During a recent chat with masters of the modern action cartoon Man of Action, our wide-ranging conversation covered everything from their favorite toons from childhood, to the wild and continuing success of Ben 10, to current and upcoming projects in their pipeline. We brought you the focus on the new Ben 10 reboot yesterday, which teases the story to come for Ben Tennyson and some surprising twists that are in store for new and old fans alike. Today, we’ll take a look at everything else Man of Action has in the works.
Man of Action, comprised of Duncan Rouleau, Joe Kelly and Steven T. Seagle (along with Joe Casey who unfortunately wasn’t available for this interview) are currently focused on the run of Ben 10, but they have a lot of other irons in the fire. Some of those projects are in the familiar field of animated action series, like the upcoming Mega Man show and the debut of Zak Storm. They also supplied us with updates on their feature-length projects, I Kill Giants and Melody. We’ll get to all of that below, but first, let’s get to know the men behind Man of Action a little bit.
Whenever I get a chance to talk to the creative talent involved in animation, I always like to start out with a question about their favorite childhood cartoons. It should come as no surprise that Man of Action’s favorites were, of course, action-focused series:
Steven T. Seagle: I’ll always pick Johnny Quest. The original.
Duncan Rouleau: Speed Racer.
Joe Kelly: The Herculoids. I love me some Herculoids. When we work, we’re always trying to grab that spirit of the things that we remember fondly but obviously put our modern take on it. What’s happening for us now, what do we think that a current audience wants? But our head is always back in that, what was I like when I was eight? What did I like, what did I want to see? How do I do that in a modern context? So, it’s easy to get back to those shows once you put it in a kid context.
Duncan Rouleau: I would also say it’s not that I ever want to stop seeing stuff like that, it’s just as you get older you add more things to the things that you like, that’s all. If I could watch a great version of something like Speed Racer right now, I’d be watching it. Just as well as I’d be watching, you know, Dog Day Afternoon, or, you know, whatever’s the latest, greatest movie out that isn’t necessarily have to be action-based but could be character-based.
The conversation inevitably turned to which cartoons or comics Man of Action would love to see adapted, or even adapt themselves:
Joe Kelly: For all this stuff that we do that’s, like, super kid-friendly and family friendly, I do tend to like darker materials. The Spectre is a property that I happen to love. And would want to see that done right as a TV show that would actually be really cool as a TV show. I think the world is ready for The Spectre.
Duncan Rouleau: After seeing Legion, I want so badly to do a long form story along those lines. Something that has a very psychedelic in its structure, as well. So the next thing that I would love to do is an adaption of The Prisoner, the 1960s version.