Webcomic: Sticky Dilly Buns
Their names aren't Andrea or Richard, and he's gay.
"How can I possibly know more about being gay than a gay man? I've been in this house too long!!!"Sticky Dilly Buns
—Ruby (after approximately a week in the house)
is a webcomic created, written, and drawn by "Giz" (Gisèle Lagacé) and "Shouri" (María Victoria Robado), which started on January 7, 2013. The two main characters and some of the supporting cast come from Giz's earlier and still-running webcomic, Ménage à 3
, and both comics are set in Montreal
. Like its parent comic, Sticky Dilly Buns
has a sitcom
atmosphere with Slice of Life
elements and a degree of (comedy) explicitness about sex
— though maybe without quite so much Fanservice
. Although Ménage à 3
is explicitly rated R, Sticky Dilly Buns
hasn't shown anything really
NSFW yet — but there's been some quite explicit dialogue, some just
-off-screen intercourse (straight and gay), and some nudity reflected very small. Given its themes and some of its characters' careers, more may follow in the future — though Word of God
is that the lower level of explicitness makes selling advertizing on the site easier. The creators have noted
that the creative team is all female, and the comic may be slanted slightly more towards a female readership
than Ménage à 3
, although the difference may be subtle.
The title character of the comic is the (very, very) Camp Gay
aspiring actor Dillon O'Brien, and many of the early strips concern his romantic life, and especially his new relationship with his neighbor Jerzy. However, much of the drama in that period involves the second lead character, his room-mate and fellow actor, the ex-porn star
Amber LaRose, and the unexpected appearance of her younger sister Ruby, who moves into their apartment while searching for a job in the city. As they don't have a spare room, Ruby has to share Amber's room, putting a crimp in Amber's hope for a love life, which is already complicated by her difficulty in getting to know men outside of the porn business
. A bigger issue soon turns out to be Ruby's personality, which makes her difficult to live with — and the history which explains this attitude, and which can make the relationship between the two sisters quite soap-operatic
, as and when the writers choose to exploit this. (Ruby certainly isn't going to treat Amber as a Cool Big Sis
if she can help it.) Dillon also sets out to make friends with Ruby, although this gets a little weird a lot of the time
, leading Ruby to develop her capacity for snarkiness; they each seem to end up learning something from the other.
The first strip is here
Sticky Dilly Buns contains examples of:
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- Really Gets Around:
- Definitely part of Amber's past, and still part of Chanelle's present, if only for professional reasons. Amber is trying to live a little differently nowadays, having got out of the porn business and expressed a readiness to find one good man and stop there. However, she still enjoys sex a lot, and sees little reason to pass up opportunities; for example, she ends up in bed with Gary and Ray on consecutive nights. Her problem may be getting the hang of slowing down.
- Ménage à 3 had lines implying that this was Dillon's style too, but he seems to be more romantic and monogamous, if still flirtatious, these days. Assuming that he's not likely to carry through with those flirtations, of course.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: When they are together without Amber around, Dillon and Ruby tend to fall into a rough-and-ready, low-key version of this trope. Dillon, the red oni, is certainly an extrovert with the lust for life; Ruby, the blue oni (despite her name) is concerned with control and observance of authority, and is also more intellectual, proud, traditional, and definitely introverted, and is a mystery to Amber, although she is only intermittently respected.
- Right Through the Wall:
- A minor variant here — right through the apartment front door, in this case.
- On a later occasion, Ruby gets to hear more than she wants of Dillon and Jerzy's lovemaking.
- Ruby also complains about the sounds that Amber and Ray make together, though it actually happens between strips. Ruby is inherently doomed to suffer from this sort of thing a lot.
- (The thinness of the apartment's walls is actually mentioned in the next strip, to Ruby's momentary trepidation, as she's just been discussing topics that she finds embarrassing.)
- Roommate Com: Ruby's arrival makes this a three-roommate version. None of the lead characters is actually in a band, but they know someone who is.
- Saying Too Much: Ruby doesn't want to admit that she has a libido (and the stress of the denial is pretty clearly getting to her), but Dillon manages to draw her into discussion of the book of yaoi manga which she recently gave him. She soon lets slip enough to show that she has been reading it.
- Security Cling: Played for laughs — even within the comic — here.
- Sex Comedy: Dillon has sex with Jerzy while being an idiotic romantic about it, Amber wants sex but has difficulty finding opportunities, Ruby says she isn't interested in sex but keeps blundering into sexual situations...
- Sex Is Good: The general assumption of the comic, albeit with some complications and light and shade. Dillon is very happy when he gets into a sexual relationship; Amber and Chanelle are all in favor of sex (despite having worked in the porn business, which might conceivably make someone jaundiced or cynical on the subject), and Ruby seems to be uptight and unhappy in her prudishness. However, mishandled sexuality can have negative consequences in the setting; Amber's porn-tinged perceptions make it hard for her to manage relationships, Ruby was damaged by exposure to one of Amber's films, and Dillon is more than capable of messing up his relationships with bad decisions.
- Shirtless Scene: Most of the men are good-looking to borderline Mr. Fanservice levels, and the comic isn't averse to having them get their shirts off, with excuses ranging from drinks spillages through swimming pool visits to straightforward sex scenes. It even lampshades the ease of the shirt removal a little in strip #36 (May 13, 2013, marginally NSFW); "Now where did their shirts go!?!"
- Shout-Out: The coupling of "Matt" and "Dillon" is a rather arbitrary shout-out that carried over from the parent comic. However, nobody in the setting ever seems to notice the coincidence until Ruby, who seems to have a fondness for old television, lampshades it instantly.
- Shower of Awkward: A variant of this trope appears here, as characters who are used to sharing a shower blunder in on someone who isn't, assuming too much about why the shower should be running. It is, incidentally, a measure of how quickly Ruby is adapting to life in the apartment that she is merely angry at this, rather than incoherent with embarrassment. She's less brittle than she initially appeared.
- Shower Scene: Probably to be expected semi-regularly in this sort of comic. See Shower of Awkward above.
- Sibling Rivalry: This seems to be part of the background to the clash between Amber and Ruby, although the problem has gone some way beyond any simple rivalry between sisters. In fact, given the fairly substantial difference in their ages, they don't seem to have come into much conflict before Amber left home — although there have been small hints that Ruby may sometimes have deliberately reminded Amber that Ruby was smarter.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Amber — blonde, bisexually active, extrovert, long since left home — is contrasted with Ruby — dark, virginal, cerebral, emotionally tied to their parents. Ruby herself makes a point of emphasizing how different they are.
- Slapstick: This comic may be a little more prone to physical comedy than its parent; see, for example, this bit of bumbling from Andy.
- Sleep Cute: An extremely variant version; Dillon and Ruby occasionally end up sharing a bed, for various reasons, completely platonically. (Dillon really is very gay, as Ruby realises well enough to trust him.) On the first occasion, though, Ruby has a dream involving Dillon and Andy, and wakes up to find herself draped over and kissing Dillon. Neither of them likes this, and the situation has no feeling of romance whatsoever — but the sight of Ruby having an Erotic Dream shows both the readers and Dillon that her denial of any sexual feelings is pretty thin.
- Sorry, I'm Gay: The psychology of this trope is invoked when Ray pretends to be Dillon's boyfriend to save him from a girl who's trying to chat him up. The twist is that Ray doesn't know that Dillon really is gay.
- Stalker with a Crush: Angel's approach to Jerzy may not involve actual stalking, but is often seriously obsessive. Actually, Dillon's is arguably as bad, if subtler, and does involve an incident of actual stalking.
- Super-Deformed: The comic occasionally shows its manga influences by featuring "chibi" versions of its cast in fantastical or very comedic panels — as here, for example.
- Tempting Fate: Jerzy, desperate to cheer Angel up, says that Zii's band aren't much good. As they're standing in the middle of an audience which is already going wild for that band, this isn't so much tempting fate as sheer desperation.
- Too Much Information: Pretty much any scene involving Ruby can end with her learning more than she wanted to know — especially if Amber's private life is involved (Amber is her sister, after all), though anything involving gay sex is also well out of her comfort zone. As she puts it, hanging around with Dillon and Amber "is like tuning my TV to the 'Uncomfortable Realizations Channel,' 24-7".
- Transparent Closet: Back in his time in Ménage à 3, Dillon had a relationship with Nathan (who eventually signed over the apartment to Dillon and Amber in exchange for a threesome of sorts with the two of them). Despite repeatedly having sex with Dillon, Nathan insists that he isn't gay, just a straight man "on the down low." Dillon, being Dillon, believes him, until Ruby explains how nonsensical that is.
- Two Decades Behind: Pretty Boyz with Electric Toyz appears to be made up of twenty-something musicians, but their primary stylistic reference seems to to be '70s Glam Rock. Perhaps they just have slightly retro tastes. Then there's Ruby, who's in her early 20s — but whose television references are things like Three's Company, Magnum, P.I., Columbo, and Kojak. Okay, she doesn't get out much in the evenings, but stays home watching reruns — but still... One might guess that the writers may be older than their characters.
- Wall of Text: Mostly, this comic avoids large speech balloons; it's driven more by the art than by intense use of dialogue. Hence, Ruby's unleashing of a wall-of-text speech bubble here works as a deliberate bit of comedy and characterization.
- What the Hell, Hero?: A small moment but well deserved on Dillon's part. He comes up with a scheme to drag Ruby along (while wearing drag) to spy on Jerzy during a concert to see if he is faithful, despite the fact that A) They haven't been together long, B) Dillon has said several times that they are only casually dating, and C) he himself has hit on several different guys. Jerzy proves that he is committed, despite Angel bringing up overwhelming evidence against Dillon. Dillon ends up feeling (rightfully) guilty, while Ruby takes a jab at him. Unfortunately, the lesson doesn't seem to stick.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Dillon mostly drags up for theatrical purposes, or as a disguise when spying on people, rather than because of any sort of kink — although there are hints of sexual games at times. (Dillon's actions can never be assumed to be 100% "wholesome".) Ruby's evening passing as "Rudy" is purely for purposes of disguise, although it leads to some comedic complications.
- Wig, Dress, Accent: Used somewhat parodically by Ruby when Dillon inveigles her into a scheme that requires she be disguised in front of some people who know her. Given that she doesn't seem likely to have much talent for acting, she's probably wise to adopt a heavy prop-based disguise.
- Wild Teen Party: Alluded to somewhat by Ruby when she mentions how she first found out about Amber's porn career. As this involved a bunch of teenage boys showing what turned out to be one of Amber's films, this wasn't the most enjoyable of parties from Ruby's point of view. Word of God is that this happened when she was about 14.
- With Friends Like These...: Dillon tries to make friends with Ruby, because that's the kind of "cute" thing he does, and does give her some good advice on dressing for success, as well as helping her in other small ways from time to time. However, he keeps trying to organize her some kind of romantic life despite her saying that she doesn't want one, throws tantrums when she tries to keep him at a distance, and confuses her so badly with his flirtatious-gay antics that at one point she nearly drowns in a swimming pool. The "friendship" thus tends to be a mixed blessing from her point of view. He, though, is too ditzy to accept that there may be problems, and throws one of those tantrums if she does get through to him at all.
- Word Salad Title: "Sticky Dilly Buns" is usually assumed to refer to Dillon's butt in some way, but nobody seems to know for sure. Frankly, this verges on being a Word Puree Title.
- Yaoi Genre:
- The comic isn't full-on yaoi, but it can be considered a lightweight western version, with Dillon and his crush of the moment as the Yaoi Guys.
- The concept is also invoked within the comic here, and Ruby goes on to develop an overt interest in yaoi (starting by sneaking a look at Dillon's collection), despite some feeble attempts at denial.
- You Are Grounded: Parodically invoked by Ruby here, when she gets annoyed by something Amber does and flips into pseudo-parental mode.
- You Need to Get Laid: Something of a recurrent (if not fully stated) theme of the comic:
- Zany Scheme: Dillon is prone to zany thinking. Showing up at a concert in disguise — with Ruby, also disguised (and both of them cross-dressing) — to check on Jerzy's fidelity is notably over the edge. As zany schemes are want to do, it backfires — twice, in fact, first when Jerzy proves his faithfullness while Angel exposes Dillon's flirtatious nature, and second and much worse when Dillon loses the plot in a fit of temper.