This is totally babies

Why Shortpacked! is ending

(note: this is not a pregnancy announcement, getting that out of the way right off the bat)

Those of you who’ve read Joel Watson's foreword in Dumbing of Age book 2 know that he claims Dumbing of Age's creation is his fault.  Well, Shortpacked!'s end is his fault, too.  Go yell at him.  But let me explain.

In the foreword, Joel talks about how we sat around exhausted at Comic-Con 2010 talking about drawing webcomics.  To sum up, since he’d started raising a kid, his ability to attune himself with the pop culture lifeblood of his pop culture-riffing webcomic had severely diminished.  Maggie and I sort of wanted kids eventually ourselves, and so this was something I hadn’t considered.  I mean, writing Shortpacked! without a growing toy collection or the funds or time to watch movies or basically spend all day on the Internet getting mad at dumb people?  How is that possible?  It isn’t.  

That’s the part of the story you’ve heard.  But here’s the other half:

And so I thought to myself, okay, what kind of story can I write effortlessly without having to put my nose in the Internet and spend thousands of dollars on toys that should be buying my kid food instead?  WELL, COLLEGE, OBVIOUSLY.  Take all my characters, reboot them, and just write them forever, because I know I can.  It’s my wheelhouse.  I can write that on autopilot, blindfolded. 

Shortpacked! was making barely enough money to live on at the time, and so I couldn’t just end it.  I needed to write both comics at the same time, build up that second audience, so that when SP! dies I have that audience waiting.  But the thing about having babies is that you can’t really plan for when they specifically happen.  For example, ours hasn’t yet.  Maybe soon, hopefully!  WHO KNOWS.  But back then, I figured Shortpacked! would end whenever that kid happened.  I didn’t want to leave my characters hanging, so starting in 2010 I immediately started wrapping things up one by one.  I gave Amber closure with her father.  I gave Amber and Mike a happy ending together.  I got Robin and Leslie back together (as was always the plan).  I got Ethan the hell away from retail.  The double edged sword with not knowing when your comic will end while still trying to wrap things up is that you need the strip to persist while characters are leaving.  And so there’s Malaya and Ken and Lucy and everyone sort of being there to keep things alive until whenever, possibly indefinitely.  Robin and Leslie would never leave — Shortpacked! is impossible to write without Robin.  She is its tone embodied.

Anyway, Dumbing of Age really really really really did well.  It has twice the audience as Shortpacked!, and with the help of Hiveworks, it’s making me pretty financially happy, and so I’m in a place that Shortpacked! can end whenever.  It’s finally unnecessary, except for those times I have to yell at MRAs.  Ultimately I’ve decided it will end on its tenth birthday, mostly because I really really like round number anniversaries and I’ve never done any single thing for a full decade before.  It’d probably end sooner otherwise.  My brain is solidly in the Dumbiverse, even though I still find spurts of great inspiration in Shortpacked!.  

And so today, on its ninth birthday, I thought you should have advance notice.

  1. triggerhappy938 reblogged this from yellowbananaslug
  2. echnolon reblogged this from itswalky
  3. rafira reblogged this from itswalky
  4. tarkara reblogged this from itswalky
  5. yellowbananaslug reblogged this from itswalky
  6. iaconunderground reblogged this from itswalky
  7. deadend reblogged this from itswalky and added:
    Huh. I am shocked that I’ve been reading Shortpacked so long. I do hope you still take the chance to yell at MRAs...
  8. in-between-fantasy-and-reality reblogged this from itswalky
  9. makiruz reblogged this from itswalky and added:
    I admit this saddens me, because it will be the End of the Walkyverse; and as much as I love Dumbing of Age, there are...
  10. mmanalysis reblogged this from itswalky
  11. calvsie reblogged this from itswalky and added:
    Sad Calvsie Tear… Short pack was the comic that changed my opinion of you…