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Funny Books - Edge City

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Edge City
Terry and Patty Laban
Andrews McMeel 2007
128 pages

Crazy Cat Lady Americans have Cathy, Black Americans have Housebroken by Steve Watkins, Shark Americans have Sherman's Lagoon, Canadians have For Better Or For Worse, and now Jewish Americans have Edge City. Edge City is the first comic strip collection of by Terry and Patty Laban and it is cool.

Edge City © Terry and Patty LaBan reprinted with permission of King Features Syndicate

 Edge City © Terry and Patty LaBan reprinted with permission of King Features Syndicate

I am not sure if I will be a die hard fan of this comic strip, only time will tell, but Edge City is original enough in its first collection a reader knows it has the wheels to keep going. This strip is the story of Len and Abby Ardin and their two grade school aged kids Carly and Colin. The first collection also introduces secondary characters such as Len's business partner and his garage band mates, Abby's mother and father, and, most interesting, Len's mother, an activist who will remind many of the Anne Bancroft character in Garbo Talks. The fact Abby is a therapist will allow for ongoing gags involving her clients; sort of like in the Bob Newhart Show.

 

Edge City © Terry and Patty LaBan reprinted with permission of King Features Syndicate

 Edge City © Terry and Patty LaBan reprinted with permission of King Features Syndicate

Edge city is basically a synonym for suburb or bedroom community and this is where the Ardins live. The comedy in this comic strip collection comes, as it usually does, from their daily struggle with life in general. Fortunately, Terry and Patty Laban have found new struggles or new twists on the things that get in our way so this strip if fresh.

I particularly enjoyed Len's mother, his adventures in a Led Zeppelin cover band, and the series of strips that referred to the Furbie phenomenon a while back -the kicker on this one is certainly original. The Ardins also live in the computer age so there are a few strips about that, my favorite being when Len starts a blog slamming the Beatles.

Not everything in this first Edge City collection is stellar. The strip featuring Colin playing video games in the snow is derivative. I was also annoyed by the placement of the Sunday panel strip on page 111 which blocks the continuity of the series on the Ardin's thinking there is a gas leak in their home. Still, this is a fun, original, family friendly comic strip that will certainly be back in a few more collections.



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