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Interview: Van Jensen Discusses THE LEG and Kickstarter

Writer Van Jensen gets in-depth about his love for Mexican history and lore and why he's writing a book about a leg.

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Writer Van Jensen (GREEN LANTERN CORPS, THE FLASH) is working on a new book about a leg hopping along in Mexico. Currently, there is a Kickstarter working on funding this project, so we chatted with Jensen about his new book, THE LEG and why he used Kickstarter to fund his project.

COMIC VINE: What's THE LEG about?

VAN JENSEN: The year is 1883. An old cobbler lives in the northwest of Mexico lives, his only companion the disembodied leg of Santa Anna. When the cobbler is killed, the Leg embarks upon an adventure across Mexico, seeking to claim revenge and to repair the tarnished legacy of Santa Anna. It's full of weird history and folklore and soccer and all kinds of fun stuff.

CV: This is a pretty strange story, considering the main character of the story is a severed leg. Why take this route?

VJ: It's based on a true bit of history, that Santa Anna lost his leg and battle and gave it a full military funeral. And then, later, the people exhumed it to protest him. I heard that story years back, and for some reason my brain decided that I should make a story out of it.

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CV: The story fits into the history of Mexico, including the Pastry War. Why go with this setting for the book?

VJ: I love Mexican history and lore, so in a lot of ways the story was an excuse to play in that world. I spent probably two years researching material for the book off and on, and there's a wealth of crazy stuff that I love, but I couldn't shoehorn into the story. Mexico is just so complex and fascinating. It makes a great backdrop.

CV: How did you get hooked up with artist Jose Pimienta?

VJ: We met at Comic-Con in 2011, introduced by our publisher at SLG. Jose was interested in taking on a new project, and I didn't think I had anything. But I randomly mentioned The Leg, and he told me that he'd grown up in Mexico, and he really wanted to read the script. He did, and he really connected with it. The whole thing just felt like kismet.

CV: Matthew Petz is working on colors here, and he has a very monochromatic style from page to page. Was this a joint decision or all Petz's idea and why go with this?

VJ: I approached Matthew with the idea of using a limited palette, but I figured it would be a consistent color approach throughout the book. He brought the idea of dramatically switching the colors, and it turned out great. I was happy to give him the freedom to do some weird stuff, and the book is much stronger because of it.

CV: Why did you go with Kickstarter for this project?

VJ: I just transitioned into writing full time, and so I had more free time. With how successful Kickstarter has been, it seemed like the right opportunity to try it out. This is just such a personal story, self-publishing felt right. And it's been great so far.

CV: What are some of the interesting rewards for backing THE LEG Kickstarter?

VJ: People can get the 180-page book either digitally ($8) or in print (starting at $25). Then we have a few additional levels to get a limited edition bookplate, an original sketch or even pages of original artwork.

CV: Why should folks consider backing this project?

VJ: The first chapter of the book is available for free online. I'd just ask that people give it a read, and if it looks appealing, we'd love to have their support. When else do you get a chance to own a book about a disembodied leg?

Also, we hope to reach a stretch goal to translate the book into Spanish. We're on pace to hit that mark, but every little bit helps!

Make sure to check out THE LEG's Kickstarter page to help Van Jensen out with his super-cool project.