Jim Lujan

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James "Jim" Lujan (born September 20, 1969) is an American animator, writer, director, producer, musician, artist and voice actor. He is best known for creating the animated short films Mama, I'm a Thug (2003) and the series Sanjourno Must Die for the YouTube channel Rugburn. He is currently writing, storyboarding, designing and editing the feature film Revengeance (release date 2016) with animator Bill Plympton.

Early life

Jim Lujan was born in Los Angeles, California to parents Stella and Hector Lujan, and was the youngest of five children. He graduated from Edgewood High School (West Covina, California) in 1987 and attended Mt. San Jacinto College and Pasadena City College.


In 1998 Lujan produced his first self-animated series (Jim Lujan’s Animatic Cartoon Show) for local access channel Buenavision in East L.A., where he developed a style he then termed "Ghettomation.” Jim was also a part of the groundbreaking "Illegal Interns" TV show as an animator. That same year, Lujan debuted two new cartoons at the Conduitfest in Austin, Texas, concurrent with South By Southwest.

Lujan's style has focused on guerrilla style animation that's richly illustrated, with a variety of strange characters in amusing situations.

Lujan has produced shorts on his YouTube Channel since 2006, where he has showcased over 50 animations,[1] many of which were collected in DVD editions. Lujan has also been the principal organizer of several Southern California animation festivals such as “Animation Alley”, “Stinkin’ Badges”, and “Cartoons Save the World”.

Lujan explored other modes of graphic story telling as co-founder of "The Cartoonistas" along with comics creator Javier Hernandez (creator of El Muerto). In 2009, Lujan co-founded the Ghettomation podcast with comic book artist Kevin Cross, and featuring animator Raul Aguirre Jr., The podcast examined the creative process of independent animation from the ground level. It lasted two years.

At the 2012 Annie Awards fellow animation director Ken Mora introduced Lujan to animation legend Bill Plympton. Lujan co-hosted an interview with Plympton for episode 34 of Man Vs. Art with host Raul Aguirre Jr..[2] The following year at 2013 San Diego Comic-Con Lujan gave Plympton a DVD of his animation and Plympton was quoted as saying “I was blown away!” and awarded Jim the Second Annual Plympton Award for Indie Animation.[3] Soon after, Plympton offered to produce the animated feature film which Lujan would write (Revengeance).

In 2014 Lujan extended his one-man production process to complete his first feature-length film, Kounterclockwise in Forever-Land. The 50 minute sci-fi funk epic featured the avant-garde trip-hop duo from Cleveland, Kounterclockwise, for whom Lujan has made music videos.[4] The soundtrack was a mixture of Lujan compositions along with Kounterclockwise originals. The film has been applauded for being inclusive to both the minority communities and the disabled communities[4] and has been shown at film festivals across the US and in Europe.

The partnership of Plympton and Lujan began in 2015 with Revengeance,[5] which Lujan described as “Like playing pick-up basketball with Michael Jordan”. With executive producers Adam Rackoff and Matthew Modine, Plympton's production team raised over $90,000 on Kickstarter to bankroll the film's principal production,[6] with Jim Lujan writing and voicing over a dozen characters and scoring much of the music himself. The film features hapless bounty hunter “Rod Rosse, the One Man Posse”, shameless radio DJ “the Shademan”, and the “Inland Emperors” motorcycle gang, all of which have appeared in Lujan’s previous short films.

Personal life

Jim is married to Leann Lujan. The two had a daughter Julia, who died in 2008, aged 8, from a brain tumor. The couple live in Southern California. Julia’s drawing of an octopus can be seen as the logo for Lujan’s animation productions.


2011, 2012, 2013 Best Animated Film - 909 Awards

2012- Plympton Indie Animation Award[7]

2016 - Best Independent Animation- AAI Film Awards


Animated features

  • Kounterclockwise in Forever-Land (2014)
  • Revengeance (directed by Bill Plympton) (2016)

Animated shorts

  • Mayhem News (1998)
  • Small McCartney (1998)
  • Deranged (1998)
  • A Night at the Dogfights (1998)
  • Get Your Groove On (1998)
  • Prison Love (1998)
  • Chicken N Cigarettes (1998)
  • Stoner Girl (1999)
  • Mama, I’m a Thug! (2003)
  • Up In My Grill (2006)
  • Alphanerd (2008)
  • John Henry Unicorn (2009)
  • Seven Smiles (2010)
  • Freakdaddy (2010)
  • New Wave Dentist (2010)
  • The Cougar and the Cub (2010)
  • The Legend of Bobby Churro (2011)
  • Hard Crumbler (2011)
  • Enfuego (2011)
  • The Test Drivers (2011)
  • Rod Rosse the One Man Posse (2012)
  • Unchained Fists (2012)
  • Sanjourno Must Die (2012)
  • Sanjourno Must Die (series) (2013)
  • Booyah! (2015)
  • Party Warriors (2016)

Music videos

  • Kounterclockwise - "Moonwalk"
  • Kounterclockwise - "Outside the Lines"
  • Kounterclockwise - "Whip"
  • Kounterclockwise - "Cosmonaut Rock"
  • Kounterclockwise - "Up For Sale"

External links