Supporting Cast: Ralph of MOTHER GOOSE & GRIMM

By Tea Fougner

Two DailyINK comics are up for the NCS Award for Best Comic Strip this year!  Let’s have a round of applause for DUSTIN by Steve Kelley and Jeff Parker and MOTHER GOOSE AND GRIMM by Mike Peters.

The award ceremony is this Saturday in Las Vegas!   Good luck, guys!

In anticipation, we have a very special interview this week.  We’re joined by Ralph the Boxer of MOTHER GOOSE AND GRIMM, who’s generously offered to answer a few questions for us.

DailyINK: Ralph, thanks for being here.  Why don’t you start by introducing yourself?

Ralph: In a nutshell, I am Grimmy’s buddy.  His confidante.  He has a lot of animal friends, but not a dog friend.  Which is where I come in because I am a dog. And I am Grimmy’s friend.

DailyINK: How would you contrast yourself to some of the other characters in the strip?

Ralph: I am predominantly black and white in my coloration, which is the sharpest contrast you can get between two colors. Black being the presence of all colors and white being the absence of colors.  I add an element of humor to the strip, I am told. Sometimes, I am funny on purpose. Sometimes, I don’t mean to be and the results can be hilarious. My abstract knowledge combined with my complete lack of social graces creates this contrast.

DailyINK: How do you feel about your other cast members?

Ralph: I am well meaning, and I genuinely like all of the cast of characters in the strip.   As for Attilla, I can take her or leave her, but I normally don’t have to either take  or leave her  because she does her own thing.  I am also quick to be interested in others as chronicled by my many dating failures.

DailyINK When did you first show up in the comic?

Ralph: I first showed up about 42 years ago.  Sorry, dog years. Six years ago.  Dagwood had dropped part of a sandwich and I was going after that and I ran into Grimmy and we really hit it off. We realized it would probably last longer than three panels.  I was like, “Hey,” and he was like, “Hey, who are you?” and I was like, “Did we just become best man’s best friends?”  And he was like, “I think so; let’s enjoy life  three panels at a time.”  So, we are doing that.

DailyINK: How did your role in the strip develop into a larger one?

Ralph: I brought an element, a paradigm if you will, to the strip that other characters didn’t bring. It makes the cast more robust.  Like eating garbage.

DailyINK: How has your personality developed over the years?

Ralph: I am told that my personality was developed through creative use of facial expressions and timely dialogue choices.  I think I have become more of the butt of the joke in a lot of the strips, but that’s okay because they are all laughing with me.  Except I think that Fifi was laughing at me.

Grimmy, interrupting from the back of the room: Ralph, you’ve got to let that go.

DailyINK: Are there aspects of your character that are based on anyone in particular?


Ralph: Many aspects of me are based on the animal called a “dog,” which I believe comes from the Latin term for “cargo elevator.” Without sounding cliché, Ralph is an “Everyman” so there are little pieces of all of us in Ralph. Ralph also refers to Ralph in the third person sometimes. Ralph enjoys that.

DailyINK: What are your favorite kinds of punchlines or storylines to appear in?

Ralph: Although I appear somewhat “dimwitted” in the strip, I am actually quite well read. I am really a student of popular culture, so it is exciting when I get to make a social commentary through my actions or observations.  Like when I tried to use an iPhone—or tried speed dating.

DailyINK: What are some of your favorite moments in the strip?

Ralph: It’s hard to choose just one moment but lots of my favorite moments happen in the third panel, or on Sundays. I enjoy being in color (on Sundays), even though I am a black and white dog.  I am in color on the website everyday.  Some of my favorite moments now are happening on Twitter because that allows me to communicate in “real-time”—which is a word I learned from watching “24.“  I have nearly 300 followers now, which is 2,100 in dog followers.   Right?!

DailyINK: Are there any important details about yourself that you’d like to share with us that perhaps haven’t been covered in the strip as much as you’d like?

Ralph: A funny thing happened one time when I walked up to the wrong dog bowl and started to take a bite and then I realized what I had done and I was like, “What IS this?!  Eukanuba?!!!” Hahahaha oh, Grimmy and I had a good laugh about that.

I was also the inspiration for a roadside afghan painting of a dog (often sold next to velvet Elvii.  is it Elvises or Elvii?  I always wondered).

I am also working on an autobiography and was refused entry into the 2009 Finger Painting Expo because I technically don’t have fingers.  (This case is still under litigation so you may not be able to publish that last note).

DailyINK: Anything you’d like to say in closing?

Ralph: A dime. According to this commercial I saw, it’s pretty awesome if you can stop on a dime.

Ralph’s musings can be seen in MOTHER GOOSE & GRIMM as well as on Twitter, @ralphthetweeter
Read more about Ralph’s creator, Mike Peters, at Grimmy.com