'''The Packrat''' is a series of comic strips created by David C. Lovelace (of ''WebAnimation/RetardedAnimalBabies'' and Metasonix front panel design fame) in 2005. They're all available [[http://www.umop.com/packrat.htm online]], some of the older ones including the first four ones exclusively, so the series does qualify as a web comic, but some of the strips, including the current ones, made it into print media.

The main character, Packrat, not only is a rodent, he's also the stereotype of a gear-hogging but largely uncreative synthesizer nerd taken to the extreme. He is one of the worst cases of Gear Acquisition Syndrome ever seen. He buys every synthesizer he can get, no matter how overpriced (but not if it's seriously damaged [[SkewedPriorities by his definition]]), and he prefers real hardware synths, preferably but not exclusively vintage analog ones, no matter how expensive. Yet, he rarely ever puts his synths to good use. It is a kind of RunningGag that Packrat never actually does anything creative with his gear such as recording and producing his own electronic music. All this gets him into frequent arguments with his wife, at least before his divorce which grants him more time and space for more synths. Packs later joins the occasional band, but never with the typical synth shenanigans.

Originally, Lovelace drew ''The Packrat'' mostly for himself and had it posted on [=MatrixSynth=]. After a couple of irregularly published strips, he got the chance to have ''The Packrat'' printed in the Keyboard magazine where it ran for eight issues until its hiatus in February 2006. Said hiatus lasted for more than four years, only interrupted by three special occasion comics. In August 2010, ''The Packrat'' returned to both the Web and the Keyboard Magazine. After pretty much exactly ten years, ''The Packrat'' was concluded and came to an end in February 2015.

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!!This comic provides examples of:
* AgonyOfTheFeet: In [[http://www.umop.com/art/packrat_kb003.jpg August 2005]], a Yamaha [=CS80=] fell onto Packrat's feet.[[note]]That thing is infamous for weighing some 200 pounds.[[/note]]
* AllJustADream: In [[http://www.umop.com/art/packrat_kiwi.jpg the 2013 Kiwitechnics promo]], [[Film/BackToTheFuture Marty McFly]] (actually Packrat) discovers a modified Roland Juno-106 in Doc Brown's lab. The latter tells him that he had taken it to the future and upgraded in ways downright imaginable in 1985. Turns out that this is what Marty actually dreamed when he was out cold in Lorraine's bed in 1955.
* AnachronismStew: PlayedForLaughs at Packrat's encounter with Hugh [=LeCaine=], inventor of the Electronic Sackbut, who builds a number of Electronic Sackbut rack expanders long before there were rack synthesizers in order to help Packs to proceed into the future ([[http://www.umop.com/art/kb019.jpg May 2011]]).
* BoldInflation: In [[http://www.umop.com/art/kb052.jpg March 2014]], Packrat predicts that the prices of vintage synthesizers will eventually approach infinity.
* BrandX: [[AvertedTrope Averted]]; every single brand name is real, although they're mostly reduced to manufacturers and models of electronic musical instruments. There are occasional fantasy model names for instruments, but never brand names that remind you of real ones.
* TheCameo:
** During his time travel, Packrat meets a whole line of famous persons from along the history of synthesizers whom he asks (that is, he sometimes doesn't) to help him get back to his present.
*** Of course, there are synth inventors [[http://www.umop.com/art/kb018.jpg Hugh]] [[http://www.umop.com/art/kb019.jpg LeCaine]], [[http://www.umop.com/art/kb020.jpg Robert A. Moog]] and [[http://www.umop.com/art/kb022.jpg Don Buchla]].
*** In California in 1968, Packrat meets Music/TheBeachBoys who happen to have a {{Theremin}} (see below).
*** Howard Jones, StevieWonder, Thomas Dolby and HerbieHancock appear in the [[http://www.umop.com/art/kb026.jpg December 2011 strip]] in a parody on their 1985 "live" appearance.
** Also, several Website/YouTube "celebrities" appear in the [[http://www.umop.com/art/kb013.jpg November 2010 strip]].
* ChristmasEpisode: [[http://www.umop.com/art/packrat_kb007.jpg December 2005]]. Complete with a blinking Buchla serving as the Christmas tree.
* CollectorOfTheStrange: There are synthesizer collectors in real life, but Packs takes this [[UpToEleven to ludicrous extremes]]. Then again, he actually ''parodies'' synth collectors.
* DeathRay[=/=]TankGoodness: The [=MAD-Ray=] combines an IFV with a Memorymoog-driven ray gun.
* DirectDemographic: Synth freaks. Nobody else would even understand the stories and the jokes.
* EldritchAbomination:
** The Demon of Waste from [[http://www.umop.com/art/kb014.jpg December 2010]], basically a typical Lovelace creature, but with countless eyes and a mouth full of keyboards. His only effect on Packrat is that the latter realizes there are still instruments he hasn't owned yet.
** The alleged Elka Synthex seller from [[http://www.umop.com/art/kb051.jpg February 2014]] from whom Packs decides to pick the synth up personally to not get scammed.
* ExposedAnimalBellybutton: Also because most characters have very short legs.
* FourFingeredHands
* FunnyAnimal[=/=]HalfDressedCartoonAnimal: Almost all characters are animals and usually wearing no pants, including celebrities appearing in newer strips.
* FunWithAcronyms: [[http://www.umop.com/art/kb012.jpg The october 2010 strip]] features the [=MAD-Ray=] (Memorymoog Acoustic Death Ray).
* GetBackToTheFuture: The 2011 storyline begins with Packrat inventing a keytar with a built-in [[Film/BackToTheFuture flux capacitor]] to capacitate the flux of 88 voltage-controlled oscillators. However, not only does the keytar work as a time machine, it also burns one VCO per year traveled. Packrat accidentally lands in 1939, burns through the remaining [=VCOs=] trying to get back, and in the times where he ends up, it's often hard enough to find even one oscillator. He spends the rest of the storyline trying to get his hands on oscillators to travel forth in time.
* HumanoidFemaleAnimal: [[AvertedTrope Averted]]; the only remaining differences are that females have boobs and longer hair.
* HumanlikeFootAnatomy
* HurricaneOfPuns: Packrat wandering on the "Signal Path" in [[http://www.umop.com/art/kb032.jpg July 2012]].
* IncrediblyLamePun: Packrat invents a new style of keytar, the [[http://www.umop.com/art/packrat_tikitar.jpg Tiki-Tar]]. He has to be drunk on Mai-Tais to come up with that idea and name.
* MeaningfulName: Packrat himself.
* MonochromePast: Packrat's time in 1939.
* ReadTheFreakingManual: Packrat doesn't, at least not in [[http://www.umop.com/art/kb034.jpg September 2012]] after acquiring a particularly complicated synth.
* SanDimasTime: While traveling through the history of synthesizers, Packrat is absent from his own time for a whole year.
* ShoutOut:
** Packrat [[Film/BackToTheFuture invents a keytar with a flux capacitor and meets Dr. Emmett L. Brown after ending up in 1955]] ([[http://www.umop.com/art/kb017.jpg March 2011]]).
** [[http://www.umop.com/art/kb010.jpg August 2010]], Packrat's double-sized return-to-Keyboard strip, has him redo the famous synthesizer scene from ''Film/CloseEncountersOfTheThirdKind'' (and pay {{homage}} to the appearance of a giant ARP 2500 synth in custom cases).
** The [[http://www.umop.com/art/packrat07_2007_0706.jpg July 2007]] strip is explicity declared to shout out to [=CustomSynth=] and Metasonix.
** The [=MAD-Ray=] is a shout-out to ''SpiesLikeUs''.
** On December 5, 2013, Lovelace published [[http://www.umop.com/art/packrat_kiwi.jpg another comic]] for that month as a promo for Kiwitechnics' Roland Juno-106 upgrade. It's a parody on ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' starring Packrat as Marty.
* SkewedPriorities: Packrat lives and breathes this trope. For example, he prefers the knobs on a modular synth to those on his wife ([[http://www.umop.com/art/kb008.jpg January 2006]]) and a memoryless, single-voice ARP 2600 for $3000 to a Korg Triton workstation for $2000 ([[http://www.umop.com/art/packrat03.jpg March 20, 2005]]). Also, in [[http://www.umop.com/art/kb011.jpg September 2010]], Packrat gets himself a Clavia Nord Lead 2x anniversary model with reverse keys just because of the reverse keys, he neither knows nor cares how it sounds.
* StableTimeLoop: Packrat's encounter with Don Buchla [[http://www.umop.com/art/kb022.jpg August 2011]] explains why Buchla's modular synths don't have keyboards.
* StoryArc: The 2011 time travel storyline is the only one so far.
* {{Theremin}}: Packrat encounters Music/TheBeachBoys with one during his time travel in 1968 [[http://www.umop.com/art/kb023.jpg September 2011]]. He peruses its oscillator to jump to 1969.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: The reader is expected to be a synth geek. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that only synth geeks know the series in the first place.
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