JamesLee's News

What Happened to Tarboy 2?

2017-08-02 07:06:53 by JamesLee

A lot of people are asking me “Where’s Tarboy 2?” There’s going to be some new Tarboy footage coming out in my studio reel, but before people board the hype train for a sequel, I feel the need to explain a few things:

Soon after releasing the original film, there was a serious Tarboy game project in the works with an overseas development team, a well-known game designer and a major party’s involvement. Part way through the project, the developer had broken a critical agreement, and hadn’t delivered to what I felt was a passable standard.

At this stage, contractors were in dispute with the developer over pay, and the game designer had left, having not received his first cheque. I had already spent close to a year building a trailer for pitch materials, as well as the assets for the first level and much of the character animation. I still cringe a bit, thinking about the sheer volume of wasted art I had built for it. The developer did not accept my wish to terminate the project, and I spent many more months digging myself out of the legal hole to get the game rights back. It was an exhausting time.

Shortly after this, I began work on Tarboy 2, but I was burning out. I completed the first main sequence, but didn’t feel the quality was up to scratch. It just wasn’t in the spirit I had hoped for it, so I pulled the plug.

I’m not working on anything Tarboy related currently, just the odd artwork and branding content for my social media. I can’t realistically see myself getting back to it anytime in the short to medium term. I’m more interested in doing smaller illustrations, and seeing where experimentation takes me. I do have ideas for Tarboy-related shorts, but this isn’t something I can promise on, as I’ve experienced first-hand how announcing a project pre-emptively isn’t good for me, or the fans.

Working on anything Tarboy related is a bit of a mindfuck, juggling my own expectations on it, while knowing that the most dedicated of you have been waiting years. This isn’t to crap on anyone who’s asked about Tarboy 2, I did promise you guys a sequel, and the sheer love people still have for it years later is something that blows my mind.

I need to detach from the bad history surrounding Tarboy. I plan to focus exclusively on other projects. Hopefully this post will unglue some creative blockages and take some weight out of it all. This news has been a long time coming, but I felt it was important to let a few matters settle before speaking about it, just to get some distance from the mess of it all. It’s never been my intention to string anyone along, or drag out a long tease by posting dribs and drabs of seemingly Tarboy-esque, robot-themed content.

This post is to help clear the air so I can get on with what’s feeling eerily like a second creative phase in my career. It’s been ten years since I finished Tarboy, and looking back, it was the catalyst that started a lot of important things for me. But a lot of new things have begun to fall in to place, and I’ve never been more excited about where my animation could go. I have a new short ready for imminent release, and although it’s shorter, it’s probably my first film since Tarboy that’s taken that same level of focus and work.  Thanks to all the supporters of my work who’ve stuck around. It’s been a slow road getting here, but I think it will have been worth the wait.


I just submitted my new cartoon 'Meanwhile at Nintendo...". Ideally I'd like to do more of these small scale cartoons, they're really fun, and general audiences don't really seem to notice that there's practically no animation.


Aside from that, I'm gearing up for a new release in the next couple of weeks for something I've been working on for a while. For an Overwatch cartoon, it's probably the most detailed work I've produced for it's running length.


Lochie Axon has redesigned my website, which I can't be more happy with. I've got a pretty large backlog of freelance projects that the public hasn't seen, and I'm glad to finally have somewhere appropriate to post them.


I've spent the last few weeks on a complete social media overhaul. My old branding always felt incomplete to me, and not exactly eye catching. Everything is consistent now, but holy shit I underestimated how much time it takes. Here's the banner I'll be using for my patreon page when it launches.


It's taken a long time for me to finally get a handle on my online presense in between all of my freelance work, but damn if feels good to be submitting again.

New cartoon! Welcome to React World™

2016-02-03 01:56:01 by JamesLee

I just submitted my first cartoon in over 2 years. Can't believe the time has gone so fast.

It's a pretty short one this time. It's a bit late for a topical video but the response is pretty good so far.



I just submitted it, check it out!

I'm not sure what to expect submitting it here. It wasn't created for strait up entertainment like my other films, and I haven't seen much work on NG that was created for a cause, so I'm curious and nervous about what the reaction might be! It's also my first serious commissioned work that I've submitted to NG.

I'm gearing up to do another web cartoon soon. It's crazy that it's been 9 months since my last one. I haven't decided what it's going to be yet, but hopefully my time will free up in the next week or two to get started.

I have a couple of illustrations I've finished which I'll be submitting soon. :)

The animation I made for Amnesty International

Made a new painting called 'Cello'. Check it out!

http://www.newgrounds.com/art/view/jameslee/cell o

I've been pretty busy with other projects, hence all the painting stuff, which is mostly a creative outlet to actually get some work submitted. I've been back to work on a large scale independent project, which is a collaboration between myself and another Newgrounds author. During the down time on that, I've been completing some freelance work, the latest of which is a documentary-animation which should be online sometime in the next month or so. I'll post here when it's up on the net!

New Art - No One's Business

2013-05-16 11:31:18 by JamesLee

Just submitted some new art titled 'No One's Business'. Click here to check it out

I get very antsy when I'm stuck in the one style for too long, and lately I've been feeling a bit constrained with animation-ey type art. It gets cumbersome drawing a character and constantly having to think about how it all fits together and whether it makes logical sense. Had a lot of fun doing this, just throwing down lines with no real structure, not caring too much about stray details and keeping it very loose. I'm really wanting to take this style further, and hopefully incorporate it in to something animated somehow.

Lately I've been enjoying painting a lot more than animation. Thanks to everyone who waits patiently between my lengthy film updates!

New Art - Delinquent

2013-05-09 10:12:53 by JamesLee

Check it out http://www.newgrounds.com/art/view/jameslee/deli nquent

This ended up taking much longer than I thought it would. My painting style is very slow, and it took forever to get the lips right. It's already set to wallpaper size if anyone's interested.

My main inspiration was the photography of Lewis Hine, but I was kind of going for a Shohei Otomo look. I initially wanted the rendering to be much simpler. but my skills aren't quite there yet to be able to reduce it down so much and retain the realism I wanted.

Lineart was done in Sketchbook Pro and Painted in PS

New video! (Freelance gig)

2013-04-24 00:06:22 by JamesLee

About a month ago I had the pleasure of working with one of my favourite bands, 'Johnny Hollow'. They needed some Flash animation for their IndieGoGo crowd sourcing campaign.

It was a huge buzz working with them and one of the most fun projects I've worked on. The video is up online now. My work starts about 30 seconds in, and is spread out through the video.

If you dig their music and want to support their new album, you can help them out on their IndieGoGo campaign http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/johnny-hollow

Robot Drawings!

2013-04-08 06:47:40 by JamesLee

Got some new stuff up on the art portal, check out my latest here:

http://www.newgrounds.com/art/view/jameslee/come -home?context=ratings:etm.user:555827.scouted:.o ffset:0

I've been getting more in to illustration the last couple of months. It's a nice break from the usual pace, and I'm enjoying getting at least something up on to the site.

In the last month or so, I've been working on one of the funnest freelance projects I've done. I was able to work with one of my favorite bands to create some animation for their crowd sourcing campaign, and I'm pretty proud with how it turned out. Can't say much else about it until the video is released some time this month. I won't be able to submit it to the portal, but I'll be sure to whack it in a news post :)

Concept art for a Luigi movie.

2013-02-28 10:11:05 by JamesLee

Check it out here:
http://www.newgrounds.com/art/view/jameslee/more -like-mario

I'm kicking myself for not painting this in a higher resolution. As is the case when I start working on something that I think is going to be some crappy little thumbnail, I end up going a bit overboard.

I wanna do a Mario parody at some point in the future. yeah yeah, we've all seen gritty realistic Mario stuff, I've got a good idea though and think I can do something new with it. I'm too swamped with freelance work to even start in the next couple of months, but I'm hoping this will be my next project. The idea was burning a hole in me, so I had to draw something for it.