Gavin Aung Than, a freelance cartoonist based in Melbourne Australia, has drawn a touching web cartoon tribute to independent film houses and film critic Roger Ebert. The piece follows an enthusiastic filmgoer on frequent visits to an independent movie theater throughout his long life. Than used actual excerpts from Ebert’s autobiography “Life Itself” for the cartoon’s text.
Than launched the cartoon blog Zen Pencils in 2012, shortly after he quit his job in corporate graphic design. He finds inspirational quotations from famous people or historical figures and uses either the text itself or the subject’s life as the basis for illustrating a story.
Funnily enough, Than wasn’t very familiar with Ebert’s writing until about four years ago when he discovered Ebert’s extensive blog. Ebert’s thyroid cancer and multiple surgeries left him unable to speak, so the Pulitzer prize winning critic took to the internet. His blog contained what many consider some of Ebert’s best writing and became extremely popular as a result.
Ebert passed away in April of this year. His 2011 autobiography “Life Itself” is being turned into a documentary produced by Martin Scorsese.
Ebert’s wife Chaz Tweeted that the comic is a, “Beautiful cartoon about Roger’s philosophy on kindness.”