Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Somebody shot my cat

So, some turd shot my cat the other day.

Ernie (for that's his name) is currently at the vets, doped up to his eyeballs and awaiting surgery on Friday. He's been shot just where the tail meets the body, he's a fractured vertebrae, has lost quite a bit of blood, and is on anti-inflammatories and pain relief. On Friday they're going to be operating on him, cleaning the shrapnel out (they don't know what kind of firearm caused it yet) and then amputating his poor tail.

Yes, would happily have my hands around the throat of the sick scumbag that did this, but chances are slim. Police will be following up with an investigation, but I personally will be using the platform of Frankenstein's Cat to get a message out there to kids who can get access to firearms, be they BB guns, air rifles or bigger beasts. If it's at all possible I'm going to try and align myself with Cat and Cruelty to Animals charities to raise awareness of this kind of thing. I find it baffling that any sane-minded person could harm, injure or even kill a family's dear pet.

With Frankenstein's Cat starting transmission in February there's a chance I can direct a bit of publicity on this and highlight a very real problem.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Santa's Hapless Helpers online!

The Festive animated short that we've produced with Qurios Entertainment is now live at HD Greetings website. Call by, enjoy, and send it on to loved ones, friends and foes. It's a smaller piece of a bigger project, featuring the Helpers and their various screwy exploits. Those of you who've followed badablingthing since I first started posting will be aware of the property, and the characters in particular. The ambition is that we present this to a broadcaster as a proposal for Christmas interstitials, idents, and potentially a half hour family film.

Terrific work by all the chaps at Qurios and yet again it's been an absolute delight to work with them, long may it continue. The short is 30 seconds long so don't worry about having to endure a mammoth bum-numbing viewing. Just make sure you click on the Helpers link when you get to the site if it doesn't come up automatically.
In other announcements, I'm going to be doing a characters design workshop at the beginning of February at the ANIMEX FESTIVAL OF ANIMATION, as well as a talk with producer Jackie Edwards on how we got Frankenstein's Cat from the book to the screen. Always a pleasure to return there and catch up with Chris Williams and his gang, plus the fellow speakers. Furthermore, a week later, I'm off down to ANIMATED EXETER to hold similar workshops there. Should be a busy fun-filled month!
Bada Bling!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Hark the hairy Jobling sings!

It's that time of year again. Well, almost. Things are busy busy busy in Bling's Workshop...


The nice chaps @ TOY2R, creators of ubercool toy accessory QEE, are close to releasing the vinyl Biteneck Beatniks Ron Go Bongo toys. Should see them in toy and comic shops early in the new year, followed by a green and a red variant to start with.


The clever fellows @ Yamago have come up with an online game for Frankenstein's Cat, as linked here. Though simple enough at first glance, it's actually a rather good memory game that should hopefully amuse parents as well as children.


I shall be at BORDERS PRESTON doing signings this coming Saturday 8th January, and the following Saturday 15th I shall be signing at BORDERS BIRSTALL outside of Leeds off the M62. I'll be there with plenty of Frankenstein's Cat books to personalize and deface, as well as the first few episodes of the animated series so that audiences can get a sneaky peek preview of what's in store!

The pictures above are from signings in Warrington and this last week @ BORDERS CHESHIRE OAKS. Thanks to the wee ones for enduring having their photographs taken next to a pumpkin-headed author type.

Bada Bling!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

R.I.P. Captain Marvel: Mike Gregory

It's been a sad few days in the Jobling household, as my first and only real childhood hero passed away on Monday. Mike Gregory was captain of Warrington Rugby League Club, and also successfully skippered the Great British Lions to two test series victories against New Zealand. A lad from Wigan (our fierce rivals) he played for "The Wire" for 12 years, my formative years on the terraces as a fan.

He suffered from a debilitating form of Motor Neurone Disease, bizarrely linked to an insect bite when he toured Down Under as coach of the Young Lions. He was only 43 and leaves behind his wife Erica and two young sons.

He was the one player that never gave anything short of 100% throughout his playing career, never took a backward step. If only we'd had 12 other Mike Gregory's playing for us we might have won some silverware in my time watching them. My strongest memories of Greg were after we'd been beaten by Wigan @ Wembley and his address outside the town hall, as he rallied the fans and stirred the spirit. The other was his legendary 80 yard try against the Aussies in the Third Test, 1988. Nothing typified sporting heroics like that man and that run. The greatest game, the greatest man.

I've shed a few tears at his passing, as have pretty much the whole of the Rugby League Family, as he touched the lives of fans from all clubs in this most fierce and tribal sport. I know you were a God fearing man, Mike, and you'll be skippering a team up there by the weekend is my bet...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Frankenstein's Cat climbs onto Nickelodeon's lap

Cat finding international homes...

It's been a good week for Nine, Lottie and the rest of the cast of Frankenstein's Cat, as Nickelodeon have picked up the show for six territories - Spain, Benelux, Southeast Asia, Australia, Latin America and Israel. Hopefully we can sort out a North American broadcaster in the very near future. Watch this space, you'll be the first to hear!

Frankenstein's Cat in competition at Bradford Animation Festival 07

"The Wall", written by Myles McLeod, will be in competition at this years festival at the end of this month. The competition looks jolly stiff so it's just nice to be considered.

Also, I'm going to be doing signings of Frankenstein's Cat and other picture book at branches of Borders in the UK between now and Christmas:

Saturday November 9th - Borders Preston
Saturday November 16th - Borders Birstall (nr Leeds)

We're also firming up an appearance at Borders Cheshire Oaks.

Bada Bling!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

RESCUE ROOKIES roar into life!

Parthenon Entertainment have optioned the rights to RESCUE ROOKIES from us, a preschool emergency vehicle led property for animation. With the help of uber-talented Qurios Entertainment in the UK we produced a teaser animation earlier in the year that was really well received, especially by Karina Stanford Smith and Carl Hall from Parthenon. You can find more out about Qurios directly from Niel Bushnell's Qurios Blog. Suffice to say we're all tremendously excited to be moving forward on this and have high hopes that we're going to be making a very special childrens show. It features the exploits of Bravo the Police Car, Skipper the Lifeboat, Flash the Fire Engine, Lulu the Ambulance and Birdseye the Rescue Helicopter.

Signing FRANKENSTEINS CAT in hometown

Had a very enjoyable day yesterday, Saturday, signing the newly re-released edition of FRANKENSTEINS CAT in Borders. We shifted close to 80 copies as well as selling out of CHEEKY MONKEY and MY DADDY too. I was also able to show the freshly completed episodes of the TV show which had children and adults alike stopping by to cop an eyefull! Roll on the UK transmission date of January on BBC1 and CBBC. The shows world premiere is just round the corner on France 3, this coming Halloween!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Marvellous MIPCOM

Returned from my trip to MIPCOM in Cannes yesterday and feel both knackered and also tremendously invigorated. I got to meet with broadcasters, production companies and distributors to talk about the new show, BITENECK BEATNIKS, as well as pitch my even newer ones too. Having attended Kidscreen Summit in New York and Annecy in France this was another beast altogether. There were literally hundreds of organisations there, all pitching new shows/properties or searching for them as well.

Meeting with Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, RDF Media, TV Loonland, Teletoon, Cookie Jar etc all left me with a toasty feeling inside and I've come away with confidence high. It's now, I hear, that one has to have the real energy, as initial interest is followed up.

Anyone interested in getting a show off the ground, I heartily recommend going. There's no better trade fair from what I can tell. I'd put some pictures of the place on here if I'd only taken a camera! :-)

Bada Bling

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Work in progress

This trio of doodlings are the latest in the FRANKENSTEINS CAT art show series. Obviously we're a way off completion yet but, as with the previous three, I'll try and scan them as I go along to show their development. Am currently undecided about the title on "FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH PART NINE". Quick straw poll from you lovely people if you have an opinion on this - what would look best?

FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH or FRIDAY 13TH? I tried it with roman numerals already and that in itself was distracting. The "13TH" would certainly free things up from looking cramped, but the "THIRTEENTH" ties things in with the NINE below. Sorry if I'm babbling - opinions?

Off to MIPCOM this coming weekend. If anyone will be over in Cannes at said market do let me know and give me a shout and we'll be sure to hook up for a mocha chocca latte ya ya!

Bada Bling!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Biteneck Beatniks on You Tube


I know a few people had difficulty downloading it from Sardine's website, so try this link to youtube instead, should be available for viewing there.

Frankenstein's Cat art show is effectively 1/3 complete! Below are the first three paintings, still moist with paint I can assure you. These three will be reproduced as art cards to take out to MIPCOM in a couple of weeks, freebies to give away to broadcasters, distributors, production companies, suggestible bartenders and the like. Thereon in I'll hopefully be able to take a bunch of them with me to book signings and the like.

As soon as the 9th painting is complete I'll be able to list pricings for both the original paintings as well as the limited edition giclee prints. Enquiries are, as ever, jolly welcome :-)

Bada Bling!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Biteneck Beatniks teaser trailer ONLINE!!!


As I believe I've mentioned recently (just a bit) I've been working on the teaser trailer for the BITENECK BEATNIKS animated series. Sardine Productions in Canada are the prod company and while I've been taking care of the characters Ian Culbard has been designing the backgrounds. The end result looks very groovy and we're tremendously pleased with it - we just need to see how things go next month at MIPCOM in Cannes now. As you can see the teaser is now up and running so do take a look.

Thanks to Nik's pestering in my last post, here's some of the work in progress on the FRANKENSTEIN'S CAT art show. This is the way I work, starting with the darker colours that make up backgrounds and then building lighter. Also, you can probably see I start at the rear of the image and work forward through every component through to the foreground. More often than not this means that the characters are the last things that get illustrated, but by that stage it's usually quite exciting for me to see the painting finally come together.

Ahead of MIPCOM we're looking to get some postcards done of these first 3 paintings to promote the show, as well as possibly feature the originals at a CCI cocktail party. Either way I'll be making sure I get a bunch of the cards myself for future promo ops, and certainly to bring along to signings.

Bada Bling!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Crack open the paint pots!

Just got back from a family holiday to France which I can genuinely say is the first holiday I've been on in many a year where I've managed to completely switch off from my work. What a treat! Back in the groove now.

Booked flight and accomodation to get over to MIPCOM in Cannes in October where I'll be promoting work on BITENECK BEATNIKS, FRANKENSTEIN'S CAT and an (as yet still under wraps) new project in development. Hopefully have the development deal in place for that before I go.

My FRANKENSTEIN'S CAT art show is now in production, and these are the first three layouts. As mentioned previously I'm looking to produce 9 episode paintings that capture the show, and these will be reproduced as limited edition giclee prints for sale down the line. The art show itself will hopefully feature in galleries all over - do contact me if you're interested.
Also, I've stuck my details into FACEBOOK if anyone wants to find me and add me - there aren't many Curtis Joblings there I can assure you...
Bada Bling!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Bart Simpson Art Exhibition

Wrapping up on coverage of the Bart Qee here at Meltdown Comics on Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles , the wee fellas having just featured at San Diego Comic Con.

More than 50 customized 10" Bart Simpson Qees will be on display from artists all over the world including works by: Matt Groening, Attaboy, Tyson Summers, adidas, Moody, Sam Fout, Jim Koch, Nicoles Chevallier, David Lanham, DYZLA, Lounge Kat, Triclops, Matt Sharp, Mark Nagata, Doink, Veggie Something, Baby 168, Inu Art, SashaHuber, Vincent Skoglund, ODM, Colette, KW, ColorWeekly, Thick Magazine, Nada One, Joey Potts, DGPH, Akira Yamaguchi, B, Wing, October Toys, AlanYip, Bernhardt Geyer, Chad Carothers, Toy2R and many more!!

About Meltdown Comics: Meltdown Comics is the largest comic book shop on the West Coast, located in the heart of Hollywood on Sunset Blvd. Meltdown opened in 1993 and has since become one the most respected comic book stores inthe world. With a sophisticated approach to merchandise and operations– and a reputation for hosting successful events in their Melt Gallery– Meltdown is a must-see pop culture destination in Los Angeles.

In short, Meltdown Comics is somewhere I'd really like to visit! Won't be there myself but anyone who checks in here who is LA based (and I know there are a few) then do call by for a look-see. Speaking of the Simpsons am hoping to catch the movie this week if I can persuade Nanny to look after the grandkids...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Bada Bling/Curtis Jobling Official Website

... is now open for business!
The official website has indeed been a long time coming but hopefully is worth the wait. There's a comprehensive gallery section on there that will be getting work added to it as time goes by, including sketchbook sections too. There's also links to the Curios Cow animations that I did with Seed Animation, with thanks going to Morgan Powell of Seed for producing the website.
Hope it's well received!
Bada Bling!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Qee Bart Exhibition @ Taipei Toy Festival

The Taipei Toy Festival kicked off on 7th July and the Bartneck Beatnik DIY Qee appeared with the rest of the completed gang. Some great stuff there on show. After the Festival ends the show sounds like it's going to be split up, with some of the pieces going to a Hong Kong show and the rest appearing @ the San Diego Comic Con.

There's Bartneck, bottom row on the left!
Awww, bless...
Yow! Angry mob!!!

Was well received by all accounts anyway - just looking forward to my official BITENECK BEATNIKS toys coming out with Toy2R now.


I attended the Showcomotion Media Conference in Sheffield, UK, this week and found it to be rather ripping. It was a veritable Who's Who of the UK Broadcasting and Animation Industry. That's right. I said veritable. BBC, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Disney - all the main players were in attendance. Then there were all the major UK studios and distributors too, including Aardman, Collingwood O'Hare, Mackinnon & Saunders (yep, that'd be us) etc etc. Tremendous stuff. If you're looking to break into kids tv and need to hear some words of wisdom, you can't go wrong by getting yourself along. Same place, same date, each year. Heartily recommended.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

10" Bart Simpson DIY QEE - "Bartneck Beatnik"

I've been asked to participate in a BART SIMPSON/FOX/QEE Project for the San Diego Comic Con 2007. The nice chaps at Toy2R, specifically Ray and Anko, sent out my "blank canvas" Bart maquette to paint up in a manner of my choosing. Seemed only obvious to do him in the style of the Biteneck Beatniks, especially with the obvious puntastic name for the characters doubled with the fact that Toy2R are releasing a series of Biteneck Beatniks toys, kicking off with a Ron Go Bongo.

If you're over in San Diego, do call by and take a look at the Qees. I shan't be there *sniff* but I hope they're well received. The hand painted toys will be auctioned off, with some of the proceeds going to the International Red Cross. Get bidding kids, it's a worthy cause and the toys are FAB!

Additionally, in other Biteneck Beatniks related news, I'm close to announcing a development deal for the animated series. We're working on a teaser trailer to take over to Cannes for MIPcom in October with a rather wonderful Canadian animation company. Ian Culbard is on board to share design duties, specifically for the backgrounds for the world of Chillville. Should be able to release more details very soonly...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

There's always next year...

Back from Annecy which was a tremendously fruitful trip, complete with some very interesting and exciting leads on new projects in development. FRANKENSTEIN'S CAT did not win, and possibly suffered from not actually being on the telly yet unlike it's competitors. CHARLIE & LOLA and SHAUN THE SHEEP snaffled the top TV prizes and very worthy winners they were too in my opinion.

Met up with Niel Bushnell and Gordon Fraser while out there (Farmageddon) and Chris Williams, director of Animex. It's fair to say that Niel (inadvertently) supplied most of the laughs and accompanying tears! Also caught up with the delightful Amid Amidi who spent most of the festival eating from what I could tell...

There was a terrific Stand for the Cat at the MIFA tent which was garnering some very enthusiastic responses. We had some cat pawprints graffiti'd onto the carpet in the tent leading through to the stand, plus one of the animators had done a bit of stealth tagging outside aswell. A nice vibe all round.

Thankyou to all the new (and old faces) I met up with and chatted with while out there. And to those of you who we're looking to work with in development, as the great MG would say.... : "Let's get it on!"

Monday, May 28, 2007

Dusting down a long forgotten sketchbook...

STILL unpacking.

One thing that has been rather a lot of fun while working my way through a myriad boxes has been unearthing old sketchbooks, none more so than the one whose pages I've scanned below. This particular sketchbook is only a teeny A6 affair, something one can safely stash in the jeans' back pocket. Leafing through it I discovered all the early design work from a number of my projects, published or otherwise. Below is the first design I did for Bobby from DINOSAURS AFTER DARK. Beside him you'll probably recognise my first (and possibly only) colour design of CURIOUS COW. The pages here are particularly pertinent to current work schedule, as this was the sketchbook I conceived FRANKENSTEIN'S CAT in on the train journey from Warrington to London years ago. The two pahes below show the very first Cat drawing as doodled on a bumpety-bump Virgin rail carriage, all wobbly-like and pretty much as he appears on the cover of the book. And the pages that follow show the first couple of paragraphs as I toyed with the idea on the journey, again, pretty much verbatim as they appear in the book. Got off the train and showed it to the editor @ Hodder Headline and it was commissioned off the back of it.

Below are the first designs from the MY DADDY picture book, featuring the three girls from the story. Further down the line as I looked to develop this as an animated film I revisited the look of the characters and design approach, but again these are how they appeared in the original book.
Lastly here's CHEEKY MONKEY in his earliest guise. Still cheeky but slightly different shape to his face. The accompanying words are from POCKET DOG, which I developed with Ian Carney.
So that's what I've been up to. Reminiscing. There are loads of other sketchbooks that I'll pull artwork from too, although time is at a premium at the moment with production work on the CAT taking priority.

Bada Bling!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Annecy - booked it, packed it, fluffed off!

Got the reservations made for Annecy Film Festival last week. Shall be joined there by Niel Bushnell and Gordon Fraser of FARMAGEDDON fame. Am sure they won't hinder my networking attempts... not much! :-D Niel and I have spoken about collaborating together for some time now so hopefully there's a project or two that we can really start to put meat on the bones of.

Am keen to post developments of new projects on here but suspect until I get option deals in place I'll have to sit on them for the forseeable. Ian Culbard and I are currently negotiating an option with Sardine productions in Canada to help develop BITENECK BEATNIKS into an animated show. We already have the support of Northern Film & Media who are helping us to develop a pilot animation, so here's hoping we can forge ahead with those helpcat vamp kids.

Sketchwork continues on the FRANKENSTEIN'S CAT art show - I'll be putting a few thumbnails up of those paintings next as work in progress. The show itself thunders on with a real momentum, and the work being produced at Paris's Quatre21 studio is pretty spectacular. Keep having to pinch myself that it's actually going to be on the telly come September!

Also, if you get the chance check out Gus Hughes blog - he's an animator from Ireland studying in Teesside - I met him at Animex this year and he's not only a bundle of fun but his work looks a bit special. Recommended.

Bada Bling!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Yum yum, new house...

Good grief, how slack am I? Been quite a while since I posted but I reckon my excuse is bonafide, especially as we've just moved house. Safely ensconced in new abode, with a mountain of boxes dogging my every step. I seem to be engaged in some cunning game whereby I move box after box from one room to another without actually opening any... New carpets arrive on Wednesday so Mrs Bling and I are furiously painting the walls of the living room before they get here. Not easy when you've a toddler, a baby, a mad dog, two psychotic cats that want "out", and a hundred boxes to contend with!

Normal posts to resume soonly, thanks for patience to those of you who've been checking by - I'm not normally this hapless, promise.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Moving house

The day nears!

Friday 30th sees us "up sticks" and leave our idyllic village in North Yorkshire for the hustle and bustle of suburban Warrington across the Pennines. We've spent the majority of this week thus far packing our house into boxes - who'd have thought one could accumulate such a vast collection of tat and rubbish over a few years? Anyways, this hopefully explains why this isn't one of my regular posts this week - normal service should resume next week!

Bada Bling!

PS: That's Mr & Mrs Bling up top, by the way. It's been a hard winter in Yorkshire. The kids are in the sack...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Frankenstein's Cat in competition at Annecy Film Festival!

We got some good news today - the CAT has been chosen to compete at the Annecy Festival this year, quite an achievement as we don't have a completed title sequence and end credits yet. Hopefully we'll have that sorted before the festival in June, fingers crossed...

Also, it's ambitious but I'm going to try and produce a new art show in conjunction with the series - 30 paintings for 30 episodes in a pastiche/homage of those old movie posters I love so much. It's a tall ask as time is pretty scarce as it is, but if I can try and forge on it might be a nice gallery event. Plus, if interest is there I'll be looking to get lithograph prints done of them in sets.
I've a particularly squidgy soft spot for THE WOLF MAN. Classic. Once I've got maybe 5 paintings done I'll pop them on here. The house move is around the corner though so don't expect them any day soon! :-)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Dragons and Dinosaurs

Ahhhh, Wales. Land of Rarebits and my mum and dad's static caravan.... I vivisted NEWI in Wrexham yesterday to do a talk and workshop to their animation and illustration degree and masters students, and what a lovely time I had too. Thanks to Jim Walker for looking after me for the day and arranging everything, as well as Des, Alan and Martin too. Apparently Magnus Scheving from Lazytown was there doing a similair talk the other week when Animex was on, and I was unable to attend because of that but hope to be in touch down the line - he's not just the creator of that particular show but he also plays Sportacus to the uninitiated. If you want to know what Sportacus looks like just put "buns of steel" into Google and see what you get - it should go straight to him.

Yes, that's me at the back of the table scribbling furiously as we all got stuck into a few exercises in the afternoon. That's right, the drawn kind rather than anything actually physical. I mean, look at me for goodness sake!

As promised here are some more images from DINOSAURS AFTER DARK, involving Bobby our protagonist getting up to all kinds of scrapes and hijinks with the big thunder lizards. Sliding down the rooftops above the City Hall...

... climbing up the office blocks and jumping off them all! Obviously with most books I'm associated with there's a suggestion of something slightly sinister, and that happens in the book were the dinosaurs then decide for one last game of hide and seek, and if they find Bobby they might... just... eat him! Thanks again to Jon Emmett for such a wonderful engaging text :-)

By the way, before I go. Primeval? Prime Drivel more like. Nuff said...