March 8th, 2010

Indignant Candiru

April and her hangers-on: the last of the line

It seems to me that if Lynn weren't hampered by the limitations of the medium, she'd be writing a strip about two people in their fifties dealing with their wacky teenager. The annoying thing about her not really wanting to endure letters about "How dare you have cute little Aypo drink, smoke, curse and go out with boys" means that her rebelliousness is more or less an informed attribute; not that most of Kool-Aid Nation are willing to admit that the only reason that they condemn the passive, affable and slightly dozy kid they see is because Lynn tells them to. If they had to rely on the evidence of their senses, they'd simply write her off as being fairly dull company whose claim to fame is having a more interesting supporting cast. To that end, let's take a look at her friends and others:

  • Becky: As we know, she was one of the first friends April ever made; what Lynn has tried to hide from us is that April has always been mildly jealous of her. Not, of course, that she was willing to admit that; when cornered, the kid always twisted the facts around to avoid realizing that she's a sulky jerk. Always and ever, her insecurities and fear of being overshadowed will get the better of her and turn Becky into a traitor who wants to crush people again.
  • Gerald: We move from April projecting her desire to dispense brutal revenge for the imaginary sins of others on the blank canvas of a pop tart to her desire to be liked by a facile idiot. Why she chose this clodhopper to fixate on given that he has the charisma of a thumbtack and the sensitivity of a rhino on crank is beyond me; the result is what matters. That result is that she wasted her youth contorting herself into horrifying shapes to regain his worthless approval.
  • Shannon, Duncan, Eva and Luis The reason I gather these four together is that they're all Magical Something-or-others whose purpose is to deliver smackdowns for when Lynn wants to show us how 'ungrateful' April is or to make windy speeches about things we all already know.
  • Jeremy: His purpose is to be the idiot villain redeemed by being Touched by the Pattersons.

Had the strip had the ending I'd hoped, their purpose would have been to 'show' April that while it was sad that Jim died, his time had come so life had to go on. The unfortunate side-effect of Lynn's not being able to write for teenagers would, of course, have meant that we'd end up seeing a confused and depressed child being bullied because she dared mourn a man who'd lived too long but since her fans see what she tells them to, they would have been touched by the hectoring and bluster.