David Gonterman is an infamous freelance artist and writer who has authored a number of works under the label "FoxFire Studios." Notorious for possessing a tremendous ego and the uncanny ability to produce some of the most hideous furry and Sonic the Hedgehog fan works, Gonterman has become something of an Internet celebrity. (Perhaps "sideshow act" would be a better term than "celebrity," however.) Gonterman's productions are immortalized in an Internet site, The Gonterman Shrine (http://www.commuterbarnacle.com/gonterman/), along with rather frank commentary regarding the quality and subject matter of his artwork.

To be fair, it is obvious that Gonterman possesses at least a modicum of artistic talent. Sadly, however, he chooses to hurriedly scrape together his compositions instead of improving his technical merits. The resulting slew of poor artwork and fiction he has produced has made him known throughout the Internet.

Gonterman himself is a 33-year-old cartoonist who is believed to reside in St. Louis (although there is some evidence to the contrary). His personal web site is located at http://foxfire.twu.net/. He began drawing in the earlier days of AOL, making sketches for the various Sonic fan groups. Gonterman then discovered furry art, presumably at a site such as Yerf or the VCL, whereupon he began to combine video games, animé, heroic versions of himself, and furry characters into his artwork to produce the art and prose now affectionately known as "Gontermania." Politically, he claims to be a fundamentalist and a die-hard Republican, which is surprising, considering the undeniably erotic nature of most of his anthropomorphic works.

David Gonterman seems to be intensely paranoid. On several occasions, David Gonterman has called himself "the Internet's most dangerous cartoonist:" a statement which many agree with, but probably not in the way that he intended. His favored methods of revenge against his detractors are either the composition of a piece of prose or a cartoon in which his adversary meets some unfavorable end or "roboticization," which is never satisfactorily explained, but seems to involve transforming likenesses of his opponents into cyborgs. The most well-known act of revenge was directed against Ken Penders, the writer of an official American Sonic the Hedgehog comic, for considering killing off the character Sally. A six-page series of comic strips was created in "protest" of this decision (which, as it turned out, never actually occurred; Sega had some plans to use the character in the future and didn't want her to die). Additionally, Gonterman has threatened to "roboticize" the entire Walt Disney Company; this threat is prominently displayed at the top of The Rangers of NIMH, which is, unsurprisingly, a Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers and The Secret of NIMH crossover fanfic.

Gonterman's literary and artistic style is immediately recognizable and quite distinctive. The trademark of David Gonterman is the inclusion of himself as the protagonist, often under a pseudonym such as "Davy-kins" or "Davey Crockett." The plots of his stories go everywhere and nowhere at the same time, nearly always picking up and summarily dropping off Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, or Sailor Moon along the way. Grammatically, Gonterman is actually not too bad; however, his technical artistic abilities are incredibly weak. Shading is completely absent, characters are created with nothing more than a few strokes, and the backgrounds consist of just a few scribbles.

Three of Gonterman's works rank as prime examples of his style: NiTRO, Sally Protest, and Sailor Moon: American Kitsune. These are by no means his only works, only the best-known examples.

NiTRO, available at http://www.commuterbarnacle.com/gonterman/nitro1.html, is, in Gonterman's words, "the story of the spacecraft SOL NiTRO, the largest lighter-than-air style craft in the history of mankind." Poor physics knowledge aside, the story is rather inappropriately named, as its plot consists of little more than the sexual interaction between one Roll Rabbit, a female anthropomorphic rabbit, and, of course, David Gonterman himself. (Sailor Moon makes a brief appearance in the middle of the comic, and Sonic is indirectly referenced at one point.)

The Sally Protest, the aforementioned six-page strip available at http://www.commuterbarnacle.com/gonterman/sally1.html, is fairly more direct and to the point. The opening quotation, shouted by a likeness of Sally on the first page of the comic, sums the strip up best (grammar and spelling preserved intact):

WAIT TIL I GET MY HANDS ON KEN PENDERS!
I'M GONNA PERSONALLY MAKE HIM A EUNIC!!
TO THINK HE CAN JUST KILL ME OFF FOR NO GOOD REASON
AFTER PUTTING ME THROUGH SHEER HELL WITH MY FATHER
AND THIS "HEDGEHOG" I'M 'SUPPOSED' TO BE IN LOVE WITH?!?!
WHY SHOULD I EVEN THINK ABOUT THIS
SLOBBISH RUDE SNEAKER-SMELLING
... RUNNING ...
*PIN*-COUSHIN?!?!?!

Naturally, Dave Gonterman shows up to save the day and rescue Sally from her dismal fate. The strip concludes with the ominous words, "May he [Ken Penders] rot eternaly [sic] in Hell."

As far as prose is concerned, Sailor Moon: American Kitsune is undeniably the crown jewel of Gonterman's literary works. Spanning a staggering eleven chapters, SM:AK's plot is long and convoluted. Of course, the requisite characters (Davey Crockett and Sailor Moon) are present, and a few other random characters (such as the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers) join up, creating a bizarre mishmash of confusing plot shifts. The story is nonsensical from the first sentence: "Six Power Rangers, three VR Troopers, and the Masked Rider joined three members of the Youth United Nations and a local St. Louisan who appears to be their leader, while in between two ethnic factions who were just about to riot in front of the Americas Center."

David Gonterman's works have been analyzed repeatedly. "Fans" of his work have in some cases gone to great lengths to find out more information about just what could cause somebody to want to churn out such material. His age - 33 years old - is his most puzzling aspect. Some speculate that Dave desperately seeks to return to a childlike state of innocence. Gonterman is also known to be a furry lifestyler and a fursuiter, which, naturally, doesn't reflect on the furry fandom too well.

In summary, David Gonterman is a longtime Internet curiosity - an "Awful Link" before such things became popular. One can hope that Gonterman will someday decide to practice and improve his artwork. Until then, his works are little more than another Internet sideshow.

Sources: http://www.commuterbarnacle.com/gonterman/
and http://foxfire.twu.net/.
All works cited are no longer officially available and seem to have been renounced by Gonterman entirely.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.