Channel the entity "Jeff Parker" from beyond the Ether

Sunday, July 23, 2006


As packed as the place is, I'm able to cross the floor easier this year simply because I'm close to the door and can walk outside to the other end of the center and walk back in. I did that when going to chat with Mark Schultz, Dave Johnson, Aaron Lopresti and others. Piles of trash are building up in the middle aisle of the room to add to the traffic chaos. I met some great people associated with Alex Toth like Disney animator Tom DeRozier, who shares my worship of Milt Kahl as well.

That evening was the Toth tribute panel moderated by David Armstrong, and it went as well as you could hope. Not too much of people proclaiming their connection with The Herculoids. Irwin Hasen was a laugh riot, talking about Alex at 16. John Hitchcock got to tell some terrific stories like Toth chasing a speeder down the freeway. Paul Power described Alex's time in Australia as boss of his group of animators on Superfriends, and Mike Royer told of Toth meeting Al Williamson. Sculptor/animator Ruben Procopio filled in other bits of Alex's life and I think the audience got a good shared view of the man this way. What I was most grateful for was that Toth's son Eric and daughter Dana sat on the panel and told some of what their dad was like at home. How he'd drag them to the model airplane store constantly, and shoot hundreds of pictures of any common object lying around the house that interested him visually. I couldn't help but feel for them as this reminded me of last year when my dad died. Then suddenly lots of people are coming up to you telling you things about your own father you didn't know and you're still putting together a big picture of just who this person was. I talked quite a bit with his other son Damon, and was happy to hear that Alex got to see his youngest granddaughter who was born just in time. There's no getting around the fact that a tribute like this is essentially a funeral service, and it was a very good one, full of poignant moments and laughter. Tothfans Webmaster Jeff Rose got a lot of pictures that will no doubt be on the website soon, and maybe there'll be a way to hear the audio of the panel.

Back at the hotel I thought of how hungry I was and how everyone was probably filling the Hyatt bars now. As I sat on my bed trying to decide whether to eat or go to the bars, I passed out. Now it's morning, and time to go back into the monster. If the show keeps growing like this, the only option I see for it is to spill out into the city itself like Angouleme. I'm being serious about that.


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