“Flexible morality”. I’m going to give that concept a good leaving alone. I’m a cartoonist. Great minds and brilliant writers take on that sort of subject, and they’re welcome to that thankless analysis. Over to you, Scott Adams!
No, the reason I like Strip No 2 and the week-long series it helps kick off is that I worried about making Teena into something of a Goody Two-Shoes (for youngsters, look up the children’s story by John Newbery published in 1765. For everyone else, roll your eyes at the virtue-signalers on Twitter and TikTok).
As you get to know her, you’ll find that Teena is just as flawed and occasionally devious as Jeri (and mostly everyone else: even Johnson, who is almost saintly, has his limits). Jeri’s very many good points (she is the loyal, loving older sibling I never had) reveal themselves – I hope not cloyingly. The one quality I didn’t imbue her with is remorse, mainly because I saw very little sincere contrition among my peers when I was in eighth grade. Genuine pangs of conscience are acquired through experience and maturity.
But there I go, talking about stuff better left to the giants of social commentary. Scott?