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PANELED: TRUE AMERICAN DOG


When it comes to providing its readers with the hard-hitting headlines and real news, True American Dog doesn’t even try. But when it comes to granting its readers a glimpse into a world where tigers ride surfboards and the economy revolves around soda, CDs and clues, True American Dog can’t be beat.

Using headlines and heavily Photoshopped images, creators Chris “Horse” Hartelius and Frank Grecco illustrate the deeds and misdeeds of a cast of characters including Obama, a bunch of eagles, Kooly the Bear and Barfy Scorpion. Hartelius hooks us up with more details.

How did you get the inspiration?
It’s based on actual news stories about dogs or house hold pets doing heroic things, like “oh, dog saves woman from drowning” or something like that, actual news stories on CNN or what not. And it started with that… [now], it’s kind of like a week-to-week thing… if I’m aware of a holiday coming up, I’ll and try to make something suitable and related to it.

There are other times where I’ll have an idea and choose an eagle or a dog, there’s really no rhyme or reason to it. It’s generally as random as it seems.

Frank and I have this headline document that we brainstorm on, it’s probably 20 or 30 pages at this point, and it’s us doing stream of consciousness. “Eagle serves breakfast to hang gliding child,” or something like that.

How long does it take to create an image?
It really depends. It starts with a simple idea. [Frank] and I will send works in progress back and forth… we like to keep adding things, making it more and more ridiculous.


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Why all the different types of animals?
It started with dogs, and it’s kind of just blown up into this weird American satire, so bald eagles quickly came into play. Horses are just a standard American animal that everyone usually loves. I don’t actually really like them. I like making fun of them. There’s Kooly the Bear, that was just random. It’s gotten into weirder animals, but the core of horses, eagles and dogs is based on America’s love for them.


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Have you ever gotten a fan reaction that stuck out?
Well, [the photos are] from Google images, basically, so we don’t always know the people in the photos. This one commenter was like “why is there a baby in this photo, his mother is not very happy about it,” and I looked, and it’s this woman posting and she had a link to her blog… and it was like family pictures and stuff, and [one] was definitely the same kid.


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Do you have any pets?
I have a cat.

Oh really? But there haven’t been many cats.
Well, that is one rule I have. I don’t want any cats. There’s enough cats on the internet. It’s a “no cats allowed” type of thing.

Anything else you want to add?
Proudy the Tiger was murdered, and we’re trying to do more continuity, so there’s probably a big reveal coming up in the near future.

The posthumous exploits of Proudy and other, non-murdered tigers can be found at tigersonsurfboards.com

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