Friday, March 16, 2007

NCCCC: Most Realistic Comics Teenager


In the first division of the 2007 National Coolest Comic Character Competition, we are looking for the most realistic teenager. Making fun of teenagers is trickier than it looks. Review the criteria for a funny comic strip teenager and make a choice.

Breed Standards: That right combination of ennui and self-entitlement must be balanced. A good teen character is timeless yet contemporary. Fashions, musical tastes, and fads must keep current even if the character themselves never age. A teenage character and his friends must be instantly recognizable types, but not cliches.

Faults: Corniness. Anachronistic clothes or slang. Tone deafness. Patronizing attitude by the writers to real teenagers.

Jeremy Duncan
Zits
Pro: The comic strip Zits is a stealth success, lagging behind more famous strips but somehow piling up syndication in over 1500 newspapers. Jeremy is a slacker’s slacker with a compelling cast of supporting characters.Con: While the pop culture references try to stay current, the unbuttoned flannel shirt look has been cliché since back when Kurt Cobain’s brains were still in his skull.
Luann DeGroot
Luann


Pro: Luann has been growing at Peter Parker speed from a bubbleheaded tweener into the high school student she is now. Along the way, the strip has tried to gently stay topical in a Very Special Episode way without becoming preachy. This strip has the widest cast of supporting characters, some of which aren’t just insufferable stereotypes. Just don’t try to pin me down by asking which ones.Con: The endless love triangle have pretty much exhausted every permutation of characters possible except for a Gunther/TJ/Aaron Hill slashfest that surely exists somewhere on the web. Also, more and more time has been spent on doofus brother Brad’s nonexistent love-life lately than on the classroom antics of Luann and company.
Chip Flagston
Hi and Lois


Pro: Chip is the teenage son of Hi and Lois which has tried to become edgier under the second generation of Walker-Browne artists. Over the years, the fashions and lingo have changed to keep pace and avoid Brady-ish anachronism.Con: Chip is a pretty minor character in the ensemble and the overall Velveeta on white bread feel of the strip makes some of the better gags off limits.
Baldomero Bermudez
Baldo


Pro: Baldo is the teenage son of a multigenerational Hispanic family. Like other teenagers his life revolves around school, girls, and cars. The Baldoverse milieu is one of the more realistic settings for a family strip. In infrequent fantasy sequences, Baldo can exhibit telenovela good looks, providing much needed fanservice to female comics readers.Con: Let’s face it, Baldo is often just Zits with a Spanish accent.


Now it's your turn. Vote and leave your opinion. It may take a while for your vote to register, but it will get there. Check back later for results and standings.


29 comments:

yellojkt said...

I had to vote just to see the results, so I am the write-in vote so far.

2fs said...

Voting doesn't seem to be working. I cast one vote in Firefox - it doesn't appear to have registered (for Jeremy, as it happens). When it didn't show up, I went over to IE to see if it would appear...it didn't, and I tried to register a vote for Luann (I really wasn't sure between those two who to vote for). And *that* vote hasn't shown up, under either browser...

DemetriosX said...

I voted for Jeremy, don't know if it took or not, though I see results (in Firefox). BTW, his last name is Duncan, not Zits.

Luann and Baldo are both good contenders, but they fall a little short. Luann's a little too vague and maybe a little too cliché. Baldo is an up-and-comer. Give him a few more years and Jeremy's throne will wobble. Chip will never be more than an also-ran. And if Jeremy's clothes are outdated, the hair over the eyes, sheepdog look has been cliché since Woodstock.

Mooselet said...

Jeremy is the most realistic of your cast. Flannel shirt aside, many things he says and does could come out of the mouth of my own teenager - and she's a girl.

Thumper said...

Jeremy = my kid at that age... big feet included.

Anonymous said...

i gave my vote to Baldo, although Jeremy was a close second.

Anonymous said...

How about April Patterson?

Keri said...

Yeah, what about April Patterson? No love for the corny faux Canadian teenage lingo?

Jeremy'd be at the top of my list, except that Apes is way better.

the ManRayX said...

Sending my vote to the only XX chromosome holder (the only female). . .as a former teenaged boy, there was ONE preeminent driving force of existence--sex (the frustrating, curseable unfulfilled longing). . .I just do not sense that the guys listed capture that very real, visceral experience. . .Luanne is a chicklette and (in my experience) their focus is considerable different--so by default, Luanne wins my vote.

Tats said...

What about April's "special" friend Shannon? It may take her several panels to get out even the most basic of sentences but she's got a heart (and forehead) of gold! <3

MoroccoMole said...

I'm gonna go with Peter Fox's blind girlfriend.

bubujin said...

I'm a write-in vote for Apwil--er, April--Patterson myself.

Denise(?), Peter Fox's blind girlfriend, would be OK but she dumped him quite some time back and is not a current character.

Anonymous said...

"Con: Let’s face it, Baldo is often just Zits with a Spanish accent."

Why is that a con?

Anonymous said...

Seriously, what about April from fbofw? I mean, I know that she's Canadian. But I promise, it's a real country!

Anonymous said...

Niki - from Dr. Rex, MD!

Anonymous said...

Cookie Bumstead

Cedar said...

I voted write-in for April Patterson as well. She's the most likeable character in that strip, and, for the most part, I understand her character's motivations.

Anonymous said...

Remember when Zits was about Jeremy's life and not about how exasperated his parents are? This strip had become so utterly droll.

Anonymous said...

I loathe Jeremy, I used to be indifferent, but a strip here and there has led me to loathe him.

I'd write in April, but I don't want to give the Lynnions too much credit, otherwise they might think that Liz and Michael are looking good too.

I guess there are no good depictions of teenagers. Oh feck, I'll have to go with April, at least she looks out for the animals and the old folks and plays a little music even if it is cornpone.

Anonymous said...

BD & Boopsie's daughter, Sam. I think she's a teen now; she was born shortly after BD got back from Gulf War I.

Karen said...

Zits has a lock on teenage culture. It's funny because it is so true. We are five months away from the end of the teenage era in our family, so we've been living the Zits reality for a long time. And it is very true to life.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy keeps me from killing my own teenager at least twice a day, as I realize he (my son) is no worse than a comic strip character and thus not worth the death penalty.

Anonymous said...

My write-in is for Jeri Keene, (Pre) Teena's sister

NightRaven said...

I know this is waaay to late, but Jeremy? Really? Come on! I notice the people that claim he seems "realistic" is often the parents of teenagers, not teenagers themselves, and that I can believe. Jeremy is the epitome of what parents believe teenagers to be, that is he thinks nothing like a real teenager, but he confirms the misunderstandings of parents trying to understand teenagers. This strip has always annoyed me from back when I was a teen myself, often finding myself shouting at the comics page when Jeremy tries to explain why he does this and that: "NO! NO! That is NOT why we do that at ALL!"
To me, Zits is the ultimate embarrassing comic in that it completely misses it target in every way.

Anonymous said...

cmon, where is the love people!!

joe said...

cmon, where is the love people!!

Anonymous said...

I loved Jeremy as a teen. Especially when he'd say something real until his parents would come in and then change it just to screw with their heads. I did that alot as a teen. I couldn't help it!

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