Roomies! is the first official series of strips in the Walkyverse, and originally ran from 1997 to 1999. It began publishing in Indiana University's Indiana Daily Student newspaper on September 10, 1997. Simultaneously, it was thrown up on the web onto a Geocities site, making it one of the earliest webcomics, long before the term "webcomic" itself even hit widespread use.
Like Dumbing of Age, Roomies! is a college story set at Indiana University. Unlike Dumbing of Age, it focuses chiefly on Danny and Joe as the titular roommates.
- Danny Wilcox - The self-righteous star of Roomies!
- Joe Rosenthal - Danny's ladykiller roommate.
- Joyce Brown - Becomes infatuated with Danny at first sight.
- Jennifer "Billie" Billingsworth - Originally a side character. Later a love interest for Danny, retroactively a love interest for Ruth.
- Ruth Lesse - A depressed nihilist who befriends Danny and gets hit by a truck.
- Howard Lesse - Ruth's unapologetically nerdy little brother, he of the Spock ears and Star Trek commemorative plates.
- Sal Walters - Danny's very own high school manic pixie dream girl. Goes in and out of windows a lot.
- Sarah Clinton - Joyce's cynical, sarcastic roommate and Joe's acquaintance with benefits.
- Mary Bradford - A friend of Sal and Danny's from high school. Self-righteous and moralizing like Danny, but way, way worse.
- David Walkerton - Only a side character in Roomies!, the appearance of this easily distracted SEMME lab assistant marks the moment the Walkyverse shifts from a simple college story to something infinitely more complicated.
For more detail on individual plots, see the Roomies! storylines page.
The entirety of Roomies! has been collected in print:
- Roomies! Book 1: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Beer (Purchase)
- Roomies! Book 2: Giant-Sized Acts of Integrity (Purchase)
Both books contain exclusive content not found online.
Roomies! Comic Book
From 2001 to 2002, webcomics portal Keenspot published a short-lived Roomies! print comic featuring a combination of webstrip reprints and all-new Roomies! content that expanded on some of the backstories hinted at during the strip's original run. The print comic ended with Issue #5, leaving the last storyline, "One Day", unfinished for several years.
Although its original run ended in 1999, the strip had a brief revival in 2004 when Keenspot arranged to have Roomies! content syndicated in "some newspaper in the middle of nowhere." Since most of the existing Roomies! material didn't meet the newspaper's criteria, David Willis drew "Roomies! Redux": several new standalone strips that were nonetheless intended to fit into the comic's existing continuity. Roomies! Redux is perhaps best known for finally making Ruth/Billie canon.
Bring Back Roomies!
For the strip's 15-year anniversary, David Willis created a new website that will eventually act as an archive for the complete Walkyverse strips, minus Shortpacked! The new site includes a running (and frequently self-deprecating) creator's commentary delving into the history and thought processes behind each strip.
The Last Roomies! Story Ever, I Promise
For the release of the book edition of Roomies! book 2 in 2013, Willis wrote a 7-page epilogue story. It will be uploaded to Bring Back Roomies after It's Walky! and Joyce and Walky! are complete.