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Take the characters of It's Walky! and Shortpacked, mix it with the setting of Roomies!, add thirteen-years-improved writing and art and what you get is Dumbing of Age.

The comic is a Continuity Reboot of the Walkyverse as a whole. It reprises the Roomies! idea by putting all the characters together at Indiana University--including characters who were introduced after It's Walky! was completed. It also removes the sci-fi elements in favor of just letting people bounce off each other. It is being produced concurrently with Shortpacked and, by Word of God, should be considered an Alternate Universe, as David Willis plans to play fast and loose with histories, plots and timing for the sake of a better finished product.

Our cast:

  • Joyce, a sheltered fundamentalist Innocent Bigot who gets to go to IU because both her parents did and because she's the "best socialized" out of her entire homeschool group.
  • Sarah, a sophomore who had a bad experience the previous year involving a drug-addicted roommate. She's not very popular because people liked her roommate, whom she busted. Now she's stuck with Joyce.
  • Becky, Joyce's childhood friend, who's going to Anderson.
  • Billie, a former high school cheerleader who has yet to realize (in her one week at IU so far) that no one in college cares how popular you say you were in high school.
  • Walky, officially a telecommunications major who is only at IU because his parents want him to be. Billie's childhood friend, not that she'll have anything to do with him now.
  • Danny, who went to IU to be with his girlfriend Dorothy. Dorothy, however, failed to mention that she was going to break up with Danny.
  • Dorothy, a learning-obsessed freshman and Danny's (now ex) girlfriend who plans to get an Ivy League diploma on the cheap by starting at IU and transferring to Yale. It's too bad her relationship with Danny would get in the way of that.
  • Joe, who laments that he has only four years in which to "Joe" all the fine ladies at IU. Have you subscribed to his "Do" list's RSS Feed yet?
  • Mike, who seems dead set on pissing off everybody, including the audience, by hanging in the background and saying nothing. You just know he's up to something. Can be hired to punch your date for you.
  • Sal, who held up two convenience stores as a young teenager and was sent off to a Catholic boarding school in Tennessee. Now she's back and has a motorcycle, which instantly garners her a fanclub. She should have gotten a scooter.
  • Amber, a bespectacled nerd-girl and World of Warcraft addict who went to High School with Mike and Ethan. Slightly less reclusive than her roommate Dina
  • Amazi-Girl, an anonymous costumed vigilante who just happens to bear a remarkable resemblance to Amber without her glasses.
  • Ruth, a somewhat Ax Crazy RA. She will break you.
  • Dina, Amber's roommate. Wears a dinosaur hat, and prefers to hide behind the door.
  • Ethan, Friend of Mike and Amber. Wears a Batman shirt. Officially out in this universe, dated Amber but that was a disaster.
  • Leslie, Gender Studies lecturer.
  • Jason, Teaching Assistant.
  • Galasso, The owner of "Galasso's Pizza (And Subs)" who is bent on taking over the world.
  • Conquest, Galasso's daughter, works at the pizza place.
  • Roz, A young woman who preaches sexual freedom, likes to practice what she preaches, and posts the videos on the internet.
  • Robin, Roz's older sister and member of the U.S. House of Representatives who claims to dislike her sister's antics but is willing to exploit them to garner votes.

First page can be found here

This webcomic contains examples of:

  • Abuse Is Okay When It Is Female On Male: Played straight, and then subverted -- Joyce hires resident Jerkass Mike to punch Joe in the face whenever he steps out of line, then joins in at the end of the night after Joe was distracted by the waitress wearing a Stripperiffic outfit. The next day, he points out the Hypocrisy of a Christian paying someone to commit violence and joining in on said violence. Joyce is visibly shaken.

 Joe: Pray for me? Maybe I'll pray for you to learn it's not cool to punch people in the face!

Joyce: But... but... guys can't actually get hurt by a girl. Guys are, like, strong.

 Sarah: You smashed a cup in a boy's face.

Joyce: ... Th-that doesn't sound like me.

 Joyce: You saved me! God sent you after me!

Sarah: Yeah. Old Testament God.

  • Break the Haughty: Billie seems to be going through this, having been a social queen of her High School (editor of the student paper, cheerleader, popular) only to find that absolutely none of this matters in college.
    • To date:
    • Joyce is getting this to a lesser extent -- she's an extremely sheltered fundamentalist whose stated goal is to find a good husband and drop out. So far, she's proceeded to insult and offend almost everyone she's met in some way or another -- freaking out when she discovered Dorothy is an atheist, pointing out how she can "fix" Joe's Judaism, accidentally let it slip that she's not exactly comfortable having a black roommate, etc etc.
      • On the other hand, Joyce is more of an Innocent Bigot than "haughty," and unlike Billie, she's learning from her experiences and improving as a person. It helps that she doesn't have a malicious bone in her body and thinks that people are all good at heart.
  • Brick Joke: In chapter 2, Mike puts his books in Walky's bag without him noticing. Two chapters later, Walky wonders how his books multiplied.
  • Broad Strokes: Willis stated at Anime Fest 2010 (where the comic was unveiled) that he plans to write the characters so that they are up to date with the other continuities. For example, Joyce starts off with the same level of maturity she had gained at the end of IW (thanks to not having been abducted and actually having a friend her own age), and Ethan came out some time in high school. This is so that he doesn't have to cover the same character arcs that people have already read.
  • Butt Monkey: Life seems to be developing a bit of a habit of kicking Danny in the balls.
  • Call Back: According to Mike's Twitter, his turn-ons are hats, strong tempers, and fuckable moms on the brink of death, referencing Mike's romantic relationships in It's Walky! and Shortpacked!
  • The Cameo: Apparently Archie is not above attending college parties.
    • Word of God says otherwise.
    • An early and shortlived meme among readers was to find background characters who look like Shaggy.
    • How could we have missed Magnitude? He's even in the character tags!
  • Character Blog: Apparently, any "official" Twitter feeds from Walkyverse characters are from this version of them.
  • Cleavage Window: Amazi-Girl does not have one, to Daisy's extreme disappointment.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Walky.
  • Comic Book Time: Willis claims that this will be his first series to use the technique, but it is in fact closer to Webcomic Time (we're about eleven months in and have just finished covering the first week of the semester) crossed with Sliding Time Scale (what year said semester is in changes to avoid Dumbing from, in Willis's words, "slowly becoming a period piece.")
  • Continuity Reboot: Though it doesn't null out the previous continuity, it just throws one more on the pile.
  • Curb Stomp Battle:
    • Ruth utterly owns Billie here, tossing her over her head and into a chair. And remember, this is a girl who gave Sal trouble in IW!, so Ruth must have some serious fighting chops.
    • Later on, Amazi-Girl chases off the jocks that were beating up Danny with just a kick and a punch.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Sarah has some history in college.
    • Sal practically owns this trope even though she wasn't swapped this time.
  • Defictionalization: After a number of fans asked for a real life version of Dina's dinosaur hat, Willis got some felt and a sewing kit together and started making them.
  • Description Cut: Here.
  • Different As Night and Day: Sal and Walky, even though they weren't raised apart this time.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Sierra, who has apparently been barefoot since sixth grade (that's her best guess at least). It took a while for anyone to notice, including the reader, since her feet were not shown until the characters noticed her shoelessness.
  • Ethical Slut: Roz, though YMMV. She encourages safe sex and even insisted on putting a clause of politically correct language in her roommate agreement, but is also not above sabotaging her sister's political career because the two have opposing views.
    • Possibly Joyce as well. When she hired Mike to chaperone her date, it wasn't just to keep Joe from trying anything but also to keep herself from trying anything as well. So despite her being a conservative christian who wants to wait until marriage, she expected to be swayed by Joe's charms into having sex on the first date.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: A lot of the premise of DoA is "What if everyone in the Walkyverse went to college together?", along with "What if no one got crazy powers from being abducted by aliens?"
  • Funny Background Event: Amazi-Girl can be seen beating up people in this strip.
  • Gayngst: Ethan. He even angsts about the fact that he angsts so much.
  • Genre Savvy: Sarah can actually see the character's archetypes miles away, but her flaw is that she's been right so many times she's built a wall around herself so that she wouldn't need to make friends ever again.
  • Go Mad From the Revelation: Billie's reaction when she realises that, going by all the people she knows at college so far, Joyce is her best friend.
  • He's Not My Boyfriend: Billie gets pretty vocal when Ruth asks if Walky's her boyfriend.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Walky responds to his attraction to Dorothy about as well as your average eight-year old would.
  • High School AU: Technically college, but it mixes The Men in Black alien fighters from the previous continuity into an ordinary college setting.
  • Iconic Item: Dina's hat.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends / I Just Want to Be Loved: This are Joyce's main motivations. One could argue that Sarah is repressing her desire to be loved.
  • Innocent Bigot: Joyce frequently makes offensive remarks to non-Christians (especially atheists, which she seemed genuinely shocked to discover actually exist), due to her sheltered, homeschooled environment. She has since made similar comments about minorities.
    • However as soon as she was called out on it, she did try to ignore it, willing to ignore Dorothy's atheism to continue their friendship and attempting to tone down her racism. Unfortunately it's been less than a week so not much progress has been made.
  • Is That What They're Calling It Now?: "Journalism".
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: Sarah wears them all the time.
  • Lighter and Softer: Mike is very subdued compared to his Walkyverse counterpart and shows his "Heart of Gold" far more often. However, this is more likely a function of the Dumbiverse being sane, whereas Walkyverse Mike specializes in very over-the-top acts of jackassery and is almost superhumanly apathetic to other people's pain.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Amber, Danny, and Amazigirl. Possibly.
  • Morality Pet: Joyce is one for Sal and Sarah. Funny how that works out.
  • Mythology Gag: Every now and again. For example, this strip shows Leslie joking that every female in Gender Studies is a lesbian. Readers who've read Shortpacked! know that she is a lesbian. She also displays a noticeable crush on Congresswoman Robin DeSanto, the same dynamic she had with Robin in Shortpacked.
    • Walky mentioning that Sal is basically Batman (and is thus prone to disappearing). Sal's usual method of entry (the window) was done as a Batman parody back in It's Walky!.
    • Mike's notes here.
    • Walky tells Joyce that they can't be friends. In the Walkyverse, they're an Official Couple.
    • Not exactly a gag, but Joyce losing her memory when she was drugged parallels nicely with being mind wiped in the Walkyverse.
  • My Friends and Zoidberg

 Danny: I didn't come here just for you...Joe's also here!

  Joyce: Ever since I've got here, you've disapproved of everything I've been done. What I believe, who I hang out with! But every single time you're wrong! Look at me, I'm just a homeschooled girl. I've made friends. You're...still alone.

 Mike: ...wow.

Ethan: (in a small voice) Do not judge me.

  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him??: After all the trouble Billie went to in order to get Sal to sign the agreement, Sal offers a simpler solution.
  • Word of God David Willis wrote on the DOA blog that we're not going to be seeing Amazi-Girl out of costume. Amber subsequently appeared being dragged out to lunch by Mike and Ethan. A Lying Creator or an Un Reveal to come? Either is plausible, knowing Willis. (Unless ... Amber isn't Amazi-Girl in this continuity...)
    • It could also mean that we're not going to see Amazi-Girl changing out of her costume (i.e. revealing precisely who she is).
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Billie thinks she's still the Alpha Bitch, but hasn't quite realized that college is a much bigger place than high school.
  • You Need to Get Laid: Daisy, the college newspaper editor, needs a girlfriend. Desperately.

 Daisy: I need facts. I need evidence. I need controversy. I need titilation. I need --

Dorothy: A girlfriend?

Daisy: [idly playing with a pair of scissors] How'd you know?

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