Another Homestuck and Problem Sleuth post update

First I’ll talk about my next Homestuck post, then my plans for the Problem Sleuth post series.

My next Homestuck post will be released Saturday, September 3. I’m choosing this date because that’ll put me right back on track for releasing a post on the anniversary of this post series, assuming I’ll keep posting every five days. Sorry the date’s so late, but as I’ve mentioned before, that’s because it’s kind of long. It’s also sort of because I’ve been busy with some stuff, mostly keeping track of everything and getting used to stuff as I’m starting my last year of high school.

Now what’s up with my next post exactly? The bottom line is, dividing Act 6 Act 2 into posts ended up a lot more complicated than I thought it would be. Originally I wanted to do something like this:

  • One post for pages preceding the Dirk/Roxy selection screen
  • One post for Dirk’s half of the selection screen
  • One post for Roxy’s half
  • Two posts for the pages following the selection screen

As I soon discovered, the problem with that idea is, the first post here would cover about 80 pages, which is just way too much to write about in five days. So I ended up covering a little over half of those pages, and I’ve decided to revise the plan as follows:

  • Part of the pages preceding the selection screen
  • The rest of those pages + most of Dirk’s half
  • The last part of Dirk’s half + Roxy’s half
  • Two posts for the pages following the selection screen

I think that’s a fairly even way to divide up all these posts. I’ll let you know when I’m close to finished with the one I’m working on by updating this post.

As for my Problem Sleuth post series, I’m really not sure what to do with that. The commentary thing worked well with the first few chapters of the comic, but now, not so much. I do want to keep on re-reading the comic, but I think I might do the following: instead of writing up commentary the way I do with my Homestuck posts, I might start just writing down more general thoughts on the comic. Maybe there will be some parts I feel are really worth commenting on; I don’t know. I think I should see for myself how that’ll go.

Cookie Fonster’s Problem Sleuth Commentary Part 4: Liquor Explosions and Skull Puzzles


Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 >

Chapter 5 + part of chapter 6

Pages 328–422 (MSPA: 546–640)

NOTE: Next time I’ll try to release a Problem Sleuth post only slightly late rather than this. Sorry about all the delays.

10/1/2019 NOTE: This was my final Problem Sleuth post before I shelved the project, deeming it a failed experiment. Past the first few chapters, I couldn’t remember enough about the comic’s plot to write much meaningful about it; as such, this post isn’t really up to my quality standards. I do want to pick up my Problem Sleuth posts again someday, perhaps if I’m on a hiatus with my Homestuck posts.

When Pickle Inspector wakes to see his office flooded, the area with the elf is flooded as well. I’m kind of confused again—is that area part of the material world or not?

When Pickle Inspector is commanded to save the drowning elf, the narration says:

It is too late for him. There is nothing you can do.

First death that’s actually kind of sad.

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Progress report on next Problem Sleuth post

My next Problem Sleuth post covers about 120 pages, and I have 30 left to cover. I’ve kind of been working on it on and off, but now I’ve figured out a good way to make Problem Sleuth posts and Homestuck posts at once without sticking to one or the other for too long.

Sometimes in both post series, I reach a part where I’m not sure what to say about it. This happened about a week ago with my Problem Sleuth post series, where I reached a point where I thought, “man I don’t have anything to say about these next ten pages” and pretty much hit a roadblock. But just earlier today, I went back to those pages and thought up commentary easily, something I probably could’ve done a day or two after hitting the roadblock. And now I’ve also hit a similar point where I’m not sure what to say about the next bunch of pages. So I’ve decided to start doing the following: when I hit a roadblock on my next Problem Sleuth post I’ll work on my next Homestuck post, and vice versa. My next Problem Sleuth post should ideally be released tomorrow, two days before my next Homestuck post. EDIT (8/23): Actually, it’s more feasible to release both of those posts on August 24, leading to a 2x BLOG POST COMBO.

Next Homestuck post coming tomorrow

It’s almost done, I promise you; I’d say it’s at least 80% done. Next one after that will be released on the 24th if things go as planned; if that doesn’t work out then I’ll try to schedule my posts so that I publish one on the post series’ birthday regardless.

As for my next Problem Sleuth post, I haven’t been working on it very much, though I probably could finish it in the next few days while I work on my next Homestuck post after the one I’m working on, though not before I finish the one I’m currently working on.

Another blog update

I’m back from vacation, meaning I can once again make posts for this blog. And I’ve decided on what my schedule for my Homestuck and Problem Sleuth posts will look like as summer comes to a close.

For my Homestuck posts, I will return to an older posting schedule: new posts every five days. Until further notice, I’ll continue making those posts at this steady rate, even when school starts again. My next Homestuck post will be released August 9 August 10, next after that August 14, and then my every five days schedule will be put in action once more. I’m choosing this date because if I publish a Homestuck post every five days from that date onwards, that would mean I’ll release a post on the one-year anniversary of that post series (September 18, the day I released the series’ introductory post).

As for my Problem Sleuth posts, the pattern has generally been one Problem Sleuth post for every two Homestuck posts, so I might as well follow through with that and release a Problem Sleuth post every ten days or so. Those posts don’t actually take as long to make as my Homestuck posts; they’re just a lesser priority and thus I don’t work on those as often. Next Problem Sleuth post will be released August 12 or so.

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 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 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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Cookie Fonster’s Problem Sleuth Commentary Introduction

As I mentioned not long ago, I’m starting a new blog post series similar to my lengthy post series commenting on the famed story webcomic Homestuck, but covering its predecessor, Problem Sleuth. I would say it’s based on the success of my Homestuck post series, but that post series isn’t particularly popular at the moment. I would also append that sentence with “(yet)” if there was a non-awkward way to say that while also acknowledging that my posts becoming more popular is merely what I hope will happen.

Although Homestuck is unquestionably Andrew Hussie’s magnum opus, Problem Sleuth deserves some appreciation for keeping a consistent theme and storyline through its year-long run. Homestuck, while unlike Problem Sleuth intended as an “actual story” from the start, started as a command-based story of four teenagers playing a video game but gradually shed many of its original layers, progressing into a tale of gray-skinned aliens and lengthy dialogue and complex plot lines, and then incorporating relationship drama and aging up its characters and regularly going on hiatus to the point where it’s a completely different story from what it started as. This is not to say that what Homestuck became ended up being bad—although some people do think that, I actually like the middle section of the comic the most—it’s more like Problem Sleuth does a better job at keeping a consistent style. Throughout its run Problem Sleuth ran on user-suggested commands and kept its theme of being a video game adventure while still doing a good job at escalating its storyline, something that cannot be said of Homestuck.

Problem Sleuth is so far the only one of Hussie’s four comics on MS Paint Adventures to have a definite conclusion, sealing its role as a story more so than Homestuck which is the one that’s an actual story. Its predecessors of similar style, Jailbreak and Bard Quest, are both left unfinished, while Homestuck is either finished or semi-finished depending on how you look at it (I look at it as semi-finished). As it stands, Homestuck technically has an ending, but there’s a vaguely described epilogue planned as well. There is much debate as to whether Homestuck’s present ending is a good satisfying ending. Many readers, myself included, feel that the ending as it stands does not give a satisfying wrap-up to all its plot threads and character arcs. Some readers, myself still included, think Homestuck’s current ending doesn’t even hit some of the bare minimum requirements for a satisfying ending. Readers also can’t agree on what to expect for the epilogue of the comic, whether it will resolve stuff and possibly even redeem the ending, or if it won’t be of much substance. I personally have optimistic expectations for the epilogue, mostly because it really feels all “look I know Homestuck isn’t good anymore” to think it won’t be much good.

While Problem Sleuth has a solid conclusion, it still is at heart a silly video game parody story of clumsy detectives. But with a decent length of over 1600 pages, it’s still worth giving serious commentary, in what will be my second full read of Problem Sleuth. For reference, my first read of Problem Sleuth was on and off over the course of several months, and was at around the same time as my second read of Homestuck. While I have no posting schedule set in stone yet, I’m thinking of making these posts at a similar rate to my Homestuck posts: generally every 3-5 days, though it can vary. I think it’s reasonable to cover about 100 or more pages per post, similar to how I originally did my Homestuck post series. This means that if things go as planned, my Problem Sleuth post series will contain about 16 posts total and take a few months from start to finish.

List of posts:

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

(more coming at some point hopefully?????)

Cookie Fonster Says Stuff About His Homestuck Commentary 6: Over But Not Quite (the comic, not the post series)

So today was the final update of Homestuck. Except it isn’t quite the ending, since Hussie talked about making a final epilogue in the future. It still left a lot of plot points unresolved and we’ll probably have to wait still more months for the grand epilogue, but that’s besides the point. The point is, I want to say stuff about my post series now that Homestuck is semi-finished.

I originally intended to make this post series once Homestuck is over, because with that, the posts wouldn’t feel incomplete with inaccurate predictions or stuff I could say now but couldn’t have said back before the comic ended. The comic was supposed to be fully finished when I started this post series, with all plot points resolved.

Except the plot points aren’t solved. We still don’t know:

  • what happened to Lord English
  • the full story of Caliborn’s timeline and how he became Lord English
  • the deal with the cherub universe vs. the one the kids created
  • the full story of how Gamzee’s timeline went down (like what happened to him after we last saw him in [S] Collide?)
  • what events came before and after Caliborn’s Masterpiece, or where exactly (like from which timeline) the kids there came from
  • what ultimately happened to the Green Sun or the god tier version of Calliope
  • the purpose of destroying the Green Sun
  • what Vriska and company did with the magic chest
  • whether Vriska and the other trolls will too settle on Earth
  • what’s going to happen to the ghosts from Game Over
  • which ships will be canon in the end (this is kind of a joke thing, but seriously, that sort of thing is usually answered in the end of stories like this*)
  • what happened to all the sprites
  • what happened to (John)
  • what happened to everyone else who didn’t enter the victory door (Ms. Paint, Jack Noir, the Felt, whoever else)
  • the whole deal with Karkat’s supposed universe leadership role which the flash didn’t address at all
  • the ramifications of Terezi gaining pre-retcon memories
  • the thing of restoring the troll race (or the human race for that matter)
  • what all the classes and aspects mean for our resident theorists
  • probably some other stuff I forgot to list
  • to say nothing of the smaller plot points that have been hanging for a while (here’s a list someone made of unresolved plot points).
  • and to say nothing of character interactions we’ve been hoping would happen but haven’t gotten yet. When will Jade get her touching young guardian reunion? When will Jade have her dialogue reunions with everyone else for that matter? When will the alpha kids, with their absolute social trainwreck, have their grand reconciliation?

* For one thing, it was practically guaranteed at this point that John would get together with Roxy by the end. The Act 7 flash kind of implied this? But only kind of.

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