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Comic Book / Amelia Rules!

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Comic book series created in 2001 by Jimmy Gownley. Ostensibly for teenagers, but enjoyable for adults.

Consists of seven collected volumes: The Whole World's Crazy, What Makes You Happy, Superheroes, When the Past Is a Present, The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular, True Things (Adults Don't Want Kids to Know) and The Meaning of Life ... and Other Stuff. The 8th (and final) collected volume, Her Permanent Record was released in 2012. One of the stories from The Whole World's Crazy has been released separately (A Very Ninja Christmas) together with a separate story of how Amelia met her friends.

Fourth-grader Amelia Louise McBride moves with her newly divorced mom from New York to live with her aunt in Connerton, Pennsylvania. She quickly becomes friends with Reggie Grabinsky and the enigmatic Pajamaman (who moonlight as superheroes Captain Amazing and Kid Lightning), and just as quickly becomes Vitriolic Best Buds with their other pal, loudmouthed Rhonda Bleenie.

The four of them form GASP, the Gathering of Awesome Super-Pals, to defend the neighborhood from evil. Amelia's life in her new neighborhood is fraught with obstacles hilarious and serious, from regular wars with the evil Ninjas from across town to homesickness for New York City and her father.

Provides Examples Of:

  • The Alleged Car: The spectacular failure that is the AmazingMobile.
  • Alpha Bitch: Britney. She has a Girl Posse in the form of Christina and Jessica, who look exactly like her.
  • And the Adventure Continues: "And I'm just getting started." May count as a Sequel Hook if the author decides to restart the series.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Insignificant."
    • Later in the series, "You can because you have to."
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • The Legion of Steves is responsible for the Hindenburg, Three-Mile-Island and Dr. Phil.
      Captain Amazing: How... how evil!
    • Also Kyle's observation after seeing Amelia's parents together:
      Kyle: If my parents ever got together their mere proximity to each other would create a burst of antimatter that would DESTROY LIFE ON EARTH! Plus they'd probably argue a lot.
  • Art Evolution: Starting around Superheroes.
  • Art Shift: Anything involving Tanner's or Amelia's mom's childhood is told in the form of comic strip "Li'l Tanner", drawn in the style of Peanuts. Anything after their childhood but before Amelia is drawn as "Tannerbury Tales", in the style of Doonesbury. One flashback strip actually mirrors Dilbert.
  • Better as Friends: Amelia and Kyle.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Violet.
  • Big Applesauce: Amelia hails from New York City and occasionally returns to visit her father.
  • Birds of a Feather: Kyle and Amelia both have Jerkass tendencies, but are good kids at heart, and both have divorced parents.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Superheroes. Trishia lives, but Amelia doesn't find out until years later- and she never sees Trish again.
    • Trisha reappears in a Dream Sequence in the climax of Her Permanent Record but Amelia doesn't even recognize her.
  • Breather Volume: Most of The Meaning of Life...And Other Stuff
  • Broken Pedestal: Reggie's fantasies of Tanner shatter apart when she confesses she doesn't even know how to drive.
  • The Cape: Captain Amazing tries to be this.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The comic very often switches between nostalgic childhood hijinks to serious drama about Real Life and growing up.
  • Chest Insignia: All the members of GASP have this, usually an initial from or symbol directly relating to their superhero name.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: A minor character known as "Earth Dog".
  • City Mouse: New York City girl Amelia is suddenly deposited in the suburbs after her parents split up. She even complains that the local nature trail is "too much green" for her.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Elderly babysitter Kate Kadingo.
    • And, to a somewhat lesser extent, Reggie.
  • Cute and Psycho: Mary Ultra Violet is a slightly less homicidal version of this.
  • Darker and Edgier: Superheroes. This volume begins to let the series drift away from ordinary childhood issues, containing more mature situations like Amelia finding out that Trishia has a heart condition called a ventricular septal defect, and Kyle daring Amelia to ride her bike through the Greenbelt at night to retrieve a comic book. Amelia crashes and ends up at the hospital.
  • Deliberately Cute Child: Rhonda's little pageant-kid sister Reenie. Of course she's a hellion underneath.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: One of the kids in the testimonials video in Her Permanent Record is the main character from Jimmy Gownley's new webcomic Gracieland.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The earlier volumes feel very different than the later ones.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Amelia is shocked when her mother's date calls her "Mary"; she's used to her mother being just "Mom".
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Rhonda's new look at the end of The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular is the same style she's seen wearing in the Flash Forward at the end of Superheroes — an outward sign of her newfound maturity and confidence in herself.
  • Expressive Shirt: Pajamaman. His chest is always displaying punctuation marks and random symbols to show his thoughts.
  • From New York to Nowhere
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: Amelia serves as our narrator and does so often by directly addressing us the readers.
  • He's Not My Boyfriend:
    • Heading to GASP's first meeting, Amelia repeatedly and angrily denies that she likes Reggie, to the point of preemptively telling us to shut up.
    • In Superheroes, Rhonda explains her attraction to Reggie, only to quickly divert attention to Amelia by claiming she also likes Reggie when he shows up in full Captain Amazing garb and screaming about fighting ninjas.
  • He Who Must Not Be Heard: Pajamaman never speaks. Never.
  • Jerkass: Kyle. Especially during the game of Truth or Dare in Superheroes.
  • Limited Wardrobe: As in Peanuts, everyone pretty much wears the same thing every day, though it changes a bit in later volumes.
  • Meaningful Background Event: So subtle you'll miss it: In a flash forward to high school, we see an over-the-shoulder shot of Rhonda from behind as she chats with Amelia. The jacket she's wearing has an athlete's number on the back topped with the letters "G-R-A-B-I..."
  • Military Brat: Ninja Joan, whose father is deployed to Iraq. He returns in The Meaning of Life ... and Other Stuff
  • Mr. Imagination: Reggie. And how!
  • Official Couple: The ending to Superheroes implies that Reggie and Rhonda will hook up in the near future.
  • Oh, Crap!: Frequently, such as when Amelia realize that Reggie and Rhonda are the school nerds, making her a nerd-by-association. And when she finds out she and her mom was moving significantly farther away.
  • Older Than They Look: Aunt Tanner. It's very easy for new readers to mistake her for a teenager or woman in her early 20's.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Come on, his parents didn't really name him Pajamaman. Word of God even confirmed he has a real name, and there are hints scattered throughout the books.
  • Sanity Slippage: Happens to Britney in Her Permanent Record. By the time of her final appearance, she's completely incorherent.
  • Ship Tease: Between Pajamaman and Ninja Joan, surprisingly enough.
    • There's also Reggie and Rhonda.
    • Amelia and Ninja Kyle.
  • Shout-Out: So, so many.
  • Show Within a Show: Softee Chicken and Intergalactic Ninja Fight Squadron.
  • Shrinking Violet: Mary Violet... at least until she becomes Ultra Violet.
  • Slice of Life
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The comic occasionally tips over to the cynical side, but for the most part is pretty idealistic.
  • Softer and Slower Cover: Years ago, Tanner wrote and produced a very vitriolic song about a man she had broken up with at the time. After gossip about this song spread throughout town, Tanner finally opened up about it by singing it in front of a crowd, albeit more gentle and softer than before. While the crowd boos her, Amelia and her mom are touched.
  • Smitten Elementary School Girl: Rhonda simply adores Reggie. She reveals her reason in Superheroes.
  • Spin the Bottle: Amelia gets dragged into a game and winds up having to kiss Kyle. She never lives it down.
  • Super Hero Origin: Discussed by Reggie in The Whole World's Crazy.
  • Time Skip: Her Permanent Record seems to take place after a small one, as Amelia (and most of the other girls) seems to have hit puberty.
  • True Companions: The four members of GASP.
  • Underwear of Power: Captain Amazing and Kid Lightning literally wear their underpants on the outside of their costumes.
  • Unperson: Amelia tells the reader of a future where an adult version of her searches for any signs of Reggie and finds no results.
  • Unrequited Love: Reggie admits during a game of Spin the Bottle that he has no romantic feelings for Rhonda whatsoever. Rhonda is quietly devastated.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Amelia and Rhonda. Reggie and Kyle, though sworn enemies, have this subtext.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Subverted. Yeah, the main characters speak in Little Professor Dialog and spend much more time thinking about romance than most Real Life 11-year-olds, but traces of little kid mentality are still undeniably there.
  • Worth It: This exchange from Her Permanent Record, after Principal Wright reprimands Amelia and Rhonda regarding Reggie's "last stand."
    Rhonda: Well, there you go! Friends, success, popularity, and now we've lost it!
    Amelia: *sigh* Yep.
    Rhonda: Well? Was it worth it?
    Amelia: Totally.
    Rhonda: You got that right, sister.