Hey what's that down there?
January 8, 2013 11:41 AM   Subscribe

'Meet Sluggo – a green semi-subterranean inhabitant of Ann Arbor, Michigan. This strange little creature first appeared back in 2008 on a sidewalk, and since then started peaking out of walls cracks, chilling on ledges or doing his daily routines all over the town. Turns out, it was drawn by a local graphic artist David Zinn.'
posted by Potomac Avenue (20 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, I really really love these.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 11:57 AM on January 8, 2013

They're amazing!

The fact that there was some sort of mystery about their origin, despite "ZINNART.COM" appearing at the bottom of many of them, doesn't speak well for the detective skills of the people of Ann Arbor.
posted by Shepherd at 11:57 AM on January 8, 2013 [6 favorites]

In other news, local ERs have seen a rise in skinned knees and chipped teeth as Ann Arborites have been trying to hug the sidewalks.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 11:58 AM on January 8, 2013 [8 favorites]

posted by Summer at 12:13 PM on January 8, 2013

... and quite a badass leader in STAR WARS: The Clone Wars these past episodes :)
posted by djrock3k at 12:19 PM on January 8, 2013

I see that he was inspired by Chris Dunn's Mickey Mouse parking meter shadow art in the 1980s:
Years ago, he remembers walking by a piece of graffiti on a Washington Street sidewalk. Mickey Mouse grinned up at him, but he had no ears. It was strange. “It was the most random piece of graffiti, until a certain point (in the day) when a parking meter’s shadow fell (and became) the ears. That was one of the first cases I ever remember of experiencing art that was suddenly underfoot, serving the purpose of shaking you out of what you are doing at that moment,” he says.
I've never seen any photos -- that wouldn't work well anyway -- but here's a pencil drawing (PDF WARNING: it's on page 18) of one from the Ann Arbor Obscurer that'll give you an idea of what they were like.
posted by Herodios at 12:22 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

There used to be Mickeys all over town, but renovations and business owners who thought they were graffiti destroyed them.
posted by klangklangston at 12:39 PM on January 8, 2013

I can't find a picture but I know exactly what you're talking about Herodios.
BTW the effect worked due it being double parking meters with the shadow being generated from a street lamp (not the moving sun or anything)
posted by coachfortner at 12:41 PM on January 8, 2013

malware on banner in first link?
posted by Windopaene at 12:43 PM on January 8, 2013

I don't get a warning Windo, I'll mail the mods and see what they say.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:46 PM on January 8, 2013

These are adorable! And you bet your sweet bippy I'd drop money in that hat.
posted by Kitteh at 1:27 PM on January 8, 2013

I was trying to figure out why his name was so familiar, and then a small bit of sleuthing revealed that I was in a production of "Yeomen of the Guard" with him in 1991.

Small world.
posted by kyrademon at 2:11 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:34 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wow, bummed I never saw these while living in A2. That'll teach me to pay more attention to my surroundings. I only ever located a couple of the fairy doors.

go Blue!
posted by Existential Dread at 3:09 PM on January 8, 2013

These are great! makes me wish I could draw, I'd do this around my town.
posted by sarcasticah at 3:25 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've only seen like one of these in real life. It looked so professional I assumed it was going to be some sort of viral marketing campaign and then you were gonna see him in a couple weeks advertising some large national brand. Therefore, I made a conscious effort to not enjoy it.

Look what those large national brands have done to me!
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 3:45 PM on January 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

His name is super familiar to me too. Did he draw a comic strip for the Michigan Daily (U of M school paper) in the early 90's?
posted by selfmedicating at 4:30 PM on January 8, 2013

BTW the effect worked due it being double parking meters with the shadow being generated from a street lamp (not the moving sun or anything)"

No, they worked with the sun, and generally not street lamps. Street lamps are rarely bright enough or isolated enough, and some of them had times stenciled next to them so that you knew when the sun would be in the right position.
posted by klangklangston at 4:57 PM on January 8, 2013

I stand by my statement having seen the Mickey heads in the light of a bright street light off Washington Ave. The sun is constantly moving; unless you visit the stencil at the exact right time a couple of times a year, the drawing wouldn't make any sense with the ever changing shadow. A bright street lamp (and there are many of them in A²) is the only consistent light source.
posted by coachfortner at 6:41 PM on January 8, 2013

I knew I'd seen this little green guy before...

Abuba the alien flash game
posted by BlueHorse at 12:34 AM on January 9, 2013

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