To Friend and Unfriend: Tales of Facebook

I was surprised and delighted to receive a Facebook friend request from Lou Scheimer. For those of you who may not know who he is Mr. Scheimer is a co-founder of Filmation Studios. Filmation is one of the greatest animation houses ever. They produced such notable cartoons as He Man, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, Star Trek, Archie, Justice League of America, Teen Titans, Batman, Superman and even made a foray into live action with Shazam and The Secrets of Isis. Mr. Scheimer made his last convention appearance at this year’s San Diego Comic Con in connection with promotion of a new book on the legendary animation studio.

I’ve never met Mr. Scheimer and so I was on cloud nine to receive this friend request. I wondered if he’d reached out having become aware of the show. My only concern was if it was acutally from Lou Scheimer himself. I accepted the request and quickly dashed off a message to say how pleased I was to have gotten the request. Now I should have stopped right there or perhaps reviewed the man’s page. But, no, I ran off half cocked and went on to write that I hoped the request had come directly from Lou Scheimer himself and not some intern or assistant. Well, immediately afterwards as I was looking at his FB page I saw a statement that it was maintained by his daughter. Apparently, Mr. Scheimer’s declining health no longer permits him to interact with his fans directly. Sometime after accepting the request and sending the message I was unfriended.

I hope that my thoughtless comments didn’t offend anyone. Lou Scheimer is an animation giant. The notion that he’d reached out to me was a thrill I couldn’t believe. The fact that anyone connected with him would communicate was significant enough that I shouldn’t have looked a gift horse in the mouth.

It seems reasonable to assume that reaching out to me was part of a coordinated public relations effort to promote the book to friendly media. No sweat. I’d recommend to anyone with more than a casual interest in the history of American animation that they buy the book. And I still admire the prolific work of Lou Scheimer and Norm Prescott. I grew up on the stuff. I’m one of the Filmation generation.

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