Tags: it's walky!

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WRECKERS AWARENESS WEEK continues

Joyce and Walky!: Sweet nothings.

I got my banners!  Remember the banners?  Well, I got 'em.  These are them.

Phew.  They're a little bigger than I expected.  I'll have to save use of all three of them for cons when I'm at not-a-tiny booth.  The Shortpacked! one looks fine by itself, though, which is most important. 

Those are not my Babylon 5 DVDs.  

Another note: tomorrow my buddy Graham's having a birthday party.  Specifically, it's a mustache party.  Two and a half weeks ago, he warned us that we can't come to his birthday party without a mustache.  And so I stopped shaving the morning after Toy Fair.  And, well, I'm not just gonna grow only  a damn mustache for two weeks.  I try to look as little as a pedophile as possible.  So I tried just growin' the whole beard out, opting to shave everything but the mustache at the last minute.

Do you see two weeks worth of beard growth?

No?

Yeah, my manliness is insufficient.  I hear Paul Southworth can grow a beard in like a day.

It's still WRECKERS AWARENESS WEEK!  Here's your promised Wreckers for the day.  These four should hold you until Sunday night, because tomorrow night, as mentioned, is Graham's birthday party.  And I generally don't blog on Saturday nights anyway, so.

Andrew Sorohan/Jhiaxus/Boltax generously snapped this photo for me.  These are the newbie Wreckers introduced in Last Stand of the Wreckers, and they're mostly Europe-only late G1 releases, so I sure as heck don't have them.  And I wouldn't these days without throwing down a wad of cash.  In other words, I hope Hasbro or BotCon make new versions of these guys sometime.  

These guys haven't gotten any characterization until LSotW, and because LSotW is so awesome, I now feel like I know them all and they're so awesome.  There's Rotorstorm on the left, who's a showy-but-likable braggart.  In the middle is Ironfist, a Wreckers fanboy-turned-recruit, who goes "Squeee!" in the presence of his heroes.  He's really embarrassed about this, by the way, but he can't help it.  On the right, in the back, the guy who looks like Optimus Prime is Pyro, a guy who also acts like Optimus Prime.  Everyone else makes fun of him for this.  And the small guy on the right in front of Pyro is Guzzle, who's as tough and triggerhappy as he is short and stout. 

I will be so sad when the story inevitably starts killing them off.  But that's basically what happens to Wreckers.  To read Last Stand of the Wreckers, like adopting a puppy, is to invite sadness into your life.  You're going to outlive them.  You will.  And then you will cry.
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Big arts.

Shortpacked!: RETRIBUTION!

Hey, did you know that Shortpacked! turned five years old last month on the 17th? Yeah, uh, I guess I sorta forgot.  

Oops.

Well, at least you all were spared some back-patting hamfisted anniversary strip.  It's hard to resist those. 

Meanwhile, I've started gearing up for this year's conventions.  I'm going to a lot of them!  And, well, my old banner display thingy is starting to show its age.  It's got ancient art, the old logo, and I didn't really give the printer a high enough DPI.  So, gross.  

But I'm Mr. Moneybags now, so I'm gonna replace the one banner display with THREE!  Mwahahaha.  And they'll all line up to show a bigger picture.  And if I don't have room behind the booth for all three at a particular convention, I can just use one or two instead!  

So that's is what I've cooked up.  Have some art. 

Long time readers may boggle at the idea that Shortpacked! has now run longer than It's Walky!.  (Well, minus Roomies!.  It'll be two more years for that.)
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I'm on to you, LEGO spies.

Shortpacked!: "Crossover" number two?

This $5 LEGO set has a very targeted audience: Me.

I mean, c'mon.  It's Walky.  It couldn't be Walkier.  Okay, maybe the pants could stand to not be green, but the rest?   I couldn't make a more accurate mini-figure Walky if I tried.  Scruffy brown hair.  Doofy smile.  White hoodie with a blue hood and cuffs?  That's vintage Walky.

And he comes with a white and black Ultra Car, apparently.  That's not quite so spot-on, but it's still a little eerie.

Now, the briefcase Walky comes with, that's definitely off the mark.  Walky is not a briefcase kind of dude.  He must have stolen it from Jason.

So, yeah, I'm gonna have to steal some blue LEGO pants.  I'm sure I have one or two pairs lying around.  Too bad he's not to scale with my Amber statue, or this would be an even better week for Buyable Representations Of My Characters. 
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He was responsible for the requisite Fantastic Voyage plot.

Shortpacked!: Happily ever after!

I went to the trouble of designing a full-body character model for Jason to use in tonight's and yesterday's strips, but then he had to go and do only waist-up appearances!  That dirty Brit!  Always giving me trouble.  Ah well.  Enjoy his control art.

(Jason, in case you haven't guessed or didn't already know, is one of my older characters from my previous comic strip series.  He made his first appearance way back in Roomies! on November 2, 1998, which I am just realizing as I type this was almost exactly ten eleven years ago.  Holy crap.   Should I plug Roomies! Book 1, in which that story appears?  I probably should.)

I talked about the Insecticons a few days ago because I'd picked up their Toys"R"Us-exclusive reissue set, but a reissue of Generation 1 Perceptor is part of that assortment as well.  I was kinda lukewarm on him, but I ended up going back to the store and getting him anyway.  $35 is a hard price to beat for these old guys!  I'm serious.

Perceptor was actually one of my Christmas gifts when I was a kid!  I totally had him.  My old one's broke to hell and missing all of his accessories, so it's nice to have a minty replacement.  The microscope barrel and the mirror and the chest/tray were snapped off long ago, so my childhood one (which is probably buried in a bin in the attic somewhere) isn't terribly compelling.  That's like all the parts that make him a toy. 

See, he's a working microscope.  You can look into the scope and see things bigger out the other end!  Not by a lot, but enough to make him interesting.  So far I have stared at the file end of my nail clippers.  I've tried adjusting the view with the little knob, which is functional, but it doesn't sharpen enough to get a crisp view of anything.  On the other hand, I was never very good at using a microscope in science class, so maybe it's just me.

As you can probably tell from the images, the robot mode is really favored over the other two modes.  The microscope and the tank mode are basically robot parts with a scope added.  And, hey, due to his transformation, he's got an unbelievable amount of articulation for a toy from his era.  His shoulders rotate and his elbows bend, and plus his shins rotate and bend at the knee!  (Now that I think about it, I could have gotten a more dynamic pose from him up there just by rotating his legs out a bit.  I have failed.)  What it comes down to is, if you like big boxy robots who look like they're made out of boxes, he's your Transformer. 

I was surprised to learn from the instructions that you're supposed to remove the knobs on his wrists and set them aside for his tank mode.  Hooray?  I mean, you just take them off and set them aside.  That's kind of weird.  It's not like it makes him look any more like a tank.  It just gives you more stuff to lose.  (They are standard 5mm pegholes, so you could mount other guns there if you wanted.)  Speaking of stuff to lose, he comes with three missiles!  And they don't lock in!  So, yeah, I'm either going to pack away the non-functioning missile-launching gun and its missiles with the box or I'm going to immediately lose these.  

In a weird twist that I'm not sure how I feel about, all of Perceptor's stickers are factory-applied.  All of them!  When you pick one up in the store, make sure you get one with the Autobot symbol on his stomach oriented as straight as possible.  Otherwise, they're put on very cleanly and very straight.  Much better than I'd manage.  But sometimes putting them on is fun!  I dunno.  I have a love/hate relationship with stickers.

Y'know, I was going to try to pose Perceptor with Punching Batman, and use some creative Photoshop magic to make them the same scale (with the microscope being in scale with Batman), but then Halloween Trick or Treating happened and then The Office aired and then Jeff Dunham ruined 30 Rock forever, and I ran out of time.  Oh well! 

We'll always have The Riddler.  And Paris.  And Batman beating up The Riddler in Paris.

Jeff Dunham needs to be shot.  Out of a cannon.  Into a firing range.
Polyphonic Spree!

Of anniversaries and other artificial constructs.

Shortpacked!: Not quite a momentous occasion.

September 10 marks the twelth anniversary of the Walkyverse, from Roomies! through It's Walky!, and now Joyce and Walky! and Shortpacked!.  Twelve isn't really any sort of award-winning or eye-catching number, but I wanted to do something "big" anyway.

Well, "big" is kind of much.  I just didn't want today's strip to suck.  

But in the service of doing something interesting tonight, I broke two cardinal rules of Shortpacked!.  Can you spot both of them?  One's pretty obvious!  You know, the "guest stars."  I promised myself when I began that I wouldn't use them in this strip.  My strip's got to grow its own legs first!  Stretch out the new characters and grow this new corner of my little universe, yadda yadda yadda.

But it's been nearly five years since Shortpacked! started.  Today was time to have some fun, hopefully in the service of humor.

The second rule I broke... well, that was something people on the forums and elsewhere had managed to figure out through various clues anyway.  It's no huge secret if you bother to put in the guesswork.  So why not make it canonical?  And most likely, nobody but myself will even care.

Anyway, thanks for the dozen years, folks.  I promise you a few dozen more!
Polyphonic Spree!

Four years was a good run, no?

ROOMIES: Shortpacked! is over...


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.)
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Weddings and things

Joyce and Walky!: Slobber.

Maggie and I made it out to Joliet perfectly, and at 7pm started the trek to the location for Steve Richardson's (scraggly redhead to the left) wedding rehearsal dinner thing. It was a fun ride, as the only bridge across the river for about five miles either way was totally out for repairs, and the damn banquet hall was just on the other side! Oh wells.

It was a swell night. Though a little surreal, as a friend of one of the bride's sisters (who was awesome, btw) texted out to one of her webcomics-reading friends that she was meeting a David Willis. And this texted person apparently knew me! Well, of me. And that I drew It's Walky!, but don't follow Shortpacked! much. D'oh well. Still, ego boost. I sure need more of those!

Tomorrow, the wedding itself! It promises to be crazy.
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This red's for you. It's comin' atcha.

I'd forgotten how frustrating it is to get good lighting in this apartment without the photo studio. Argh!

The lightpiped eyes usually light up pretty well, I swear!

I added some paint to Animated Voyager-class Prime as soon as I cranked out some pictures of him plain. It did take a trip to Grandview Hobbies to get myself some nonsucky new Flat Red and Yellow, but it was worth it. I "finished" his arms by painting the middle sections on either side of the elbow red, plus I painted in the red stripes on either side of his tummy grill. Other than that, there wasn't much substantial to do. I used clear blue to bring out his lips, and I did the usual black lining around the eyes, yadda yadda, etc.

The red on his elbows really completes the look for me. Tamiya paints, I love you so.

Check out this awesome Walky run-cycle animation by Fisi-Visi! He's spectacular.
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SUPER WEDDING WEEKEND

Joyce and Walky!: SUPER WEDDING WEEKEND

Everyone's getting married this weekend. Everyone! If you think you know someone who isn't getting married this weekend, you're just misinformed. This includes yourself.

Gerald and Danihana, familiar folks to the forum, met through reading It's Walky!. They is getting married today. It is major sucks, because Maggie and I were supposed to be there, but something dumb happened and we couldn't. It is no fair, because I made this wedding happen by existing. The bragging rights are all mine!

Also, Hooper's getting married tomorrow. Finally, he can lose that virginity.

Joyce and Walky themselves may or may not have gotten married last month in the subscription strips. Not even they know for sure!
Polyphonic Spree!

(no subject)

Ultra Car: Hello, disappointing addition of context.
Shortpacked!: The Year Brassy Saved Christmas

As mentioned before, this week's strips are brought to you by the gracious Katrina Sharp, the mastermind behind Studio Brassy and its sexy, scary components. As a talented, longtime reader of the Walkyverse, it's time she was given some spotlight! Well, okay, more spotlight.

I gotta say, Amber looks a lot hotter without that undershirt under there.

In other IW!/SP! fandom news, a couple who met through shared love of things Alien and Perverse are totally gettin' hitched! He was an evil bastard... She was, well, also kinda rather evil... You know, the classic boy-meets-girl. A while ago, Gerald commissioned from me a declaration of his eternal love for Danihana, and she said yes! Sweet damn! The sweetest of damns!

What a wonderful Christmas! Everybody mambo!