Archive for the ‘furry art’ category

The Legacy of Foxy Fagan…

November 29, 2019

In the mid-1940’s, the funny animal cartoon boom was in full swing, and every publisher wanted a menagerie of such anthropomorphic characters in print.  Foxy Fagan  was an obscure, Golden Age comic book character who was commercially unsuccessful, running for only a brief seven issues from 1946 to 1948.  Furthermore, the drawn character had a disquieting resemblance in some panels to Tom of Tom and Jerry fame, almost as if he was a cat with a few fox features tacked on.  The feet were also terribly wrong for a fox, but were drawn in the cartoon style of the day…

If the late great Foxy Fagan resembles the much more successful feline Tom, that’s because he was drawn by Harvey Eisenberg in collaboration with Joe Barbera’s storylines in a low budget, moonlighting-type operation called Dearfield Publishing which operated out of a shed while both of them were under contract to MGM.  Dearfield also produced Red Rabbit comics.  Eisenberg was a highly experienced and admired cartoonist who was for many years the main artist on the Tom and Jerry comic books, and he also did numerous stories for Disney comic books featuring Chip ‘n’ Dale, also drawing on the Yogi Bear and Flintstones newspaper comics.  He could draw characters convincingly in any pose, and gave them expressive personalities, making them relatable and alive.

Now Foxy Fagan was cut in the Bugs Bunny mold, with Foxy being sly but trouble-prone, and things often didn’t work out as he planned.  His foil was a hapless canine inventor, Bobble, who bore a striking resemblance to the later Hanna-Barbera character Droopy Dog, and kind of played the Porky Pig role.  We can almost see Foxy morphing into Tom in this bottom image, and Tom and Jerry would become an enduring part of cartoon history…




Maxwell the Geico Pig’s Date…

February 3, 2013

Maxwell's date– – Maxwell the Geico pig continues to evolve; he doesn’t appear to exclaim “Wheee!” anymore, plays with electronics, and apparently can even drive a car.  He could use some coaching on relationships with the opposite sex, however, passing up an ideal lover’s lane opportunity with a girl who appears to be hot for his porky body.- -Maxwell, it would seem, is more of a techie than a lover!

In the latest Geico commercial featuring Maxwell, he is stranded in a broken-down convertible car with a rather comely lass, and appears to be fooling with his hand-held device.  “Did you just turn your ringer off so no one would interrupt us?,” questions the lady.  Maxwell responds that he just used his Geico app to summon a tow truck, his ears rising as he finally perceives that his date wants to “pass the time.”  Maxwell has an idea ready to pass the 30-minute waiting interval, and unfortunately it’s not the past-time that the lady apparently desires; no, for Maxwell immediately switches his hand-held to a rousing game of “Fruit Ninja!”  The look of disappointment (or whatever) on his date’s eyes is classic as Maxwell enthusiastically launches into the game…

Many questions go unanswered.  We are not told how Maxwell’s little legs can reach the car’s pedals, or how his cloven hooves can operate his device, for example…but at least we are spared the messy and probably distasteful details of human/pig relationships, something for which we all can be grateful…although I’m sure that some of our readership can relate to having dated real pigs!  Thankfully, no one can refer to Maxwell as a chauvinist pig…

“Frankenweenie” is Coming!

September 13, 2012

– – Frankenweenie, a film directed by Tim Burton, is coming this October!  A remake of a 1984 short film by Burton, Frankenweenie is a 3D, black-and-white, stop motion-animated comedy horror film.  Like its 1984 predecessor, the film is both a parody of and an homage to the 1931 film Frankenstein as based on Mary Shelley’s classic gothic novel.  

In the film, a young Victor Frankenstein deploys the power of science to bring his beloved dog, Sparky, back to life.  Unintended and sometimes monstruous consequences ensue.  Vocal talents include Martin Short, Winona Ryder, and Martin Landau.  The art has the look of The Nightmare Before Christmas, and should be well worth a look!

Dead Cat Helicopter?

June 9, 2012

– – Me-ouch!  Call me old fashioned, but I’m not too keen on the idea of turning a deceased cat into a mini-helicopter, finding the idea unsettling and perhaps gruesome; I like bizarre and creepy, but in a good way.   PETA likewise dislikes the notion, with a spokesman calling the postmortem transformation “…a macabre way to honor a beloved family member.”  The artist, however, sees the visual exhibit as paying tribute to his cat, who now can soar with the birds that he loved.

The male cat appropriately named Orville died following a less than positive encounter with a car about six months ago.  His Dutch artist owner taxidermied the skin, encased it in polyester, and put a propeller on each of the four outstretched paws.  A remote control device enables the cat-quadcopter to fly.  The end product has been called creepy, sick, or hilarious, depending on one’s perspective.  The Orvillecopter has been on display at an art fair in Amsterdam, although Dutch animal lovers and the Dutch animal welfare party have heavily criticized the exhibit…

…the late cat, Orville, has a brother, Wilbur, who is still alive.  Both  animals were named after the Wright brothers of aviation fame.

It’s A Warner Bros. World…

April 26, 2012

— My better half brought home a little statue of an angel the other day; you know the type I’m talking about.   They’re white resin imitating marble, widely sold at places like K-Mart, and this one stands about ten or twelve inches tall.  The angel in it has unfurled wings clearly visible, curly hair, and bare feet.  In its hand the angel holds a bird regarding it, the bird (probably a dove) in turn looking at the angel.  I laughed hysterically for several minutes after seeing the statue, which admittedly is not a normal reaction.  It did, however, reflect the way that my mind works!

I knew what was going to happen next, you see…the angel would open its mouth, and stuff the bird into it,  just as Sylvester the cat would Tweety in a Warner Brothers cartoon.  Perhaps a stray feather would escape from the corners of the Angel’s mouth.  A slight satisfied smile would cross over the Angel’s mouth, and then the bird would somehow force open the angelic mouth and emerge, verbally abusing the angel.  The bird would further retaliate by wrecking mayhem upon the angel,  in effect sending it to the nether regions.  In my mind’s eye, I could see all of this happening perfectly!

Having been raised on Warner Bros. cartoons, I knew that this was simply the way that things happened and played out.  Now, many years later,  those same cartoons continue to shape and warp my perceptions of reality,  strongly shaping the way that I respond to it…Sufferin’ Succotash!

The Big Yellow Rabbit…

August 30, 2011

  – – Someday, we may awaken to find our streets taken over by gigantic plushies, such as this 13-meter-high yellow bunny crafted by Dutch artist Florintijn Hofman in Orebro, Sweden.  Although he looks like he’s had a less than favorable encounter with the Cloverfield monster, the Big Yellow Bunny is part of the openART festival in Orebro, where the art is in town, and you can walk around it!  “Open Art” may not sit well as a concept with those who regard art as something to be possessed and hung on the wall…

…the Big Yellow Bunny questions the purpose of the public space, and changes the perspective of the monuments within.  One can also imagine the even more enormous child owner of the bunny coming to claim it in a Twilight Zone type scenario!   The work will be for sale, should you want a 13-meter yellow rabbit.- -Perhaps we could set up a steel cage wrasslin’ match for the BYB with Clifford, the Big Red Dog, or the 16-foot high pink and white wrecking ball bunny featured in an H & R Block commercial in the past; it’s all good…

Hah! – – And to think that they said art was dead!

Netflix Tiger and Bunny Commercial

May 25, 2011

 – – In a Netflix commercial spot, a grouchy live-action grandpa intrudes into an animated world where a tiger and a bunny are cutely curled up together asleep.  “I’m not going to cry, am I?,” asks grandpa of the ‘toon characters.  “Only if you don’t believe in the power of friendship!,” responds the doe-eyed bunny sprightly.  “Really?,” counters the jaded and sarcastic tiger.  “You guys are good!,” the curmudgeonly grandpa says in parting from the cartoon duo, a ‘toon critter hanging on his back.

In the next scene, grandpa is back in the living room, begrudgingly watching the classically-styled animated cartoon movie with his wife and granddaughterThat’s so cute, it’s stupid!,” comments grandpa of the Disneyesque movie.  As we  well know, cute and stupid sells, and so does this clever Netflix ad that works on a variety of levels…

Dogged by Controversy!

November 24, 2010

– – No, they haven’t found the Dogman of Wisconsin…it’s just some Australian art turning heads and uniting playfulness with an edgy sexual content.

The exhibition titled “Returning to the Animal Within” is by Marc and Gillie Schattner of Sydney, and features 20 paintings and five sculptures of dog-headed humans at play and in repose.  The sculpture pictured titled “Good Boy” shows that canine-human chimeras also enjoy a good cup of coffee, but its anatomical correctness resulted in police investigating an obscenity charge.

An upcoming sculpture depicts a dog-man in a suit stooping to pick up his own poop; a good example, and environmentally responsible!- -‘Mutt or smut?–You decide!

Katz the Cat!

September 3, 2010

— Cats kind of tolerate us because we are useful to them; one can see this orientation in Katz, villain of Courage the Cowardly Dog. Now Courage has faced many enemies, often anthropomorphic, including my personal fave The Cajun Fox, who treats even his rivals with friendliness and can drive a car and pilot a plane!

Not as relaxed and laid-back as the Cajun Fox, Katz is a red, lanky anthropomorphic cat with purplish stripes who specializes in scam businesses, such as a vacation resort and motel, always with the intent of killing the patrons when he has no further need of them.  Katz’s catchphrase is, “I wish you hadn’t done that,” usually uttered after he gets injured.  Katz enjoys a “little spot of sport” with Courage, as all of his battles with the dog are games, such as a staring contest.

Springboarding off our previous post featuring spiders, an episode called A Night At The Katz Motel was indebted to Hitchcock’s Psycho, and featured Katz trying to kill Courage’s masters by using giant, horrifying spiders to eat them.  Katz is a smooth and wonderfully sadistic feline who has a vaguely British accent and his own sinister background music, and lovingly maintains a spider collection.

As Katz did say,  “Yes, set a plan; cunning, elaborate, over the top!”- –This is a furry villain you’ve got to love! 

The Spirituality of Animals

June 10, 2010

– – I’ve posted previously on artist Franz Marc, who refused to incorporate the human figure in his work because he believed that animals were more spiritual than humans.  For Franz, the positive qualities of “purity, truth, and beauty” that humans manifested during infancy were forgotten in adulthood but were maintained intact in wild beasts.   According to the painter, instinct made him depart from his solidarity with humanity and guided him to unity with animals as symbols of greater purity…

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