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Endtown is a webcomic by Aaron Neathery.[1] The story centers around several characters living in the fictional post-apocalyptic underground city of Endtown. The world is plagued by a mutagenic virus that turns exposed humans into anthropomorphic animals. It is published five times a week (Monday through Friday) on ModernTales since January 2009, and on GoComics since January 2011.

Endtown is based on two of Neathery's previous comics, Albert and The Daily Grind.

Backstory

In the Near Future, conflicts between various countries results in all of them launching a variety of weapons at each other all at once. The resulting unpredictable combination of side effects wiped out the majority of the population and turned most of the Earth's surface into a wasteland. The survivors were divided up into roughly two groups: those who became mutants (or were immune to mutations), and those not yet exposed to the mutagen. The first group, collectively known as "mutants", either roam the surface raiding city ruins for food, or live in survival bunkers. One such bunker, located a mile underground, is Endtown. The second group are the "Topsiders", highly prejudiced "pure humans" who live in an undisclosed location(s) and hunt mutants with the goal of ridding the planet of them. The Endtown story revolves around one group of mutants attempting to survive under these conditions.

In the story, Endtown is one of many mutant outposts that have sprung up following The End. It is an underground city approximately 1 mile underground, with at least one entrance elevator located somewhere in the unmarked Great Waste.

Although the warring countries at The End used many different kinds of weapons, only two have been described in the story so far.

Amesworth Radiation, a form of radiation harnessed by the inventor Sam Sanders for Apex Industries. Amesworth radiation is used in ray guns and disintegration beamers. As mentioned in the comic, if the radiation is strong enough it will disintegrate anything. At lower levels it only affects organic matter. (Twinkies are thus identified as inorganic). It is named after its discoverer - Dr. Eden Amesworth, who Sanders may have actually met at one time.

The Mutagenic Virus has not been explained in any detail so far and may not actually be a virus. This is the thing that turns humans into mutants, and is present throughout the planet. Generally it is referred as "the mutagens". It's questionable as to whether the mutagens were initially intended as a weapon, or if it was accidentally leaked from somewhere. According to "Cooper's Rule", if a human is awake when exposed to the mutagens, they will turn into "nightmare fuel", i.e. - "a monster". So far, monsters have ranged from what appear to be pools of goo, to things like a big octopus and really large hungry shapes. To date, only one type of monster has been identified by name.

Locations

So far, the Endown story has taken place primarily around the Endtown bunker, meaning that little is known about the rest of the planet. There are essentially 5 locations or entities that have been highlighted as of April 4, 2012.

The Great Waste (AKA: Topside.) "Topside" is the term used by Endtowners to distinguish activities outside of the bunker. We have not yet been told what the Topsiders call themselves, or what they call the areas outside of their own colonies. There are various ruins scattered across The Great Waste containing intact buildings and/or roads.

Hillside was actually one large country sprawling across this part of the continent. When the number of spontaneous mutations started escalating, all warring countries accused the others of being the source cause and launched their weapons at each other, triggering The End. Endtown is located within the Hillside boundaries.

Bordavia was a warzone neighboring Hillside. Wally Wallechinsky was an engineer working for Apex Industries stationed in Bordavia prior to The End, helping design new schools. He was also assigned as a soldier to patrol the area with other members of his group.

Apex Industries is a multinational conglomeration with factories in Hillside. Apex also produced the large-scale disintegrators used at Pep Cola stadium for "cleansing" the sporadic mutations that surfaced in Hillside leading up to The End. The field suits used by Wally and his fellow soldiers in Bordavia.

Main characters

Professor Nikolai Xavier (N.X.) Mallard, Ph.D, the resident mad scientist responsible for keeping Endtown running and for creating the hand-cranked blasters used by the Endtowners to protect themselves Topside. Mallard is a duck.

Petey is a brain that had been "wiped" and wired into a Topsider transport vehicle. Initially, he was pretty satisfied with being a truck. He was given his name by Al, derived from "Personnel Transport" (PT). He has virtually no memories of his past life, but he does at least recognize "Blackie", and was eventually put into Professor Mallard's robot to be taken to Endtown. He is currently insanely strong, and can fly using his "hat" and wheel "propellers". When told that Flask was going to wipe out an entire Topsider colony as a "gift" for him, Petey balks at the idea of killing young children and noncombatants, even if they are the enemy. Rather than bonding in any way with Flask, Petey has fallen in love with another Transport.

Capt. Philomena (Blackie) Flask. Flask is a large cat currently acting as the chief of Endtown security. She is ruthless, unforgiving, and driven by nightmares of her life prior to coming to Endtown. In the 01/18/12 strip, she is identified as the ex-chief architect of the Topsider's spy satellite rocket project, making her a former Topsider and engineer/scientist. The exact relationship between her and Petey is still unexplained, but it was somehow very close (12/27/11 strip). According to Aaron, the problems and pain Flask received in the past have turned her into a sadist.

Wally Wallechinsky is a cat suffering from schism syndrome living in the ruins Topside, with something of a deathwish. He tries to keep to himself, but is forced into coming to Endtown, where he gets jumped by two mutants desperate to get whatever food he brought from the surface. Hospitalized with a cerebral contusion, he is tended by Doc Chase and Holly, and relieved of his syndrome symptoms by Holly. The two of them fall in love. In a flashback starting with the March 28, 2012, strip, we learn that Wally had been an engineer with Apex, designing schools in the battle zone bordering Hillside, and that all Apex employees eventually carry a gun in the field as soldiers.

Holly Hollister, a 30-year old female mouse working as a waitress at an Endtown cafe. She unexpectedly finds herself being responsible for helping Wally after he gets hospitalized. Holly is a fast runner and fully adapted to her life as a mutant ("after having discovered the joys of Camembert"). She helps Wally adjust to being a cat, and the two of them fall in love. She then follows Wally Topside for the mission in the "Countdown" arc.

Story arcs

So far, there have only been 4 arcs. Aaron has said that he works 55-56 4-panel strips in advance, and that he has many stories that he hopes to tell in the future.

  • A Fistful of Beans
  • Gustine's Quest
  • The Ballad of Holly and Wally
  • Countdown

In print

At the moment, Endtown is available in electronic format only, but Jarlidium Press has started taking pre-orders for volumes 1 and 2 of the graphic novel collections of the webcomic as of April 17, 2012. Shipping of the books is expected at the beginning of June, prior to Anthrocon. Additionally, there is a short 22-page print comic produced for Comicpalooza, available for purchase directly from Aaron.

Reviews

Awards

References

  1. Sherman, Bill (June 24, 2011). "Web Comic Review: "Endtown" by Aaron Neathery". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. http://www.seattlepi.com/lifestyle/blogcritics/article/Web-Comic-Review-Endtown-by-Aaron-Neathery-1439790.php. Retrieved 26 May 2012. "debuting on the Modern Tales site - and more recently migrated to GoComics" 
  • Information regarding the Endtown universe and its characters comes directly from the webcomic.
  • Additional information comes from comments from the artist from the GoComics and ModernTales comments pages.

External links


Furry comics
Books and strips
Webcomics
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