Friday through Sunday, I spent the weekend in L.A. for my first time. But the only important day was Saturday. On Saturday, I volunteered at the ASISA Hollywood Animation Archive. I walked in about 45 minutes early and introduced myself to Steve Worth, one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. Steve then told me he has more than enough volutneers enough volunteers, meaning I don't have to do any actually volunteer work, and he took me on a tour of the archive. He explained what the archive has, what the archive wants to do with all their material, and how they are going to reach their goal. I can't express how important it is to volunteer at the archive to make this mission possible.
After a little while of browsing the Disney, Fleischer and Spumco art, I hear the door open, and then a familiar laugh. I hear Steve call out, "Hey Eddie!" Every volunteer bolted out of their chair for their chance to meet this big-shot cartoonist. Being the great guy he is, Eddie recognized all of us from our comments on his blog. When I mentioned to Eddie that I was only 17 years old and from Pittsburgh and that I came out to L.A. to support ASIFA, he couldn't believe it. He told me I was on the right track, and hearing that from one of my favorite cartoonists is something I'll never forget. Eddie came to archive to draw Milt Gross Sunday comics from reference. As I expected, Eddie told us alot of theories and stories. He has tons of great stories about his experiences in animation studios and his adventures with Bob Clampett. Eddie also gave me alot of good drawing/cartooning advice.
I'm behind Eddie.
After talking to Steve and Eddie for a few hours, the phone rings, so Steve gets up and answers it. When Steve walks back out, he tells everyone "We are all invited to John K's house after this." It took awhile for it to really sink in, but I was actually invited to John K's house, creator of Ren & Stimpy. After the shift ended, we all drove up to John K's house. Art F. gave me a ride there and when I walked I started looking for John. Well, at first I accidently looked right past him. Once he noticed me and everyone else he shook my hand and asked me "Hey, are you Art?" I replied, "No I'm Max Ward." he nodded and greeted everyone else, the hard part was over. I noticed a few other people there, Kali Fontecchio and Marlo Meekins. I introduced myself to Kali but never was introduced to Marlo. Everyone was drinking and very loose, but I couldn't drink, being a minor. I felt embarassed having to ask John for a non-acoholic drink. When he found out I was 17 years old, he began questioning me. First thing he asked me was "What's your name again?" I told him "Max Ward," and he replied "Oh oh! Yeah you post on my blog and have sent me a few letters before, right?" I was relieved knowing I haven't gone unnoticed. John was very open and inviting the whole night, but I resisted very hard to ask him questions about animation or ask him to draw me a picture. Every question he was asked though, he replied with a good answer, even though he sounded like he has said that answers a million times before. He gave me and Art F. drawing tips and to keep it up if we wanted to work for him one day.
I later found out it was John's birthday. We had cake and everything.
I unfortunatly left early because I was the only one getting picked up by my parents. I shook hands with Steve, John, and Eddie on the way out. All of them telling me it was nice to meet me, which really means a lot. I'm back in Pittsburgh now, but I want to come back to L.A. and voluntter at the archive. Everyone in the Burbank area should be volunteering at ASIFA. I did and I ended up at John K's house! Hope to be back in L.A. soon.