This is the most epic strip since Amazi-Girl. Ruth is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters ever.
Will Billie respond with a Shoryuken?
And break her jaw? *crosses fingers*
Mine too! though to be fair she was one of my top favorites in Roomies! and it might have carried over.
Speaking of which Ruth could be Amazi-Girl’s arch enemy if they ever meet. This Ruth has the making of a super villain
In my version they’re reluctant accomplices:
okay now i have a perverse sexual lust for Ruth in that shirt.
Wouldn’t you have lust for her without it? :p
I got perverse sexual lust for both! Shirt!Ruth and Glassless!Billie !!
dude, meganekko, come on!
True true… but with her glasses off and her hair all messed up it gives her a certain dishevel look that isn’t unpleasant.
Come to think of it … Billie, Ruth, Dorothy, Amber… lots of meganekko going around.
Oh yeah, I didn’t see that. You are right! (I got distracted by that cleavage).
Can’t believe I didn’t notice earlier but… is Ruth wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey?
Yes she is.:)
Oh man. Ruth, I love you so, with your focused aggression and downsmacking behavior. But there is no way this ends with anything other than them as friends, right?
Geesh, high school drama goes into College. That’s just mean on all standpoints though.
I know that I’m likely in the minority, but as DoA goes on I’m liking Ruth less and less. Which is kind of sad, really, because the Ruth drama in Roomies! was awesome and well done.
I don’t like her either. This strip is really the one that did it for me. Her list of crimes now includes theft, assault, and destruction of personal property. And she’s using her position as RA and the fact that Billie is a dumb freshman to get away with it. Not good, IMO.
Well, it is true to life then.
One thing I’ve learned about long-running storylines is what happens early on is no indication of what will happen months if not YEARS from now. It starts with bongoy destruction of property and ends with…?
Yes, though, I don’t see how a real RA would be able to get away with cutting up someone else’s [irreplaceable] clothes like this. The punishment doesn’t fit the crime.
I agree with all of the above.
Y’know, if anyone cares.
But probably because your icon is Mike :3
But yeah, Ruth is building up some negative karma in this universe.
Ends with hot lesbian sex!
Unless Willis considers that off-limits because they already went there in the old universe.
Reading this comic pissed me off. I love Willis’s work, but now I want to go punch somebody in the face.
Thanks a lot David!
your avatar makes this so much better.
Seconded! Says both me and my avatar.
Isn’t there a term for this? The other option is that I have been misinterpreting “Damn you Willis” for years now.
/signed. Ruth is quickly spiraling away from ‘amusing’ to ‘abusive b****’. The problem is that it is becoming a storyline where it is hard to root for or empathize fully with either character.
Yeah, I can’t say Billie isn’t deserving some problems with the way she’s acted, but Ruth is definately providing a bit more than nessicary.
Billie is becoming more sympathetic, I think, because she’s being taken down by Ruth. Especially as Ruth’s actions get more illegal. Their first interaction it was Billie’s fault since Ruth needed to cement her authority and couldn’t back down. Here though, Ruth is starting to go too far, which makes Billie a victim.
She’s an RA, not a Russian prison guard. She doesn’t get to “cement her authority” by means of violent assault.
She’s been (acting like) an abusive bongo from the start, it’s just getting worse.
I don’t like it either, and I actually didn’t mind so much when she called her out the first time. :/
I think a part of it is also the look on Billies face too.
I liked her until panel 4.
Yeah, Ruth is really becoming my lest favorite character in this… when is the drunk driving going to happen? (too much there.. I think I went a little far)
Sadly…You didn’t…not saying that about this universes Ruth at least…
At this point, I’d love to see Ruth get the living hell stomped out of her. She’s being a total tyrant, bullying the hell out of Billie. Admittedly, it’s probably got a revenge kick in it somewhere (ie, the cheerleaders teased me crap), but still… there’s no way in hell I would’ve put up with. But then, I’d’ve told her off the first night. I’m fully aware of the value of unit punishment, but this ain’t it.
I’d think Billie would have more than one outfit, but Ruth is just begging for a richly deserved comeuppance.
Glassesless Billy is somehow more sexy in this universe than Glasses Billy Prime. Surprised to see that sexyness caused by glasses isn’t a multi-universal constant.
Is Ruth a hockey fan?
The Maple Leaf says yes.
Eeew. Leafs? I figured you’d be a Ducks fan, since, you know, they made a cartoon and toys for them… GO DUCKS!
I’d say more of a clothesline. In a body check she would have slammed into her shoulder first. Also, is it possible to actually be a “fan” of hockey?
Clotheslines are higher, but you also have a valid point. I would assume it’s possible to be a fan of hockey. It’s lasted long enough. As I am not, I cannot recognize the jersey, which looks more like a hockey jersey than any other.
maybe she is a fan of canada? it is a fairly nice place.
That’s just an urban myth.
It’s true. Canada is just an extension of North America that they didn’t want to claim so they gave it to the French.
I’m really loving how everyone, assuming Billie, just assumes that S is from the costume. If /I/ was Ruth, I would’ve made a fake that looked exactly like I had cut it out from the outfit.
Then when I eventually return the outfit to my victim after having gotten what I wanted from her, I’d subsequently make HER feel guilty when I returned it unharmed.
I like the way you think.
The main flaw in that line of reasoning is, why was Ruth carrying a pair of scissors and the uniform the previous evening? It’s not like she was in Billie’s field of view. Heck, she was in the boy’s hall outside of Joe’s room when we saw that (“She asked me first, but tonight my schedule’s pretty full.”), and the implications of it were pretty clear. If someone has a “that was just a fake-out” case that doesn’t come across as totally forced and artificial, I would love to see it.
And I guess a fake-out guilt trip might work on an immature clod like Billie, but it would still only reinforce the point of the Ruth detractors above: that she’s just a nasty bully. Seriously, this is quite ironically making Billie into a sympathetic character, despite how she’s a strong contender for the “Member Of The Cast Least Deserving Of Sympathy” award.
While I do not deny that Ruth is a nasty bully, I will say that there is a reason for Ruth to be carrying the scissors and uniform, but not for the purpose of vandalizing it. It could have been used by Willis as a means of making us, the reader, think she was going to destroy, when in actuality, she’s not. He’s done this before in a sense, with the whole Amazi-Girl appearance. I’m not saying this is what happened, nor am I claiming it’s the most likely situation. It is merely a plausible theory.
Dude, she’s just trying to do her job. She has people she answers to, and if she doesn’t get these forms in then she hears from them. It’s more than likely she was made RA [i]because[/i] she’s willing to crack the whip to keep everything running.
Billy on the other hand, is seeming pretty incompetent by comparison. I mean, how hard is it to leave the form where it’s visible, likely on Sal’s bed, and attach a note asking for a signature. Problem solved, now go off, party with some friends, enjoy a cold brew, and get some sleep already.
Her “Job” Includes Physically assaulting people AND stealing and destroying their personal belongings…?
Oh no, I’ve been an RA (Well, we didn’t call it that but I was the equivalent of an RA for the freshmen dorms), and if I had ever stolen something belonging to a student and held it hostage, I would have swiftly not been an RA. In fact, my chances of getting a campus job thereafter would have been zilch.
Our supervisors understood that we were dealing with college freshmen. If someone didn’t have their forms, I -went to their room- and had them do the forms while I was there. If they weren’t both there, I sent e-mails giving them a date by which they had to set up a meeting. If they failed to do that, they got one more warning and then risked fines. Oddly enough, nobody got to the point of having to be fined.
As an RA, if I saw what Ruth is doing (even if she -is- faking the cutting up, she still stole something and is abusing power pretty obviously), I’d consider it part of my job to report it to her boss so that proper disciplinary actions could be taken.
I’m assuming that the people who put her in charge are less… noble I guess is the word I want to use, than Marie’s supervisors. It seems to follow, when you look at her actions. Likely they just don’t want to hear about any of this. As long as it stays off the record, they probably don’t care how she did it.
G.S.Mercs: “Plausible” is one thing. But I asked for “not forced and artificial”. If this really was just a fake-out, then the only sensible reason for Ruth to walk around with those scissors is to let Billie see her and be intimidated by it.
So why would Ruth be walking through the boy’s hall, completely out of Billie’s field of vision? That simply does not make sense. I could see this incarnation of Ruth walking through the hall as a “Look what I’m going to do, suckers!” bit of bragging. But just dropping her there randomly and then making it a fake-out simply does not work.
And it’s not like we even needed to see that little scene to get the gist of what happened today. Just from the final panel, the “Oh no, she vandalized Billie’s outfit!” implication is clear as crystal. If this whole thing really is just a fake-out, then that “scissors in the hall” bit was clumsy and unnecessary at best, at worst an inconsistency or plot-hole.
Well, basically, she could have been intending on using the scisors in relation to making the copy. It wouldn’t surprise me.
But why would she be walking past Joe’s room carrying scissors and Billie’s uniform? That makes no sense at all. If she meant this as some kind of intimidating fake-out, then she should have wanted Billie to see her, which means walking around Billie’s stomping grounds and not Joe’s. And if she was getting tools and/or materials to make some kind of copy, then it makes even less sense to be walking past Joe’s room.
At least if it were serious, then I could see Ruth walking around like this as some kind of “MUAHAHAHA! Look what I’m doing, suckers!” power trip. But there’s no good explanation for this if it’s just a fake-out.
Why, isn’t it obvious? The machine she has to use to make the copy is that way! 😀
Now, I would assume that in order to make it more real to Billie, Ruth would have a cloth copy of the shirt made (Or at least that letter S). She likely went to a place found on the other side of the boy’s dorm to make said copy.
At least, that deals with the whole “walking in the boy’s dorm” issue. Of course, one could ask why she was there to begin with?
Along the same lines as Skye, who’s to say that the person who made her the counterfit wasn’t a guy in the dorms?
Granted, I’m not saying she’s actually made a counterfit uniform or even just the letter S, but it would have been better to do so. Standard torture rule: the threat of an action is much more frightening than the actual act. The imagined level of how bad something will be is almost always worse than the reality.
That thought never entered my mind personally. I assumed this was all fake so that way Ruth has her back covered if Billie DOES realize she should report Ruth to the school admin. Billie brings in the admin, and Ruth goes “What is she talking about, her costume is fine and I found it laying around.”
Why would she feel guilty? Holding Billie’s outfit hostage against Sal’s behavior is wrong in and of itself, and even pretending to damage it is viciously cruel.
Seriously, Billie, you can report for her this kind of crap.
Or resort to violence. Either way comeuppance is assured.
If she gets Sal to do it 2 birds with one stone.
Violence didn’t work so well last time Billie tried it on Ruth. Though you never know I guess.
Billie getting Sal to do it like Brasca said would be amusing though. Roomie bonding and all that + teaching Ruth a lesson.
You gotta admit, that’s pretty darn cruel.
Maybe it’s cause she looks a lot more stressed without her glasses, but I don’t see why ya’ll saying Billie looks more sexy without the glasses. Perspective and all, I just can’t see it.
Yeah, I honestly never thought Ruth was a very worthwhile character, but with this, she’s taking steps into being an antagonist that it’s going to be enjoyable to see get what’s coming to her. So maybe this is a good thing.
Having worked with a “Libby”-type character for seven years, I can testify that the prejudice against the “Libby” among webcomics readers is a really strong one. (We overcame it, but it took some doing.)
It’s also fun to cheer on comics characters who are nasty for no good reason, just because their antics express the dark impulses we can’t (see: Stephen Pastis’ Rat, Dogbert, Mike Warner).
And then there’s the one saddened expression we saw on Ruth’s face, a hint that this version might have the emotional problems of her alt-universe counterpart.
Those are the only reasons I can see for cheering Ruth on at this point, despite her being an unhelpful, tyrannical, brutal bully, and despite her Libby-lite victim having done no real harm to anybody but herself, as far as we’re aware. (Oh, she was rude to Walky? Yeah, and he sure seems broken up about it, doesn’t he?)
I certainly wouldn’t mind a bit if Ruth’s arrogance finally slipped into overconfidence, and she let down her guard long enough for Billie to flatten her like a pancake.
All pretty sound. One thing I’d like to point out is that it’s less about any harm done by Billie, or if I were to paraphrase, anything Billie has done to deserve this, and more about the fact that she has failed to perform as expected. You break the rules, there are consequences for that.
She was given a simple task. Bring Ruth a sheet with two signatures. She didn’t do so, which means that now Ruth has to take time out of what is likely a busy day in order to follow up on this. Ruth gives a warning, and a deadline. “Hey, I’m serious. I need that form. Give it to me.” Instead of getting this done, she spends the day engaging in her favored form of recreation and goes to bed early. Now Ruth is forced to follow through on her threats.
It’s less a matter of harm done, and more a matter of black and white consequences. What was Ruth supposed to do? Give her back the uniform in one piece and just trust that the paperwork will get done? If that would have worked we wouldn’t have made it to this point in the process.
What is wrong with you? Do you really think Ruth’s behavior is anything remotely resembling appropriate? Seriously?
Lol. Don’t think I ever listed them as appropriate. It’s injustice plain and simple. I don’t see how that refutes anything I just said.
The problem with that task is that Ruth is trying to pin responsibility for Billie’s roommate, on Billie. Is it Billie’s fault that Sal is being a bit of a twit when it comes to entering and exiting like a person with at least somewhat emotionally healthy tendencies? No, therefore it cannot be her fault that she somehow ended up missing her. Especially seeing as Billie did NOT “go to bed early”, but stayed up late to try to catch Sal coming back. She even fell asleep in her chair trying to catch her, how did you miss that?
Ruth really is just being a bully about all this. I look forward to her karmic retribution.
Figure of speech. She went to sleep before she’d finished everything that had to be done that day. That’s going to bed early.
Sal is uninformed about any of this. It’s not her responsibility to do any of this until she’s been informed. Billie was handed the responsibility, and thus it’s her fault that it didn’t go through. She was given a job, she failed. I’m sure Ruth would place consequences on Sal too if she could get her hands on her.
Yes, she’s being a bully. I’m not hoping for karmic retribution though. She’s hardly the first asshole character in the universe. Mike’s made it how long without retribution? In fact, the only real consequence was that he found himself in a happy and fulfilling relationship.
Actually, Mike got to watch his girlfriend die and then he was subjected to a beating so severe that it put him in a full body cast.
I’d say he suffered consequences to his actions.
Mike also died once. And has been repeatedly raped via intoxication or blackmail. He’s suffered.
Everyone died. If Mike’s death is karmic retribution then what the hell did Walky do to deserve it?
You’re pretty rediculous if you really think how Ruth is acting is normal and acceptable as an RA.
It isn’t even entirely Billies fault that two signatures aren’t on the form- and even if it was what Ruth is doing is utterly rediculous and dispproprtionate and is gropunds for her getting kicked out of college entirely.
I’m looking forward to when Ruth gets her ass handed to her or for karma to strike her if it ever does. A part of me is hoping for explusion and a life of having to ask if you want fries with that but that’s unlikely to happen.
I’m quite glad my own RA is not a deranged horrific bully. And she has actually had REAL problems which she has dealt with effectively when the time comes. (Like one of the guys trashing one of the other flats here with the various use of contiments and breaking a window), basically proper channels were gone through and he is under warning. Also making sure people are not idiots about ecurity. That is what an RA is supposed to do.
Ruth is an utterly terrible RA and there’s no real excuse for her as of yet to be like this. And even if there was pressure this doesn’t excuse her from getting a good kick out the door.
Once again, normal and acceptable? No. Never.
I still fail to see how that refutes anything I said. She’s a bully, she’s a jerk, she’s many things, but she’s also doing her job. “Getting shit done with extreme prejudice” I believe is how I would put it.
That’s like saying the girl at McDonald’s job is to sell sandwiches, so shoving a burger in someone’s mouth and stealing their wallet is doing her job.
Lol. An apt anology actually. I suppose as long as it doesn’t get you fired…
I’ll agree though that “Extreme Prejudice” isn’t actually a beneficial attitude to take into most jobs in real life. Amazing how often it works in fiction though;)
No, she is not doing her job. The job of an RA is not to “assert dominance” it is to create a healthy atmosphere within a dorm and to be their to help the people who live there. Physicality assaulting and inspiring fear in your residences actively goes against that, and it doesn’t create a sence of respect.
Trust me, my freshman year no-one on my hall respected my RA and it was awful. No one could trust him with anything that actually mattered (a guy who seems to have major alcohol poisoning), but he would get people in trouble for little irrelevant things (like playing music a bit to loud at 10:00 at night). The girls however actually got an RA who did a good job and who they all loved and respected.
And Billy has done her side of the deal, Ruth’s job is to pester Sal, and I would love to see how this brute force method goes over with her.
Perhaps Willis is trying to take a shortcut to make the Libby sympathetic? I mean, I was looking forward to Billia receiving a comeuppance in the form of realizing that her high school queen status doesn’t mean jack nor shit in college, which could then have been followed by a redemption arc where she learns to treat people like human beings. Instead, thanks to Ruth’s cruelty, I feel sorry for her now.
I hope not – I expect better of Willis than that. Pitting the Egomaniac against the Thug might make the Egomaniac more sympathetic, but it’s…lazy, I guess. If he wants Billie to be sympathetic, I’d expect him to actually round her out a bit more. That’d certainly last longer, too – if she’s supposed to get sympathy because Ruth is bullying her without her actually changing…well, once that gag is exhausted, she goes back to being a self-centred bongo to everyone around her, and the sympathy goes away.
On the other hand, maybe the bullying by Ruth will drive home that she’s no longer the top of the heap and prompt her to grow, so the cheap sympathy could lead into some real, lasting sympathy.
Yeah count me in the “smack Ruth down camp”. Lines are being crossed left and right.
I really can’t understand how a Ruth hasn’t been fired yet, for her behavior. Verbal threats, physical assaults, and essentially terrorizing of students?
They tried to fire her, but she kicked their asses. The issue never came up again.
Really? Kicked their asses? Okay, so Res. Life won’t strip her of her authority. You mean the Dean of Student Life and anyone else in power is that hesitant to go up against this bongo, whose academic and professional careers they can end with two signatures?
They can’t sign with broken fingers! Ruth is abusing the system! Literally!
I don’t like Billie at all, but Ruth needs to stop punishing her for something that’s out of her control. It’s not Billie’s fault that she can’t find her roommate in her own room.
Yeah, I can’t see an RA who acts like this surviving long. I’m no fighter, but there are certainly ways to punish someone who beats you and destroys your property that don’t involve direct confrontation.
After all, nearly all RA’s do go to class, and they ALL have to sleep at some point, and breaking into a dorm room at a standard college really doesn’t require a Ninja’s skill set.
Am I the only one that doesn’t want to see Billie in this position?
You know I love Ruth, but I’m finding it kind of strange that everybody’s hating her jerk behavior. (which is mean but hilarious) But if it was Mike doing all the same things that she’s done, people wouldn’t even be blinking an eye at it and laughing it off. Why’s that? Is it cuz she has glasses or is a chick or what..?
What your comparison is lacking is that Mike prolly would’nt have any reason to do this here. I mean, what’s the worst he’s done in this universe, punch a guy in the face who was being a pervert in front of his date? Put his books in someone else’s backpack? Yeah, Mike’s a dick, but he’s on a much smaller scale, and, I find most importantly, he’s not being personal about it. Ruth just seems out to make Billie’s life a living hell because some other person, who she has no control over, isn’t doing what Ruth wants.
Yes, Ruth has a right to be pissed about that, but… eh, it’s all been said.
I would say it’s also because she is doing it from a position of some authority. When Mike ruins your day or takes you down a peg he’s doing it as a common person. But when Ruth took the job she accepted an obligation to act responsibly. Billie is not completely sympathetic, but Ruth comes off as kicking puppies she promised to protect. I hope there is some comeuppance for her.
Mike also has the benefit of being funny, completely unrealistic, and being grandfathered in. We liked him way back in the It’s Walky! days, when his cruelty was just another punchline. DoA is more realistic, so Ruth’s cruelty just comes across as mean.
I think part of the reason is the fact that, well, people are using past experiences with these characters, aka Roomies and other stories, as their influence for these characters. A lot of people liked Ruth and didn’t like Billie (At least that’s my interpretation of it), so it seems Willis is trying to turn the tables. He’s trying out making Ruth the unlikeable one and making Billie the one people show sympathy for. Of course, in general it’s a bit weird and unless we see some character development in Billie it won’t last.
No, it’s because Mike isn’t a realistic character. Mike likes to hurt and screw with people yes. But he’s like the Joker in that he’s a character who is bigger than life. Joker is a monster in Batman comics having killed children, mothers, sidekicks and red-heads, but we the fans are always waiting to see what he does next. He’s always managing to find a way to top himself, and he does it purely for the sake of a joke in the comic. Mike is the same way. He’s kinda evil, but in a very unrealistic way that makes him fun to read about without disliking him.
Ruth meanwhile is a more realistic character. A cruel, manipulative bully, who does these things because she feels that she is allowed this abuse because of her position of power. We’ve all probably dealt with a person like this at some point or another. She’s not doing this a joke for the comic, but rather to just be a bongo and a bully. She’s not bigger than life, like Mike or the Joker. She’s just another bully.
Okay, Ruth is crossing the line from being a tough RA, and into bongo territory. Billie now has a legitimate gripe to take to the Hall Director; no RA has the right to do what Ruth is doing. Hell, I am surprised that Billie did not go to the Hall Director right after she learned that Ruth broke into her room (without any legitimate reason, Ruth did commit breaking and entering, and no, wanting a signature on a piece of paper is not a legitimate reason). This has definitely gone on long enough.
There has to be a reason that Willis is taking one character after another and pushing once-comedic traits past the point where they become unlikeable. It’s happening too often to be an accident. I just wonder what the purpose is here, and whether we’re going to be left with any characters to root for.
Didn’t Billie-Prime’s mother sleep with Ruth-Prime’s father? Perhaps that happened here, too, and what we’re seeing is Ruth taking a bit of revenge.
That could explain why Ruth is hounding Billie, instead of hunting down Sal.
I’m fairly sure stealing someones property than holding it ransom is quite illegal. And if not, it’s frowned upon.
Ruth is basically a huge bongo.
Seriously, even if Billie didn’t report this now, what does Ruth think is going to happen when student evaluation time comes around at the end of the semester? Unless this college is different than any I’ve heard of, the RAs never got to collect their own evaluations. They can’t just ignore comments like those by a student; even if the RA claims it’s all lies, there should be an investigation because the school itself could get in trouble just based on what she’s done so far (physical abuse, theft, and vandalism) if they didn’t do anything about it. Granted, comic universe and all that, but still.
I don’t know why, but I have this feeling she’s been RA before and has done this before. Sure, it’d be cruel, but so long as she doesn’t damage anything and ensures there are ways to get around everything, she can get away with it.
Think about it. She gave Billie permission to hit her, which she promptly flipped Billie over for. She may have given permission, but it was self defense. The whole cheerleader shirt deal is another part of it. She’s only holding it ransom and probably will not do anything to it at all. She’s just trying to imply to Billie the seriousness of it. Finally, the clotheslining? Yea, Billie shouldn’t be running in the halls, as Ruth said, so bam.
Now in real life, this would be grounds for more than firing someone. This would be grounds to get arrested. But this is where we go back to Ruth having done this before. For the first few weeks it’s cruel and painful, but it ends with her running a very tight ship, where the students are following the rules to a T.
In addition, think about the show Undergrads. Did Gimpy’s RA act as an RA should? No, she was kind of like how Ruth is, just without the violence. She was manipulative and threatening, ready to pounce on Gimpy and the nerds at a moment’s notice. And for the most part, they obey her. They feared her. The one time they chose to rise against her and make her powerless (through Cal), Gimpy realized that without the RA everything went to hell.
So really, Ruth is like that RA, only more violent. She is targeting Billie specifically because, well, Billie is the one acting up the most. She keeps acting like the hotshot because she was a cheerleader in high school. Add in that her roommate is a pain in the ass to get to sign the form, and it just makes it worse. She is using Billie as an example for keeping order.
That’s what I think anyway.
I like this explanation, it does seem to make alot of sense, especialy considering that she got every single freshman to the dorm meeting, which I have never seen happen.
Not every freshman: she missed Sal.
She DID act on the chearleader outfit thing. She’s cutting it to pieces and sending it to Billie until she get’s the forms.
Regardless of the cercumstances destroying someone’s property is very illegal.
Now I can excuse Ruth flipping Billie over. Billie was being a bongo so Ruth flipped her over when she attacked her.
That’s fine. If a little violent she just used this as an example.
What isn’t fine is blackmailing someone. Even if she REALLY needs those forms. Why can’t she just get them off Sal herself? She is shown to be on the premises alot, she DOES attend class so it wouldn’t be impossible to find her.
Regardless of how much a bongo is in this comic Ruth is an even bigger bongo.
I agree with some of this, but must add – Ruth is pretty lousy as an RA, if she can’t track down one resident by doing something as useful as asking people questions. Like say, go ask her -brother- for a physical description, what is she known to drive, maybe even just find out when one of her classes is so that she can force her to sign the thing then and there… Yeah, Ruth has more options, she’s just going with the one that is “fun” to her – and the one that makes Karma mentally align its crosshairs…
I know this is just a fictional strip and all, and that it’s not REALLY supposed to represent actual people or events….but my god, Ruth is a damn mean bongo.
Why would she torment one of her residents like that? She sucks. I don’t like Ruth.
Mike is allowed to get away with this kind of shit because of the grandfather clause. (And because we haven’t quite internalized yet that in this universe his actions have consequences (assuming they do).
Ruth gets no such pass, mainly because we’ve had ample time to forget that in her original introduction she was punching people left and right (with justification, though). In this continuity she’s a heinous bongo, well on the way to becoming an irredeemable heinous bongo. One wonders if this is deliberate – if Willis wants a credible No Regrets moment (or anything akin to it) for her later, he’d best be delicate about painting her into a corner now.
No, it’s because Mike’s violence is out front, generalized, and funny. This is just being a maipulative conga.
Mike clotheslining somebody would be funny. Ruth doing it isn’t.
Actually, if the strip had ended with Ruth clotheslining Billie and saying “Don’t run in the hallway”, it might have been funny. It’s the psychological cruelty of the letter that sends her over the line.
I dunno, the Billie reaction in 2 and especially the pose in 4 drain away a lot of the funny even then. For proper comedic violence the victim needs to shrug it off, like that whole “taking a bullet in the teeth only covers you in soot” thing.
You’re right that the last half of the strip makes it much worse, though.
Ruth is definitely out of line. While she did taunt Billie the first time, Billie didn’t have to respond. It was overboard, but technically all Ruth did was defend herself.
Stealing her uniform was definitely over the line, and so is clotheslining someone for running in the hall. Maybe she’ll grow – it’s always nice to see characters do that, and college is a good time in life for it to happen – but for now I find very little to like about this Ruth. I also liked the old Ruth.
What would be ironic is if Ruth isn’t in fact the RA at all, and is doing this for kicks. Where’s the real RA? Maybe Ruth bullied her off; maybe she hated her job and Ruth agreed to do it for her. Granted, she would probably get expelled if that came out.
What if she isn’t even a student there?
Okay, I’m going to stop before I find a drama tag…
Lol. Ruth isn’t a student. I love that idea. She just comes over daily to inflict some misery on the local populace.
Can’t actually be true, but it has got me thinking about how she’d get along with Mike. Do I want to ship that, or would a bitter rivalry and/or enemy relationship be more enjoyable? God I’m gonna have fun with this.
Am I supposed to want Ruth to get drunk and die in a car accident? Is that the idea here?
I know, I just stopped myself short of hoping Ruth would die in a car crash. I hope Willis is going somewhere better with this, because I’m THIS close to writing off Ruth altogether.
Everyone’s emotional response here proves that Willis is doing his job. Bravo, I say.
Oh, no doubt. ‘swhy I spent the last two weeks reading every friggin Roomies!/It’s Walky!/Joyce and Walky!/Shortpacked!/DoA ever.
Lovin every second of it.
He’s succeeded in pissing people off and getting them talking about that. Meh, he’s succeeded in making me not read anymore. GG?
You don’t appreciate conflicts in the works of fiction you read?
This isn’t a world of “the planet is in danger” conflicts. This is a college story, simple as that. What Roomies would’ve been if Willis didn’t go the way of aliens.
That said, where else will you get conflicts? There has to be SOMETHING in there. A story of college students with no conflict is boring as crap! As cruel as Ruth is being, this is a great conflict story for the material.
But, what is Sal doing at night that keeps her out of the dorm? Is she working her way through college by part-time work as a (pick unlikely occupations) diesel mechanic? Tech phone support for GPS manufacturer? Emergency Medical Technician? Volunteering at the troubled youth hotline?
whoa, ruth’s hand in the last panel looks a bit wild
Second and a half panel, Billy is wearing her glasses allll wrong.
We’re all responsible for our own actions. Ruth’s inappropriate behavior, to Billy’s failure to turn in the paper, Sal’s absence, and most importantly, Billy and every other dorm member’s inaction against Ruth’s tyranny. They all will have to deal with the consequences of their actions.
Actually, Billie isn’t responsible for her failure to turn in the paper – a roommate agreement – because of Sal’s absence.
Sure she is. She was perfectly capable of getting it in through any number of means. Leave a note asking for the signature. Actually stay awake and meet her at night. Track her down through her brother, who she is acquainted with. She had options.
She’s trying. A good RA would make either help her by tracking down Sal herself or offer advice. Billie wants to get the agreement and just isn’t seeing her options.
Yes, but Ruth isn’t a good RA is she?
When the system works against us, we still remain responsible for the consequences of our own actions. Getting the job done, not getting it done, no one cares whether or not it was an uphill battle. People just want results.
I’m not saying Ruth isn’t a problem, but to say that Billie isn’t responsible for her own failure because she hasn’t received the external aid one would typically expect is faulty.
Walky and Sal don’t get along. And we don’t know how late she tried to stay awake. Sal might not have come back at all during the night.
And who’s to say Sal would even see a note? Sal doesn’t seem to be the kind of person who would care to read it at all.
Except that she did none of these things. To say that they might not have worked is one thing. At the end of the day she didn’t do anything though. Unless you count staying up almost as late as was required of you.
When you have a multitude of options available to you in your attempt to perform a task, and you spend your day immobile in a chair, that doesn’t speak of a concerted effort to accomplish.
I come here from Shortpacked!, fresh in my mind how good of a comic that, It’s Walky!, Joyce and Walky, and Roomies were. I read this strip and wonder what happened in those few seconds. This is the Striptease to Punch an’ Pie.
DoA is funny much of the time, like when Mike or Walky are doing anything. Or Danny or Dina or Amber or that other person Amazi-girl. Or when Joe is being Joe-like or Joyce is being Joyce-like enough to seem cartoony.
Right now this doesn’t trigger a grandfather clause and doesn’t seem cartoony, so we’re judging it as if it wasn’t. Which is the difference between comedy and cruelty.
I think your assessment is dead-on. This isn’t a srsface comic nor is this a comic that really relishes its cruelty, like Something Positive. It’s a realistic, unpleasant situation that isn’t funny and is far too close to home to be funny, at least for most of us. This kind of stuff would be slightly less out of place in, say, Penny & Aggie, but it wouldn’t be played for laughs.
It takes time to teach kids that violence is funny. Is this funny because it’s violent?
What exactly has given you the idea that this is supposed to be funny? The comic is a mix of serious situations and humor – as was It’s Walky, yet you claim you’ve read and enjoyed it.
The reason Mike does not bother me as much as Ruth does is that Ruth has “official” power. Mike gratuitously punching someone vs. a Police Officer gratuitously punching someone. Also, I think a lot of us still carry around scars and insecurities from our freshman dorm days. I was an RA , although a long time ago. No way Ruth gets away with that. BUT this is both a comic strip and one by Willis; it doesn’t exactly have to be “realistic”. Aliens? Semme? Galasso? Cadbury creme eggs?
I’m suddenly reminded that the only reason anybody liked Ruth in the first place was because she was ONCE selfless and killed herself to help someone. She was nothing until martyrdom made people treat her like a “bongo with a heart of gold”. Well sorry but this Ruth can just go ahead and die.
Billie: if you aren’t going to go to her superiors with this abusive behavior, at least hire Mike as a bodyguard.
She may have been nothing, but she was at least a relatively impartial, rounded nothing that while a downer was not *particularly* evil (unless you tortured her brother). She could have been a lot worse. (And now is.)
I started reading this at DoA and I got to say, if Ruth gets away with this I am finished with this comic. Everyone here seems to have faith so I will give it some time. Also, isn’t it Ruth’s JOB to track down Sal? She can ask the roommate for help but in the end Ruth needs to be responsible for her own duties.
Really? *sigh* I’ll bite: This Ruth is nothing like the advice-giving, self-sacrificing Ruth in Roomies… Which sucks.
I hope Ruth grows out of this.
Or gets reported, fired, expelled, and thereafter only appears covered in shame.
Yeah, that works, too…
I get it! It’s funny because it’s a female physically assaulting and terrorizing someone. When it’s a guy, it’s sad and the source of angst for a main character.
IN THE END, IT TURNS OUT THAT THE “DRAGONS” BILLY USED TO CHEER FOR IS THE TEAM THAT ENDER WIGGIN USED TO LEAD IN BATTLE SCHOOL.
S**T GOES DOWN.
…and then she stomps on Billies glasses.
am i the only one who thinks Billie looks incredibly pale?
She’s mostly British. It happens.
Interesting note: Billie’s uniform doesn’t have any form of white around the letters:
Now mind you, I may be too picky, but it does look like the shirt says “Dragons” and there’s no hint of white cloth around the letters at all. Meanwhile, what Ruth has shown is the S with… white cloth around it!
NITPICKING WINS THE DAY!
But couldn’t she have cut the letter out, and glued/taped it to a piece of white paper?
Hey, OT, are you the David Willis who scored the Comics Curmudgeon’s Comment of the Week? If so, congrats –– it was excellent.
Wait, I did? Sweet!
Apparently I did! Score! Thanks for pointing me at it. I’m off being being busy, so I never woulda known.
I’ve been reading your stuff ever since the strip where Walky and Joyce were sharing a room, one came out of the shower as the other was going in, and they were obviously trying to not jump each other’s bones, and I gotta say: I am really, really enjoying this work you’re doing here. I hope to see it go to some even more interesting places. =D
As much as most people commenting here are raging, I’m just loving this. I actually like Ruth like this, she’s a fun means of adding conflict to the story. And though it’s important to have some suspension of disbelief with what people can and can’t do in a school setting, what Ruth does feels like it falls perfectly within the boundaries people use for tyrannical higher ups in comedies.
As far as I’m concerned, suspension of disbelief is stretched a little… But not broken. People are taking this way too seriously. And quite frankly, it’d just be boring if they went to Ruth’s higher ups to just suddenly fix everything for them. Come on, don’t you guys have a desire to see characters solve their own problems, to see them struggle and actually try to do things themselves?
If it can make sense, yeah, but I’m under the impression that this universe is supposed to be a wee bit less hokey. Having said that, I guess this situation still is a lot less hokier than what we’ve gotten in the other universe, in that sense that it’s still plausible though not probable (IRL, Ruth would not have her job after this, 100% sure).
All I know at this point is that I can’t wait to see how this ends.
Well, Mike wasn’t kicked out of Galasso’s for repeatedly punching another customer in the face. And odds are he won’t get in trouble for his doodles and insults in his notes, either. Comedy beats out real world punishments here I would assume. Unless it’s convenient for the plot.
Ouch! So cold…
Wait, I just had a thought… what if this ties in to the previous comics thread? Billie with her glasses off doesn’t realize that what Ruth threw down is really just a condom with a giant S on the cover, one of seven different to spell out DRAGONS in a similar manner to the logo of the college.
That’s one of the only ways to even approach redeeming Ruth’s behaviour, if it’s a fake S somehow.
Condom is probable, since her glasses got knocked off, tho XD
So, I just stubled on this comic, and I’m a little confused… I see the characters in this comic… are the same characters as in the comics on the right? There seem to be like 4 different comics all with the same characters? Is Joyce going to end up with walky because I see them together on the right? Are all these people going to work with toys? What’s going on????
It’s a different universe that starts over. Forget what you know about my other works. (In other words, the “About” page should be eye-opening.)
right, the author of all these comics recycles his characters.
starting with Roomies, Its Walky, and Joyce and Walky, they all followed one storyline, (roomies was about peeps in college, then Its Walky completely flipped the story over and made it crazy with aliens and superpowers and stuff, then J&W was more of a strip-based comic. with mostly random stuff happening and no real “storyline” as such)
Shortpacked follows on from that, a few years later, but focuses on other charatcers, but features a few characters from the original trilogy (Mike, etc), though they’re superpowers are VERY rarely mentioned in it
then Dumbing of Age, starts all over again. completely fresh slate, but “in an alternate universe” where characters meet differently (or may never meet i guess) and different people end up together. need to wait to see whether this will take a more zany story-arc though, but so far this one is more “realistic” than the original trilogy
Oh… that’s odd 😛
Huh, where’s Mike and some bribin’ cash when you really need them?
Frankly, this was pretty unnecessary.
I don’t know, when instead of talking to Walky about where Sal might be and tracking her down; or maybe leaving Sal a note saying “Hey sign this”; or forging a signature; or coming to peace with the fact that she’s not a cheerleader anymore and shouldn’t be so attached to the outfit, Billie decides that the best course of action is to get a little drunk and just wait around for Sal to show up, I don’t feel all that bad for Billie.
I also seriously doubt that if Mike was the one destroying the uniform, even if Ruth hired him to do it, we would have people hoping that he or whoever his potential girlfriend will be would die.
A Maple Leafs Jersey? She really is the devil.
Sorry guys, I laughed pretty hard. For a cartoonist whose other strip uses “existential doubt because one’s dad is abusive/unfaithful” as a punchline, this is par for the course.
I think the mission statement here is: “And then it got worse for the characters.”
I can’t think of anything other than a line from one of my favorite blogs, who himself uttered it after hearing it from True Blood.
“Augh, god! You nasty bongo!” I didn’t read the previous comic in which Ruth appeared, but I read your comments. I want her to get drunk and die. Ha, tasteless of me.
What did she do in her first appearance in this universe? Death threats.
Following that? Stalking. Then physical assault. Haughty arrogance. More assault. Then more arrogance and yet -more- threats. Then, finally, finally, a sympathetic showing, cheapened by the fact that she follows it with a “you are my least favorite” and the blonde is a cut-throat.
Then she disappears for a while. Busy out stealing precious mementos and holding them ransom. And calling kids fat. Because people love being called fat. And then destroying said mementos.
Does she actually ever threaten to return it in pieces? Because I don’t can’t find that, but I recollect it happening. All in all, this is not an endearing character in the least, especially because despite both Ruth and Billie being introduced as bongoes, one of them gets meaner by the day while the other gets blindsided by a clothesline.
Oh, and Joe is a mysogynistic douche. This makes for very flat characters with no endearing traits despite ample face time. I mean, let’s compare them to a few other, more fleshed out characters..
Joyce’s self-righteous attitude is tempered by her genuine innocence and sweet personality.
Sarah’s high-handed bongoiness is mellowed by the fact that she’s pragmatic and a bit of a snark. Also she tells Joe off, which earns her so many brownie points.
Sal is badass. I don’t like her but I can she why other people can.
Dorothy is willing to throw away her boyfriend for success but at least she realizes that it’s a bongoy thing to do and that it’s something she should have realized and acted on sooner. Plus her drive is sort of endearing.
Amber is adorable. Becky is not in the comic much but still irritating. Roz is so irritating in Shortpacked that I can’t get over it here, but if I were to refrain from that baggage she doesn’t seem so bad in this comic.
I think it’s fine. This is still Billie’s “Getting what’s coming to her” for all the “it’s about time that little jerk learned there’s a pecking order, and I’m on top! Yeah, I’m just so badass, nobody can stand up to me!”
And then she meets the RA from Hell.
Oh, wow. I feel really sorry for Billie.
I just noticed this… the outline of the S does not match the outline of the Uniform… I don’t think it was actually cut…
no san diego comic-con, the sorries
Who should be R.A.?
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