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Subject: Roman Arambula, Cartoonist, animator

Dead at 83
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Date Posted: Friday, March 20, 06:24:49pm

A sweet, talented cartoonist named Roman Arambula was found in his home last night, the victim of a heart attack at the age of 83. Roman did many things in his life but he was proudest of being the artist who succeeded Floyd Gottfredson on the Mickey Mouse newspaper strip.

Roman was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and studied art at the University in Mexico City. He worked in fine art and advertising and even painted pottery but his love of cartooning inevitably led him to that field. Specifically, it was to the Mexico-based Gamma Studios which was doing most of the animation for Rocky and Bullwinkle, King Leonardo, Tennessee Tuxedo and other American cartoon shows.

When Gamma closed down in the late sixties, Roman and his family moved to Dallas and then to Los Angeles, where he worked for various animation studios. I met him at Hanna-Barbera when he was laboring there in layout on Scooby Doo and other shows and I was working on the Hanna-Barbera comic books. Roman drew for a number of them, both domestic and foreign, particularly on Laff-a-Lympics.

By then, he'd landed the Mickey Mouse job, following Gottfredson on the daily strip. He didn't write it but his art infused it with a happy, organic feel that, I thought, combined the Gottfredson Mickey with a little of the flair of Roman's favorite animator, the great Fred Moore. Apart from occasional fill-ins by other artists which Roman would have told you was not because he ever missed a deadline he drew and lettered the strip for around fifteen years. Wikipedia says he did it from 1982 to 1990 but he was definitely already drawing it when I first met him in 1977. He would draw two weeks worth of the strip every other week and in the weeks he wasn't working on that, he drew comics for me.

He was a delightful little man who was something of a cartoon character himself. The Animation Guild did a lengthy interview with him that they put online but it doesn't seem to be working right now, at least on my computer. Maybe it'll work on yours or maybe they'll get it fixed. If and when you can hear it, you'll see what I mean about my amigo being delightful and a cartoon character.


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Imdb.Friday, March 20, 06:25:33pm

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