Doug TenNapel

Last updated

Doug TenNapel
TenNapel in June 2011
BornDouglas Richard TenNapel
(1966-07-10) July 10, 1966 (age 56)
Notable works
Earthworm Jim
The Neverhood
Awards Eisner Award Winner
Angie TenNapel
(m. 1990)

Douglas Richard TenNapel ( /təˈnpəl/ tə-NAY-pəl; [1] born July 10, 1966) is an American animator, writer, cartoonist, video game designer, and comic book artist whose work has encompassed animated television, video games, and comic books. He is best known for creating Earthworm Jim, a character that spawned a video game series, animated series, and a toy line. He is also the creator of the animated television series Catscratch (2005–2007), which aired on Nickelodeon, and was itself a loose adaptation of TenNapel's comic book limited series Gear .



TenNapel began as an animator on Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: The Animated Series . [2] He soon began working in the video game industry on projects like 1993's Jurassic Park and The Ren & Stimpy Show: Stimpy's Invention for the Sega Genesis and The Jungle Book for the SNES and Sega Genesis.[ citation needed ] In 1994, he created Earthworm Jim, the character that would star in Shiny Entertainment's video game, toy line, and cartoon series. Shiny Entertainment head David Perry later commented on working with TenNapel, "I wish I could find 100 Dougs, then I realized I was lucky to have been able to work with one. He is crazy talented, both crazy and talented! He also generates an enormous amount of amazing content and ideas, I wouldn’t be surprised if he sleeps with a sketch-book!" [3] In 1995, he left Shiny Entertainment and founded his own company, Neverhood, with several other former Shiny employees. [4] Working for DreamWorks Interactive, Neverhood created The Neverhood for the PC and PlayStation. The sequel, entitled Skullmonkeys , followed in 1998. [5]

On television, TenNapel was the creator of the Project G.e.e.K.e.R. cartoon series for CBS. He was also a consulting producer on the ABC series Push, Nevada with Ben Affleck. [6] Towards the end of the 2000s, he also created two shorts for Frederator Studios and Nicktoons, "Solomon Fix" (computer generated 3D) and "Squirly Town" (traditional 2D). [7]

As a graphic artist and cartoonist, TenNapel released his first comic book in 1998: Gear , a surreal epic based on his real-life cats, Simon, Waffle, Gordon and Mr. Black, in a war against dogs and insects using giant robots as weapons. The cats from Gear would eventually become the Nickelodeon series Catscratch . [8] [9]

TenNapel did the cover art for several of Five Iron Frenzy's albums, including a sculpture for their live album, Proof That the Youth Are Revolting . TenNapel has also created album covers and artwork for several Daniel Amos CDs, The 1999 tribute to the band, When Worlds Collide , the Neverhood soundtrack Imaginarium: Songs from the Neverhood and others.[ citation needed ]

Flink, a graphic novel by TenNapel, was released in late 2007 through Image Comics. Monster Zoo was released in early summer 2008. In May 2009 his graphic novel Power Up was released. [10]

Between January and October 2009, TenNapel was a regular contributor to Breitbart News' "Big Hollywood" section, covering topics from movie reviews and the state of the comics entertainment industry to criticisms of the Obama administration and the environmental movement. [11] [12]

In July 2010, his graphic novel Ghostopolis was released. In 2009, it was announced the book would be adapted into a film starring and produced by Hugh Jackman, but no update has been given since then. [13]

TenNapel produced an episodic spoof of Japanese Super Sentai -style shows called Go Sukashi! based on a character by Shoko Nakagawa (who appears in the films), and starring John Soares and Brooke Brodack. [14] He has also published an online superhero-genre-spoofing webcomic titled Ratfist. [15]

In September 2012, Fox Animation optioned TenNapel's published Graphix novel Cardboard, with plans for actor Tobey Maguire's Material Pictures, graphic novelist Doug TenNapel, and the Gotham Group to be executive producers. Fox planned to have the picture developed under its WedgeWorks subsidiary. WedgeWorks director Chris Wedge ( Ice Age ) was producing, and considered directing the film as well. [16] As of 2020, no update has been given on the film, especially given the acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets by The Walt Disney Company.[ citation needed ]

TenNapel has used Kickstarter to produce a bound collection of his sketches, named Sketchbook Archives. [17]

TenNapel and other former members of the Earthworm Jim team at Pencil Test Studios launched a Kickstarter campaign in May 2013 to fund a PC game project called Armikrog , described a spiritual successor to The Neverhood and also being animated using clay animation techniques. [18] It was successful, and reached its stretch goal for a Wii U version.

In 2018, TenNapel self-published the graphic novel Bigfoot Bill, launched as an Indiegogo, successfully funded and reaching various stretch goals.

In May 2019, TenNapel and other members of the original Earthworm Jim team announced a new Earthworm Jim game, to be released as an exclusive for the upcoming Intellivision Amico. [19] [20] He also self-published the graphic novel Earthworm Jim: Launch the Cow, again on Indiegogo.

Personal life

He has been married to Angie since 1990. [21] The couple have four children. [22] TenNapel was personal friends with Andrew Breitbart prior to the latter's death. [11] [12]

Criticism and controversy

TenNapel has attracted criticism for his remarks on the LGBTQ community and its issues, including vocal opposition to same-sex marriage and intentionally misgendering a transgender journalist who criticized the Earthworm Jim video game. [23] [24] [25] [26]

He has dismissed this criticism, and has written that "transphobe (like homophobe) is a made-up word used to slander conservative people of faith with a mental condition, and is only used by SJWs". [27] TenNapel was involved with Comicsgate, a campaign against diversity and progressivism in the superhero comics industry. [27] Sean Gordon Murphy had drawn a cover for one of TenNapel's works, Bigfoot Bill 2, which he withdrew and issued an apology after being made aware of TenNapel's history of anti-LGBTQ comments. In response, TenNapel tweeted that it is "more important than ever that pro-family comic lovers support my work", stating his belief that LGBTQ people are waging a "culture war" against him. [28]

Political views and beliefs

TenNapel supported Donald Trump's presidency and regularly posts his political opinions on various social media platforms. [29] He has a YouTube channel owned by his son Ed called Doug In Exile where he talks about current political events usually from a conservative perspective.


Graphic novels

1991They Called Him EvilMockingbird Studios
1998 Scud: Tales from the vending machine #3Fireman Press
1998/2018 Gear Fireman Press/Image Comics
2002/2019 Creature Tech Top Shelf Productions/Image Comics
2004Tommysaurus RexImage Comics
2005Earthboy JacobusImage Comics
2006 Iron West Image Comics
2007Black CherryImage Comics
2007FlinkImage Comics
2008Monster ZooImage Comics
2009Power UpImage Comics [30]
2010 Ghostopolis GRAPHIX (an imprint of Scholastic) [31]
2011Bad IslandGRAPHIX [32]
2012CardboardGRAPHIX [33]
2012Return to the Neverhood (illustrations)Stunt Grafx [34]
2015Nnewts - Escape From the LizzarksGRAPHIX
2016Nnewts - The Rise of HerkGRAPHIX
2017Nnewts - The Battle for AmphibopolisGRAPHIX
2019Bigfoot Bill: Shadow of the Mothman Self-published [ citation needed ]
2019Earthworm Jim: Launch the Cow Self-published [ citation needed ]
2020Bigfoot Bill 2: Finger of Poseidon Self-published [ citation needed ]
2021Earthworm Jim 2: Fight the Fish Self-published [ citation needed ]

Web comics


Children's books

1997Doug and Mike's Strange Kid Chronicles #1: Mighty Monday Madness Scholastic Press Co-written with Michael Koelsch
1997Doug and Mike's Strange Kid Chronicles #2: Tuna Fish Tuesday Scholastic Press Co-written with Michael Koelsch
1998Doug and Mike's Strange Kid Chronicles #3: Wisenheimer Wednesday Scholastic Press Co-written with Michael Koelsch
1998Doug and Mike's Strange Kid Chronicles #4: Just Thursday Scholastic Press Co-written with Michael Koelsch
1998Doug and Mike's Strange Kid Chronicles #5: Fateful Friday Scholastic Press Co-written with Michael Koelsch



1991 Attack of the Killer Tomatoes Animator
1995–1996 Earthworm Jim Creator, executive producer, and writer
1996 Project G.e.e.K.e.R. Co-Creator and executive producer
2000 Koghead and Meatus Short
Director and writer
2002 Push, Nevada Consulting producer
2004 Sockbaby Director, writer and voice of Sockbaby
2005–2007 Catscratch Creator, executive producer, director, writer, and storyboard artist
2007–2008 Random! Cartoons Creator, writer, character designer, storyboard artist, and voice director
Episodes: "Squirly Town" and "Solomon Fix"
2009 Ape Escape Writer and storyboard artist
2012 Adventure Time Writer
Episode: "Sons of Mars"
2012 It's a SpongeBob Christmas! TV special
Stop Motion animator
2014–2016 VeggieTales in the House Writer and executive producer
2017 VeggieTales in the City Writer and executive producer
2017 The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom TV special
Stop Motion animator

Video games

1992 Sküljagger: Revolt of the Westicans Animator Realtime Associates
1993 Technoclash Blue Sky Software
Jurassic Park (Sega Genesis)
The Ren & Stimpy Show: Stimpy's Invention
1994 The Jungle Book Virgin Games USA/Eurocom
Earthworm Jim Creator, writer, designer, voice of Earthworm Jim [35] Shiny Entertainment
1995 Earthworm Jim 2
1996 The Neverhood Creator, writer, designer, voice of Hoborg, Bil, and KloggThe Neverhood, Inc.
1998 Skullmonkeys Creator, writer, designer, voice of Klogg
1999 BoomBots Creator, writer, designer
2015 Armikrog Creator, writer, designer, artist, additional animationPencil Test Studios


Cover art

1994 Daniel Amos BibleLand
1997 Five Iron Frenzy Our Newest Album Ever!
1998Five Iron Frenzy Quantity Is Job 1
1999Five Iron Frenzy Proof That the Youth Are Revolting
2000Various Artists When Worlds Collide: A Tribute to Daniel Amos
2003Five Iron Frenzy The End Is Near
2004 Terry S. Taylor Imaginarium: Songs from the Neverhood
2013Five Iron Frenzy Engine of a Million Plots

Related Research Articles

<i>The Neverhood</i> 1996 video game

The Neverhood is a 1996 point-and-click adventure video game developed by The Neverhood, Inc. and published by DreamWorks Interactive for Microsoft Windows. The game follows the adventure of a claymation character named Klaymen as he discovers his origins and his purpose in a world made entirely out of clay. When the game was originally released, it was unique in that all of its animation was done entirely in claymation, including all of the sets. The gameplay consists mostly of guiding the main character Klaymen around and solving puzzles to advance. Video sequences help advance the plot. In addition to being unique, The Neverhood aimed at being quirky and humorous, as is evident by the characters, the music, and the plot sequence. It received a sequel in 1998, Skullmonkeys, which was a platform game, abandoning the adventure format of the original.

<i>Earthworm Jim</i> (video game) 1994 video game

Earthworm Jim is a 1994 run and gun platform game developed by Shiny Entertainment, featuring an earthworm named Jim, who wears a robotic suit and battles the forces of evil. The game was released for the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System, before being subsequently ported to a number of other video game consoles.

<i>Project G.e.e.K.e.R.</i> American TV series or program

Project G.e.e.K.e.R. is an animated television series that premiered on CBS on September 14, 1996. It was created by Douglas TenNapel, creator of Earthworm Jim, and Doug Langdale, the developer of Earthworm Jim the animated series, and was a production of Columbia TriStar Television under Adelaide Productions, with original music by Shawn Patterson. TenNapel and Taylor also collaborated on the video games The Neverhood, Boombots and Skullmonkeys, and in 2005, re-united for the Nickelodeon cartoon Catscratch.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shiny Entertainment</span> American video game developer

Shiny Entertainment, Inc. was an American video game developer based in Laguna Beach, California. Founded in October 1993 by David Perry, Shiny was the creator of video games such as Earthworm Jim, MDK and Enter the Matrix. Perry sold the company to Interplay Productions in 1995, which sold the studio to Infogrames, Inc. in 2002. After Foundation 9 Entertainment acquired Shiny in 2006, the company was merged with The Collective in October 2007, creating Double Helix Games.

<i>Gear</i> (Image Comics) Six-issue comic series

Gear is a six-issue comic book limited series written and illustrated by Doug TenNapel. It was published in six issues by Fireman Press Ltd, a production company and publishing house. The issues were reprinted in trade paperback form by Image Comics in 2007. Many of the characters presented in the book were retooled for TenNapel's Nickelodeon cartoon series Catscratch.

<i>Catscratch</i> American animated television series

Catscratch is an American animated television series created by Doug TenNapel. It aired on Nickelodeon from July 9, 2005, to February 10, 2007. It was a loose adaptation of TenNapel's comic book series, Gear, which in the series is also the name of the cats' monster truck. The series features music composed by longtime TenNapel collaborator, Terry Scott Taylor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paul Dini</span> American writer and comic creator

Paul McClaran Dini is an American screenwriter and comic creator. He has been a producer and writer for several Warner Bros. Animation/DC Comics animated series, most notably Batman: The Animated Series (1992–1995), and the subsequent DC Animated Universe. Dini and Bruce Timm co-created the characters Harley Quinn and Terry McGinnis.

Scott Morse is an American animator, filmmaker, and comic book artist/writer.

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<i>Earthworm Jim 3D</i> 1999 video game

Earthworm Jim 3D is a platform video game developed by VIS Interactive and published by Interplay Entertainment for the Nintendo 64. It is the third in the Earthworm Jim series and a sequel to Earthworm Jim 2. It was the first game in the series to not be developed by Shiny Entertainment, which had recently instituted a strict "no sequels" policy. Interplay Entertainment, having recently purchased the Earthworm Jim rights, handed the franchise off to VIS Interactive. The game suffered a difficult, prolonged development cycle and was repeatedly delayed until it was released in 1999 for the Nintendo 64, with Rockstar Games publishing the N64 version in North America. It was ported to Microsoft Windows. The game was not received well, with critics claiming that the charm of the originals was lost, and that despite the long development period, the game still felt sloppy and lacked previously promoted features.

<i>Earthworm Jim</i> (TV series) American animated television series

Earthworm Jim is an American animated television series based on the video game series of the same name and created by series creator, Doug TenNapel. The series aired on the Kids' WB for two seasons from September 9, 1995, to December 13, 1996. It follows the adventures of the titular character who battles the forces of evil using a robotic suit.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Raina Telgemeier</span> American cartoonist, illustrator, and writer

Raina Diane Telgemeier is an American cartoonist. Her works include the autobiographical webcomic Smile, which was published as a full-color middle grade graphic novel in February 2010, and the follow-up Sisters and the fiction graphic novel Drama, all of which have been on The New York Times Best Seller lists. She has also written and illustrated the graphic novels Ghosts and Guts as well as four graphic novels adapted from The Baby-Sitters Club stories by Ann M. Martin.

Earthworm Jim is a series of platform games featuring an earthworm named Jim who wears a robotic suit and battles the forces of evil. The series is noted for its platforming and shooting gameplay, surreal humor, and edgy art style. Four games were released in the series: Earthworm Jim, Earthworm Jim 2, Earthworm Jim 3D, and Earthworm Jim: Menace 2 the Galaxy, with the first game released in 1994. The series had lain dormant for almost a decade before Gameloft remade the original game in HD for PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade in 2010. Interplay announced Earthworm Jim 4 in 2008; little to no information had been surfaced until May 2019 and August 2020.

Earthworm Jim 4 is a video game in the Earthworm Jim series. It was originally announced by Interplay Entertainment in 2008, and referred to by Interplay as "still in development" in May 2011. Later commentary over the next decade from individual developers would contest its development status, until May 2019, when it was announced that the game was being developed for the upcoming Intellivision Amico console.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kate Beaton</span> Canadian comics artist (born 1983)

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<i>Armikrog</i> 2015 video game

Armikrog is a stop-motion point-and-click adventure comedy game by Doug TenNapel in partnership with Pencil Test Studios and Versus Evil for Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, Wii U and Xbox One. It is a spiritual successor to The Neverhood, and is developed by many members of the same team. Like The Neverhood, Armikrog uses clay animation.

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