Transformation Comics, especially with male-to-female transformations, have become a staple of webcomics. No doubt part of it lies with the ease of writing a female character who is, mentally at least, a man. When I’m feeling less cynical about it, I’d talk about the spiritual ramifications of gender and of the psychological aspects of exploring what it is to be a woman (or a man) that comes about from this genre. But considering that a sizeable percentage of Transformation Comics are humorous comics, I’d not be hitting far from the mark (which is a bit sad, if you think of it. Just once I’d love to read a psychological horror looking at the loss of self and of identity as a man’s mind slowly succumbs to the biological imperatives that is inherent in the female biochemical system, which does have a direct influence on behavior and thought processes).
What sets Troop 37 apart from its peers is the dual barrels of having the victim of the transformation a 10-year-old boy who suddenly becomes a 16-year-old girl and the fact that the comic is a round-robin of storytelling and artistry. While this does have its drawbacks from a strictly storytelling point of view (as in the story is loose and almost accidental in nature), and the art will shift (sometimes wildly) from update to update, this round-robin style has drawn in artists and cartoonists to contribute to this comic. Another thing that sets T37 apart from its peers lies with the fact that people know that Jimmy used to be a boy. They don’t really care, and there’s no media-storm that we’d see in reality, but for the most part people know who Jimmy was, and just cope with the fact she’s a girl now.
Thus we get to see such silliness as Jimmy being forced into Girl Scouts, being forced to wear skirts because her old clothes are “inappropriate” (too small and too tight, really), and even being asked to babysit for one of her best friends (male, naturally enough). As the comic is being kept PG, the fanservice is kept to a minimum (such as Jimmy being forced to wear a bikini on the beach as part of the Female Conspiracy to feminize the former boy) and we’ve not encountered any of the real issues that teenaged girls would face. But T37 isn’t meant to be a serious look into the human psyche. It’s definitely worth a look, and if you’re an artist or writer, head to their forums and offer to draw or write a strip.