Pooch Café Comic Strip Announces 'Poncho: Year One' Origin Story

Kansas City, Mo. (May 25, 2010) - Pooch Café creator Paul Gilligan is taking fans back to the very beginning for the story he's never told: The Origin of Poncho!

On Monday, May 31st, Gilligan will kickoff  "Poncho: Year One," a story that begins with Poncho in utero and will follow Poncho from puppy to young adult.  The "Year One" story will take over the daily strip for the next five to six months - and maybe longer.

"Revisionist histories have been a popular trend in superhero comics for some time.  They, as well as 'alternative' comics, have been a big influence on my work," said Gilligan.  "I wanted to use these influences to reinvigorate Pooch Café, delve deeper into character and have an ongoing storyline that would still provide daily humor but would also reward dedicated readers."

Gilligan recently recorded a podcast interview with Comics Coast to Coast in which he discussed the new direction of his strip. The podcast is available on iTunes and at comicscoasttocoast.com.

While "Poncho: Year One" will be the focus of the Monday through Saturday installments of Pooch Café, the Sunday strips will continue to feature the grown-up version of Poncho fans have grown to love.

"Sunday strips are turned in on a different schedule than the dailies, so I decided to keep the adult characters going in the Sunday strips," said Gilligan.  "It works well this way, because the readers and I can still keep tabs on the "modern Poncho" throughout the Year One run. "

Gilligan is especially excited to offer fans a story that fills in a vital piece of Poncho's missing history.

"Lots of little items from Poncho's past have been dropped into the strip over the years, in some cases just passing references that aided a joke," said Gilligan.  "The challenge now will be to incorporate all these things as well as all the events that led up to Poncho being the character he is today. "

"I'm not 100% sure myself where this will lead.  That's part of the fun.  New territories will be blazed.  I hope it'll be an enriching ride for all, and perhaps something a little new for the comics page."

Pooch Café joined syndication partner Universal Uclick in May 2003.  The strip stars Poncho, a cheese-loving, squirrel-fearing, break-dancing, toilet-drinking mutt who joins his canine friends at the Pooch Café, a neighborhood hangout where dogs can be dogs - comparing notes on such weighty issues as avoiding baths, zebra-flavored kibble, and the construction of a giant catapult with which to hurl all the Earth's cats into the Sun.

The strip was nominated for the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award for Best Comic Strip in 2008.  Ringtales has animated over 40 shorts.  And an animated Pooch Café movie is currently in development at Sony Pictures.

Pooch Café is carried by more than 275 newspapers worldwide and can be read online at gocomics.com/poochcafe.

About Universal Uclick
Universal Uclick is the largest independent syndicate in the world and a leading digital entertainment provider of humor, comic strips, editorial cartoons, and other content for print, desktop, web and mobile phones. Universal Uclick provides editorial development, licensing and other distribution services for major brands like Doonesbury, Dear Abby and some of the most significant comics in history including Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side, Garfield, For Better or For Worse, Cathy, and Ziggy as well as recent hits Lio, Cul de Sac and The Argyle Sweater. Universal Uclick is a division of Andrews McMeel Universal, the leading newspaper syndicate and publisher of humor books and calendars in North America.