Press release from VOICE 2012:
ANAHEIM, CA -- Move over Comic-Con International—this year VOICE 2012 (VoiceOver International Creative Experience) , the world’s only international voice acting convention, is honoring two of Hollywood’s premiere animation producers—Joe Ruby and Ken Spears. And in doing so, event organizers expect a sell-out crowd of cartoon and animation fans as well as voice actors, producers, directors and industry insiders.
Anyone who has watched Saturday morning cartoons sometime in the past four decades has very likely enjoyed Joe Ruby's and Ken Spears' work. Business partners for 45 years, Joe and Ken are the creative geniuses behind Ruby-Spears Productions, one of the most prolific, award-winning animation and live action production companies in the world. Ruby-Spears has produced thirty-six television series notably including the original action adventure Thundarr the Barbarian, the top-rated series Alvin and the Chipmunks, the drama Chuck Norris and the Karate Kommandos, the animated series Mr. T and Superman, the funny action adventure Plastic Man and their groundbreaking Rubik the Amazing Cube—the first network series to feature a Hispanic family as its central characters. Ruby-Spears' long list of professional of accomplishments reads more like the history of television animation than a resume, yet they continue to have fresh projects in development.
During their 15 years at Hanna-Barbera Productions, Joe Ruby and Ken Spears teamed up to create many cartoons including one of the world’s most famous; that loveable, laughable great dane, Scooby Doo. As their work increased in viewer popularity, the pair grew to be an influential voice in Hollywood. So much so that Ruby-Spears Productions, Inc. became the first animation company to secure television network commitments for a special and a series even before they opened their doors. There is no question that, for the VOICE attendees as well as cartoon and animation enthusiasts the world over, Joe Ruby and Ken Spears are iconic figures of the industry.
"Because we do our work in a sound booth in front of a microphone instead of on a set in front of a camera, the voice over community hasn't been well-known to the general public," states Penny Abshire, one of the convention's producers. "While this is changing, this historic lack of fame doesn't mean voice actors aren't part of the fabric of Hollywood glamour. Ruby-Spears is proof enough of that!" The four day convention is a rare opportunity for animation and cartoon fans, as well as voice acting talent, to meet many of the key people behind very popular shows as well as learn about the projects being created.