Zits

From Academic Kids

Zits is a slang term for acne.


Zits is a comic strip about a teenager named Jeremy Duncan and his relationship with family and friends. The strip began in July 1997. At the time of its debut, the strip had the widest newspaper release of any comic strip in America (the previous record was set by The Muppet Babies comic strip in 1985). Zits is drawn by Jerry Scott (writer) and Jim Borgman (artist). Scott is also known for writing Baby Blues, a popular comic strip about a family with young children. Borgman was a political cartoonist for The Cincinnati Enquirer when Scott asked him to help create the strip. Borgman recalls that the two stumbled upon the idea while stuck in an airplane as they returned from a cartooning retreat.

<p> Stylistic similarities to Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes have been noted by readers familiar with both strips. Watterson attended Kenyon College during several of the years that Jim Borgman did. In fact, Watterson replaced Borgman's position drawing cartoons for the college's newspaper after Jim's graduation. Both "Calvin and Hobbes" and "Zits" use a full panel for their Sunday strips instead of the traditional block format. Watterson is credited as the first artist to insist upon this format. Once adopted, Calvin and Hobbes took on a style that has been compared to that of a comic book layout. "Zits" followed this style closely, adopting dynamic layouts and large, detailed panels. <p> <p> "Zits" is notable for its depiction of teenagers. Historically, teenagers were portrayed in the comic strip media as one-dimensional, secondary characters. "Zits", however, is the first broadly successful comic strip to be published that centers around the life of a white American teenage character. "Zits" has also notable for its multi-cultural cast characters including African-American, Asian and Latino ethnicities. The strip also depicts a romantic relationship between a racially mixed couple, a rare situation in popularly distributed newspaper comics. <p> <p> The National Cartoonists Society has awarded the strip the "Best Comic Strip of the Year" award numerous times and both artists have received the prestigious Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year.

Characters

  • Jeremy Duncan: Jeremy Duncan is fifteen years old, a freshman in highschool, and aspiring Rock God. Favorite Band: Gingivits. Best Friend: Hector Garcia. Girlfriend: Sara Toomey. Totally embarrassed by his father and completely dedicated to restoring an ancient VW van with Hector in which they will, someday, drive across the country and not stop till they hit an ocean, notwithstanding the fact that it casts no shadow.
  • Connie Duncan: Jeremy's mother, a bit of an airhead at times but a great mom for all that, or at least that's how readers see her. What Jeremy thinks is something else again. An aspiring writer and stay-at-home mom, she has become so frustrated with Jeremy's one-word answers that she describes a conversation with him as "Trying to coax a smile out of a clam full of Botox".
  • Walt Duncan: Jeremy's father, an orthodontist. Jeremy carefully records all of Walt's actions, expressions, and mannerisms, on the theory that if he does the opposite he's bound to be cool. Completely helpless with technology until rescued by Jeremy, and is the official Laundry Master. He has been known to butter his cheese.
  • Hector Garcia: Jeremy's best friend, a bit more sensible than Jeremy but can't choose girlfriends to save his life. His first girlfriend, Amber was a complete parasite who controlled him until Jeremy told Hector that the girl was bad news. He's currently dating Autumn, a radical vegetarian who alternatively calls Jeremy "Vampire", "Carnivore", and "Assassin" whenever she sees him with meat. Hector has become a vegetarian as well to support Autumn, but is not quite as devoted as his girlfriend (he has been seen eating Beef Jerky bookmarks in Study Hall). Hector is from a Spanish family and lives with his parents, grandparents, and multiple siblings. His and Jeremy's opinion of this is summed up very well in this quote:
"I've never seen a house so completely happy and bursting with life. I don't know how you stand it."
"It isn't easy."
  • Sara Toomey: Jeremy's girlfriend; he thinks the world of her, she thinks of him as a "salvageable male." Also a patient of Jeremy's dad, a situation which has caused Jeremy a certain amount of irritation. Her parents are divorced and she lives with her mother, visiting her father every month or so. She is very nice but incredibly temperamental. She has two turtles: Peaches and Mordac, Lord of Unholy Fury. She explains this by saying they were bought at different times of the month.
  • Pierce: a member of Jeremy's band who has had about every part of his body pierced. He has a pet rat, is the only person Walt has ever treated who wanted to get braces: "More metal attached to my head? I'm psyched!". He says his family life "is like a symphony. Except it's all percussion and everyone just yells at each other." He is also, to his eternal shame, an incredibly courteous driver and a decent person in his weird sort of way. He is D'ijon's boyfriend.
  • RichandAmy: Richard and Amy hugged each other in seventh grade and never let go, and are now referred to as though they were one person (when people even remember they're different).
  • Chad Duncan: Jeremy's brother,the oldest child by 4 years (this supposedly makes him 19 since Jeremy is 15, but his age has never been stated. Attends college at Notre Dame. In his first few appearances, Chad was said to be the "perfect" child, and his face was slightly obscured because of his "perfect" looks. He was later redesigned to look like an older version of Jeremy. Rarely seen (a semi-recurring character), but often shows up during the holiday seasons.
  • Phoebe: One of Jeremy's classmates. She consumes a great deal of caffeine, and dreams of high grade achievement. Constantly pads her college resume ("Here Jeremy, have my apple. ORGANISED A FOOD DRIVE FOR MALNOURISHED STUDENTS! YES!!!"), and now has no pupils in her eyes, which she claims is due to selling her soul for a 4.9 GPA.
  • D'jonn: Pierce's girlfriend, and a friend of Sara's. Typically more level-headed than Sara, which is shocking given that she's the one who goes out with Pierce. She has a copy of Edvard Munch's The Scream tatooed on her tongue, and occasionally wanders around with Pierce after connecting their respective earrings.
  • Autumn: Hector's girlfriend. Known for her extreme political and environmental views. She is a radical vegan and activist for any other cause you care to name, she once prompted Hector and Jeremy into releasing the 10,000 live crickets that were going to be massacred in the science lab, in school, during the changing of classes.

Zits books

Each Zits book (subtitled as Zits Sketchbooks and numbered sequentially) contains approximately one year of collected Zits strips. Each of the Zits collections combines the material from two Sketchbooks.)

Books (publication date) Collections
Zits Humongous Zits (2000)
Growth Spurt (1999)
Don't Roll Your Eyes at Me, Young Man! (2000) Big Honkin' Zits (2001)
Are We An "Us"? (2001)
Zits Unzipped (2002) Zits: Supersized (2003)
Busted! (2002)
Road Trip (2003) Random Zits (2004)
Teenage Tales (2004)
Thrashed (2005)

External links

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