SDCC '13: YOUNG JUSTICE Co-Runners, Cast Organize Impromptu Fan Gathering
While Young Justice may be gone, it is definitely not forgotten. From tweets to petitions, fansites, fanfics, art, cosplay - the fandom is just as strong post-cancellation as it was while the show was running.
Luckily, the fans aren't the only ones who miss it. Showrunners Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti may have moved on to other projects (they do have to eat after all), but they still love Young Justice and even moreso, the passionate fanbase. While Warner Bros Animation may not be able to promote a show that's no longer running, Weisman and Vietti have gathered cast and crew together for an impromptu fan gathering at the biggest convention of them all, this weekend's Comic-Con International: San Diego. Occuring Saturday morning at 11am (see the map below for exactly where, San Diego goers), the gathering will be a panel, fan Q&A, and meet-up all in one.
Newsarama spoke with Weisman and Vietti about the gathering, the fans, and why Young Justice will continue to endure beyond its original run.
Newsarama: Well Greg, Brandon, when my fiancée and I sat down to watch Beware the Batman and Teen Titans Go this past Saturday morning, we couldn't help but feel weird that Young Justice wasn't on! Did you get any messages to that degree once DC Nation kicked in its new season on Saturday?
Greg Weisman: Not particularly. We miss the show too. A lot! But I know Beware the Batman is a very cool show. (I wrote one of them.) And TTG is a lot of fun too.
Brandon Vietti: I've gotten a few bitter/sweet messages on Twitter about missing YJ. Just as much as our fans miss the show, we all miss making it. But if we have to pass the torch along to another show then I couldn't be more pleased that BTB and TTG are the shows that are carrying on after us. DC Nation is in good hands.
Nrama: The show has been off the air for a few months now, and I still see new (and old) petitions, people rallying support for the show, every week. What's it like knowing you created something with that vocal and passionate of a fan base?
Weisman: It's always great to have a passionate fan base behind the series. Very gratifying.
Vietti: You know, we go to work together in a little building, we make cartoons and we do the best we can at it. Even though we know what we make will eventually be on TV we never really know if audiences will approve of all that hard work we put into it. In the case of YJ, the fan response was nothing short of overwhelming. I was amazed and inspired by the intense show of support for the series and I'm incredibly grateful for it!
Nrama: What do you think the core value(s) of Young Justice are that made it have such a lasting impression on fans?
Weisman: We just tried to be honest about the characters and their emotions. And tell great stories. Phil Bourassa's designs didn't hurt either. ;)
Vietti: We strived to tell realistic stories about teenage life and superheroes with a spy/thriller twist and a realistic art style. I guess we found the right combination of those elements and struck all the right chords with our audience.
Nrama: Likewise, why is it special to the two of you? You're both well into other projects, but still talking about Young Justice on a regular basis…
Weisman: We're both big geeks, so getting a chance to work with these characters and build a unique universe (Earth-16) out of the canon was a thrill. Add in the tremendous cast and crew we had to work with and the love of our great fans, and it's easy to see why we're still hung up on the series.
Vietti: Greg summed it up well. I've been working in animation since '97 and I've always wanted to make a show like Young Justice. Thanks to Warner Brothers and Cartoon Network, Greg and I got the chance to finally make that show. It was a dream-come-true job. It's hard to just walk away from something like that. Especially when our audience seemed to love it as much as we loved making it.
Nrama: How did this get-together for SDCC come about? Who organized it, and why is it so important to you to give fans this kind of opportunity?
Weisman: YJ comic book artist Christopher Jones and I have (both separately and together) done something similar at WonderCon, Denver ComicCon, the Doctor Who convention (how odd is that?) and CONVergence. We had fun, so Brandon and I decided to do something similar at the biggest con of them all. So we're meeting on Saturday, July 20th at 11am behind the convention center. (Map above) At least a couple of our lead actors are planning to attend, and I imagine we'll also pull in quite a few members of the crew. Plus, we're hoping for a lot of fans and - especially - YJ cos-players!
Nrama: What can fans bring to you at the gathering? What are you encouraging for people to make the most of this event?
Weisman: Bring non-spoiler questions. Questions about process are always great. Questions about episodes that already aired or issues of the comic book are great too. Questions about future plans won't get much in the way of answers. Otherwise, just bring your enthusiasm for the series!
Vietti: I love seeing fan art! We've seen some fantastic artwork online. I've seen amazing photoshop art, custom action figures, homemade costumes and even props (like the Reach Soda cans that were prominent in Season 2). If our fans made something to express their love for the show then I want to see it!
Nrama: Okay, can't talk to you guys and not give you an opportunity to plug other projects! Brandon, is there something you're working on at WB you can/want to talk about? And likewise, Greg, any little Star Wars Rebels tidbits you want to throw out to the fans (worth a shot!)?
Vietti: I'd like to plug the upcoming Young Justice: Legacy video game. Greg and I both worked on the story for the game which falls into our overall YJ series timeline between the 2 seasons of the show and answers some important questions about what happened to our characters during that time. The game is set to be released on September 10, 2013 for all the major consoles and can be preordered now on Amazon. I'm currently finishing up directing/producing a Scooby Doo movie featuring WWE Superstars! I'm a fan of WWE myself so it was a blast to make this movie. It should be out on DVD in early 2014. I have something else cooking at Warner Brothers that's going to make some people very happy but I can't discuss that one yet. Stay tuned to my Twitter feed. @BrandonVietti
Weisman: No Rebels tidbits. It's way too soon, plus my fellow producer Dave Filoni is heading to Germany in a couple weeks to make a Rebels presentation at Star Wars Celebration, and I wouldn't want to scoop that. But I will say that Dave and Simon Kinberg and I are having a blast working on the series. Beyond that, I'm working on my second novel. The first, RAIN OF THE GHOSTS, comes out in December, but is already available for pre-order now. Also, Volume Two of Season Two of Gargoyles is available on DVD finally. And the YJ soundtrack hits on July 16th!