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Mother Goose & Grimm

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About Mother Goose & Grimm
About Mike Peters
Frequent Jabs at Pop Culture
Mother Goose & Grimm & Their Supporting Cast
Paperback Releases
Things to Know About Mother Goose & Grimm

About Mother Goose & Grimm

    One of the most clever comic strips to debut in the 1980s!  There are gag strips and there are story strips; "Mother Goose & Grimm" is both.  Although presented in strip form, most of the "strips" are single panel.  A lot of times Mother Goose, Grimm, and the other recurring characters don't even appear in the strip!  Mike Peters and "Mother Goose & Grimm" are in a class all by themselves!  I can't think of any other comic strip like this one.

    Peters definitely has his own style, and thank goodness this strip avoids the heavy socio-political commentary that bogged down so many strips of the 80s.  I just love a comic strip you can read for the sake of enjoying it.  "Mother Goose & Grimm" still has its share of satire, and the vast majority of the jokes are really inventive.

    When you make a comic strip fun in the first place and non-trendy, it becomes timeless and can go on forever.  That's what you can say about "Mother Goose & Grimm".  I find the strips from 1984 just as fresh as those from 2011.

Things to Know About Mother Goose & Grimm:
  • "Mother Goose & Grimm" was created by Mike Peters and debuted on October 1, 1984.  It was originally distributed by Tribune Media Services, and later King Features Syndicate.
  • It's always been a well-liked strip, but the 1980s and early-1990s is when the strip was at its peak of popularity.
  • "Mother Goose & Grimm" was given its own Saturday-morning cartoon series on CBS, starting in 1991 and lasting for two seasons.  By the second season, it was also promoted as "Grimmy".  Many of the people who worked on "Garfield & Friends" also worked on "Grimmy".
  • The strip is a pretty solid success and has seen its share of merchandising like other great strips of the 1980s and 90s decades.
  • Although boasting original, very distinct main characters, the strip also makes countless references to pop culture.
  • "Mother Goose & Grimm" (as of 2011) still appears in over 800 newspapers worldwide (wow!) and consistently places within the top 10 of the world's most popular comic strips.
  • In 2009, a rather stupid lawsuit was targeted against Mike Peters and the "Mother Goose & Grimm" strip.  In the January 2, 2009 strip, one of the characters made a joke about parts of Juan Valdez being put in cans of Columbian coffee.  The strip is referring to a slogan the Columbian Coffee-growers Federation actually uses in its advertisements: "There's a little bit of Juan Valdez in every can of Columbian coffee.".  The Columbian Coffee-growers Federation set out to sue Peters for $20 million because he was "linking Columbian coffee to human rights abuse".  This is a very stupid, and desperate, way for the Federation to get 20 mill.  If everyone used their logic, Peters could get sued for every strip he's ever done!  Anyone could make the joke he did, and since the company actually says that in their slogan, they should just let it go.  If they don't like those kind of jokes being made, they should change their slogan.  I still think it's a completely harmless pun.  Juan Valdez himself is meant to be a witty character in witty advertisements...the Federation should learn to take a joke.

Mother Goose & Grimm & Their Supporting Cast:
  •  Grimm (aka "Grimmy")-  Many people wonder what kind of dog Grimmy is supposed to be.  He's supposed to be a bull terrier, although he looks more like a warped version of the yellow-and-black-plastic-doggie-coin-banks-with-the-single-tear that you used to see in businesses collecting money for animal shelters.  Grimmy seems to be able to talk to human and animal characters.  The biggest change in him over the years is that his dialogue has progressed from thought balloons to direct speech.  Besides this, the strip and its characters have remained pretty much the same except for a sharp change in Attila's appearance.
  •  Mother Goose-  The elderly owner of Grimmy.  An anthropomorphic goose, no less, in a world filled with other human-like animals and humans.  Despite the fact she gets first billing, Mother Goose really plays second fiddle to Grimm.  Grimmy's personality is really established because he does so much more in the strip.  Mother Goose is also distinct, but one sided:  She's an exasperated old lady, usually at wits end with Grimmy's various hijinks.
  •  Attila-  Mother Goose's big, fuzzy cat.  Later on, his looked was changed to rather skinny, like an underweight raccoon!  Attila wasn't in the strip from the beginning, and he was an interesting cast addition.  In one way, he provides a close buddy for Grimmy.  In another way, he provides a rival.  Attila can sometimes be Grimmy's "punching bag", but he seems to take it in stride.  After all, Attila often has his ways of striking back.  There's another good thing about Attila, and I don't know if Peters planned this when he introduced the character:  Attila takes a bit of stress off Mother Goose.  Grimmy is often a real pain for Mother Goose, and Attila sweetens things up a might.
Frequent Jabs at Pop Culture:  "Mother Goose & Grimm" has light-hearted fun with a lot of things in pop culture, but here are some of the strip's most-frequent targets.
  • Dracula-  And other vampires.
  • The Lone Ranger
  • M&M's Candy Characters-  What's funny about this now is that Peters was making a lot of spoofs about the M&M's characters long before the candy company really established its own characters in 1994.  The M&M's characters had existed for years in print advertisements, and in the famous jumping-in-the-candy-pool commercial, but Peters started giving the M&M's real personality.  In 1994, we started seeing the familiar Red, Yellow, Green, and later Blue and Crispy (Orange) in the company's official promotions.
  • Mickey Mouse-  As well as other Disney flagship characters like Donald Duck, Goofy, Minnie Mouse, and Pluto.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head
  • Peter Pan & Tinkerbell
  • Pinocchio

Paperback Releases:  I will add more information as I find it, but here is a list of known "Mother Goose & Grimm" books of strip reprints I've found.
  • Grimmy: Best in Show (May 1990, TOR)-  Strip reprints from 1986-1988.
About Mike Peters:
  • Michael Bartley Peters was born on October 9, 1943 in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • His mother was actress/comedienne/singer Charlotte Peters.  She had an afternoon live variety show on KSD-TV in St. Louis in the 1950s and 60s.
  • Peters was a successful editorial cartoonist for years before "Mother Goose & Grimm" debuted in 1984.  In 1981, he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning!
  • Mike Peters' best-known creation, "Mother Goose & Grimm", made its debut on October 1, 1984.  It is a pretty sharp contrast from his editorial cartoons.  Both have his same wit and sense of satire, but "Mother Goose & Grimm" avoids a lot of heavy social or political commentary.
  • Peters has won many awards for cartooning, in and out of "Grimm".