In cartoon parlance, an inbetweener is the lowly cartoonist charged with the tedious job of filling in the various drawings between two key images drawn by the animator in a hand-drawn animated film. And it's that in-between time in contest land again -- the entry deadline is passed and the new winner's announced Friday.
Defining the other term in the headline, "jumping the shark," in TV parlance, refers to an episode from the television series "Happy Days" where Fonzie water-skied over a shark. Critics cite this as the point where the show moved away from its original premise of dealing with the pangs and humor of adolescence and suburban America, and instead became driven by more absurd plots and characterizations to the point of self-parody.
While "Zits" has always been zany and imaginative, some recent strips seem to show a similar trend: focusing less on teenage humor and angst (and the angst and humor of the parents of said teenagers), and more on the wackiness of the characters they've created. Which doesn't make it a worse strip, or one that's passed its peak, or one that's less imaginative, zany or fun. Some could argue that it's even more so. But it seems to make it a different strip. Perhaps it's just natural cartoon evolution.
I rest my case. What's your opinion? And please join us Friday for the new caption contest winners!