(What do you get if Lassie has sex with a watermelon?)

The last couple of weeks of Dodge the Bullet have been a little different and a little difficult for me. Not in the drawing, or the writing but in the ideas presented. When I started this comic I promised myself that I would always write to the joke. Whether others would find them funny or not I had to know that I was at least trying to write something funny. Not clever, not interesting, not emotional, just funny. True, I intended always to work in clever, interesting and emotional stuff but that wasn’t supposed to be the point of a given strip.

Dodge the Bullet has an overarching plot and finding a joke that also moves that plot forward hasn’t always been easy but even still I resisted the urge to do a strip that just moved the plot along. This week and last I had some difficulties with that, the place that I’m at in the story doesn’t seem like a good place to make fun of the characters. The babies want their mother and they miss her, and Rick wants his wife and he misses her. How do you mock that, precisely?

For the story I had to show you how… emotionally beaten Rick is, how much he misses Tina and I also wanted to show you more of Tina’s personality. She’s very stubborn and always convinced that she’s right, she tends to think that if she wants to do something it is almost certainly not just right for her, but right overall. She needed a lesson and Rick begging her to stay away seemed like a good emotional kick in the teeth. Rick crying with his kids, as Addy says she misses her mommy and Zach tries to console him seemed like another good emotional moment.

But they’re not jokes exactly and I felt like I might have let some people down by doing that. True, I included some side jokes, and the art was pretty good but the point of the last few strips obviously wasn’t the jokes.

A few side notes; Rick was in a coma when Tina was buried and this was his first time visiting her grave. As he was in the coma he was not the one responsible for that headstone – his Ma was. That’s a very large, very expensive headstone and Ellie Dodge wrote the inscription herself.

Christina Elizabeth Dodge
Beloved Wife and Mother

Even though Rick and Tina were technically separated at the time of her death and his shooting they were not divorced and they were both very much in love with the other.

And Rick’s Ma knew they were still in love, so maybe she isn’t quite as emotionally divorced from reality as she might sometimes seem. But she still realllllly doesn’t have much use for kids. At least not until they grow up and show some talent that she might be able to exploit for her own monetary gain.

Basically I wanted to assure you of one thing; this sequence is not the start of a change in tone, Dodge the Bullet is still going to be about Rick Dodge’s absolute refusal to change his ways in the face of Heaven, his family, his friends, Elvis and the humor that comes out of that conflict.

No soap opera crap, I assure you.

(Please ignore the evil twin. I know nothing about that.)