By late afternoon I finish reading the M.A.S.K. series bible. Ray comes to
DIC and picks up his copy, promising to finish it by tomorrow so he can start writing story springboards. If all goes well, I’ll start writing springboards later tonight. I open my office door to see movers packing boxes and carrying them from the studio. The move to the new studio has begun.
I’m eager and excited to see the new offices in Encino, but right now I’ve got a big job ahead with M.A.S.K. and that’s what I’m focused on. I take five steps from my office when my focus completely shifts. I see him moving slowly past cubicles ahead of me and I instantly recognize him. He’s animation industry royalty.
Anyone who knows anything about animation knows the name Mel Blanc. And anyone doesn’t know his name certainly knows his work. The ‘Man of a Thousand Voices’ is unquestionably the greatest and most prolific voiceover artist in the history of the entertainment industry. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Pepé Le Pew, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam and, of course, Heathcliff the Cat were just a few of the countless characters Mel voiced during his six-decades-long career.
Working with Mel’s son, Noel, at Blanc Communications was my first job in the industry. I rushed to greet Mel. But I slowed as I got closer, seeing the wheeled oxygen tank he was pulling. I reintroduced myself, telling him what a pleasure it had been for me to have worked with Noel many years ago. Mel brightened at the mention of his son. But I could see he was tired, so I didn’t overstay. We shook hands, he wished me well and moved toward the exit.