‘Spare Ribs’ strip 176


After two long and wordy posts about the Frank Dickens and Don Roberts newspaper strip, Spare Ribs, you would probably like to see an example of the strip. So, here we are.

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This strip was published on Saturday 27 February 1977, and features Debbie and Suzi. It’s Debbie who answers the pone, taking a call meant for Suzi, but opting to keep the (male) caller on the line since he likes her voice. Neither the dialogue, nor the situation, are funny in their own right, though the reader of the strip to date is well aware that Debbie is looking for Mr Right and treats any expresson of interest in her charms as potentially The Moment.

What makes this strip is Roberts’ art, and in particular his staging of Suzi’s progressively frustrated reaction. It’s a perfect progression, from the concentrating-on-my-typing unconcern, to the sidelong glance, the half-lowered eye, and culminating in the unveiled threat that has Debbie protectively shielding the phone. Roberts’ deftness of expression, with minimal linework, is a joy to watch.

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