Friday, October 20, 2006

Types I have known, by John Sparey: Don, Lin and Don

The stories of the artists pictured in John Sparey's portfolio of the Disney bullpen from the mid-1950s, remind us that not everyone who started their careers at the Mouse House became a Disney "lifer". For example ...


Inbetweener Don McPherson (left) started at Warners in 1954, then resigned fifteen months later to go to Disney. He became an assistant in early 1956, only to resign from Disney a year-and-a-half later. His letter to us requesting withdrawal in 1959 says he had moved to New York and was working in commercial art.

Lin Larsen (center), a breakdown artist at the time this was drawn in 1956, also left Disney the following year. Within a few years he had worked at Mike Lah's Quartet Films, Sam Singer, Format, TV Spots, Warner Bros. and Hanna-Barbera, where by 1969 he was doing layouts. For the next twenty years he pursued the career of a "journeyman", at H-B, Ruby-Spears, Orsatti, DePatie-Freleng and Marvel. For the last three months before his 1989 retirement, h ended up doing storyboards for ... Disney's TV division.

Don Christensen (right) left Disney at about the same time as McPherson and Larsen, moving to NYC for several years. He's probably best-remembered as the longtime head of Filmation's layout department. After Filmation's close he worked for DIC, Disney TV, Marvel and Universal, retiring in 1994.


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