Many of you may know that I dedicated my first collection of Zombie Boy comic strips to Tex Henson. Tex was my friend and mentor, who brought his valuable experience, knowledge and levity to my life. He inspired me to draw more, live fuller and make the most of each day that I’m given.

After graduating from high school in Dallas, Texas, William “Tex” Henson moved to California, where he joined the Disney Studios. At Disney he was part of the story team who brought Chip ‘n’ Dale to life. Some of the films he worked on are Peter And The Wolf, Pecos Bill, Mickey and the Beanstalk, and Song Of The South.

 

Tex is caricatured as a scientist in “The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met”

 

In New York, he worked for Paramount Studios, primarily as a storyman on Casper the Friendly Ghost. Following this, he was sent to Mexico as a supervising animator for Jay Ward Studios, working on The Bullwinkle Show. A second studio was created to focus primarily on commercial animation, where he was part of the team that created Trix The Rabbit for General Mills.

In his later years, Tex kept his hand in animated projects including The Mad Magazine TV Special, and Easter Egg Mornin’. Tex also taught college and art school classes in the Dallas area.

I met Tex in the late 1980s when I was attending art school. Me and several of my classmates where engaged in creating a short animated film and Tex came by one day to visit the campus, and came around to see what these “animation kids” were up to. In the 1990s, he was instrumental in helping me establish an animation studio, and he trained a staff of animators to create several animated projects. Tex and I became dear friends. He was a mentor, a wizard, a showman, he was never at a loss to tell an embellished story as only he could. His memory was remarkable, his storytelling was unmatched and he could regale you with unforgettable anecdotes from his long and prestigious career and life. Although he lived until 78, I was always convinced he would outlive me, so full of spark and vigor he was.

At some point, Tex and I were involved with several projects of our own, including comic book stories and strips. Below is a concept Tex created for a comic strip poking fun at our friendship, titled Tubby and the Old Timer. Tex always claimed I looked like a little owl and his sketches of me are hilarious. His interpretation of himself is just as over the top. They were crafted with love and respect and I treasure them.

Miss you, Tex!

 

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