Dumbing of Age is a webcomic about college freshmen in the girls wing within a co-ed dorm at Indiana University, learning everything about life and themselves usually in the most difficult ways. It stars a Christian homeschooled girl and her atheist best friend, and also a disgraced cheerleader, a misanthrope, a rebel, and a caped vigilante.
(There are also themes of depression and parental abuse, some utterances of homophobia and transphobia, and an instance of attempted sexual assault and a depiction of attempted suicide, so please be mindful.)
If you’re a reader of other works by David Willis (Roomies!, It’s Walky!, Shortpacked!), you’ll like this webcomic as well! It stars some familiar faces in new situations. If you’re not familiar with his other webcomics, that’s even better! Why? Dumbing of Age is its own separate continuity, with no story ties to any previous works. It’s basically a reboot, if you want to narrow it down simply. I just wanted to write all my characters in college together, minus fifteen years of baggage, okay?
Dumbing of Age currently updates all seven days of the week, Monday through Sunday.
Quick FAQ for commenting and other stuff:
1) Be nice to other people. You don’t have to agree with them, but don’t call them morons. Thankfully, this happens very very rarely because this isn’t YouTube, but I think I should establish this as a ground rule, regardless. A good rule of thumb is that comments should be about the comic, not the other comment makers. This doesn’t mean at all that interacting with other folks and having fun is off-limits, but if you wanna start a dissertation about whether or not other specific folks are awful, stick it on Tumblr. If your post starts using words like “idiot” or “dumbass” or similar directed at other specific people in the comments, you’ve gone too far, and I’ll probably either erase that part of your post or the whole thing. Sarcasm is often fine, but, you know, just don’t be overtly hostile.
2) Please don’t proselytize in the comments. To this you may respond, “But you get to preach on your website!” To which I nod and say, yes, you’ve figured it out.
3) Please please please don’t do “test” posts or “first”s. Also don’t post to say you’re quitting the comic, or that if X doesn’t change you’re going to quit the comic. Just… quit the comic.
4) Please don’t post in the comments sections to older strips specifically to talk about later developments. Y’know, stuff like “WHOA THIS TOTALLY HAPPENED LATER!” Lots of people read through the comments on their way through the comic the first time, and it’d be nice to minimize spoilers for them.
5) Please remember that not everybody reads my other comics. Dumbing of Age is intended to be a stand-alone work and is set in its own separate continuity, and so talking bunches about the old stuff is not only pointlessly distracting, but has been proven to be confusing to new readers. When this gets out of hand, I reserve the right to delete that stuff.
6) Dina’s name is pronounced “Dee-na.”
7) Dumbing of Age is not set in any particular year. I only say this because every time some pop culture reference shows up, someone is all “OH HEY HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE AREN’T WE STILL IN 2010???” No. We are not. The comic moves slow, but it operates on comic book time. This webcomic is not gradually going to become a period piece. (Also I don’t ever plan for the story to reach sophomore year, so you can stop worrying we’re not ever going to get there.)
8) This is important: Joyce is autobiographical. I believed in the complete inerrancy of the Bible — Earth is 6000 years old, Noah’s Ark, gay folks are evil, everything — and our family attended multiple churches of various persuasions, from Methodist to Baptist to Evangelical Free. But not shallowly, no. We spent years climbing up the social hierarchies of those mofos until we uncovered assholes and/or corruption and had to move on. I went to youth group every week, attended every sermon (because there was more than one) every weekend, and went to church summer camp (at Anderson University). My dad was routinely a Deacon. At one point he even tried starting his own church. Consider this information before goin’ off on me about how I don’t know anything about Christians or whatever. And like Joyce, I was raised as a nondenominational fundamentalist (nonaligned Protestant), which means she’s not Catholic. She doesn’t own a crucifix, she doesn’t believe in saints or have pictures of Jesus anywhere, and she thinks the Pope is more likely to be the Anti-Christ than someone she should listen to. I say this only because folks really like to yell at her for all sorts of Catholic stuff she wouldn’t do. Get your kinds of Christians sorted out!
8a) Completely related, I’ve yet to see someone use the term “strawman” correctly. Use it stupidly, your post is gone.
9) It’s kind of offputting when a majority of posts can basically be reduced down to “woooo, take it off!!!!” If this is an actual sexy scene being responded to, that’s one thing and totally okay, but if somebody’s just bein’ that somebody in an ordinary context, that’s a whole other thing. Try to keep your objectification down to a minimum? Sex is fun, but don’t make the comments section a solid wall of lecherous leering always and forever.
10) If you have an urge to post something along the lines of “man where are all the straight people in this comic” or “ugh not another gay person GAWD,” just save us all some time and instead stop reading the comic forever and go away. It’s not clever. It’s not insightful. It’s obnoxious and it’s insulting and it’s embarrassing and it makes you look like a tool.
Here is your “Walky Performs A Sex” FAQ! You can apply most of it to any of the other Slipshine comics I’ve produced. tl;dr: no, you cannot buy my Slipshine comics separate from a Slipshine subscription.