Cartoon Research Guru Ethan Minovitz Passes Away

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Ethan Minovitz

Ethan Minovitz

Ethan Minovitz, the self-proclaimed ani­ma­tion research guru of the Big Car­toon Data­Base, passed away from nat­ural causes at his home in Van­cou­ver, British Colum­bia on Fri­day Feb­ru­ary 1st, 2013. His name should be famil­iar to any­one who fol­lows this blog and the Big Car­toon Forum, and he was a vora­cious poster of news and trivia on both. His con­tri­bu­tions to the site go much deeper than what the casual observer can notice, though. He was, in many ways, the heart and soul of BCDB.

Ethan was born in 1962 in his native British Colum­bia. He attend Eric Ham­ber High School and grad­u­ated in 1980. He com­peted on the school team for Reach For The Top National Finals, and his team won the com­pe­ti­tion. Mr. Minovitz was very active in his local Jew­ish Center.

Ethan is sur­vived by his older sis­ter Lise of New York, and his father, also in Van­cou­ver. Ethan Minovitz’s funeral is planned for Wednes­day, 2 PM at the Schara Tzedeck Cemetary at 2345 Marine Drive, New West­min­ster, BC V3M 6R8.  Details on shiva ser­vices are to be arranged.

In Decem­ber, 2009, he trav­eled with a group of vol­un­teers to the Cuba-America Jew­ish Mis­sion in Havana, where he worked with the group for two weeks. Ethan was also vocal with the Van­cou­ver Jew­ish Folk Choir, singing in con­certs when­ever he could. Ethan’s Jew­ish her­itage was very impor­tant to him, and his faith was strong.

He joined the BCDB about ten years ago, and it was imme­di­ately obvi­ous that Ethan was at home in our group. He was an earnest and com­pe­tent con­trib­u­tor, and it was not long until I asked him to be a moderator.

Ethan’s love of ani­ma­tion showed– he had tremen­dous knowl­edge on the sub­ject. And what he did not know, he would research. That was one thing about Ethan, the man knew how to look some­thing up. He soon became our res­i­dent expert on just about anything.

Ethan in Cuba

Ethan in Cuba

Ethan was always a calm­ing force within BCDB, too. We have always been a fairly calm site, but there were occa­sions where tem­pers grew and egos grew larger. Ethan was the peace­maker, Ethan found a way to solve all the prob­lems that came up.

Ethan always had a kind word for every­one. He was the first per­son to post a wel­come mes­sage to any­one who joined our forums. I never asked him to, he just did. That is the kind of man Ethan was, and that is some­thing I specif­i­cally admired about him.

A few years ago, we decided to start a news sec­tion of the forum. It is hard and a lot of work to pub­lish 2 or 3 sto­ries every day there. I know– I have tried. Ethan did it, every day, on his own and with no com­plaints. I did not even ask him, he just stepped up and did it. It is ironic now to think about, but one of Ethan’s pas­sions was post­ing obit­u­ar­ies to the news sec­tion. We had a con­test, he and I– who could get the big ones first. Ethan usu­ally won.

But Ethan’s biggest con­tri­bu­tion to BCDB is the one no one here ever saw. And this again gets back to his tag as Research Guru. Any day of the week, Ethan con­tributed numer­ous new car­toons for inclu­sion in the data­base. None of you ever saw this, because they went direct to me. Hun­dreds of Excel spread sheets a year. He for­mat­ted his finds in such a way it made it easy for me to slip them into the data­base. He would go on tears… some­times Japan­ese, some­times Russ­ian, some­times Czech. I would feel over bur­dened when get­ting them, and then I would think about all the work to find, sort and enter them into Excel. THAT would be over­whelm­ing.… but that was what Ethan did behind the scenes. Ethan con­tributed at least 55,000 car­toons this way.

But most impor­tantly, Ethan was my friend. We talked a lot. Some­times about BCDB and what and where it was going. But often about other things. His trips to Israel were always a point of joy for him, and I loved lis­ten­ing to his sto­ries. While we never met face-to-face, we knew each other very well. And I am proud to call him my friend.

As I sit here and miss my friend, I am also want­ing to do some­thing a lit­tle more per­ma­nent for him at BCDB. He was such an impor­tant part of get­ting us to where we are today, I want to make the BCDB a lit­tle more about him. I am not sure how I will accom­plish this yet, but if you have any ideas, please let me know.

In the mean­time, I can only wish my friend safe travels.

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About Dave Koch

Editor and publisher of the Big Cartoon DataBase, Dave has been involved in cartoons since opening the Cartoon Factory animation art gallery in 1993. You may contact Dave here.

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