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The passing of Stan Lee, famous comics writer and originator of iconic superheroes, reminds me of the day I met him, when Lee visited the Marvel Productions Animation Studio at Van Nuys, California, early in the summer of 1986. Lee appeared to be every bit the character as the brainchildren of his fantastic mind.

I sketched nature backgrounds for the “My Little Pony” show. It was fun, my cup of tea.

Animation is a strange business. I enjoyed learning from artists from all over the world. A Bulgarian artist taught me to appreciate good cubist art, such as Picasso and Braque. I met "Claude," a Frenchman who'd studied for 10 years in a French university at the government's expense. If only tuition could be so affordable here!

The downside is that the jobs aren't permanent. It's very trendy. The non-union studios tend to be greedy and hot-rod the workers. 

I can see why the Michelangelo of cartoonists, Ron Crumb, who debuted in the "underground comix" of the 1960s, refused to sell out and moved to more cultured and civilized France, where he'd traded a box of his sketchbooks for a villa to live in. 

Lee Onishuk,


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