This one gave my wife nightmares.
…I’M NOT SURPRISED, that smile is smurfin’ CREEPY!
Because of you I shall use the word(?) Smurfin’ 6 times today!
Plus he’s tasting his own blood…my god
…This is awesome.
(And it’s probably very, very wrong that I think so. But even so. And what’s weird about tasting your own blood when injured? The grin, though. That grin is creepy.)
Theres nothing in your own blood that will harm you, and it doesn’t look like he carries a hankey so wiping off his blood in his mouth is not that unusual.
Her apology would have ruined it for me, personally. Can’t abide when folks don’t stick by their decision to resort to violence.
I would like to see you punch mike in the face and not try to apologise. I am sure that normally he would beat the shit out of someone for doing that.
It seems more like its a deep rooted reaction for her to be apologetic, if you recall the early strips when her dad showed up
It’s MIKE. He will do ANYTHING to make you as uncomfortable as possible; yes, even you, o webcomic-reader.
That’s the part that freaks you out? I do that whenever I get a cut
Same here, I see nothing wrong with that ( ‘-’)
I am sorry to inform you that i find it incredibly sexy.
I might have issues.
I remember that guest strip where the crew was done as McFarlane toys, and Mike still looked the same, and Ethan commented that “even McFarlane can’t make a more twisted version of you!”
Well, Ethan was wrong D:
Dead wrong. I need to go check the cupboard for Mike now just in case he’ll murder me in the iddle of the night.
He won’t murder you, just punch you untill punching you gives back more blood then you have left.
Mike is really scary when he smiles and I am going to say that every time he does smile a baby in some place cries or a little cute puppy dies
…so, Mike moonlights as Seto “Screw The Rules I Have Money” Kaiba from Yugioh Abridged?
If that were true he’d do it all the time.
I have a horrible memory, and do not recall this guest strip. how might i see it?
Also, Abrovic, what is your avatar? I recognize it, and can’t place it. It’s bugging me horribly
Abrovic’s avatar is from, uh, a story about… um… crop circles. Yeah, crop circles.
I love crop circles
Well, stop trying to fire the Bird Missles all the time. They’re expensive.
If they didn’t want the Bird Missiles to be fired, they shouldn’t have put the button behind glass that is so easily shattered.
…That smile will haunt my dreams. But I’m still not sure if it will be my nightmares, or my fantasies. o___o
Whoa, that is absolutely terrifying.
I…I can’t decide which panel is the creepiest.
The violence in this one felt a little too real.
…that’s kind of hot.
You are one of my favorite people.
I agree, the last couple of strips have really amped up the sexy factor for these two, IMO.
The more screwed up the better?
…yeah, it really is.
*counts* Er, fourthed? Unless you count the above as Mr. Willis agreeing with you, in which case fifthed.
At any rate… hey, internet, is there fanfic yet?
mike has finally found a girl that will stand up to him !!
everybody fears mike, even the people who think they don’t fear mike – fear mike – they just have not considered it well enough.
amber forgot her fear just for a moment, but that moment was enough (for mike and for amber to be able to punch mike). however, right after pasting mike, her fear of mike increased exponentially, evidenced by her next words, actions and posture.
i am sure somebody further on in this strips comments section will say something similar.
I concur. Everyone talks about how Mike is “asshole this” “inhuman that” but to me every creepy/dick thing he’s ever done has been pure sex.
Exactly! I have had a crush on Mike (and danny) since Roomies!, he is just soo hot. (funnily enough I ship Joe/Danny and Mike/Everyone who stands still long enough)
Very much so.
LOL contrary to everyone else. i think i was expecting this. I laughed when i saw this smirk cross Mikes’ face!
Mike is Zsasz.
I was expecting some mildly horrifying domestic violence, but the mind*** continuing works too.
Um… I kinda thought the previous comic fell under the “mildly horrifying domestic violence” category already.
Silly, domestic violence isn’t when a woman hits a man! That’s called comedy!
So am I
um… o_o;;; BDSM?
Nope, just Mike.
Mikey likes it rough. Why am I not surprised?
All I hear is the chorus from the throne room scene in Return of the Jedi.
Wooaaaaaa aahhhh ahhhhh, woaaaahhh ahhh ahhh, woaaaah aahhhh aahhh aahhhh aahhhhhhhh ahhhhhhhhhh.
You, like your father, are now…mine.
Shouldn’t that be ‘you, like your mom’? On account of Mike has always screwed the mother of the person he’s talking to? Always?
True, but don’t you think discovering your boyfriend had once been (or was currently!) your abusive father’s lover would be far more devastating?
Not that I’m speaking from experience, of course.
It has a certain ring to it.
“You, like your mom, are now… mine. For a nickel.”
Their relationship is twisted but I can’t help but love it. Amber/Mike strips totally make my day. Is that wrong?
It’s so wrong it’s right!
Expected and excellent.
So suitable for their relationship.
Well, this is going to be good.
Also, if Mike haunts my dreams, making me lose sleep, eventually leading to me being fired from my job, can I sue you?
…I’m not sure if Mike just broke Amber, or fixed her…
Granted, ‘broke’ and ‘fixed’ may be the same thing from Mike’s point of view.
Wait. Okay. Fairly new reader here, but does this mean that Mike actually *does* like Amber then? “Smile” for Dina = Love, therefore a “Smile” (though terrifying) for Amber also = Love?
I think Mike was waiting and waiting and waiting for someone to finally come to blows with him, that it was Amber has made it that much sweeter.
I think he now has some sort of love/hate, sadomasochistic, self-loathing relationship with Amber, and he is my new favorite SP character because of it.
I think he’s decided to destroy her with love; both his and hers.
Oh… my… goodness… That smirk. That smirk is so horrible. And yet so amazing. Horribmazing.
Cool. I can’t tell if he’s happy ’cause he got her to hit him in a creepy way, or in a twistedly caring way. Huh.
& anyone else get an inexplicable It’s Walky! feeling from this one? Cause I do.
I am like 97% certain Amber and Mike are now officially caught in a bad romance.
Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out in a toy gag strip.
… Darn you.
*wanders off, singing quietly* Rah rah ah ah ah…
Argh, ditto! Lol! Oh well. I’ve got nothing against Lady GaGa, but it’s better to just think about the “Smile From The Trenches” punk-metal version instead…
As for the comic – Wow! So much going on and soooo-oooo many questions that this whole thing is going to/has pose/d! Willis: GREAT JOB! You’ve really hit your stride, bub. Which means one of three things; a) someone dies (either a suicide or “accidental” death), 2) ??? or drei) We all get mindfunked when a *NEW* Drama Tag gets put back into the Store Plot Slot by The Big Cheese and this whole comic is now relegated to a “St. Elsewhere.” and the universe is filled with a resounding “DAMN YOU WILLIS!”
I think I’ve got it. He did love Dina, and he did feel the total enormity of the guilt of her death. However, he buried it, as he always did. It wasn’t until Robin socked him just now that he found a way to deal with it: the masochism of the self-condemned.
Or perhaps it isn’t Mike – and never was…
Amber, not Robin. At least I’m pretty sure that’s not Robin wearing a disguise…
That is an interesting theory, especially considering Amber’s situation. She’s had one shell or another up around herself even before the relationship began. Now she’s dropped it all… in striking Mike she’s stripped of everything. The blackmail, the anger, all the issues bubbling to the surface in a moment of pure, raw vulnerability and then sheer terror–especially since she knows what this man can do, both physically and psychologically. Mike could easily have ground her to paste or crushed her soul in this moment when she is utterly defenseless in body and mind.
But now that he has complete control over the situation once again… he says he loves her. Interesting…
Ambers defences were compleatly down and mike has now gained control over amber physicaly and psycologicly by using the 2 things that she was never expecting in her super turtle on its back surrounded by carnivorise birds kind of vunerable. a smile that would freeze hell over and burn down heavin and the i love you that not only made him compleatly out of character but made it so he is now more powerful than a god.
I agree with the concept that it isn’t Mike. He did, you know die. Utterly, completely destroyed. I hope we will be recieving an explanation for how Mike was revived, if in fact this is the original Mike.
My theory is that he did what I would have done were I him: Upon learning of the martian resurrection machine, set aside a vial of my own blood in a safe place off-site, and leave a note (marked “In case Mike dies”) where someone would inevitably find it, detailing the location of said vial.
And then, if you try and use it, the vial superheats and evaporates the blood, so Mike could piss off the people who wanted him alive again.
Yeah, I need to go look at something completely unsexy now or tonight’s dreams will be weird as frick. Being-chased-by-scarabs-while-wearing-edible-undies weird.
I think that finally Mike and Amber are on equal footing. She’s stopped taking his crap just to be ‘loved’.
Here’s hoping she stops being selfish and manipulative about it, too, while we’re talking about equal footing.
Given that Amber expected to get hit back (and knows how that would have ended), I’m pretty sure it’s still advantage Mike.
Damn, that’s both demonic and somehow fulfilling. Mike got what he wanted, and he really needs to use that smile more to frighten children and assholes.
This gives me an idea for a sketch request this weekend…
What kind of face would you call that? I see it and immediately just think of “rape face.” Which makes the little kiss after it just screw with my head in many ways.
I don’t think it’s rape face (that’s, uh, not the face I associate with it, anyhow) so much as Evil D/s Game Face.
I guess Mike finally broke her.
Goddammit, I was drinking a beer when I read this strip.
God fucking damn it.
I love this. Mike/Amber is fantastic, in a sick and twisted way.
That’s not… not terrifying at all… really.
Nightmares? Ha ha ha shifty eyes don’t be silly.
Am-i the only one feeling he’s happy because that give him moral leverage on her now that she physically abused him? She’s very likely to go overguilt about it because of her father and it will give HIM even more leverage on her, there’S this whole big sickening cycle of very unhealthy powerbattle in that couple.
That last panel with him saying i love you is even more twisted because she don’t get punished or anything, so it’s going to give her even more guilt.
Maybe i see too much into this too, it’s 2am and i should be in bed :U
I think I like Amber/Mike specifically for the power-battle between them. I’ve honestly been ambivalent about these two but this strip just made me like them and genuinely want to see what happens next.
IS IT FRIDAY YET?
Mike is F’ing Metal.
Oh man, very messed up…
You know, Mike’s always been an asshole, and one with super-powers on top of that. But this is the first time I think I’ve actually been afraid of him…
I’d say BDSM if Mike had consented to being hit and Amber consented to being loved.
Oh, darkness, how hot you are (and what abs you have!).
i see one of two things: 1. Mike is a masochist and andrenaline junky from his time as an alien-fighter. or 2. Mike is perhaps a bit of a sadist who enjoys hurting folks mentally rather then physically pushing them to breaking their limits just to see their reactions to various stimuli. Barring that, its a revenge thing to try and put the relationship back on an even (evil?) keel with both partners. but before we go and try to rationalize whats just happened. lets not forget Jason’s advice to amber ‘Mike does things, but not for the reasons we might expect or want’ since david doesnt use thought balloons for Mike, we can only speculate.
Dude, trust me, you can be both.
so intense i just had to comment
Panel 4 is pretty terrifying, but it’s Mike in panel 6 that really freaks me the hell out.
Huuurrrrt COMfort! (bwa-BWA-waaaaa!)
…to the tune of the Goldfinger theme.
This one needs to get tagged as “Mike Makes Rape Face” and “Emperor Palpatine”.
Oh. Hey. Isn’t Mike like super tough and strong and throwing cars and getting hit by giant robots and not getting gibbed sorta thing? Maybe Amber really is Amazi-Girl.
WRONG! Amber is Spider-Car!
Oh dear GOD! O.O
In a comic that drew me in its toy discussion with the possibility of Batman, I’m pretty surprised as how much I’m just loving this Amber/Mike mess. It’s strange that in a relationship initiated through blackmail and manipulation by Amber it feels like she has no real control over where this goes (how the hell does Mike manage that?)
I have a hard time accepting this single act gave Amber more stable footing in the relationship. I’m pretty much expecting Mike to get scarier and more erratic as a result and Amber all the more awkward. In my heart of hearts I want Mike to genuinely feel like he has to try for Amber’s affections for a change… but then I realize that’s crazy talk. Since Mike probably sold his ‘feelings’ for a larger boot to kick puppies with.
Reading this it reminded me of the Luthor/Waller kiss in Public Enemies. It was so WTF but you couldn’t help but look at it.
To quote an animated Texan; “That boy ain’t right!”
What’s scariest to me is that I think he really means that, face value. o_o
Yours, IMHO, was the best comment of all back in 2010.
God, this is an awesome twist.
You just know there’s serious issues when the one who /gets/ punched is the abuser in the relationship.
I will say that, worried look or not, that last panel of Amber has a Liz Taylor in a slip kind of vibe.
Wow… that was freaking scary for a normally whimsical web-comic.
Well, so much for all that “poor Mike” and “Bad Amber”. This is what Mike wanted all a long apparently. He wanted her to finally snap.
What’s worse, I think he wanted Amber to become what she never wanted to be. Her own father. I mean, how different is Amber forcing Mike into being her boyfriend from her father forcing her to do everything he wanted. And now we add violence to the mix, which has been implied of her father as well?
And what’s worse, he gets off on it. That’s sick man.
…Could we get another statue of Mike with that face? And no shirt? ‘Cuz I’d buy that in an instant.
Dear God make that statue. MAKE IT.
Though it wouldn’t surprise me if Mike likes it rough, I think the real reason behind all this is because of one simple fact. Mike LOVES to screw with people. This response is possibly the best way he could have done so. Whether or not he really does enjoy being punched in the face is besides the point.
Still, creepy as hell.
I thought the funniest part was how much more horrified she is after she sees his grin. You could hear her mind snapping in stereo.
I am slightly ashamed oh how cute I think the last panel is. Mike is very satisfied and poor Amber, nothing makes sense to her anymore.
Oh my god, that is the sexiest and scariest thing. My word.
I think ii is just Mike screwing with Amber. At least I hope it is. After all the “blackmailed boyfriend” crap, Amber deserves every bit of mindf**k Mike is capable of. I’ve been waiting for Amber’s comeuppance since this storyline started, and I hope it’s a slow, painful one.
No, I don’t like Amber. At all.
That was weird and uncomfortable. So you know, given what it takes to be weird and uncomfortable these days without the use of children or animals, props on that.
Also, why is his eyebrow over his hair?
Hi, I’m new. ^_^
So, since everyone else seems to be speculating on Mike-of-the-creepy-smirk, I think I’ll speculate on Amber a bit.
I’m wondering if maybe this incident might be what Amber needs to realize how intensely screwed up her relationship is with Mike, and unhealthy. Love him or not, I think this may push her over the edge to ending it for her own good.
Or she could just think that he said he loved her and give a happy smile in the next panel and go on her merry way in a relationship with a guy who is a jerk like her dad… except I can’t recall Mike ever hitting her. Other people. But never Amber. Feel free to point me in the direction of the correct page if I’m wrong (okay, I will speculate about Mike a little – I recently reread the whole comic and saw signs early on that Mike was attracted to Amber… in some ways, he can be seen as grooming her to be his perfect girlfriend, and this moment is the ultimate test… I will also admit I haven’t read the other comics yet, so I only know about Mike’s past what’s been revealed in ShortPacked!).
Mike has assaulted Amber before. I tried slogging through the archive to find the strip, but I can’t locate it at the moment, but I know that there was a comic that ended with Mike bashing her over the head with… something. A toy light-saber? I think that’s what it was.
Yes it was a red toy lightsaber, and it was the same fight Robin started and degenerated in a quasi-orgy, which Ethan Missed XD Also it was the first time Mike stole her panties I think, I just made an archive binge and I am not sure anymore.
Second time. First time was after he slept with Amber and Ethan in the same night.
So…tomorrow is the 11th anniversary of Mike’s first appearance in “Roomies”. Anything special planned?
Heh, I wasn’t aware. But good timing, I guess.
Mike… in love?
WHAT IS THIS HERESY
There’s a psychological disorder where the person feels that they are an envoy of fate, or some other nonsense that makes them compelled to mindmess people to become better people – even to the point of creating huge ridiculously elaborate plans to accomplish this.
With no remorse these people who have this disorder try to justify within them self that that are doing the world a favor by hurting or mindmessing them which in turn makes those people they mess with, stronger people.
Ah, you mean Zolomon’s Syndrome.
Because Professor Zolomon, as Zoom, would justify tormenting the Flash and others to make them “better” than they were?
Getting into a really weird area here.
I’m not sure what some of you folks are getting worked up about, his smile seems perfectly normal to me…
I smile the exact same way sometimes.
Considering that I also can safely say that I smile like that sometimes, I’m pretty sure there’s a thick line between “can do this”/”do this often” and “this is normal and not something that has made people I know run away screaming”.
…Er, not that it used to be a hobby of mine, the making people run away screaming, though. Right. *innocent*
Okay, I’ve read this comic in silence the whole time but -
Mike and Amber is the funniest relationship to me. They’re unhealthy, but what part of the comic is healthy? In fact to me they seem to be the most normal in the group. I LOVE THIS.
(Oh, and nightmares. For days. Yes.)
Thad’s emotionally healthy.
That’s also why we stopped seeing him.
I think Mike is in love with her for real- she’s almost as screwed up as he is sometimes. No, I think the real issue is, what does it mean to have someone like Mike in love with you. It’s gotta be terrifying to Amber- I don’t think she ever really felt that in control of the relationship in the first place, but as long as Mike didn’t really seem to care that much either way, she could take charge. I think subconsciously, part of the reason Amber chose Mike for her plan was that she knew that there was thing she could ever dish out that Mike wouldn’t be able to take. She might hurt herself, but she could never hurt him. And that made things safe for Amber. She could experiment with control and emotions without feeling pity, because of all people Mike would be just fine. And as much as it took to get in his favor, I don’t think she could make him change his mind about loving her easily. Also if Amber ever did want to get rid of Mike, he’d be there all the time just to piss her off. And he seems to like Amber just being Amber. And obviously its not the kind of love that will make him be nice to her. But it is the kind of love that means he’s sticking around in this relationship. And knowing Mike is going to stay by your side has got be be scary. I mean, It’s Mike. The dude invented ‘rape therapy’. The longer the relationship went on, the more it seemed like Mike was annoyed and defensive about the idea he might have feelings for Amber- now that he’s embraced them, all bets are off.
This strip made my fucking day.
Also: Willis- I want Amber/Mike montage.
Willis! That’s the creepiest thing you’ve ever drawn! O_O
Creepier than his Evangelion strip (I belive that was november… 18th, 2009? somewhere around there?)
Yes. Anything involving Evangelion has messed-up-ness pretty much built in.
Oh, and considering some of the stuff Pembroke comes up with, it’s interesting to know what creeps him out.
WAY CREEPIER than the Eva strip. Mainly because I expect creepiness in Eva… or relating to it. I didn’t expect that in the main story.
Do I smell a retool of the Mike statue without a shirt, with a cheek bruise and that EVIL grin?
I really honestly can’t put into words how my mind has been blown and how much I love this strip.
So, um, damn you Willis but in the best way possible?
Maybe I’m reading it differently… Mike’s smiling because her reaction was a final proof that she wasn’t her father’s scared victim anymore, that she’d grown out of that and into someone capable of being an equal, who will stand up to him and won’t take his shite. It must be lonely knowing everyone’s intimidated by you… and she proved that she’s not. At least for a moment.
Mike has gone over the edge…
Whoa best page ever. Noe all we need are some of those Hamsters with Cannons strapped on their back again and my life would be complete.
What else do you expect from Mike “Mike’s an Asshole!”
Heres hoping that Amber dosen’t get thrown out of the house
Hot Shot apparently approves.
This is the single most creepy erection I’ve ever had.
I am so glad that this is a fictional couple because I found this strip kinda hot. Of course if this had happened in real life I’d be calling the cops and people with access to straight jackets.
O____O you never know how much a “silly webcomic” effects you until you are literally scared out of your chair by one of the characters. That is terrifying.
Amber in Panel 6 clearly expects that super-strong Mike is now going to beat the crap out of her. So the kiss and the “I love you” are a huge mind-f*ck. Plus, since I think she’s realized for the first time that Mike could really (physically) hurt her, the “I love you” is scary too–he’s apparently just taken the relationship to the next level, making it even harder for Amber to try to escape from it, and for the first time she’s realizing that maybe ending the relationship would be the best thing for her. On the other hand, having Mike finally say that he loves her has got to feel like a bit of a triumph for Amber. Can’t wait to see where you take this!
Wow. 100 comments. Well done, Mr. Willis, I now have definitive proof that Shortpacked! is an excessively popular webcomic.
I guess I’ve been reading the strip long enough now to have a good read on the characters, because that was genuinely scary. And I’m a little worried for Amber now…
Somehow I get the feeling that the majority of the people who are surprised at how serious this strip is are people who never read It’s Walky.
Though I’ll admit that this one is kinda WTF in a way that IW never really hit.
Well, this script is more more gag-oriented than Walky. Both had plenty of humor strips, but this one is much more humor than drama usually, tags notwithstanding.
So if this Mike/Amber mutual abuse is going to continue, will Mike continue his ‘asshole in shining armor’ routine?
It seems like Robin should be his next target. I recommend that he buy his own house (He’s got two jobs and no obvious expenses.) and move into it with Amber. Ethan will follow out of concern. Suddenly Robin and Les are living alone in a giant mansion and it will all (seem to) be Robin’s fault.
Okay, I’m a long-time misandrist…and I find sheer joy in seeing a guy get smacked around by a woman. For the most part.
This strip today? I didn’t feel that joy; I felt completely disturbed, upset, and a little icky too…like a neighbor who SAW someone hit their significant other, but didn’t let anyone know about it. Then, I will feel the guilt down the road, when one of the two turn up dead.
Getting that feeling from a webcomic isn’t fun at all.
Yeah, I have to agree, here. While Mike and Amber didn’t have the healthiest relationship ever, it seemed to work in an unconventional way. This… this feels like the beginning of something really ugly. It does feel way too much like witnessing domestic abuse, or Mike making it feel like domestic abuse, which is almost as bad given Amber’s history.
Mr. Willis is a great writer, though, so I’m hoping that something better will come out of this.
I’m with you, DA76. This is just….sick. Not at all what I expected, although, the whole blackmailing Mike into being her boyfriend thing should have tipped me off about Amber along time ago. Personally, I think this one crossed a little bit over the line. Certainly dramatic, though. Good dramais frequently unpleasant, hopefully the story goes somewhere good from this.
I find this post more disturbing than the comic. Girl punching guy = fine. Guy saying “I love you” to a girl = domestic abuse.
Ha! I was right!
Awesome direction for Mike/Amber!!!
So, I think what you can take out of this strp’s comments, Mr. Willis, is that you’ve amassed about a hundred people who are completely interested in what happens next.
Also, you can draw really freaking sinister smiles.
Or at least a hundred or so people who think they know exactly what’s going on
The hairs on my arms just stood up when I saw that. No wonder your wife got nightmares. yeeeesh.
I think the scariest fact of this page is the possibility the relationship might actually work out and one day these two willspawn.
I think this calls for the obligatory “Why so serious, Amber?” reference or maybe Silence of the Lambs.
Whenever anyone talks about Amber getting her comeuppance for the blackmailed-into-a-relationship stuff, I wonder if they’ve forgotten how Mike/Amber actually started. Which was when Mike fucked her and Ethan in the same night, for the purpose of driving a wedge into their friendship, while he was sober and Amber was drunk. So really this whole cavalcade of fucked up dubious-consensuality was kicking off by him.
That doesn’t make the blackmail right, of course, but Mike ain’t exactly an innocent bystander either.
THANK YOU! <3
I knew Amber had it in her, “you go girl”.
Of course I ALWAYS knew Mike did
See, sex in other rooms/areas is a GOOD thang !!!
I have no idea where this leads them from here.
I was expecting “I love you”.
I was expecting it to be weird and creepy.
I WAS NOT EXPECTING THE NIGHTMARE FUEL SMILE. AUGH!
Moved to comment for the first time, because HOLY SHIT, CREEPY SMILE.
Sick and twisted as this whole thing is, I love the Mike/Amber dynamic. But I think this whole thing was a long time in coming; when Amber was separated from her online boyfriend and screaming in the store like a lunatic, his total commentary was “I’ve got wood.” Mike sees the asshole in everybody, and I think he’s doing some kind of screwed-up mentor thing with Amber–trying to turn her into the aggressive loony she has the potential to be.
It’s always seemed to me that Mike abuses people for more than just his own amusement–although there is certainly that. It looks like a sick way of forcing his targets to become stronger. Amber never sticks up for herself, and now she just did.
Whether it’s his intention, or just his function as a supporting character, Mike helps people. And just might actually care about them. Sometimes he just toughens them up, or This would fit with
My previous garbled, unfinished comment is punishment for trying to post something thoughtful from a mobile phone. Please delete.
Holy crap! RUN AMBER! This is like the start of a really bad Kevin Williamson movie! Drama and death can only follow!
Also- Who knew Mike was so buff?
Anyone who started with Roomies!/It’s Walky!.
Am I the only one getting flashbacks to Mike’s last girlfriend?
thanks alot….gonna see that for weeks now…
I’m just surprised it got to over a 100 comments and no one made a “Why so serious” reference with Mike’s face in 4 and 8. It’s begging for a Jokerized redeco.
Willis, make it so!
*Ahem.* *Points 12 posts up.*
Although, there ARE a fuck-ton of replies to this comic, so, no biggie.
“COME ON! Hit me. Hit me! Hitmehitmehitme, HIIIT MEEEE!!!!!”
How could she hurt Mike? He can throw cars like tennis balls.
I would be so freaked out by Mike right now. o_o
Heh, when my browser loaded it shaked the screen it made it look like Amber was punched in the face by Mike and I thought “Woah that’s messed up.” After reading I can say that the way i interpreted it at first was much less…..creepy.
The 4th and 6th panels creeped me the ***** out. Way to go Willis.
Is it bad that this page turns me on a bit :/
Wow. So evil that he’s masochistic? I’d never have guessed.
Amber must be completely confused…
Aw, he’s finally made her turn into her father.
OhmycheezinGHU keep it away! Keep back, BACK, I tell you! *hiding behind chair*
*pantpantpant* DAMN, you, Willis…(gasp)…don’t DO something like that without a warning on the top of the page to heart patients!!! (Fumbling for nitro pills…) Damn, my left arm hurts…ah, it’s easing. Crap, can’t they make these stupid pills taste any better?
Thank you SO much, now I’m gonna be dreaming about that freakin’ TERRIFYING smile for the next SIX WEEKS!
I have to wonder about Mr. Willis sexual and romantic experiences…How is it that you’re able to develop a healthy lesbian relationship, create a romance from two broken people, and truthfully portray the conflicting wants and denials of a late of the closet gay man? Where the hell do you do your research man?
Anyway, kudos. Few in the geek community would have the balls to write about relationships the way you do.
OH WOW THIS IS HOT, other people dunno what theyre talkin about. ffff
She just punched her significant other in the face — that is the lowest she’s ever gone, and she is immediately ashamed and horrified of doing so — and her horrifying action makes Mike say that he loves her.
TOTAL MINDF*CK, FTW.
Straight boy talkin’: Panel with Mike’s grin of unadulterated pleasure is fucking hot. Well done!
I don’t know why, (I think it’s because I’m a bad, bad person) But I’ve never liked Amber. It might be because I feel a deep and abiding affection for Robin, and the way Amber treats her fills me with rage. (To forestall any litany of Robin’s ‘crimes’ against Amber, I am fully aware that Robin does foolish and sometimes hurtful things. Everybody does. Generally though, if you can penetrate her thick skull, she tries to do the right thing.)
I have, however, always kinda liked Mike, and it pleases me to watch him play Amber like a puppet. I have no illusions Amber will be broken by Mike’s manipulations (She’s too popular to do a Face Heel Turn) But I think there’s a good chance she could develop from this into a character that I -don’t- find a self-absorbed therapy case.
Cue Palpatine chuckling and cooing, “Gooooood…”
TV Tropes link: Your Approval Fills Me With Shame
I think my heart stopped when I reached panel four. I should probably seek medical attention now.
Okay, first time I’m commenting and I’m commenting a bit late on it. I got kinda distracted a while ago with the whole mike and the honeybun chapter, mostly because I hadn’t realized there was a comic before and had to put this one on hiatus till I could go read the other one.
That said, I’ve got the whole Mike/Dina thing pretty fresh in my mind and so am going to psychoanalyze everything.
I gotta say I’m not actually surprised with the way the situation turned out. It was really the most AWESOME thing that could have happened. I’ve been fairly sure all along that Mike really does like her…quite a bit…but it would be way out of character for him to admit it and show weakness. It always seemed to me the reason he and Dina were he and Dina dates back to a comic where Mike is trying to get a rise out of her and failing horribly. You can (or at least i can) see him getting more and more irritated and off-balance that he can’t shake her. And even with the whole taking advantage of him when he’s drunk (or maybe even partially because of it) the fact remains that Dina is somebody who, for all her flaws and insecurities, won’t roll over and play dead for him. And he respects that. It’s not a commen occurrence. He’s seen Dina at her weakest but it’s never really been from anything he’s done.
With Amber, we’re kinda getting some of the same thing. Though he’s been able to hurt her before when she used to be shy and weak, lately Amber has been starting to grow a spine and Mike find that sort’ve interesting. Like Jason said, Mike never does something unless he wants to. which means for some reason he wants to be in a relationship with Amber. Otherwise the blackmailing would not have worked. I think at first it was because he was interested and wanted to see how far she would take it but I think since then he’s come to enjoy it. The fact that he makes such a great boyfriend despite being “blackmailed” sort’ve points to that.
The comic before this, I was thinking that Mike is probably kind’ve proud for Amber for her retaliating and not just taking it or breaking down. amber knows he’s super strong and that he could probably put her in the hospital. And she punched him anyway. Granted, she probably wasn’t thinking about it but a girl never really punches someone without being pretty sure on whether she’s gonna get punched back or not. Amber realized after she punched him there would be some consequence to her action but she probably didn’t expect what happened. It is, however, completely in character for Mike at this point.
And I think it’s probably pretty good for their relationship. Mike has finally admitted that he does have feelings for her. And I don’t think it was a calculated maneuver. (or at least not completely calculated) I think he had an upswelling of love and pride just then. Mike has always had trouble finding someone who can be somewhat equal to him. Someone who has the ability to be a little manipulative and ruthless.
So yeah, my ramble is over.
Are you saying there’s other comic that i have to catch up? i dont know if im sad for how long i will take to catch up, or i’m happy for having more of mike’s backstory
I just drafted an entire rant about the blackmail being nonsense and crap. But then I realized that I was being stupid and that you’ve already put it pretty well and that this is the Internet.
That being said, well done sir. Well put.
(She says, two years past anyone caring)
I just read the series for the first time (after having read doa first. I know, I’m completely backwards. I didn’t know when I started. I just saw a funny post on tumblr and it was over for me) and I have to say, Mike+Amber is my favorite ship. And this may be one of my favorite pages.
…Mike was already hot, but that smile… wow. >83
I don’t know. I’m a new reader, and I absolutely love this page, but after reading through all the comments, I feel I have an opinion no one else bothered to think of. Mike said earlier on that he “Thinks she [Amber] actually loves him now.” But in the previous page, he was essentially saying that their relationship is a sham because this has just been her trying have an exercise in control and work through the issues with her father, implying that she doesn’t have any real feelings for him. Except, while he was saying that, she became upset and hit him, which (to me at least) implied that she was angry that he was suggesting something like that–that her feelings to him are fake. And that the feeling was so strong that she actually lashed out at him, something a mild-mannered person like her would never do. I thought it might have spoken pretty strongly to Mike, and that perhaps Mike loves her because she accepts him for who he is and that he read her actions as being those as a confession of love in a round a’bout way.
That, and Mike is just sexy awesome and possibly BSMD. I don’t know. That’s just my take on it.
Anyways… *Grins* I actually loved this page so much I created a second shortpacked bookmark–one for the homepage and one to this page. So awesome!
For some reason, Mike really reminds me of Steve Leopard on this page.
… Does anyone know who that is?
AWESOME! anyways what’s up with the number of comments?! O_o
NEVER been this many
I must say I love a good masochist, Great Comic
It says something about me that I like this…and I’d prefer not to speculate on what exactly that is.
I don’t know the whole Mike/Dina thing yet. I’m new, and working my way through It’s Walky right now. I’m somewhere around right when she first showed up, so no nifty analyzing from me.
…and seriously? Make a statue of mike with that grin. He’s incredibly hot. (Creepy, yes, but also hot.)
I keep finding my way back here
OMG I just figured Mike out. Took me long enough, but then I haven’t read Walky yet.
Mike has superhuman strength and endurance. Maybe he can’t die. MAYBE he can’t be hurt.
What happens when you can’t feel pain? You start to wonder if you can feel anything at all.
THAT’s why Mike goes around hurting everyone. He WANTS to be hurt back. He wants someone to prove to him that he’s human.
Or he’s a sociopath, which I actually like better. :\
mike both scares me and makes me want to serve him forever.
Wow, this strip just keeps getting better and better and better… its the 4th and 5th tiles, it just looks like a tipping point, god knows where to but i wanna know (onward with the binge!)
That was delicious. I have known men and women like that, and creepy as it can be, it is HOT.
I don’t think Mike has ever smiled before. Not once, in a decade’s worth of comic appearances.
That panel seriously shocked me. And the rest just freaked me out even more. Damn you, Willis!
This is a TCM if you add a .wav that goes:
and then slow drumbeats as he walks away.
This. It explains everything.
Last time I saw Mike smile was when Dina hugged him that one time back in It’s Walky. Now that one was creepy, but it doesn’t even compare to this one.
The power play between these two makes for a really explosive relationship dynamic. Also, I love how he pushes her buttons to force her into making her own closure. The whole manipulation-into-personal-growth thing is SO screwed up, but it’s also kind of exactly what she needs.
Both of them really need a challenge, and they’ve found it with each other.
DEAR CHEESE WHY
That is quite possibly the creepiest thing I have seen in any of your comics. Like seriously, I’m not sleeping tonight.
Hottest mike of all time in panel 2, creepiest in 4.
Two more comments (well, one after mine) and its an even 200.
I.. have nothing to add to this conversation, i’m sorry.
And here we go with the 200th comment.
Mhh, usually there are like four of them and now that Mike went awesome we’ve got 200. I wonder if there’s a connection
Oh Mike, take me now.
no, no silly Ngrasta… he loves amber now!
I find this to be very sweet.
I didn’t think there was a way to humanize Mike and develop the character without ruining everything I love about him, but you did it Willis you magnificent b@$+@&d!
On a related note Mike’s creepy grin should be made into a poster or something. I know I want it as my facebook pic.
I was right, when I read the previous comic, I know the punch would turn Mike on.
im gonna have nightmares
This is fucking disturbing.
Well done, Willis.
I visit this page on occasion….
Simply because this page is hot.
Mike and Amber forever. ♥
Ok, so I realize I am way late to the party on this.
I only started reading Shortpacked a few weeks ago working through the Archive. I wasn’t even aware of a Roomates and It’s Walky. This comic made me go through and read the entire roommates/Joyce and Walky/It’s Walky archives start to finish in less than a week. At first I just wanted to learn more about the pure awesomness that is Mike, but then I got so caught up in the storytelling and emotional heartstrings pulling. Mr. Willis is truly a master manipulator (in a good way!) and I challenge anyone who says webcomics aren’t art to read It’s Walky and still think that.
As far as Mike and Amber’s relationship is concerned, I think a lot of people who call it “unhealthy” are missing the point. Not all relationships are meant to be nice. Love does not equal sweetness and light and fluffy, fluffy goodness.
Love can be dark and violent. Love can be pain and agony even anger and hate. Love can be bad, so very very bad. Is that healthy? Maybe not. But for myself I know that I could never be happy being “happy”. I need to feel that strong energy that makes you want to break out of your civilized self and burn the world if it gets in the way of your desire.
I also enjoy cuddling on a couch which just makes me dynamic. I think that even though Mike is portrayed as being almost stoically unchanging in his demeanor (save when drunk) he is still just as dynamic an individual. He just needs to break through the layers of emotion protection other people put around themselves to stop feeling our emotional energy to its full potential.
Besides, I think Amber would make a pretty badass Dominatrix!
the smile has improved.
Shirtless Mike is HOT!
This is so much not better =(
Is it bad that even though Mike’s face is creepy, I just pay attention to his hot bod?
I still come back to this page every now and then, it’s like… The turning point where Mike goes from reckless mayhem to a controlled blaze. And it’s a GOOD thing. Not only does Mike actually become an interactor with the story, he’s actually a part of the group in a way that isn’t SOLELY dependant upon violence.
Also, you see Mike’s true colors. He sees a person who became better because of him and it happened in a way that was almost (if not actually) traumatizing. He finally finished pulling her out of her box by kicking her where it hurt. Even if she was 80% out already, this is what really finished the job, and she became somebody that actually has the guts to not only stand up to Mike, but actually play on the same level as him.
This reminds me of that one episode in the animated series where Batman actually laughed. Scared the bejesus out of Harley, it did.
Mr. Willis. Words cannot begin to describe how full of win this is. Thank you for this piece of awesome that you have given us.
I second that. GO WILLIS!
….Holy shit! That smile!
Well that was…creepy. ._.
*blush* Wait…why am I blushing. Am I allowed to like people like that. :/ Am I GOING TO BECOME A AMBER?!… That would be kinda cool though. :0 … Anyway, Mike is a awesome character, and right now he is officially the type of guy I would like as a boyfriend…I believe I am one of the couple hundred people who feel the same way. So There.
This is not what I was hoping for.
… Punch-drunk? (playing devil’s advocate here)
The way that she is standing and cowering back, along with the way she is speaking and trying to apologize, seems as if she thinks he is going to hurt her. At least, that’s what I see. She’s hit him, and now she’s scared witless that he’s going to hit back. It’s hardly an irrational fear, considering her father and Mike’s tendency to hurt people.
The only way to Mike’s heart.
Okay, firstly, this kind of makes me love Mike even more, even as (and possibly because) my brain goes into spirals of reasons for Mike’s behaviour/words here.
Secondly, I am impressed with Amber for managing to damage Mike at all, much less knock him down and bloody his face, even in the depths of fury.
Thirdly, at least one someone higher up – I lost who as I was skimming the sea of comments, holy cheese, sorry – said that Amber’s cowering back makes her look like she’s afraid Mike is about to hit her back.
While this does make perfect sense for her personality (not so sure about Mike’s – have we seen him hit Amber, ever? And he doesn’t usually seem mad about anyone having the balls to hit him, does he) I don’t think it quite fits with the comic. Where she is drawing back, she’s just seen Mike’s grin – many reasons to find that terrifying.
Including the fact – has she ever seen Mike smile when sober, at all? Not exactly comforting or reassuring that the only time she’s seen it happen, she just punched him.
In the panel after that it looks more to me like she is apologetically giving him space to get up, rather than cowering – and, of course, that last ‘splayed against the wall’ looks like shock/weak knees from the kiss to me.
. . .wordsplosion! (Apologies.)
…fuck…I think I might be Bi now…
Holy crap. 235 comments on this ep? Anyone else think that’s more of a “Finally my dear, welcome to the dark side” look?
And that’s the one that made me fall in love with the comic. Insanely unsettling for something that kicked off as goofy toy shop comedy.
…well. There goes sleeping for the night.
wOW HOTAWHAT MIKE YES GOOD. I apologize for my incoherence but miKE IS GREAT.
Amber’s gone and found herself the biggest jerk imaginable, which could be in order to reinforce the person she wants to be — Amazi-Girl, immune to criticism, and since she doesn’t seem to care about most of Mike’s jabs she’s handling that pretty well.
Mike’s found himself someone who won’t just tolerate that he’s a jerk, but occassionally strike back — back in Roomies!, he called Dina insipid and apathetic. Now, Mike seems to want someone who’ll hate and accept him, all at the same time. People have mentioned masochism–I’m not sure about that, it might just be that he doesn’t want someone he can totally steamroll over.
They’ll probably never be traditionally cute together, but hot dang I want to see a strip when they’re old and grayish. I want to see the result of their offspring. (Very, very tough, probably. She shall be Astoundo-Gal, immune to harassment.) I want to see Amber and Mike, sitting on the porch of some old country house. “The sky is beautiful.” says Amber. “Yeah, like you,” says Mike, dentures rattling as he speaks. “Thirty years ago.” “Oh, Mike.” “Wait, did you say ‘beautiful’? I thought you said ‘blue’. Your face was blue, ’cause you were choking. On my trouser serpent.” “Oh, Mike,” says Amber, resting her head on his shoulder. “You say the nicest things.”
…This got away from me.
Does anyone notice the fact that Mike is manipulating her to feel like she’s turning into her dad?
SLASHER SMILE! OH GOD! SLASHER SMILE!!
Holy shit. I didn’t think I’d EVER stop scrolling down.
I think I’m in love now.
With her AND Mike.
And I’m a very straight guy.
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