Anybody remember Turbo Teen, the 80’s cartoon where teenager Bret Matthews accidentally crashed into a science experiment that merge him and his car into one…thing? He would change back and forth between form based on the temperature (he gets hot, he becomes a car, he gets cold he turns back into a teen–do I have to explain the symbolism here, intended or otherwise?) so naturally the scientist responsible loads his car form with all sorts of gadgets and sends him out to fight crime. I miss the 80’s.
Well, drop the crimefighting and add in high school hijinks and you have tonight’s Showcase entry, Teen Boat.
No, tonight’s entry isn’t a cartoon. I haven’t done a webcomic in a while, and while only the first three issues qualify it still counts. So prepare to read…
Created by Dave Roman and John Green, Teen Boat is the story of a teenager named Teen Boat (which apparently is his real name and not a nickname, one of many things that really scare me about his mother). For some reason he can change into a
schooner small yacht. Sadly he doesn’t fight crime, although he does run across pirates in issue #2.
Teen Boat is in love with a foreign exchange student named Nina Pinta Santa Maria (subtle doesn’t exist here, does it) while ignoring his childhood best friend, Joey, your typical cute yet plain jane type. If you have seen any teen comedy ever with these type of characters, we can both guess what’s going to happen later on, but I’ve only read these three issues thus far. 🙂 Joey also maintains a secret and see if you can guess it. It isn’t revealed in these issues, but this is skirting my story interests enough that I have a strong theory on it.
Outside of why he turns into a boat (another thing that worries me about his mother), I’m blanking on the target age group. On the one hand, there’s nothing really offensive, at least in these three issues, and there’s a cartoonish look to it. I couldn’t see having any trouble letting kids read this if not for one panel in issue #1 where a guy remarks Teen Boat’s boat form resembles the boat he almost lost his virginity on and in issue #2 where a kid prepares himself to be sodomized by a pirate (thankfully that wasn’t what he had in mind). I can see some parents being concerned about this, even if I think it would actually go over their heads. (Then again, you know the kid’s going to ask his parents what a “virginity” is and being glad the man found it again. 🙂 )
Teen Boat is a fun little comic. You can currently get all 8 issues (only three of which are online to read) at Optical Sloth. I may have to look into it myself in the future. If the rest of the series is as good as the first three, they may have a winner here.