One of the things that we realised at the beginning of the project is that this is a world that moves incredibly fast, and that no sooner have you had an idea, than someone else somewhere else has had it too.
Of course it’s difficult to protect the process of personalising a story, drawing and recording it, so we decided that it was the look and feel that was most important. We wanted something you could actually see was drawn by a person, not a robot. Brush strokes, texture of the paper it was drawn on, colours that were maybe a bit different. Contrasts: Mr Glue’s rather dark and spooky library would suddenly become light and full of colour as you open each book. Right up Jose’s street!
I always remember when I was small reading Asterix and Tintin, that one of the things I loved and spent hours over, were the character galleries at the beginning of the books. Right then, we thought, let’s create a gallery of our own characters who could be chosen to appear in each story.
This was definitely the fun bit! Colonel Crackpot, Clorabella Swish, Lady Gertrude Gruntblatter and their cronies took on shape to undermine our hero’s progress, while Mr Archibald Penguin, Hildegard Avocado and Peregrine Stumpings and friends materialised, ready to help sort things out. (And there’s still a whole bunch of them waiting to be developed – that’s the bit I’m looking forward to!)
We have had a few (grown up) raised eyebrows at the rather black world that Mr Glue inhabits. ‘Oh, my young daughter really won’t like that. This must be for boys.’ Funnily enough, very few little girls we spoke to echoed these grown up thoughts (although quite possibly we were interviewing the wrong little girls…) It’ll definitely be interesting to see what the view is when it’s actually out there.