On one side of his ever-present sketchbook, Mike Peters scribbles ideas for his political cartoons, which brought the syndicated newspaper cartoonist a Pulitzer Prize in 1981. But it's the comic strip Peters draws on the flip side of the book, the goofy Mother Goose & Grimm, that has brought the 48-year-old artist a wide audience among both kids and adults (who follow the cartoon in more than 600 daily and Sunday newspapers), a lucrative merchandising deal (everything from Grimm greeting cards to bath towels), and a Saturday- morning TV show.
Grimm is a dog that likes to philosophize and experiment with all manner of appliances. People who know Peters say the dog is really him. ''Absolutely,'' the pooch's creator replies. ''Good strips are correlations.'' (And though Peters may act like Grimm, he doesn't look like the canine he created.)
In the fall, Mother Goose & Grimm will return for a second season in a new Saturday time slot and with a new name, Grimmy. CBS says research showed young viewers thought the show was about nursery rhymes rather than a canine that has a way with punch lines.