Thursday, April 05, 2007

NCCCC: Best Ambiguously Gay Duo

Suspiciously close buddy characters have been staples of the comics scene since at least Mutt and Jeff. Often these character seem to be much more than friends. Inseparable, the characters share a bond that dare not speak its name in a family newspaper. Well before Robert Smiegel immortalized the phrase, the Ambiguously Gay Duo has been in the closet of the funny pages for ages. For the last catagory in this years National Coolest Comics Character Competition, we need to uncover which ones are the best.

First, lets eliminate a few that didn’t make the cut. While Rex Morgan is clearly the biggest flamer since Rock Hudson in Pillow Talk, his string of boy-toys (and Troys) don’t ever stick around long enough to form the lasting bond we are looking for here. Another good nomination was Ted and Sally Forth. I’m on the record defending Ted’s masculinity and I can’t reverse my stance now, no matter how much recent strips seem designed to mock me. I am also ruling Mike Patterson and Weed ineligible since I outed Mike in great detail recently. And finally, while we all dream of being the bacon in a Margo/LuAnn/Tommie club sandwich, it just isn’t going to happen. Get over it.

Breed standards: Subtext is the key here. Everything should pass the “dirty minds only” test. The couple should be defendable as “just friends”. Peppermint Patty and Marcie are the gold standard in this category.

Faults: Any hint of camp or self-awareness ruins the effect.

Lets put the nominees under the proctoscope:

Sarge and Beetle
Beetle Bailey

Pro: The sub-dom roleplay that goes on everyday at the parade field of the most don’t-ask/don’t tell army base this side of Advanced Language School is shocking. The vicious sado-masochistic rituals that Sarge and Beetle engage in makes me think that at least one of them has forgotten the safe word. Con: At a post with Lt. Fuzz, Julian, Plato, Sgt Lugg, and Private Bipps, Beetle doesn’t even qualify as the gayest character in his own strip.
Hagar and Lucky Eddie
Hagar the Horrible

Pro: These two spend an awful lot of time together. Sailing ships, raiding castles, even getting stranded on deserted islands. What are two Vikings doing spending so much time in the tropics anyways? Eddie even tags along with Hagar on dates with his wife. They form the ultimate bear/nellie couple.Con: Eddie has pretty poor fashion sense for such a nancy-boy. And if I were married to Helga, I would spend a lot of time with my cabin boy, too.
Herb and Jamal
Herb and Jamal

Pro: The awkward glances and frequent longing stares make you wish these two would get a room. While Herb is ostensibly married, his frequent declarations of devotion to Jamal are just short of Brokeback Mountain obvious. Jamal should have scored ages ago with Yolanda if he had any interest whatsoever. Which he obviously doesn’t.Con: The relationship is sappy, verging on cloying. These brothas need to do a better job of keeping things on the down low.
Frank and Ernest
Frank and Ernest

Pro: Have you ever seen these two apart? This inseparable couple have way more than just a straight man/stand-up relationship. A zombie strip that has never been funny at any level, let alone subliminal. Let's face it, the cleverest thing about the strip is it's title.Con: These two are way too slobby to ever get any action at any of the good bars.
Bernice and Delta

Pro: Since Wheelchair Guy left the scene, Bernice has been wearing more and more comfortable shoes. And Delta has never been seen with any romantic interest at all. My guess is that when wet blanket Luann isn’t around, they listen to a lot of Tracy Chapman together.Con: It’s just not sexy. Not in the least. Besides, a Bernice/Delta/Tiffany triangle is about the only permutation that hasn't been tried.
Dennis and Joey
Dennis The Menace

Pro: At least we know who is the pitcher and who is the catcher in this couple. Joey’s too small, too tight clothes just scream future rent-boy. It would also explain Dennis’s reluctance to ever play doctor with Margaret or the hot-to-trot Gina. Con: Opening that can of worms calls into question the whole Dennis/Mr. Wilson relationship, which is a place I don’t want to go.

Take a stab in the dark and shed some light into the comics darkest closets. As always, feel free to explain your choice or make a suggestion of your own in the comments.


Anonymous said...

How can you possibly NOT include Rex Morgan and 'Doctor' Troy Gaines???

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that Herb and Jamaal won't get the votes here because it's kind of obscure, but I've been really struck by their obvious love for one another lately. Herb's wife is incredibly sweet and naive, so there's no way she'll ever guess, but I can't wait until Herb's mother-in-law walks in on the wrong phone conversation ... the sparks are gonna FLY!


Anonymous said...

This is without question the toughest category, made even tougher by my reluctance to vote for any zombies. Ultimately, I went with Herb & Jamal who certainly do have the vibe. I considered a couple of write-ins: Sam Driver and Randy "Not the Marrying Kind" Parker or Rat and Pig, but finally decided against them.

Let's take a closer look. Sarge and Beetle. The probable winners. It was largely my anti-zombie stance that kept me from voting for them. There's a lot of hostility in the relationship. Clearly neither has really accepted their feelings or their orientation.

Hagar and Lucky Eddie. to be honest, I just don't feel the vibe there. Eddie is a little too asexual and Hagar does tend to chase after pretty girls.

Frank and Ernest. I named them during the preliminaries, but yello pretty much said it all already.

Bernice and Delta. These two are simply focussed on school. They're the smart ones, after all. At the absolute most, they're LUGs.

Dennis and Joey. Maybe in 10 years, but they're simply too young. Dennis might turn out straight, but Joey is destined to run away to San Francisco.

Interesting that so many of these are zombies.

Will we be doing a best of show from the winners?

Luann DeGroot said...

I've got to cast a write-in for Randy Parker and Sam Driver. Not only is Randy "not the marrying kind" and unable to hang on to a girlfriend, but Sam won't take the hint from his own wife when she brings out the wine, candles, and skimpy outfits. In fact, he interrupts these moments to make phone calls persuing Randy's judicial campaign. It's obvious there's a lot more going on with these two when the office door is closed. "In a meeting", my foot.

I suppose you could also throw in the Phantom and Guran, but that's just ick.

Cedar said...

Ha! I never got the Frank and Ernest name before! And I actually do thin the strip was funny, although not so much anymore.

I was going into this contest prepared to vote for Beetle and Sarge, but your write-up got me to go for Dennis and Joey.

Anonymous said...

In defiance of your kicking them off the ballot, yello, I'm voting for Ted and Sally Forth. Sally as 24/7 drag queen explains a lot. Ted is one of the great modern comix characters not least because because he can't open pickle jars and gets all icky-poo from time to time. I'll bet Faye has a better throwing arm, too.

Besides, Hilary doesn't look like either one of them.

Mooselet said...

This is indeed a toughie and I just can't seem to accept any of the nominees as the 'best'. They all leave me a little cold, and Dennis/Joey is downright creepy due to their age.

I'm going with the classic Peppermint Patty and Marcie. Even if they're both a little butch, it's got that something these other pairings don't have.

2fs said...

Bernice and Delta not hot?!? That's okay - more not-actually-real-so-the-idea-that-they're- supposed-to-be-only-sixteen-doesn't-count for me then...

Impetua said...

Bucky and Satchel in "Get Fuzzy."

Bucky is the irritated queen, and Satchel the befuddled "bear."

Or, Bucky is the man-hating irritated butch, and Satchel is the easygoing Birkenstock-wearing patchouli sniffer.

Either way, it works.

Anonymous said...

I gotta go with Randy and Sam too.

TBG said...

When I suggested Ted and Sally Forth, I wasn't questioning Ted's sexuality.

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