Jim Korkis – RIP

Disney and animation historian Jim Korkis has passed away.

James Patrick (Jim) Korkis

August 15, 1950 – July 28, 2023

Mark Goldhaber reported the sad news today on Jim’s GoFundMe page:

Friends, I am heartbroken to have to inform you that our friend Jim Korkis passed away this morning. He was unresponsive this morning at the rehab center and was transported to the hospital. His brother Mike was able to arrive a few minutes before Jim passed.

Famed in cartoon circled as THE Disney historian Jim also researched other animation studios.

And more than a researcher and historian. From a biography at ERBzine (scroll to bottom):

He has performed in over a hundred different stage productions and has directed well over fifty stage plays. He has appeared on a variety of television shows and films as well as doing voice-over work for a variety of clients including the Los Angeles Zoo and the American Medical Association. 

He wrote and directed the longest continuously running stage show at Six Flags Magic Mountain, LUCKY LOUIE’S ROARING TWENTIES REVUE where he was also a street performer. He has written and directed specialty shows for Harvey’s Casino in Lake Tahoe, Broadway Department store, Western Cruise Lines, Jonathan Clubs, McDonalds and countless others. 

But animation was his claim to fame, along with dozens of books there were the articles:

Jim Korkis has written for dozens of magazines including DISNEY ADVENTURES, FILMFAX, OUTRE, ANIMATION (where he wrote a popular column entitled “Animation Anecdotes”), MINDROT, COMICS JOURNAL, AMAZING HEROES, COMIC BOOK ARTIST, PERSISTENCE OF VISION and many, many others.

That Mindrot fanzine is where I first ran across Jim and continued to enjoy his research with his “Animation Anecdotes” articles into this year via his Cartoon Reseach columns.

All the Disney talk may lead some to think he ignored others; as a look at those CR columns shows, not so.

From 2014 Disney interviews their premiere historian:

I spent several years teaching Junior High English and Drama.  At the same time, I was pursuing an acting career both on stage and in television and movies.  People are most fascinated that I earned “scale” (minimum payment for an actor) by appearing on game shows like The Gong Show, The Dating Game, Family Feud and Camouflage.   In my spare time I operated a mail order company called Korkis and Cawley’s Cartoon and Comic Company selling animation art, animation videos, etc. with my friend John Cawley who at the time was the producer of the animated Garfieldshow.  We also wrote four books together about animation and individually wrote articles about animation.

To a Mouse Plant anecdotes piece Jim introduced himself:

As some of you know, I am considered an animation historian. I started writing articles and columns just about animation in 1977 for a variety of fanzines, magazines, books and newspapers.

Some of my work on the topic has appeared in foreign publications in Japan, United Kingdom, France and Italy. I co-wrote several books about animation with my former writing partner John Cawley. I taught animation classes at the Disney Institute in Florida as well as instructing classes on acting and animation history for Disney Feature Animation: Florida.

Read more Jim Korkis at Jim Hill Media and Animation World.

Rest in peace Jim.

Late add: Jerry Beck remembers his old friend fellow animation buff.

6 thoughts on “Jim Korkis – RIP

  1. The online consensus is that Jim was born in 1950, not ’51, making him 72 at his death. I’m not certain this is correct, but your date appears to be unique among obits for him. He was a contributor to THE COMIC READER from the late ’70s through 1984, and here’s my tribute to him: https://www.facebook.com/mike.tiefenbacher/

  2. Jim, who I knew only from print, was always enthusiastic, and full of knowledge, and I kept waiting to see that rewarded. It’s heartening to see how he’s respected.

Comments are closed.