Definitions

Chamilla

Kevin Dewclaw

Kevin Dewclaw is one of the two main characters of Bill Holbrook’s comic strip Kevin and Kell, a rabbit in his late thirties who is married to Kell Dewclaw, is the adoptive father of Lindesfarne Dewclaw, stepfather to Rudy Dewclaw and father of Coney Dewclaw. He is the oldest of Dorothy Kindle and her husband's (who has no official name and is referred to as "Pop Kindle") children.

Appearance

Kevin is overweight due to years of sedentary computer work, although he is also shown to be extremely strong, leading one to believe that much of his bulk is in fact muscle. He has white fur, supposedly as a result of staying indoors, but it is later revealed that all of his known relatives have white fur. He is also quite tall for a rabbit, as he is six feet tall. He has one lop ear and one straight ear.

Personality

Kevin is generally kind, honest, trusting and fair. He is relatively intelligent (if not as much so as his adopted daughter), as he is able to understand people's ulterior motives for their actions and competently manages the internet businesses he has run. He is also fearless, which has caused him to become an outcast in the rabbit community, even before marrying Kell, a predator.

Biography

When Kevin was born, he was a single birth, unusual for a rabbit, and was apparently so large that Dorothy Kindle, his mother, needed a C-section to deliver him His mother attempted to set up an arranged marriage with Fran Caudal, a member of a respected family. A rattlesnake attacked him and Fran and accidentally knocked itself unconscious . Dorothy and Fran's mother arrived to see Kevin playing with the unconscious rattlesnake. Fran’s mother broke off the engagement, and Dorothy never attempted to arrange any other marriages

However, it was soon revealed that he was truly fearless, such as when he tied up a predator with the reel of an 8-track tape, earning the ire of his peers by preventing them from "showing off (their) moves". Throughout his childhood, he failed to fit in among his peers, because he was not afraid of anything.

Kevin continued to grow up without any fear, being considered a freak by his peers and father. His lack of fear caused him to trust the very unscrupulous rabbit Angelique, whom both of his parents came to despise, and at 20, he married her. Early in his marriage, he adopted a six-month-old hedgehog from an orphanage in England and named her Lindesfarne. For some time in the 1980s, he also was a professional wrestler.

About fifteen years later, Kevin, working for a corporation outside the home, got home early and noticed Angelique chatting with “User 458,” who, unbeknownst to her and Kevin, was Kevin’s father. Angelique divorced Kevin, and somehow convinced the court to have him pay her alimony, pocketing his child support in the process. However, Kevin retained custody of Lindesfarne.

Kevin soon meets Kell online, either as a result of lurking on the Carnivore Forum or immediately after Angelique's departure. He meets her for dinner, not knowing her true species, but the love they shared online (and possibly his lack of fear) helped them to overcome their differences and begin dating. They soon married, and Kevin’s parents disowned him for it. He and Lindesfarne changed their name to “Dewclaw” and moved across the street from the Ursals.

Role

Kevin, while present in many of the stories as a major character, has changed relatively little over the course of the strip. Many of the stories featuring him develop his past and deal with his family; his and Kell’s adventures eventually led them to find his parents and younger sister Danielle. Some of his more significant achievements, however, include helping police round up the members of the Bovine Herd while trying to save his father and making the Microtalon code Y2k compatible with Kell’s help.

Kevin's relations with his in-laws are slightly better than Kell's. Although Kell's father, as Kevin acknowledges, never accepted him while he was alive, after Kevin buys his family heirlooms from Ralph, the part of Kell's father that lives on in her memory accepts him. Kell's mother, Elanor moves in with him after going bankrupt day trading, taking care of Coney during the day; while relations between the two are initially tense, Elanor does not eat him because he is high in saturated fat. Kevin accepts Elanor's presence during the counseling session with Chamilla Moodring, appreciating her help looking after Coney.

Kevin's relationship with rabbit society is an issue in the strip. He was cast out for marrying Kell, but served as the Easter Bunny's bodyguard. He was summoned back after the council learned that rabbit secrets had been sold to Herd Thinners. Kevin was suspected because he had married Kell, and was stripped of his rabbit license until Fenton discovered that Angelique had married R.L.; with the culprit exposed, Kevin's license was restored and Angelique's was revoked. Kevin also serves as the Easter Bunny, gradually gaining favor with the Rabbit Council for doing so, although Kell had to serve as a substitute at 2006 when Kevin was too sick to move on the night before Easter. Kevin is no longer the Easter Bunny; Rudy stands in for him on Easter of 2007, and when he becomes widely recognized as the Easter Bunny, the Rabbit Council chooses him as a replacement.

Kevin is also politically involved. In 2000, when Sheldon Dome, Recreation Administrator, refused to allow Coney into the Predator Youth League, Kevin ran for office in order to enact that change, hiring Elanor as his campaign manager. While Elanor initially thought Kevin’s ideals of acceptance impractical, she came to accept them as her proposed "Change" slogan failed. Kevin gained ground in the election, but Sheldon Dome made the last-minute accusation that Kell had eaten his campaign manager, dooming his campaign. Lindesfarne, however, proved on a live broadcast for Sheldon's victory that the campaign manager was alive, and had given birth to Sheldon’s child, a weasel/tortoise hybrid. With his inter-species relationship exposed, Sheldon allowed Coney to enter the Youth League.

Kevin was featured in a story arc spanning much of 2006. After the Domain school board was devoured in the course of a “high-stakes test” that was designed to eliminate 10% of the school system (ironically, this included the officials who had supported the test, who were its only victims), Kevin runs for office, with Elanor as his campaign manager. His rival, Fran Caudal, supports high stakes tests, as she has contributions from the testing industry. Fran Caudal gained a temporary advantage when she claimed to have killed the rattlesnake, but after Dr. Caduceus revealed the truth, she and Kevin were tied in the polls. On Election Day, Kevin gained a majority and was elected to the school board. However, he is currently attempting to persuade the other members of the five-person school board to vote with him on high-stakes testing.

Business

Kevin’s internet businesses are prominent in many of the strip’s plotlines. In general, while he typically manages to keep them running in spite of difficulties that arise, they are not remarkably profitable; he confesses to Fenton and Candace that he won't make them rich with Mating Call, and it is also suggested that Kell's salary from Herd Thinners is the family's main source of income.

  • Kevin worked outside the home for some time; he references being in the corporate world on some occasions, and when he got home early one day, he saw Angelique cheating on him. He started working at home between the divorce and the first strip.
  • The Herbivore Forum, where he served as sysop. Between when Angelique divorced him and Kell married him, he founded it in order to create a community where he could be accepted. Unfortunately, approximately half the members are carnivores in disguise (despite herbivores being the vast majority in society), and the herbivores on the site place bets on when his wife would eat him. He hires his first employee, Candace Canid, as an assistant sysop there. R.L. eventually buys the forum, and takes Kevin’s business in another direction. On June 28, 2000, the Herbivore Forum shut down.
  • Flea-Bay, inspired by eBay, in which insectivores groom parasites off other animals and are paid for doing so. Fenton is hired for this business.
  • Mating Call, an offshoot of Flea-Bay that expands with R.L.’s business capital. The site expands to a dating service for all species; Angelique plans on collecting data on individuals, firing Kevin and his staff, liquidating the company and selling the data to telemarketers, supposedly in revenge for his causing her rabbit license to be revoked. However, the now extremely wealthy Fiona Fennec buys the company, unknowingly thwarting her plan. This site is abandoned, however, when it is realized that they could only turn a profit by selling data, which Kevin realizes, after some soul searching, is unethical.
  • Hare-Link, an Internet Service Provider and Kevin’s longest-lived and most successful business, was established when Kevin was annoyed with his slow connection. The most significant changes occurred during this time; Ralph and Danielle are hired, with Lindesfarne working part time. Fiona sold the business to her father when her mother asked her to fire Kevin to promote Ralph. Kevin runs the business as President, CEO, and, after taking a home loan to buy new servers, co-owner. While George Fennec has the same authority, the employees see Kevin as their leader.

References

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