If you have ever enjoyed the comical drawings of exaggerated hot rods with grossly over sized wheels while looking at the latest cover of CARtoons in the late 70′s, then more than likely you have seen the cool artwork of “Big” Dave Deal.
Dave Deal’s drawings became so iconic that Revell Models even made a series out of them. With “Deal’s Wheels” a youngster could take a few dabs of glue and paint to create his own cool Deal hot rod model. If you were into cars, hot rods or cartoons in one way or another, then there was a good chance you may have come across his eccentric works.
Over the past several years there has been a movie phenomena that kids and adults alike are going completely crazy over, Disney/Pixar’s sensation Cars. Characters such as Mater, a redneck beat up old tow truck or Lightning McQueen, the fast little speedster, come to life on the big screen. Children around the globe suddenly fell in love with all these characters and laugh hysterically at the situations this group of living cartoons find themselves in.
What most people may not know is back in 2002 when Pixar Studios were in the planning phase of the first of these great movies, they contacted Dave Deal. He spent two days with the artists and story writers for the movie, giving them advice and showing them how he brought his pencil and paper drawings to life. Again, Dave had succeeded in bringing humor and laughter to a whole new generation.
Unfortunately, after a fierce battle with cancer, we lost “Big” Dave Deal in 2008. Dave was known as a crazy big bearded guy with love for life and laughter. Dave may not be with us any longer in the flesh, but thanks to his artistic way of bringing us laughter through his cartoons, he will be with us everytime we walk through the toy aisle and see one of those crazy cars that our kids beg us to buy for them.
Special thanks to Jive-Bomber at Jalopy Journal for content and keeping Dave’s spirit alive. Also, Joseph Stephan, writer, Hot Rod Hot Line, a close friend of Big Dave who wrote “Memories of a Friend” about their journey through life together.