Additionally to interviewing Superjail! co-creator, Christy Karacas, I had the pleasure to interview Superjail! lead artist, Kristofer Wollinger:
GF: Which artists or authors (animation or otherwise) do you admire and/or inspire you?
Kristofer Wollinger: I’m a big fan of Doug Tennapel, the creator of Earthworm Jim. He did this comic called Gear which I love. It’s illustrated in a real gestural, high-contrast style which I find appealing. I’m also a big fan of the French comic Dungeon by Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim. The style sort of reminds me of Superjail! but in a Lord of the Rings type world instead of a psychedelic prison.
GF: What other shows (or other mediums) have you worked on and where did you get your training to be an animator?
KW: I’ve been working at Augenblick Studios since I graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2004. I’ve worked with the studio on all the projects that they have done like Golden Age and animation for Wonder Showzen.
GF: How often are you able to include otherwise unscripted sequences or deviate from set premises?
KW: Everything is story-boarded out, so the story and action is nailed down pretty early on, but we were encouraged to add anything we could to each piece we worked on. For the animation, we would get to be pretty creative with the acting of the characters and we’d have a lot of freedom to do what we wanted with our scenes. It was really fun and challenging to do.
GF: Who is your favorite character and why?
KW: I like Jacknife, the guy who gets caught at the begining of every show. He’s such a dirtbag criminal but there’s still something likeable about him. It might actually be something along the lines of pity. He’s just so stupid and never learns his lesson, and all you can do is just laugh.
GF: What do you think is the advantage of doing the series entirely in-house?
KW: Doing everything in-house is really helpful. Everybody who works on the show is sitting together in the same room. We’d always get the chance to see what everybody was working on as it went and it built a real camaraderie. We’re all friends and we all hang out together. Also, since we didn’t send stuff out, we got to see it completed the second it was done. Whenever we’d finish an episode we’d all sit down together and watch it. It’s like a big family.