A gifted writer-actor-producer named Earl Kress left us early the morning of September 19, 2011. Many of his friends decided that there ought to be a little place on the Internet where folks who knew him could tell about him and folks who didn’t could learn about him. Welcome to that place. New stories and thoughts will be posted here from time to time. If you have one that oughta be up here, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, browse around and hear all about our pal Earl…
I just found out about Earl’s passing. I’m so sorry to hear this. I loved his work and so much appreciated his animation history work. You will be very missed.
Now go and visit that great animation studio in the sky and interview all the giants that are there waiting for you.
Earl I just want you to know that as we enter into the holiday time this year you will be missed! Woke up this morning thinking about New Years Eve. We will always have you in our hearts on that special day and know that you will be there at the table, ready to eat the rolls! Miss you!
And Hollywood Reporter also reports on the award…
Dwayne McDuffie and Earl Kress are set to receive the Writers Guild of America, West Animation Writers Caucus’ 14th annual Animation Writing Award posthumously. The honor recognizes their animation writing work and their efforts to organize animation for the guild.
“This year, animation lost two talented, hard-working people who have given much of themselves and their talent to our field,” said AWC chair Craig Miller. "Dwayne McDuffie was a talented writer and creator of comics and animation who worked hard for others, particularly for minority writers. Earl Kress was a writer whose career included both feature and TV animation and hard work on behalf of all animation writers as a member of the WGA Animation Writers Caucus and the Animation Guild Board of Directors. Both were people I was glad to call friend and colleague, and whose efforts, it can truthfully be said, made all of us the better for them."
Kress wrote for Transformers, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, The Smurfs, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, The Little Rascals, The Berenstain Bears, Ghostbusters, Kim Possible and many more series. On the film side, he worked on Disney’s The Fox and the Hound as well as several direct-to-video animated features. In 1995, Kress joined the Animation Guild’s executive board and was elected vice president of the Animation Guild (Local 839) in 2004, a position he held until his death in September.
McDuffie, who died in February, co-founded Milestone Media, which focused on creating black superheroes such as Hardware and Static and multi-cultural storylines. As a comic book author, McDuffie wrote for Marvel’s Fantastic Four and DC’s Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight and Justice League of America, among others. For TV, he wrote for Static Shock, Justice League, Ben 10: Alien Force, Teen Titans and many others.
The award will be presented to McDuffie’s and Kress’ widows, Charlotte (Fullerton) McDuffie and Denise Kress, at the AWC’s 2011 awards ceremony held Thursday tonight at WGAW headquarters. Post honorees include Mike Scully, Al Jean, Michael Reiss, Brad Bird, Linda Woolverton and Stan Berkowitz.
Variety reports on Earl’s latest honor…
Dwayne McDuffie and Earl Kress have been posthumously named co-recipients of the WGA West Animation Writers Caucus’ 14th annual Animation Writing Award.
The WGA said the duo are being recognized for their contributions to the craft of animation writing as well as for their work in organizing animation.
Kudos will be presented to McDuffie’s and Kress’ widows, Charlotte (Fullerton) McDuffie and Denise Kress, at the awards ceremony Thursday night at WGA West headquarters. Mark Evanier, who won the 2003 award, will present the nod to Kress; Matt Wayne will make the presentation to McDuffie.
“Dwayne McDuffie was a talented writer and creator of comics and animation who worked hard for others, particularly for minority writers,” said caucus chair Craig Miller.
“Earl Kress spent 30-plus years working tirelessly to improve the lot of animation writers,” said Stan Berkowitz, who won the award in 2009. “He leaves behind a legacy of iconic cartoons and well-deserved awards, along with scores of fellow animation writers who have health and pension benefits because of Earl and Earl alone.”
Kress died on Sept. 19, shortly after turning 60, of complications due to liver cancer. His animation credits include “Transformers,” “Animaniacs,” “Pinky and the Brain,” “Tom and Jerry Tales,” “The Smurfs,” “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids” and “Duck Tales.” Kress joined the Animation Guild’s executive board in 1995; in 2004 he was elected VP of the guild, a position he held until his death.
McDuffie died at age 49 on Feb. 21 of complications after undergoing emergency heart surgery. He was co-founder of Milestone Media, a company that created multicultural comicbook lines that introduced black superheroes such as Hardware and Static and contributed to Marvel’s “Fantastic Four” and DC’s “Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight” and “Justice League of America.”
Earl’s sister Elise uploaded this photo to Facebook. It’s Earl with his wife Denise…
We’ve finally been able to get the video shot with Earl Kress uploaded for viewing. Check this out!
Denise Kress posted this photo on Facebook, describing it as “One of my favorites pictures, taken in June, of Earl and Sammy. He loved his grandchildren so very much.”