Rat Fink

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see the "Rat Fink" drawings

When I was eight years old, a mean kid down the street called me a “rat fink” for no reason. It really stuck with me. If a nice girl like me could be a ratfink, then I suppose anyone could. Rat Fink has grown in stature ever since: Rat Fink is one of the several hot rod characters created by the artist Ed "Big Daddy” Roth. Roth's hot-rod characters were about fast cars, counter culture, and vermin taking over the world but in a really fun subversive way. He conceived Rat Fink as an anti-hero answer to Mickey Mouse. What better hero for a budding young artist than an anti-Disney, hot-rod rodent? I began to craft my own versions of Rat Fink. Sometimes in pink, sometimes in black, and always with spiked hair and big, gnarly teeth. As both my imaginary rats and I grew up, a funny thing happened. My rat became a cat. Why a cat not a rat? Well…why not?

Melissa Stern 2017