While Ace Dick sets up the rather complicated board game, Death clicks his BALL POINT SCYTHE and jots down a few notes in his TOME OF WAYFARING SOULS.
He documents the tale of three detectives trapped in their offices. In the due course of time, they escaped from their offices, only do discover they were still trapped in what could loosely be considered a larger office building, held hostage by an unscrupulous mob boss named Mobster Kingpin. MK wets his bill in just about everything, liquor bootlegging, laundering, embezzling treasure concealed in stone busts, prostitution outfits orchestrated by his Madame accomplice along with sinister urban mural rackets. Additionally, MK guards the MEGATON KEY required by the sleuths to exit to the REAL CITY STREETS which are in dire need of their sleuthing services!
The detectives were able to escape their offices by accomplishing various feats both inside their offices, and on the IMAGINARY CITY STREETS, a realm accessible in ways twofold: Through A) electrically-powered WINDOW PORTALS, and B) alcohol-fueled spells of IMAGINATION from within the safety of a small FORT.
The detectives additionally advanced their situation by forming alliances with various KINGDOMS residing on the flip-side of the IMAGINARY UNIVERSE. Problem Sleuth befriended ELVES, Pickle Inspector befriended WEASELS, Ace Dick befriended HOGS, and unfortunately, Mobster Kingpin made an ally as well in CLOWNS. Each aided his ally in its struggle against its warring party and received boons for their efforts. Eventually, Problem Sleuth used his heightened DIPLOMATIC ABILITIES to resolve all disputes among the KINGDOMS, thus winning him favor with the WEASEL KING.
Through the boons of their respective efforts, the sleuths gained a mysterious form of cognizance regarding their FEMALE ALTER EGOS. PS cognized awareness of Hysterical Dame, PI cognized Nervous Broad, and of course, AD merely cognized himself for lack of IMAGINATION. These ladies were revealed to be trapped in a DOLL HOUSE in MK's office, a room which he himself was proven to be trapped in as well, only freeing himself upon receiving his boon from the CLOWNS. The females had to overcome their prison as well as their DIMINUTIVE SIZES by accomplishing various feats within their rooms, utilizing SIZE ALTERING PORTALS to and from the IMAGINARY UNIVERSE involving a MUSIC BOX, a STOREFRONT, a MIRROR, a MANHOLE, and a JACUZZI.
Meanwhile, the sleuths engaged in battle with various DEMONS in the IMAGINARY UNIVERSE, gradually increasing their skill levels and adding to their repertoires of BATTLE TECHNIQUES and COMBAT OPERANDI. At one point, Ace Dick brewed a batch of CANDY CORN LIQUOR. The resulting explosion from the volatile concoction is ultimately what freed them from their offices. (For him, by blowing a hole in his front wall. For PS, by triggering an event which caused the OBOE to be dislodged from the back doors.) Later, Pickle Inspector drank the CANDY CORN LIQUOR to max out his IMAGINATION gauge, giving him tremendous powers in the IMAGINARY UNIVERSE.
His powers lead to these consequences.
A) Splitting himself into 8 clones.
B) One of those clones turning into a monster which killed most of the clones, and was then shot by...
C) One which summoned a CANDY MECHA, and then later killed by the "female" AD in the DOLL HOUSE.
D) One rising into the sky and becoming GODHEAD PICKLE INSPECTOR.
E) One using ABSTRACTED THOUGHT, allowing the real PI to function in reality, while the imaginary ones remain.
F) The final remaining one using TEMPORAL REPLICSIMILE, splitting himself in two. One disappearing into the PAST (PPI) and the other into the FUTURE (FPI).
Also meanwhile, Ace Dick (the original one) found the CONTROL ROOM containing a complicated PUZZLE and a CODE MACHINE. First, he tried jumping out of his SIDEWAYS WINDOW, fell through the IMAGINARY UNIVERSE sideways, and died. In taking a step back, he used the CODE MACHINE to skip ahead to a point in the game where the complicated PUZZLE was solved. (It was later determined that it was Past Pickle Inspector who went back in time to solve this puzzle, and then died.) Upon solving the puzzle, a hatch opened, allowing him to travel to the IMAGINARY UNIVERSE to collect his boon from the HOGS.
A little later, Problem Sleuth found the CONTROL ROOM too. He used the CODE MACHINE to return to an earlier state in the game, to the moment before Ace Dick jumped out the SIDEWAYS WINDOW. This time, AD was able to jump into the STOREFRONT before falling to his death. He emerged from Hysterical Dame's MUSIC BOX, causing him to be VERY SMALL. He eventually came to be normal-sized by using the various SIZE ALTERING PORTALS.
This is how there came to be three Ace Dicks.
Furthermore, by this point, there were two Pickle Inspectors: the original real one (PI), and his super-powered imaginary form in the future (FPI).
After PS used the CODE MACHINE to create the third AD, he then jumped through the UPSIDE-DOWN WINDOW with the PARACHUTE to fall through the sky of the IMAGINARY UNIVERSE, past the SLEAZY BROTHEL IN THE SKY, landing in the WEASEL KING'S palace. This is how he came to be charged with diplomatically resolving tensions among the FOUR KINGDOMS. However, he was only successful upon looking up a CHEAT CODE on GAMEFAQS, and printing it out. The PRINTOUT was generated in the ALCHEMY ROOM, which PI then took and used with the CODE MACHINE to skip ahead to the SUCCESSFUL POLITICAL NEGOTIATION. As a boon, PS received a great deal of AMMUNITION, ELF TEARS, WEASEL SNOT, HOG SLOP, PIE FILLING, and the loyalty of the WEASEL KING, and was returned to reality. He then collaborated with the other ADs to fit the SKULLS of the sleuths previously slain into the slots to unlock the DOUBLE DOORS.
In the ALCHEMY ROOM, PI also printed out a recipe for 5 ALARM HOT SAUCE, which involved a CHIPOTLE PEPPER, a rare item which proved to be found beneath AD's HAT. One of the ADs prepared the concoction in the HOT SAUCE STILL and waited for it to mature.
Upon freeing themselves from the DOLL HOUSE, HD, NB and "female" AD encountered MK, who'd just returned to his office. This sparked a fierce battle, whereby the heroines dealt damage to MK by raising his BLOOD SUGAR and using powerful attacks such as their CHARM BREAK! and MURDER FLUX! techniques. Power for these attacks was supplied when damage was taken by their counterparts. In the meantime, PS and the other two ADs were climbing the levels to MK's office, fighting monsters along the way. Damage they took fueled the females' attacks, and vice versa.
NB's MURDER FLUX was maxed out when PI was fooling around with windows in the CONTROL ROOM. He dropped one window through its own corresponding window portal, in spite of warnings from the HONEYBEE PROFESSOR. The reaction triggered a massive explosion, killing PI and the PROFESSOR. PI met with DEATH for TEA. The PROFESSOR pollinated the floral/fractal-based AFTERLIFE, while GPI fondly regarded it. After her attack, MK pushed NB through his office window. She fell through the sky in a nervous manner for some time until FPI appeared from the past and caught her.
In the course of the battle with MK, AD was killed in a suicide maneuver. He met PI and DEATH in the AFTERLIFE. Together, they eventually bested DEATH in a series of sudoko-based challenges to return to life. Pickle Inspector would bring a tear to DEATH'S eye by completing the LABRYNTHINE SUDOCUBE COMPREHSENSILE.
The earlier window explosion caused by PI was so massive, it caused a city-wide blackout in the IMAGINARY UNIVERSE. The darkness triggered the release of the terrible DEMON called FLUTHLU, the final adversary PS would face at the top of the tower, which physically corresponded with the imaginary TOWER OF SYNDETIC ASCENSION connecting both sides of the universe. FLUTHLU would climb that tower and emerge through the DEATH STAR WINDOW. PS would easily kill FLUTHLU with his TRUSTY KNIVES attack.
On the way up, one of the ADs was attacked by a ZOMBIE HIRED MUSCLE (who would later prove to be a hero) and became ZOMBIE ACE DICK. ZAD snuck by FLUTHLU to discover the giant BOWEN STILLSON DOGG bust blocking MK's office door.
Meanwhile, HD killed MK with KISS OF DEATH. However, MK snuck out of the AFTERLIFE while DEATH was distracted by PI and AD. MK revived himself with INSULIN SHOT, and knocked HD out cold. He then built a FORT out of his desk, drank some liquor, and retreated into the IMAGINARY UNIVERSE.
Once the 5 ALARM HOT SAUCE was finished, the explosion destroyed the BOWEN STILLSON DOGG, allowing PS into MK's office, to find MK in his fort.
The other AD drank the 5 ALARM HOT SAUCE and became a very strong FIESTA ACE DICK.
When FAD inverted the universe by flipping a window, this allowed MK to descend into demonhood to become DEMONHEAD MOBSTER KINPIN, MK's final form. PS, FAD and ZAD went through the office and upstairs to the deck of MK's imaginary pirate ship, the CHICAGO OVERCOAT. FAD had to destroy/dislodge a series of busts along the way, including a SNOOP BUST which he tragically sent into the sky never to be seen again.
PS flipped the ship's STEERING WHEEL to invert the universe again to begin waging battle. PI and AD, having bested Death, returned to the ship. FPI conjured CANDY ARMOR for the party, which was quickly negated by DMK's powerful attacks. The sleuth party countered with a series of their own attacks, raising DMK's BLOOD SUGAR and dealing damage by summoning the WEASEL KING, conjuring a JAWBREAKER SKYLIGHT BOMB, and invoking a COMB RAVE to execute a ridiculously powerful TRIPLE TRUFFLE SHUFFLE. DMK's first face was defeated, only to reveal DMK's second face with two fully revived health meters.
To counter this, the sleuth party invoked their GAMBIT SCHEMAS to enhance their offensive and defensive attributes.
Meanwhile, HD and NB find themselves trapped in the SLEAZY BROTHEL IN THE SKY, where they pursue a mission to best MADAME MUREL, MK's female counterpart and brothel matron, and plug in a GIANT FAN for some reason.
Also, while DMK's WEAKSPOT was exposed, AD foolishly got on top of DMK's HAT. (The AD who was at one point the "female" AD but now ironically functions as the "normal" AD.) DEATH met him on top of the HAT and then challenged him to a friendly game of LIFE, which brings us to the present moment.
It's all so simple you wonder why you even bothered to ask.
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.