Picks and Pans Review: Hi, This Is Sylvia

updated 04/11/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/11/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Nicole Hollander

Looking for a few minutes of amusing distraction? Two of the cleverest comic strip purveyors have new collections. Garfield is, of course, the best-selling professional sourpuss. He does relish his mealtime. These strips, though, are connected not by theme but by Davis' wry style and Gar's predictable irascibility. Sylvia is an equally jaded observer of life from her vantage point as a comfortably independent woman. Hollander's work, however, has a little more bite than Davis'—Garfield doesn't know from nuclear weapons; Sylvia does—even if it encompasses the same sense of inevitable disappointment. One waitress character, for instance, is musing about meeting a tan and handsome man who will come in and say, "Ruby, you've served your last hamburger." "He was here, Ruby," a fellow worker says, "but you were on your break." (Davis: Ballantine, $4.95; Hollander: St. Martin's, $4.95)

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