Cleats (comic strip)
|Website||Cleats on GoComics.com|
|Current status / schedule||Concluded, in reruns|
|Launch date||November 26, 2001|
|End date||October 31, 2010|
|Syndicate(s)||Universal Press Syndicate|
|Genre(s)||Humor, Family, sports|
Cleats is a comic strip by Bill Hinds. Cleats features a group of young kids, coaches, and their parents as they deal with the day-to-day trials and tribulations of being on a soccer team (Although there are storylines that have the kids engaged in physical sports other than soccer). Cleats was carried in over 75 newspapers The last iteration of Cleats had been run on 31 October 2010, in the form of a special Halloween 'exit' strip. Bill Hinds stated that he had ceased producing Cleats because the strip "had suffered in many newspaper comic polls over the past nine years."
In many newspapers, editors have chosen to run the earliest Cleats strips again, allowing readers to compare Hinds' initial style and characters against their more recent development. This has resulted in previous Sunday strips appearing on weekdays, but has opened to broad examination the processes by which a professional cartoonist evolves his work over years of production.
- Abby Harper, the main character of the strip. She is an 11 year old who is "competitive but not mean."
- Peri, Abby's female African-American best friend. Her full name has never been revealed, unlike the other characters.
- Jack Dooley, A ten year old boy who dreams of playing in the World Cup. He has short orange hair and in one strip he is revealed to be of English, German, French, Italian, and American descent.
- Armando "Mondo" Ruiz. Jack's Mexican-American best friend. He has a crush on Abby.
- Dee Radomski, a goalkeeper. He has a major crush on Edith.
- Edith Tippet, also a goalkeeper. A reluctant athlete who would rather read. She does not reciprocate Dee's crush, but enjoys his weirdness. Just before the strip ended, she accepted Dee's invitation to go to the movies. This was correctly perceived as a sign that the end was coming. She is similar to Marcie from Peanuts.
- Jerome, son of the assistant coach and grandson of a curmudgeon who makes sarcastic remarks about modern sports. Jerome and Dee are best friends and play baseball together as well as soccer. Dee and Jerome like to send each other text messages, even while they are sitting a couple of feet apart from each other. Just the thing to drive Grandpa nuts.
The final strip - Halloween 2010
The October 31, 2010, strip showed Peri, Mondo, Abby, Jack, Edith and Dee as ghosts playing soccer in the Comic Strip Graveyard. Abby has her giant ponytail back. Jack asks a trick-or-treater in a Spider-Man costume for help in getting back the soccer ball, which has fallen outside the cemetery wall.
Return, on reruns
GoComics began, on December 2010, to show reruns. These go back to November 26, 2001.
Fictional characters who have made special guest appearances in the strip include:
- Buzz Beamer
- Curious George
- Flash Gordon
- Frankenstein Monster
- Mr. Mum
- The Mummy
- Santa Claus
- Sherlock Holmes
- Tank McNamara
- the Blob
- Andrew McMeel Publishing. "Cleats Information Page". Retrieved 2007-09-12.
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