Jean-Claude Forest, who created the provocative sci-fi comic strip character Barbarella and designed sets for the '60s movie starring Jane Fonda, passed away December 30, 1998 at the age of 68. Forest created the seductive 41st century adventurer in 1962 originally appearing in V Magazine. The cult favorite Roger Vadim-directed movie released in June 1968, "Barbarella," secured her place in fandom history.
Category: In Passing
France's Annecy Festival Director Jean-Luc Xiberras died on December 26, 1998 at 57 years old after a long battle with illness. The Mayor of Annecy, the festival President & Board and the festival staff unanimously saluted his courage and determination for continuing to be a force in the festival's operation during his term of illness.
Last Tuesday was a dark day for the comic book world when legendary writer/artist Bob Kane, best known for creating DC Comics Batman, passed away as a result of natural causes at his California home. Kane, 83, created the dark hero along with many other famous supporting characters including Robin, the Boy Wonder, the Joker, Catwoman and the Riddler. His creations have resulted in a continuously published comic book for fifty years, a live-action TV series, four feature films, at least five animated Batman series, and merchandising beyond words.
Animation educator Gail Banker died of a stroke on Sunday, September 13, the day after her 60th birthday. For the past 13 years, she taught animation to children and adults in the New England area: as an instructor at Hanover High School in Hanover, New Hampshire; as a counselor at the Charles River Creative Arts Program in Dover, Massachusetts; and as founder of Single-Frame Studio in Norwich, Vermont, where she ran weekly animation workshops for children. She also taught adult animation classes at her studio and through various continuing education programs.
Animation editor and producer Lee Gunther passed away on August 25 following a stroke suffered the previous day. He was 63 years old. A memorial service was held on Saturday, August 29 at Forest Lawn in Burbank, California. Starting at Warner Bros. in the 1960s and then at DePatie-Freleng studios from 1964-1978, Gunther was a film editor on more than 85 animated shorts in all. At DePatie-Freleng, he also worked as an executive in charge of production in the 1970s.