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Greg Weisman talks ‘Gargoyles’ and ‘Rain of the Ghosts’ at Denver Comic Con

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The genius behind the hit series ‘Gargoyles’ was at Denver Comic Con this year. Greg Weisman has been involved with the animated series ‘Young Justice,’ ‘The Spectacular Spider-Man,’ and most recently his book series ‘Rain of the Ghosts.’ His latest book, ‘Spirits of Ash and Foam,’ is due out July 8. ‘Doctor Who’ fans will love that during the interview he received a text from his wife joking that maybe he just might be a time lord. Apparently his watch had stopped for no apparent reason. Weisman was one of many spectacular celebs who came together for the third annual Denver Comic Con last weekend, June 13-15, 2014. The event raised funds for the non-profit organization Comic Book Classroom.

Q. Is this going to be a trilogy?

A. It's a nine book series. In fact, the more I work on it the more I think it might be an 18 book series. I just keep getting more ideas for it. The first book is called ‘Rain of the Ghosts,’ and the second book is called ‘Spirits of Ash and Foam’ which is due out July 8th. The third book is called ‘Masque of Bones,’ and I'm working on it. It's not even close to be being done. Both books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or any bookstore and ask them to order it. The third book you can't pre-order because I kind of have to write it first.

Q. What was the inspiration for these books?

A. Try 1998. I created Rain and developed the series as an animated series for Dreamworks. We actually sold it to Nickelodeon, and Nick ended up not making it. So I went to Dreamworks and got the rights back, because the characters, story, and setting really interested me. Rain is about a 13 year old girl named Rain who lives on a chain of Caribbean Islands called The Ghost Keys. Her mom runs a bread and breakfast and both mother and father work for tourists and she feels like that will be her entire life. But her grandfather gives her a golden armband with two snakes intertwining. When she puts it on, she realizes that with it, she's able to see and communicate with ghosts. She realizes she has a destiny and her world goes from being very small to being very, very large. When it comes to mythology, Shakespeare wrote a play set in the Caribbean called 'The Tempest' and this is weaved in and out of this book series. Rain is living in a home that's her home, but at the same time, her entire life, strangers have come in and out of her life and living there. There are even vampires and mermaids from a titan mythology. Nothing like you've seen in pop culture. It's really fresh to the reader.

Q. Talk about the influence Shakespeare has in ‘Gargoyles.’

A. I have a lot of people come up to me and say that ‘Macbeth’ and ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’ was their first exposure to it through ‘Gargoyles’. It's annacdotodole, but I've been told by so many fans that it got them interested in Shakespeare. These are great stories. The older I get the more sympathy I get for Romeo. When were young we thought these characters were so dumb. Yet the older we get, we begin to feel how trapped they feel. I used to drive all over to experience Shakespeare--to festivals, and now I bring my kids to Shakespeare plays. I was looking for a new villain to enter the show. We wanted a villain who was like a gargoyle hunter. I wanted to relate it to the show. What if it was this immortal from Scotland--medieval Scottish warrior, like Macbeth? Let's do Macbeth. It's our version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The Scottish history was so interesting and so unfamiliar to us. At some point, my writers began to realize that they could pander to me. They realized that if they put Shakespeare in it, I would be all happy. I seriously think that began to happen.

Q. Why did you use so many ‘Star Trek: Next Gen’ actors?

A. It was evolution. We had ten leads that we held auditions for, and literally one of the first people in the door to audition was Mirina Sirtis. She was fantastic and she was the one. A little bit later, Jonathan Frakes read and he was great. We hired both of them. When you're casting guest roles, you don't have time to audition to cast for everyone. We talk about this literally while the actors are in the booth. We're like well, what about Michael Dorn? What about Brent Spiner? It was just a reminder that ‘Next Gen’ had this great amazing talented cast of actors, that it was a resource for us. Jonathan and Marini could say to their buddies, you'll love it. They were all so close to each other. We pretty much got someone from every Star Trek Show. One of the things that interested them initially was that there were a lot of Star Trek actors were in it. What you hope is I don't care what brings you to the set initially; you hope that once you start watching it, you fall in love with the show. We were blessed with a great cast of characters, and that gave us a great cast of actors.

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