Book readers who are into the fictional worlds might understand different tropes in plot and relationships. If there’s one trope that is evergreen, and will never tire you, it’s the ‘found family’ or ‘unlikely best friends’ trope. Pixie and Brutus is that trope but made even more adorable in comic form.
Illustrator and webcomic artist Ben Hed started the cartoon illustrations just as a funny idea but the response was great from the beginning. The cartoonist has now gained 2.5 million followers on Instagram, what started as just a random illustration on the internet quickly gained popularity among people on Instagram. What strikes a chord about found family among the masses is the aspect of finding some of your best connections in humans you possibly had no clue of. Either that or the reality of having someone for everyone, the unlikely pair of internet sensations Brutus the dog, and Pixie the kitten is well-loved by many.
The illustration is a branch that has etched out of Graphic designing, giving artists a more specific arena of design that combines their artistic skills with technology. Even though many illustrators use the manual method of illustrating, some even combined, digital illustration has seen a gradual rise in popularity. Hed, who runs the Instagram account by the name of pet_foolery, uses the digital format of illustrations for his comics.
Hed makes up stories of courage, friendship, self-love, and many more such positive things that the world cannot get enough of. Sometimes you don’t realize how much messages of affirmation can do for you without realizing. He aims to spread that subtle positivity around with his cartoon characters.
The main characters, as the kids like to say, are Brutus, the strong-built heavily scarred German Shepherd dog, and Pixie, a particularly ambiguous but very tiny kitten. This canine-feline pair of absolute cuteness and delightful cheer is a breath of furry air in the negatively concentrated social media platform. If you are a tough cookie and take pride in not smiling easily, beware, these cuties might just break that spell.
Friends made and friends lost
The illustration is a very diverse form of art style that gives a lot of room to play around with their imagination and creative calling. Some illustrators try to keep that diverse style alive by not sticking to one thing, but some artists such as Hed, filter their skill through one specific style/project.
His creativity however is clearly shown through how he gradually fleshed out his characters. Brutus is not just a grumpy, mean old dog, he is a war-vet that served bravely until getting injured and got toughened up. However, Brutus’s tough past does not translate to how he treats the animals in his life now, particularly, how he gets close to Pixie the kitten.
The first meeting
The popularity of the series can be determined with not just the appreciation and engagement the artist gets on his page, but also such instances of collaboration. Since the series has been going on for a while, people now know and understand the characters very well. So well that another artist added this background story of how Pixie and Brutus met via a collaborative project where they and the original artist, Hed illustrated alternate pages of the strip.
The credits in the bottom right corner of each page show as much.
Classic case of metamorphosis
Another example of how their relationship is based on having fun while having each other’s back. Many instances bring a balance between serious, heartfelt messages and just pure entertainment-based cuteness. It’s a good balance as it removes any sign of preaching, making the entire series much more natural whenever there are messages embedded in the story.
More friends and more heart
This two-part series includes some of the side characters commonly found in the series. They’re some of the common friends of Pixie and Brutus.
This also develops on how everyone is different, and there is nothing wrong with a difference as long as you’re not actively hurting anybody.
The popularity the comic series has found translates to how much people adore and want more of it around. There have been some Brutus and Pixie plushies as well as some recently launched, vinyl figures that can be bought as merchandise.
The artist releases exclusive content for his Patreon members that support him and his art. It is quite refreshing to see such original ideas being translated into artwork that is adored by the masses. There might be some kind of nobility in the niche and abstract art corner of the art world, but accessibility is something that brings people together. Accessibility, in this case, is the ease to comprehend and get into the nature of the whole series of the story that is Pixie and Brutus. Make sure you check out their page, website, or Patreon to get your dose of wholesome Pixie-Brutus content. You will regret not finding it sooner.