Tuesday, January 13, 2009

So What's This "Zoology" Thing all About?

Zoology revolves around the lives of a bunch of so-cutesy animals (and the occasional not-so-cutesy human) living in an unnamed zoo. As in any zoo, at least ones that won’t traumatize your kids, the animals are isolated from one another by walls and bars and as such the comic doesn’t have a central group of “stars” but instead follows a number of separate characters (or small cliques of related characters).

This set-up allows the brilliant author to tackle a broad range of topics, subject matter and unique brands of hilarity. The content of Zoology strips range from commentary and jokes based on social issues, relationships and family, to simple word play or physical humor, to short story-arcs and adventures. Heck, sometimes the comics are barely funny at all…that’s how outside the box it is! The comic deals with things us adults care about, but is still acceptable content-wise for the kiddies (or your easily offended grandma). The cast of Zoology is always expanding, and as it does new things will be explored and new adventures will be had!

Cast of Characters

Name: Baker
He’s a sheep!
Poll Merino
Astrological Sign:
Beauty Secret:
Weekly hoof pedicures.

The fluffy hero of our scintillating story! Baker lives a quiet and rather dull life, but is actually relatively content with his humdrum existence with one of his few big dreams being to finally defeat the Wall and at last meet up with his dear friend Shandy. Baker loves Shandy but has never met her face to face, and in fact doesn’t even know that she’s actually a monkey (he imagines her to be another sheep like him). Baker has an impressive knack for getting into trouble, often through no fault of his own…a fact that has led to some bouts with depression. Baker was separated from his family while young, had to essentially raise himself and as such tends to internalize his thoughts and feelings and is closed off to even his closest friends to a certain extent. Life in the zoo becomes increasingly, with other sheep, various crazy people and evil lemurs passing through his life. He was even reunited by with his long lost mother in heaven recently, or maybe it was just a dream (it's a long story).

Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta)
Astrological Sign:
Favorite Foods:
Nachos, cheese, nachos and cheese or cheese and nachos.

Baker’s friend from the other side of the wall. She doesn’t get along with the other monkeys in her cage particularly well, so hangs out and talks to Baker instead. Shandy’s feelings for him don’t seem to be as strong as his for her…but despite her sometimes cold treatment of Baker, she will occasionally let slip something that reveals that she cares more about him than she lets on. Shandy may sometimes seem to have a silly, frivolous personality, but she’s actually quite smart, tough and stubborn when she wants to be. Her self esteem can be kind of low sometimes and in fact she wishes she was one of the human's who pass her cage and thus tries to dress, eat and act like them. She also happens to be a dancin' machine and when nobody's around to hear she likes to sing.

Name: Sammy
Breed: Nova Scotia Duck-Toller
Astrological Sign: Who keeps track with dogs?
Secret Desire: Some of that dog food that makes gravy when you add water.

Shandy’s “puppy” who mysteriously appeared in her cage one day. Sammy actually has a genetic condition that keeps him small and cuddly-cute despite the fact he’s 49 in dog years. Sammy often serves as the balanced voice of reason when Shandy is in one of her more frantic moods. Sammy and Baker will also occasionally talk to each other from either side of the wall as well, and in some ways have more in common than Baker and Shandy do.

Reef Octopus (Octopus Briarius)
Astrological Sign:
Favorite TV Show:
America's Funniest Home Videos

A somewhat self-loathing individual with nerdish leanings that has surprisingly found himself in his first relationship and isn’t quite sure how to deal with either the girl or the fact that he’s suddenly finding himself feeling, you know, happy. For a guy whose greatest joy used to be feeling sorry for himself it’s a bit of a dilemma. Angsty sometimes likes to project an air of snobbish intellectual superiority when he’s dealing with people, but in actuality he’s a rather na├»ve and sweet guy underneath.

Pacific Red Octopus (Octopus Reubescens)
Astrological Sign:
Secret Shame:
She's a reformed goth.

A girl who likes a challenge, Laura is intent on bringing out the good in Angsty and not letting him wallow in self-pity where he’s comfortable. She's had more dating experience than Angsty but it's hard to say how much more because she's not exactly a social butterfly herself. It may seem like she treats Angsty harshly sometimes, but she does it because she cares. Well, that and the fact that she seems to have some anger management issues. She also had the cutest hairdo you’re likely to ever see on an octopus.

It's another sheep!
German Pomeranian
Astrological Sign:
Favorite Food:

Rose met Baker when he accidentally blinded himself temporarily by staring into the sun, although Baker never got to see her face-to-face before she was whisked away to another pen (he did see her on the cover for the 2007 zoo calendar though). Kind, warm and helpful, Rose made the decision on her own that she would nurse the disabled Baker back to health. Surprised by her unexpected attention and interest, Baker was wary of Rose at first, but she quickly grew on him. Rose and Baker were separated though, and after making several attempts to escape her pen and reunite with Baker, Rose decided it was time to move on. Will she be back or have we seen the last of her?

Name: Detective Chomps
Species: Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
Astrological Sign: Cancer
What he's Looking For in a Woman: Thick hide, nice smile and excellent death rolling ability

With the zoo police, Chomps is the lead detective for the missing animals department (most of which happen to be vanishing down Chomps’ own gullet). Chomps isn’t necessarily evil…he’s just doing what comes naturally to his kind, and he’s also one snappy dresser. The hunter has also been the hunted as Edgar McCoy, Master Hunter has targeted him on more than one occasion.

Name: Ernest P. Ape
Species: Western Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)
Astrological Sign: Virgo
What the "P" Stands For: Pembroke

Host of the “Mating Calls” radio show, Ernest specializes in giving spectacularly bad dating advice to his callers. It’s not entirely clear whether he does this because he enjoys messing with the callers or if he just doesn’t know what he’s talking about…it’s probably a combination of both. We do know old Ernest isn’t quite a smooth as he’d like people to think and may in fact be a bit of a momma’s boy. Another mystery is who exactly listens to his show, although we do know that Shandy, Angsty and one of the zoo’s human zookeepers have called in. Ernest can be rather obnoxious, but ultimately he’s a good guy.

Name: Mortimer
Species: Brown Mouse Lemur (M. Rufus Microcebus)
Astrological Sign: Scorpio
Favorite Pastime: Slowly pulling the wings off flies.

A golly-gosh adorable brown mouse lemur, Mortimer uses his cuteness to get past people’s defenses, but there’s something dark lurking inside his little body. Having stumbled across one of the Zookeeper’s lost keys Morty is the only animal in the zoo that can come and go in any cage as he pleases. Recently achieved celebrity zoo-creature status and a big pile of money by appearing in the book “Mortimer’s Kitten”. Has a crush on Shandy obvious to everyone but himself.

Name: Timothy
Species: Guinea Pig (C. Porcellus Cavia)
Astrological Sign: Gemini
Secret Shame: Stash of Hamster Woman comics under his bed.

A young guinea pig, Timothy is pretty much a normal youngster who has to deal with the same ups and downs as any kid. An artistic little guy, Timothy dreams of someday being a comic book artist, but experiences his share of frustration as he hones his craft including plenty of dumb questions from his dad.

The Zookeepers
Species: Human (they come in Male and Female forms)
Will They Ever Discover that They Actually Love Each Other Romantic Comedy Style?: Hopefully Not

The male zookeeper inherited the place from his crazy uncle and generally puts more effort into flirting with the lady zookeeper than keeping the place up. The female zookeeper keeps the zoo running. A genuine animal lover she sticks around to make sure the animals are taken care off and usually manages to thwart he coworker's stupidity.