Friday, December 15, 2023

Character Spotlight: Teen Girl Squad

One of my favorite tropes in any kind of media or storytelling medium is the story within the story. A character is a writer and as you stay with the story you eventually become familiar with the work of that character. It creates a whole new facet of the book. The world feels deeper as a result of seeing this person through the lens of the works they choose.

That’s Teen Girl Squad, within Strongbad’s world. Teen Girl Squad is zany, totally random and surreal. It happens on the pages of a college ruled, spiral bound notebook, as if Strongbad was passing the time during a boring junior high biology class by drawing the girls in his class suffering their ends by dinosaurs, robots, a middle-age balding, pocket-protector wearing man breathing a swarm of arrows, the list goes on and does not get less weird.

And it’s hilarious. Anybody who knows a male under the age of, oh, sixty-five will probably attest that he has a significant portion of his brain devoted to this kind of humor. The jokes don’t make sense, the humor is definitely childish and wildly aggressive.

The bonus is that Strongbad does all the voices, and occasionally makes cameos in his own comic. Despite inflicting numerous battle scars, he still has the idea that he would be a great date for Cheerleader, or The Ugly One (following her sweet-someteen birthday party glow-up).

So, if you’ve never heard of Teen Girl Squad, it will probably be hard to get into unless you can put yourself in the mind of a thirteen or fourteen year-old boy. If you can’t do that, imagine if Mean Girls was piloted as a cartoon with a budget of approximately eight dollars, but still managed to become an internet classic because they assigned the Brothers Chaps to direct and produce it.

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