GT: Are you sure you arent real? GT: No offense but I kind of get the same smartass vibe from you as i do from the responder. GT: Like har har i have the same basic personality as dirk but without any accountability or anything so let me just be kind of flippant and mess with this jake fellas head! GT: You know what im saying? TT: Yes. TT: That's a surprisingly decent observation about me. GT: Yeah see i think i maybe did a little TOO good of a job brain cloning you? This is way too much like talking to the REAL fake dirk. GT: Holy cow what a dumb sentence that was. TT: You did do a good job. TT: A perfect job, in fact. TT: Untapped potential, remember? TT: I don't think one of Dirk's splinters could exist nearly as well in anyone's mind other than yours. GT: Well thats just spiffy for me but im starting to feel somewhat like im being haunted by you now. GT: I just want to talk to my real buddy. And by real i just mean the ORIGINAL GUY. TT: What do you even want to say to him? GT: Oh i dont know. TT: It's not like you can keep any secrets from me here. TT: I pretty much am your brain. GT: Aaah! No dont say that its so weird. TT: You do realize he's coming for you. TT: Dirk. In the real world. The man has his designs. GT: Yes. I know. TT: Wanna talk about it? GT: With you? No!! Thats like... GT: Thats like talking to him about it which is like really jumping the gun i think. TT: What better chance is there to try talking about it than with a stunt double for your hyper-aggressive suitor within the safety and privacy of your own mind? GT: But i cant yet! I just cant. GT: There are some feelings im not sure how to put into words yet and doing it in front of you whether youre a stunt double or brain puppet or whatever it just makes me feel uncomfortable! TT: So there are feelings you don't want to try to put into words, even while you are dwelling entirely within the realm of your own mind? GT: Yes. GT: What is so hard to understand about that? TT: What about the spider ghost? GT: Huh? TT: The girl you saw. TT: When you got fucking clobbered by Dirk's robot and you passed out. TT: You dreamed about a spider ghost alien girl. GT: Oh yeah. GT: What about her? TT: You like her. GT: Man what? GT: Thats dumb i saw her for three seconds and she waved at me and i woke up! TT: Yeah, and it took all of three seconds for you to fall in love with the cute spider ghost. GT: Why do you keep calling her a ghost?? TT: Cause she's been dead for a zillion years, dude. GT: Oh. Well. GT: Holy shit? TT: That won't change the fact that you like her, let's not pretend it will. TT: You're going to make things complicated for yourself. GT: No i wont. TT: Yeah you will. You're too fuckin' wishy washy. TT: Between Dirk, spider ghost, Jane... TT: Man, poor Jane. GT: What? What about jane? TT: You tell me. TT: What was even the deal with that? GT: Our last chat ended on very pleasant and amicable terms! She was upbeat and chipper as ever. I fail to see what reason one might have to feel sorry for her. TT: Uh, yeah. You totally read her like a book. TT: Really handled that conversation like a champ. GT: Wait... didnt i? TT: Look out bitches. It's Jake "Casanova Ladyslayer" English. He's packing heat, and is frequently able to parse the literal meaning of things women say. GT: What are you getting at! TT: We're running out of time. TT: She'll be here soon. GT: Jane?! TT: No, doofus. TT: Spider ghost. GT: Whoa....... GT: Whoa ok. GT: Where? Wait. She is?? GT: Oh fuck. TT: Look at you. I'm telling you. TT: Three damn seconds of ogling an alien in a blue dress, and you're completely hopeless. TT: Stop fidgeting around like that. Your hair looks fine. TT: Do you want me to tell you how your breath smells? GT: Screw you!!! GT: I am cool as SUCH a cucumber. TT: Ok then. GT: Uh. GT: Why does my breath not smell ok? TT: You're dreaming, Jake. TT: Your breath is only a thing if your brain wants it to be. GT: Oh okay whew. GT: When is she coming? Why is she visiting my dreams? TT: Soon. TT: She's been waiting for the right time to enter. Waiting for you to snap out of the memory. TT: Clearly the girl has the patience of a saint. GT: Alright... GT: Dang! Its warm in this dream bubble. How can i be sweating in a dream?? GT: Where do i keep the dream towels... TT: Will you calm the fuck down? TT: I'm a figment of your imagination, and you're still making me nervous. GT: But really who is she? Whats her deal and what does she want from me? GT: Since all this so called untapped potential in my subconscious taking the form of yet another sassy dirk clone seems to know everything would it be ok if i troubled my own brain for a few flipping answers??? TT: You should try to be more polite to me. Seeing as I am a representation of your entire mind, I have complete control over all your basic functions. TT: I could trigger a particularly spirited bowel movement right before she gets here, so watch your step. GT: Augh no no no im sorry im sorry dont! TT: Just kidding, dude. Jesus. TT: I would never make you shit your pants in front of a girl you liked, even if she does happen to be my chief competition. TT: We Dirk splinters can be pretty Machiavellian but we do actually have some fuckin' standards. GT: Okay. Thank you for promising to keep my trousers tidy. TT: Anyway, she's visiting now to bring you into the loop on some things. TT: Important details you should know about your relation to the bigger picture. TT: The much, much bigger picture. GT: I still dont understand how you know... or excuse me MY BRAIN knows this stuff. Because im a page? How does that make sense? GT: And also if you know the things she will say why dont you just tell me the things? TT: Intuition and the subconscious mind are powerful things when harnessed the right way. TT: As for why I don't tell you, why not just let her tell you? TT: You're the one with the damn crush on her.
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.
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.