Penny and Aggie

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A little over three years ago, T Campbell started toying with the fantasies of the shipper-oriented part of his readership with the concept that in the future his primary protagonists in Penny and Aggie could end up in an intimate relationship with each other. Oh, there were hints before then (and after, for that matter) by the secondary cast that there might be the potential for something more between these two, but Campbell was always careful to avoid that next step. Unfortunately, he may have been too circumspect in their relationship as I didn’t think he’d actually have his titular pair locking lips or moving their relationship beyond the existing friendship. It just wasn’t showing in the cards.

Oddly enough, I feel rather ambivalent about this development. While Campbell has slowly been building up until this moment, I’ve not seen much in either Penny or Aggie’s character that suggest they are interested in the other gender. This is something that Campbell actually touches upon within this latest strip, with Aggie chatting with her good friend Lisa about her kissing (or being kissed by) Penny. Her previous reaction to Lisa kissing her was apparently to freak out… which I suppose might have been denial of feeling attracting toward another young woman or that she even enjoyed it. Even with that supposition, we’ve not seen anything suggesting Penny was interested in other girls. Of course, this might be supportive to my theory that people can be straight (or gay) normally, and then find one person who hits the right buttons to switch their preferences… but only to that one person.

Thus there is always the possibility that Penny and Aggie are “gay” for each other, but normally straight. Unfortunately, we never really saw this effectively represented in the comic. I could easily believe the two girls were very strong friends, and that this friendship formed from an initial antagonism. But as lovers? While countless shippers may be doing a Tagon Happy Dance (from Schlock Mercenary), I’m just not buying it. And this is a shame, as Campbell is normally an effective character writer; but this doesn’t feel like a natural evolution of the characters, and there’s been no internal buildup that I recall leading to this moment. It’s not an actual derailment of the characters… but it’s definitely a lost opportunity for further character development that would have led to a more natural pairing of the two.