AUTHOR: ERIC DEAN SEATON
AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: ERIC DEAN SEATON
By John Nathan
If you’ve ever seen episodes of shows like “That’s So Raven,”…or the current series “Undateable,” then you’ve seen prolific and award-winning director Eric Dean Seaton’s work. And, if you happen to be at Comic Com 2014 from July 24 – 27, you’ll get to see even more of his work AND meet him in person.
After building a successful career as a television director that began with an internship during the final season of “The Cosby Show,” Eric Dean Seaton has translated his talent for storytelling into the Legend of the Mantamaji series of graphic novels. And, as he shared with us, the worlds of television and graphic novels aren’t nearly as far apart as you might think.
“Legend of the Mantamaji” was the culmination of all the things I learned about story telling while working for The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. Their characters can be broad and the stories tailored more towards kids but the art of telling a story is the same. You have to have heart, it has to mean something, the main character needs to be flawed and learn a lesson and you have to take the audience on an adventure. ”
And, as it turns out, the art of creating adventures for himself and others is something Eric has been perfecting since childhood.
“My love for comic books started as a kid. Even in College I never stopped dreaming and having adventures but I kind of realized my opportunities in Ohio to be a Director were limited so I wrote Bill Cosby a letter and mailed it to his agent. The letter was so passionate that his agent sent it to him directly and I ended up doing an internship on the final season of The Cosby Show. I finished up school and moved to California and got a PA job on the Fox sitcom Living Single. The director’s husband ran Marvel Comics so when he would come to set I’d drill him on the books and stories that I loved and that shaped my life.”
When shaping the lives of the characters in the Legend of the Mantamaji series, Seaton also tapped into some cultural lessons learned from those early days with Cosby. The Cosby Show, beloved and embraced by viewers of every age and ethnicity, is still lauded today for its keen awareness and celebration of cultural diversity. While the main character of the series, Elijah is African-American, the graphic novel series boasts a multicultural cast and pivotal characters who are both male and female.
“Fantasy and fiction are best when they’re based on something people can relate to,” he explained. ”1 in 5 comic book readers are either African-American or Hispanic, but, for far too long people of color have been an afterthought in Super Hero or Sci-Fi/Fantasy stories and I didn’t want to continue that outdated thinking. But, fortunately, things are finally changing. Even now, some of the classic superheroes are being remade as a different race because they were originally created years ago and only represented one group of people.”
Published by “And… Action!” Entertainment, Legend of the Mantamaji tells the story of Elijah Alexander, a rising Assistant District Attorney in New York who learns he is the last of a race of mystical knights called the Mantamaji, who once protected mankind. When an ancient evil is resurrected, Elijah has to learn to turn his back on everything he’s worked for, accept his birthright, and learn how to use his magical warrior abilities to defeat the greatest threat the Mantamaji ever faced—without being distracted by his grief, his anger, and one terrible betrayal.
To purchase the books in the Legend of the Mantamaji series at Comic Con, please stop by Table P-13.
For those who can’t make it to Comic Con, the complete series will be available in both print and digital formats such as Kindle, Apple iBook, Kobe and many more. For more information or to pre-order the books online, please visit: