Favorite Fictional Characters, #248: Peter Fox
The star of Bill Amend's long-running comic strip Foxtrot has always been youngest son Jason, the uber-nerd and proto-genius, a sort of dorky mashup of Stewie Griffin, Calvin, and Wesley Crusher. And sure, he's funny, a precursor to the broad geek culture humor of Phineas and Ferb or Big Bang Theory. High-octane sister Paige has her moments too, as do rumpled father Roger and long-suffering mother Andy. For my part, I've always enjoyed older brother Peter.
With his hooded sweatshirt and ubiquitous ballcap, Peter Fox inhabits the sixteen year-old male with accuracy both poignant and hilarious. He's an eager, though terrible new operator of motor vehicles. He has a voracious appetite for pizza, burgers, all food, really, though he virtually never gains a pound. He's a fair-to-middling scholar, in sharp contrast to his sister's aptitude for the humanities and his brother's prodigious scientific prowess. Peter once reached the target word count for an English essay by including all the publishing information for Orwell's Animal Farm, and another time analyzed Romeo and Juliet mainly by complaining that Juliet could have been more attractive on the front cover of the book. Peter also loves sports, mostly football and baseball, though he is a woeful athlete. His name, for instance, is pre-printed on the list of cuts to the football team.
Like many teenage males, Peter is also enamored of video games, the guitar, and the female form, cherishing swimsuit models in particular. He's not totally socially inept, enjoying a long-term relationship with blind and blonde girlfriend Denise. Peter's not a loser. He's also not gifted or special, not a computer whiz or bitingly witty or a secret superhero. Fairly novel in the comic strip world, he's a pretty normal guy. And there's more than enough to laugh at in that, as so many of us know.