Just as Snoopy is cool and Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes is imaginative, Fergus the Horse–artist Jean Abernethy’s endearing bay gelding–is gen-u-ine equine. And his authentically “horse” view of the world is pretty funny, hence his nickname “Equus Hilarious.” You just might want to add The Essential Fergus to your Christmas list!
A Little History on Fergus the Horse
Fergus the cartoon horse is a comic strip and Facebook celebrity. He’s garnered over 300,000 Facebook likes! (That’s more likes than American Pharoah, by the way.)
The Essential Fergus is a delightful 122-page compilation of Fergus cartoon strips and stories of the evolution of the artist. Part One describes Jean’s artist journey from a young girl who couldn’t find enough horse books in the library to satisfy her passion, to her years at art school in Ontario, Canada where she freelanced her equine illustrations. (I especially enjoyed seeing the horse drawings from her teenage years. I could totally relate, but my drawings weren’t nearly as realistic and beautiful.) Part One also includes the story tracing the early days of the famous whiskery-muzzled bay. Part Two is an extravaganza of Fergus comics, most of them are in color.
Abernethy’s “Funny Little Horse with Big Googley Eyes” was born in the late 1990s and appeared in various horse-related outlets ranging from Monty Roberts’ quarterly magazine Join Up Journal to Equus Caballus magazine. Fergus began charming mainstream audiences in 2004 with his debut as a weekly comic strip in the Ocala Star Banner.
Fergus, according to Abernethy, embodies “the quintessential ‘average’ horse: he eats, he spooks, and he really does not understand human logic at all.” He is ridden both English and Western and has a posse of pals including Grace, a hairy pony; Ditto, an unusually colored Appaloosa filly; and Art, the Paint to name a few.
If you’re as horse-crazy as I am or simply enjoy clever cartoons, The Essential Fergus the Horse is for you.
(Trafalgar Square Books sent me a review copy of The Essential Fergus the Horse in exchange for this post. This post contains affiliate links.)
Your Turn: Are you familiar with Fergus? If so, how did you “meet?” Do you have a favorite Fergus the Horse comic? (I especially like his version of “ground work” which is essentially napping on the ground.)