CCI Xtra: Spotlight on "Gargoyles" Creator Greg Weisman

Thursday at Comic-Con International in San Diego, "Gargoyles" creator Greg Weisman and Slave Labor Graphics publisher Dan Vado sat down for a chat about the past and future of the Gargoyles characters, who are currently appearing in a new comic series.

Weisman began by discussing his pre-Gargoyles career, writing "Captain Atom" for DC in the 1980s and developing animated shows for Disney, including "Darkwing Duck," "Goof Troop," "Tail Spin," and others. With "Gargoyles," though, instead of moving on to another show after creating and developing it, he "so fell in love with the show" that he continued to produce it for two seasons.

"Then I left Disney," Wesiman said, "or was pushed out, depending on your point of view."

The enthusiastic audience seemed to enjoy Weisman's stories. He received some big laughs when he revealed the original idea for "Gargoyles."

"Initially, we tried to sell it as a comedy, with little gargoyles, about Gummy Bear size. For some reason that didn't sell."

Vado noted that the passionate fan base mostly developed after the show had been cancelled in 1996. Weisman acknowledged this and said it was the fans' excitement that kept him interested. He described the loyalty of the fans, who gather in a different city every year to celebrate "Gargoyles," as "both surprising and intense ... I'm treated like, if not God, then Gene Roddenberry."

"I think that's the same, actually," Vado said.

It's clear Weisman loves "Gargoyles" and continues to be fascinated by the idea of stone gargoyles on buildings, placed there to ward off evil spirits.

"The notion seemed so paradoxical," Weisman said. So, he created a back story, rich in history and mythology, and developed characters with depth to tell it, heroic gargoyles who come to life at night and defend New York and villainous, well, villains.

In addition to the new "Gargoyles" comic, Weisman also urged fans to purchase the DVDs of the television show. The first season and half of the second season were released but due to poor sales, Disney has "no plans to release volume 2" of the second season.

Weisman is also currently working on "W.I.T.C.H.," a show that airs on Toon Disney and ABC Family.

"It think it's the best thing I've done since 'Gargoyles.' If you like Gargoyles, check out 'W.I.T.C.H,'" Weisman said.

With the new "Gargoyles" comic book published by SLG, Weisman says he is picking up where the second season of the television show left off. The first issue, released last month, and the second, due next month, are intended to introduce new readers to the characters and story and to refresh long-time fans' memories.

Weisman assured the audience he's "got some surprises in store," and revealed he has stacks of notebooks full of story ideas, notes, timelines, and plans.

"I'm never going to run out of story material," he said. "I'm thrilled to finally be able to tell these stories."

Weisman said the new book would "push the envelope, both with art and stories," in the same vein as the show, but continued, saying "I'm not interested in darkness for the sake of darkness. It's about storytelling for me."

For more with Weisman, check out our in-depth interview from March.

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