Jobling speaks at a hundred miles a minute, with a broad Mancunian accent that absolutely bursts with enthusiasm. First covering his illustrious career in animation, Jobling explained the differences between hand-drawn, computer and puppet animation, as well as his involvement in the creation of such classic characters as Bob the Builder, Frankenstein’s Cat and Curious Cow. Everyone in the audience was stunned by Jobling’s quick-draw demonstration that showed how Bob the Builder can become Wendy with just a couple of quick flicks of the pen. A few more scribbles transformed Bob/Wendy into Were-Bob/Were-Wendy, and led us on to the meat of the session: Wereworld.
Set in the fantasy realm of Lyssia, the Wereworld series follows young werewolf and rightful heir to the throne of Westland, Drew Ferran, as he fights for freedom, honour and his kingdom. A rapt silence fell across the room as Jobling began to read a passage from the first book, Rise of the Wolf, where our erstwhile ordinary hero first discovers his power to transform. Jobling clearly knows his book incredibly well, rattling off dramatic prose with great pace, accompanied by wild gesticulation and (impressively) never a downward glance at the book itself. Full of high fantasy, Gothic horror, a cast of strong lead characters (both male and female) and epic battle scenes, Wereworld seemed to capture the imagination of everyone in the room. Judging from the crush of students jostling to get their books signed, I’d say that Jobling has a few new fans at BGS!
Jobling left our students with one firm piece of advice: keep your hobbies going. His entire career was founded on a love of reading and drawing for pleasure, and catalysed by a work experience placement with Bristol’s own Aardman Animations. If our students keep their hobbies and co-curricular activities going, they could follow in Jobling’s footsteps and turn a passion into a career.
The students all clearly had an excellent time, evidenced by their rapturous applause, which could easily have disturbed nearby exams if it had gone on any longer! Curtis put it best himself when he tweeted: ‘I had a grand time - would apologise for the noise and bedlam of my presentation but I wouldn't really mean it! ;-)’