You’re looking at a side by side comparison of the tight sketch of the original Mouthville cartoon created for the Los Angeles Times and the original Mouthville cartoon itself.
The human mouth is home to hundreds of millions of germs, bacteria and other microorganisms. They form their own little communities, often adhering themselves to tooth surfaces and anywhere else they can establish a foothold in or oral cavity. Each group has their own specialty. Many bacteria play an important role in the first step in the human digestive process, breaking down foods even before they make contact with our mouths. Something to chew on.
My previous post on Mouthville.com was entered on August 10. Mouthville.com will return soon with a new post, picking up where it left off, with Fred and Ginger Vitis seated in the lobby of the Mouthville Patent Office, waiting for Fred’s partner Duke Bollinger to arrive so they can patent their invention (really Fred’s invention because Fred did all the work.) The plot will definitely thicken as the destinies of Fred and Duke take two completely divergent paths. Stay tooned!
During Mouthville.com’s hiatus, I’ve been extremely active. Starting in mid-August, I have completely rebuilt my web site at www.doodydoodles.com. The number of pages on my site has gone from 40 pages as of September, to more than 360 pages today. And besides changing the design and adding hundreds more pages of cartoons, illustrations, blues guitar player portraits and advertising copywriting samples, I have also added web content to every page on my site. I am also loading meta tags and Meta phrases on the “back end” of my website. This increases my web site’s profile and visibility on Google and other major search engines. The more content and Meta tags your web site has, the higher your profile on the web. It’s a very labor intensive and time consuming process, but well worth it.
In the mean time, I will post a series of cartoons sketches side by side the finished cartoon frame as it appears on my blog at mouthville.com. A fun Before and After.
Fred and Ginger arrive at the Mouthville Patent Office at 9:50. Fred likes to get there ten minutes early. They take a number and sit down in the large waiting room to wait for Duke. Fred holds his laptop, folders and other presentation materials to patent his formula.
As you can see, Mouthville has no shortage of aspiring inventors. Mouthvillians sit on either side of Fred and Ginger and behind them. They hold all kinds of strange looking inventions in their laps or attached to their cytoplasm or plasma membranes.
The waiting room represents the diversity of organisms found in Mouthville. After all there are between 500 to 1000 species of microorganisms living in the human mouth. The place is teeming with weird, squiggly and nebulous creatures. One zooid* has a large opening in the top of his head, holding an ice cream cone that he licks with his long tongue. (Says it’s a radical new treatment for brain freeze and the world’s first self-generating ice cream cone.) The man on the other side says he’s just invented the Mucus Jello Mold. “You just have to cough up for the ingredients.”
Ginger surveys the massive room, then turns to Fred. “Well honey, you’re finally here. After all those years of hard work, dedication, long weekends and endless sacrifices, you’re FINALLY here. And I hate to say it, Honey, but you did ALL of the work! What did Duke do? Make sure the donuts didn’t go stale?!?” (rolling her eyes) “Some partner!”
Biting sarcasm, indeed!
“What do you mean?” asks a truly puzzled Fred
*Just a weirder name for an organism
After Fred and Ginger drop off Justin and Katie at school, they head across town to the Mouthville Patent Office. There Fred plans to meet with Duke at 10:00 to patent their secret formula to cure sugar addiction.
As they drive through downtown Mouthville, Fred and Ginger see millions of other Mouthvillians on their way to work. The residents of Mouthville are a diverse bunch, including bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa. And they are very mobile.
Mouthville is a complex microbial community. A metropolis complete with downtown orifice buildings, shopping malls, factories, warehouses, crawling with bacteria and other single-celled micro flora going about their business.
Places where bacteria accumulate are called biofilms. This happens when they adhere themselves to hard and soft tissues of the mouth. If left unchecked, the biofilm harden and turns into plaque. Regular brushing and flossing prevent plaque build up.
Meanwhile Fred and Ginger get ever closer to Fred’s (and Mouthville’s) date with destiny. And Duke.
FRED COLOR “Fred Man Walking” is the second animated clip I have ever done. It’s just a reminder that it is my goal to eventually turn Mouthville into a successful animated children’s TV show. And this is kind of like a first step in that process. The first animated clip I did was the “Ball Bounce” exercise. I will post that one at a later date. It is also accompanied by a clip from a Clifton Chenier song. Lord have mercy!
This post’s clip is a quick study of how Mouthville’s main character Fred Vitis might move about. Animating anything for the first time is like getting a fun but complicated gadget and finally figuring out how to use it. You just can’t put it down. The sound effects on this clip are provided by your’s truly. Just click FRED COLOR and play.
After dropping off Justin at school, Fred and Ginger drop off Katie at Mouthville High, Fred & Ginger’s alma mater. A simmering cauldron of raging teen hormones. Here rumors go viral, literally! Katie’s home room teacher is Malcom Biros. Principal Felicia Incisor goes by the book and brooks no nonsense. Mr. Commodius Lungwart is the head disciplinarian. The name says it all. We will meet them in later posts.
As Mouthville’s largest high school, Mouthville High has an enrollment of around 1.5 billion students, give or take a million on any given day. Just like it’s feeder schools, Mouthville High’s student population is comprised of 500 to 1000 different species of germs and oral bacteria.
Mouthville High in part of the MVUSD, or, the Mouthville Unified School District. The other high schools in the district are Mutation Centennial, Halitosis Dei, Salivary Tech and Mouthville Mollar, a perennial football power.
But MVHS is no slouch on the gridiron, led by All-Periodontal League QB Strepp Petri. Going into his senior campaign, Strepp and the Fighting Cavities will try to wrest the league title away from their cross-town rival, the all-powerful Grinding Molars of Mouthville Mollar High. It should be an exciting year at Mouthville High!
Fred and Ginger Vitis’s youngest
Attends Mouthville Middle School (MVMS)
School mascot- The Fighting Cavities
Teacher: Ectodermia Overbite
Principal: Elias Spitter
Hero: Slug Snottwell, middle slimebacker for the Muccusota Spikethings professional football team
Favorite bands – The Bleeding Gums and The Impacted Molars.
Likes – Skateboarding, tries hard in school but is easily distracted. He will often do his homework with two eyes and watch TV with his third eye. Plays on Mouthville Middle School football team. Also plays soccer and baseball. Specializes in the “spitball”. Likes to draw. Regarded as best ‘drawer’ in his class at MVMS. Collects Loogos, a Lego-like building material made of semi-solid mucus clumps. Tries to have an edge, attitude but sometimes comes off as a dork. Wants to see what’s behind the “pearly whites”, the area outside the safe confines of the human mouth. Developed an ability to morph into the characters of his favorite horror movies, like Alien, much to the chagrin of his sister. He has also taught Barf, the family dog, how to do it. Tries to be the class clown, which leads to showdowns with his teacher, Ectodermia Overbite.
Often does things to prove himself, like try out for the football team. Likes to sneak out to the movies at the Septic Cinemadome with pals T.J. and Drip Hop. Has adversarial relationship with Dukie Bollinger,
Duke’s son. Has a mad crush on Heidi Flossman, the hottest 6th grader in Mouthville Middle School.
Occasionally sleepwalks, with comical results.
Before Fred and Ginger head to the Mouthville Patent Office, they first have to take Justin and Katie to school. Justin gets dropped off first at Mouthville Middle School, the local junior high. Home of “Furious Flora.” Justin’s buddies T.J. and Drip Hop are in the sixth grade. Their teacher is Ms. Ectodermia Overbite. We will meet her in later posts. She has quite a story. Principal Elias Spitter runs a tight ship.
Because there are usually about twenty billion microbes living in our mouth, student enrollment at Mouthville Middle School is about 500 million at any given time. Talk about overcrowding! There are between 500 to 1000 different species or organisms living in our mouth. Mouthville Middle School’s student body, or anti-body reflects this diversity.
This year Justin is going out for the football team. Head Coach Slim Crunchwell rules with an iron fist. He’ll need it. Justin and his 10,000 teammates aren’t just a handful, they’re a MOUTHFUL! Duke Bollinger’s son Dukie, goes to school here too. Everybody knows him as a dookie.
After breakfast, flossing, brushing, packing their book bags and lunches, the Vitis family piles into the family car, their trusty BMMW (Bio Mobility of Mouthville Works), and take off for the Mouthville Patent Office and their date with destiny. But they must first drop Katie and Justin off at school.
In many ways, germs and bacteria in our mouth DO live lives just like their human hosts. Each microorganism, no matter how small, has a specific function in their environment. Like ALL living organisms, they have three basic needs for their survival: Food, Shelter, or a space to live, and Mobility.
Mobility is one of the most important tools for survival. The more mobile a life form is, the better their prospects for survival. Mobility increases their chances of finding food, securing shelter and even finding a mate.
In future posts, we will see how germs and bacteria travel through your body using the circulatory system, which is made up of your heart, blood, blood vessels, lymph veins and lymph glands.
So fasten you seatbelts and stay TOONED!
Although our mouths are home to more than 600 species of bacteria, there are two kinds of bacteria: Good bacteria that help keep our teeth clean and bad bacteria that cause tooth decay. Bacteria digest sugars and starches in foods but also produce acids that dissolve tooth enamel. The Vitises are healthy bacteria because they brush their teeth at least twice a day. Brushing and flossing also promote healthy gums and teeth, which makes for good health in general.
Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft bristled toothbrush.
Hold your toothbrush at an angle and use short back and forth motions.
Brush inside and all the chewing surfaces of your teeth. And brush your tongue.
Rinse your toothbrush with water and air dry. Don’t cover your toothbrush or store in closed containers. This causes the growth of bacteria.
Replace your toothbrush every three months, or when your bristles get frayed.
When you brush, don’t rush!
Break off about eighteen inches of floss. Wrap one end around the middle finger on one hand and wrap the rest around the middle finger of your other hand, leaving about one to two inches to floss with.
Floss one tooth at a time, rubbing the floss against all surfaces of the tooth. Unwind new floss as you move from tooth to tooth. Wax floss is easiest. You can also use a floss holder, an interdental cleaner or a dental pick to clean your teeth.
That will give even Katie Vitis something to smile about!