Cancer is a blight on modern society that affects most of us at one time or another. The genetic lottery that can strike down the strongest, the fittest, or the most deserving of us at any time. The odds say that many of us will know someone who succumbs to this insidious illness, but statistically speaking at least, most of us could gain a little comfort in knowing its likely to strike someone else. Edd Gould, who created a World of his own, Eddsworld, and shared it with a multitude of adoring followers, was one of the unlucky ones.
Edd Gould – His Early Life And Childhood.
Edd was born Edward Duncan Ernest Gould, in Isleworth, a Suburb of West London, England on October 28th, 1988. He went to school at Orleans Park Secondary in nearby Twickenham, and it was there he met good friend, and future partner, Matt Hargreaves.
In 2002, aged just 14, Edd began working on a flash animation series called Bendee and was soon publishing it on the creative community website, Newgrounds. Newgrounds specializes in bringing together musicians, artists, actors and writers in order to showcase their work, as well as to form collaborations with others. Although the characters were not particularly detailed, the backgrounds were diverse and dramatic. Edd’s skill at animation was nicely complemented by his, sometimes amatuerish, but always enthusiastic interest in scriptwriting, production and editing.
Bendee might not have been the most polished animation ever to hit Newgrounds, but it was a promising work from a new young animator and Edd soon gained a keen following on the site. Amongst his new fans were Norweigen, Tord Larsson and Tom Ridgewell, who sent Edd some of his own creations in the form of fan art.
Edd Gould and EddsWorld
Edd soon began a new series, Eddsworld, uploaded to Newgrounds and the Eddsworld website. Edd published the first episode of the new series on Christmas day, 2004 and it was a quick hit amongst the animation loving community at Newgrounds.
There was a lot more to Eddsworld than just flash animations however. Edd also produced Eddsworlds comics, arts works and even flash games. He soon began sharing his Eddsworlds series on the artist forum, DeviantArt, and the online animation community, Albino Blacksheep.
The Eddsworld name had been inspired by the movie ‘Wayne’s World’ and the episodes, or Eddisodes as Edd called them, usually involved his friends in various wacky situations, much in the same vein as the zany storyline of Wayne’s World itself. Matt and Tord both had regular starring roles in the beginning of the series and Tom Ridgewell soon joined the cast. All of the friends voiced their own characters, although Edd was solely responsible for the animation, editing and production of the episodes.
Edd would often use the phrase ‘It’s pretty swell!’ in the series and it soon became his catchphrase. Edd, who had always had a great liking for cola, incorporated that into his Eddsworld animations too, and his character could be seen drinking some in most episodes of the series, there was even an episode devoted to the drink.
In 2006, Edd began publishing his Eddsworld animations on the new video sharing platform, Youtube. His popularity grew alongside the growth of Youtube itself, and the Eddsworld channel soon exceeded 50,000 subscribers.
In the same year, Edd, then aged only 18, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, commonly known as ALL. ALL was a particularly acute form of leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells. Edd was a fighter at heart and never doubted that he would beat the illness, he was proven right when he received the all clear two years later.
Edd studied to become a professional animator at the Creative Arts University in Maidstone, near London. and shortly afterwards began his first steps into the World of professional animation. Together with Tom Ridgewell and six other artists, Edd founded Cake Bomb. Cake Bomb was a creative website that formed to produce animations and other artistic projects, it was primarily run by Tom Ridgewell, who published his own popular asdfmovies series on the site, but Eddsworld episodes were always eagerly awaited by the regulars on the site.
In 2009, the organizers of the UN Climate Change conference noticed Eddsworld and commissioned Edd to create a short animation about climate change. The finished product was shown during the opening ceremony of the event.
Ed, who had always voiced his own, and all other bit part characters in Eddsworld, also voiced some of the asdfmovie animations for Tom, namely the ‘I like trains’ character. Cake Bomb eventually disbanded in 2011, but Eddsworld was being independently produced and published on its own website by that time.
Edd Vs Cancer
On April 16th 2011, Edd published a video on his Youtube channel called ‘Edd vs Cancer’. Accompanied by Tom and Matt, Edd revealed to his viewers that he was ill, he had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia once again. Sandwiched betweens his friends, Edd’s fighting spirit was clear to see as he joked with Tom about ‘kicking the crap out of Cancer’ and talked about his likelihood of survival being 70%. He disclosed that he had beaten the illness once before and that led onto a quick trailer for ‘Return of The Leukemia’, that was Edd laughing in the face of danger. But despite his optimistic outlook, and his refusal to show any fear, Edd did look ill. With IV tubes in his arms and a pale shade to his skin, Edd looked far more worn out than before.
Edd continued working, even during his chemotherapy sessions, and more Eddsworld animations were completed and published. On November 27th, 2011, at the end of ‘Eddsworld – Fan Service’, a typically wacky episode where Matt is killed due to an extreme allergic reaction to a dog, a bald Edd appeared and informed his fans that he would be undergoing a bone marrow transplant in a matter of weeks. Edd seemed reasonably well and in good spirits, he assured viewers that he was still battling cancer and seemed more resilient and stronger than he had when announcing his illness.
One more Eddsworld episode appeared on Boxing day, 2011, it was a nod to a fellow animating Youtuber in the form of a parody and was only 17 seconds long. No-one knew it at the time but it was the last of Edd’s work that would be published before his death.
On Sunday, March 25th 2012, Edd finally succumbed to his illness at the age of just 23. His friends Matt and Tom announced the sad news in a video uploaded two days later called ‘RIP Edd Gould (1998-2012)’. They spoke of Edd’s view that his Cancer was just ‘an inconvenience’ to him, it stopped him from working and interacting with his fans. They also revealed that Edd had turned down many opportunities, including the chance at his own TV show, simply in order to continue producing animation for the Eddsworld community. They assured fans that Eddsworld would continue, as Edd had left enough animation for them to produce the next episode, and they would endeavour to produce it in the future. Edd was cremated in a private ceremony at Mortlake Crematorium on April 11th 2012.
At the time of his Death, Edd’s Youtube channel was the most subscribed channel in the comedy category, and the fourth most viewed for the whole of the United Kingdom.
The growth of Edd’s channel has continued unabated since Edd died, and his many adoring fans can be seen lamenting his untimely death on most of his videos. His legacy, of fun and the joy of animation, can be seen in the number of amateur animators on Youtube and other online platforms, who credit Edd, and the Eddsworld films, for their original inspiration and interest in animation.
Eddsworld in 2016 – What Has Happened To Eddsworld Now?
Edds final wish was that Tom Ridgewell take control of the Eddsworld Youtube channel and Tom has managed the production of several new Eddsworld episodes since Edd’s death, but on March 17th 2016, at the end of a video entitled ‘Eddsworld – The End’, Tom announced that he was no longer involved with the Eddsworld channel and he was returning control of it to Edds family.
No-one knows how successful Edd Gould would have been, had he survived cancer a second time, but a legacy as innocently joyful, and celebrated as his, is rarely achieved by one who died so young. Whatever Edd is doing now, I hope it’s pretty swell for him, he was a pretty swell guy.