Picks and Pans Review: You Don't Have to Pet to Be Popular

updated 09/25/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/25/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Libby Reid

One hopes that Reid's real experiences with the highway of romance haven't been as full of potholes, flat tires, crack-ups, lemons, excessive tolls, blown gaskets, empty gas tanks and dead ends as her cartoons suggest. For as hilarious as they are—extremely, consistently hilarious—they also hint at a certain bitterness about the male-female relationship. They hint, in fact, that one is more likely to find fulfillment and love by going into the scorpion-training business than by trying to match up with someone of the opposite sex.

Reid doles out the blame for this state of affairs evenhandedly. In a panel captioned "Think Twice, Curious Girlfriend, Before You Talk Your Boyfriend into Telling You What He's Thinking," she shows a beau thinking such things as "I never thought I'd fall in love with a frizzy-haired neurotic with a big butt." But she sees women's faults too, as is clear from the gullible Ms. entering the "Lust-All Drug Store," whose front window displays such bargains as LAST YEAR'S COSMETIC FAILURES IN TEMPTING NEW PACKAGING.

Then there are "Tips for Love Hunters": PERSONAL ADS shows a gruesome convict writing his "single male" ad—"SM Sociopath Social Pathfinder doing time for killing with time to kill seeks stupid, desperate female adventurous female."

Reid, whose drawings appear in the New York Daily News as well as on a line of postcards, published an earlier collection, Do You Hate Your Hips More than Nuclear War? This book is less felicitously titled, yet it adds to Reid's oeuvre: addressing all the woes that can befall two people between "Hi. What's your sign?" and "Don't slam the door on your way out." (Penguin, paper, $6.95)

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