“Today’s Special”: Ed Roth & Rat Fink

March 14, 2010 at 04:42 1 comment

This week’s Saturday’s Special is… Ed Roth & Rat Fink! And I have to tell you I really enjoyed posting this while I was listening to his band and watching the documentary. Don’t be a fucking “square” and give this man a try!!! Do not conform!

Ed “Big Daddy” Roth represented Southern California culture like no one before or since, and his “Rat Fink” character has become an enduring icon.

“Big Daddy” Ed Roth (March 4, 1932 – April 4, 2001) was an artist and cartoonist who created the hot-rod icon Rat Fink and other extreme characters. As a custom car builder, Roth was a key figure in Southern California’s Kustom Kulture and hot-rod movement of the 1960s. He grew up in Bell, California, attending Bell High School, where his classes included auto shop and art.

Roth’s hatred for Mickey Mouse led him to draw the original Rat Fink. After he placed Rat Fink on an airbrushed monster shirt, the character soon came to symbolize the entire hot-rod/Kustom Kulture scene of the 1950s and 1960s.

Although Detroit native Stanley Mouse (Miller) is credited with creating the so-called “Monster Hot Rod” art form, Roth is accepted as the individual who popularized it. The Rat Fink is a green, depraved-looking mouse with bulging, bloodshot eyes, an oversized mouth with yellowed, narrow teeth, and a red T-shirt with yellow “R.F.” on it.

Other artists associated with Roth also drew the character, including Rat Fink Comix artist R.K. Sloane and Steve Fiorilla, who illustrated Roth’s catalogs. Rat Fink and Roth are featured in Ron Mann’s documentary film Tales of the Rat Fink (2006).

Roth was active in the field of counterculture art and hot-rodding his entire adult life. At the time of his death in 2001, he was working on an innovative hot-rod project involving a compact car planned as a radical departure from the dominant “tuner” performance modification style. In his later years, Roth’s telephone number was listed in the directory, and he encouraged fans to contact him: he was always generous with his time and enthusiasm.

Here’s a fucking great music video Michael Roberts did for the Sadies to accompany the Score they did for the Ed Roth documentary Tales of the Rat Fink:

The Rat Fink fonts pack from my favorite type designers: House Hindustries. Check this inspired font here.
Check Ed Roth’s Water Decal amazing Coop666 Flickr gallery. Here are only a few so you can get the taste of it:

If you made this far you deserve a special treat! Check Ed Roth’s band Mr. Gasser & the Weirdos here! If you are into surf rock to chill like I am, give this band a look.


Entry filed under: Graphics, Movies & Docs. Tags: , , , , , .

Kick Ass x Vans Era Converse x Stones Throw Present: 45 Live

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. federicodecalifornia  |  April 22, 2010 at 16:37

    Here’s a related story for you Finks out there…


    Cheers ~ Federico

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