Artie who?

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Artie Romero, July 2016, photo by Ricky Romero

ARG! Cartoon Animation was founded by Artie Romero. Artie has worked in comic books and animation since the 1970s, and has a long list of screen credits, including four movies, six TV series and one PBS TV movie. Before entering the animation industry as a director, Artie worked as a comic book artist, editor and publisher.

The first child of Wilma and Artie Thomas, he was born in 1951 in Springfield, Missouri, and named Artie Edward Thomas, Jr. His parents' marriage produced three more sons before ending in divorce. Wilma then married Sgt. Jose Santiago Romero (1934-2018), who adopted the four boys.

Artie showed artistic talent as a child, and during his high school years he decided to pursue a career as an artist. Artie's work was published in his high school's literary magazine, and he became fascinated with the technical aspects of printing and publishing. In 1968 he joined the staff of Carl Gafford's New Milford, Connecticut based fanzine Minotaur as a co-editor. In 1969, at his high school in Colorado Springs, Artie recruited other student artists and writers to create their own small magazine, and in January, 1969, the first issue of Platinum Toad appeared. Printed on the school's duplicator, it included poems by co-editor Tom Haber, a cover and other artwork by Artie, comics by George Laws, a short story by Martha Ann Kennedy, and assorted artwork by Darrel Anderson and George Laws.

While studying art at Missouri State University, Artie edited and published Realm, Who copied who? an acclaimed comics and science fiction fanzine, and more issues of Platinum Toad. In 1973 he returned to Colorado Springs and co-founded Everyman Studios, an artists' collective that published alternative newspapers and underground comix. In 1981, Artie moved the studio away from publishing and initiated commercial animation production, including movie titles and effects, music videos, TV commercials, video games and software. The studio converted to digital production in 1991 and was renamed ARG! Cartoon Animation in 1994.

The original ARG! website was launched in December, 1995 on AOL. In July, 1996 the domain was acquired, and it quickly became one of the most popular animation sites on the Web, getting up to 600 million hits each year. In 2005-2006, the site got one billion hits in 20 months. In November, 2018, ARG! Cartoon Animation sold to Armando Kirwin's company Artie, Inc. and established as its replacement.

The ARG! studio has created more than 40,000 original digital animations for its 700+ clients. IMDb Artie continues to work full-time as producer and director at ARG! and part-time as animation instructor at ICTC.

"Good animation is not produced by machines or software. It is created by people who have studied life drawing for years, and understand how things look and how they move."

        -- Artie Romero

The Artie Show  |  1997 interview  |  Personal site  |  IMDb  |  Wikipedia  |  Portfolio

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