Saturday, June 27, 2009

George Turner

George Turner was a great guy who co-wrote (although it was MOSTLY him) The Making of King Kong, the definitive chronicle of that monumental and immortal film. And I'm not talking about "the 70's one" junior! George was a great writer and artist and a dear friend. We worked together doing storyboards for Filmation, even carpooling and sharing laughs and stories all the while. (He once grumbled about their Tarzan cartoon show that "Tarzan has to KILL somebody once in a while!") George passed away a few years back but it was a true privilege to call him a friend. He was also the editor of American Cinematographer magazine for many years and authored many books on movies including The Cinema of Adventure, Romance, and Terror (which spelled ART to him!). I can by no means offer a real biography of George but he was a genial and mischievous gent from Texas with a southern drawl and a twinkle in his eye. He gave me this ink wash drawing (obviously inspired by the work of Willis O'Brien and Marcel Delgado) as a gift and I thought I would share it. I asked George why Kong and many old movies were so great and the Jurassic Parks and their kin seemed so lame by comarison. George puffed on his pipe, looked off wistfully and opined: Well those OLD boys like to go out in the world and DO things... these NEW boys like to sit around in offices...". Amen. One other quick expample of his wit. We were in a Mexican restaurant and I noticed they had tongue tacos and I said, "Hey, George! You ever had a tongue taco?" and he shot back "well, that would be a TALK-o, wouldn't it?" I miss George. He graciously volunteered himself as a star of the first "photo comic" I made, a lame story called THE WOODS, which I will share with you. Soon. Soonish. Soonishly...

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