The internet today has hundreds of animation/cartoon websites, but not too many of them feature
horror-inspired art. But alas, there are cartoons that us haunters can enjoy and relate to. Eric
Pigors' "Toxic Toons" are the creepiest, most disgusting
cartoons I've ever seen.....and I love it!!!!! It's finally good to see some cartoons that
aren't overly concerned with being in the next Sunday morning funny pages.
The story you are about to
read involves butcher shops, creepy childhood memories and a whole lot of imagination. This is
the story of Eric Pigors' and his breed of art that has come to be known as "Toxic Toons".
in Arizona and moving to California when he was 4, Eric Pigors became
interested in art when his mom would read him the Dr. Suess book, "If I
Ran The Circus" every night before bed. He always loved the
illustrations in Dr. Suess's books. Another big inspiration came
when he received his first nickel, Eric went out and bought his first
pack of "Odd Rods" stickers. He became so addicted to the artwork on
these stickers, that even after he had collected
the entire set, he still continued to buy them.
For the most part, Eric had a typical, normal childhood, but for some reason, the strange
circumstances that happened to him as a child are the memories that stand out the most. Some of
these circumstances include a girl
whom he had a crush on. Her father had lost both of his hands
in an accident at work and had mechanical hooks in their place. All of the other kids would talk
to him, but Eric was too freaked out to talk to him. Another strange incident took place at his
grandparents' house when they were having chicken for dinner. He asked his grandfather where he
got the chicken and as he took a bite, his grandfather told him that he had ran over it on the
way home. Of course, having a pig slaughter house behind the little league outfield fence, which
constantly reeked of the smell of beer and
a chicken slaughter house on the way to school isn't exactly the "norm" when you're a kid.
In 1987, Eric got a job doing clean-up art at Disney Feature Animation. He has done work on such
films as "The Little Mermaid", "Beauty and the Beast", "Treasure Planet" and many more. It was there that he
began to create his own artwork. When he first started in the animation industry,Eric wanted to
buy cell animation but couldn't afford it or find work that appealed to him, so he started making
his own cells featuring his art. While there, he found a picture in an animation book that another
artist had done. It featured various media cut-outs pasted together. It was then that Eric began
to get back into the things that influenced him ad started drawing weirder and weirder characters.
Some of his influences include "PLOP" comics and "MAD" magazine and Jack Davis's "You'll Die Laughing"
cards. Not to mention all animated things back in the 70's. Tex Avery, Disney, Warners,Betty Boop,
Woody Woodpecker. "I really feel my style is a mixture of love of these artists inspiration and
my own diestink (distinct) flavor.", says Eric about his artwork. Eric officially named his cartoons
in 1988, when he did a 6-postcard set. "I came up with the name because I was using spray paint
alot back then for backgrounds and thought 'man this toxic smell is gonna kill me some day.' Then
I just put 2 and 2 together TOXIC and TOONS from cartoons, which my art is and there ya go."
The techniques Eric has used to create each disturbing piece has evolved somewhat over the years,
but they still retain the same "warped" feel that they've always had. Starting off with a blank
board, he begins doodling until something pops into mind that he likes. He then will enlarge the
thumbnail of the picture he likes and cleans it up with ink. "I used to xerox them and color them with pens and cut
them out and glue them on either spray painted backgrounds or mix media stuff like old photos
from old mags to give them a very disturbing finished piece. I now do it in photoshop, the coloring
that is. My first book is entirely from cut and paste and 2nd is both photoshop and the cut
and paste. My new book coming out in May 2003 is entirely colored in photoshop." explains Pigors.
When he created his first art book in 1999, he self-published it ad was looking for a way to get
it out there. The internet seemed the easiest and most practical way to go about doing this. To
this day, he still feels the same way. "How else can someone see my work so easily around the
world (with me) being unknown?" As for the interactive flash animations that you see on the
website today, "I started the interactive animation with friends of mine in the animation
business. This was when the internet was looking for animated stuff. Mine never got very far and
then everything crashed that was animated on the internet, so I had my friend Karl Fornander who
animated it all add it on to my site so people could see it. Bob Camp, of "Ren and Stimpy" fame did
the 'Toxic Go -Kart' background from an idea I gave him. It's very "Monty Python" inspired. My
other friend Joe Orrantia did the rest of the cool backgrounds, like the opening cemetery that
the car drives through and the bad joke graveyard."
Toxic Toons became so popular that Eric began selling merchandise on his website. Some of the
"ghoulish gifts" available include stickers, t-shirts and his artbooks. In the works for future
release include more t-shirts, stickers and even a toy line from "Mezco" toys to be released in
2004! Another hopeful project is a Halloween special that he has had "kicking around" for the
past few years that could possibly be turned into a T.V. series. If you're looking to add
a little spice to your barware, Crystal Etching offers barware and shot glasses featuring "Toxic
Toons" etched on them. As it relates to the art books that Eric sells on his website, I was
fortunate enough to get a copy of "Toxic Toons" and "Cobwebs and Vinegar". They are without a
doubt, rude, disgusting, gory, creepy and some may even say
they are offensive. I have to say
that I loved them!!! They are a fresh change from all the other comics you see.
first book, entitled "Toxic Toons" is a 144 page medley of cut and paste masterpieces which will make you
laugh, make you question your sanity and overall provide a much needed break from everyday life.
The 2nd book, "Cobwebs and Vinegar" is a hardbound journey into yet even more twisted artwork.
This addition to the 'Toxic Toons Library' features 92 pages of ghastly art with more creepy
characters than you dare dream up. "Cobwebs and Vinegar" is an excellent follow up to his first book.
Both of these are a must if you're a fan of art, or just a horror fan in general. After
reading them, you may have a strange urge to go and burn the "funny pages" in your local newspaper.
As mentioned earlier, Eric is currently working on a 3rd book, set to release in May, "Ghoulishly
Ghastly Deadtime Stories". This book will be slightly different from the others, however.
"It's weird kreepy poems that describe the art and characters you are looking at on the page next
to it. This one has a Halloween feel to it even though it's not a Halloween poem entirely. There
are 26 poems, my wife wrote a couple and they are funny and gross and weird.This is my favorite
book so far and I already started on another similar to it. I'm having that much fun." he explains.
When I asked Eric what the general reception has been towards his artwork he responded, "I haven't
gotten any hate mail. I do get alot of people sending in photos of tattoos that they got of my
art and some asking if they can get tattoos, which I feel is a huge complement that somebody
likes my art enough to wear it on their body for the rest of their lives. I realize my art isn't
for everyone. Some will be offended and some won't like it and some will love it! If I give
somebody the inspiration to do art like the above artists did for me, then I have done my goal,
which is to inspire and entertain."
Even though Eric primarily does animation, he's still a haunter at heart, decorating his garage
every year for the kids on Halloween. "I take masks I buy and old clothes and build them into
dummies and prop them in situations so the kids don't know what's real ,then I dress like the
monsters and stay still and scare 'em. I think I'm the only one in our neighborhood who does this
each year." he says. "I want to keep that spirit alive like what I got to see as a kid when I
went trick or treating. I still remember 2 houses vividly! One was very dark and playing the
Haunted Mansion's sound fx record and I was very reluctant to go to the door because it was so
dark and kreepy.Nobody answered the door and they just let the record play loudly in the garage.
The other house had a fog machine and 5 older
guys dressed as Frankenstein, Dracula, Mummy,
Wolfman and a zombie and to get the candy you had to go past all of them in the dark fog for 20
feet that felt like a mile."
Whether you like or dislike his artwork, there is no denying that Eric Pigors pours his heart into
his work, whether it be animation, comics or his "home haunt". I hope you have enjoyed this visit
into "Unkle Pigor's Spookhouse". If you like the artwork you see here, be sure to check out his
website, www.toxictoons.com and order his books! You won't be able to look at a "normal" comic
the same way ever again! Also be sure to check out www.crystaletching.com to order the etched
barware featuring "Toxic Toons". The time has come for us to say goodbye, but before I go...I
should remind you of one thing: MeatBoy Lives!!!
Visit Toxic Toons on the web at www.toxictoons.com.
There, you can view artwork, flash animations, purchase Toxic Toons
merchandise and more! For more information on the Toxic Toons barware
collection, be sure to visit drinkwiththelivingdead.com.