Friday, October 22, 2010

31 favorite monsters: Rat Fink

In the 1960's, cartoonist and hot rod hobbyist Ed "Big Daddy" Roth was designing some of the rudest, crudest monsters America had ever seen, popularizing the "ugly-cute" trend later seen in the Ugly Stickers of the same era, the MADBALLS of the 80's and more. While considered innocent fun today, these hideous ghouls were considered pretty subversive in their day, mocking the status quo and promoting the kind of wild, carefree fun that most of the country shied away from. While Roth personally designed dozens and dozens of the slobbering, bug-eyed freaks, it's Rat Fink who remains popular by name; a character Roth designed just to stick it to his hated Mickey Mouse.

Rat Fink is largely considered an icon of "Kustom Kulture," the Hot Rod & Motorcycle customizing hobby that Roth is considered partially responsible for. I may not know much about this stuff, but I can certainly appreciate what Rat Fink stands for as well as his adorably grotesque design.


Blogger Lee said...

I have a matchbox car with this guy on it. I only recently learned it was a famous character.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Scythemantis said...

I'm sure you've noticed how many of my Mortasheen are Roth homages. Karacha is pretty much just a Roach Fink :p

12:55 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

I did notice that. Many Ninja Turtle and Toxic Crusader figures also seem like Roth homages.

4:33 AM  

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