The Most Unlikable Character in Comic Strip HistoryBlog — By BWC on December 12, 2007 at 2:45 pm
My friend Steve and I are pretty alike in our tastes. From music to movies to sports, we enjoy the same things. There are differences, of course…Steve’s taste in indie music tends to be more atmospheric, and I like actual melodies.
We also share dislikes (‘hatreds’ is so strong). Most of our angry emails tend to revolve around two newspaper-related themes: contrarian Portland Tribune sportswriter Dwight Jaynes and the comic strip Luann.
Luann was created by Greg Evans, and chronicles the trials and tribulations of Luann DeGroot, a narcissistic high school girl. The storylines are intended to bring up “real issues today’s teens face”. These issues are broached by having Luann whine about her love life, or whine about school work, or even whine about her older brother, unlovable layabout Brad.
In early incarnations, Luann was kind of ugly, and had a crush on the unlovably handsome Aaron Hill.
Then Luann became moderately attractive, which no one saw coming, but it did offer at least some semblance of reason that another guy, the unlikably nerdy Gunther, would fall in love with her.
The word ‘friends’ is in quotes, because Luann is always backstabbing her friends and visa versa. For instance, Bernice is similarly nerdy to Gunther, so she always has a crush on him even though Gunther is in love with Luann. Delta is ground-breakingly sassy and wise.
There’s only one likable character in the Luann world, and that is Tiffany.
Tiffany is likable for two reasons. First, Luann hates her. There’s an overly simplistic saying: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. While that quote doesn’t work at all in the context of Middle East diplomacy, it works here. Thusly, since Tiffany is so despised by Luann, we must love her in equal measure.
Second, Tiffany is hot. There’s no getting around it.
As much as I hate “Luann”, I read it every chance I get, if only to see how far various storylines have not progressed (“Lost” is a too-the-point short story in comparison), and to send Steve an angry email. Here’s an example:
Look! Luann’s mascara makes her look like an old prostitute.
I hope I live to be 1,000 years old, because maybe by that point there will be a storyline where Luann is whining into her audiotape diary. In a cage in Hell.
P.S. As always, The Onion discussed this subject before I did. Below is the article’s photo inlay, which features The Onion’s take on Greg Evans’ initial sketches about how to broach the topic of 9/11. Click on it to make it bigger. Awesome.