Character Discussion

Discuss SDB here!

Moderators: Shouri, Giz

Post Reply
User avatar
Spidrift
Posts: 11726
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:11 pm

Character Discussion

Post by Spidrift » Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:40 pm

This started on the Ma3 boards, but it's very much an SDB subject, so I've brought it over here to be polite.
Asellus wrote:There's one point I agree, Ruby is full of knots and complexes about sex and lesbianism and that porn thing, so lots of chara developing be needed before anything happens to change that.
Actually, she's already changed. When Ruby first showed up, she had a bunch of hang-ups about sex, and acted disgusted at every mention of the subject. As of her last appearance, she'd consented to have sex with her boyfriend. She's gone from "bundle of sex-related neuroses" to "tolerably well-adjusted heterosexual, complete with boyfriend", as well as getting a job and a hobby, making several friends, changing her dress sense, helping fix Dillon's love life, and apparently developing a taste for Middle Eastern food, all within two volumes. That's probably the biggest bunch of character development to be undergone by any character in the setting (okay, except Sonya), for better or for worse. Actually, it makes treating Start-of-Volume-1 Ruby the same as Start-of-Volume-3 Ruby rather deceptive. It also makes a refreshing change from Ma3, where Gary, Ruby's nearest equivalent, utterly refuses to change. But anyway...
Asellus wrote:But that aside, everything else Spidrift writes about Ruby is bs. Total bs.
Mayyyybeeee.
Asellus wrote:Teen lovers want to have sex, they don't want the child sister watching them, so they lock the bedroom door. Okay. SO WHAT!? What's the damn problem? Everyone would do the same.
Absolutely. No criticism of Amber (or Zii) for that. The problem, however, is how it felt to Ruby at the time. She didn't know what was going on - she's only worked that out very recently - but she felt excluded. Which is what's relevant to what I was actually talking about...
Asellus wrote:A woman of 18 leaves the nest. That's right, she bids her parents goodbye, leaves the house and goes into the big world outside, to make her own life and pursue her dreams. Okay, so? What's wrong with this!? Oh, there was a 12-year-old sister, she was sad? Too bad.
Again, if you actually look at what I was writing about originally, you'll see that the subject was Amber and Ruby's feelings about each other; whether Amber had any great affection for Ruby, and how Ruby felt about Amber. The answer is that Amber went off to chase her dreams in the porn business, and apparently mostly dropped out of touch with the family, including Ruby - so not much affection there - while Ruby felt deserted at a time when she could have used some sisterly support - so some bitterness there. Nobody's fault, really, but not a recipe for some grand lesbian incestual romance, I think you might agree.
Asellus wrote:Taking care of the child is a job for the parents, and, as far as we know, Ruby's parents were good-hearted and generous. It's up to them to explain to the angry little girl that Amber is doing the right thing.
Actually, the very little evidence we have on the subject suggests that their parents aren't very good at parenting. Ruby claims to be convinced that Amber is their favourite, which may or may not be true, but certainly suggests that they aren't very good at being good-hearted. Meanwhile, Amber feels unable to tell them about her job in porn (which they apparently never discovered for themselves), even now that she's dropped of the business, which suggests that she's unsure of their generosity. She seems to have asked Ruby to keep the fact quiet, and Ruby isn't sure how they'd react if they did find out...

Like I said, it's very limited evidence. But one daughter convinced that the other is the favourite? Failure to communicate comfortably with offspring? Those are both basic parenting mistakes. And on the flip side, we have no evidence of them doing much right.

And if they are a bit crap at this game, it'd help explain why Ruby's ten-year-old resentments are still festering quite so badly.
Asellus wrote:A relative I haven't seen in ten years comes to my door, dragging her luggage, and says she WILL be staying in my apartment from now on, for a long time, like weeks or months or years. Of course I'm baffled.
It's a weird-looking situation, but there's one way to explain it with both Ruby and Amber; somewhere along the way, they've both absorbed the idea that family is important. Ruby can ask for a bed, and Amber will provide it, and the idea that Amber might refuse just didn't occur to either of them. And just as importantly, it didn't occur to their mother, who pushed Ruby into this, according to Ruby.

Likewise, Ruby kept Amber's porn work secret from their parents for the last seven or eight years. Why? She could have blabbed any time. It's not like she likes Amber, or owes her anything...
Asellus wrote:"You shitting me, sister? Go stay at a f**king hotel!" And bam, she's out. I mean, really, she thinks I'm her bitch or what?
Ruby's position is that she's been Amber's bitch since the age of 14. The problem is that Amber doesn't understand that, or understand why. One thing that we keep getting about Ruby is that she's truthful - which is not the same as nice, of course, but she says she hates lying, and she's crap at it. And yet, she kept Amber's secret all those years. Because it'd hurt their parents? Because Amber is family, and you do not refuse direct requests from your family? Because Ruby likes having one thing that lets her feel superior to Amber? Possibly a bit of each. we may find out one day.
Asellus wrote:Time passes, days, weeks, months.
Timeis kind of vague in these comics, but best guess is a couple of weeks rather than months, actually. Which makes Ruby's start on job-hunting slow, but not that slow.
Asellus wrote:She hasn't found a job. She hasn't even started job hunting. All she does is play around all day long, like a lazy bum. There are no hints that this will change in the immediate future.
Actually, Ruby appears to have been paying her way - she talked about her money reserves and how they were running down a couple of times - and she did apparently start job hunting, though we didn't see much of it. Slow start, but not no start.
Asellus wrote:Option 2: I give her a half-time job as my personal assistant. I'll pay her 15k a year. She loudly complains and accuses me of trying to drive her crazy.
Not quite what happened. Ruby snagged the gig working for Dillon - rather aggressively, but you can't complain about her not job-hunting and then complain when she runs a job to ground. Then there were problems with Dillon paying her, so Rebecca suggested that he and Amber share her, and Amber jumped on that - not just as a favour to Ruby, but because Amber wanted a PA herself. Ruby complained about that, but Amber didn't seem to hear; Ruby addressed all her complaints to Dillon. It does seem that Amber doesn't listen to things she doesn't want to know. The one thing that Ruby said directly to Amber was the thing about sororicide, which Amber didn't understand. (A classic nerd sibling/extrovert sibling moment, that, I'm afraid; nerd sibling tries to dominate the conversation with long words, extrovert sibling doesn't understand enough to be dominated.) So if Ruby "loudly complained", it was't loud enough.

Since when, despite the fact that Ruby still doesn't like Amber, we've seen her doing a competent professional job as Amber's PA - and AMber even looks happy about it. So despite everything, that bit seems to be working out.

Anyhow, you're defining Ruby entirely in terms of her relationship with Amber, which is a great way to show her worst side. Try, for example, looking at her relationship with the comic's title character. Yes, she was a bit of a pain in the butt to Dillon when she first appeared, but not so much that Dillon's attempts to make friends with her were implausible. And lo, he succeeded. Except that Ruby didn't just go along with his goofy games; she stuck her neck out to help him, did her best to comfort him despite his flakiness, called him on it when his bullshit went too far, and ended up advising him, usefully, on his love life. So Dillon has ended up treating her, not just as his new pet dress-up doll, but as his conscience. And he's not the only one who likes her; Angel clearly finds her amusing to be around, even if that is largely to mess with her head, Zii has really taken a shine to her, and Andy seems quite serious about her. Which is surely plausible; to them, she's energetic, polite, positive, cute, and always willing to learn.

In other words, Ruby is someone who's going through a complicated time at the moment, but who is generally depicted positively. Her relationship with her sister is a weird mess, held together by family loyalty rather than any actual affection on her side or understanding on Amber's, but may yet be salvaged, because the family loyalty at least keeps them talking. So yes, call me a fanboy -- but one with reasons.
---------
Spidrift
"Brevior vita est quam pro futumentibus negotium agendo."
-- Motto of Hogshead Publishing of fond memory, and wise words to set your Foes List by.
Avatar misappropriated from the wonderful XKCD.

User avatar
Spidrift
Posts: 11726
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:11 pm

Re: Character Discussion

Post by Spidrift » Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:35 pm

neneroi wrote:I wonder, if she takes off her glasses, has her hair and her makeup done in style, and wears a sexy outfit, would Ruby turn out to be a devastating beauty?
Not necessary; she's already geek-cute at the worst of times. Remember that Dillon could use her as a straight guy detector just be pouring her into a pair of designer jeans. And she kills it in that short skirt she wears for her PA job.

She didn't look so great in the "glamorous" dress that Amber lent her for her first date with Andy, funnily enough, but that just didn't suit her figure. She has legs to die for and slim shoulders, and needs to emphasise the former while bulking out the latter a bit.
---------
Spidrift
"Brevior vita est quam pro futumentibus negotium agendo."
-- Motto of Hogshead Publishing of fond memory, and wise words to set your Foes List by.
Avatar misappropriated from the wonderful XKCD.

User avatar
wiseguy
Posts: 4029
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:34 am
Location: California

Re: 09-04-16 Unavailable at the moment

Post by wiseguy » Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:24 pm

I guees I would leave response to this, but understand that I know spid had me in ignore less than a month after I joined................................................... so he would not see my response here

is not fair to view how Ruby feels via the perspective of Amber nor the "reality perspective"

for a little kid, to have her sister who she looked up to, Suddenly drop her and spend time Constantly (I am assuming since the time Amber discovered sex) with Zii and not make any time with her was devastating, so I think "before Zii", they used to be at least kind of close

and sister leaves for "supposedly college" ( Amber left to pursue a career in porn industry )

Ruby used to be not such a wallflower, was even invited to a party when she was an early teen, but sadly for her, in that party not only saw a porn movie, she recognized that her sister was on it, and that traumatized her and made her highly introvert and shy and she became the lonely high school girl who focused on studying, but at same time avoiding any subject about sex, thus even thought she was an expert in navigating the world wide web, unlike Amber................... she did not investigate and learned even a general knowledge about the subject of sex, so she was highly naive, to the point that her female teacher took advantage and made her wear mini skirts to school

in regards to sex, we have to view her in same frame of mind of an early teen just that she is an adult on other things
ImageImage

User avatar
brasca
Posts: 2987
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:04 am

Re: Character Discussion

Post by brasca » Thu May 12, 2016 6:37 am

I haven't checked this section much since the hiatus so I didn't even notice this discussion.

I tend to agree with Spidrift's assessment except for the inexplicable parent blaming. Ruby's relationship with Amber isn't the best evidence of her personality and neither were some of the earlier strips that introduced her. I have a sister and even when we try not to get on each others nerves we still do. That's just how it is. I wish we could find out more about Ruby's past, but I don't think it is all that traumatic, Wiseguy. The way I see it she was probably a studious girl from a young age and Amber was the only expert on girlish things, but the age gap didn't help and neither did leaving home. That's nobody's fault, but just how things are. Interest in boys and other teenage distractions was probably stifled when her only friend at school abandoned her for the popular girls and seeing boys react to a porno with her sister probably didn't elevate her opinion of the opposite sex. Perhaps it scared her away from sex in that she worried that giving in to the smallest of temptations could lead to a porno career. Perhaps Amber wasn't all that different academically until she became sexually active. I have nothing to back this up so it's just a theory. Anyway, having someone to talk to about these things would've benefited her immensely, but she didn't have any friends and her sister was absent. I can't blame her for not talking to her mother since most teenagers are too embarrassed to talk about personal things with their parents and she possibly feared that talking about her fear might lead to the revelation of Amber's career. If she can't handle Dillon questioning her I doubt she'd last long against her mother's interrogation. Once again that's nobody's fault and just how things are. The opportunity to change her views didn't happen in college. Perhaps she tried and found the boys no more mature than the ones in high school and the girls equally vapid so she continued studying and working hard which worked for her so far. It did since she has a Masters in Business, but without school work to keep her focused she's finally confronting aspects of herself she's put off for years.

User avatar
Spidrift
Posts: 11726
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:11 pm

Re: Character Discussion

Post by Spidrift » Thu May 12, 2016 7:59 am

brasca wrote:I tend to agree with Spidrift's assessment except for the inexplicable parent blaming.
I may well over-interpret what's said about their parents, but Amber and Ruby are both a tiny bit messed up individually (though neither is really dysfunctional), and their relationship with each other is a total clusterfudge. At which point, you have to admit that their parents are not getting things entirely right, even if they've not done anything overly wrong.
---------
Spidrift
"Brevior vita est quam pro futumentibus negotium agendo."
-- Motto of Hogshead Publishing of fond memory, and wise words to set your Foes List by.
Avatar misappropriated from the wonderful XKCD.

User avatar
brasca
Posts: 2987
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:04 am

Re: Character Discussion

Post by brasca » Thu May 12, 2016 3:44 pm

Given some of the other Menage a 3 and Sticky Dilly Buns characters with their problems and neuroses I think the Larose family did a better job than most. And let us not forget that for the sake of comedy and drama reality will be twisted for the sake of plot convenience.

User avatar
Spidrift
Posts: 11726
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:11 pm

Re: Character Discussion

Post by Spidrift » Thu May 12, 2016 5:33 pm

Oh, parenting is clearly a lost art generally in the Ma3 universe. But all else aside, Ruby has the impression that Amber is their parents' favourite. Whether or not it's true, giving that impression is an elementary parental screw-up.
---------
Spidrift
"Brevior vita est quam pro futumentibus negotium agendo."
-- Motto of Hogshead Publishing of fond memory, and wise words to set your Foes List by.
Avatar misappropriated from the wonderful XKCD.

User avatar
Don Alexander
Dr. Ebil SithMod
Posts: 27530
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:26 am
Location: Under the arms of the ancient oak, where daylight hangs by a lunar noose...

Re: Character Discussion

Post by Don Alexander » Thu May 12, 2016 6:13 pm

I'm not sure how much can generally be blamed on "bad" parenting, anyway...
ImageImage
Sithlord of the Sithling and best customer of McLovecraft's Image, in the business of keeping the little Platypus in business
Moderations in GREEN and signed by the DAMNed. I am not anonymous! Also, MODSMACK!! Image
Winner of the... 2010 Kilopost FRANKIE; 2010 Mad March Nom Off; 2010 Joker Cleavage Contest; 2010 Fan-Thing Contest; 2010 Mimic Contest (tied); 2011 Joker Cleavage Contest; 2011 Contest-for-the-next-Contest (tied)

User avatar
Spidrift
Posts: 11726
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:11 pm

Re: Character Discussion

Post by Spidrift » Thu May 12, 2016 6:55 pm

Opinions vary, I'm sure. But seeming to play favourites is one of the fairly clear, avoidable errors.
---------
Spidrift
"Brevior vita est quam pro futumentibus negotium agendo."
-- Motto of Hogshead Publishing of fond memory, and wise words to set your Foes List by.
Avatar misappropriated from the wonderful XKCD.

User avatar
brasca
Posts: 2987
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:04 am

Re: Character Discussion

Post by brasca » Thu May 12, 2016 7:24 pm

Spidrift wrote:Oh, parenting is clearly a lost art generally in the Ma3 universe. But all else aside, Ruby has the impression that Amber is their parents' favourite. Whether or not it's true, giving that impression is an elementary parental screw-up.
Perhaps that is a mistaken impression of Ruby's since as far as we know Amber was their first child. Being the first born son or daughter makes you the experiment. Parents have no prior experience so everything they do with their first child is totally new. Once they have the experience they fret over every subsequent child to a lesser extent because they know better.

User avatar
Spidrift
Posts: 11726
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:11 pm

Re: Character Discussion

Post by Spidrift » Thu May 12, 2016 9:55 pm

This is one area on which I would really like to see some clarification of the "objective truth" from the comic, one day. The guesses that cross my mind are (a) Amber was the cute, extrovert one, so she did get more attention (because their parents were a little careless and let her hog the spotlight), as well as getting more of a social life outside the house, and Ruby mistook attention for favour, and/or (b) Ruby was blatantly obviously the brighter of the two, their parents overcompensated in giving Amber credit for her non-academic accomplishments (to avoid favouritism), and Ruby ended up feeling that she didn't get enough credit for her academic success, and/or (c) Ruby is just plain pissed off about having to keep Amber's porn career a secret and feels that their parents ought to see through Amber's deceptions somehow, their failure to do so indicating willful blindness.

But we just don't know.

Logic says that one day, probably in the lifetime of this comic, Amber will have to tell her parents about her porn career. I do wonder if Amber asking Ruby to sort out a day for her to have dinner with their parents was a hanging story hook that we all missed. But we'll have to wait and see what befalls.
---------
Spidrift
"Brevior vita est quam pro futumentibus negotium agendo."
-- Motto of Hogshead Publishing of fond memory, and wise words to set your Foes List by.
Avatar misappropriated from the wonderful XKCD.

User avatar
wiseguy
Posts: 4029
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:34 am
Location: California

Re: Character Discussion

Post by wiseguy » Sat May 14, 2016 8:27 pm

brasca wrote:I haven't checked this section much since the hiatus so I didn't even notice this discussion.

............................. I wish we could find out more about Ruby's past, but I don't think it is all that traumatic, Wiseguy. The way I see it she was probably a studious girl from a young age and Amber was the only expert on girlish things, but the age gap didn't help and neither did leaving home. That's nobody's fault, but just how things are. Interest in boys and other teenage distractions was probably stifled when her only friend at school abandoned her for the popular girls and seeing boys react to a porno with her sister probably didn't elevate her opinion of the opposite sex. Perhaps it scared her away from sex in that she worried that giving in to the smallest of temptations could lead to a porno career. .... .
brasca, is possible you correct and I made an error

but I took that the friend who went to the popular girls was an event AFTER the porno at the party thing, not before it as I can't see the girl that was abandoned by her only friend going to any party, much less one with the porno event, but I can see a traumatized girl after that party becoming the girl that ended up being abandoned by her only friend later on.
ImageImage

Ophelianime
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:50 pm

Re: Character Discussion

Post by Ophelianime » Mon May 08, 2017 3:47 pm

Hey everybody! I know I'm kinda switching gears here, but I'd like to discuss Dillion's crush on Gary. I've been wondering lately how it started, and what happened to make it so intense. I mean, judging from the men that we've seen Dillion swoon over so far, he's into manly, smooth men. And while Gary may be attractive, he's not a model, or a musclebound construction worker, or a charismatic aspiring actor. So I'm curious as to exactly what draws Dillion so strongly to a geeky illustrator like Gary.

User avatar
Spidrift
Posts: 11726
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:11 pm

Re: Character Discussion

Post by Spidrift » Mon May 08, 2017 3:53 pm

The power of plot. Or the same inexplicable charisma that draws a lot of women to Gary - which is probably the same thing.

Though Dillon did spend a few weeks sharing Gary's bed. That may have given a seed of attraction time to sprout.
---------
Spidrift
"Brevior vita est quam pro futumentibus negotium agendo."
-- Motto of Hogshead Publishing of fond memory, and wise words to set your Foes List by.
Avatar misappropriated from the wonderful XKCD.

Post Reply