SDCC 2015 Spotlight: Jim LuJan

San Diego Comic Con is usually about the Big 2 and grabbing a boat load of comics, but did you know it’s a place where more artistic ventures are premiered? There’s a film festival where our next guest would feel right at home. Jim Lujan has partnered with one of the greats in animation – Bill Plympton – to bring you a biker tale that will knock your socks off. It’s animation at its best, so let’s hear more from Jim…

Emily McGuiness: This year you’re bringing your animated film, Revengance, to San Diego Comic Con. Is this a first for you? What do you usually show at SDCC?

Jim Lujan: We’re going to show the 2 minute trailer for Revengeance during the Plymptoons panel on Friday. This will be the second year in a row that I sit in with Bill Plympton during his panel. The further into this project we get, the more exciting it is to show people a finished (or almost) product.  Usually, I’m stuck behind a booth selling my DVDS. Don’t get me wrong, I love meeting and talking with perspective customers. But this year, I’m free as a bird to wander the con and get into trouble. I love it!

Emily McGuiness: Where can we find you at SDCC? Do you have panels this year and where are you on the web?

Jim Lujan:  Our panel will be on Friday, July 10th at 4:00 pm Room 23 ABC. You can find more info and cool stuff at People can also stop by Bill Plympton’s Booth # 1537.

Emily McGuiness: What’s your favorite part of the SDCC festivities?

Jim Lujan: My absolute favorite part of the con is hanging out in the Gaslamp District after the show. Some of the best people-watching in the world. It’s like Mardi Gras meets the Jim Rose Circus. Insanity. So crowded and loud. You really need to mentally prepare for it. I’m a sober guy but I feel stoned the moment I walk into that mass of people!

Emily McGuiness: Give us a brief synopsis of Revengance.

Jim Lujan: It’s a biker revenge tale. A teen girl steals something valuable from an ex-biker/ex-wrestler now Senator. He hires some low down bounty hunters to find her and get back what she stole. Rod Rosse the One Man Posse gets caught in the middle of the action. There are so many interesting characters in this film, all tied together by the main storyline. Its going to be fun!

Emily McGuiness: How did you and the famous Bill Plympton get together?

Jim Lujan: We met over the years briefly at San Diego Comic-Con, but I really met him when I tagged along with Raul Aguirre Jr to interview Bill for the Man Vs Art Podcast. After that, Bill and I got to speak again at the Annie Awards a few months later. The rest is history… at least drunk history. We’d have a good time after the Con at bars.
Jim Lujan’s Concept Sketch
The Final Image

Emily McGuiness: On your website, we see an example of your sketch for a scene and Bill’s finished version of the scene. Tell us more about the process you two have worked out to blend your styles into one amazing movie.

Jim Lujan: I’ll send Bill the initial design for characters, or backgrounds, and he Plymptonizes them. My versions are so Bill can see the feel and atmosphere of a scene, or the personality of a character. Bill’s style for this movie is sort of a mixture of both of our styles. Line art, very 2D. Flat colors with shadows and shading. It looks like Plympton. Bill’s wife Sandrine is adding the colors. She is our secret weapon. Amazing!

Emily McGuiness: Tell us more about your successful Kickstarter Campaign. Any tips?

Jim Lujan: First tip is to have Bill Plympton as your Kickstarter partner! Adam Rackoff ran our campaign. I think video clips are really useful. We all wish we could have done more. We launched right as Cheatin’ (Bill’s previous movie) was being released. I think that was an added challenge. Bottom line is we met and exceeded our $80K goal. That feels incredible. I really enjoy being a part of this experience.

Emily McGuiness: You have a stellar voice over cast. Tell us what it was like to work with cartoonist Keith Knight and actor Matthew Modine.

Jim Lujan: Keith Knight is a friend. He was great to work with. I’m psyched that this is the first time Keith Knight and Lala Alcaraz are working on a project together. I feel like we have the two political cartoonist heavyweights on our team. Matthew Modine (and his daughter Ruby) both knocked it out of the ballpark with their voices. They are the sweetest people. So many great people in this film so far. The Modines, Keith, Lalo, Kristina Wong, and more. Feeling really blessed!

Emily McGuiness: What screenings are planned for Revengance? How can we find it in 2016?

Jim Lujan: We want to show it in festivals and all over the US. It should be out the first half of 2016. I’m sure we’ll have some preview scenes before then.

Emily McGuiness: What’s in your SDCC Survival Kit? Food? Hand Sanitizer?

Jim Lujan: I plan to wear a HAZMAT suit this year. Truthfully, water. Lots of water is a must. Good walking shoes… and NO BOOTH! That’s going to be the best part this year… Freedom!

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