- Faux Pas (webcomic)
title = Faux Pas
author = Robert and Margaret Carspecken
url = http://www.ozfoxes.com/fauxpas.htm
status = Updates Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
genre = Dramady
Faux Pas (pronounced "fox paws" when referring to the strip, as opposed to the conventional pronunciation) 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" (IPA|/fo pa/), a social blunder, reflecting the demeanour of the strip's characters. The central characters are the foxes Randy and Cindy.
Faux Pas originally appeared in a different form in newspaper spot illustrations and one-panel gags in
Boulder, Coloradoin the late 1970s. 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 1980s. [ [http://www.ozfoxes.com/fp-over.htm Faux Pas: An Overview ] ] 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. [ [http://www.ozfoxes.com/fp-faq.htm The OzFoxes FoxWeb: Faux Pas FAQ ] ]
The strip won the Ursa Major Award for "Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip" for 2004 and again for 2005.
The comic takes place at the mythical Green Mountain Studio Animals (GMSA), a run-down farm in the
Rocky Mountainsin 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 Heavenfilms and cartoons.
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, 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.
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 to 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 proves to be a villain of sorts!
Other characters are Stu and Eddie Rabbit, Brisbane Wallaroo, Arthur Horse, and numerous others, the most recent additions being Thor the Field Mouse, who refers to himself in the third person and 'demands atonement' for misdeeds against him and his family committed by the cats and Dusk (whom Thor briefly mistakes Cindy for), and Cocky, a Cockatoo whom 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.
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