Let's see if I can do this in four hundred words. Well, I guess if you wanted a high concept, how about "Riverdale
. And Lisa's in it."
When Penny and Aggie works best is when T lets the characters breathe. Even some of the most dramatic and bizarre plots can bring out the most intelligent character moments. Characters have surprisingly depth and when the writing lets them shine, even the craziest of plots work. Even a plotline about a kidnapping and murder attempt ends up completely deconstructing the darkest depths of two cast members to the point where you realize there is no other way for this to have ended up given what we already know of these two people. The comic's best moments always come out of realizations like this. T clearly knows them inside and out and there's a reason even the one-shot characters have die-hard fans.
Now I come to the lows. There's issues with pacing all over - plots seem to start and stop, especially after the Popsicle War ends, and there's a great deal of time the actual main characters aren't even in the strip. The Popsicle War itself pulls into such bizarre heights as to defy how much a group of angry teenagers could actually get away with without a single adult intervening Then there is an issue with the titular ladies. Penny and Aggie are intended to have both good and bad points, but Penny often comes off so sympathetic that the flaws just round her out. Aggie spends the majority of the comic as a self-righteous angry character with no rationality to her emotions and a mean streak. Which is a shame because the times she works best are when she lays her soul bare like a human being and we can read into her insecurities and fears with honesty. There's also the sudden swerve where a great number of the main cast is either gay or bi, and it even plays out "the coming out story" more than once, which makes it feel old. Yet even that doesn't fall flat all the time - Sara's journey to find herself can honestly be related to by anyone regardless of sexuality. Frankly, if there were a comic just
about Sara, I'd read it faithfully.
So should you read it? Absolutely. Honestly, with the end written and time to reflect, Penny and Aggie is a quintessential comic where frankly the highs outshine the lowest lows.