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Author Topic: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)  (Read 245565 times)

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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #450 on: 01 Jun 2015, 07:12 »

She wears the gloves to hide the scar from when Amber stabbed her.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #451 on: 01 Jun 2015, 07:26 »

DANNY: "Oh my GOD! Are you Amber under there?"

AMAZIGIRL: "... I don't know..."

God, that gave me chills. That's something straight out of the Frank Miller school of borderline-psychotic screwed-up anti-heroes! Every champion has their darkness in their past and I guess this is Amber's!

So... I'm thinking that Danny is Amber's White Knight?
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #452 on: 01 Jun 2015, 23:40 »

Prediction from today's strip: Amber will walk in and freak out on seeing Sal (very much the other boogie man in her life after her father). Sal will recognise the psycho who maimed her hand in turn and the freak out will be mutual. From there on it's Willis's call. Ethan and Danny's presence will probably stop either women from running (a genuinely funny desire to protect the guys from the other gal).

There may be a fight but I hope that they will talk and, just maybe come to an understanding of just how screwed up and blameless they both were at that time in their lives. I can already see Joyce blubbering about 'the joy of the peacemaker' as Danny persuades them to make some gesture of bygones. It would be the deepest of ironies if Amber's circle are the first serious friends that Sal makes at college.

With this final demon confronted, Amazi-Girl may no longer be needed by Amber's fractured psyche. It would be an interesting twist if Sal persuades her to carry on because the world needs positive symbols and those who will stand up for the little guys.

[Edit]
I moved the rest of this post to The Writing Club thread as it really belongs more there than in a general discussion thread about the comic itself.
« Last Edit: 02 Jun 2015, 02:21 by BenRG »
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #453 on: 02 Jun 2015, 11:42 »

Pacing-wise, enough time has passed between Amber announcing she'll come and her appearing as for it to be a surprise. I'm excited.

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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #454 on: 02 Jun 2015, 13:13 »

That would make an interesting turn, and I'd love to see how Willis handled it, but I'm not so sure. That the two might recognize each other is more likely than they would make a scene. Amber, at least, wouldn't do it here, not at Joyce's dorm party, right?

I see awkwardness before a confrontation.

In other news, Joyce's face when she hears Apples To Apples had a part in corrupting Sal made me giggle.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #455 on: 02 Jun 2015, 17:04 »

Hey!  This is Sal, whaddaya expect!
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #456 on: 02 Jun 2015, 18:38 »

Hey!  This is Sal, whaddaya expect!

I still find it strange. Have you played Apples To Apples? It's not the most sexually charged card game out there.

I'm curious for details, but not in a kinky way. Just out of scientific curiosity. This is a bizarre phenomenon.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #457 on: 02 Jun 2015, 20:16 »

Sal has encountered Amber before, without recognizing her.  She probably didn't get a good look at her attacker when she was stabbed three-ish years ago, so Amber would have to actually identify herself...but since most of her encounters with Sal while not in uniform have triggered panic attacks, she's unlikely to get that far this time.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #458 on: 02 Jun 2015, 20:49 »

Hey!  This is Sal, whaddaya expect!

I still find it strange. Have you played Apples To Apples? It's not the most sexually charged card game out there.

I'm curious for details, but not in a kinky way. Just out of scientific curiosity. This is a bizarre phenomenon.

The first time an ex and I had sex was with a game of strip setback (it's a common card game, but it's often called something different depending on the area you're from), so anything is possible.

Though that might have been due to the fact that she wanted to have sex, but couldn't exactly express it, so we'd always have to start it in weird ways. That or I'm great at card games.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #459 on: 02 Jun 2015, 21:17 »

...and after today's strip, I really hope Ethan has a sudden epiphany:

ETHAN: "Wait, I remember!  You're that girl who held up the convenience store three years ago!"
SAL: "How th' hell d'you know that?"
ETHAN: "I was there!  You took me hostage!"
SAL: "That was you?!"
ETHAN: "Yeah!  And then Amber stabbed you in the hand!"
SAL: "Who th' hell's Amber?"

Enter AMBER.  Drama ensues.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #460 on: 02 Jun 2015, 21:21 »

I'm sorta thinkin' it might go like this:

*Sal, Ethan, and Danny peacefully playing Apples to Apples with everyone else*
*Amber enters, sees Sal*
*Amber is speechless*
Sal: It's YOU! Ah'd recognize you anywhere, Amazo-Girl!
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #462 on: 02 Jun 2015, 22:45 »

Laughing more than the joke is worth that we got the person wrong, who recognizes Sal.

Of course it's Ethan. He, at least, is PRESENT at the moment.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #463 on: 02 Jun 2015, 23:51 »

I, personally think that Amber's fight/flight response to Sal will go to 'fight' this time because of her perception that she needs to 'protect' Ethan and Danny from her. I'm thinking that the story will spill out in a hysterical mess after Ethan restrains her and that is when the mutual story telling begins.

I'm thinking that Billie, afraid that Amber and Sal may seriously hurt eachother, may go to get Ruth and she'll arrive in time to hear with everyone else just how much Amber and Sal's childhoods sucked.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #464 on: 03 Jun 2015, 06:38 »

I find it weird that Ethan doesn't recognize her.

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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #465 on: 03 Jun 2015, 06:40 »

It was a long time ago. Which is why when Sal sees Amber she's more likely to recognize her as the girl who ambushed her at Walmart a couple days ago rather than the girl who stabbed her years ago.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #466 on: 03 Jun 2015, 21:12 »

I love how Dina is wearing her hat atop the jacket
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #467 on: 03 Jun 2015, 23:13 »

It was a long time ago. Which is why when Sal sees Amber she's more likely to recognize her as the girl who ambushed her at Walmart a couple days ago rather than the girl who stabbed her years ago.

That depends on just how much trauma the stabbing caused for Sal. Given that she never takes off her gloves, even when sleeping, it is possibly a fairly major open wound in her psyche.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #468 on: 04 Jun 2015, 01:32 »

Sal has already seen Amber near the elevator. Amber flipped out and Sal just stared at her in a confused way and said "weirdo" or something like that. So she clearly doesn't remember.
I'm not sure the glove-wearing is due to trauma.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #469 on: 04 Jun 2015, 02:10 »

Sal has already seen Amber near the elevator. Amber flipped out and Sal just stared at her in a confused way and said "weirdo" or something like that. So she clearly doesn't remember.

One of the things about all Amber-Sal interactions to date (and I believe that this is deliberate on David Willis's part) is the level of ambiguity about whether Sal actually had the chance to consciously identify the person running past her and the like. It's a nice bit of scene-setting and foundation-laying on his part that leaves us wondering just whether Sal knows the girl who stabbed her is now living just a few doors away and, if she does, how she views this.

I suspect that, whatever is about to happen between these two young women, he's been planning this in some detail for a number of years.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #470 on: 04 Jun 2015, 11:13 »

I don't want to spoil anything for other Willis comics. I read synopses for It's Walky! and Shortpacked! and wasn't really interested in either of them. If this question is spoilery, let me know and I'll drop it, but ... I'm really creeped out and grossed out by Sal and the TA Jason banging. Like to the point where I had to make a decision on whether to continue reading the comic in fear that they would do it again. It just seemed to come out of nowhere and it is so ethically gross and disgusting that I can only think that for fans of Willis's other titles, this pairing makes sense, even here, for some reason, which is why it is happening. Is this correct? Because if so, as much as I like Sara and want to see if she will ever allow herself to get past her guilt over her hand in Dana's departure, and as much as I like Amber and Danny and other odds and ends, I despise power-imbalance relationships.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #471 on: 04 Jun 2015, 11:44 »

DoA is at least partially autobiographical (his self-insert is Joyce). It's possible that the Sal x Jason thing is based on something that happened to one of Willis's associates at college.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #472 on: 04 Jun 2015, 11:55 »

How much power does a TA really have though? It was my understanding that they really just dealt with the things the teacher was to busy or to disinterested to deal with. I would think the Billie/Ruth relationship is more of a power imbalance than Sal/Jason.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #473 on: 04 Jun 2015, 12:51 »

They grade tests, don't they?
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #474 on: 04 Jun 2015, 12:53 »

How much power does a TA really have though? It was my understanding that they really just dealt with the things the teacher was to busy or to disinterested to deal with. I would think the Billie/Ruth relationship is more of a power imbalance than Sal/Jason.

I've heard urban legends* about women fucking the TA to get better grades, because supposedly that's something the TA can do, inputting grades and marking papers.

*urban legend might be the wrong term. I've heard it from many sources w/out citation
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #475 on: 04 Jun 2015, 12:58 »

I am a TA and had sex with one of my students.

I am somewhat ashamed, but it's not like I have real power over grades. But there's an implication that I could, and that could lead to controversy.

I'm a bit afraid of that.

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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #476 on: 04 Jun 2015, 13:19 »

Wait, you're a grad student? Or do they have undergrad TAs?
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #477 on: 04 Jun 2015, 13:23 »

What makes it questionable, I think, is that whether or not a TA could actually do something, the student might think they could. They could lie, and that's um, evil? Fucking sickening?

The power might be imagined, but it's still a TA manipulating a (presumably) younger woman.

Masterpiece, I don't know your situation, but you seem a decent-enough person that you'd have made it clear this girl wouldn't be receiving any different treatment as far as class is concerned. That's the major problem with that sort of power-imbalanced-relationship, and while the school system might not recognize the difference, a reasonable person would. If reasonable people don't see it as problematic, it's less-likely to be reported, which isn't a promise, but it's better than nothing.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #478 on: 04 Jun 2015, 14:02 »

I don't know whether Masterpiece is a grad or an undergrad, but in Germany you can be a "Tutor" as an undergrad, which is kind of like a TA in that you teach example classes and mark the example sheets that people hand in, but there is usually a boss-TA who is a post-doc or maybe PhD student, who sets the problems for the example sheets and who supervises you. You often help marking the exam, but there's several of you, so you're not guaranteed to see every student's exam, and anything questionable willl be checked by the boss-TA or the lecturer.
I was a Tutor for the first time in my second year; I liked it. It was a bit funny that at least half of my students were older than me, but I mostly didn't have authority issues.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #479 on: 04 Jun 2015, 14:10 »

As a TA I once had a student who tried flirting with me and even asked me out on a date right after the final. After final grades came out she never talked to me again, though.  :roll:
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #480 on: 04 Jun 2015, 14:14 »

My thoughts on a TA with grading power dating a student? It depends on the topic. If it's a topic where the answer are the answers I'd suppose it'd be less of a conflict than a topic that relies on essays where the quality is a matter of interpretation. (Still inappropriate but the former is less dangerous I guess?)
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #481 on: 04 Jun 2015, 14:30 »

Thanks, all, for the clarification and the anecdotes. I don't want to pee on anyone's parade, it's just that I had an up-close and personal view to a TA/Student relationship when I was in undergrad that ended horrifically and it started very similarly to how the Sal + Jason thing started (student failing, going to TA for help, TA openly horn-dogging over her but ratcheting it down because he found her personality off-putting, open enmity, then sex several times after swearing not to do it again). It's odd because David Willis and I are exactly the same age and we both went to Big 10 universities in the same years. The situation I speak of was reported in our student newspaper so it is possible that even though he didn't attend my university, he heard of it through the grapevine. The Sal + Jason thing is almost exactly what happened at my uni, so it's more a visceral squick for me.

I was also surprised that there weren't more comments about the potential improprieties of such a relationship and more of a "Whoo hoo, that's hot!" reaction, which made me think that elsewhere in the Walkyverse, these two have crossed paths under different situations.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #482 on: 04 Jun 2015, 16:05 »

Masterpiece, I don't know your situation, but you seem a decent-enough person that you'd have made it clear this girl wouldn't be receiving any different treatment as far as class is concerned. That's the major problem with that sort of power-imbalanced-relationship, and while the school system might not recognize the difference, a reasonable person would. If reasonable people don't see it as problematic, it's less-likely to be reported, which isn't a promise, but it's better than nothing.

Honestly it didn't even occur to her. I told her about my hesitance towards it, and she just said "but you're not going to grade me any differently, are you?" to which I replied, "of course not, but the potential exists, and that's the problem." She didn't seem to understand.

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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #483 on: 04 Jun 2015, 16:09 »

Was this the girl you were talking about in the other thread?
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #484 on: 04 Jun 2015, 17:17 »

The one I ended things with? yes.

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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #485 on: 04 Jun 2015, 17:18 »

Honestly I just feel good that I'm learning not to be the dumpee in a relationship.

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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #486 on: 04 Jun 2015, 17:21 »

Yeah, that happened to me for the first time a month or so ago.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #487 on: 04 Jun 2015, 20:26 »

Plusorminus, are you secretly David Willis, i suspect such.

It should be added, I am two glasses of wine, two beers, six shots into my evening, and am typing this into my phone with one eye shut. My opinion is to be disregarded, unless it is later revealed to be truth, in which case, , masterpiece, well fucking played, I mean godDAMN
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #488 on: 04 Jun 2015, 21:04 »

Ouch.. I don't think Becky likes this game anymore...
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #489 on: 05 Jun 2015, 00:11 »

Becky needs a hug... but not from Joyce. Right now, Joyce is the worst person imaginable to have any interaction with Becky that has any emotional content.

Just out of interest, do we know what happened to Becky's mother?
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #490 on: 05 Jun 2015, 01:26 »

I think she is dead, but I don't know where I think that I know this from, so it might be wrong.
I wish Becky had someone else she is close to, so that she could get some distance between her and Joyce for a bit. This must be painful. (Not that I think Joyce is doing anything wrong here; it's just a shitty situation.)
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #491 on: 05 Jun 2015, 01:42 »

I wish Becky had someone else she is close to, so that she could get some distance between her and Joyce for a bit. This must be painful. (Not that I think Joyce is doing anything wrong here; it's just a shitty situation.)

I think that Joyce is doing the wrong thing but for all the best and most laudable reasons. I think that Sarah is right to say that her upbringing and her essentially positive nature make it impossible for her to really understand Becky's feelings and that she is basically torturing her sister-by-choice out of misdirected compassion.

Oddly enough, if Amber's dorm room has to be moved as a result of the near-inevitable explosion when she walks into the party and sees Sal sitting between Ethan and Danny, I'd like for Becky to stay with Dina for a while. Dina really doesn't have the right software to understand sexual desire. She'll see everything in the baldest and most black-and-white rational terms and spending time around her (and, more importantly, away from Joyce) may help Becky get distance and start to rebuild the emotional structure of her life.

That would require Becky to transfer to the college (Indiana State?) but I think that Joyce could spin it to Becky's dad if she were somehow to convince her parents to support the suggestion.

BenRG's Dorm Room Musical Chairs:
Joyce moves to Sal's room - RUTH: "I can't think of any two girls more different than you two, so you'll suffer each other's company until you learn not to turn a dorm party into a RIOT!"
Amber moves to Sarah's room - RUTH: "Maybe having a sophomore as your keeper will calm your ass down, O'Malley!"
Becky is put in Dina's room - RUTH: "Big freak and little freak in one room; that makes it easier for normal people to keep track of you!"
Billie officially moves to Carla's room - RUTH: "Listen, Skater Bitch, I have a nice dossier of all your little 'practical jokes' for the administrators' attention, just in case you get a rare attack of conscience. You bring me and Billie down and I'll make it my business to see that you go down with us!"

I'm thinking that Joyce would help Sal develop a healthier waking/sleep cycle (as well as a broad spectrum of other healthier personal habits) and Sal may help Joyce loosen up in a way that doesn't look like a deliberate self-parody. Also, I suspect that Sarah and Amber will both enjoy having room-mates who have no intent or desire whatsoever to interact with them and... well, unfortunately, I think that the way the Sarah/Jacob/Raidah triangle is escalating, having Amazi-Girl read into the situation and monitoring it may save lives.

[EDIT]
I base the prediction on a move of characters' rooms on the title page picture of Ruth looking at a schematic of the hall of residence's room layout.
« Last Edit: 05 Jun 2015, 02:58 by BenRG »
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #492 on: 05 Jun 2015, 21:34 »

Billie officially moves to Carla's room

Carla occupies a single dorm, most likely because she's trans. 

Back to comic: Nooooo, don't leave, Sal!  Amber hasn't come back from patrol yet!
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #493 on: 05 Jun 2015, 23:56 »

Back to comic: Nooooo, don't leave, Sal!  Amber hasn't come back from patrol yet!

This may just be me, but I wonder if Amber... or, rather, Amazi-Girl... is somehow the cause of the message and that's why Sal is in such a hurry.

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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #494 on: 06 Jun 2015, 00:56 »

Damn, Becky comes across as so desperate. Poor thing.

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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #495 on: 06 Jun 2015, 06:35 »

Carla occupies a single dorm, most likely because she's trans. 
Wait, what? When was this established?
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #496 on: 06 Jun 2015, 07:28 »

IIRC, Willis stated it outside of the comic, and it's been implied in-comic a couple of times.

(It's worth noting that this is actually consistent across universes - in the Walkyverse, she was created as Ultra-Car, as an AI for a car chassis, and she was assigned male at creation. She ended up swapping to a humanoid female-body-type chassis later to reflect her gender (but still identified as a car, not a human, IIRC). That's also why she's often portrayed in skates in DoA.)
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #497 on: 06 Jun 2015, 07:32 »

When has it been implied in-comic? In-comic as in DoA.
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Re: Damn you, Willis! (Dumbing of Age)
« Reply #499 on: 06 Jun 2015, 07:46 »

Ahhh, wow, that interpretation makes sense now.
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