Whee, winter break! I’ll be in San Diego for Christmas and in Memphis for New Years. So I won’t be around much.
TWO WEEKS! The mayans were right…
lol is right
You and me both, Amber.
You and me both
So now my theory is SEMME never disbanded which is why Mike and Robin don’t work there.
Pamela’s still there, too, so maybe she died in the Martian invasion in our timeline? Maybe that never happened in this timeline, or SEMME was able to head it off more effectively.
Actually, come to think of it, this universe probably wouldn’t have the Britja’s coming in and fucking with things seeing as how they were dimensional travelers too.
Hell, maybe SEMME never even existed in this timeline. Mike and robin never would have been in Shortpacked without that.
I think that Pamela is just there because “Status quo is God” so no one would ever leave their spouse.
An intact drama tag? How insidious!
Drama tags, the Do-Not-Remove labels from mattresses of the multiverse.
Only if you tear the Do-Not-Remove tag no one REALLY cares.
so space and time don’t make a fabric, they make a mattress? I’m amazed Dr Who hasn’t used this yet…
It’s more a ball of Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey…stuff.
…It got away from me, yeah.
Don’t blink. Don’t even blink.
I don’t know how often you get this, but daaaamn that is a hawtsome avatar drawing.
That’s more something Jack Harkness would use.
Damn you Willis.
And I was right, Leslie IS pulling a Robin (and maybe a drama tag).
WHAT THE SHIT
Now that that is out of the way…
If I were in Leslie’s position, I’d just say, “Ultra Car!–CREAM him!”
HEAD ALIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN! Works better IMO
…I was so very worried we’d seen the last of him.
Interesting choice of words.
Really? How so? I didn’t mean anything special by it. I wasn’t even being sarcastic. Exaggerating, sure, I was a little worried that we’d never see Heady again this side of the Dumbiverse.
Unless you just meant I phrased it oddly, because that I’ll cop to.
No, just bein’ coy.
OMG. Leslie is going to hook up with gender-swapped Head Alien, isn’t she?
Yeah, still think HA is gender-swapped. It’s really the only way to take the ‘coy’. In other news, HEAD ALIEN AHoY!
I was thinking that the interesting word choice was the “him”… but then, I’m unfamiliar with the character so perhaps I’m suspicious for no reason.
Head Alien was once turned into a girl via a time-freezing machine that fucked with the fabric of reality and caused gender-flip on a wide scale.
It’s pretty irrelevant to everything else.
Oh wow…so Head Alien II can travel between universes, but the timelines of all universes don’t match up neatly? As in (to pick two random dates), 1/1/2013 in Universe A might be 5/12/2003 in Universe 1? This means that even though Leslie first became aware of Head Alien II at Joyce and Walky’s wedding, HE first met HER here, in this non-Drama-Tag universe. Which means that from HAII’s perspective, the events we’re seeing now PRECEDE J&W.
Which means that we already know Leslie’s interference here is somehow what enables HAII to wind up in her own universe later (or, from her perspective, earlier). If that’s true, it means LESLIE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR J&W. And also, indirectly, whatever happened to Rachel.
Sir, I need my brain intact.
You just broke it.
Ah, so this is the last copy of Head Alien?
Huh, I wonder what rid the multiverse of all the other copies. AFAICR that wasn’t something that’s happened yet in J&W!…
Do we know this is the last copy?
If it is, one of the Head Aliens probably killed all the others during a tour of the multiverse.
THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE!
OH, I see what you’re getting at. You think I was worried he wouldn’t turn up again because they’re all dead.
We only know for certain two have been disposed of, but Shortpacked! lends itself poorly to epic sci-fi plotlines, so I just kinda assumed a third Head Alien wouldn’t pop up.
Correction: doesn’t have a premise or line of plot that would normally suggest an epic sci-fi plotline is gonna happen.
Really? Working for someone who can bring the historical Jesus back to life isn’t far-fetched enough?
The important question though… is this Head Alien II, before his defeat in his own personal timeline? (After all, he was capable of time travelling to capture all the future kids.)
Or is this a Head Alien III?
After all, if it’s the former, Leslie may have doomed a universe but ALSO found the one being who would know where Rachel is.
Check the tags!
My guess is that there are dozens of universes where a Head Alien accidentally discovered interdimensional travel. We’re not in the past, or at least there’s nothing to suggest we are. At best, this is an alternate version of Head Alien II–a Head Alien II II, if you will.
Of course, thankfully the site froze and bounced me back, so I can see Willis telling me I’m completely and totally wrong and this is in fact just Head Alien II before getting piped. Ah well. Posting for posterity.
Well, there kind of is. The fact the art isn’t evolved to the present style.
Well, yeah, but that can be attributed to drama-tag stasis. There’s nothing in-universe to suggest Leslie could travel to the past even if she wanted to.
In fact, the references to Scott Snyder and fake geek girls firmly situates this in present day.
This could be a Head Alien II II without being tagged as such – I’m fairly sure that these are an alternate Ethan and Amber, but the tags are just plain Amber and Ethan.
So, what kind of filler are we getting this year?
Textured vegetable protein?
Cereal filler. (keeping my fingers crossed that it’s Cocoa Puffs!)
Oh no, there’s drama, but it’s lurking under the surface, just waiting to burst free.
Also, sexually frustrated Amber is kinda hilarious.
But will that be good news for Faz?
In this universe, Faz has MANY suitors.
I hope in that case, Faz isn’t a total creeper in this universe, otherwise this is clearly the worst of all possible universes.
Maybe in this universe Blaine O’Malley was a decent husband and father, and didn’t spawn hordes of bastards. Which would mean no Faz at all.
Poor Amber, I hope you get your ‘beef inoculation’ soon.
DAMN YOU WILLIS!!!
But didn’t Ethan willingly have sex with women before realizing he was gay? Amber, Conquest. If he’s still in his happy bubble of denial/obliviousness why wouldn’t he be having sex with her? I’m just curious.
Mike may have already sexted him.
It wasn’t that he was in denial, he legitimately didn’t realize he was gay.
I guess his brain pops that surprise even if Robin never prompts it.
That’s why I added the word oblivious in my description.
Because he was never really interested in doing so. He doinked amber out of pity, and Conquest for a job, but never banged because he actually wanted to bang.
Basically this is Ethan just as he was when we first met him; a guy who isn’t really interested in sex. He doesn’t realize that it’s because he’s just not into chicks.
Not that he became a horndog or anything after he figured it out, but at least he DID actively pursue some sort of romance eventually. “Straight” Ethan honestly didn’t care even when women were throwing themselves at him.
Congrats to everyone who guessed this!
That said, as I’ve mentioned, this doesn’t work because the art style is from too early a period, and the colors had gotten more solid and vibrant before Robin pulled the tag. Maybe it’s a shorthand for “nothing ever changed”, but then why isn’t this story in black and white?
That said, it’s a niggling little complaint, and one that’s not affecting my enjoyment of this story much. I point it out merely because everything else is coming together so perfectly that I have nothing else to say.
Eh, if it was just the easiest solution to never develop the color art more fully, why would this world go that way? Just stay with the initial color.
Which is black-and-white.
It’s a different universe, so it doesn’t have to have the same color or time period as events in “our” universe. Time and events happen at a different pace. If that wasn’t the case, then the colors and art would be the same as “SP! Prime”.
Maybe, as well as retroactively giving Amber a tragic backstory, pulling the drama tag also retroactively changed the colour scheme.
Except it didn’t; Amber hints at having an abusive father well before the tag gets pulled.
You’re looking at it all backwards. It was the ‘normal’ universe’s increasing color vibrancy that allowed the drama tag to be pulled. It’s not “the difference is that the drama tag wasn’t pulled, so the world’s art style never changed”, it’s “the difference is that the world’s art style never changed, so the the drama tag wasn’t pulled”
Is it bad that I want him to pull the tag?
I didn’t know that the Tag was your type.
I didn’t know that either.
Not really. Everyone kinda seems boring and unhappy without it pulled.
True. The only negative would be that it might let the Head Alien out. But what could he possibly do on his own? Nothing, right?
…Well, yeah, actually. Pretty much everything he’s ever done has been supplemented by copious amounts of mooks and tech. (Or, in the case of Monkey Master, mook-tech.)
Sure, he can fuck up your head real good, but to what ends? What could that help him accomplish without mooks or tech? He’s not especially muscular and definitely doesn’t have a height advantage. No superpowers.
He could trick people into giving him what he wants, sure. But his atrocities are public knowledge. He’d be hard-pressed to find someone willing to help him.
I believe Head Alien II was far better at his job than the first one ever dreamed of being.
Although, I’ve yet to read J&W!, so that’s just speculation from the free strips and his few appearances.
Gonna be honest–not really. Though it may just be that his plan is less grandiose this time around.
I want him to explain why he hasn’t pulled it yet.
Well, no, since from what he says, if it doesn’t get pulled, Les is stuck there forever. One has to assume the endgame of this is that the tag gets pulled, so Les can go home.
I dunno, Les could pull a Kobyashi Maru
Muahahahahahahahahahaha! *ahem* That is, I mean to say:
[Burns] “Excellent.” [/MrBurns]
YOUR CLOSING TAG DOES NOT MATCH YOUR OPENING TAG.
Ahem. Sorry. But… It’s a thing.
The whole drama tag thing kind of conflicts with those alien wars and deaths that happened before it, so I guess this shortpacked never had an it’s walky.
Unless the drama tag only applies to the store, and not the universe on the whole, which is how I rationalized it.
Shortpacked! (the store) is kind of its own universe, I think.
But will the Status Quo Is God trope prevent the end of the world? We will know in a few hours.
Greetings from Malaysia. The Armageddon’s not all cracked up to be.
As an Aussie, I found Doomsday surprisingly a good day to do some last minute shopping and I don’t mean THAT sort of last minute either.
Technically, I doubt that Mayans chose midnight as the cut-off from one day to the next, and there’s no indication of when in the day it’s supposed to happen. Plus, you’d think an apocalypse set on their knowledge of the universe would be centered on their time zone. Also, there’s the possibility that it’s tomorrow when everything goes bad.
Plenty of time to string out this mumbo jumbo based on the new age misunderstanding of a cyclical calendar system.
Status Quo isn’t God. Status Quo ARE Gods. Get your grammar sorted.
I knew it.
I would love to stay in a world where the easiest solution fixes every problem.
Isn’t the easiest solution usually like…involve killing someone or yourself? Isn’t that usually called the easy way out?
No, suicide is the coward’s way out. Big difference.
But you’ll just come back the day after, groundhog day style. Possibly looking a bit different, as if you’re being played by another actor.
Clearly she’s gone back in time and she was the one who caused the Drama Tag to be pulled.
No, alt-Ethan made a reference to recent Batman comics.
Oh, and Ethan? Batman would never change a lightbulb because he’s the Dark Knight.
That and Alfred would gladly change the lightbulb for him anyway.
Or he could just ask Robin to do it.
But he’s not changing it. He’s just screwing in it. Screwing himself. He’s fucking batman.
Think about it, man!
Well, now I am on a mission to scour California to hunt the most damgerous of game… The Willis. Not because the Willis doesn’t deserve vactions once in a while but rather without Shortpacked my predatory tendencies cannot be quelled. So enjoy your family, have fun on your vacation, rest up while you can, but keep in mind what this great cliff-hanger gotten you, some fat-crying dude will be hunting The Willis down to whine about The Willis is on a holiday.
You cry lard?
Yeah, doctors say it is due to my diet and emotional frality. I also sweat bacon grease and piss olive oil but that is another posting.
I hope you’re monetizing that artisinal-food-production bonanza.
I would but that is way too much effort for maybe 50 cents of profit
The FDA might have words with you over that.
And believe me, those words wouldn’t be, “Can we have a lick?”
Fat-crying huh? So you must have had a REALLY good thanksgiving.
*sobs into hands*
Because he’s evil.
And it’s so easy when you’re evil.
Yanno what’s funny? At work today, I thought to myself, “Wait, the way this story’s going, he’s not going to put it on a two-week hiatus again, is he?”
I was right. I WAS FUCKING RIGHT. HE WENT THERE AND DID IT. >_< Why can't I be this right with the goddamn lottery?!
You were right. You strongly suspected you weren’t going to win. Correct!
Methinks Mr. Willis is starting to show just a little bit of resentment towards the gag-a-day webcomic model and the fans that want him to stick to it.
That’s what I figured. Ethan married to Amber and doing nothing but standing around making Batman jokes? It’s like Willis is telling the haters “Be careful what you wish for”.
Oh man … troll level: masterful.
I dunno, they never asked for bad jokes. Constant good joke would be great!
That’s my impression, too. Definite Take That feel, here.
How many Shortpacked! characters does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Just Mike, and the socket is your ass.
The socket is on your mom.
And it cost a nickel.
Trick question. None of the Shortpacked! characters are small enough to fit inside a lightbulb. If they were, however, it would take two of them, or just one if he/she could find a dildo/fleshlight small enough.
The correct question is: Which Shortpacked! cast members would be most likely to screw in a lightbulb?
My guess is Faz and Wen.
Well now, here’s another fine mess you’ve left us in.
I just realized this storyline has addressed every ongoing mystery in the Walkyverse now: What happened to Pamela and Rachel, what the drama tag is and why Head Alien II was waiting around for Robin to pull it. Two of those stretch back six years.
Two days would be bad enough. Two weeks is gonna be torture.
Damn you, Willis. Damn you.
We still don’t know how Galasso knew about the drama tag and why he destroyed the evidence that it existed. Or how he raises people from the dead. Or how he managed to sex up Pamela without knowing it.
Or how he gets his hair to do that.
Alright, fine, addressed most of the mysteries.
What do you want to bet that’s answered in two weeks or so?
His hair works the same way Norman Osborn’s does. So we shall have to ask Steve Ditko because no one can figure that one out either.
So thaaaaats why Head Alien 2 was hanging out with the Drama Tag in Shortpacked-Prime…
Obviously, Glossgow put it in place after the end of Walky! to prevent any further angst/invasions in the world, which put a damper on HA2′s plans. So once the tag is pulled, he can start plotting the J&W hijinks and…
Right. Cutting myself off now.
No, no, besides you mutilating Galasso’s name that makes a decent amount of sense.
It’s a Cupertino.
So, wait–if nothing ever changes for real, how are Ethan and Amber working there? Did the store just open in this ‘verse?
I do not follow your logic.
If the Tag was never pulled, that means nothing ever changed–but the store’s been open since the eighties in the Walkyverse, which means it’s been hiring new people because Ethan and Amber still work there.
Note that what Head Alien said was “Nothing IMPORTANT ever changes.” It’s not Groundhog Day Universe. Time passes, people grow old, get hired, move on, but with the Drama Tag intact, reality tends to gloss over consequences and favor choices that lead to comedy. Superficial changes can happen, and that can include marriage. It just can’t ever get complicated.
Basically, the Drama Tag is a metaphor for the Fruit of Knowledge from the Garden of Eden. As long as you don’t eat it, you’re safe and happy and in a paradise. Eating it means you understand what life means, but that understanding means that you will suffer and feel pain and be mortal and one day die.
Is ignorance bliss?
Alright, I can accept that.
Actually, if you notice, Ethan has no grayed hair. If we’re to assume this universe is still in ‘the present’, started and progresses at the same time as the regular universe, then you can make the assumption that nobody here ages. Afterall, aging would eventually lead to character development, or at the very least characters retiring to be replaced with new ones, which would be an important change. It’s more like the Simpsons version of time. Characters celebrate birthdays, the years pass allowing for topical events to remain fairplay for the comedy, but even though the time is passing, nobody actually ever grows older.
*incoherent Nerd Rage at the cliffhanger*
Oh well, have fun in San Diego & Memphis
But, but… the world will be dead in two weeks.
Damn you Willis!
All the fillers will be gag-a-days that are happening here, won’t they? Please?
Your death shall be slow and painful!!!!!!!
(But it’s postponed until you finish this storyline.)
Leslie: I have become Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds…….
come on! my jaw hit the ground when that last row of panels. Never in a million years did I see this one coming.
And that’s how you do a cliffhanger! Happy Holidays Willis and Co.
Willis will leave Shortpacked! on a cliffhanger for two weeks. That’s as many as fourteen days. And that’s terrible.
Yes, but if you’re clever with your unit conversions, that’s just one fortnight.
It’s actually just 1/260th of a decade. That’s practically no time at all!
But only 10 of those days would have had comics.
See? It’s not that long.
Damn you Willis.
Damn you to damn.
*crazy theory time*
So uhm… am I the only one who thinks that Head Alien II is Galasso? I followed the tag links to when the other drama tag was pulled (http://www.shortpacked.com/2006/comic/book-2-pulls-the-drama-tag/06-the-drama-tag/jugs/), and I read Head Alien II’s ominous monologue, and a little archive binging and tag jumping later, I ended up on http://www.shortpacked.com/2005/comic/book-1-brings-back-the-80s/01-just-a-toy-store/just-a-toy-store/ because I wanted to see if ‘checkout mom’ existed anywhere else. Anywho, could Head Alien II be Galasso??? It would explain so much about Galasso if he were!
OR MAYBE Head Alien II is checkout mom!!!!
Also: Clicking on the head alien II tag goes to a page that says its about Head Alien Li… which is wierd.
Oh wait, its because its capitalizing the first letter of every word. So its an uppercase I not an L. It’s not a bug, its a feature.
You know, if the world WAS to end in fire and winter, this wouldn’t be too bad a place to leave it.
Pull the chain
You know, the drama tag as an actual object with acknowledged and explained effect that can’t be just written off as part of Robin’s fevered imagination or a bit of random 4th wall breaking silliness is possibly the most chilling and horrifying thing in the SP! universe.
(slaps forehead) And here I thought Pamela’s existence here, compared to her probable death in childbirth in “our” timeline, meant this couldn’t just be a “what if there was still a drama tag” universe. I forgot that pulling the drama tag changed things retroactively. In this world, Pamela was probably just “introduced” one day with an “oh, yeah, this is Galasso’s wife.” (I notice that her syntax is a lot like Galasso’s, for what it’s worth.)
“Status Quo Is God” (yeah, thanks, TV Tropes) is, ironically enough, the philosophy that Leslie’s been hoping will save her. She wanted a world where Joe was back with Rachel and she was back with Robin, as they were when they were at their happiest. Past tense. Before, you know, all those changes.
But as Shortpacked has often pointed out, your “status quo” isn’t everyone’s. Some readers would say “man, Shortpacked was at its best when Robin and Leslie were together, why can’t we get back to that?” And some would say “man, Shortpacked was at its best when it was all about the Batman jokes and not this CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, why can’t we get back to that?” Robin thinks that pulling the drama tag ruined the world… but without it, she probably never would have met Leslie. Ethan’s coming out was what motivated her to “find a lesbian.” Perhaps that tag does need to be pulled.
And yet. Generally speaking, when a genocidal maniac wants you to do something, you should do the opposite. Les may be fervently anti-Christian, but I think she’s retained that much from Genesis. Even Robin wasn’t dumb enough to follow the Head Alien’s direct instructions: she pulled the tag accidentally (albeit while wishing she lived in a world with change) and THEN he showed up to… well, honestly, I’m still not sure what he was doing there except saying “nyah, nyah, you just fucked your universe, nyah.” At any rate, Les should know better than to trust him for an instant.
But her morality is at its weakest, and Head Alien is an adept manipulator when he has his act together. And she may not have a choice.
This’ll be interesting.
“… Life without change might be called anything except life, its nothing more than experience. … Yes Emperor Charles sought the past, you seek the present, but I seek the future.”
Wait, who was the genocidal maniac in Genesis again?
He very much regrets that time in his life, so they try not to talk about it much.
The serpent (AKA Satan according to some sources).
Oh god…theres a reason this is the first universe they went to. It’s the last universe that Joe opened to before shutting down the portal.
It’s the prison they left Head Alien 2 in.
Except, y’know, last we saw of Head Alien II he’d [SPOILERS]
had his helmet broken open and asphyxiated to death.
Trapping him somewhere should hardly be necessary.
Ah, see, I’ve not read Joyce and Walky, unfortunately. I took a guess, and was apparently wrong. Ah well.
the idea of them being trapped there is dramatic though, and adding the interdimensional travelers to the cast is a change of their status quo
If anything the universe should actively discouraging them to leave. Such as by making her reject a universe where things happen easily by being a little bit creeped out by it.
You did this so you could have a version of your world you could burn to the ground, didn’t you, Willis?
If I may look deeper here, our sinister friend’s little speech can also maybe be considered a little statement against most of the safe, boring comics that are out there. Like the “legacy” newspaper comics where nothing ever changes from strip to strip. And everything comes down to a punchline.
Is it weird that I’m reading Head Alien’s lines in Rod Serling’s voice here?
Yep, that’s perfect.
Try reading them in Morgan Freeman’s voice.
That applies to everything.
Apparently Willis thinks he sounds like Jon Lovitz. That’s practically sane by comparison.
Like Ethan, you sir, are a tease!
I will also be in Memphis for New Years, because I live and work here…at a hostel…you should come stay in the hostel sometime. Yes. You. Here.
WILLIS!! oh my god when I saw that orange box I almost screamed with excitement in the middle of my dining hall. Needless to say my half-gasp earned me some strange looks from my fellow early-rising breakfasteers.
You are evil. Pure evil. But thank you for bringing him back…it’s like Joe once said: “Oh, like anything stays dead around here.”
To me, this feels like a good time to stop reading. Please understand that this is not a condemnation of the writing. That’s been great. There’s plenty of room to go from here.
It’s just that I can look at this, at the resolutions of the last few weeks, and take the view that whatever could follow from here can be summed up by an old talespinner’s standard for last sentences: “But that is another story.”
I felt that way about Kill Bill. The first part was complete enough unto itself. I didn’t need to know how the next three encounters would play out. I didn’t need to know if the movie’s final reveal could break the unbreakable. It was enough to wonder. Ten years later, I finally sat down and watched the second half of that movie. It was fine, but I still prefer to think of the first as something that works independent from the conclusion given.
The showman’s motto is, “Leave them wanting more,” but the professional host’s is, “Leave them satisfied.” David Willis, thank you for being an excellent host. May you always know the joys of a full table.
And I just realized! Amber’s face in the last strip wasn’t stress–it was sexual frustration. That one needs a good fuckin’.
Wait, wait, WAIT! Are you saying that there is no comical way to change the status quo? That the only way toward change is through drama? That . . . that’s impossible. Comedy is the greatest thing in the world! Comedy can do anything!
Comedy is just another person’s tragedy. Comedy without Tragedy is hollow and empty. It’s Garfield.
Hey! The Garfield Christmas special was good, as was Gardield and Friends.
Every comedy has conflict and drama. Conflict is what causes characters to grow.
On the other hand, there are comedies where characters don’t grow. Sometimes literally, for decades.
They’re also usually not good.
Willis, you magnificent bastard.
He really is amazing at story telling. I don’t think I’ve read anything as riveting as the It’s Walky story and now he picks it up here? Amazing, simply amazing.
AND suddenly, from outa nowhere, HEEERRRRRRRRRRRRES WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALKY!
If it reads like willis and smells like willis and tastes like willis, dont step in it. buckle up and enjoy the ride
Holy crap. I had read Shortpacked before I read Roomies, It’s Walky and Joyce & Walky so I didn’t realize that the one talking to Robin….was the Head Alien.
Now I see him and I’m like O_O
It all makes sense now.
The sci-fi opens up a self-conscious metaphor on the medium while keeping the plot and characters exciting. David Willis, I love you
Well, Robin’s been filling that role for a good long time now (she’s basically Abed on crack), but yeah, neat to see it come to a head like this.
Ahhh, but interdimensional lesbians aren’t part of the status quo. Leslie being there is a problem that should be easily resolved and lead to the resoration of the status quo by the very laws of the universe.
exactly what I was saying.
Ok so this is from someone who’s catching up on Roomies! but has been reading Shortpacked for a while now:
1.) Head-Alien was main antagonist of Roomies!
2.) Somewhere ahead in the story he is replaced by Head-Alien II
3.) Also H.A. gave abductee super-powers
4.) H.A. and H.A.II can both universe jump… somehow
5.) (?) This is H.A.II main universe
6.) H.A.II somehow ends up in Shortpacked!
7.) Galasso Prime seems to have some connection to both H.A.II and Drama Tags
8.) Drama Tags allow for relevant changes to either a.) Shortpacked itself or the whole Universe itself
So what happened to H.A.II in Shortpacked Prime after pulling the Drama Tag?
How the heck did I get an extra 5 and 9?
1. Eh…kinda? He’s more prominent in It’s Walky!. The main villain in Roomies! is…er…life. Life and booze.
2. Yes, in Joyce & Walky!.
3. That’s right.
4. Head Alien II can universe-jump. If Head Alien I could he never did.
5. We’ll get confirmation or dis-confirmation in two weeks, but at the moment it seems to be a reasonable assumption.
7. Drama Tag yes. We saw Galasso destroy it so at the very least he knows what it is. There’s no known connection between Galasso and Head Alien II at the moment.
8. We don’t know exactly how it operates. If it can’t cause retroactive drama, though, it’s influence is limited to Shortpacked!.
Head Alien II goes on to perpetuate the events of Joyce and Walky!.
Okay, correction to #2–Head Alien is dispatched in It’s Walky!, and Head Alien II replaces him for all (okay most) of Joyce and Walky!.
HOWEVER, he first appears in It’s Walky! $100 Theater, which, on the one hand, has It’s Walky! in the title, and can be read for free at itswalky.com, but on the other functions more as a prequel to Joyce and Walky! and is more important to it than toIt’s Walky!.
Suppose we’ll have to wait and see which book collection it turns up in.
Thanks, I’ve been going about Willis’s work in reverse and just started on Roomies! Also is H.A. II a clone of H.A. Prime or an alternate counterpart? So many crossing storylines and universes it gets confusing. I’ll call this universe… Comic universe (Until Willis gives it a better name)
Head Alien II is Head Alien from another dimension. There is, however, a clone of Head Alien–the Anti-Head Alien, who’s a really friendly dude. You’ll get to him later.
I’ve been calling this one the Retroverse. However, if it turns out the theories about Robin never turning up are true, I’ll probably switch to the Norobinverse, in the spirit of the Nowalkyverse we saw in Joyce and Walky!.
Wait a tick, I’ve missed something over the years. Where do I find the $100 Theater strips?
The strips are free, but you have to pay somebody $100 to get them to tell you the url.
Immediately after It’s Walky! ends on itswalky.com .
In the archives they’re mixed with some Roomies! Redux comics.
Hmm… So, random bit of stabbing in the dark here. Is the Cheese going to be showing up to try and claim Leslie as “surplus” or is the Drama Tag actively keeping him out, as his appearance would signify drama as it were. Or is this a universe that doesn’t have a version of the Cheese, and thus dimension hopping here is relatively risk free?
If this universe is anything like the Walkyverse, than the Cheese has been an empty mech sitting vacant in a government warehouse for some time now.
DAMN YOU WILLIIIIIIIIIS!
So, we’re now on the two week holliday break? Well, thank everything we didn’t get left with something like last time with the Leslie/Robin break up with no details. Hurray for complete lack of suspense!
Call me, Amber. I can give you what you need.
Your very own giant-sized Donatello pool float!
Oh, hey, here’s an interesting question no one’s asked–what’s stopping Head Alien II from pulling the damn tag himself?
Perhaps he ia lik “god” in star Trek V he needs someone else to do it for him
“What does God need with a Drama Tag?”
Might be its shielded against his species, so he can’t touch it at all. Or not. Maybe it just hasn’t occurred to him that he can. Head Aliens sometimes tend to forget some of the minor details in their plans.
But- but if he does it himself, he won’t be causing the maximum amount of distress and angst! Where’s the fun in that?
There’s that too! He may just not want to pull it himself, and coax some random sap into doing it.
I considered that, but the Head Alien doesn’t strike me as a very patient person. I figure maximum angst value is gonna lose its appeal to him after sitting around a warehouse for almost a decade listening to Batman jokes.
Maybe he can’t. Maybe, the real gimmick of this universe is that no one there is able to pull it, because status quo hijinks. If this is his native universe, he wouldn’t be able to do it. Leslie and Ultracar, on the other hand…
Honestly, I’m all for that tag never getting pulled. Can’t satisfy all your fans, though-just the ones that usually post here. Have some happy holidays, Willis.
I’m glad that leslie and Ultracar are trapped in another universe. Good ending. I only wish Ninja Rick was stuck there too.
What would happen if someone put the drama tag back in the regular universe? Would all the crazy dramatic stuff suddenly stop just like that?
They can’t put the Drama Tag back. It was burned.
And even then, Robin tried shoving it back in the wall. No dice.
I know, but I mean What if? Would the current dramatic storylines and stuff just suddenly end with a joke or violently snap back to before they happened?
An interesting question but the Head Alien DID say it wasn’t at all possible to put it back. He said once it was pulled there was no going back.
But let’s say for argument’s sake it could be put back (maybe it still can and the Head Alien is just messing with everyone for shit’s and giggles like he did in It’s Walky.) I imagine things would go through an “everything blows over” arc and just focuses on the comedy and super nerd aspects like before the tag was originally pulled.
I’m probably missing a lot of story (for example I have no idea what happened to Joe’s girl. I imagine there’s some unwritten story or something you have to pay to see that I haven’t seen yet) but that’s how Joyce and Walky pretty much ended up. No more drama, no more action, just hijinx and love between Joyce and Walky.
Not exactly. Joyce and Walky don’t have a lot of relationship drama in, er, Joyce and Walky!, but there is a lot of other serious shit that goes down, and other couplings that aren’t so lucky.
Okay yeah, some stuff does happen in J&W but overall the storyline had a far more light-hearted tone compared to It’s Walky though I guess it did have a lot to do with the fact that they focused more on the two lovebirds. The last fifty comics or so are nothing but their relationship in a comedic light so I forgot that some of the stuff that happened wasn’t only contained in It’s Walky.
It sounds like you’re just going off the free Saturdays because otherwise I have no clue where you got that impression.
Hmm, interesting. I was just curious from a technical standpoint, I wouldn’t actually suggest that it happen.
One thing I have noticed is that I am now suffering for my lack of knowledge on non-Shortpacked related story material. I have no idea who this masked fellow is.
Helmeted. Helmeted fellow.
He’s Head Alien II.
Long story short: there’s a race called Aliens. Head Alien was their leader. He tried to conquer Earth. He failed. Obviously.
Head Alien II is Head Alien from another dimension. He wanted revenge on Joyce and Walky for defeating him, and so killed them and their loved ones over and over until he got stranded in the mainline continuity, at which point he launched his most complex scheme yet in order to draw out the enjoyment of the final J&W killing.
He also spent some time dawdling in Shortpacked!’s stockroom for as-of-yet-unexplained reasons.
It’s where all the cool people hang out.
It actually sorta surprises me that The Cheese hasn’t found him already. I know he’s kinda laying low but The Cheese can sense everything at all times, right? He MUST know what’s going to happen and I imagine it won’t sit well with the universe whatever he’s planning.
The Cheese is out of commission. His body’s in a government warehouse somewhere and god knows what happened to David when Head Alien I hijacked the suit.
she could take the tag from this universe and put it back in the other
Wow. That’s an excellent observation on many Webcomics these days. Just doing what’s easiest, completely forgetting that conflict and drama is what drives a story and keeps it interesting and allows the characters to grow.
It’s like a universe where you did all the things with Shortpacked you said you wanted to stray from.
It’s creepy and brilliant.
One thing I still don’t get. If pre-Shortpacked the Drama tag was still in tack, how did the Martian invasion happen? I read T’s theory that the Drama tag effects things retroactively but Robin had definitely mentioned the invasion (aka when Mike died) prior to pulling the tag.
Am I just reading too much into this?
I’m I just staring at this page hoping it will magically update? …. yes
All that business with the Martian invasion? That wasn’t drama, it was comedy! I know I was laughing hilariously at the end of each strip; weren’t you?
Well, if it alters things retroactively, than of course Robin would mention it prior to pulling the tag, because it happened prior to pulling the tag.
Ah but think about it this way: Shortpacked is a comic of it’s own and Sir Willis has never been shy about breaking laws of physics and such. Imagine Shortpacked as a dimension of it’s very own simply BECAUSE it is a storyline of it’s own thus self-contained by this thin little hypothetical thread we could simply call “the title”
Sure enough they have many connections with the past stuff, where drama certainly did happen a lot, but it’s also separate. Has a (mostly) different cast, totally different setting and focuses more on the world of nerds as opposed to focusing on interdimensional travel and strange encounters of the third kind.
There is a distinct difference in the way the two are presented so could they not potentially be considered two versions of a parallel universe?
That was kind of a ramble and I probably didn’t make a lot of sense but that’s how I was thinking about it.
I think essentially “the drama tag is self-contained within Shortpacked as a universe/storyline of it’s own” is the shortest way to put it but it doesn’t portray exactly what I mean. Plus I have a tendency to overexplain things to the point of nonsense.
1. The Drama Tag Robin pulled belonged to the Shortpacked! store. Its effects might not be strictly limited to the physical store, but it doesn’t affect the whole world. Drama could happen in the rest of the world before it was pulled, and drama can still be absent from the rest of the world after it was pulled. It is unknown whether Drama Tags exist/have existed in places other than the Shortpacked! store.
2. The Drama Tag changing things retroactively is purely Robin’s theory. It could be true, but there’s no evidence either way.
Here’s a hypothesis for ya:
Maybe the Martian invasion only happened the way it did because of Robin pulling the Drama tag?
Maybe originally it failed comically in the same way that the average GI Joe, Scooby Doo or Smurfs episode ends then with the tag pulled, they changed retroactively becoming more complicated but still resulting in something where that strip with Robin finding the tag made sense.
And in the universe where Leslie currently inhabits the same is true, pulling the drama tag will result in the Martian invasion happening differently.
Of course since Leslie is from another universe her continued existence doesn’t actually require anything to make sense or any of the other characters to be alive so…
Dear lord, you just gave backstory to the DRAMA TAG.
Hold on. But if nothing ever changes, then everything must return to status quot. So this universe’s tendency should be to expel Leslie and UC, because they would be new additions to the cast otherwise. Don’t pull it!
For supposedly being in a universe with an unpulled drama tag, Head Alien sure did just pull off one of his classic dramabomb-lectures.
Yes, but it didn’t change anything–at least not for anyone born in this ‘verse.
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