Jim Spaceborn and the Unknown Box Contents: A Volunteer’s Experience

Listing the contents of a box of animation archive material

The archives and special collections are happy to be hosting volunteers doing work experience as part of their Photography degree. Elizabeth James has been working with animation material from Jim Spaceborn (a series in the Bob Godfrey animation archive) to list the content of the material:

During my time in the UCA Animation Archive, I have had the pleasure of listing an old box full of animation cels and various other materials featuring the 1980’s LEGO® character Jim Spaceborn, created by Danish Illustrator, Frank Madsen. Prior to 1987, this character was firmly set onto the pages of comic books, even though only three seem to have been produced, it appears that with further research, it seems to be fondly remembered by numerous people who read it as children in the mid-1980’s.

Material from Jim Spaceborn

Material from Jim Spaceborn

The general storyline follows LEGO® character Jim Spaceborn on his journey through space on the ‘Spearhead’ (his blue and white spaceship) with a Robot named ‘Keko’.

The box features an unpublished Pilot Episode of a cartoon version of  Jim Spaceborn. The quality of these cels was immaculate. As a photography student, I have never really looked into animation before but I can see now that it takes a lot of effort and production skill into creating even a short episode such as the one featured in the archive box.

Seeing the amount of effort just in how the animators have created a few expressions, just through eye shape or eyebrow placement, you can really empathise with how much time this short pilot episode would have taken.

I would encourage anyone who has an interest in Art or indeed Animation to look into the archives, as they are a rich resource to use in your own working practice.

Initial box listing notes

Initial box listing notes

Elizabeth James, Photography Student at the University for the Creative Arts.

The Jim Spaceborn series now catalogued and available for viewing via the Archives and Special Collections Online Catalogue. For access to the collection, please email archives@ucreative.ac.uk.

Images are for educational use only and are copyright University for the Creative Arts. Jim Spaceborn material courtesy of the Bob Godfrey Family. For further information please contact archives@ucreative.ac.uk.


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