Posted on July 6, 2024, 10:14 pm

And we're back.*

* For the most part. We're back enough to get the show on the road. Next update's a big one, a doozy, as they call it, and with August 8th, END OF YEAR 3 coming up, let's shoot for that, that gives me a solid month to do what I'm looking for out of this next update.

In the meantime, you could go check out some friends's comics: AUTOPRAXIS, by friend of the show Audrey, or perhaps LOFTLATCHED, by friend of the show Pat. Both are fun and funny Sburb adventures that I'm really enjoying, both are updating pretty regularly, both are by good friends, it's good times all around.

Posted on June 4, 2024, 3:37 pm

This update, kicking off Act 2 Volume 2 is perfectly on time, but that's only because I've had it done and uploaded since finishing the last one. The next updates might not be so lucky!

The last several weeks have been hectic. I'll spare you the grislier details, but if you'd like a run-down, consider reading the following in the voice of Sam Reich introducing you as a contestant on Make Some Noise, and then pantomiming each action as you walk to your podium.

  • The sudden passing of a beloved pet, it's...!
  • The temporary hospitalization of my father, it's...!
  • Calling an HVAC technician to service my air conditioner, it's...!
  • The purchase and installation of a replacement air conditioner, it's...!
  • Calling an electrician to replace an outlet since the new AC blew fuses, it's...!
  • The simultaneous failure of both the hard drive with my art on it, and the second hard drive I keep that first hard drive backed up to, it's...!

It's this last one which impacts comics making the most, obviously. A lot of what I lost is stuff I can't perfectly replace but also lean heavily on: raw panel files, Adobe Animate projects, layered version of sprite mode rooms, animatics for future [S] pages, concept art, and writing. A decent amount of writing remains in drafts on my phone and in cloud storage, certain art assets like the post-timeskip sprites remain in Clip Studio Paint's material catalogue, code remains in Github remote sources, it can all be rebuilt, but that'll take some time, and well, it's tough, man. It's tough.

Basically everything after the pandemic started is gone. Atop everything else, a lot of projects I had but just never had enough to start posting are gone. In the most recent update, Dirk mentions a version of the Grimoire for the Summoning of the Zoologically Dubious, that's one of the things gone. So much is just, gone.

I try not to plug the Patreon without something to show, but that essay about update scheduling I had in the works is one of the things gone, too. And well, it's pride month. You can indulge me a little, can't you? The world is tough enough for trans women even when I'm not experiencing a 24-karat run of bad luck.

So I will doff the cap, and do a real call to action, just this once. If you like this comic, or me in general, or Homestuck fanworks, consider donating, or joining as a free member. That's actually not a bad position to be in, since those long-form essays on the Patreon become free a month after they go up, and that's how you can learn about that. I really have been caring for the Patreon a lot recently. It's got this nice kind of relaxed tone, where I can go up there and just shoot the shit about something I've been thinking about while making comics, and people tend to like it. If that's too much commitment, you can check out my Ko-fi for one-off donations.

It's kind of cliche to write, and I'm sure you've heard it before, but BDTH really does survive off crowdfunding like this. It pays to keep servers up, it pays for domains, it pays for stuff that makes this comic pop, and it'll realistically speaking, pay for the replacement of my poor, deceased hard drives.

While pulling from older hard drives to start rebuilding, though, I realized a bit that I first wrote down for BDTH in 2018 finally got an appearance in the most recent animation. Some of the first things I wrote for this comic in 2017, 2018, 2019 will be coming up in this next set of chapters. Things move slowly, ever so slowly, and with no shortage of setbacks, but I am excited nonetheless.

Happy pride.

Posted on May 4, 2024, 3:05 am

Quick check in on update scheduling, since at the start of March, I said I'd be trying out new schedules for updating. I had fun, but in terms of sustainability, this didn't work out especially well, since it's actually kind of obliterated my ability to backlog, and made Eternal September harder to update in turn because of that. Atop that, summer is creeping over the horizon, and the summer heat is my number one struggle for updating. With that in mind, I'm gonna move back to weekly updates. I'll write more about this on Patreon soon, but that writing will wind up taking a more essay-like tone on update pacing in general, which is why it's going there.

In the meantime, check out the Patreon ahead of that - right now, behind the paywall is an essay I wrote about my approach to writing June Egbert which I think is pretty insightful, since she is a strange and messy character, and deserves a strange and messy narrative to go with. It'll be free on the 14th, two weeks from now, but I think the Patreon has been pretty good recently, and maybe you'll like it too.

Posted on March 9, 2024, 1:10 pm

Hey! As promised, here's an RSS feed. There may be some issues, since this codebase is a mess, but hey, it's a long-requested thing and I've kind of been putting it off for the exact reason you'd think. So if you're the kind of sicko who uses RSS feeds, this is for you.

Posted on February 27, 2024, 2:10 pm

Long time, no news post! It has been a hot minute since I got into this little text box and bared my soul, my grim newsposting soul.

Quick check in storywise: ACT 2 is well on its way now. This is going up right after the third photo in chapter 3, and after the Janerezi update, it's open road on the narrative developments superhighway. Chapter 2 ended with an animation, that was [Nothing but] Flowers by Talking Heads. It also marks the moment the rubber hits the road!

With that in mind, I'm also gonna drop this: updates are gonna get more irregular! That's not to say there will be less - depending on how things go, there may actually be more. Right now, I've been updating with 10-20 pages a week, but these tend to be complete, digestible scenes, while as we progress into Act 2, scenes may actually be better served to be spread out over time.

This is nothing to say of hitting milestone dates, stuff like putting off scenes like the January Eternal September update until the Feast of the Epiphany, when the three magi were introduced, or putting off Nepeta's revival until Valentine's Day felt weird, that's just not a day I update, what am I doing? So starting next Tuesday, there will be smaller updates, but more of them. If that doesn't work out, I'm game to go back to Tuesdays - after all, I like the stability.

Oh, also, I've been neglecting this box so much, I haven't mentioned the Patreon. I've been posting short essays that double as author commentary over there. It's not the same kind of page-by-page commentary that I've tried before, it's more topical and about specific ideas I'm working with, more than it is the page by page developments. I've had fun writing them, and maybe you'll have fun reading them.

They're paid, but they go up for free for non-patrons after about a month. One essay about picking Vriska's deadname just became free not too long ago, and the one that will be free next month is about conflicting emotional tones. It's fun stuff! Maybe I'll get back to that EOA1 devlog, too. I had a hook but then lost a lot of the files involved in that specific topic, so I'll have to pick something else.

And as always, I answer (almost) every question thrown at me on Retrospring. So if you've got questions, I'll (almost) answer them.

Posted on December 2, 2023, 10:14 am

And we're off to the races.

The song you heard yesterday was Pilot Light, from coloUrs and mayhem: Universe B.

So throughout Act 1, I would update on Tuesdays. Choosing to update on Tuesdays again turned out to be no problem. So, this coming Tuesday: The promised Eternal September update. Every Tuesday following: Act 2. Same spider-time, same spider-place!

While Act 1 was this very down-tempo iyashikei-type story, Act 2 (tentatively titled "The Singularity") is a real fucking behemoth of an act. There is a lot of ground to cover, and it's all bangers.

As they say in the Dark Souls cesspits, the real Burning Down the House starts here.

Posted on November 22, 2023, 12:06 pm

Housekeeping notes!

I updated some of the site CSS so that panels scale up pixel-perfectly and so that certain text colors are Homestuck-accurate, using Flare's HS Hex Codes list. (If you've ever wanted "Pesterlogger, but more", check out Homestuck5plus, too.) This may affect Pesterlogger outputs, but it'll affect them for the better. If you use Pesterlogger and get yelled at for incorrect colors, that'll stop now! (Sorry!)

I also edited a few spritelogs to adequately reflect the characters' names. No changes to the words being said, but Davepeta is now a proper DAVEPETASPRITE^2, and their dual-colored text is now formatted properly.

The third thing, backlog. Do you remember MSPAProphet? Well, I do. So I made my own prophet. That is to say, you can see how many pages are backlogged, and how long it might take for them to be posted. There's some cute art too. Shout out to MSPA Prophet, the funniest story to come out of Homestuck fandom in its heyday.

Fourth, and least, there was also a patch for the End of Act 1 Act 2 walkaround. It fixes a bunch of stuff like [REDACTED] and [REDACTED]. Boy, I sure was a fool for thinking finishing Act 1 would make me less busy.

Posted on November 12, 2023, 8:01 pm

ACT 1 is now done, and the adventure map has been updated.

What a wild ride, am I right? I'll be fixing some of the stray bugs here in the next few days, and dev logs with patch notes will go on the page. I'd also recommend you check out the credits page, since Winona (read Girls with Horns) and Austin (read Vast Error) did great.

So with ACT 1 concluded, it's time to talk about what's next. Eternal September will remain amongst the update rotation, both because it's kind of important to some developments in Act 2, and also to keep momentum up!

I updated weekly during ACT 1, but that's kind of premised on having all of ACT 1 written, and that's something I'd still need to do if I want to do the same for ACT 2. Though, I'd still like to get back to weekly updates, it was really fun.

So let's say it'll go like this:

  • Keep your head on a swivel for Eternal September, amidst me writing ACT 2.
  • December first: Intermission 1.
  • Then, BDTH ACT 2 starts in earnest, interspersed with Eternal September updates. (Burning that bridge when we come to it!)

In the meantime, here's some stuff to check out that I've been enjoying recently:

  • sburb.EXE is a very cute ACT 1-like Sburb adventure with a loveable cast and it's also VERY funny. Kiki sweep.
  • Wake Up is a great fantroll-driven Sburb adventure, with a premise that makes it feel deeply unique and there's some great trolls in there too. Wallin sweep.
  • Homestuck: Beyond Canon is back, and looking great. Sollux sweep.

Posted on September 2, 2023, 12:06 pm

Alright, news post time. First up, Eternal September pages 1-18 are now available to be read.

Next, some questions, and some answers for Eternal September.

  • How does this relate to Burning Down the House? Well, if it helps, a while I was waffling between it being an intermission and a full-on spinoff. However, some theming and narrative developments has necessitated me keeping track of intermissions, so consider them sort of like Homestuck^2's bonus comics - side stories in the same world, using the same ideas and characters, that may intersect with the main story but probably won't.
  • When will this update? Whenever! Obviously, BDTH has primary focus, so these spinoffs and side comics will update... whenever, really.
  • There's more? Yeah! There's been a Patreon goal for a while (that is no longer around since Patreon decided it was too good to have features) for an Alternian mythology comic, that's still in the barrel. Doing this kind of side stuff has always been part of the plan.
  • How long will it run for? Good question! I doubt Eternal September in specific will run very long - perhaps a decent few hundred. Again - before deciding it would be a spinoff, it was planned to be a (still admittedly rather large) intermission. But that September 1st, 2023 release date for a comic set on September 1st, 1993? Very alluring.

Lastly, the End of Act is almost done - I know I've been banging this drum for a while, but in sincerity, it only gets closer. It's been over a year since the last update, but I haven't stopped working on BDTH. Even on days where I can't draw because of the heat or long COVID or just plain old illness, it's buzzing around in my brain. There's only a few shots left. I don't want to go find the gauges and meters image I've been using, so we'll call it "mostly done". Any day now.

Posted on August 8, 2023, 10:14 am

Happy 8/8!

It's my birthday, and the comic's birthday too! Funny how that works out. So let's talk plans for the rest of the year. It's just about time to get things going again, so let's lay out some dates!

Some time this month, come hell or high water: END OF ACT 1. You know it, you love it already. The animation is the last thing that needs to get done.

September 1st: The first update for ETERNAL SEPTEMBER. What's that, you may ask? Well, I don't quite think "spinoff" is the right word. I waffled about on whether it should be a standalone comic or an intermission for a very long time. There will be more details when that drops.

Then, the time between EOA1, ES, and the return of weekly updates will be spent building back a page buffer. For Act 1, I had a page buffer that consisted of the entire act, and that still wasn't enough to cover gamedev work. (Admittedly, this is because I was also redrawing it as I was putting it down.)

September 12th, then, would be the return of weekly updates with ACT 2, tentatively unsubtitled.

September 15th-25th is GBJAM 11. I do this every year, and part of why I want a buffer is so that I can do so GBJAM again without breaking update flow.

I've been climbing this hill for so long and the top is visible now. And I'm gonna get so much road rash when I skate down it and tumble directly into the parking lot.

Thanks for sticking with me, and can you please bring me some gauze and disinfectants.