FEATURES : COLUMNS : REVIEWS : NEWS : FILM & TV : FORUMS : UGO

ABOUT




New Doc Ock Hits Spider-Man
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Marvel Hires New Publisher
Following such rumors, Marvel today announced that Bill Jemas has been replaced as Publisher. Now read who took his job.
CrossGen's Solus #7
CrossGen thinks you'll love George Pérez's new issue of Solus. And to prove it, here's a five-page preview.
Marvel Searches For She-Hulk
Writer Geoff Johns and artist Scott Kolins reunite for Marvel's Avengers as they search for She-Hulk.
Virtex Returns For Digital Webbing
A comic about a cybernetic cowboy that hunts outlaws riding dinosaurs? Where do we sign up? Read on and find out.
Marvel's Mutants Gains New Penciler
Marvel's New Mutants has a new artist onboard, and we've got a five-page preview. See if he's got the chops.
Image Rocks Out With Shangri-La
Are you ready to rock and roll? Image is, with their upcoming graphic novel Shangri-La. Read the details here.
Marvel Teams Up For A Good Cause
Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk team up for charity in a special December one-shot. Read all about it.
Davis' Marquis Returns In December
Guy Davis' sin-slayer is back in The Marquis: Intermezzo, coming from Oni Press. Read all about it.
Marvel Unveils '04 FF Plans
Marvel plans three Fantastic Four series for 2004, and we've got the details and preview art. Check this out.
2F2F DVD Contest
The hit street racing film 2 Fast 2 Furious is driving to DVD players near you. Win a free copy from Slush and Universal.
 








Interview:
Ken Knudtsen
By Zack Smith

03.14.03


Ken Knudtsen had been trying to break in to the comic industry for years, and wasn’t sure his offbeat book MY MONKEY’S NAME IS JENNIFER would find an audience. However, he soon found the book gathering positive word of mouth before it was even published - from fans and pros alike.

“Basically, I had the first issue almost done,” recalls Knudtsen, 27, at the 2002 San Diego Comic Con. “I went to a convention two years ago, it was a month before the San Diego con, and I gave a copy to Peter David.

“I went to San Diego a month later, I still had the book, and everyone I showed it to was saying, ‘I’ve seen this.’ It turned out Peter had reviewed it [in his COMIC BUYERS GUIDE column ‘But I Digress’]. That was just incredibly flattering. It really gave the book a boost.”


Article continued below advertisement


MY MONKEY’S NAME IS JENNIFER (Slave Labor Graphics, $2.95) has quickly gained a loyal following since the first issue premiered earlier this year (three issues have currently been published). It has received glowing reviews, was spotlighted as “Certified Cool” in Diamond’s PREVIEWS catalog and has become a favorite of many pros (during the course of this interview, STARMAN creator James Robinson came up to pick up the new issue and proclaim JENNIFER “One of the few comics I read any more”).

Not bad for a book whose inspiration came from a gag in a SIMPSONS episode.

“I was watching that episode of THE SIMPSONS where Homer gets a helper monkey - ‘Mojo,’ that was his name - and I thought, ‘What’s better than a monkey? An angry monkey!’ Then I thought, ‘How come he’s angry? Well, there’s a little girl who loves him and dresses him up…’ It all came together from that.”

JENNIFER chronicles the misadventures of the titular (male) monkey, who’s been declawed and forced to act as a pet for the naïve and adoring Kaitlin, a sweet, trusting little girl who’s unaware her monkey’s thoughts consist of nasty bits of broken English dealing with little Kaitlin’s violent, horrible demise.

Along the way, Jennifer gets dragged into Kaitlin’s frequent misadventures, which involve evil scientists, irate pirates, and Kaitlin’s guardian angel, who appears as a skeleton in a business suit. This synopsis does not include the really strange stuff.

“It’s a lot of fun to do,” says Kundtsen (whose name is pronounced NOOD-sen). “Right now, there’s a three-issue storyline where Kaitlin and Jennifer meet some pirates, then in issue six, we have a single-issue story where the family takes the monkey out for the day. We might do a trade after that, I’m still figure out where it’s going to go from here.”

“Because I’m not that great a writer, I plot everything out. It’s definitely harder to write than draw - I’ll write a whole script that’s not as detailed as the real script, but I know what I want. I can put in things, have the guardian angel show up, there’s no explanation why he’s there, but if I do it right, it’ll still make sense in a way.”

Knudtsen’s worries over his writing were part of the reason he spent several years developing his craft at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan (two of his teachers there, Klaus Janson and Walt Simonson, have contributed cover art to JENNIFER issues). “I wanted to make sure I did a good job with my work - I took some writing classes, studied comic writing so I could get that right. Jack C. Harris (THE RAY) was a huge help with that.

“The most important thing to remember with writing is you can’t do enough work. Otherwise, you’ll be trying to cover up for all the short cuts you took later if you’re not a seasoned writer.”



Knudtsen was also careful to avoid lateness once he found a publisher for JENNIFER. “I didn’t have the first issue solicited until the first four issues were already complete. We have issue three out right now and I’m still drawing number six, so I’m hoping I can keep up with it!”

Still, Knudtsen’s happy that the book has been so well received. “This is the first time I tried to do my own story, and it’s gratifying to know people like it.” His advice for other aspiring professionals is to “keep at it.” “Eventually, your hard work will pay off. And as hard as it is, there’s nothing better than walking into a comic store and seeing your book on the shelf.”


Click here to view a nine-page preview of My Monkey's Name Is Jennifer (highly recommended)


MY MONKEY’S NAME IS JENNIFER has currently published six issues. For more information on the book, check out Slave Labor’s web site at www.slavelabor.com or Kundtsen’s home page at www.epicprops.com.

 

 
E-Mail Author  |  Archive  |  Tell A Friend

 

 



 
Sword of Dracula
Slush launches our Halloween countdown with the first in a series of spooky reviews. First up? New series, Sword of Dracula.
John Byrne's IMO
This week John points out that fans cannot read the minds of creators, although you wouldn't know that by listening to some of them.
The Dead Zone
Flesh-eating zombies battle the last remaining police officer in Image's new series, The Walking Dead. We review the first issue.
Steve Niles Interview
Slush interviews Steve Niles, the acclaimed writer of 30 Days of Night, who tells us about the relaunch of Fused.
A Spidery Preview
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Kill Bill Review
Slush reviews the first installment of Quentin Tarantino's kung fu slasher masterpiece, Kill Bill.
Viper Interview
Slush takes a look at new publisher Viper Comics, and interviews the guys behind two of its hottest books.
Peanuts Collected
Cartoon fans rejoice. Fantagraphics is reprinting the entire collection of Charles Schulz' Peanuts. Read on for details.


CHANNELS:  Features | Columns | Reviews | News | Film & TV | Forums | Slushfactory.com

Copyright © 2003 Slush Factory Entertainment (E-mail)
All Rights Reserved : No portion of Slush may be reprinted in any form without prior consent