News
August 6, 2013 posted by Jerry Beck

Lou Scarborough (1953-2013)

megan

Artist, animator, friend Louis Scarborough Jr. passed away last night from cancer (colon, lung and pancreatic). He was 60 years old.

LOU_1971-150Lou was an animator and storyboard artist on countless productions beginning in the mid-1970s, when I first met him. Lou was born in North Carolina, but grew up in New York City and he got a big break when was hired as an assistant animator on Richard Williams Raggedy Ann and Andy (1977). He moved up to Toronto to become an animator on Nelvana’s Rock & Rule (1984) and then migrated to Hollywood where he worked on numerous productions at Filmation (Pinnochio and The Emperor Of The Night, Bravestarr), Bagdasarian (Alvin and The Chipmunks), and Hanna Barbera (Godzilla, The Smurfs, etc.). At Warner Bros. Lou contributed his talents to Taz-Mania, Batman the Animated Series and Quest For Camelot. These credits are just the tip of the iceberg. Lou worked everywhere and was a consummate professional. He will be missed by all in the community and his life-long friends.

Below is the only photograph I could find of Lou online – taken at a reunion of the Raggedy Ann crew a few years ago (with Eric Goldberg, Tom Sito, Russell Calabrese, John Kimball, etc.) – and below that, a brief sample of his work. This post will be updated throughout the day. For more of Lou’s art, check his blog, Scarbororpolis. Animator Marc Schirmeister has been storing Lou’s belongings (artwork, books, personal effects) during his illness the last few months. Friends may contact Marc at (626) 793-6647 for further information.

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UPDATE: Art Binninger, Bob McKnight and Swinton Scott sent in some great additional photos of Lou which I’ve posted below:

batman_lou

Popeye-lou



BELOW: From my personal photo archive, a pic of Lou (at right) from the late 1970s (at a San Diego Comic Con, I believe). Left to right: That’s young Dan Haskett, Kent Butterworth, a crazy-hippie Jerry Beck(!) holding a 16mm cartoon print, Lou Scarborough – and in front, the late great Jan Kucik.

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Below: Lou and Mike Kazaleh

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35 Comments

  • Lou was a very nice man and as you can see, extremely talented. I first saw his work in DC Comics’ SHOWCASE during the early 1990s. He drew a few storyboards for CAMP CANDY while I was producing/directing the show and also worked on the DANGER RANGERS animated series and children’s books. R.I.P., pal.

  • That’s awful news… when I was a teenager, I was involved in Rowrbrazzle, the self published comic ‘club’ that met quarterly at Marc Shirmeister’s place (remember that?). There I got exposed to the work of some truly gifted (and some very strange) artists like Chris Sanders, Shawn Keller, Wendell Washer and Louis Scarborough. Louis was one of the nicest guys there, and i always enjoyed his work… through this neat bunch of folks, I wound up networking myself into the business, and I have fond memories of attending the parties. At the time, all I thought about it was ‘I’m hanging out with pro’s -cool!‘ and the furry fandom side of it – by that I mean the really strange side of it – was lost on me. I remember my mother being VERY concerned about my hanging out with some of these guys… but Louis was one of the more genuine. A very likable man.

  • Lou and I met when we were both working at Filmation lo those many years ago. He quickly became one of my closest friends. Sadness. Much sadness.

  • Thanks for posting Jerry, A beautiful tribute. Lou was a good friend and colleague.

  • Lou was a great talent and I had the goodluck to work with him on many presentations. He was a pro always and always up for laughs. He’ll be missed by us all – Ralph

  • I took over “Rowrbrazzle” from Marc Schirmeister in 1989, but many of us members in Southern California continued to socialize at Schirm’s home in the rural hills/mountains above Pasadena. One time when we were gathered for a ‘Brazzle session, a mother deer and her yearling fawn wandered into Schirm’s front yard.

    Lou Scarborough always spent more time hanging out with Schirm than with anyone else. Around 1993, Scarborough was going to have a six- or eight-issue comic book mini-series published by Edd Vick’s & Chuck Melville’s MU Press in Seattle, “Dance of the Radio-Men”. Scarborough showed everyone his original art for the first issues; very impressive.

    I wrote some publicity for it: “The first issue of Lou Scarborough Jr.’s ‘Dance of the Radio-Men’ should be published just about now. This is an offbeat mini-series scheduled for six to eight monthly issues. ‘Rachel Plympton is a television line producer for a superhero program who, in the process of saving her show and studio from being sold out from under her, herself becomes a ‘super-hero’. The series deals with the idea of imagination as both commodity and survival for the humans known as Teerithians. Rendered in traditional animation techniques, this is the first original concept-animation comic,’ says Melville. This is [...] set on Teerithia, an Earth-like planet whose people look roughly like the generic funny-animal background characters in Carl Barks’ Duck universe.”

    But it was never published, and Scarborough refused to say what had happened to it. I’ve always wondered.

  • Met Lou way back in 1985-86 working at Filmation on the Pinnochio feature, and would always spend time with him every year at the San Diego Comic Con. He was a fantastic artist, and a really humble, interesting person, who had a lot of common sense.He will be missed, and I really appreciated this man.

  • He was a great ally, a great teacher and and a helluva greater friend. Such a terrible loss but I pray he’s finally at peace now.
    Much obliged for posting this.

  • Lou was a great guy, and dedicated to keeping his vision alive through comics, animation treatments, character designs, proposed feature films, and stories. Lots of stories. Lou had a lot of stories he wanted to tell with his evolving cast of characters, but they unfortunately never saw the realization of that dream. Like many of us, survival first, I suppose. Lou was a talented, warm individual. He even saved my life once when we were walking along in New York, and I was blathering some esoteric gibberish too intently to see the oncoming taxicab. Lou pulled me out of the way just in time. There, but for the grace of Lou, go I. I’ll miss you.

  • I remember meeting Lou and Dan Haskett at a Star Trek convention at the Commodore Hotel, NYC in the summer of 1975. They were the ones who alerted me to the infamous Teletactics, where I found a job painting cels in 1976!

    Lou, we hardly knew ye. Clear skies and happy landings.

    JCF

  • Hello Jerry, thank you for the nice tribute to Lou. He used to hang out in New York and talk about starting an ‘animation cafe’ where patrons could come and watch cartoons while eating good food. He was a man ahead of his time.

    And I will always remember him whenever I see a pith helmet.

    It’s also been thirty years since Jan Kucik died, can you imagine?

  • My heart is sadden for the lost of my cousin, Lou. We called him “Mickey”. He drew Meggan for me many years ago. Even though I didn’t think that I was much of an artist, he was always my inspiration. Thank you for taking care of him in California. We will truly miss him. His artwork will live on forever.
    His cousin, Jacquie – South Carolina

    • Who are you???
      Please, refresh my family tree!!!

  • I also met Lou and Dan Haskett at a convention at the Commodore Hotel in New York, but this was a Famous Monster’s convention in November of ’74 or ’75. He was very humble about his work , and very friendly. I met him again a few years later when I went to SVA in New York. I visited him at his place, and we watched a 16mm print of Richard William’s A Christmas Carol that he got from the Library. He gave me lessons in animation, and showed me exposure sheets for the first time. He had optimism about the animation industry at a time when most people had given up on it. This was pre-Roger Rabbit and the Simpsons era , animation did not have it’s resurgence yet.

    I also remember his ‘animation cafe’ idea, He called the group he was getting together ” The Animation Repertoire Company”… or something like that. I remember worrying that I would have to bus tables, cook, or wash dishes, as well as help make the films. The core of his idea was that people could subscribe to the cafe like a dinner theater or the opera, and they would be alerted to new films, and have a good meal at the same time. He imagined a group of animation fans subscribing to animation, as Nancy said, he really was ahead of his time.

    He was very encouraging and was always tremendously kind to me.

    I will always remember him fondly. R.I.P. Lou

  • They’re breaking up that old gang of mine. Lou was one of the first people I met in animation and one of the most admired artists of the young group that started in New York in the 1970s. He was also a very nice guy. What a shame that we lost him so young. My condolences to everyone that knew him because we all lost a friend.

  • Lou was a really nice friend and an outstanding draughtsman who loved animation and storytelling. It is truly sad that he is no longer with us.

  • I met Lou through a friend of his, Art Binninger. I was new in Hollywood at the time and had a burning desire to get into the animation business. Lou agreed to meet with me and showed me around his apartment…this was around 1988…and it was absolutely jam packed with wonderful drawings that literally covered every wall of the place. He encouraged me to get into the business any way I could, and suggested cel painting at Judi Cassells. I did get a job there, painting cels, right at the end of Roger Rabbit. A few years later I landed a job at Disney. I saw Lou just one more time after that, when he in the lobby of the Hart-Dannon building applying for a position on the Rescuers Down Under. After re-introducing myself to him, his eyes lit up and he said, “Wow! You made it!” We spoke for a bit and I thanked him for his inspiration and guidance. If it were not for him I might never have gotten a toehold in the industry. Thanks, Lou, you were a great inspiration, mentor and a gentle soul. You’ll be missed.

  • I met Lou when he came to work in Toronto at Nelvana. One day I saw a hole in the wall of the entrance to the studio. I was told Lou had put his fist through it. I never found out what caused him to do that, or if that was really true. Lou was a big fellow, and strong, so it was believable, though he had a very gentle persona. I guess we can all agree that working in animation can make you want to put a fist through a wall, but unlike most of us Lou could actually do it. Later, I was on a rare trip to New York and going to see an exhibit of animation art and who did I bump into? Lou Scarborough, and maybe the first time I saw him in his pith helmet too. That was an unforgettable sight to behold. I think he had just come from seeing the exhibit, and I felt quite lucky for the chance meeting. I’m pretty sure I saw Lou once or twice after that, on rare trips to Los Angeles for work. I wish I’d got more time to know him, but that time is past now.. What an artist he turned to be, too! My deepest condolences go out to his family and everyone he knew and loved. I’ll always remember him fondly.

  • Thank you for writing this Jerry.

    RIP dear sweet Lou. I hope you know how much you were and always will be loved…

  • So sorry to hear of Lou’s passing. He was a great artist and a very gentle soul. He will be missed.

  • Thank you, all.
    For those who really knew him, my brother was the best.
    We all have been throught hard times and different issues.

    To: Marc Schirmeister,
    Thank you,
    ( I think you know without your help, I would be lost!)

    if you would like to contact me: sidecutter_234@yahoo.com

    • Hi Cecil,

      Linda, Lena and Nettie will tell you who I am and how we are related.

  • Louis joined Cartoonists Northwest in 1988. CNW began having monthly meetings in 1981 and Louie was our guest speaker in 1989 and our president in 1993. He also helped us come up with the name for our annual “Toonie Awards Banquet”, where we honor northwest cartoonists with our annual “Cartoonist of the Year Award”. It happened at an after-meeting gathering at the local “Dog House Restaurant”. We met in the back room (as mentioned in a book by J.A. Jance “Without Due Process”) and we were talking about creating an awards banquet. Louie said let’s call it the “Toonie Awards” and we’ve been having that annual banquet every year since 1991. Louie will be fondly remembered by all of us in the Northwest. He was highly respected for his special artwork, and his creations were often published in our monthly newsletter Penstuff.

  • The body of Louis S. Scarborough Jr. can be viewed on Sat.,Aug. 17th, 2013 at 9:00 am at:
    JANE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
    660 MONROE ST.
    BROOKLYN, NY 11221 718-453-2316

    The funeral will follow the viewing at 10:00 am
    If you are unable to attened, please send your condolences to:
    THE SCARBOROUGH FAMILY
    C/O JANES UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
    660 MONROE ST
    BROOKLYN, NY 11221

    Thank you,
    Cecil Scarborough

  • Reading these wonderful comments had me as much in tears as the original news of Lou’s death. Having just gotten released from the hospital I hope to have the strength to go to Lou’s service on Saturday. I’ll sure do my damnedest to be there. Thank you to both Tom Sito and you, Jerry, for keeping the information alive about Lou’s last days.

    I’m so sad,

  • Lou had an abundance of talent and trod gently on this earth. He will be missed.

  • Holy cow! I became very good friends with Louis when he was living up here in Seattle and we kept in touch when he moved back down South. He was one of my dearest friends. I spoke with him earlier this summer and he never let on that he was ill. I’m in shock as I just found out tonight about his death. He was a great guy, always encouraging of my artwork and never an unkind or nasty word that I could recall. Never bitter or vicious. His was a great talent lost to the world. I was always pushing him to publish his own comic book and share his wonderful talent with others. I don’t know if I can find my photos of him as a lot of them are buried in my storage unit, but I do have one that I keep on my dresser of when he had Thanksgiving dinner with my family one year. I recall beautiful pencil drawings that he did of Merry-Go-Round horses and a female character, created for a comic book that was never completed. I cannot believe that I will no longer see my beloved friend in this lifetime. My prayers will go out to his family.

  • I just got the news and was so sad to hear of Lou’s passing.
    I worked with Lou on The Danger Rangers. I feel privileged to have worked with him and to have benefited from his incredible talent.
    God bless you Lou and God bless his family.

  • I was so sorry to hear of Louis’ passing. I worked with Louis on The Danger Rangers and instantly recognized his unique talent. He was one of a kind. I’m blessed to have worked with him. He will be missed.
    My prayers for his family and loved ones.

  • I was so sorry to hear Louis passing away. I work with him on Danger Ranger. I know h is very talent. It is always sad to see one of our talent member pass away .
    God bless you and your family

  • I was fortunate to know Lou for over three decades . He was genuinely kind person, and a talented artist. Will miss you, Lou.

  • God bless you Lou! You work for Him now. I was always worried for you riding your motor scooter to work in the L A traffic, and there you go and die at home and in bed! I’m sorry for your suffering my friend. You were a very talented and dedicated artist and I’m very glad to have known you and worked with you. My condolences to your family and many friends.

  • For those who wish to read, very soon I will paste a copy of Lou’s obituary.
    My brother is resting peacefully in Long Island NY.

    Thank you,
    From the family of,
    Louis S. Scarborough Jr.

  • LOU Was A Great Talent with the Biggest Heart! He would always go out of his way to help others. He taught me a lot when it came to character design. He had so much talent to offer … that there just wasn’t enough paper… He will be missed, enjoy that big cartoon studio in the sky Bub!

  • Lou…As all of you may know him i “MIckey” to me…he was my cousin. The son of my grandmother’s sister Eunice and her husband LS or Louis Scarborough Sr. I miss him dearly. He shared all of his animation and drawings with me when we kids, well I was the kid he was much older. I wish I could get that smile of his just once more!

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