Monday, May 31, 2010

Thundercats Writer, R.I.P.

The media is all over the recent passings of Gary Coleman and Dennis Hopper. The "rule of three" has had people talking for the last few days... "who is next?" The sad fact is that thousands of people were "next" but that doesn't mean they get featured on the national news. Take, for example, Stephen Perry.

I just read, via Digg and LAWeekly, that "56-year-old Stephen Perry, who wrote for the 1980s cartoon series Thundercats, was murdered. The man had gone missing for nearly two weeks, and police reportedly found his arm inside of his abandoned van on the grounds of a Tampa Bay hotel May 16."

So horrific.  Here is this man who for years had kids hooked to their TVs for each new (heck, even syndicated) episode of Thundercats.  The show only ran two seasons but that included 130 episodes not to mention hundreds of action figures and playsets.  I loved these toys (still have most of them... except for the Thundertank and Cats' Lair).

Following the success of Thundercats, the producers created Silverhawks and Tigersharks - pretty good follow-ups but not nearly as beloved as the Cats.

It's a shame that Mr. Perry didn't benefit further from his work on the show.  According to the news article he was near penniless after being diagnosed with bladder cancer. Thankfully Stan Lee's Hero Initiative , a not-for-profit organization established to provide monetary assistance to former comic book creators requiring supplemental health, medical, and quality-of-life assistance, stepped in and helped get Mr. Perry back on his feet.

It's so tragic when anyone passes. Hopefully, as the article states, a Thundercats live-action film will be produced.  I hope that at least some portion of the proceeds will go to the Hero Initiative in honor of Mr. Perry.

Until that time, grab your favorite comic book, cartoon episode or action figure and have a ball.  And remember that someone out there helped to build whatever wonderful fictional universe you chose to enjoy.

To all those who have passed, may you all rest in peace.  You've brought great joy to millions through your craft and talents.

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