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Very Calvin and Hobbes 
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Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:36 pm
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Post Very Calvin and Hobbes
I have to say, after reading the first few percent (I'm guessing - I don't really know how much material there is, but how much COULD there be?) of the comic, I am pleasantly surprised. But it also really seems to me that all the pet characters are VERY reminiscent of Calvin and Hobbes. From the comic starting with a silly role-playing fantasy that is totally in the characters of C&H to partake in, to the occasional philosophical bogs they seem to delve into. I wouldn't say that Grape is pure Hobbes and Peanut is pure Calvin, but their proportions do seem to reflect a majority of it being that way - which is good, that the cat is like Hobbes, it's better that way. Actually I think I started off thinking it was the other way around but then something changed my mind, probably that the cat was being more sensible in general, as Calvin is always more unreasonable and Hobbes the voice of reason.

I would like to point out that the confirmation questions for creating a forum account are unreasonable. I shouldn't have to have read the whole comic or a huge fraction of it before I am qualified to answer any of them, I wanted to pay my respects to the comic even having read a very small fraction and I had to try 4 times before I got one which was indirectly answered in the character bio page because I didn't know any of the answers. Oh well, at least it didn't make me re-enter all the information again.

But anyway, I just think it's great. "What if pets could talk - and unlike in Garfield, the humans could understand them - and they were all basically like Calvin and Hobbes". What an awesome premise. I was getting the heck annoyed out of me by all the comments in this other thing I saw (called Sandra and Woo) comparing Calvin and Hobbes to that since it was NOTHING like it but this one really is that way and no one seems to notice or at least mention it. Well, keep it up!

Anyone else agree / disagree with my assessment by the way?

Wow, speak of the devil, as soon as I post that, I get to the very next page in my progress through the comic:

http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/0 ... tty-tummy/

and the dog is not only acting VERY much like Calvin but even cites C&H! I think I did indeed call it.


Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:51 pm
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Post Re: Very Calvin and Hobbes
Well, I don't know.... does this strip answer your question?

http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/08/philosophical-quandaries-must-wait/

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Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:09 pm
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Post Re: Very Calvin and Hobbes
Calvin and Hobbes is an inspiration for the comic it seems, so it's a good comparison!

I would describe Housepets! as like Garfield but minus the stale humor and with an ensemble cast and elements of romance and fantasy.

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Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:12 pm
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Post Re: Very Calvin and Hobbes
Eh, I've changed my opinion. It's so serious and structured and unambiguous about the whole "every animal on Earth is intelligent" thing in a progressively less silly way, and then it gets bogged in the philosophical mud that would result from this situation, and then on top of that it proceeds to add supernatural elements that are taken deadpan serious, like the griffin that turns the peta guy into a dog, and Tarot the psychic pomeranian although that one's not so bad. Whereas Calvin and Hobbes could exist in the real world as a kid with an imagination, but it's got duality if you take him as the main protagonist and add in a little solipsism.

Perhaps what this would have needed to do would be to have maybe just one single neighborhood or town where animals can talk, and while within the boundaries of this place, no one thinks there's anything unusual about it, but step outside and it's all normal. Or something like that.

But still it's better than most webcomics. Well in fairness, I can't think of any that are better. I kind of do this every time about something new, it starts out new and seems amazing but when the novelty wears out, it no longer has that in its favor. I did the same thing with El Goonish Shive, it seemed funny at first but then it devolved into just this beaten out transgender fantasy and I can't relate to that, and likewise I hope this doesn't completely just devolve into a furry fantasy because I can't relate to that either, but I'm only up to the beginning of 2010 so whatever direction it turns, there's no helping it now, and I shall find out.


Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:30 am
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Post Re: Very Calvin and Hobbes
copper wrote:
Well, I don't know.... does this strip answer your question?

http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/08/philosophical-quandaries-must-wait/


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Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:04 pm
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Post Re: Very Calvin and Hobbes
sandman wrote:
Eh, I've changed my opinion. It's so serious and structured and unambiguous about the whole "every animal on Earth is intelligent" thing in a progressively less silly way, and then it gets bogged in the philosophical mud that would result from this situation, and then on top of that it proceeds to add supernatural elements that are taken deadpan serious, like the griffin that turns the peta guy into a dog, and Tarot the psychic pomeranian although that one's not so bad. Whereas Calvin and Hobbes could exist in the real world as a kid with an imagination, but it's got duality if you take him as the main protagonist and add in a little solipsism.

Perhaps what this would have needed to do would be to have maybe just one single neighborhood or town where animals can talk, and while within the boundaries of this place, no one thinks there's anything unusual about it, but step outside and it's all normal. Or something like that.

But still it's better than most webcomics. Well in fairness, I can't think of any that are better. I kind of do this every time about something new, it starts out new and seems amazing but when the novelty wears out, it no longer has that in its favor. I did the same thing with El Goonish Shive, it seemed funny at first but then it devolved into just this beaten out transgender fantasy and I can't relate to that, and likewise I hope this doesn't completely just devolve into a furry fantasy because I can't relate to that either, but I'm only up to the beginning of 2010 so whatever direction it turns, there's no helping it now, and I shall find out.
Part of the point of the lightheartedness of Housepets! is "don't question it too much."

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Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:16 pm
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Post Re: Very Calvin and Hobbes
:|
One of the reasons I really like this comic is because it doesn't get bogged down in the philosophical/political quagmire that could ensue from this topic. It's certainly there and comes to the foreground occasionally to give a better sense of the world or move a plot line forward, but the main point of this comic has always been "dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria".
The supernatural plot with King is an interesting addition to the overall Housepets! universe and provides an extra sense of "story", but as long as you remind yourself at the end of the day that this comic is mostly about pets if pets could talk and their crazy antics, it's actually rather lighthearted all the way through (which, I guess is what Sleet just said :lol: )

The fact that animals talking is normal provides a really interesting universe to work in with unique questions and quandaries. Rick certainly enjoys exploring them, but he doesn't sit there and tell you things: he shows you in a fun way with his cast of characters (and what characters they are :lol: ) Then next arc they're acting out Macbeth with their own twist. :D

My reaction is part curiosity as to where you feel the storyline manages to bog down philosophically and part caution cause I've seen a few overreactions to certain parts of this comic before the comic had time to put in its final word on the subject.

To the original topic, maybe at the very beginning I could have compared this to Calvin and Hobbes, but I think I would have related it more to Garfield. There are some aspects of C&H in it, but I don't know if that was ever quite my reaction to this comic. By now it's definitely its own story. ;)

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Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:04 am
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Post Re: Very Calvin and Hobbes
Negativity Incoming.

I think saying that Housepets! is 'rather lighthearted all the way through' kinda skims over the moments where it really, jarringly isn't - like whenever Sasha's abusive owner is brought up, or when King is given an opportunity to release the several gallons of trans-species angst bottled up and forced inside of him by a sadistic deity.

As far as I'm aware, Housepets! is meant to be a comedy. Thing is, it's pretty much impossible to follow up 'My routinely drunk and abusive owner tries to use me as an object in order to emotionally manipulate women' and/or 'If you don't become a personification of evil you'll turn back into a human, ruining your marriage and possibly sending you to Hell or Purgatory' with something funny. The tone shifts that arise are just too gigantic to seem comedic. It's not really possible to ignore, either. Sasha's victimhood is one of the key features about her, along with her ditsyness and loose relationship tendencies. In fact, for the moment it's quite possibly the only sympathetic trait she has. Likewise, King's difficulties with Pete have a direct effect on his character, both in a physical and emotional sense. Telling readers 'not to question it too much' is, in my opinion, doing a disservice to their intelligence.

The frequent pseudo-philosophical explanations regarding metaphysics that Rick just loves to justify King's continued dramatic existence with is also a problem. It's all treated like gigantic plot-mandated info dumps (Seriously, 'The Trial In Heaven' has more words each strip than Ctrl-Alt-Del usually does), which simply doesn't make for good writing, especially for a webcomic. The premise behind all of it (that is, the idea that the universe is really just a petty game of D&D) works, but I personally find that Rick spent way too much time elaborating upon the concept and too little time playing off of it.

sandman wrote:
But still it's better than most webcomics. Well in fairness, I can't think of any that are better.

I recommend Lackadaisy, Dinosaur Comics, The New Adventures of Queen Victoria, and Gunnerkrigg Court.

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Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:41 am
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Post Re: Very Calvin and Hobbes
I don't mind Sasha; it's enough in the background that it just gives more character to the universe and makes her a more sympathetic character. I'm not a huge fan of when the fantasy components get too serious, but then again there are fans who get mad when there's not enough of that stuff. :P

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Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:58 pm
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