I first discovered Carlos Nine's brilliant work when my buddy and character designer par excellence, Peter DeSeve brought it to my attention.
Immediately I was bowled over by the originality and the superb draftsmanship. So, I was shocked when I heard yesterday that he had died at the age of 72.
Our friendship was sporadic but warm. I met him only once - I was invited to the Buenos Aires film festival and, while I was there, I cabbed out to the suburbs, where I was warmly welcomed by the master himself - he spoke very little English and my Espanol was muy mal. Yet, we got on very well - he showed me his newest work and then he opened up his flat files to show some very large sketches and paintings - my mind was blown - what magnificent artwork - the guy is a genius.
The next time I had contact with Carlos was when I organized an exhibition of my favorite designers/illustrators for the Society of Illustrators' show "Icons of Animation."
I got to choose my 3 all time favorite artists: Peter DeSeve, Bill Joyce, and Carlos Nine - and of course I included some of my own work, so it was a real extravaganza of artwork for animation - and in my humble opinion one of the greatest art shows of the year in NYC.
He was very courteous and generous with his original artwork which was and is extremely valuable - he was hoping to attend the show, however he was bogged down in book deadlines and was unable to attend. He's not well known in the US like he is in Spain and France, so I was hoping that my show would ignite a huge interest in his work.
I was scheduled to write an introduction to his newest work, but now I don't think it's going to happen - how sad.
This is the future of animation - this is what animation should be about - if you ever get a chance, be sure to check out his work in Buenos Aires.
Another bit of weird trivia: another of my greatest heros, Oscar Grillo is also from Buenos Aires! Those 2 guys are really the greatest.
So please check out his art, books, and animation. It will change your life.
Vaya con dios, Carlos.
- Bill Plympton