Today, I received the tragic news that my old friend Pete Moriarty, animator and artist, has died following a massive heart attack.
I met Pete when he was assigned to me as lead 2D animator on the KMFDM animation, ‘A Drug Against War’.
As soon as I met the guy, I was struck by this gentle giant’s loving approach to his art and those around him. Working tirelessly over the an arduous three-month schedule, Pete produced hundreds of beautifully-rendered pencils and final ink animation cells for the video within the raucous ambience of our sweaty, ink-stained cavern. It was a glorious time of belly laughs, high-fives and Chicago’s finest pool halls and Pete’s contribution to the camaderie was as big as the man himself.
So, when the call came several years later to do another animation for the band, Pete’s name was my first recommendation.
Budgets being what they were in those days, Pete stayed at my house in Seattle during the production and became one of the family over the following months. Every morning after walking the kids to school, Pete and I would work our way through a pot of almost-black java and a couple of Cuban cigars on the back porch of our house in Queen Anne, kicking ideas around and absorbing the view over the Puget Sound.
I remember we once bet him he wouldn’t swallow a spoonful of incendiary horseradish sauce someone had given us (but we’d been too pussy to taste). As I watched the children’s awestruck faces as his head turned a violent shade of purple, I knew we had made a true friend.
The last time I saw and worked with Pete was on the PC/Mac game, ZPC: No Flesh Shall Be Spared for which he and fellow Behemoth John Schnepp animated several sequences, some of which can be seen here.
His sister discovered Pete in the early hours of 23rd September. He had died as he had lived – at his desk.
Farewell, big buddy. Today, I will toast your leaving with the traditional Jameson’s poured into the River Vltava.