EB: then what is it? AG: I know how this is pro8a8ly going to sound, especially to a human. AG: 8ut I just killed someone. EB: you did? EB: who was it? you mean like, a bad guy? AG: Not exactly. EB: oh yeah, karkat mentioned that he was in trouble, and then had to go. EB: it made me a little worried! are you guys under attack or something? AG: I'm not sure what his deal is. I haven't seen him in a while. AG: 8ut we are not under attack. AG: Not yet, at least. EB: oh. EB: well, then... EB: who did you kill? AG: He was a friend. AG: Someone from our team. EB: why? AG: It's a little complicated. EB: well, did he attack you or something? AG: Yes. AG: 8ut really, that's not why I killed him. He was no match for me, and I could have just incapacit8ed him or flown away or whatever. AG: The truth is I killed him 8ecause at the time, I thought I wanted to, and sort of felt like I finally had to. EB: uh... EB: why did you have to? AG: 8ecause enough was enough! You don't even know how frustr8ing it was to 8e friends with him. AG: I used to really like him and always wanted to help him get stronger, so that he might stand a fucking chance to actually make it on our world. AG: 8ut he was just soooooooo weak and indecisive. He wouldn't change! AG: And when he tried to change, it was too little and too l8. Always l8. L8ey L8ey L88888888. AG: Too l8 to kiss me. AG: Too l8 to kill me. AG: He couldn't do it when I really needed him to. So when I saw he was actually serious a8out trying to kill me now of all times... AG: I just got SO AAAAAAAANGRY. I am still a 8it upset thinking a8out it. AG: So I killed him. AG: And I'm pretty sure he's dead for good now. EB: wow. EB: you're right, vriska. that does not sound good. AG: I know! AG: I know our races are completely different. And I really h8 the idea of you thinking worse of me 8ecause of this. AG: 8ut I don't have anyone else to talk to a8out it! EB: you don't? EB: what about all of your friends? EB: i bet karkat would listen. EB: or what about terezi? she's pretty nice, isn't she? AG: No no no no no no no no! AG: I mean, yeah, they're fine. 8ut I can't talk to them! EB: why not? AG: For one thing, they would pro8a8ly just 8e pissed off at me for killing Tavros. AG: And more importantly, there's no waaaaaaaay I could tell them how I really feel a8out it. EB: well, how do you feel? AG: Horri8le!!!!!!!! AG: If any of my friends knew that, they would think I'm weak. EB: oh... EB: i guess i understand. i mean, i'm trying to, with the cultural difference and all. AG: Do you? EB: like, trolls are more violent and angry, right? kind of like klingons or something, which is an angry race of alien savages from a human tv show. AG: We aren't savages, you dope! EB: oh, i know, that's not what i meant! but i am guessing you all have to act tough to make it in your world, and have a sense of honor about fighting, and like to beat people up and stuff, right? AG: Uh, yeah........ AG: Let's say close enough! EB: but i think that no matter what alien culture you are from, killing is still wrong! EB: and it sounds like you do too. AG: Yeah, see. AG: This is where our cultures clash, I think. AG: It would 8e difficult to explain exactly how killing is viewed on our planet with all the nuance involved. AG: It just isn't the 8lack and white thing humans seem to think it is! EB: well, you could try. i am listening. AG: On my world, I would 8e completely vindic8ed for killing him! He is far lower on the hemospectrum than me. He managed to disrespect me time and time again, 8ut I kept letting him live! In fact, the amount of slack I cut him would 8e considered scandalous 8y those in my class. AG: I had every reason to kill him. And yet... AG: I feel 8ad a8out it like a lame weak fudge8lood, just like he was. AG: And the fact that I feel 8ad is why I'm sort of freaking out right now! EB: i think if you feel bad, it just means you have a conscience. which is good, right? AG: No. That's not how it works. AG: I'm supposed to 8e just fine with it. AG: This was sort of like a test, and I'm afraid I might 8e failing. EB: how was it like a test? AG: Well, it was the first time I killed some8ody. EB: ok. AG: W8! Ok, that's not really true. What I meant was, it was the first time I killed some8ody I cared a8out. EB: so... EB: you killed other people, that you didn't care about? AG: Yes. Sort of a lot, actually. 8ut there was a really good reason for that! EB: hm. how many? EB: or... do i want to know... AG: Oh, it doesn't matter. Pro8a8ly many thousands. EB: uhhhhhhhh. EB: hopy shit... AG: God, I know how this sounds! 8ut I had to feed her. My lusus I mean. I've 8asically 8een playing this role as a slave in the food chain my whole life. It is what she selected me to do. EB: i guess that is why you didn't get along with her? AG: Hell yes. EB: i see. EB: still, that is a LOT of killing. jesus... AG: Yeah, 8ut I never felt anything a8out it. It was just normal life for me. EB: but then you finally killed a guy you liked, and... EB: not so cool anymore? AG: Yeah. OH! AG: Ok, that's not quite right. He's the second person I cared a8out who I killed. AG: Man, I always forget a8out her! EB: uh. AG: I guess she wound up getting me 8ack pretty good though, so we're even. AG: Oh, also, TECHNICALLY I attempted to kill that same guy around the same time. AG: 8ut I just wound up paralyzing him! Oops, hahahaha. EB: ... AG: 8ut man. That was sweeps ago. AG: I think I had a really juvenile attitude a8out killing 8ack then. I think I was trying too hard? AG: I was always really o8sessed with 8eing the 8est at stuff, and I guess I was trying to 8e precocious in that respect as well, and prove to everyone how 8rutal I could be. AG: 8ut I was such a confused kid! I didn't know anything a8out what killing really means. I was trying to fake it, and it caused me nothing 8ut pro8lems. EB: i guess i had no idea how different we really were. EB: what i am hearing is seriously scaring the shit out of me! AG: Yeah, I know. I wish we didn't have to 8e so different. I'm just trying to 8e honest with you, 8ecause like I said, I have nowhere else to go. EB: ok, well i appreciate the honesty. EB: so... if killing isn't exactly wrong, then what is it? EB: what do you mean by "what killing really means"?
I've been thinking this over for the last few weeks, and I've decided now is the best time to suspend all regular updates until I've finished the story, rather than pausing just before I start on the final animation. When I'm done, I'll post it all at once. There are a lot of reasons why I think this is the best strategy.
Primarily, it's about efficiency, and being able to work on the remaining (and likely the most difficult parts) of the story without distractions, or the added challenge of having to crank out the next serial update as fast as possible, which means I always have to stay totally linear with the work. This way I can produce the rest of it more comprehensively, prepare animation assets in advance, do more stuff in parallel, etc. It will go faster. And ultimately, I think it'll read better as one thing, rather than as a sequence tortuously spread out over time, as has been the norm for years. I think it's close enough to the end now to safely retire Homestuck as a serial reading experience. There's nothing to be gained from that presentation anymore, in my view. It's just time to bear down and get it done.
I guess we're breaking for a long time on a big cliffhanger, but there's no way around that. Actually, pausing at any point later would probably be even worse, as it keeps pushing into endgame territory. That's why I'm stopping now instead of later. With such a big readership, the reactions will only get crazier, and the demand for new updates will get more intense. Over time, knowing so many people are slamming refresh many times per day starts to be more of an omnipresent distraction than anything. I think there is sort of a perception that I am creatively feeding off the hysteria surrounding the comic, but on a very practical level this is not true. Creating entertainment is not really a lifestyle of madcap shenanigans. It is a very sober, often dull process that requires a huge amount of time and concentration. It will be better to disarm the hype machine while I get the hard stuff done.
So what is the itinerary? Need to finish A663 through A666, and then A7. Keep in mind that these sub acts can be literally any length, even onepage. There's a good bit of ground to cover, but most of the effort will be tied up in animation chores.
I don't really have a time estimate here, and am not sure there's any real advantage in coming up with one. It'll just be a while. I also have to allocate some time to work on the Kickstarter game. That didn't stop being a thing I have to do. It's coming along. I'll probably have a more substantive update on that before the end of the year. There hasn't been much to report yet since it's mostly been in a high level planning and writing phase. And firming up tons of legal minutiae. Stuff like that.
But I will say there is something new to watch out for next month. Kind of a secret project I'm involved with, unrelated to MSPA or the KS game. Well, it's technically not that secret. It's only secret if you don't know about it yet. Meditate on those profound words, and keep an eye out for news on this in coming weeks.
Oh yeah. Almost forgot, I'll have to take some time to port the site to a new server. Obviously it hasn't been cutting it the last couple months. So we'll work on that soon. Hopefully the new service will be able to handle the massive heart attack the next batch up updates will represent.
During the gigapause, there should still be plenty to see here in the news section. Whether it's about the aforementioned projects, or new product releases, there'll be a lot going on. Trust me, the coolest stuff at What Pumpkin this season has yet to be released.
Happy 4/13, a.k.a. 5 years of Homestuck being a thing! Since I know how much you like things, to celebrate I thought I would show you another thing that's been in the works for a while.
It's a new webcomic based on Homestuck, called Paradox Space! Have a look. That is all I will say about it here. But if you would like to know what the heck this ACTUALLY IS, here is a permalink to the news post where I talk about such matters.
2014 What Pumpkin Convention Schedule ... over there! ->
The What Pumpkin crew will be quite active on the con circuit this year. 11 cons by my count (for now). Take a look at the schedule, and make your plans accordingly!
What Pumpkin will be setting up a booth in all these cons where you can buy stuff and meet some friendly WP folk. I personally will only be attending two or three of these. I'm not sure which ones yet. I don't think I can lock myself into anything definite yet, since all that traveling is incredibly time consuming and tends to derail work. That's sort of what happened last year. I traveled way too much, and it really messed me up! So work schedule permitting, I'll probably pick a couple of these later and make some "surprise appearances". That way, if you happen to see me at a convention, you can be 100% certain that our encounter will be a result of PURE DESTINY.
It's almost over, right? Um, no, sorry. I still have no time estimate, or specific date I am shooting for. 4/13 would be the COOLEST date to shoot for, right? I doubt that's realistic though. Because in spite of my most religious wishes every single day, magic keeps on being fake. THANKS, "god".
What is the status, then? The status is this. Since pausing, basically all I have been doing is writing. No drawing or animation yet. Writing, writing, writing. Writing for Homestuck, and writing for the adventure game. More time has been allocated to the latter. The game is a big, big project. Let's not kid ourselves here. It's like this whole new major story and everything, fueled by millions of dollars. That's a very different situation from Homestuck, which is usually fueled by approximately zero dollars.
Homestuck probably needs another month of writing before I can start making panels. Not even to speak of Flash work. And of course, game development looms over everything as well. This feels totally different from the usual routine of write-draw-post, write-draw-post, write-draw-post, ad infinitum. Writing everything out beforehand is peculiar. And by peculiar I mean "totally conventional", in most other creative contexts. Let's see how that approach pans out. (You go out on a limb and guess it will result in the same silly bullshit as always.)
WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON?
Kickstarter - Speaking of the game, I sent out a backer update just before the newd year. The same update just went out to paypal backers too (it took a while to set up a system for that). If you backed the project but didn't notice an update, you might want to check your email. If you didn't back it, sorry these updates are <shhhh>secret</shhhh>. I mean, not really. The info gets "leaked" everywhere, if you know where to look. The point is, *I'M* technically not supposed to be the one tell you. Get it? Oh. You don't? Me neither.
One question I feel like I should answer out in the open even though I kinda thought it was obvious (there is no such thing as obvious) since I see it come up so much: yes, you will be able to purchase the game, even if you did not back the Kickstarter!
Contest - In the near future, I'm going to be putting out some neat things through We Love Fine. WLF is a cool company that makes a lot of nice stuff, that you will find particularly interesting if you are into "the fandoms". Do you like fandoms? When I was a kid we didn't even have those. All we had were shitty Atari games, and spankings.
But before they formally launch any Homestuck stuff, they're running a fun shirt design contest. There are sweet cash prizes. Hey, only participate if you think is sounds fun though. Most people won't win, because that's what a contest is, according to the way that common word is classically defined. I ain't out to waste anyone's time! I do hope plenty of people submit designs though. There's some nutty stuff rolling in. People will laugh at me if I pick the naked Gamzee shirt. DON'T MAKE ME PICK THE NAKED GAMZEE SHIRT!
Another Secret Project - Remember a while ago, I mysteriously mumbled something about a secret project? And then it came along, and it turned out to be Namco High? This is like that again. Except it's not a dating sim. Or a game, or anything like that. Also, it doesn't involve video game characters you've never heard of. It is a much more Homestuck-focused thing. That's all I'm gonna say! Ok, I lied, I will say one more thing: it's going to be really cool, and you will wonder where it has been all your life.
Vinyl Figures - These are up in the store now! For actual sale. Hehe... look at em!
Homestuck book 3 and Problem Sleuth book 5 are here! The Homestuck book contains Act 3. The Problem Sleuth book is the final volume of the series.
(The cover of PS5 glows in the dark by the way.)
And now that the Problem Sleuth series is wrapped up, you can get the full set. Dedicating this much paper to three cartoon detectives trying to leave an office should be illegal. But it isn't, and we are exploiting that fact to our advantage here.