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Jonathan Coulton and Greg Pak on their Kickstarter project 'Code Monkey'

Andy Ihnatko | April 16, 2013
Today, Jonathan Coulton and Greg Pak launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new comic based on JoCo's signature songs.

GP: I'll just say that the instant I opened up my email and saw Tak's initial sketches, my head exploded from the awesome. Particularly that one little sketch of Code Monkey typing with that slightly dangerous arch to his eyebrow. There's a guy on the verge--who knows what he's going to become? Adorable--or deadly? I love it so so so so much.

JoCo: I'll second Greg's comment--not that I had any preconceived notions of what he looked like, or even if he was a monkey or not, Tak nailed it out of the gate.

GP: I will say one thing: from the beginning, I knew he had to be a real monkey. And if we can get away with it, I hope to never explain it.

TH: It must be fun to be surprised by something new in something that you yourself wrote. It sounds like your process for creating this comic will be a little like the classic Marvel Method of writing comics: the writer hands a synopsis, the artist breaks it down into pages, the writer then scripts through the artwork.

GP: Well, the Marvel Method really is about producing story pages that way. I've planned out the whole story, but at the moment, we've just had Tak working on character and cover designs. So yes, there's a lot of fun back and forth, with me tossing him a few lines about the each characters and Tak hitting us back with sketches. And Tak somehow has a direct line into my brain, because he's totally nailing every single design. When we get to the actual writing and drawing of story pages, I'll give Tak full script pages. I've done more Marvel Method writing recently--most recently with "X-Treme X-Men," and I've had a lot of fun with it.

But Tak and I have always worked with full script together and it's been great. Tak's absolutely amazing with character--particularly with very small, funny nuances. And I think we'll have the best chance of teasing out those moments if we go full script.

At the same time, I'm always hugely open to artists bringing awesome ideas to the table, and Tak's one of those endlessly inventive guys who finds fun bits to play with that bring out essential things about the characters. He created all the scenarios for those initial character sketches of Code Monkey--and I love them all so much, from the coffee mug to getting caught surfing the web to that dangerous raised eyebrow. Just solid gold.

TH: Jonathan, has the experience gotten you thinking about writing music specifically for a comic or film?

JoCo: I'm always thinking about that. Mostly I don't have the big idea yet for such a project, but it's certainly something I'm interested in doing one day. Who knows, once this thing gets going we may find there's a whole universe of stories there--musicals, movie musicals, novelizations of the movie musicals, and then ultimately a documentary film about all the conspiracy theories and secret hidden meanings in our enormous body of work. Fingers crossed!


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