The Beat sat down with creator Ian Jones-Quartey, known for his work on Adventure Time and Steven Universe, to learn more about the brand new show he’s created for Cartoon Network: OK K.O! Let’s Be Heroes. The show features the titular K.O., who wants to become the world’s greatest hero.
1 .OK K.O. IS A LABOR OF LOVE
“Cartoon Network asked me if I had any ideas for a show, and I actually came up with a really long elaborate idea. And then, I don’t know, it just didn’t feel right. So I scraped it and decided how about I roll everything I love into a ball and pitch that as an idea. And they liked it, and we went from there.”
2. OK K.O. IS INFLUENCED BY VIDEO GAMES
“Video games and cartoons are similar. They have a lot of rapid development over time. They’re very interesting because they’re fledgling mediums outside the mainstream… I like to think that for every video game trope, there’s an equivalent cartoon trope, so when we make the show we try to meld those two things together… We try to take ideas from our experiences as gamers and logically follow that through.”
3. OK K.O.’S THREE MAIN CHARACTERS ARE KO, RADICLES, AND ENID
“K.O. is a young, super idealistic kid who has just started working at the hero’s [supply] store that all the other characters work at, and he loves his job. He loves the world. He sees the world as very black and white… he has a lot to learn about nuance and what it’s like to grow up.
Guiding the journey are two teenagers, Radicles and Enid, who are sort of a shoulder angel and devil depending on the episode.”
4. OK K.O.’S MAIN VILLAIN IS LORD BOXMAN
“We have a main villain called Lord Boxman. He runs an evil robot factory that’s actually across from where our characters work, and he just can’t stand that there’s a bunch of do-good heroes, because when everyone’s getting along and being friends, they don’t buy evil robots.”
5. OK K.O. SEEKS TO CREATE AN IMMERSIVE, DETAILED WORLD
“You know how in a lot of cartoons the characters will show up, they’ll go to a concert and there’s a crowd, and a bunch of random characters in the background?… They’re just blah characters that you’ll never see again…. We’ve made it so that every single background character is their own character. They all have names and they all have hopes and dreams… As the show goes on, layers of that are going to start getting peeled back.”
OK K.O! Let’s be Heroes debuts August 1st on Cartoon Network.