Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sixty-nine Years Ago Today ...

... Disney released Hockey Homicide.

Milt Kahl and John Sibley were two of four animators; Bill Berg was one of the story artists.

Bill was a good friend of my father's, and was up at the house all the time. He and my dad collaborated on a live-action piece for the Mickey Mouse Club, "How to Draw Donald Duck" which feature Bill and a lot of small kids trying to draw the duck. (One of the small kids was moi).

In the fifties, Bill had a thick thatch of blonde hair, thick bushy eyebrows, and furry forearms. But all the hair went away when he contracted a virus in the late sixties that turned him into a twin brother of Mr. Clean/Yul Brynner. (No hair on arms, head or above the eyes). Bill drew the "Scamp" strip for many years. He passed away in 2002 at the age of 84.

Hockey Homicide's background artist was Art Riley, who had a reputation for living frugally (he lived with his mother for many years), investing in the stock market way before it was fashionable, and driving an ancient Cadillac that he babied along. Vance Gerry told me that Art didn't get out much. Vance once gave him a lift home from the studio (the Cadillac must have been in the shop) and stopped at a supermarket on the way. Art accompanied Vance into the market and stared at the rows of food, polished floors and fluorescent lights and said:

"Wow, this is something. What do you call this kind of store?"

Art left the studio after thirty years employment. He died in Monterey California, still living on his stock holdings, in the late 1990s. He was 87.

H/t Tom Sito.


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