Frigglish bothered his beard, as if unkinking a hitch in a long silk windsock. A more pedestrian audience would parse the exhibit as nervous compulsion. Behavior to petition contempt among the reasonable. He was however not surrounded by the reasonable, but the wise, a distinction in men that would forever be the difference in history's garland of treasured follies. As a matter of fact, his cadre of fellow wizards were all putting similar moves on their beards as well. The practice would evince thoughtfulness - sagacity, even - if they didn't do it all the time. Standing in line at the bank. Shooing squirrels from bird feeders. Few occasions were safe.
Zazzerpan inspected the clue. A single piece of evidence cradled in his coriaceous old man palms. It was a human bone, not striking in the tale it told alone so much as that told by the thousands like it festooning the marshy soil of the mass grave. The grisly expanse bore the texture of a decadent dessert, like one of Smarny's formidable custard trifles wobbled out on wheels for the holidays, to the dismay of a small nation.
"You're certain of this?" asked Frigglish. Despite what he was doing with his beard, he was, in fact, immersed in meaningful contemplation.
"I am afraid I am becoming more so with each terrible tick groused by that gaudy timepiece slung around your neck." In case it wasn't clear, Frigglish wore a clock Zazzerpan didn't care for. It was magic. "The massacre of Syrs Gnelph was not as written."
"What has you convinced it was the hand of our disciples in this blackness?" Executus chimed in.
"I believe... I..." a fat face stammered, eyes darting with the guilt of a thief in the throes of an unraveling alibi. "I can summon a... more pressing line of inquiry..." No, Smarny. Nobody was in the mood for a sticky bundt loaf just now.
Zazzerpan's ears fell insubstantial to any line of inquiry, pastry-oriented or otherwise. His abstruse contour carved a pondering shape in the fog carpeting centuries-dead. His eleven contemporaries too embraced the muted consternation of their great Predicant Scholar. Few wizards kept sharper adumbratives or read them with such lucidity. When Zazzerpan treated men with silence it was seldom unrepaid by the wise and reasonable alike.
It was harrowing to entertain. Zazzerpan the Learned's storied Complacency of Wizards was marked for grander descendence. Disciples hand-picked, vetted by Ockite the Bonafide and tested by Gastrell the Munificent. The twelve sweetest, most studious children a pair of elderly eyes could give their sparkle. Not the ragged guttersnipe so oft-harvested by the common Obscenity, those vituperative little beggars with hearts to corrupt as dropped bananas brown. That these chosen youngsters would turn was not merely unthinkable, but something of a roundhouse to the temporal bones of the Upper Indifference's high chamber of Softskulled Prophets.
His wisdom-savaged brow pruned further with recount of his many lessons to wouldbe successors. Lessons to advance humanity's elucidation and prosperity, an outcome this bleak trail now painfully obviated. There were few puzzles The Learned could not suspend and dissect in the recondite manifold beneath his extremely expensive pointy hat. Daring to pitch his cherished pupils in with the foul melange of history's rogues, the heretofore abstract scourge that built up civilizations with ungodly magic and tore them down with joyful malice, would prove an intellectual trespass to make his calcium-deficient bones quake.
And more daring yet was the only question that now mattered. Could a bunch of bearded, scraggly old men in preposterous outfits hunt them down? He didn't have an answer. Only a simple observation so blunt and uncharacteristically jejune for the lauded sage it was breathtaking in its selfevidency.
"We're going to need more wands." (Wow. Think of something better.)
As you can see, it is a pretty swift horse schedule, with a couple of horseless weeks mixed in there. You may recall my mnemonic device for remembering the previous M/W/F schedule of Monhay, Wedsneigh, and Frihorse. Now we can add two more to help you remember, Tuesnort, and Thursclop. I understand this comic can get confusing sometimes, so you are definitely going to need those to help guide you on the rest of this journey.
All pages for the above horses have already been drawn. I still have a batch of pages to draw to round out A6A6I5, but not as many as I have already done. I hope that you like it when characters in stories talk to one another, because there's an awful lot of that to come. Please stand by patiently and enthusiastically as my fake teens sit around bullshitting to the bitter end. Then a bunch of cool stuff will happen, and that will be that!
1) New trailer for Hiveswap! Creeping ever closer to the release of episode one. In case you weren't aware by now, What Pumpkin Studios is developing it. WP is now a gamedev studio which I happen to think is pretty cool. There have been a bunch of Kickstarter updates recently showing progress too. Here are some more links which will help you keep up with game news: Twitter | Tumblr | FB
2) Homestuck returns on April 13th! That's in just a few days. Are you ready? I doubt it, but when has that ever stopped us before. We start with Caliborn's much anticipated masterpiece, running from the 13th-15th. Then regular updates probably resuming a week after that. I haven't decided on the update schedule yet, but when I do it will almost certainly be communicated to you in the only manner which you will tolerate from me, which is more horse calendars. I am thinking of a fairly swift update schedule. A lot has piled up. Over the last month (not counting his 40 page masterpiece, which was done months ago) I have somehow drawn another 400 pages, which is possibly some sort of MSPA record. Be warned, due to that obscene page rate some of these panels are lookin pretty fast and loose! They nevertheless exist, which is usually what matters most for this website. There's still more to draw beyond that to finish off the rest of A6A6I5, which is the final "normal act". But really not too much. We're getting real close here. I will chip away at the remaining panels as I roll out this batch. Then, it's all animation work after that.
3) Paradox Space! 4/13 is the exact one year anniversary of its launch. And as HS resumes, PXS will be pausing for a good while. We actually paused production back in January, and have just been posting from a comic buffer since. This has much to do with shifting priorities heavily to gamedev needs, but I'll explain more about it and the future of PXS in a little while, on that site. But also, there'll be a PXS book coming out soon! It looks very good. Also, if you haven't checked out PXS in a while, now would be a great time, because it's going into its pause on a very strong note. It's been running an incredibly great 51 page story by Zack, Jon, and Shelby. Kudos to all of them. This has easily been one of my faves.