Laptop story + blog update

As you may have noticed, I haven’t been able to keep up with my plan to make two more Homestuck blog posts before I leave for vacation tomorrow. Here’s why that is.

Three days ago, during my summer camp, I lost one of the earbuds from the headphones I brought with me, and I started frantically searching for it, keeping the laptop I brought with me as I did it. Then, I left my laptop in the hall of the dorm building I was in, and when I went back there, it was gone. I couldn’t find it anywhere the next few days, and I started feeling really terrible about it because it belonged to my mom and all that. I could still get on other computers in the varioius buildings but those are of course kind of inconvenient.

Today was the last day of camp, and right after I left and got some food nearby with my family, I found out that the laptop was found again. It turned out that someone put my laptop in the dorm room next to mine and it was there the whole time, but nobody knew about it until today. This is good because I had some project files saved on there which I was afraid I lost for good, but sucked a little because I kind of wish I had it back sooner to do stuff on it.

Regardless of all that, losing my laptop prevented me from getting as much done in my Homestuck posts. The next post will be released tonight. It won’t be all that long, and it’ll cover around 40 pages (including two medium-length pesterlogs), and I’d say it’s about 80% finished. The next post after that (also will be fairly short) will be released a few days after August 6 (not the 5th as I originally thought), when I return from my next vacation. After that I’ll see what happens with this blog.

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 62: The Housetrapped Heiress


Part 61 | Part 62 | Part 63 >

Act 6 Act 1, Part 3 of 4

Pages 4195-4226 (MSPA: 6095-6126)

NOTE: This will be my last post before leaving for my next vacation, from which I’ll return on August 6. After that I’ll go back to regular posting, hopefully at a less sluggish rate than previously.

Jane leaves her room and examines her hallway, which is quite different from John’s without any clowns or anything.

Just one of your dad’s bland HALLWAY DOUCHEBAGS. Another example of his cornball dad tastes, which make you roll your eyes and shrug. Still, it’s preferable to how it used to be.

Years ago he would work really hard to mimic your interests throughout the household. Gaudy paintings of sitcom legends covering the walls, hideous detective figurines littered everywhere. You think it’s better that he embrace his own interests rather than try to pander to yours.

This description of how Jane’s relationship with her father progressed away from a mirror of John’s life seems to me like another “what could have been” sort of thing: in this case, what John’s relationship with his father would have become if he kept living a normal life for a few more years. And maybe what it would’ve become if not for Gamzee doing the whole clown doll thing. Oh, and that’s another thing that’s better off in the scratched universe. Even during Dad’s mimicking interests phase, this time around at least it’s mimicking a real interest of his child’s.

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Cookie Fonster’s Problem Sleuth Commentary Part 3: Imagination Cooperation Station


Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 >

Chapter 4

Pages 230–327 (MSPA: 448–545)

NOTE: Before leaving for my next vacation, I will publish only one more Homestuck post, not two.  

You are now Pickle Inspector.

Pickle Inspector, the last main character of Problem Sleuth, has some things in common with Jade, the last main character of Homestuck. Both start off the story already well engaged in the comics’ respective game mechanics: Pickle Inspector spends a lot of time in the imaginary world, and Jade spends a lot of time in the dream world; both are also the only characters who started that sort of thing (PI building a fort, and Jade’s dream self waking up) before the story began. Though I don’t think very many people are aware of the parallels, I can’t imagine the author didn’t create Jade’s character with Pickle Inspector in mind.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 61: Your Mail Man Is a Dumbass


Part 60 | Part 61 | Part 62 >

Act 6 Act 1, Part 2 of 4

Pages 4122-4162 (MSPA: 6022-6062)

NOTE: My two week blog pause will actually only be one week, specifically the first week of August. More on that here.

NOTE 2: Act 6 Act 1 will be divided into four posts instead of three because a week is more than enough time to wait for a post, assuming there are people who care about this blog post series. The next two Homestuck posts will both most likely be relatively short, which I think works better than making one extra long post that’ll take quite a while to make.

Now that I finished Jake’s half of the selection screen, it’s time to do Jane’s half.

Earlier this morning you thought you heard the mail truck, even though the mail never comes in the morning. But just to be sure, you rushed downstairs to check, even though due to recent events, you are FORBIDDEN FROM LEAVING THE HOUSE. Alas, it was not there, and you sort of spaced out at the sky with a goofy grin on your face for no great reason, and then you were caught red handed by your guardian. Then you got in trouble. 

This description of the stuff Jane did in Act 6’s opening makes it seem a lot more ridiculous than the “breath of fresh air” feel it had earlier. It also establishes that Jane is homestu—I mean locked inside her house.

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Another two-week (EDIT: one-week) blog pause

As I said in an earlier post, I have three vacations for this summer. The first already happened, and the next two will take up most of the next two weeks starting Sunday (July 24). Before my second vacation (actually a summer camp) started, I hoped to buy a laptop with money earned through a summer job, but I’ve had really tough luck getting a job, let alone getting a laptop. But a laptop is highly recommended for that camp because of computer activities, so my mother is letting me bring her old work laptop (along with my iPod of course, which is no good for blogging). Unfortunately, I don’t think I’d be allowed to do personal stuff like this blog on that laptop because of her work restrictions or something. EDIT: Actually, I will be able to do my blog and all that other stuff on that computer after all. I’ll be at home again on the 29th and 30th, but after that will be my third vacation, where I will only bring my iPod even if I did have my own laptop, which lasts until August 5.

Now what does that mean for my blog? It means I won’t make any posts for the next two weeks the first week of August. Here’s how things will go for the next two and a half weeks:

  • Within the next few days, I’ll release my next Homestuck post.
  • Then, I’ll work on my next Problem Sleuth post, which I will most likely release on the 29th or 30th when I’m home.
  • After my third vacation is over, I will get back to my regular posting schedule, and then see what happens when school starts some time later.
  • After post number 61, I will release two more Homestuck posts and one more Problem Sleuth post before leaving for my third vacation.

Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 60: Bedroom Screwaround Session, Remastered


Part 59 | Part 60 | Part 61 >

Act 6 Act 1, Part 1 of 4

Pages 4113-4121, 4163-4194 (MSPA: 6013-6021, 6063-6094)

So remastered, in fact, that SBaHJ is now a moive.

NOTE: Tomorrow marks my two-year anniversary of first reading Homestuck. (actually I was wrong, I released this post exactly on the anniversary)

NOTE FOR THOSE READING THESE POSTS IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER: Warning you know, my early Act 6 posts are extremely rambly and weird, and I have no idea what I was talking about in them half the time. If you want to go to the part where the posts stop being absurdly rambly, then feel free to skip to part 80, a post that I released after going on hiatus for almost two years. Trust me, the posts are a lot better from there on.

Before I start Act 6, I’d like to talk about the alpha kids in general, just as I opened Act 5 by talking about the trolls.

Like the trolls, the alpha kids are a group of characters who didn’t exist from the start. However, unlike the trolls, they haven’t grown to become part of the comic’s premise. This may be because it takes quite a long time for them to be introduced and thus their existence is a major spoiler, or simply because the trolls have such a special appeal. When I was early in my first read of Homestuck, I accidentally found out early that there was a character named Jane, who I thought was some kind of fifth kid who shows up a lot later (which is half-true). I think this goes to show that the alpha kids are not as distinct and special as the trolls, especially when the beta kids have always been a group of four main characters. But despite that, the alpha kids are most certainly not simply a repeat of the beta kids. Even though they’re all young versions of existing characters (the guardians), they are still very much their own characters, since we only saw what the guardians are like from the kids’ often distorted perspectives. You can’t map each alpha kid to a beta kid without ignoring other major similarities between them; this second group of four kids is definitely its own group of characters, with a lot of new things about them that make their story a tale with a much more complex premise than the beta kids’ story. This brings me to the second part of my Act 6 introduction.

Act 6 starts off with the players of the kids’ post-scratch session. The Scratch was stated to reboot the conditions of the kids’ universe for a more ideal session. This applies not only to the story’s plot, but to its narrative as well. Act 6 Act 1 is not just Act 1 with a different set of main characters; it’s a remastered version of Act 1. While Act 1 starts off in a rather generic setting and builds up from there, Act 6 Act 1 immediately gives us a very colorful premise. In the scratched universe, Sburb is released by a company which clues already suggest is owned by an evil alien queen, rather than a seemingly generic mysterious technology company; Jane is the heiress to that company, and doesn’t know anything about what she’s getting into—not even whose company she will inherit—but we certainly do. There’s also a lot of other parts that refine what the beginning of the comic was like; I’ll go over them as I go. For now, you should know that the theme of remastering the beginning of the comic also applies to the post series, hence the title of this post. I will analyze Act 6 Act 1 the way I retrospectively wish I went over Act 1 when I started this big project.

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Cookie Fonster’s Problem Sleuth Commentary Part 2: Puzzle Soup for the Drunken Soul


< Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 >

Chapters 2-3

Pages 84–229 (MSPA: 302–447)

Chapter 2 opens with Problem Sleuth leaving his main office and entering his secret chamber. This allows for worldbuilding typical of pretty much any story while avoiding him actually leaving his office. It also matches up with Act 2 of Homestuck starting with John leaving Earth.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 59: The Jumbo Act Five Finale


Part 58 | Part 59 | Part 60 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 32 of 32 + Intermission 2

Pages 4084-4112 (MSPA: 5984-6012)

This is my final post about Act 5, which ends right around the halfway point of Homestuck (unless the upcoming epilogue shifts this point’s position significantly). Needless to say, this is a major milestone point for this post series. I’m pretty proud of myself for making it this far in such a massive project, and not just because that means I can finally dissect Act 6; also because reaching such a major point, with a 13-minute dramatic animation that has left me floored every time I watched it (except maybe in my first read, when it was just plain confusing), seems like something I’d only get to in the far future. Now, nearly ten months after starting this post series, it is the far future, right here in front of my eyes, not a point I dreamt of reaching early in my other projects but abandoned long before getting there. If I had made this post series a few years ago I probably would have forgotten it by now, but I haven’t forgotten it at all. So, you know, it’s kind of cool that I made it this far.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 58: Puppeteer Mythologification Station


Part 57 | Part 58 | Part 59 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 31 of 32

Doc Scratch Intermission, Part 6 of 6

Pages 4036-4083 (MSPA: 5936-5983)

I can’t believe I’m this close to Act 6, with only two posts to go that likely won’t each take a week to make.

This girl was originally drawn without horns by mistake.
Hussie joked that Doc Scratch revoked her horn privileges.

Doc Scratch turns off the fifth wall and then Damara, I mean the Handmaid, I mean the mystery girl who looks like Aradia (I’ll just call her Damara for now), throws a chair at him. It’s always hilarious and satisfying to see people beat up Doc Scratch, even though I don’t really hate him.

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Cookie Fonster’s Problem Sleuth Commentary Part 1: Things Aren’t As They Seem, Ever


Part 1 | Part 2 >

Chapter 1

Pages 1–83 (MSPA: 219–301)

You are one of the top Problem Sleuths in the city…

Problem Sleuth, like all three other MS Paint Adventures, starts off simple enough: by introducing the main character in a default starting situation. Jailbreak and Bard Quest both put the main character in a definite predicament of sorts, but Problem Sleuth and Homestuck simply introduce the main character in the most everyday setting possible. While Homestuck soon tells us that John, the protagonist, is getting a video game called Sburb for his birthday, thus setting up a premise*, Problem Sleuth does not give us any premise at all in its opening pages, instead revealing it through Problem Sleuth (the character) realizing through command-based exploration that he is trapped in his office.

* I’ll be doing A LOT of comparing Problem Sleuth with Homestuck in this post series. That’s part of the point of this project, to see Homestuck from a different perspective by comparing it with its predecessor.

The text accompanying the page is as follows: You are one of the top Problem Sleuths in the city. Solicitations for your service are numerous in quantity. Compensation, adequate. It is a balmy summer evening. You are feeling particularly hard boiled tonight. What will you do? It’s a simple introductory line that gives a bit of introduction fluff that doesn’t have much relevance to the real story. The three main characters are all supposedly detectives, but they do almost no detective work at all in the comic; I bet this is to parody how character introductions in video games are also hardly relevant. In Homestuck, the interests brought up in character introductions sometimes actually are relevant to the plot; sometimes they’re not relevant to the plot but very character-defining; and in a few cases, such as Dave’s supposed interest in bands nobody has ever heard of but him, never brought up at all.

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