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Wicks, Ben.

Toronto, Methuen, 1987. 208pp, paper. $14.95, ISBN 0-458-81150-5. CIP

Grades 6 and up
Reviewed by Dave Jenkinson

Volume 16 Number 6
1988 November

Most Canadians are familiar with the syndicated cartoons of Ben Wicks, which can be found on the editorial pages or in the daily comics section of their local newspapers. If the dates found on the strips in the book are an accurate indication, this collection represents Wicks' work from May 1986 to May 1987.

The cartoons are of two types, the multiple panel strip variety and the single panel. Many of the strips feature Bill and Mavis, an elderly couple who live in the Sunshine Home for seniors. The pair, a Progressive Conservative and a Liberal, comment on the political happenings in the world with particular emphasis on Canadian events. Although the topicality of the cartoons' contents would have been greatly appreciated when the strips first appeared, time may have blunted the humour. Those strips that are concerned with the social ills of society, such as famine or neglect of the aged, continue to be highly relevant. The single-panel cartoons are a mixture of political and social humour and "general" humour.

A portion of the cartoons was done by Vincent Wicks, the son of Ben, but the elder Wicks does not identify which ones. Fun "reading" in either a sustained way or in bits over a longer period, the collection also has potential for courses in contemporary world or Canadian history.

Dave Jenkinson, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Man.
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