Immersed in Movies: Bill Plympton Teams With Jim Lujan on ‘Revengeance’

Immersed in Movies: Bill Plympton Teams With Jim Lujan on 'Revengeance'
Immersed Movies: Bill Plympton Teams With Jim Lujan on 'Revengeance'

Bill Plympton finally took notice of LA underground cartoonist/animator Jim Lujan and they’ve struck up a dynamic collaboration on Revengeance, which we should be viewing this time next year. And with four days left in their Kickstarter campaign, they’ve raised more than $62,000 in their goal to secure $80,000 (with a few select $1,500 contributors becoming animated extras).

“I met Jim at San Diego Comic-Con and he would give me his DVDs and I never looked at them,” Plympton recalled.  “And then a year later on a rainy day, I put one of them on and I fell in love with his stories, his artwork and his voices. I called him up and said let’s make a film together. You write the script and I’ll animate it. I had just finished Cheatin’ so I had some spare time. In two months, he sent me a script and it was hilarious. This was last spring and I’ve been drawing since then and we’re about a third of the way through. It’s really about the underbelly of Los Angeles, which I don’t know well, but he does: religious cults and wrestlers and biker gangs and transvestites — all sorts of crazy, sleazy people. It reminds me of Inherent Vice.”

Plympton has adopted Lujan’s style, which he termed “naive and raw.” And Lujan has been doing most of the voice work.

Meanwhile, Lujan, gets to riff on his favorite character, the low-rent bounty hunter, Rod Rosse the One Man Posse, in his pursuit of a corrupt senator/ex-wrestler/ex-biker. “At root, it’s a crime story with some really interesting characters and a cartoony twist,” he added. But we’re also tapping into a vein of LA that hasn’t been explored that much: East of East LA, the Inland Empire.”

Lujan said collaborating with Plympton “is like playing street basketball with Michael Jordan on your team. Any ideas or designs I throw his way, he throws back and they’re 10 times better. For example, if I give him a design of a restaurant, he magnifies it so that it’s more interesting. We’re both coming from left field, so we needed to meet in center field. My films are definitely content and dialogue-driven. My artwork is cool but animation is the last thing that I think about. I’m more into design.

“There are a lot of holes that need to be filled, but it’s nice that there are surprises coming our way. When people see this, they will recognize that it’s a Bill Plympton cartoon. It’s flatter and the colors have almost an anime sensibility. It has more of a definitive line-art to it. I think It’s hand-drawn, 2D animation at its best.”

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