You know, some people seem to think that you should never toot your own horn, lest you appear narcissistic and conceited. While I agree that patting yourself on the back for every little thing is pretty classless, I believe that every now and then, you’ve got to acknowledge those times when you do something you genuinely feel good about. It’s okay to be your own fan every once in a while. That being said, I present to you my ten favorite George comics of 2009, complete with a little commentary about why I like them so much. Believe me, while going through this year’s archives, I came across more than a few strips I was rather displeased with, so don’t think I’m letting pride go to my head, here. I just want to share with you some of George’s shining moments from 2009. Here they are, presented in chronological order.
February 9: When Nerds Cry, Pt. 7
There’s something in every panel here that I like. First, Rob is fretting over not having a computer for two weeks. Then, he thinks “the game” George refers to is World of Warcraft, and finally, a question many of us have asked ourselves at one point or another…seriously, what is a Laker?!
March 20: Brave New World
Now, this one is mostly one of my favorites because it’s actually published in a McGraw-Hill textbook called Exploring Writing: Paragraphs and Essays by John Langan. Someone actually liked this strip enough to include it in a widely-released educational textbook, and I say that counts for…well, something, right?
April 6: Aaawwwkwaarrrrd
The last panel here is what makes it one of my favorite strips of the year. Denise’s annoyed glare, sipping tea with her pinkie outstretched, and Greg’s look of utter humiliated discomfort makes me chuckle. Hard.
April 13: X Squared Plus Seven Minus Salad
Another one where the expressions alone make the comic great to me. George is resigned to defeat immediately after reading the question, and then seems genuinely interested in Greg’s tutoring as Megan wears a face of tormented anguish at being trapped there as the hours tick away…It’s just a sort of humor cocktail.
June 19: Danger Curvaceous
You’ve seriously got to give Greg props for trying, right? Most guys wouldn’t even have the guts to try a line like that. And, frankly, most guys shouldn’t try a line like that. The speed at which the young lady departs is perfectly complemented by Greg’s frustration and shame in the last panel.
July 24: He Needs Multiple Beard and Mustache Trimmers
The Paul tries so hard to one-up George at everything he does, even to the point of wearing a fake beard when it suits him to. What makes it great is the corner of The Paul’s fake beard beginning to peel off a bit in the last panel as he checks out his nails, blissfully unaware of his beard failure.
August 3: Look But Don’t Touch
The smash cut from panel 2 to panel 3 implies such horribly funny things happening as Amanda tried to lean in for a passionate kiss, only to have her face attacked by a cactus. Dave’s indignant look about not understanding a woman’s aversion to being “poked in the face by a thousand razor-sharp needles” is icing on the cake.
September 16: The Jaws of Life
Sirloin’s workout gear is my favorite part of this strip. Well…maybe it’s the fact that he tried to get on an elliptical and immediately caused such great distress to both himself and the elliptical that it was necessary to bring in a helicopter for assistance. I can’t decide which I like more.
November 25: Oh No She Didn’t
Here’s a comic I love not for its humor, but for its depiction of an event that was literally years in the making. Ever since Colleen’s first appearance in the strip, both Greg and Rob were infatuated with her. Rob eventually learned to move on, briefly fawning over Denise before becoming involved with his current girlfriend, Crystal. Greg, however, never truly gave up on Colleen, even after she told him they could never be together. I was happy to see his dedication finally pay off.
December 23: Father Christmas, Pt. 11
I think this comic gets my vote as perhaps the most powerful strip of 2009. Like I wrote a week ago when it came out, I actually got a little bit emotional when I finished coloring the second panel. You’ve got George staring longingly at a 20-year-old photo of his mother, while his once-estranged father lays a comforting hand on his shoulder. It’s the culmination of a story I wanted to tell for the better part of a year, and I think Christmas was the right time to tell it.
I hope you enjoyed looking back on George 2009, and I whole-heartedly hope you’ll join me again next year in seeing what happens to George, Amanda, Dave, Greg, and…well, the rest of those idiots.