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Fifteen-year-old Jeremy Duncan is the heart and soul of puberty. A typical teen, Jeremy is shy, self-absorbed, and bored. He loves hanging out and playing the guitar. He lives in the shadow of his older brother's perfect 4.0 grade-point-average, athletic talents, and flawless complexion. Jeremy's girlfriend, Sara, loves that she can get him to do anything for her. His best friends are Hector and Pierce, whom he's known for-almost-ever. His parents? Uncool baby boomers. (Unless you're a parent, then they are two suburban professionals just trying to do the best they can with a teenager going through that "awkward" phase.)
The enormously popular comic strip Zits depicts teenage and parental angst like no other. Teenage Tales is a cornucopia of Zits for die-hard fans everywhere. Zits can be seen in more than 1,100 newspapers, which is almost unheard of—only 18 other comic strips have achieved that extraordinary milestone. Zits has also won the National Cartoonists Society's Best Comic Strip of the Year award for two years in a row.
By Jerry Scott
The Los Angeles Times calls Zits "one of the freshest and most imaginative comic strips." The world of sixteen-year-old Jeremy Duncan revolves around his insatiable "growing boy" appetite, lip-locking with squeeze Sarah, keeping his jerry-rigged vehicle roadworthy, and playing with his band, Goat Cheese Pizza. Somewhere in the background, he's vaguely aware of some muted voices, constantly beseeching him to pick up his Matterhorn-sized clothes pile, to be home on time (so lame!), and to (God forbid!) communicate with them. The disembodied voices are those of Connie and Walt, his mostly patient, but sometimes frustrated to exploding, parents. In Zits, they portray a hilarious view of coping with a teenager and with being a teenager. Created in 1997 by Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Jim Borgman and Reuben Award-winning cartoonist/writer Jerry Scott, Zits appears in more than 1,600 newspapers worldwide in 45 countries and is translated into 15 different languages. The comic has an estimated daily readership of more than 200 million readers.
By Jim Borgman
Growing up isn't always fun in real life, but in the world of FoxTrot, it's always worth a laugh. Between overblown science experiments, babysitting jobs from hell, and sibling rivalry honed to an art form, the Fox household reverberates the sounds of a far-out, yet familiar, family life.
One of FoxTrot's great appeals is its understanding of the pains and pleasures of youth. The Fox kids—little brother Jason, the mischievous genius; sister Paige, the boy-crazy shopping fanatic; and big brother Peter, a sports fan with aspirations to be a sports star—interact naturally, which is to say loudly and vigorously. In addition, creator Bill Amend uses many real-life situations and dilemmas modern kids face to frame his stories. "It's a tricky balance," says the artist. "On one hand I have this wonderful opportunity to present good role models to younger readers, but at the same time I want to be funny." And he succeeds. In At Least This Place Sells T-Shirts, parents Andy and Roger continue to preside over the unpredictable household antics of the Fox family.
By Bill Amend
The Argyle Sweater has sold nearly 1 million greeting cards through American Greetings, and more than 100,000 2011 calendars.
With more than 1 million greeting cards sold, Scott Hilburn's The Argyle Sweater dresses up the funny page with an argyle-wearing assortment of cavemen, bears, moths, and pompadour-styled humans, along with an occasional evil scientist.
Boasting a readership ranging from the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times to the Calgary Herald, The Argyle Sweater fuses Hilburn's visceral talent and bold pen stroke. What results is a cerebrally astute cartoon panel that comments on popular culture, human nature, and society in a clever and spontaneous way.
By Scott Hilburn