avid Gonterman is best known as the Ed Wood of internet cartooning: the poor fellowīs passion far exceeds his aptitude. Critics claim that Gonterman is a complete failure at cartooning. His jokes fall flat, his writing is incomprehensible, and his artwork certainly leaves something to be desired. Also noteworthy is that he has apparently been producing his cartoons - notably the Foxfire series - for years without showing the slightest hint of improvement in any of these respects. However, itīs Gontermanīs bizarre delusions of grandeur that rankle most of his critics. Heīs famous for his self-insertions, every comic contains at least one character that is a thinly disguised avatar for Gonterman himself. Often the avatar is named some variant of David or, stranger still, "Davey-Kins." This character is also frequently a struggling cartoonist, who, despite the fact that every single other character recognizes his awesome talent, has failed to make it big because THE MAN is keeping him down. Also, every single female charatcer will find him unresistably sexy. There has been speculation that Gonterman harbors certain racist and homophobic beliefs as outlined in the infamous Sailor Moon fan fic "American Kitsune," but, having never read it, Iīm not qualified to comment on that allegation.
Although critics love to bash his art, it isnīt particularly bad. At least, not at first glance. Itīs only after youīve read through pages and pages of his strips that you realize how limited his abilities are. Sure, he can draw okay, meaning that he is capable of communicating some feeling through his characters. But every character looks the same. Itīs like he got some stocky, ham-headed, mulleted hick to pose for everything. Rather itīs Gontermanīs unwavering belief that heīs Da Vinci that seems to have annoyed most naysayers. Determined to learn for myself what all this fuss was about, I undertook the awesome task of reading Gontermanīs magnum opus, Foxfire. And after slogging through the 240 archived strips, I have to say it: David Gonterman is insane. It isnīt the sort of insanity that hits you right away, like when read a Chick pamphlet or meet some tin foil hat-wearing bum on the subway. Itīs a subtle insanity, the sort that you only begin to recognize after youīve known someone for years. If grandma insists that sheīs hearing voices long enough, youīre going to realize that sheīs not joking. I was amused but not especially impressed by the first third of the Foxfire saga. After that it begins to pick of steam and Gonterman's true insanity begins to show through.
In the Foxfire saga, Jim (AKA Gonterman Self Insert) is a struggling cartoonist whoīs much loved by the ladies. This is Jim as he prepares his latest work for display at the St.Louis Comic Convention. Please note that Jim is pretty much interchangable with every single other male in the Foxfire universe. And most females, too, for that matter.
Two things to note. First, the first panel should drive home my previous statement about all males in the Foxfire universe being interchangable. Second, is it just me or does Jim's head appear to be screwed on backwards in the last panel?
IT'S STAN LEE!!! OH MY GOD, IT'S - Oh, wait, that's just Jim in a moustache.
That Stan Lee, what a guy! Iīm rather skeptical that Stan Lee would take the time out of his busy schedule to encourage a complete stranger, especially one of such dubious talents, but itīs a nice, optimistic fantasy. For all the ridicule thatīs been heaped upon him, Gonterman shows a surprising lack of bitterness.
After meeting Stan Lee, Jim returns home to find a mysterious package on his doorstep. Hey now, it's a fox suit! Thatīs not exactly the same reaction I would have if a mysterious carnival costume showed up at my doorstep but what do I know?
Whoa, the suit is alive! Yes, it's a "zoot suit," an symbiotic alien creature that needs to bond with a human host because..uh...for stuff. For about half the series she'll go by the name Susan Foxfire, the other half she'll change her name to Scarlet. I think this strip reveals more of Gonterman's sexual leanings than he intended.
This is the supreme villain of the saga, a rabbit in a top hat and suit. I assume that he intends to have hypno-zombie sex with the maid. Ew. By the way, that is one big ass bowtie.
Hur hur. Sexual undertones.
Yeah. Wearing a suit probably won't do much good as a disguise when you're the only GIANT, TALKING ANIMALS on the planet.
What, exactly, is he phonetic pronuniciation of :)? Oh, nice tartan background.
Jim's a great cartoonist.
Who keeps a jar full of ink? What's he use, a feather quill? Oh, nice background in the last panel. SUPER JIM, OFF TO BUY INK AND SAVE THE DAAAAAAAAY!
Jim walks into the middle of an armed robbery where a bunch of evil zoots are stealing "zoot making material." Scarlet comes to the rescue, prompting this startled response from the store clerk. Let it never be said that I donīt give credit where creditīs due, this is probably the only example of genuine wit in the whole series. What ho? Apparently, the store clerk hails from Elizabethian England.
I take back what I said about the last strip being the only funny thing in the Foxfire series. If that archvillain there is, in fact, Barney the dinosaur, then Gonterman is indeed every bit the mad genius he claims to be. (Update: I've had the good fortune to actually meet the Great Gonterman online and ask him about this. Strangely, he doesn't seem to know himself who this character is. Which really just lends more support to my theory that Davey-Kins is a complete and utter lunatic.)
I know that youīre all getting sick of this, but I have to go into detail on this, my absolute favorite sequence in the entire comic. In this comic, Scarlet is amused by Jimīs brilliant cartooning. No surprise there.
Wait for it...
Jim is, in fact, sneezing, not breathing fire. Or vomiting. Or whatever the hell else it looks like heīs doing.
YEEESSS!! Ha ha ha ha! Gontermanīs complete ignorance of germ theory amuses me to no end. First, crackers do not go bad. They get stale. Scarlet should be able to immediately tell if a crackerīs stale because, well, itīll be stale. The only way that a cracker would go bad enough to make you sick is if itīs been sitting around since the cambrian and had actual mushrooms growing on it. Secondly, even if crackers could make you sick, you would perhaps get an upset stomach, indigestions, cramps, nausea, diarrhea, etc. You would never, by any conceivable stretch of the imagination, get a head cold.
Learn more about Gonterman at Gonterlinks!!!.
Mr. Bones Says: "JUMBALAYA!!!!!!"
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"Foxfire" and all names and images therewith associated are the sole intellectual property of one David Gonterman. I did not draw these pictures nor would I ever dream of taking credit for them. All words credited to David Gonterman are, in fact, the words of David Gonterman. Do not threaten to sue me. Images and words copyright to David Gonterman are used for the sole purpose of critique and commentary on David Gonterman and his website (Foxfire Studios) and thus are totally legal under fair use. This is not a parody. Itīs more like a news report. Thatīs it. Stop reeeeading...NOW!