While most of us would probably guess that Peanuts was the world’s most widely syndicated comic strip, it’s actually Garfield. Interestingly, both comic strips feature a Beagle. “Snoopy,” of course, is Peanuts’ wildly imaginative, supremely confident canine master of disguise who first made his appearance on October 4, 1950. From the time of his debut, he pondered life from the top of his dog house while slipping between the alter egos of Joe Cool and the Red Baron.
Most sources indicate that “Odie,” is a Beagle, as well, though in the movie version, he was played by a pair of dogs who were a Dachshund/Terrier mix. The feline star of the strip, “Garfield,” simply calls Odie a “purebred clown” (when he isn’t calling him a moron since a running gag throughout the strip is Odie’s idiocy). Unfair! Odie has shown flashes of perspicacity, and is fully capable of communicating articulate sentences through his barks.
Comics and cartoons love the Beagle. In the wonderful British clay animation comedy series, Wallace and Gromit, Gromit is a Beagle who knits, plays chess, reads the daily paper, excels at tinkering with electronics, and is an excellent pilot. “Underdog,” was the undercover superhero living as ‘Shoeshine Boy,” but like Superman, he could fly, had super strength and was untouched by normal weapons. Mr. Peabody, from the Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoon, was the genius dog who shepherded viewers through famous historical events in the time machine he built, while Poochie appeared in The Simpsons.
Either by name or drawing, Beagles have shown up in the comic strips or cartoons, Beetle Bailey, Donald Duck, Sherman’s Lagoon, Rhymes with Orange, Strange Brew, Pooch Cafe, Sleepytown Beagles, Mallard Fillmore, Mike du Jour, Ginger Pye, Beagle Boys, and Hudson.