The question has stumped great philosophers throughout the ages: why do fools fall in love. . . with people who want absolutely nothing to do with them?
A 34-year-old Internet comic book creator thinks she has the answer. But, she had to rewrite some mythology first.
Learn all about it at www.dipuc.com, launched in May by Phoenix native Jill Reger. This summer and fall, Reger will park her black Jaguar in college towns nationwide, including Tempe, Tucson and Flagstaff, to promote Dipuc, the party girl antithesis to Cupid.
Where Cupid slings arrows, Dipuc (Cupid spelled backward) wields a crowbar and mallet -- to pry futilely smitten peoples heads out of the clouds and knock some sense into them.
Each week, dipuc.com updates the animated adventures of the heroine and takes a humorous look at love, dating and relationships. Visitors to the site can submit stories of their worst dates, most gleeful revenge tactics and best practical jokes.
They can also post profiles of wackos theyve dated for the :"Pyscho of the Week" contest.
"Its a way to get a little closure and vent and share with everybody else -- and find out youre in the same boat with everybody else," said Bill Windish, a Chandler resident whose company, Gecko Grafix, developed the Web site.
Selected tales of woe will be written into Dipuc episodes. Each month, the best anecdote -- along with the person who told it - will be drawn into an exclusive sidebar comic called "Backstage With the Band." Only that person will know the code to enter the comic, though he can sneak in friends.
Reger said the interactive site offers "equal gender bashing . . . everyone is fair game."
Reger dreamed up Dipuc a year ago, when she spent a summer penning ruminations for a book she titled, "Deep Thoughts or the Brain Vomit of the Melodramatic." One of her regurgitations: in flailing relationships, one partner usually arrives at a moment of clarity. "Its when you say, What the heck was I thinking?" Reger said. "This guy or girl has been cheating on me, the evidence is there, why did it take me so long to see it."
Dipuc initiates that moment of clarity. According to Regers revised Roman mythology, Dipuc is Cupids long-lost twin. She fights to right the wrongs of her sadistic brother, who takes great delight in shooting arrows at just one person, then watching his victim drown in teary pools of unrequited love.
In March, Reger quit her commercial photography business to assemble a Dipuc production team. She writes the story lines; Maine resident Jane desGrosseilliers draws the characters.
"Im not an Internet business," Reger said. "Im trying to get a following for my character and cartoon. My goal is to put together a plan for TV animation."
One of the cartoons followers is 34-year-old Susan Berkman, a Kenmore, Wash., mom of two. "Even though Ive been married almost 11 years, I can still remember some of the horrible --yet somehow funny -- experiences I had, and I enjoy reading about the adventures of others," Berkman said.
On the college circuit, Reger will wear her custom red leather Dipuc outfit and pass out information cards. She looks forward to Aug. 14 "Dipuc Day" when she encourages singles and couples to celebrate independence, not codependence. Its a day to enjoy friends, laugh at each others dating mistakes and laugh at ourselves for all the foolish things weve done for love.
Want to get a head start laughing at Reger?
In college, she kidnapped a guy who shared a "flirting" relationship with her. She dropped off a handcuff key at a bar, then went to the guys workplace, and handcuffed him to her. She told him he had to go to the bar with her to get the key.
Bold. Lever. Romantic. Except the guy turned out to have a long distance girlfriend.
"I blame it on Cupid," Reger said. "Its not my fault he hit me and not him."
Tribune writer Amanda Kingsbury can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (480) 898-6498