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  Bookends: Dan Davidson

Get Fuzzy: Scrum Bums

Reviewed: April 18, 2007
By: Darby Conley
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
128 pages, $13.95

The adventures of Rob Wilco and his two talking pets. Satchel Pooch and Bucky Katt, have been appearing in newspapers since 1999 and have been collected in five previous books.

Rob is an advertising executive obsessed with soccer who lives in Boston. Satchel is a dim-writted but lovable dog, one-eighth duck trolling retriever, born in Nova Scotia. Bucky is a self-centered, scruffy cat who thinks he runs the apartment and has a feud going with Fungo Squiggly, the pet ferret who lives next door.

This is a smart cartoon strip. It will, by turns, remind readers of Doonesbury, Bloom County or Calvin and Hobbes. Rob is in a Bob Newhart  type situation, where he’s fairly normal but is surrounded by oddballs. There’s a lot of good dog v.s. cat material, with the two sides coming out about even, usually because Bucky has gone a step too far and outsmarted himself.

Unlike many strips, there are extended story arcs in Get Fuzzy. The one that stands out here is the trio’s trip to Antigonish (“What’s a gonish and why don’t they like them?”), Nova Scotia, to visit the place where Satchel was born. Aside from the obvious comparisons, Conley manages to poke fun at lots of things that have gone haywire with cross border travel since 2001.

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