I noticed the front page isn't syncing to show my news post on it, so have an alert HERE about how I'll be at Anthrocon (table c3) in Pittsburgh, June 30-July 3. If you'll be there, stop by and say hello! (Also, the Precocious Store will be disabled until after I return from the convention and survey remaining stock.)
Precocious is a daily newspaper-style comic strip revolving around the lives of four elementary school children who are too smart for their own - or anyone's - good. They're super evil, but exceedingly cute! The archive may be large, but it's a fast (and fun) read. You can jump in anywhere and easily get up to speed. If you want to know more, be sure to check out the cast page and the FAQ!
They children attend the Poppinstock Academy for Gifted Children in a combined 4th and 5th grade class. Many of the class reside in the nearby Gemstone Estates community. (On the archive page, you can find the monthly-updated collection of the Precocious spin-off strip, Copper Road, which follows the kids from the non-Gemstone side of the class.) Gemstone Estates is divided into three neighborhoods:
Diamond Bluffs – The richest of the three neighborhoods, it is located on dramatic rolling hills that look down upon the other two neighborhoods. The Diamond Bluffians have the fancy neighborhood goodies, such as a the Gemstone tennis courts, and the best playgrounds.
Sapphire Lake – Named after the lake at the foot of the hills marking the Diamond Bluffs territory. This is the neighborhood the main cast calls home. (Maybe there's something in the water that makes them how they are...)
Emerald Woods – Emerald Woods does not have impressive hills or a lake to call its own, but it does have lots of trees. Residents here make on average the least of the three neighborhoods. (Hey, at least they're not the saps stuck living on Copper Road!)
Much of this is based off of my own childhood. While my family's financial situation was not nearly as nice as these children's, I was lucky to live in a community that (aside from the lake) had all the benefits the Precocious children have. My formative years, living in the DC area, were spent in an area so ideal it seems fictional. It was a multi-cultural, tight-knit neighborhood with an abundance of children my age. Within a mile were several playgrounds, a baseball field, a soccer field, a pool, tennis courts and lots of nature to explore. Yeah, it's kind of ridiculous.
For my third grade year, I attended Springfield Estates, which was the inspiration for the Poppinstock Academy, down to the elite-sounding name. There really wasn't that dramatic of a difference between it and regular elementary school. I suppose it just presented us with more learning opportunities. The flashiest part I remember is that we had a Japanese assistant teacher come in and teach us some basics of her language.
Halfway through the third grade, my father got a better job in Winchester, Virginia and we moved away. Instead of having a whole school devoted to the gifted, Winchester offered a class that lasted about an hour a week. Not quite the same, was it?
Clearly, I never recovered. In sixth grade (when I again was placed in an all-gifted program) I made my first failed attempt at cartooning and created a comic based on an idealized version of my old school. This strip would eventually become Precocious. The framework was nearly identical to what you see here, including the class-conscious theme with the same gemstone-themed neighborhoods. I've even stuck with the same four main characters — at least the group that existed after another failed attempt at the comic in seventh grade — with all retaining their original names except for Bud, whose original name I've long forgotten.
After almost twenty years of gestation, Precocious launched January 1st, 2009! How crazy is that?