(Astonish, 2004)
™ and © 2004 Ted Dawson

From the newspaper funny pages to the world of periodical pamphlets comes Spooner, a slice-of-life strip from the likable minds of Ted Dawson and his wife, Roxanne. Spooner is an amiable (if flawed) everyman, sort of like the title character from Everybody Loves Raymond, but his newlywed wife is sweeter and a little more understanding than Raymond’s significant other. Still, she can be a bit tough, as when she forces Spooner to sleep on the couch because of some perceived slight (real or otherwise) on his part.

Spooner’s wife’s name is Roxanne, and it’s easy to see that the strip is autobiographical. The little situations and relatively harmless conflicts the couple lives through will resonate with anyone involved in a young marital relationship, and Dawson is in tune with the simple, everyday needs of men and women and how they differ. This is not a comic strip that could be written by someone who has never had to adjust to living with a spouse.

In addition to nailing the quirks and quandaries of married life, Dawson is also a skilled artist. His drawings are simple but accomplished, and the characters are cute, expressive, and easy to like. Dawson is similar to Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) in this respect.

— Brett Weiss

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Book #1

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Collects Spooner #1–2; ca. 2005Ted DawsonTed Dawson