Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Steve Krantz Has Died

The Comics Reporter notes that producer Steve Krantz passed away last Thursday. Here is Variety's obituary.

Krantz was responsible for some very cheesy TV animation with the Marvel comic book characters in the 1960's. His Marvel Superheroes series used a lot of drawings straight out of the comics, for which the original artists were not compensated. His TV version of Spider-man was the first use of the character in another medium. He was also the producer of Rocket Robin Hood, a series produced in Canada that still evokes nostalgic laughter for its unbelievable cheapness.

The animation that Krantz will be most remembered for, however, were his collaborations with Ralph Bakshi: Fritz the Cat and Heavy Traffic. While those films were hardly high budget affairs, Krantz was willing to take a chance on a completely different kind of animated feature and gave Ralph Bakshi the opportunity of his lifetime. Those two films remain some of Bakshi's most personal and daring work and they blazed a trail that too few animated films have followed.

All things considered, we owe Steve Krantz a thank-you for that.

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