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.
My oldest brother Steve was an inveterate
surfer from the early sixties
(to the present day) so perhaps
his example provided the initial inspiration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
The cool hat was ubiquitous, without exception. I'm
there is no "Basketball Rat" -- the
one sport i actually liked to do as a kid! (?)
Baseball Rat's tail is completely out of proportion
a sure indicator of his being a "quik study"!
Ah, the signs of nationalistic conditioning bleed thru!
Note the erroneously included trailing `g' -- tsk, tsk.
Coolness intact without any indication of
"stretching the envelope"
of one's abilities
was a hallmark of this clan,
--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).
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)
These final four (i think they were drawn last) start
to include the use
of colored felt pens.
"Skin"divin' Rat has BIGGE lungs!
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.
Monsieur Painteur 'as eez own version of "cool 'at".
Pair'aps 'ee eez inspired by zee Stooges "Pop Goes Zee Easel"?
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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