Non era molto noto in Italia, se non nel settore dristretto degli addetti ai lavori, ma alcuni dei personaggi per i quali ha inventato soggetti lo erano.
Ci scrive Francesco Artibani:
E’ un periodo nero per l’animazione; è scomparso l’altro giorno lo
sceneggiatore Earl Kress.
Kress aveva lavorato anche le produzioni italiane della Rainbow, scrivendoepisodi di Monster Allergy e la più recente Pop Pixie.
In quelle occasioni gli avevo fatto da story editor ma se c’era uno che
andava seguito non era certo lui.
Nel blog dell’Animation Guild c’è un suo profilo, del quale riprendo l’incipit:
Earl Kress, animation writer and historian and Vice-President of the Animation Guild, passed away September 19 of liver cancer, a month past his sixtieth birthday.
Since 1975 he worked for DePatie-Freleng, Disney, Hanna-Barbera, Marvel, Filmation, Universal and Warners Bros.
Earl was a true Renaissance man of animation. He won two Emmy Awards and an Annie Award for writing episodes of Pinky and the Brain for Warner Bros., and was nominated for an episode of Animaniacs. He wrote the last Road Runner short, Little Go Beep.
(Sotto è possibile vederlo accompagnato dalla “voce commentante” dello stesso Kress, che ne spiega la gestazione. L’animazione è superba, se non l’avete mai visto, cogliete l’occasione al volo).
He produced several DVDs of Hanna-Barbera and Warner Bros. classic cartoons, and wrote comic books for The Simpsons and Looney Tunes.
Among the series for which he wrote were Transformers, Pound Puppies, Taz-Mania and Baby Looney Tunes. He collaborated with Mark Evanier on June Foray’s autobiography, and contributed to the special features of many DVDs such as thr recent Top Cat. He also worked as a voice actor and as a puppeteer for the Muppets.
Nella foto sopra, scattata a una recente edizione della San Diego Comic-con, Earl Kress è ritratto con Janet Waldo, Tom Kenny e Mark Evanier (coperto).
Proprio l’amico e collaboratore Mark parla ancora di lui nelle sue pagine web (alle quali vi rimando, too), soffermandosi anche sulle condizioni di salute di Earl.
As a voice actor, Earl studied with a man he loved dearly, the late/loved Daws Butler. One day, Daws said to him, “There’s a writer I know…I think the two of you would get along.” Daws said much the same thing to me about Earl and he was, of course, right. Daws was always right.
Earl and I became fast friends and logged hundreds of hours talking about animation and cartoon history and show business and other shared interests like Soupy Sales, Laurel and Hardy, The Marx Brothers, The Muppets and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Everything I liked, he liked…and I also liked Earl.
He had many health problems in the time I knew him and at age 38, he underwent a heart transplant. Surgeons installed one that had formerly belonged to a teenage girl and after a rough period, he made a good, solid recovery…though I did try to convince him that any day now, he would begin menstruating. He never believed it, though one time when he came over, he asked if I had any tampons around. Just in case.
It turned out the transplant had a much more serious potential side effect. The doctors warned him before the surgery that a certain medication he had to take to get through the transplant could make him more prone to cancer. As I understand it, this drug is no longer in use but at the time, they had no option but to administer it and Earl understood the risk.
A few months ago, he was complaining of aches in one hip and elsewhere, and tests revealed that he had indeed gotten cancer and that it was spreading fast. At the end of March, one of his kidneys was removed and this was followed by other hospitalizations and treatments. His doctors kept thinking they’d arrested the problem but every few weeks, they’d find it in a new place. In early June, his wonderful wife Denise called and said that a test showed it had reached his brain. Later, it was in his liver and other Earl parts. I wouldn’t wish what that man went through on my worst enemy…and Earl was about as far from my worst enemy as any person could be.
Molta tristezza. Come sempre, in questi casi.
L’illustrazione dei Fratelli Warner è tratta da “Little Drummer Warners”, courtesy of Cartoonatics © 2011 Tom Ruegger http://cartoonatics.blogspot.com/