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Gratuitous Praise for Rick Griffin! 
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Post Re: Gratuitous Praise for Rick Griffin!
While rebuilding my translation thread, I just arrived to the "Heaven's not enough" trilogy.
And here lies the great narrative ability: to rekindle ardent emotions and the feels in a story you know by heart.

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Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:09 am
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Post Re: Gratuitous Praise for Rick Griffin!
Finally caught up with the comic after classes kept me out of the loop for a year. Started from the beginning and worked my way up. Hoo boy, what a ride. Housepets! has given me so many memories. The first few years of the comic are such a nostalgia trip for me, and after having caught up, it's crazy to see how the comic is grown. It was weird popping onto the site again and seeing a new interface with long-form strips, but honestly, it's easily the best way to tell the story as of now. And man, what a story. I walked into Housepets knowing I'd be getting something cute and endearing. I didn't expect the comic to go the places that it did. I think it was honestly the first King arc that did it for me, bringing some real depth into a comic that could have gotten by on just being cute and clever--not that it ever stopped being that, mind you. In fact, that's one of the great things about Housepets!, as I'm sure anyone here can attest. No matter how deep it decides to go, be it into the bittersweet trials and tribulations of King, the increasing technicalities and loopholes of the cosmic game, or whatever other serious-ish territory it goes into, that sense of fun and humor never falls by the wayside. Plus, it's impressive to see just how ambitious the comic has gotten. I never would have expected an arc like Jungle Fever when I first picked the comic up in 2011, and even then I might never have foreseen an arc like Housepets B.C., The 4 Animals You Meet in Heaven, or even the arc that's currently running now. Catching up on these stories (and everything in between, of course) has been such a blast. The former arc in particular really grabbed me, and I love seeing how the overarching threads of the comic such as the interference of the cosmic deities and Keene's pursuit of human and animal equality keep building up. Everything feels connected, and that's something I've really come to appreciate as I've reread the comic.

It sounds a bit strange talking about the deep and complex stories you'll find in a comic called Housepets!, but I think Housepets! demonstrates that "deep" does not always mean "dark"--and for that matter, you never know where you're going to find depth. A good writer's first thought when writing a story is not "How do I make this deep?" Depth is honestly something that just happens. I'm sure a comic about the comedic misadventures of Peanut and Grape was not always intended to expand into the angst of a man who has been turned into a corgi by a demigod or the increasingly convoluted schemes of multiple demigods to one-up each other in a cosmic tabletop RPG. Heck, even writing that kind of highlights the beautiful silliness of it. It's deep, it's interesting, and it's at times heartfelt, but it isn't by any means serious--it's always fun, just as the comic was intended to be from the beginning. So few lighthearted stories can manage to turn up the depth tactfully and without taking themselves too seriously, but Housepets! manages by never forgetting what it is first and foremost: a funny comic about talking animals. And really, why can't a funny comic about talking animals have depth?

Honestly, I think that what consistently pushes Housepets! beyond a silly gag-a-day strip is the fact that we have a real world here. Rick didn't stop building the world of Housepets! at "Dogs and cats living together: Mass hysteria." A good writer sees the possibilities of the world they have created and explores them to their fullest extent, and that's exactly what Rick has done. We got a story about feral wolves attempting to adjust to human society. We got a story about a group of ferrets inheriting their rich owner's estate and being able to do whatever the heck they want with it. We got a story about a regular domestic rabbit being hailed as a prophet among the forest creatures because he kind of accidentally opened a door. We got King. We got the Cosmic Nerds. And more stories sprang up out of those stories, and even more came out of those. The world of Housepets! itself has grown, and I think that's one of the reasons why we're all so invested. It's not just that the characters are strong in and of themselves, it's that they all have their place in HP!'s ever-growing world. Every time a new character is introduced, that character serves a purpose. They're not just disconnected from everything else that's going on; they have a way of interacting with other members of the cast and a reason for doing so. I noticed this especially reading the Flip That Den arc and seeing how almost all of the forest critters we've seen so far got involved in the mess for their own silly reasons. It may seem like a weird one to single out in particular, but it honestly goes to show just how well HP!'s world has been built at this point. The characters are likable on their own, but I think that the way they fit into the world like puzzle pieces is what helps to make them truly special.

And believe me, I love this comic's characters. The fact that Rick is able to write all of these memorable characters with so many distinct personalities and conflicts is nothing short of admirable, especially for me as a creative person myself. It doesn't hurt that Rick manages to make them all endearing somehow. It would be so easy to make an audience hate a character like Bino, and yet the writing is so spot-on that his self-centered egotism actually becomes adorable--probably because he always faces comeuppance for it, which is arguably the essence of how to write such a character. Of course, King is probably my favorite, and I know that opinion is shared by many here. Watching him grow and develop alongside Bailey has been one of the comic's great joys. It's very fitting that, out of all of the cast, King certainly feels the most human, and I feel like that's part of what draws us into his story.

So with all of that said, I feel like Housepets! is the comic that many aspire to be. It's warm, it's funny, it's sincere, it's endearing, it manages to have depth without compromising any of those things, and it gives you so many memorable characters to love and cherish. It's just all-around a darn great thing, and I'll be honest, since I started reading it as a teenager, it's influenced me a lot. I suppose it was foremost what pushed me into pursuing anthropomorphic stories (honestly, all of my stories since I've read HP! have involved anthropomorphism to some degree), but even that is partly because I wanted to make something that gave me the same feelings as this comic did. It's a big reason why I got involved in the furry fandom and, through that, I met many great friends, including my wonderful sweetheart. <3 I hope it doesn't sound weird or overly sappy to say this about a single comic, but it honestly kind of did change my life. But hey, I guess that's how it is with art and literature, huh? You never know just what's gonna turn your world upside down.

Anyway, thanks for everything, Rick. Keep up the great stories. You're doing some awesome work.

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Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:46 am
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Post Re: Gratuitous Praise for Rick Griffin!
HEAR HEAR!!! :D

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Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:37 am
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Post Re: Gratuitous Praise for Rick Griffin!
Stuff. Wrote:
Finally caught up with the comic after classes kept me out of the loop for a year. Started from the beginning and worked my way up. Hoo boy, what a ride. Housepets! has given me so many memories. The first few years of the comic are such a nostalgia trip for me, and after having caught up, it's crazy to see how the comic is grown. It was weird popping onto the site again and seeing a new interface with long-form strips, but honestly, it's easily the best way to tell the story as of now. And man, what a story. I walked into Housepets knowing I'd be getting something cute and endearing. I didn't expect the comic to go the places that it did. I think it was honestly the first King arc that did it for me, bringing some real depth into a comic that could have gotten by on just being cute and clever--not that it ever stopped being that, mind you. In fact, that's one of the great things about Housepets!, as I'm sure anyone here can attest. No matter how deep it decides to go, be it into the bittersweet trials and tribulations of King, the increasing technicalities and loopholes of the cosmic game, or whatever other serious-ish territory it goes into, that sense of fun and humor never falls by the wayside. Plus, it's impressive to see just how ambitious the comic has gotten. I never would have expected an arc like Jungle Fever when I first picked the comic up in 2011, and even then I might never have foreseen an arc like Housepets B.C., The 4 Animals You Meet in Heaven, or even the arc that's currently running now. Catching up on these stories (and everything in between, of course) has been such a blast. The former arc in particular really grabbed me, and I love seeing how the overarching threads of the comic such as the interference of the cosmic deities and Keene's pursuit of human and animal equality keep building up. Everything feels connected, and that's something I've really come to appreciate as I've reread the comic.

It sounds a bit strange talking about the deep and complex stories you'll find in a comic called Housepets!, but I think Housepets! demonstrates that "deep" does not always mean "dark"--and for that matter, you never know where you're going to find depth. A good writer's first thought when writing a story is not "How do I make this deep?" Depth is honestly something that just happens. I'm sure a comic about the comedic misadventures of Peanut and Grape was not always intended to expand into the angst of a man who has been turned into a corgi by a demigod or the increasingly convoluted schemes of multiple demigods to one-up each other in a cosmic tabletop RPG. Heck, even writing that kind of highlights the beautiful silliness of it. It's deep, it's interesting, and it's at times heartfelt, but it isn't by any means serious--it's always fun, just as the comic was intended to be from the beginning. So few lighthearted stories can manage to turn up the depth tactfully and without taking themselves too seriously, but Housepets! manages by never forgetting what it is first and foremost: a funny comic about talking animals. And really, why can't a funny comic about talking animals have depth?

Honestly, I think that what consistently pushes Housepets! beyond a silly gag-a-day strip is the fact that we have a real world here. Rick didn't stop building the world of Housepets! at "Dogs and cats living together: Mass hysteria." A good writer sees the possibilities of the world they have created and explores them to their fullest extent, and that's exactly what Rick has done. We got a story about feral wolves attempting to adjust to human society. We got a story about a group of ferrets inheriting their rich owner's estate and being able to do whatever the heck they want with it. We got a story about a regular domestic rabbit being hailed as a prophet among the forest creatures because he kind of accidentally opened a door. We got King. We got the Cosmic Nerds. And more stories sprang up out of those stories, and even more came out of those. The world of Housepets! itself has grown, and I think that's one of the reasons why we're all so invested. It's not just that the characters are strong in and of themselves, it's that they all have their place in HP!'s ever-growing world. Every time a new character is introduced, that character serves a purpose. They're not just disconnected from everything else that's going on; they have a way of interacting with other members of the cast and a reason for doing so. I noticed this especially reading the Flip That Den arc and seeing how almost all of the forest critters we've seen so far got involved in the mess for their own silly reasons. It may seem like a weird one to single out in particular, but it honestly goes to show just how well HP!'s world has been built at this point. The characters are likable on their own, but I think that the way they fit into the world like puzzle pieces is what helps to make them truly special.

And believe me, I love this comic's characters. The fact that Rick is able to write all of these memorable characters with so many distinct personalities and conflicts is nothing short of admirable, especially for me as a creative person myself. It doesn't hurt that Rick manages to make them all endearing somehow. It would be so easy to make an audience hate a character like Bino, and yet the writing is so spot-on that his self-centered egotism actually becomes adorable--probably because he always faces comeuppance for it, which is arguably the essence of how to write such a character. Of course, King is probably my favorite, and I know that opinion is shared by many here. Watching him grow and develop alongside Bailey has been one of the comic's great joys. It's very fitting that, out of all of the cast, King certainly feels the most human, and I feel like that's part of what draws us into his story.

So with all of that said, I feel like Housepets! is the comic that many aspire to be. It's warm, it's funny, it's sincere, it's endearing, it manages to have depth without compromising any of those things, and it gives you so many memorable characters to love and cherish. It's just all-around a darn great thing, and I'll be honest, since I started reading it as a teenager, it's influenced me a lot. I suppose it was foremost what pushed me into pursuing anthropomorphic stories (honestly, all of my stories since I've read HP! have involved anthropomorphism to some degree), but even that is partly because I wanted to make something that gave me the same feelings as this comic did. It's a big reason why I got involved in the furry fandom and, through that, I met many great friends, including my wonderful sweetheart. <3 I hope it doesn't sound weird or overly sappy to say this about a single comic, but it honestly kind of did change my life. But hey, I guess that's how it is with art and literature, huh? You never know just what's gonna turn your world upside down.

Anyway, thanks for everything, Rick. Keep up the great stories. You're doing some awesome work.


I really hope this comic has a long road ahead of it. You can never find a comic that is as deep as this while retaining it's humor, but giving us excitement everyday you update. I honestly wait for the day to go by sometimes just to see what the next update will be like ~ it's that good. It's one of those comics you read that just asks to be stretched beyond the horizon and have many adaptions added to it, but you wanna sit back and read and enjoy what every comic has to bring the day after.

Compared to other comics i grew up loving, other comics don't give enough depth into a comedy setting without it falling out of the "normal comedy day" routine that most comics keep going into. I felt we want to see a comic that breathes life into characters in the same way we like to see regular animals being treated like human beings and raised on equal groundings in a normal setting, which is exactly the feel i got when i first read this comic and still maintains the most of that feeling. We want to be puzzled by it's mystery as well as it's normal life problems and see real deals worked out in it's plainest ways while seeing a cartoonish comedy with cute animals with traits that make it feel like a week of a saturday morning cartoon.

That being said, i'm glad you gave such a long and detailed praise to Rick :3

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Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:32 pm
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Post Re: Gratuitous Praise for Rick Griffin!
This is short but well ment.

One thing i have noticed with Housepets! More than any comic i have ever read is that Rick Griffin really caters to his audience. He seems to listen to what his fans like and don't like as well as what they rave about or simply never speak. This makes me feel like he is the head of a truly dynamic community. Its not just some story teller trying to shove some real life political issue down people's windpipe (i have seen at least one comic devolve into that) and its not a blind catering to fanboys/girls. Rick has created a truly dynamic and colorful world with unique personality and its own set of rules in which the continuity has remained flawless.


As an artist and storyteller He has earned his place as my favorite with Housepets.

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Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:30 am
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Post Re: Gratuitous Praise for Rick Griffin!
I just want to add to the praise here by saying that I love Housepets! I've followed it since it popped on Belfry in 2008 and it continues to bring me back -- Rick's narrative chops and artistic skill are top of class.

So thanks to Rick for bringing this strip to the world -- it's better for it.


Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:24 am
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Post Re: Gratuitous Praise for Rick Griffin!
Does Rick change the story as people make predictions so it's still surprising or is he THAT good of a writer? Honestly no matter how hard I try the plot twists get me most of the time.

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Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:16 pm
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Post Re: Gratuitous Praise for Rick Griffin!
Your short stories are amazing! "The Hall and the Window" rivaled many Bradburys, and was one of the coolest things I have ever read.

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Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:47 pm
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Post Re: Gratuitous Praise for Rick Griffin!
THIS IS MY FAVORITE COMIC OF ALL TIME! EVER!!! Besides Amulet. Amulet's still pretty boss.
Anyway, I LOVE THIS COMIC

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Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:59 am
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