Writer/Artist: Ted Dawson
Publisher: Astonish Comics (www.hookedoncomics.com)
This book has come in under the radar and blown me away.
It’s a cross between Terry Moore’s Paradise Too! and Liberty Meadows, in that it’s a combination of reprints of newspaper strips plus an originated longer length piece. The newspaper strip is your typical three-four panel funny, there’s a longer previously unpublished Sunday strip, and a nine-page brand new “traditional” comic strip.
Spooner is a twenty-something chap, recently married to (presumed) long-term girlfriend Roxanne, and the series deals with the trials and tribulations of a recently married child-less couple. As you might imagine, the newspaper strips concern themselves less with characterisation and more with servicing the gags, which are fortunately of a high standard. This may be because I’m married, but the situations Spooner and Roxanne found themselves in resonate very strongly with me, so maybe I appreciate them more than someone unattached would? Whatever, Dawson is very perceptive about the differences between men and women, and – in a nice move – the wins and losses of each sex are roughly even over the course of the strips presented here; perhaps more in the favour of Roxanne than Spooner, but that’s okay, we men know we can never win, we can only hope to draw if we’re lucky.
The longer strip isn’t quite as effective – Spooner gets all the good dialogue, Roxanne seems more superfluous, more a straight woman than an equal comedic partner – but Dawson has nailed the comic strip format at the first attempt. The situation – Spooner and Roxanne move into their first home together, and the priority is – which room does the pool table go in?
It’s a high quality, funny book – unreservedly recommended for the older reader and their spouse equivalent, be it male or female.
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