Minorities in cartoons: Delta James

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This week’s minorities in cartoons entry is Delta James, a supporting character in Greg Evans’ long-running newspaper comic strip “Luann.”

Background

Luann” focuses on the life of its teenage star, Luann DeGroot, who spends her time dealing with the usual teenage issues: schoolwork (she’s an average student), her parents (who love their children), and her older twentysomething brother, Brad. She also deals with her dating life, or at least, her attempts at a dating life, which have largely had one roadblock after another thrown in front of it. Compounding Luann’s social life is her rival, Tiffany Farrell, a pretty and popular (but utterly vapid and back-stabbing) cheerleader.

Of late, the strip’s focus has partially shifted to Brad’s life. Not being locked into a high school setting like Luann, Brad has evolved over the past decade or so from working in a fast food restaurant to working as a firefighter. Brad spends most of his time (when not with his family) with his girlfriend, Toni, and his (slightly shady) best friend and roommate, T.J.

Delta is one of Luann’s closest friends. Unlike Luann, she tends to view life in a more practical manner, and doesn’t focus much on dating. (Luann and Delta’s friend Bernice brings this up in one storyline.) Delta is quite aggressive about pursuing volunteer and charity work, often trying to coerce her friends into joining her various causes. She’s also a top student at school, and proud of her grades.

Wikipedia states that Delta had a storyline in the late 90s where she deals with, and is treated for, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which goes into remission. A 2009 storyline has Delta, while on a class trip to Washington, DC, meet President Obama.

Recently, the strip’s slightly aged its characters. The main result of this is Delta, Luann, and the rest of the teenage cast finally graduated from high school in a June 2014 storyline. They went off to attend college the following September.

(Updated 11/17/16)


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