Wes Gleason

This year at WonderCon, we were lucky to meet with Wes Gleason, the voice director of the brand-new series Justice League Action on Cartoon Network. It was amazing to meet with him considering his status in the industry; plus, his energy and personality made it more enjoyable. We asked him many questions about his position in the new series as well as other questions that relate to his passion for working. Gleason opens about his work experience with voice directors like Andrea Romano and feels honored that he is seen as a top voice director. When asked about the differences between live action, animation, and videogames, he responds that each has their own benefits and methods but ends by saying that the creative process (from all of them) comes from the voice actors as well as the voice directors and writers. He also thanks his father for telling him that he is “‘never too old to play’,” because he would not be where he is if he was not allowed to play with his action figures as an adult. “I can say ‘I’m living the dream’,” Gleason says when asked about working in the world of animation. We congratulate Gleason (once again) on his success and wish his show Justice League Action the best when it airs on Cartoon Network.

Host: Wondercon 2017! Joining me right now is Wes Gleason. He is the Voice Director of Justice League Action that’s airing on Cartoon Network. Heeellloo Mr. Wes, thank you so much for being here today!

Wes: Thank you for having me.

Host: Oh Gosh. So, I’m really excited about your panel. So, can you give us a little tease about what to expect from today?

Wes: Oh, well I’m really excited about the episodes everyone gets to see. “Forget-Me-Not” is such fun with our villain Felix Faust. Jon Cryer lent his voice for that character.

Host: Cool.

Wes: And he adds just a new twist to it. And you know he brings some humor and some sinisterness to the role. As far as “Garden of Evil” is concerned, it’s one of my favorite episodes. It shows off Mark Hamill as our Swamp Thing.

Host: Oh my goodness.

Wes: And also an introduction to Fire Storm, voiced by PJ Byrne. As well as the counterpart to Firestorm, the voice inside his head Martin Stein, voiced by Stephen Tobolowsky. They just make a perfect sort of blend of duality for that one character.

Host: Well, you have a very impressive IMDb and you’ve got a lot of really great Batman prjects coming out. Can you share with us a little bit about the Batman movies that are coming out? Like I know there’s a Harley Quinn and there’s a Two-Face coming out.

Wes: I wish I knew what I could say there, but… I can neither confirm nor deny.

Host: Okay. Were you big into comics, movies, and animation growing up?

Wes: Oh, absolutely. Just a love of all things cartoon related or action movie related. You know, really all things entertainment. I think my education came more from just watching TV and movies, as much as any of my school time. FOr me, just getting into the DC Comics. You know falling in love with those characters from an early age and getting to sort of play in that world as a big kid, just feels awesome.

Host: Isn’t it amazing how it just comes back full circle?

Wes: I continue to thank my dad all the time for always sort of reminding me that I’m never too old to play. I think that was with toys, but I think I sort of take it into my work and if I took it too far, I’m okay with that.

Host: Are there any characters that you are looking forward to seeing in the new the show?

Wes: I’m more really excited about some of the new characters we get to introduce in Justice League Action because there’s a lot of characters that are unknown to the mass audience, some deep in the archives in the DC Comic world. But, it gives us a new opportunity to find a new voice for these characters that hasn’t been voiced before. Someone like a Patton Oswalt as our Space Cabbie. No one has ever heard Space Cabbie before, so I’m hoping he’s setting the bar for who that can be from here on out. Again a lot of other introductions as far as Plastic Man in our universe there’s some cool versions of that waiting to be heard.

Wes: When Dana Snider, just too much fun in that. Again, our main cast anchored by Kevin Conroy as our Batman that people just find–

Host: Pretty amazing.

Wes: As I feel to be The Batman. He really anchors our action scenes and sequences, as well as the comedy. He’s so adept at playing the straight man for our comedy when needed. To combine him with Jason Lewis and Rachel Kimsey, as far as their enthusiasm and love for these characters and getting to voice these roles on our show, has been so much fun.

Host: Nice.

Wes: It feels like a love fest of DC characters.

Host: It is. That’s like the like party you want to be invited. I’m just saying. Let’s talk about voice directing. What has been your experience with professional on-screen actors versus voice-over actors.

Wes: Wow, that’s a really good question. I think there are benefits to both. It really depends on the role. Sometimes people come in very prepared and they’re ready to sort of wow you for what you traditionally know them to be good for. Sometimes people come in wanting a little more of that guidance. And then you kind of forge that sort of path together and the collaboration is something that we really try to do, at least that I try to keep in mind in the sessions. You know, to figure out what that character might say or might be feeling. If the line feels right for them, that’s a collaborative affair. I can have my ideas and the writers obviously have where they’re coming from, producers too. But, to hear sort of a spin from those who have been doing it from the voice-over world or on-camera all have different ideas so I think you find new, unique choices from both.

Host: But things do actually change from the storyboard process to the production.

Wes: Oh my gosh, absolutely!

Host: All the time?

Wes: All the time. And you know, we really value the script when it comes in, but at the same time we are really open to collaboration from the talent and maybe folks like myself or the producers in the room to find what works best. You know, I think it just makes it a more fun experience and then if you’re having a good time, hopefully everyone else feels that in the final product.

Host: What’s your experience working in animation versus the video gaming world?

Wes: Wow. Really good question. I–

Host: I’m on a roll lately.

Wes: Yeah, seriously! I really have a love for both. I was able to cut my teeth, for lack of a better expression, in video games and feel so blessed to work with so many talented people both developer and actors and writers for some really amazing projects and the animation side– it’s always been a dream. To get to crack that shell and get a chance to play in both, I can literally say that I’m living the dream.

Host: That’s why I was like I really want to interview him so bad.

Wes: Aww

Host: Because I want to be like you and you rock.

Wes: And there are so many talented people that are playing in one realm versus the other and now maybe see those crossing over and doing both is exciting for me. You know, I not only want to introduce those skills and what I’ve come to love from them into both sort of fanbases. I know there’s crossover, but it’s also sort of nice to give them each a shot in their own media.

Host: It is a small world isn’t it?

Wes: Sometimes can be. When you find a great working relationship with someone and they can bring what you want for the role and even more what you’re thinking of you tend to gravitate towards those people. I love enthusiasm and passion for projects, so those.

Host: It’s something about the voice over community. And one last question before we wrap up. The voice-over community, or actually the directing community is actually a very small community. How often do you guys interact with people like Andrea Romano?

Wes: Oh, I love this question. I get to see some of the directors that are out their working, often and, obviously, I love the chance to say hello. Those like Andrea Romano or Kris Zimmerman, or any of these names that we’ve come to love. The Kris Zimmermans of the world I feel so grateful for having them to set a precedent of what great directors are. For me to even be mentioned with those names is flattering, so…

Host: That’s why I wanted to interview you. Well, thank you so much Wes for being here this evening. If you’d like to catch Justice League Action it’ll be on Cartoon Network.

Wes: 7:30 AM, Cartoon Network.

Host: Thank you so much for joining us. Hopefully, we will see you at future cons and TV panels and, of course, your name on the credits. Such a pleasure meeting you, thank you so much for joining us.

Wonder Con 2017 | Cartoon Network | Justice League Action
Host: Machelle Noel | Writer: Alan Santellanes | Transcriber: Ariel Wei
Date: Friday – March 31, 2017 | Location: Anaheim Convention Center

Santellanes_Profile_PictureAlan Santellanes | Writing Contributor
B.A | Communications | Cal State University, LA

Alan Santellanes is a California State University, Los Angeles graduate and cannot wait to hit the ground running in the media making industry. His goal is to become a showrunner for kids & to promote diversity and equity in the shows he creates. He has a strong interest in development production; more specifically, creative writing; organizing and planning. Aside from pursing a career in the media making industry, Alan enjoys playing videogames with his brother and nephews, watching television with his family, going to the movie theaters with his friends & baking desserts for his loved ones. Alan brings positivity to any new friendship or challenge that crosses on his path. Find him on Instagram @AlanSantellanes and TwitterView My Blogs 

Please contact me below for freelance writing opportunities, sponsorship, brand ambassadorship, licensing information and press coverage:

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