In the decade plus a few years since Gargoyles first aired it appears that there has been a massive decline of activity. Where once websites were popping up daily, now they are withering away; their webmasters have abandoned their posts, and their visitors are dwindling. Where once fan fiction was submitted daily to the archives, now they are few and far between, as writers (and others) fade from the fandom for a myriad of reasons ranging from real life priorities to the slow but steady decline of interest in the fandom.
People grow up, and they move on; it has been a long time since that first flush of awe and love for the show that sent so many people running out to create character shrines and otherwise show their love for the show. It’s reasonable that interest would drop off, as Gargoyles changed from a new dress that we thrilled at wearing to just another garment hanging with the rest of our daily wardrobe.
And yet there are those who remain, people who remember the days when activity was high, when discussions ran rampant, when new fiction and art were cropping up daily. We remember the people who helped shape the fandom in its genesis, we remember the blooming of the community, and we remember the good times that were had. We remember, and there are those of us who would like to see a return to the energy of those days.
Gargoyles was a program that touched us all in certain ways. Whether through friends made, or inspiring – and helping – us to capture a dream, or simply giving us characters we could relate to. And now after a decade we finally have what we had hoped for; the story continued in a comic book written by series creator Greg Weisman. We have season one and half of season two available on DVD and all we need to do is tip the sales enough to bring us the second half. The Gathering of the Gargoyles is still running, and Greg Weisman continues to astound us with his generosity, personal time and effort at Station8.
So why is it, we wonder, that in a time like this the fandom still is tumbling down a ravine into the past, to be forgotten? Why is it slipping into hibernation when it should be blossoming with new life?
We’ve witnessed more and more people drifting away over the last few years, heard them talk about how the fandom was dying right when things were starting to get interesting. This fandom is not a large one when it is compared to certain others like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or even Star Trek, but that does not make it any less worthy than the aforementioned. There are older fandoms than ours that are still thriving, so why are we dwindling now?...................................................................................................next -->
It is time for a fandom wake-up call.
We as a fandom have grown complacent with what we have, and not as ready to work for what we don’t. The third DVD is not owed to us by any means; if we want it, we have to take matters in our own hands like we did for the first season. Years of letter writing and petitions and people not throwing up their hands let Disney know there were people who still wanted the show. It wasn’t a coincidence that it was the first Disney animated television show to come to DVD when it is far from the most popular of their creations.
Gargoyles touched us; should we not in turn reach out to Gargoyles? Or should we forget the friends we made, and let it crumble to dust? Now, when the story finally continues? Now, when most of the series is available on DVD and only a little more pushing could bring us the rest? Should we forget the essence of Gargoyles, and forget how it affected us?
We - The Sadistic Cow and Lynati- do not think so. That is why we are here at Avalon Mists, working to bring back this old cornerstone of fandom activity. That is why we are writing this essay- not in an attempt to scold anyone for not doing enough or for growing away from the show and fandom, but as an entreaty to everyone who was afraid to speak out or stand up or get involved to do so now. What have you got to lose?
What more do you want to lose?
Some would ask, ‘What can we do?’ And we reply, ‘Anything!’ If you have a website, create a page of remembrance for the show; talk about why you liked it, what you remember, your favorite character. Link to the Gargoyles sites that are still active, such as the Gargoyles Fans Website, or Station8; discuss it in forums and bring back fond memories; write fan fiction or poetry; draw fan art; visit the chat rooms; talk to your friends about it; if there is an old site or project or activity that you wish was still around, look into taking it on yourself. If it was done before, clearly it can be done again. If it wasn’t done before, don’t let that stop you. Now is the time to show your fellow fans what you’ve got.
Avalon Mists had gone to dust, and we have brought it back.
What else do you want to see in the fandom? The Avalon Archives updated? A new fan directory? The websites dedicated to archiving information about the Gatherings filled up and fleshed out? You have to let the people in charge know you still care, that there are still people waiting for these changes, and if the previous maintainers no longer have the time to dedicate, that YOU are willing to lend a hand.
We are at a turning point in the fate of the fandom; what we do now will dictate its future. To do nothing will surely leave it frozen in stone, to crack and break apart and ultimately crumble into dust. If you want it to thrive, you have to stand up and fight for it. You must act, to give it the strength to continue......next -->
A mountain is made of many stones. Every single stone makes the mountain rise higher, each stone beneath its crest holds it up and steadies it – makes it mighty. It was through the efforts of one average fan that the comic was helped into existence. It has been through the hard work of people not much different than you that the Gatherings continue, changing hands each year and sharing around the duty of hosting our fandom’s convention. Not Disney, not pros; just us, the fans.
If each of us were to contribute something, no matter how big or how small, we could again make this fandom a mighty mountain. Something that would remain, as mountains do, despite harsh winds that wear at it.
If you care about it, isn't it worth fighting for? You can make a difference; if you wrote a review for the first DVD at amazon, chances are you are part of the reason Disney put the second Gargoyles DVD collection out, and it was hardly the first time the voice of a show's fans succeeded in reaching the ears of its owners. When Family Guy was cancelled, the show's fanbase encouraged even casual viewers to buy the DVD. Sales became so high that it convinced FOX to bring the show back. When we lost Firefly, the outpouring and support for a show that lasted only 13 episodes was so great that it convinced Joss Whedon to keep fighting for its behalf. As a result, a movie was greenlit and a national audience got to enjoy Serenity. Whedon directly credits the fans in the DVD release of the movie, saying that it was "their movie" and that he never would have battled had no one stepped up and shown their support.
If you are here reading this now, chances are Gargoyles touched you in some way; so we would ask you, now, out of our own love for this fandom and this show, to come together and fight for the fandom, instead of fighting amongst each other. If you share our love for Gargoyles, if you are willing, and if you would not see it go quietly into the night – stand up, remember, create and discuss.
We do not- should not- have to stand idly by and shake our heads at how far we’ve slipped from our heyday. We can bring life back to the fandom. Not for the sake of pushing sales on the comics, or the DVDs, but simply to keep what community there is left alive, and perhaps to flourish as it once did – in every way.
We’re not asking you to go tell a hundred people about the DVD, or to buy twenty issues of the comic. We’re asking you to remember why you came here in the first place, and help make this into a place you’d like to stay.
But for those of you who feel inspired enough to want to share the show, who want to let others know that there are still fans who care, and to show that *we* still do, Avalon Mists has created a center point for you to direct people.
The site includes some promotional banners. We are hoping for people to use them wherever they wish, and that fans will make more and submit them to us to put up so that others can make use of them, to continue the circle of involvement.
It includes links to as many active fan sites, both Gargoyles-related and sites simply owned by Gargoyles fans, as we could find. We are asking for people to submit links to any sites not on our active list, and to look at our list of sites gone but not forgotten and let us know if any of those are alive in a new location.
Reawakening Gargoyles, both the site and essay, are a couple fans standing up to say they won’t easily let go of this show or this fandom they have come to love; people willing to make an effort, in the hopes that it will inspire others to do the same.
Now it is your turn.