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So Ginger was spoiled, just not in the way she preferred. Or it's just easier to ignore the multitudes of small gifts spread out over 30 years. Enough gifts that she's actually left boxes of yarn at her mom's. Something a proper crocheter never does. EVER. This is probably the largest comic my current computer can handle. Penultimate panel took a day and a half to make and crashed photoshop at least 2 dozen times.

62 thoughts on “Cooldown

  1. Being the first child often comes with a higher expectations, but at the same time you do get a lot of attention that the younger kids don’t. Just as an example, my childhood photo album is stuffed to bursting with every little moment but with each successive child there’s less and less.

    and now I feel bad.

    1. Oh! youre so right on the photo album thing. Im a second child , my older brother has tons of baby albums recording every single thing he did ! Babys first giggle, baby hands size showing how bigger they get each month , babys first ..idk sneeze. I didnt get any of those hahah .

  2. Man’s got a point.

    What is he supposed to do, tell his father in law “no” and throw over not only a commission for himself but also a sale for the business? Nothing in life works that way, Ginger.

        1. North of “Ginger’s Scrapbooking, West of “Ouch! That Hurts!”, and south of “Licked Pringles Cans”.

  3. I don’t know exactly why, but this is my favourite comic ever! Maybe because I’m the oldest, maybe because I’m married to a strong woman similar to Ginger but mostly because I admire the dads knowledge of his wife. It really speaks to me.

  4. Oh man I love this! I love getting to know ginger. All the other sisters seem hung up on their own stuff and she’s the one who has had to oversee it all in a way. It’s nice to get a moment to learn more about her.

    1. Not just Ginger, either. Ginger went through a lot of failed hobbies. But there’s camera equipment in there that I’d bet was Juniper’s before she hocked the camera. Not to mention a copy of Ellie’s failed board game, “Ouch! That Hurts!”.

  5. As the oldest child who’s had stuff like this happen, I can say, I reacted much better. Ginger isn’t in the right here, imo. Though, I feel her husband is handling it well.

    And really, as the oldest, Ginger should understand the simple rule of “life sucks and it’s not fair” :p

    1. That is actually the Ratchtantulapede.

      The concept was introduced several years back. It was originally the Ratchtantula, the thing that attacked the mall back during the Black Friday arc because Cinnamon got annoyed with people jostling her around.

      The comments section, as it does, had a lot of fun with the concept. It was eventually asked of our Rusche if there would be any more crossbreeding. He mentioned that, if there were any more, it would be with a centipede.

      And thus, the Ratchtantulapede was conceived. Several years later, it now exists and is hiding among the childhood crap in the Buckingham’s garage.

  6. Middle son between two sisters, so thankfully, didn’t have to deal with this as much. But I’ve seen houses with four or more siblings and yeah, it’s unfair that the oldest gets all the responsibility while the youngest is babied. But my Dad always helped us understand that parents are always gonna make mistakes and most of them will be with the first born. Every child after that is basically a do over. Took the sting out of seeing my younger sister being treated differently a little.

    1. There’s also the fact, that when Ginger was 16 they had 6 other children. Try affording to give a kid a car at that point.

      Now, 6 of them are basically out on their own. So the 7th has parents with money left over.

      Ginger probably treats her own multiple kids the same way really.

    2. I had the opposite problem–my older sister definitely had more responsibility, and some was over me, but she also received treatment for her anxiety at 17. Me? They were hoping I wouldn’t go through the same thing, so I couldn’t take AP classes, even if I wanted the chance (which I did see at the time, but I wish I could have said no), and I had to hide everything from them about my burnout that still hasn’t improved. Considering that they’re still paying my tuition and supplies, I am spoiled (sister had scholarships, so she lived in a dorm with some care packages dropped by), but the best I got for medical help (wanting to kill myself after about a year of uni because I felt like a failure) was on-campus talky counseling. Took until I was 24 (three years ago) to even get medication.

      So…I know my parents love me, but they actually went backwards after my sister, and helped fuck up my head.

      Though I do have a bunch of sets of hobby supplies that never went anywhere, and I hate myself for that. Not my parents’ faults.

  7. Ellie got kicked out of her room so that Pumpkin could have it… then she went and worked her tail off, got fired for the actions of her co-workers AND was called “lazy” by her family, including Pumpkin. If any of the Buckingham sisters have a legitimate beef, it’s Ellie. But… she’s not whining, she’s doing what she can to get by, without the help of her obviously well-off family.

      1. I would say it was a bit more complicated than that. Yep, Ellie got screwed there, but she wasn’t a completely innocent party. She had been hoarding the computer for social media nonsense, then ‘did’ Pumpkin’s paper via plagiarism which got her into trouble at school which got Pumpkin shifting all the blame for her poor grades onto Ellie which resulted in Rosemary deciding the Ellie needs to grow up and evicted her from the house,

        Yeah, Pumpkin WAS a dong. She didn’t even think twice about letting someone else do her homework for her, and similarly never thought twice about throwing Ellie under the bus to save her own hide. BUT! But Ellie was still becoming a problem. Rosemary does borderline cyber-stalk her daughters, so she would have undoubtedly noticed Ellie’s, erm, unsavory social media habits and continued lack of motivation in life. I imagine Rosemary would have cut her some slack if she’d gone to college or had a job, but unfortunately Ellie was doing pretty much nothing with her life despite being pretty smart and sensible. Kicking Ellie out was intended to kick her ass into gear, and it actually worked better than expected. It still sucks ass for Ellie, but now instead of sitting on her ass all day trolling social media for validation she’s actually gaining connections and skills and is, frankly, growing up.

        So, yeah, technically Pumpkin got her kicked out, but honestly it was more Ellie’s own lack of motivation that did it. The thing with Pumpkin was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

        1. It’s been so long, I’d forgotten Ellie’s past immature and selfish actions. I’ve been reading for three years and have only seen her busting her ass for every ingrate she works for.

        2. TBH, Ellie shaped up so fast that it surprised even Rosemary. Once push comes to shove Ellie shows her grit. She just needed the push.

        3. Never forget that Ellie was always just a faulty Tarra. Modify that fault, and you’re off to the races.

          Especially given that Ellie has a much more compassionate nature than Tarra. Our brief stay at Tarra’s business makes it clear she’s about one step above cartoon supervillainy. Remember the conference call? She’s doing business with M.Bison.

          Ellie, meanwhile, has yet to meet an animal she couldn’t feed into spheredom.

  8. Meh. It goes both ways. The oldest lived under rules that I didn’t have to follow because they successfully fought against them. I had rules they didn’t have to follow because of the stuff they F’d up. They had privileges I didn’t get because they showed they couldn’t handle them. I had opportunities they didn’t have because the family had more money a decade later. They have memories of (and attention from) grandparents that I will never have because said grandparents died when I was too young to remember, or before I was born.

  9. Ginger continues to be my favorite sister. As a fellow oldest, I feel the anger of watching the baby of the family get treated different, and also that moment of realization that even if your childhood wasn’t ideal, it could have been worse. I did not, however, realize how good Chris has gotten at his particular style of eyes. Ginger’s eyes in this comic are absolutely gorgeous!

    1. Yeah, the eyes have been really really good. Absolutely top tier. Also perspective and scene framing is better than anyone else I’ve seen.

      Also yes, ginger is also one of my favorite characters in this series for what we’ve seen of her

  10. LOL – right now I’m clearing out a small room to make a recording studio. Most of what’s in it is my daughter’s stuff…and among the found items, in my living room at this very moment, are a Furby and a Talking Parrot.

  11. Ginger, you chose the right guy to marry. Good for you realizing that none of this is his fault, now take the hint from him about how selfish you’re sounding right now and clean out the garage. Not only will you gain favor with your folks for doing it, but you’ll also feel better about yourself because it’s the right thing to do for several reasons. It’s not likely that Pumpkin will appreciate your efforts, but she’s still a teenager with a lot of growing up to do, so you shouldn’t expect it from her even if she’s smart enough to look beyond herself and show gratitude.

    I’ll get to feel what the proud papa feels about all his daughters, but I bet he wouldn’t trade anything in the world for any of his daughters, and that’s all I need to know about him.

    Kudos for the great storytelling and characters, Mr. Rusche, you know how to keep the comedy rolling while still dealing with the vagaries of life that give it meaning. That’s ultimately why I chose to became a patron, though I admit I’m a fan of Ellie as she’s matured and gained perspective. :)

        1. Would it? Would it really??

          …yeah, I guess it would, wouldn’t it?

          What do they actually name the kid? Questo? Interrobang?

    1. Ha! You wish, banana-nose. That is the Ratchtantulapede. It’s part rat, part cockroach, part tarantula, and part centipede.

      Cinnamon has been busy since returning to the Buckingham homestead.

  12. As I reread this, it has me wondering. Did the husband realize she was spoiled, just in a different way and possibly not one she would’ve preferred?

  13. So Ginger started fooling around as a teen and got pregnant… given that circumstance, she should get down on her knees 5 times a day and thank God her life is the way it is! It’s borderline impossible for someone to wind up in her position given that start without MAJOR help from family and friends. This is the first time Ginger has really sounded like a spoiled ass.

  14. Checks Shotgun Shuffle in the morning… anticipation! But no… disappointment.
    Checks Shotgun Shuffle in the evening… anticipation! But, no… sadness.

    1. Sometimes there are new comments. You have to take your wins where you can get them, especially when you’re coming off a holiday season and you got a comic that was the equivalent of like three comics in one update.

      1. Agreed. Also, what a killer ending(..? hopefully not) to a killer chapter in the comic! And far be it from me to second guess the Artist, but I for one would prefer smaller, more frequent updates. It would give the fans more chances to celebrate. Just a suggestion–I’m not going to complain about a free webcomic, especially one this entertaining.

        1. This particular argument goes back years.

          Many of us, in the past, have suggested that, perhaps, Rusche should dial his art quality back just a smidge to allow him to release updates on a schedule that would make glacial movement seem speedy. This has fallen on ears so deaf they may as well not exist.

          Shotgun Shuffle’s art is always amazing, but for those of us here for the story as well as the colossal…tracts of land…it’s a bit dismaying.

      2. If only he had the foresight to break it into three updates and put them together later. I believe he used to do that with extra long comics, but I could be misremembering.

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