The Leg an Interview with Van Jensen

Posted May 15, 2014 by Oscar Russell in Comic Books
You may know him from The Flash, or Green Lantern Corps, but Van Jensen is also working on getting a indie comic out to the world via Kickstarter. We The Nerdy had the chance to talk to him about the project which you can check out here.
We The Nerdy: I have to ask, you have Big 2 pedigree what with your works on Green Lantern Corps and The Flash for DC. Why the Kickstarter route for this project, why not straight to a publisher to print?
Van Jensen: I’d been interested in self-publishing, and I knew that THE LEG was a pretty boutique book, not something with huge commercial appeal. But it’s also a book that I’ve worked on for seven years, so it only seemed fitting to handle the publication and distribution of it myself.
WTN: From the KS page, this book seems like a labour of love and was your first script you put together. How have you developed as a writer since you originally penned this and have you seen much change from original concept to the final product?
VJ: I wrote it years back, so I’ve definitely changed a lot. I think I’ve grown more polished as a writer as I’ve learned the comics medium. I’m much more focused on story structure now, for instance. When we started producing the book, I actually resisted the urge to mess with it. There are some faults to the writing, sure. But it also has this weirdness and whimsical style that I love, and I worried that tampering with it might tone down some of those elements.
The artist, Jose Pimienta, of course brought a lot of his own creativity to the table, and so he made some wise changes from the script to make the story even better.The Leg
WTN: You mention artist Jose Pimienta and props need to go to him because it looks gorgeous. How did the two of you come together?
VJ: A friend introduced us at Comic-Con in 2011. He was looking for a project to draw, and I didn’t really have anything. But I remembered The Leg and mentioned it. Jose asked to read the script, and he really connected with it. I was thrilled to work with him on the book. The whole thing felt very kismet.
WTN: Jose Pimienta hails from Mexico, how has it been working with a Mexican on a book about Mexico, has that helped with him connecting to the project more?
VJ: Jose connected with the book on an emotional level, which is obvious in the work he’s done. He really loves these characters, and he brought them to life in a whole new way. He also has a great knowledge of the place and the culture, so there were points that he was able to steer me straight or help me to avoid falling into cliches.
WTN: So the eponymous character The Leg, who is he?
The LegVJ: The Leg is the sentient, disembodied leg of former Mexican President Santa Anna. Through some mysterious magic, the Leg is alive and living with a cobbler in northwest Mexico. But when the cobbler is killed, the Leg embarks on a journey across Mexico to claim his revenge.

WTN: What can you tell us about the supporting cast in the book?
VJ: There is Ana, a young orphan who joins the Leg on his quest. There’s a magical crow that helps them along the way. There are a group of assassins who aim to kill Mexico’s president. There’s a wizard, a giant, a mysterious tribe, some prostitutes and Frida Kahlo. Something for everyone!
WTN: How have you been finding the whole Kickstarter process so far, any challenges and obstacles you’ve overcome?
VJ: It’s a pretty smooth process. Granted, it takes a lot of work. I’m pretty introverted by nature, so I’ve had to make an effort to put myself out there in promoting the book. We still have a few weeks to go, but we’re already near 80% funded, so it seems like we should be able to make it across the finish line.
WTN: The Kickstarter creator community seems to be quite a tight nit group, have you had support and tips from other KS “pros”?
VJ: I’ve talked with quite a few other creators and gained insights from them. Comics in general is a pretty small world, and more creators are turning to Kickstarter. That was a huge help, talking to people who had been through it before.
WTN: For those thatdon’t back this project for whatever reason, will they be able to get the book at a later date or is this a one time thing?The Leg
VJ: We’ll try to make the book available digitally, and print copies probably will be available in person at conventions, if not online. If we reach our $15,000 stretch goal, we’ll publish a simultaneous Spanish-language edition. We would really love to hit that mark, and all support in getting there is greatly appreciated.
WTN: Where can we find you on the inter webs?

VJ: I’m at and on Twitter I’m @van_jensen.
WTN: Any last words.….……….
VJ: One of the best parts of this experience has been receiving overwhelming and generous support both from people I know and people I’ve never met before. That’s something you don’t see as directly through other publishing venues, and I’ll always remember that the most about this Kickstarter.
And of course, don’t forget to check out the Kickstarter project and get backing here

About the Author

Oscar Russell

Comics Editor for WTN, and co-host of the All New Comics Dash Podcast. I like comics and tabletop gaming!