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Funny Books - The Elderberries

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The Elderberries
Phil Frank, Joe Troise
Anrew McMeel 2008
128 pages

The Elderberries was a comic strip for the elderly with instant multigenerational crossover. This unfortunately short-lived strip finds its best moments collected in The Elderberries. The strip is set in the Elderpark, a “facilitated living” facility. The story focuses on Dusty, an old cowboy who moves in the facility at the beginning of the story, and various other old folks.

If you enjoy the BBC series Waiting For God, are a senior citizen in such a facility, have a parent living there, or have ever eaten cafeteria food or been to boarding school, The Elderberries will resonate.

Many of the jokes in this strip by Phil Frank and Joe Toise go beyond old folks. For example, the manager of Elderpark asks Dusty, “Have you ever consulted with an investment adviser?” and Dusty answers, “I certainly have. That’s why I have no pension, no home, one disabled vehicle.”

The other residents of Elderpark are quite original. There is the very forgetful former college professor, a WW II vet, sweet if strange little old ladies, and Ludmilla, the manager’s assistant and former KGB agent.

The characters in The Elderberries face common foes like family, computers, and illogical rules. The story lines are interesting and short though the going to Canada for drugs story was underexploited.

This is a fun comic strip collection.

Richard Lanoie

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