Dumb Big Sister, Stupid Little Sister - First Production Set ~ Comics 11 - 20

Pictured above:

11 - IDENTITY

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12 - COMPASSION

Setting a standard. This is not to say that Nini hasn't had days where she gets into fights or snaps (you'll see her do a little of this in AVOIDANCE), but generally she tries to be loving because she really wants to be the best big sister possible, and she knows she'll get way further with love and kindness than yelling and telling.

13 - SHIFTLESS

14 - PRANKS

This was one of those "I better cover something I should've brought attention to earlier" comics. I would have liked it if this was before BUTTHAND, but what's here is here, and at least it's not too far in. Also, things are different once you serialize vs. just doing something to fill a week quota.

15 - SNOT

More truth in visual storytelling.

16 - TRAINER

There's a couple of important points to make, here. One is that Nini is about... six? Seven?... in this story. She has no concept of Pokemon trainers beyond schoolyard urban legends, and maybe quick embellished answers from adults. The point was to show how scary this might all be to a little kid. But more importantly, we get a peek into a deep fear that Nini legitimately has of her family being torn apart. As soon as she had siblings come into her life, they became the most important thing to her. At this age, having anything happen to them that she herself couldn't do a thing about, but would constantly blame herself for would be... devastating to say the least. By the end, she realizes that she took the rumors too far and started projecting, and what probably started out a little goofy really scared Didi, so she makes up by being as nice to Didi as possible.

17 - SALUTATION

And now, something light!

18 - HEADSTAND

19 - STIMULATION

A rare color comic was spotted. I do wonder how I responded to video games when I was Didi's age (4 and a half/5ish). This is one of those personal stories where I'm actually reaching back in my own childhood, and then retelling it through different eyes and more actors, so I don't really know if I'm Nini or Didi specifically. I'm pretty sure I was a combination of both girls. It also serves as a character moment, as Didi is easily stimulated and excitable, a trait that carries on throughout her life. And finally, that game system is, like, all the systems up to Gamecube. That's the thing about working in an unknown time frame of the past in an alternate universe, I can reference whatever I want and get away with it.

20 - SAUSAGE

This was about the point I started focusing on the other family members. I might as well, you'll be seeing them a lot. Arnie was always seen in the kitchen but it wasn't really clear that he does this for a living until about now and definitely in SMOKEHOUSE/AVOIDANCE. Overall, we see Arnie's a big softy who takes his culinary skills seriously!

I grew more attached to this guy thanks to this story in particular. It's very funny I ended up doing Dumb Big Sister before I got to the homecoming story in She's One of a Kind, because while important characterizations are consistent, Arnie would have just been the "unauthoritative chef dad" with not much characterization otherwise. Doing this first kind of allows me to approach that story with a bit more zest and liveliness for the entire family.

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