You Damn Kid!
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|You Damn Kid!|
|Current status / schedule||Weekly|
You Damn Kid! (or YDK) is a comic strip by cartoonist Owen Dunne. While originally appearing in non-mainstream newspapers, it ran as a webcomic from 1997 to 2007 and was relaunched in 2014. The strip in its original version was a fictionalized version of Dunne's life as a child in the late-1960s, while the relaunched strip is contemporary or near-contemporary, with the original characters now much older or dead and new characters added. Much of the humor in the strip comes from the juxtaposition of childlike innocence and nostalgia with the darker or more disturbing realities of life; it explores themes such as death, mental retardation, and sexual abuse by priests. The strip is very critical of the Catholic Church and the hypocrisy of the middle class.
You Damn Kid! is part of the Keenspot webcomics group.
In 2009 Dunne announced a project known as "The Barnyard Pete Show":
"The Barnyard Pete Show" is a weekly, live action show inspired by the locally produced children's shows of the '60s and '70s. Essentially, this is what happens when you realize your comic will not get made into a series, so you take some of your option money, build your own studio and say "screw it, I'll make my own show." Starring cartoonist Owen Dunne as Pete, and Jonathan Dunne as the voice of Ken the Horse. Each week, we'll have a 2 – 5 minute episode, with ten episodes planned for series one. Well see how it goes from there. All the old comics will be archived and available shortly.
The strip is told mainly in the first person. The main character's name has never been mentioned in the strip. It was mistakenly thought to be "Casey" because of one misleading strip. In the strip <http://www.youdamnkid.com/d/20041011.html> the main character's mother says "This is my son, Casey," referring to the person she is talking to (Casey Ricardo). However, the author decided to make it the main character's name, too . The main character attends a Catholic grammar school taught by nuns. He has a younger sister named Dot. Their ages are never specified, and appear to change from memory to memory (the entire strip is told in flashback).
In the rebooted strip, the first-person narration has been abandoned and the art style has changed. The original kid is now an adult, and his son has become the strip's protagonist.
The location of the strip is also never mentioned; the presence of snow in the winter, and various cultural traits, imply that it is somewhere in the northern United States. It is possible that it is the creator's home state of Rhode Island, but this is never made explicit. A 2006 strip states that the family lives in Parker County; the only Parker County in the United States is Parker County, Texas. However, in the same strip, Parker County is described as bordering Midland County; while Texas does have a Midland County, it is not near Parker County.
Other hosted comics
You Damn Kid! used to be the primary and semiregularly updated comic on Dunne's website, but Dunne has been ambitious, launching several different comics on his site: The Beevnicks, Norman P. Function, Those Darn Kids (a spin-off of YDK), Nippleshine Manor, Ed Seriously, Banion (a spin-off of The Beevnicks), Pencil and Ink, Those Crazy Aliens, Dizzy Dustbin, Tommy Watches TV, Pek, The New Beevnicks, and most recently My New Mommy. All of these comics have been discontinued. Several of the strips, such as Pencil and Ink and Pek, never seemed to progress beyond a single strip.
The Beevnicks is another webcomic, hosted originally on the same site, as a spin-off of You Damn Kid!. It was originally started January 16, 2000, but Dunne stopped drawing it in 2003. Known as the "Original Beevnicks", it consisted of very simple clip art drawings copied and pasted in a paint program. The characters rarely changed facial expressions.
The Beevnicks is a gag-a-day strip, but every so often Dunne will introduce a rather ludicrous story arc, one that typically involves either Tom or Lorranie Beevnick in some form of deviant sexual behavior, a subsequent murder or crime to cover up this behavior, and a subsequent investigation by Detective Banion and the Tiverton Falls police. Dunne's usual method of wrapping up these story arcs is to have them be a dream sequence or fantasy, and return the strip to status quo ante.
On May 1, 2006, Dunne suddenly relaunched The Beevnicks and it replaced You Damn Kid! as the primary comic. The new version of The Beevnicks involved more background and foreground detail, but still largely copied and pasted drawings. On August 1, 2006, The Beevnicks moved to beevnicks.com and Dunne reformatted his You Damn Kid! site, youdamnkid.com.
You Damn Kid! in other media
On May 30, 2004, You Damn Kid — Fun at A.A. Meetings: The Comic Strip for Grownups About Being a Kid, became available for sale at Amazon.com with the follow-up collection, You Damn Kid: Naked Lady Balloons, becoming available from June 30, 2006.