Da na nanan! Da nana nanna!
You know the the tune, it’s the X-Men Animated show and we got to talk with Eric and Julia Lewald how had a BIG hand in that show! We talked with Larry Houston in the past who directed a bunch of the episodes, now we talk to the developers of the show!
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Eric and Julia Lambert
[00:00:00] Casey: all right, everybody. Welcome again to another episode of spoiler country today on the show.
Well, Let me start this by, 10, a little bit of a backstory. When I was a little kid, we didn’t have a ton of money. my comics consumption was few and far between I’d read them on the spinner rack and, and then I’d feel guilty and, you know, put them back. before we left, we did have a VCR. It was a gift from an uncle.
And when X-Men the animated series debuted, I was grounded for recording over my sister’s gymnastics video with the first episode of the show. And I ended up recording the entire season and that video got played so many times that it got worn down. And, just because I would pass it around with my friends.
Eric Lewald: I’m
Casey: talking tonight too. Two people that not only introduced. A ton of people to the X-Men. but two people, [00:01:00] the introduce people to comics as a whole, I’m talking of course, to Julia and Eric Lee Wald, Julie and Eric. How are you doing
Eric Lewald: well? Thanks for asking.
Julie Lewald: That was a fantastic story. Sorry about your sister’s VHS tape that,
Casey: she, she was, she, she was.
Fairly pissed, but it worked out me. So, yeah. So you both, you, you met in, in the animation world and I think that’s pretty fascinating in and of itself. How, how did that happen? What can, can you give us a minute? Cute.
Julie Lewald: Sure. I was born well. Okay. The long short story is I was born in Wisconsin, raised in Texas.
So I had family in both places and, graduating college, a friend said, you know, they pay people to ride out in Los Angeles. You should go to Hollywood. It’s like, wait, what? They do that. And you can move. You can, you can actually go from point a to point B. So I determined to get out [00:02:00] to Los Angeles and figure out how to crack into the writing game.
took a long time. I’m just saying that to anybody else. Who’s interested just, Hey, you gotta keep your head down. Keep trying. My very first paying job was for the Disney afternoon, which included the Chippendale’s rescue ranger show my very first one, and, and all the other wonderful stuff they were putting out.
And, the guy in the office next to me. Well, it
Eric Lewald: was me actually. I, hide their dizzy, but six months before I’d had a few years in the business working at Hanna-Barbera other places I’d come out here from Tennessee, same kind of deal, you know, fell in love with the movies in college and, programming them at UT and, and with a couple of three buddies that did that.
We all decided well, who we made a little short, cheap movie there. Got it done. Came out to Hollywood and then realized, you know, get in line with the other a hundred thousand people that want to be in movie business. But, yeah. Came out here and got into [00:03:00] animation. That’s a random thing. A neighbor said Hanna-Barbera is hiring.
And I went over and gave him a script that, the UT buddy and I had written and got her foot in the door that way. And, And really from that, that moment from that getting that opportunity was, was busy pretty much 15, 20 years straight in the business. As Julie said, it took a long time to get to that little door opening.
It took years to get there, but once, once we got there, we all worked hard and flourished. And I actually left Disney for, five months, leave of absence because a buddy of mine from Mississippi was making a movie and I promised him I’d help him. And they were nice enough to let me take five months off.
So suddenly Chippendale’s rescue Rangers were shorter writer and there’s this girl from Texas that had been banging at their door for six or seven months just
Julie Lewald: every week. They let you come in and do a, you could pitch to them every Friday, whether you had an agent or not.
[00:04:00] Eric Lewald: So she got this call saying, well, we liked your last outline or like your best friend was, we just lost a rider. Do you want to come in and take over his desk? So she came into Disney while I was gone and took over my desk. I came back and.
Julie Lewald: you got the office next door,
Eric Lewald: got the office next door. And then we dated for a couple months and she was kind of nervous about that.
Cause he didn’t want no office romance to ruin her best job she ever had
Julie Lewald: was my dream job. I didn’t want to screw it up.
Eric Lewald: I just said, what are you worried about? I was very casual about the whole thing, but so,
Julie Lewald: and we were both writers and it was completely co-worker. There was no weird
Eric Lewald: word for me.
So, but we each were there a little over three years and, they decided they had a huge. Staff about a hundred, this is just TV animation, but a hundred writers and artists. And then they figured out, well, they could save money by just letting us all go and hiring us [00:05:00] freelance when they needed us. So we all got let go.
And that actually was a good thing. We learned it. Basically what all we felt we could learn at Disney. And then we started getting jobs from other people like Fox and, did a year of beetle juice. And then that is what if I hadn’t been let go, I wouldn’t have done the beetles use a year. And the people that had hired me for butyl Fox, Margaret lash in Sydney, I want her were the ones that hired me a year after that to come and do X-band.
And again, we hadn’t been let go from Disney. We wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do
Julie Lewald: that
Casey: is, that’s such a cool story. And just how one opportunity leads to another. And, when one door closes another opens it’s, it’s, it’s really kind of inspiring. Julia. How was his pickup game? Was he.
[00:06:00] Julie Lewald: Oh, no, you know, I’ll say this. He had, he had, the, the huge advantage of doing the thing I wanted to do and that I found myself getting the opportunity to do, which was be a writer in TV, whether it’s animation or for whatever. And Oh, I’ll, I’ll tell a story on him though. We literally met in passing in the hallway because we remembered bumping into each other when he was leaving.
And I was coming in to take over a desk. And this was a few years ago and computers were really new. So they, I just literally got his desk with his computer on it for the one he was working on, and this is on him, but he left his tax returns there on there. And I am not a computer person. But I stumbled upon his file there and it’s like, well, he’s making grownup money.
Well, that’s not bad because it was working as a writer and for Disney it’s like, so yeah, his pick-up game was basically,
Eric Lewald: I left all my stuff on my computer for her, but for her to Wade [00:07:00] through
Casey: that. That’s awesome. So, you, you both ended up on, on the X-Men team. How did that come about?
Eric Lewald: Well, that that was, it was, it was very exciting at the time because we had a feeling that this show Mendel awful lot to an awful lot of people, but it was literally.
We got, I got the call the night before
Julie Lewald: and just to explain the roles and all this, Eric and I are both in on the writing side of things. We are not artists don’t do anything. Don’t don’t do
Eric Lewald: that at all.
Julie Lewald: But as far as telling the stories or crafting the worlds for the telling of stories, that’s, that’s kind of where, what we do
Eric Lewald: and the people.
That Fox has wonderful people. Margaret lash, who is the whole reason X then got on Phoebe. She loved, she loved them. Comic books. Thought it might be a great show. No one believed her in Hollywood. They all turned her away 10 years. She tried to get it on the air. Couldn’t get on the air. So anyway, so now she’s got hired as the president of this little new Fox [00:08:00] network that hadn’t existed two years earlier.
And she and her right-hand man or henchman from Wisconsin main city. I want her. They, I said, I worked for a year for them on Beatles. I, and a couple of other UT buddies that, that right with me. And we, they evidently liked that tone for X-Men. And so I got a call literally on a Sunday night. say, Oh, by the way, we told you we were going to have you met you work on another show, which was actually the attack of the killer tomatoes, for, for this coming season
Julie Lewald: to be the show, runner
Eric Lewald: it, be the person to be the person in charge of the scripts and kind of the overall supervisor development.
And I said, well, that was, that was a lie. We were trying to keep it. You know, keep this under wraps, but we’re doing a show with Marvel and the X-band and everybody’s going to be meeting tomorrow morning up at Chaim spawns building. And you know, Stanley’s going to be there and half a dozen people from Marvel, New York.
And you know, we’re going to have 25 folks there and [00:09:00] we’re going to hire you to be the one to develop this TV show for, for animation. And I look over to Juliet whisper, excellence, comic work, right.
Casey: Because it
Eric Lewald: was not a book I had read. And, so I just kind of smiled. Okay, fine. Sydney, if you think I’m the right tool for the job.
And I went there for a three hour meeting the next day and I just nodded and smiled and kept my mouth shut.
Julie Lewald: The reminder here that back, this is 1992.
Eric Lewald: Yeah. No internet, no Googling.
Julie Lewald: 24 hour resources to go grab, you know, graphic novels or any kind of compilations. There was nothing.
Eric Lewald: I didn’t that I couldn’t even go to a comic book store, check the stuffs.
but so yeah, I, I stonewalled my way through that first meeting. And luckily there were some really. Experienced wonderful artists there that, that I would be be my colleagues on the thing. Well, many. Oh, and Larry Houston who knew the X-Men backwards and forwards knew all 30 years of the comics [00:10:00] and had exactly the same idea that I had for what the show needed to be, which was a much more serious adult.
I mean, the comics at the time, ferociously intense on all the characters, you know, like in their thirties, It wasn’t a little kid’s comic book. It was very intense adult dramatic comic book. So we, you know, I asked them what you want to do it this way, you know, to Sydney and Margaret said, yeah, we want to respect the comics.
And luckily we all felt the same way. There were a number of folks that didn’t get that because all the superhero attempted comics previous 13 years had been cut a little kitty fan and very comic booky. And even some of the suggestions in that first meeting, well, we should make this kind of like Snoopy noon, you know, where are, you know, professor X and Cerebro in a band going around finding mutants.
And [00:11:00] luckily the two artists and I. Very much agreed among each other. No, we need to treat this like dramatic movies, like series our dramas for prime time television. We need to respect these adults. We need to respect these stories because of the intensity, the actual comic book stories. We can’t. Done this thing down.
And so the first, the first year there was about seven or eight months of a lot of defending that keeping say, I don’t know, maybe some of the folks involved from wanting us to do, you know, kind of funny or younger or, or, or in a different way. And we all basically just dug our feet in and said, no, we’re going to live or die on what we seek to show should be.
And goodness, you know, came out and it was big shit. And you know, the kids liked it, even though we made it that adult. And then there was no more fighting in the [00:12:00] next four years were easy to terms of the politics, but that first year was pretty much one nonstop, you know, defending what we hoped. The show would be from keeping it from being changed to something very different.
Julie Lewald: Oh, it would, might be like all glamorous and, you know, big, tall office buildings and studios and stuff. But Eric, when you got the orders that Monday to craft the show, it turned your, you and Mark, Mark Eden, who was kind of tapped as your head writer on this. It was the two of you around our dining room table, just talking it out and pitching stories.
And I, and I was there, so I got to pitch to
Eric Lewald: sweet tea and, and diet Coke. And, just, yeah, it was, it was one of these things where we were really lucky. They were behind schedule. We had seven months for what should have taken a year. and, and so w we just, they just told us, like, write this thing up fast.
Marvel at the time was a very [00:13:00] small place. they were headed towards bankruptcy in 1996. just the comic book place didn’t have any of the, you know, media that they have today. And so basically they were just thrilled that they’re getting some money off of Fox for doing the show and hoped we wouldn’t screw it up.
they didn’t have final say Fox yet. So in effect, our boss was the one deciding what the show should be. If, if Marvel had wanted a different show. that they would use it. Sorry, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re doing this. Luckily, the guy that was our overseer for Marvel wonderful man named Bob Harris, he was running all the, the, X-Men books at the time.
There’s three or four series of X-Men books going at the same time. They’re very popular in the comic book world. And he agreed with us about how serious we needed to be with the stories. So the notes we got from him were very encouraging and we’d go to him because. You know, we’d have a hundred questions about if something fit with the X-Men universe or not, or fit with a particular character or [00:14:00] not.
And we used to, we depended on him to keep that in line while we can the most dramatic stories. We TV stories we could, being new people, new people, or the X-Men world.
Casey: Yeah. Yeah. I’m Bob Harris. I was, I was hoping to get to that because he, he seemed to have really kind of help helped you guys out in terms of direction. and, I’m assuming he was a good guy to work with. Loesch was, was a really. Big advocate for you guys with the network too, correct?
Julie Lewald: Not it happened without her.
Eric Lewald: Yeah. And she was pretty high up, but she was president of Fox kids television, which means she only had one or two people above her in the whole place.
Julie Lewald: Just to back it up a little bit prior to becoming tech, being tapped, to be president of Fox kids network. She was working for Marvel. And that’s when she really, what mats will [00:15:00] Mineo and Larry Houston and that whole bunch of people who ended up working on what became X-Men handmade series.
But that was the time when she couldn’t give the show away. She was trying her darnedest. Yeah.
Eric Lewald: Yeah, that was the eighties. And barbel had a production company out here that would try to produce without all that produced Marvel TV shows, but nobody would buy him. So they, Margaret was such a good executive.
She got all sorts of other things like transformers and Muppet babies. And some super hit shows
Julie Lewald: that Marvel studios
Eric Lewald: that she has had a little production Marvel students production company that she oversaw. But as she said, she just she’d go to ABC, NBC CBS, and they’d roll their eyes and say, Oh, nobody wants to see a show based on comic books.
That’s all kind of interior monologues. And there’s a pimply people down to their basements that read those things we need, we need five times that, you know, that’s a million people. We need three or [00:16:00] 4 million people, even if it’s popular comic book. It’s not nearly enough, not nearly enough for a successful television show.
So Margaret stopped talking to us about this, but once, once she got there, it was basically just her decision to what got on the air for the 10 half hours for Saturday morning. And, but, you know, she had to report to people bummer and they had to believe in her and they looked at expending. They said, Oh, I don’t get this.
This is all dark and dramatic. And you try to sell us the kids. we don’t, we don’t get this Margaret and she pushed and pushed and took her about six months. But finally. Her boss looked at her and said, are you willing to risk your career? You know, your job here on this, this X-Men thing. She said, absolutely.
I think it’s going to be the best kid show on television. And so she literally put her, you know, mortgaged her future. to get them to put the money up, to make the show.
Julie Lewald: If the ratings had not been there, if it had crashed and burned in those first 16 episodes, she would, she would have been gone.
[00:17:00] Eric Lewald: None of us were hired past one season.
It was just, we were all, all, all the creative people were let go. As soon as we’re done writing and drawing. Yeah. And then we had to wait a couple of months till the show the animation was done and we could see if people liked it or not. And then it was this huge hit or half the cut, half the correct when you watched it every Saturday and half the world got to watch it eventually.
But at the time there was two people that believed that it was going to be Margaret was one of them.
Casey: I was wanting to ask. There, there were a ton of setbacks, all the way to episode one. How confident were you in the show and how surprised were you by its eventual success? And, and when, when that success came.
Did did you know, you were in it, like, how did you know?
Julie Lewald: Yeah, you’re right. But this back then there [00:18:00] were, there were no computers the way they are now, there was no internet the way it is now. and, and we were not in an office anywhere on a studio lot or anything. We were just working out of home office.
Each of us.
Eric Lewald: Yeah, you want to tell them about, about the fan mail? This is when we figured it out, it was, it was going to be a hit.
Julie Lewald: So, the Fox kid studios, had, had its own office buildings here in Los Angeles. And, also reminder you had ABC NBC and CBS. And then Fox and Fox kids came in in late 89, 88 to try and sort of, challenge the big three.
Casey: Yeah. They weren’t a big company.
Julie Lewald: They were a bit, yeah, correct.
Eric Lewald: Yeah.
Julie Lewald: So they were, I’m just kidding. They were scrappy. Yeah. Everyone at box kids, you know, was, was, was, was. Was the fighter, you know, it was going to do what it took to make Fox
Eric Lewald: and try to get attention for them, their new, that word.
Julie Lewald: and Eric, you saying that you worked on, beetle juice?
The cat, the reminder is it had a previously
Eric Lewald: ABC, ABC tired of it. And Margaret was able [00:19:00] to snatch it up and well, Margaret brought it back
Julie Lewald: to Brooke, brought it to Fox kids with the edict to make it for. Edgier and quirky. Yeah. You know, everything that was on Fox kids was, was to try and draw eyeballs to it.
Eric Lewald: Yeah.
Julie Lewald: mr. My story is that, occasionally I would need to go into the studios as you know, it wasn’t that you couldn’t send a computer on, you couldn’t send a script on your computer. You physically had to drive a disk to somebody, or, you know, anyway, I found myself at bucks kid’s studio one day and I was.
Talking with, gowning Charlotte Fullerton, who is an Emmy nominated, animation writer in her own. Right. But at the time was also working for Fox kids. And I, and I don’t know if you remember Casey, but there was a thing called the Fox kid for club,
Julie Lewald: yeah. She, she was also working on Fox kids club at the time among her other duties.
And I just asked her, are you getting anything back up, you know, about X-Men, we’ve heard the ratings are good, but you know, we don’t know, you know,
Eric Lewald: writing in our office at home. We get, no, [00:20:00] we get no feedback from anybody.
Julie Lewald: Interesting. So we’ll tell you what, let me show you something. So she took me into the hallway and you know, those, those Milky white cartons that you see for the us postal service that are full of
Eric Lewald: mail
Julie Lewald: buckets, like you stay there was right in the hallway, across from the door.
There was a stack of them all the way up to the ceiling and then a stack of them all the way down that side of the bill, that side of the wall. And then another side, the whole other side of the hallway. On the other side, the whole thing was lined. With these containers up to the ceiling, both sides all the way down.
And she said every postcard and every letter in those, in these boxes. It’s kids writing in about X-Men as it’s first time, it was ever visualized to me in such a profound and meaningful way because kids had to get a stamp.
This is, this is not g-mail, you know, this, this took some effort, but all those kids and to see it like that, I, Oh my God X-Men has really touched a nerve in a [00:21:00] way that I had not
Casey: imagined. That blows me away that y’all are so kind of in a vacuum in regards to how the show was doing. it is, it’s so weird thinking back to pre-digital.
pre-internet and, yup,
Julie Lewald: yup. Yeah, but that was, that was, for me, that was kind of the. a wonderful eye-opener, but that again tells, you know, how at the time, there, there was not a way of communicating that casually to, to any of us who were working on the show at the time.
Eric Lewald: So,
Casey: one thing about the show that that consistently surprises me is how fateful you guys were to the comics, to the, to the original source material.
Was there a particular run that you used as a guide or a storyline that you wanted to use, but,
Julie Lewald: well, if you look at it, it’s interesting because there was so much rich history up [00:22:00] until the animated series got, you know, got going in the nineties. It started what, 16, 1963. And, and I think it’s, it’s a real Testament to.
To the, to the writers and the artists for treating the material with respect. But there weren’t that many direct adaptations, you know, people people’s like, Oh my God, that’s exactly how Wolverine would do something. But, but there isn’t a comic book that in which he did that thing.
Eric Lewald: The Marvin Michael lead-ins, who were my two main writers have handed basically half the half the stories, again, friends, friends from UT and I, none of us were big fan. Some of the writers pitching stories were, and they, they would have favorite issues that they would try to pitch. But we went into it since we didn’t know the books and we were given a pretty free hand by Marvel.
They just said, you know, through the spirit of it, come up with your best stories. So we were just thinking of what would [00:23:00] be the best Wolverine story we can imagine. And then once we got a Colonel a better, the best beast story we can imagine, then we would look through the references materials we had and populate it with characters from the Marvel unit, from the X-Men universe.
It wasn’t the reverse, it wasn’t when we started the comic books and then we massage them to be TV friendly. We’d start with. A TV story that started these X people. And then when we, if we needed a villain, if we needed a, a family members, we needed, an ally for somebody, for a scene, as opposed to making them up out of the whole cloth, which we easily could do our first choice.
We go through this thing called the Marvel universe. Huge, and it had every character. With all their relationships and all their powers and all their histories. And we would use people that from [00:24:00] their world, to populate the stories. So that, that made it, that was a strange thing. So it wasn’t, it wasn’t like say doing a, Sherlock Holmes, series and just adapting each of the stories it was looking at and saying, okay, you’ve got Sherlock Holmes and Watson, you’ve got a couple other referring people.
One of the coolest stories you can think up. We had a, what, you know, Watson has a boyfriend. I mean, you know, whatever it is we thought of that first. And then we went back and marbleized, you know, marbleized it. Once we came up with the stories. If you look at the first two seasons, the only one that was a direct.
adaptation was days of future past. Even that we had to move that around a bit, because we had different, we had different people
Julie Lewald: major change.
Eric Lewald: We didn’t know if Mark was
Julie Lewald: going to prove it was called future tense.
Eric Lewald: Yeah. But therefore, once it was so successful, we talked to Marvel more at length and they said, well, there’s.
The half dozen things [00:25:00] that we think you really ought to do. And the first two are the two Phoenix stories. So those were very much focused, conscious, efforts to make, a faithful adaptation of those of those stories from the books. But the vast majority of the stories were, you know, a writer or I would come up with a Colonel or something like, you know, beast falls in love.
Like Julie came up with for, for beauty and the beast.
Julie Lewald: That was written by Stephanie Matheson
Eric Lewald: in digital shop. Then we would, okay. We put the Fred’s if you’ve added in it, we put this person, that person to flesh out the story, but the kernel of the story came from Beast’s character. The same thing with not Nightcrawler.
Okay. We got to use that across. What is it about him that special? Well, it’s because he’s a person of faith, very conspicuous person of faith in this world where he’s the only one like that, what we got to address that, which was really tough. They have to get. Okay.
Casey: Yeah. I can imagine for, especially for a kid show.
That’s right. That’s right.
[00:26:00] Eric Lewald: So we built that story. The question we asked ourselves, wasn’t let’s look. Sort of 30 Nightcrawler episodes to see which one, issue you see with somebody like this. It was okay, this, this is not crawler is how do we, who among our leads. Cause we want to keep going back to our core group of people, which is, I think really important in TV to constantly focus story on your lead characters, who among our leads would be most bothered affected, challenged by bumping into somebody.
Who was a person of really explicit. Christian faith. And it was Wolverine, you know, Nightcrawler wouldn’t have made Jubilee have, you know, a deep, dark struggle in her soul because she hadn’t been through nine years of stuff like Wolverine hat. That’s how we built the story. We start with the character and it’s where we go, okay.
Let’s we want this to, to explore Nightcrawler. And then we pick people around X amount around him [00:27:00] that best, reveal his character. Is reveal their character. So that’s, that’s how we picked them and the, the big spectacle and the fights and the superpowers, all that stuff was great fun. but that’s kind secretaries kinda like, shootouts in westerns.
you gotta have ’em, but that’s not what the stories were about.
Casey: Y’all y’all did such an amazing job of distilling those characters to their essences, especially for, For a different medium altogether. It really is. a great example of, of how to transfer these, these characters and stories to, to a different medium and make it work.
was there anyone that was, kind of, key in, in helping you to come to those decisions with the, with the characters? I
Julie Lewald: think Eric for you, it was, initially choosing who the team would be. because again, [00:28:00] X-Men had already had such a rich history,
Eric Lewald: 29 different ones in the first 30 years.
Julie Lewald: So it came down to picking the, and again, in a show like this, and you mentioned it, Eric.
The servicing of each character, you know, you, there are a lot of characters in the X-Men team. What do we fight? Is it fine if you can’t? Yeah. Or
Eric Lewald: Xavier and more when there was a bed
Julie Lewald: trying to come up with a rock solid story. For every one of them and, and not forgetting about them with someone else. Yeah.
Eric Lewald: Yeah. We want to, we want them to really compliment each other so that they draw each other out. I mean, as we left, we were laughing with some of the people that do the X-Plan better that we could have had. Wolverine and cable and Colossus and Thunderbird and Bishop, we should have had, you know, seven gruff guys and, and Jubilee.
You know, that that’s a little bit, one way to go with [00:29:00] with the show. And that would have been boring as hell with a note the, who did what. Dialogue too, because they’d all be growling at each other.
Eric Lewald: So that was that one. I think the, the, the key creative decisions when Mark and I, we were given four or five folks that they really felt needed to be in the team that we agreed to, but that it was, it was a gambit and Jean and, And Scott makes Xavier do believe rogue.
I think that’s that’s and actually they said, Oh, you could have Xavier in the backer city of that much, but he was real. He kind of. The asserted himself, because he’s so much the heart and soul. And the idea behind the X man and beast was so different and he’s like Spock and star Trek. Beast was such a different character.
We found all of our writers found ourselves, writing them into stories.
Julie Lewald: If you go back and watch the first season [00:30:00] realize, in the first two episodes, he he’s arrested. And in jail for the whole season, basically his point is he is there, you know, and in a matter of civil disobedience, he wants to have his day in court and discuss how humans are the same.
But you realize he’s not in law that first season, because he’s in jail.
Eric Lewald: Yeah, because we hadn’t been told that he was going to be a major character, but we kept on going back to him. And by the end of the first season, we couldn’t imagine writing the story out
Julie Lewald: because he was so smart and so eloquent. and yet, so distinctly a mutant in a way that the rest of the team was not, you know, because he was big and blue and Harry, and, and yet sort of the most at ease with his, what his mutation, which was the fun of the beauty and the beast story when he really gets bumped up against it.
Casey: So, that, that kind of brings me to my next question, which is the, the show has such a definite [00:31:00] tone in it matches the theme, from the comic grit really, really well. was there any pushback from, executives at the network for having such a serious minded show? This obstensively for, for children?
And how hard was it to talk about some of these larger issues? you mentioned civil disobedience earlier, which, you know, I I’m in Birmingham, Alabama, we know a lot about that, especially. So, how, what were the hurdles for writing about that for children?
Julie Lewald: We’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, just sort of, you know, examining the show and remembering what it was like to do that.
I think the, the, the key was,
errors when you and, Mark made the decision that in the first it was not going to be Newton versus Newton of the week, you know, good versus bad fight, fight, fight that it was going to [00:32:00] be, Mutans against a world where there are humans who have real issues with them are terrified of them because they’re different because there are other, and yet Xavier was going to hang his crew together and try and, you know, do the right thing.
By the humans who could hate them, like the friends of humanity. And then you had and then you had Magneto who had a legitimate beef, you know? Well,
Eric Lewald: we’ll be treated very well and he had another answer. Absolutely from day one, the writers were more referring to say, okay, Xavier’s mouth is Martin Luther King and, and, Magneto’s Malcolm X.
They each have an answer to the problem of racial problems in America and, certain group being the other and being, being left out or oppressed, or be feared or being, and so. That was all very serious to beginning one of the executives, Sydney, I water, who [00:33:00] I got this, he was the hands-on executive at Fox, and we owe a lot to him because he just kept on telling us to make it more intense and do more with a, do more.
Be it more adult. He, he, he was Margaret’s kind of field general. she had oversee the tenant, the Lieutenant series. But there are three or four series like X man and Batman and Spiderman. That’s suddenly he oversaw every word of every script that every image of every story boarded, every line that was delivered by the cast and, you know, Every moment in the editing or this man didn’t sleep.
And he just, when we’d ask him, he’d say push it harder. And we said that this thing about, you know, dealing with God, he said, I want to be more about God, take out the house we had, we had an action scene at the beginning of, of the. one with Nightcrawler and, and he said you don’t need that. Get right to the problems with [00:34:00] Nightcrawler mistakes.
We had that support from him. There were lots of people around us. Obviously there were other executives at Fox that were kind of were getting it there. People Marvel that thought maybe should be younger funnier. There were people, obviously there, there were, locals affiliate stations. So I can, the person was saying, well, what’s the show I’m about to jet from these crazy people in Hollywood, Scott, you know, that, that, isn’t funny that isn’t, you know, that doesn’t have a cheap dog in the middle of it.
so we had a feeling that people like that are you. advertisers say, well, nobody’s going to buy my cereal, my clothes, and my toys watching this brim thing, you know, come on, make it happier, make it lighter, do something. And we got a lot of that. As I say, for the six months while we were in production.
And then fi when it came out, it was huge. Hit everybody’s shut up. That’s when it was just like, it was immediate. It’s the oldest Hollywood thing [00:35:00] in the world where everybody loves success out here. And everybody’s now part of the success that is agreeing with your, all of your choices, but there are a lot of people that had a stake in this and you can’t blame them.
For being worried about something that is so different from what had come before.
Julie Lewald: If I can give a shout out here, as we’re looking back on things, I, there, there there’s a, there’s a category of people, in children’s programming, broadcast standards and practices, casually call them the sensor, whatever, but every network had one or has one.
And thoughts. Gibbs is no exception. And the woman who was broadcast standards and practices for Fox kids was a gal named Avery Kober. And she ha she, her word was God, she, she is the one who would, you know, thumbs up or thumbs down on everything. And she is, she could have taped the show. from, if she hadn’t gotten what X-Men was trying to do, if she hadn’t [00:36:00] understood what Margaret lash was, was pushing for.
And, Lord, my two examples are when Eric was telling me that, the pilot episode and, the, the first Nightcrawler episode, with, with the examination of religion. But the pilot episode, the decision that you and Mark made this is to show the hero’s journey. There has to be sacrifice to have sacrifice or someone has to die.
And that’s how the morph story came to be. But I remember it. Well, good luck, Colin, Avery up and explaining you’re going to kill somebody on a kid’s program. I still can’t. I mean, I’m going back in time and I remember that Glenn, this is if you’re never going to get that, but you got it set the tone
Eric Lewald: and that’s Testament to her that she sat and listened and realized we weren’t doing it.
The that we were doing it to show what this meant for the rest of the team and talk to, to share
Julie Lewald: and to show and to establish [00:37:00] importantly, in the show about superheroes, that the stakes are real, you know, this, this, this,
Eric Lewald: you know,
Julie Lewald: right. You know, that you don’t get to hit reset, and everybody’s fine. The next week that there are consequences and, It can go bad.
So the fact that, we were allowed through Avery Coburn, who was in charge of broadcast standards and practices. To tell these stories. We, we gotta give her credit for being onboard. Yeah.
Casey: Julie, I’m glad you brought that up because almost every time I hear standards and practices as an entity being brought into the conversation, it’s, it’s purely in the negative.
Like, can you believe they wouldn’t let me get away? So it’s, it’s awesome that y’all had somebody that was hip enough to. Kind of look into what you were doing.
Eric Lewald: Yeah. And she liked, she liked the books and luckily she’d had some experience in prime time. So she was a little more used to, looking at adult stories.
And, we we’ve dealt with many other people, in [00:38:00] broadcast standards for kids and some of them just we’ll just shut everything down. Just nothing. Yeah, why bother do the show? And we had that kind of in our corner. You’ll look at the comic books we have to, if people had questions about the tone, look what they’re doing.
If you want us to do this. I mean, I’ve got a story about that when I was at Hanna-Barbera, they CBS bought a Popeye’s show, Popeye and son, and a friend of mine from UT John Lloyd. And I got to ride on it. And the first thing that we were told by the network is Popeye and blue cat can’t hit each other.
And it was the whole, the whole reason for the Popeye is these, these gruff sailors would be punched, beat the hell out of each other, you know, every week. It’s just, we just, our jaws dropped because we love the old 1930s slicers. Popeye’s were very funny and you just kind of want to stare at the network for people to [00:39:00] why in the world did you pay for this?
Why did you allow this? Why did you hire us to do this for you? If you’re not love to do, if you’re not going to respect the source material. So that was, luckily. Avery really respected the source material. And boy, it was one of the like 20 good bits of luck that came together for the show that allowed it to be what it could be.
Julie Lewald: I do have an Avery story though, that I like to tell, and it was in season two. There was the line in Savage land where, volcanoes and dinosaurs and weird horror, you know, jungle stuff everywhere.
Casey: I love that, that part of the series, by the way, that was super fun.
Julie Lewald: Well, we found a into somewhere where stuff’s happening, you know, people are fighting viciously, you know, Wolverine doesn’t and, and our people are there and they don’t have their beaten powers because the magic of Savage land, horrible, huge fight going on.
And a dinosaur, you
Eric Lewald: know, dr. The volcano
[00:40:00] Julie Lewald: volcano. Okay. That’s happening,
Eric Lewald: but that’s not the point.
Julie Lewald: The dinosaurs in the volcano
writes back and says, okay, you can have this fight. You can have that fight, but I need to see the dinosaur climb out of the volcano.
I wonder is going, you understand dinosaurs don’t exist anymore. And they’ve been extinct for that, millions of years and this isn’t a fantasy land, but he had to give in
Eric Lewald: budget from a judge on that one. The logic is it’s a character. The kids are watching them seeing the X-Men fry. There’s no, go on that.
Casey: mean, he fell in the volcano, but he got better.
Julie Lewald: Yep.
Casey: So when you, we talked a little bit about it, but what, what was that deciding factor for the characters that you, you included on the show?
Julie Lewald: You know, a lot of folks, kind of get [00:41:00] there. This’ll wound up and saying, well, you know, why wasn’t kitty pride part of this?
And, part of it was just the timing Jubilees had been introduced as a character, 89 90, right, right around that, as well as gambit, those two were newer members that Marvel was keen on. You know, trying to reach a wider audience with yeah,
Casey: she was one of the first like Asian characters from a cartoon that I ever remember seeing, which is.
That’s pretty rad. I’m sure a lot of kids, saw themselves for the first time, which is
Julie Lewald: really cool. We do hear from people and it’s profoundly meaningful to hear that and realize what it did mean.
Eric Lewald: Like the storm was such a powerful character in our show and it should be an African-American
Julie Lewald: woman or an African.
Eric Lewald: Yeah. So, so to answer your question, there’s, there’s a core group and the, the problem was from a variety standpoint [00:42:00] in 22 minutes, you don’t have a lot of space. So ended up stories about eight or nine people, plus guests lost relatives. So we kept on trimming it down and trying to focus on two or three of each story.
But as we set the main characters, we really picked. As I said for, for diversity, for distinctiveness. So that one would, you know, Jubilee is anything like beast who isn’t anything like gambit, who isn’t anything like Wolverine, they’re all so distinct. This was, this is, we talk about this and writing it.
There’s some, some shows where everybody’s pretty much saying was he love or hate GI Joe, you got like, you got like eight, eight Joe’s and they’re interchangeable. It makes it very hard to write stories because you know, why have one person do the other person?
Julie Lewald: What is your theory?
Eric Lewald: So awkwardly titled. well, when I pitched shows to executives, because executives [00:43:00] wouldn’t understand this, they say, why are they all so different?
Why are they all arguing so much? Why, why can’t they all be saving? So what was the poo sex theory? And it was my experience. 30 years of watching television. Wasn’t the two best populated shows. That, that I could remember where, for this distinctiveness question, Winnie the Pooh where everybody’s so different, you couldn’t imagine ER, saying an owl line saying a piglet line saying Winnie the Pooh line.
Casey: Yeah. They’re all fine.
Eric Lewald: They’re all. So well-defined, it’s it’s it’s perfect. It’s like it’s it’s you couldn’t do any better. And when. When 20 years, 20 years ago, very popular shows still watch sex and the sex in the city. And that the first thing everybody said was you’ve got these four lead characters.
They’re completely different women from each other. Which one are you? Are you a carrier? You or whoever? Yeah, so, so, so I shot, I try to throw those two [00:44:00] things together for the executives. So it would jog their minds a little bit saying.
Julie Lewald: If you had four carings, it
Eric Lewald: would have been adult show. You had six.
Yours is going to be a doll show. You got to have the way to make successful television is to have distinct people as distinct as it can be from one another. They still love each other. They still having some of this back. They still, you know, would sacrifice for one another, but they are nothing like each other.
Casey: That is, that’s just good advice for writers all around. Yeah. So that’s, that’s, that’s fantastic. As for the actual comics. Do you, do you keep up with any of the, the current iterations of X-Men? Is it, is it kind of like seeing an ex-girlfriend girlfriend that used to date a long time ago? Like wow.
Julie Lewald: Yes. Yes. We’ve certainly kept up all films. and, and the whole comic book [00:45:00] universe is there, there are so many, there are so many iterations. It’s it’s. Kind of a little hard to keep. Mm. Let me, let me back up with that one. It’s kind of a little hard to keep up with all the different iterations I’m aware of.
I’m not focused on it. Like I might’ve been,
Eric Lewald: and to be honest, you know, we know though that movies and comics have different demands, that animated television, that’s how we go into it. With we think a pretty open minds. the challenge of some of the movies is that they’re basically, we’re redoing some of the same stories we were, that we did.
So, so we obviously, we’re very aware of these characters and very aware of what they’re trying to do. And some of the stuff is just amazing. Like just some of the casting, the production values and the idea of. You know, writing, writing dialogue for Patrick Stewart. I mean, it’s just some of the stuff that they did with the movies just on inspiring.
there are things that obviously we’re human. We wish I would have done that different.
Julie Lewald: We [00:46:00] did it.
Eric Lewald: We did it different.
Casey: Yeah. Yeah. But it, it, it works it’s and for some people it’s the definitive. Version of that property?
Julie Lewald: Well, I like to think, you know, here we are, look in the year 2020, and you’ve got your.
Billion dollar franchise, but the team they came out with in 20, in the year, 2000 when they kicked it off with their very first
Eric Lewald: X-Men,
Julie Lewald: that was basically our team. But with Rohde playing the role of Jubilee in that, and it’s like, you know, they had, they had the exact same amount of people to choose from it’s that, that you and Mark did and Marion will, and.
They chose the same one, which I take as a, as a real point of pride.
Casey: I have a few notes I’ve written down as we’ve been talking. if it’s all right with you, just a few more, and then I really want to talk to the talk about this book because
Eric Lewald: it’s
Casey: in gorgeous. Oh my goodness. so Julia. On future [00:47:00] tense.
Julie Lewald: Yes.
Casey: How was it writing such a, a show that was
Eric Lewald: the
Casey: Prince that was such a massive part of the comics. Did you feel like you were kind of buried under the weight of this huge thing? How did you go about it?
Julie Lewald: You know, if I told you to know which. Yeah, there was, this was one of the times when a certain amount of ignorance was bliss in that.
Okay. Marble was interested in seeing what we could do with this in the, in the, in the first 13. And again, those first 13 episodes, we, each of us thought they were going to be the only episodes we did. So it was kind of like, you know, whatever happens. We’re just, you know, each of us on the writing assignment.
Just, you know, w we’d been given the, the marching orders to make this adult do not write down to the kids, you know, treat this like a half hour live action drama, go for it. So having never had that kind of freedom before, [00:48:00] and then also being told, okay, here’s your story that, but, but,
but yeah, but all these changes.
Okay. So, That, okay. There, there was a certain, there was just an enthusiasm, little kind of just jumping in and messing around with it and doing it as if, if, if it’s rock solid as, as, as I could as well for anybody else running on the show for that season. a certain giddy enthusiasm, cause it’s like, yeah, we get to play.
Eric Lewald: We were really just focusing on, we were so excited to be able to be right. The stuff the way we always always had, wanted to write for, for TV. And luckily she’s right. There’s the benefit of, of ignorance. We weren’t aware what, how much that story meant to the fans. So we just treated it as raw information, like, okay, how do we, how do we make this into the best two part TV show that we could make it [00:49:00] and use everything we care from the story and keep it cheap, but obviously the same story.
Julie Lewald: And she can’t travel back mentally or spiritually. It needs to be someone physically going back, but it can’t. Yeah,
Eric Lewald: we decided, I, I just, I just looked at it and said that there’s something a little more realistic in the expectations of television versus, versus comic books. I felt we needed somebody physically, to move through time.
Not. Kitty, not a characters soul, which I thought might be a little bit difficult to get across tough, to condense
Julie Lewald: a lot of our R
Eric Lewald: or not to not to diminish the ability four, afford five and six year olds to get something like that. But it’s just, it seems simpler and cleaner. And more TV friendly to have an actual physical person come back.
So that was, that was the big change. And Martin was, was happy with that. They were, I say they were supportive. Imagine that you’re Bob Harris and you got four X-Men [00:50:00] titles that you supervising every month, 70 hour, week job. And on top of that, you’re reviewing what these strange people out of Hollywood are doing with your characters.
She had limited hours to look over it, and I think he was just thrilled that we were serious about respecting the spirit of the books. And that as far as important is certain details about. from certain stories you say, look, I’m not even going to get into that, but you guys are doing, it feels like you guys are doing this right.
So run with it was, was kind of his, his attitude
Casey: and y’all left it all out on the field. Y’all really, really threw down, speaking to leaving it out on the field. I apologize for the. Well, awful way that, my team treated your volunteers. Yeah.
Eric Lewald: Oh,
that’s how you were Birmingham. Are you sure you’re not a war Eagle?
[00:51:00] Casey: I’m not, but, I don’t hate them. Don’t
Eric Lewald: poison their tree.
Casey: No, no, God.
Eric Lewald: It’s, it’s it’s funny. we, this was a very Southern show. Margaret lashes is from Mississippi.
Casey: Oh, really?
Eric Lewald: Right. And she, she moved out here, Julius from Texas. The two main writers that worked for me and Tennessee, we had two other writers on the show from Tennessee. so, one of them that the two episodes is from Birmingham Carter Crawford lives in Southern Tennessee right now about 50 miles North of you.
Oh, cool. Cool. So, so it was a very, it was a very Southern staff.
Casey: That’s awesome. So, real quick question. since you got snapped up for the X-Men thing, Do you feel that you have robbed the world from having the penultimate version of a attack of the killer tomatoes? Cartoon? [00:52:00] I
Eric Lewald: never considered that because I’m sure we would’ve done a bang up job
Julie Lewald: and we ended up working on what that was, which are newer.
Oh yeah. So it’s funny how the world works out. Isn’t it?
Casey: I remember seeing an advert for it when I was a kid and like that. That’s a cartoon. How is that a car? Cause it would be on USA all the time when I was a kid, the, the movie.
Julie Lewald: Oh wow.
Casey: And I just remember it was so silly, that, did you know that when they put you on this project, switching you over from the killer tomatoes, did you have any idea in your head that.
Oh, my gosh, this is going to blow up. Oh God, no.
Eric Lewald: Yes. Thrilled. We were thrilled to get the work cause we just had just had our first baby and we were thrilled to get to jet what was for me, six months, six, seven months of work.
Julie Lewald: And I got a script and
Eric Lewald: she got a script free out of it. [00:53:00] And so that was the level.
Of the additional excitement. Then we saw what a rich world it was and started getting the reaction from the people above us about how ambitious we could be with it. And that just made it, made it all grow. It’s just like we started out pleased to be working and then say, Oh my God, this could actually be something really wonderful, to be part of because we don’t know we’ve worked each worked on over 40.
Different projects, you know, shows out here and sometimes you get into them and they look okay at the beginning and you just realize you’re not dealing with the right people, or it’s not what you’d thought it was going to be or what you were promised. And it could be a rough, it could be a rough slog to get through the six months and take your paycheck.
But this one is just every, every time we came up with another story and got more deeply into it started. And when we got the voices, right, when we saw the artwork coming back at every [00:54:00] stage of this, when another element would come through, we get more and more excitement. And we still didn’t know it was going to be success.
We just knew that if it failed, we were going to, it was going to be a really exciting, honorable failure that it seems going to be something break to work on, but you’d never know. You never know what’s going to be popular or what’s going to tank because you try to put out your best work in every, in every job.
But this one, it felt better and better and better as we pushed forward with it. So
Casey: all of this, you know, the first half of the, the interview or the first part of the interview has all focused on. What amounts to the contents of the book that I’m holding in my hands right now. And when I opened the box that held this book, I gasped it is [00:55:00] gorgeous.
not just, you know, the outside cover and, all that, but you open up the inside. the whoever designed the book for y’all. Just did a bang up job.
Julie Lewald: We want to give a shout out. Eric Loffler at Abrams books, along with Liam Flanagan for the ones who
Eric Lewald: are here, our editor. And so, so he, he helped us structure the book and Liam was the guy that actually laid out the images we dug up.
Julie Lewald: We know that
Eric Lewald: 98% of the images that you see, but they laid them all out. They. Made the book look the way it did. We just, we wrote to texts and we fumbled them. The images we found, which were hard. I
Casey: was about to say, what Indiana Jones type warehouse did you pull? The
Julie Lewald: you’re not kidding. That’s exactly what it was.
It was a lot smaller.
Eric Lewald: Steve Nash, nasty storage facilities in, [00:56:00] and, and, and people just. And then we get lucky to find something with, Oh boy, this is when we started out. I was, I was really afraid. I mean, we should, we knew we could tell the story. We didn’t know that we could find this beautiful stuff that would illustrate the story we were telling.
And we did, and Marvel was real supportive with the beautiful Jim Lee stuff and the comic book covers and what all and Abrams books found images of some of the merchandise that we had some of the merchandise ourselves, but we had the scripts and we had the storyboards, but. some of the, we stumbled upon a couple of, artists that had been really anal about keeping every single thing they drew.
And so we were able to jet in effect the, the designs, the character designs for just about every single character that ever had a line in any app that episode there in the
Julie Lewald: book. That’s the thing [00:57:00] we want to give a shout out to is that the realization here we are 25, 30 years later with this, it shows you, How much folks who worked on the show, how much it meant to them individually that here we go to Larry Houston to Mark Lewis, to Debbie’s Meyer all these artists who thankfully maintained so much of this material.
Cause often times you don’t, you know, just get rid of that. But
Eric Lewald: the sad thing is, is we look at it now and we realize that these beautiful hand-painted, cells that make up the episodes. Are just really artwork and let’s just use to throw it away cause they didn’t want to pay storage fees. It just,
Julie Lewald: again, this is 25, 30 years ago.
Eric Lewald: The idea that that takes 20,000 of these paintings or so I, gosh, that’s a make an episode
Julie Lewald: per episode
Eric Lewald: that you had just about every one of them has been thrown away.
[00:58:00] It’s just real estate. Now, nowadays, of course, everything’s kept on computer files and it lasts. And if we need to do a book about a show, we were working on 2020. That’d be, it’d be simple. You just go through all the beautiful images and pick and choose that your ledger, but this was re you’re, right? This is a real treasure hunt.
We were not at all, certain that when we started it out, that we’d find what we needed, but we really did.
Casey: And it really. Comes off as a labor of love, the way I’ll put everything together. And it’s, it’s fantastic. my, my five-year-old and I recently started watching the show on Disney plus and it holds up, Oh my goodness.
Not a lot from back then. I tried, I recently tried to watch, an old Jim Carrey movie, with my 10 year old, did not hold up. It was awful. did not know what we were thinking back then, because
Eric Lewald: you know,
Casey: but, X-Men, the animated [00:59:00] series is solid. It’s so solid from, from the first episode, it, it really pulls you in and, it, it, I think it was kind of anomalous, with.
In comparison to a lot of its contemporaries, maybe Batman, the animated series, had kind of a similar impact, but,
Julie Lewald: that’s a good looking show. Jeez.
Casey: Yeah. Yeah. And.
Eric Lewald: You,
Casey: you were both, no surprise on, on the same network.
Eric Lewald: Yeah, we were kind of slightly, you know, competing envious siblings. They had bigger budgets.
They look more beautiful, but we had better ratings. We thought we had denser stories
Casey: and stories that carried over into the next. Episode and had, consequences later on in the series, which is not something you would see, on, on other shows, you know, [01:00:00] Barney would always get his job back. Fred and Wilma would always, you know, be the, the fun neighbors, And, and this, you know, if somebody gets hurt, they, they, you know, stay hurt.
They stay in jail, they stay dead. for the most part,
Julie Lewald: one of my favorite kind of weird callbacks and a show that ran for 76 episodes is. From beauty and the beast, again, one of my personal favorites, but, you go back two seasons later and, I think it’s during, the beginning Slack I’ll have to go double-check but, there’s a moment where we’re beast.
Is that a computer at the keyboard and on the keyboard is a picture that says love Carly. It’s fine. It’s a shot of her. It’s like two seasons later. There’s that there’s just that quick flash by you. Don’t, you know, it’s never called out. It’s not a point of saying, but it’s like, Oh my God, those kinds of moments to me were so rich and made the show, give it so much depth.
Casey: That’s amazing that y’all were able to do that in, I don’t know,
Eric Lewald: just
[01:01:00] Casey: that y’all were able to remember some of that stuff. Just a little aside things that happen is great.
I’m sorry, did I interrupt
Eric Lewald: you?
Julie Lewald: Oh no, no, no, no. We’re just talking to you.
Casey: So yeah. Yeah. This, this book is fantastic. where can people go and get their own
Eric Lewald: copy? Well, it’s, it’s available the usual suspects like Amazon. But it’s also, like Walmart and target online, a lot of major bookstores or it probably comic book stores.
This, this, this is a, this is a pretty big publisher. Abrams’s they’ve got good relationships with. For places like that. So, you know, support your local bookstore, if you can.
Julie Lewald: Yeah. Can, can we give a shout out wherever you are, if you have, if you can and give your local bookstore or your local comic book, shop a phone call and see if they either have it, or if they can get it for you, just because this year has been so hard on, on so many industries and businesses.
[01:02:00] And if we can just do what we can. To try and help out your local, you know, support your local business. You know, if you can find one locally, do it that way. That’d be great.
Casey: do y’all have a particular shop in your area that you want to shout out? Well, while we’re shouting out,
Julie Lewald: well, I’ll give a few here.
we, we, in fact, we just did, Eric and I did a closed door day signing. It was us with the Dell and Sue out of a place called dark delicacies. That’s in Burbank. Well, a famous comic book. horror pop culture shop there in Burbank, dark delicacies. they’ve got several copies that Eric and I got to sign.
And then we also have a bookstore, a comic book shop in another one in the Burbank area called the perky nerd. Oh,
Casey: perky nerd. I love them. They’re super nice people.
Julie Lewald: Okay. So you know them and they’ve been very supportive and then we’ve got. Local children’s bookshop called once upon a time. again, we’re just trying to, you know, find a way to get the book to people.
Eric Lewald: Yeah. And you’ll be listening and you’ll, you’ll have a [01:03:00] store in Birmingham and they’ll, they’ll probably have it because it’s just, it’s, it’s just. It’s just thrilling to us that, that the man still there and it’s people, your age are passing it on to the next generation. We see that a lot of cons it’s wonderful.
We’ll get a 40 year old fan. That was just crazy about it in 1992 with their 10 year old in tow and say, well, we just watched the whole thing together. I
Julie Lewald: watched it with my grandpa when I was little
Casey: and now my
Julie Lewald: kids, you know, it’s like, well, that’s wonderful.
Eric Lewald: Yeah, so that, that’s just, that makes us feel incredibly grateful to have been part of it because, we just, we’re just, we sit at home writing these scripts and there’s, it’s not like you’re a performing artist and you know that you’ve made a connection to your audience.
when you’re done, when we’re done with the stories, you know, we’re onto the next job. And it’s only the places doing podcasts, like podcasts with you or where we get a sense that this is [01:04:00] leached out into the world and touched a lot of people.
Casey: Nearly 30 years later, still going strong. I, I started watching the show with my kid, while I was on break at work for COVID and then, I had planned to watch the rest of it with her.
And I had to ended up having to go back to work and she binged it without me the whole time.
So, so, yeah, she, she totally dug it. It still holds up this book again, X-Men the art and making of the animated series by Eric and, Julia Lee Wald. Fantastic work. I can’t thank y’all both enough for coming on and talking about, is there anything else y’all want to bring up while we’re, while we’re here?
Julie Lewald: If you could find us how folks find us, I’m on Twitter way too much. and we are there as X-Men TAs, which is for X-Men the animated series. We’re there. We’re on Facebook. We’re on Instagram. X-Men TAs come [01:05:00] find us
Eric Lewald: cleanings and maybe dig around and find out how come Auburn has three names. How come they’re the tigers or Eagle and
Casey: the plaintiff.
Julie Lewald: That’s just overkill. I’m sorry.
Casey: We, we. We have a lot of identity crisis in Alabama. I mean, w w our, our mascot at Alabama is an elephant, and yet we’re also the Crimson tide. So, but
Julie Lewald: yeah, we, we are, and, but you mentioned Disney plus want to give them a shout out because that has opened the door. To a whole new group of people who didn’t get a chance to watch X-Men before.
Cause it just wasn’t available. So the fact that it is
Eric Lewald: so cool,
Julie Lewald: it’s just amazing to us. Yeah.
Eric Lewald: And odd when we were, when we were doing the book, we actually, we had Disney plus up on the computer, you know, my reference point. So do I remember that? Exactly? What was it? They said [01:06:00] what we wrote there. So it was, we were using it towards the end of the making of the book.
We use it a lot.
Casey: Well, my, my kids, I think my kids both connected to it because they had never really been confronted with a show that talked to them on that level before, because, the five-year-old has only really seen, you know, like her kids’ shows and they seem to be much more like.
Kind of talking down and it’s, it’s funny animals and stuff like that. And this is, this has consequences. This is, you know, has some dire things that happen. And yet it’s still very entertaining. And, and so, For that reason it’s, think it’s connected with people really well.
Julie Lewald: So thank you so much for that.
We so appreciate hearing that.
Casey: Thank you all again, for coming on the show. If y’all ever want to come back, [01:07:00] please give us a holler and, I hope y’all stay safe. It’s starting to, starting to cool down. I hope it’s. but it’s nice there and, hope y’all enjoy the rest of your evening.
All right, y’all have a good one now.