... When Phil Roman was learning to draw in the 1940s, he took a correspondence course from an art school in Minneapolis. His homework would come back with his teacher’s signature — “Sparky” — scrawled on the bottom. That teacher was Charles M. Schulz. “I still have letters from him,” says Roman, 85. “I learned the basics from him.”
Roman — who will receive the International Animated Film Society’s Winsor McCay Award for his lifetime contribution to animation — spent his early years working on such films as Sleeping Beauty and such TV specials as How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Then, in the 1970s, he helped his old teacher bring Peanuts to television, growing from animator to director. ...
Phil worked at the Bill Melendez studio for a bunch of years, first as an animator, then a director. He was the director of the first Garfield special, created at the Melendez shop, but Mr. Schulz wanted Melendez to focus on Peanuts, so Phil Roman took the Garfield franchise over the Hollywood hills to Toluca Lake, where Film Roman was born.
And now you know a bit more of the Phil Roman story.