The Jersey Side

One of the most “talented and promising” cartoonists of the 1980s was a slight acquaintance of mine from Hoboken, Jim Ryan. Jim was young, blond, eight feet tall, and drew in a classic style with steel nibs and india ink. He sometimes did full-page comics for Mary Peacock’s feature section in The Village Voice.

One was called “The Jersey Side,” about Manhattanites getting into a panic and desperately moving to Hoboken, c. 1985. (Very close to home, that.) This later became the title of a weekly strip in The Hoboken Reporter.

A collection of the strips was published in 1987 by Rogers & Cogswell, a bookshop on Washington Street in the ‘boken. Not exactly Andrews McMeel Syndicate, but then The Jersey Side was hardly Calvin and Hobbes in terms of broad appeal. A book about the Mile Square City is about as narrow-bore as you can get.

But the pen-and-ink line stands up admirably, and makes one mourn for what we have lost.*

*The Doubleday Bookstores on Fifth Avenue in NYC, for example…note sticker on the back.

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