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Book review: 'Pickles' brings acceptance and relatability to life, old age and love

Published: Friday, Oct. 4 2013 3:30 p.m. MDT

Cartoonist Brian Crane poses for a photo in June 2010. His sixth collection of Cartoonist Brian Crane poses for a photo in June 2010. His sixth collection of "Pickles" comics is titled "Oh, Sure! Blame It on the Dog!" and is scheduled to be released this week. He will be in Salt Lake City on Oct. 9 for a book signing. (Provided by Brian Crane)

"OH, SURE! BLAME IT ON THE DOG! A Pickles Collection," by Brian Crane, Baobab Press, $14.95, 139 pages (f)

One of Salt Lake's favorite comic writers returns with a new book that delicately pokes fun at marriage, old age and life as we know it in Brian Crane's "Oh, Sure! Blame It on the Dog!"

Slated for an Oct 8. release, this collection of comics marks the sixth collection from Crane's impressive 20-plus years of cartooning.

Returning to paperback are Earl and Opal Pickles, a married couple of 50 years, loving grandparents and pet owners who have won the hearts of America with their wit, banter and overall "old, married couple" attitude.

Crane captures the heart and soul through the details of Earl and Opal's relationship, writing their exchanges in a relatable and comical way. When faced with the task of growing old, perhaps readers can find solace in the universal humor and acceptance found in the Pickle residence.

"Oh, Sure! Blame It on the Dog!" is the sixth collection of "Pickles" comics by Brian Crane. (Boobab Press)

And as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Crane, a resident of Sparks, Nev., has stayed close to his roots and occasionally illustrates LDS icons such as a picture of the temple, into his strips.

Crane's sixth book marks the continued fulfillment of his dream to become a cartoon artist. Encouraged by his wife, Diane, Crane's dream came true and for many years he has dedicated his efforts full time to creating the beloved "Pickles" cartoon.

"Pickles" now appears in more than 800 newspapers throughout the world, after being first picked up and syndicated by the Washington Post Writer's Group in 1990.

If you go ...

What: Brian Crane book signing

When: Wednesday, Oct. 9. 7 p.m.

Brian Crane, who has been drawing the Brian Crane, who has been drawing the "Pickles" comic strip for 20 years, poses for a portrait at his sister's house in South Jordan in 2011. His sixth collection of "Pickles" comics is titled "Oh, Sure! Blame It on the Dog!" and is scheduled to be released this week. He will be in Salt Lake City on Oct. 9 for a book signing. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Note: Places in the signing line are reserved for those who purchase a copy of "Oh, Sure! Blame It on the Dog!" from the King's English.

Emmilie Buchanan-Whitlock is an intern for the Deseret News with Mormon Times. She recently graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho. Contact her by email: ebuchanan@deseretnews.com or on Twitter: emmiliewhitlock

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