Teena (centre). clockwise from top: Tess (mom),Stick (BFF), Gordo (friend), Hugh (dad) and Jeri (sister).
Allison Barrows' Slice of Life
account of the Keene family of New England. Hugh and Tess Keene are freelance artists with two daughters. The family dynamic is most often viewed through the eyes of eleven year old Teena (the PreTeena
of the title), although the other principal characters are allowed their points of view. A webcom about parenting, growing up, and family dynamics.
This web comic strip contains examples of:
- Adorkable: Sabra "Stick" Klein.
- Alpha Bitch: Jeri really wants to be one and gets most of the way there, as is seen in her dismissive treatment of Stick. But she is let down by a well-concealed streak of basic human decency that surfaces at the most inconvenient moments.
- Author Avatar: Compare the way Tess Keene is drawn to pictures of Allison Barrows. There is a definite similarity. Allison is also a mother of daughters based in New England. Tess is a professional artist...
- Bilingual Bonus: Stick and her family sometimes use a little Yiddish. One of Teena's grandmothers is Lithuanian. It is revealed that Teena and Jeri both speak a little Lithuanian from her.
- Black Bead Eyes: most of the characters, most of the time. Only the key character in the foreground usually has fully realised eyes.
- Black Best Friend: Gordo.
- The Brainless Beauty: Jeri, and her friends Kim and Tracey.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Jeri. Although in one story arc, Teena and Jeri's grandmother reveals that Tess Keene was one too, as a teenager.
- Bumbling Dad: Hugh Keene.
- The Ditz: Jeri Keene.
- Deadpan Snarker: Teena Keene.
- Drugs Are Bad: The story arc where Jeri's friends Kim and Tracey are caught smoking behind the football field scoreboard.
- Forbidden Fruit: Johnson Pinecone only becomes attractive to Jeri after he seemingly stops chasing her and starts - apparently - going out with the gorgeous Candy. In reality this is holding out Schmuck Bait to get Jeri chasing him.
- Forced into Their Sunday Best; Teena and Jeri, whose parents ensure they are regular churchgoers. Teena does not like dressing girly; Jeri does not like dressing conservatively. One strip has the girls lamenting the fact other people can get away with dressing extremely casually for church.
- Gasshole: Stick's burping skills have been mentioned on occasion, and demonstrated once or twice.
- Hopeless Suitor: Johnson Pinecone. Who despite being illustrated as the sort of alpha-male teen boy any teen girl would adore (and they do!) - depicted as intelligent, caring, gentle, very good-looking - still does not meet Jeri's impossibly high standards. She frequently rebuffs him, but it doesn't stop him trying.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: Jeri Keene
- Informed Judaism; Ambiguously Jewish: Teena's friend Sabra Klein (Stick) who is stated to be Jewish, observes festivals such as Hanukah and Pesach, but still loves a ham sandwich.
- Insane Troll Logic; Stick. Strange Minds Think Alike applies when Teena follows her friend's train of thought to its illogical destination.
- Overprotective Dad: Hugh Keene, who finds any sign of his daughters being interested in boys is hard to deal with.
- The Perfectionist: Jeri. Her boyfriend requirements set the bar impossibly high.
- Playing Sick: Teena tries this - once - to escape a school test she hasn't prepared for. Jeri does this sort of thing all the time, but Teena's conscience gets the better of her.
- Preacher's Kid: Johnson Pinecone.
- Romantic False Lead: Candy.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Teena is good-hearted, cheery and tomboyish. Jeri is cold-hearted, moody and girly-girly. Teena also still wants to be a good student in school, while Jeri doesn't care about that stuff anymore.
- Series Continuity Error: Teena's homeroom teacher is first introduced as Mrs Scott. She abruptly becomes Mrs Freeman with no explanation. In addition, Jeri appeals to the authority of an unseen person called Mrs Freeman to stop Johnson Pinecone throwing things at her (paper aeroplanes, and later the threat of ballistic food in the school canteen). But Jeri and Johnson attend a high school; Teena is in the top class in elementary. Her Mrs Freeman might have been a canteen supervisor and not a teacher?
- Stalker with a Crush: Johnson to Jeri, until he wises up. She misses him when he suddenly isn't there any more.
- Women Are Wiser: Tess Keene's handling of her daughters. But sometimes this misfires.
- Yiddish as a Second Language: here.