Danny is an excellent example of a character whose difficulties in life are presented as consistently comedic. Several of these unhappy panels are punchlines to a strip, and the fandom make fun of his hopelessness constantly. Not a lot has gone well for Danny but he’s Danny, so the universe laughs.
His whole view of whether he’s successful in life is constructed around getting a girlfriend, which seems to be his parents’ standard. This means that a) he doesn’t seem to believe he has any intrinsic worth, and b) he’s willing to put up with anything to keep a girlfriend, including following her to college, keeping it a secret from everyone, or voluntarily okaying being verbally abused.
Aaand now it’s no longer funny.
Danny has few people to turn to. He goes to Dotty about his attraction to Ethan because the alternative is Joe, who flees at the first sight of ~~feeelings~~, or Amber, who isn’t stable enough to give him any kind of support, needing too much of it herself. If his relationship gets any more unhealthy, he’s not got a lot of places to go, and besides that, he’d probably put up with it. Even today, he turned a conversation about him and respecting himself into one about Amber’s issues.
Your mention of Joyce having Snkrs in her dorm got me thinking; are there any other plot ideas you had in mind but decided against implementing? If so, are there any you would be interested in talking about if they can't be used?
I envisioned a storyline where Joyce was kind of Roz-ish in her evangelism of, well, the opposite of what Roz evangelizes for. Like, putting up posters promoting abstinence and such. I think there was some really goofy slogan phrasing that I tweeted and “like”d myself so I could find it later, but that’s so so so very long ago, back before I actually used “like” the way it’s supposed to, i.e., every five minutes. So that’s probably buried forever. There are ways to dig up one’s first tweet, but not one’s earliest likes, far as I can tell. I’m not scrolling down through 15.7K likes to find it.
This answer is now too much about Twitter.
Early on I had vague plans with Amazi-Girl that ended up going differently (but better, I feel). Briefly, while musing that maybe I should kill a character off – because if I’m “redoing Roomies!,” it’s just the Done Thing – I figured maybe Danny would go, becoming Amazi-Girl’s Gwen Stacy, with a villain yet-to-be-determined. I think it was vaguely set in, like, a giant construction site, and he fell in the middle of a battle, and superhero angst ensued, etc. This never settled in my mind, and was only ever a quick muse, and it was kind of immediately jettisoned anyway once Blaine showed up and accelerated Amber’s story in a different direction.
I think very early I wanted to cast Mary as more of a direct foil to Joyce, rather than as a direct foil to … I dunno, everybody else. And common decency. Mary and Joyce don’t interact much. I think I envisioned everyone as “milder” than they are now, but with such a large cast, sometimes you have to purposefully lean on certain traits just to have them stand out.
Like… I remember starting Dumbing of Age, and thinking, I’m so sad for Amber in Shortpacked!, so maybe her life is nicer here. I took Blaine out of her life earlier, on purpose, for that reason. I just wanted her to be happy. And that didn’t survive, because it turns out Amber’s life has to be pretty crappy for her to be Amber in my mind. She embodies so much of my own brain’s fears. Those fears have to be put down on paper, or I don’t excise them, I don’t sort them out for myself.
Honestly, Amber's actions have always reminded me of my own Borderline Personality Disorder. Not an expert on DID but her lack of a clear break between selves and her compartmentalization and disassociating is what has me thinking BPD...
This intrigues me! BPD is … kind of my family’s specialty, but I’ve never heard about compartmentalization and disassociating being a part of it before. But if that’s the case, it might explain why Amazi-Girl (and Anti-Joyce before her) resonates so strongly with me.
I don’t normally do shit like this but this pushed all my buttons.
The webcomic Dumbing of Age has recently been going through an arc where Becky, a recently out of the closet lesbian, is being hunted down by her overly religious father with a gun so that he can brainwash her back into being straight. Also her girlfriend is a dinosaur, but that’s not important.
What is important is that once the dad caught up to her, he managed to get her into the car by threatening suicide by cops, and because a majority of people don’t like seeing their parents turned into Swiss cheese, she agreed.
Sounds like a pretty exciting and depressing story so far right? Well things get a little…fucked up. Or more fucked up. See Amber, or Amazi-Girl, is a young woman with issues of her own, specifically she was emotionally and physically abused by her asshole father most of her life, so she goes around beating the shit out of thugs, rapists, cosplayers, ya’ know regular superhero shit. Only she’s obviously gone off the deep end recently as Sal, who I do not want to get into right now for reasons, is a girl who held up her friend and her with a knife many years ago.
So Amber, chasing after Becky and her dad, has since jumped onto the roof of a moving car, been thrown off and slammed into the windshield of another car, convinced THAT person to speed up so that she can catch up to them, jumped back on that car, used a rope to get better leverage on the car but also made it so Becky can’t get out of the passenger side, popped the tires on this still fast moving car with caltrops, caused it to go into the longest fucking drift humanely possible, and is now having a fight with Beckys dad on the roof.
Now as amazing as this all is, some of us felt that Amber was only making things worse, endangering the lives of nearly everyone because she refuses to stop and just call the police.
And as such we, or more specifically I, have been making this known in the comments section.
So how does Willis respond? By deleting every single post I’ve ever made on the site. Ever.
What was the point of this post? To let people know that if you’re going to spend three years of your life reading a comic, make sure the artist is capable of taking criticism