that one.

One bit about "The Thrill of the Hunt": one scene that I definitely didn't remember from previous viewings was a gargoyle statue's head being smashed as the Pack scaled the building to chase Goliath and Lexington. Nice to see some cut bits of episodes put back in their rightful places - this little bit makes that scene make that much more sense.

By the time I got to "Deadly Force" (and wow, I just typo'd that as "Deafly Force" there for a minute), I was impressed at how far the envelope was pushed in this series, considering the target audience and timeslot it had. In this episode alone, we not only have the dead body chalk outline on the street, but Elisa actually flatlining for a bit. Wow.

We also have Goliath referring to the first meal of the night as "dinner" here, while two episodes later in "The Edge", Broadway refers to it as "breakfast". I wonder if that means their food choices for said first meal are similarly different...

I think that's all I really wanted to say about the content of the show - since if I went into complete praise and gushing, I'd probably have a novel on my hands. I'd probably also end up derailing myself even further with all my random comments I keep inserting. But rewatching these episodes reminded me of how impressive and epic the series is, and even with a decade of age, that feeling hasn't changed.

Whoa, hey, the blurb about the DVD to my left that I've been staring as while writing this mispells Keith David's first name.

Woo, derailed again.

On the technical side of things now...

DVD menus were fairly OK. Transition times are a bit too long for my taste, but for the most part didn't bother me that much. The imagery is interesting - I was a little bit put off with the main menu animation at first, but I warmed up to it after letting it loop a couple of times. I like the use of the theme song in its original incarnation to depict a duality between the calm of the gargoyles' stone sleep and their nighttime awakening.

I also like how both the Sun and the Moon rise and set in the same direction.

One big thing that surprised me was the lack of chapter stops within each episode. A long history of collecting anime DVDs has taught me that episodes should always be chaptered for quick and easy seeking - in this case, I expected chaptering for Opening, Previously+Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, End Credits. With every episode stored onto its own chapter, I ended up having to memorize the times of points I wanted to return to should I want to jump around, which I think is a tremendous inconvenience for something so easily implemented.

Video quality was impressive, as far as I could tell from the old TV I was watching on. The show pretty much looked just the way it did when I first watched it on TV, without nasty artifacts from our poor terrestrial reception. I was particularly impressed that all the scenes I spot-checked didn't show any combed frames as I stepped through. I bet this would look marvelous on the HDTV.

Keith's growl bit at the Gathering amuses me. I wonder how many times he can do that consecutively. I'd probably have no voice left after one attempt.

I'm left wondering why, after there was a decently-sized Gathering featurette, that there was no link to the Gathering website or any information on the Gathering at Las Vegas in 2005. I thought it would have been the perfect place to put it, unless there are some legal reasons that prevent such a thing. (I was also kind of expecting a disclaimer stating that the Gathering was not affiliated in any way with Walt Disney Co., etc., etc...)

And I think I'll end my disjointed mad ramblings here before inflicting mental harm on any who would happen to read it. Again, I'm glad I finally have the DVD in my hands, and aside from a couple of minor technical gripes, it's fantastic and I have all hopes for getting some more in my hands too.

Greg responds...

I would have liked a website for the Gathering too... and I asked for it, but was turned down. I wasn't told why.

Response recorded on October 11, 2006

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Anonymous writes...

I do not have a question, but a swell comment. Thank you Disney for my favorite cartoon on DVD! Out of all the Disney cartoons that I have seen, Gargoyles tops the cake. Please hurry out with Gargoyles Season 2 on DVD. You will make all of us fans of this show quite happy!

Greg responds...

Thanks for the kind words.

Response recorded on October 11, 2006

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Marc writes...

I picked up the Gargoyles box set 2 weeks ago, and must say I really enjoyed it. The time the DVD makers put in on the menus really impressed me. I haven't watched the show in a long time, and about forgot how great it was. I am really looking forward to the second season comming out on DVD.

Great work, on a great show.
Marc

Greg responds...

Thanks!

Response recorded on October 11, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

I finally bought a DVD player yesterday, and watched much of the Gargoyles DVD on it; to be precise, all five parts of "Awakening" with the commentary on, "Deadly Force", the original pitch, and the Gathering documentary. I very much enjoyed the experience as well (once I got used to how to work the DVD player, of course).

I very much liked the commentary, though I'd only recommend it to people who've already become familiar with the series since it contains a number of spoilers (such as Owen really being Puck, the prediction of Xanatos creating the Mutates and Thailog, the prediction of Xanatos making peace with the gargoyles at the end of Season Two, etc.). I did have a little trouble sometimes working out whether it was you or Frank Paur speaking (though I didn't have that trouble with Keith David; his voice is definitely unmistakable).

While much of it was information that I'd already learned from "Ask Greg" and my visit to the 2001 Gathering, there were some new things there that stood out to me, as well as a few old things that I thought I'd briefly comment on:

1. You mentioned about how much of the set-up of Part One of "Awakening" (with the opening scene of the stones falling from the top of the Eyrie Building and the preview of Part Two with Xanatos, the Eyrie Building, the commandos, etc.) was to reassure the audience that "Gargoyles" would be mostly set in the present-day rather than in the 10th century, for fear that they would be turned off the series if they thought that it would be set in the Middle Ages. Interestingly enough, for me when I started watching "Gargoyles", it was the reverse; my favorite part of "Awakening" was the 10th century introduction, and one of my biggest thoughts during it was "Pity that this is just the origin story and that the bulk of the series is going to be in the modern world". (How I'd have enjoyed the "Dark Ages" spin-off!)

2. You mentioned about Goliath being in the wrong to send the trio and Bronx down to the rookery (though with the irony that he thereby saved their lives). When I saw the episode, I always thought that Goliath had done the right thing in punishing Lexington, Brooklyn, and Bronx, however, since regardless of the fact that the humans had started the fight, the three of them were still helping to escalate the hostilities (and all that growling with eyes glowing obviously would only reinforce the humans' fear of gargoyles). Where I did think that Goliath was in the wrong was in sending Broadway with them, since he hadn't been in the fight at all, but was merely peacefully eating at the time.

3. One little bit that still amuses me (part of "Awakening" itself, I might add, though not part of the commentary) is that, directly after Xanatos's line "Pay a man enough, and he'll walk barefoot into Hell", we see one of the workmen dismantling the castle for transportation, with the close-up on his feet (although they're in shoes).

4. I honestly hadn't realized (until you pointed it out here) that Goliath's request of the Magus was suicidal, maybe because I was then aware of the fact that the series was just starting and that the gargoyles were going to be somehow awakened in modern times. But when I looked at it from his perspective rather than that of a viewer who was aware that it was a television series, I realized that it was indeed the case, that Goliath couldn't have known that someday, the castle could rise above the clouds. Which meant that he wasn't asking to be placed under the spell so that he could be there when Hudson, the trio, and Bronx were awakened (as I'd subconsciously assumed) because he didn't think that that would ever happen, but just to gain release from the misery of loneliness.

5. Your remarks about Xanatos being designed to appear deceptively heroic definitely brought back memories for me. When I first saw "Awakening", I didn't know for certain whether Xanatos would be a friend or an opponent to the gargoyles until Part Five, but I wanted to believe that he was on their side, that he was on the level, even though a part of me had suspicions that he would turn out to be the antagonist. And it wasn't until Elisa revealed to Goliath in Part Five about what had really gone on in the Cyberbiotics raids that I had to accept that Xanatos was up to no good.

6. The significance of the Alice in Wonderland sculptures during the scene where Elisa was being chased by the commandos was definitely new to me; I had only thought of them as part of the background, and hadn't realized that they were also symbolic of the new world that she'd just discovered.

7. And thanks for confirming my suspicion that Demona's "a thousand years of solitude" remark was a hommage to Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

8. About Demona revealing her name: that scene always worked for me as dramatic and threatening. What stands out to me about it now, though, was how the expectations or assumptions that I'd had from that line turned out to not match what actually happened in the series. I had believed then that her name arose out of terrified humans whom she was preying upon viewing her as a nightmare straight out of Hell, and then, in "City of Stone", it turns out that she was given that name by a then-ally, and as a means of praising her fighting skills. Talk about skewering the audience's expectations!

I enjoyed seeing the original presentation again. One thing that stands out to me about it now is that, even though the series had by this time clearly switched to a more dramatic genre, there was still a much more strongly comical tone about it than the final version, as in:

1. The depiction of Goliath reading in the 10th century, while seated on a few annoyed-looking smaller gargoyles to keep them out of mischief.

2. The picture of Goliath and Elisa on a subway train, with Goliath wearing a lot of heavy garments to hide the fact that he's a gargoyle, but still getting a lot of attention from the other passengers (which I honestly can't imagine happening in the series itself, though we did get to see Broadway in the trenchcoat and fedora a couple of times).

3. Bronx (looking astonishingly anthropomorphic there) chewing on a fire hydrant.

All in all, I really enjoyed the DVD, and am looking forward to the Season Two ones.

Greg responds...

Ahhh, memories...

Response recorded on October 11, 2006

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Blaise writes...

THE GREEN

I mentioned back in MARK OF THE PANTHER that I feard that episode would be focused on the illegal poaching angle, and become less of a story, more of a "public service announcement" of sorts. I said back then that, in my experience, when a show is focused on (or does an episode focused on) certain issues (especially environmental ones for some reason) it seems to sacrifice plot, character, and even believability to force its moral across.
Thankfully, that does not happen in this episode, or in any episode of GARGOYLES that I can think of.
Granted there are *some* lines that come close to being preachy. I find myself laughing at the "Forget me, save the trees!" line. And Zaphiro's "There is no such thing as a few trees," while admittidly cool and well-delivered, initially struck me as so absolutist and dogmatic.
Now, in that last case, I would have felt better if the conversation between Zaphiro and Elisa continued after that (maybe with Zaphiro pointing out that rainforest soil is absolutely worthless for farming). This is another one of those times I really wish GARGOYLES had hour-long episodes.
Actually, I really do like that scene between Elisa and Zaphiro because Elisa plays devil's advocate--she actually tries to see things from the side of the "forest defilers." Going back to what I said about other "environmentally-minded" shows and episodes, things have a tendency to be drawn completely in black and white--anyone who chops down a tree is evil to the core, basically. Broad strokes and caricatures.
Let's look at "Captain Planet and the Planeteers," for example. From what I remember, they had a cadre of "Eco-villains" who largely seemed to be destroying the environment because they enjoyed doing so. And it was specifically the environment that they enjoyed destroying. In some cases, they had a motivation (oftimes greed, though one character needed radiation to survive), but mostly they seemed to do it because they enjoyed polluting. If a normal person was doing "bad things" it was because they were under the influence of one of the big bad-guys, and by the end said normal people saw the error of their ways and turned around. Thus, it doesn't seem terribly realistic to me.
Contrast this with MONONOKE HIME ("Princess Mononoke"), one of my favorite animated movies. The "forest defiler," Lady Eboshi, while she can be quite ruthless and capitalistic, has a heart. She frees women from prostitution and takes care of lepers. She has depth, and this makes her more realistic and identifiable. Thus I was able to take this movie seriously, and more fully appreciate humanity's impact on the natural world.

And thankfully, THE GREEN is much closer to MONONOKE HIME than "Captain Planet." Much of this comes from Elisa. In addition to the scene I already mentioned, I LOVE the scene between her and Goliath at the pyramid when he leaves to protect The Green. She argues from the human point of view, in essence still playing devil's advocate, but she can fully sympathize with the gargoyles. And while Goliath can understand Elisa's point of view, he can see little other choice for the gargoyles trying to save The Green than the guerilla attacks. Even the Mayan clan seems to understand (Turquesa is a bit snappish about the "misguided laws," but Jade seems downright cheerful towards Elisa).
And as for the "villains" themselves, Jackal and Hyena are the only real ones, and their primary interest is the money. They don't show any specific enjoyment out of destroying the rainforest (even Jackal's destruction of trees stems from his trying to keep the gargoyles from doing anymore damage and--heck--he just likes destroying stuff, period). Vogel, and through him Cyberbiotics, are the "big bad" employing Jackal and Hyena, but again it's about the money and not a gleeful hatred for the environment (Environmental Ethics for Businesses: "Care about the environment unless it costs you money."). Even the workers are just doing their jobs (and they're probably as unnerved by Jackal and Hyena as they are the gargoyles). The destruction of the rainforest is, as is often the case in real life, the direct side effect of pursuing other goals (as opposed to the ultimate goal of some malefactor).

Okay, NOW we can get down to smaller details.
I LOVED seeing the new gargoyles. Zaphiro's design was excellent! And Hector Elizondo's voice-work was wonderful. The whole cast did a great job, in fact (and was the Jesse Corti playing Jade the same fellow who played Le Fou in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST?).
The "flesh by day and night" thing was nice--we don't often get to see the gargs in sun-lit environments.
And it was great seeing Jackal and Hyena again, and they actually managaed to be more unnerving than ever. There are the scenes you and Erin mentioned (a headless Hyena is pretty intimidating), but the whole "retract eye/ear" thing creeps me out, too. Those long cords are rewinding into their SKULLS!! And the sound Hyena's earpiece makes when it goes back in her ear...[shudder].
Admittidly, Jackal did have a nice plan, and if it weren't for the amulet being in New York it might have worked. I find it strange that Hyena seems to think being in NY again is a good "omen." Then again, she likes fighting the gargs, so....

I was pleased to no end to see Broadway and Lexington show up again. And their fight with Hyena was well staged (though the destruction of the various exhibits sets my teeth on edge, as well). You brought up Broadway's clan mentality towards maternity (the plural "mothers"), but what I find interesting is Hyena's use of the singular ("mamma"), which almost seems to indicate that she already in her mind sees these guys as brothers.
RE: the head injury. Yeah, that's another one of those things Toon Disney cuts out. Hyena's holding her head in pain was actually a nice touch, though.

I like the look on Jackal's face when Vogel points out the little "contractual oddity." I almost wonder if Vogel enjoyed needling Jackal on some level.
Actually, I must say I was surprised to see Vogel here. I mean, if any corporation was supposed to be "behind it all" shouldn't it be Xanatos Enterprises--the "bad guy's" company? Instead, it's the company headed by a good man, but run (while said good man is ill) by a rather unemotional businessman. It actually helped with the message and increased the depth of both Vogel and Renard. You get the sense that while Vogel may not like Jackal and Hyena (or their actions) he puts it aside in favor of results.
Still, his deciding to pull Cyberbiotics out of the rainforest entirely seemed a bit too pat. Despite that, though, it's pretty well handled.

I would have loved getting a chance to listen to Broadway and Lex's rationale for ultimately not destroying the amulet. I kind of figured they wouldn't, and having seen Obsidiana lose her pendant and Bronx find it I kind of figured out what the ruse would be.

Dang, but Morgan's casual with Hyena the killer cyborg. Unconcious or not, I'd wait until I was packing a nuclear weapon before I got near her.

Jackal doesn't kill Elisa. He tasers her unconcious, but doesn't kill her right off. Why? I just find myself wondering if he didn't have even WORSE things planned for her.

Elisa comes up with a sort of back-up solution that I had been wondering about for quite some time before this episode aired. It always struck me as being advisable to collect "genetic samples" of endangered plant and animal life "just in case." So I rather liked Elisa's contribution here.

A couple final thoughts: I liked that the gargs never referred to the rainforest as such. It was always "the forest" or, even better, "The Green." I love their using a title for this land they hold in reverence.
Also, the "Oxygen" line you mentioned. It is a valid point (one that I keep forgetting, I'll admit), but, yeah, it may have been a bit difficult to pull off without feeling preachy or forced (I could only see Elisa saying this line since the Mayan clan strike me as mostly knowing their own turf--they know the forest is important, but they may not know how globally necessary it is).

It's a good episode, and a well done "special message" ep. And hey, more gargoyles (and cool looking ones at that)!

Greg responds...

It's always a fine line, but we do try to avoid being preachy.

And yes, Jesse Corti is Jade and Le Fou.

In materials I've read since, I'm no longer certain that the rain forests are the lungs of the world. That's been called into question... to some extent by the DESTRUCTION of the rain forest. If so much is gone, why haven't oxygen levels dipped -- or something like that.

Response recorded on October 11, 2006

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Kettir writes...

This is regarding the Gargoyles first season DVD set--

Hurrah! I love this series and hope very much that the remaining seasons will be put on DVD as well. This is my favorite Christmas present for 2004!

Greg responds...

And Merry Christmas to you too!

Response recorded on October 10, 2006

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Enigma writes...

I got Gargoyles for Christmas!!! I was/am so happy, especially since I've been reading everyone else rave about the DVD during the past 2-3 weeks. I started screaming with joy when I opened the box and found Gargoyles inside. I think I was even more excited than my little sisters were about any of their presents. (They're usually the ones shrieking for joy). All of I got to say is that it looks awesome. I watched all five parts of Awakening yesterday morning and Trill of the Hunt this morning and it looked and sounded awesome. The funniest part is that my eight year old sister kept going "that wasn't in the movie" when we were watching Awakening, since we have the Gargoyles: The Heroes Awaken movie and she's seen it a million times.
Anyway, I just had to share my joy! Now, we just need season 2! <My sisters keep asking me if we have "the episode where that guy picks Elisa up on the motorbike" <for example, she's referring to the end of Hunter's Moon Part 2> and keep having to tell them that no that episode is from season 2.> Now they're convinced that all the good episodes are from the second season. <sigh> It's funny though too...

Greg responds...

Merry Christmas!!

Response recorded on October 10, 2006

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SDOHT writes...

Rambling on Demona

Hello,
I just finish watching awakening part one to five, from the DVD, witch I love by the way, and it reminded me of the first time I saw Demona. She is my all-time favourite TV Character. I actually feel sorry for her. The talk between her and Goliath at the end when she revels for the first time that she made a plan with the Captain of the guards moved me. I love the way she is written. She sounds alone and I feel and hear her pain.

See I'm a 22 year old gay guy, so when I first saw this I was 12. I didn't really know that I was gay but I knew their was something different about me. Seeing that scene helped me in a weird way. Hearing Demona's pain and loneliness about what the humans "did" to her kind sort of mad me feel like I wasn't alone. Demona's way of blaming others for her mistakes is something that most people do in one way or an other. I can truly say that I felt like she did allot of the time( I didn't want to kill all straight guys) but I felt like they didn't except me and that I couldn't trust anyone. Demona's actions were also mostly responsible for her pain, as the sisters pointed out in COS part 4, just like my fear of being different mad me feel alone.

Later in life I realized that people fear what they don't understand. The whole show is about creatures being different and misunderstood by "normal" people. It help me better understand the other's way of looking at things, that to them I was like a monster( not really a monster but I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.) As the show when on, it helped me realize that different wasn't always a bad thing. The Goliath and Elisa relationship gave me hope that maybe someone could love me for who I was and except my differences.

I understand Demona's pain, Marina Sirtis is so amazing in this role. Demona is written so fantastic and realistically that its like she was a voice for me( in a good way, again not the killing part) like she mirrored what I felt. Now I'm fully comfortable with my self and in a way I have Gargoyles to thanks for that. I herd in the commentaries that ( I'm typing from memory, so please forgive me if I'm misquoting you) you indented the show, among other thing, to have or be a voice for the little people. I just wanted to say that at least for me it help me a lot when I was younger. I felt like the were other people in the world that were different. Thank you for that.

I hope you understand what I'm trying to say. I been wanting to thank you for a long time. I truly hope that Disney bring this show back, because people like me need more shows like this, with real characters that are normal.

Greg responds...

SDOHT,

Your post here is very gratifying. I am quite proud of our series and of how evocative and strong and complex a character Demona is in particular, but hearing that it helped you and taught you something truly makes my day. Thanks for sharing this ramble with me.

Response recorded on October 09, 2006

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Greg Bishansky writes...

Some thoughts on our favorite characters and love.

So far in the "Gargoyles" Universe, the characters that all in real true love all have a deep understanding for one another. David and Fox understand each other better than anyone else on the planet does, and David acknowledges her as his equal. Maybe both of them didn't understand themselves well enough to think they were not that capable of such emotions, but they knew each other.

Goliath and Elisa are similar, it was clear even early on that they had something there, they grew to trust each other with their lives. There was always respect, and they understand one another, even when they disagree.

Likewise with Broadway and Angela, he saw her for who she was, unlike Brooklyn. All these characters seem to in a way share the same soul.

Now in regards to Demona, she's failed in love twice because that deep, emotional, soul sharing understanding faded as in the case with Goliath, but even before then she went behind his back, tried to push him to seize leadership of the clan, which he would not do, and could never understand why he put up with the humans. Not that she didn't understand him, in some cases she knew him only too well, since she saw the sparks between Goliath and Elisa long before they realized they were there. As far as Thailog goes, she thought that he was the Goliath she always wanted, and turned out to be flat out wrong, since he just planned to use her (in more ways than one) and finally discard her when he was done.

You've said in the past that Demona will have two more great loves, what will be interesting to see is by standards set by other characters where there is a similar "sharing of the soul" as it were. This deep, emotional understanding and knowing of one another. Problem is, it would be very hard for anyone to truly know her without having experienced similar tragedies. Everyone has their tragedies, but how many people have been alive for centuries, being hunted, bearing strong grudges and longer hatreds. Demona is her own worst enemy, and is likely to sabotage such things, and that's on the big assumption that she even opens herself up to anyone again.

One or both of those next great loves had better truly be someone special, if she's going to come out of her shell and really learn to care for someone intimately again.

Greg responds...

Well... having nothing to do with my plans, I'm not sure I agree with your final premise. Whether a character -- any character -- truly loves somebody can in fact be independent of that somebody's worth.

Love can be selfless. Love can be unrequited. Love can be lavished on someone unworthy.

I'm not talking about my plans for Demona here. Just cautioning you not to get ahead of yourself in making predictions based on facts not in evidence.

But I do agree that true and lasting love works best when it's between individuals who understand and respect each other first.

Response recorded on October 05, 2006

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Vicious writes...

Finally aquiring the Gargs dvd has gotten my mind spinning on the possibility of the story's return in any format, but specifically television, and what kind of audience and content it would aim for.

I am watching temptation right now, and the first part of it is fairly heavy material. Demona showing Brook domestic trouble, violence and her general talk of humanity's evil (which i have taken to heart, she's right you know) wouldn't get past S&P or any such triff nowadays. Censorhip seemed to get in the way back in 94 as well, there are examples i could site but that would take a long time. I'll just say mobsters aren't really known for using tear gas in high jacking, at least if the supranos is any indication. The only recent show i can think to compare to Gargs is X-men Evolution, and Justice League, one is cancled and the other I've never seen on Saturday morning but rather prime time weekends.
The point and question it raises are thus: Gargoyles was always more mature than any north american animation of it's time, and television content limitations for the age bracket Gargs was originally intended for have gotten more restrictive.
If it was your choice, what kind of maturity level in terms of target audience and content would you aim for?

My opinions:With disney no doubt s&p would be cutting out everything not soft and fuzzy if it was intended for the 6 to 12 set again (or whatever demographic it was, don't remember). The fan base, such as myself is 10 years older and hopefully has matured accordingly. I would think the show itself would work best as an action drama on the same level as say, Angel, 24 or even some anime like Inuyasha.

It's all speculative, but the dvd release gives one hope we'll see the Gargoyles animated again.

Greg responds...

I wouldn't mind. But honestly, I'm much more focused on the comic book right now. The audience for that is ideally the same as the audience for the original show... i.e. EVERYONE -- but not dumbed down for anyone. That is, was and will continue to be my preference.

Response recorded on October 05, 2006

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SDOHT writes...

Hi, my best friend got me the DVD for Christmas. I was so happy, when I got home I played it writhe away and was not disappointed. I love the commentaries and the behind the scenes stuff. Thank to Disney for relising the best animanted series to us. I can't wait for the second season! Thanks Greg for creating the series and I hope u will do more commentaries and the second season. Demona is my favourite character. Goliath's voice is cool, I was surprise to see that he (I forgot the actor's named) has the same voice. It was so perfect for Goliath.

Greg responds...

Keith David is a talented man.

Response recorded on October 04, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the early Christmas present in the form of the ramble on "The Green", Greg!

One thing that stands out to me now about this episode is that we get another look at the difference between Jackal and Hyena. Hyena just wants to charge in on the Mayan gargoyles and wipe them out. Jackal, rather than going for a simple all-out attack, comes up with an actual strategy, namely, having Hyena destroying the Mayan Sun Amulet so that he can then dispose of the clan while it's in stone sleep. Again showing that he's the more cunning one.

(I liked your method of having Jackal winding up attacking the gargoyles at night after that - when Vogel uses a bit of his own cunning and points out to Jackal that he won't get paid as much if the Mayan gargoyles do more damage to the Cyberbiotics operation - meaning that now Jackal doesn't have the option of just waiting for dawn after all, not if he wants a full paycheck!)

And I get a kick out of their response to Goliath showing up - "Must Goliath follow us everywhere?" "Hey, he's a fan!"

In some ways, Jackal's fantasy about altering Goliath's features is even more disturbing than his death-god phase in "Grief". Truly chilling.

The episode may be a bit on the preachy side (I know that many of the fans see it that way), but I think that it still has a good message. I particularly liked Elisa's uneasiness with the Mayan gargoyles' tactics and wanting to find a way of saving the rain forest that was within the law - and at the end, coming up with the solution of planting some of the rain forest plants on Avalon.

I find the "Quetzalcoatl" design for Zafiro interesting, in that it fits in with one additional aspect of gargoyles that revealed itself during the World Tour. Before the World Tour, we'd simply seen gargoyles in a "conventional gargoyle" form. However, when we were introduced to other gargoyles during Goliath's odyssey (and even the legacies of other gargoyles), we saw that they'd inspired other myths and legends besides just the familiar gargoyles of medieval Europe - unicorns and griffons in "M.I.A.", the "black dogs" of the British Isles in "The Hound of Ulster", and now Quetzalcoatl. (Not to mention that the Ishimura gargoyles of "Bushido" also have a certain evocation of tengu about them.) It gives an additional dimension to them that I think is neat.

I'd caught the significance of Broadway using "mothers" and how that fits into gargoyle parentage.

That was a nice touch about Broadway and Lexington considering the possibility of destroying the Sun Amulet - but, fortunately, not doing so after all.

Again, thanks for the ramble.

Greg responds...

You're welcome. Thanks for yours too.

Response recorded on October 03, 2006

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Sabina writes...

My DVD-Set arrived finally oversea.

I think it is just great and I'm very happy that I finally can retire my worn videotapes.

I hope that we get audio commentaries for the whole second season. There's just one fly in the soup: I'd really like to have a German version, because the German synchro is just as great as the English one and it would be a real pity if it never sees a DVD release.

Greetings,
Sabina

Greg responds...

I've never heard it. (Not that I'd understand it if I did.)

Response recorded on October 02, 2006

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Bleu Unicorn writes...

My DVD review - originally posted at my blog (http://bleuunicorn.livejournal.com/56300.html)

I was fifteen when Gargoyles debuted on the Disney Afternoon and while ten years have gone by, I can honestly say my enjoyment and affection for the show have not waned. If anything, watching these remastered episodes exactly as they aired was an incredible treat for me. The first season was released years back on VHS and I own that entire set, but those old tapes pale in comparison to this set. A fact that not only was expected, but greatly satisfying.

Secretly, I was a bit skeptical when sitting down to watch the show again. Ten years is a long time - almost half my life! Deep down I was fearful that the decade of basic separation from the series had made my memories of it far grander than it was. My fears, however, were completely misguided. Here's a show that truly does withstand the test of time. And I really shouldn't be surprised, considering even when it first aired it was appealing to me and I wasn't part of that "target audience" - a fact which only drew me into the show more!

The series (in 75 words): The aptly named Goliath and his gargoyle clan are cast into a thousand year slumber, only to awake in New York City to learn they are now the last of their kind. While acclimating themselves to their new surroundings, they discover both allies and enemies alike. And soon renew their vow of protection that defines their species to include all of Manhattan and its inhabitants, both gargoyle and human.

Video: Here's where DVD transfer really can shine, but also where a cartoon can fall most miserably. Gargoyles, though looks absolutely stunning, the colors just look so beautiful. Not surprising with, considering the wonderful palette of colors used. I did notice some minor interlacing (mostly in "Long Way to Morning") and some dirt and dust in some scenes. But nothing overly bad. Definitely one of the best transfers of an animated television series I've seen.

Audio: The episodes on the set are all remastered and while for the most part the audio is superb and better than I remember listening to on my TV - Certainly an improvement over my ancient VHS copies - I did notice some odd fluctuation at times. At first, I thought it was my copy (or my hearing was going), but I've talked with other people and it's definitely not just me. It's pretty infrequent - I noticed it the most in the five-part "Awakening" pilot, but it was apparent in disc two as well.

Special features: I love special features, especially done well. I can't say I was jumping for joy over these, though. The commentary on "Awakening" was very interesting and entertaing, though I'm ashamed to say that anyone who isn't a big fan may find themselves kind of bored. (Of course, I'm usually bored by commentaries and as such rarely listen to them.) I always hate it when commentaries consist of long pauses of no talking, but you won't find that on this set! These guys - mostly Greg - have lots to say and they don't let little things like recaps and credits stop the flow of words.

The featurette on "The Gathering of the Gargoyles" convention was...okay. I didn't really find it all that interesting, but it was pretty neat to see. It's nice to know there's still a loyal fandom out there.

The original show pitch was pretty interesting to watch. It's the one thing on the set that shows how old this show really is. I'd already listened the commentary before watching this, though so it wasn't very informative or earth-shattering. Still, the original character designs were very intriguing - lots of changes were made from that pitch to what finally became. Stuff like that is just nifty.

Packaging & setup: Thankfully, Disney has never gone the route that Warner Bros. did with the horrid snapper cases. Instead, we get the standard double-disc case. Though, I can't find much love for the rather blah disc and cover art. And for a show with so much history...the only insert is just a chapter/episode listing - with equally blah art. The menus, though were really just...ugh. There's so much great artwork from this show that Disney could have used and didn't. And the animation? It was cool the first time, but afterwards I just found it annoying and distracting.

Frankly, considering how long fans have waited for this release, it's plainly obvious that there wasn't that much work put into the frills of the release.

Over-all: Scrutinizing this set is really hard for me. I'm finding myself quibbling over minor things that don't necessarily bother me because in all truth it really comes down to the content for me, which is just beyond amazing. Having the first season in remastered quality, uncut is like a dream come true. And I'm fervently hoping for a release of the second season to complete this collection!

Greg responds...

Ultimately, extras, menus, etc. can be nice or whatever, but one would hope that the prize is, as you noted, the content. The actual episodes.

Response recorded on October 02, 2006

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Rebekah writes...

Hi, I just wanted to say that I love the Gargoyles DVD, the scenes are so vivid in color and detail!!! In the scene where the Trio are exploring David's kitchen, I noticed there was a part that was never shown on the Disney version. That of Brooklyn checking out the stove, was this left out because of commercial time, or cause they thought kids would go playing with stoves if they saw it?

Also, will they be releasing DVD's of the other seasons soon? I really want to see the Mirror episode on DVD - it's animation should be really awesome! - Thanks!

Greg responds...

Episodes were cut for time by USA Network, and then for S&P content by ToonDisney. It is good to have them uncut again, huh?

Response recorded on October 01, 2006

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Charisma writes...

Hey there! Just wanted to tell you that I loved the DVD of Gargoyles. So, when are they going to have the next one out? It better be soon. I think the best part of the DVD was the commentary given by yourself, co-producer, and goliath's voice. The only downfall to that was that it was only for the first five episodes. It would've been better if there had been more commentary on other episodes. When you guys do another DVD, there needs to be more commentary than just five episodes. It would also be cool to have other voice actors for the series to come in and help with that. I also liked the main screen when the gargoyles would be stone, then come to life, and then turn back to stone, over and over again. It was done very well. I'd like to thank all of you guys who helped make this DVD possible. I started watching Gargoyles when I was seven (when it first came out) and now I'm seventeen. I've been waiting 10 years for this. Good going. *tear drop*

Well, I'm sure you have a lot of these to read, so I'll leave you to your unfinished work for the time being and I'll stop rambling on and on.

Greg responds...

Thanks for the ramble. Your questions and comments have already been addressed, so in the interest of keeping Ask Greg moving, I'm going to, well, keep Ask Greg moving.

Response recorded on October 01, 2006

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BIG FAN writes...

I love the dvd! The quality is great, and the comentary alone makes it worth while. Greg, Frank, and Keith did an excellent job giving entertaining tid bits and information behind the scenes. I especially love how they gave some general comments about the series (warning to first timers, there are spoilers! At LEAST watch the Awakening eps before watching the commentary, or it will spoil a very nice, complex plot). I wish there had been more on the Gathering of the Gargoyles. But seeing just enough of it really makes me want to drop everything and go to one! Also, the showing of Greg's pitch of the show was cool---loved the drawings! I can't wait for season 2 to come out...any idea when that could happen? Thanks all!

Greg responds...

Season Two, Volume One is already out. Volume Two is not scheduled. SPREAD THE WORD!

Response recorded on September 29, 2006

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King Cobra3 writes...

My DVD review, copied and pasted from the Gargoyles X message board.

I FINALLY got to see it last night, both the episodes and the features, and I thought I'd drop in my two cents.

THE PICTURE - It was very crisp, and well animated. I actually found it to be darker and more developed then the reruns on TV, which also made it a little scarier. The darkness factor in the episodes made the animation very well polished, considering that these episodes are over 10 years old and that alone was enough to make me drooling like a rabid Cujo on PCP. LOL.

THE SOUND - It was very wicked, listening to Bronx's growling or the stone cracking and etc. on Dolby Digital. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and look forward to my next viewing (or hearing, in this category.) with great relish.

THE VOICE ACTING - Anyone who's heard the actors on TV (and who hasn't?) can expect the same stuff here, only better, given that it's on, like I said, Dolby.

THE FEATURES - The Commentary was fun, cool, and informative, all rolled up into one. Keith David and Greg Weisman, in particular, talking through "Awakening" alone was enough to please the fanboy part of my otherwise dark and brooding soul. The Gathering featurette was also a pleasent little ditty, with interviews, episode footage, and more. I personally would've liked more input from the other VAs, however, though Keith David did have some camera time, which semi-made up for it. Seeing the activities at the G2003 was bitching and I am looking forward to this summer's Vegas offing even more.

All in all, I was proud to have purchased this DVD, it was worth the cash it took out of my debit card, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Season 2. Come on Disney! Bring it on! Show me the season 2 goods!

Yeah, that's all I've got to say.

Looking forward to possibly meeting you in Vegas, Greg!

Greg responds...

Unfortunately, Keith and I were the only guests at G2004, so that's all you could have Voice Actor-wise in the Gathering featurette. But hopefully, you enjoyed the Season Two Volume One DVD which included interviews with Jeff Bennett, Bill Faggerbakke, Edward Asner, Thom Adcox, Brigitte Bako, myself, Frank Paur and Michael Reaves.

Response recorded on September 29, 2006

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Chameleongirl writes...

As you ask, so shall you receive. Although, not so much a review, as a reaction.

Amazon.com did a great job with delivery this close to Christmas - they predicted the 17th at the very earliest. I *had* planned on sleeping in this morning, but having the DVD in my hands meant getting dressed as quickly as possible and sitting in front of the TV.
The Gathering documentary was awesome! I loved that I could sit there and go "I know her/him!" Not to mention "Look - there's me!" ^_^

The episodes themselves .. well, I was a whole mass of 'squee!' I have missed watching Gargoyles *so much*, the DVD is a dream come true. The opening theme gave me goosebumps and Goliath's heart-broken "My Angel of the Night" ... brr.

I did notice how clean the animation and sound were, they've certainly done a wonderful job.

So, now many of us begging on our knees would it take for Disney to release Season 2? :D

Greg responds...

Fewer knees. More dollars, I'm afraid.

Response recorded on September 29, 2006

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Avalon1178 writes...

This is more of a comment than a question, and considering Greg is still a couple of years behind, chances are that my post won't get reviewed until some time much much later (ah, this is where a Phoenix Gate comes in handy). Anyway, so it feels like writing something for a time capsule, but anyway...

I just want to rave about the DVD! I purchased mine at Amazon and it arrived 2 days later when the DVD came out. Anyway, what an awesome purchase.....all the episodes in the first season in the palm of my hands and hoping by the time this is read that Season Two DVD would've come out...wait, better yet, one of those Gargoyles sequels to already be airing on Cartoon Network or out on yet another DVD! Anyway, thanks for this and keep up the good work! Thanks for keeping our imaginations alive!

Greg responds...

Thank you for buying it.

Response recorded on September 29, 2006

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Blaise writes...

My DVD review:

Well, I liked it, of course!

I mean, it's great having this level of clarity in both visual and audio. And of course, the commentary track is great. But, as someone else pointed out, there is just SO MUCH you guys are trying to say, and so little time for you guys to say it in. One of you is expounding on one particular subject, while another has to chime in about what's happening on screen (as with your little "Nice mask" moment, Greg). I really wish the folks at Disney Home Video had given you guys a commentary for all thirteen episodes.

The Gathering featurette: Great, now I have another reason to feel bummed about not being able to go (oh, the trials of being a non-union actor trying to catch a break in LA). Since things have been picking up a little for me, though, I might be able to come to the Gathering in Vegas.

The Original video pitch: Words cannot express how glad I am to see this on here. The original concepts for Hudson and Bronx, Elisa's former last name, the pic of Goliath on the subway car, and the last picture of the kid in Goliath's shadow...I remembered those from the Gathering 2001, and I always wanted to have my own copy. Now I do!

And, of course, the presentation itself. They did a great job with the box art and the menus. The transfer from day to night and back again is well done and timed to make a perfect loop with Carl Johnson's score.

Pass on my kudos to the folks at Disney Home Video for their work here. I'd track them down and thank them myself if they'd given us the other eight episodes worth of commentary.

Greg responds...

Yeah, I'd have loved to do commentary on all thirteen. Had a list of commenters all planned out for each episode, too. Oh, well.

Response recorded on September 29, 2006

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Jeffery writes...

I have, and love, the Gargoyles Season 1. I got it the day it came out! (Actually, 3 days before it came out, I snuck it out of the store where I work and paid for it on release day.) It's just glorious. The care was put into this that made the show so great in the first place. I love the commentary, I only wish there were 5 times more. This site provides the best commentary of all, but to have Greg's rants right over the scenes grounds the observations very well. I've been watching these with my wife and it's like torture. Even the smallest things have a deeper meaning and greater significance (see that boy Tom, he's not just a throwaway character, he'll be back later; that's not the last we'll see of Hakon; you'll never believe what becomes of Jackal; and Owen...my Lord!) and I want to connect all the dots, but it would be cruel to blow the surprise. What would be even crueler is if we never got a chance to share the surprises, so I'll get down on my knees now and beg Disney to put together Season 2. And don't worry, my money will be where my mouth is. Such beautiful storytelling shouldn't be buried in a vault. Such wonderful wisdom should be allowed to touch people. I had a woman today in the book store where I work ask for a copy of the Jeffrey Robbins quotation on books I have posted: "The written word is all that stands between memory and oblivion. Without books as our anchors, we are cast adrift, neither teaching nor learning. They are windows on the past, mirrors on the present, and prisms reflecting all possible futures. Books are lighthouses erected in the dark sea of time."
Beautiful.

Thanks

Greg responds...

It's cool you posted that. I can't remember if it was Lydia or Brynne who came up with that (or both). It's pretty keen, huh?

Response recorded on September 28, 2006

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Siren writes...

My DVD Review

First let me tell you of my "fun" search for the DVD. I had pre-ordered it through my local Blockbuster 2 weeks ahead of release date. All seemed well enough. I went there December 7th and they couldn't find my order, my form, nothing. And they weren't even selling it on the shelf. I'd have to wait for another 2 weeks to get it. So I rushed over to my Wal-Mart. They didn't have it either. It was 2 days later before I got a chance to go to Daytona. Circuit City didn't have it. But Best Buy did. One last copy. Then 2 days later, Wal-Mart in my town got about 20 copies. Frustration!

Anyways, onto the review...

I had seen the coverart online and loved it from the moment I saw it. I was suprised Disney didn't print their name on the front cover though. I liked how the gold banners pointed out it's anniversary and it was 2-discs. Which is often an eye catcher. And the cover itself is beautifu;. The purple-gray Goliath was great. Unlike the VHS Heroes Awaken cover, this DVD cover did not soften the look of the show. The VHS cover could have been decieving to some who figured it for a light-hearted children's show. This cover respected the show. The back cover too was nice. I was expecting screenshots of the show, but it was respectful in a way. And it listed the bonus features, critic acclaim, and a little summary. Very nice.
I liked the insert, using the old pictures from The Hunted and Force of Goliath VHS. And it fit well with the cover art. The DVD discs themselves were all nice. And nice to have the episodes listed straight on the discs.
Pop in the DVDs, skip the previews, and go right to some great menus. Again, respectful of the series. They looked great. And the sound was perfect too. I was shocked frankly at the menus. Most menus don't jump out at me, I really don't care to look at them. But these were perfect and eye catching. I also like the moments when you choose and you get a little bit of different characters. The video itself for each episode was crisp and beautiful. Better then I ever saw on TV even. The sound was great as well. It was wonderful to have each episode uncut. Disney had originally cut the egg scenes out of the Heroes Awaken VHS, because they never planned to release season 2. Seeing the egg scenes again, gives me hope that they will. Even for those who never saw the series before have to wonder about the eggs. Even though Xanatos said they were gone. He lied a lot afterall, so it's only natural to think he lied about the eggs. It just gives me a lot of hope since they included stuff that would come out later in the series, perhaps they may just bring season 2 out.
I LOVED the Gathering feature. That was so well done. The interviews intercut with the show were excellent. And again, respectful of the series. They taped a lot of stuff. They included so much. It was great! I wasn't expecting them to go that far with it.
Greg's pitch was also fun. Nice to see the history some more. And be refreshed on stuff I had forgotten. I also never saw some of that concept art. Very interesting and neat!
Commentary was great! Most of the stuff I knew, but it was nice to hear them talk about it again.
All in all, one of the best, if not THE best DVDs I ever have owned. I plan to buy more copies for Christmas gifts and to donate to local organizations. :)

Greg responds...

Thanks, Siren. I'm glad you liked it and that you went to so much trouble to get it. It is frustrating how hard it can be to find the disks.

Response recorded on September 27, 2006

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Phoenician writes...

Glad to see that we can post again . . . I got the DVD on Tuesday Premire!!!!

I was so happy!

Went over to Best Buy to buy it. Turns out, my little brother, 10 years old, today, was the won to find it. They were in a box somewhere in the 'TV Shows on DVD' aisle.

We politely asked a worker there to properly display the boxed set in all it's glory. Unfortunatley, I don't know if they ever did. :I

I read the back cover for the first time. It said it all, surprisingly. "The victems of Human betrayal" Humans? Betraying Gargoyles? To the unwise ear, that sounds ridiculous, and that those who read it must surely see how could perfect humans do evil to 'monsters.'

Hey, that's just who I am.

I saw the commentary in the Pilot episodes. (Isn't cool that "Gargoyles" has more than one pilot episode?) I loved how you (as in Greg, Frank, and Keith) mentioned every little thin we loved about the show, and the quirks that cam ealong with it. "Bronx kicks A**, or tail, as the case is!"

Loved it.

I also never truly realized the TRUE signifigance of Goliath asking to join the others in stone sleep. I never knew that he meant to commit suicide, but now that makes it all the more meaningful. It also reminds me of the Demona's anguish when she sees Goliath that way in City of Stone Part I, where she cries and kisses Goliath, not even trying to find a way to wake him.

Sad indeed.

I also loved the dog joke. Once an actor, now on the streets . . . cliche', huh?

I am glad that Carl Johnson also got the recongition he deserves. I mean, hard not to, right? Everytime the comentary began, you gave praise to the man who came up with that "BUMMMMM!! BUMMMMM!! BA BU BU BUM BUMMM BA BA BUMMM!! Epic indeed.

But it was truly a rewarding thing to see the show on DVD at last.

"I always survive" -- Demona, "Temptation" That is how this fandom is. No matter how hard we hit the ground, we always come back alive!

AND WE LIVE AGAIN!!!!!

Onward to Season II !!!!!!

Greg responds...

We do indeed live again!

And thanks for mentioning Carl and his amazing score!

Response recorded on September 27, 2006

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Arazia writes...

DVD Review

My first reaction to the little box from amazon.com arriving was a childish giddiness of having some great prize finally in my grabby little hands. My first disappointment was opening the container up and seeing that the first disk had come loose either in shipping or sometime prior and had been rattling around inside. On closer inspection of the case itself, I'm a bit disappointed in the construction of it, as it is very easy for the discs to slide loose and get damaged. Luckily for me, there wasn't any trouble with it, even if the first disc did get a few scratches.

The gathering footage was a great addition, and really interesting for someone like myself who has never gone. Of course, I went through the special features first, and then went back and re-watched the entire show. It probably would have been better to have some chapter breaks within the episodes, as I had to fast forward through the intro each time. I did encounter a technical glitch of some sort while playing the DVD on my laptop. There was quite a bit of jumpiness to the opening of the DVD, but a good cleaning of it seemed to fix it fine. Perhaps a balance issue?

Away from the more technical aspects, Gargoyles was very close to what I remembered of it. Seeing it again was very much like seeing it for the first time. With the DVD quality and my laptop, I was able to see a lot more details, especially differences between various animation companies that did different episodes. The sound was amazing, and I was able to pick up on a lot of little sounds that I missed as a child.

Overall, I'm very happy with the DVD, although not so happy with the quality of the discs or their packaging.

Greg responds...

Sorry about the technical problems. I haven't had any of those problems with my copy, but...

The sound work is great, isn't it? We used a number of different animation studios on the series, with differing levels of quality, but we always used Advantage Audio on the sound, and the folks there -- particularly Music Editor Marc Perlman, Sound Effects Editor Paca Thomas and mixers Bill, Jim, Melissa and Ray -- all did amazing work, which I'm glad the DVD brings out.

Response recorded on September 27, 2006

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Audra writes...

Gargoyles DVD Review

Hi there Greg,
I read that you wanted DVD reviews for the new Gargoyles DVD… So here goes…

I have been waiting a very long time for Gargoyles to be released on DVD. I am very excited and hope that this DVD will sell well. I wish Disney would of advertised this DVD more though… Maybe some TV commercials? I have met people who love Gargoyles, but don't keep up with the Gargoyles news on the internet, and they would of have had no idea it is on DVD now without me telling them.

This DVD is awesome though, thank you Disney for releasing it. The quality is great, and I love the digital surround sound. I never heard Gargoyles sound so well. And it's great to have some bonus features. I really like the audio commentary Greg. And the DVD is nicely made… I really like the animated menu, and when you go to certain things on the DVD how it shows the Gargoyles doing something cool, like growling, hissing, etc. All the episodes are unedited… What more could a fan ask for? I even got my friend to buy a copy, and he has never seen even one episode before! I told him about this show, why I loved it so much and what made it so great to me. I knew he would like it. And after watching the DVD, he loves the show. He asked me if I wanted to go to the Gathering with him, and I am so excited! I have been wanting to go to a Gargoyle Gathering for years, but no one ever wanted to go with me. There are so many fans out there that haven't been able to go to a Gathering. I have been spreading the word for the DVD… I at least got one friend to buy a copy who never saw the show before then, and I turned him into a fan. I hope Disney releases the second season on DVD, I really think the second season only gets better. Greg, I know you have heard this a thousand times, but there has never been another show like this to me… And I really do miss it. I miss seeing new episodes, new stories, to continue this wonderful series.

I am a 19 year old girl, I have been a fan since 1995 or 1996 I believe. (No unfortunately I didn't become a fan right at the beginning) This has been my favorite show since then, and I really don't think any show will replace it, ever. My friend that bought a DVD really wants to see the second season now… I hope that the second season will be released on DVD! Greg… You don't know me, I only posted a few times at "Ask Greg" over the years, but this upcoming summer you will probably get at least two more people coming to the Gathering. (My friend and I) What more can I say, this DVD is awesome and I am so happy it is finally here. I look forward to season two on DVD, and hopefully more! You have a great show here Disney, don't stop now!

Greg responds...

So Audra, did you make it to the Gathering?

Response recorded on September 26, 2006

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Jordan Cooper writes...

Greg asked to post DVD reviews here, so that's what this is --

I've never posted to Ask Greg before (any questions I might have had about the series were very much answered, and I couldn't think of any more), but I've been reading it consistently for maybe 2 years now!

I watched all the extra features. I spread out the 5 commentaries over 5 nights so that I could make it last. Sigh, now it's over.

I wish there were more commentaries. They get so addictive, and I didn't want them to end. They were VERY very good commentaries. Non stop talking, obviously you (Greg) has a LOT to say about the show (obviously), and there were no long dead spots like in so many other commentaries I own. It was inspiring for you to sound so excited talking about the show, none of the spark has gone down at all. It was also just very funny to hear Keith David on the commentaries. It wasn't interesting or informative, just kind of funny.

The pitch to Disney is an incredible thing to have on the DVD, and way more than I was expecting. It was adorable to hear you describing the show and the characters. I don't mean adorable in a bad way, it was just really sweet, like someone telling a children's story at bedtime or something. Except with more explosions and stuff.

The feature about The Gathering was fun and interesting, though I felt weird watching it. Maybe cause I'm not ULTRA-Obsessed with the show (just normal obsessed) enough to wear costumes and stuff (I wanted to go to the Gathering in NYC but did not have the money). It was nice to see. I would have preferred to see more stuff with you/Greg at the Gathering and I was also hoping to catch some of those inside things that are Gathering-only, oh well. BUT all in all it was a good way to let people (and Disney!) know how much the show means to a lot of people.

I'm so glad to have all these episodes on DVD. And I WANT MORE!!! MOOOORE!!! Season 2 will be like a million discs but I WANT IT! And more commentaries!

Jordan Cooper

Greg responds...

Hope you found Season Two, Volume One, Jordan.

Response recorded on September 26, 2006

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Ryan writes...

My DVD Review.

I've already posted several thoughts I had on the DVD so I'll be brief here. Decent transfer. Picture not perfect but it looks good enough even blown up on my 103" screen so that's good news. Sounds much, much better than my copy-of-a-copy-from-cable VHS versions, another plus. Commentary was cool but it sounded like you still had stuff left to say even after five episodes.. so why not extend it out to cover the whole series, maybe even bring in some other people on the creative team or some other voice talent on different episodes and have them guest comment like Keith did. A lot of commentary tracks on movies or TV series run out of steam after the first 45 minutes or so and then listening to the rest becomes repetitive and boring but it sounded like you could have kept going so why stop? Extras were alright, I already mentioned the bad flashbacks the Gathering footage gave me, the original show pitch was interesting to see, wish that there was more stuff like that but I realize there may not be more stuff like that. If Disney gets you more involved on the next DVD maybe you can put in some more extras like the Bad Guys thing that you did at the Gathering or whatever else you can come up with to help expand and flesh out either the genesis of the show or the unrealized portion of your Master Plan. Chapter breaks would have been really nice. More extras would have been nice. Better packaging would be nice. "SEASON 2 COMING SOON!" in big bold letters on the back of the box would have been nice. But ultimately I'm just happy that it is out and I own a copy... Season 3 was terrible, season 2 had some great shows but was at times hit-and-miss and the world tour was boring.... but season 1 is solid gold and I loved every minute of this DVD.

Greg responds...

I would have loved to have done more commentaries and brought in more of the cast and crew to do it. But BVHE only budgeted (originally) for two episodes worth of commentary. (And that's just the production cost -- all of commenTATORS were commenTATING for free.) I convinced them to do five episodes worth to cover the entire pilot, but I could not convince them to do even one more ep, let alone all thirteen.

Response recorded on September 25, 2006

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Luke Perry writes...

what is with people that like Buffy so much? Is the show really that great if you watch it all the way through? Every individual episode that I've seen has been, on its own, just plain terrible. Cheesiness abounds, bad jokes, very poorly coregraphed action sequences with a very unconvincing lead- both in action sequences and regular acting but especially in action sequences, vampires that aren't scary or cool or intimidating or in any way interesting who die in seconds to some waifish looking little high school brat (c'mon guys... Paul "Pee Wee Herman" Reubens in the original more-appropriately-titled-because-it-was-a-comedy movie was more threatening than some of these throw-aways), corny special effects, oh, and John Ritter as an evil robot. What is there to like here, seriously? You're obviously a huge fan, Greg, as your geekily obsessive Buffy character lists prove. Maybe you can shed some light.

To Buffy's credit, I haven't seen any episodes that were as bad as some from The Goliath Chronicles (A Bronx Tale, the one with the cloned clan and little Anton- stupid idea to begin with made worse in the hands of and inept creative team, the EGON PAX!!! episode, et cetera)... and a few of the Buffy episodes I've seen, though not many, have been better than some of the bad episodes of Gargoyles season 2 (most of the later Dracon episodes (Turf, Protection/Jalapena!), anything with Anton Sevarius in it (Monsters, Metamorphosis), and the weaker eps on the world tour (Easter Island, New Olympians, some of the ones already mentioned) If you're still not familiar at all with the Goliath Chronicles as I know you've previously claimed in Ask Greg you out to at least check out A Bronx Tale and the Egon Pax one... I forget what that episode was called... it had the Illuminati in it. They are just really, really, really hilariously bad. Mind-bogglingly bad. Funny, funny stuff... but sad at the same time. If it makes you laugh and cry that's supposed to be a good thing though, right?

Greg responds...

I've said many times that I've seen every Goliath Chronicles episode (with the exception of "The Journey," which I've seen many times) exactly once. Those last twelve didn't make me laugh or cry. Just cringe.

As for the Garg Season Two episodes you don't like... well, we just disagree. They're not all perfect, of course. But I like them all.

But as for Buffy -- Dude, I don't know what to tell you. The series kicks ass. Everything that you criticize, is actually brilliant. The acting, the concept, the themes, the effects (most of them anyway), the vampires (most of them anyway), the fight choreography, etc. ROCKS! Is it all perfect? No, but what is?

Watching all the Buffy and Angel episodes on DVD has been great. The arcs are amazing, generally. And as for individual episodes, it could be argued -- particularly in later seasons -- that they hold up even better in a vaccuum, than they do as part of the arc.

But look, you don't have to agree. I mean, obviously, you don't agree. People have different tastes. But personally, Joss' TV work on Buffy, Angel and Firefly is, I think, some of the best in the business. And I like to think I have fairly high standards.

Response recorded on September 25, 2006

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Greg Bishansky writes...

My DVD review.

The powers that be did a terrific job with this DVD. All thirteen episodes of the first season of "Gargoyles" uncut, unedited. Great picture and audio, nice transfer, the menus are great. They didn't let me down.

The episodes all look gorgeous, and after almost ten years of VHS tapes recorded off the TV, it makes a real difference. I'm even hearing sound effects and bits of music I never heard before, it's just wonderful.

The audio commentary on all five parts of Awakening by Greg Weisman, Frank Paur and Keith David was fun to listen to, they're all great guys... and I know as I've met and spoken to all three of them, and Greg I speak to a lot.

But first a little response directed at Greg... Was going through the fifth part of the "Awakening" commentary and when we get to the reveal of Demona's name, you go on about how you're not sure if it played well or not, if it was impressive enough for such a reveal.

Just thought you'd like a little feedback on that. I was thirteen when that episode first premered, and that scene made quite an impact on me, it was about then that she became my favorite character (up till just before Demona starts shooting at Goliath and playing out their 'little drama' Xanatos was the front runner, but as you know I love him too) but damn the reveal was dramatic, red smoke, her silhouette and she steps through it with her eyes flashing red holding the bazooka, and the character animation on her and the way Marina acted, and I knew her name was basically (demon) and that it was both well... demonic and beautiful, deadly and elegant all at the same time. I thought it was perfect.

So yeah, as far as this fan goes, the scene worked wonderfully.

The Gathering extra turned out very well also. It's 15 minutes, but it's well covered. I'm surprised at how much of me they use. And it's official, all these years of being a Demona fan boy, and now it's officially documented and I even appear on screen with her (split screen of me and her), just a little thing but it means something to me. Aaron and Mara are the other two Demona groupies in that part of the documentary. But lots of great stuff, lot of Greg W and Keith David. Sapphire appears just about every other shot (and I'm suddenly picturing the director of this documentary with a big blown up poster of her on his bedroom wall ;)). Everyone looked great, the bit where Aaron and Xanatos say the "Pay a man enough and he'll walk barefoot into Hell" line in sinc was just awesome.

My only complaint was that they didn't show Aaron's Demona tattoo, and that the Gathering website's URL was not flashed on the screen. Aw well.

Overall, I give it a 9.9 out of 10. Would have gotten a gull 10 but no tattoo and no Gathering URL... still, the set is terrific, and overall exceeded my expectations.

Greg responds...

Both your complaints are mine as well. There's also one edit of MY interview that makes it sound like I'm taking credit for the entire show, when in fact, without the edit, my point was to give credit to the rest of my development team. And as much as I loved Montreal, the featurette gives the impression that the Gathering is held there every year. I know there was footage that indicated that we are a roving con, but none of that made the cut.

And still, I think it turned out well.

And I'm glad the Demona beat worked for you too.

Response recorded on September 22, 2006

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Lord GargFan writes...

Here's my DVD review:

First, the Power Rangers commercial made me laugh. Someone brought up how it was like the murderer speaking at the victim's funeral.

The animated menus were GORGEOUS!!! Absoulutely beautiful.

The clarity of the pictures were awesome. Ditto for the audio.

The commentaries, doc, and pitch were enlightening to me. It's a pity that they didn't make the Gathering featurete longer.

Anyway, that's my review. Short and sweet.

Thank you, Mr. Weisman, for creating such a good series.

Greg responds...

You're welcome. I'm very glad you liked the DVD. I liked the current length of the Gathering featurette. Like you said, "short and sweet". There were a couple of things they cut that I wish they had kept in, but I've watched ALL the footage they shot that weekend, and I think they got most of the best stuff.

Response recorded on September 22, 2006

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Thom writes...

I am so sorry the last post was meant to read "Thank you for helping to stop them from driving the clan apart in the final episode" not for "not helping".
Once again thank you for an amazing series, forgive me for the mistake in the previous post.

Greg responds...

Yeah, I got the gist of it. Thanks.

Response recorded on September 21, 2006

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Thom writes...

More a comment than a question. I am new to this forum but have been a fan of the show for a long time now. I just read the posts about the third season and am relieved to see that it was not under the same direction as the first two seasons which explains the extremely different feel to those eps as apposed to the first two seasons. I am sorry that the series was taken from you ( I cannot believe that they felt the need to do so seeing the job you had done with the previous eps.) but I am happy knowing that these were not your works. You are an extremely talented person to have done so much with this series and the overall feel of the series was increadible. You are amazing!
P.S.- Thank you for not helping stop them from driving the clan apart by the end of the third season. I can't believe that was even considered!
Thank you again for your time. I still look forward to seeing the rest of the series on dvd and have purchased season 1 already ofcourse, but I now have a whole new outlook on the Goliath Chronicles. Once again I am sorry you were unable to complete the series the way you had invisioned.

Greg responds...

Thanks for the kind words.

Response recorded on September 21, 2006

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Blaise writes...

THE NEW OLYMPIANS
(I had written a rather lengthy ramble on this last night, but due to some glitch or other, lost it. So, here I try to recreate that which was lost.)

This episode is always a little difficult for me to watch, mostly because of the unreasoning hatred and bigotry displayed by many of the New Olympians. It "angers the blood" in me, if you will. Things like Helios' "What a foul stench, it must be coming from the human!" just rankle me. I mean, I know that they have legitimate grievances (or, at least, their ancestors had them), and if they had only avoided Elisa, I might be a bit more tolerant. Despite the wrongness of his decision, I can like Boreas because he at least seems to try. Even Taurus, who has the seed of hatred inside him, does not always make decisions based on it, and even breaks up the riot. But the behavior of the rioters and their ringleaders--Ekidna, Kiron, and especially Helios (I don't know why I single him out, but if feels right)...it's just completely inexcusable (and loathsome).
Oddly enough, I don't feel the same way about Proteus, who is arguably more evil than any of the rioters. I mean, this is the guy who performs evil acts BECAUSE they're evil, right? And yet, I enjoy watching him. Why is that? Is it because Proteus does not make any excuses for his evil (at least, not here)? It's like...okay, you watch ANGEL, right Greg? You've seen that episode with that one guy, Billy (I think that was his name), the Hell-freed misogynist who could incite instant and violent hatred for women in any man he touched? (If you haven't, please skip to the next paragraph) It turned out that Angel was immune because he had worked past hate a long time ago, but he admitted that even as Angelus (his evil side) he was never motivated by hatred so much as a perverse sense of glee from inflicting suffering. And while I can actually kind of enjoy watching Angelus work (no matter what he does), I could feel only raw disgust and hatred at Billy, who tries to justify his bigotry. It's the same way with Proteus and the rioters, here.

Anyway, on with the episode.
I loved the music that played when the skiff passed through the "shimmering" area and New Olympus was first revealed.
Also, the designs for this episode were great--I love the many and varied character designs of the New Olympians themselves, especially Boreas and Helios.
And I echo Erin's assessment of the city: "Wow."

As soon as Elisa shoved the gargs off to the side and said, "No telling how they'll react to gargoyles," I immidiately put two and two together and figured out where this episode was going. I mean, whenever anyone says something so obvious like that it's almost like asking for the reverse to happen.

Interesting restraint system the N.O.s have. There's not much more I can say about it, but I did find it rather peculiar.

I agree with you about the Senate House walla, Greg. I must have heard that one guy say, "Humans can't live with us! They're dangerous! They're animals," or something like it, about two, maybe three times.
Also, theres a moment here that I always find a bit odd. When Taurus removes his helmet/mask, the way it's staged--the camera angles, and Goliath's spreading his wings--seems to indicate that this is some sizeable revelation. And yet, it was rather anticlimactic. Taurus, if anything, looked exactly as I expected him to look.
I like it that the "Leader" of the New Olympians holds a "lightning staff"--sort of harkens back to Zeus. Or is that thing particular to the Boreas of New Olympus?
And there's a moment towards the end of the Senate House scene that I missed until the third or fourth viewing: Goliath and Elisa embrace.

I do have to wonder about Boreas' decision here. What did he expect to happen? Did he have too high an opinion about the behavior of his people or did he suspect what would happen (which would make his decision somewhat malevolent)? I'd like to believe the former, but if that's the case, then he may be just a bit too optimistic.

And then we have the riot, which I've already touched on. Helios gets things rolling with his "stench" comment (kind of a racial slur), but Kiron throws the first punch. Like Todd, I find these two particularly reprehensible because they're supposed to be peace-keepers. Ekidna I actually find myself being more tolerant towards (maybe she reminds me of Demona). It's odd, but the way she talks about how the human's treated the N.O.s in the past sounds almost as if she experienced it personally. Then again, maybe I'm reading too much into that.

While Taurus' arresting Elisa is unjust, it did probably save her life in the immediate moment.

Actually, I find Taurus very interesting here as he's walking Elisa towards her cell. Whatever hatred he may have for humans, it doesn't stop him from telling Elisa about his father's murder by Proteus. He even manages to sound a little nice when he says "Make yourself comfortable, you could be here awhile." He also breaks up the riot, threatening to arrest everyone, and fire Helios (I love Helios' meek, "Y-yes, sir!"). Of course, I think a little of Taurus' own bias still shows through when he says "If you've got a problem, take it up with Boreas." It almost sounds as if he has a few things he'd like to say to the winged-one. Of course, I may again be reading too much into this.
Like I said, Taurus strikes me as someone who, while subject to prejudice, TRIES to act in spite of it. He's not always successful (he arrests Elisa instead of just moving her out of harm's way), but I'd like to think his effort counts for something.

And now we come to Proteus. I have to admit, my interest in him increased when you mentioned in a previous response that he was probably the closest thing to "pure evil," "evil incarnate," what-have-you that we have yet encountered in the GARGOYLES universe. There are many reasons I would have wanted to see the New Olympians spin-off, and a further exploration of Proteus' character was one of them. I would have loved seeing him in action beyond the scope of this one episode. And the late Roddy McDowell...what a great voice and performance.
I love how Proteus immediately begins quizzing Elisa about her mode of transportation. You can tell he's already thinking of escape.
Admittidly, Proteus may not be the best actor--"Who's that guy?" is probably the worst Goliath impression I've ever heard--but then again, he didn't have a heck-of-a-lot of time to study his subjects. I mean, if any of us had shape-shifting powers we could probably pull off a decent impression of the characters because we've watched and studied them so much. For what little time he had, Proteus' acting got the job done (up to a point--I'm not sure how convincingly he can turn to stone).
I find it interesting that Proteus' voice doesn't change when he becomes the Cyclops (is that a sort of secondary, "preferred form" for him?). I also find it interesting just how easily he seems to be hurt in that form. His fist connects with a collumn and he's in pain, and immediately after this he is felled by one punch from Taurus (granted it's to his EYE, but...).

One of my favorite sequences is in this episode. Proteus-as-Taurus, heads up to the Collinadium (however that's spelled) and begins to overload it. As he's doing this, Talos is explaining why this is a bad idea, and asking him to stop (while displaying missles) in such a frustratingly calm voice! I find it hilarious! Maybe that's why I feel sad when I see Talos' inert body hanging from Proteus' fist--I like the robot.

Angela does real well at dodging the restraints. If the sun hadn't rose, she probably could have kept it up for a while.
I always wince when Kiron tips over Bronx. It looks like something might have broken off.

Back to Proteus really quick--I love his transformations in this episode. The way he just sort of liquifies. The change from Goliath to Cyclops (with the two eyes becoming one) was especially well-done.

Taurus has his "I don't understand" moment, which is kind of required for episodes tackling subject matter like this. When the character actually says those words, I usually find it a bit too on the head, but Michael Dorn's acting helps make it work. And I love the wink Taurus gives Elisa.

One thing that I think many viewers may miss the first time is that Elisa DID NOT change the whole island--which is what would happen in another, more standard series (kind of like what TGC did with ANGELS IN THE NIGHT). Only Taurus and Boreas have really come to trust Elisa (Taurus even waves to her).

"The time may soon come when the world will have to face the New Olympians." When I first watched this, way back when it first aired, my mother watched it with me. As soon as Boreas said this, she turned to me with a smile and said, "I smell a spin-off." If we only knew how right we almost were.
(Then there's my brother, who thought that line sounded more like a threat...).

A little note on voices here. Having been an admirer of Rob Paulsen's work, I was glad to see him finally show up on GARGOYLES. I only wished I'd gotten to see more of him as Helios.
Overall, the voices were all well done (especially when the actors played Proteus-as-their character).
Yes, Taurus and Coldstone do sound a little too much alike, but Taurus has a slightly different speaking style than Coldstone, so that helps somewhat.
Of course, now that you've mentioned that Taurus, Talos and Proteus each had different voices originally, I'm going to be going crazy trying to figure out who they were!

This is a nice episode, with some rather difficult subject matter for me, but I like it. And I know I would have loved to see the NEW OLYMPIANS series.

Greg responds...

Someday... someday...

Response recorded on September 14, 2006

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Entity writes...

Mr. Weisman, I watched "The Edge" today and found myself amazed by how well you and the writers (in this case, Michael Reeves) pulled off your surprise endings. They were always shocking without feeling 'cheap.' This is because they always make perfect sense in the context of the episode, once you know what's really up. I think the way you accomplished this, without resorting to manipulative or dishonest tactics, was to make the viewer feel like he was in control. For instance, in "The Edge," the viewer is happy to believe Xanatos has created a new, more advanced Steel Clan robot. That would have been a cool plot development in and of itself, and something the viewer felt he grasped better than the gargoyles did. In "The Price," the viewer knows that Macbeth is immortal, while the gargoyles do not, so he feels more in control than the gargoyles. Perhaps this even results in a sort of gracious laze-of-mind in the viewer, by which you and the writers used the gargoyles' naivete, both of the modern world and of the show's arching plot, as a way of lulling us into a false sense of security. Was this a conscious tactic? Is it something you and the show's writers saw yourselves pulling off or was it business-as-usual? Is such stuff taught in television writing classrooms? I've never seen another show pull off its surprise endings quite as remarkably as Gargoyles. The very first time you pull one off is "The Thrill of the Hunt," an episode that could well have ended, just as "The Edge," after the gargoyles turned to stone. But like "The Sixth Sense," you kept going, and in the process, turned what would have been merely "good" stories into great ones. These episodes and the others like them were not created for the sole purpose of their surprise endings. They were flesh-and-blood stories that you and the writers ended with surprises nonetheless. Most of the praise for Gargoyles goes to its multiethnicity, its voice cast, its music, its gothic atmosphere, the dialogue (which you claim was sixth-grade level, but I've never read a newspaper article as verbose as Goliath), and all deservedly so, but one of the most enduring aspects of all were the shock endings.

Greg responds...

I'm glad that stuff works for you. It worked for us.

The main drive behind endings like that was a desire not to undercut our lead villains. Villains get tiresome when they lose all the time. And heroes are pointless if they lose all the time. (It's fun and dramatic and right to have both sides lose occasionally. But if either side loses ALL the time... well then where's the drama?)

But if a hero wins the battle and then we secretly reveal (in our patented Xanatos tags) that he may still be losing the war, then that keeps both sides interesting.

So it's not shock value for shock value's sake. But it lead us down a path that gave you the surprises you enjoyed. It forced us to always look BEHIND the obvious. Forced us to work harder. Then, I think the trick is to play fair. We may not reveal all, and -- your right -- our characters (human and gargoyle alike) may make incorrect assumptions about the situation, but all the clues are there from the moment the "PREVIOUSLY ON GARGOYLES..." starts to roll. (In fact, sometimes I feared that too many clues were planted.) By playing fair you get that double whammy at the end... both the surprise but also the "Of course..." That feeling that it's right. That it's not cheating. That in fact nothing else could possibly make sense.

Perhaps the ultimate example of that was the Owen/Puck revelation.

As for whether that's taught in writing classes? None specifically that I've taken. I've touched on it, here and there, in a couple of the classes that I've taught over the years. But I don't think I've ever focused a lesson plan on this point either. It's very much at the fine tuning end of the spectrum. Not something you'd get into in a survey course.

Response recorded on September 13, 2006

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Patricia Lovelady writes...

While utilizing the nifty SEARCH function, I decided to look up responses for "the whisper". I came up with this:

Question received on Mon, August 07, 2000 03:01:14 AM
Vasy writes...
1.What did titania whisper into fox's ear at he end of the gathering part2

Greg responds...
1. Do you think they'll be wondering about this in Ask Greg four years from now?
Response recorded on August 23, 2000

And given the most recent Q&A on that subject was recently posted.... 4+ years after that Q&A was done.... I think your answer holds true.. heh :) We were still wondering that in Ask Greg.. in 2004 :)

The fandom that you didn't anticipate has bugged you about something that you didn't think you would have been bugged about.

Keep it up, it's fun being confused, etc. :D

Greg responds...

My pleasure. (Most of the time.)

Response recorded on September 12, 2006

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Blaise writes...

EYE OF THE STORM

(And a Happy Thanksgiving 2004, BTW.)

This was the second time the Eye surprised me--the first being when it was revealed to be more than a mere bauble. Now we find out it really is Odin's eye, and he's looking for it.

I love Odin's "old wanderer" guise. The "star-cloak" is nicely done. His final, "Warrior-King" ensemble is a little less impressive to me, actually, but still nice (and hey--having little exposure to the great Kirby's work, it looked pretty fresh to me).

This is one of those episodes where, after watching it, you realise just how EASY things would have been if everyone had been honest and open from the start. As you pointed out Greg, Odin could have just said, "Hi! Welcome to Norway! I'm Odin, I'll be your resident supernatural being today. Oh, by the way, could I have my eye back please? I really miss having depth perception." He might have actually got his Eye in less time than it takes to watch the first Act. And poor Gunther and Erik wouldn't have lost a wall of their house!

Erik is an interesting fellow, to me. He know's Elisa's hiking story is suspect, but he doesn't want to press her about it, and in fact seems to have a rather cheerful attitude in spite of the deception. He also, to me, never seems to quite trust Goliath. Even after Elisa's first brought him up to speed he says, "From what you've told us, it sounds like we're in good hands with your Goliath." He doesn't sound completely sure about that.

Gunther's reaction to the gargoyles and the world they open up is great--wonder and enthusiasm. Pretty much what you'd expect for a boy his age. I love his eagerness to see Angela and Bronx wake up, along with his happy, "Hi, you must be An-GEL-a" (I love his strange pronunciation there).
I also love Angela's response to that greeting--"Uh...yes, I am." You go to sleep and then wake up on top of a car with a young lad happily saying your (mispronounced) name--yeah, that can be disorienting.

"The Fall of Goliath"--This was very well done. I liked how you guys developed the way in which the Eye "corrupts" Goliath. It takes his caring, protective nature and twists it into a rigid, tyrannical, "It's all for your own good" sort of thing. I have to admit I was at first surprised when it was revealed that he had been creating the storms, but afterwards it made perfect sense.
Actually, it's interesting that, after riding away and yelling "This isn't over," Odin really does cease to take any action against our heroes. He doesn't surface again until Goliath calls him out.

That battle is very well-done, BTW. It's pretty obvious that in terms of raw power, Goliath's got the edge, however Odin is the one who uses more subtlety--such as freeing Goliath's friends.

Goliath has some real "villain" moments in this piece, the most obvious of course being his line to Odin, "How frustrating for you, Old Man. To be so close to Death, and Rejuvination at the same time." Did anyone else hear a "Darth Vader Breath-Track" there?
Others would include the one you pointed out, Greg, where Goliath just says they'll "pack" Angela and Bronx--that always threw me off for some reason--and just the way he says, "A cave...yes, a cave would be ideal."

Before I forget, "Odinized Goliath" had a great design--and I like how it was tied in with Odin's "Warrior-King" design. The starry (sp?) wings were a nice touch, too.

SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS:
Goliath: "Believe it or not, we've hit ice."
Elisa: "I believe it." (A fun little exchange.)

I love how Goliath holds Elisa at the beginning. Obviously, it's to try and keep her warm...but there's, to me, a pretty strong undercurrent of attraction there. And I love his line (and the way he says it), "It is my duty to protect you."

Dang! In trying to get the Sturllisen's (sp?) car to stop, our heroes nearly send them over a cliff! Good thing Goliath can pretty much bench their car.

Elisa tries to outrun a man on a horse...well, I guess it beats just standing around, but they both have the same outcome.

I really wish more had been done with Goliath's first sight of the sun. This time, though, I began to wonder if Goliath was more enamoured with the feeling of the sun, or the feeling of the POWER coursing through him.

"Maybe you should take the Eye off now." I love how Goliath pauses ever so slightly before answering that.

I recall someone once saying that they were glad neither Gunther nor Erik became a new hero for Norway. :-)

Angela and Bronx are crusted with ice before they awaken. I rather liked that.

"The Eye! The Eye has gone to your head!" I love the look on Goliath's face after that--the raised brow ridge. It's almost like he's reacting to the (unintentional on Elisa's part) pun.

Goliath's turn around was a bit too quick and pat, but it nevertheless touched on Goliath's love for his daughter. I rather like Elisa's admission "Wish I'd thought of that." Maybe I'm reading too much into that, but it seems to me like it touches on Elisa's feelings for Goliath. Elisa may not be much for being the "Damsel in Distress"(tm), but all the same, I think she sort of likes being "rescued" by Goliath.

BTW, when'd the Eye get its "neck-chain" back?

To me, Odin's putting his Eye in its socket wasn't anti-climactic. It was just right. I mean, that's all he really wanted it for. And his and Goliath's final exchange was very well-done. I like how they admitted that each of them had kind of screwed up.

At any rate, I really enjoyed this episode and was glad to get a chance to see what happened when Goliath wore the Eye of Odin.

BTW, way back when you rambled on TEMPTATION (3 years ago, I think?) you said there were 3 toy tie-ins throughout the series. The first was the motorcycle in TEMPTATION. The second was supposed to be the helicoptor in HER BROTHER'S KEEPER (which wound up becoming a "sky sled"). And the third was supposed to be in this episode. So, what was the toy supposed to be?

Greg responds...

"Oh, by the way, could I have my eye back please? I really miss having depth perception."

LOL

As for the toy connection, they wanted a "STORM-BRINGER GOLIATH" (I think that was the name). They were doing a whole line of elemental gargoyles. Ice-Brooklyn, I think, was one. They wound up doing Hudson as the storm gargoyle, I seem to recall (although it's been a LONG time and I don't have those toys).

Also, as I've mentioned before, the EYE OF ODIN itself was the invention of the Disney Interactive Games people, and they used it in the game they created over there. (In fact they had a better - NORSER- design than we had. I always thought that our design looked a bit too Egyptian.)

Response recorded on September 12, 2006

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Blaise writes...

PENDRAGON

I have to admit, when this first aired, I was more than a little surprised to see Arthur showing up again (or at least, so soon after AVALON). Likewise with Griff. And it was even more surprising that you guys teamed them up like this. Surprising and delightful.

I was also pleased to see the return of Macbeth (for the last time in the regular series). I have to admit, at first I was a little disappointed that Macbeth was the antagonist, simply because after CITY OF STONE and SANCTUARY he had become such a tragic and sympathetic figure, you wanted to root FOR him, not against him. Also, I'm not sure, but I think a lot more of Macbeth's reverance for Arthur could have been shown. In fact, when he and Arthur are crossing swords (well, sword and mace) he says, "You will kneel to me" in an almost spiteful way. Of course, in the end, Mac shows himself to actually be a bigger man than Arthur when it comes to admiting defeat--he does so instantly, unlike Arthur who had to be coached (and I had never thought about the similarity to those who had challenged Arthur's legitimacy back in the legends).

Anyway, back to London. I agree with your reasonings for not giving Arthur a sword (though, personally, I would have preferred a double-bladed axe to a mace, but that's just me). I just love Arthur's surprise at a locked church--says a lot about how times have changed.
BTW, you said that one of Arthur's trips was to the Guggenheim in NYC--New York City, yes? I must say, I find that a bit surprising. Since he didn't run into the clan, I can only guess that it must've taken place during the day. And if I were him, I would have been more than a little cheesed-off that my path looped on me like that ("Aww, I just LEFT here!").

The Stone was a surprise, but cool (and I love Frank Welker's voice). If the Stone's speaking didn't surprise Arthur, though, I wonder what Arthur was reacting to when he gasped and lept back into Griff. He might have felt someone else in the room, I guess.
As for Griff's design, for the most part it's okay in this ep, except for where he recites the poem (nice poem, BTW). At this point, he loses his neck. It just looks like there's this huge LUMP in the middle of his shoulders that has a beak, eyes and a mohawk.

At any rate, I really like Arthur's portrayl (sp?) here. A lot of times in popular culture, it seems, he's turned into this infallible, wonderfully wise, Paladin-like character. While that is definitely a side of his personality, I like that it's only a side--Arthur is a human, and as such, imperfect. He's not terribly humble, he perfers acting to thinking (like you said), and continually refuses to accept the possibility that he may NOT be destined for Excalibur again. Actually, this makes him easier to identify with.

One bit I like: As Macbeth is performing the summon spell, Banquo yells over the wind and rain, "HE AIN'T PAYIN' US ENOUGH FOR THIS!" In hindsight, it's like a bit of foreshadowing for him and Fleance leaving Macbeth's service (and joining up with Castaway).

Arthur immediately recognizes Macbeth (no fond memories there), and Macbeth, of course, has no memory. I like how that doesn't really phase him, though.

The gargoyles expertly handle Macbeth and his goons (it's great how they disarmed them all in less than 5 seconds). Brooklyn displays his leadership of the clan when he opts to stay and collect "some answers" rather than pursue Macbeth.

And then the clan gets a big ol' 1-2-3 punch. 1) There's a gargoyle standing right in front of them--when they thought they were the last all this time. 2) King Arthur is there as well--THE King Arthur. 3) Both the gargoyle and King Arthur have seen their missing leader and friend, Goliath. It's a heck of a lot of information to take in, and that (coupled with their trying to find Excalibur and deal with Macbeth) kind of numbs them to the ramifications of Griff's very existence for the moment. Or, at least, that's my guess. I would have loved to hear them wonder whether or not Griff was the only other one.

One nit, here: The poem says "Ebon glass in emerald frame." And they (correctly) figure it's the lake, but the lake is just a dark blue. Ebon should be black. Oh, well.

Finally, we meet the Lady of the Lake. A fun little note, here: a few months ago, I turned some of my friends onto GARGOYLES, and sometimes they had interesting observations. One of them was along the lines of, "The Lady of the Lake would HAVE to be a Child of Oberon to have a body like THAT in the Dark Ages."

I like how Macbeth plugs in his crystal ball, and uses a monitor screen as his "scrying pool." Ah, the conveniences of modern technology.

Can't add much to what you've already said about the Water Djinn sequence, mostly because I find myself agreeing with you. Still, you guys only had 22 minutes or so to work with.

I got a kick out of the whole "Brooklyn" exchange. There are some inconveniences to being named after a location.

Like Todd, I was a bit surprised that Banquo (and Fleance as well, it seems) know about Macbeth's true identity. Mac must have a LOT of confidence in them.

At about this point, the Trio and Hudson largely take a backseat to the main action--Arthur and Griff vying with Macbeth for the sword. That's not to say that they don't have some good fight moments with Banquo and Fleance.

While it was never readily apparent that Banquo and Fleance were wearing power-suits, that knowledge does help explain a couple things I'd always wondered about: 1) How Banquo didn't lose his legs when Hudson hit them with what looked like the sword's cutting-edge, and 2) How Banquo wasn't crushed under the weight of both the tree AND Broadway.
Actually, Fleance seemed to be the more competent of the two in this battle--almost single-handedly taking out all four gargs. And she's got a tough hover-bike, one that crashes, but can still be used as stairs later on.

Griff encourages Arthur to continue fighting for Excalibur--yup, our king's found his first uber-loyal supporter.

The dragon...I am a BIG dragon buff, and I was indescribably pleased to see one in GARGOYLES, even if it was technically made of stone. The "vents" on the neck were an interesting and unique touch. And of course the whole "fight-and-flight" sequence was fun. The Trio and Hudson seemed to have the roughest time of it, being knocked back at the first, and then dodging fireballs while flying around the dragon's head, (Hudson whacking it with his sword...which right now reminds me of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" where Lancelot whacks the French castle with his sword before retreating).

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is Griff's way of freeing Arthur--making the dragon drop him and then grabbing him by the *corner of his cape* as he starts to fall! Arthur never even blanched. Then again, this is the same guy who a few seconds later plunges his had into the magical fire to retrieve Excalibur. I loved that part, BTW.

Poor Macbeth looks so sad when he drops the remnants of the false sword. I like that Arthur asks Macbeth to join him. As I recall, that was something he often did in the old legends: make a friend and knight out of a former foe. Of course I also recall reading somewhere that Excalibur could burst into blue flame or some such thing, so what do I know?

Arthur pretty much states what his next quest is (find that old fart, Merlin), and then does something I didn't quite expect...he knights Griff. I have to admit, maybe it's a bit prejudiced on my part, but I never contemplated the idea of a gargoyle-knight. I like it though.

I didn't get the idea that this was a sort of "backdoor pilot" to a spin-off, but once I found out, it made perfect sense. If this ep was any indication, it was already shaping up to be a fine show.

There's my ramble, and tomorrow I start replying to EYE OF THE STORM.

Greg responds...

I think you misunderstood me. The Stone sent him to the roof of the Guggenheim. I can't imagine that I said that he'd been there before. I don't think he'd been to Manhattan before. Of course, it's been two years, and I have no memory of what I wrote at all. But that seems unlikely.

Response recorded on September 11, 2006

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mari-ann writes...

j like gargoyles palun saadeke mulle golitah ,brookyln , lexi ,broadway.ühe groupis

Greg responds...

Um... thanks.

Response recorded on September 07, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the ramble on "The New Olympians".

I've always had a soft spot for this episode, largely because I really like the notion of a whole society of "Greek mythology creatures/beings" out somewhere. I still hope that you can get to explore it some more later on; that spin-off sounded like a lot of fun.

Despite your mention of avoiding the actual gods for character models for the New Olympians (since the Greek gods were famous for looking too human to provide dramatic designs in the same way that a minotaur or centaur would), I did notice in the crowd scene (at the point when Helios is exaggeratedly coughing and retching in Elisa's presence) a woman carrying a bow who did bear a strong resemblance to Artemis (at least, as she's customarily depicted in myth-based art).

Ekidne at times struck me as almost channelling Demona in her cries of "Treacherous human!" and her eyes glowing red when angry. (Of course, Demona strikes me as another good case of "bigotry bringing about more bigotry", so it fits.)

Helios and Kiron's participation in the riot struck me as even worse than that of the other New Olympians; these guys are police, and should be discouraging such displays rather than encouraging them. (Whatever else you can say about Taurus, he had the decency to break up the demonstration outside Elisa's cell.)

Proteus struck me as a fun villain, with such lines as "They really don't like you, do they?" or his habit of tormenting Taurus by shape-shifting into his father. (I agree with you that Proteus doesn't seem to bother to do his homework; I'd caught all three of the flaws in his performance as Goliath that you'd mentioned - saying "Who's that guy?", providing a weak excuse for why he doesn't turn to stone in the daytime, and wanting to blow up New Olympus, which last - again - sounds more the sort of thing that Demona would do.) I also caught a moment when he's waving at Taurus with what appears to be an extra-large hand (which I assume is part of his shape-shifting again and not an odd-looking piece of animation).

One of my favorite bits is Elisa empathizing more with Taurus after discovering what they have in common - both police, and both have fathers who are police. Especially the bit where she wonders aloud how she'd respond if Peter Maza were to be killed in the line of duty.

Knowing your interest in Theseus, I certainly can't say that I'm surprised that one of the main New Olympian characters in the story would have a link to him, in the form of being descended from his most famous adversary. (Or that you'd do another take on Theseus and the Minotaur when you wrote an episode for Disney's animated Hercules series.)

The "humans of legend" bit reminds me slightly of a short story by J.R.R. Tolkien, "Farmer Giles of Ham"; in one scene, a giant is telling many other giants and dragons about his excursion into human territory, giving an exaggerated account of the food to be found there and of how little resistance one can expect from the local humans. The dragons promptly say eagerly "So knights are mythical, after all!"

Re your remarks about Talos - I wonder whether Talos could be described as truly prejudiced, being a robot rather than a flesh-and-blood being. (He certainly seemed the most pragmatic of the lot, as you put it.) Though, then again, maybe I'm displaying a bit of prejudice against robots and machines in not believing that they can develop feelings as humans and other flesh-and-blood beings can.

I'd caught the similarity of Goliath's "I cannot wage war upon an entire island" line to the earlier line "I cannot wage war upon an entire world" in "Awakening" - what made it most stand out to me is that the original line was spoken to Demona, and here he's saying something similar to Demona's daughter.

A neat little detail: the flying cars on New Olympus have little eyes painted in the front, just like those on an ancient Greek trireme.

Another of my favorite bits is Elisa's run-in with Helios, where she tells him about how Proteus is planning to blow up the island, leading to:

HELIOS: And you had to attack me to tell me that?

ELISA: Would you have listened to me if I'd just called you over?

HELIOS: Frankly, no!

Somehow I never spotted the hint of a spin-off at the end of this episode as I did for "Pendragon" - at least, not until I found out about the Master Plan. Now I find it an appealing idea, as I said above.

50 episodes down and only 16 to do. You're really making good progress on this one, Greg. Thanks.

Greg responds...

I think I've only got three left now. Try to get to those soon.

Response recorded on September 06, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the ramble on "Eye of the Storm", Greg! This is another episode that I'm very fond of, especially because of the Norse mythology elements (which I've long been interested in, ever since reading the d'Aulaires' "Norse Gods and Giants" as a boy). While I had from the start taken a strong interest in the Eye of Odin on account of its name, I had not even suspected, before this episode aired, that this really was the very eye that Odin had given up for a drink from Mimir's well. And the revelation that it was definitely excited me.

I'd suspected that the Sturlissons were named after Snorri for some time; thanks for confirming it for me.

This episode answered one question that I'd had about the Eye for some time. I'd noticed the dark effect that it had had upon Fox and the Archmage, but I also knew that both of them had been "bad guys" before they ever donned it. So I was wondering what impact the Eye would have upon a "good person" who donned it, and whether it would corrupt them or not. This episode definitely answered my question, and made it clear that nobody was safe with the Eye except for Odin himself.

(As I mentioned in an earlier remark here, the Eye in this episode reminds me a bit of the One Ring in "The Lord of the Rings". Odin is attempting to recover his Eye for (more or less) the same reason that Sauron was attempting to recover the Ring; much of his power had passed out of it when he parted with it, and he needed to regain it to recover his old strength. And the impact that the Eye had on Goliath paralleled the element of how anybody who would try to use the Ring to defeat Sauron would become corrupted enough by it to become almost another Sauron. There's even the "eye imagery" in both cases. Of course, a major difference between the two stories is that giving the Eye back to Odin turned out to be the right thing to do - not to mention that Sauron definitely wouldn't have apologized to Frodo afterwards for all the trouble that he'd caused in trying to get the Ring back.)

I still find it a bit ironic that Odin would be ruefully admitting, at the end, that he was out of practice in dealing with mortals; in the original Norse myths, he was the only one of the Aesir who regularly interacted with humans much. All the other gods seemed to have dealings mainly with the other mythical races (dwarves, frost giants, etc.); Odin alone took part in human actions, often turning up in the human-centered sagas in his "old wanderer" disguise (such as thrusting the sword meant for Sigmund and Sigurd in the pillar of the Volsungs' hall, advising Sigurd on the correct means of slaying Fafnir, or engaging in a riddle-game with King Heidrek and winning when he asked a riddle - "What did Odin whisper in the ear of his dead son Balder?" - that only he knew the answer to). I can't help but think that if Odin's getting rusty in dealing with mortals, it's a good thing that Goliath and Co. didn't run into any of the other Norse gods while they were in Norway.

As I've also mentioned before, I was initially a bit disturbed by both Odin and the "Odinized Goliath" wearing horned helmets, since the series had shown earlier, in its character designs for Hakon and his Viking followers, that Vikings didn't actually wear those helmets, so my response was one of "The animators know better than that." I've come to accept this more, however, since both Odin and Goliath are "fantasy beings" rather than human Norsemen, and could be expected to dress more in accordance with popular notions about how Vikings dressed.

I hadn't picked up on the callousness of how Goliath spoke of transporting Bronx and Angela, but I did notice a couple of other acts of Goliath's while wearing the Eye which did, for me, serve as "danger signals". One was the way that he spoke when he was eagerly talking about seeing the sun for the first time; he delivered it in a very "over-the-top" fashion, almost straight out of Sevarius's style. (Though "over-the-top" in a good acting way, of course.) The other came when he, while reassuring Elisa that he was under control, patted her on the head in a very patronizing fashion.

(One thing that I'd really like to know was how conscious Goliath was of his motivations. Was he aware that his goal was to dispose of Odin so as to remove his chief rival claimant to the Eye, or did he believe that he was doing it to protect Elisa and the others, with his true motives buried deep below the surface without his being conscious of them?)

Perhaps the one thing about Odin getting his eye back that I find a bit of a pity is that his having one eye (and, as per the cartoon, in the original Norse myths, this was a feature that he had no matter what form he took on) was a major distinguishing feature of his; Odin having two eyes again feels to me, well, just a bit like Owen's stone hand returning to normal. But it certainly provided a great way to write the Eye of Odin out of the series.

Greg responds...

I don't think the Eye-influenced Goliath was very self-aware at all.

As for Odin regaining his eye, I'll admit to a pang or two visually. But change is inevitable, and I think that the difference is that we KNOW Odin as one-eyed. Giving him back his eye is in fact change. Giving Owen back his hand is not allowing change.

Or at least that's how it feels to me.

Response recorded on September 01, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the "Pendragon" ramble, Greg.

This is, of course, an episode that I'm very fond of because of my being an Arthurian buff. I've been therefore eagerly awaiting your ramble on it for a long time, and I'm glad that the wait is finally over.

I hadn't expected Arthur and Griff to team up before this episode, but I very much liked the concept. I still think that it's a pity that the "Pendragon" spin-off never got made to show us their adventures. (It's still my personal favorite of the projected spin-offs in the Master Plan.)

Although you don't mention it, there's an echo here of the first Arthur-related episode in "Gargoyles", "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time", with Macbeth again as the antagonist and Banquo and Fleance as his assistants. And again Macbeth is going after an Arthurian artifact.

A couple of bits about Macbeth in this episode still stand out to me. One is the fact that Banquo and Fleance know that he's *the* Macbeth; that got my attention at once. The other is that Macbeth, after drawing the fake-Excalibur from the statue, describes himself as "Macbeth, son of Findlaech". I very much enjoyed the little reference to his father, who thus gains a certain posthumous presence in the series long after "City of Stone Part One" (I find myself also recalling his cameo in "Avalon Part Two", when the Archmages are spying on Macbeth in 1020). Even when characters are dead, they're not forgotten.

I was initially a bit taken aback by the Stone of Destiny being the stone from the Sword in the Stone legend, since the Stone of Destiny was in either Ireland or Scotland at the time rather than in London (where the Sword in the Stone was set up), but I've since grown to accept it. It certainly makes sense; I've read a couple of commentaries on the Sword in the Stone legend which connected it to the Stone of Destiny, so equating them is certainly feasible. (I hadn't even considered the possibility of the Stone actually speaking those words to the assembled British nobles and knights until you mentioned it, I might add.)

I very much like the concept of Arthur's role being somewhere beyond Britain, even if it does take a different course from the traditional legends about his future return. (Arthur becoming ruler of Britain again would have made the Gargoyles Universe too different from the real world, of course, which gives an additional good reason to go in the direction that you chose.)

I hadn't even noted the parallel between Macbeth and King Pellinor, but I really like it. Thanks for sharing it with us. (I always was fond of Pellinor, from the time that I first met him in T. H. White's "The Sword in the Stone".) I certainly get a kick out of Arthur and Macbeth as allies - two of the most famous legendary kings of all time, if with dramatically different reputations. A real crossover concept, in fact.

Maybe the one weak point about the Gargoyles take on Arthur is that he seems a little too influenced by T. H. White - in the sense that he doesn't seem "uniquely Gargoyles Universe" enough. Other characters from traditional legend who cropped up in "Gargoyles" in major roles did so in a way that felt true to their originals, and yet in such a way that you could still, when meeting them, say "This is the Gargoyles Universe version of the character" at once. Macbeth was definitely this way, as is Puck, and so are the Weird Sisters, Oberon, and Titania. But Arthur feels maybe a bit too "conventional Arthur" in his appearances. Although I assume that, if you'd gotten to make the "Pendragon" spin-off, you'd have found ways of making him stand out a bit more from other writers' take on Arthur.

The bit about the fake Excalibur (which Arthur recognizes at once to be a fake) reminds me of a story in Malory where Morgan le Fay stole Excalibur from Arthur and replaced it with a worthless duplicate, while then giving the real Excalibur to one of her knights whom she then manipulated into attacking Arthur - obviously Arthur isn't going to be taken in by the lookalike ploy this time around.

And I certainly liked the concept of a different take on "the sword in the stone".

I can't help wondering a little what Leo and Una must have thought about Griff going off with Arthur so soon after he'd rejoined them, though I doubt that it was quite as bad this time around. For one thing, I get the impression that a major point behind it was that they didn't know for certain what had happened to Griff in "M.I.A.", and whether he was dead or not, which wouldn't happen this time around (since I recall that you mentioned that Griff called them up from New York long-distance). Also, there was the "buried guilt" issue over the fact that they knew, deep down inside, that they should have gone with him - and since now, after "M.I.A.", they've returned to being protectors, that isn't an issue any longer either.

At the end, I was eager to see Arthur and Griff go on their quest for Merlin, and thought it a pity that that story wasn't continued. (This will touch slightly on "Sentinel", but I'm saving my comments on that for when you ramble on it.) At least we get to see Arthur knighting Griff, which I thought was a great scene. And a fine way to begin a new set of adventures.... (Here's hoping that someday you'll get to tell them.)

Greg responds...

I've got my fingers crossed certainly.

Response recorded on August 31, 2006

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Entity994 writes...

WALKABOUT

I'm not big on relating my entire reaction to an episode, but highlighting certain key reactions of mine that stand out. I'll start with the negative. The idea that this Matrix could be so rapidly developed by Xanatos along with all his other projects struck me as reaching a little far. That he never chooses to use the technology for commercial gain in industry (nanite construction) or medicine (nanite healers) also threw me.

Of course, this was Fox's and Anastasia's experiment, not so much Xanatos'. I liked the notion that perhaps Anastasia infused the Matrix with magic in order to accelerate it. I also choose to believe that the Matrix represented, for Xanatos, a sort of dark temptation. I like to think that after the failure in Australia, Xanatos decides it was for the best and that transfiguring the whole world for his purposes is not him, it is the deep inner demon in him that must be silenced. I think Xanatos is a guy who values reason and considers it the barrier and interpreter between his dark, inner demon and his outer surface of grace, charm and tact.

Anyway, I loved Dingo, the Shaman, and the Dreamtime. Neither the Shaman nor the Dreamtime were very thoroughly developed, but that is what I liked about them. The spare dialogue made the Shaman and the Dreamtime feel more mysterious and therefore attractive. The way the Dreamtime was used as a bridge of communication with the Matrix was a stroke of brilliance, I thought.

Finally, in the Dreamtime, I loved the way the Matrix is represented -- as that mechanical set of arms and gyroscopic "eye" that zooms in on Goliath like an insect as he gives his gloriously-written and very eloquent speech, which I also loved. Tha whole scene is perfect and made the episode for me. I love the stuff Goliath will say in a tight spot that manages to convey desparation and maintains eloquence at the same time.

Greg responds...

I'm glad there was so much that you liked. I hate to therefore pick on the little bit of negative that you mentioned, but I can't resist, because it raises a larger point.

"The idea that this Matrix could be so rapidly developed by Xanatos along with all his other projects struck me as reaching a little far. That he never chooses to use the technology for commercial gain in industry (nanite construction) or medicine (nanite healers) also threw me. "

Except you don't know that any of the above statements are true. The fact that we hadn't shined a spotlight on this area of his conglomerate until "Walkabout" hardly proves that he (a) hadn't been in development of this tech for some time or (b) that he wasn't -- both before and after events depicted here -- attempting to exploit the tech industrially. Xanatos Enterprises is a BIG company, and most of their endeavors are, well, dull. The fact that I'm only telling the interesting stories doesn't prove that the mundane isn't taking place behind the scenes.

Response recorded on August 29, 2006

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Blaise writes...

MARK OF THE PANTHER

And with this I should finally be caught up.

In the first few minutes, I found myself fearing that this episode would be focused primarily on our heroes stopping poachers. To me, it just seems that whenever a series does an episode like that, it turns into something where story and character are put on hold for the sake of a message or moral. Even if the message or moral is good, if that's all the episode is about it just winds up feeling hokey and forced.
Thankfully, that was not the case with this episode.

I loved the whole "I've saved you--OOF!" thing at the waterfall. A nice way of continuing, and yet making fun of, Goliath's "always being there to catch Elisa" habit.

I actually didn't recognize Diane Maza--it had been a while since I'd seen her (or even heard her VOICE), and her character design looked a bit different (not just in wardrobe, something in the face, too). Regardless, I'm still glad she appeared, and I was VERY pleased that Elisa finally got word to (at least one of) her parents.

The Panther Queen story was, of course, fantastic. It never ceases to amaze me that it all took place in the first Act. It just seems to be "bigger" than the space allotted it. I was actually kind of surprised to learn that you guys made it up yourselves. Actually, I was even more surprised to find out in the original outline, "The Jaguar Queen" that you guys didn't even have Anansi!

Angela tries to view the world through the prism of her experience, wondering if Diane is a Queen or Magus. I always loved that.

Elisa's sheepish excuses around her mother always threw me--considering the circumstances (which any reasonably intelligent person would know could not be explained with "being on a case") the truth was obviously the only way to go. But like you said, Greg, Elisa's a little selfish with her secrets.
I sincerely wished that you guys had had enough time to put in some reference to Elisa's leaving Matt an (unreceived) message.
I love the looks on Angela and Goliath's faces during the, "You're right, parents and children should be able to discuss anything" sequence. Just as I like how when the gargoyles do join the action, Elisa just smiles while Diane's face takes on a more terrified/surprised expression.

One thing that always bothered me, though--Angela BENDS a spear, as though it were metal. Maybe it was, but it sort of looked like wood to me.

I loved the were-panther transformations. Especially in Karadigi. Just the way the humans stayed on four limbs for a bit after having transformed back.

I, too, enjoyed Goliath's rather surprised/pliant "Of course not" to Diane's proud statement, "I don't need looking after."
Actually, another interesting character bit here--Goliath was going to send everybody else off in one group and travel his path alone. He seems to have this kind of "I'm the big and strong one, so I can handle anything without any help," mentality. Shades of where the Eye of Odin would eventually take him?

Diane wonders why Goliath can't just fly out of the hole--again playing to human's initial assumptions on gargoyles. I just love how Goliath is so nonchalant about the tiny spiders crawling over him, or their webs hanging off him.
Elisa, Angela and Bronx's trap is pretty darn creepy--being entirely covered in a "web blanket."

The talks on parenting are well handled--they get the point across without being overbearing. Actually, it took me a while before I realized that Goliath's treatment of Angela was more out of personal fear rather than just following clan customs. And now that I think of it, Elisa's complaints about her mother reminds me of how she disagreed with Goliath's keeping Angela in the dark in SANCTUARY. Maybe that's why Angela's words meant so much to Elisa--she thought of how unhappy Angela is at NOT being able to talk about things with Goliath.

I was surprised with Tea's story about how Fara Maku marked her--it kind of switched who was the victim between the two. I loved Diane's line, "That's not love Fara. That's selfishness." That leads me to wonder how many people have let their own selfishness outweigh their love in relationships.

When Anansi finally makes his grand entrance, all I could think was, "DAMN, that's a BIG SPIDER!" Don't ask me how, but I just knew LeVar Burton had to be in this episode somewhere, and he did a great job as Anansi, though I could barely recognize his voice. If Anansi had ever taken human form, I would have loved hearing LeVar's un-altered voice.
When Anansi starts losing the battle, I love how his eyes take on a very worried look (almost makes me feel sorry for him), and he starts trying to placate our heroes with wishes.

I was surprised that you guys actually "killed" Anansi--I hadn't thought the little spider at the end was actually him (possibly because that spider was brown instead of purple), but I am glad for the thought.

As for Tea and Fara Maku's reconciliation...yes, I'm afraid I can't help but find it a little too easy. Again, this is one of those times that I wish GARGOYLES could have run longer. Heck, if Tea had been awake (and reacted) when Fara swore to serve Anansi forever if Tea was freed, it might have worked better for me.

The resolution between the parents and children was well done. Yeah, Goliath and Angela's was pretty sappy (mostly because of Angela's reaction, and the swell of the music, IMO--Goliath's always cool), but it was still okay. Diane's and Elisa's was just great, and I love Diane's line that sometimes love can be about "letting go".

Funny thing about Elisa's "No" at the end--I didn't even hear it until the second or third time I watched this ep. And I think you're right that the ending plays better without it.

GOLIATH THE PANTHER-GOYLE: Sometimes you can only see these things through the eyes of a child. ;-)
Seriously, though, it wasn't necessary, and from what I saw in the "Panther Queen" sequence, it looks like it has to be done in a very specific fashion. So I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

My ramble's a bit all over the map, but trying to do two rambles in one sitting is enough to tax anyone's brain. Suffice to say, this really is a great episode all around, and I enjoyed sharing my thoughts on it.

Looking forward to your next ramble!

Greg responds...

Ugh, see... I have got to catch up here, because I haven't a clue as to what "Goliath the Panther-Goyle" refers to.

Response recorded on August 29, 2006

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Blaise writes...

WALKABOUT

This is one of those episodes that has a lot I like, and a lot that I felt could have been better.

One of the latter was, of course, the "off" portrayal of the Dream Time. As Todd already said, the Dream Time is basically Antiquity. In that view, the Shaman's statement that the gargoyles come from the Dream Time makes sense. That being said, I DID like the battle that took place in the Dream Time (more on that later).

One thing that really struck me this time around was just how CALM everyone was when the Matrix started to go overboard. I mean, Fox and Anastasia are just calmly talking about the "Grey Goo Scenario" and how the world will end in just this straight (and sometimes rather flippant) manner while everyone else largely just stands looking serious. I mean, it's like everyone's going "Hmmm, we'll all most likely be dead in less than half an hour and the world will end...Hmmmm." In the case of Anastasia it kind of makes more sense (or will after will learn about her "double life") but with everyone else? Elisa seems to be the only one even close to panicking.

And, of course, the whole "Law and Order" thing.

But there was a lot about this I still liked.

Dingo was the big one. I'd been wondering what happened to him since GRIEF, and now here he is, trying to start over. I liked this--we've already seen good people "fall" throughout the series (Demona, of course, but also Macbeth, the Captain and even Renard for an episode), and some of those people redeemed themselves, of course. However, this was the first time that someone who we first saw as a villain actively tried to reform of his own volition. Not only did Dingo prove himself perhaps one of the smarter and more able-bodied members of the Pack when they were human, but also the most sane and...well, like you said, Greg, HUMAN. Actually, Dingo showed even more than the "quest for redemption"--his discussion about the nanites and comparing them to enzymes and the like indicated that he was probably far smarter than anyone ever gave him credit for.
On the subject of that conversation, two things that always stood out: Dingo's mention of Coyote (more continutity, and a bit of added depth to Coyote), and the "voice reverb" on the helmet. The way it subtly changes Dingo's voice right in mid-sentence when he puts it on (kudos to the sound team).
Also, Dingo's utilization of his suit was great. I loved how he used it as a sort of missile against Goliath by remote control. The removal of the helmet was a bit different here than in UPGRADE (Dingo had some sort of yellow hood, the front of the helmet rises like a mask, etc.).

Moving away from Dingo for a bit, I was also happy to finally meet Anastasia Renard, and extremely pleased to see a visibly pregnant Fox. That last part was important, simply because in most visual mediums there's a little "If you don't see it, it didn't happen" mentality, so this made Fox's pregnancy that much more REAL.

The Matrix itself was fairly interesting. I must admit, I was a bit surprised that the ultimate solution was not to destroy it, but to "convince it of its error."
Also, the "Grey Goo" did seem a bit more random than it perhaps should have been, but at least it was well animated.

I rather enjoyed the interactions between Dingo and our heroes. The first instinct on either side is to attack first, of course. And after escaping from the the Grey Goo together, our heroes' first thought is that Dingo had something to do with it (and they're actually right, but he's not THAT involved). And Dingo gets a bit defensive and even territorial about them being in Australia (loved the slang that Mr. Cummings put in there, BTW). When Dingo suggests that only he and Elisa see the Shaman, Elisa gets this great, almost disgusted look on her face, like someone asked her to swim through garbage. And, when Dingo's participation in Fox's research is revealed, and he tries to explain this isn't what he expected, he takes a step towards Elisa, who in turn takes a step back. I somehow get the feeling that Goliath's more apt to trust Dingo than Elisa would ever be.

Loved the music during the "Matrix chase" scene. Not so sure about the "white glow" that occurs whenever the goo passes through a surface.

Fox did have a rather "cliched villain" idea--a machine to transmogrify the world to suit the controlling individual. Yet, it seems to me that Fox is more enamoured with the *idea* and having the capability of doing that, than actually doing that. Again, she displays that she's more interested in fun than results (unlike her husband).
Actually, that's the funny thing--Xanatos is connected with this episode, but he really has nothing to do with what's going on (kind of like in MONSTERS).

The revelation to Goliath that Fox is Halcyon Renard's daughter was nice, I'm glad it made it in there, but it always just feels too quick. If only there had been more time--I would have loved Goliath's musings on that new bit of information.

Now, the Dream Time battle. I did notice that the combatants used what was familiar to them (in fact, a few of Goliath's gestures looked like he could have been invoking magical spells, and his psuedo-clan shot lightning from their hands). Of course, the Matrix still manages to best them, and only relents when Goliath says what I consider to be the best line in this episode, "Your peace is that of the grave!"

When Dingo talks about being a hero again, he's smiling. Think about it--how many times has Dingo given a genuine, happy smile.
And then the Matrix bonds with his suit, and Dingo becomes a new kind of hero; one whose adventures I would have been most interested in watching.

RANDOM NOTES:
When my brother watched this with me (after having seen THE HOUND OF ULSTER the previous day) he remarked about the gang creating heroes wherever they go.

Batwave...y'know, it's funny. You probably started these rambles, before "The Batman" was even in development. :-)

And there's my ramble!

Greg responds...

Thanks. It's a good one. Of course, the problem with the delay here at ASK GREG is that at this point it's been two years since I've seen "Walkabout"... or read my own ramble on the subject. "Batwave" just seems like a non sequitor to me now.

Response recorded on August 28, 2006

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Demona writes...

hey,Greg. What´s up??I am from argentina and yes :We love Gargoyles here too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. I always see Brooklyn and Demona figthing when they are together but Who is more stronger?? I really think that Demona would kill him very easly if some one would give her the chance but...you know....
I really love when Demona and Macbeth start figthing is very cool. In the reckoning, Macbeth "lost" the figth,but Demona would shot him if Eliza would not stop her. She wanted die because wath had happened with Tailog or she was just angry at Macbeth and she really wanted to see HIM death.Besides it mas not posible.Allrigth, it is done. Chau

Greg responds...

Demona vs. Brooklyn? It's all situational to me. Demona is without a doubt the WAY more experienced warrior, and as Brooklyn isn't yet, I feel, fully grown even, she may still be his equal or better physically. But motivation matters in battle as well. Both are pretty well-motivated at this point. I don't know... It's all situational to me.

And thanks for the kind words.

Response recorded on August 28, 2006

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Blaise writes...

THE HOUND OF ULSTER

At last!! I say that both because it's a new ramble, and I'm finally able to add my own. I'll play catch up with your other additions over the weekend.

When I first saw this episode, both the "Previously on" segment and the title indicated that Bronx would get some exposure. I wasn't sure HOW since there's only so much you can do with a dog (or even a dog-like beast) without giving them some anthropomorphic qualities. Consequently, I think it makes since that Rory Dugan became the protagonist.
And yet, that in itself is unique. Here we have a non-regular being the main character of the episode--hightlighted with that wonderful "hero-shot" where the camera circles around Rory's face (well done bit of animation, that). I mean, I don't know of too many other series that do that (well, maybe there were some old "Batman: TAS" episodes that seemed to focus more on the villains, but they're the VILLAINS!)
I love Molly's character design--the hair-style, the eyes, the three belts (in technicolor!) around her waist.
Rory's vision of Crom Cruoch really threw me the first time I saw it. Then I completely forgot about it until the Banshee transformed at the end.

BTW, time out here to say kudos to the voice work all around. Colm Meaney's (sp?) guest turn was great. Scott Cleverdon did excellent work (and HE added the battle cry?! I love that thing!). And as for Sheena Easton, hey do I really need to say anything?
Loved the Banshee's keening! I have to wonder though...it seems to me that gargoyles have a stronger sense of hearing than humans, yet the Banshee's cry is apparantly more fatal to humans.

Anyway, I was a little surprised at our heroes sinking into the bog right off. Very tense the first time you see it, and a nice little character bit for Goliath--he turns from Elisa to try and save his daughter, but can't and turns back to find Elisa has already sunk beneath the surface. For a guy so big on protecting his loved ones that must have been a truly hellish moment.

But Bronx escapes and we get our first glimpse of the Banshee.

Rory's discussion with his Dad is interesting to me, mostly in how pessimistic and cynical Rory acts. One line of his that I always like (even if I don't agree with it): "There are no heroes anymore! Only villains! And they've got us all beat." Sometimes it's very easy to think that.

Our main heroes wake up trapped in the Cairn, and Goliath says that "a whole clan of gargoyles could not batter down these walls." That line always struck me for some reason.
A bit disconcerting that Elisa's muddy in this scene and clean in the next, but "meh".
And although Cuchullan's remains would have been nice, I don't really miss it (unlike the whole Anubis thing). Besides, how much of an unmummified corpse would be left after 2,000 years?

Rory meets Bronx and between the pooch's outlandish appearance and the legends of his father, Rory reacts in a perfectly reasonable way...he runs like hell. And falls off a cliff (looking at it from the wide shot, I can't help but think it's a miracle he survived).

BTW, the little memo you posted finally clears up why Bronx singled out Rory--the Banshee's scent. Yet Bronx can still sense that Rory's not an enemy.

The Banshee talks with our "main heroes." I can never stop noticing her rather exaggerated gestures. She must be a bit of a drama queen. I like her "ghost" form, though.
The Banshee does have that one character trait (which Todd has already mentioned) that annoys me to no end: she does not even consider the possibility that her prisoners might be telling the truth. And as you pointed out she could have just mesmerized it out of them (no fuss, no muss), which makes her behavior even more inexcusable.

After the Banshee hears Bronx and splits, and Angela says that Bronx will save them (she's got more faith in her pooch than I've ever had in any of mine, I'll admit), the camera starts to briefly zoom in before cutting to the next scene. I'm always wondering what got cut, if anything.

When Molly transformed into the Banshee...I figured they were both one and the same. At least, until Molly appeared in Rory's house the next day and said she'd go with him to the Cairn because she loved him. THAT cast some doubt in my mind.

"Be still little mortal and come quietly with me, into the dark." That line still sends my dirty little mind reeling with possibilities. ;-)

I like Mr. Dugan's attitude towards his son's visions: he may not entirely believe in them, but he's not about to go tempting fate in regards to them, either.

A little animation bit I only really started noticing after you mentioned exploring more of the relationship between Rory and Molly--when Rory strides down the hill towards the Cairn, Molly gets a sad/worried look on her face. Rory isn't looking at her so she doesn't have to act, but it's still there. It's more than just avoiding an old enemy that makes her want to keep Rory in the dark.

I love the voice acting in the Cairn--as the two characters talk, a bit more of each's "other" starts to creep into their speech.
I love the whole "Gae Bolga" scene.

"Skills may rust indeed, but true friendship stays bright." Y'know, because of the accent, I didn't understand what he was actually saying there for YEARS!

I always noticed how you guys had Goliath and Angela, the usual heavy hitters, get knocked away by Crom Cruach the instant they try to join the battle. Makes sense--this was Rory and Bronx's show!

"And there's no kind of training schemes for this job, I'll wager." Nope, and no pay either! Just ask Spider-man!
On the "Thor" subject, I never knew that much about Thor (either comic or mythology) until a bit after GARGOYLES, so for me this was fairly fresh.

Dog's (or gargoyle beasts) can look smug! I've seen it myself!

RANDOM THOUGHTS:
I always thought the "Previously on" segment for this episode felt awkward towards its end--your ramble helps clear that up.

One thing that struck me this time out was the Banshee's character design, especially in the face. It can move from beautiful to rather corpse-like.

Yes Cuchullan was the "Hound of Ulster," but only because he killed the original hound and vowed to act in its place until a new one was raised. Who's to say these hounds weren't gargoyle beasts?

Great ramble!

Greg responds...

Those "Hounds" were indeed Gargoyle Beasts in the Gargoyles Universe, and as I've learned more about the legend SINCE doing the episode, it seems to me that as Cu Chullain was replacing the "Hound" he killed, he would also be raising and training a new "Hound" to eventually take his place. That, to his mind, was the Hound of Ulster that he recognized in Bronx.

Or that's my current theory anyway.

Response recorded on August 28, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

One other thing about "Mark of the Panther" that I forgot to mention: I find it somehow amusing and appropriate that Elisa and Diane Maza would have a run-in with humans magically transformed into panthers in light of how a member of their family had already been turned into a panther-of-a-sort (though through science rather than through magic).

Greg responds...

So you caught that. Good.

Response recorded on August 25, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the ramble on "Mark of the Panther". (Boy, we're really coming along well with the rambles now! Isn't it great?) Here are my thoughts on it.

One of the moments that still most stands out to me is the legend of the Panther Queen that was incorporated into the story; the change of animation to set the old tale apart from the present-day action was a particular delight for me. (Although I hadn't even thought until you mentioned it that somebody tuning into "Gargoyles" during this story could have mistakenly believed that they were watching a different television program.)

I've read a little about Anansi before the series came out, though I'm no expert upon him. One thing that I had learned about him, which I think that the episode captures accurately, is that his tricks and schemes had a tendency to backfire upon him - and this is what happens in both the Panther Queen story and the main action. In the Panther Queen story, Anansi, indignant about having to turn the Panther Queen's son into a panther, banishes all the humans from Karadigi - and then realizes too late that he's just sacked his entire hunting force, so who's going to bring him food now? And in the present day, Anansi's getting Fara Maku to hunt for him worked too well - he gorged himself to such an extent that, once out of his web, he was too fat and unwieldy to fight the gargoyles effectively.

Diane's helping to resolve satisfactorally the problem of Goliath's difficulty in acknowledging Angela as his daughter reminds me of something that you once said about why they generally leave mothers out of Disney movies: the mother, if she was there, could have found a solution to the problem so quickly that there'd be barely any story. And once Elisa's mother shows up, she does indeed help solve the Goliath-Angela problem (though without preventing there from being a story).

And I picked up (by the last time that I saw this episode, a few months ago - I regularly watch my "Gargoyles" tapes every summer) on the link between Diane telling Fara Maku about his desire to keep Tea by his side "That's not love; that's selfishness" and her telling Elisa at the end that love is about letting go.

The moment that you mentioned about Diane telling Goliath with a certain indignant dignity "I don't need protection" and Goliath saying "Of course" always amused me - and I found myself also thinking of "mother-in-law" towards Diane at that moment.

The first time that I saw this episode, I thought that Anansi had indeed been slain at the end, though "The Gathering Part One" proved me wrong on that. And, truth to tell, I'm kind of glad that the Children of Oberon are so difficult to kill and that we haven't had any genuine deaths among them as yet in the series. After all, they are (or the bulk of them are) traditional figures in humanity's own myths and legends, part of our cultural heritage. Obviously, a genuine death for Anansi wouldn't result in everyone forgetting the tales about him, but still, his passing, or the passing of any other member of the Third Race, would somehow (to me, at least) diminish the "tapestry of story" that we have gained from them. (When we get to "The Gathering Part Two", I'll mention how Oberon's sentence upon Puck has a similar, if not as strong, impact upon me.)

Thanks also for telling us about how Bronx somehow reminded you and your family of Norman again. (I wonder now how the Cagney scenes in "Gargoyles" would have affected me if I'd seen any of them between the time that my old cat Merlin passed on, two months ago, and the time that I adopted my new kitten Obie.) Norman sounds like he must truly have been quite a dog.

Greg responds...

Norman was indeed quite a dog. I miss him still. We have two new old dogs now, Sammi & Abraham and we still have our cat Bigtime, but we recently lost our cat Iggy during a power outage. And when I say "lost" I mean that literally. Heat wave. Power outage. Open windows. He must have run off. But he hasn't come back.

Kinda know how Hudson felt about Bronx during the World Tour. So I'm hoping Iggy's having fun in his own personal Avalon.

Response recorded on August 23, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the Election Day present, Greg - namely, the "Walkabout" ramble! Here's some thoughts of mine on it in response.

For a start, I missed this episode the first time around (due to my moving to my first Central West End apartment the day that it first aired), so I only got to see it during later showings (by which time, of course, I'd seen "The Gathering" and knew the real story about Anastasia Renard). Fortunately, it didn't ruin the episode for me.

Generally, I have difficulties with the notion of an artificial intelligence as the antagonist (whether a computer, a robot, or what-have-you) - when it's a deliberate antagonist, that is, as opposed to just following orders like the Steel Clan robots or Renard's cybots - because I find it a little too difficult to imagine a machine becoming evil. I believe (like Goliath in "Outfoxed") that it takes a living being to engage in motives of good or evil. So, for example, I usually have a hard time accepting a computer or robot out to conquer the world since that would require it to have emotions (power-hunger, greed, paranoia of the "I've got to conquer them before they conquer me" variety), which I can't imagine an artificial intelligence developing. That said, I found that Matrix's actions in "Walkabout" worked for me since it wasn't out to reformat the world out of "villainous motives" but merely because it was obeying its programming, to create order, and thought that it was carrying out its duty. It might not even have understood, at that stage in its development, that its bringing order to the world would mean disaster to all living things on the planet. So the Matrix worked for me.

(I might add that one of my favorite bits in the episode comes when Goliath is protesting repeatedly to the Matrix in the Dreamtime that its form of order would bring about death to everyone on Earth, and the Matrix replies, in this almost desperate fashion "But we must have order." It said that in a way that felt, to me, as if it was beginning to understand at last what Goliath was saying, but still had the problem that its programming demanded that it produce order, and it couldn't go against its programming.)

I'd gotten fond of Dingo after "Upgrade", and so I enjoyed seeing him again, wanting to make a change for the better. The touch that I especially liked was his mentioning about how he'd used to be a hero to a lot of people when he was on the Pack's television series, and wants to go back to that, only this time being a real hero rather than just playing one on television.

You're correct about the "Dreamtime" being not quite accurate; a friend of mine who knows more about Australian Aborigine legend than I do pointed out that the Dreamtime was actually a "mythical time period" when the world was being created rather than some sort of other dimension.

I liked your mention of how the Avalon World Tour was supposed to take the cast to every inhabited continent (the "inhabited" part would explain the absence of Antarctica - which you were planning on sending King Arthur and Griff to, anyway). Technically, they don't set foot in South America unless you enlarge its boundaries to include Central America (in this case, Guatemala), and don't set foot on mainland Asia (as opposed to Japan) in the television series (though there's your Himalayas story that you'd planned for the Gargoyles comic to make up for that).

I got a chuckle out of Erin's response to the name "Matrix" in connection to the movies.

Of course, another big element is the introduction of Anastasia Renard on stage at last, plus seeing Fox pregnant. (I've sometimes wondered whether there were any S&P issues with that part.) I especially liked Goliath realizing that Fox is Renard's daughter after being introduced to Anastasia.

Again, thanks for the ramble. I'm really looking forward to more to come.

Greg responds...

I don't recall any particular S&P problems with Fox's pregnancy. Though I definitely feel that the mere fact that we were allowed to have Fox get pregnant was something of a miracle.

Response recorded on August 22, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the first new Ramble in a year, Greg. I really enjoyed reading the "Hound of Ulster" one, and hope that this is the first of many more to come in the last couple of months of 2004; I've been eagerly awaiting the rambles for the last 22 episodes of "Gargoyles" that you worked on, after getting the rambles for the first 44.

I only saw the first half of the episode the first time that it aired (I was in the middle of a move from the suburbs to the Central West End of St. Louis in early 1996, and so missed the end due to working on the move with my family). And by the time that I got to see the whole thing through, I'd already seen "The Gathering", complete with the Banshee's fate at the hands of Oberon. Not that it hurt things that much. Since then, I watch my taped version of it regularly each St. Patrick's Day, as a holiday tradition. The big pity is that I can no longer remember my initial response to it (such as whether I thought that Molly was a person independent of the Banshee whom the Banshee merely masqueraded as once or twice, or whether they were one and the same). Sorry about that.

I was amused to discover that you'd originally thought of calling this one "A Bronx Tail" in light of how the Goliath Chronicles used that title later on. (I recall that they also used that title in the "Gargoyles" comic book series, at one point.)

I honestly hadn't thought of the Lassie connection with Bronx until you mentioned it (but then, I know Lassie more by reputation). (I did catch the Wizard of Oz quotes right away, though.)

I'm a bit puzzled by your mention of a certain "Liscoo". Is that the name of Rory's hometown (if so, it obviously didn't make it into the dialogue of the completed episode)?

You were correct in not using the term "Barghest" for that episode, since it's indeed linked to northern England (those viewers who were already aware of the discrepancy from the original Cuchulain legend would have let you have it even more if the term "Barghest" had gotten into an Irish story!). But I like the notion of associating gargoyle beasts with the "black dogs" of Britain and Ireland. The "black dogs" of British and Irish folklore do match gargoyle beasts; they're generally nocturnal, are awe-inspiring creatures that can strike fear into people's hearts, and yet often appear in the role of protectors, despite their fearsome quality. So Bronx playing the role of one of them works.

I find the "dwarves made my shoes" line appropriate, since one of the most famous mythical denizens of Ireland is the leprechaun, and leprechauns are dwarflike shoemakers. (Was that line intended as a direct reference to leprechauns, or is it just another neat coincidence?)

(Another piece of trivia: the Cromm-Cruach - the Banshee's "death-worm" form - or, more precisely, its namesake in Irish mythology, was the source for the name of Crom, the god worshipped by - or, more accurately, sworn by - Conan the Barbarian. Robert E. Howard, the man who originally created Conan, had the habit of borrowing almost all of his names from actual legend and ancient history.)

I'd thought myself (after a couple of showings of the episode, though not right away) that there is a certain similarity between Rory/Cuchulain and the Mighty Thor of Marvel Comics (both modern-day people who become "real" mythical figures after discovering a stick that transforms into the mythical figure's traditional weapon). Hopefully you'll be able to solve it if you ever bring the series back long enough for Rory to show up again.

And, yep, the Banshee did pass up the opportunity to mesmerize her prisoners. (She also showed that annoying tendency that so many interrogators have of "I've already made up my mind about whether you're innocent or guilty, so all the evidence that you're innocent won't mean a thing to me." A bit like Nokkar later on in "Sentinel", in fact.)

I share your delight in Rory's dad's lack of enthusiasm at seeing Molly. I also enjoy the parts where Rory warms to Bronx (particularly where he actually rides him).

And, yep, it wound up being mainly Rory's episode - but Bronx still got a big role in it.

Greg responds...

I have long term plans for more on Rory, Banshee and even--

Oh no, it's the SLG SPOILER POLICE!

"Damn it, Weisman! Save SOME surprises for the comic book!! Don't make us punish you ... again!"

Response recorded on August 22, 2006

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SomePerson writes...

Hello Mr. Weisman,
(Not really a question, just putting in my two cents.)

I have recently learned of the Gatherings but do to my
crazy college schedule & budget I have not been able to
attend. After reading some of the Gathering journals it is
incredible to see how one show can bring so many people
from across the country together. Gargoyles has inspired
many people to read more, put their own thoughts in writing
and appreciate some of the greatest works of literature. I
hope one day that the dream/goal of bringing Gargoyles back
will come true/be accomplished. It is wonderful to find
out that such a dedicated person, such as yourself, takes
time out of his life to answer questions from the fans. I
have heard about the DVD and will be purchasing it as soon
as it comes out. The show has truly opened the doors to an
amazing world where everything, even the smallest things,
contain some kind of meaning that holds true in everyday
life. Please excuse any grammatical errors on my part but
I have my first nursing exam tomorrow and need to get back
to studying so I was rushing a bit. I know that there are
many other entries for you to answer before mine so I don't
expect a reply right away. I just wanted to thank you for
creating a fantastic show and letting the fans know that there
are more fans out there.

Greg responds...

Thanks, I appreciate it. It's been a couple of years, so I hope your now a Nurse and attending Gatherings and buying DVDs and comic books.

Response recorded on July 31, 2006

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French Kitty writes...

Hello Greg! How are ya? This is just part of my ramble for the Awakenings. I will have to post the rest later. :(

My ramble for Awakenings...(sorta)

AWAKENING part I

The Awakenings are some of my favorite episodes of the series. You kind of have to see these first episodes to understand the entire series. I have decided to watch all my tapes beginning to end to observe more carefully for things I have been meaning to ask but forgot over the years.

Scotland, 994 A.D.

I like how the episode starts,right in the middle of a battle between Castle Wyvern and the Vikings) I have always been interested in history, and wars are a big part of history. It looks like a real battle,(arrows flying everywhere)and I see a huge rock thrown at Wyvern and breaks off a large part of the castle.

And this is how far I got before the VCR ate my tape. I got stuck and i am afraid to try it again. I wouldn't care much because it is mostly The Goliath Chronicles episodes, but I also taped the "Awakenings" and "Hunter's Moon" part II and III. I have four tvs in my house, two have VHS, I have an individual VCR and NOTHING seems to work! I'm going to have to tape the episodes again(because they're my favorites!!) but I don't have a GOOD tv to do that with AND I do not have cable, satellite, DirectTV, etc... So it will be a LONG time.

Sorry for wasting your time but I'm frustrated and I needed to share this. :D
[I can't wait for the DVD.]

Thankx for your time.

Greg responds...

Hopefully, by now you've got both DVD sets... (all of season one, including Awakening and half of season two... for a total of 39 canon episodes plus a number of cool extras).

Response recorded on June 20, 2006

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Allan Ecker writes...

This isn't a journal, I guess. It's just a shout-out. It isn't a journal because I didn't get to the Con, but if it had been anywhere within, oh, a 500-mile radius of me, I would have been there, so I feel justified in at least writing that I would have been there. (Heck, if I weren't moving around so much due to internships and such, I'd have gone anyway.)

I just need to give applause to Gargoyles. It was beautiful, cool, and fun, truly a jem of animation. The Shakespearian references layered over deep characterization and even deeper character -development- truly light my heart afire. I'm aching for this DVD. I can garantee that, unless all the copies are snapped up in, say, the first week of them hitting the market (which I honestly hope for, since that will likely mean more would be on the way), I will get it. I have two other friends who will do the same, -almost- as much to show support for the incredible talent (and any applicable forces of managerial mojo) involved in producing Gargoyles as to have DVD-quality sound and picture as opposed to our moldering, commercial-break-laiden, misordered VHS's.

Gargoyles, is, in my humble opinion, the single best animated series American animation has to offer. Gargoyles is better than the sublime Batman animated series and the inspiring X-Men Evolution, both of which have been released on DVD already. It has also done what I previously considered the impossible in unseating Tale Spin from the pinnacle of my Disney Pantheon of Good Shows.

Gargoyles didn't find me until long after it had stopped airing. In fact, you might say I walked in just in time to see this pivotal moment in its growth. I just wanted you to know, Greg, that I will be voting with my wallet (possilby twice) to get Gargoyles the recognition it deserves.

To Greg, and to all who gave Xantos, Goliath, Brooklyn (and of course, PUCK!) life, thank you.

PS, an actual question:

Just how "voluntary" is stone sleep? You mentioned in a recent (well, two years ago by now) response that sunlight was "a powerful psychological cue". Could a gargoyle fight off stone sleep for as long as (or longer than) thirty seconds? Would this have any short- or long-term side effects?

Also, sometimes gargoyles roar after waking, others not. I take this to mean that it is semi-voluntary, like yawning and/or stretching. Is it more or less voluntary than yawning? Will some circumstances make a gargoyle less or more likely to roar upon waking?

Greg responds...

Thanks for all the kind words. Did you get the two DVD sets? Did you make it to Vegas last summer? Are you coming to Valencia this summer? Have you pre-ordered the comic book? Yep, there's a lot for a Gargoyles Fan to be thankful for these days. Hope you and your friends are taking advantage of all that and SPREADING THE WORD!!!

Now to your questions...

1. It's not particularly voluntary. Yes, a garg can hold off stone sleep for a few seconds. Maybe even thirty or so, but not much more than that. No after effects that I can think of.

2. Roaring is optional, I suppose, but it's also common sense to the point of being ingrained. You wake up and you don't know what it is you're facing, so your ROAR to scare the bejeepers out of whatever might be threatening you.

Response recorded on April 19, 2006

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Justin writes...

Greg,
To add a little more to what I was sort of rambling about the other day I would like to say a few more things.
First I think it is really cool that you continue to push the boundaries of the show. I am well aware that the target audience was boys ages 6-11, but I think the mark you hit was seriously more for adults.

I know there certainly were elements that made it a kids show, but there was always that sub element of adult themes, thank you.

I think, once again the choice to make Lexington gay was a bold and good move. I think he represents the homosexual community in a good way, not the stereotypical, blatantly affeminant sort of way. Not that that isn't a norm in the segment of the population but not all homosexuals are like that.

Thanks again.
Sincerely,
Justin

Greg responds...

I don't have much to add to my response to your last post.

Our central target was boys 6-11, but that was never the sum total of our aim. We tried, and I believe succeeded, in writing the show on multiple levels so that there was something for boys and girls and men and women. Kids of all ages and species.

Response recorded on December 16, 2005

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KJC writes...

GREG WROTE:
Saw RETURN OF THE KING. And I really, really liked it, although I didn't really, really like the first hour. Overall, I enjoyed the first two movies more, but don't get me wrong. I'm not comparing this to the awful Return of the Jedi, at all. I still loved it, and I can't wait to see the extended version.

The movie that actually caught me by surprise was PETER PAN. I really liked it a lot. It's so melancholy and bittersweet. Peter looked terrific (and was about 50/50 on the acting). Some things may have been a bit on the head, but it's Neverland, not Subtletyland. Just to be clear, I'm not saying it's a better movie than LOTR, but I thought the reviews of Pan were way harsh.

KELLY RESPONDS:
I had the opportunity to see both RETURN OF THE KING and PETER PAN on Christmas day. Excellent films that fulfilled my expectations and left me feeling quite content - despite the fact that I cried my eyes out during a few touching scenes (I'm such a sap). I look forward to purchasing the boxed set when it's released but I'm trying to stop myself from buying all of those irresistible marketing tie-ins like script-books, action figures, One Ring and sword replicas etc.

And PETER PAN holds a special place in my heart, as it was the very first story my mother ever read to me in bed as a child (I still have the tattered and faded book my mother read from, tucked away in my closet), and I grew up watching the televised stage production with Mary Martin as Peter (yes, I'm THAT old). I thought Jeremy Sumpter did an excellent job in the role of Peter, and Rachel Hurd-Wood was quite charming. I agree the critics were too harsh, but I also felt slightly uncomfortable with the not-so-subtle sexuality between Peter and Wendy, and the odd pedophilic vibe I got between Captain Hook and his delicious little prey, Wendy. But I still loved the film and will probably buy the DVD when it's released.

Greg, if you had Peter Jackson's 300 million plus budget and could make any movie you wanted, what would it be? A medieval epic (a la Gargoyles or Robin Hood), a modern-day drama (i.e. House of Sand and Fog) or a gritty, futuristic tale (Blade Runner, The Matrix)?

Greg responds...

It might be hard to resist doing a Gargoyles movie. But if I REALLY had carte blanche, I think I'd do it in animation, not live-action.

Indeed, I have many pet projects I'd love to do in both Animation and live action. And frankly, I wouldn't need 300 million to do them. Carte blanche and fifteen million would allow me to make any animated movie I wanted.

As to the genre, I've got all sorts of notions in all sorts of genres. It's hard, in a vaccuum to pick out the one I'd do first.

Response recorded on November 15, 2005

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Msil writes...

It´s about the Random stuff... on Thursday, December 18, 2003. I know it will be a while until the time you read this...but anyway..I love The lord of the rings: Return of the King and I understand you! I was Dying to see it. And its a fantastic adaptation.
By the way, I love the idea of "*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.) " And the band is Aerosmith (My fauvorite)

Greg responds...

It's been so long, I can't even summon the song into my head, though I remember posting about it.

Response recorded on November 03, 2005

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Stella writes...

not a question, just a compliment!
great job......... the storyline of Gargoyles.

I wish eternal damnation upon the bastards who have canceld the show.

Greg responds...

Uh... thanks.

Response recorded on October 31, 2005

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Vitor writes...

Greg,
the show is great. Really great. It remembers me "Dungeons and Dragons", another really great show (first and second year, because third was horrible). Michael Reaves made both. But gargoyles is just...incredible, the personality of the people and gargoyles are more real ( changes all the time!), its the real world. I think another show like gargoyles will take a long time to be made...
Thank you , Greg. I really wish when you ready this ( I think this will take 3 years, more or less) the show will be back , with another amazing episodes.I really wish.

Greg responds...

Thanks.

Response recorded on October 31, 2005

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Emperor Auladarr I writes...

Mr. Weisman,

I was perusing the Hudson archives and read your ramble on "Long Way 'Til Morning," where you invited response to the episode. Of all the episodes of Gargoyles (the REAL episodes, not those GC episodes that made no sense), this is one I remember most vividly as one of my absolute favorites. Rarely do we get to see the elderly character in a series be the hero, or have the spotlight on him for almost every second of the show. It was refreshing to see Hudson as the hero and not some doddering old coot who needs to be saved by his fellows.

The things I remember most about the episode are the good lines the characters had. Some of my favorites from Demona are: "Ciao." (Ms. Sirtis's callous tone there just made it work), and "Your courage is admirable, but ultimately futile." Mr. Asner had the best one's, though: "Just dreaming old dreams, I guess." "I can face her. I just can't beat her." And, of course, his speech to Demona at the end about growing old and waiting.

The flashback scenes are great, too. The planting of the Archmage and that whole plotline was brilliant, as was the Prince's faux pas on "the gargoyles will get you," and the whole snowball effect that had on Katharine.

But, again, above all else, Hudson stands out in this episode. He's not sitting at the clocktower watching TV with Bronx--he's in his element, both in the past and in the present, as a warrior. "He favors speed over stealth, which could mean he has traps waiting for us." Brilliant. His heading underground where neither he or Demona could use their wings--clever.

The whole episode just struck me as excellent because it showed Hudson as a competent, wise, and experienced warrior. I don't know...maybe because my grandfather seems like he knows how to do anything under the sun I took more to Hudson craftiness.

Well...those are just my thoughts. Kudos on one of MANY great episodes.

Greg responds...

Thanks. Working with Hudson was always fun, and working with Ed Asner continues to be a joy. (He just did a voice for me on multiple episodes of WITCH.)

Of course, it was the Archmage's appearance in "Long Way To Morning" that inspired the plotlines to follow. At the time, we didn't know we were laying pipe for the future. Frankly, it was the amazing performance of David Warner that made us feel like we HAD to bring the character back.

Response recorded on October 27, 2005

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The MythMaker writes...

A long time ago, you asked if anyone knew the origin of the "eye in the pyramid" symbol for the Illuminati/Masons/etc. Since I saw no update on it, I thought I would give you the short version (the long version would take several pages).
The pyramid represents knowledge, taken directly from ancient Egyptian mythology (before the whole "Pharoah's Tomb" fiction was created) but the pyramid in the symbol is truncated, representing lost/suppressed knowledge. The eye is the "All-Seeing Eye" (God) and placed in a triangle above the truncated pyramid to point out that no amount of official supression will destroy the knowledge forever, it's still out there to be rediscovered.
The second layer of interpretation is part of where the Illuminati as "bad guys" comes from: they were "enemies" of the authorities throughout history (some rare exceptions) because they had managed to retain the missing/forgotten knowledge, and the authorities (who were seen to not be wise/good enough to be given access to the knowledge/power) were jealous and either wanted the knowledge for themselves or wanted these "outlaw" groups killed, or preferably both. The official church declared them to be Satan-worshippers; these groups considered themselves to be the true believers of God and the church to be full of Satan-worshippers (or at least selfish opportunists). So, the symbol shows that they believed in God (in spite of what the authorities claimed) but also shows their own recognition that they would always be in danger from outsiders who would try to supress the "truth".

Your "grey-area" approach to Duval and the Illuminati is a great way of showing that, in spite of what we are often taught, black and white are ALSO in the eye of the beholder...

Greg responds...

Thanks for the info. This stuff fascinates me.

Response recorded on October 19, 2005

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Siren writes...

This isn't a question, but more a comment, perhaps a suggestion. It's unbelievable the amount of people who post what essentially are usless questions. Ones you know they already know and are just trying to be smartass about or one's who are obviously too lazy to look it up for themselves. It annoys me to no end. And I don't want to signal out anyone so I won't list the names or questions they ask, you know who they are and they know who they are. A best example is asking what a certain character's name is. How hard is it to look it up? There are 100s of Gargoyles sites. Have you ever thought about having someone extra to weed through the unimportant and "cute" questions just so you can get to the important ones that serious people really want to know? I think if the person is too lazy to at least make an attempt at finding it out for themselves, then perhaps they shouldn't be posting in the first place. I think if you really want to know something, you look it up first and ask questions later. Not to mention there IS a comment room here, that is pretty much a message boards for fans to discuss the show. Why not ask questions like, "What's the name of the young white haired gargoyle?", there? I think a lot of these people are just out to pull your leg, thinking themselves cute or just so desperatly want attention, they'll take anything they can get. It's just a pet peeve of mine and it wastes time for you and for us, the serious fans and readers. I just wanted to make a small rant. I hope I didn't waste your time. ;-)

Greg responds...

You did a little, actually. But that's okay. I admire the irony.

Anyway, as many of you know, Gore and Todd and I have plans to revise the way we do business on this site, with Todd and maybe a couple other people answering already answered questions.

But Gorebash hasn't had time to implement the new system. Someday, though...

Response recorded on September 22, 2005

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Twin_Kitten writes...

Um Hi. I saw a post about why we like gargoyles? and i wanted to answer..

I like all sorts of 'dark' things i read lots of vampire and witch books and your cartoon was awesome when i was little and i think it was a nice way of introducing those concepts to me. I wish there were more new episodes, and that the show was on lots more. I loved the charicters most of all, i still do. I used to sit in front of the tv and then during the commercials i would pretend i was part of the show then when it came back on i would sit down again. My favorite charicter of all was Brooklyn, he always reminded me of myself, and i would just like to thank you for creating the show.

Twin_Kitten
kittin@epals.com

Greg responds...

You're very welcome. I know it's been almost two years since you posted this, but I hope you've stuck around, grabbed up a DVD, and are waiting for the next DVD and the comic series. I say all this not simply to separate you from hard earned cash, but because if you loved the show, it's currently a pretty exciting time to be a gargoyle fan.

Hope to see you at a Gathering too.

Response recorded on September 13, 2005

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The evil forces (again...) writes...

Excuse, I have mistake forgive with forgoten.

Greg responds...

I knew there was something wrong there. Thanks for the correction.

Response recorded on September 02, 2005

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The evil forces (o Las feurzas del mal, segun idioma ^_^) writes...

Dear mister weisman,
I'm a fan of your serie "gargoyles" and I tell this with admiration and respect.

Your behaviour with some fans is not very kind, I know you must be very tired to stand some fanatics of the serie, but remember, the word fan not always mean fanatic.
I Know, I Know, you are always answering the same question one time, and another and another and another, I understand it's must be very dull and boring, but understand us, we don't know the other fans´ questions and your answers, and we want to know all the details and tiny things of the serie.

Because is very possible that Disney will forgive the serie and we like to know , for example, what happen with Thailog or maybe Angela and Demona would be friends someday?, and only you have all the answers of our question, please, treat us with more respect and kind.
Remember, Disney could have forgive you, but we don't.

With all my respect and greatings from a group of fans of Spain (But this letter have been writing for only one person)

The evil forces and a group of fans.

Pd: forgive me if you didn't understand this letter, but my English is not very good ^_^.

Greg responds...

I'm not sure if you're using the word "forgive" correctly. But maybe you are.

I have tried, always, to treat the fans with respect. I'll admit that I have slipped on occasion. Gotten cranky. But I do believe those slips are relatively rare, and I like to think I have an excellent relationship with the fandom at large and with most fans individually (fanatical or otherwise).

I apologise if I've given any other impression beyond the obvious: I am tremendously gratified that they have worked so hard to keep the show alive in their hearts and mine.

So please do forgive me, if I've trespassed.

Response recorded on September 02, 2005

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Lovel writes...

Hi, Greg it's Lovel again. I wanted to apologize to accidently posting twice. I didn't know how it happened. So I wanted to apologize for making you read my ramblings twice,*snicker*. With that said, I guess I want to add something that I forgot to put in my other posts.

It REALLY irritates me when fans refer to the Wyvern and Ishimura Clans as "GENERIC" Gargoyles. Being a intense Biology nut I fully see the differences between the two clans, and being a Anthropology student I can see the clear differences between the two clan's cultures. I see nothing similar about the Ishimura and Wyvern clans. I appreciate each distinct curve of their horns and the beauty of their wings, and tails. Sorry to post all that I just figured that it probably bothers other fans,lol. Thanks for everything.

--Lovel

Greg responds...

I tend to agree with you.

Response recorded on July 26, 2005

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Lovel writes...

Hi Greg, this is my first time posting a question am almost reluctant to do it because of the amazing volume of questions that all the other Gargoyles fan post. I guess it's just an amazing testament to the show.

First off I wanted to express my love and admiration of the show. I have been a fan since the show first came out and I was about 10 or 11. The best part of watching the show now is that all the subtle nuansces and social commentary that was slightly lost on me as a child is fully realized and appreciated in me as a college student.

Second, I wanted to say that I spent the last 3 days LITERALLY reading all the archives I could to find an answer to my questions....Some I found answers to and some I thought up as I was reading some of the other questions posted by other fans. Which is why I wanted to say what a wonderful resource this website is...so having said that it prompts this announcement "THANK YOU GORE FOR HOSTING THIS SITE!!"

Now, on to the questions. Okay you are probably going to flip when you read this one....yes it is yet another "Gay Gargoyle" question...so sue me I'm gay and it's a topic that staunchly interests me. I wanted to ask if a Gay Gargoyle would imprint upon his or her mate just as a Straight Gargoyle would? I only ask this question because I figured the answer would be "yes" since in all your other responses about Gay Gargoyles you indicated that there would be no difference between Gargoyles, Straight or Gay. But I figured that since this is your universe and that since you are the author of said universe that it would be highly unethical of me to assume something without asking the creator.

Now that I got my first question out of the way, I wanted to ramble alittle of how much my appreciation of Gargoyles has grown from reading the questions in this forum. I never knew any of the subtlies that existed in the show such as the stroking of hair and horn, the tradition of not naming things, the practice of the whole clan being the Fathers and Mothers to all the rookery children, and the wonderful Wind Ceremony that you went into detail here in the forums. This all highlights the amazing differences between Humans and Gargoyles. This intensely intrests me now that I'm in college and am a Anthropology student,(yes I do realize the oddness of the situation, a Anthropology student getting a kick out of studying culture that isn't that of man). I particularly love the not naming tradtion in Gargoyle society. Both of my parents are deaf so growing up my first language was Sign Language, not English. This put me in a unique position of knowing 2 names for everything, and knowing 2 different ways of expressing my own name. One being that of my spoken English name "Lovel" and the other being the expressed gesture of my Sign Language name (which I can't even express in writing becasue it is something you have to see instead of read). So when I read your response to a ramble of one of the fans that Hudson would have been put off by the odd tradition of giving the sky a name when it already has a name, and that he would think it odd of giving himself a name since he is already known as "Friend,Father, Mentor, Old Friend etc." This delighted me when I read it since it made me reflect on how my name is not really who I am and I never identify it as "ME". When I try and think of who I am I think in adjectives, kind, friendly, smart, jolly, the last thing that comes to mind is my name. I also enjoy knowing that I can also think of myself as a gesture instead of a spoken word or a sound. Having said all of that,(thanks for putting up with it for this long), my second question would be, How would a Gargoyle refer to the great Hudson in a story? To clarify you once repied that a Gargoyle would refer to another one in a story as "The one of Broadshoulders". This made me wonder how would the clan refer to Hudson in a story. For that matter how would Golaith be refered to in 2198? Would he be refered to by his human name of Golaith or would he have a Gargoyle "name" to which they would refer?

Thank you for your time and I appreciate everything you have done for all us fans. I also want to thank you for coming up with such an amazing universe and introducing it to everyone here. Thanks

--Lovel

Greg responds...

I'm not entirely certain what you mean by "imprinting". But most gargoyles, gay or straight, mate for life.

Hudson wouldn't have just one name in the Middle Ages. "Broadshoulders" or the like, if used by everyone, would just amount to another name.

Different individuals would refer to Hudson by different callouts when necessary, including many of the ones you named above "Old Soldier" "Mentor" etc. "Friend". Mostly relationship driven things.

But naming once initiated is contagious and addictive. Goliath is Goliath is Goliath.

Response recorded on July 26, 2005

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Blaise writes...

GRIEF

I've been waiting for a long time to ramble on this one.
I like this episode mostly, I think, because of how it deals with death, and even the personification of that concept. Anubis' change when going through the three personae really does reflect the faces of death: it can be horrifying and gruesome (Jackal-avatar), or it can be a peaceful release (Emir-avatar), and finally, outside of those faces, it just exists as a constant part of life (Anubis).
I thought Anubis was well done (and I cannot describe how thrilled I was to hear Tony Jay's voice in GARGOYLES). Actually, Mr. Jay also played an incarnation of Death (the Grim Reaper, in this case) in an episode of DARKWING DUCK (a slightly less dignified portrayal, but a fun one). At any rate, I also thought it was cool that Anubis talked without a mouth or any outward expression. In fact, he strikes me as the type of being who really doesn't care what form/name he takes on. I could be wrong on that count, but he seems to take his office very seriously and place it above all other concerns. I, too, felt it was out of character for him when he laughed in THE GATHERING part 1.
On a tangent, here, Greg, I feel I must disagree with your description of laughter as "petty." I, for one, think laughter to be one of the best things there is in life--heck, I watched "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" last week and one of the best parts is the laughing at the end (I'll say no more for fear of spoiling it). Anubis, of course, is one who for ages has been "guardian of the gate" so he would be less likely to laugh at anything in this world (certainly not at the Banshee falling on her bum), but I still don't think that in any way diminishes the "power of laughter," if you will. Of course, I could have just been reading too much into that statement. Okay, enough out of me on that.
I was VERY surprised to see the Emir actually appear. I had always figured (as I have said in earlier rambles) that Xanatos' dealings with the Emir would be something of a running gag, always in the background of the series. Instead, he turned out to be a person with a past and an agenda all his own. I don't condone his actions here, but I do understand, and even sympathize with him. I cannot fully know his pain, that of losing a child (and I pray I never find out), but I have lost family and friends over the years, and felt the wish to turn back the clock, if only for a little bit. Tony Shaloub did fantastic work here. I especially like his one line: "To hold [my son] again...I would move Heaven and Earth with my BARE HANDS!" Indeed, he seems to be doing that. I may be wrong in assuming the Emir is Islamic, but if he is then calling up a deity of the Egyptian pantheon shows just how desperate and determined he is to regain his son.

Okay, now let's back track and start at the beginning.
I was glad to see the Pack again, though a little disappointed that Dingo wasn't among them (I was starting to find him the most interesting), but then he always did seem to be the odd one out. Coyote's new design was cool, and I was glad the head was still there (though I was puzzled, since last I saw it was smashed--now I know it's an image). My eyes widened at Hyena's line to Coyote, "Wanna make sparks fly?" That had to be one of the most sexually tilted lines I had ever heard in the series. And then there's Jackal's look at the Anubis carving. I know Jackal liked Anubis for being jackal-headed, but I sometimes wonder if the connection to death might not have sweetened the idea.
The old "hidden temple in the Sphinx" concept. I know it was at least used in an old computer game before GARGOYLES came out, but is this an idea that dates even further back?
The travelers arrive, and Angela describes the Sphinx as the world's "biggest gargoyle" (and yes, I did expect that connection to be made!).
I looked at the scene where Goliath spys on Coyote and from what I can tell the face is in the bubble. Also, Coyote and Goliath seem to press the same carvings--maybe that got fixed in later airings?
Shortly thereafter a battle ensues. Jackal and Hyena, with their prediliction for blades, are still unnerving. I love the little "Uh-oh" Elisa says before Coyote knocks her out.
One more thing about Anubis, here. It always fascinates me how he refers to death as a "boon." Actually, his lines about death really got me the first time I saw this ep. It actually made me think about the nature of death and look at it in a slightly different way.
The Pack has some nice interplay with each other in this ep. Pity it's the last we'll see of it for a while--a fact I didn't really pick up on until the second or third viewing. The Pack had always been a group (except for HER BROTHER'S KEEPER, where it was Jackal and Hyena), and them splitting up was as unthinkable to me as the Manhattan clan splitting up. But I digress....
Jackal to Coyote: "You're not exactly Mr. subtlety." And the understatement of the year award goes to.... :-)
I agree that a great opportunity was missed by not having our heroes get blasted and survive. It would have really driven the magnitude of the situation home. However...even as I think of that, I can't help but wonder if their bodies could still be damaged, which may open up a whole other can of worms. Ah well, it's all moot now.
I knew Jackal would try to take the Emir's place as Anubis' avatar. I thought it was a great job with the character design and voice mixing--not only did I like having both Anubis and his "vessel" talking at the same time, I kind of expected it. It seemed right.
Jackal-avatar's attitude and use of power are indeed chilling. Heck, by the time he ages Elisa he's doing it just for fun (she wasn't even moving to attack him). The skeletonized crocodiles were pretty eerie, but that WHOLE TOWN (obviously inhabited) being wiped out was horrifying. I had wondered for years if Emir-avatar had been able to undo that damage. Now I know that he couldn't...and that makes the whole scene all the more disturbing.
I never picked up on Jackal using the promise of reuniting the Emir with his son as Jackal's way of keeping the Emir from stopping his fun--I always took it that Jackal would kill the Emir last of all. But now the Emir's refusal to act sooner makes more sense to me.
Goliath anashamedly refers to Angela as his daughter here. He doesn't do it to her face, but still....
The Emir-avatar's design is cool, too. I especially like the soft blue eyes (as opposed to Jackal-avatar's one ghost-white eye and Anubis' glowing red eyes).
Backing up, again, I like the "black light" energy that Jackal-avatar gave off. I had always wondered how something like that would be accomplished, and this was a pretty darn good way of showing how.
Emir-avatar destroys the temple, and I remember worrying (even on the second viewing) that the Sphinx would be destroyed as well. I was also thankful that it survived. (Like Todd, I saw that "X-Men Evolution" episode, and recalled cringing when I saw missles hitting the Sphinx in the face and back).
I already knew that gargoyles aged at half the speed of humans (again, that Disney Adventures article), but it was nice to actually hear it onscreen.
And I loved that final summation by Goliath. Very poignant.

This was an episode I really loved (the title is great, too).

Greg responds...

Glad you liked it.

I don't recall ever EVER knocking laughter in general. I think I was just referring to that moment in Gathering that really didn't work for me.

Response recorded on July 25, 2005

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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the ramble on "Grief", Greg.

I was amused by your remark about Michael Reaves and a Batman episode that he'd written involving Egyptian elements that had gotten changed. As I'd commented in an earlier question (which you should have gotten to long before you read this response to your ramble, since it's that much before me in the queue), I'd seen an episode of "Batman: TAS" once named "Avatar" with some moments strongly evocative of "Grief", and I suspect that that was the episode that you alluded to.

I hadn't picked up the double meaning of the title (though I did recall Wolf's use of the word). Thanks for pointing it out.

I certainly wasn't surprised that Dingo was absent, after "Upgrade". I *was* surprised to see the Emir actually becoming an on-stage character, and agree with you that his role was an effective one. (Another bit that I hadn't picked up on was your remark about Jackal's semi-promise to reunite the Emir with his son was what kept him from acting earlier, and was deliberately uttered by Jackal to keep him from interfering.)

I might add that I was certainly not surprised to see your remark about "I should have had the Pack kill Goliath and Co. only to discover that they couldn't die while Anubis was trapped." (Incidentally, the situation of "While Anubis is imprisoned, nobody can die" reminds me of the Greek myth about how Sisyphus put either Hades or the death-god Thanatos - which one he imprisoned varies from which version of the story you read - in handcuffs to wriggle out of being taken away to the underworld, with the result that nobody was able to die - until Ares, fed up with the fact that the "nobody could die" business was taking all the "fun" out of war, freed his prisoner.)

Jackal becoming Anubis's avatar and causing all that devastation was one of the creepiest moments in all of "Gargoyles" for me - especially when he aged Goliath and Co. (The fate of the crocodiles was certainly chilling). I think that the fates of Hyena and Wolf served as a good "comic relief" counterbalance to it to keep it from getting too dark. (Wolf being turned into a puppy was great!)

(I can see one flaw in Jackal's plan, though; if you wipe out all other life on Earth, what do you do after that, with nobody else to torment?)

I can agree with you about the "cringe" moments over the gargoyles and the Pack destroying ancient Egyptian antiquities, and the relief that they didn't destroy the Sphinx. (It's odd, since a couple of days ago I saw an episode of "X-Men: Evolution" where there was a battle between Apocalypse and some Sentinels at the Sphinx, and I had a shuddering moment when one of the Sentinels blasted a hole in the Sphinx's back.)

And the end with Goliath hoping that the Emir was reunited with his son in the afterlife was a touching moment.

Greg responds...

I thought so too. I think Tony Shaloub is brilliant. Monk is both hilarious and heart-breaking.

Response recorded on July 25, 2005

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matt writes...

i just watched "MIA" last night. i wrote down some notes:

- first off, the English gargoyles. for years i didn't like them, i mean physically. they seemed so different from the other gargs around the world and they looked like birds, lions and horses. that really irked me, but i've gotten over it. i started to think of different reasons they look like they do, and Greg had some theories as well, so i'm ok wth it now, and frankly, they are now my favorite gargoyle race to draw. i find them really neat. i did notice that they are the only gargs we've seen whose eyes seem to be tinted when NOT glowing. Leo and Griff's eyes were tinted tannish-gold and Una's were more light blue. interesting.
- it made me sad for years that there were only three gargoyles in the English Clan. i remember thinking to myself that they were another clan that was dying out, just like the Manhattan Clan. much to my surprise and excitement, i discovered the fandom online and soon discovered a whole Clan was never seen on the show! and they are one of the more populated Clans at that! very cool.
- it always amazes me how good a likeness of Griff and Goliath those statues are... guess Leo, Una and the pilots had excellant memories.
- when the English thugs surround Elisa i think how rascist they must be against her. kinda feel sorry for them... esspecially when the gargs kick their @$$! i LOVE Angela's line, "Surely we were sent her for something more important than this..." she gets that from her mother i think,
- i remember thinking that it was weird that Angela instantly recognized Leo and Una as gargoyles. esspecially because they were robed and she had recently been tricked by Raven. plus Leo and Una look so different than most gargoyles. maybe she smelled them or something. or maybe she was somehow familiar with the idea of what English gargs looked like.
- i like how comfortable Leo and Una are around humans. so used to them. its certaintly new to not see humans running away in fear of gargs.
- good touch when Goliath transports into the 1940 sky and falls cuz he was standing up. kinda like having the rug pulle dout from under you.
- i instantly love Griff when he saves Goliath from a propellor blade and says, "You know old boy, that could've been a bit nasty!" love his accent, hes great, i love Griff!
- when Griff honors Leo and Una for "minding the store" i think about how Hudson and Bronx are always left behind and how that is honorable too.
- when Goliath and Griff take on the pilots its great animation, it reminds me of the Trio taking on the Pack's helicopter. i like these sky battles, i guess.
- every time i see Goliath's wing get shot, i cringe. "OW!" thats gotta hurt, i mean theres a hole in his wing!
- destiny really had it out for Griff, one thing after another tried to kill him. i remember i was a little afraid that Goliath would be unable to prevent his death and hjave to go back to tell Leo and Una how Griff had died. fortunatly, Goliath was smart enough to get out of the warzone and back to the 90s.
- and back in the 90s theres a reunion, but a weird and awkward one. talk about your love triangles. Una is stuck between the gargoyle she loved in her youth and has been missing for so many years and the gargoyle who has been her companion for all those years! it doesn't help that Griff and Leo are such good friends either. its an ugly situation, i think and i totally understand why Griff would want to stay with King Arthur, but thats a story for another day...

Greg responds...

Glad you came around to liking the London clan. Maybe we can explore them more in the future...

Response recorded on July 20, 2005

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Alex Garg writes...

"Although I don't know if they actually used the M.I.A. acronym as far back as WWII. I associate it with Vietnam. Does anyone else know?"

The farthest back I've seen militaries use "Missing," not necessarily "M.I.A.," on casualty lists is the Crimean War. I know the U.S. used "Missing" during the Civil War. Before then, armies had "Unclassified" casualties because it was nearly impossible to tell if someone was missing as a result of a battle, was mixed up with another unit or had gotten scared and ran from the battle.

But going back to your actual question, the acronym came about during WWI (or at least that's when the U.S. began keeping track of M.I.A. figures) and was very much used in WWII. The U.S. Department of Defense Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office's mission of recovering M.I.A.'s begins with those missing from WWII.

Probably the reason why you associate the acronym with Vietnam is because the U.S. added the acronym M.I.A.P.D. - Missing in Action Presumed Dead - to its acronym-heavy lexicon either shortly before or during Vietnam, and because the government didn't want to keep reporting PD's to the media, they more readily reported those who were M.I.A. and might be found alive (of course, they might have been reporting PD's as well and just never informed the general public about the acronym's extension).

Sobering statistic time: Of the 217,000 U.S. soldiers reported M.I.A. from WWI through Vietnam, 42% remain unaccounted for; 88,000 of those still missing are from WWII-Vietnam.

Anyway, that's the best I can do with that - maybe someone else knows more. Thanks for the ramble, I hope you have more on the way.

Greg responds...

That's a lot, and very helpful. It's good to know that the title isn't anachronisitic to the content of the episode. Thank you.

Response recorded on July 14, 2005

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Battle Beast writes...

I loved the ep. Not just to see a new clan of Gargoyles, but it brings up memories of the war stories my Grandmother told me.

Every time I watch it, I can see my Grandmother running for cover from the Nazi's as a young girl. And then I can see my Grandfather shooting them down. Every time I watch "M.I.A." I think of my Grandfather very fondley.
To me, my grandfather was, and still is a good 'ole Canadian war hero.

Thanks a million, Greg!

Greg responds...

You're welcome. And thanks to your grandfather. We all owe him a debt.

Response recorded on July 13, 2005

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Blaise writes...

M.I.A.

Ahhhh...a new ramble! Glad to hear your thoughts on the episodes again, Greg!

Anyway, as soon as I saw Una and Leo I kind of figured them to be gargoyles--I don't know why, exactly, but it just seemed so obvious. I love the idea of the magic shop, too--I know it's the type of shop I'd like to visit.
While I'm talking about the London clan (or at least, the three that we've met), I just want to talk about their designs. Not just their physical designs mind you--their clothes and such as well. I'll admit, I didn't know much about "heraldic animals" at the time I saw this, so I didn't quite pick up that layer of it. I still liked it, though--helped make them unique, even from Raven's illusion clan. The feathered wings were also quite beautiful. Their tails, though, don't look like they would be as strong as those in the other clans we have seen. Griff's and Leo's maybe, but I doubt Una would be able to wrap her tail around someone's gun and jerk it from their grasp. Their attire is similarly unique, with them wearing quasi-medieval armor and dresses (I especially like Una's dress; very elegant). Griff's is different, yet still evocative of armor, which IMO makes him seem more "modern" than his cohorts. Leo and Una's cloaks are nice, and color-coded as well--green for Leo, violet for Una. Other small things: Leo's eyes seem to have a yellowish tint while Una's have a blue one, Leo's mane is tied back in a pony tail (never noticed that before...). And, even after your ramble, Greg, I look at Griff and cannot see a bit of Foghorn Leghorn in him.
Okay, long digression. Anyway, seeing Leo and Una's coldness to the plight of the man from the street made me feel a little cold to them myself. Leo seems to be a bit more aware than Una is though. By that I mean, he's the one who looks out the window and says "There goes the neighborhood." This sort of thing leads me to believe that Leo's final "revelation" in ACT 3 is something that he's been pondering over for quite some time. Sure, he still doesn't do anything, but I can't help feeling there's something there.
The weary travelers arrive in London, and spot the memorial. I instantly recognized Goliath's statue and became intrigued, as for Griff's...I think I had some vague recollection of his portrait, but I didn't really dwell on it.
Elisa apologizes to the cabby for the "American money." It's a little touch, but I really like it.
Then the thugs show up. I think I've finally figured out the actors who did the voices of the three who talked:
Jeff Bennett--Baldy.
Neil Dickson--Red Mohawk.
Gregg Berger--Big Guy with Torn Green Shirt.
(I could be wrong, though...)
Anyway, the gargs show up and make short work of them (I especially love Angela's disdain over her foe). Leo and Una arrive on the scene, and Goliath (and this audience member) start to become confused. Elisa, noticing the growing crowd, suggests that everyone go inside the shop.
When it comes up that Goliath met the London clan in 1940, I remembered the "Previously on..." segment with Goliath saying he's going to make sure nobody uses the Gate again, and kind of figured out what would happen.
Maybe I really am cold, but I don't feel much sympathy towards Leo and Una at this point. Even in hindsight, I still feel cold. They don't even bother to listen to Goliath's story--I would have thought the mention of "being frozen in stone hibernation" would have at least piqued their curiosity in some way. Instead, they just feel like doling out punishment--even if it means shackling up an innocent third party in the dungeon for no other reason than their association with Goliath. I never noticed the parallel between Una and Demona before you mentioned it, Greg, but I definitely see it.
I didn't think Goliath's "inner monologue" was terribly awkward. I mean, Matt Bluestone, a supporting character, got pretty much a whole episode to do it. Who are we to begrudge the series lead just one line.
I like Griff's reaction to Goliath's "You saved my life--it was suppossed to work the other way around." I also like Goliath's tentative "Pleased to meet you" when he "first" meets Leo and Una.
Back on the London Clan designs again--I really liked how the artists aged them (or "youthened" them as the case may be). Lines on the face, the grey in Leo's hair. Also the voice actors did a good job (I especially liked Sarah Douglas).
I never heard the name of Douglas Bader before this episode. And even then I didn't know he was a real person (nor how exceptional he was) until I read about it in one of your responses to something. I'm glad you got the chance to meet someone like that (hell, you got to go to DISNEYLAND with someone like that--that's got to be an honor). Even in this ep, he was the one who stood out, and (knowing who he is now) it makes his dogfight with "the Skull" all the cooler.
Funny you should mention using the Goliath/Una/Leo/Griff scene in your voice seminars, Greg--I remember reading that scene in the one you held at the Gathering 2001. I was Goliath, as I recall (very hard trying to follow in Kieth David's footsteps), and Crispan Freeman was Griff. What a fun time!
I like how Goliath doesn't say a definite "Yes, let's fight" or "No, stay here" but just states a simple truth. He's trying to stay out of trouble, of course, but it also just seems, to me, like the most intelligent and even-handed thing to say. And in the next 55 years, Leo and Una apparantly twisted the whole darn thing around in their heads....
Leo expresses some doubt even at this point, asking if Griff thinks less of him and Una for not going out to fight. I like the arm clasp, too.
By this point I had definitely realized that Una and Griff were an item this far back. I also kind of guessed that during the interrum (sp?) she and Leo got together.
The Battle of Britain. I had never made the connection between the wee lad running with his sister, and the old cab driver in the present. Makes the scene even cooler now, though.
Nor, I must shamefacedly admit, did I single out the skull-and-crossbones plane ("the Skull" as I have already called him) as unique. I feel like an idiot now though--it just seems so obvious. Heck, even after the pilot's gone the PLANE continues to be a threat; the last thing Goliath and Griff have to escape. It's an old trick--you have a lot of similar enemies (planes, in this case) you give one a distinguishing (sp?) mark to set it apart and mark it as the "alpha enemy" (kind of like Stripe in "Gremlins.")
Speaking of gremlins, I kind of like the connection with the gargoyles (come to think of it, I always saw Lexington as being gremlin-like--greenish-brown with a prediliction for tinkering and all that). I also like that Bader notices them, and instead of being frightened, actually becomes a sort of ally.
The "no-dying" rule...I have to admit I get kind of sick of that sometimes. Several other animated shows I've seen (western animated) actually managed to have planes explode and no parachutes shoot out. Heck, at least they should have had "the Skull" be stuck in his plane. (And maybe I'm sadistic, but I would have liked a shot of his screaming face just before his plane crashed....)
Goliath's wound. Ouch. I still say that every time I see him get hit. He still manages to pull off some great ariel manuevers on that injured wing, though.
And talk about a tough time getting home. First they're nearly shot out of the sky by friendly fire, then a building nearly falls on them, then a truck nearly hits them (and rudely interrupts Goliath while he's speaking).
And finally Goliath realizes what we the audience already knew--that time is immutable--and to avoid the final danger ("the Skull's" plane) Goliath sends both he and Griff back to the future (pun intended). Pretty much what I expected would ultimately happen.
Leo and Una look in on their captives in the basement (the fact that Elisa and the rest are in chains lessened my respect for them another notch), and after Elisa figures out what Goliath's plan is, both of the London gargoyles pause. Una recovers and continues to rant and rail against Goliath, while Leo closes his eyes and realizes the truth. I love Leo's speech here. And how he admits that while protecting their home may have been "the right thing to do" it's still their own guilt they've been feeling. I find this scene even more fascinating with the revelation that Una is the leader of the London clan. A leader is a person, too, with all the foibles (even Goliath shows that from time to time).
Goliath and Griff show up and Griff experiences major culture shock. I love the punk playing the gameboy--he just walks right by these two huge, winged monsters and doesn't even notice. In fact, Griff is the one who nearly faints (into the path of an approaching car). I just love Goliath's "Let's not start that again." Keith David just delivers it so well.
The reunions commence. I already started warming up to Leo and Una after the cellar, but now it really is great to see the joy on their faces. Griff is also joyful, but it's easy to sense a bit of awkwardness as well.
Goliath tries to explain the time loop, and Elisa does the "smile, nod" thing and asks for the explanation just one more time. "And take it slow."
The thugs pester the "foreigner" again--it wasn't until now that I realized they were racists as well--and then find themselves reaquainted with the fact that there are people out there even more different from them. Leo and Una kick two of them away (and Una has HOOVES--triple OUCH!), and stand proudly...in front of a crowd of humans. I thought that was rather interesting. I especially like the shopkeeper (the guy in the apron). He has his arms folded almost as if in pride.

Well, there's my ramble (and a long one, too). Can't wait for your next one (though I may have to--but I'll do so gladly).

Greg responds...

I still use that Leo/Una/Griff/Goliath scene, because it illustrates the point of "intention/motivation" so well.

Great Ramble!

Response recorded on July 13, 2005

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Todd Jensen writes...

Wow! A new ramble! This is the best Columbus Day present that I've ever had! (Actually, it's the only Columbus Day that I've ever had, but it was still a very pleasant surprise).

I really liked "M.I.A." and still do. A major reason is that it was set in London and I'm a Anglophile (particularly since I spent a lot of my boyhood in England, from between the time that I was 9 to the time that I was almost 13). Plus it was a time travel episode involving a bit of English history (the Battle of Britain), and on top of all that, I really liked Griff. I found him a great character.

I found your vision of Macbeth and Shakespeare visiting the Mystic shop together a delightful one (even if you don't see it as having literally happened in the Gargoyles Universe). I considered it appropriate that the London gargs be shopkeepers, on account of Napoleon's famous description of the British as "a nation of shopkeepers" (which you even alluded to in your ramble). (Of course, I've sometimes wondered if Napoleon might have reconsidered his dismissal of the British after those setbacks that he received from Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington.) And they show themselves to be further "anglicized" by even having tea! (I liked the little touch of Una apologizing for the absence of sugar on account of rationing.)

I've sometimes wondered what the London public's response was to the gargoyles' memorial statue; since they didn't know then that gargoyles were real, it must have seemed to the bulk of them like - say, raising a World War One monument to the Angels of Mons.

I also thought that the racist thugs in this episode were almost the English equivalent to the street thugs in "Awakening Part Three", "Avalon Part One", and "Hunter's Moon Part One". Rather appropriate that they'd be racists, as a parallel to the Nazis in the 1940 sequence (and definitely fitting in with Griff's comment of "The more things change, the more they stay the same.")

I hadn't even realized the similarity between Demona and Una before you mentioned it.

One thing that amused me about the episode was Leo and Una's response towards Goliath's using the Phoenix Gate - just a mild stare. (Maybe it's not so surprising, given that if you work in a magic shop, you start getting used to things.)

I liked your description of Griff, and was amused by your description of him as a "Robin Hood of the 1940's". It strikes me as particularly appropriate in light of his later on team-up with King Arthur; after all, Arthur and Robin Hood are the two leading "legendary heroes" of Britain. While a literal team-up between them in the Gargoyles Universe doesn't strike me as probable (I assume that Robin Hood is long since dead by the present-day portion of the series), Griff can serve as an equivalent to him. (Of course, T. H. White did manage to pull off a literal team-up between Arthur and Robin Hood in "The Sword in the Stone".)

I hadn't known about Douglas Bader before I saw "M.I.A." (I recall that it was Stormy who first informed me about Bader being a real historical figure when I joined the Gargoyles fandom at Station 8, back in late 1996 and early 1997). I really liked him in the episode, especially his being another human who could see gargoyles for what they really are (my favorite moments involving him being his saying "They're real, and they're on our side!" and he and Griff giving each other the thumbs-up after he shoots down the Nazi pilot). And I enjoyed "Reach for the Sky" (it even brought back memories of my boyhood in England, even though they were from the late 70's), after you recommended it in early 2001.

Goliath's line "human problems become gargoyle problems" is a favorite of mine; indeed, a close inspection of the series (as I've said before) shows how true it was. For one thing, we've seen how all those struggles for the succession to the Scottish throne between 971 and 1057 impacted the gargoyles in Scotland (the alliance between Prince Malcolm and Hudson, the flight of the eggs to Avalon after Constantine's usurpation, the rise of the Hunters, Macbeth and Demona's short-lived alliance). And it still goes on in the modern world, where Castaway's vengeful war on the clan arose from a human problem (he shot his brother and couldn't take the responsibility for it, so he goes after the gargs instead to take it out on them).

Another favorite bit of mine; Goliath tells Una that he won't let anything happen to Griff "this time", and Una puzzles over the "this time" part.

Since (as I mentioned in my comments on "Avalon Part Two") I've been working on a fantasy novel for some time now (begun even before "Gargoyles" came out) which uses the same rules for time travel as "Gargoyles" did (that you can't change the past because your travels there are already part of it), which were there even before "Gargoyles" came out as well, I had no difficulty following the time loop. (One reason why I'm grateful for having come up with those rules for time travel independently before the series aired - it made the Phoenix Gate episodes easier to follow!)

Your comment at the end about Leo remembering "what his business is supposed to be" reminded me of the scene in Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" where Scrooge tells Marley's ghost "But you were always a good man of business, Jacob", and Marley replies "Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"

At any rate, it's great to have a new ramble again. Let's hope that there's more in the weeks to come.

Greg responds...

Well, I've slacked off again recently, but I think we made it through Future Tense.

Great ramble back, btw.

Response recorded on July 11, 2005

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Regarding Oberon

The other day, I was asked a question about sources for Oberon. I didn't know the answer, but I received this e-mail from site moderator, Todd Jensen:

Dear Greg,

In "Ask Greg" today, curousity asked you if there were any other sources besides Shakespeare for Oberon as "king of the faries [sic]". You replied, "Not off the top of my head." I hope that I'm not presuming here in e-mailing you, but I have found at least three works beside "A Midsummer Night's Dream" that portray Oberon in that role, both of which are early enough that they count as "primary sources".

One is a late medieval French work about one of Charlemagne's knights, entitled Huon of Bordeaux (written in the 15th century, and translated into English by a certain Lord Berners in 1548 - early enough, in other words, that Shakespeare could have used it as a source for Oberon). In it, Huon befriends Oberon in his adventures, and the latter becomes Huon's guardian, almost a "fairy godfather". (Oberon is portrayed in it as around three feet tall due to a curse placed upon him in his infancy, and as the son of Julius Caesar and Morgan le Fay!) At the end of the story, Oberon even brings Huon to Avalon and formally abdicates in favor of Huon, declaring him ruler over the "faerie-folk"; a bit of trouble develops, however, when King Arthur arrives at the gathering and protests, saying that if any human should be ruling over Avalon, it should be he himself rather than a relative newcomer like Huon. Oberon angrily tells Arthur that he has chosen Huon for his successor, is not going to change his mind, and even threatens to curse Arthur by transforming him into a werewolf if he doesn't accept it. Huon at this point steps in as a peacemaker, to say that he doesn't think that he could rule Avalon on his own and suggests that he and Arthur act as co-rulers. Oberon and Arthur both agree to this, after which Oberon peacefully dies and Arthur and Huon are crowned in his stead.

Another non-Shakespeare "primary source" involving Oberon is Michael Drayton's Nimphidia, which has Oberon ruling over the "fairies" as well - and wedded here to Queen Mab! (According to the research that I've done on fairy mythology, Titania appears to have been Shakespeare's invention as opposed to a pre-existing legendary figure, though Oberon and Puck both predated him.)

A third is Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, which presents Oberon as the former ruler over "Fairyland", now deceased, with his daughter Gloriana - the Faerie Queene of the title - ruling in his stead. (Gloriana is actually an idealized Elizabeth I, meaning that the Oberon of Spenser would be an idealized Henry VIII.) The poem also includes, incidentally, King Arthur, Merlin, and Talos as on-stage characters.

THANKS, TODD!!!!


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Todd Jensen writes...

I just thought that I'd mention that I enjoyed your account of your visit to Scotland, particularly your getting to visit the Stone of Scone/Stone of Destiny and your reading "Shakespeare's Kings" (I've got a copy of the book myself, and very much enjoyed it). Thanks for sharing it with us.

Greg responds...

You're welcome. You know it's been a bit of a while since the trip. But my father celebrated his 70th birthday recently and we all pulled out old photo albums and the like, and I just reread the Scotland journal. What a great time!

Response recorded on May 25, 2005

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Francois Ferland writes...

If nothing went right, you recently got a post I made by mistake that included every previous questions I asked you. But if everything went right and the webmaster got my mail, it's gone and you don't know what I'm talking about. I'm hoping for the former, so here's the question I was trying to send last time:

I'm still making my way through the archives (hey, it's been four years since I read it all) and each day brings forth new ideas to me, so forgive me for swarming you with so many posts in a row.

I've been reading several of the comments you made when seeing Gargoyles episodes with your family, and where you where interested in how we reacted at first to some events. So I decided to dig up those old memories and list a few key moments from the show where you (and your staff) managed to really surprise me.

Deadly Force:

This one surprised the hell out of me. When Broadway fires the gun and we hear silence, I was certain that this was a fake-scare. I mean, one of the show's hero shooting another one? Get real! And then I saw Elisa on the floor. And not just lying there with no sign of injury like is often shown in cartoons with serious accident, but resting in a pool of her own blood! If there ever was a moment where I finally took for granted that Gargoyles was a cartoon far beyond any other in terms of sophistication, that was it. And even better, we got that from Disney? Damn, I wish they'd take that kind of risk again for a TV series...

The Edge:

The opening scene where Xanatos, responding to Owen's offer to pretend to lose, replies "I'd fire you if you did". Almost any other cartoon (or live action show for that matter) would have had the villain either beat up or berate his underling for daring to beat him. You just expect it, as it's one of the most popular stereotype on TV. At this point, I still didn't know enough about Xanatos to expect that from him. It's also a defining moment where I also realized that Xanatos wasn't your ordinary bad guy. I don't think he ever really surprised that much afterward.

A Lightouse In The Sea Of Time:

Having Xanatos shown as the one responsible for the theft at first was actually refreshing. You don't know how many shows I've seen where even for very obscure reasons the right villain is always suspected right away, or how a mostly forgotten villain will suddenly be mentionned for no reason at all just to be revealed as being the brains behind the evil scheme of the day.

Maybe producers feel they don't have time to waste on a false lead, or that it's better to give the upcoming villain some introduction, no matter how clumsy it might seem.

Outfoxed:

When we meet Preston Vogel, there was an immediate alarm in my mind. We get another executive assistant type-guy who happens to look exactly like Owen? Can you say lazy Character Model re-use? It felt very cheap, and even though the rest of the episode was good, that particular detail always bugged me. That is, until several episodes down the road, we get to...

The Gathering:

First off, the scene where Petros comments on Vogel and Owen's ressembleance was hilarious. At first, I thought it was only a bit of self-derision, being aware the animators hadn't been very subtle about Vogel's character model, until Puck tells us Vogel was the inspiration for Owen. Great stuff.

And while Oberon was wasting his energy fighting the force field, I kept yelling "Just get in form the underside, it's not protected dummy!". It always seemed stupid in cartoons and comics when nobody ever thinks to go UNDER the blasted force field. Imagine my surprise when our favourite lord and master does just that.

I'm sure there are other instances where the Gargoyles staff played on our expectations as an audience. It gives the series a much more polished feel, that you were quite aware of what we might think and expect and deliberately used that to your advantage as often as possible to surprise us.

Greg responds...

We tried. HARD. I'm glad the effort paid off -- at least for you. Thanks for the kind words.

Response recorded on May 19, 2005

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Francois Ferland writes...

Hello yet another time Greg! Sorry to flood you with questions as of late but keep fate, as I'm running out of things to ask you.

1. This one's simple and concerns the Children of Oberon.

Almost everyone uses Children of Oberon and Fae interchangeably. But after going through the archive for said beings, you once mentionned that Fae (or is it Fey? No one seems to agree on the spelling) are only one particular group of Oberon's Children akin to the Norse or African pantheon.

I'm not really knowledgeable in myths and legends, so could you tell me who the Fey are, with example from the show? I assume (perhaps or should I say probably wrongly) that it simply represents another pantheon, maybe the Anglo-Saxon one (is it Anglo-Saxon if I'm refering to England, Scotland, Ireland and other countries nearby) in which case, Puck, Oberon and Titania might be a part of it, being quite ingrained in English litterature.

But then again, what do I know?

2. This one's not a question but a personal comment, so I can get away with it not being on the same subject :) . It just dawned on me that by creating such a complex and (in itself) realistic universe with Gargoyles, you ran the risk of the viewers not "getting" many of the subtleties of the show, its universe and characters.

With your average TV show, things are often very clear. Heroes, while hardly perfect, are almost always morally right, while bad guys, which are not always purely evil persons, are almost always despisable no matter how they try to justify themselves. You rarely see a character that can't basically be classified as "good" or "evil", or to use more appropriate terms, morally "right" or "wrong".

Also, most of the time, what you see of a character on screen is a pretty accurate representation of who that person is and what they do all the time. So if someone is always seen giving money to the poor and never seen doing anything reprehensible, you assume that person is caring and generous. It never dawns on you that the man in question might actually beat up his wife everyday, because it wouldn't "fit" with the image shown to you. Yet it would not be impossible, as people are known to have very selective values sometimes. He might feel bad for those less fortunate while thinking that "disciplining" his wife is the right thing to do for a husband. Like I said, such is rarely the case, and what is shown is often intended to be representative of the whole truth.

And finally, things are often easily explained in most TV shows. The villain did this because of that, the aliens invaded for such reason, etc.

What am I getting at? That a lot of the questions you get at Ask Greg are due to the above. Although the fans recognize and live the show for its maturity and above-average (and that's putting it lightly) complexity, they fail to realize that things in the Gargoyles universe, just like in real life, don't have easy answers.

The seemingly benign Weird Sisters lost a large part of the popular vote when it seemed all their interventions were geared for the sole purpose of revenge. Yet, you said yourself that the Sisters have many aspects, with vengeance and fate being a part of them. We at first ASSUMED they were completely (or close to) benign, and then we changed our perception to one where they are only after revenge. And yet, like you said, things aren't that simple, and we STILL don't know much about who the Sisters really are. The fate part might play a larger role later on, or they could yet reveal another part of their identity. In the end, they are complex characters who cannot be summed up in a few sentence, which is what most people seem to want.

Oberon is another victim of this. I admit that I too, thought he was a big arrogant jerk, whom Titania manipulated all the time to get what she felt was best for everyone. But like you made me realize, he has a lot of quality, the first being that he cared enough about mortals and how his Children dealt with them to force them out in the real world for a millenium in the hope of them gaining some maturity. And in every story we saw with him, he always ended up being generally fair to most. He isn't perfect (and who is?); is not above pettiness and anger for example. But his behaviour, from his POV, is perfectly acceptable, if not admirable. And there is so much about him we don't know and haven't seen to be able to judge his being accurately. For all we know and despite appearances, Titania might not be THAT more mature than him.

The list goes on and on. People (and I'm guilty of that as well) want easy answers where there are only complex explainations. I hated the concept of Anubis on my first viewing of "Grief" because it seemed at first that all death on Earth were and had always been caused by the guy. It just seemed so cheap, yet I accepted it at face value because it was what was shown at the time (and like I said, we tend to not question things seemingly presented as fact). Now, thanks to you, I know better, with what little you let on about death-gods and their connection to death and such. And just like there's no solid rule as to wether the Children can go against Oberon's law. It depends on all sorts of things, like intent, bending the law itself and people's words and so long and so forth.

In short, thanks for Ask Greg, I've gotten a better perspective on the complexity of the Gargoyles universe. It doesn't mean I'm no longer looking for easy answers, but I understand why you might reply that "there are no easy answers" or "it isn't that simple", because in your mind, that's really the case. Thanks again for your patience and dedication!

Greg responds...

1. The fans took to using the term Fae (spelled variously) as a replacement term for the admittedly awkward "Children of Oberon". Sometimes in answering questions, I have slipped and used the term as well, but I was never comfortable with it. And I'm even less comfortable in trying to define it as a subset of the Children. I haven't researched the subject enough.

2. Thank you for the kind words.

Response recorded on April 26, 2005

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Punchinello writes...

Hi Mr. Weisman.

Have you ever noticed that anonymity cant disguise transparent stupidity?

I have.

Greg responds...

Careful, there. Because even though I tend to agree, I also think that anonymity can't disguise transparent arrogance either... ;)

Response recorded on April 22, 2005

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The Cat writes...

I'm going to ramble and rant, so I hope you can forgive me if I confuse you or loose you along the way.

Response from Greg to Vanity's question that was posted January 6th 2002:

The notion that vengeance begets nothing more than a vicious cycle of further vengeance, is not only true but is if anything UNDERSTATED. Hardly exaggerate. One only has to look at a newspaper to see that the Montagues and Capulets of this world simply refuse to recognize this obvious, obvious FACT. It drives me insane. Your casual dismissal of the notion doesn't thrill me either. (Sorry.)

Okay, I'm going to ramble on this one a bit. Chew it up spit it out type deal.

Okay, what has always confused me about Demona is that she supposably hates humans. She wants to kill them and wipe them off the planet.

If that is true then why didn't she kill the Canmore brat when he was young and not any sort of threat to her. She could have gotten away with it to, to an extent of the imagination anyway, saying that she was protecting herself from attack and that she just happened to rake the young child's jugular vein with her talons would have worked rather nicely as an excuse. The thing is Demona knew, sort of, that Canmore would become vengeful. I mean, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure that out that this little bratty prince is going to go looking for revenge. He's so spoiled he still needs some one to wipe his butt! If that doesn't say"I'm going to go seeking revenge because somebody lower than me hurt my pride I don't know what does. She could have easily nipped it in the bud and there would no longer be any Hunters. Of course, you put them into the show to keep the plot rolling, but that really didn't work out did it. Of course not.

Also, Demona is suppose to be insane. She could have easily taken out the humans with her plague. Why tell Goliath that all he had to do was destroy the praying gargoyle and then she wouldn't spread the plague. Insane people are not known for having morals! What got me to was she wouldn't spread the plague because it would kill Angela. That made no sense. Demona has always tried to kill Goliath and the clan, saying that they've been corrupted by the humans. Now, the interesting thing is Angela has been the most corrupted. She was raised by humans and taught by humans, so Demona should have wanted to kill her to. Especially her. That would have definitely reinstated the fact that Demona was a villain.

Perhaps I'm looking into this too much, but Demona had the opportunity to kill a lot of people in the last thousand years and save herself a lot of heartache later. I highly doubt that anyone would defend the Canmore brat. I highly doubt anyone would have been capable of stopping her from killing the last hundred or so Hunters that came after her when Canmore didn't succeed.

However, I think I can answer this for myself I just want to know your thoughts on it.

Demona is not evil, per say, and she's hoping that the humans realize that they've treated her kind wrong and will repent, however, she doesn't see that time coming up anytime soon. She also saw that Macbeth's way of handling Canmore was better, not as fulfilling, but better. She, I suppose, was expecting Canmore to realize, later, that she had spared his life and that he might realize that it was out of the goodness of her heart not out of the fact that she couldn't kill him. Men are extremely short sighted in this fact: A woman can kill you! A beast can kill you! *shrugs* I've never understood how come it was so hard for some men to understand this.

Also, I think Demona's looking at the whole revenge thing a bit wrong. If I'm correct she's looking at it as though its her against The Hunter. She's not looking at it as though it is a war. That it is a campaign that she has to plan for. That she has to choose her ground. She needed to think things through!

I honestly have to wonder how many times she has planned out her schemes. Aside from the plague thingy, I don't think she's ever thought any of her things through to the very end. I'd have to say that she never thought about what torture Puck would put her through the night she stole The Mirror, if she had she probably wouldn't have stolen it. The one time she does plan for years upon years she hamstrings her own plan by telling Goliath how to defeat her. Stupid! Utterly stupid!

So, now I've ranted and I want to know am I right? Even to some degree.
Also, I'd like it if you read this. It was the main reason I began this rant. The book is titled: Oathblood and was written by Mercedes Lackey. One of my all time favorite authors. (I know you don't read fan fiction, quite understandable really, but I usually incorporate some aspect of her stuff into my fan fiction.) This book is a bunch of short stories pulled together and the last one is the one that inspired this rant, however, the whole book is good and I would suggest reading the other two that go with this one as well. Their titles are "Oathbound" and "Oathbreakers". They're good books and a must read for anybody because they go into details that most fantasy novels just don't go into. Especially, the ones published back in the 1980's when it was still "a man's world".

Greg responds...

Where do I start?

Okay, let me start with the Oath-recommendations. I have found that I don't enjoy most fantasy fiction books. Isn't that surprising? It surprises me. Among other reasons, it may have something to do with envy. (I don't like admitting that, but it's true.) But I also like to keep my head generally clear of other people's ideas. I just prefer reading detective fiction, for some reason. But if I do decide to read fantasy again, I'll keep your recommendations in mind.

As for Demona... I like to believe that she is a complex character with complex motivations. That she is "human" enough to have inconsistencies. Yes, she tells herself she wants all humans dead, but in fact she isn't always ready to act on those feelings. Also, you need to keep in mind that the Demona of the late 20th century is not the same Demona of the early 11th century. She'd gone through a lot in the interrum that changed her, hardened her.

Likewise, she tells herself that she wants corrupted Gargoyles out of the way. But when push comes to shove, she's not prepared to sacrifice her daughter. So when you say things like: "That made no sense." All I can do is disagree with you and say it made sense to me.

And there are all kinds of "insane". Demona fits a definition, certainly. But of course, it's not like she's brain-dead.

Some of what you write sounds right to me -- or at least in the ballpark. But I don't agree with your assessment of Canmore really. And I don't agree that Demona could have just killed him easily as a child without repercussions. Even Macbeth felt he couldn't kill the kid without repercussions. And I tend to agree with him.

Obviously there were repercussions for NOT killing the kid too. But you roll the dice, you know?

As for Demona often if not always sewing (sowing?) the seeds of her own defeat. Why, yes, she sort of does. I don't think she consciously thought she was giving Goliath the info he needed to stop her. But she did. She's a conflicted character. I think that's what makes her so fascinating to so many people.

Response recorded on April 06, 2005

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Punchinello writes...

<<Gargoyles as well can type on keyboards and relay thought. Lexington with very little experience in terms of years and could only practice at night, was able to punch a keyboard judging by the "clicking" sound of the keyboard at nearly 129 words per minute, without looking and locate Coldstone in MacBeth's mansion. Quite impressive really.>>

Breathtaking.

<<Yet his thoughts were in English.>>

No. They were not. Look. Mental concepts (especially highly abstract concepts) do not emerge from language. It works the other way around. Concepts are formed internally. We can use language to describe them but we don't need to. That's the important distinction.
Consider the acquisition of tool use. A tool you have never used before. Lets consider something like a construction crane. You see it's controls. By experimentation you might begin to discern the function of each control. But none of this is the product of some mental narrative. Pretend you've never seen a crane before. Maybe you're an aboriginal who has never seen western devices. Better yet, pretend you're Lexington. You're a gargoyle transplanted from 10th century Scotland into contemporary America. Lexington has never seen a lever. He's never seen a gas pedal or a start button. If you sit him in a crane and point to controls and tell him what each one _is called_ what do you think it would mean to him? Nothing. Simply calling something a gas pedal gives it no context. You have not imparted anything about it's function. Lexington has no concept that these structures in front of him have functional relationships with the larger device. However, if he experiments, he can begin to observe that if he pushes the lever forward, the crane rotates clockwise. If he pulls it backwards, the crane rotates counterclockwise. He can make associations now, and he can begin to detect patterns. He can anticipate that if moving a control in one direction corresponds to one function, then moving it in the other corresponds to the opposite function. This process of observation, association and anticipation is an example of conceptual thinking. In order to understand the crane, he would have needed to think about it in concepts. Not in English.

The corollary to the computer should be clear. Lexington simply could not have considered the novelty of the computer in words. He would have no words to describe it's properties, it's function or it's nature. If you were transplanted 1000 years into the future and someone handed you a solid metal sphere and told you to use it to write words, how would you contemplate the thing they handed you? It's surface is smooth. No obvious control mechanisms. No obvious surface features of any kind. So how the devil do you write with it? Speculating about it's functionality is a highly conceptual and visual process. If handwriting and typing are both lost arts in 1000 years, then you don't even have words to describe this thing's function.

Think about how Lexington would actually interpret a computer. You have a conceptual understanding of what a keyboard is, but Lexington doesn't. He's never seen a typewriter. He's never even seen a printing press. Do you suppose that when Lexington ponders this device, his thinking takes the form of mentally spoken instructions? Instructions to do what? To type? He has no concept of typing. He would be as mystified by this thing as you would be by the sphere.

However, if he can observe the device in use, and if he can experiment with it, then just as with the crane, he can begin to infer the functional relationships of the keys. He can form a mental picture of how this device works. At that point, he's certainly free to attribute words to the concepts if he want's to communicate them to someone else, but he doesn't need to. His ability to think about the device is not contingent upon his ability to describe those thoughts linguistically.

Proponents of the idea that thought is a purely linguistic process cling to this fantasy that thought is a perpetual little personal narration providing us with instructions. As though a little person were sitting on our shoulder whispering to us. Even if this ridiculous picture of the thought process were verifiable, consider that it would be useless as a medium for thought. Instructions mean nothing without concepts. Even simple concepts.

What about Bronx...

The point of my original thesis on sentience was that it is frequently treated in an uncritical and mentally lazy way. It enters popular culture, not as anything analytical, but as an imagined distinction between those we have to respect and those we don't have to treat with any kind of consideration.

So, is the mental world of Bronx (or Cagney) diminished by their not being able to articulate it? It should be evident that the notion their thought hinges upon language is ridiculous. Can we say they are sentient? Can we say they have the ability to observe, make inferences and anticipate? Can we say they are aware?

Of course. It's not just a matter of our having significant evidence for the ability of non-humans to have this type of mental experience. It's profoundly unreasonable to maintain that they are not aware and intelligent when we consider the emergence of intelligence in pre-history. It's often supposed that these mental abilities just suddenly appeared in homo sapiens, as if by magic, once we passed a certain threshold in our evolution. Nothing compels this feature to emerge, according to popular mythology. It just shows up unannounced. And it renders homo sapiens capable of language and tool use in a single second of evolutionary history.

Now, evolutionary psychologists have realized for a long time, that this picture of the development of intelligence was as silly as they come. Highly ordered structures like awareness and intellect don't just appear all at once. They emerge over time from more primitive systems. Intelligence evolved under the pressures that all species face in nature.

Awareness and thought did not emerge from nature as a means to get us into college or to allow us to write resumes. They emerged as a means to avoid large predators and distinguish things we can eat from things that can eat us. Living beings need to be able to distinguish between these two things in order to survive. The ability to contemplate concepts of things in our environment is just the natural product of species adapting to interact beneficially with it. All of our mental abilities are inherited from our earliest ancestors and were developed as an instrument for them to survive. The development of these faculties simply could never have delayed emerging until after we developed language.

If you consider it, you will discover that abstract concepts frequently defy linguistic expression, because our ability to think abstractly developed independently of language. You can't really describe a sophisticated mathematical concept or a work of music in words. They can only be contemplated conceptually. In fact very common things defy linguistic expression. Try this experiment.

Describe the color red.

The reason we cant is because the linguistic structure to describe it does not exist. It didn't emerge because it does not serve to benefit our species survival in any way. Yet you can picture red mentally. Or any number of colors. Doubtlessly, a variety of hues, which you might not even have a name for, exist in your mind. They exist as concepts. Mental pictures. And their inability to be defined linguistically does not diminish them. You can picture red. You can apply it to various forms. You can anticipate what would happen if you mixed it with another color. But you don't need language to do that. The imaginative process, the conceptual process, has nothing to do with language.

<<Eskimos have something like seven words that really just mean "snow". Yet an Eskimo thinks like an Eskimo and can judge the minor differences in the type of snow they see and to them one kind of snow is not "a" snow but a "d" snow and ect.. >>

This anecdote about Eskimo's having such a plurality of words for snow is often referred to in arguments for the dependence of thought on language. I don't know why. It does not appear to lend anything to this position. I guess the idea is that the way Eskimo's think about snow is supposed to be structurally different from the way english speakers think of snow. If they do, then it's not evident that it follows from their having more words for snow. In fact, I'm pretty sure there are at least a dozen words for snow in the english language. Flurry, Slush, Hardpack, Frost, Powder, IceLens, etc. And if we include all the descriptive lexemes that we count when we talk about the Eskimo words for snow, then there are probably dozens more in english.

This really is not an indicator that thought is contingent upon language. I can provide an analogous example though, which begins to demonstrate that thought takes place in the absence of language. Colors end up being a good example again, because they are such a large part of our visual world.

In Swedish, there are probably as many words to describe various colors as there are in English. Possibly more. I know they have a special word for light gray. Linguistic relativists would take the position that the Swedish or English must be thinking about colors in a way that is fundamentally denied to people of other cultures, who do not have all these words for colors.

There are many, such cultures. For instance, the Tiv language of New Guinea, where there are only two words for colors, equivalent to light and dark. A Swedish scientific study done years ago sought to test the theory that thought must be absent where language to describe something is also absent. However, when tested, it became apparent that Tiv speakers were able to recognize as many colors (and with the same facility) as Swedish speakers. This is certainly an indicator that thought exists without the benefit of language.

<<Luckily for us I suppose that as humans we all relatively think alike even with our differing way of thinking.>>

I find some arguments for deep structure very persuasive Vanity, but you treat the concept in a way which is very far removed from those arguments.

<<This allows for learning multiple languages each human no matter his language that language has the ability to "learn" or adapt to the use of another language and that is quite a remarkable thing. Almost too remarkable to be chance. >>

Has this become a prescription for theology now?

Greg responds...

Punchinello, I agree with everything you're saying... and yet....

Language, once created, does not then exist in a vacuum. Language itself INFLUENCES thought, influences one's thinking about even the most abstract of concepts -- including Red.

Learning a birth language must wire the brain a certain way. At least out of habit. Not hard-wired of course, but non-survival laziness dictates that a birth language must influence thought. That the learning of a new language (in any depth) must also influence thought.

That introducing new words to a human being may in fact on occasion introduce new concepts not discovered.

In 1984, Orwell posited that the destruction or dissolution of words underlying concepts like "Freedom", etc. would result in a population with less awareness of the concepts themselves. Of course even in that novel, he didn't posit that this was enough to completely WIPE OUT the concept of Freedom. Thus individuals like Smith are intentionally awakened by Ingsoc out of their stupor in order to push them down various roads to "Freedom" while under constant observation. These roads are then cut off -- along with the road-takers -- in order to prevent Freedom from, well, ringing.

Yes, concepts exist independent of language. But language, once created, takes on a life of its own (says the writer -- so take it with a grain of salt). Language has, as I'm sure you'd agree, a power of its own.

I'm not at all sure, but that may be where Vanity was heading.

Response recorded on April 05, 2005

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Punchinello writes...

<< (if you infact cannot speak Russian). In fact the communication would very much be like that between man and an animal.>>

I'm not confident of this, Vanity. I think you need to be more careful in the way you treat the issue. What are you basing this similarity on?

<<When he wants a drink and says (whatever in Russian means 'I want to drink your water'); you will overtime perhaps reckognize what he wants through mere repitition. Never though be able to ask him if he liked the water, describe the compositional qualities that make up the glass, or how the purification system(s) in your water plant makes that water safe for you and your family to drink. >>

I don't understand what your point is here, Vanity. What are you trying to say?

<<You can say it he won't know it.
Yet he can still make the moral judgement on his own princibles that he understands in his own language as to if he will leave the toilet seat up or not. >>

Moral judgement? What relationship do moral judgements have with your thesis on thought and language? This tangent about morality doesn't seem to be anything you could reasonably infer from a theory about language. I confess that I'm a little uncomfortable with this avenue of argument. I suspect that by injecting your thesis with reference to moral principles, you're attempting to take what should be a purely normative argument and turn it into a prescriptive one. I'm anticipating that you're going to advocate the application of some kind of value system down the road, and that you're going to take the position that what you say here demonstrates the validity of that system.

You're going to need to demonstrate the legitimacy of the Wharf hypothesis in this thesis if you want to use it as a prescription for moral behavior. Right now, it would be premature. Even unethical. Of course, your point isn't entirely clear to me. I have to guess at your meaning. What I'm guessing you intend is that the Russian's internal self, his "moral principles," are based in a faculty for language. This would be a strange position to take. I think you're confusing the idea of values with the idea of thoughts.

Maybe it would help to clarify your meaning if you considered the following.
1. Assuming that the Russian's "moral principles" have a foundation in language faculty, does this mean anything? It doesn't seem to reinforce any argument you make.
2. Do you assume that moral principles depend on language? It is not apparent that this is so. But if it were apparent, what would it mean? Would it mean sentience was dependent on language? I don't think so.

<<His sentience is still very much intact as is yours, but in communication most of what we consider humanesque intelligible relay of thought is lost. >>

Why don't you just say..."we don't understand someone when they are speaking an unfamiliar language."
I'm bothered by the way you treat this statement as though you have provided a demonstration of the Russian's intact sentience. I think you're implying that we can agree that his sentience is unique among species and incontestable, but nothing you have written demonstrates that the Russian's experience of awareness is even marginally different from a non-human.

<<He can learn but he may not learn English just as you can but may not learn Russian. Words are words, but diction, structural differences, and phonetic discrepencies between the two languages make changing your thinking process from thinking as an Englishmen(English speaking man not man born on England) to thinking as a Russian quite likely impossible.>>

What do you mean by "changing your thinking process?" I can't make sense of the above statement . Is it a linguistic relativist position? It sounds like maybe you're proposing there is a unique type of deep structure in the mind for every native language? The thesis that thought is dependent on language is frequently attributed to Noam Chomsky's theory of deep universal generative grammar, but you need to understand that Chomsky is referring to the basic universal structures that language emerges from. He is not correlating thinking with regional languages. People who attribute that position to him wildly misunderstand his intent. There is no school of linguistics or cognitive science which advances the notion that there are different deep structures for Russian and English. Wharf and Humboldt have attributed different structure to various cultures. But I don't think any of this amounts to deep structure, and certainly not structure based upon language.

<<Even if you learn Russian as to be able to go to Moscow and fool everyone into thinking that you are indeed a native Russian. Your nueral networking will still under most serious probability process thought in English>>

What is "neural networking?"

I think your position hinges upon this notion of how thought is processed. This is where I fundamentally disagree with you.

Thought is not "processed" in English. Or Russian. I'm supposing you borrow this notion from linguistic relativism even though you seem to subscribe to theories of innate language faculty. I would emphasize that even Chomsky, who is the most prominent proponent of deep structure for language, has explicitly conceded that we also think _without words_ in his response to John R. Searle's critique of his theory. Introspection is not a narrative process.

You should consider that it's probably not appropriate to be treating concepts of deep structure in language as linguistic relativist concepts. Eric H. Lenneberg is a deep structurist, and in his study of the biological basis for language he explicitly defends the antithesis of linguistic relativism. He states clearly "that cognitive function is a more basic and primary process than language, and that the dependence-relationship of language on cognition is incomparably stronger than vice versa."

If it begins to sound like deep structurists consider language independent of thought, that's probably because they do. Their position is a much more realistic one. They regard language as a product and expression of thought. But only one of many such products.

Greg responds...

Okay, I think I followed all that... but I have nothing worthwhile to add. The whole question of language differences doesn't seem to impinge on the original question of sentience a bit.

Response recorded on April 05, 2005

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Punchinello writes...

<<You say you don't have the full answer. I'm just not clear what the question was. I don't disagree with anything you said, except for the notion that Punchinello and I were defining sentience as simply the ability to communicate. I don't think either of us ever did that.>>

Neither of us did. I should stress however, that I disagree with Vanity, strongly. I take this very seriously. Maybe that appears strange. As I read Vanity's thesis though, I think I detect an effort to base a prescription for moral behavior on what he believes sentience is. And if we're going to do that we need to be very careful. It won't be enough to guess at who we judge worthy of some investment of our ethics. We can't limit the moral worth of some creature because we have a feeling. I imagine people couldn't be bothered to have a disagreement over an obscure philosophical issue. Perhaps if it were just a normative argument being made, I wouldn't care either. That's the problem though. Philosophies are never purely normative. They're always potentially prescriptive.

And since you have opened the floor Greg, to really have an exchange about what sentience is, and by extension, what thought is, responding to this provides a good opportunity to do that.

<<(note if you were in Madrid when you first seen Gargoyles and they spoke in Spanish and of course you did too you might argue they thought in Spanish and you would most likely be right mi amigo). But not as an English Man but and English Gargoyle again not as a nationality but as a tongue. Still Lex's moral judgements can be made too stand on thier own and can communicate with anything Man or Gargoyle or Oberon's Child that also speaks English, whether they think "English" or not. >>

<<Language is not merely a tool for communication it is a way of thinking >>

<< Punchinello and yourself discussed "sententiousness"
in quite lenghty detail. If I remember right the main buckling of the topic of one's being sentient was ultimately his ability to communicate ideas. I don't seem to remember any talk about awareness of thought and decision.>>

Well I've reviewed what I saved of that thread, and I cant find any indication that anyone participating intoned that sentience relied upon communication of ideas. _I_ certainly never did. The idea you're describing in your thesis, that thought depends on a faculty for language, arguably originates in the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and the work of Boas and Humboldt. I'm familiar with this work, and I've never been persuaded that it possessed any kind of intellectual legitimacy. Particularly where Whorf is concerned. The magnitude of error in his thinking is almost comical. Also, while I am unsure of how you are treating the Sapir Whorf hypothesis here, Vanity, it sounds like you suppose that it is not seriously contested by anyone. If that's the case, then you need to understand that it has been the subject of alot of scholarly level criticism among cognitive scientists. In fact, there has been harsh critique in the literature from both the cognitive-neuro camp and the linguistics camp. It's reliability as an hypothesis is alot more tenuous than you might suppose.

<<If a Russian speaker was adopted into your household, and could not understand nor speak a single word of English, you cannot communicate with him on any level of aphroristic expression>>

Aphoristic expression?

Greg responds...

Okay, I'm lost. The problem, as usual being the long gaps between when questions are posted and when I actually see them. That and my poor memory. Even with all the words you quote above, I don't really have enough context to add anything relevent. But I'm happy to give you guys a forum for back & forth and hope that some day the back and forth won't take years.

Response recorded on April 01, 2005

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Punchinello writes...

<<Well, let's start with the "buffet"/game-playing writing style. I think it's awful. >>

I agree.

<<Having said that, I have this friend, a garg fan who's now a pretty darn successful writer. When I read her first book, I felt that the first half of it was written in that way. As if rolls of the dice determined who each character was, what he or she could do and what happenned to them.
When I asked her about it, she confessed (if that's the word) that I was dead on. The first half of the book was her almost literally setting to prose a game of D&D that she had played.
I don't recommend doing that, but look at the result. The second half of the novel, inspired as it was by the first half, was wonderful. And she's moved forward with these characters into other books as well. >>

When I indicated that I thought this game-players writing style could be exploited profitably, I wasn't really thinking of more mature, conventional writing emerging from it. Although, that obviouly works too. I was thinking, if you were writing something, for instance, where there was a consistent theme of game-playing, then maybe you could exploit it as a device. I'm thinking of game-playing themes more along the lines of George Perec than dungeons and dragons. So maybe there would be subtle games embedded in the text. But at the same time, maybe there could be a section of the book, or a certain character, which you treat in the game-players writing style. Sort of in the way you could mimic the writing style of the Victorians. I have given no serious thought to what properties make game-player writing read the way it does. But it _is_ recognizable. You've identified it, yourself.

<<But your second question is more serious. Does this process in fact impair the reader/audience. Forget that some of these guys will never be great writers, will this make them bad readers?
I don't know. But my guess is that it's the same (or similar) percentage of people who would have been bad readers in the first place. The good ones will transcend. The others won't. That's my hypothesis.>>

I suppose so. It's just that I keep on detecting subtle trends in the way people in our culture think about things. And I worry this game-players thing will worsen. It's like that business of an incomplete idea of "sentience" invading popular culture. It seems ridiculous to speculate that the idea migrated into the culture from star trek, but if you observe carefully, you can see it. I think people in our culture, are less and less informed by critical thinking today.

Ten years ago, for instance, I don't think I saw game-player writing anywhere. Now, even before this conversation I had, in which we began to put a name to this thing, it seems pervasive. I think the novelty has become the institution. Consider that twenty years ago, aspiring authors could not have seen this in literature. Today, I have waking nightmares that the kid who would have been the next Paul Auster is going to become intellectually deranged when he picks up a dungeons/dragons book for the first time and gets the idea that "this must be how people write."

I'm probably thinking of something along the lines of memes here. Ideas enter the culture and become dominant over time. Usually, stupid ideas. They begin to define the way that people think about things and even the way they value things. It doesn't just erode our intellects. It can erode sensible ethics. Consider this...

I saw an episode of star trek recently, and it really alarmed me. The premise was that the characters travel to a planet where the human population reproduces exclusively by cloning. For some ridiculous reason they could no longer continue cloning themselves, so they ask the characters to donate genetic material so their culture can survive. The characters hostility to the idea is so irrational that I wouldn't know how to describe it. And when the clone people sneak away some of their genetic material to make clones of them anyway, a demonstration of some of the most demented rationalization of science fiction occurs.

The characters go to the lab where their clones have already developed into full grown reproductions of themselves, and use their death rays to obliterate them. And I should be clear that these were not blastocysts in test tubes. These were obviously fully grown and autonomous people. And this is all treated by the authors as though it were the most natural thing in the world. It's simply understood that being cloned "diminishes you" as a human being, and that their absurd indignation was somehow righteous. Precisely how this diminishes a person is never elaborated upon, and I'm sure that the authors never even thought about it. They assume, with remarkable vacuousness, that the cloned people in the lab do not possess any type of intrinsic worth. I know that star trek authors have never picked up a science text, but the poverty of ethical thinking here, compelled me to think they had never read a book or had a thought about anything.

Of course, it's just a silly TV show. Right?

And yet, it's conspicuous that the range public debate about bioethics is defined by these concepts. I'm not talking about the range of debate in the literature of science or philosophy. That remains very isolated from the public forums where most people in our culture consider these issues. In popular magazines and network news journalism, the dominant logic is that a person is rendered somehow, "lesser" by having been cloned. The idea has been in ascendancy for a decade despite the depth of it's ignorance. The people who define and limit public discourse about it have certainly never thought about it critically. Their positions frequently contradict themselves and more frequenly rely on popular myths and emotional appeals to people's superstitions.

And it gets worse. Something far more sinister has emerged from popular, misinformed dialogue about cloning. In popular disputes about it (I heard the notion resurface on CNN about a month ago) the question of "what kind of rights would a clone have" is routinely brandished about as though it were an intelligent thought. To practicing ethicists and scientists, this notion probably would not have even entered the dialogue if it had not been thrust upon them by popular culture. That the question is being asked at all assumes, uncritically, that there is something meaningfully distinguishable about a cloned person which would compel us to assign a different worth to them. A worth, lesser than a person who came into the world by conventional means.

I have a suspicion, that the people most vocally shrieking about the moral dilemmas of cloning, are actually theologically threatened by it. I have no evidence of this. But a few inferences they have made, have got me thinking that their theological picture of "personhood" follows a very rigid prescription, and their indignation may originate with some inept idea that a clone would not have a soul.

"Soul" becomes a good parallel to "sentient life." One is from religion and one is from science fiction, but both of them are shortcuts people use instead of actually thinking about the internal properties that imbue something with intrinsic moral worth.

I hope it's apparent why I think this is important. Magical thinking can be dangerous. The worth of a being can't reasonably be described in these terms. If the distinction between ruling class and underclass or the difference between pets and meat is being determined by distinguishing one as sentient or soul-containing, then we have not really distinguished anything. We're just making things up. We might as well assign moral worth based upon who has stars on their bellies.

I don't remember what Goliath's reaction to Thailog was precisely. I remember that he was alarmed by the prospect of there being another version of himself. How would you describe his feelings about the issue. I suspect since he would have no concept of cloning technology, his perception of it would be unique.

Greg responds...

Goliath's initial reaction was horror and anger. Not at the clone per se, but at Xanatos for having stolen something -- Goliath's uniqueness as an individual, at least. I think that's a legitimate fear (not a rational, ethical response). And certainly, there's no ethical justification for Xanatos' actions.

But as Elisa shortly points out, it's too late to simply be pissed at Xanatos. The clone, Thailog, exists. He's alive. As much a Gargoyle as Goliath is. In a very real way, he is Goliath's son. Goliath quickly agrees. (Of course, by this time, he's already pissed off Thailog -- a victim of nurture as opposed to nature -- and there will be no reconciliation.)

Look, let's take the Star Trek episode you described. I've seen it, though it's been years, so I'm going to have to rely on your version of it.

I think it's completely legitimate to have reservations about loaning your genetic material so that they can make clones of you. It's legitimate to be generous too, but you must acknowledge that it must be a personal decision.

A friend once hinted that she'd like me to donate sperm so that she could have a baby. I truly believe that this person would make a great parent, but it's just not in me to help in this way. Mostly because I know how I feel about my own kids. And the knowledge that there was another child of mine out there and not part of my life would drive me nuts.

So I buy into Riker, et al, rejecting the request from the Clone-Society. It MUST be a personal choice. Also, medically -- by the rules they set up/made up -- the point was made that cloning would always be a stopgap solution. So there's a certain pointlessness to participating. But whatever. You MUST have the right to say no. Goliath should be able to say no to Xanatos.... "Thanks, David, but I don't really want a clone of me out there, particularly since I don't trust your parenting skills."

Now of course, what I believe your really objecting to is Riker and company killing living viable beings... and of course Elisa, Goliath and I would totally agree with you. If the clones are completed, the clones are completed. That's that. They're alive. TOO LATE!!!!

Now, there's another Riker episode where he discovers that he has a clone -- in fact it becomes unclear which is the clone and which is the real Riker (i.e. the guy we've known all these years, or the guy that's been trapped on a distant planet for years). Both wind up surviving, which I thought was novel. The "clone" later became somewhat Xanatosian, which I also appreciated.

But to take your argument to something more general than cloning... I mean you need to keep in mind that when cloning is used in SF (or at least good SF) it's just a metaphor. Clones are regarded as second class citizens because the history of humanity is rife with second class citizens based on criteria equally as dopey.

Now, agreed some SF doesn't get it.

And, agreed, now that actual cloning is becoming closer to actual reality, people may be adopting the jargon of SF because -- what else do they have?

But lazy thinkers have ALWAYS existed. On bad days I certainly think the world is going to hell in a handbasket, but if I'm being more honest, I can't exactly look back on the world and go : "HEY, NO PROGRESS!" There's been a lot of progress. We'll never wipe out ethics-free humans. Ethically, well, we're just not allowed to.

The memes you discuss may be a problem. But they're just replacing old memes that are even more devastating because they're WAY TOO REAL.

It's another old Sci-Fi notion... In a very real way, wouldn't it be great if the ALIENS did attack. Because then FINALLY, humanity would realize how little differentiates black from white, male from female, gay from straight, etc., ad nauseum. Of course, that would immediately present us with the new racial challenge of learning to "just get along" with the aliens. But wouldn't it be nice for just a moment to get past the pettiness that we own ourselves?

Or something like that.

Response recorded on March 31, 2005

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Punchinello writes...

Hello Mr. Weisman.

<<So sometimes, it does get annoying. But mostly I enjoy doing this. (I do think that doing a little a day has been a much better system than trying to do big batches of questions all at once. I get less annoyed when not burdened with the cumulative effects of annoyance.) Do I wish this could be more of a forum for ideas and discussion? Well, yeah, duh. I've invited that in the past, and, P., I always enjoy reading and responding to your posts.>>
<<I hope that 18 months later you're still checking ASK GREG and reading this. I hope that you'll compose your response and hold on to it, submitting it when we finally get things back up and running. But even if you're not, even if you're long gone, thanks for raising some interesting issues.>>

All this sort of diminishes some of my apprehensions about submitting things to this forum. Most of the time I have assumed it's a huge hassle for you.

<<(Although what you quoted at the head of your post:
<<You idiot! Did you not read the no ideas clause on the main askgreg page or are you just pretending to be stupid!>>
is a bit lost on me out of context. I can't believe I wrote the first quote.) >>

You didn't write it. I'm sorry. That must have seemed strange to you. When I submitted this post (all those many years ago) there were two posts in the list directly before mine. The first was from someone who I don't think had ever posted a message here before. I don't remember his name or what he wrote, but I do remember that he was speculating about something you did in the show. His post seemed pretty benign to me. He was just curious about something.

The second post was from...some anonymous idiot. He was the one asking the curious guy if he was "pretending to be stupid." I got the impression he was trying to demonstrate his superior knowledge of "gargoyles forum culture." I found his invective incredibly offensive. Apparently so did your mr. Gorebash, because he deleted his post after I responded. That's why you didn't see it.

I think the guy rematerialized shortly afterwards, as Master Debator, who had never posted before and most likely never will again. I almost regret you decided not to dignify his contest for "king of the garg fans" with a reaction, as I'm sure your reaction could have been very amusing.

<<So a lot comes down to the intent of the questioner, and you can usually tell, if not in a single post then in the range of posts that that person submits. If I get 16 posts in a row asking something like, "Who is Maggie's father?" followed by "Who is Claw's father?" followed by "Who is Fang's father?" or if I get requests for laundry lists of things, "Name all the ancient heroes who have encountered Oberon," then you can bet that the questioner was looking for a question to ask, as opposed to trying to deepen his or her understanding of the show or character.>>
<<And again, I think you can often (though not always) tell by the question itself if that's what the questioner is seeking. A deeper understanding about some aspect of the show.>>

I understand. I think part of the reason that I responded to the anonymous character in the way I did was because I had gotten the idea in my head that it was the same anonymous character that is persistently demanding that you elaborate on the most trivial minutia. From my perspective, it seemed like someone had just asked where fox got her tattoo six times in a row, then had the unmitigated gaul to call someone else an idiot for asking an innocent question.

Greg responds...

I so wish I could just catch up. It's so hard to raise this forum up to its potential when I'm two years behind responding to a post that's responding to a post that's two years even further back.

Hopefully, we'll have the opportunity to repair the system sometime soon. But in the meantime, I just keep plugging away. And I hope you (all of you) stick around too.

Response recorded on March 31, 2005

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Gothic Cowboy writes...

Hello, again. I have a question/observation concerning Oberon. I have noticed an unfortunate trend among fans of the series (particularly in fanfiction, although I understand you don't read such material) to present Oberon in an unfavorable light. Even The Gargoyles Saga, which normally boasts excellent characterization, consistently depicts Oberon in a manner which I feel is grossly unfair. I liked Oberon. I thought that he was stern, but fair, and was also very concerned with the proper use of power. Granted, he possessed character flaws. But he banished his Children from Avalon, forcing them to live amongst mortals, because he felt that they didn't have proper respect for the rights of mortals. His Law is also shown in an unfair light. Most fans seem to like to show him as an uncaring, distant figure, who could care less if the bulk of humanity simply died off. I interpret his Law differently, though. Perhaps its simply because I am an inveterate comic book fan, and the topic has been frequently used in comic books. But I believe that Oberon forbids direct magical intervention, even to help mortals, because he understands that mortals must stand on their own. He understands that, if he were to direct his Children to use their powers to shelter and care for mortals, we would come to rely on them for everything, even the problems that we could solve on our own. Our potential would be stunted. We would eventually become little better than pets for the Children of Oberon. Obviously, he doesn't mind non-magical intervention. Puck interferes a great deal, but as Owen, without magic. Grandmother has seemingly guided and advised mortals for centuries. Many of the Children (including Oberon himself) have sired or beared Half-Fae children with mortals. His emphasis seems to be on ensuring that mortals don't become reliant on the Children of Oberon, that we feed our own poor, treat our own sick and wounded, fight our own battles. In short, that we make our own mistakes and stand on our own two feet. Was I off the mark?

Greg responds...

No. But you're comparing your interpretation to the interpretations of other fans -- interpretations that I have not seen.

In general terms -- very general terms -- I agree with you. But Oberon is also dangerous and powerful and subject to interpreting his OWN laws his own way. I don't think of him in a negative light. But I also don't think he's entirely benign either.

Response recorded on March 04, 2005

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Audra writes...

I know that the Gargoyles Movie on VHS has scenes cut out from the Awakening episodes that were shown on TV. You guys did a pretty good job editing it I think. (I'm not sure if you did that or not though.) This is just my opinion, but I'd just like to tell you about one small scene I think should of been kept in the movie on VHS. The scene where Goliath is talking to Princess Katherine and Magus, right before Magus turns Goliath to stone, Goliath says, "The eggs in the rookery will soon hatch, they will need guidance." And then Princess Katherine says, "Never fear, we will watch over them as if they were our own." I think that small scene should of stayed in the movie. If you never saw the Awakening episodes on TV, and started watching the other Gargoyles episodes on TV, I think that small scene is important so people know that Goliath asked Katherine and Magus to take care of the eggs. Maybe that's just me, but that's just my opinion, and I thought I'd like to tell you about it.

P.S. I also think on the Awakening episodes on TV, it's funny when Hudson is flipping through the channels on the TV, and there is a scene from the Lion King. Since I'm also a big Lion King fan.

Greg responds...

I prefer the TV five-part version myself, though I'm the one who supervised the editing on the movie version.

But we left out that little scene intentionally. The Movie was not designed to be a primer for the tv show. But to stand alone. And adding egg references didn't help it to stand alone. It bothers me that they released THAT version on VHS, but the problem's been corrected now on DVD.

Response recorded on February 23, 2005

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Blaise writes...

Hey there! Welcome back!

Just finished reading your summer vacation..."Escape from New York" is right! Man, that must've been a tense ride at the time. I guess no harm no foul, but I still don't envy your experience. I envy Greg "Xanatos," though--he got to be your chauffer for the day!

BTW, I didn't realize you were a "Harry Potter" reader! I read through the whole of book 5 in about three nights and a Saturday morning. Yes, it has grown up some, but then, so has Harry.

LXG: I was introduced to that last year, read the collected graphic novel at the house of a friend I was visiting for Thanksgiving. I thought it was a great, fun read (though I, predictably, shook my head at the whole "Freemason" thing). I have to admit I had no idea who Quartermain was, originally. Still not sure if I'll see the movie though, considering the changes they've made.

I'm also not sure if I'll go see Sindbad in the theaters. I'm tempted to see it just for Eris--I like her look, and her animation style seems nice--but frankly, my biggest turn-off is the dog. From what I've heard, he originally wasn't in that much of the movie, but after viewing their test audience's reaction to him (and they were predominantly young children) they added 7 more scenes with the dog. Of course, since I have not seen it, I cannot judge. What rubbed you about it?

And the Gathering...man what a great time it must have been. I wish I could have gone. Heck, I wish I remembered to do the Honorary Attendee thing (I'm still kicking myself over that). The thing I actually missed most about this one, is that I wasn't able to sign the Sperlings' card--that was a great thing that everybody did, and I really regret not being a part of that.

Well, that's about all I have to say right now. But just wait 'til you post your next ramble, Greg--I'll have a whole book written for you then! Of course, by the time you read this, a LOT of what I've written will be outdated. Oh well.... :-)
Later!

Greg responds...

We can laugh about it now, but I'm not sure GXB enjoyed being my chauffeur THAT day.

Harry - Waiting with excitement for book 6.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - I enjoyed the second graphic novel, although not perhaps quite as much as the first. Yet I'm still hungry for