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|Current status / schedule||Running|
|Launch date||March 25, 1996|
|Syndicate(s)||King Features Syndicate|
|Publisher(s)||Plan 9 Publishing (2002-2005)|
King Feature's Syndicate: "More of an only child with canine instincts than he is the family pet. Buckles can display all the charm...of a small child discovering how to find his way through life."
Buckles is a guileless and innocent dog, and is the strip's protagonist. He was born on March 25, 1996 (The same day the first strip was published). Most of the storylines of the Buckles comic series involve moral issues within Buckles himself. Of course since he is a puppy, issues are more to the point of whether or not to get in the garbage, roll in the mud, or chew up a valuable piece of clothing. Buckles also fears cats. One of Buckles' favorite things to chew up seems to be the remote control to the TV, often ending in a strict lecture from Paul (his owner). The other is to attack and kill Paul's vacuum cleaners. And of course most of his misadventures end either with a praise and a treat, or a quick "No! Bad Dog!"/"Buckles, You Bad Dog!"
Paul and Jill Haggerson
Paul, or Jill, often says/yells "BUCKLES, YOU BAD DOG!!!!" (which is their catchphrase) when they are annoyed with Buckles.
On May 2006, it is revealed that Paul has a previous dog named Shadow before he and Jill got married.[relevant? ]
An unseen but heard presence who lives behind Buckles' right ear.
A streetwise stray whose freedom Buckles envies.
An annoying squirrel who lives in the backyard. He hates Buckles and Arden, and he always insults them and calls them rude names, like "slobber face" (Buckles) and "beak brain" (Arden).
There are several stories involving Scrappy in the series. A couple of examples are him getting in a fight with another squirrel: a black one. One occasional story is where Scrappy broke into Paul and Jill's attic and realized he was lost.
A younger newspaper deliverer who often threw rolled-up newspapers at Buckles.
- Charlie: A minor character in the comic series. He is a goose who is a rival of Buckles. He refers to him as "mad dog", and occasionally "Mary Poppins". In an occasional story Charlie and the other geese break into Paul's house and throw a "party" by destroying the house, but after Paul and Jill were home, they flew off. Paul and Jill are then mad at Buckles because they thought it was him who threw a party (Paul doesn't even allow parties at his house, only he has one as a teenager). Another occasional story is where Charlie and the other geese ruin Paul's Corvette and Buckles scares them off by barking at them.
- Sophie and Iris: A female American Eskimo Dog and bloodhound respectively and two of Buckles' friends who argue over trying to talk to him.
- The black squirrel, Scrappy's nemesis.
- Paul's parents and brother from the summer vacation strips.
- Jay: A blue bird who is Arden's assistant.
There is meta-humor in this strip; for example, the characters talk with their mouths closed. Their dialogue has many exclamation points when they talk quietly or nicely like the dialogue in Peanuts. Also, in some strips, there are repeated drawings and lines (i.e. in the May 21, 2008 strip, Buckles steps back from a harmless garter snake, horrified. He then hides behind Paul, who rolls his eyes and says, "For crying out loud, Buckles! It's just a harmless garter snake!" After that, like Buckles, Paul steps back from the harmless garter snake, horrified. Then he hides behind Jill, who is gardening but rolls her eyes, saying, "For crying out loud, Paul!..." like Paul did with Buckles).
There are three different comic collections published by Plan 9 Publishing:
- Buckles Unleashed (2002)
- There's a Street Dog in All of Us! (2003)
- A Good Vacuum is a Dead Vacuum! (2005)
Currently, the books went out of stock. David Gilbert left the publisher and will seek into another printing option for the current and future collections.