Our new vanity license plates came in the mail yesterday! They were Maggie's choice, since it's Maggie's car, but I can't say I disapprove. It was my older work that got her to pay attention to me in the first place.
Well, that's a good segue as any. I really miss my old characters. And, y'know, something about these toy store guys never really clicked. Plus, I get complaints all the time from those who feel Shortpacked! should be all about one-off Batman jokes, and so I shy away from using my new characters to their full potential. Always, in the middle of these bigger storylines, I second-guess myself. And so I've sort of sold the entire strip short, all along. A strip cannot serve two masters!
And so I've decided to go back to the beginning. But better! People always tell me to Bring Back Roomies! It's a refrain so common I always capitalize it. And, frankly, I've always sort of agreed with them. The Roomies! book coming out this year was something of a hint towards my inclinations. And with all this Ethan stuff just sort of crashing in on itself, imploding, I really don't have the heart or drive to finish it. I just don't care for these new characters.
But I do care about Danny. And Joe. And Walky. And Sal. And Joyce. And so I've decided to go back to them. Do it "right." No aliens. Just people, learning to love each other, learning to grow, set in the fun, early years of college. There's no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so I have ganked a few favorites from the recent years. Think of it as "Ultimate Roomies." The best of the best of my work, all swirled around into one big heaping helping of concentrated awesome. And this time, there's going to be no Cerberus Syndrome. No First and Ten. It's going to be a dramedy from the very beginning. Nobody can claim I've pulled a bait-and-switch.
Many of you will complain. Or feel hurt and betrayed. I'm sorry! But I have to follow my heart. If that isn't in my work, it's going to be crappy work anyway, so I'll be sparing you that, at least. I just want to live up to my full potential.
A rebooting of Roomies, of sorts, has been in my mind for years. (See the sketch to the right, drawn years ago!) You'll notice Joyce and Walky!, at least the member-only strips, has been about alternate universes. I've considered for a while ending it with a shift to one of these alternate universes. Kind of a "Crisis of Infinite Earths" sort of deal, where all the best elements are all crammed in together for a richer tapestry. But it couldn't wait. I'm doing it now. And it totally makes sense! I'm so excited! These are the characters I've loved. I can't wait to get to work with them again.
Of course, it may not work out the exact same way this time. Maybe Joyce won't even end up with Walky! If you read J&W!, you know there are quite a few universes where she ends up with Joe! Maybe this is one of them. Or maybe she ends up with Danny! Or Walky with Dina, or Walky with Dorothy. Don't worry, if you've read/memorized It's Walky!, you aren't spoiled for the things to come. You may think you are, but, oh, you're in for some shocks.
Thanks, guys, and I hope you continue to have faith in me.
(Of course, I'll eventually have to come up with a better name. Don't even TRY to find an available domain that has "roomies" somewhere in it. They're all taken! Anybody got any good puns that use "dorm" in them or something? In the meantime, continue to check out shortpacked.com while we sort these details out.)