Tag: Andrew Hussie

Giving back

Giving back

Happy Homestuck day!

The phenomenon may have ended a few years ago, but my friend Juan‘s adjustments to our group Discord server shows that it’s still a holiday we celebrate.

Amazing how much of an impact that webcomic has had even…

Ten years later?

God I’m old.

Okay, let’s move on before I lose my mind.

It’s rare that I come to Cal State Fullerton on a weekend since I left the Daily Titan, but somehow I managed to get myself here two days this weekend.

Yesterday I was doing some work on behalf of the Honors Center. Today I was doing some work on behalf of SPJ.

It was Welcome to CSUF day! An annual event for incoming freshmen and transfer students to visit campus and check out different clubs and organizations.

I have some pretty strong memories of my welcome day four years ago, speaking of getting old.

It was the first time I met Bonnie, the recently retired Daily Titan advisor, and her sweet little doggo in a stroller.

Talk about a good first impression for an upcoming three-year stint on the paper!

Thus I know the event works.

So now that I’m the Secretary for our campus’ SPJ branch, I figured it would only be right to give back by telling new students about what kind of experiences the journalism program offered me.

… Especially since it got me a little more gif practice:

I was stationed on the lawn between the Education and Engineering buildings, standing in the sun alongside Kat Abando, a fellow soon-to-be graduate who I’ve worked with on the paper.

IMG_2526

Looked a little flushed after all was said and done, even though we had a large tent for all the Comm organizations to stave off the heat.

animated
More gif practice, baby

That harsh sun wasn’t enough to keep new students away however.

A ton of people were admitted for the upcoming year according to the school’s Associate Vice President of Student Engagement, which means there were a whole lot of bodies wandering campus.

By the end of the day, SPJ had at least 20 signatures from people interested in joining the club. Not a terrible haul, and everyone I got to talk with personally seemed really interested!

Especially after I humble-bragged just a little about awards I’ve gotten thanks to my on-campus engagement.

To be fair I was usually just explaining stuff that Kat was suggesting as examples. So it wasn’t like I was being entirely self-serving of my own accord.

Though it did feel good to see people impressed as I told them about stuff.

So that’s pretty cool.

A lot of my time was just standing around talking, so I can’t say a whole lot of interesting things about the experience in retrospect.

However, it was definitely great getting to see the generation coming in right as I’m on my way out.

There was a passing of the torch kind of sentimentality to the whole affair, and while I continue to be stressed about the whole graduation, seeing a strong brood on the way made me feel a lot better.

So here’s to the next generation.

Webcomics worth a watchful eye

Webcomics worth a watchful eye

Oh boy, this is a topic I’ve wanted to dive into for some time!

I consume a lot of media. Movies. Books. Video games. Podcasts. YouTube videos.

But also webcomics, which is a subject I haven’t had too many occasions to touch on despite it being one of my favorites.

The closest I’ve gotten was briefly mentioning my time with Homestuck the day it ended.

That particular comic was a different experience, however. My time with it was more concentrated to high school where updates were exciting events. It was much more of a social, community-driven interest for me.

I spent a good amount of time reading fan theories on Tumblr (recently in the news) and fan fictions on Wattpad (which I was surprised to find out still exists).

I went as Dave Strider to Anime Expo one year.

22418_10152204114980577_1717186013_n
Had to dig through the dark bowels of my early Facebook posts to find this…

I even started planning out this big Dungeons and Dragons-esque fan roleplay with my friend Sam.

Found the planning sheet for that when I was cleaning out my old Mac, and I think her reaction to it says everything:

IMG_1565

All that doesn’t take away from how excellent the webcomic itself was. Even before it was finished, there were some great think pieces about it — my favorite being from PBS Idea Channel.

Finding out that video is almost seven years old hurt my soul… So let’s move into contemporary subjects.

More of the webcomics I read today are quiet, personal experiences. Super fun and often passionate projects from individual creators and small teams that haven’t reached the scope of something like Homestuck.

The most recent of which, Kid Midnight, being my spark to finally talk about them.

It all started yesterday when I was catching up on a few episodes of the podcast Still Untitled (most notably starring Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame). The usual suspects were discussing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse with Ben Acker, who plugged his recent venture with the artist Natalie Nourigat.

His pitch was that the comic is an autobiographical story being drawn by a facsimile of Batman’s sidekick, Robin, as he tries to decide whether he’ll be a superhero or go to art school.

That was enough to sell me, but after reading through the seven current ‘episodes,’ I feel it sells the project short.

Kid Midnight is all about that sidekick dealing with not just career goals, but also the other trappings of adolescence. Love one is too scared to admit, popularity, imposter syndrome…

All guised in an incredibly charming, funny and beautiful comic.

Just go read it. I promise it’s worth the time, and you can bang out what’s there in a half hour tops. When I write this, anyway.

Next on my docket of favorite webcomics to suggest is Erma, by Brandon Santiago.

The elevator pitch for this comic is simple: Imagine if the monster from The Ring was actually a lovely, sociable woman who married a human that writes horror novels.

The comic centers around their young daughter — Erma — as she goes to school, spends time with her friends and does supernatural stuff.

It’s honestly one of the most adorable things I’ve ever read. You get a brilliant contrast between horror tropes and “scary” images that are followed by Erma watching Warrior Unicorn Princess with her babysitter.

The comic begins with one-off stories like you might see on the funny pages. But eventually there are sprawling story arcs — the current one about Erma and her family going to a Yokai village in Japan to meet her Yakuza-esque grandfather.

It’s wonderful to see the passionate community blossom over time, and the author has recently announced plans for spin-off comics being drawn by other artists and a phone app. There’s a lot to love!

For the final stop on my tour, I’m going to go in a bit more of an obtuse direction.

Tales of Elysium is another long-running comic from a team called Sleepless Skink Productions that presents a vision of Pokémon similar to the Mystery Dungeon series.

Except with a far darker tone and narrative.

The story centers around a Riolu named Leon and a Totodile named Vagus as they get sucked into conflict with a demented band of Pokémon and their feral underlings who hope to… Well we don’t totally know yet.

Presumably destroy all of the surviving members of an ancient civilization so they can take over the world.

We just haven’t gotten the full backstory at this point.

The story is quite long with no signs of slowing down anytime soon, and there are just as many quiet, enthralling character moments as there are swashbuckling Pokémon battles in a gruesome, more realistic style than you’ve probably ever seen.

I would argue the art direction of Tales of Elysium is its strongest selling point. Every single panel is immaculate — almost TOO good for a project focusing on Pokémon.

Though I wouldn’t say that because I adore Pokémon.

Also because the story and characters that have been created for that world more than justify a beautifully dramatic art style.

So there you are. Three different flavors of comics for your viewing pleasure.

Though I’m still fresh to Kid Midnight, I would definitely say it fits into my pantheon of weekly reads alongside Erma and Tales of Elysium. Catching up on my comics each Friday has become a favorite wind-down activity for me.

However, I’m always looking out for more!

If there are any webcomics out there that you love, please don’t hesitate to let me know about them. I’d love to expand my scope even further.

Let me tell you…

This is probably going to be a little bit different than my usual posts, but honestly I feel like it’s a service I need to provide.  Today is April 13th, or 4/13, and today was the day where the final update for a webcomic called Homestuck was uploaded.

For those of you who have heard of it, this post will seem easily redundant and underwhelming, but for those who haven’t heard of it, here’s a real basic synopsis of Homestuck.  Homestuck is a webcomic created by Andrew Hussie which follows a group of kids as they play a game together where the end goal is to create a new universe.  It gets much more hectic than that, but the story is so long and so layered that it would be impossible to do it justice here.  The comic has been running since April 13th, 2009 – It’s seven years old as of today where its seventh act has both debuted and concluded.

thanksforplaying
An image from Homestuck’s final flash: [S] Act 7         Image courtesy of mspaintadventures.com
I don’t really have anything profound to say because the ending is so fresh, and I have no desperate pleas to get the comic readership since it has a pretty strong cult following as is. I just wanted to say that the comic has been a huge part of my life for literally years now, and it’s helped me cultivate a lot of ideas and friendships that have led me to become the person I am today.

I wanted to thank Andrew Hussie and all those who helped him create the lengthy masterpiece for all they’ve done however I can, and this seemed like a fairly appropriate way to do it.  I’m looking forward to the epilogue whenever it’ll be posted, as well as the game that’s been in production based on the Homestuck universe.

For anyone who hasn’t seen Homestuck and wants to check it out, you can by going here to this series of numbers: 88888888