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Comic Strip / The Outrageous World of Alex and Charlie

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Clockwise from upper-left: Charlie, Lizzy, Chip, Garth, Princess, Alex, Tyler, Marvin, Dazelle. Centre: Mitsy-Sue.

A comic that has run in OWL since the early 2000s. It is written by Brian McLachlan (early strips by Emily Andras) and drawn by Claude Bordeleau.

The comic follows the everyday lives and antics of twins Alex and Charlie and their friends.

The main cast:

  • Alex: Charlie's twin sister.
  • Charlie: Alex's twin brother.
  • Tyler: Charlie's best friend.
  • Lizzy: Alex's best friend.
  • Garth: The tough guy.
  • Dazelle: The fashion queen.

Other recurring characters include Morgan, Alex and Charlie's older sister; and Chip, Charlie's Robot Buddy.

Starting with the March 2021 issue, the comic was renamed to The Spruce Street Squad.


Contains examples of:

  • The Ace: Lizzy excels at sports.
  • All Just a Dream: One mad libs strip shows Charlie and the others presenting reports on nonsensical animals such as 'cowls' (cow-owls) and unicorgis, which appear in the room out of nowhere as they talk. At the end it turns out Charlie was dreaming.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Some earlier strips show Charlie crushing on Lizzy and Garth crushing on Alex.
  • Art Evolution: The art style changes over the years.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Tyler's lunches are often a strange combination of foods, such as sardines and jelly beans.
  • Boys Like Creepy Critters: Charlie has a pet snake, Princess.
  • The Bully: Garth is the class bully who picks on other kids including Charlie and Tyler, though he seems to grow out of this as he becomes friends with the others.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Each main character is associated with a color which they tend to wear. Alex is pink, Charlie is red, Tyler is blue, Lizzy is purple, Garth is black, and Dazelle is teal.
  • Advertisement:
  • Cucumber Facial: In one strip, the gang gets back from touring an underwhelming haunted house and are startled by Morgan wearing a facial mask and cucumber slices; Tyler declares her the scariest thing they've seen all night.
  • Dresses the Same: In one strip, Alex is trying to find her first class of the school year and runs into Dazelle, who is fretting over someone else wearing the same outfit as her and has gone to the bathroom to change.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: In Dazelle's first appearance, she has Eyes Always Shut.
  • Eating Shoes: In one strip, after forgetting his lunch, Garth tries some pizza from Charlie's invention and compares it to eating an old leather boot. When Charlie questions how he could know that, Garth lifts his foot to show that he ate part of his boot the other day, when he also forgot his lunch.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Garth has dark hair and pale skin, matching the shirt he always wears, a black t-shirt with a skull on it.
  • Effortless Amazonian Lift: In one strip, the students are paired with each other for a three-legged race. Lizzy, carrying Tyler, outpaces all the others.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Quite a few strips end with everyone laughing at something said.
  • Exact Words: During a school competition, the teams face a brain teaser. The teacher asks who knows how to find the area of a circle. Tyler and Lizzy are stumped, then Tyler realizes: "Ooh! Wait! You know, Ms. Cruz! You know how to find the area of a circle." The teacher decides to award them the round, since he technically did answer the question correctly.
  • The Fashionista: Dazelle is very interested in fashion. The comic headers describe her as "the fashion queen".
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Garth's dog is tough-looking, stocky, wears a spiked collar, and is named Mitsy-Sue.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Charlie is always inventing improbably elaborate devices. Sometimes they even work as intended.
  • Gamebooks: One strip follows Dazelle as she chooses an activity for the day, branching into three paths. She can choose to paint with Alex, shoot hoops with Lizzy, or go to a concert with Garth. They all end up on the same last panel of her having had a good time.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: In one strip, Charlie snarfs down Tyler's science fair project — mistaking it for orange cotton candy — to try and impress a TV person with his speed-eating skills. Tyler tells him it was glow-in-the-dark mold, and Charlie goes green.
  • I Can't Feel My Legs!: After the gang has just gotten off of an intense amusement park ride, Dazelle, who is on the ground with dizziness and putting a hand against Lizzy for support, says she can't feel her legs. Lizzy informs her: "Those are my legs."
  • It Tastes Like Feet: In one strip, Garth tries some pizza made by Charlie's latest invention and compares it to eating an old leather boot. When Charlie questions how he could know that, Garth reveals that he ate part of his boot the other day after forgetting his lunch.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Garth loves horror media and monsters.
  • Not-So-Innocent Whistle: In one strip, Charlie is trying to impress Lizzy with skateboard moves and keeps calling out to her to look, until he's hit by a stray basketball. Cue innocent whistling from Tyler.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: In one strip, Charlie calls Alex his favourite twin after she scares away Garth trying to get him to hold Princess.
  • Ow, My Body Part!:
    • In one strip, Charlie is showing off a dancing machine he made, but it malfunctions and sends him into a nearby table. He complains: "Ow! My aching body!"
    • One strip has a running gag of Charlie exclaiming "Ow! My [body part]!" or similar as Garth, his partner for a school sporting competition, gets him banged up trying to win.
      [getting dragged along in a three-legged race] "Ow! My bones!"
      [getting jabbed by Garth's feet in a wheelbarrow race] "Ow! My face! My chest!"
      [struggling to hold up Garth on his shoulders] "Ow! The pain!"
  • Padding the Paper: In one strip, the gang is working on 1000-word book reports. Dazelle, who is doing hers on Jacob Two-Two, complains that she only has 532 words and already said it was "very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very good." Alex suggests that since Jacob Two-Two said everything twice, she could write the report twice. Dazelle appears to consider it. At the end of the strip, Alex reveals that she's drawn a picture for her report, since "a picture is worth a thousand words."
  • Phoneaholic Teenager: Played with in one strip. Alex is paired with Dazelle for a school competition, but Dazelle just spends each event yakking on her phone. It turns out she's purposefully not putting the effort in since they get a participation prize of popsicles anyway, whereas the top scorers get trophies but not popsicles.
  • Photo Booth Montage: One comic consists of the photo strips taken by the characters in a photo booth. Charlie annoys Garth by butting into his photos, and Tyler annoys Charlie by butting into his.
  • The Prankster: Tyler is known for pulling pranks.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: After Dazelle's first appearance, she joined the rest of the main cast in the introductory header starting with the next comic.
  • Room Escape Game: One comic has the gang playing a real life room escape game. However, they don't manage to figure out all the puzzles in time.
  • Running Gag: In one strip, the students are paired up for a school "Fun Day" competition. Charlie is paired with Garth and keeps going Ow, My Body Part! throughout the events as he suffers Amusing Injuries.
  • Second Place Is for Winners: One strip revolves around a school "Fun Day" competition. Alex is paired with Dazelle, who refuses to participate in any meaningful way. Alex begs her to do something, saying that they're going to lose, but Dazelle just says, "Trust me. Winning isn't everything." At the end it turns out everyone who didn't get a trophy gets a popsicle. Alex and Dazelle high-five and sit back to enjoy their popsicles, while second place trophy-winners Charlie and Garth are dissatisfied — Garth is upset over not getting first place, while Charlie complains that he should be getting a popsicle just to ice his bruises.
  • Signs of Disrepair: In one strip taking place on the first day of a school year, Tyler can be seen rearranging the letters on a board from "WELCOME STUDENTS!!" to "CLOWNS MEET! DUETS!" and "STEWED LOCUST MEN".
  • Starstruck Speechless: In one strip, Garth meets the author of one of his favorite horror series. When he gets to the front of the line, he can only gape at her, suddenly speechless with nerves. The others joke that they've finally found something that scares him.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: In one strip, the students are paired up for a school "Fun Day" competition. Alex is paired with Dazelle and her face falls as she sees her yakking away on her phone.
  • Valentine's Day Episode:
    • One strip has Alex and Dazelle trying to figure out who sent Alex an anonymous Valentine.
    • One strip has the gang making Valentine's decorations.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: In one strip, the gang is going through a treetop canopy. Dazelle is scared of heights and is extremely reluctant the whole way.
  • Writing Lines: In one strip, Garth is seen stuck in detention, writing on the blackboard: "I will not put hot dogs in the pencil sharpener (and then in people's ears)".