This just in from Amid Amidi. This book will definitely be one of the key Disney history events of 2012 and I will discuss it again often on the blog. (The above caricature was drawn by Ward's friend Walt Kelly, of Pogo fame.)
[Didier, thanks so much for asking about the Ward Kimball biography that I've been working on for the last few years. The idea for the book began gestating in fall 2000 when I visited Ward a couple of times. He showed me around his place while pulling out paintings, drawings, and his three-dimensional "constructions." The second time I visited, he told me about his Vietnam-era film "Escalation." I started to realize that not only was he one of the greatest animators of his generation, he was an incredible artist in other ways too.
It was very important that I explore all the facets of his life in this book and show how it fits together…his music, his trains, his animation, his directorial work, his personal art…it all played a role in defining who he was as a person. I hope the book will offer a portrait of Ward that goes beyond his stereotypical image as animation's goofy madman. The Kimball family has generously granted me access to all of Ward's personal files, photos and diaries, and I've combined this with new research and interviews to present a thorough celebration of his life that acknowledges his impact on the art form.
Besides offering a detailed picture of his achievements through a 60,000-word text, the book is a true visual biography with hundreds of never-before-seen photos, documents and drawings from his personal collection. I think it will be a unique approach that is befitting of one of the most unique people who ever worked in animation. The hardcover coffeetable book will be around 240 pages and will be available in the second half of 2012.]