Remember that one time I made a bunch of Homestuck shirts? Sad that you missed out on nabbing one?? Through the combined powers of What Pumpkin and TopatoCo, NOW YOU CAN!
Thank you for this lovely shirt design, Lexxy.
Remember that one time I made a bunch of Homestuck shirts? Sad that you missed out on nabbing one?? Through the combined powers of What Pumpkin and TopatoCo, NOW YOU CAN!
Thank you for this lovely shirt design, Lexxy.
Let’s take a look at a few responses…
These are just a few, picked out semi-randomly, ranging from “mild, but missing the point” to “unspeakably terrible”.
Ironically, attitudes like this were much more responsible for my decision to change the joke than any form of “SJW crusading”.
In fact I didn’t even really see all that much reactionary SJ boilerplate in response to it. I did notice a lot of people expressing some reasonable opinions about it, and being met with an excessive amount of rhetoric like this.
Again, I can’t say I wasn’t expecting a mixed reaction to the joke. But stuff like this, in such high volume, is well beyond the result I wanted. It’s fine if you found the original joke funny, but if you defend it to others in this way you aren’t speaking for me. Your straw man arguments are not my own, and by making the joke I was not authorizing you to harass others. By changing the joke I’m just taking responsibility for not thinking these outcomes all the way through.
I’ve said I thought the joke was funny. But if some feel differently, and I see them being widely attacked for it; that doesn’t mean I won’t empathize with them because I’m so convinced “THEY JUST DON’T GET IT!” And seeing too many people with that exact attitude was what first got me thinking “yeah, I gotta change this.”
This is why the claim “social justice is in essence a form of censorship” is so ironic here. Because the forces of social justice aren’t actually making me change anything. In this case, it’s actually the people who OPPOSE those concerns in the ugliest manner who motivated me to “censor” myself.
Most people here would agree that some SJ enthusiasts can get pretty carried away. But if you feel convinced social justice is a crushing form of censorship, you might want to rethink that idea. Because apparently “one of the only people who could say and do whatever they damn well pleased” for the first time ever decided to redact a joke, not because of SJ bloggers, but because of the behavior of their most strident critics. And if you truly dislike censorship, and do not wish to see more self-censorship in the future, then you would be doing your part to behave in a way that doesn’t make creators feel embarrassed to be defended by you.
So I just dialed down the joke on page 7623.
The thing with that joke was:
Poking a little fun at an ongoing point of controversy surrounding the comic, without trying to make a statement on anyone’s position in particular.
The thing with that joke was not:
Admonishing those who wish to maintain non-white headcanons for characters. Or those disappointed to see Trickster Jane with skintone. Or anyone really. There was not any coherent ‘TAKE THAT’ going on here.
At least that was not the intent. I can see how it would appear that is what I wished to communicate, but it is not. If that is an interpretation that will commonly persist I’d rather just ditch the joke. Or at least tone it way down, which I did.
But actually what motivates me more to revise it is noticing more than a few unsavory individuals using it as justification to harass POCs or anyone who, reasonably, wanted to voice their concerns. On reflection I’d rather not have my decisions serve as fodder for the arguments of such people. They don’t speak for me.
As a humorist, and someone who writes a provocative and unpredictable story, there are many types of unpleasant responses to my stuff I can easily accept. But some types… maybe not so much.
The original joke from my perspective really was a lighthearted jab at the storied subject of race in the comic, and the debates about it over the years. Mainly I thought the gag was tempered by its utterly absurd presentation, and made so over the top as to compromise its ability to be taken seriously. Beyond the pale of usual absurdity even for Homestuck, as has been the case with all this trickster stuff. Trickster mode, you’ve probably observed, is a sort of ridiculous game powerup, like a Mario star or Kirby’s lollipop, which for a while brings everything to a frantic and surreal place. In this case those effects apply to Homestuck in its entirety, the characters, visuals, flow of story, the site itself, and the sense of humor, all getting a little warped and pushed a bit outside the usual comfort zones.
Tricksters were once an easter egg in HS a long time ago, and they kept picking up steam in the fandom. So, as is often the case with MSPA, the idea has been adapted as a nod to the readership, in a way that is compatible with the story’s logic. Fans have always drawn them as particularly cherubic white kids, and so that’s how they look in the comic. But this creates a really strange disparity between their skintone and the usual blank #ffffff depiction of human characters. This alone makes them a pretty bizarre addition to the story and contributes toward pushing this arc into sort of a narrative uncanny valley. I was inclined to address this flagrant coloration disparity by making a totally ridiculous, way over the top joke about it. That’s because jokes are pretty much all I do. I even turn my jokes into jokes. (See the edited page.)
Personally I still think the original gag is pretty funny. But I had the benefit of knowing exactly where I was coming from. I think the new joke is pretty funny too. Maybe even more funny, if you have the benefit of remembering the old one.
I know I have a reputation for riling people up, so some probably think this was my chief motivation. But not really. My primary goal is always to do what I think is funny. I’m not saying I wasn’t expecting some kind of controversy from invoking the subject, but neither did I anticipate the particular texture of the response, which isn’t sitting well with me. So in retrospect, I decided THIS time, the gag wasn’t really worth it. Especially if it just galvanizes an army of tools against people who have to deal with shit like that too often already. So to those people, I will apologize.
The site was down for a few days there, but we are back. The server is located in New York City, which lost power due to a hurricane. The server people at Internap did a nice job getting everything back on line quickly with generator power, despite the major problems the city is having. If you live in the affected areas, I hope life will return to normal for you very soon. When things like this happen, I think our first impulse should be to help out. Let’s consider doing that!
The MINISTRIFE (which was going to drop on 10/31 but oh well) is chock full of sprite characters made by Feastings. Most of them were done a while ago and started floating around the tumblrverse as a little fandom craze, so I asked her to make a few more and now POOF they’re all magically canon. Thank you Feastings. Also UU art as always supplied kindly by Shelby. Song = Killed by BR8K Spider!!!!!!!! by Radiation. “Who???” I hear you ask. Yes I know, that guy’s music NEVER gets used Homestuck.
Act 6 Act 4 next. Are you ready for it? Are you ready to do some more AWESOME WAITING for it?? I hope so. I’ll try to have something ready by 11/11, which is exactly one year from the start of Act 6 (hey calendar: wtf???) The main issue of uncertainty here is I have to fly down to Florida and sign more than 11,000 prints. I actually have no idea how long that will take. I have no basis of estimation for signing that many things, because I have never signed that many things before. But the sooner I do it, the sooner we can ship out all your sweet Kickstarter loot. It must be done. I’ll try to get whatever work done I can around this crazy mission. An 11K heap of large prints is actually so much paper, we’re not sure if we can keep it all in the same room, because it might actually cause the floor to collapse. True safety facts.
There is significant flooding at the building that hosts the MSPA server. The generators that are currently providing power to the customer equipment can only provide a few more hours of life, and it looks like the servers may be shut down as early as 12:30am Eastern. It is not currently known…
MSPA site down due to hurricane. No telling how long it will be down. Hope all the server people are safe.
It’s finally here! Join the consorts on an amphibious adventure through the world of the Genesis Frog.
NOTE: Here the noun “amphibious adventure” means “goofy orchestral music by Alexander Rosetti” and “join the consorts on” means “listen to.” Also “through the world of the Genesis frog” means “at your computer.” Throw money at your screen now.
Beta version of minigame was just sent out to all KS backers of $50 and over. (But not for those who went through paypal because beta version only works when clicking through the Kickstarter message system.)
This will be a brief test because the system is pretty well ironed out by now. Final version will go up on site in a few hours or so. Til then if you don’t want spoilers you might want to avoid tumblr because people like to post screenshots and stuff.
Some additional notes on the recent game update from Alexis, who I’d like to thank again for all the hard work he’s put into this, as well as those who’ve been helping him:
In addition to the more obvious introduction of save/load functionality, there’s a error reporting tool built in now! If ever you see an issue you want to report, just press the “~” key (under ESCAPE), and press space to dump a screenshot and the game state to us. This may or may not destroy our error reporting server in the process.This debugger, and the much more robust file loading that you now enjoy, is courtesy of Fugiman, who has been my right hand man on this development. He seriously deserves a medal for the hoops he’s jumped through for me (and you!). Furthermore, big thanks to LtSquigs for the awesome Save/Load functionality we’ve been able to include, as well as fixing up my mistakes with SburbML manipulation. Finally, thanks to illuminatedwax for his work on making sounds more reliable and helping with a lot of the core engine.This is your MSPA coding team, and they’re friggin’ champs. If you want to be a champ too, the entire code base is hosted and developed here: https://github.com/WhatPumpkin/SburbIf you see an issue you think you can help with, we’d love to get your contributions.
As of typing this, only nine days remaining in the Kickstarter. The response to it continues to be fantastic, and my gratitude to the backers is equally continuous.
Thanks to everyone who beta tested the recent update in advance of its release. Anyone who pledged $50 or more was sent an early beta version and a feedback form to help us sort out the bugs. The same offer will apply for the next and final minigame installment. If you have pledged $50 or more by the end of the Kickstarter, you’ll get an advance copy to test sent through the Kickstarter message system. If you pledge, just be sure you select a reward tier at $55 or more, so that we know to send you a copy. (Note this is unrelated to the $1.5MM stretch goal, which states that ALL BACKERS will be allowed to beta test the adventure game itself, before it is released in 2014.)
Also, once the Kickstarter is over, we’re going to put up a Paypal pledging option for the project. A lot of people seem to only be able to use Paypal to pledge, which Kickstarter doesn’t allow. So for a brief window after, one or two weeks, you’ll be able to pledge via Paypal for the same reward tiers at the same prices. The window will be fairly short so that we can compile all the orders and ship the rewards out in a timely fashion. We’re expecting a good number of people may want things to ship in time for the holiday season. If you’re in the U.S. or Canada, it’s very likely this will be the case.
For those who haven’t pledged yet, this might be something to consider. The timing of the shipping here means that buying rewards could actually double as holiday shopping. If you see yourself doing holiday shopping for people a couple months down the road anyway, this might be a good advance opportunity. A lot of those pricier bundles start to pile up so much extra cool stuff, seems to me this makes for a good chance to divvy them up as holiday gifts for friends, maybe some of whom didn’t have enough money for the bigger bundles.
Whatever the final total winds up being, you have already helped make this Kickstarter an overwhelming success. Thank you again for your support!
Hey everyone thank you all so much for being excited about the Homestuck Tarot Deck (Available now through the Homestuck Kickstarter Project!) A lot of work went into making this dream a reality so if you guys have a chance to help support the artists and the kickstarter as a whole, please do…
Ah! Some good info on the tarot project. Click the post to see full list of art credits. Thanks Left!
This is the final batch of reward tiers we’re releasing for the Kickstarter. Hopefully this is now a sufficiently tantalizing buffet of options to get you thinkin about making a pledge if you haven’t already!
The extra-cool thing in this bundle is that tarot deck. Get a better look at all the art for the cards by clicking on the preview links on that update page. Quite a few great artists chipped in some really fantastic stuff for this. There was a lot of emphasis put on matching Homestuck imagery up with the Major and Minor Arcana of the cards in ways that are meaningful with respect to tarot symbolism. So if you’re wondering why certain characters and scenes appear on certain cards, do a little research into tarot lore and you’ll find your answer.
A little more than two weeks to go on the Kickstarter! Next stretch goal is $1.5M, which will unlock some more perks for backers. We’ll also reveal something higher up on the ladder.
One thing worth highlighting here: for all people in tiers $50 and higher, I’ll send out a beta version of the next Homestuck mini game update, several days before it shows up on the site. You can help us test it! Aiming to have that done in about a week.
My plan was to post the A6I3 mini-game in three parts consecutively. I’m still going to post all three parts, but I’ve decided to break them up with some regular updates between each instead.
Between setting up and launching the Kickstarter, and then keeping up with the crazy whirlwind it’s become, I’ve had absolutely no time to work on the second mini-game yet. So rather than just keep delaying the update, I’ll post a reasonably regular stream of updates while I work on it. I’ll probably do the same thing between parts 2 and 3.
To some extent I’m doing it this way because I’m getting a little tired of MSPA being in “infinite hiatus mode" which has characterized most of the summer. There have been a lot of long waits, due to traveling, big animation projects, working on the mini-game, and of course planning the Kickstarter. For the entire month of August, my time was split pretty evenly between working on the A6I3 update, and planning the Kickstarter. There was a massive amount of unseen work that went into that, not just to plan the Kickstarter itself, getting the rewards ready and all that, but to make sure we had a solid development plan in place down the road if it got funded.
This has really seemed like one of the busiest summers for me ever, but unfortunately all that labor isn’t reflected too well by the archive spanning those dates. I’m more than ready to get back to business as usual* for MSPA.
*note it still won’t be QUITE up to usual speed, because I’ll still be working on part 2 of the mini-game behind the scenes.
The Kickstarter reached its funding goal in what seems like the blink of an eye. I must first say thank you to all who backed the project, and helped us reach our goal so quickly. I’m still utterly amazed by the response. I think a lot of people checking out this project are. There still seem to be so many people out there who’ve never heard of this story, or its phenomenally dedicated following. Maybe that will start to change soon. If that turns out to be the case, again, it’s thanks to you.
The project may have been funded already, but there’s still plenty of time left for pledges to be made. The Kickstarter will stay open for another 28 days. Every dollar raised beyond the goal will go toward improving the game. More platforms will be supported if certain stretch goals are reached. And beyond a certain point, all money will be dedicated to higher production values. $700K sounds like a lot of money, but it’s actually a very small budget for a game. Multi-platform games usually cost many millions of dollars. Increasing the budget for this is only going to make a better product.
This is the bottom line: because the project was funded, there WILL be a game. I’ll make sure it’s the best game the money available can possibly buy. The only question then is, how much is that? This is up to you. Over the next 28 days, the fans will decide how great they want this game to be!
So, here are the stretch goals we’re starting with, which represent both enhancements to the game the extra money gets us, as well as extra reward perks certain milestones unlock. As I type this, we’re already getting pretty close to Mac support. Soon we’ll add a better graphic of all the goals to the Kickstarter page.
$800,000.00 Mac Support
$850,000.00 New reward tier perk unlocked
$900,000.00 Linux Support
(??? revealed later. More stretch goals to be added if necessary.)
Also, later in the Kickstarter we’ll begin revealing some hidden reward tiers. I notice the Snoutpaks sold out pretty fast. We should be revealing new reward bundles later on that contain more scalemate plushes. Keep an eye out for them. Also remember that at any time you can increase your pledge if you ever feel like claiming a higher reward tier. Just remember to select the reward tier you want when adjusting your dollar amount pledged.
If you backed the project, thanks again for the support. And if you haven’t yet, I hope you’ll consider it, and help us make this the best game it can be!
In 32 hours!!!!!!!
7699 backers, $700,009, and still counting.
I will make a follow-up post soon, to announce some stretch goals and say a few other things. Everyone has done an amazing thing here today. Thank you all for your support.
50% funded! In 9 hours. Completely amazing response so far. Keep it up guys!
Dang, $30K in a half hour. That’s quite a jump! I think over a thirty day span that projects to something like… a trillion dollars?
Thank you to the 398 backers who have pledged, as of typing this.
You probably have lots of questions. First, if you’re unfamiliar with Kickstarter, you should probably check this page out to understand how making a pledge works.
Second, if you scroll to the bottom of our KS page, you’ll see an FAQ section. We’ll be adding questions to that as much as we can.
Thanks again to everyone for checking this out!
Hey, let’s spread this around!!! I am very pleased and proud to annou…
what is this
Train of thought destroyed.
Wait! Before you try it: PLEASE CLEAR YOUR BROWSER CACHE!
What’s been happening I think is some people reporting issues with new versions have had some older program files in their cache, so the thing runs like a weird frankenstein version, and it’s hard to tell what are new problems and what are old.
We haven’t really started on the next update yet, since we’ve been spending all our time debugging. This is like a beta testing phase, but the test group is the entire readership. Normally software doesn’t get released til it clears this phase, but it wasn’t really worth holding back for any longer than it was already. It worked for probably 90-95% of browsers/systems out there.
If you had issues with it previously, feel free to report your results to the forum thread again, or reblogging this and typing your result below is ok too. We’ll be able to see it in the notes.
If you were one of those people who could load the game, but Meenah was stuck in the first frame, give it another try. Patch might have helped.
(if it still doesn’t work, might help to clear your cache of old files to be extra sure you’re running the fresh version)
If you were having problems with the game, you might want to try it again and see what happens. The patch probably won’t fix everything for everyone, but it should address some problems.
If you had issues with it, it would also be helpful if you reported what your problem was, and what the result is now, in this forum thread.
If you played the recent update, it would be a big help if you could fill out this survey on the game’s performance. This will help us fix remaining issues for the next couple games.
Some notes about the interactive beginning to A6 Intermission 3. (A walkthrough by Radiation.)
First, I’d originally planned to put more in the game than this, but it was running a bit long, so I decided to chop it up. I’m planning two more installments of this game, probably to be released over the next couple weeks. All the art assets and stuff is there, I just need to work with Alexis to crunch it all into a couple more new games.
Speaking of which, thanks to Alexis, MSPA’s tenured CODER OF GAMES, for working on this. It’s a little different. It’s the first time we’re not using Flash. Only the intro is Flash, but the game is coded in HTML5, which makes it a little more robust in some ways, but will have some issues with less common browsers. I’ve copied a note from him about it all here. Take note especially of browser info: best viewed in Chrome, Firefox is ok but not ideal, IE is very buggy and won’t show the Flash intro, and Opera/Safari aren’t tested at all.
Thanks to the artists (scroll to bottom) who worked on assets for this too. They’ve made a good deal more than you see here, which will appear in other installments. Thanks Stephen, Tanney, Peter, Amanda for making environment assets, and Chaz, Lexxy, Vivus, Xamag for the talking portraits. Special thanks to Amanda for making all the little walking sprites, as well as a whole lot of environment stuff and items. Everything looks really great.
And of course, thanks to contributing musicians (again scroll to bottom), and Toby for editing everything. Some things from the contest album Universe A, notably Fuscia Ruler by Sinister Psyche as the main song. See Toby’s post for more details.
Oh snap! Native HTML5 content? Hells yes! HTML5 still sucks by and large as the browser vendors bicker over standards, so I would advise you to use:-Chrome if at all possible. Best functionality support and performance. Official platform.-Firefox if that’s not possible. Good functionality, slower than chrome, bad audio performance. Officially supported nonetheless.-Internet Explorer (minimum 9) if you’re desperate. It’s not officially supported, but other than the fact that ***the flash intro does not work in IE*** it seems to be working fine. (There is also a small bug where if you’re using IE, and your computer does not have an audio device, the entire app will fail to load, as sound files will not be downloaded, so plug in some headphones or even just a headphone jack attached to a wire).
-Opera and Safari quite simply have not been tested. I wouldn’t be surprised if it worked in them though, I used nothing browser specific.
-Lynx is supported, but only if you have an Oculus Rift.Regardless of what you use, try to minimize the amount of stuff your browser/computer is also doing for optimal performance. Also update to the latest version of your browser and stop holding back HTML5 you asshole!Best of all, it’s open source! (tentatively Apache licensed, so basically a free-for-all)We’ve got a thread developing this project over here: http://mspaforums.com/showthread.php?46219-Jterniabound
It’s dead right now, but that’s because I went into super ninja development mode for this project. I’ll be pushing the latest source to Github when I get home from work today (~5 EST). There’s been a TON of changes to the API/codebase since I went into ninja mode, we’re working to the update the wiki as quick as possible. I’m also considering developing tutorials for developing a Sburb project. But the whole thing has been designed from the ground up so that, in theory, you don’t have to touch a drop of code. The entire game is described by a bunch of modular XML files (SburbML). Of course Andrew always has some crackpot feature that exceeds the scope of the project, but usually that just means I make the API bigger and more robust. Hooray!Baked in features include:Describing complex events and environments purely in XMLHTML5 audio (with fall back files for supporting mp3 and ogg)Canvas and sprite-sheet based renderingFlash cutscenes (which are skipped if flash is not supported)Ability to define custom fonts (allowing the specification of local fonts, with the ability to fall back to your own personally supplied fonts)
The ability to serialize almost any game state into a SburbML file, and load it back up again, for easy sharing
So much dialogue producing syntax you don’t even know. Only Andrew truly grasps the magnitude of syntax, and it is something I am sure he will always regret ever requesting.Loading content on demand to minimize up front server impact and wait times
Note that between the XML files, dialogue syntax, and custom font support, any translators out there should have a breeze getting any translation done (except for the ultimate magnitude of the text found within)! No more decompiling SWFs for you!
This version will be snapshotted, but we’re gonna keep developing it. The dialogue parser/renderer (as well as the ACTUAL renderer, honestly) could likely be massively optimized, and there’s some features I want to add to the API. If you know anything about HTML5 and design, I’d love to get feedback (I’m avoiding including external libraries for the time being).
additional brief announcements.
server under massive strain after large update as usual. if it gets stuck loading, that’s way. try not to refresh excessively.
different rooms stream from the server, and also require load time. if it takes a while, again: due to server strain.
traffic will likely die down in several hours.
extremely brief announcement.
update best viewed in chrome.
firefox is ok but not ideal.
IE is terrible. will not show intro, plus probably a bunch of other bugs.
opera/safari: completely untested.
see news plz
In the meantime feel free to alleviate/amplify your boredom by perusing me and North’s fun adventures with money, if you haven’t already.
(no that’s not what I’ve been wasting all my time on lately don’t worry, I’m working extra doublehard on MSPA junk right now. whew! pretend-accusation deflected.)
Homestuck Solo Album Month continues with Erik “Jit” Scheele’s One Year Older, a full-length record using piano to convey John’s journey through SBURB.
Head on over to the Bandcamp page to check it out. Consider it an early birthday present. (Or, if it is your birthday today… Congratulations! I am so proud of you.)
Homestuck Solo Album Month starts with Clark “Plazmataz” Powell’s Symphony Impossible to Play - a four-movement digital symphony created from arrangements of existing Homestuck tracks.
Swing on over to Bandcamp and give it a good old-fashioned ear-gander.
Look there is suddenly another shirt in this section…
That nice grid of 3x4 is totally messed up now. 13 is an awkward number! No wonder they banished it from the zodiac.
Briefly unpausing PAUSE 2 to bring you these updates, and then pausing again. There will be no more updates until the EOA6_3 animation.
As of right now, I have not spent a single second working on that animation. I just got back from SDCC, produced the above updates today, and now the REAL PAUSE TWO begins. The part of it that involves me actually working on it. It is just layers upon layers with these pauses. They are like onions, especially insofar as they result in your tears.
I wish the last week could have been dedicated to animation labors to shorten this wait, but I was in California fraternizing with radical fans of my popular web cartoon. It was pretty cool. But now it’ll be loads more days before you see anything here. That’s how it goes sometimes.
August will be SOLO ALBUM MONTH. There will be some good solo albums released throughout that month. Mark that on your calendar. Just write “YEAH!” across the entire August grid, that should do it.
[X-posted from news section on the site which I guess is what I mostly use tumblr for now?]
I was counting “[S] Dirk: Synchronize.” and “[S] Dirk: Unite.” as one animation, that just happened to be chopped into two parts. Next one is EOA6.3, at the end of Pause 2. Song: Unite Synchronization (Sometimes I name animations after songs. Descend, Cascade…) By Malcolm Brown. We have entered the Brown Zone. You have been warned.
Beginning PAUSE TWO now. I’m off to SDCC. Maybe you are too? Are you wearing a costume?? What am I even talking about. You’re probably wearing one RIGHT NOW.
SIGNING TIMES: 12:00-3:00 each day. (7/12 through 7/15)
I’ll be with the Topatoco booth, but it’s possible I could be relocated to a different signing area for crowd management reasons. If this happens, I’ll do what I can to alert you, through the twitters or such.
There will be some major pauses in updates coming up, mostly due to Flash animation chores. There will be exactly three pauses. Two of them will be related to animation. The third will not.
PAUSE ONE: This starts RIGHT NOW! (July 1st) I will use this time to work on the first animation. I have to travel to SDCC on July 11th. It’s very likely I will finish the animation before that. Once I post it, pause two will begin.
PAUSE TWO: I will use this time to work on another animation, to end A6A3. It will definitely be longer than pause 1, because it will include my trip to SDCC. That trip will kill an entire week of animation time. I’ll likely have to start work on it when I get back. Cross country travel is preposterously disruptive, and it’s going to slow everything down.
PAUSE THREE: This will begin immediately after pause two. It will not involve working on animation. I’m reserving this time to catch up on the huge amount of chores I’ve been badly neglecting, and will continue to badly neglect during pauses 1 and 2. The irony of animation pauses: you see nothing for many days, but I’m working at least twice as hard, doing nothing else. It’s a break for you, but an anti-break for me. So I need to schedule an ACTUAL break to do stuff that needs doing. Book work, plus tons of other things. I don’t know how long this pause will be yet. Probably longer than either of the first two. Let’s look at it sort of like the end of a “season”, where the season was all of act 6 so far.
The bottom line is, this is all going to add up to a whole lot of “me not updating Homestuck” for a while. It’s not really what I want, but there’s just no way around it.
I guess that’s all there is to say for now. See you after pause one!
Edit: wait, something else I wanted to mention. Recently some music team guys helped me update the sound credits page, so that each entry links to the song in an album. That way, for any Flash page, it’s easy to find out exactly where that song is on bandcamp. For those newer to the site, I suspect this may be helpful.
It bears repeating. All of Calliope’s art came from the barrel of Shelby’s duedly firearms.
Ha ha, that is a funny subject line that kind of doesn’t even mean anything?
Anyway, questions were submitted through the reddit page and all the troll penis questions were aggressively down-voted to the bottom by a bunch of stuffy prudes.
Answered all questions that got more than 60 REDDIT POINTS. WOW, nobody is sure what that means. Here we go…
I wouldn’t say random, but it’s certainly vague. I guess it’s a little like sorting hat logic in Harry Potter (which I have a really halfassed understanding of because I haven’t read it), but even more vague, and more binary.
You get some sense there is rhyme and reason to it when you look at the personality types of the two groups. John, Jade, Jake, Jane vs Rose, Dave, Dirk, Roxy. And the troll groups were divided by their teams, red vs blue. Blue team (Derse) was generally stocked with more scheming members. Red team (Prospit) had some more straightforward heroic types, at least as far as trolls go. But then there can be oddball designations that don’t seem to make sense by such simplistic parameters, like Vriska being on Prospit. If she and Nepeta were swapped the criteria might seem more clear cut. See again, sorting hat logic. Like I think Harry was supposed to be in Slytherin because he could talk snakes and was kind of moody and shit but he was just SO BRAVE and loved friendship SO MUCH he got put in the other one. But for real, my fanfic where he was a Slytherin all along is so much better. (he is naked in most of it)
You could also look to the passive/active nature of the classes in making some retroactive sense of the Derse/Prospit dreamer duality. Passive/active classes are also a pretty vague thing, and don’t resolve so easily into simple dualities like defensive/offensive and such. Those are the guidelines for understanding them, but there is clearly a lot of flexibility within that system. They seem to suggest tendencies rather than absolute capabilities. Like there isn’t a rule that says a passive class could never use an offensive technique. The system is meant to be very flexible, and in the story, classes suggest a little more about a hero’s path and role in the greater quest than what their battle capabilities are.
But if we’re saying active/passive literally translates to offensive/defensive for the sake of this topic, then Derse would be very active and Prospit would be very passive. Derse’s job is to attack. Prospit’s is to defend. This seems to carry over to the roles of the dreamers too. Dave and Rose turned out to be very active players. Dave time traveling all over the place, making a fortune on stocks and such. Rose went on her crazy solo mission to break the game and fight Jack. Jade and John had more passive roles through most of that, players who were “acted upon” by other players and circumstances. John was always being led around by trolls this way and that, drifting around wherever the wind took him. Jade was especially passive for a lot of the story, spending a lot of time falling asleep (or being put to sleep) at key moments. It wasn’t until she reached god tier as a Witch (said to be a highly active class) that she became extremely active, making lots of stuff happen, rounding up planets and all that. Rose may have been a similar case, being excessively active as a Derse dreamer, but then flipping over to a passive role upon reaching god tier as a passive class.
Being from Derse means you are from a culture of offense and aggression. Being from Prospit means the opposite. You could argue that these are qualities that either rub off on the dreamers, or they are designated as those dreamers in the first place because of those qualities. You could take the view that these are innate tendencies to overcome, as seemed to be the case for Jade and Rose. Or maybe sometimes they are tendencies that are resisted, and need to be understood and embraced. As a Prospit dreamer, did Karkat struggle because he was actually passive in nature, but had a very active self image as a leader and conqueror? Was Vriska an even more extreme case of misplaced active behavior from a Prospit dreamer? These are yet more things to consider when looking at everything contributing to the hero story of an individual in this game.
Yes, this will be revisited later.
I don’t think I have a process other than writing down stuff I think is funny, and also rhymes. Writing raps that appear as text in a story I think is pretty different from writing raps that work well in actual rap music. There are a lot of raps in the story that I think aren’t necessarily that well suited to being adapted to music. They might need some work. The purposes are different. A rap in a story is basically just more verbal entertainment. It rhymes, it has some sort of meter that’s either obvious or you have to think about a little to parse and come up with the right flow, and that’s it. Lyrics in an actual rap song have to mesh well with a beat and a whole lot of other song elements to work. Sometimes that even means sacrificing some coherence by story writing standards. There are plenty of killer raps out there that work well as songs, but if you took away the beat and music, and just printed the words in a story, they might seem flat or kind of odd or nonsensical just standing alone. Moral: song writing and story writing are really different animals.
I have never rapped in real life. I’m really not a performer of any sort, and don’t want to be. I’m more about coming up with ideas, quietly working at my computer making stuff. Anything that involves much outward projection from my physical manifestation, forget it. When a dude comes up with some sick rhymes and thinks he might be pretty awesome at rapping, I think that’s one of those classic delusional vanity-blunders to avoid. Me rapping = lame, trust me.
They both know about it and have read fairly significant chunks, but “Actively Reading It” as many people know is a whole can of worms. You have to be completely caught up, which is already pretty daunting, and need to remember and keep track of a lot of things for it to make sense on a day to day basis. The serial reading experience is a really tough thing to hang in there with over a long period of time for certain types of people, and I might put “parents” at the top of the list of those types of people. They’re also kind of old. Homestuck ain’t for old people. It’s dangerously close to not being for people my age either. It’s really easy to imagine a 30-something year old looking at it and saying “what the fuck is this? 5000 pages of kids arguing with each other? PASS.” Hell that might even be something I would say if I weren’t the guy making it. But young people read it and say “oh my god, i am these children. they are all me. especially nepeta.” My parents don’t look at MSPA and go “i am nepeta” just FYI.
I think my dad actually caught up with it fully about two years ago, when the archive was more manageable. He’s the sort who gets really hyperbolic about how great the things I do are, so I got a pretty good review from him. But then I had to wonder how much he actually understood. He started going on about how he really liked Rose, and kind of tried to name the things he liked about her, and it became clear he was actually referring to Jade the whole time.
Making less of those types of panels has a lot more to do with current granularity and scale of events being depicted. Early on, the focus was zoomed way in on those little actions, so there was more attention on showing each little animated sequence of picking objects up, using them, scurrying around and stuff like that. The more the story broadened, the less it made sense to put focus on those kinds of actions through short animated gifs. With broadened action and tightened pacing, the nature of the visuals tends to embrace more tradition sequential art values like in graphic novels, because that’s how those stories are usually paced. You don’t get the tight focus on such atomic actions like you deal with in a game. But I think that early animated gif style was revisited somewhat in the beginning of act 6, when for a little while that type of action returned. Then just like before the pacing started tightening up as things went along and we went back to more typical sequential art frames.
I’m not sure if I should answer this. Not that the answer is that important or plot critical at all. I think I’ll just let you determine the answer by picking up clues as the story goes, assuming those clues even come into existence.
I don’t know. Stuff doesn’t even seem that weird anymore. What is even a plausible answer to this? I guess they like to dress up and gather in these huge fan gaggles. Is that weird? Not really. They draw “weird art” but after you’ve seen a whole bunch it stops registering as all that weird. Like “Oh. There’s another drawing. It’s a fictional character’s nude butt. Ok.” (close tab) “What is this. Some people have widely fanonized some sort of tentacle thing as a troll penis. Hmm.” (blank expression: ctrl+W tumblr)
Some mentioned in the comments below this question there were some people who wanted to make a live HS porno. Actually going through with that MIGHT have been pretty weird but I think that was just a lot of hot air. People talk about a lot of ridiculous nonsense. Nobody ever follows through with anything. Really people by and large are so full of shit it’s unbelievable. If someone told me they were going to make a HS porno my reaction wouldn’t be “what ew no stop” it would be more like “FRANKLY, I DON’T THINK YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES”
and then they’d just go and prove me right in some really mild and unremarkable manner
If he died in his quest coccoon, both of his dream selves would go god tier simultaneously, and they would have to fight to the death. The death is never heroic or just though, so they just keep doing that forever.
They’re all kind of similar to human relationships anyway, so that’s what’s going on there when people use those words.
They are mainly “alien concepts” when it comes to their applicability to reproduction, and the alleged biological compulsion to fill all quadrants. No human ever says, man, I have GOT to find two other people to get into clubs with, unless they are being really silly, or they are literally talking about going to night clubs.
One of the great things about the format is that any given panel is perfectly allowed to totally suck.
Did you read Jailbreak?
There are some deliberate things going on.
In other cases some things probably arose naturally because these are some really basic and primordial concepts lurking in all our psyches about the journey of a hero that you can’t get away from.
His post scratch counterpart is FedoraFriend.
He is really only lukewarm on hats. He thinks they’re ok, mostly.
Welcome to your worst nightmare.
I almost certainly will jump to a different medium after Homestuck. It may even be one of the things you mentioned. Who knows???
I don’t know about mercilessly conquering it but I’ll shoot for doing something pretty cool.
Specifics are unclear but I’ll be sorting them out as I approach the home stretch on this thing.
There is actually very little that isn’t feasible at this point.
The things that are infeasible now would still probably be infeasible or just silly for even a much larger company to make.
Like Homestuck… CARS! It’s gray and it has little horns on the hood and it goes beep beep and it’s a terrible idea. VROOM!
There really are a lot of things in development right now that would have been on the infeasible list not too long ago. You’ll probably hear about them all some time this year. The main thing is not feasibility, it’s time. All this stuff takes so much time to plan and make. I have people working on it all and they’re good people.
In retrospect I think the main problem was I didn’t surround her with enough spooky white beautiful horses.
Girls love spooky white beautiful horses. They sweep them off their feet and make them feel more romantic about stuff. If I had more horses on standby, she would have said yes.
Guys, if you are planning to propose to a lady, make sure you have enough beautiful horses in reserve.
I… think that answers your question?
Well, the pre scratch ones are canonically a bunch of silhouettes, so no spoilers there. Only lucid, crystal clarity, and soothing waves of fan gratitude and adulation washing over me.
I don’t think I ever outlined any details about Alternia. I generally don’t make outlines. I just think of a bunch of shit up and later I put it in the story as I go along. This is getting very technical. I’m sorry if my process is too esoteric to be grasped by the “lay man”.
Wait, that’s not true. I actually typed up a 50 page biography of the Thresh Prince.
But then I deleted it.
Seems like a lot of different questions loaded into this one.
Quests are tailored to the players. Unless they’re not. Sometimes the game seems to treat the players like they don’t matter. Sometimes the game is running off model and serving some other weird purpose. The purpose of John’s game seemed to be “create a universe” but it turned out all along the hidden objective was “reset the game, get out of there, and take everything with you. and oh yeah make sure this huge bomb explodes in the middle of nowhere, that too”. It’s a strange game. There are as many ways to set up the variables, as many reasons for doing so, as many different kinds of heroes, quests, and objectives as there are stories to tell.
The last batch of questions is too complicated. It falls under “what was planned and when?” What is planning? What is a plan? Where does planning end and spontaneity begin? It’s all tangled up. The answer is long.
They are there since the kid is “born”. Meaning if a kid is 13 years old, then that dream kid has also been on Prospit for 13 years, either asleep the whole time or growing up there in parallel with the real self.
How they get there in the first place is just as indeterminate as how Prospit and Derse get there in the first place. Like software constructs, which once instantiated, exist and behave as if always there.
I am not planning on it, but like many ideas, it could be a neat thing.
The general nature of the ending I had in mind has barely changed at all.
A lot of Sburb was planned before starting HS.
Some things developed along the way. God tier stuff was not conceived early on, and so neither was the active/passive stuff.
But additions are patched into the story in such a way that is reasonably consistent with existing systems and themes. See the first question, about active/passive duality and their correlation with Derse and Prospit dreamers, which was an invention that came long before god tier stuff.
We know Mindfang’s caste lives for what seems to be centuries from her journals. The Condesce seems to have a lifespan that could naturally be hundreds of thousands of years, or perhaps millions, even without LE’s powers.
Practically speaking the lowbloods would probably have to have lifespans similar to humans (re: population control issues). Red through yellow probably having such a range, and then climbing through the greens is where it begins escalating beyond the century mark. There was evidence Kanaya’s ancestor lived quite a long time.
The lowest caste or two may have a lifespan shorter than a human’s. Aradia was the equivalent of 13, so obviously it couldn’t have been less than that. Probably at least double that would be the bare minimum for there to be any kind of adulthood. 30 would be a reasonable lower bound, which would be a tragically short lifespan for a whole class of people. What is it exactly? I don’t think I’m going to say.
These aren’t solid answers. I’m just going by what’s in the story, using a little logic, and thinking it out, which anyone can do.
No, their names are their names.
Except Sollux, he really is Solluxander.
It is probably not possible in the real world. But as an adult, he stood on a meteor as it descended to Earth, and chopped it in half. As a baby, raising himself is a really minor feat in comparison. In that it is something that while far fetched, is actually in the realm of physical possibility.
This kind of exposes a funny thing about the suspension of disbelief. There are things we are very ready to suspend it for, even if they are laughably implausible. Like, sure it is absurd that he chopped a meteor in half. But it KICKED ASS! It gets a pass. But a baby raising himself on stockpiles of orange soda, the occasional fishing expedition, and teaching himself everything from the internet? That is just ludicrous. To be honest, I’m not even totally sure if there aren’t weirder stories out there that are actually true.
the end (◡‿◡✿)
50 new tracks by your favorite Homestuck musicians!!!
Featuring FULL versions of the following tracks from the comic:
- Anbroids by Malcolm Brown
- Another Jungle by Michael Guy Bowman
- A Taste for Adventure by Seth “Beatfox” Peelle
And even more tracks about the new session and the wacky adventures the four new kids have gotten into since the end of Act 5!
I was thinking about answering questions again, but doing so through things like tumblr and formspring has proven problematic with so many people involved.
I had the idea to use a system like reddit, where submissions can be up-voted and down-voted. That way, I can get a better sense of the questions most people want answered, rather than grabbing them randomly from an endless list.
It turns out that reddit is a system like reddit, so one or two people were nice enough to set up such a page for me.
If you want to ask a question, or vote on existing ones, you’ll have to make a reddit account and go to this page. Submit the question as a comment. It’s already been gathering questions for a few days as I post this.
I’ll wait a few more days to see what DEMOCRACY has to say, then I’ll round up whatever has risen to the top and post the answers on tumblr.
re: “but reddit sucks!!! boooo”
Let’s not get carried away and look at this as some kind of “endorsement for reddit” whatever the hell that even means.
I’m not even creating an account myself. Literally the only thing I care about here is its up/down-voting feature, to harvest the questions people are most curious about. Feel free to either not create an account, or create an account for only this specific purpose, and continue going about treating reddit with whatever amount of disdain you think is appropriate.
Hey we’re on tumblr now! This is the official What Pumpkin tumblr account, where we’ll be posting about site updates and sharing news. Maybe even doing a little reblogging, since it seems that’s basically what tumblr is for. We’ll see!
So let’s dive right in and announce that we just restocked…
Had a great time at TCAF hanging out with the ol’ Gangbunch! Tauhid, you at least made some digital appearances (Nic propped up a portrait of you on her ipad during one of our meals).
We ate an adorable rabbit. It died probably from being killed. And then we put it into our mouths.
Look at all these friends.
One of the friends is me.
a little sad but unsurprised that it wasn’t slicks gross pornography
but its okay because of this
did he really get a customer embosser of his face made is that how this picture came to be
I’m not chewing out the fandom or any stray jackass who counterfeits a reblog. Random people out there are always gonna troll us and go to great lengths 4 the lulz. There’s nothing you can do about that. I really don’t care about the people who do it. It’s stupid, but whatever.
I’m much more irritated by the system that allows it.
Seriously, if I designed this site and didn’t take this issue into consideration after all this time, I would feel like such a fucking moron. There are certain standards for internet community software, many of which were established 15 fucking years ago. Like on a forum, if you edit a post, it says “this post was edited by…”
And yeah, you can say “well people should take responsibility and check their sources before believing stuff.” Ok, yes, you and I will do our due diligence on stuff, but the rest of humanity will not. Not understanding this is just not understanding people. You have to take this into account when designing your social media software that revolves almost exclusively around the act of reblogging other people’s shit.
So yeah, if I leave tumblr, it’s because of tumblr, not people.
So I was wondering why this really minor boring post was getting so many reblogs:
And apparently it’s because after a while some jokers started reblogging it while changing the original message? So the appearance to the casual tumblr user scrolling through their feed is that I made a dumb post about dicks or memes or whatever.
And of course because they see it on their dash people BELIEVE I made that inane original post without question and think, omg look at this weird outrageous thing Hussie said, and then THEY reblog it, and so on.
You can verify whether the original author actually said what was reblogged by clicking on their name, but really, who on tumblr is ACTUALLY going to do that? This is not the most deeply inquiring, skeptical crowd we’re talking about. Tumblr users are essentially scrolling junkies. Next post next post next post ha ha “like” next next “ooh gonna reblog that” nextnextnextnext.
I can’t change people’s behavior and I’m not telling people to stop this. Talk about a losing battle. I guess this is mostly addressed to the people who run tumblr, assuming they actually give a shit. Why even allow this nonsense through the design of your system? How hard would it be to code a stipulation that if the original content was changed by a reblogger, huge red text appeared over their post saying something like “THE CONTENT OF THE ORIGINAL POST HAS BEEN EDITED. YOU MAY WANT TO CHECK THE AUTHOR’S SITE TO VERIFY.” Hey I know the answer: not hard at all.
Or maybe they don’t care about whether their social media site has the potential to be taken seriously as a means of distributing information by people or groups who give half a fuck about the authenticity of their widely proliferated messages. Maybe they’re fine with the whole thing deteriorating into incoherent memetic entropy that people can only tolerate if they’re really jonesing to banter about Doctor Who. Or is that what tumblr already is? Hey, maybe this is one reason why!!!
Seriously tempted to stop using tumblr because of this. If counterfeit reblogging is going to turn into a “thing” why should I bother blogging anything at all?
Song is “Rain” by Clark from the album Medium, released exactly one year ago today. Much like the song from “Prince of Heart: Rise up.” was released one year prior to that. I prefer that none of these old albums become lame ducks. I’d rather that there always exist the possibility that any song could be used almost any time.
The game itself was sort of an homage to the Myst games, and other similar point and click puzzle games. This one was another solo effort. (haven’t done any collab work since Cascade actually.) This was a little extra, since I had to do a lot of programming too. Kind of underestimated that, thinking “hell, it’s just a bunch of buttons and conditionals, how bad could it be?” Uhhh, no. Even a few puzzles here and there requires a much bigger footprint of internal logic and variables than you expect going into it. Mix in a bunch of different KINDS of work like all the art, writing, conceptualizing, and all the standard endless flash tweening bullshit, and that’s a pretty serious gauntlet to fit in a week. I actually had just a little more planned for it beyond the final door, but had to cut it off there for now. (For one thing the file was getting too big.)
There were a few bugs which I just fixed too. Like text clipping issues and stuff. Maybe try replaying if it was buggy for you.
Or if you prefer to severely relax your brain cells rather than give them another workout, feel free to read this. Drawing it served the same approximate purpose for me.
There are way way way too many people trying to load the site all at once. Refreshing a million times per minute will not help, because that is what everyone else is doing.
If you want to see it, I recommend leaving the computer for an hour or two, coming back, and trying again.
I have no idea why the Homestuck day ribbons are supposed to be orange, but whatever. When has the fandom ever been wrong??
THE SEQUEL IS HERE…
A6A3 will also begin on 4/13, coinciding with the second installment of coloUrs and mayhem, and the end of Homestuck’s third year. Please use the next ten days wisely, mostly by making an effort not to go insane. I recommend distractions.
After a long wait, it’s finally out!!
The first of TWO albums featuring the winners of the Homestuck Music Contest. Darn, what a tour de force of talent!
- Iron Infidel makes a weird crackling sound at 1:53 when played on Bandcamp. As far as I can tell this is not…
Like Toby said, first of two. Universe B slated for 4/13. Same number of tracks. Different characters. Are you excited?
The next round. The competition is ALMOST TOO HOT TO HANDLE. Have at it, if you care.
I’m thinking of modifying the “prize”. I will allow the randomly selected winner to choose between a $100 gift certificate to the Olive Garden, OR to the Red Lobster. Whichever restaurant they feel would supply the more viscerally upsetting experience. OTOH, I may just carve it up into two $50 gift certificates to both places, and give them to two winners. OR - no wait hear me out - proliferate ten distinct $10 certificates, each to an Applebee’s near you. I don’t know yet. Let’s play this by ear. It largely depends if I can come up with any ideas that are even stupider than those.
I think maybe the album will be out monday? I don’t really know if the “things” will be done by then, but we were talking about it as sort of a come hell or high water date.
Man, if this turns out to be another lie, people are going to be so pissed at me and Radiation. Probably mostly Radiation though. He is like my secret service agent of fan rage. Pretty much the main reason I hired him.
edit: linking to the thing broke the thing again etc etc w/e
Whoops I think I broke that webcomics thing. That was probably a bad idea. I should really learn to recognize when I am in the middle of perpetrating a bad idea. One of the major tipoffs is when I start mentioning the Olive Garden.
Ok change of plans dudes stop clicking that goddamn link.
edit: I think it’s working again? Oh man, some random guy can just TASTE that Olive Garden already. He is not wearing a pleasant expression.
So it seems there’s been this March Madness webcomics voting thing going on for a while. MSPA has made it through the first few rounds and now things are really “heating up.” I think there is a cash prize involved. $100 for winning, unless I just imagined reading that somewhere. I think If MSPA wins, I’ll just buy a $100 gift certificate to the Olive Garden and give it away to a random reader. Wait, does that count as a bribe? Some may argue it actually serves as a strong deterrent. Hold the phone, it looks like I was the one who argued that??
Looks like some other good comics are still in the running too. Consider giving Gunnerkrigg Court a vote, or at least a read. It’s in a close race with Penny Arcade. I like PA, but 50 million people read it already. GKC is a good story which could use some more attention.
All the other races are either runaways or ones I could go either way on. Too bad Qwantz got knocked out already. It looked like North and I were on a collision course for a while there. We could have had our own personal Hunger Games moment. Just the two of us with our poison berries, standing in defiance of the cruel fuckers who would pit us against each other. I.e. you people.
The album. Remember that?
Honestly I’m not even sure what’s going on with it right now. It’s hung up on some legal minutia for the time being. There are more than twice as many people involved as the previous biggest album, and all of them are new, so there’s a lot to sort out. It’s like 99.999% done, but you know how it goes. That last 0.001% can drag on for weeks. Or maybe you don’t know how it goes? FYI, that’s how it goes.
It’s still around the corner though. Don’t worry, you’ll get to hear it soon.
Check it out! Store update!
New shirts @ WP, & some restocks. Some different shirt types this time, like the girly cap sleeves up there, which I think look pretty dang stylish.
We should be seeing the contest album hit bandcamp fairly soon too. I’m gonna say maybe within a week?
“Another Jungle” by Bowman, and “A Taste for Adventure” by Beatfox.
Both songs will be on the album coming out after the contest album (i.e. in a couple months) and both have extended versions that you will think are pretty sick.
On the animation…
Kind of a cross between end of acts 1, 2 and 3? Let’s say yes.
The future thing. Some people out there had already followed the trail of crumbs leading to this outcome. Some clues were fairly subtle, like use of term antediluvian, the seagulls, the technology… They got less subtle over time, such as when we met the exile mob. Now the verdict is in. If you suspected as much all along, you were not smoking the bargain crack. I’m pleased to report the crack you were smoking was the choicest of crack that money can buy.
A follow-up on the prior reblog** about this.
You’ve probably seen the video all over the place by now. It addressed some important topics, so I helped nudge it along the viral pipeline. My follow-up advice on this is very simple: educate yourself.
Invisible Children has done a good job in getting your attention, and inspiring people. But like any call to activism or charitable action, it should be your invitation to research the topic more carefully, and decide what to do from a fully informed standpoint.
There are counterpoints to the message of the video. (Some serious critiques, and IC’s response.) The issues surrounding aid to Africa, especially those tangled up with its political landscape, are very complicated. They should be examined carefully before making charitable gestures indiscriminately. There are indications that Invisible Children, while well intended, may not be the most effective vehicle for your donations. If this is true, I don’t think it should be used as a basis to smear the group, or to be cynical about their motives necessarily. They did something good. They got your attention, and got people talking about something important. But then the rest is up to you, to pursue this intelligently and examine the facts.
I’m not gonna turn this blog into any sort of hub for education on this issue, or point you to a ton of reading material. All that stuff is out there for you to find, through news articles, tumblr exchanges and whatnot. I’m just offering a very simple reminder. Do your homework before getting too swept up in something you don’t fully understand.
** edit: deleted original post. After a lot more research, my conclusion is this doesn’t warrant the attention it’s received. Feel free to make up your own mind.
Thank you, Emily.
Probably a lot of people who follow me already recognized the drawing, because they also follow her?
I think this is because she is one of these great artists out there who some people refer to as “Homestuck Famous”?
It’s kind of amazing to me that that’s a thing. I’m not even sure what that makes me and I’m not sure I want to know. At this point I think it’s safe to say my man Dante has achieved Homestuck Fame as well, in addition to ACTUAL fame, making him all but unstoppable.
Anyway Emily’s real good and I like her stuff.
Music contest picks are finally locked in. Reblogging Radiation’s request for track art here.
We ended up including quite a few songs in the album. For this one, I wanted to err on the side of more music rather than less, to get more people involved. Still a lot of tough decisions though, and we had to draw the line somewhere. Thanks to everyone who participated. We received a ton of great entries, and I think people will be pretty excited about the results.
The winners of the contest have been notified! Thank you to all who participated in the music-making process!
Now… onto the second part of this shindig. There’s a lot of artistic talent out there in the fandom!!! So we’ve decided to open our options and allow people to submit track art this…
There are two kinds of spoilers, short term and long term.
Long term apply to those catching up to the story, where this data is all pervasive, like stuff about trolls and crazy plot points deep in the story. There’s nothing anyone can or should do about limiting any of this obviously. It’s up to the readers to limit their exposure to all that material while reading, assuming they care about that.
The kind I was talking about pertains more to the day-to-day reading experience, if you happen to be hooked in tight to the tumblr community. If you log into tumblr one day before checking MSPA, and happen to see one panel splashed everywhere in a frenzy, of say, a character who people say might be kid Mindfang or something, then… well, that’s how they learn about that story development. Then checking updates become more about finding out how or why something happened, rather than discovering that it happened in the first place.
Some say tagging stuff with “update” or “spoilers” and then blacklisting those tags will let you avoid this better. But then, blacklisting those may cause you to miss out on posts discussing stuff you may actually want to read. Probably the use of the “read more” break is a better convention overall for handling spoilers. I’ve seen a lot of people do this.
It’s not like this is a big deal, or that I really care much about it at all, but it can be kind of ridiculous the extent to which people posting panels of latest updates can spoil the outcome for those who haven’t QUITE gotten around to checking the updates themselves yet.
Like an update that consists of 5 pages, with something surprising happening on the 5th page. Guess which panel invariably shows up on everyone’s dash, blowing the surprise without context or build-up!
Again I don’t really care and this is the kind of thing that nobody could ever really prevent from happening and it would be stupid to try. This is just something I’ve observed.
Maybe there is an unspoken etiquette that some people follow, holding off on posting the surprising images for a little while, until most people have seen it? I’m not sure. It’s something to consider, but I ain’t gonna be super mad if you don’t.
“How do you feel about Homestuck in general, and the characters in particular?”
I like it, and I like all the characters.
It’s successful in every way that is important to me and has met all of my goals or surpassed them dramatically. It has been executed perfectly when taking into consideration all self supplied constraints and personal artistic criteria.
It’s so great.
“do you keep your notes on homestuck down on any kind of paper? what does your desk look like? “
I have a few really frivolous things documented in a text file. Most of the time it’s nothing more than a funny phrase. I actually maintain more rigorous advance documentation for SBaHJ comics.
What’s on my desk right now is a little container full of ridiculously tiny dice. There’s also a fushigi contact juggling ball which I kind of suck at, and one time I may have hairline fractured my knee bone with it. There’s an opened bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups. Some more dice. Some super-magnetic Buckyballs clinging to the metal leg of my desk. A lamp. A tablet. Some crumpled sbahj sketches. Some other trash. Me hunching over it like some nefarious fucking fleshgargoyle plotting some shit.
“Tell us about post-scratch Maplehoof.”
It’s kind of a small horse.
“We know that Dirk has a genuine fondness towards Rainbow Dash. What are your thoughts on Friendship is Magic? Do you enjoy the show, or did you only include the cyan pegasus for the sake of humor?”
I’ve seen like one episode. It’s nicely done, but it’s a damn show for kids. I do some silly shit with my spare time but I am not a child. Some people think this makes Dirk a “brony.” I think it’s more that he really does watch it and evaluate it for whatever studious purposes he has, but just happens to like that one pony unironically. A brony does not this a dude make.
“What’s up with the pink moon of Alternia”
It’s small and it’s pink and it’s a moon and it has another little moon.
“Wow this question is silly, BUT DO ADULT FEMALE TROLLS WEAR BRAS? Or do they not have meat sacs on their chests?”
Whatever it is they wear, they probably don’t call them bras. They probably call them something ridiculous like heft satchels or protrusion hammocks. Bulbhuggers?
Ok one more…
Actually no that’s all I got.
“Did Mindfang make Jane say what she said to Jake?”
This question implies there actually needs to be an external reason for something like that to happen.
Shit like that happens every day, in millions of different permutations in a wide variety of social situations. If you browse the reactions to it, how often do you see people saying, “omg jane is me…”?
Jane fucked up. She was put on the spot and totally choked. Then she kept digging herself deeper and deeper in the hole. She did this because she’s a teen. Even some people who are older than teens fuck up like this. Being a young human is often a mercilessly awkward proposition.
“Do you read dirty homestuck confessions?”
But, full disclosure?
I am its sole author.
“While not exactly too meaningful a question, my interest is quite piqued on a couple ruminations: 1. When designing Prospit and Derse, were your inspirations or designs ever culminated from Anor Londo (a location) in From Software’s Dark Souls? There are a few panels of both dream worlds that remind me so much of it. Secondly, Are you, or have you ever been an English major? Your English is exquisite.”
No, I just thought “purple and yellow gothic cathedral planets,” and collaged a large number of cathedral bits and pieces together and heavily modified them in Photoshop.
I was never an English major and most of the time in my estimation I don’t really come close to sounding like it. Most of the time I’m pretty casual and breezy with language, even/especially in the story, usually to go after what I like to call Big Laughs. But sometimes I attack statements with more vehemence for whatever reason, but usually approach these tasks as if I’m solving some sort of logic problem with words rather than engaging in what is recognized by big time scholars as the formal discipline of writing. (I like to picture those scholars as wizards FYI.)
“Is there any reason you use girl models only for the hoodies?”
That’s the person who runs the whole WP operation. When it’s time to photograph some products, usually it’s just easier for her to throw the shit on and snap some photos herself than do this whole rigmarole with a model. I think the photos all look good.
“Would you agree that there are no bad ideas in fiction, only good ideas that are poorly executed?”
No there are some really really terrible ideas, trust me.
“Can blood castes lower than purple be seadwellers?”
No only Eridan and Feferi’s castes.
“Is there any part of Homestuck you’re particularly proud of?”
All the great shit I did.
“How far until UU is revealed?”
The answer to any question like this is “probably months” because things take a long time to unfold and develop. I update frequently but by the standards of readers’ humongous appetites for more, the rate of progress is still glacial. There are things like animation time to factor in, drawing lots more new “plot advancing assets,” juggling a bunch of different story threads and so on. It’s a slow, steady creep, but it’s always going somewhere, and that destination has become reliably combustible.
But making decisions to accelerate your plans because people are impatient is the same thing as making bad decisions. To put everything in perspective, think of it this way. Cascade didn’t happen 4 months ago. It happened about an hour ago, or maybe less. Because that’s how long it takes to read what I’ve written since then. It’s almost nothing. No matter what doldrums we appear to progress through serially, or what elusive payoffs seem to perpetually hover in the distance, all of that is insignificant and easily endured in the archival readthrough by the wide eyed and uninitiated. One who watched Cascade an hour ago is propelled through succeeding material still spurred by the energy and curiosity generated by that explosive multi-threaded plot crescendo. And if Homestuck were finished, they’d just keep reading to the end without handwringing over who’s gonna be introduced when or wondering why teen drama has replaced “real plot advancement” or stuff like that, because they don’t have time to form those thoughts because there’s always another page to click on. All those things are quickly contextualized and paid off because you just keep clicking next, while all the entertainment value is heavily compactified, easily compensating for the kinds of lulls or buildup measures that can absolutely torment some serial readers and push them to the threshold of bizarre histrionics and irrational ragequit oaths.
Wait, I’ve wandered into the serial vs. archival reading issue again. This isn’t even all that pertinent to the question. But it’s a topic I seem to get into a lot because it’s important, maybe even THE most important consideration for how a story is perceived, i.e. the rate at which it’s absorbed. Few seem to understand this. And those who do often forget, and get caught up in kneejerk judgments that would never be made otherwise. It kind of blows my mind observing some of the reactionary dementia that crops up in a huge serial readership, which is a double edged sword: fun to watch the day-to-day excitement over developments, painful to behold the ubiquitous impatience and the corrupting influence that has on the judgment of content. In many respects it’s a very bad way to read a longform story, dribbled out in pages rather than in big chunks. Impatience among some generates toxicity over time, like they’re gradually, unwittingly developing a grudge against the story because of the pace they’re forced to read at. This then warps everything they see. As if a tainted a witness. If they crave swift advancement, then pages that do not accomplish this adequately like gags or character developing interactions become like personal affronts to them. Good material is like a slap in the face. And the irony is, the more they like the story, the more toxic the attitude can get, because they badly want to see it get somewhere fast, and they can feel let down or like the work is in decline because they’re forced to sit through its responsible, judicious development in realtime. But this is an almost nonexistent phenomenon with archival reading, which lends itself to a little more detachment and reservation as one cruises through the material at the speed of reading. Judgments are formed less at the atomic level of the story’s building blocks, a bit more holistically, and individual developments are never agonized over. They may ultimately not love the story, but at least the resentment complex that can fester in the space of the serial drip never had a chance to skew the result.
Probably some people think it’s weird that I put emphasis on long term archival pacing when I produce a thing serially, page by page. I do think that is the only way to make something good in the long term. But aside from that, consider that by now the vast majority of the readership began reading relatively recently. Most current readers have experienced most of the story by catching up through the archives, so any attention I put on pacing that out with patience and discipline has directly benefited, it turns out: MOST READERS! This trend will probably continue as more pile on in the future and HS approaches its end. But then the funny thing is those people who catch up then dive into the huge serial mosh pit, and immediately assume the psychology and habits of serial readers, most of the time without even being aware of how radically this will alter their perception of all events that follow, better or worse. It’s kind of a strange mill of human perception I’m running here. A weird factory where droves enter curious, proceed fascinated, and exit frenzied. But while that process for them is quick, they should try to remember the factory took three years to build, and its construction is ongoing at the same slow pace it always has been.
“Now that Jake and Jane are a official non-couple is Jake and Dirk going to be a couple and what will happen with Jane and Roxy?”
I couldn’t quite follow your question because I was too distracted by drawing Jane and Roxy making out for the next 500 pages.
“today i got my wisdom teeth out and i was awake the whole time and the only thing that got me through it was the happiness from the fact that for at least one day, dirkjake was canon. thank you”
I still have my wisdom teeth and they’ll probably have to be removed at some point before I die. I’ll try to remember that thinking about Jake kissing Dirk is a good way to make the experience endurable. Thank you for the tip.
I keep answering questions that involve children kissing.
“how much of homestuck is improvised as you go along? or does it follow a fairly strict plotline you’ve written out beforehand?”
It’s a blend of foreplanning and spontaneity. Maybe in roughly equal parts, but this is a thing that’s really hard to measure.
“Are there classes and titles other than the ones shown so far in canon, or have we seen them all?”
Maybe. Readers tend to make up their own. Some of them sound decent to me, others do not. They can only have one syllable. Any that has more than one syllable is automatically not good.
“Who is this Cerulean damsel and is Mindfang’s journal just a giant fanfiction?”
The damsel is somebody who looks like Vriska.
Mindfang’s journal entries were always intended as narrative departures in which I would deliberately drag the story into what I call “The Bad Fanfiction Zone.” Without necessarily laying it on TOO thick (because holy shit, fanfiction can be REALLY bad), I specifically emulated some common impulses of fanfiction writers to open this backstory portal, to fill in some world building details and contextualize the arcs of the troll kids. It’s kind of bombastic, character-aggrandizing, uncomfortably erotic, and florid. I wanted to leverage the Bad Fanfiction Zone for useful story purposes, primarily because this was a funny idea to me. It’s one of those gags which I don’t expect the majority of readers to pick up on. Some people LOVE the Mindfang stuff because, among other reasons, they’re often the sort of people who genuinely like to read fanfiction! Whereas some others HATED the journals, probably without even fully understanding why. The reason is because I bombed my own story with bad fanfiction, and tricked them into reading it. This is absolutely the most hilarious consequence of this gag.
But don’t get me wrong. Just because I call it the Bad Fanfiction Zone doesn’t mean I actually think the Mindfang stuff is bad. All the lore is good and I like the indirect filling in of events and details of alien culture as you’d reveal through study of historical documents and journals. But the execution is humorously heavy handed, somewhere between lavish old world prose and an enthusiastic fandom hackjob, and this was a conscious layer of the gag. And there are some people who do pick up on this.
“Any chance you’ll be willing to give a listing of which classes are active/passive or is this something to be revealed fully later on?”
This is exactly the sort of thing that gets nibbled away at as the story goes along. A little here, a little there, without giant info dumps. It makes no sense for me to say now. It’s much better for people to invent their own rules, roleplay with them and stuff, and then for their ideas to gradually get debunked by canon.
“How do you overcome your art/writing blocks? if you have any”
I guess I don’t really have those. When it’s time to write there’s always something to write. When it’s time to draw there’s always something to draw. I never worry much about how good any of it is so that kind of helps.
I do have people blocks sometimes. Times where motivation is sluggish on account of let’s just say Problem People.
I don’t know if being in a bad mood ever affects my work negatively though. I remember some patches of the story where I was not in a great mood, but you would never know it by reading that stuff. It always just comes out kind of the same.
The truth is that an artist’s appraisal of his own work, in terms of how much better some stuff is than other stuff, is probably completely meaningless. If you grab a random person off the street and hold up two things and say this is my good shit and this is my bad shit, he probably won’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. 9 out of 10 people will probably say it’s the same exact shit.
This is why worrying too much about the quality of what you do is kind of ridiculous, and worrying about it is what leads to blocks. In the end what you make is the result of your capabilities and your effort, and practically nothing else. So you might as well stop worrying, drop the bullshit, and just make it.
“The trolls had 48 zodiac signs, yes? So are the 48 new “quiddles” you are introducing those members of the previosu session? Cause 12 trolls for the kids zodiac signs…yeah.”
Stay tuned for the new 48 SQUIDDLE INTERMISSION!!! It begins TOMORROW!!!!!
I have been making this same joke almost constantly for the last two years.
“What’s the closest you’ve been to completely quitting MSPA and never coming back to it?”
There’s only been one small blip on this radar and that was when it looked like it was going to cost literally $100,000 to host Cascade for several days.
i was watching the clock tick down and realized how hilariously little time 30 seconds is to type a question
about 300 people managed though
In several minutes I’ll open the question box for 30 seconds.
I will wait EXACTLY five minutes for you to think of something meaningful to ask and at EXACTLY 3:05 AM EST I will open it for EXACTLY 30 seconds at which point it will be EXACTLY closed for probably a long time.
These days I am never really sure if this is a good idea but I just keep on doing it.
Song: “Time on my Side” by Tensei, from the Strife Album, released exactly one year ago.
Was gonna post this on v-tines but it wasn’t done yet and then it turned into a thing that didn’t matter.
Are zippies a thing? I’m not sure the word zippies is actually a thing. But they are things you can buy now. No Life or Hope zippies, because zippies in those colors don’t exist. I have got to stop saying zippies.
Also added a bunch of new prints, including one for each illustration in the calendar.
Not unpaused yet.
Still a lot to do.
Dropping a couple pages here to mark VT day.
Just a little teencrush romdram for your careful evaluation.
AS A CHANGE OF PACE
Suspending updates for the next several days. Maybe for 3 or 4 or 5 or maybe 6 or 7 days, so that I have some time to work on the following things.
1) Homestuck Book 2
2) Homestuck music contest
And now we play this role playing game where we all pretend that it actually takes time to make stuff, instead of the reality we all know to be scientific fact, which is that it all appears magically from the æthær of wizardspace.
guys i have a confession to make
Reblogging source of UU’s sketch.
I asked Shelby to fill in as a “designated fan artist” for UU’s drawings and requested a god tier Dirk. This is what she came up with. Let us stand together in admiration of this masterpiece.
SBAHJ #42: shearching 4 bobby shitfuck
edit - tumblr made it too small go here instead
it matters SO MUCH guys.
I kind of feel compelled to point out to some people that in the sketch of god tier Gamzee, he isn’t popping a boner. He is wearing a cod piece.
Which is like the whole point of a cod piece I guess. To give a guy some solid boner poppin’ space, thus maximizing his comfort while leaving a great deal to the imagination. We are invited to wonder, what exactly is the state of that man’s erection? We may wonder all we like, but his coy lips are sealed.
Did I mention that sketch was canon?
It is SO canon. You don’t even know.
then quickie colored in photoshop
(the scan not the actual paper, you can’t color paper in photoshop)
this is the last one
i will now stop bombarding tumblr with ridiculous shit
#late #japan #donation #sketches #not actual tags
when someone peeking over your shoulder asks you what the fuck that thing is you’re lookin at you just cock your head back and say what it is
is motherfuckin canon
By far the nerdiest request I got.
“Please recreate the poster for Star Wars IV Special Edition with John as Luke, Terezi as Obi-Wan, Karkat as Leia, and Vriska as Han. Keep the trolls as their regular gender, but change everyone’s costumes. Replace Star Wars title with the title Home Stuck (same font).”
I tried to match their expressions as closely as possible, especially with respect to the full, luscious, oddly shaped lips.
kidz vanilla style + god tier
the sassiest rose
cowboy karkat + dave for some reason
“I would like a picture of Vriska kissing John on the cheek with John blushing :)”
I’ll post a few more later.
Finally finishing up the rest of these sketches sold for Japan relief last year. There were a lot to do, and I probably would have had to take a couple solid weeks off to finish them all at once, which never quite happened. Instead I chipped away at them for way, way too long. I’ll probably pause updates for the next couple days so I can finish the rest and actually get these sent out to people.
Here are a few. Click for bigness.
Here is a Lord English. Bear in mind these were requested almost a year ago. I am sure this generous donor thought they had found a clever loophole and could find out what he looked like long before anyone else did. Little did they know I had an ace up my sleeve: massive procrastination.
I.e. all shirts and hoodies.
The few remaining things marked as sold out will be restocked soon. There will be some new items as well!
Desktop background by this tumblrist.
Many updates tend to spark crazy outbursts of fanart, particularly those that introduce new characters. It doesn’t even matter if the character is someone in a fictional book within the story. Actually, that probably only encourages it, since the vague allusions to a much bigger story tend to capture people’s imaginations and get people drawin’. And so there was this whole rash of cool Calmasis interpretations after that update. Not sure how to point you to the preponderance of this work, other than vaguely suggest you look up the #calmasis tag??
Probably most people regard s/he as a highly utilitarian concatenation for use when gender is unknown, if somewhat awkward. It does carry the advantage that everyone understands what you’re getting at. In this case we have no idea at all what Calmasis’ situation is. The narrative obviously leaves details of the book wide open. “Androgynous” is a broad term. Calmasis could identify as a specific gender, without having it revealed by him/her, or by the story for whatever reason. Or the character could be of an actual non-binary gender. We have no idea. We haven’t peeked inside the book to get a sense of this. Maybe at some point we will.
For those of non-binary gender, “s/he” can come off as dismissive, since it implies one or the other. Probably not all that many people are even aware of the array of neutral pronouns that are available, like ze or ne or THON. I’d bet the number of people unfamiliar with them is quite staggering, which makes it all the more difficult to assimilate any into language, or just drop them into a sentence casually. Pronouns are really fundamental units of communication too, so if you swap one for a strange word people don’t know, it really throws them for a loop. But hey, I’m down with the idea. English has been lumbering along without neutral pronouns for too many centuries already. They have loads more applications than just referencing people of certain gender identities.
Song: Even in Death by Plazmataz, from Volume 7.
Two word answer to FAQ “I don’t get it”: dream bubble.
I probably wouldn’t have even bothered with the animation if I didn’t make the little SOPA blackout animation that preceded it. Once that was there it just seemed like a good springboard for a bigger animation. Otherwise I probably would have just made a few static panels, and likely not conveyed nearly as much.
And I only came up with the idea for the SOPA blackout flash-redirect on the same day it was posted.
The seat of my pants is like a magic carpet, and I am singing to you while we swoop over Arabia. You are Jasmine, and you’re smitten as hell.
Jaffar is all the congressmen who got owned yesterday.
I’m sure by now you must know something about this, since protests are everywhere, including on google and wikipedia. If not, feel free to read up.
Since it’s all pervasive at this point, I won’t say much. Do some research, if you don’t like it, speak out. The bottom line is the bill would allow sites to be blacked out to US citizens if claims of infringement are made against that site, or even against some of its difficult to police users, like on tumblr or reddit. This would likely mean instant censorship of massive parts of the internet for US users. Kind of like throwing tons of innocent people in prison just to be sure a few criminals wind up in there too.
If you’re like me, you probably get kind of ticked when these ridiculous ancient men in congress, who have no clue at all how the internet works, get together and decide how the internet should be for everybody. So feel free to let them know.
I’m blacking out all pages on the site, except those posted today and yesterday, for 24 hours. I’m only leaving the recent ones up to provide context for the little blackout gag.
See you after the nap!
If you don’t know what I mean by the gag, wait for the full fadeout at the end of this page. It’ll redirect to the strike page. The redirect will be taken down after the blackout.
I “retconned” a single word in the archive with the above gibberish for a while because I thought it would be funny. And it definitely was hilarious. I understand that not everyone thinks all of my e-impulses are a total riot though.
Before I launch into any more of this, let me reframe the key points which drove the previous post.
- You can absolutely craft an argument using story data that the kids are white. You are allowed to believe they’re white! That’s cool. I’m not saying that makes you a racist at all. Often I view them that way myself, if bothering to imagine them corporeally. I’ve also pictured John and Jade as Asian and thought, “that works.” These are just personal reflections and you’re free to form your own by any criteria, including hyperfidelity to canon minutia, as well as by disregarding one or two ridiculously insignificant points of said minutia. You have my permission. But most of the time I picture them as N/A, and my official answer when asked is “I don’t care.”
- What does strike me as racist is when someone gets angry over the suggestion that they could be thought of as anything other than white. And that does appear to be a thing that happens. It’s a position that irritates me. Enough to bother addressing it, and verbally crystallize some points on abstraction as they apply to race in HS, even if in apparent contradiction with one or two minor story details.
That’s pretty much the bottom line on this.
It’s aggravating to imagine a guy getting in someone’s grill about how there’s NO WAY John and Jade could be Asian kids or something, because some canon savant can cite an excerpt in the 300K word barrage of Homestuck which refers to the group of infants as pink monkeys. That isn’t really cutting it for me as a sticking point. Should we get out the pantone swatchbook, and verify that all non-white babies shall never exhibit anything like a rosy hue? Or failing that, what if some babies there were white and others weren’t? Digging even this much into it is already sort of treading too far into the pedantic bullshitification of the topic. Would submitting a “my bad” on that phrase choice help deflect some antagonization toward those with a different view? Cause I can do that. I can cough up a my bad once in a while. In fact I think I just did!
The retcon gibberish, I think we can safely TL;DR as “another fuckup.”
I do feel it’s all a little more complicated than it looks though.
I dropped the gibberish in place of the word “white” as a flippant faux-rebuttal to the obvious gotcha it represents. It was one of the earlier rambling dialogues where John alluded to Dave’s bro as a lame white rapper.
First of all, here’s what’s true: I was being quite serious when I said I viewed these kids as non-racial from the start. It is a fact! In the earliest pages, when people asked what race they were, I just said “N/A.” “Don’t care.” “You decide.”
But the thing is, this position had so much more to do with adhering to the fundamental abstraction in this world than it had to do with making any sort of statement on racial harmony or anything like that. The point was never to make something perfectly air-tight in terms of racial neutrality, as a means to create some sort of socially conscious advocacy literature. If it was, I probably would have been more alert in those early stages to make dead certain little tipoffs on race didn’t bleed into the story during some of the more outrageous, off-the-cuff character rants.
That’s the thing, especially in a lot of those earlier dialogues, I was somewhat less diabolically all-calculating than I became over time. In early chats I was more likely to flip on the “ridiculous rant” switch, and just write stuff that struck me as funny. It was just a funny thing for John to say about bro, which for the moment punctured that membrane between the way I was personally picturing a character for the sake of comedy, from these fairly amorphous rules of abstraction I established at the beginning. TL;DR, a fuckup. Then I kept making pages, kinda forgot about it, and am pretty sure never once used a racial qualifier that specific again. And I didn’t really care, because, and this is the important point here: it just doesn’t matter.
And I could just “whoops” and again indicate how trivial and isolated it was and move on, but there’s even more to it than that!
At that point in the story, I’m quite sure I hadn’t determined that bro was Dave’s biological father. I sure as hell didn’t know Dirk would become a “playable character” some day (i.e. literally yesterday). So many aspects of this story were all coalescing gradually, and that even includes the extent to which race was a reliable ambiguity. That wobbled a couple times, but otherwise has stayed consistently unmentioned over the haul of several thousand pages. On that page, their whole ectobiological origin hadn’t even been conceived. Concepts like that were a work in progress. When the story began, Dave was just some kid being raised by some dude. That was as deep as I wanted the explanation to go, until further notice.
But let’s say you’re super bent on taking that retconned tidbit to heart. So, ok, Dirk is white, which means… what? Dave and Rose are at least half white? Alrighty, so be it! Don’t care enough to dispute the factmasters, if they’re immune to a nuanced explanation.
What I will dispute is this chain of conclusions. Dirk = white, ergo Dave + Rose = white, ergo all 8 kids = white, because I MEAN COME ON, WE BOTH KNOW THEY’RE ALL WHITE, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT YOU WERE GETTING AT HERE, AND ALL THE “ENDORSED CAUCASIAN FANART”, AND THE PINK BABIES, AND COME OOOOON ARE YOU SHITTING ME. No, that conclusion is wrong. And the bluster behind it is……… offensive!
If you want to back me into a corner on every last angle of this, and for instance bring up the example of how, say, an African American Rose is a “tough sell”? Ok, yes. I will be reasonable. I will agree that an African American Rose is probably kind of a tough sell for most people. I still just say, so what? Why even bother with ruling out that particular exception? If you want to repudiate people who draw her that way or something, go ahead. I’m not going to, because I don’t give a fuck. I’ll again just say N/A.
I probably won’t leave the retcon gibberish there forever. But I might leave it there until people stop giving a shit about this.
I’ll do one of three things.
1) Keep it forever, because: I don’t care.
2) Change it back to white, because: I still don’t really give a shit about the mild, singular, isolated contradiction it represents.
3) Revise the sentence to read more naturally and exclude the word white because: I don’t give a fuck.
Some people I think regarded my flippant retcon as a needless escalation of this to something like a “really big deal.” Dunno about that. So I stuck a garbage word into one marginal conversation 4000 pages deep in the archive? OH NOES. Story pollution. What if he never fixes it??????
I tend to be a little flippant with my own story, even where others perceive hallowed ground. It’s practically business as usual.
FINAL TLDR YO
There’s only one thing I’m annoyed about, and only one type of behavior I’m calling racist. And that is if you act all haughty and shit on people about how they absolutely have to believe all these kids are white. That’s it. It’s cool if you believe they’re white. I can’t blame you for that perception at all.
Happy Martin Luther king day everybody!
I really didn’t plan on gettin into all this on MLK2KXII. For real.
It’s like I was suddenly possessed and spurred to passionate oration by MLK’s legendary ghost.
Then he was like, man fuck this weirdo, and flew away.
Not officially reblogging this response because I don’t want to spark a hate war swirling around one particular tumblr user. I probably wouldn’t even bother responding but I kind of get the sense there’s a faction out there that feels this way.
oh come on this race answer is unmitigated bullshit
don’t try to eek out a tiny bit of totally undeserved race-representation cred when you are indisputably portraying eight white kids in a row
This is a racist response.
They are only “indisputably” white because of the social and cultural associations you are making yourself, between the backgrounds and behaviors of these characters, and those you assign to white people as a general rule.
Let’s look at John’s situation. An average looking, suburban, middle class household, run by a generic looking business man father who smokes a pipe. Culturally, there is plenty about this situation that says “white America”. But citing any of this as strong proof that they’re white is what’s racist. Are you saying a Hispanic family couldn’t find themselves in this situation, in either this universe or the non-fictionalized US? Are you saying a black kid wouldn’t behave like John? Or an Asian man couldn’t possibly style himself as a throwback era father? What exactly are you saying here?
Let’s pretend I’m coming out and saying John is Asian for a minute. What can you supply to refute this? Does your argument boil down to, “Come on Hussie, the cultural clues to a white family are all there. You’re being disingenuous. If you wanted to indicate he was Asian, you’d have left some clue.” So my question is, what clues could I possibly leave to this effect? Maybe make him good at math?? I’m frankly drawing a blank at even facetious possibilities. What racial clues, when absent, prove they must not be a certain race? Does the absence of African tribal masks littered around the house prove beyond a shadow of a doubt they aren’t black? Or is it just they fact they don’t live in a ghetto that rules that out?? Really, this entire line of thinking, i.e. looking for “supporting evidence”, is implicitly racist.
If you think I’m being disingenuous and pulling this a-racial thing out of nowhere, this is what I’ve always said since the beginning. People wondered about race, and I said the answer was N/A. These are templatized characters, and while many aspects of the comic are vibrantly colored, their skin tone is religiously left blank. Blank not as in white, per se, but as non-affiliated, as if they were lifted from a coloring book. It is this way because abstraction rules this universe absolutely. Abstraction rules their identities, the way they’re named, the qualities of their guardians, the way they pick up objects, the way they engage in dialogue, and everything about the game they play.
It is also a heavily templatized story universe. The notion of “character” in Homestuck is a highly malleable construct, as it is in certain games. So much of HS and Sburb is designed with EXTREME flexibility in mind. It’s designed to have your imagination fill in gaps, and expand the universe far beyond the boundaries of what happens in the story. Everything was built with this in mind. The alchemy system, to get you to wonder what items you’d make. The prototyping system, to get you to wonder what sort of quest you’d build for yourself. What planets might your session have? What god tier titles? Are there more than what’s shown? You’re always being invited to ask by the systems that are introduced, what more is possible through this? This was a deliberate feature of HS built in from the start. It was a guiding principle for its construction, and still is. I’m sure it’s a very major reason why it’s captured a lot of imaginations. So in this medium of intrinsic abstraction and malleability, if you’re suggesting it’s somehow flimsy or weak to not offer an iron clad ruling on something so trivial as race, I’m going to suggest you are very badly NOT GETTING IT.
And to actually get indignant at the suggestion that race is canonically non-applicable, because you think it’s JUST SO OBVIOUS all these kids are white? That’s the ugliness of bigotry surfacing. Bigotry not only blinds you to ways you are in error, but triggers an automated response of anger to differing points of view. And then you don’t even realize that’s what happened. It’s not a great way to be.
The primary source of consternation plucked from that Q&A was the “revelation” that Gamzee is short.
Which was obviously a 4 THE LAFFS answer.
The real answer is
I don’t give a shit about how tall anybody is.
How tall do you want them to be?
That’s the right answer!
This is generally true of physical traits. The basic element of abstraction in HS disallows clear cut answers on a number of things.
They can vary in height if your imagination demands it. And they can vary in weight. Want them to be a bunch of chubby kids? You got it!
They could be any race too. Note that I am caucasian, and I draw myself orange. I don’t see no orange kids there! Can’t really pin them down as definitively white, though this is likely the widespread presumption. They are canonically a-racial, and elude concrete bodily proportions through diversity of stylistic representation. You decide what they are! The thing you decide is right.
You do realise that we’ve figured out the new kids titles and aspects already from their intros? Oh wait you hide in the forums and watch us talk don’t you?
I expect people to figure out stuff like this. The key words are in plain sight. That is why I put stuff like that there, so people can figure some things out and feel cool.
What is your take on Owen Wilson?
My take is…
Hm. This question is like a zen koan. In attempting to answer, my head has been purged of all thought.
I just don’t know what to say.
Why don’t all the God Tiers on the meteor fight Jack now? They could probably win, right?
Could they? Maaaybe??
Isn’t it a better strategy to do what Rose said? To regroup and confront him from a stronger strategic position.
Sure, they may be able to put up a good fight. But if you have the chance to get reinforcements, and potentially use overwhelming force, why not?
They know John and Jade are going to meet them there. Jade especially sure did look like she could do some fancy stuff.
Do the names of the members of the Midnight Crew have any relevance to the Trolls’ romance quadrants?
Not really. But the characters have been associated with their corresponding quadrants a few times. Like Hearts Boxcars urging Tavros to kiss the girl, or Spades Slick getting all black romantic with Snowman. That’s as far as the correlation goes.
Is there anything as a fanbase we could do to disturb you? because we’ve been trying our best and so far nothing has seemed to phase you.
There are a few times I’ve said “Ok, if the fandom does THIS, that will be the last straw. Gonna pack up my bags and close up shop. Nice knowing you internet!” But mostly as a joke and only muttered to myself, because if I said it out loud that’s exactly what people would do. They’d say, SHIT! WHY DIDN’T WEEEE THINK OF THAT.
Why don’t you rename Dirk to Dion?
I guess Dion was another option, but there’s no fancy explanation why I didn’t use it. It’s just filed under not so great.
Really, I picked all four of these post-scratch names way way way a long time ago. More than a year I’m sure.
Is that Ben Stiller poster in Dirk’s room there ironically? Or did they just not have enough Kamina posters at the store?
The small square Stiller, Wilson and Snoop posters are in Dave’s room too, in the exact same spots. When I made his room, I just used the Dave room file as a base, and left those ones exactly where they were for the hell of it.
How many designs for the Alpha kids did you go through before settling on what you did? Thank you for writing the comic!
Exactly one. Which is true of practically every character.
Although, I did bat around the idea of giving Dirk a wifebeater like Equius. But it didn’t work very well with the hat icon.
P.S. I’m going on record with the position that a hat is the perfect thing to be on a shirt, forever.
Who is the most retarded character of homestuck?
This new character I will introduce really soon. His name is Guyisart!
SOMEBODY RUSH THIS GUY TO THE BURN WARD, WHOOPS HE JUST INCINERATED, TOO LATE!
Did you on purposely make the endings of Rose and Roxy’s name = Sexy ? And if you did, why xD ?
No, that would be a pretty hard thing to do on purpose, while ALSO ensuring good names were selected.
But as for why I did it, which I didn’t, well……
In case you haven’t noticed these two young ladies are getting older at a PRETTY BRISK CLIP and before you know it
Hang on I’m gonna stop answering this completely.
Does uranianUmbra have anything to do with the original 12 trolls or the ancestors?
Did you consider Ruby for mom?
What do you think of all the different theories on various aspects of the story? Do you still take some bits of the actual plot from these theories on occasion?
Recurring fan theories and trending points of discussion at most usually appear in the story in the form of various “shout outs”. But then later, given enough time, eventually some of those shout outs start to accumulate more relevance, as smaller things often do.
hussie what did roxy mean by dirk being an unintelligible bachelor?
Unintelligible? You mean difficult to understand?
I don’t understand your question. It’s ineligible.
do you feel weird when fans dressed up as your characters come up and talk to you
This doesn’t happen outside of cons, and I don’t go to cons often. I haven’t been to one since… I think TCAF, last May?
Which is to my regret. I’d like to go to more. Frequent traveling is difficult and disruptive though. Hopefully I will do a fair number this year, probably beginning with TCAF again as luck would have it. Though something I have to weigh about that and events like it is how much I want to risk turning a mild Toronto library into a rabid den of outlandishly dressed teens. I’m not really sure the show’s organizers had that in mind when they cooked it up. I also seem to get a lot of invites to Anime cons now. As in, a quantity of invites FAR EXCEEDING the number of anime cons I thought existed. So I don’t know, maybe I’ll do… one or two of those? That seems to be my wheelhouse now, or at least is the wheelhouse my readers would like me to have. The animes wheelhouse. It could be fun doing an anime con in a sort of “WOW I SURE DON’T BELONG HERE!” kind of way.
But to answer the actual question, I’m perfectly fine encountering people in costumes. It’s fun, and they’re usually nice and friendly people.
The perception from my vantage may shift somewhat as the sheer magnitude of these swarms increases. Not necessarily in a bad way though. But really, what conceivable reaction to such hordes can a human have other than some form of disbelief? Something along the lines of “Wow, that SURE IS a herd of fifty Nepetas there. That is just like… a LOT of fucking Nepetas.”
What’s the relationship status between you and North? Have you done the full yaoi?
The full yaoi is actually a wrestling move wherein one guy piledrives the other into a foldout table covered in anime DVDs.
No I haven’t roped North into that one yet, but man, when I do?
Why aren’t you uploading 100 pages per day forever like you said?
Fact: The most pages I have ever uploaded in one day was around 25.
The joke was that that number is a lot and also that it won’t happen.
Well here goes anyway: When the session was reset, and the beta kids were supposed to remember nothing, why did Dave seem to have memory enough to still write the beautiful SBAHJ that was influenced by Terezi? Do he and the others remember some of the events in their beta session?
It pays to investigate questions like this more thoroughly.
Do we ABSOLUTELY know that SBaHJ was solely the product of Terezi’s influence?
Didn’t he scrawl SBaHJ graffiti on his walls at some point, unconsciously? Could she have “seen” those at some point and been influenced herself? If this is true, doesn’t that mean SBaHJ was always a product of his unconscious mind, and then brought to his waking awareness through Terezi’s help?
Something similar could have happened with post-scratch Dave, by some other means. Which means SBaHJ is a universally constant product of his subconscious, much like Rose’s wizardfic is of hers.
are the images on bro’s tv screen from that one weird porn website of people who are photoshopped to look like animals ?
… there’s only one of those?
Will we ever get any more insight on the origin of the Felt? A lot of people have these great ideas that they were once carapieces and whatnot. The subtle Eggs and Biscuits reference in the recent update has sparked my interest on them again.
I wish to now Roxy’s favorite video game. So that I may play it.
Her favorite games were probably my favorite games, since I don’t actually know about the games I never played, and the ones I didn’t like were shit. She wouldn’t like shit games.
Of all those systems I probably liked Gamecube the best. SNES was probably a close second.
I’m going to pick two good games out of a hat for both systems, and you may investigate those. Pikmin, and Earthbound.
How much did the crane to hold Vriska cost? Because I’ve been looking into it, and crane rentals cost a lot of money.
The crane snapped in half and I lost my deposit.
I don’t want to talk about it.
have you ever considered watching an episode of hetalia? i think it would be very ironic and funny if you did.
I have not seen it and don’t really plan to. There isn’t a lot of anime that’s on my “to watch” list.
While staying fair to something I haven’t seen and could be rad for all I know, I will say that these are the two words that spring to my awareness when I hear about the show’s premise.
Hussie! What power does a hero of heart have?
You have no choice but to eventually find out through the grueling serial drip that is the slowroll of Homestuck’s lurching megalithic doomsday device it calls a plot.
Are you actually a fan of Parks and Rec.?
Yes, it really is a show that is demonstrably superior to all presently running comedies. It’s like the Office, but dramatically better in every way. And I think the Office is good too.
Any hints to the comic following after Homestuck?
Just gonna come out and say it.
This is exactly the kind of thing you can’t think about if you want to finish something like Homestuck.
I’ve had ideas. They’ve come and gone. We’re still truckin here.
(trucker horn pulling motion)
How are you going to choose the winning songs for that contest? There are so many entries.
I have people to help me narrow them down, notably Radiation.
One stupid question, I know John and Jade have their food supply…but what about Rose, Dave and the trolls? Are they going to starve to death?
There are alchemiters on the meteor. Remember how Kanaya made Eridan’s wand?
As for things to duplicate, who knows what’s there. Sure hope Rose and Dave like troll food!
What tend to be your considerations when decorating the rooms for characters as they are introduced? Do you look at what would be funny first, or what relates to the character first?
Funny and relevant is often the same. Practically everything dropped in has some kind of significance.
That said, designing rooms is weirdly time consuming. Making those two rooms almost felt like the labor equivalent of doing a flash. It just gets so picayune and annoying after a while. I’ve said this before, but I’d almost always rather just DRAW than fuss over a lot of tiny bullshit.
Who do you consider the tallest of the trolls?
My sense is a lot of people’s headcanons have Gamzee as the tallest troll.
I’m gonna go ahead and canonically confirm that Gamzee is in fact the shortest troll of all.
Busted fan artists.
If you really liked something you heard from the music contest, would you invite the artist to make more music for homestuck?
That is a distinct possibility.
You mentioned previously in the comic that your interference in the story would last one yard. Can you give us a hint on what that entails?
That was already explained pretty clearly I think. John and Jade ride across the yellow yard, and coexist in my universe for that exact distance. One yard relative to me, not them! I have said that you could also view it that the exact nature of my interference over this distance was to make it a much longer journey for them. You could view it that way, because it is true.
But this reminds me of a sort of “FAQ” which I’ve read in places sometimes but never addressed. It is basically:
“If one yard is your only influence, why did you kill Doc Scratch and rip off his leg? Isn’t that influencing stuff?”
No, because I didn’t kill him. This was also explained. When in my proximity, he goes unconscious like a reverse Calvin and Hobbes deal. Then I left, and he stayed asleep for just a little while, until the conditions for LE’s arrival were met. Then LE busted out of him, thus killing Scratch, fulling his claim that he needs to be dead for LE to arrive. Because his arrival itself is what kills him! This would have happened regardless, and my involvement affected nothing at all. Maybe if he wasn’t unconscious, he might have refreshed the scotty dog bowl once or twice while waiting around to become LE, and that’s it.
Ripping his leg off didn’t affect anything either. LE has a peg leg regardless. It’s a feature of his appearance, not a consequence of Scratch losing a leg. When I ripped his leg off, that was just another one of these serendipitous maimings you see here and there. Like how Vriska lost an arm and an eye, and so did Spades Slick, to echo the kid session prototypings. There’s no cause and effect here. It’s a recurring cosmic coincidence.
This reminds me of another one of these common FAQs I’ve never talked about. I’ll answer that one, then stop!
“Scratch said doomed timeline Vriska killed Bec Noir. Was she really that strong???”
First, time to get all the facts straight.
Scratch didn’t know if she won or lost. All he said was, though it would be a good fight and she’s probably outclassed, he wouldn’t bet against her. And why would he? Everything we’ve been shown about her suggests she always seems to find a way to come out on top, even if things look bad for her, or it seems like “karma” should prevent her victory. Mix in her dice roll powerup, her great luck, and who knows?
But let’s assume she did beat him for a second. Is this actually unthinkable, when you really break it down and examine it through video game logic?
1) A god tier player, perhaps a number of tiers higher than base level. By how many is anyone’s guess.
2) Extremely lucky, at the EXPENSE of her opponent’s luck, by way of her power.
3) Most important of all: she rolled 8 8’s on her dice.
Think about the last point. Imagine in an RPG, a probability based attack, where the strongest one had a 1 in 16,777,216 chance to be used, every time you tried it? If you tried using this attack once every second, you wouldn’t be likely to hit the jackpot for 194 days!!! This must be a ridiculously strong attack. It was the one used to kill the black king, and that was before she even got the exp. for doing so.
Think of it as you would an ultimate upgrade in a game. Like a Mario star. Sure, Bowser is way stronger than Mario. But if he gets that star, all bets are off! It is a completely absurd advantage she’s afforded by that dice roll, which is only made possible through her great luck. Her power complemented her personality, which was that of a born cheater. The only problem was, her advantages didn’t matter in a doomed timeline. That wasn’t how things were supposed to go. If she beat him, he wouldn’t have killed the big frog, the green sun wouldn’t exist, and none of this ever gets started.
But is it at least plausible that she won? I don’t see why not. The fact that it was a close match actually says as much about how strong Jack is as it does about her, when you take into account all these insane upgrades she had.
These questions are forver. Ok a few more, that’s it.
Are all God Tier titles made of monosyllabic components?
Yes. Class and aspect, one syllable, always. This is a rule.
Ok, John is the Heir of Breath. He shares part of his title with Equius, the Heir of Void. He shares his aspect with Roxy is the Rogue of Void. Then Nepeta is the Rogue of Heart. Dirk is the Prince of Heart, who shares a title with Equius, the Prince of Hope, who shares an aspect with Jake the Page of Hope. And then Tavros is the Page of Breath, and then we’re back to John again. So is this some kind of Mobius Double Reacharound that Skia uses to name the players?
You’re reading too much into stuff.
Is Homestuck going to end on 6/12/13?
The absolute best way for me to guarantee this won’t happen is for me to say yes.
You said the webcomic ‘Moe’ is one of the greatest comics in the world and that it’s updating again. I took a look at it, and the art style seems kinda similar to yours. Are you and the artist of Moe the same person?
No, it’s by my pal Michael Firman. We’ve traded ideas on art and comics for many years. I’m sure there’s some creative overlap some respects. The whole concept and style of the pesterchum dialogue in HS probably drew a good bit of inspiration from our old online exchanges.
What’s your favourite dance move?
The Full Hentai.
HOW WERE THE BREADSTICKS AT OLIVE GARDEN
I made my position abundantly clear.
ass ass ass ass assa sssas ass ass as sa
Have to stop answering questions.
A.k.a. questions. You may ask them.
I will answer them randomly and I will disregard anything submitted through tumblr’s preposterous fan mail feature. I will also disregard things that aren’t questions, like “you’re great!” Though I will momentarily bask in the glow of any such statements I encounter. I will also bask in statements such as “you suck!” but again, these will elicit no response.
Prepare to be sassed heavily. Because frankly, the shit you are about to ask me is ridiculous, and we both know it.
Dick was sort of the only other viable solution to the Di__ puzzle. There seemed to be this whole big camp rooting for Dick.
Dick is a totally inferior choice tho. Too on the nose. Hehe! It literally means penis! Why don’t we just name him Penis Strider? Here come the laughs!
Dirk is essentially equivalent, though less direct. Porn star pseudonyms tend to employ a bit of lingual misdirection to convey naughtiness. You don’t tend to hear about porn stars with names like Cockballs Vaginamouth.
Dirk Strider is a 100% legit sounding porn star name. Which is why it’s the best name for him indisputably.
Dick…………… nope. Pass.
Roxy is less controversial it seems. Not a whole lot else it could be… Romy, Rosa… and a whole slew of way less viable things than those. Though some wonder why it breaks the one syllable kid name pattern. Answer: there was no deliberate pattern. The troll names varied in syllables quite a bit, which was your clue that the rule didn’t exist. The one syllable kid names were a result of smaller sample size + coincidence. One syllable was never a rule, only a superficial trend. Letter quantity was the only hard rule.
While I’ve gone to the bother of making a super trivial post about all this, I guess I’ll open the question thingy for a few minutes a little later. So you can put yourself in prime position to overwhelm me with questions and cause me to regret the promise slightly. At least this should deflect the hot surge of “WHY NOT DICK???” Q’s.
that arguably the best web comic of all time is purportedly updating regularly again? This is reality.
(that is Moe coming out of his long hibernation there)
The MSPA music team has made exactly 20 great albums since the beginning of Homestuck. For the next album, I thought it would be fun to open the music submissions up to everybody.
There seems to be a large number of musicians in the readership outside the music team, who often work on their own HS fan music or remixes. I’ve had quite a number of people express interest in submitting music to HS over the years, but to keep the team from ballooning out of control, I’ve had to draw the recruitment line somewhere. This strikes me as a nice opportunity to give a lot of other creative people a chance to contribute music. The music team was originally assembled just before HS began with the idea that I wanted MSPA stories to largely build and develop through contribution from the readership, and I think this album idea is very much in the spirit of that original premise.
If you want to submit music, the idea is simple. Pick a character from Homestuck, and make a song for that character. It can be any character, particularly those in identifiable categories, like the eight human kids, the trolls, ancestors, agents, exiles, Midnight Crew, Felt. If you want to pick a character not in one of those groups, that’s fine too. Keep in mind there’s a decent chance that if your song is picked, it could be reallocated to a different character, since it’s expected we’ll get a lot of submission overlap, and it’s not going to be “The Album of 50 Karkat Songs!” So picking a character for your song is just a starting point for you, and we’ll sort it all out during the selection process.
You can submit up to three songs. No more than that, or they will not be considered! They can be for three different characters, or the same character, whatever you want. You can do remixes, etc. of other HS songs, but we’ll have to run it by the original artist, and they’ll have some stake in the song’s sales. Attach MP3 files in an email to the address provided below before the deadline. Do not send WAV files! Too big. If your song is picked, we will contact you and ask for the high quality file.
Those details again
- Pick a Homestuck character
- Make a song for that character
- Submit up to 3 songs (for different characters if you like)
- Attach MP3 files to email (no WAVs!)
- We’ll get back to you asking for a high quality file if your song is picked
I am hoping to include as much artist diversity as possible in the final list. Ideally, one artist per song. So while you may submit up to 3, if one of your songs is picked, it’ll likely be only one. If you have a lot of music you’re dying to send, hopefully the 3 song max will mitigate any agonizing decisions over which to send.
Send submission emails to:
The deadline is 6 weeks from now, on 2/13/12. The album will be released two weeks after that.
If your song is picked, it will be included with the album! That’s pretty much the extent of the prize. You’ll get a cut of the album sales, in proportion with how many songs you have in the album to the total number of songs.
Also, if this contributes any motivation for you, I’m going to try to make a point of using at least one song from this album in a future animation.
I think that should be all the info you need to get started. Everybody is already super psyched to hear what you come up with. Happy music makin!
Year’s Eve gone by, another ball
Here is Mark Hadley’s single, Song of Skaia. It’s good! Hadley is responsible for such HS songs as Harlequin and Blackest heart.
You might have noticed I’ve scaled back the frequency of music releases somewhat. It was becoming sort of intense getting one or more albums ready for release every month. It also did start to feel like maybe just a little bit too much music coming at you all the time. I’d like to make sure the novelty of these doesn’t deteriorate too quickly. Hence a single release seemed like a nice way to mix it up for now. I would expect albums to come out closer to every two months from now on.
On that note, I’ll make an announcement about plans for the next album shortly. Preemptive tl;dr - it will be a contest. Details soon.
More misc. notes: Still working hard on restocking WP stuff. Calendars soon. All garments, somewhat later (2+ weeks). Working on zip-up hoodie variants on god tier stuff too. HS books back in stock 1/3.
Bowman with a few words on Eidolon, the guy who made the [S] EOA6I1 song.
EO is a prolific fellow, and it occurred to me a major flash hadn’t featured his work yet. Now and then I take such things into consideration when selecting songs to work with.
I’d like to take a moment from my regularly scheduled self-indulgence to commend an awesome chum from the Homestuck music team, Thomas Ferkol, better known as EidolonOrpheus. For those unfamiliar with his work, he’s responsible for such tracks as “Infinity Mechanism” from the most recent…
if it doesn’t load
step 1: don’t panic
step 2: refresh (ctrl+shift R)
step 3: if that doesn’t work, try again a little later, but not 100 times per minute. that’s counterproductive.
And now that I left you hanging for a few days while working on that, here is a SERIOUS head’s up.
I’ll be traveling from 1/3 to 1/10. I’ll try to get some stuff done on the road, but you never know how things are gonna pan out when you’re traveling. Expect updates to range from sporadic to nonexistent within this span of time!
In other news, I don’t see any updates rolling out for another few days.
Please bear in mind that not a single living soul requested this.
(at the end of the flash, did you click the upper right corner?)
But for some reason he put 5 minutes of silence at the end, followed by this bizarre Cage boner clip. So I’m like, ok what the fuck am I supposed to do with this thing.
So that’s what I did with this thing.
I tend to scratch out little comic doodles, and then carry them around in my pocket wherever I go for months before I bother drawing the “finished product.”
The end result usually shows a startling amount of fidelity to the original concept.
Quite a while ago, while this comic sketch was considerably fresher, I was depositing a check in an ATM. I thought I would try to deposit what to me was a valuable document, and see what happened.
Sadly, it spit it right back out. Fuckin banks.
I have an idea. Why don’t we all mob Wall Street and protest the shit out of this. Who is with me?
Apparently you can buy gift certificates for What Pumpkin. Like if you want to get somebody a present from WP but don’t know what they want, or don’t know if it’ll ship on time for the holidays. (overseas people, I am ogling you.)
http://whatpumpkin.com/ (scroll to bottom)
I didn’t even know we were offering these until I checked the site.
/captain of industry gets into ruby encrusted limousine, teleports to fucking space mansion
I rolled an H, so I’m going to answer only questions submitted by users whose name contain an H, but do not begin with an H. Here we go.
Are you dead in-comic?
Are you really going to publish 16+ Homestuck books? I think it’d be too expensive to buy them all…
It might not be that many. Act 2 looks like it’s going to fit cleanly into book 2, and act 3 + intermission look like they’ll all fit into book 3. They’ll be a bit thicker, but likely will cost the same.
And even if not, I don’t actually think it’s that much to spend when you take into consideration the amount of time between releases. Might take 2-3 years to get it all in print. Spending a couple hundred bucks over that time isn’t much. If you add up all of the money we spend on totally ridiculous shit over the span of years, the figures are always mind boggling.
For the trolls, are there different blood colors besides the ones that the trolls in the comic have, or are those all/most of the blood colors?
All of the troll race’s blood colors are accounted for by characters in the comic, except for one.
The place on the spectrum where Karkat’s slot would be is a shade of green between Nepeta’s and Sollux’s. Lime bloods. We know nothing about them, and the only indication they exist in the story at all, aside from the indirect evidence I just mentioned, is that shade is on the walls of the highblood’s throne room.
But that’s it. Any time there’s a fan troll with like pink sparkly blood or whatever, that is just some prime bullshit right there.
Wait didn’t I make them all canon?? FUCK…………..
Did you know Homestuck was going to have the popularity it has today?
what are all the kid’s favorite baseball teams?
They don’t know shit about the sports.
I know lots of other fans are wondering about this, they’re turning 3 years older now right? So does that mean there’s gunna be more romance stuff in there for the shippers?
If so, it wouldn’t be for the shippers. The shippers are already up to their necks in romantic nonsense. It would be for the non-shippers, who try to avoid that stuff as best they can. If I did as you say, there would be no escaping it anymore.
In the intermission of act 6, it says that they get to talk. Does this mean that their guardians couldn’t talk to them before and that is why they left them notes all around their houses?
The achievement badge only upgraded their ability to speak to each other as presented through the comic. I.e. it permitted them to speak to each other… WHILE WE WATCH! Do you think all the trolls were hanging out together, not talking at all? Or Dave and Jade were doing all that frog hunting without a single peep?? That’s ridiculous.
On the other hand, abstraction weaves itself through the Homestuck reality, and it can be hard to pin down where abstraction is to be taken literally. The truth is, there is not much distinction between the layers of abstraction and the reality they are meant to stand for. John was both literally named on his 13th birthday, and not quite, because that’s silly. The guardians are both literally silent automatons, and not really, as there is indication through allusion they function as normal people too. And the kids went through a huge adventure, achieved immortal god status, and even then had to gain a few more levels just to gain the achievement of simple dialogue as a literal upgrade, as well as not literally, because that makes no sense. The reality is inseparable from the way the story is presented and the way the “game” is played. But those abstractions are also a facade for a more life-like reality beneath it as well.
What’s D??? Strider’s name?
Yes, this was the plan. To hide his name in the story up until now, where I would reveal it in response to your question! You have accurately discerned my cryptic ways.
How long does it usually take you to come up with character designs?
Most of the time I wait until the last minute where I actually need to show them, and then draw them in an hour or less.
I drew all the post-scratch kids in advance though. But that was pretty easy because their baby heads were already on hand.
Do you think you and your comics could have reached the same level of popularity had the internet not existed? Maybe not in the same amount of time, but at some point, been this popular?(I know that if the internet did not exist the entire content of Homestuck and others would be entirely different, but bear with me here. (Irrelevant to my question but I did a speech on you and your work for one of my classes and now I think my teacher wants to read Homestuck… oh no)
I’m having a hard time addressing the question while ignoring the fact that without the internet, HS wouldn’t exist in any shape or form at all. The question is, without the internet, would your story about kids on the internet be as successful? I guess it could be a book about kids doing fantastical things, sans internet. Isn’t that basically the summary for Harry Potter? I don’t think they ever used the internet in that. They read magic newpapers and whooshed around on absurd brooms. Also it was a ton more successful than HS. So I guess the answer is yes??? Yes, success is an achievable thing without the internet.
Why do you like to Kill all the characters everyone loves?You are a heartless man.
To make room for the 48 squiddles I’m about to introduce, and then kill.
What do Heart powers do?
Maybe we’ll find out later??????
For now, let’s say they make you extremely likely to get beaten to death by a rowdy juggalo.
Any chance we can get some Sburb logo stickers? Or MSPA face stickers? for cars and things?
Yes, maybe. There are a lot of ideas filed under “some time next year”.
What was the thought process behind the Hero of Rage symbol? It seems to be heavily inspired by Gamzee, whereas all the other symbols don’t seem to show much resemblance to their title bearers.
Yes, for the most part, I kept all designs conceptually distinct from the characters they correspond with. But the Rage symbol was sort of the one exception. Since he’s more of a wildcard, I thought it would be funny to tie that one a little closer to Gamzee in some obvious ways. Both color and theme. It’s the arcane iconography equivalent of an angry clown face, and somewhat mockingly reminiscent of juggalo face paint. Anyone who wears this shirt is either proudly or inadvertently parading around as a faux-juggalo. This is what I wanted.
(You are only allowed to put either Faygo or special stardust in the front pouch.)
How has writing Homestuck changed you personally?
I never change personally.
Is it essentially canon that the released hoodies are the only titles within sburb/sgrub? Are there others besides the ones that have been established?
I keep talking about these 48 squiddles which I am going to slaughter heartlessly, so unless those poor squiddles are doubling up on classes, I would say that the possibility that there are more than 12 is a solid MAYBE.
Wait… your name doesn’t have an H in it. I forgot I was doing that for a second.
Why Trolls? Why not another race?
When was the last time you heard of an internet orc?
So I have been curious for awhile, how is your initial provision for the length of homestuck coming along? You said once Act 6 would be shorter than Act 5, and that act 7 was pretty much the ending, but there seems to be so much plot to get through still. I guess I’m curious as to whether you think that your initial plan is still on tracks in that sense, or if homestuck might end up even longer? (not that i’m hoping or anything :P)
A6 will probably still be shorter than A5. But it could wind up being close.
It all depends on the approach, and generally, how leisurely I am about its construction. As a rule, the more leisurely the pace, the more diversions and detours and experimentation and silly messing around there is, and the more it all expands. If I stuck to a “just the facts” approach, it would be quite a bit shorter than A5. But then, that’s actually harder. Because that’s compressing major story hurdles, major productions like animations and stuff, into a smaller amount of time. It’s let’s conducive to steady consistent output. Economy, for me, for this project, in many ways is MORE difficult. So it’s more likely it’ll stretch out, and be roughly on par with A5.
AUGH I blew the H rule again. Whatever.
Here’s another non H question.
Did you realize that you got time dilation backwards in the intermission(assuming, of course, that paradox space even vaguely resembles special relativity)?
Yeah. That would be stupid if I didn’t realize that.
There are a variety of answers to this, and I’ll save the one I like best for last.
Quick answer A: It’s a fictionalized version of relativity, inverted for [reasons]. Not unlike the fictionalized forms of special and general relativity used in Problem Sleuth for basic reasons of absurdity. (Wait, this silly thing is a better link)
Quick answer B: GAGS AHOY. We just saw robo-me holding a nanosecond stopwatch, with the hand whipping around at about 0.3C, then I ran over and threw a curtain over the walls before time was up. This sure is some ridiculous bullshit in here. If the intent of a “minimally” meddlesome author is, for smarter or dumber, to give these heroes a three year “catch up journey” of quiet downtime, what better place to cram those years than into the space of 3 nanoseconds? Or better yet, what more HILARIOUS place? Q E motherfuckin D.
Answer that is full of questions, a.k.a. PEDANTBUSTER_XXX: Are we really THAT far from the situation being physically reconcilable in some way? How much do we actually know about the situation? What are the scales and magnitudes here? How small are they? Is everything rendered to scale from my vantage, or is that more symbolic? What does shrinking something to do the physics? Are the two frames of reference physically commutable? Are there things about my universe that differ from the one they just exited, and they continue to abide? Jade did just call this a “realm with unusual spatial properties” after all. There is so much we don’t know about the situation, it’s impossible to make a ruling based on hard science alone.
The because AH’s author insert says so answer: AH said he would limit his intervention to the space of one yard and the duration of three nanoseconds, and so far he has lived up to that promise. And bearing in mind that he also at the very least COSPLAYS as a hero of space, it would seem his intervention might include purposefully stretching the amount of space they have to traverse, from their perpective. In other words, while I did promise to influence the story over only 1 yard and 3 ns, I didn’t say it would also be 1 yard and 3 ns IN THEIR RELATIVISTIC FRAME OF REFERENCE! (It’s the oldest gotcha in the book!!!) They are actually getting jerked around to the tune of 3 lightyears and 3 years. Does this seem like outrageous chicanery from an author insert claiming minimal intervention? Yes. But if such divine meddling is inappropriate here, where a towering mechanical avatar of an author-god stands present, then where is it appropriate? Nowhere is where. And maybe… just maybe… nowhere IS where.
Regardless, if you accept that answer, all that’s left to explain is the author’s motivation for doing so, which brings me to my final answer and also
The real answer: Homestuck-time and real-time have always been married in a strange way. I started it on 4/13/09, and by my own rule, that became locked in as the date in the story too. And then it became stuck there, for one day of Homestuck-time, while real-time flowed normally for two and a half years. When they scratched the game and reset the universe, it was time for me to start over too. So again by my own rule, I put up the first pages of the new story and grafted the story date to the real date, 11/11/11. The new kids, in a way, have been waiting almost 3 years since the beginning of Homestuck to take their place in the story, and have aged accordingly. They have done their time in the shadows, living uneventfully. And now the stated objective of the original kids is to join the new game. It is apparently John and Jade’s turn to wait, in sort of a prolonged narrative hybernation, while we spend time expanding on the new kids and their Very Long Day. If they are to eventually meet, it will be as approximate equals in age, and no, not so that everybody can get busy kissin’ or whatever. For more fundamental reasons, that have to do with the way HS-time relates to real-time, and essentially repairing the schism between these two clocks which resulted from the fact that about 24 hours of story took nearly three years to make.
And understanding that, I think the explanation that works best is not necessarily a physical, relativistic one, but more of a metaphysical idea. That when they crashed through the wall, they have presumably entered the real world, albeit for only 1 yard from our vantage. They have gone from HS-time to real-time. Given the schism between clocks, you could say they are faced with a rush of lost time, all at once. Like massive temporal wind resistance. So in crossing the yellow yard, they are forced to live every second that passed here in the real world which they did not experience in their fictional adventure. It’s the toll they have to pay before breaking through the other side and joining the others.
As I said, this is the explanation I prefer. But there are a bunch of ways to approach the issue.
Back to H questions.
Do you dare to give an estimate to how much more homestuck we have left?
If A6 is as long as A5, then an upper bound of 1.5 more years.
If A7 is ___ then an upper bound of ___.
Was that helpful?
LORD ENGLISH = FIDUSPAWN?? (THE SIMILARITIES ARE NOT IGNORABLE!)
LE is from a proud race of horsaronies.
Wait this would be so much funnier if we didn’t already know LE wasn’t horsaroni in a big coat SHIT
Since you released all the god tier symbols, that means more of the characters will go god tier right? It’d be super awesome to see all their designs c:
If I miraculously squeezed three years into a yard of lightspeed travel, I think I can squeeze 12 god tiers into an entire slaughterhouse of brutally murdered, narratively irrelevant trolls.
JUST WATCH ME WORK MY MAGIC
How do you pronounce the trolls’ names? For instance, some people say “A-ray-dee-uh” and others say “a-rad-ee-uh” for Aradia’s name.
Pretty sure I answered this question before.
And even then I think I STILL fucked up some of the pronunciations by mistyping a few. So I’m not sure if even I can be trusted.
When I was naming them all, people kept suggesting the name Rocket Papaya over and over for some stunningly idiotic reason.
So you can pronounce them all that if you want.
Do all the ancestors have names? Like actual names other than titles? Like Mindfang she had a name. If it’s not a spoiler would you mind telling us?
They all have names.
But it seems culturally that trolls graduate to formal 8 letter titles which supercede their given names.
Now you want to know how they’re given names?
Simple. The lusus gurgles some incomprehensible monster noise, and the closest pair of 6 letter words matching the sound is the name.
are you done with the troll dildos yet?
Who said anything about dildos? I just said they were sex toys.
You are presuming a LOT about troll anatomy.
To answer your question no way I’m just getting warmed up.
So, let’s talk about Karkat’s dick. Is it like, an actual dick? Do both genders of trolls (as we’ve guessed) have them same gentalia? Are they like humans, only.. grayer? Tentacles?
I literally typed like a 6 paragraph response to this, going into tons of graphic detail. But then I noticed your name doesn’t have an H in it, so I deleted it all. Sorry.
Can you draw fat Vriska? Or can she simply not fit on paper? (Or computer screen.)
I don’t understand the phrase “fat Vriska”. It seems criminally redundTHIS IS NOT AN H QUESTION
I know this will be “disregarded”, :P but I did want to just say thank you so much for your hard work, Hussie. Homestuck is incredible and you’re such a sweetheart to all your fans. I immensely enjoy your writing style, and it’s always a pleasure to see anything from you. :) Thank you. <3
The fact that your name doesn’t have an H and the fact that this isn’t a question canceled each other out.
I totally regarded it.
I scrolled down some more and couldn’t find another good trollboner question so I guess that’s
I don’t know if this was the best way to do this.
And I’m not completely sure that people aren’t just changing their profile names as I scroll through these.
Maybe I’ll randomly change the parameters without saying how.
Here is the random letter I rolled.
If your tumblr name begins with H, it is either time to get REALLY EXCITED, or to prepare yourself to be even more disappointed than usual when I STILL don’t pick your question.
Ask box is open for a small number of minutes.
This time, I will randomly select a letter of the alphabet, and answer only questions submitted by users beginning with that letter, in reverse order received.
I will only disregard things that don’t really count as questions like “homestuck is so cool!” and such. (As in, I will not answer them. I will still regard such statements, quietly, in my heart.)
<let’s see if i can just copy/paste the site news html into here>
On the subject of Homestuck books, I took down the link since they sold out, and the Topatoco site
was getting strained again. They’ll go back up when new books come in, probably around the
20th. Problem Sleuth Volume 3 is still available though.
All god tier symbols are now available in hoodies and tees.
We also have really nice looking key chains and pendants. Both the Sign of the Signless, and the Spirograph medallion.
And finally, a 2012 Homestuck calendar! Featuring illustrations from a variety of great artists. Additionally cool: the calendar is all done in Homestuck fonts, and labels many dates that are relevant to the story, like the birthdays of the kids, release dates of movies like Con Air, when Barbasol was invented. Critical stuff like that. (It still has all the boring normal holidays on there too.)
There you go. Ain’t no one can say I never gave you nothin’ to buy!
<hooray it worked>
Hey look what I got working!
Okay now imagine doing this 200 times a day six days a week.
Pretty sure these are all done. Most (if not all) signed books to be mailed tomorrow.
Blood and rage in a couple days.
Lots of books to sign this week, so rapid fire update schedule is taking a hit.
I might give the “hard announcement” for the books a go later tonight, see how the store holds up. (Signed books still will not be available til after holidays.)
The first batch of books is also likely to sell out soon, so if you’re intending to get one for the holidays, now’s the time.
Some notes on the god tier designs…
There are a lot of considerations here, ranging from practical to aesthetic. On the practical side, color choice has a lot to do with what’s available for hoodies. The selection isn’t as extensive as you might think, so that creates a bit of a puzzle as to which icon gets slotted to which color. The tee is often a different color from the hoodie, and the basic governing logic is the tee represents color of the hood in the outfit, while the hoodie is the main color, for a little diversity. There are a few exceptions, like the space tee is also black instead of very dark gray. Exceptions like that are also usually due to color selection limitations.
I designed the symbols themselves with an eye toward simplicity, verging on minimalism, and visual consistency within a developing iconic vocabulary. That’s why you see these latest two echo aspects of others. Life is a simple transform of a tilted breath symbol, while void is kind of a “hollowed out” space symbol.
In my mind there are some subtle aesthetic principles guiding their construction. Ways in which curves behave, adherence to radial symmetry at times, certain ways the forms are sliced and aligned, etc. I’ve seen quite a few fan made projections of the unreleased icons. While there are a bunch of nice icons out there, not many strike me as that suitable for the god tier icon vocabulary, at least as I’ve pictured it.
I think it’s another one of those situations where “headcanons” clash with the reality as unveiled. Probably some are interested in more diversity in form than what you see, where void ends up being largely a transformation of space? Think of it this way. It’s hard to get worked up at the dude who invented the alphabet because the “p” is just a backwards “q”. That’s part of the point of a vocabulary of shapes, to introduce some standardization and logical repetition of form. Simplicity is also key, from precedents already set. Time was just a gear. Nothing too inherently exciting about that. The idea is to use very simple, usually abstract shapes to convey these broad concepts, while also building a little self-consistent pictographic language.
The final four god tier designs will be released, again two at a time, later this week.
That’s really soon!
These books are now available in the Topatoco store.
I’ve held off on mentioning them until now, so as not to crash their store. Regardless, people have already bought a bunch since the word got out anyway. I’m not linking to the store directly, for now, to stave off a little extra traffic. If you are very motivated to buy these books, you may go to the topatoco site and seek them out.
It’s not even a bandwidth issue really. The store runs on a database, and if too many people put stuff in their shopping carts once, there are too many connections and the whole thing shuts down. So I’m being delicate about how I get the word out. Tumblr for now, then the main site a little later.
I also offered signed + doodled copies, but those immediately sold out before I could make any announcement. I’d like to get the offer back up as soon as possible, but if I take on any more, I would have to take like two weeks off from updating just to get them done. And even then, they’d take too long to get to people, presumably many of which want them before Christmas. So I’ll probably have to wait for the holidays to blow over before putting the offer back up. Sorry to disappoint you if you had your heart set on one soon. I can’t really make exceptions either, even for higher offers, because that’s a huge can of worms to open.
On the bright side, the books came out very nice! HS actually translates to paper better than I was expecting, so I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Book 1 contains the whole first act. (But it will surely be the only book that contains a single act. Other acts will be distributed over two or more.) Thanks to Chris Kallini for the nice work paginating the book, and Cindy Whatpumpkin for her usual nice job on PS.
It’s really simple. I have three internet things I currently maintain.
That’s it. Everything else is fake.
Frankly I’m less offended by the efforts of impostors than I am by those so willing to believe I’m actually responsible for such unfunny bullshit.
Has it already been two weeks since I went to the Olive Garden? Hard to believe. But the good news is that the team of gastrointestinologists monitoring my condition ‘round the clock has informed me that the meal is well on its way to being digested. So that’s cool. Hold on while I try to remember what happened that night.
What happened that night was a bunch of internet weirdos walked into a Springfield Olive Garden. The aroma of irony surrounding them nearly overpowered the garlic fumes, which are typically strong enough to make the wood veneer bubble and sproing off its plane like the table was popping a boner. Those internet guys may have strolled into that Olive Garden with recklessness in their hearts. They may have been packing a titanic thirst for self abuse. They may have been fucking idiots. But I will tell you right now, what they were NOT, was fucking POOR. I was prepared. I went to the ATM and everything. I had fifteen sawbucks burning a whole in my pocket, and there were authentic Italian slaves in that building who would see to it my money was converted into fifteen pounds of pasta burning a whole in my stomach.
We probably flashed this cash around more than would be construed as decent, if we were in a place where decency wasn’t Italian for “physically assault me in the restroom, please.” (“Decencissimo, per favore. Sì grazie!”) The wad of hard collateral weighed down the table the whole time we were there, and I made good and sure the waitress could see it up front so she knew we meant business. The waitress was trained in a dialect I think OG Corporate calls Family-CasuAffable, which primarily involves pretending that strange internet people actually belong in public, and every inscrutable in-joke they blurt out is totally hilarious. She would be rewarded heavily for her role in this charade, oh yes. Primarily through self-administered alcohol and pain medication after hours, one can only hope.
While in my wallet, the one hundred and fifty dollars had naturally sopped up much of my soul’s heady puissance, and hot rainbow lasers were rioting from the eyeballs of seven and a half psychedelic Andrew Jacksons all night long. This fierce little militia of technicolor A-Jax sitting there on the table served a real purpose, and not just to remind everybody other than me how shabby and unremarkable their souls were. It reminded us of the steep hill we had to climb that evening, to somehow burn through a buck fifty at an Olive Garden, an establishment notorious for its bargains. This is a corporation which manages to turn a PROFIT by hemorrhaging tornadoes of free bread and salad by some dark fiscal entropy yet uncharted by economists. Their shit is priced to mother fucking move, you know? And here we are toting madd-staxx, sashaying like the Rockefellers into the eye of this pitiless food geyser, derricked to the earth by salmon stuccoed drywall and stock gondola music. If someone put a gun to your head, do you think you could unload just shy of eight Andy J-Bombs at an OG on ANYTHING? And by “put a gun to your head,” I mean for the purpose of this hypothetical, and not during the ordeal one naturally expects to face when entering the OG men’s room. Yeah, we weren’t so sure we could do it either. I mean, they were already putting like five upended plastic lampshades full of breadsticks on the table before we could even crack a menu and make a battleplan for carving up this soul money. Soul money which I remind you I HAD to spend. See, there really was a guy with a gun to my head. His name was THE INTERNET.
So you’ll understand when I tell you I pored over the menu in a state of critical anguish over the rock-bottom prices, crunching figures on my iPhone calculator and swearing louder than babies were crying. I was worried the Internet was too rich for my britches, and we’d never manage to pack away 7.5 iridescent American fucking Lions worth of gutbusting Familinguini®. But just as the harsh presidential scowls of those 15 Xander Hambones and their scorn for my weakness could reduce me to ash, that’s when common sense finally set the fuck in. We could just drink the money away. Hell, we already had a head start on that plan before diagnosing it as the master stroke it was. So with a flourish of my limp wrist, I made a gesture probably deeply offensive to Italians beckoning the waitress, and demanded two of the most expensive bottles of wine in the house. Soon, two complex, full bodied little numbers were brought to us, each cradled in white linens like a newborn king, and just like that we were already another $7.90 in the hole.
The plan. It was working PERFECTLY.
The Olive Garden is good for two things only. It is good for grand marshaling a harrowing parade of internet-driven baloney, as you can plainly see. And it is good for getting hammered in. I honestly don’t know why you would go there to do anything other than get wasted. The only other reason to go would be if you’re a police officer replying to a 911 call furtively pocket-dialed from the restroom. Or if you’re a health inspector, scooting by to pick up your bribe wedged under the dumpster out back. That’s it.
Ryan and I would take turns ordering drinks; one guy would be designated to name the drink to the waitress, while the other would follow with a snappy ultimatum, “Make it a double.” Among the first rounds she brought us were a pair of Venetian Sunsets, which we agreed to consume after a little convincing it wasn’t slang for some kind of STD. It was one of those pink drinks that gradates to something not as pink, and you aren’t supposed to drink it if you’re a man. But that’s a trick stipulation, because a real man wouldn’t give a fuck. Any guy who balks at tossing back a Venetian Sunset or a Parisian Ticklefight or a Chattanooga Handjob is in actuality a blue ribbon pony’s meticulously primped vagina. (I’m quoting Ryan’s GPS device verbatim there, FYI.) Jeffrey got some crazy drink that had so much booze in it, the glass it came in couldn’t even hold all the booze, and the rest came in this odd, graceful little vial carefully placed next to it. I don’t know what that was supposed to be and neither did he. It looked like some tiny flute of nectar you’d give to an elf to make it stop playing tricks on you.
Clearly a lot of alcohol was going to be taken in that evening. So we had a choice. We could either be treated for alcohol poisoning, taking advantage of the OG’s convenient bi-hourly shuttle service to the Springfield hospital. Or we could eat some of the atrocious bargain fare being carted to the table at impossibly frequent intervals, to absorb some of the booze. This was really the genius of the plan, here. Using the OG’s own cruel contraband, the free breadsticks, to stave off poisoning. The breadsticks are really bad, and that’s not just me going, ha ha, here are some more jokes. They’re straightup nastyloaves. Imagine one of those little Nerf footballs. Imagine it’s stripped of paint and elongated a bit. Now soak it in bleach for a week. Then, once it is white as chalk, bake it at 800 degrees for 10 minutes. Then brush the loaf in a thin but powerful adhesive solution, and completely submerge it in a vat of salt. Put five of these loves into a basket, and put five of these baskets on to the table every five minutes until the party leaves, or is otherwise removed from the restaurant.
Is that enough of this story? I’m gonna say yeah. The bottom line is, the plan was a huge success, in that we’re all basically still alive somehow.
TLDR; the final tab was a little over $200, applied mostly toward beverages, and a smattering of semi-edible food. We went home and took a long hard look at our lives and drew no particular conclusion. North got in his car soldiered in the direction of his namesake to presumably put in another hard shift of “being in Canada.” Rowland went back to mailing way too many tee shirts to goofballs who like funny words on their chests, and maybe also run for mayor?(??) Keogh, Green and Paperklip went back to get bossed around by Rowland a little more, because that’s what he is, their boss. Softowl cleared her throat before Ryan got into his car, and he said oh, looked embarrassed, pulled the Ms. Paint figurine from his pocket, and eventually returned it.
Let’s never mention the Olive Garden again.
What drugs are you on ,and where can I get some?
I’m not on drugs and I don’t do drugs and you couldn’t have any of my drugs even if I did and this question
Can your legs actually move like they do in your fancy little scampering ways like in Homestuck? Because I would be highly impressed if they could. Yes, very highly impressed indeed.
I do not have cartoon legs in real life. You would be really unimpressed with them.
When do we get to see Bro?
In a while.
Remember how the progression of character intros went in the first act? John on page 1, then Rose 214 pages later, Dave about 100 pages after that, then Jade about 450 pages after that.
Act 6 is a little over 100 pages long.
We got introduced to TWO characters within the first few pages of the act. Things are already pretty accelerated. We are spending time following them, while learning things about the other two tangentially, through chat logs, just like we did with unintroduced characters in act 1. I know people want to know all these details super fast, but just checking things off a big list, like whose name is what and what all the circumstances are up front like we’re reading crib notes on THE SCRATCHED SESSION would be lame and boring and remove all sense of intrigue.
It could be in 50 pages but it could also justifiably be in 500 pages too. Who knows?
have you read 4chords yet??
No. But if it’s any consolation I just googled it.
Do you identify with any of the trolls personally?
Gamzee but only cause he killed a bunch of them.
How does it feel to hold so many people in the grasp of your fiction?
Is it grasping people? Are they hapless and being carried away like as would a mighty gryyphone of “ye lore”? This seems like a hostile for my fiction to do.
A lot of people like it and that’s neat.
ms paint duh
Is the new ‘troll’ even a troll? Have they been previously introduced in the comic?
Why do you want an answer to that?
BTW: here’s how HS ends…………………
What made you interested in making a webcomic?
Is that was this is?
is bro gay
I remember a long time ago this question used to appear in my formspring box all the time, well before there was much reasonable evidence to suggest he was, as there seems to be now. But there is no smoking puppet yet confirming this.
You’re amazing! (this is so real questions will get answered)
Dang, what a nice thing to say.
If you had a potato chip, what would you do with it?
This is what happens when loads of people are in a huge hurry to ask me anything at all.
I was just curious if you’d possibly considering making some sort of suggestions box for future content and things in the what pumpkin store possibly? I’d absolutely love to see things like fleece throws of Jake and Jade’s bedspreads~. If there already is one of some kind, though, sorry!
The suggestion box is almost surely done with as far as story stuff goes, but I’m still wide open to the idea of tapping public sentiment for what sort of products to make. I’ll probably look into doing stuff like that next year. Got to be patient though, because all products take significant time to develop. The less typical they are (i.e. not tee shirts) the more time they take.
Is genetic material what we all think it is, or something as simple as dry flakes of skin or fingernails?
what am i reading here
Oh I guess you’re getting at something to do with trollsex? I see. You’re trying to corner me into confirming it’s like alien jizzbarf or whatever. Not going to happen.
Any plans for new merch in the works?
Yes, the rest of the god tier stuff, couple books, some other odds and ends like pendants and keychains, and probably some other stuff I’m not thinking of.
Why did you kill off Jake so early? There is such a thing as “Too Early”
moving on to the next question…………………..
How big are your lips in comparison to your penis
Each part of my anatomy you can name is bigger than the last.
If the Furthest Ring has no defined time and space, would the kids and trolls emerge older from it?
If the answer was DEFINITELY YES or DEFINITELY NO
Then wouldn’t that negate your premise?
Anyway “has no defined space and time” isn’t how it was stated in the story at all.
The farther you travel, the less reliably you can measure time. The longer you stay there, the less reliably you can track your location. That’s how it was stated, more or less.
Will the new set of kids likewise have their very own set of exiles? Or just rebooted versions of WQ and AR and PM and WV? Or no exiles at all?
Are the trolls bigger than humans?
No. They are the same size.
This was never a good theory. A funny theory maybe. But false. There is a great deal of evidence in the story which contradicts this idea. Citing only one: Cal is the same size relative to both.
Did you expect this comic to blow as completely sky-high as it did?
While observing the way Problem Sleuth’s readership grew and looking at the viral trends surrounding it, I did expect those trends to continue for Homestuck. But I don’t think I pictured the audience getting this big quite this fast. In 5 years? Maybe. 2 years? No. If it keeps increasing at similar rates, at the 5 year mark it’ll be something ridiculous that I was completely unprepared for in my most fantastical estimates, and I’ll probably have to reevaluate what the fuck it is I’m actually trying to accomplish here. 1 million readers per day as appears to be the case now still seems somewhat manageable, primarily if I just don’t think about it and keep working on stuff. But what if it’s like 20 million in a few years? I don’t even know what to think about that. That seems like a weirdly disproportionate reality for something that was just supposed to be a ridiculous little web cartoon one guy scratches out with his spare time. That is more like a hit tv show that by some cruel mistake got trapped on the internet leaving some poor slob to somehow manage. Hit tv shows that rope in 20 million viewers have these entire networks run by executives who fly in private jets to make big time decisions for them and figure out how to manage the monstrous demands of the public. And yet as insane as it sounds given recent trends this feels like an outcome I actually should be thinking about and preparing for in some way.
This is probably as good as any reason to start ticking down the GREAT ANDREW HUSSIE CORPORATE SELLOUT CLOCK. Like not even to make loads of dough. Just to bail me out of some looming intractable clusterfuck, a phrase some thought would be synonymous with the story itself. Turns out it applied to the ballooning readership all along!
is bro gay?
Look someone asked this again.
How much do you enjoy working on Homestuck? What is the hardest part of it? What is the easiest?
All of MSPA has always been both an endeavor of artistic and storytelling growth as well as my primary recreational activity. Honestly there isn’t even a close second in terms of daily habits of personal enjoyment. Watching TV, reading, playing games, are all kind of boring in comparison.
Doing anything with Flash is the hardest part by a million miles, and is the only thing I’d qualify as unambiguously unenjoyable.
When I’m done using em. Wait your fucking turn.
This is totally the cheapest way to assign your fantroll’s blood color.
we love you ok hussie
ALL of you? That isn’t even true.
I was just talking yesterday to somebody who indirectly hates homestuck because it’s made tumblr insufferable to the disinterested.
Things HS has ruined forever:
> The internet
> All anime
On the flipside, things it has SALVAGED:
> I think that might be it?
Regarding the update, is there a significant size difference between trolls and humans?
Who is your favorite troll?
Under a certain weight, or over?
It’s kind of like boxing. You don’t just pit them against each other irrespective of weight. That’s unfair.
FAT VRISKA JOKE
Have you ever tried Chocolate Cream Pie Faygo?
What kinds of video games do you enjoy playing?
Better to qualify with “when I actually played games” which was a lot of years ago.
Played a lot of RPGs. Fighters too.
Lots of other games I guess.
You know, fun ones.
At what age did you first start getting into comics and art in general?
Way long ago.
I don’t even remember.
I’m really old.
Any hints on when the next god tier hoodies will be released? We’re banking on a Rage one!
Really soon. Trying our best to get them out so you have a reasonable shot at getting them in time for the holidays. Between 1 and 2 weeks maybe?
Because the fandom has been reading Homestuck for 5 acts now, they are very well tuned to catching little bits of foreshadowing. For example, a lot of people correctly guessed Jane and Jake’s SBURB titles based on the words slipped into the last sentence of their intros. One person commented it’s like we’re rushing to figure out everything that’ll happen before you actually reveal it to us, and you probably intended that, and like watching us do it. Your thoughts?
The readership as a collective is very good at ferreting out the clues now, because of the precedents the story has set for the relevance of small details, and people slowing catching on more and more to the way things fit together, both inside the universe, and from an external perspective of the storytelling structure.
I am aware of this. It invites challenges. This is all being factored into decisions I’ve been making recently.
Have you taken a look at people’s fanbase? What do you like and what don’t you like about it?
People’s fanbase? Who’s fanbase? My fanbase?
Yes I have looked at it.
How do you really feel about Homestuck porn?
It sure is full of naked fictional people having sex.
So Terezi’s only option for stopping Vriska going to Jack Noir and dooming the rest of the trolls was to kill her… but we can just hug the murderer out of Gamzee and everything is forgiven? Gamzee killed more people for less, so why does he get off with no consequences? Is this just an example of ~*~life isn’t fair~*~ or is there another reason you did it this way?
I guess there’s a longer and more nuanced answer to this than I feel like giving.
Suffice to say Vriska’s undoing was more of a culmination to an actual arc.
Gamzee was really just a ridiculous clown who killed some people. Was there any actual pathos there? Everything surrounding the Gamzee-goes-crazy stuff was just kind of hilarious frankly. The hug-it-out conclusion was equally hilarious. And that was more conclusory with respect to Karkat’s arc than Gamzee’s, which barely even existed.
BUT GAMZEE HAS TO PAY FOR HIS CRIIIIIIIMES!!!! Man, who gives a fuck.
Ok I think that’s enough for now. Not nearly as many trollfucking queries as I expected. Maybe they all sank to the bottom??? Gonna leave that river undragged.
/DELETES ALL MESSAGES
Opening qbox again for a couple minutes.
This time I will answer the last X questions submitted, no matter how good or bad or dumb or ridiculous they are. It could be the last 5 or the last 50.
Now is your chance to unburden yourself of your curiosity on obscure points of troll sexuality. There is a greater than zero statistical probability that I will respond with some sort of joke.
For whatever good it will do, I have created a petition on the Gaia Online forums to get the Homestuck-related items removed. Though the likelihood of this happening is slim to none, my primary objective is to spread awareness and hopefully attract the attention of a staffmember who is in the position to open a dialogue between Andrew and Gaia.
If you have a Gaia Online account, and you’re a fan of Homestuck, please show Andrew your respect and appreciation by contributing to the petition thread.
(edit: Please read the first two posts in the thread for further instructions!)
Hey, thanks for the initiative, Lexxy.
On the Gaia thing, I’ve been aware of it for a while. Much of it seems sketchy, though perhaps not illegal by the letter of the law.
As far as I know, no one from there has tried to talk to me about it. I’ve held off on initiating any sort of dialogue with them about it yet, or about a couple other things like this out there, until I get some more comprehensive legal advice on this whole topic. Hopefully I’ll be looking into that soon.
Until then, trying to nudge companies like this in the right direction with grass roots efforts sounds like a good idea to me.
More than a year ago, some people on the internet wanted to buy
me a soul portrait, and gave me $150 to commission a mentally ill person to photoshop god lasers and
dumb tigers on to my high school yearbook photo, or my driver’s license mugshot, or something. I
of course refused, but graciously accepted the money anyway, and proceeded to labor over the spiritually
meretricious document myself. I additionally made a somber vow to spend all one hundred and fifty
dollars on a humorously mediocre Italian meal served at the Olive Garden, a chain to which American
families compliantly fork over their dinner plans each year by the tens of billions, probably. I also
pledged that I would record the endeavor carefully, in a drawn out faux-journalistic spiel that had
loads of jokes in it. But since I’m currently weighed down with an olympiadic bronze statue’s
fist worth of shitty pasta in my belly, and feeling a bit off, I give you this essay instead.
I should say in my defense that after pocketing the choice soulbux, I did manage to dog the everloving balls out of this expedition for well over a year. When I first sealed the pledge, I did so with a spirit of adventure, but this quickly gave way to an understandable sense of all-consuming dread. If I even suspected I caught a whiff of the unique melange of garlic and body odor which persistently howls from any Olive Garden’s exterior ventshafts, I would begin to shake uncontrollably. But these articles have always been mostly about conveying how brave I am, so it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that I eventually triumphed over this adversity to become way more admirable than the guy who climbed Mount Everest without a spinal cord.
In dogging the trip so bad, to be honest, I had some help. From God. Any time I reluctantly made plans to go to the nearest OG, which always seemed to be at least fifty fucking minutes away from wherever I was, those plans would get sabotaged by an angry wrathful God who hates me, and yet still took time to derail my Olive Garden plans because even He wouldn’t wish that on His worst enemy (which I probably am). One time last winter, Ryan North was in town looking to be shown a good time, so I was like, hey, there’s this Olive Garden thing I’ve been dragging my shit on forever, we might as well join forces and put a bullet through the head of that long suffering obligation. Because when he said “to be shown good time,” I misheard him and thought he said “to experience major gastrointestinal surgery.” Sadly, neither thing happened, because that’s when the Weatherchrist dumped five feet of snow on New England and we couldn’t even go outside. I never saw him again.
Flashforward to now, when I saw him again. He was heading into town to sign books, and we were both like, do we DARE tempt fate again by resurrecting the nasty reeking spectre of my Olive Garden pledge? Obviously we did (brave) and Ryan was richly rewarded from the malevolent Beepbeepjesus by having his car break down between Toronto and here, and he was forced to spend the night in a weird little town. Our mistake was probably in making the plans out loud or something, rather than winking via text message. Or in making the plans even remotely specific, by scouting out the location of the nearest Olive Garden, which was brooding somewhere in the fecula of New England’s black asshole, Springfield Massachusetts. Fortunately, Ryan shares my adventurous spirit and disdain for sparing expense, and applied about 10,000 Canadian dollars toward getting his vehicle operational. He texted me something like, plan’s back on tight brotimes, and after an involuntary series of spasms, I replied with something like, cool, as long as the rig is sturdy enough to launch us over one of the broken highway ramps to clear the perpetually flaming wall of garbage that surrounds Springfield.
He assured me his vessel was sound. He’s a modest guy and tends to understate, so you see when he pulled up to the curb in his once humble gray Ford, it was now tricked out Mad Max style for our journey into this shrieking gulf of hate. Ok that was a fucking lie. Just a little embellishment to make you laugh, ok? The first and only you’ll see in this essay. Sorry.
Other people starting catching wind of this plan’s curious brown stonk and soon the affair snowballed into a BFD. Jeffrey Rowland was like, this sounds retarded. And I was like, awesome, Jeffrey’s on board. John Keogh was musing to himself that he couldn’t even remember the last time he vomited, so what the hell. KC Green took it as a matter of personally directed malice that one was not supposed to be able to locate the bottom of the breadstick basket, so he snugged up his bib and said let’s goddamn mosey. Agent Paperklip and Softowl were ensnared by the promise of spectacle. The ladies get codenames on #OGnite. That’s how shit works.
We took two cars because that’s a lot of people. I went in Ryan’s car. Ryan has a GPS navigator, and in his own voice he had re-recorded all the audio files it uses for navigation, like “in ___ miles” and “take a U-turn.” This sounds like it could be the second lame embellishment of the story, but it really isn’t. When you turn it on, his voice says “Oh my god, do everything I tell you.” And when the thing is supposed to say “then” in between instructions, Ryan draws out the syllable almost sarcastically, as “theeEEEEEeeennnnn.” And when you miss a turn, he interrupts, “Hold on. Someone messed up.” Turns out we would hear that last one a few times. The thing is, if you want Ryan’s soothing, masculine voice to get you to your crappy pasta destination, you actually have to program the right fucking Olive Garden into it. We plugged the wrong one in, while Crew Jeffrey was speeding toward a different restaurant. The only thing worse than a big party trying to get to one Springfield Olive Garden is a big party accidentally trying to get to two totally different Springfield Olive Gardens, and anyway the last thing you ever want to do in Springfield is split up and divide the strength of your numbers.
So Jeffrey makes it to the correct OG about 20 minutes before we do, calls us and says, guys, there’s a 25 minute wait to be seated. I pause and say, there’s really that many people there on a Monday night? He says yeah man, I think they’re here ON PURPOSE. I’m like holy shit. As incredible as it seems, hundreds of Americans DELIBERATELY piled into this little stuccoed commercial building covered in idiotic Mediterranean trellises, and did so for ENJOYMENT, as a thing they ACTUALLY WANTED TO DO. This is it seems for many people a recreational evening activity pursued regularly, which they seek out by dint of something approximating free will. I had to doublecheck with Jeffrey, so like, these people AREN’T here as a culmination of a half-decade-spanning, barely comprehensible internet scam? “Yeah, man…” he trailed off, palpably spooked.
Team Ryan rolls in finally, and we gather for five minutes before being seated, puzzling over a gregarious public awash in their strange appetites. In the mirth of the environs and perhaps as a form of euphoric release after a long and arduous journey, I must have struck passers by as guy totally psyched about this piece of shit restaurant. A guy completely chuffed off his ass to be scoring exactly ONE divided by ZERO breadsticks tonight, shit, yes. Though to be fair, my resplendent soul was probably betraying my true feelings.
In the next installment of this gauntlet’s recitation, I will describe the meal. Stand by.
On the subject of shoutouts. Here’s one that kind of slipped my mind to mention because Jake’s room obviously turned out to be such a ridiculous clusterfuck of posters.
Some were curious about it. I saw it shortly after the LE animation and thought it would be funny on his wall as a fake old movie.
If you’re curious:
By my palfriend Darren.
You might have noticed a slight up-shift in font size on the site. The current size is actually the size it should be, and has been for most of the site’s existence.
I have no idea when or why or how, but at some point the text got smaller. It may have been during the last site redesign, and I didn’t notice. Or actually, I did, but in that timeframe I was so up to my neck in computer problems, OS reinstalls and browser version upgrades, I think I attributed it to something to do with my system rather than something in the code. I didn’t really have time or care enough to investigate until now.
Aliased, 14 point, bolded Courier New has always been “the look”, and that’s reinforced a lot of times when you see text embedded in GIF images. Like you see here, and lots of other places.
If you’re looking at the text and it doesn’t look exactly like this, you’re not seeing the text presented in “the right way.” Which isn’t a big deal. I’m just letting you know how it is, and how it was always supposed to be. I’m not that rigid about this issue, since I always knew this format’s presentation is invariably going to be device-dependent for the reader.
The official text look includes the hard pixel edges. I never wanted the text to be anti-aliased at all. I think smooth-edged courier looks hella gross. If you have Windows, go to display settings and turn off ClearType, if you care to. If you use a Mac, you might be stuck with smooth text no matter what. I’m not sure. But then, if you use a Mac, you’re probably in love with super-smooth text regardless, so that’s cool.
I actually like aliased text on the web a lot better in general. Maybe I’m just old school. It’s sharper and easier to read. ClearType with a lot of fonts, especially small ones, is just bleary mush. I’m not really down with the idea of screens trying to be paper. It’s a false ideal, and it’s never been pulled off effectively, outside of e-ink on Kindles and stuff.
paulscoolplace asked you:
What was the inspiration behind the source new names? Why not just open the suggestion boxes to the floodgates and start anew with names?
There are only so many names that fit the format (4 letters), and people would just suggest them all. I already have access to the field of all names to choose from. In this case I just went with some super simple vanilla names starting with J and similar to the names of their counterparts. Besides, their placronyms were already engraved years ago. My hands were tied.
cruxtrudeir asked you:
Does Jake English’s last name make him affiliated with LE in any way? Or is his name, shirt, and poster just a result of how LE has influenced Earth?
That is so totally the sorta question it makes no sense for me to answer!!!
Without commenting on why he has that name or any of the other stuff, I will say that I think, HS story ramifications notwithstanding, Jake English actually is a pretty badass name for a dude. Also, it means he has the same initials as John.
katrka asked you:
How excited were you to get to this act and reveal these new characters?
It’s hard to say, because most of the excitement over the idea was generated when the idea itself was formed, which was around two years ago. The whole kid-guardian swap thing grew out of the development of their ectobiological origin story, and I thought it was a fun idea to build toward. In fact, a huge amount of the way I structured the plot was centered around this idea. A big part of the inspiration for the hard reset concept was to facilitate this idea I thought had a lot of exciting potential.
But then after the excitement of the initial conceptualization, there’s the long trek to get there, accompanied by grueling labors of execution. There were pockets of time when excitement was reinvigorated, like during weeks of tedious animation, it’s hard not to think “man it sure would be way more fun to make some new kids go on cool adventures instead of this bullshit.” But for the most part, once it was time to put the idea in play, it had been around in my head so long, the reaction is more like “welp, here we are.”
Additionally, because this idea was around for so long, there is a huge amount of foreshadowing groundwork laid for it, much of which is barely veiled. By the time we got into the little backstory arc about the scratched ancestor session and their swapped roles, it was pretty loud and clear. That was like me sitting in a lifeguard tower yelling in a bullhorn “GET READY FOR THE KID GUARDIAN SESSION, THIS IS WHAT’S HAPPENING.” There are lots of major curveballs thrown at you in HS. I personally don’t think this was one.
meddlingfashionista asked you:
When will you give us Younger Bro And Mom?
In a little while. Guaranteed: not as soon as you want.
irisu-syndrome asked you:
How do you feel about people shipping you with the creator of Hetalia? Does it creep you out or anything? :o
I don’t care to the Nth power about crap like this. I am like an acrobatic thief breaking into an art museum, and the security lasers are me giving a shit. Then I don’t steal anything because it’s all anime.
I noticed there were a few Hetalia ads on MSPA though. So I guess SOMEBODY must be shipping HIS CASH with MY WALLET!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Which I promptly flushed down the server expense toilet.)
serendiipityriising asked you:
What’s the deal with the Ophiuchus troll?
Well, the deal is that somebody, somewhere, is sitting at a computer.
The computer has a Caduceus symbol on it, which is sometimes, but not definitively, associated with the 13th zodiac sign, which contrary to recent news, is not a new addition to astrology. It’s been around for centuries, but was not incorporated into the zodiac most people are familiar with, for whatever reason. Hence, the “13th troll” has been a point of furious speculation since the first appearance of the trolls in the story. So…
That is what the deal with that is.
sprinkletit asked you:
what’s the sweet bro and hella jeff moive plot?
I don’t know, but I think plot is probably the wrong word.
Opening the film with a ten minute montage of bro falling down some stairs would probably be the conservative approach. Just some really solid stage setting, established in classical film making tradition to butter up the critics. It also clearly sets up a strong antagonist for the moive, stairs. It is a foe which is never bested, for you see, the film is an American tragedy.
Other than that, probably lots of profane non sequitur and hug bumps issued by Wilson and Stiller, who will have been heavily coached in their acting to achieve a sort of rigid, surrealistic demeanor just off the mark of any heretofore observed human behavior. Like the uncanny valley of mannerism. Lace heavily with artifacts, visual and audible, and don’t be surprised if at some point a 20 minute clip of a completely different movie is inserted, uncut, flipped vertically, and tortured with various Photoshop filters. Finally, the climax will be the stunning resolution to a series of dilemmas not previously introduced in the film, all of which center around the inability of either character to perform simple motor functions. Then we see oversaturated low quality footage of Tony Hawk doing grinds while the credits roll, which contain not a single word which isn’t “fuck.”
Also, I think Geromy would be this guy.
cruxtrudeir asked you:
Will another 12 alternate trolls be introduced?
That would be such a shitload of trolls!!!!!
Do we need twelve more? I mean, if I introduced twelve more trolls, I might as well introduce another hundred. Right?
Which might be fine??? Hey, who wants me to introduce a hundred more trolls? Any takers? Probably lots of people, I bet.
How about if I introduce 10,000 new trolls? Watch this.
I hereby declare all of your fantrolls to be canon.
Yes, even the shitty ones.
(I think I answered two questions from that guy. How is that even fair??)
kohikki asked you:
Dear Mister Andrew Hussie Sir, Will we ever see Spades Slick again? Is he okay? I will spend countless nights up, worried about him.
I am nursing him back to health in my house, like a baby bird that fell from its nest too young.
ialsolikestrawberries asked you:
SO WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT ALL THIS PORN OF YOUR NEWLY INTRODUCED CHARACTERS, MR HUSSIE
The pornos happen fast, I will give them that.
Thank GOD I aged them up to the ripe year of 15. Conscience totally fucking ameliorated.
idontdrawcats asked you:
Is Homestuck going to make more sense anytime in the near future? The plot is super cool, i just feel like it’s a friggen puzzle sometimes. Also, will ending be happy, sad, bittersweet, or OH GOD I’VE BEEN CRYING FOR MONTHS AND IT WONT STOP AAAHHH
The thing is, Homestuck is both a story and a puzzle, by design and by definition. If asked to define it, “a story that’s also a puzzle” is as close to true as any answer I’d give.
Should all entertainment be like that? No way. But something should be like that, because something like that should exist. That’s why puzzles exist, because puzzles are cool sometimes, and are challenging. We don’t go up to a jigsaw puzzle and go, “why the fuck is this in so many different PIECES, what kind of IDIOT would break this nice picture into TINY LITTLE BITS?!!” Nor do we want all of our nice pictures broken into bits like that. Some we just want to hang on walls and look at.
But unlike a jigsaw puzzle, there’s much to enjoy without having to solve it. Fun characters and silly moments. But if you turn your brain on, you can engage with the complexity and depth. If you turn it ALL the way on, you can get everything, and solve the puzzle. There is a range of ways to interface with it, from the casual to the maniacal. Failing to grasp everything shouldn’t preclude basic enjoyment, nor is it a symptom of failure by either the reader or the story.
Here is the very last question that squeaked in before I shut down the box.
wweenie asked you:
Thank you for making such an amazing webcomic!
You’re welcome, and thanks for reading it!
Sorry if you wanted to make it 50 billion and one. I’m sure it was a totally sweet question! Maybe next time.
and then it goes away
Later I might open the tumblr question box dealie for like ten minutes, let about a thousand silly questions flood in, then shut it off and answer a few. But for now I might as well address a few points of curiosity preemptively on the latest animation, and LE in general.
Everything here’s based on some general line of inquiry I’ve seen posted elsewhere more than once.
Where is this happening? Where is Scratch’s wrecked apartment floating? It’s free-floating debris from the two universes destroyed, which now comprise the green sun. That floating hunk of building is suspended, and temporarily preserved in, let’s call it a small pocket of green-hot spacetime soup inside the sun. Chronologically, this little pocket of space is very near the final dying moment of the troll universe, where LE makes his entrance. He then goes back in time to fuck shit up throughout the history of that universe, as has been described many times. That is why he was always “already there.” It is also because, as it turns out, he was lurking dormant in Scratch’s puppet-host body the whole time. Doc always did claim to be excellent host.
Is Scratch literally Lord English? Or has LE completely replaced him? How much of Scratch’s cognizance/personality/being is still in LE? Well, here’s what the story told us. Scratch said he had to die for LE to be brought into this universe. Now we have seen why explicitly. Scratch doesn’t lie, when it comes to simple statements of fact. He only excludes details and clarification. So, he is now dead. LE has officially replaced him, albeit traveled back in time to coexist with him, presumably continuing to utilize him as an employee, in all the ways we know about, and maybe others we don’t. They’re separate entities. Though because they share the same body more or less, and essentially the same origin, they share properties. Both have the powers of a first guardian (though Scratch said outright LE was more powerful than him). Both have “Cal genes,” whatever the hell that means. In LE’s case, the resemblance is obvious. They share an interest in the ladies (Scratch takes a shining to younger ones while LE ropes more mature females into service. Reasoning? Scratch is a young LE!) They appear to have opposite demeanors though. Scratch is calm, calculating, manipulative. English is brutal, angry, and out to wreak havoc on a universe without any particular desire for subtlety. Their appearances reflect the differences. Is LE omniscient like Scratch? There’s evidence that he’s a strong tactician and adept with time travel, but its unclear whether he maintains the omniscience post-transformation. Consider that Scratch’s omniscience was closely tied to the other half of his genetic makeup, a magic cueball which had all the answers to everything concealed within. When LE transformed, he kept all the Cal properties (magnified them actually), but dropped the cueball aspect. In fact, his cueball head exploded outright. This was “the break” Scratch referred to once or twice. A literal description of LE’s emergence, as well as reference to the pool term, where the cueball scatters all the other balls, and the game begins.
T1CK T0CK BR8K H34DS honk HONK. This is not a question, but some notes anyway. This string of genetic code letters is probably the most clear and present foreshadowing of LE’s transformation. It is practically a brief sentence describing the process, in order, culminating in LE’s vast honk. I think this one clue got some people speculating, correctly, that LE would emerge in some way from Scratch, involving his head breaking open. Probably a minority theory, but it was out there, because the clues were there. Revelations in a story are shocking in proportion to how little groundwork was laid for that development, and how obscured the clues were, if they even existed at all. It would have been more startling if LE turned out to be some ridiculous preexisting character, like Maplehoof or Charles Dutton or whatever, but the shock value would come with no credible basis in the narrative. So big reveals like this always come with sort of a balancing act of establishing clues to make the event credible and premeditated, while obscuring/misdirecting so as not to totally blow it. No matter how well you disguise it, if the clues are there, some will guess it. Personally, I feel like the shock value is not so much stored in the fact that Scratch = LE, but in the sudden, disturbing nature and presentation of the transformation itself. And hey, if the Scratch = LE tidbit happened to catch you way off guard, I’ll consider it a bonus.
Why’s LE honking like Gamzee??? If you’re prepared to be very literal, you might believe LE’s honking is a symptom of Gamzee’s influence in some way, due to time shenanigans or what have you. Examined logically, it’s the other way around. On LE’s arrival, he releases the vast honk Gamzee’s religion foretold. LE has always been around influencing troll culture from the start, and it seems he was always the embodiment of the mirthful messiahs the highbloods worshiped, since he was really two beings, Doc Scratch and LE, both “mirthful” puppet-based entities, in their own ways. Gamzee’s honking, the humorous brutality of the subjugglators and their dark spiritual beliefs, all could be traced to LE. The vast honk clip was actually a heavily modified sound clip of a bike horn, like one of Gamzee’s, slowed way down. First a small honk from the squeeze, then a big one from the unsqueeze. Sounds a lot like the noise the tripods made in War of the Worlds, which has me convinced those were made from slowed down bike horns too.
What’s with the sarcophagus? That is actually the alternate form of the Cairo Overcoat, which doubles as his notorious oversized garment, and his chariot in which he travels through time, not terribly unlike Dr. Who’s TARDIS. The name and functionality was spawned completely from the Chicago Overcoat, which was the name of Mobster Kingpin’s flying pirate ship/office. Chicago Overcoat is also mobster slang for a coffin, therefore a Cairo Overcoat must refer to a Sarcophagus. (Which also happens to have a Terminator skull over the Pharaoh’s face.) LE’s ties to Egyptian lore in part trace back to a reference, through his attire obviously, to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a significant part of which takes place in Egypt. Also, more vaguely, the coat struck me as something that might be worn by one or more iterations of Dr. Who. And lest we forget the most obvious quality of its appearance, something that could easily adorn a pimp. As with many things in HS, there’s quite a slurry of references coming together to form something basically ridiculous, and yet dead fucking serious. LE is many things. A time traveling crime lord pimp. An omnipotent, indestructible puppet-based demon. A monster born out of an ancient, short, smug, cueball-headed gunslinger, the blight of two universes by his birth alone. An Egyptian pharaoh Incredible Hulk in shredded pants and suspenders with a green Jigsaw puppet-like skull for head, a gold fang, and flashing pool balls for eyes. And with his gold cuestick pegleg and long coat, appears to also be somewhat reminiscent of a pirate, and may or may not bear some tenuous connection to Skipper Plumbthroat, nemesis of all Squiddles, who have been clearly shown to be friendly cartoon-standins for the dark gods.
So LE is the Hulk in suspenders with a Cal skull for a head……… really???? Yes, really. I think his appearance is not what most were expecting, nor what some desired, but this is a consequence of hype factor alone. It’s inevitable, keeping a mystery such as this dangling out there for almost two years. People start to get attached to what they envision. There is no creative advantage at all to hype. When hype is significant, you can only hope to meet it at best, or more likely fall short. I felt pretty fortunate that by and large the hype surrounding EOA5 was met for most people. I’m doubtful it was surpassed for many, by much, considering the two month pause caused people to guess SOMETHING big was coming. Now imagine instead of a two month delay, there was none at all! Bam, 13 minute animation out of nowhere. The difference in reader perception in such a case is so extreme, it can’t even be communicated. Conclusion: hype sux.
This is exactly how I pictured LE looking before I even made the Felt intermission. I think if I revealed him then, practically everyone would say, yeah that’s about right. Just a nasty, monstrous looking mob boss with some gaudy accoutrements. In time, as the mystique surrounding him accumulates, people get other ideas. I think some wanted a more suave motherfucker to bust onto the scene, someone perhaps sleek, dapper. This doesn’t fit the concept at all, nor suits anything we knew about him previously. Doc Scratch is his smooth, well mannered counterpart. He already fills that role. LE as Scratch 2 is a really boring idea to me. LE as a big, no-nonsense brute, functioning as Mr. Hyde to Scratch’s Dr. Jekyll, is much more interesting. (Hey, there’s another bullet point for the reference slurry, if you’re taking notes, re: Jekyll/Hyde.) So instead of some elegant dude too dashing for words who exploded from the screen of the yaoiest anime you ever saw, he looks a bit like this and this and maybe some of this and a smidgeon of this and oh yeah some of this and a whole fuckload of this and just a pinch of this, ok wait maybe not that last thing.
All of western Mass. lost power the other night because of some sort of absurd spooky pre-Halloween snowstorm. Yesterday morning I figured it’d probably take a week or so to fix the grid so I immediately got the hell out of dodge. Staying with people in Boston for a while.
I was planning on posting something today, but I guess that’ll be delayed somewhat. Maybe. I’ll see what I can do.
Cascade is in the Newgrounds portal, on the front page:
Again, thanks to Tom Fulp. If he didn’t help me out, this thing wouldn’t be hosted anywhere on the web, outside of torrents and spammy download sites. Hope I can return the favor by getting more people to check out Newgrounds.
You are now probably wondering when I’m going to start updating regularly again. Here is my projected date for the first page of Act 6.
I know, you are probably tired of waiting around for content by now, and probably aren’t too psyched for another two weeks of downtime. But, there is seriously no way I can dive right back into production at the moment. I have to prepare some stuff. The rapid pace of updates in the past has always only been possible due to a continuously mounting stream of preparation and forethought, and I have had time for neither over the past two months while dealing with this animation.
I WILL however plan to post a short intermission between now and then. I will let you know when this date approaches.
Then, when the 11th hits, we will be ready to rock again without looking back.
Ehhh I’ve got to get back to work soon so let’s see how fast I can knock out the rest of this.
Let’s continue from the point of all the stuff about Jack’s massacre through Exile Town, and address issues surrounding
The big chess game
After all this, events involving the carapace people still resemble an extremely complicated interdimensional game of chess. Everything the royalty does is strategic in the bigger picture. The black queen was exiled, but found another way to fulfill her role through a complex maneuver of self sacrifice. The white queen’s retreat from the session, after Jack stole the black queen’s ring and wrecked Prospit and the Battlefield, was a defensive regrouping strategy on post-apocalypse Earth. She formed an elaborate plan, most of which went unwritten but could be understood mostly by deduction. Basically, she mobilized remaining exiles there, planned to leave this universe via one of the stations, destroying them all behind them to burn the bridge, but not before reuniting with the king from the time capsule. She also bestowed her title as queen to PM as her successor to rule the new kingdom they would build, and privately bestowed the responsibility on WV to some day wear the ring and hunt down Jack, wherever he might be. The problem is, Jack short-circuited her strategy by appearing immediately after the king arrived, killed WK and WQ right away, thus finally winning the chess game for his kingdom, or more particularly, himself.
The final gambit belonged to PM though, when she found the ring, put it on, and inherited the true powers of a queen, more than just in name. Neither PM, nor any carapace creature, can literally be considered a pawn. But she is pawn-like in rank, as many are in this exotic and diverse race of chess people, and being the only piece left standing, she put the ring on and became the most powerful type of piece possible. Much like a pawn reaching the end of a chess board, and becoming a queen. For now, with her and Jack’s powers being about equal, the chess game sits in stalemate.
First let’s look at what happened to Rose and Dave.
When Rose asks Scratch whether she will reach god tier, he responds,
You have exactly a fifty percent chance of ascending to the god tier.
TT: That’s a strange answer.
TT: Why such a precise probability?
Because, much like the decisions you must face to complete your dual suicide missions, you have two ways of achieving godhood to choose from.
Which was before Jack killed her, and John revived her with a kiss, leaving only her dream self. When she died, this eliminated one of the ways she could reach god tier, the only way we knew of explicitly at the time. This is by having a waking self and a dream self, both alive. When the waking self dies on the quest bed located somewhere on the planet, the player’s dream self takes over permanently, assumes god tier status, and wakes up on the battlefield, while the waking self’s corpse lies dead on the quest bed thereafter. This is how John reached god tier, and how Jade did as well. (Sort of.)
Dave and Rose only had one life left. They’d both been killed by Jack, and then revived as their dream selves. They only had the other means of reaching god tier, which we knew little about. We only had Aradia’s example to speculate from.
It turns out, the other way involves another set of quest beds in the core of the moons of Prospit and Derse. Reaching god tier involves using the only life you have left, and dying on that quest bed. Then, rather than waking up as a god tier on the Battlefield, the dead body simply resurrects automatically, transforming then and there. This is the basic outline of the process, with some caveats from examples we’ve observed.
Aradia was always a special case, since she was dead long before entering the session. She began the session as a ghost, and then a ghost inside a robot, which never actually counted as having a living waking self. She was never alive from the start, so she always only had the one ascension method available to her, by the death of her dream self, which had been sleeping on its quest bed all long. It was not in the core of the moon though. The moon only had five towers, because she was never a living player, and didn’t “belong” with the rest of the players on her team of Derse dreamers. So her dream self was sequestered away from the others, in the core of Derse. She reached god tier when Jack destroyed Derse.
We also can’t be sure that’s all there is to this method. Is it a simple matter of dying on the bed, or is more required? In the only two examples we have of this, Aradia and Dave+Rose, they die spectacularly in an explosion of green fire. Is that among the requirements? This is inconclusive.
Also, god tier Aradia, Dave, and Rose were all unharmed by the fire during the resurrection process. Dave and Rose’s case was so extreme, they actually emerged from the core of a sun. Does the transformation method itself protect them, until complete? Or is it just the simple matter that upon transforming, they are now immortal, and dying in the very explosion leading to their ascension would count as neither just nor heroic? You may speculate.
After examining all that, Jade’s ascension is simple in comparison. Her dream self died, but she brought it back to life by prototyping the stuffed corpse in her grandpa’s lab, making Jadesprite. So, she did in fact have a living dream self, so option #1 was available. This had the side effect of turbo charging her god tier state. She not only has the Witch of Space powers and immortality, she merged with the sprite, which was imbued with Bec’s powers. She now has the abilities of a god tier player, a sprite, and a first guardian all in one.
Ironically, the green sun which they were seeking to destroy, now powers two of the heroes opposing Jack: Jade and PM.
This is all pretty straightforward. We saw John at the beginning, fighting very strong monsters on the Beat Mesa, and initiating the Scratch with a giant Quill of Echidna, just as he was instructed to by Karkat. He killed the monsters easily with lava tornadoes and his Pop-a-matic Vrillyhoo Hammer, completed the full jagged mark across the record’s surface, and the whole Beat Mesa took off towards Skaia. It was releasing its energy the whole time, causing the Medium to crackle with that background energy you saw so often. Before it could get to Skaia, Jade teleported him to her ship. Once it entered Skaia, it fully released its temporal energy, and caused the hard reset, totally wiping out the session. But not before Jade collected all the planets, the Battlefield, and John on her Propitian battleship, and flew through a gigantic 4th wall.
The 4th Wall
First of all, she didn’t actually conjure the 4th wall out of thin air. Remember when Karkat told her to turn the wall off, and then draw it? He was asking her to captchalogue an undamaged copy using her Pictionary modus, for this exact purpose. The eventual getaway. So she had it on standby, waiting for the right time to use it.
As she expanded it, and we crept ever closer to the completion of the scratch, we saw individual panels from early in the story flashing backwards. From a visualization standpoint, this is just reminding us that the scratch is in fact undoing everything we just read, all the way back to page one, and starting over fresh in a different instantiation of the universe. But if you want to understand why all that was literally being broadcast through the wall at that moment, you could consider what happened to be on the other side of the wall: Lord English’s coat. Why would the interior of the coat broadcast those flashbacks? No need to get into it too much. Suffice to say, it belongs to someone purported to be a master of time.
Will the coat still be there the moment they crash through the glass? Recall that this is all happening “simultaneously” with the rest of the critical moment, which is the juncture that summons him. When he is summoned, he may need his coat. Whether he retrieves it or not, we’ll just have to see.
What’s waiting for them on the other side, beside a big ugly coat? Recall the setup I had with the two 4th walls facing each other, separated by one yard. They will break through the wall on the right, traveling nearly the speed of light, and presumably, break through the wall on the left to enter another reality. If you were thorough during Seer: Descend, you might have caught this excerpt on a bookshelf. “Though we adore Him we shall never enjoy His beauteous Croak. We spill our blood on acres of black and white so they may cross the yellow yard. At last in Skaia’s reflection through broken glass He may find the pond in which He’s meant to squat.”
The yellow yard, regarding my self indulgent spiel about the degree of author intervention to expect, very simply refers to the physical distance between the two 4th walls the heroes will pass through, to escape from a doomed reality into one of promise. The heroes will coexist with me, the author, for the span of three feet, and while traveling very quickly, for the duration of thee nanoseconds. This was always my tongue in cheek way of quantifiably demonstrating the absolute minimum degree of influence an author insert can have on the story, while not having none. It’s essentially a gag, but serving a practical purpose in the story, and a very concrete, understandable mechanism by which they may hop between realities.
I am also pretending that my personal interaction with Doc Scratch doesn’t count as influencing the story directly. It’s influencing the way the story is told, which after all, is what authors tend to do.
More about what happened. There’s still plenty to cover. I won’t be totally exhaustive, but I’ll mention what I think is worth noting. At this point, I believe most people have understood most of this stuff. Still, there may be a few things mentioned here that didn’t quite occur to you, or some connections you haven’t made yet.
The Flash answers most major questions still dangling in the story up to this point. What happens at the critical moment. (Two universes are destroyed, creating the green sun, while the kids complete the scratch and escape through the 4th wall. This has also been referred to at points as “The Great Undoing.” From early in Hivebent: “AA: and we twelve will behave simultane0usly as the pawns and the 0rchestrat0rs of the great und0ing”) We know who reaches god tier and how. (All the kids!) Which trolls survive, the fate of the exiles, who wears the white queen’s ring, and how the blood got on Jack’s hand. That last question was probably the most maddening of the bunch for a long time. The bloody hand was first shown in Jade: Enter, and as Jack’s list of victims grew, his hand continued to be clean. The list of possibilities kept narrowing, until we finally found out here, along with an answer to another major question, how he actually got into the troll session.
The circuitous journey of Bec Noir
A summary: after he put Jade on her quest bed, he looked up and realized he didn’t have much time. The scratch was about to wipe out the session. So, he fled the session through one of the only ways available, by riding a meteor through a portal back to Earth. The meteor was the one host to the frog ruins, and he tucked himself in the same time capsule the White King did not too long ago. The meteor crashed on prehistoric Earth, formed the ruins, and waited about 413 million years. Then the king came out of the capsule to greet the queen. Jack followed about ten seconds later to their surprise, and killed them immediately. He exited the ruins, and AR began detonating the four stations. These were rigged presumably as part of the exiles’ unspoken plan, as a failsafe to prevent Jack from doing just this, in case he found his way there. AR hesitated to blow up WV’s station, because he knew WV was still trapped inside. At this pause, Jack killed AR, and quickly entered the final remaining station to investigate, while (foolishly, it turns out) dismissing PM as irrelevant.
In the station, he found this device, which had been switched to the left side of the frog with the queen’s key, most likely by the queen at an earlier point. Thus it would transport the user to the session outside this universe, i.e. the troll session, as opposed to the one inside it, the kid session. But it was out of power, and had been ever since WV flew the station halfway around the world to find the ruins. So Jack, looking for a power source, located the uranium in WV’s belly, probably via his keen sense of smell as an omnipotent dog. He ripped the uranium out of a hapless WV’s gut, thus bloodying his hand. He powered the station, which both opened its hatch, and allowed him to flee from yet another doomed reality. He likely knew he couldn’t stay in that universe for long, since he recognized the red miles destroying it above. But he probably didn’t understand that would be his own doing from outside the universe, hours in his future.
Jack, bloody hand and all, then appeared in the troll session just as the trolls were about to enter the universe they created, as we saw in Jade: Enter. He then went on his murderous rampage through their session, some of which we saw in quick replays during this animation. He destroyed all 12 planets, Prospit, Derse, and finally, turned his red miles attack on Bilious Slick, destroying the very universe he just narrowly escaped from. And in doing so, he contributed his share to the critical moment. His alternate session self, Spades Slick, contributed the other part by killing Snowman, “simultaneously.” All of Act 5 could be subtitled “Jack Noir Kills Everybody” and that’s pretty much the guiding principle I had in structuring it from the start. Jack Noir has killed every major character, in one way or another (with maybe a few exceptions, like PM), including the entire population of two universes.
Then, finally, as he viewed the aftermath of Bilious Slick’s destruction in Skaia’s water-sphere, and noticed the green sun appearing in the distance, he saw PM enter with WV’s body on the frog platform, the same way Jack arrived about 10 hours prior. After he left the desert, she went into the now-open station, and dragged WV’s body to safety, away from the bombs, but was faced with the universe’s imminent destruction overhead. She noticed WV had dropped the ring he’d been hiding all along, so she put it on and assumed all of Jack’s powers. Then, again probably due to enhanced canine tracking abilities, immediately knew where to follow Jack. She brought WV, likely with the hope that he may survive, as well as his firefly Serenity, and is now prepared for a duel.
Slick kills Snowman
It was established in the intermission that when Snowman dies, the universe is destroyed. (Relating of course to her 8-ball theme, and billiards rules involving pocketing that ball, or scratching while pocketing it.) Hence, when Slick shoots her through the heart with Scratch’s single-cueball-bullet-firing gun, the trolls’ universe (blue) comes to an end. Recall that Scratch browbeat Slick into agreeing to take his gun and kill her. With nothing in particular left to lose, or live for, Slick complied, and more than likely took enjoyment from settling this old score, even though it meant his own death too. Note that during the standoff, it seemed Snowman welcomed the attack. This was, after all, the culmination of her role, both as the black queen, and as a servant of Lord English.
As the black queen of Derse, her basic role is to oppose creation. She wars with Prospit, and stands in the way of the heroes who seek to create a universe. Since she was exiled from the session, she could no longer fulfill that role. So she was offered another way, by Doc Scratch, in an agreement of mutual interest. Since she couldn’t oppose the creation of a new universe, she could facilitate the destruction of another. Scratch gave the queen the powers of Snowman, and bound her life in some mysterious way to the troll universe itself (turning the typically red blood of a queen to blue, the color signifying that universe). Which is of course, another giant frog much like the one Jack killed, which we have never seen from the outside. Ironically, to fulfill her role, she was bound to the life of a creature she loathed, which happened once before in the troll session when they prototyped a frog. She was disgusted by the transformation, and removed the ring, which lead to her eventual exile, and meeting with Scratch in the desert.
Her role as Snowman also suited Lord English’s purposes, as her death provided the mechanism for his entrance, as well as contributed to the creation of the green sun. This appears to be a pattern with LE, enslaving various women, who can only die by completing their term of service, and vice versa. He recruited Aradia’s and Feferi’s ancestors in the same way. From the perspective of LE as a crime boss rather than an immortal demon, he’s somewhat like a ruthless pimp. Whoever he is. This is one of the few major questions lingering, in case you didn’t notice.
Anyway, more to talk about, but enough words for now.
Now to address the substance of the animation.
It is not only long, it is dense. As dense as most other animations, while subjecting you to many more raw minutes of this rapid fire data. The events are portrayed nonlinearly. They shift focus between different sessions, planets, and universes, zooming into and out of them, showing them shrink, teleport, or explode spectacularly. We jump to points in a character’s chronology in the future, in the past, and examine frames of reference where chronology has no meaning. This animation is cerebrally challenging to follow. But your understanding of it will be in direct proportion to how well you understood the whole story up to this point. If you followed everything, and remember the key facts, there’s a very good chance you understood everything in the animation easily.
So, let’s take a closer look at what there is to understand.
Might as well start with the biggest development.
The tumor was a bomb that physically contained both our universe (red side) and the troll universe (blue side). It was counting down to the “simultaneous” destruction of both universes. On detonation, it did not destroy the green sun as intended. It created it.
I believe some people thought they were witnessing the destruction of the sun when the bomb went off. Though if you examine the scene objectively, there’s no reason to think this, other than that it was the stated mission for so long. There was no sun in sight. They were drifting through empty space. Then, boom. The sun was growing from ground zero. The fact that this misapprehension was somewhat common probably speaks to how cemented the mission to destroy the sun had become as a critical plot point. And maybe also, to how well Scratch deceived everyone on the subject.
All of act 5, and to some extent all of Homestuck, has been the result of a very, very long con by Doc Scratch. His power source, and the source that fueled all this calamity in many other ways, was always going to be created in this way, by combined efforts of the kids and the trolls to save reality. Part of his job was to make sure that happened. That was the secret part of his job. The other part, openly stated, was to pave the way for the entrance of his master, which is triggered on the destruction of the troll universe, as illustrated by this virus. It turns out that doing these two things is one and the same. No green sun without the death of a universe. No Lord English either.
You may retrace his conversations in light of this new fact. He says he never lies, and while he’s certainly deceptive, I think you are hard pressed to find him saying something that is absolutely untrue. He misdirects, and lies by omission (which is something he makes clear he doesn’t believe in). But just about everything he says can be validated in some way. There are clues to this outcome everywhere, hiding in plain sight.
Consider his conversation here. He speaks primarily in hypotheticals, about what would happen if they destroyed the sun. He says things often arranged like this: “And it is certainly true that The Tumor you will deliver to its location has enough power to destroy it completely.” He says they will deliver the bomb to the sun’s location. He just doesn’t mention the sun won’t be there yet. He also says its powerful enough to destroy it, hypothetically. Also true. He just doesn’t mention it won’t be around to destroy, until the bomb goes off!
There’s also this tidbit. “TT: It is nearly twice the mass of our universe.” Because it is literally comprised of the detonated mass of two dead universes. And so on.
Next up. Even though this isn’t a “revelation”, it should probably be bolded and discussed.
Time and space do not work comprehensibly in the furthest ring.
How can the sun just have been created, when it was there all along, fueling Bec and Doc Scratch for ages, and more recently, Bec Noir, Jadesprite, etc? See above.
TT: The greater the distance you travel through it, the less reliably time flows.
TT: And the more time you spend in it, the less reliably space behaves.
TT: Time and space aren’t as different as you might think.
So in other words, what really happened is Rose and Dave’s journey took them quite a distance through the furthest ring. The longer they traveled, the less reliably you could place them on the timeline. They may have traveled a few miles, while simultaneously wandering millions of years into the future. And after another few miles, may have gone eons into the past, way before the green sun existed. This is in fact what happened. The dark gods helped chart their course through this spacetime maze to deliver them to this location, at this time. Take that for what you will.
This is also at the heart of why the sun became visible to the trolls the moment it did, rather than always being visible. It is not because it “just happened”, since the respective timeframes are incompatible, and that notion doesn’t actually make sense. The moment of Bilious Slick’s detonation (our universe), that was the moment the light from the green sun’s ancient explosion finally managed to reach their session, after its long circuitous travel through knotted spacetime. In fact, we don’t even need a complex spacetime model to understand this. Right now, there is celestial phenomena happening in our universe that we cannot see, because the light hasn’t reached us yet! It won’t for millions of years.
The light from the sun is important to the trolls not only as a beacon, but as a momentary illumination of a “straight line” through the furthest ring. If light can make it from here to there through the broken space, then so can a meteor, as long as it travels fast and doesn’t miss the opportunity. This is a decent reason for the urgent getaway, as well as, presumably, the need to escape Jack’s ire while he is distracted. So Sollux went all out, putting a little extra mustard on it so to speak, and reprised his ill fated ancestor’s role as helmsman.
Aradia’s chronology is also worth noting. She is not actually witnessing the birth of the sun, as this (remember, nonlinear) animation seems to illustrate. When she flew inside Jack to escape, the sun was already there waiting for her. Every time we have seen Aradia hanging out in front of the sun, or hanging out with Sollux’s (half-)ghost, that was well after the sun was created.
AA: i am waiting for friends to arrive
AA: they will need my help
TA: what friends?
TA: m0re ghosts?
AA: no theyre alive
AA: there will be two humans
AA: they should be joining us any minute
She’s of course referring to Rose and Dave. And of course, at the time, we’re meant to believe they will arrive in the moon they are piloting, ready to crash kamikaze style into the sun and blow it up. There’s little reason to question this. But it turns out all along, she was waiting for them to COME OUT of the sun! As freshly minted god tiers. The nonlinear flow of the story was at every turn directing you away from the suspicion that their mission would create the sun, rather than destroy it.
TA: then what?
AA: then rest of our party
AA: the survivors
TA: so then, we made it 0ut here alright.
AA: they made it
AA: your body will arrive with them
Then the trolls, who are now in transit, will theoretically rendezvous with all of them at the sun. And then what?? We’ll see.
I think that’s enough to digest for now. I’ll make another part later, talking about some other aspects of the Flash, like Jack’s convoluted inter-session journey, the scratch, the expanding 4th wall and all that stuff.
First, I’ll go into the process, and all the technical stuff about making it. It ended up being around 13 and a half minutes, about 50 MB, was split up into 5 separate Flash files strung together by a loader, and used around a thousand art assets, not counting those imported from old animations. Following about a 2 week break starting 8/22 to take care of other things, I started more serious work on it, and took about 6 weeks to finish it.
It was more than 3 times as long as Descend (the end of act 4) which was previously the longest animation. But it took about six times as long to make! So, why so long? Let’s look at some reasons.
1) COLLABORATION OVERLOAD! - First of all, I think all the contributed art is amazing, and I’m ecstatic with the overall look of the integrated results. But as strange and unintuitive as it sounds, getting so many people to pitch in to such a big project actually delayed the process non-trivially. I didn’t really anticipate the challenges of managing a project of this size. I spent a lot of time up front planning, organizing, dividing things up into tasks, and communicating with many artists individually. This is overhead that is normally negligible for smaller projects, where I usually just charge right in and begin animating. Then, after distributing the work, there’s the inevitable waiting game, while assets started coming back to me in pretty much random order, which makes for a scheduling conundrum. There is also the need to process the graphics to be suitable for animation, make little fixes and touches, or sometimes redo graphics completely if I didn’t quite convey the requirements properly. None of this is in play when I work solo. I generally draw fast, know exactly what’s necessary for the Flash, take just the right shortcuts on graphics, format them right from the getgo, and drop them on the timeline. But on the flipside, the contributors generally can take the time to render lovely backdrops and character portraits that I wouldn’t bother with on my own, for the sake of speed. This is a big plus I think.
So the bottom line is, distributing work for a project of this size will cause the project to a) look better, but b) take longer. That said, looking back, I don’t think I would change anything about the approach. It looks great, and the time it took overall was worth it. I’d only revise my scheduling estimates.
2) FLASH SUCKS! - Flash is not good at handling big animations. At all. I tried doing what I usually do, putting everything in one file, and hoping for the best. After about 7 minutes of completed animation, it started locking up constantly. I tried a lot of things, splitting it up into different scenes within the same file. Didn’t work. The Flash file ultimately caved in on itself, and became corrupted. Luckily I saved backups, and tried a different approach.
I just split it up into five different Flash files, published them separately, and strung them all together through a loader file, which worked, but invited its own series of debugging headaches. After half way through the animation, I was CONSTANTLY putting out technical fires with respect to Flash. I’d say I probably lost two weeks to problems like this, which have been a total non factor in previous projects, aside from the first few when I was actually learning how to use it.
The good news is I won’t repeat these mistakes in the future, and will know how to approach a project of this size more efficiently. The good-slash-bad news is this shouldn’t be an issue. I don’t see myself doing another animation this long for the rest of the series. Not even close, in fact. This was, in terms of cinematic gravitas, the high point of the series. It’s the conclusion to act five which all the setup demanded. It is the BIG ONE. A challenge I set out to do, for as much as any other reason, to see if I could.
I decided to use Tensei’s “Cascade” as the theme around which the EOA5 score would be arranged a long time ago. Before he even made his solo album, actually. I stuck with that idea through most of act 5.2. In fact, it exists in the first 1/3 of the score largely unedited. There were a few alterations for the sake of keying to specific visuals, like a significantly extended part, and the end was truncated to move on to the next theme. (I believe the original is a bonus song in Volume 8)
All the editing was done by Toby Fox, who I worked closely with on piecing together the whole score, which adhered to a strict timetable of visual events. I gave him duration figures, cited timestamps on clips, and so on, and he worked with my mad instructions to craft something that functions very well as a score to the events I had in mind. This is the opposite of how it usually works. Usually I take a song that’s ready to go, and animate events to that song. Obviously there was no 13 minute song lying around, so some custom work had to be done. This was done, most speedily, in the form of an extended medley, drifting in and out of different themes to suit the current action. Sort of like an expanded expression of the EOA’s predecessor, Descend, which was Toby’s composition I adapted for that purpose, thinking of scenes to suit the music. But it was the other way around this time. Working on the music in this way likely also contributed to the delay.
The aim was not to produce a totally cohesive, air tight composition to stand alone necessarily. The focus was on making a strong score. Concerns for scoring are very different from those for standalone composition. Emphasis has to be placed on serving visuals, even at the expense of more sensible composition practices sometimes, to set tone, fit the timing and such. So that’s what we did, and that was behind my thinking in piecing together the various songs I did. Like the second segment, Clark Powell’s Flare, edited by Toby to fit the time allotted, and accelerate into the Snowman faceoff. And two pieces by Malcolm Brown, who accounted for a big chunk of the overall composition time. Savior of the Dreaming Dead, largely unedited besides transitions, and a custom remix I asked him to do of Black Rose / Green Sun to finish it, which turned out awesome, especially after a few more touches by Toby & co.
Another couple facts to point out.
- The breaks occasionally in the music are not necessarily unprompted aesthetic decisions. They resulted from the fact that I had to chop the thing up into five parts, and switching between them would invariably lead to sound skipping. So to account for this, we made the breaks as creatively deliberate as possible. Like that gap of silence just before we start following Rose and Dave. Or the silence when zooming out of LOFAF, into Skaia, then firing it back up on the Battlefield. And, obviously, the dramatic pause before the bomb goes off. I’m calling this an art through adversity situation.
- I never give anyone, artist or musician, any more information than they need to know. Like I’m not saying to Toby, “ok here’s where Slick faces Snowman and shoots her through the heart, we’re gonna need something badass for that.” I give more open instruction. I say, “I think the music should start speeding up here, and get a little heavier… maybe begin quoting that piano from Flare at a lower register?” and notes of that sort. Then he makes sense of it. As silly as it sounds, I don’t like spoiling stuff even for people working on it. I’d rather leave as much a surprise for them too. Also, I’m always skeptical that giving the contributors the full picture would actually improve the product. The process is more interesting this way.
If you missed the announcements, there are
Hero of Mind, Hero of Heart. In case it’s not obvious by now, we’re going to put out all twelve god tier designs, two at a time, to complete the set. Preemptively canonical! Guaranteed. Will they show up in the comic? Will they show up on your body?? I will answer the former. You, the latter. Also note some designs are “reprinting”, but you may still preorder them, if you do not mind waiting a little longer for them to be produced.
Didn’t really want it to come to this but here we are.
The cat was kind of out of the bag on this animation anyway. Lots of people seeing on video feeds and such, blabbing spoilers, etc. Download, run it off your computer, or upload it to your site, view there, link to friends.
Lets try to cool it on all the video feeds though. We don’t all need to be huddled around shitty bootlegs of this thing. Really it just looks like such trash.
Later I’ll see if I can get a more stable thing hosted, through NG or otherwise. Apologies again to Newgrounds.
I had actually planned in advance to try hosting it on NG for a little while, til things cooled down. This is the solution I was referring to below. It has worked well before. This is different though, due to the magnitudes, so I ran it by Tom Fulp first, who owns the site, and he was agreeable to this idea.
He suggested we put it in a section reserved for higher volume transfers, which sounded cool. But I hadn’t heard from him in a few days. So I just tried putting it on the dump site, as I did before, figuring it might be able to sustain it for a while, during some off peak hours until the better solution was available. This was not the case, so I took it down. I’m not out to break anyone’s site.
I’ll try something else tomorrow. In the meantime, please have patience.
Some want to know if I’ll post it at midnight, or later in the day. First thing you should know, as of right now the hosting solution isn’t even a sure thing.
I have something lined up, but haven’t heard from the guy helping me out in a few days. So I’m not sure about the timing on this. I can’t go into more details on the solution than that yet.
I’ve heard many alternative suggestions and will probably continue to. To field a few of them:
1) I’m not going to host it on youtube. Or render it in video format at all. I don’t want it to be a video. I want it to be Flash. If I thought I was going to end up rendering a video, I would have planned the project for video output accordingly. Perhaps used After Effects. It’s a completely different kind of media. This option is not going to happen.
2) You may “know a guy” with hosting to spare, or such. While it’s a nice thought, there’s a 99.99% chance his server can’t handle it. It’s a big file, and there’ll be upwards of 2 million people looking at it at once. This will use more bandwidth in one day than most high traffic comics use in a year. Sorry, but thanks for the offer.
3) Amazon S3, etc? I’ve looked into a bunch of things like this. It’s expensive. Under usual circumstances, it costs several thousand dollars every month to host MSPA. And I’m fine with floating that cost myself, from ad revenue and sales, and making the business side of things work to sustain it. This is a little different. A conservative estimate has the cost at $10K for one day. This is not considering excessive page reloads, the aftershocks of hosting it for the following weeks, or an unanticipated viral explosion beyond the already high expected traffic. Could be anywhere from $10K to $100K to host this one stupid file, which is bankruptcy territory. It’s not worth that to put out a little free entertainment, frankly. If I posted that kind of content for such an audience every month, I’d find some business strategy to make that work. But I’m not there yet. Also, I’m not gonna do some sort of fund drive to finance this either. I’m sure that would produce some results, but it just doesn’t sit well with me as the answer.
So I’m working on more creative alternatives for handling this. I’ll let you know.
edit: Torrenting, megadownloading, etc are in reserve as last resort plans. It would be more ideal to find a way to run on site though. We’ll see.
Some people seem to think this is a bad idea. Because I guess of some general anathema surrounding tumblr culture, and its concomitant memetic hyperventilation. Whatever. I’m just posting stuff here when it seems relevant. I’m not following anybody. I’m not getting suckered into the latest tumbling fads, if those are even a thing, and I ain’t reblogging shit.
And then tumblr breathed a paradoxical sigh of relief and disappointment all at once.
Also I really should have shut off email notifications before I made that first post. Sorry gmail inbox, my bad.
Because formspring is terrible. I discontinued my account. (Again.)
Not only was it poorly organized and difficult to use, I think it lent the false appearance that it was a viable way to get in touch with me. And a lot of people treated it that way. But it really wasn’t. Many thousands of submitted questions went unread. It was not possible to keep up with them.
So I guess tumblr it is, because it seems to be the blogging software du jour? Basically I type stuff and it appears on the internet. Sounds good to me. Then you can “like” it a million times and chuck my posts into the furious echo chamber of reblogged material. Kind of like putting my words out to stud with the memes, where they will be mounted inappropriately in front of youngsters. Is that how this works? Yes.