Lincoln Park native has done major work for Disney, ‘Simpsons’

Photos courtesy of the Lincoln Park Historical Society. Bill Morrison with his original painting for “The Little Mermaid,” photographed at the "Treasures from the Disney Archives” exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif.

Photos courtesy of the Lincoln Park Historical Society. Bill Morrison with his original painting for “The Little Mermaid,” photographed at the “Treasures from the Disney Archives” exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif.

LINCOLN PARK — Award-winning cartoonist and illustrator Bill Morrison will be recognized with a special exhibit at the Historical Museum in his hometown. “The Art of Bill Morrison” will open on Oct. 15 and run through Dec. 30.

Morrison, a 1977 graduate of Lincoln Park High School and an Eagle Scout, began his career as a technical illustrator in Detroit, following his studies at the College for Creative Studies, but his dream was to be a cartoonist.

When Morrison decided that he had rendered his last diesel fuel pump, he moved to southern California with his wife, Kayre. He immediately began working in motion picture advertising and painted dozens of movie posters, including many for Walt Disney Pictures, such as “The Little Mermaid,” “Bambi,” “Peter Pan,” “Cinderella” and “The Jungle Book.”

In recent decades, Morrison has spent most of his waking hours on various projects related to “The Simpsons.” For that iconic property he has created thousands of drawings for T-shirts, video games, posters, toy packaging, books, calendars, and limited edition prints.

When “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening founded Bongo Comics in the early 1990s, Morrison was hired on as art director and realized his cartoonist dreams when he drew the very first “Simpsons” comic. He quickly took on the role of creative director, editing Bongo’s entire output, in addition to writing and drawing stories and covers for the publication.

Morrison also worked with Groening on early character designs for the TV show “Futurama” and served as the series’ art director.

In addition to his work on “The Simpsons” and “Futurama,” Morrison has written and drawn his own comic book series, the four-time Eisner Award-nominated “Roswell, Little Green Man,” and co-created two other comic book series, “Heroes Anonymous” and “Lady Robotika” (the latter with Jane Wiedlin of the all-girl rock band The Go-Go’s).

Presently, Morrison is tending to Bongo’s digital comics endeavors while also working on an ongoing series of limited edition Disney art prints published by ACME Animation Archives, writing and drawing his new series “Dead Vengeance” for Dark Horse Comics, and serving as the current president of the National Cartoonists Society.

The Lincoln Park Historical Society is working with Morrison on the upcoming exhibit, a retrospective of nearly four decades of his art career. The museum’s regular hours are 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday and Wednesday. Special holiday hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 27 to Friday, Dec. 30.

Morrison will be in attendance for the exhibit’s opening public reception, scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 15 at the museum, 1335 Southfield Road. He will speak at 7 p.m. on highlights of his career.

He also will be available to sign copies of the exhibit’s official poster, on sale at the museum along with his specially-designed T-shirt for the exhibit. All proceeds will benefit the Lincoln Park Historical Society.

Morrison also will appear for a signing at Big Ben’s Comix Oasis, 6711 Allen Road in Allen Park, from noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 15.

For more information, call 313-386-3137, email lpmuseum@gmail.com, or go to www.lphistorical.org or Facebook.