Art Brokerage: Ed "Big Daddy" Roth American Artist: b. 1932 - 2001. Ed "Big Daddy" Roth 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. The 1961 Beatnik Bandit hot rod at the National Automobile Museum, Reno, Nevada. Roth is best known for his grotesque caricatures typified by Rat Fink depicting imaginative, out-sized monstrosities driving representations of the hot rods that he and his contemporaries built. Roth began airbrushing Weirdo t-shirts in the late 1950's along with fellow Kustom Kulture pioneers Dean Jeffries and Pete Millar at Car Shows and quickly became the forerunner of the movement. By the August 1959 issue of Car Craft Weirdo shirts had become a full blown craze. Detroit native Stanley Miller, a.k.a. "Stanley Mouse", and the lesser known Redina Studios soon followed, but Roth is certainly the individual who popularized the "Monsters in Hot Rods" art form. Roth is also known for his innovative work in turning hot rodding from crude backyard engineering, where performance was the bottom line, into a refined art form where aesthetics were equally important, breaking new ground with fiberglass bodywork. His creations include The Outlaw, The Beatnik Bandit, The Mysterion, The Orbitron, and The Road Agent among others. Numerous artists were associated with Roth, including painter Robert Williams, Rat Fink Comix artist R.K. Sloane, Steve Fiorilla (who illustrated some of Roth's catalogs), and Ed Newton who designed several of Roth's cars and many of the t-shirt designs. 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.