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GREG-SPONSES 2010-01 (Jan)

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Tyger writes...

My Con Journal

I never would've gotten to go to Gathering at all if it weren't for Guardian.

Guardian and I met... YEARS ago. And ironically, what brought us together wasn't our mutual love for Gargoyles, but our mutual love for Dinotopia. We met on the Dinotopia Official Messageboard, and our two characters quickly became Dinotopian life partners (NOT what you think - in Dinotopia, that's the term for a very close bond between a dinosaur and a human (I was the dinosaur, and she was the human). When she was attacked on the OMB, I backed her up. And when she left, I left, too.

We hung out at my messageboard, discussing the other fandoms we had in common (Buffy, Gargoyles), and I got introduced to Riftwar (EPIC RP, omg, so sad that it's been wiped from EZ Board), and her main character/self Guardian.

Flash forward to earlier this year when I made the conscious decision to get back in touch with the four old online friends that have meant the most to me, over the years. Two, Guard, and the Chief Rabbit of my old Watership Down forum, I've managed to get into constant contact with. The other two... well, one hasn't answered my email, and the other doesn't have an up to date email address, anywhere I can find... But that's beside the point.

Anyway, while talking to Guard, the subject of Gathering came up. We started talking about how badly Nyx and I wanted to go, but how I couldn't afford it. And Guard commissioned me for enough art to pay my way, essentially, into the whole con.

Now, shortly after that, Nyx's grandmother went into the hospital... and from there into hospice care on a deathwatch. We supported her, and stayed with her, but I wasn't able to finish the commissions on time. When it really began to look like we couldn't go, I talked to Guard again, apologized for the delay, explained it, and asked if there was any way she could get us something, and maybe get the Future Of The fandom panel recorded...

Then she offered to just... pay for me and Nyx to get into the con. After all, I'm already doing the commissions, and she has no doubt I'll finish them... So plans were made, and we met her at the hotel Sunday morning. She bought our con badges after an hour or so of waiting, and then we split up for the day, going to different panels.

The panels the first day were fun. I enjoyed Dynamic Drawing (I think I've finally got a handle (pun intended) on the basic shapes of the hand and foot, now), and also the panel of writers was amazing... I got to meet one of my writer heroes, Greg Weisman, and let him know that he is one of the reasons that I'm a writer today. I got his autograph, as well as the autograph of another writer there who also worked on Transformers: Beast Machines... *geeks out*

Anyway, we hadn't had enough to afford the banquet Sunday night, and we didn't have costumes for the masquerade ball afterwards, so we went home after the second panel. We spent the night at Nyx's mom's house (which lead to me realizing that I don't computer well on a floor), watched all of the first five episodes of Gargoyles (the Awakening saga), and then went to sleep.

Keeping in mind that I'd gotten up at 4am Sunday, after having gone to bed at 1:30 in the morning. I embarrassed myself by falling asleep in the writing panel, but it all worked out eventually - the anxiety of getting the autographs woke me up for awhile. By the time we actually tried to go to bed, I'd gotten my second... or third... wind, and laid awake for awhile. Then, when I DID fall asleep, I jerked awake at 3 am, seeing a light outside and thinking the alarm hadn't gone off. I climbed over Nyx (we were sharing her twin bed at her mom's house), checked my phone, saw that it was 2:59am... thought "That can't be right... Wait!" My phone was plugged into Lona's computer in order to charge. And most of the time, when it's plugged in, it randomly sets it's time zone to something strange... "Enwetok" or something like that, that's -12 hours from where we are. But... it hadn't done that, this time. Yes, it was 3am... And having scared myself awake, I was wide awake. (Keeping in mind, we didn't get to bed until 11:30-midnight.)

So, I sat up for an hour, played my DS, sat in the living room (where it was marginally cooler - it was really hot in that bedroom), then finally came back to bed, sleepy, at almost 4:30am. I woke up again one or two minutes before the alarm would go OFF, so for all my panic about sleeping through the alarm, I was still up on time.

A few slices of leftover pizza, the rest of my starbucks coffee from the previous day, and I was ready to go. On to the last day of the Con!

First was the Future Of The Fandom panel. Essentially a panel moderated by one of the people who runs the con, getting fan ideas for how to keep the con alive. I was proud of myself for speaking up several times. I even gave the idea that the con could be expanded to honor the other Disney Afternoon shows that were with Gargoyles in that block. Everyone seemed to like that.

After that, the Gargoyles: Biology And Culture (I asked a question there, too... and Greg Weisman himself answered it!)... that was the most awesome panel, ever. Gargoyles were tied into paleontology, even. SO incredibly awesome. And I learned that I'm not nuts. :P Lots of people question as if the Gargoyles world is/was real, as I do. That was just...awesome. Totally awesome.

The best part of the day, however, was the Closing Ceremonies... So many people, fan and Guest alike, spoke about past Gatherings, their memories... no one was ready for it to be over. We all just kept filling the silence with stories after stories... Greg Weisman, the creator of Gargoyles, was crying through most of it... I don't even know where to start.

The Con was amazing. I regret never having been to all the Gatherings, previous to this one.

Greg responds...

Glad you could make it!

Response recorded on January 18, 2010

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UncleDeadly writes...

In "High Noon" as Demona transforms in front of MacBeth, there are paintings of women all over the walls. Just artwork he likes or are the subjects more significant to Macbeth?

Greg responds...

I'd have to look again.

Response recorded on January 18, 2010

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Jim writes...

So now that you've released the cast list/title of the Spidey crossover radio play, I have to ask: Is "Religious Studies 101" out of the running for arc titles?

Greg responds...

Probably, but not because of the Radio Play.

Response recorded on January 18, 2010

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John aka Flanker writes...

Consciousness returned to my body. My eyes were stinging and heavy. I cracked open a dried socket and tried to make sense of where I was. The sun was up, enough light was getting through to help me establish I was in a hotel room. My last memories were hazy, involving a military facility and being rushed onto an aircraft. Was I drugged?

I took stock of myself. I was on the floor, still wearing my clothing from yesterday. I sensed I wasn't alone in the room, whoever was keeping me here seemed to not be paying attention. I clawed my way across the floor into the washroom. I quietly used the facilities and showered, not wanting to find out what would happen if my 'hosts' were woken up. I slipped out of the room and found myself in a large and upscale hotel. I stumbled out into the sunlight. The heat and flora told me I was in California. Disoriented, it took me some time to scale down the hill and find a street. The presence of Universal Studios meant I could only be in Los Angeles. My advanced knowledge of American geography dictates that walking in any one direction long enough will bring me to a McDonalds. Like most Canadians I had a useful amount of US currency in my wallet and obtained some vague semblance of nurishment. And coffee.

The only way to figure out why I was brought here was to get back into the hotel. The climb back was further burdened with the fast food rotting away in my stomach. Approaching cautiously, I found a contact had left a dead drop in the form of an envelope with my codename on it. Inside was a T shirt that would help me blend in with the locals and a book full of coded instructions. I could infiltrate this secret society by hiding in the background or in plain sight. I chose plain sight. A number of events seemed to rotate around a 'Radio Play'. This requried an audition so I feigned an accent to make the leaders of this group think I was European. Ironically, after the audition, the group I was trying to infiltrate offered a lecture on voice acting, which would likely be useful should I be cast in the play. This was also an opportunity to examine the leaders of this strange group. After conducting some surveillance and link analysis I had a chance to speak with a British operative who may have been on the same mission as me. I determined this because other people were noting that nobody had seen her there before. We also assessed together that Top Gear is the best show on British Television that isn't Gargoyles. I also conversed briefly with a fellow Canadian. But being both female and French I knew she wasn't to be trusted. Also her badge identified her as ONE OF THEM. Someone responsible for a project called 'Bad Guys' can't be up to anything good.

Soon it was time for the play rehearsal and play itself. I was delighted to find we weren't going to read 'Dianetics' or something. I was able to keep a copy of the script which, as we speak, is being analyzed for subliminal subversion. Also I felt I may have been losing myself in my cover. I was starting to feel the mind control effects of the group's supreme leader.

I made contact with a former US Navy operator and we able to abduct a 'biology research scientist' that belonged to this secret society and we debriefed her at a 'Fatburger'. What would this group need with a biology scientist? Germ warfare? Genetic manipulation? I was in deep, thankfully I wasn't alone.

Back at the hotel I slid into a late night session code named 'Blue Mug'. Nothing I had seen previously had prepared me for this. People were discussing things like how a gargoyle would [CLASSIFIED=========================================================================================================CLASSIFIED]with salad dressing.

Also a cultist presented a ranking member with somekind of magic underwear. It was difficult to see from the back. Exfiltration occurred around 1150 hours GMT -8

More to follow...over.

Greg responds...

And we're all very grateful for your service...

Response recorded on January 18, 2010

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Blaise writes...

GATHERING OF THE GARGOYLES

FINAL THOUGHTS

Due to my own limited funds, as well as my young age (17) at the time, I was unable to attend the first Gathering. In fact, I have only been able to attend the Gathering three times: in 2001, 2006, and this most recent one. In short, only the ones in and around Los Angeles. This was because travel and lodging were expenses I could ill afford. And for those last two (2006 and 2009), I didn't know if I would be able to pay the registration fee until (literally) two months before the Gathering. For that reason, I consider myself supremely fortunate to have been able to attend this, the last Gathering.

The Gathering was always something I loved to hear about, even when I wasn't there. And it was something I always felt was worth looking forward to. I looked forward to the day when I would be able to afford a trip beyond LA. Heck, let's be honest: I looked forward to a day when, like Karine, I would cross from "fan" to "professional" (actor, in my case) and be given that nifty "Guest" ribbon! Have my very own Mug-a-Guest, panels and everything! Yeah, yeah, I know--my swelled head makes it difficult to walk through doors. ;-)

And, of course, I regret not being able to go to any of the other Gatherings (especially the one in Montreal that the DVD crew filmed). I also kick myself for not being more proactive and helping out the staff for the LA conventions.

But, I am thankful for what I did have.

-The 2001 Gathering has a special place in my heart, simply for being my first Gathering. And the BIGGEST, I've every been to. Seriously, we had SO MANY panels in that first LA convention. And JEFF BENNETT! One of my favorite actors (I wish I could have gone to his Mug-a-Guest: he seemed like such a cool guy). Plus, we had a panel where fans got to try their hand at reading bits of "Gargoyles" episodes (specifically "Vows" and "M.I.A.") outside of the radio play or its auditions. And alongside Morgan Sheppard and Crispin Freeman, to boot. A couple of folks even got to try dubbing anime (I didn't have a chance to do that, but I did get to read for Goliath in the "M.I.A." scene--which was very intimidating, given how light my voice is in comparison to Keith David's--and Brooklyn's audition side). This was also the only convention I brought a costume for: Nought. I didn't enter the Masquerade contest, but I did thoroughly enjoy myself that night, as I did throughout the entire con. I think I got the most autographs from that one. But one of the biggest things was finally meeting everyone I had known online in person. It was great putting faces to names, learning the real names behind the 'net monikers, and just being able to talk with them face to face.
And for the "Hunter's Moon: Part 3" radio play, I was Matt Bluestone. It was so fun--and my first real chance to perform with professional actors from the show.

-2006 I remember mostly because I was at such a tough point in my finances I couldn't afford to drive the 30 miles back and forth to Valencia for each of the 4 days. So I drove up there once, parked in the hotel's free parking, and slept in my truck (it had a camper shell over the bed so I was comfortable) until the Gathering was over. I couldn't go to the Banquet for this one, unfortunately, but I still had a great time. The first issue of the comic had come out, so there was plenty to talk about. And on the first day, Crispin and Thom held a panel where I finally got to try my hand at dubbing a scene from an anime. Other than a particularly egregious P-pop, I feel I did pretty well for my first attempt. Plus, there was that HUGE room of voice-actors from "W.I.T.C.H." (and I still feel a little guilty about asking a question that caused the panel to go over time). This one wasn't as big as the first LA Gathering, but still a very nice size, with plenty of panels to choose from (and torture me with not being able to go to them all). Since this was my second Gathering, I felt a bit more open and comfortable with other people, especially those I remembered from my first time. In a way, that made this my most..."relaxed" Gathering.
And the radio play was "The Mirror." I'm still surprised that my Broadway managed to sound kind of like the real thing.

-And 2009...well, I've just gone into all the details over the past few days. It was not the biggest of the Gathering's I had been to, no...but in some ways the smaller, more intimate nature of it helped to make it all the more memorable. Not to mention all the voices that participated in the radio play (which was the most fun of the three, just for all the in-jokes and references if nothing else).

God...I count myself fortunate for each of the Gathering's I've gone to, and doubly fortunate for making it to the last one. I don't know what's going to happen next year, or the year after that. I still hold on to hope that, like the series it's based on, the Gathering will return in some form or another (or at least another "Gargoyles" convention like it). Until then, though, I have my memories, my radio play scripts, and the friends I've made (as well as the DVDs and comics the Gathering made possible). Not a bad legacy, all things considered.

Greg responds...

Nope. Not bad at all...

Response recorded on January 15, 2010

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Clark Cradic writes...

Have Peter and Aunt May ever seen the Cat Burgler after Uncle Ben's murder? I assume they would have been there for the his conviction.

Greg responds...

I imagine they went to his trial -- or more likely his elocution.

Response recorded on January 15, 2010

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Phoenician writes...

Monday

With the last morning, I once again beat my alarm, this time about fifteen minutes short of the buzzer. No Mug-A-Guests today, so we didn’t feel the same need to rush to get there . . . nevertheless, I wanted to see these last panels . . . especially one of the first ones. The drive wasn’t that bad, considering the fact that it was a new week and we were worried about Traffic. Aside from a little slow up, it turned out to be better than Saturday’s drive (though not as good as Sunday’s) . . . and anything was better than that first Friday morning drive (I was soooo worried I wasn’t going to get there on time, glad that wasn’t the case). Songs played during the ride included ‘Around the Bend’ (a song used by Apple for one of their I-Touch commercials), Ludo’s ‘Love Me Dead,’ REM’s ‘It’s the end of the world,’ and as we finally neared the hotel for the last time, one more sing along of the Spectacular Spider-Man theme. d:

I was torn a bit as to which of the first two panels I wanted to go to â€" a Q&A about the recent Trades or a discussion on the Future of the Fandom. Remembering the massive flame war that occurred months ago when it was announced that this would be the last Gathering . . . in which despite all the messed up things that were said, a few legit concerns did arise . . . I felt that going to listen and maybe contribute an idea or two the least that I owed the fandom that already given so much to us.
Goose opted for the Q&A.

Again, I’ve said it on occasion in the CR . . . I’m a listener more than anything else, that’s why I don’t post often, and its perhaps why I do have a tendency to ACTUALLY read the archives (both the CR’s and Ask Greg). Such was the case at this panel, I just kept my ears and mind open and fans suggested various methods to continue a Gargoyles convention to some degree in the future. While I was there (and I stayed for the bulk of the panel, leaving about a half hour early), I heard everything brought to attention, starting with the basic expenses for a Gathering of ‘this caliber.’ Bluntly, it is a LOT, something to the extent of $20,000 dollars which includes a TON of things . . . from travel expenses for special guests, the booking and down-payment of the hotel, T-shirts, banquets, Con-badges, as well as other things which I have now forgotten and I guess continue to take for granted. Some suggestions I’ve heard before on the CR, from seeking other conventions to join or to host an online convention of some fashion. A seemingly accepted notion was the understanding that a convention didn’t necessarily have to take place every year. Another thing brought into consideration was the roaming nature of the Gathering, and whether or not it was more beneficial than harmful. Positive and negative things could be said about both, from a set city (like Los Angeles) can provide a larger supply of guests at a cheaper cost but it would be a challenge to those on the other side of the country (and vice-versa for the roaming city method). I for one personally enjoyed the ‘World Tour’ aspect of the Gathering, despite the fact that I myself did use the distance of a location to rationalize not going. Before that announcement earlier this year, Jade Griffin told us that she was considering a bid for Reno in 2010, but has since reworked it as a smaller convention, of which I have now forgotten the name. *Sigh* I don’t know. I didn’t have any ideas myself during that panel. I left my contact information with Jade though â€" I’m graduating within the year, and whatever happens in the next few years, I’m not sure â€" but maybe I can be of some help. Reno’s not terribly far away . . . .

I left the panel early because I had caught wind of people talking about this year’s anthology (and forgetting it being mentioned earlier in the weekend) and I wanted to know where I could grab a copy. A quick question asked at the Dealer’s Room reminded me that it would be available online as a PDF (a quick read in the CR tells me it is now available, and I’m curious to read it, feeling it’s going to be one more bit of this Gathering experience to enjoy now that it is over). Question answered, I slowly made my way toward Salon 6, where the Trade Q&A was wrapping up and the Gargoyle Bio & Culture panel would be starting up soon. Before I got there I was once again treated by Chyna with more sweets, this time jelly beans. Yum yum.

I finally caught up with Goose in Salon 6 just minutes before the Bio & Culture panel was to start. Though I’m hardly the bio expert myself, I’ve been fascinated with a question asked on Ask Greg months and months ago, one concerning Gargates and the extent of their origins in Pangaea. Before the panel, I liked the idea that the Gargoyles Beast and Being, as we know and love them today were already evolved in the time of Pangaea simply because it REALLY gave them a chunk of time on this planet that compared to our own time as modern humans, is HUGE. I liked this because it really seems like a fitting description/explanation as to why they are soooo attuned to the Earth’s biorhythms and such. Greg virtually no idea when I brought it up, though Matt had some thoughts to share, even suggesting just what branch of the animal kingdom they could have belonged to, but ultimately concluding that it had to be a more primitive gargate in the time of Pangaea, but the modern Gargoyle Being and Beast weren’t that far away (and I’m saying ‘far away’ in the context of millions and millions of years, which I just realized how relative and mathematical these discussions tend to all become).

Other questions included the basic nature of the species . . . eating, sleeping, defecating, and mating (oh my!). There were a TON of questions regarding the nature and abilities of Stone Sleep, some pretty gnarly as well . . . whether broken, severed, or even dangling limbs had a chance of surviving if given the chance to turn to stone . . . for the most part . . . a ton of this is severe stuff, so it’s just not likely at all. With luck, a broken bone set back into place properly stood a chance, but that’s the extent of it. Stone sleep providing thermal energy was key in this healing, often at the cost of energizing the Gargoyle for the next night (Goliath’s ‘healed but not whole’ line from the Trades was brought up). A few questions regarding the Humility Spell and the panel had hit its time limit . . . it was time for the Closing Ceremonies.

“Like a Virgin”

Appropriate enough, since me and Goose were in fact, ‘Con-Virgins.’ As such, we had no idea what closing ceremonies typically were like . . . but I know we were part of the most emotional and touching moments the fandom ever experienced. It was seriously hard to cope in that room . . . the bulk of the beginning was really tear-jerking, yet by the end we were howling in laughter with of the stories told in that room (FINALLY got the Bishansky-worst chauffeur bit from Spectacular Spidey). Aw man, seeing Greg and Thom as well as the rest of the staff break down . . . it was incredibly hard not to join them. Without a doubt, this is a tight knit group, accused of many things during that God-awful flame war â€" the least of which was ‘clique-ish’ . . . and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Despite these folks being busy beyond the notions of sanity, I did not know one person that was unpleasant this weekend. These guys and gals were the most incredibly helpful staff I could ever hope to meet, even when they were juggling a dozen things at once.

If this last Gathering needed anything left, it came right there at these closing ceremonies, where people from behind the tables and in the audience told their favorite stories from cons past. I know those stories mean much more to those who got to live those moments, but for fans like me where this was my first Gathering . . . I really appreciated the chance to get to know these stories, to be able to really become a part of this Gathering family. Like a nephew listening to their uncle telling him a prank he pulled on the kid’s father when they were little, we learned just a little bit of what it was like to be a Gathering attendee in years past . . . from nearly dying on a highway en route to Taco Bell (I seriously vote that as one of the worst ways to go out) to the marathon to (and from) the Red Lobster. From the pitch-in of fans saving all those comic memorabilia after the roof collapsed, to Thom perpetually losing his pants. The tattoos of the Phoenix Gate and the Opening Ceremonies spiel. Thom stranded on the side of the road. Greg trying to talk to an audience wayyyy more ‘interested’ in each other. Marriages. Kids being born. Air Hockey. Karaoke. Late night chats . . . and that ever-miffing question of what Titania whispered into Fox’s ear. Thanks for sharing all those memories to us first timers, Gathering veterans.

At the end of all the story telling when Greg told us to get out for like the fifth time, I had to thank each of these guys in person . . . they put on the meanest and most awesome convention I had ever been to, and I know that will still be the case whenever I finally do go to my second, or third, or tenth. As Greg said more than once in his rambling final speech . . . thirteen years is quite a run, a run that has been influential the lives of hundreds of people, in more ways than one, and responsible in convincing Disney and SLG to produce the DVDs and comics we did get. And after thirteen years they DID go out with a F*CKING bang. It was my first and only Gathering, and I was giddy from day one, but I was never happier of attending than during those Closing Ceremonies. After we asked Thom for a picture together, me and Goose finally left the room.

The drive back to Goose’s place was funny, as Goose had just realized that totally gushed over when we told Greg thanks . . . he said he had something really thought out but when it came to it he only managed to blurt out, “You’re a really great writer!” I laughed, thinking of what Grey Wolf’s story when she first met Greg. I told him I was surprised I didn’t do the same thing since I’ve been in love with the show sooo much longer than he has (then again, maybe I did, my memory is no doubt biased). We comforted ourselves with the knowledge that Greg is fluent in geekasm (;

After a quick lunch at a Jack in the Box, we got back to his place, and I finished packing all my stuff (meaning, checking to see if I was missing anything). Despite my well-kept camp out, I managed to lose my Hard Rock Café key chain. Grrr . . . hopefully the Goose will find it.

We slowly made our way to LAX, this time listening to Patton Oswalt’s latest album, which no doubt could have inspired a ton of Blue Mug material if it mentioned a gargoyle here or there . . . sadly it didn’t, but it still was worth a listen . . . Lord knows that I did laugh quite a bit while on that long ride to the airport. See ya again when school starts, Goose.

Once I was dropped off, I made my way through security and to my Gate. Waiting, I wanted to keep the Gargoyles high going, so I whipped out my heavily autographed Clan Building (shame David Hedgecock wasn’t there, I did love his work in his later issues) and decided to read the whole TimeDancer/997 arc once more, now armed with information I had learned from the Gathering, specifically the knowledge of Brooklyn’s biological brother and his ‘Bro’ rookery brother . . . the appearance of Hudson’s daughter True, and the appearance of Bronx’s biological parents.

I had only managed to get mid-way to the second part when I boarded my plane (Group A baby!) and I continued to read as I was taking off. Heading back home.
Well, that’s it I guess. There’s really only one thing left to do and that’s Thank Yous . . . and I got plenty of them:

Though I found most of the staff and thanked them, I know I missed one: Patrick â€" so better late than never . . . Patrick, thanks so much for all the work you put in â€" you were the first frequenter of the CR that I met in person, and though I didn’t really got a chance to chat with you, when I thought my name wasn’t there, and while I was quietly panicking that I wasn’t registered, you simply and quietly realized the name snafu on my part and handed me my Gathering packet. If you’re reading this, know that you are awesome.

I know I thanked a bunch in person, but I have to say it just the once more â€" Jennifer, it was such a blast sitting at your table . . . so many hilarious stories that I know is just got to be a small sample of many, many more :) Yeah, Mike was hilarious as well at that table, but everyone, from Ben Diskin to Goose, was in stitches thanks to you as well.

To all the CR folk from over the years that I got the chance to meet: Blaise, Lurker, Justin ‘I’d Rather be Pillaging,’ Gorebash, VickyUK, Greg B, Grey Wolf, Matt, Jade Griffin, Karine, Jennifer, and Patrick. I’m sure there were others in which I didn’t make the connection, and if so, it was still nice getting the chance to see you folks in person (and if we didn’t meet, then I’m bummed I missed that chance). I know there’s a scattershot of places to talk about Gargoyles online, but quite honestly, I’ve only really visited Station 8 and Ask Greg since I first saw the site back in 2003, first commented back in 2006. This is the site that developed my interest in the series well after my initial viewing at six and my first full-series watch on Toon Disney back in 2001. But to meet a chunk of the good folks that always come up with topics to talk, ramble, and wonder each and every week was honestly very fun and exciting, especially with those that I did end up really chatting and hanging out with this weekend.

My sole regret is that if I could, I would have OF COURSE opted to actually stay at the hotel where all the action was. But of course, then the price would have been beyond my own means (it was pretty stretched by the end of it). And that would have been copping out for ANOTHER year, and for the FINAL year . . . and then my liver would be in total and utter pain (*wink wink, nudge nudge*). Besides, Goose’s parents were such gracious hosts, putting up with our consistent early morning breakfast sprees and late-night returns. All things considered, I am grateful to just being able to come. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll be remembering this past weekend for many years to come.

So thanks Greg Weisman . . . and thank you con-staff for putting it ALL together. Thank you to the dozens of professionals I got to meet, chat, and take pics with. And thank you fellow fans that also attended â€" no doubt we all had one last blast together (not forgetting it was my FIRST blast d: )

But it was a blast nevertheless.

Greg responds...

I'd like to thank the amazing constaff as well. It was a terrific send-off!

Response recorded on January 15, 2010

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Phoenician writes...

Sunday

It’s seriously getting harder and harder to start writing about how each day began, because by the time I write these entries (night of) there’s just SOOO much that goes on inbetween. For those that only get the chance to do write after the convention, I seriously pity them for having to remember all this stuff . . . especially keeping in mind that their nights didn’t likely end BEFORE midnight.

Well, wake up for me this morning was before my alarm set at 8:30 AM . . . I do believe I have so far beat my alarm every single day of this Gathering . . . just simple and perpetual anticipation. After a quick bowl of cereal and a near-dragging of Goose to wake up (he DIDN’T beat his alarm), we made our way back to Universal City and the Hilton. I can’t remember what we played in the car, but at one point I told Goose that I actually had the song ‘Rappin Drakken’ from Kim Possible. He chuckled. As he laughed, I told him to say, ‘I don’t believe you.’ The second he said it, I whipped out my cell phone, saying, ‘well, I’ll guess I’ll just have to show you then!” Also along the way we looked at the schedule and we tried to figure out just who our last Mug-A-Guest should be . . . we couldn’t decide between Sean Galloway and Victor Cook . . . and if it wasn’t for the act that we’ve had a healthy exposure (pun intended) time with Thom Adcox, we’d probably be considering his Mugging as well. In the end we kinda chose Victor knowing that we wouldn’t be there at nine and expected Sean’s to fill up really quickly.

As we parked in the hotel parking, we head toward the elevator which was held open by a guy who noticed our Con-Badges. His quick reaction to say ‘Gargoyles, huh?’ made us think was a fellow fan, but he quickly silenced all speculation as he told us he was none other than Frank Paur, which was just crazy-obvious at that point, or anyone remembering his face on the season one DVD . . . his hair’s just longer. As the elevator brought us to the Lobby, he told us he’d see us later after he checked in, much to our excitement.

Anyhoo, we arrive about a half hour after nine (traffic was oddly more-so than Saturday and Goose took FOREVER to eat his breakfast) and were delighted to see that not only Victor Cook’s Mug was still open, but Sean’ as well! Thus, we quickly found ourselves in a dilemma we thought we got through . . . Sean or Victor, Victor or Sean? Oy vey . . . in the end Victor was, well the victor since we both wanted to see the panel with the Gargoyles Production Crew. As we waited for that panel to start, we hanged out in the lobby area, where we were greeted by a few fans . . . finally got the chance to tell Blaise what an awesome Zafiro he was, as well as tell Nikki how great she was at being the Gobby-pumpkin bombs at the Radio Play. I was also treated by Guardian who let me not only see her wicked collection of Gargoyles trading cards, but actually pick a couple of her various extras as well! Again, another small moment in between events, but this is an aspect about Gargoyles I never experienced as a kid . . . I don’t remember once talking to a fellow classmate about Gargoyles . . . recesses were almost always about Power Rangers . . . what was a six year old to do then, guys?

So the Gargoyles Production Panel began, and it was great to hear from such talented artists (of various expertises, some even multiple expertises) talk about the creation of the show that I got hooked to nearly fifteen years ago. Discussions regarding the backgrounds of New York City, and making sure the artists overseas actually got a chance to KNOW what NYC was like was truly insightful . . . that and hearing that the team that did ‘research’ on the Big Apple was just Frank Paur and his camera. I don’t know where I heard it myself, but I DO remember hearing about a New York City team . . . that was a kick to find out d:

Following the panel, I then started my day-long bout of hounding for autographs, trying to rush out in time to get Frank, Michael Reeves, and the other panelist autographs just in time before the special screening of the Spectacular Spider-Man Comic Con footage was to be seen. A quick text from Goose told me that wasn’t going to happen, so I dashed my way back to the room (I think I told Brooklyn X it was starting while in line and he ran with me), finding my seat in the front with Blaise and Greg B sitting in the same row.

The footage was â€" you know its coming â€" spectacular! Best moment that was cut had to have been Hammerhead watching the Enforcers get duped in some pool bet with Hammy’s chauffeur, even with that error of the eight ball as the cue ball (never played pool myself, but maybe she’s just THAT good?). The Enforcer’ reactions were priceless. I also enjoyed seeing the interaction of Ned Lee and Betty Brant, something that â€" with SO MUCH else we get to see on the show â€" has just barely squeezed itself in with Ned asking Betty out in season two. Shocker’s escape in ‘Group Therapy’ was definite miss in the sense of continuity . . . as well as the Chameleon bit â€" looks like Beck has NEVER been to prison, hee hee.

And of course, after Greg W mentioned it, I would have loved to have seen the Emma giving mouth to mouth to Aunt May in the same ep â€" some day, maybe we’ll be lucky to see it.

This is where it gets hard to remember . . . I do know I saw the Spidey-Panel . . . that’s easy to remember because I did notice the difference in guest numbers . . . Spidey-guest doubled Garg-guest there, though a few Garg-guests (Vic, Pamela Long, Greg Gular, and oh yeah, Greg W) were doing double guest duties in these panels. Problem is, I’m not sure when I left the panel, cause I know I managed to get the Garg crew autographs as well as the Spidey crew following the panel . . . I think maybe I left as the panel ended, cause Frank and Greg G were at the Spidey panel as well, now that I think about it, I remember them watching the special screening . . . so I think I just blitzed them all with Garg and Spidey merchandise after the Spidey Crew ended. *shrug*

Funny bit â€" getting Frank’s autograph and telling him a second time (after the elevator this morning), “Nice to meet you!” He responded, “Nice to meet you . . . again!” hah! Good stuff.

Anyways, this version of events so far makes sense to me, as I do remember walking in late for the Composing panel, which I didn’t really get a chance to hear from much anyway (mostly all of their backgrounds and how they got in the business â€" that was the gist of what I got to hear), because Vic’s Mug-A-Guest was starting soon. Me and Goose quietly tucked ourselves outta there as we made our way to the outside hallway of Salon 5, where we ran into Nikki again . . . she would be joining us in our second Mug-A-Guest as well. Maybe it was due to the fact that there were so many Mugs on this day, but I noticed the room was not signed up all the way this time as it was for Josh Keaton or Keith David the day before. The more awesome for us, because we all got a chance to pick Vic’s head on various things . . . one mugger (forget his name) worked as an assistant of some extant in animation before, so he wanted to know just how the various animation sent overseas gets sent back, and specifically in what form (answer: digitally, in a way that they can add stuff like snow in scenes where they might not have intended it for). I ask questions more story-related, from favorite action sequence (had to tell him mine was the Tombstone-opera) which happened to be the various Everyday-Thug-Beatings simply because that’ where Spider-Man can be his most smart-alec self, and just how complex and unique Spidey fights with these non-super-villains . . . a particular favorite . . . using one bad guy as a weapon to attack another. I also asked favorite arc and which villain he’d most like to see next (knowing full well, that it wouldn’t be a guarantee for the oh-so-desired season three) â€" instead of arcs he gave eps, as that was too hard (Lizard, Sinister Six eps, Hammy vs. Silver Sable, among others) and he decided that his favorites were already in the series . . . Green Goblin, Doc Ock . . . maybe a copout, but it didn’t feel that way . . . and it wasn’t like I was looking for spoilers like a kid pits his parents against each other when they want something:

(What villains we going to see next season, Mr. Weisman? . . . Greg W: For the gazillion bazillionth time, NO COMMENT!! And don’t bug Vic as well!!! / What villains we going to see next season, Mr. Cook? . . . Vic: Did you ask Greg if it’s okay? . . . Yes, we did!! . . . Vic: Well, in the first episode of season three we’ll start the scene at Ravencroft . . .)

Yeah, you guys are smarter than that d:

Before the time was over, Vic even got a chance to mug all of us a bit . . . we all mentioned what we were doing, whether we were in school or already trying to find a job out there. Vic also mentioned his involvement with Mecha-Nation, something I do think I’ll check out while Gargoyles comics are on the (hopeful) hiatus.

After a quick picture with Vic (awesome! â€" already said so in person, but if your reading, thanks!!), Goose went to the Writers Panel while I took a little trip to the Con Suite, where I properly met A Fan, saw Vicky UK again, and was treated to some vanilla fudge all the way from Boston from the friendly Chyna. I didn’t have so much of chance to chat with them, as it was I was just really hungry and thirsty. After a quick thanks for the fudge, I found my way to the Writers Panel where I grabbed a seat just in time for Greg to ramble on things he’s written about on Ask Greg . . . the status of the DVDs and the ever-changing hands of execs at Disney. Except it wasn’t just that, it became a full-on rant about ‘UNIMPRESSIVE’ execs, such as the folks that were desperate to knock KP down. This was news to my ears, especially since KP is in fact a show I very much loved and supported. I knew of the fan campaigns to support the show into an additional 22 episodes after the final 65 aired (movie included), but I never, never, NEVER knew it had such a rocky beginning . . . mad props to McCorkle and Schooley for handling that the best they could so they could actually make a great show. As for the brief talk about W.I.T.C.H. â€" the second season I never got a chance to see, though I made an effort to see the first because I heard Greg W was working on the second . . . what I saw I enjoyed, though I wasn’t sold . . . if I had ever got the chance to see the second season (as well as the rest of the first, ABC Kids moved it on me I think), no doubt I would be impressed as well. *Sigh*

Following the Writers Panel, I made another gambit for autographs, with all the writers that appeared in the panel and ending with none other than Greg Weisman himself . . . I have to say, I felt sorry for him as he wrote a different witty thing for each thing I handed him (Gargoyles Season One: “Welcome to the Clan!” / Clan Building I: “We Live Again!” / Clan Building II: “We Own the Knight!” / Bad Guys: “Pheon’ is wanted!” / Spidey Season One: “Keep Swingin’!”) By the time I gave him Bad Guys, he responded, “I’m running out of witty things to write here, man!” My only excuse was that it was my first and last Gathering, which I then thanked for actually signing all those things. You DO rock, Greg! d:

Following the massive Greg signings, I heard from Goose that he wasn’t feeling so hot, and that he wasn’t sure if his headache would be okay by the Masquerade. As my only ride and my friend, I told him to take it easy and that he should check out the Con Suite. He opted to stay at a couch nearby the Registration Table, while I took a peak at the Live Auction (a Brooklyn Applause figure went for 100 bucks I think!) before I realized the Silent Auction was coming to a close.

Now, throughout the entire weekend, I had my eye set on getting a key chain. I collect key chains from any chance I can get . . . from any city I visit, to any major (or minor) moment in my life that I can account for . . .it gets a key chain that I hang on my bedroom roof linked to several rings from oter key chains forming one long, long chain. My two trips to Disneyland (1998 & 2009) both got Chains. My two trips to Washington DC (2005 & 2009) both got chains hanging. My high school graduation even has a little tassle key chain among the rest in line. I even got one last night at the Hard Rock Café in City Walk, as it was the first Hard Rock I actually ate at. So it seemed perfectly awesome to try and bid on a certain Phoenix Gate key chain and have it represent my time at the last Gathering.

Well, there was just one problem â€" as the last hour of the silent bidding for the various art pieces was coming to a close, I found out one of my newly made friends here â€" Abby, or Abigail â€" was also set to win that key chain. So then began the struggle of one convincing the other they wanted the key chain more. The conversation between us was civil in the beginning . . . from chit chat about the series and comics to figuring out ways to make the other understand why they should get the keychain Gate. I went with the fact that I actually TOOK Latin at my high school cause of Gargoyles and actually used the Gate in a little project we had in trying to find Latin in today’s culture (most kids used university mottos, I used the Latin incantations on Gargoyles, including, um, THE PHOENIX GATE). She went with the pity angle, saying how she was leaving Sunday morning and that she also couldn’t attend the banquet, unlike me. I reminded her that I lived in, uh, hellooo PHOENIX (Arizona, folks). About seven minutes left in the silent bidding and she was already stomping my feet (steel toes, baby!) and pushing me away from the bidding sheet, as I prepared to poise my pen to make my final bid. At the rate we were going, this chain wasn’t going to come cheap. At about three minutes left in the count I realized that she wasn’t going to let me have it cheap, even if I tried, and that I’d get a better deal if I aimed for the Phoenix Gate 2-Piece necklace . . . only problem was the bidding sheet showed a bidder with some serious effort to claim the winning bid. So I made my pact with Abby . . . she help me cover the table to win the necklace (should the other serious bidder show up in these last minutes) and I’ll remove my bid on the key chain. In the last seconds everything flowed smoothly, and we were ecstatic as being winners of our respective Gates. (The third Gate went to Justin “I’d Rather be Pillaging” to no real last-minute competition and the three of us took a picture with Aaron ‘Halloweenking,’ the maker of all these gorgeous Gates.)

All in all, this was continuing to be an awesome con experience . . . we were all laughing about the last minute silent auction feuding as we saw Greg W. slowly making his way what I believe was the Banquet. A quick, yet polite request for a picture between conversations, and we also made our way to the Banquet separately, glowing in the excitement that we’ve been experiencing all day. A quick question to Greg B as to where the Banquet was, and we soon found ourselves waiting for the feast to begin. As our badges were checked for ‘banquet’ stickers, we opted to sit next to Ben Diskin (Venom), since neither me nor Goose really got to hear from him outside the Spidey Panel the day before. As our table filled up with Mike and Jennifer ‘Crzy Demona’ Anderson herself (the two names I remembered), we discovered that Ben was a really awesome guy. Getting to know him was as cool and natural as getting to know Josh at his Mug-A-Guest, and this was with the challenge of talking over the dinner babbling.

Ben may proclaim himself as the quiet one, but this guy has a definite sense of humor, laughing at my retelling of what just went down at the silent auction (he just spotted my Gate necklace in my hands, which I had no found a way to carefully put it away, there wasn’t like a box for it and both chains were small for my neck) as well as virtually anything Mike, Goose, or Jennifer had to say. This was a great table to sit at â€" and great view of the stage too, as Greg W. brought up all the guests for a special Q&A.

Aside from asking if Ben did anything as goofy as Crispin being Peter MacNicol’s arms (to which I got a surprised look of ‘I’m the quiet guy!’ and a explanation from Greg of the crazy challenges they put Ben’s voice through), I simply enjoyed hearing the other people’s questions, though I DID enjoy getting interrupted by the sudden late arrival of Thom Adcox, waving a fresh empty plate like hat from the set of Hello Dolly . . . but that’s cause I just saw Wall-E recently on DVD . . .if he wasn’t as short maybe I’d think of a different musical d:

A touching moment during the Q&A was hearing Michael Reeves return the credit back to Greg Weisman. The two have been bouncing the credit back and forth all day during the various panels, but it was especially touching here . . . Michael is truly an example of a brilliantly talented person who’s also such a gentleman. I was so happy to see him at this Gathering.

As the banquet ended we asked and took a picture with Ben and Crispin Freeman . . . both are terribly gifted voice actors and tremendously friendly people . . .along with pretty much the rest of the cast from both shows.

Well, the wait for the Masquerade was on the longer side this time, further accentuated by the fact that despite the awesome time he had at the Banquet, there wasn’t much distracting Goose from his headache now, and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to stay much longer. I basically asked if it was okay if we got a glimpse of the Masquerade, as I never been to one before (my excuse ALL weekend, and a good one at that. If we do get another convention sometime in the future, I’ll definitely have to provide my own transportation, cause the old excuse just won’t work anymore d: ). While we waited I ran into Nikki again and the two of chatted about the recent Trades, mostly Clan Building Volume II. All three of us were costume-less, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the ones other people were wearing and thinking about costumes we each worn in the past, mostly for Harry Potter release parties d:

As the clock was starting to approach 10 PM I was wondering if the masquerade was ever going to start when the doors opened and we flooded in. A quick look at the panel of judges revealed Keith David and Carl Johnson, two people I haven’t yet had a chance to ask for an autograph. But there was no time to ask as the show was already on the road with the Masquerade contest . . . my definite favorite were Justin’s King Arthur, Aaron’s Jackal, and Jade’s baby’s Alex costume . . . that thing was adorable on paper and it became exponentially cuter in real life. I was particularly jealous of the Illuminati pins worn by Shari and Illuminati members d:

While the judging was being finalized, music video came next, and some real good one at that . . . my two favorites after the special tribute to Greg were the Demona vids . . . ‘Between these Hazel Eyes’ and the ‘Poor Unfortunate Demona’ â€" there’s no doubt in my head that while both were awesome, the second enjoyed a better atmosphere following the first. After an emotional Demona video, nothing was more fitting than Demona as the Little Mermaid and Puck as Ursulla. Priceless.

**Takes long breath and cracks fingers**

After the Dance ‘officially’ began, I made my way for the Judge’s panel and asked for Keith and Carl’s autographs . . . seriously, I must come off as annoying at this point, despite my sincerest Please and Thank yous. Again, these pros (voice actor and otherwise) have been awesome the entire weekend, and I so appreciate their patience and understanding through such a busy weekend where they pulled and tugged every which way.

As I put my DVDs away, I found Goose again and we slowly headed back to the parking lot, knowing that I was going to be up all night writing this latest entry. I of course would have liked to have stayed longer to see the dance, but I’m not complaining â€" I got to see the Masquerade, see the music videos, as well as the presentation of the ‘Thom Adcox Memorial’ Award . . . nothing more touching d:
Gotta say it again: Jade’s baby stole the show with her down-right cuteness!!!

Oh yeah, tomorrow’s the LAST day . . . man, this flew by quick!

Greg responds...

The whole thirteen years flew by for me!

Response recorded on January 15, 2010

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Phoenician writes...

Saturday

Well, here’s where the crazy fun begins, no doubt about that. After breakfast with Goose and his family, we hightailed it back to the hotel in hopes of signing up for one of the Mug-A-Guests that morning. (Can’t really remember what was played on the way there, music-wise, so I guess it couldn’t have been too good. I do remember the two of us listening to the Kevin & Bean show, where they talked about OCD . . . odd) We had just barely missed Keith David but we manage to sign up or Josh Keaton with room to spare. While waiting for his arrival, we chatted with some of the fans nearby the Registration and Dealer Room, including, but not limited to Blaise and Abby.

Josh came just as he was supposed to, and after him grabbing some ice water, we headed inside the suite with a group of 9ish, (2 more would come after trying out for the Radio Play, I believe). Everyone sitting at a table, I suddenly understood the difference of intimate setting that I couldn’t imagine the day before (hey, Thom’s just a really personal guy I guess). In short (too late!) Josh talked about how he got into the business, how he got involved with Spectacular Spidey, how he was a dork in high school, and how he knew about Spider-Man all his life. One of the questions I asked regarded who he enjoyed villain-wise, from the point of view as a comic-fan that he is, and from a behind-the-scenes who he liked to work with-point-of-view. I was giddy upon hearing him mention his excitement regarding the show’s Tombstone, who he said, ‘Would kick Kingpin’s a**’ . . . hee hee. He also mentioned having a great time working with John DiMaggio. He went on to say that he would love to see the Spot one day on the show, simply because â€" given the show’s animation â€" it would be awesome. We soon passed the allotted time, which meant we kept on talking till the kicked us out to bring in Keith David and his muggers. d:

After the Mug-A-Guest with Josh, while Goose went to go see Crispin Freeman’s Anime Mythology while I went to go find the audition line for the Radio Play. Having never been to a Gathering, I knew I at least wanted to try out, even though I haven’t been in a production of anything since Goldilocks and the Three Bears in Kindergarten (and I was the ‘Baby Bear’ Bed . . . seriously). As I got in line, I was behind the fellow that would eventually rock as Carnage (I believe he auditioned with a Green Goblin script), while I took a gander at a Harry Osborn bit. Again, no experience of acting AT ALL . . . but it’s my first (and by default, last) Gathering so yippee kai yay, I even attempted a shriek . . . sooo didn’t sound pretty.

As I left the audition, feeling (at the least) great for the fact that I at least gave it a shot, I discovered the line for Marina Sirtis. Upon realizing it was for MARINA SIRTIS, I popped right in line, much to the amusement of those already in line. I was soon joined in the line by none other than Gorebash, who was awesome to meet in person. Marina was an absolutely wonderful, signing by Season II, Volume I DVD of Gargoyles (the Demona side). I would later thoroughly enjoy her participation in the Gargoyles Voice Actors Panel (especially her chucking Jolly Ranchers at both Greg Weisman and Jamie Thompson) d:

After getting Marina’s autograph, I made my way to what was left of Crispin’ presentation . . . and from what I saw, the guy REALLY REALLY knows his stuff. If ever a fan were to think that the pros think we are all dorks . . . it’s almost certain that these pros are dorks, geeks, and gamers as well.

As Crispin ended, I joined the front of the room where the Gargoyles Voice Acting Panel would take place â€" oh what fun indeed. Jamie Thompson, Thom, Keith, Marina, and Greg were all a delight and hilarious to see in person . . . though it was one small sample of the original cast, its clear that these folks had fun working on the set. The same thing was obvious as we then saw the Voice Acting Panel for Spectacular Spider-Man . . . but this time with a fair majority of the main cast. Laughter was in no short supply during these panels, and I was happy to see them. Afters, when we were being kicked out for the Radio Play Rehearsals, I asked Steve Blum to sign the glider of my Green Goblin action figure . . . which I think gave him a smile, seeing a toy version of his character d:

As we waited for the Radio Play to begin an hour and a half later, I thought to go outside for a bit while Goose went to see the special screening o Michael Reeve’s special Star Trek screening. Instead, I found myself discovering the Con Suite in the Boarding Room, whereupon I met two fellow fans also from the Phoenix area (we actually don’t live that far from each other) and VickyUK again. During this time we talked to fellow fan and how he discovered the fandom and how he had never realized its decent size and longevity. I wasn’t a big event, but for me, the chance to actually chat with people who actually KNOW about the show . . . as much as I do . . . this was just so cool.

I soon found my way to the Dealer’s Room, voting on the various pieces . . . and shortly afterward I walked toward to see what was left of the Star Trek screening . I may not have seen one episode of Star Trek, let alone a Trekkie, but there were definitely some fun moments that reminded me of Gargoyles (can’t remember any at the moment, but there was this ‘vibe’ about it, which is a total cop out I guess).
Caught up with Goose and the two of us got in line for the Radio Play, which was just starting to get big . . . we were in a lucky spot . . . we managed to get in the second row :)

The Radio Play was . . . well, as Greg put it . . . a work of three days, which means the man’s a GENIUS. It was awesome to see it pick up right where both series left off, from the last issue of Clan Building for Gargoyles, to the finale of the second season of Spidey. For fans of both shows, this was the Radio Play to see . . . it offered no major conclusion to either series, but it satisified that desperate wish most fans currently have about both . . . which is that they want MORE STORIES. It was absolutely spectacularly epicly awesome . . . what with the various insidejokes, both the on and off screen type, and the huge ensemble from BOTH series really gave any fan something to enjoy, because this monster of a play had something for everyone. Like Goliath/Elisa? Check. Enjoy Demona scheming? Check. Love Spidey/Goblin quips? Check. Enjoy the various incarnations of the Sinister Six? Check. Like the Liz/Pete/MJ/Gwen/Harry hurricane of teen romance? Check. Like the gangster stories . . . be it Big Man/Manfredis or the Brod/Dracons? Check. Love making and hearing grunts, wails, groans, shrieks, and roars? Check. Want to hear iconic lines from either series? Check-a-roo. Enjoy breaking the 4th Wall? Check. Enjoy double entendres AS WELL AS plain-out entendres? A definite Check there, good sirs and ladies. Like hearing characters interact with characters by the SAME voice actor? Check! (Thom’s Lex line of ‘what an annoying voice’ was flat-out hilarious) Want more Hormunculi? Check to the 5th power! You REALLY want Carnage? CHECK! Enjoy magic? Check Check, and a very almost-sacriligious-but-very-awesome CHECK (Seeing Marina/Demona ‘lick’ her own oozing blood . . . man, she may not have done Demona in over a decade, but she’s STILL got it)!!!

And unsurprisingly, that’s just the tip of the iceberg . . . flat out amazing. The entire Gathering players were awesome . . . special nod to Blaise and his Zafiro (seriously, a freakin’ HUGE cast). It was absolutely wonderful to hear the talent of Marina, Darran, Phil LaMar, Steve Blum, Keith David, and other in person. I can’t possibly imagine where I’ll have this opportunity again. So. Definitely. Worth. It.

An inexperienced mind would see a script for this play and think it was a stack of five copies . . . this thing was HUGE, and it went by SO fast. Just. Awesome.
After the Radio Play, I found Josh Keaton and asked him to sign my season one DVD of Spidey. It was soon joined by Crispin’s, Daran Norris’s, Debra Strang’s, James Arnold Taylor’s, Eric Vesbin’s, Thom Adcox’s (who also signed by Clan Building Volume II), Ben Diskin’s, and even Greg B’s . . . oh come on, he was the worst chauffeur! Wendy Pini would sign the first page to Clan Building Volume I, where her introduction rests d:

With the Radio Play over, Goose and I were hungry indeed, so we went out to the City Walk and saw a bit of the sites . . . definitely awesome to do, as I’ve never been near Universal Studios before. We eventually stopped to eat at the Hard Rock Café . . . my first time at a HRC, in fact . . . despite the long wait for TWO people, the food was good enough to say it worthwhile and we then hightailed it back to see if we got back in time for the Blue Mug Session.

Not sure what I can say about it, but it was fun indeed to be there during the time we were there, we just got in right after Thom dropped by with his little pooch, not to mention some snacks in tow . . . I myself gnarked a Ding Dong as I listened to questions regarding to Gargoyles and even some Spidey. Highlight definitely involved . . . well, let’s just say ‘Lexington’ and be done with it. d:

Unfortunately, we had to head back to my pal’s place . . . he doesn’t live really close, and we weren’t sure on the traffic sitch, so we left before anything regarding the ‘Last Tengu’ was brought up. Oh well. It was definitely fun what we saw. I would of course like to have stuck around longer, but hey, I did have to write all this soon after . . . how would it be remembered?? d:

Plus, Sunday looks to be even MORE awesome.

Greg responds...

Not to late to check out Last Tengu...

Response recorded on January 15, 2010

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Phoenician writes...

And here be my 2009 Gathering Con-Journal!! It is the first of its kind that I have ever written, and I’m amazed at just what exactly I remembered! (Though writing entries the night of I do believe makes them easier, I would hope). The one constant in each of these entries (besides the giddyness) is the fact that I DIDN’T stay at the Hilton where all the festivities took place. Despite the obvious awesome reasons why that was preferred choice, if I even tried to consider the cost of the Registration AND the hotel AND the flight . . . then it just wasn’t going to happen (and I DIDN’T want that to happen, not when it’s the last year, and when I‘ve put off going for years now). So my friend, Goose, and his family graciously hosted me while I dragged him to a 4-day geekasm. Needless to say, we both had a blast, as it is described below in enough detail (I don’t describe the color of the chairs used . . . oh all right, RED. Ish).

Thursday

Though we arrived in Sky Harbor International at around 6:20 PM, it was soon revealed to us that our flight at 7:20 PM was delayed till 8:10 PM. *Sigh* whatever, I bought a Coke and we waited at the airport as my roommate, Goose, bought souvenirs for his family back in Los Angeles. When we arrived we were picked up by his family, where we chatted over a real late dinner at Denny’s. By the time we were exhausted to go to bed it was past one in the morning.

Friday

Okay, sooo wake up for me was at about 9ish, where I enjoyed breakfast with Goose at his place. Soon after, we headed toward the hotel and Gathering, where we started with a Gorillaz song but ended up blasting Gargoyles music and singing the theme to Spectacular Spider-Man. Despite the traffic we hit, we got there just as the first events began. A quick little visit to the Registration table (where upon I discovered I did my badge name ‘unright’ . . . it WAS my name, just not my avatar-username as most guests had done . . . oh well, no matter, that would be easily rectifiable) and we headed to one of the first events, the panel on drawing comics by Karine Charlebois. When her panel was over, me and my friend decided to stick around in that room for the next two panels . . . the Banshee’s ‘Machiavelli on Gargoyles’ and the ‘Rookery Brothers’ with Thom Adcox and Bill Faggerbake. Except for the fact that Faggerbake wasn’t around (no idea why, :( ) Thom was an absolute blast to get to know and hear from. From his various stories on and off the set (one about him goofing around with Ed Asner while recording for Gargoyles still gives me laughs) to the questions he answered regarding the characters he played over the years . . . Lexington and Tinkerer of course, but a guy-fairy in the next Tinkerbell film and a turtle in a somewhat recent Taco Bell commercial . . . the entire group was having a good time and certainly in stitches d: You can really tell he enjoys coming to these conventions.

It was the same room for those three events that afternoon, so it was interesting who stuck around for which ones . . . in between the second and third event, my friend and I met â€" Abby was it? â€" where we enjoyed having a not-so-short discussion on the comics and Spectacular Spider-Man (gist: comics were spoiler-free, Spectacular Spidey was not!)

Now, I have never attended a Mug-A-Guest -- and having just arrived when we did, we missed our chance at signing up for Greg or Diskin â€" but despite the larger group, I felt there was some ample time for most everyone that wanted to ask a question or have a comment to be able to do so. I also have to confess that one event finished and I was still too giddy to show patience with Karine . . . I just had to ask for her autograph for my Bad Guys Trade . . . hey, folks, she did a fantastic job! The giddiness would decrease to a more natural level later in the day, and I stopped myself from bugging Thom and Greg Weisman when I met them (don’t take it personally, I have all weekend d: )

By the time we were done hanging out with Thom, it was something of a half-hour before the start of the Opening Ceremonies. So, after a quick look around at the Art Show (crazy good stuff there, by the way), we headed towards the Ballroom, where I noticed a discussion regarding the latest comics nearby . . . a somewhat shy walk towards the group revealed to me to be CR vets Bishansky, Matt, and Blaise, with some others that I wasn’t able to catch their names. I also spotted and met VickyUK and I totally had to tell her that it was just awesome to know that she had flown 10 hours to enjoy this last Gathering.

When it comes down to it, my favorite part of the evening was getting to see this group of dedicated fans in person . . . there is no doubt in my mind that that my enthusiasm for the series has lasted this long due to my (somewhat passive) interaction with these folks online in the CR.

Anyways, after a slight delay, we all entered the Ballroom and took our seats as Opening Ceremonies began. Greg W opened up with the icebreaker of pure demographics . . . who’s new and virgin and who’s old and veterany. After telling all the 1st time newbies to rise (couldn’t really tell from where I was, but it was a lot wasn’t it??) he then dwindled the group one year at a time (there seemed to me to be a big drop after six, but who’s counting ?) until finally all that was left was Patrick, Jennifer, Greg, Karine, and A Fan â€" the kids that decided to stick it out for 13 years. Kudos for all the hard work, guys . . . and to everyone else that’s been vital to the Gathering. Kudos.

So after introductions and general FYI, Greg started his usual spiel . . . which apparently is almost verbatim for over a decade d: Though I’ve never been to one, the story was familiar simply from reading the Ask Greg archives all these years, as well as some of the bonus features on the DVDs. Nevertheless, there was quite a bit of detail that I didn’t know or remember (I don’t believe I ever read about Faggerbake’s ‘It’s better than Barney’ quip after the preview of the show to the press).

Interesting note . . . its probably well known fact, but I do remember watching what was apparently cropped from the footage shown at the SciFi footage â€" the mostly Johnathan Frakes vid â€" on a VHS of A Goof Movie (I think that’s the one) . . . I haven’t seen it in over a decade, but the music and animation clips-cutted look familiar to me, as well as the brief interviews from Frakes, Marina Sirits, and Keith David (though I distinctly remember seeing Salli Ricardson as well in that VHS preview). Certaintly reminded me just how much time has passed since I first saw this show when I was WAAAYY little.

So after seeing the original show pitches and the spinoff pitches (including the Bad Guys leica reel . . . I guess I’m in a special class of fan that got to see the reel AFTER the reading the Trade Paperback) I finally got to see the latest work on ‘The Last’ . . . still incomplete, but there was a ton done in those twenty-odd minutes and while ‘unofficial’ â€" it’s really awesome to see the conglomeration of the professional Voice Acting with all the art that fans have come to put together. Having never seen it before, I really wonder which scenes were completed first and which ones were new additions. All in all, an entertaining episode that made me further appreciate my copy of ‘Bad Guys.’ d:

Total random moment when a cell phone sounding just like Kim Possible’s Kimmunicator started beeping . . . Greg even recognized it, stopping mid-sentence to blurt out while looking at the crowd: ‘Kim? Kim?’ Too funny.

With the conclusion of the Opening Ceremonies, I imagine most guests and fans and staff grabbed something to eat somewhere . . . me and my friend made our way back across the city back to his place, where we enjoyed dinner there.

Hey, it’s day one . . . the fun’s just getting started.

Greg responds...

Glad you could make it.

Response recorded on January 14, 2010


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