List of characters in Housepets!
The following is a list of characters in the comic series Housepets!.
- Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
Peanut Butter Sandwich, a dog; tag: Bone
Not yet five years old (in human years), Peanut has a young, playful personality and an enthusiasm for games of all kinds. Good-natured and loyal, Peanut's youth is a boundless source of energy, but also makes him immature; he is somewhat socially awkward, and quick to cave to peer pressure. An artistic spirit, he is the creator of his own crudely drawn comic strip titled The Adventures of Spot (Superdog) about an invincible dog hero obviously based upon Superman. Despite his naiveté, Peanut is nonetheless intelligent and an avid reader, and can often be found with his nose in a book. Peanut is physically attracted to cats, a fact that has caused problems in his social life (as interspecies relationships are considered taboo). To further complicate matters, Peanut lives with Grape and has a strong crush on her. He eventually confessed his feelings to her (although she had known about his crush for some time beforehand), and while the two of them are not romantically involved, they remain close, intimate friends.
Grape Jelly Sandwich, a cat; tag: Fish
Despite being younger than Peanut, Grape typically acts as his big sister; of the two of them, she is the more mature, level-headed, and laid-back. She is largely uninterested in the complex politics of the neighborhood dogs, preferring a simpler (and usually violent) approach to solving problems; when not in conflict with them, she spends most of her time taking catnaps or lazing around the house. She's a dedicated fan of Pridelands, a popular fantasy book series, and enjoys the taste of dog treats. As a kitten, Grape was rescued from an animal shelter by the Sandwiches after being abandoned by her original family, a painful experience that continues to affect her. Perhaps as a result of this earlier trauma, Grape is somewhat introverted, and has few companions other than Peanut himself, with whom she shares a unique, tight-knit friendship; when he expressed a desire to be more than "just friends" with her, she emphatically told him that they had always been something more than that.
Bino, tag: Diamond w/ engraved "B"
The de facto leader of the neighborhood dog club, The Good Ol' Dogs' Club, but only when Fido isn't around. Scheming, obnoxious, petty, and in Griffin's words, "downright mean", Bino is bitter about being constantly overshadowed by the more successful and more popular Fido, who is his older brother. He takes out his frustrations upon the other dogs in the neighborhood in order to make himself feel superior; however, Bino has a tendency not to think his schemes through, and they often end with him getting hurt.
Joey; tag: Diamond w/ engraved "J"
Bino and Fido's younger brother. The runt of his litter, he is often ignored. He copes with his isolation by often partaking in both tabletop and live-action roleplaying sessions, the latter in which he dresses like a cat. It was during one of these sessions that he met his live-in girlfriend, a mouse named Squeak. Like Peanut, Joey is an artist, although one of superior skill (much to Peanut's chagrin).
Fox; tag: Dog-tags
Fido's best friend and the most intelligent member of Bino's clique. Along with Fido and Bino, Fox is one of the founding members of the Good Ol' Dogs' Club, and in his youth, was a thuggish dog with a militantly anti-feline attitude; however, after Grape helped to save him from a would-be dognapper, his feelings toward cats and his outlook on life both softened. Fox is now considerably more mellow and spends most of his free time reading, and while he expresses reservations about Bino's habitually hostile behavior toward other dogs, he usually follows Bino's lead for the sake of preserving their friendship. He was briefly dognapped a second time by members of PETA, but was rescued soon afterward, and while he became fast friends with King, he knew nothing about his history as Joel or his involvement in his most recent attempted abduction. Upon discovering the truth about King in "Heaven's Not Enough," he was able to let go of the past and forgive King. He eventually became a member of the K-9 Unit. In "My Life as a Teenage Squirrel" he recruits King to help with Marion's predicament, then later attempts to arrest the Milton ferrets' ex-estate agent Steward, but received claw-marks over his right-eye from Steward's new badger-claws and fails to catch him. While the claw-marks remain, his eye miraculously survived, though it doesn't stop him from donning an eyepatch anyway.
Rex; tag: Skull
A brutish bulldog who acts as the muscle of Bino's group. All brawn and little brains, Rex has a fearsome reputation among the neighborhood pets, but his hobbies are mild-mannered; he is a discerning cook who secretly enjoys baking cookies and brewing coffee. His owner adopted him because he was supposed to be a great watchdog, but it turns out he's just great at picking out watches.
Maxwell; tag: Bell
Bino's housemate and Grape's boyfriend, identified by the distinctive, ragged bite mark in his right ear which he doesn't like to talk about. Like Grape, he thinks poorly of the neighborhood dogs' complicated social structure and enjoys tormenting Bino about it. Quick-witted and snarky, Max has a reputation for being annoying, although he is friends with most of the other cats in the neighborhood. Grape initially began dating Max out of fear that she was spending too much time around dogs, but later genuinely warmed up to him; the two of them share a mutual fondness for Pridelands.
Sasha; tag: Heart
A dog who has an on-again-off-again relationship with Bino depending upon her own flighty whims and his fluctuating standing among the neighborhood dogs. Although friendly and well-meaning, Sasha is something of an airhead, and her mind has a tendency to wander. She also comes from a broken home; her owner is an abusive, beer-swilling woman-chaser who locks her out of the house as "punishment" for his own failure to find a date. According to Pete, Sasha is "protected", but he did not elaborate upon what this means. Evidence suggests that Sasha may be a savant, or at the very least, not as dim-witted as she lets on.
Daisy; tag: A Daisy
A black Labrador retriever who seems to be even more dense than Sasha. She appears in unexpected places, and mainly says, "Hi, I'm Daisy!"
Fido Byron; tag: Diamond w/ an engraved "F"
Bino's older brother, a K-9 cop, and the "official" leader of the Good Ol' Dogs Club. Fido is the "top dog" in the neighborhood, a role model whom all the male dogs want to be like, and all the female dogs want to be with. Modest and well-spoken, Fido is more well-adjusted than either of his siblings, and even bristles at the hero worship the neighborhood dogs impart upon him. He is in love with Sabrina, one of the neighborhood cats, and kept it a secret for a long time for the sake of both his flawless reputation and his position as community leader; although Peanut and Grape were aware of their relationship. Eventually the truth came out on national television over a dispute over Sabrina's former lover. He is also a member of the local police force, the K-9 Unit.
Tarot; tag: An Eye of Ra (until Chapter 89 -- The Future of Tomorrow, Today), A Green Rectangle bordered in Gold w/ Gold Central Dot (Chapter 89 to Present)
A Pomeranian who mysteriously appeared to comfort a heartbroken Peanut after Grape began dating Maxwell. Tarot is a spirit medium who serves as the earthly avatar of the Spirit Dragon, and as a result, is gifted with powerful psychic abilities; she can summon spirits, cause telekinetic phenomena, use mental projections on other people's minds (to create a very realistic illusion), communicate telepathically, and foresee the future, among other things. Originally dating Peanut due to the influence of the Spirit Dragon, the two grew to truly love each other as the series went on. Tarot's tag changes at Chapter 89 -- The Future of Tomorrow, Today for reasons this editor refuses to spoil.
Sabrina; tag: Ankh
A cat, and Fido's secret girlfriend. Despite being a member of a predator species and the most vicious subsection of pets in Babylon Gardens, Sabrina is exceptionally kind-hearted and gentle by nature, and refuses to do harm to anyone, even prey animals. When her owners task her to kill rodents or other feral pests, she smuggles them out to Fido, who safely relocates them out of his devotion to her. She was once romantically involved with Maxwell, but their relationship ended under unclear circumstances. Sabrina is Tarot's understudy in the mystic arts, and while she has yet to display powers on the same range or scale as her teacher, it is known that she can communicate with spirits (via Ouija board) and is capable of interplanar travel.
A feral mouse whom Sabrina gave to Fido for relocation. Though Spo makes off-color remarks and seems to be deliberately trying not to make friends, the opposite is true: he desperately wants a friend but lacks appropriate social skills. Fido eventually befriends Spo and "adopts" him, allowing the mouse to ride atop his head, even during police investigations; however, Spo possesses a sharp tongue, and sometimes has trouble keeping his mouth shut.
Tiger Arbelt; tag: Circle w/ an engraved "T"
A dog with an unfortunate name. When he was adopted as a pup, his owner was not aware that being named after a cat was socially disastrous for dogs. Being the target of constant heckling and ridicule by other dogs has led Tiger to become mentally and emotionally unstable; he is aggressive, paranoid, suffers from an eating disorder and bouts of depression, and has made death threats against Bino on more than one occasion.
Marvin Arbelt; tag: Circle w/ an engraved "M"
Tiger’s feline housemate, who is more patient and understanding with Tiger than the dogs. Griffin modeled the dynamic between Marvin, Tiger and their owner after characters from Jim Davis's Garfield.
Zach Arbelt; tag: Circle w/ an engraved "Z"
The newest member of the Arbelt family. Zach was a gift from Tiger's aunt, and has trouble fitting in with the eccentric family, a problem which isn't helped by Tiger's erratic behavior. Zach briefly runs away from home to live among the ferals in the woods; while there, he accidentally breaks the seal on Pete's prison, an act for which the woodland animals revere him as "The Opener of Ways" (a title that Zach doesn't particularly want).
The Milton Ferrets; tag: A Red Bar
Keene, Lana, Duke, Pit, Rock, and Simon are the beloved pet ferrets of Henry Milton, the late founder of Babylon Gardens. After Henry passed away they inherited a great deal of his estate and fortune, much to the displeasure of his other relatives. Being ferrets, they have no concept of fiscal responsibility, and are prone to recklessly spending large amounts of money on frivilous pursuits. Named after characters from the Captain N cartoon series.
King; tag: Chess Piece
King was once Joel Zechariah Robinson, a human being with a troubled past. As a child, Joel's pets were mistreated by his abusive parents, and when they decided to run away, they took Joel with them; however, after a few nights of living on the street, they became feral and turned on Joel, leaving him with the lasting impression that animals cannot be trusted. Joel was involved in the abortive PETA attempt to kidnap Fox, but while he was awaiting trial, he was taken from his cell by Pete, who turned him into a dog ostensibly for the purpose of teaching him a moral lesson, though later events call this into question. King lived as Pete's pet for a time, and initially had trouble coping with his transformation, but his luck would later improve, leading him to make a few friends (including, ironically, Fox) and allowing him to appreciate the comparatively simple life of a pet. King currently lives as a guest of the Milton ferrets after Pete was temporarily banished from the earthly plane. Apart from Pete and the other cosmic powers, only Tarot and Sabrina are aware of King's true identity; as far as everyone else is concerned, Joel Robinson is a fugitive, present whereabouts unknown. In the Christmas themed arc 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Dog,' King proposed to Bailey, and after being met with bewilderment, she accepted, and the two were married. He chose to remain as a dog permanently in the arc "Heaven's Not Enough" in order to stay with his friends and wife. Eventually he became a father to three puppies: Olive, Ace and Rook.
Bailey; tag: Blue Pentagon
Fox's cousin, a farm dog who originally lived in Kansas. She meets King during a Thanksgiving visit with Fox, and is one of the few animals to show him any degree of kindness; as a result, he falls deeply in love with her (against his better judgment). The two of them maintained a long-distance relationship via telephone until Bailey moved in with Fox when her original owners sold their farm. Eventually King proposed to her and the two became the first characters to get married. She eventually gave birth to three puppies: to three puppies: Olive, Ace and Rook.
Pet Owners and other Humans
Earl and Jill Sandwich
Peanut and Grape's owners and "parents." Seldom seen, and even then, only from the neck down. They got pets because they weren't sure they were ready to have children of their own, and moved to Babylon Gardens due to the pet-friendly neighborhood and their mutual fondness of animals. Mr. Sandwich works as an auto mechanic.
Earl's brother. He is a farmer, and has five children, along with a dog, three cats and a host of farm animals.
Fido's dad. He's an R&D engineer at a software firm, and spends his free time playing D&D with his friends.
Tiger, Marvin and Zach's dad. Spends most of his free time cleaning up after Tiger's "many adorable and distressingly frequent antics".
Fox's dad. He's a local motorcycle police officer. He has a tendency to transport dogs in a paint bucket hog-tied to his motorcycle. Bailey also comes to live with Bill and Fox after her first family sells the farm and moves, and thus Bill becomes Bailey's new dad.
Bino and Maxwell's dad.
Tends to use Sasha as an attempt to "attract babes", and treats her cruelly when she doesn't get him any. Eventually had his custody of Sasha removed.
Mr. & Mrs. Holloway
Rex's owners, an African-American couple. Mr. Holloway is only seen once, in the first Christmas strips. Mrs. Holloway appears in a later arc where she is expecting and being thrown a baby shower, so Rex's family will likely be growing very soon.
Celia and Thomas Milton
Henry Milton's only surviving kin, his niece and nephew. They are disgruntled that their uncle left virtually his entire fortune to his ferrets; all they got was a single estate in Colorado. They are currently looking for a large chunk of Milton's fortune which he apparently hid somewhere. Thomas later returns in the "Temple Crashers" multi-arc, where he and Steward conspire to steal the treasure from Pete's temple. Unfortunately like King before him, Thomas' attempt resulted in him becoming an animal, in this case a camel, and after the temple's destruction, is forced to live in the zoo. Thomas later receives a visit from Marion, another former-human who became a squirrel, and presumably tried to turn Marion against the ferrets, which was less than successful.
Henry Milton's butler, and now butler to his ferrets.
Aside from Joel/King and Thomas, there are some more humans that are now animals.
- Herman Steward: A human who acted as the estate agent for Henry Milton and his ferrets, and for a while was little more than that. However in the "Temple Crashers" arc he betrays the ferrets and joins Thomas in looting the Milton's fortune from Pete's temple. Not knowing that Pete laid a curse that would deprive humans of their dexterous hands, Thomas wound up becoming a camel and only retrieved a single gold coin, which still contained the aforementioned curse despite the temple's destruction, and the second he holds it gets turned into a badger (though he still has his glasses). He then hid out in Jessica's house, but somehow spread Pete's curse to more humans, such as the teenage-boy Marion. In the "My Life as a Teenage Squirrel" arc, he's officially a villain, intending to bankrupt the ferrets by turning more humans into animals. He also somehow persuades the magpie Trinket into ditching Cory for his side, claws Fox across the face and escapes into hiding. He resurfaces in "Heckraisers", where he gets helped by the dinosaur-demon and Eudoant from "Temple Crashers", not only to continue with his own plan, but also gains demon-superpowers and becomes a monster.
- Marion Ward: a teenage-boy that somehow becomes a squirrel. He debuts in "My Life as a Teenage Squirrel" as another victim of Pete's curse, unaware that he gained a squirrel-body (a female squirrel body at that) until he woke up, and a week prior to graduating his high-school. While trying to find out the cause of his predicament, he gets kicked out of his own home by his mother, misses his day at school, acquires the squirrel phobia of dogs and is forced to stay with Jessica until Lois shows up and assumes he's a completely different person (or at least doesn't suspect Marion and a squirrel one and the same). He then receives some help from fellow ex-human King (and Marion was amazed to hear he wasn't alone) and Keene tries to preserve his human-rights in the E.C.P. but Miles makes the mistake of blabbing Marion's transformation throughout his entire school, and maybe beyond, causing his human friends to suspect a conspiracy. After temporarily being led by Thomas Milton to believe the ferrets had been responsible for his and later Lois' transformations, Marion suddenly suspects Steward was the culprit. He ends up right, but Steward escapes capture, taking all of Marion's and Lois' hopes of becoming human again with him.
- Marion is notable for being one of the few animals to wear a full set of clothes, having an aversion to going without pants (and indeed, the latest book depicts him looking embarrassed when he does), but ironically is unafraid to have no clothes on at all (save for a bracelet he wears as a necklace). By the time of "Heckraisers", he seems so accustomed to and fond of being a squirrel that he's now torn between staying that way or not, even though being a squirrel is preventing him from attending any colleges and universities.
- Lois: Marion's girlfriend who later becomes a lynx (or bobcat, it's still debated), complete with a male-appearance. She debuts in the third part of "My life as a Teenage Squirrel" as a teenage-girl asking the K-9 patrol for help, and while she does reunite with Marion, she assumes he's still a human and that the squirrel in his place is someone else, and even Marion bringing up a past experience doesn't erase any skepticism until they're introduced to King. At the end of part four she becomes the curse's next victim (though her glasses and bandana remain). After she and Marion concluded the ferrets must've caused their transformations, the duo head back and later meet Kitsune, but it turns out the ferrets' ex-estate-agent Steward was responsible and went to nab him, but Steward escapes capture, taking all of Marion's and Lois' hopes of becoming human again with him.
- Larry "Todd" Kravitz: the latest former human, now a red panda. He debuts in "Heckraisers" and comes off as a cocky swagger who prefers being called "Todd" rather than "Larry", complete with an annoying mother.
Minor animal characters
Mr. Bigglesworth; tag: A large letter "B"
The collective name of a group of at least ten identical Siamese cats, both male and female, who all live in the same house. Their owner is a crazy cat lady who can't tell them apart...and sometimes, neither can they.
Fiddler and Keys; tags: a violin, and piano keys
Two of the neighborhood cats. Both are musically inclined and romantically involved with each other.
Jasper; tag: A large letter "J"
A cat who rarely speaks. His character design is inspired by Tom of Tom and Jerry, and he has Tom's original name; his nemesis is a troublemaking mouse named Jynx.
Rufus; tag: red bandana
An Australian shepherd, he's the dead pet dog of Earl's farmer brother, Uncle Reuben.
Barn cats; No collars
A trio of teasing female cats of various colors.
Made Of Win, Action Replay and Money For Nothing
Uncle Reuben's horses.
There is a litany of herbivore animals in the forest, most prominently a pair of raccoons. The raccoons occasionally enter Babylon Gardens in search of trash.
- Falstaf and Truck: The raccoons; Truck, the shorter of the pair, is easily swayed by Falstaf's confident pretentions to learning and thus finds himself regularly being swept along in Falstaf's poorly thought out schemes.
- Jessica: An opossum of a rational, secular, and sceptical frame of mind who refuses to be caught up in the fervor among her woodland fellows regarding the Opener of Ways. She initially blames Zach for the cult that has blown up around him, but later comes to see him as a genuine person and even becomes charmed by his bumbling yet earnest manner. Jess and Zach seem to be developing into another of Babylon Gardens romantically involved couples.
- Cory (Cilantro): a skunk who specializes in swindling, or at least tries to. He tries to con others, but his attempts to commit crimes is rather poor.
- Trinket: a magpie who acts as Cory's partner-in-crime, though by "My Life as a Teenage Squirrel" she has switched allegiances to Steward.
The zoo animals are also sentient, and work almost like employees at the zoo. Some get annoyed at the clientèle reading the placards instead of just talking to them.
The Wolf Pack
A group of wolves who decided feral life was for the birds. With the help of the Milton Ferrets, they got a house in Babylon Gardens. The ferrets gave them their own home as a social experiment (to determine whether wild animals could behave in a civilized manner), although for legal purposes, the wolves are considered the ferrets' "pets". The pack consists of the intellectual Miles, his mate Lucretia, and their large extended family.
The Cosmic Nerds
The Cosmic Nerds is the fan-given designation for a group of three extradimensional entities who are engaged in an elaborate "game", a cosmic analogue of Dungeons and Dragons that they refer to as Universes and Unrealities. The exact specifics of the game, such as a clearly defined set of rules, the conditions for winning, and even the rewards for doing so are unknown, but the game itself is the catalyst for many important events in the Housepets! universe, and most of the comic's major characters are connected to it in some way, even though they may not be aware of it; this is particularly true of most story arcs involving King, as his condition is a direct result of Pete playing the game. As magical creatures, the Cosmic Nerds are beings of virtually limitless, godlike power, and exist in a class by themselves, apart from any other characters in the comic.
Player One. Typically appears in the form of a blue gryphon, although he sometimes assumes the disguise of an elderly human man. He was sealed away in an ancient temple for an indeterminate period of time before being released by Zach. He first appears to Grape in a dream (it is from this dream that the name "Pete" is taken; his real name is unknown), and it is later revealed that he initially chose her to be his avatar in the earthly realm, but this action was blocked by the Spirit Dragon for reasons that have not yet been revealed. Upon his release, he sought out Joel and turned him into King, presumably for the purpose of using him as an avatar instead, but this was done against King's will, in violation of the game's rules; consequently, Pete was banned from the mortal world until he is able to acquire a "full avatar". He has taken a special interest in Joel, and was last seen being taken into custody in Heaven after attempting to steal Joel's fate from there. Pete's precise motives and ultimate goals remain unclear, but Griffin has stated that he is motivated by more than simple malice.
The Spirit Dragon
Player Two. The Spirit Dragon resides on another plane of existence, where she does battle with malicious supernatural creatures like frost giants; on Earth, she is represented by Tarot, who serves as her avatar. She is generally more benevolent than Pete, and even offered to turn King back into a human, but was not permitted by the rules of the game to do so (as she was technically an "enemy player" and could not directly intervene on his behalf). The Spirit Dragon appears to be the source of most, if not all of Tarot's powers, and causes the dog's eyes to glow bright green when possessing her. However, her relationship with Tarot is complicated by the fact that the Spirit Dragon herself is in love with Peanut, something that earns her the derision of her fellow players, who mock her for being attracted to a "low-order being".
The Great Kitsune
Player Three. The Great Kitsune serves as the Game Master, and as such, tends to take an indirect role in the game itself; he mediates rule disputes between Pete and the Spirit Dragon, and doesn't appear to think very highly of them due to their constant squabbling. However, he admits to having a fondness for mortals, and has a personal policy of "intrinsic benevolence", so that the actions of the game will not bring them any harm. He also clues King in to the fact that he can earn rewards for himself by willingly participating in the game. Whether the Great Kistune has a mortal avatar of his own is not yet known.