Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Dad!

Well there's my Dad in a rare calm and relaxed pose in his beautiful back yard. You should see all the great flower beds he creates!
Anyway, all you diehard Spumco fans owe a lot to my Dad (as I do). he is one of my biggest cartoon inspirations and his spirit and personality crawl all over my cartoons.

He's in Visit To Anthony.
He is a big influence on the character of George Liquor.

George and my Dad believe strongly in discipline and order and rules.(Especially their own!)
"When you bring home the bacon, then YOU can make the rules!"
"As long as you're in my house, it's MYYYY rules!"

Nothing makes them more crazy than when someone bucks the established order. I think this instilled in me a great disrespect for authority, but at the same time inspired a great reverence for the entertainment value of authority figures. Maybe that's why I think Ranger Smith is as big as star as Yogi Bear. I find rulemaking and the urge to make rules even where none are needed hilarious.

It must have driven Dad crazy to raise a cartoonist who never took anything important seriously.Dad is like the Canadian version of George Liquor. We don't have Republicans in Canada, but we have something quite like them. My Dad is every fish's worst enemy.

I have written some stories where George goes to Canada and hangs out with my Dad at his cottage. They are very much alike and both hate hippies, the Beatles and wimps, but their differences are much more important to them and it just takes a couple beers to get them beating the crap out of each other like real men.
Here is our relationship to this day. Does your relationship with your Dad ever change?
My Dad is such an entertaining character that I had him do voices in some of my cartoons. Here he plays Ren's Dad. There are scenes in the cartoon actually from my childhood. I kind of combined my Dad with his Dad. My Grandfather was a Ukrainian Orthodox priest and even more strict than Dad, if that's possible! Grandpa was real nice to me though- except that he always kissed me on the mouth and ripped my face off with his stubble whenever we visited.

Dad also plays the part of the freeway cop in Stimpy's Pregnant.

I think the reason why I love Kirk Douglas so much is that I recognize the intensely emotional manliness of my own Dad in him. Watch Detective story and see what I witnessed every day growing up. A manly guy with a soft heart that was constantly torn between rigid laws and extreme emotions that boiled beneath the surface and every once n a while exploded out of control.

The fire chief in the original Firedogs is half my Dad, half Ralph Bakshi. "I've had it up to heeeeere with the likes of you!" I saw my Dad whack the underside of his chin like that every time I did something stupid (which was every day!)

My Mom is also a great influence on me but in the opposite way. She is the calm, logical member of the family. She can reason situations out and is analytic about everything. That's probably where I got it from-where all my manuals and my thirst for explanation of complex ideas came from.

My Dad is the fiery emotional one and I inherited that too.

Anyway if you love the characters he inspired, please wish my old man a Happy Ass Birthday and tons more! His name is Mike and he can still kick your ass.

Happy Birthday Dad!