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Metapost: The wrong man for the job

My fiancée is in the sex ed biz, and this week she returned from a visit to a health center north of the Mason-Dixon line with this intriguing artifact.

OK, so I understand that there are very few male characters in Luann who aren’t either related to Luann or involved in some sort of tiresome romantic situation with her. And obviously her make-out session with Aaron marks all this as outside the continuity of the strip. But still, she’s talking about dealing with sexual pressure with … TJ? TJ the schemer? TJ the scammer? TJ, whose every appearance in the strip heralds the inevitable entanglement of Brad in some awful web of deceit? The TJ I know would be turning this situation to his advantage and be attempting to shepherd Luann into the back seat of his car by the end of the pamphlet.

On the other hand, the TJ I know is also white. At first, I thought that perhaps I had never seen him in a Sunday strip before; but you know, it’s pretty obvious that Delta is black even in the dailies. Maybe it’s one of those parallel universe things: evil Spock has a beard, good Spock is clean shaven; evil TJ is white, good TJ is black.

My only comment on the content of this handout is that I think a “Waiting Is Sexy” t-shirt may send out some mixed messages. Waiting is many things, many of them positive, but “sexy” is not one of them, particularly if you’re a teenager. I can barely handle the three minutes of waiting involved in microwaving a frozen pizza pocket, and I’m 30. Also, I find it interesting that Greg Evans borrowed a trope from Mark Trail and featured some animal-closeup panels while humans converse offstage. Presumably this is because the only thing duller than drawing two people walking and talking is drawing two people walking and talking about not having sex.

22 responses to “Metapost: The wrong man for the job”

  1. The Bean
    January 12th, 2005 at 2:43 pm [Reply]

    I would argue that TJ is indeed white but has the John Tuturro multiethnic thing going on.

  2. Hubris
    January 12th, 2005 at 3:35 pm [Reply]

    I think keeping me sober would be sufficient to prevent me from “crossing the boundaries” with Luann. It’s hard to get past her man-pants, for one thing.

  3. So-Called "Austin Mayor"
    January 12th, 2005 at 3:50 pm [Reply]

    It seems obvious to me that TJ is using the ol’ “sensitive friend” trick. “Hey Luann, if Aaron lets you down or makes you sad and you need someone to talk to — I’m here for you.”

  4. Holden West
    January 12th, 2005 at 4:05 pm [Reply]

    I suggest the pamphlet be re-written with another more believable character talking about abstinence. (Dilbert? Monty? the Wizard of Id?) Suggestions?

  5. Shani
    January 12th, 2005 at 4:56 pm [Reply]

    Hot Pockets only take two minutes to microwave to toasty perfection — at least when you heat them up individually.

  6. Food is love!
    January 12th, 2005 at 5:07 pm [Reply]

    Hey, I was gonna make the exact same hot pockets comment. Man, I need to get a life. I know, I’ll go bake my sweetie a big cake because we all know, that’s way better than sex.

  7. Madam Satan
    January 12th, 2005 at 10:16 pm [Reply]

    Poor Luann. Can’t they let the poor kid have a decent sexual fantasy? What sort of preteen gets all gooey imagining abstinence?

  8. Ted
    January 13th, 2005 at 7:52 am [Reply]

    Shani beat me to the Hot Pockets comment, except I was going to say I thaw them in the fridge and microwave them only for 77 seconds (only three key presses instead of four!).

  9. drownedinink
    January 13th, 2005 at 9:11 am [Reply]

    Just look at his face on the third and penultimate panel. Both expressions clearly state, “Hot damn, trouble in paradise!”

  10. Anonymous Rex
    January 13th, 2005 at 9:27 am [Reply]

    I think the animal close-ups are an interesting juxtaposition. Obviously, that dog isn’t happy about the butterfly making him wait for sex. Ah, to be young and in love with a butterfly.

  11. Mark "I read 'em too"
    January 13th, 2005 at 9:56 am [Reply]

    Is that even a real Greg Evans “Luann” strip? All the chracters look a bit “off-model.” Aaron has no chin in the last panel, it looks like the Luann of 10 years ago, and some of the copy doesn’t correctly fill the word balloons. That, and there’s no copyright noticce on the scan (or is it on the back?)

  12. Rick C
    January 13th, 2005 at 11:54 am [Reply]

    You poor three-press hot pockets peons. I have a modern microwave with 1 minute and add 30 seconds buttons. It’s also a bit more powerful than average, so 1:30 is enough time to cook a hot pocket fully. 2 keypresses.

  13. Everett
    January 13th, 2005 at 11:49 pm [Reply]

    Yes, “other ways,” like say, oral and anal sex. Ohhh, Luann. You MINX you! Way to wait, babe!

  14. Amber
    January 14th, 2005 at 10:02 am [Reply]

    Speaking of encouraging those “other ways”, check out

  15. old heart fan
    January 17th, 2005 at 2:24 pm [Reply]

    did no one else notice the “dog & butterfly” from heart reference here? i don’t think this is a casual allusion.

  16. Toni
    January 27th, 2005 at 7:05 pm [Reply]

    That IS the old Luann! Hmmmmmmm. I kept waiting for the punchline in which TJ said something about doing Luann, or something. TJ is not the person to have this conversation with. If the size of the cake is equal to the sexual frustration, Luann is one very frustrated person

  17. Andrew
    April 2nd, 2005 at 3:35 am [Reply]

    Luann looks pregnant at the end of the dream part. This strip obviously had to be from some brochure.

  18. Nathan
    August 14th, 2005 at 9:22 pm [Reply]

    I find it curious that Luann is actually fantasizing about getting into a compromising sexual situation with Aaron. And the fact that all of those images are spilling out of the same dreamily infatuated Luann suggest that she is quite happy with each event, despite her dream self’s obvious distress.

    I guess, in the end, what I’m suggesting here is… is Luann having a rape fantasy?

  19. Mary Brandt
    August 22nd, 2005 at 4:20 am [Reply]

    Uh…wouldn’t a “Waiting Is Sexy” shirt be sending some very mixed messages?

    My friend Molly also points out that it IS strange how, even in her daydreams, Luann is all “OH NOES MY VIRGINITY”. I honestly don’t think she has any control over her fantasies.

  20. Garry Owen
    February 5th, 2006 at 12:30 am [Reply]

    Hey, its called A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT and therefore does not have to conform to the ‘reality’ of the comic strip. Who cares what color TJ ‘really’ is when the teaching points (friends can be of different colors, black guy saying it is cool to be turned down for sex) are more important!

    Get the whole collection online. They could change your life!

  21. gnbman
    April 21st, 2013 at 9:08 pm [Reply]

    @Holden West (#4): Isn’t it obvious? Mary Worth.

  22. Roger M. Wilcox
    May 23rd, 2013 at 11:05 pm [Reply]

    I remember the just-barely-reaching-puberty Luann from those early, early strips.

    I remember how she pined over Aaron. I remember her wistfully scribbling “Luann ” in her notebook or on her desk, dreaming of marrying him.

    And this artist is trying to tell me … that THIS Luann’s deepest, raciest fantasy about Aaron … involves NOT boinking him?!

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