By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views
I have been following Randy Glasbergen’s cartoons for a while. I am sure you have seen them too. His cartoons can be found in newspapers, magazines, and online all over the world.
Randy found me on Facebook because I posted one of them on my Facebook page. We got to talking via email, and he agreed to let me interview him. He lives with four dogs, four cats, and fish in his pond. Following is Randy’s take on cartooning and animals:
Pet News and Views: Tell me a little about your assortment of dogs, cats, and fish.
Randy Glasbergen: I’ve always had plenty of pets. When I was a kid, I even had a pet duck (to the dismay of my neighbors) who used to follow me to school some days, often holding up traffic while she stood in the road scolding one of the school buses.
PNAV: Your pet cartoons really capture the attitudes of cats and dogs. When you create a cartoon with animals, where do you get your inspiration from?
Randy: My four dogs and four cats inspire me. They all have their own individual personalities and are part of the family. I’m especially fond of my three basset hounds; they have huge personalities, and are a very funny breed.
PNAV: Are you involved with any pet rescue groups?
Randy: Our youngest basset, Seymour, was rescued from a neglectful breeder in Texas about a year ago. He traveled to NY State with several other dogs as part of a local basset rescue program. He was in bad shape when he arrived to live with his foster family and has made HUGE improvements since we adopted him, much healthier and more athletic than he used to be. And he’s nuts, just plain crazy, a true rascal. Each basset has its own personality: Tootsie, the oldest, is the queen, Maxine is a daddy’s girl, Seymour is our energetic crazy man. My wife also adopted a little Cockapoo named Britt when a coworker could no longer provide a proper home for her. Maxine’s sister Coco lives with my daughter a few blocks away, so she’s part of the family too.
PNAV: Have you always lived with pets? If so, what types of pets?
Randy: I got my first dog, a Belgium Shepherd, as a birthday present when I turned 4 years old. She was my best friend for 14 years. We did everything together, constant companions. I already told you about the duck. I also had guinea pigs on and off since I was 10 years old, plus an assortment of parakeets, cockatiels, lizards, and bunnies have come and gone throughout my life. My dad and I tried to bring home a blind lamb once; my mom said NO to that one! Never had cats until I got married and my wife starting bringing them home. My son had a python for a while, not one of my favorite pets.
PNAV: Any other pet related comments that you want to provide?
Randy: In my cartoons, I tend to use generic dogs instead of trying to draw any specific breed. I think more readers can relate to a generic dog. Many of my animal cartoons are based on what would my dog or cat say if they could talk. I also do a lot of goldfish cartoons. I think there is something inherently funny about 2 creatures forced to live together in such a small space. They must get on each other’s nerves! Many of my goldfish cartoons are marriage cartoons in disguise.
I’ve never had a penguin for a pet, but I do a lot of penguin cartoons. People seem to like them, so I keep doing more. Penguins, like basset hounds, are just plain funny.
Visit Randy’s website by clicking here.
Note from Michele
This is one of the most unusual and cool jobs. I am writing for Parade, and hope you will take a look. Thanks!