http://www.mspaforums.com/showthread.php?42662-Formspring-Archives

(Retrieved Oct 9, 2011 10:57p.m.; http://www.formspring.me/mspadventures)

Are you working on a Homestuck book? If you are, 1) that is amazing and 2) how do you plan to handle flash animations?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, August 28, 2011 4:49 AM

Have you considered making the Homestuck books partially flipbooks?

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

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

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

Sunday, August 28, 2011 3:39 AM

Kinda crazy how popular your internet site is nowadays. What do you think was the catalyst? Can you pin it down to a specific moment in the story/big celebrity endorsement?

Troll romance.










Pages and pages and pages











of troll romance.

Friday, August 12, 2011 11:42 PM

there is a line in which you say that the war spread thoughout the galaxy? didnt the trolls only reach spaceflight sometime after themindfang journals?

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

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

Friday, August 12, 2011 11:40 PM

We've now seen the colors and symbols for Breath, Time, Light, Space, and Mind. Since it seems unlikely to come up again, what do the other seven look like?

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

/fanservice

Friday, August 12, 2011 11:06 PM

Is the Sufferer actually Troll Jegus?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 12, 2011 11:02 PM

Was Redglare secretly a follower/admirer of the Signless?

Looks that way.

Friday, August 12, 2011 9:43 PM

Why is "His honorable tyranny" bloods black?

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

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

Friday, August 12, 2011 9:42 PM

Did you factor the supposed connection between astrological sign and erogenous zones into each sign's patron troll? Like, Virgos are supposed to have a belly fetish, and Kanaya gets shot through the stomach, so did she get off while Eridan murdered her?

Wait, Virgos have a belly fetish??

I guess that explains all my stupid fat Vriska jokes.

Friday, August 12, 2011 9:39 PM

righteous leggings?

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

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

Friday, August 12, 2011 9:36 PM

As long as you don't go nuts with the alt text and add ASCII shapes and web links, this should prove to be an interesting development with you in your world.

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

Friday, August 12, 2011 9:28 PM

Does The Sufferer have finely chiseled abs, or are those pants?

Why can't it be both???

And then the ladies started lining up around the block.

Friday, August 12, 2011 9:26 PM

...........How long is a yard again?

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 12, 2011 9:22 PM

It looks like Gamzee was able to fabricate a Jack doll out of his anger/insanity and mess up the kid's session. How did Gamzee get that ability? What is the significance of 'adding' Jack since his character seems to be a default for all player sessions?

He didn't add Jack.

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 08, 2011 1:24 AM

So the Terezi Swoon picture is just that? It is, was, and always will be a picture, and not anything else?

That coolkid was never going to lead to anything.

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

Monday, August 08, 2011 12:44 AM

Did Aradia lose her horn privileges because she effed up the connection between page 5935 and 5936? Is horn privilege an important plot point worth scrutinizing in detail?

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

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

The frog
Dave/Gamzee
Scratch

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

Monday, August 08, 2011 12:41 AM

What does being a Bard of Rage have to do with making shtty dolls appear in people's dreams?

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

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

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

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

Additional notes:

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

Monday, August 08, 2011 12:32 AM

Why are you so insistent on making Scratch the creepiest uncle to ever have a cueball head?

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

Monday, August 08, 2011 12:01 AM

That is the shortest yard I have ever seen.

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

Monday, August 08, 2011 12:00 AM

The fifth wall is actually the barrier between the characters of a story and the critics. Not between two narrators.

In Homestuck, this statement is false.

Sunday, August 07, 2011 11:57 PM

Aug 7, 2011

If the 6th wall was broken would the tiger eat obese Vriska just before she gives us a detailed description of the troll reproductive process?

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

What's the chance of us being able to by the Hero of Space Hoodie?

Yes I think so.

Did you specifically make the Space hoodie BLAPCK just to mess with people?

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

Holy shit fanon is a stupid word.

hussie, aradia's horns momentarily disappeared. you should really get her to keep an eye on them.

She lost her horn privileges.

Explain to me what the heck just happened.

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

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

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

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

It is all so, so simple.

So have you, in fact, got the last tiger?

I'm cosplaying.

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

July 25, 2011 - Aug 9, 2011

What. What is happening. I. I don't understand.

Everything makes perfect sense.

The "panel not done yet" animations are fantastic. Any plans on preserving them in the Secrets section for posterity and for future readers?

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

Andrew Hussie... AAaaaaaaNDREW HuuuSsIEEEEEEE....

what

Are you aware that HS fans are creating porn of you with Bro? Just google Hussie x Bro and some pretty interesting stuff shows up. How do you feel about the fact that people are jerking off to pics of you making out with your own made up character?

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

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

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

You have ruined my moment of geeky happiness at the introduction of Tavros and Gamzees hashrap with this Tavzee/Gamvos stuff.....WHY HUSSIE WHY

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

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

Do trolls have boobs/nipples? Since they don't reproduce with their own bodies, is there really a need? Mindfang is shown to have boobs, but the others aren't. Is this an evolutionary thing, or did she just stuff something up her shirt?

Trolls also have a Will Smith.

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

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

July 25, 2011 - Aug 7, 2011

I'm sorry to say this, but I can't "focus" on the story with it's actual format. I believe more people would be happy if you'd go back to the linear updates for a while...

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

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

hey here's something: if derse only cares about destruction why would jack build a city?

The desert was boring.

So is Sollux currently dying? Half-dead? Half-Doomed? Half-more doomed? Am I missing something obvious? Should I ask more questions? ???

Yes to everything.

July 18, 2011 - Aug 7, 2011

It's pretty clear that a lot of Gamzee's lyrics were lifted from the Miracles song. I don't think I ever understood why that music video was blasphemy to Gamzee.

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

Are you going to be at otakon?

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

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

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

I'm annoyed that you're trying to create a good story and haven't been making Homestuck into a self-indulgent adventure all about your author avatar. When will the Hussatar return? When will Vriska come back to life to have an obese sex scene with him?

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

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

How long does it take you to make the average page of Homestuck?

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

ANDREW YOU TALKED ABOUT IT BUT I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD SEE THE DAY THAT FEDORAFREAK ASCENDED THE GENT OF PISS SHALL SAVE THE DAY PANTSFREAK IS THE BEST CHARACTER EVER BUT THE QUESTION REMAINS WHO DID HE CONNECT TO OK?????

He connected to 2busy4this.

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

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

He is quite busy.

So you didn't lie? You're actually going through with the 10,000-page long intermission of urine ingesting and headwear crafting?

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

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

$.

Hussie, did you know that several people believe fedorafreak is Dad? I wonder if their brains rain away with the got tiger, yet common knowledge blocks that thought. The tiger is too fast for the brains to catch up to.

Their brains cannot rain away with the got tiger.

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

July 18, 2011

Are these latest comics slower to get done because of the text-heavy nature of them, or is it just real life needing tending to? Not complaining about the pacing, just curious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does this mean? Here is what it means.

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

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

So what does THIS mean??

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

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


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



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




13







year










break.









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

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

July 8 - July 9, 2011

Has the big chunk of content format been better for you, or do prefer the daily updates that we have become so accustomed to? A lot of people seem to like this new format more!

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

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

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

July 2, 2011 - July 9, 2011

Why didn't Dead Vriska just show up at Nick Cage's House instead?

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

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

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

He is that good.

So I noticed Nepeta called her old lusus beaut'yiff'ull, does this tie her in with furry culture? It wouldn't be especially shocking, also considering other, more disturbing obsessors, like Equius.

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

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

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

I just wanted to say, I love that you fact checked how far the nearest Burger King was from Roses's house.

People tend to catch on to this minutia almost instantly.

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

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

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

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

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

Jade's location is even more remote.

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

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

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

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

How did Davesprite acquire an unbroken Deringer? The one that Liv had was only 1/2.

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

July 2, 2011 - July 8, 2011

Vriska's dream bubble is interesting to me. Is that a fake john or is it the john that died from alternate Dave's timeline back in part 4? Does that mean the Vriska that survived is somewhere out in paradox space fighting Jack Noir still?

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

You've done it again. This click a pic thing is...hell, better than a flash. At least I think so. Was it more difficult to construct?

The flash page itself took about 10 minutes to make.

The panels themselves took a good bit longer.

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

I guess the deadline for the June edition of the monthly music album has come and gone. Does this mean that you've given up on it, that you couldn't find an artist to finish in time, or is it just late? Not raging, just curious.

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

got to agree with the last question, the recent update was awesome, were you working on this during your road trip?

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

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

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

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

This most recent update was incredible. It brought back a lot of the crazy innovation and ingenuity that makes MSPA so mind-blowing. Was it influenced by Bard Quest at all? Is there any sort inspiration you look to when doing these unusual updates?

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

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

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

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

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

June 27, 2011 - July 2, 2011

What's up? Everything ok in Hussland?

Got back from being away a couple days ago.

Currently working on something for MSPA.

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

June 19, 2011 - June 25, 2011

Do you feel any hesitation at all in killing the trolls/kids? I mean, you originally had 16 of them and you're down to 9 or even 8 depending on if Gamzee's dead, which I'm still hoping he isn't. I mean, they're dropping like flies, man!

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

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

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

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

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

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

DEAR ANDREW HUSSIE YOUR TREATMENT OF CHARACTERS IS AWFUL AND YOU SHOULD FEEL ASHAMED FOR PUTTING YOUR COMIC ON THE INTERNET WHEN IT DOES NOT ADHERE TO MY FANFICTION. FURTHERMORE,

..... yes?

go on...

What's the story behind the number 420?

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

then i started lmF'INGa off at this.

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

the goat sounds just fucking like him.

Would you make Trolls! The Sitcom if a big network funded it?

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

your answer to the significance of the clock sure smacks of post-modern moralistic relativism. there is a right answer as to whether the clock affects vriska directly. explain yourself, sir.

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

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

Are you at all hesitant about killing off character after character of the main cast? I mean, we went from 16 trolls and kids to about... What, 8? 7 if Gamzee's dead, which I'm still hoping that he isn't. You're running out of cast members, man!

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

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

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

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

Were those pictures added by Doc Scratch or did Gamzee have them all along?

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

I thought Vriska decided she liked Kanaya after the trollian showdown - or was that just fleeting crush during her moment of vampire badassery?

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

Did Dave use Jade as a human shield, or did she jump in front of him or her own volition?

He Auto-Harleyed with her.

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

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

He's kind of a jerk.

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

Has a dying fan ever asked you how Homestuck will end?

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

Now I'm sad.

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

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

Hussie, you're the Hero of Light aren't you? It's the only way all of this stuff could work out the way it does.

I am the Huss of Lips.

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

What exactly did the Adagio Redshift do?

Fail to kill Jack.

Huss, you know the whole 2x smoochout combo thing? I CALLED THAT.

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

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

Why is Jack suddenly creepy? And why does this make him adorable?

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

June 16, 2011 - July 9, 2011

So, is the clock what official determines whether or not a God Tier player's death is just or heroic, or is it simply something that shows the outcome, much like a regular clock simply tells time, and does not hold any actually bearing on time?

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

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

So we can conclude that either:

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

or

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HM.

:::;)

June 12, 2011 - July 9, 2011

I really liked the clock, but I think that it would have been cooler if you did a Troll update for 6/12, even if it was not a flash. Oh well, still good.

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

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

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

Pantskat.

A clock? A clock is the big 6/12 update? Really?

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

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

It was 1612 pixels long.

Tallways.

I know this isn't a question, but I just have to say. Hussie. You troll. You made us think the trolls were dead for days and then you were just like "Nah, that didn't happen! Nevermind!" Props, man. That was a master prank you pulled.

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

So do you like Katamari Damacy or do you just know of it and found it an apt metaphor?

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

So what are Quarters and Matchsticks' powers exactly?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hey Andrew, if you could possibly, would you post perhaps the full sprites of Quarters and Matchsticks? It'd be really cool if you could, because at that size they're so small!;

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

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

If Trolls have two dicks, does Sollux have double that?

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

I was just hypnotized by that clock. You have a way of making incredibly beautiful things in your limited style. No question.

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

vvv

Thanks!

just/heroic? what?

Are you even reading the comic?

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

And then ask me formspring questions for some reason.

Does the choice of colors for the heroic/just clock have any meaning?

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

Derse = BAD GUY

Prospit = GOOD GUY

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

Are all female trolls futas? It seems to have been implied so far.

Only animes can be the thing you said.

There are only seven "x8"s in the second line of page 5750!

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

Then seven "x8".

8^y dots total.

Where y = 1 + 7.

June 10, 2011 - July 9, 2011

What's your astrological sign? Do you think it's representative of who you are?

The Signs of the Zodiac

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

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

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

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

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



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

What would the hypothetical flash have covered?

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

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

To right around here:

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

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

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

Pros of flash:

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

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

Cons:

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

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

- Hiatus-induced suicide pact among readership.

Pros of narration:

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

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

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

Cons:

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Terezi flips coin, Vriska flies away.

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

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

.....

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

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

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

May 28, 2011 - June 9, 2011

What have you wanted to do for years but haven't gotten around to yet?

Formspring question of the day

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

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

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

No, that would be silly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As for the Formspring Question of the Day...

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

May 27, 2011 - June 9, 2011

Will colourful site reskins be just for this Scratch segment, or will they perhaps become a permanent storytelling fixture from now on until the end?

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

Speaking of Tavros, did Gamzee set his head on the floor as an insult?

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

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

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

Why does everyone smile everything you answer?

The much, much better question is:

Why don't you?

Why is Scratch in the banner now?

He's taking a little break.

May 26, 2011 - June 9, 2011

So the hoodies are halfassed forever? Or will you actually have God hoods eventually?

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

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

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

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

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

So what exactly is in that hammer? Current running theory is Zillyhoo+Octet+Mindfangs Journal.

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

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

At the beginning of the story, characters would often call one-another by their chumhandle abbreviations (TT, GG, etc). While I understand this is because they hadn't been given names yet, wouldn't it make sense for them to still do it now and then?

No, because it is governed by Homestuck logic.

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

But if the Lions get Got Tiger, then who will be left alive?

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

How will you catch the lions after catching the got tiger?

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

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

May 26, 2011 - May 27, 2011

in the last update, you referred to Vriska as the other "Hero of Light" but she isn't the Hero, shes the Thief...right???

Hero of ____ is the generic term for any player.

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

Vriska is a Hero of Light. So is Rose.

But their full titles also include specific classes.

John is an Heir. Tavros is a Page.

Vriska is a Thief. Rose is a Seer.

Why DID it have to be lions?

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

i cannot believe cs is up to cs5. i will not believe it. sorry about your computer(s). how do you afford all the computers? do you have savings/another "job"/does mspa really afford you a comfortable laptop-buying lifestyle?

I don't actually buy that many computers.

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

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

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

Sometimes stuff you say just makes me so mad I want to punch you in the mouth and take away your teeth as a trophy. Stop pretending to be so smart, you arrogant cumlicker! You don't have to buy a new copy of windows, the key is RIGHT THERE on your box! :\

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

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

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

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

Dear Andrew, my favourite character has not appeared in Homestuck for so long now; when will Andrew Hussie be making another appearance?

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

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

May 19, 2011 - May 27, 2011

Is the new album going to be released soon? I am positively excited for it.

Yep.

There are 2 actually.

One HS volume. One solo album.

You do know the CS5 taskbar issue is a small bug, not a feature, (which also exists with MSN) easily fixed by running in Vista or XP compatibility mode?

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

But maybe this tip would have been the workaround?

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

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

I think it would have been worth waiting several weeks to see this as a flash.

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

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

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

Hussie, just switch to apple. Join the master race

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

If you ever do upgrade to CS5 down the line, you'll be happy to know that tabbed documents are completely optional. You can uncheck "Open Documents as Tabs" in the interface preferences and it reverts to the usual behaviour.

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

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

Hey Andrew, did you get raptured? You've been quiet for a few days now.

More technical problems.

TOO BORING; DON'T READ.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The stylized battle sprites for Rose and Jack's STRIFE are incredibly awesome! Did one of the art team members create them, or is this a variation on your usual style?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Lions.

(roar)

Why did it have to be...

(roar)

Lions. :(

May 10, 2011 - May 13, 2011

ARE YOU TRAPPED IN CANADA?? ? ? ? ?? ? PLEASE COME HOME

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check the site again:

<strikethru>Tomorrow</strikethru>

<strikethru>The next day</strikethru>

<fakehtml>The day after that</bullshit>

The future.

Apr 30, 2011 - May 9, 2011

Is the tiger too fast for anybody to catch!? I gotta know!

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

"mspadventures responded 41 seconds ago" WHY ARE YOU NOT UPDATING???? :(((((((((((((((

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

I've noticed that even if a browser is capable of going to the next page via the flash, the gray message box pops up. If that's going to happen every single time you do this, maybe it isn't worth it.

The behavior you have observed is far from universal.

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

That was 8some !!!!!!!! ::::)

8some?

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

Apr 30, 2011

You've been up to something lately, right? Your updates are less frequent now...

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

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

And then I finished the animation.

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

What did you do today? :)

Apr 29, 2011 - Apr 30, 2011

In your recent news post, you said there will never be a hyperlink below "Insert Disc 2", but does that mean that "Seer:Ascend" will never be on the "Recent Pages" area? Furthermore, will the hyperlink to future pages be on the bottom of the seer page?

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

Dear Andrew, I must say that the new flash update in Homestuck is decidely the best one yet. You now own my soul. Sincerely, arbitraryMelody

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

I know you made a point to avoid going into too much detail about the troll mating ritual, but do you at least have some idea of what goes on in those buckets even if you never plan on telling us?

Yes I know exactly what they are for.

[description below nsfw]

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

Will I ever get a story arc?

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

For those of us who donated for Japan last month, when can we expect our sketches in the mail?

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

Since we have now entered Disc 2, are we still in Act 5.2, or have we moved on to Act 5.3 or Act 6?

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

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

So older trolls keep their lusii, instead of abandoning them?

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

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

In [S] Seer: Ascend, was the green moon blocked by Pyralspite as Mindfang's journal would indicate, or did it disappear/teleport away the way it looks in the flash?

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

Apr 19, 2011 - Apr 30, 2011

Ed in Caledscratch = Eddie Morton, right?

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

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

I forgot the point I was making?

Apr 19, 2011 - Apr 20, 2011

Just wanna say it was awesome for you to put a link to that video in the latest update. In case you haven't seen it, the person who posted it says thank you.

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

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

Victrolaman"

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

Apr 16, 2011 - Apr 20, 2011

I don't care what anyone says, I loved your record updates. They made me so very very happy. BUT GET ON WITH IT, LAD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did you name the Midnight Crew after the Eddie Morton song or was it coincidence?

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

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

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

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

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

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

You have cats now? Are they cute?

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

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

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

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













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

What was the deal with the disks? Was it just an attempt to panic some of your more fanatical readers (it worked), or is there some deeper meaning?

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

Nepeta...!? NEPETA?! RAGE TIME!!

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

Apr 16, 2011

So what's the official two-year word/page/etc count now?

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

Does Gamzee have eyebrows? Does he pluck them or just plain not have any, or are they hiding under his hair and makeup?

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

Hussie, what you have built, seemingly out of nothing, is a truly incredible work of fiction. A literal multiverse of possibility, wrapped in mystery, and slathered in childlike wonderment (in a good way). I hope your third year is amazing. Keep it up! :D

!!!!!!!!!!



Ok.

Act 5.2 sucked.

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

How much should we expect to pay for the God tier hoodies? I'm assuming 39 like the Problem Sleuth one, but I suppose asking doesn't hurt. We are eager to forcefully shove our money down your wallet.

They'll likely be cheaper.

If you're feeling burnt out, you can take a break you know. We wouldn't mind.

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

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

When do you think the third Problem Sleuth book will come out?

Probably this summer.

Will the God Hoods have those long hoods?

No!

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

Are you ever going to put out anything on the "correct" ways to pronounce the names for the trolls and the various other difficult-to-pronounce things?

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

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

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

How did Terezi get her sunglasses back? >:?

Gamzee took them off before he killed Equius.

Terezi recovered them at the scene of the crime.

Why are so many of the antagonists in Homestuck nigh-invincible? It seems they can't be fought or escaped, just avoided or delayed.

Some of them die.

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

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

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

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

What was the point of attaching music to the very end of the latest flash?

It's the secret room music.

She fell in the secret room.

The song is from Secret of Mana.

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

Hey Andrew, I was wondering if any of the other dead trolls will get to got tiger besides Viriska and Aradia , I'm not asking witch one will make it I don't want to you to reveal any surprises like that.

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

If you saw any of your Formspring connections in person what would you do?

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

Wait you are a spambot I think.

What do you make of Nicholas Cage's arrest?

I'm presently acting as his legal counsel.

Apr 13, 2011 - Apr 16, 2011

How many questions have you got from people complaining about there not being a flash update (up until this point, at least)?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gotta say, I'm surprised you made 2 more SBaHJ shirts. I figured we'd see something Exile/MC related instead, since there's nothing for them yet and they're more important. Was the demand for new SBaHJ material really that high to warrant 2 more shirts?

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

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

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

Apr 7, 2011 - Apr 9, 2011

Doesn't EVERYTHING sound weird when you say it a lot? Especially the word weird. It's spelled really weird, isn't it? It's really weird how weird the weird spelling of the weird word weird is. Weird, huh? Weird weird weird weird weird. See?

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

Any word on those God Tier Hoddies?

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

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

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

Also, there will be some other stuff.

What if, instead of people replacing 'trolling' with 'doing jokes', you realised the definition to most people is nearly synonymous? While trolling is antagonistic it is often done in a way that is supposed to be funny, after all.

The terms are not synonymous.

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

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

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

We should get married. :3

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

How are you enjoying your new digs?

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

Dig sounds weird when you say it a lot.

Did you mean this? TrollAH: thats what im doing here im making a point of makin every little thing take place what was once mentioned in passing no matter how seemingly trivial or pointless TAH: thats how all the best adventures get strung together. ಠ_ಠ

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

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

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

Mar 30, 2011 - Apr 9, 2011

It can be difficult to discern what view on time travel you take, but the most recent seems to be the branching tree timeline theory which I myself do not like. Especially when it is so schrodingerian in it's execution and explanation.

I do not have a view on time travel.

I also do not have a religion.

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

Mar 30, 2011 - Apr 5, 2011

It seems like the act is finally starting to wrap up, and it also seems that 4/13 is rapidly approaching us. Would it be safe to expect an act-closing Flash on Homestuck's second anniversary?

Nope.

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

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

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

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

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

You already answered that question in the previous batch

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

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

Mar 29, 2011 - Apr 2, 2011

that was a sweet [s] update, but why the abrupt ending?

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

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

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

Critical thinking is really important for navigating this website.

"It's possible I might not do a Flash between now and the end of A5." LIES.

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

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

Andrew, I just wanted to say thank you for delivering us a fantastic flash page, especially in the midst of your crowded schedule. Seer:Descend is definately one of my favorite flashes in Homestuck. You've done an amazing job so far. Keep it up, Huss. :3

Thank you, this is nice of you to say.

Mar 17, 2011 - Apr 2, 2011

You made a comment saying that SBaHJ was very closely connected to homestuck. Does this mean that when homestuck ends, SBaHJ will also stop? Please tell me this isn't true.

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

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

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

Do you think making this story has made you a better storyteller?

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

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

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

"the peculiar metric of author intervention" But I thought it was being measured in yards. :0

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

HOW IROthis is silly

Your direct, real-time engagement with your audience, through forums, Formspring, breaking the fourth wall, etc., is, as far as I know, unprecedented in scope. Has this happened naturally, or do you have some kind of strategy? Or would that be telling?

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

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

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

If you know the dangers of a self insert and are confident you can do it responsibly, why bother assuring the reader about it at all?

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

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

Why would you even respond to somebody calling you a douchebag? It doesn't help your case.

I just thought the question was funny.

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

Sometimes people lecture me through FS for some reason.

Do some people genuinely believe you are a great author on the level of Vonnegut, Shakespeare, Elliot, Joyce, Woolfe etc? I mean, you are supremely talented and Homestuck certainly is an outstanding achievement but... perspective guys c'mon.

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

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

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

will you ever make a flash for Rex Duodecim Angelus? since the album release, we have all been wanting to see one.

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

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

How large percentage of your long wall-of-text responses to us is simply pulling stuff out of your ass to mess up with your readers? Was that SBaHJ answer one of these?

Everything I say here is true.

Unless I'm joking.

Bo)

Refraining using music is crazy. You'll never use all the songs in an album anyway, so it wouldn't be a waste.

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

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

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

Wow, thank you for insulting anyone who doesn't like what you're doing in the comic. Nice to see you're a world class douchebag on top of being a shitty writer. Is there no level your ability to be an asshole won't steep?

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

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

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

The fact that your'e admitting a self insert kind of defeats the statement that it won't affect anything

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

I think a lot of people find it hard to believe that majority of this comic is built up on coincidence/ make-up-as-you-go. I'm quite baffled, but somehow I am okay with it.

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

Would you mind if I used "Aggressively Pregnant" as the name of a rock band, provided I do a song or two about how awesome and HS you are?

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

What do you say to the few people who read SBaHJ but not Homestuck? I know for a fact that they exist. A friend of mine made his facebook profile pic Sweet Bro, but had no idea what Homestuck was when I questioned him about it.

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

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

B^U <3 8^y

B^**^8 SMOOCH

oh god what is this with sweet bro and hella jeff do you do ANYTHING without tying it into the main plot anymore?

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

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

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

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

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

From time to time, you make such strange plots twists that it seems like you're just making it up as you go along, but then you show foreshadowing from thousands of pages back. How far back do some of these crazy twists go back, plan wise?

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

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

what do you do to the SBaHJ pages to make them look so unbelievably shitty?

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

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

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

I've got three words for you, Hussie. BEST. UPDATE. EVER.

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

these updates look suspiciously like you're stalling for time.

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

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

8^y

You sure do like your Interludes of Silliness, don't you?

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

Mar 16, 2011 - Apr 2, 2011

Is it Terry Pratchett's success that inspired you to pander to anime nerds?

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

~CSQ~

Is it safe to say that "going grimdark" would be the opposite of becoming a rainbow drinker?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is up with the very-short, soundless flashes? Why not have condensed Rose going grimdark into a slightly longer flash with music similar to the showdown between Eridan/Vriska/Gamzee?

Because I didn't feel like it???

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

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

Mar 16, 2011

In the latest updates, it looks like Skaia is above the beat mesa rather than Dave's house. I thought all the houses were supposed to build up to Skaia. What's going on here, sir?

There was a small liberty taken with perspective.

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

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

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

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

Why do you have silent flashes, when you could easily pin on a somewhat fitting song to give a small boost to album sales?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mar 9, 2011

we need a replacement chicken sandwich question tradition that lets everyone know when its ok to stop refreshing formspring

http://www.kfc.com/doubledown/

Are you really going to push a reset button, sir? Because as much as I love this series, and have not even once felt you made a wrong move or "trolled your fanbase" as so many accuse, I have to say, a reset would kind of be the biggest cop-out imaginable.

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

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

You don't need to answer this, but I have yet to be not awed by a piece of Flash you have released. They are all amazing treasures that I appreciate. Don't do them any more than you want to, of course, but know that, for me, the wonder hasn't faded yet.

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

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

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

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

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

you best be workin on a flash hussie

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

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

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

Or I might! We'll see.

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

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

Your creepy uncle.

I just read the entirety of Homestuck to date. I was at no point shocked, disturbed, or dismayed at the dark turn Homestuck has taken. I was, though, always entertained. Does this mean I'm almost as demented as you, or am I missing some vast cosmic point?

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

Rose says that Derse dreamers can hear the horrorterrors during "the eclipse"... but what is Derse's moon eclipsing?

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

have you ever gone so far as ever to need more to do look more like?

YES

Mr. Hussie, I'm a huge fan of your work. You strike as somebody who's both very artistically talented any knowledgeable in literature and writing. Do you have any formal education in these subjects?

I have neither.

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

How do you respond to the criticism that you don't have the balls to kill off /real/ characters?

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

So why did you animate Jack pocketing the candy so well? The fluidity of it is somewhat jarring. (Which is a weird thing to say when you think about it but whatever)

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

you're going to just have the scratch happen and then the next ==> link back to the first page of homestuck, aren't you? just have this endless loop of a recurring retcon, right? i mean, it WOULD be the ultimate way to troll the fanbase once and for all

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

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

Did you know that 6/12/2011 will be the one solar sweep anniversary of Homestuck? (2.166666... earth years)

THAT'S PRETTY SWEET

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

So is the whole The Scratch=The Rift thing meant to be a red herring like Bec Noir=Lord English was?

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

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

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

It occurs to many people here that the only way you could have had the ending completely planned out from the very beginning is if you always intended to do a reset. ...Especially considering that the trolls were supposed to be minor characters.

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

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

...Please tell me that Jack Noir destroyed whatever Aradia's equivalent to the Scratch was. I don't think I could bear a 2x-reset combo.

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

What's with the slow-ass updates recently? Not taking you for granted, just curious.

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

Just when I think you can't make the situation any more fucked up beyond all comprehension, you reward us with an explanation of the Scratch that wipes out everything they did and renders everything they have done up until now a waste of time. Bravo.

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002731

Mar 8, 2011 - Mar 9, 2011

I've come to really like Doc Scratch in a very short amount of time, and looking back I realize this is roughly what happens with the whole cast. Is there a specific way your formulate your characters that allows all of them to be so intensely enjoyable?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why would Doc Scratch, in his omniscience, make as drastic a typo of biolgical? Was it a joke?

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

Mar 2, 2011 - Mar 9, 2011

Why were two entities needed to produce Doc Scratch when only one was needed for Bec? Is that just how it worked out, or is it to do with their session being bigger or something?

Dogs are pretty simple creatures.

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

Is the reason why Doc Scratch does everything Lord English does (unlike Bec possibly) is because he is a puppet.

He is figuratively Lord English's puppet, yes.

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

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

A weapon.

What is the significance of the wording of Tick Tock Break Heads?

You forgot honk honk.

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

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

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

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

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

honk honk meow

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

So if Tavros isn't the best troll, at least he's number one, no matter how derpy he is. Honestly Tavros is one of my favorites.

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

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

(regarding troll numerology, 2 questions down)

When will the shirts restock?

They just did.

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

uh...

For now.

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

Why did Tavros write "t1ck" when all of the other trolls wrote according to their quirk?

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

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

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

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

0: Aradia
1: Tavros
2: Sollux

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don't understand what's going on about the genetic codes or whatever.

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

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

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

Isn't Dr. Scratch surprisingly erudite for someone who is part Lil Cal?

He is also part all-knowing magic cue ball.

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

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

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

were you planning from the start to have Bro's creepy rapping puppet eventually become a god? actually don't answer that, I don't think I could handle the devastation if you weren't.

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

What?! Doc Scratch was created through ectobiology? And one of the components was Cal?! That's ... that's ... !

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

Caledscratch.

I don't mean to nitpick, but i couldn't help but notice this... the t1CK and t0ck sequences have 7 characters together, not 8 (t, 1, 0, C, c, K, k, and the T is missing)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wait a sec, I thought all the first guardians share the same genetic code, Why does scratch's code not include "MEOW"?

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

vvv

Here comes the magic of logic.

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

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

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

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

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


*Addendum:

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

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

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

It MIGHT.

Or might not.

This is MSPA obscurica at its finest.

Feb 19, 2011 - Mar 9, 2011

Oh my god why are you doing so many awesome things at once. It's hard to bitch about you not showing more Kanpire shit when you're stopping to have us be Jack Noir. I mean COME ON does it GET MORE AWESOME THAN THIS?

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

I'm a little confused; why Mom and Dad? There doesn't seem to be a lot of purpose to it, other than watching Jack flip the fuck out on his ill-gotten loots.

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

"You are actually supposed to simultaneously laugh and cry as hard as you can out of every orifice in your body." <-- So is that what happened to Sollux when he was hit by the VAST GLUB?

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

It was the VAST SOB.

Do you think Noir remembered Dad before he killed him? Or does the prototyping also affect the psychology of the ringbearer so much that past respects and gratitudes may be forgotten?

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

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

okay. were we really supposed to *laugh* at mom and dad's death? are you serious?

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

Mom and Dad didn't even put up a fight?

How do we know they didn't?

Kanaya kicking ass and taking names is basically the best birthday present. You won my birthday. As such I give it over to you. Happy birthday!

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

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

>Now let's all delete all of our non-mspa bookmarks, right now. EVEN DINOSAUR COMICS? :O :O :O :O :O

ESPECIALLY DINOSAUR COMICS

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

Is Kanaya a Lesbian?

I think this was pretty obvious a long time ago.

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

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

In the space of four days we jumped from Vriska pirate porn to "Climatic showdown with donated art and ominous music" to Crotchrocketing and Vriska lovin'. No question here. Just pointing out how wonderful it is to watch your mind work.

MSPAspace is a pretty fast and loose kind of space.

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 18, 2011 - Mar 9, 2011

Did you know that there was a Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff Cameo in The Cleveland Show? http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lgt3723bWm1qgcsjxo1_500.jpg

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

I do now.

They don't seem very happy about it.

Tell us all about troll boners.

Trolls pop boners like stunt guys pop wheelies.

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

Can't we change the terminology to auspicing, being an auspice and being in an auspicetice? I'm tripping over all these goddamn morphemes.

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

So, do you intentionally pick out the dumbest questions to answer? Ah, crap...

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

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

I imagine you're getting a mix of "WTF how could you" and "you rock" comments, so I just wanted to add in to the chorus of "This was awesome and I love you, shine on you crazy diamond."

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

wait...

your question just officially made it...

100%!



:0

Is Nepeta's fate as a Schrodinger's Cat joke intentional?

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

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

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

Alright so, you're trolling us again. You bait us out with epic showdowns. We get Kanaya coming in and KOing them all in the lamest ways imaginable. I must confess, most times when I read the whining from fans it irritates me. But this is just stupid.

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

Andrew I don't know how anyone can ever say that Homestuck is too serious, a guy just got kicked in the crotch so hard that his shoes flew off.

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

Seriously? Kanaya goes after Vriska next? Wouldn't she want to kill Eridan for 'killing' her?

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

I just realized "DOOF" backwise is "FOOD" HOOOOOLEEEESHIIIIIIIIIIT

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

I am that sure.

The glow is partly a dig at twilight, correct?

A dig??? Try a CELEBRATION!!!

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

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

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

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

With science debunked is this some jab at Atheists and their religion?

All religion is real. Time to deal with it.

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

Did vampire Kanaya just successfully pull off a 3x Satisfaction Combo?

First she auspisticized between Gamzee and Vriska.

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

there were

deuce clubs

B|

Feb 16, 2011 - Mar 9, 2011

Does this mean you wont be posting anything for several days?

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

I hate to sound ungrateful, but what was the purpose of the latest flash? Couldn't the message here have been relayed through regular panels? I appreciate the work you've done, I'm just curious.

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

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

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

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

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

You really tricked me with that [S] 3x Showdown Combo, I was expecting a huge all out fight or something. Anything like that maybe coming in the near (or distant) future?

I did?

I made the flash in like 3 hours.

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

Feb 14, 2011 - Mar 9, 2011

Is this the afterlife for everyone, or only Sburb players?

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

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

sup. i would like to introduce myself as one of the creeps who set up that fuckyeahandrewhussie tumblr thing. although formspring is a huge dick by telling me to cut my questions short, i'm just wondering whether you're okay with a blog dedicated to you.

I thought it was funny.

Was that the plan? Was that what is was there for? To give us a boner? cause we got one

The Nic Cage Song Video

Play

How much of the journal was real and how much was MM's self-insert fiction?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And here I thought the valentines day udate would be Gamzee beating Nepeta to death. This is good too though.

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

Nobody guessed ancestral pirate porn.

<3< is a much better spade, don't you think?

<}< <3<

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

That Mindfang journal page was the greatest thing I never even knew I always wanted.

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

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

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

I mean fangfic.

Happy V-tine's.

<3 / <}<

~Feb 13, 2011? - Mar 9, 2011

1000 Pages of Husslips - the perfect accompaniment to any coffee table. But seriously, the one panel a page approach looks like it allows for more cohesive storytelling. Do you feel that other authors, forced to add a punchline, weaken their work/drama?

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

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

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

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

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

But Aradia's introduction had her be crazy tall before the symbolic manner appeared! Are all of them the size of Dad or Spades?

Final answer: all of them are all heights.

Seeing as this act is nearly half the length of the adventure so far and shows few signs of ending soon, how long are you expecting acts 6 and 7 be? How much longer will THIS act even be, for that matter?

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

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

I find it hilarious that people think they have authority to tell you what's wrong with the direction you're taking. But that's not a question. As a story-teller, how do you feel about updating a story constantly ala MSPA vs. tradition methods?

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

How I feel.

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

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

I'm still waiting for that height chart. Don't shoosh pap my dreams.

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

Do you know, say, exactly what the update 10 updates from now will be, you just haven't written/drawn it yet?

Nope.

I guess you could assume that Lusii aren't biologically part of the troll growth cycle, and it's a developed symbiosis that occured over time? That at one point troll women breastfed their young? Wait why am I trying to justify troll boobs, this is stupid

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

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

/END FANFICTION

In your opinion, which character has received the most unwarranted fan attention?

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

I thought you said LEAST attention.

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

Do you ever listen to any criticisms some people have about your webcomics, and then try to improve upon it?

Yes.

Since Karkat is not a member of an established troll blood class, where did he get his symbol?

Maybe we'll find out

?

Dear Andrew do you take some sort of perverse pleasure in alternating between making Vriska do immensely unlikeable things and then say things that betray a reasonably human personality underneath? Because some of my friends are getting whiplash.

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

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

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

How far in advance do you generally draw panels? For example, do you have the next panels for some of the offscreen characters [say Rose or the exiles] drawn already, or will you not draw them until the day you decide to shift focus back onto them?

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

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

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

So what's with that weird protrusion in Mindfang's hair? Is it a horn? Part of her hair? A goofy pirate hat?

It is a pirate hat.

Pirates love silly hats.

If you never have a cause to draw them all in the course of the story, will you at least at some point draw all twelve Troll ancestors? That would be so awesome.

We will:

1) See no more ancestors.

2) See some more ancestors.

3) See all of the ancestors.

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

~Feb 13, 2011?

Looking back, it is pretty obvious that reader suggestions have been appearing less and less while the arrows are becoming more frequent. Have you already worked out the entire outcome of HS, using suggestions only when they fit in with your plans?

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

Feb 10, 2011 - ~Feb 13, 2011?

TROLLS HAVE BOOBS TROLLS HAVE BOOBS.

There was never any question about this.

Observe troll Drew Barrymore.

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

Case closed!

Feb 9, 2011 - ~Feb 13, 2011?

I am flabbergasted by your ability to alternate between insightful comments that show you genuinely understand your audience (even if you don't agree with them) and trollish remarks that further incite those same readers. What determines how you respond?

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

The plates are YOU CHUMPS.

And the sticks?

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

Homestuck didn't really do the Fucked Up Shit, as you said. But you act like everyone should've expected it anyways. Is the author's disposition or history more important than the direction the -story- has taken? I thought you CONJURED this, not wrote it!

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hussie, your introducing of Whistles has piqued my interest, and I believe I've found a download link. However, it being marked as free, I was wondering if this is actually a legitimate sale. http://preview.tinyurl.com/yebzfnw

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

Which I actually think is pretty cool.

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

Why are you prioritizing the story becoming as GRIMDARK as possible over being entertaining or funny? Problem Sleuth managed to incorporate "dark" elements and make them funny, but Homestuck is devolving into one of those "edgy = art" comics from the 90's

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

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

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

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

But Humanimals wasn't bad because of the bizarre characters, it was bad because it didn't have any jokes beyond "boy this sure is WACKY WEIRD isn't it!?"

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

Now, I understand. I've been reading your work all wrong. All this time, I thought it to be a source of entertainment; something to discuss and enjoy. But it isn't. Your work, like David Firth's, is meant to make an artistic statement. To inspire shock.

Nah.

I just think bizarre and dark stuff is entertaining.

But not exclusively.

You once said that having Gamzee flip out and start murdering people was "extremely hilarious." are the latest developments also "extremely hilarious" or is the time for such shenanigans over and you're trying to make him legitimately frightening?

both??

observe;

hilarious

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

frightening

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

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

So... Is Nepeta actually scratching him or is Gamzee slashing his face on purpose just to be fucked up?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway I guess that's enough about all that.

Supplementing the previous question, from what I have seen a lot of the "value" of the comic is derived from its characters. I realise we haven't yet seen everything, but what has really been "gained" by their deaths vs keeping them. Excluding Kanaya.

Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

For now, I'll keep the answer mathematical.

We have gained negative several characters.

man I really like the plot arc right now its fucking great! I love crazy gamzee haha.

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

What is it exactly that makes Gamzee so powerful?

Primarily evil clown power I guess.

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

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

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

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

I'm excited to see how you manage to write nepetaquest in a believable manner now

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

Ok. Enough about the "WHY'D YOU KILL HIM?" Questions. Let's go back to the slightly more generic "Did you plan that?" questions. Any reason you put so many pictures of Gamzee getting his face cut up on the 666th day of the comic?

Well it IS a pretty evil number.

This is scientific reality of the most empirically measurable magnitude.

If people are upset about a character's death, it's a sign that the story is working. Better that they care and feel upset for a while than not care at all, right?

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

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

For a character with an almost perpetual expression of dismay, it's nice to see Equius go out with a smile. So were we being shown how powerful Gamzee really is comparison to horseboy or did he not resist because he was too busy pulling a Dave Carradine?

FYI David Carradine was a Sagittarius.

I dunno how strong he was though.

Maybe kinda strong.

So, how's that new hardware coming along? Your site is taking a beating and it's 1 AM on a Tuesday.

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

By I'll get around to it soon hopefully.

Feb 6, 2011 - Feb 9, 2011

So I think Equius was way more of an interesting and complex character than you realise. Yes, more than you, the author, realise. I find his death disappointing because I read heaps more into him then you deliberately put there. DEATH OF THE AUTHOR, BITCH

Oh ok I accidentally made him a complex character?

WHOOPS!!!

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

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

Time to get a grip.

why bother giving Equius and Nepeta a flash to characterize them and then just kill him off? You've basically admitted yourself that, unlike Eridan, he will forever be a joke, so I dont understand the point of taking all this time for him.

Ok, imagine I didn't do the Flash.

Now replace your question with this.

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

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

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

What would have been interesting is Feferi joining Eridan, even just to talk him out of his plan, and having the highbloods as an antagonistic force vs those lower on the hemospectrum. How often do you lock yourself out of interesting ideas?

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

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

How did the bowstring not snap in two when it met Equius's STRONG neck-muscles? Just his luck, huh? The one time a bowstring doesn't break around him, it's killing him.

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

He was just that passive.

Why is Equius smiling, even though he was being murdered in murder mode?

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

Alright, I'll admit it. I'm surprised by how Equius dies, so you did what you set out to do there. But funny as it was, I was also disappointed. Did you always want for him to have such a lame death?

Of course it was lame.

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

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

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

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

Why haven't you smiled at anything? Why won't you smile anymore? :(

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

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

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

The clock is ticking. :o)

Except that a transportalizer can take you anywhere. This is more like having a door lead to a hallway that runs some circuitous path to a neighboring room and one door would suffice.

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

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

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

Do you think you're gonna be at Comic Con this year? Or are you sitting it out?

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

Equius has the second highest land-dweller blood. How is he a "peasantblood" in any way?

Have you ever heard of a SICK BURN???

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

a room only containing 2 transportalisers and 2 vents doesn't make much sense either.

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

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

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

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

No seriously what is it? Is it some inside joke that was in a Homestuck page long ago? I can't remember that far back.

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

fedora freak
fedora freak mspa
fedora freak homestuck

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

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

I guess I forgot the point I was making.

Because I like to have what just happened in the story fresh in my mind before launching into new content. Simply seeing a new blue arrow in the place of all those depressing purple ones, as opposed to a new arrow on the latest page, is like christmas.

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

It's just common se...

thpppppbpbpbpbpbthpphhphphpbbbpthhthphth i give up

What's all this Fedora Freak stuff?

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

Does this mean we haven't seen the last of Tavros, either? Unless you genuinely killed off your favorite punching bag.

YES

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

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

How did you manage to make the word "honk" so scary and hilarious at the same time

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

?s=6&p=004000 <-- Tavaro's introduction page ?s=6&p=005000 <-- Tavaro's prepares to kiss Vriska and revive her Coincidence?

Yes.

I always appreciate when you add at least one page after a flash, that means I can sit on that page and F5 without having to re-load the latest flash OVER and OVER and OVER again. So uh, thanks!

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

Couldn't the transportalisers in the room of 'grub sause' connect to each other? (One couldn't work cause the other was slashed)

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

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

While playing the most as Nepeta in the vents, the music suddenly started to speed up (as did the honking), and Nepeta started to move so fast she clipped through walls, when restarting it, the effect remained. Was this intended?

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

Do you think the command link under [S] Wake might perhaps be spoiling the ending a little bit? It takes awhile for these things to load and one's eye can't help but wander onto it, and it, well, gives away that Tavros takes a fall of some sort?

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

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

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

Are you at all afraid that people then might be "expecting" more character deaths? Won't that make it lose the emotional impact, and thus be kind of boring when they could happen unexpectedly a lot further down the track?

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

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

Normally, the arrows are "==>" because the two dashes on two letters means 4 kids, right? And same with the trolls having "======>", too. Does the "-->" arrow here mean anything?

Yes.

It means "arrow."

Do you ever have to make the conscious decision of foreshadowing something you plan on doing based on whether or not you think it is worth the chance people will figure it out ahead of time?

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

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

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

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

Not that I thought you were necessarily serious/unserious about the matter, but the Twitter name fedorafreak is now free. Of course, I just now started reading this FS, so maybe it was like that all along, and Ludlum just another figment you conjured up.

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

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

Jan 30, 2011 - Feb 2, 2011

Who needs that much shaving cream? I haven't shaved in over a year (for a contest) and haven't trimmed since August.

You would be a horrible father.

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

How the fuck was the Harlequin doll too big for the Cards, yet one ton of shaving cream isn't?

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

Try thinking scientifically next time.

What should I ask you about?

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

Was it really one ton?

The answer is, yes it was.

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

Jan 28, 2011 - Feb 2, 2011

Are you ever planning on the guardians of the kids (John's Dad, Rose's Mom, Dave's Bro, Becquerel) becoming more developed? It's almost disappointing how little characterization they've gotten, compared to everyone else.

They don't even have faces.

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

How the fuck does ~_^ represent winking anyway both of the damn eyes are closed. I never got this.

^_~

Why did you feel it necessary to tease everyone like you did with the 2x Corpsesmooch Combo? Did you feel it needed to troll the people who still had hope? Explain yourself, Hussie.

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

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

The answer was no.

Oh my God. The new self-insert is seriously so awesome that it made the others even better. Which brings me to a question: you sometimes use real-world links in the story. What would you do if a link were moved or taken off the web?

I would probably just ragequit Homestuck.

How do you manage to time real world dates with things that happen in the story? The lab ball dropping on NYE comes to mind. Total coincidence?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You only included Nepeta in the Wake flash because earlier (later) Nepeta remarked (will remark) that she saw Jack Noir. LONG LIVE NEPETA

ONLY




ONE




:33

Would you mind addressing the concerns of some that the death of Kanaya is some sort of commentary on homosexuality?

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

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

I believe that you added Feferi to the "Wake" flash primarily as it showed she could not be revived when this happened. Does that mean Nepeta is next?

are YOU next?

OK, that was funny, but the author interruptions seem to happen a lot more often now.

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

So I guess it's a spurt?

I dunno.

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

I have to commend you on sticking to your guns and mythology with Tavros' and Kanaya's deaths. A lot of people were outraged and you kept death an actual part of Homestuck. As much as I wanted them to be alive, at least the tension of death is present.

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

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

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

What does that MEAN, you ask?

~_^

Is the Twitter account "fedorafreak" now going to recieve huge amounts of hate-mail now that it's not the true Fedora Freak?

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

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

Yeah.

BULLSHIT, "Gabe Ludlum."

Andrew, are you going to mention anything in HS about Ophiucus, the new Zodiac sign they randomly created? Do you have a thirteenth troll in the works?!

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

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

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

Author written, Peter Pan inspired slashfic, starring the author(with corpses). How does your mind even comprehend these horrors?

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

The meta- self insertion stuff is kind of getting old and annoying. Is it possible for you to tune it down a bit?

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

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

How about:

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

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

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

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

Jan 25, 2011 - Feb 2, 2011

I would read a FedoraFreak comic, erry day. Pretty sure I'm not alone.

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

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

http://twitter.com/fedorafreak

LUDLUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM.

You better hope you resurrect Fedora Freak before you resurrect a dumb one-dimensional troll or you're in for a pap shoosh doof NAKKING!!!!

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

STAY TUNED.

Why does Terezi have big black inches of Husslips while Tavros' face just has a teethhole?

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

#facefacts

Do you know about the rumor that the Adventure Time animators read Homestuck and like to make references to it?

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

I'm liking how things are going, Mr. Hussie, but then, I'm one of the fans who's been with you since Problem Sleuth. Do you believe the recent violent backlash given recent updates may cause you to lose a number of fans?

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

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

Are you disturbed by the fandom's fascination with your lips?

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

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

I think it was an earlier formspring question where you mentioned one way of having a dreamself awaken was the kiss of a princess. Is the princess part not necessary, or is it just a "princess" in the way Dave is Prince of Derse's moon, or something else?

Every player is a prince or princess of a moon.

Do you ever make yourself laugh when you draw things? If so, when?

Almost perpetually.

If you need to save bandwidth, you could ask people to F5 Spam / get the feed from http://www.mspaintadventures.com/rss/rss.xml. That must use less then F5ing the front page. I mean it's a temporary solution, but still. Don't slow down! Ride the high!

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

How many people are there actually behind MS Paint Adventures, including yourself? Or is that kind of it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

My dearest Andrew: when you say "barely adequate," do you mean that you have been getting too much repeat business and not enough first time customers? I was fairly certain that your comic was more popular than it had ever been! Sincerely, that one kid.

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

On page 003910, was Gamzee trying to talk without his AlTeRnAtE cApS quirk and saying it "feels motherfuckin unnatural" foreshadowing for his current ALL CAPS / no caps insanity?

Lots of things foreshadow things.

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

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

WWHAT KIND OF FRIEND INDEED.

Andrew, it's often almost startling that you can simultaneously be so sage and mature while also being so very silly at the same time. Have you always had that aspect of your personality, or did you actively develop it?

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

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

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

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

Hussie screenplay? Sounds interesting enough that I hope you still have the file somewhere to share with fans of your works in general.

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

D: Your DB references, they sting. But if I tried again in a less retarded way, would you say that Gamzee's latest combat proficiency could be introduced more smoothly? People are talking about this, Hussie. They are using words like "rude" and "abrupt"

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

ANOTHER GAG.



honk ;o)

This slowly seems to be degrading into what the last formspring page was. Just an observation.

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

Actually, that's a good point. Do trolls even go to school?

I was being glib (glub) about that.

They are "schoolfed".

Which at this point, means exactly nothing.

"But I had typed so many honks recently." You know, you are allowed to ctrl+c ctrl+v

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

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

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

I'm suddenly starting to think that you legitimately told us the end of this story the whole time. Everyone dies and they all fail in the end, as has been what all predictions of the future have pretty much been. Please oh please tell me I'm wrong.... >.>

You are forgetting.

At the end, there can only be ONE.

:33

I know that the Alternia arc was dragging on as it was, but do you think there could have been more tension and suspense in the most recent updates if there had been a few more clear-cut power levels among the trolls foreshadowed earlier?

Oh my fucking god.

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

Be conkest, you don't understand this fish pun, either.

I guess I meant it to be conchnest...

But I had typed so many honks recently.

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

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

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

Are you going to make more troll shirts so I can throw my money at you and get one?

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

dude stop answering formspring questions they only worsen my gigantic crush on you

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

Here I go: whoops, fail.

Bard of Rage? Not death? That's a shame.

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

Also did the plane engine in Donnie Darko get you thinking about paradoxes (the backbone of everything in Homestuck)?

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

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

Will you be updating more tonight? Or this morning? Fucking timezones man.

I don't know...

I swear, if you cut a hair out of Nepeta's head...

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

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

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

You're an aloof prick, but I enjoy your work. Carry on.

I guess I am sometimes but then sometimes also not?

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

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

Was the 380 hours thing intended to be reminiscent of a Feferi emoticon?

Yup.

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

11 = XI in roman numerals.

3XI -> DEAD.

Eh, maybe that was kind of lame.

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

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

Honk.

Jan 24, 2011 - Feb 2, 2011

You always get tons of backlash from everyone; on the forums, the chans, here, everywhere! And well, I just wanted to say that regardless of who is right/wrong/an idiot, I sincerely hope your feelings never get hurt too bad. Sounds dumb, but I mean it. :(

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you ever think maybe you lump too much under the term "humor"? I prefer to think of Gamzee's new development as equal parts disturbing and scary.

nonononononNONONONONONONOnononononono.

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

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

The song 'Miracles' was released in September of 2009. The music video for it was made in April of 2010. The current date in homestuck is April 13th 2009. Where did gave get the music video from?

Sounds like someone needs to learn how miracles work.

Jan 24, 2011

Just wanted to say that today's "Don't turn you back on the body" was the first time an online, graphic-oriented story (comic) has creeped me out. I am scared! Seriously! I didn't know this medium had that potential! Great work.

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

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

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

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

"Not strictly related to MSPA but..." You started 5 paragraphs in a row with "But". :D

Did I? When?

That was kind of dumb of me if true.

how the hell did you manage to turn an ICP parody character into a fucking terrifying clown with a bifurcated personality

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

So, you're basically a jerk because it's the only thing keeping you sane at this point? (because earlier you kind of took a verbal dump on me for no particular reason)

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

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

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

"This story now deals with a more diverse body of concepts than most you'll ever read." I love Homestuck, but I think you're underestimating the world's literary traditions here.

Really? So you're saying Homestuck is not more complex than the average story?

Wow.

Does it irk you that there are newcomers---or maybe old-timers who just never realized what the hell they were reading---that take MSPA So Seriously? It seems that so much of the surprise twists/twisted humor is responded to with disbelief lately.

It doesn't bother me, but it's definitely a real phenomenon, and one I anticipated a long time ago when considering the possibility of a growing readership.

I believe there are a lot of people who hopped aboard during Hivebent or later, and didn't really cut their teeth on the "MSPA culture" from which all that emerged.

On the other hand, I know many of those people have been savvy enough to pick up on it, read earlier stories, do a little homework, and start to figure out why everything is the way it is.

Please tell me you're just messing with us about the retcon thing. Part of me thinks it's a joke, but I have learned to never dismiss anything you say at this point.

Good!

I've been one of the people frustrated with the direction for a while now (though still reading, too damn addictive). It feels nice to say I'm on the 'loving it' side again.

The spectrum of opinions about everything has gotten so wide and so volatile, I can do nothing but exist in a perpetual full body shrug.

Consider that

1) This story now deals with a more diverse body of concepts than most you'll ever read.

2) The readership has grown immense.

The net result is opinions opinions opinions opinions opinions. At this point I just go bleary eyed at even the whiff of someone's problem or how I'm doing shit wrong or how suddenly YES he's back on track!!! In a way the raging diversity of opinions helps me block it all out and focus on the only thing that really matters, which is my own opinion on what's funny and interesting.

I'm glad you're liking it though, and thanks.

About the Futurama example with the dog dieing, yes, that was a sad thing in a funny show, but it wasn't a joke itself. The dog was't wearing a silly hat or anything. Why do you directly put jokes in a scary/sad events? Why the honks in Fef's death scene?

Yeah, so it wasn't a PRECISION STRIKE ANALOGY I guess? I was just pointing out a sad thing in a funny show. In any case I kind of disagree. I believe there was humor in that moment. You just need fine tuned instruments to detect it, like some of the things happening here now and then.

Why the death scene honks? Because this story has always dealt in That Kind Of Thing. Sometimes a sad moment is played totally straight (like Jade's letter to John). Sometimes, or often, a sad or violent moment will be accented with humor, if not played humorously straightup.

The bottom line is, if you have to ask, I honestly can't imagine that you understand much about MSPA.

And if nothing else at all, I guess you could just read this article.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_comedy

Did you have evil schizophrenic Gamzee planned out from the beginning? You know, since his chumhandle IS terminallyCapricious.

I gave them all troll handles well before they ever came close to being real characters, but those names always set up the parameters for where I could drive the characters thematically when continuing to develop them, if inclined. So yeah, this was always a strong possibility, without necessarily being 100% committed to it the whole time. Regardless, there was some groundwork set up for that possibility should I decide to run with it, which I did, and the decision was made quite some time ago.

Same with others we've seen recently. Kanaya had the theme of virginity due to her sign, which when you think about it, is a pretty TOUGH CONCEPT to shape into coherence for a character in an ensemble like this, but I worked it by bonding her to matriarchal themes with her virgin mother grub lusus, and the role she inherited as progenitor and caretaker of the matriorb, and more specifically, recently showing the futility of that role, as the concept of chastity is not particularly compatible with successful breeding. When she found the key to release it, it was a sign that all along it was not meant to be used, but destroyed.

Eridan was originally cast as someone dangerous and genocidal, but those qualities were never illustrated and became easily dismissed as a joke as his whole character seemed to revolve around failed romantic aspirations for so long. But they came back, reminding us they were driving forces behind his profile. (His name, caligulasAquarium, was also tied to his various romantic obsessions, particularly the need for a rival, which is bound to the caliginous quadrant, another word for dark.) Ultimately his dreams of genocide were realized by being the one to destroy the orb, which appeared to always be his intent for "helping her" with it, making his preceding conversation with Kanaya much more detestably villainous than it seemed. In doing so, he destroyed hope for the species. This is his final interpretation of his role as the Prince of Hope. Not as one who fights for hope, but destroys it. He's certainly the worst kind of bastard this story has to offer.

Both Eridan's and Gamzee's dangerous sides were heavily masked by the long adherence to their roles as one note gag characters, and made it very difficult to predict these outcomes seriously. A few days ago, nobody at all is guessing Eridan walks into a room and kills two characters. And before this page:

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=005119

Even fewer people would ever make a serious guess Gamzee would become a threat. Commitment to the gag was too air tight.

But that's was makes the development equal parts disturbing and funny in my view.

Have... have we upset you in some way? Are you feeling dissatisfied with the comic? Because, while I won't deny that these updates have been suspenseful and dramatic without losing the important humorous elements... God damn are things getting dark.

certain changes in story direction = author is upset or going crazy in some way = zzzzzzzzzzzzz

How does it feel, knowing that a lot of fans are expecting you to turn around and say "SURPRISE, IT WAS ALL A DREAM/DOOMED REALITY/JOKE!"?

Anybody who would feel confident in expecting this would be kind of dumb.

why gamzee ;_;

Let's all be completely honest here.

Evil Gamzee is the best thing that has ever happened, and will ever happen, to Homestuck.

Jan 23, 2011 - Jan 24, 2011

why kanaya ;_;

I'm not going to pretend I didn't think it was a very sad event. Feferi was one thing, as a pretty tangential character. But Kanaya was the one that hurt.

Sad things happen in stories. Even funny ones!

Probably the most memorable episode of Futurama for me was the one where his dog waits for him on the street corner for years, until it dies. And then? THE END.

That was awful! I don't know anyone who ever watched that episode who wasn't emotionally crushed by that ending. Almost to the point where it was unbelievable they made such a thing happen. I was not alone in speaking to the TV: "Futurama, what are you doing to me? FUTURAMA??? You're not supposed to do this, you're FUNNY!!!"

And yet, that episode was great! Even the ending was great, all things considered. In retrospect its very gesture was sort of darkly hilarious.

I'm not exactly comparing this character death with that moment, but just pointing it out as an example of a piece of entertainment which I believe successfully blended emotional tones. That's what's been going on with HS for quite some time.

In fact, Futurama always struck me as a really good example of something that did that, and I can think of very few other examples. Futurama was perpetually hilarious, while doing a pretty great job of making you care about the characters and what happened to them. It actually successfully pulled off a lot of poignant moments, not just dog killings. I'm trying to think of of other comparably humorous pieces of entertainment that worked a serious side well and not thinking of much. The Simpsons, not quite. Certainly nothing of Family Guy's ilk. (ok I'm really just thinking of TV shows now) Arrested Development could be a good example. Certainly off the charts in hilarity and characterization, though in hindsight I don't think it ever laid the drama on all that thick. It usually played its serious notes to set up gags, and often shortchanged drama by making continuity itself a gag (NEXT TIME ON ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT: jokes jokes jokes)

If I had to grope for another example, I might reach back years and years to something called Red Dwarf. Which was a British scifi comedy tv show. But not the show, the book! The novelization of it was my first exposure to it, and when I was a teenager I remember thinking it was the funniest, greatest shit ever. It might have been my teen goggles tinting it though, I really don't know how it would hold up for me now. I didn't even know it was based on a show, and later when I saw it, I thought it was good, but not as great unsurprisingly. Oddly, the concept was essentially the same as Futurama. A guy is frozen in stasis for a long time, wakes up in the future. But he's the last guy alive, a la Hitchhiker's Guide. I always liked this way better than Hitchhiker's though for some reason, which I was never as gaga over as so many seem to be. This story struck me as not only funnier, but more heartfelt, and really captured the essence of the lonely journey of the last human alive, alone in a giant space ship with his idiot hologram friend.

Thinking back on it, I'm probably weirdly influenced by that series in ways I'm probably not even aware of.

END RAMBLE

Not strictly related to MSPA but I'm reading reactions to the latest pages (trying to- the forum is overloaded) and I wondered, what's it like creating something that affects people so deeply? These people are freaking out! Sign of a good story, for sure.

People tend to be pretty emotional creatures and I know that some people shed tears over much lesser turns in a story than this.

So knowing that, I guess there is something a little weird about pulling the trigger on an event which I know perfectly well will cause plenty of people to cry ACTUAL TEARS, most of which are probably perfectly nice teenage girls who I have no business affecting in this way at all. To those people I guess I'll have to offer a real apology, because I'm not actually out to ruin anyone's day.

But when you're making a story with any sort of dramatic clout, even a largely humorous one, I don't think it pays to be gutless. Both in terms of reader reaction, fear of sparking sadness, anger, or bad reviews, and in terms of being overly precious with your characters and ideas, to the point where it becomes obvious you're unwilling to mess with anything or put anyone important in real danger, which does a lot to kill suspense.

But that's actually a pretty common way to construct a story, to the point where we are all extremely used to watching stuff where heroes are in no real peril, and because it's so common we can accept and enjoy it. This also makes it more shocking and emotional when a story steps outside of that comfort zone.

But it's only emotional if people are invested in those threatened. This is one reason why a lot of horror movies can be so ineffective, grisly moments notwithstanding. Rosters are knowingly introduced for the slaughter, with only lip service given to investment in characters. And even if approached skillfully, there isn't even much time to win the hearts and minds of the audience for the full cast.

But this is a little different. We've spent a lot of time with these characters. And if the threat to their lives seems like a sudden direction, I'd suggest that doing it earlier or more gradually wouldn't have allowed it to mean the same thing.

why are you trolling us?

I'm not.

What effect do you expect this stream of images to have on a person reading through the archive as opposed to waiting?

The longer I do this the more I'm struck by how radical the difference is between the experiences of reading something archivally vs. serially, both for the reader, and the author if he's prone to sampling reactions frequently as I do. For the reader especially, I think the experience of day to day reading is so dramatically different, they might as well be reading a different story altogether.

The main difference is the amount of space between events the reader has, which can be filled with massive amounts of speculation, analysis, predictions, and something I guess you could call "opinion building", which can have both positive and negative effects. On the positive side, these readers become more closely engaged with the material than archival readers can be, zeroing in on details and insights which might be overlooked otherwise. On the negative side, I think that excess mental noise the space between pages allows can potentially be a bit suffocating, and put a strain on the experience the material was intended to deliver.

The archival reader always has the luxury of moving on to the next page, regardless of how he reacts to certain events, and thus can be more impassive about it. That internal cacophony isn't given time to build, and if there are reservations about a string of events, whether due to shocking revelations, or questions over the narrative merit of something, or really any form of dissatisfaction, all he has to do is keep clicking to see how it all fits together, and can make a more complete judgment with hindsight.

The recent pages had me particularly conscious of the nature of serial delivery. The whole scene was rolled out over the course of a weekend, first with Feferi, then Kanaya. When Fereri dies, this registers as one extremely dramatic event. Cue the waiting, speculating, worrying and all that. When Kanaya dies a day or so later, it registers as a second dramatic event! Again the scrutiny begins which the space allows. Is this all too much? How do I feel about this narrative turn? Is this setting a trend for a bloodbath? Does that serve any purpose? The reader projects into the future, does a little unwitting fanfiction writing in his head, and may not like what he sees! All this activity becomes the basis for opinion building, which is sort of the emergence of an official position on matters, good or bad, which is only able to flourish in the slow-motion intake of the story. That official position can be a very stubborn thing, especially when it's negative, and seriously textures the way additional developments are regarded. It's really hard to shake a reader off an entrenched position on a matter, even when it was formed with an incomplete picture.

Reading the same events in the archive is quite different. Very little of that inner monologue takes shape. And while the events are still shocking, and the reader may raise his eyebrows a mile high, he then simply lowers them and keeps reading. In fact, because of the reading pace, I would suggest these two deaths actually register as only ONE DRAMATIC EVENT! One guy snaps and kills two characters. In the flow of straight-through reading especially, it is quite startling, tension-building, and can only serve to propel the reader into further pages, at a pace which suspends the experience-compromising (augmenting??) play-by-play.

But like I've said, I don't think one way of reading is necessarily better than the other. Both have plusses, and obviously I choose to make this serially, and I play off plenty of in the moment reactions. But I tend consider the archival experience more, because when all is said and done, this thing has to sit on a server for years to come, waiting for new people to find it.

On page 004529, Terezi talks about Karkat's plan to troll the humans, which Karkat doesn't form until after he wakes up at 5:12. She and Karkat then respond to that memo from 6:12 hours in the future. So they are sure to survive whatever is at 0:00 right?

Yes...

Unless...

I fucked up the timestamps and have to go back and retcon them at some point.

UH----------





OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH :C

Is the troll killing off a method of maximizing on the more 'central' trolls (Fairy God Trolls) or is it something more toward a contribution to the central plot (Ascend to god tier or become a spooky ghost lady or whatever?)

Why don't we keep this simple.

It is not about pruning the expansive character roster.

It is not about challenging myself to find new elaborate ways to make death impermanent either.

It's about making something entertaining.

Every decision I make is with the intent to produce something entertaining, whether due to humor, an elevated sense of suspense, promoting investment in characters, advancing intrigue, or what have you.

So it appears we have a couple of deaths on our hands, possibly with more coming, but why is is that the screen tracking the timelines of the trolls heading into the rift still has all the ttimelines as alive when we've seen trollian tracks death?

It would have been completely ridiculous to black out all the timelines for the trolls who were going to die. Readers would have a checklist in advance, and that would be boring. This reason itself is more than enough to excuse that minor technical oddity with the Trollian interface.

But if we really need an explanation, who's to say that feature is permanently enabled? Maybe there's some obscure checkbox somewhere in the application that says "Show who's dead."

Jan 22, 2011 - Jan 24, 2011

So what are your thoughts on killing off characters? Killing off feferi, was that a big decision or a whim?

I wouldn't call it a big decision, but it wasn't a whim. Nothing going on right now is spontaneous at all.

Is Sollux dead or just knocked out?

Well let's see, it said KO'D when he hit the wall, so hmmmmmmmm..........................

A bit of a simple question but in the latest flash Bec Noir wasnt wearing bros glasses. Where did they go?

He does not have them at any time in the troll session. He did not have them in Jade: Enter. We do not know what happened to them.

Is the latest flash actually this disappointingly small or am I missing something big? Read: Does initiating a fight between Eridan and Sollux always end the game?

Yes, you are missing something very big, which is perspective.

This Flash page is an appropriate length for the purpose it served. The first Flash game involving the trolls was inordinately long, taking something like 30 minutes for a player to feel sure all possibilities have been exhausted. But its length provided a good way to demonstrate the format's capabilities.

It set a precedent for a game of that length, but not a trend. There's no reason to expect they should all be. These are just individual pages in a story after all, and my intent for the format was always to make the games about this length.

The battle at the end did mark the end of the game. There was nothing more to it, and I don't think it needed to be especially explicit about that. You could try mashing the spacebar during the battle or whatever, and observe it did nothing. The prompt at the end to restart tells you it's over. What else is there to suggest there's more? Aside from an expectation that since it feels like a fully functional game, it should behave like one rather than what is essentially a shallow simulation to hit a few story points.

But that's one of the pitfalls of mixing these types of media. While flipping through pages, you switch from your "story reader's mind" to your "game player's mind", which expects different things. Having played many games, we grow to expect fully fleshed out, complete gaming experiences from whatever we play, even if not consciously. These little in-story fragments can leave us a little puzzled, because they are incomplete, and the instinctive game player in us finds that a little frustrating. But I view this as a good thing, and wouldn't seek to improve it. The clash between those two mindsets of media consumption demonstrates we're engaging with something unique. It's not an experience you have with other forms of entertainment.

Jan 19, 2011 - Jan 24, 2011

It appears Doc Scratch was directly responsible for Kanaya's awakening on Prospit. Was Jade's early awakening similar, perhaps involving Bec, or were there different circumstances, perhaps due to her (grand)father or pure accident?

There are actually clues about Jade's awakening in her conversation with Tavros, in retrospect. If you read between the lines, and draw from what we now know about Kanaya, you can make a decent guess about what happened.

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004955

She said:

GG: when i was REALLY young, i was sure the doll sitting across from him did it
GG: and for a long time i was terrified of the evil blue girl!!!
GG: she sort of haunted my childhood and i had trouble sleeping for a long time

She complains about insomnia while young, just like Kanaya did. When Kanaya was put to sleep by Scratch, her insomnia ended, and she woke up. We also know Jade did not have trouble sleeping for very long. Vriska started putting her to sleep to test out her powers.

Match this up with some remarks by Kanaya:

GA: It Was Saddening To Learn My Fortuitous Awakening Had Been The Product Of A Nefarious Ploy
GA: Youre Lucky That Your Awakening Probably Had No Such Entanglements
GG: jeez, i hope not...

So it would seem Jade and Kanaya have another thing in common.

It appears Doc Scratch was directly responsible for Kanaya's awakening on Prospit. Was Jade's early awakening similar, perhaps involving Bec, or were there different circumstances, perhaps due to her (grand)father or pure accident?

There are actually clues about Jade's awakening in her conversation with Tavros, in retrospect. If you read between the lines, and draw from what we now know about Kanaya, you can make a decent guess about what happened.

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004955

She said:

GG: when i was REALLY young, i was sure the doll sitting across from him did it
GG: and for a long time i was terrified of the evil blue girl!!!
GG: she sort of haunted my childhood and i had trouble sleeping for a long time

She complains about insomnia while young, just like Kanaya did. When Kanaya was put to sleep by Scratch, her insomnia ended, and she woke up. We also know Jade did not have trouble sleeping for very long. Vriska started putting her to sleep to test out her powers.

Match this up with some remarks by Kanaya:

GA: It Was Saddening To Learn My Fortuitous Awakening Had Been The Product Of A Nefarious Ploy
GA: Youre Lucky That Your Awakening Probably Had No Such Entanglements
GG: jeez, i hope not...

So it would seem Jade and Kanaya have another thing in common.

Is the Vast Croak the same thing as the Big Bang?

The two pairs of words are verging on being synonyms for each other, aren't they?

That said, I don' t think I'll answer.

If players of Sburb are fighting against the Black Kingdom, then why don't the Dersites kill the Derse dreamers in their sleep? One of my friends keeps asking me this and I can't come up with a decent answer.

The conflict between the kingdoms is regimented. There are rules, like in chess, though much more complex. It isn't necessarily all out war, except for what takes place on advanced stages of the battlefield. If the queen is in power, she leaves them alone. Killing them would be improper. If Jack is in power, he clearly has no problem with it.

And there's potentially more to it than some kind of etiquette. Though the Derse dreamers are heroes, they still serve as emissaries to the dark gods, who presumably tend to be opposed to the goal of creation, like Derse. There always remains the possibility that the Derse dreamers will carry out the agenda of the gods without understanding what they're doing. To kill those kids before that would lack strategic foresight, something a queen has.

Couldn't Jade simply look at the same frozen frog in the past, and attempt to appearify it? This would create a paradox, as the frog would never be there when she appearified it in the past (the frog's future)? This easier method seems to work...

The monitor can only look at the present. You can only try to appearify a frog and hope for the best. If the frog appears (bad), then that frog was free for the taking. If slime appears (good), then destiny had future plans for that frog, one way or another.

The other appearifiers had certain limitations too. Like being locked on particular times and targets.

If Bilious Slick was a derisive nickname, does that mean that the Trollian Jack Noir's later name--Spades Slick--was originally used as an insult against him that he decided to take up as his name? Or did he don it as an insult to the Dersians?

SS embraced the nickname as a big fuck you to the black queen, aka Snowman.

I'm getting chocobo breeding vibes from the recent updates, was that an inspiration for the frog breeding?

I don't think it was a direct inspiration, but I'm sure it crossed my mind at the time.

This is probably how most kinds of inspiration work. I hardly ever come up with an idea directly inspired something else (unless it's something I did, in which case I do it almost constantly.) But then after I have the idea, I may immediately think of something that's kind of similar from another work. I may then modify the idea to make it more reminiscent of that thing, if I feel like solidifying that particular reference. The Donnie Darko style past/future trails in the intermission might be a good example of that. Or, I may attempt to stifle similarities if the reference doesn't interest me.

The chocobo breeding thing always struck me as a really solid example of a side quest in a game. Pretty tedious, definitely optional, yet leading to major boons far beyond the normal scope of the game.

So in that sense, frog breeding was always supposed to be reminiscent of a fun side quest. And yet, it's still absolutely essential to completing the game's objective. So it's not technically a side quest at all. Only in spirit.

Why frogs?

This question would exist plentifully regardless of what animal was selected. Knowing this, I don't think it's a very interesting avenue of discussion right now. Are we to weigh the universe containment merits of frogs, vs. say, bears?

The definitive answer, as of now, is that any definitive answer would be pretty boring.

But there are nevertheless some reasons. And more important than the reasons for the decision is to notice how thematically entrenched frogs have been in the story for a very long time. All the mechanics of this, the genesis frog and the frog breeding stuff, was conceptualized well before the end of act 2. EOA2 was when we first saw the frog ruins, remember? An idol of the embodiment of a universe to be created, positioned where Skaia would be, surrounded by four towers representing the planets. There was no basis for speculation on why a frog stood in Skaia's place until now. This has probably been the slowest boiling mystery in the entire story. After a while, I think prolonged, relentless exposure to certain symbols and aspects of a myth start to wear down the need to justify why they exist. They exist simply because they exist, like the features of fables we've all heard a thousand times.

And finally, in processing the "why frogs" matter, it does help to understand the mentality I have in coming up with all ideas for HS. The idea from the start was to come up with a very elaborate, fantastical and ridiculous creation myth. Some ideas are quite esoteric, some are quite passable for more conventional works of science fiction, and some are very silly. Most are a combination of these. Most of the time, the silly stuff is not so outrageously silly that it can't be workable in a serious way too when needed. That adequately describes the concept of a universe existing inside of a large frog bred and genetically engineered by children, I think.

Jan 18, 2011 - Jan 24, 2011

How did you come up with the idea of building up the house to reach Skaia? I really like the idea! It's like a reference to the Tower of Babel and it kind of makes sense given the context of Skaia as the place where godhood is reached

The Tower of Babel did come to mind. There are many symbolic aspects you could find in it, many relating to ascension. It also put to use the basic idea of house building, inspired by Sim games, by tying it to a more obvious goal, to reach the gates, and then reach Skaia.

Obviously it's pretty easy for players to "cheat" and invent means of flying to skip the arduous climb, but as with many things, there are still hidden reasons for why the building is necessary which haven't been revealed. And if nothing else, it does convey the way the game is "supposed" to be played under ordinary circumstances, with kids making these insane vertical journeys through their houses, followed by fantastical horizontal journeys through their lands.

Also note that there are many, many ways in which the concepts if Homestuck were influenced by Problem Sleuth. The Cathedral of Syndetic Ascension was two huge towers meeting in the middle of the universe. Climbing the towers was a significant quest for the four heroes in PS. The consorts were always meant to parallel the silly members of the four kingdoms.

Another detail of interest: note that there was a volcano next to the cathedral which played a significant role in the story.

Do you ever feel that things get a little too "cutesy" in your comic?

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=005200

So, do Jade's cloning duties definitively answer the question that Kanaya's planet was in fact the Land of Rays and Frogs? Assuming that because she knew what Jade has to do, she had to do the same thing. And knowing that frogs are important somehow. :P

Yes.

Sorry I Thought That Was Obvious

May I ask why exactly Vriska would straight out murder Tavros? She just doesn't seem the type to psychotically and lightly murder in cold brown blood at least in person anyway and when not pressured by events like Aradia's ghosts, in regard to her murder.

He attacked her. It was self defense.

And even if it wasn't, how much stupid bullshit are you supposed to put up with from a guy before you're ready to run a lance through his chest? Seriously.

Are you going to post up that hilarious .txt Dave conversation?

A joke can be many things.

Sometimes a joke can even be an allusion to a whole bunch of jokes you will never get to read.

That joke is made even funnier by the fact that all of those hypothetical jokes are practically guaranteed to be really, really funny if they existed.

Jan 15, 2011 - Jan 24, 2011

http://www.formspring.me/mspadventures/q/2172660818 Then how come Viriska's and Aradia's outfits look almost the same? and are ALL Trolls shown as bugs? Are Trolls eventually insects that walk like men?

They look similar because all the outfits look similar. They look similar to John's as well, though his is a bit simpler. The differences in the designs are small details. Like shape of hood, footwear, etc.

Metamorphosis is clearly a significant part of troll biology, and therefore ingrained in their mythology. They've got cocoons everywhere, and are often likened to insects through biological terms. The wings have nothing (we know of) to do with troll adulthood. But have a lot to do with their perception of what ascension should be, which is the culmination of a pupation process. Which is why some may look to fairies as an ideal, or rule them out as fiction on account of the ideal they represent. Ascended trolls in this game are essentially magical fairies.

Humans do not have a good analog for this though, and enjoy no biological upgrades. Only powers and fashion.

Are God-tier forms generally flying-insect-like, because John seems to be the only exception of this trend thus far.

John is a human. The other two examples were trolls.

Any particular reason that Vriska's God Tier clothes don't match her normal dark blue color scheme, when John's is light blue and Aradia's is dark red?

The colors are not character dependent. The ___ of Breath suit is always blue. The ___ of light suit is always orange. ___ of Time is red. ___ of Space is ???.

John, Dave and Aradia's colors corresponding with their titles are coincidences. Vriska's color is nonmatching, as would be Rose's.

The first part of the title, Heir, Thief, Maid, etc affects the design of the outfit.

Unless I miswatched the flash, Vriska never did give Tavros his free shot, did she?

Sure she did. She let him charge at her with a sharp object fair and square. However he was not martially adept enough to avoid her slap and counterattack.

How does someone become a ghost in Homestuck, like Aradia?

By getting killed by a guy who just ate some mind honey I guess?

Let this be noncanon answer number ???.

Holy shit, did tavros just fall for over 30 minutes? Also where the hell is the back&white cow abomination?

Nope, see below.

The monster Vriska defeated earlier fell through the same break in the floor, but clearly wound up missing the platform Terezi's sitting on.

So if this memo: p=004654 took place 6:12 before the critical moment, how did Tavros speak 3:14 later, 2:58 before the moment if he was busy FALLING TO HIS DEATH? HMM? looks like you've been BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSTED

At countdown mark 3:14, Vriska woke up from her nap. It is not when she impaled him.

At mark 2:41, he landed, DEAD. Impaled shortly before.

In the half hour between, there was apparently some unseen messing around. Tavros perhaps squirmed at the bottom of the stairs some more. He and Vriska took a moment to make a couple of useless replies to a memo, on the page you cited.

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004654

Shortly after that, Tavros had his unfortunate encounter with Vriska.

How could Aradia have ascended to god-tier status because she had no "extra life", which would have been her dream-self?

She did have an extra life. She had a dream self all along. It just wasn't in a tower. It was sleeping in a crypt in the center of Derse, which essentially functioned as her Quest Cocoon.

She is a special case with respect to having a dream self (like Sollux was, who had two), and also with respect to the god tier resurrection.

The same rules couldn't apply to her, since she's the only character who's been dead since long before beginning the game. She couldn't resurrect the usual way because she was already dead.

So she has a different set of rules to suit her unique circumstances. We were lead to believe she didn't have a dream self, because she was dead, and because she didn't have a tower. But she was in the crypt the whole time, on her sacrificial platform, looking pretty corpse-like. Was her dream self dead too? There's no need for a definitive answer. But it would be reasonable to view her slumber as a state of undead-like stasis, like a vampire in a crypt.

Her resurrection demanded that her dream self be killed on the platform. And so it waited there for the entire session until Jack destroyed Derse, and was consumed by fire. This woke her up, and restored her to life for the first time in years. Her robot exploded as her soul un-disembodied itself. She then attained the god tier as the Maid of Time.

Jan 11, 2011 - Jan 15, 2011

where is today's update hussie?!

I am presently working on a Flash animation, as should be painfully obvious from the answer to a question which no longer exists.

I will probably be finished in several days.

What's up?

This is the Formspring account for MS Paint Adventures, dot com, the website.

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/

The old FS account, andrewhussie, has been discontinued, having collapsed under the weight of 1200+ unnavigable, unsearchable questions, most of which were silly and wildly "off topic". (re: there was no topic.)

I have saved all of those questions and will comb through them at some point to select the most interesting ones and display them elsewhere, in a manner that is easy to browse, an arrangement they did not enjoy in Formspring's ponderous and entirely nonexistent archival system.

I will also try to keep things more OT with this account, and address stuff that people presumably give a shit about, and try to keep the nonsensical haggling to a minimum, as well as avoid bringing to light questions of no substance. All of that was done with a spirit of amusement, though some people surely disagreed with its humorous merit. They were probably right! What do I know.

You may now ask me a question. This account is like a new Chia Pet fresh out of the box, and you have the privilege of applying the disgusting coat of mud to the orange ceramic surface, getting grossed out, and regarding your purchase with a deep sense of remorse.

You may also liken the account to a new kit of Sea Monkeys you just purchased for some baffling reason. That's fine too.

 

(http://webcomictweets.com/page/formspring/user/andrewhussie)

 

In the Homestuck Beta, you eschewed the anti-aliased art style you had used for the rest of the adventures, but when you started the Homestuck Stable Release, anti-aliasing was back. Was there any particular reason for either of these decisions?

Because I didn't actually know what I was doing.

I was either not aware of the low quality setting which displayed vectors as aliased, or I didn't think it looked that great. I don't remember. I was also not even remotely aware of how much easier it would be, as well as aesthetically preferable, to just import loads of GIF graphics and animate those in Flash.

This speaks volumes about how all of HS has been approached. There I was, preparing to embark on something I knew would last at least a year, planning to do every page in an application I knew practically nothing about. Adjustments were made, as they have been the whole way through.

Launching into HS has been like partaking in an extreme wilderness survival challenge. I parachuted into the middle of the jungle with no equipment except for Picasso's stupid blank-loaded pistol. The beta was me unloading all the useless rounds into an angry tiger on the first night.

Jan 11, 2011

Whoof want to know when the next flash is coming?

In a few days or so. You might not see much til then.

Jan 11, 2011

Hey, you know that Homestuck thing you do? Your side project to the Formspring? I love it, and I love you, and thank you. Just, thank you for creating something that I love, that I can truly enjoy, that is constantly expanding, and that isn't porn. <3

Thanks for saying that, and also about the formsprings too. And also for being grateful I don't do porn? You're welcome.

This is still by and large the type of question I get, and even most of the "troll questions" tend to be playful and harmless.

The picture I paint with some of my question selections is probably pretty different though. Why is that? A strange form of theater I guess. Probably some people think it is unsettling, but that's because it does too good a job at rendering a great pit of hostility beneath the surface. Such is the power of having complete control over the flow of information. This is the advantage the media enjoys, and which is why they can keep a lid on important and completely true conspiracies from being known.

I was kind of wondering if I went too far in any of my recent answers. Feeling mildly concerned about this, I reread everything I wrote, and I am pleased to report in the light of a new day that I have been 1000% exonerated. My FS answers remain as lucid as ever - coherent, informative, humble, and at worst, transcendentally hilarious.

And if anybody was wondering, the comparison of myself with Picasso below was in fact a strikingly successful attempt to place myself on the same level as one of the greatest and most acclaimed artists who ever lived, if not significantly higher. In no way was the comparison made simply because everyone has heard of him, to make a separate point. If that were the case, ideally I would have selected a very bad and unfamous artist to maintain a pleasing veneer of humility. This is the most important thing an artist should ever concern himself with, we all agree about that.

Jan 11, 2011

 

(Jan 10, 2011; https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AUz64dDIFhoBZGYyOXhjcjJfODRocHc1N3pncA&hl=en&authkey=CLLz3NgB; http://www.mspaforums.com/showthread.php?41853-MSPA-Simple-Questions-Thread&p=5567996&viewfull=1#post5567996)

Y'know, sometimes you could just say "yep, what i do isn't perfect". 'cause it's true. HS is GREAT, I love it. But not perfect. Your storytelling isn't immaculate, everyone isn't dumber than you, and you are not always funny. Especially not on this page.

Well come on now I obviously agree. Unless this particular page is your first ever exposure to stuff I've said, you oughta know that.

I've copped so many times in so many different ways to the imperfection of HS and its function as something basically exploratory. Trying things out, seeing what works and what doesn't and learning from it. And also sticking up for the decisions and process that created it, imperfect though they are.

The problem is all that shit gets buried deep in Formspring and people forget, and it's not archived like a blog so it's hard to find again.

I think your point is one of improved diplomacy more than anything else. As an ambassador for my work, especially in the FS format for whatever reason, I'm pretty off the rails.

Whenever you're dealing with a serious artist, there is a decent chance you are dealing with someone who doesn't always care to be polished in diplomacy. I've heard that Picasso was kind of a dickhead. He probably didn't cut a whole lot of slack to someone who said, hey Pablo you stuck the eye in the wrong place, fuckass. He was a very important artist and had all these BIG IDEAS and the net result of it all was something great. Maybe his personal volatility was part of that package?

At the same time, someone would be perfectly justified, then and now, to say, hey Pablo, that painting looks like shit. I mean, some of his paintings really seriously did look like shit. And he would be equally justified in calling them PLBs for not "getting" it, and he probably did. He probably had his own term for those sons of bitches. He would be justified in doing so because he knew that everything he did, even the shitty stuff, was part of something bigger, even if only in his warped mind.

But that said, and everything said below, maybe this is all getting a bit distracting. That is, talking about myself and my views on my work and my views on the views of others. It is possibly getting JUST A LITTLE tedious, and maybe it's time to reel in the purpose of my Formspring exploits.

I mentioned a lot of stuff was getting buried. Maybe answering 1000+ poorly archived questions is getting into ridiculous territory. Maybe it's time to delete all the questions, clean the slate, and start new with a modified focus.

Whatever imperceptible benefit typing this is having, I'm sure as hell not DRAWING right now, that's for sure.

You sure take a lot of refuge in humor. A reason for stupid plot developments, a reason for acting like an asshole. What else do excuse with it?

What can I say, I have a very expansive sense of humor.

Also those things don't need excusing, cause they were all pretty good, whatever they were, and the humor behind them didn't justify them, but drove them in the first place.

But quite frankly, you sound like a bit of a dick to me!

And I doubt you are as funny as I am. So what is your excuse?

Hahahaha, oh man, that last thing I said was so great.

See, this sort of thing is why you need counterbalancing: http://www.mspaforums.com/showthread.php?34048-Merry-Christmas-Andrew-Hussie!&p=4439553&viewfull=1#post4439553 I mean just look at all that adoration. It's sickening I tell you, just sickening.

I saw the end result of that, but never saw the thread.

You're right, it is sickening.

( <3 )

I didn't really have anyone I looked up to until I started reading Homestuck. I don't care if you answer this because it's not a question. I just wanted it to be out there.

THANK YOU.

I mean that sincerely.

Regarding the question below this one...

vvvvvvvvvvv

YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN??????

This whole thing is a swarm of anonymous criticism/bitching. I worry for what this does to your impression of the fanbase, and possibly your mental health. Don't overdo it on Formspring, man.

It doesn't impact my impression of the fanbase.

But my responses probably influence their impression of me.

There is a lot of adoration that gets slung my way, so maybe it's for the best that it's somewhat counterbalanced by some people out there thinking I'm a HUGE JERK.

This is probably the best way to maintain stability in the universe.

do you suspect the people who ask formspring questions to be.... TROLLS?

At this point 90% of all FS questioners are some variety of troll or another. With no exaggeration.

If someone's trolling me insincerely with some irritable sounding nonsense, I *think* I usually know when that's going on. But sometimes I'll answer as if they were being totally serious to add a fresh new layer of bullshit to this stupid dance we're all doing together here.

When fans ask you to customize their Vriska drawing with "8nthony is gr8," does it annoy you to have such a predictable, fan-ish thing to write, or is it enjoyable to see?

No of course not. Fans are great and if they wanna fanboy/girl all over the place then I think that's cool and flattering.

"You could say that a character's ascension to godhood is meant to be the full realization of who they are, and prepares them to function as a demigod in the universe they create." So wait.... If that's why Vriska's a fairy... What's John? I don't get it.

John's a kid in a blue hoodie with sweet wind powers.

Would you ever consider making Homestuck into a fully fledged video game?

sure

How can you even take any of these "John's arm is too long blah blah blah" things seriously? Just the simple answer of "It's art, I'll do what I want" should be enough. These people are obviously wrong and can't be fixed, you're just feeding the trolls.

Yeah but I similarly address a wide variety of topics, not just that one.

If the question is essentially, why dignify a troll with a response?

The answer is that they are impervious to dignification of any sort. So I am just having some fun here.

Big deal!

Furthering my previous "question", if he's in full PLB lockdown, I expect him to take everything you say more seriously, thus be more offended at being called stupid.

EXACTLY

Dude's gonna be in a BIGTIME huff over that. Book it.

But that's the point. He's gotta check himself and chill the F out.

Tell Vriska to stop being so Damn Cool all the time!!

I can't, she is obviously in charge of the story now.

Her ascension to Fairy Vriska strikes me as a pretty decent distillation of who she's always been as a character. Impish, ubiquitously meddlesome, and kind of annoying.

You could say that a character's ascension to godhood is meant to be the full realization of who they are, and prepares them to function as a demigod in the universe they create. Vriska's true form is that of a pesky, murderous luck fairy, and has been the only one so far to exhibit the god-like influence made possible through realizing this potential.

What is your take on this incredibly filthy website? http://www.bucketfillers101.com/

I'm going to be sick.

Whoa! Hold up! I'm not trying to be a PLB, but shouldn't WV? or Jack Noir(if WV is Jack in the scene) be in the crowd of people in http://mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=005187 Furthermore Prospit was not falling yet and red miles didn't kill the crowd. JSYk

But it is a dream. It is not literal. It is a loose collection of symbols and memories.

But I guess maybe you're being a joker? Oh hell I don't even know anymore.

"It is the name of Jack's planet wrecking attack." Okay this clears things up for me. I'd assumed it was in some way related to "black inches," which made that whole part of the sequence kind of weird.

But it is.

Black Inches is Snowman's weapon. Red Miles is Jack's.

It's a bit disappointing to gradually understand that you aren't just pretending to be a huge tool anymore. I can only hope that your arguments for the whole album cover mistake are intentionally this piss-poor for whatever odd reason.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Worst kind of PLB.

So ok my snarky stuff is all fun and games until I say something you disagree with?

I'm not "pretending to be a huge tool." A lot of my responses include an edge because it is funny and entertaining and probably most people agree. I have stated this, hence there is no pretense. Would I behave that way in real life? No, because that would be sociopathic and deranged.

How dumb do you have to be to not get that? Oh I see you actually believe you are HOT ON THE TRAIL on blowing the lid off a REAL LIFE DOUCHE BAG. Quick, take a blurry photo of me before I scurry off into the woods!

But it was already clear you are not the king of perspicacity because you are in full PLB lockdown mode. When given a series of reasonable and logical remarks at odds with your perception, you become stubborn and hostile. This is because it is painful when you discover you're on the wrong side of the truth, and the response is only natural.

I imagine it is an even worse feeling to discover you're on the wrong side of not stupid.

Okay hopefully this reaches you THIS TIME. A while ago you said something about how you realized you were really dedicated to homestuck when you pulled your first all-nighter on a flash. What specific flash was that. just outta curiosity.

The Sburb loading screen.

But I was pretty inefficient with Flash back then. Now something like that wouldn't take nearly as long.

Just wanna say I love how you illustrated the dream. The page with the prototype-shadow thing in the sky is amazing. What was the deal with "Red Miles" though? Some forumites are speculating it's the name of the red.. attack, in a Final Fantasyesque style

It is the name of Jack's planet wrecking attack.

It has always been the name of the attack, but not mentioned as such. Though it was mentioned somewhere in Hivebent, without being tied to the attack specifically.

How much longer will you be doing customized PS books? You said this latest round was for a "limited time only"

I'm not sure. Depends on how many are piling up. Maybe a couple more days?

This morse code is getting old

Nah, not really. There is no getting or gotten cause it's already done.

It complemented a pretty brief, mysterious dream sequence in a way that matched the scene's symbolically cryptic nature. Dreams in works of fiction often communicate their messages in such ways. Like the strange backwards-speak in the Twin Peaks dreams.

We had ten short passages, presumably narrated by dream Serenity, calling back to this excerpt.

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002697

And then four short lines by fairybug Vriska, hijacking the blinkspeak to have her say.

And that's it!

Being genuinely aggravated by this is a nice way to discover how boring you are. Kind of like being aggravated by the trollspeak was.

HOPY SHIT! Jegus, Vriska can do THAT??? She can't do that! Is she even ALLOWED to do that? Pff, whatever. WHATEVER, I say! So, since Vriska never wears her God outfit, does this mean that God outfit = God powers? I guess it makes sense, in a Videogame way

We don't really know what she is or isn't doing. All we know is she and WV are sharing a dream.

Dream rules have never been that easy to pin down. We only know what we know about dreams and dream selves after facts have accumulated over a long period of time. WV's dream sequence doesn't seem to fit into the existing model, and we can't expect to figure out how it fits into everything right away, if it does at all.

It does seem the sequence was more like a "normal" dream, full of symbols and foreshadowed peril. Vriska, for whatever reason, deliberately or otherwise, shared this normal dream, and was able to understand some things about its context, and the role WV is supposed to play. Perhaps her psychic acuity was a factor. Perhaps her godhood status was as well. All you can do is speculate.

We do know that she is dreaming without a dream self, and without her dream self having been killed. She is her dream self, having resurrected to reach the god tier. We didn't know anything about how such a character would dream, but here's a glimpse at some evidence.

 

(Jan 9, 2011)

vvv PLB vvv

^^^ nice ass ^^^

...I thought the album cover looked great...

^^^

PLBPLBPLBPLBPLBPLBPLBPLBPLBPLBPLBPLB(TY)

I do not like what you are doing with your comic, Hussie sir. Please bend to my wishes. Bitch. By the way, how those personalizations coming along? I'm excited.

^^^

PLB

^^^

JK


I haven't started on them yet. Likely will tomorrow.

Is Sburb pronounced with one syllable or two?

1 + a mouthful of ugly consonants

Couldn't you have just translated it yourself and put it under a log or something? Cheap jokes like this are not worth getting worked up on, and I don't want to waste any time translating them myself.

^^^

PLB

LETSALLGOTOTHENANCHOPARTY

YEAH THERES NO WAY I'M TRANSLATING THAT

[Translation of previous question]

.-.. . - ... .- .-.. .-.. --. --- - --- - .... . -. .- -. -.-. .... --- .--. .- .-. - -.--

-.-- . .- .... / - .... . .-. . ... / -. --- / .-- .- -.-- / .. .----. -- / - .-. .- -. ... .-.. .- - .. -. --. / - .... .- -

Is there anything that dog does that's not traipsing up those stairs?

STAY TUNED TO FIND OUT!

Regardless of points missed, I am confused by the notion a previous inquirer had of adding a letter to Egbert or Harley. What would that accomplish? Wouldn't it just make 11? Even if you added a letter, what letter could it possibly be? Egbeert? Harleyo?

Oh you know.

People be confused yo.

No really, his arm seems huge there, even if you take perspective into account.

Oh wait a couple people are still puzzling over this? Ok.

Authenticating your drawing isn't a simple matter of taking a photo of someone posing like your character, and if the photo matches up with the drawing perfectly, then everything checks out.

There are other things in play, such as

1) Stylization
2) Dramatization of perspective, through devices such as lensing effects

And the two are related. Dramatizing perspective contributes significantly to the parameters for stylization. And not understanding this leads to some dubious observations.

For instance, let's look at this cat in a fish eye lens.

http://www.instructables.com/image/FMW0YNUX9OEP2819DD/11-Super-Wide-Angle-Digital-Camera.jpg

If you converted that to a line drawing without knowledge of the lens, suddenly hopy shit that paw is huuuuuge, and way stockier and more exaggerated than could be accounted for by foreshortening. You could explain this, and there would always be someone out there who wouldn't care. They'd say, no it's huge dude. Look at it, it's huge. That paw is huge, don't even start with me.

My drawing isn't being fisheyed, but there's a similar principle in play. Perspective is accelerating in the space through which the arm extends. It's not super dramatic lensing, but its enough to offset expected foreshortening.

Combine that with the anatomical stylization of the figure, which is on the lanky-limbed side to start with, and you get what's there. Don't think it looks cool? Whatever! Looks good to me, but then, I know the vantage from which it's meant to be parsed.

It would be a shame if all art had to forfeit things like dynamism in perspective, anatomical stylization and things like that because people not familiar with these principles regard their yields as defective.

Anyway now that all that's been explained to death I guess it kind of ruins the drawing? Kind of like an overexplained joke. But maybe we learned some stuff?

The funny thing is, I think people with more knowledge on art ironically tend to be MORE permissive of certain deviations in approach, like off template anatomy or perspective, if pursued with otherwise keen fundamentals and an intelligent eye toward aesthetics. It's the people with less knowledge who pick and fuss over stuff that just isn't really the "big problem" they think it is, even though they think they're packing hella standards. They don't have the knowledge to fully contextualize what they're observing, and they can't properly articulate their reservations, so they often resort to exaggeration, and QUITE often carry a pretty sour demeanor about it!

I call this Picky Little Bitch Syndrome.

It's not just art. Every field has its PLBs. Movies, books webcomics...

And calling a PLB on being a PLB only makes them grumpier, which only further cements the diagnosis. For instance, any grumpy response to what I've said here will serve as a convenient admission to PLBhood! TIA.

Is Serenity's language real or just a random sequence of punctuation bullshit?

google morse code

google morse code translator

 

(Retrieved Jan 7, 2011

http://www.mspaforums.com/showthread.php?34639-Chat-74-NOW-W8KE-UP!-I-SAID-W88888888KE!&p=4505308&viewfull=1#post4505308)

Jan 7, 2011

Hi Andrew! I was wondering, are all the carapace people made in tubes, or only the chess piece soldiers on Skaia? Like would citizens such as PM and AR and Jack be tube-babies or not? Gracias!

Everyone who has a bar code was cloned that way.

In sci-fi symbolism, bar codes = cloned. Or otherwise manufactured or processed.

This will sound terrible, but I kind of forgot you were essentially an artist, until seeing the album cover anyway (which I really liked!) Do you have any other pieces like it?

Thanks.

Yes.

Kind of.

I came THIS CLOSE to just linking Humanimals just now.

I've been thoroughly enjoying the new album, and I love the album cover. But since it's been thoroughly bugging me, I wish to pull out the fact that JOHN'S ARM IS QUITE FUCKING LONG THERE. What is his arm, a giraffe?

Notice how the hand is also about twice as big as the other hand. Quite the mutant hand!

Or, it could just be that the arm is proceeding into the foreground, causing perspective to alter the relative dimensions. Add in a slight stylistic forcing of the perspective for a dash of dynamism, and there you go.

Understanding some things about art goes a long way in having certain questions not occur to you in the first place. Like why horns are solid orange sometimes, or why sometimes characters don't have arms.

Kind of like when I learned stuff about science, I finally stopped asking why I couldn't see atoms, even if I squinted real hard.

No I'm serious, Andrew. Today, January 7th, is Nicolas Cage's birthday.

boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner boner

Do you ever regret not adding another letter to Egbert and Harley to make their full names 4/13 compliant?

EGBERT = 6
HARLEY = 6
STRIDER = 7
LALONDE = 7

6 + 7 = 13

buuuuuuuuuusted

Is Alternia the Mexico of the universe? If so, was the rift a failed attempt at a border fence?

Just so everyone is up to speed, this is the aggregation of all the formspring memes we need to be pounding repeatedly.

Fat Mexican Vriska has nice ass, and I am presently married to this woman. I feed her a steady diet of surprise noodles, finish crumbs, and every day I must pry her monstrous carriage out of bed with a shout pole. From time to time, we seem to endure various forms of marital strife.

Please adjust your useless questions accordingly.

Hey Andrew, just wanted to know if PM is now called the Prospitian Monarch? She's been called that twice now, and it definitely fits her new role.

She is primarily PM.

This stands for three things. Peregrine Mendicant, Parcel Mistress, and Prospitian Monarch.

What exactly is the connection between the Trolls Blood Colours and their Zodiac signs?, If any at all.

They progress in rainbow order, following the order of the zodiac.

Except Karkat's.

You've multiple times made a joke that every page in HS was made for the sole purpose of leading to a particular page. This is true isn't it? Every page exists for the sole purpose of leading to every other page, right?

Every page exists for the sole purpose of that dumb joke I keep making.

Is Tavros Mexican?

I can't think of a better reason why he would have a Spanish trolltag.

Mega Man 1? Man, that game was hard.

It was a pretty formidable challenge with rather obstinate gameplay compared to its more fluid successors.

Consider the first challenge to overcome was the cover art.

http://saint-michael.trap17.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/megaman1.jpg

You have to be a pretty legit gamer to soldier through shit like that.

Seriously, they're right. Some 13 year olds are smarter than you think they are.

i was JKing around, 13 yo's rool the skools

Hey! 13 year olds are good at stuff…

Peeing in your pants is not a talent!

I've noticed that, unlike almost every thirteen-year-old, your characters know how to properly use profanity. How did they get so good at this?

It helps that I myself am not 13.

Real 13 year olds aren't very good at anything.

Except video games maybe?

I remember thinking I was pretty hot shit at Mega Man when I was 13.

I might have been delusional though.

Andy darling. Do you know where you'll be going with this whole self-insertation into the story thingo? It begins with innocent riding of magical dogs, and only ends when someone gets hurt. We worry for you, sweetie.

This question started out stupid and went down a big loud rollercoaster of dumb.

What are you like my pompous wealthy aunt.

chess woman has nice ass?!??!

What was the point of posting this question fifty times?

Ok guy. Here it is. The absolute BEST CASE SCENARIO unfolding before your very eyes.

I answered it. My answer isn't even all that funny.

Are you satisfied?

Wait, the drawing of the worlds on WV's walls shows LOHAC as being split in two... Did WV go and redraw it to keep things up to date (in which case, if he's in the future, would he not already be aware of it from the start)?

Look at it closely. It's a sticker on the wall. It ripped when he removed the panel.

The sticker is actually the label from the container of motor oil he found in the room some time ago.

Jan 6, 2011

I as a fellow 13 year old can sympathize with Karkat. He also says fuck an acceptable number of times. When I grow up however, will I find this all offensive somehow?

Only if you fail to stifle the usual metamorphosis which transforms reasonable youngsters into stupid fucking pieces of shit.

why do you save these romarts

That's giving me way too much credit.

I had a secret agent round them up for me real quick.

I do think they're all great and hilarious tho.

How flat can Homestuck fool the elderly into thinking it is?

The elderly are easily deceived. Try stealing grandma's pills, she won't even fucking notice.

Dude... no more characters making out with themselves, please. Leave that to the fanfics posted in the dark corners of the internet. I like the way you've drawn calm Karkat being illuminated by the 4th-wall-screen though, good work!

Thanks!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v332/kysds13/homesmut.png
http://i370.photobucket.com/albums/oo149/NewRetro/Arrrrt/baaaw.png
http://i54.tinypic.com/2yysivc.jpg
http://mspachan.net/art/src/129434837838.jpg
http://i51.tinypic.com/izw6bm.png
http://mspachan.net/art/src/129430035543.jpg
http://mspachan.net/aart/src/129420057199.png
http://mspachan.net/art/src/129156154134.png
http://www.alexandra-douglass.com/doodle/robokiss.png
http://i243.photobucket.com/albums/ff167/Paradise-Raver/kissyfacewithjohnandkarkatcopy.jpg
http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w219/luzerna/christmascolours.png

when you started homestuck did you ever think you would one day be drawing a little girl passionately kissing her dead dream dog self on the lips???

I actually drew the latest sequence of panels before I drew page one of HS. Everything since has been elaborately funneling the story toward this moment.

Wasn't that kind of a creepy thing for Karkat to imagine, especially since he didn't see the exchange between aradia & equuis when they kissed? =(

So he needed a visual reference first?

I don't think you're giving credit to the way a typical 13 year old kid's mind works.

Creepy is a dumb word to apply to this gag anyway.

I know some people out there are probably "creeped out" though.

They're called fucking idiots.

What's with the trolls' horns going from having candy corn like banding to being solid red-orange in many of the recent updates?

This happens ALL THE TIME.

Dude what's up with the characters not having arms sometimes?

That's me asking a dumb question.

Is Dave's chin masculine? Is it about as large and double spherical as Vriska's fat ass?

Shut up.

blind girl has nice ass?!??!

I am going to begin pandering to this pedo immediately.

How "Deep" do you plan out your stories? How much is intentional and unintentional?

The whole thing is just a big fucking accident.

Why are you pandering to pedos? WHYYYY

Do you feel you are being pandered to?

Stop that. You must suppress these feelings.

How in the FUCK do you know words like parthenogenesis? (It's used in the Jade shirt advertisement on topatoco for those confused.) Do you read a dictionary for fun or something? This is crazy!

The funny thing is I didn't even write that blurb.

Do you answer all of these or you just pick the one you think you can make a witty comment on / the ones that are actually understandable to a certain degree also I did just notice that there is a character limit for answers so I guess I fully waste it :D

For every single question submitted, there is a witty response that can be crafted for it.

Except this one.

So it seems like Act 5 is coming to a conclusion soon. How much will it shatter our perception of the universe you have crafted?

I'm not so sure that it is.

There is an exact way that A5 is going to wrap up, and there's a lot of dangling stuff that needs to be wrapped up before it wraps up.

A5 is just a huge, huge thing and there's no escaping that. It could be bigger than the entire Problem Sleuth adventure when all is said and done. It is the result of cracking open the ridiculous amount of potential accumulated through the first 4 acts, and cashing all those plot checks.

But I'm feeling quite sure A6 won't be nearly as big.

And A7 ideally will be shorter than A1.

"I was kinda tired today so I didn't do much." It takes you 268 days without sleep to get tired?

My "down" days literally do occur less than once every year.

I am not even joking about this.

Is Gamzee the Christ analog of your story?

Christ is actually the Gamzee analog of real life.

So I understand that you had to limit your sketch requests bc it took so long last time, but you are charging your fans $10 for a sketch of a sprite and your signature...did it even occur to you that if you're producing less you should charge less?

Honestly I never even set the price, not now, or then.

Jeffrey at topatoco did, as he does for the shirts and really all the products. I just sort of shrug and go along with his decisions, and he shrugs back. This is how things go between the creators and topatoco often. It's quite an elegant ballet of mutual shrugging.

But really, I think we should be clear on what a "personalization" is. It is a sketch, not a commission. A sketch is something I can do quickly, whereas a commission is not. I would love to be able to do every outlandish idea people have, and would certainly do so in smaller quantity. But when I get requests of an extremely diverse nature, often involving many characters at once, and have to do hundreds of those, that is actually somewhat mind destroying after a while. The consequence is a radical reduction in quality of the sketches.

What is better I think is to do what I am doing. Which is to draw a single character, do a better job with each sketch, in a way that allows me to satisfy many people without requiring the mental gymnastics of processing hundreds of endlessly specific ideas involving 2-20 characters at once. So it's not that the price didn't drop for a lesser service... it's that the original service was underpriced!!!

Don't be an ass. If you're gonna produce less you should charge less. and please dont start bitching about how your story is free, you make bank off of ads and no one forced you to use the medium you chose

These are the words of an insincere troll, and I will not take them seriously.

Mr hussy, reading your webcomic has made me realize just how boring real life is. I dream about alchemising pointless junk just for entertainment. I wish to store my jacket in a card when not in use... how can i help make homestuck real life?

All you have to do is stop taking your medication.

Then, when you wind up on the news, everything can be traced back to this formspring question.

The beautiful cycle of culpability will be complete.

Y R U NOT UPDATING omg

I was kinda tired today so I didn't do much.

okay hussie your TOTALLY messing with us now. first, you give vriska the spootlight, then you make jade totally angery, and now KARKAT ISNT BEING AND INSUFFERABLE FUCKASS? you are a master of the trolling arts, hussie. how do you do it?

I'll try to spread the angery spootlight around more next time.

It seems that whenever someone complains on Formspring about something you did in MSPA you always defend your decision and tell them they're being silly. This is understandable, but statistically you should have admitted to making a mistake at least ONCE!

I copped to HONSESTLY didn't I?

Homestuck is a hugely complicated work, temporally and, I believe, thematically. How do you remember and keep track of it all? Do you use a tool of some kind, like a journal or a series of post-its, or do you somehow do it all mentally?

I get this question a lot.

Jan 4, 2011

Is Karkat Mexican?

I just wanted to use this dumb question to laugh at my typo "HONSESTLY" below.

A while ago, you said that your art hadn't improved much during Homestuck because of the way the comic was made. Now that actual drawings are more common, has this changed? I notice that you've been doing more stylistic experimentation as time goes on.

HONSESTLY,

I have gotten worse, from a pure illustration standpoint.

The cover to Volume 6 is an example of my more conventional illustrative style. Which is not to say the quality diminished. But that graphic took me significantly longer than it would have several years ago.

It's just not the saddle I'm used to anymore.

OTOH, I can knock out a Flash animation faster than I ever thought I'd bother being able to.

Where did this whole "I love fat Vriska" thing come from?

Someone asked me a dumb fat Feferi question and it ballooned out of control from there.

Like Vriska's grandiose waistline.

ahahha im a teenager and just finished homestuck and i must say it was downright one of my favorite ever. I believe that it is truly hilarious that ur stupidity stoops so low that anybody laughs at this book. I greatly reccomend this book to any body

Thank y...

wait

what?

Why is it so immensely satisfying to B-B-B-BUST you?

If anyone ever pulls it off, I'll ask them.

Back in the end of the third act (in [S] Enter), what was the deal with all those red tornadoes?

Zazzerpan did the windy thing.

You should make your comic more multicultural. It's basically solely the white man's affair right now.

Problem Sleuth was already way too multicultural.

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=4&p=000259

I had to scale it back.

Jegus, Jadesprite is annoying. At first it was sad and I wanted to hug her and make her feel better, but now I just want to scream at her. Which pretty well mirrors Awake Jade's feelings on the matter. So, good job there! But DAMN she is obnoxious now.

Prolonged excessive emotion is the difference between someone who is sympathetically distraught and someone who is grating to the nerves, possibly due to genuine mental illness.

What kind of drawing pad do you use?

Intuos 4. Just got it. And amazingly, it isn't broken.

Unlike every tablet I have used to draw MSPA before it.

ALBUM SOON PLEASE? I WISH TO THROW MY MONEY AT THESE PEOPLE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Tonight.

There seems to be a disturbing amount of people that are exciting over the idea of Jade and Jadesprite kissing in the next panel. You have a great and terrible power. Take care in it's use.

This is the power of the visual callback.

Some people scratch their heads over them and wonder what's the deal. This is not actually THE deal with them, but it demonstrates something they can accomplish.

What has happened here is a secondary, hidden joke has been told in parallel with the events taking place. Because these frames are direct mods of earlier panels conveying a similar scene but a totally different situation, the reader, if alert, remembers exactly what should come next. Hence we have an "extra" joke in addition to all the obvious points of humor. You are caused to imagine these two are about to kiss, and that is funny and absurd.

This cannot be accomplished nearly as directly without the visual callbacks. But this does not mean every time we see such a callback, there is a similar joke being cracked. It's not quite that simple or literal.

But using them frequently is important for setting them up for use in situations like this. You can't really just pull one out of a hat without establishing the tendency to do so. The callbacks have been woven into the fabric of normalcy first, to the point where they hardly raise an eyebrow anymore, while still demanding your recognition when they happen.

Having established them this way, there are other more subtle purposes they can serve as well. Not just jokes. Sometimes they illustrate contrast in situation. Like when Davesprite defended sleeping Dave, that panel was reused when future Dave stood over sleeping doomed Dave, contemplating whether to kill him. Pretty contrasting moments, and the callback invites such reflection.

Same with the Jadesprite callback. It wasn't just the joke being communicated. It also echoed the first time it was used, when Dream Jade slapped Dream John trying to wake him. Now situation is somewhat reversed. Dream Jade (Jadesprite) is being slapped by Real Jade. That character's role in the scenario has transmuted from heroic to pathetic.

None of this reads at all, or is put in the spotlight for consideration, without the callbacks.

Do you regret not signing a prenup with Vriska now? Or has being with Ms. Paint made you forget alllll your troubles?

I did sign a prenup but she ate it.

Jan 3, 2011

A lot of Internet guys use internet names. How come you use your real name? Did you ever used to have an internet name?

If I am using a false name, then I am either a teenage hacker, or a professional wrestler. But alas, I am neither. My days as THE BEEF APOCALYPSE were left in a sweaty ring long ago.

I don't know where these other dipshits get off calling themselves things they aren't.

Ok that is the last question, I am DONE with this.

Why does Dad have a restraining order against Cirque de Soleil?

You got it backwards. CdS has a restraining order against him.

This is - and I'm being perfectly honest - the most fascinating unseen subplot Homestuck will ever have to offer.

Have you decided whether you're going to say Twenty-Eleven, or Two-Thousand-and-Eleven?

I honestly forgot that years were even something you had to say.

In your recap post, you wrote "Scratch had a similar but yet unknown origin." I'm not trying to be all, "OMG YOU SUCK", but the "but yet" seems somewhat unprofessional compared to your usual mastery of the English language.

OOPS ohhhhhhhh damn, yeah there is a sloppy little pair of conjunctions taking a shit in my sentence in that long thing I banged out at warp speed. *BEET RED* Ok you can blow the smoke off your red pen and twirl that thing back into its holster. And then the Gotcha Buckaroo climbed onto his horse with its raging case of Horse Asperger's and galloped away.

Isn't it funny how I did something dumb and yet you're the one getting owned?

Hahahahaha.

Also I don't really think I'm a master of the language. I just sort of use it. It's just that other people tend to wipe their asses with it. And they don't even do a very good job with that. Like they shuffle out of the bathroom with their pants around their ankles and the assisted living professional just shakes her head.

Wait you're one of these fakers aren't you. You didn't REALLY have a problem with this, right?

GOD DAMMIT

How do I get through one night without you?

Don't even fucking try.

When answering questions regarding your self-indulgence, do you think that might be self-indulgent in itself?

I think the combination you're looking for is auto-erotic.

Canonize something silly RIGHT NOW

The trunk of dad's car contains 10 crates of shaving cream, but nobody ever found them.

GA: Im Going To Type This Face Now GA: :? GA: Even Though No One Knows How To Make A Mouth Do A Question Shape Like That

They don't have noodles on Alternia. Earth wins forever.

How much is the 'AH: Do Something' stuff canon? We see one or two times where what you do has a very minor impact, like the coat hanging on the fourth wall.

All I know is everything I do in my real life is canonical.

Like when I bought those groceries the other day?

That TOTALLY happened.

Seriously, they're in my fridge and everything.

Honestly have you ever heard someone cry that actually sounded like them saying "boo hoo"? I'm having a hard time taking her seriously. Jade's eheheheh actually sounds more realistic, in a weird almost cruel way.

TRY HARDER TO TAKE IT SERIOUSLY. I want to see GAME FACES, people.

No but really, we got kind of a <thing> going on here.

Nannasprite: HOO HOO HOO
Jadesprite: BOO HOO HOO
Calsprite: HAA HEE HOO
Daveprite: sup

EH??????????????? oh forget it.

But for real it actually made some people cry.

Yes, that is right. Several excerpts of dialogue, wherein one character quite frequently literally said "boo hoo hoo", actually caused people to weep.

That is the true punchline of the moment. That tear rolling down your cheek. Cherish it.

What are your favourite hobbies outside of MSPA? Do you even like anything in an unironic way?

The only thing I enjoy ironically is irony.

And Con Air.

animating screenshots of animating in photoshop. how meta can you possibly get?

A screencap of this formspring question in the next update?

Is not the answer.

Because you can always get more meta.

Your writing in Homestuck never really came across to me as self-indulgent. Some of the questions people asked you on formspring about the very process you use to answer questions seem pretty tedious and indulgent tho. Why do you dignify those questions?

I actually seek them out. But not the fake ones. I usually know when some spotlight glutton is faking a gripe to steal an answer out of me.

A gripe of any degree of legitimacy represents a challenge. The challenge is to crystallize the truth behind the defense, which is the same as the truth behind my original actions themselves, even if no defense is really needed. When someone is virtually flawless, like myself, leagues of the curmudgeonly and the inadequate do him a great service by presenting their straw men. It is through the methodical and public evisceration of these proud ersatz fellows and the humbling of their puppeteers that his infallibility shines through.

The devil is really just a straw man presented to God through which He makes a show of His true supremacy. A foil of His own clever and surreptitious invention, because He is a Smug Piece of Shit.

And now having said that, I will put my ear to the ground and listen for the pounding hooves of the retarded cavalry.

What is your preferred method to fattening Vriska up?

Gross, what a weird question.

Does that fact that you're answering questions here mean you're done making updates for the night?

Nothing is ever much of an indication of anything with any certainty.

Look at that, you just got socked in the face by profound wisdom.

care to share your opinion on roleplayers? how silly do you find us? (also, because i am terribly opinionated: i find the meta updates charming! it's nice to step out of the story every once in a while. the fact that you are also charming is a bonus!)

Thank you for saying I'm charming, and saying it is a bonus.

I don't know. Aren't all RPers silly? Show me an RPer who isn't silly and I'll show you a dude who just doesn't have his heart in it.

I can't say I've ever actually "read" much of the RPing. It's more that I've glimpsed it, sampled its colorful aroma, and moved on to something else.

Probably much the way some people absorb the dialogue in Homestuck.

If you didnt know of this song you should, because it eerily relates to Rose and the Green Sun

Miracles? Yeah I know it.

If you had the chance, would you come to our school's high school graduation party and speak about whatever the hell you wanted to? There'd be booze.

This sounds like one of those great ways for me to turn out to be in jail.

shoosh:pap || doof:nak || woof:sob

They all visited the abode of hup and poooke for dinner.

It was a noisy and silly dinner.

Do you hate happiness? Do you feast on the sorrow of mortals? Please explain.

I like to think that the exchange between Jades is equal parts sad, cute, and funny.

If you read it and thought so too, you win the prize!

The prize is the satisfaction that comes with possessing the singularly correct way to interpret a thing.

Jan 2, 2011

Do you ever catch yourself almost mentioning something that hasn't been revealed yet? Like, someone asks a question and you know the answer because it's your story but the time has not yet come. Or does that fall under the purview of your crazy memory.

No I pretty much always keep an ultra tight lid on top secret facts like fedorafreak turning out to be bilious slickOOOOOOOOPS abort abort abort

Does it ever feel weird to have created 12 interesting characters and only fully utilize 4 to 6 of 'em? I realize it would be difficult and unnecessary to fully flesh out each one, and that they all still have their roles, I'm just curious how you feel.

I don't know if I agree they're all interesting though, because in order to be interesting, perhaps by definition (maybe my personal one), those characters need to be used often enough to draw out the interesting qualities.

But I do think that any character introduced, even very marginal ones, should always hold the potential to become interesting. And ideally, that potential should be evident.

Your style of storytelling is by your own admission full of misdirection and false clues. It is part of the charm of your writing, but given that, how can you then say things like, "[...] connect a dot or two which are irrefutably logical to connect."

We just need to slather a layer of common sense on the issue here.

Reasonable topic for applying misdirection:

Who is LE? Is he someone we already know? Has he yet to be introduced? Was he the demon the trolls were hiding from? And so on.

These are all topics worthy of red herrings and storyteller's artifice to mislead from the truth.

A silly topic:

If LE, a time traveling demon, appears at the end of the universe, how does he get to the earlier parts of the universe where he was running a mob?

If with the same beguiling smirk and flourish of the hand I say "AHH, WOULDN'T YOUUUUU LIKE TO KNOW???"

Then I'm frankly kind of a tool.

The time traveling demon did, IN FACT, travel through time. Cat's out of the bag!

Please, self-indulge more! You are the MOST attractive character in Homestuck. 8D Any chance the next indulgence could involve swimtrunks?

yes yes yes yes yes more questions like this plz

just kidding don't flood my FSbox you goons

oh who am i kidding you will anyway

ARE YOU CHEATING ON VRISKA WITH MS. PAINT!?!?!?!?

Vriska went on a diet and I immediately demanded a divorce.

How ashamed would you feel if you ever misused the word "dichotomy?"

AuAuAuAuAuAGH, how BUSTED can i even GET??????noodlesnoodlesnoodles

Sometimes I'm a little loose with language and give certain words a wide berth, like a really slack lariat I'm fixin' to rope some skittering rhetorical calf I got my eye on. It makes sayin' things more fun, ok Mr. Gotcha Buckaroo?

di·chot·o·my

2. division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups: a dichotomy between thought and action.

I was sort of implying being safe and being wrong were creeping up on mutually exclusive territory. Understanding this should accurately calibrate the amount of despair you should feel if you ever find yourself being both those things at once.

;-)

(i just made the little clicking noise with that wink, you know the one that makes winking cooler)

The Hussie updates upset some people simply because they don't think that the humor of the joke is great and seems to cross that self-indulgence line. That's the only reasoning I've seen, not anybody saying that meta-elements themselves are unwelcome.

Not really, there are people who don't like it on principle. I know this because I have read their reservations. Not a HUGE amount, but they're out there.

The objections you mention OTOH are trivial. It is 1) unfunny and 2) self indulgent? Ok! Again I marvel at my inability to craft jokes which are universally pleasing to the global population.

Is it self indulgent? Well, here is what it is on its face. It is another vehicle through which I deliver jokes, in a body of work largely comprised of me delivering jokes. That delivery is happening, IMO, in a way that is immaculately in keeping with the original spirit of the work, though you may hold a different view. Please read further down for details.

But... IS it self indulgent?

Yes.

Such was confessed up front in the series of 4th wall interludes. Humorously.

Then laughing happened.

When you do recaps you sometimes spoil things that have not been said in the comic. We did not know that Lord English time traveled to a specific point and directly controlled the Felt. It is not a big deal but you should not do that.

Nope, all I do occasionally is connect a dot or two which are irrefutably logical to connect.

LE enters at the death of a universe. Logically, he has to travel back in time if he wishes to inhabit that universe. There are hardly any alternatives.

Is there an appropriate accompanying sound to "hup" from http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=005110 ?

What is poooke? Chopped liver?

Apparently some people don't like the Hussie meta updates. Have you ever considered that they may have been better off as asides instead of being directly in the adventure log (like the way SBAHJ just gets linked rather than getting updates to itself)?

Nah, it's fine the way it is. You say I could take a different approach because *some* people don't like something? Oh no! Who would have thought a certain quantity of people wouldn't like something! I've got to make sure that never happens, ever, I don't know what I was thinking.

So ok, 4th wall stuff.

Sometimes I catch people wrinkling their noses at the goofy 4th wall stuff. Now, I'll roll my eyes as much as the next guy at some really inappropriate 4th wall bending in places it doesn't belong. Probably the benchmark for where it feels appropriate and complements the story is something like Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Who doesn't find it charming and hilarious whenever he lowers his shades and sasses us through the silver screen, while Cameron kicks his dads car into a forest to the score of "BOW BOW..... chicka-chickaaaaaaaa"? Nobody is who. But taken beyond that, in works of more serious dramatic magnitude, or just really mishandled in some types of comedy, people start groaning.

Some people are inclined to give these things more latitude. Others are more strict.

But regardless of where you are on this spectrum, I kinda have to wonder how cement headed a guy has to be not to see that if ever there was a time such antics were permissible, it would be through this particular format, and this particular story. Remember what sort of thing you're reading? Seems like I've got to remind people sometimes.

First of all, let's acknowledge that regardless of how immersed you are in whatever's going on, this is a story built almost entirely out of ridiculous gags. The preceding stories were too. PS warped the 4th wall in similar ways, and this is the tradition through which HS was conceived and delivered. It's light, it's loose, and above most other considerations, humor prevails.

But there are even more important reasons than this. The entire nature of the story/format is one of blurriness between reader, player, author and character. It began with readers issuing commands to characters, and me the author parsing them, and the character responding with action to both parties. It is at all times a fluid dialogue taking place between these story entities. And at all times the author's presence is quite palpable, even without the actual AH avatar present. The narrator's voice is pretty unapologetically my own, and I think that's clear to the alert reader. He quips with the player and the character alike. But it goes even further than this. As the story progresses, these player/character roles become even more malleable. Characters in the story actually control OTHER characters, through the exact same text command vehicle which drives the whole narrative! The whole thing is utterly saturated with such meta qualities, and picking out the single generically unpalatable author avatar as the deal breaker in all this is pretty petty, and reeking of less than comprehensive appreciation for the themes. The story is about players and characters watching and controlling players and characters watching and controlling players and characters, in screens in screens in screens. Server player monitors client player. Exile commands session player. Trolls from one session mess with those from another. People are commanded psychically, through reader input, through the reader's keyboard arrows at times, through the narrative volition of ==>, and through author mandate. People are spied on through crystal balls, fenestrated walls, Sburb windows, chat clients, future command station terminals, dreams, clouds, and finally, yes, a 4th wall through which we have access to the author, who's very presence in the story was already keenly felt REGARDLESS.

All of this considered, even if you're of the mindset of "NEVER NEVER NEVER" on 4th wall shenanigans, it's still beyond me how you couldn't see that if one and only one story/format combo was to get a free pass on this, it would be HS. Everything written above is quite honestly approaching the threshold of the unassailable.

But sticking to your guns on that stance is most definitely a safe position to take.

Safe, and also WRONG.

Safe and wrong. Wow, what a terrible combination!

I have trouble imagining how ashamed I would feel if I ever lumbered under such a grueling dichotomy.

Why do you find the recaps necessary? Though they are marginally helpful, making them seems to contradict the idea that you don't want/care about readers who aren't fully invested in reading the comic comprehensively.

I agree that they could be dispensed with, and yeah I'm not SUPER interested in catering to the uninvested.

But the bottom line is, no matter what, a lot of people are just going to not get some shit in a story like this. Even the invested, and at times, even the astute! They are there primarily as a courtesy, entirely skippable to the uninterested.

Jan 1, 2011

google "Formspring"

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=formspring

It's happened before that googling formspring brought up my account at the top of the list, but then that stopped being the case for a while. Now it's up there again? I don't get it.

Don't any other notable people use formspring?

Maybe it's because I say "formspring" a lot when I answer questions, and that gives google's botmatrix a huge boner.

Dec 29, 2010

I feel like Jack has lost his character and just become a boss that teleports around randomly killing things. Has Karkat taken his old role?

Karkat has not taken his old role. That part of the question honestly makes no sense to me.

But to answer the first part,

Of course.

Jack is now essentially omnipotent, still angry, and has very little to do anymore but fly around challenging worthy opponents to duels, and when he's out of those, simply kill people and destroy things.

What defined him as a character, and really any character, was his interactions with others, mixed in with some devices of limitation. Like what was expressed through his rivalry with the black queen before killing her.

What he has become is more of a force of nature villain. Like a terrible dragon that must be slain by the heroes. In such a story, you don't particularly expect much striking characterization from the dragon. And yet it remains a legitimate adversary to continue challenging the heroes and drive the story. His rise to omnipotence can be nothing other than corrosive to his former portrait as a character. And yet, he's still presumably the same guy, so those character qualities could resurface any time, if the circumstances permit.

How is having two of one person in the same timeline a paradox?

??????????????????????????

I just busted open a can of chef boyardee surprise noodles.

As long as you're setting yourself up for the challenge of assigning events to a timeline, what about the kids? How many hours has their session been running for?

The kids already enjoyed some very maniacal timeline plotting in the early going. In a way, it was a form of orientation to the type of insanity that would follow. We had timestamps on their computers, pinning down exactly when certain conversations took place, even though at that point all these events were relatively mundane. But then it all loosened up significantly as each began entering their session.

Timelining the troll events more strictly presents a more novel challenge. Doing so for the more recent kid events would be fairly trivial, and I doubt I'll bother.

This story is so complicated! Gah! hahahaha :D ok can you make an in-story cheat-sheet timeline or something? Or do I just gotta reread the last 400 panels to make sense of this shit.

Sometimes I make recaps, but I haven't in a while.

Rereading helps.

I don't know! Maybe engage with the community discussion? Details oft forgotten crop up routinely.

It's hard to know exactly what to prescribe. I'm not in your [READERS] position.

All I can say is, if there was only one thing to be said about how one should go about absorbing this thing, it's this.

Homestuck is something to be not merely read, but studied.

I am getting tired of the foreshadowed deaths. They don't make me sad. With them you get no Reader's Tears from me. If you want sadness do something sudden, although the forums may disagree with me.

If you believe the moments are designed to wring every drop from your emotional rag, you are mistaken, and are engaging with events on a pretty shallow level.

These are not even foreshadowed events, per se. They have been explicitly forecast. Doomed Dave WAS going to die. Aradia WAS going to explode. We knew these things, and their patent inevitability should tip you off that these deaths were not meant to trigger what you seem to be looking for.

There are many things we know in advance, and the intrigue surrounds discovering how, rather than if or what. And mixed in with this, there are many revelations not foretold as well. This seems to me to be the best way to assemble a story dealing heavily with not only time travel, but nonlinear construction.

And if you care to adjust your dials to the actual emotional frequency of what is going on in a story, maybe you should consider this. Sometimes emotion is not conducted directly to the reader by a death, through a first hand sense of shock and loss, but peripherally through the other characters' reactions to that loss! Consider a biographical film of a famous person's story who is known to die tragically. Is there no room for emotion surrounding the inevitable?

Are the Denizens ever going to show up or were they forgotten in the rise of Beckspers Noirlecrowel?

They are in the cache of concepts yet to materialize in the story. They will materialize when it is appropriate.

HS has been riddled with concepts introduced, and then buried in hibernation for extremely long periods of time. Then when they finally resurface, they seem like they've been around forever!

Like John's green package from Jade. The story played keepaway with the reader, dangling that box out there for a very long time. And now, it and its contents, the bunny, have functioned as an indispensable aspect of the plot for quite some time.

If in the timeline that Davesprite originated from, John died before he reached the ectobiology lab to create himself and the other kids/guardians, how are they all alive in the first place?

Exactly. It wasn't supposed to go down that way.

Which is why it was a doomed timeline.

Hussie stop trolling everyone you are not from Alternia you don't even have horns for gog's sake

What am I even doing to troll people anyway.

I guess I'm losing track of what trolling actually means.

Does it mean being hilarious?

GUILTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8^D

Would I be right in assuming that some of your music artists are influenced by Touhou?

I have no idea how many of them are hard core anime fans.

why can't i enjoy homestuck anymore

Maybe it has jumped the shark?

It is also possible it has jumped your personal shark, while many other people's sharks remain happily unjumped.

Sometimes people mistake their personal sharks for the global shark. It doesn't sound like you're doing this though, which is pretty cool.

Otherwise you would have said "Why isn't Homestuck any good anymore?"

WAIT. Trolls cry blood?

No.

If you have brown hair and brown eyes, dose that mean there is a lot of hair in your iris???

Nope. It is because the eyes and hair are saturated with a common ingredient called melanin.

Trolls' physiology is saturated with a similar ingredient, specific to their position on the hemospectrum. It heavily colors their blood, and tints their tears.

Sorry, you probably get this question all the time, but do you know when the trollshirts will restock again?

Soon! You can preorder them, plus anything else.

http://www.whatpumpkin.com/store/info.html#preorders

When Jade said that her penpal is her grandson, does this mean that the grandfather is Dave? Since he is the last human male left hat is not of her relation. (Can Trolls and humans mate?)

SURE IS A FUN THING TO SPECULATE ABOUT

i wonder if such was the authorial intent

WAIT THATS ANOTHER THING TO SPECULATE ABOUT

:0??????

What about colons and semi-colons?

This is where the game stops being fun.

So wait a second, in Jade: Enter there are definitely 7 towers on the trolls' Prospit's moon. Is there a reason for this? I always assumed it would be 6 and 6.

Sollux had two dream selves.

Aradia had none.

Prospit: 7 towers.

Derse: 5.

What is your favorite of the animés?

Disuku Worodu by Pratchett San

I cannot help but notice that through the course of this comic all non-Caucasian characters (on earth) have been killed (with the possible exception of FedoraFreak). Is Homestuck secretly just a way for you to live out your dreams of ethnic cleansing?

No you are wrong. All non-fat characters are being cleansed. This is my dream.

I weep tears of lard into a bucket of chicken.

If ? is a surprise noodle and ! is a shout pole, then what are periods "." ?

finish crumbs

why have you not sent me that genetic sample so i can impregnate my sister with your children yet?

Don't even try to pretend you're the guy who originally said that. You just aren't, come on.

So i herd you said Homestuck was too long to reread practically? Well ive reread it 8 times! what do you have to say about that? hmmmmm? but yah Homestuck is great.

Yeah but you aren't busy makin' it, so it sounds like you got some time on your hands!

Seeing as how Nepeta and Feferi are dreaming at Derse at the point of Aradia's explosion, doesn't that mean that Aradia's convo with Rose takes place AFTER this explosion? Feferi was dreaming of the Furthest Ring then + Eridan's compy wasn't intact.

See notes a couple questions down.

Pinning some of these key events to a concrete timestamped schedule has sort of opened a can of worms, which I deliberately springloaded into the can and fired into my own face. I guess I am inviting the challenge for myself to make all this hazy troll timetable stuff more definite?

Before I could always decide that a troll could do something or talk to someone, and there would always be a built in fudge factor dictating when it actually happened. And that worked pretty well. I built up quite a lot of events and conversational itineraries that way. But now that it's all out there, I guess it's kind of a personal challenge to see if I can make a little more sense of it (without being excruciatingly rigorous that is).

So now we have some key times on a countdown to zero, which we can place some critical events on.

10:25:00 - Jack arrives in troll session. Trolls escape to veil, spend about 4 hours messing around doing who knows what.

Minutes before time below: Tavros gets legs sawed off, Karkat faints.

06:12:00 - Prospit is destroyed. Dream Karkat etc are killed.

Shortly after that, Terezi smells explosion, goes downstairs, discovers money transfer from Dave. Thus learns about humans. She and other trolls (notably Vriska) get a head start on messing with kids while Karkat sleeps,

05:12:30 - One hour later, exactly halfway through countdown, Karkat wakes up, learns about humans, begins campaign of trolling.

04:13:00 - Jack destroys Derse. Eridan's computer and Aradia blow up. Feferi stays asleep while dream-dead, shares dream bubble with Jade. Later wakes up, talks to Jade about it.

Knowing this basic structure, we can fill in a lot of events around this loosely, between and after the key points. For instance, at 4:13, it seems Vriska and Tavros have not left the room yet for their confrontation. Eridan has yet to get his wand. And so on.

We also know that shortly after the expiration of the countdown, Terezi has the conversation with Dave in which she told him to wire the money back to her, 6 hours and 12 minutes ago from her vantage. This suggests she has not stayed completely linear in her interaction with Dave. (Which would make sense, considering how much time traveling he's been doing.)

We also know that Karkat is around after the countdown from one of the memo timestamps.

It's a big puzzle!

Dec 28, 2010

Do you find writing Eridan and/or Jade pesterlogs harder than writing the rest? They always seem to come out later and be shorter than pesterlogs from the other characters.

Always?? I didn't realize one could be so tapped into the update schedule surrounding these particular characters.

In this case though, I had actually written the whole log, and had a file saving mishap. I then had to rewrite it all from memory, which took twice as long, because it was pretty tedious, and I was somehow convinced the original log was better.

Andrew Andrew you are confusing the hell out of everyone with your Aradia explosion timeline! Why do you do this to us, Andrew? Why?

It isn't really that confusing. All you really need to know is there are three events which happen NEARLY simultaneously.

1) Eridan's computer blows up (because of Rose).
2) Aradia blows up for reasons unknown.
3) Derse is destroyed by Jack, causing Feferi's bubble to go black, and Nepeta to wake up.

Technically, 1) happens first. Shortly after, a bit less than a minute, 2) happens. 3) happens in a nebulous stretch of time over that duration. He destroys Derse presumably in a similar manner to how he destroyed Prospit. There is some degree of time lapse involved.

But these are details. All you need to know is they all happened right around the same time.

All of these key events were mentioned/shown in [S] Past Karkat: Wake up.

How is it that Sollux is mackin on all the troll ladies, and yet manages to have so little screentime?

Sollux macks twofold. We do not see his activity very often because it is TOO HOT FOR THE WEB.

He doesn't do much in the story because he is a supporting character. He is the guy who stuff happens to, rather than a guy who does stuff. Until further notice.

This again raises the issue of supporting characters vs. major characters. Sure he would be a stronger and more interesting character if he had the screen time to allow it. But we must imagine this SHADOW PLOT wherein he occupies this time and does interesting things, and all the existing pages and action which that must necessarily be crowded out in favor of developing him that way. Is it worth it? Maybe, if you are a huge Sollux fan. But in this dimension, that is not the role he plays in an otherwise very busy story, and that's just how it is.

Dec 23, 2010

Apparently they're remaking The NeverEnding Story. Gonna see Falkor fucking up some bullies in HD, sadly Atreyu will probably be played by Shia LaBeouf or something. Is this good? y/n

Don't you mean

y/nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IXCK1EyP4s

Play

Wait, I thought these were called query hooks? Or are '?' and '?' synonyms.

It's hard to communicate how inferior the term query hook is to surprise noodle. They are in completely different universes.

Query hook is not a term I would ever come up with, nor would I ever endorse it.

If the entire realm of interrogative remarks were World War II, surprise noodles would be the mighty Nazis, while query hooks would be the lowly Jews.

but there are plenty of people who ask you interesting questions about the comic that are neither ignorant slams nor boring praise

But I don't want to answer them all.

Then this would be Homestuckipedia Live Jam New Millennium Edition, a trough slopped to overflowing with noncanon minutia.

SNORE!

Can we asume from the (bee)Hive in Vriska's land that her consorts were bees?

Her consorts were Pooh Bears.

They were reaching up their fat fuckin pooh paws for some mother fuckin honey.

Andrew Hussie why do you reply to the few people with absolutely no sense of humor that are taking all your tongue in cheek/trolling seriously? Well I know the answer. I just hope that it isn't actually a large majority of questions you get.

I don't know. Ok pretend you're me, and you read this submitted question:

"HA HA, good joke man! I completely GET your jokes. Keep it up!"

And then I'm like,

"Yeah!"

Everyone is bored. Naps ensure.

Oh wait, you said you knew the answer already. See, even this answer was a waste of everybody's time.

so if an exclamation point is known as a shout pole on alternia, what does that make a question mark?

We've been over this, it's a surprise noodle.

Maybe I just dreamed we've been over this...

I just got into Discworld recently--is there anything you would suggest for me?

Yeah, stop reading anime.

I would buy a windsock hoodie with SUCH vigor. Please make them a thing.

We'll see, these things take time.

Dunno about the "windsock" part though.

Can a troll and a human mate? And I don't just mean have sex I mean could they have kids? Do trolls even have sex organs similar to humans?

This entire line of thought could be so much more PG than people seem to want it to be.

All that's required to reproduce is an ectobiology lab.

May we assume that all adult trolls have wings, or are trolls granted wings upon being reborn in the quest recuperacoon?

I don't know, do you see any wings on Karkat's movie posters?

I guess maybe it's possible troll actors get their wings clipped...

Well In defense of the last guy I saw answered. Pretending to be offended(or actually being) by your comments, referencing the Animes, saying something stupid(Naknaknaknak), or admiring your characters chubby folds seem to be the only ways to get answered

Not really. Those are the only types of questions I ever receive.

Will vriska be wearing her god tier outfit for your wedding?

She'll have to bring it to the tailor to have it let out.

WAY out.

Vriska's new outfit is AMAZING! The buttons on her hood are so cute and her red boots and her twintails cape <3 <3 <3 <3 WHY WOULD SHE EVER CHANGE OUT OF IT

Thanks, I like it do.

Doesn't it sort of make you wish you had horns, so you could put a hood like that to practical use?

I mean, it doesn't really make ME wish that, because I am a 31 year old man.

But I could understand if it made some other people wish that.

Now go read a shit load of novels by Westerners because you hate any kind of mention of "the animes", which many of your fan base is interested in.

I don't actually hate the animes, I just sort of shrug at them theatrically for hilarious purposes.

The animes represent a wide body of entertainment which includes some good stuff, as well as an absolutely incomprehensible amount of shit. Like anything.

Any smart guy could have concluded that's how I felt about it though, without me saying so. Drawing rigid conclusions from a pool of ambiguous, tongue in cheek remarks is foolish. Rigidity in perception is the hobgoblin of a shallow mind. This hobgoblin's visage is the portrait of inadequacy, and he casts his mischievous leer at you from the other side of the looking glass!

And thus it was the animes taught you how to be a better person. Thank them kindly.

Hivebent? With all that blood everywhere maybe you should be calling it HIVebent!?

This joke makes no sense.

Dec 22, 2010

I'm going to join in the inevitable howling chorus of "ITS BRITISH" here. Written by Terry Pratchett, its actually a series you'd probably like for its persistent snark and devotion to toying with the shape of how stories go.

Oh god it's another dude taking me serious.

I have read several Discworld novels.

OK, so you don't like references to the animes. Is there anything else we should steer clear from in asking questions, lest we invoke the wrath of AH?

Please submit a list of your top ten favorite animes, and a brief essay on what makes each one so amazing.

Then we'll talk.

Terry Pratchett made Discworld. Terry Pratchett is not Japanese. (people are pissed off...)

Hahahaha and the dumb guy to correct me turned out to be you!!!

Can I get a no shit up ins.

So if past experiences are anything to go by, since you've yet to get to the Final Boss Homestuck is less the half over right? Chapter 7 will be a doosie.

My plan at the moment is to make Act 7 serve as pure wrap up. Perhaps consisting only of several significant animations.

If that is that case, then Act 6 would function as the last "normal" act.

But you know how these things go. Plans can change.

http://mspaintadventures.com/?s=6 is the URL of page one of Homestuck. But when you replace the 6 with a number 1-5 you get the different MSPAs that youve done before, including HS Beta. However 3 is a single bloody spade titled ??????. Explain please?

It's the Midnight Crew adventure I didn't do.

In the Homestuck universe, MSPA is currently running that MC adventure.

And in the troll universe, that adventure is actually taking place, on post apocalyptic Alternia.

Dear Dr. Hussie, Are you watching the Lunar Eclipse? It is the first one since 1638!

It was cloudy and I couldn't see it.

Was "I 8n't dead" a reference to Discworld (which is a book, not an anime)?

And once again, my Formspring account has been befouled by references to your favorite animes.

Discworld?

You just KNOW that's got to be made by somebody Japanese.

Oh man, is Vriska wearing socks underneath strap sandals? So cool 8888)

No?

Did you make the Black lance that Tavros has look like Sn0wmans? Or did you just use Sn0wmans lance/cigarette holder to save time?

That would be PRETTY LAZY of me wouldn't it.

The trolls had a long and eventful adventure. Karkat took Jack's regisword and used it to make a regisickle. We can infer that at some point they managed to duplicate and/or steal the queen's lance. The queen either kept her original copy of the lance, or stole it back, or it got sent to Alternia via the exiling process, just like the Queen did to become Snowman. At which point Snowman recovered it.

There are so many possible ways to explain this.

So Tarvos was being controlled by Aradia to write what she was "saying"? Damn.

Whoops no!

In the Image Manip thread, it was noticed that the scenes with gratuitous amounts of troll blood weren't all that disturbing until you turned the blood red, which is a normal response I suppose. Was this one of the reasons you gave them unrealistic blood?

No.

Really, imagine me sitting around thinking, I gotta come up with some means of taking the edge off all these future bloodbaths I'm planning. I know... rainbow blood!!!

The hemospectrum was just an idea that grew quite organically, something that wasn't part of the picture at all until after Hivebent was underway . It turned out to be a pretty good detail to fuel some of the dilemmas and intrigue surrounding the trolls' story, as well as just something kind of fun and unique about their race. Hivebent was in part about fleshing out the details of the race and setting them apart from humans, in a fairly traditional sci-fi world building sense. All grounded in humor of course.

While back you answered a question about tropes, and I loved it. tvtropes.com is a joke of site, where people who spend all day watching TV and playing games go to feel academic. Reading that doesn't make you a great writer; you just sound Dennis Miller.

I didn't intend to completely rip on it. It's a pretty entertaining site in some ways, and definitely in moderation.

One of the worst things about it is not necessarily the site, but the influence it has on the way so many people discuss entertainment. Dropping trope names starts to become a substitute for original ideas and critical thinking. This also leads to flagrant misdiagnoses of what's going on in a story as some pretty bland minds struggle to shoehorn everything they see into a defined trope.

It's like religion. Silly people forfeit original thought and substitute it for reference to excerpts in scripture. TvTropes is the holy scripture for anime nerds, and less caustically, just a bunch of young people who don't really know any better yet.

If the "light" in Vriska's title refers to luck does that mean that Rose also has an improbably high amount of luck?

There's more than one word to the title though.

Thief of Light means she can take luck from others. This makes her lucky.

Seer of Light would better translate to "understander of fortune". Whatever that means!

But we should note that it's pretty questionable how well Rose has been keeping up with her personal quest duties.

If a player is killed, does the dreamself always replace them, or does the dreamself die as well if they are not quickly resurrected through some special method? Like how Dream John started bleeding from a stab wound and Dream Vriska started bleeding out?

There are only two ways we know of that the dream self can serve as an extra life.

1) The corpse must be kissed by a prince or princess. (Please note, they are technically all princes/princesses of their respective moons.)

2) The player must die on their quest bed/cocoon, in which case their dream self takes over while upgrading to god tier on the battlefield.

The dream self also takes on the critical wounds sustained by the real self, but in a delayed fashion. Note how dream John began bleeding a little while after he was stabbed. These wounds are healed upon resurrection.

Presumably the dream self will eventually die from the same wounds inflicted on the real self, but after a time delay. This would suggest the player has a pretty brief time limit to complete their resurrection.

We've only seen three examples of this. John and Vriska, who both died on the quest bed/cocoon, so the time limit didn't matter.

Sollux was also resurrected after being kissed by Feferi. This means after he died, she made the trip between her world and his in QUITE A HURRY.

how much money do you make on merchandise?? the new shirts sold out pretty fast but for all we know you could have only made five of them.

We've only been printing around 100 of each design when stocking shirts. More than that would require a significant setup and staff to ship out in a timely fashion, beyond what I have now which is just my friend Cindy shipping them out herself.

Next year hopefully I will be able to put things in place to satisfy demand. Having to dealing with significant demand for this stuff caught me a bit off guard, because until quite recently, it wasn't really like that. Also, what modest sales there were, Topatoco handled for me, and I never had to think about it.

pap shoosh nak doof shoosh:doop nak:pap hoo hoo hoo hoo haa haa haa haa hee hee hee hee

Yes, that's right.

You all asked me really insightful, pertinent questions.

And this is the one I chose to answer.

I've noticed the ludicrous amount of money your adverts pay to get their games/businesses/pornsites on your site. How much money do you get off of these guys? I mean, $152.80 for ONE advert??? DAYUM!!!!

I WISH

Those are brief spikes in price that only tend to last an hour or so. Typical rates are way lower.

It doesnt seem very light hearted with this constant tormenting of poor Tavros. Your being pretty frigging sadistic for you to be drawing out his suffering for so many updates.

Yeah but a story doesn't have to be just one thing. What's so hard to understand about that?

There have been other heavy moments. Bro died, dream Jade died, etc. Neither those moments, nor this one, nullifies the thousands of absurd jokes already littering this story, and those still to come.

This little segment was a bit of a Hivebent throwback. (If you can really "throw back" to something that happened over the summer.) Hivebent was still pretty silly, but it was darker and a bit more psychologically charged than typical HS action. This sequence taps into the Hivebent melodrama again, and steps it up a bit, since of course the story is moving forward and raising the stakes, as it should be.

And all that aside, there's still some humor present here if you take a step back. Understanding the full context, we see that some pretty silly cartoon mobsters from the future are simultaneously urging a confused boy to kiss/kill a girl. Believe it or not, that's actually a pretty humorous scenario!

But that said, I'm not going to pretend this whole thing isn't completely fucked up. Of course it is. That's the point.

Dec 17, 2010

Homestuck started out pretty lighthearted! I suppose it would be dumb to ask if you intended for it to get darker later on, but is the level of darkness about what you envisioned? Was Cal originally the only intended survivor at this point in the story?

It's still lighthearted.

It is in fact relentlessly lighthearted, even in the midst of serious drama.

The villain is a FUCKING DOG WEARING SUNGLASSES.

During the latest animation, Dream!John begins bleeding from the same wound inflicted on Real!John. Since it looks like the fireflies are reviving John (like the kiss to Sollux and whatnot), does the wound represent the two Johns switching places?

Speculation abounds.

All we know are the facts of what we saw.

John was stabbed; killed.

Shortly after, his dream self began bleeding from the same wound.

And then, this became irrelevant, as his resurrection completed itself.

We don't actually know why. Often we have a reasonable amount of information to make inferences regarding things that go by silently in animations. But other times, new mysteries are presented in animations. This is not a case where we "should" know why this is happening, if only we could identify the pieces which explain it. It is unexplained phenomena.

We'll have to wait and see.

NAKNAKANAKANAKANAKNAKNAKANAKANAKANAKNAKNAKANAKANAKANAKNAKNAKANAKANAKANAKNAKNAKANAKANAKANAKNAKNAKANAKANAKANAKNAKNAKANAKANAKANAKNAKNAKANAKANAKANAKNAKNAKANAKANAKANAKNAKNAKANAKANAKANAKNAKNAKANAKANAKANAKNAKNAKANAKANAKANAKNAKNAKANAKANAKANAKNAKNAKANAKANAKANAKNAK

Oh will you SHUT UP.

NEVERMIND I LIKE YOU AGAIN i doubt you'll read this but i felt very guilty for being such a meanie so i wanted to say it anyway!!!!!!!

Who are you?

It's kinda funny when people ask me "follow up" questions as if I'm keeping the slightest track of who's saying what.

Anyway s'cool.

If Dave is you, and his psychological problem thing is his comics, then is Homestuck a personal analysis of your insecurity with your comics (or something like that?)

Dave isn't me, that's stupid.

He says funny things, the sort of things which I myself tend to say on occasion, because get this - I'm writing his lines!

But even on those finite grounds, I guess that makes him arguably some class of author-insert avatar, doesn't it? Or it would, if there weren't literally already one of those somewhere else in the story.

Here's the thing on that. Ordinarily author inserts are embarrassing glorifications of themselves. But with Dave, I had to take a little something off. Because in reality, aside from the fact that I don't wear shades, I am considerably cooler than Dave. This is a fact of the truest proportions. Consider that all of his remarkable achievements (SBaHJ) are in actuality my own, while the scope of my real life credentials eclipse his considerably (time travel notwithstanding).

Sometimes it is actually physically painful being this cool. I preemptively welcome your compassion, and monetary patronage.

<HUGE> 8) </HUGE>

blind girl has nice ass?!!?!

I vaguely remember reading this exact question posted several days ago.

What the hell is wrong with you?

How did the Breeze succeed in putting out the fire if, and I quote the 17th century French nobleman Walt Whitman, "wind extinguishes candles and fans a fire"?

Because it wasn't wind.

It was THE BREEZE.

Also Walt Whitman was an ignorant sack of shit.

Hey Andrew Hussie. I'm still waiting on your answer on the rate of formspring questions per flash update.

Ok, I just clicked "More questions" like 6 or 7 times, and all the questions on the page were still asked within the last hour.

Honestly, I don't even read 1/20th of the questions submitted.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRYYYYYYYYY

This isn't a question, but... I have to thank you. I had writers block, saw the update, and the sheer amount of concentrated awesome protruding from it obliterated my writer's block. Great work man, and thanks for helping me out incidentally!

Cool! You should never allow the lack of content to get in the way of production, much like you should never let the truth defile a perfectly good anecdote

I wonder what it's like to have writer's block?

The day I get it will be the day a billion horses die in deafening unison. Don't go outside that day.

is karkat like based off of u as a kid like u were emo??

I never talked as a kid, so there is pretty much zero overlap.

Will we ever see Andrew Hussie in-story again? Will he be able to save Fantasia from the Emptiness? Can he defeat Xayide, I must know.

He'll be around.

When he's least expected, and most unwelcome.

Given the nature of Homestuck, do you have any regrets regarding the characters, plot, etc? Maybe looked back at something you did a year ago and gone "ah, crap, I wish I'd done that differently"? Not that I'm saying you should -- everything's real cool

While simultaneously realizing that everything I do can always be better in every single way, regrets and rear view gazing are excluded from the process deliberately. This is storytelling in hyperspace. Everything is done with the intent to make something as good as it can be, as loose as can be, and as FAST. FAST. FAST. as possible. Lamenting decisions is at odds with this approach, and would be irrational. If I allowed room for second guessing, then I'd be doing something completely different.

You can isolate any single thing from this, written or drawn, and conclude that with a little more time, some more drafting, editing and revision, it would improve. Such are the benefits that more conventional productions enjoy. They are how works of entertainment become polished. But that's not the mission here. There is virtually no editing going on here at all, at any stage, from conception, to typing, to drawing, to animating, to posting. The most written editing I'll do is tweaking a phrase or two after copy-pasting the text from the doc into the browser while updating. Drawings are never drafted or revised. It's always done in one shot. I don't storyboard the animations, and often don't really have the full scene sequence in mind until I'm nearly done. It's very fluid. It's all part of the challenge this represents to me in totality, and an aspect of its experimental nature.

Could it reach another level with a more intensive editing process (or one at all)? Of course. With enough concentrated reexamination, I'm sure the thing could be smoothed to such a seamless literary state, it could enter Earth's atmosphere without catching fire. It could certainly be more illustratively maniacal too. But editing is a time sink. Even a little is too much, because the top priority by far is speed. To bring as many ideas to coherent realization as quickly as possible. I get the most out of visuals with the least effort, and even though it doesn't look like I'm using all my artistic ability to make this, I do use my full experience as an artist to understand how best to optimize. Strong, simple shapes and silhouettes, dynamic composition, attention to color choice, minimal splashes of animation, all those things go a really long way for making striking visuals without requiring much effort.

It just occurred to me recently that I haven't even reread the whole story in more than a year. (It's too long! Who has time for that.) There was a time in the early going, when it was a couple hundred pages, I'd reread it now and then to develop a feel for how it read, and help solidify my thoughts on the new project and develop ideas for where I wanted to push it in its fledgling state. But after rolling for a while, rereads became unnecessary. I maintain all relevant story data in a part of my mind which I'm sure has adapted itself to be completely useless for any other task besides keeping track of Homestuck. (Though I will say, mingling amidst community discussion does help keep some details fresh in the mind.) The only time I go back to an earlier page is to verify a particular phrasing or such, or to check out a panel as a drawing reference. Other than that, I'm not sure if I've reread more than 10 consecutive pages in a year. That would be rear view gazing.

But having said that...

Maybe I'll give it a full reread in the near future, just for the hell of it.

so what exactly happened to john's real body? the fireflies took it, and he glowed and then... something. did he combine with his dream self, so now their the same body, but in skaia?

We saw what happened to John's real body at the end. It's still lying there on the quest bed, bloody and dead. It is now a corpse forever. It did not combine with the dream self. The dream self is an independent entity which wakes up and walks around when the player goes to sleep, or in this case, dies on his quest bed.

When that happens, you may notice the dream self also wakes up on a corresponding quest bed on the battlefield. With a little inference, we can gather that since players have duplicate quest beds on the battlefield, that this is likely how players are normally supposed to get to the battlefield, rather than crashing into it via moon.

So, was that just like what happened with Sollux, where John died and used his dreamself as an extra life, or was that something new that we haven't seen before that Vriska will be insufferably smug and Fred Savagely face-punchable about now?

It's both.

John is using his dream self as an extra life, like Sollux did.

But it's also something we haven't seen. He was not resurrected in the same manner. Sollux was kissed by a princess, and his dream self woke up and took over as the "real" him, with no additional benefits. John died on his quest bed, which clearly leads to a much more elaborate resurrection. His dream self is taking over, but now as the fully realized Heir of Breath.

Vriska knew this would happen, and it's heavily implied she went through the same process. In fact, she practically stated it outright. We don't know the details yet.

Are the terms "the Medium", "the Incipisphere", and "paradox space" interchangeable? If not, could you explain their relationship to each other, and other parts of Homestuck's cosmology?

No. The Medium is the generous ring of space surrounding Skaia, and bound by the Veil. It's where the planets orbit. As it is in between these two things, it is literally the medium, as in the space in the middle.

The Incipisphere is all of these, Skaia, Prospit, the Medium, the Veil, and Derse, stopping short of the Furthest Ring. It is in fact a bubble in the Furthest Ring.

Paradox space is even broader. It encompasses everything, including the Furthest Ring, all Incipispheres ever, and all universes.

Your latest flash gave me chills. Great work, dude.

Thanks!

What WOULD happen if a seizure kernel wasn't prototyped before entry? Will we ever know?

Rose talked about this. The battlefield would not undergo its next transformation. The final form of the battlefield is necessary to create a universe. Without it, you can't win.

When GPI first ascended to godhood, we were not longer able to give him commands (save one and its variants). Is the same thing happening to WV with John's ascension?

Maybe.

Or...

John just died. From WV's perspective: game over.

How do you keep the sound so perfectly synced on the animations? I've always experienced desynchronization when I try long files with sound.

The desynchronization of sound streaming on the timeline is one of the most terrible things about Flash and the programmers should feel ashamed of themselves. I always remedy this problem by making stuff late in the timeline happen just a little later than it's supposed to, by progressively wider margins. But hey maybe there's some better answer to this than I'm aware of.

Lol at everybody coming here to read answers about the story only to find me talking about lame Flash technical stuff.

Dec 13, 2010

Sir, as a reader who had to catch up on a year and a half of homestuck, and have been reading the last few moments serial, I think I am the most appreciative of this Vriska development. There are no filled plot holes, merely well planned explanations.

YES, THIS GUY KNOWS WHAT'S UP!!!!!!!

Just kidding, y'all. His is just one of many varying legitimate points of view.

Thank you, though.

Dude, quit deflecting questions with insults. It's pretty unbecoming when I know you could shoot them down much more eloquently. It makes you seem desperate to defend you choices.

There are plenty of answers below which reek of eloquence. Should I repeat myself every single time? Occasionally I select a question for the sole purpose of talking smack with a doofus. Because it's funny!

kinda like

right




now










B)

okay, did Dave's decision to NOT go back in time and stop DD create an alternate timeline that the kids now inhabit? I am just confused as to the temporal mechanics of this current scene. Or was it the other Dave going back in time and getting killed?

Dave went back in time to catch DD in the act.

That was a MISTAKE!!!

That Dave became doomed. He died. The timeline he left behind also became doomed. It was the timeline he disappeared from, never to return.

The three other kids in that timeline then proceeded with their adventure without Dave. They were also doomed.

Wow, you're becoming kind of a jerk. People may not be wording these in the politest of ways, but other people who are stable minded may share some of these opinions and you're pretty much insulting in whole. Shouldn't they be allowed to have views?

I am not a jerk, I like to joke around.

Do my jokes disallow varied views?

My jokes would be pretty dangerous if they did that.

If you were planning on introducing a masterful manipulator by Act 4, why didn't you start foreshadowing it then? The end of the troll arc was not soon enough to make Vriska being responsible for everything not look like a major retcon.

Retcon? You're getting carried away.

Recent events have revealed her to be responsible for exactly two more things than we were previously aware of.

Jade sleeping a lot.

DD killing Dave.

Let's look at the first one. We had a girl who fell asleep a lot, inexplicably. We had an evil troll who liked to put kids to sleep as her primary means of influence. HMMMMM.

With Dave's death, her involvement was actually reasonably foreshadowed. We knew Vriska was responsible for killing Dave at least once, according to Karkat, per her feud with Terezi. Now we know how. Could it have been foreshadowed MORE SO before Hivebent? Maybe... but how, and why? All we knew was DD went to Dave's place to get the journal, in the exact window of time it was on the toilet. How did he know it was there? Some mysterious "anonymous tip" I guess. Now we know the nature of that tip. I'm struggling to think of a way in which additional foreshadowing would have actually improved this event.

Other than that, her being "behind everything" was a statement made by her, an exhibit of bravado. We have no evidence regarding what else she's influenced.

But yeah, looking at those examples you're totally right. I'm just WAVING MY RETCON WAND AROUND, WEEEEEEE.

Recasting in the light of new understandings is not always the equivalent of retconning.

I should point out there isn't much dissatisfaction about this really. I've just been cherry picking a few questions which strike me as stupid.

Because guess what dumbass? You crossed the line where people stopped hating her as a character and started hating her as a plot device. You let the praise Vriska's fans had for you go to your head.

Wait, that's what I did???? See look at this. More fan fiction.

Please, for the love of god, try to graduate from junior high school soon. The world cannot handle the tremors of your pubescent thunder.

In the meantime, please discard your keyboard. It will serve as nothing but a gateway to limitless public humiliation and sorrow.

B)

Dec 12, 2010

You should definitely consider getting more sleep! Why would you stifle your poor poor brain cells by answering formspring questions at 1am?

Are you serious? 1am is like noon for me.

It really doesn't seem like she's mastermind behind all this, more like you're just filling plot holes with her.

But none of those things were plot holes.

Jade's narcolepsy wasn't a plot hole.

Dave getting killed by DD wasn't a plot hole.

Dang.

When stupid people get in front of keyboards, THAT'S WHEN THE MAGIC HAPPENS

Hold on... How come Vriska could read Jade's "Holo-screen" (?) Did she somehow learn how to read in English?

Oh fuck, Homestuck's leaking like a sieve, EVERYONE ABANDON SHIP!!!!!!!!!!!

My school is going to do this retarded mural thing, made by students. You're skinny enough to pass for a teenager, so you wanna give us a hand? I don't have the cash, but I could probably gank five thousand one dollar McDonald's coupons.

I appreciate your suggestion that I appear youthful, but the truth is I would likely be arrested as a child predator the moment I set foot on to your campus, sorry.

Hey, I get the story purpose behind having all these depressing conversations about the trolls issues, but have you ever thought that it might be kind of unfun, or at least boring, to read pages and pages of batshit insane Vriska and pathetic Tavros?

It's actually hilarious though. Every bit of it is hilarious.

There is not a single moment in which I was not personally chuckling when writing Tavros's sad sack conversation with Jade.

Why are all the ads on your site for porn?

Hella bux in bonerz, pass it on.

Why do you think some people think certain developments are bad for the story, despite there being foreshadowing clues and without waiting to see what happens next?

Sometimes the direction of the plot clashes with people's fan fiction, and that hurts their self esteem.

I am pooping my pants in rage at these updates. There is literally shit in my trousers. Vriska has made me that mad. What are you going to do about this, sir?

Back on the serial vs archival perception issue, here's something kinda funny to put it in perspective.

In the grand scheme of things, Vriska did some stuff to the plot that got people hot and bothered, and filled hundreds of pages of forum threads with discussion about it. There was a time that happened, and many things were said and grievances were aired.

It was called "Sunday".

And then there was a lot of other shit that happened.

If someone were to donate a new tablet, would you use it to draw them a commission?

Only if it cost $5K.

Hey Andrew. Big fan. Who isn't. Anyway, I was wondering:what model tablet do you use to draw homestuck? Also, I know you don't do commissions anymore, but if I donated a ridiculous amount of money would you consider it?

I have used a quirky, broken Wacom Intuous 3, 9x12, since the beginning of Homestuck, and an even quirkier, brokenner Intuous 2 for the entirety of Problem Sleuth.

One of these days I will buy a new tablet that is not broken.

My minimum commission rate is five thousand dollars.

Why are you such a huge racist? Do you think that Bill Cosby worked this hard and got where he is today, just so people can LAUGH at him?

i have no answer i'm just bumping this up top

Mr. Hussie, I would like to congratulate and thank you for creating the greatest thing I have ever read. Fuck the classics, sure, Shakespeare and Herman Melville may write well, but can they make shit like this? FUCK NO. YOU ARE THE GOD OF FUCKING STORIES

Thanks.

But I'm not as good as them.

But I do like to entertain a fantasy where one of those guys tries to make a Flash animation. They would have sucked SO BAD at that.

Hahaha, suckers.

This is Shakespear......

WHATS A COMPUTER

@___________________@
duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuur

Re: reading archivally vs. serially, most of the time I get the impression that you cater mostly to the serial readers. Like, when I was reading Problem Sleuth I got to a certain page and was like "Why's he going on about Halloween?" for a moment.

There are some injections meant for serial readers. That doesn't mean I'm catering to serial readers primarily. I'm not. That would not be good.

Jegus, you write a fucking essay for one question, but you haven't answered a single on that I so nicely typed for you! It's because I'm not horribly obese, isn't it?

Yeah but that one answer was really the answer to like ten questions all in one. One of them hypothetically might have been yours!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is Vriska intended to be a parody of Mary Sue characters?

Not really. If anyone's a "Parody Sue", which is already an entry in TV tropes, it would have been Jade in the early going. But even then, I don't think I'd really call her that. I think it's a little lame to be aware of tropes while writing a story and almost use them as a palette, or a checklist. Like, ok, I'm gonna do that and that and that! I just saw her as cute, silly character with lots of answers at that point in the story with SOME traces of satire directed at "Sue types", who eventually had the rug of all her advantages pulled out from under her and now has to go through a process of discovery like the others. Not every peg needs to be crammed into some trope hole, even if it seems vaguely apropos.

Vriska, if anything, would be a further distortion of a Parody Sue, like an "Evil Parody Sue", and even then, in a kind of meta way. She lives her life as her own self-aggrandizing, wildly powerful self-insert character, always comes out on top, and never suffers consequences. She even sort of mocks her own intent on this on a meta level by "self-inserting" into the kids' story and influencing their events, as she said. And when I say "she mocks" I guess I mean "I mock". I'm usually pretty aware of a lot of tropes even though I've made nothing close to an exhaustive study of tvtropes.com, and I'm much more inclined to include tropes by warping them rather than deliberately decorating the story with a lot of straightup instances. Though obviously using them is often inevitable, since these are atomic storytelling building blocks we're talking about here.

Did you always intend for Vriska to become the main villain of the story? How long did you have this up your sleeve for?

She isn't the main villain, nor do I really see her as much of a villain at all, conventionally speaking.

She is a major character, with a series of striking strengths and weaknesses, whose every action appears to have antagonistic consequences.

Doing things which oppose the goals of the protagonists I don't think automatically makes a character a villain. It makes them part of the ensemble, which in totality creates challenges for the heroes. The other trolls also made a point of antagonizing our heroes. Could they be regarded as villains? Where do you draw the line in a story between troublemakers and real villains?

Jack Noir is a villain. That's pretty clear cut. Maybe one good way to define a main villain is whether stopping him will allow the heroes to overcome all their major obstacles. I don't think Vriska qualifies, by that definition.

Cause you're almost certainly getting a heapload of "I hate all this Vriska stuff" I would just like to say I'm really enjoying these developments. The fact that I think Vriska is great has absolutely NO bearing on this.

That's cool, thanks. I probably am getting a lot of "WHAT'S UP WITH VRISKA????" questions. I haven't even scrolled down to look, so I'll just answer this one in a general way.

When examining The Case of Vriska Serket, it helps to zoom way out on the story for a moment. Rewind all the way back to act 4, when just a few trolls were lurking around, and behaving as little more than a nuisance.

When I was about to launch into the Hivebent arc, I thought one cool opportunity that presented was to introduce a very major character out of nowhere, who we had literally no foreknowledge of other than one shot of a strange looking horn cropped off panel. The entire profile of this character was always meant to be "someone who is in some way involved with practically everything", and the scorpio sign seemed suited to this. This aspect of her profile was conveyed up front in her introduction, and hammered repeatedly with almost every scene she's been in. Hivebent was a good introduction to the ways in which she entangles herself nefariously with everything, and slowly but surely, this has been revealed to be the case in the main plotline. It was unclear before, and indeed unclear that this was even a question that needed to be answered, because she had not been introduced yet. And personally, I think there's something kind of exciting which that proposition injects into a story.

Before Hivebent, most of the trolls were portrayed as incompetent at trolling. And when the roster was expanded, the question was begged: are any of these trolls any good at trolling? So part of her profile was also to serve as the ultimate troll. Karkat was an effective troll insofar as he was loud and angry and obnoxious, but that's about as far as it went. Vriska was designed to be a good troll in the purest sense of the word. She gets people legitimately riled up. Both in the story, and even more importantly, outside it. There is no other troll, or really even any other aspect of Homestuck, which generates more debate. This was intentional, and continues to be.

Now if over time it begins to seem she's behind more and more of the negative plot developments, she could certainly start to be regarded by some as a one trick pony, from a plot-impact standpoint. But there's a lot to consider here. First of all, very simply, sometimes a story is going to have that "evil mastermind" character, who by definition is responsible for things to an extent far beyond what first appeared. This I think is a generalized enough concept to qualify as a basic story building block to adapt in creative ways, and is not so specific as to encroach on cliche territory. The mastermind is a sort of archetype, and she's revealed to be one such instantiation, with her own style and set of motives.

Additionally, everything she's done is just logical with respect to everything we know about her. She is presented with a room full of computers tapped into the session which unleashed their nemesis on them. She has 6 hours to do whatever she wants. Given everything she's done before, the thought that she wouldn't use her time to maximize her influence on that session in every way she can imagine, and every way which suits her megalomaniacal point of view, is pretty implausible. Of course she's going to secretively wreak havoc. We are just systematically discovering how she went about it. This was an ENORMOUS question begged by the Hivebent arc, considering her relevance there. Which was, now that we know about her, what was Vriska's role in the kids' session? This is a really striking point of curiosity, especially since we had never heard a peep out of her before Hivebent. It turns out, surprise surprise, that she had more influence than even the "main troll". The difference was, while he was very loud and stormed through the front gate (backwards), she kept a low profile and was more devious. And if we somehow discovered this WASN'T the case, it would actually strike me as a pretty bizarre development with no real meaning or purpose.

And going back to the point about "zooming out of the story" for a moment, when judging these things it helps to examine the difference between reading this serially vs. archivally. These are extremely different ways to read a story, and radically affect your perception of developments. Reading all of act 5 might take a few hours, but doing so live takes months, along with which comes a lot of intense scrutiny and speculation. So while you're reading live and it turns out Vriska's responsible for more shenanigans, the reaction can easily turn into "oh here we go again with this", because you're absorbing it in slow motion. Her antics become sort of codified in the rolling serial myth of the story. Whereas reading in one shot, I think all this comes across as more of a reasonably paced revelation of exactly what's going on, in a way that makes sense and ties stuff together. If you just read the story starting today, you didn't even know who Vriska was until a few hours ago!

In act 4, there was a lot of intrigue built up. And a secret question could have been asked. What if there was an unseen mastermind behind a lot of this? How did that happen, and why? And what if we find out all the answers in the next act, in ways we were never imagining? If you were to entertain such questions at the time, I think it makes for an exciting revelatory process. We are in the thick of that process now, albeit in slow motion.

And this doesn't mean we should take her at her word when she says she's behind "everything". That's obviously how she would view it of course. But to take that literally would be to underestimate the complexity of what's going on. There's a lot happening, and really she's just another cog, even if it's a major one.

She gets a lot of screen time because she's a major character now, and as I said, that was in fact built into her profile before I even drew her. If you're wondering why we camp on her when there are so many other nice trolls to dwell on, well, sorry. There are major characters, and there are minor ones. If you're waiting for me to fire up NEPETAQUEST 2011, don't hold your breath.

Dec 11, 2010

In this page (http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002241) Dave puts the lid back on the juice and captchalogues it. BUT THE LID IS STILL ON THE FLOOR. SO BUSTED.

That is clearly the green sun on the floor.

Busted, I think not.

Can you send me some of your DNA so I can forcibly impregnate my sister with your children?

I am calling the police.

So legendary titles don't always suit their inheritors; case in point, Prince of Hope. Could you talk a little about how Knight of Blood was a challenge for Karkat? Or Seer of Mind for Terezi? Also any others you find interesting.

Why doesn't it suit him?

It's a lame title that complements him as a grade-A douche.

Why does the clothing pattern for carapace people change between sessions? In the human session it's colorful, while in the troll session it's dark. Is it randomized?

Humans prototyped a harlequin. Trolls didn't.

Why was Snoops glorious visage not present in Dave: Snoop?

Dutton had the spotlight. Snoop was just showing the big man a little respect.

Not a "ooh busted" thing, just an honest question. End-State Dave has been running around for three or four days in the Medium. What's he been eating? None of the planets look like they have much in the way of food or drink laying around.

That is ridiculous, at one point Dave himself was up to his neck in a pot of water being pelted with vegetables.

Settle an argument for me, my friend thinks that doof and nak have a romantic relationship, but I considered it to be more platonic. WHAT IS IT?!

doofxnak OTPAP

Why have you started referring to Homestuck as a "cartoon"? The pictures don't move, most of them anyway.

You do not understand what a cartoon is.

pap pap pap pap pap pap pap pap pap

shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....................................................










oosh

Do you think that maybe the more content you provide the more we expect, leading to a vicious cycle where you overexert yourself horribly, despite that your comic pretty much updates more frequently than anything of comparable complexity on the whole net?

But satisfying demand has nothing to do with how much I update.

I updated the same amount when I started Problem Sleuth, when like 100 people were reading and wondering why the key would turn into a gun.

More actually, because the drawings were lousier.

So is Lord English's coat just a red herring? Because I can't really see how the GREEN MOTHERFUCKING SUN could fit into that thing. Also, is it safe to assume that the Green Sun has magical anti-gravity powers that keep it from being a black hole?

Are you calling the green sun fat? Kind of rude.

Also it is safe to say who cares about black holes and physics, since time and space work differently out there. What is gravitation other than the influence it has on time and space? From an Einsteinian perspective (aka the right one) NOT MUCH AT ALL.

Also it's a cartoon in which a shitty wizard figurine turned a knitting needle into a superpowered wand.

NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAKKA NAKKA NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAKKA NAKKA NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAKKA NAKKA NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAKKA NAKKA NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAKKA NAKKA NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAKKA NAKKA NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK

DOOF

Do you foresee Doof Nak being as big a thing as shoosh pap? Do you try to make such addictive and simple combinations that are easy to stick in people's heads, or are you just that good without even trying?

I foresee BIG THINGS for doof nak.

I have just financed a new yacht with the projected doof nak dividends for this fiscal quarter.

8)

If you see a question you don't like, why do you bother answering it?

stfu!

NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK NAK?

DOOF

The Green Sun may be twice the mass of our universe, but what kind of density are we talking about? I assume that your use of "mass" as opposed to "size" was deliberate.

It is actually the size of this juice cap.

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002239

In fact, it is that juice cap.

How do you take your coffee?

Often.

Dec 10, 2010

naknaknaknaknaknaknaknaknaknaknaknak

DOOF

Hey Andrew, how did Dave know about Jack, The Green Sun, and the Tumor? Did he hear it from the Horrorterrors? Was he informed previously in a log we never saw? Does he know about Bro and Davesprite's fate?

It's implied he and Rose have discussed some of these topics before. Both of these characters have sort of "gotten away from us", as far as their visible narrative goes. Whereas with John and Jade, we have kept a pretty close eye on everything they have been up to since they were introduced.

Between Dave entering his gate and when he went to sleep in the gold ruins, there is much unaccounted for. Same with Rose after destroying her gate. It only gets more out of hand for Dave when he time travels more, i.e. becomes future Dave with the red sleeves. He's obviously been through a lot, and there's no way we'll ever grasp the totality of his experience. It's safe to say he knows a lot more than black suit Dave, but unless something's explicitly stated in the story, we can only guess.

A bit late, but why can't the black king start the reckoning before defeating Prospit's army?

He needs the white king's scepter. Defeating the white king is equivalent to defeating his army. Like chess.

Regarding this recent update... have we wronged you in some way?

I don't even know which update you're talking about, silly.

Alright, so Dave is blond. But Bro's still a ginger, right?

The correct answer is who really cares.

Frankly, his hair looks white in the comic to me.

Why are those four trolls that meddle with the kids called patron trolls? Since all four of them are girls shouldn't they be called matron trolls?

How do you know Jade's is a girl?

Hey Andrew, if the Squiddles represent the Horrorterrors, then who does Skipper Plumbthroat represent?

A guy who likes to kill cute cartoon squids.

What is your thought on these "NSFW" ads? They are almost as bad as half the movies John likes..

OH MAN DON'T GET ME *STARTED* ON THactually I don't give a shit.

who cares about all this PLOT isn't it time for someone to start ALCHEMIZING soon i mean SERIOUSLY

12/25/10

HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO

o<|:o)

Where did the totem lathes, punch designixes, cruxtruders andd alchemiters in the veil come from?

That shit is lying around everywhere in the veil. Why wouldn't it be? The technology is pedestrian compared to the other equipment there.

oliveGarden [OG] began pestering andrewHussie [AH] OG: Why do you never visit our fine establishment? OG: It's almost like your trying to avoid us.

I would rather consume Italian food in the stall of a smelly men's room.

You should try to stretch Homestuck so it's 413 years long.

Are you implying that it has been running long?

It has been running for a year and a half.

Peanuts ran for 50 years.

Charles Schultz was a fucking idiot.

Wait, eriden is the prince of light? Bag of douche was better.

1) No he isn't.

2) No it wasn't.

F

What is Gamzee like when sober?

I find this question offensive.

But seriously how do you keep track of the the fucking concurrent crap you have going on? you must have at least 30 different people who are really important to keep track of and over 100 somewhat important people. And clones, time travel, + dreamselves.

I have a good memory for ridiculous bullshit and I use these powers to make a silly cartoon.

Wait you're the Humanimals guy? Really? That was you? My worldview has been altered significantly.

There is no Humanimals guy.

There is only me.

And my children.

There is an error on http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004942 (<black>The Tumor</black>).

That's not an error. That is Rose's sense of humor at work.

Does html even support a <black> tag? Does any language, other than various slapdash custom scripts out there?

Why do people care so much about mostly irrelevant plot holes that you can cover up in any way you see fit?

They aren't even plot holes though.

There are no plot holes.

So is Eridan's official title the Prince of Hope? Or is that just Kanaya's insincerity-based humor?

He is the Prince of Hope.

Dec 07, 2010

Will you be the pap to my shoosh?

You just shooshed the chicken papwich question.

.....................................................

CONGRATULATIONS!

Hey Andrew, would it be possible for you to put on the site a collection of the terezi drawings of Dave via URLs? please!

A quick and clever way to find them would be to go to the search page and search for every instance of tinyurl.

You don't seem like you particularly like most of your fans. And, well, looking at most of these questions it's not hard to see why! So... why do the formspring thing at all? I mean, why bother answering?

Why would you attribute a lot of joking around and sarcastic remarks to genuine negative emotion? That's awfully literal of you.

I treat many questions humorously and assume many people will be smart enough to solve my joke riddles. But some aren't that smart obviously, and this only presents more opportunities for humor.

Look at me giving you a hard time here. Does this mean I don't like you?

come

OOOOOOOOOON

*ahem* In the new [S] page, we saw current Dave awake from his sleep in the Croc temple (I'm calling it that now) with a pair of shades on like always, but we could see that one of the crocs still had them. DOES THIS MEAN DAVE WEARS TWO PAIRS AT A TIME?!?

The croc had his iShades.

Dave put on his regular shades.

Dave is so fast, he can wake up, instantly recognize he's not wearing shades, and put them on in between animation frames.

You would think that Karkat would be the most willing to ally with the humans due to sharing their blood colour, rather than trolling them, since that was his basis for making a pact with Jack Noir. Is there a reason for his being so difficult?

Sharing his blood is not by itself a way to win his favor, because of course he hates himself.

He bonded over it with Jack because he liked Jack better than the kids, who he saw as the source of all his misfortune. He thinks Jack is a cool badass who goes around stabbing people (i.e. Karkat mostly). He became like a father figure to him, and mistreats him just as a true Alternian father figure should.

I know that ashen relationships are black and primarily hate-based; the two...auspitice-ees feel hate towards each other, and presumably towards their auspitice. But are the auspitice's feelings towards the others hate- or pity- based?

I would characterize the feeling as INTENSE LUST.

Now go.

Back to your shipping boards.

So, I've been reading Homestuck at the urge from a friend and am really digging it. My only question is how exactly do you keep up with all this work? Also, good job so far, brosolitis.

I don't know. I should point out though, if you weren't a new reader, it wouldn't occur to you to ask this. It is just a fact of the universe. I invite you to begin taking it for granted. It's a wonderful feeling. Maybe the best feeling you will ever have.

If Jade is John's paradox sister, then why does she wear glasses like Dave does?

Are you saying Dave wears prescription shades?

Or even more troubling...

Are you saying Ben Stiller wears prescription shades??????

Why don't the players get cancer from the radioactive imps? I'm asking for someone too wussy to ask himself for fear of you snarkily dodging the question. Please prove him right.

Radiation is harmless. Kind of like lava. Why doesn't Dave melt when he's hopping around on gears?

The answer is because these dangerous things are actually harmless in cartoon stories. They are also green and red respectively, just in time for the holidays.

I THINK OF EVERYTHING

ANDREW HUSSIE DO YOU HAVE AN INTENSE RIVALRY WITH DAVID MALKI ! BECAUSE I AM STARTING TO ASSUME YOU DO

I think by David Malki ! you probably meant Ryan North.

And I think by Andrew Hussie you probably meant David Malki !.

And by "have an intense rivalry", you probably meant "made a cool book together".

One of my hobbies is turning people's sentences into other sentences, which are different.

While we're on the subject of plot holes, why couldn't Equius have made Tavros some sort of powered armour instead of having to put up with all the mess the chainsaw caused?

I like to think Kanaya just sawed his legs off while he was sleeping, and then asked Equius about it after the fact.

Oops you thought I was BUUUUUSTED but then it turned out YOU were the one who was that.

Compared to the previous acts, 5.1 was relatively devoid of flash pages. As 5.2 is now underway, the torrent of animation has resumed. Was it a conscious decision that the troll act should be mostly flash-free?

It's a really simple reason.

I wanted to get through the troll arc as quickly as possible.

Is it coincidence that the words FROG and FORGE are very similar?

No.

They are in fact both typos of each other.

Do you take suggestions for your ridiculous echeladder names or are those strictly Hussie-generated?

They are all mine.

User input is extremely sparse these days. Troll names were the last instance. And they were the first instance in a long stretch of time before that.

At one point, probably well over a year ago, I thought about using polls to determine some major plot developments. Like what Dave or Jade would prototype with. That vague idea was one reason I littered a lot of weird things around their houses (remember Dave's collection of dead shit???), not only as red herring material, but to leave it open to this democratic solution if I felt like going that way.

I didn't though. It seemed like too much trouble, and such plot developments have a way of pushing themselves off into the distance. By the time they come around, it's just more natural to have already planned what should happen and act accordingly. The reward for that sort of gimmick is very limited.

At one point I even considered making a fake poll for Jade's prototyping. It would have looked real, but I would have ignored the result and done what I did. But even that would have been too much trouble for little reward. It might have been kinda funny, but ultimately.......................................

Nah.

Why does Dave have normal eyes as a toddler, but red eyes as a strapping young adult? Whatever the reason, I like the parallel it plays with Terezi. (I never went through a red eyes phase in puberty oh god what is wrong with me)

You can't see his eyes up close as a baby.

Rose's eyes are purple, but they have remained uncolored in all panels but one, for stylistic reasons. Much the way they don't have noses most of the time. Or arms.

This should be so obvious.

Why are the only black people in homestuck carapaced chess men?

I think we both know the racisms are in play here, as usual.

So Sburb was a giantly advertized video game that tons of people played in our world. What about the trolls? Did anyone besides those twelve know about Sgrub? Or is it just them?

Looks like it was just them. Aradia dug it up, and Sollux hacked it together with his codes. Doesn't seem like they shared it with anyone outside the group.

Probably better that way. Trolls are a nasty race. If there were thousands or millions of players, probably most of them would have been successful. That is a lot of universes created and run by evil aliens.

Humans by and large are wimps, so the vast majority of the other players failed, if not all. (This was hinted at by lack of solid documentation on gamefaqs, other than Rose's. ) In that sense, the global proliferation of the game was logical, to improve odds of some group being successful. This is how procreation works most of the time. Safety in numbers.

why did Jade level up if she didn't kill the imp?? it was Bec

Have you ever played an RPG?

Many (most??) split XP among party members for contributing to a battle, even fruitlessly.

Also, one time John leveled up for just making some babies.

These rules aren't all that rigid.

Dec 06, 2010

I just spent several minutes trying to determine whether you had hidden a random dot stereogram in Becsprite's spritelog.

What a waste of time!

Man how are YOU feeling after having to make Becspeak? Although I suppose you might have avoided having to see it in motion

Intense flashing images do not bother me, because I am not a pansy.

Just what your comic needed SOME MORE INSCRUTABLE BULLSHIT

What made it more inscrutable just now?

If anything, Becsprite blowing up the mail lady's computer 2000 pages ago and 413 years in the future actually made things more scrutable.

I just wanted bec to talk I'm really sad now, like this made me really sad. I feel like you owe me a spritelog with bec with real text later. Pleeeease?

He doesn't talk. He is a mysterious dog.

Dec 04, 2010

Why do Trolls have males and females if they are essentially Bisexual both literally, and reproductively?

THE JIG IS UP.

HOMESTUCK

JUST

GOT

B
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
S
T
E
D.

"If those aren't the animes then I don't even know what the fuck the animes are." Mangas?

That sounds like a word that gets used a lot by people who don't have a strong grasp over the animes.

i am watching little monsters right now and it is actually a good movie. have you ever considered that you are the one that likes horrible movies?

No just stop, it is so so bad.

There is only one rung below Little Monsters, and that is the rung where the Garbage Pail Kids movie from the 80's resides.

The very existence of that movie is sincerely corrosive to my will to live.

You realize that your answer to the Touhou question will result in a lot of people going, as per the meme, "TOUHOU IS NOT AN ANIME"? Because...it's not. It's a computer game series. And not crappy romance stuff eithier, oh no. We're talking hard shmups.

Oh I beg to differ.

Please look at this.

http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&q=TOUHOU&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=1920&bih=833

You are presently gazing into none other than THE ANIMES THEMSELVES. Behold my prism; Japan stares back manyfold.

If those aren't the animes then I don't even know what the fuck the animes are.

How exactly did you come up with the idea of "The Wrinklefucker" hammer? My friends and I would be highly if you would share this information. :D

I don't know.

I thought about irons and hammers like, really really hard for a while.

I don't know how ideas happen. They are magic, without the fakeness.

A beautiful man of magic and wonder appears in your bedroom at night. You feel like you should be scared, but his presence is somehow calming. You begin to lose yourself in his eyes. What do you do next?

This is stupid.

I asked: Is Jade ever going to get one of these? You answered: Sure looks like it. so, umm... when? not trying to nag (ok just a little).

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004888

Do you wear a fedora? Do you have a thing for fedoras? and do you wear winklepickers?(or howeever they are spelled

When examined objectively, a fedora just seems like such an elaborate object to keep on your head. It doesn't make any sense.

This is the chicken sandwich question.

So, was Charles Dutton a Prospit dreamer or a Derse dreamer?

Charles Dutton was the first Son of Skaia.

He is my father.

Are you a part of the White Power movement?

I subscribe to the movement which gives white power to black people.

White people have spent so long being great, I think it is finally time to spread that greatness around to the other races so they can have their turn.

Do you intentionally use black characters as jokes or is that just an accident caused by your inherent racism manifesting itself by accident?

How could the celebration of these fine, upstanding African Americans conceivably be construed as racist?

Why do you implicitly advocate keeping the black man down?

Seems a little racist to me, frankly.

for about how many hours a day do you stare at the image of Viriska you have in your bedroom, yurning for the day she finally turns nine solar sweeps old?

It's nine solar sweeps or nine hundred pounds.

Whichever comes first.

PS --- yurning???????????

How does seeing 'adult fanart' of your work make you feel (I assume you've seen some)? I just discovered mspachan tonight; been reading Homestuck from the start and I am... a little weirded out.

Why don't you just embrace all the boners they are giving you, and stop bothering me about it?

Considering it's been %100 confirmed that the consorts are the awesomest characters ever, are you going to give them a 1000 page intermission or something?

Not before the 10,000 page squiddle intermission and then the 100,000 page fedorafreak intermission.

The Dream Bubbles entry was published/written/whatever on the exact day, but one year before Jade's birthday. Assuming she is turning 13 in 2009. Unless John is the youngest of the quartet? Which means it IS her birthday. COINCIDENCE OR INTENTION?

It is her birthday (crashday), and John is the youngest. This was established in the ectobiology arc.

How do the trolls talk to the humans if they speak different languages? Does trollian translate english to alternian?

Ladies and gentlemen...

THE PLOT HOLE BUSTER.

There he goes. Will we ever see him again???

If I'm in love with Vriska, and since she's ~13 years-old, does that make me a pervert?

No, merely my sworn rival.

She is not big enough for the two of wait what the fuck am I saying.

How was Tavros able to walk again when his spine was damaged, meaning nervous signals couldn't get through? Do trolls just not work like that, or is Equius that good?

Oh man.

OH MAN.

This comic just got BUUUUUUUUUUSTED.

"Also, Sollux didn't exist yet, whose vision twofold was the basis for this red/blue bifurcation." Yes he did:http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=003615

That was after the intermission you doofus!

That's what the issue was. Why the red curtain at the beginning of the intermission was red, rather than blue. Sollux showed up 600 pages later.

Is Jade ever going to get one of these? http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=001982 http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002207 http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002344

Sure looks like it.

Where is the quote in the Dream Bubble book actually from?

Hamlet

So Dave's the easiest character for you to write, but who's the hardest?

Davesprite

is act five ever going to end?

Not for a while.

It will be

THE LONGEST ACT

Chillax you rowdy clown

honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk honk :o)

Do you have a fondness for any particular characters in one of your own works (not necessarily sexually)?

I was all set to provide a very thorough and enthusiastic answer, but then I read your parenthetical caveat, and deflated.

Sorry.

Where I hang out, there is a signifigant overlap between MS Paint Adventures fans and Touhou fans. This means that making Jade's world a planet full of frozen frogs has probably given a good chunk of people Tinfoil hat anyeurisms. Was this deliberate?

Once again, we have reached an impasse. A crossroads, if you will, where YOUR ANIMES collide with MY STORY.

Here is the thing.

MSPA is a body of work encompassing thousands of ideas.

There are many thousands of animes, also encompassing thousands of ideas.

There is bound to be some overlap.

I also have supernatural powers when it comes to coincidences involving the animes. This should not be overlooked. I have a sort of anime communion. It is my gift.

I am the Anime Whisperer.

i don't remember the perry bible fellowship site having closeable curtains until "Internet Maintenance by Andrew Hussie" appeared at the bottom. you red curtain fetishists disgust me.

The whole curtain motif was Nick's design, and I'm pretty sure I stole it from him to use as act dividers.

I MIGHT have been the one to propose the curtains=closed php feature though. I don't really remember.

Why frogs?

Why not?

The story has been filthy with frogs so far.

They mean something.

We don't know what yet.

What font do you use when introducing the planets?

Carima

So can we assume that Kanaya's world was the Land of Rays and Frogs?

It looks like I just got asked this question about 50,000 times.

For some reason, the more times I am asked a question, the less inclined I feel to give a forthright answer!

I'm going to file this one under draw your own conclusion.

Is kanayas land land of lasers and frogs?

No.

Dec 02, 2010

I am an obese centaur with a sack of chicken sandwiches...that is all

I maraud the hapless centaur for his wealth of poultry.

The centaur frowns.

/CSQ

It occurs to me that you may have begun using Formspring much like your suggestion box. That is, are you asking yourself fake leading questions in order to then talk about the things you want to talk about?

That's not how I used the suggestion box.

That's not how I'm using formspring either.

I see questions.

I answer them.

I feel like the latest updates (DO THE WINDY THING) should be a flash. Even just a small one. Was there just not a song available for it?

Not having a song available is never the reason for not doing a flash. There are always many on hand.

I'd prefer to be careful about pushing the drama pedal too hard. The dramatics are still ebbing somewhat after Jade: Enter. Not every major development needs to be delivered that way. Static panels have often portrayed significant developments. Sometimes they do so more effectively in some ways. For one thing, they allow the written narrative to come along, jokes and all, whereas flashes are necessarily mute presentations.

Also, I didn't feel like it.

I've never seen The Neverending Story but I always thought the long magic dog thing was a reference to Adventure Time. Unless that question and answer were both facetious.

If you watched TNS you would know it wasn't facetious.

Maybe Adventure Time was influenced by TNS? (Probably not.)

Andrew, do you have any clear idea on what instruments the Felt play? Besides that violin-looking one with Snowman on the the cover, I mean.

Snowman has an electric violin, and Lord English conducts with a little pool cue baton. Other than that, no.

What would you do if vriska was on your bed right now?

Cut a hole in the side of my house and have her lifted out via crane.

So, if the blue curtain represents the troll universe, why did a red curtain open for the Intermission which we later find out to take place on Alternia?

Because it would have been meaningless and confusing at that stage without all the setup.

Also, Sollux didn't exist yet, whose vision twofold was the basis for this red/blue bifurcation.

why didnt you just use gray and white for the act 5 map colors?

For the same reason that Act5_2 opens with blue and red curtains, and why blue and red correspond to the troll and human universes respectively. It's a bifurcated act.

In Davesprite's home timeline, Terezi killed John (and presumably Jade), successfully preventing Bec's prototyping. So how was there a Bec Noir available to ransack the trolls' session, so that Terezi could be in a position to make those manipulations?

Exactly. That's why the timeline in which she killed John was not the alpha timeline. Because it resulted in such a paradox. As such, everyone from that timeline was doomed. (Davesprite, future-dream Rose)

However, paradoxically, those same doomed people from that timeline were critical to the events of the alpha timeline. The alpha timeline, and Bec Noir, could not have existed without that doomed timeline. In fact, the kids wouldn't have even been "born" without it.

So the iris of a troll's eye is gray? :3

The only other obvious color choice would be their blood color.

But that's not possible, because it would have given away Karkat's blood color.

So trolls all have boring gray eyes. While we have our boring red blood. Trolls get fancy variable blood colors. We get fancy variable eye colors. Each appears to be inclined to type with their fancy eye/blood color.

I've heard tell that Bec Noir is meant to be the "anti-sepulchritude" Does that mean at one point, Problem Sleuth was of equal power? Kinda scary. It also makes me wonder just how powerful DMK was in comparison to, say, the troll's final Black King.

Let's not get carried away with the Anti-Sepulchritude thing. That is not literally what it is.

Often, ideas are drawn from other ideas without requiring an explicit, canonical link drawn between them.

He has a sword, wings, is driven by a dreadful green energy, and is evil. The character transforming in question is Jack Noir, whose alter ego is Spades Slick, who was the non-canonical evil counterpart to Problem Sleuth. That's all there is to this.

So the last line here: http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004387 is a reference to The Neverending Story. But was it also foreshadowing Becsprite or is that just a coincidence? Or is it retroactive and you made Becsprite longer in order to evoke TNS?

It was sorta both. The whole paragraph references TNS. Which was a book published on the year of my birth. I have just now decided this is really relevant for some reason.

Please note that when the Cosbytop sinks in the oil, it is a direct and OBVIOUS reference to this scene.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y688upqmRXo

Cosby succumbs to the sadness, leaving John heartbroken and alone.

Play

Are you as smug a prick as Papa John?

nobody's as smug a prick as that smug prick mother fucker

better ingredients. better pizza. kiss my ass.

Can trolls and humans mate?

There will be a long expository treatise on this subject.

Stay tuned!!!

Fedorafreak is the best character Y/Y?

Y

Are we ever going to see Doc Scratch again? He was too cool to just pass over.

Yes.

Andrew are you an atheist

Declaring myself an atheist would make me sort of a douche bag, because it would mean I was under the impression that anyone gives a shit.

So a song from the Squiddles album snuck its way into a flash, is any chance the same thing will happen to a Felt one?

Probably.

Nov 30, 2010

Bec was created way before the concept of a Lusus, but did Bec influence the idea of a Lusus? At all? In fact, when you drew that weird crab thing for Karkat's sprite, did you think it was his parent in a way?

I don't recall to what extent Bec influenced the concept of a lusus. I'm pretty sure there wasn't the direct line of inspiration you might expect. But I am sure that as it was conceptualized, the similarity between the way trolls are raised and the way Jade was raised definitely occurred to me. This is something that has been touched upon a number of times. One of the many culture clashes in dialogue that have been made possible by learning about the trolls' world in detail.

Draw more, formspring less please?

Today I posted 14 pages. Seems like enough to me. If I do anything other than this right now, it would be going to sleep.

Was WV always meant to hate Kings, or did you just come up with it with the 'WV: Become the Mayor of Can Town' suggestion?

He was always meant to be a "chess guy", and that probably had more to do with his king hating than being a mayor. His interest in democracy was similarly rooted in this character trait, so it's probably more correct to say the mayor command was adapted to those circumstances, and then elaborated on. Included in this elaboration was the civic roles for all the exiles, leading to the nature of their back stories in the medium.

Here is an answerable question: how many formpspring questions do you get on average per [unit time]?

What it lacks in unanswerability it more than makes up for in boringness.

Is your romance with Vriska black or red?

I didn't read the trollmance section, it was too long.

If Sburb was properly reviewed by Gamebro, what land would Dennis's bro be in right now?

Land of Lawns and Thumb Fractures

He is the Douche of Tears

So, if you are going to marry vriska, does that mean she is the fattest of all?

Most monitors don't have the horizontal resolution to properly convey the grim reality of her astonishing girth.

We will be married at Sea World.

Wait, if the scratch happens a month later, then where did Bro's glasses go? Does Dave get them back and wear them later?

It's about a day later, not a month.

The shades OBVIOUSLY shattered when Maplehoof's corpse released the Vast Neigh, put on the Cairo Overcoat, and became none other than Lord English himself.

S_O Homestuck is awesome. You know from experience that artists flake on projects all the time, especially ones that require this sort of commitment. Did you ever have problems completing things, and what so you do to keep yourself organised?

Thank you; I never have problems committing to work on this site. But it helps that I don't tend to divide my time between other projects.

Except for SBaHJ.

From my observation, there are two things which cause artists to become deterred from completing their projects.

1) Self doubt.
2) Video games.

Also, Will you ever post on PA again? You were the first person on the internet to critique my work. I was 13. You were very snarky.

I probably shouldn't have been so rude to a child. Children (people under 25) are very naive and often take things too seriously. You would think I'd have learned my lesson, but here I am sassing up youngsters all over again.

Is it possible that Davesprite lives, because there was no sign of a body, only feathers?

Yes, Jack Noir plucked him naked shooed him away.

Are you actually a fatalist, or do you just like writing about that sort of thing because it's fun?

What does it actually mean to "be a fatalist?"

Probably just means being some sort of douche bag.

So Lord English is still a mystery man yet to be revealed i suppose?

He was already revealed. You probably weren't paying attention.

Remember the mushroom farming salamander?

Do you regret limiting yourself to a humanoid form for Lord English, given the coat?

I defy you to picture a centaur wearing that coat and not be struck pleasantly by what you imagine.

(aurthour = english canon canon canon go nuts everyone)

Was the coloring, or, rather, lack of coloring, of the guardians of the children meant to connect them more strongly with the trolls' lusii? Further, will the guardians of the children all die, similar to how the lusii did?

The guardians and kids were drawn more than a year before I came up with the concept of a lusus.

What sort of delirium would cause you to think I would answer your second question?

The amount of unanswerable questions I get is truly ridiculous.

I just noticed that in the 6th ever Homestuck page the 'reader' uses the hand icon to move a cake in John's room, before anyone has installed a player client for his house. Would this be incompatible with the current continuity, or is it explainable?

That cursor was revisited later when Jade was introduced.

The current continuity is always compatible with the older continuities. But sometimes certain systems and patterns are suppressed or ignored for long stretches of time, for whatever reason. Usually to place the focus on other things. It stays that way until those old patterns are revisited. Like when it turned out that some of the trolls seemed to be responsible for the very early failed name entries for the kids.

Did you just use 'penultimate' to mean 'final'? Uh oh!!

It is 100% guaranteed that when someone uses "penultimate" correctly, he will be falsely accused by someone of using it incorrectly.

It was used to mean "second to last." As is its definition.

Will there ever be a flash dramatization of Bro's death? He was the first human to die to death (no extra lives), and the first aside from the lusii (who we didn't really care about). It seems like a pretty dramatic moment, like the death of Qui-Gon Jinn.

But...

Nobody gave a shit about Qui-Gon Jinn.

Nor should they have.

Did dave's older brother actually die by jack's hands? If he did why did he take cal with him?

Looks pretty dead to me.

Why not take Cal? Makes a good trophy. It's a totally sweet puppet.

"He ditched the fancy hat and cat cheek tufts for practicality reasons." So for practicality purposes he removed those parts but he didn't think it'd be more practical to, y'know, gain back his other arm? I DON'T BUY IT HUSSIE. I'm an ass.

He didn't do anything. The transformation was automatic, as it was the first time it happened.

When I said "He ditched [them]," I wasn't being literal about a decision he was making. Spoken more technically, I meant "his body ditched them in a natural response to the mutation he was undergoing."

We've all seen powerful dudes evolve into different forms a thousand times. They aren't making choices about their transformations. Come on, we all know how this works.

Settle a disagreement with a friend: He says the narrative states that all First Guardians work for Lord English (except maybe Bec, who is not smart enough), but I say that this has been deliberately left ambiguous.

It only states that Scratch works for him. Which is to say, Scratch stated this himself.

It does not say all first guardians work for him.

Nov 28, 2010

So is something like this how the trolls had to deal with their cruxite lususes? That's adding insult to injury.

The entry items for the trolls is one of those topics that was left to the imagination, and it's likely this will always remain the case.

Entry items as a whole were never supposed to be THAT significant as a game detail, but in looking back on the four items we've seen, there's a lot to talk about.

Each one is symbolic in some sense of a departure. And each has things in common with some of the others.

John's is the simplest, and rooted in the most obvious myth, which is taking a bite of an apple from the tree of knowledge. It makes sense for a number of reasons. It represents the most significant departure since it kicks off the whole game. It's also very easy to "solve". There's no puzzle element to it. They get progressively more complicated.

Rose had to break a wine bottle on her house, just as ships are christened. And though not seemingly a part of the challenge at first, the trial involved losing the bottle and having to take a leap of faith to retrieve it, and well as rely on a friend (Jaspersprite) to help her complete the trial. This was required of Jade as well.

Dave had to wait for an egg to hatch. The symbolism of the egg, like the apple, is pretty obvious. The challenge here was to do nothing, to have patience for several hours and wait for it to hatch. And though it seems like a simple challenge, it proved difficult for Dave, and would be a significant trial for one who was to become the Knight of Time.

Jade had to destroy a Bec piñata. There's plenty that could be said about piñatas. You could even be as superficial as noting they're used during birthday parties, and opened to celebrate birth. But I think it's more interesting to study it from the vantage of the symbolism surrounding the destruction of effigies, and the implications this has for the Bec prototyping and Jack assuming his powers. Her challenge was to destroy it while blindfolded, and only by shooting it in the head. Several previous chat references had been made to this outcome, which was similarly foreshadowed by their strife dance together. The symbolism of killing her dangerous dog to enter (i.e. a step toward growing up) borrows notes from the Old Yeller story, but in this case, it's a dog that can't die (though nevertheless would assume a death-like state through prototyping). Also included in her challenge was taking a shot in the dark (much like Rose's leap of faith) and relying on her friend who redirected the bullet through his own head, the very friend she was attempting to slay in effigy.

This is easily the most complicated of the entry puzzles, very thick with symbolic meaning, and is probably my favorite part of this animation.

Also note all of the items are, in a way, edible. The boys have directly edible objects, apple and egg. The girls have objects which contain edible goods; the bottle and piñata contain wine and candy, and both needed to be broken. Dave's was actually a little of both, a food product, and a container for that product which needed to be broken (i.e. hatched). John and Jade's items both came suspended from a tree. Each item had significance to the player, if loosely. Jade's was obviously quite personal. Rose's related to her mother's drinking. Dave had been plagued by crows. John's is the only one which seemed generic, although there was a tree outside his window which seemed to be a fixture of his life. His wasn't especially personal since it was the simplest trial, and something most generically befitting of entry and mythological departure.

Each trial can be summarized more simply:

John: Loss of innocence.
Rose: Leap of faith, trust in a friend.
Dave: A lesson in patience.
Jade: Shot in the dark, killing a friend for its own good, and greater good.

Also, and this was one of those unplanned things which I noticed:

A - Apple
B - Bottle
C - Crow's egg
D - Dog piñata

Is there a reason Bec couldn't have destroyed the meteor without being a kernelsprite?

Even though we saw the result, I think there's still some element of mystery left as to why he prototyped himself.

Could he have diverted/destroyed the meteor without doing so? Probably.

The word "omnipotent" has been thrown around, but we don't know how literal this is or what the extent of his powers was. He could do some crazy things pre-prototyping, sure. But could he fire a huge green laser? We have no idea. It looked like his powers were passive, for the most part. Teleporting anywhere, and being able to teleport anything anywhere. It's reasonable to think he could have redirected it into the sun or such. Maybe he had a good reason for not doing this, and blowing it up instead?

Did you forget that sprites don't have a ghost-like tail until after they enter the medium? Why Isn't Bec a floating head at first?

I didn't forget. He's sort of a special case, being the first guardian and all. When Aradia prototyped with the frog head, it also had a tail. I guess frogs are a special case too.

Usually I'm pretty religious with rules I set up. But occasionally judgments are made to bend the rules slightly in not especially plot significant ways, for stylistic considerations or whatever else. The only real problem with doing this is I'm left open to the ASPERGERS GOTCHA TRAP.

Nov 27, 2010

What's the name of the song in the flash? I noticed the credits page hasn't been updated.

Umbral Ultimatum by Toby Fox.

Has Bec Noir's bloody hand been explained, or should I just be patient and sit still until we find out in the future?

It has not been explained.

I may be wrong in assuming this, but I was under the conclusion that Bec was omnipotent, and by prototyping, Jack has gained said omnipotence. My question, assuming I'm not already wrong, is why Bec would prototype, knowing the consequences?

1) He is a dog. Omnipotent, not omniscient. He did what was necessary to save his master, the frog temple, and to a lesser extent, Earth.

2) He is also a dog who happens to have been genetically engineered by an agent of Derse.

Why not Jacquerel?

I declare that this is officially his name in your fan fiction.

So, from what I can gather, Jade: Enter confirms two things. 1. The Scratch can transport things. 2. The Scratch was caused by Bec's prototyping or, rather, Jack created the Scratch. Am I incorrect in any respect here?

Neither of these things were verified to be true.

1. We still don't know what the scratch does, other than being characterized generically as a rift in space-time, and the thing that causes the demon (Jack) to enter the troll session.

2. The scratch was not caused by the prototyping. There are many facts which make this clear. In the future, John is wearing his blue outfit while talking to Karkat for the first time. This is just before the scratch, as indicated on the Trollian timeline.

We know that the kids have around 24 hours between this future moment, and the start of the reckoning. Jade's entry was not too long after the start of the reckoning, perhaps several hours. It could be in the neighborhood of 20 hours after Jade's entry when the scratch happens. Until then, it appears Bec Noir will be skulking around the kids' session, until the scratch happens, which somehow unleashes him into the troll session.

No word of God here. This is all in the story.

What we saw in the animation was Jack fighting with bro and co, getting prototyped, and then a flash-forward to him entering the troll session. It was not a literal sequence of events.

Aradia describes the instances we are now shown is Bec Noir as being the work of the Demon, Lord English. This seems to pretty clearly indicate Bec Noir is Lord English, and Spades Slick is beginning to look like him, is this just a parallel, or a sign?

She did no such thing. Read again, starting from here.

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004503

She describes a demon, but never says anything directly connecting him to Lord English. Only offhand references to make you think that's who she's talking about. Such as calling the rift a "scratch", which brought the demon into the session, where Scratch is the name of the guy who's job it is to pave the way for LE. Sure seemed like she was talking about LE, didn't it? That was intended.

The truth is, there's no evidence at all to suggest the trolls have ever even heard of LE. Aside from Scratch making reference to his "employer" when talking to Vriska. Didn't sound like she cared though.

Additional trivia:

Note that Aradia appears to be talking to Scratch on this page. http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004505

She asks why he (we now know, Jack) is here. Scratch indicates it's none of his business.

What do you make of this?

Is that a callback I see with the green wings???

Only half a callback.

The first half was during Jack: Ascend when he grew the wings in the first place. His transformation was always supposed to be a little reminiscent of the Anti-Sepulchritude.

Are we gonna find out more about Jack/Bec Noir's motivations in destroying all this? Because I mean destruction is cool and all but the question that keeps echoing through my head is WHY?

I think we have enough context for you to be able to answer the question yourself.

We know the black kingdom opposes the game objective, which is to create a universe. They are the opposing force to creation, and perhaps more generally speaking, existence. As features of a game, they are "programmed" to be that way. This should tell you a lot about Jack's basic nature, or any Derse agent. He was born to be a psychopath.

Although Jack appears to be a special case, seeming to be the most foul tempered agent, probably more so than either the king or queen. He also has problems with authority in every session. This appears to be part of his programming, causing him to be the agitating influence in a session. If something goes wrong in any given session, there's a good chance he's what went wrong, and maybe this is by design.

So is Jack actually Lord English?

Read question below.

The formal answer is "inconclusive".

That said, you can speculate anything you want, as long as you realize that Lord English probably should be able to fit into this coat without looking like an idiot.

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=003153

so many most shocking twists yet, my mind is receiving a barrage of blows right now. how do you do it, mr. hussie???

This animation (Jade:Enter.) certainly had some twists, but at the same time had some reasonably predicable outcomes.

On the Bec prototyping: people have been theorizing about this for months. It was a popular theory for a long time, and one that picked up steam as evidence gathered for it. From a certain perspective, it was "obvious", and will especially seem so in retrospect, through rereading.

But sometimes the most obvious thing is also going to be the most awesome thing, and there's just no way around that. And sometimes, ironically, the obvious thing happening can seem a bit shocking because of its obviousness.

This outcome was planned for a good while, maybe for about a year actually. And since then, I've laid the groundwork of clues and story logic that points to it. But after a while, it became clear that it would be a very guessable scenario in terms of what could happen purely from the standpoint of stakes-raising. So as I got closer to the reveal, I dropped a lot of goofy red herrings and engaged in silly forms of misdirection, to the point where it became sort of a gag unto itself. So while many may have theorized this outcome, by the time we were on its precipice, we were up to our necks in so much bullshit, I don't think anyone could be 100% confident about it, even if they still maintained the hunch.

The fact that Jack was the demon in the troll session was another "managed guessable". Lord English served as the red herring villain in that session to deter speculation to this effect. English was described as an indestructible demon. The trolls also described their adversary this way (though note, this is a perfectly understandable way to describe Jack in this form, especially since they didn't yet realize it was Jack). The obvious conclusion was that the trolls were dealing with English, and this is what most people guessed. In fact, this appears to have been sold so well, that some people have taken Bec Noir's entry into the troll session as proof positive that Jack = English!

Which is not to say that he definitely isn't. But there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in this flash which constitutes proof that Jack is English. Lord English is an indestructible demon (who also wears a very large coat many sizes too big for Jack). Jack is also an indestructible demon. Nothing yet confirms they are the same demon.

There are clues that point to Bec Noir as the trolls' adversary as well. In Alterniabound (Karkat: Wake up.) Karkat has a hunch he knows who the demon is, but doesn't want to jump to conclusions yet. He'd just seen the demon in a dream, which we just saw in the Flash. There he notices the resemblance to Jack Noir, which he hadn't noticed in the first encounter. Karkat tells Terezi that if he's right, they both get to tell each other "I told you so." What he means by that is, Terezi gets to say she was right all along about Jack being bad news. Karkat gets to say he was right about it being a bad idea to exile Jack (because at the time, it's quite understandable for Karkat to presume it was the same Jack he met, rather than one from a different session.)

There were a few people out there who theorized both these things in tandem (Bec prototyping, Jack = demon). But that's what happens when you leave clues lying around. Someone out there will guess right. But if you don't leave the clues, developments have no plot foundation. The solution is to misdirect as well as you can, in a way that's entertaining. Red herrings abound.

If you go back and reread everything, especially parts of the troll arc, and the troll/kid logs, you see tons of clues pointing to all this, and very careful language about the demon, what the kids did wrong, etc, to conceal what would eventually happen, while not contradicting it. But in totality, it all added up to this.

So how's the weeping in the horn pile going? Are your tears salty? Your eyes leaking like a Chinese dam? Your face as red as the Christmas decorations already out in stores?

I specifically finished before sunday so that I would not have to weep in the horn pile.

That phrase was always code for "the day I will be working on it if it's taking too long."

Why does Jack no longer show any signs of Rose's prototyping? (E.G. tentacles?)

He ditched the fancy hat and cat cheek tufts for practicality reasons. He wouldn't look much like Bec with his pointy ears shoved under the hat, and the much bigger dog cheeks just replaced the cat cheeks. The mutation is a bit of an overhaul, arguably due to the prototyping subject factoring in as an overwhelming influence.

Since it was a design overhaul anyway, I ditched the tentacles, probably mainly because they're a pain to draw all the time. He's a little sleeker this way. And regardless, he could probably "conjure" them again if he wanted, being omnipotent and all. This spectacle likely involves green pyrotechnics, and heavy masking effects.

So, does Jackspers Noirlecrow get any new additions to his name now that he's merged with Becquerel? Like, Jacksperel Becoirlecrow or something?

No, that would be stupid. Less is more in this case.

Bec Noir.

Nov 19, 2010

You probably hear this a lot, but you've inspired me to work on a (very small) project. How risky/exhausting was the series of leaps for you as a creator from the relatively layperson-doable Jailbreak (as innovative and awesome as it was) thru PS and HS?

No risk. I don't know what's risky about making something cool.

Unless you're quitting a day job and you got kids to put through college, which I didn't/don't.

I never noticed an escalation in effort over that time span, until the first time I spent all night on a Flash animation. Now of course that sort of expenditure is a matter of routine.

Why did you stop answering questions when I started asking them? :(

I didn't.

Writing a story based on nothing but chatlogs (which I did for an Interactive Fiction assignment in college) is a lot easier to read than you'd think. Then again, I did it with actual chatroom conversations. Why not try it and see how it goes?

I'm not saying it would be terrible or anything. I guess it just doesn't interest me at the moment.

andrew i think im fat-gay for you. it is like normal gay but heavier. which makes it MORE PASSIONATE

Get some fucking exercise, shitlard.

We've established that an eccentric executive producer with millions to spend and nothing to lose could impel you to at least put Homestuck on hiatus. What is the absolute minimum opportunity (or bribe) that would persuade you to abandon it altogether?

Are you making me an offer?

Don't fuck with me kid.

I said scram!

In that case, could you name some films you particularly enjoy? Or are there just too many?

I think all the best movies I've seen too many times. Like Back to the Future. It's like watching wallpaper now. Nothing registers. So they don't really spring to mind as BEST MOVIE EVERSSSS.

The last two movies I saw in a theater were Scott Pilgrim, and before that, Inception. Both were good. I wish I could say great, because I really wanted them to be great. But weirdly, they both suffered from the same problem. I thought they both tried to jam too much stuff into too little time. Especially Inception. Like, times a thousand.

Inception was perpetually educating you on the premise. It was literally doing this until it ended. It's too bad, because it was full of fantastic concepts. Would have made a good TV show, to spread all that out and give it the exploration it needed. Only if done well though. Like the new show Walking Dead, which is taking a very cinematic concept, and spreading it into a series so it can take its time with everything, and I think it's great so far.

I love convoluted ideas, but they need the space to be sold properly. This is why HS is almost 3000 pages right now. But especially for movies I think, that breathing room is essential. You need to spend time with the characters and feel who they are. I remember NOTHING about the characters from Inception, except that I guess Leo Dicaprio was soldiering around in another film with a big cross on his back, and bags under his eyes. The dude sure is sportin' some anguish these days! His plight was mostly invisible to me, because I was focused on solving The Premise Riddle, and also maybe it just wasn't all that strong when it came down to it. The whole haunted by the dead wife thing. There was Ellen Page who played the role of some sort of prodigy who could make buildings fold over on themselves, and then became someone you didn't give a shit about for the rest of the movie. Because there was NO TIME to. We needed the investment time. You can't pull giving a shit out of thin air.

Actually the best part of that movie was probably her whole building warping scene, with the suspenseful moment that followed where the dream crowd began catching wise to her presence, and then killed her. That's what the movie should have been, I think. Focusing more on the mind thriller aspect, playing up the Hitchcockian moments, instead of the dreadfully generic, watered down Matrix-style action scenes. When they started up with the James Bond style skis and snow mobile chase, I literally said out loud "are you serious?" The zero-threat NPC shoot-em-up action scenes were the worst part of the movie by far.

And weirdly, I thought the action scenes in Pilgrim were the best parts by far!!! That really surprised me. The fight scenes were incredibly cool, and felt very cinematically original. The rest, as I said, felt like too much all at once. Felt rushed, crammed, a taaad gimmicky, and somehow squeezed the charm out of the story that was present in the books. In the books you got to spend time with the characters, and the pace was your reading leisure. It was fun. In the movie you blistered through the plot points while silly Zelda noises crept out of the woodwork to remind us all how much we all like old video games. I know it probably sounds insane for a story about battling 7 evil X's, but I would have axed at least a couple X's to spread it out. Yeah, it's heresy, but Scott Pilgrim isn't a religion, it's a story, and a story has to be delivered effectively in the medium given.

I guess, though you wouldn't expect it, I have purist sensibilities when it comes to film. This is why I say I would so heavily slash HS, to the point of vandalization, in adapting it to film. Film needs SPACE and TIMING to be an effective experience. So I would adapt the story to accommodate the purest FILM EXPERIENCE. Please note that as HS now stands, it is accommodating what I regard as the purest INTERNET EXPERIENCE. Something of a media freeforall, heavily user-engaging and unpredictable. But I like traditional components in cinema that have already been charted thoroughly by great filmmakers. Look at the space and timing in the Coen brothers' movies. Lots of attention given to individual scenes, isolation of moment and atmosphere, examination of character. No Country for Old Men took a very off-beat story and presented it extremely well through those methods. David Lynch also did that well, though I guess his movies were just a bit too wacky for my tastes. They were still well made though. Which isn't to say you have to duplicate these filmmaking styles to be successful in my view. Nolan, who did Inception, also did The Prestige, which was fantastically executed. It did everything I was talking about the right way to deliver what Inception attempted to, a truly diabolical story (though still basically simpler). Prestige was an A+ to Inception's C.

Look at that.

Movie reviews.

When the kids contact the trolls, what determines the exact point on the trolls' timeline they reach them at? For example, why did Jade get hold of Karkat at the exact moment she did rather than five minutes earlier or later (from his perspective)?

Trollian determines it. It is like an operator, directing the transmission to the appropriate time. It "knows" when the conversation was supposed to take place. Neither the kids nor the trolls have control over this.

Will we ever find out who Jade's penpal is? How long until we do?

Yes; I don't know.

Are you really an asshole about fat people, or do you just not care and troll the people who ask? I am prepared for this potential trolling.

It takes every ounce of willpower I have to suppress my furious sexual attraction to the morbidly obese. Please do not rattle my cage.

Are you bothered by how slowly you can progress HS? You can advance stories FAR faster than those with a set schedule, but you still probably wish you could go more swiftly. (Or should I say '.swf-ly'?!?!? No I should not say that...)

Sometimes I'd prefer the story move along faster.

It may seem like it updates a lot, and it does. But there's a difference between high content output and rapid story progression. Content output can consist of fleshing out details, silly gags, and characters shooting the breeze, which while advancing them as characters, doesn't always do a whole lot to advance the plot.

Story progression tends to involve the most dirty work. It involves various conceptual upheavals, lots of new drawing, and care put into selling those developments dramatically, or in whatever other ways are important. Practically speaking, stuff can get bottlenecked behind those developments while we wait for the creator (me) to be ready to present them. The most obvious manifestation of this is with Flash animations. I can't do them at the drop of a hat (well, not always). Things get a little spread out while I prepare for such events, and some of that preparation is just psychological. There are stretches where I'd rather just relax and draw "normal" pages, and I use those periods to set the stage for more major impending developments, arranging the pieces and often accumulating new details as a side effect. There is a very practical ebb and flow to all this, and the consequence is a story that probably seems more drawn out than it needs to be at times.

But that's fine, because part of the point is to make something that is fun to read, given any local slice of it you sample. The meandering journey was part of its makeup from the start, by design. As a vehicle of compelling story delivery, by no means was this ever supposed to be an efficient, well oiled machine.

Nov 18, 2010

Does the fact that Lil Cal seems to be clinging to Jack mean that he is alive?

It means bro stealthily arranged him that way, and then continued with the sword duel.

As a kid, what did you think you wanted to do when you grew up? Is it anywhere close to this absurdity you have landed yourself in?

A bunch of different things I'm sure. I do remember being on a kick where I wanted to make games, and thought it would be SO COOL to make like THE RADDEST RPG EVER, and by raddest ever I probably envisioned something slightly more advanced than Final Fantasy III.

What I do now is obviously so much better than that dumb dream.

Past me was so dumb. The only guy dumber than past me was even paster me. What a collossal idiot THAT guy was.

Why the hell do you never answer my questions? Its so freakin' annoying!

Because you never answer mine.

I'm waiting.

If writing is easier than drawing, then I dare you to convert the entirety of Homestuck into a novel. Bonus points if you rub it in the faces of those people that thought MSPA was becoming "too wordy". Refuse this dare and I shall insult your moist lips.

I don't think HS would work well as a novel. All the dialogue occurs through chatlogs, and something about printing chatlogs amidst novel prose doesn't sit that well with me. Maybe it could work, but offhand it sounds a little gimmicky. In its present form, I think it can get away without being regarded as gimmicky, and more of a media exploration, simply because its format is so hard to pin down. The exploration itself is inseparable from the format.

As I've said, I do think it could make a pretty good movie though, if heavily revised. But the ideal format for translation would obviously be a game. Obvious to me, that is. And maybe now you as well.

Is "The Vast Glub" based on "The Bloop?"

Retroactively, sure.

Is the correct sound effect "pap shoosh" or "shoosh pap"? This is important.

Pap and shoosh are extremely versatile.

What sort of indication did the trolls use for their denizens? the kids have their browsers, but the trolls are only seen using the (bi)universal trollian system. Or was it really just not that important to see their denizens in the first place?

I don't know. It's one of the many things about the troll story that just isn't all that important to zoom in on.

For now.

Have you ever thought about how tall any of your characters are? We can see how tall they are in comparison to each other, but it would be interesting to get quantifiable heights.

This question is not nearly as interesting as how wide they are.

Diagrams forthcoming.

Could Equius build the giant steampunk spider robot from Wild Wild West?

No.

He could break it though.

And by break it I mean beat the shit out of Will Smith and Kevin Kline.

I'm the guy that asked you to draw "something really awesome", and I just wanted to say you did not disappoint. You fucking rule.

Thanks, I hope what I drew was really awesome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvHn7D6Ek-Y I just found this on the internet. Skittles quoted SB&HJ. What are your thoughts on this subject?

I don't know what this is or what to think about it.

Where did Vriska resurrect herself with her Dream Self?

It's a mystery.

We'll get back to this.

Do you enjoy your own work? I mean if Homestuck was made by someone else and not you, is it the kind of thing you would like reading, complete with overt cuteness and silly romance shenanigans? Or would it be more "yes this is good" but not really caring.

I am making the kind of thing I would want to read. I am making the kind of thing I wish existed, but doesn't. Yet.

How's it that Feferi and Jade were asleep at "the same time" when within the last 3 or so hours, the trolls were looking over the last 13 or so years of Earth time? Theres probably a logical word-of-god reason here which I'll gladly accept, but it bugs me

There is no time in the furthest ring. What two events can be said to be occurring "at the same time" when the time is "nothing o'clock"?

If they met each other in a dream, it is because a god blew a dream bubble and decided that they would both share it during those particular naps.

So do you think the FAT16 filesystem is even a thing that should be used anymore?

Is that the one where you couldn't save a file bigger than a gigabyte or something?

How ironic.

I killed the guy who asked you to read Bleach. honestly, killed him dead. Your welcome.

I don't care about your opinion on the animes.

Does it bother you when people ask questions without using query hooks?

Yes, but your question is ok because at the end there is a surprise noodle.

With the obvious exception of Con Air, what is your favorite film? Apologies If this has already been asked.

Why do people apologize if a question has already been asked? Like I am going to be SO PISSED OFF.

I don't have a favorite film.

To be honest, I think "favorite things" are kind of dumb. They're sort of for little kids when you think about it, like a favorite color, or flavor of ice cream. Grown ups don't give a shit about that nonsense.

Exceptions can be made for when the thing is so much vastly superior to everything else, comparisons are laughable. Like MSPA > all websites on the internet.

I showed that defaced wizard book thing to a friend and she didn't think it was funny. She described it as "some prick scribbling all over a book". On a scale of 1-10 how many tears does this make you cry.

Did you show her the Dutton page?

I think you need to show her the Dutton page.

How come the characters are thinner while in "hero mode"? Are you trying to imply fat people can't be heroes?

I have never once seen a fat person attempt anything heroic that did not involve a well stocked buffet table.

When Equius had both his horns, was the other an arrow shape too or was it something else all together?

It was a mighty yellow horse dick.

What sorts of sketch requests did you get for the Problem Sleuth book?

Some pretty basic stuff, but also a lot of elaborate, off the wall stuff.

Unfortunately, the more elaborate the request, the cruder the sketch by necessity.

Do you like candy corn?

No.

Reading back through the comic I got to wondering about the troll movies. Are those descriptions given by Karkat real films?

Yes.

Is your frequent use of parallelism in Homestuck meant as a reflection on its minor theme of Internet subculture, and how it loves to repeat and reinvent its memes, or is it just something you think is funny?

Well...

It's definitely not the first thing you said.

Suppose Homestuck becomes your magnus opus - no matter what else you do in the rest of your life, you're always know as the guy who did Homestuck. Would you be 0kay with that?

Homestuck's really just a warm-up for something else. Kind of like how Problem Sleuth was a warmup for Homestuck.

There's not much of a chance of it becoming cemented as an opus, or casting a shadow from which I cannot escape. That outcome is up to me, and the degree of focus which I put into the next project.

You often say you'd sooner get rid of all flash videos than of the long pesterlogs. If you were forced to choose between working with an entirely textual medium or with an entirely visual medium for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

Text, because it's easier.

Here are the facts everybody.

Writing is easy.

Drawing is hard.

I think if two people collaborate on making a comic, one writing, the other drawing, the writer should be forced to serve as the artist's butler to even the score.

http://www.formspring.me/andrewhussie/q/1585047558 What bugs ME is you misspelled brakes/

I'm usually distracted when I answer these questions. I often answer questions here to kill some time, while I do a variety of other things to achieve the same purpose.

Their are times when I don't notice misspellings which happen to allude the browser's spell check feature.

Ugh, it annoys me to no end to have to shorten, abbreviate, or find less lengthy synonyms of words just to fit the word count. How do you feel about receiving these oddly typed out questions?

Some people manage to make good use of the space allotted to ask me intelligent things.

Others, not so much.

Do you have a Boston accent?

I'm not from Boston.

Nov 16, 2010

So is Homestuck an exploration about post-death consciousness as well as a creation myth? What with kernelsprites being prototyped with dead biological matter, as well as Vriska's resurrection via Dream Self, well... The death motif... IT KEEPS HAPPENING.

Oh hey you rephrased the question you just asked.

It is an exploration of those things, like post death consciousness (or more commonly, the afterlife), but a lesser exploration. Elements serving as more of a backdrop for characterization, things the kids have to think about and deal with.

Dream selves in Homestuck are sort of a lot of things at once. It embodies some degree of awakening myth. A "truer" self to get in touch with and realize by overcoming something. It is also in a way the afterlife, if the correct measures are taken. It also provides a deeper and more mystical mechanism for the classic extra life in a video game. It is a means for a player to glimpse greater purpose and destiny, as well as the future. And it is even more things than this, which have not yet been developed or revealed.

Other post-death themes are explored but mean different things in different cases. The sprites have more to do with resurrection than a study of afterlife issues. It's application here centers around providing players with guides, elders before them who are wiser, or in various ways more knowledgeable. In a classic sense, a grandmother has such wisdom. Less conventionally, a battle hardened future self does as well. A loyal, long dead cat may as well, in the tradition of an animal totem. Death is what separates an elder from an ancestor. Extrapolating, the game provides a means for its players to tap ancestral wisdom for guidance. And though this may be the intent, obviously it can be exploited in a wide variety of ways.

Resurrection as a theme on the microscopic level is in play with the sprites. Macroscopically, it's invoked through the reseeding a dead civilization from the dust, as the exiles are charged with. And in a sense, with the creation of a new universe as well, wherein the players are able to resurrect their extinct race.

Every day I feel a little part of me wither and die, as I realize another day has passed without our promised Olive Garden investigative reports. How long must we wait to know what calamari tastes like to a skinny orange man who draws webcomics?

My vague reluctance to attend the Olive Garden has slowly but surely transmuted to full blown terror.

You've said that Homestuck is a creation myth. Is it fair to say that it's also explores the concept of consciousness after death, considering how the kernelsprites were prototyped with dead beings, and Vriska resurrecting herself via Dreamself.

It's fair to say it explores a lot of things.

You've made it clear in tyour Formspring answers that Grandfather Harley created Sburb, but will it be made more clear in the comic? I don't think it's quite clear enough, albeit inferenceable through the creation of Sgrub through the Frog Ruins.

I don't know if I ever explicitly said he created it.

"Had something to do with it," sure.

Is Nannasprite fattening John up because she plans to eat him later?

I'm not answering any more fat questions.

since the trolls aren't really mammals, is it safe to assume that the troll girls will be flat chested forever? or do they have breasts anyway because why not?

Rationalizing a biological reason for the trolls to have breasts is the single most critical literary endeavor humanity has ever faced.

Andrew I just wanted to sincerely thank you for providing positive overweight role models for my 13 year old son, who is a little "big boned" himself!

Your son fucking disgusts me.

the sprites look p. fat, are they fat?

Yes.

The denizens are actually fat camp drill sergeants.

Have you ever been romantically attracted to one of your characters?

Only the fat ones.

i.e. all of them

This is a question of curiosity, not an attempt at conversion, but if you don't watch anime does that mean that the elements such as Bro's shades are just sorta cobbled from secondhand reference?

Kinda.

In the same way that the generic dad aspects were cobbled from various fatherly archetypes and mom was cobbled together similarly.

Seriously the guy is a cool dude with a hat and a sword and pointy shades and a t shirt and a skate board sort of thing. And a puppet.

He was not RIPPED STRAIGHT FROM THE ANIMES.

Do you plan to continue writing in your blogspot?

I don't like blogspot that much and it deters me from updating it.

What the fuck is with all these chubby questions? Did you start this shit?

Pipe down fatty.

So Andrew, if some crazy executive threw a great big pile of money at you, gave you a crew of hundreds of writers and animators and voice actors, and a complete artistic freedom, what could you give us with it? Seriously, it's bugging me.

It would probably mean I would have to throw the breaks on MSPA completely to focus on whatever that was, which to be honest, would kind of bug me.

What was the deal with SHITHIVE MAGGOTS? (http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004467)

It's a variation on an expression which I think is funny, "crazier than a shithouse rat". Or alternatively just "shithouse rats".

Is there any possibility of some sort of slipcased box set of all of Problem Sleuth when all the books are released? I'd pay a bunch of money for one. Also how many books will there be? 5? 6?

Possibly. We'll see when we get there. I think 6 is a good guess at this point.

am I getting this right? Jack gave Bro back his sword/whatever the proper name is, because he wants to duel, right? not because they're in alliance? if you don't answer this I'm going to assume it's an alliance.

Yes, Jack had unfinished business with bro.

Hey Andrew! First off, I'm really loving your latest updates. Great work! Second, I went to buy a troll shirt, but man they sell out fast! How long does it normally take to restock? I'd love to buy one!

Might be another couple weeks.

When using air hand driers in public restrooms, do you rub your hands like shown in the instructions or hold your hands still?

I stand there generally contemplating what sort of fucking idiot actually thought these things were a good idea.

When getting the signed books, do "Book 1:" and "Book 2" Count towards the 18 words?

They count as ten words each.

Going from your formspring questions it seems your fanbase hates you. Do you think this is because of your constant teases and fake outs and psyches during cliffhangers, or is that just something you are doing to get back at your fans?

Nobody hates me. Literally no one, I am universally adored.

There are a lot of nice if not obsequious questions I get which you don't see that often because it's usually just me going THHHAAAAAAAAAAAANKS repeatedly, which isn't all that interesting for you to read.

Nov 14, 2010

Hey Andrew, why do you keep drawing the characters as noodle people when they're so chubby?

Fat people take longer to draw because there is more of them to draw.

I do disservice to their true carriage in order to save time.

are any of the characters fat/chubby? i keep reading shit like that

This is a visual story.

YOU CAN SEE THE FUCKING CHARACTERS.

Do you like CON AIR?

Not really. It's actually quite awful to be honest.

I always thought one of the stupidest scenes in that was when John Malkovich made the little model of the junkyard to describe his plans to the other felons. Why was that necessary? It was stupid, and the plan was stupid.

Also why was Chief O'Brien from Star Trek such an asshole? What was even his problem? What was up with that.

Also sometimes I forget that A) Steve Buscemi and B) Dave Chappelle were in that, and it makes the movie worse whenever I remember.

But it's one of those movies that I always watch hypnotically whenever it comes on tv. There are a bunch of really terrible movies that are like that, defying explanation. Twister was always like that, and this could easily have been a film on John's wall. Also, and this is a source of deep personal shame, Jerry Maguire is like that too. I really can't explain this, because it is literally one of the worst films of all time. I think it might be that Tom Cruise is weirdly hypnotizing through his aggressive intensity.

Note these are all movies from the 90s because I completely checked out of popular culture in the early 2000's.

There's a rumor going around that you might marry vriska. How does that even work?

She will be my bride.

Do not try to come between us.

It's what you get for spending time on Formspring rather than updating :P

I don't feel like updating right now, and frankly, I will probably go to sleep soon.

Hi Andrew! First of all, I gotta say I love your work. I was actually inspired to do some writing because of you. My question is: Do you like anime? You should read Bleach. I think you'd like it consider that author loves to "troll" as much as you do. :D

Hi, and thanks.

I don't watch anime of any sort.

It's not that I have anything against it on principle. It's just that I'm not from Japan.

Eridan had had a hard day. A thousand lusii, dead, and for naught but a moirail. Nepeta cupped his cleft chin in her hand ":33 < Eridan, how's your day going?" "fuckin anything but swwimmingly thats howw" ":33 < Thats just pawful! :((" THEN THEY PORKED

SOMEONE IMMEDIATELY SENT ME SOME FAN FICTION ABOUT THIS. THIS IS SO SURPRISING.

Why don't Nepeta and Eridan hook up? They could make animal puns all day!

If 10 pages of smoldering romfic about this isn't sitting on my desk by tomorrow I am going to have a nervous breakdown.






(a serious note: if some joker actually sends me this I won't even open it)

Nov 13, 2010

A noggie is a derogatory word for Norwegian.

I just found my new favorite word because I can't STAND those fjord humping sons of bitches.

Is Fefferi chubby? Also, what happens if you cut your own mismatched holes into a captcha card (like the pumpkin from Jailbreak) or turn a card over and put it up against another one, or maybe flip a card over when combining?

You can see her in several existing panels. You tell me.

The fat Feferi question negated your second question.

*gives you a noggie*

What is a noggie?

It sounds like a regional word for a particular type of sandwich.

Why do you like portmanteaus so much? Or should I say, why do you feel such rapportmanteau?

Do I? I guess it seems that way.

The thing is, if you make up a whole lot of nonsense, you have to make up names for everything. Portmanteaus are one route I take, like echeladder, sylladex, kernelsprite, kismesis, incipisphere, etc. Some are a really obvious slamming together of two recognizable words, some are a little more obscure, jumbling together simpler morphemes, or more basic roots of language. And when you think about it, there aren't really many other ways to come up with names for stuff than combining the atomic elements of language.

Another route to take which is more straightforward is just using a simple existing word to name a concept, and I do that pretty often too. Grist, denizens, underlings, consorts, the veil, the furthest ring, and the names of all the planets, which are about as simple as it gets.

Alternatively, you can just make up your own nonsense words, which is an idea that's a little unpalatable to me for this project. I think that's a bit of a slippery slope to full blown fictional language building, which to me seems anchored to a much more severe kind of universe building endeavor than I wish to engage in.

The closest things to nonsense words might be names like Skaia, Derse, and Prospit, but even those are more like veiled portmanteaus. Skaia pretty obviously is sky+gaia, Derse you could view as an amalgam of dearth (scarcity) and terse (curt, abrupt, a word that could characterize someone like Jack), and Prospit is obviously prosperity and whatever myriad of words the suffix "it" might invoke. Perhaps esprit, which is a word in the mix of the matesprit portmanteau. So really this is just another way of saying that things in fiction that sound like nonsense are often portmanteaus in disguise.

Troll names also sound like nonsense, but A) they were reader suggested and B) most of them have roots in other languages, usually pertaining to astrology. Of course since I was the one who selected the suggestions, my aversion to pure nonsense for this project had something to do with this outcome.

Just to be clear, what is the leitmotif for Dave Strider? Upward Movement or Beatdown?

I'm not sure that either qualifies. The whole leitmotif thing got pretty blurry after a while, the more songs I piled on. At this point I just go for cool music that I happen to develop a particular idea for without thinking about cementing any leitmotifs, like I once may have intended. But often you'll hear familiar themes in these pieces anyway.

Nov 12, 2010

Whatever happened to the Chicken Sandwich Question?

It went missing for a while.

AND THEN I JUST FUCKING FOUND IT ALL OF A SUDDEN.

Hey Im a massive fan of your stories/comics Its not that i don't understand the ending of Homestuck its more I would like to know the reason why you ended it with jade on the computer. like what was the "lesson" you wanted to show the readers

I really...

can't...

tell...

If this is a joke. I'm trying, but I can't.

I am sorry.

So far in Homestuck, has there been anything that you didn't think was going to be that important storywise, play a much larger role that you expected?

Lot's of stuff, depending on when the "not expecting" was taking place.

Exiles, trolls... cartoon squids?

The alchemy system in Sburb is great, but it seems like a very odd concept to think up. How did you come up with the idea for it?

HS is getting old enough by now that the exact genesis of particular ideas is becoming hard to remember.

But here it was likely a progression by asking a series of logical questions, surrounding a key initial idea.

The idea being "punch card alchemy." Then I say, ok go, make that work.

If each item is represented by a uniquely punched card, then combining them means combining the cards in some way. Overlapping and double punching is a simple enough conclusion.

But then, what do you do with the cards?

Put them in a machine.

What machine? What does that machine do?

It... makes something.

Makes what?

How about a totem? Also uniquely representing an item.

What do you do with the totem?

Put it on another machine that reads it somehow, and creates the item.

All of this is both arrived at, and united by the themes I wanted to use to tie it together, which was various types of wood shop devices like lathes and miters, and other types of technology like old IBM card punchers, more modern laser scanners, and internet security gateways like captcha systems. And to have it all function as this sort of itemsmithing equivalent to something vaguely reminiscent of Platonic idealism. It was always meant to convey a truly esoteric forge, something a little otherworldly and in a way kind of sterile in aesthetic, like they were these odd modules of creative potential dropped from heaven. Or something.

But the story's focus on that seems like a long time ago now, and since exploring that in depth and playing with it, we've moved on to a lot of other fun ideas and plot points, while those themes fell in the background, to be revisited very occasionally. Mostly now the whole system serves as something the reader understands already, and items are manufactured without illustration or mention of the process. And sometimes, without mention of even the manufacturing. Increasingly, items just show up in the story without fanfare. That type of granularity is no longer sensible at this stage. We have bigger fish to fry.

Hey do you have like a big folder of every GIF you ever used in a page, so that if you want to re-use them (like the Karkat BLUH-slap gif on the current page that originated in the How Do I Live flash) or do you have to go back to edit the original usage?

I have probably several thousand photoshop files with stuff on separate layers for the most part.

Usually I know exactly where to find something. Sometimes it's tough to track down something I'm looking for. On occasion, impossible.

Do "red feelings" refer to just flushed feelings, or pale as well?

In the context it was used, most likely flushed.

There's a lot of evidence that while all the quadrants are regarded as important, there's more emphasis and emotion surrounding the concupiscent one (those related to reproduction, as our concept of romance is), whereas the pale quadrants seem to be regarded as "the boring ones". Which is obviously a relatable set of circumstances for humans, even if the vernacular and cultural implications are different. So if they're talking about this stuff in a heated way, it's most likely about hearts/spades rather than clubs/diamonds.

And on a side note, while we can certainly examine this stuff in a serious way as if engaging in a fictional sociological study, I feel it's important not to lose sight of the fact that this material is always meant to be rooted in humor. That's one of the big reason it exists in the first place, to set the stage for these ridiculous situations and absurd relationship dynamics and conflicts, with silly terms being thrown around leading to confusion. Much like a romantic comedy uses romantic tension we all understand to create ridiculous scenarios. This uses scifi romance principles to do the same. It's essentially a scifi romcom, but unlike a romcom which will usually at some point, if not frequently, place the romance ahead of the comedy for a sappy payoff, that's not what's going on here. I'd rather that humor always be in the forefront for HS. The details of troll romance, and all romance issues really, aren't meant to be taken all that seriously. It's all supposed to be pretty silly stuff. Romance is a foil for humor, to some extent character development, and little else.

it seems* like you have amazing symmetry between stream-of-consciousness creativity AND intricate analytical observation. BUT, many people say an overly-analytical mind can kill a creative process. what are your thoughts? *chances are i'm wrong, though.

That's probably true, but I don't think I'm that analytical when I create, i.e. write or draw. When I start working, I dive right in without thinking much, and don't stop til I'm done. I work pretty fast because of this.

The end result is something complex through gradual accumulation, in a way that I try to make maniacally self consistent. But it's all built upon ideas that I spent a good deal of time thinking about and connecting before executing. Not moments before drawing, but in the days, weeks or months preceding, while I'm doing other things like walking around and running errands. Since all the key ideas already exist on sort of a road map in my head, executing becomes a pretty simple exercise, and allows for a lot of whimsy and snap decisions, as long as those decisions aren't in violation of the big picture.

Suffice to say, there isn't a lot of analysis that goes into the process. But the result is something that can be analyzed quite extensively.

Is the Problem Sleuth crew ever going to appear (from what i saw. I don't know if I missed any cameos or anything) the way the midnight crew does?

The Midnight Crew was not a canonical element of Problem Sleuth. It started in a series of donation commands, and I thought it would be fun to elaborate on them in this story. This began with their appearance on the MSPA website in the HS universe, which John and co. could read on their computers. The original rationale was that this is what MSPA looked like in an alternate universe, because I considered doing a Midnight Crew story for MSPA after PS ended, instead of HS.

Then this idea was further elaborated on when the MC was revealed to literally exist in a different universe, the one which the trolls lived in, and was the predecessor to our universe. In the HS universe, MSPA is a window to the story of the Midnight Crew taking place in the troll universe. In the troll universe, MSPA is the window to the Homestuck story taking place in the human universe. (though technically, they are windows to somewhat bastardized versions of those stories)

This idea was developed in tandem with casting Jack and the agents as key villains, and constants between sessions, in the same sense that Bowser is the same villain throughout the various Mario games, though he experiences a different fate depending on which game you play or how you play it.

I never liked the idea of including canonical Problem Sleuth characters (aside from Snoop Dogg) in Homestuck. And the more popular appeal the idea seemed to have and the more people asked me about it or theorized about it, the less I liked it for some reason. At this point it's safe to say it just isn't going to happen.

How come you say Dave is blond yet on this page http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002422 Rose says his hair is Orange?

She's talking about puppet hair.

Nov 10, 2010

Why do the trolls in the interactive page die when they go to sleep, when Feferi seems to be unaffected, and Jade merely traumatized?

The "GAME OVER" isn't that literal. It's just a silly thing.

What are some of your favourite words? You seem to be a pretty big word nerd (or i could say you dabble in the art of lingeekstics) so are there any words that you love especially?

I'm probably not nearly as big a word geek as it seems. I know plenty, but at the same time a really tough crossword puzzle would probably eat me alive.

I find it more interesting to make words most people know work in interesting or novel ways through combination and context than indulging in a lot of lexicographical obscurity.

To put it another way. Whenever I read a really peculiar word I've never seen before, my eyes don't light up. I'm more inclined to just say "Who cares."

What is the proper plural of sylladex?

Sylladices.

Re: pausing animations. Just right-click on the Flash file and uncheck "Play", then re-check it when you want to cotinue. Works perfectly for me.

For the most part this is true. But movie clips are very touchy organisms, and I'm not completely convinced pause/playing some animations at certain frames won't mess up the timing. I'm standing by my "watch til it ends" recommendation.

Do you still smoke? If so, does it have any effect on the production of Homestuck? It's worth noting that I'm not trying to make a "how high do you even have to BE" subtext in the question. I'm just curious.

Why do you believe I ever did? I don't, and didn't.

It's hard to underscore enough how ridiculous I and most creators I've talked to find this notion that being high is the wellspring from which all bizarre, absurd, or otherwise creative material must necessarily come from. For the most part, there's a very significant difference between quality work and pot addled horseshit.

It's not that I think all drugs are JUST SO TERRIBLE on principle. But including them as a staple to the creative process is usually a serious detriment to the work in my view.

But in looking at your question again, maybe you didn't hold this view anyway. Nonetheless, it's a topic that rears its head now and then.

"Actually I just remembered I did a science fair thing on this subject in middle school." Indulge us, I ask you.

It was really terrible. Also I didn't staple or bind the pages together. I just handed in like 30 pages all in a big loose pile.

With regard to the longer animations: would it be possible to add a pause feature? It's not a big problem, but I often get interrupted in the middle and have to start all over. Other than that, I'm in love with everything about MSPA. Keep up the awesome.

I've thought about some kind of nav system, but all things considered I'm fine with the simplicity of "open and watch til it ends".

For one thing, a lot of the animations involve Flash "movie clips" all bundled together which makes implementing pausing a huge pain in the ass. I wouldn't stop using these either. It helps speed of production.

Think of it like going to a movie. You go into it knowing you have no control over the flow of entertainment. In fact, it never even occurs to you. And everyone has always been fine with this.

I'm also cool with the fact that Flash doesn't play on a lot of portable devices. Seems to me it's preferable that people park themselves in front of a proper display before watching these things.

In Jade's recent dream sequence, how is she seeing Feferi? People can only dream about faces they have already seen. Even if they don't remember it, they have to have seen the face in order to dream about it. Or are you just going to call Weird Time Shit?

They are having the same dream. Much like two people asleep on Derse can wake up and meet each other.

There isn't much weird time shit to this concept. The furthest ring is outside the boundaries of either session's chronology.

Wait are Dave's eyes really red, or was that just stylization or whatever? This will probably be answered eventually but I am asking you anyway hello

They are red.

What merchandise is going to be available for purchase soon? Is Jade's shirt complete?

PS book 2 and a SBaHJ shirt out very soon, perhaps this weekend.

Then two more shirts at Topatoco to follow: Jade's shirt, and Dave's long red sleeve broken record shirt.

There'll also be some more non-Topatoco designs in a little while, a la the troll shirts, including a restocking of the troll shirts themselves.

There will be SO MUCH STUFF.

Is that Feferi's lusus whispering to Jade?

No. Feferi's lusus was killed, and subsequently prototyped. It also doesn't look much like the final god, other than having tentacles and a beak. Many gods have these features.

So um do the kid's eye colours match their text colours then?

Sure looks like it!

First of all, a comment on your most recent flash. That, sir, was the creepiest flash I've ever seen in my entire life, and although I had no clue what was going on, it was still awesome! Now for a question, what exactly WAS going on in said flash?

What isn't there to understand? Unless you're not following the story.

Jade was asleep. Her dream self is dead, so she can no longer dream on Prospit. This is what she dreams instead. She dreams of the gods in the furthest ring, and meets Feferi there, who is simultaneously napping on the horn pile. She did so deliberately to encounter the gods and prove to everyone they were harmless, after her dream self was killed with the destruction of Derse in the troll session.

Dave was also asleep. But his dream self is still alive, on the moon of Derse. He earlier had told Rose he'd take off his shades and look into the sky to observe the gods. He presumably caught a glimpse of Jade's dream, or at least the gods in general.

Then Jade woke up.

Aaargh! That update! My eyes! My ears! My brain! My soul! Seriously, though, why Squiddles of all things? And did you have LtSS comissioned just so you'd have a creepy-ass Squiddles song for that purpose?

Why Squiddles? I don't really understand the question, but I'll state the obvious. Squiddles I guess are a sort of candy coated representation of the outer gods. Not literally. They are a brand in a fictional universe. A cartoon show. They were not necessarily conjured into existence by the gods, via dark conspiracy either. It's more likely that humans created them as an echo of their subconscious awareness that these gods exist, and present them through this cute, approachable facade.

As for the song, it it's the other way around. This animation likely would not have ever been made if the song hadn't existed for some time already.

Nov 04, 2010

Are you drawing some parallel between Dave and Lancelot, and John and King Arthur? Lancelot strives to be a good knight, but he bangs too many bitches and kills to many dudes to be as virtuous as the King, missing how cool he is because he's not that guy.

What's going on here is a bit of a mythology melange.

There's Arthurian legend, but it's also getting mixed in with the blatant lord of the Rings stuff, with the broken sword slashing magic rings off the hands of evil overlords, magic volcanoes, quests to protect the ring, the great big blazing sun reminiscent of the Eye of Sauron which has become a symbolic refrain itself, and even Dave's name: Strider. But of course, I'm sure Tolkien's stuff had its share of Arthurian influence in there as well. It's hard to escape those archetypes when you're dealing with that material. Hell, maybe it was even part of the whole point for him. I don't actually know that much about LotR.

Now, does all this MEAN something?

I don't have very lofty purposes for it. It's fun to connect an elaborate fantasy tale, especially one as whimsical as this, with points of mythology entrenched in modern culture and universally recognized. These are symbols we all recognize, and in this case sort of stand in for the grandeur of a multi-threaded quest which will not necessarily ever be at the forefront of what we're shown, or what the story treats as most important.

You might notice as you read that quest details are never all that important. There's a lot of stuff that's glossed over, conversed about casually, or even flippantly. Sometimes the characters even mock the quest details, making fun of the silly and useless puzzles they're meant to solve. That's because the quests are a backdrop to the more relevant focus of the story, which is the characters and their relationships, and the much heavier plot events that transcend the quest details. Like Noir's insurgence or Rose's commitment to game breaking. All the most important plot points have to to with the subversion of more conventional quest elements.

What do you think about the theory of time being the 4th dimension? If it were true it sounds quite a lot like the outer gods and several other powers that be are actually 4th dimensional residents manipulating our group for reasons unknown

I don't know if this really qualifies as a theory though.

Practically speaking, we use three dimensions to plot coordinates and make measurements in space.

We use a fourth dimension as well if we want to include time in those measurements. This is done all the time in even very simple physics, as well as 3D modeling. It's practical, not theoretical.

Whether time TRULY, ACTUALLY IS the 4th dimension seems to me like more of a metaphysical consideration.

Actually I just remembered I did a science fair thing on this subject in middle school.

How do you pronounce Caledfwlch? Is that even a thing you can say?

I really have no idea.

It's Welsh.

I could have gone with Caledbolg, another name for the Aurthurian sword, but there were a couple things -fwlch had going for it.

One, it translates as "hard break", which I thought was thematically appropriate.

Two, it's a shorter phonetic hop to Caledscratch, a name which is thematically on the money for THAT sword. In fact, that was named in advance knowing the sword that produced it would be called Caledfwlch.

And in fact, the whole legendary piece of shit gag was something I planned to do down the road, the moment Dave originally broke his cheap piece of shit sword.

You never answer any of my questions! :{

Sorry!

Which do you prefer to hear as a webcomic artist: that a person wants to work on your comic, or that your comic makes a person want to create their own story?

Both are flattering and symptomatic of the same thing - inspiration to create. When it comes to striving for a particular reaction to your work, that's about as good as you can hope to achieve.

Have you been asked by anyone if they could make a Homestuck movie? Also, would you allow a Homestuck movie to be made? Hell, a cartoon would be fuckin' sweet.

Never been asked. A movie would be cool though I think.

It would have to be so different though as to be almost unrecognizable, other than what exists at the heart of the story. Which is about the four main characters, their relationships as internet friends, the themes involving coming of age and discovery through this fantastical game setting, and that's about it.

So much would have to be slashed, unless the thing sprawled into a monstrous trilogy, or N_logy. Most likely the casualties would include: everything about the trolls, everything about the post apocalypse exiles, vast amounts of fucking around with game mechanics, and probably even the kid/guardian relationships. It would require a complete redelivery of the concept of the game as a mechanism of creation myth.

This comes with the peril of being regarded as heresy, but I wouldn't view it that way, because like I said, it is an utter impossibility to capture what this is precisely through cinema, just as it would be through a book. But reformatting the work to fit different kinds of media I think is a challenge I'd embrace. I don't regard the exact details of the story as it is now as something all that precious. I think there are fundamentals beneath all that which are more important. I always saw HS as an exploration of young people developing relationships over the internet, which is something a lot of people reading it can relate to, and a concept sort of under-represented in fiction of all kinds. I've explored that from a lot of angles so far, at first with the kids amongst each other, delving into existing relationships, and then with the trolls, which has been an exploration of forging new ones, and in particular one of making friends out of adversaries. There's a lot more to HS than just that obviously, but if there's anything which it's been about through and through, it's modern kids relating to each other from afar, developing as people and growing up.

Could you walk us through the process of coordinating a major animation, like "make her pay"? There's just so much to put together and so many different creativities working at it, I'd love to hear how you manage it all.

I keep the art asset demands pretty vague. Basic descriptions of backdrops, characters doing things etc, without being explicit about what's going on. Contributing artists can infer things, but don't understand the full picture until everyone else does.

Then I assess what I've got, fill in a lot of the holes with my own drawing, particularly story-critical stuff, and assemble it all quite organically.

There is no storyboard. I piece it together 100% linearly, on the fly, with decisions surrounding events and timing informed mostly by the music.

Dave got the inspiration from Terezi, but where did you get the inspiration for Hella Jeff's incredibly strange mouth

It should be considered that Dave was subconsciously drawing SBaHJ on his walls for years, and Terezi presumably observed these drawings beforehand which may have influenced her own drawing.

Do you ever get hungry?

This awful person spammed me with like a million questions about food.

How often do you use Wikipedia for research?

Not that often. But when I do, it is practically the only research tool I use.

Are there even any alternatives???

Oh yeah, tvtropes, urban dictionary and encyclopedia dramatica, I forgot.

Any particular reason (plot, or otherwise) that Vriska is now seemingly in love with Nicolas Cage..? Or why John is seemingly in love with BEING Nicolas Cage..? Is this going to lead to some weird, confusing string of events?

Cause it was funny.

If you're Dave, are any of the characters based off of or inspired by people you know? Is there a real Equius somewhere in your life, for example?

Yes.

Me.

I think that the new art style is pretty good, it just may look strange because we are used to the old one. Anyways, to a question, what color is Dave's hair supposed to be?

Yup, thanks. This is my diagnosis too.

Blonde.

SUCK IT GINGERS

Oct 30, 2010

Pixel Sprite Dave looks like a priest

heheheh. yeah, kinda.

Don't you think that judging ones art solely with ones own perspective can be a dangerous trap? I admire your strength of view but I can't help but think that disregarding all external critique could be somewhat toxic to your artistic development.

aaaaaa formspring is one big feedback loop

Consult this answer buried in the archives.

http://www.formspring.me/andrewhussie/q/1093935286

tldr; I accept criticism, even enjoy it. All I ask is the critic demonstrate he knows what the fuck he's talking about first.

Also excavate from that response my views on the "emotional critic". I've actually come to regard this type as a pretty loathsome creature.

And yeah I get that a lot of this probably sounds pretty bombastic. But I imagine if I were the one reading such answers I'd find it all pretty entertaining. Wouldn't you? And/or: don't you???

PEACE OUT ON THIS ANSWER

Oct 29, 2010

Is there any reason you're using these pixely sprites now (especially with Rose)? Personally I prefer the other art styles you've been using.

Working the pixel sprites into the fold obviously came on the heels of the interactive RPG page. That page served all the obvious purposes is was meant to, but as a bonus, introduced another style I can resort to now and then, even in static pages. It's in the story, the precedent is set, so there's no reason not to go with it sometimes. There will probably be a rationale any time I go with it. As an iconic style it can communicate different things than the other styles. For now, I've just resorted to it as a fresh look.

I also used it as sort of a springboard to launch the more detailed style exploration. The main thought process was, if one hyper-simplified style was just introduced, why not another one on the opposite side of the spectrum? Hence the transition from one to the other, and now back and forth and dancing in between through subsequent pages. It's sort of a study of two extremes now in the arsenal as I move forward. The older styles between them will surely be more common moving forward, but this juxtaposition is a statement meant to get you conscious of the style decisions, and the overall stylistic nature of this story.

And that nature is, slowly but surely, revealing to us that it can be anything, at any time. Its nature is to accumulate visual complexity/diversity to eventually match conceptual complexity/diversity.

Will we end up seeing anyone else drawn in this new style, or is it something more specific to Rose right now? Like, she's being shown in this jarringly new style to mirror how she's changing as she delves into these things that no sane person would?

I think it's better not to over-complicate the symbolism behind when a drawing style is used.

It's not that swapping styles has no meaning at all, but attributing a more serious rendering style to a sudden examination of SERIOUS PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES or whatever seems really heavy handed to me, and doesn't interest me that much.

If you look at older pages, the more dynamic style was implemented during more dramatic moments, sure. But it was also used for some pretty casual moments. The criteria here just isn't that rigid or clear cut, and I wouldn't want it to be. There's kind of a subtle ebb and flow to when the styles get switched up having to do with my whim, which can also be viewed as the pulse of the story.

Right now, the introduction of these styles doesn't mean a whole lot, other than making the simple statement that they are now in the fold. I'd rather they come in under the radar like this than ushered in with a serious event. Like WHOA SHIT ROSE JUST DIED or something CHECK OUT HOW SERIOUS THAT IS, AS ILLUSTRATED BY THIS MORE SERIOUS DRAWING STYLE. That would brand the style too heavily as a utility meant to carry out serious business, and that's not what I want.

Instead of trolling those who complain, why not put more time into amusing your "true fans"? Granted, your true fans would appreciate even the trolling.

Like you suggest, the two things are one and the same.

The "trolling the fans" thing is deceptive though. Because I disagree with them that the things they're complaining about are bad. So I am only putting more attention into elaborating on something which I thought was a cool idea in the first place, and in a way, simultaneously challenging them to change their minds on the subject. It's like a trial by fire. You have to come around and learn to appreciate the thing you took issue with before you earn your right to enjoy the rest of the story, and similarly, a challenge to me to perhaps make it work for them through the elaboration process.

Not really a fan of the new art style, but that's unimportant. What I want to know is how you developed the confidence to answer your critics so assertively. Is it simple experience? Did a carnival gypsy curse you to never know uncertainty? Goat milk?

I guess I just believe in sticking to your guns as a creator. It doesn't mean you completely ignore what people have to say or fail to take it under advisement, but pandering and caving into critics for fear of diminished appreciation is the wrong way to go. Staying the course with your vision doesn't mean you'll do everything right, but if included in that vision is serious, concerted exploration, you can only benefit as an artist. Adversaries to this cause should be regarded as villains.

There are two ways to do the "obstinate douche bag" thing as an artist.

One is in vehement defense of stagnation. Some artists I've encountered do this, and it's completely indefensible. It's as low as you can get, creatively speaking.

The other is in vehement defense of exploration. This is just the opposite. This is a posture everyone should strive for, and these artists are the ones people should be most inclined to offer their attention and support.

That's just how I feel about it, and I come from a zero-BS standpoint on it all. This isn't a job for me, and I'll never modify my approach to protect a bottom line. If it was just a job, I guarantee I wouldn't spend every waking hour doing it. It's kind of a strange personal mission I'm on, which I happen to make money from, and that's cool. People are welcome to come along for the ride.

The style of drawing that Rose's pixel sprite fades into makes me feel really, really uncomfortable. Is this the feeling that the drawings are supposed to evoke? It must be, especially with 004709's Powerpuff girl eyes! Ahhh I don't get it. :/

It's not what it's supposed to evoke. You've made the classic blunder of mistaking your point of view for objective reality.

It's fair to say the style just doesn't sit well with you, and that's true of some other people as well. But entangled with this issue is that it's something new and unexpected projected against something much simpler, as well as against everything we're used to seeing.

There will always be those who are squeamish about sudden changes, and those people will absolutely never cop to it. They will always suggest their dissatisfaction is not because a thing is different, but because a thing is BAAAAAAAAD, and they'll have their laundry list of points to prove it, and they'll come packing hyperbole just to make sure you're TOTALLY convinced.

The bias of anti-change corrupts the critical faculty. This story is built on perpetual change and evolution. This is a drill I'm very familiar with. So I have a hard time taking detractors seriously, and as usual, put a lot more stock in my own judgment.

It gets particularly ridiculous when fielding issues about the merits of an art style from people who obviously know nothing about art. The truth behind the situation is some folks got "squicked" by the contextual delivery of a different style, and then rationalize the reaction by identifying all these problems with the art completely independent of the context in which their reaction occurred, through the lens of someone who's never given two shits about serious artistic analysis.

So maybe there are some iffy things going on with anatomy? Stylistic misfires in the features? Alright, maybe this is fair to discuss. Even though really breaking down one of these images is sort of missing the bigger point here, this is what I had to say about one drawing for the record.

-----
"Is it a clinic on human anatomy? Of course not. Sort of an absurd standard to hold it to. It is, like many drawings, a balance between accuracy and stylization. It's a slightly exaggerated "gawking pose", because of course the laptop is on the ground, and she's presumably now sitting on the ground and stooping lower to see it. It furthermore conveys body language I thought was appropriate for A) a gangly awkward teenager, and B) someone nonplussed by a ridiculous internet conversation.

There's a bit of wonkiness to the stylization mixed in with the amped realism. The edges are chewed up a little more than usual. Stray pixels and 1-pixel lines dart in and out of forms. This is not an immaculate presentation, and by design. But the anatomy is roughly accurate regardless, for what it is. The virtual spine does indeed connect with the base of the virtual skull where it should, given the posture. The face, from a semi-realistic comic stylization standpoint is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. The mouth is conveyed as slightly open through minimalism."
-----

This is getting down to the artistic issues in an intelligent way, and you may agree or disagree, but like I said, this is sort of missing the bigger point. For one thing, in what has been an obvious exercise in visual/stylistic volatility all along, to hold yet another emergent style to such scrutiny or as something that doesn't belong strikes me as a little petty in the grand scheme of things, as a willful misapprehension of the nature of the work, and as just another instance of "change allergy" rearing its head. Just another missed opportunity for that omnipresent group of people who can never manage to just roll with something when it's introduced rather than gnashing their teeth about it, eventually get used to it, and then later pretend they were down with it all along.

But this isn't even what bugs me about it. You can dislike a drawing I did. I don't care about that at all.

What I find really irritating is when troglodytes from the internet chirp up and bombastically suggest their judgment is better than mine when it comes to the aesthetic direction of this thing, or really any kind of direction for that matter. It's like they managed to forget whose judgment brought the thing they presumably enjoy to where it is in the first place. I don't like it whenever I get the sense that Homestuck is a sacred cow in the mind of a reader, and if I do something "wrong", I'm kicking that cow. It doesn't belong to you. The cow is mine, and you are enjoying its milk at my discretion.

Vehement detractors will almost certainly contribute to my inclination to continue to produce what upsets them, likely more so than I initially intended, and this has been the case since the start of Homestuck. Bored by sylladex shenanigans? Get ready for a lot more fucking around. Impatient with the troll arc? Whoops, time to slow it down! Uh oh, don't like detailed drawings that much? Hmmmmmm.

If I actually manage to jettison the disgruntled parties from the readership, I consider that an added bonus. Like spiking the football after the touchdown.

That dude dancing in the end zone over there? That's the MVP.

I just noticed Rose has rather light purple eyes. This combined with her pale skin (and possibly white hair?) makes me think she might be an albino. Is this correct?

Nah, it's just stylization.

The purple eyes maaay be literal? The white hair isn't.

Oct 27, 2010

Alright I need an opinion on this. Most famous authors have some kind of adjective that can be used to describe any work of a similar style (i.e. Lovecraftian, Shakespearean, etc.). So what do you prefer? Hussnacious? Hussoteric? Hussonian?

Hussnasty.

Do you ever start working on a page for the comic and just totally scrap it and start over? If so, how often do you tend to do that?

This has never happened once.

This story thrives on details, and virtually no detail is irrelevant. Skipping some will only erode your full comprehension and appreciation for what is happening I don't know. At this point I'm probably just withholding those details to bug people FFF-

Only the details I want to provide, which is to say, include in the story, are relevant.

What was the original reason for the disappearing pumpkin in Jailbreak?

To mess with people, to do something that made no sense whatsoever, and to be funny.

You used a lot of interesting head shapes in the most recent flash. Was your main intent just to flex your artistic muscle? Or perhaps you had these head shapes planned since the start?

I drew almost nothing for this. The character portraits which you're probably referring to were all independent interpretations by the contributing artists.

So now that you've got that game engine made you're going to get your team of free labo--wonderful volunteers to make more pseudo-game like that right?

Possibly, verging on probably.

Believe it or not, this was supposed to be an "easy one". It got a little out of hand with feature sprawl, as should be painfully predictable to me by now.

The primary purpose of this idea initially was to create a simple, fun format emulating RPG gameplay, particularly the sort of moments where you explore a village, talk to as many people as you can, and start piecing together clues for the game's story bit by bit. I thought it would be a good way to load up on a lot of cross-interaction between many different characters without resorting to a huge linear dump of extensive pesterlogs. And it was successful in this sense. I just thought it would be easier, involving a few character sprites, a few room tiles, a simple adaptation of Alexis's existing Flash engine, and a whole lot of writing by me (that part still turned out to be true).

But in the end I think it was worth it to go a little extra further with it and come closer to capturing a more immersive feel to playing an RPG like this. Learning about story details in this manner is something so many people are very familiar with. Anyone who's ever even casually played RPGs has spent many hours doing it. And yet it feels strikingly novel to me in this context, encountering a page like this and switching your mindset on how you're being fed information necessary to advance the story. Suddenly the burden is on you to take action and piece the full picture together yourself. It's a little like doing detective work. Which is exactly what it's like exploring a village in an RPG. The various NPCs lurking around town are always alluding to things, rarely being all that explicit. Alluding to some peril in another town which might ring a bell if you've already visited that town, or will ring a bell later when you eventually do. Or talking to a person on one side of town whose story connects with a person on the other side. It's a pretty interesting angle on storytelling, that is to say, having to account for the reader's free will over data intake, which is a complete non-issue outside of interactive media, and one we probably take for granted as a story building method because we're not really thinking of it that way when playing a game. The purpose is to explore and advance, not to be led through narrative as we're accustomed to in other formats. And yet, after fully exploring a town, the end result is similar to having read a coherent story. You proceed armed with details and references which will prepare you for later story events.

And it does seem to be a pretty effective way to paint a portrait of a situation. Even more so when you aren't mining information from flat, monologuing NPCs, but established characters having back and forth conversations. It's probably hard for me to be objective about this since I'm up to my neck in it, but after playing all the way through, I get the feeling that even someone who knew nothing about the story or the characters would have a pretty good sense for what was going on after running through it all. They're aliens, stranded on a meteor, hiding from a demon, discovering another race called humans with their computers, conversing with their past/future selves, each with allusions to a distinct backstory, many characters with clear types of preexisting relationships with each other, and so on. There's really a ton of information conveyed through this, directly and through inference, without any exposition, and all absorbed very rapidly through a universally friendly, accessible format.

Really? Really? For real? (in reference to 004692)

Yup.

holy mother of fuck

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But..but...direct interaction... Stop breaking your own arbitrary rules!

What are you talking about?

These characters are talking directly to each other in a radically different story format.

This is a new rule, not a broken one.

Who created Homestuck? Somehow I get the feeling we'll find out that the players did it...but no, that would be too predictable, because it's such a horrendous twist that it would be too obvious.

I did.

Homestuck is the name of a story hosted on a website called MS Paint Adventures. It is written and drawn by me.

Oct 15, 2010

How much sugar is there in a can of TAB?

This question is BULLSHIT there IS NO SUGAR IN TAB, that's the whole POINT, you STUPID IDIOT.

Haha, just messing with you. Here let's read all about TAB.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tab_%28soft_drink%29

Ok I'm out. Later.

What are the easiest and hardest trolls to write for?

Nobody is harder or easier to write than anybody.

Except Dave, who is the easiest. His logs are the closest to stream of consciousness writing for me. It often takes me as long to write his lines as it takes for my fingers to hit the keys.

Were the future/past trails in the Midnight Crew Intermission inspired by Donnie Darko?

Yes.

Why didn't John use his extra life/dream self to continue his adventure in the alternate time-line like Sollux and Vriska did?

He didn't have a princess on hand to kiss his corpse and wake him up.

Why doesn't Derse assassinate the Derse dreamselves before they awaken?

That would be so uncivilized of them.

Hello Mr. Andrew. My friend and I have been having an argument. How do you pronounce Sollux's name? Is it SAHL-lux or SOLE-ux? Sorry if those pronunciations look awkward, but you get the picture.

Tholluxth.

Hussie, is that your real name? it is quite strange. If you decide to marry, your wife will be Mrs. Hussie. (funny no?) >> OH SHIT, just realized your mum is probably named that, MRS HUSSIE< WEIRD?ehh

My mom got divorced from my dad 20 years ago.

Yo, Hussmaster A. I was wondering if you could clarify the black Pesterchum bubbles. Is it simply because the trolls wear black shirts, or is it meant to be more sinister?

It just looked cool, and it kind of mixes it up. Also I happened to have more detailed zodiac icons from making the shirts, so I stuck em in there.

Sometimes things are just that simple.

Beyond Homestuck, I don't know of any other works that resolve so serendipitously are so meticulously crafted. I admit that I skipped some of the troll arc, but even there I cannot but admire your embellishment of the characters. Thanks for HS and MSPA!

Thanks!

Personally, I think you should go back and read the troll arc. Every last word. This story thrives on details, and virtually no detail is irrelevant. Skipping some will only erode your full comprehension and appreciation for what is happening.

You don't seem to be listed on wikipedia's list of of self supported webcomics. Were you just too lazy to put yourself on there or do you actually manage to get out of the cage where you keep your writers/artists and work?

Why would I care about listing myself there?

And yeah I make enough money off this not to have a job.

But for whatever it's worth, I've never actually had a job.

Could you very much please consider an addition to the Topatoco store in Daves latest shirt, seen in http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004642 ? It is, as i believe kids say today, so boss.

Might happen. Stay tuned.

hey! let's time travel back to page 3763. dave just had his important wordy shit stolen.he notices that he did, in fact, try to stop the thief, and got mauled for it.WHY DIDN'T HE JUST TRAVEL BACK IN TIME TO BEFORE IT WAS STOLEN AND STEAL IT FIRST????????

Maybe he wanted to see who the thief was? And after he got killed, he decided to cool it on the time travel. Like he said.

zzzzzzzzzzzz

Every "gotcha" is always wrong. Why do people even bother??

I love your work. I really enjoyed the flash game of Dave Strider in the land of heat and clockwork. I haven't been able to find it despite several hours of looking. I want to show it to my friends. Could you make an easier to find link ?

Search Dave: Accelerate

The community is always a good resource for helping out with nagging little things like that.

dude, your stories are amazing. would you mind if i was a candy corn vampire for halloween?

DONT YOU DARE

Just kidding yeah that would be cool.

And thanks.

Is there any particular reason why Rose plays violin left-handedly?

Is there any particular reason why sometimes their shirt designs are backwards?

What were Matchsticks and Quarters' (11 and 14 of The Felt) time powers?

I don't know. At this point I'm probably just withholding those details to bug people.

This probably doesn't really matter, but fan curiosity is getting the best of me. What were Gamzee's and Eridan's in-game titles and what was the second part of Kanaya's land name? And in Kanaya's case, was there any reason for withholding it?

I don't know. At this point I'm probably just withholding those details to bug people.

((what are your favorite ships?))

Oh god I have too many to name.

ships ships ships ships ships ships ships ships ships ships

I even ship formspring questioners.

Are you going to attend the New England Webcomics Weekend?

yes

Why did you get rid of the blinking >_ ?!?!?!

Primarily because it was confusing to new readers. Many people we genuinely duped into believing this thing was playable somehow, and confused for a while before finally figuring it out. Kind of unnecessary.

What is your creative Process when coming up with ideas for your comics?

There is no process. Ideas are constant. Execution is what takes time and concentration. The two things happen simultaneously.

So where did this newfound interest in varying outfits come from?

I don't think it's that newfound. I gave John the Wise Guy suit, what... almost a year ago?

Playing dressup with your characters will always be one of the guilty pleasures of being a creator. But also, it's pretty in keeping with RPG games this thing draws from. Characters are always getting new sweet gear as they advance.

How was NYCC?

It was fun!

How many times have you seen Con Air since you started Homestuck?

Most likely, in total, less than once.

Do you have a massive web chart thingy on your wall to keep track of all the superfluous throwaway gags that need to become major plot points down the line? Or do you just have some kind of futuristic computer-brain?

computer brain

My wall is reserved for majestic horse posters exclusively.

(yeah right, you fuckers wish! i don't actually care about horses ok, they're stupid)

What is it with Terezi's burnt red eyes? Why are they, well, red? I mean, it can't be her blood since she is teal.

They are red because I selected the bucket tool, and then selected #ff0000, and then clicked her eyes.

ANDREW, GET THE SHIRTS BACK UP AGAIN. SOME OF US HAVE A HALLOWEEN DEADLINE TO MAKE. I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO END UP GOING AS A PLAINCLOTHES POLICE OFFICER AGAIN.

Ok sorry about that. I'll get them back up soon, but we ran out of most of them. So it was sort of impossible to sell them. Patience.

What's the deal with the schizo storytelling still? I understand using that format for Hivebent, but now that we're with the kids must we still have micro-time jumps and have every statement be enigmatic? What happened to the slow build and discovery?

What's the deal with the phrase "what's the deal with"? The deal with it is what you see and read. That's how it is.

Were you expecting absolute reversion to earlier story progression rhythms? You were wrong to do so. What is it about this story, this format, or this website which would make you anticipate static, unevolving patterns? Is there criticism and disapproval buried in your question? [Yes.] That's cool. But if you've made it this far, you should now be familiar with the concept of storytelling in a state of perpetual flux. Your observation strikes me as a little obtuse.

I believe the reader is well prepared for every shift in the nature of the story's unfolding. There are primers on what to expect along the way. Very early, when we first met Dave, we began a humble exercise in non-linear pacing. Conversations he had with John and Rose, then revisited from an earlier timeframe from his perspective. Some nonlinear revisitations with Jade's story as well. It wasn't just messing around. It established that time was something to be tinkered with in this story, more intensively as we progress. The MC intermission was a primer on complicated time travel dynamics taking center stage in the story. It was a tangent, quite silly and convoluted, but very good preparation for the concepts to follow, which have dominated the story since. The troll arc was a very aggressive primer on completely off the rails nonlinear story progression, which has somewhat extended beyond it into the main story, and will continue to do so. All of these primer concepts are now firing on all cylinders at once. And the word primer is the title of a very complicated time travel movie, which I have not seen yet. I imagine watching it would serve as a decent primer for reading Homestuck.

This is what the story is. There is no "real story" I need to "get back to" as you imply.

Since the gender of the parent trolls has no bearing on reproduction, why does gender exist in Alternia?

Is nature really so utilitarian? When you look at all the crazy diversity in earth biology, can you really say that only that which is strictly necessary is what exists? Why do some birds develop such elaborate mating dances when simpler ones would suffice? Choose your own example.

There's plenty we don't know about their biology, nor will we ever. There are lots of possible explanations. Vestigial genders. An unknown role gender still plays in reproduction, noncomparable to anything on this planet. Choose your own explanation.

The real answer of course is because it makes the ensemble more fun and more relatable to us.

Sep 19, 2010

Now that Hivebent is apparently over, is there anything you wish you could change about it?

Nope!

That's all the questions I'll answer for now.

On the subject of this question, let's look at some...

HIVEBENT STATS

98 days
635 pages
737 images
1 three minute flash animation
70,000 words

7.5 images per day
714 words per day

Hivebent definitely went at a faster clip than usual for MSPA, in both image and word output. The word count spike seems especially pronounced.

But this was a deliberate effort, and not really just for the sake of a more compressed, sweeping story.

A while ago, months before Hivebent, I had the thought that I wanted to allow words to tow more of the load in what has been mostly a visual format (MSPA as a whole I mean). The trend had already been present in HS, with increasing importance given to pesterlogs to drive the story, and I've found the consequences to be interesting, and not really expected from the onset of HS.

So Hivebent represents more of a verbal push, I guess in part as a media exploration. It's not too inaccurate to describe it as a very vividly illustrated e-novel. I understand of course this is not what 100% of all readers have a strong appetite for, and that's fine with me. Reading through HS and then hitting Hivebent is a little like suddenly encountering thicker atmosphere in flight. The rate of progress slows, it demands a little more attention, and then when you get through it, the pace picks back up. (Probably!) Overall, I'm satisfied with how it turned out, and it reads pretty much how I thought it would. It just lasted a couple months longer than I projected, because I will absolutely never be able to pin down an accurate time estimate on a story arc. I have resolved to stop trying, ever.

Text-heavy visual storytelling is something I've thought about recently beyond the scope of this arc, and I think there are some interesting possibilities to explore. Perhaps I will, but I doubt what I'd have in mind would be compatible with the MSPA format. Perhaps after HS. We'll see.

http://www.formspring.me/andrewhussie/q/1158566711 Well, the whole 'going to Earth' thing is implied by numerous factors. First, those listed in that question, plus the fact that the zodiac is visible from there, and wouldn't be most other places.

Sure it's implied at times, but you could make just as good an argument against it.

The zodiac thing is completely irrelevant. There is nothing special about the constellations, as I answered below. The people of Earth assigned the meanings to those stars. Any planet in the universe could have a similar zodiac, but with different looking constellations. Perhaps all of them do.

Maybe Earth is the "paradise planet" mentioned once or twice. Maybe they could have settled there. Are trolls really prone to settle? Maybe if they were successful, they would have conquered instead. It's all a moot point obviously.

Earth is less special as a place the trolls are destined to settle, and more special as a place where the kids were born. The kids who would go on the adventure that would be completely tangled up with the adventure the trolls just went on.

Is this why God doesn't answer my prayers for a sweet new car? Because he's some asshole troll locked in another universe? Thanks for nothing, God(s)!

The trolls probably wouldn't answer your prayers even if they presided over us unfettered.

But they aren't literally gods. They would certainly feel like it, having made the universe and then going wherever they wanted, existing as very powerful warriors from all their battle experience and high grade gear.

There are other entities and forces in this multiverse reality that could be seen as more god-like. The many instances of Skaia, for one. Whatever it is, exactly. The more sinister outer gods. Omnipotent beings like English, Scratch, Snowman, Bec. The mysterious frog god briefly mentioned, "Bilious Slick". All this stuff alludes to a pretty lively scene beyond the grasp of mortals. Players of the game appear to be just more pawns in the process of perpetuating reality. They're heroes, sure. And their stories likely wind up being the most interesting in this reality. But they're still just a bunch of mortal kids.

But we do see evidence that their story elevates them to godhood in the mythology of the people who eventually populate the universe they create. The constellations in our zodiac are just arbitrary looking star clusters, but people in our history saw them as symbols of the 12 creators, and built a whole mystical framework around their story. The specifics of the story may have been lost over time, or may never have been known. It could just be that the way our universe was created is imprinted in their subconscious, and it surfaces symbolically in their stories.

This was actually my line of thinking in writing Rose's wizardfic. If you sift through that dense excerpt, you find it's about 12 evil kids who played a role in influencing every dark event in history. My intent was that this was her subconsciously echoing the creation story of her own universe.

You could also extend their influence to the personality profiles of the characters. There are a lot of similarities between the profiles of many of the trolls and the kids. Some trolls seem to share traits with more than one kid. This is to be expected to some extent, since some of the profile elements are pretty broad. But in some cases the crossover is harder to ignore, and this could be attributed to the Alternian heroes laying the psychological tracks for the heroes that arise in the universe they create. But that said, I didn't want to get too carried away with this idea, and just make the "Dave version" of the trolls, and so on. So I drew similarities at times, and exaggerated differences at others, hoping to strike a balance.

So is the nature of the universe seeded by Sburb meant to serve as a Paradise for the players who create it in winning? For example, ICP becomes real, love gets less complicated, people have mothers and fathers instead of murderous hellbeasts, etc.

That remains to be seen.

Earth sure looks like a nice planet compared to Alternia though.

But who says they have to go to Earth? A universe is a big place.

Just how bad does Faygo taste?

It's a pretty uninspiring soft drink experience. Not outright offensive or anything.

Actually, the red stuff is pretty offensive.

So, the trolls are in our universe now? Can the kids actually meet up an become a team?

"So, the trolls are in our universe now?"

No. What the hell gave you that idea?

What time is it for Karkat in this latest flash? Is it right after Act 5:1 ended, or is it after a long time trolling John? If Karkat trolls in reverse, is he watching BabyJohn at the end, and then having that realization? I'm so chronologically confused.

It seems abundantly clear to me that this is Karkat discovering John for the first time. Nothing about this would make much sense otherwise.

To make it any more clear, I think I'd have to use subtitles.

Alright, just to clarify, really. Is John's spade shirt an actual garment or is it representative (or, I suppose, both)? I feel bad asking because when KARKATRAINBOWBLOOD was a common IDE I thought it was stupidly obviously not accurate... and now karma.

It's a real shirt. In his letter to Jade, he said he got her the blue ghost shirt for her birthday, at the same time as when he got his own green ghost shirt. So he was wearing a different shirt before that. We just didn't know what it was.

Turns out it was a spade shirt. There is not a huge amount of significance to this other than 1) he likes magic and card tricks, and all the Harry Anderson stuff in his room reminds of this, 2) it is the symbol favored by Jack Noir, the bad guy he's destined to face in this game, and 3) it is taken by Karkat as an omen that this kid he just discovered was meant to be his kismesis. Hate at first sight.

But then he switched to his ghost shirt on Jade's birthday, which was also when he resolved to change his handle from ghostyTrickster to ectoBiologist, just after Terezi trolled him for the first time and threatened to kill him.

So now you've revealed that the trolls' Sburb session CREATED OUR GODDAMN UNIVERSE. How long have you been waiting to spring that on us?

Since before Homestuck started.

HS was always going to be a story about an extremely elaborate creation myth. As elaborate as I could conceive. In the HS reality, Sburb/Sgrub is the means by which universes procreate. Planets and civilizations are the seeds from which one or many new universes will blossom if the players succeed, at the expense of the life on that planet.

This was always what Homestuck was about. This revelation was carefully guarded, although there are plenty of clues. It has taken 4.5 acts to understand the "what" (as well as some of the "how" along the way.) The rest of the story will be about exploring the rest of the "how", as well as determining whether the players succeed.

I've answered numerous times that the conception of HS had its roots in loosely combining the themes and feel of Earthbound, The Sims, and Spore. That was a formula concocted many months before I began the story, well before Problem Sleuth was finished. The story still strikes me as staying very close to that original vision. Only now does the Spore component seems like it makes more sense. "Sburb" was always a word that was supposed to be reminiscent of "Spore", tweaked to reference the house building element as well. Spore is about universe building, and more specifically, life form and civilization building, but from the microscopic to the macroscopic. Sburb is the reverse. The goal is to create a universe all at once after overcoming an extensive series of challenges, and as is implied, the universe fleshes itself out with galaxies and systems and planets and lifeforms, ready and waiting for entry by the victorious players. The ultimate reward is for the players to enter the universe they created and do as they see fit. They are essentially the gods of that universe, and that is what the trolls are to our universe.

The trolls were always meant to serve this purpose. Before I conceptualized them in any way at all, their primary description was "the group of players who created our universe by successfully completing Sburb, and who would interact with the kids in some way and help them understand the purpose of the game". Logically, the other group of players would have to be aliens, since they are not only from a different planet, but from an entirely different universe. This began the thought process that lead to making them trolls, and then specifically, internet trolls who would harass the kids, but ultimately support them as the group of veteran players who understood what was going on better than any of the kids. This was mainly solidified because I thought the concept of our universe being created by a bunch of cantankerous internet trolls was a funny idea.

But at the time I didn't expect to get as deep into their story as I eventually did. I figured I'd touch upon it in some limited way, and only introduce a handful of characters, and just keep trucking along with the kids. But as their story became more entangled with the kids' story, it felt more necessary to just go all the way and get into their adventure, not just to better contextualize and characterize them all, but as a sort of accelerated primer on the entire game objective itself. The story is certainly about four kids and their adventure together, but also at its heart, it is about this esoteric creation myth, and the troll arc became a good way to establish the true objective while getting a foothold of the scope and magnitude of it all. We got a different look at how another session could go, with a much different player count and personality ensemble, and all the ways that could contribute to variations in this highly flexible game, and ultimately what the point of all this is. All this diversity and flexibility in the game's unfolding presumably has a bearing on what type of universe will be created. These ideas will be explored in detail over the remainder of the story. There's a lot more to come.

The deeper I've gone into involving the trolls in the story, the more it seems to me they were never an element I could really just shrug off in favor of focusing on "the real story". The process of going through their story has had an effect in showing the nature of the game that could never have been achieved without going down that road. Without it, I'd have to resort to a more mundane expository means of revealing the game's purpose. The Felt intermission, which certainly seemed tangential (and surely was) still served an important purpose by helping us invest in the villainous nature of Jack Noir. Without that, his future actions would have much less meaning. Similarly, the troll arc has served to more thoroughly "characterize" the entire purpose of the game, and give it much more meaning going forward. Furthermore, the troll story is inextricably entwined with the kids. Actions of the kids had influence over the way the troll adventure unfolded, and therefore the way their own universe was created (Rose's gamefaqs, the scratch they create, just to name what we know of). The kids' adventure is obviously heavily influenced by the trolls through direct communication, and therefore the trolls have a hand in causing the kids to do whatever it was they did to impact the troll's adventure, and so on. Willingly or not, they're all working toward the same outcome, toward creating our universe, and the universe the kids are trying to create, and whatever trouble puts all that in jeopardy. Remember that both the kids' and the trolls' chum handles are needed to make the full set of ACGT combinations. They are not two unrelated groups of players as they first appeared, nor are their universes unrelated. Sollux's shades, the ~ATH code, etc help illustrate this, that they are bifurcated, interwoven realities.

Even Act 5 is a microcosm of this idea. It is a bifurcated act. Act 5.1 is the troll half. Act 5.2 is the kid half. 5.2 even begins with two sets of curtains, red and blue. Blue symbolizes the troll universe, red symbolizes our universe. First we crossed through blue, then red.

One last thing I'll mention about all this. The whole creation myth angle of Homestuck was almost entirely inspired by the ludicrous creation myth in Problem Sleuth, the way GPI used his imaginary time traveling duplicates to create all the matter in the universe. I think that was one of my personal favorite ideas to come out of that story, in terms of scope and absurdity. So when I was considering ideas for the next story, I thought it would be fun to develop that topic further, but with a little less absurdity and more depth, sophistication and complexity. And for the creation myth to exist as the centerpiece of the game purpose and story.

are you going to be at New York Comic-Con?

Yes. Sitting with McNinja + Nedroid fellows.

Sep 09, 2010

What? Okay, the Alternian sun caused Terezi to go blind, and Skaia caused dream Terezi to go blind. Is Terezi incrediably photosensitive, or is it just that bright? Wouldn't the other Prospit trolls be blinded by Skaia then? And Kanaya with the sun? What?

You seem to be making this more complicated than it is.

First of all, if you stare at the sun for a while, you go blind. Even if that's not 100% technically true, that's the reality everyone understands. You don't need to be especially photosensitive.

When Terezi stared at the sun, her real self went blind. This is a simple fact.

When her dream self stared at Skaia, this is open to interpretation. Does staring into the heart of Skaia for a while cause your dream self to go blind? Maybe staring at it in conjunction with your real self staring at the sun is what does it? OR! Maybe staring at Skaia doesn't make your dream self go blind at all. Maybe her dream self went blind simply because her real self did, and like she explained to Karkat, her mental self image kept the blindness in her dreams because she wanted to be that way, because it helped her continue to connect with her lusus and learn a new way to see. There are a number of ways to look at this.

The psychic relay that made her sleepwalk also involves some subtleties. (Though this wasn't actually part of the question.)

Vriska commandeered Tavros's mind to get him to use his psychic powers. That's pretty obvious. He then communed with Terezi's dragon. The dragon then connected with the mind of sleeping Terezi. But what happens then does not appear to be straightup mind control, as Vriska usually employs. Terezi was happily sleepwalking along, not proceeding with the zombie shuffle that mind control victims usually exhibit.

It seems that the dragon's psychic ability was used to influence Terezi in a more subtle way, without issuing firm commands. More like a suggestion. It suggested in her dream that she get up, look into the sky and open her eyes. This is simultaneously implementing Vriska's revenge ploy by getting her real self to sleepwalk and look at the sun, as well as implementing the dragon's primal intent to get Terezi's dream self to become aware of Skaia and wake up. Her unhatched dragon, as a sort of mystical guide, presumably is aware of Skaia and her fate, and continues to act as such as it teaches her to see while blind in her dreams.

Vriska simply used the dragon's unharnessed impulse to do this as a matter of convenience, working under the constraints she had. She may have had this contingency prepared in advance even, much like Terezi had a plan prepared to take Vriska out utilizing Scratch.

Admit it. You got the idea of blinding Terezi with the sun from "Terezi vs. The Sun", didn't you?

I remember that, and it was in the mix of influences for sure. I recall there were others speculating about sun-staring as a cause. It's one reasonably obvious thing to speculate. What else is there? Daggers to the eyes... hot coffee spill? I don't know. The practical list is probably underwhelming.

But the "what" isn't all that interesting. It's the "how" that required a little thought and ingenuity.

Is it satisfying seeing how large the fandom's grown compared to say when you started with Problem Sleuth?

Not how much it's grown, which it's obvious, but how it changes in nature so subtly and gradually.

Readers during PS had a certain energy reflected in the nature of the story. Hard to describe. Very meme and gag driven, but that's a bit simplistic.

Now the readers have a very different energy. The kind of readership that seems to be resonating with some of the soap opera qualities of the Hivebent drama, which is something so far afield of PS it's ridiculous.

And the really funny thing is there is a HUGE amount of overlap between these two groups of people. They have just gradually modified their appetites for the type of entertainment being dispensed.

Not everyone has though. Some stormed off in a huff when they saw John fuck around in his room for two solid months, or when we watched a bunch of alien kids get really emotional for three months. (although they are all still secretly visiting the website! shhhhh)

if you had to redo an early flash, such as, say, wv:ascend, how much more epic would it be?

I woudn't want to, even if I could snap my fingers and make it happen.

Actually, Ascend was a pretty nasty job even by my animation standards now. Those time-lapse landscapes were pretty brutal.

When you first started to do Homestuck, did you ever think that it would eventually turn out into drawing the Hivebent arc? It's really interesting to see these developments!

No not at all.

There was only one sure thing I knew when starting HS. That was that this thing would go batshit insane in ways I couldn't begin to imagine. In fact, it was practically the mission statement.

What do you expect to be doing ten years from now? Will you still be making webcomics; or shooting for television/feature length animationl or perhaps something completely different like opening a Denny's? Or do you not worry about that sort of thing?

I always thought of MSPA as a pretty temporary thing in the long term. I really can't imagine it becoming ossified as this WEB BRAND for like a decade or more. That idea is really unpalatable to me for some reason.

So yeah I have no idea.

Webstuff, TV, movies, books, games... really I'm open to anything.

Hi Mr Hussie! <3 Uhm, Is Dave Blonde or Ginger? :O

The fandom really took him for a ride as a redhead, but let's face it, it would make a lot more sense if he was blonde since that's what Rose is.

How long did it take you to finish writing the memos? Personally, I think they show off your writing at it's absolute best- hilarious, clever, self-aware, wonderful interaction between characters, just everything.

Oh hey thanks! They are definitely fun to write.

They took a little longer than normal logs, but mostly because they were just longer. The fact that there were multiple participants from varying points on the timeline, including past and future duplicates of the same person, added a little complexity. But by now I'm pretty used to sorting through that kind of stuff.

But that complexity does breed longer logs, I found. It's hard to have them serve their purpose without making them longer.

There'll probably be more of these later.

Some critics charge that you are immune to criticism. Do you think there are any legitimate complaints that get lost in the trend of "THIS ISN'T PROBLEM SLEUTH 2 SO IT SUCKS"? More generally, do you perceive any failures in your execution so far?

I'm not immune to criticism nor do I regard my work as perfect at all. It has plenty of flaws and by and large I know what they are.

Understanding these flaws already might make me seem "immune", or at least indifferent to criticism. I can't recall being blindsided by an intelligent criticism which hadn't already occurred to me myself. Usually I look at a decision from a lot of angles, examine the pitfalls, and often proceed in spite of the pitfalls for whatever reasons I have. There are always reasons behind these judgments. Also a lot of what happens with MSPA is a learning process based on experimental approach. Experimentation is often what informs decisions against more universally sound creative judgment. But when the dust has settled after a certain experimental phase, I generally have all the faults with it well in hand, and many of them were anticipated. I can see myself what worked and didn't work so well. By the time a critic comes knocking they aren't telling me anything new. I've already spent ten times longer thinking about it than he has. Probably longer. Anyone trying to school me on this stuff frankly is just barking up the wrong tree.

Implicit in this is that I often agree with critics, especially if they really "got it". I agree qualitatively. What I don't agree with is critical editorializing. And example of a qualitative observation would be "this is a bit wordy" to which I respond "yes I agree." Where we differ is when the critic feels the need to say "and that's bad bad bad you should stop stop stop!" to which I reply "no no no!" Because obviously I already thought it through and accepted the consequences of that decision. It is what I wanted it to be, and exactly what I thought it would be, pitfalls and all, for reasons I can articulate if needed. Demanding critics want more from you though. They wish for concessions to their point of view. It seems more emotional than logical.

Many critics are very naive in this sense, and these people I would not even regard as real critics at all. More like just complainers. They leverage their dissatisfaction under the guise of criticism, and if their grievances are dismissed, the creator is accused of being deaf to criticism. A little like suitors spurned by a woman will accuse her of being icy. Creators have a responsibility to vet their critics, to know how deep the critic's appreciation and understanding of the material is first before putting value on their advice. To understand whether the critic is capable of quality thought and observation. To apply a critical process to the critic itself. Some critics believe they themselves are immune to criticism! Not all opinions and perspectives are equal, and it's dangerous and incredibly stupid for creators to treat them as such. Would you take advice on how to improve your life from a retarded person? You see, we actually do this every day. We vet those who would counsel us on our daily lives, who we would trust to guide us in the right direction.

Did you make Vriska sorta as a Gurren Lagann reference to Adiane the Elegant just as you had Dave's Bro wear Kamina's glasses?

Dude honestly I don't know a damn thing about anime.

Sep 8-9, 2010

What's your opinion on some of the, umm, less "work-suitable" HS fan-art out there? You probably already know about MSPAchan...

You mean porn? Man, who cares about porn.

I certainly don't look at any of it though. No longer than it takes to dispatch it from my browser upon incidental discovery.

Really bad fanfiction is somehow more offensive to me. If I read more than a couple sentences of it I immediately feel a little tainted as a writer. I kinda believe that bad writing is something you can "catch".

Also really overwrought SBaHJ fan comics. Those are worse than porn too.

You forgot to put the JPEG compression artifacts in "[SBAHJ] Terezi: Ascend"!

FUCK

fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck
fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck
fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck
fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck
fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck

If the trolls use a different alphabet how is it that they're able to make smiley faces like >XO or ?:B?

Because it's funny.

And because they use our alphabet.

Haven't you noticed??

so, everyone can breathe in space?

They're in space?

That "[S... BAHJ] Terezi: Ascend." page had me laughing pretty good; any particular reason you decided to do that?

I am answering SBAHJ related questions tonight for some reason!

Yes, it's a simple callback to this page.

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=003746

Compare with.

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004477

There are a number of lesser reasons for this which might be difficult to express concisely. But the primary one is a bit of subtle foreshadowing to the ensuing animation.

Notice the parallels between Skaia and the sun, the location they are both anchored to, and the character looking directly at it in the latter instance.

Does that mean Terezi has some weird cosmic correlation with Sweet Bro? Nah. The parallel isn't perfect. It was just a silly thing that occurred to me to do.

Primarily because it was funny.

Why does it seem like you're trying too hard on the more recent SBaHJs? Look at the first one. It's brilliant. Hilarious Look at the most recent one. It's forced! It's going nowhere! Everything is *too* bad looking to seem realistic.

SBAHJ like anything undergoes artistic evolution. It will gradually stray from original purpose to explore different artistic statements.

Do you really believe the goal is to strive for anything approaching realism at this point? To mimic a poorly constructed comic done in earnest?

Why does it seem like I'm trying too hard? It seems that way to you because you clearly have no idea what I am actually trying to do.

What if the model for the first few strips had persisted, and I'd adhered to it religiously? Would it have stayed funny? For how long? What latitude is there for testing the boundaries of those parameters? These are the types of things that people who aren't artists have a hard time grasping before they find themselves tapping away at a keyboard.

That said, if you want to see forced, you should check out much of the fan-drafted SBAHJs. Most of those people seriously have no idea how to dial it back.

ovgf loik att tehse typoess ev reywheere@2!!11

What does Andrew Hussie do in his spare time?

I spend all of my spare time drawing HS, and spare time is all I've got.

so like with how long this troll intermission has been, will homestuck end up being a 2 year comic? We haven't even REALLY started part 5 yet have we? that's still 3 parts to go.

How long is three months really?

Three months is actually not a long time. Think of all the stuff that doesn't manage to get done in three months.

If HS was a thrice-weekly comic, in three months I would have made 36 comics! That's not that many.

Instead I made almost 600 pages and a 3 minute animation. Time was swift but the pace was furious. What's more important, chronology or page count in estimating the dent an arc puts in a story?

I'm beginning to think I don't really have a point to make in answering this question.

To answer the first part: will it be a two year comic? It's already been running for a year and a half, so uh... yeah??? Probably longer, really.

why did you decide never to touch on the fact that rose draws? she's really good! http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002122 also, did you draw those? can i get that shit in a full-sized variety?

I did draw those.

They are illustrations for some wizard fanfiction I wrote some time ago.

I am actually being serious about this, even though it's hard to tell.

Oh god, I didn't mean to send this! Please, delete this question.

I shit I didn't mean to answer it.

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK

........

I'm kind of having a hard time deciding what questions to answer here.

Are you ever going to deface more books?

Yes, probably.

Books have been strutting around like they own the place for a while now and someone needs to take them down a peg.

Aug 22, 2010 - Sep 7, 2010

Hahaha. My regards to Troll Andrew. Regardless, for everyone person who dislikes how long the Hivebent arc has been going on, I'd say there's three of us who like what you've done with it. It's engaging and cool to read. OH CRAP NEED A QUESTION howru?

You know, there has been some buzzin' about it and what not, but I think the truth is it was never actually that controversial.

I've sampled reactions to it all over the place, and it always stuck me as quite a small pocket of the overall audience that ever had any dissatisfaction with it. The same was also true at the beginning of Homestuck. It was a very different thing, and a few people here and there got really restless about it, and swore up and down that MSPA had crested with Problem Sleuth. And of course these sentiments were not in the least bit vindicated in the long run, once we stopped being up so close and personal with the tree of Act 1, and got a little distance from the forest that is HS. I've regarded the vocal minority's present dissatisfaction as the exact same thing. It hasn't deterred me in the least, and even though the recent "AH trolls the fans" thing seems like a strong rebuke of this dissent, it's really very mild one, if one at all. It is meant as playful and humorous.

Now on the FLIPSIDE of this, there is significant group of people that really liked the change in direction this arc presented. In fact, rather than functioning as a drag on the readership's interest, I have observed the opposite. The troll stuff has been like pouring rocket fuel on the fandom. Daily traffic has only gone UP since it started. More people than ever seem to be energetically buzzing about what's going on, debating the merits of the characters and the nature of the alien world, drawing more fan art than I could ever possibly keep track of, creating troll personas and stuff like that. These are not the typical results of making a mistake in a story's direction.

On the subject of, "Was the troll arc, and to some extent the existence of the trolls altogether, really an elaborate set up as a long con to troll the readers?"

Yes and no. There is a little truth to it, in the sense that creating alien kid characters who were both internet trolls, AND literal trolls could very well have been a kind of racial avatarization of my own semi-trolling tendencies as an author, which had been on display well before their appearance. Psyche-outs, cagey self referential stuff and the like, it's all a little spunky, and I remain aware of this, and this stuff does fall into a certain class of trolling. Totally granted.

But all that became much more tangible with the introduction of the trolls. Everything about the trolls was always at least a little antagonizing with varying degrees of playfulness, both to the other characters, and to the reader as well. Their text is a bit difficult to parse (Not impossible! Just enough to make you aware of additional reading effort.) They are all a little ornery, and as it turns out, excessively emotional. Their role in the plot is one of bumbling sabotage and interference with the protagonists. And finally, in maybe the most trollish display yet, their entire introduction through a "detour arc" clearly is a bit agitating to anyone eager to see some of these cliffhangers resolved. It's entirely in the spirit of the indentation they have already made on the story. The reader can either fight it (trolls win!) or roll with it and embrace it on the terms it's presented. (Trolls still win.)

And even within the arc, there are numerous explorations of the trolling theme, like addressing topics that are sure to get people worked up. Examining topics like juggalos, furry fetish porn, shipping, and intricate studies on sci-fi romance, ultimately spiraling into soap opera plot dynamics and character interactions, heavy with conversational drama and teenage histrionics. It's all fuel for getting readers riled up a bit, and if you read it and get this itchy, agitated feeling in the back of your mind, that sensation is called "being trolled".

SORT OF.

None of this should be taken literally as a head-on attempt to troll the reader. It's just not that black and white. The purpose here is still entertainment, and humor, and advancing the plot in ways that have not become clear yet. I think in working on the troll stuff I have learned a little about my own policy toward satire. It's never absolute. Everything I mock is always embraced in some way. The juggalo character, Gamzee, is a good example of this. When he was introduced as a juggalo, people could see the writing on the wall. Here we go, time to do the juggalo shtick and laugh at how ridiculous juggalos are and their weird trashy culture and everything. And we did do that, to an extent! But after the initial !?! moment of revealing a juggalo and getting all hot and bothered about it, that material actually began to be incorporated at face value. It was folded into his character profile, and he turned out to be a pretty lovable guy who likes clowns and a particular beverage, and embraces the memetic affiliation juggalos have with miracles as a form of spirituality. In no way is the character a referendum on how ridiculous and lame juggalos are anymore, or how much we should all think ICP sucks. In fact, in a weird way, he starts to embody a CELEBRATION of those elements. Which to be honest, I think is a pretty good way to handle satire. The same is true, in varying degrees, of the inclusion of fandoms' zeal for shipping (Nepeta), weird horse porn (Equius), LARPing, delving into highly emotional, overwrought romantic intrigue, and so on. All of it is handled in a tongue in cheek manner, as satirical fodder, BUT ALSO played totally straight in some respects, as raw material to define the characters and build the story in a way that takes the elements at face value. With MSPA I am always on the lookout for raw material to manipulate in esoteric ways, and its usually garnered through satire. But then I ride that material pretty hard, and before you even know what's going on, it's not satirical anymore! Ask yourself this: at what point did John's love of Con Air cease to be a mockery of the film, and became more of a SHRINE to it? Hard to say.

That doesn't mean we lose sight of the fact that this stuff is ridiculous. It's still plenty ridiculous. The juggalo movement still strikes me as awfully silly, and so does overzealous shipping. The thing is, we can mock stuff and that's fine. It doesn't mean that stuff demands excessive scorn, or can't be treated as a legitimate topic to roll with in a story. So I think drawing your own horse porn is pretty weird. But who am I to say that's REALLY so terrible? I'm not better than anybody. I'll poke fun at it for a while, but then I'll just roll with horse dicks with a straight face for a while too. Maybe have a beer with them. Turns out they're a good bunch of dicks when you get to know 'em!

And pretty clearly, all of this is followed through with acute self-awareness, which is probably just a kind of handicap I have to live with. I just can't help but be aware of everything I do and all the reasons I'm doing them and apply intense scrutiny to those reasons, and it's very hard for me to feign obliviousness. I guess I'm not that interested in trying. As such, MSPA has always been a pretty meta thing, and from time to time we'll blur into things like troll Andrew. I try to keep it fun. Personally, I find it funny. Spiking Cal is probably one of my favorite pages at this point.

Booyeah.

Oh yeah, also the wolf. I like the wolf page.

Aaaaaaaah.

is there any way you could set up a way for me to snail-mail you money in exchange for those awsome Troll T-shirts? i dont have a credit card.

hmmmmm I'm not sure.

Why don't you send an email to this address about it.

whatpumpkin@gmail.com

You barely trolled me within an inch of my cerebellum, let alone my higher funtioning centers. Give it up, Hussie. Go back to being the incredible storyteller you are. You do not have a future as a troll. QUESTIONMARK

Thank you for liking the way I tell stories.

But I have been telling stories that have been strung together using a great deal of material that is exactly like this.

Didn't you notice??

Kudos on the wherewithal you showed by failing to be trolled. But that wasn't the sole intent here. It was a form of theater. A farcical pseudo-trolling. The intent was to humorous dividends!

In this regard it was a stunning success.

Why do you take such apparent delight in teasing your fanbase?

Cause it's funny!

The fans think it's funny too.

At least the ones who aren't dummies do.

And secretly, we are all really only laughing at the ones who are.

~_^

Andrew Hussie has officially flipped his lid.

Nuh uh.

Aug 14, 2010 - Sep 7, 2010

Will you be my Kesmesis?

Why is Formspring posting multiple copies of questions I'm answering?

Have you ever noticed how some of these faddy little widgets on the internet get really popular, which immediately exposes the quality of the coding? Formspring must have just been some dude's college programming project. Same goes for Twitter.

Wait I've probably bitched about this before. Never mind.

Which do you prefer: Abdrew or Ansrew?

I'm only using this question to make fun of myself for making the typo in the question below - "rally"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Dumbass.

Which do you prefer: Abdrew or Ansrew?

I'm only using this question to make fun of myself for making the typo in the question below - "rally"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Dumbass.

Why do you use video game tropes to tell the story? My question is why use sprites and houses that can be turned into playable games? Is it because of the plot where the kids enter the video game they play? is it because MSPA was originally a game parody?

It's both. And MSPA is still largely a game parody. That didn't rally go away. Maybe diminished somewhat as other elements have been emphasized over strict parody.

Are these things really tropes, though? Is a game cursor wandering over a screen a trope?

Maybe it will get to the point where every imaginable subatomic bit of information that can be understood by human awareness will be regarded as a trope.

It's pretty amazing what tvtropes has managed to accomplish. It now monopolizes all information and conceptualization in its most abstract essence. Not even google and wikipedia combined could pull that off!

C.S.Q.

Why do you use video game tropes to tell the story? My question is why use sprites and houses that can be turned into playable games? Is it because of the plot where the kids enter the video game they play? is it because MSPA was originally a game parody?

It's both. And MSPA is still largely a game parody. That didn't rally go away. Maybe diminished somewhat as other elements have been emphasized over strict parody.

Are these things really tropes, though? Is a game cursor wandering over a screen a trope?

Maybe it will get to the point where every imaginable subatomic bit of information that can be understood by human awareness will be regarded as a trope.

It's pretty amazing what tvtropes has managed to accomplish. It now monopolizes all information and conceptualization in its most abstract essence. Not even google and wikipedia combined could pull that off!

C.S.Q.

Which do you prefer: Abdrew or Ansrew?

I'm only using this question to make fun of myself for making the typo in the question below - "rally"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Dumbass.

Why do you use video game tropes to tell the story? My question is why use sprites and houses that can be turned into playable games? Is it because of the plot where the kids enter the video game they play? is it because MSPA was originally a game parody?

It's both. And MSPA is still largely a game parody. That didn't rally go away. Maybe diminished somewhat as other elements have been emphasized over strict parody.

Are these things really tropes, though? Is a game cursor wandering over a screen a trope?

Maybe it will get to the point where every imaginable subatomic bit of information that can be understood by human awareness will be regarded as a trope.

It's pretty amazing what tvtropes has managed to accomplish. It now monopolizes all information and conceptualization in its most abstract essence. Not even google and wikipedia combined could pull that off!

C.S.Q.

How exactly did the trolls all meet eachother? Were they just chosen to beta-test Trollian together or something?

I don't know. We don't know that about the kids either. It's not that important.

would you preffer questions asked by pepole with acounts rather then anons?

I can't think of anything I care less about than this.

This excessive exposition bores me

I know.

It's a different kind of thing though, and it's fun when it's accepted and embraced on its terms.

We just got to roll with it.

So wait, if all troll adults go to war... How the heck they make movies?

They bring film crews with them in space.

Andrew Hussie, why're you such a genius? Perhaps its a virus that affects the brain? Perhaps its that creatively shitty painting you hang in your foyer (cause everyone has one)? Or maybe its that magical place called Olive Garden. Fucking Breadsticks...

This is a pretty leading question!

It's also pretty flattering though I guess, so thanks.

Also that shitty painting is currently in the trunk of my car for some reason.

Why'd you stop without a chicken sandwich question?

I think I'm going to retire the concept of the chicken sandwich question.

Let's face it. It doesn't make any sense.

So, did you have Feferi's lusus planned out this whole time? Or did you decide to make the largest, most frightening looking yet somehow endearing creature possible?

I had it planned out most of the time, but I think I surprised even my self with how big it turned out to be.

Is Barack Obana going to make a canon appearance?

Who?

Are you ever frustrated by how dumb some of your fans are?

Yes, but stupidity isn't limited to fans. It's a more serious epidemic.

http://www.journalfen.net/community/otf_wank/631170.html

Stupidity is real. It's not made up. This is not the Bigfoot we are talking about. I have seen it shitting in my back yard. I can't take a snapshot of a serene woodland glade without its slouching hairy silhouette pocking up the lens. The stories are true. Legends are real.

Is Doc Scratch Lord English?

No.

Young trolls don't look anything like adult trolls (except for the horns), so what do adolescent trolls look like?

Young humans don't look like adult humans either.

Does John look anything like Bill Cosby?

I have a terrible secret. Ask me what it is.

I do not care.

What happens to all the grown-up trolls? Is/are the mother grub/s only on Alternia? A violent nation such as Alternia is kind of dumb to assume that no one would try to attack their home planet. The mother grub is like that little vent on the Death Star.

The grown up trolls go off to war.

It would be suicide for an alien race to stage an attack on the home world.

Also the home world is probably too deep in the heart of their empire for that to be realistic. Any threat to their race would have to be internal.

Hypothetically of course.

When Fefari was supposed to do something adorable, she took the whale that Eridan killed, and fed it to a colossal-monolithic-astronomical-epic sized Kracken-thing-with-tentacles! How is that adorable? The Kracken-thing isn't even that cute!

Of course it was adorable. The monster wasn't, but the action was. She was feeding her seabeast-mother a tasty snack, and she was wearing cute goggles and stuff. Adorable!

Which is more high maintenance, Vriska's Spidermom or Feferi's Giant Squiddy Pal?

I'd say both keep 'em pretty busy.

Are you a large fan of the "zoom out to put things in perspective" technique? You seem to have used it quite a bit in both PS and HS :D

There aren't actually that many other methods to use. If the purpose is to show scale, then one way or another, you need to compare the big thing to a smaller thing of known size. You can either do this with zooming, or chop out all the zooming and cut to the chase. But in the case of the sea monster holding the whale, the whale was so comparatively small you couldn't see it, and it no longer conveyed the sense of scale. The zoom was necessary in that case.

Aug 13, 2010 - Sep 7, 2010

How can the former relationship between Sollux and Aradia be described? I assume it was red romance, but was it concupiscent or conciliatory?

Maybe it's more interesting if it's not spelled out.

so lets say a Male Trolls Kismisis (or whatever the spade one is called, you need shorter words M8) was also a male, would he be considered homosexual? would they still be able to fill the buckets? is evryone on Alternia Bisexual by our standards?

Maybe we'll understand more about this topic later? Or maybe not!

The words aren't hard to remember if you know their roots. Just like real words.

kismesis = kismet + nemesis
matesprit = mate + esprit
auspistice = auspice (auspicious) + armistice
moirallegiance + moira (myth figure tied to fate) + allegiance

Portmanteaus are fun. MSPA remains an incestuous slurry of morphemes.

wait, so Trolls cant play Poker?

Sure they can. Troll poker at least.

It's a pretty emotional game.

Maybe the gamblignants played it? Sure, let's say sure.

Andrew, do you ever feel like "screw it, I don't want to continue this webcomic"? it must be tiring to keep updating all the time! :3

No!

How do you pronounce "Fefari"? I've been rhyming it with "Clefairy", but I'm not sure if that's right or not.

Well, spelling it right is the first step.

I pronounce it pretty close to the way you do.

fuh-ferry

Similar to how I pronounce Terezi.

tuh-rezzy

RE: Her last name, Peixes. I don't really know. These things can be open to interpretation. It's Portuguese for fish I think, and has something to do with the Pisces constellation. I think it's pronounced something like PAY-shez in Portuguese, but that's not necessarily the definitive pronunciation key here. It's up to you.

Aug 11, 2010 - Sep 7, 2010

DOMINANT AND RECESSIVE ALLELES (NOT GENES) DO NOT WORK THAT WAY

Troll ones do.

Aug 7, 2010 - Sep 7, 2010

How would Nepeta react if she found a deck of human playing cards? Also, do trolls have playing cards?

That sort of smut is usually kept away from minors on Alternia.

Just as a question of scale, could Doc Scratch take DMK in a fight?

Even if not, he could certainly transport and strand him in another galaxy.

So, where did Equius get the blood for Aradiabot? It doesn't match his, or any of the other seen trolls' blood, for that matter. Is it synthetic or what?

I figured it was his own blood, saved up over time.

Perhaps with some generously donated by Aurthour mixed in.

How was Vriska able to interact with Tavros' FOUR WHEEL DEVICE if direct server player interaction with client players or anything directly touching them is prohibited in the kids' session?

It isn't entirely prohibited. If you look at the page where Rose was trying to move the bed John was lying on, the bed is jostling a bit, and so is John.

July 31, 2010 - Aug 7, 2010

If you put a KFC Double Down in the seizure kernel, would that count as a "deceased or doomed" thing, and would it manifest as a whole chicken wearing some bread buns?

If this doesn't qualify as a chicken sandwich question then you can bread and bucket me and offer me to the Colonel in exchange for greasy-fingered genital stimulation.

Speaking of which, I can't help but think the scenario you describe is just another plausible route to achieving a Colonelsprite.

That's the end of the big heap of questions I answered just under this one. Read them merrily and be wizened.

What does Gamzee's voice sound like?

I never thought about it and kind of don't want to.

Are musclebeasts the strongest of the native fauna on Alternia? Which genus is the strongest of them? Does troll society collapse when Sgrub meteors Alternia because it kills all the mother grubs, which are necessary for troll reproduction?

They are so strong you don't even know.

Andrew, somehow the trolls' adventure, even summarized, is way more interesting than the kids'. Even if you don't agree, if you did, would you consider it a bad thing?

No, and I don't disagree. But we need to consider some TRU-FACTS;

You could never launch into a story like this cold turkey. You could but it would be really difficult, forcing people to swallow a lot at once. I do think in some way Hivebent stands alone reasonably well, but part of what makes it compelling is the massive pre-education the reader had on the way up to this point. There are so many complex concepts that can now be taken for granted, while we explore a completely different story with new characters, without spending time developing those grounding concepts which is what we were doing for much of the preceding acts.

And yet those concepts are still being elaborated on all the same, through this totally new context. Part of the point of this (the MANY points) is to continue to develop the game they're playing, and demonstrate its incredible flexibility and how many ways it could possibly go. By showing an example of extreme difference, 12 players instead of 4, prototyping a bunch of monsters instead of silly things, how many different fanciful worlds there can be and how the political scene with the kingdoms can play out so differently, we're given a much better sense of this than when we were just told it. Showing this helps the reader continue to extrapolate through imagination the various ways this game could go, and also helps put in perspective how the kids' game is going and how off model they are.

There's a lot of purpose to this arc beyond serving as a cool tangent. Every step of the way we are constantly altering our perspective on what the main protagonists are facing. And when we finally come out of the woods of this thing and get back into the kids' story, our perspective will be completely different from where we left it. And I'm quite sure whatever unique energy is building in the Hivebent story, that will carry over to Homestuck proper when we pick it up again.

But all that said, I think it's cool to be able to tell a story like this in the middle of something fairly unlike it. To essentially inject a humorous scifi world-building tale, follow the complex lives of alien kids on a planet without adult supervision, raised by monsters, all playing a game over the internet. That's a fun premise, and it just wouldn't be the same if not nested inside a bigger story that already did so much of the dirty work. It would be a lot harder to pull off by itself.

So why did you drop the idea of acessory based armor? It seemed you were leaning that way with the beaglepuss near the beginning.

They got awesome new outfits. Was that not enough???

GA + TA 4 eva

Ok. I'm writing this down.

OTP. Book it!

The chats between the kids and their various sprites, can we consider those voiced conversations?

I will allow it.

Why did you wait so long to introduce Kanaya I mean gog DAAAAMN

Things take time. If I introduced her earlier then other stuff would be pushed back. Then you'd be like why'd you wait so long to do that other stuff???

How come Terezi was able to hyperlink some of her words in this pesterlog: http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=003557 ? In the other logs the URLs are on a separate line.

She is clever.

July 31, 2010 - Aug 1, 2010

Geeze, andrew. We're about to see CC in a pesterlog and you take a break to answer formspring questions? Stalling much?!?!?! Though seriously, I love the the Q&A sessions. Thanks and all!

But everything we are about to do next is exciting. It is always exciting. I'm excited.

July 30, 2010 - Aug 1, 2010

Has Rose ever won any prank-off? I'd like to think her pranksters gambit has at least tasted something above 0 at one time.

She probably didn't have the slightest clue what a prankster's gambit was until that bucket was on her head.

In fact, she still might not.

Why does the trolls' session pull a mobius double reach around? Why couldn't the planet-chain go in a circle, like this:http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/1928/derpwh.png ?

Because that is not how the planets are arranged.

July 28, 2010 - Aug 1, 2010

Was Aradia's strife specibus whipkind pre-death?

Yes.

How do Terezi's computer glasses work? Since they project in front of her, she is unable to lick them. Since they're rose-tinted I'm guessing it'd be hard to define the scent of each color since it'd just be shades of red.

She has a pretty good nose.

And if there's any ambiguity, she could take off the glasses and lick them.

Have you heard any of the fan voices for characters? If so, what do you think?

I've heard a few and some are pretty good, but honestly I have trouble listening to even good ones. For some reason none of the pesterlogs feel right to me as real dialogue. This is probably because they were always meant to be true to life chat logs, typed not spoken. If I were writing what was meant to be spoken, I would write quite differently.

How do you pronounce "designix"?

dez IGG nicks

ever been to chick fil a

Yes they are pretty good, but it's dumb that they are closed on Sundays. Someone forgot to tell them that this is FUCKING AMERICA.

P.S. this is not the chicken sandwich question.

What do the symbols on Nepeta's shipping wall denote? (Heart=Love, Diamond=?, ?=?, ?=?, etc.)

We humans have one symbol to denote our extremely simplistic, linear view of romance: <3

Trolls have more than that.

Did John or Jade ever get braces? They look like they need them.

John's dad never had a good dental plan at the office.

Jade's dog didn't either.

do you enjoy Homestuck's story, or do you write it because you know we will enjoy it?

I write it because I enjoy it and assume everyone else will and take pity on those who don't.

Psssst does Nepeta have feelings for Karkat? If so why would she like such a grumpy asshole?

Trolls have different standards than people.

He does appear to have an interest in issues pertaining to troll romance, as clearly does she. Maybe they've had lots of conversations about it in the past and bonded over it in some way?

Who knows what happened in the past with all these crazy troll boys and girls. I sure don't.

Are you purposely avoiding any face to face dialog in Homestuck?

It's been an accident the whole time.

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPS.

jk heheh

Did Jack wipe Karkat's blood on his hand to did he really cut himself?

What a silly question.

July 27, 2010 - Aug 1, 2010

Skaia's defense system seems to have all of spacetime to choose from, so why does it send all the meteors to Earth? Is it just an asshole?

How do you know it does? If I'm recalling right, every single gate surrounding it has lead to earth. it's just a matter of when.

Some go in the past to bring important things to earth, to set everything up. Like the kids, the guardians, the ruins, and the game itself.

Most go in the present when the game is being played. Probably to provide the kids with motivation to escape into the game, and get the whole paradox party started.

July 27, 2010 - July 28, 2010

YO DREW-HUSS! What's the deal with Karkat being stabbed and bleeding all over his hand and shit. Does he have rainbow blood like a freaking unicorn (Sparklelord), or is that your way of fucking with us since we're not allowed to see his blood yet???

No you posted this question too soon.

July 20, 2010 - July 28, 2010

Man, I know you are a baddass, but don't you think you should care a bit more about yourself? You are (apparently) awake from 8-4, that can't be healthy. I mean, why don't you get a more "normal" sleep schedule? It makes me feel kinda bad.

That's not really true. I usually go to sleep anywhere from 4-7 am and usually wake up anywhere from 12-5 pm.

When I wake up at 5 I'm like oh shit this sucks. Those aren't very good days. Because there is no day.

Has being an Witty Irony Wizard ever landed you into any actual trouble?

You mean like jail time? Nah.

How much would I have to pay you to see the rest of Nepeta's shipping wall?

You're lucky you saw what you did. It's private!!!

What programming language is Sburb written in?

I don't know.

Am I correct in stating that you TOTALLY stole this page:http://mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004191 from the Descend animation?

I repurpose vast quantities of graphics.

Sometimes it is for speed. And sometimes (as in that case) it was actually slower to do it that way than it would be to just draw it from scratch.

There is an idea which is behind reusing visuals like that, much like I reused the shot of Dave lying on the ground using his iPhone to show a crippled Tavros doing the exact same thing.

The idea is tied to the huge volume of textual callbacks, reusing phrases from the narrative and bits of dialogue, tweaking them sometimes. This happens probably more than anyone realizes. You could possibly read the story ten times and not catch them all. Nothing is safe from reuse. The thing is a litany of a thousand refrains, visual, verbal and conceptual.

So what is the idea? I don't feel like elaborating on it THAT much now, because I would probably type forever. Basically, it's about building an extremely dense interior vocabulary to tell a story with, and continue to build and expand that vocabulary by revisiting its components often, combining them, extending them and so on. A vocabulary can be (and usually is) simple, consisting of single words, but in this case it extends to entire sentences and paragraph structures and visual forms and even entire scenes like the one linked above. Sometimes the purpose for reiteration is clear, and sometimes there really is no purpose other than to hit a familiar note, and for me that's all that needs to happen for it to be worthwhile. Triggering recognition is a powerful tool for a storyteller to use. Recognition is a powerful experience for a reader. It promotes alertness, at the very least. And in a lot of cases here, I think it promotes levity (humor! this is mostly a work of comedy, remember.) Controlling a reader's recognition faculty is one way to manipulate the reader's reactions as desired to advance the creative agenda. In this case I'm not exactly sure what that agenda is all the time, and in truth there probably isn't any serious agenda there. This story, though at times seeming diabolically put together, is still pretty light reading after all. if anything I'm just striving for a certain pitch in density with the all the multithreaded symbolism and endless internal reference. Think of it as a symphony and everything I've referred to as belonging to a vocabulary are really just notes, working together in a really complicated harmonic structure.

July 12, 2010 - July 28, 2010

Do all people (humans/trolls/other aliens) have dream selves? If so, are all the dream selves in the Medium (or various versions of the Medium)?

Only those that will play the game.

How far behind schedule are you? PS: youre awesome

I don't think I have a schedule.

Any time I engage in any sort of scheduling it seems to backfire.

All I know is act 7 will be the last.

Where'd Sburb come from on Earth? Is it published/distributed by some company? Apparently, knowledge of its existence is more or less public (unlike on Alternia), since it got "reviewed" in GameBro.

On Alternia, it came from the ruins. The code for the game was contained by the sequence of hieroglyphs on the walls.

It's pretty heavily implied this is also true for the ruins on Earth. It's also pretty heavily implied Jade's grandpa had something to do with the development of the game, since he was the first to explore those ruins.

Why is John Egbert so alarmingly adorable? (and how did you think of all the Troll's names?)

John is adorable because he is honest and heroic and nerdy and a good friend.

I named all the trolls (their trolltags) as a fun exercise some time ago, way before I needed them all. It was like a puzzle. I had the 12 remaining DNA letter combinations, and had to think of a zodiac-pertinent handle for each. Which is easy at first, but gets more challenging when you start winding down to only a few signs and letter pairs left.

Like, ok, I've got CC left and have to think of something reminiscent of pisces. HMMMMM.

It was fun playing with the logic that tied a name to a sign. It would have been dull if everything was a straightup pun. Sometimes the word concealed the sign in it. terminallyCapricious contains capric, i.e. capricorn. gallowsCallibrator contains libra (I also believe this word pair evokes the image of a scale, in a way. A scale of nooses.) Others neither involve wordplay or a hidden word, like adiosToreador. But there is no way you could mistake that for anything but taurus.

what would happen if the white army on skaia won the fight with the asistance of the players?

Sounds like the players would win the game and white would win the war.

what do adult trolls look like?

Like the actors on the posters in Karkat's room.

RATHER ATTRACTIVE.

dose WV riot in evry session of Sburb? or was that uniqe to Johns session for some reasion?

Who can say!

We know there were lots of unique things about their session. Any difference can have an effect on the outcome.

Perhaps there is one soldier (WV) who always has a rebellious attitude in every session. Perhaps in some sessions this manifests in rebellion. Perhaps in others, nothing comes of it.

Just like there will always be a Jack with an eye toward mutiny. In some sessions he will succeed. In others he won't. It seems likely he will always try, at least.

Aug 1, 2010

So, what direction are Aradia's horns supposed to curl in? Sometimes they curl forward, sometimes backward, sometimes outward. And I don't even know what's going on with them in her first appearance.

A curly ram horn is actually a pretty complicated object. I draw fast and loose and a lot of times emphasize gesture and stylization over precision. If you're looking for rigid fidelity to a couple of loopy horns I am afraid you're barking up the wrong tree!

They curl whatever way looks best for the scene.

Do the silly questions asked here make you chuckle or fill you with an unrelenting rage?

The bottom line is there are just too many.

I scan up and down and I just answer kind of at random. There are some good questions I should answer which I undoubtedly missed. And there are some stupid ones I should have ignored but answered.

I think I answered too many not that great questions this time.

But please enjoy reading them below anyway.

chicken

s a n d w i c h

q
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Did you ever intend for a certain subset of the trolls, perhaps the blue-bloods, to be intolerable assholes/psychos/etc.? Or did it emerge slowly as you wrote the other trolls?

That emerged more slowly.

I did assign all their chat colors quite a long time ago. But matching the colors with their blood was a new, pretty spontaneous idea.

Mostly centered around the fact that it created a good explanation for why carcinoGeneticist was the gray aberration in the rainbow. He's opted for blood anonymity.

Terezi mentions she doesn't really know anything about Troll Jegus. Is Terezi Jewish?

She's Troll Jewgish.

wut made you decide on 12 trolls? isn't that a lil' too much plot shit for us to handle on top of it all?

It was already too much to handle 1 or 2 acts ago, according to contingent X.

Please note contingent X is still reading. And worrying.

So are you gonna be known as the founding father of animation in webcomics or what? I think you're the first guy with a 'legitimate' webcomic that uses animation?!

I don't know. To be a founding father implies others will follow.

Does it look like anyone else REALLY wants to do this? Kinda doesn't look like it to me.

I suspect most artists are loath to reach for the ten foot pole they'd use to touch the ten foot pole they wouldn't want to touch this with.

Was there ever a point where you were going to use all the material you had planned for the trolls to make a full on story? Because I get the feeling there's a lot more material then you're going to get through in the time limit you've given yourself.

No. The objective here is to introduce the characters, and not much else. What happens in their session, the details etc are not as important (to some extent, because we already know the overall outcome). But finding out who they all are is the mission, and doing that requires the substance of a storyline, and a logical sequence of events, whether past, present or future.

By this point I'll probably be the hundredth person to ask this but how long have you had Aradia's ghostliness planned out?

Since before the act.

When I forming ideas for the characters, I defined her as "the dead one".

What's the point of being completely underwhelmed with your own story? It stopped being funny awhile ago. For you to be like "Oh, well, look at that" really killed the excitement of the revelation that Aradia is a ghost, at least for me.

Do you actually think it was a real expression of my personal disinterest in a plot point, or the story as a whole?

I mean was it really SO COMPELLING that it demanded a straight dramatic sale? The last guy to consider the dead all along hook to be really earth shattering stuff was M. Night circa 10 years ago. Yikes, sorry just a dash of genre savvy wiseassery RUUUUUUINED that for you.

Not all of these plot points are especially grandiose in my mind, and are not to be treated with velvet gloves at the expense of losing the light tone that pervades the whole thing. When I feel like a plot development really is major and demands some dramatic clout surrounding it, I treat it more seriously. I think the "Check." moment when the bunny defended John from Jack was a good example of that. There are some others.

But the big ghost-all-along reveal... nahhh. Besides, if you didn't see it coming, it's still plenty exciting if you can somehow manage to summon the fortitude to not let the joke ruin your day.

That soul portrait you made of yourself is so good. Will you do one of me? I would pay 150 dollars for such a service

Ok. Actually... can you make it 300?

Send me an email.

Have you ever watched the HBO series Deadwood? It is quite good and features several nice horses.

Horses can go kiss my ass.

I am hopelessly addicted to your comic, and like all junkies, I’m beginning to require larger doses of it to keep me satisfied. Would you be terribly miffed if I just cut out the middleman and skipped to eating your brain?

I think a lot of people are in your shoes and it's probably kind of irresponsible of me to produce something that lends itself addiction through such erratic daily updates.

But then I look through a lot of these questions and I wonder... do these people even understand what they're obsessed with?? This doesn't make sense!

Nothing makes sense. I'm going to drive all you people insane, and you won't even understand what's happening to you. We're all going down together.

Sayonara motherfuckers.

Why did you make CT's lusus a humanimal?

Cause it was funny.

Do you love being STRONG?!

There is absolutely nothing I don't love about being strong.

Why did you make him a furry/horse fetishist? Was that *really* necessary, or does this have something to do with "Horse boy"? Do you have some deep-rooted personal issues about horses, Andrew? It's okay, you can tell us, we're not like Twilight fans.

Cause it was funny.

July 12, 2010 - July 14, 2010

Where do you find the fantastically horrifying anthropomorphic horse paintings? They're... wonderful.

I had them lying around.

I used to write formal artistic critiques of such work.

Someone had to.

July 9, 2010 - July 14, 2010

Don't you think that locking the suggestion box takes away most of the fun?

I'm suddenly convinced this question was posted to deliberately annoy me.

At this point I pretty much despise the suggestion box.

But this probably has to do with the fact that every time I open it, it breaks the website and I can't even POST the drawings of all the cool suggestions people are in such a frenzy to overwhelm me with.

But aside from that, I think it was a brewing antipathy. Brewing and smoldering.

Here's a riddle: what isn't all that funny or enjoyable?

Answer: a million ideas at once.

Andrew, what should I have for dinner: tomato soup, an instant mushroom-rice bowl, or a turkey sandwich?

This question arrived in the queue yesterday.

You're probably starving!

Keeping track of homestuck's plot can be a bit daunting, which you seem to acknowledge by writing a synopsis one in awhile. How do you organize and keep track of the logistics of a time travel plot? Is it all in your head?

Yes, it's in my head.

I feel like I've answered this 10 times already.

I need to remember to make an updated FAQ page that no one will read.

You're a wonderfully awesome guy, and I respect you infinitely. My question for you: What the hell is with those bizarre adult comic advertisements? As I've read through each mspaint adventure, lurking below each page was a furry, or a nun fondling satan!

People ask me about ads from time to time, and I should point out that I often go for many days without even looking at my website, aside from the brief glance required to get new pages up. Ads come and go without my awareness, approval, or faintest concern.

I hope I might dispel the notion that I am manicuring a tidy brand here with this website. I mean, maybe I SHOULD be. But I'm not. I'm just making some cool images and a cool story and dropping pages here every day.

Slutty cartoon nuns don't get my feathers ruffled any.

I JUST REALIZED ANDREW HUSSIE IS A VALID TROLL NAME

Lot's of people don't even know what a valid troll name is.

I still get plenty of suggestions for names that don't fit the accepted model.

(Which is first and last names each being 6 letters long.)

Do you ever get confused by your own storyline?

No.

Can you post some kind of alternate version of the troll's text that doesn't physically hurt my brain to read? Like a r3t4rd3d bul2hiit on-off switch.

I was thinking about this recently, and I have decided that this sort of complaint is really stupid. Let's break it down and look at the facts.

CG: TYPES IN CAPS.

No problem there. Totally readable.

AT: mOSTLY CAPS, oNLY FIRST LETTER IS LOWER,

Again, perfectly legible.

AA: swaps the letter 'O' with zer0es

If you told me this was hard to read, I'd call you a liar.

AC: :33 > talks like this. uses some cat puns
AG: Uses the num8er eight instead of B. B's are pretty rare.
CT: Uses percent sign instead of an X. Also rare.
GA: Capitalizes First Letter Of Each Word

None of these are the slightest bit challenging to read.

Now the "hard ones".

TA: 2peak2 liike thii2.

Arguably the toughest one to parse. But he doesn't actually have that many conversations in the grand scheme of all this.

GC: SW4PS L3TT3RS "AEI" with "431"

Also somewhat challenging. But we really had a long time to get used to her speech pattern. Plenty of conversations before the troll arc. The letters are caps, matching the size of the numbers for increased readability (deliberate).

Parsing these is just a matter of flipping a switch in your head, on just a few characters, which bear pretty strong resemblance to those they stand for.

Now I understand if this still isn't ideal for perfectly comfortable reading, and I wouldn't want to read a whole book like that for instance, but when you take into account the "hard ones" will occupy probably less than 20% of all dialogue, this whole issue is just dumb.

I can't roll my eyes hard enough at complaints about this.

What's your sign?

Virgo.

Do you ever take a break? You update MSPA Every single day, usually multiple times per day. How are you able to keep on this kind of schedule?

Nah I don't take breaks.

But really, what else is there to do?

That said it looks like I'll take a week off soon on account of travelin's.

Is there a caste system for the trolls?

Yes, it has to do with the color of their blood.

Where did you come up with a cat with two mouths in arranged in a vertical fashion? A second question, why are AC's eyes so big compared to the rest of the trollkind?

The atomic number of arsenic is 33.

On pt. no. 2.

Sometimes stylization takes place, and it's no big deal. Then we all shrug.

i sure hope you let the trolls overflow a lot more, im loving them so far, any chance we could get a small page with names, basic data for each and profile photo just to get used to their names easier during the chats?

I guess I could make a chart. Then again there's all sorts of stuff out there I have nothing to do with, keeping track of it. MSPA wiki, tvtropes articles, material circulating in the forums...

Some people say they wouldn't mind a whole act of troll stuff, or even a whole year.

Then again, some say it's already too much of a diversion from the "real story".

So as usual, tough to please everyone. All I can say is, this arc is serving the exact purpose it needs to serve for the bigger picture, and it'll take exactly as long as it needs to take. If the issue is it's too much of a tangential slowdown from the main story, all I can do is point to the fact that all of Homestuck is constructed almost exclusively of meandering garden paths. Even though these are new characters in a completely different place and time, there's not much new here. This sort of thing has happened before. Introducing WV in act 2 seemed like a massive detour at the time, but later its tremendous relevance was illuminated. In hindsight, I don't think impatience has ever been warranted or vindicated. It all eventually gets tied together, usually pretty maniacally, and sometimes explosively, if given enough time.

Whoops there I go again, talking about stuff that has nothing to do with the question.

Which game console do you prefer? Why?

Gamecube.

It's the last one I played with any regularity.

How many days in advance do you make each page before posting them? Like, do you have a month's worth of pages lined up already, and are posting them at your liesure? Or do you do them the day of?

The average time between completing an image and posting it is about ten seconds.

I'm liking Homestuck... but why is there so much to read in this adventure compared to the old ones?

Because this one has....................... dialogue???

I'm not sure why I bother answering some of these. They are like wiggling worms on a hook, and then suddenly I am in the fisherman's boat.

When you write troll dialog, do you include all the typographical eccentricities from the get-go, or do you implement them afterwards with a regex or something?

Sometimes one, sometimes the other.

I should probably always do the latter for efficiency's sake.

But sometimes I just like to see how it looks as I'm typing it.

TYPOS ABOUND

IS IT HARD COMING UP WITH ABUNCH OF ASSHOLES ALL AT ONCE? (12 trolls, 15 felt...)

Felt, no. They were just green guys with powers. And I thought of their powers on the fly.

Trolls...

Coming up with them is the easy part. Introducing them through the "Homestuck fomula", one after another, giving them distinct personalities, roles in the dynamic of the full ensemble, roles in the short story arc to drive the action, distinct voice, chat syntax, appearance, lusus, room, house, weapon, modus, game world, all presented through a fictional alien culture I'm building on the fly simultaneously, and doing it in such a way that's fairly engaging and won't take FOREVER

is challenging.

But I guess that's why I decided to do it.

Where did you get the idea for the general look of the trolls? Do you have a particular inspiration for their design?

Character design is the most whimsical thing for me. For many of them, I don't have a clue what they're going to look like until I'm drawing them.

Sometimes it feels like I'm channeling a design. I'll draw it, then look at it, and say, oh, so that's what that guy looks like. Actually writing the dialogue is a lot like that too.

Did you ever think MSPA would be this popular?

I'm still not even really sure how popular it is.

I did always think from the start that the basic gimmick of the format had a lot of viral potential.

But now looking back, I feel like the bulk of the readership has fallen into orbit on account of the preposterous amount of content I've generated in a short timeframe, plus the overall electricity and media volatility of the whole thing in its totality. I picture a great many gawkers gathered around a storm, and most of them can't decide whether what they're looking at is spectacular or horrifying. But they can't look away, and then more gather around to see what everyone's gawking at. And then THEY'RE trapped too.

Are the trolls on future Earth?

No. They're on Alternia.

Are the trolls horns made of candy corn?

No.

Do you read TVTropes?

I've read a bit of the MSPA articles. Some tidbits are insightful.

But I've never gotten sucked into its vortex like so many have.

lololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololol

God there are so many questions.

I clicked on this one just to say that.

This isn't so much a question, but I want to say that I love your work and am somewhat overwhelemed by how amazing Homestuck is thus far!

Thanks!

when did you realize that you are funny?

This is a really odd question. I'll accept the premise for a moment, and start rambling.

I think I actually remember when I realized I WASN'T funny. It was a really long time ago, maybe when I was in high school. And I drew some dumb bullshit comics of some vaguely humorous nature and assumed they were objectively funny because they were meant to be. They were "funnies". And those are automatically funny.

But then a little later I took a look at those comics. One series was about a singing snail, and I guess there were some others. And I thought, "Holy shit, this isn't funny at all. What was I thinking?" And then later, gradually, I put a more concerted effort into understanding what is funny. I think it was a pretty slow climb. It was also a gradual process of becoming less of a dumbass. Dumbasses think stupid shit is funny, and that can be a major handicap.

The biggest key to being funny is to not be a dumbass. Really stupid people have a hard time being funny (intentionally). The smarter you are, the better the odds you have of being funny. Note that sometimes you run into really smart people who aren't funny, or lack a sense of humor. But note, this is VERY STRONG evidence that they are not nearly as smart as they appear to be! In my view at least.

When I equate humor as a product of intelligence, I mean it is primarily a product of awareness. The more you are aware of, and the more insight you have into a myriad of things, the more you will be able to successfully illuminate absurdity, and the more clever ways to accomplish this you will be able to conceive of. Awareness lends itself to an agile imagination. This is why stupidity is such comedic poison. Awareness of the world and that from which you draw your satirical muse is deadened by the mind-blunting forces that are associated with stupidity. These forces primarily are a lack of concentration and dedication, and inalertness to all that surrounds you and all content you are exposed to. As well as being quick to judge and label whatever does manage to get through the pinhole. Those are brain killers and comedy killers. They lead to hackneyed work at best, and incredibly awful, prejudicial, bigoted stuff at worst.

Now I don't mean to say I'm a real smart guy and that's why I'm funny, or EVEN VICE VERSA. I'm just pointing out that, in thinking back, becoming less obtuse and deepening my understanding of as much as possible was a turning point in beginning to understand what is and isn't funny.

July 9, 2010

On the DoomsDay Scale why didn't she just remove the skull, that would have kept it from hitting the button when the lusus hatched. or build a platform around the button to hold the scale, or the other things she could have done.

Why don't YOU go move the 10 ton skull off the doomsday scale??? Oh, not so easy, is it!

Anyway, what would be the point? Disarming the device in some way wouldn't have helped the egg hatch. From a young troll girl's perspective, it's just some diabolical ancient contraption rigged in the woods, probably meant to stay that way forever. Why mess with it?

June 30, 2010 - July 7, 2010

What if you just prototyped your sprites with abunch of useless stupid stuff?

You would get something that resembles a queue of formspring questions waiting to be answered.

CHICKEN SANDWICH QUESTION.

LATER.

Andrew, I re-watched WV: Ascend, and when the Skyship Base started flying, the map zoomed out to what appeared to be Europe. The base started flying westward towards the Frog Temple. Since the Skyship Base is where Rose's house was, is Rose European?

When did Europe steal the Great Lakes from us?

I smell a war brewing...

Did you purposefully decide to make Tavros the saddest troll ever or did that just happen.

He's not sad, he's always smiling. Maybe you shouldn't project your own emotions on handicapped people.

It's racist.

I thought you said a few months back that you would try to use your blog more. What happened to that?

I LIED

oh got you made "virgo" troll super creepy how did she get so fucking creepy creepy creepy creeeeeeepppyyyyyy "taurus" troll meanwhile just gets cuter and cuter.

Ehhh she's not that creepy.

I think creepy is a really overused word. Kind of like random.

If you were you to go back and change the beginning of Homestuck today, what would you do?

Maybe just make a cool flash intro to better suck people in.

And promptly disappoint them in ensuing pages, and somewhat mitigate the impact of such content which arrives later.

So yeah I guess that's a bad idea.

A big part of the experience of reading it I think is this liftoff it achieves with its gradual escalation in every respect, in story and format.

The fact that it's just so "straight" at the beginning, and comparatively bland, is a major part of that stage setting, and something I was very much cognizant of while making it. Much to the lament of those so eagerly anticipating a new story that would instantly echo the magnitude of the final throes of Problem Sleuth.

I can't say a blame anyone who is deflected by the early story for its lack of fireworks. But they are also missing out on an intended effect the work is meant to achieve through its up front banality. This is an unavoidable tradeoff.

I'm not even answering your question anymore, I'm just talking to myself.

Why "caligulasAquarium?" Is it because Caligula built aqueducts or something?

I don't know, honestly a lot of these trolltags were just silly throwaway phrases to match up all the leftover ACGT initials. I never thought I'd introduce most of them. But it's been one of the fun things about it, taking that initial phrase and building something around it to make it logical.

When I originally thought of the phrase "gallowsCalibrator" for instance, I pictured some guy, someone probably much more generically malevolent. Then I'm sure I thought, pffffffff, never gonna introduce THAT guy.

And yet, the greater story purpose for the trolls has always remained the same, and has not yet been revealed. I just thought that purpose would be delivered through a more generic, unseen vehicle of internet trolls bugging kids through messages. But I was wrong.

I know it seems like everyone is amazed how you take these stereotypes and make them likable (Ex: Gamzee). I just chalk it up to good character writing, but was there any plan going into the trolls to figure out how you were going to make them likable?

Not really. I think the main thing is I would have a real hard time writing a character who I didn't personally like, or at the very least, find interesting. So in order to make it so I don't hate writing someone's lines, I make it so I like them in some way. And in doing so, I guess often other people do as well.

Cats or dogs? Don't answer horses.

I don't understand the second thing you said. It doesn't make sense.

Did we ever get a reason why the kids couldn't just alchemise extra copies of the Pre-Punched Card items, instead of having to jump down waterfalls or climb nasty metal towers to get them back?

I think the fact that they went through those trials was pretty good evidence that you only get to make one apple/bottle/egg etc, for whatever reason.

Do you feel like the troll arc is progressing as per the original month-long plan, or is it delayed?

I was pretty cagey about saying it would last a month. I always knew it was likely to overflow, and that's pretty surely gonna be the case.

Dear Mr. Hussie, Since you are reading this you are obviously not working on Homestuck (Hivebent.) Therefore, I have a question for you: WHY THE FUCK ARE ON HERE WASTING TIME INSTEAD OF UPDATING?! Sincerely, An adoring fan

Well the truth is, if I weren't doing this now I would be sleeping. So it's either say this to you, or be asleep.

OH GOD....

How long do you imagine Hivebent will last? I'm loving getting to know the trolls more personally, but at the same time I'm missing John and Dave and the crew to death. No rush, of course!

Getting 12 characters out of the woodwork, even if some are examined a bit more superficially than others, is apparently a pretty serious undertaking. Ideally, each introduction will not be quite as formulaic as the trend presently appears, and this will present opportunity for acceleration.

But I still think it might be another 3 weeks or so with this arc, to put out an estimate with a safe margin. It's just astonishing how quickly time moves versus the rate of artistic production.

EVEN MY RATE.

Do you feel lately that every musical update from now on has to be part of a significant and vivid animation, and you can't just do short static musical pages like the Harlequin prototyping or Nannaquin anymore?

I guess if the winding road through Homestuck has yielded anything like a formal policy on Flash stuff, it's that I really don't want to fire up Flash at all unless I'm going to make it COUNT.

I think early in HS I was still figuring out what role Flash would play, and I was still operating under this idea that I would sprinkle in lots of quirky little Flash pages here and there to complement the static stuff, as a compromise to the original idea that every page would be Flash.

Very gradually, this model shifted. It's really nothing like that at all anymore, and the real power of Flash in this format, for this particular story, I think has been revealed to be in adding serious cinematic power to the major moments, and not littering the more run of the mill content with funny little Flash tidbits and short musical interruptions. Not that I think the early content that had that stuff was bad. Not at all. It was all a great part of this thing's evolution.

That stuff doesn't really feel right for where this thing is now though. Like strife pages, mini games, 20 second musical interludes, etc. And effort is a factor here. There comes a time when effort has to be conserved to make sure everything that's happening is contributing constructively to an ultimate conclusion. Doing something like a strife page now would feel like WAY too much of a diversion when looking at the effort required. That wasn't a factor on the slow build up to this though. In fact doing stuff like that was part of the point of the build. To find out what this mixed media story experience could be. So pushing boundaries with Flash for some not especially critical content was perfectly suitable.

Is the entirety of ACT 5 dedicated to the trolls, or will we be seeing the kids again this act?

No, it won't be a "troll act".

did you project your puppet fetish onto dave's bro?

I don't have a puppet fetish. Puppets are gross ugly little men.

Can this be the chicken sandwich question?

No!

We're over half way through Homestuck now... The kids have hardly even started, and now we're going into an awesome Act about the trolls... Are you confident the story can reach a conclusion to all this buildup that is satisfying and not rushed?

Saying they've hardly even started is just nonsense. They've come a long way.

We can look at his through our obsessive gamer goggles and say "man they've only gone through 1 gate! fuck that!"

Or we can look at it through our storyteller goggles (i.e. my goggles) and realize shit like that doesn't matter. Are we REALLY going to sit there and believe progress will be meted out through the rigorous, literal gaming logic presented? Are we going to go through every gate, watch every subquest, slay every monster and gain every level?

Or is it going to become increasingly less granular, as the trend has shown? Leapfrogging over the unnecessary, the logic and mechanics already wrung of their story mileage through the intensive granularity early in the story? How could I rationally proceed without doing this?

We see evidence of this in the troll arc, as we hop way into the future and back into the past pretty often, making use of all these facts we know, about the game and about the storyline. There's not much to hide or suspend about the way the game works, because we already know. There's not much drama inherent in guarding their future events heavily, because again, we were brought into this with knowledge of where they wind up, and how a generic game session works. The point is to draw out all the characters, show some facets of their story in ways that illuminate aspects of their characters, and ways that help tie their story to the main arc. It all has a purpose, and that purpose can't be fully known until we get there.

What about willingness to extend the length of the story beyond the 2 year point?

SHRUG

Things take time. Time budgeting always seems to backfire.

It'll be 7 acts total, and I'll stick to that. The key point is the light is visible at the end of a heretofore interminable tunnel.

What is your favorite flavor of cake?

I don't eat cake slow enough to process flavor.

Imagine footage of a firehose, played backwards, and sped up.

That is my mouth. And cake.

May we see the entire rap-off between Gamzee and Tarvos?

The reader is invited to write his or her own rap to complete the conversation.

Much as some toys invite children to use magnets to draw moustaches made of iron filings on cartoon men.

It's "fun".

Do the four kids go to school? The beginning of Homestuck (undoubtedly unintentionally) implies that they have little friends other than each other. Plus, I mean, Jade lives on an island with a magical dog and a stuffed custodian

They're too cool for school.

And also, too fictional.

I'm an amateur juggler and you had better portray juggling well with this ICP bullshit troll guy or I'll have to take some drastic action like complaining about it on the internet.

Maybe you should wait til you're not so amateur at juggling before you get all high and mighty about my plans to utterly defile your noble discipline through my work!

And it will happen, watch.

Fuck yeah, jugglin is going FUCKING DOWN.

Will there ever be a Homestuck book? If so, how will you overcome Homestuck's reliance on animation and flash?

Maybe.

Maybe there's nothing to overcome. Maybe using different media to translate a work will diminish it in some ways, but augment it in others. That would be fine.

S u m m o n t h e c r o c o d i l e s.

aaaaaah!

I've been hearing that Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff is more popular than Homestuck, is there any truth to that that you know of?

I don't think this is true.

And it wouldn't bother me if it was.

(Oh snap, followup question CUT OFF AT THE PASS)

Is the Incipisphere a construct initialized for each set of players upon installing the game? If so, how'd Jade's dream-self exist there before John & Co. started playing the game - even before the game was released? If not, in what sense does it exist?

It always existed.

And yet, it was also initialized by John's entry.

!

What would happen if you hired two private detectives to follow each other?

In the world of comedy, the result would be a series of humorous escapades.

In the world of reality, the two gumshoes would catch wise INSTANTLY, and there is a reasonable probability that physical violence would ensue.

Have you ever played the game Braid?

Nope. Looks great though, and I always thought the artist was good, from his days as a web comic artist.

First off I love the TNG edits, secondly are you a big nerd? The only two shows I have heard you talk about are startrek and lost. And I guess night court.

I haven't watched much TV lately. I watched all the Star trek series into the ground, but I was never much of a trekkie. I don't really think Lost was an especially nerdy show. it had a huge audience full of really regular joes who just liked mystery. I liked Arrested Development a lot. Might actually be my fav all time show.

I'm probably not nearly as nerdy as my work makes me seem. I hardly ever play video games or anything like that. Or read nerdy books or play rpgs. My readers could probably nerd me under the table (a table littered with dice and rulebooks!)

I admire them for this.

How did you get the effect on this page:http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004028 ??? It is Most Beautiful.

In Photoshop you can take any brush and use it in pencil mode, which gives you the hard edges. I used a more transparent brush in pencil mode, and just built up some colors on top of black.

Then I duplicated that layer, amped up the contrast on the copy, and faded in and out over a series of frames.

June 17, 2010 - July 7, 2010

So you changed the font, to fit the trolls better? Well aesthetically that makes sense but it sure is annoying to read.

Are you talking about the alien-looking font? (Elder scrolls)

You're not supposed to be able to read it genius!

If you're talkin about something else then......

??????????????

You mean diif3r3nt 2YNT4X liik3 THIS 2tuff?? Not really a font.

I don't understand things people say sometimes.

You seem to have been drawing a lot more "action panels" in the Troll Arc. Does drawing in that format require a noticeably greater amount of time and effort than drawing in the regular sprite format for you?

Noooooo. Sprites are quite a pain in the ass to draw. I never feel like an artist when I draw sprites. I feel like a pixel engineer.

Whenever I need to draw something new, and it isn't sprite-based, it's because I'm essentially taking the easy route. Drawing a character with more realistic proportions in cool poses and settings and stuff is relatively effortless compared to sprite work, and doing stuff like zooming 400% so I can fuss over a couple pixels so someone's fingers don't look like total garbage.

Shit I'm samurai Ace Dick do you know a good baker?

Oof! Bad crop of questions today.

Will we ever meet Jade's Pen pal?

Yes.

I think it needs more cowbell. Do you?

The only thing that needs more cowbell is a cow.

Cows that can sneak up on you make me nervous.

how diid you manage two come up wiith 2uch 2tupiid hard to read and crazy type of wriiting. 2eriiou2ly iit'2 unreal how annoyiing thii2 ii2 to read.

Nah, it's easy.

Exactly what shade of blond is Rose's hair? I have been wondering this for a while now.

Brown.

Not really, I just thought that would be a funny answer.

I know you're not answering questions for a while due to chicken sandwich questions, but do you like Nicolas Cage as much as John, or is that just for irony?

Your question can be the chicken sandwich question. "The Chicken Sandwich Question" will be the new name for the last question I answer, and leave at the top for weeks.

I definitely don't like Cage much, nor do I hate him. But I also wouldn't describe my employment of his service as ironic. It's similar to irony, but it's a concept that I truly think eludes verbalization. You would need to sift the mists of my subconscious, and treat the yields to a prolonged, unpleasant examination.

To extract a more practical slice of the issue for the microscope, early in the story I decided I needed something really ludicrous to harp on repeatedly, and ALSO for that thing to prove to be, through a deliberately circuitous path, immensely critical to the plot. This was the bunny. I guess you could say Cage was along for the ride.

If the question is "Why the bunny?" the answer is, because there is nothing you could possibly select to be the critical linchpin of a story that is more stupid than authentic memorabilia from the film Con Air, specifically the stuffed rabbit that Cameron Poe gave to his daughter at the end. You can try to think of something dumber, but you won't succeed.

Explain the inherent humor in things like horses and puppets

Ok horses are HILARIOUS.

They're like these big snorting muscular monsters with these huge faces, and they often freak out, and we RIDE THEM. That's INSANE.

Puppets are funny for some reasons I guess. It's really hard to describe. Like people decided they wanted to make these... smaller fake people? And make them talk and do things. And on their quest they fell ass backwards into the uncanny valley. It's actually kind of a tragedy when you think about it.

That was the worst fucking essay I ever just wrote.

You realize that everyone is pissed off about the new music right?

This question is 5 days old. I have not seen another question about it posted more recently!

It's amazing how what seems like a big deal gets forgotten so quickly. People have already more or less forgotten there were ever different songs. In a couple months, the song swaps will be a point of obscure trivia. The whole topic will fade into the lore of the site, known by few and regretted by none (except maybe one person).

I was never under any impression swapping them was the wrong thing to do, or that the new songs were inferior. They were always great, and sorry to say, complaints fell on deaf ears. I'm sort of pathologically unshakable on decisions like that, or really any creative decision.

Given some of your answers here, would you describe yourself as a bit of a jerk, or is that part of the character we saw behind the fourth wall? And on a related topic, are you answering these questions, or is it said character?

I guess some of my answers seem testy. Mainly I take opportunities to make humorous remarks, and occasionally, I APPEAR to do so at the expense of another. This is an illusion though. I think everyone's great.

It isn't really a deliberate act, but neither is it how I behave in the real world. I have had a long creative career on the internet. Most of it in the shadows, and much of it established in the tradition of trolling the wide eyed and unsuspecting. The good kind of trolling. The funny kind. Some of that comes through in my current work, and more recently, somewhat literally.

There really is no 4th wall AH character, as is separate from the narrative voice throughout the entire story. That is me, or more specifically, my internet voice. The characters are me too, but I suppose are aspects of my personality that are hyper-accelerated for characterization purposes. If they get a bit sassy at times, and they do, and my narrative voice gets sassy at times, and it does, it shouldn't be a surprise that I do as well.

Why is it that some panels in the Problem Sleuth book are small, while others are the size of the page?

Why did you use a bunch of different letters and words in your sentence? What's up with that? And look! What's that curly thing at the end? The one with the dot under it?? <- Oh shit, there they are again!!!!

Is each of the trolls' personalities a combination of two different personalities of the four main characters mixed? IE; each of the main characters' personalities' can mix with three others, four times that three. Lots of beer inspired this question.

No. Some of the trolls share certain personality traits with some of the kids. But there's no formula for it. And it's certainly not as simple as "She's the troll-Jade!" and such. That's not how I view it, or how I planned it.

How did Jack get to the Beat Mesa on Dave's planet from Prospit so fast?

Wait, you were there? Did you time his journey with a stopwatch?

Do the troll's personality respond in anyway to their astrological signs, or do they all have unique personalities.

Actually getting into the details of the astrological personality traits and applying those to the characters struck me as a really uninteresting idea. But it did occur to me.

Are the future music releases going to be large as the latest one?

Not even close.

Have you ever considered making a complete floor layout of the Problem Sleuth world? I would be so very, very thankful if you did.

This comes pretty close.

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/extras/ps000030.html

So, what WAS the password for Bro's computer?

lilcal

Did you base terminallyCapricious off the rapping clowns from the SNL skit? Because you should totally throw that "Fucking Magnets, how do they work?" line in for good measure.

A lot of people will think you're pretty silly if I answer this question, mainly because I would be bumping it for them to read.

Whoops, sorry!

Google ICP.

Wait don't!

Whoops, sorry!

I know the Midnight Crew arc is long over, but will we ever see whatever happened to Matchsticks and Quarters, as well as what their time powers were supposed to be?

In a way I've almost become weary of the topic simply due to the extended overabundance of curiosity relative to the intrinsic appeal of whatever those powers could possibly be.

I like how I preceded that remark with "simply", as if the point I just made was remotely simple.

I will have your children. No you don't have to ask I will just make it happen.

Come one man you are probably a dude, and dudes can't have babies. Let's get real here.

Do you have an idea lined up for the adventure after Homestuck?

No way!

Other than knowing that the format and story framework will likely undergo earth shattering revolutions.

There is no way I'm going to do something quite like Homestuck again.

Party?

Parties are stupid!

Just kidding.

How many hits does MSPA get in a month? Has that changed noticably over time?

You can see for yourself by checking out the Project Wonderful stats. (click the price under banner ads)

June 17, 18, or 24, 2010

Get off of Formspring and update already!

I posted 10 pages today.

Not record breaking I know.

But is that not sufficient???

June 16, 2010 - June 24, 2010

My Brother Thought of 413 as 4 Hero's and 13 Trolls is he right or are you doing that for no reason to make everybody Go insain and also i saw the ICP Nice touch

413: A story about 4 13 year olds. Plus lots of other stuff. 4 members of the MC. 4 suits, 13 cards per suit. John's birthday, story start-date: 4/13. Etc.

6/12, start of act five. A story about 12 6 year olds (in troll years).

Is ICP ever REALLY a nice touch?

How did you make Gamzee so fucking adorable? It is a motherfucking miracle.

I try to make every character likable in some way. Accomplishing this for a character who was immediately established as a juggalo struck me as a serious challenge.

I often put myself way, way behind the eight ball with some of these challenges I set up for myself.

Homestuck itself is the ultimate eight ball.

It seems that most visual storytelling industries (tv, movies, games, ect.) are shifting a heavy focus onto 3-D. Do you think that there is any future for 3-D in digital comics?

I would be a really terrible ambassador for what has a future in digital comics, even though I myself have been particularly feisty with the medium.

All I can say is what there's a future for in my work. And it probably isn't 3D.

How does the Miracle Modus work?

Why do you pollute God's creation with your curiosity?

How do you feel about people who read SB&HJ but not Homestuck? I personally feel like they're missing out on another layer of irony needed to complete the comics, but at the same time I dunno if I can blame them for not reading Homestuck due to length.

Is it really so surprising one could enjoy one and not the other?

They do spring from the same muse I guess. Albeit a muse prone to radical mood swings.

But they are completely different things.

Have you ever read Gravity's Rainbow? It seems like it'd be up your alley, what with the incredibly complex plot, storytelling, etc.

I've heard of it and I've read some snippets. It does seem a bit dense and kind of heavyhanded though.

At the risk of raising myself above a great and accomplished novelist, I kind of like to make my stuff fun to read.

But maybe I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. Maybe the book's a riot!

P.S. I'm not saying stuff's got to be funny to be good either.

How did Troll Will Smith's son do in the remake of Troll Karate Kid?

His spine was swiftly harvested by a resurgent Troll Cobra Kai.

For John, entering the first gate meant getting transported to the surface of his "planet" thing, LOWAS. So, Dave is now going to be taken to LOHAC. Rose destroyed her gate, but had she taken it, where would she have gone? She's on the ground already.

Somewhere else on the planet.

Unless I'm just not getting the question. Why does it matter whether shes on the ground? Gates take you to different locations.

That's like being on top of the Empire State Building, and needing to fly to L.A. So you go downstairs to go to the airport. But the moment you get to the 1st floor, you say, damn we can't go to L.A. now! We're on the ground already!

Vol. 5 is astounding and joy-inducing. I'd like to know whether the songs were each written to express certain scenes/characters, or if they were meant to more loosely fit the mood/style of Homestuck. If it's the former, what does "Sunsetter" represent?

More the latter. I just arranged then in what I thought was a reasonably compelling order.

You currently have 512 answered questions. is this on purpose because it's a power of two? If so, you are even more awesome than i thought.

I guess I have to shoot for 1024 next or fall short of awesome?

Seems like I all do wonder what you planned in advance. From the very beginning, I wondered stuff like 'is John's Dad divorced?' 'are Jade's parents dead?' Then I figured each kid had only one guardian for simplicity. So what inspired the paradox cloning?

Lots of small subtle things, many of which I can't remember.

Some of these big ideas are like a slow rolling thunder instead of a lightning bolt. In fact, maybe all of them are. It's really hard to pinpoint where exactly major developments originated from.

I think it started from the very simple fact that the two pairs of kids looked similar, and had some profile similarities. And then there was the fact that John's nanna looked to Jade, and her grandpa looked like John. This begged the obvious question, are nanna/granpa actually Jade/John sent back in time??? Which is so obvious, it would be stupid if it panned out like that. So i think creating an explanation for that presented a challenge. An explanation that was somewhat original and completely unexpected, but made sense and used the existing parameters of the story.

There was also a ridiculous drawing I did which was a satirical crack pairing of Rose's mom and Dave's bro, just cause the idea of those two together seemed so absurd. But that actually may have influenced the outcome too.

how do you say "Terezi Pyrope?"

teh-REH-zee PIE-rope

June 12, 2010 - June 22, 2010

Have you been using any of the community's Character Roleplays to flesh out the trolls? (I.E, When we see tA, he'd be using nunchucks)

Absolutely not.

So... Do you read the Homestuck thread on Something Awful?

I've browsed it a few times. It's pretty huge!

When drawing trolls' horns, which color do you start with?

The dark orange. Then medium then light.

WOWEE that's a specific question.

June 8, 2010 - June 22, 2010

How do you deal with the horror that is the MSPA Forum and not kill something out of rage?

It's not so bad. Mainly just a lot of people talkin about stuff. Kind of like all over the internet.

But it's really busy and hard to keep up with.

Will you ever update Dave's blog again?

Maybe.

But I think it's perfectly within Dave's character, and within the spirit of the blog, and within the spirit of blogs in general, to abandon it.

Why does WV only eat things that are green?

He's an herbivore.

Plus it's not true. He ate a rotting pumpkin, and the top of a fresh pumpkin.

i heart you

Thanks for feeling that way!

Are we going to see all the trolls eventually? Some of the Felt we didn't get to see, granted the Felt arent as important as a group as the Trolls are. I was just wondering if ALL of them are going to have an impact on the story, and will we see them all?

Yes.

Do you draw GC's art with your eyes actually closed?

No! It's possible to make art that is so bad that it doesn't even effectively serve the purpose of being bad art.

Have you ever consumed the unnatural horror that is the KFC Double Down?

This sounds like the name of a fat horse at the Kentucky Derby.

I think this will be the last question I answer so that this one stays at the top for several weeks.

Goodnight folks!

I think the name Jack Black is very clever . Do you speak French, or did you simply use a translator ? Oh, and cactus .

Jack Noir was named by a reader.

I do however take credit for selecting the suggestion!

So how much different would the medium be if instead of chess, it were based on, let's say, SimAnt?

It would probably be like that dumb ant movie starring Woody Allen.

Which is to say A COMPLETE FUCKING NIGHTMARE

Actually I don't even remember what that movie was about. Maybe it was ok.

Maybe better than that movie about Bees by Seinfeld. What's with these retired comedians making movies about bugs???

Given that Homestuck is building towards some kind of conclusion/confrontation at this point, do you expect it to be anywhere near the level of the DMK fight in Problem Sleuth in terms of length?

There is absolutely not going to be a long boss battle in HS like there was with DMK.

I kind of regret that that is the inevitable expectation people will have.

With PS, the emphasis was on general gaming satire, and the neverending boss battle was part of that. There was no major plot to satisfy, other than escaping an office, and defeating this monster.

HS has a complicated plot. It is an actual story, and will be wrapped up the way actual stories are meant to be. Will there be service to the gaming parallels present in HS too, as there were with the strife pages? Sure. But an infinite boss fight serves no purpose in this context other than to aggravate an audience. It was ok in Problem Sleuth because there was nothing more to it than that. The battle was a purpose unto itself, strung together with the ridiculous and the surreal and the absurd.

So when did you decide that everything was going to get all fucked up?

It wasn't a decision it was a foregone conclusion.

Okay seriously how the hell did you make Dave's Bro so cool?

I made him chop a meteor in half and also a bunch of other things. Plus he wears pointy shades.

Can you dwell more on the exiles' side story? you haven't focused on them since early act 4/late act 3.

I'm pretty keenly aware of how much dust I've let the far future arc gather, but it's kind of made up for by the fact that there's been such heavy focus on the stories of those same characters during their pre-exile lives.

When I finished reading HS for the first time, I thought "Wow, this is what Lost would be like if Lost didn't suck." Then I found out here that you like Lost. I'm worried that the cognitive dissonance will make me scribble on my walls. Please advise.

I did like Lost but let's face it HS is a pretty different animal.

On a broader note it helps to realize that sometimes people who make stuff that you like will also like things that you don't like and that's ok.

Do the Grist Costs in the Homestuck Adventure map mean anything?

Nope. Other than those tallies appear somewhere in the act.

That last EOA was awesome (OK they were all awesome, but this one was the most awesome one). Why are you so awesome?

There seem to be a lot of questions that resemble this template!

All I can respond with is something like "thank you for thinking I am awesome."

do you have any idea how you are going to end homestuck?

Yes.

In the most basic way, I also knew how it would end before page 1.

But it's more specific now.

So wait...do Jade and John wear glasses? All the fanstuffs of them feature glasses. I always assumed that that was just...eyes.

That is so ridiculous!

For one thing, Jade's glasses have a bridge between them. What did you suppose that was?

Two questions about EoA4. Firstly, there is no character performing the action [s] Descend. So is that just the name of the flash/animation? Secondly, I can't figure out for the life of me what the voice says in the Squiddles intermission. What is it?

There was no name preceding the command for EOA3 either: [S] Enter. In that, many entered, generally speaking. In EOA4, many descended, in various ways.

"I just had a friendship aneurysm."

Just how long have you been planning to make Jade's robot explode? What ideas did you toss around towards making it happen?

Since CG first mentioned it in a chat.

One idea I tossed around to make that happen was the death of dream Jade.

I don't think I tossed around many others, actually.

Do thirteen year old girls have boobs?

Let's go on this journey of discovery together. A federal prison will be our Emerald City.

June 8, 2010 - June 12, 2010

When are you planning to release Descend on bandcamp? It is my favorite Song so far.

On 6/12 or maybe 6/13. These things often run later than planned.

How do you make your updates so awesome? I mean really, I keep thinking "He can't top that" and HE DOES. Seriously, how are you going to top this update you just made?

I don't know, you asked this question three days ago. Did I top it??

How did Courtyard Droll get to Skaia and find the white king's scepter? He was left on prospit after Jade beat the crap out of him.

Same way PM got there. He took a shuttle shortly after, and followed PM. He saw PM get clobbered by HB, and went to recover the scepter she dropped, while she had her hands full chopping off HB's head.

How many gates did the trolls have? Do they have 7, like the kids, or do they have 23 or some such number? I'm working on an 8 player session with some people and we want to know if we'd have 7 gates, or 15 gates. But it would be nice to know either way.

If they only had 7 gates, the 12 players couldn't cycle all the way through them. If that was a necessary condition, it would have to be more.

Other than that point of logic, this doesn't seem like the format for a definitive answer on it.

Dave keeps saying he spends about 5 min. on make a SBHJ comic, but be honest, THAT amount of awful must take a while to perfect. How much time do you spend to make a new page?

Sometimes a couple hours.

Is Dream Jade okay :(

no

Are you going to have Gankro make any more minigames (like the Act 4 opening)? Cause it'd be awesome to control Rose and her LAZORS.

Gankro does lots of cool stuff on his own without me telling him too. We'll see what stuff he cooks up in the future.

Are you ever going to do any actual canon pairings? Or are you going to leave that to the fans?

MOMxDAD

???????????????

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Are you really good at foreshadowing months ahead, or good at leaving hooks in the story that you can make sense of as they are needed?

I don't know how really good I am at either, but I do both.

Some songs are missng from the freeeeeee albums. Why? Will I have to callibrate my cash containment combobulation to "open" in order to listen to my personal favorite of nightlife? Does this have any correlation to the new album coming out

I'm swapping out some songs from old pages with new ones, for some uninteresting reasons. The new songs will be available in a new album.

Did you know that your RSS feed isn't valid? ( http://validator.w3.org/feed/ )

I don't know, I guess. It always seems like there's been some variety of issues with it. It does the job and I don't want to spend any energy fixing it or thinking about it.

How do you feel about the RP Thread on the forum?

I don't read any roleplaying whatsoever.

One, it's too time consuming.

Two, I think in general it's potentially a bit toxic for authors to be reading RPing of their stuff. It seems like there's always potential, no matter how you steel yourself against the terrible writing, for contamination.

So is Act Five the final act of Homestuck? I ask because it's rare for something with an act structure to exceed five acts, and things do seem to be speeding towards a conclusion!

I think 7.

I don't know if this is something with formal act structure. Acts were just what I decided to call them instead of chapters.

Is a Nikola Tesla facsimile going to appear? 'cause a Mark Twain facsimile appeared, and they were kind of chums.

A Tesla knockoff didn't author a giant joke book that's been haunting the pages of this story since act 1 though. So no that would be dumb.

Do you consciously make all the self/outside references or is it like some form of Turret's?

Is misspelling the name of various syndromes the type of Tourette's you're afflicted with?

HEY ANDREW, HOW MIGHT YOU BE?

There is at least a slim chance I presently occupy any condition you can imagine, I suppose.

Will you ever show (or tell) us the abilities of Matchsticks and Quatorze from the intermission?

I don't know. How many goddamn super powers do we need to see??

Early on in home struck, we would see a mouse icon moving around putting cakes onto a bed for John and such. Are the kids themselves meant to be part of a game outside Sburb? Because I quite honestly hope that is not the case.

Yes, they are part of a game called Homestuck, which you, the player/reader, are reading/playing.

andrew did you like the pictures we made of you as a woman

They were just awful.

could someone be their own host if they used two computers?

????????????????????

Why don't you try it.

Did you find collaborating on the latest epic flash to be much better than working by yourself? If so in what ways?

It really seemed to be an equal amount of work for me somehow. I was just working on it nonstop for days, in spite of the extra art I had available.

It did make the end result much nicer looking though. They included drawings of detail I never would have attempted myself while trying to knock out such a huge project.

I ordered some shirts like a month ago and they haven't come in yet! When do you think I'll get them?

Oh no! I don't know. I think you should ask Topatoco. They are friendly and helpful.

hey so why would jack so willing give away one of the few things that has any threat to him? is he cocky or is he actually a man of his word or is he pulling some shenanigans or what?

A reasonable guess is he still believed the bunny was under his control.

June 7, 2010 - June 12, 2010

How many of the pesterlogs aside from the infamous "wrist deep in puppet" were taken from your real life conversations?

It always seems like more to me, but I think it's only two. That one, and the one where they talk about Little Monsters and Howie Mandel piss, which was a conversation I had with Michael Firman.

http://www.firmanproductions.com/

My idea was to integrate a lot more, but it turned out to be easier to serve the story by making them from scratch. You know, actual "writing".

About how far into Homestuck would you say we are now? A quarter, half, less than an eighth?

Act 4 just finished. I think it will likely be 3 more acts. It's easier to make calls like that now that I'm not bogged down in user suggestions.

Every-time I go to your website I see the beginning of Homestuck and consider reading again from the beginning. However, the beginning of this story is nothing like the epic proportions we are reading now. Honestly, you didn't know it would be like that?

I'm not sure I understand. Do you want me to point the homepage to a more recent page? I like keeping it at the beginning for newcomers.

If it's just "did you know how crazy it would get" the answer's yes. That was always the intention. Perhaps not intention so much as grim understanding. I was going off the advancement of PS as a model, and expected to duplicate or surpass that degree of escalation from the very start.

May 23, 2010 - June 7, 2010

So far you've done links between dad mom grampa and grandma in backstory. will we get to see daves bro's backstory? how he met lil cal? why hes so obsessed with puppets? (if so, any chance you could interspace it with lots of cool flips and sword fights?)

maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe

We already saw how Bro met Cal though. He's sleeping on him right now!

Cal's origin: came from Bro's future little brother's (i.e. biological son's!) dreams, dreams which were spurred by his anxiety over sharing an apartment with...

THE VERY SAME PUPPET.

Did you intend for all the kids/parents to be related from the beginning?

No. But there were similarities between the two pairs for aesthetic reasons, and some other reasons I guess. Bifurcation in broad personality type. The 4 character designs were drawn before page 1, so things were very loose back then. I left it open, and the cross-similarities between pairs, specifically between Jade and John, led me to get some steam behind the idea that these two very vaguely had "something to do with each other".

What they had to do with each other was something pieced together very organically over the development of the plot. We saw they shared identical towers on the same moon. The logic that they had something to do with each other naturally led to the same principle for Rose and Dave. They got a moon too.

This sort of stuff is all so gradual, and pieced together from so many smaller events, it's hard to pinpoint exactly when an idea originally took shape.

But the idea that they all had that origin was not pulled out of thin air. It was in the works for a good while, and a lot of foundation was laid for it. I would say it had its beginnings when I first introduced the concept of ectobiology, in Rose's next door lab when she made an unsuccessful paradox clone, a two headed cat. The thoughts weren't far off then, like "Maybe this weird way of cloning someone is how the kids were made? Maybe for that matter they created themselves?" Doesn't get more paradoxical than that, and thus wholly in the spirit of the fictional science, and in the spirit of the slowly rolling thunder that is this work's accumulating cache of themes.

But I think was sold it for me was when I got the idea to mix the pairs of slime from their respective guardians. The whole weird mess struck me as an especially novel origin story, and the thought of making these 8 babies all at once was just ridiculous enough to be irresistible. Not just because of the mad science/time travel/paradoxical novelty, but because of the new light it put the characters under. Especially the guardians I think. These weird automaton-like authority figures, mostly obstacles in the early going, are quite probably very much like the kids, just at different stages in their weird lives (i.e. the ones where they lose their facial features). They're all kind of like siblings in a way, even if not all biological. (Though some are!) And I think you could pick up on that from some of the early interactions, that for instance Rose was likely a very similar person to her mom. Her mom just happened to be an adult!

The origin story also lent a lot more relevance to John's designated handle, exctoBiologist. This was never something that was supposed to be significant at all. It was some funny word that tied into his interest of ghosts, and Ghostbusters. (The word was also lifted from an old comic I wrote.)

But now that seems like it was extremely important from the getgo, like it was all FORESHADOWIN' AND SHIT. But of course it's just yet again me connecting another one of these million dots to some others, when the dots were never actually meant to be connected.

I think very few major developments are pulled out of thin air, even if they appear to come from out of nowhere. There is almost always some foundational work for it. These things arrive through the series of details which lead to their cognition in the first place. You can always trace it backwards and find the clues that were pointing to it all along.

Is it alright with you if I design a set of rules for a Homestuck pen and paper game, and is there any6thing specific you would want in it?

I STRICTLY FORBID THIS!!!!!!!!!!!

Just kidding, that's cool.

I request that you make it so that you have to roll LOTS of dice, ALL THE TIME.

such a beautiful boonbuck

I liked it too. It is like a wrapper for a fancy chocolate bar.

Are the Aimless Renegade's initials a pun on how he uses Assualt Rifles?

It doesn't sound like you know what a pun is!

In what ways was Homestuck influenced by Lost?

It's really hard to say.

Maybe it just hasn't been at all.

I've thought that the closest thing to being true is that Lost is very much the sort of story I would try to write if left to my own devices, in terms of structure and complexity and involvement of scifi and the supernatural.

Except it would be funny, and not as heavy handed and dour all the time.

As it turns out, I AM left to my own devices! And HS is the result.

Also I thought the final episode was very good.

Are there any pieces of backstory or otherwise additional information that you have made, but are not actually neccesary?

Probably. But any time I come up with backstory stuff and think it won't be necessary, it just finds a way in there anyway.

The fact that nanna and grandpa were raised by Sassacre (before he died) and Betty Crocker was an example of this. It was a funny backstory idea I had quite some time ago, mainly in the form of joking with myself, and said "There's no WAY I'm going to work that in!" And yet here we are.

And somehow when it happens it still manages to feel like it's an important part of the story. At least for me.

One of the things I am most proud about in Homestuck is the fact that I have managed to elevate Betty Crocker to a position of critical relevance to the story.

I think creators probably tend to be proud of really stupid things about their stuff a lot of times.

May 21, 2010 - May 31, 2010

What ever happened to Dave's entry into the medium? You even said that you'd show it at some point on the forums, yet that seems to be getting less and less likely, and it'd be kind of odd if Dave's entry was just brought up from nowhere at this point.

It'll come up pretty soon.

Hi Andrew. When making Homestuck, which part of the process takes disproportionate effort and time to produce something rewarding for you? TLDR: which part is most tedious?

The only thing I would describe as tedious would be setting up a Flash file from scratch, getting the preloader ready to go and everything. I don't mind working long hours on an animation, but I kind of want to get right into it, not spend an hour setting it up.

Rewarding? I don't know. Everything is rewarding.

I enjoy writing the pesterlogs. Probably because it's relaxing. I sit here and go tap tap tap. Instead of ranging around with my stylus like a wild animal, hitting the undo button, and muttering to myself now and then. Writing is easy. Sometimes I think I'd rather just be a writer, and I could say "I'M A WRITER" when people asked me.

BOY would they be impressed!

There are many recurring motifs throughout your various works (Jesters and horses being some of the most prevalent.) Do these things have some deeper symbolism, or are you just screwing around with the semioticians of the future?

Horses and jesters are both hilarious.

They symbolically represent hilariousness.

Hey, I got one. For [S] Jack: Ascend, was the beginning where it sang, "Become a member of the Midnight Crew", was that part of the song itself, or did you record it on your own or what?

It is this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbsXLDNPvNc

Play

How does the wallet fetch modus work?

You put things on cards and stick them in your plain and serviceable brown wallet.

May 19, 2010 - May 31, 2010

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/75/Kid_Chameleon_Coverart.png was dave's appearance inspired by this guy? the resemblance unnerves me a little.

No, but I did play that game.

It was really long and fucking impossible.

so andrew are you ever going to answer any of my questions please? what do you think about my friend drawing an inspiration of sbahj in the school paper. -a

Ok, I will answer this one.

So you say your pal wants to draw something shitty in a school newspaper?

I hope he sports a musket and a coonskin cap, because that, my friend, is a PIONEER.

WHY ARE THESE UPDATES SCREWING WITH MY HEAD??

It takes two to screw.

Get your lecherous head away from my innocent updates.

How can I give you all the moneys I want to give to you?

IN ABSURD QUANTITIES AND WITH HASTE

wiil the trolls ever become really important? their a really cool idea and i love GC!

They are extremely important to the story, and will become more so.

Are you as jaundiced as the illustration used for your icon suggests?

Yes, I quite often exhibit prejudice.

Since you have the process more 'down' for making a book, can we expect PS book 2 sooner rather than later?

Yes, sooner.

Andrew, I wanted to ask something of the sort, Are the 4 hero's Related? Because from what i saw they might

Nanna is a paradox clone of herself.
Grandpa is a paradox clone of himself.
Bro is a paradox clone of himself.
Mom is a paradox clone of herself.

John is a clone of Nanna and Grandpa's ghost slime mixed together. So is Jade.

Rose is a clone of Mom and Bro's ghost slime mixed together. So is Dave.

John and Jade are biologically related, in the same way siblings are. Though they are not literally siblings. We saw how they were "born".

Dave and Rose are the same way.

John is not related to Rose.
Dave is not related to Jade.

There is no evidence to suggest nanna, grandpa, mom, or bro are related to each other in any way. They are all clones of themselves, sent back in time to become themselves.

Paradox clones.

May 14, 2010 - May 31, 2010

How did you think you came's to seen out when you are wery old?

wow

How do you know so many big words?

How do you know so fewer than me?

WHAT'S YOUR SECRET

andrew- when SO NOT diamonds droog (wink wink) was in daves room, wan't he surprised to see sort of his duplicate on dave's MC poster?

It wasn't on the wall at the time. It was in Dave's sylladex. He used it to make a cool suit and stuff.

how did you intent jack noir's surname to be pronounced? "nore" or "no-are"?

The way the word is actually pronounced.

nwär

Any plans to attend the SanDiego Comic-Con and sell books or shirts there?

No, sorry!

How do you sit when you use the computer [not drawing]?

Kind of like Batman perched on the precipice of a building.

When writing some of Rose's more wordy text (such as our recent look into her journals), how much do you consult a thesaurus or other such materials?

There are exactly two words I pulled out of the thesaurus for that. coriaceous and adumbratives.

With the first, I was just wondering if there was a totally ridiculous fancy word for leathery. It turned out there was.

With the second I was looking for an old timey word specifically to nounify for that purpose. The correct form, the adjective, means foreshadowing. In the noun context, I guess it's some vague assortment of wizardly prognostication talismans? I can't claim to be an authority on this.

May 10, 2010 - May 31, 2010

Have you watched television at all for the past month? I don't think I have.

I've watched Lost but I thought the last episode was kind of dumb.

Andrew, where did your all-lowercase typing go?

I can't decide what syntax to use.

not all the consonants are the same

too many cases and voewls

What does a man like you look for in a woman?

WHAT DO YOU GOT

(please don't say a dick please don't say a dick please don't say a dick)

How is Dave able to change suits on a whim?

How can kids put shit on cards?

The old school philosophers said that people were essentially made up of 4 humors: black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood. As each of the 4 HS kids seem to have an associated classical element, do each of them have an associated humor as well?

I can't believe how stupid old philosophers were.

The older the dumber.

It's been mentioned in Homestuck that Jade is really good at stuff like bitwise operators. When she enters the Incipisphere and starts alchemizing, will we get to see her use the XNOR, NOT, NAND, NOR and XNOR operators?

The thing is, AND and OR have graceful, easily understood means of being achieved through physical punch cards, by overlapping or double punching. How would these more exotic methods be achieved? You could of course go through the motions of computing them, calculating the new code, typing the code and punching it, but it loses the simplicity of original basic idea that lead to the combinations in the first place. Would going through such machinations just to invoke these more obscure operations actually be interesting? Probably not.

When exactly did the Felt come into existence? I'm curious because of the poster on Dave's wall. Were they an idea for the Midnight Crew adventure you were almost gonna do?

Last summer I was looking into making an MC flash game with Gankro. Of course that proved to be too much work so the idea was quickly discarded. But these were the villains I drafted for that purpose. I later adapted them to the intermission. But had them lying around way in advance, so they made it onto Dave's wall.

If one prototyping leads to a flat game of chess, a second to a cube and the third to a sphere, what the hell kind of weird-ass shape would a fourth prototype result in?

Yeah that sure is a question invited by that animation isn't it!

I need (need) a Gamebro shirt but I'm not willing fast into a small or binge into an Xtra Xtra Large. Can you fix this?

The ones in the store are all that will ever be left ever!

You guys think you have all the time in the world to buy stuff but you really don't.

If you see something you want to buy you should do it right away to avoid future frowns!

If you were the last person on earth would you still update MSPA?

Probably more so.

Less distractions.

The humanity ruse was a.......

oh never mind

well, fuck

Following up on your webcomic question answered two slots down...

Trying to "get it out there" when your site is only one comic deep shows a misapprehension of the medium you are stepping into.

No one is going to care about a webcomic that consists of only one comic, no matter how good it is. And at this early stage, putting emphasis on the attention your work will receive before any substantial work is done will be a severe creative detriment.

Popularity will always be an inscrutable cross product of novelty, quality, dedication, and luck. Unless you catch crazy lightning in a bottle, it will take at least a year to discover how your formula pans out, probably longer.

Don't even bother looking at your stat tracker. Focus on making something good.

Heyyyyyy Andrew. Are you a leftie or a rightie?

Draw/write with left, do practically everything else with right.

I'm working on getting a webcomic off the ground. We're pretty close to finishing the first issue--what advice can you give for getting it "out there"

Work on it really hard for several years without expecting it to be popular.

What scene in Problem Sleuth would you have loved to do the most with the Flash skills you have now?

Probably Sepulchritude.

But really if Flash were a factor in that story it would have changed everything. There would be entire scenes and concepts that never took place at all in the static story.

i thought the self-insertion was pretty out of character for you (i thought the same thing when you did it in bard quest) - especially since "MSPA you" declared it a terrible idea. what inspired you to break the fourth wall so hard?

I didn't break the 4th wall in Bard Quest! I think you need to go back and read BQ another three or four hundred times.

Also I said it was a terrible idea, but in fact it secretly was a great idea.

The fact that it was a great idea is what inspired me to do it.

Is your greatest artistic work, SB&HJ, actually done in MS Paint?

Photoshop.

Ironically, I couldn't make it anywhere near as terrible looking if I used Paint.

Have you ever been tempted to go back and change a page, whether to add foreshadowing, write yourself out of a corner, or some other reason?

The only page I ever changed long after the fact was this one.

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002858

I added the scar to the eye.

Even then, it wasn't really a true retcon, because I had originally intended to draw the scar but forgot, and didn't get around to fixing it for some time. In fact I actually waited until Jack was eye-gouged in the intermission, specifically to make people go ???????

Other than that, no, I never have any reason to change anything.

Given the huge amount of fan-made material (art, games, fake pesterlogs, voice acting, etc), has any of it kinda pissed you off or portrayed a character way off your own plans/ideas?

There has been absolutely nothing done with my stuff that I haven't already seen done to other people's work in far more offensive and copious supplies. It's completely expected. Embraced even.

Do you think much about the Trolls pre-sburb lives and their biology or do you get most of your ideas for that from the forum?

I haven't given much thought to the trolls and their pre-game lives/culture/society outside of their present relevance to the plot. I keep all that on a need-to-reveal basis, even for myself.

There'll be more development of those things as we go. I'm sure I'll take some cues from readers, as well as use my own ideas.

Are/is you/Dave done with the ironically hilarious "sweet bro and hella jeff" sub-comic comic thing?

no

May 10, 2010 - May 26, 2010

Do you keep notes to track loose ends for later reference, or do you have some sort of magical brain?

I don't know about having a magical brain, but I don't keep many notes at all.

I have an HS.txt file, which contains every command in the story so far. That's where I write the commands and below-image text before I post it all.

That file also contains the chum handles of kids and the trolls, their corresponding colors and zodiac signs, the names of all the Felt, a few GPS coordinates, and that's about it.

I never take anything like "plot notes". I just tend to remember all the details. I wrote the whole recap from memory.

I don't even have a very good memory. I forget stuff all the time. But when it comes to story details, I just remember it all for some reason. Which is probably why the thing reads like a chronicle of a million callbacks. Almost every page is calling back something from earlier in the story, whether it's some obscure item or a turn of phrase used by a character or the narrator. Most of this nonsense is just readily available in my rapid recall cache, so it all gets pounded repeatedly.

Under what pacing are you answering your fromspring questions? Is there a number, or am I just getting my hopes up?

I browse haphazardly through the several thousand in the queue and answer sort of at random.

Is the reason that ring-bearing Jade doesn't have sweet shades simply because she doesn't know davesprite is davesprite yet? (please say yes i want Jack to have sweet shades next time we see him)

Davesprite was prototyped after Dave entered the medium. No effect on monsters/ring-wearer.

I know you glance through the fanart threads, but do you ever look through the fanfiction thread? Some excellent stuff's hidden in there.

I generally see almost all the fan art, but poring through fanfic is something I seriously don't have time for.

I'm sure there's some good and funny stuff though.

Probably some bad stuff too! But then, it wouldn't be fanfic without it.

What made you choose the pixel look for Dave's shirt over the smooth circular design from in-story?

It just looked better. If it was smooth, it would just be kind of a boring black circle.

The other designs I thought benefited from the upgrade though.

have you ever put jelly....... on a hot god?

I've never been that high in my entire life.

What do you mean when you say there are "new notes" in PS Book One? What'll make me want to dish over some hard earned greenbacks instead of freeloading off the tubes of the interweb?

See the bottom of this image?

http://topatoco.com/graphics/mspa-ps-book1-pic.jpg

There are little notes about stuff on every page. Most of them are really funny and informative.

Some of them are kinda dumb.

Okay I just gotta ask this one...Is there a white version of the Midnight Crew?

Who knows?

With the exception of PM and the White Queen, there has been no indication any white agents will be especially consequential.

The white kingdom appears to have a more passive posture, as if playing defense. The black kingdom is on offense, and therefore more aggressive by nature. As such, it's more likely that nefarious key players will emerge on the dark side specifically to cause trouble, like Jack and co. If Prospit were more active in the espionage game (at least in this session) we'd probably have seen corresponding white agents in the spotlight.

But anything can happen.

Howcome no one else with prototyped powers uses their powers to cheat like jack does? Also what kind of crazy game of chess is this since when is "flying airship" a playing piece is this German Chess?

Jack is clearly a special case. While the kings and queens abide by certain rules and let the battle play out with certain order and discipline, Jack is more aggressive and ambitious, and more dangerous for that reason.

Which is not to say he's more powerful with a ring than a queen is. A ringed queen could certainly be a very powerful entity, who sits back on the throne for a long time until she's ready to put herself in the action, much like a queen in a real game of chess. What makes Jack more troublesome is his temper, and his will to break the rules.

Part of the purpose of the intermission was to covertly begin characterizing a villain through a back door approach. We learned a lot about his character, even though it wasn't even technically the same character, and never suspected we were getting a primer on the key villain who would rise to power. This was the plan.

May 7, 2010 - May 26, 2010

Without looking anything up and being creative as possible, explain cinco de mayo to me please?

A bunch of Spanish speaking dudes got five days into May and flipped their shit about it.

What is your main motivation for putting so much effort into your work? It's rather inspiring, I must say.

The motivation is mostly to keep the story moving, and get the huge amount of ideas I have out into reality before they languish too long. Given those demands, there's really no time to waste.

Did you know that if the first Problem Sleuth book was slightly cheaper and available in bookstores I would buy it?

I do now.

But it looks like they will probably all sell out as it is.

Maybe you should hurry up and get one!

Did you know the site for Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden mysteriously went down a week after you mentioned in in HS? WHAT DID YOU DO ANDREW

Nope.

I didn't even know about BSUaJG until somewhat recently.

I first mentioned Barkley in this page, attributing him to a poem.

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002207

Then much later I found out about the game, and it seemed like a pretty good idea to reference it.

What are your thoughts on the recent upcropping of fan-made trolls? Art of trolls with bug wings?

I think they're cool.

when you're combining three items, example: knittings && velvet pillow || squiddles shirt, what's the order of operations?

Evaluated left to right.

Adding || to the mix was kind of necessary to keep the hole patterns from whittling down to nothing, as would be the case if you just kept &&-ing everything.

Not that most people care about this, or even understand it really.

Computer people frequently harp on the fact that it should be the bitwise '&' and '|' operators rather than the boolean '&&' and '||'.

Which I guess is technically true. But the first and most important point is I didn't like how they looked as single characters. Especially '|' looked stupid to me. The double chars are more expressive, and perfectly understandable if you're a coder, and meaningless if not.

But aside from that, what's to say &&/|| wouldn't have that meaning in this application context? It's completely up to the author of a language to draft the meaning of operators. Various chars can have many different meanings across different languages. They often do.

Card A && Card B in this universe simply means, for each bit, evaluate Bit A && Bit B.

What is your opinion on the Pirates vs Ninjas debate?

Here is something I wrote about 5 years ago, back when the whole topic was more novel to discuss.



How to be Funny on the Internet: Lesson 1

The Internet is nothing if not a boundless population of aspiring comedians. They utilize this uncensored medium as an incubator of sorts for their abilities as humorists before exploding onto the standup circuit. While this will is universal, being a natural humorist is far from it. Luckily, I have a roadmap that will guide you towards the appearance of being funny on the Internet, if strictly adhered to.

Mention Ninjas.

“A blur of black in a dim room. As the emperor ponders his koans, he cracks an eyelid. But it’s too late. Who else could make off with ancient scrolls and the lion’s share of a kind emperor’s spine before the shutter has yet swung closed from entry? If your answer was ‘not a ninja’, you’re fucking retarded.”

Ninjas are evidently hilarious. Particularly if alluded to in a manner that might be construed as tongue-in-cheek. But not completely. You don’t want to come off like you’re making fun of ninjas, because it is common knowledge that they are awesome.

If you are unlearned in the vicissitudes of cyberspace, you may find this confusing. I will try to explain. The first thing to realize: ninjas are awesome. There is nothing not awesome about them. They are practically the archetypical embodiment of awesomeness. So what exactly is so funny about them? Actually (and this is what may be hard to understand), nothing at all. When a ninja is invoked in any context, the response promotes the illusion that something humorous was said. But what has actually occurred is a mutual celebration of ninjas’ all-around awesomeness, kind of like an “implied high five”.

But wait, there’s more. You don’t want to get too wrapped up in how awesome ninjas are. That would be comedic seppuku. This will breed an attitude of reverence, and you begin to take them too seriously. Taking things seriously is nerdish, and very unfunny, especially on the Internet. You will become the target of ridicule, rather than targeter. This is why you must take a step back, and strike that intuitive balance between reverence for, and an outright mockery of ninjas. The joke becomes the fact that they are awesome, and they become MORE awesome because they are the joke. Place them in curious juxtapositions, mix them with references to pop culture. You’ll get the hang of it.

And one final thought. Once you have digested all of this, and then mastered it, realize this profound scrap: the joke is actually the joke. Meditate on THAT.

Mention Pirates:

Pirates are also hilarious, and mentioning them will make you hilarious as well. This is for a similar set of reasons that make ninjas are funny. They are awesome. But awesome for different reasons. True, both classes share themes of danger, deadliness, and being generally badass. But while ninjas convey stealth, precision, and cunning, pirates evoke a sense of adventure, bravado, and foolhardy swagger. Their passion for buried riches is legendary, and they are not too proud to sing and dance either, provided a steady flow of rum. Mentioning pirates will conjure visions of all these things, and your friends will be enamored of your ruggedly adventurous sensibilities.

But as is the case with ninjas, your deployment of pirate references must also be tongue-in-cheek. You don’t want to come off as actually being into pirates seriously. That would be idiotic. Again, it’s like a verbal high five in celebration of pirates and what they represent. Consider a literal high five for a moment, between a couple of guys. It’s not about the momentary slapping of skin. It’s a symbolic gesture celebrating good times. If it were actually about the touching, the feeling of the other male’s skin on yours, and that’s what you liked about the high five, your mate would quickly become uncomfortable as you prolonged the gesture, caressing his palm. He would think you were gay. This brings us to the next point…

Call Things “Gay”.

Being associated with homosexuality on the Internet, particularly being called “gay”, is to be avoided. On the other hand, calling people and things “gay” yourself is a good way to help you in your quest to be funny. It lets people know the following:

1) You aren’t too politically correct to humorously equate homosexuality with something negative. This is not to say you dislike gays or the practice of being gay. You just know how to stay loose and have fun, you know?

2) You clearly have opinions on things, particularly dislikes. Hating things, or more importantly, appearing to hate things, is a really excellent way to create the illusion that you have interesting thoughts, and a complex set of criteria for evaluating things for quality. This will intrigue people, who may secretly fear that your outlook on which things are gay might be more sophisticated than their own. Who knows, you may get some converts to your (largely fictional) set of values.

Call Things “Retarded”.

If you don’t see why this word by itself is milk nostril-evacuatingly side-splitting, you’re fucking retarded.

Conversation Exercises:

Actor A: “Hey man, that website you showed me the other day was so gay.”

Actor B: “You must be retarded. You’re so retarded, your grandmother was raped by fucking pirates.”

Actor A: “Don’t say shit about my grandmother. She WAS a pirate. Trained by secret ninjas to do some totally un-gay moves on retarded gay people like you.”

Actor B: “I’d appreciate you not bringing my sexual orientation into this.”

Actor A: “Sorry.”

Actor B: “You know, I think you’re right. That website is pretty gay.”

Lesson Summary:

The themes in this lesson you have noticed, and indeed the key most Internet-driven humor, are:
- Mentioning things. By mentioning funny things, you seem funny.
- Use 2 hilarious words a lot.
- Communicate poorly developed opinions with those words.

With a little practice, these rudimentary skills will be yours. Try using Google to dig up a picture of a ninja for your e-journal. Use the word “gay” to describe the next movie you see, even if you like it. Oh man, I’m laughing already!

At the moment, approximately how far have you planned, or got-vague-idea'd, into the future in Homestuck?

a lot more planning has started to take place since i stopped taking commands. there's a pretty decent amount of stuff planned at this point.

Will Lord English be important again or is he just a throw-away thinger?

it depends on how you define important.

but he'll be back. or that is, appear for the first time. at some point.

Apr 15, 2010 - May 7, 2010

The music on the [S] Jack: Ascend page matched the animation really well. Do you start with the music and pace the animation to keep in time with it on purpose? or does it just work out that way?

i animate entirely around the timing of an existing piece of music.

If I remember correctly, it was a reader command that fueled the fort/imaginary world bit of PS that ended up dominating the concept as a whole. What's the biggest reader-fueled part of Homestuck that wasn't part of some pre-existing plan?

probably can town, but not even because of the town itself. it lead to WV identifying himself as a mayor, which lead to the civic role themes for other exiles, and the fact that those themes carried over to their former roles in the kingdoms, which became the vehicles for certain plot objectives.

the references to gushers were also completely command influenced.

who's your best character in street fighter?

when i was playing SF hot and heavy i took some amount of pride in being able to beat anyone with anybody.

like sidling up to the machine and letting the cursor wander around until it settled on dhalsim and listening to the guy next to me snicker with his uninspired choice of ryu or whatever.

then whoops here's your ass dude.

What would happen if two different players in a sburb daisy chain lived inside the same house? Like, say, four siblings playing it in the same house but on four different computers?

think of this not in the abstract of a real game like sburb existing, but a real story being written wherein such conditions were true.

events would conspire to make the outcome interesting.

Stuff like future Dave going back in time and Jack ascending: How far in advance did you plan these?

short term planning of things like that happens, and it seems really whimsical at the time of the idea, but then execution of the ideas gets delaaaaayed, and then suddenly the plans seem not so short term anymore. (from my perspective. from your perspective, these things still seem like bombshells i guess.)

both of those concepts mentioned were thus planned as such more than a month in advance i think, and i just hung on to the ideas until they were ready to spring.

but then there are little adjustments that happen in the execution which i don't plan, and just pull out spontaneously. often this involves scaling back an idea because it's a bit too complicated to depict in the hot frenzy of grinding out a flash animation. a lot of times i think i have more time in an animation to squeeze more events in, but in reality, it's really easy to chew up the minutes of a song with a few simple cinematic events, and you turn around and you're out of time.

that phenomenon leads to a lot of the density present in the animations. segments where seconds are going by and things are flying by so fast you barely notice all the detail coming together to tell the story, so you have to replay it a few times to get it.

but that's fine, it's part of the format being forged here. in a video game cut scene, you don't really always have the luxury or inclination to go back and replay it. here you do, and replays are actually a fairly critical part of digesting everything.

Would you let this story end badly for one or more of the better liked (by you or the fans) characters if it made enough narrative sense?

almost anything can be caused to make narrative sense.

>fit round peg in square hole

"why, you are quite certain the hole is circular, and always has been."

wow, what point did i just make there?? even i'm not sure.

Hey S_O, why don't you hang in SE much anymore? Too busy working on your fancy pants webcomic? Have you become too popular for us? Huh? HUH?

i browse there now and then but i stay busy enough that i can hardly even keep up with my own forums.

Are you going to change the name of the site to Well-Done, Aesthetically Pleasing and Technically Complicated Flash Adventures? There is not a spot of MS Paint left!

but this was true even in the first page of problem sleuth.

i just have a website with a dumb nonsensical name.

sort of like a PRETTY FAMOUS search engine that you might be familiar with and perhaps use EVERY DAY.

(askjeeves.com)

Which of your flash animations are you most proud of for Homestuck?

i think pride stopped being an active concept for me once i got in a groove. hence i was probably most proud of the first strife john had with his dad, which at the time seemed pretty radical. it now feels pretty old hat and each one i do is just another plank slotted into this story's platform. a sense of pride and accomplishment will come again when i can roll a ball bearing across that completed platform without any bounces or skips.

Mr. Hussie, how is it that you come about randomly landing on these amazing references that you had no idea existed??

i don't know, but it's pretty mysterious. it happens all the time. the most important lesson i have taken from working on mspa is that i am sort of magic, like this weird little man from a very obscure pocket of irish mythology called a "leprechaun".

(look it up! it's a real thing.)

How long does it take to write gC's pesterlogs? And who's dialogue do you enjoy writing most?

GC's... no longer than anyone else's. except for the extra "syntax burden", which is pretty minor.

most of the character writing is fairly stream of consciousness for me. i write pretty fast and don't edit much.

the ones that are most time consuming are when i have to think of complex mechanics beyond mere funny conversation. like when trolls are talking to the kids from different points in the timeline, influencing past/future conversations in various ways.

How long did it take you to write up the Homestuck Year One Summary?

about a solid day of typing, and sort of messing around, procrastinating all that typing.

Before all the kids were given names, did you ever name them in your head?

nope. they were completely nameless til readers named em.

Did over 100,000 people really go on mspaintadventures.com on the last day of problem sleuth? wow that's a lot i didnt know the site had that many fans

it was 200,000, if stats are to be trusted, which honestly i have no idea if they can.

that's about how many people are tuning in every day now.

What character in Homestuck to you relate to the most, if any at all?

dave, who is basically me. i am that cool. fact

Is it weird that I am tickled pink by your Minotaur Chinashop Reference on page 003495? (Dave vs Taurus) For you see my Game Design instructor from college is LEAD DESIGNER for the STUDIO that made it so references to it & thier other games tickle me pink

sometimes people think i'm referencing things when i'm actually not. i don't actually know what you're talking about.

sorry!

maybe i shouldn't have said anything. i should learn to just let people be happy about stuff sometimes.

Did you kill Nick Gurewitch and take over his website? (Serious questions: how do you know him, and do you know that some of the links on that site don't work?)

several years ago i offered to help him maintain his website and he said ok. i did so because he made the best comic that has ever existed, indisputably.

i haven't had much time to keep up with maintaining his site lately. then again he hasn't had much time to make comics either.

oh but he's going to put up a new one fairly soon, along with some kind of mysterious animation project.

Wow you are one disgusting peice of shit. I really hope you just die one day you ugly motherfucker

hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

You've got the most weird haircut, man.

i always have a different haircut. i never know what to say to barbers. i just shrug in the chair and walk out looking like sort of a goofball.

When did you first start drawing and how did you become so proficient in drawing stuff on computers?

i was drawing since i was born which is an answer i always consider a little insipid so i wish i hadn't just said it now damn.

drawing on computers is just something you have to force yourself to do until you're good at it. it's an ugly process kind of like making sausages.

what the fuck no that's a delicious process. i stopped making sense suddenly.

did you have any training in even regular flavor animation before homestuck? not just flash, but the moving picture thing in general.

nope, not any whatsoever. honestly i was always quite put off by the idea of getting into animation.

unfortunately i was dragged kicking and screaming into the discipline by the allure of creating something really really cool.

i did all the kicking, screaming, AND dragging.

i am mildly schizophrenic.

Why does Rose get seer of light and Jade Witch of space? Typo on origional document resolving in no ability to change? They even switched parts for pete's sake!

whereas the word "origional" clearly remains typo-free!

let's consider a world for a moment where your expectation for a certain outcome is the precise reason why that outcome has not come to pass.

CONSIDER THAT WORLD. CONSIDER IT I SAY.

Why did you decide to write in second person?

text adventure game convention.

AW, you should retcon Dave's birthday to Dec. 4th instead of 3rd, if it doesn't interfere with plans. Why, you ask? Because you are reading a question from a Dave who lives in Texas and has a birthday of Dec. 4th. I am clearly your character come to life!

whoops shoulda been born a day earlier, sorry buddy!

What is the most over referenced classic television show? I think It's M*A*S*H but my friends think it's Dallas.

i would just like to take this opportunity to say again what a horrible piece of miserable shit the formspring software is.

(this has nothing to do with the question. i chose a dummy question to say this.)

seriously, who coded this? are they a quarter of the way through php for dummies yet?

Remember when you said you were going to re-open the suggestion boxes? You should go do that.

i don't want to yet. i'll think about doing so later.

i've been enjoying the process of making up commands myself for the time being. the crazy thing about this whole thing is that i really only care about keeping the process enjoyable for myself.

What made you choose Sepulchritude shirt for the self-insertion? I was mildly disappointed it wasn't the Blue Ghost shirt.

this might sound lame, but i had the idea for the self-insert a long time ago, and decided then if i did it, i'd make myself wear the sepulchritude shirt. i think i decided that when that shirt was newer and more of a novelty.

BUT.

it actually sort of makes sense, since the 4th wall thing came on the heels of jack noir's rise to power, which visually is quite reminiscent of a reverse-sepulchritude transformation. or an evil sepulchritude.

the shirt even has black wings (inky wings per the inky theme of the attack) which is actually even more in keeping with noir's transform than PS's. so it's not like it has no symbol-relevance.

as an artist/storysmith i tend to think about stuff like that as much as i can. which is another way of saying i'm good at rationalizing random decisions i make.

Apr 7, 2010 - May 7, 2010

How many hours have passed for the homestuck kids since the first page?

somewhere between 6 and 12. not counting time hijinks.

Are you skipping http://www.calgaryexpo.com/ because you are afraid of Ryan North's Disconcerting Ogle or perhaps more of his brain-searing sticky notes?

i thought i was going to do EVERY CONVENTION this year. it was going to be THE YEAR OF THE CONVENTION.

but then i realized how hard it is traveling. i don't really want to do a lot of conventions anymore. i'd rather just stay at home and draw really. because i suck.

i will be going to, in this order, roflcon and TCAF. and then possibly SPX and... MAYBE??? APE.

then next year i might go to like one convention.

Were the trolls an element you had planned out from the beginning, or did you only come up with them later on in the story? They seem so integral at this point, despite their late introduction.

they were absolutely not even remotely planned from the beginning or anywhere close for that matter.

wait let me copy something i wrote from somewhere else that might be informative.

it's about the DNA letters, the pesterchum name abbreviations, and how that led to the trolls.

The DNA connection began well before I ever even thought of the trolls.

I named EB, TT, TG, in that order. I noticed an unfolding pattern with the latter two, and then named GG to solidify this pattern.

I assumed EB was just a special case for whatever reason, much like he is in other ways. For instance, the other three all have close birthdays in December, while his is in April. I figured very early on that he would have an alt account to complete the pattern, but hadn't developed the plot device to explain the alt until the trolls surfaced.

The DNA connection with GT, TT, TG, GG I also noticed early on, and in fact largely precipitated the existence of the trolls, and was the sole reason for there being 12 of them. (12 remaining DNA letter combos, and some people theorized there would be 12 based on this before it was clear how many there were.) Additionally, the fact that there were 12 was what prompted the zodiac connection.

It may also be interesting to note that for GT, TG, TT, and GG, the like-letters are girls, and differing letters are boys, which correspond to chromosomes XY (male), and XX (female). Trolls do not follow this pattern because, first, there are only AA and CC left which would mean only 2 girls in the group ( :C ) and second, they aren't human, so their chromosomes probably work differently. For now, all we know is the girls begin with G, but the logic probably needs to be more elaborate than this if there are any more girls in the group.

There is further rationale for John's defection from the pattern, from GT to EB, which possibly will never be explained in the story. What caused him to defect was the trolls, a group ostensibly lead by CG, whose name obviously implies cancerous disruption within a genetic system, or a DNA code. His cancerous influence causes a defect in the full string of genetic characters, from GT TT TG GG | CG GC GA AG AC CA TA AT TC CT AA CC to EB TT TG GG | CG GC GA AG AC CA TA AT TC CT AA CC. This is the nature of cancer, to corrupt genetic data. There may be additional relevance to the fact that John defected to ectoBiologist, the name of a pseudo-science sounding similar to carcinoGeneticist. In fact, I believe this will prove to be relevant later on.

What would all the Homestuck characters in color?

whoa that is definitely not a question that makes sense!

Why is Snowman so awesome? Does she radiate some sort of energy that causes girls to swoon and want to worship her or something?

i don't know, some people like her, but then again some people like all the other characters too.

anyway what's not to like about a femme fatale?

What is the most over referenced classic television show? I think It's M*A*S*H but my friends think it's Dallas.

is this a formspring q-bot asking this? if so, why do formspring bots exist? it doesn't make sense to me.

Apr 5, 2010 - Apr 7, 2010

How many updated have you done drunk? I mean, how HIGH do you have to be to do something like that?

how many questioned have you done drunk?

Have you ever stopped in the middle of drawing/writing an update and asked yourself, "What the fuck am I making?"

sometimes, but i don't think i ever stop drawing. just now and then while i'm drawing i probably form an expression of befuddlement or disgust at my present behavior.

one example i guess was when i was making the dutton panel:

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=003278

and i had to make a "doodle" that looked like a whimsical random sketch, but the tablet interpreted as a dutton head. so i think i wound up drawing about 30 or 40 quick random sketches on top of dutton's face before i got one that looked right, and i'm sure at some point in the process i stopped to think what an odd practice this was for a person to be engaged in out of context. (or even in context)

I think the major downside to those interactive pages is the anxiety that we won't make the right choice and thus won't be able to experience the best thing possible. It's the idea that we'll miss something important.

here's something else to note about it:

even though the interactive pages seem like a RADICAL DEVIATION in common storytelling practices, they're really not.

many of us have played hundreds of hours of RPGs like final fantasy doing the same thing, running around, talking to everybody in a town, making sure you don't miss anything.

i guess it's less unnerving in an RPG because that's A) what you're expecting to do, and B) what you're doing CONSTANTLY through the whole game, with little pockets of story progression interrupting now and then.

so keeping a reader/player comfortable is mostly about conforming to their expectations, and staying within the established parameters of the medium.

i guess i'm not that concerned with reader comfort! this isn't a luxury automobile. it's more like a rickety jeep, serviceable on an outrageous safari.

Hey could you add in an icon indicator for chat-log pages like you do for [S] and [I] ? It would make tracking down this troll chatter WAY LESS OF A FUCKIN' NIGHTMARE HEADACHE. ;D

go to "search" and browser-search for "pesterlog". it will serve the exact same purpose as such an icon.

The Act 4 opening, while epic in its own way, was much less interesting than a simple flash animation or multiple ones would be. I don't think it was worth the effort you and your team put in. I love it, but you could've saved time and made it better.

on some level i agree, but to scrap initiatives like that entirely goes against the grain of the experimental nature of this thing. (also in this case my "team" is really just me and gankro. there wasn't THAT much more effort involved than usual, save his coding efforts done mostly in tandem with the art.)

dramatically speaking, it would have been more powerful to arrange a hard wired animation set to cool music, and dictate exactly what the reader is supposed to see and learn about the story. but the downsides are you sacrifice the curveball element, and fail to push the envelope on the medium. i prefer keeping these upsides, even if just in small doses.

i found it kind of interesting to see the variety of reactions to that page, specifically that there appears to be a class of people who are grumpy about the concept, when faced with having to do something themselves to drive the story. which is a somewhat understandable reaction. if you go to a movie and all you want to do is tune out to what's on the screen and let the director do all the driving, you'd probably be perplexed or irritated if a controller popped out of the seat in front of you half way through and you had to control the characters for a while. but that's not quite what you're signing up for here. anything goes, and the only reason i don't do stuff like that more often is due to the labor involved.

but when i see that sort of reaction to it, it makes me think i should be doing it more. people get comfortable with the status quo very easily, even when that status quo itself isn't all that old (i've only been including these heavy duty flash animations in mspa for less than a year). meandering outside this comfort zone gets people agitated, and the more people get agitated the more i'm tempted to think i'm on the right track, or at least further exploration is warranted. sometimes a good idea has to be really rammed down people's throats for them to understand it's a good idea, because you'll always have to surmount their curmudgeonly resistance to innovation, and as always, the preposterous love affair the masses seem to have with mediocrity.

Is GC blind because Libra is Scales, symbolic of Justice, and Justice is Blind?

yes, yes, and yes

Oh god where did you get that real life puppet cal in your avatar???

http://www.metroidhat.com/gallery/lilcal.html

Is MSPA basically the outward manifestation of your deep psychological problems?

no.

all of my psychological problems are quite shallow; it's low hanging fruit.

oy will you just wrap it up all ready!!!! 3514 im good now hurry the fuck up and start something else already!

3514 (as of the posting of your question) is not homestuck's page count. it is the total number of pages in all the stories in mspa.

HS is currently 1667 pages long.

to A your Q: nah

continued) have imbued them with animals. using this as a relating method, can we expect Jade to program her sprite with her dead grandfather and Becquerel?

dividing your question up into two parts was kind of silly.

here's an answer to your question. highlight the text below to reveal the hidden spoiler.

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So when did you realize you were afraid of clowns/wizards/puppets?

air ball dude!

these are god's most beautiful children.

except wizards. they're these aloof filthy fucking beggars and gotta be hosed down like civil rights protesters.

You are more talented and ambitious than many rich and/or famous people. Why are you not rich and/or famous? HARD MODE: Internet fame doesn't count.

the most recent overcompensating comic touches upon this subject:

http://www.overcompensating.com/posts/20100405.html

also. THANKS!

Apr 4, 2010 - Apr 7, 2010

Andrew, what happened to you using Formspring? You also didn't update MSPA on my birthday. I feel as though we are drifting apart... =(

the formspring software is actually a big pile of shit and i can only take using it in small doses. also i'm busy.

is there anything more to the felt than just that intermission?

sure why not

Thoughts on people RPing your characters on Livejournal? We like doing it and all but if AH says not to do it then we're not gonna brotray you.

people do this? if so i had no idea.

sounds cool to me.

How did the kids become such tight-knit group?

i doubt the story will ever address the details of their bonding process. if anything, it may touch on how they all met in the first place (and has already sort of, with john's time traveling package to jade)

most of the story so far has been a window into a group of friends whose relationships have already been well established for years and already have strong bonds of friendship. many things they say and allude to points to this strong preexisting bond.

part of introducing the trolls to the story has been taking on a new challenge, which is to document the process of the group of four kids making new friends (albeit in a pretty unusual fashion). we know the personalities of the four kids very well by this point, so now we're getting to see how those personalities mesh with new people outside their social bubble, and how in their own ways they're sort of reversing the antagonism of these self appointed adversaries and turning them into friends, even in spite of everyone's best efforts to avoid that outcome.

as always, friendship prevails.

why is snoopdog in the sky? Knowing you it probably has some vague literary purpose. Also knowing you, it's probably just a stupid reference to PS.

actually the answer is neither

it is because snoop is so proud of john

So where did you get all these musicians from? Did you just ask some guys to do some? Did some guys just come to you? I'm just curious, since this web... adventure... comic... game... whatever has basically one of the greatest soundtracks. It's amazing.

at the beginning of HS i put the word out i was looking for musicians, and about 40 or so got back to me over a day or two.

many of them kind of drifted away from the project or never made much in the first place, leaving behind a smaller core of very enthusiastic and talented participants, which is responsible for most of the music in HS so far. i added a few more people to the pool recently, since over time some more great musicians (mostly from the community) were clearly excited to make music and participate, so i said sure why not.

i wish i could use all the great stuff they make. but that's why i want to put out more albums, to get more of their work out in the open.

Is the possibility of Dave Strider being one of his bro's puppets out of the question? I think that would be the most interesting twist you could write, but please prove me wrong!

prove you wrong that it would be an interesting twist?

that would be pretty easy because it would not be an interesting twist.

When something is moving in one of the more static updates, at what frequency are the objects vibrating or shifting or whatever? I find it hilarious

the fastest gif-jitter frame rate i use is 20 fps

Why are there so many porn ads on your site? Every time I check MSPA I get weird looks from people around me.

then maybe you shouldnt be looking at so much damn porn in public all the time

If you google how to answer questions on formspring your the first link... just sayin. PS I have no idea who the hell you are! bye

wow youre right!

this is really bizarre. especially since i provide no insight into the question at all.

here look

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=how+to+answer+questions+on+formspring&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=how+to+answer+questions+on+formspring&gs_rfai=&fp=a2bb30ecf4f91972

Do you consider HS to be your magnum opus, or is something else in the pipeline?

i remember people asking me similar things about problem sleuth

that said i dont have an answer

Apr 2, 2010 - Apr 7, 2010

For GC's images, do you close your eyes and draw and use whatever crud comes out, or do you purposefully offset everything an inch or so to theleft?

nope i draw them with my eyes open

What's your serious opinion on furries?

such a thing does not exist therefore i do not have one

So, I think I've figured it out. Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff is your real comic, and Homestuck is what you're making ironically to laugh at its massive fanbase, isn't it!

wrong!

i wrote something "SERIOUS" about sbahj recently. here it is, pasted from elsewhere.

It's clearly rooted primarily in jackassery which no doubt is not for everyone but it's presence in the story does have an ACTUAL LITERARY PURPOSE.

It is an invention within the universe for the kids to reference amongst themselves endlessly. Friends on the internet do this all the time. Instead of using memes from reality, I made this one up as a satirical project of one of the characters. The strip provides the core of memes that fuels much of their banter, and that core is added to as I (Dave) make(s) more comics. Certain memes upon reaching a critical density begin to accumulate an entire vocabulary to slip into during casual banter amongst those familiar with it. That is what has happened, and the density is such that the vocabulary has even permeated the narrative itself.

Those who don't care for SBaHJ much or merely "put up" with its presence in HS most likely are not appreciating the fact that it is mostly another device employed for rigorous universe building. In no way is its attachment to HS just a vehicle for hocking it as one of my asinine side projects. If it strikes many as a viable standalone form of entertainment it is only because it has that effectively served my purpose for it, which is to build this universe.

hey listen!

ok

whoops shouldnt answer ones like this

Is there a Mrs. Hussie?

no

How long did it take for you to think of the name "Seppucrow?"

forum members came up with the name quite a while ago

So I've been reading Mark Twain's 'Mysterious Stranger', and I'm wondering if the idea of the 'dream self' is inspired at all by that book?

no but colonel sassacre is

http://www.mspaintadventures.com/scraps2/sassacre_original.jpg

i think i have this weird delusion where i feel like i sort of relate to mark twain even though i've only read maybe half of one of his books

is... is that snoopdog in the sky?

yes

Mar 7, 2010 - Apr 7, 2010

If you got a legit offer from someone asking if they could make one of the adventures into a video game, how would you respond?

depending on how legit it was, i'd do it in a heartbeat.

by legit, i mean it's got to have a budget with a plurality of digits on the left side of the comma. really, 2 commas would be ideal.

I am trying to convince my friend to start reading mspaintadventures, because it is fantastic (!!!!). He maintains though that there is already way too much of it to ever get caught up on, so he refuses. This is The Worst Problem.

i commiserate with him.

there are lots of great things i just don't have time to read either.

I hit refresh instinctively and a new answer came up! It's like you're live and in concert! I guess I need a question, though, so... what is your sleep schedule like? It's pretty late where I am; are you some kinda insomniac or what?!

i've always tended to go to sleep late, but HS has pretty much nullified any sort of predictable sleep pattern i used to have.

most nights i go to sleep between 4-6 AM. a lot of the flash updates have kept me up to even sillier hours, like 8, 9, 10 AM. and a fair number of times i just never bothered going to sleep at all.

I feel the pace of HS has improved over that of PS; how do you manage the pacing of an organic story? What have you learned about fluid storytelling that might have helped keep a shmuck like me interested in updates instead of alienated by too much?

i have no idea why you like this thing!

i always tend to assume at least 99 out of 100 people will want nothing whatsoever to do with HS, whether due to its complexity, or its peculiar format.

and i keep being surprised that so many people keep tuning in. then again, i'm also surprised by how popular Lost is, when you might expect a show of such complexity would scare people off.

maybe what i'm discovering is people actually like complexity, and will even gravitate toward it, as long as it isn't a total train wreck. if you unapologetically tackle high complexity head on, and pull it off somewhat, it seems like people respond well to it. sure they may not understand it. (and if you've ever heard people speculate about Lost, they definitely don't) but they like it.

as for fluidity, i really don't know. that's not a property i'm cognizant of while working. i just try to make sure every page has some purpose, whether it's just funny or amusing, or advances the story in some way. the most important page is always the one i'm working on. i never put out pages just to take up space or kill time. i think if a story manages to be a succession of meaningful, entertaining events, then that fluidity happens automatically.

I would like to recommend ending HS on 8/26/20 instead of your proposed 8/26/10. What do you think?

yikes no way!

i don't think i'm really cut out for spending a lifetime on one thing as a cartoonist. even working on something more than a year is starting to push it.

also a 10 year adventure would be 16,000 pages. i don't think anyone wants to read that.

"no one has actually traveled through time yet." SLICK DID. :V

i guess i was talking about non-intermission stuff.

obviously the intermission was all about guys traveling through time. and dying a lot.

I'm always really impressed with the spirograph design for the Gates. what sort of gumption went into its conception and creation? in its Flash appearances, is it really just composed of lots of little curved lines moving into different positions?

the spirograph in flash is a single curved line.

multiplied by 10, each rotated radially around the center.

then those 10 are copied, pasted, and flipped horizontally.

when i animate it, i only animate one line.

When do you think HS will be over?

ive been considering ending it on 8/26/10.

but who the hell knows if that'll pan out.

Mar 7, 2010 - Mar 9, 2010

what's that robot from on the current page of mspa?

its some gundam lego thing.

also the johnny 5 image was a toy too.

i have no plans to ever include an image of a robot that is not a toy or model.

Why have you moved away from letting the fans control the story? You seem more and more to have a plot you want to use and pretend to you submissions by fans that actually would have fit into the story already in your head. Give MSPA back to the fans!!

to tell you the truth it's statements like this that just make me want to stop using reader commands forever.

there are many types of objections like this pertaining to the format that get dredged up which are based on a complete misunderstanding about how user input works.

first point: when there are hundreds of commands, you have nearly every absurd idea imaginable to choose from. so what criteria should i use to select? how about ones that sync up better with ideas i've had, and help move the story? you suggest i do just the opposite. so i should ACTIVELY SUFFOCATE my own ideas in favor of RANDOM DUDE X's ideas, even though there are hundreds of RANDOM DUDE X's all making noise at once, and there is no particularly strong case to be made for any above the others? following your advice not only makes no sense from a creator's perspective, it would actually sabotage the story in the long run.

second point: reader commands are great for the story's early climb, establishing some elements, making something out of nothing, etc. they are not good for wrapping things up. in the early going, there is a huge amount of granularity to the action. pick this object up. put it over there. walk through that door. and so on. you just can't finish a story with these micro actions though. at some point you have to start speeding up, and tying loose ends. reader commands don't do that though. they will always speak in the language of micro actions, because that is pretty much the only thing a mock-player can do.

these are the remarks of someone who has spent HUNDREDS of hours thinking about these issues and trying to make it all work. people who say stuff like "give it back to the fans!" obviously haven't even spent a minute thinking about it. The fans were only ever in control in a limited way, and everything takes shape at my discretion. people just get really carried away with the whole "reader driven" idea and form these weird fantasies about how it works, and then take umbrage when my decisions are in violation of this fantasy protocol!

really the only thing i don't like about the format is it seems to lend itself to these misunderstandings.

How is it that you managed to make a time travel plot that is even harder to understand than Primer?

i've never seen primer, but i bet it's pretty hard to understand!

but if what you allege is true, then it may be even more remarkable when you take into account that no one has actually traveled through time yet.

Will you ever do one of those youtube videos showing the process of making an MSPA page? I don't imagine it'd be very long, but I'd like to see it.

i've though about doing something like that, but every time i think about it i just wind up saying screw it and just knock the pages out.

some day.

When you were writing Problem Sleuth, how much research did you have to do / did you (not) do, or did you already learn everything from prior education?

"writing" sure is a weird verb to apply to problem sleuth. but ok we'll run with it.

generally i don't reach much further than the boundaries of my existing knowledge base for ideas. just because it's much faster that way. and if i'm doing "research" to get ideas, what would i even read? maybe pay a visit to the idea wing of the library?

homestuck has actually involved a fair amount of research, but usually a very specific and targeted kind. sometimes i can't believe the sort of things i find myself looking up for story purposes.

one example was when i was making the [S] Ascend page and started poring over GPS coordinates of real places in the world. like scouting out locations in the adirondacks park in new york for various waterfalls for a plausible location of rose's house. i settled on a pretty big waterfall called "rainbow falls" and found the exact gps coordinates for that and plugged it into WV's station terminal when he was taking off. the name of the falls became sort of relevant later, because when rose entered the medium her house then straddled a literal rainbow waterfall. i also looked for plausible coordinates for jade's island, and found this weird patch in the pacific ocean that looked like it had been edited out by the government or something. maybe it was! or maybe it was just a shallow, boxy look reef. didn't really matter, i was just looking for something mysterious. john has a real world location too. in fact, his real life address is a house that's for sale. he lives by a lake in washington called pipe lake, which his father probably chose for obvious reasons.

What is your least favourite comic/art related thing that you have ever committed to a webpage?

probably humanimals. but that also happens to be my most favorite.

in fact all of my least favorite things are also my most favorite things.

here's another least favorite thing i did.

http://www.andrewhussie.com/scraps/s_o/suckoff05.jpg

The relationship of the four kids is really interesting to watch. I haven't really been able to figure this out, but do John and Dave actually like or hate each other? What about Dave and Rose?

maybe the fact that you can't figure that out is one of the reasons why you find the relationships interesting!

How into the Cthulu mythos are you, exactly?

not really at all. i've never read a lovecraft book.

if i've dealt with anything lovecraftian it has much more to do with echoing the cult fascination with his work that seems especially lively in the furrows of the internet. and maybe hot topic too.

i mean the bottom line is all that "fluthlu" stuff is just me being silly yet again.

Do you derive any sort of sick satisfaction from upsetting our expectations and thus totally screwing with out heads? 'Cause if I was you, I would.

i might if i knew what your expectations were.

what i really do is just picture something boring that could happen, and then to do something that isn't that.

so maybe the moral of the story is that people tend to have boring expectations???

Why didn't you just have Byron to draw some guest horses for you when your computer was killed itself?

i don't really do guest comics because as weird as it might sound maintaining a perpetual flow of content no matter what is not actually the point.

but i might have byron whip up some horses for you guys anyway.

Any idea on when Homestuck Vol. 4 is coming out? I really appreciate the music that all of these artists have been making.

pretty soon. i'm waiting to drop a little more mus