Topic Options
#479961 - 12/02/01 08:26 PM Chase Craig, R.I.P.
Mark Evanier Offline
Member

Registered: 04/06/99
Posts: 382
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Chase Craig, who edited as many great comics as anyone who ever lived, passed away last night at the age of 91. He was recuperating from an operation to correct injuries he had suffered in a fall three weeks earlier.

Chase was born in Texas and moved to Los Angeles in the thirties to get into the animation business. His fellow Texan, Tex Avery, gave him a job in the story unit at Warner Brothers, where he worked for some time without -- for some reason -- ever getting a screen credit. After a few years, he decided to turn his attention to print cartooning and left...only to be quickly tapped by Western Printing and Lithography to write and draw stories for its first Bugs Bunny comics. Chase produced over half of the first issue of LOONEY TUNES AND MERRIE MELODIES comics, issued under the Dell label, including the authorship of the MARY JANE & SNIFFLES strip. (Sniffles the Mouse had been a character in the cartoons but Chase came up with the format for this long-running strip, naming the character of Mary Jane after his then-recent bride.)

Western soon hired him as an editor and, through the mid-seventies, he worked out of their Los Angeles office, editing (at one point) a comic per day, at a time when it was not uncommon for one of their comics to sell over a million copies. He was the editor who kept Carl Barks producing DONALD DUCK and UNCLE SCROOGE stories, and Paul Murry doing MICKEY MOUSE and so many others. He was one of the creators of MAGNUS, ROBOT FIGHTER and worked over the years with an array of talent that included not only the above but also Michael Maltese, Alex Toth, Russ Manning, Dan Spiegle, Warren Tufts, Pete Alvarado, Mike Royer, Gaylord DuBois, Don Glut, Tony Strobl, Phil DeLara and so many more...

...including me. I've always said I had two mentors in the comic book business -- Chase Craig and Jack Kirby. Chase bought the first scripts I ever had published in this country and he taught me an awful lot about how to pace and structure a story. I wish I could remember a tenth of it...

A fuller obit/bio will be up on my website in a few days, and appearing in COMICS BUYER'S GUIDE.
_________________________
Mark Evanier's daily weblog is at http://www.newsfromme.com and his not-daily weblog is at http://www.POVonline.com.

Top
#479962 - 12/02/01 11:24 PM Re: Chase Craig, R.I.P.
The OC Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 1985
Wow. I'm sorry to hear that, Mark, and I'm sorrier to admit that I had not realized that (until this) Mr. Craig was still among the living.

I look forward to your longer obituary/retrospective.
_________________________
Posted by Otto Chelman

"You have [my] contempt." -- Alan Light to disappointed TBG subscriber.

Top
#479963 - 12/03/01 12:27 AM Re: Chase Craig, R.I.P.
Scott Shaw! Offline
Member

Registered: 02/01/00
Posts: 490
Loc: Sherman Oaks, California, USA
Aside from underground comix, Chase Craig gave me my first professional jobs inking the covers of Marvel's tabloid Christmas special THE FUNTASTIC WORLD OF HANNA-BARBERA #1 (over Kay Wright's pencils) and YOGI BEAR #1 (over Pete Alvarado's pencils) -- by no coincidence, at the urging of Mark Evanier. Chase was one of those "tough but fair" bosses who demanded excellence, yet was extremely patient with this young turk. Mark soon assumed the editorship of the H-B/Marvel line of funnybooks, so I never got to know him as well as I would have liked, but I'll always be grateful for Craig's time and generousity. Despite hiring a guy like me, Chase really knew his stuff.

Today's comic industry could use a few dozen more editors of Chase Craig's caliber.

Scott "Now An Old Turk" Shaw!

------------------
See the CRAZIEST comic books ever published!
SCOTT SHAW! Presents ODDBALL COMICS!
A weird 'n' wacky new funnybook cover every weekday, only at Comic Book Resources, http://www.comicbookresources.com/columns/oddball/

Top
#479964 - 12/03/01 02:15 AM Re: Chase Craig, R.I.P.
David Seidman Offline
Member

Registered: 10/19/99
Posts: 261
Loc: West Hollywood, California 900...
It's rotten when one of the good guys passes on.

When I was editing Disney Comics, I phoned Mr. Craig for some advice. He didn't know me (I got his number from someone in the office), and he had no reason to do me any favors.

Yet he was as helpful as could be. Even when I started burbling about how much I admired the books that he published, he treated me as a colleague rather than as some kid he'd never heard of.

That's class.

Top
#479965 - 12/13/01 03:36 AM Re: Chase Craig, R.I.P.
Joe Tages Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/13/01
Posts: 24
I'm very sorry about Chase's passing, and even sorrier that I never met the man.

Top