'Tippy's Friends Go-Go and Animal' #7.

Doug Crane was a U.S. animator and comic artist. He made storyboards, lay-outs and directed episodes for TV animation studios like Terrytoons, Ruby Spears and Hanna-Barbera. As a comic artist, he penciled and inked teenage humor series for Tower Comics, Archie Comics and D.C. Comics.

Early life and career
Douglas P. Crane was born in 1935 in Bronxville, New York. After graduating from Eastchester High School in Eastchester, New York, Crane studied at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School in New York City (nowadays the School of Visual Arts), where one of his teachers was Burne Hogarth. In May 1956, Crane graduated. He originally wanted to become an illustrator or gag cartoonist, but there wasn't much demand. Instead, he went into animation and joined Terrytoons. Founder Paul Terry had retired and the studio was now was led by Gene Deitch. At Terrytoons, Crane also met his future wife Maureen Hurley, with whom he formed a happy couple for 53 years, right up until his death. Crane's early work at Terrytoons included inking the short film 'Flebus' (1957), after which he eventually worked his way up to animator.


'Flebus', inked by Doug Crane.

Military draft
In 1957, Crane was drafted in the U.S. army. During his military service he drew a comic strip for the army magazine: 'Tiptoe and Timber'. He also worked as an illustrator of pamphlets.

1960s animation
Back in civilian life, Crane returned to Terrytoons, where Deitch had been fired. He worked on 'Deputy Dawg' cartoons in the same studio as Ralph Bakshi. For Paramount Cartoon Studios, he contributed to 'The Mighty Thor', an animated segment in 'The Marvel Super Heroes' (1966), based on the comic book series created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby. He also met the legendary animator Shamus Culhane there. When Baskhi and Steve Krantz established their own animation studio, Krantz Films, Crane joined them. He worked on the animated TV series 'Spider-Man' (1967-1970), based on Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's comic book series. At Adventure Cartoons For Television, Inc., he worked on the series 'The Mighty Hercules' (1963-1966), created by Joseph Oriolo.

Hanna-Barbera
Crane was present when Hanna-Barbera opened a second animation department in New York City, in addition to their Hollywood headquarters. He was in charge of the Hanna-Barbera East studios together with Red Auguston. During his time at Hanna-Barbera, he worked on 'The Flintstones' and 'Super Friends', as well as 'The Smurfs' (1981-1989), based on the European comic series by Peyo.

Advertising cartoons
At NY Animation Local 841, Crane worked on several animated TV commercials for brands like Campbell Soup, Burger King and Exxon. His animated commercial for The Wall Street Journal, produced by Perpetual Motion Pictures, won him a Clio and National Television Award. However, his best remembered TV ads he animated were made for Crest Toothpaste. Written and produced by Gregory Sinnott and with characters developed by comic book artist Herb Trimpe, the cartoons featured a city of clean teeth, "Toothopolis", that was attacked by an evil army named the "Cavity Creeps". While singing "We make holes in teeth!", the invaders tried to destroy the city. Crest toothpaste, however, defeated them. These late 1970s and early 1980s cartoons became so iconic to U.S. TV viewers that the Cavity Creeps were later referenced in the episode 'Imaginationland' in Trey Parker and Matt Stone's 'South Park', as some of several famous "evil" fictional characters threatening famous "good" fictional characters. The characters were also referenced in the episode 'There's Something About Paulie' in Seth MacFarlane's 'Family Guy'.


Still from 'Beavis and Butt-Head Do America' (1996), which had lay-outs and poses by Doug Crane.

Later animation career
Crane worked on the ship scene in 'Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure' (1977), a film based on Johnny Gruelle's characters, directed by Richard Williams. He contributed to the segments 'Harry Canyon' (based on Moebius' comic strip 'The Long Tomorrow') and 'Den' (based on Richard Corben's 'Den') in Gerald Potterson's cult animation film 'Heavy Metal' (1981). For Filmation, he helped out on 'Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids' (1972-1985) and numerous episodes of 'He-Man and the Masters of the Universe' (1983-1985), the spin-off 'She-Ra, Princess of Power' (1985-1986) and 'BraveStarr' (1987-1988). In the 1990s, his most notable work was done for Mike Judge's 'Beavis and Butthead' (1992-1997). He provided lay-outs for the episode 'Beavis and Butt-Head Are Dead' and poses for the hallucination scene in their animated feature 'Beavis and Butt-Head Do America' (1996).


'Who's flirting?' (Date with Debbi #5).

Teacher
Crane combined his work in animation with a teaching job. He was professor of classical animation at the School of Visual Arts for 15 years. He taught Cartooning and Animation at Eastchester High School. He also taught at the Institute of Animation and Film at the Academy of Art and Design at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. He was additionally an artist in residence at the Thornton-Donovan School in New Rochelle.


'The Ghost of 13 Mile Island!' (Teenmage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventure Special #2).

Comics career
In the 1960s, Doug Crane also drew comics for Tower Comics, most notably the teenage comedy series 'Tippy Teen'. Crane also worked for the DC Comics teenage comedy publications 'Swing with Scooter' (1968-1971), 'Date with Debbi' (1969-1972) and 'Binky's Buddies' (1970-1972). Between 1976 and 1997, he made similar comics for Archie Comics. He not only worked on the 'Archie' series and its spin-offs with characters created by Bob Montana (notably 'Jughead' and 'Betty and Me'), but also for the Archie books with Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' (1992).

Death
In 2020, Doug Crane passed away from cancer in Stuart, Florida, at age 85.


'Cold Cash Customers' (Betty #16).

Series and books by Doug Crane in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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