He's Baaack!

Fans of the strip will notice that Harley is back for the camping series. Harley has always been one of my favorite characters. A popular TV show back in the 90's was Mad About You and the chemistry I liked best between two characters was that of Paul and his cousin Ira. They had such a great love/hate relationship, the kind you only get with a sibling or a cousin. I think more so with a cousin because you and the cousin can literally be the same age and competitive over the same things at the same time. Plus, you have to be careful who you give a "dope-slap" to the back of the head - some things you can only get away with among family. A dope-slap is pretty impossible to communicate in a comic strip, so the relationship between Harley and Edison has to be laid out in less physical terms, but John definitely has that type of dynamic in mind for these two characters. In many ways, Harley is the "anti-Edison". He is named for our local favorite motorcycle company and will always be seen in a black t-shirt and jeans. While Harley is often the victim of Edison's domineering personality, he can get in some pretty good digs at Edison's expense. 

Harley began as Edison's younger brother and I was really disappointed when he was dropped from the cast during development. It took away another kid voice/point of view from the strip and also took away a foil for Edison. But, in hindsight, having a younger brother for Edison might have stolen too much focus from the boy genius and Harley might possibly have been over used for easy kid jokes. As it is, it's great to have him as a cousin because he can pop in and out as John feels like writing for him. Also he has that aforementioned family dynamic that would be missing in a best friend character.

So enjoy this series including Harley and watch for more of him in the future!

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