Anticipation Loses Artist GoH Bakshi

Ralph Bakshi will not be Artist Guest of Honor at Anticipation, the 2009 Worldcon in Montreal, according to the committee’s announcement dated March 2.

Due to health reasons, Ralph Bakshi will not be able to take part in Anticipation this summer. We were all looking forward to seeing him and are all disappointed by this turn of events, and hope things will get better for Mr. Bakshi soon.

Bakshi’s name has been removed from Anticipation’s slate of guests altogether, which invites curiosity about the circumstances preventing the con from honoring him in absentia. He is, of course, still alive, while even past Worldcons deprived of GoHs by death celebrated them posthumously, as L.A.con III did with Elsie Wollheim, and L.A.con IV with Howard Devore and Frankie Thomas.

6 thoughts on “Anticipation Loses Artist GoH Bakshi

  1. Oh … .something to keep the Long List Committee busy.

    Maybe he could be the Schrödinger’s cat GoH: He s and isn’t a GoH at the same time.

  2. You raise a valid point.

    One reason we removed Ralph Bakshi’s name from our web site is that many people, not used to the way Worldcons do things, may decide to come in order to meet him and be very disappointed to find out he isn’t there, it’s one thing if it was a last minute thing*, but in this case, it’s not.

    Honouring him in absentia was considered, but he did not show interest
    Because of this, we felt it was better to remove Bakshi’s name for our Guest list for now, we still greatly appreciate his original acceptance to be our GoH. Nothing precludes us from screening some of his films, or discussing his work at the con, but we do not want to raise false expectations with the public. We also expect to add a footnote to the Long List of Worldcons explaining what happened.

    *Other Worldcon GoHs did not make it due to health reasons — Frank Kelly Freas in 2003 comes to mind, but in that case, the committee found out about it a few weeks before the convention, not months before as is the case now.

  3. Thanks, Rene, for filling in more details. And I agree, Anticipation had quite a different decision to make than other cons that lost a GoH. When not talking about “the late GoH” or “the GoH who at the last minute became too ill to attend”, to continue advertising a name of a nonattending celebrity might be misunderstood or seem misleading.

  4. I wonder if the con is going to fill the Artist Guest of Honor spot left by him not coming. This is my first Anticipation and I was really looking forward to meeting Mr. Bakshi. I never realized his contribution to animation before now.

  5. While I haven’t seen it said in so many words, I’m getting the impression he is more than “not interested” in the idea.

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