Created in 1996 and nationally syndicated in newspapers and magazines across North America and Asia (in both English and French), BEN is a comic strip about family life as seen through the eyes of a retired couple who have offered to babysit their grandchildren as their daughter goes back to work. Artist and creator Daniel Shelton touches on everyday living and today’s issues with humour and affection, bringing to life characters in which we are sure to recognize ourselves and our families. BEN does away with the stereotypes of seniors being cranky, miserable and having limited interests and is a more realistic portrayal of older people as active, healthy and in love after all these years.
14 compilation books in English and French have been published so far, one of which won an award at the Quebec International Comics Convention.
“Ben and Olivia Hatley are healthy, happy 60 somethings who never say No to something new — especially when that something new is their first grandchild…”
“Montreal cartoonist Daniel Shelton has broken through the old curmudgeon barrier with BEN, a daily strip detailing the lives of Ben and Olivia as they settle into their golden years. Filled with subtle, gentle humor, BEN is a light-hearted look at a loving couple adjusting to their new life away from the work-a-day world.”
Halifax Daily News
“Ben is newly retired and experiencing the joys of his first grandchild Nicholas. Ben’s wife Olivia is a strong woman, more experimental than her husband — a go- getter with panache.”
“I love these. They are so sweet, and quite unlike comic strips i’ve seen in recent times. They remind me of a comic strip i used to read as a child in a Scottish newspaper. They provide a gentle humour, which i tend to enjoy. Keep up the good work!”
Charlie, Nottingham, Derbyshire UK
“It’s 6 pm and I should have dinner ready BUT I found your website and just had to send you a message. Ben is now my favorite cartoon. I leave it to the end – read it last, just like a meal is enjoyed with desert. Being the grandparents of a two year old grandson and retired we relate very well. The computer series was especially good – the favourite being when Ben was using the CD compartment as a coffee mug holder. Ben has replaced “For Better or Worse” in my heart.”
Faithfully yours, a Montreal subscriber, Cathern
“Just a short note to say how much my wife and I enjoy the comic strip “BEN”. You touch on the issues of maturing people with humour and affection – without the cruelty of some other strips attempting to do the same. I hope the strip continues for many, many years.”
Yours sincerely, Fr. Michael