Shortpacked!: A mediocre comic made poorer for the shoehorning of self-referenced.
At this point in my career, I could probably find a milestone to celebrate every day. Did you know this is the fifth anniversary of Walky and Joyce talking while cuddling on the floor? (I think that was a Keenspot newsbox...)
But regardless, this is the eleventh anniversary of me doing webcomics. What a dubious number eleven is to celebrate, so carry on.
Speaking of Keenspot, their Evil Josh & Billy folks have animated I-Knew-About-That-Before-Everyone-Else Man with absolutely hilarious results. Bravo, dudes. Bra-freakin'-vo! The desperate pitter-patter of feet is great.
Fracture's Wal-mart exclusive buddies are Breakaway and Crankcase. They're both homages to Transformers characters from 1988, which is my favoritest Generation 1 Transformers year (Nightbeat! Powermaster Optimus Prime! Slapdash!), so I was pretty stoked when they were announced. 1988 needs more love.
Breakaway was going to be a new version of Getaway, before Wal-mart decided they wanted these to be Movie toys. ("Getaway" seems to be a trademark Hasbro can't get back right now.) A redeco of Cybertron Hot Shot, Breakaway's colors manage to make the toy look like Getaway despite transforming entirely differently. The front of Getaway was almost entirely car parts, while Hot Shot's front is all underside robot stuff, so Breakway cleverly maps Getaway's red windows to Hot Shot's robot detailing.
The toy itself stands up okay, I believe. It does have some small limb-movement problems, especially in getting the shoulders to clear his giant back-kibble. The transformation is fairly simple, which feels much more like a plus than a minus at the moment since he's right next to Crankcase, who's a mess.
Crankcase was going to be a new toy of, gasp, Crankcase. This connection feels a little more like a stretch, but I think it manages. G1 Crankcase has springloaded weapon-thingies, this mold has springloaded weapon-thingies... it all works out. He's a redeco of Cybertron Red Alert, which is a a terrible tiny beast to play with. I kinda almost skipped the toy on this matter alone, but he's Crankcase! Crankcase!
The colors are prettier than I thought they were going to be from pictures. Perhaps the specific quality of the yellow highlights doesn't duplicate well in photography, but in person Crankcase's color combination is just interesting enough to not feel entirely bland. The "HAZ-MAT OPERATIONS" markings on his doors are a geeky touch -- Crankcase's expanded Marvel Universe-style profile says he started out as a janitor.
But overall, I want to put him in robot mode and leave him there forever. Getting him back into vehicle mode for my photo was not fun at all. Skip him unless you have an attachment to the character.