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Contest Jitters is a webcomic by David C. Matthews (creator of Tetsuko). It follows Janet Steele, a budding female bodybuilder as she prepares for (and takes part in) a major competition. It is not published on a regular schedule, but “whenever a page is finished” (to quote the creator).

The comic can be read here.


The comic contains examples of:

  • The Ace: Janet. As her trainer noted, she won her first bodybuilding competition after seven months of weight training.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Janet is almost unnaturally buff for a natural bodybuilder. Downplayed in the sense that her trainer did comment that she had the genes for it. It was also shown that she works very hard at weights. Note 
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    • Played straighter with regards to her Boobs of Steel. It is very hard to get her muscle definition and boob size at the same time in Real Life without implants.Note 
  • Amazonian Beauty: It's a comic about a competitive female bodybuilder, so naturally there are many shots of Janet and other muscular women in bikinis. Her boyfriend Jerry thinks she looks gross, least in the present story, but is portrayed negatively as he decides to cheat on her.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Holly. She acts friendly towards Janet, but Holly's friend Amanda remembers how Holly sabotaged a fellow competitor in a previous competition. Holly also identifies herself as Amanda while misleading Janet into thinking that she had time to retrieve items she needs for the competition.
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  • Chekhov's Skill: Janet's background in gymnastics will prove useful in Satin Steele.
  • Genre Shift: Compared to Janet's future adventures in Satin Steele, her beginnings are relatively mundane.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Janet has long, blond hair, and a sweet personality.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Rachael's rhetorical question: "What makes them think any man would want them like that?" Jerry goes on to explain that he thought Janet was getting too buff. Earlier on, Jerry was thinking that Janet's bodybuilding was "ruining her body". If she wasn't natural, she might well have been (See the notes under Artistic License Biology above).
  • Naïve Newcomer: Janet, to the world of bodybuilding. Justified, as she is taking part in her second competition.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Janet's boyfriend, Jerry. He's initially happy when Janet was toned, but has second thoughts once Janet got bigger.
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  • Prequel: This story chronicles the early amateur bodybuilding career of Satin Steele, who in her previously published adventures had already attained professional status. (At this point, Janet had not yet adopted the stage name "Satin".)
  • Shown Their Work: David paints a fairly realistic picture of what it means to be a female bodybuilder: the training and techniques involved, and issues faced (travelling long distances for competitions, the significant other who doesn't understand their passion).
    • The issue that is left unmentioned so far are Janet's source of income Note 
  • Stepford Smiler: Jerry clearly has issues with Janet's bodybuilding, but he hides them well enough for Janet to be oblivious to them.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Jerry, when he got to know Rachael, a more conventional-looking beauty.
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