Joe is mimicking the art style of other comic strips on the page.  The first two get named, but the last is a second reference to Doog and Blair.

I’ve mentioned previously that I was mostly drawing these comics in a vacuum.  Look, nobody cares about the comics page in a newspaper unless you’re 65, and this was a college campus.  But I got my second bit of feedback ever on this strip.  I was sitting in the dining hall, and I overheard two other students talking about Roomies!.  “Looks like he’s run out of ideas,”  one said.

At the time, I was sitting on all this tremendous Ruth stuff I had recently brainstormed, but I couldn’t start building up to that until the next school year.  And so part of me raged.  I had buttloads of ideas!  I just can’t do them right now and I’m spinning my wheels until school lets out!  The other part of me agreed that fourth-wall-breaking was pretty damn lame.  It is.  There are interesting ways for a comic strip to break the fourth wall, but Bloom County did them all thirty times over already.

(Which is why so many webcomics break the fourth wall.  We all grew up reading Bloom County.  Fourth-wall-breaking jokes are the equivalent of having a fan character who looks suspiciously like Sonic the Hedgehog.)

Anyway, feedback sucks.