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Dogs and Cats, Living Together by Toonicorn Dogs and Cats, Living Together by Toonicorn
It occured to me the other day how odd it is that, despite the fact that I draw a lot of animals, I don't own any pets.

Although maybe it's not so odd as it is practical. Like many another freelance artist, I have a day job that helps pay for basic sustenance. And that, plus my freelance work, leaves me too tired and preoccupied to give a pet like a dog the exercise and attention it needs. A cat would fare better with my schedule, I suppose, since cats sleep, on average, about 23 hours a day. But since my usual routine during the work week is to work, go home, do freelance art, and sleep, any cat I owned would probably never have occasion to open its eyes (except to eat, and, as I understand it, cats can do that in their sleep too). I might as well try to make a pet out of a sofa cushion.

But someday, things will be different. Someday, I'll break free of the chains of gruntitude and spend my working hours in front of my drawing board, stopping occasionally for diversion and exercise. And when that happy day comes, I know exactly what I'll do: I'll buy a black cat and a gray Cairn Terrier and name them, oh, Scratch and Doodle. Or Blot and Smudge. You know. Something *artistic*.
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:iconnightlyre:
Okay, well, bear with me, because this is the first time I've written a critique!

Vision: This comic is cute, funny, and not bogged down with unnecessary complications.

Originality: There are cats and dogs aplenty in strip-style comics, but this one stands out for a number of reasons. I love the idea of the inkblot cat and the smudged dog - it gives them a unique style and look. It also gives you tools to play with that you wouldn't ordinarily have, like the cat's ink-splat fur standing on end in the fourth panel, and the smudged blurs as the dogs tail wags in panel 1, and as he backs away in panel 2. The idea of using canvas bits to represent panels is a nice touch too!

Narrowing the dog down to a particular breed - especially one so easily recognized from pop culture - is a nice touch too. Usually cartoon dogs are left quite generic, but there's a lot of humor to be found in the personality of different dog breeds. If you're planning to do more with these characters, I wouldn't recommend relying too heavily on Wizard of Oz-based humor, but as it sounds like you're quite a fan of Cairn Terriers, I'm sure you know other quirks of theirs that would make for some great giggles!

Technique: Overall, I love the style. Your drawing style and use of expressions are positively exquisite. Despite a wide range of expressive poses, the characters stay very consistent throughout. The main thing I see that could use improvement is Blot's speech. The red is very hard to read against the background. Red text is always a bear to work with, but perhaps a darker shade would work?

While I think the canvas bits are a nice looking and original idea for the panels, I wonder whether a paper texture might make more sense here? I wouldn't associate ink blots, or especially smudged pencil, with canvas. Both are more at home in the world of paper textiles. That's just a random thought, though. :)

Impact: It made me laugh - sounds like the right kind of impact to me! It also brought me back to look at it again, to take the time to notice the smaller details of expression and style. Nicely done!
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:iconroamingtigress:
roamingtigress Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
Haha, this is adorable. I really, really like the style and the concept is delightful.
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:iconsan-t:
San-T Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Hehe, this is adorable, well done! xD
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:iconjessicachrome1:
jessicachrome1 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Love it
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:iconladykamling:
LadyKamling Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This made me laugh alot! Love the conversation and the ending. Very funny indeed.
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:iconliloue-n-ninite:
Liloue-n-Ninite Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha original :D And funny. Great expressions too!
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:icondonemidionavarroarts:
DonEmidioNavarroArts Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013   General Artist
This is very funny and creative. Congrats on this piece, it's so cool! :)
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:iconfuzzyscribbles:
FuzzyScribbles Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
HORK!
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:iconstorm-engineer:
Storm-Engineer Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Flying monkey, ahhahaha! XD Really nice one. :)
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:iconelectricfrog7:
Electricfrog7 Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
cute!!! :3
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:iconra1ndanc3r:
Ra1nDanc3r Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2011  Student Photographer
very cute! thank you for linking me! and the cat reminds me of my Luna
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:icontoonicorn:
Toonicorn Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thanks! And you're welcome! And I wish I had a cat myself (too busy for pets right now) but someday, someday...
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:iconra1ndanc3r:
Ra1nDanc3r Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2011  Student Photographer
When you do get a pet, are you going to adopt? all my pets are rescues. I have 3 dogs and 3 cats.
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:icontoonicorn:
Toonicorn Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2011  Professional General Artist
Wow, 3 dogs and 3 cats! I'm envious.

Well, when I was a kid, all my family's pets were adopted. I would seriously consider adopting a Cairn Terrier from a Cairn Terrier rescue group. It wouldn't matter if it were a puppy or an older dog. I just love the breed a lot (plus Westies and Scotties). As for a cat, definitely a rescue. :)
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:iconra1ndanc3r:
Ra1nDanc3r Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2011  Student Photographer
did you know that black dogs are put down the most in shelters? either that or they just stay in the shelters. For some reason people don't want black dogs!

on another note, We actually found one of our dogs on the side of the highway! hes such a sweetie but hes weird! we used to have 4 dogs, but we recently had to say goodbye to Lakota, my very 1st dog. :crying: he was a German Shepherd/Labrador mix. He was the BEST DOG EVER. I can't describe it.
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:icontoonicorn:
Toonicorn Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2011  Professional General Artist
I understand. When I was a kid we had to do the same for our beagle/terrier mix Whiskers. Likewise a cat named Stanley. It's always so hard, isn't it? You feel awful even though you know it's the only thing to do. The price of having a pet goes beyond the pocketbook...

I had read that about black dogs, and I don't get it. Black dogs, like black cats, are awesome. Speaking of black cats, a friend of mine who was a shelter worker once told me that they NEVER let people adopt black cats around Halloween - because they often were (a) returned (used as part of a costume or decor) or (b) actually used in Satanic rituals! :0 People can be such idiots!!!!
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:iconra1ndanc3r:
Ra1nDanc3r Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2011  Student Photographer
i know!! we have a black cat and we have to keep an eye on her
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:icontoonicorn:
Toonicorn Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2011  Professional General Artist
When I was a kid, I had a black cat named Spooky Benjamin. :D It's the memory of that cat that makes me want to get another one someday...
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(1 Reply)
:iconwitchesofoz97:
witchesofoz97 Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011
hilarious!!!
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:icontoonicorn:
Toonicorn Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you! :)
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:icontheantimonyelement:
TheAntimonyElement Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Adorable, original, and clever. :3 I love it!
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:icontoonicorn:
Toonicorn Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2011  Professional General Artist
Wow, thanks again! :D
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:iconsleepyfoxes:
SleepyFoxes Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so cute. xD Dogs usually cough up carpet pieces though to my knowledge, but letting that fly (c whut I did? xD sorry).

I really like the 'ink splotch'-ish style you made the cat in. And the expressions are really good!
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:icontoonicorn:
Toonicorn Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you very much! :)
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August 12, 2011
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