September 9th, 2007


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Shortpacked!@TNI: Ruining TMNT forever (for the fifteenth time)

This is the final part of our ten-year retrospective! Hooray!

Three things have put Shortpacked! on the map. 1) Batman doing DDR, 2) that For Better or For Worse parody, and 3) "The Drama Tag" storyline. Before the Drama Tag storyline, Shortpacked! had but a modest amount of readers, but once it began, there was a quick surge of new eyeballs that still haven't left. People like stories! Go fig.

It's also the first time I was really allowed to think of my characters as people. They were vehicles for jokes, for the most part, before then, rarely allowed to explore their own world, but once I started updating five times a week, the whole thing came alive for me. And it wasn't just a boon to drama storylines, it helped the silly storylines, too. I never would have been able to send Robin to Congress or march Ninja Rick through his own manga adventure if I hadn't first broken that glass ceiling.

I envisioned Shortpacked! as a means to tell any joke or story I want at a moment's notice, and finally that was possible. It's Walky! and Roomies! had a building dedication to their central plot conceits that I was eventually a slave to, but with Shortpacked!, it's a grab bag. I like that.

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Joyce & Walky! This comic makes me feel so old.
Shortpacked! A time-honored Walkyverse tradition.

Hello readers, old and new alike! I am David Willis, and I have been doing webcomics for ten whole freakin' years. That is more than one third of my life. I have drawn approximately 3000 strips! It's crazy!

On September 10, 1997, I began Roomies!, a somewhat ordinary tale about college roommates. By Christmas 1999, it had transformed into It's Walky!, about a classified army of alien-fighting twenty-somethings. As of 2005, I had scaled back to Shortpacked!, starring the employees of a toy store.

It's all one unified, cohesive universe, and today it's ten years old.

Ten Tatty YearsI'm updating with two comics tonight. The first is hosted on my original site,, and commemorates the anniversary in its own backstory-ridden way. The second is hosted here on, and continues the flashback already in progress.

I am also debuting a new limited print, seen to the left. Featuring as many characters from my ten-year history as I could aesthetically cram in, "Ten Tatty Years" is limited to 20 pieces and signed and numbered by yours truly. The print is 11"x8.5" on cardstock gloss and costs $25. (Shipping to anywhere in the world is already included in the price.) Also, check out all the previous limited prints. E-Mail me for further instructions or questions!

(tat·ty /ˈtæti/ -adjective, -ti·er, -ti·est.
1. cheap or tawdry; vulgar)

Meanwhile, the first collection of Shortpacked! books has finally arrived and they are currently being shipped out! Order your copy of Shortpacked! Brings Back the Eighties today!

I wouldn't have made it this far without the bunches of you who read and support me. Even larger than the strip itself are the friends (and more than friends) I've made along the way. Without you, the journey wouldn't have been worth it! I'd be honored if, in ten more years, I'll still be blessed with your presence.

This is where the dude usually says "Here's to ten more," but feh. I'm feeling contrary, so I'll just plan to quit in seven and a half. In your face, twentieth anniversary!