The journey into animation

Getting ‘Lunar Jim’ into the hallowed pages of a national newspaper was, at the time, a dream come true. But the reality failed to live up to my expectations.

By 1996, I knew that ‘Lunar Jim’ had to evolve or drift off into folded space, where (as I once remarked in a strip) “it’s hell to scratch your nose.” (The gag works better if you see Jim wearing his helmet!)

I had long seen the potential of turning the strip into an animated series, but I also knew that for it to be in with a chance of succeeding, I needed to expand my knowledge of the animation industry and the people in it.

I did this by joining Pepper’s Ghost Productions in 1999, where I was lucky enough to be given the job of Development Producer. All my previous years of writing, designing and getting work published in various commercial media were starting to pay off. I gained invaluable experience working there and most importantly, became an industry insider, attending all the major animation/TV markets around the world.

When investment in the company unexpectedly dried up in 2002, it was time to take the plunge once more and part ways with Pepper’s Ghost. My time there had been phenomenal and I was better equipped than ever to make a go of my own projects in this tough business.

Three months later, I had my first meeting with someone at Alliance Atlantis, to whom I presented my new project bible for an animated show called ‘Lunar Jim’.

Everyone at Alliance Atlantis loved the project instantly. And so began an amazing journey which saw me working both in the UK and Canada and travelling extensively to pitch to international broadcasters to get the project financed and green lit.

Here are some of those early pencil sketches that started it all.

Click images for larger version.


Alexander Bar