MYSTERY ISLAND: Hello, Dan!
Mystery Island visitors have been very curious as to where all these nifty Mr. Toast & amigos come from, but first please tell us about your book, Krazy Kid Foods!
DAN: KKF was a culmination of 15 years of collecting old boxes, wrappers and packaging related to vintage kids food. Back in 1989 when I started there was no internet, few books on collectibles and not a lot of resources where you could see the things you loved as a kid. It was hard to even find a picture of 70's TV show characters like HR Pufnstuf or the Banana Splits. So I started going to the flea market searching for all the stuff I had as a kid. I bought Thingmaker sets, GI Joes, Incredible Edibles and then one day I found a Pillsbury Funny Face Walker toy. It brought back a flood of childhood memories of Goofy Grape and Choo Choo Cherry. From that point on, I wanted to find all the foods I loved as a kid. I wanted Freakies cereal, Black Jack gum, Spoon Candy desert, etc, etc. Once I started finding stuff, I also found early products that were just as cool but that I never had as a kid. Eventually the collection had stuff with Mickey Mouse back to the 1930s and ran up until the late 1970s. Then about 5 years ago I met an editor at the flea market and I told him about the collection and he loved it. We took a bunch of pictures of our favorite things and Krazy Kids Food was born.
MYSTERY ISLAND: Your favorite Krazy Kid food?
DAN: I am partial to a few things. Funny Face drink mixes were a childhood favorite as were Freakies cereal. But my number one thing as Burry's Gaucho cookies. A couple years ago a box turned up on ebay and spared no expense at buying it.
MYSTERY ISLAND: We'll have to check out the Gaucho, never heard of that, but I love the Funny Face drinks and the FREAKIES are a Mystery Island favorite!
As a kid in school, did you ever get caught doodling imaginary creatures when you were supposed to be paying attention in class?
DAN: I spent my childhood as a comic collector and not a comic artist. I came to art late in my life; I didn't start drawing until I was in my 30s. So for the last few years, I have felt I had to make up a lot of time. Now I spend all my time doodling imaginary characters and not paying attention to what goes on in the world.
MYSTERY ISLAND: The Secret Origin of Mr. Toast?
DAN: Alas there is no secret. The World of Mr Toast is one of those classic cartoon worlds where everything is sort of frozen in time. No one gets old (unless that's the joke) and I don't really try to understand the characters pasts or even their motivations. In a great cartoon it is all about the comedy or action. We all know Daffy Duck is crazy and that Elmer Fudd is going to get beat. Those are the historical precedents I try to follow.
MYSTERY ISLAND: What was/is your favorite lunchbox as a child or as an adult?
DAN: The Mr Zip dome was my childhood favorite and as an adult. I used to carry my lunch to work in one. I never had it as a kid but I have always loved the Atom Ant because the art is so beautiful on that one.
MYSTERY ISLAND: Fantastic choice! Let's not forget Secret Squirrel, Morocco Mole, and Squiddly Diddly on the flipside.
What’s the most popular plush toy in the Mr. Toast line, Mr. Toast?
DAN: The 7" Mr Toast is by far the most popular. He is the same size as a piece of bread, easy to carry around or to sit on the shelf. The second is Shaky Bacon, because everyone loves bacon!
MYSTERY ISLAND: Mystery Island is totallly vegetarian and we still love Shaky Bacon!
Does Mr. Toast prefer peanut butter or jelly?
DAN: He prefers Peanut Butter Pie!
MYSTERY ISLAND: What is Joe the Egg’s favorite TV show?
DAN: I am tempted to say Mannix because that is such a cool TV show name. But let's go with Sigmund and the Seamonsters. He would love to hang out in that clubhouse.
MYSTERY ISLAND: What question are you tired of getting asked at the comic book conventions?
DAN: I used to get a few people walking by yelling "Powdered Toast Man." But now that we are pretty established I have not heard it in awhile. The thing I never get tired of is having people walk up to the booth and they already know all the characters and their names. I feel like I have given something back to the popular culture that I love so much.
MYSTERY ISLAND: Absolutely, if not for Mr. Toast, I would have often come back empty-handed from Comic-Con in terms of gifts for the Mystery Island tribe of children. They would like to know what Mr. Toast and his friends eat for breakfast?
DAN: Why donuts of course or the occasional bowl of oatmeal.
MYSTERY ISLAND: We love your subtle art style. Who are some artists you don’t hate?
DAN: Dick Bruna, who did the Miffy books and whose art seeped into my subconscious and still influences everything I do. Ed Emberley and his great drawing books. Every cartoonist has to mention Charles Schultz. His first couple years on Peanuts, kill me. Dr Seuss, Dr Seuss, Dr Seuss. It is funny to look at his work as an adult and see those influences that are so rooted in the 1940s and still his line work just amazes and is so personal. I could go on for days...
MYSTERY ISLAND: Did Lemonhead have any success selling door to door magazines subs?
DAN: The hard sell does work some of the time, so I have to assume he had some success.
MYSTERY ISLAND: Will Mope the Onion ever get his balloon back? Will he?
DAN: He will get another one but that one will be lost by popping or floating away. It is in his nature to lose the thing he loves.
MYSTERY ISLAND: And a very poetic ending it is!
Thank you so much for stopping by the Island, Dan!
THE WORLD OF MR. TOAST :: DAN GOODSELL MYSPACE
"Dan Goodsell Interview" by Bradley Mason Hamlin. Edited by Lucy Hell, Devilgirl. © 2009 Mystery Island Publications.
Published: 08.17.09 by Mystery Island. All rights reserved.
Art/pictures of Dan Goodsell, Mr. Toast and associated characters are the property of Dan Goodsell.
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