Imaginary friends were a hot topic on GoComics this week.
Rat from Pearls Before Swine introduced his imaginary friend, Bernie, who seems a little gritty, but also seems to share the same interests as Rat:
Peter Otterloop from Cul de Sac hung out with his imaginary friend, Ernesto:
This got me thinking about why kids have imaginary friends in the first place. Are they bored, lonely or are imaginary friends just fun to have around? There can be a fine line between cute and creepy when kids have in-depth conversations with figments of their imagination. If these habits carried into adulthood, we would all be walking around like Jon in Garfield Minus Garfield:
While I don’t remember having imaginary friends when I was little, I do remember having a stable full of imaginary ponies, Huey, Dewey and Louie, who were pink, purple and blue. I think my imaginary ponies were compensation for the lack of pastel-colored ponies I owned in real life.
My pony situation was kind of similar to the whole pet unicorn situation in Heavenly Nostrils:
Recently, my friends and I have had a good time joking about our imaginary boyfriends -- doctors/artists who like to go shopping with us and discuss things like music and classic literature. Unfortunately, our imaginary boyfriends may also be compensations for the boyfriends we lack in real life.
Maybe that’s why Rat and Peter have imaginary friends. Rat is compensating for the fact that he doesn’t have a drinking buddy as troubled as he is, and Peter is compensating for the band friend with shark teeth he never had. Or maybe having imaginary friends just makes the day go faster.
Did you have an imaginary friend when you were little? Comment on this blog post and let me know.