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Character Dossiers 
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Next up in the dossier parade we have Rex - with a sideline in Jasper and Jinx.

1) First appearance. Rex is apparently a cartoon bulldog, has a skull for a tag, wears a spiked collar, is apparently either angry, frowning, or embarrased, and is apparently upset that Grape is not playing "The Game".
Inference: Rex may have had troublesome experiences with one or more cats who are breaking rules.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/2 ... annot-win/

2) This strip lists "neighbor dogs", but doesn't identify any except Bino.
Inference: Rex is probably still with Bino, since he was there last strip. Therefore Rex is probably one of the “neighbor dogs”, and thus lives quite near the Sandwiches.
Inference: Rex is more loyal to Bino than sensible since no sensible person would let Bino have a chainsaw.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/2 ... no-escape/

3) Rex again appears as part of Bino's clique. Evidently he has bad taste or is extremely loyal.
4) Either the embarrassed/angry/frown strip across Rex's eyes is a permanent feature, or he is embarrassed by Peanuts drawing of a dog with a cats tail. It's hard to say; he might even have liked it; Joey shows similar indications in later strips.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/1 ... n-ostrich/

5) Rex agrees with Bino that Peanut is probably a cat lover. He may or may not believe that that's a serious issue; he doesn't say anything further.
6) Rex continues to hang around with Bino, despite Bino’s evident irrationality.
Inference: Rex, like many of the other dogs, is extremely loyal to his friends, whether or not they’re really worthy of that loyalty.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/1 ... ne-either/

7) Rex appears at the Good Ol Dogs Club.
Inference: Given that there’s nothing going on to upset him, It looks like the coloring across his face is simply frown-wrinkles.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/2 ... yal-order/

8) Rex had a brick ready to knock Bino out with.
Inference: Rex realizes that Bino is subject to bouts of complete insanity, and is ready to deal with them - and STILL sticks by him. That probably is the kind of loyalty that Bino wants - or at least is the kind that he needs as well as the only kind that he can keep.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/2 ... nel-klink/

9) Rex is baking Christmas cookies and singing a Christmas song with numerous traditional references.
Inference: Rex does a fair amount of cooking, since he has oven gloves that fit and an apron that fits.
10) Rex's reputation among the other does not match his personality. It's presumably founded strictly on superficial appearances.
Inference: Rex probably lets Bino do most of the talking. He may be the taciturn type.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/1 ... on-of-all/

11) Rex gives his (unnamed) owner a watch.
Inference: Rex's owner wanted a guard dog to watch his house. Ergo, he’s probably out a lot.
Inference: Rex’s owner may have expected Rex to be fairly aggressive. Given than random aggression in canines often springs from insecurity and nervousness, I’d guess that Rex - like many real-world large dogs - has little use for either of those qualities.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/2 ... s-edition/

12) Rex is willing to admit that he likes the Pridelands series, even if this does conflict with the impression Bino is trying to produce.
Inference: Rex is literate, honest, and self-confident enough to not worry much about the opinions of the other dogs. Alternatively, Rex is well aware that Bino can’t afford to alienate his few good friends, and will just have to put up with his (Rex’s) opinions regardless.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/04/0 ... ronically/

13) Rex is at the dog park, apparently playing frisbee with Fido.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/0 ... character/

14) Rex is apparently still hanging around with Bino.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/2 ... mpetition/

15) Rex was apparently supposed to be hanging onto Bino or nearby to rescue him from his folly.
Inference: Presuming that Bino actually told Rex that he was supposed to be ready to grab him (a large if), Rex either forgot, was distracted, or didn't make it in time.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/0 ... somewhere/

16) Rex is at the Good Ol Dogs Club Christmas Party - and is still hanging around with Bino.
17) Rex appears to be taken aback by King's tirade; his otherwise semi-permanent frown line is gone.
Inference: Rex is either dim enough not to realize that having a bomb detonated in your face is a reason to lose your temper OR is empathic enough to realize that King has some larger problem underlying the scale of the explosion. Given that Rex could probably have kept Fox and Bino apart, and yet Fox evidently inflicted some injuries on Bino without suffering any himself, I'd guess the latter.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/2 ... hed-socks/

18) From the Cast Page Rex is strong and somewhat lacking in brains, but “makes up for it in his uncanny ability to taste minute differences in coffee blends”.
Inference: Rex being a cartoon bulldog vaguely suggests a connection with Jasper and Jinx (on whom we have virtually nothing except the "Tom and Jerry Homage Theme"). Ergo, I'll go with that. What we have on Jasper and Jinx doesn’t really add much though, since it’s pretty sparse:

1) Jasper first appears here, where it's established that he's the silent type, but occasionally speaks in quotes from forgotten television programs.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/2 ... more-cats/

2) Jinx appears here (and only here).
3) Jasper appears here, speaking in quotes ("Now you set my soul on fire") to "Girlfriend Cat", and with Jinx giving him a hotfoot.
Inference: Jasper and Jinx are probaby homages to the early Tom and Jerry cartoons - especially likely since Tom and Jerry first appeared under those names and the alt-text tend to support the idea.
Inference: "Girlfriend Cat" looks like Tom's perpetual love-interest, Toodles Galore, and is probably another homage.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/2 ... e-corners/

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For some hypothetical and near-baseless (except in presuming that the group is indeed a Tom and Jerry homage) backstory for Rex, Jasper, and Jinx, we have...

Rex belongs to Mr Bera Ising, while Jasper belongs to his somewhat overweight and politically-incorrect wife Anna (maiden name Tshoe). The Isings own and manage a cleaning and landscaping service - which gets a lot of work considering the things the pets get up to in Babylon Gardens. Jinx belongs to their young son (which is why he can harass Jasper without being eaten and even dares to show up at a "restaurant" that primarly caters to cats; there is a family link with Jasper and some pet-to-pet courtesy to help him out with the other cats).
Since his owners are so busy - entrepreneurs tend to work long hours - the house is left to the pets a lot (one reason why Mr Ising wanted a good watchdog), and Rex manages a lot of the household chores, including a good deal of the cooking. Jasper and Jinx tend to get bored while Anna is at work and the kids are at school, and so spend a good deal of time watching television (one reason that Jasper, when he speaks, mostly speaks in quotes from old television programs) and harassing each other - occasionally interrupting Rex's tasks, and being slapped down for it.
The Ising’s moved into Babylon Gardens fairly early on, making Rex one of Bino’s oldest friends - in part, simply because there weren’t all that many other dogs around at the time. Thanks to his strong loyalty and sense of duty, Rex has stuck with Bino over the ensuing years - which has prevented many of the younger pets and more recent arrivals from really getting acquainted with him, leaving them to judge Rex on his general appearance, spiked collar, and skull tag. (Having Rex looming behind him has actually been a good deal of help to Bino; it’s helped protect him from the obvious consequences of some of his behavior). Jasper is somewhat younger, and was adopted later than Rex, and has been happy to leave most of the household chores to him - although he will sometimes pitch in to clean things up in a hurry before the Isings get home if he and Jinx have caused some sort of disaster, which is all too common when they start chasing each other around the house.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Responses:

Ah, a sleeping bag or large pad is an excellent idea. I was trying to fit it in with the other toys, but the wolves are new to houses - so it seems reasonable that the pack is simply treating the “kids room” as a multipurpose den for them. Ergo, something to sleep on. If the cubs are anything like the litters of Great Pyrenees pups I used to raise, they’ll all like to cuddle up and sleep together anyway.

Once I finish up the final sets of dossiers, I’ll go back through and edit the various suggestions in.

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Character Dossiers


Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:34 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
I didn't realise you'd already done Daisy.
Not like there's much to do.

But anyway. She's a reference to, well, Princess Daisy.

Just so you know.
If you didn't figure it out already.

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Thoth wrote:
Rex belongs to Mr Bera Ising, while Jasper belongs to his somewhat overweight and politically-incorrect wife Anna (maiden name Tshoe).

Did you just make up the name "Ising"? Or is it supposed to be a reference to something in Housepets or something like the several owners of Tom & Jerry?* If it is a reference, I'm not getting it.

*Owners of Tom and Jerry that I remember:
  • Mammy Two Shoes (very strong, temperamental, fat, african-american woman) and the women that replace her
  • Ma and Pop (A thin, white couple, the man always seems to smoke a pipe and wear a black fedora hat)
  • Fat man (a traditional caricature used by Gene Ditch and Chuck Jones)
  • the little girl (a young girl who tries to make Tom play "baby" and drink from a baby bottle) Though I understand you leaving her out since girls usually don't like mice

Also, I know you're trying to reference Mammy Two Shoes with Anna Tshoe, but the way you wrote it seems to imply that she's foul-mouthed, rather than having her be the center/subject/victim of a controversy.

Thoth wrote:
The Isings own and manage a cleaning and landscaping service - which gets a lot of work considering the things the pets get up to in Babylon Gardens.

Would these be the landscapers arranging the ferrets' "shiny things"? [July 22, 2009]

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Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:57 am
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
'Politically incorrect' for a woman means 'not a feminist' to most people.

The first T&J short was produced by Rudolph Ising, and the series was made by Hanna and Barbera.

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Next up is the dossier for the Arbelt Pets - Tiger, Zachary, and Marvin.

1) Tiger is first mentioned - along with the information that "you all" (apparently the local dogs, including Peanut) made fun of Tiger because of his name.
2) Grape feels that Tiger has "crippling emotional problems", and accepts this as a simple fact.
Inference: Tiger’s problems are probably blatantly obvious to everyone who interacts with him.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/0 ... a-nowhere/

3) Marvin and Tiger's first actual appearance.
4) Tiger has evidently been teased about his name to the point where he tolerates it briefly and then snaps.
Inference: Tiger does indeed have major emotional issues. This may be complicated by the fact that the cats don't seem to tease him, and thus he apparently winds up in their company by default.
5) Marvin turns up to restrain Tiger.
Inference: It looks like Marvin is used to having to restrain Tiger. Marvin is probably Tigers pet-sibling, and both cares about him and spends a lot of time in his company.
Note: I get the impression that Marvin is older than Tiger. Given that this would certainly have made it easier for Marvin to build up a habit of restraining Tiger, it seems reasonable enough.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/1 ... s-over-it/

6) Marvin is trailing along as Maxwell spies on the Good Ol Dogs Club.
7) Marvin is apparently only loosely familiar with the functions of the Good Ol Dogs Club.
Inference: Tiger does not normally attend meetings of the Good Ol Dogs Club. He may not be a member or he may just opt to avoid teasing by avoiding attendance.
Inference: Marvin may be interested in the Good Ol Dogs Club on Tiger’s behalf.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/2 ... dog-thing/

8) Tiger has eaten multiple pizzas before dinner. Evidently his problems include both depression and eating when depressed - as well as talking to stuffed toys.
9) Tiger and Marvin are owned by Jerry Arbelt.
Inference: We have some homages here, most notably Jon Arbuckle and the cast page’s noting Tiger as being “sort of like a mix between Garfield and Heathcliff”.
10) Marvin does a lot of looking after Tiger.
Inference: Given that Marvin is a cat, he's either pretty nice in general or Tiger is seriously pathetic, or both. This may not be that uncommon a pattern in the Housepets universe though; the cats seem to be more independent, and thus may often wind up managing the dogs, who seem to tend to be more group-oriented.
11) Jerry Arbelt seems to be known as "Jerry" to his pets, rather than "Dad". That may mean that he treats them less as kids, it may mean that they've had prior owners, or he may just prefer it that way.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/1 ... re-at-all/

12) Grape has heard of Marvin, most likely through Bino or in reference to Tiger.
Inference: Marvin is busy - possibly in keeping an eye on Tiger - and doesn’t get out much.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/12/so-thats-a-no/

13) Zachary arrives, as a present to Jerry from Aunt Claire. Marvin seems slightly nonplused. Tiger immediately adds "paranoia" to his list of problems (or, more likely, simply reveals another problem).
Inference: Marvin may well have reason to be nonplused. Giving someone a pet in real life is a bit presumptive. In the Housepets universe it’s a bit more like “Oh! By the way, I signed you up as a foster parent!”.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/2 ... s-edition/

14) Tiger continues to develop and expand upon his paranoia.
15) Zachary, as a rabbit, is - sensibly - frightened of the lunatic predator, even if it is a fellow pet.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/0 ... rojecting/

16) Zachary consults Marvin about being scared of Tiger.
17) Marvin is apparently pretty nice, and tries to be comforting while still making excuses for Tiger.
18) Tiger has gone bipolar, and now declares Zachary to be an awesome friend. This is just as scary for Zachary (probably because it confirms that Tiger is both crazy and prone to wild mood swings), and even Marvin can't come up with any more excuses at the moment.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/04/0 ... are-funny/

19) Tiger attempts to ship a rude puppy - belonging to the same aunt who gave Jerry Zachary - to the U.A.E.
Inference: Tiger goes beyond "troubled" to the point of "irrational". At least he does seem relatively accepting of the small puppy until it calls him a kitty; he's not entirely lost to sanity.
Inference: Tiger does not have several hundred dollars to spend.
Note: Even the pups make fun of Tiger. Given canine pack-orientation, it’s no wonder he's out of his mind.
Note: Pap is either too young for a collar and tag, not yet licensed as a pet, or simply isn't wearing one at the moment - possibly due to being kept inside as of yet.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/06/0 ... -children/

20) Tiger has been taken to the park. Sadly, Zachary is now so nervous and cautious that he can be panicked by Tiger even when Tiger is not at home.
Note: Marvin gives me the impression that he would like to help Zachary out, but that he has no idea of what to do.
Note: “Timid” and “nervous” probably go with being a rabbit.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/0 ... nus-tiger/

21) Tiger and Marvin recognize that they're not actually developing much - and promptly lampshade it.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/0 ... ever-ends/

22) Zachary is feeling extremely depressed - and is also noting that Tiger really hasn't developed much.
23) Zachary is feeling unnoticeable, and isn't noticed by the Raccoon at first either.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/0 ... reciation/

Note: The raccoons are nervous enough to be scared of Zachary. This is also rather sad, even if it’s on the presumption that he might be armed or have allies on call.
Inference: The ferals have good reason to be wary of humans and their pets - probably going beyond the raccoons previous encounter with Grape.
24) Zachary is extremely lonely - enough so as to disregard the fact that ferals can be quite dangerous.
25) Zachary has apparently never really left human custody, and lacks sufficient social connections to gather information about life "outside the house" indirectly.
Inference: Zachary is finding his life sufficiently depressing to be interested in alternatives.
26) Tiger routinely misbehaves in a variety of ways.
Inference: Jerry has a lot of patience, and may regard Tiger as being less mature than Marvin.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/0 ... bad-bunny/

27) Tiger is still indulging his eating disorder - and Jerry still hasn't locked the cookies away.
Inference: Jerry is relying too much on reason, and not enough on psychotherapy or direct action. He probably doesn’t realize just how far over the edge Tiger is. It’s likely that he knows that Tiger crated Pap (not too uncommon with unruly puppies), but not that he tried to ship him to the U.A.E.
28) Jerry is concerned for his pets - but seems to refer to them as being adults ("the poor guy" versus alternatives such as "the poor kid" or "the poor bunny"). This provides some more support for the “treats them as adults” hypothesis.
29) Zachary is apparently feeling small and overwhelmed. Of course, he is a rabbit.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/11/key-phrase/

30) Zachary thinks the assorted minor ferals are "awesome". Evidently, at the moment, virtually any lifestyle other than his own, or at least any lifestyle away from Tiger, looks appealing to him.
31) Zachary pushes a button to open the "Mysterious Ancient Temple".
Note: This still seems a bit odd; it’s that easy and it’s stood up to investigative raccoons for more than an hour? I suspect that something else is going on there.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/1 ... done-that/

32) Tiger is now confused enough that he doesn't seem to be entirely clear on the fact that he's a dog.
Inference: Tiger may be getting worse. He may well still be relatively young. After all, if he was much older and larger than Peanut, Peanut might have been reluctant to join in teasing him.
33) Tiger does not want to work with Bino, even in an emergency.
Note: Bino isn't much help either. Of course, it would be wildly out of character if he was.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/1 ... oth-start/

34) Zachary evidently has gotten out more then we've seen and made more friends than he knows: Grape recognizes him on sight and states that "everyone back home is worried sick about you".
35) Zachary didn't believe that the local forest had laurels. A bit more evidence for him at least getting out of the house a bit occasionally, otherwise how would he know?
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/23/so-cool/

36) Tiger is still wanting/threatening "to kill you (Bino) in your sleep".
37) Tiger and Bino do share a certain rapport - admittedly, the sympathy of the insane, but it does seem to be there.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/25/whoops/

From the Cast page:
38) Tiger was adopted as a pup, and was then named Tiger by his owner. It seems likely that Jerry was his original owner; otherwise he - like Princess Periwinkle - might well have had a name change. He’s aggressive and paranoid.
39) Marvin is more patient and understanding with Tiger than the dogs. In fact, most of the cats are more patient and understanding with Tiger, and that doesn’t help with Tiger’s issues one bit.
40) Zachary lived in a pet store since he was a kit, and was a bit hyped up about finally being a pet - but now isn’t sure he likes it.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Possible Backstory for Marvin, Tiger, and Zachary

Marvin - a friendly, sensible, and comfortable, cat - had been with Jerry for a couple of years (since Jerry was a teenager) when he moved into Babylon Gardens. Given that they’d finished growing up together, Jerry tended to see Marvin as more of a roommate than a “pet” - and found it enjoyable to have some low-maintenance company around the house.
Jerry had been thinking about getting a dog as well, and the pet-friendly environment certainly encouraged that idea, so it wasn’t all that long before the Arbelt’s had a new puppy in the family. Jerry named his new pup “Tiger” - since it never really occurred to him or Marvin that your name might be that much of a problem. Neither of them had quite realized how much more group-oriented dogs were than cats, or how much the other dogs in the neighborhood would torment “Tiger” over his name.
Jerry, of course, saw Tiger grow to adulthood with the usual startling speed of a dog, and has simply assumed that he’s an adult now and - like most adults - has settled down into maturity.
Marvin knows better, but isn’t too sure what to do; he didn’t see the problem until it was too late either - and how will it help to tell Jerry that “Oh, by the way; your choice of a name accidently drove Tiger completely out of his mind”? For the moment, he’s mostly trying to keep on restraining Tiger when he slips over the edge, keep everyone calm, and make excuses in hopes that Tiger will indeed settle down.
Sadly, it’s gradually becoming apparent that Tiger is getting worse, not better, and Marvin STILL has no idea of what to do (trying to spy on the Good Ol Dogs Club in search of clues was no help at all). He’s fond of Tiger of course. Puppies are pretty emotionally adhesive, and Tiger is his pet-sibling - but trying to mail Pap to the U.A.E. for making a rude remark is pretty over the top.
Marvin was busy enough with Tiger that the arrival of Zachary caught him off guard - and he’s finding it difficult to deal with the fact that Tiger seems to be driving Zachary crazy in his turn. He’d like to help Zachary - and may be reaching the point where he’ll see no alternative to alerting Jerry to the problem - but he still doesn’t know what to do.
On Zachary’s end, he grew up in a pet shop - which was comfortable enough, if pretty boring. It had really made him look forward to someone buying him. He was kind of sorry that - when someone finally did - it was as a present. It was usually better if your new owner picked you out for themselves. On the other hand, he was finally getting adopted...
Discovering that he was more or less a third wheel - and that one of his new pet-siblings was (as they say) “barking mad” - has definitely made him start thinking twice. Perhaps being a pet isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Responses:

For Ebly:

I fear I wouldn’t know if Daisy is a video-game reference; I’ve never really played video games much. Looking at it, it might just be coincidence at this point though. Getting a dog named Daisy a flower tag is fairly reasonable, and other than that it’s just a name.

For Frank:

Rudolf Ising was the producer for the first short, where "Tom and Jerry" appeared under the "Jasper and Jinx" names. Given that the "homage" preference seems to be for older versions, referencing him seemed appropriate.
Bera is a reference to Joseph Barbera, one of the original Tom and Jerry creators. Anna is a reference to William Hanna, the other one. I considered using "Hanna" since it is an acceptable female first name, but I went with the “change it just enough" rule. “Tshoes” is, of course, a reference to “Mammy Two-Shoes”.

I'm sorry, but I don't see the logic of going from observing that an individual is "Politically Incorrect" (with no statement as to why) to inferring that they're "foul-mouthed". As far as I can tell, the two are quite unrelated. In this case, it's simply that having a "fat black woman doing housekeeping" is commonly regarded as being politically incorrect. Thus, if the original version of Mammy Two-Shoes was to make an appearance, the strip might also be regarded as politically incorrect. This is in fact a does-not-follow argument; people who are well over their "ideal weight", females, people with high melanin levels, and people who do housekeeping are all fairly common, and some individuals will certainly fall into all four categories. Observing that fact, or introducing such a character, does not carry any inherent social statement.

As far as ownership of Jinx goes...
Since Housepets cats generally have no objection to actually killing and eating mice and - unlike the Tom and Jerry cartoons - the situation doesn’t reset itself, a reason why Jinx could apparently make a habit of pestering Jasper and yet still be alive seemed required. Presuming that he's a pet of someone in the (presumptive) Ising family seemed to be the simplest way to account for it.
The idea that the Isings have a son is based on a scene from "Ho Ho Horrors" where the mantlepiece photos imply that the updated version of Mammy Two Shoes had a husband and a son. That bit actually is the product of a couple of minutes research: I looked up Tom and Jerry over on Wikipedia to look for the original producer's name, and there's an entry on Mammy Two-Shoes.
Given that Rex seems to belong more to his "Father", that Tom belonged to Mammy back in the original cartoons, and that mice are more popular as pets with children than with adults, it seemed reasonable that Jinx - if a pet - would belong to the presumptive child in the family.

As for the landscaping and cleaning service... That’s an extension of the "housekeeping" theme updated for the times and for a middle-class neighborhood, and presumably includes replacing chainsawed trees (the game arc), filling holes in lawns (the easter egg hunt), collecting stray streamers and litter after middle-of-the-street dog parties (after Fido's welcome-back party), and sweeping up the ashes scattered from burned buildings (the easter egg hunt again), as well as arranging the ferrets shiny things.

Given that Babylon Gardens was set up by Mr Milton to serve his own purposes, I'd be surprised if there wasn't a maintenance contract on the place - and asking for your maintenance contractors to live on site is a pretty standard maneuver for landlords with rental properties. We know that there are at least some of those in Babylon Gardens since the wolves are "renting" a house. I'd guess that it's from the Milton Estate, since otherwise - given the ferrets finances - it would be easier for them to simply buy one.

For Rick:

Alas! You have seen through my thinly-disguised names!
Oh, wait: You were supposed to.
Never mind!

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Character Dossiers


Last edited by Thoth on Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:14 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:09 am
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
I haven't said anything yet, but it's really impressive to see someone putting so much effort into such a large undertaking. You must really love Housepets!

Having said that, I've noticed some small errors which I will be pointing out as soon as I remember what they are. xD

As a suggestion, maybe include a picture of each character? That way, people who may not be as familiar with the comic can know instantly to whom each entry refers.

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Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:28 am
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
thoth wrote:
12) Grape has heard of Marvin, most likely through Bino or in reference to Tiger.
Inference: Marvin is busy - possibly in keeping an eye on Tiger - and doesn’t get out much.


Well Grape herself has admitted to not hanging out with cats much, and we do see Marvin socializing at the mall, (but then again, most of the other cats were there anyway...) Probably when Marvin goes out, Tiger is with Jerry and when Jerry isn't around, Marvin is. I mean we've seen reason for Tiger to have constant supervision but we do see Marvin on his own or away from Tiger enough.

thoth wrote:
31) Zachary pushes a button to open the "Mysterious Ancient Temple".
Note: This still seems a bit odd; it’s that easy and it’s stood up to investigative raccoons for more than an hour? I suspect that something else is going on there


Yea, this is a very interesting point in the story. On the one hand we have the fact that all Zach did was push a button, implying some form of technology. If things were so simple, why couldn't anyone else do it? But Pete and Tarot have both confirmed that magic does indeed exist. That being said, most magic doesn't really need an explanation, we just write it off as "because it does". So if Zach really IS the chosen one, magic might have only allowed him to push the button. Kinda' like the sword in the stone. The buttons themselves still confuse me tho'...

Also, I didn't get the Tom and Jerry connection until you mentioned it, and I thought that that was both interesting and funny.

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Wow! Thoth, that was quite a lengthy reply. The connection was that, when I hear someone is politically incorrect I take it to mean they say politically incorrect things to people, which, in turn, usually means they insult people (with no statement as to why).

No objections as to your other replies. The references to Rudolf Ising and Hanah Barbera were very creative.

ndigit wrote:
thoth wrote:
31) Zachary pushes a button to open the "Mysterious Ancient Temple".
Note: This still seems a bit odd; it’s that easy and it’s stood up to investigative raccoons for more than an hour? I suspect that something else is going on there

Yeah, this is a very interesting point in the story. On the one hand we have the fact that all Zach did was push a button, implying some form of technology. If things were so simple, why couldn't anyone else do it?

Zach has spent his whole life around humans (at least, that's the way it looks unless Rick proves otherwise) and therefore is more familiar with the concept of a button. If you've seen Indiana Jones, you'll know pretty much anything we take to require a modern motor can be made driven by weights (of course, it takes up much more space)

Of course, the fact that there's "something more" to Zach, and "magic exists", feels much better, from the standpoint of the reader. But then again, isn't that just what we want to believe?

Thoth wrote:
30) Zachary things the assorted minor ferals are "awesome".

I suppose that should be "thinks", but what's a typo in the midst of such awesome work?

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Yo, I'm still not into all this deep analysis (which I doubt our illustrious author even considered) but I think I can elaborate on your backstory of the wolves and all that.
Miles probably associated with the local ranger. There are very few areas that would have wolves but do not have a park ranger. A park ranger would have a reason to associate with wolves, and would be unlikely to fear them, given a ranger's knowledge and status. The way I would picture it is that the local ranger simply thought Miles was cool and hung out with him alot. This explains the understanding of things in human homes (like furniture and cups, which a ranger would have) and why he was actually comfortable with humans and didn't freak out. Also, Miles is definitely the pack's leader (the concept of "Alphas" and "Betas" is actually a myth): he's the smartest and most active one and he's boldly leading the others on this adventure.

Of course, as I said, I still doubt Mr. Griffin has considered any of this: this seems to me like it's just an entertaining story being played out, not a heavily researched and thought out novel. It doesn't matter how these characters picked up the traits they did, only that they are plausible within the given world and make the story interesting.

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Next up are the dossiers for Fiddler, Keys, and the Raccoons.

Given that there really isn’t much on Fiddler and Keys, they’ll be first:

1) Fiddler and Keys first appear here, providing music - via fiddle and a portable electronic keyboard - for the Yarn Ball.
2) They've got a miniature keyboard and fiddle for tags respectively.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/3 ... he-ritz-2/

3) Fiddler appears at the bookstore waiting for the Pridelands release. Presumably he or she is a fan.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/1 ... cat-again/

4) Keys appears to talk with Fox. He or She appears to be tolerably well informed about Henry Milton, his construction of Babylon Gardens, and the fact that the ferrets have been left far, far, too much money.
Inference: While Keys is, of course, simply providing some exposition here, it's likely that the character simply pays more attention to the human news than most of the pets do.
Note: Fox evidently moved in some time after Babylon Gardens was underway, although possibly still rather early.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/2 ... ngs-first/

5) Fiddler and Keys appear to be out to eat together. It's probably a date, if a somewhat troubled one considering that the "You're suffocating me" line pops up after an inquiry as to what Keys is having - and that doesn't seem to fit in with two friends having a night out.
Note: Their collars don't match. This is a very slight argument against them belonging to the same owner, but not much of one.
Note: I personally get the impression that Fiddler is female and Keys is male, but there really aren't that many clues.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/1 ... kill-cafe/

6) From the cast page: "A cat duo who play the insturments they’re named after. This is likely due to an aggressive push by their owners to have musical cats".
Inference: When the author says that something is "likely", it picks up a certain weight - barring something being hidden for plot reasons. It’s possible (along with a thousand other unlikely scenarios) that Fiddler and Keys are, in fact, the representatives of the Seelie Court, present in Babylon Gardens to keep an eye on the Ancient Temple, and Rick is simply concealing that fact so it can be a surprise later. It doesn’t seem at all likely.

Possible Backstory for Fiddler and Keys:

Uhm... Well, there’s nothing much to explain...

They’re cats, their owners wanted to have musical cats, and pushed them to learn to play. Keys is (possibly) male and takes an interest in the history of the neighborhood and what the humans are up to. Fiddler is (possibly) female and is a fan of the Pridelands series. They sometimes go out on dates*, but seem to have trouble with their relationship outside of music.

    *If they both belong to the same family, some of the readers may have objections to them dating based on their status as semi-siblings. This seems unlikely to apply in the housepets universe however, since most animal breeders through history have owned both the animals in question.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We do have a bit more on the Raccoons, since they’ve been major characters in at least one arc - even if it was a relatively short one.

1) The raccoons - despite speaking excellent English - aren't actually very familiar with human culture; they know that there's supposed to be food in the pantry, but don't understand cans or know about can openers.
2) The raccoons are used to raiding human trash for food.
3) The raccoons are used to looking for cat (and presumably dog) food.
Inference: Given the search for cat food, and by the fact that dog kibble shows up at Fido's welcome-home party, I’d presume that dry cat and dog food are commonly kept around as basic supplies - even though the pets eat a lot of other things - in about the same way that most people have a jar of peanut butter around the house.
Sub-inference: The dry cat and dog food are probably pretty good, given that the pets can tell the researchers (and their “parents”) which ones they like better and why.
Inference: Judging by the Raccoons knocking things over despite their attempt to be silent, and by Grape's turning on the light, neither the housepets raccoons nor the housepets cats have very good night vision. The usual rule of visual storytelling - “the audience has to be able to see what’s going on” - applies.
Inference: The raccoons are afraid of humans and their pets.
Note: The raccoons look - at least to me - scrawny and underfed next to Grape.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/11/dont-shoot/

4) The raccoons are, again apparently frightened of Grape - despite outnumbering her two to one. They do look more equivalent in this strip than in the last one however.
5) One of the raccoons attempts to intimidate Grape, who apparently doesn’t find the performance very convincing.
Inference: The other raccoon probably doesn’t think that intimidation attempts are going to work. His or her expression might indicate that as well, but that’s quite subjective.
Note: Real raccoons are, on the average, substantially larger and heavier than real housecats. The heaviest recorded wild raccoon weighed better than sixty pounds, although the vast majority are under thirty. Raccoons are also noted for undoing fastenings and opening a variety of locks, turning doorknobs, breaking into birdfeeders, unscrewing wingnuts, popping open snap-buckles, and similar feats, as well as remembering the solutions to problems up to at least three years later. I almost hate to think of what fully sapient raccoons, with thumbs, would get up to.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/13/stick-em-up/

8) Grape is pretty sure the raccoons will be back thanks to her owners poor security measures.
Inference: Given that the raccoons were hunting for food, evidently they’re often going hungry. That might account for the “scrawny and underfed” impression.
Inference: Both of the raccoons left in good enough shape to come back - unless Grape is simply talking about raccoons or wildlife as a general group.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/15/a-minor-flaw/

9) A raccoon is very pleased to get what is apparently a Christmas present from Daisy.
Inference: This raccoon may be pleased to get some friendly attention from anyone, and winter is probably a hungry time for him or her, just as it is for real raccoons.
Inference: It's possible that the raccoons (or this raccoon) are friends of Daisies, or she might just be giving gifts at random.
Note: Only one raccoon appears here. Hopefully it's just that the other one is not around at the moment or didn’t fit into the single panel.
Note: It's vaguely possibly that the bag is not a gift at all, or not for the raccoons, or it could even be some sort of birdie-trap - but given the tone, and what little we have on Daisy, that sort of thing doesn't seem very likely.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/2 ... s-edition/

10) Our "Masked Bandit" is still burglarizing houses in search of trash.
Inference: Raccoons aren't good at organizing long-term projects either, or they could probably set up a deal to sort the garbage for recycling and get plenty of food. Personally, I’d hope that the Ferrets offer to hire the raccoons for such tasks; they’d be far cheaper than regular workers.
Note: Anti-rabies efforts often include the distribution of oral vaccines to wildlife through baits. While this is designed to reduce the occurrence of rabies in the wild to reduce its danger to humans, similar programs and public-health measures may offer substantial benefits to ferals who learn the local human language and cooperate to some extent with humans.
11) Our raccoon seems to be even more frightened of humans and their pets - including Zachary - than it was before.
Note: Trembling (judging by the motion lines) with fear over being confronted with a depressed rabbit is kind of sad - and we're still seeing only one raccoon. This might indicate that something unpleasant has happened to the other one.
Note: Captive raccoons can live for up to twenty years (or even longer in the Housepets universe if the increased lifespans for pets apply to them as well) while the average lifespan for wild raccoons is under three.
12) Our raccoon is willing to serve as a tour guide to the feral world in exchange for some food from the trash. Evidently he or she is pretty hungry.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/0 ... reciation/

13) The raccoon is actually a pretty good tour guide - introducing Zachary to various forest creatures and showing him the "mysterious ancient temple".
14) According to the raccoon’s speech about the ancient temple "Legend says it contains the power to equalize all beings and instigate a new golden age but it's been sealed for thousands of years and nobody can decipher the inscription and solve it's mystical lock".
Note: To toss in with the other theories on the nature of the Ancient Temple and how a simple "open" button could go undiscovered for so long (over in the section on Pete), I'll add a one more random possibility - "the raccoon is, in classic tour-guide fashion, exaggerating the spiel a great deal in an attempt to make an exotic or unexpected item even more interesting and exciting".
15) The other ferals do seem enthused about seeing it open. The "All hail the opener of ways!" bit is suggestive.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/1 ... done-that/

16) Our raccoon is excited enough to try stop Grape and Peanut from entering the ancient temple - but immediately gives in when Grape threatens him or her.
17) The ferals don't seem to approve of "subjugation to the humans".
(Wild) Speculation: We've been informed that the talking animals are natural to the housepets world. Perhaps the humans aren't, and that's how they wound up in charge; they arrived with major edges already in place.
18) Peanut seems a bit confused to be confronted by a raccoon; evidently this isn't normal raccoon behavior.
Inference: Judging by the "please don't hurt me", the threatening raccoon back in the raccoon arc may simply have been too excited to think about the possible consequences of confronting Grape and Peanut - or didn’t see any alternative.
Note: We haven’t seen a raccoon again since this strip. Fortunately for said raccoon, he or she is too large to share the fate of Karl-Lenin Faust.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/2 ... hall-pass/

Possible backstory for the Raccoons:

Once again, there isn’t much to explain: the raccoons are simply wild raccoons, born in the area. The fact that humans have been building on it, instead of leaving it as a wooded estate, doesn’t make it any less their home.
It does mean that there’s less food available from the land, making for hungry raccoons.
Fortunately, humans throw away huge amounts of food.
Unfortunately, humans tend to see raccoons as messy, meddlesome, potential disease-carriers, and don’t want to let them have that food. Thus the raccoon-proof garbage cans and the tendency for the cats and dogs to chase the raccoons away. It’s even worse when the humans get involved actively; then the traps, poisons, and guns come out. Swiping food from the humans has turned out to be pretty dangerous in the long run (and may account for why we’re now seeing only one raccoon instead of the original pair).
Still, raccoons are more than clever enough to be looking for a better way to survive.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Replies

For Dissension:
Well, corrections, notes, and alternative theories are always welcome! I have been intending to add pictures with later rounds of updates - and as I get a little more familiar with bulletin board code.

For ndigit:
On Marvin, Oh yes, I'd assume that he gets out some - but I'd guess that he'd get out a lot more if it wasn't for Tiger.

There are some additional theories about the "Mysterious Ancient Temple" under Pete's entry - but I suspect that Rick, as a gamer, has has a pretty good idea of how magic works in the housepets universe. I wouldn't bet on buttons implying technology though.

Zachary might indeed be the "chosen one", although that leaves open the question of "why send dreams to Grape?". For another quick theory, perhaps it's the classic "impossible fate" gag: "No creature of civilization, nor of the wilds, may open the way!". Ergo, Pete guesses that cats - since they may live with humans, but spend a lot of time in the wilds - may fit the terms, and so tries to manipulate Grape (the closest receptive cat). In actuality, of course, it turns out that Zachary - who has spent all his time with human civilization, but is considering rejecting it, and now stands upon the threshold of the wilds, belonging to neither - is a much better fit.

Still too many possibilities. I'll have to put that one in with the rest of the "pending more information" pile.

For Frank:

Ah; "says politically incorrect things" versus "is inherently politically incorrect". I just didn't see what you meant since I tend to take “politically incorrect” to mean “things that are factually accurate but which are considered socially inexpedient to state”. After all, if they were simply wrong, they’d simply be incorrect.

Zach is stated to have grown up in a pet shop on the cast page, so I'd assume that he;'s familiar with switches, buttons, and so on. (Hm. I could just see a "Pet Shop" that's theoretically owned by some elderly or disinterested human being run by the occupants more-or-less as a co-op adoption agency/temporary agency). It's just that - having watched the ongoing battle of raccoons versus birdfeeders and "raccoon-proof" garbage cans - I would still guess that there's something more to it than "push the button".

I wouldn't suggest looking to movies as sources for mechanics (personally, I'd suggest "The Ancient Engineers" by L. Sprague de Camp for a good survey of historical engineering, although it is a bit dated in spots, or spending some time over at The Archimedes Project: http://archimedes2.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/ ... roject.htm - although I'd point out that, over a few centuries, ropes unravel and break, metals corrode, bend, and bind, wood decays, lubricants evaporate and decay, dust, sand, the detritus left by living organisms, and other impediments accumulate, and pits - needed to let weights descend - tend to fill. Offhand, I can't recall an ancient mechanism much more complex than a deadfall or hand quern actually being found in working order.

And that “thing” is indeed a typo: I'll be fixing that now. Thanks for the proofreading, and I'm glad you find this interesting!

For Rocketstar Raccoon

Miles might well have associated with a park ranger - however, wolves range quite widely. This is the basic cause of conflicts with ranchers and such; if the wolves remained quietly in parks, the local ranchers would not care. In the Housepets universe, where wolves can intelligently avoid conflicts with humans, there’s good reason to expect them to be considerably more widely distributed than in reality. Thus the nature of that hypothetical association was unspecified.

Now, the hierarchal pack structure models are mostly based on observations of wolf behavior in captivity, and hence under unnatural conditions. However, the observation that most wild packs support only a single breeding pair (a secondary pair sometimes breeds in exceptionally good years) appears to be reasonably accurate, and that is the fundamental basis of assigning dominant status to particular individuals. In areas where food is abundant, life is easy, and territory is available, wolves will tend to split up into individual pairs and raise their own families. Where larger packs are required for effective hunting or holding a hunting territory, you tend to get “nuclear family” groups first (where the parents maintain dominance until the pups disperse as they reach sexual maturity).

As stress increases, and larger packs become necessary, dominance behavior becomes exaggerated. In evolutionary terms, this can be expected because the group now includes competition from less-closely related genetic combinations. Dominance behaviors also become more significant when the pack leader/breeding pair position opens and the remaining wolves in the pack attempt to claim it (individuals that did not attempt to exploit such opportunities will pass on their genes less often, and so such tendencies are selected against). The Alpha -> Omega model is indeed an oversimplification, and generally only applicable in cases where packs involve more than a nuclear family - however, we know this to be the case; Mile’s pack contains at least two of his brothers, yet only he and his mate seem to have produced pups.

As for the extent of Rick’s examination of his world, we do know that the first strip went up a year and a half ago, and that he’s been thinking about it since 2006 (per the “About” page). We also know that he’s provided thoughtful answers on the question threads, the he has a penchant for planning events well in advance (such as Grape’s revelation that she was female), and that he’s writing the strip (which, for most authors, means having motivations and backstory in mind for pretty much all the major characters). We also know that he’s a gamer - and gamers usually give a good deal of attention to their world backgrounds as a matter of course.

Personally, I’d also have to say he’s a very good storyteller - which usually means thinking a lot of things through, whether consciously or not. Personally I’d expect that even casual thought about the strip over a multi-year period would go into considerably more detail than I throw together in couple of spare hours. There are three major possibilities: (1) That Rick hasn’t given much thought to anything except making an entertaining strip. (2) That Rick has considered his world and characters throughly, if only subconsciously, in order to make his strips hang together. And (3) That Rick has given his world a good deal of thought - either intentionally or while thinking about strips and answering questions - over the past four years. Personally, I’d say that the evidence suggests some variant of (2) or (3).

In any case, for the purposes of this thread, it doesn't matter: the analysis here is simply recreational anyway.

Return to the Thread Index: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=199&start=0

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Character Dossiers


Last edited by Thoth on Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:11 am
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Thoth wrote:
3) The raccoons are used to looking for cat (and presumably dog) food.

Actually, I thought the dialogue in that strip included Grape. Grape, being a cat, has rather good night vision, and turns on the light not to see the raccoons, but for them to see her. Here's how I imagined the last two pannels:
    (Enter Grape, having been awoken by the strange voices. She sees something moving near the trash, but can't make out the species)
    Grape: Waiting for trash day is too much trouble too, I take it?
    Raccoon 1: Hey, I'm hungry
    Grape: While you're at it see if there's any cat food
    (Racoon 2 realizes they've been spotted. He/she panicks and runs, knocking the trash can over)
    Grape: WATCH OUT!
    CRASH
    Raccoon 2: QUICK, LET'S GET OUT OF--
    (Grape switches the lights on)
    Raccoon 2: --here.

Here's how I think you've imagined them:
    (Raccoon 1 climbs atop the trash bin to try to reach the pantry, while Raccoon 2 holds it for him/her, still unconvinced that it's a good idea)
    Raccoon 2: Waiting for trash day is too much trouble too, I take it?
    Raccoon 1: Hey, I'm hungry
    Raccoon 2: While you're at it see if there's any cat food
    (The trash bin rocks)
    Raccoon 2: WATCH OUT!
    (Raccoon 1 falls)
    CRASH
    (Enter Grape, having been awoken by the loud crash)
    Raccoon 2: QUICK, LET'S GET OUT OF--
    (Grape switches the lights on)
    Raccoon 2: --here.

Note that I still think your inferences are valid ;) Also, it is possible that Grape was awake already, cats being most active at twilight.

Thoth wrote:
I wouldn't suggest looking to movies as sources for mechanics... although I'd point out that, over a few centuries, ropes unravel and break, metals corrode, bend, and bind, wood decays, lubricants evaporate and decay, dust, sand, the detritus left by living organisms, and other impediments accumulate
Actually, I originally had BBC's Secrets of the Ancients there, but then I remembered they really don't use weight-driven mechanisms. In fact, they show that the only viable way to build things in antiquity was by putting in things that would rot, such as using animal guts as lubricant. I needed an example where things actually would last, despite being rather silly as a support.

I guess this also means "magic" really is the only sensible explanation in this case

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
frank wrote:
Actually, I thought the dialogue in that strip included Grape. Grape, being a cat, has rather good night vision, and turns on the light not to see the raccoons, but for them to see her. Here's how I imagined the last two pannels:

(Enter Grape, having been awoken by the strange voices. She sees something moving near the trash, but can't make out the species)
Grape: Waiting for trash day is too much trouble too, I take it?
Raccoon 1: Hey, I'm hungry
Grape: While you're at it see if there's any cat food
(Racoon 2 realizes they've been spotted. He/she panicks and runs, knocking the trash can over)
Grape: WATCH OUT!
CRASH
Raccoon 2: QUICK, LET'S GET OUT OF--
(Grape switches the lights on)
Raccoon 2: --here.


Well if you just looked at the last two panels then yes this might make sense but what would be Grape's reasoning to only turn on the lights when the raccoons made noise? Also, there were statements of surprise on both sides in the next strip, when Grape shouted "RACCOONS!" and the other two yelled "CAT!!" Even if you meant that Grape was talking but the raccoons didn't know it was her, Grape wouldn't have shouted in surprise because that would imply that she did know it was them.

And finally when it said "Waiting for trash day is too much trouble too, I take it?" it was a reply to "Those crazy rumors again? That's too much trouble." Which was from a conversation trying to figure out what a can opener was. And we're pretty sure, Grape being a house cat, might actually know what a can opener is.

thoth wrote:
I wouldn't bet on buttons implying technology though.


Well I guess not but I'm not really talking about electricity and all that, just so we're clear. I guess mechanics, or something would be more accurate? Idk more poor choice of words on my part. But yeah when you think about magic, it's usually sparkling runes, glowing lights, mysterious incantations, while pushing a button to open a sliding door just doesn't seem so...magical. Then again, a "Sword in the Stone" thing might apply here. I think what would give us more clarity on this is who and why did they seal away Pete? Is Pete really that dangerous, or was there an ulterior reasoning for having Pete cast away? Did I just go waaay off topic?

Too many questions...................................................................................................

Anyway.

Yeah.

Buttons don't imply modern technology.

Very true.

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
thoth wrote:
I wouldn't bet on buttons implying technology though.


I wouldn't bet on 'technology' implying electronics, computers, or any other modern convenience, either. Technology can refer to a system, technique, method of organization or, yes, a machine of any level of complexity. A push-button does, therefore, imply technology.

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Duke:Image
Keene:Image
Lana:Image
Pit:Image
Rock:Image
Simon:Image

Just thought I'd leave this here for those who still don't have them straight quite yet. I mean, unless someone else already did this. In which case I feel a bit stupid. But whatever, the only thing I'm really worried about is if this shouldn't be here.

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Next up we have the dossier for the Milton Ferrets:

1) The Milton ferrets first appear - pleased and excited at going from "being given away for free" to "multibillionaires".
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/2 ... n-babylon/

Note: The Milton Estate is a huge house, with some fairly extensive grounds, at the end of Babylon Drive.
2) The ferrets are indulging their love of shiny things.
Note: Henry Milton built the neighborhood.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/2 ... ngs-first/

3) The ferrets apparently want to personally interact with the other pets.
Inference The ferrets may have been a bit isolated up until now.
Note: Henry Milton loved animals of all kinds, lost his taste for high living years ago, and disliked people treating their pets like toys - which was apparently all too common.
4) The ferrets are still amusing themsleves with the privileges of being absurdly rich, although they do seem to miss "Dad".
5) The ferrets aren't too serious - at least as yet - about living as "Dad" would have liked them too.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/2 ... gs-change/

6) The ferrets have requested Herman Steward to serve as their steward because of the inherent pun.
7) The ferrets will be allowing tours of the Milton Estate, and the first one will be pets-only.
8) The ferrets will be awarding one pet on the tour a grand prize of their own choosing.
Note: Fox feels that the ferrets are blatantly eccentric, and that the prize may well be something weird and useless.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/2 ... mpetition/

9) Duke likes to eat mice and/or is finding amusement in harrassing Fido and Spo.
10) Duke is also very direct, and definitely a predator.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/2 ... -cant-buy/

11) The ferrets can see through Joey's disguises. Admittedly, Joey’s disguise is improvised and consists of nothing but a bit of a mask, and the size is wrong - but they're still the first pets seen to do so without prompting.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/3 ... y-the-foo/

12) Fox feels that the ferrets are reveling in their money, but still clearly anti-elitist. Given that he's presumably seen more of them than the readers, the opnion has some weight.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/0 ... et-so-far/

13) The ferrets feel that Bino is either stupid or crazy - and that video games are more interesting than he is.
14) The ferrets are aware of the local dog club, and that Bino is more or less running it.
Inference: The Ferrets get at least partial reports on what’s going on in the neighborhood from someone.
15) The ferrets are using blackberrys and Email - and have either been monitoring the security footage or (more likely) have been having someone else do it.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/0 ... somewhere/

16) The ferrets awarded their grand prize (a big bag of money) to Daisy, but named their new pet health and wellness fund after Bino - the "Boy Bino sure is an idiot trust fund".
Note: We get a clear full-body comparison in this strip; the ferrets are indeed quite small.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/0 ... llar-sign/

17) The ferrets - or at least Keene - are riding around in limousines, drinking orange soda - and occasionally picking up stray animals.
18) The ferrets - or at least Keene - have no sense of caution. After all, wolves will normally happily eat ferrets.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/10/0 ... n-the-car/

19) The ferrets have been binging on ferretone (an oily, flavored, vitamin and fatty-acid supplement for ferret diets).
20) The ferrets apparently want to follow through on Mr Milton's desire to prove that animals are "people" too, and are not just subject to instinct and appetite.
21) Evidently the ferrets still miss Mr Milton, want to follow through on his goals, and feel guilty over not doing so vey well - at least as of yet.
22) Ferrets get drunk on orange soda.
Note: I've never been able to tell if sugar had an intoxicating effect on ferrets: all of them I've encountered seem to be constantly crazy anyway.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/10/0 ... st-friend/

23) The ferrets seem to recover from sugar-intoxication quite rapidly.
24) The ferrets - or at least Keene - are evidently going to be trying to bring ferals into civilization and demonstrate that ferals, and presumably pets, are, indeed, people - just like human beings.
25) The ferrets seem to be well aware of the legalities of being and owning pets, and want to adhere to the letter of the law the better to bend it out of all recognition.
Inference: They've probably had quite a few consultations with competent lawyers over what they can and cannot get away with doing.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/10/0 ... o-they-do/

26) Money talks. As the local landlords, the ferrets have a lot of influence, both direct and indirect.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/10/1 ... y-officer/

27) Lana has been going over Mile's papers; evidently the pack is a general project for the ferrets.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2010/01/0 ... -nor-face/

28) The ferrets have been investing essentially at random. Fortunately, they're incredibly lucky.
29) The ferrets are also considered quite newsworth - although the impression they're producing is questionable.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2010/01/11/easy-money/

30) The ferrets have found a “treasure map”, but seem to be paying no attention to the instructions on it, even if they are apparently from Mr Milton.
31) The ferrets like newspeople, and are - apparently - somewhat silly.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2010/01/1 ... t-of-none/

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Possible Backstory for the Milton Ferrets:

In this case, there is - once again - essentially nothing to explain. They’re ferrets, they were probably purchased from a pet store (if Mr Milton was rescuing pets, there would presumably be more than six ferrets around given his level of wealth), and they were left a lot of money. Like most ferrets, they’re far more energetic and enthusiastic than sensible. In their own quixotic and eccentric way, they’ve taken up their deceased “Dad’s” philosophical position - but are trying to push it well beyond the simple “pet-friendly neighborhood” that Mr Milton opted to have as his most public display of support for animal rights on into blatant attempts to bring animals into human society as equals.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Responses:

For Frank:

Frank wrote:
Actually, I thought the dialogue in that strip included Grape. Grape, being a cat, has rather good night vision, and turns on the light not to see the raccoons, but for them to see her. Here's how I imagined the last two pannels:
(Enter Grape, having been awoken by the strange voices. She sees something moving near the trash, but can't make out the species)
Grape: Waiting for trash day is too much trouble too, I take it?
Raccoon 1: Hey, I'm hungry
Grape: While you're at it see if there's any cat food
(Racoon 2 realizes they've been spotted. He/she panicks and runs, knocking the trash can over)
Grape: WATCH OUT!
CRASH
Raccoon 2: QUICK, LET'S GET OUT OF--
(Grape switches the lights on)
Raccoon 2: --here.


It's possible - although I'd wonder why the Raccoons appeared to be startled in the last panel. If it was Grape speaking earlier, I'd expect that the unfamiliar voice coming from a different direction would provoke something other than a "Hey, I'm hungry" response given the raccoons evident desire to avoid encounters ("Let's get out of here"). Now, it is possible that the Raccoon #1 (the one with the banana-peel on it's head and thus presumably the one that knocked over the trash) was over towards where Grape entered the room and ran towards the exit - knocking over the trash on the way - Raccoon #2 was talking to Grape under the impression that Grape was Raccoon #1 (and abruptly realized that he or she was not, because there would be no reason to shout "watch out!" at him because he presumably wasn't moving), so it could work either way. I do get the impression that they're all startled in the first panel of the next cartoon, but that could be taken as Grape challenging the intruders while Raccoon #2 is either startled or challenging back - but it seems unlikely, since Grape had to reach for the broom in panel three (possibly beginning in panel 2), whereas if she was intentionally confronting intruders that she'd already identified, it seems likely that she would have picked up a weapon before turning on the lights. Given that, I'd rate Grape being in on the conversation in the previous strip asa lower probability - but that's just me.

Frank wrote:
Also, it is possible that Grape was awake already, cats being most active at twilight.


Whether or not Grape was already awake is more-or-less up for grabs I think; we could presume that she was woken up (and, as usual, found it irritating), or that she was prowling around or reading or some such. There's no real indication in the strip - or at least none that I see offhand.

As for the technology... We could still go with "Aliens" or "Advanced ancient civilization" or - perhaps - this is all in the year 7000, Akkadian had a revival around 3000 (for some weird reason), and the ancient temple thus dates back to the previous high-technology civilization. Pete could be an AI, with the ability to restructure matter in small areas and four thousand years worth of eccentricities to indulge. Humans are dominant because all the other intelligent animals were genetically designed not to seriously challenge humans and were given genetic language-programming (there's certainly enough room for the data in a trivial amount of DNA; how you'd turn that into functioning neural patterns I've no idea - but if I was good enough at genetics to redesign most of the “higher” species on the planet, I think I could find a way). That would oppose Rick's statement that the animals are "natural" though - unless he wasn't going back that far, has changed his mind, or was being coy about future plot points.

For ndigit:

ndigit wrote:
Well I guess not but I'm not really talking about electricity and all that, just so we're clear. I guess mechanics, or something would be more accurate? Idk more poor choice of words on my part. But yeah when you think about magic, it's usually sparkling runes, glowing lights, mysterious incantations, while pushing a button to open a sliding door just doesn't seem so...magical. Then again, a "Sword in the Stone" thing might apply here. I think what would give us more clarity on this is who and why did they seal away Pete? Is Pete really that dangerous, or was there an ulterior reasoning for having Pete cast away? Did I just go waaay off topic?

Too many questions


I fear I must agree there. There just isn't enough information on Pete to start ruling much out yet. There must be MORE DATA... You are Number 6... We Want INFORMATION... INFORMATION...

I was taking technology as throwing stones (as per the "projectile predator" explanation for the Acheulean hand axe, from roughly 1.5 million years ago to .5 million years ago - possibly the all-time record for technological design stability) on up. Real-world tool use / technology has been observed in cetaceans, several types of birds, primates, and mustelids. It's just that the "buttons" could easily be something magical.

For Dissension:

Dissension wrote:
I wouldn't bet on 'technology' implying electronics, computers, or any other modern convenience, either. Technology can refer to a system, technique, method of organization or, yes, a machine of any level of complexity. A push-button does, therefore, imply technology.


Well lets consider that. I think that definition is over-broad:

    (1) A "Technique" is any repeatable method of accomplishing a goal. Sponges have a technique for filter-feeding, amoebas have techniques for eating, and genes have both techniques and external mechanisms for reproducing, which is why you sometimes find evolutionary biologists referring to various biological adaptions as "technologies" and treating the genes as the operators of said technologies. This is a convenient shorthand from their point of view, and is meant to stress the adaptive nature of living things and the primary importance of their genes in evolutionary theory - but it's still an abuse of the word "Technology" as far as conversation goes. Most people don't talk about the "technology" of their sense of smell.

    (2) A "Method of Organization" would include principles such as symmetry breaking - a process describing the development of laws of nature as energy levels drop, and which has been verified to be reversible (at least on the lower levels) in particle accelerator experiments. Gravity has organized the universe very nicely. Slime molds also have a method or organizing themselves under environmental stress, becoming mobile to seek out a better location. Again, most english speakers would not consider those "methods of organization" to be technologies.

    (3) A "Machine of any level of complexity" would necessarily include all Simple Machines - the lever, inclined plane, wheel and axle, screw, wedge, and pulley. Of course, simple machines are built into the biomechanics of every higher organism and occur - if only by accident - in a wide variety of inorganic structures. The bones and tendons in a vertebrate body represent a complex system of levers. Inclined planes are everywhere. Once again, this definition includes items as "technology" that most english speakers would not.

    (4) Finally, a "System" (unless the definition is otherwise restricted) is any group of interacting elements. For example, two valence-bonded atoms. Two bonded atoms, in fact, like any other elastically-bonded system, have a minimum possible energy, and thus constitute a system that will remain active indefinitely. You'll find "systems" everywhere that multiple particles are interacting.

    Unfortunately, this definition (regardless of it's source) winds up departing widely from conventional english usage of the term "technology" unless you add in a great many hidden assumptions - and so winds up impeding rather than facilitating communication. We have different words with overlapping meanings because each different term carries different secondary implications, thus allowing precise communications.

    Under this definition, a push-button does indeed imply technology - but so does any part of the universe, which makes the term fairly meaningless.

For a more conventional definition, "Technology" implies:

    (1) A system which has been intentionally created by a sapient creature or creatures. Thus systems created by accident, or through the interaction of genes and biological systems, are not "technology" in the way that most speakers of english will understand the term. Most english speakers do not consider the specialized adaptions of a birds beak a "technology"; they consider them "adaptions" (or, depending on philosophical preference, "designed"), not "technology".

    (2) A design purpose - a system intended to physically accomplish some goal. Thus, piling up some rocks to create a marker is a technology (if a fairly basic one). Idly putting one rock on top of another one with no purpose in mind is not a technology. Rocks rolling down a slope may be technology if that arrangement is intentional and designed to accomplish a goal - for example, kicking loost a rock so that it will roll down at a pursuer. Doing exactly the same thing without intent is an accidental avalanche, not technology.

    (3) The manipulation of matter which is not a part of the body as a tool. Thus, stripping the bark off a twig with your teeth is not a technology. Using the twig to then scrap goo from under your nails is a technology, if - once again - a fairly basic one. This also eliminate mathematical procedures such as sorting algorithms - even if they sometimes can be patented (legal definitions are a specialized field, otherwise you would not need specialized training to operate as a lawyer). While such algorithms are mathematical and logical constructs and are designed to accomplish particular goals, purely mathematical constructs do not even require a universe to exist in, and - arguably - are all inherent in mathematics and logic from the beginning. Thus they are discovered rather than being created. A genetically-designed organism however, remains technological; it's an expression of intentionally-designed genes.

    (4) A physically predictable operation. A fingerprint lock is technology. Even a chaotic system operated by random quantum-level inputs is statistically predictable, and so can be technology if it fulfills the other requirements. A sword which can only be pulled from the stone by the destined king is magic. There is no way to physically analyze "Destiny".

A "push-button" does not necessarily imply technology because:
    *It is not necessarily intentionally designed; a loose stone being pushed back into it's matrix acts as a "push button", but could simply be a bit that has come loose.
    *It may not operate in a physically predictable fashion. If the button will "only respond to the destined one", it may look like a familiar technology, but it's still magic.
    *It might, in fact, be a part of a natural living creature, perhaps resembling the "mimic" of classical Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.
    *The entire temple could be an illusion, transformation, or allegory patterened on what the responsible entity thinks will best suit it's purposes - and thus incorporate no actual "devices" at all.
    *It might also be an ornamental whimsy. This would imply that the "door" opened for some other (and possibly technological) reason, but the button itself still would not fit the definition of a technological device; it wouldn’t actually do anything.

Now, if the local "Magic" does operate in physically predictable ways irrespective of the intent and qualities of it's user - like much gaming "magic" - then it is simply a branch of technology, albeit one employing unfamiliar forces - and isn't "magic" as most people understand the term.

For ndigit (again):

It looks like a good place to me... I’m intending to add some pictures once I’m done with the characters and start going back through to add things in, but there’s no reason not to add character pictures here before then. You have my thanks for doing so.

Return to the Thread Index: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=199&start=0

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Character Dossiers


Last edited by Thoth on Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:56 am
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
*sighs*

Thoth, I am not certain such a lengthy rebuttal was warranted by my failure to append "intentionally implemented to increase efficiency" to my previous statement. I am not interested in further debate on this issue, and I am sorry for my mistake.

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Okay, cool thanks Thoth.

thoth wrote:
23) The ferrets seem to recover from sugar-intoxication quite rapidly.


I'm pretty sure that was just for a joke, but yeah that was just random. It did seem to give a little more insight into Keene though, but beyond that, it was just random.

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Thoth, about Miles, wrote:
European and Asian wolves aren't as timid, but - for example - there are currently plenty of wolves who have regular routes through Paris at night, where they scavenge trash, before retreating to the nature preserves to hide during the day.

You know, the last wolf in Paris was killed in 1880. There will be perhaps in 20 years, but there are none today.

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Dissension wrote:
*sighs*

Thoth, I am not certain such a lengthy rebuttal was warranted by my failure to append "intentionally implemented to increase efficiency" to my previous statement. I am not interested in further debate on this issue, and I am sorry for my mistake.


My apologies: I didn't mean to be either condescending or annoying and I hope that I'm not leaving you with that impression: I just tend to break things down into exhaustive lists full of examples whenever I think about anything, and presumed that anyone posting to this particular thread wanted a similar breakdown. I’ll try to remember to ask whether or not that's what someone is looking for in in the future.

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Character Dossiers


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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Another great dossier! Just one quip:
Thoth wrote:
16) The ferrets ... named their new pet health and wellness fun after Bino - the "Boy Bino sure is an idiot trust fund".
I shudder to think what kind of "fun" these ferrets can have in the "pet health and wellness" system, since it'll probably end with an oxygen-tank induced explosion. Please fix the typo.

And now three rather less important things I feel like I have to say anyway:
Thoth wrote:
12) Given that he's presumably seen more of them than the readers, the opnion has some weight.
Considering that Fox didn't know who Mr. Milton was, I'm not too sure of that. You are right, though, in that he's seen more than we have, since we were following Bino at the time.

Thoth wrote:
23) The ferrets seem to recover from sugar-intoxication quite rapidly.
But had Keene recovered though? I get a feeling the "invent television" part was intoxication-induced, but that would probably mean the plan had to have been thought out beforehand.

Thoth wrote:
26) Money talks. As the local landlords, the ferrets have a lot of influence, both direct and indirect.
Everyone loves going for this. Ever thought of the fact that Bill fears the ferrets simply because they're crazy? Of course, now I have to quote The Simpsons Movie
Russ Cargill wrote:
Ever try going mad without power? It's no fun, no one listens to you!
So, yeah, if they weren't powerful, there probably would be no reason to fear them.

(Sorry if the stringing between the ideas seems poorly done; I didn't sleep last night)

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Here are the dossiers for the humans in the strip, excluding Mr Milton and his Ungrateful Relatives. Given that the current arc involves them, they can wait a bit pending further information.
That limits this entry to the Sandwiches, Bill, Jake, Ryan, Jerry, the Fat PETA Guy, and the (often nameless) Minor Characters. Given that there’s not much about the humans that needs explaining - and that there's very little background on several of them - possible backstories have not been included.

The Sandwiches:

1) Mrs Sandwich first appears, having obtained batteries for Peanuts Nintendo - possibly among other errands.
2) Mrs Sandwich (or, less likely, Mr Sandwich) is startled to find the living room soaked.
Inference; The Sandwiches are used to leaving the pets on their own for a bit and usually took it for granted that their pets would behave themselves. This is a modest setback for that belief.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/1 ... to-an-end/

3) Mr Earl Sandwich gets his first lines, but does not yet appear.
Inference: Some pets don't have hands, otherwise plastic-flap "pet doors" probably would not exist.
Note: The Pet Doors are never mentioned or seen again. The Sandwiches probably uninstalled them, leaving Grape and Peanut to simply use the regular doors.
Inference: Mr Sandwich probably didn't check on what he was buying and/or having installed as carefully as he should have, and thus wound up with generic plastic-flap “pet doors” instead of something suited to the pets he actually owned.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/15/a-minor-flaw/

4) Mr Sandwich first appears. He's willing to point out loopholes in the leash laws.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/1 ... ll-travel/

5) Mr Sandwich notes that Grape and Peanut will need to manage their time better during their visits to the zoo (and presumably on other outings).
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/0 ... -literate/

6) Mr Sandwich appears again, taking Grape and Peanut to the vet for a checkup and booster shots.
Inference: Either Mr Sandwich is strong enough to barely notice Grape's two-handed tugging on her leash or it’s mostly for show and she isn’t actually putting that much effort into it.
Note: Grape either doesn’t think of unclipping her leash or doesn’t want to. This may be related to the abandonment issues shown in later strips.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/01/2 ... ough-pain/

7) Mr Sandwich is not especially impressed with Grape's histrionics. Of course, he's apparently taken her to the vet before, and is aware that she'll barely remember anything tomorrow.
Note: Presumably Peanut has been to the vet at least twice before, and Mr Sandwich knows that it hasn't noticeably harmed Peanut either.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/0 ... treatment/

8) Mr Sandwich continues to ignore Grape's dramatics.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/0 ... ompassion/

9) Mrs Sandwich likes to dress up her pets and take pictures.
Inference: Mrs Sandwich is used to feline opposition to such activities, and doesn’t take it at all seriously.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/1 ... -stitches/

10) Mrs Sandwich - and possibly many other cat owners - are willing to either take their pets to a midnight book release or to let them go on their own.
Inference: The Sandwiches are pretty indulgent. They also apparently make a good living, judging by the number of toys they’ve provided for Grape and Peanut.
Note: Human children do exist in the Housepets universe. This was probably generally assumed, but here it’s confirmed.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/1 ... cat-again/

11) The Sandwiches have not filled their pets in about the details of their extended family.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/06/08/no-excuses/

12) Mr Sandwich is something of a smart-alec.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/06/1 ... ternative/

13) Mrs Sandwich reassures Grape about her husband's sense of humor.
Note: The phrase "I would assume you got that from him, but then again, you're a cat" seems to imply that either pets can "inherit" personality traits from their owners or that being a "rule breaker at heart" is expected cat behavior. Most likely a version of both; pets tend to model their behavior on the owners who raise them and rulebreaking is expected cat behavior.
14) Mrs Sandwich evidently does think of Grape and Peanut as surrogate children.
Note: The fact that a normal human could easily wind up raising five or more generations of surrogate "grandchildren", "great-grandchildren", and so on, and have to make end-of-life medical decisions, and either support or prevent large numbers of such children, probably calls for some practical adjustments to the surrogate parent-surrogate child relationship. Fortunately, humans have, throughout history, demonstrated repeatedly that they can easily manage such an attitude.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/06/1 ... lled-milk/

15) Mr and Mrs Sandwich don't mind being visited by wolves.
Inference: The prejudice displayed towards Miles in the strips showing his first visit to the city evidently isn’t universal.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/2 ... er-danger/

16) Jake, Jerry, and Mr Sandwich appear in the background here, apparently gaping at Pete.
Inference: They’re all concerned about Zachary (or at least Mr Sandwich and Jake are willing to get up in the night and stumble around helping Jerry out) and may be acting as the core of the search operation.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/25/whoops/

17) According to the cast page, Mr. and Mrs. Sandwich moved into Babylon Gardens because they heard that the place was pet-friendly, and they’re both fond of animals. Mr. Sandwich works as an auto mechanic. According to other (and not necessarily canon) sources, they got pets because they didn’t feel ready to have children of their own yet.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bill:

1) Bill (Fox’s owner) first appears, with the literal "Motorcycle Bucket Seat" joke.
Inference: Bill isn’t a particularly sensitive individual, and doesn’t worry about embarrassing his pets. Personally, I’d suspect that that goes with being a policeman.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/17/lame-joke-83/

2) Bill has a MANLY chin and leans very far forward on his motorcycle.
Note: Bill really seems to enjoy traveling by motorcycle.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/0 ... bike-ride/

3) Bill seems to be competent as a policeman and as an investigator.
4) Bill is a motorcycle cop.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/1 ... sandpaper/

5) Bill is commendably patient with the dognapers.
Inference: Bill may well feel that this pair is so incompetent that he doesn’t need to do much. If so, he turns out to be more-or-less right.
Note: Rick states in the commentary that Jake's hot-tempered behavior, self-centeredness, and attempts to get out of the consequences are personality traits reflected in his pets, Bino and Maxwell. He also notes that Bill is unlikely to go along with such attempts entirely. Evidently Bill takes his responsibilities as a policeman seriously.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/1 ... ringwheel/

6) Bill is highly suspicious of wolves trying to live with humans, and of the garden party preparations.
Speculation: Possibly the gutted deer centerpiece tipped him off before the wolves (presumably) got rid of it.
7) Bill is, however, not willing to take preemptive action when his probable troublemakers prove to have very wealthy and influential patrons.
Inference: If the wolves hadn’t been licensed, and hadn’t obviously belonged to someone (or some group) who could easily afford a house, Bill probably would have taken action. It’s probably a good thing that the Milton Ferrets made sure all the details were covered (I'd guess by putting a lawyer on it).
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/10/1 ... y-officer/

8) Bill does, however, continue to keep an eye on the situation. If it does turn into trouble, he's apparently going to be ready to deal with it.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/10/1 ... han-human/

9) Bill is attending the party, and is quite honest about his original doubts and their cause.
Inference: Bill is used to just saying what he thinks. Given the housepets universe is full of things that can understand you, this may be very common (on the theory that there’s no point in trying to hide things) or very rare (on the theory that you can never afford an unguarded moment), depending on humanities general level of paranoia.
10) Bill likes very rare steak, and feels that anyone who cooks steak right is probably "classy".
11) Bill had apparently never thought that wolves could be "classy".
12) Bill has failed to notice that the steak apparently isn't cooked at all.
Inference: Bill is competent, but is perhaps less observant than he might be.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/10/2 ... eing-bill/

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jake:

1) Jake (Bino and Maxwell's owner) is mentioned. He may be ashamed of Bino.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/0 ... cred-duty/

2) Jake has put a shock collar on Bino.
Inference: Either Bino misbehaves spectacularly or extremely persistently, or shock collars are considered fairly normal methods of pet discipline.
Inference: Jake is either too busy, or too indifferent, to actually discipline Bino personally. Of course, he may have tried without much success; it IS Bino we’re talking about here.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/1 ... -reaction/

3) Jake reacts to the phrase "I'm with PETA" with immediate violence.
Inference: Jake has probably had some personal bad experience with PETA that impairs his judgement, given that assault and battery is often good for some jail time. Even a hot temper usually calls for some personal affront to excite it.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/04/2 ... -violence/

4) Rick notes in the commentary that Jake's hot-tempered behavior, self-centeredness, and attempts to get out of the consequences are personality traits reflected in his pets.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/1 ... ringwheel/

5) Jake, Jerry, and Mr Sandwich appear in the background here, apparently gaping at Pete.
Inference: They’re all concerned about Zachary (or at least Mr Sandwich and Jake are willing to get up in the night and stumble around helping Jerry out) and may be acting as the core of the search operation.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/25/whoops/

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jerry:

Jerry is quite used to Tiger's misbehavior.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/0 ... bad-bunny/

Jerry is quite concerned about Zachary, and presumably about his other pets.
Jerry seems to consider the pets adult associates, rather than surrogate children.
Jerry's pets do still seem to look to him to lead them though.
Inference: Jerry may not see the pets as “Kids”, but he certainly seems to see them as dependent subordinates.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/11/key-phrase/

Jake, Jerry, and Mr Sandwich appear in the background here, apparently gaping at Pete.
Inference: They’re all concerned about Zachary (or at least Mr Sandwich and Jake are willing to get up in the night and stumble around helping Jerry out) and may be acting as the core of the search operation.
Note: It would be interesting to know what they think of what they’ve seen. I doubt that the pets have kept it entirely secret either.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/25/whoops/

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ryan:

1) Ryan (Fido's owner) first appears.
Note: Ryan appears to be pleased at Fido’s graduation from the police academy and doesn’t mind his pet working as a police dog. How this works is never explained: presumably the police cover the potential medical bills, uniforms, and so on, but whether Ryan or Fido are compensated for Fido’s services remains unknown.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/0 ... cred-duty/

3) Ryan apparently finds the things pets get up to amusing.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/0 ... -constant/

4) Ryan appears with his gaming group. They're playing D&D.
Inference: Judging by the conversation, this is a regular event.
Note: At least some of the gamers like to attempt rules exploits.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/1 ... mebreaker/

5) Per the cast page, Ryan Byron just thinks that the antics of the pets are really amusing - and beyond that, it’s not a human matter, so who cares? Ryan is an R&D expert for a software firm.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The fat PETA guy: (For convenience, referred to henceforth as “FPETA”)

1) FPETA first appears, and immediately demonstrates that his belief-system is quite disconnected from reality.
Note: He continues to demonstrate that from this point on.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/04/2 ... ery-naive/

2) FPETA expresses his disdain for legal methods and gets ready for a dognapping.
Inference: FPETA is quite incompetent. At a bare minimum, before starting on a plan - especially a criminal plan when you’ve already attracted notice in the area - any normal person would want to know what they were trying to do.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/0 ... n-strikes/

3) FPETA demonstrates the ability to drag Joel around (not that this appears to be hard) but a reluctance to confront any pets he judges potentially troublesome.
4) FPETA continues to make decisions based on logical fallacies. Little or no valid reasoning appears to be involved.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/0 ... character/

5) FPETA attempts to convince Fox of the advantages of being feral, but has enough connection to reality to realize that Fox does not agree - although he probably considers Fox brainwashed.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/0 ... the-world/

6) FPETA demonstrates that his convictions apply only on the abstract level, not to any one animal in particular, by attempting to silence or smother Fox.
Note: Abstract causes tend to be extremely treacherous: they are usually so vague and ill-defined that they can be used to justify almost anything.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/1 ... sandpaper/

7) FPETA is getting arrested in the background.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/2 ... at-driver/

8) FPETA claims to have a glandular condition. A Joel and a policeman both seem to find this claim amusing.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/2 ... -year-one/

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Minor Humans:

1) A zookeeper appears here. He’s quite polite to the patrons, even if they are animals.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/2 ... et-buffet/

1) A petstore clerk appears here.
2) He is not allowed to sell catnip to pets.
Inference: Human-style intoxicants, anise, and a variety of other animal-specific intoxicants probably fall under this ban as well - although at least the animal-only items are apparently freely available to humans who want to give them to animals.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/1 ... things-up/

1) Aunt Claire is mentioned.
Inference: Aunt Claire is somewhat presumptuous: giving someone a new pet is assuming a lot in the real world, and a Housepets pet is an even more complicated commitment.
Note: Aunt Claire is mentioned again later in connection with Pap.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/2 ... s-edition/

1) A male vet appears.
2) Despite Grape's childhood impressions, it seems unlikely that he is actually an eldritch abomination. It cannot, however, be ruled out.
3) Over the next several strips, it's demonstrated that his bedside manner isn't that hot.
Inference: he’s been like that for some time, and it’s probably why Grape has poor (if partial) memories of him. Of course, it could also mean that he IS an eldritch abomination, and doesn’t understand mortal life very well.
Nonsensical “Strip-I’d-Like-To-See”: Eldritch Abomination Vet versus Pete / Gaspar with King in the middle trying to make sense out of it. If someone wants to try it as fan art, I will applaud.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/01/2 ... -memories/

1) A female vet appears. Her bedside manner is much superior to her male counterparts.
2) An veterinary orderly makes a brief appearance.
Inference: Some people, such as the male vet noted above, treat animals with a bare minimum of consideration, and most likely get poorer results for it. After all, if the Sandwiches asked Grape and Peanut “which vet would you like to go to next time?”, which one would be more likely to get their business?
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/01/30/hello-vet/

1) A gas station attendant attempts to enforce pet leash rules or laws.
Inference: He’s either petty, knows that the owner might watch the security tapes (presuming he's not the owner of course), or has had trouble with other animals in the past. I suspect pettiness, but other motives cannot be ruled out.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/06/1 ... ternative/

1) Uncle Reuben and what are apparently his five children (of various sizes) appear here.
Inference: Reuben's cats and Rufus sleep in the barn to avoid an excess of affection.
Inference: Judging by appearances and the family name, Uncle Reuben is Mr Sandwiches brother. It could be some more complicated and distant relationship of course, but there’s no evidence of that.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/0 ... ill-exist/

1) An unidentified policeman appears here.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/2 ... -year-one/

1) The crazed hermit who speaks in limericks is seen for the first time here, although he was referenced in the earlier dream-sequence.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/1 ... -favorite/

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Responses:

For Foldo:

The note on wolves in Paris was based on a documentary from a few years back which investigated the wildlife of Paris (primarily smaller species) and found a few wolves which regularly visited from the forested areas nearby to scavenge in the early morning hours. Given that there are several poorly fenced nature preserves within five miles of Paris, that slightly more than a quarter of France is forested, and that more than 7% of France consists of nature preserves, that seemed environmentally plausible. Wolves were believed exterminated in France at some point between from 1927 and 1939 (depending on the source consulted), however they have definitely been re-establishing themselves (primarily from Italy) since the late 1980's or early 1990's. (It is also possible that relict populations persisted during the intervening fifty to sixty years since there are plenty of feral dogs to conceal their presence). The specific animals in that documentary may since have proven to be transients, wolf-dog hybrids, or misidentified dogs, or they may have been eliminated, but I haven't run across any followup information. Ergo, this is the best data I currently have available. Yours may well be more current - after all, for all I know you live in Paris - but I can only work with what I've got.

Response Note: I feel that it’s rude not to make responses as complete as possible - but I do have a tendency to over-analyze everything (hence this thread). It’s been requested that I hold back on that - so this bit will be the last unrequested analysis-response. If someone wants to know the reasoning behind something, or wants something they’ve written either analyzed or included in an analysis, please ask for that specifically so I can avoid upsetting anyone (this is for fun after all). Otherwise, if you’ve spotted a typo, have information I missed, have a new inference, or have a new hypothesis, there will be thanks.

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Character Dossiers


Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:39 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Thoth wrote:
For Foldo:

The note on wolves in Paris was based on a documentary from a few years back which investigated the wildlife of Paris (primarily smaller species) and found a few wolves which regularly visited from the forested areas nearby to scavenge in the early morning hours. Given that there are several poorly fenced nature preserves within five miles of Paris, that slightly more than a quarter of France is forested, and that more than 7% of France consists of nature preserves, that seemed environmentally plausible. Wolves were believed exterminated in France at some point between from 1927 and 1939 (depending on the source consulted), however they have definitely been re-establishing themselves (primarily from Italy) since the late 1980's or early 1990's. (It is also possible that relict populations persisted during the intervening fifty to sixty years since there are plenty of feral dogs to conceal their presence). The specific animals in that documentary may since have proven to be transients, wolf-dog hybrids, or misidentified dogs, or they may have been eliminated, but I haven't run across any followup information. Ergo, this is the best data I currently have available. Yours may well be more current - after all, for all I know you live in Paris - but I can only work with what I've got.

Foldo is not in Paris proper, but not far from, so I'm inclined to trust their information.

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Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:51 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Here are the dossiers for the Minor Animal Characters - Karl-Lenin Faust and Squeak, the Zoo Animals, the Mr Bigglesworth’s, the Farm Animals, the K-9 Unit, Joel’s Pets, and the Random Animals. Once again, there really isn’t enough information on most of them for backstories, and not much to explain either - so the backstories here are going to be limited to the speculative bits in the varies listings and to the cross-reference to Joel’s dossier for his pets.

The Mice - Karl-Lenin Faust and Squeak:

1) Karl-Lenin Faust appears. He is apparently a classical "socialist rabble-rouser".
Note: It would be interesting to find out where Karl-Lenin Faust picked up the rhetoric. Is there some crazed revolutionary raising mouse-agitators in his closet and releasing them into the world? Did Karl-Lenin (a name that probably wasn’t provided by his parents - unless they too were would-be socialist revolutionaries) simply read the wrong section of a library? Did his parents insulate the nest with scraps from a copy of Das Kapital? Sadly, we shall probably never know.
2) At least some of the mice either feel oppressed or are willing to follow anyone who promises an improvement in their living conditions.
3) Karl-Lenin Faust does much better at making speeches than at writing.
Inference: Judging by Grape’s Fanfiction and Letters to Actors, as well as by Peanuts "Spot Superdog" scripting and letter to Santa, this may be a common limitation of animals.
4) Karl-Lenin Faust has a specialized education of sorts (whether acquired through reading or some sort of instruction) - although many of the other mice don't seem to be clear on the rhetoric.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/2 ... e-and-die/

5) The Mice have “discovered” fire.
Inference: The mice, and possibly the other small animal species, are VERY poorly organized; otherwise humans would need to be a great deal more accommodating lest their buildings all burn down. This might be fixed by building almost exclusively of stone and fireproof materials, but the house burning down during the Easter Egg Hunt suggests that this is not the case.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/0 ... er-of-che/

6) Mice, like many of the other animals, show spectacularly poor judgement.
Inference: The mice are not entirely familiar with the classic "bell the cat" stories.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/0 ... o-get-off/

Squeak:

1) Squeak is first mentioned. She is apparently going to move in with Joey.
Note: Pets generally don't get to pick where they live.
Inference: Squeak is a feral mouse - and is probably too small for Joey’s owners to notice.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/0 ... -for-dogs/

2) Squeak is either visiting or has moved in with Joey, and is not that fond of cheese.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/2 ... s-edition/

3) Squeak met Joey while he was roleplaying as a cat and has “cat friends”.
Inference: At least some cats see no reason to eat mice - at least not as long as they’re getting plenty of cat food.
Note: Overfed pets are pretty common in reality, but I can’t recall seeing any in the strip. Even Tiger doesn’t seem especially fat, despite his eating disorder. Either fat pets get mocked enough to make them exercise more, diet pet foods are a big business, something exotic is going on, or it’s an artistic preference.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/2 ... -unsee-it/

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The Zoo Animals:

1) Shardul the Bengal Tiger finds people reading the instructional plaques about tigers out loud annoying. It's hard to blame him.
Note: Shardul doesn't seem to be much larger than a human, although he looks a bit more solid.
Speculation: Housepets tigers - and, perhaps some of the other carnivores - may have a considerably smaller physical advantage over humans, their pets, and their prey species than they do in reality, and may well use weapons. The spear-armed Lions of the Pridelands series may be quite plausible.
Inference: Since whatever barrier there is doesn't suffice to hinder conversation - and many of the other animals appearing later don't really seem to be effectively restrained at all - it seems likely that most of the zoo animals stay there at least semi-voluntarily.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/1 ... thy-brain/

1) Tarmac and Gambit appear.
2) Chinese-speaking female river otters don't like noise while they're trying to sleep.
Inference: The animals seem to pick up the human languages of whatever region they grow up in. They may not be able to pick up new human languages with anything like the speed they pick up their first one.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/1 ... -otter-be/

1) The Zoo Kangaroos appear.
Note: The Kangaroos, and possibly the zoo animals in general, apparently feel obliged to put on a show for the visitors.
Inference: The "show" is probably semi-voluntary given the behavior of the Kangaroos and the later behavior of the wolves at the wolf pen.
Speculation: The “show” may be part of a tacit contract of sorts: guaranteed food, safety, medical care, and a comfortable lifestyle in exchange for being on display. Such an arrangement might even include some sort of "credit at the zoo shop", which would put the zoo animals in roughly the same position as circus performers and fit in with “it’s like a compulsory job”.
2) The Kangaroos have picked up a full set of Australian stereotypes.
Inference: The zoo animals may have access to television.
Speculation: Their dens may be more like apartments than they are like real zoo accommodations - which may help explain why the Foxes apparently have access to computers, televisions, and coffee-makers later on.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/2 ... p-paddock/

1) The wolves at the wolf-pen don't seem too obliged to put on a show - or at least don’t feel obliged to do so for other pets.
Note: The art style has changed since this strip, and has gone to color, so it's hard to tell - but the zoo wolves might be a different subspecies from Miles and his pack.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/2 ... he-ground/

1) Dolphins are telepathic, and are either somewhat deceptive or inclined to practical jokes.
Inference: Telepathy really isn't all that remarkable in the Housepets universe. Other psychic abilities may also exist.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/2 ... er-whales/

1) The Apes apparently have a monolith to amuse them.
Inference: The Apes - and Grape - have all seen “2001 A Space Odyssey". Either the zoo shows movies (perhaps there’s a movie night?), the apes have a television, there’s a nearby drive-through they can see, the apes sometimes sneak out of the zoo and go to the movies, or there actually is an alien monolith at the zoo.
Speculation: The apes may be subtly (or not-so-subtly) mocking their human visitors.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/2 ... rathustra/

1) The birds at the aviary have threatened to unionize.
Inference: The birds can communicate in some fashion (most likely speech, although dolphin-style telepathy is possible). This lends a whole new dimension to espionage and early communications efforts.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/2 ... et-buffet/

1) The zoo foxes have a communal display, a computer, and a coffee maker.
Inference: From the “snowy” jokes they either have, or are familiar with, broadcast television.
Inference: The foxes are either getting an allowance of some sort (whether in cash, credit, or toys and treats) or the zookeepers want to keep them busy. The same may apply to the other animals.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/0 ... -computer/

1) The snakes at the zoo know some very good tricks - and Peanut is easily manipulated.
2) Snakes don't have limbs, although they can speak perfectly well. It looks like only animals that normally have paws are anthropomorphic.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/0 ... e-animals/

1) Three dozen zookeepers allowed the zoo animals to participate in a multi-species scrabble tournament. Evidently they have few worries about escapes, since it’s unlikely that Grape or Peanut could offer any serious bribes.
Inference: This lends a bit more credibility to the “circus performer” theory, above.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/0 ... -literate/

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The Mr Bigglesworth’s:

1) The Mr Bigglesworth's first appear. Their owner apparently can't tell the difference between them.
Inference: The Mr Bigglesworths are all apparently Siamese or at least look like one.
Note: The Mr Bigglesworths are in luck; Siamese are one of the longest-lived housecat breeds. They are prone to kinked tails and cross eyes though.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/2 ... more-cats/

2) The Mr Bigglesworths will only be getting on copy of the new Pridelands book.
Note: It looks like the title might be "Fall of the Pridelands" from the wall poster.
Note: The Mr Bigglesworths seem to have new tags and possibly new collars; the old tags were octagons, the one shown here is a “B”.
3) The mob of fans does not react well to spoilers, whether actual or
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/2 ... the-drain/

4) Eleven Mr Bigglesworths appear, apparently having some sort of a meeting.
Note: That may be all of them, it matches the number on the role-call sheet.
5) One of the Mr Bigglesworths is wearing glasses.
Inference: He or she may have eye problems (his or her eyes do seem a bit askew) unless the glasses are just an attempt to look a bit different from all the others.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/06/0 ... l-of-them/

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Farm Animals:

1) Rufus and Made-Of-Win appear.
2) Rufus is one of the few dogs with a named breed - Australian Shepard.
Note: Rufus gives the visual impression that he's fairly old. The fact that he states that his previous owner purchased the farm, then sold it (and apparently him) to Uncle Reuben s few years ago tends to support this.
Note: Judging by the comments, a number of people got the impression that Rufus was blind and might have bad teeth. As a personal observation, he does give me the impression that he’s staring past those he's talking to. This could be a habit, an indicator of poor vision, or simply an incorrect impression.
3) Rufus likes bad jokes. Made-Of-Win is less tolerant.
4) The horses don't mind being ridden.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/0 ... p-daisies/

5) Money-For-Nothing, Action Replay, and a nameless cow appear here.
6) Horses are apparently used to being told that they “look delicious".
7) Peanut did not expect the horses to be so expressive. Since at least one of the horses blames the media - "they keep portraying us as four-legged bicycles:" - evidently horses (and possibly animal in general) rarely get speaking roles in movies or on television.
8) The cow doesn't pay much attention to Grape's taunt that "Hey I'm gonna eat your innards". From the alt text it's a mixture of indifference and obliviousness.
Speculation: Cows may not be too bright, but this may also imply a tacit bargain. Prey species tend to wind up being killed and eaten regardless - and so getting to live in a barn with plenty to eat, a calm and peaceful lifestyle, protection from predators, basic medical care, and a painless death, may be considered a step up from running around wild, having to watch constantly for predators, having to put up with all the other disadvantages of being feral, and then being painfully killed and eaten at some more-or-less random age.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/0 ... your-food/

9) The barn cats first appear here. Judging by the alt-text, they are intentionally teasing "that cute visiting dog" (Peanut).
10) The barn cats aren't wearing collars. Judging from Grape's earlier reaction at the gas station, this is indeed seen as being equivalent to nudity.
Inference: The Barn Cats aren’t as wrapped up in taboos, or as neurotic, as many of the pets seen so far. This may be due to them having less human interference in their lives and to growing up with feline parents and other animals, rather than being raised by humans.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/0 ... the-mouth/

11) The Barn Cats are going ahead with their slow-motion pillow fight and are involving Grape.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/1 ... s-too-far/

12) The Barn Cats apparently think that "city folk" prejudices and circumlocutions are "cute".
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/1 ... g-reasons/

13) Rufus assumes the "wide old mentor" role to give courting advice to Peanut. Apparently he either has a "simple and rustic" view of such things or was simply teasing. Having a dead chicken that handy seems a bit unlikely otherwise - although not impossible.
Note: Rufus still seems to stare past people a bit, but he doesn't really appear blind here. Possibly he’s just a bit farsighted or is subject to eyestrain.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/1 ... -occasion/

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The K-9 Unit:

1) Sergeant Ralph appears. He's obtained a bucket of water from somewhere.
Note: The K-9 dogs use collar-mounted radios and apparently use sunglasses (in various styles) as a part of their uniforms.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/1 ... efreshing/

2) Sergeant Ralph has now produced a cup of something hot and a blanket from somewhere. Inference: Either this sort of thing is carried along as equipment (possibly in the trunk), or he's exceptionally talented.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/2 ... at-driver/

3) Kevin is another K-9 dog, apparently with either less experience, a poorer memory, or more excitability than Fido.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/2 ... -mixed-up/

4) Fido evidently outranks Kevin.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/2 ... ood-crowd/

5) There's an unidentified cream-and-brown police dog in this strip.
Note: I don’t believe he’s appeared again.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/2 ... nd-humans/

6) Sergeant Ralph and an unidentified policeman appear here.
Note: Four police dogs appear in this sequence. Since they apparently normally ride in the front seats of the police cars and probably no more than one to a motorcycle, this would imply the presence of at least four policemen unless some of the K-9 dogs are doing their own driving.
Inference: K-9 units are probably considerably more common in Housepets than in reality. It is possible that policemen are commonly partnered with K-9's rather than with human partners, and so might be expected to take “dognaping” considerably more seriously than simple theft, even if there is no major legal distinction. There might be, but the bit about “and the sentence was going to be time served” leads me to doubt it.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/2 ... -year-one/

7) Apparently a Kangaroo has somehow provoked a K-9 investigation at the library.
Inference: Fido, Kevin, and Sergeant Ralph all appear here with no sign of human handlers. It seems likely that - despite an earlier statement on the limitations of K-9 units by Fido - they are allowed to do at least some investigations on their own. There is, however, no indication of whether or not the Kangaroo in question has actually committed a crime beyond (probably) being AWOL from the local zoo and hanging around the library.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/1 ... stigation/

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Joel’s Pets:

1) Joel's pets - a cat, a dog, and another dog - appear in flashback. There are good views of the cat and one dog, the other dog (presuming that it is the other dog in the lower left of panel five) is obscured.
Inference: Even if nothing unpleasant happened to some pets that had apparently kidnaped a human child, Joel’s pets would probably be pretty old by now. They appear adult in Joel's memory (making them four or so at a minimum) while Joel appears to be quite young - being about the same size or smaller - and he now appears to be in his twenties (admittedly, only a guess). Further discussions on Joel's pets can be found under the entry for Joel.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/2 ... nd-humans/

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Random Animals:

1) Some outdoor “neighbor cats” appear. Evidently some people tend to keep their pets outside.
Inference: Many of the pets don't have that much to do.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/0 ... -outdoors/

2) There are a bunch of "Neighbor Dogs". They reappear in the background many times, but - so far at least - without much impact on the story.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/2 ... yal-order/

1) Fox's cousin in Kansas appears.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/2 ... s-edition/

1) Pap the Puppy appears.
2) Pap, despite his age, is rather mouthy and teases Tiger about his name.
Note: Pap has not appeared again yet. Hopefully Tiger didn't really manage to get rid of him.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/06/0 ... -children/

1) A Cat Waitress appears.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/1 ... kill-cafe/

1) "Joey's Creepy Friends" first appear here, playing D&D.
2) Judging by the implied game, they're probably adolescents themselves; older individuals will have more sense than to intentionally fail saving throws when they have such limited information.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/06/19/fast-learner/

3) At least one of "Joey's Creepy Friends" likes anime, and is snobbish about watching it with subtitles rather than dubbed.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/2 ... -subtlety/

1) Here we have a reference to what is apparently a Kangaroo which has somehow provoked a K-9 investigation at the library.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/1 ... stigation/

1) An assortment of forest animals appear here.
2) They seem quite pleased with Zachary's opening of the "mysterious ancient temple".
Inference: Given the number of small animals to be found per acre in wooded and grassland areas, this is a very small group. They’re probably just some of the Raccoon’s personal friends.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/1 ... done-that/

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Responses:

For Frank:

Frank wrote:
I shudder to think what kind of "fun" these ferrets can have in the "pet health and wellness" system, since it'll probably end with an oxygen-tank induced explosion. Please fix the typo.


Ah, typos to be fixed. Thanks for mentioning it.

Frank wrote:
Considering that Fox didn't know who Mr. Milton was, I'm not too sure of that. You are right, though, in that he's seen more than we have, since we were following Bino at the time.


Yep. That's why “Some” weight. I’m not saying how much, that's up to how much you trust Fox's judgement.

Frank wrote:
So, yeah, if they weren't powerful, there probably would be no reason to fear them.


I suspect that Money and Influence likely equates to power. My gerbils were crazy, but never scary.

For Ebly:

Foldo probably does have better information then, thank you. Another item to go on the update list.

Next up: probably Henry Milton and the Ungrateful Relatives, because there isn’t anyone else left except “Sir Not Appearing In This Comic”.

Return to the Thread Index: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=199&start=0

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Character Dossiers


Last edited by Thoth on Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:20 am
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
The other horse's name is Action Replay

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Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:26 am
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Ah, missed the tag. Well, that's an easy edit. Thanks for mentioning it.

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Character Dossiers


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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Thoth wrote:
Note: Rufus still seems to stare past people a bit, but he doesn't really appear blind here. Possibly he’s just a bit farsighted or is subject to eyestrain.


Actually, I noticed one of Rufus' eyes were grayed out and so it makes me think he might be blind on one side. Or maybe it's genetic but it wouldn't be strange either way.

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Thoth wrote:
For Ebly:

Foldo probably does have better information then, thank you. Another item to go on the update list.

Next up: probably Henry Milton and the Ungrateful Relatives, because there isn’t anyone else left except “Sir Not Appearing In This Comic”.

Return to the Thread Index: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=199&start=0

Extract of Wikipedia France on Wolves (Google translation):
In France, as in many countries, wolves have survived in the more remote areas near the borders. But in the nineteenth century they had almost disappeared. The remains of a wolf killed in the woods Valloires (Pas de Calais) in 1830 is preserved by the Museum of Natural History in Lille. Wolves have survived later escaping to battered from the France to Belgium (depending on whose side they are hunted). The last wolf officially recognized in the Pas-de-Calais has been killed in the woods Créquy (Ternois, Pas de Calais) in 1871. Yet another was shot a little further south in the north of the Somme in 1880.

Personal knowledge:
Currently, wolves are mainly in the mountains of southern, eastern and central France. Southern cities, although smaller than Paris, began to have more night (to cross the Rhone river, to go to Massif Central montains, the wolves were forced to use the bridges), because Current packs become too large. So there are many wolves running through French cities, but not in Paris (although this may change someday).

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
I hope this gets updated soon, Thouth. I want to hear your thoughts on Sasha and her hidden intelligence. ;)


Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:56 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
the last post in this thread was in january. i really don't think it is going to be updated any time soon.

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Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:34 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
If I'm not mistaken, Thoth lost the password to his forum account.

Hence, he won't be on until he finds it again.

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Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:23 am
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Uh, he could just email me to get it reset. And I'm pretty sure the forum has a system for that too.

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Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:54 am
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Thoth's commenting again, so he's around for sure. Maybe we could let him know though the comments section.

Hey, Thoth! When you get back I made something for you! I took you at your word and made it
Thoth wrote:
Nonsensical "Strip-I'd-Like-To-See": Eldritch Abomination Vet versus Pete / Gaspar with King in the middle trying to make sense out of it. If someone wants to try it as fan art, I will applaud.
I put it here since it is basically a reply to your post.

I wrote the dialogue back in December, so it may contradict the canon since then. I have a follow-up planned, but since doing the actual drawing of this one took me 3 days non-stop, no guarantees about when it'll be done.


Attachments:
King meets Cthulu abomination vet.png
King meets Cthulu abomination vet.png [ 121.43 KiB | Viewed 6826 times ]

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November 21, 2010
Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:04 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
That's pretty cool.

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Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:16 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
You, Frank, are awesome.

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Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:45 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
I looked at the image first and it took me half a second to realize what was going on.

I love it when that happens.

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Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:38 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
it... it all makes sense

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Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:15 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
bam! translated
Absolutely loved that :mrgreen:

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Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:46 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
That is indeed an awesome job on that strip Frank. You have my applause! (And a salute to your artistic skills and talents).

Also, as you can see, I have indeed located the password again. Now all I need is to locate the time again... (That, sadly, has been the hard part all along). Fortunately, there should be some available in a week or two, and I can try to catch up.

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Character Dossiers


Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:21 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
THOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOTH!!!


















































Hi.

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Last edited by rickgriffin on Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:14 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
oh man, it's been a long time
have fun updating

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:56 am
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