As you may know, our longtime mainstay contributor, Jim Korkis, has been facing medical problems which have become almost insurmountable. Mark Goldhaber (from Mouseplanet) has the story:
“Things are not looking bright for our friend at the moment. I’m assuming that you’re aware of the fall he took in February that led to the discovery of clogged arteries and the ensuing open heart surgery that included a quadruple bypass.
“Unfortunately, as he has been trying to fight his way back from that, it seems nature is conspiring against him. He had been back and forth between his brother Michael’s house, the hospital, and the rehab clinic as he tried to regain his strength. While at an appointment with his cardiologist, it was found that his blood pressure was down to approximately 70/30. He was immediately sent to the hospital, where they were able to give him some medication to bring his pressure back up to sustainable levels. However, when they did some X-rays to see what was going on, they discovered that Jim has inoperable stage 4 colon cancer that has spread to his liver.
“They also found that he has contracted COVID. Thankfully, the COVID is asymptomatic thanks to the fact that he was fully vaccinated and boosted. Jim will be starting chemo in a couple of weeks, as soon as he’s able to transfer to and from a wheelchair, and they hope that the chemo will let them take further actions to minimize the cancer.
“At his request, I’m setting up a GoFundMe Account to help with Jim’s mounting home expenses and medical copays (Jim helped create and has approved the wording).
JERRY BECK: Jim and I go way back – to those MindRot fanzine days of the 1970s. His health and comfort mean a lot to me… and to all who have followed his his pioneering columns that date back that far.
To fill out this column today, I decided to reprint part of Jim’s post here from February 1st, 2019 (Animation Anecdotes #400) where he recounts writing his earliest columns…
JIM KORKIS: “I began writing columns of anecdotes about vintage animation in the Spring 1977 issue of Mindrot (issue #6) published by David Mruz. I went on to write hundreds of similar columns of nuggets of animation trivia for a variety of magazines including Animania, Animato, Animation Magazine, ASIFA Inbetweener and others for several decades. The title “Animation Anecdotes” was coined by my good friend and former writing partner, John Cawley when I started writing for Animation Magazine.“My first Animation Anecdotes column for Cartoon Research was March 15th, 2013. Jerry has been a good and longtime friend and I offered to write a couple of weeks of anecdotes every Friday so that he could have one day off each week where he didn’t have to prepare material until he got up and running. I don’t think either of us realized that it would continue for years.
“Speaking of continuing, with this installment, Animation Anecdotes is going on an indefinite hiatus so don’t look for it next week or in the immediate future. While it may seem like I have an endless source of these little treasures, the truth is that it is getting harder and harder to find material. However, for those who have gotten used to me on Fridays, next week will be the start of a new column by me entitled Suspended Animation.
“In addition to the weekly columns of anecdotes, I have occasionally written one-shot columns on a single topic or an excerpt from an interview I have done. That is pretty much what the new column will look like although if I run across an interesting anecdote or two, I will definitely include it.“You’ve noticed that I use a lot of quotes because I felt it was important to capture the oral history of those who worked on something, even if it was sometimes shaded by unrealistic enthusiasm to publicize a current project. I tried to balance entries so there was a variety each week and not just all Disney which would have been easy to do. I loved documenting films that were announced but never made. I also tried to focus on older animation although I came to realize that films like The Little Mermaid and TV shows like The Simpsons first appeared nearly thirty years ago.
“I discovered years ago that if this type of stuff is not written down somewhere that is fairly easily accessible, there is the very real danger that it will be forgotten because it really is just the nooks-and-crannies of a much larger story.”
JERRY BECK: Jim, keep writing this stuff down. We appreciate it and we appreciate you. Some anecdotes may be in danger of being forgotten – but one thing for sure, you will never be forgotten, my friend. Get well soon.
And everyone else, please contribute to Jim’s GoFundMe.