Friday, January 31, 2014

Sandy Fries Remembers Bill Kresse

Above: a 1972 drawing of Sandy Fries by Bill Kresse.

In 1972, Bill Kresse was interviewed by a teenaged NYC school kid named Sandy Fries. 

In 2014, upon the sad occasion of Bill's passing away at the age of 80, I contacted Sandy.

But … uh … one problem.

I didn't know Sandy. I Googled the name. I never have any luck with this -- but, well, I can't say that any more.

I made a phone call and got voicemail. I identified myself, and told him this was a bit of an odd thing to ask, but are you THE Sandy Fries who interviewed the cartoonist Bill Kresse for Cartoonist PROfiles magazine way back in 1972?

It turned out he was. He got in touch. We chatted on the phone last night. He became a TV writer and is now a professor. Wow!

I asked if he would like to add something to this online remembrance all these years later.

Here's his reply:

Bill Kresse was an extremely kind and generous man. I was about 17 when I met him, just a wannabe cartoonist who wrote and drew cartoons for my high school paper. Mr. Kresse spent time giving me career advice, showing me original comic strip art and introducing me to other cartoonists. Because of Mr. Kresse, I developed confidence that I could write and later went on to do scripts for many TV shows (Star Trek:TNG, Quantum Leap, Hanna-Barbera animation and others). I vividly remember him, being fascinated by his drawing and writing ability and the fact that his work reached so many people. It’s terribly sad that he passed away. I owe him. He was a good hearted man who made millions of people laugh and smile through his work. You can’t do any better than that. 

Sandy Fries on IMDB 


Gary Zeller said...

Wow, that was pretty sweet. What's the chance of getting the right person on the phone in this situation and then having him provide such a great tribute. Very nice! Very nice!

Unknown said...

But did Fries get the original strip that featured him in the CP interview?