Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ray Harryhausen, 1920—2013

"Ray Harryhausen lives in the UK, but is on the West Coast for the big Comicon in San Diego. A Glendale bookshop called Mystery and Imagination hosted him for an evening that week. I'd heard him speak in Los Angeles about a year ago and he was really something.

"Surprise guest Ray Bradbury turned up to visit with Harryhausen. Lifelong friends who first bonded over dinosaurs, Bradbury sported a dinosaur necktie for the occasion. When wine was served, the two old masters sipped from dinosaur mugs.

"The depth of what I feel for both of them is hard to put into words. How do you measure the scope of what these two gentle men have contributed to the popular imagination over the last several decades? I can't even process what they mean to me, personally. They were the first monster magazine names I learned to recognize; these things I love, that's what these men do. And they're not only magicians, they happily share all their secrets.

"There are a lot of things that help make each of us what we are, but Harryhausen and Bradbury are a big influence on the best parts of me. They're ambassadors of the imagination, emissaries from the greatest place there is. And they're here to remind us about it, because we sometimes forget."


Text and photo copyright © 2007/2013 Wyatt Doyle