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Zits, 3/17/05

O faithful Comics Curmudgeon readers: the future Mrs. C. and I request your assistance in arbitrating our disagreement about the meaning of this strip. Upon reading it, I identified with the core conflict immediately. I used to be a teenage boy myself (shameful, I know, but undeniably true), and I remember having this precise argument with my mother on numerous occasions. She really didn’t understand why she couldn’t come and go from my room like she did every other room in her house, and I couldn’t quite verbalize why it bothered me so much. I think a lot of being a teenager is about setting boundaries — sometimes overly strong boundaries — about differentiating yourself from your parents, about creating a literal and figurative space for yourself and your personality despite the fact that you’re still dependent on your parents for so many concrete and intangible things. It’s a tension that Zits depicts off pretty well, here and elsewhere, and it’s one of the reasons that, despite a dearth of laugh-out-loud-moments, I like it quite a bit.

My fiancée, meanwhile, thinks this strip is entirely about masturbation. What do you think?

(By the way, I’ve mentioned my betrothed quite a bit here lately, and some might think that she’s been pressuring me to do so. I promise to you that I would never compromise my artistic integrity in any way, even for the love of my life. The plain fact is that I work at home, and sometimes I go 48 or 72 hours without leaving the house, so she’s the only person I talk to other than the voices in my head. Once I start quoting them, you’ll know there’s trouble.)