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Rhymes With Orange
posted June 23, 2006
 

Creators: Hilary B. Price
Publishing Information: Andrews McMeel, $9.95
Ordering Numbers: 0836226556 (ISBN)

The promo copy on the back of Rhymes With Orange makes a point that the cartoonist at 25 years old was the youngest female syndicated cartoonist in history (I would guess this is modern history, but only Trina Robbins can tell us for sure). I'm not a big fan of age-related achievements, particularly in the arts: if you're going to take a space on my comics page, or on my book-buying list, you have to compete with all ages and all artists -- there is no junior division.

Well, in comic strips there is a junior division, sort of: the college newspaper. And Rhymes With Orange seems very much a college newspaper strip: an eager-to-please, broadly mainstream sensibility and horrid, horrid art. It's a joke strip: witty observations meant to both amuse and instill recognition. "I too have noticed that workspace cubicles are demeaning like cattle pens." "I too have noticed that what's cool and hip is often arbitrary and ephemeral."

Whatever. If Dilbert is the anti-strip for the purposeful crudity of its art and relentlessly unappealing characters, then Rhymes With Orange is the proto-strip, an approximation of original ideas and actual cartooning. Mostly, it's not a strip at all, but jokes with accompanying doodles. It's probably enormously popular.

This review was written in the late 1990s as part of a then-ongoing freelance gig; I apologize if it reads oddly or seems incomplete.