Right before he passed away, Jim Korkis wrote the following:
[James (“Jim”) Patrick Korkis was born August 15, 1950, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He passed away at the age of 72 of stage four colon on July 28, 2023. He is survived by his two brothers Michael and Chris. Jim was divorced and had no children.
When he was five years old his family moved to Glendale, California where Jim grew up attending Edison Elementary School (where one of the teachers was Mrs. Disney, the wife of Walt’s older brother Herbert), Roosevelt Junior High, Hoover High, Glendale Junior College and Occidental College where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s Degree with a major in English and a minor in Theater Arts. After graduation he spent two decades teaching English and Drama at Huntington Middle School in San Marino, California. Jim helped pay his way through college by working at the Los Angeles Zoo as a driver and tour guide.
Jim was known as a comics historian writing a column of comics trivia for Amazing Heroes as well as articles for Comic Book Marketplace, Comics Artist and more. He was a vendor at the San Diego ComicCon for several years with the company he co-owned, Korkis and Cawley's Cartoon and Comic Company. He wrote introductions of over three dozen Malibu Graphics collections of vintage comic strips and comic books.
Jim was known as an animation historian who wrote long-running columns for Animation Magazine, Animato!, Animania, Comic Journal, and more. For the last ten years he wrote a weekly column for www.cartoonresearch.com. With writing partner John Cawley he co-wrote four books about animation like Cartoon Confidential.
In California, Jim also pursued a career in theater. He appeared in over 100 theatrical productions, starting with Glendale Center Theater. He directed over 100 stage performances. He did some occasional voice over work.
With his brothers, Jim appeared at The Gong Show, The Dating Game and Family Feud. By himself he appeared on Camouflage (where he won a Cadillac) and the pilot Origins. He appeared on Entertainment Tonight as a Disney historian.
With his brother Mike, Jim developed a comedy magic act as part of a show he wrote and directed at Six Flags Magic Mountain Lucky Louies Roaring ‘20s Revue. They performed at the Variety Arts Theater, Johnathan Clubs, J.C. Penny and more. Jim was a performer in Pelican’s Corner at Magic Mountain and helped design the Halloween Haunted Mountain promotion.
In 1995 he moved to Orlando, Florida to take care of his ailing mom and dad. Jim became identified as a Disney historian and worked as a performer (Merlin in the Sword in the Stone ceremony and Prospector Pat in Frontierland), an animation instructor at The Disney Institute, Guest Relations at Epcot, tour instructor with Disney Adult Discoveries, and coordinator with The Disney Learning Center. He was brought as a special consultant for Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, Imagineering and Animation (where he taught different classes for interns) among other departments.
Disney laid off Jim in 2009 along with thousands of others. Jim started writing books about all things Disney and ended up producing over three dozen books. He was a popular guest on podcasts.Jim's last words: “There are so many books I wanted to read or re-read, so many movies and television shows I wanted to see or re-see and more many food treats I wanted to enjoy again like See’s chocolates. I know God loves me and this is part of his plan. Be happy and kind to each other. When you think of me, I hope you smile. I loved you all and appreciated your generosity, support and hope.”]