Friday, January 10, 2014
BEDLAM is the 30th “Baby Blues” comic collection. It follows the daily lives of the humorous, but relatable MacPhersons clan: Dad Darryl, Mom Wanda, oldest daughter Zoe age 10, son Hammie age 7, and baby daughter Wren age 1. The strips in BEDLAM ran in newspapers from Dec. 4, 2011- Dec. 29, 2012. The book is full of typical “Baby Blues” humor: Wanda being overworked, Zoe complaining about fashion, Darryl trying to balance being the breadwinner while being a supportive husband and father. Unlike other collections of “Baby Blues”, there really aren’t many longer story arcs in the strip. There is about a week’s worth of strips where Wanda starts a blog and there’s another small collection of strips where Zoe borrows a jewel gun and goes nuts putting jewels on everything. Also, there seems to be a lot more strips that focus on Hammie and the adventures he gets into. The collection here is a good collection of “Baby Blues” strips.
However, there are a few flaws about the way that BEDLAM is published. I’m not sure why, but unlike the previous 29 collections, BEDLAM is almost twice the physical size of the previous 29 collections: instead of being an almost square of 9” X 8.5”, BEDLAM is 11” x 8.5”. There are many different comics that are published this way (for instance, several of the “Calvin and Hobbes” collections were published this way and most of the collections of “Zits” are published this way). However, if you have collected the previous 29 collections, BEDLAM doesn’t fit with them. Also, I’m not sure why, but there are a handful of Sunday strips in the book that are published over two pages. The illustrations are bigger, but some of the dialogue gets lost in the book binding, making them difficult to read. Therefore, even though the content is just as good, the format of BEDLAM makes it a level below the other books in the “Baby Blues” series.