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I think comic strips can enlighten as well as entertain. Adolescence is a very funny time, except when you're in it. Many teens feel alone in their struggles; I want to show them that adolescence may be scary but it isn't fatal. Finding the humor amid the horror is helpful."
Luann DeGroot is a 16 year old girl who's full of spirited personality-and agonizing confusion.
Like all teens, she's happy if she can stumble through a day without totally embarrassing herself. She lives with typical parents and an annoying older brother. Luann and her best buds, Bernice and Delta, along with a lively cast of characters from Pitts School, struggle with the euphoric highs and devastating lows that torment the life of a contemporary teen. From small events (a pop quiz) to large (a daring fire rescue), Luann 3 delivers the kind of poignant, honest, amusing stories that have made Luann a reader favorite for 21 years.
Luann is featured in 400 newspapers worldwide, and LuannsRoom.com receives 80,000 hits a day. Luann consistently ranks in the top five in newspaper surveys and is often number one with female readers. Luann, the Musical, from Pioneer Drama, has been performed by hundreds of theater groups across the country.
By Greg Evans
Baby Blues is a pitch-perfect and hilarious family-oriented comic strip that typifies modern parenting.
In this chronological collection, readers get a close-up view inside the home of the MacPhersons, a perfectly normal family with perfectly chaotic lives. Daryl and Wanda are deep in the trenches of childrearing and earning their stripes as parents to Zoe, Hammie, and Wren.
Baby Blues expertly illustrates why Band-Aids remain in short supply, tattling and teasing lead to time-outs, and an unplanned visit to the dentist or auto mechanic occurs just when the bills seem to be caught up.
By Rick Kirkman
MUTTS is impossibly large. Its subject is the world, all living beings in it, and their relationship with each other. . . . Its touch is incredibly light and gentle, which explains how it alights in your mind and rests there. . . . The way that McDonnell's stories oscillate between gentle comedy and understated pathos is the strip's greatest strength."—Christopher Brayshaw, Vancouver Review
Animal lovers everywhere adore Patrick McDonnell's charming but pointed MUTTS. The strip strikes a delicate balance between lighthearted fun and social commentary—on the human condition as well as the animal world. The deceptively simple comic follows the adventures of Earl the dog and Mooch the cat, an unlikely best-friend team, and Shtinky Puddin', Sourpuss, Guard Dog, and Crabby. Patrick's distinctive cartooning style effectively relays the all-too-real concerns of his characters with entertaining, clever, laugh-out-loud banter.
Infodad.com describes MUTTS as "humane and funny and gentle and caring and heartfelt and-did we mention funny?" The site goes on to say that the strip "includes enough hijinks and outstanding art (yes, art! ) to please anyone with a taste for animals and amusement."
By Patrick McDonnell
"He does wonderful work. A strip needs good characters—and that's what Jump Start has."—Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts
Joe and Marcy Cobb are the quintessential young married couple complete with a baby, two busy careers, and eccentric parents. An eminently likable pair, Joe and Marcy juggle their relationship, their jobs—he's a police officer, she's a nurse—and raising their daughter, Sunny. Robb Armstrong's characters are so popular that many readers of Jump Start tell him that they identify with the Cobbs.
In fact, Jump Start features issues familiar to readers of all colors. From buying a home to volunteer work to handling the demands of parents and baby, Joe and Marcy manage life's challenges with aplomb. "Don't say that word, Sunny! " Joe intones, correcting their daughter's newly discovered use of foul language. "Bad, bad, bad, bad," corrects Marcy in agreement. In the next frame, however, Sunny's trash-talking up a storm in church. "Next time we won't react so strongly," Joe says, embarrassed. "It's too late for next time," says Marcy, cringing in the pew.
Still, Armstrong approaches many African-American-specific issues and does so in a decidedly humorous way, and he bases the strip on his own life. While discussing a movie they've heard everyone likes, Marcy tells Joe, "It's a shoo-in to get overlooked for an Oscar! " To which Joe responds, "That good, huh?"
Robb Armstrong offers a unique perspective that strikes a chord with audiences hungry for a positive, authentic portrayal of middle-class African-Americans. Jump Start's humor crosses all lines because it's just that: appealing, realistic, and downright funny!
By Robb Armstrong
Now that baby Zoe is a full-fledged mobile toddler, everyone can sit back and heave a big sigh of AAAAACCCH! The indefatigable MacPhersons are bringing up baby in a wild-eyed, yet true to life.
Darryl and Wanda, a typical stretched-to-the-limit couple, struggled with the demands and joys of first-time parenthood in classics such as Guess Who Didn't Take a Nap? and I Thought Labor Ended When the Baby Was Born. The MacPhersons found parenthood more rewarding and frustrating than they ever expected. Through it all they adapted to this new addition to their lives with aplomb and severe exhaustion.
We Are Experiencing Parental Difficulties...Please Stand By is a Baby Blues collection from creators Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott. In the pair's lovingly realistic way, the book captures the continuing challenges Darryl and Wanda face as Zoe begins to walk, talk, and take over the remote control. It's a natural growing-up progression that Baby Blues fans have watched with rapt interest.
Mothers love the strip because they can relate to Wanda's continued surprise at how her days have changed, from career woman to Mom, especially as she faces the prospects of adding another bundle of joy to the MacPhersons' already busy household. Dads laugh knowingly as Darryl tries to help out and hold down a demanding job. Everyone cherishes the little Zoe for making childhood antics (even the obnoxious ones) so adorable.
Artist Kirkman and writer Scott obviously know about parenting—you can see it in every strip they produce. In this book, they provide another delicious view of life's most precious mixed blessing.
By Jerry Scott
Rose is Rose presents the extraordinary nature of everyday life as seen through the eyes of the Gumbo family. The strip stars child-at-heart Rose and her ASD (Attentiveness Surplus Disorder) husband Jimbo. Their gentle son Pasquale is watched over by his Guardian Angel who morphs from tiny cherub into gargantuan protector. Family kitten Peekaboo boasts that her humans are the cutest in town. Readers relish the romance in Rose and Jimbo's marriage, yet cheer the emergence of Rose's rebel alter ego, the fearless, wild and ready-to-roll Vicki the Biker.
By Pat Brady
Welcome to Zits, the brilliantly funny comic strip that is the perfect portrayal of life with a teenager—complete with an eye-rolling teen and well-intentioned, but baffled, parents.Teenagers are a lot like zombies--slow-moving, difficult to communicate with, and always, always hungry. Luckily, Zits Apocalypse is here to shed some light on the ups, downs, and in-betweens of parenting teens. Join the Duncan family--Connie, Walt, and Jeremy--as they grapple with modern technology, confront an endless sea of dirty laundry, and learn to bridge the cultural divide between parents and teenagers.Zits Apocalypse offers a light-hearted yet insightful look at the multifaceted lives of modern teens and their families, complemented with annotations from the creators. From financial trouble to the perils of young love, this collection broaches relevant and familiar topics with with, wit, humor, and affection.
Calvin and Hobbes are at it again, and this time, our irrepressible friends are taking a walk on the wild side.
Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat chronicles another segment of the multifarious adventures of this wild child and his faithful, but skeptical, friend. If the best cartoons compel readers to identify themselves within the funny frames, then all who enjoy Calvin and Hobbes are creative, imaginative, and ... bad, bad, bad! Calvin, the irascible little boy with the stuffed tiger who comes to life are a pair bound for trouble. Boring school lessons become occasions for death-defying alien air battles, speeding snow sled descents elicit philosophical discussions on the meaning of life, and Hobbe's natural inclination to pounce on his little friend wreaks havoc on Calvin's sense of security. Calvin's the kid we all wish we'd been. Sassy, imaginative, far more verbal than his parents can manage, Calvin is the quintessential bad boy -- and the boy we love to see. He terrorizes little Susie, offers "Candid Opinions" from a neighborhood stand, and questions his parents' authority. "What assurance do I have that your parenting isn't screwing me up?" he demands. Calvin and Hobbes manages to say what needs to be said about childhood and life: "Eww, mud," says Calvin. "Look at this gooshy, dirty, slimy, thick, wet mud ... Bleecch ... Talk about a kid magnet! "
By Bill Watterson
What makes FoxTrot such a refreshing jolt of humor? Maybe because it seems to be written by an ingenious kid who's looking for a few good ways to get into trouble. Maybe someone just like Jason Fox himself!
In fact, cartoonist Bill Amend has perfectly captured the adolescent sensibility in his cartoon strip FoxTrot. Portraying the family-oriented adventures of one wild suburban household, Amend addresses situations kids encounter—both serious and fanciful—with a deftly on-target, humorous touch.
In Come Closer, Roger, There's a Mosquito on Your Nose, the Fox family is in full comical force. The family's lead instigator, 10-year-old Jason, continues to contrive skirmishes involving his 14-year-old sister, Paige, but he also spends ample time with his computer and his pet iguana, Quincy.
Paige, the unwitting target of Jason's jokes, survives in style, heading off to the mall or plotting a major flirtation in cahoots with her friend, Nicole. Elder son, Peter, 16, has his own interests: cramming for a test, wooing his girlfriend, Denise, and helping his dad with a chore or two. Through it all, parents Roger and Andy strive to hold down the fort while dealing with their own challenges, from work to weight loss to the computer.
By Bill Amend
This zany strip enters the comic-collection scene with circus-like zeal. All that's missing is a parade of elephants and a clown-car escort.
Gary and Glenn McCoy's delightfully absurd comic panel blends superheroes, office humor, huggable animals, and twisted relationships in a bizarre marriage of Gary Larson, the New Yorker, Conan O'Brien, and Mad Magazine. Put succinctly, the brothers McCoy present "comics for a bold new world."
Creating a world where greeting cards heal hospital patients, police officers pull over children driving bumper cars, babies use the patch to quell the pacifier habit, and nudists find out what constitutes a streaker in their colony, the St. Louis area natives alternate writing and drawing duties for the daily panel.
The brothers each have been nominated for multiple National Cartoonists Society awards, and Glenn has won in three categories. Gary McCoy's past as a comedian (he won HBO's Stand-Up Stand-Off contest for the St. Louis area in 1995) also shines through in the strip's offbeat humor.
Their impressive freelance client list reads like a who's who in cartooning: Disney, DreamWorks, and Hyperion, to name just a few.
By Glenn McCoy
The Get Fuzzy posse is back! Bucky the arrogant and egotistical cat, Satchel the clueless pooch, and Rob the exasperated human are the members of this zany and hilariously entertaining household.Everything in moderation . . . The Get Fuzzy gang is back, and they’re leaner and meaner than ever. Bucky Katt (mastermind of mayhem) is on a steady diet of raw bacon, Beluga nut crunch, and carpa-cola in order to fit into his El Megaroid superhero suit—oatmeal cans are very slimming these days. The hapless and hopeless Satchel Pooch is in the kitchen perfecting his recipe for rubber chicken l’orange in a crayon/marker reduction sauce. And poor Rob, the vegetarian and ”owner” of the bunch, is scrounging for scraps in the midst of this gastronomical fury. Delicious and satisfying, this treasury of cartoons features a healthy serving of favorites from Clean Up on Aisle Stupid! and You Can’t Fight Crazy. Don’t feel guilty for polishing it off in one sitting. Honestly… . . . moderation is overrated.
By Darby Conley
Get Fuzzy makes the fur fly. This freshly amusing strip is a darling among readers who enjoy pets with an attitude. This wry cartoon features Rob Wilco, a mild-mannered ad guy who's guardian to two rambunctious pets: Bucky, a temperamental cat who carries a boom box and goes on spending sprees, and Satchel, a gentle canine who tries to remain neutral even when he bears the brunt of Bucky's mischief. Together, this unlikely trio hangs out together, watching TV, cooking for friends, and attempting the occasional adventure outside. Anyone who has a pet or even knows one will find this Get Fuzzy collection, The Dog is Not a Toy, an astutely witty take on relationships between the species.