The cartoon strip "Pickles" focuses on the lives of a retired couple in their seventies, Earl and Opal Pickle. The plot of the strip is driven by the couple's attempts to enjoy their retirement, which often proves difficult. The main characters are based on strip author Brian Crane's in-laws.
In addition to Earl and Opal Pickle, other featured characters include Nelson, the Pickles' grandson; Roscoe, the Pickles' dog, who is described as "small-brained but faithful"; Sylvia, the Pickles' daughter and the single mother of Nelson; and Muffin, the Pickles' "surly" cat. Clyde, a younger male friend of Earl's who philosophizes with Earl in the park; and Emily, a feisty friend of Opal's, also in her 70s, make appearances as well.
Author Brian Crane became interested in comics at an early age, both from newspapers and from the comic books his parents brought home for him. Crane was born in Idaho, grew up in California and attended Brigham Young University in Utah, majoring in fine arts. He took a job as an art director for an advertising firm, settling with his family in Sparks, Nevada. Slowly, bolstered by the stability of his day job, he began efforts to get his comic strip published. "Pickles" was first published in 1990.