Back when I wrote the original Roomies!, I didn’t know any grad students, but by the time I was writing Roomies! Redux!, my life was lousy with them.  This allowed me to add some more depth to Ruth’s existence.

Ruth is one of those designs that, you know, for Reasons I didn’t draw for years and years and my style evolved and when I went back to her I had to think of how she would have evolved to be in my then-current style.  When you do this a lot, sometimes you end up with a variant design every time they pop up somewhere new on occasion.  Ruth’s eyes are a pretty good example of this.  When I redesigned her for Dumbing of Age, I gave her “normal” dot eyes behind her glasses, forgetting that I’d at some point determined that she had “real” eyes behind there, with whites and a colored iris.  Well, “determined.”  Run back to her first appearance in Roomies! Redux a few pages back and you’ll see her in dot eyes.  When you don’t draw somebody for a while, sometimes you misremember details of the character model, and even if you go back to check on what they looked like in older material, there’s enough variance that you might pick out an outlying example to draw from.

I had decided, beginning with the storyline that’s going on with Ruth now in Dumbing of Age — literally once she opens her eyes to Billie after she’s found — that she’d get the “upgraded” eyes which I’d settled on long ago but had forgotten.  I justify this as Billie (and the audience) seeing her as a more-rounded, more real person.   Also, now when folks go OH HEY WHY IS JOYCE THE ONLY CHARACTER WITH COLORED EYES I can go all OH HEY FUCK YOU THERE’S ALSO RUTH

I swear most of my decisions aren’t predicated on spite.