Friday, November 11, 2011

Ed Murrieta

I wonder why someone isn’t telling the true stories that I want to hear. That’s actually a poorly assembled sentence with a consumerist’s point of view filled with conditional assumptions. Who is this rhetorical “someone” read as “someone else?” What are true stories, and what make them true? Are they actually not being told or have I just not heard them? And most insidiously, by what criteria would a story need meet that I would want to hear it?

But to the point, it’s this thought that bubbles to the surface of my consciousness when people leave. From that point forward all the things you shared with those people are categorically in the past, as if suddenly they were placed in a vault apart from the lobbies and living areas of your daily life. Am I the one who supposed to tell those stories? Ack, I should have been taking better notes.

Two weeks ago several people were fired from the Cartoon Network Atlanta offices. Ed Murrieta was one of those people.

Going Away Card, 2011
light blue pencil and black roller ball ink on paper.
in a minimalist Al Hirschfield-esque style.
* * * * -
In this and three other caricatures I again attempted to mimic Al Hirschfield’s caricature style but without facial features. For me it was more about expedience and meeting a deadline and not a conscious political statement. I’ve known Ed for about 15 years. He hired me to be a character artist at Disney Consumer Products, and he was my boss for about three years. At the time, I once said that he was the best boss I had ever had. It was a cheeky thing to say since he was also the first art-director/boss I had.

2010, Birthday
acrylic paint on vinyl figure
* * * * -
 In 2000, Ed was hired for an art-director of illustration for Cartoon Network’s off-channel business. I quickly asked him to whom at the then nine-year old network I should send my portfolio. Ed said that was going to be one of his responsibilities. Ed has been my art-director/boss for the last 10 years and Cartoon.
2005, Birthday
digital color over scan of ink on paper.
in the style of Johnny Hart’s B.C.
* * - - -

Ed worked as an animator for Walt Disney Feature Animation in the mid to late 1980’s. He left that seeking more stable employment at Disney C.P. along with many of his animator friends. He returned to work on Atlantis, animating Audrey. There’s a caricature of Ed as an Atlantean in the film. It’s arguable if the “Big Boy” mascot for the diner in The Emperor’s New Groove is also a caricature of Ed.

2004, Birthday
digital color of scan of ink on paper.
In the style of Al Hirschfield.
* * * * *

Ed told me that this drawing done for his birthday in 2004 was his favorite of my caricatures of him. He likes Hirschfield and he likes life drawing, so I felt that in drawing it I was on the right track. You can’t see it in this terrible JPG, but I incorporated in the drawing his son’s name eight times.

2003, Birthday
black roller-ball ink on paper.
* * * - -
Knowing Ed for so long, I think I’ve drawn more caricatures of him than anyone else to date. Mostly, they have been embarrassing birthday cards, few of which I’ve had the forethought to make copies.

[moreEd (2009):]


  1. What terrible, awful news.
    But thank you for saying something, I was completely unaware.

    My heart goes out to you both.

  2. Unfortunately, a blog post is a poor news delivery system.

    Ed, who seems to know every other person in animation, has some job leads. Hopefully, he'll find a good fit.

  3. I'm sure he will as well.
    He's too good to be left out.

    Crouch as well.
    That's just too bad.