When I was a pup, a guy named Artie Romero and I worked out the barebones of how to do comics. We were both wet behind the ears and still struggling with how this gets done. Artie was the publisher of Realm, a science-fiction and comics fanzine that published some good stuff, among them being interviews with Richard Corben and Jan Strnad, Bernie Wrightson, even Ray Bradbury. Heady stuff.  We were both in college, trying to become commercial artists. Artie became one, and I never did. After we both took a hiatus from higher education, we crossed paths quite a few times in the next decade, both in Missouri and Colorado. Along the way, we did comics and grew our hair long. Artie settled down in Colorado, and I’d visit occasionally. I finally went back to college.

 

Kirk Kennedy's Juggler

Kirk Kennedy’s Juggler

While I was learning printmaking, breathing in nitric acid fumes and engraving on copper, Artie published Cascade Comics Monthly. It featured a host of underground and New Wave comics artists, like Art Spiegelman before MAUS fame, Dan O’Neill, Skip Williamson, Rick Berry, Bob Vojtko, Jay Lynch, and the list goes on and on. Artie saw some cool stuff while churning out this little magazine in his apartment on Cascade Avenue in Colorado Springs. Artie was always an entrepreneur. Still is, and as the founder and president of ARG Cartoon Animation, he’s done tons of work in animation, a field he entered in the 1980s, and started doing full time in the early days of the WWWeb. We were both early adopters.  Back then, it was GIFS and Flash. Artie turned it into a corporation. I taught it to high school students in conjunction with Apple for awhile.

click for free GIFs from ARG!This is a link to Artie’s site, ARG!

Artie set up a unique thing, almost an academy of interns of animation, where fledging animators worked on his commercial projects. They sign contracts. Get paid. Have a reel of animation under their belt before they hit the big time. Many of them go onto major projects. ARG has worked on SpongeBob Squarepants. All of them owe Artie a lot for priming the pump. If you’re a young animator, click the link and get a real job.

 

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