perhaps i can console you folks with another girl/girl couple, check the news
…I will take your newspost as consolation, comic.
It’ll take more than lesbian porn to make this better!
And that’s saying a lot!
DAMN YOU WILLIS
DAMN YOUR TALENT AT MAKING ME CARE, WILLIIIIIISSS!!!!
I agree, that’s what keeps me reading him, the way his characters hold my interest because they are so… believable? Real? Convincing? Relatable? Anyway, they just do and are. This is good drama, so to speak.
SHIP SINKS, ALL HANDS LOST
Femurs are not in hands.
FEELINGS ARE THE STUPIDEST
STUPID STUPID FEELINGS.
I’D HATE MY FEELINGS BUT HATE IS A FEELING! INSTEAD I AM ENGAGING IN VERY LOUD APATHY!
As Cyberman, We think of the humans. We think of their difference and their pain. They suffer in the skin. They must be upgraded.
Upgrade and be free of the weakness that is feelings!!!
and look like the new Cybermen? No, but thank you.
I’ll take the old Earthshock style of Cyberman .
But then you’d be a Cyberman hipster!
Ugh, Billie, you really fucked this one up.
Please stop crying Ruth
THE SHIP! IT’S SINKING!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
WHY IS THIS MUSIC PLAYING, OH GAWD, IT’S MAKING THE SHIP SINK FASTER.
SOMEONE FIND SOMETHING TO PLUG THE HOLE!
I’m remembering one of the first episodes of Pokemon.
They’re on a ship. It’s sinking.
And to escape they make the hole larger.
That is how you will survive.
MAKE THE HOLE BIGGER!!!!!!!
That was the point in the first place.
But my, what a crude way to express it.
I’m sure Joe would gladly help with that.
creepy creepy Joe
The iceburg in question are the “rocks” floating on a sea of booze.
oh god my heart hurts
SUFFERING!! trademarked by David WIllis
So, fans should riot at the USPTO?
You’d think another alcoholic would be able to understand how hard it is to quit.
Where emotions run high, rationality has no power.
(Plus, Billie gave the impression that she never tried to quit. As opposed to trying and relapsing.)
I deal with people who are incapable of rational thought nearly every day. mention the concept of riding a bicycle as transportation and their brains shut down and meaningless crap comes out of their mouths.
Based on your gravatar, I’m guessing you REALLY like your bike.
There’s something wrong with that?
Of course not, oh great and mighty Bill.
Yes, if you do it in public.
In a just world, such people would have their driver’s licenses revoked, and be provided with a bicycle as their only transportation.
This in reply to Opus the Poet’s post about people reacting irrationally to the concept of bicycles as transportation. The site does not always nest posts correctly, if it posts them at all.
Where I work, the bicyclists run red lights and yell at pedestrians in crosswalks. Perhaps it is not so black and white where you are, either.
Well, after *that* post, I feel pretty much compelled to post meaningless crap in response to that mention of bikes you made:
1) It rains and snows for nearly half the year here.
(Also some crap about speeds and cargo, but really who’s in a hurry nowadays and regarding cargo there’s workarounds and nobody buys groceries anymore anyway.)
Yeah but Billie never DID so…yeah…Still kind of a Dick move.
Plus. There’s a difference between being unable to quit and lying to the person you’re supposed to be quitting with.
She used her quitting as a bargaining chip to get Ruth to quit too. The fact that Ruth now knows it was a) a lie or b) she relapsed and didn’t trust Ruth enough to seek support… both options are damning given the situation.
Oh God…Ruth is gonna relapse.
It has been literally two days since they agreed to quit drinking. Even an alcoholic has that much self-control. Billie didn’t even try.
really, only two days? I’m not sure if that makes it hurt more or less!!
It has been five.
Oh. My bad on that. Kinda hard to equate comic-days with real-time and all. Still pretty few, though.
Oh, come ON. Seriously, computer? I restart you, so you switch me back to my old name… thing… thingamajig? Now I look like a schizophrenic.
There was a timeskip between Wednesday evening, after the floor meeting resulting from Billie’s fire alarm adventures, where they made the pact, and Saturday morning, when the Keeners showed up at Dorothy’s door for the beginning of Hell Freshman Family Weekend. It’s currently Sunday evening. So, yeah, it doesn’t seem as long as it actually has been.
… Insofar as that can seriously be said about four days that have lasted just over seven months.
Four, I think? Give or take a few hours. The floor meeting was Wednesday evening, right? So Thursday evening makes one, Friday evening makes two, Saturday evening was three, and it’s now Sunday evening.
Well, she doesn’t hate Billie forever yet…
Yeah, all possibilities considered, this is manageable.
I anticipate pain, and I anticipate Ruth being slow to trust Billie again, but I am still (hopefully not foolishly) optimistic that they can work with this, and once they come through it hopefully be stronger for it.
Please please oh please this.
If this does not happen, I shall be screaming, “DAMN YOU WILLIS!!!” for all eternity.
“Ten thousand years later, the Earth has reached the end of its life. All living beings are long gone, their flesh rotted and their bones ground into dust. Buildings have vanished, civilizations flown away in the wind like so much dust. As Sol, the great golden star, continues to grow, its flame begins to caress the surface of the Earth, and the planet begins to disintegrate in the massive heat, in a horrible silence. But through the silence, a single sound can be heard. A voice, screaming off into eternity as it is flung off the planet’s surface, forever doomed to wander the cosmos. Forever screaming only a single phrase.”
“DAMN YOU WILLIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIiiiiiiiiiiiissss…!”
^This. All of my this.
Yes, Weirdo, yes!
This sounds like the intro to an awesome episode of Doctor Who.
Of course, in this case ‘slow’ means ‘hey, they might be back on speaking terms by 2015.’
Part of me still wonders whether this panel suggests the two of them will end up having a more civilized discussion in the near future – so far, Ruth hasn’t actually spent one-on-one time with anybody but Billie. On the other hand, it could just as easily be that long-delayed talk Ruth’s been meaning to have with Amber, though that’s actually something I’d be looking forward to – Ruth and Amber’s shared anger issues create a pretty fascinating dynamic, and lord only knows Ruth could use a new confidant after this fiasco.
Eh I don’t think this is a fatal blow to the Good Ship Billie/Ruth, but it depends how Billie responds to it. If it’s something like “I tried, but I just couldn’t do it” Ruth will probably be able to understand.
That was the first thing I checked on in reading this comic!
I think this is the first time a Willis comic (or any comic) has actually brought me to tears.
Leslie and Robin’s breakup did. But that was years ago. NOW NOTHING CAN MAKE ME CRY.
Why’d they break up?
Did you not read it? Oh, but you must!
Because whoops spoilers.
The weird thing is that if you actually said the truth, they might think that you were screwing with them.
That’s it, be as vague and intriguing as possible until they’re FORCED to read it!
Yeah, even the tragedy has a “wacky hijinks” vibe over there. I’m going to miss it.
Nah, what would really make them think we were screwing with them is the bare truth about how that situation was resolved. It starts out wacky, takes an immediate left turn into wtf, and keeps going right through badass into awesome.
…My wife did actually think I was engaging in sexual intercourse with her!
Feeling stuff is for nerds, Ruth. Become a cyborg, Ruth.
But…cyborgs are also for nerds.
Cyborgs are MADE by nerds but the actual cyborg is a badass.
But if you take all the feelings away when you upgrade, then it becomes a Tragic Cyborg, and that’s just a whole other layer of sad on top of this parfait of despair.
They can’t be sad because they have no emotions. Other people can be sad for them but Ruth herself won’t feel sadness.
Unless they remember they’re emotions, Robocop style.
Pretty sure Robocop felt more than his designers ever intended. Not as strongly as in life, but he did seem to have an emotional attachment to the feelings he once had.
An unemotional cyborg that remembered its feelings would be unaffected by these memories on an emotional level.
BUT BILLIE WILL GOSHDARNIT AND THAT IS SOMETHING I SIMPLY CANNOT TAKE
But what if they have this terrible pain in all the diodes down their left side?
It is the reason for their paranoia?
Marvin wasn’t paranoid. The Universe was out to get him, and unlike Agrajag, it appeared to be mostly intentional. Once you start looking past the sheer silliness of the situations, H2G2 is most of the trauma a creative author can think up, overlaid with a thick veil of humor.
The technology is invented by nerds. Perhaps even the prototypes are built by nerds. Once it’s on the mass market for people like Ruth though we’re talking factory workers to build the parts and tradesmen to put them inside you.
Replace your brain with the iMind V4.0. The V stands for Vengeance. It does not feel, but neither does it forget.
Coming soon — the iMind V5.0, cooled with liquid nitrogen.
Because vengeance is a dish best served cold.
well, I respectfully offer Adam from Buffy the Vampire Slayer as proof there are exceptions to that ‘Cyborgs are awesome’ theory.
Some just suck.
Damn you willis.
“No second chances. I’m that sort of Ruth.”
No, looks like she may get one more chance… Hopefully… “You lie to me again,” and all…
I was referencing the Tenth Doctor lol
Although it’s a sign she may be able to forgive this.
Oh, I know. I got the reference.
Are you The Rani, by the way?
Yeah, but that “again” came before Billie confirmed with her silence that she’s been lying about not drinking all along.
Fuck me, this is my pet ship, and not even I can find that excusable. I was hoping it was all a matter of a backslide into drinking again, not a big fucking lie about everything.
I guess turnabout is fair play. Billie had to overcome some pretty shitty treatment and a bit of physical abuse to get to this point where she wants to be with Ruth. Now, if this ship sails, I guess Ruth has to do the same on an emotional level. I don’t know if I could do that in her place.
It’s entirely possible that, at the moment she said it, Billie fully intended to quit. I was not a lie until she gave in and had that first drink. So maybe she was not lying all along, just…almost all along.
And what harm is just one drink?
It’s like Mark Twain once said: “Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.”
That’s the Gospel Ruth.
Billie isn’t the second chance type, either.
Or is that just for Danny dudes?
I think she IS the Danny in this one.
She did kind of cause Ruth to be hit by an 18 wheeler of emotions, yes.
But then it’s Ruth’s 18 wheeler, running on autopilot. It’s not like Billie initiated any move on her except for getting her to stop drinking. Instead of herself.
billie’s faces make me want to cry they’re so sad
It’s spelled “g u i l t y,” not “s a d.”
Yeah, she’s like a puppy that peed on the rug. She knows she messed up, and she’s just hoping she’s cute enough that she won’t get yelled at.
Gonna go with, little of column A, little of column B.
Billie, you are terrible at subterfuge.
Damn you Willis.
Hello, I haven’t seen you around. Is that a new name?
Amazed it wasn’t taken.
I don’t think you can own names in this. Your gravatar is tied to your email address, not your name.
Yeah, I know there’s at least one other “John” kicking around here. Email hashes differently, though, so he has a different random gravatar.
I’ve taken to using my full name on Bring Back Roomies!, because there was another “John” there too (maybe the same one, I dunno) who ended up with the same random grav as well.
Your name is a thing of beauty, even if I happily absorb this drama rather than curse willis for it.
loose lips sinks ships. In this case it was alcohol.
Don’t give up so quickly, Ruthie! It’s worth another chance! It is!
I hate you Willis. I hate you with all my hate.
^^^ And so does Mary, by the looks of things…
Mary has hate to spare.
so is Billie the new Danny or something because that could get confusing and also hilarious
Clearly, Willis only gives us good things so he can take them away again.
That’s what’s known as “good parenting”.
Well, “fun parenting”, anyway.
Willis knows the best way to sink a ship is drowning it in the tears and collective other various fluids of the readers.
There are not many other fluids (maybe bile?) that I would consider called for here.
Snot. Also general nose and eye leakage.
Could be worse. Red Wedding?
Billie, you never even quit!? Sigh…
This comic has had a lot of sad moments, but I think Ruth’s sad/angry/disappointed/devastated face in the last panel might top the list for me. I really teared up.
Everything is awful forever. DAMN YOU WILLIS!
Tomorrow’s strip: Ruth leaves the room in tears. Billie turns to the camera, shrugs her shoulders, and says “Heh, whoops!”
Wacky music plays with lots of horns bells and whistle and then a sign pops up that says “THAT’S BILLIE”
Here you go.
Then dons the cheerleader uniform.
OK, quickly, for the readers who are more up on the archive than I am: Billie did actually quit drinking for at least a couple days, right? I remember her doing the morning sobriety check with Ruth at least once. So, she did at least make an effort? Not that that’s going to help her now.
She did the morning sobriety test for Ruth. Ruth didn’t do a sobriety test for Billie.
Well, some readers seem to suspect she was lying, but the way it was phrased seems honest to me when she claimed at one point that she hadn’t had a drink in three d… er, months.
So I’d say she managed three days.
And here’s a link to the particular strip, if it is helpful to you. (Warning: may contain Blaine and Faz.)
Sometimes we have different lies we tell to different people. Billie was ready to lie about the three days. That was her standard lie, the narrative she was crafting, the story she had floating in her head already. But for people who aren’t Ruth, she needed to switch to the other lie, the one about three months.
For that moment, the three days WAS the truth, or at least, the truth that she was creating for Ruth. It’s why she defaulted to it.
(that’s how I wrote the scene, anyway — note Billie’s guilty look following)
Oh damn, so you’re Word of God confirming that she did never quit? And even three days was just a lie?
Damn… I had been trying to give Billie the benefit of the doubt, that she’d tried, and after the drama of the visiting day, she slipped up… But now, I dunno… I still ship the hell out of these two, but Billie’s going to have to do a lot to make up for this shit.
Except now it looks like she was just revising the lie she’s been telling people since her DUI incident… three months ago.
(OK, maybe not exactly three months, but if the crash happened at the end of her senior year, it’d be in that general timeframe. Also – whoops, scooped by creator. Go figure.)
How could this happen to me
I made my mistakes
The night goes on while I’m
Sigh. Of course. More drama. Thank you Willis.
I liked it better when I couldn’t feel either.
There we go. There’s the depressing realization. Life feels normal again. Only 1/3 of the cast can feel moderately happy……
Aw fuck it I feel terrible for Ruth
1/3 of the cast? Like the arms and one leg?
No. The arms and legs are broken.
One third of the *cast*.
Heh heh heh heh heh heh… heh he he hehehehehe he… AHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!
DAMN YOU WILLIS! DAMNYOUDAMNYOUDAMNYOUDAMNYOU! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!
OK….now I think the ship sinks.
Sinks? It just rolled upside down and exploded in what can only be described as “Michael-Bay-wishes-he-had-explosions-this-massive” fashion.
No No Ruth don’t say those things…damnit Billie you broke her heart. You broke all of our hearts
Such fragile hearts guys. I told you to get insurance on those things.
Flo cloudnt point me the hearts section in the progressive department
Ahhhhhhhhh, the pain.
Does Billie even really think she has a problem? Seems like it would be easy for her to write this off as an “I had a lone incident, Ruth’s daily life is being screwed up. I’m only quitting to lend her moral support.” kind of thing.
Yeah, I strongly doubt Billie thinks of her drinking as a ‘problem’. If she really did, her moment of clarity should have come after that SUV crash, but months later she was still boozing it up without even the slightest hesitation. I always thought that that lack of repentance – or even awareness – was one of the biggest reasons Ruth went after her in the first place. But if I had to take a guess, I’d say this incident might make her reconsider that stance…
Ruth really did seem quick to assume Billie had seen the error of her ways and was repentant for the drunk driving incident. I’d have to reread the archives to see if Billie ever even said anything to that effect beyond “Man, drunk driving really screwed with my cheerleading”.
Which kind of speaks volumes. Even with how repugnant she views Billie’s actions, she really wants Billie to be good. She wants this not to be an issue. She’s way more invested in Billie than just “God she’s hot but I hate everything about her”.
It Doesn’t matter if she had a problem with it or not, Billie promised that she would quite with Ruth so she can give her support and to let her now that she wasn’t alone in this. so they made a deal and promised each other that neither of them would drink, witch formed a bond of trust witch was the foundation of their friendship. But now said promise is broken and all that is gone
Now she has.
Way to Dan it up, Billie. You made Ruth cry. Are you HAPPY now?
So “happy” that she will drown her sorrows with more booze…
You know what would be ironic, she would get so depressed that she drown herself in booze for like a phew days till Ruth finds her past out on the floor just like Billie found Ruth a weeks weeks ago
Unlikely, given that Sal would probably notice if Billie stopped leaving the room while drinking heavily.
Dunno if she’d think anything of it. Alcoholism is Billie’s definin’ characteristic, after all.
Danny is better than her now…IMO!
Even Faz is better.
Whoa whoa whoa. Let’s not get CRAZY here!
No amount of lesbian porn can distract me from the horrible, dreadful…..
damn i need a slipshine account….
Fuck you Billie, you suck…you made Ruth cry!
This was always going to be a rocky road, but I still believe.
However I AM going to go look at Penny and Walter for a while.
Dammit, Billie. You were supposed to at least try.
“Do or not do, there is no try” – A hack writer.
Don’chu talk about Yoda that way. I will track you down! I WILL FIND YOU. I WILL FIND WHERE YOU SLEEP AND AWAIT YOUR RETURN WITHIN THE CONFINES OF YOUR GARDEN
And then I will hand a sternly worded letter to you explaining why that’s a bad idea and misinformed. I firmly believe such things must be done in person.
Why do all the strangest comments(excluding myself) have Joyce gravatars?
It’s too late, Ruth. Once you start having feelings, you can’t go back. Unless you’re in the Buffyverse and you get your soul (re)taken from you.
Tomorrow’s comic, Ruth runs out and then runs into Amber…
And then make-outs occur.
The results will be so amazing, you will rip out random people’s femurs in joy.
There is a DoA panel that would make a perfect response image here, but I don’t know how to make that happen, so you’re just going to need to imagine it.
A rage singularity forms.
If this leads to Ruth getting a Red Lantern ring of Rage, I will be amazed and bewildered by the depths of Walky’s subterfuge.
Man, now I want to see some art of the characters as different Lantern Corp. Members.
“Oh, hey, I was supposed to tell you, your asshole dad’s been trying to get into the dorm again.”
Then Blaine comes and says “What’s my name again?”
Betrayal tastes like Wild Turkey….
Billie always struck me as more of a Thunderbird type.
I just looked that up. Maaan, that’s cheap….
It’s a good wine if 1) you like horrible migraine hangovers 2) if you’re too pompous for MD 20/20 or Night Train, but not classy enough for Wild Irish Rose, and 3) if you are in “drink away the pain” mode.
Don’t worry, Ruth. Her mouthwash is Jack Daniel’s flavoured.
Man, that last panel.
Also: seriously, Billie? The occasional backslide is one thing, but has she really been drinking throughout the entire past week and then lying to Ruth’s face about it? Small wonder she’s been acting so guilty.
Part of me already figured that Billie wasn’t too worried about keeping up her part of the bargain because she didn’t think she had a problem – the offer to quit “together” was really more of an incentive for Ruth to play along so Billie could stop worrying about her dying a horrible booze-related death. Still kind of sad to have it confirmed, though.
I don’t think she never quit. She seemed awfully indignant when she insisted she’d not had a drink in three d… months. So She’d stopped that long, at least. (Three days, that is.) I just think that, having been found out, her brain’s shut down and she can’t form any coherent answer to Ruth’s accusations…
Hopefully she is more coherent tomorrow night. Not that, “I managed it three days, but then slipped up,” is a get out of jail free card, but it can at least help start a conversation that will hopefully lead to eventual reconciliation.
I dunno. The fact that she isn’t answering or trying to defend herself on that charge looks kind of damning.
Never mind. Seems Willis shattered my world in a response to one of my earlier comments above.
Damn you, Willis!
(But hopefully Billie can still somehow make up for this…)
Yeah, it was a nice delusion to cling to, but even if Willis hadn’t confirmed I think her silence says it all.
Were there people that didn’t see this coming, sooner or later?
I was a bit surprised at all the “CALLED IT!” comments yesterday, given that this has been the most obvious path for the storyline to take since they agreed to quit together – and ever since the end of book 3, every “now kiss!” comment about Ruth and Billie seems to have been followed by “Ruth: ‘hmm, you taste of beer…’”.
Oh, Ruth, honey.
You’ve always felt rage.
Marigold is having a good day today too.
w…what? augh willis i can’t with the shortpacked leslie/robin arc reread and now this, STOP BREAKING ME GODDAMNIT
YES, CRASH, BURN, AND SINK! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
I’m just so upset! They finally show each other there full emotions and then . . . Then . . . GOD DAMM WILLIS! WHY WON’T YOU LET THEM BE HAPPY! YOU’RE WORSE THAN MOFFAT!
At least Willis can write female characters complexly, though. But then again, the male characters have not seen as much characterization. I think that makes Willis the anti-Moffat.
But he still has a ways to go before hitting Whedon.
R.I.P. USS RuthxBillie
Play ‘em off, boys.
Hell, no. This ship can still be saved. When it comes to Billie and Ruth, I don’t believe in the no win scenario.
Won’t be easy, and Billie has a lot to do to make this up… But it can happen. It will happen. And if it doesn’t, then Willis will be forever damned.
Judging by the fact that Willis already done the strips in advance, their fate is pretty much sealed.
Well, yes, but we the readers do not yet know in what direction this will go. So Willis is, by our POV, still Schrödinger’s Damned Cat.
Damn it, you beat me to it.
I’d gloat… but this comic put me off on such things…
I only hope that tomorrow’s comic, while not waving a magic wand to instantly fix things (I wouldn’t want that, Billie needs to earn Ruth’s trust back in a realistic way), ends on a glimmer of hope that the cat will live…
I know this takes time and regaining of trust to come back from, but I still want everyone to be happy NOW.
But until those pre-determined strips are revealed, Schrödinger’s Webcomic dictates that this ship is both sunken and floating AT THE SAME TIME.
Hey man, you do what you like. As for me….
You gave up at the first sign of drama when almost anyone in the universe was writing it?
Your resolve is weak!
You shot who with the what now?
Lyrics: “I will go down with this ship, and I won’t put my hands up and surrender, there will be no white flag above my door, etc”
Oh! Went with the name, my bad!
Nah, no hard feelings.
The ship…she be taking in water…GRAB THE BUCKETS!!!
There’s a hole in the bucket …
If only Billie had a Mentos earlier on…
Billie doesn’t understand this “Mentos” thing. She just drinks peppermint schnapps for a breath freshener.
Ruth, my heart breaks… And I thought she’d NEVER give me the feels.
“Billie, I know your boobs are amazing, but stop staring at them and listen to me!”
I think she’s leaning over to try to distract Ruth with cleavage.
Yotomoe and your shenanigans.
Yotomoe, you bad, bad man.
Wait, Yotomoe is man?
I hate it when I forgot a word or letter. -.-
Yotomoe is man. Yotomoe even growing hair on chin.
Well, I should stop thinking a user’s gravatar would be indicative of his/her gender. ^^°
Yotomoe’s gravatar seems pretty gender non-specific to me.
←(Neither a girl nor an alcoholic, despite my grav.)
Naw, I just look like a girl. I got dreadlocks. I’m pretty.
While I’m repeatedly called ‘the Rabbi’ by my friends.
Doesn’t work, trust me.
Poor Ruth. She may have been destructive, but you can’t help but feel for her as she feels betrayed by the one person she let in.
(Chose a fine week to change my avi to somepony who is so happy)
Yeah, I liked it when I COULDN’T FEEL ANYTHING EITHER
Don’t feel, conceal.
Don’t let her know.
Well, now she knows…
I’m sorry guys.
I can’t let it go.
Have faith! This is perfectly recoverable-from!
I’ll wait until this resolves before I throw out a “Damn you, Willis.”
However, a thought occurs to me. Not going to go through the archive since I have to sleep soon, but I seem to recall Ruth getting chewed out (or at least her doing a lot of apologizing) over the phone when Billie was hiding in Ruth’s closet.
I’m wondering if panel 3 is sort of a mirror reflection of whoever she was talking to. I’m guessing grandfather, but maybe uncle or such. Just a random thought that our girl Amber compartmentalized Blaine’s crap and became Amazi-Girl while Ruth said, ah fuck it, I’ll just be a mirror.
Not sure where I’m going with this just yet. Like I said, I need sleep, but thought I’d throw that out and see if anyone wanted to deflate it or such.
You might actually be onto something with that, even if it does ultimately turn out to be just an interesting piece of headcanon.
I was just thinking the other day that Ruth’s RA persona in the first couple of floor meetings had this kind of nasty, drill sergeant-y edge to it, and I remember seeing speculation somewhere that Ruth’s grandfather had a military background (hence the ‘sirs’). It’d be amusing (well, actually genuinely heartbreaking) if her entire “I will fuck you up” spiel was directly lifted from things he’s said to her over the past couple of years.
That would be interesting…
Yeah, about Ruth and her grandfather… Pay particular attention to the words she stresses in Approved when talking to Blaine; “Believe me” and “being related” rather than “father/parent”. And then there’s what Ruth tells Billie about Howard in Escape. Billie repeats they key word.
(This is, of course, just my pet theory. And by “my”, I mean that a friend told it to me.)
No, I got the exact same read on that scene. Hence my speculation that Ruth’s grandfather is currently controlling her inheritance – I can’t imagine why she would possibly give him the time of day otherwise, let alone act so deferential in their phonecalls.
Potentially, she could just be terrified of him and still under his thumb – a stark contrast to Amber, basically. Just because abusers don’t have any “real” power doesn’t mean they can’t still control people through fear or “learned helplessness”. Or she might be concerned for Howard.
Maybe, although her general fearlessness and take-no-shit attitude don’t feel like they mesh with somebody who’s been suffering Amber levels of abuse. Then again, I don’t really have much real-world reference on that front, so I might be way off base.
The tenor of the call is interesting, though. My first thought was something related to her academic performance, but since the semester’s only just starting and we now know that Ruth is shamelessly indiscriminate with theft, violence, breaking-and-entering, and destruction of property, he might have discovered that she did something (borderline) criminal. Again.
Also, as far as Howard is concerned, he actually comes across as happier and better adjusted than Ruth (I mean, he has actual friends he’s texting – when he’s not busy demanding to watch Game of Thrones, or being weirded out by his sister’s romantic entanglements). Whatever’s going on at Grandpa Lessick’s place only seems to be affecting Ruth.
YOU HAVE TO STOP DOING THIS TO ME.
At least the ship is sinking in exactly the way I thought it would.
Does this mean I can start shipping Billie and Sal together?
No. No it doesn’t. It means we can all start praying that Billie pulls her ship together and gets it into dry dock.
You can ship if you want. You can leave your friends behind. Because your friends don’t ship, and if they don’t ship, then they’re no friends of mine.
there is no consolation, NO CONSOLATION EVER D:
I hope Billie doesn’t go drunk driving anytime soon. Or maybe Danny will save her this time.
Also, this is me right now.
This comic is so angsty right now.
I know who are, Willis. I know what you want, too. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my ship go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.
Set of skills include: being a Jedi, being Batman’s mentor and nemesis, being wanted criminal 24601, being a lion, being a soldier of fortune in a team of ex-US Army Special Forces, being a German spy, and being a sexologist, among other qualifications.
See also: TARDIS ownership, adamantium skeletal augmentation, links to SPECTRE, SHIELD, CIA, DOD, NSA, and TSA.
Last son of Krypton, heir to the Asgardian throne, infused with the power cosmic by Galactus shortly before inheriting the ring of the Green Lanterns, bonded with the Carnage Symbiote, and secretly a dragon.
Dont forget sorcerer supreme, Merlin of the white council and First lord of Alera
Keeper of the secret fire, wielder of the flame of Anor…
Hope of the universe, answer to all living things that cry out for peace, light in the darkness, alpha and omiga, terror that flaps in the night….
He has the touch.
Oh, a Mason.
O_o I was listing things from different Liam Neeson films, since this is a Liam Neeson quote.
No. That couple did not console me in the least. Ruth crying is…RUTH CRYING.
I predict a storming out of the room, accompanied by a ‘Ruth, wait!’ and followed by a sad look at the uniform, falling to knees, and many, many tears.
DAMN YOU WILLIS!
The weird thing is, I’m not even sad about this. I’m just really kind of pissed. What the hell were you even thinking, Billie? I mean, this was your goddamn idea to begin with! You looked her brother in the face and promised to treat his sister right. And you had a goddamn breakdown in front of her this morning, so it was obviously eating at you. But if she tastes alcohol on your breath it means you broke down then had another drink before this encounter. Goddamn, your like some fusion of all the characters from Wizard of Oz- you don’t have a heart, or courage, or a brain! And you are a witch and a charlatan and a little dog (by which I of course mean a BONGO!).
Okay. Rant over. I’m going to bed. Probably.
Maybe try to be understanding of people sometime? Billie is self-centered sometimes, but she’s never in it to hurt anybody else, and she bottles up what is killing her inside, doesn’t feel like she can share it with anyone, maybe doesn’t want to burden anyone else.
She has feelings for this girl who belittled her, mocked her, hurt her deeply – feelings she doesn’t want to have, she can’t have. She can’t tell people that Ruth is interested in her, and she thinks she may be interested in Ruth in return. Ruth? Ruthless? The demonic overlord of the residence halls? No, Billie can’t talk about that with anyone.
Poor Billie. Trapped in her own hell.
Billie did try to tell someone. Sal. And then Sal brushed it off, because Sal didn’t know what Billie was talking about and needed to justify her liaison with Jason to both Billie and herself, because the power-imbalance was a common element in both relationships, and the one Billie stressed.
I’d actually be vaguely interested in seeing what would happen if Billie just tells Sal after Ruth leaves; not only could/would Sal do or say something to Billie and or Ruth, but she’d have to reflect on her own relationship with Jason.
Man, don’t lecture me about what Billie is going through. Just the day before I was the one defending her. But you know what? Everybody has got shit to deal with. We have our own crosses to bear. Yes, breaking an addictive habit of fucking hard. That’s exactly why this is so wrong. Billie lied to someone who was depending on her to help break her own habit. She lied about the one thing Ruth needed her to be honest about, the thing she needed to be able to trust her with more than anything else. This could easily cause a relapse. So I don’t see any excuses to be made here. Billie fucked up, Ruth has every right and reason to be angry and crushed by that fact, and Billie needs to OWN what she did if she has any hope of ever making it right.
I suspect the added guilt and anxiety from this incident may finally be enough to push her into doing the right thing.
WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME WILLISSSS
Me too, Mr. Willis. Me too.
Plot twist: Billy liked it better when she was bullied by Ruth.
Oh God… THE FEELS! THE FEELS!
Happiness at -12.3 and falling…
Hey, Billie, some heartfelt advice.
APOLOGIZE LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER. A LOT. HONESTLY.
Alcoholism does this to people all the time. “Let’s quit together.” How long did she last, five minutes? Even if she meant it when she said it, her addiction made a liar out of her. Or maybe she never intended to quit. Did she think she could hide it forever?
Let’s hate the addiction more than the addict, is what I’m saying. This is a very powerful demon she is fighting, or has given up fighting.
I feel like Billie’s attitude toward the situation was “Ruth has a drinking problem, so she needs to quit. I don’t have a drinking problem, though; I can quit drinking whenever I want. And since I can quit drinking whenever I want, I see no reason to choose now. Maybe tomorrow.” She probably sincerely meant to quit, until she left the room.
Take this with a grain of salt, as I have zero knowledge on the subject.
She once reflexively claimed three days, and we know she drank that night. So we can call that her big success.
And yeah, kicking addiction is hard. Lying about your backslide to your “sponsor” is rather shitty.
Nope. Can’t even get her that much. Word of God says she was lying about the three days too.
Everything about this comic is fantastic. The angles, the backgrounds, the panel layout, the facial expressions. There’s a reason it’s causing such a strong reaction in everyone reading it.
I am in actual physical pain from this strip, jsyk.
I have to say that I have a huge nitpick with the way that intoxicant users have been depicted thus far. In real life there are by far more responsible users than there are hopeless addicts. So far the only people we have seen getting drunk or high are people who have had serious substance abuse problems, and the partygoers where Joyce was almost raped. There are currently no regular characters who have been portrayed as frequent drinkers or pot smokers (etc.) who have not taken their vice of choice to (or dangerously close to) the brink of a life derailing event. The way that so far nobody who outspokenly enjoys an intoxicant has had their proclivities portrayed in anything besides a negative light comes across as moralizing (which I’m fairly certain is not the intent).
Personal anecdote time:
Including myself, I can easily name at least thirty people who have been frequent cannabis users in high school. I can name maybe three people who have quit since then, and I can name only one who has been arrested (and it was a trespassing charge brought on by his passion for parkour, and totally unrelated to possession). None of these people are unemployed, homeless, or otherwise struggling to get by in life, and almost all of them have gone on to achieve degrees or trade school diplomas. Of all of these people, only one managed to turn his happy hour shenanigans in to something that required him to eventually quit cold turkey and never look back.
I guess I just have to ask: in real life normal, every day people get totally off their ass all the time and never manage to turn it in to a problem. So why are the only ones ever depicted in television, movies, and comics the folk who manage to go off the deep and and fuck up their lives or relationships? Why can’t someone just smoke a joint, enjoy it, and then go back to being a normal, functional human being?
Because the mundane successes of average people doing average things don’t make for good drama or interesting storytelling?
Joe drinks, and it doesn’t seem to cause him any problems more serious than a hangover.
I’ve seen what a world where Willis is moralizing about alcohol looks like. If you want to, go check out recent Bring Back Roomies! storylines. And a world where Joyce Brown can be Queen of the Drunks is not a world where Willis is moralizing about alcohol.
(And, yeah, like Justanothersomethingorother says, we’re focused on the dramatic exceptions here because they’re dramatic.)
Sal and Roz are also strongly implied to drink.
Yea, I did forget about Joe, although I also get the distinct impression that Joe drinks to facilitate his ability to get laid, as opposed to drinking for the sake of not being sober. And I totally read the crap out of Roomies (way before the re-arting of the old comics), I just feel that Willis’ feelings towards recreational intoxication hasn’t actually changed much, based on the way that nobody has yet to be shown getting any kind of inebriated without suffering some sort of negative consequence as a direct result of that action (even if Joe’s hangover is orders of magnitudes less serious than the other stuff).
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that I want to read about “mundane successes of average people doing average things”. I kind of want exactly the opposite: a regularly appearing, named character who is shown to frequently drink or smoke joints or whatever in the background of group scenes without anyone ever making a big deal about it. Someone who’s intoxicant proclivities never actually play a major (or even minor) role in any of their story arcs, despite being a definable character trait. Someone for whom making a ritual of intoxicating themselves is just a minor trivia tidbit in the background of other characterizations, and never really comes to the forefront (except for maybe a one-off gag or throwaway gag).
My feelings towards recreational intoxication are “yes, please, right now, why aren’t I doing it now?” while invariably having maybe three bottles of whiskey down in the kitchen at any given time. My three-month buffer of comics is partly fueled BY alcohol.
But I’m writing about friggin’ eighteen-year-olds.
Sorry, I wasn’t trying to imply that your opinion hasn’t actually changed over the years, only that I have not been able to perceive this change by reading the comic. And the thing is that eighteen is around when I started smoking pot. Most of my friends started much earlier. And we’re all perfectly fine, and in good health both mentally and physically.
I should also probably add that I haven’t partaken in about a week because I’ve been away traveling. I feel fine and don’t miss it in the least. It’s just a thing I like to do if I can do so conveniently.
Your IP tells me you’re from Canada. The Internet tells me the drinking age there ranges from 18 to 19. It is 21 in the United States.
Yup! I knew about the drinking age thing, although I didn’t really consider that there was likely a cultural component to this argument until you pointed it out. Unfortunately, the vast majority of original Canadian programming are either children’s shows or police procedurals, so almost all of our media is also your media.
The days of plucky Canadian sketch comedy teams died with the 90s, it seems.
In real life taking a shower is generally without incident, too, but so far it’s all been Joyce freaking out about it. Where are the stories about people happy to take showers in public stalls???????
“Without incident” is one thing. “Happy” to bathe in dorm showers is maddness.
To put it another way; I feel very strongly that I should have a right to smoke pot if I so choose. I spend a lot of time and energy volunteering my time doing activist work because I care very much about how other people who want engage in responsible inebriation are being persecuted and prosecuted. I also feel that a large part of public opinion towards that subject is related to the massive dearth of media that portrays pot smoking (and drinking for the sake of inebriation) in a positive- or even neutral light. The only exception to this seems to be in the ‘stoner’ genre, which is quite obviously preaching to the choir. Additionally, I don’t want to be viewed by society at large as a ‘stoner’ because I like to smoke bong bowls after I come home from a long day. I just wish that intoxicating yourself could be depicted in media as the normal recreational activity that it is in real life.
I don’t mind story arcs about people being addicts and ruining their lives and stuff, because that totally happens in real life all the time. I just wish that the act itself wasn’t depicted as primarily the domain of people who hate their lives and are fundamentally unhappy. It’s not problem I have with this particular comic, so much as a problem I have with how the activity is depicted in popular culture in general. But when I see story arc after story arc in the various shows I watch and comics I read about the negative consequences of substance abuse without recreational intoxication being depicted as a normal activity that normal people engage in, it becomes very alienating.
I write this because I love the crap out of this comic, and I know that Willis cares about what his fans think. I feel that responsible drug and alcohol users are a gigantic demographic that have almost no visibility in popular media. I know it’s not the same thing as lack of visibility of certain other demographics (because this is one based around a recreational activity which you can willingly opt in or out of at any time), but it one that I feel very strongly about nonetheless.
Again, there is no “recreational intoxication being depicted as a normal activity” because these are eighteen-year-olds living in a dorm where that is not allowed under threat of horrible badness. Nobody’s gonna be lounging in the damn resident hall lobby responsibly downing a Guinness because that’s insane.
I sort of find that runs against my own personal experience with the subject though. I don’t really drink, but I smoke pot, and I do it in public places in broad daylight all the time. It has literally never been a problem, and I’ve lit up in public parks, the community collage campus, and on public streets. I have never even once been asked by someone around me to stop, have people veer away from me out of discomfort, or had a police officer walk up to me. I take refuge in the audacity of my actions, and so far that refuge has been iron clad.
I don’t have a shadow of a doubt that this is at least partially because I am a hefty white dude with a generally friendly demeanor and corresponding body language. The fact is, however, that I don’t hide what I do from the public even though it is considered illegal, and it has never been a problem in my life. I feel that it is important that I do this, because I refuse to treat a harmless recreational activity as though it were something to be ashamed of.
why do you keep bringing up pot
jesus christ it’s obnoxious
Dude, you’re discriminating against pot smokers by not having characters who’ve smoked so much pot that they can’t talk about anything but smoking pot.
The act of unsobering oneself is the motivation, and your intoxicant of choice is just your means to an end. If I liked to drink, I would be talking more about booze, and if I liked coke, I would be making my arguments about nose candy. But I don’t really like either of those, and don’t really have a lot of experience with either past my first couple of encounters. Additionally, in this particular instance I brought up pot because drinking in collage is legal here, whereas smoking cannabis is not. The subject of legality appeared to be more relevant to the conversation than the substance being used. You asserted that people wouldn’t drink on campus because they could get in huge trouble for it, and I just wanted to relay my personal experience with doing stuff that could get you in trouble in public places. That personal experience is that every stranger either seems to either not notice or not care.
Your personal experience isn’t relevant. DoA is set on a specific college campus, in Bloomington, Indiana, in the United States of America. In the U.S. in general, and Indiana specifically, the drinking age is 21, and pot is not legal at all. And this is not, generally, treated with a wink and a nudge. We’ve got that War on Drugs thing here. Underage drinking in Indiana can get you jail time. Pot possession can get you doing real time in no-shit prison.
My own experience on an American college campus, not in Indiana but in a state with similar laws (i.e., Joe’s assertion in the strip I linked above is wrong here, too, just as it is in Indiana), is that this doesn’t stop underage drinking, or pot smoking, but it means that it sure as hell doesn’t happen openly. Because if you do it openly, you’re going to have at the very least the college authorities and quite possibly the actual cops crawling up your ass, and fines and, depending on the nature of the offense, possibly expulsion and criminal charges resulting.
And my experience is that this tends also to result in really bad drinking habits. Underage kids don’t take advantage of their opportunities to drink to drink responsibly in ways that aren’t going to cause problems for them. The ones that would do that aren’t drinking, because they’re underage and any drinking is potentially a very serious problem for them, not because of the alcohol, per se, but because of the legal consequences that would be enforced on them.
Now, all of the central characters in DoA are under 21. This means, like it or not, it is not legal for any of them to have a drink in Indiana. For some of them, that right there is enough to mean that they’re not going to drink before the day they turn 21, whatever their personal feelings on the issue might be.
Dorothy, for example, is not going to drink underage, because if she gets caught, she can kiss her hopes of getting into Yale goodbye. During the party arc, Joyce (Joyce! Joyce frigging Brown!) says explicitly that she doesn’t have a problem with alcohol or drinking, except that it’s currently illegal for her to do it. And so she doesn’t drink, but she spends the party hanging out and having a good time with a bunch of drunks. And when trouble happens, it doesn’t happen as moralistic retribution to the house full of drinkers, but to the girl who isn’t drinking. And the guy who does it was not apparently drinking either.
Other characters care less. As I pointed out above, Joe drinks, and doesn’t seem to have any serious problems because of it. He doesn’t do it in the dorm lounge because he doesn’t want to get his ass arrested. I don’t think we’ve ever gotten explicit confirmation of whether Roz drinks or not, but I don’t think she would’ve been at that party if she didn’t, and, again, it hasn’t caused her any problems. Some of the things Sal’s said hint that she’s got experience with the booze, too. She also smokes openly – tobacco, which is legal for her as an 18-year-old in Indiana, not pot.
Then there’s Ruth and Billie, who, frankly, reflect my experience with college drinking a lot more accurately than the ones who drink in ways that don’t cause them problems. They drink too often, they drink too much, they get stupid shitfaced and do things that threaten their health and well-being or get them in trouble with their friends and associates if not with the authorities. (Billie and Ruth are damn lucky that, respectively, the authorities want to get in her pants, and that she is the authorities.) And this is because kids are learning to drink clandestinely and without any responsible guidance.
And then there’s… huh, I don’t think there are any characters in DoA who are against drinking in principle. Mary, probably, but I don’t think it’s ever come up, and she’s pretty much the opposite of an author mouthpiece, in that anything she says is pretty well guaranteed to be evil and wrong. Even Danny isn’t the moralistic asshole about it that he was in Roomies!.
tl;dr: nobody cares about how they do it in Canuckistan.
Yeah pretty much.
Man, we’ve got a lot of Billie in this thread.
@John: “No-Shit” Prison sounds like hell.
@John- I had no idea the rules in Indiana were so draconian. Which makes the shortage of casual drinkers in the comic more understandable. (Now, if this was set in Britain, MOST of the characters would be functional alcoholics. But it’s not, so they’re not.)
It’s not just Indiana; it’s the U.S. in general, though Indiana is maybe a little on the strict side. Jail or prison time are admittedly worst-case scenarios, but they’re a real possibility, and the law is very unevenly enforced. Which doesn’t make it wiser to go around flaunting that you’re breaking it; rather to the contrary, in fact. If you’re circumspect about it, even if you get caught, you’ll probably get out of it with maybe a fine and a slap on the wrist. Probably. But if you force the authorities to take notice, like smoking up in public because you’re exercising your natural right as an intoxicant user to be stoned all the time, they have the tools to nail you to the wall, and they will do it.
Also, smoking up in public is particularly less brave to do if you’re white. If you’re not white, oh, hey, guess who’s going to be sentenced to jail forever and ever.
I think my position may be being misunderstood (or mid communicated). I’m not trying to say ‘this is how stuff is up here, so this is how stuff must be everywhere else’. I’m trying to say ‘this is how things are up here, and so I fundamentally do not understand what the issue is’. I’m not trying to be confrontational or argumentative, I just want to explain my position as thoroughly as possible, because if I have trouble understanding where the other side is coming from, then that other side may also have trouble understanding where I am coming from if I were to state my position succinctly.
In fact, I most certainly have been miscommunications my position. I have a nasty habit of trying to get information by making a statement and waiting for a counter statement, as opposed to phrasing it as a question. So I guess what I want to know is: since the media we consume has a profound impact on our psychologies, why is there such a cultural divide on this issue, given that our countries consume mostly the same media?
Pet peeve: people who constantly find excuses to mention/advertise their fondness for the weed, including putting “420″ in their screen name.
My recreational substances are sugar, caffeine and/or the Internet, but you don’t see me going on about them [i]all the time[/i].
DID SOMEONE SAY CAFFEINE
I AM ADDICTED TO COFFEE I WILL CUT YOU FOR A CUP
Ha ha, no but seriously, I feel you on that one. Sugar+caffeine=Awesomest movie night ever.
Smoking pot and drinking alcohol are different activities and draw different responses. You smoke pot at community college and you’ll probably draw laughs and a few “can I get a hit”s. Drinking on campus is going to elicit a different, more negative response from observers.
Try it, go into McDonalds totally baked and order 50 McNuggets. See the cashier smirk at you. Then watch some 18 year old go in, stumbling and slurring his words, his breath reeking of Jack Daniels, and see how fast they call the police.
You might argue you were talking about drinking/doing drugs responsibly, but you have to understand the problem of perception. I assume you’ve seen people who have drank too much, and how much of a problem that can be. Have you ever seen a stoner become angry or violent after getting too high? Ever seen a stoner stumbling down the street and not been sure whether to feel sorry or disgusted? Ever tried to talk your very high friend out of driving because she is seriously going to crash and you don’t want to be responsible for letting her get behind the wheel?
The worst I’ve ever seen someone who was very high do is zonk out on the couch and occasionally mutter they are “way too high” or “feeling paranoid” if you try to talk to them.
The most dangerous experience I’ve had from getting too high was lying in bed with my heart pounding so much I thought it would burst. I knew I was too high and so I just lay there very still and tried not to worry.
The worst I’ve done drinking was suddenly realized, while completely shitfaced, that I am home and I am holding a wrapper from Subway and I have patches of memory of eating at Subway but not driving there or driving back. That was the only time I’ve ever blacked out while drinking, and I did something I normally will not do while drunk – I drove, and with a friend in the car no less. Thank God nothing bad happened. It’s a terrifying thought – normally no matter how drunk I get, I have the presence of mind not to do anything stupid, but if I drink too much I might black out and be incapable of making appropriate decisions.
Alcohol is much more dangerous than weed. It’s not a good idea to compare doing the two in public.
The number of fatal car accidents involving pot has tripled in the past decade, and is on track to exceed those involving alcohol in another 5, assuming current trends continue. (If more places legalize recreational use, this will likely happen faster.). This is the math, not the NORML agitprop.
Ok, that is surprising, but it doesn’t tell you anything. For the data to be meaningful, you need a ratio of people under the influence to people who drive under the influence to people that crash under the influence.
For example (made up numbers here) if 1000 people drank, 100 drunks drove, and 10 of those crashed, vs 2000 people smoked weed, 500 of them drove, and 10 of those crashed, the news would just report “weed causes as many crashes as alcohol”, disregarding the fact that 10% of drunk drivers were crashing and only 2% of stoned drivers were crashing.
You also have to take into consideration we have a nationally standardized system for measuring people’s blood-alcohol level, with states implementing a legal limit. You can tell exactly how much someone has drank, and often see the BAC in a report on a crash. I’ve never seen hard numbers on marijuana concentration in a crash – news sources usually say “tested positive for marijuana”. How sensitive is the test? How much would the person have to smoke to test positive? What is the safe blood/THC level? All things to think about before reading much into crash statistics.
“In real life there are by far more responsible users than there are hopeless addicts.”
In real life, there are also people who have never touched drugs in their life, and there are those who experimented with them once and decided not to make it a habit, like myself.
“So far the only people we have seen getting drunk or high are people who have had serious substance abuse problems, and the partygoers where Joyce was almost raped.”
Wait, are you making the partygoers guilty by association to the crime that took place there? That doesn’t seem very fair.
“There are currently no regular characters who have been portrayed as frequent drinkers or pot smokers (etc.) who have not taken their vice of choice to (or dangerously close to) the brink of a life derailing event.”
Billie’s been pretty good at this so far, I think. She’s a functional alcoholic who helped save Joyce at the party.
“The way that so far nobody who outspokenly enjoys an intoxicant has had their proclivities portrayed in anything besides a negative light comes across as moralizing (which I’m fairly certain is not the intent).”
The only times drug use has ever been portrayed in a negative light is when it was used as a response to a bad event in a character’s life. For example, Dana was a frequent drug user who never had a problem until her mom died. Before that, Sarah didn’t really have a problem with it.
Billie, again, has never really had a major problem with drinking; the only direct consequence she’s really had was being kicked off the cheerleader squad in high school, but that was because underage drinking is illegal. The issue she’s having now is because she broke her promise with Ruth, someone who really needed to quit drinking because of the bad history she has with it and psychological issues that have since manifested because of it.
“Why are the only ones ever depicted in television, movies, and comics are the folk who manage to go off the deep and and fuck up their lives or relationships?”
Because drugs are a controversial topic in the US, and Hollywood drama dictates that mind-altering substances must be used in a way that stimulates more drama.
“Why can’t someone just smoke a joint, enjoy it, and then go back to being a normal, functional human being?”
First of all, if you live in Colorado or Washington, then you’re free to do that. For everywhere else in the US, the use of most mind-altering substances are illegal, and even weed is illegal on a Federal level. Secondly, the actions you take affect everyone around you, not just yourself. How you interact with others while on your intoxicant of choice could vary greatly, and be vastly different from when you’re sober. Those changes may or may not go well with others depending on who they are, their history, etc.
But honestly, what’s wrong with not using drug use as a positive character trait? Crying foul because of the misrepresentation of drug culture is kind of silly if you knew the author’s background, and it is with that information in mind that I’ll say that I don’t really see it as a big problem. If Willis is only writing what he knows, and his writing doesn’t include a lot of casual drug use, then it’s safe to say that Willis doesn’t know a lot on the subject outside of secondhand knowledge, and I think that’s fine.
You live up to your name. :3 I approve of your message.
Note, Billie’s problem with drinking isn’t just that she got caught doing it underage. She got caught because she was underage drinking and driving, and wrapped an SUV around a tree. That’s a little more than just getting kicked off the cheer squad (college, not high school; I think she’d already graduated high school at the time of her DUI).
I didn’t remember the part with the driving and the crashing. Thanks for the correction. And wait, did she transfer to IU or something? How was she kicked off the college cheer squad after she graduated, but before she started college? Unless this is her second year at IU. O_o
This is what Billie’s got to say about it. The DUI was over the summer after she graduated high school, and presumably after she’d been accepted to IU, but before she started. I’m not sure from what she says whether she’d already secured a position on the Crimson Squad (IU’s cheerleaders) in the coming (current) year, and they changed their minds after her DUI, or if it just shot down any chance of her securing the position, and I have no idea how college cheerleading squads manage such things.
I’m pretty sure incoming freshman football players or whatnot don’t show up with no idea whether they’ll be on the team until after school starts, but I don’t know if that applies to cheerleaders too.
Ohhhh, alright. I was being dumb.
I just assumed she was kicked off the high school cheer squad.
“Because drugs are a controversial topic in the US, and Hollywood drama dictates that mind-altering substances must be used in a way that stimulates more drama.”
I suppose I just have a very hard time wrapping my mind around the controversy surrounding drug use and underaged drinking. It’s ever present in media we import from the US (which is most of our media), but virtually absent from our (non-political) subcultures. I don’t mean to sound, as a previous poster stated, that I feel discriminated against, I just don’t understand why this particular archetypal story is so prevalent while things like the That 70s Show ‘basement circle’ scenes are so rare. This is partially because I have a great deal of trouble seeing where the other side is coming from, and partially because I have a vested interest in seeing more of the latter represented in media.
Once again, irked by cultural trends I don’t understand very well, not feelings of discrimination.
Well, the public opinion of drugs in the US have been very back and forth on the whole issue over the years that we’ve been a country, but the 1970′s put a lot of political focus onto drug use, with Acts being passed in an attempt to control distribution, and the decriminalization of marijuana in 12 States, among other actions. If you went back a few decades to the 1950′s, drugs were much less tolerated as we were in the midst of a very conservative presidency.
In the 1960′s, public opinion shifted towards more tolerance, and it was during that era in which the hippy subculture started. In the 1980′s, public opinion shifted back towards intolerance, as drug trafficking and the discovery of HIV heightened people’s fears. Two drug wars were declared by both Reagan and Bush Sr., and Reagan passed the first Anti-Drug Abuse Act which made it all illegal; growing, selling and owning drugs became a federal crime, and since then it hasn’t changed very much.
So yeah, the US is very wishy-washy on the subject of drugs, usually because of political and social influences shifting public opinion.
I love you. So much. If I weren’t a genetic throwback, I’d ask you to marry me. As it is right now, I’d probably give you three-eyed kids with tentacles for arms, legs, a tail, a desire to devour the flesh of humanity, and-
… On second thought, meet you in Vegas for the ceremony?
This is directed at ninja_jesus, by the way. The nesting for comments here is a bit weird sometimes.
This is just the rock-bottom kind of “Oh crap I really fucked up” moment that Billy needs to shatter her little self-obsessed shell and realize that she really isn’t the only thing she should be thinking about all the time. I recognize her potential to grow up and become better, but as of right now… nope. I don’t like her. Ruth could do better, and I hope that this is a realization for her that she can. Maybe Billy can earn her chance back at a later time when she proves she matured past the age of 14.
And no, crappy parents or not, Billy’s behavior is not excusable. My former best friend was just like her, and while we were never romantically involved, she made promises that she didn’t hesitate to back out of secretly or just otherwise end up backstabbing because she was never held accountable for how her actions affected others. All she ultimately cared about was being a victim, putting herself up on some victimized victim pedastal, and then use that as an excuse to be completely self serving at the expense of people, like me, who cared for her. Her parents were also detatched and pretty much just gave her whatever she wanted too, because they were utterly selfish people who couldn’t think 2 feet beyond their immediate vicinity. But again, bad parenting never has and never will excuse the way she treated people and the things she did, so while it took 2 gaping gashes in my own back to learn that she was a toxic person who wasn’t worth the oxygen she was using.
Unlike her though, again, Billy has potential to grow up. Ruth does too, at this point, and she sorely needs to as well. But, that’s partially what college is all about, hence why I’m liking this comic and it’s predecessors.
I don’t see how Billie is the most awful one here. Ruth beats people up, manipulates them, threatens them, terrifies them. She steals. She blackmails. She outright told Billie that she would KEEP stealing until she got something that Billie liked. Granted that makes her more of a…psychopath than a immature girl-child, but I don’t see giving her any more leeway then Billie. They are both unhealthy individuals and both need a healthy does of ‘grow up’. And possibly psychiatric help.
And really, at this point, I don’t see that picture you paint of Billie as a self entitled brat…I mean, I certainly see some of it, but I don’t think she is doing any of her behavior for selfish or malicious reasons. She certainly isn’t continuing to drink to SPITE Ruth….habits are hard to break, and she is addicted. Unhealthily so. But yes, you can’t just blame her parenting and let her get away with bad behavior, but you also can’t blame her. She needs help. I’ve never seen her behave the way you describe your friend. Billie does NOT like being the victim. I really don’t see that. I am sorry about your friend though.
** then Ruth storms the door and in the background you hear:
I wanna give Ruth all the hugs.
Dammit Willis…just rip my heart out already
Because apparently I don’t want it anymore!!!
The Leslie/Robin sex is now tainted with lies by association.
Why don’t you just give them all cancer and be done with it.
Terminal cancer of the feels.
If Billie doesn’t clear this up soon, Ruth might, worse case scenario, relapse back into drinking. Possibly to an even worse consequence than last time.
Yeah what Keroshino said.
Willis, I’m starting to like you more than Frank Welker.
Crying. Damn these stupid feelings.
Oh, my heart! It hurts!
I want to believe this is when Billie explains the emotional pain she is in and how sorry she is that she’s using booze as a crutch, and Ruth realizes Billie is in a worse place than she thought and is upset but understanding, because she’s fallen into the same trap before. But nobody is ever understanding about anything ever, except the occasional Danny.
Did…you just imply Danny is the best person in the comic?
I’m not quibbling; I just want it noted for posterity.
Well… He tries, at least. He really tries. I guess that counts for something?
That depends on how you measure the value of a person. You could easily argue Joyce is the best person.
Danny has slip-ups but is overall an understanding person (I think, I haven’t memorized the archives. He wasn’t understanding of Amber on parents’ day but he didn’t have the information he needed to understand). Joyce is also very understanding, although she has to work around her religious upbringing sometimes to get there. It’s not something I’ve been carefully cataloguing, more of an offhand comment. The way Danny just handled learning about the fact that Amber Sal is Amazigirl is very fresh in memory, so he was an obvious go-to.
In some ways Billie is arguably the best person in the comic. She frequently goes of her way to help people, sometimes for no discernible reason.
I’m currently operating on the theory that Billie is tsundere for everybody.
I was curious with all of negative feedback on tumblr. ;_; They’ll make up, right? RIGHT!? T_T
No, why?! It was going so well! It was going to WORK and be SEXY!
almost too painfull to watch
As the great Sam Beckett once said: “Oh boy.”
Mmmm. Love the smell of fanfics burning in the morning. Full steam ahead Mr. Willis.
DAMMN YOU WILLIS! You made me feel my own feels! All of them! And now I don’t even make 100% sense any more!
…I really want these two girls to make up (and then later, make out). Yeah, they’re both a bit broken inside, but I think they are good for each other, and they really do care about each other. So yeah, I need them to talk this through and stay together. <3 After all, you wouldn't be so heartless as to have them break up in/near the Valentine's Day update, would you?
…WOULD YOU? xD
Billie and Ruth did an emotional trainwreck!
BWAHAHAHAHA! TAKE THAT BILLIE LOVERS!
Hey! So you like laughing at Ruth, do you? You wanna make her cry even more??
Did Billie fall down on her knees? Has Ruth grown a few feet with rage, Hulk style? I’m trying to make the eyelines work here.
It’s just camera shots, they’re not actually from each characters eyes.
Uh oh, I wonder if this Shortpacked strip answers Taigan’s question
How dare you, Willis. How dare you control what you create and simultaneously show different types of relationships in different stages to break up the monotony and avoid everyone being the same degree of happy.
It’s enough to make me sick! Or, alternately, to make me devoted to checking this webcomic every night at midnight to see what happens next!
Even though you knew it was coming, it’s hard to take. Billie/Ruth is my #2 favorite thing in DoA. (#1 is the friendship between Joyce and Dorothy).
And yet everyone hates Danny. – __-
Dammit, now I’m empathizing with both of them at once. The last two panels hurt the more I look at them. And I can’t… stop… looking.
the only thing that can save this relationship is sex. angry, NASTY sex.
Marcie and Sal for our next couple then?
Oh. Oh man.
: ( : ( : ( : ( : (
Everyone’s talking about how this ship has been sunk, but I’ve actually got a strong feeling this will turn out like Robin/Leslie: some roadblocks along the way, but they’ll end up together.
If Willis goes in the other direction, that’s fine too.
Not a bad thought and I agree the ship may not be sunk yet but it is certainly treading water.
True. And really, what is a canon ship if not able to withstand a few storms? Especially seeing as Billie and Ruth arnt exactly the most stable of shipmates.
guh… I love this comic, but this situation sucks. I had a hard enough time getting through the last arc of Amber’s story (granted her beating up her Dad was a little cathartic), but with these two… guh… besides, it almost feels like Billie was trying to admit to doing something wrong from he start of this scene. She kept saying she didn’t deserve it, but Ruth kept pushing her into it. They would make a very sweet couple, but they’re far from on the same wavelength yet. Billie tried to turn the uniform down out of seeming guilt and Ruth forced her into it… and now Ruth is mad at Billie after a “kind gesture” was betrayed before-the-fact.
I’m not rage-quitting or anything, but man, this comic tugs at my heart strings too much. If this keeps up much longer I’m gonna have to jump ship and come back with hopes of better overall outcomes later. Not saying you should change your style, but man, this comic can be hard to read sometimes. You are a master of this, I just wish I had a stronger heart for this kind of stuff.
Cragalanch is a rock….. Cragalanch is a rock….. Cragalanch is a…..a…. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!? *stone tears fall*
I have provisional slack to cut for Billie. She was ignored as a child. She learned that it didn’t matter to anyone what she did. This is good for her. I hope Ruth and her hold out long enough for her to learn what it’s like for people to care what she does.
I will never forgive, I will never forget
Got Dang it Willis!
You…you bastard! The other shoe was a bomb all along…
I like this, but feel like the last panel might be more powerful if Ruth said nothing at all. I get she’s saying she’s going to drown her sorrows, but silence is powerful as well.
Almost lost in the deafening choruses of “DAMN YOU WILLIS!” is the fact that he has taken fictional web-comic characters and through his artwork and story-telling skills has fleshed them out into people that we his readers actually like, wish to know more about, want to interact with (witness the amount of fan-art), have feelings for them, and are even *CONCERNED* about them and their world.
And for this, a tip of my chapeau and a sincere “Well done”.
That’s never been lost on me.
It’s worth saying, I’m not mad at Willis about this. I’m mad at Billie. Even though that makes no rational sense because she just dances on Willis’s puppet strings.
But so do we, I guess.
This all the way, John. I’m pissed in a story context, not a real life context. If anyone is actually being serious about any of those “Damn you Willis!” and “I hate you forever” comments, I’ll make a simple observation: This emotion you are experiencing? This is the sign of a well written story. This is a sign that these characters are deep, flawed, and feel “real” to you. So stop hating on Willis. I don’t think he’s going to apologize for doing his job right, or feel guilty for being awesome.
WHO KNEW ALCOHOLISM WOULD RESULT IN SUFFERING FOR THE INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED?????????
Yeah, seen it coming.
As a teetotaler (not for religious reasons) I can honestly say I’ve witness alcohol destroy other peoples lives. Seeing my uncle’s face reconstruction (car crash). Cousin, heavy drinker, sister casual drinker (quit after bleeding out from stomach ulcer). Sister’s friend binge drinker (hospitalized). Co-worker’s husband, super heavy drinker (hospitalized twice). School friend (dead-car crash).
Most people can use alcohol without terrible consequences-but what if you’re not “most “people”? How do you know if you’re going to have problems before they occur? If you don’t drink, you avoid potential problems without losing much, really. I drink some, but I’m really cautious about it-like having a dangerous exotic pet.
I’ve got an alcholic uncle. His son’s an alcoholic too.
Both of my grandfather’s brothers died due to their alcholism. It must have been painful to see his son go down the same path. But I guess he’s kind of lucky that it hasn’t been worse; I know a guy who literally had one drink and wound up in a mental hospital for 2 months. He’s probably an extreme case, but that’s still pretty terrible.
As a general rule, substances that alter your brain chemistry should be approached with extreme caution. That’s why I think you should have people you trust around you when you start – if you need someone to tell you to stop, they have to be on hand. Most people can drink and are fine. You should take steps to figure out if you are one of those people; if you have family history of alcholism, stay away.
I keep trying to pretend it isn’t there, but that last panel won’t stop being there. Hurting me.
Willis if your life had a face i’d punch it in the balls your amazing but why must you hurt me so
Aaaand, this is where all of Willis’ conservative readers back him up.
If Billie is smart (relatively) she’ll grovel and tell Rush she has real feelings for her but that she’s a total screw up. Ruth will move her in with her and keep a close eye on Billie while she really goes through detox. It ain’t perfect but it’s something. That or they could both hit rock bottom again and Ruth could torture her and make her life hell again. Either way.
@Willis: you, goo sir, are a subtle master of “Teh Human Feels.”
I came back hoping for another update, hoping for something even remotely positive or some such, but saw it hadn’t happened yet and went down to my comment from earlier and read what had been posted from there.
I ended up going back up to the comic once or twice after that when an odd thought hit me: Ruth is looking down and Billie is looking up… weren’t they roughly the same height during the kiss they just had?
Now, admittedly, Billie did appear to be the tiniest bit shorter in the comic before this one, but not quite so much as the angle of their eyes would suggest. Then my brain hit on it: Ruth is dominantly “staring down” at Billie, as her feelings are hurt and she wants answers. Meanwhile, Billie is submissively “looking up” at Ruth, with as much reluctance for eye-contact as for an explanation.
That subtle little touch made everything very, very different. If it had been both of them in panel addressing each other it would not have had nearly enough impact.
Good sir, you have earned my respect in so many ways, and I will be a life-long fan of your comics. You have a knack for the subtle mixed with the blunt, and I think I can handle your stories far better with just this tiny bit of added understanding and appreciation.
Wow, I am at a loss for words. I haven’t felt my emotions get ripped out by a story since I discovered the Clannad After Story anime. And it is rare that I get mad at a fictional character.
God job Sir Willis, you are a master storyteller.
Now that I think about, Billie has seemed a bit “out of it” lately. Maybe she’s only had ONE drink since the agreement.
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Fifth annual "Favorite DoA character" poll: (pick three)
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