Today is the release of the highly anticipated animated film The Secret Life of Pets. Early reviews, and children’s excitement over the trailers show this should be an instant hit. There have been many famous pets in literature for good reason. Animal companions can add comic relief, help characters become more likable, and become favorite characters unto themselves.
I decided to do a top 10 based on lovable pets. When I sat down and started, way too many famous animals came to mind. Cartoons, movies, books; pets are more prominent than first anticipated. Thus, I decided to focus on the ten greatest pets of comics, strips to graphic novels.
Here we go…
Who doesn’t love Garfield? The obese tabby, with his selfish, narcissistic comedy has been entertaining the world since 1978. Garfield had to make the list as one of the worlds most famous animals. I bumped him down to #10 because, well, he is probably the worst pet ever. Eating everything Jon Arbuckle can afford, while torturing the other animals and anyone who approaches their home.
9. The Lying Cat
I have just recently read and reviewed the highly acclaimed comic series Saga. While the book is filled with amazing ideas and characters, one specific pet sprung to mind while composing this list. The Lying Cat is the companion of The Will, a freelance bounty hunter. When interviewing or interrogating people the Lying Cat has the ability to let The Will know when they are lying. What a handy pet to have around, though there are situations I can think of, where it would be prudent to let the cat outside.
8. Legion of Super-Pets
Donned with the creative title by the Legion of Super Heroes, the Legion of Super-Pets is a group of animals that share the powers of Super-Man. First appearing in 1962, the team consisted of Krypto the Super-Dog, Streaky the Super-Cat, Comet the Super-Horse, and Beppo the Super-Monkey. Seriously? Sometimes I am grateful the golden age of comics is long over and we can forget about things like this.
This viscous, genetically engineered Lynx is the pet of Watchmen’s Ozymandias. His soul companion may be ‘costly to feed’ is loyal and protective. Using Bubastis to lure Dr. Manhattan into the intrinsic field subtractor, Ozymandias destroys his pet and friend in vain. Cutting off the villains last attachment to the world.
My older brother was the Archie fan, but that gave me plenty of bathroom reading. I always found Archie himself unbearable, but his best friend Jughead and loyal dog Hotdog were thoroughly entertaining. Some of the best quickies in the books featured Hotdog and his futuristic dog house with a robot butler.
If you do not know who Wexter is, you are missing out on one of the funniest comics out there today. Axe Cop is a web comic that was co-created/written by the artists 5 year old brother. The outlandish ideas of the young brother follows no rules or reason. Which is highlighted by this amazing pet dinosaur Wexter, who can fly and has Gatling guns for arms!
4. Ace the Bat-Hound
Unlike the Legion of Super-Pets or Wonder Womans pet kangaroo, Ace the Bat-Hound had and still has a practical application. Originally appearing in 1955, Ace has no unbelievable super powers, he is just a good dog. Loyal and protective to Batman and Robin, Ace typically stays at home to protect the Bat-cave. Ace may not be a consistent character in Batman mythology, but there is no reason not to have a big viscous dog hanging out with Alfred back home.
3. Pet Avengers
There may have been plenty of mistakes, as far as superhero pets go, but Marvel has pulled off some great ones. In 2009 these amazing animals teamed up to save the universe. Headed by Black Bolts teleporting companion Lockjaw he gathered the forces of Lockheed the Dragon, Redwing the Falcon, Hairball: Speedballs cat, and Throg a frog with the powers of Thor. Together they gathered the Infinity Gems for Mr. Fantastic and saved the day.
The other pets on this list may play important pieces, but none more so than Ampersand. This poo throwing monkey proved to be the key to everything in the series Y: The Last Man. Developing a close bond with Yorick, it is suggested Ampersand may have been victim to genetic mutation. Which may be the key to him being one of the only surviving males of the Plague.
The famous pet of Charlie Brown has taken a life of his own. Snoopy has become a highlight in the Peanuts collection. First appearing in 1950, Snoopy and his own pet bird, Woodstock, get up to their own adventures behind the scenes. Snoopy is also an extremely great pilot, and his become the official Nasa mascot of Aerospace. After 66+ years Snoopy is one of the worlds most iconic characters, and is more recognizable than his owner.
Thanks booknerds, I’m going to go bug Jenn about getting a cat, again.