Luann (comic strip)
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The main cast of Luann, as depicted in a Christmas (December 25, 2001) comic strip (from left to right): Tiffany Farrell, Aaron Hill, Gunther Berger, Delta James, Bernice Halper, Luann DeGroot, Nancy DeGroot, Frank DeGroot, Brad DeGroot, Knute, Crystal, and Puddles.
|Author(s)||Greg Evans and Karen Evans|
|Current status / schedule||Running|
|Launch date||March 17, 1985|
Luann is a syndicated newspaper comic strip launched by North America Syndicate on March 17, 1985. Luann is written and drawn by Greg Evans, who won the 2003 Reuben Award as Cartoonist of the Year. The strip is currently syndicated by Universal Uclick. In 2012 Greg Evans' daughter Karen began co-authoring the strip.
The strip takes place in an unnamed suburban setting and is mostly about young adult Luann DeGroot, dealing with school, her love interests, family and friends. Some storylines center on other characters, including her older brother Brad.
Characters and story
- Luann C. DeGroot
- The main character. Attended Pitts Junior-Senior High School until her graduation in 2014. Luann often suffers from a poor self-assessment of her attractiveness and popularity (especially her large feet). She can also be shallow, self-centered, and very immature. Having starred in West Side Story and becoming a runner-up in a beauty pageant, Luann plans on becoming an entertainer. Also portrayed as one of the very few left-handed characters in comics. Now attends the community college where she takes introductory art classes.
- First appearance: March 17, 1985
- Bernice Halper
- One of Luann's best friends. Bernice is laid-back and observant, but also a pessimist, finding everything in life impossible (except for getting straight A's, according to Luann). In January 2007, Bernice learned she had an older brother, whom her parents placed for adoption (as they felt they were too young to have a child), Army Sgt. Ben York, who was deployed in Iraq. Bernice initially planned to become a veterinarian but spent her senior year as an intern guidance counselor. As of 2014, she began college at Moony Uni, moved into the dorm, and became friends with her roomie, Dez. In 2015, she became an R.A. in her dorm.
- First appearance: March 18, 1985
- Delta James
- One of Luann's best friends. Delta is a go-getter, shown by how she attends dozens of clubs/activities every school year and takes part in volunteering. While Bernice is intellectually wise, Delta is the most politically intelligent, wanting to go into politics for a career. In 1998, Delta was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. The following year, Delta received treatment and the cancer went into remission. In January 2009, her high school class began plans to go to Washington, DC, but when the fund was too short, Delta was unfortunately cut out; in an effort for her to go, Luann and Bernice enacted a donation for her, which was achieved (with additional help from Tiffany Farrell (momentarily) and Elwood Druit) and Delta was able to go on the trip. In the following month, while on a class tour of Washington, DC, Delta ran into the newly inaugurated President Barack Obama while looking for a restroom in the White House, and "her White House contact" has become a running joke to the others. Delta plans to become a lawyer. Delta is now attending Howard University in Washington, DC. She has been rarely seen since 2014.
- First appearance: April 1, 1985.
- Nancy and Frank DeGroot
- Luann's parents. Nancy is portrayed as the heart of the family, while Frank provides for it. Frank is usually clueless about what goes on, while Nancy is more aware of everything. A running gag in the strip is that no matter how many times Nancy tells her to, Luann never cleans her room. Perhaps due to mid-life crises, they have used TJ's money and their own retirement funds to buy a rundown warehouse, in hopes of turning it into a Center for the Arts. Unfortunately, neither Frank nor Nancy seems to know much about building rehabilitation.
- Brad DeGroot
- Luann's older brother. Luann usually shows a snarky sibling attitude toward Brad (and vice versa). He used to work at Weenie World, a hot dog/hamburger restaurant similar to Wienerschnitzel. However, following 9/11, Brad was inspired to become a firefighter. Brad was previously shown to be a couch potato, but to become a firefighter, Brad worked out to pass his fitness exams, and has since been drawn with a more fit physique and well defined jawline. Brad moved into a rental home owned by his parents that he shares with his best friend, T.J., which was fire damaged by T.J., neglecting a frying pan on the stove, and was later remodeled. While not working as a firefighter, Brad is shown fixing his dilapidated car. When he became a firefighter, Brad's storylines shared equal, if not more, time than Luann's storylines.
- In June 2011, due to budget cuts, Brad was laid off, but when another firefighter left, he was rehired in November. On March 31, 2012, Brad proposed to Toni Daytona (thanks to some persuasion from T.J.), but they agreed to postpone the topic. One year later, on April 2, 2013, Toni proposed to Brad and he tearfully accepted.
- Aaron Hill
- The boy of both Luann's and Tiffany's dreams. He has been seen to be vain, therefore a natural match with Tiffany (whom he has dated) yet is sometimes considerate of others' feelings. To Luann, he is cute and lovable, but mixed up, having once been in love with Diane, who was a few years too old for him. He now lives in Hawaii. In August 2005, Luann won a free trip to Hawaii and visited Aaron, but was confronted about his new girlfriend, Lian. He later set up his own MySpace page, and had sent a message to Luann in October 2006 talking about what he'd done in Hawaii, including breaking up with Lian, sparking another love craze for Aaron in Luann. That lasted for a few weeks, but as of 2015, he has not been mentioned or seen since.
- First mentioned: March 23, 1985.
- Gunther Berger
- Pitts High School's smartest student with poor personal fashion sense and gentlemanly qualities. To Luann, he was sweet and sincere, but not her romantic ideal. Gunther was constantly jealous of Luann's crushes on other guys, since she's the one girl he'd loved his entire life. While Luann was not interested in him herself, she still became jealous when Gunther displayed interest in other girls. He had an on-again-off-again romantic interest for Luann at times and for Bernice at others, seeing how he had more in common with her. He has worn contact lenses although he's allergic to them. He joined Luann in volunteering to read to children at the local library, and showed an unexpected skill with sewing, making elaborate costumes based on the story Luann planned to read. Gunther lived with his mother. He has a good deal of insecurity about his father deserting the family when Gunther was young, and worried that it was because of him. Luann expressed ambivalence about Gunther, but to be a caring and genuine friend, volunteered to help him maintain his home when his mother broke her leg.
- In strips from late 2012-2014, he and Rosa Aragones had shown mutual feelings for each other. However, Gunther appeared nervous with Rosa, and was often tongue tied when approached by her. Luann was supportive of Gunther, and offered Gunther advice on how to win Rosa's heart. After graduation, he went with Rosa to Peru, but after some time became disillusioned; with Rosa giving him supporting advice to make his own decisions, Gunther returned home to attend college (having matured somewhat in the process). After becoming study buddies with Tiffany, Gunther became rather conflicted about their status, with possible hints that Tiffany is now attracted to him.
- First mentioned: March 23, 1985
- First appearance: November 29, 1987.
- A Pitts High School senior who moved with his family from Australia. His father is a chemist attending a US study program. Quill's arrival fanned Luann's ongoing rivalry with Tiffany: Tiffany was openly attracted to Quill, while Quill did not return the attention and showed more interest in Luann due to their shared interests, specifically music, and the fact that she's smarter than Tiffany. They had their first kiss at a New Year's Eve Party welcoming in 2011. Luann and Quill confessed a mutual attraction but decided not to pursue a relationship, since Quill would have to return to Australia. Despite this plan, they soon considered ways to break the non-dating agreement. They eventually kissed romantically in Luann's room – when her parents weren't home – but immediately afterwards Quill received a call from his father, informing him that the family was moving back to Australia that week. In 2013, he maintained a long distance relationship with Luann. In 2014, he returned to the States and graduated with Luann's class. He went on to attend college and became roommates with Gunther after he returned from Peru. Like Luann, Quill is left-handed.
- First appearance: June 22, 2009
- Toni Louise Daytona
- Brad's fiancée and fellow firefighter. She joined Brad in all of the Pre-Fire Academy courses, including the CPR and first aid, EMT, and paramedic classes, until Brad failed the physical exam the first time, and had to go onto the next one alone. Her boyfriend, Dirk, had grown jealous of Brad and Toni's friendship and became emotionally abusive to Toni and physically violent with Brad, which led to her eventually dumping Dirk. After he was released from jail, they began socializing again, but after Brad had Dirk arrested for violating his restraining order too many times, Toni blamed Brad and they stopped speaking for months. However, after Brad moved into his rental home, Toni began to visit Brad on occasion. Their relationship moved slowly forward, including dates, and they first kissed on April 2, 2008.
- In a mid-2009 storyline, Toni, while putting out a fire at a residential house, was climbing a ladder that was wet from the fire hoses, slipped, fell and was caught by Brad. In so doing, Brad seriously injured himself and was hospitalized. As a thanks, Toni offered to stay by his side and look after him as much as needed until he recovered. During his recovery period, Toni professed her love for Brad. In a recent 2010 holiday strip, Toni and Brad went shopping, during which she had him hold her purse while she bought lingerie, even asking his favorite color (blue), which showed that their relationship was heading to the next level.
- In June 2010, it was established that her parents died in a car crash, and she and her brother were brought up by their aunt and uncle. Neither of the Daytona children took their parents' death well; her brother Jonah's girlfriend became pregnant with his daughter, Shannon, and took off soon after her birth. Toni, Jonah, and Shannon came to Pitts about 4 years ago.
- On March 31, 2012, Brad proposed to Toni. On April 2, 2013, Toni proposed to Brad. Unlike Brad's previous proposal, this appeared to be a serious proposal. Brad accepted the next day.
- First Appearance: January 19, 2002
- Brad's first love interest. Brad was smitten by her, very confused by her motives and character, and often tried to impress her with shallow gimmicks, but to no avail. A running gag in the strip was that almost every time she greeted Brad, when he was working on his car, she startled him and caused him to hit his head on the hood above him. She and Aaron Hill had a brief relationship, then realized they were too different and too far apart in age. They ended it with a kiss, which was seen by an outraged Brad and Luann. Before she left town, Diane discovered that she and Brad had very little in common, especially when it comes to Brad's passion for cars.
- First mentioned: July 10, 1989
- First appearance: July 30, 1989
- Last appearance: February 13, 1999
- Miguel Vargas
- Foreign exchange student from Spain. When he was introduced, a thief tried to steal Delta's purse, but Miguel tripped him as he attempted to escape, immediately winning her affections. When he began his first day at school, Luann, Delta, and Tiffany all competed for Miguel. Although Miguel loved all three, he liked Luann the most, finding her "plain, ordinary" personality much more interesting. When Delta contracted cancer, Miguel was attentively by her side during her hospital stay, which prompted Luann's jealousy. Luann found Miguel to be very handsome, but too aggressive, which led to on-and-off romantic sparring between the pair. In a sequence beginning on November 29, 1999, Miguel drove Luann to a secluded parking spot for their date. Luann's phone rang and she faked a family emergency to get out of the situation. He once saved Tiffany's life by performing CPR after she almost drowned in the pool. She showered him with attention, then used him to steal Gunther's test paper so she could copy the answers. She got caught and charmed Miguel into taking the blame, claiming he stole it on his own to give to her. Rather than inform on her, Miguel took the blame and chose to return to Spain.
- First appearance: August 25, 1998
- Last appearance: March 14, 2001
- Lifeguard at the Pitts Public Pool. He once saved both Luann and Tiffany from drowning in the pool, after a panicking Tiffany almost drowned Luann, who attempted to rescue her. Although he was 21, Stuart became Luann's new romantic obsession, even to the point of her talking to her parents about dating an older man. When she took him to dinner to thank him for saving her life, she truly believed Stuart was the one for her, until Stuart mentioned his wife, Stacey. This crushed Luann's hopes, and she left him sitting at the restaurant.
- First Appearance: July 4, 2000
- Last appearance: June 16, 2001
- Former boyfriend of Bernice and owner of Monroe. Zane became paralyzed from the waist down when he was driving with his parents to a college he was going to attend. A truck collided with their car head on: his parents were killed instantly, Zane was thrown from the car, breaking his spine and legs. It took him a year to fully rehabilitate. He was once saved by Brad in a fire at Borderline Books, where he and Bernice worked. Bernice was wildly in love with him and extremely jealous of any rival's attentions, such as Crystal or Ann Eiffel, their mutual boss, to the point of fantasizing leaving school to marry him. After surviving two near-death experiences, Zane realized he needed to deal with neglected past issues, including his relationship with his sister. Bernice respected his decision, yet a fear of losing him prompted her to propose marriage; Zane told her to wait until they were older. Crystal was attracted to Zane when she introduced him to her wheelchair-bound little brother, Josh . In spite of Bernice's extreme jealousy, Zane seemed to only consider Crystal as a friend.
- First Appearance: June 27, 2001
- Elwood Druit
- The "Elvis Jr." of Pitts High School, and a multi-millionaire due to his Eyez of Zeye video game franchise. He is half Luann's height, and very arrogant and blunt. He once accepted Luann's offer to take him to the Spring 2005 Dance, then cancelled because he 'was asked by someone better'. When he changed his mind and went back to Luann to accept her original offer, she turned him down. He dated Tiffany for a time, her interest in him is presumably because he is a multi-millionaire. In January 2009, he offered to pay for Delta's ticket for the class trip to Washington D.C., in exchange for Luann's going on a date with him. Luann reluctantly agreed, they went to a fancy restaurant which he claimed he owned. He has made subsequent passes at Luann, visiting her at the library where she works. He has also donated money to keep the library going, which has prompted Gunther's jealousy. Bernice believes him to be a fraud, since she can find no mention of him or his multi-millionaire status on the internet. In September 2009, Elwood proposed to Luann; she eventually returned the ring, but not before it was revealed to be cubic zirconia worth $49. Elwood claimed it was a $15,000 ring which he got from a friend who "deals in jewelry", and that he would get his money back.
- First Appearance: March 25, 2005
- Ben York
- Bernice's older brother, who appeared in the strip as an army sergeant on leave from duty from the Middle East. Bernice's parents had him in college before they married and decided to give him up for adoption. His adoptive family named him Ben York. He briefly returned to his birth family after searching for them on his computer. During the month of his first appearance, the DeGroot and Halper siblings went bowling together. While Brad initially felt jealous and insecure about Ben in comparison to his being a soldier, he soon felt better after Ben mentioned that he tried to become a firefighter, but washed out after one week of academy training, and that he had nothing but respect for firefighters and considered them to be real heroes. Luann, naturally, developed a crush on Ben. Although after finding out from with Bernice that Ben was supposedly not interested in a girlfriend, Luann became more attracted to him after he e-mailed Bernice and asked for Luann's email. Luann, full of romantic glee, exchanged twelve emails with Ben in just three days, annoying Bernice to the point that she demanded that their contact cease.
- While on a mission in Iraq. Ben suffered a broken leg, allowing him to discontinue his service in the army and return home. Though Luann assured Bernice that she no longer saw Ben as a potential romance, she rekindled her interest by making a Valentine's Day dinner for Ben. Bernice showed no objection to Luann's plan, but this was due to the fact that she knew Ben would be out of town the night Luann was planning dinner. Luann was disappointed, and somewhat annoyed at Bernice for not telling her in advance.
- First Appearance: January 22, 2007
- Aaron Hill's girlfriend from Texas. She is deaf, but learned lip reading to communicate with people. When Aaron first announced to Luann about his relationship with Claudia, Luann accused him of making her up just to make her jealous, until he introduced Claudia to her while her mother was on a business trip. While she remained friends with Luann, she grew fed up with Aaron's flirting with Tiffany, seeing his actions as untrustworthy. After a year-long relationship, she left Aaron and never returned.
- First Appearance: March 24, 2001
- Last appearance: December 11, 2001
Other friends, relatives and neighbors
- The upbeat, skateboarding, class clown and Gunther's best friend. Knute and Gunther often team up to create a working magic show, but often with unsuccessful results. He and Crystal have shared feelings for each other but never showed much more than that, finding they are the exact opposite of each other in every way. However, in early February 2011, they did go on a date to a Laurel and Hardy film festival.
- First appearance: September 15, 1986.
- Brad's best friend, who comes up with outrageous schemes, and when they fail, manages to leave Brad holding the bag. However, to everyone's surprise, he is a very gifted gourmet chef, and he isn't too bad at building either. T.J. has disclosed that his mother is deceased, his father was in prison for three years, then set up a bank account for T.J. before leaving the country to Argentina. Although he and Brad have moved back into the rental home since it has been repaired, he has formed bonds with the DeGroot family.
- First mentioned: September 20, 1993
- First Appearance: September 27, 1993
- Rosa Aragones
- A relatively new girl at Pitts High School when she was first shown. She was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Italy, France, and Mexico, and can speak English as well as French, Italian, and Spanish, leading Luann to wonder why she's in school. Later that year, she was assisted with her books by Gunther, which sparked jealousy in Luann, which quickly stopped, on account of Gunther helping her only because she hurt her arm carrying her sister into her wheelchair. She appeared again in the Pageant storyline of March/April 2011. More recently, she and Gunther have grown closer, and their impending relationship is encouraged by Luann as she tries to decide how to proceed in her relationship with Quill. While Rosa shows and confesses attraction towards him, Gunther tends to be awkward and bumbling around her, wanting to please her. They eventually began dating, and upon graduating from high school, they journeyed to Peru to assist at her uncle's clinic. However, Gunther became disillusioned by his choice to going to Peru, so Rosa (who decided to remain in Peru) gave him some encouraging words and he decided to go back to the States.
- First Appearance: September 5, 2006
- Mrs. Horner
- An elderly woman whom Luann visits from time to time and who frequently gives her candid advice. In March 2006 she moved out of her old home and into a new retirement center, but needed the help of Luann, who asked Bernice, Brad, and Toni to help her move out. Dirk followed Toni to the home, and to impress and be near Toni, helped the moving job finish faster; however, when he picked up Mrs. Horner's clock, an envelope full of money fell out, which Dirk pocketed, intending to steal it. He was caught by Brad, he claimed it to be his, but when Brad swiped it at the perfect time to return to Mrs. Horner, Dirk turned his story around and claimed to have found the envelope in the clock and intended to return it to her. He would have been kicked out had Mrs. Horner not believed his lie. She later sold her old home to Nancy and Frank, who began renting to Brad.
- First Appearance: July 16, 2001
- Eddie Munter
- The new manager of Borderline Books, who replaced Ann Eiffel after she was unwillingly transferred. While Munter is normally very humorous and goodhearted, often ending his comments or jokes with "Kidding!", he knows when to be tough and decisive with his employees, earning the respect of Bernice and Zane shortly after he took over.
- First Appearance: July 9, 2002
- Shannon Daytona (Lewis?)
- Toni's bratty, blunt and disrespectful five-year-old niece. Her mother left soon after her birth, leaving her with her father, Jonah Daytona. Possibly due to her father ignoring his responsibilities and leaving her with Toni a great deal of the time, Shannon gets what she wants through demanding, whining or throwing temper tantrums. Toni's continuous babysitting has unfortunately reduced the amount of time Brad and Toni have to see each other. Shannon seems to have a strong liking for Brad, whom she's renamed "Bwad", although the feeling is not exactly mutual. Shannon first appeared in 1996, when Luann was asked to sit for the 3-year old in addition to her cousin, Lindy Lewis, but quit due to Shannon's bad behavior. She later reappeared in the strip as Toni's 5-year old cousin in 2008, but in June 2010 it was established that she was actually Toni's niece. While Greg Evans doesn't explicitly state that the 1996 Shannon and the 2008 Shannon are one and the same character, he notes in his blog that while Shannon Daytona is not Shannon Lewis, Luann did indeed babysit her, and that they both recognized each other. As the earlier Shannon's last name was never disclosed, and since Jonah Daytona was never married to Shannon's mother, this may imply that she was never Shannon Lewis in the first place. Toni once referred to Shannon as "Mini Eiffel" due to her similar appearance and personality.
- First Appearance: January 8, 1996
- Jonah Daytona
- Toni's brother and Shannon's father. He first appeared alongside Toni at a car show where Brad had initially mistaken him for Toni's boyfriend. Seen as flaky and irresponsible by Toni and Brad, his desired acting career causes him to constantly leave Shannon with his sister. This tends to get in the way of both her job and her relationship with her boyfriend, Brad, but lately they welcome and often volunteer to take care of Shannon (partly due to their low opinion of Jonah's parenting.) He had a role in the play "Les Miserables", and hoped this would lead to his becoming rich and famous, but it did not, and he continues to seek work. Judging from the collective opinion of Brad, Toni, Quill, and Luann, his acting skill at the time left much to be desired..
- Oxford, called Ox for short, is a big student who appeared when Leslie was about to injure Gunther. He intervenes the scuffle by proclaiming to injure Leslie if he injured Gunther, causing Leslie to leave. Gunther later congratulates him for standing up for his safety; it is revealed that Ox doesn't like bullying or bullies in general and that some people mistake him for one (due to his height and brawn physique). Ox is a very kind person who likes to help others in need. It is hinted that Ox has rich parents, as they gave him a platinum credit card to pay for his lunches (which tend to be large). He becomes friends with Gunther and eventually T.J. in the May 9, 2012 strip, when he starts eating at Weenie World. In the May 17, 2012 strip, during which Ann Eiffel plans to sue Toni and her niece, Shannon (the latter having bit her finger in an April 2012 strip), Ox returns and upon learning of the event and Ann's cruel way of forcing him to sign a paper to file lawsuit, he refuses and sees Ann as another bully. In the May 22, 2012 strip, Ox takes her paper to show it to his uncle: a lawyer. Ox later agrees to not to tell on her so long as she gives up trying to sue Toni; in the final strip of the week, Ann offers Ox a job, impressed by his integrity, but Ox refuses, as he is convinced that Ann simply isn't nice.
- First Appearance: March 2, 2012
- Desdemona, always referred to as Dez, is Bernice's roommate at Moony Uni. Dez was unseen for the entirety of Bernice's first semester, always coming and going when Bernice was gone or asleep. Her friends, however, were often imposing on Bernice, dropping stuff off or throwing impromptu parties. She finally introduces herself to Bernice on February 23, 2015. Dez is very spiritual and worldly and decorates the dorm room with souvenirs from her travels.
- First mentioned: August 18, 2014
- First Appearance: February 23, 2015
- Tiffany Farrell
- Tiffany is Luann's nemesis, a physically attractive, but shallow and arrogant cheerleader who constantly insults and belittles Luann at every moment. Her best friend is Crystal. It was hinted that Luann and Tiffany might have been friends in elementary school, but that changed once they got to Junior High. Luann and Tiffany often battle for the attentions of various boys, with Luann almost always coming out on top. In March 2003, Luann and Tiffany formed a brief friendship after winning a volleyball game as a team, but it fell apart due to their ongoing rivalry over Aaron. Tiffany used her cell phone camera to take a picture of Luann changing in the girls locker room. Initially, she tried to blackmail Luann, but when Luann would not cooperate, Tiffany posted the photo on the internet, embarrassing Luann. With Gunther's help, Luann was able to prove Tiffany took the photo by revealing her reflection in Luann's locker door mirror, causing her to be suspended. In January 2008, her title of Miss Chamber of Commerce was revoked due to her role in TJ's catering scheme to sell meals in fire stations. In January 2009, she helped Luann in a donation to have Delta accompany them to Washington, DC (since Delta would have been unable to go due to the fund of the trip being not enough and one student (Delta) was cut out); Tiffany's help was short-lived since she got tired of being dunked in a dunk tank (the donation's main event). In 2011, she staged a school beauty pageant, which was won by Rosa. The proceeds from the pageant paid for new bathroom mirrors. Despite liking attractive boys, Tiffany mentions to Crystal that she never had an actual boyfriend. However, in 2015, she developed a physical attraction to Gunther, her "study buddy."
- First mentioned: March 23, 1985.
- First appearance: November 10, 1985.
- Tiffany's only friend though not exactly an antagonist. Although Crystal wears abundant cosmetics, her Goth clothing does not follow the trendy fashions Tiffany wears. However, there are hints of lingering affection between them. She has a handicapped brother named Josh, who looked up to Zane as a mentor. She and Bernice formed a rivalry for Zane's affection, similar to the rivalry between Luann and Tiffany. When Zane began mentoring her brother Josh, she developed a crush on him. During this time, she attempted to occupy as much of Zane's free time as possible leaving him none to spend with Bernice, which added to Bernice's insecurity at the time. In an August 16, 2003 strip she is shown with a star tattoo on her back. She is dating Knute, despite their differences.
- First Appearance: July 12, 2000
- Toni's jealous former boyfriend and Brad's main rival for Toni Daytona's affections. He has been emotionally abusive toward Toni and physically violent to Brad, and displays severe anger problems. A common boast is that he plans to, or will be, attending the police academy, but it has been pointed out that he has a felony conviction which would automatically disqualify him. While he did not originally view Brad as a threat, when Brad offered to give Toni a ride home after class, Dirk chased after them, causing a car crash in which he was injured. Ironically, Brad resuscitated him in time. Since then, Dirk became more possessive of Toni, foreshadowing their eventual break-up. After striking Brad at his Fire Academy Graduation Ceremony, he was arrested and a restraining order was issued ordering him to stay away from Brad. Following his release from jail, he took a mandatory anger management course, but he has continuously violated the restraining order (since October 2005). Unwilling to accept Toni dumping him, he continuously stalked her and tried to impress her with shallow gimmicks to try to win her back. In the beginning of May 2006, he was sent back to jail because Brad called the police on him for violating his restraining order.
- Dirk returned to the strip as a garbage collector on September 6, 2010 but claims to be working that job only until he starts at the police academy. Shortly after doing so, when Nancy fell off a ladder while doing housework, he helped pick her up. Later in the strip's run, his transformation was proven when he coincidentally ran into Toni at the local grocery store — with his new wife and child. He explains that his anger-management courses did wonders for him, and he met his now-wife through them, and now lives an honest life with his new family.
- First Appearance: June 19, 2003
- Bernice's first love interest. Derek initially hit on Bernice and asked her to let him store his gym clothes in her locker. Unaware that Derek's interest in her was only to find a safe place to hide his stash of marijuana in her locker, Bernice fell for him instantly. However, when Bernice discovered drugs in Derek's bag while going through her locker, she was about to turn him in until he "seduced" her with a kiss. While giving Bernice a ride home, Derek almost crashed, as he was under the influence. Bernice got out of the car, but not before dumping his stash of drugs into the street. He appeared again for a short time in May 1989 when he declared how much he loved Delta, and he loved Bernice as a 'friend'. Delta was not impressed. Derek has not appeared since.
- First Appearance: September 28, 1987
- Ann Eiffel
- Former manager of Borderline Books and former manager of Weenie World. On numerous occasions her name shown to be a pun on the phrase, "an eyeful".
- Eiffel initially hired Bernice as an employee at Borderline. When Bernice began working with Zane, one of the store's supervisors, Eiffel became very jealous of their relationship and even threatened to fire them if they continued seeing each other. Bernice suspected Eiffel wanted to seduce Zane, but she was actually interested in Bernice instead. Eiffel often interrupted Bernice's tasks by making Bernice bring her lattes; this was either to keep her away from Zane or to gratify herself by making Bernice run her personal errands, a maneuver she repeated in later appearances. When she fired Zane, Bernice developed a very rebellious attitude toward her, which led to Eiffel increasing her harassing efforts to intimidate her, until Borderline CEO Jim Hernandez, who knew Zane very well, arranged to transfer Eiffel to the new bookstore in Tokyo, Japan. On July 12, 2011, she resurfaced as the manager of the local Weenie World restaurant, where Brad applied for work after being laid off by the Fire Department. In 2012, T.J. began working at Weenie World to take Ann Eiffel down. She fired him on January 5, 2013 after he made a recording of Eiffel saying she cons people. He made a second recording in the process of being fired that had Eiffel saying that she took credit for all his sales. He saved both recordings despite Eiffel attempting to delete them. Before leaving, Eiffel kissed T.J., who was not impressed.
- Leslie Knox
- The sleazy and arrogant bully of Pitts High School. Knox is a potential stalker of Rosa Aragones. Gunther, who witnessed him harassing Rosa, defended her by swinging his backpack around and twice knocked Leslie down, supposedly by accident. Leslie attempted to retaliate but Miss Phelps broke up the confrontation. Leslie then made an offer to Rosa: if she let him kiss her, he would refrain from taking revenge on Gunther. He has also been seen hitting on Tiffany.
- First Appearance: January 28, 2012
School and faculty
- Mr. Fogarty
- The school history teacher. He secretly loves Miss Phelps. Mr. Fogarty's character was created before Luann. His character starred in Fogarty, which was distributed free of charge to several high school newspapers in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Mr. Fogarty announced that he will retire from teaching at the end of the school year in the May 4, 2014 strip.
- First mentioned: May 8, 1985.
- Miss Phelps
- The school guidance counselor. She secretly loves Mr. Fogarty.
- First appearance: April 8, 1985.
- Miss Allison
- The school P.E. teacher. She, like all other fitness teachers, is a strict disciplinarian. Out of all the teachers Luann knows well at Pitts High School, Miss Allison seems to be the only one Luann looks up to as a mentor figure.
- Principal Hightower
- The principal of Pitts High School. Usually his face is never seen, only his hands when they are placed on his desk. His face may have been seen in a flashback as Luann's elementary school principal in the October 9, 2002 and October 10, 2002 comics, but it is unknown whether this is the same Principal Hightower, or perhaps a relative or someone with the same last name.
Emergency Medical Services
- The disciplined, strict disciplinarian and straightforward Firefighter Captain of Fire Station No. 3, and Brad's superior officer. Brad first met him when he began the physical exam for Fire Academy. He has assigned Brad and Toni to take Reddy to local schools on more than one occasion, and has assigned Brad to his tasks of his rank as a firefighter. After a firefighters' ball was announced, the Captain was speaking to someone on the phone and saying he planned to take Toni with him. However, he was referring to taking his friend, Tony Gale; which is somewhat ambiguous, as (in the next strip) Brad remarks, "So the captain's..." – "not asking me," Toni interrupts. Whether Tony is a male or female is left to the reader's imagination, apparently.
- In a recent 2011 storyline, due to budget cuts, the Captain had to let one firefighter go, and because Brad was the most recent hired firefighter, the Captain, very regretfully, had to let him go, until the departure of another firefighter resulted in an opening.
- First Appearance: June 7, 2004
- EMT Supervisor
- Brad's supervisor during his six months of EMT service before taking his Paramedics class. As gracious as he was about Brad fearlessly saving Zane from dying in the fires of the Borderline Bookstore, he had to file a reprimand on Brad's record for violating safety rules, acting outside his training scope, and not wearing proper safety gear. Like the Fire Station Captain, his name is not given.
- First Appearance: August 3, 2002
- Luann's dog, so named for his tendency to wee in the wrong spots.
- First appearance: December 26, 1985.
- Zane's dog and special canine companion. He is a Golden Retriever and has grown to be a very faithful companion for Zane.
- The Fire Station Mascot. He is a small, 3-foot, Fire Truck, with a remote controller and a built in speaker connected to a microphone and head set, to appear as though he is speaking with his partner. Brad and Toni have brought him to local elementary schools on more than one occasion to demonstrate the importance of fire safety. Brad provides the voice for Reddy and uses Reddy as a means to flirt with Toni. Brad has also used Reddy as a means to speak more openly with Toni. When Brad turned in Dirk and was arguing with Toni about it, he expressed his frustration through Reddy leading to an embarrassing encounter during a school presentation. Afterward, he told the Captain he no longer wants to perform as Reddy to create space between him and Toni.
- First Appearance: June 6, 2005
- Luann's cat, an addition to the strip (the storyline has Frank DeGroot being allergic to cats; thus, Luann must keep the two separated). Luann gave Cuddles to Mrs. Horner, to spare her father from his allergies. While Puddles showed some hatred towards Cuddles mainly over territory and attention from Luann matters, he also showed some love as they have cuddled and slept together a few times. Cuddles' original name was Sassy, until Mrs. Horner found a better name as Cuddles.
- First Appearance: November 1, 2005
- Clay Aiken, Jay Leno and Ben Affleck, Hugh Hefner, Barack Obama, Luke Perry, Bill Gates and Ricky Martin.
The strip has attained a degree of notoriety for its mixing of real-life topics with the lightness of being a teen in high school. Evans has sprinkled in such topics as Luann's concerns about her first menstruation, Dirk's jealousy (which has led to emotional abuse of Toni and physical violence toward Brad), birth control, drunk driving, handicaps, and other social/policy issues that are of interest to young people. Evans drew praise and some criticism in 1998 for a series of strips about Delta contracting Hodgkin's Lymphoma. After September 11, 2001, the layabout Brad was inspired by the actions of the FDNY to become a firefighter, and there have been extended storylines following him. On November 14, 2001, the satirical newspaper The Onion ran a story supposedly detailing Evans' struggle to address the events of 9/11 in his strip.
Aging of the characters
From 1985 to 1999 Luann was vaguely in the eighth grade. According to Evans's blog, Luann was 13 in 1999. This younger era of Luann focused on topics among children in junior high school and within Luann's family at home. Since 1999 Luann has been slowly aging from 15 to 16 years old at perhaps the rate of one Luann month per one reader year, though this opposes what Evans has said on his blog. In the fall of 2013, it was made clear that Luann and her peers were seniors in high school, suggesting that the characters are around 17 years old and preparing for college. In June, 2014, Greg and Karen Evans ran a story arc in which the high school characters attended their graduation. Luann is currently attending college as of September 3, 2014. On September 28, 2014, Greg Evans and his daughter Karen made an appearance in the strip, wishing Luann a happy 18th birthday.
In 2006, Evans—with the help of arranger/orchestrator Justin Gray—wrote a musical based on the strip, titled Luann: Scenes In A Teen's Life, produced by Center ARTES and performed at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, California. It was performed by local drama students from Rancho Buena Vista High School. An original cast recording, titled Scenes in a Teen's Life, was made. In March 2008, Palomar College, in San Marcos, California performed this musical. It was the musical's college theater debut. Luann: Scenes In A Teen's Life was next scheduled to be performed by Huntington Beach Playhouse in August 2008. Its South San Diego High School debut was on May 2010.
There are 22 books featuring Luann:
|Meet Luann||1986||Berkley Books||ISBN 978-0-425-08878-4|
|Why Me? (Luann, No 2)||August 1986||ISBN 978-0-425-08879-1|
|Is It Friday Yet? (Luann, No 3)||January 1987||ISBN 978-0-425-09420-4|
|Luann: Who Invented Brothers, Anyway?||June 1989||Tor Books||ISBN 978-0-8125-7225-4|
|Luann: School and Other Problems||August 1989||ISBN 978-0-8125-0208-4|
|Luann: Homework Is Ruining My Life||December 15, 1989||ISBN 978-0-8125-0635-8|
|Luann: So Many Malls, So Little Money||July 1990||ISBN 978-0-8125-0987-8|
|Luann : Pizza Isn't Everything But It Comes Close||January 15, 1991||ISBN 978-0-8125-1174-1|
|Luann: Dear Diary, The Following Is Top Secret||August 15, 1991||ISBN 978-0-8125-1416-2|
|Luann : There's Nothing Worse Than First Period P.E.||March 15, 1992||ISBN 978-0-8125-1731-6|
|Luann: Will We Be Tested On This?||January 15, 1992||ISBN 978-0-8125-1729-3|
|Luann: School's Ok If You Can Stand The Food||November 15, 1992||ISBN 978-0-8125-1733-0|
|Luann: I'm Not Always Confused, I Just Look That Way||January 15, 1993||ISBN 978-0-8125-1734-7|
|Luann: My Bedroom And Other Environmental Hazards||March 15, 1993||ISBN 978-0-8125-1735-4|
|Luann: If Confusion Were A Class I'd Get An A||January 15, 1995||ISBN 978-0-8125-1732-3|
|Sometimes, You Just Have to Make Your Own Rules||April 1998||Rutledge Hill Press||ISBN 978-1-55853-616-6|
|Luann||September 1998||ISBN 978-1-55853-667-8|
|Passion! Betrayal! Outrage! Revenge!||October 1, 1999||ISBN 978-1-55853-787-3|
|Luann, Curves Ahead||September 2003||Andrews McMeel Publishing||ISBN 978-0-7407-3950-7|
|Luann 2, Dates And Other Disasters||September 2004||ISBN 978-0-7407-4664-2|
|Luann 3, Sixteen Isn't Pretty||August 2006||ISBN 978-0-7407-6193-5|
|Seriously...: Luann #4||August 2008||ISBN 978-0-7407-7362-4|
|"LUANN – 25 Years"||June 2011||ISBN 978-0-9845465-0-3|
- Moss, Andrea (March 16, 2010). "Popular 'Luann' comic strip turns 25". North County Times. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
- Tobin, Suzanne (June 4, 2004). "Comics: Luann". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
- "Introducing the REAL Luann". February 25, 2013.
- Evans, Greg (c). Luann. June 18, 2014, Universal Uclick.
- Luann at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on September 3, 2015.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. August 11, 2014, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. January 2, 2002, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. March 31, 2012, Universal Uclick. Cite error: Invalid
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- Greg Evans (c). Luann. December 31, 2010, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. June 11, 2013, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. August 21, 2009, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. July 21, 2009, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. April 2, 2013, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. November 29, 1999, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. December 6, 1999, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. March 20, 2009, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. April 17, 2012, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. September 6, 2010, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. March 12, 2013, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. August 3, 2011, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. February 19, 2002, Universal Uclick.
- Evans, Greg. "Hard, Hard, Impossible". blog. Cartoonists Studio.com. Archived from the original on March 27, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. May 4, 2014, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. October 9, 2002, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. October 10, 2002, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. January 1, 2004, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. December 30, 2004, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. December 31, 1999, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. February 19, 2009, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. November 25, 1995, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. Novembwe 27, 1999, Universal Uclick.
- "Luann Creator Wrestling With How To Address Terrorist Crisis". The Onion. November 14, 2001.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. September 3, 2014, Universal Uclick.
- Greg Evans (c). Luann. September 28, 2014, Universal Uclick.
- "Testimonials". Scenes in a Teen's Life. Greg Evans. Retrieved February 16, 2010.