Wednesday, November 24, 2010
He turned to comic books in the late 1940s, drawing artwork for Street & Smith's Top Secrets in 1949. From 1952, he drew dozens of strips for Dell Publishing, his first work mostly western strips such as Gene Autry (1951-52, 1954-55, 1957), The Frontiersman (1952-58), Buck Jones (1953-54), Rex Allen (1953, 1956-57), Flying-A's Range Rider (1954-55), Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (1955), Dale Evans (1956), Chuckwagon Charley (c.1958), and various for Western Roundup (1952-58).
Arens began producing Disney characters for overseas comics sucg as the British Huckleberry Hound comic in 1961-62. For Western Publishing he drew a variety of Disney and adventure strips, including Chip 'n' Dale (Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, 1962), Goofy (1963), Donald Duck (1963), Mary Poppins (Gold Key one-shot, 1964), My Favourite Martian (1964-66), Tarzan (1965-66) and Korak (1966).
Arens had a parallel career in animation from 1965, working as a story director for Grantray-Lawrence on their Spider-Man and Marvel Superheroes animated shows. In 1967 he became a layout artist for Hanna-Barbera, working on dozens of animated TV shows, including Fantastic 4 (1967), The Banana Splits Adventure Hour (1968-70), Scooby Doo, Where Are You! (1969-70), Harlem Globe Trotters (1970), The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show (1971), The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1972), A Christmas Story (1972), Goober and the Ghost Chasers (1973), Jabberjaw (1976), The Scooby-Doo / Dynomutt Hour (1976) and Dynomutt Dog Wonder (1978).
He was also layout artist on Charlotte's Web, the 1973 Hanna-Barbera movie adaptation of E. B. White's classic novel about a pig trying to avoid being killed for Christmas and a spider who tries to save him. In 1975 he also produced promotional material for Burger King.
He died on 19 June 1976, aged 61, following a motorcycle accident at Soldedad Canyon, Los Angeles Co., California. He was survived by his wife, Olivia, and three children, Michael, Michelle Diana (1948- ) and Halli Christine (1954-1999).
Examples of Arens' work can be found for sale at the Illustration Art Gallery.