ARANEA: THE WORST STORY THAT HAS EVER 8EEN TOLD IN THE HISTORY OF PARADOX SPACE. MEENAH: whoa clam down ARANEA: No! I will not "clam down." Clamming is not something you can do, unless you do it UP, or you are literally retrieving clams from a 8ed of soft oceanic soil. MEENAH: clam your rumble spheres MEENAH: seriously they is lookin lively girl everyones gawkin ARANEA: You just have no respect for a well told story. MEENAH: i said what happened didnt i ARANEA: Only 8arely!!!!!!!! ARANEA: You left out so much! All the intrigue, the complicated interpersonal relationships, the 8ackstory, the responsi8le pacing. ARANEA: Where was the WORLD 8UILDING, Meenah? MEENAH: who gives a dolphin flip through a big ring of shit ARANEA: Ok! I think I finally understand the art of storytelling now, thanks to you! ARANEA: It turns out all you have to do is make series of short, mysterious statements without supplying context or any further ela8oration. ARANEA: It's all so simple! Let's try it out. ARANEA: Did you know that "what's his face" Vantas in our post-scratch world grew up to 8e a spiritual leader followed 8y millions? ARANEA: They killed him though. He died handcuffed to something, while shouting a rude word. The end! ARANEA: Leijon grew up to 8e his m8sprit! She wrote stuff down and spent a long time in a cave. That's that. ARANEA: Their 8uddy Captor flew a ship for some hag. It wasn't a very cool gig. Maryam found a wiggler and died a slave. Did I mention our planet 8ecame kind of a shithole? No, I don't think I did, 8ecause that's apparently not how you "tell stories." MEENAH: ... MEENAH: go on ARANEA: Zahhak 8uilt me a ro8otic arm. He was ordered 8y a high8lood to kill a girl 8ut he couldn't do it, and was 8anished. Really 8eat himself up over that. 8ut it's ok 8ecause his descendant redeemed the honor of his legacy 8y doing whatever a murderous clown told him to. Wait, was that too much detail? Forget I said some of that. Moving on! ARANEA: Ampora was a pirate. No8ody liked him. He killed a lot of people, 8ut was later executed 8ecause he was una8le to tell a funny joke. What else needs to 8e said? That's right. Nothing. ARANEA: Makara was the guy who didn't like his joke. He was terri8le and so is his story. Period. ARANEA: Nitram was a hero who led a re8ellion. He killed me. 8ut not 8efore things got pretty steamy 8etween us. Want to hear the juicy details? You're out of luck!!!!!!!! MEENAH: aww man 38( ARANEA: Pyrope cut off my arm and arrested me, 8ut I killed her. This triggered a karmic cycle of revenge which led to the eventual 8linding of her descendant. ARANEA: Sorry, Terezi. Them's the 8r8ks! TEREZI: W41T TEREZI: WH4T? ARANEA: As for me, well, I could go on ALL DAAAAAAAAY a8out that su8ject. 8ut I won't! ARANEA: I was a cool pir8te. The 8est pir8! I lived a long time, had amazing adventures, got all the treasure, then died. That's all she wrote! ARANEA: 8ut not literally. She wrote quite a lot in fact. She had a lot to say, just like me. Which is why she's so gr8. ARANEA: Let's see. Who am I forgetting here? MEENAH: uh MEENAH: ahem ARANEA: Oh, of course. Megido! Now there's an interesting story full of exciting twists and turns we won't 8e getting into. ARANEA: She was kidnapped as a child 8y a creep, then served the creep's 8oss for millions of sweeps. She helped make everything lousy. Then you killed her and took her jo8. ARANEA: Anyway, I think this tedious tale has gone on for entirely too long already! ARANEA: I can't think of a single thing left to address that could possi8ly 8e of interest to anyone. MEENAH: no no shut up MEENAH: do me now what about me MEENAH: waterboat meeeee!!! ARANEA: Why, Meenah. Could it 8e that you would like to hear more? ARANEA: I must 8e imagining things, 8ecause you are on record as finding my stories 8oring. MEENAH: no these stories are more interesting than your usual ones MEENAH: i can tell because im actually still a wake ARANEA: Very well. You would like to know a8out your post-scratch adult life. ARANEA: Would you like the short version? Or the long version? MEENAH: uh MEENAH: are those the only two options ARANEA: You tell me. MEENAH: how about MEENAH: not the looooooooooooooooooooong version MEENAH: like dont go full fuckin serket on us MEENAH: but MEENAH: dont leave out too much of the cool stuff? MEENAH: shit man why do i gotta explain this to a presumably rational person MEENAH: just tell me what ma junk was bitch! ARANEA: Very well. ARANEA: I shall strive to convey your story, including details which you are likely to find interesting on account of vanity, whilst attempting to refrain from going "Full Serket" on you and other hapless 8ystanders. MEENAH: blub MEENAH: come on spit it out windfang MEENAH: no more adventures on the high breeze got it ARANEA: Fine. ARANEA: You want the a8ridged-version, 8ut-may8e-not-so-a8ridged, as-long-as-the-stuff-that-you-in-particular-would-like-to-hear-is-included, of the Meenah Peixes saga? ARANEA: Here we go.
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.