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Pigs are people, too: Animal abuse, haters and worldly woes quashed in debut cartoon video by two Tucsonans

Tucson talent rocks. Evidence includes funky trash cans on Fourth Avenue, mosaics on highway overpasses and now an animated music video produced by Tucson’s own Eric Heithaus with art by yours truly, Ryn Gargulinski.

Please enjoy watching “Everyone I Know Needs Love” as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Main character Dollie is a cartoon I drew years ago, inspired by Quint’s line in “Jaws” about a shark’s eyes being like a doll’s eyes.* Doggy is my standard dog image that resembles my dog Phoebe yet also works to embody every dog in the world.

Dollie and Doggy/Art Ryn Gargulinski

This is my first illustrated animation project and one on a long list of Eric’s successful music – and other – productions.

The only other time my artwork has moved around on its own was during a horrific nightmare where all creatures in my house and backyard started attacking me.

It is much more pleasant when such critters are captured in a little box on the screen.

Thanks! Eric for working with me and coming up with this idea while vacationing on a San Diego beach. The video, all told and in between day jobs, took about a year to complete.

I’m posting the full press release that goes with the video below, which gives you more on the story and where we’re both coming from.

P.S. If you cannot tell from the video, we are both avid animal lovers. The partnership mentioned at the beginning of the clip, “Sawyer and Mr. Angel Association,” is named after our dogs.



Animal abuse, haters and worldly woes quashed in debut cartoon video

Animal abuse leads to people abuse – we don’t need a rocket scientist to tell us that. We don’t need a rocket scientist to come up with a way to stop it, either. We just need a wacky artist working with a creative music video producer to come up with a funky, fanciful story of two cartoon characters bent on saving the world.

Oh, yeah – we also need a bomb.

The story

Haters are everywhere – and our heroic cartoon duo of Dollie and Doggie make it their mission to stop it. The sweet team starts off thrown in a garbage can, from whence they scamper only to witness a litany of animal abuses. Horses pureed to pulp in a glue factory. Pigs slaughtered for sausage. A puppy mill. The animal abuse works as an analogy for the people abuse, maltreatment and general hatred that saturates the world at large. The video’s song, “Everyone I Know Needs Love,” offers a hint of the solution in store.

The cartoon video collaboration

Dollie and Doggie star in the video, a project born from the twisted collaboration between two Tucsonans. Producer Eric Heithaus worked on the music and animation end of the project. He produced the catchy “Everyone I Know Needs Love” song with pianist Sly Slipetsky and vocalist Angel Diamond, as well as toiled long hours making a stuffed pig fly. Artist Ryn Gargulinski worked equally as hard creating a cast of cartoon characters that always seem to look like they just got hit by a truck. We think it must be one of her trademarks.

The producer

Tucsonans Eric Heithaus and his wife, Amy, are the masterminds behind Heithaus Productions. While their company has produced everything from documentaries to news and features, it is now focusing on music videos. Eric’s music video production tops competitors as he not only produces the video portion, but he’s a talented music producer. His successes include Tucson’s colorful and creative street musician Black Man Clay, vocalist Laura Ward and his band Children of Gods. More at

The artist

Ryn Gargulinski, Tucson resident, Michigan native and longtime New Yorker, has her own list of successes and talents. Writing and art have long topped the list, but this video marks her premiere animated project. Other credits include two illustrated humor books: “Bony Yoga” and “Rats Incredible,” both published by Conari, dozens of news and feature articles, a weekly column and myriad artwork published in a variety of newspapers and journals from New York City to India. Her current gigs include writing four blogs for and her art business of RYNdustries. More at and

WATCH the video on YouTube at at  Heithaus Productions at or on Rynski’s Blogski.

Contact producer Eric Heithaus at and Ryn at

*Quint’s doll’s eyes quote: “And, you know, the thing about a shark… he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be living… until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then… ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin’. The ocean turns red, and despite all the poundin’ and the hollerin’, they all come in and they… rip you to pieces.”


What do you think?

Are you a fan of music videos? Of cartoons?

Is is just me or are today’s cartoons quite lame compared to the cool ones we used to get?

P.S. A cashier at Best Buy yesterday looked confused when I mentioned “The Flintstones.”

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What we can learn from a homeless guy

The red sheath of fabric stuck to the chain link fence probably looked like trash to most folks. But not to Tucsonan Rick Falco.

Falco spots the red fabric on fence/Ryn Gargulinski
Falco spots the red fabric on fence/Ryn Gargulinski

Falco, 53, was riding by on his bicycle when he spotted the fabric next to the train tracks near Ruthrauff Road. He picked it up, examined it, then folded it neatly for his bike basket.

He said it was a chair back or something and that it might come in handy. You never know – a lot of things have come in handy since he’s been homeless for the past five years.

Although we only spoke for about seven minutes while I was off the train at a break during my Union Pacific ride-along, that was enough time for Falco to share some quick lessons.

Like where to panhandle. If done right, panhandling can make for some lucrative earnings. The most he’s made was $27 in 20 minutes, which comes to a rate of $81 per hour.

Nice. That’s right up there with lawyers, dentists and veterinarians.

Of course, the money is not always as consistent. Earnings depend on where you go, who you meet and the general public’s general mood of the day.

Some days folks are just generous while other days all they do is scowl. Collecting cans makes a good backup plan. People in cars are generally more generous than people walking the streets.

Tucsonan Rick Falco has been homeless for five years/Ryn Gargulinski
Tucsonan Rick Falco has been homeless for five years/Ryn Gargulinski

The $81-per-hour spot was a frontage road near Fort Lowell Road, Falco said, with frontage roads making some ideal spots.

You want to pick one with a red light, of course, as you’ll have a better chance at some cash if the drivers are actually stopped. Not many motorists are likely to slow down, pull over and dig through their purse or wallet just hand someone a buck or some loose change.

The frontage roads are also one-streets, a must when it comes to checking for oncoming cops that will inevitably chase you away. Two way streets or larger intersections make it easy for police to sneak up and around at a variety of angles.

Once the cops nab you, Falco says panhandlers go directly to jail. Well, at least he did when he was busted for it. It didn’t help he had an outstanding warrant for not attending court-mandated alcohol counseling for a pervious DUI.

He said the DUI counseling was something like $500, which he never had the money to pay so he never went. That would be a heck of a lot of panhandling hours, even on the Fort Lowell frontage road. He no longer has a car.

The court situation has since been cleared up, but Falco still knows how to watch his back. Cops are not the No. 1 threat for homeless folks, however. Falco said that honor goes to fellow homeless folks. They are the ones most likely to steal all your stuff.

The most Falco has made panhandling was $27 in 20 minutes/Ryn Gargulinski
The most Falco has made panhandling was $27 in 20 minutes/Ryn Gargulinski

Falco wouldn’t tell us where he has his things hidden – since that would just be stupid – but he did mention he had some dandy items like a TV and some other electronics left over from when he did have a home.

Jobs simply dried up for this long-experienced landscaper. Then he was thrown in jail for the DUI, his cat got bitten by a rattlesnake and died, and he now lives on the streets collecting spare change and cans.

Here comes the biggest lesson of all – this guy is still upbeat. Rather than pining for what he doesn’t have, he focused on what he did have.

“It’s pretty good out here for being homeless,” he said of Tucson. He’s been in Old Pueblo for 30 years and shudders at the thought of being homeless in his native New Jersey.

Falco was riding a working manual bicycle and had a gas-powered one stashed somewhere, probably near his TV. He eats regularly, knows where to make money and finds places to sleep where he doesn’t get beaten, robbed or murdered.

Oh, and don’t forget he got some new red fabric from the fence. Sometimes small things can make us happy – one more simple, yet important lesson.


Tucsonan Rick Falco knows the best places to panhandle/Ryn Gargulinski
Tucsonan Rick Falco knows the best places to panhandle/Ryn Gargulinski


Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and Ryngmaster who was never any good at panhandling. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. Her art, writing and more is at and E-mail


What do you think?

What lessons have you learned from unlikely people or places?

What’s your take on homeless people? Are you scared of them?

Do you hate them? Do you love them? Are you sad?