Interview: Rick Griffin from ‘Housepets’ Sarah Lau July 20, 2014 Interviews A hilarious gag comic where animals not only have hands but can talk, humans can understand, and both can communicate with each other which can all be found in Housepets. Rick Griffin, 27, created Housepets after a year’s attempt at making an adventure comic called In The New Age. He wanted to try again but with a newspaper style gag strip since he made Garfield-style knock-off strips when he was younger. He decided to combine that knowledge with his appreciation for anthropomorphic animals. Above: Cerberus Aside from humans, most of Housepets’ characters can usually be found in North America. Griffin’s usual cast are dogs and cats but he also has characters like Zach rabbit, the wolf pack, the Milton ferrets, Jess the possum, the raccoons Falstaff, Truck, and Custom Ink, and more. Additionally, Griffin created celestial characters like a gryphon, a cerberus, and more as readers follow the story. The Housepets artist lists a couple of his character breeds below: Peanut is a kind of mutt of Canadian Pointer King is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi Fox is an Alaskan Husky. Bailey is a Husky/Malamute mix. Rex is an American Bulldog Tarot is a Pomeranian. Mr. Bigglesworth are Siamese cats. Duchess is a Saluki Res is a Maine Coon Daisy is a Black Labrador Retriever Lester is a Dachshund Sergeant Ralph is a German Shepherd Kevin is a Doberman Terrence is a Springer Spaniel Griswold is a Karelian Bear Dog Devo is a Whippet Sten is a Chihuahua Uncle Rufus is an Australian Shepherd Yeltsin is a Bull Terrier Colleen is a Rough Collie (appeared once) Kuro is a Border Collie (appeared once) Above: Steve Housepets opens with Peanut Butter and Grape Jelly Sandwich – Sandwich appropriately as their surname. “I always thought there needed to be a duo named that,” said the Midwesterner. From the start of the comic, the dog and cat duo display what Housepets is about. They are standing like humans, have hands instead of paws, and communicate just like humans with their human ‘parents.’ Griffin chose to have humans and animals communicate in the same language because growing up he never really saw many people question the presumption of the different realms the two entities were in. “…there was always some language barrier between people and animals, whether implied or overt. If there wasn’t such a barrier, then the implications of there not being such a barrier was only minorly touched on and rarely explored…,” said the 27-year old. Above: Peanut (left) and Jack (right) Interspecies dating exists in Housepets but Griffin keeps it biologically realistic. “I’ve ‘allowed it’ in the sense that there are varying opinions on whether or not it’s ‘right’ to do so. Obviously I stick with biological reality, and said couples can’t actually have hybrid children, but I think the perspective is needed to address the point of whether love is all that is necessary for a relationship,” said the Housepets creator. Griffin shares a few, romantic unexpectancies such as Joey the dog and Squeak the mouse’s relationship that was supposed to be a joke but the two ended up being one of the most stable couples. Peanut and Tarot’s relationship was essentially a last second decision and Sasha was hoped to get together with King from readers but the artist says the two would not enjoy that relationship. Above: Yeltsin (left), Sasha (middle), and Fox (right) Housepets is classified as a furry comic and Griffin loves it. “I love furry stuff. That’s why I’ve also been developing another comic calledA&H Club, which is more overtly for the furry crowd. In some ways, finding that balance between ‘furry’ and ‘mainstream’ is difficult, and I always want to keep a project in my back pocket that tries to meet both,” said the creator. Griffin has been to a few conventions like RainFurrest, Further Confusion, Rocket City FurMeet, was Guest of Honor at Midwest Furfest 2011, and Guest of Honor at ConFuzzled 2014. The Housepets artist dreams for his work to be professionally animated even if it was just a pilot. He also wants readers to take a lesson from Housepets. “It’s okay if the world outside our comfort zones is uncomfortable and scary and unfair, because we’re NOT alone or unheard,” reaffirms Griffin. You can find Rick Griffin’s other links below: Housepets Rick Griffin recommends the comics below: The Dawn Chapel Two Kinds Thanks to our friends at Two Geeks Talking for letting us share this content. Two Geeks Talking is a partner in Crossroads Alpha along with Comics Bulletin.