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    Why are readers so dedicated to this simple comic about a boy and his dog? That simplicity itself is one of the best-loved characteristics of the strip. Ten-year-old Red and his lab-mix mutt, Rover, are a metaphor for friendship, and their shared adventures hearken back to a simpler time that holds a strong nostalgic appeal for modern readers. The other feature of Red and Rover that draws fans to the strip is the realness of its character. Rover is not a talking dog; he and Red communicate through thought bubbles. Moreover, Rover's facial expressions and body language are drawn with an authenticity, recognized and lauded by dog lovers, that communicates volumes about what he's thinking and feeling. As proclaimed on the popular family-oriented Web site infodad.com, "Well focused, well thought out, and well drawn in something of a 'retro' style, Red and Rover is the most heartwarmingly funny new comic strip in years. Cynics, go elsewhere. Red and Rover is for the rest of us."

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