They all look the same to me

I read almost all of the comics in my local paper (Chicago Trib) daily. In the last year or so, they began running a strip named Watch Your Head.
It concerns a group students at a predominantly black college.

I’ve been reading this comic for several months, but have realized that I have a hard time telling the characters apart. One of the guys is fatter than the others, and I think one of the others tends to dress more “gangsta” than some of the others, but for the most part, they look pretty similar to me. Most of them are slender young blacks, casually dressed, with reasonably short hair. Heck, at times I’m not even clear whether they are male or female. Perhaps because I have trouble telling them apart, I don’t clearly distinguish between their personalities either.

I’m wondering if anyone else feels similarly about this - or other - strips.
And, if others do have trouble with the characters in this strip, why is that? I know it is drawn more “realistically,” unlike - say - Hagar the Horrible where you have drastically different body types and unchanging wardrobes. Or Broom-Hilda, where they are different species. But even in a strip like Brenda Starr I am able to distinguish the characters.

The only other strip I have had similar problems with is For Better or Worse. At times I have not immediately distinguished some of the younger women characters based on appearance alone, but have had to look to the situation to tell who they were. But such confusion occurred rather occasionally, instead of WYH, where I find myself not caring about the comic or any of the characters, because none of them have developed individual personalities in my mind.

For Better or Worse I don’t read consistently enough to be able to tell the characters apart. They seem to age at different speeds just to serve as situations and that bugs me.

The one you are citing offers enough differentiation in looks for me to follow, at least the few weeks’ worth I flipped through. Different hairstyles, facial features, etc.

Actually, For Better or for Worse is rather famous for the way it has so strictly adhered to the premise of having the characters live in “real-time.” In the twenty-seven years she’s been doing the strip, each character has aged exactly twenty-seven years. It’s a pretty remarkable strip in that regard.

The only times I really have a problem with this in comic strips is with characters who are closely related. In the afore-mentioned For Better or for Worse, for instance, I sometimes mistake Elizabeth (now an adult) for her mother. But this is an accurate reflection of the fact that close relatives often do look very similar.

When I was younger I always thought Arlo and Janis was about two women living together.

The daughter and mom (in flashback) in Count Your Sheep are very hard for me to tell apart.

Laurie (the mom, in flashback)
Katie (the daughter)
Ship (the quasi-imaginary friend, just because)

In Megatokyo, I still can’t tell some of the female characters apart. :confused: :frowning:

S’funny. In todays FBOFW strip I at first mistook Michael’s wife for his youngest sister.

I freely admit it could be me…the eyes aren’t as good as they once were.

In Peanuts, Linus and Rerun are somewhat hard to tell apart. Rerun wears overalls and sneakers (and doesn’t carry a blanket).

:smack: I guess I haven’t followed it closely enough! It seemed to me that Ariel grew up quick, but you’re right, she’s been around a while.

I usually don’t read FBOW because I can’t tell the characters apart.

gigi writes:

> I guess I haven’t followed it closely enough! It seemed to me that Ariel grew up
> quick, but you’re right, she’s been around a while.

Apparently you haven’t followed it closely enough to notice that her name is April. She was born April 1, 1991, incidentally, and so she is now 15. Checking the Wikipedia entry on this strip, I notice that it’s now scheduled to end sometime next year.

There is an old comic strip from “Calvin and Hobbes” (which I think it THE best cartoon strip ever) where Calvin and Hobbes are discussing the fact that Calvin says his grandfather says “Cartoons today are no good all they are is two faces talking with no action and background”

Of course for that particular strip Calvin and Hobbes were just two faces identical across all panels, but it does reflect the times. Comics are poorly drawn like old Clutch Cargo cartoons, to limit movement.