Thursday, May 30, 2013

Book Review: Fun with Reid Fleming

Reid Fleming: The World's Toughest Milkman was my initial foray into the world of alternative and underground comic books. David Boswell's characters, originally presented in Heartbreak Comics, were collected in a single issue in the early eighties. Reid Fleming resonated with me for some reason ... I guess back in those days I liked the ol' ultraviolence, since I did read Wolverine, and the sarcasm and parody helped things along quite well. Fun with Reid Fleming reprints all of Reid's adventures (at least all the ones I know about). 

The story is simple: Reid's a milkman, and he doesn't care too much about his job. He's a veritable Everyman for anyone who's been stuck in the boring drudgery of the modern rat race. Reid gives free rein to our Everyman and all of our inclinations to not take any shit from the people who confront us. Change your milk order at the last minute and Reid will piss in your flower garden. Insult his unique hairstyle, and he will chase your car down on foot and put a lit cigarette in your gas tank.  And woe and be tide you if you are Reid's boss. His supervisor, Mr. Crabbe, gets the brunt of Reid's anger. Crabbe's already got a lot against him, being mistaken for a twin of the Frankenstein Monster. Somehow, kindly milk company owner Mr. Clock puts up with Reid's shenanigans, though he's also not afraid to butt both Reid and Crabbe's heads together when necessary. 

Reid Fleming lives his own hedonistic way, and the highlight of his daily life is watching his favorite TV show, The Dangers of Ivan, about a spy who doesn't even let death stop him. The existential story often parallels Reid's own life. 

The only woman in Reid's life, besides irate customers that is, is Lena, an actress who is both drawn and repulsed by the dairy delivery technician. Fellow milkman Cooper is Reid's only friend, though he's often napping his way through most of Reid's exploits. 

Fun with Reid Fleming reprints Reid Fleming: The World's Toughest Milkman, and the four-issue Rogues to Riches storyline. David Boswell's intricate pen-and-ink work is a beauty to behold, with some of the finest cross-hatching you will see ... and never overblown like an Image Comic.

This Eclipse Books volume is definitely a book worth looking out for on Amazon or eBay, and is usually relatively inexpensive (under $10 USD). It's a small little world, but it's funny and engrossing and shows you that super-heroes were once not not the only things in comic books.


Volume 4
By Rich Meyer

Here we go again with another foray into comic book trivia! This time around, there are 500 questions (and answers) about the X-Men, Batman, Spider-Man, Harvey Comics (including Casper and Richie Rich), the Justice League of America, the Fantastic Four, the Mighty Crusaders, the Tick, DC Comics' legendary Showcase Presents, and Dell Publishing's Four Color Comics series. 


1 comment:

  1. I loved "Reid Fleming" back in the 80s. Thanks for the memory!