I was 26 before I heard Steve Perry's name, but I was probably 2 the first time I saw his work.
Perry was a writer for Thundercats, a cartoon that's always been dear to my heart. He made the news on comics sites last year, when Steve Bissette revealed Perry was dying of cancer and didn't have a dime to his name.
With help from the Hero Initiative, Perry pulled through, but this past Friday, news came out that he's missing and possibly murdered. Details are incomplete and grisly, and I feel like repeating them here would be exploitative; I'll just give a link to Bissette's blog instead.
But one thing that jumped out at me from that post:
I would welcome a complete listing of Steve's writing credits for [Thundercats and Silverhawks]; please note that the imdb listing for 'Steve Perry' is incorrect, conflating his TV writing credits with another animation writer named Steve Perry (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0675310/), who is possibly the science-fiction novelist Steve Perry. My friend Steve Perry only scripted for story editor Peter Lawrence on the two Rankin/Bass series noted here.
On top of everything else that's horrible about this story, it's not right that Perry's work is not known. And so I've gone through and compiled a list of the writers for each Thundercats episode myself -- I'll publish it in full shortly, but in the meantime, here's a list of Perry's episodes.
- The Doomgaze
- Safari Joe
- Queen of 8 Legs
- Feliner (2-parter)
- Tight Squeeze
(There may be a few more; I'll have to break out my VHS collection to check, as Warner decided some of the episodes on the DVD's didn't need title cards. Or background music. Or to be listed in the correct order. And that the last three years of the show were all the same season.)
Thundercats meant a lot to me. Perry and others filled my youth with fantasy and science fiction and magic and good and evil, with dreams of heroism and nightmares of Mumm-Ra watching me in his cauldron. The news about Perry serves as a jarring reminder of how nasty the real world is, and how unlike those fantasy worlds, where good always triumphs, evil fears its own reflection (at least until season 2), and despite an abundance of weapons, nobody ever really gets hurt.
Gail Simone has suggested honoring Perry by donating to the Hero Initiative, the organization responsible for giving Perry hope this past year. His plight is a tragically common one; there are a whole lot of people in the comics industry who don't see royalties from their work and who can't support themselves later in life.
Thank you, Steve Perry. Justice, truth, honor, and loyalty.