Earl and Opal Pickles bring as much delight to cartoonist Brian Crane as they do to the rest of us. They are always doing things that find their way into the strip. His in-laws, for instance, once started wearing magnetic bracelets for their health, but whenever they ate, their silverware stuck to the bracelets. Earl and Opal are especially devoted to their grandson, Nelson, and often share their wisdom:. Earl: Like I said, as you go through life, you have to develop a thick skin.
Comics: Pickles | The Seattle Times
Artist Brian Crane has admired older people since he was a youngster, so when he decided to try his hand at a comic strip, a story line focusing on a retired couple was natural. It centers on sixtysomething Earl and Opal Pickles, their career-minded daughter, Sylvia, her son, Nelson, a chronically perplexed dog named Roscoe, and Muffin, a Rubenesque cat with an attitude. I thought an old person might have cats and dogs. And Muffin. So I get my crankiness out on them, I guess. Opal, he said, has become the focus of the strip and the anchor of the family as Sylvia, who is divorced, and Nelson both rely heavily on her, and Earl and Muffin can use her to vent their frustrations.
Millions of fans are glad he did. The strip centers around the everyday lives and challenges of Earl and Opal Pickles, a retired couple whose experiences have especially connected with the older demographic they represent. Younger readers enjoy the strip as well, but in an era where newspaper readers are drawn generally from older people, the nature of the strip seems especially timely and relevant to the print audience it serves.
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