Thursday, August 31, 2006

ED BENEDICT...So Long, Chum! We'll Miss Ya!!!

sorry for the double post today. i just wanna say something about a swell fella...

for those of you who haven't heard or aren't aware of animation stuff, the world lost a great man this week. i received a call from Amid Amidi ( yesterday filling me in on the news...thanks amid!

Ed Benedict is absolutely one of my top heroes and very thankfully, a teriffic friend. as much as we (in the disneyland blogs) all love the visual candy of Disneyland, Ed was the reason for a great deal of visual candy in animation. i don't like pigeon holing Ed into just Hanna-Barbera for why he is so great but it was probably his most prolific legacy.

if you fancy the clean goodness that is early HB work such as Ruff n Reddy, Huck Hound, Yogi and Boo-Boo, Quick Draw McGraw among others, then you too are a fan of Ed Benedict. my fav however, is his incredible work on the Flintstones. wow, was that stuff great. honestly, as far as cartoons go, first season Flintstones is about as close as you're gonna get to visual nirvana. it's the most charming, enveloping, innovative and expressive design i've ever run across. his work has certainly a big impact on pop culture. iconic to say the least...
i met Ed about 15 years ago through my mentor, John Kricfalusi. John and i met when i was still attending Cal Arts and we hit it off for a bunch of reasons, but none more so than our love of HB cartoons. back in the late 80s, i was in the minority among animation students for loving HB stuff so much. most people were on a Bluth/Disney Little Mermaid kick. the visual heroin that surged in our veins was intense while we marveled Ed's great design work.

John had finally tracked down the elusive Ed B. and eventually invited him over to Spumco while we did the first season of Ren and Stimpy. i peed my panatones for sure when John dragged Ed over to my desk. what a thrill it was meeting this, this....this GOD! wow, not only is Ed a real guy, but he looks like one of his characters! Ed usually had at least seven planes of perspective on his body at any given time...just like his characters!

eventually, Ed and I became close pals and I visited him and his wonderful wife, Alice several times up in Carmel, Ca. each visit was a marathon of theory and appreciative critique of anything under the sun. when i was approached by the folks at Turner Publishing to participate in the creation of the Flinstone Book from the mid nineties, i made sure they gave credit where credit was due. the author and several others from Turner visited Ed a few times and gave him a fitting place in the book.

around that time, Ed, in his late 80's did these fantastic Flinstone drawings for me. man, i don't know about you but there's not many people in their 20s and 30s who can draw that well!

here's a shot (taken by Alice Benedict) of Ed forging one of those drawings on his anvil of art. wot a guy!

anyhow, just wanted to say something about Ed...he was one of the good ones!

here's a few links to other blogs about Ed's work and life. there's a few great interviews by John K. done for the Flintstone laserdisc set that are certainly worth the read. you can see the admiration and fun ribbing John gives that old coot as he squirms away from praise...great stuff!

Ed Benedict/John K Interview

also, here's a short piece on Ed i did for Amid's Animation Blast a few years ago:

"My Pal, Ed"

well, that's it. Ed, it was great to know ya. i sure you're already up there in that great split-level boulder in the sky, figuring out what's wrong with it and letting everybody know it!

cheers, you old curmudgeon!!!!!!


Blogger Matterhorn1959 said...

Jordan- quite a nice heartfelt piece. Thanks for sharing.

6:00 AM  
Blogger Adam Hazlett said...

That's an amazing drawing he did for you! It has a feeling/style that many can't capture. I always felt Chuck Jones' later drawings of Bugs and the gang always lacked something and looked nothing like the characters we all love. Ed's look as fresh as the day they drew the cartoon. Great Post! Thanks

10:23 AM  
Blogger thepicklebarrel said...


yeah, the best part is his wife alice told me he spent a long time on them too. ed was very arthritic yet he was determined to not disappoint. he was a terrific guy..

11:30 AM  
Blogger mike fontanelli said...

It’s the end of an era. The end of THE era, really – Ed worked during the golden age of damn near everything. Another genius from the greatest generation has gone and left the building - and we are diminished.

Only Ollie Johnston and Joe Barbera are left now, and I just got an email from someone at Warner Bros. named Marc Melocchi, who tells me that Joe is in a wheelchair and unable to communicate at all.

Creative artists like Ed Benedict are irreplaceable. We still have hip-hop and South Park to entertain the idiots, but as for the real fans - we know the world sucks just a little bit more. I’ll sure miss that generation of giants - but what a legacy, eh?.

Thanks for both EB tributes, Jordan!
Mike F.

12:11 PM  

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