Big players in the 1996 strips about the budding romance of Gene and Ruth were Ruth’s parents, especially her mother. Her name is “Jade.” Actually, her name was never mentioned; I just made the name “Jade” up. But I’m the cartoonist, so “Jade” it will be. Ruth’s father was, of course, the other parent. His role was there from the beginning, too, but as the ex-husband of Jade his was mostly an off-screen presence. Readers liked Ruth, and I did, too. Don’t you find it strange that with the ease and extent of social interaction these days she has never turned up? I do.