Are they clones?

The teenage years. Friendships, crushes, growth... and hating. Lots of hating.

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Are they clones?

Postby Trollroot on Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:00 am

Do you remember being sixteen? High school and puberty? Remember how all the old group dynamics changed, the people changed all of a sudden?

Some guys shot up overnigh, or over the summer, becoming beanpoles who towered over their classmates by a foot. Some guys started putting on muscle, bulking out and aquiring an adult bodyshape without much height being added. Some grew hair on their chests, and wisps of hair on their chin.

The unlucky ones got padded out with puppyfat, or real fat that would stay. Or got craterfaced with zits.

And some just didn't change much then, the whole thing being in their future. There was no time in life when there were such physical differences between males as there were at 16.

But in this strip, every males physique is identical. With one exception.

Stan and Jack are precisely the same height, shoulder width, arm thickness http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060515.html , http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060203.html

Stans the same size as Duane http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060302.html Same height in the first pic. Duane looks slightly taller in the 2-3rd pic. His head and neck comes off as longer. It sits on top of the same clone body, though. The pulprit reaches to the same point on his and Stans solar plexus, and their arms are equally long in relation to it. Same shoulder width, if you measure it.

They are also the same height and shape as random background boys
http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060102.html, http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060307.html and Marshall http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20051230.html

In that last strip, however, Rich, so in love with his bad-boy image, backs down badly before Marshall, in front of his followers. A catty comment is the best he dares.

Random background boys are normally the same height and build. http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060726.html (Except when their unattractiveness is a point.)

Marshall is the same size as everyone else http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20061030.html

And everyone has the same amount of bodyfat, and muscular development http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060307.html and http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060307.html

The one exception, is of course Rich, the bad boy. Who at sixteen has enough facial hair for a thick patch on his chin, and has chest and armpit hair http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20061018.html in excess of an adult as well as being more heavily built than fully grown adults who work out. http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060406.html and http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060913.html

But Marshall can still casually intimidate him, in spite of being noted as having feminine behavior. Of course, if Marshall really is 225 pounds of pure muscle http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20050916.html, this is perfectly reasonable. At Karens party, the girls also reacted to him as if he was an outstanding specimen.

But he still looks outclassed by Rich to us.

I'd say this comic is sometimes like a run of "The boys girls see" to mess with one of James Triptree jrs titles. But there is normally more variety in female tastes in male bodies. They tend to run from light runner physiques, through dancer style to the fuller development of footballers all the way to the power of the weightlifters, with a side trip through the height of the basketballers. These boys all came off an assembly line somewhere.

Watching them try to jocky for status and hierarchy comes off as...wrong, like seeing threat displays from limpets.
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Postby Jabroniville on Fri Nov 03, 2006 4:02 am

Meh. It's comics. Guys, unless they're spectacular physical specimens, tend to be drawn alike. Superhero comics tend to mimic the same physique for every male hero except for Flash, Wolverine and Spider-Man. All the "Big guy" archetypes have the same size ratios as well. In Archie, everyone but Dilton, Big Moose and fat people are drawn with generally the same body. Also keep in mind that guys cover alot more skin than women, and wear baggier clothes, which keep things like that hidden.

Frankly, rather than focusing on how all the males have the same body type, I'm amazed that all the WOMEN have DIFFERENT ones! I mean, the core female cast nearly doubles the male, and yet the bodies don't seem to duplicate until you get to background characters who never really say anything. Compare that to even the GOOD webcomics out there, which repeat ad nauseum the male AND female designs to include almost every character.
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Postby Trollroot on Fri Nov 03, 2006 4:14 am

I don't really mind about most of them. Stan & Jack & Brock & Jock can have the same rubberstamp body for all I care.
(Although a high school where everyone looks the same and all the teachers and boys are the same height does not exactly lead to reader identification)

But in cases like Marshall and Rich, where the comic itself has actually made a point of Marshall supposedly being large and fit, his looking the same as everyone else streces the suspesion of disbelief beyond the breaking point.

At sixteen it is also quite an important status determinant.

Physical variety being somewhat less than Archie is not exactly a compliment either. I always considered Penny and Aggie to be on a higher, and more realistic level in both art and stories than Archie.
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Postby JackFairy on Fri Nov 03, 2006 4:27 am

Well, I agree that I'd like to see more long-lean-slender type of guys (ie, without much muscle at all besides what's natural) because that's what my tastes run to. I wouldn't really be attracted to any of the guys' bodies in this strip in real life, because I prefer skinny hipster boys. But I dunno, it doesn't bother me. The girls are pretty standard too--except for Tharqa, they're all hourglass-shaped and of similar heights. (I don't really see any difference between "skinny Michelle" and "curvy Penny" but I take it on faith). It kinda goes with the territory of Archie-like comics though. It's just the style.

One online highschool comic that I really admire for having a good run of realistic body shapes is Loserz (though I'm not so fond of its latest art style evolution). I'm always favorably impressed with its crowd scenes, which tend to show a mix of both body and social types. Then we've got our three main characters, which include the perfect-figure Jodie, heftier-built Eric, and boyish-skinny Ben. Playboy Adam and Jodie's various boyfriends tend to have the more classic muscular male physique. What I especially like though, is the variation in the girls' figures, even the ones who are supposed to be the "popular pretty ones." Like, here is a group pf the three most popular girls in the school, and another group of girls that the main male characters find attractive. All three groups have variations in how thin, how tall, and how curvy the girls are, ranging from short-and-busty to tall-and-statuesque back to short-and-skinny. I rather like that not all the "hot" girls have huge breasts, and that there's difference in hip size, general weight, etc.
Last edited by JackFairy on Fri Nov 03, 2006 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Yawnitz on Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:21 am

Hm. I posted a topic that would go really well here in another thread that is pretty near to this one.

It probably would have been better placed in here, but oh well.

To find it, go to page 4 of... better yet:
http://forums.keenspot.com/viewtopic.ph ... 0&start=60

It's only a few posts down from the top.
Yes, I do think skunks are cute.
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Postby Trollroot on Fri Nov 03, 2006 12:48 pm

This one, I believe:P :

Yawnitz wrote:There's no way Marshall weighs more than 175 pounds. I am mostly flab now, but in my prime, I weighed about 185-190, and am just shy of 6 feet. I had much more pronounced muscles than Marshall. My build is easily bigger. I could eat that kid for breakfast, just on size.

It depends largely on how a person uses muscles for the way they develop. Marshall is clearly more of a low-weight, extremely-high rep sort of guy. This favors longer, more slender muscles that favor flexibility and stamina over brute strength. He is modelled after a person whose main focus for working out is to support a high-endurance kind of workout, such as running 5 or more miles a day at a fast clip. My guess is he's a marathon or triathlon type, rather than the kind of person who likes to bulk up.

Have you ever seen Arnold Schwarzenneger run more than a little bit at a time? The most I've ever seen him run was in Running Man, and that wasn't a very impressive show for running. The most he ran was in that scene he was sprinting from the prison, which lasted seconds.

I could be wrong, but my impression is weight trainers who run won't bulk up as easily as someone who doesn't. The human body seems to favor being aerobically active rather than anaerobically impressive. We may not move as fast as the more celebrated runners in the animal kingdom, but our design leans most towards that end.


Well, without going too deeply into biology, I think it is related to the kind of muscle tissue we have, fast or slow twich.

With Marshall, we know he does 3 sets of twelve reps with a hundred and fifty pounds. Damn good for a sixteen year old.
http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20050912.html

While every male in the series is the same height, so we can't really tell how tall Marshall is, I'd say he looks pretty slim. This might help:

http://www.pubquizhelp.34sp.com/sport/boxing.html

If Marshall was 225 pounds, he'd be in the same weight class as Mike Tyson. In fact, the 20 years old Tyson was 222 pounds

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j51/patval1986/tyson-mike-photo-mike-tyson-6200591.jpg

For comparison, this is a strawweight, less than 105 pounds fighter

http://www.boxeomundial.net/sites/boxeo_boricua/images/boxeadores/ivan1.jpg

Which one does Mashall resemble?

I don't actually think Marshall is 225 pounds of muscle. That was Karens quick guess. But in the comic, the way people react to him and refer to him, is extremly at odds with what we see.
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Postby TCampbell on Fri Nov 03, 2006 2:50 pm

Not entirely so. Marshall looks slighter than he is, but Rich was responding to the fact that Marshall could easily restrain a drunken Jack, while Rich was having trouble with the same task. Rich has been in enough fights to know that looks aren't everything.

In other hey-but-aren't-they-really-exactly-the-SAME-body-type news, http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/10/22. (And in real life, Gabe is the gaunt one...)
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Silly posting 404s.

Postby Yawnitz on Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:53 am

Reminds me of a time one of my buddies and I went to the beach when he and I were in the Marines. My friend is the skinny type, and I had just been cleared from light-duty after my surgery, so I was past my prime.

We saw a small dune on the beach, and played an impromptu game of King-of-the-Hill. He wore me out within seconds.

I was annoying one of my other buddies, who is more than 6 inches shorter than me and another skinny body type. He used to be a wrestler, and stayed well in shape in the Marines. He had enough of my pestering, and he did one of the basic moves on me. He didn't follow through, otherwise I would've been flat on my face. basically, he got me several steps away in a single motion. I was impressively strong in my prime, but I NEVER had a strong sense of balance.
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