A chat with Ken Kristensen: Round 2
Packed with more Todd (and tickle parties) than ever before!
In light of all the success accrued by “Todd the Ugliest Kid on Earth” since it’s transition from a 4-issue limited run into an ongoing series, including the upcoming transition to the small screen, it seemed like a good time to have another chat with Ken Kristensen, the sick and talented mind behind Todd. Ken is the co-creator of Todd, alongside the artist M.K. Perker who lends Todd its dark and fun aesthetic.
Myke: So it’s been awhile since last we spoke, and there have been big things going on in the world of Todd. The first compiled Todd volume hit shelves, the hillarious Satanic PBS-arc got underway, and you revealed the fantastic news that the Todd and Titmouse teams were going to be working together to produce an animated Todd series. First of all, I want to congratulate you guys on all your well-deserved success, and thank you for letting me be that smug prick that points at the Todd series and tells his friends “Told ya it was good”.
Ken: And we want to thank YOU and all the smug pricks out there! The world would be a lot less smug-ish and prick-ish without you.
Myke: Let’s start off with the biggest news though: The animated series! Beyond the mark of success reflecting back on the series for making the jump to another medium, Titmouse (known for Metalocalypse, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Superjail, the Venture Brothers and more) has a phenomenal track record for amazing shows and fits the Todd “vibe” perfectly. How did that particular marriage of talent come to pass?
Ken: We had interest from several producers – actually met with one of the producers on Family Guy. But we knew we needed a producing partner who understood the world of TODD and had the balls to embrace the absurdity of it all. And that’s what you get with Titmouse. They’ve got all these brilliantly insane shows that take real risks aesthetically and comedically.
We’ve also come to learn how many amazing actors want to work with Titmouse. The TODD cast is going to be filled with A-listers. You will not be disappointed.
Another added bonus of having a show with Titmouse is that they love to do merchandise. So right now you can buy the TODD “Public Broadcasting Satan” tee shirt on www.titmousestuff.com.
Myke: So, I can’t be the only one dying for a bit of a peek behind the curtain: With the Todd animated series in the works, what can you tell us about it? Since you’re making the shift to a televised medium, let something juicy slip for me and I’ll find a way to misinterpret it as “the Todd team caught railing several Kardashians, but which and how many” so the show gets plenty of buzz.
Ken: I can tell you that it’s coming along nicely. But animation is a slow process. We’ve got commitments from some pretty great actors.
Myke: With Todd having made the coveted jump from mini-series to ongoing, and ventured into some ripe content territory with devil-dealings, daring rescues, and a chunky demon-spawn that takes after his Grandpa’s side of the family (and is quite possibly my favorite new character), what’s the future looking like for the comic series?
Ken: The 2nd trade paperback hits stores on April 2nd, collecting the whole “Public Broadcasting Satan” arc, affordably priced at $10.99. We are currently working on the 3rd arc. It’ll be a 6-issue arc this time. Issues 9-14. Todd wants desperately to join the Boy Scouts, but ends up befriending a group of international gunrunners, drug dealers, and terrorists.
Myke: Now, I know I’ve asked you this before but you were such good sports that I can’t help but ask it again in relation to the newer Todd content: With all the new material, what didn’t make it to the page and got left on the cutting room floor?
Ken: Man, there was one thing that we didn’t get to exploit in the “Public Broadcasting Satan” arc – Aretha Franklin’s hat. Remember Aretha’s hat from the inauguration? She had this really crazy hat with a bow on it. Anyway, when Todd’s father goes to comic con and trades his car for a bunch of random TV memorabilia, we show one of the items is Aretha’s hat. In one of the panels you see her hat sitting on top of Charlie Rose’s table. But we never call attention to it. We had this idea that it would play more of a role in the plot, but we never got around to working it in. It’s still kicking around Todd’s house somewhere, so I suppose it could come up in the future.
Myke: If you could re-release any issues or individual moments with “Commentary” (like those god awful “Pop Up Videos” on VH1), what would you take the chance to give us the insider story on?
Ken: I would love to have a commentary track that chronicles the back-and-forth between me, M.K., and the lawyers about how Charlie Rose should look on the cover of issue #5. Let’s just say that the first version of the cover looked a little bit different from the cover that eventually got printed. And the negotiations were like something from a Joseph Heller novel.
Myke: As always, it’s great to have the chance to talk and catch up on the latest Todd info. The whole Pullbox team always appreciates your time and the work you do. We wish you guys continued success and hopefully we can turn these interviews into an epic trilogy when the animated series goes live!
Ken: Thanks for all your support – you guys have been on board since the beginning, and that means you’re “made” men in our book.
Make sure you follow the ongoing misadventures of that poor ugly little kid, and head over to www.titmousestuff.com to pick up your own Satanic PBS t-shirt!
Keep following us here at the Pullbox because you can bet if more Todd news breaks, we’ll let you know.