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Character Dossiers 
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Post Character Dossiers
OK, this is for compiled information on the various characters and for backstory deductions that can be made from that information. As per the thread title and this notice, this topic contains pretty much ALL the Spoilers.



Joel/King:

To start off with a major current character, here's what we have on Joel / King:

1) He didn't know that people were likely to react badly to Peta.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/04/27/no-joke-today-just-violence/

2) He knew that his senior partner talked to himself - and that what he says does not match his actual observations in the slightest - but continued to work with him anyway.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/04/29/so-very-very-naive/

3) He was with the ASPCA
Related Information: The ASPCA is trying to get legal rights for animals.
4) He may have realized at this point that there might be something seriously wrong with an organization that did not want to run a background check before allowing people to join it.
Corollary: There is something wrong with his background that would keep him from working an animal-rights organization, but - since he was an ASPCA member - it must post date that his ASPCA membership.
5) He evidently joined PETA without checking on the organization in any way - or listening to the orientation lecture.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/01/like-a-lightning-bolt-realization-strikes/

6) He is NOT OK with dognapping, but is easily persuaded to follow blatantly irrational leadership - although, to be fair, the conclusion that the smaller, quiet, dog which is distracted and is not engaged in violent exercise may be the easiest to snatch is not totally unwarranted.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/04/excellent-judge-of-character/

7) He seems to realize that petnaping is a bad thing to do, as well as that his partner is crazy - but continues to follow him anyway.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/08/truly-we-are-doing-good-for-the-world/

8) He is still following blatantly stupid orders - as well as demonstrating all the smooth social graces of a rock.
9) He may be irrationally nervous around policemen.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/11/smooth-as-sandpaper/

10) He attempts to follow blatantly stupid orders when shouted at.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/13/headsteeringwheel/

11) He apparently has a panic attack, and attempts to run away while the police are busy elsewhere.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/15/or-belong-to-peta/

12) He stops running from the police when he finally begins to think - just in time to be tackled by the police dogs.
13) He has been in prison before.
Inference: this is likely to be the event that comes up on background checks, and may be related to animals.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/22/i-always-get-those-mixed-up/

14) He is familiar with his rights. Deduction: he either likes police dramas, studies law, or has had them read to him before.
15) He wants his rights delivered by a human.
16) He is concerned about animals not being read any rights - or essentially not having any. Under the circumstances, a non-sequeteur, although possibly a revealing one.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/25/i-kid-people-i-kid-youre-a-good-crowd/

17) He states that he didn't know Fatty was going to try and kill Fox. Believeable, if only because - up to this point - he's seemed blindly ignorant of everything that's going on around him.
18) He was kidnapped by his own pets as a child.
19) He had two dogs and a cat, but his parents treated them harshly.
20) His cat and dogs decided to run away, and took him with them. This may or may not have been a mutual decision. By inference, Joel's parents may have been abusing him as well. His apparent age in the image was fairly young.
21) It went tolerably well at first, but after a few nights on the streets, the relationship went down hill.
22) He wants to keep other animals from ending up like his.
23) He has trouble dealing with animals, although he may have been overstressing it in an attempt to strike back emotionally.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/27/im-never-going-to-understand-humans/

24) He snickers at Fatty's "Glandular" claim.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/29/end-of-year-one/

25) When abruptly confronted with a supernatural entity, he indicates his rapid uptake with "You're not my lawyer".
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/30/and-the-sentence-was-going-to-be-time-served-too/

26) He is extensively sarcastic, reveals how the plot is probably NOT going to go, and is not too quick on the uptake.
27) He may or may not be being especially sarcastic depending on whether or not Pete's statements about his motives are actually accurate.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/02/an-undigested-bit-of-beef/

28) He reacts to being "naked" - but instantly accepts that a collar makes him not-naked as a dog, which is interesting.
29) He may or may not be subjected to mental meddling.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/04/try-to-understand/

30) He gets nausous, apparently when subjected to supernatural travel.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/07/home-for-christmas/

31) He ate dry dog food at least once as a child and states that he "liked offal" (possibly meaning organ meats) even before being a dog.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/09/munchies-and-crunchies-in-here-somewhere/

32) He reveals feelings of bitterness, isolation, and depression. These are probably fairly long-standing.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/11/where-do-lonely-hearts-go/

33) He has an extreme emotional reaction to being confronted with Fox.
34) He apparently finds "sniffing" embarrasing.
35) He has an emotionally troubled response to a dog that wants to be friends.
36) He apparently cries in such a situation, possibly indicating something traumatic in his background.
37) He would indeed like to play.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/14/that-sinking-feeling/

38) He is apparently extremely nervous about police involvement with his current (canine) situation.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/16/peace-on-earth-to-men-of-good-will/

A fair number of those items are either trivial or common, but the rest may be revealing.

Now, on general appearance, Joel appears to be somewhere in his twenties or thirties as a human. As a Canine it's hard to tell. He does tend to give me the impression of being relatively young, but that's entirely subjective.

A possible backstory derived from what is currently known is a few posts down. To jump to it, click here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=199&start=7

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Character Dossiers


Last edited by Thoth on Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:35 am, edited 22 times in total.



Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:53 am
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Very well done :), I look forward to any others.

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Next up we have “Pete” - although, in his case, I’m including a few items that are simply related to the existence of supernormal powers in the Housepets universe. At the moment, Pete seems to be largely defined by his powers:

Not Pete-related, but it does establish the accepted existence of Telepathy - in the Housepets universe:
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/24/related-to-killer-whales/

The bit with the snake here might be taken along the same lines; I don’t see any other way to get Peanut into the exhibit within thirty seconds.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/05/do-not-taunt-the-animals/

"Peanut" "awakens" Grape; this is later established to be the start of a Dream Sequence.
Unfortunately, all the information from the dream sequence is subject to doubt, since it is apparently (a) simply what the sender wants to send and (b) is filtered through a dreaming mind, which seems likely to add distortion.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/17/before-that-it-was-a-weird-mushroom/

Dream-Petes first appearance.
Dream-Pete is willing to go by Pete "because" the dream-Peanut “cannot pronounce his real name”.
Open question; is this simply to make Grape feel more comfortable?
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/19/sylvan-glen/

Description of route provided.
An inscription is indicated to be in Ancient Akkadian, while Dream-Peanut "took Akkadian by correspondence". While this would place the inscription at about 4200 years old or more, why an inscription in what appears to be the united states would be in the language of a historically-significant but actually rather modest “empire” in the fertile crescent is unexplained.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/21/and-she-said-it-had-no-practical-value/

Dream-Pete is very large and willing to be ridden - although allowing someone else to dream about riding you isn’t much of an imposition.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/24/most-pertinent-of-questions/

Dream-Pete is aware that it is a dream.
A giant feather is provided from somewhere; presumably via Pete in some fashion (later evidence suggests via his transformation powers).
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/26/maybe-there-was-an-emu/

Not directly Pete-related, but again introduces supernormal elements into the Housepets universe: Tarot's eyes can turn green and she at least apparently believes that she is in contact with spirits who provide prophecies. This may or may not be true.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/31/soul-scattering-will-do-that/

Tarot and supernormal effects again: levitation of objects and an evidently-physical (since it seems to shine into the closet) green glow. Described in terms of spiritualism, also fits classical “psychic” effects (telekinesis and clairvoyance - if “the spirits” really did find the remote for her).
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/02/staying-in-the-closet/

Tarot and supernormal effects again; Tarot demonstrates either precognitive or clairvoyant abilities - or simply makes a lucky guess.
At this point I’m willing to assume at least limited clairvoyance; the individual instances are explainable, but repetition suggests a reliable basis for the phenomena.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/04/i-dare-you-to-do-otherwise/

Tarot takes Peanut broomstick-riding. A possibly tongue-in-cheek Halloween special but - at most - merely an extension of the telekinetic-style effects.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/10/30/which-plans-witch-plans/

A cryptic door/seal with an opening button and griffin and serpent images.
It’s not evidence of anything, but it reminds me of an episode in Zelazny’s second “Changeling” book, Madwand.
The forest Ferals state that there is a legendary prophecy of the crypt containing the power to "equalize all beings and institute a new golden age". Like all legends, this is possibly distorted if it is not simply a plant. Prophecies often originate in dreams after all, and the Ferals seem unlikely to have passed on anything much for all that long.
The door "Has been sealed for thousands of years". This is unconfirmed. feral forest animals seem unlikely to be really good at keeping track of time over thousands of years - and if it is very old, why haven’t the humans noticed and investigated it before?
Similarly, an "open" button, even if unlabeled, seems unlikely to stand up to investigation - especially by raccoons - for an hour, much less fora considerable period.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/13/i-could-have-done-that/

The existence of the cryptic hermit from the dream-sequence is confirmed, along with general route to Pete.
Since that information was derived from the dream-sequence either Pete had obtained that information somehow and sent it or Grape is unconsciously clairvoyant and got it herself.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/18/everyones-new-favorite/

Peanut mentions Ancient Akkadian in indicating that he was told about Grapes dream, rather than participating.
By inference, Dream-Peanut, and a his “difficulty” with Pete’s name, was entirely a construct.
No evidence is presented as to whether or not Peanut actually knows (or ever knew) anything about Ancient Akkadian or as to whether or not that is actually the language (if any) involved.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/20/none-shall-pass/

Tarot demonstrates telepathic abilities.
Tarot informs Peanut that "the gate must not be opened for it will bring about the beginning of the end".
The end of what is not stated, although it is implied that her earlier prophecy of doom is involved since Tarot states that “This is what I have been warning you about”.
Tarot states that "Pete" sent the dream-sequence to Grape to try to get her to free him. This does seem reasonable in terms of events up to this point.
Tarot states that Pete is neither kind nor good, but is actually "sort of a Jerk", and that grape needed to be stopped or they would all be in grave peril.
Evaluation; Tarot may well be confused, and her prophecies may well be inaccurate, but if she wanted to lie to Peanut, there are better lines than "he is actually sort of a jerk". This seems fairly likely to be her actual personal opinion.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/23/so-cool/

Pete appears physically, and can apparently break through the roof of a cavern of some sort, fly, speak, and actually has the form of a griffin.
Pete is apparently pleased to be free. Whether he was imprisoned or simply lacked access to the Housepets universe previously is unknown.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/25/whoops/

Pete appears looking different. This may indicate an art shift, shapeshifting powers, dream distortions, or simply not being clearly visible in his earlier physical appearance.
Pete apparently has the ability to enter rooms without evident access points for a creature his size.
Pete may have some ability to remain unnoticed or arrives with no disturbance.
This could be the start of another dream sequence; this would fit the holiday-special theme, although I would personally find that a bit disappointing. For the moment, I am going to assume that any given dream sequence would be limited to one arc and take Pete’s continuance between the two arcs is evidence that this is not a dream-sequence.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/30/and-the-sentence-was-going-to-be-time-served-too/

Pete exhibits the ability to transform humans into animals.
Pete mentions having been observing Joel. This may indicate clairvoyance, telepathy, or simply a time lapse between Pete's release and this sequence coupled with the ability to remain unnoticed while observing.
Pete's description of Joel's motives does not seem to match what has been seen of Joel except - perhaps - a desire to upset the police dogs who had tackled him. Pete seems unlikely to possess major divinatory or telepathic powers unless this is simply a false lead. Since such deception would be directed at the readers more than anyone else, this seems unlikely.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/02/an-undigested-bit-of-beef/

Pete displays the ability to transform himself and to "create" small objects, such as collars and clothing, possibly via the transformation of local materials.
Pete makes various human cultural references, indicating either clairvoyance, at least minor telepathy, access to other universes, or divination.
Reference to "this universe" suggests access to other universes.
Pete states that he and Joel/King will be moving into Babylon Gardens. This suggests access to money and some method of establishing an identity and completing the necessary paperwork. This may indicate additional powers or simply a time lapse and some sensible application of transformation magic to making money (and spending some of it).
Pete may have made Joel identify himself as King. This could be simply a slip of the tongue, an induced slip of the tongue, a brief disruption of memory, or a part of the transformation.
Joel does accept the transformation very quickly. This may be mental influence or it may simply be that he feels that he's hallucinating.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/04/try-to-understand/

Pete apparently has the ability to perform, and carry others along on, an "Astral Jump" - an effect seemingly similar to Teleportation, possibly involving transformation into a spirit-form and literal travel through astral space.
Astral Jumps apparently induce nausea in inexperienced travelers, which may argue for the transformation effect.
Grape’s compiling of a list of “Pete’s” suggests a substantial time lapse. This may indicate that Pete used more-or-less conventional methods to establish a human identity.
Tarot has apparently stated that Grape and Peanut need to stop worrying about Pete. By induction either she feels that the worrying is pointless - at least for Grape and Peanut - or she feels that “the beginning of the end” isn’t all that bad.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/07/home-for-christmas/

Joel's transformation extends to the peripheral functions of his central nervous system; otherwise his sense of smell would not be modified.
Joel shows no signs of excessive clumsiness or unfamiliarity with the reflexes of his new form - other than, perhaps, the expressiveness of his ears. Pete’s transformations evidently extend to the motor functions of the brain and - by extension - other instincts and reflexive behaviors.
Pete demonstrates that he likes to harass people.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/09/munchies-and-crunchies-in-here-somewhere/

Pete has other things to do. Ergo, he can probably only be in one place at once or is simply leaving Joel/King alone to interact with some other characters.
There is no apparent reason why a new body would not include appropriate major immunities along with the minor ones; having Joel/King given shots implies either an attempt to establish the paperwork necessary for Joel/King to remain King for some time or simply wanting Joel/King to experience being given shots as a dog.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/11/where-do-lonely-hearts-go/

Ergo:
    Pete may well be an extradimensional entity.
    If so, the access point to the Housepets universe - the “ancient temple” with the buttons - may be ancient or it may have come into being relatively recently.
    Pete appears to have at least low-end dreamsending powers, possibly limited telepathy or clairvoyance, probable familiarity with other dimensions, and high-end transformation powers which extend to "astral jumps".
    The simplest power set that accounts for his displayed abilities is limited telepathy (producing clairvoyant effects by picking up information from the local life forms and allowing dream-communications) and high-end transformation magic.
    Given the transformation abilities, no real evaltuation of age, form, or origin can be made.
    There is - as yet - very little hard information on "his" motivations.
    Tarot apparently finds his presence obnoxious, and possibly perilous.

Return to thread index: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=199&start=0

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Character Dossiers


Last edited by Thoth on Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:26 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Thoth wrote:
An inscription is indicated to be in Ancient Akkadian, while Dream-Peanut "took Akkadian by correspondence". While this would place the inscription at about 4200 years old or more, why an inscription in what appears to be the united states would be in the language of a historically-significant but actually rather modest “empire” in the fertile crescent is unexplained.


Rule of Funny for one, but I actually have an explanation that I'm waiting for the right moment to drop.

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Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:29 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Oh, I'd be surprised if there wasn't a reason; you do a very nice job of plotting things out and tying details back into the storylines later on (although, in a comic, simply being funny is always reason enough for things to happen).

I could make some guesses about Pazuzu ("Pete"?), Tiamat, and other figures from the period, but at the moment the information is sparse enough for me to find a way to justify almost anything.

I can but try to catalog the details we've actually been shown... And this is the only webcomic in the past ten years or so that makes me want to bother. My salutations!

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Character Dossiers


Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:54 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Thoth wrote:
The bit with the snake here might be taken along the same lines; I don’t see any other way to get Peanut into the exhibit within thirty seconds.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/05/do-not-taunt-the-animals/



actually, I came up with a way by which the snake could accomplish this without supernatural powers. it hinges on the idea that in an unseen wall (around the corner) there is a slideable opening where the snake's "food" is dropped into the pen. this also assumes that the slide is located where the visitors could gain access to it if they wanted to. the snake merely starts talking to Peanut and slithers to the back of the cage and lowers his voice a lot making it harder to hear, Peanut then sees the "food" door and, wanting to hear the rest of what the snake has to say, approaches and opens it. the snake then grabs peanut (coiling around an arm or something) and drags him inside.


then again, he could have used the old Harry Potter trick. ;)

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Next up, another previously-minor character who is more-or-less starring in the current sequence - Fox
I've included a response to the previous poster, but it's at the bottom since it's not really related to the purpose of this thread.

1) Fox wears military-style dog tags.
2) Fox is playing "The Game" - or at least is not objecting to it.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/25/you-cannot-win/

3) Fox is apparently the last one to remember "The Game". Whether this indicates a better memory or less sense than the other dogs (or some of both) is an open question.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/04/everybody-wins/

4) Fox evidently tends to simply hang around with the local pack. That's fairly normal for a dog of course.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/16/ostracize-doesnt-mean-to-turn-into-an-ostrich/

5) Fox has a large vocabulary. At this point, that's his first notable distinction.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/19/a-cat-isnt-fine-either/

6) Fox likes Fido, and - apparently unlike many or most of the other dogs (since he seems to be doing all the correcting) - can spell.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/01/a-breed-apart/

7) Fox has limits to his patience and states a willingness to restrain a more dominant (at least from Bino's behavior so far) individual - setting him apart from the basic "follower" and putting him in the "buddy" category.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/24/bino-stars-as-colonel-klink/

8) Fox is in on manipulating the the "Secret Santa" drawing with Fido.
Inference: Fido trusts Fox's discretion and ability to decieve a somewhat-paranoid Bino.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/03/he-minds/

9) Fox is owned by Bill, and rides in a bucket strapped to Bill's motorcycle. Given his anthropomorphic status and displayed behavior so far, Fox may be more sensible than Bill; there's no reason why far better arrangements can't be easily made.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/17/lame-joke-83/

10) Fox has a cousin in Kansas who lives with one of Bill's relatives. Most likely Bill and his relative lived in the same area at one time; otherwise dogs seem unlikely to have much chance to keep track of cousins. Given that Bill is the one going to visit and does not travel via a family-suitable vehicle, it seems reasonably likely that Bill is an unattached bachelor and may well be the one who moved away. Ergo, there's a slightly better chance that Fox was born in the vicinity of Kansas than elsewhere - but it's not a particularly strong inference.
11) Going by the bend in Fox's back, either Babylon Gardens is a long ways from Kansas or Bill likes roundabout routes.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/25/housepets-christmas-edition/

12) Fox is either discreet or deaf, and apparently also inconspicious. More evidence for him usually taking the "dependable trusted buddy" role
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/25/especially-who-who/

13) Fox is both self-aware and possibly sarcastic ("We might be biased, but we're not hypocrites"). Evidently he's aware of the holes in Bino's thinking, and in that of the other dogs, but chooses to go along with the group.
Inference, he may be going along with the silliness to avoid social isolation or he may be a relative newcomer to Babylon Gardens.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/04/01/yeah-i-only-read-it-ironically/

14) Fox reads a lot - and some fairly heavy material at that.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/04/excellent-judge-of-character/

15) Fox has apparently been petnaped, and had his collar removed, before.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/06/something-is-missing/

16) Fox has heard the PETA rhetoric before, and has a well-thought-out response to it - at least as coherent a response as most humans.
Inference: Fox is probably one of the older dogs in the neighborhood, reads a great deal - possibly as fast as or faster than Peanut - and may well be being a "follower" simply to fit in rather than confusing the other dogs.
Inference; PETA has petnaped fox at least once before; the experience was very very annoying, but not overly damaging.
Inference: Fox's desire to attach himself so firmly to a group may in part come from having been petnaped before.
17) Fox likes squeaky bones and presumably other canine toys. Intellect does not override instinct.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/08/truly-we-are-doing-good-for-the-world/

    This particular sequence is actually quite impressive; at this point Fox has been drugged, petnaped, stripped, and thrown into the back of a van - and he still manages to accurately evaluate what's going on, (possibly unintentionally) test the physical restraints, provide a sensible refutation of PETA's philosophical basis, threaten his petnapers with consequences, tell them that their attempt is useless, make an emotional appeal ("I want my squeeky bone!") which stresses his dependence, and then fall back on doing his best to attract attention. There aren't many real-life adult humans who do nearly so well. I would guess that Fox is mature, past "academy age", self-disciplined, and extremely intelligent. (And yes, judging by this strip - http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/04/13/any-year-with-no-fatalities-is-a-good-year/ - I'd say he's more fundamentally sensible than Fido). He's probably not a police dog simply because either he, his owner, or both of them, don't want him to be one.

18) While Fox can be driven to lose his temper verbally, he's apparently not willing to physically attack a human even if siad human is trying to kill him. It would be difficult for an unarmed fat man to enter a small area with an unrestrained large dog and escape without injury if said dog was seriously trying to harm him - and trying to smother said dog will probably put the human well within range of the dogs teeth and claws. We can probably partially chalk that up to sheer shock - but just compare it to Grape's reactions.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/11/smooth-as-sandpaper/

19) His owner, Bill, is a policeman (not actually confirmed earlier, although his giving Fido rides to work implied he worked near or in the police station).
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/13/headsteeringwheel/

20) Fox has a good deal of confidence in Bill. Bill may well have come through for Fox before.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/20/backseat-driver/

21) Fox again demonstrates both his ability to ask rational questions and to sensibly evaluate situations.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/24/the-more-things-change/
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/27/the-spirit-of-competition/
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/03/so-close-and-yet-so-far/

22) Fox goes to see Bino, despite his blatant stupidity and poor sanity. Evidently loyalty is a really major component of his personality.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/07/in-a-laundry-bag-with-a-dollar-sign/

23) Fox takes it upon himself to welcome newcomers to the neighborhood. He's evidently highly sociable or might feel that other potential welcomers will not do a good job.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/11/where-do-lonely-hearts-go/

24) Fox goes out of his way to make others comfortable and shows considerable concern for the troubles of complete strangers.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/14/that-sinking-feeling/

25) Fox feels secure in his neighborhood, especially when accompanied.
Side Note: Bill is still fuming over the escaped PETA member. This might simply indicate personal affront, but it might indicate him having been bothered by PETA before (a possible reason why a neighbor would tell a policeman that he'd assaulted someone), and it could even have been why he took up a law enforcement career. Secondarily, judging from Bill's reaction to the steak at the Wolves party, Fox may be a good deal smarter than Bill is.
26) Fox likes to either try and impress new friends or to reassure himself or both.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/16/peace-on-earth-to-men-of-good-will/

27) Fox is still trying to cheer up Joel/King, and appears to be offering psychological support as matter of course.
28) Joel/King may be treating Fox as something of a mentor at the moment.
29) Fox may be notable irritated, startled, or perhaps appalled, by Bino's prank - although that's based on a single, very small, section of the strip.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/18/tis-better-to-give/

We're a bit short on hard data, but we can throw together some possible backstory elements:

    Fox was born in or near Kansas, and was adopted by Bill - then probably a teenager. A few years later, Fox was petnaped by PETA, heard their rhetoric, and was dumped in the woods - from whence he returned to Bill after having a fairly miserable time. Somehow, along the way, Bill really came through for him - possibly simply by not giving up. Bill was not pleased by this assault on his young pet, and took up a career as a policeman.
    Bill moved away from Kansas as an adult, eventually taking up residence in an established, and very pet-friendly, community - Babylon Gardens. Fox, meanwhile, had developed into a highly intelligent, analytical, and sensible adult.
    Fox was not a founder of the Good Ol' Dogs Club, and settled into the "follower/buddy" role both because most of his intellectual interests weren't widely shared and because it offered an easy route to acceptance within the group. He values that highly, since - after his experiences with PETA and miserable trip back - he doesn't like being on his own and doesn't like to see anyone else in the same situation. Ergo, he tends to be a good buddy and confidant for many of the other dogs - and possibly some of the cats. He keeps his friends secrets and evidently simply is a nice person and a good and loyal friend.
    How Fox is going to respond to having someone treating him as a mentor - or to possibly finding out who Joel/King really is - remains to be seen.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And to respond to the previous poster... Yes, a far as the scene with the snake and Peanut goes, there are many possible more-or-less mundane methods of getting Peanut into the exhibit, although the “thirty seconds later” part is rather restrictive. Possibilities range from odd mechanisms on through the snake having unseen goons on call - but looking at the strip, I don’t see any indication of such things.

Your hypothesis could work, - but you're supposing something (an unseen wall with an access panel that’s readily accessible to visitors) that cannot be seen in the comic and would not fit in with normal zoo procedures; access to animal displays is generally from staff-only corridors behind the exhibits. Zoos are intentionally designed to keep children from having access to non-petting-zoo animals and vice versa. "I don't see any other way" is quite literal. No way of getting Peanut into the enclosure within thirty seconds is visible in the strip.


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Character Dossiers


Last edited by Thoth on Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:01 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Next up, here’s a possible scenario for Joel/King’s background designed to account for as many known elements as possible. This one is rather sad, so I'm rather hoping that additional information will come along. On the other hand, past tragedy always adds depth, so...
This will also be a double post, but I've been informed that - given the nature of this thread - that should be acceptable in this case.

Joel, like many small children in the Housepets universe, saw his two dogs and his cat as friends, playmates, and quasi-siblings. He played their games and tried their food as well as involving them in his own games.
Sadly, his parents treated his pets, and himself, badly enough to make the pets run away - and for them to think that it would be best to take Joel along, whether willingly or unwillingly. Joel may not have actively supported the idea, but he certainly didn't object very much.
Life on the streets with the now-feral pets did not go well. They became somewhat abusive themselves - whether due to expecting Joel to make a larger contribution to their mutual survival, due to not knowing how to care for a child, due to dominance-shifts, or just due to stress and not having a healthy relationship example to fall back on.
Unfortunately, at least for the pets, the authorities caught up with the group in a mere week. It wasn't like any of the quartet were experienced fugitives.
Joel was probably returned to his parents, or he might have been placed in foster care. Either way, his life was more miserable than ever.
His pets fate was probably grim.
Ferals have no rights of any kind in the Housepets universe - and Joel's pets had gone feral, and had almost certainly been accused of kidnaping - and possibly of injuring - a human child. Joel’s parents amost certainly wouldn't have accepted any responsibility for the situation.
If the pets were very lucky, they escaped - at least for a time. Strays have short life expectancies, although they could have been adopted by someone else.
If they were less lucky, they were caught and impounded – and probably put to sleep. Judging by the information provided in the Wolf arc, Humans apparently have few compunctions about eliminating dangerous animals.
In the worst case? Joel saw one, two, or all three of them die at the hands of his “rescuers” - and, while they might have been being pretty mean to him for the last few days, they were still his friends.
In any case, he never saw any of them again.

That would neatly account for:
    *His casual acceptance of being hit in his very first appearance. Joel kind of expects people to relate to him with violence, just like his parents.
    *His being dedicated enough to join any animal-rights group that was willing to take him without even looking into them first.
    *His special concerns about animal rights and about animals not getting Miranda warnings.
    *Why he - a fomer ASPCA member - apparently has no pets any longer, when one or more of them might well have lasted this long (thanks to the doubled lifespan mentioned in the information thread). Even if they hadn't, ASPCA people almost always adopt shelter animals.
    *Why he's so stressed about other pets not "winding up like his own".
    *Why he's such a follower; not only was he denied the chance to grow emotionally as a child, but trusting his own judgement turned into a disaster.
    *Why he tends to obey anyone who - like his parents - shouts at him.
    *Why he has so much trouble relating to pets now.
    *Why a pet wanting to be friends with him induces emotional turmoil; it dredges up old emotions and regrets.
    *His apparent relief on personally seeing that Fox is all right. At least he hadn't contributed to another death.
    *Why he so quickly accepts that a collar renders him no longer naked.
    *Why encounters with the police leave him prone to panic attacks.
    *Why he apparently has deep-seated feelings of bitterness, isolation, and depression.
    *Why he has an emotionally troubled response - apparently including crying - to a dog that wants to be friends.
    *Why dealing with Fox reminds him of a happier, more hopeful, period in his life.
    *Why he is willing to accept a dog as a mentor - and apparently is sufficiently starved for positive feedback that being told that he's a "Good Dog" is helpful.
    *Why he'd be especially worried about coming to the attention of the police as a canine (a purely logical assessment would be that there's really no chance of his situation being believed).
    *Possibly even why he'd casually accept seeing a gryphon. Having a past so troubled that you EXPECT hallucinations is not a good sign.
It would be nicer his pets had somehow escaped, and there’s a reunion (possibly due to the publicity) sometime – or perhaps meeting some of their kids – but it doesn’t seem all that likely.

In any case, Joel reached adulthood and joined the ASPCA - but did something that got him kicked out – likely the same thing that got him jailed.
That could be as simple as drunken driving, but, since none of the other pets rights organizations would let him join, it seems likely to be pet-related.
His “not being OK” with petnaping, and his speech on “righting an injustice” make it seem unlikely that his offense was harming a pet.
What else would disqualify him for membership in a pets-rights organization? It might have been assaulting someone who abusing a pet, or an illegal rescue attempt, or some such. Those types of offences would certainly get him labeled a loose cannon - and not someone that any pets-rights group other than PETA would want amongst their volunteers.

That’s not the happiest possible scenario, but Joel/King isn’t an especially happy character.

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Character Dossiers


Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:52 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Sweet Lord, this information is extensive...how long did this take you?

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Thoth wrote:
..."because" the dream-Peanut “cannot pronounce his real name.


... Is it possible Pete is a cosmic horror maybe? . _.

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Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:44 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Flamboyant-Pencil wrote:

... Is it possible Pete is a cosmic horror maybe? . _.


GASP! Pete is Cthulu!

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
I'd like to make a theory, this may be weird or I may be reading a bit too much into it, but this is basically what I think.

When he did run away from home with his pets it wasn't really implied that Joel himself was also abused. It simply stated that he didn't like the situation. They may have been emotionally abusive, but nothing really to indicate anything got physical between him and his parents.

When he says, "animals aren't read their rights" and "when I try to be a decent person you turn on me without a thought" this might imply that when they were caught, it was assumed to be Joel's fault or the pets blamed him. Either way the pets were obviously not punished as severely and Joel may have actually gone to jail (or juvenile hall in this case) which is why he talks to himself about "going back to prison" when he tries to run. As his relationship with fatty PETA guy shows he's obviously the passive type of person so instead of holding a dead set grudge, he tries instead to make sure pets aren't abused like his own to make sure nothing like this happens again. But the memory and trauma remain which is why even though he obviously still cares, he can't bring himself to trust animals, as his recent...er...reaction to Bino's prank obviously shows.

I'm pretty sure this has some holes in it but yeah this is just what I think.

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Good work with the info gathering, Thoth. But you wouldn't mind adding a spoiler warning in your first post, would you? It's important to be courteous to those that are new to the comic.

Speculation! One of the most fun things to do. Keep it up.

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Next up we have Fido - along with answers to a couple of previous posts appended to the bottom to avoid excessive double-posting.

Fido...
1) Is Bino's Brother.
2) Has graduated from police dog academy.
3) Is evidently far more popular than Bino is (not that this seems to be very hard).
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/25/the-loyal-order/

4) Is highly regarded by the other dogs; they all “want to be like Fido, except for the lady dogs who have ‘other intentions’”.
5) Fox is also quite enthused about Fido - unless he's just going with the group.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/01/a-breed-apart/

6) Joey is another one of Fido's brothers.
Inference: with three canine brothers in the same community, it seems likely that they were all born in the immediate area.
Inference: based on later data, Joey wouldn’t be getting any respect at all if he wasn’t Fido’s brother.
7) Fido is being driven home by Ryan - who is probably his owner.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/03/our-sacred-duty/

8) Ryan (“Dad”) is confirmed to be Fido's owner.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/05/the-universal-constant/

9) Fido gets much more respect than Bino. Even better than popularity.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/08/shes-not-the-best-one-to-ask/

10) Fido has apparently Co-founded the Good Ol Dogs Club, pushed for pet rights, fought ferals, won the last three annual pet park games, chased off nearly a dozen burglars, and taught several of the local pups to read and write. Given that this is Bino's attempt to run him down, this may be accurate - unless Bino is so incompetent as to exaggerate the virtues of someone he's denigrating.
Inference: Fido as probably at least three years old, and near-adult, before he started winning the pet park games, and won three years running. He may or may not have participated before that winning streak. Since this predates the first Christmas of the strip, and it's currently past the second, Fido is at least seven years old, and is probably at least eight or nine. Bino is probably of similar age, or he probably wouldn't be a co-founder of the Good Ol Dogs Club.
11) Fido apparently does not think his academy graduation is all that important.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/12/mmm-foot-flavored-speech/

12) Fido apparently feels that this level of adoration is silly...
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/15/shut-up-were-trying-to-praise-you/

13) Fido feels that helping people is what dogs are supposed to do, and it's simply following his nature.
14) Through this sequence Fido also demonstrates some of his negative qualities - he’s more than a bit unobservant, since he hasn’t noticed that a dog graduating from the police academy seems to be considered an event by the local pets, and he’s not very good at understanding other creatures motivations. If he was, he wouldn’t have found the party confusing or unexpected.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/17/the-nerve-of-him/

15) Fido's owner plays D&D.
16) Fido's girlfriend is a cat named Sabrina.
17) This is apparently the first appearance of his glasses (being held) unless I missed the earlier.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/26/goodnight-everybody/

18) Fido overrides Bino and re-admits Peanut to the Good Ol Dog's Club. He may or may not be aware of how much this is likely to upset Bino.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/03/he-minds/

17) Fido Co-Founded the Good Ol Dogs Club with Bino, but apparently has more effective authority.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/05/come-on-its-your-thing/

18) Fido rigged the GODC Secret Santa drawing to pair Bino and Peanut in hopes that he and Bino would thus get over their conflict.
Inference: Fido does not understand Bino at all, and may not be any good at psychology at all.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/10/patching-things-up/

19) Fido does recognize that Bino is going to swap out his obnoxious gift for a nicer one. Apparently he's either learned something new about Bino, recognized the symptoms, or the laws of funny have kicked in.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/24/how-could-he-say-yes-to-a-face-like-that/

20) Fido is still with involved with Sabrina. This appears to be a steady relationship.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/25/housepets-christmas-edition/

21) Fido often gets drafted by Sabrina to relocate ferals that she doesn't want to kill.
22) Is definitely in love with Sabrina, since he puts up with this on a regular basis.
23) Acquires Spo.
24) Is first seen wearing his glasses (at least as far as I can tell).
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/16/ohh-diss/

25) Fido is willing to hide having a mouse in the house from his owner. He evidently feels that minor deceptions are acceptable.
26) Fido is willing to issue threats - including veiled death threats - when necessary.
27) Fido apparently has other feline friends.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/20/compensation/

28) Fido is even nice to rude mice. Evidently he’s exceptionally tolerant.
Inference: this may explain how Bino survived growing up with a family.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/23/their-naming-conventions-had-a-cover-charge/

29) Fido has not noticed that Fox has been back for weeks. Apparently he’s more than a bit unobservant at times.
30) Fido wants his relationship with Sabrina kept secret since he bellieves that having it revealed would compromise the loyalty of the other dogs despite the fact that humans apparently think that such cross-species relationships are “cute”.
    This - along with the “Farm” arc - brings up a notable point. Farm animals are apparently quite accepting of cross-species personal relationships. This is sensible; animals would definitely NOT want classical-style human population control measures or intervention in their personal lives. Cross-species relationships are one way to ensure that such interventions are never required. The fact that the Babylon Gardens community finds them odd may be symptomatic of most of the pets there being relatively young and having been raised near-exclusively by their owners.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/25/especially-who-who/

31) Fido continues to be bad at psychology, since it would be hard to make it more obvious that he's hiding something.
32) Fido continues unobservant, since he has no idea how long Fox has been present.
33) Fido has apparently rescued and cared for a long selection of feral animals. While some are presumably from Sabrina, it's unknown if all of them are.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/27/and-the-finch-and-the-shrew-and-the/

34) Fido rides to work with Bill.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/02/wonderful-night-for-a-bike-ride/

35) Fido is “only” a K-9 Unit, and thus is trained to sniff out drugs, track people, and attack suspects when so ordered - presumably by a human.
36) Fido is still bad at psychology and motivations.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/04/midnight-confessions/

37) Fido worries about Spo. This indicates both kindness and a certain shortsightedness; he knows that Spo’s family - and by extension, other mouse families - are immense, but only focuses on the one he’s dealing with.
38) As a police dog, Fido apparently works a 12-hour shift (from the Alt text).
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/06/so-no-he-did-not-like-the-box/

39) Fido feels that the annual easter egg hunt can be called a “success” since it only resulted in holes in lawns, broken windows, and - hopefully - only one burning building. He agrees to have it involve waterguns next year.
Inference: Fido still isn't that hot on personal judgement. Judging by the number of missed eggs, the dogs are more enthusiastic searchers than effective ones.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/04/13/any-year-with-no-fatalities-is-a-good-year/

40) Fido likes to catch frisbees at the dog park.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/04/excellent-judge-of-character/

41) Fido apparently spends a lot of time with Fox, as was implied back in http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/27/and-the-finch-and-the-shrew-and-the/
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/06/something-is-missing/

42) Fido did not see the PETA van outside the dog park, although he did notice that Fox was missing at some point.
43) Fox was surprised that it wasn't Fido who poured water on him. Another indication that they spend a lot of time together.
44) Fido does not normally let Spo come along on his shift and has not revealed him to the other police dogs.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/20/backseat-driver/

45) Fido is good at following procedures, as in “ warn THEN tackle”.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/22/i-always-get-those-mixed-up/

46) Like other police dogs, Fido is permitted to give the Miranda Warnings.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/25/i-kid-people-i-kid-youre-a-good-crowd/

47) Fido is rather appalled by Joel's history.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/27/im-never-going-to-understand-humans/

48) Fido once again displays spectacularly bad judgement, as demonstrated by his willingness to listen to Bino's plans.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/27/the-spirit-of-competition/

49) Fido is loyal to his friends. He is, however, once again really bad at reading others, since he doesn't recognize that the ferret is serious about eating Spo.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/29/the-delicious-bold-taste-that-money-cant-buy/

50) Fido does stick around to visit Bino, no matter how stupid he's been, he's family.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/07/in-a-laundry-bag-with-a-dollar-sign/

51) Fido is still bad at dealing with others; he doesn’t know how to deal with Sasha - even after all that similar attention when he returned from the academy.
52) Fido is still no good at reading others.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/21/muchas-smooches/

53) Fido makes terrible puns, in a scene which may not be intended to be taken seriously.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/11/canine-scene-investigation/

54) Fido is asked to organize a search and attempts to get Tiger and Bino to cooperate. He's still not too good on handling people is he?
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/16/off-to-a-smooth-start/

55) Fido is apparently both taken unawares by Bino - again - and by Joel/King. He still isn’t too good at reading people either.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/21/your-heart-is-full-of-unwashed-socks/#comments

    Fido’s likely history is pretty straightforward. He and his brothers were almost certainly born in the area, since the odds of the three of them winding up in the same place otherwise are quite small. His owner moved into Babylon Gardens almost as soon as it was opened, as did Bino’s owner - and the two of them founded the Good Ol Dog’s Club. As construction continued, Fido helped chase bothersome ferals away, scared away burglars, and mentored younger dogs and new pups.
    Along the way he fell in love with Sabrina. He was aware that humans thought that sort of thing was cute, and almost didn’t realize that the rest of the local dogs would think it was weird. Fortunately, it was pointed out in time, probably by Sabrina herself - or perhaps Fido simply picked it up from observing the other dogs reactions to Joey.
    As one of the most athletic local dogs, as well as one who liked to help people, Fido went in for Police Dog training, which incidentally always involves a certain push for pets rights; there’s a bit of a contradiction in relying on dogs with very few rights to help enforce the laws which govern humans who have many.
    By human standards, Fido is near-perfect. Of course, human standards don’t call for all that much initiative, independent observation, or psychological skill from dogs; they’re supposed to wait on human observations, decisions, and orders - not to handle things on their own.
    As far as actually leading the canine community goes, Fido leaves something to be desired - one reason that Bino, who actually is scheming and driven, is still hanging onto a top position in the Good Ol Dog’s Club.

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

Return to thread index: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=199&start=0

And now for some comment answers:

For Caesalson:

As for how much time it takes - it probably takes two or three hours per character, but most of that time comes in small segments that are being spent waiting on other things, such as file transfers or proofreader responses.


For ndigit:

There are certainly many other possible theories about Joel's past; that's why the version I put up is labeled a "possible scenario". Constructing backstory is essentially a game, with rules of (1) never contradict any known fact, (2) do not introduce any additional factors you can avoid, (3) account for all possible available facts, and (4) try to stick with the most probable sequence of events you can come up with. Now, if Rick points out any errors, missed facts, or supplies any more facts (which is always useful in this kind of game), I'll be delighted to incorporate whatever he has to say.

The possibility (not certainty) that Joel himself was abused was listed as an "inference" in the facts section. It's primarily based on the information that using a shock-collar on Bino was NOT considered harsh, that the image of Joel's cat huddled in the corner with the young Joel is suggestive of the common cringe-and-hide symptoms of abuse, on the fact that pets seem to be treated as surrogate children in the Housepets universe, and on his accepting being hit rather than - say - calling the police to report a case of assault and battery. Dealing "harshly" with animals is a very common symptom of an abusive personality even in the real world. In the Housepets universe, where the distinction between "my animal" and "my child" is a great deal smaller, being "harsh" with pets is likely to be a strong indicator of an individuals likely behavior with children.

His pets might indeed have blamed him when the group was caught - but Joel's pets had already gone feral on him. If his pets were simply pointing fingers to try to escape blame (a tactic known to every child), and managed to get off with not being punished as severely, why would it make a strong enough impression on him to be one of the first things that comes to his mind many years later? Why would the push for pet rights be so important to him - rather than, say, laws against being mean to them? Miranda warnings are not a major factor with young children since they are legally incompetent in any case, and cannot waive them except with the participation of a guardian.

The "when I try to be a decent person you turn on me without a thought" line is new information (since both the facts listing and the possible history posts predate the publication of that strip), but it would fit in; Joel is shown attempting to comfort or protect his cat - being a decent person - and they turned on him. Thus the "but every time I have to face any of you, I keep thinking about that week" - not "how it all turned out".

Juvenile hall is possible, but mildly unlikely at the apparent age shown. It's also not all that much like prison, and would not account for him turning to PETA because the ASPCA would no longer accept him. After all, that episode would have been before he was old enough to work with the ASPCA in the first place.

Finally, if he was simply a "passive type of person", why would he be out doing something that's rather active in the first place?

That is a happier scenario, but it doesn't account for as many of the known facts. Personally I'd prefer to have information show up that improves the scenario I came up with; it adds depth and drama to the character, but it's still kind of depressing.

For Buckdida:

Oh certainly. It hadn't occured to me that a title of "Character Dossiers" wouldn't be enough to say "Spoilers" by itself.

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Character Dossiers


Last edited by Thoth on Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:12 pm, edited 4 times in total.



Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:16 am
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
I guess that was pretty lame.

I'm also amazed at how well thought out and how much effort you put into these things.

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Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:57 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
nicely done indeed. *wants to do something awesome someday*

btw, about King/Joey, i figured i would point out that the whole situation with Fox i find is moreso extreme embarassment rather than a trauma issue. the panels on that comic emphasize when i look at it as a situation that seems to embarass him as every panel goes by, if not also humiliate him for the behavior he's going through with Fox. his crying i would say is more like a inner plea, hence why he suddenly asks Fox after he asks him why he's crying to play with him instead.

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Great work.

Also, due to how well done this thread is, let's keep it on-topic as much as possible. Off topic stuff will be nuked, warnings given, etc. Just a FYI!


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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Next up we have Bino. Having done Fido, it’s sort of inevitable, despite Bino being more-or-less the comic’s designated jerk. There’s an answer appended as well.

Oh yes, Merry Christmas to all...

1) Bino lives next door to the Sandwich residence. While this is from the bonus “allowance” strip, and is possibly non-canon, it certainly seems reasonable enough.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/003.jpg

2) Bino's first appearance. He seems to be extremely over-dramatic, but this is probably just blatant over-acting designed for Peanut's benefit.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/16/a-mournful-situation/

3) Bino delights in getting Peanut - who is apparently younger and more impressionable - into The Game. Evidently Bino is over-competitive as well as over-dramatic.
Observation: This is odd, since - as later strips continue to suggest - Peanut is probably considerably younger and less dominant that Bino.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/18/you-all-just-lost/

4) Bino really is playing The Game. Evidently he too is not as sensible as Grape.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/25/you-cannot-win/

6) Bino (and possibly Rex and Fox) trees Grape for not playing The Game. Evidently he takes “winning and losing” very seriously indeed.
Inference: Bino may be pretty insecure.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/27/i-said-no-escape/

7) Bino apparently drops a tree on himself - although this is determined from character listings, since he's not actually visible in the comic.
Inference: Bino is hot-tempered and does not plan ahead very well when upset. Of course, he still realized that he’d need to cut down the tree to get at Grape, which puts him ahead of all the other dogs in the planning department
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/30/okay-fine-some-escape/

8) Bino - a few weeks later - has forgotten about The Game entirely. This may or may not have been intentional.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/04/everybody-wins/

9) Bino kicks Peanut out of the Good Ol Dogs Club for drawing a dog with a cats tail. This is apparently considered more-or-less justified by many other dogs - but it still means being able to eliminate a potential nearby rival.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/16/ostracize-doesnt-mean-to-turn-into-an-ostrich/

10) Bino has a limited vocabulary and pays little attention to logic. Evidently, even when not in a temper, he isn’t especially rational.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/19/a-cat-isnt-fine-either/

11) Bino gratuitously torments Tiger over his name - and either is not alert enough to the consequences of his actions to realize that this may send Tiger berserk or is counting on it - and on Maxwell restraining Tiger.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/18/yup-hes-over-it/

12) Bino is Fido's brother, and is clearly overshadowed by Fido - who isn't even THERE - in the eyes of the other dogs despite his being the one who is chairing the GODC meeting.
Inference: Bino has grown up in the shadow of a “perfect” sibling, and has attempted to compete by scheming after losing out again, and again, and again, in direct competition. This hasn’t worked out for him, leading him to more and more dangerous and obsessive behavior.
Inference: Joey - also overshadowed by Fido and harassed by Bino - has opted out of any direct competition, and gains attention by being weirder than anyone else and by making friends with the other “creepy” dogs in the area.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/25/the-loyal-order/

13) Bino is owned by Jake.
14) Bino was kicked out of police dog academy for being undisciplined - a behavior graphically displayed by his chewing on his own uniform because it “smelled like mailman”.
Inference: Bino dislikes mailmen, probably because he - like many real dogs - sees them as regular intruders on his territory. The fact that he’s sapient, and knows why they keep coming by, and yet STILL has this reaction again suggests massive insecurities.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/03/our-sacred-duty/

15) Bino has rampant scent-marking issues. Again, a likely attempt to establish some territory where Fido is NOT the one in charge.
16) Bino cries while watching “All Dogs go to Heaven” - although, at least according to Fido, all dogs do. This probably isn’t very meaningful.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/05/the-universal-constant/

17) Sasha - his "girlfriend" - asks his advice on trying to get Fido to go along with her "I want your puppies" sign.
Inference: If this has been going on all his life, it's hard to blame Bino for being a bit paranoid. resentful, and defensive of what position he has. It makes his constant attempts to put everyone else down pretty understandable as well.
General Note: It's quite possible that this strip marks the point where Bino goes entirely over the edge.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/08/shes-not-the-best-one-to-ask/

18) Sasha is still a little concerned for Bino - and evidently his angry rants are a standard part of his personality.
Inference: Bino is highly defensive about his attitudes, beliefs, and decisions. Most likely they are often successfully challenged.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/10/an-understandable-mistake-to-make/

19) Bino rants about Fido - mostly revealing that he feels vastly inferior to Fido.
20) Bino is stabbed in the back by a piece of incredibly bad timing. He may have no good luck at all judging by the way that he seems to half-expect this.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/12/mmm-foot-flavored-speech/

21) At this point Bino snaps. Totally. If he was marginally sane before, he doesn’t seem to be so any longer.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/17/the-nerve-of-him/

22) Bino, having snapped, gets his first massive concussion - unless he got one off-camera or when he dropped a tree on himself. While he seems to enjoy rapid recoveries, repeated blows to the head seem unlikely to make him more sensible in the long run.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/19/grape-solves-another-problem-with-violence/

23) Peanut is very pleased to hear that Bino has been concussed.
Inference: Peanut likes almost everyone and is quite generous. If he doesn’t like Bink and would actually enjoy knowing that he’s been injured, their relationship is probably exceptionally bad.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/22/the-lampshades-were-party-favors/

24) Fox and Rex - Bino’s primary friends - were also ready to club Bino unconscious.
25) Bino is pleased to have friends loyal enough to knock him over the head when he goes crazy.
Inference; Bino may have had bouts of outright insanity before.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/24/bino-stars-as-colonel-klink/

26) Bino seems partially recovered now that Sasha's back with him - but then realizes that Sasha's mind is in outer space.
Infernce: Bino is pretty desperate. At this point he's more than willing to settle for being second choice.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/14/deep-thoughts/

27) Bino sleeps until noon - and, far more importantly, gets casually overruled in GODC affairs by his co-founder Fido.
Inference: Fido is used to over-ruling and out-competing Bino - possibly to the point of not even thinking about it. He certainly doesn’t seem to be aware of how Bino is likely to react, and may not be aware of how psychologically traumatic Bino finds this pattern.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/03/he-minds/

28) Bino doesn't like being overruled, and is capable of showing some - if belated - consideration to non-rivals.
29) Bino seems to regard Maxwell as a suitable confidant. Maxwell may also belong to Jake.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/05/come-on-its-your-thing/

30) Bino sees Peanut as a rival, and desperately wants to humiliate him. Given that Peanut - just beginning to think of dating - is apparently substantially younger, and is competing only by being better liked than Bino, this likely means that Bino is now so insecure that he sees any other dog nearby as a threat.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/10/patching-things-up/

31) Bino finds that he cannot get his exploding catnip plan to work - but recognizes that the idea was mean-spirited. That’s at least a momentary flicker of sanity.
32) Bino evidently lives with Maxwell. Maxwell almost certianly belongs to Jake.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/19/best-laid-plans/

33) Bino recognizes that Fido set up the secret santa exchange.
Inference: Bino really is better at scheming than Fido, who seems to be more or less incapable of it.
34) Bino recognizes it when he's been given a nice present.
Inference: Bino isn’t that good at scheming either, since Peanut easily outmaneuvered him. Hopefully it isn't really his best attribute.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/22/ew/

35) Bino shows some traces of conscience; he can't quite follow through on giving Peanut a lousy present after Peanut gives him a very good one. It may be very battered, but there may be some underlying decency there after all.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/24/how-could-he-say-yes-to-a-face-like-that/

36) Bino gives Maxwell cat treats instead of Peanut - and, not too surprisingly, doesn’t want to talk about being outmaneuvered by Peanut.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/25/housepets-christmas-edition/

37) Bino’s behavior degrades even further after the gift exchange, and his owner fits him with a shock collar.
Inference: Shock collars are not considered harsh or abusive.
Inference: Further humiliation is not exactly what Bino needs; he’s so far down that he’s willing to talk about it to Peanut.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/09/bzzt/

38) Bino's dad won't remove the shock collar even after losing the remote and having been informed that it keeps going off.
Inference: Binos dad is either really lazy, very inconsiderate, or kind of mean unless he simply doesn't trust Bino at all.
39) Bino may suspect that Peanut has had something to do with the collar going off.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/11/delayed-reaction/

40) Bino read the Pridelands series, and can't even manage to tease Peanut effectively over it. An inability to tease a younger dog over reading a series revolving around big cats may be about as far down as a dog can get.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/04/01/yeah-i-only-read-it-ironically/

41) Bino is sensible enough to revise the easter egg hunt rules in the light of experience - including banning some of his own behavior from last year. Sometimes he can recognize a bad idea.
Inference: Given that Bino is the one reading the rules, he may actually be the best canine around for long-term planning and evaluation of the causes of past problems. This is mildly scary, and goes a long ways towards explaining why dogs - at least - are pets rather than junior citizens.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/04/10/it-was-covered-in-the-meeting/

42) Bino feels that minor breakages and only one fire meant that the easter egg hunt went far better than last years.
Inference: Last years Easter Egg Hunt was catastrophic.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/04/13/any-year-with-no-fatalities-is-a-good-year/

Side Note: Maxwell definitely belongs to Jake.
43) Bino seems to share some of Jake's temperment - or at last picks up behavior from him.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/04/27/no-joke-today-just-violence/

44) Bino immediately assumes leadership of the local pack in an attempt to win an unspecified prize. He does, at least, go right after what he wants.
45) The other dogs accept this attempt. Evidently Bino really does serve as a leader whenever planning is involved.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/27/the-spirit-of-competition/

46) Bino attempts to have Joey infiltrate the Ferrets. Given that character-recognition in the Housepets universe seems to obey the rules of comics-as-drawn, rather than real life (explaining why Joey's cat costume seems to work, the animals can't tell which sex the others are, and so on) this may not be too unreasonable.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/31/they-pity-the-foo/

47) Fox immediately recognizes that Bino wants to use him in his scheme. Evidently Fox is sharper then the other canines - and he feels that Bino only hearing what he wants to hear is awfully “genuine” of him.
Inference: Attempts at manipulation are Bino’s standard method of relating to others.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/03/so-close-and-yet-so-far/

48) Bino gets so competitive - with no one in particular - that he severely injures himself. Evidently Bino cannot win even when no one else is playing.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/05/something-went-wrong-somewhere/

49) Bino is severely injured yet again. Once again, the jolt seems to have temporarily restored at least some measure of sanity.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/07/in-a-laundry-bag-with-a-dollar-sign/

50) Maxwell doesn't have much sympathy for Bino, despite being his adoptive pet-sibling. Evidently Bino doesn’t behave well in the house either.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/14/paper-faces-on-parade/

51) Sasha abandons an injured Bino for Fido - and tells him about it. Presuming that Bino was either awake enough to hear this, or heard about it afterward, this may send Bino right back over the edge again.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/21/muchas-smooches/

52) Bino still has scent-marking issues, but has been memorizing all the local scents.
53) Bino does not want to work with Tiger. This might be prejudice, or simply the recognition that Tiger is just as crazy as he is and wants to severely injure him.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/16/off-to-a-smooth-start/

54) Bino and Tiger don't seem to see Pete - and still don't get along.
Inference: Either they weren't paying attention or Pete is selectively visible.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/25/whoops/

55) Bino catnip-bombs Joel/King - without even recognizing that this will upset Fox.
Inference: Bino feels that even a new, rather small, and apparently unambitious dog is a threat to his position, such as it is. It’s difficult to get any less secure than that.
    In it's way, this stunt is quite impressive. Bino has remembered this idea for an entire year, managed to obtain catnip, managed to obtain or make explosives, and has managed to design and build an effective birdie-trapped package that must have been sealed well enough to hide the scent of catnip from other dogs. That's not easy, and certainly out-plans every other dog seen to date. Bino may be crazy, but he's not stupid.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/18/tis-better-to-give/

56) Bino's reason is apparently simply that “Kings” owner named him "King". Inference: Bino's insecurity may have graduated into full-scale paranoia.
57) Bino is unwise enough to alienate Fox, one of his few real friends and supporters.
58) Bino does recover quickly from verbal affronts. He may no longer even really notice them.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/21/your-heart-is-full-of-unwashed-socks/

A possible history for Bino:

    What we know about Bino’s likely history is fairly basic. He and his brothers were almost certainly born in the area, since the odds of Fido, Joey, and Bino all winding up in the same place are fairly minimal otherwise. Unfortunately, Bino was throughly overshadowed by Fido, while Joey simply opted out of the dominance game - leaving Bino desperately insecure.
    His owner, Jake, moved into Babylon Gardens almost as soon as it was opened - and Fido and Bino founded the Good Ol Dog’s Club, likely relying on Fido’s reputation and dominance and Bino’s planning. It might have been better if Bino and Fido had wound up widely separated, but in a single community that wasn’t going to happen.
    As construction continued, Bino devoted his efforts to hanging onto his position as co-leader of the Good Ol Dogs Club. Forming an actual club (as opposed to an informal pack) might well have been his proposal, and managing to find or arrange a regular meeting hall smacks of his scheming as well - but his role was less vital after everything was set up, and Bino would - once again - see his own organizational efforts overshadowed by Fido’s popularity.
    Bino attempted to match Fido in going to the K-9 Police Academy, but - while he might well have succeeded on his own, being more than bright enough - was so nervous about attempting to directly compete with Fido again that he gave in to instinctive dominance-behaviors like scent-marking and chasing the regularly-intruding mailmen out of his “territory”. He wound up washing out of the K-9 academy, repeating the pattern of losing out to Fido.
    Along the way, Jake brought Sasha into Babylon Gardens - and, given that Fido had a secret romantic interest in Sabrina - Bino actually found himself “winning” in competition with Fido for once. Encouraged by that, he even found some spare time to try and preemptively keep the other dogs from challenging his position.

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

Replies Segment:

For GameCobra:

Oh, I’d agree that embarrassment is building up. Still, at least in my subjective reading, there’s more than that going on. To me it looks like:
All in the first panel we’ve got shock (at running into and recognizing Fox), fear (that he might be recognized somehow), embarrassment (at sounding like a stumbling fool), relief (that Fox came through all right), and confusion (at the abrupt shift) - all, of course, piled on top of his despair and depression from the previous strip.
In the second panel we segue into pure embarrassment - as well as King realizing that he’s going to have to deal with Fox while in emotional chaos without letting the situation spin out of control.
In the third panel we’ve got apprehension, deepening embarrassment, and shrinking back into himself - which seems to me to be more symptomatic of wanting to escape from old associations - rather than simply scooting away from Fox to reduce the embarrassment.
Fourth panel we’ve got an attempt to bring some order out of emotional chaos - trying to move past the embarrassment, and his personal issues, to try to relieve a bit of a happier past - thus segueing into the next strip, where pulling up some happier memories has brought Joel/Kings mood up a good deal.
Of course, most of those readings are fairly subjective; there are only so many clues that can be put into a single strip.

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Character Dossiers


Last edited by Thoth on Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Dec 24, 2009 5:54 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
To be fair, Bino's first time showing up was here.

http://www.housepetscomic.com/wp-conten ... 11/003.jpg


Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:53 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Next up we have Joey - both because of a request and because he is the last one of three brothers. Sadly, there’s less information on Joey than on most of the other characters so far...
As usual, answers to prior comments have been appended.

1) Joey appears with Bino, Fox, and Rex, and may be playing "The Game". He appears to simply be one of the gang.
Note: Joey has not been seen as a part of the local pack again except when acompanied by Fido. By inference, his relationship with Bino may have gone downhill with Bino’s sanity.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/2 ... annot-win/

2) Joey is rather timid, at least when wanting to look at some art - even around Peanut.
3) Joey is apparently a "Cat Lover", although Peanut - and probably the other dogs - were not yet aware of it.
4) Joey is also rather creepy, or at least that's the impression "I want to wear her skin" gives many readers. It certainly seems to stun Peanut.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/2 ... your-mind/

5) Joey is extremely disturbing.
6) Bino "and the others" (presumably much of the Good Ol Dogs Club) apparently do not approve of Joey's hobbies.
Inference: Joey is not a GODC member, either never joining, getting kicked out, or drifting away.
7) Joey would like to be a cat, at least sometimes, and does at least some roleplaying.
8) Joey has a catsuit - and apparently has managed to fool both Grape and Peanut, at least at range.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/30/hey-dude/

9) Joey is in love with a Mouse named Squeak.
Inference: Joey may be considerably younger than Fido and Bino. He apparently has not considered the impracticality of such a relationship.
10) Squeak will be moving in with Joey, since the opposite approach seems impractical.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/0 ... -for-dogs/

11) Joey is Fidos, and thus also Binos brother.
12) Fido gets along with Joey, and Joey will be glad to see him.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/0 ... cred-duty/

13) Squeek has moved in with Joey.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/2 ... s-edition/

14) Joey appears in his catsuit. Apparently it suffices to fool most of the cats.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/2 ... more-cats/

15) Joey is buying the Pridelands series.
16) The neighborhood cats know Joey in his cat identity - but apparently do not connect it with Joey, otherwise word might get back to squeek regardless of whether or not he wore it.
17) Squeek is friends with some cats.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/2 ... -unsee-it/

18) Joey plays and runs Dungeons and Dragons, at least once with Peanut playing.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/06/19/fast-learner/

19) Joey is "part of the gang" (the usual named dogs: Fox, Fido, Rex, and Bino) - apparently at least as long as Fido is there.
Inference: Fido likes Joey, and doesn't see him as being too weird.
Note: It looks to me like Joey is in the "I think Bino is crazy" group, but that's purely subjective.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/2 ... mpetition/

20) Bino knows that Joey likes to wear costumes and pretend to be of other species - but still apparently considers Joey capable of fooling most other animals.
21) Joey does not fool the ferrets. Of course, he is much too large to do so and only has a mask to get the eye-fur pattern and no other props. He still seems disappointed.
Inference: Joey actually is pretty good at the disguise routine.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/3 ... y-the-foo/

22) Unlike Fido, Joey was not apparently hanging around to see Bino when he woke up after his fall.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/0 ... llar-sign/

23) Joey is a reasonably talented artist and is apparently quite creative.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/1 ... the-cover/

24) Joey, and at least some of his friends, like to watch anime.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/2 ... -subtlety/

    Joey's likely history is mildly skimpy, since there isn't actually all that much to be accounted for...
    Joey and his brothers were born in the area (since, otherwise, three of them winding up in the same development is pretty unlikely), although he - judging strictly by his size and tendency towars impractical relationships - may well be younger than either Fido or Bino. Joey soon gave up attempting to compete with Fido (who was just too perfect) and Bino (who was just too driven and could be unreasonably nasty whenever upstaged) - essentially opting out of the dominance game in favor of role-playing, art, and similar personal hobbies. While this limited his social relationships to a rather small clique except when he was tagging along with Fido or Bino, it meant that he was associating with people - whether feline, canine, human, or exotic - who didn't care about much except how good your imagination was.
    Joey developed his imagination rather extensively, to the point where he has become quite comfortable in almost any roll other than that of "himself". Given the (rather relaxed) laws of recognition in the Housepets universe, Joey developed his knack until he could successfully impersonate several other species and can easily drop into a great many roles with very little equipment or study - no matter how impractical that would appear. That’s why he’s currently involved in a (throughly impractical) relationship with a mouse.
    Jeoy was still fairly young when his (undisclosed) owner moved into Babylon Gardens some time after Fido’s and Bino’s owners did - where he was initially admitted to the Good Ol Dogs Club simply because he was the younger brother of two of it’s founding members.
    Joey rapidly drifted away from the club however; he didn’t share many of its members interests and found many of the local dogs rather boring - while they found him weird. As long as Fido is present, he still hangs out with the local pack occasionally (Fido doesn’t judge him, although Bino certainly DOES) - but he spends most of his time hanging around with his odder friends watching anime, drawing, role-playing, and otherwise doing things that most people don’t understand.

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

As far as answers go...

Foxstar wrote:
To be fair, Bino's first time showing up was here.


That is already the first item and link listed, since it established that Bino belongs to a neighbor of the Sandwichs - however, while that strip is likely to be canon, it's position in the strip timline is uncertain. It must occur before the Zoo arc, which I believe contains the the first mention of Grape's and Peanut's "Meagre allowances" - but it is not necessarily a prequel strip in the canon timeline. It could fit in anywhere between the start of the comic and the zoo arc.

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Character Dossiers


Last edited by Thoth on Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Next up, we have Tarot - a character who first, and quite unexpectedly, appeared only a few months ago. Of course, this means that there isn’t that much information on her available yet.
Sorry to have to double-post here, but - given the nature of the topic - I fear it’s inevitable at times, and I've been advised that that is acceptable.

1) Tarot’s first appearance. She’s a Pomeranian - one of the few characters to have a specified breed.
2) Tarot’s tag is an egyptian symbol (almost certainly one of the "eye" symbols). This might imply some connection with Sabrina, who wears an ankh.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/2 ... -dramatic/

3) Tarot simply turned up at the Sandwich’s door. She states that it was because she foresaw that Peanut would need company, and she came to be his companion. Apparently she was "told by the spirits themselves".
4) Tarot issues her prophecy - "The hour shall come to pass, your lives will be changed forever in ways you canot imagine, for you stare now into the abyss, unable to comprehend what you see. The truth shall be brought to the light, and I fear that day, for all who do not hold live in their hears shall perish, and their souls will be broken into shards as countless as all the sand on the face of the earth - plus it's terrible for your complexion".
Note; The “prophecy” may not be reliable. Prophecy, and quasi-psychic powers, are notorious for that.
5) Tarot’s eyes apparently turn or glow green when her abilities are active. Otherwise they seem to be yellow.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/3 ... l-do-that/

6) Tarot "calls on the spirits" to locate the television remote. Apparently the spirits are pretty obliging when called on for trivial matters.
Inference: Tarot’s powers may well be psychic, rather than spiritually based.
Observation: Peanut had the remote just a few panels earlier. Evidently Tarot loses things pretty quickly. This could be taken as further support for “new-age-psychic-spaciness”.
7) Various objects float about and a green glow manifests as Tarot uses her powers. The glow, at least, seems to be physical light rather than a visual effect for the benefit of the readers. The "floating objects" could indicate spiritualism, telekinesis, or several other power suites.
Note: Tarot appears to be oblivious to the fact that she disturbs others, doesn't care, or finds it amusing. Of course, judging by the Dolphins in the zoo, psychic powers are not too outre in the Housepets universe.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/0 ... he-closet/

8) Tarot states that Grape’s place is with Maxwell now - apparently predicting Maxwell’s appearce at the door when Grape opens it to try and eject Tarot.
9) Tarot is portrayed snuggling with Peanut with a little "heart" icon coming from her or possibly from the pairing. Given that these apparently exist to provide information to the readers, rather than as a part of the Housepets universe, the emotion is evidently genuine.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/0 ... otherwise/

10) The halloween special; Tarot is riding on a broomstick with Peanut, displaying the green-slow signature and either spirit-assistance or telekinesis, depending on interpretation.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/10/3 ... tch-plans/

11) Tarot is capable of establishing a long-range telepathic contact with Peanut. This may require an emotional link, since there seems to be no reason not to directly link to Grape - the apparent intended target of the message.
12) Tarot appears with Sabrina (who also appears to be consulting a classical "giant mystic tome"). They may have the same owner and may both be mystically inclined.
Deduction: Tarot may have been around Babylon Gardens for some time, since Fido's relationship with Sabrina goes back a long ways. This is not certain however; she cold easily be a more recent arrival.
13) Tarot states that "This is what I have been warning you about! The gate must not be opened, for it will bring about the beginning of the end! This power Grape knows as "Pete" has transmitted a dream to her in order to put her at ease, thinking that his freedom is what she wants. Don't believe it! Pete is neither kind nor good; he is actually sort of a jerk. Hurry Peanut! Stop Grape or we're all in Grave Peril! Hugs and kisses honey."
Inference: if Tarot wanted to badmouth Pete, there are much better lines than "he is actually sort of a jerk" - and better targets than Peanut to address. This seems likely to actually be her opinion.
Inference: Tarot may be referring to her earlier prophecy. If so, it suggests that their peril is actually fairly dire, even if that prophecy never did specify the end of what.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/23/so-cool/

14) Tarot apparently told Grape and Peanut to stop worrying about Pete. Evidently it will - at least for them - be either useless or actively counterproductive.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/0 ... christmas/

A possible history for Tarot (based on VERY thin information):

Tarot was psychic - with the powers of Telepathy, Telekinesis, and Clairvoyance - at birth, and had a good deal of trouble getting adopted. While she was cute enough, the constant oddities that surrounded her, and her casual use of several of her powers, tended to put most humans off - and the fact that she tended to rely on her clairvoyance to run her life, rather than paying attention to what she was doing, made her seem quite scatterbrained. She never has really learned to think ahead - or, indeed, about much at all. When you’re a clairvoyant, and let that ability run your life for you, why would you need to think?
Eventually, of course, someone did come along - a potential owner who already possessed one rather peculiar pet (Sabrina) and might possess some modest psychic potentials of his or her own. He or she found Tarot quite charming, and quite ignored her oddities. Who knew? She might be the descendent of some ancient magical bloodline or something.
Besides, even if she was a little weird, she had a perky attitude and a happy, simple, approach to life.
In Babylon Gardens Tarot soon picked up on “Pete’s” little portal/temple, and something of the entity behind it. She even saw a few of the pranks he’d played elsewhere - and soon concluded that “Pete” was something of a jerk. Other clairvoyant glimpses assured her that Pete actually was rather dangerous - the major reason why she didn’t want him running around loose.
Still, there was no point in trying anything until the moment when her talents told her to act.
The fact that her first “action” turned out to be hooking up with Peanut was simply fun.

That’s about as simple as I can make this one - although there are plenty of other possible compatible “histories”. In fact, there are so many that this isn’t an especially satisfactory account. I really need more information to work with.

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Character Dossiers


Last edited by Thoth on Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:45 am
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Wow.... you spend too much time on this...
Might I suggest you incorporate the Profile pages into this? There's an interesting amount of info there that should be cannon...


Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:07 am
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
RockstarRaccoon wrote:
Wow.... you spend too much time on this...
Might I suggest you incorporate the Profile pages into this? There's an interesting amount of info there that should be cannon...


I got most of the profile stuff handled already, in the info thread. This thread goes into in-depth character analysis and speculation; it assumes that you already know the character's basics.

And yes, Thoth, when posting so much information, double posting for a page break is more than just fine, it's recommended! It's hard to read blocks of text...So that makes it much easier.

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Next up we have Grape Jelly Sandwich... In this case, with suggestions and assistance by Indagare.

Since Grape and Peanut featured in the initial arcs, their early adventures established a lot of the background material for the Housepets universe - such as the pets:
    *Being bipedal, sapient, tool-using, and talkative - qualities they share with many wild animals.
    *Learning at a fabulous rate. Despite being less than six years old, both Grape and Peanut have a remarkable vocabulary, have studied several subjects at least casually, and demonstrate a wealth of background knowledge including many obscure references. It's unclear as to whether "judgement" or "common sense" ever catch up with their other mental attributes in most pets.
    *Tending to refer to their owners as if they were their parents.
    *Tending to see other pets in the same household as semi-siblings.
    *Tending to be treated - as least by the more considerate owners who aren't running farms or pet shops - as surrogate children.
    *Tending to be fairly obliging - and domesticated.
    *Being generally free to wander around the neighborhood, visit friends, watch television, and play video games.
    *Being legally property. They can be subjected to medical treatments without their consent, bred, and their children sold or given away, at their owners discretion. Pets have few legal rights, and Ferals have none.
    *There is a mention or two from the forums that animals have a brief education in being pets at a sort of "boot camp". The extent of this is unknown.
    *Being subject to "strip reality"; their sexes mostly aren't immediately apparent (this is lampshaded or used as a gag in several strips), Joey’s silly disguises apparently usually work, slices of pumpkin bend like meat, and so on.
    *Being in a clearly human-dominated world, with enough similarities to reality to make it immediately familiar to the readers.
    *The reasons for human domination have never been explained. Given that the animals sapience has been stated to be natural, yet various human-manipulated breeds are apparent, we wind up with either (1) the world is a relatively recent creation or was transformed somehow (and this presumably falls under being "natural"), (2) the "animals" have some fairly drastic physical or mental limitations that kept them from competing effectively with early humans, (3) humans are very ruthless, somewhat cruel, and have some natural method of enforcing their dominance, (4) early humans were really lucky - scenarios such as the early domestication of dogs and breeding them into a legion of ruthlessly loyal enforcers come to mind (this makes a certain amount of sense, and gains some support from the large numbers of police dogs and Fox's military tags - as well as Fox’s recently apparent ability to easily beat up Bino while acquiring no apparent injuries himself - but I don't think that the resulting vision of legions of heavily-armed miltary three-year-old-pups really fits in with the Housepets universe), (5) this is a comic strip and it's one of the background assumptions, and thus does not need an explanation any more than the other laws of nature do, or (6) anything else you can dream up.

For Grape and Peanut it's rapidly established that they do see each other as semi-siblings, get along quite well, are reasonably obliging, have established a number of behavioral patterns (such as Peanut’s constantly disturbing Grapes naps), and are relatively young. The are evidently somewhat naive in practice (if well-informed in theory), inclined to childish impulses, physically adolescent-to-maturing, and mentally advanced in terms of background knowledge and - possibly - their underlying reasoning abilities.

So on to Grape in particular...

1) Grape's tag is a fish (while Peanut's is a bone). These are more directly species-related than any other tags yet shown.
2) Grape likes to sleep - and to play "lets pretend" or informal RPG's (if there's any difference). Inference: Judging by the presence of prepared paper hats, this is a common occurrence.
3) Grape has a short temper.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/0 ... m-strikes/

4) Grape often does not think ahead - and may be a bit too imaginative.
5) Grape has no objections to showering herself with water as part of a game. She’s probably used to regular, mandatory, baths.
Inference: Grape and Peanut are normally trusted to behave themselves on their own in the house. They may not be so trusted again for a week or so after this though.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/0 ... eanliness/

6) Grape's naps apparently get disturbed a lot; this is probably pretty routine whenever Peanut gets bored or upset and/or their “parents” aren’t around.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/2 ... me-i-mean/

7) Grape is either a fairly sophisticated logician or has examined published material on The Game enough to be easily able to quote arguments about it.
Note: This is possible evidence for the pets being very quick to memorize information, for Grape being exceptional, or for both.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/23/no-escape/

8) Grape seems to think that a lot of the local dogs are crazy - or at least the ones that hang out with Bino are - and concludes that she is foolish to keep trying to reason with them anyway. In at least this case, she’s probably right.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/2 ... annot-win/

9) Grape is apparently reluctant to eat squirrels. Of course, given the “I regret nothing!” line - followed by a casual escape - in the next strip, the “trapped in a tree” routine is probably either simply to taunt Bino or for her own amusement.
Note: Someone trusts Bino with access to power tools. Humans in this world may be quite mad.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/2 ... no-escape/

10) Grape and Peanut have a wide variety of games and toys, as well as what is apparently their own playroom.
Inference: their owners are quite indulgent and presumably have a comfortable lifestyle themselves.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/0 ... -at-age-8/

11) Grape can safely consume chocolate-covered espresso beans (and gets the standard cartoon high-speed vibration from doing so). Evidently animals in the Housepets universe have fewer biophysical differences from humans than real animals - indicating greater compatibility with humans, and each other, than is normally the case.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/11/a-real-buzz/

12) Grape subscribes to at least some of the local pet community prejudices about interspecies relationships.
Note: As demonstrated in the “Farm” arc, this is not a universal prejudice. This is probably because the pets do - of course - want to have close personal relationships, but probably do not want human intervention or population control measures being applied to their personal lives. Interspecies relationships are safe.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/1 ... od-artist/

13) Grape apparently has accepted Joey’s “cat” identity, and his catsuit, as the real thing up until this point.
Inference: either Joey is very good at this sort of thing, or the strips "reality" follows it's artwork - most likely the latter considering the pets inability to determine each others gender easily.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/30/hey-dude/

14) Grape really is good friends with Peanut; she’s willing to give his artwork another chance despite her bias.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/0 ... -for-dogs/

15) Grape is female.
Note: At this point, “comic book recognition” is pretty much proven - wherein disguises that would not fool a five-year-old for thirty seconds are nigh-impenetrable because actually making it hard for the reader to recognize the characters fouls up the jokes and makes the storyline hard to follow.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/0 ... a-nowhere/

16) Housepets cats are evidently far more individualist than Housepets dogs.
17) Grape and Peanut have free access to the refrigerator, the soda, and the ice cream. They evidently have very indulgent owners - who have gotten over the “flooding the living room” incident.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/0 ... -platonic/

18) Grape is at least on even physical terms with feral raccoons.
19) Grape’s nightsight may not be all that good, otherwise she might not have turned on the light - especially since if her nightsight was very good, that would temporarily blind her. More evidence that the Pets resemble humans on quite a lot of levels.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/11/dont-shoot/

20) Grape is both willing, and able, to run off multiple feral opponents to protect her home.
Inference: Housepets Cats are more formidable in terms of their relationships to other animals than real-world cats are. This may be a result of selective breeding if some of the more violent world-origin speculations are accurate.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/13/stick-em-up/

21) Grape is - at least for comedic effect - smarter than her owners, and capable of working with locks.
22) Grape is also quite obliging; she cleaned up the mess, rather than leaving it for the silly humans who installed pet flaps to take care of.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/15/a-minor-flaw/

23) Grape apparently likes dog biscuits.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/1 ... ve-of-him/

24) Grape is quick to resort to casual violence. This may be fairly common among cats.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/1 ... -violence/

25) Grape has no qualms about eating annoying sapient mice and other small animals. This seems to be common to Cats, since Sabrina is later noted as an exception.
Inference: Housepets Cats make much better house-guardians than real-world cats do.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/0 ... o-get-off/

26) Grape - unsurprisingly - objects to leash ordinances.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/1 ... ll-travel/

27) Grape likes to visit the big cats in the zoo.
Note: Despite the (apparent) weight listed for the Tiger, he doesn’t look much larger than a normal human.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/1 ... thy-brain/

27) Grape and Peanut are friends with numerous Zoo animals, and visit fairly regularly.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/2 ... p-paddock/

28) Grape is not entirely clear on human anatomy. Apparently such details are not commonly shared with Pets.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/2 ... rathustra/

29) Grape is substantially more competent than Peanut.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/0 ... e-animals/

30) Grape gets a "meager" allowance. Judging by their toy collection and general treatment it may actually be quite generous by pet standards.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/0 ... -literate/

31) This strip necessarily takes place AFTER this strip from the "about" section (which establishes that Grape and Peanut can collude, and manipulate, as well as most human children). Unfortunately, that strip doesn't provide enough information to be placed more precisely in the normal chronology. It does establish that Grape and Peanut get a relatively small allowance and that Grape dislikes Bino.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/wp-conten ... 11/003.jpg


32) Grape is either known to the zookeepers or is readily recognized as female by humans. Given the strips assumptions, I'd guess that she is known to the zookeepers.
Note: This strip establishes that birds are sapient and can either talk or effectively communicate with humans in some other fashion in the Housepets universe.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/2 ... et-buffet/

33) Grape has little respect for human modesty. Hardly surprising when all you normally wear is a collar.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/1 ... -business/

34) Grape is aware of telepathy in dolphins, but does not believe in magical griffins.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/2 ... cal-value/

35) Grape is at least somewhat genre-savvy.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/2 ... as-an-emu/

36) Grape is something of a cynic, at least judging by her opinions about Santa Claus.
Inference: Unlike many comics, Santa Claus is probably not real in the Housepets universe.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/0 ... abor-laws/

37) Grape knows Maxwell and Sabrina, knows of Marvin, and doesn't know too many other cats.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/12/so-thats-a-no/

38) Grape meets some other cats - and discovers that Joey is indeed more integrated with the neighborhood cats than she is. This is probably embarrassing, not least because the fact that she now knows his secret allows her to recognize him easily while before she apparently could not.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/2 ... more-cats/

39) Grape occasionally uses Catnip.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/01/0 ... t-a-crime/

40) Grape does NOT like going to the vets - to the point where her owners mislead her about it.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/01/1 ... tatistics/

41) Grape was adopted from an animal shelter as a Kitten, and was originally named Princess Periwinkle - a name she now does not like and finds embarrassing.
Inference: At this point Grape is only a year - or perhaps two (depending on whether the "yearly checkup" implied is bi-yearly to match the pets increased lifespans) - out of kittenhood and - given the implied growth rate - was probably well under a year old at that time. Ergo, Grape is quite young, although she could be anything form not too far past one (presuming that she was a few months old when adopted and yearly checkups) to nearly four (presuming almost two when adopted and bi-yearly checkups).
Inference: While physical maturity is probably slowed compared to actual cats and dogs, reproductive maturity is delayed a good deal longer in comparison, and the pets reproduction rate is probably a great deal slower than it is with actual cats and dogs. This is good. It eliminates a lot of nightmare scenarios.
Deduction: Pets acquire language, basic tool and motor skills, and background knowledge, with incredible speed. Why humans seem to dominate the world is an open question - although it may hinge upon elements such as mass cooperation, superior judgement (subverted for comic effect occasionally), and doing better with more technical subjects; the pets rarely seem to be much for organized knowledge or research.
Observation: The pets seem to have basically human-child level strength (if that) judging from the ease with which Earl Sandwich holds onto Grapes leash despite her pulling with both hands. Since a normal animal their size could be expected to be substantially stronger than that, evidently animals in the Housepets universe share humanities neotonous characteristics as well as intelligence. If this general relationship extends to other physical characteristics, it may be a reason WHY humans are so dominant; they develop more slowly, but - in the end - they may actually be substantially tougher. On the other hand, we also have the police dogs being expected to take down humans, which argues against such a theory. Oh well.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/01/2 ... ough-pain/

42) Grape has bad childhood memories of her last visit to the vet, and was much smaller than. Observation: physical growth and maturity for pets must be very rapid indeed.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/01/2 ... -memories/

43) Grape doesn't like shots either.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/01/2 ... -medicine/

44) Grape also does not like clothing - or at least not "cute" clothing.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/1 ... -stitches/

45) Grape is a practical problem-solver - if, perhaps, unconcerned with the ethics of her solutions.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/1 ... over-then/

46) Grape is enjoying reading "The Pridelands" - and considers large posters of lions in tribal dress "eye candy".
47) Grape has been reading the series - now on it's third volume - "since she was a kitten". Evidently the movie is a recent development.
Inference: Enough people are indulgent of their pets to pay for the production of pet-specific books, movies, and other big-budget entertainment products. Treating them as surrogate children - or possibly as highly-valued aides and servants - is evidently not uncommon.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/16/book-smarts/

48) Peanut reads much more quickly than Grape - and may have a near-eidetic memory. If this is a common thing in pets, it might explain the common combination of extensive background knowledge coupled with - apparently - poor judgement; they acquire facts quickly and easily, but are poor at using them and subject to powerful instincts (such as the Dogs "Zoning" behavior).
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/3 ... -mistress/

49) Grape and Peanut are inclined to celebrate outings - even though some of them turn out to be to the vet.
Inference: Grape and Peanut are not fully acquainted with all the details of their extended human “family”.
Inference: Pets are commonly left to pick up many details on their own, which may help explain their eclectic educations.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/06/08/no-excuses/

50) Grape feels naked without her collar - and is genre savvy enough to recognize the incongruity.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/06/1 ... ternative/

Note: People can "call the pound" on pets without their collars.
51) Grape has abandonment issues, and reacts quite emotionally to any suggestion that her "parents" might not want her. She also doesn't like having her reassurance interrupted.
Inference: Grape hated the animal shelter, and does not like to even consider the possibility of being returned there.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/06/1 ... lled-milk/

52) Grape writes fan-fiction. It's likely that "Gapre" - and her instant romance - is a self-insert given her embarrassment about having Peanut see what she's writing.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/06/2 ... nd-taking/

53) Grape is not above harassing cows about the fact that they're going to be eaten. While cows are apparently sapient and talkative enough to understand, they apparently don't care much - according to the alt text due to a mixture of obliviousness and indifference. This might also indicate that Grape is a cat, a predator, and a little mean, fitting in nicely with the earlier "revolutionary mice" episode.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/0 ... your-food/

54) Grape likes slow-motion pillow-fighting. She may or may not be aware of the effect this has on Peanut.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/1 ... s-too-far/

55) Grape does NOT want to consider herself a dog-lover, or to be seen that way - although the farm cats apparently see nothing wrong with it.
Note: This was already discussed earlier.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/1 ... g-reasons/

56) Grape makes a date with Max - and is apparently quite unaware the Peanut seems to have a crush on her.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/1 ... t-nothing/

57) Grape does apparently consider Peanut her best friend ever.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/1 ... t-it-much/

58) Peanut is apparently also somewhat genre-savvy, as well as something of a changeover artist.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/1 ... -fabulous/

59) Genre-rules on display again. Combing out Grapes eyelashes is enough to take her from "gender indeterminate" to "definitely female".
60) Grape still does not like Bino, and is pleased to see him injured. Again, “cattish”.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/1 ... on-parade/

Note: The pets apparently do raid the trash for food - on a semi-formal or formal basis.
Deduction: the pets in Babylon Gardens do not have much of an independent culture; they're apparently adopted fairly early and raised by their owners - and thus tend to reflect human cultural norms and oddities.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/1 ... kill-cafe/

61) Grape still likes dog biscuits - or at least uses that for an excuse to hang out with dogs.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/2 ... -smooches/

62) Grape is genre savvy again - and knows that pets pick up excess baggage while trying to emulate their human owners. .
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/2 ... e-corners/

63) Grape apparently distrusts psychic abilities (or the pretense thereof, since she wasn't looking out of the closet when a physical effect was demonstrated, and thus may not have realized that Tarot was probably for real) - at least in dogs - and would prefer that Tarot go away.
64) Grape does accept Tarot’s presence quite quickly after she observes Tarot's prediction coming true.
65) Grape is now definitely informed that Peanut has - or at least had - a crush on her.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/0 ... otherwise/

66) Grapes patience with "The Adventures of Spot" does NOT extend to what are apparently hundreds of pages of supplementary material.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/2 ... -probably/

67) Grape at least attempts to write embarrassing fan-mail to the actors who appear in The Pridelands movies.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/25/dear-tabby/

68) Grape is not too worried about wolves moving into the neighborhood. Evidently she feels pretty secure.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/3 ... n-my-room/

69) Grape recognizes chess gambits on sight, from across the room.
Inference: Grape has very good eyes - and we have more evidence for an eidetic memory and faulty judgement.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/10/26/how-terrible/

70) Grape has at least partial recall of her dream about Pete.
Note: As demonstrated later, it seems to be very good recall indeed; perhaps pets have problems telling the difference between dreams and reality to go with superb memories? That could be quite awkward.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/1 ... -favorite/

71) Grape is - again - larger and more threatening than the feral raccoons.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/2 ... hall-pass/

72) Grape either cannot receive telepathic messages from Tarot (possibly because Pete got to her first) or Tarot is incapable of sending them to her - perhaps due to distance coupled with the lack of an emotional bond or to Grapes possible active dislike/distrust of Tarot.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/23/so-cool/

73) Grape - upset about Pete's release - has compiled a comprehensive list of "Petes" in the area, and is quite suspicious. She may now be placing more credence in Tarot’s dire-sounding prophecies.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/0 ... christmas/

Oddly enough, while we have more observations on Grape and Peanut than on any other characters in the strip, they’ve also revealed relatively little of their histories.

Probable historical basics for Grape:

Grape was previously owned by someone who named her Princess Periwinkle and then abandoned her as a kitten - whether by dropping her off at an animal shelter or simply by dumping her somewhere. Understandably, she found this quite traumatic, and continues to have major issues with being without her collar (and thus vulnerable to being returned to the pound or an animal shelter) or with any suggestion of abandonment.
Grape is apparently somewhat exceptional - whether due to her upbringing by the Sandwiches or due to natural talent. She is remarkably bright and logical for an animal who is (even now) only about four years old. She learned to read at a remarkably young age, and has been a fan of the Prideland series since kittenhood - although she may not have been introduced to the series until after the Sandwiches adopted her.
Grape was taken to the vets at least once before after the Sandwiches adopted her, but retains only vague and distorted memories of the trip, during which she was apparently terrified. She still has problems with vets, shots, and such trips due to this old trauma - and tended to assume that the same must apply to Peanut (and was rather offended that it did not).
Having lived with the Sandwiches for at least one year, and possibly for two, Grape has become quite familiar with Peanut’s habits and routine, but is still willing to tolerate them - and has been joining in, or leading, impromptu role-playing sessions since very early on in their association. Oddly enough, however, the fact that she was female apparently never came up in that time...


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Character Dossiers


Last edited by Thoth on Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:04 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Dude, forget the "Cast" page; I'll come here if I need information. No offence, Rick. Although now that I think about it, that page is a little out-of-date.

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Yeah I know. I wonder if I can redirect the cast page to one of the threads . . .

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Well, my character descriptions (in the info thread) are simple, quick, and spoiler-free snapshots, and these ones by Thoth are in-depth character analysis. Neither of which really fit as an ideal cast bio page. Which is unfortunate. Furthermore...when it does come down to it? Rick knows his characters the best.

*pokes Rick*

Com'on you. You've been threatening to update that cast page for a while now!

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Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:24 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Okay okay you guys! I was also thinking of consolidating some pages though, probably rearranging Bonuses, About and Cast into only two pages, and probably figuring out the PHPBB gallery and redirecting Fanart there

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Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:41 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
rickgriffin wrote:
redirecting Fanart there
There certainly does seem to be a lot of that... *monocle*

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Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:03 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
the cast page doesn't require too much effort if you know how to do it =3

In my opinion, the pictures at the cast page are fine the way they are for Peanut and Grape, but I would recommend at least adding a face shot of the somewhat more known pets to give an idea with a short description of who they are and what is known about them and just a one-three line summary of them, depending on frequency of importance and appearance. (Squeak & Daisy come to mind)

Ex:

Bino - The ringleader of the neighborhood dogs and chairdog of the Good Ol’ Dogs Club. Although second brother to Fido, Bino is just looking for the loyalty of the neighbourhood dogs just as much as Fido! You don't have to worry about them ideas he likes to think of, everything works out in the end, for better or for worse...

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
I've spruced up the wiki a little, adding some new characters, removing those who haven't had a lot of screen time lately, and updating old info.

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Next up is Peanut Butter Sandwich.

Peanut, like Grape, starred in the first several arcs of Housepets - and so helped set up most of the general world background for the strip. However, since that’s been pretty well addressed under Grape, above, I’m going to try and stick with some specifics here:

1) Peanut gets bored easily, but likes RPG's - and puns.
2) Peanut plays video games and - from later information - plays them quite a bit.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/0 ... m-strikes/

3) Peanut doesn't think ahead much (and neither does Grape) - or they'd anticipate the likely consequences of soaking the living room. This may be due to their youth or it may be common to most of the animals (many of them do seem to show such symptoms). If common to most of the animals, it would help explain why they are subordinated to the better-organized humans.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/0 ... eanliness/

4) Peanut doesn't pay much attention to Bino if he can avoid it. This may simply indicate good sense.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/1 ... situation/

5) Peanut is silly enough to get involved in "The Game".
6) Over the next few strips it becomes apparent that he isn't very good at logical analysis.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/06/1 ... just-lost/

7) Peanut is literate enough to read some fairly sizeable books.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/0 ... hould-ask/

8) Peanut is still easily bored - but has a great many toys. Evidently his owners are quite indulgent, and take the surrogate-child approach.
Note: This may not really be a very common approach to keeping pets. After all, they’re usually going to die long before their owner does - and the death of a surrogate child is going to be hard to deal with.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/0 ... -at-age-8/

9) Peanut is an artist, and - in this case - has drawn a dog with a cat tail, apparently violating some local standard.
10) Peanut also gets embarrassed easily.
Note: Pet blushes show through fur. The “reality” of the strip conforms to artistic conventions rather than to pure physics.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/1 ... od-artist/

11) Bino kicks Peanut out of the Good Ol Dogs Club.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/1 ... n-ostrich/

12) Peanut is relatively easily shocked.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/2 ... your-mind/

13) Peanut has not recognized "that neighbor cat with a spot over his left eye" as Joey in a catsuit until he was informed of this.
Inference; Either comic-strip recognition rules apply, pets are primarily visually oriented, or Joey is just very good at disguises, or more than one of these applies. Later evidence suggests that it is, indeed, all three.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/07/30/hey-dude/

14) Peanut is aware of pets limited legal status.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/0 ... -for-dogs/

15) Peanut was unaware that Grape was a girl.
Inference: it's hard to tell in the Housepets universe. Ergo - in the next strip - "It's impolite to ask". That’s probably comic strip PG convention, especially since Rick has lampshaded it - but it could be taken to indicate thick fur or biological differences.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/0 ... a-nowhere/

16) Peanut apparently has a crush on Grape.
17) Peanut and Grape are allowed to go into the refrigerator and make themselves ice cream sodas. Their owners are very indulgent, and have apparently gotten over the “flooding the living room” incident.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/0 ... -platonic/

18) Peanut has begun drawing his own comic strip. Judging by later examples, his art will improve rapidly.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/2 ... new-comic/

19) Peanut is still a "Cat-Lover".
Note: The "more powerful than even the humans" line may or may not actually say anything about the capabilities of humans in the Housepets universe - but it would seem to indicate that humans dominate the world as far as Peanut is concerned.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/2 ... n-slipped/

20) Peanut resents being kicked out of the Good Ol Dogs Club - and hasn't heard that Fido was back.
21) Peanut apparently finds the fact that Fido is back quite exciting.
Inference: The Good Ol Dogs Club is a, or the, major social contact group for the dogs in Babylon Gardens. Being kicked out cuts Peanut off from a lot of the news and gossip, and is evidently quite upsetting.
22) Peanut now seriously dislikes Bino; he's quite pleased that Grape hit him and that he had to be dragged away.
Inference: this probably dates to Bino kicking Peanut out of the Good Ol Dogs Club.
23) Peanuts "Puppy Eyes" even work on Grape.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/2 ... ty-favors/

24) Peanut owns, or at least has access to, a camera and knows how to use it.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/2 ... nel-klink/

25) Peanut discovers that Fido is a cat-lover, takes a picture - and evidently finds it reassuring that a respected authority-figure shares the trait.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/09/2 ... everybody/

26) Peanut is once again waking Grape whenever a problem comes up.
Inference: Grape is the active and independent one in the duo. Peanut may lack self-confidence - a likely reason for his never conveying his feelings to her, almost always allowing her to take the lead, and worrying so much about whether or not other pets approve of his art.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/0 ... er-of-che/

27) Peanut likes to harass or tease Grape - more of the semi-sibling behavior patterns.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/0 ... tty-tummy/

28) Peanut likes the zoo - or outings in general. Over the next few strips, it's revealed that he has numerous friends at the zoo and is a regular visitor.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/1 ... ll-travel/

29) Peanut seems to romanticize wolves.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/2 ... he-ground/

30) Housepets get given strange items on Halloween.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/10/3 ... c-you-see/

31) Peanut is readily outsmarted by a snake. Evidently he’s either fairly dim, not at all inclined to think things through, highly impulsive, the victim of supernatural powers, or more than one of those.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/0 ... e-animals/

32) Peanut plays scrabble with the zoo animals.
Inference: Zoo animals either get an educational program of their own or commonly manage to pick up at least basic literacy purely from reading their own signs and watching people read them. A fairly impressive display of intellect.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/0 ... -literate/

33) Here we have Grape's dream-sequence. Later evidence suggests that Peanut was not actually involved here.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/1 ... -mushroom/

34) Peanut is a bit confused about Santa Claus - and only learned that he could write to him this year.
Inference: Given the speed at which pets apparently learn and grow (see the discussion under Grape) this would tend to indicate that Peanut is quite young. The cast page notes "under five" - but it's uncertain where in the strip timeline this might apply. The information from the veterinary arc would place Grape under four at that point. The Cast page also notes that Peanut is older than Grape, so - at this point - an age of about three to three and a half for Peanut seems likely.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/11/1 ... -mushroom/

35) Peanut is speculating about Santa Claus, but is far less cynical than Grape.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/0 ... abor-laws/

36) Fido let Peanut back into the Good Ol Dogs Club - apparently without blackmail.
37) Fido is attempting to patch up Peanuts relationship with Bino. This is a nice idea, but is probably misguided.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/1 ... things-up/

38) Peanut tends to judge by appearances - at least when little other information is available.
Inference: Peanut probably still lacks confidence in his own judgement, and so tends to fall back on first impressions.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/17/lame-joke-83/

39) Peanut thinks motorcycle trips are awesome. Again, probably a first impression, since they can be quite uncomfortable.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/17/lame-joke-83/

40) Peanut gives Bino a very nice Christmas gift despite his dislike for him; this may indicate excessive niceness or - judging by the next few strips - simply awareness that this will make Bino very uncomfortable - a more subtle form of payback than most, but still payback.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/22/ew/

41) Peanut recognizes the symptoms of catnip use - and has apparently stayed up very late waiting for Grape.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/01/0 ... t-a-crime/

42) Peanut apparently dislikes going to the vet at least somewhat - although it's hard to tell if the information that they had an appointment was concealed for his benefit, for Grapes, or for both of them.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/01/1 ... tatistics/

43) Peanuts dislike for the vet seems fairly mild. He may just be disappointed that it wasn't a trip to the pool after all.
44) Peanut finds the name "Princess Periwinkle" rather amusing. It’s hard to blame him, but - to his credit - he’s apparently never mentioned it to Grape again.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/01/2 ... ough-pain/

45) Peanut behaves himself at the vets, and gets a treat for it. Evidently he does not find shots and a his checkup particularly traumatic.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/0 ... treatment/

46) Peanut doesn't mind being dressed up. Well, if that’s what his “pack leaders” want at the moment...
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/1 ... -stitches/

47) Peanut is curious, and investigates things he doesn't understand.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/09/bzzt/

48) Peanut is embarrassed about having been shocking Bino.
Inference: Now that he's back in, Peanut has forgiven Bino for throwing him out of the Good Ol Dogs Club.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/1 ... -reaction/

49) Peanut was going to give the remote for Bino's shock collar to Bino, but prefers not to have Bino angry with him.
Inference: Peanut prefers good relationships with the neighbors, and doesn't like causing even Bino pain.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/1 ... over-then/

50) Peanut hasn't been paying attention to Grape talking about the Pridelands.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/16/book-smarts/

51) Peanut apparently doesn't pay much attention to his surroundings when involved in something - which is often. Evidently his missing what Grape’s been talking about for a month is a fairly standard bit of behavior for him.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/1 ... cat-again/

52) Peanut likes complicated plots, and gets involved in books easily.
Inference: Peanut - and probably most of the other pets, since the Pridelands series is very popular with them - have no trouble keeping track of a remarkable number of details and some apparently-complex plots. More evidence that their memories are very good, and indirect evidence that their reasoning - even as adults - usually isn’t (or it’s hard to see why they don’t have a lot more rights as adults).
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/2 ... l-of-text/

53) Peanut bets unwisely with Grape. Again, remembering a lot of facts doesn’t add up to the ability to reason with them.
54) Peanut is still only getting a two-dollar-a-week allowance.
Inference: Peanut doesn’t really need much allowance - as demonstrated by the fact that he hasn’t spent at least five weeks worth of it. He probably gets most of his “allowance” in he form of new toys, batteries, and treats.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/2 ... the-drain/

55) Peanut obsesses over books easily.
Inference: Another case of being eage to collect facts, but not necessarily putting them together very well - or being able to clearly distinguish reality from fantasy. “I must know what happens...” is going a bit overboard when it’s simply a book - although you can see a lesser case of the same syndrome on the forums and comments here.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/2 ... s-madness/

56) Peanut reads with remarkable speed, and still recalls page numbers and details.
Inference: Pet memories may be near-eidetic. While this can cover for poor reasoning (especially when you can easily check extensive arguments , it will tend to lead to things like Bino dropping a tree on himself - and would neatly help explain why Pets aren’t more-or-less equal partners in civilization and why the Ferals - who show many of the same attributes - don’t really seem to have much of a culture of their own.
57) Peanut also has a hard time keeping his mouth shut about books he's just read. Again, a fine memory and little judgement.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/3 ... -mistress/

58) Peanut evidently hasn't been filled in about the details of the Sandwich family.
59) Peanut enjoys trips in general. Life in Babylon Gardens probably tends to be fairly routine most of the time - especially when compared to exciting books.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/06/08/no-excuses/

60) Peanut overplans, and worries about being bored.
Inference: he doesn’t find reviewing all the information already in his head much fun - yet video games can hold his interest. I’m more or less going to take the “Splendid memory, relatively poor reasoning and judgement” part as a given from now on, at least for the younger pets.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/06/1 ... childhood/

61) Peanut - at least when implicitly backed by his humans - feels comfortable defying other humans.
62) Peanut is fairly comfortable without his collar. Unlike Grape, this doesn’t make him feel abandoned. It’s likely that he never has been.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/06/1 ... ternative/

63) Peanut plays formal, as well as informal, RPG's.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/06/19/fast-learner/

64) Peanut feels that horses look delicious - and has no real qualms about telling them so.
Inference: Like the cats, the dogs of the Housepets universe have no real trouble with killing and eating other intelligent beings. While that's an inevitable feature of most talking-animal worlds - or at least those with carnivores - in housepets it seems to fall under the "it's just the way things are" convention, along with human dominance - a bit like Grapes noting (towards the end of the farm arc) that Maxwell might get himself hit by a car (poor judgement again), or Zach's "I hope you don't get eaten" in Oops, I Arced.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/0 ... your-food/

65) Peanut is definitely attracted to cats. He is also probably a late adolescent, and fairly easily shocked.
Inference: Given that Peanut is - judging from the Cast page - probably a bit past five at this point, this supports the notion that pets attain their adult size and musculature at three or so, but that sexual maturity is delayed another year or two.
Note: As noted under Graps, the farm cats don't seem to share the “city folk” prejudice against interspecies relationships. They’re probably also somewhat older than Grape.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/0 ... the-mouth/

66) Peanut still has a crush on Grape, and can be completely nonplused by suggestive situations.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/1 ... s-too-far/

67) Peanut doesn't know how to approach girls, and is looking for advice from Rufus.
Inference: Peanut is probably still at the "awkward adolescent" stage. Again, evidently this occurs considerably later for Housepets pets than for real ones.

68) Peanut is still deeply attached to Grape, even if she does want to go out with other cats.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/1 ... t-it-much/

69) Peanut watches The Learning Channel, and has at least minimal skills as a makeover artist.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/1 ... -fabulous/

70) Peanut has the classical "secret admirer" personality; he prefers seeing Grape happy to his own happiness. That’s a bit of a canine-loyalty stereotype, but there is some justification in wolf behavior, where less-dominant individuals help raise the offspring of the dominant pair rather than producing their own offspring.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/1 ... on-parade/

71) The first appearance of Tarot and their instant relationship.
Inference: Peanut may not know how to approach a canine girl - something his human “parents” probably either could not or never thought to teach him - but his instinctive responsive behaviors are quite normal. Considering the nature of the Housepets universe, there are probably some self-help or pet-owners-manual books available, but - considering the nature of the actual strip - such things aren’t too likely to be mentioned.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/2 ... -dramatic/

72) Peanut is exceptionally accepting of odd behavior patterns.
Inference: Like Fox with Bino, housepets dogs are willing to put up with a lot to fit into a group.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/3 ... l-do-that/

73) Peanut seems to have swapped his crush on Grape for a more acceptable relationship with Tarot quite quickly.
Inference: This is probably fairly normal. While the pets are all essentially human in most of the ways which really matter, and doubtless imprint on each other all the time, the ones who actually leave the most descendants are going to be the ones who easily re-orient to relationships within their own species when the opportunity presents itself.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/0 ... otherwise/

74) Peanut comes up with lots of ideas - and supplemental material for Adventures of Spot - but has a hard time organizing them.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/2 ... -probably/

75) Peanut apparently fails to recognize a normal wolf, despite visiting them at the zoo. Perhaps it's just the fact that this one is sitting on a couch and having tea and he simply has trouble separating the creature from the context.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/2 ... er-danger/

76) Peanut is well aware of the conventions of his world.
77) Peanut still romanticizes wolves somewhat, but is aware that actually meeting one might not be what he imagines.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/3 ... n-my-room/

78) Peanut also romanticizes the Feral life.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/10/0 ... t-speaker/

79) Peanut would like to see a real pack close up. Evidently he’s aware that the pack at the zoo really isn’t a good model for a “real pack”.
80) Peanut knows more about etiquette and human society than he believes he does. Evidently he’s underestimated just how much would appear alien to a complete outsider.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/10/1 ... e-forever/

81) Peanut is still good at alterations, even if he does get sarcastic about human fashions.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/10/1 ... han-human/

82) Peanut plays chess, and is familiar with at least a few of the standard openings.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/10/26/how-terrible/

83) Peanut does not know how to carve a pumpkin.
Inference: The Sandwiches may have regarded him as too young to give a knife to last year. Grape may be in a different category because - as a cat - she has blade on each finger anyway.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/10/28/punkin/

84) Peanut goes broomstick-riding with Tarot.
Inference: Either Tarot is using telekinesis to hold him up, or Peanuts sense of balance is pretty good.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/10/3 ... tch-plans/

85) Peanut joins the search party hunting for Zach, and seems to have a reasonably good sense of direction.
Note: Evidently the "wilderness" (or semi-wilderness) area is close by, and the pets feel free to visit it.
Inference: Pet-class cats and dogs are a great deal closer to being the top-echelon predators in Housepets than they are in reality - as is apparently borne out by Grapes scene with the raccoon a bit later. While this could also be explained by theories like "they aren't very bright and life is cheap", that sort of thing does not seem to fit the Housepets world.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/1 ... -favorite/

86) Peanut casually accepts telepathy as cool.
87) Peanut is easily distracted by cool things, to the point of forgetting or ignoring major warnings.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/23/so-cool/

88) Peanut is, for once, calmer than Grape - or more willing to listen to Tarot.
89) Peanuts logical skills has improved.
Inference: It's possible that - with Grape more skittish - he's had ro rely on his own thinking a bit more recently.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/0 ... christmas/

90) Peanut - along with most of the other dogs - is seriously taken aback by King's outburst.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/2 ... hed-socks/

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

Peanut’s Possible Backstory:

What little we know about Peanuts background is mostly negative; he doesn’t seem to have abandonment issues, he doesn’t seem to have needed to function on his own, he finds visits to the vet a chore rather than something to fear, and there’s been no mention of any problems. Ergo...

Most likely, Peanut was adopted by the Sandwiches shortly after he was weaned, and thus went directly from being cared for by his biological mother to being cared for by the Sandwiches. The Sandwiches weren’t sure they were ready for children of their own, but thought that a puppy - which would grow up very quickly compared to a human child, needed substantially less care and attention, and represented far less of a financial and emotional commitment, would be a good way to try out parenting.
They - like many prospective “parents” in the Housepets universe - hadn’t quite realized just how emotionally adhesive a talking puppy would be, or given much thought to the fact that a dog - at least under current laws - was never really going to become “an adult” and move out like a human child. Of course, by the time they really thought about that, it was far too late.
Thus Peanut’s always been indulged and cuddled, with little to do but play. He’s never had to make any large decisions on his own, and thus tends to turn to others - his “parents” if possible, Grape, Fido, or another more decisive figure if his “parents” are not available - when the need for such a decision turns up or if any emergency arises.
Thanks to his remarkable reading speed, and voracious appetite for books, Peanut has a tremendous array of general facts at his disposal - but isn’t inclined to do that much with them except play. The Sandwiches adoption of Grape has given him someone new to play with, and - since cats tend to be more independent anyway, and Grape has had at least a bit of experience in making her own decisions - someone to turn to when his “parents” are not available, even if she is younger than he is.


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

Responses:

None of the previous comments actually need to need much of a reply - although I would suggest that an updated cast page note the character’s approximate ages, owners, and a sentence or two about their pre-comic background. That way it will function nicely as a spoiler-free introduction to the comic.

And I, of course, would get another chunk or two of information to add here, because I am always looking for more puzzle-pieces.

Alternative speculations, other viewpoints, and notes on thing's I've missed are very welcome by the way. I try to be through, but I'm certainly going to miss things.

Return to thread index: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=199&start=0

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Character Dossiers


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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Next up we have Maxwell's dossier...

1) Maxwell is "Spying" on the Good Ol Dogs Club with Marvin - but is inattentive and gets trampled when the dogs rush out. Fortunately he's not seriously injured.
Inference: The cats probably have no comparable organization. This is later borne out by their having the Yarn Ball outside, rather than having a meeting hall like the Good Ol Dogs Club.
2) Maxwell has a chunk bitten out of his ear, neatly distinguishing him from the other cats.
Inference: Maxwell is probably a bit older, more experienced, and has had a rougher life than many of the other pets. He may have been an adopted stray.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/08/2 ... dog-thing/

3) Max apparently has a close relationship with Bino - unusual for a cat (OK, considering Bino, unusual for anyone). He also likes to harass Bino - which is more understandable.
4) Bino apparently feels that it's important to stay on good terms with Maxwell, and actually seems to considers his feelings - at least as an afterthought. It's likely that they have the same owner and thus Maxwell is Bino's pet-sibling.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/0 ... our-thing/

5) Maxwell distributed some or all of the invitations to the New Years Eve Yarn Ball. He may or may not be an organizer, but he is definitely far better connected with the neighborhood cats than Grape.
6) Max thinks that Grape is "the coolest cat I know" - but does not know that she is female. Comic-strip recognition rules continue to apply.
Inference: Given that Maxwell does seem to be well-connected it seems a bit odd that he doesn't have a date - unless he's willing to abandon whatever date he has in favor of one with Grape. It's possible that the strip perceptual filters, plus the "it's rude to ask rule" are interfering with the pets social lives - but it's equally likely that the neighborhoods population is biased towards males, at least as far as the cats go. That could be due to simple chance, or it could be intentional on the part of the human population; finding homes for a litter of kittens is likely to be a lot more difficult (and potentially guilt-producing) in the housepets universe than it is in reality.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/12/so-thats-a-no/

7) Maxwell seems to be at home, with Bino. They evidently are indeed pet-siblings.
8) Maxwell is all-too-familiar with Bino's tendencies and personality traits.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/1 ... aid-plans/

9) Bino gives Maxwell the cat treats that he was going to give to Peanut. It may be as an afterthought, but Bino actually does give Maxwell a present.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/2 ... s-edition/

10) Maxwell demonstrates that he knows most of the neighborhood cats.
11) Maxwell does not seem to realize that Joey is not actually a cat. Evidently he's NOT genre-savvy enough to get past the comic strip recognition rules.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/2 ... more-cats/

12) Maxwell knows how to dance. Not a major distinction.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2008/12/3 ... he-ritz-2/

13) Maxwell kept Grape up very late at the New Years Yarn Ball.
Inference: Their owners seem to mostly let the pets run their own social lives. The same seemed to be true “down on the farm”, so it may be a common feature of the world.
14) Maxwell probably does have access to catnip, at least on special occasions. It seems unlikely that anyone else would be giving it to Grape while she was accompanying him.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/01/0 ... t-a-crime/

    This non-canon strip was pulled due to it's "drug use" implications and the "smoking catnip" theme, and the effects of catnip in housepets were apparently toned down to approximate the effects of alcohol in humans (and real-life catnip on cats).
    Catnip was implied to be fairly readily available through quasi-underground dealers. Given that it also seems to be available in canon (as per "We're not allowed to sell that to pets") to any human who wants to buy it, that seems understandable, if unnecessary.
    Maxwell apparently got four pounds of catnip for Christmas. That’s rather a lot; it would certainly last our cats quite awhile.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/wp-conten ... thdraw.png

15) Maxwell appears on a sardonic greetings card. This probably isn't indicative of either a modeling contract or of anything but author whimsy.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/1 ... otty-line/

16) Maxwell - like many other cats - is a Pridelands fan.
17) Maxwell also does his research on the Internet. Whether or not he has unfiltered access remains unknown.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/2 ... l-of-text/

18) Maxwell is willing to do dangerous stunts - such as pretending to shout out spoilers at a fan gathering for a new book release - for a mere five dollars.
Inference: Either Maxwell is trying to impress Grape, is something of a daredevil, or he doesn't normally get much cash, or two or more of those. The fact that the Mr Bigglesworths are all fans, but their “Mom” will only get them one copy - and they can't buy their own - would support the notion that being short of cash is true of many or most pets (with the notable exception of the Milton Ferrets).
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/2 ... the-drain/

19) Maxwell does not open the door for visitors; instead he just informs his "dad", Jake.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/04/2 ... -violence/

20) Grape - worried about being considered a dog-lover - makes a date with Maxwell. He evidently finds this a very exciting prospect.
Inference: Maxwell is either very interested in Grape or simply cannot find any other dates.
21) Grape also advises Maxwell to "try not to get hit by a car in the meantime".
Inference: Housepets pets often have sufficiently poor judgement to be at risk of most of the same kinds of accidents that pets are at risk of in the real world.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/1 ... t-nothing/

22) Maxwell - now that he knows and Grape's eyelashes are combed out - can easily recognize that Grape is female (and likes the look). Comic book recognition strikes again.
23) Maxwell has brought flowers. Either he’s going all-out, or he’s raided someone’s garden or both.
24) Maxwell is well aware that Grape dislikes Bino, and is not above exploiting his "siblings" accident to amuse his date.
Inference: Maxwell only tolerates Bino, he doesn’t really like him much - although that is quite understandable.
25) Maxwell is unwilling to promise not to keep Grape out past midnight this time. Evidently “out late” is a normal feature of feline dates.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/1 ... on-parade/

26) Maxwell has selected a "semi-formal resturant" which serves trash.
Inference: “Real” cat-oriented restaurants probably don’t exist, and this “restaurant” is probably either an attempt by the cats to make some pretense of independence from humans, simple comic strip convention, or both.
27) Maxwell is willing to double-date if it will make Grape more comfortable. Evidently he’s much more interested in a long-term relationship than in the results of a single date.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/1 ... kill-cafe/

Note: Rick is lampshading the "inability to tell which sex each other are" gag again.
28) Maxwell uses fake coughs to cover up awkwardness.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/1 ... lications/

29) Maxwell recognizes that most of the pets relationships are rather odd.
Inference: Maxwell is probably old enough to have an outside standard of comparison.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/2 ... e-corners/

30) Unsurprisingly, Maxwell would prefer to have a full date with Grape, rather than cutting it short.
31) Maxwell has somehow managed to obtain advanced tickets to Hunters of the Pridelands for his date.
Inference; Given that these are - judging by the apparent populatity of the Pridelands series - considered quite valuable and therefore hard to come by, Maxwell has evidently gone to a great deal of trouble and effort to impress Grape.
32) In contrast to most of Bino's plans, Maxwell's plan does indeed work - he establishes a relationship with Grape and has a nice date. Who is rubbing off on who is hard to say.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/2 ... ou-say-so/

33) Either Jake occasionally locks Maxwell out of the house when he's out too late - (apparently most of the neighbors don't either install pet doors or give their pets keys) OR Maxwell is taking advantage of the rain to try a sympathy ploy.
Inference: Presuming this is a genuine problem, evidently Bino won't let Maxwell in either. That’s unkind if he’s awake, but is hardly out of character as long as he’s either obeying Jake or can pretend to be sound asleep.
Speculation: Since Maxwell did not answer the door either, Jake does not want the “kids” answering the door.
Speculation: From Jake’s immediate, and violent, reaction to someone from PETA, he may have had trouble with PETA before - which might explain why he does not want his pets opening the door for anyone, including each other.
Note: Judging by the for-the-benefit-of-the-reader little heart icons, Maxwell is sincerely fond of Grape, and the feeling is at least somewhat mutual.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/0 ... otherwise/

34) Maxwell takes Grape out in costume for Halloween. Whether it's to a party or for Trick-or-Treating is unknown - but the outdoor setting, having invited Peanut and Tarot, and the pets-as-kids motif, suggests trick-or-treating.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/10/3 ... tch-plans/

35) According to the cast page, Maxwell is snarky, caustic, eggs Bino on, derives his energy from being annoying, and is still - somehow - friends with all the cats in the neighborbood. It's possible that this is, at least in part, derived from his interactions with Bino, who seems likely to bring out the obnoxious side of almost anyone.

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

A possible history for Maxwell:

OK, this is based purely on inference - we basically know nothing about Maxwell’s history - so I’m going with “exciting, fits the (few) known facts, and has lots of interesting future story possibilities” (thus the conflict with PETA, the street connections, and the involvement with the Ferals - all good for possible future stories). Who knows? Some bits of this may even fit in with whatever Rick actually has in mind.

Maxwell was either abandoned as a kitten, or born a stray, and survived on his own for some time before being picked up by Animal Control. Jake - who is more than a bit fierce and combative himself - took a liking to the feisty young cat and adopted him (at least partially because he could probably take care of himself against Bino).

Bino was not entirely pleased to have another rival, but at least this one was a cat and not another dog. Still, Maxwell's arrival didn't help a bit with Bino's "Rampant Zoning Issues". Of course, just like human siblings, pet-siblings tend to wind up accommodating each other. It’s not like they really have a lot of choice about it.

Things went fairly well for a time - until Maxwell unwisely answered the door for a PETA loony, and got snatched. Fortunately for him, he was simply dumped in the woods a long ways away, and made it home little the worse - except for the bite out of his ear. Since then, however, he's taken good care to obey Jake's restrictions on opening up the doors for ANYONE.

These days Maxwell tries to stay on top of what's going on in the neighborhood, and to maintain a good network of connections on the streets, with the local ferals, and among the other pets. If something happens again, he wants to have friends and allies available to fall back on - and the resources that offers him often come in useful. It was some of Maxwell’s catnip that Bino used in his little birdie-trap gift, and was his contacts that allowed him to come up with those advance tickets to Hunters of the Pridelands. Those resources don't include much in the way of cash - he's as short on that as most of the other pets are - but favors are often nearly as good when dealing with other animals.

Lately he's become especially attracted to Grape. Even before he knew she was female, he knew that she was one of the most sensible (at least potentially), rational, and pragmatic cats in the neighborhood, all qualities he values a lot in a friend, especially in comparison to Bino. He can't resist being a bit manipulative - he's had too many bitter experiences to be entirely candid in his relationships - but he's not malicious about it.


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Character Dossiers


Last edited by Thoth on Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:58 pm
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Oh wow, even if your inferences are wrong, I just realized that I have ALOT in common with Maxwell, and want to see more of him...

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
I have to admit, it never occurred to me that MAxwell might've been abducted from PETA once until you mentioned that Maxwell was told not to open doors. such a simple task of opening doors could've been something like PETA would do, and i originally thought it was cat courtesy to not open front doors, but recently recall Grape opened a front door. @_@

what a amusing find indeed...

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Spo’s dossier is relatively short compared to some of the others... On the other hand, as a mouse, and one of the characters who’s NOT a dog or cat, he provides some interesting insights.

1) Spo was caught by either Sabrina or her (undisclosed) owner after - apparently - being spotted by said owner.
2) Spo has no compunctions about making jokes at the expense of large predators who have ALREADY trapped him. Whle they do seem benign at the moment, it's bard to believe that he doesn't know that they could change their minds at any time.
Inference: Spo is not nearly cautious enough for a small mouse - unless he's deliberately gambling on befriending a large protector.
Inference: Spo's "voice" can be clearly heard through a box, and is apparently at normal conversational levels for a dog, cat, or human. This could simply indicate that the Pets have very good ears, or that mouse voices are unexpectedly loud, or perhaps pet "voices" are - like the Dolphin "voices" in the zoo arc - partially the result of projective telepathy adding details and overtones to the sounds they produce.
    Speculation: A limited telepathic ability might account neatly for a number of factors - the use of human actors to portray the creatures in the Pridelands movies (telepathy would not record), why the horses in the farm arc imply that horses don't get to talk on television or in movies and so get portrayed as "bicycles" (telepathy won't broadcast or record), the assumption (also from the farm arc, by Grape's "Mom") that mental traits can be passed on to pets, the ability of the zoo animals that are behind glass to talk to the visitors, the occasional appearance of emotional indicators and the rapid development of relationships (the animals occasionally broadcast emotions), the extremely rapid development of "linguistic skills", the variances in vocabulary, why Karl-Lenin Faust's "Oration far exceeds my writing skills", why most of the animals don't really seem to be good at lying directly, the widespread familiarity with human culture - even among the Ferals - and the fact that all the Ferals seem to speak English. It would not account for the female otter in the zoo arc apparently speaking another language - unless she (1) is intentionally doing so to indicate how upset she is, (2) it's a humor-based anomaly, or (3) she simply imprinted on the dominant language of the area where she was born and raised.
    Speculation: If there is indeed a telepathic factor in pet language, this may help explain why they can be such good readers, and yet seem to be fairly poor authors. It would also help explain why Tarot is not in a lab and is so readily accepted; telepathy isn't too abnormal; she's simply exceptionally good at it. Similarly, it would help explain why pet relationships so often mirror human complications, why they can be satisfactory even if nonphysical (such as Joey and Squeak), and how humans can treat the sapient animals of the housepets universe as normal animals without being fundamentally monstrous; most of them will simply believe that the animals are mirroring them.
    Note: Judging by the response from Rick, this particular hypothesis is too off the wall (and, come to think of it, wouldn't work with Grape on the phone in the farm arc too well); I'll have to settle for "Pets have really good ears" as an alternative and try to account for some of the items above in some other fashion
Note: Fido may still be concealing his relationship with Sabrina from the other dogs, but it seems pretty obvious that quite a lot of the local Ferals know about it.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/16/ohh-diss/

3) Spo seems to be familiar with human culture. Possibly another argument for telepathy.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/1 ... mebreaker/

4) Spo is small, even for a mouse.
5) Spo can be sensible, even if it takes direct threats to his life to bring it out.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/20/compensation/

6) Spo prefers grains to cheese. Of course, too much cheese is actually very bad for mice.
7) Spo was indeed the runt of his litter.
Speculation: This may reminded Fido of Joey, and pulled up some old protective tendencies.
8) Mice evidently have rather large families. The simplest translation of "SPO" would make him (19 x 26 x 26) + (16 x 26 ) + 15'th in his family - or 13,275'th. This seems unlikely - a single mother mouse can have a lot of descendants very quickly, but that's because her offspring start having kids quickly, not because she produces thousands. Presumably mouse "Famalies" are actually sizeable clans or - perhaps - are designated by geography rather than blood. That would mean that most of the mice of Babylon Gardens would be of the same “family”.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/2 ... er-charge/

9) Spo is aware of the Babylon Gardens taboo against interspecies relationships - at least as far as the dogs are concerned.
10) Spo does not see much difference between K-9 units and human policemen. Of course, from the point of view of a Feral - who has no rights in either case - there isn't much difference.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/02/2 ... y-who-who/

11) Spo is subject to motion sickness.
Note: Nausea apparently shows through fur as blushes do. The strip reality continues to follow artistic conventions.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/0 ... bike-ride/

12) Spo gets lonely, and likes having a friend.
13) Spo is aware of the oddity of having animal cops with such limited authority.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/0 ... nfessions/

14) Spo has claustrophobia. This provides a good explanation of why he was spotted anyway; he may be too reluctant to hide properly.
15) Spo is a bit insecure. That's probably a way of life for small prey animals however.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/03/0 ... e-the-box/
Note: I get the impression that Spo is rather appalled at the burning building here - but he has no dialogue and the image is very small, so "impression" is as far as it goes.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/04/1 ... good-year/

16) Spo seems to have gotten pretty good at hanging on to Fido - and has apparently gotten over his motion sickness.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/0 ... character/

17) Spo has apparently been watching police dramas, and has begun to regard riding along with Fido as the equivalent of an action movie he can participate in.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/2 ... at-driver/

18) Spo likes watching violence, and regards toning it down - or departing from the dramatics in favor of dry legalities and procedures - as "ruining it".
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/2 ... -mixed-up/

19) Spo is apparently acting as a narrator for Fido's feelings. They're pretty obvious of course, but this could be taken as support for the "telepathy" hypothesis.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/2 ... ood-crowd/

20) Spo apparently finds it hard to see how deeply conflicted humans can be.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/05/2 ... nd-humans/

21) Spo is still sensible enough to want to retreat - urgently - form predators who AREN'T friends of his.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/07/2 ... -cant-buy/

22) Spo apparently does not get taken along on dates.
Note: This may have been because the “restaurant” was primarily a cat hangout, but most of the cats seem civilized enough to refrain from eating someone’s companion. Jinx certainly doesn’t seem worried about it. Fido might have been wiser to bring a chaperone, but it probably wouldn’t have had any effect on Sasha if Grape’s presence, and being in a public place, didn’t.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/08/2 ... -smooches/

23) Spo has acquired tiny sunglasses to go with the police dogs.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/09/1 ... stigation/

24) Spo does not know about "Zoning Issues", despite spending a great deal of time with Fido.
Note: Spo does seem quite familiar with human culture. Possibly this is an aspect of canine behavior that Fido just does not want to think or talk about, and so Spo hasn't picked up on it.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/1 ... oth-start/

25) Spo apparently finds Tiger and (especially) Bino as infuriating as everyone else does.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/11/1 ... oth-start/

26) Spo apparently was not taken along to the dogs Christmas party either.
http://www.housepetscomic.com/2009/12/2 ... hed-socks/

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

Possible History. Please note that this is - again - quite speculative. It’s also rather short: even if we assume that Housepets mice have double or triple their real-world life expectancy, that still isn’t very long - and, since Spo is a recurring character, presumably it will be a few years in the comic before he dies of old age. Ergo, he’s probably pretty young.

Spo was the runt of the litter. He soon developed a dislike for dark, confined, places and a fondness for exploring simply because - whenever he tried to get back into his mother’s tight and well-hidden nest - he got picked on by his siblings.
Being a weirdo as well as a runt didn’t make him many friends amongst the other mice, and his reluctance to squeeze himself out of sight on a moments notice soon led to him being spotted around the house by Sabrina’s owner.
Naturally enough, he called on his cat to get rid of the mouse. Disliking killing things, Sabrina did so by passing Spo on to Fido - and the pair found themselves unusually compatible. Fido kept Spo around instead of simply relocating him.


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

Replies:

GameCobra wrote:
I have to admit, it never occurred to me that MAxwell might've been abducted from PETA once until you mentioned that Maxwell was told not to open doors. such a simple task of opening doors could've been something like PETA would do, and i originally thought it was cat courtesy to not open front doors, but recently recall Grape opened a front door. @_@

what a amusing find indeed...


Well, it’s pretty speculative - but I do try to make sure that the "possible histories" are as plausible as possible.

And for Rockstar Raccoon: It would be nice to see more Maxwell wouldn’t it? Of course, I’m greedy; I’d like more appearances and information on pretty much every character...

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Character Dossiers


Last edited by Thoth on Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:35 am, edited 3 times in total.



Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:53 am
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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Quote:
Possibly pet "voices" are - like the Dolphin "voices" in the zoo arc - partially the result of projective telepathy.


You're reaching!

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
Oh yes - but it could be stretched to account for a number of items - and "pets have really good ears" wasn't as much fun!

-And so noted...

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Character Dossiers


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Post Re: Character Dossiers
The box had holes on it! As for him being smaller - I don't know about you but I find those with dwarfism, for example, are not necessarily harder to hear. It's not quite the same thing, but it's possible that all it means is that they're higher in pitch!

At the same time, he seems to always be relatively close to Fido's ears! Maybe the other pets can't hear Spo? It would better explain why Fox thought Fido was arguing with himself!

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Post Re: Character Dossiers
These are just things that I found and thought I would add my two cents. Know I don't mean to antagonize, it's just I also like to do character analysis as well but just don't try to delve too deep into it like you do, keeping in mind many things and that some were probably done just so the joke makes sense. (Don't stop what your doing though I like what you do!)

Quote:
Fido may still be concealing his relationship with Sabrina from the other dogs, but it seems pretty obvious that quite a lot of the local Ferals know about it.


Or it could be Spo simply overheard him saying "Of all the cats in the world and I had to fall in love with the only one who doesn't enjoy causing pain."

I'm pretty sure Sabrina isn't a gossip. In fact she hardly has any lines at all for a recurring side character.

Quote:
Spo seems to be familiar with human culture. Possibly another argument for telepathy.


Speculation on my part but it's also possible that Sabrina's owner also plays D&D which is why Spo would know what a dork would be like. It might also explain how Fido and Sabrina met in the first place.

Quote:
Spo is aware of the Babylon Gardens taboo against interspecies relationships - at least as far as the dogs are concerned.


We're pretty sure that this isn't a Babylon Gardens taboo as it is a universal. The farm cats talk about this issue lightly but it does make sense if you think about it. (Probably just a poor choice of words but felt like pointing this out, sorry.)

Quote:
Spo is aware of the oddity of having animal cops with such limited authority.


I don't think it's an oddity as much as humans don't treat animals all that differently from this world and theirs. Except we treat ours like babies they treat theirs like...well more like children I guess. They get toys, they...CAN eat regular foods, (Though throughout the comic Grape and Peanut seem to be the only ones to do so...), but they still don't have as much freedom.
Edit:Oh and Tiger also eats cookies and pizza. How could I forget him?

Quote:
I get the impression that Spo is rather appalled at the burning building here - but he has no dialogue and the image is very small, so "impression" is as far as it goes.


I don't think he's appalled so much at the burning building as more thinking "These dogs are insane."

Quote:
Spo is apparently acting as a narrator for Fido's feelings. They're pretty obvious of course, but this could be taken as support for the "telepathy" hypothesis.


No he's not. Spo is not narrating anything nor does this support telepathy. He's just being a wise-crack.

Quote:
Spo apparently was not taken along to the dogs Christmas party either.


Well I wouldn't take a mouse to a dog's club either.

Also. Max being abducted by the PETA is VERY speculative since there seems to be nothing at all to suggest this.

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