July 13th, 2017
This week, we’re reading Intelligent Life, by David Reddick!
David, a lifelong, self-proclaimed geek of the highest order, was already a successful cartoonist *and* professional nerd when he signed on with King Features to create Intelligent Life– a comic strip that is a warm, affectionate look at geek life written by someone who understands what it means to be a nerd and to wear that badge with pride.
Intelligent Life focuses on four main characters: Skip, an average sort of guy who loves comic books and pop culture, is most often the protagonist of the strip, but everyone gets their fair share of the spotlight, particularly Gwen– the object of Skip’s biggest and most enduring crush (except for maybe Kate Mulgrew and Gillian Anderson)– a confident, funny feminist blogger and cosplayer who can be brutally honest about what it’s like to be a Black girl nerd.
They share the stage with Skip’s best friend, Mike, who is fantatical about all things geekdom, and much more fits the “stereotype” of the socially-awkward nerd– although, as we get to know him, we see that he’s a loyal, affectionate, and supportive friend, if he’s sometimes a bit out there.
And then, finally, there’s Barry, who is Skip’s and Gwen’s coworker and sometimes thorn in their side. Barry is the big, conventionally-attractive Dude-With-A-Capital-D in the office, who likes All Things Manly, from beer to sports and back again, and who doesn’t quite “get” Skip or Gwen. But behind the macho posturing, he usually means well.
Lately, we’ve gotten the answer to a super-suspenseful mystery that has been building up in the comic– who is Floyd, the guy Gwen men on her internet dating site?
It’s a perfect time to catch up with the strip– or read it from the beginning! Intelligent Life is a fun read, with punchy and, more importantly, smart humor, chock full of shout outs and obscure pop culture references (our favorite), but it also has a whole lot of heart, and lovable characters whom we always want to root for.
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