While running around the Internet, we happened upon the news of the death of animator/cartoonist Jaime Diaz. The Argentininan born Diaz had a lengthy career in animation, working with Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon on everything from Dexter’s Lab to Fairly Odd Parents and everything in between.
During a decade-plus stint back in Argentina, Diaz opened an animation/comics studio, and I worked with many of his fine artists in my Disney days. Their work was always completely professional and occasionally inspired, and I always got a kick out of the faxes with Diaz’s big signature at the bottom. The Jaime Diaz Studio hired many local artists who were were good enough to work for Disney, but couldn’t find enough work in original Argentinian comics…yet another case where the American product has drowned out the local, as far as I could tell. Anyway, if you ever picked up a copy of Disney Adventures or a Disney comics in the early ’90s, you certainly saw the work of the Jaime Diaz Studio, and they also did a lot of animation work.
I recall Cosme Quartieri as being one of the finest artists there, and Walter Carzon, who later drew a bunch of Warner Bros comics, including ANIMANIACS. From reading the comments on his death I learned that Bill Diaz, Jaime’s son, passed away two years ago. I also worked with Bill on various projects over the years, and that’s sad to hear; it seems the older Diaz had never recovered from this loss.
After Disney Comics shut down and other kids’ comics died away in the mid ’90s, Diaz came back to the US to resume work in the animation field. Larry Huber has much more on his life and career, including Diaz’s own original creations. Cartoon Brew has more, as does Fred Seibert.
I never met Diaz, and I doubt that anyone reading this who didn’t work in animation this even knew his name, but they should have. Diaz is certainly exemplary of a level of talent and craft that touches and inspires those he worked with, and produced a body of work which entertains and charms generations. My condolences go out to his family.