Monday, February 21, 2011

Reid Fleming: World's Toughest Milkman Volume One

What I try to do with reviews at this Bookshelf blog is keep it simple and spoiler-free, and let you know whether I'd recommend you pick up a copy of what I just read. Seems to work okay. This time, a brief review of Reid Fleming: World's Toughest Milkman Volume One (IDW, 2011).

Okay, so I probably shouldn't have indulged in this book with cash being tight these days, but I just could not resist the package. I'd only read a little of David Boswell's Reid Fleming before - it's sort of a stream-of-consciousness, comically violent runaround with the sort of tone of the Three Stooges starring in The Big Sleep - but that package! IDW made it impossible for me to resist.

It's a gorgeous, oversized, 224-page hardcover. Really nice paper, excellent reproduction... this just leapt off the shelf at me. I was kind of kicking myself for the indulgence later, but the comics are really ridiculous and entertaining, and I sure did enjoy reading them. Reid is an unkempt bully who somehow maintains a job delivering milk - for a while, anyway - while terrorizing the city, getting into fights, wrecking trucks and stopping everything to watch his favorite TV show.

The series was originally released in annual 28-or-so-page comics, and you can occasionally detect a shift in what Boswell wanted to do between chapters. It's not miles removed from the wonderful Freak Brothers, and while I think it's a bit of a stretch to call Reid a "counterculture icon," there's certainly some similarity between what Boswell and Gilbert Shelton were doing. It's a malevolently playful comic and I had a ball reading it. Recommended for older readers.

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