You may know Ian Jones-Quartey‘s name best from his work on series like Adventure Time, Steven Universe, and Bravest Warriors, but the talented animator and storyteller is about to introduce a brand-new addition to the cartoon canon in OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes. Jones-Quartey’s creation centers on K.O., an unfailingly optimistic kid who wants to be the greatest hero the world’s ever seen. Cartoon Network has offered some early sneak peeks at the new series, but it arrives in earnest tonight at 6:30pm ET in a one-hour special premiere!
I had a chance to chat with Jones-Quartey ahead of the premiere in order to talk about the show’s inspiration, its evolving animation style over the years, the disco-inspired theme song, and just where OK K.O.! could be going in the near future. We also talked about the series’ tie-in video game OK K.O.! Let’s Play Heroes which was developed in an untraditional manner. It’s easy to see why Jones-Quartey is excited to share his creation with fans, but it was also quite enlightening to see how it all came about.
First of all, for newcomers to the series who have never heard of it before, Jones-Quartey puts it in his own words:
I would describe it as, it’s about three best friends who work together, and they’re superheroes, and everybody on Earth is a superhero, and they fight robots, and they punch robots, and the robots explode. If any of that sounds good to you, then I think you’ll be down for the show.
I’m sold. So were the gathered fans in attendance at the recent San Diego Comic-Con event who got to meet K.O. for the first time:
We showed an episode that’s going to air in the first week called “Do You Have Anymore in the Back?” We showed that to the entire Indigo Ballroom. We also showed them a montage of OK K.O.! from conception to now. I’m pretty sure it will [make its way online] eventually. It was great. It was a really, really fun experience. I could tell that, for a lot of the audience, this was their first time even seeing anything from the show. Playing the episode was nerve-wracking, but as it was playing, I could hear people start to get engaged and really pay attention to what was going on on-screen. Toward the end, they were laughing along and they really got into it.