I was pumped about flying to Cleveland and meeting the execs at Those Characters From Cleveland, the company that owned Care Bears and was financing the production.
My flight was at twelve-thirty. I figured first I’d stop by the studio and print some story springboards on DIC’s Diablo printer so I could read them during my flight. Few writers owned a home printer. The state-of-the-art Diablo 630 retailed at $1,995 ($5,700 in 2022 dollars). There were inexpensive dot matrix printers, but they were slow, noisy and prone to ink smudging, sometimes making the printing illegible.
So, what I did this morning in 1984 was what most writers who worked at a studio did. I pulled the floppy disc that contained my documents out of my computer, took it to the studio and asked the Word Processing Department to print the docs for me. Mike Stokey worked in the swelting, windowless room where printers banged out non-stop copy. He grumbled when I asked him to print the pages. I couldn’t blame him. It was like a sweatbox in there.
After I’d gotten Howard’s and Jack’s and Eleanor’s springboards printed, I tucked my plane tickets into my briefcase and had settled down to a
third cup of coffee when Andy nervously staggered into the studio. Two things I wasn’t used to seeing was Andy wearing jeans – which Lori told me was his standard traveling uniform, as opposed to his elegant business suits – and Andy staggering nervously.
He looked at me, lips trembling, barely able to form words and said, “Th…the engine fell off the plane!”