May 28, 2008

In case you didn't know, Kino Kid and René Walling, the two longest-serving Frames Per Second co-conspirators (aside from, well, me) have both been working on Anticipation, the 67th annual World Science Fiction Convention (aka the Worldcon), which is happening right here in Montreal next year. Just this morning I got word that I can take the gag off my mouth and spread the news: this year's Guest of Honor is none other than Ralph Bakshi, one of the few people I can call a maverick without rolling my eyes. Bakshi spent close to four decades in the animation business, starting on Terrytoons productions like Mighty Mouse but ultimately making his mark with gritty urban fare like Fritz the Cat, Heavy Traffic and Coonskin along with fantasy fare like Wizards, the first Lord of the Rings feature, and Fire & Ice—and along the way worked with comics and animation legends like Frank Frazetta, Jim Steranko, Virgil Ross, and a kid named John Kricfalusi.

Many of Bakshi's films continue to cause controversy, if not heated discussion, but the best part about all of them is that they display his belief that no subject is out of bounds for animation. When I wrote the introduction to our July 2004 interview, I commented that if he ever came to Montreal the drinks would be on me. I don't know if he ever read that, but the offer still stands.

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