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September 9, 2009

Took the day off on Monday to enjoy the holiday. Also, I used to start on the archives of a web comic. I’m still working on it, at about 2003 at the moment but it’s going quick so hopefully I should be ready for Friday. Of course, I’m thinking of seeing ‘9’  as well, so I might do that for Friday, we’ll see.

Today’s comic is Shortpacked!.

Background: The archives for Shortpacked! go back to January 17, 2005. The comic is written and drawn by David Willis. He has a couple of other comics called It’s Walky and Roomies. I haven’t checked those out and may or may not do so in the future. I do know that two of the characters in Shortpacked!

Apparently Willis is considered an innovator of web comics. I’m not really sure why or how but that’s what various articles I read said. So there.

Willis did help co-found Blank Label comics which features several other popular web comics. Blank Label was started in 2005 and Willis is still a part of the company.

The Comic: Shortpacked! is about the employees of a toy store called Shortpacked. The store is run by a maniacal owner named Galasso who has delusions of dictatorships.

Mostly the focus is on the employees Ethan (a gay failed stand up comedian), Amber (a neurotic girl with Dad issues), Robin (a crazy girl), Mike (a crazy/mean guy), Leslie (Robin’s lover), Faz (the most annoying character outside of Faye from Questionable Content), Rick (a ninja who loves Naruto, ugh), and Ultra Car (a talking car).

For some reason when I was looking for gaming comics to review this one showed up. I would not describe this as a gaming comic by any means. It talks about video games and such from time to time but the focus is on toys and comics (more toys than comics).

It was a refreshing idea. Also, unlike many of the game comics that I’ve read recently it has continuity, story lines, and interesting characters to get attached too.

It’s not focused on a lot of different toys. For the most part it focuses on Transformers. Just about everything Transformers too, we’re talking the cartoons, the movies, and the especially the toys.

I’d always known there was a culture around figurines and toy collecting but this comic really opened my eyes to it. I mean, debates about plastic type and color? Something I never would have considered. True, it might be a joke but there’s a little bit of truth in every joke you know.

Another focus in the comic is Batman and those jokes are good for laughs. Especially the over-done “I’m Batman” strips. Strangely no matter how many “I’m Batman” strips I saw I chuckled every time.

The art for this comic feels very 80s which isn’t a bad thing. It continually reminded me of cartoons that I watched as a kid or stuff that my dad showed me, including the Transformers cartoons.

Willis’ style is fun to look at. I don’t think that it’s anything memorable but it is solid. It’s worth the look on that end.

His writing style is also pretty solid. Willis does a good job of balancing his strips with story arcs, dailies, and comedy and drama. The drama isn’t so angsty that it detracts from the comic. In fact usually it adds to the comedy.

Shortpacked! won’t change worlds but it’s very solid in most aspects of it’s delivery. The writing is good, the art is good, and the characters are interesting and likable (save Faz).

My Recommendation: Read it. Take some time to sift through the archives. Of the web comics that I’ve reviewed for this comic (that I didn’t previously read) this one is one that I might keep reading. It’s a great comic.

Check it out.


One Comment leave one →
  1. September 10, 2009 7:55 pm

    Great review the only things that bother me that Ethan has not reedemed himself ,he has done a lot of evil things and he didnt pay for his crimes batman must be sad.
    Besides that great comic

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