Pooch Cafe by Paul Gilligan
Type: Comic Strip
Pooch Café is the story of a cheese-loving, squirrel-fearing, kibble-desiring, break-dancing, toilet-drinking mutt named Poncho. Dogs, like certain barflies, want to go where everybody knows their name (other than the vet's office). So they gather at the Pooch Café to compare notes on such weighty issues as avoiding baths, zebra-flavored kibble, toilet breath, and the construction of a giant catapult with which to hurl all the Earth's cats into the sun. Pooch Cafe's actual location is top secret that was only compromised that one time they got a pizza delivered ... which was deemed an acceptable risk.
Paul Gilligan’s affair with art began in 1970, in kindergarten, when he figured out that he stunk at sports and that art was his only other option for impressing chicks. Weaned on Mad magazine, super-hero comics and “Bloom County,” Paul attended Toronto’s Sheridan College for animation and illustration and took comedy writing at the Film Institute in Ottawa.
He joined The Ottawa Citizen newspaper as its on-staff illustrator, where he won awards in both illustration and design, and also found work in advertising, editorial cartooning, storyboarding, comic books and animation, and finally set up shop in downtown Toronto as a freelancer, where his roster of illustration clients included Time, Entertainment Weekly, The Wall Street Journal, Disney, and Wired. During this time he created a number of strips, the culmination of which was “Pooch Café.”
Poncho became in instant hit with readers and has grown to 300 newspapers over the past 10 years, being nominated for the National Cartoonists Society’s best comic strip in 2008. A stuffed version of Poncho has been visiting fans across the globe for the past two years, Ringtales is animating 30-second shorts of the Pooch gang’s adventures, and there is a feature-length CGI movie in the works at Sony Animation.
Paul does not currently own a dog, but he skulks around dog parks doing research, and is an avid viewer of Dogs With Jobs and Scooby Doo reruns.
Meet the Cast of Pooch Cafe
- Poncho The scrappy but lovable little mutt has been spending a lot more time down at the Pooch Café since his beloved master moved them into a house with 7 cats, fancy curtains, and toilet bowls filled with water that’s springtime-blue. Fortunately, he’s got his doggy pals to help him through.
- Boomer Poncho's best dog buddy. He's been around a bit longer and likes to show Poncho the ropes (and the garbage cans, and the mulch piles), but his brain is small and spring-loaded, often sending him into hyperactive rants. And when he gets a few cups of coffee in him, look out.
- Carmen Chazz's wife. Outwardly she treats Poncho pretty well, but Poncho knows that she's a cat person, and must therefore be a force of pure evil. He licks her toothbrush while she’s out to make himself feel better.
- Chazz Poncho's master. Poncho would do just about anything to help keep his position as 'man's best friend' secure. Chazz is frequently caught between the interests of Poncho and his “crazy cat lady” wife, Carmen.
- Fish Trapped in a world 12 inches wide, Fish is often the voice of reason and morality for Poncho, being that he's unexpectedly well-versed in science, theology, human nature, and knows how to speak “cat.”
- Hudson An upbeat, super-happy purebred hound who is humble about his lineage and is so over-trained that he is incapable of resisting any command that’s given to him.
- Poo Poo An emasculated male Bichon Frise with a pink bow in his hair and serious self-image issues.
- Droolia A slobbering female Bullmastiff with a major crush on Poo Poo.
I know what you're thinking, "another talking pet strip"?
And while the short answer is "yes," don't let that stop you from reading on. Because the first time I read Pooch Café I laughed so loudly that I had to close my office door.
Pooch Café is the story of Poncho: a cheese-loving, mooch-mastering, breakdancing, toilet-drinking, bath-avoiding mutt that lives in a house full of cats. Poncho escapes from his feline dominated house to relax at the Pooch Café: where he gathers with friends to plot the demise of all the Earth's cats in a giant catapult.
With amazing character design, sharp writing and LOL punch lines, Paul's comic appeals to all readers.
If the old actor's quote, "Dying is easy, comedy is hard," has any truth to it, then Paul is a genius.
Now close your office door and enjoy!