SDCC 2014: Man of Action Entertainment

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Duncan Rouleau, Joe Kelly, Steven T. Seagle, and Joe Casey

When you have four great minds who have spent years working on comic book series for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse Comics, and Image Comics, it only makes sense that Duncan Rouleau, Joe Kelly, Steven T. Seagle, and Joe Casey found Man of Action Entertainment and have gone on to create series such as Ben 10, Generator Rex and the team and characters that serve as the basis for Marvel/Disney’s upcoming animated feature filmBig Hero 6. I could write pages on what these four men have done including their work on Marvel’s animated series like Ultimate Spider-Man and Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, but you can go ahead and learn more on their Wikipedia page.

At San Diego Comic-Con I had a chance to chat with all four of them.

Nerd Reactor: What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on or are working on?

Duncan Rouleau: We of course love Ben 10, we’ve all been writing and creating comic books for a long time  but our work in television has brought a whole new world of fans for us, specifically kids, and kids have such a great energy. I love my comic book peeps, but they are all 20-40 years old, so suddenly talking to 6-10 year olds saying, “I like Four Arms,” is great.  We also have teenagers and the 20-40 year olds who like Ben 10. And they also say “I like Four Arms!” *laughs*

Joe Kelly: We’ve been really lucky to have diverse projects to be working on, so it’s always hard to pick a favorite. Our current projects include a new live action, top secret show that is super exciting, we are having a great time doing that. Spider-Man was one my favorites growing up in both comics and cartoons so to be able to write Spidey is very special to me personally.

Are you sad about the movies then?

Joe Kelly: Awww….*laughs from everyone* I refrain on commenting on that.

Duncan Rouleau: This is always a difficult question to answer because the truth of it is  my favorite thing, is whatever I am working on right now. It is. The different projects you got have different levels of success, whether or not you completed it, whether you got your message across or not, it’s really about the people that you met and the experience you had while working on it. What your passion is becomes what you are working on right now, and I would be terrified if I was working on something that I had no passion about or couldn’t find passion for.

Steven T. Seagle: I’ll tell you this, in comics especially, I try to do books that are completely unlike whatever I just did. So when I look back, I like all my books because they are me in different creative places, and they are different genres, about different types of characters. I’ll do a horror book, then a kid’s book, then a superhero book, then an autobiography. So for me, it’s what Duncan said. The next one is going to be interesting because I know I don’t want to do the same thing twice.

Joe Casey: I love Sex. *everyone laughs*

Steven T. Seagle: The book or the comic, or  the real thing?

I think he means all of the above.

Duncan Rouleau: Is there a difference?

Joe Casey: It’s all the same to me.

So what were your inspirations that led you to where you are now?

Joe Kelly: Chuck Jones, so all Bugs Bunny. All that Spider-Man stuff, so Stan Lee and Steve Ditko too. and Then, at the age where I really started paying attention to comics, it was New Mutants, and then Frank Miller, so all the great 80′s stuff.

Duncan Rouleau: Speed Racer, Studs Terkel, John Byrne and Jack Kirby.

Steven T. Seagle: I always say I don’t really have influences from comics, but now that I think about what I said earlier, about always doing different stuff, I remember that the first comic series I ever bought regularly, walking down to the grocery store, was Marvel Premiere. Every issue featured a different character and a different creative team, along with a different genre, and I think that was my actual comic inspiration because it was completely different each issue. Cartoon-wise, for me it was Johnny Quest.

Joe Casey: I loved comics as a kid. The Avengers was my favorite book as a kid, it was written in that perfect John Byrne-George Perez era.

So a big project coming out you are working on is Dinsey’s Big Hero 6 movie.

Steven T. Seagle: We created Big Hero 6, but we aren’t working on the movie.

Duncan Rouleau: We are too busy to be working on the movie.

Steven T. Seagle: We created it  but aren’t working on it  so there is a huge distinction. There are 300-400 people working day in, day out for years putting all their time into it. So we want the world to know we made up the characters in Big Hero 6. We made up the name, the theme, all that stuff. A lot of the DNA that is in the movie is what we engineered in the original BH6 story, but redone by people doing the hard work of making a film.

So how does it feel, that a series you created is becoming a Disney Movie?

Steven T. Seagle: It’s AMAZING! For one of those movies to be a Man of Action original idea is incredible.

What advice can you give to anyone who wants to get into comic book writing, comic book art?

Joe Kelly: Just do it, the advice is that simple. What we do is a marathon and not a sprint. So you have to commit to working every day at your craft and believe in yourself. They say you have to draw or write 100 bad pages before you get one good one. So get them out of the way! Then the hard part – show your work. People who get to where we are made stuff, finished stuff and had the guts to show it to the world. Not everything is a guaranteed success but I can guarantee you if the work never leaves your basement or drawer and no one ever sees it, nothing will happen. So just finish it and get it out there.

Steven T. Seagle: I like to tell people to work every day, even if you only have 15 minutes. If you can’t commit 15 minutes a day to this craft you plan to pursue, you probably shouldn’t be in this craft since really you need to spend 7 or 8 hours a day on it. So start with a really short amount of time that you can commit to doing every day.

Joe Casey: Do it because you really love doing it. Do it because it’s the process that gets you there, don’t think about end results, don’t think about success or failure. If you like doing it, it’s going to be great and the outcome doesn’t really matter.

Duncan Rouleau: Nobody should care more about expressing your thoughts than you. You should never think that anyone else will fulfill that for you, you have to be your #1 cheerleader and be the #1 believer in yourself.

 

For more information on Man of Action Entertainment you can head over to their website, http://www.manofaction.tv/.

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Chris Del Castillo
Chris Del Castillo 2588 posts

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.