Walkyverse

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The Verse which is the setting of five Web Comic series by David Willis: Roomies!, It's Walky!, Shortpacked! (which now has its own page), Joyce And Walky! and Dumbing of Age (which also has its own page).

Roomies! began in 1997 as a Slice of Life webcomic concerning the adventures of Danny Wilcox, Ordinary College Student, and his Kavorka Man roommate Joe Rosenthal. Other important characters included Danny's love interest Jennifer "Billie" Billingsworth, his mixed-race Broken Bird ex-girlfriend Sal Walters, and the sheltered, semi-well-adjusted Joyce Brown. The strip gradually developed both Cerebus Syndrome and a love for theatrics, culminating in Joe and Joyce being kidnapped by aliens.

At this point it re-branded itself It's Walky! and began to focus on the adventures of a Government Conspiracy called SEMME, dedicated to dealing with extra-terrestrial threats to Earth. The titular David "Walky" Walkerton, a hyperactive member of Squad 128, found himself fighting alongside Sal, Joe and Joyce, all of whom were inducted to SEMME and placed in his squad, with Stuffy Brit Jason Chesterfield, Jerk with a Heart of Jerk Mike Warner and even-more-hyperactive Robin DeSanto rounding out the central cast.

After a random collection of Where Are They Now Epilogues, DW launched Shortpacked in 2005, which revolves around the adventures of Invisible to Gaydar Straight Man Ethan Siegel and Meganekko Amber O'Malley as they work at the titular toy store. By the third strip, it has linked itself back to the Walkyverse when Robin DeSanto, still just as hyperactive as before, seeks employment there; not too much later, Mike Warner also joined the cast. In the same year Joyce And Walky! a Dom Com centering around the Official Couple of the verse, debuted, playing out the affairs of characters after the retirement of It's Walky!. Only strips published on Saturdays were available to the public; Tuesday and Thursday material were for subscribers only.

This strip was put on hiatus in 2010, and later that year got a soft reboot into Dumbing of Age, which transplants characters from all of Willis's other comics into Indiana University and strips off the sci-fi elements, thus going back to the original premise of Roomies! ...and so the circle is complete.

Joyce & Walky! got taken out of mothballs on May 13, 2012, with three updates since then. Willis says he's unsure how long updates will keep up.

The cast of these series is vast, but the main players in each can be boiled down to:

Roomies[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Danny Wilcox, an ordinary college student with a tendency for unbridled panic.
  • Joe Rosenthal, Danny's womanizing best friend and dorm roommate.
  • Joyce Brown, a quirky innocent girl who is intent on making Danny her boyfriend.
  • Sarah Clinton, Joyce's jaded pre-law roommate and Friends with Benefits with Joe.
  • Jennifer 'Billie' Billingsworth, a Troubled but Cute student with a reputation as a party girl.
  • Mary (Mary Paul in Walky!), Sal's hypocritical 'best friend' whose moralizing towards Billie is proven hollow when she has an abortion.
  • Ruth Lesse, a cynical grad student who had been Billie and Walky's babysitter as a teen.
  • Sal Walters, Danny's moody, mysterious ex-girlfriend, who shows up just long enough to tell Danny goodbye because she's moving on to...

It's Walky![edit | hide]

  • David 'Walky' Walkerton, a hyperactive, bubble-headed medical lab attendant turned alien hunter who was once Billie's best childhood friend and is actually Sal's long-lost twin brother.
  • Steven 'Beef' Walkerton, Walky's fraternal twin brother secretly Switched At Birth with Sal.
  • Jason Chesterfield, the uptight British squad leader, and the only non-abductee amongst Squad 128.
  • Mike Warner, violent-minded Jerkass who delights in torturing those around him.
  • Allen Rees, alien expert.
  • Professor Doc, Mad Scientist in charge of studying alien technology.
  • Dina Sarazu, unfortunate, mild-mannered paleontologist who ends up as Professor Doc's assistant.
  • Robin DeSanto, hyperactive speedster who is Mike's replacement in Squad 128 after he is nearly killed by Walky.

Their main opponents are the Purple Aliens ('Alien' being the actual name of their homeworld), lead by Head Alien; the British Ninjas from a secret organization led by Jason's father Dargon Chesterfield and Jason's former lover Penny Worthington; and the Martian Empire.

Joyce and Walky[edit | hide]

  • Becky, Joyce's new best friend. She is generally more sane and easy-going than Joyce.
  • Dorothy, Walky's over-achieving ex-girlfriend who dumped him for not being studious enough. She's moved into Walky's neighborhood and is having second thoughts about her decision all those years ago.
  • D.J., Danny and Sal's hypothetical kid from the future. Other universes sending help for other versions of him, only to end up in the mainline continuity, is the impetus for most of the plot.

Shortpacked![edit | hide]

See here for info.

Dumbing of Age[edit | hide]

See here for info.


These series provide examples of:

Roomies![edit | hide]

Joe: What are we doing tonight?
Danny: Joyce wants to see a movie.
Joe: Joyce? You mean that studious, churchy girl? The Joyce who followed you home and claimed you as her own? Even though you're dating Sal, who's currently still in high school?
Both Aside Glance
Danny: That was...informative. But yes. Joyce.


It's Walky![edit | hide]

"Hey, kid, don't take it personally. It's just a bunch of science."

The Wanderer: No! Our universe will die a slow energy death! What motive do you have against the countless innocents that inhabit your native world?!
Dargon Chesterfield: You robbed me of my heir. I will rob you of your future.

Walky: No mind wipe for you. Ever. (tosses mind-wiper to the ground, it bounces) Well, if that broke it would've been really cool.

  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Walky, especially in the gender-bending reality-warping storyline.
  • Everythings Better With Monkeys: Monkey Master, who hates being called a monkey - he's a giant robot ape, after all; also, Walky's obsession with monkeys, and especially his favorite childhood toy, Mister Monkey.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Dargon Chesterfield milks this trope for all it's worth. After she kills him, Penny even takes it to wear herself.
  • Expressive Mask: The Purple Alien's helmets
  • Expy: Sal is amazingly similar to Rogue of the X-Men. She speaks with a Southern accent, discovers her long-lost brother is her teammate, is one of the strongest members of SEMME, is emotionally conflicted and constantly switching sides, and even wears gloves.
    • Beef is very obviously supposed to be a pastiche of Duke Nukem.
      • Word of God says he's based on Arnie.
      • Who happened to be a big part of the inspiration for Duke Nukem.
  • Famous Last Words: Dina's "This was the best I could do." executed this trope perfectly. She actually gained more fans in death.
  • Fantastic Racism: Toward Alan and the law-abiding Martians; in the epilogue, toward now-assimilated aliens.
  • Flight: Part of what makes Joyce special is that she can use the flying pack effectively.
  • Foreshadowing: Over my fossilized remains!
  • Fragile Speedster: Robin, though it's mostly emotional fragility rather than physical - she's about as strong as the others.
  • Freudian Excuse: Sal.
  • Funetik Aksent: Sal.
    • Averted with Jason: though he apparently does have an accent, it's not phonetic.
  • Gambit Roulette: Britjas, just...Britjas.
  • Genki Girl: Robin.
  • Gender Bender: During an Unpredictable Results episode.
  • Genre Savvy: Danny. While talking with Sal, he mentions that he's planning to ask Billie to marry him. Sal asks if she can see the ring. His response? "Hell no. I know how this works. I show you the ring, and Billie walks around the corner."
  • "Get Out of Jail Free" Card: Averted: when Sal was incarcerated, she could easily have broken out if she'd wanted to, but remained because she knows she deserved it, and eventually had to escape when swept up by circumstances.
  • Gigantic Gulp: The "X-TREEEM MUG!" storyline.
    • Becomes a fine Brick Joke. In the last panel of the last strip we see a flash-forward of Joyce and Walky sitting together in old age - the giant mug is still right by Walky's side.
  • Godly Sidestep: The Big Cheese claims to know which religion is the correct one, but refuses to tell anyone, claiming that if you don't figure it out for yourself, you won't understand the answer.
  • Government Conspiracy: SEMME. Eventually revealed to be involved in an even bigger conspiracy with the Martians and JFO. Dargon Chesterfield created SEMME specifically so that he could build an army out of the abductees, who were themselves the product of a joint effort between Linda Walkerton and the Head Alien.
  • Glurge Addict
  • Great Way to Go: Dying in a fire is bad, but also sort of cool. If it's while in the middle of an orgy in which one is the only male[1]...
  • Half-Identical Twins: Sal and Walky
  • Hannibal Lecture: One of Head Alien's favorite tactics.
  • Heroic BSOD: Many, most notably Linda during the final fight with the Britjas.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Dina.
    • Possibly Mike as well, as he shoved Joyce out of the way before facing the martians alone. Whether or not he actually intended to do so is debatable.
  • Heroic Sociopath: Mike.
  • Sued for Superheroics: Done completely straight and deadly serious.
  • I Want Grandkids: Joyce's mother, to an astoundingly embarrassing degree.
  • If You Kill Him You Will Be Just Like Him: But it doesn't work the last time Head Alien tries it.
  • Indecisive Parody: It doesn't really know if it's a comedic series or a dramatic one. It's a mix of both.
  • Is That What He Told You?: Another tactic Head Alien often used.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Mike Warner. Also doubles as both a Heroic Sacrifice and a Crowning Moment of Awesome.

Mike: (as he's about to be eaten by a martian) You call this tentacle violation? Your mom's better at this. That's because she's a prosti-* SKLRCH*

"I do intend to finish [Joyce and Walky!], and not, like, end everything with a text story where everyone becomes lesbians."

  • The Artifact: The Sound of Music, early sexual Aesops.
  • The Atoner: Sal. Somewhat subverted, since this is usually defined as wanting to go out and do something to atone. Sal sits in prison when it is implied she could break out, and is forced to escape by circumstances.
  • There Are No Therapists: Lampshaded at least once. After the series ended, Willis even did a storyline about it.
  • There Was a Door: Sal. It became a Running Gag with her. She even Lampshades it while using a door as a blunt instrument on Billie.

Sal: "Folks're always tellin' me to use the door."

  • Throwaway Country: Invoked by the Head Alien, who figures no one would notice if he just froze Canada. "Goddamn was I right!"
  • Time Stands Still: The Head Alien creates a device that can do this and tests it on Canada.
  • Title Drop: It's Walky.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Billie actually dares to challenge Sal over Danny and manages to give a surprisingly good account of herself due to martial arts training and a childhood spent fighting with Walky.
  • Totem Pole Trench: In this strip, Joyce and Dina use a more specific version to pretend to be Jason.
  • Translation Train Wreck: Translations of Martian speech come out this way.

Excellent. They wish also do battle. This is satisfy.

Howard: Nerd! Nerd! One of Us! One of Us!
Joe: Now I want it to be a suicide mission.


Joyce & Walky![edit | hide]

  • After the End: The comic's tagline describes J&W! as "post-apocalyptic." Given that said apocalypse was averted, it's debatable how well the description fits.
  • Alternate Universe: Hoo boy. The villain's entire plot revolves around building an army out of the future kids of potential pairings, and that's just for starters...
  • April Fools' Day: 2008 had Ultra-Car getting hit with a missile, Joyce and Walky inside declaring their hatred for each other, and Head Alien and Monkey Master having a Dance Party Ending.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Monkey Master disbelieves Head Alien II's existance and exploits. Head Alien II assumes this is the reason until Monkey Master tells him it's because "that would mean you actually succeeded at something."
    • Played straight later: even after all he's seen and done, Joe still denies the existance of Danny's alt-future kid DJ.

Joe: Am I the only one who refuses to dignify this retarded development?

Sal: These antennae can be used as stranglin' instruments.
Walky: Than we shall remain silent.

  • Benevolent Boss: Joe, as head of Rosenthal Industries. Danny works for him.
  • Best Woman: Danny implied he would've ended up Joyce's maid of honor if Becky hadn't popped up.

Danny: I'm off the hook?
Walky: You're off the hook.

  • Back from the Dead / Back for the Finale: Head Alien I. "That's right, I'm original recipe. Wanna dance?
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: How the alt-universe future kids end up, for the most part.
  • Burger Fool: Sal ends up as one when forced into the working world.
  • Call Back: Sal calls Joyce's use of her jetpack cheating when recounting one of their It's Walky!-era fights to Becky. Later, whilst fighting the brainwashed alt-future kids, Joyce gleefully refers to the use of her jetpack as cheating as she and Walky fly into battle.
  • The Cameo: Joyce logs onto a pony chatroom in the hopes of finding a new friend to be her maid of honor, only to become discouraged and give up. Amber is on the same forum.
  • Cerebus Retcon: We get an explanation for the duct tape restraints. Apparently it worked on the abductees when they were kids and they just never felt the need to upgrade. (Hey, no one said it was a good explanation.)
  • Crossover: With Shortpacked for the wedding. Robin is authenticating, and Mike is invited. They bring Leslie and Amber as their plus-ones and they all show up in Ultra-Car.
  • Clue From Ed: The Rubber Band History version of The Unmasqued World arc comes with the following note from Willis.

Longtime It's Walky! readers may find this scene familiar. Sort of.
Hint: Things are different.

Head Alien II: Hey, you stupid monkey! Those were the guys on our side! C'mon!
Monkey Master: All these humans look alike!
Head Alien II: ...That's sort of a cliche, don't you think?
Monkey Master: I'm serious. They're all wearing the same damn outfit.
Head Alien II: Oh. Well. Point taken.

  • Flash Back: An extended one happens early on, which introduces us to Dorothy and tells the story of how Walky became an honor student in high school.
  • First Episode Spoiler: Jason and Sal don't last, which is why Sal now lives with Joyce and Walky.
  • Friends with Benefits: Jason and Sal try this for a while after their relationship falls apart. It doesn't work out.
  • Fourth Wall Portrait: Walky takes a life-drawing class and is critisized by his professor for "making up anatomy."

Joyce: Were you drawing lips again?

HAII: I see the hope on your faces, and I know the reason for it. Hell, I put it there. You know, to taunt you, if only for a few minutes. That's right--I let D.J. Wilcox escape.
cue Oh Crap look on the fleeing D.J.'s face
HAII: It should be fun.

  • Hypocrite: Joyce edges into this territory when she has a mini-freakout over Walky and Dorothy hanging out. Walky points out that she pined after both Danny and Joe and he doesn't take issue with them being around.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Walky threatens Jason with this when he finds out he and Sal have been sneaking around. Jason is unimpressed.

Jason: You may be superhuman, but I remember you have a soft neck.

DJ: I shouldn't be interacting with you to begin with. I only initiated it for my own selfish reasons. So I deserve any ire thrown my way. This was stupid, plain and simple. But hey, principals mean diddly squat without the experiences to back them up, right?

Becky: What's that noise I sometimes hear in here? Stampeding cattle?
Joyce: Scrabble. We play very loud Scrabble.

Joe: Everything's going to be completely different, isn't it?
Danny: Yep. And I'm completely ready. ... Nothing can possibly go wrong!
Joe ducks under the table, than cautiously pokes his head up
Joe: Nothing happened.
Danny: Told you everything is different.

    • And Played Straight a moment later—after Danny's big speech about how he feels ready for any challenge life lobs at him, D.J. shows up and claims to be his son.
  • Under the Mistletoe: Joyce and Sal freak out when they find themselves under it in the Dec. 2005 wallpaper.
  • Wedding Day: Danny and Billie's wedding, though the duo are out of focus in favor of highlighting Sal and Joyce's hostility towards each other regarding how their relationships with Danny ended up. The comic also ends on one--or is about to, anyway—between Joyce and Walky themselves.
  • Wedding Smashers: Head Alien I in Dorothy's body. Lampshaded.

Sorry, took "wedding crasher" a wee bit too literally.

  • With This Ring: Joe fumbles it at Danny and Billie's wedding, sending Sal and Joyce scrambling to beat each other to get it, much to the irritation of the bride and groom. Sarah beats both of them to it.

Sal and Joyce: Drama queen.


Notes

  1. and straight