lol, no better way to put it than that, I suppose
Reminds me of the Bear from The Cleveland Show
That’s right, regulate on him woman! We see who’s the real ‘leader of the pack’!
The glasses are SO cute! And Peanut’s expressions – the disbelief is great.
I think this is the only thing I’ve ever seen where the wild life *isn’t* portrayed as better.
And Lucretia put it oh so elequently.
I know what you mean. I remember a quote from a book called “There’s a Hair in My Dirt!: A Worm’s Story” by Gary Larson, the “Far Side” guy. “Loving nature is different from knowing nature”
Miles and Lucretia? They have such cool names! And I must say Miles looks so erudite in the last panel. Though I have to wonder how they afford the house?
Don’tcha mean eroodite?…..Yeah, I killed it.
and now we must kill you. excuse me while I gather together an angry mob.
Look I already got the pitchforks and torches.
Wait does anyone have a match?
I got a zippo and some pie…
I got a.. lighter, no that’ll never work. Sorry got nothing.
Anyone got hairspray?
I don’t have pitchforks or anything, but I do have a full-tang katana that can slice a melon like it’s made of styrofoam.
I think it can do the same to flesh.
Actually, I think I got some pitchforks in my other pants…
Meanwhile, everyone forgets about the ninja. You know, amoral mercenary over here?
It’s kind of insulting. Professionally.
I have those kitchen knives. Cut through wood like butter they do.
Zekermeme, we didn’t forget the ninjas, we hired some secretly, the way ninjas like to be hired.
I’m all for angry mobbing as long as there’s ice cream afterwards. :O
And, amidst the planning, I escape. Fufufufu
*Throws lasso after* Gotcha ye nasty bugger! There be nay escape to them angry mobbers!
If you look closely, you’ll see he’s wearing *bifocals*. Not only does he look erudite, he seems kind of advanced in dog years….
While I can only guess at his source(s) of income, I’ll point out that renting can be a lot less expensive than buying. Animal *homeowners*, now that’d be something!
Either that, or it’s the whole “wolves have bad eyesight” thing.
Given that this pack would be effectively exchanging their territory in the local wilds for a house, perhaps they sold land rights?
It also could have been as simple as agreeing to let someone else use the land without recourse for a reasonable fee. Possibly a monthly fee… like renting.
By doG, that’s brilliant! A contract including some sort of ‘Inhabitant Consumption Cessation’ agreement. What’s more: Only wild animals could pull that off. Brilliant.
I like her.
Anyone else find “Miles” a strange name for a wolf?
There’s a very well-known fox by that name…
i amgoing to assume you mean Miles ‘Tails’ Prower and not smack you
I’m probably going to smack him anyway.
Don’t bring Sonic characters into a Housepets comments section.
Sorry, but I can’t let you bring up a video game reference without mentioning another.
Lucretia = Sephiroth’s mother in Final Fantasy VII
Ye did it wrong. As a majority knows of FFVII and their characters, ye should have made it “LUCRETIA!”, remindin’ people of Vincent INSTANTLY.
I need to go dust off my PSOne. It’s clearly been to long since I’ve played with it.
I didn’t know, so it woulda been wasted on me, Mega, but now I do know!
Why do I hear Miles speaking with a Russian accent for some reason?
well. that also a way to put it its direct, everybody understands it, and ya know ya just gonna get a long borring conversation with her if you say no.
it kinda feels like either an italien way to speak or Rusian, hmm well i ges we just have to wait and see
… He fits those glasses just as well as Dr. Henry Jones, Jr., PhD..
… You call him Doctor Jones!
But yeah- he looks powerful and epic, yet intelligent.
… Yesterday morning, I had a toasted two-egg sandwich on whole grain bread sprinkled with a bit of shredded cheese and complemented with a thin layer of mayonnaise and surely too much ketchup due to a disagreement I had with the cap.
… Sorry, I needed a scapegoat to keep myself from offering Henry McCoy™ from The X-Men® as a similar point of refer–
The thing that comes up in my mind, how are Miles and Lucretia paying the rent? Perhaps they work for the Ferret family?
Could be a few reasons.
The ferret’s owner clearly made his wishes known about animal/human integration to them, so it’s possible a plan is already in place for ferals wishing to try such things. And a feral could work at a wildlife center, aiding in the recovery of other ferals. Or use, even for the ferrets as a body guard.
I can almost hear the sound of a thousand fur-hots breaking after finding out Miles is taken.
I love how normal Miles is! By normal, I mean… feh! I know what I mean, and that’s all that matters.
Has no one else noted Miles’ incredible ability to increase and decrease the size of his head (er, body) at will?
(panel 2 of this strip, versus panel 4 of the previous one…)
His neck is leaning forward and back, giving the illusion of different sized heads.
Also note that we (the reader) are closer in the last strip than in this one. Compare how big Peanut is in the last strip to this one. We’ve panned out a little which will always cause some disorientation.
Hehe, I like the contrast of a wolf (Thought of being aggressive and savage) being so literate and civil.
And those glasses are really nice
Actually, wolves rarely ever attack humans or even farm animals for that matter. They prefer to hunt and stay as far away from humans as possible.
This is apparently reversed in HousePets.
hummm….civilized wild wolves……err…..oh well at least their both cute!
I want those wolves as neighbors.
So would I, lol
Most of us do.
They’re renting a house???? Were did they got money??? Di they won florida’s lotto??? Have they been guest to deal or no deal??? More mystery in the next episode of REAL FICTION LIFE STORIES!!!!
From panel 2, I’m guessing they have some kind of grant paid set up by the Ferrets or their late owner (whose name escapes me).
The ferrets own the housing division and are billionaires.
Does this make anybody else think of that story “The Dog and the Wolf”?
Lucretia looks cute when she’s mad.I squinted really hard when i noticed her eyelashes.
Now rent a house. Next get a job. And then… become a president?
Now I wonder how other humans will think about what thay though “Pet” would become?
A thied world war – a war between pet and human. (Just kidding ;P)
In this world, the pets would win.
The world of Housepets, that is.
I’d totally agree, the unbearal cuteness, loyalty to one another, and sheer numbers should do the trick
So, wait – am I reading a comic about talking pets, or a comic about anthros AND talking pets, or a comic about nothing?
And, will this relate to the comic from a long time ago, the one where PETA tries to put a domestic dog back into the wild? Will this comic conclude that every animal secretly desires domestication, or will it conclude that ferals like the wild and pets like domestication and that the two worlds are incompatible? And what does “wild and free” mean, anyway?
Will there be any conflict in the arc, or will it faintly resolve itself into nothing like the last one? Will the comic subtly support a certain viewpoint on life, take the Micheal Moore approach and point out a social problem, or will it simply devolve into pure silliness?
Is this comic a serious comic with well-made plotlines, or is it primarily driven by week-to-week jokes that happen to make a story? What is the hook of the comic, anyway? Are the jokes really that funny, or were they better when they presented some sort of deep (or not so deep) thought about life, like back in 2008?
Is the comic going to just keep introducing new characters to the point where none of the characters are that strong or really matter, or is it somehow going to re-focus? Does it even want to refocus? Will it introduce new characters to solve every conflict, like in the previous arc? Or will it start shipping characters off to try to consolidate?
Is this comic even trying to be character driven, or is it just going for whatever joke the author is able to come up with? Does the author have enough time to come up with an amazing storyline and characters, or has a mix of a lack of time and devout loyalty to his readers forced him to aim for the lowest common denominator?
Doesn’t the author realize that certain people will always love him and Housepets, regardless of what he does with the comic? Doesn’t he realize that he has at least two, maybe three great main characters and three decent secondaries, and that the story would be much more satisfying if he kept it to just that? Doesn’t he realize that a story arc needs quality, and that simply adding round 7 of new characters doesn’t do anything? Doesn’t he realize that all the characters except for (maybe) Peanut, Max and Grape have become shallow and annoying?
Or am I completely wrong? Is the comic amazingly good, and I’m simply missing the point? Or does the comic have a couple of flaws, but they aren’t that bad? Or, does the comic have many flaws, but a great premise? Or, is the comic buried underneath a pile of useless characters and arbitrary plotlines and now needs a major overhaul?
Or, even worse, are all these questions misguided? Is the real problem that this no longer feels magical, like in the comic with the griffon? Is the problem that the comic has developed a hook that the author cannot let go of, and that he’s unwilling or unable to let go of the mood that he has developed? Does he have a great hook, with amusing characters and world, but keeps making things worse because he has no general theme to build his plots on?
Does the fact that I want so desperately bad to see this comic become something better mean that, deep down, I love the comic as it is? Or does it mean that I think the comic used to be good, but now it isn’t? Or does it mean that I’m irritated that all the comments focus on the comic’s good art style and subtly humorous dialogue, but none of them ever say “what a good story! I feel like I just went to another world!”? Or does it mean that I shouldn’t read webcomics or attempt to reform something that, to many readers, simply isn’t broken?
Or maybe I just shouldn’t write long, broken thoughts at midnight that no one will read nor respond to, especially not the one person that I wish would read this.
You really got to read the entire thing start to finish to catch a lot of missed things. You brought up some very important points, like a balance between number of characters and how often the characters come into play. This makes or breaks a story. So suddenly introducing at least 2 more characters in this storyline already sets up for the introductory of more.
And we still haven’t learned what happened to the woman peanut was with. Maybe old characters should be built on more before introducing more.
It’s a webcomic, not “The Crying of Lot 47″
Thank you… it’s a webcomic. As many characters as the author wants can be introduced… so long as the desired end result is achieved, and as it has been said before: the author is after the laugh. Quite frankly… rick made me laugh so goal achieved.
Your reading way too much into things. And webcomics tend to have large casts. Take PA for one.
Does every comic have to be based on a dilemma or debate? Does every comic have to give intellectual insight on problems facing today’s world? Does a comic need a purpose beyond sating an Artist’s hunger and a Reader’s entertainment? Does a comic need to sacrifice lighthearted fun for serious problems? Should we force the hand of the Artist towards the liking of the few? Should we force the hand of the Artist towards the liking of the many?
Is a comic, at the lowest denominator, lighthearted yet nothing but trash? Is a serious comic, at the highest numerator, intellectual yet golden?
We can look at many literary masterpieces within the Animated World and draw conenctions. The infamous Looney Toons franchise dealt with far more characters than Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Elmer Fudd. Sylvester, Foghorn, Granny, Tweety, that bulldog who’s name I’m forgetting, Porky Pig, Marvin the Martial, that beagle who’s name I’m also forgetting, the Chicken Hawkling, his mother and father, Yosemite Sam and his dopplegangers. All of these characters had no rhyme or reason beyond that which we first saw. Compare the number of Foghorn Leghorn cartoons to that of Bugs Bunny, and we discover this character is similar to the many characters Rick has added to his franchise: New, random, not expanded on, but enjoyable when present.
A webcomic, or indeed any animated source, needs not to tackle the dilemmas of today’s world. Nor do they require that each character be fleshed out to the Nth degree until such time as it -requires- a new character to maintain the level of interest it had prior. Instead of introducing one character at a time, we get many, and often. You call it sloppy work and impatience. I call it planning for the future. Perhaps the Dog Club will idolize these wolves as their “noble and majestic cousins,” or maybe the local cats will become suspicious and wary. Will these wolves be accepted by all the pets in the neighborhood? Will they be discriminated? Who knows? Maybe these two have a young daughter who grows attached to Peanut, or a son who finds Grape attractive for a domestic feline. Thereby with the simple introduction of two characters (with the word “pack” to indicate more), we are given an endless pool of possibilities with which the Artist may walk freely, choosing when to implement whatever he wants.
In conclusion, is it required for consistency, for all loose ends to be tied before moving on? Life is not so simple as a story arc finishing and ending with no interruptions. In fact, some Arcs don’t end until the very last panel…
Would’ve been shorter just to suggest he recite the MST3K mantra.
“It’s just a show, I should really just relax.”
Yea but then I wouldn’t have been all philosophical and smart-like.
I like being smart-like.
I would totally accept the wolves. But maybe it’s just me.
Does a web-comic really need a detailed arc, though? Can it just go in any particular direction for a while and still be considered as having an “arc”? Perhaps the introduction of so many minor characters is on purpose.
Also, we must consider the factor that this is an entire neighborhood as the setting. Along with other neighborhoods and places. This is in a city, right? Also, there is the farm that appeared for an arc. And the mansion as well. The area is too large to have only a few characters to focus on. It needs several characters from each place.
Then there is the amount of “minor” a character really is. Take Mr. Bigglesworth(s) for example he/they have only shown up in maybe five strips. Possibly a few more. They are very minor characters. And how long has it been since we’ve seen Fox, who even had his own brief arc when he was kidnapped by PETA. The ferrets have not shown up since, nor do they have reason to, as they are holed up in their mansion with all of their shineys. Fido is even a minor character, but is often seen with Spo the mouse. The two have practically become one, in that Spo has begun adopting the habits and actions of Fido. Spo has even begun to change his original character from the sarcastic little heathen he was introduced as to more polite, yet still maintaining his sarcastic nature.
Over all the comic has had a good run. Developing heavily on just a few characters and adding bits and pieces to other, less important ones, while still keeping them holding onto a place in all of our hearts and not losing that humorous quality that most of us love. Rick has done a fine job, letting some characters come in and then “fade into obscurity” as Christopher Paulsen of the comic Precocious (www.precociouscomic.com) would say.
Of course, we are all entitled to our own opinions.
OMG, seriously? You completely missed the point. Even Rick admits that a story can be funny and still have a good theme or message – J.C.’s entire post makes MUCH better sense if you read “Getting People Hooked”.
In case you haven’t read it, Rick basically says that there can be a serious point to a comic, but it can still be hilarious. Examples would be Calvin and Hobbes, Get Fuzzy, Pearls before Swine, and Foxtrot. You can keep the entertainment value and have a good point at the same time. By the way, all of those comics have definite main characters, and a reserved set of secondaries, especially my favorite, Calvin and Hobbes.
On the issue of characters: just LOOK at the cast page for this comic. Rick specifies SIX main characters – about the same amount as many t.v. shows, like House, Burn Notice, and Chuck. But all of those shows have next-to-zero secondary characters, and every episode resolves those character’s stories. Housepets, on the other hand, has TWELVE background characters, all of which are weak and one-dimensional. In fact, let’s face it: most of the main characters, like Tiger, Bino, and Max, are also one-dimensional.
By the way, your Looney Tunes example is pretty bad – there’s a reason that most of those characters had their own show, and I’m sure that at least 5 of those characters never crossed over into another’s show. Each show was focused on one or two characters – this comic doesn’t do that anymore. Nor should it – Looney Tunes is often boring and stupid. And, by the way, this comic has already tried to make two- and three-dimensional characters, which Looney Tunes never did.
The problem here is that none of Rick’s secondary characters have actually resolved anything – they just fade out of the picture for a bit before they come back and say something funny. Rick doesn’t finish anything, and it gets annoying, especially when you’re emotionally attached to the characters. And, if Rick actually finished his story arcs, then the characters would be that much more entertaining – their characterizations would be more complete, and that would make the relationships better.
Even if the comic doesn’t have a theme, it still needs better character relations – that’s what makes a comic stand out. And, it doesn’t matter that it’s just a webcomic – there’s still an expectation that the entertainment should be high quality. If no one ever critiqued anyone else, then nothing would ever improve. You can’t just say “meh, it’s just a comic, no one cares or should care” and walk away. There always needs to be improvement.
So, yeah, J.C. raises good points, and I don’t think you understood what he was saying at all.
Here’s the part of Rick’s post that seemed to apply to this situation the most:
” What I’m saying is that it’s possible to integrate everything and make deep issues palatable to a different sect of readers, and that people from all demographics of readers can get something deep, and not just the readers of ‘literary’ works. (Besides, considering that ‘literary’ in itself is a genre, I sort of doubt that ALL the books that have ever fallen under than header were as profound as they claimed to be, or that even a larger percentage of such are worth reading any more than any genre book)
You design your setting for your audience, and the audience that does not like that setting will not like your hook. But for the audience you do grab, you give them everything they want, and you use it not as ‘the hook’ but as the allegory. You’re trying to convince people of this audience that the deep recesses of the human psyche are worth contemplating.
And nobody is going to get it perfect, certainly. But that doesn’t stop anyone from trying to be the best at making the hook and the meaning mesh. You don’t have to dive from humor to being completely somber. The book Catch-22 balanced it well; it was balanced extremely well. The humor was what kept us pinned, but the humor was all about the hypocrisy, and when it started exploring the more serious ramifications of these problems, we were still following along, because the book assumed that, were we the most jaded people on the planet, we would still be laughing at the cringe-worthy scenes, which continued to poke at the foibles of hypocrisy long after it stopped being funny for the rest of us.
So yes, hook and theme can go hand in hand. How do you do it? That’s the tricky part. The hook you use always depends on the audience you’re reaching, and you’re always going to have more than one ‘hook’ no matter what you declare yours to be. Start looking for the deeper ramifications of what you’re doing. That’s why science fiction writers and readers want to keep digging past the surface of their premise: it doesn’t get really good until you’re using the hook to say something.” ~Rick Griffin
If you had set down and contemplated the post, instead of posting about it as quickly as you could to refute someone’s point, you would see that the style I posted in was satirical. However, as you can see, my satire hooked you in quite well (what a coinkidink?) and resulted in your posting in a quite harsh (given the debate’s goings) response. I dare say you may have overreacted a bit.
Let me refute some points.
1) Characters going into obscurity. This comic has been going on for over a year now. Story arcs happen every month or so, and last anywhere between a week to a month in and of themselves. In between these times are story and slapstick, basically for entertainment. Not every character presented, however, requires a 3-Dimensional facing. Why? Because they aren’t the focus of the story. In Star Wars, the only characters truely fleshed out are the main characters of their respective trilogies. Characters beloved like Wedge Antilles, Horton Salm, Crix Madine, Mon Mothma, Admiral Ackbar, Lando Calrissian… they are integral to the story, but they are not (in the films) Three Dimensional characters. To focus on them would pull away from the story.
That being said, the story of Housepets revolves around the Main Characters: Peanut Butter and Grape Jelly, and loosely included Bino, Fido, and Maxwell. I don’t know about you, by why should Rick try to include characters like Sabrina, or Bigglesworth 1 – 500, Spo, or any of the other ones on a constant weekly basis? And on a more personal note, what do you demand and expect from him? His comic is a year old. Compared to many other story driven comics, that’s rather young. He has MANY comics to continue to construct. That gives PLENTY of time for him to implement and flesh out the other characters more on his own time.
Point 2) My aforementioned post was not saying “it’s a webcomic, just meh.” Many comics deal with many societal issues in the world today. But they don’t deal with them Every Single Minute. The comics are about the stories and adventures of the Characters. If the adventures of Peanut involve seeing this girl randomly show up at his house one day, and then the next week he’s got wolf neighbors, how does that, at all, detract from the story? It’s how his life is going. I’m sure you’ve had one of those times where stuff just kept coming and coming and coming.
Point 3) “Characters resolving anything.” Does every event that comes into your life get resolved immediately? Again this goes to my last point (which again proves you did not read my OWN post, Mr. Hypocrit) in that Story Arcs don’t HAVE to be resolved. They do not come in a linear progression. One “Story Arc” of your life could be highschool. Within that time, you have a story arc of getting new friends, a boy/girlfriend, maybe your first job, maybe your SECOND job, graduation, proms, sporting events. Many of these “arcs” will end before high school is over. Some will continues when it’s over. And some will never resolve for years and years and years.
Point 4) Looney Toons was designed to Entertain. Which is what House Pets is designed for. This isn’t the News. This isn’t CNN, BBC, or PBS. Rick is not here to feed you information with baits and hooks to make you understand some deeper meaning. If he WANTS to, he can. But he is not REQUIRED to.
If you’re going to respond, I’d kindly request a more civil tongue. I will debate. I will NOT argue.
Remember the PETA arc? That one was interesting – it used an almost entirely new cast of characters to construct a fantastic and humorous story. Except… the ending. It was upsetting – this character, the one who was kidnapped by his pets, was just thrown in prison? Was that it? Why did the comic make him so likable, then? It didn’t even resolve in a happy way… just in a joke about a fat guy. Maybe there was nothing else to say… but it didn’t feel satisfying.
Remember the “Fido Returns” arc? Again, very well written – we were introduced to a brand new character, and Bino’s personality really stood out. It was a smooth transition, incorporating humor into the arrival of a brand new character AND at the same time exploring Bino’s insecurities. But… then he went insane and ended up getting hit on the head with a frying pan. It’s like his personality committed suicide. Maybe the comic just didn’t like the direction that character was heading… but, again, it didn’t feel satisfying to watch the arc end so abruptly and comically.
Remember the griffon arc? A brand-new character, out of nowhere, executed with such magical, innocent mastery! It was a truly great moment in the series. It was totally unexpected, and the ending was both mysterious and funny. But, even the comic admits it was a cop-out, but still – in a case where there is no easy way to resolve the plot, it’s forgivable.
Remember the “Adventures of Super-dog”? An AWESOME comic with-in a comic, with interesting characters and a gripping plot line. Peanut even wrote himself into a corner, escalating the stakes but at the same time keeping things humorous. It still hasn’t resolved. But, what about the new character? Will he ruin the series, or make it better? Only time will tell.
And, of course, there are the two perfect arcs: the Christmas arc and the “cat tail” arc. Both had an interesting story-line that kept you guessing, and both utilized every known character in the series, building an elaborate world and keeping the options open. There’s nothing wrong with either of those arcs that I can immediately tell.
Finally, I feel like I should point out the recent “days of our lives” arc that started with Peanut and Grape going to a farm, Peanut facing awkward situations because of his crush on Grape, then Peanut getting his hopes dashed before his eyes, and then… I don’t even know what happened. Apparently, they left the farm (no mention is ever made of this, they just do without ever saying goodbye or even waving), then Grape goes on a date with Max (which is fine, except the problem with Peanut was never really resolved), and then a completely random psychotic character comes from absolutely no-where to resolve the plot, which I think everyone can agree is slightly stupid, arbitrary, and just plain bad writing. Well, actually, apparently no one agrees, because no one really protested her arrival from the depths of… nowhere. For all we know, she’s a hallucination. Then, instead of explaining any of this coherently, the comic jumps through a series of short comics, which would be funny if the last arc actually ended, which it didn’t. The sub-text on the ‘fan letter’ comic even implies that Max and Grape have been together for a while, now – just how far ahead did the comic jump?
And now we have wolves buying a house, which… doesn’t make any sense. Sure, the ferrets got a house, but through very strange means. Can any animal buy a house now? Or just feral ones? Will this arc end abruptly, too, or will it actually resolve?
Or, maybe I shouldn’t respond to someone else’s well-written points in a round-about and convoluted way.
By the way, Matt, I’m not sure I agree with you in any way.
Sure, there are a lot of characters in Housepets, but up until the ‘Ferret’ and ‘Drama/Farm/Date” arcs, all of the characters were utilized effectively and the stories were well-made… except some just faded out without a transition. I still don’t agree, though, that “Rick doesn’t finish anything”; I can only think of two arcs he did not finish definitively, and those are the Griffin arc (which didn’t need finishing) and the PETA arc (which needed finishing, but might’ve drug the comic down if it had finished).
The PETA arc also proved something very important: Grape and Peanut are not needed for a good plotline. On the other hand, the ferret arc made all of the characters seem very shallow – we had Bino the idiot, all of the level-headed friends of Bino, and the eccentric yet super-smart ferrets which didn’t seem very believable. That entire arc felt very “comic-strippy”, in that it was an arc only made to tell a joke, not to tell a story.
Other than the ferrets and Tarot, none of the characters feel like tools more than characters. The ferrets may come back later, they may not – it doesn’t really matter, they did their job. On the other hand, Tarot is now a main character, even though she is only a pyschotic tool to finish a plotline, and that is what motivated me to start asking questions. We already have a brand-new, incredibly important (if ill-contrived) character in the series, and the comic has decided to press forward and introduce two brand-new characters. This seems, to me, like a “round 7 of characters” – this makes Miles and Lucretia “shallow and annoying”, not because of their personalities, but because they are brand-new characters piled on top of another brand-new character. I’m also not sure I agree that they should have the ability to buy a house, but that’s a whole different story (where did they get the money, for example?)
Other things I’m not sure I agree with you on:
1. I think the character relations in the series are great, except for Peanut/Tarot. All of the characters are distinctive and wonderful.
2. You seem to have taken a numerical approach to comic writing, such as “3-d and 2-d characters” which is a very arbitrary line to draw. After all, all of the characters on Housepets have at least 2-D personalities, but that doesn’t necessarily make them good nor bad. Also, the number of characters in a comic matters a lot less than how they are used and how the author presents each one.
3. I agree with Kurastwolf’s response to your post – except for Point Three. On Point Three, I agree that the arcs don’t need to end, but they certainly need to transition more cleanly. For example, in real life, you don’t get a pyschic girlfriend out of nowhere and then suddenly transition to the next ‘plotline’ of your life without even talking about it. You also can’t teleport yourself from a farm to a surburban neighborhood. Otherwise, he seems to have it down.
I hope this made better sense than what I wrote before…
Hey there, I don’t want you to think I’ve been ignoring this section of the comments, so I’ll respond to you here.
I am not exactly sure why you expect either a character to be rounded OR a caricature, and when he’s acting in a typical manner that befits him. However, I am not in a position to ask why this occurs, I have just been watching the ensuing reaction.
Because Housepets is not just an idea, it’s an experiment and a learning process for me. I’m trying to figure out not only what is and is not acceptable, but what limits in planning I can take. In particular, when I started the Farm arc, I was planning on just getting there, and when I did . . . I decided to take it in a completely different direction, on a whim. To see what would happen.
Unfortunately, it was a hit. Not that it was entirely a bad thing, but one of the things I did not want to do was carry on a story arc for more than a season. I wanted to take regular breaks, because I want to do other things.
So the ‘arc’ ended twice, both times awkwardly. First time was an emotional cliffhanger. I thought that was fine, because that sort of thing happens in stories, doesn’t it? Tension goes unresolved, we’re back to status quo. Except that it went farther than it normally did, so much so that people expected a change out of Peanut, which I did not want.
Well I then did the Ferret arc, which was supposed to be wider-scoped, but since everyone was worried about Peanut and Grape, I decided to limit it to three weeks, so I could get back to Peanut and Grape and give them a more proper end. (I AM going to return to it in order to do what I wanted to do, perhaps after the Christmas arc) This ended up being a problem again, since it’s difficult to resolve such a big thing in three weeks, and there wasn’t space enough for characterization.
You can see how this would complicate quickly.
Well, then to the Date arc, which I decided to draw out and tease the audience with. And when I did the panel with Peanut watching ADGTH, I realized, I didn’t have a good way to release the emotional tension. If I ended the arc with Peanut as he was, the exact same thing as the LAST cliffhanger was going to occur, only I’d have a time trying to convince people that he was fine (for now), which I knew full well he wasn’t, because he was still broken-hearted.
And on top of that, I’d been doing this almost all summer. I had to bring someone else into the picture, which I should have given at least a little more explanation for, but it didn’t happen, because I didn’t plan.
What have we learned here kids? PLAN AHEAD, it makes life easier!
To that extent, I have now scripted out this story arc IN FULL (it will last four weeks). I want to use new characters, see, because I always get these neat ideas for interesting things, but the ideas are half-finished, and as a result I have loads and loads of characters, some of who are not minor enough, seem minor, may be major, but in short it confuses people.
I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing. Tarot is going to come back very soon, at least the Christmas arc, along with Sabrina and two other characters you haven’t seen for a while. In fact, I don’t think there’s going to be (technically) any new characters past the wolves for a while as long as everything goes according to plan.
(In addition, the endings of some of my ‘problem arcs’ were experiments in themselves–such as the PETA arc, which was the question: If I tell a darker story with a punchline in every panel, does that mitigate the expectation of more serious themes from then on? The Gryphon arc–is it acceptable to use an ‘it was all just a dream’ sequence in a humor story, even if the audience is ostensibly being led along during it?)
So anyway, yes I agree there was a fracture amid the story during the summer. As you can see, trying to resolve a minor flaw (ending the arc before emotional tension was released) led to a number of problems, and since they spanned almost the entire summer, they became almost indicative of the comic itself. However, I am not worried (I rarely worry!) because every mistake is an opportunity to learn from it. I very much hope to resolve this through better planning in the future, so I would like to thank you for your comments.
This has always irritated me in my literature classes, where we have to read meaning in to every single thing about a story. Like a story can’t just be a story, for enjoyment and entertainment. Everyone has to analyze and expect some deep understanding or comment about the world, because clearly it has to in order to be enjoyed.
Sometimes, a story is just a damn story. If you want to take something from it, it’s your choice, but don’t try and hold a freaking webcomic up to the same standards people use on Shakespeare or other literature classics and then act disappointed.
Even more, it’s irritating when people outside of the story try and dictate to him how the story should be, as if you have absolutely any clue about the story itself and what the creator has in mind. It’s like a child drawing a chalk drawing on the ground, and then another child comes along and criticizes the layout, construction, and symbolism of the chalk drawing and then suggests different colors. Either enjoy the chalk drawing or go draw your own. There’s plenty of sidewalk for everyone.
Wow… I need to show your comment to my AP Lit teacher.
SHE’D TOTALLY AGREE WITH IT!!!
… and would probably hang it on her wall.
I agree. Rick is drawing these for his own enjoyment of Art and Story Telling. Not to grant your every beck, wish, and whim. The fact he has Grape and Peanut dating other people, while many fans want them to date each other, is proof he is not doing this for you and only you (Note: This is not a “you, J.C.” or “you, Mouko.” This is a you as in “you, People.” or “you, Readers.” Please do not assume it is a personal attack. Apologies that English does not have a grammatical equivalent to the spanish “ustedes”).
Rick knows what he’s doing. And he’s going to do it. Regardless of what you demand of him. Because 2 readers who are disgruntled are a bit outweighed by the hundreds who are pleased.
Perhaps some of use enjoy a shifting, changing world in which we always meet new people, whether they stay in our lives for a moment or for forever.
A wide character base such as this is good. And yes, this comic is young. There hasn’t been a lot of time to develop them all, but just because you don’t know everything about your neighbor doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to meet the family that just moved in.
And, just like in real life, some characters and people really are one-dimensional.
Any comic that makes me look up words in the dictionary is a good one.
Hehe, I was just thinking the same thing. It’s nice too brush up on my English.
[Panel 1] *Insert foot here*
Is it just me, or does Miles’ hand look weird in panel 2?
I have to wonder if it’s his sucky life that keeps him that trim. I guess we don’t know – the sucky part could either mean chasing things for food (hence his build) or scavenging scraps from rubbish (which might also explain the bifocals).
his mate? as in buddy or “mate” mate?
Given the “Lucretia” tag, and his lack of using colloquialisms or regional slang so far, I’m guessing it’s the latter.
I’m guessing since the mate in question is a female that she is much more than a friend.
I guess my name of ‘Michael’ was close enough.
Who is better Peanut the dog or Grape the purple cat?
Miles….where do i know that name from?
Down, boy u.u
Sonic the Hedgehog.
(Tails Miles Prower)
good times,good times XD
I’m passing too much time on FA and dA, I can’t recognize a female animal anymore in a comic until I see a pair… Or at least eyelashes XD
Gotta say, I was about to joing the peanut gallery about the “mate” comment until I saw the Lucretia tag.
Really, the sexual dimorphism (how much males and females differ) is almost non-existent for most canines and felines (lions being the only major exception I can think of).
As pointed out in a previous strip, without human-esc or generic tertiary (eyelashes/hair ribbon) sexual characteristics, the animals themselves can’t even tell each others’ gender apart let alone you the reader.
And even with said tertiary features, they kept confusing Grape’s gender…
Not to mention Mr. BIgglesworth(s).
It helps to pay attention to mannerism and size.
I was actually pleasantly surprised that the females weren’t over-humanized or put to human/media standards of recognition in this comic. Very refreshing.
mate? o.o hehe this ought to be good
She should give a seminar.
“How is your day dear?”
“Oh, the usual, living a life of inadequacy by wasting our sentient existence on a pre-stone-age society that only progresses by means of a natural process that takes millions of years.”
A girl of few words I guess.
They say that now … but just you wait ’til they have to start paying taxes for schools they’re not allowed to attend. Then we’ll see how sucky their life becomes!
Evey hear of the story of Little Red Riding Hood? The wolves make their money “babysitting”. So Peanut and Grape may be getting a new babysitter….
Anyone else wondering where he got prescription reading glasses and a book…?
The local waste dump?
Hah! More or less the standpoint I’d expect from this comic after what it did to PETA and their ilk, but of course quite entertaining.
For whatever reason, I find myself unable to figure out how to reply to a news post rather than to a comic (or maybe it’s just too old), so I hope I can be forgiven if I leave a message here regarding the “Getting People Hooked” spiel, which I finally read. I have to say, it was very refreshing to read comments that echo my own thoughts on the “literary” community, such as it is. It’s one of the things that makes me apprehensive about becoming an English major–I like analysis and such, and when I write I always try to, if not necessarily have point I’m making, then to explore a topic like, say, the conflicts that arise between thought and emotion. However, I’ve never felt like stories that are all theme without trying to make themselves entertaining were particularly good. For that you can read a discourse on psychology/philosophy/whatever the point is.
Now, admittedly, I did hear a very interesting lecture the other day, by the author of “Proust Was a Neuroscientist,” where he basically cast art as the way of exploring the human psyche in a way people understand (“The Future of Science is Art” was the title of the lecture). That is, neuroscience can only break the brain down into its components and analyze how they work, but that isn’t how people actually view the world–which is, simply put, why we have art. So to be fair, I suppose I can’t say that you may as well read/write philosophical treatises than stories that are more interested in what they’re saying than in saying it in an entertaining way.
Still, I find that a lot of works that try very hard to be literary end up being unsatisfying in some way, be it an inconclusive plot, unappealing characters, or what have you. Part of it is probably that I’m inclined to try and predict/mentally write the end of a story as I’m reading it, and then the author does something else that I find less appealing, but still. The one exception I might cite would be, say, Crime and Punishment. That book makes you miserable when you first read it because it’s just so consistently intense–but looking back on it you tend to see it as a really great book, because that intense, dark mood just suits it so well.
At any rate, I think I’ve gotten slightly off track here. I feel that books, or comics, or really any form of art at all, have to be entertainment, and if they even devote themselves to being such, that’s not such a crime. Because there are certainly all kinds of reasons why adults read, but what gets people interested in reading in the first place is that element of escapism, or imagination, or empathy they feel with characters, or whatever. And I feel like that enthusiasm for a good -story- is something that gets overlooked when you start talking endlessly about symbolism, theme, and those other “literary” terms. Which is a shame, because storytelling is something that’s very much a part of human nature, and it’s something that I think should be cherished, at least as much as the idea of using a story as a means of teaching. Even then, I find it kind of unfortunate that there’s a line of thought that says that, somehow, giving people something to smile at, or laugh at, or something that can take their minds off their troubles, is less significant than trying to force your idea of what they should be thinking about down their throats.
Anyway, I just wanted to say that it was nice to hear someone else reflect my thoughts on the subject, as a fellow writer of tl;dr posts whenever writing comes up (well, in general, actually, but writing is a subject that really sets me off). Sorry to be posting this in the wrong place, and also in a place where I’m not sure the intended recipient will see it. But hey, maybe I’ll get a few more people who skipped the original post to read it [/hopeless optimism].
Hey, I like it! I have actually thought something along these lines before but I never heard those lectures or that book, and it seems like the sort of thing I’d attach to very quickly. It sort of reminds me of the part if C.S. Lewis’s Pilgrim’s Regress, where it’s presented that the insides of a human are just organs. Except we’re more than just a bag of organs, and the organs are not who we are: being hungry, for instance, is not the chemical reaction, it’s the feeling we get.
Anyway, it’s of major interest to me, cause I’ve had it in mind for a long while that I’ve wanted to write a book on writing, though I figure it’ll still be some decades in coming. Have to learn all that I can first!
AGH! To long to read.
*goes into coma*
I like comics as i like games. they are both entertaining in their own rights.
i wish i could write a long essay at the moment, but the best way to sum up what i’m thinking when i see a comic entertaining is in the form it brings us.
Housepets in my opinion brings continuity, enjoyable characters (in the form of semi-life-like pets, of course), and it’s own little world (Babylon Garden). with that being said, it’s all about how the artist/writer finds his views and tries to communicate it to the viewers that determines good writing, and good writing is something that usually requires an imaginative experience. afterall, and that’s where i think most basic forms of any sort of writing requires, is some imaginative experience! *showers Rick with random animals!*
What do you think of HousePetsComic.com?
*Sigh* I’m gonna get my head chewed for this, I’m sure of it.
1.It’s a fairly decent comic, very worth going through from beginning to current.
2.It has a very Garfield, Get Fuzzy, and anime-ish feel to it. (that’s just my opinion people).
3.The characters are well written and dynamic
4.Um…itza cool comic. Read it.
That’s it, I’m brain-dead now. It’s too late in the evening.
Wait, did you just mean the website?
It runs well, and doesn’t glitch. That’s my idea of a good website.
Is that a comment?
In my opinion (assuming you weren’t asking for that of Mr. Griffin), Miss Girl (above) sounded my thoughts nicely in points 1, 2 and 4, and in the post-note.
I recommend it!
That would be points 1, 3 and 4. I’m so comically deprived!
… Pun not intended, but… functional? Hm.
0.0… HIS NAME IS MILES! *Jumps around gleefully* He’s instantly more awesome in my mind now :3
Ah Miles they go on for ever and ever and ever…..
Yes…. Miles. Even more awesome Miles’s in my world now. (chalks him up on the same list as Miles Davis and Miles Prower)
Nice comic! Check out mine http://www.gentoos.com
Stop self-promoting yourself!
A Pack? …So there are more Wolfies?
*big grin, with starry-eyes*
Also, love the way Miles speaks! :3
Perhaps there is a single female out there?
*hides in a shady corner waiting for single female wolf to show up*
I call second
Miles is taken, and was already claimed last panel.
I CALL DIBS ON THE NEXT NON-TAKEN, NOT-CLAIMED MALE PACK-MEMBER
*hides in another shady corner*
I could be waiting for awhile.
Also, just noticed Lucretia’s blue eyes.
You guys are nuts. Be sure to stay away from my own children, if you could please, thank ya. We try to take care of our “pups” as best we can without people glomping them.
By my count, that would seem to leave only one more suitable corner. (Unfortunately, the fourth is marginally well-lit.)
Get it while it’s hot!
Mwa ha ha, I will wait in a corner on the celing for the next available female.
*waits for hours befor passing out from the blood rushing to his head*
*Pokes you with a stick* yep totally out of it… TIME FOR FACE DRAWING!!! *Scribles and insanely wired yet obnociously funny face*
Lucien? I… I’m going to hate myself for suggesting this, but… do a transmutation circle, too! Give that rascally lucario a funny face! Do it!
He’s totally whipped
…huh, the feral’s seem to be much more intelligent than what we would expect, or at least what I imagined.
Well at least its nice of those ferrets to make such programs… although I wonder how/what the heck those wolves are going to pay for rent!
Ferals are actually much smarter than even humans are. In a survival in nature thing, of course. Wild wolves could outlast an unarmed human easily.
Well, Duh, Wolves are much better equipped than humans.
I feel obligated to argue. Unless they carry additional intellect in their fangs, claws, and impressive muscle mass? If that is the case, then sure: You must be right.
There is a uncertain amount of logic in survival and navigation, and an uncertain amount of strategy in a successful hunt, but if thoughts like those of these wolves is unusual (Peanut seems to think so), there may actually be another element at work here. One possible cause being that book. Reading regularly… is proven to increase cognition as well as comprehension. How long would it take for any given intelligent, ‘wild’ animal to begin thinking wilderness=bad/civilization=good?
I mean, from the outside, it probably seems like suburban humanity has done really well for itself! That turkey you and your pal chased down? Boom– two of them in the meat section: pre-slain, pre-plucked, and guaranteed void of nasty plague for a note or three. Apply directly to teeth.
LOL, look at miles’ face in the last panel, it looks like he’s thinking, “Well…now that you mention it”, lol Rick you’re just too funny. XD
Wolves in the neighborhood. Either the smaller dogs and cats will disappear or the human neighborhood kids will find the bigger canines more fun to play with and the local dogs will all get jealous.
why is that Grey wolf with the glasses reading a yellow book?
Why do you keep asking these random questions?
Paying attention to the comic would answer that.
Because such a loud color provides balance to his naturally vapid shades of gray?
Wow – Miles’ wife is officially AWESOME. And I like all of your characters’ expressions. Very nice.
His face in the last panel has the “You know what… your right.” look
WARNING: Awsome Character Alert
Seconded. Big time.
xD thats not a banana silly, thats a book… though I wont be surprised if they did o.o
Hey, even wolves need potassium. I doubt they’d like bananas much, though.
Time to take your vitamins!
And the wolfy has a name!! I’m so happy it’s Miles. That name is amazing. <3
And he wears glasses?! =D
How’d he get a book?
Or the money to rent a house?!
Did I nail it, or did I nail it?
if their feral how they have money?
and dose he mean pack mate?
tho their all cute.
nah by mate he meant mate. Thats his alpha female. His “wife” for all intents and purposes.
LOL! I love it..
The wisdom of the Wild!
Oh no he’s naked! . . . wait
Ooh She’s kinda pretty.
Well this is a nice change of pace. I really like the anatomy as well. Good job.
i wonder what that Grey wolf is talking about?
Lucretia isn’t just kinda pretty, she’s AWOOOOOO pretty. Well done. Bit of an hourglass figure and clearly more hips than Miles but the same hint of lats- if she’s upright and walking around, people are gonna freak out a bit
Always the tease- it’s become part of the chemistry of Housepets. You don’t have to join the dark side, you hint at it so well
Hmm, Miles said he and his pack, so I wonder how many wolves are in the pack? And how big is the house that they’re renting?
I think Lucretia could use some eyelashes
I drew some, they just didn’t come out strong enough. I’ll probably draw them a bit stronger next time.
I think it looks fine, but then again that’s just me
Wolves are the best ^^ Go woofies Also… is that left wolf in the last panel a female or a male?
female…. quite obviously with what Miles said on the previous panel
He said “mate”, which is gender ambiguous. But yeah, Lucretia sounds like a feminine name to me, so… I’m going to go with that assumption. That, and Lucretia seems to have a feminine figure.
Dude, they’re wolves, there’s no ambiguity.
lmao, love his glasses and book ;P
Heh, I think Miles might honestly be my new favorite character in this comic.
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