Tomorrow is Valentine’s day and love is in the air. Love doesn’t really play that much into Uptown Girl’s comic but a few years ago I did a small story about Ruby and her boyfriend, Jumpin’ Jack Flash.
Jack first appeared in issue 37 of the mini comic series.
They hit it off right away. Jack had ambitions to play basketball in college but gave up on his dreams after a setback. Ruby was very much like myself, ambitious and dedicated to her art. She was hesitant to date anyone because she wanted to focus on her career. But despite that, they went on a few dates and their relationship really started to grow.
Up to this point the status quo was almost always restored by the end of the issue. But I was in the middle of a big storyline that changed a lot in Uptown Girl’s world so I thought it was a good opportunity to let their relationship play out.
When this issue ended, a lot of readers wrote to me that they were surprised that there seemed to be a new main cast member. They liked Jack, but weren’t sure about another person along in the trio’s adventures. But liked myself, people hung around to see how Ruby and Jack’s romance grew.
As much as an adjustment for the readers, adding someone new to the mix was also an adjustment to Uptown Girl herself. Since Uptown Girl is Ruby’s best friend, it’s natural for her to be concerned about her friend’s new boyfriend. Early on she started to have doubts about him.
After a few issues, Jack started to become…well, annoying. His lack of ambition was there from the start, but he also has this stupid little laugh as demonstrated above. In issue 40 we start to see the cracks in his and Ruby’s relationship. It was a natural progression. Jack’s lack of ambition carried over from his basketball career to his relationship with Ruby. Simply put, he wasn’t trying anymore and was too self absorbed to notice Ruby’s hurt feelings.
It was never my intention for Jack and Ruby to date for very long, but their dissolution of their relationship was happening faster than I expected. The characters contrasted each other quite a bit so it felt very natural to write. Readers also grew to hate him, which made me happy. They liked him at first because of how he treated Ruby, but started to hate him for the same reason.
So, in issue 43, months earlier than I expected, Ruby dumped him.
The saga of Ruby and Jack ended with the restoration of the status quo like all previous issues of ‘Uptown Girl’.
When I thought up this story line, I intended to go until Valentine’s Day and have them break up then, but they dated for about 5 months until they were splitsville. Ruby is pretty insecure and it was interesting to see her go through something like this especially when most of the time she’s pretty tough and independent. I’m glad readers grew to hate Jack since it’s what I was going for from the start. I don’t know what I would have done if people liked him.
So, uh, happy Valentine’s Day. This was pretty much the only love, or love lost story I did with Uptown Girl and her friends. Well, I suppose there was the dates Uptown Girl had with Magic Man and…uh, that guy in issue 27 and Rocketman’s girlfriend who moved to Canada before anyone else could meet her. But those stories will have to wait until future Valentine’s days.