Thursday, March 20, 2008


Justin Wright (March 8, 1981-March 18, 2008)
This is the last post I would ever want to make. My best friend (seen above, first Jedi on the left) passed away this week. We went through school together at CalArts, graduated the same year and were hired together at Pixar the same month. Our birthdays are even one day apart. I take a great deal of comfort knowing that he lived an amazing life, accomplished all of his dreams, and had a very strong relationship with God. Justin was one of my favorite people to pitch ideas to. Any time I was working on a serious drawing, Justin is the one I'd show, and he was never afraid to let me know if the drawing really stank. But when he didn't like something, he always offered advice on how to make it better, ways it could be improved. I'm devastated at the notion of having adventures without my buddy, but I'm strengthened by the lessons he taught me and the almost disproportionate amount of laughter we shared. I can't wait to see him again, but until then...to infinity and beyond.
Justin Wright's blog: Charlie, A Deck Hand
Cartoon Brew's tribute
PUC's alumni page

9 comments:

Kyle Shockley said...

My condolences, man. He'll be missed.

leahz said...

hang in there, austin ...
"Do not hide your face from me
or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul."
Psalm 143:7-8

Seth said...

Hey Austin,

I'm completely shocked... just learned about it today.

We'll be here with you through this in prayer. After Alexa loosing her brother last year (22yrs. old), I know this can shake you to your core... Death sucks. But take heart.. after much searching, Christ is the one and truest comfort through this; and He will see you through with faith.

Dusenberry said...

Hey Austin, Sorry to hear about Justin's passing ... looks like you two were good friends. I didn't get to meet him, myself but from word around school it sounds like he was a great guy.

Hang in there, dude.

Marianne said...

::hugs::

Josh (musarter) said...

I'm sorry to hear about the loss. He was a talented individual. Based on what I have read, take comfort in knowing he accomplished his dream of working at Pixar: that is more than can be said about many who live drawn out lives. He was blessed and my prayer is that blessing continues into the afterlife.

ANT WARD said...

I'll miss him dude....

Munchanka said...

Thanks everyone. I think Vi put it best when he said it's been a sobering experience. Once someone is gone, it becomes very clear what their role in your life was, and how very awesome they were. So thanks Kyle, for the awesome artwork of the story interns. You aaalmost captured the chaos of that summer ;)
Thanks Leah and Seth, for your prayers. You must be real tight with God, because I've felt amazingly comforted this least week.
Thanks Duze, not only for your condolences, but for working hard and upholding the CalArts name.
Thanks, Marianne, for the net-hugs. I know you were very special to Justin. (And how the heck are ya??)
Thanks, Josh, for your comment. Justin definitely packed in not only the artistic accomplishment, but also as much distraction and fun as he could.
And thanks Ant for the beers and hugs. Here's to many, many more!

NLK said...

I was Justin's youth pastor from 94-99 in Napa. When I met him he was short and plump and his face was ballooned up from reaction to the anti-rejection meds for his new heart. After he finally got off of them, it was a joy to see him grow tall and slim down. He just blossomed in so many ways. But his joyful and fun-loving spirit was always there from the first day I met him. On a side note, his mother who taught at our church school, knowing my love for reptiles, gifted me the classroom pet. It was a leopard gecko named Lizzie. Lizzie was lost in the classroom for 5 months. When she was found at the end of the year, she was skin and bones. Mrs. Wright said if I could nurse her back to health, I could keep her. That must have been around '96 or '97. Well, Lizzie is blind in one eye and can't see out of the other so I have to feed her crickets and mealworms by hand, but she's still alive! I often think of the Wright family when I care for Lizzie. My heart aches with them now for their loss, but rejoices with them in the hope of the resurrection when Justin will receive a new body with a perfect heart. Eagerly looking forward to that great day of reunion, NLK