Faux Pas

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Faux Pas (pronounced /ˈfɒkspɔːz/ - "fox paws") is a comic strip created by Robert and Margaret Carspecken of R&M Creative Endeavors. The name is a play on the French phrase faux pas (/ˌfoʊ ˈpɑː/), a social blunder (literally, false step), reflecting the demeanor of the strip's characters. The story focuses on the daily life of two Red Foxes named Randy and Cindy and their friends, living all together in a farm.


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Faux Pas originally appeared in newspaper spot illustrations and one-panel gags in Boulder, Colorado in the late 1970's. The strips and various incarnations of the characters have appeared in newspapers, newsletters, fanzines, comic books, APAs, and art shows since then, but it wasn't until 2001 that they were organized into a coherent series, redrawn by the artists, although utilizing scripts that had been written in the 1980's.

A book based on the comic was published in October 2003 by Plan Nine Publishing, and while it sold well while it was in print, the book's run was plagued by printing and production problems and was frequently out of stock. The Carspeckens' contract with Plan Nine ended in September 2005, and the book is now out of print, with limited quantities remaining sold by the Carspeckens at various conventions.

Faux Pas won the 2004 and 2005 Ursa Major Award for "Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip".

Plot summary[edit]

The comic takes place at the fictional Green Mountain Studio Animals, a run-down farm in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Randy and the majority of his friends there are semi-retired animal actors. Although the humans in the series are rarely seen, the animals know that it is to their owners that they owe their existence. The animal characters are anthropomorphic in the sense of having human language and intelligence, but are non-bipedal, effectively similar in anatomy to "normal" animals. Despite this, they often do things outside of normal animal anatomy, such as holding things with their paws, in a manner similar to the All Dogs Go to Heaven films and cartoons.

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Randy started his life in a pet shop, mistaken for a dog with an odd odor. He soon ended up living at GMSA alongside the other animals who were regularly auditioned for a variety of public appearances, such as photos, movies, and television. In spite of being raised in captivity, he found himself in a series of odd predicaments arising from the confusion over his species. He learned to rely on the friendship of some of other animals, including Myrtle DeHen, the ditzy secretary hen. But when GMSA was sold to new owners, Randy found himself sharing the place with dozens of cats (one hundred and forty-four), led by Kira Cat, who took him for a big-time cat-toy, even though he was sometimes helped out by the other animal residents.

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Then Cindy entered the picture. As a wild-born vixen, she met Randy (while he was on a walk one day with Myrtle in tow), and was soon taken for the tamest ride of her life, finding how Randy lives being raised by humans. Cindy was attracted to Randy, but it turned be a rather odd, funny relationship. Having grown up in the wild where she learned to rely on her natural instincts, Cindy would find it a crazy challenge to get acquainted and develop friendships with the fellow animal residents at GMSA (who until then she would have regarded as meals), all to please Randy. For his part, Randy makes a deal with the cats, led by Kira, to leave Cindy alone, unaware that Cindy is quite capable of dealing with them on her own.

Cindy finds the relationship quite rewarding as opportunities arise from time to time for Randy to share with her some of the things that happen at GMSA. In return, Cindy teaches Randy and some of the others how to use their instincts to help them survive in the wilderness. As confusing as it may be living wild and domesticated, there's never a dull moment with either of these foxes. One question that remains unanswered is whether they'll ever mate and have fox-kits. For her part, Cindy has stated that she considers him worth waiting for, even if it takes years. In the meantime, she has found a vent of sorts for her maternal urges by coaching the young bunnies in the art of survival (albeit with highly limited success). Randy remains hesitant, although he has stated that he always figured he'd have a family someday, "like The Jetsons." However, the matter may be brought to the forefront by the appearance of Cindy's sneaky and seductive cousin Dusk, who becomes the series' primary antagonist. Cruel and manipulative, she is willing to stoop to virtually any means to get what she wants-which, according to Cindy, is usually whatever she (Cindy) has at the moment.

Characters[edit]

Animals on the farm
  • Randy Fox, a red fox. He is semi-retired animal actor raised by humans who lives with all his friends in a run-down farm.
  • Cindy, a red vixen from the wild who meets Randy and falls in love with him. She soon moved to the farm.
  • Myrtle DeHen, a hen. She is the unbearable, soap opera-addict secretary of the farm.
  • Stu Rabbit, a rabbit. He is Randy's resourceful best friend, and also a talented magician.
  • Eddie Rabbit, and Stu's hot-tempered wife. They have fifty-three childrens together (including those they had during the comic).
  • Kira Cat, a white and grey cat. She is the leader of the 144 cats who moved to the farm at the very beginning of the comic. Like most of them, she likes to trap Randy regularly.
  • Brisbane Wallaroo, a kangaroo.
  • Arthur Horse, a horse who wears glasses.
  • Toast, a yellow cat. In the story, he is originally a unnamed cat obsessed with trapping Randy who unintentionally becomes Dusk's "spy" and is forced to help her in her plans to seduce Randy. However, he then becomes friend with the main characters.
  • Penny Rabbit, the daughter of Stu and Eddie and the oldest of their childrens. She meets Jon around the farm and they fall in love together. She is obsessed by ponies.
  • Jon, a rabbit from the wild and Penny's love interest. He moved to the farm to live with her after their meeting. However he decided decided that they would leave the farm once they would be married, before starting a family.
  • April, a red vixen and Randy's sister who moves to the farm late in the comic. She has three kits: two daughters, Amber and Ember, and a son, Leaf.
Other characters
  • Dusk, a red vixen and Cindy's cousin, always in conflict with her. She is also attracted by Randy and is constantly trying to seduce him, even against his will. Living near the farm, she terrifies all the other animals.
  • Cocky, a French cockatoo. He is able to speak English and be understood by humans, (albeit with a thick French accent) whom Myrtle brings in out of frustration at being unable to communicate the needs of herself and the other animals to the humans they live and work with.
  • Thor the Field Mouse, a mouse living close to the farm who refers to himself in the third person. He 'demands atonement' for misdeeds against him and his family committed by the cats and Dusk (whom Thor briefly mistakes Cindy for). His name is taken from the eponymous god of the norse mythology.
  • Alphonse and Ricky, two raccoons who met Randy on several occasions. Ricky is obsessed with being a famous actor. They are stepbrothers.
  • Birdy, a avian from the wild. She is Cindy's oldest friend.

External links[edit]


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Ursa Major Awards winners
2000
Best Live Action TV Series: The Muppet Show! · Best Animated TV Series: Animaniacs · Best Live Action Feature Film: Who Framed Roger Rabbit? · Best Animated Feature Film: Fantasia
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Winners
since 2001
Publications
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