The Sportin' Rats Gallery

i don't bebember exactly how this got started but it was somehow spurred on by my enjoyment of drawing as well as wanting to create a group of imaginary "rat personalities". i must have been 8 or 9 when i made these. While the following thumbnails are not necessarily ordered chronologically Surfin' Rat was the first. The little "cool hat" was a permanent fixture for these characters as well as such appropriately "cool extensions" as dark glasses (Surfin', Climibin', and Dragin' Rat). Despite the fact that of the 17 rats below, some are engaged in non-"sports" pursuits (Driven', Buildin', Paintin', and Rocketin' Rat), i always did consider the entire group to be members of The Sportin' Rats. i guess this was at a time when i was diggin' slangin' words.

Surfin' Rat
My oldest brother Steve was an inveterate surfer from the early sixties
(to the present day) so perhaps his example provided the initial inspiration.

Skiin' Rat
The "name in lights" was a tongue-in-cheek device to elevate rats to the same
"superior" above-all-else status that i saw humans affecting throughout the world.

Flyin' Rat
i almost took the old scribbled fown # off, but elected to leave in place
the quaintly memorable & dated "DI[AMOND]" mnemonic from a different age.

Driven' Rat
A friend looking at this said, "the Golden Gate?", but i have associations of
bridges near Big Sur. i think the red thing is some sort of antenna.

Boatin' Rat
i seem to recall realizing after-the-fact that i had neglected to capitalize some
of the names. Speed was a always a "cool attribute" to portray.

Buildin' Rat
This structure's inspiration was 100% Three Stooges--i was weened on "the men"
weekday afts on Captain Satellite from 4:30-5:30 (unfortunate water damage casualty).

Running Rat
Until recently, my dad was a lifelong daily runner. Sometimes I'd tag along when
he'd run laps at my grade school. No doubt he was this one's inspiration.

Football Rat
The cool hat was ubiquitous, without exception. I'm just realizing,
there is no "Basketball Rat" -- the one sport i actually liked to do as a kid! (?)

Baseball Rat
Baseball Rat's tail is completely out of proportion here;
a sure indicator of his being a "quik study"!

Dragin' Rat
Ah, the signs of nationalistic conditioning bleed thru!
Note the erroneously included trailing `g' -- tsk, tsk.

Polevaultin' Rat
Coolness intact without any indication of "stretching the envelope"
of one's abilities was a hallmark of this clan,

Rocketin' Rat
--and yet here we do see an explicitly bug-eyed Rocketin' Rat in his marvellously tailored
space duds gawking back towards home (this was the Rat's equivalent Gemini prog series).

Racing Rat
A VERA cool racer, despite the fact that his depictor flubbed it and did not hold
to slang-i-fyin' "Racin'".....   (shades of the coming Ratmobiles here)

Skindivin' Rat
These final four (i think they were drawn last) start to include the use
of colored felt pens. "Skin"divin' Rat has BIGGE lungs!

Climbin' Rat
A tail every bit as strong and adept as legs or arms,
Mr. Cool shows no signs of fatigue as he traipses up this mountainous peak.

Paintin' Rat
Monsieur Painteur 'as eez own version of "cool 'at".
Pair'aps 'ee eez inspired by zee Stooges "Pop Goes Zee Easel"?

Weightliften' Rat
Ignoring the lapse in "spelling", we see another "rat superior", ratlie atlas,
enjoying a bit of muscle-toning before he starts his real workout.
One of the few times i actually attempted to draw a visage looking straight at us!

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