Doug TenNapel

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Doug TenNapel
TenNapel in June 2011
BornDouglas Richard TenNapel
(1966-07-10) July 10, 1966 (age 55)
Norwalk, California, U.S.
Notable works
Earthworm Jim
The Neverhood
AwardsEisner Award Winner
Angie TenNapel
(m. 1990)

Douglas Richard TenNapel (/təˈnpəl/ tə-NAY-pəl;[1] born July 10, 1966)[2] 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.[3] 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!"[4] In 1995, he left Shiny Entertainment and founded his own company, Neverhood, with several other former Shiny employees.[5] Working for DreamWorks Interactive, Neverhood created The Neverhood for the PC and PlayStation. The sequel, entitled Skullmonkeys, followed in 1998.[6]

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.[7] 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).[8]

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.[9][10]

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.[11]

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.[12][13]

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.[14]

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.[15] He has also published an online superhero-genre-spoofing webcomic titled Ratfist.[16]

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.[17] 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.[18]

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.[19] 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.[20][21] He also self-published the graphic novel, Earthworm Jim: Launch the Cow, again on Indiegogo. As of August 2019, Earthworm Jim: Launch the Cow is the second-highest-grossing crowd-funded comic book of all time (US$816,000), trailing only The Order of the Stick Reprint on Kickstarter ($1.2 million), and overtaking the comic book anthology Ctrl+Alt+Del (US$665,000).[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

He has been married to Angie since 1990.[22] The couple have four children.[23] TenNapel was personal friends with Andrew Breitbart prior to the latter's death.[12][13]

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.[24][25][26][27]

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".[28] TenNapel is also involved with Comicsgate, a loosely organized campaign against diversity and progressivism in the super hero comics industry.[28] Sean Gordon Murphy had drawn a cover for one of TenNapel's works. Murphy withdrew the cover 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", alleging that LGBTQ people are waging a "culture war" against him.[29]

TenNapel supported Donald Trump's presidency and regularly posts his political opinions on various social media platforms.[30]


Graphic novels[edit]

Year Title Publisher
1991 They Called Him Evil Mockingbird Studios
1998/2018 Gear Fireman Press/Image Comics
2002/2019 Creature Tech Top Shelf Productions/Image Comics
2004 Tommysaurus Rex Image Comics
2005 Earthboy Jacobus Image Comics
2006 Iron West Image Comics
2007 Black Cherry Image Comics
2007 Flink Image Comics
2008 Monster Zoo Image Comics
2009 Power Up Image Comics[31]
2010 Ghostopolis GRAPHIX (an imprint of Scholastic)[32]
2011 Bad Island GRAPHIX[33]
2012 Cardboard GRAPHIX[34]
2012 Return to the Neverhood (illustrations) Stunt Grafx[35]
2015 Nnewts - Escape From the Lizzarks GRAPHIX
2016 Nnewts - The Rise of Herk GRAPHIX
2017 Nnewts - The Battle for Amphibopolis GRAPHIX
2019 Bigfoot Bill: Shadow of the Mothman Self-published[citation needed]
2019 Earthworm Jim: Launch the Cow Self-published[citation needed]
2020 Bigfoot Bill 2: Finger of Poseidon Self-published[citation needed]
2021 Earthworm Jim 2: Fight the Fish Self-published[citation needed]

Web comics[edit]

Year Title
2011 Ratfist
2012 Nnewts

Children's books[edit]

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



Year Title Note
1991 Attack of the Killer Tomatoes Animator
1995 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 The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom TV special
Stop Motion animator

Video games[edit]

Year Title Note Developer
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 Shiny Entertainment
1995 Earthworm Jim 2
1996 The Neverhood Creator, writer, designer, voice of Hoborg, Bil, and Klogg The Neverhood, Inc.
1998 Skullmonkeys Creator, writer, designer, voice of Klogg The Neverhood, Inc.
1999 BoomBots Creator, writer, designer The Neverhood, Inc.
2015 Armikrog Creator, writer, designer, artist, additional animation Pencil Test Studios


Cover art[edit]

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


  1. ^ "Doug TenNapel - how I draw panels for my comics" on YouTube
  2. ^ "Doug TenNapel (dougtennapel) on Myspace". February 9, 2008. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  3. ^ Bello, John De (October 8, 1978), Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!, David Miller, George Wilson, Sharon Taylor, retrieved January 2, 2018
  4. ^ "David Perry (Virgin Games) – Interview". Arcade Attack. January 10, 2016. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  5. ^ "Gaming Gossip". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (74): 44. September 1995.
  6. ^ "Skullmonkeys". IGN. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  7. ^ Push, Nevada, retrieved January 2, 2018
  8. ^ Random! Cartoons
  9. ^ Catscratch, retrieved January 2, 2018
  10. ^ "Doug TenNapel Books, Author Biography, and Reading Level | Scholastic".
  11. ^ CBR Staff (May 28, 2009). "Power Up - CBR-SA". CBR. Retrieved February 14, 2020.
  12. ^ a b TenNapel, Doug (June 2, 2018). "Fear of Failure". Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  13. ^ a b Ek, Robin (August 7, 2017). "Interview with Doug TenNapel – The Earthworm Jim drama and thoughts on #GamerGate, censorship and SJWs". The Gaming Ground. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  14. ^ Kit, Borys (May 3, 2009). "Hugh Jackman to haunt 'Ghostopolis'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 7, 2009. Retrieved June 18, 2010.
  15. ^ Go Sukashi (November 19, 2009), Go Sukashi Episode 1, retrieved January 2, 2018
  16. ^ "Ratfist". Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  17. ^ Anderson, Paul (September 8, 2012). "Fox Animation helping Maguire bend "Cardboard"". Big Cartoon News. Archived from the original on December 2, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  18. ^ "BOOK NEWS – 'Doug TenNapel Sketchbook Archives' Kickstarter Announced". Alternative Magazine Online. October 15, 2012. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
  19. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (May 31, 2013). "The Neverhood creators launch Kickstarter for spiritual successor Armikrog". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved June 8, 2013.
  20. ^ Romano, Nick (May 1, 2019). "Earthworm Jim is making a comeback with new game". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  21. ^ Crecente, Brian (May 1, 2019). "New 'Earthworm Jim' Game in Development From Original Team". Variety. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  22. ^ Thompson, Pamela Kleibrink (December 1997). "Welcome to the Neverhood". Animation World Magazine. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  23. ^ "Doug TenNapel Books, Author Biography, and Reading Level". Scholastic. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  24. ^ Evans, Nathan (June 11, 2011). "Popzara Interviews: Ratfist and Earthworm Jim Creator Doug TenNapel". PopZara. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  25. ^ Mackey, Bob (June 17, 2013). "The Worm Turns". The Gameological Society. Archived from the original on June 23, 2013. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  26. ^ Joseph, Remington (August 3, 2017). "Earthworm Jim Creator Under Fire for Transphobic Comments". Comics Gaming Magazine. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  27. ^ Hughes, William (August 3, 2017). "Earthworm Jim creator pops up to remind Twitter of his transphobic views". The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  28. ^ a b Tamburro, Paul (March 5, 2020). "Earthworm Jim creator: 'Transphobe' is used to slander conservatives". GameRevolution. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  29. ^ Dominguez, Noah (March 6, 2020). "TenNapel Retracts Claim DC's Jim Lee Pressured Murphy to Pull Variant Cover". CBR. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  30. ^ Osborne, Mary. "The Shady Truth About Earthworm Jim Creator Doug TenNapel". Looper. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  31. ^ "Heroes + Villains: All Powered Up". Chicago Tribune. 2009. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  32. ^ "Ghostopolis". Kirkus Reviews. June 15, 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  33. ^ "Review of the Day:Bad Island by Doug TenNapel". June 4, 2011. Archived from the original on December 9, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  34. ^ "New tweener graphic novels by Doug TenNapel, Raina Telgemeier and Royden Lepp are hitting the shelves". Los Angeles Times. August 26, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  35. ^ "Terry Scott Taylor : Return to the Neverhood".

Other sources[edit]

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