Ask me about MS Paint Adventures.

    1. Andrew Hussie

      Yes, I'm working on it now, among other things. It's nice to hear you like the idea.

      The flash stuff will be handled in a way that graphic novels have been effectively conveying dramatic action for a long time. Through sequential art.

      A number of people seem to have trouble with the concept of a book adaptation, almost to the point where the idea of the object existing somewhere in reality offends them. It seems some would prefer it not exist at all, even if it means denying it from those who really want a book adaptation despite the obvious cross-media challenges. If we were all supremely literal people by equal measure, we would all demand a DVD treatment or something similar, with all the music and animation intact as it is on the web. However, some people like books. They like a physical, tactile object that you can take off a shelf, flip through and read, without turning something on or glaring at a screen for hours. This is why books still exist, and why we haven't decided to burn down our libraries quite yet.

      Taking such strong issue with adaptation from one form of media to another is puzzling to me. It happens all the time. Books are adapted to movies, and back. Musicals become films, films become games, games become comics. Stories have many ways they can be told. If someone were going to make a graphic novel out of a movie, imagine how absurd it would be to ask the artist, "Oh yeah? How are you going to handle all the moving around bits? Like, all that motion that happens in movies? Oh, what about the MUSIC??" The objection is actually profoundly idiotic, but we don't actually hear people raise such qualms with these sorts of adaptations, probably because they are known quantities. We know what a book-to-film adaptation is like. It's a Thing. Bringing Homestuck into static media is not a Thing, because I essentially invented the original format. This probably messes with people's heads on the issue somewhat.

      I guess part of it is that craving absolute purity and fidelity from an adaptation is a hallmark of the zealously devoted. That's fine, but isn't really a point of view I cotton to. It's very rigid, very linear, and those demands are ironically antithetical to the spirit behind HS's creation, and all those crazy things that allegedly won't cross over to print. So you say HS "absolutely cannot exist in a book?" If I had much concern for what a story absolutely could or couldn't be, I wouldn't have even made it in the first place. Imagine again a movie with all its motion and sound becoming a graphic novel, and how reasonable this endeavor is. What if the hyper-zealous nerd has concerns that the novel won't be able to capture all of this FEELING and EMOTION from the scenes that the pacing and sound evoked through perfect, literal duplication in print? Well, it won't. It's not supposed to, and it's a completely unreasonable expectation to have for the adaptation. It will be a different angle on the work, and that's fine. It's great, in fact. It should be what you want from an adaptation. If you want to re-experience exactly what you felt in its original form, then you may go enjoy it in its original form again. That's why it's there.

      The funny thing is, all the types of adaptations I mentioned, like book-to-film, are very major departures in format. A Homestuck book actually comes quite close to representing the original work by comparison, because after all, HS is at least 95% mostly-static panels, with text underneath. Anyone who says that's outrageously unfit for print is being quite extreme. As a whole, the thing is basically a great big comic. A comic with a few perks the web affords.

    2. Andrew Hussie

      This suggestion has come up a million times, even before I did the PS books and people were wondering how those were going to work with all the animation, or if they even COULD work. (Fast forward to now, those books went off without a hitch and they're totally sweet!)

      Embedding a flipbook in an HS book couldn't be anything more than a novelty. Some little thing you stick in the corner, turn the whole book to the side, and flip through the pages. It would allow for very little meaningful animation to be presented.

      Basically, if this suggestion is serious, my response is: man, that is sooo literal. It's not a reasonable way to show animation in a book that also tells a mostly unanimated story, and it doesn't solve a problem which isn't even really a problem.

    3. Andrew Hussie

      Troll romance.










      Pages and pages and pages











      of troll romance.

    4. Andrew Hussie

      This is not what she said. She only said the Summoner's rebellion caused the Empress to banish adults from the home world to fight the wars in space. This doesn't mean that's when they invented space travel.

      They had a presence in space for much longer, including during the Sufferer's time apparently. But after Alternia turned "kids only" there was much more emphasis on interstellar conquest, to keep all the adults too busy to organize any more rebellions.

    5. Andrew Hussie

      One way or another we will eventually find out - in story or not.

      /fanservice

    6. Andrew Hussie

      Terezi mentioned Troll Jegus in a joking exchange with John a while ago. Whether the Sufferer's name is actually Jegus, and whether or not she actually knew anything about this story when she said that, is left to your speculation.

      This ancestor interlude is a little religious tale. Over the course of the story sometimes we wander into these silly mini-genres, like "horrorstuck", or erotic historical fiction through Mindfang's journal entries.

      The Jesus parallel is pretty blatant, down to the use of the torture device as the symbol for the religious movement (cross, irons). I personally think the explanation of the relevance of Karkat's sign is one of the more interesting aspects about it, just from the perspective of taking existing symbols and adapting them to an evolving mythological framework. Segments like this aren't really just about "Gee, the ancestors sure are cool, let's hear more about them." (Though there's no question there's a certain amount of fan service in play when I do stuff like this.) We learn more about the story and characters and answer questions beyond the limited scope of their biographies, like why Karkat had a sign at all if he had no caste.

      We learn more about the troll race, as a once peaceful species and such before kid-ancestors as players scratched their session, though the short term relevance of this is mainly as a preamble to Scratch's religious story. Establishing an Eden-like paradise from which there is some departure through sin is sort of the boilerplate basis for religious lore.

      Scratch is a devil figure about as blatant as the Sufferer is a Christ figure. The failed players from peaceful Alternia made a classic "deal with the devil" move by causing the scratch after being given a choice by the mother of all monsters. (Echidna. Hey, she's a big snake!) By doing so they brought Scratch into their universe, and therefore all the things you'd expect that comes with summoning the devil. This resulted not only turning Alternia into a planet full of violent murderers, but it only technically granted them what they wanted with a huge caveat, as is the case with such ill-advised bargains. The players were strong enough to win, but made a terminal universe, were barred from entry, hunted by a demon, and then started killing each other.

      "Old Scratch" is actually an old timey nickname for the devil. It's used in some Twain books. The manipulative devil figure pulling the strings was always the basis for his character, and this was probably pretty obvious right away. He's part devil/puppet/cueball, with a dash of the old gambler/gunslinger Doc Holliday in his profile. Doc Holliday is actually my ancestor. He is related to me on my mother's side, who's last name is also Holliday.

      Hopefully I won't die at age 36 of tuberculosis though. If there's anything to the karmic fortune-swapping of the trolls and their ancestors, ideally tuberculosis will die of me.

    7. Andrew Hussie

      Looks that way.

    8. Andrew Hussie

      Because he's a huge gross monster? I don't what sort of answer would be meaningful.

      When the highbloods were setting up the judicial system, they said ok we're going to need some judges for this thing. Then they said ok how about these massive brainless monsters, that would be so perfect.

    9. Andrew Hussie

      Wait, Virgos have a belly fetish??

      I guess that explains all my stupid fat Vriska jokes.

    10. Andrew Hussie

      The pantskat gag has been reiterated a few times now. The first time (I think was the fedorafreak log?) was just a dumb little shoutout. Subsequent times was essentially for the benefit of archive readers who wouldn't understand or even notice the reference. Repetition ossifies it as a running gag, so instead of it going over their heads the first time, a few gags later they start to ask, hey what's with these references to guys wearing tall pants?

      It is to their benefit, by which I mean, does not improve their understanding of the gag by any measure whatsoever.

    11. Andrew Hussie

      Don't worry, soon the alt text popups will contain entirely distinct, navigable web pages, delving into lavish backstory on the 48 squiddle session and the big trollfrog they made.

    12. Andrew Hussie

      Why can't it be both???

      And then the ladies started lining up around the block.

    13. Andrew Hussie

      It should be noted that by breaking the 5th wall, I am not interfering with the story.

      I am interfering with the way the story is currently being told.

      If a 4th wall is broken, then I am officially influencing events in the story.

      I have set up two 4th walls to face each other, exactly one yard apart. That is all you need to know for now.

    14. Andrew Hussie

      He didn't add Jack.

      He amplified John's fears in his dream to take the form of a voodoo doll that looked somewhat like Jack and was dressed like a clown.

      This made him subconsciously scribble clowns all over his wall, which made his dad think he was into clowns. So his dad began collecting harlequins believing he was sharing in John's interests.

      He then got him the big harlequin doll for his birthday. The doll was maimed, lost an arm and an eye, and was prototyped.

      The clown prototyping caused Jack to become especially angry at the queen over the new dress code. All of this lead to big problems.

    15. Andrew Hussie

      That coolkid was never going to lead to anything.

      But if I didn't make it clickable, it would have been an agonizing tease not being able to see it up close. Not even I am that cruel.

    16. Andrew Hussie

      The link between those pages is not messed up. It goes back the the Flash page with the panels. And then continues in the link below the ==> bowl.

      You have to imagine proceeding through the archive. You get to the Flash page, and have three panels to pick from.

      The frog
      Dave/Gamzee
      Scratch

      You can pick in any order, including Scratch first. If it just kept going through the Scratch segment and it didn't loop back, you wouldn't get to see the other two panels.

    17. Andrew Hussie

      It's not clear that he is getting in touch with his in-game powers, like John did with the windy thing, or whether withdrawing from his sopor slime haze is bringing out psychic powers he would have had anyway.

      The latter would make sense for his bloodline though. If this were a common ability among subjugglators, it would help explain why they're able to hold power over all lower classes.

      It's implied that they're very strong and dangerous, in addition to being insane and unpredictable. But this by itself doesn't necessarily explain why they'd be able to keep power over such a huge population of similarly dangerous trolls, which also have many deadly powers. Especially since, also implied, the higher the blood, the longer they live. This means lower classes must be much more copious than higher classes. The lowbloods die off much more quickly, and so must be spawned in greater numbers. Those with high longevity can't afford to be spawned in such numbers, or the population would be out of control. At the top of the hierarchy is the Empress, who lives for thousands of years. There is only one of her class, discounting her successor.

      For the subjugglators in their small numbers to keep such a large population under their control, it would be very useful to have the ability to psychically amplify fears through dreams. They may have directed their chucklevoodoos on every susceptible mind in the population. Each lowblood may have a little highblood voodoo doll lurking in their subconscious, making them too terrified to organize any sort of rebellion.

      Additional notes:

      Now knowing he had this ability, we can wonder whether he used it during his rampage, in addition to using it on John/Dave. Did he use the ability to befuddle Terezi into pinning the crime on Vriska in spite of laughably overwhelming evidence to the contrary? Turning Terezi against Vriska was likely the only way he could kill Vriska, due to her cerebral "luck neutralizing" ability. Did he exaggerate Karkat's fears to destabilize the team? What about Equius? Maybe he exaggerated his fear of failing to show a superior deference, to the point of incapacitation.

    18. Andrew Hussie

      He is a wonderful uncle. A firm but fair disciplinarian, and generous with candy.

    19. Andrew Hussie

      It's pretty close to being to scale with respect to me. I am 6' tall.

    20. Andrew Hussie

      In Homestuck, this statement is false.

    21. Andrew Hussie

      The 6th wall is actually a huge retaining wall holding back all the dumb memes so yes.

    22. Andrew Hussie

      Yes I think so.

    23. Andrew Hussie

      It was always going to be black. Then some people fanonized it as green and it just kept being fanoned that way. But that was always so wrong.

      Holy shit fanon is a stupid word.

    24. Andrew Hussie

      She lost her horn privileges.

    25. Andrew Hussie

      Scratch keeps Aradia (???) locked up in a room with a 5th wall. She turned it on and tried to break it, presumably to attempt to escape.

      Through the 5th wall, you can see me positioning two 4th walls facing each other, exactly one yard apart. English's coat is still draped over one. I put that there a while ago to obscure Jade's view of me. Remember?

      A 4th wall is an object that when broken or compromised, allows an author to interact directly with the audience or characters in the story.

      A 5th wall is a partition separating two omniscient narrators, which when broken, allows them to mess with each other.

      It is all so, so simple.

    26. Andrew Hussie

      I'm cosplaying.

      My self inserts are usually cosplaying as something in the story. My patron troll (virgo), Dave's shirt and shades, Felt suit, patron troll's god tier outfit, i.e. hero of space hoodie.

    27. Andrew Hussie

      Everything makes perfect sense.

    28. Andrew Hussie

      They're still there. Right-click the flash panel, click play.

    29. Andrew Hussie

      what

    30. Andrew Hussie

      Anybody who thinks this information could possibly be surprising to me is so far out of the loop I don't even know what to tell you.

      Did you know that right now, someone, somewhere, is jerking off to your formspring question?

      And somewhere else entirely, someone is shipping your question with nepeta's corpse.

    31. Andrew Hussie

      For others, a tedious, bareutubey readable purple and brown rap-off was SALVAGED by a beautiful moment shared between friends.

      And yet others were wondering why the fuck that page even existed at all.

    32. Andrew Hussie

      Trolls also have a Will Smith.

      What's weirder? Bug aliens having boobs or bug aliens having their own Will Smith?

      This is the kind of question serious writers of science fiction ask themselves all the time.

    33. Andrew Hussie

      Lots of people would be more happy if I did lots of things.

      Some people would pay me good money to convey Gamzee and Tavros having sexual intercourse.

    34. Andrew Hussie

      The desert was boring.

    35. Andrew Hussie

      Yes to everything.

    36. Andrew Hussie

      It helps to imagine a devout muslim being shown a youtube video of a rapping Muhammad.

    37. Andrew Hussie

      I will happen to be in the area over the weekend for unrelated reasons, but I don't think I'm going to pony up the 80 bucks or whatever to get a load of the animes.

      What I might do is briefly lurk outside the convention, and sneak up behind HS cosplayers while they take photos of each other, and then quickly vanish into the scenery.

      I'm suddenly not sure which idea is more amusing. Actually doing that, or the fact that by saying so here, I have guaranteed that all HS cosplayers will be nervously looking over their shoulders all weekend.

    38. Andrew Hussie

      I will wait for Vriska's ghost to be fattened up by the horrorterrors. It is then and only then that I will make my move.

      Aw fuck this is the exact sort of question I start answering when I should have closed the stupid tab and gone to sleep hours ago.

    39. Andrew Hussie

      (826 days - total sleep time) / 3971 pages ... i guess?

    40. Andrew Hussie

      He connected to 2busy4this.

      It was such a dramatic reveal that he wasn't dead, you should have seen it.

      But after establishing the connection, he immediately returned to his paperwork.

      He is quite busy.

    41. Andrew Hussie

      Like the Scratch segment, the fedorafreak intermission will be given a custom website skin. It will be nested within a men's fashion catalog.

      Each time you wish to turn the page, you must add an exquisite new hat to your shopping cart. To view the EOA flash, you must complete the purchase.

      $.

    42. Andrew Hussie

      Their brains cannot rain away with the got tiger.

      The tiger is so fast, it can outrun the rain.

    43. Andrew Hussie

      The page rate is deceptively slow when you zoom in on a select few days. There was a 6 day pause, then 13 pages went up. So that's about 2 pages per day, which is "slow", right? But then you wait a few more days, and 23 pages have stacked up, and suddenly that rate jumps to 4 pages per day, which is close to the site average. And if you examine the period between now and 10 days ago, the rate is almost 8 pages per day, which is way above average. It's better to think of the output in longer term averages. This is harder for those who demand regularity and predictability, which is something you get from some comics which update once every weekday, or m/w/f, without fail as part of their product delivery pledge. In these cases, the regularity of the output strikes me as being almost as important, and sometimes more important, than the quality of the content itself. This is because people are creatures of habit, and have a strong craving for reliability. Many will quite happily absorb work they consider to be fairly mediocre as long as it is cranked out like clockwork. The sunday funnies is probably a good long term example of this. Millions of people gobbled up decades of Marmaduke without ever laughing once, but editors wouldn't dare fuck with Marmaduke because people needed that shit with their coffee for some reason. You could put a gun to their head and they couldn't tell you why. There is comfort in even bland routine. If you mess with people's comfort and destabilize certain regularities in their universe, they become agitated, even angry.

      Now, if people actually have any sort of passion for the entertainment comprising their routine, then they become even more agitated if the output is disturbed. Passionate interest severely exacerbates the situation, and can make a creator envy someone like Marmaduke Guy who spent his career crouching safely in mediocrity, grinding out awful dog comics everyone became totally comfortable with disliking. (I bet he never got an angry letter from an anime fan.) But if you mess with the schedule of material that people zealously crave, they are not merely irked, but can receive it as a personal affront from the author. This is true in varying degrees for probably most enthusiastic readers, but is more pronounced by the degree to which a person is mentally ill.

      There are some particularly unpleasant entities out there who pose questions similar to yours, but much less politely. These are seemingly self appointed watchdogs for my page rate, and I think I'm safe in assuming most are severely under-medicated teens with a bigtime beef about You Fucking Name It. As torrid a pace as Homestuck has been unloaded on the public, I think it must have been pretty easy for some spoiled children to factor that rate of output into the entitlement complex which presides over their central nervous systems. Deviation from that production schedule in the minds of the entitled means nothing other than offense committed by the author, or more generously, just a staggering display of laziness. Never mind that the alleged deviation may not even QUITE exist (see numbers in first paragraph). But if it did, I wonder whose rate of production they would compare it to, aside from some foggy recollection of my own?

      For such people, what would probably be useful would be a dose of perspective. Not that they're likely to read this, but let's consider the following data anyway, kindly provided by tvtropes.com.

      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WebcomicsLongRunners

      MSPA is the longest web comic on record, in terms of update quantity. It accumulated most of this content in about 3 years. Now consider that the second comic on the list is approximately THE OLDEST WEB COMIC IN EXISTENCE. It dates back to 1995, which for all intents and purposes was the year the internet was born.

      There are of course some mitigating factors. Most MSPA updates are a single panel, with some accompanying text. But there are some counter-caveats which make this a bit more difficult to process. There are several hours of animated Flash footage mixed in with the updates. There are several more hours of interactive gameplay. Each Flash instance occupies a single update. Many updates are accompanied by several pages of dialogue. Some of these individual conversations would take up 50 pages worth of speech bubbles in a graphic novel. The total word count for MSPA likely exceeds most of the comics on that list, or possibly all of them. It wouldn't be surprising. Homestuck alone is over 300K words. Again, this effort was compressed into the last 3 years, while most of the other comics date back to the 90's.

      What does this mean? Here is what it means.

      Let's imagine MSPA was distributed more like a "normal comic". Where, even with a healthy update schedule of 7 days a week, you still only get one new thing to click on. One update per day. It could be a simple panel with a silly gag and no text. Could be a panel with 10 pages of dialogue beneath it. Or it could be a 3 minute flash animation. All are things that appear in the archive in good supply. Distributing one such thing per day, as the designated "product", would be a completely reasonable policy. If that were the established pattern from the start, nobody would think it was remotely inappropriate, and nobody would ask for more, in the same way that nobody ever demands that Penny Arcade update 7 days a week instead of 3.

      If that were the case, MSPA would now have 16 years worth of content.

      So what does THIS mean??

      It means, given that I started 3 years ago, I could take a 13 year break starting now, and at the end of that break, MSPA's lifetime rate of production would still manage to make the lifetime rate of most other comics seem underwhelming. This is literally, actually true, even though it sounds like a joke. There is statistical evidence to support this, using the only data that matters, which is the existing work of peers in the same field.

      So if some twerp who's never put a stretch of hard work into anything aside from grinding for levels in WoW all weekend decides to get on my case about slowing down, I think I'll just start whispering "13 year break..."


      13 year break.........



      13 year break............................




      13







      year










      break.









      P.S. I wonder how many frowns this question would get if you could frown at things?

      P.P.S. smile @ this question if you don't like idea of 13 year break :) :) :) :) :)

    44. Andrew Hussie

      I'm not really thinking about which style is better. Mainly what matters here is the idea doesn't work unless I post a large amount of content at once. So that's what I do.

      I'm sure there are differences in the reading experience. Some may find it more gratifying to read a lot at once. It certainly consolidates impact, which is something that is often lost through the slow, steady serial drip. But they may also find it frustrating to wait longer for the pages to stack up. It may provoke the feeling that output is slowing down, or grinding to a halt.

      This is not actually true though. After the 6 day pause, 41 pages were posted. That's about 7 pages per day, which is higher than the site's lifetime average of 5 pages per day. It's actually a hot streak!

    45. Andrew Hussie

      Nick Cage went god tier before the apocalypse, he will never die.

      Not even heroically, because he will kick too much ass.

      Or he will do something cowardly at the last minute to save himself, in the nick of time (this is also his title).

      He is that good.

    46. Andrew Hussie

      I thought it was pretty obvious she exemplified furry culture from her first appearance.

      In the same way that Equius exemplified the culture surrounding the admiration of muscular horse men.

      Oh wait, that culture only has one guy in it. Me.

    47. Andrew Hussie

      People tend to catch on to this minutia almost instantly.

      http://maritova.tumblr.com/post/7172400520/yep-less-than-40-minutes

      For those that don't know, Rose's house as well as a few other locations have concrete GPS coordinates in the real world.

      Her house is located here, over a real waterfall called Rainbow Falls in the Adirondack preserve.

      http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=44.517677,-74.821422

      Kind of an odd place for a house. But then, it's an unusual house. Sticking a secret lab in some remote place in a huge nature preserve might make some sense.

      Jade's location is even more remote.

      http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=-0.955766,-174.759521&z=7

      John's house is an actual house. It was for sale at one point. Don't know if it still is. It's just below Pipe Lake.

      http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=47.362101,-122.054144

      All of these GPS coords were visible in WV: Ascend, as the station flew over them.

    48. Andrew Hussie

      We don't know yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    49. Andrew Hussie

      We don't know yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    50. Andrew Hussie

      The flash page itself took about 10 minutes to make.

      The panels themselves took a good bit longer.

      Posting it all on the site took about an hour. There was a lot of double checking to do to make sure everything linked up right. It's easy to fuck up the posting process even under normal circumstances.

    51. Andrew Hussie

      The last one was on the last day of the month, so we're a bit out of sync with the monthly album idea regardless. We'll have something out in a week or so.

    52. Andrew Hussie

      Nah, I was mostly useless on the road. I eked out those two pages preceding this while away, and that's it.

      The couple days after returning were useless too. Took the last few days to make these.

      I guess the bottom line is 30 panels still take a pretty good while to make??

      The same was true for all those header images. If you look at the archive for the past month or so, it doesn't look like a hot and heavy update pace. But take into consideration that there are now 80 separate header images stacked up.

    53. Andrew Hussie

      Not Bard Quest necessarily, just taking advantage of the fact that I built the site from the beginning to allow branching paths, even if they all wind up back at the same place. Every other story does this. BQ obviously, Jailbreak has one fork that converges again, and Problem sleuth uses a couple really quick offshoots to handle deaths and other fuck-ups.

      Aside from that, one of the main points of the Scratch segment was not only to slip into a different gear with respect to story pacing, but to introduce a vehicle to explore new methods for engaging with events in a story which has accrued a vast amount of detail and complexity. The consequence has been a little more detachment from the events directly as we experience some mediation between us and the characters through this host. But what comes with that bit of extra distance from the story, and bringing to fore its features as a work of metafiction, are these devices for accessing this complex story which wouldn't make sense to introduce without letting this segment build some momentum.

      Telling the story in parallel through the header images was an example of that potential, and tying together the themes in the header with the main content was one of the interesting challenges. And of course the narrator himself is a character with a role in the story, so as he tells the story he is advancing his own role in it as well. A lot more is being advanced at the same time, in a way that I think is fun and in the spirit of everything on the site. The scrapbook thing is another example, a way of utilizing some of these silly meta-story devices which at first appear to be mocking the format itself, but become another useful gateway into a bunch of different threads of the story at once. Of course you read those threads one at a time, but the feeling is that they're being accessed in parallel. Using parallel story telling devices seemed like an interesting way to address what has become a formidable number of threads to keep track of, and also a fun way to give some forgotten details a little more attention which would seem like a pretty frivolous diversion otherwise (like Nepeta talking to Jaspers), while still finding a way to give them a little relevance to the current storylines.

      In a way the Scratch segment has been like busting open a pinata of different storytelling devices and seeing what's there to work with. And he sort of did that literally when he broke the scrapbook over Slick's head, releasing all the clippings from the story, both old and new. Having them strewn about the place is another semi-mocking acknowledgement of the nature of the story, a thing which has dissolved into absolute nonlinearity, where looking into a panel at any point in time, past present or future, reality memory dream or afterlife, is something which can advance the plot. Because it advances not just through unfolding action, but by what previously concealed information is exposed, and how it's presented.

      This was actually one of the reasons for devising the dream bubble system. It serves a purpose in the plot, yes, but it also has flexible narrative utility. The dream bubbles allow moments of the past to be explored, or moments of an alternate timeline, through memories of characters in such a way that it doesn't have to be a strict flashback, can be invested with more immediate relevance to what's going on, and allows a way for characters to talk about it. (Remember, rules for when dialogue is allowed are pretty strict! Dream bubbles amended the rules such that characters can converse directly when dreaming or dead. This is because the segments begin as memories consisting of online conversations, and continue from there.) It was a more effective way to convey Cal's final journey and Scratch's origin, for instance. And it again becomes a useful tool when examining a clipping on the floor of an obscure event in the past. We enter the panel somewhat like the characters do, seeing it as a memory of something that's already happened, but the scene evolves as the characters remember, and soon through their interaction it catches up with the current state of the story and contributes to it. Other clippings are played a little more straight, like we are briefly entering a window to another parallel event, then moving on. Either way, going into his clippings momentarily reconnects us directly with the story rather than experiencing it through his mediation. But then, the mediation allowed us to do this in the first place. There'll probably be a few more of these scrapbook gateways before we're done with them.

    54. Andrew Hussie

      Got back from being away a couple days ago.

      Currently working on something for MSPA.

      It is not a flash animation. It is not the EOA.

    55. Andrew Hussie

      Wait, it's this question again! The exact same question, what are the odds. It's like the question's ghost or something.

      I agree that dropping from 16 to 8 characters leaves the story direly under-staffed. I mean when it was down to 14 that was already pretty sketchy territory. People were asking "can hussie REALLY finish a story with only 14 main characters? i know he's good, but is that even POSSIBLE?" 8 is practically a skeleton crew!

      But don't worry, help is on the way. Soon I will launch the lengthy squiddle intermission, documenting the tale of the 48 heroic squiddles who played in the session which created the troll universe.

      At first, people will bemoan this drastic departure from the "real story" and wonder when we can get back to Homestuck proper. But over time, you will grow to love each squiddle dearly. Each will be more exquisitely characterized than the last, and it is only then, when you have welcomed them into your hearts, will the ruthless culling begin.

      Then we'll get back to the trolls and you'll be like fuck these guys.

      Until the fedorafreak intermission comes along and bails us out. For 10,000 pages of hat pissing bliss.

    56. Andrew Hussie

      ..... yes?

      go on...

    57. Andrew Hussie

      i just went to look for ascii art of a huge blunt to answer your question but forgot what i was doing half way through

      then i started lmF'INGa off at this.

      http://www.youtubedoubler.com/?video1=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fv%2FHsF_2CNV9v4&start1=3&video2=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fv%2F06CvUjLgK5g&start2=0

      the goat sounds just fucking like him.

    58. Andrew Hussie

      Yes. There's a good chance it would be pretty bad though. But that's ok because $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    59. Andrew Hussie

      So because there is a right answer, I am obligated to share it? Instead of letting the work stand as presented, while offering a couple things for people to think about?

      Oh no I just caught another glimpse of the phrase post-modern moralistic relativism and felt gross suddenly. Like I am hearing is the sound of a dumb guy yelling through the gross megaphone of a college education. Gross! :[

    60. Andrew Hussie

      I'm not hesitant about following through with long term plans I made.

      Most of these characters didn't exist a year ago. Vriska was introduced in July last year. I opened these arcs understanding most of them would likely be closed, and every gesture has paved the way for what you see now. Act five has been a great swelling of cast complexity followed by a great contraction. I knew it was going to have this overall structure.

      Another approach would have been to treat this cast like that of a syndicated cartoon, with amusing but basically static lives. Antics happen, hijinks are afoot, everyone is pals and things are ok forever. Tune in next week! I don't deny there's entertainment value in that, with the content leaning on characters and relationships above anything else. This is actually the reality of this work echoed by the collective consciousness of fan artists, who cast all these characters in a perma-living state playing out amusing scenarios with each other. It's fun. Doesn't serve the bigger story much! Not one with a complex architecture headed in a very specific direction, but fun nonetheless. It would be prioritizing character far beyond the overarching story. I'm not doing that. Certainly not with characters always designed to play a transient role.

      The bottom line is, I had plans, and I stuck to them. I wouldn't change them midstream because I got the sense that some people would rather Homestuck be "Trolls! The Sitcom."

    61. Andrew Hussie

      Scratch added them, because he's omniscient and knows the whole story, whereas Gamzee doesn't. He just honks and stuff.

    62. Andrew Hussie

      There are lots of silly things that happen in the story which don't become huge plot points.

    63. Andrew Hussie

      He Auto-Harleyed with her.

      It's safe to assume he understood Jack wouldn't hurt her. It's safe to assume she does too. Now, at least.

      Dave also tricked her into slapping herself in the face with her robot.

      He's kind of a jerk.

      But a really cool jerk, and all the ladies want to kiss his corpse.

    64. Andrew Hussie

      I'm suddenly wondering if there were some devoted Homestuck readers out there who died between now and when it started.

      Now I'm sad.

      You motherfuckers better not "smile" at this...

      Oh god here come the smiles anyway. You people are awful.

    65. Andrew Hussie

      I am the Huss of Lips.

      Hahaha, just kidding, that sounds like some stupid thing one of my readers would say.

    66. Andrew Hussie

      Fail to kill Jack.

    67. Andrew Hussie

      Lots of people did. And I knew people would. Which is one reason why I presented it through the mechanism of the scattered photo album which mocks the entire visual callback phenomenon which everyone has come to anticipate now.

      I try to anticipate if certain outcomes are guessable. If it is, I don't necessarily dismiss the idea, but I do try to do something unexpected with it, if not in substance, at least delivery.

    68. Andrew Hussie

      He is not creepy, he is just a sad, bad dog. Which is the answer to your second question.

    69. Andrew Hussie

      The story provides no conclusive answer to this, and I personally cannot provide the scoop either. Not that I am withholding it to be coy, but to take my word for it one way or another would be missing the point. The destruction of the clock is another element among many for you to weigh when considering these events.

      First, there's the consideration of whether her death was just, heroic, or neither. The clock appeared to be leaning toward "just", when it was interrupted by the crowbar. Maybe it would have landed there. Or if given the chance, maybe it would have swung back and settled somewhere else. We don't have a definitive ruling. All we know for sure is she's dead.

      So we can conclude that either:

      1) The clock itself has no bearing on her life directly, much as clocks merely measure time without influencing it. Which would mean if given the chance it definitely would have landed on either just or heroic, but not in the middle. The proof is her death.

      or

      2) The result of the clock does have direct bearing on her life, and by knocking the clock over so that it stuck on "just", Slick inadvertently killed her for good, regardless of where it may have landed. But to be fair, if he knew it was going to kill her, he might be hitting it harder. You could consider it delayed revenge for his exile, which Vriska and Snowman coordinated. It's safe to assume Slick would have found her death to be quite just, and may have been weighing in on the matter through circumstantial serendipity.

      If 2) is true, there is another wrinkle to consider. Recall that the crowbar he is using (from the intermission) has the property of being able to nullify the effect of whatever "enchanted" object it destroys. If the clock's power is to decide whether she resurrects, then by destroying it, he eliminates that power. Since there's no longer a force enabling her to resurrect, she remains dead. This is another way to look at it, but again, only if the clock itself has that power over her life.

      If not, then the destruction of the clock becomes more a violent gesture of punctuation to accompany this "divine ruling", like nails being driven into a coffin. Or, like a tolling bell. It's jarring, sudden, and carries finality.

      If you are convinced her actions are what decided her death, and not the destruction of the clock, then you are left to consider what outcome is most suitable, without having an absolute ruling on it. The clock did appear to lean "just" an instant before, and there are plenty of ways to argue in favor of a just death. There are many mitigating factors as well to supply a counter argument. It would not be that interesting if it were absolutely unambiguous, where everyone could all easily agree that her death was just. Or if everyone agreed there was no justice in it at all. There are enough factors in play where you have reason to think about it a bit, and such that it leaves plenty to discuss. You may consider the evidence and draw a conclusion. You may even feel very strongly about your conclusion! But for either the story, or me, to provide a categorically "right answer", immediately following the establishment of all the things that made it interesting to consider, shortchanges all that, I believe. For the clock to settle unceremoniously on "just" I feel would come across as a nonconstructive, compact ethical lecture, quickly nullifying all there was to evaluate and talk about.

      Was this comeuppance for all her past killing? For killing friends like Aradia and Tavros? Was there mitigation in her upbringing? In her remorse, and desire to change? Was it justice for insisting on playing a role in the creation of Jack so that she could beat him, to serve her ego? What of the ignored warning from Terezi? Flying off in spite of it, endangering them all, again in service of ego? What of the doomed timeline she creates by doing this? Is there justice alone in killing her to prevent not only the death of all her friends, but an offshoot reality that can only fail? Is human morality in play here? Troll morality?? Or is it a higher agency, like that permeating Skaia? In a framework of Skaian morality, is there justice in sacrificing one life to help ensure the creation of an entire universe? This paragraph has been a thumbnail sketch of all the discussion which has already taken place across the internet, minus all the notes ranging from fan fervor to outright dementia.

      Of all the arguments to make, it's difficult to come up with a solid rationale for a heroic result. Most people debating it would choose between "just" or "not just", i.e. die or live. Note that this means those who believe her death was not just are in fact arguing that the destruction of the clock is actually what killed her!!! There is nothing in the story which rules this out.

      Regardless, the result is the same. She's dead. Out of the story for good? Who knows. For now it's the culmination of a wide arc importing elements from classic tragedy. Blind seers, wanton hubris, unheeded warnings, regret and death. But with some MSPA twists. Systematized mortality conditions, doomed timeline offshoots, way too much dramatic irony, and Nic Cage.

      She was always a polarizing character. Shouldn't be too surprising she's more polarizing than ever in death. It's almost as if that polarity was given concrete expression through the rules dictating whether she lived or died.

      HM.

      :::;)

    70. Andrew Hussie

      But I did do a troll update. This page was posted on 6/12 along with the others.

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/scratch.php?s=6&p=005748

      See? There are no less than 6 trolls plainly visible to the naked eye, including the most impressive of them all.

      Pantskat.

    71. Andrew Hussie

      Since 4/13, I never imagined there would be a very significant 6/12 "celebratory update". It would require planning the right moment in the story for it to coincide exactly with that date, while allotting well beforehand the time to implement it when it comes, with no unforeseen delays at all. So I ruled it out well in advance to avoid the inevitable unpleasant conflict. The anticipation of such an update was a product of your inflated sense of expectation, and standards which you reserve for no comic artist other than me.

      That said, I still gave you a pretty long flash animation.

      It was 1612 pixels long.

      Tallways.

    72. Andrew Hussie

      Oops, once again, the act of having story ideas and methodically seeing them through to their end is not an act of trolling.

    73. Andrew Hussie

      I played it for a while but all the spinning and rolling around made me kinda queasy.

    74. Andrew Hussie

      This will realistically never come up again, so here is how they work.

      Matchsticks (11) travels through time using fire at any point in time as a gateway. He then likes to put out the fire when he arrives, so that more copies of him from other points in time don't show up and make things complicated. Unless he wants to exploit that for battle purposes, which he clearly didn't. Scratch keeps a fire alarm in his apartment to summon him, in case it catches fire, which it clearly did.

      Quarters (14) has a collection of coins like the one Clover flipped. Each has numbers on either side, corresponding to a member of the Felt, most separated by 10, with a few exceptions. i.e.

      1, 11
      2, 12
      3, 13
      4, 14
      5, 15
      6, 9
      7, 10
      8, 8

      When you flip the coin, it summons the member whose number is face up, from some place in space and time. If the opposite member is present during the flip, he trades places with that member, which is why Clover swapped for Quarters when he flipped 14.

      If you flip your own coin, and the result is your own number, you die. As such, Quarters entrusts his own coin with Clover, who is so lucky, he will never flip a 4. He uses it to summon Quarters when things get too hot to handle. It's not advisable to let Snowman flip her own coin.

      The coins link pairs of Felt members. Some are relevant pairings, others don't make much sense. Die and Stitch have a similar power, with their destructive/healing voodoo doll and effigies. Doze and Eggs make a pair of morons with a funny duo name (dozen eggs!) Itchy runs around so fast he probably starts fires sometimes, while Matchsticks puts them out.

    75. Andrew Hussie

      Ok. Here is the file I maintain for all members of the Felt.

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/scraps2/feltsprites.gif

    76. Andrew Hussie

      Why are you inquiring as to whether a fictional child has four penises? Pretty weird dude.

    77. Andrew Hussie

      No question, and yet, here is an answer. It is as follows.

      vvv

      Thanks!

    78. Andrew Hussie

      Are you even reading the comic?

      I think half the people just open the website and look at the pictures.

      And then ask me formspring questions for some reason.

    79. Andrew Hussie

      It's pretty simple. They are the colors of Derse and Prospit.

      Derse = BAD GUY

      Prospit = GOOD GUY

      The modes of the clock correspond to the type of death such guys would have.

    80. Andrew Hussie

      Only animes can be the thing you said.

    81. Andrew Hussie

      There are eight dots: ........

      Then seven "x8".

      8^y dots total.

      Where y = 1 + 7.

    82. Andrew Hussie

      Guys it is the FORMSPRING QUESTION OF THE DAY! Maybe I will only answer these vapid questions for a while, leaving you all to wonder how many penises trolls have. *

      I'm a virgo, which is why when I was dressed as a troll in the story, I had a virgo shirt on. As a cool bonus, that symbol looks a little like it says "Me", which is really quite ironic, since I myself happen to be me.

      Two answer the second part of the question, yes it is very representative of who I am, because as I have mentioned before, I am a just this HUGE lesbian. Big time.

      I was wearing a Karkat shirt today though, because I've got all these HS shirts lying around that I wear sometimes. A cashier saw it and said, "Hey I'm a cancer too!" And I didn't know what to say, so I said, "Oh! ........................................... Haha! Yeah." And completed the transaction.

      I'm starting to be a little more reluctant to wear the HS shirts though, because they're starting to get me recognized in public more frequently. Not just as an HS reader, but as actually me, which will never not be a vaguely disorienting, Truman Showesque experience.



      * (the answer is two. one hate dick and one love dick. you're welcome, internet, for all the terrible art that joke answer will be responsible for.)

    83. Andrew Hussie

      It would have spanned the events from a little after here:

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/scratch.php?s=6&p=005677

      To right around here:

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/scratch.php?s=6&p=005740

      What took place over those pages is almost a direct transcription of what would have happened in the flash. The events were conveyed visually and verbally to suit the Scratch narration, instead of shown through high-intensity animated visuals alone. The Scratch segment was not introduced as a substitute for the animation. An "abridged" stretch like this was going to come anyway as a device for setting a few things up before starting on the EOA animation. Axing the Rose v. Jack / Vriska v. Jack animation (aka Heroes of Light: Strife) just meant moving Scratch the segment up sooner, to use as a vehicle for delivering the full flash concept without having to scrap it as a story direction, which would have been a pretty significant architectural upheaval.

      Now that it's out there, we can examine the pros and cons of delivering it that way as opposed to flash. (But note, no matter what, there was no chance of that flash getting made whatsoever. This is really not about "what could have been")

      Pros of flash:

      - Would have been WAY MORE RADICAL (frankly I don't care much about this. the rad quotient of preceding flash material is already pretty high, and there's plenty more combustible shit to come)

      - The idea as a whole would have been delivered in minutes, rather than weeks, giving people the full sense of the story development all at once, and limiting the drag on the serial readers' experience, and corresponding vocalization of those frustrations (would have been BY FAR the biggest advantage of flash)

      Cons:

      - Concept as a whole may have been a bit challenging to parse with visuals alone. The two parallel battles are easy enough to understand, but I can easily imagine confusion over the alternate timeline concept as conveyed only visually. People have been confused by less. Much, much less.

      - Difficulty factor. Even with art contributors. There's a limit to not only what I can do personally, but what a largely unstructured volunteer effort can accomplish as well.

      - Hiatus-induced suicide pact among readership.

      Pros of narration:

      - Get to experiment with a little parallel storytelling, via the top banner. (pretty big plus, IMO!)

      - Having it narrated removes ambiguity about a fairly cerebral chain of events, while allowing the chance to indirectly develop Scratch's involvement in the story a bit.

      - I get to take my time with it and pretend to function like a normal human being for a little while.

      Cons:

      - Slow rolling the segment page by page has serial readers agonizing every step of the way over every conceivable issue, on points of execution, unwelcome "story developments", and so on. Once again, Homestuck is RUINED FOREVER! Until it isn't, of course.

      - If you're not into Scratch as a character or don't like his tone or the whole omniscient smartass thing, then you probably aren't digging the arc much. Not much to say about this. It's just a "you like it or you don't" kind of thing.

      - Altering the flow of the story always carries the risk of agitating some readers. Not only because mixing shit up = automatic complaints (which is definitely true), but because by accelerating the pace to make broader narrative strokes, you are inviting the usual objections fixated on showing vs. telling. But I think there are some legitimate gears of storytelling which involve showing by way of telling outright, as long as the reader has the patience to see it through to its conclusion (problematic serially, as usual). It's a gear in which bigger story chunks that normally are given strong magnification (like a death) are told more compactly and in succession. These bigger chunks, when stacked up, "show", or more appropriately "reveal" an even bigger idea which is at the true heart of that narrative stretch. It's not the event which the reader momentarily feels "should" expand to fill the stage, like a death. The death that with hindsight functions as a building block of a more complete idea which more effectively serves the story as a whole, completing unfinished arcs, building on the themes and such.

      You can look at story pacing like rolling a Katamari ball, with respect to the granularity of what has focus. At the beginning of HS, I'm rolling it around and picking up nickels and buttons. That's when John messing around with cakes and such has focus as actual plot points. The ball keeps rolling until points like that are too marginal to zoom in on, and he's exploring a mysterious oily land killing monsters and stuff while we gloss over a lot of detail that in an earlier mode would have received intense scrutiny. We are picking up things like traffic cones and bicycles with our katamari ball, while still sculpting a shape that as a whole resembles a story. Hivebent was rolled with even bigger denominations, maybe cars and trucks, gobbling up even bigger chunks like buildings by the end of the arc, as Aradia was offhandedly mentioning how they killed the king and created a universe. With hindsight we see why, understanding the overall purpose that arc had for the story, and how that particular pacing supported that purpose. Unlike Katamari though, the ball does get smaller sometimes, to go back to accommodating certain levels of detail like conversations and game mechanics, but it never dials all the way back. Doc has rolled with some of the biggest chunks yet, like buildings or mountains, casually dropping the deaths of characters as atomic features of his narration. He clearly rolls the ball smaller at times too, when he wants. But this construction too has purpose, which needs some patience to watch it take shape and then hindsight to fully appreciate.

      And like I've suggested before, these can be pretty disastrous conditions for the serial intake of a story. But honestly, there is no other way to do it. To strive to satisfy serial readers all the time is to do nothing but make something terrible in the long run. It means you can't do much to set up anything sophisticated with deferred payoff, as you perpetually submit what will immediately gratify. I can't tell people that reading serially is the "wrong" way to read it, because this is not true. But there's no escaping the fact that having pages leaked out so slowly radically warps your perception of what is happening, sometimes for the better (community discussion, noticing details etc), but often aggravates (arc fatigue, rushing to judgment...) Try to imagine watching your favorite movie, for the first time ever, but only a minute at a time, every day. Sound frustrating? How often do you think you might get irritated with the director for his pacing decisions? Or his "plot twists", which are really just the products of scenes cut short before fully paying off? How often do you think you might want to insist he move it along? What about reading your favorite book, but only receiving about a paragraph or two every day? And what if the author/director was tuned into the responses to this daily output? Is there anything he could do to outrun the impatience of the reader for plot points he's carefully set up to be evaluated in the minute-space of archival read-through, which the reader labors over in the month-space of serial digestion? Can he do anything to deflect or mitigate their rush to judgment of incomplete arcs? Should he? Probably not.

      The pages spanning the two links above provide a pretty good example of how serial intake messes with perception, and of why authors tend to like to finish books before showing them to you. Now that it's all there, let's look at the reasonable serial reactions to some key moments, and compare to the reality in hindsight.

      - Terezi flips coin, Vriska flies away.

      Serial reaction: augh, anticlimax!!! All that build up, the stair climbing and show downing and coin flipping... where's the battle? Where's........ SOMETHING?

      Reality: This was only the beginning of a deferred resolution to the ongoing Terezi/Vriska rivalry. The resolution was actually the full sweep of this series of events in totality, resulting in Terezi looking into the doomed timeline to find the rationale and the courage to kill Vriska, which she finally did. All that buildup was not for that one-page deflation, but this full sequence. Reservation of judgment was required, something that is much easier to practice when there are more pages to click on.

      .....

      I could go on but I just realized I'm tired of typing. But really, the list goes on and on like this throughout the whole story. Things which come off as odd or vaguely unsatisfying or even JUST SO TERRIBLE in the short term, but make sense and work better overall in the big picture.

      You could complete this exercise yourself if you felt like it. Look at an event, remember how you felt on reading it live, and now how you view it in retrospect. Or, for extra credit, imagine you could wipe your memory of the past several months of content, and pretend I just posted it all today. What would your reaction be? How does it read? Do the issues which seemed to loom so large in the moment, like the omnipresent "get on with it" factor, even cross your mind for a second during such an archival dump? And for extra extra credit, imagine wiping your memory of all of Homestuck, and I just dropped it all in your lap right now while you were idling musing what sort of thing I might work on after Problem Sleuth. What do you think? Of it in totality, and of recent events? What is there that wears thin, on its own terms of pacing, rather than that dictated by two years of attrition on one's ability to remain completely engaged and cognizant of all relevant threads?

      There is a lot to think about when you make a story. Not just in how to make it, but in how it is absorbed. One story is really two completely different stories. The one that is read all at once, and the one that is read over your shoulder while you make it.

    84. Andrew Hussie

      I am using the Formspring "Question of the Day" to field the issue that has come up about other people selling Homestuck stuff.

      Word about this was kindly spread by Lexxy, here: http://lexxercise.tumblr.com/post/5923809387/no-selling-mspa-stuff-without-andrews-permission

      Here is a thing to understand first. If you accept a commission to draw a Homestuck character without my permission, does that mean I will file a cease and desist order? Or if you sell an HS sketch at a convention, will I hunt you down, kick over your table, and then muss up your hair and stomp on your glasses?

      No, that would be silly.

      I just clarified what the official position is, which is that you shouldn't attempt to profit from my work, or anyone else's for that matter, unless you have permission. It's not that I'm suddenly outraged people are doing HS commissions and stuff. I've previously taken an ultra passive attitude to all this. But the result of that, as well as the result in HS's growing popularity, has been a surging culture of casual copyright violation, which though seemingly harmless case by case, in totality is starting to look problematic. In particular, it seems to be leading to increasingly flagrant violations here and there, things which are more serious than a simple commission, and which I would be inclined to take measures to stop. It's easy to see how this trend develops. Someone notices wave after wave of HS artwork being sold by others, and presumes it's ok to take it a little further. And then further...

      I think it's better to address this before it turns into a bigger problem. Honestly, the theoretical money I am losing is not what is motivating me here. When you do an HS commission, I can't really imagine how that translates to dollars leaving my pocket, other than projecting losses in the very big picture if stuff like that goes unchecked. It's mainly a little unsettling to watch so many people at once act so casually about profiting off another's IP without asking, and even more unsettling to imagine it spiraling out of control.

      It may be the case that a sketch of a Pokemon sold to your friend is an unenforceable violation, and Nintendo will never get involved, but it is still technically a violation. Please understand the fact that it is unenforceable does not make it less of a violation. You have profited from Nintendo's property, without permission. Which is not to say there are not degrees of violation beyond this which are more flagrant, but we should be clear about it. Knowing that, you might decide to do it anyway. Or you might decide to ask Nintendo permission. (They would say no. I might not, though.)

      Requiring you to ask permission isn't much of an imposition. But I hesitate to guarantee satisfaction even if you do, because for one thing, your email might slip through the cracks and I might not get back to you. It's happened before. I've had requests like this, and some I've responded to favorably, while others I didn't get around to replying to. Which I feel bad about, as I generally feel bad I can't answer all my mail, but that's how it goes. All I can say is, if you're wondering, ask. I may say yes. I may say no. I may not respond. If I don't, then you may use your discretion, while understanding the position I have taken. If you cross a line, there's a good chance you'll hear from me eventually.

      I'd rather this not be about finding out exactly what I do or don't allow, and then just getting down to furiously attacking that wiggle room I give. I'd rather it be about respect for the property of artists. Everyone who this affects is an artist as well, presumably. If you're an artist, you should care about this topic and evaluate your standards, because you are undoubtedly hoping others will respect your work and your rights as well. Imagine you are at a convention, selling Pokemon drawings or such. If you knew one of Nintendo's most aggressive lawyers was lurking nearby, would you still do it? Is it fear of being prosecuted that motivates you to stop? Or is it the fact that you do not own Pokemon, and though it belongs to a multi billion dollar company that won't feel the slightest hardship because of you, it doesn't seem right, because these aren't your creations? Or maybe it is less about respect to the original creator, and more about taking pride in selling what you have created yourself, or at the very least, that which you have been given the right to?

      And if the idea of selling black market Pokemon stuff makes you feel uncomfortable, where the owner has millions of dollars applied to a legal staff interested in crushing IP violations no matter how well intended, then why would you feel better about selling stuff owned by a guy without a tiny fraction of those resources, who has heretofore shown not even the slightest interest in taking action against his enthusiastic fans?

      These are things for you to think about, and then act according to your internal compass on the matter. I am not going to TAKE YOU DOWN if you sell a sketch of a troll to a friend or whatever. I'm just letting you know my position, and will be reasonably content to let the fans govern themselves, unless certain lines are crossed. Then we will talk.

      As for the Formspring Question of the Day...

      Eventually, before I die, I would like to somehow, some way, get my hands on that god damn fucking tiger.

    85. Andrew Hussie

      Every innovation is up for future consideration until I get tired of it.

    86. Andrew Hussie

      Mainly his horns were too big to fit on the jury table.

      It's kind of like when you're shopping, and you have to buy a huge thing like a giant bag of kitty litter or whatever, so you have to slide it in the space under the cart.

      Basically what I'm saying is, if Gamzee carried all the dead troll heads in a shopping cart, he would put Tavros' head in the bottom thing.

    87. Andrew Hussie

      The much, much better question is:

      Why don't you?

    88. Andrew Hussie

      He's taking a little break.

    89. Andrew Hussie

      I am of the opinion that the garments are ideal as they are.

      A truly authentic god hood, with a long, darker blue hood, and short sleeves, would be a costume. It would not be a garment most people would actually be interested in wearing on a day to day basis. Some would, absolutely. The majority of interested buyers? Nope, especially considering what it would cost.

      To manufacture such an item in a significant volume would be so complex, it would take a very long time, and would cost a fortune. It's hard to express how absurd this undertaking would be from my standpoint, and the standpoint of good business practice.

      I am sorry the reality does not match your expectations. They would be reasonable expectations if Homestuck was a property of, say, Disney. And the top Disney honcho could make a call to the guy in the Chinese factory which Disney undoubtedly owns and say "Hey, let's make a million of these." and have that operational agility, and ability to make it cost effective through outrageous volume. Unfortunately, Disney doesn't own Homestuck yet.

      So what you see is the best possible shirt in the real world, but also by any standard I think. It is pretty close to the shirt in the comic, while still being a very normal, wearable garment that doesn't make people feel like they are trucking down to the local anime convention whenever they leave the house in it.

    90. Andrew Hussie

      Me not telling you, in story or otherwise, is part of the fun.

      Sometimes things like this are dropped into panels to invite you to ask such questions, speculate about it, and connect the dots yourself.

    91. Andrew Hussie

      No, because it is governed by Homestuck logic.

      This is the same logic which makes it reasonable for a kid to be named at age 13, and then go duel his cake wielding father in the kitchen.

    92. Andrew Hussie

      Pray that this never happens, because if it does, got help us all.

    93. Andrew Hussie

      This is a trick question, and also a stupid question. The lions will never catch the got tiger.

      The got tiger is simply the fastest there is, and no one can ever get to him. Period.

    94. Andrew Hussie

      Hero of ____ is the generic term for any player.

      For instance, John is a Hero of Breath. Tavros is also a Hero of Breath.

      Vriska is a Hero of Light. So is Rose.

      But their full titles also include specific classes.

      John is an Heir. Tavros is a Page.

      Vriska is a Thief. Rose is a Seer.

    95. Andrew Hussie

      The lions had to be released in order to track down the elusive got tiger.

    96. Andrew Hussie

      I don't actually buy that many computers.

      I did the same drill about a year ago when my computer broke, which is when I made the "replace don't fix" resolution I currently try to swear by. I then fixed up that old computer, and gave it to a friend.

      I also got a new machine several years prior to that, and did something similar with the old one.

      In the last five to ten years, I have spent less money on new machines than someone who has recently purchased a single Apple product.

    97. Andrew Hussie

      You are a strange and terrible person for saying these things!!!

      I didn't own Windows, or a box, or a key. It came installed on my previous computer. I used to own Windows XP, but lost that CD a while ago. I have since bought Windows 7, in order to refurbish my spare computer.

      Wait, why I am telling you this?!?!

      I guess I'm holding out an olive branch to you, anonymous formspring guy. The ball is now in your court. Let's be best friends together.

    98. Andrew Hussie

      I'm always here though. That's the best thing about me. I am real, and you can talk to me any time you feel like it. See?

      Except when I don't answer your Formspring question cause I thought it was dumb or whatever.

    99. Andrew Hussie

      Yep.

      There are 2 actually.

      One HS volume. One solo album.

    100. Andrew Hussie

      Everything I read about it indicated it was a feature, and considered desirable functionality by Adobe (which is WHACK yo).

      But maybe this tip would have been the workaround?

      I don't know. If I'd unearthed that info while messing with it I might have run with CS5.

      But really all that stuff wasn't just about how dumb I thought CS5 was. Long story short, I spent way too long trying to get CS3 to work, tried out CS5 for a bit, bailed on it, then fixed CS3. Now it's pretty much ok.

    101. Andrew Hussie

      I don't. Bear in mind, the time required was only part of the equation. There's also the effort.

      The planned animation would have been a major escalation in production value. The sophistication of the animations has increased over time, and part of the point of this for me is to keep pushing the envelope, but there are limits to how far you can go. It's good to keep pushing and find your limits and test them, but realistically you'll have to pull back at some point. Because that is what a limit is. A line between something you can do, and something that is literally impossible.

      I'm not saying the animation I had in mind was impossible, but it was approaching scary territory. I just made a judgment and decided it wasn't worth the energy, all things considered.

    102. Andrew Hussie

      But then I would have a whole computer I don't like, instead of just one application!

    103. Andrew Hussie

      That was only half the problem. When untabbed, the documents clutter the taskbar.

      You can set windows to group like items in the taskbar, but I don't like doing that, for reasons.

    104. Andrew Hussie

      More technical problems.

      TOO BORING; DON'T READ.

      Seriously, don't read this. It's so boring.

      A couple weeks ago my computer broke so rather than go through the rigmarole of getting it back up and running I just bought another cheap computer and copied all my shit over to it to solve the problem as quickly and painlessly as possible so I could just keep working. That went ok.

      This as I said tends to be what I do when I run into technical problems rather than bang my head against the wall for days with diagnostics and part-swappings and repairs, and so I can just keep working and doing stuff that's actually important instead of dicking around with electronics.

      Maybe it sounds wasteful but it isn't. I just use the old machine as a spare computer, after fixing it up GRADUALLY, at a leisurely pace, where doing so will not present an obstacle to continuous work. So that's what I did. But in this case, I liked my old machine better than the new one, so once it was fixed up and ready to go, I prepared to make a quick hop back over to old machine and keep the new one as a spare.

      Except the hop wasn't quick, for one reason. Photoshop and Flash didn't work after installation. (the whole CS3 suite, actually) Still not sure why. At this point I'm guessing the installation file got corrupted somehow in all the shuffle. Of course the road to understanding you're dealing with a very serious problem is paved with all these excruciating diagnostic measures, like uninstalling/reinstalling CS3 a dozen times and even reinstalling Windows a few times in 32 and 64 bit mode to make sure something like that isn't fucking up the works. Particularly maddening since I JUST INSTALLED it on my new machine a couple weeks ago and it worked fine.

      And this kind of shit is exactly why I don't fight with computers anymore, I just replace them. Except that policy is really difficult to put into play in a situation like this, where the software is at issue regardless of what machine you use. But actually, I did investigate this approach anyway. It's just a more bitter pill to swallow because Adobe CS5 (their latest, solely offered version) costs literally five times what my computer cost. So I thought, maybe that's ok, maybe this is a good time to upgrade even if it's ridiculously expensive. So a good chunk of time I spent looking into CS5, downloading the trial and all. Photoshop CS5 is a very nice program, pretty elegantly designed, but I discovered it has one hideous flaw that makes it practically unusable to me.

      If you use Photoshop, maybe you know about it. I'm getting the sense it bugs a lot of people. It's summarized here.

      http://forums.cgsociety.org/archive/index.php/t-899953.html

      When I use Photoshop, generally I have 5 or 10 or even 20 documents open at all times. Actually, they're always open, even when I'm not using PS. This is how I work on Homestuck, I just have a ton of pertinent files open all the time so I don't have to spend as much time rooting around for stuff. Having all those files clog up the taskbar is moronic. The "tabbed documents" system is just as moronic, for my process. Tabbed web browsing is a brilliant innovation. Tabbed PS document navigation, not so much, since many PS users like to be able to look at more than one document at once, side by side. Not sure why the developers thought they struck gold with this feature.

      I wouldn't give a shit about any of this if they just made these features optional, and allowed CS3-like behavior to exist. And I might even make an attempt to get used to it, if Adobe wasn't asking for nearly $2000 for the suite (or $1700, for just Photoshop + Flash CS5). I'm not going to pay that kind of money on something that just makes me angry to use. Adobe seems to think I'll be delighted to whip out my credit card for the privilege of a mandatory workflow overhaul. Think again bros.

      Eventually I just gave up on the CS5 idea, and after undergoing a whole lot more terribleness too boring to mention, I finally just got CS3 working again instead. So that's that dumb story.

      This was all pretty aggravating and exhausting, and kinda made me lose my train of thought on the story. Piling this on top of other recent disruptions like traveling and the preceding technical bullshit doesn't help much. Constant forward motion on the story tends to be what keeps the thing living in my head, and I'm finding if you stack up enough major interruptions, it isn't just lost labor time that accounts for delay, but disrupted inspiration, as I have to completely regroup on what the fuck I was even thinking before shit hit the fan.

      And it doesn't really help that it's a fairly delicate part of the story where the point is to wrap up a lot complex stuff in some kind of sensible way, rather than the typical mode of casual meandering, where we could hop over to some funny conversation that isn't particularly important otherwise and I could just say, There, there is your content, enjoy. It's really the perfect storm of built up story complexity, commitment to a methodical resolution of everything, radically rethinking long-planned points of execution (i.e. axing huge flash plans, figuring out how to structure/convey them statically), and a disastrous series of technical disruptions. Updates just can't push through this any faster than they are right now.

    105. Andrew Hussie

      I drew an initial template, and the art folks were invited to continue in that style, adding new animation frames, characters, etc. All very loosely, without a lot of parameters beyond that. Eyes5 did the Jack, myluckyseven did a Rose frame. There should be more to come.

      This was originally going to be a Flash project, but I cancelled it.

      Everything happening now, and over the next bunch of pages, would have taken place in a pretty energetic, and much more sophisticated than usual strife animation. Kind of like "strife version 2", for the second disc. I planned this idea months ago, not really thinking much of the effort and time it would eventually require to complete. This is what I usually do, blithely make such ambitious plans, pay the price later, but fight through it with a major grind and honor the original vision.

      This was a little different though. Not only was this meant to be a much more elaborate type of animation by my own stakes-raising declaration, with more frames-intensive visuals like a typical 2D fighter, but on top of that, the rate of output had been slowing, and the story flow was already kind of logjamming.

      So I had to make a decision. I could either apply what I now estimate would have been two or three solid weeks of serious effort to make this one pretty cool animation, and watch several 100K people sink into a state of despair over the prolonged suspension in content only to have the story advance not particularly far through a totally radical battle scene, or I could scrap the whole plan and figure something else out. The latter is what you're seeing.

      Sometimes these adjustments have to be made. I've revised plans before, and had some cool ideas I've scrapped. I was going to include another round in the Dave vs. Bro battle where they used their Sylladexes to wage a hashrap battle (which is why I went to the trouble of making Dave collect all that dangerous shit in his kitchen before climbing to the roof). But I axed that because the battle was already taking too much time to produce and bottlenecking plot advancement. That idea was pretty easily phased out. This is different now, because revising these plans meant I had to change the way a large chunk of the story would be delivered, because a lot of story components were all tangled up in my plans for that animation. So I had to do a lot of rethinking, and much of the solution is what you're seeing now, which is having the scratched disc interfere with the flow of the story, and Scratch taking over narration duties at an accelerated pace while he fixes the disc in time for the end of act. This is in part my way of committing not to doing anymore flash stuff until the EOA, which itself is going to be a very laborious thing and will take a long time to finish.

      This is all fine. I don't mind turning my plans upside down sometimes, since it can lead to creative opportunities for handling this stuff. The disc errors, Scratch hijacking the site design while narrating, all this strikes me as in keeping with the spirit of the story and the flexible format. Keeping the story moving is important, but it's not the sole consideration. MSPA for me is about working with loads of fun ideas, both for the story itself and the way it's told. Very often that consideration is at odds with pacing. I do what I can to balance both.

      The biggest challenge in this respect by far has been Flash. I'm quite ambivalent on its role in Homestuck. On one hand, it completely changes the way the story is read and perceived, for the better I think. It brings a lot of the most important parts of the story to life, makes for significant dramatic impact when needed, and goes a long way in making this difficult to classify as a medium. One the other hand, it magnifies the production complexity exponentially, and I'm not just talking about the effort the animations require. It affects everything about my approach to the story. Including the whole decision making process, and not in a particularly good way, at least not from my perspective.

      The biggest way it affects the process is how it stretches the story out. If I'd gone through with the axed strife animation, that would be an obvious example, pausing the story a couple weeks to make some people fight. But the delaying effects can be more subtle than that. I'll have in mind a certain event in the story which I think should be handled through Flash. I'll know it's coming up, but I might not be ready to launch into that kind of work for whatever reason. Maybe it's too soon on the heels of the last one or whatever. So I'll work on more static panels, because there is never a shortage of plot threads to address or details to develop or funny conversations to write or new fun ideas to put out there. And that's fine really, since I feel like it's all good stuff, but it definitely makes for the long road. I'm quite sure Homestuck would be finished by now if I'd never used flash at all.

      There are other weird ways it factors in, like certain expectations it creates. Once it gets in the readers' heads that it's a recurring device for the story, they start to look out for it and expect it in certain situations, compare static content with flash, consider how awesome some static panels would have been if done in flash or how awesome situation X will be if animated with song Y. The potential for disappointment looms constantly with increased expectations. None of this is particularly bad, but if you're the guy responsible for putting together this story, you tend to be keenly aware of it, and it factors into the big puzzle of managing it all. And a big part of that puzzle has been answering the question "to flash or not to flash?"

      I've said before, the deeper into this I get, the less I feel like a writer or artist, and more I'm like a producer, managing story decisions weighed carefully against cost of execution. And cost can mean a lot of things. Effort needed, organizational complexity (usually most present in interactive pages), time delay or obstruction to story advancement, stuff like that. This kind of thing doesn't factor in if you're writing something more conventional, like a book. You write in exactly what serves the story, as you envision it. It may sound crazy that's not what I'm doing, but it really can't be anymore, not with these high octane animations in the mix as part of the expected delivery. I have to think like a producer to make that work. To understand what that means, here's an anecdote about Indiana Jones, which might not be quite true but whatever, it's just something I'm vaguely remembering. When Spielberg was going over the script with somebody, it called for a pit full of lions, and he said "whoa! too expensive! let's go with snakes." So you got Indy afraid of snakes instead of lions, because it turns out you can buy crazy loads of snakes for bargain bux.

      It would be really reasonable for him to be afraid of lions though. They are huge and hungry and fucking terrifying. Have you SEEN a lion??? Lions would be my quirky phobia if I was a rugged dude with a whip and longing for treasure.




      Lions.

      (roar)

      Why did it have to be...

      (roar)

      Lions. :(

    106. Andrew Hussie

      I am not trapped in Canada. I got back on monday night. The grumpy customs guy looked at me suspiciously and considered the threat I posed to this nation for a little while, and then I guess finally decided to do me this rad solid by letting me back into my own country.

      The Toronto Comic Arts festival was fun and I met lots of cool people. I lost track of how many buckets I was asked to sign I think after the fourth bucket or so. One time a guy asked me to fill his bucket with a clear fluid he supplied, so I did, and the undertaking was filmed, probably for distribution on the amateur pornography market. Some people kind of tried to sing to me once, and I rewarded their ring leader with a bottle of Faygo (a crate of which was given to me as a gift. I can at this point count on gifts of Faygo, Gushers, and candy corn at any convention with total certainty.) The fellow opened the Faygo with showman's aplomb, and the bottle snorted an angry, umbrella shaped jet of atrocious cola on to himself, his belongings, and all who surrounded him. I showed my contrition by looking suitably horrified.

      The convention only occupied the weekend, but in truth its footprint spanned 5 solid days when you account for travel time on thursday and monday, horsing around in Toronto on friday, and may even span 7 days when you consider how useless a person can be on the days before and after traveling extensively. So that is an entire week existing as a black hole in my creative schedule on account of two pretty decent days in Canada. This is probably why I don't do a lot of cons.

      On the subject of momentum killers, the preceding weekend my computer broke, so I bought a new one and spent time setting it up. I don't ever try to fix computers anymore. I just buy new ones, and copy my files over. I've learned not to fight with computers over the years. Expending the energy to win these little skirmishes is not worth the years it shaves off the end of your life. It steals a lot of time just to diagnose problems, let alone agonize through solutions. Paying for service and new parts and such also takes time, not to mention money which could be applied toward a brand new computer which doesn't hate you yet. You should take my advice. The next time some device gives you problems, don't fight with it. Just acknowledge to the device, "You win. You are broken. You will be replaced immediately." This is a liberating policy.

      The thing is, a computer isn't even very expensive. You can get a pretty alright one for like $300 or $400. My disc drive failed. Yes, a scratched disc. We'll forgo mention of HS themes cropping up in my life cause I don't even know what to say about that. I've had drives fail before, which basically happens for no reason. It's something they do. It's a good thing nothing important depends on hard drives being reliable. Except I guess practically all of modern civilization, but whatever. So I'd have to buy a new hard drive for $100 or so, a fuckin copy of goddamn Windows (which I don't even have, I always just inherit OS's from new machines) for like $200, and jump through all these hoops, or just spend approximately the same amount of money on some dumb pre-assembled machine off a store rack that is hot and ready to go, and remain blissfully uninvolved with a piece of technology's staggering, intractable neurosis. I just copy my files over. When a drive dies, it never actually spoils your data much. It only ever seems to break just enough to make the OS go funky, and difficult/impossible to boot up. And the more you run it, the more it corrupts, which is why you stop immediately, forfeit all hope of salvaging it, and buy a new computer.

      Even though that was about as painless a solution as possible, it was still a significant momentum drain, and last week was pretty slow content-wise. So's this one. Momentum drags are pretty common these days. That's just the shape of things, and it's all been fastidiously filed under Oh Well already, so don't worry.

      TCAF amounted to about a week long black hole of output, through which not only did you get to not read anything, but I was not even remotely applying effort toward something you will read later. That effort begins only now, as I get my shit together, and puzzle over the plans I left dangling. These plans are usually kept rational and aloft in my mind through perpetual, feverish creative activity. They begin to resemble the overambitious boondoggles they truly are when I'm forced to slow down.

      What I'm presently puzzling over is why I decided to leave a Flash project for myself to return to. Not really the best idea. But it'll be done when it's done, even if the gap in the archive from 5/5 to 5/? will probably seem cavernous relative to the eventual payoff.

      Check the site again:

      <strikethru>Tomorrow</strikethru>

      <strikethru>The next day</strikethru>

      <fakehtml>The day after that</bullshit>

      The future.

    107. Andrew Hussie

      Only I am fast enough. I get to got tiger all the time.

    108. Andrew Hussie

      If you catch me answering formspring questions it means I am definitely making a point of not updating at the moment. FS is one of the things I do to space out. It is where I go to ramble and decompress through various musings, and occasionally humor histrionics from anonymous teenagers.

    109. Andrew Hussie

      The behavior you have observed is far from universal.

      And how often do you really think I'm going to do this? There is only one disc change.

    110. Andrew Hussie

      8some?

      I know trolls can get pretty polygamous what with their quadrants and all, but wow.

    111. Andrew Hussie

      All I've really been up to is not working on it 24/7. Not working on a thing 24/7 shouldn't really need an explanation. Like nobody goes up to you and asks you why you aren't working on a thing 24/7, because that's a nutty thing to ask someone. Unless you have trained a very large population to expect this behavior from you over an uninterrupted period spanning three years. In which case my strong advice to such a person who has done that is: ???????????????

      The animation took 4 days or so, but really it wasn't especially long and something like that should have taken me about 2 days or maybe less if I were working in Hell Mode. But I had a lot of other important things to do which stretched out the time. For instance, watching some episodes of 30 Rock. I also ran some unsuccessful errands, like I went to the UPS Store to mail my stupid broken iPhone back to Apple, because it's dumb and broken and I kind of hate it. But the UPS Store's computer wasn't working or something, so I left. I went back again another day, but it was the same story. I muddled around with some tweens and and cajoled a billion little image files, saved in photoshop one by one and imported into Flash which is technology on par with a broken iphone in terms of raw aggravation factor. I went to Starbucks a bunch of times and bought some coffee, and at one point I netflixed Robocop on the PS3, and wound up fast forwarding through all the scenes where he was sitting around without his helmet on looking weird and talking about his robofeelings, because the movie wasn't really as good as I wanted to remember it being. I horsed around with some cats, by which I guess I mean coexisted with them which is mostly all you do with a pet ultimately. The younger one has taken to nursing on the slightly not as young one, which is weird because she is like her adopted older sister who is barely even much bigger than her. But the older one seems fine with it and actually starts purring, because pretty much every cat in the world is as least partially insane. At some point I realized I should stop shitting around and get down to fucking business. I dug deep down to tap into my inner reserves of determination and strength, and with all of my mettle brought to bear on the task I buckled down and was finally able to watch another 10 or 15 episodes of 30 Rock.

      And then I finished the animation.

      As for what I did today, i.e. the day after posting it, I don't know. Mostly sitting around thinking about how I want to execute some stuff coming up next, and revising some overly ambitious plans which were certainly made in the heat of labor-addled delirium. Also I did some other stuff. I made some pasta, and drove some cardboard boxes somewhere.

      What did you do today? :)

    112. Andrew Hussie

      Nah, Seer: Ascend will be in the log list like all the others when all is said and done. Links will proceed as usual from that page.

    113. Andrew Hussie

      Thanks, I'm glad you like it. People made some nice artwork for it.

    114. Andrew Hussie

      Yes I know exactly what they are for.

      [description below nsfw]

      The buckets are used to contain some volume of liquid which has some relevance to the troll reproductive process.

    115. Andrew Hussie Fedora Freak

      You are the name of the wifi connection in my house.

    116. Andrew Hussie

      I am beginning to draw them now. So pretty soon hopefully.

    117. Andrew Hussie

      Disc 2 begins between act 5.2 and the end of act 5. It signals no change of act.

      Each dot on that green Homestuck card that contains the discs represents the beginning of an act. The "2" is before the green dot, which is act 6. Act 6 has not begun, nor has act 5 ended.

    118. Andrew Hussie

      Yes. Unless the lusus is killed, or any number of things that could happen to separate them.

      But ideally, the lusus stays for life, and as was implied may even play a role in the troll's profession, as a mount or such.

    119. Andrew Hussie

      It was blocked, per the journal description. Just a bit of abstraction in the depiction.

    120. Andrew Hussie

      Cal and Ed and Scratch are certainly the names of three characters who have appeared in Homestuck, that is for sure.

      More importantly, Morton has resurrected in Homestuck the love affair Problem Sleuth had with old jazz legends, and now this legendary musician haunts us all with his spooky dead ghost.

      I forgot the point I was making?

    121. Andrew Hussie

      That guy is pretty cool. It's nice reading his responses to the comments, which are delightfully gracious. He seems so genuinely enthusiastic about spreading the word about old victrola recordings.

      "That is Wonderful. Do thank Mr. Hussie for me, and also all of you wonderful homestuck fans who appreciate and support my continuing efforts to bring my Historic and eclectic collection of early recordings to a new generation of listeners.

      Victrolaman"

      You are welcome, Victrolaman. Keep cranking out the classics!!!!!

    122. Andrew Hussie

      To be fair, if I were working at "normal speed", updates over the last 5 days could easily have been compressed into one day. I kinda doubt anybody would be urging me to get on with it if that were the case.

      Regardless, here is some additional perspective on the matter of the pressing need for plot advancement.

      Do you recall that at one point, WV spent about three weeks fucking around with cans in a bunker before he finally blasted off? In Act 1, we watched John launch cakes out of his sylladex for two months before we even discovered the story had a plot.

      This is how this works. At times it advances through stretches of unremarkable events wherein characters are given space to fool around. The story then continues to build on the details that accumulate. That is how every story on this website has been created, and the practice has been adhered to religiously.

      Sometimes, even in the heat of my most productive periods, these "goofing around phases" still represent a kind of decompression. When I am just not quite ready to ATTACK major plot advancement in the manner that it would require, and it's simpler and more sustainable to mess around, do silly things, and keep production relatively light weight.

      I remember when WV was horsing around with Can Town, there were similar murmurs of impatience, and many believed firmly it couldn't possibly be going anywhere that served the story. Nobody could know his big can in the desert would blast off soon, let alone that a year later, for reasons they couldn't yet fathom, thousands of teenagers to smear gray makeup all over their faces because of stuff that happened in this story. What could possibly happen later that would cause this??? Pretty hard to imagine, when you're the guy in December of '09, impatiently waiting for WV to eat parts of a pumpkin, drink Tab, and play chess with himself.

      To find out, you had to be in it for the long haul, as you must now be. I will do what I am going to do, and one way or another, it will get where it's headed. It always does.

    123. Andrew Hussie

      I didn't even name the Midnight Crew. The name was submitted through a donation command before Homestuck. I named and designed the members of the group to complete the request. It began here, and there are several others.

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/extras/ps000013.html

      Like many things in donation commands (zillyhoo, doomsday dice cascader...) the MC was adapted into Homestuck through the elaborate plot devices you may recall, driven by the usual MSPA meta-humor which you have grown to [feel some way about], which at this very moment continues unabated. (Remember the MC was introduced in HS as the MSPA adventure the kids could read if they visited MSPA.com. Then it turned out that MSPA was, in a way, a viewport into the troll universe, where the MC was real, and consisted of Jack & co. as exiles on Alternia.)

      But I didn't know about the Morton song until Radiation adapted samples from it into Black, which accompanied [S] Jack: Ascend.

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=003568

      The song was recorded 100 years before HS began. There's not much info out there on the guy or the song. Would anyone be all that surprised if it was released on 4/13/1909?

    124. Andrew Hussie

      This is Harley "Cherry Hog" Davidson. Her name doubles as a Homestuck reference, as well as a reference to a sweet fucking motorcycle.

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/scraps2/harleycat.jpg

      This is Samantha, who brought her name with her from the shelter. The name may be sticking through my fits of indecision on the matter.

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/scraps2/samcat.jpg













      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/scraps2/harleycatYAAAAAWN.jpg

    125. Andrew Hussie

      It was a joke that made you laugh contained within a work of comedy.

    126. Andrew Hussie

      She had to go. I can only have so many cats in my life.

    127. Andrew Hussie

      733 days
      3718 pages
      300,000 words
      5 pages per day
      hours and hours of animated footage + gameplay

    128. Andrew Hussie

      People will wonder why I chose to answer this question instead of the more interesting ones they submitted. They will be upset with both of us, just watch.

    129. Andrew Hussie

      !!!!!!!!!!



      Ok.

    130. Andrew Hussie

      It isn't over, there's so much more suckitude left to suck a big sucky dick.

    131. Andrew Hussie

      They'll likely be cheaper.

    132. Andrew Hussie

      I am not actually burnt out though. I have been careful not to say this, because it is untrue.

      I have simply allowed schedule clashes to disrupt critical momentum, which heretofore has not been the case.

    133. Andrew Hussie

      Probably this summer.

    134. Andrew Hussie

      No!

      That would involve sewing a ton of custom garments and would cost me and you a fortune, together.

    135. Andrew Hussie

      When in doubt, be sure to pronounce everything in the least affected manner possible, from an American perspective.

      CAR-cat
      tuh-REH-zee
      GAM-zee
      TA-vros (rhymes with HAVE and GROSS)
      neh-PEH-tuh
      eh-QUEE-us
      eh-RI-dan (combine names Erin - n + Dan)
      uh-RAD-ia
      fuh-FERRY
      SAW-lux
      VRISS-kuh
      kuh-NIGH-uh

      That's just how I say them. I don't actually care how you say them.

    136. Andrew Hussie

      Gamzee took them off before he killed Equius.

      Terezi recovered them at the scene of the crime.

    137. Andrew Hussie

      Some of them die.

      Like Eridan. HB. Black Queen. Troll Black King.

      Villains always seem invincible until they die. It's the magic that keeps them around til the end of the movie.

      But I guess by so many you mean 2? Jack and Gamzee?

      One is billed as omnipotent. The other is a rascally clown, which by definition is the most dangerous type of villain.

    138. Andrew Hussie

      It's the secret room music.

      She fell in the secret room.

      The song is from Secret of Mana.

      Toby Radiation totally ripped it off thiefways, please send him many unflattering emails.

    139. Andrew Hussie

      None of them will. The tiger is simply too fast.

    140. Andrew Hussie Me

      I don't know what a formspring connection is or why I have them.

      Wait you are a spambot I think.

    141. Andrew Hussie

      I'm presently acting as his legal counsel.

    142. Andrew Hussie

      I don't know. I hardly ever read more than half way down the first page of questions. Too many, too repetitive, etc.

      But through various channels, I detect certain flavors of reaction, ranging from disappointment to frustration to something faintly resembling outrage, not just at the lack of an incendiary production to mark year 2, but also the flagging rate of output in recent weeks.

      These reactions are far from universal, but they exist, and to address them I think an education on why MSPA exists at all is in order. If you see a creator who begins to languish in production of what presumably accounts for his day job, the impression may be that he is falling down on the job and failing to live up to his professional commitment. So maybe this is the source of indignation, re: entitlement, that some may feel when my output falters. The problem is, MSPA is not a day job for me. It is an all consuming lifestyle. Hence, the mirage that is the apparent ease of output for what is at times ludicrous volumes of material is highly sensitive to even slight perturbations in my life situation.

      Let me put it this way. You may work a full time job. It may be that something happens in your life that makes your job more difficult, because you are preoccupied. Your work may suffer to some extent, but you can still approximately match what's expected of you, because there is a partition between your job and your home life. You may nevertheless feel your full time job seems to dominate your existence, saps your energy, and leaves your weekend respites feeling all too short. This is not an experience I share, because MSPA is not a full time job. If you have such a job, then I would have to RADICALLY REDUCE my workload to match your level of day to day preoccupation.

      The actual quantities involved have always been nebulous and I never made a point of keeping track, but 12 hours per day seems like a pretty reasonable average, since that is just shy of all waking hours. Time spent writing, drawing, animating, or just spacing out at my monitor while contemplating all the moving parts. This is what I did every day, including weekends and holidays, for two years, and to some extent another year prior to that with Problem Sleuth. Only a few weekends were missed due to conventions, and there was a single week off immediately following the infamous "robo smooch", and that's it. (Most of that week was spent wondering why the hell I wasn't updating...) There are other gaps in the archive, spanning days or a week, when I was animating. Those spans involved the usual work schedule, while simply omitting sleep!

      Not only is this an unreasonable workload to expect of anyone, it's practically impossible to pull it off. Maybe you can expect some committed guy out there to really buckle down and duplicate that effort for a month or two. But years? Too much can crop up in the white noise of normal life to destabilize it. Momentum is absolutely crucial for maintaining that kind of pace. I find that if I only do an hour of work in a day, I get ten minutes of work done. If I do 12 hours of work, I seem to get 24 hours of work done. This is especially true of animation. Such projects notoriously take a very long time. I feel like because of the crazy head of steam I've built up from years of nonstop effort, I can knock out in days something that might take another animator a week. Or in a week what might take a month. Without that momentum, it's not possible. Starting up Flash cold is excruciating. Getting your head back into the stride of a story wastes energy you wouldn't use if you never broke stride. Without the momentum, the pace reverts to ordinary. Getting distracted by life destroys the momentum.

      I've been pretty zealous about deflecting the distractions, even when I move, as I often do. A notable example was last year when I came back from the Emerald City con in Seattle, and found my apartment flooded. The con was already enough of a time sink, so I didn't have much of an appetite for going into personal crisis mode. I just kind of shrugged, picked my computer off the lone, miraculously dry part of the floor, dropped it in a temporary residence, and kept drawing. I think the flood mess occupied about a day of my attention, whereas something like that could easily take up weeks of your time and energy if you're living that "normal life". You know how it is, you come home and find water up to your ankles and go aw fuck, what's ruined, what needs replacing, gotta call whoever and deal with the fuckin landlord about stuff and auuuugh. I just didn't bother with any of that, because it just didn't seem to matter, and I preferred to keep working and not give a crap about all my soggy bullshit. And in retrospect, I guess it really didn't matter.

      All of my moves have been similarly characterized by the unceremonious transportation of a computer and a few boxes to a new room, in which I'd continue working as if no change took place, with no service paid to the life that would be lived there, except as a workspace. I moved again recently, prompted by decidedly less dramatic and less soggy reasons than after Emerald City. This time, for whatever reason, I did it differently. I moved the normal way, the way I imagine normal people doing when I close my eyes, whereby more than a car trunk full of utilitarian belongings are imported into the household, placed on the floor, and never unpacked until the next moving day. I am not necessarily PROHIBITIVELY busy, but like I said above, any dent in the momentum, whether its a few trips to Home Depot or Target here and there or somehow waking up to discover I'd absconded from a shelter with two particularly energetic young cats, is something that precludes a pace of output that is insane and often bordering on miraculous.

      What I'm trying to convey here is this isn't necessarily any sort of break, or a grand announcement of a big slowdown for MSPA. I'm trying to give you a sense of the reality which made MSPA heretofore possible, and that if for a period of time I descend from an altitude far exceeding the hours of a full time job, into "merely" those of a full time job, IT DOESN'T ACTUALLY COUNT AS A BREAK! And certainly not as any sort of violation in a pact with the readership. Different from what you're used to? Sure. But you should never find yourself in a position where you come to expect, let alone demand, that degree of effort from anyone, even me. If my output "sputters" from 10 pages a day to 1 or 2 or 3, IDEALLY (re: unrealistically) this should not even cause you to voice an internal observation on the matter! And if one is voiced, instead of "oops, looks like Andrew's slipping," it should be "oops, looks like Andrew's being a regular dude for a while."

      Not that detecting a pace change is some terrible wrongdoing, since clearly I've done everything in my power to establish these absurd precedents, and people have naturally associated this with The Brand. I'd just like to suggest it would be beneficial to the reader to disentangle enjoyment of the content from the torrid pace its been commonly delivered. Who can say how fast or slow it'll come in year three? Would my assurances even be reliable? Maybe it'll stay at the current pace for a good long while. Maybe it'll soon hasten back to something more typical. Maybe it'll come back FASTER THAN EVER. Who cares??? Do you really NEED this site to be the fastest comic on the block to enjoy it? Are you prepared to contend with the backlash to your psyche that is risked by so fervently relishing that particular property of the comic? What if it's taken away? Don't go boasting to your neighbors that your slave can pick cotton ten times faster than theirs. It's unbecoming. Just enjoy the fluffy yield of his furious hands, while you wait and pray for Abe Lincoln to gently stroke his beard and relieve you of your bigotry.

    143. Andrew Hussie

      Primarily it is that Jeffrey Rowland of Topatoco and I think that making these terrible shirts is hilarious, and we are both willing to hinge our entire business models on the production of gag merch.

      But this does not mean I made these shirts INSTEAD of other cool HS shirts. You will note that there is a separate store called What Pumpkin. This is the store I use for the rather extensive collection of potential HS merch when we get the time to make/restock it. Realistically, there are just too many possible HS products to bug Jeffrey with all the time, since he is servicing about 30 other webcomis too, so generally I reserve WP for these ideas, while keeping Topatoco mostly about PS stuff, and now it seems SBaHJ stuff as well.

      There'll be more HS stuff in the WP store pretty soon, plus a restocking of what's there.

    144. Andrew Hussie

      The word weird sounds totally normal and fine when you say it a lot, nice try.

    145. Andrew Hussie

      The hoddies are in progress. They are being produced right now. It has taken a long time to get them going, because everyone is busy all the time. (everyone = 2 people) But they will be cool.

      Only the Breath and Light ones first (John's and Vriska's). Other(s) will be available soon after.

      Also there will be some t-shirts with those designs too, because...... why not??

      Also, there will be some other stuff.

    146. Andrew Hussie

      The terms are not synonymous.

      Where is trolling involved when Dave makes self-aware references to the callback heavy style of the story's construction? Where is the intent to agitate? There is no editorial subtext. There is nothing to read between the lines. There is no veiled repudiation, and I am not saying "suck it bitches!" to those who disagree with the callback saturation (those people don't even exist). It is merely a couple of lines of dialogue which are silly and self referential. It is a joke.

      It is also not trolling when I leave something on a cliffhanger. It is standard dramatic practice. It is also fairly unavoidable when there are many story threads running at once. You have to switch to others at some point. You also cannot answer every question at once or distribute every payoff when they are demanded, or a very nonlinear story would become very linear very quickly. It is additionally unavoidable because there are few occasions when you don't want to know what happens next. Hence every switch of focus begins to resemble a cliffhanger. This pattern has also been brought to attention through self aware humor, a la 5x cliffhanger combo gags and such. This does not count as trolling either. These are yet more gags of self reference.

      There are some moments when trolling comes into play. When tension mounts in a scene and we are being lead to expect something significant, and then you read the word "psyche", that is clearly a form of trolling. When I am dressed up as a troll, and copying large volumes of text into the narrative specifically to spite you, the reader, and I am saying "I am trolling you right now by doing this" it is safe to say you are being trolled. And even this flagrant gesture is one step removed from the act of genuine trolling, through the partition of satire. The entire concept of trolling has been folded into the story as another source of raw material for absurd kinds of exploitation, like computer science, alchemy, sprawling chess metaphors, and suit-based alien romance. This does not mean every joke is an act of trolling, or meta-trolling. In fact, very few are. When you read a simple self-referential joke or have your expectations subverted in in some way and say HUSSIE'S TROLLING US AGAIN, you sound silly. You sound like you don't understand what trolling is, or what I'm actually doing here.

    147. Andrew Hussie

      I am afraid this is impossible, as you appear to be some sort of cat.

    148. Andrew Hussie

      I'm digging the digs, they are pretty sweet, as digs go.

      Dig sounds weird when you say it a lot.

    149. Andrew Hussie

      Dave has always been a "genre savvy" character. Remember his whole thing on skepticism in movies and how the dad should believe the kid about the vampire in the closet and tell everyone to get in the van?

      He is even genre savvy about the genre which is essentially unique to this story and format, and about the practices of the author.

      Also there is no trolling involved, as usual. Trolling is practically never what I'm doing when people say I'm doing it. I would like everyone to replace the term "trolling" with the phrase "doing jokes", such that people will start sounding less ridiculous and less totally wrong when they say their things.

    150. Andrew Hussie

      I do not have a view on time travel.

      I also do not have a religion.

      If you look closely, you will see these two facts are actually the same fact.

    151. Andrew Hussie

      Nope.

      These key dates have actually become EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to nail as the complexity of the projects increases. Problem Sleuth was very easy to key into exactly one year, because the increments were so much simpler. That year-run was the precedent that began most of this milestone madness, and I've kept up with the milestones for the most part, but they start slipping over time. I've already blown a few and had to readjust.

      Remember that [S] Descend (end act 4) was originally targeted for 4/13/10, but I ran out of time (EXACTLY like I am now) and I put [S] Jack: Ascend on that date instead. Descend got pushed way back because there was no reason to push it so hard anymore. It dropped around June, then Hivebent started on 6/12, which is now ANOTHER key date!

      Things tend to take longer than I think, whether it's a single animation task, or the execution of a string of story events, which are necessary to complete to set up other major events like an end of act, and so on. Meanwhile, time just rages on. I remember thinking at the beginning of '11 that there seemed like plenty of time to set everything up to end it on 4/13. Lo and behold it's already fucking april! We've made plenty of progress, but it's still not there.

      Try to remember that as a key date approaches, I actually have much less time to make that work than it seems. To make 4/13 work for EOA5, I'd need AT LEAST a solid week to work on it, probably more. Which means I'd have to get the story up to that exact precipice in less than a week from now, and frankly, I've got other shit to do. As it is, I'll be lucky to pull off anything of significance on the strike of 4/13, let alone the monstrosity that the EOA would inevitably be.

      It'll be just like EOA4 (Descend). It'll only happen when it can feasibly, logically happen.

    152. Andrew Hussie

      I know, my answer this time was better, so I went back and deleted the old one!

      Nobody even has any idea what we're talking about.

    153. Andrew Hussie

      It was originally going to have another scene following the stair climb, but that turned out to be too much to cram into one page, and I thought it would have delayed the the release of the page too much. It had already been delayed enough, not only by the labor involved in making such a thing, but by the fact that I've been pretty busy otherwise. This was not blasted out at the usual rate, neither by me nor Gankro (the programmer). We both had stuff to do.

      I decided to separate the following segment onto another page to follow it shortly. It only seems abrupt because you cannot yet turn the page. I think this should be obvious.

      If you're reading a novel, you would never say "man, I sure did enjoy page 386. Page 386 was just so awesome until it ended abruptly! What gives??" What gives is that page 386 ran out of paper for words, and the story continued to glide seamlessly onto page 387, for those bold enough to turn and continue reading. Even for those who bookmarked and continued a couple days later! Single pages do not give you all the answers you want, nor do atomic story units in formats less conventional.

      Critical thinking is really important for navigating this website.

    154. Andrew Hussie

      Yes, I sure did paint myself into a corner by using the words "possible" and "might"!

      I should remember to avoid those words in the future so as not to trap myself in such ironclad verbal contracts with my readers.

    155. Andrew Hussie

      Thank you, this is nice of you to say.

    156. Andrew Hussie

      SBaHJ will go on forever, simply because jumping the shark is a non-issue for it.

      SBaHJ will or has already jumped the shark in the same sense that the grapes used in a very fine wine jumped the shark during the fermentation process.

      If you think SBaHJ is shitty now, just IMAGINE how shitty it will be when everyone is sick of it! Future connoisseurs of irony will be in ecstasy sampling the aging strip's bouquet.

    157. Andrew Hussie

      Sure. And I think this is because of the diversity in the story. I think if I wanted to do something more formal, that stays in more clearly defined lanes like strictly humorous or dramatic or such, that work would be stronger because I've already tried so much with this. I'd just have to reel it in. There are many things going on here that you would never see in such a work.

      I'm sure some look at the diversity of what's here, perceive various violations in literary protocol, and regard this as evidence of storytelling deficiency on my part. Which is fair, because you can only go on what you see. But at the same time I do have a grasp over what I've made, and have the awareness to apply more focus to a work than what's projected through this wide aperture. When tightened, most of those violations would vanish.

      I'm not trying to make the best thing ever here. Only something which is very fun, extremely flexible, and serving to accelerate my abilities, my understanding of what a story can be, and my grasp on how people react to things. That is actually a valuable part of the exercise, watching mass reactions in real time, on every aspect of each update. From the minutia, to the big plot turns. There is a very real component of this that resembles a huge social experiment. I'm not just putting pressure on the limits of a story's format. I appear to be doing this with the psyche of the readership as well. I have discovered many obscure buttons which can be pushed. I am taking extensive notes.

    158. Andrew Hussie

      WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT that a yard could be described as THE VERY THING THAT IT ISN'T?

      HOW IROthis is silly

    159. Andrew Hussie

      Calling it a strategy would probably be making too much of it.

      I'm working on a project, and I'm compelled to drop every cool idea I have into it. I horse around with format, and break or bend many rules on story construction purposefully. This includes infusing it with meta elements. The meta-saturation of the story continues to fuel my interaction with the readers, and listening/responding to them probably keeps the relationship between the narrative and the reader still feeling like it is an open channel, even though suggestions have been closed for a while.

      Everything going on here is experimental and vigorously informal, and this is the consequence.

    160. Andrew Hussie

      It's a form of theater, not a literal public announcement to get people to COOL THEIR JETS over the issue.

      The main purpose of it was not the assurance, but to establish the peculiar metric of author intervention. This means nothing right now, but obviously will later.

    161. Andrew Hussie

      I just thought the question was funny.

      Why did you ask this question? Did it help your case?

      Sometimes people lecture me through FS for some reason.

    162. Andrew Hussie

      I think there is definitely hyperbole that gets thrown around when discussing my ability, and I think people tend to drastically underestimate how ridiculously good the various masters were at their crafts.

      In fact, I really don't even view myself as a writer. I view myself as more of an illustrator who tells stories, and uses as many tools at my disposal to do so. Writing is one. Drawing and animating are others. The act of telling a story is in essence writing, so that's clearly what I'm doing, but it's still hard to feel like this describes my primary discipline. I've always identified myself as an artist foremost, who's had to push into the territory of a writer and develop those skills out of the necessity that follows unchecked creative ambitions.

      I also think there's the risk of media-chafing when selecting such names for comparison. Those writers were established in very formal literary traditions. I wonder what it would look like if you took one of the names you mentioned, dropped him in this period in his prime, and assigned him with a project similar to this? Some satirical, slapdash, media-blurring THING, heavily illustrated and published as fast as it was made with little revision? What if Vonnegut wanted to do that, bought a Wacom and boned up on Flash, and was TURNED LOOSE? Would he knock your socks off? Maybe!!! Kind of interesting to think about.

    163. Andrew Hussie

      It would make a very good song for an animation, but it is looooooong.....................

      So like a bunch of songs I like, it's either butcher it, or leave the visuals to the imagination.

    164. Andrew Hussie

      Everything I say here is true.

      Unless I'm joking.

      Bo)

    165. Andrew Hussie

      But the silent Flashes in question are very short. There are no suitable songs on hand for things like that. Shortening songs often feels like butchering them to me.

      This issue is a little more complex than just saying "hey slap a song in there, why not!"

      Practically every song available already is a pretty long composition, which requires an intensive animation project. I prefer to be sparing with those, because they are difficult. If I make a very short Flash in lieu of a GIF, there will not be a song ready that is suitable. I can get someone to make something for it in advance, but that takes time, and defeats the spontaneous, rapid fire nature of such updates. Musicians can make suitable tracks after it is finished and posted, and I can go back and "retcon" it in. And I HAVE done this before!!! But I don't know if I want to make it a policy. It doesn't feel right slapping sound on everything retroactively simply because I can.

    166. Andrew Hussie

      At no point did I do what you accused me off.

      But now that your question has been selected for a response, practically everyone who reads it will regard you as a frothing asshole, unfairly or otherwise. Good thing you're anonymous! I wonder how you would handle a significant volume of negativity directed at you? Given how easily rattled you seem to be, probably not very well.

      Also, why is my ability to be an asshole steeping? Is it making tea?

    167. Andrew Hussie

      If you take a closer look at your remark you'll find it doesn't make any sense.

    168. Andrew Hussie

      This is not actually what I said though. There is an element of coincidence.

    169. Andrew Hussie

      Only if you are the weird guy who wanted to get his sister pregnant with my genes.

    170. Andrew Hussie Drillgorg

      I find it much more understandable for someone to read SBaHJ and not be into HS. Reading and appreciating HS is a very intensive process which requires a lot of time and concentration.

      Whereas reading HS while not studying (yes studying) SBaHJ is less forgivable. SBaHJ is requisite supplementary reading. If HS was a class, I would automatically fail anybody who didn't get an A on their SBaHJ exam.

    171. Andrew Hussie

      B^**^8 SMOOCH

    172. Andrew Hussie

      SBaHJ is absolutely inseparable from HS, and has been almost from the start. If you don't understand this, then you don't understand HS very well. SBaHJ is like the mentally handicapped step brother of MSPA, requiring special attention, but no less cherished as a part of the family. It was originally intended as the chief source of in-house memes for dialogue, but this is ultimately a superficial purpose. Though it only has 20+ strips, it contains a pretty dense and internally consistent language of recurring symbols and typo-driven grammars, applicable as a rich sub-cognitive lexicon for highlighting elusive elements woven into the mythology of the story which tend to be shrouded in the unconscious.

      Many times events in SBaHJ "foreshadow" what happens in HS, but this is practically never intentional. It is always retroactive on my part, and quite convenient. Like the vampire strip I drew shortly before Kanaya's death and resurrection. The correlation was convenient, and was emphasized in the comic as a gag. Same with the one with Bro achieving LIFDOFF, passing a cloud labeled "cloun". Soon after, John flew his car by a cloud that showed Gamzee in it. This was unintentional while drawing the SBaHJ, but the connection was soon made in the comic serendipitously.

      SBaHJ as a creative process is probably a pretty accurate reflection of my subconscious at work. This may be why it often ties into HS themes yet to develop. It is like I am a prophet of my own story, and these shitty comics are my cryptic messages. I submit to the trance of the JPEGothics, while quaking in the losseldritch throes of the artifact tongues. The resulting imagery is troubling, and AGGRESSIVELY PREGNANT with meaning.

      Though most aspects of HS's story construction is exceedingly meticulous, with multi-threaded plot connections established months or years in advance, intuition plays a powerful role too, and may be even more important than the maniacal, overly cerebral stuff. There are occasions where something will just FIT, in a weirdly perfect way, even though I didn't quite intend it. I always seems to be working favorably with the grain of positive coincidence. Strange things with numbers happen all the time, for example, and this is certainly not because I'm a skilled numerologist. The troll's number is 612 because I started Hivebent on 6/12, a tale of 12 6 sweep-olds (13 year-olds). Their names are 6 and 6 letters, like mine. Why is one sweep = 2.16 years? Weird. Why is 6/12/11 exactly one sweep from 4/13/09, the start date of HS??? Also weird. These occurrences are everywhere, and I can only assume they have their root in the turbulent void from which all this comes. The story is in part driven furiously by high level cerebral machinations, and in part at the mercy of the whims of my waking coma. And I, personally, am at the mercy of it all.

      Anyway, if for no other reason, this is why you should like SBaHJ, or at least find it intriguing. Frankly, I am quite suspicious of anyone who doesn't find it funny. I am suspicious of their judgment and quality of perception. This is probably because it means their minds are incompatible with mine on a such a profound level. They are at odds with my subconscious.

    173. Andrew Hussie

      I don't think I ever drop a major development which is spontaneous, though points of execution almost always are, which probably makes it seem more off the cuff than it is.

      Some go back before day 1. Most originated between then and now.

    174. Andrew Hussie

      There is a lot to it. I don't have any trade secrets at all, but if I did, it would probably be the process I apply to those images.

      One major tactic: save as jpg, reduce quality to zero, but DON'T SAVE IT YET. Instead, screen capture the preview. Then paste that into the same document, and repeat this process for a while, until you have grown the desired amount of "loss scum".

      But this just keeps making the image foggier, which isn't good enough by itself. After that, I usually apply other effects, like strategic sharpenings and other misc. filters. I also use a lot of masking through color range selections, and perform meticulous alterations at the pixel-cluster level.

    175. Andrew Hussie

      I agree, and I don't even know which updates you're talking about.

    176. Andrew Hussie

      It is hilarious how people think this is just messing around when in actuality it will all prove to be ridiculously significant later, as usual.

      Oh well, I'll just keep being over here playing Vulcan mind chess or whatever while all y'all play your games of tic tac dumb.

      8^y

    177. Andrew Hussie

      Yes, the interlude is called MS Paint Adventures and has been running steadily for several years.

    178. Andrew Hussie

      Pratchett san and his family will be in my prayers during this troubling time for all the fine people of Japan.

      ~CSQ~

    179. Andrew Hussie

      I don't know if it's the opposite, but it's obviously intended as an absurd transformation to specifically complement Kanaya's.

      "Going grimdark" is a phrase which itself is silly enough to qualify as a joke. The ramifications of such a transformation are surely on par with becoming a glowing Twilight-esque vampire called a rainbow drinker. And yet, silly though these developments are, no one can argue they are not awesome as well. The result is the magic which takes place when stupid meets badass.

      The whole "going grimdark" thing was something discussed by readers when Rose first started stirring things up with her dark magic. The whole issue was later lampooned somewhat in a conversation with John. In fact, practically every line of the recent updates have been callbacks to this conversation.

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004823

      I found the point of controversy kind of funny. It makes one wonder, what does "going grimdark" even mean? Is that even a thing? I guess it is, as long as we understand that it probably refers to the metamorphosis of a vanilla character into a brooding gothic cliche, and this is something played absolutely straight in things which are generally terrible. Please note it is not being played straight in this case. [AND YET IT IS. WINK.]

      Also, who here is keeping tabs on super hero references??

      Rose's shirt has somewhat resembled the Punisher's logo for some time now, without any reason to link her to the vigilante. Let us now note the origin of the Punisher, a guy spurred to vengeance after watching his family get brutally murdered.

    180. Andrew Hussie

      Because I didn't feel like it???

      Kanaya's transformation/asskicking didn't involve any elaborate flash either. The showdown flash technically was more about the other 3 trolls than her. She just rushed in and beat them all down in a big gif parade. Nothin too special.

      There is always a way that a thing can be cooler. Determining what it is and informing the author will never be a spectacular feat!

    181. Andrew Hussie

      There was a small liberty taken with perspective.

      If you look at the beam of light coming out of the record, that beam is pointing straight up. If skaia were directly above that record, the beam of light would lead to it. It doesn't.

      Skaia is directly over Dave's house. She is looking at it from a vantage similar to how we'd view the north star. But again, with some perspective liberties taken.

      This is because it just reads better this way. Our understanding is, skaia is "up". To go to it, you fly up.

      The problem with topics like this is that it takes way too long to accurately address a thing that just isn't all that interesting.

    182. Andrew Hussie

      There's plenty of merchandising going on, but I honestly never make story decisions with the idea that it'll make me tons of extra bux, even though it seems like it with all the rad marketable clothes these dang kids are wearing all the time. I just do what I think is cool and feels right at the time. I have never once done something and said YES THIS WILL SELL SO MUCH MUSIC, or said FUCK I GOTTA DESIGN A SHIRT LOGO THAT'LL SELL LIKE HOTCAKES.

      Silent flashes aren't actually new. Just haven't had many in a while. Remember pages like this one?

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002401

      With these little Rose flashes, I just thought the idea would be a little easier to get across with a short flash than a series of gifs. They were not really long enough in my mind before execution to warrant finding a clip, or asking someone to make something beforehand.

      The one where she looks in the cue ball wound up being a little longer than I thought it would, just to pace it right, and I certainly COULD have given it some track with suitable ambiance, but I sort of deliberately checked that impulse.

      I just don't think that necessarily EVERYTHING is going to benefit from sound, even though it sure looks like that's the pattern I've established. If every time that preloader pops up, even if only to serve a 15 second clip meant for sequential utility, and we're hearing a tiny mood setting score or little sound effects each time just cause that's what a flash Has To Be, then it feels like it's getting into hokey territory to me. For the larger cinematic pieces, yes those absolutely need sound. The mini ones? Ehhhh, not so much. In any case, the expectation that sound must be delivered with flash or I risk violating my rules is something I find a little bothersome.

      The line has been pushed very far into some vague mediaspace frontier. But now and then, I like to remind you that the story still includes every possibility up to that line, including the more primitive things far short of it.

    183. Andrew Hussie
    184. Andrew Hussie

      It COULD be, but the problem is, you don't know anything about anything about anything. All you have is the banality of a story's future ghost projected by a fairly dull and overanxious imagination.

      Pretty much anything can sound like SUCH TERRIBLE BULLSHIT, until you actually see what I do.

    185. Andrew Hussie

      I understand what you mean, and thanks, but I guess there are different types of "wow factors".

      At this point I believe the kind you are talking about is a typical reaction to something with strong cinematics conveying interesting developments. That's cool and all, don't get me wrong.

      The kind I was talking about was more palpable during ones like WV: Ascend, where the reaction is based on lack of precedent, and the reaction is something like "I didn't know this could be that." Some successive ones had that feel too, like Descend probably, and the first Alterniabound probably did too somewhat, in that the format was such a curve ball. Innovation is still possible, but like I said, there is some element of diminishing returns to this kind of thing.

      I'm not saying this quality is essential to preserve in continuing that kind of output, but its evaporation in a project like this does steal a liiiittle motivation for going to the bother. Like I said, I'll do them if I get an idea that sounds like a fun and a worthwhile way to apply time. Which actually isn't much different from how I've been doing it lately anyway.

      And somewhere in this equation is the fact that at some point this thing does have to GET MOVING, and Flash projects have notoriously bottlenecked story progress behind them.

    186. Andrew Hussie

      Let's try to come to our senses here. The labor involved in making a Flash animation is pretty goddamn ridiculous. I'm approaching the 2 year mark on Homestuck, and in addition to the thousands of static pages and many tens of thousands of words, I am standing on several hours of animated footage. This is, frankly, ludicrous.

      Not that there is any regret in this accumulation. But after a point, an assessment has to be made whether such sustained high intensity is worthwhile, and whether it continues serving the purpose it originally had. It's purposes being media exploration, pushing the envelope on story delivery, and so on. The envelope can't always be pushed farther while still justifying the effort. If the effort required increases, while reader reaction inevitably flattens and adjusts to the expectation, then that particular purpose is not really being satisfied anymore. As far as media exploration goes, I think there's probably more than enough dynamism in the animated portion of this work to cover my initial agenda for it (which is to say, it far surpasses it). And as reader reaction catalysts, they probably stopped having the eye-widening impact they once had, where they were very often transforming your understanding of what this story was, and what it could be, and catching people off guard by humbling what preceded it. Without that experiential payload, they become a part of a pretty homogeneous loaf that represents MSPA as a product, something that demands a consistent mouth feel when chewed, and Flash must be tasted before swallowed. This is a situation I am not HUUUGELY interested in committing all of my time to keeping propped up, and Flash animations were not actually meant to be part of MSPA's Pledge To The Consumer.

      So all that's really left, and this has been true for a while I guess, is whether I feel like doing a Flash and whether I'll enjoy it. I can say that the end to every act will definitely involve a Flash animation. But beyond that, I don't know. It's possible I might not do a Flash between now and the end of A5.

      Or I might! We'll see.

      But what might not be fruitful is trying to read the gaps in my schedule like tea leaves, and divine the nature of upcoming output. Often, in the Flash frenzied history of HS's reckless climb, interpreting such gaps in this way has been reliable. Maybe not so much here on out!

    187. Andrew Hussie

      Your creepy uncle.

    188. Andrew Hussie

      It just means you read a fictional story like a rational human being.

    189. Andrew Hussie

      It is a lunar eclipse. When the moon is furthest from Skaia, and eclipsed by Derse's shadow. This is when the moon is closest to the Furthest Ring.

    190. Andrew Hussie

      YES

    191. Andrew Hussie

      I have neither.

      I paid money to learn about computers approximately ten years ago.

    192. Andrew Hussie

      This is a straw man. Nobody gives a shit about this.

    193. Andrew Hussie

      I thought it would be funnier to make such a mundane action more elaborately animated than more important things.

    194. Andrew Hussie

      I think the easiest way to address questions like this is to say, picture every possibility that is dumb and terrible. Those things are exactly what I am not going to do.

      Also, it's pretty amazing how often people misuse the term retcon. Almost as often as they misuse the word troll.

    195. Andrew Hussie

      THAT'S PRETTY SWEET

      It will also be the 1 Earth year anniversary of Act 5.

    196. Andrew Hussie

      Not exactly. The Rift was just what the trolls called the phenomenon that brought Jack to their session. It then became known by its formal name, the Scratch, as we learned a little more about what was going on. We learned the rift was actually called the scratch at the end of Hivebent.

      The only aspect of this that was a red herring at all was the implication that the rift/scratch was some generic opening in spacetime that let Jack hop from one session to another. This is what the trolls presumed due to ignorance. Aradia knew what the scratch was (since she was the one who first mentioned it in her private memo), but she was not all that talkative as a mopey robot, and clearly didn't think it was important enough to let anyone know.

      We now know the scratch isn't what transported Jack between sessions. We don't know what did yet.

    197. Andrew Hussie

      I don't know about having the ending planned from the beginning, but I can say that every time the scratch as been mentioned, and even earlier when it was referred to as the rift, I knew exactly what it was going to be.

      The concept of the reset, though heavily disguised until now, is a very old one, and is completely entangled with every aspect of the way the story has been constructed to this point.

    198. Andrew Hussie

      It was mentioned that Jack destroyed all 12 planets in the troll session.

    199. Andrew Hussie

      What is up with them is that I am posting them not as frequently as usual.

    200. Andrew Hussie
    201. Andrew Hussie

      I don't have a formula for making likable characters. But I guess character development tends to help.

      With Scratch, I think one of the fun things about his recent developments is that they came on the heels of learning that he is part Cal. His identity as a creepy pervert wasn't exactly "set up" before this revelation. Not overtly. But if it was I think it would be less entertaining. We get to watch certain traits of his personality reveal themselves exactly when we now have reason to expect those traits. If he had them before it might have weakened the humor value of it now, even though it would have been more air tight from a characterization and plot construction standpoint. We didn't get to say "DIABOLICAL! So THAT'S why he's a perv!" But HS has enough of those eureka moments already for us to be worrying about that.

      Not that his developments are completely off the wall either. He was always a pretty self satisfied guy, with the demeanor of someone who could easily be a coy prankster, who just hadn't revealed those tendencies yet. Much of what he said had the feel of a knowitall who's just messing with someone. Also, he did only talk to the girls. With the exception of the one short line to Karkat. He manipulated them and mentored them in weird ways, and eventually one might ask, why all the attention on the ladies dude??? So turns out that's why, sort of. Of course the original reason was more pragmatic. It was just that of all the trolls, the ones most relevant and dynamic in the story tended to be girls, so that's who he talked to. But later, it struck me as a pretty amusing angle on an omniscient character to be a bit of a creeper, and this is in keeping with his origin.

      Remember where Cal came from in the first place? And why he was thrown out of Dave's dream tower?

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=003621

      But all that said I still don't think it's quite right to regard him as an actual pedophile, just because of what sort of entity he is. It's probably more apt to think of him as an all knowing supercomputer that happens to have a gravitation toward young ladies in his programming. Imagine walking up to the computer and if you are a boy it says, hey. But if you are a girl it says WELL HELLO, DON'T YOU LOOK NICE. Thinking of it in these terms helps make it funny rather than outright disturbing.

    202. Andrew Hussie

      oh look the 50th question about this typo who giiiiiiiiives a shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit

    203. Andrew Hussie

      Dogs are pretty simple creatures.

      Take a look at what Jack tends to think about now.

    204. Andrew Hussie

      He is figuratively Lord English's puppet, yes.

      I don't even know if this answers your question.

      Let us also bear in mind what Cal was primarily used for.

      A weapon.

    205. Andrew Hussie

      You forgot honk honk.

      All the words have significance. Some are obvious already. Some are not yet.

      All of the words have personal significance to their authors. H34DS, because of Terezi's double headed coin she uses to decide the fate of others (which, hey! has a SCRATCH in it. ehhh?) 8r8k is a word commonly used by Vriska, as a word meaning fortune (8ad 8r8k) and also something she literally does to 8 balls. t1CK t0ck has significance to Aradia as the Maid of Time, clearly. It has significance to Tavros and his interest in the Peter (Pupa) Pan mythology, and the phrase is unambiguously tied to the ticking clock in the belly of the crocodile who hunts Captain Hook. And Captain Hook has been unambiguously likened to Jack Noir and/or Vriska, who have both gone without an arm and an eye.

      The words all have significance to Scratch as well. Tick tock because the guy is associated with a mob of time travelers, duh. Honk honk because the guy is essentially made out of a clown doll. Break heads? Well, this could mean many things...

      And let's file this under KIND OF A STRETCH.

      Since the thickest book by far is the ~ATH book, it stands to reason most of Scratch's DNA comes from the honk code. Bec's DNA comes from the meow code.

      honk honk meow

      Is essentially John's silly translation of Karkat's (car cat's) name. John and Karkat, as the two leaders, are the ectobiologists of the team.

    206. Andrew Hussie

      Maybe he's the number one troll, but never had the true self esteem to express it?

      See how easy it is? To make things make sense out of thin air? Easy.

      (regarding troll numerology, 2 questions down)

    207. Andrew Hussie

      They just did.

      http://www.whatpumpkin.com/store/main.html

      uh...

      For now.

      Also those hoodies I threatened you with are looming. Give em another 2 or 3 weeks.

    208. Andrew Hussie

      A small exception to the pattern. But we can examine a few reasons why it makes sense.

      Aradia's quirk is to replace 'o' with '0', making t0ck. Using a '1' for t1ck not only balances the numerology, but adds a binary element to the phrase. Duality/bifurcation has always been a strong theme in the trolls' session. Two teams, two sets of ruins, two universes.

      There is also a pretty solid case to be made for why Tavros should represent 1. Aradia has always used zeroes because she had been the "null character", before her resurrection. Sollux on the other hand had always been the character of duality, with his twofold curse. When Aradia came back to life, she lost her null quality, and thus lost her quirk. Sollux lost his twofold curse when he went blind, and lost his quirk too. But he, in a way, assumed Aradia's position as the null character, insofar as 2-2=0. He assumed her quirk. This is aside from the point about Tavros though.

      If you list the trolls according to the order of the zodiac, it starts with:

      0: Aradia
      1: Tavros
      2: Sollux

      That is, if beginning with 0, which is suitable for Aradia's theme, then Sollux is also numbered suitably as well. That makes Tavros the 1 troll by default. Does the number 1 have significance for his character beyond this? Bet you can think of your own reasons if I left you to it. Here's a pretty good one for me: Tavros is so lame, he's always forgotten to type with the number ruling his existence, and it is only through writing this code that the quirk has been awakened.

      Vriska's number is obviously 8. Scorpio is in fact the eighth sign on the list too, assuming we switch to begin counting at 1 from the start in this case. Which we should, because we aren't actually being that literal about assigning a number to each troll. It only makes sense for a few of them. Some of their numbers don't even register on a 1-12 scale. Equius likes 100, while Nepeta is all about 33.

      8 has always been kind of a special number in HS, in the same way 413 has, though not hit as hard as those digits have been. In fact, 4+1+3=8!

      413 are Terezi's numbers. She uses them as her quirk, as the numerals of the blind prophets. If we are to say Vriska is 8, then Terezi is right behind her on the zodiac list, and she would be 7.

      Her code "H34DS" conveniently includes no 1. 3+4=7!!! There's her number, rearing its head.

      Where did the 1 go? Tavros has it! It seems writing these codes while sleepwalking has cajoled the true numbers assigned to Tavros and Terezi, 1 and 7, out of their subconscious.

      Ok, so some of this sounds a bit like hand waving I'm sure. No single reason here is ESPECIALLY compelling for giving Tavros a 1 on its own, but I submit that we have overwhelmed the jury with circumstantial evidence, and I expect a conviction.

    209. Andrew Hussie

      This probably means you don't have a very solid grasp on the already established facts of the story, and the way first guardians are known to originate as already conveyed through example.

      Things like this can have the look and feel of something that is confusing. But I don't think it is actually confusing. Not intrinsically.

      The only thing that is deficient it your alertness to the facts. Which is fine. It's a big story.

    210. Andrew Hussie

      He is also part all-knowing magic cue ball.

      But the fact that we now know he is part Cal may open up some revelations about his character that we wouldn't have thought likely before.

      For instance, we may now be able to parse his "Don't turn your back on the body." line with the understanding that he MAY in fact be a bit of a prankster.

      What is a sense of humor like for someone who is omniscient? Possibly something not easy for us to understand or recognize right away.

    211. Andrew Hussie

      No, not at Cal's conception. But at the beginning, that's not really how I worked. I littered the story with hundreds of details, knowing that some of them would rise to extreme significance later. The bunny was one such detail designed explicitly to rise to significance, though in a way left open ended. Cal was exactly the same. But for those who really understood my M.O., the moment you saw Cal, you probably expected nothing less from him.

    212. Andrew Hussie

      There has actually been a clue pointing to this for a very long time, "hidden" in the name of Dave's sword.

      Caledscratch.

    213. Andrew Hussie

      That's only if you combine the symbols first before converting them to GCAT.

      All of the code fragments are maintained separately in different books. The books are deposited in the slot below, to the right. The machine knows what to do with them.

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=005512

      Also note how much bigger the book slot is than the kid session slot.

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=003828

      That's because the troll slot needs to be able to fit the huge ~ATH book in it.

    214. Andrew Hussie

      Ok, here is what I said about this in the forum.

      vvv

      Here comes the magic of logic.

      Four codes does not necessarily mean a more complicated genetic code, or some kind of weird alien DNA.

      Symbols are just symbols. With the MEOW code, the DNA letters were not literally MEOW. They represented GCAT. M=G, E=C, O=A, W=T.

      Same with these codes, but more symbols can be mapped to GCAT at the same time. Like t1CK=GCAT, t0ck=GCAT, 8rk=GCA, H34DS=TGCAT. This will work as long as the total number of symbols is divisible by 4*.

      The means of creating the code is more complex, but the code itself is not necessarily.

      Not that I am expecting this to occur to most people though.


      *Addendum:

      When I wrote that, the honk codes had not been revealed yet. So additionally, honk =GCAT, HONK=GCAT. An additional 8 symbols, also divisible by 4 to ensure balanced GCAT distribution. Each part is needed to combine to form what is presumably the equivalent of the MEOW code, once translated to GCAT.

      This makes for a total of 24 symbols to complete Scratch's code. Is this relevant? Why don't I point this out. It's actually 2 sets of 12, one for each troll, and one for each ancestor, who were created all together in their session by Karkat.

      If you want to keep your theorist's cap on, you could then note that the MEOW code only consists of 4 symbols, one for each kid, but not for each guardian as well. It might suggest there are missing symbols, and we don't know the full story about Bec's origin.

      It MIGHT.

      Or might not.

      This is MSPA obscurica at its finest.

    215. Andrew Hussie

      NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wait yes

    216. Andrew Hussie

      Why do you expect the purpose of something that happens in a story to be instantly evident?

    217. Andrew Hussie

      That was what happened when he was reading MS Paint Adventures and found out his favorite troll died.

      It was the VAST SOB.

    218. Andrew Hussie

      Dad did Jack a favor once by burning his silly hat, and Jack rewarded him by letting him escape.

      Even if he did remember him, I think it's safe to say he considered that debt repaid.

    219. Andrew Hussie

      You are actually supposed to simultaneously laugh and cry as hard as you can out of every orifice in your body.

    220. Andrew Hussie

      How do we know they didn't?

    221. Andrew Hussie

      Kanaya was obviously always going to be the most asskickingest asskicker who ever kicked an enormous butt right in its big fat ass, because I am a virgo and I obviously can't be affiliated with a lame useless troll.

      Also, it's especially fitting, because in reality I am like this huge lesbian.

    222. Andrew Hussie

      ESPECIALLY DINOSAUR COMICS

      THE PANELS NEVER CHANGE, HOW DOES ANYBODY EVEN TAKE THIS GUY SERIOUSLY

    223. Andrew Hussie

      I think this was pretty obvious a long time ago.

      But then, homosexuality in a society where bisexuality is the norm is kind of a different thing. Rather than being a swapped preference, it is a more exacting preference. Somewhat like a fetish for a particular gender. When Karkat was talking to John about it, he indicated trolls don't even have a word for the orientation. It's not something that appears to have any cultural significance to them. Which might seem odd, but then, they're aliens. Maybe a way to view it is how we view people with more exacting preferences, like certain fetishists. We don't actually have common words to describe most people like that, and their presence doesn't have nearly the same social ramifications which homosexuality does. Humans seem to make a very big deal out of homosexuality, while treating other forms of preference as barely worth noting. When Karkat was <3< hitting on John, the reasonable human response was to say "I am not a homosexual." But the troll response would be more like "Sorry, not interested," without invoking orientation. Very much like a guy with a fat fetish isn't too likely to reject a thin girl by saying "Sorry, I am just this HUGE chubby chaser, so I must decline." (CUE FAT VRISKA JOKES AGAIN)

      Not that any of this changes how we view Kanaya. From a human perspective, she's an unmistakably gay character.

    224. Andrew Hussie

      MSPAspace is a pretty fast and loose kind of space.

      I like to think the events you described would have taken a month to convey through a more typical webcomic.

      And by that I mean what I just said is definitely true.

      Also a typical comic would not involve things that are as great as those things.

      Basically I am saying there is a good reason why this is the only comic that you bother with.

      Now let's all delete all of our non-mspa bookmarks, right now.

    225. Andrew Hussie

      http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lgt3723bWm1qgcsjxo1_500.jpg

      I do now.

      They don't seem very happy about it.

    226. Andrew Hussie

      Trolls pop boners like stunt guys pop wheelies.

      I'm completely sure that's all that's got to be said.

    227. Andrew Hussie

      I am secretly trolling you by coming up with words like auspisticization. This is the one and only time I will admit to trolling you about anything.

    228. Andrew Hussie

      I have this really strong hunch that people who think I pick out dumb questions have a really dumb idea for what constitutes a good question.

      Like guys who are frustrated that I'm talking about Twilight while letting their perfectly good questions about troll boners go ignored.

    229. Andrew Hussie

      It's more like 99% you rocks just to be clear.

      wait...

      your question just officially made it...

      100%!



      :0

    230. Andrew Hussie

      It was intentional insofar as I was aware of the possibility of drawing attention to it for humorous effect, but did not.

      There was already a Schrodinger's Dave joke earlier, and how much lousy Schrodinger do we even need? That one was funnier anyway, because it was Ricky Schroedinger's Dave, which is not actually funny to anyone who doesn't know what Silver Spoons was, which is probably most of you. And even then, it is only funny in conjunction with Terezi's breakdancing Schroeder gifs.

      So what I'm saying is the cat joke both exists and doesn't exist. It is in fact Schrodinger's Joke.

    231. Andrew Hussie

      LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I HAVE JUST BEEN SUCCESSFULLY HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR CRIMES AGAINST MY READERS AND MY STORY.

    232. Andrew Hussie

      Any time anyone's shoes fly off for any reason I am channeling the recurring scene from Calvin and Hobbes when Hobbes pounces on Calvin at the front door, knocking him out of his shoes and sometimes his socks as well. There was another moment in HS when dad pied John in the face right out of his shoes. Same deal.

    233. Andrew Hussie

      I don't even know why I should possibly have to explain this.

    234. Andrew Hussie

      If you were not high when you submitted this question, I will literally use my own physical strength to submerge a pony in a wading pool full of bong water until it drowns.

      I am that sure.

    235. Andrew Hussie

      A dig??? Try a CELEBRATION!!!

      Of its terribleness!!!!!! <laughs happen>

      But then, I haven't read it, so what do I know? Maybe it's great! Sparkly vampires, damn what a cool idea.

      But for the record she doesn't sparkle, she just glows like a goddamn light bulb, which is WAY more awesome than Edward turning into a walking blingee when he gets some sun. It also makes more sense because she is a reverse vampire on account of being a member of a nocturnal race. And it makes even MORE sense because it is a dig at Twilight.

      Stephenie Meyer can't even fall back on the Twilight parody excuse to justify her glittering vampires, because the thing she is writing is Twilight in the first place. I am going to email her my condolences. She'll probably think I'm retarded though, sort of like how I feel about people who complain about my dumb shit on formspring. The only significant difference is that I'm right, and she's boring.

    236. Andrew Hussie

      All religion is real. Time to deal with it.

      If you still find doubt in your bosom over this and many other spiritual facts, I recommend you pray harder, and then go weep in a church until you pass out.

    237. Andrew Hussie

      First she auspisticized between Gamzee and Vriska.

      Then she auspisticized between Eridan's upper torso and lower torso.

      there were

      deuce clubs

      B|

    238. Andrew Hussie

      I probably won't post anything until tomorrow, but that's only cause I'm kinda busy today!

    239. Andrew Hussie

      I'm really baffled by the source of your confusion here, but the question seems to share a sentiment with some other weird questions I'm reading which demand this [S] page should have gratified them all instantly in the exact way they desired, so I'll answer them blanketedly.

      Have you ever watched a movie? Sometimes the setup is as important as the payoff. Ambiance? Tone? Suspense? Bringing to a more clear cinematic focus of prior events? Any of these things familiar?

      If we chopped up an old western into pieces and distributed it daily, all those cowboy actors have to put up with Formspring questions yelling GET FUCKING ON WITH IT CLINT EASTWOOD. WE GET IT, YOU ARE STARING THE DUDE DOWN. Things take time to execute and deliver properly.

      I think sometimes people think this site is this magic box that all this miraculous shit comes out of with no explanation or process behind it, but I do in fact have to spend time MAKING that shit. The more complex it is, and the more points of interest it resolves, the more time it takes. You wanted a fucking battle royale? Ok, get ready for a week without updates!

      The golden goose is a great thing for everybody until down the road you discover you are that guy wringing the bird's neck screaming at it to lay you some more goddamn eggs you honking piece of shit.

    240. Andrew Hussie

      I did?

      I made the flash in like 3 hours.

      If I hadn't posted anything in several days, your anticipation of something more eventful would be warranted.

    241. Andrew Hussie

      We're not talking about the afterlife anymore, we're talking about pirate porn.

      Nobody even remembers there is an afterlife in Homestuck anymore, get with the program.

    242. Andrew Hussie

      I thought it was funny.

    243. Andrew Hussie
    244. Andrew Hussie

      All of it was an accurate historical account of events from her perspective. She does not need to embellish on anything because she is the real deal. A very successful and nefarious troll pirate who exploits her powers in battle and romance.

      This is one of those things that is equal parts serious and silly (well ok maybe not totally equal). It is in part serious in the sense that you can view it totally straight and read it as a series of events that literally happened, and has implications for the story. It is also in part COMPLETELY FUCKING RIDICULOUS because you are truly, literally reading an excerpt of trashy romance, involving pirates like some Fabio novel, all parsed through a grim troll culture and the strange multi-dimensionality of troll romance.

      Once all the dust WTF settles, you can look at it from a variety of angles.

      Since this is the ancestor Vriska idolizes, this is probably the exact type of character she'd grow up to be, if left unfettered in troll society. If there is any departure in her inclinations, this is the template she is departing from. We've already seen her try to do her Mindfang impression a few times with mixed results. She tried to get Tavros to kiss her with mind control, but couldn't go through with it.

      When put into the perspective of more severe adult troll attitudes, I think it helps make everything the trolls have done so far seem more childish in retrospect. It was hard to gauge, because adult troll life was completely abstract. Hearing a little from one adult's perspective through this romfic shows how big the gap was between their youthful antics and what they were really trying to become.

      It also puts a little perspective on why certain relationships are the way they are, seeing how their ancestral counterparts interacted (in this case, Vriska and Eridan, whose ancestor was Dualscar, which was the name of his RP character as well). But we still only have the one example to go on so far.

      And on the topic of Vriska reading this thing for inspiration, to me it's kind of got the feel of a cross between a kid learning about a relative she looks up to, delighting in reading some unapologetically trashy romance novel, AND the troll equivalent of stumbling on her parent's porn stash. Which is not to say the entire journal is full of smut. But hey, there it is.

      And lastly, you can look at the log as further insight into the nature of troll romance, their near-universal bisexuality, their apparently casual attitudes toward the multiple partners the quadrants demand, the tension surrounding the potential of hopping quadrants and the meaning of envy in this regard, an element of mysterious affection that still seems to surround the hate-based black relationships, and a certain degree of open promiscuity implied by the actions here. IF YOU CARE!

    245. Andrew Hussie

      A lot of people made a lot of guesses for what the 2/14 thing might be.

      Nobody guessed ancestral pirate porn.

    246. Andrew Hussie

      <}< <3<

      Hmmmmmmmmmmm yeah. I'm not even sure what I was doing with that curvy bracket shit.

    247. Andrew Hussie

      I like to think that describes half of what's in Homestuck.

      The thing is, I know what you all want, deep down. I know what you all NEED.

      And what you need is author endorsed/written/canonized erotic lesbian troll pirate fanfic.

      I mean fangfic.

      Happy V-tine's.

      <3 / <}<

    248. Andrew Hussie

      Well, if you have to force a punchline, then the punchline shouldn't even exist, should it? The whole comic shouldn't exist. By extension, there are entire webcomics out there that should not exist. (Won't say which ones tho! hehehehehehehehehehe.)

      But really, one problem with normal comics I think is when you have pages chock full of panels, sometimes a lot of those panels just get glazed over by the reader as background wallpaper, even though they may be very attractive if examined, and a great deal of care was put into it by the artist. It's sort of a shame.

      With each panel given focus, they demand attention and can have more power individually, and create more surprising statements as navigated through. This is true even if one of my panels is literally just me scribbling bullshit all over it.

      And the real HAYMAKER of this format is being able to deliver any quantity of text below the image I want. Anywhere from 0 to 100,000 characters. I can fit entire conversations in one panel which would require HUNDREDS of normal comic panels to convey gracefully. I always found dialogue-dense comics a bit offputting, wherein all the dialogue is stuffed into a lot of ponderous bubbles crowding out the art. With this format, this is not an issue at all. Large volumes of text may coexist with the art innocuously, as if you are reading a true comic/novel hybrid.

      Oh yeah, + animation's cool too I guess.

    249. Andrew Hussie

      Final answer: all of them are all heights.

    250. Andrew Hussie

      I've said this before, but act 6 will be considerably shorter, and act 7 will be minuscule.

      Act 5 is what I will call THE GREAT MOTHERFUCKER OF HOMESTUCK. It is what you observe when the perfect storm of plot density and character overload finally materializes.

    251. Andrew Hussie

      It's not about authority though, people are gonna have opinions and stuff, which is all good. Sometimes I say what I think in response. Those are MY opinions, and occasionally, my facts.

      How I feel.

      Sometimes I feel like I have ruined comics for myself forever. Sometimes I will look at a normal comic, and think to myself, what the fuck are all these fucking panels doing on the same fucking page? SPREAD EM OUT DUDE! True story.

      It is my fond hope that I have ruined, or will ruin, comics for everyone else too. Scott McCloud wrote what I am sure is a pretty good book called "Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art". One day I hope to write a book called "Ruining Comics: Forever". It will be a 1000 page book, and every page will simply be a photograph of my face.

    252. Andrew Hussie

      They are all precisely the same height. Check out the sprites dogg.

    253. Andrew Hussie

      Nope.

    254. Andrew Hussie

      I once said it was maybe the most important intellectual activity we could possibly engage in, to justify the existence of troll boobs, and I stand by that statement.

      Who says they serve the same purpose? Maybe they are glands for some other more alien substance. Maybe a substance useful in battle???????

      /END FANFICTION

    255. Andrew Hussie

      fedorafreak .......... wait

      I thought you said LEAST attention.

      Come on people, time to hop on the FF bandwagon, let's go.

    256. Andrew Hussie

      Yes.

    257. Andrew Hussie

      Maybe we'll find out

      ?

    258. Andrew Hussie

      The whiplash phenomenon is not limited to your perception of Vriska. It is a defining feature of the reading experience, especially lately. It's not a bad thing, in my view. One of the reasons you get on a roller coaster is because the experience is not exactly a gentle one. They build them in amusement parks, because that is where people go to be amused.

      Vriska is not designed to be either definitively likable or hateable. Sometimes when you read a story, a character does something which you will take as a message from the author about how you are supposed to feel about that character. When they later do something at odds with that message, it can either be regarded as out of character, or character development, depending on both the reader's perception, and the author's execution.

      In this case, everything she does, good or bad, is meant to provide a more complete picture of her as a character, and more thorough context for her actions. Once upon a time, a lot of it seemed purely despicable. But I don't believe either extreme, despicable or sympathetic, is 100% suitable anymore. What exists is a portrait that has complexities, as any character given a lot of time in the limelight should have. That having been provided, which side she falls on is up to the reader.

    259. Andrew Hussie

      Nothing is ever drawn in advance. I draw a panel, and then post it. Or I draw a group of panels in succession, and then post them all.

      if a chat log is involved, I write it first, then draw, then post immediately.

      If there is a shorter more casual narration below the image, I often draw the panel first, then come up with the text on the fly as I post it. But not always.

    260. Andrew Hussie

      It is a pirate hat.

      Pirates love silly hats.

    261. Andrew Hussie

      We will:

      1) See no more ancestors.

      2) See some more ancestors.

      3) See all of the ancestors.

      One of those things will prove to be true! I do not know which yet.

    262. Andrew Hussie

      I stopped using reader suggestions about a year into HS, which was 10 months ago. Nothing new.

    263. Andrew Hussie

      There was never any question about this.

      Observe troll Drew Barrymore.

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=003898

      Case closed!

    264. Andrew Hussie

      It takes a lot of dexterity and showmanship to keep the better part of a million plates spinning on sticks.

      The plates are YOU CHUMPS.

      And the sticks?

      Yeah I don't even know what the sticks are.

    265. Andrew Hussie

      But it did in fact do the F.U.S.

      It was practically all contained to Hivebent though. Hivebent, as I suggested further down, is a microcosm for all of that sort of material, which as I also said, was all vaguely trollish in nature.

      Remember how all of these characters were internet trolls in the first place?

      Inside the anguished bosom of every reader still left puzzled, there is a eureka moment yearning to happen. I swear this to be true.

    266. Andrew Hussie

      Yes, Whistles is offered by SLG for free now. (plus shipping, most likely)

      Which I actually think is pretty cool.

      http://www.slgcomic.com/Whistles-Vol-1-The-Starlight-Calliope_p_486.html

    267. Andrew Hussie

      I am prioritizing that the story continue to be entertaining and funny. That is what it still is, in my view, which appears to differ with the reality inside your own personal factsphere. So be it.

      But using Problem Sleuth as a comparison is silly. Problem Sleuth had very little in the way of a plot, and the characters were mute foils for outrageous shenanigans. The dark events, which were rare, happened in a framework in which investment was limited.

      The Midnight Crew intermission would serve as a better comparison anyway, since it was essentially a bloodbath. But it's still the same kind of thing. Stick figure characters with no actual personality getting knocked off left and right for laughs. If you ask I apply the exact same standards of "dark lite" to HS, I say this is not possible. Killing a character beyond stick figure depth will necessarily carry more weight, and will be read by some as a turn for the GRIMDARK. So in truth your advice is to kill no one, and proceed gutlessly, or risk being likened to a comic book from the 1990's. I suggest viewing this as an attempt to be edgy and therefore artistic is a pretty shallow way to interpret what is happening.

      Looking back on the MC intermission again, it was a pretty prescient segment. It foretold of a great deal of time travel complexity yet to come in the story. It turns out there was a bloodbath in the cards as well. There are many ways to examine past events and not be surprised by what is taking place now. Not the least of which is that these children were introduced as members of a race of psychopathic murderers. Some of your jaws still seem to be on the floor, and I guess I wonder what they're still doing there.

    268. Andrew Hussie

      Welp, I guess that closes the book on THAT comic! Thank god I am surrounded by experts.

    269. Andrew Hussie

      Nah.

      I just think bizarre and dark stuff is entertaining.

      But not exclusively.

    270. Andrew Hussie

      both??

      observe;

      hilarious

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=005351

      frightening

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=005356

      (but imo, both of those instances are simultaneously funny and scary in varying degrees)

    271. Andrew Hussie

      He is slashing his face on purpose. Because I didn't think the erotic submissive asphyxiation fetish death was fucked up enough, I thought a little bit of self mutilation was in order.

      I hope at this point people realize that when you punched your Homestuck ticket, or really anything I've worked on, you were signing up for something that runs the risk of getting pretty fucked up. Practically everything I've done outside the confines of MSPA has been considerably more bizarre.

      I'm capable of containing the impulse to do bizarre shit when I want to. If you look at some big stretches of Homestuck, you will observe something that is quite tame, often cutesy, and even at times bordering on accessible. But then, to create a well manicured and widely palatable product was never the mission here. It was about exploration, high diversity of concepts and execution and all that, and I guess above all, fun for me personally. (and YOU!) So there are vehicles built into it to support my more usual fare.

      The primary vehicle for that was Hivebent, and the entire troll presence in the story in general. It began with a pretty messed up premise. The establishment of a colorful cast of kids from a violent race of psychopaths whose entire civilization centers around brutality and murder, and watching how kids from such a culture relate to each other and come of age. Hivebent began with dark notes relative to Homestuck, and only got darker. The scene with Vriska and Tavros in her quest cocoon was an example of the escalation in fucked up shit. Present events are even further escalation. It was always going to get much worse before it got better.

      If you got into this story more recently without knowing anything about me or what I've done before, and feel the story would be better suited without the inclusion of the more bizarre elements, or the downright NASTYTIMES, all I can say is that's not who I am or what you signed up for.

      Do you know about Humanimals? Probably most of you do. It's a comic I did years ago. I still think it's hilarious, personally. If you do too, then I would bet there aren't many ways in which our senses of humor differ. But to many it was disturbing, hideous rubbish. In truth, these comics are probably about as unsettling as you can possibly get without resorting to violent or sexual content. (if it appears sexual in nature, that is only your imagination at work, trust me)

      http://www.teamspecialolympics.com/comic.php?sec=archive&auth=Blurbs&cid=blurbs/00085-h.gif&blurb=h
      (Edward was on Equius's wall in the latest Flash)

      [here's where this answer probably gets a bit too long]

      I'm constantly mining content from my older work to incorporate into Homestuck. The instances of this are hard to quantify. Let's talk about Equius again. Lot's of people thought he had depth beyond his gags, and that's definitely true. But that wasn't what was relevant about him, to me personally. He was always the troll personification of everything like Humanimals I ever did and put on the internet. (Hence is lusus is basically a Humanimal.) I used to do all sorts of weird stuff, reviewing obscene furry pornography, making weird collages involving horses, and just a whole lot of bizarre shit that didn't make much sense, but I thought was funny. The whole span of these endeavors was quite trollish in nature, and you will agree if you peruse Humanimals. The fact that it puts some people off is part of what makes it funny. So Equius was that entire arena of trollish content, rolled into a character. That's why I was STRONGLY committed to maintaining the integrity of his arc, as I defined it. It was more important by far for me to adhere to his role as the fucked up dude who embodies all that stuff than have him blow it by doing something heroic. He believed he died a death of supreme integrity. And so do I.

      Don't get me wrong, he was still a gag character. But this was the precise nature of the gag, an homage to an entire vein of humor I used to deal in copiously. He, like some others, trolled you in life, and then trolled you in death. What happened in between, you ask? Well, that was just you falling in love.

      Whistles was a graphic novel I did years ago. It's another thing I've mined ideas from, which have specifically begun to show themselves lately with Gamzee's turn. And oddly, there's some of Whistles rolled into Equius too. If Equius seemed to accelerate to a point of depth faster than others, maybe it's because he was built on quite a payload of founding concepts, all revolving around perversity.

      Whistles was about a clown in a circus who was as sweet as could be. He loved his ringmaster, in spite of the fact that the master was a cannibal and a tyrant who attempted to kill him. When the circus rebelled against the master and beat him, Whistles flipped out, killed a lot of people, and absconded with the master into the desert. (nice clown going murderous is obviously what Gamzee imported from this) The recurring theme throughout the whole comic is that every time Whistles has a chance to do the right thing and rebel against his evil master, he can't overcome his loyalty to him. To the point where he offers his starving master his own severed arm to eat. The whole thing is darkly humorous and pretty messed up. Equius imported this insane reverence for the hierarchy at the expense of his own well being. Though with Whistles, it wasn't quite as perverse and didn't have the creepy sexual connotations. (However, at one point Whistles did dabble in prostitution. But when he did it, it was cute!)

      I get asked sometimes if I will make book 2, the conclusion of Whistles. The answer is, probably not. It's incredibly time consuming making a graphic novel, and I don't know where I'll find the time. It also probably just gathered too much dust for me to get into it again. But unlike Equius, I did plan on giving Whistles a heroic end. I always intended for him to overcome his obsession with his master.

      For what it's worth, I did finish a draft of book 2's first chapter. It introduces a new villain named Sugarshoe who is, get this, another insane clown! If you read through this and recent HS events, it may seem like I'm obsessed with this kind of thing. Not really. Like I said, I just borrow heavily from myself.

      http://www.andrewhussie.com/comic.php?sec=archive&auth=Andrew&cid=whistles2_draft/whistles2_001.jpg

      Just to wrap up this trivia binge, some other examples of old stuff I've rolled into Homestuck are..........

      SBaHJ. I did a few strips on a whim, satirizing someone's comics, about one month before I started HS. I folded it into HS as it's primary source of original memes to be referenced ad nauseum.

      The whole Bro puppet obsession was largely sparked by this series of ridiculous muppet comics I did in the forum years ago. One of the comics actually made it in HS, pinned on Bro's door for Dave to find. File this under More Fucked Up Shit I did.

      http://www.mspaforums.com/showthread.php?24118-Cheerfulbear-PLAY-ME

      All the wizard stuff in Rose's house, and her wizardfic writing in general, was mostly imported from my own absurd wizardfic I wrote some years ago, a pretty healthy sized book I never quite finished. It was called Wizardy Herbert, and was a very flippantly satirical story about kids and magic, starting out as what seemed like an unapologetic Harry Potter spoof revolving around a magical summer camp instead of a school, and then quickly launching off the plot deep end into some very convoluted stuff of Homestuckian proportions. In fact, there are many ideas mined from this story and injected into Homestuck. Any time you read anything about magic being stupid or not being real or anything like that, that's Wizardy Herbert talking. Zazzerpan and his full Complacency were minor characters in WH. WH is actually extremely similar to HS, in terms of the nature of the dialogue, the blend of utter silliness and dramatic seriousness, and complexity. It feels like such a similar thing to me, this might be the main reason why I'll never quite finish it.

      Characters from WH are on Rose's wall here. http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002121

      Herbert is the guy with the eye patch. He had a magic gun. But he could never figure out how to use magic, so he primarily just went around shooting things.

      Anyway I guess that's enough about all that.

    272. Andrew Hussie

      Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

      For now, I'll keep the answer mathematical.

      We have gained negative several characters.

    273. Andrew Hussie

      Cool thanks! I hope everybody likes it a whole lot, forever.

    274. Andrew Hussie

      Primarily evil clown power I guess.

      It's the same phenomenon that makes the Joker the most dangerous Batman villain. He's just a stupid guy in a purple suit who thinks murder is funny and stuff. We can't people just shoot him??? He gets away with ANYTHING.

      Evil clown powers might be the most dangerous powers a villain can have for this reason.

      Some (probably everyone) may have noticed that many of the trolls are loosely or not so loosely related to various super heroes and villains.

      Sollux - Cyclops
      Aradia - Jean Grey (including parallels with her death/resurrection to Phoenix, which augmented her powers)
      Tavros - Professor X
      Nepeta - Wolverine
      Karkat - :( .......... he has red blood at least!
      Terezi - Daredevil and Two Face
      Vriska - hell, take your pick from her powers buffet
      Equius - insert strong dude here
      Gamzee - Joker, with a bit of the Two Face thing going on
      Eridan - somebody from Harry Potter
      Kanaya - somebody from Twilight
      Feferi - insert under water hero here

    275. Andrew Hussie

      Where do you think she spends the rest of her 8 lives??????

    276. Andrew Hussie

      Well it IS a pretty evil number.

      This is scientific reality of the most empirically measurable magnitude.

    277. Andrew Hussie

      I should clarify I was not actually reprimanding anyone for feeling bad about a certain character dying.

      I was just providing some broader perspective. Often what you want the most will not actually serve a story that well, in the way it has been designed to come together.

    278. Andrew Hussie

      FYI David Carradine was a Sagittarius.

      I dunno how strong he was though.

      Maybe kinda strong.

    279. Andrew Hussie

      Rehosting this thing is a pretty huge pain and I get pretty easily deterred from just about any chore that doesn't have to do with updating the site.

      By I'll get around to it soon hopefully.

    280. Andrew Hussie

      Oh ok I accidentally made him a complex character?

      WHOOPS!!!

      Every aspect of him was deliberate. I try to make even marginal characters as interesting as they can be with limited exposure given. But they're still marginal, and he was still fundamentally a gag character in spite of those complexities.

      I'm just sort of shaking my head here at anyone crestfallen TO THE MAX about Equius's failure to stake a heroic claim on Homestuck's already IMMENSE plot footprint. Like, seriously? With as big a thing as this story is, people are gonna hold a candle light vigil on my lawn for the GREAT SWAN SONG of the dude whose overwhelming gimmick was fetishistic submission? THERE ARE BIGGER FUCKING FISH TO FRY, PEOPLE.

      Time to get a grip.

    281. Andrew Hussie

      Ok, imagine I didn't do the Flash.

      Now replace your question with this.

      "Dear Andrew! How could you kill off Equius without any more parting dialogue between him and Nepeta? Or more funny horse pun antics or whatever?? It just seemed so RANDOM! That was so cruel of you, and also horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE storywriting!"

      These question-grievances are always no win situations. There are so many conflicting objections, it's hard to take any seriously.

      And this isn't even addressing the substance of the objection. So you're saying there is no purpose in characterizing someone who is slated to die? Pardon me, but that's idiotic. You say you don't understand the point in taking "all this time for him"? Where "all this time" is a single Flash page, with several conversations? Seems like overstatement. As for the point of the Flash, how about fun? Entertainment value? Humor? Is any of this registering?

    282. Andrew Hussie

      It does not sound like I locked myself out of an interesting idea.

      It sounds like I locked myself out of your fan fiction.

    283. Andrew Hussie

      It's safe to say that if he twitched his neck muscles at all it probably would have broken the string.

      He was just that passive.

    284. Andrew Hussie

      Can you think of a better way to go than being subjugglated to death by a rampaging highblood? I can't.

    285. Andrew Hussie

      Of course it was lame.

      Disappointing? I don't think so. More like suitable for everything we knew about the character. Which wasn't all that much.

      This was a character who was introduced with horse porn on his walls. His entire presence in the story was a gag. I think literally every conversation he had was centered around his obsession with the hierarchy, his perverse enjoyment in being bossed around by those under him, and his desire to be subjug(gl)ated by his only land dwelling superior. He mentioned he didn't think he could raise a hand to the highblood. When it came down to it, he couldn't, not even to save his life. Such was the extent of ridiculous submission fetish. He was devoted to the caste system to a fault, and he died for it.

      To be disappointed is to crave a more challenging or heroic death. Which I guess is fine. But to crave a scenario in which a more dynamic duel occurs and he rises as some sort of hero would be overestimating the relevance of an utterly marginal character, someone designed to be not much more than a really strange piece of an ensemble cast. What he contributed to that ensemble was, as I said, completely centered around a gag, and I stayed true to the gag to the bitter end. His death was as much a sight gag as his introduction. This effectively concludes his arc as a minor character. (OR DOES IT????)

      I think of the big picture, and like I say all the time, I consider how it reads straight through as opposed to dripped out tortuously for day to day analysis and second guessing. In the slow motion of present moment, the readers deal in countless WOULDN'T IT BE COOL IFs, but each of those is lacking broader vision. I'm the one keeping track of the big picture here, and if I happen to mention that Equius going out with a bigger bang would have been kind of dumb, like so many other things on people's wish lists, I guess you just gotta trust me!

    286. Andrew Hussie

      This question carries the bizarre implication that I make a habit of reading any other Formspring accounts. I find my own tedious enough to peruse as it is.

      Also I think you'll find smiling at my answers more often will go a long way. In fact I am dismayed to scroll down and find all of my answers direly under-smiled upon.

      I am going to say that if all of the answers on this page have not gathered at least 1000 smiles each within 24 hours, I am going a RAGEQUIT HOMESTUCK.

      The clock is ticking. :o)

    287. Andrew Hussie

      I like that through formspring there appears to be emerging fanon-assertion that a room with two distinct points of exit is something that is necessarily less than logical.

      It proves beyond question that there is absolutely nothing people will not take the opportunity to argue with me about.

      I will call it the Two Doors Theory of idiotic argumentation.

    288. Andrew Hussie

      I am ABSOLUTELY COMMITTED to waffling about the engagement up until its very precipice.

    289. Andrew Hussie

      Have you ever heard of a SICK BURN???

      I don't even get what's up with a lot of these questions.

    290. Andrew Hussie

      That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

      That's like saying a room with two doors doesn't make sense.

      Like, wait, I don't get it! You go in the room... and then you can also go out??? WTF IS THE POINT

      That is practically the definition of every room that has ever existed.

    291. Andrew Hussie

      I just googled fedora freak. Google's auto-complete feature provided:

      fedora freak
      fedora freak mspa
      fedora freak homestuck

      It's pretty cool that google gives props to ff in this way.

      It's also worth noting that none of those searches lead to any clear answers about ff or who he is.

      I guess I forgot the point I was making.

    292. Andrew Hussie

      I was talking about specifically when the latest page is a heavy Flash file. Why would you subject yourself to the abuse of refreshing that every time you're checking for an update?

      It's just common se...

      thpppppbpbpbpbpbthpphhphphpbbbpthhthphth i give up

    293. Andrew Hussie

      Anyone who would ask such a question is not a true Homestuck fan, and must vacate the premises immediately.

    294. Andrew Hussie

      YES

      EVERYBODY LISTEN UP. TAVROS IS COMING BACK TO LIFE. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST.

      Thank god you asked that question! It was going to eat me alive keeping a lid on that bombshell.

    295. Andrew Hussie

      I merely yanked the sheep's clothing off the intrinsically dreadful word.

    296. Andrew Hussie

      Yes.

    297. Andrew Hussie

      This seems like a preposterous thing to do. When the latest page is a big Flash, why not just go camp on the index, and observe the list of links to the side when you refresh?

    298. Andrew Hussie

      That wouldn't make whole a lot of sense in a room with no other exit.

      Unless the point of the room is to sneak into it through a vent, and then transport back and forth across a span of 20 feet or so until you get bored.

    299. Andrew Hussie

      No, there are some bugs. They will be fixed later.

    300. Andrew Hussie

      I thought about that, but decided it was suitably ambiguous. "Tavros: Land already." could simply be referring to him tumbling down yet another flight of stairs.

      The command "-->" you could argue is similarly spoilerish.

      I bet you saw that and said uh-oh, Equius is about to get the old arrow through the leg.

    301. Andrew Hussie

      Afraid? No, because then I would be a fucking chicken.

      Everything I'm doing is awesome and is unequivocally the right thing to do. Fear is for cowardly stupid babies who take massive dumps in their baby ass diapers, thus filling them with huge piles of gross, baby ass shit.

    302. Andrew Hussie

      Yes.

      It means "arrow."

    303. Andrew Hussie

      If I want an outcome to be less guessable then I distribute the foreshadowed data more carefully and cryptically. Practically nobody ever guesses stuff I seriously don't want them to guess.

      Other times I leave more obvious bread crumbs to let certain outcomes be more guessable to the public. With the whole Kanpire thing I think I was pretty much beating people over the head with foreshadowed elements, including a brazen link to a SBaHJ comic in which Jeff appeared as a vampire directly below the scene of her demise. Hence her resurrection could safely be conducted to a chorus of NO SHIT!s with a few smug CALLED IT!s chiming in for backup, oh and also some HELL YEAH VAMPNAYA TIME!s working their way in there. This is not to say the outcome was a lock, because there is always the possibility for red herrings, and enough of those have been established so that you can never feel completely safe with a prediction. That is their primary value. Seriously, it isn't just messing with people. Making a story unpredictable has a lot to do with showing you are capable of doing practically anything at any time. Sometimes you bluff, and sometimes you play it straight. It's a little like a poker game. If you do too much of one or the other, people can read you easily. Even the silly self insert stuff has benefits in this regard. Predicting what's to come in the story is no different from putting yourself in the head of the author. If the author paints a portrait of himself as kind of a loose canon, either through a volatile narrative, or in an absurdly literal way as I do with the AH nonsense, that will be the consequence.

      Part of the fun of a story is its unpredictability, and this one has had plenty of it so far I think. Unpredictability is a significant basis for suspense, and I'm sure has other benefits we could examine. But I think there is also enjoyment value in occasional predictability, or rather, guessability. Setting up some obvious clues, and running with them to their logical conclusion. It's like throwing the reader a bone, particularly those who may be prone to feeling a little overwhelmed by getting perpetually outfoxed by the narrative. Another example of that was Jade's penpal letter. I designed it so that the clues would scream GRANDPA GRANDPA GRANDPA, and of course that's what most people were guessing. And the guess was very much on the right track. But that doesn't mean it was safe from another twist. It was her grandson, which is an outcome still compatible with the original clues, in a way. And while managing to be surprising, and not particularly guessable. So in that sense I guess that development had the best of both worlds. Letting people pick up on some more obvious clues for a change, and still delivering a surprise.

      How guessable something is also relates to how close to the event you get. Prior to Eridan's entrance into the room, and even during, the deaths were completely unguessable. After Feferi's death, Kanaya's becomes considerably more so, but still quite uncertain. After her death, all bets are off. Not only do all deaths thereafter become guessable, but in some cases, "predictable". That's because it was the line between a series of shocking events, and the establishment of an actual story pattern. The new pattern serves a purpose, as a sort of announcement that the story is shifting gears, that we're drifting into these mock-survival horror, mock-crime drama segments, driven by suspense more than usual. The suspense has more authority because of all the collateral of unpredictability built up over time, as well as all the typical stuff that helps like long term characterization. But now that the pattern is out in the open, following through with more deaths no longer qualifies as unpredictability. Just the opposite, it would now be playing into expectations, which as I said, can be important too. This gear we've switched to is the new normal, and any unpredictability to arise thereafter will necessarily be a departure from whatever current patterns would indicate.

    304. Andrew Hussie

      It actually isn't free. If you try to sign up for it, the account is still unavailable, even though it suddenly appears inactive for some reason.

      I felt like this was the most important question to address by far after my week long FS hiatus.

    305. Andrew Hussie

      You would be a horrible father.

      And if you already are, I hope someone calls Social Services and reports you.

    306. Andrew Hussie

      Did he try to captchalogue the doll with a wallet modus?

      Try thinking scientifically next time.

    307. Andrew Hussie

      Why don't you ask me about the one ton of shaving cream?

      Was it really one ton?

      The answer is, yes it was.

      The weight of a can of Barbasol is 11 ounces. I calculated you'd need approximately a 14 x 14 x 14 cube of them to weigh a ton. Which is exactly what's there.

    308. Andrew Hussie

      They don't even have faces.

      I'd posit that for faceless parental automatons who receive very little screen time, they've actually been given a considerable amount of characterization.

    309. Andrew Hussie

      ^_~

    310. Andrew Hussie

      It wasn't about teasing though. It was just about answering a question.

      Were their dream selves still alive? Could they be revived by a kiss?

      The answer was no.

    311. Andrew Hussie

      I would probably just ragequit Homestuck.

    312. Andrew Hussie

      I didn't even really plan the ball dropping thing until shortly before New Year's. I just make anything fit with anything. They are often crimes of convenience which suggest premeditation. It is the way many aspects of the story are put together.

      Dropping the ball New Year's-style wasn't really enough. I also wrung a callback to Jailbreak out of it,

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=1&p=000107

      Wherein the huge pumpkin rolled off the tower and settled nearby a stump, which through MSPA lore has always been affiliated with suicide. This subject was pertinent to Jade and Jadesprite's conversation.

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004391

      The fellows in Jailbreak even had a goddang harpoon gun, just like Jade. But... I didn't get to work that in. Not every idea I have gets worked in, if you can believe it.

      And one final note, this whole thing neatly solved the problem of building up Jade's house. I had long wondered how I might handle that, with it's unusual design. I concluded the best way was to knock off the tower/ball part, and build up the blockier structure.

    313. Andrew Hussie

      ONLY




      ONE




      :33

    314. Andrew Hussie

      All I can recommend is you let the whole story run its course before you find it guilty of making any sort of anti-gay statement.

      I mean I'm not the tiniest bit anti-gay personally but I won't expect that assurance to pass for outright dismissal of those concerns. So really, just wait it out.

    315. Andrew Hussie

      are YOU next?

    316. Andrew Hussie

      I counted three in the last 320 pages. And then a 4th 600 pages behind that.

      So I guess it's a spurt?

      I dunno.

      Maybe we should wait for a fourth before we set our watches to them.

    317. Andrew Hussie

      Something to note is the four trolls featured on this page:

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=005284

      Are the first four we were introduced to in the story.

      What does that MEAN, you ask?

      ~_^

    318. Andrew Hussie

      It's an abandoned account. Also, I suspect it was created by a robot.

      "I'm hoping there will be a snow day today"???

      Yeah.

      BULLSHIT, "Gabe Ludlum."

    319. Andrew Hussie

      Some people regard the zodiac realignment as having stunning implications for the HS universe. It does not.

      The 13th sign has always existed in more obscure interpretations of astrology, and I have always known about it. The diehard HS theorists have been wise to its existence since the trolls were first connected to the zodiac.

      This means the 13th sign has always had the potential to emerge in the story in some way. It either will or it won't. That hasn't changed at all with recent news.

    320. Andrew Hussie

      This scene was essential. It brought closure to Rufio's arc, who was clearly the third most important character in Homestuck. He died a tragic figure, and the final embrace between us pushed all the right literary buttons. I hope you aspiring storytellers are taking notes.

    321. Andrew Hussie

      I am probably conveying the impression that I am planning on resorting to it much more frequently in the future than I really am.

      Some people love it, and some people hate it. I wonder what conclusion I should draw from this schism in reception?

      How about:

      pf?f?f?f?f?f?f?f

      I view them as little opportunities to do funny things, sometimes serving as transitions both in mood and story direction, and yet another device with which to keep things light and ridiculous in a story which I refuse to drag all the way on to serious turf, even if I threaten to at times.

      You could view me as a sort of "host" of the story, touching on recent themes in silly ways. Sometimes story's have such players - in the story, but not actually a part of it. If I were to influence the story events directly, that would be a different type of self insert approach, and one I have no interest in. If I have any impact on the story at all, it will be through an explicitly unobtrusive mechanism.

      I have no problem saying so, because that's not actually a point of suspense I care about.

    322. Andrew Hussie

      A twitter account wouldn't be out of the question, since that is basically the entire essence of the character's existence.

      But it looks like some absolute bastard has already taken the name, only to neglect it direly. One month and four days before Homestuck began.

      http://twitter.com/fedorafreak

      LUDLUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM.

    323. Andrew Hussie

      When Fedora Freak dies in his Quest Hat, he will ascend to the god tier and become the Gent of Piss.

      STAY TUNED.

    324. Andrew Hussie

      In cartoon world, girls have lips and boys don't.

      #facefacts

    325. Andrew Hussie

      I've heard something to that effect. Someone can go ahead and spread the rumor that I like Adventure Time too. I'm not sure how such a rumor would start without me deliberately prompting it, because it centers around the act of me watching TV by myself, and no one is the wiser.

    326. Andrew Hussie

      I've been trying to shake off all of my fans so hard for so long with my every story decision, but they are all such tenacious sons of bitches. I am the mailman. You are the yappy little dog. This site is my pant cuff.

      As for recent stuff, if it will cause people to leave, then they haven't left yet. More people visited the site yesterday than ever.

    327. Andrew Hussie

      No, but I have to wonder about it simply because some non-caucasian races have pretty big lips too, like black people, and it's considered kind of inappropriate to talk about.

      So whenever anyone brings it up, in addition to presuming jealousy on their part, I'm inclined to think, "you fucking racist."

    328. Andrew Hussie

      Every player is a prince or princess of a moon.

    329. Andrew Hussie

      Almost perpetually.

    330. Andrew Hussie

      I'd rather not tell people how to view the site. It's better just to keep upgrading the technology to suit the demand as it increases, and let people do as they may.

    331. Andrew Hussie

      All of the music was created by other people specifically for the comic.

      A number of artists have contributed work to many of the later Flash pages.

      http://www.mspaintadventures.com/credits.html

      A guy called Gankro programs any Flash page that behaves like a game.

      And my friend Cindy helps by shipping shirts and stuff like that.

      Other than that, it is a day to day solo grind on my part.

    332. Andrew Hussie

      I meant that the server which site is hosted on is frequently not sufficient for the high volume of traffic the site is receiving.

    333. Andrew Hussie

      Lots of things foreshadow things.

      Remember the very first time we heard from Eridan? It was a conversation with Kanaya.

      GA: Can You Just For A Moment Entertain The Thoughts Of One Untouched By Megalomaniacal Derangement And Tell Me Why Id Want To Assist You With [Genocide]
      CA: im not goin to vvery wwell kill you am i that wwould be fuckin unconscionable
      CA: wwhat kind of friend wwould i be

      WWHAT KIND OF FRIEND INDEED.

    334. Andrew Hussie

      i don't even motherfuckin know where at that kind of motherfuckin duality comes all from.

      I DON'T EVEN MOTHERFUCKING KNOW WHERE AT THAT KIND OF MOTHERFUCKING DUALITY COMES ALL FROM.

      That seems like a pretty nice compliment though, so thank you.

      Wait, I think I just wrote some Gamzee fanfiction there. What the hell.

    335. Andrew Hussie

      It wasn't very good. Dig something up you made 10 years ago. Bet you'll say the same!

    336. Andrew Hussie

      The abrupt nature of revealing his singular outburst of unparalleled strength was, get this...

      ANOTHER GAG.



      honk ;o)

    337. Andrew Hussie

      I'll probably just nuke it after another 1000 questions go by, let's get real here.

    338. Andrew Hussie

      I was being glib (glub) about that.

      They are "schoolfed".

      Which at this point, means exactly nothing.

    339. Andrew Hussie

      Conknestly, I'm actually pretty fond of the spelling, even though it's wrong, so I think I'll leave it.

      I'll just call it Fef's mistake, not mine.

      She lives under water, like she even GOES to fucking school.

    340. Andrew Hussie

      You are forgetting.

      At the end, there can only be ONE.

      :33

    341. Andrew Hussie

      Oh my fucking god.

      I just face palmed so hard I broke my DBZ scouter.

    342. Andrew Hussie

      I guess I meant it to be conchnest...

      But I had typed so many honks recently.

      And let's not forget the allure of the versatile qualifier "conksuck".

      Basically this was a battle of spelling I could not win.

      I....... GUESS I'll change it?

    343. Andrew Hussie

      The preordered stuff just came in along with a bunch of extras so there'll be some back in the store soon.

    344. Andrew Hussie

      I can try to be less rad for a while if it'll get your boner to chillax but no promises.

      Here I go: whoops, fail.

    345. Andrew Hussie

      Too obvious, and the existence of this question is proof.

    346. Andrew Hussie

      No way. That movie didn't invent time travel complexity nor is it really close to being the most compelling implementation of those concepts. It was a pretty decent movie, but the only thing it actually influenced were those time trails in the Felt arc.

      Complex time travel stuff is something I've always thought about. Actually, about ten years ago around the time when that movie came out, my friend Jan and I (who I did the Star Trek edits with) worked for a while on a screenplay for what we were slating to be the most maniacal and complicated time travel movie ever. It was called Copy/Paste. We were essentially working on Primer I guess, a few years before Primer came out. It was pretty close to being done, but I guess we lost interest. Then later Primer came out, and we didn't need to bother with that anymore. Then 5 years after that I started Homestuck, thus rendering Primer obsolete, in a flourish of silly jokes. (????) (YOU DECIDE.)

    347. Andrew Hussie

      I don't know...

    348. Andrew Hussie

      If you look up Expendable Character in the dictionary you would see a picture of Nepeta batting around a ball of yarn while looking as adorable as possible.

      But having said that I bet you wouldn't feel that confident guessing what her fate will be, would you? Probably not.

      If I have not portrayed myself as perfectly capable of making Nepeta the sole survivor of this comic, then I probably fucked up somewhere along the way.

    349. Andrew Hussie

      I guess I am sometimes but then sometimes also not?

      Sometimes people have multiple dimensions and are capable of more than one kind of thing.

      I like that you like my stuff though, so thanks.

    350. Andrew Hussie

      Yup.

      311 hours for Eridan was too, but it's more of a stretch.

      11 = XI in roman numerals.

      3XI -> DEAD.

      Eh, maybe that was kind of lame.

      Oh and by the way! 420 for Gamzee because of MARIJUANA.

      get it????????????

      Honk.

    351. Andrew Hussie

      I'm not even sure I do compared to a lot of other well known internet creators, but it doesn't matter.

      Feelings-wise, I'm pretty much unflappable. You might as well register your grievance with a brick wall. And in some cases, negative opinions only fuel in-story "rebukes", but that has more to do with mischief on my part than actual retaliation. And I am prone to finding that funny, whereas OBVIOUSLY the critic will not, and will be inclined to register additional meaningless grievances. It's all good.

      A statement that I think encapsulates my attitude is, all things being equal, which they aren't, why is this guy's opinion better than mine?

      First of all, the situation is very, very far from being equal. I don't think much hubris is required to believe that ME vs. RANDOM INTERNET GUY is not close to a fair fight.

      Second, even if the metrics tracking quality thought broke even between us, it is merely opinion vs. opinion. I'll side with mine, thanks.

      Opinions aren't even real things. They are ghosts made of thought. But lots of people on the internet, especially grumpy ones, treat theirs as absolute reality. Which can be pretty funny to watch. Or terrible. Re: youtube comments.

      If you're a creative type who struggles with how others receive your work, I might suggest embracing the attitude above. But before you go too far with it, you also might want to try real hard to be good at something first.

    352. Andrew Hussie

      nonononononNONONONONONONOnononononono.

      It is extremely hilarious to me, especially when put in the light of his arc as an utterly useless, whimsical stoner character, and all the goofy fan stuff made about him, and knowing about the turn months ago while people had no clue, and the reasons go on.

      I just think a wide range of stuff is funny. If you say I lump too much under humor, it really only means we don't share the same sense of humor.

    353. Andrew Hussie

      Sounds like someone needs to learn how miracles work.

    354. Andrew Hussie

      I think it can be pretty interesting how a single line in a story, even one that's seven words, can dramatically alter the the perception of everything that just happened.

      In this case, I think presented on the heels of the deaths, it created a weird blend of sudden fear, as well as a contradictory emotion of hope, that MAYBE we haven't seen the last of one of these characters, even if the implications are ominous.

      There have been a couple others sprinkled about HS. I think tvtropes calls them WHAM LINES or KAPOW STATEMENTS or whatever. (i am not even busting on the tropes here, that's a pretty legit thing to diagnose)

      But really, I mainly like that page because of the text highlighting slow-roll. It was a fun preexisting mechanism to employ for suspense.

    355. Andrew Hussie

      Did I? When?

      That was kind of dumb of me if true.

    356. Andrew Hussie

      .................... I can't think of a much better description for a single character who is the embodiment of ICP though.

    357. Andrew Hussie

      No I didn't. I don't even know who you are or what question you asked, but no I didn't.

      That was the old Formspring account. I have yet to do that with this one.

      You are too sensitive, and also annoying. Please get over yourself.

    358. Andrew Hussie

      Really? So you're saying Homestuck is not more complex than the average story?

      Wow.

    359. Andrew Hussie

      It doesn't bother me, but it's definitely a real phenomenon, and one I anticipated a long time ago when considering the possibility of a growing readership.

      I believe there are a lot of people who hopped aboard during Hivebent or later, and didn't really cut their teeth on the "MSPA culture" from which all that emerged.

      On the other hand, I know many of those people have been savvy enough to pick up on it, read earlier stories, do a little homework, and start to figure out why everything is the way it is.

    360. Andrew Hussie

      Good!

    361. Andrew Hussie

      The spectrum of opinions about everything has gotten so wide and so volatile, I can do nothing but exist in a perpetual full body shrug.

      Consider that

      1) This story now deals with a more diverse body of concepts than most you'll ever read.

      2) The readership has grown immense.

      The net result is opinions opinions opinions opinions opinions. At this point I just go bleary eyed at even the whiff of someone's problem or how I'm doing shit wrong or how suddenly YES he's back on track!!! In a way the raging diversity of opinions helps me block it all out and focus on the only thing that really matters, which is my own opinion on what's funny and interesting.

      I'm glad you're liking it though, and thanks.

    362. Andrew Hussie