You probably know some of Doug TenNapel’s work, even if you don’t know his name. The graphic novelist’s early fame came in the glory days of 16-bit gaming when he created Earthworm Jim, the character popularized by a couple of Shiny’s game releases (oh, Shiny. sigh.) and eventual star of an animated series.
Since then, TenNapel has worked in music, film and comics; his graphic novel Creature Tech is a glorious little piece of fiction that (thankfully) continues to languish in development hell after being optioned some time ago.
Ironic, then, that an as-yet unpublished work might make it to the screen first. Paramount has just picked up the rights to Monster Zoo, a graphic novel to be published by Image in April. Sam Raimi, though his Buckaroo Entertainment venture with Josh Donen, will produce.
The basic plot outline sounds like a gloss on A Night at the Museum: “a young boy who discovers his local zoo contains critters much more frightening than the ordinary collection.“
But with Creature Tech, at least, TenNapel managed to inject real personality into what could have been a simple Mignola/sci-fi knockoff. And since I’d much rather see Raimi’s producer credit on a film like that than another Ghosthouse throwaway, I’m going to eye this one seriously as other creative types are attached.