‘Bob the Builder’ Designer, ‘Wereworld’ Author Visits SJC

On tour for his young-adult series, Curtis Jobling dropped by St. John of the Cross on Thursday to talk animation and fantasy, give a reading and, of course, sketch Bob and friends.

If the words “Bob the Builder” bring any image to mind, it’s likely an image sprung from the mind and pen of Curtis Jobling.

“Everything you see on Bob from day one, I designed it,” he told a group of St. John of the Cross Parish School fifth-graders Thursday in a fast-talking, oft-irreverent book-tour appearance. “Everything that Bob has to interact with—it could be a book, a spade, a hand grenade. If we need it, I draw it, we build it and we animate it.”

If a hand-grenade episode exists, it's apparently been lost to history, though Jobling did screen his Nickelodeon UK “Curious Cow” shorts as Chuck Jones-style kid-friendly black comedy.

He also discussed different types of animation, showed a trailer for his new show Raa Raa the Noisy Lion and sketched Bob and friends on an easel for his knowing and eager audience. (While drawing Spud the silly scarecrow, he deliberately left off the parsnip nose, prompting a chorus of protest.)

Jobling’s major project of late has been his Wereworld young-adult novel series, a dark fantasy in a world where royalty are shape-shifters who assume fierce bestial forms like anthropomorphic wolves, lions and even sharks. He showed multiple video trailers for the series, which has four books in print, and left students hanging with a reading of one of the first book’s dramatic opening scenes.

Main character Drew being a teenage werewolf, Jobling also engaged kids in a game of “Wolf-Man or Hairy Man?” including close-ups of An American Werewolf in London, Taylor Lautner, a hirsute Jack Nicholson and an even more hirsute Jack Nicholson in the film Wolf. (It may not be a coincidence that Jobling’s beloved hometown rugby team is also the Wolves.)

Silliness aside, Jobling had a serious message for students, drawn from his following a childhood passion for fantasy and Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying.

“If you have a hobby… something that you have a talent for, keep these things going; even when you get to high school, don’t let them fall by the wayside,” he said. “You don’t know where it might take you. At the very least, it’ll be a rewarding pastime for of your lives. At the most, you might be able to make a living out of it, as I’ve been fortunate enough to.”

The fourth book in the Wereworld series, titled Nest of Serpents, is on shelves now. It follows Rise of the Wolf, Rage of Lions and Shadow of the Hawk. Book five (of six), Storm of Sharks, will be released in May.

Get news alerts and Facebook updates from these Patch sites:

Ginny Grecco January 18, 2013 at 12:52 PM
Great article ! You really captured him! He was fantastic! Can't wait to read his book series.
Darren McRoy January 19, 2013 at 09:16 AM
Thank you, Ginny!!
Lugsy January 20, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Curtis is a star in the UK, and he has worked with loads of children, and he never fails to inspire! Great article! I bet the children had a great time. Lugsy
Chris January 23, 2013 at 12:18 AM
Good to see the charitable donations tub there and Curtis with some Rufus Hound facial hair...and yes, in the UK he's known as 'TVs Curtis Jobling'. Hope you all had a great day!
Darren McRoy January 23, 2013 at 12:32 AM
That's actually a basket that had Wereworld-themed buttons. :-)


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »