The Good Old Days

I was speaking with a group of Walt Disney Imagineers about the creative process. These guys are smart. They're systems analysts and I would imagine their problem solving techniques would be very logical. They were curious about cartoonists and our creative process. We had a very interesting discussion concerning the ways each of us solve problems. Were we a group of like minded individuals or were we a multi-mix of nut cases. I think you'd agree the latter would be more appropriate.

Back in the eighties when the Disney Studios still had a Comic Strip Department our little group of creatives would meet on Wednesday mornings to go over our comic strip gags before they would be submitted to a higher authority. Naturally, there was the usual give and take and even a few opinions expressed. Writers and artists are known for being passionate about their work. On occasion, we would sometimes get under each others skin and that would ramp things up a bit. On one such occasion, a writer known for his rather cynical sense of humor finally touch a nerve with his colleague who was also known to have a few opinions of his own. However, on this particular day things escalated a little further than even we had expected. After good deal of debate about a particular gag, writer number one began to heckle writer number two. But, this time writer number two had had enough. Much to our surprise, he jumped out of his chair, lunged across the conference table ready to deck the smart alec writer opposite him. The writer fell over backward and crashed to the floor. Luckily, the fist of his furious colleague never made contact. Eventually, things cooled down and we thought it best to wrap up the meeting.

As I said, unlike todays P.C. laden corporate environment things were different in the old days of Disney. We had a studio filled with artists not bland, faceless businessmen and women. I guarantee you'll never see anything like that happening at the Walt Disney Company today. And, actually, when I think about it…that's a real shame.