Shortpacked! Packing It In

By David Willis

I was introduced to David Willis' Walkyverse a few years back through Shortpacked!'s Batman jokes (it was Batman can breathe in space, specifically). The longer I read, the more I realised that I was missing something, and spent far too much of the following couple weeks reading the complete backlog of strips, beginning with Roomies, It's Walky and Joyce and Walky. Caught up on the Head Alien, Robin and the whole complex backstory, I can honestly say that for the last eight years or so, Shortpacked! has been my favourite webcomic. It was originally meant to be mostly one-off jokes about Batman and Transformers, and turned into a continuity heavy, plot driven emotional roller coaster. So it is with equal degrees of sadness and contentment that last Friday, Willis announced that one year from now, Shortpacked! will cease to be. It will be no more. It will become a former webcomic. Says Willis:
"I’m in a place that Shortpacked! can end whenever.  It’s finally unnecessary, except for those times I have to yell at MRAs. Ultimately I’ve decided it will end on its tenth birthday, mostly because I really really like round number anniversaries and I’ve never done any single thing for a full decade before."
I didn't obviously realise it at the time, but it's felt like it has been ending for a while. Which was Willis' intention:
"I didn’t want to leave my characters hanging, so starting in 2010 I immediately started wrapping things up one by one. I gave Amber closure with her father. I gave Amber and Mike a happy ending together. I got Robin and Leslie back together (as was always the plan). I got Ethan the hell away from retail."
Willis earns himself several points for this decision. First, he's doing it so he's not creatively or physically strained when he and his wife start having children. Second, he's being a responsible writer and bringing a massive shared universe to a gentle and organic conclusion rather just abandoning it. And third, he will focus all of his comic-ing energies entirely on Dumbing of Age, his alternate universe spin-off/reboot which has been just fantastic since it launched a few years ago.

So yes, my daily routine will be a little less joyful without Shortpacked!, but as a writer I appreciate the instinct to stop telling a story at a certain point.

Via David Willis.

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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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