Sunday, 5 July 2009
How Long Has it Been?
It's the Fifth of July 2009 and I sit in a top floor flat in Barcelona in the sweltering summer heat. To somehow draw a mental connection between this moment and that other moment when this project first came about requires considerable mental effort. Was that the same me?
Leo Fox, the Rudeboy Wizard has been kicking around for about five years now. Jesus! Five years! And where are we now? Well, right now Mr. Paul Wheeler and myself (Mr. Patrick Potter) are in the final stages of putting together issue one of Leo Fox's first comic book adventure - "The Silent, the Sick & the Rude."
We are proud of what we have on our hands and highly excited about getting it out there. Hence this blog. It's time to drag the project out of the shadows and shed a little light on it. We hope you'll follow us as we roll the dice at the great craps table of artistic production. Art is a casino where most players lose. We know this. That's fine. But we will do our best to make something a little bit special. And those of you who come in on the ground floor can gamble with us, on the off-chance that you can later, quite rightfully say, that you had a hand in the making of the myth.
In the meantime, where were we? Oh yes! How has it taken five years to get here?
I remember being in Middlesbrough, a dark and industrial town, studying computer animation. Siobhan Fenton was teaching a class on storytelling and we were set the task of producing a concept. I thought a lot about 'The Moomins' and I thought a lot about 'Forced Entertainment' and I thought a lot about the council estates that I spent time on in south London. Fairly soon, I conceived of a Rudeboy Moomin. I named him after my next door neighbours son from the Alton estate 'Leo' and the surname came from the crazy 'Sheila Fox' who often visited us then.
I knocked up a few test images and I fell in love with the concept. The essence of the whole thing is this - kids are kids. No matter how rough the area they grow up in, they don't deserve to be demonised out of hand. Leo Fox is meant to be the hero of the lads who grow up where life is a bit tougher and a bit uglier. How far we as producers manage to achieve this is up to us.
It was some months later, in 2004 that UNFIT first came together as a production team. I dropped out of Middlesbrough University. At that time in my life I was thoroughly lost. It was winter in Darlington and Benjamin Lycett and I were kicking around feeling lost together. I pitched him the idea and he was taken by it. "What the f#&k else have we got to do?" I asked him. He asked Paul Wheeler the same thing and before long we obtained a hefty grant to produce "Leo Fox, Nan's Story."
Many things have happened since then and now UNFIT is a scattered force. Scattered but still going. Thanks to the internet, Paul and I have been working on the new incarnation of Leo Fox for just over a year now.
Although there still remains much to be done, we have created a deeply elaborate fantasy / sci-fi world for Leo to live in. What we have so far released is but the tip of the iceberg. We hope you'll stick around to see more.
Welcome to the unreal world of Leo's estate, where anti-mathematical pressure lashes against the thin defences of the real and Strange Things walk abroad.