well back to only doing eight comics a week instead of ten to twelve
fingers so angry with me
So, was this planned, or is this a save?
Galasso burns the tag 7 years ago.
A photo of Pamela appears 4 years ago.
Yeah, I’d say at least some of this backstory has been in the works for a while.
P.S. The first post is missing the drama tag tag. I had to dig a little for it.
The revealing element is Galasso’s grim, controlled expression in http://www.shortpacked.com/2006/comic/book-2-pulls-the-drama-tag/06-the-drama-tag/burn/. Based on what we knew of him at the time, there was no reason for him not to be grinning like a maniac as he destroyed the tag. For a while I falsely remembered that he WAS grinning that way, in fact. “Mwahahahahaha, NOW there is NOTHING to prevent what the paltry ‘heroes’ of this world would regard as the ‘sad ending’ of TOTAL GALASSIC DOMINATION!” What motive could he have had NOT to enjoy destroying the tag? At the time, we didn’t know.
Now we do. This is a funeral. And because Galasso is the Emperor of All, he has no peer to comfort him. Conquest is closest, but too young to truly understand. Pamela was his only peer, his equal or near-equal in supervillainy.
I do hope we get to see Robin and Leslie use their new knowledge of Galasso’s life in future interactions. His stubborn denial about, well, everything has taken on a tragic dimension. We know it predates Pamela’s death, but surely his desire not to lose her, and perhaps one day to restore her, makes his problems that much stronger.
I’m so starting a band just so I can call it the Gallassic Domination.
I’ll be the one on the drums!
I can be your artist!
Holy shit, Willis. The feels. Right on in there.
Yes, Willis really knows how to feel-up his fans.
Who would have thought that Galasso and deep could belong in the same sentence.
You mean you can’t imagine a Saturday morning cartoon opening with “Deep underground in Galasso’s volcano lair…”
I guess, but not the deep I was thinking of.
Fools, you will prostrate yourselves for a taste of Galasso’s deep-dish pizza (and subs)!
Spoken by Ted Knight, of course.
Toys had a tighter grip on the masses in those days. And so did I.
Except for “I have a deep concern for Golasso’s mental health.”
And now I’ll never read that story again without feeling sad.
I was honestly worried that you were approaching the finale of the series. This is so much better.
Well, that only took, what. Seven years?
Shit, the JJ Abrams Mystery Box is answered now. Shortpacked! (as we know it, at least) might be coming to an end after all.
Must… resist… urge to… cry
…how do I feel sad for Glasso?
Never thought I’d feel so sorry for Galasso. Well done, Willis, you are damn good at this.
If you ever get me to sniffle over Ninja Rick, it’s proof you are a warlock and must be burned at the stake.
Says the magical, immortal time lord.
T-Bone or Porterhouse?
I’m more of a pulled pork person ….. mmmm … BBQ.
I am all confused. If the tag is burned how does Robin pull it?
Glasso burns the tag after Robin pulls it.
Galasso burnt the tag AFTER Robin pulled it in this universe.
Just check the ‘Drama tag’ tags and you’ll find it came after the fact.
He burned it after Robin pulled it. We’re seeing a double flashback: first to when pamela died then to after the tag was pulled.
The panels at the bottom re-saturate a little to pull back from the flashback.
Double inverse-order flashback.
We got a flash-forward to the less-past in the middle of a flashback to the past.
Later we will cut away to Optimus Prime interrogating Thundercracker and wonder if we’ve somehow gotten the nesting order on our flashbacks screwed up.
The last three panels are a different time than the first three, you can tell by Galasso’s lack of hair. Galasso burned the tag after Robin pulled it but pulling it apparently affects the past as well as the present and future I suppose.
Not true. The tag was pulled AFTER Pamela died. The tag in this universe only affected the toy store, whereas it affected the whole world in the Norobinverse. What we are seeing is a flashback regarding how ineffective the tag was in its task, and then Galasso mourning over it years later, shortly after Robin pulled the tag.
You’re saying the same thing. The reason the tag was ineffective was because Robin pulled it. It never got to full power (which enabled it to alter the past.), thus Pamela died.
If that was true, it would never have “reached full power” in the Norobinverse either. It didn’t stay unpulled for much longer there.
“Much longer” = Several Years.
Head down to the series of comments started by Wade, they explain it. As far as I understand, because the tag was meant to be pulled in the main universe (by Robin) it was weakened and didn’t affect the past. Once Robin was killed in the Norobinverse (or the Heyoverse) the tag would have NEVER been pulled without outside influence, so it grew strong enough to affect backwards and forwards in time, as well as affecting the space beyond the toy store.
There is two tags this could be. As others have said, it is possible this is the tag Galasso reclaimed after Robin pulled it. It is also possible he acquired and is now burning the tag Leslie brought back with her from the other universe.
But by the rules of Walkyverse multiversal travel (which Robin knows) taking that tag to our earth would result in the other universe’s destruction.
So it’s probably not that one.
What was once impressive and pretty funny is now sad and heart-wrenching and terrible.
*various sad squeekie noises*
Say it with me: F***. YOU. WILLIS.
*sits in the corner and cries*
What is this feeling welling inside of me? Pity? For Galasso? Can this be true?
slow clap…slow clap…slow clap…slow clap…slow clap
So I have to know Willis, how far out was all this really planned?
Willis just answered how much was planned out and how much wasn’t on his Tumblr.
The answer: Sorta far and sorta not far.
I’ve long wondered, does Galssso know who it was that pulled the tag? Does he hold a secret grudge?
I assume he knows. Remember, Robin was explicitly looking for the Tag when Galasso tricked her into finding that phony holy book instead.
Ah, well, I only read the whole Eaton thingy once so it’s details are almost entirely forgotten. Thanks.
Though it still leaves the question of a potential grudge.
Considering how easily he forgave Ethan for, you know, imprisoning him and taking over the store, I doubt Galasso holds grudges. At least not against people he considers inferior, which is everyone.
I was going to argue it wasn’t easy but considering they should ahve gone to prison for that you are technically correct. Which is incidently the best kind of correct.
So why did Alt!Pamela still exist if her tag was pulled eventually? Is it because hers was in longer and thus it would only stop if pulled and not retroactively?
Another thought is because it wasn’t pulled by a resident of its own universe it is not a ‘predicted’ outcome? Meaning that it would’ve stayed in, and thus her staying alive, if not for someone from outside the universe.
Because it wasn’t pulled by someone from that universe. Until Rachel entered that Universe there existed no possibility of it being pulled.
Works for me. Although you’d think as soon as Rachel got there it would stop working because she was going to but I guess alternate universe people dont matter to its abilities is good enough.
It doesn’t stop working until it’s pulled, it just gets weakened as it gets closer to the pulling. And the only reason Rachel found it was because LESLIE ported into the universe, which DID cause an immediate shift, which was followed by anouther once she and Rachel met.
But if it was just weakened this many years before it was pulled in the main universe Pamela shouldn’t have died.
Pamela died because the tag was weakned retroactiovely by the fact that Robin will inevitably pull it. Head Alien 2 killed the Heyoverse’s Robin meaning she would never pull the tag, and apparently no other perosn in that world would, which allowed the Tag to remain unchecked and go forth at full power (or something like that, I don’t know the exact details of course). The Heyoverse’s Tag required the interfereance from 3 people from an alternate reality to get it pulled (HA2, Rachel and Leslie).
To be fair, we only know that she lived for a few panels after it was pulled. Seeing as how she died of some sickness, it could be presumed that she was slowly dying, even when shooting the Head Alien. I wouldn’t expect her to instantly *poof* when the tag was pulled, but simply resume dying at the pace she had been before.
Timey wimey ball.
Am I the only only one who finds it morbidly appropriate that the mechanisms of Parallel-World shattering-crisis through Time-Travel are being explained by “The Flash” gravatars ?
Well morbid or not, I like it.
Ha! That is kind of funny XD
Conquest is an adorable child. Plus, both her eyes are showing!
Kid Conquest looks a heck of a lot like Joyce to me.
I suddenly want Conquest to, for some unknown reason, decide to do her hair like that again.
For a strange reason, I’ve always seen Galasso as a misunderstood and tragic figure behind that “Generalissimo” attitude of his.
…in the FAAAAAAAACE.
Now I’m getting a visual of someone being hit in the face with a Teamster Beer Gut.
I’m sad, but I was afraid that Willis was going to be Super-Evil and ruin Robin and Leslie moment today, so I’m also strangely thankful.
Also, wild guess; Galasso’s resurrection works by D&D rules; if the consciousness\brainwaves echoing across the cosmos\whatever you call it doesn’t want to return, it fails.
Or maybe he can’t get together the 5000 gp worth of diamonds and a high enough level cleric to do it.
Hmmm, you’d think Jesus would count toward that last requirement.
We have Historical Jesus, not Biblical Jesus.
He’s probably using alien based tech, so it raises them to the way they were when they died. It’d be useless on Pamela as she died of sickness instead of injury as she’d still be sick and just die again.
Wasn’t Reagan senile before he died? I’m talking dangerously senile too.
He claimed he was faking that to get out of doing stuff.
It’s kinda funny how many times that’s had to be explained in the last few weeks. XD
So they are not faking it and are getting senile right?
“I’m sad, but I was afraid that Willis was going to be Super-Evil and ruin Robin and Leslie moment today, so I’m also strangely thankful.”
Yeah, I was expecting something along those lines, too. Glad he didn’t go that route, though.
NEXT WEEK: Nerd Rage over Warner Brothers studio’s choice of a TV commercial director to helm the live-action ROBO-VAC movie.
Damn… damn you, Willis.
‘Scuze me…just…just a little something in my eye…
Fighting the urge to cry and losing horribly…
Ouch, this really hit me hard. Good job
Who brought the onions…? u.u
This… I just…
A “Damn you, Willis” isn’t enough for this. This needs a new level, and I apologize for my language.
F*ck you, Willis! I feel all rotten inside after reading this! This hit me in all the right places to make me weep like a little girl!
I’m sooooooo confused.
All the sudden, Galasso’s hair reminds me of Norman Osborn from Spiderman. It is basically all I am thinking about now.
It’s not even that close, what’s wrong with me?!?
You JUST noticed that?
Prologue? Wouldn’t this be the epilogue? Or am I missing something?
It’s a Prolouge because the events of this strip are set before everything in this arc.
Except “prologue” refers to something that is placed before the main story, not necessarily earlier in the timeline. Usually a small chapter that sets up but does not immediately or directly connect to the main narrative.
Yeah, this is more appropriately termed a Flashback or Reveal. Or both. Unless of course, it’s also leading to something else, which it mighht be.
Holy shit. Almost exactly seven years later, the Drama Tag thing finally comes full circle. Lots of loose ends tied up lately. I can’t help but wonder if Shortpacked! is coming to a close, and with it this corner of Willis’s multiverse. If this is the beginning of the end, at least it’s going out in style.
Credit where credit is due. Powerful stuff here.
-applauds- I am in favour of every character, even hated ones, having human qualities that are relatable, and therefore you feel remorse or pity for them, for there was no other way.
I could have swore, for a moment there Galasso looked, well, human.
Touching. I’m glad that this universe’s Pamela came to accept her fate and that Galasso accepted her decision. Bravo in revealing the hidden depths of what I had once thought was a one-note character.
I have the exact inverse reaction to this part of the strip.
She did not “Accept” her fate she was “Resigned” to it, because she had no alternative (the alternative was to find a cure, or create a Drama Tag, and it failed). All it shows is that she has enough strength to endure and that she is considerate enough to have words of confort for Galasso and Conquest. Which is already pretty good “character-wise” and does make for a powerful strip.
What if Galasso had had a way to resurect her in full health at the time ? She probably would have killed hersekf and been resurected within a week.
What if Galasso was able to resurect her now and cure her cancer ? I guess he would do it. And she would not mind that much. And nobody could criticize them.
I had the same “problem” with yesterday’s trip and its take on Fake Christmas trees.
It’s not because Death is natural that it’s good. As long as it’s inescapable one has to resign himself, but as soon as we reach immortality, let’s all start partying !
God Damn! I can’t believe how this made me feel. Willis you are one of the better story tellers out there. Congratulations.
and yet you have an uninterested Cat Gravatar saying “Meh”. Talking about giving mixed signals.
We cats are masters of feigned disinterest, you know.
Crazy Aslan is talking to himself.
Somehow, I don’t think mister “world conquest” has quite taken her dying words to heart yet.
So Galasso is human after all.
Well played, Mr. Willis, well played.
SO MANY FEELS.
I was listening to song “Livin’ on Love” when I finally come up to this day’s comic. It was somewhat heart wrenching.
Oh my lord…that last panel…
Man, who knew Galasso married that druggie Dana!
Holy GOD. You’ve been Chekov gunning us and we never even realised
So you went the Victor Freeze route? Clever
Willis, you magnificient malicious mastermind.
How can you leave a plot thread hanging for (more than, I don’t know exactly) five years and then resolve it all with a flourish?
I noticed, though — compared to the original comic of Galasso burning the tag, this one has more of a hesitant/remorseful expression. It’s interesting.
SEVEN YEARS LATER we get resolution. Willis you’re a fucking mastermind.
A very rare moment of humanity for Galasso.
Reminds me of an episode of ‘the Pretender’, when Mr. Raines was in tears over his daughter, who was murdered by a serial killer many years ago. ‘Sometimes even the Devil deserves our sympathy.’
So, seeing that the Tag was only pulled several years after her death, how come Pamela died when it was still in? Was it not as good as the one from the other universe? Did it take some time to fully come into effect?
This is discussed and explained further up in the comments.
Alright, I saw the speculations, but I am still unsure about the exact chronology. Just so things are clear, Pamela died BEFORE the Drama tag was pulled, right?
(sorry for the repeated question on Tumblr, btw)
Yeah, she died before the tag was pulled. Its effectiveness was retroactively diluted by the fact that the Universe knew it *was* going to be pulled at some point, unlike the alternative universe where there was no Robin to pull it. The burning is a flashback to after Robin pulled it, where Galasso solemnly throws it in the fire, a testament to his failure.
Think of it as “destiny”. Without the “chosen one”, the other universe could live on peacefully forever. Here, even the mere presence of a “prophesy” of the future “chosen one” was enough to disturb the delicate workings of the drama tag.
Also, this is more of an inconsequential matter (I think) but is the tag we see burning a flashback, or is it the new tag robin brought back from the norobinverse?
Either, both, I don’t know.
So, wait, Robin pulling the tag in 2006 retroactively killed Pamela when Conquest, who first appeared a few months later, was still a little girl? Why did the other Pamela (and Dina, who in my headcanon died that night in unfathomable ecstasy) linger until the moment Leslie pulled it, then?
The drama tag affects both the past and the future. First off the head alien killed one of the only people who could pull the drama tag(a.k.a Robin). Due to this nothing dealing with Robin occurred. Such as Joe meeting Rachael and becoming more responsible and only stuffs. And since it was never pulled all the drama that occurred in the group during the war never occurred. The drama of Dina being blown up, the drama of Pamela getting sick and dying. They just never occurred at all. Even if they were supposed to it was as if the past was shifted completely by the power of the tag. Chances are if Robin hadn’t pulled the tag things would have shifted in the “shortpacked” universe as well and have become similar to the other one. But that wouldn’t be any fun right? But chances are things that occur before the drama tag is pulled stay that way. So in their universe’s Dina and then may still live….or not. Shoot she may blow up right in the middle of the other universe’s foursome.
All of this stuffs is pretty much explained in the comments above me. But whatever. Let’s just say we should be thankful for Robin’s existence.
I love how something as stupidly ridiculous as a drama tag gets, itself, the “dramatic treatment”.
And so the loop comes full circle.
It’s been a really good arc Willis, though I wonder if there are going to be any future follow ups on norobinverse.
FYI I don’t agree entirely with Pamela’s views.
Also I hope Gallasso succeeds.
I’m with Riker
“Speak for yourself, sir. I plan to live forever.”
Pamela is right about sharing the world, mind you – anyone that lives longer uses up resources. But then, so does having one then one kid.
So unless Glasso plans to have a large dynasty of grandchildren…..oh wait…
Glasso does not need your tears!
Glasso wishes to sit in the dark & drink his scotch.
Okay Mr. Puffington!
wow. That’s just. Wow.
I’m sad now, thanks WIllis.
Clearly Galasso does have the means to bring her back…
Does he? It seems that if he had the means to bring Pamela back healthy and whole, he would do it without a second thought. He has brought back famous figures of history, but Pamela never achieved such fame. If his method is the same as the method which restored Mike, then the issue may be that restoring Pamela to life would just return her to a cancer-racked shell of a body which wouldn’t last long. Or what may be stopping him is that Pamela has so accepted her fate that she no longer wishes to return.
Gallasso won’t be able to bring back Pamela but a blank shell with Pamela’s mind might work.
That’s assuming Gallasso has that sort of capability.
If he can resurrect Reagan and historical Jesus, Pamela isn’t inconceivable. The fact he found Jesus’ remains in order to resurrect him is impressive enough.
But you’re assuming that he’s working off remains. It’s not confirmed that he’s using the same method that was used to resurrect Walky, and if not, then his method may require someone to live on in the minds of many others. That would explain why he ONLY brings back famous figures rather than those close to him. It’s not a certainty, but it’s a workable theory.
If the “live on in the minds of many others” method is correct, that somehow makes Galasso’s situation all the sadder. She lives on vividly in his own mind, but it’s a reminder to him that she has had an impact on few others.
I’m going to go with: Galasso is honoring Pamela’s wish in “let[ting] them have it for a while. FOR A WHILE. I expect that “for a while” will end eventually and he will bring Pamela back.
And their reign of terror will begin.
Made me think of the Big Lebowski. “Are you surprised at my tears sir?”
Never before has Galasso looked more like a sad Norman Osborn.
… so who is Galasso? What kind of entity is this guy?
I believe that someone, at some point, may have postulated that he was some incarnation of the Cheese. It may even have been me, but I don’t care enough to go trawling through old comments looking for the statement in question.
If this turns out to be true I wouldn’t be too terribly surprised.
Wow. This actually made me cry. DAMN YOU, WILLIS!!!
1. Lay down
2. Try not to cry
3. Cry a whole lot
My question is: why does Conquest look like she’s under normal saturation during the bed scene?
Well, I guess I can breathe again, Willis didn’t mess with Robin and Leslie. that being said, didn’t expect this. Powerfull stuff Sir, and I must say, you play a long game, I salute you.
And so we get a possible explanation for the inexplicable resurrections of Reagan and Jesus.
Oddly enough…this is a fitting end for “Generation One” of Shortpacked!
We still don’t know what happened to Ninja Rick in the primary universe, but some mysteries remaining isn’t a bad thing. I think…I think I’m finally ready to accept the “2.0″ crew as more then just replacements now.
How long is “a while”?
Yes, it struck me as ominous as well.
I am having feels… for Galasso.
…WHAT SORCERY IS THIS?!
This is what I love about Willis. He is able to switch so fluently between storytelling techniques. One moment he has you laughing your head off, and the next he has you in tears. I have read so many works by so many authors, but I like Willis the best. The way he reveals important plot points such as this after leaving us in suspense, and the satisfying conclusion he supplies as a result of that reveal leave me wanting more.
Is it just me or is the grammar off in the first panel. I keep reading it over and over, but it doesn’t sound grammatically correct.
Seems fine to me.
Dat feel. :’(
So Mike, Reagan, and Jesus were his… Experiments?
Just Reagan and Jesus. Mike was a way-pre-wedding gift from Joyce =)
I know I don’t comment too often these days, but, just have to say this: David Willis, you are beyond magnificient: you’re transcendent!
I hope you’re nominated for an award for your crafty storytelling. How does one go about putting your name into a ceremony for such a thing, hoss? Because all the readers here would probably be willing to stuff the ballot box in favor of you! Lol!
Dude – keep making awesome stories, and I’ll/we’ll keep reading ‘em.
Many well wishes to you in your future endeavors.
Wait, if this was the motivation for his necrotech, and yet this only happened in “burn” how did he bring back Reagan?
What almost slipped by me in this comic (as I was distracted by sudden unexpected sympathy for ol’ Galassy) was the text of the second panel:
“Thus is not the end. I am Galasso and I will not allow it. I will find a way to return mortals from the grave.”
That… actually explains something. Suddenly Jesus and Reagan aren’t just jokes, they’re part of the story.
I took a sabbatical from Shortpacked for a few months, then just recently came back to check up on things. I was….unimpressed. It was more of the same mediocre nonsense that I had come to expect. But this…this was different. I felt this. This comic was expertly done. Kudos to you, Willis. However, I’m still not sticking around.
David, there is weird porn in one of the side ads on this site (right next to the comic), and it’s extremely difficult to ignore. I wanted you to know that it’s disruptive to some of your audience.
Now, I’m not against porn, but it’s a very distracting image, and not to everyone’s tastes. (For example, anatomical exaggerations disgust me.)
I’d rather not have to deal with disturbing images when I’m just catching up on webcomics, so if weird porn continues to be a problem, I might just opt to use an ad blocker.
They canceled their own bids a few hours ago.
Coming in a little late, but the Henly song for this comic? “Hole In The World”. (Henley/Eagles hunt down their actual music on youtube, so this is the Naval Academy. Trigger warning: 9/11 images & footage)
Dammit, Willis, I’m going to get Mike to gut-punch you for this!
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