A fan forwarded to me this fan-made piece of Pooch hilarity. I’m not sure who’s behind it, but it’s a blast! Cheers, mysterious editor!
Hey, guess what? I’m writing a second comic strip! It’s a comic based on the webgame “Poptropica” written by me and delightfully drawn by the aptly named Kory Merritt. Here’s the write-up:
The Poptropica comic strip follows the hilarious adventures of two mismatched boys, Oliver and Jorge, who unexpectedly find themselves in a strange world of endless islands, each inhabited by it’s own unique residents. Frankensteins, dinosaurs, balloon animals, penguin pirates, the boys come across anything and everything as they pop from island to island looking for a way to get back home.
Oliver is one of the popular kids, although that’s not as easy as you might think. He feels the need to keep the fact that he’s smart hidden so as not to lose “cred”. Also, females keep falling in love with him because of his “perfect hair”. He’s good natured and always up for an adventure.
Jorge is sort of the opposite. But even though he’s out of shape, easily rattled, and allergic to everything under the sun, he’s the self-proclaimed expert at whatever task they come across. He also exclusively eats junk food, which is sort of a problem when you’re on tropical islands.
And here’s the first strip:
Check out more at the GoComics page here. And if you like ‘em, be sure to leave some nice comments and add the strip to your GoComics page.
Cheers! — Paul
From Ryan Ogilvie of Victoria, British Columbia:
“Poncho wanted to come to work with me, I was a little worried so I denied him. When I arrived back at home I found him like this! No doggie treats tonight, he may need something greasy in the morning.“
Poncho sighting! This one’s a repeat appearance in the comic strip Peanizles by the excellently-tasted Don Mathias. It’s part of a storyline he’s calling Drawn Of The Dead, in which the comics are bing infested and turned into zombies through tainted ink.
Check out Don’s full storyline here.
Breaking News: Poncho is back in NYC! Pooch ran in the New York Daily News some years back, but was cut when they downsized the comics page (that old chestnut). But with Gary Trudeau’s Doonsebury on hiatus, the NYDN has decided to bring Poncho back, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Strip replacements often provoke letter-writing, and for some reason disgruntlement seems to lend more energy to the pen than contentment. So that’s why I ask any fans of Pooch that happen to enjoy Poncho’s return to the News to let the editors know about it. Please only write in if you’re a New Yorker, but if you are and you dig on Poncho and the gang, if you could take the time send them a note saying how pleased you are to see him back in their pages, I will sit and raise a paw to you in gratitude.
Address: The New York Daily News, 4 New York Plaza, New York, NY 10004
OoowwWWooooo! (howl of thanks)!
The cantankerous one makes an appearance is Scott Stanis’ Prickly City, pitching one of his go-to mission statements.
Hope he washed his mouth out after saying “meow”. Thanks for the inclusion, Scott! More Prickly City right this way.
Today’s look-alike sent by Kim Clay! Says Kim:
My niece sent me a photo of her new puppy that I’ve attached here for you. He looks suspiciously like a certain dog I know. Hmmmm…..has Poncho been in New Jersey recently? She even named him Poncho, and he’s eating a dog treat that’s almost the same size as him. So many Poncho characteristics.
This is a little out of date, but an alert reader tipped me off to a rather feisty Poncho appearance on a Kickstarter campaign. As you can see, he’s all steroided-up along with a host of other canine comic regulars. Not sure what’s got ‘em so riled. The Kickstarter campaign was by Jason Yungbluth and called Weapon Brown: The Funny Pages… Weaponized! It’s closed now but he seems to have obliterated his monetary target. Congrats, Jason.
Today’s new take on a cat-catapult comes from Gabriel Cervantes of Appleton, WI. A very cool, alternative way to get the job done.
Steve Clark of Truro, Nova Scotia has carved another Poncho-lantern! This year he’s carved a “Vampooch”, taken from the pages of Pooch Cafe book #1. Spooky work, Steve!
Anyone like to own the original of this Larson-inspired Sunday? Sale price: $90, including postage and personalized signature! Send me an email if you like. If not, you won’t hurt the strip’s feelings, it’s just ink and paper.
Margaret Easter (AKA Pet Lady) has sent some photos of Poncho chilling on Cascade Lade in Brevard near Psigah Forest. Sayeth the Pet Lady:
“We all had a great time. My favorite pic is Poncho canoeing. I also attached a pic of him and his traveling companion, Tessa. She’s his “opposite look-alike”. She not he, black with white, not white with black but otherwise they are so alike. Sometimes I think you base the strip on her antics. She would juggle squirrels if she could just catch one!”
I met wall-artist Misaki C. Kido a couple of years back at TCAF, and she’s since become a fan of Pooch Cafe. And when Misaki is a fan of something, she expresses it on walls. And she does so AWESOMELY. Walls have never looked so good.
For more of her colourful wall transformations, check out her deviantart page here.
Thanks, Misaki! I’m thoroughly tickled!
Holy snap. I can feel the bones in my drawing hand creaking. I had to do the calculation three times. I had to use an abacus, because apparently those were all the rage around the time I started drawing this strip, which debuted on Jan 3, 2000, (“The first strip of the new millennium”, I coined it). It coincided relatively closely with Charles Schulz’s announcement that he was retiring Peanuts, and I was quickly misquoted in a newspaper interview as calling Poncho “the new Snoopy.” My first reporter twisting of words! I had entered the public eye.
The first strip:
Thanks to Copley Syndicate for starting me off, and to John Glynn, Lee Salem and John McMeel for taking Pooch on at Universal and helping me into the big leagues. And of course thanks to all my fans over the years, without whom I’d have been committed because sitting by yourself doing 5000 comics about a dog for no one will get you tossed in a padded room.
… on Instagram .
Search for Paul Gilligan if you’d like to follow me there. I skipped twitter, Linkedin and Pintrest. I only go for every fourth social media phenomenon.
Poncho’s Travels may be finito, but Sandy Britt still takes her Poncho out on the town once in a while:
Says Sandy: “Here we are at our regular Mexican hangout on $1.99 Margarita Wednesday. He helped me drink four!!! Poncho is a bad influence and makes me do bad things! Lol.”
Sounds like Poncho alright.
To get your own Poncho, click here. (Just noticed the photo on the site isn’t up at the moment, but trust me, he’s cute).
Apologies for not posting more the last while. Summer, et al. Here’s a classic Pooch movie poster to let you know I’m still kickin’.
Want to own your very own Pooch Cafe original? Now’s the time to act. All dailies are on sale for the Pooch-erific price of only $70, which includes postage and personal signature signed to your specifications. Details about the strips are here. Below, apropos of nothing, is a strip.
If you’re interested in any strips let me know and I’ll check “the archive” (a fancy name for the large pile of strips in my faux armoire) to see if it’s in my possession. The strips tell me they much prefer to be hanging on the walls of fans. They also tell me not to eat peanut butter while handling them. Don’t take this as a sign that they’re cantankerous, each and every one of them is sweet as a button.
I was a big fan of The Sopranos (I know, get in line), so like many I was disappointed to hear about the passing of talented star James Gandolfini. The Sopranos-inspired Italian Greyhounds appeared several times within the borders of Pooch, and independently of James’ death they are set to appear again in a couple of weeks. (Advance panel:)
My sister-in-law was the hugest Soprano fan I’ve ever met. She’s planning a wake, where everyone must dress like one of the characters. I guess I’ll have to be skinny-Guinea Christopher. I’m on the hunt for a big fake shnozzola, if you know where to get one.
Check out this latest Poncho conspiracy uncovered by alert regular Sandy Britt!
It’s from a website called “Sleepypod“, where I’m not quite certain what happens. ”Provides security and comfort for pets at home or on the go”. Okay, I think maybe it’s a travel bag… that looks like a canine crash-test dummy. I’m not sure, but I think maybe you don’t want your pet zippered up in a bag that looks like if you leave it unattended for a moment some car-company guy who needs to test out the effect of a crashed car on a plastic mutt and might grab it and put it to use.
There’s also another sleep-pod for felines that looks like a space helmet. That seems about right, since we all know everybody wants to jettison cats into space.
…we have Bob Krohmer, known around these parts as — you guessed it — “mailman”, who sent me a collection of his most recent comic offerings, my favorite of which is here:
I met Bob a few years ago when he came to hear me pontificate about myself at the Kenosha Cartooning Festival near Chicago, and he’s a wonderful chap. Bob, I’m not sure if you want to tell people how they might order some of your comics, but feel free to plug yourself in the comments section of this post if you so desire.
I’d certainly question using Poncho as a roll-model for teaching, (unless it’s about learning things the hard way), but I certainly can’t question Todd Allen’s taste in comics. Todd, who works at the Idaho National Laboratory, used Pooch Cafe strips in a slide presentation for a talk on team building for scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy research and development lab, (sounds like pretty brainy stuff!) Here are a few slides of Todd and Poncho in action.
Here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for (or forgotten about)!
Congratulations to Christopher Wood, for the winning contest entry! Here it is:
We received over 600 entries here at Pooch Central. As you may have guess, a large portion of them were plays on Life of Pi.
Other recurring movie springboards were Jaws, “we’re gonna need a bigger boat,” Casablanca, “Of all the lifeboats…”, and Cast Away references to Wilson. Also popular were variations of the Mailman’s “nor sleet nor snow” code, the end of Saturday mail delivery, threats of who is going to eat who, and the pun “being up the creek without a poodle.”
Some of these were quite clever, but I felt I should choose winners partially based on originality, as I didn’t want to select a winner with multiple variations on the same gag.
Here are some runners up. From Kathy Fisher:
From John Neuenschwander, an interesting play on the farmer-fox-chicken riddle (Pooch fans are so learned):
And lastly, one of my favourites which was thought up by not one, not two, but three clever readers, Joanne Pritchard, Robert Peven, and Mark Saliers:
The winner gets a Pooch Cafe original strip of his choosing. The other 5 honorable mentions shall receive a little something for their giggle-inducing contributions.
Thanks once again to everyone who took the time to send in some captions, it was a load of work going through them all but rewarding to hear from so many Pooch readers. I’ll try this again sometime. Hope you all had fun and thanks for carrying the leash!
For those who missed or want to reminisce about Poncho’s early days, the first Pooch Cafe collection “All Dogs Naturally Know How To Swim” is now available in digital form at Comixology for the low, tree-saving price of $4.99.
Click here to check it out! (And let me know how it looks. I haven’t joined the e-reader revolution yet!)
Ten-plus years ago, a strapping young editor at Universal Press Syndicate named John Glynn (who is still young, and possibly still strapping, I’m not a good judge of strapping) contacted me about making Pooch a part of the Universal Press Syndicate catalogue of excellence. I was immediately taken with John, and the name of the syndicate, which bespoke lofty territorial ambitions. The union has been rewarding in every way, as both John and the syndicate are, to quote James L. Brooks, as good as it gets. (Sorry, this was going well, I didn’t mean to make everyone think of Helen Hunt).
In honor of the 10-year anniversary, Universal is giving away some signed Pooch prints. Simply click here and visit the GoComics website to enter for a chance to win one.
Thanks to all my readers, new and longterm, for being such loyal fans of Poncho and his buds. I raise a bowl of water to you.