Artist Illustrates True Animal Friendship Between Pixie And Brutus, And Here Are 9 Of His Newest Comic Strips Interview
No matter what kind of comics you’re into, Pixie and Brutus need little introduction. But in case you somehow missed how this adorable duo took the internet by storm, the comic strips follow countless wacky scenarios a tiny energetic kitty, Pixie, and an enormous scar-faced retired military dog, Brutus, always manage to find themselves in. Our animal-loving team here at Bored Panda has already covered their hilarious shenanigans here, here, and here. But since we’re such huge fans, we just had to follow up on their adventures!
Created by the talented illustrator Ben Hed, these unlikely friends have won the hearts of many by never ceasing to surprise even the most devoted fans. In fact, the artist’s ‘Pet Foolery’ Instagram account has now amassed a whopping 2.5 million followers who come for entertaining content that’s bound to brighten their day and melt their souls away.
So sit back and enjoy scrolling through the newest batch of Ben’s work down below. Be sure to tell us which comics you loved the most in the comments. Then while you eagerly await the next story to grace your feed, be sure to check out our previous piece on how Brutus got his scars right here. Pixie and Brutus, the stage is all yours!
We managed to get in touch with Ben who was kind enough to share what he’s been up to in the last few months. “I’ve really been trying to branch out lately, not just in the format of my comics like with the Kickstarter campaign I’m currently working on, but also in what kind of content I create,” he told Bored Panda.
When asked about what the future holds for his art, he told us, “I will always love making family-friendly comics, but it can be very limiting to keep things PG all the time. I have ideas for more serious, less tame stories that I really want to explore in the near future.”
The immense success of his Instagram account allowed Ben to switch from creating comics as a hobby to a full-time job. Ever since he posted the first Pixie and Brutus illustration, he received overflowing support for his work. “It was like one moment I was doing illustration on Instagram as a side-job for some extra money, then all of a sudden I had over a million followers, and illustration became my full-time job!” he wrote on Patreon.
Needless to say, the intriguing characters and the polar opposites of their personalities make the series all the more interesting. The artist delved deeper into the features of this duo in an earlier interview with Bored Panda. “Pixie is a tiny, joyful, energetic kitten. She’s innocent, and also somewhat oblivious to the serious, dangerous stuff around her.”
On the flip side, Brutus is a large scar-faced German Shepherd. “He was adopted by Pixie’s owner after retiring as a Military Working Dog (MWD). Brutus, in many ways, is the exact opposite of Pixie. He’s…seen things. He’s a very serious and intimidating military dog, but he has a soft spot for Pixie, and does what he can to protect her from the harsh realities of the world around them.”
“Honestly, Pixie and Brutus were just another random comic idea I had while at work,” he added. “I was never planning on making them a series; I just thought it would be a funny idea to introduce a cute little kitten to a big intimidating war dog. So I made the first Pixie and Brutus cute animal comic, and people liked it so much, I just kept making them.”
But there is so much more to these comic strips than their adorable fictional characters. The captivating stories, the spot-on jokes, the beautiful art, and the hilarious antics of the supporting cast truly take the series to another level. Moreover, if you were to take a look at Ben’s Instagram account, you’ll be met with other illustrations that don’t only revolve around Pixie and Brutus. Such as the cringy dinosaurs, the flightless penguins, the alien dogs — the list goes on.
“It’s really just whatever I come up with. Naturally, Pixie and Brutus comics aren’t the only comic ideas that pop into my head. Sometimes I think of a joke or story that doesn’t really fit with P and B, so I make it using other recurring characters or even completely new characters instead,” Ben explained.
“I do worry about each comic’s performance, but I worried about that before I created Pixie and Brutus too,” Ben added. But thankfully, the artist receives overwhelming support and plenty of valid opinions about his work from loyal fans. “Tons of feedback. What they liked about the comic, what they thought was going to happen, ideas for future comics, ideas for new characters. There are probably a couple of funny comics in my feed that are entirely inspired by a comment on one of my posts.”
We were also curious to learn how his ‘Pet Foolery’ comics have evolved throughout the years. The biggest change, according to Ben, is his art style. “It’s pretty cool to look back at my earliest comics and see how much cleaner and better my artwork is now. It’s very encouraging for me to see the improvement.”
It’s absolutely inspiring to see Ben burning with passion for his work. Today, even when Pixie and Brutus have a huge fan base online, his comic series are as efficient and engaging as the first day he released them. But the artist stayed honest and revealed that he too sometimes has a hard time coming up with fresh scenarios for the pair. “With animal comics about recurring characters and a continuing story (i.e. Pixie and Brutus), I find it’s getting harder and harder to come up with new ideas and jokes.”
If you can relate to these struggles, Ben suggested having the courage to try out different things and be flexible — especially when facing creator’s block. “Some of my highest-performing comics were new concepts, deviations from my normal style and format,” he concluded.