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Act 6 Act 6 Act 4
Always fun to follow an extremely long post with an extremely short post.
Picking up from where we left off in Act 6 Act 6 Act 3, Caliborn goes to sleep and dreams in his crude pre-Homosuck art style. He ruminates on his humiliating defeat and presents us a pseudo-emotional monologue, starting as follows:
A TEEN DIDN’T LIKE THE DIRECTION OF MY STORY, SO HE CAME AND BEAT ME UP.
Ah, this line. A line often quoted in response to people aggressively complaining about Homestuck media, typically used in arguments that go in circles with such magnificent, original points as “if you don’t like it, then don’t read it”. The fan satire here is off the charts already.
> THIS IS THE WORST THING THAT’S EVER HAPPENED TO ME.
AND BEAR IN MIND THAT ONE TIME, MY LEG WAS BITTEN OFF. AND I TRAGICALLY LOST A SISTER TO MURDER.
Here, Caliborn is parodying people who plead for attention and support by fabricating bad things that happened to them. But since this is Caliborn we’re talking about, he doesn’t come up with total lies; rather, he omits details to imply lies. Lying through omission is a long-running theme of such characters as Doc Scratch, Lil’ Hal, and of course Caliborn himself. In this case, he’s implying that someone other than him bit his leg off and murdered his sister. Well, his version of Jack Noir did murder Calliope’s dream self, but his wording is still very misleading.
Caliborn continues to blather on about how much of a tortured soul he supposedly is in ways somewhat reminiscent of the Amporas. I’ve said plenty that I find Caliborn much more reminiscent of Karkat than of Eridan, but at times like this there is a bit of the latter in him.
> I KNOW WHAT THE CRUX TO THIS HORRIBLE PROBLEM IS.
IT IS THAT, I AM MISUNDERSTOOD.
THE ATROCIOUS HATERS AND WEAK CHILDREN WILL SAY THAT I AM A MONSTER. THAT I AM THE BIGGEST BAD GUY. AND THAT MY EVIL CRIMES NEED TO BE STOPPED USING TANTRUM PUNCHES. BUT NO.
I AM JUST A SIMPLE ARTIST.
More Internet culture satire here. I can tell Hussie has a lot of fun using the cherubs to parody and exaggerate various types of content creators on the Internet—enthusiastic fan artists who know all the technical details of their favorite media for Calliope, and bitter tsundere complainers who insist upon irony and plead for support for Caliborn.
> SURE, SOME OF THEIR LIES HAVE SOME CORRECT QUALITIES.
YES, IT’S TRUE I HATE MANY THINGS, AND WANT THEM DEAD. LIKE ALL NON CHERUBS. WHO AREN’T ME.
YES, I MOSTLY WANT TO SEE EVERY LIVING THING TURN EXTINCT IN BAD WAYS. AND OK, I’VE ALWAYS BEEN A SUCKER FOR MAKING FUNNY MURDERS HAPPEN.
BUT THOSE ARE REALLY JUST HOBBIES! THEY DON’T *DEFINE* ME.
> MY TRUE PASSION. IS TELLING STORIES.
I HUGELY INSIST. THAT I WALK THE PATH. NOT OF A VILLAIN. BUT OF AN ARTIST!!!
A first-time reader can probably tell where this is going. It’s just like any old speech people give claiming all they want to do is produce art. It’s like Caliborn is some YouTuber who got into a horrid controversy but then made a lengthy apology video claiming amidst blubbery tears that his true goal in life is nothing more than to entertain people, expecting the comments to support him wholeheartedly rather than clowning on him some more.
Caliborn resolves to reinvent his art from square one, having confronted the difficult truth that manga will only lead him to pain and misery. Again, highly reminiscent of an overly apologetic content creator.
You probably already know that this image foreshadows a scene in Act 7. No need to go in detail here.
> AND AGAIN I WILL RISE.
LIKE A PHOENIX FROM THE ASSES. (“PLAY ON WORDS”.)
THE ASSES BELONG TO THE HATERS OF COURSE. WHICH I HANDED TO THEM PERSONALLY. WITH MY STRONG BARE HANDS.
If you’re an artist of any sort, it’s often a perfectly fine decision to start over and revamp your style, especially if you don’t like the direction you’re currently going in. Caliborn displays confidence that he will return to artistry stronger than ever before, which is admirable even considering how satirical the rest of his speech is.
As Caliborn plans out his self-dubbed Masterpiece, we can see in the image above that he has been rather quick to re-learn art. He’s managed to make good use of the mechanics of angles that he used to approximate a circle and drew a faithful blueprint of the stage where several cherub storytelling scenes take place, including his very own Masterpiece.
The next two pages after this one have a lot of interesting visual details, so I’ll go over those details before I go through the rest of the text.
Let’s just sidestep discussion of how much of a trainwreck Hiveswap’s Kickstarter was, OK?
Just read this article if you want to know how much hell Hiveswap went through.
The Kickstarter parody webpage has a color scheme that represents a cherub’s idea of something fantastic and exciting. On the top left is a video trailer that I can only guess what might be in it—perhaps a montage of Caliborn’s creative content demos set to The Lordling? An unbelievably catchy track by Toby Fox that fits Caliborn’s personality to a T and is a rearrangement of a song by Thomas Ferkol, easily one of Homestuck’s most underrated musicians. (Note that I personally think the Cherubim album is a mixed bag, but let’s not get too distracted here.)
On the top right of the webpage, we see that Caliborn has 15 backers; on the panel that follows it, we learn that those backers are his leprechauns and Gamzee. In the image above, we see Itchy tapping his keyboard at lightning speed to generate lots of Calcoins (more on that digital currency a bit later), while Doze next to him is absurdly slow as ever. I wonder if any other Felt members’ powers came in handy for this pledge? Maybe Eggs and Biscuits generated lots of clones to rack up about 20 times as much currency as either could alone, especially because those two aren’t very intelligent. Or maybe Clover played some luck-based minigames to generate coins and won every single one of them. Lots of possibilities here.
As for the goal of reaching one zillion currency units, I think I can imagine how that would be attained. Not through any hacking or cheating the rules; rather, generating such an enormous heap of money that the Kickstarter parody website cries uncle and sets the amount to a zillion. Caliborn can no doubt will a zillion to be a real number, presumably one that when written out in full is a massive string of ones.
The Kickstarter tiers are probably meaningless nonsense Caliborn put in because he had to put something there. It looks like he just decided to use clip art of sweet food with half-assed puns as flavor text and called it a day.
Now for the text that accompanies the Kickstarter parody panel:
> BUT THE THING IS.
MASTERPIECES DON’T COME CHEAP.
I KNOW I SAID, BLAH BLAH, I’M A SENSITIVE ARTIST. MY SOUL IS CRYING. STUFF LIKE THAT.
BUT LET’S FACE THE CRASS FACTS. I AM A GOD DAMN BUSINESS MAN. AND ART COSTS FUCKING MONEY.
This is where Caliborn drops the sadboy act and reveals his speech for what it truly is: a teaser for the final act of Homosuck. Although he was genuinely stunned when John beat him up, his reaction afterwards was severely exaggerated and meant to grab readers’ attention before the big surprise. Either that, or he just didn’t need much time to recover and get back on his feet.
On the panel with the Felt:
> AND SO I WILL NEED YOU TO PLUNGE YOUR GRUBBY FISTS.
FAR DOWN YOUR MONEY POCKETS. AND DONATE GENEROUSLY TO THE NEXT AND GREATEST ACT OF HOMOSUCK. YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED.
AS WE SPEAK. MY CLOSEST FRIENDS AND ALLIES. ARE DIGGING DEEP, AND CHIPPING IN. TOTALLY OPTIONALLY.
You won’t be disappointed by my commentary on the next and greatest act of Homosuck either… I hope not, at least. It’ll be a lot longer than this post, that’s for sure. Also, following “totally optionally” by “or else” with eleven exclamation points is another one of those seeming oxymorons that I view as Caliborn’s sense of humor.
I don’t remember what these QR codes link to, if anything. You can probably hold your phone up and try for yourself.
> THE SAVVY CASH GIVER WILL ALSO BE PLEASED TO KNOW.
THAT I AM GRACIOUSLY ACCEPTING “CAL COINS”. THE BLEEDING EDGE OF MODERN IMAGINARY CURRENCY. WHICH I RECENTLY MADE UP WITH MY COMPUTER. AND CAN CONFIDENTLY CLAIM. TO LARGELY UNDERSTAND.
From this passage, I gather that Hussie had no idea how digital currency worked but thought it would be funny to parody it anyway. I don’t really understand bitcoins and all that stuff either, but I image fans who do understand how they work probably got a good laugh out of this page.
> PLEASE STAND BY VERY IMPATIENTLY.
THROUGH THE NEXT LENGTHY BARRAGE OF NOT IMPORTANT STUFF.
I WILL BE USING LOTS OF FANCY SOFTWARE MONEY, TO CRAFT MY SWAN’S SONG.
TUNE IN NEXT TIME ON HOMOSUCK. FOR THE THRILLING AND ARTISICALLY UNBELIEVABLE CONCLUSION. OF HOMOSUCK.
Oh, if only making Hiveswap were that simple. This isn’t the first time Hussie used Homestuck to vent about Hiveswap development, but it’s definitely less forced than his self-insert’s encounter with Meenah in Openbound with the whole 2.5 million dollars thing that I still regularly see jokes about to this day.
BYE FOREVER, ALMOST.
Set to a snippet of the Warhammer of Zillyhoo music followed by a honk, the curtains close in on Caliborn bathing in cash and sweets. Recap time!
Act 6 Act 6 Act 4 is a promo for Caliborn’s Masterpiece that parodies other promos for other media, which is fitting to have after such a short A6A6I3. The end.
See you next time as John explores destruction, destruction, and more destruction.