Monday, October 21, 2013

Lou Scheimer at ASIFA Hollywood

Here I am, late again, but I'd like to offer my tribute to Lou Scheimer:

                    (Popeye copyright King Features Syndicate)

Back in 1998, I had the chance to meet Lou Scheimer at ASIFA Hollywood. This evening was hosted by Tom Sito back at ASIFA's old digs on Victory Blvd. I brought along my copy of Saturday Morning TV by Gary H. Grossman. I think Lou was amused by the book, and he autographed my picture of Sabrina and Archie on page 373.

(Artwork copyright Filmation/Archie Comics, Pink Panther copyright Depatie-Freleng)

In spite of it's shortcomings, I'll always have a warm spot for Filmation shows. I remember clear back to their New Adventures of Superman in the early 60's. After working on King of the Hill for two seasons, I now appreciate the pressure they must have been under to make the deadlines for TV production. Plus, staying on model with the DC comic book characters called for some precise draftsmanship. Although later on, it became "jump cut city" on shows like Star Trek. I think it gave me some bad habits as far as storytelling goes. And I forgave the stiff, limited animation since the visuals were so great, and the stories could sweep me away as a six year old.

Archie, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Fantastic Voyage, Star Trek, Space Sentinels, Flash Gordon and Fat Albert were all cornerstones of my Saturday Mornings. Except for HB's Space Ghost, and the Herculoids, Filmation seemed to be the only studio that tackled science fiction fairly well. I just found out on Variety that Lou won a daytime Emmy for the animated Star Trek.

Only later I learned that Filmation had kept many animation artists employed when so much work had already been outsourced from the mid 60's onward. Filmation had helped some artists to break the glass ceiling to get into feature animation, or at least move on to other studios.

But to sum up, Lou Scheimer and his partners Hal Sutherland and Norm Prescott got ahold of some amazing properties to dazzle my teeny brain on Saturday Mornings. Here's to 'em!,0,1131347.story

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