$1.49 US
Reid Fleming,
World's Toughest Milkman
by David Boswell

Reid Fleming, World's Toughest Milkman—the only comic that actively promotes a pure Neanderthal weltanschauung!

See how Reid deals with grouchy managers, angry customers, hot-rodding hoodlums, and mad dogs—without once missing his favourite TV show!

Reid Fleming No. 1 is comprised of two epic stories: "Monday Morning" and "A Day Like Any Other".

There is  also a selection of the original 1978-79 weekly comic strips from the Georgia Straight, called "Fleming Favourites".

This new 2016 Facsimile Edition exactly replicates the contents and appearance of the first publication of this comic book in October 1980.

The concluding 12-page story Monday Morning has been newly scanned from the original art, and is a notable improvement over earlier printings.

Only $1.49 US!


Reid Fleming, World's Toughest Milkman
TM & ©2021 David Boswell.
All rights reserved.

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Comics Buyer's Guide #393
(29 May 1981), page 32.

by Cat Yronwode


Meaner than Mr. Natural, more unpredictable than Zippy the Pinhead, crosshatching his way into your heart—here he is, Canada's answer to the problem of Non-Dairy Coffee Lightener—Reid Fleming, World's Toughest Milkman! Unless author/artist David Boswell vanishes without a trace, i predict that his character is going to become yet another Underground Cult Idol. The artwork is just great, the stories are crazy and the protagonist is just about as lovable as a bald headed psychopath can get.

This book seems to be a collection of various Reid Fleming stories done for the defunct Canadian paper, The Georgia Straight. It is a mixture of one-pagers ("Fleming Favourites") and longer pieces, but there is a great deal of continuity in the series as a whole, and the running gags have a way of building, so there is no "anthology let-down" at all.

The artwork itself goes through a steady improvement over the course of the book, and
the panels above, from the first page, are nowhere near as nicely rendered as the ones in the latter half of the collection. They serve very well to explain the general tenor of the strip, though, without running afoul of the afore-mentioned running gags, which, like the similar cumulative bits in Bill Griffith's Zippy stories, can have you rolling on the floor just at the merest reference to them. In this case there is a funny series of glimpses at Reid Fleming's favourite TV show, "Dangers of Ivan," which takes on its own meaning within the context of Reid's life until, in a superb blend of sub-plot and plot, Reid actually finds himself in the same situation which was Ivan's undoing. What is really exciting about this development is that Boswell refrains from any captioned or dialogued reference to the similarity—all we see are a few visual balloons on Reid Fleming's part—and as recognition dawns, we leave the realm of slapstick humour for a heart-stopping half page and enter into a moment of melodrama as tense as those found in any great adventure strip.

Using a rigid twelve-panel-per-page layout, Boswell seems to be working on perfecting the three-panel shot, breaking down much of the action into single tier sequences. The effect is old-fashioned, reminiscent of a stacked set of daily strips, or Herge's work, but it is so well exploited that by the end of the book, he has established a sense of timing in the reader's mind sufficient to allow him full use of silent panels, a difficult art to master. I recommend this title highly, and am looking ahead to what is promised as a follow-up volume to this comic (via a blurb inside the back cover)—namely, Heart Break Comics—due out sometime this year, and scheduled to feature the further adventures of Reid Fleming, as well as other characters. Reid Fleming is 32 pages long with colour covers and sells for $2.00.

The Comics Journal #70
(January 1982), page 45.

by Dale Luciano

Reid Fleming, the World's Toughest Milkman is a hilariously demented vision of life from Canadian cartoonist David E. Boswell. The first page of this book, which relentlessly chronicles the Ubuesque adventures of the title hero, depicts him savagely pounding a bald-headed bystander for "making fun of my milk truck" and goes on to detail his rude visit to Mrs. Jenkins's house, where he pours milk into the goldfish bowl and demands, "78 cents or I piss on your flowers." Reid Fleming fears nothing. Taunted as a "skinhead" by a pair of youthful dragsters, Fleming outdoes even Indiana Jones in mindless perseverance, pulling himself atop the speeding auto and unblenchingly tossing a lit cigarette into the gas tank.

The only soft spot in this steel-fisted milkman's heart is for "Ivan," the woeful hero of a TV adventure show. (Coming out of a six-year coma brought on by an automobile crash, "Ivan" stumbles out of a hospital window to certain death, yet somehow survives; he pulls through and appears subsequently as a macabre living corpse-skeleton. Reid follows these surreal developments with enormous sympathetic interest.) During a climactic chase between two speeding milk trucks—one driven by Reid, the other by Reid's supervisor, Mr. Crabbe—an image of "Ivan" and his hapless fate wells up from the depths of Reid's memory. Thus inspired (or frightened) to survive at all costs, Reid savagely flings a steering wheel at Crabbe and makes a death-defying leap from one milk truck to the other. The desperate struggle leaves two driverless, speeding milk trucks careening down the highway, an apt visual correlative that communicates the mad, blind aggressiveness which inhabits Reid's every action.

Writer-artist Boswell is a wickedly funny cartoonist. His intuition for ridiculous grotesquerie is highly refined, and his grasp of the primordial baseness of his central character is complete. (His sense of the Reid Fleming in most of us is implicit.) Boswell has given us an unforgettable portrait of a modern archetype, as an inarticulate violent, rampaging brute whose only capacity for emotional involvement begins and ends with the tube. Reid feels trapped by life ("How many Mondays can there be in a man's life?") and he fears the inevitability of death. He vents his existential panic in ceaseless acts of gratuitous violence, and expresses his outrage in the poetry of derision ("Get outta that stream, asshole! You're killin' the fish!") Yet despite his anguish and ennui, he clings—absurdly, yet touchingly—to his milk truck. Boswell hasn't compromised this harrowing vision of ceaseless violence and petty deceit in any way. It's a savage caricature of sublime dimension and an epic excursion into violence worthy of the French guignol. A masterpiece of its kind.

Reid Fleming first appeared in the Canadian underground newspaper, Georgia Straight, in 1978, and proved an immediate sensation. The most popular feature of Georgia Straight until Reid Fleming's appearance was Boswell's Heart Break Comics. An edition of Heart Break Comics, with "an all-new 40 page story starring Laszlo the Great Slavic Lover" will be released soon.

Reid Fleming, World's Toughest Milkman TM & Copyright 2023 by David Boswell. All rights reserved.