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Guest Review: Housepets!

by on Feb.15, 2010, under Review

Hi, I’m Gab. Luprand asked me to write up a review for him while he battles technology.  Sorry it’s late – my bad!

Do any of you people permit any animal or fowl in your house for company but not for profit? I’m talking, of course, about house pet and how they run our lives. I have three cats at home whom I constantly project human characteristics on, and it really does seem like they own the place. That’s just while I’m watching, too, so it seems inevitable to think about what they might be doing while I’m at work.

Fortunately, Rick Griffin more or less does this for me in his comic Housepets!, which leaves me free to spend business hours mindlessly typing out lines of code like a good monkey. The comic follows main characters Peanut Butter and Grape Jelly on their adventures in the neighborhood, which often involves the local critters and sometimes the human people, too. It’s cute, harmless (which means it’s safe for work and all audiences – yay!), and often times very funny. It feels familiar and nostalgic, sort of in a Muppet Babies / Rugrats kind of way, only more modern and much less pedophiliac. Using anthropomorphic animals is a great vehicle for this, avoiding politically incorrect cliches and making it convenient to have characters acting in childlike ways while still retaining some level of maturity. I mean, they’re talking animals. They can’t be held responsible for the silly things they do!

The arcs are very character driven, which is something that I am immediately drawn to, with one offs scattered here and there for comedic relief. This works fairly well, though some of the running gags fall flat in comparison to the main plot … while other times convey more about the over-all plot than the storyline strips do. Particularly when  building up to the climax  ends up confusingly in the doghouse with no real resolution. What is this, anime? I don’t think putting a bandaid on the problem will make it go away, but then again…

But whatever. The thing that brought me to this comic in the first place was the art style, which has gone from good to nothing short of amazing over time.  Having said that, though, the human designs pale in comparison to  the lively-drawn animals whose expressions and creative poses really steal the show.

Just more proof about the house pets taking over! But I can’t resist them or this comic, so maybe you ought to just embrace it before you’re made an unsuspecting slave.

Comic Rating: Three grapes and a peanut butter awesome.

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