Irrelevant Troubadour


Casey Lalonde, “Thank You”
December 1, 2010, 9:58 pm
Filed under: comics (web), internet nonsense, music

Something very strange is going on at MS Paint Adventures today.  Oh, the comic is normal (as normal as Homestuck can ever be), but the ads are very mysterious.  How so, you may ask?  Well, I suppose I’ll have to stop beating around the bush and tell you.

This is the music of Casey Lalonde. It’s pretty good ambient/indietronica stuff, though that’s not the sort of music I listen to all that often.  Plus the album art is pretty cool, and is apparently done by Lalonde himself.  Why do I bring this up?  Well I found out about Mr. Lalonde because he is currently advertising his album on mspaintadventures.com.  Not only that, he’s paying a ridiculous amount of money for the privilege to do so–if you live in the US and click one of his ads, you make Andrew Hussie $242.40.  None of this would be impressive, however, were it not for the fact that Casey Lalonde happens to share a name with two Homestuck characters.  There’s Rose Lalonde, one of the strip’s protagonists, and Casey, a young salamander who follows Rose around and sort of serves as her familiar.  This can’t be a coincidence.  No, something is afoot!

(or maybe some random friend of casey lalonde’s told him that he shared a name with some webcomic characters and he decided to buy an ad on the site for the lulz.  that could also be a possibility.)



[S] Jade: Enter
November 28, 2010, 4:56 am
Filed under: comics (web)

This is the first of what will probably be many entries from me about the one thing I am truly fanboyishly devoted to, MS Paint Adventures.  MS Paint Adventures is the collective name for a group of webcomics (I use the term loosely–they’re so much more!) by one Andrew Hussie, the current one being Homestuck.  I may someday write a long, gushing post about how Homestuck is the greatest thing ever to exist in the history of ever, but today I’m just going to post my rambly, incoherent thoughts on today’s update, ’cause man, it’s a doozy.  Be forewarned: if you haven’t read Homestuck, not only will this post be massively spoilery, but also will make absolutely no sense.

a carefree victory this is not

Now then, [S] Jade: Enter.

Holy fuck.

So my mind was thoroughly blown.  I don’t need to say that the animation and art and music were beautiful; that’s kind of a given here.  But man.  This comic just keeps topping itself.

My initial thoughts, story-wise:

1. Vriska, what the fuck is wrong with you?? You know this is serious because I’m using two question marks here (though I suppose I really should be using eight).  But seriously, what?? I understand she probably didn’t know that putting John to sleep would cause all this to happen, but that begs the question of why she did it in the first place.  Sigh.  I suppose we’ll find out in the next pesterlog.  Maybe.  It is interesting to note that Vriska shares the same physical disability as Jack (and as the the villian from Pupa Pan, but that’s neither here nor there, unless Acts 6 and 7 turns out to be about how fairies and MiRaClEs save everyone).

2. Why, exactly, does Jack go after the trolls in the first place?  From what we know of him, he shouldn’t know the trolls exist, let alone want to kill them.   Another thing that gets me about this is that when we see Jack on Prospit he doesn’t seem to just be wantonly destroying things.  No, it appears that he’s gone directly for Karkat.   Again, this seems strange to me.  First of all, as I said before, the Jack from the kids’ session shouldn’t know who Karkat even is; second of all, the trolls’ Jack and Karkat were pretty much bros.

Now let’s take stock of what we know about Jack.  Really, three things: he’s deadly ambitious, he’s chivalrous to a fault, and he believes in settling old scores.  Now, it’s possible that his interest in Karkat is a sort of callback to his fight with Bro. Jack might blame Karkles for exiling him (even though that was Terezi, Vriska, and the Black Queen*hey, this is another cycle-of-revenge plot! Jack is Making Her Pay!—but I digress), which is why he goes after him on Prospit (waiting until he wakes up—ever the gentleman *and notice how he’s holding a bloody hand out to Karkat—blood brothers indeed.).   This is of course assuming, once again, that Jack knows about other Jack, which is a pretty big assuming, especially since, if the kids’ Jack is Lord English, this means that the kids’ and trolls’ Jacks actually end up fighting each other.   It could be a function of First Guardian omniscience, but I doubt that works between universes.  The links I can think of as plausible are the Horrorterrors (remember, the server with Lord English’s summoning code is stored in the Farthest Ring) and some extremely Weird Time Shit.

3. The last scene of this flash is what gets me the most, however.  Not going to lie, it made me tear up just a tiny bit. Why does Jade have the beatific smile on her face? And why is “Carefree Victory”*the song at the end of Jade’s strife with Bec, where he’s her GOOD DOG BEST FRIEND playing?  The thing is that everything Bec did—prototype himself, blow up the Earth—was completely to protect Jade.  I feel like Jade is the only thing Bec cares about, and he will do anything to protect her.  Now, the idea of doing anything to protect someone is a bit of a cliché, but it takes on a whole new meaning if you happen to be omnipotent.  And the tragic thing is that while Bec cares about Jade, Bec only cares about Jade; if it was a choice between destroying the universe and have her die, we all know which one he’d pick.  It makes him a wonderful dog and a shitty First Guardian.

(And although I got the “snow means death subtext on the final scene, I really don’t think Jade’s going to die here for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that Hussie isn’t so much of a sadist as to do something like that to us. Please let me be right about that?)

Those were my initial reactions to the update, remember.  After consulting some of Hussie’s formspring answers about the flash and doing some thinking of my own, I revised my speculations a bit.  To wit:

The kids and trolls create the scratch because they need Jack to travel in the trolls’ universe.  Why?  Because he’s the only thing powerful enough to kill Lord English.  This came on by me thinking about why, if the scratch is what allowed Jack to travel to the trolls’ universe, the kids and trolls would try to create it.   Then I realised—this is all a big callback to the Midnight Crew intermission.  Jack Noir/Spades Slick is on a mission to kill Lord English.   They’re mortal enemies.  Now, I’m not saying that by Act 7 the kids will be able to control Jack.  This will be more of a fight-evil-with-evil (is that a trope?) situation.  They’re using their last-ditch option, but they need to take out Lord English, and Jack is the only thing that might be powerful enough to do it.

This might even explain why Vriska did what she did.   She knew somehow that creating Bec Noir was what had to be done (does she have a penpal?).

Who, then, is Lord English?  Well, we’re pretty much in the same boat as we were before.

To sum up: I suddenly understand jack shit.  But I love it.