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Ben Edlund

'Tick' tacks toward live-action TV skein

Ben Edlund was just a teenage comicbook fan when he created “The Tick.”

“When I was doing the comicbook, it didn’t seem at all like a passport to Hollywood,” says Edlund, 32. “This was definitely a hobby.”

And like any good superhero, “The Tick” never gives up. After innumerable comicbooks and a three-year, 36-episode stint as an animated series, the lantern-jawed do-gooder is back — this time as a live-action comedy set to debut Nov. 1 on Fox.

Edlund credits the origin of “Tick” to a superhero role-playing game that gave him a good ear for writing while breaking down the genre into laughably silly elements. He published a dozen black-and-white issues of “The Tick” starting in 1988, and went to college with thoughts of film school in his head.

But Hollywood came knocking first, as the late-1980s success of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and Tim Burton’s “Batman” had studios scouring the comic shops for the next big hit.

“It was a form of cultural prospecting that I benefited from,” he says.

The animated “Tick” landed at Fox Kids, and Edlund was heavily involved in the show as co-producer, writer and storyboard artist, and was grateful for the amount of leeway he was given.

“I tossed away the storyboards for the first six shows at a point where we were about to start animating and Fox was very cool,” he says.

The show’s success opened the door for Edlund to contribute to films such as “Titan A.E.” He also has been developing a new version of “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians,” with co-writer Randolph Heard and producer David Zucker.

Meanwhile, with a pilot and eight episodes in the can, Edlund is ready to see how the new “Tick” is received.

“Every outcome is possible,” he says.

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