well, Billie, your heart is in the right place?
LIVE! IN THE CENTER ARENA!
12-ROUND WORLD WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
HE FOUGHT IN WARS
SHE WAS A CHEERLEADER
REED HALL ARENA
Bloomington Indiana USA
POPCORN TEN DOLLARS
PUDDING FOR FREE
PREPARE FOR SOFT PUNCH ACTION.
TEST YOUR MIGHT!
To hell with that!! We need Joyce’s *Fists of Justice and Righteous Fury* as well as AmaziGirl and Sal to jump in. Maybe Velociraptor mode Dina. Hell, let’s make it a street fight and let Sarah bring her *Bat of Old Testament Smiting*!!!
take a pic or video with your phone and show chloe, also fuck going easy cause he’s old, this dudes all muscle , you aren’t gonna do to much damage.
I don’t know…no matter how strong a guy is a well placed thumb in the eye followed by a knee to the family jewels can take the fight right out of someone. And there are a loads of other spots you could strike to incapacitate a larger opponent. Being a target for bullies my dad and cousin aught me to “fight smart”.
Now if only she could put her fist in the right place. Which, now that I think about it, is an EXCELLENT double entendre. Belated HEYOOOOOOOOOOOOO
HE FOUGHT IN WARS
SHE WAS A CHEERLEADER
♪Can I make it anymore obvious?♪
he was an ass
she took ballet
her punch made him gasp,
what more can i really say?
HE WAS A SOLDIER MAN
SHE SAID “YOU’RE AN OLDER MAN”
“AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE SIR”
NOW THIS ABUSIVE JERK
FORCING RUTH TO GO TO WORK
NEEDS TO GET SUCKER PUNCHED BY HER
idk why I’m yelling
it’s avril lavigne more than enough reason lmao
Fuck you Mr. Hughes.
Seconded. Can we have the chamber pass this motion by acclamation?
It’s obviously an incredibly complicated, touchy situation where an old man lost his daughter, but black-and-white moralizing is way more fun. Hooray for being self-righteous! Boo old men!
The world is complicated! You can’t look at a man threatening and belittling his granddaughter for her “weakness” in having mental problems and not try to understand what he’s going through!
OK, so if I (bigger, stronger, possessed of full adult authority while you are not, with more money and power than you have ever come close to) grab your wrists, loom over you, relentlessly push every button that I installed in your psyche because you are just barely no longer the child I helped shape, and tell you that you are scum because your parent was scum, that you are stupid and lazy because you have been ill, and that you can never escape my plans for you, that’s totes cool?
Even if Ruth’s dad was every bit the worthless failure that Clint claims he was (not at all likely), Clint is still completely out of line. His granddaughter just made a suicide attempt, and his response is to shame her, belittle her, and insult her dead father. He’s so focused on Ruth’s R.A. job that he can’t be spared even a moment to inquire about her welfare or offer support. His entire response to her suicide attempt was “We had a *close call,* didn’t we?”
That’s it. And that’s unforgivable.
I agree. He’s a cold hearted man who only cares about himself and everyone else is merely an extension of him.
……There was an attempt.
I mean, it got him to stop yelling at Ruth for a bit. Confusion is better than anger.
He’s fought in wars girl.
Yeah, yeah, so have I. That doesn’t make either of us less an asshole.
I think Kris was quoting his Shortpacked! appearance, and the comment is more making a point about his ability to take punishment, rather than justifying any of his current behavior. However, having once been strong and healthy enough to participate in warfare does not automatically mean he is still able to take a punch.
that was a shortpacked reference?
I thought it was a Dead Rising reference lol
I read all of shortpacked and didn’t even remember him in there, heh.
see also secret link in first post
billie, go for his knees
Sweep the leg.
…Except it’s a good guy doing it this time.
go for his hip
“Look, it’s people complaining about modern GI Joe figures!”
[If you know what this is a reference to, congrats, you’re a major nerd]
Do I get extra major nerd points for being the one keeping the compiled filename story?
Still better than any of the fights in Iron Fist heyooooooooooooooooooo
false! lewis tan fought splendidly!
Indeed, but not splendidly enough to save that show from Finn Jones’ complete and utter lack of training
I had such moderate hopes for that show.
I’m just glad that the show with the least interesting premise turned out to be the really terrible one. I’d’ve been sad if one of the interesting shows was that shitty.
I still think it’s only about as Daredevil season 2.
as bad. I fail typing forever
DD at least has good choreography going for it. And the Punisher/Kingpin ep was genuinely great. It had some other stuff going for it to, but the biggest thing it had that IF lacked was a competent production staff. Did you notice that at several points during a few of the fights, they had to blur out the faces of the combatants because they were stuntmen? Like… wow.
theres a video on twitter comparing the dd hallway fight and a fight in if and whereas the dd fight has no cuts, the if fight has 45 cuts in less than 30 seconds
Is that the one where he’s trying to get the X-ray? Because My GOD, there were way too many cuts in that scene.
yeah, thats the one!
There’s one fight where Danny is wearing a hoodie specifically so they can conceal just how much of that work is being done by the stuntman
I read the actors sometimes got as few as 15 minutes to practice their fight choreography before they started shooting. If true, it’s no wonder they had to toss if off to the stuntmen so often.
Clint giving Blaine and Ross a run for their money.
It always comes down to jerk dads disagreeing with their daughters’ decisions.
…and abusing/dehumanizing them, but yeah that too
Blaine, sure. Not yet in the Gunman’s league.
Though given how bad he’s proven to be in such a short time, who knows?
I give this guy rank on Toedad because, to me, at least Toedad is a buffoon who believes that he’s doin’ right by Jebus. Toedad has good intentions, even though they lead to him being a fundamentally awful person. This guy and Blaine are just abusive, narcissistic, horrendous ragebeasts with no redeeming qualities and no reason to live, without whom the world would inherently be better.
There was not one damn thing about the intentions of the Toe That Walks Like A Man that were even remotely good. His intentions were “force the daughter I regard as my property to obey my will.”
“…because if she doesn’t God is going to send her to burn in agony in the pits of hell forever and ever.”
Toedad is awful because he’s a product of a horribly fucked up Evangelical culture. That doesn’t make him good, but it does make him more pitiable than this guy.
Eh, I feel like Clint here has good intentions to the same extent Toedad did – they both have the mindset that they know best and it’s their job as parent/grandparent to keep the naive and foolish youngster from making a terrible life-ruining mistake. Why Clint thinks it’s so important that Ruth keep the RA job I don’t know, maybe he figures forcing her to see it through to the end of the year will help her become stronger and avoid being a useless flake who quits every time the going gets tough (which I assume Clint thinks was true of her father). He’s just terribly mistaken about “tough love” being the cure for every ill.
Ross still wins. He actually tried to kill people.
Ross wins in terms of being an immediate threat. I think Clint takes the title from Blaine for the “100% Toxic Parent” category. He stands a chance at taking Ross’s title as well though.
I dunno – Blaine’s responsible for the bad road AG’s going down.
But that bad road is partially responsible for saving Becky from Ross…
I guess it’s a good thing being a toxic shitstain of a human being isn’t a competition, because if it were, quantifying it would be incredibly complicated.
I don’t think “whose worse” can be determined because it’s all bad and which is “worse” is subjective.
Also, because “whose worse” sounds like you are attempting to find out who owns a worse.
It’s “who’s worse.”
You know, when someone calls you a ____ Nazi, it’s usually not a compliment, so why should grammar be any different?
You could treat it is a lecture, learn that part of the grammar and from then on become a better writer.
The soup, however, you will have to pay as always!
Ross wins SO FAR. Sir Clint isn’t done racking up asshole-points yet.
(And I’d still rank Blaine worse than Ross. But they’re so bad that the question is wholly academic.)
Given what happened to Bonnie – Ross actually was at least part guilty of SUCCESSFULLY killing one person. So yeah, for now he has the #1 Asshole trophy. Personally I would say Blaine still has the #2 spot, if nothing else because Ruth and Howie only had to spend PART of their childhood with Clint.
But it’s a close call.
ooooooooooooooh see i keep forgetting who ross is because the comments have been calling him toedad for like a year
i think it’s more appropriate. ross will always be the dude from Friends for me.
It’s why it bugs me that people all this guy by his name instead of making up a nickname. I know at least a handful of Clints, and I don’t want to sully their name by referring to this guy by that name.
I think that he, ToeDad, and Terri-dad (get it?) should not get the luxury of being referred to by name.
I use their names partly to remind myself that they are human. That humans can be monsters like this. That really, only humans are monsters like this.
That the apparently nice friendly guy down the street could be the one abusing his kids.
Thinking of the abusers as Other, as not human, as Something Else, makes it harder to see them in real life.
I haven’t got a good villain name for Clint. Or Blaine. Butthole Dad and Gashface are both canon. Closest we’ve had for Clint is “Sir”, and fuck if I’m going to call him that. Maybe Billie will come up with something good in the next few days.
All I’ve got so far is “Granddick” and “Grandpa Asshat”
…there’s a reason I write code and not prose for a living.
Clint – G.I. Jackass
Blaine – that fucking gorilla.
…I think the fact that Billie’s standing up for her is likely more than Ruth has ever gotten before.
I hope it helps her.
And it has stopped him, at least for the nonce.
Yeah, someone viewed her as worth standing up for, fighting for. That matters. That matters a lot.
I second that
If totally adorkable failure counts as fighting.
…. which I guess it does, for purposes of gestures of support.
Based on what we’ve seen so far, give him a minute and he’ll say something that’ll have Billie Falcon Punch him into a wall.
I dunno, he’s done a decent job of moderating himself in the presence of witnesses. Though there’s a good chance he won’t respect her enough to care if she sees.
This comic brought to you by the expression 🙁 .
So now there’s absolutely no question that he is a despicable abuser. He’s a vile, vile man.
Which given Ruth’s reactions to him and how she’s talked about him was completely obvious.
*Incredibly* so. But hey! LET’S GIVE THE WHITE GUY A CHANCE!
HE STILL HASN’T HIT ANYBODY SO STOP RUSHING TO JUDGEMENT
He’s not even that white. Looks more like severely undercooked poultry.
“IT’S FUCKIN’ RAW”
-Gordon Ramsay, from off panel
Yes. His behaving himself in front of others? That’s what we have to deal with. And you can see even if he never physically harms her, he has torn her to spreads with nothing but words. But others will think they are such a good person and you must be lying. Abuse is like rape, assume it’s the truth unless proven otherwise. A lot of us try to protect our abusers as well, so just because we say it’s okay ,doesn’t mean it is.
Yeah, a lot of abuse survivors and rape survivors minimize what happens to them, make excuses, find ways that it was our own fault.
So when we say, this happened, it’s usually much much worse.
Agreed. I went through both and boy did I go through some insane mental gymnastics to justify and excuse what happened. They never show that part in the movies.
May I offer both of you a hug? All of this sucks so much.
It took me quite a while to realize that the way my mother treated me was *not normal*…
*accepts and offers hugs in return*
Hug accepted and reciprocated
Yeah I don’t take meds cause decades of stress built up for “no reason”, and I got off easy compared to most by comparison but even a slow burn can leave lasting effects and scars and feeling powerless cause no one believes you or don’t feel justified doing something about it makes it worse in the long run and does make you give up asking or looking for help.
“Abuse is like rape, assume it’s the truth unless proven otherwise.”
I hate to be that guy, but I have to add “except in legal proceedings”, because while our current justice system is cruel to victims of both, guilty until proven innocent is a dangerous path to tread.
Considering you know how this can come across, did you need to state the obvious? No one was talking about bloody legal proceedings, and almost never are in these discussions.
But this shit is used as a stick against rape survivors constantly, and I really don’t think anyone’s justice system is at risk of unfair prosecution of (white) rapists.
If they feel it needed stated, then I’m not going to get angry with them. I know people who have been falsely accused in a legal fashion for various things and it’s a terrible experience. I’m saying if somebody you know is sitting face to face with you and says they were raped, assaulted, or abused, believe them. If they cry, believe them. If they fidget and laugh nervously, believe them. If they try to justify it, trivialize it, or are in denial, believe them. If something they describe sounds like nothing a human being would do to another human being or if they seem confused when something shocks you, believe them If they mention it without a discernible change in emotion or like it doesn’t bother them, believe them. If the victim isn’t what you pictured a victim could be (like a muscular man being the victim of a petite woman), believe them. And never ask them “Why didn’t you…” followed by “mistakes” they made at the time. We already know them all.
Here’s an article about a man that assaulted a woman just in case you are on the fence about how to feel in a non legal one on one setting. Just because he didn’t realize what he did at the time, doesn’t make her feelings of violation less real.
I second all of the above.
Yeah… since you’re being “that guy,” I’ll be “that girl”: I didn’t go to the police about the ex-boyfriend who raped me, for Reasons. It couldn’t really have been rape because if I had thought faster on my feet, it wouldn’t have happened; I genuinely cared about the guy and he’d convinced me that he did it because his heart was broken and he just wanted to convince me to come back; I didn’t want to “ruin an innocent man’s life” because I was a stupid drama queen who couldn’t control her overreactions, my story sounded super-sketchy when you said it out loud, etc.
Then, a little more than a year later, two guys in suits met me at the door as I was coming home from a double shift. “Oh, no,” I thought, “I am so tired, and I don’t have the energy to be rude to Mormons.”
It turns out they were the FBI. It turned out it was rape. It turned out I was not the first, nor the last. I was just the first over the age of twelve. He had started courting me because I had a daughter (who had become “too developed” for him to be interested in, thank f*ck, and who lived with her father and stepmother out of state and only met him once). It turned out that when he was using my computer and Internet to “look for jobs” while I was at work (I told you my story sounded super-sketchy!) he was trading and producing child sexual imagery from my home.
I get literal nightmares about the mothers of the young girls he hurt, six to eleven years old at the time, calling me up and asking why I didn’t report him, why I didn’t at least try to stop this man from hurting others stop this man when he hurt me.
I didn’t stop him because he was innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
I didn’t report him because really, when it comes down to it, *I* was the one who made it rape by my stubborn refusal to want him.
That is just one of the depths the rabbit hole of self-accusation (and cultural protection of rapists) can go.
It is my fault those little girls were hurt. I believe M. was a literal monster who couldn’t help himself (he’s in prison for a long, long time), but I knew better than to let a criminal walk free. Sometimes people say, “I’m sorry that happened to you.” Don’t be. Be sorry that I was such a self-absorbed jerk that I let this happen to others.
I hope maybe the “that guys” of this world can also find it in their conscience to quote the statistic about “false rape” reports being about as common as “false car theft” reports…
It’s not your fault. It’s his fault.
I am sorry it happened to you. And sorry it happened to them. The cultural protection is real. The push to blame the victim is real. Even for the victim to blame herself. Even if you had reported it, the chances are good it wouldn’t have stopped him.
You know all this of course, but it doesn’t hurt to hear it again. It’s not your fault.
And all the internet hugs or whatever gestures you’re comfortable with.
Thank you. You may never know how important it is to hear that someone is hearing your story.
Maybe it’s not my fault, but it was my responsibility to stop. And as much as I would like to walk away and never think of myself as a person who failed to save children because I was too chicken poop to think of myself as the one who put a nice guy in jail, I think it is my responsibility to tell my story and make others think about dismissing the victim’s narrative…. even when they are the victim.
Justifying and denial are normal reactions Laura. You are not in charge of any of his actions just because you didn’t go forward. I was sexually assaulted by a date once and tried everything to convince myself that I didn’t until later. I didn’t report it and even if I had’ve, it would have been my word against his and he didn’t mean it right? My ex raped me, but it took my friend sitting down and talking to me for me to realize it was rape because screaming “What the fuck!?!” and saying “I don’t want sex” is saying no. He’s with a woman much younger than me now and I worry for her safety. At one point I reached out to her to end up flat out blocked.
You need to remember that what he did to you or anyone else is not your fault. You going to the police and reporting him would not have made it impossible for him to assault others if he wanted to do so especially if he won his case. You are a victim, not the cause.
I might have missed this yesterday, but I just wanted to come back and say that it’s never your fault for someone else hurting others. It’s genuinely a terrible thing that so few rapists are prosecuted at the moment and that the legal system is as hostile to victims as it is today, and that when prosecutions do rarely happen they’re inevitably on the light side when it comes to penalties. I think it’s terrible that you had to be put through that experience and that he’s put you in a situation where you’re questioning whether you’re guilty. That’s never OK.
“I hate to be that guy.”
No, okay, no. You do not get absolved for saying horrible shit just because you preface it with how upset you are for saying it.
If you hate being that guy, don’t BE that guy. We don’t need that guy around right now. Nobody is talking about the responsibility jurors have. We live in a society in which the first public response to literally EVERY other accusation of crime is presuming guilt, but when it comes to rape, we just assume the victim is a lying whore trying to get something by sabotaging her whole life.
Just. Stop. Stop bringing this up. We are all perfectly aware of the nature of our justice system, we do not need to hear about when we’re talking about how victims never get believed.
What I’m bothered by is that this only gets brought up with regrds to abuse and rape which are some of the most under-reported, underprosecuted, and most harrowing legal environments for victims crimes there are.
Every time people talk about that folks are triping over themselves to say innocent until proven guilty, but not for laws where the person on trial for a crime that often does have an overprosecution or a history of supicious police behavior.
We don’t get folks in any discussion of say posession charges, failure to pay citation cases, or sex worker arrests going out of their way to say “innocent until proven guilty” even though in reality, given how much proof a survivor needs to bring a case to court, those cases are exponentially more likely to involve actually innocent people.
Which bothers me because shit like that contributes to this public idea that rape or abuse are these things where it’s easy for a person to be falsely accused or where there’s much actual harm to career and life from a rape accusation (you get more blaclisted for being a victim than a perpetrator) and this leads to the problem where it is nearly impossible to put someone in jail for rape or abuse.
“You get more blac[k]listed for being a victim than a perpetrator.”
Yup. People think that saying you’re a rape victim gets attention. Well, yeah, so does cancer. On the whole, we’d rather be in Philadelphia. It’s not like saying it’s your birthday to see if you can get a free dessert out of a restaurant (which I would NEVER do), and I wish people would stop acting like it is.
I was responding to a specific statement regarding a specific context – don’t get me wrong, I *don’t* think false reports are a big issue now, and I do know that underreporting is a huge issue, as is underprosecution, I just think that the blanket statement “Abuse is like rape, assume it’s the truth unless proven otherwise.” can be dangerous as well. I don’t know what the solution is to prosecuting rape, and it definitely isn’t what we’re doing now, with so many rapists going free, but it also isn’t throw anyone in jail who gets a report against them.
And I agree, more discussion of “innocent until proven guilty” should be given to posession charges, failure to pay citation cases, and sex worker arrests.
Yeah, it honestly makes me sad.
Indeed. I was one of the people who wanted to withhold judgement. Obviously, the time for withholding judgement is over.
I do not consider it a mistake to have withheld judgement, because now, scarcely a week later, we have undeniable proof, and I can jump on the hate-bandwagon with all of you. What have I lost, for having withheld for that week?
I never said he was good, just that there was a chance he might not be evil. I still believe that there could have been a chance, based on the evidence in-story we had seen up to that point.
It is only with meta-understanding of the author that people could be so sure of his guilt, and for ignoring that, I do not apologize. I read this comic as a story, rather than an author-tract, and even if it is the latter, I will not stoop to viewing it as such.
While I understand your irritation at the people who denied you immediate moral satisfaction, please try not to strawman us all. We withheld judgement, and are now no longer doing so. If someone sincerely thinks Clint is still a good person or might be, I will be right there with you, arguing against them.
“Maybe Willis is actually a really bad writer” is your alternate explanation?
First, no, you don’t need to know anything about Willis to read the signs that Clint was an abusive asshole. Go back on the last couple strips, or even back to the one where Ruth got that phone call, and you’ll find plenty of people recognizing the red flags from their own personal experience.
Secondly, regarding that last paragraph, stop. You may have missed it, since a good number of comments from the last couple days have been deleted, but there have been people not simply withholding judgement or failing to recognize the red flags, but arguing – disrespectfully – with people who saw this coming, calling them overdramatic, and other bullshit.
Nobody is being strawmanned here, there really were people being that asinine.
Oops, replied to the wrong comment. Not aimed at you.
Okay, NOW he’s a piece of crap. Before he had something resembling deniability.
that said, panel 4’s expression is unreasonably hilarious.
The hair eyes are outta control.
I love Billie’s expression in panel five, myself. It is so exactly the expression kittens make when they are experimenting with play-fighting. “This is a bite, yes? I am so fierce and a mighty warrior and slayer of catnip mousies?” I just hope Clint hasn’t raised kittens enough to know that you need to shut that down RIGHT away with kittens.
…Scratch that, I just hope Clint gets his head knocked straight before anyone lets him near kittens, ever.
The red flags were always there. Before we ever even saw his face.
^This a thousand times
There was smoke.
This is the fire.
Except when people see smoke, nobody argues with the people insisting there’s fire, that something else MUST be creating smoke, and we should just give it a chance
Never rule out a giant cloud of airborne nanites.
Even though smoke can be created without fire, assuming you’re really bad at creating fire
But even then it’s a sign that the CONDITIONS of fire are present in some form, and even if there’s no actual fire it’s likely there either was or will be, and this metaphor is getting confusing so I’ll stop
AND THEN WE SAW HIS FACE
AND NOW WE’RE A BELIEVER
THAT THERE’S NOT A TRACE
OF GOOD IN HIS MIND
He’s a fuck,
Now we’re a believer
Billie won’t leave ‘er
Tho he tried
Ruth’s reason she could not kill herself despite being suicidal and wanting to was enough that there was no legitimate deniability after his 2nd panel.
There was also this : http://www.dumbingofage.com/2011/comic/book-1/05-media-rumble/sir/
honestly ruth’s reaction + his ability to cham ms. pudding gave me the creeps
“Okay, NOW he’s a piece of crap. Before he had something resembling deniability.”
No he didn’t.
deniability? i thought up until today the only thing he explicitly exhibited was extremely shitty parenting.
but yeah nobody can deny him being abusive scum now.
KICK HIS ASS in a manner that wont be construed as elder abuse.
Karma gets stake before the cops.
Actually he might be like a turtle. Solid when standing but you knock him over and he’s done.
I am now picturing him, in his suit, on his back, kicking the air, unable to turn himself over.
He lays on its back, his belly baking in the hot sun, beating his legs trying to turn himself over. But he can’t. Not without your help. But you’re not helping. Why is that, Leorale?
(would pay to see this)
If his name was Sebastian and he had a Jamaican accent you would help him.
Nope. Though I do applaud your choice of reference.
Tomotoa is way cooler than Clint.
This guy isn’t even shiny.
If he was, his name would be Glint.
Distract him, Billie. He did that sufficiently in public to get punched. Someone else might see.
And probably “not notice,” ‘cuz that’s what folks do, but you could give it a shot.
Yeah, no Mr. Hughes needs to go die in a hole
Billie Bops: certified soft.
Sawft is sin!
If she had a dime for every empty she’s ever failed to return to the bottle depot, she’d have…a lot of dimes, sadly.
Billie, you’re a cheerleader. Your best offense is likely a kick to the side of his head.
Cheerleaders have to be able to jump. And pretty high as well, she could probably get a good jumping drop kick to his jaw.
If she can just barely reach his face with her kick, it won’t hit very hard.
She could probably kick him in the face from the ground–I could have done that to somebody a head taller than me when I was practicing, and I’m a fatty–the problem is it wouldn’t be terribly effective.
Plus that’s not a very fighty kick — you don’t want to risk throwing yourself off-balance, he’s free to defend his face, and skulls are hard. You want squishy vulnerable bits that are conveniently close by.
The More You Knowwww
Okay, but like Billie is, in her own words, an “alpha bongo” and has literally kicked down Ruth’s door. We know she’s more than capable of kicking someone’s skull in.
Not if she can barely reach it, though. You gotta kick like you want your foot to go through (and it kinda will, since faces move conveniently out of the way when they get kicked).
The point when your foot stops moving isn’t where you want to hit. You gotta hit before that.
I wasn’t really arguing over reach, I was more trying to refute “Billie can’t do a fighty kick”. She can.
That isn’t quite what Leorale said, though.
Not quite, but it was still kind of there. Idk. I really like Billie, and wanted to assert how awesome she is. Although, honestly I love all of the female characters so much, like almost all of them are so kickass; Amber/AG, Ruth, Billie, Carla, Joyce, Sal, Dina, Sarah, Jocelyn to an extent… (Becky’s more of a punk than a fighter, but she’s smarter than you’d assume, and has good sense.) And yet, their ability to fight isn’t theatrical in any way (save AG), it just is. Like yes please, I love these wonderful, capable women. I need more of them. And now I’m gushing, and please help me…
Billie is rad and could totally do a fighty kick if she wanted!
(I only meant to assert that high-kicks aren’t as fighty as other kicks she could do.)
Like kicking a bag of garbage down a jammed garbage chute.
…. but Leorale is right, there are better targets.
A jumping kick in a fight if you aren’t somebody who has years of practical experience in a kicking-centric martial art is still just inherently stupid, though. It’s a huge risk that can be massively punished and puts you in a terrible position, and it doesn’t actually carry that much more force than a grounded kick unless you’re full-tilt diving in.
If she wants to kick him in the head, kick the side of his knee in, first. You’d be surprised how much easier it is to land a devastatingly hard kick to the head when somebody is already on the ground.
Also, a kick is only as good as how high your leg can stretch. I’ve been out of practice in MMA for like 7 years now, but my legs can still stretch pretty damn high. Way higher than my head. My brother is about 7 inches taller than me, but I almost kicked him in the shoulder yesterday when he asked how high I could kick.
Well a boot to the head would be properly Canadian…
Steel-toed, Lumberjack, or Blue Puttee? (For that last one, look up the “Blue Puttees”)
I was thinking something a little more Frantic:
somebody else knows about these!
“I shit a pie!”
I thought it would be a stake to the heart?
No, aim for the targets you know actually exist.
she could crush his head with her thighs
Billie! You have to stop evil super Roosevelt! This isn’t what Churchill wanted!
He lacks the spruce mustache to be…oh wait, do you mean Franklin? Then in that case he needs to be in a wheelchair. P.S. Clint looks way more like an evil Churchill to me. Give him a cigar and one of Churchill’s signature hats and take away his glasses and they could be twins.
Wow, the creator of another comic I read regularly has joined into the discussion!
It’s okay Billie. Feel free to break him in half.
Seriously though. I insist. I’m pretty sure your parents have enough money to make a body disappear. It’ll be a bonding experience!
Mr. Billingsworth: *sniff* “I am so proud of you Billie. Now I don’t need to worry about the family business.”
Billie: “Wait. What?”
Mr. Billingsworth: “Yeah, the company’s just a front. I’m actually the leader of an Irish mob family with it’s roots in the prohibition era. I might have to ‘discipline’ some of the underlings in order for them to accept you as heir apparent, but that should be easy enough.”
Mr. Billingsworth…is the head of an Irish mob family.
Hostile takeover by a disgruntled underling. Classic.
His grandfather changed the family last name after the Easter uprising in 1916 to secretly smuggle arms to Michael Collins’s IRA without raising the suspicion of being anything more than an American merchant. The original name was O’Riley. They still use it when talking mob business, but for all other things he uses the cover name his grandfather came up with. He also owns a third Chicago, has half of Ohio and Pennsylvania in his pocket, and is the shadow ruler of Massachusetts. He’s trying to expand his Great Lakes operations by establishing a smuggling route between Canada and Northern Michigan, and is one of the ten most power criminals in the country, with a couple of moles in the FBI, the NSA, and even one in the CIA for good measure. All while being the magnanimous “Mr. Billingsworth” to the public.
A third Chicago? I didn’t even know about the second one!
Damnit, it’s supposed to be “a third of Chicago” not “a third Chicago” goddamn spell check.
Magnanimous to rich people anyways, but once he kicks all the poor people out of downtown, the only ones left will be rich (or at least middle class, which he SUPPOSES he can tolerate if he has to), so who cares what poor folks have to say anyways?
Where do you think he’s been getting his smugglers? He buses the homeless out of the cities and then offers them tenant housing on the Great Lakes if they join the smuggling ring. Otherwise he sends them to Utah.
English mob. He’s from England.
Could work. But now I picture Billie slipping into a heavy Cockney accent whenever she gets angry, while having a “normal” American accent the rest of the time. It is damn hilarious.
Mixed with very rude Mandarin swear words she learned from mama, yes, I like this plan.
This is now head cannon. Thank you. I needed this. I am giggling so hard.
Then my work here is done!
Ok, wasn’t planning on liking this, but now I do and except it as head-cannon. I also now choose to believe that Walky calls it “Billie’s angry Hong Kong Brit mode”.
i believe that this man has alternate views on how respect works and how depression should be handled :/
Alternate to what? To facts?
Yes. I believe gkheyf was going for… um… what’s it called when you understate something so much it becomes funny? I’m sure there was a word for that…
I think I’ve just said “humorous understatement.”
When I had to explain my intent because sarcasm is dead.
Honey, my dad has tried to yell the depression out of me some days just calling me a lazy ass. He was also against antidepressants until a doctor flat out told him I wouldn’t survive without them and could never be off them for the rest of my life. It’s a not uncommon view on depression, but just because some people think it, doesn’t make it true or allow it to hold up against hard facts. Think anti-vaxxers.
Wait, that’s a reply to me?
Iiiii am familiar with this one, but thanks.
I’m saying they believe “facts” that are not facts but opinions and think it’s just an alternative viewpoint/approach which goes against real facts, but not their twisted version of facts. And it wasn’t a response so much to you personally, just what you said (rather honest or sarcastic) to outline the problem abuse victims face when the abuser twists reality and facts to their liking still believing they are true and correct instead of what it is.
facts are just opinions. opinions are just ideas i haven’t decided whether or not they are facts. ideas don’t exist unless i believe in them. i only believe in facts.
isn’t that how it works?
Less views, and more complete and total apathy and/or disdain.
Yeah. This hits close. I tried to kill myself when I was 16, and my parents gave me a good dressing down about how I should stop asking to have friends come over late and I had a lot of work to do to re-earn their trust.
It’s the thought that counts, Billie!
*plays The Power Station’s “We Fight For Love” on the hacked Muzak*
And of course I misread that as Power Rangers and now have their Go Go Power Rangers music in my head as she battles him XD
That brings back memories of Ahnold in a spandex superhero suit for Jingle All The Way.
Well, Billie made Ruth’s frown stop getting frownier before it collapsed into a sadularity. That’s worth something, I guess.
bless you for coining the word “sadularity” i honestly don’t know what i was doing with my life up to this point
It was a punch in the same way that Taco Bell is food.
You people and your irrational hatred for Taco Bell.
(Confession: I actually eat at Taco Bell a fair amount of the time. They are the cheapest place to get a meal on my campus.)
If it fits in the mouth and digests in the gut, then it is food. It may not have been intended as food, but so it is written.
He may be elderly, but Billie still shoud kick his ass.
Holy shit, what a wretched piece of shit asshole shitstain bastard of a person. Fuck that guy. Punch him harder, Billie.
Also, I love Billie coming to Ruth’s defense, like a knight in shining armor. (cheerleading uniform counts as armor, these are facts). I love these girls trying their best in a shitty situation stacked against them and I love their love.
And once more for good measure: fuuuuccccckkkk that guy.
I hate to say it, but he’s worse than Mary.
At least Mary has the self-awareness to know that trying to get someone to kill themselves is bad. Sir apparently sees Ruth’s suicide attempt as nothing more than an insult to himself.
Dos she? The next day she asked Billie to let her drive Carla to the same state as Ruth.
I doubt Mary and people like her view trans people as human. I’ve certainly encountered plenty who don’t.
True enough. Blech.
mary is more malignant, but that’s only because she has less power. this guy has more power, so he doesn’t have to be malignant all the time – unless it gets him what he wants. which is ruth cringing into a puddle of malleable goo.
w o w.
Mary is also young, which leaves the possibility of her changing much more open. Clint is old and set in his ways. There’s little hope.
Shortest on panel introduction to punch time yet for an ass in this comic.
I’m, like, pretty sure the guys Amazi-Girl beat up when she first met Danny had a shorter record.
They don’t count. We were never properly introduced to them.
One of them was Beef, and he is tagged…
No. Tied with Blaine. Amber clocked him in his 4th strip. Much more effectively than Billie does here too.
He also got thrown by Ruth a few strips later and eventually the full on beat down from Amazi-Girl. See what Clint’s got to look forward to.:)
A solution presents itself! If Billie follows him around constantly and pathetically fistbops his arm, he’ll be too distracted to be abusive! Probably maybe not at all!
What does this solve, you ask? Why, the WACKY HIJINX deficiency!
That actually sounds like my sister.
I’m still not sure whether she actually tries to hurt me and she’s just really bad at it, or she thinks an actual attack wouldn’t work out for her for various reasons.
Is your last name Sturmvoraus by any chance?
Pretty sure that applies to Wulfenbach as well.
To Gil, at least.
Especially given what happens when you do a Google Image search for “chump girl genius”.
People who haven’t read Girl Genius will have no idea what that means.
At least he has a nice hat 😉
I’m not going to lie, I want that hat so badly.
At some point, he’ll either start adjusting or decide “to hell with it” and go for her windpipe.
That prompts a thought: If he lays a hand on Billie, I wonder if that’ll be enough to snap Ruth out of her paralysis and hurt him.
“The cane is more for show than anything else. And punching more wouldn’t do anything; I’ve fought in wars, kid.”
“…I didn’t think it could get any more awkward.”
(Also, I apologize if you try to talk to me and I don’t respond; I mostly just a few comments in the night, when I have some spare time, and am too lazy/buzy to add on that during the day. In daytime, I’m mostly found on a website for young writers.)
This kind of makes me hope he is so insulted that he tells her out right to hit him as hard as she can, and then Amazigirl comes in with a foldable metal chair and takes up his offer
It won’t happen, but I still want it
Oh, yeah. Walkyverse.
Richard “Dick” Lesse. Or Lessick, in this universe.
The worst part is that I read “Dick” Lessick and part of me is tempted to laugh, but the above comic makes it seem more cruel than anything else. ‹.‹
Billie is a goddamn hero.
Which is my way of echoing what knightsbridge said above — there’s a really good chance no one has ever stood up for Ruth like this before. And having even just one person on your side in the face of a lifetime of abuse feels like a goddamn actual miracle.
This is so true.
This guy is pretty much a Disney villain at this point
“Mother Grandfather knows beeeeee-eeeeeest!”
If only. His kind is frighteningly real.
In related news, I have retired the phrase “cartoonish[ly] evil” from my lexicon.
i mean like a lot of disney villains were based on real things
gaston is frighteningly real
it’s not that unrealistic that a stepmother might try to kill her stepdaughter in a weirdass competition when patriarchy sets women against each other literally all the time
frollo is…unpleasantly realistic
hans is that douchebag who’s willing to lie to a girl to get what he wants and doesn’t give a damn
gothel’s manipulation is like. textbook emotional abuse
like the psychology of disney villains has to make sense in order for them to be believable threats so there are ties to real things even though it’s a fantastic setting and written for children. i mean. people go on about dickensian levels of cruelty but charles dickens was a reporter before he was a novelist and a lot of his level of detail comes from his understanding of the class inequalities and realities of his world
See, Hans to me makes the least sense, but thats probably more because he was a rewrite villain they weren’t willing to completely commit to how much of a conniving douche he was, preceded by a somehow almost perfectly choreographed duet.
I mean, Gaston is a lot more consistent and still seems like one of the creepiest Disney villains to me. If only because Hans wouldn’t go full creeper cause all he wanted was the throne and not the girl as well, instead of Gaston’s full fledged plans to get Belle to marry him and have infinite babies. Or colluding to throw her father in an insane asylum to force her hand in marriage, etc.
Still, I mean a Ryan is a Hans done more properly than Disney could ever allow in their stuff, so yeah, still a horrible type of person that exists in the real world as well.
The almost perfectly choreographed duet where he was always a couple beats behind so he could figure out what she wanted to hear and then sing it?
idk partially that’s the fault of screentime, i think – they had four main characters. Elsa, Anna, Hans and Kristoff. and then Olaf. like – Hans gets a song, whereas the prince charmings of snow white and cinderella get barely a scene or two. it can be difficult to signal subtle untrustworthiness when you’re trying to make a shock reveal. Hans was always gonna be just what Anna wanted until he got what he wanted. idk we’re more presented with his actions than with his reasoning which can be confusing
I save the phrase evil for cartoony supervillains. For people like him, I have the word “asshole”.
Especially since the asshole who was the basis of many of the cartoon villains in the 80s and 90s is now in control of the US and outdoing his fictionalized counterparts. There is apparently no depth a cartoon can sink to that a human can’t outdo.
Fiction has to be believable.
C’mon Billie. Hit the old bastige with his cane. Don’t get your knuckles all scraped up. The old buzzard needs to stroke out and leave Ruth alone.
Welp, and there’s the answer to someone’s comment yesterday about how this guy feels about his own daughter and his son-in-law.
I think there’s no doubts left on why Ruth’s mom ran all the way to Canada instead of staying close to home.
FIGHT FOR YOUR WOMAN BILLIE
Welp, hopefully that clears up any of the residual moral ambiguity.
Here, people who were holding out, we’ve saved you some pitchforks, torches are in the back.
Also next time please believe all the folks who tried to show you the red flags. They are smart and get to go first.
Please don’t kill him, it takes away my chance to slowly destroy everything he’s built up piece by piece.
can’t we do that after the funeral? i spent a really long time faking this will that bequeathes all his possessions to his grandkids giving them monetary independence
Some1: But, if he dies, wouldn’t Ruth or GOT!Boy (forget his name) inherit all that? Seems like a better revenge, to me…
Even better idea: Kill him, bring him back to life, THEN let Some1 have their way with him.
“I wish that they could walk forever,
On the earth, alone, unfettered
Til they pray for consolation,
Til they beg for sweet damnation
Then I’ll come and bring them water,
Bring them hope, bring them laughter
Raise their hopes so sad and sunken
Slash them up as they lie there drunken
Push them down into the foul mud
‘Til they choke up on their own blood
Drag them out before their last breath
To take away the mercy of death”
Thank you! Uh, since I believed the red flags personally but also felt it was necessary to point out that there was only circumstantial evidence, where do I go on line?
….very very near the back, sad to say.
I want everyone who said ‘maybe we should have ignored Ruth and Billie saying that he was an asshole and given him another chance to abuse Ruth before disliking him’ to apologize and fuck right off, but not in that order.
i’ll post this again here:
I don’t think most of those people were defending him. Believing that Ruth is/has experienced abuse/trauma and wanting to reserve judgement on Clint until he explicitly says or does something abusive are not mutually exclusive camps
Several times I’ve told friends my father is abusive. they believed me but thet didn’t immediately start ignoring him or treating him differently when they saw him out and about
Okay, but, like. That is not how they SHOULD be reacting. They SHOULD care about you enough NOT to treat him exactly the same way.
So yeah. They are mutually exclusive camps. They’re only not if you think somehow that it is better morally to let abused people keep being abused.
Giving him another chance was never part of my argument – strictly just wanted to wait for more evidence (which I got yesterday) – but I believe I am still included in your address.
This will be the fourth time I acknowledge that you were correct. I will continue to do so, because I do believe it is important that you see that people like me (not that all of the people you are addressing are like me) are doing this out of doubt, not bias.
Not doubt of Ruth, but doubt of everything and anything that we cannot verify. I am a scientist, and I do truly apply doubt to positive things as much as negative things. While all my fellows might not be quite so even-handed, I do not feel that my doubt was in itself a moral failing, for it was so easily and quickly removed. I updated on new information, as I knew I would, for it was certain to be forthcoming. I did not pre-judge, because pre-judging, as a class of action, is exactly what your enemies do, and will no more do it in your defense than I would against you.
I will agree that you were correct. I will apologize for the hurt that my withholding judgement caused you, but I will not apologize for the action itself. Prejudice is an evil in this world. My only crime was not having as much information as you, either about abuse, how Willis portrays it, or how Willis writes in general.
^ this is who I aspire to be
…oh, Billie, you precious and passionate and misguided girl. You tried.
Sooooo have all the That Guys been satisfied? We good?
They will never be satisifed. The next time a character tries to warn us that they’re terrified of someone, there will be a small army in the comments insisting that bongoes Be Crazy, Ya’ll.
Sigh, you’re probably right. However, you’ve also got Hamilton playing in my head now, which is sufficient distraction from that.
Unfortunately Clint did not end up like the guy in Hamilton who also got told “Thank you for your service” (Washington to Charles Lee after Lee got shot in the duel).
I thought that was Washington to the doctor who was also there for the duel, but I’ve only heard the soundtrack.
I’ve only heard the soundtrack as well, but I assumed it was to Lee, as a sort of apology for the way Hamilton and Laurens behaved.
Hello, here I am, satisfied. This is ample evidence. I had enough evidence yesterday, even. I said so then, I’ll say so now.
As I’ve said in other places, I was never your enemy, just not yet your ally. I was genuinely waiting for evidence, and here it is.
Do you still hate me so much for being two strips slower than you?
Have you ever considered maybe folks aren’t talking specifically about you?
Remember that time Joyce nearly got raped and a bunch of guys came out to call her a violent psycho for fighting back?
No, actually. Which strip was that? I know Ryan’s cover was a “psycho-bongo” story, but I don’t remember anyone calling her out for fighting back. Link please?
Those were comments by real people. Not in-strip.
There were some horrible excuses in this thread, too, before they were mercifully deleted.
Er, not thread. Strip.
Yeah, that was one of the epically low points.
There were also the guys who argued that Becky not investing the 20 bucks she got off Billie was proof that she was a spendthrift wastrel, that Toedad might not be that bad when he’d already pulled out the gun and was chasing her, and the folks who didn’t see anything transphobic in any of Mary’s actions and thought that she was really invested in her studies.
I dunno, I get the urge to look on the bright side, but at some point it’s got to be apparent that Willis has no interest in doing the “abuse survivor is exaggerating/making up their abuse” storyline like so many movies and TV series do and so it’s worth trusting characters and red flags earlier rather than later.
I eagerly await the next round to see their flavour of choice.
Will it be that Sal can’t be abused because Walky and Billie weren’t? Danny’s parents are just kidding? Perhaps Carol’s just REALLY REALLY upset that Joyce left without telling her? Aw, but shouldn’t Ethan try to repair his relationship with his mom?
At least we seem to have held off on Round Two for a while (and yes, I’m aware of the irony of that statement with the It’s Walky reruns going now).
People who STILL don’t see the transphobia in Mary’s actions, for that matter.
But, you know, we’re piling on THEM if we tell them they’re being horrible.
To be fair, dismissing evidence of transphobia is one of the internet’s favorite activities. Right up there with dismissing evidence of misogyny.
The existence of the word misogyny actually proves that only men can be oppressed, I’ve heard. I think maybe there needs to be a PSA about how straw man/ paper tiger arguments are actually a bad thing.
Woah, what?! Holy shit, seriously? I wasn’t around for that, I started reading the comic back in April 2012.
Sadly, what you said does not surprise me.
Yep. Fifth time saying so. Making sure I make all the rounds. You were right, and now that I am no longer withholding judgement, (which is not the same as defending the guy), I am too. I was never your enemy, I was just a little slower to be your ally.
The last panel fits perfectly with Billie’s reaction after chasing down Blaine back on Family Weekend.
. . . .Goddammit. He’s pushing his hatred of his Son in law unto his granddaughter. Which I get his anger and where it is coming from but there is no need nor right for him to . . .push? Transfer? That anger to all that remains of his Daughter. Think she’d be down right ashamed and . . .is there a rage-filled version of mortified?
So possible to salvage the relationship but not until either a) HEAVY INTENSE counseling or b) A serious ass kicking to make him realize what he is doing.
Go Billie though. Would have been better to follow through on that punch but props for effort.
No, I don’t think it’s possible. Even if it was possible it’s certainly not preferable.
It’s possible to salvage a relationship with my former stepfather.
But why would I want to?
(certainly he doesn’t want to, either)
I’d wager he never came to terms with losing his daughter and is twisting his pain into the abuse he’s heaping onto Ruth.
Also, you can clearly see the cultural repression of emotional/mental suffering in his day reflected in his disdain of others’ emotional and mental suffering. (Probably in no small part due to his inability to express his own emotional suffering due to said repression.)
I’d wager he abused his daughter just as much as he’s abusing Ruth and is mostly mad at Ruth’s dad for taking his victim away from him. Hence the “weak” comment.
It doesn’t really matter. He could have loved and adored his daughter but not a damn bit of that would make a difference that he’s torturing and abusing HER daughter.
The “weak” comment is directed at Ruth’s dad too though. If anything, it seems that he sees Ruth as ‘poisoned’ by her father’s traits, and why would he care about which of her parents she reflects more if he didn’t hold one of them in high esteem?
He clearly never respected her choice of husband. He might well have been less awful to Ruth’s mom, but the way he so easily unloads this garbage on Ruth makes me extremely doubtful that he wasn’t at least a controlling, demanding, Tywin Lanister-esque father. Love doled out sparingly, only as long as you follow the path he’s laid out for you.
Oh no, I concur that he was probably only slightly less of a bastard to his daughter than he is to his granddaughter, but I think he still thought of her as his daughter and probably thought he was doing the right thing.
Someone should remind Pvt Hughes that the only one who gets chewed out is him, by his CO. And then put him on PT until he dies of old age.
My thought process is the daughter was a bauble to him. And Ruth’s father was a thief who stole that bauble from him, far away from his plans for her. And that’s why he’s the villain.
Well, we know he slept with Billie’s mom in the Walkyverse so it’s very probable DaddyRuth was a scumbag. That doens’t mean anything Clint has done is justified or he’s not worse, though.
Exactly. He might have treated his daughter better than Ruth (or not), but it was still very likely his path, his plans, his decisions.
Even if Ruth’s father actually was a jerk, it’s also quite possible her mom latched on to him as a way of getting out of Clint’s control. Which just reinforces Clint’s need to keep control of Ruth.
idk, now that ruth’s mom is dead she can be whoever he wants her to be
That’s also a thing.
Possible to salvage the relationship, but so not a priority. Priority is getting Ruth and Howie out from under his control.
After a decade or so out of his influence, they can decide whether it’s worth it to them. When they can interact more as equals. People change. Stranger things have happened.
But right now, it’s damage control. That relationship is the least important thing to be concerned about.
If he hates Ruth’s late father why is he bothering with Ruth? Is it simply that he knows he’ll lose Howard if he doesn’t pretend to have some feelings for her?
He apparently still holds his daughter in high esteem. It could be due to a warped sense of duty.
Probably more that Ruth (& Howard) represent his daughter’s legacy, hence why he still supports them despite his clear hatred of the fact that they are also his son-in-law’s legacy.
I’m starting to think Clint here took losing his daughter harder than Ruth and Howard took losing their mother. Doesn’t excuse his behavior in the slightest, but it takes some serious damage to warp someone’s view of their own family to that extent.
His utter vitriolic hatred for the man she married is a sure sign he didn’t really respect her though. He doesn’t give a damn that she loved him, anymore than he cares that he was the father of her children and his grandchildren.
I strongly doubt he kept that opinion to himself while they were alive, either. Granddick his clearly why they moved to Canada.
Um. Contempt for a person does not take away the desire to control that person.
Although it speaks well of both you and your family that you have to be told that.
Abusers work in messed up way regardless of how they feel. They’ll do things to harm them and establish the idea that they hold all the power, then they make a show of it by cutting off escape routes. This one puts effort into making it look like he cares about Ruth by going out of his way to secure a job for her, help her pay for her education, so that Ruth would be made to feel like she owed him, and to put “Everyone sees what a caring person I am for you, so they’ll never believe you if you try to get out of this situation.” Abusers may show preferential treatment to siblings for some reason. To excuse their abusive behavior, they set up a narrative where they claim one child is nothing but selfish, ungrateful, and horrible while the other can do no wrong. Maybe he holds them both with contempt and just decided Ruth was the easier target because she would keep silent about it as long as she could keep Howard from facing the same fate. Ruth’s emotional and mental distress makes her a target as well, seeing as he hated her father for his own.
It’s also possible that Howard acts more like their mother than Ruth does, and therefore Clint sees him as “surrogate child” while Ruth is “the last remnants of the man who took my daughter”. I don’t know how to write the second in-quotes to sound unsympathetic towards Clint. Goodness knows he doesn’t deserve it. Understanding perhaps, but NOT sympathy.
That’s what I thought. The narrative of “you’re just like the son-in-law I hate” pairs really nicely with “your brother is just like my daughter,” further explaining why Ruth may be getting worse treatment than Howie.
A key word is unfortunately “ownership”. He doesn’t LIKE his daughters choices, but he still OWNS the offspring. After all, Ruth’s job is an INVESTMENT.
Blaine and Ross had very much the same attitude.
Evil is treating people like things. – Granny Weatherwax
Hence why slavery, rape, and abuse are the three worst, most sinister evils in the world.
I know every time an abusive person shows up in this strip we have to deal with jerks in the comments all “Heaven forbid I think we might see something different than THIS tired old plot device again!” but I just want to say this comic is quite honestly the best depiction of the various incarnations of abuse, some unconscious and some deliberate, some blatant and some insidious, that I’ve ever seen handled in any medium. This can’t be easy to write, emotionally, and I’m so grateful that it exists and so sorry that Willis has to put up with all the jerks in the comments talking over the lived experiences of the writer and other readers to complain that it’s so unrealistic how many bad parents there are in the story.
I agree with you 100% on all counts.
If we get a parent who’s so uncaring that their response to being informed of a suicide attempt is ‘ignore it’ followed by ‘get angry when the person tells someone else because it makes them look bad’, we’ll have my Dad and Willis will have Abuser Bingo. Who do you think comes closest? Ethan? Danny?
We’re halfway there with Clint.
About 90%, I’d say. He’s upset about losing the job, not the suicide attempt, because it’s spoiling the path he’d laid out for her.
Hey, the week’s not over yet!
It’s really well done, yeah. And super therapeutic to see these sorts of plot lines played straight and handled with genuine respect to the subject matter.
and not just the abusive stuff; the stigma, too, of mental illness and neurodiversity and so on. Like when Dina stands up for her sexuality.
I also agree completely with this comment. This comic is just really, really well written.
This 100% this! Thank you David Willis, you are portraying this quite well.
Holy fucking shit. Oh my god. Oh my god. Dad has said that. Except it’s how I’m like my mother and… I think I’m gonna be sick. ANY FUCKING PERSON WHO THINKS VERBAL ABUSE ISN’T AS BAD AS PHYSICAL, READ THIS STRIP AND THEN KISS MY LILY WHITE ASS! Stop being a Chloe people. Start being a Billie. Listen and protect us god fucking damn it!!!
You are a wonderful, valuable person in your own right. I've really appreciated getting to read your insights in the comment threads. You've given me a broader perspective and made me a better person.
I'm sorry to you and anyone else who's had to deal with this crap.
*appropriate gesture of support*
Oh wow. That’s so very sweet to say. Thank you for letting me know that I impacted you so much 🙂
Yeah, right now my level of rage at all the people over the past few strips who said we just neeeeeeeed to give Clint a chaaaaaaaance is well past Hulk rage and into something resembling a supernova. Fuck that.
Oh yes. All the people excusing his actions like I’ve heard countless times before. I imagine poor Willis had his work cut out for him deleting so many nasty comments not to mention seeing all the comments we never do because they are by first time posters.
I’ve lived through every type of abuse imaginable and the verbal abuse has had just as much effect as the physical and sexual and caused just as much lasting pain. I agree with you 100% and I’m sorry for all you’ve been through. *Supportive gesture of your choice*
I will take one hug please 🙂
Yes. I agree. I remember all the times I wanted my biological mother to hit me so I would know what she was doing was wrong, but she never did. She did try to kill me a few times but that was food related and easy enough to convince me that was an oops. The verbal never really goes away I don’t think.
*Hug* I can get what you mean, my father hit the trifecta, but my mother was always more verbally abusive and that made it harder to see what she was doing. I’m pretty sure none of it ever goes away, you just learn how to keep living and heal as best as you can.
looks like there’s gonna be plenty of RBN triggers in the comic for a bit…
The force is strong with this one
I’ve often wondered if my parents were narcissist. At least that’s what I’m assuming you mean. My best friend was raised by a narcissistic mother who kept hurting her until last year when she went no contact. It’s been hard on her but it has helped her a lot and she’s not sick as often. I think my dad shows signs of it but I’m not sure being unable to be objective. My biological mother… I have no clue what her deal was but I doubt it was just one thing because boy was she a hot mess.
I am happy this is being brought up though even though it hurts. It’s shining a light on verbal abuse and how charming people find them. Billie recognizing the trouble Ruth is in and intervening actually helped my state of mind after seeing Chloe who acted just like most observers I’ve seen act.
Before someone decides to point it out, I and everyone like me understand that Ruth is not real, but real or not she is experiencing what a lot of us have. It brings up a lot of memories and feelings for us, so to trivialize what she is going through is to trivialize what we went through. We are raw right now from it and emotions are running high. If you don’t understand, imagine seeing a movie that hits you hard a while after someone you were close to died; rather it’s comics, movies, or music, good media has a way to pull the emotions out you thought weren’t there anymore.
I’m afraid that I have, from time to time, been tempted to remind people of the MST3K motto. But I see, in this case particularly, how much the events in the Dumbiverse resonate with the reality of some folks’ lives.
I’ll check my privilege a bit better if I can, and I’ll try to keep from being the “it’s only a comic” guy from now on.
*hugs accepted* I completely understand where you were coming from and I’m glad that I was able to help you understand why we react how we do to things like this. *gives extra comforting hugs*
*Appropriate gesture of support* You didn’t deserve that. Know you are awesome and loved and deserve so much better.
Thank you. It was so kind of you to say. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that I’m not the things they called me. I have 2 great friends I talk to daily who are more like family than the people who are alive and share my blood. I still love my dad and I think he loves me, but our relationship isn’t healthy.
Ditto. I’ve only recently realized that I’ve been scared of going back to school and assuming that it’s somehow a bad choice only because they used to berate me whenever I stated an interest in doing so.
Realizing that has made it easier to gather my application stuff, but there’s always a moment here and there where I get utterly paralyzed and I hear their voices saying it’s a dumb stupid idea.
Oooh, good luck going back to the school! Any ideas what for?
Masters of Ed and a Teaching Credential so I don’t just have to stick with Private Schools and so I can get out of the country easier in the future.
Also – I believe a number of Canadian institutions will accept an American teaching credential (depending on the teachable – you should be okay for math and science, as those are true no matter what country you’re teaching in).
You are a good teacher. You care about and support your students and expose a lot of them to a positive trans role model. Going back to school is a great idea. It will open you up to teach in more places and allow you to go to another country if push comes to shove. It’s worth it because you are worth it. Go part time if you need to. Even if you only enroll in one class, that’s one less class you have to take later. 🙂
Nobody can obtain the Master of Ed. Edward is his own master and cannot be restrained.
As someone going back to school for a teaching credential themself, I say go for it!
All the hugs. That is some unacceptable bullshit.
Thanks hun *shares the hugs*
*gesture of support, because I forgot if it was you who said you were a hugger in real life before* if that is the case then *hugs of support*
*gigantic reciprocation hug of thanks*
You have all my hugs.
Also sympathy rage – my heavy, heavy rage.
*shares hugs and calms rage*
…I am torn.
On one hand, I like rage. It’s the emotion I like to use to get shit done.
On the other, you’re adorable. *hugs*
So here’s my question to people that have dealt with real abuse situations: is it a good idea to get physically involved? whether to give the abuser a beatdown or just physically separate the victim?
It depends, it can endanger you or make it worse for them, but if it’s a public enough place and the proper steps are taken to get proof or if it’s life or death it can help. However, verbal involvement is usually the better option especially if you shout loudly enough to be heard and draw attention.
This. Usually de-escalation is the best bet. There’s a big movement right now called “you okay, sis” which is basically politely stepping in during an act of abuse and asking the person being abused if they are okay. Reminds the abuser that his actions are being seen and lets the survivor know others see something going on and that it’s not normal.
Still runs risks. Abusers tend to be real volatile and it takes very little to set them off and many love to plan “revenges” for home in response to being “publicly embarrassed”.
But it’s the current best practice for bystanders if you can handle it.
Definitely. I actually had someone do this for me, when I was being forced to have visitation with my father because my parents were divorcing at the same time as his assault trial was happening, it meant the world to me.
Not really, sadly. Much as I enjoy the spectacle of Dads getting sent to the Amazi-Girl Recovery Ward, 1. They’ll take it out on the abuse victim later, 2. someone who’s practiced violence for much of their life tends to get good at it, 3. the police always arrest for the retaliation but rarely for the instigation.
I should note that I’m talking about physical violence up there. Which, while I feel that it’s not just morally justifiable but a positive good in this case, it makes the situation worse. Intervening nonviolently tends to help.
Unfortunately there’s no one-size answer, every situation is different, but usually it’s bad to get in there physically. Don’t escalate situations if you can help it. It’s usually better to offer the victim support, such as walking them to a safe place to stay.
I wish someone had.
But until the then- stepfather’s final act, everything had been done away from other witnesses. Even our mother had doubts, not helped by his psychology degree which helped him explain why we kids would make up this stuff.
I’m as okay as anyone now, but it was tough when “real” family did not believe us.
Not experienced it myself but I wanted to chime in this important bit of information: The best predictor of the abuser’s response is the victim’s instincts.
So if the specific individual tells you it is a bad idea, it is a bad idea.
1) know that nothing that may or may not happen is your fault. everyone is responsible for their own actions, and whatever the abuser may say they are responsible for their own.
2) survive. whatever it is you need to do to survive, do that thing, because the end goal here is getting out in one piece as much as you can. if that is walking away, then that is perfectly acceptable. evaluate your risks, and do what you’ve got to do.
3) de-escalation, usually, is the best bet. sometimes this means cutting in, distracting, and modelling the behavior that you want to see. sometimes this means cutting in, distracting, and continuing the distraction, although that’s not going to be a method that lasts forever and the abuser will probably go back to their grievance. getting the victim out of the situation is a top priority for their own mental health; but this can be weighed against how likely the abuser is to lash out, whether getting out is even possible, what they do after they get out, etc. a lot of pieces in the puzzle.
4) change the paradigm. don’t make it about how ruth is troubling everyone; make it about how brave ruth is for continuing on despite struggling so much. you have as much control over the reality you live in as the abuser does, so make them work to meet you in your reality. don’t be afraid to push to get the things that you want. this works best if you are unfailingly polite and present everything as the most reasonable option. this is a form of positive gaslighting: you act as if they are a reasonable person, and then push the behavior you expect from a reasonable person. and if they want to interact with you they have to comply. but a lot of this requires cutting off abusive actions in the bud, which is really hard to do since none of us are psychic, as far as i know. also it depends on how much the abuser knows the technique of what they are doing.
but like usually it’s not a good thing to get physically aggressive, because if they’re the manipulative kind of abuser they’ll use it as an excuse to separate the victim from you. and then take it out on the victim later.
huh, I never considered there could be positive gaslighting
Yes, it’s possible. It is rarely thought of as such, but yes, it would be the exact same animal with a positive instead of negative goal.
idk like. to an extent, everyone lives in their own little realities and perceptions which is why it can be so hard to communicate with each other, sometimes. but gaslighting, essentially, is the enforcement of a particular view of reality by drowning out all the competition.
so i mean it’s a thing with a limited use – like, stating your opinion isn’t gaslighting. which tbh is usually as far as i ever go, i don’t have the stamina or the…interest to do anything more. but like you can create situations where not taking the positive approach is more against the abuser’s interests than not – i.e. an abuser won’t hit their victim in public because they know that the public will react forcefully. if you make it so that the consequences of verbally abusing, shaming and manipulating their victim in public are harmful to the abuser, then you put a strong limit on that behavior.
and, i mean, it’s pretty much impossible to actually gaslight without being abusive, even if you have good intentions. but like there’s a difference between enforcement of a particular view of reality as defense and enforcement of a particular view of reality as offense. the one sets in place, the other destroys.
At first I was disappointed Billie didn’t punch him harder, but on reflection, I kind of like this better. It must feel pretty demeaning for Clint, at the height of his (verbal) abuse, to have someone feel sorry for him. Like, that’s not how you talk to someone you feel is a physical threat.
I’d like to think that stings more than a real punch would.
Ooo, I like that. I still kinda want Billie to break him in half, but I like that.
Ruth’s face on the last panel.
She went from “frightened” to “wait, Billie knows… SOMEONE ELSE KNOWS!”
I dunno, that looks less “SOMEONE ELSE KNOWS” and more “… Seriously? I’m getting verbally torn to shreds and manhandled here and you’re holding back on physically intervening because he’s a disabled veteran?”
Either way, props to Billie for doing something.
She’s not just holding back, she’s starting the interaction at the lowest possible level of violence. But look at the results. She’s created a space between Ruth and the man who loves to close the gap and physically loom over her. Suddenly, there’s a third person involved, and somehow I don’t think Billie will stay at that gentle level of engagement if he threatens her or Ruth.
Remember: alpha bongo, veteran of a social game where provoking someone to strike the first blow can be very useful.
I predict Billie’s strategy in this conversation is going to be much more effective (if less satisfying) than a straight beat-down.
Head cheerleader. Problem solver.
I’d say take his cane and shove it so far up his ass it pokes out his mouth, but he’d probably never feel it with the size of the stick residing in there.
On one hand, this implies Ruth’s dad was a lot worse than from Walkyverse.
On the other hand, dude, she’s not your son-in-law ease off.
Look at how he thinks of Ruth. So, Ruth’s dad must’ve been a generally okay person with some unfortunate mental problems.
We don’t know about Ruth’s dad. Maybe he’s a generally okay person with some mental problems; Clint’s attitude towards Ruth does a pretty good job demonstrating that he’d get hostile over that. Maybe Ruth’s dad was a terrible person who Clint hates for good reason.
Either way, Ruth’s dad and Ruth are two different people, and that makes Ruth’s dad’s character completely irrelevant to how Clint is treating Ruth. He could be worse than Clint, and that still wouldn’t make this okay.
I never said he did. But in my experience, people who abuse kids like this over something their parents did are usually wrong about the people they originally hated, and let their emotions get to them.
But we don’t know the exact details of what happened, so your point still stands.
From various tidbits, this has become my headcanon:
Clint verbally abused his daughter (who I am naming ‘Happy’, because she then becomes ‘Hap Less’), who later marries Rich Lessick (‘Dick Less’) to escape from him. Clint views this as the ‘theft’ of his daughter, whom he then begins to idolize as the ‘perfect daughter’. Later (brushing over what was likely a rocky and difficult relationship), Rich and Hap die, Clint becomes Ruth’s guardian, and the cycle of abuse began again.
We know, like, one thing about Ruth’s dad in the Walkyverse. How do you figure he was worse in this universe?
From what we know of Ruth’s perspective, I’d say that he was a good dad who had some form of depression. The only person that we know has ever abused Ruth is Clint, and Ruth told Billie that she started drinking as a way of dealing with the loss of her parents. Clint, who’s viewpoint I confidently say should not be trusted, is the only one who has ever implied that Ruth’s father had severe problems that interfered with his ability to be a father.
His head is shaped like a bean.
Or partly-popped corn.
Bean Grandpa, please go to Hell and don’t come back.
– Signed, every sane and reasonable person in the DoA comments.
Welp, was hoping for an antagonist more nuanced than “Evil White Man pathologically controlling the women in his life” but i guess that was too much to ask for. I guess there is some tragic quality here – guy lost a person he loved and channeled his grief into hatred for a surrogate of the man he sees as responsible for the loss. I know it’s just wishful thinking on my part, but eh, gift horses mouth and all that.
Then again, i know this exists. My stepdad compared me to my biodad like this between smacking me around. He only stopped when the surge of testosterone around puberty gave me enough bone and muscle to put him in a headlock in response. I feel for Ruth – biology won’t give her the tools to fight back like it did for me.
If you want nuanced antagonists, go read fantasy. Realism doesn’t have room for the myth that good people do bad things on purpose.
Sure they do. Compassionate, loving parents can cheat on their significant others. They will deceive their spouses into thinking their children are theirs when they know they are not. They will deny their ex-spouses visitation rights out of spite. Sell smack to other people’s kids so theirs have food on the table. There are plenty of good people with something weighing on their conscience.
Certainly not the norm (at least I hope not) but not out of the realm of possibility.
Sorry, I said “antagonist” when we both meant “villain”. A subtle but important distinction.
Anyone can be an antagonist. It takes a special kind of asshole to be a villain.
I admit I don’t agree with avistel’s complaint either, but…you think reality is only black and white and fantasy is the only place for gray? That’s…completely backwards. Reality is complicated and people are complicated, and personally, I go to fantasy because while I like nuance, which fantasy can capture well, I also like the simple black and white/good and evil where I don’t have to worry about the gray like in reality.
Although, here in this comic, I actually would say there’s nuance of a sort. Yes, we have all these terrible parents/people, but they each have their own motivations and backgrounds that make them the way they are. They’re not just blanket evil for the sake of evil. In fact, given that people seem to have decided Ross is still the worst dad, I think it’s interesting to note that he’s probably got the most claim to believing he’s a “good person doing bad things on purpose” since he seemed to know threatening people with a gun was wrong, but a personal risk/sacrifice he believed he had to make to “save” Becky, Carol seemed to have a similar perspective, and that’s not unrealistic either.
You want that story, there’s a billion places that sell it. There’s countless tales where the abusive parental figure is just so conflicted and had to do it because loss and pain and blah blah blah.
This is the story I need. The story played straight like it is in life. Where the justifications are ad hoc behind the real intention which is power and control and toxic ideas of what makes one a man.
Where we aren’t asked to sympathize with the abuser over humanizing his victim.
Absolutely! And between Blaine, Ross and this fucker we are able to see nuances. They act in slightly different ways, with slightly different fallouots. Clint is most like Blaine, but while Blaine was escorted out by Asma, Clint has an appointment with high officials of the school.
From what I remember of your posts, you have had a rather nasty experience with this side of society. Can’t say I blame you for that attitude.
What is it that makes it right for you? Seeing the abuser brought to justice, something that need not happen in real life? Or just the story itself being told as you’ve experienced it?
The latter. To see my experiences told. To not have that story end in “but the victim should have tried harder to see the good in him, because look at what a tortured soul he was”.
That’s something I don’t really get to see most anywhere else.
The fact that the stories also often end with escape and the abused finding their own form of an upper hand also is really really nice, because it’s nice to remember that their ghosts won’t always haunt me.
Reading something for a sense of hope and having your story told makes perfect sense to me.
I might roll my eyes and grumble that these characters are a bit Hallmark movie-ish at times, I’m not gonna stop reading it because for one reason or another I find this comic compelling enough to come see what happens next.
Yep, I’m right there with you, avistel. I was a little disappointed to find out that so many people could be absolutely sure of Clint’s character because ‘that’s how Willis writes this’, but it is still worth reading, for all that it is apparently unforgivably predictable.
Y’know, there are enough stories out there where the asshole shitstain person (usually an asshole shitstain while male person, because those are awarded the most nuanced storytelling in most media, still, in the year 2017) gets a redeeming quality to make the audience feel conflicted or whatever. I’m glad this doesn’t have that. Because it sure feels nice to just fucking hate a person who deserves to be hated.
… so there’s a cathartic element in it for you?
In this, sure, a little bit. But I just meant it more like.. it’s hard to explain, but it feels NICE that we’re getting the character we were ‘promised’, from the way Ruth talked about him, was afraid of him, etc. There is no fake-out here. She was scared as shit of him and has made that very clear and now we’re seeing him and we see that she was 100% right about him and that validates Ruth’s thoughts and feelings, which is something that is so SO needed in fiction. A girl says someone is an abuser. We see this guy being an abuser. This is GOOD. We’ve believed Ruth from the start, but it’s just good to see him in action and be the asshole we knew he was. Because that shit is RARE in fiction.
Idk, did that make sense? It’s 7am and I have barely slept, excuse me if I incoherently rambled :p
I think the last time there was character like Clint in the mainstream media was probably Robert Di Niero’s (god I hope I spelled his name right, I like a lot of his work) character in “Raging Bull” this completely unredeemable abusive piece of shit who was very real. It was the reaction of American audiences to this movie that led Martin Scorsese to claim that Americans no longer wanted “smart movies” or “tough movies” that were realistic portrayals of humans, but instead “easy movies” that had a guaranteed happy ending with a clear black and white morality. Sorry, my inner movie nerd is speaking.
honestly i think if he loved his daughter he wouldn’t be such a jerk to his granddaughter. it doesn’t take that much self-awareness to see how cruel this is. but like, even if he really truly loved his daughter – it doesn’t justify his behavior now. emotions don’t justify wrong behavior. someone can have all the gushy emotions they want but if they still run around berating the people around them for not fitting into their mold of what people should be they are not loving people and all the gushy emotions in the world won’t make up for that cruelty
idk it’s one thing to not know how to love someone; it’s another to go out of your way to rip somebody apart; it’s another to not be able to look at your own actions and evaluate them accordingly
I suspect it’s a ‘rose-colored glasses’ type of thing. I suspect he abused his daughter as he abuses Ruth. But later, she was ‘stolen’ from him by Ruth’s dad, and her absence made him idolize her – she COULDN’T have left voluntarily she loved him, it’s all that no-good thief of a father’s fault.
“Then again, i know this exists.”
Then why did you feel the need to complain about him being everything we all knew he was going to be ages ago?
This isn’t about Willis not writing with nuance, dude, it’s about you putting way too much energy in hoping he’s going to lie about abuse.
I mean, the fact than anyone who didn’t know Willis well enough to know exactly what Clint was going to be like was punished for it suggests that his writing is extremely predictable, regardless of the level of nuance used.
Only people who were being aggressively dismissive assholes have been punished so far.
Plenty of people thought Clint would turn out differently, as recently as yesterday, but they’re still here.
Or perhaps Willis nicely foreshadowed the nature of his character. That’s setting things up properly, not being predictable.
It was easy to predict Clint was an abuser because he’d already laid that out in bits of Ruth’s interaction with and comments about him. That’s not even prediction, that’s just what we’ve already been told. If he’s so predictable, what’s the actual resolution of this sequence? I certainly didn’t predict or expect Clint to show up and push Ruth back into the RA job, nor do I recall seeing that as a common prediction.
“punished for it”
By, what, having to become aware that abuse is a thing?
What’s the weather like on your planet?
Ohh, yes, it certainly takes a ton of energy for me to half-heartedly complain about the story not taking a twist I was hoping for. I know that Willis can write with nuance, Ruth is a perfect example of it, what with despite her abusive behavior towards Billie early on – up to and including fucking sexual assault not automatically making her a fucking werewolf who could not have acquired this psychopathology from her asshole granddad…
Know what? I don’t have to explain myself to you, kindly shove your condescension and your “dude” right up your ass.
Very minor quibble compared to the actual conversation here, but I’m pretty sure biology and practice have already given Ruth the physical strength to fight back. I think she could take Clint pretty easily — she beat Blaine, who doesn’t need a cane. It’s the emotional abuse that’s crushing her.
Man, this guy doesn’t deserve to be called Sir.
He doesn’t even deserve to be called “Sir”!
honestly i see that and i get flashbacks to bad bdsm porn on literotica
Oh, do you mean Fifty Shades of Gray?
i can’t read suddenly i dont know
I’ve been calling him Mr. Hughes ever since we learned of his surname.
But then that makes me think of Howard Hughes. He has been demoted to “he”.
Billie, you need to learn not to do things halfway. Commit to your bad ideas!
In this case I’d agree, but in pretty much any other circumstances that is the exact opposite of what Billie needs to learn
Actually her move here was kind of brilliant in its own way. She interrupted the situation and supported Ruth, casually threw some shade at “Sir,” and didn’t get sent to prison for assault. All in all, a win for her and Ruth.
And I imagine the next few strips are going to end with a more complete and satisfying victory for her and Ruth than a straight beat-down would. Because Billie is an alpha bongo.
Hit him again! As hard as you can! Preferably in a soft, painful spot!
His service isn’t his pass on being human, it’s supposed to be his proof that he is and wants to save and protect fellow humans. I hate this: “He’s a soldier, he can be as shitty as he wants” bull.
Somebody get Billie a steel chair… and somebody throw a party to celebrate Ruth’s father, even if he sucked, just to spite Clint.
Also, sidenote: the Slipshine preview is adorable!
I mean, I’d distrust veterans MORE, because they’re tools of an imperialist state.
… This definitely won’t cause a fight!
Well, yeah, usually, but the idea of going out to protect your people’s freedom and maybe free an oppressed country while you’re out there does sound awful neat on paper.
I actually feel bad for soldiers who enlist with THAT idea in their head and then they either find out they’re murdering civilians for oil oligarchies or they deny reality and tell themselves they’re the true defenders of freedom
Not here for an argument. Mostly because of the quip. I like you’re humor. But rude.
Dude, don’t. Most veterans I know are folks with no other means out of poverty than to take a job that comes with a giant wallop of PTSD. The vast majority of soldiers in the fields are there because they’d be starving otherwise and want a chance to have a better life.
It’s the rich smug assholes at home that send them to die for nothing but bullshit and oil.
An additional note, a disproportionate amount of the military is recruited from the traditionally “Southern states”, which are often already entirely reliant on the military-industry complex. Take, for example, a few years ago when congress voted to build hundreds of tanks that the army neither needed nor wanted. The reason it was brought up? A member of congress from West Virginia needed the tanks to be built so that their constituents would actually have jobs. It’s created a problem where for many states in the area need the federal government to have high military spending and constantly producing arms and material for soldiers through contracts with private companies, because otherwise what fragile economy they have will come collapsing down. And the only way such a system can be maintained is through perpetual war.
Thanks, Cerberus and Rukduk. I needed to hear those things.
Wow… I have underestimated Billie all this time. That was such a perfect deflection and deescalation.
She made sure to insert herself in the situation and stop the abuse, but she did so in a silly and inoffensive way. This will make it hard for him to get Ruth on their own and allow Ruth to get away from the actual situation. Anything Clint does now to escalate will make him look stupid.
She was obviously a more effective alpha bongo than I gave her credit for. Come to think of it, she used a similar tactic on a certain brother-in-spirits to “Sir”.
I had thought the same thing about that Family Weekend scene! Thank you for linking to it!
Unfortunately, she never attacked Ross, so she’s still waiting on that abusive-dad hat trick.
The important thing is she’s watching him, she recognizes his behavior is bad, she’s prepared to intervene, and he knows all of those things.
She’s made herself dangerous in a very specific way.
Huh. If you erase Ruth’s pupils in panel 3, she looks really badass. http://i.imgur.com/SXsZ8zf.png
I meant panel 4.
Haha I like it.
Joyce is a bad influence on Billie … never expected to say that.
If Ruth takes after their father, then her brother must take after their mother…think about that.
Ruth’s mom really likes Game of Thrones?
I get the impression that Howie is more like collateral; Sir abuses him less, as long as Ruth stays in line.
*drops anti-demon ballistic missile* Dang it! I have to go get a bigger weapon again!
Meanwhile, Bernie Wrightson died yesterday.
And that’s real sad, but I don’t see why you keep bringing it up.
Wow, what a fucking idiot. That remark in panel 3 is actually quite disrespectful to Ruth’s mother. Sure, Clint. Her father was the ONLY one who found immortality through Ruth, because you didn’t like him, so that’s all you can fucking see. Never fucking mind the fact that a child is a combination of BOTH parents, no, let’s just completely disregard that. Ruth absolutely did not deserve to lose her mother, just to be clear. Clint, however, deserved to lose his daughter, and he honestly has no right to be upset about her death in the first place.
I hadn’t thought about it like that. You have revealed new depths of asshole to this already fully-fledged asshole. He’s an asshole tesseract.
And what’s more, Mr. Lessick may very well have had depression as well, and Ruth’s mother could have been the one to pull him out of the darkness and supported him thru every moment he felt horrible and worthless. But Clint couldn’t see that, oh no, to him the man his daughter fell in love with and married was a spineless weaklong undeserving of her.
Assuming the pattern holds and it likely does: Mr Lessick, whatever his flaws, was Ruth’s mother’s break with the path Clint had ordained for her. And very likely a way of getting out from under his control.
A weeklong weakling?
We really should petition to have an edit button put in… (- _ – );
Willis tried that once but it broke the formatting. And don’t anybody say the d-word, that is the last thing anyone needs right now.
We don’t bring that THING up in this comment section, how dare you.
Was it really that bad…? O~o
Also, what d-word did I say that was wrong earlier?
The comment system on Shortpacked had a name that started with a d, and it was horrible for Willis to moderate. Offering it as a suggestion is a good way to earn Willis’ mild ire.
I bet you the reason he talks like this is because appearance-wise, Ruth and Howard both took after their father. I haven’t been able to find any pictures of him in color, but if he was Irish and that’s where their red hair and freckles come from… yeah. It would also mean Howie is also a target, even if it’s to a lesser degree than Ruth.
Lessick doesn’t sound very Irish, but it could have been from the maternal side (Ruth’s paternal grandmother, that is).
i’m very curious about ruth’s parents. i have so many questions. but i also am having trouble verbalizing them so for now i will just say: wwwwwww you go billie
Goddammit I almost thought we might have one parental figure that doesn’t suck.
Well, Mr. Brown is alright I guess.
What about Dorothy’s parents?
I do not recall Dina’s parental units sucking, I believe they are cool. Am I incorrect?
Well, Dina called to tell them she had a girlfriend, and within a few moments, without any judgement, they wired her $200 to take Becky out somewhere nice. They’re clearly the most abusive parents in the entire comic.
They are like…super cool. They sent Dina money to take her girlfriend out on a date when they were told about it, if I remember correctly.
I mean the worst thing they did was accidentally insist that Blaine wait inside the dormroom for his daughter, because they did not realize what a horrible monster he was at the time and Dina was unable to keep them from doing so. So a bit of naivety and trying to be polite?
Plus, as soon as they realized what they’d done, Mama Saruyama’s first reaction was to apologize to Amber for not understanding the situation.
A list of parental units we know who do not suck from the main cast page (not even counting folks like Sierra’s parents, who rock)
– Hank Brown
– Deborah Keener
– Jeramiah Keener
– Stacey O’Malley
– Ryou Saruyama
– Haruka Saruyama
– Bonnie MacIntyre
– Harriet Warner
– George Warner
– Mr. Rutten
– Mrs. Rutten
We haven’t met Jacob’s parents and we don’t know Marcie’s current relationship with them, but Jacob’s are implied to be positive and Marcie seems to get along with them (at least, she did as a child, and she currently worries about their being deported). Roz and Joe don’t seem to have any outstanding unhealthy dynamics with their parents, and so we can freely offer them the benefit of the doubt until they actually show up or their children disclose more about their relationship. We can also offer Sarah’s a benefit of the doubt for now, although some of her statements imply their relationship is far less healthy. It’s possible that will be due to personality clashes/misreading each other/misreading a situation, though, rather than any wrongdoing on either party, so I’m okay giving them a benefit of the doubt, although I’d put them at an ‘orange’ on the ‘green-yellow-orange-red’ scale, because a couple of her statements read like red flags to me. If you want to count ‘potentially parental family figures’ though, she had her Nana she seems to have gotten along with (although, if I’m correct, the implication is that she’s deceased). If you want to count deceased parents, we know nothing about Ruth’s parents unless you want to trust Clint who we know is trying to berate Ruth right now, and so I’m taking it with a grain of salt.
In comparison, we have 12 parents who are definitely bad.
– Carol Brown
– Linda Walkerton
– Charles Walkerton (who a LOT OF PEOPLE seem to forget, but like fuck am I letting him off the hook for his shit)
– Blaine O’Malley
– Sharon Wilcox
– Randall Wilcox
– Mr. Billingsworth
– Mrs. Billingsworth
– Naomi Siegal
– Saul Siegal
– Ross MacIntyre
– Clint Hughes
I get that it seems like a lot – bad parents make good plots. But there are far more confirmed good eggs here than confirmed bad ones, plus a few that have yet to be cracked open.
* Confirmed and IMPLIED good ones (or at least, not toxic ones).
I don’t know… Amber’s mom kind of ditched her for a booty call. 😛
A) She delayed seeing her until later, she did not cancel on her, and Amber didn’t seem too broken up about that. She met up with her to go for dinner.
B) She had no way of knowing Blaine would show up – especially as its heavily implied he wasn’t an approved family member and therefore not allowed in the building.
C) She risked being murdered by her violent ex husband to leave and get Amber away from him and then she raised Amber on her own.
D) She’s definitely been in need of a positive sex experience.
I’m pretty comfortable putting Stacey on the good list.
At least the “positive sex experience” wasn’t with Jacob this time.
Ew, yes, please don’t bang barely legal folks, Stacy!
I’d say Joe’s dad is at least a bad example for Joe, who seems to have learned the worst aspects of his behavior from him. Not abusive, but a womanizer and where Joe learned his take on women and consent.
The divorce was also apparently nasty enough to have left some serious scars.
Oh yeah, Richard’s a terrible role model, but he and Joe don’t seem to have a toxic or abusive relationship (although Joe wishes he’d tone down his shit).
Divorce often does, though that doesn’t make either of their relationships with Joe unhealthy or abusive.
If we’re doing a ‘green-yellow-orange-red’ scale, they’re like a yellow – not perfect, but not actively hurting Joe either in their relationship with him.
I mean, if you listen to Cerberus and Norton’s podcast, I would argue that Joe is worse off for Richard’s parenting, but I wouldn’t qualify it as abusive so much as negligent and passing along negative character traits. Whether that is a significant distinction, I cannot judge.
I’d just say that’s being a terrible role model, not necessarily a terrible dad to Joe.
When did you think that because the literally first time the existence of Ruth’s grandpa was brought up we learned he was an abusive fucknugget
Now THIS is how you do exposition. Well done.
Man, thank god SOMEBODY finally had the sense to ladle verbal abuse on the suicidally depressed person.
I know, right? That’s all we ever really want in the first place, and Clint is a damn hero for stepping up.
Thank you for your service, Mr Hughes!
So much awful in this man, I hope he gets a cerebral aneurysm.
As someone who lost his big brother to one of those? Please don’t. It’s just right up there with wishing cancer on someone.
Oh dear. I’m sorry. I imagine your brother didn’t deserve that.
NOBODY. DESERVES. THAT.
Clint’s pivot to Full Abuse Mode is visible in yesterday’s last frame: his affable smile disappears; he turns to steel and stone. Ruth sees this, knows what’s coming, and enlarges her frown. It’s a suspended moment before the rage erupts a second later in in-world time. Binge readers from now on won’t see the day-long gap we just experienced.
Clint has a slightly different style from Blaine, but maybe he’s just had more practice :-(.
Apparently he assumed no one would be in the hall. Bad move on his part.
I imagine he had lots of practice with his daughter. Whom I’ve named ‘Happy’. For obvious reasons.
…so, poll: I definitely initially read Billie’s “you have a cane” as implying “and you could hit me back with it” as opposed to what I’ve just realized is probably the intended implication, “and therefore are an old and frail person”. But my boyfriend interpreted it the same way I did at first.
So, which did you come up with first?
Both. He could be frail and still have the oomph to whack someone with a cane.
The second one, definitely.
I thought “and therefore are an old and frail person,” but my brain kind of suspended processing until I read the whole speech bubble (Billie says “elderly, handicapped veteran” further along).
As an elderly veteran who uses a cane when walking outdoors I say “Hit the guy where it hurts” when you see someone being abusive in public. If they are verbally abusive in public they are more than likely physically abusive in private where they can’t be seen. And forget the “veteran” BS being a pass for bad behavior.
I also initially understood it as the first one.
I present a third option: “That cane means there is no way that anyone will believe you were hurting Ruth if I beat the shit outta you.”
That seems like a variation on the old and frail option.
Clint “New Hickory” Lessick!
Hughes. Lessick was her father’s name, Clint is her mother’s father.
Dammit! *repaint’s the banner*
“Clint “New Hickory” Lessick! Hughes!
Old and frail person. Because that is the ‘nice’ reading and I tend to give characters I like and care about the benefit of the doubt at first, always. It’s kinda instinct for me. That’s why I’m always especially heart-broken when my favorite characters do shitty things.
Like Chloe? I used to like her quite a bit…
I was already thinking about ‘can Billie beat him in a fight’ before this strip and came to the conclusion of ‘he literally needs a cane there would be nothing easier and less dignified’. So… yeah. Not so much ‘old and frail’ as ‘disabled and an easy target’.
If she does, she should at least preface it with, “Before I begin, I would like to state for the record that this in no way reflects my views on the differently-abled.”</oots>
This is an interesting duality. Thanks for bringing it up.
He’s literally Hitler, so punch away.
like, he’s an awful abusive shit sandwich, but he has not attempted genocide
can we not
PLEASE don’t use the word ‘literally’ that way, PM. Just, don’t.
Right there with you, Dean.
Pablo, just because people can does not mean people should. The whole purpose of language is communication, and assigning antonymic meanings to the same word is just dumb.
I wonder whether the car crash that killed Ruth’s parents actually happened because her father was drunk, and not because of an anonymous “drunk driver” they happened to collide with.
On one hand, it would explain Clint’s anger at Ruth’s father (but in ABSOLUTELY NO WAY excuse his abuse of her). On the other hand, Ruth didn’t seem to think that was the case, and I doubt Clint would miss the opportunity to use a fact like that to torment Ruth even further.
Yeah, I was thinking that suicide was a possibility. With that comes the likelihood of a repressed guilt reaction on Clint’s part: He killed his little girl… No… No, that isn’t possible. It isn’t possible that he was so violently critical of (and possibly physically abusive about) her life choices that he drove her to suicide! No, no it must all be his son-in-law’s fault! Ugh! That girl looks and acts so much like him…!
The problem is that the psychology that Clint’s whole life taught him to have about dealing with mistakes and problems makes it very unlikely that he could ever consciously admit his own culpability. So, the transfer of blame continues and probably will get ever more violent to the point where I genuinely worry for Howie’s physical safety.
I feel like it probably happened when they drove into the way of a truck to save some drunk drivers.
And no regrets were had.
They lived with integrity.
Ruth, headbutt. Or you know, femurs. With him having a cane his femurs must be more vulnerable than most.
Her brother still lives with him and they are both financially dependent on him
I mean, they might NOT be if he dies and leaves them money in the will, but I bet the whole “femurs” thing is enough of a trademark that it’d probably be recognized. And nobody wants the slayer exception. That’s bad for everyone.
On behalf of Onion Fury:
NOT HARD ENOUGH!
You know, Billie? A sounder tactic than assault would have been to pull out your phone and record this jackoff pulling this bullshit.
“Hugh Mungous WHAT?”
…holy shit that’s a good idea )=