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North County Meetings
at Grandma BeBe's Hilltop
6 PM 3rd Thursday every
Jim Whiting, George Gladir, Mary Gladir, (bg) Bob Weber
George (eyes closed) , Suzi, Paul Gringle, Jim Whiting, Greg Evans
Suzi, George , Paul Gringle, Jim Whiting's head, Greg Evans (in back)
We are all heartbroken about the death of our good
friend and long-time SCCS member George Gladir.
George started as a writer at Archie Comics in 1959
and continued there till the end.
When I joined SCCS as a neophyte cartoonist,
George offered to mentor me and was very
encouraging about my amateur efforts. Even though
he used email, he often sent me clippings from the LA
Times, usually about other female cartoonists. They
always came in manila envelopes with about 50 2 cent
stamps and lots and lots of Scotch tape. It was like
getting a gift I didn't expect. He will be missed.
Newsman Jack White and George Gladir
Eulogy for George Gladir by Batton Lash
I want to thank George’s wonderful family; his wife
Mary, his daughter Nina and her husband John, for
inviting me to speak.
Some of you might’ve heard this story before, so
forgive me. I first “met” George Gladir when I was
seven or eight years old. I found a beat-up copy of
Archie’s Madhouse in my cousin’s basement. There
was a story about a mad scientist who invented a time
machine. The fly in the ointment, however, was the
scientist’s assistant . . . a lackey who had a passion for
baked goods. The assistant undermines the mad
scientist and takes over his invention. With a time
machine, you see, the assistant can have his cake, go
back in time, and eat it too. Well! I thought that was so
funny and so clever, that it stayed with me for decades.
When I finally met George through our mutual
relationship with Archie Comics, I learned he was the
author of the story that so appealed to me as an
impressionable child and influenced my sensibilities as
Now you know whom to blame.
When I first met Nina, and told her that story, she rolled
her eyes, giggled and said, “That’s my father’s humor,
all right!” And that humor was sometimes silly,
sometimes droll, but always with a gentle touch. And
that was the way he was in life. George’s scripts were
always funny whether they were silly, satirical or poking
fun at teen-age foibles. For over fifty years, George
delighted and captured the imaginations of the
proverbial children of all ages.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Sabrina, the Teenage
Witch. How many millions of kids were enchanted by
George’s brainchild? The teen-age antics, the silly
spooks and goofy monsters . . . Sabrina was the
perfect vehicle for George’s humor. And that
concoction yielded a true pop culture classic and an
enduring character who, mark my words, will still be
around long after we’re all gone!
George loved rock and roll and old movies and would
incorporate those passions in his scripts for Archie and
Cracked. And those scripts would never be dashed off.
George would meticulously research whatever subject
matter the plot called for. An editor once told me that
George attached copious newspaper and magazine
articles– all the background material– to his scripts.
Too much information? Not at all. It was all part of the
process. George was just passing along what he
learned onto the reader.
Was that “Old School?” Confidentially, I hate that term.
George’s approach should be “The School.” He knew
how to write with the minimum of words and the
maximum of message. And he delivered.
George was part of that generation of comics
professional whose large portion of work went
uncredited at time of publication. But times change,
and thankfully, so do comic book industry policies.
Well, some of them anyway. By the 1990’s, George
was getting much-deserved credit for the scripts he
wrote, as well as being recognized as the creator of
Sabrina. Fans now knew his name, and they knew they
were in for a treat when they saw George Gladir’s
name in the credits.
I was very privileged to know George and get to “hang
out” with him. I always thought he immediately bonded
with me after learning that, like him, I was a
transplanted New Yorker living in Southern California
who didn’t know how to drive. We’d often go to the US
Grant on Broadway in downtown San Diego. They used
to have a neat little cocktail lounge off the lobby, and
that’s where we would go for lunch. And, sometimes,
for cocktails. The lounge had red leather booths, a
piano in the corner, middle-aged waiters with
waistcoats, tiny bow ties and even tinier mustaches. It
was very–forgive me! –“Old School.” But George loved
it, as did I.
I learned he was born on the East Coast, served in
WWII, and was even an intelligence agent! He didn’t
go into much detail about that, though. He’d say,
tounge in cheek, “there still might be people around.”
We talked about growing up in New York, movies, and
of course, comics.
Even though we discussed the comics business,
George was not one to gossip, nor was he one to truly
bad-mouth someone in the business, even though that
someone had done him wrong. Angry? Yes.
Disappointed? Most certainly. But George always
tempered his remarks, no matter how upset he was.
George was a gentleman. And he was quite generous.
He was always ready to pass along knowledge of what
he had learned as a writer, to encourage a newcomer
or to offer sage advice to a fellow professional.
I was impressed that George was not one to rest on his
laurels or to coast on a steady gig; no, George was
always looking ahead. He saw that comics were now
part of a multi-media mix. He also saw opportunities to
own new characters he created. He told me of ideas he
had for several new comic book series that were just
wonderful. Ideas in which he wanted to reunite with
previous collaborators like artists Orlando Busino and
One such idea that George got into print was Cindy
and Her Obasan, which incorporated George’s
penchant for the Japanese culture, rock ‘n roll, and his
knack for parody by giving Cinderella a 21st century
twist. And it reunited George with one of his favorite
collaborators, the great Stan Goldberg.
I thought they did a terrific job. But George was not
satisfied. He knew it could be better. And he continued
to develop his new character and tweak the concept.
There was some good reaction to Cindy, some stalled
starts, some failed promises. But George was not going
to let that get him down. He was relentlessly upbeat
and positive. He never stopped working on his new
characters, nor did he ever stop believing in them.
He went back to work and forged ahead.
George led by example. And his example, I believe,
was to learn from the triumphs and tragedies in life,
and be prepared to move ahead. Appreciate what has
gone before, but always look forward.
I think George would be honored and, maybe, more
than a little embarrassed by the outpouring of heartfelt
tributes that have appeared since his passing. I know I’
m not alone when I say that my life have been richer for
knowing George. And I know I speak for everyone
here, and for all of George’s friends and fans around
the world, when I say to Mary, Nina and John that you
have our deepest condolences for your loss. We all
loved George and we’ll miss him immensely. But we
can take heart that he’ll never really be gone. George
leaves behind a wonderful body of work that will
introduce him to new generations, work which will no
doubt delight and capture the imaginations of the
proverbial children of all ages.
|IN MEMORIAM - GEORGE GLADIR