Douglas Richard TenNapel (born July 10, 1966) is an American writer and cartoonist from Norwalk, California, who is best known for creating The Neverhood and Earthworm Jim, although his work definitely isn't limited to video games. The man has been involved in a wide variety of mediums. Doug TenNapel has authored sixteen graphic novels, developed four original video games and created three animated television series.
A Doug TenNapel creative style is very easy to spot due to his love both of monsters and of utterly insane character designs.
TenNapel is a devout Christian, who often includes religious themes in his works. Sometimes it's subtle (such as Monster Zoo), while sometimes it's more overt (Black Cherry or Creature Tech, for example).
His works include:
- Creature Tech
- Tommysaurus Rex
- Solomon Fix
- Earthboy Jacobus
- Iron West
- Black Cherry
- Monster Zoo
- Power Up
- Bad Island
- Nnewts series:
- Nnewts: Escape From the Lizzarks
- Nnewts: The Rise of Herk
- Nnewts: The Battle for Amphibopolis
- Bigfoot Bill: Shadow of the Mothman
- Earthworm Jim: Launch the Cow
- Bigfoot Bill 2: Finger of Poseidon
- Earthworm Jim 2: Fight the Fish
- Bigfoot Bill 3: Born Twice (upcoming)
Live Action Film
- Mothman (abandoned)
- Patient Seven (co-producer of the segment The Visitant)
Live Action Television
- Push, Nevada (as Consulting Producer)
- Bigfoot for Hire (cancelled)
- Catscratch (loosely adapted from Gear)
- Earthworm Jim (based on the game series)
- Project G.e.e.K.e.R. (along with Doug Langdale)
- Kog Head And Meatus (short film)
- Ape Escape (shorts based on the Playstation game series)
- Random! Cartoons (Two shorts: Solomon Fix and Squirly Town)
- VeggieTales in the House
- Doug was a member of the short-lived, mostly-a capella band Truck.
- He's contributed artwork to albums by Daniel Amos and Five Iron Frenzy.
Tropes common in Doug TenNapel's works include:
- Anti-Hero: If his protagonists aren't kids or incredibly naïve, chances are they'll be morally ambiguous.
- Creator Thumbprint:
- Besides the monsters, he frequently works in at least one scene with a cat.
- He uses silhouette to depict a character's emotional state.
- "Ripoff!" is frequently shouted in his works.
- References to Literature/philosophy are pretty common.
- Potshots at secular progressive philosophies are liable to appear.
- Old Shame:
- TenNapel came to care less about the status of the reboot based on Earthworm Jim (the video game and the cartoon based on it) due to his not controlling the rights of the property. The video game is one of Doug TenNapel's favorite projects, and the cartoon (despite being very funny and very memorable for a lot of people whose childhood was between 1995 and 1997) also served as a cheap tie-in for the video games. He eventually stated that he would be interested in revisiting Jim, but the rights are a tangled mess, and he likely wouldn't have the creative control needed to avoid the Executive Meddling that caused the above issues.
- The aforementioned Mothman, which served as TenNapel's first foray into live action filmmaking. Though one version of it finished post production and was screened at Amblin Entertainment, he remains secretive about the status of the film.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: Has earned a reputation for his especially bonkers and over-the-top monster designs; including an alien monarch sorceress with a colossal butt, various unusual twists on famous cryptids, and a horrifying arachnid creature with a huge mouth that the characters call a weasel.
- Renaissance Man: As you can see from the list above, Doug has dabbled in almost every entertainment medium out there at some point. Except live-action film, but he'd rather not talk about that.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Most of his works tend lean towards the idealistic. Even in his more cynical works the heroes are often able to make a positive difference in a Crapsack World.
- Unfazed Everyman: A good deal of his characters adjust to the otherworldly madness TenNapel puts them through fairly quickly.
- Widget Series: Every one of his stories.