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Stan Ford creator of Jet-Pack Jenny and head of Carpaltunnelpress talks with The Indy Hunter about his creation Jet-Pack Jenny and the fight to keep her. Learn about Stan Ford's efforts to bat off other copies and copyright infringement with Jet-Pack Jenny.
Hi Stan, thanks for taking the time to talk to us about your feature Jet-Pack Jenny.
Thanks for taking the time.
For those that are new to the series, what is Jet-Pack Jenny?
Jet-Pack Jenny is a 23rd century special agent for Earth. Think of James Bond in the future, but if he were a woman with a jet-pack.
When did you come up with the concept?
1997. I was working an evening job with a car rental company and in between reservations, I doodled a character that I quickly called Jet-Pack Jenny. I did a 4 page mini-comic and handed it out at HeroesCon in Charlotte that year. When in college, I refined the concept in the tradition of adventure comic strips and have been working on it ever since. Occasionally, I've dabbled in other genres, but I keep coming back to Jet-Pack Jenny, probably because science-fiction is so ripe to tell stories other than action/adventure tales.
What demographic would you say Jet-Pack Jenny appeals to?
The original concept was to create something for the daughter I didn't have, mainly because of the way the comics industry was at the time. However, it's just evolved into being for people that want a good science fiction story. I think I'm starting to get there, but as always, there's room to improve.
So far how has the response been?
Initially the response was very good. Then a few years ago I took a couple of years off to focus on my personal life and when I came back, much of the audience had moved on. Now, whenever people read it for the first time, the response I get is very positive.
Now recently you've seen other "Jet Pack Jenny's" show up. Is this something associated with yours? Are you a part of the others?
I'm not connected with any other Jet-pack Jenny you see on the Internet. Unless you see me involved in it in some way or promoting it, I'm not associated with it.
Was yours the first?
As far as I can tell, it was. Before I started mine, I searched the Internet for anyone already using the name. The concept is very old-school science fiction so I made an effort to try and separate it from, say the Rocketeer, or Commander Cody. That what makes it so frustrating when someone else tries to market something called Jet Pack Jenny, because it shows that they didn't even bother to do a simple Google search.
When did you notice that other Jetpack characters were mining the same territory?
Over the years, it has popped up from time to time. I used to make a regular ritual of Googling Jet-Pack Jenny, Jetpack Jenny, Jet Pack Jenny, and all variations of it, but at times, I've gotten a little lax about it.
Have you reached out to those other creators? If so what did they say?
When it looks like the property is being actively pursued, I do, and it's usually just with a request to change the name. Most of the time, it's just the name that is being used, but there have been times that it's looked like they're taking the same path that I did.
What do you do when something like that happens? Even that Transformers kid is doing this shit!
The concept of a pretty girl in a jet-pack is basic. I also understand the excitement when a creative person thinks that they've got a great idea and decide to run with it while the idea is still fresh. It's frustrating, because I worked hard for many years to get my character and her stories out there. Seeing someone be that lazy with their homework in an age where it just takes a few minutes on a computer is irritating.
The right way to handle it is ultimately the way Shia LeBouf did, and admit that you screwed up. Reading a story that sticks with you is something that happens to everyone. Mining that story for your project and taking complete lines of dialogue, scenes and shots is plagiarism, and as it did in his case, needs to be called out.
How many channels is Jet-Pack Jenny available on?
Jet-Pack Jenny is available through Ka-Blam and Indy Planet. I'm working on getting it on some e-comic platforms right now, most of all, comixology. I'm also working on a Tumblr for new stories, dedicated solely to Jet-Pack Jenny. Someone could always go to my website, carpaltunnelpress.blogspot.com for ordering the latest comic, Factor of 01.
What's next for you and Jet-Pack Jenny?
(Urrmm...maybe you don't want to answer that in case someone is looking to take notes!!)
There are a couple stories in the writing phase, and I'm working right now on redoing the earliest Jet-Pack Jenny stories, to fix major storytelling problems that I have with them. After that, I have two stories that I'd like to pursue.
Anything you'd like to add?
When I started Jet-Pack Jenny, I had very high hopes and now, all I want to do is tell some decent stories. Seeing people put out crap with the same name as mine gets very frustrating. If anyone has an idea that they want to develop, then they need to do their homework before putting a ton of work in it. Even then, sometimes, mistakes happen. They should then make the changes so no one's toes are being stepped on and move along.
Last, where can everyone find more of your work?
I try to get my stuff out there wherever I can on a limited budget.
and where can they find more, "The Real Jet-Pack Jenny?"
If they're on Facebook, go to the Facebook page, facebook.com/Jetpack Jenny, or on Tumblr, jet-packjenny.tumblr.com. Both are works in progress but will be the most regularly updated.
Thank you Stan for speaking with us, I hope the world rights itself shortly.
Thanks, I do too, and not just for me and Jenny.
J.M. Hunter/Indy Hunter is a writer/artist/painter who's just published the 400 plus page anthology featuring over 60 contribtors, BAM TOO! (The Big Ass Mini-Comic) available now at amazon.com BAM TOO!
Written or Contributed by J.M. Hunter
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