|First Appearance:|| Shortpacked! 17 January 2005|
|Relatives:|| Saul Siegal (father), Naomi Siegal (mother)|
A failed stand-up comedian, Ethan has settled for working retail. Amazingly, retail has not broken him yet. He still has that shimmer of hope for the future and his fellow man. Whether this is due to the strength of his resolve or just plain old ordinary denial depends on your personal level of cynicism.
He holds a personal belief that Batman is comedy gold, and can make any situation more funny. He's also a big Transformers fan, and devotes enough time to the related wiki to have gotten into a fight with David Willis over it. He has been known to spend large amounts of time (and money) searching for new toys, often following elaborate routes which are planned well in advance.
| Spoiler warning!|
Plot and/or ending details follow.
In 2002, Ethan was trying and failing to making a living in San Francisco as a comic peddling Batman-related jokes. During this time, he first met Amber O'Malley, who'd been moved into his apartment building by her mother in an effort to get Amber away from her abusive father, Blaine. After overhearing Amber crying, Ethan attempted to introduce himself. The two struck up something approaching a friendship, despite Amber's antisocial tendencies and Ethan's rabid toy-collecting.
One night, an increasingly guilt-stricken Amber decided to call her father, who wasted no time in retrieving her from her apartment. Shortly thereafter, Ethan received a call from Amber's mother, who told her the full story behind Blaine, including the fact that there currently was a warrant out for his arrest. Ethan pursued and confronted Blaine, and got slugged for his troubles before the cops finally rolled in.
Afterwards, Ethan decided to act as Amber's guardian, introducing her to the joys of toy collecting. During this time, he also began working at Shortpacked!, realizing that his stand-up career was going nowhere fast. One night, Amber came into his bed seeking comfort, and the two wound up having sex. Afterwards, a highly conflicted Ethan put his foot down, informing Amber that they were not in a relationship. To make up for it, he got her a job at the toy store.
Early Days at Shortpacked!
Ethan's retail career got off to an unimpressive start, as he spent most of his working days complaining about various things (particularly his fellow toy fans). The introduction of Consumer Protection Rackets to the store did not help matters, as he objected to the program on ethical grounds and was thus reluctant to sell CPRs to customers.When Ethan bought a poster featuring G.I. Joe and Transformers characters, he found himself unable to sleep because he was intimidated by Roadblock's stare. (He later began to appear well-rested again, implying that the situation was resolved, but the solution was never explained. Indeed, the poster was later seen still on the wall next to his bed.)
Not much later, new hire Robin began actively pursuing a romantic relationship with Ethan. She was not successful, even after she switched her efforts towards making Ethan look bad by becoming a model employee.
The arrival of Faz during the holiday season was the first major threat to Ethan's career. Thanks to Faz's unethical methods and manipulation of Galasso, as well as his own failure to sell CPRs, Ethan found himself in poor standing when the manager wanted to fire an employee. Fortunately for Ethan, Amber had forged the sales records, and Sydney was fired instead.
When the Drama Tag's effects were first seen, Ethan helped forcibly remove Blaine from the store, then consoled Amber. Ethan's second period of sleep deprivation came when he discovered a Transformers wiki. He edited pages obsessively, and eventually got into a dispute with David Willis over the Primus article, which ultimately led to a fight. While Robin's attempt to stop them failed (because she neglected to write "OPTIMUS PRIME" on the chest of her Hero Optimus Prime costume, causing it to become a Sureshot costume instead), the fight was eventually broken up by Maggie, who had accompanied Willis to Shortpacked!.
The Second Eaton
Ethan's work and love life collided when Galasso offered him a promotion in exchange for having sex with Conquest (with the intention of getting her pregnant). Upset over this, Robin accidentally triggered an epiphany in Ethan, causing him to realize that he was gay. Robin later used this information to blackmail him into a date. Robin would go on to manipulate Ethan more subtly into kissing her by insisting that she'd turned lesbian and was dating Leslie Bean, knowing that Ethan, who has a great need to be right, would challenge her.
When Galasso revealed the Tome of the Ages, Ethan suddenly found himself in a position of great power as the "Second Eaton." However, when Galasso asked him again to impregnate Conquest, he revealed that he was gay and was promptly fired. After a few months of unemployment (during which he swears he was this close to getting another job), he found himself back in the employ of Galasso and Shortpacked! once the Tome of Ages scheme fell through.
Anti-Ethan and ThadGalasso became increasingly irritated by Ethan's surly attitude towards the store's... special clientele. Robin decided to help him out by slapping a shit-load of bumper stickers on the back of his car, turning him into some kind of Anti-Ethan. This decreased his IQ to dangerous levels, but also caused customers to suddenly like him. This state of affairs could not last and indeed, a very jealous Ultra Car removed them with acetone, thus changing him back to normal.
When he was grieving to Robin about his new ego vanishing, a lone customer came up to him and told him off, which gave Robin the idea of hooking the two of them up. In a typical fashion, Robin confronted Ethan's would-be paramour and performed the ultimate test of gayness: asking if he wanted to see some boobs. After some initial confusion, she was able to confirm that he was totally into man-lovin'. Despite his initial reservations, Ethan gradually became good friends with Thad, developing feelings for him as well.
After eagerly anticipating Transformers BotCon 2007 (and badgering Galasso for time off), Ethan nearly missed out on the event due to a burst appendix. He did eventually did make it to the convention by sheer force of will (albeit still in his hospital gown), along with Walky, Joe, David Willis, and Maggie.
In 2008, Ethan took advantage of the lull in sales to visit his family in Phoenix. True to form, he apparently spent most of the vacation touring the local big box retailers. Upon returning, he decided to confess his feelings to Thad. However, it turned out that Thad was already totally bangin' Ethan's counterpart at McAwesome's Parasailing and Chocolate Bakery, Evan. Thad later admitted that he couldn't be on about toys 24/7 the way Ethan was, but hoped the two could remain friends.Ethan chose to drown his sorrows in alcohol. He was soon joined by Amber, who'd just dumped her internet boyfriend, Nathan, after he grew a pedostache and admitted to unironically loving Carlos Mencia. After getting blackout drunk, they woke up naked in bed at the local Lambada Inn... with Mike. Ethan was somewhat less fazed than Amber by this turn of events.
It later turned out that Mike had taken Robin's demands for wacky summer shenanigans to their terrible, logical endpoint and seduced both of them simultaneously (with some fill-in from Faz). This also led both Amber and Ethan to start lusting after Mike.
Coup D'Etat and Aftermath
After a catastrophic Black Friday, Galasso announced that he was firing the entire Shortpacked! team. The employees responded by revolting, locking Galasso up in the store's stockroom and putting Ethan in charge. Ethan was initially able to keep things run surprisingly well, nudging the store back into profitability despite an attack from the Axis of Something. But when Duncan confronted him about his decision to keep the increasingly unstable Galasso imprisoned, Ethan suffered a heroic Blue Screen of Death that temporarily shut the strip down. When things booted back up, he discovered he was locked in the manager's tower.
Robin proposed to fill this new power vacuum with a good, old-fashioned clothes-ripping all-hands brawl. Unfortunately, Galasso was able to escape in the general melee and finally made good on his threat of canning the store team.
This time, unemployment was relatively short, as Leslie managed to convinced Galasso to re-hire everybody for the all-new, all-improved Shortpacked! store. Around this time, the arrival of new hire Jacob, a Marvel fan, gave DC fanboy Ethan entirely new opportunities to get into pissy nerdfights.
Drew and Manny
One night, Ethan decided it was time to return to his routes and seized the stage at a local comedy club to deliver an impromptu stand-up set (with Batman jokes, naturally). He found an appreciative audience, but none more so than Manny, a good-natured heckler who asked Ethan for his phone number. Following the show, Ethan and Manny got to talking, and would have gone out for coffee if not for a harebrained Robin scheme involving a Walmart Prostitute.
In an effort to get Ethan back into circulation, Robin and Leslie not-so-secretly set him up with an online dating profile. After weeding out potential suitors, they landed on Drew, a self-professed bisexual geek with a strong resemblance to Gail Simone's Catman. Their relationship initially went well (at least if all the superhero dress-up sex games were any indicator), but over time Drew became more and more vocal about his issues with Ethan's obsessive toy collecting.
Ethan initially attempted to pare down his habit, but eventually snapped, accusing Drew of trying to change a fundamental part of who he was. Drew responded by suggesting that they take some time apart. Sometime thereafter, Ethan reconnected with Manny at a stand-up gig, and the two started formally dating.
With increasing success as a comedian, Ethan eventually made the decision to quit his retail job at Shortpacked! and pursue his stand-up career in earnest. He's currently living with Manny, a domestic bliss that was only slightly interrupted when Robin and Leslie showed up out of the blue asking for sperm samples.
- According to David Willis, Ethan wasn't originally conceived as gay. This character trait was added about a month into Shortpacked! - partially to avoid a will-they/won't-they situation between him and Amber, and partially because a gay main character represented a new and exciting writing challenge.
- Is going prematurely gray, something that has been reflected in his appearances over time.
- His TFWiki username is EthanBats.
- Known as "El Ethan" in Spanish.
- Ethan has been known to harbor romantic feelings towards members of the cast of The Daily Show, particularly Rob Corddry.
Dumbing of AgeEdit
|First Appearance:|| Dumbing of Age 25 November 2010|
|Likes:|| Transformers, comic books, robots, video games. Oh, and dudes.|
|Relatives:||Saul Siegal (father), Naomi Siegal (mother)|
Ethan’s nice and well-meaning, but kind of a pushover. Though he won’t come out and say it, he’s excited to go to a big college where there will be more outted gay dudes than at his high school. Because, you know, he’s gay. And not just for Batman.
| Spoiler warning!|
Plot and/or ending details follow.
Ethan was Amber O'Malley's best friend growing up, and acted as her "interpreter" to the outside world. The two were in the school band together, although Ethan didn't really make much of a musical contribution.
Amber carried a significant torch for Ethan throughout high school; the two went to prom together, and attempted to have sex afterwards, but Ethan seems to have encountered some... performance issues, leading the two of them to realize he was actually gay. Amber subsequently helped Ethan come out to his parents, but her unrequited affections eventually drove a wedge between them.
He also knew Mike Warner growing up, and knew him well enough not to room with him in college. This may be one of the few good decisions Ethan has made to date.
Uphill From Here
Ethan and Mike forcibly tear Amber away from her computer so the three of them get lunch. Amber takes this less than graciously.
The Bechdel Test
Ethan, Mike, and Amber share an awkward lunch together. Later in the day, Ethan has a meet-cute with Joyce Brown on the elevator, leading Joyce to immediately develop an obsessive crush on him.
Ethan and Mike stop by Amber's room in the late afternoon. She blows them off in favor of WoW, having accidentally slept through a scheduled guildmeet earlier in the day after her roommate, Dina, got dragged off to the beach.
Choosing My Religion
Ethan admits to Mike that he's depressed about his situation. Mike suggests that he should have just stayed in closet, telling him, "Sure, you'd be living a lie and having unfulfilling sex, but you wouldn't be living this miserable, isolated existence with some blond asshole as your only friend."
Taking this blatantly terrible advice to heart, Ethan agrees to go to church with Joyce, actually flabbergasting Mike in the process.
Time Keeps On Slippin'
Ethan decides to introduce his new girlfriend to the wonders of secular cartoons, albeit under the watchful eyes of Joyce's roommate Sarah Clinton. To nobody's surprise (least of all Sarah's), he's a perfect gentleman.
Joyce and Ethan finally go to church together, spurring Joyce to call up her best friend Becky MacIntyre to brag about it. On the way back, Mike asks Joyce how she feels about homosexuality because, you know, Mike. When she responds that it's ultimately no worse than lying, Mike follows up by asking how she feels about lying. (Spoiler alert: she's no fan.)
Later that night, Joyce has an extremely vivid and surreal sex dream about Ethan, one that rapidly spirals into an out-and-out nightmare.
If The Shoe Splits
In the cafeteria, Ethan informs Amber that he's in a relationship now, but runs off before she can pry any deeper. He and Joyce get together to watch cartoons again later that evening.
Guess Who's Coming to Galasso's
Ethan and Joyce go to Galasso's on a double date with Dorothy Keener and David Walkerton. They share their first kiss after Joyce gets jealous of Dorothy's affections for Walky, though Joyce subsequently flees to the bathroom, wracked with guilt and embarrassment over the incident. Things are further complicated by the arrival of Amber, who hauls Ethan outside and demands that he stop stringing Joyce along.
Ethan later confesses to Joyce that he is gay, but to his surprise, Joyce decides not to break up with him; to her, a boyfriend who isn't interested in her sexually is about as perfect a relationship as she could hope for.
Answers in Hennessy
Inspired by Danny Wilcox, Ethan gets a new haircut. Later on, he comforts a morally conflicted Joyce by introducing her to Dexter and Monkey Master, which she proclaims to be the most perfect thing she's ever seen.
Just Hangin' Out With My Family
During Freshman Family Weekend, Ethan informs his parents that he's now dating a girl. His parents tell him to "fuck her brains out," reasoning that Ethan might actually start getting into sex with women if he just does it often enough. Making things more awkward, Ethan starts crushing on Joyce's older brother, only to discover that she's actually deeply closeted pre-transition transgender.
The Only Dope For Me Is You
After joining Joyce at church, Ethan is confronted by Amber, who is livid that Ethan and Joyce are still together. When Ethan explains that Joyce accepts him for who he is and that he's happy in their relationship, Amber has a nervous breakdown and flees the cafeteria.
I Was a Teenage Churchmouse
Ethan is somewhat disturbed to find Joyce styling herself to look more like Amber, and even more disturbed when she offers to put on a strap-on. (Although not as disturbed as Joyce will be when she finally gets around to googling that word.) Later, he's confronted by Amber, who climbs in through his dorm room window to alert him that a figure from their past has resurfaced on campus.
Up All Night to Get Vengeance
Over the course of an elevator ride, Ethan bonds with Danny over Amber's Amazi-Girl antics. He and Joyce also have an extremely awkward argument about gender identity, during which a hormonal Joyce repeatedly tries to cajole him into making out. After giving her a lecture about avoiding temptation, Ethan runs smack-dab into a mostly naked Jacob wearing a new pair of glasses.
The Whiteboard Dingdong Bandit
Ethan and Danny go off to get comic books, but Danny's banter quickly takes on a decidedly flirty edge. Things go from awkward to awkward after Carla nearly mows Danny down. In an effort to get the other boy out of harm's way, Ethan ends up putting them into a highly suggestive manga-esque sprawl instead. Despite his obvious reaction, a flustered (and aroused) Danny denies being gay. (Not technically a lie.)
- His favorite Transformer is Chromedome, at least based on the amount of time Ethan spends rambling about him.
- Probably coincidentally shares a name with a prominent science blogger