On Thursday, 2/15, at 7pm, in the Hodges Library Auditorium, UT graduates Eric Lewald, Mark Edens, and Michael Edens will return to campus to discuss their experiences working on X-Men: The Animated Series. In 1992, in Hollywood, University of Tennessee alumnus Eric Lewald was hired to do something that had never been done successfully: develop a realistic, serious TV series from a Marvel comic book. As showrunner, his first decision was to ask two fellow UT graduates, brothers Mark and Michael Edens, to head the writing staff. These three former UT Film Committee members, along with talented artists, cast, and crew, built the worldwide number-one hit that the New York Times claimed, in a 1994 arts section cover article, had “vanquished America.” X-MEN: The Animated Series had billions of viewings of episodes. The series ran for five successful seasons in the 90’s and remains a beloved cult favorite.
Additionally, Lewald recently published Previously on X-MEN, a book about his personal history of making the show, which combines interviews he conducted with dozens of other series contributors. In it, Lewald lays out the details of how the series was sold, developed, written, produced, and managed; casting issues, design, music, storytelling decisions, creative struggles, business crises, and the mystery of popular acceptance. It is a personal view, told by those who did the work, of how a successful television show is born, grows, and perseveres. A book signing will follow the panel.