Starting Tuesday, July the 24th, Square-Headed will update twice a week. Once on Tuesday, and again on Thursday.
Square-Headed has had a few sporadic comic updates over the past few years, almost like a mostly empty oxygen tank barely keeping an astronaut alive. I am currently working to stop this trend, not by emptying the oxygen tank and letting it die, but by strapping a new tank in and actually getting something done around here. Although it doesn't have the most viewers(if there are any here reading this, I thank you for your patience and support), I've always felt annoyed by the fact that Square-Headed has been languishing in its little corner of the internet. Incomplete. Unattended by its creator. For a time I think I was just going to let it go(f@#$ off, Elsa...), but I could never actually bring myself to do that.
So here we are.
Viva Medici! Er, Figaro. I meant Figaro.
They say a joke isn't funny if you have to explain it. I say that a little explanation can go a long way towards at least a chuckle. So here's maverick one, and here's maverick two. Nothing like obscure references to things few people know about... As long as we're on the subject, though, the maverick is an ok responsive yoyo. However, the Replay Pro and the Protostar by Yoyofactory are both in the same price range, and waaaaaaay better(they're also unresponsive, which means you need to know how to bind, which means you need to Google it).
...but it is done. My first "Petit Computer" program, a Tetris clone dubbed Icatris, is done. I used this little project as a means of learning how program in Basic, and was a lot of fun to make despite all of the setbacks(not knowing anything about Basic, rewriting whole sections of code, switching methods, forgetting about it, playing it...). I have additional plans for this clone, too, such as adding in music from "Kid Icarus", MAYBE adding another game mode, and some other thing I've forgotten. But why bother listening to me drone on any longer? If you have "Petit Computer", scan that shit in and play it.
If you run across any bugs, please tell me, even if you decide to fix it yourself.
There are five files in total: Game file, Graphics file 1, Graphics file 1, Color file, and the Font file. Yes, I'm sure I could've found a better way of managing the files. Guess I should work on that for the next version as well...
"Kid Icarus" sprites property of Nintendo, "Final Fantasy VI" font property of Square-Enix.
My website isn't dead yet.
... but everything in the current Square-headed arc is loosely based off events that actually happened to me and the people with whom I once worked within close proximity. Some events have been embellished and a few are outright fabrications. Same goes for the characters. I do not intend to pass it off as 100% truth, nor should you believe that it is.
That's not to say that I won't preserve some of the events in full.
Jeff Hackmann, AKA Dark-NESS, AKA Screamin_Wookiee
This incident was a very real thing that happened to a very real me. The only difference between this facsimile and reality is that I did not offer to work by myself to let another go home(we also closed earlier, not that it mattered). Indeed, I had no say in the matter. For two days, the world had snowed and iced up the town, making the roads treacherous. Because of the conditions, most everyone in the deli(and probably the store) had called in. I, feeling bad for having already called in the day before, decided it would be best to go to work since my dad is able in skill to traverse such terrain. The incident then proceeded to play itself out in the manner I have portrayed in my comic, though with less montage and more weary dizziness. Afterwards, I at least I felt like I had accomplished something, and thus allowed myself the pleasure of feeling like I could take anything on, that this was the culmination of all I had learned in the two months prior(the time between the incident and my hiring). Yes, I had taken on the deli at its worst, and I had succeeded.
The next day, the morning crew came and bitched to all my friends about the remaining mess, despite having no knowledge of my situation, and getting the day before off to do whatever they pleased.
At least management was grateful.
Wait, no, they never said anything about it.
Jeffrey Hackmann, AKA Dark-NESS, AKA Screamin_Wookiee
... that video games are responsible for violence are stupid and ignorant.
The real culprit for violence is math. Specifically algebra.
Jeff Hackmann, AKA Dark-NESS, AKA Screamin_Wookiee
... is probably useless because I doubt anyone believes anymore that things are coming. It's too bad I had to go and prove everyone wrong about that today. Oh well, that's life.
Motivating myself of late has been a bitch, but hopefully my new PC will change that. I've found new reason to continue Square-Headed regardless of whether or not anyone reads it, and that is because it is fun for me to write and to make. This should've been incentive enough, but sometimes it just feels like work.
As in "job-like" work.
Granted, that should be the ideal to strive for: Square-Headed becoming my job. I could do that. I WOULD do that. In a heartbeat even. Unfortunately, I need many, many more readers for that, as well as well paying sponsors. It might help if I advertised more, too. I'm rambling now, so I guess I should stop that. If you enjoy Square-Headed, welcome back. If you've just found this, please take the time to read some of them. More comics are on the way, this is assured.
Oh, wait, I've been saying that for months, too.
Jeff Hackmann AKA, Screamin_Wookiee, AKA Dark-NESS
What's going on right now is I'm trying to finish a script that I did not remember was unfinished. This script is the same one that began here, and I find it irritating to start making an arc with an unfinished script, so I need to finish it. Amidst playing "Minecraft". And "Osu!". And Pokemon... Final Fantasy IX, too... In the meantime, here's a homework assignment I did for literature during the spring semester. What I had to do was either explain, or give examples of various types of conflicts found in fiction. I wrote examples, because I thought that would be more interesting. And more fun.
Don't be surprised if more short stories wind up on here.
Jeff Hackmann, AKA Screamin_Wookiee
1(person vs. person): The two men had been at it for hours, fighting and fighting without rest. Each was covered in sweat and breathing heavily. Long ago they had reached their limits, but still they faught with what little strength they had left. Adrastus brought his sword down in an increasingly lazy fashion, which Alcaeus easily blocked and retaliated with equally low force. At one time, these two had been friends. Common ground had brought them together, unfortunate circumstances had made them enemies. For a long time they had tolerated each other, both trying to prevent the other's success while promoting themselves, each action building up to this moment, this fight. But so equal are these two that neither will come out on top. They will both die, all while believing themselves to be the better.
2(person vs. nature): For seven long hours the sun had blazed down from its chariot high in the sky. Faustina cursed it as she walked. Since the moment she had woken up it had managed constant assault on her. And just why not? She could do nothing to it, threats of violence were empty. The molevolent entity might even enjoy the negative attention it was getting and be antagonizing her on purpose. Surveying her surroundings and still seeing nought but sand and dunes then made her think that maybe it simply took delight in killing things in certain parts of the world. In the distance she could see reflective ripples, but had since learned that it did not mean water. These last two days the sun had not experienced the satisfaction of watching her run off into an illusion only to find more sand and nothing helpful. This, of course, was not helping her, either. Some time after each illusion, she would wonder whether it was or was not real, berate herself for not checking, then tell herself that there was no sense in expending energy in self loathing. At least this time she would not have to run off in some other direction to check; the illusion was already in her chosen path. As she approached it she made sure to keep her mind from thinking of anything. Thinking could lead to hope, and hope is easily dashed. She drew closer, the illusion began to look more real, but still she didn't think. Trees and grass became visible, with a beautiful pond of water in the middle, and still she thought nothing of it. Her feet hit the grass, felt their cool touch. Her hand touched the tree, its rough surface scraping dust and durt from her fingers. Despite this evidence of reality, Faustina refused to allow herself to think it was real. Then, something made her change her mind: darkness. Or something close to it, anyway. Something was blotting out the sun, protecting her from its terrifying gaze and bathing her in cool air. It felt good. So good, in act, that she finally let go of her inhibitions, accepted this as real and drank deeply of the cool water laying not far from the tree. Once her thirst was quenched, she looked up to the sky to proclaim "Jupiter be praised!" and immediately fell foreward, dead. While she had been drinking, a spider had bitten her foot and injected its liquid death.
3(person vs. society): Elza looked out the window and saw them, her enemies. It was disturbing just how inconspicuous they were, but she saw them all the same; her eyes were too sharp to be fooled, her mind too focused to be tricked. She checked her twelve gauge again, making sure that its magazine was full and that it wasn't jammed. In a few minutes it would begin, her sweet vengeance against the body that continues to tear "undesirable" parts of itself out in favor of its ever growing and reproducing pathetic, insignificant, indistinguishable, ignorant, mindless, "acceptable" parts. Elza was different, but the body abhors anything different. It wants everything to be uniform, simple, routine. If someone does not uphold the status quo, or believes that one can move up to better stature, they are punished by the body. If one is to stay alive and not be destroyed, they must have noble upbringing, money, connections, they must accept everything as it is and keep those beneath them crushed under their feet. Elza couldn't live in a world like that. She wouldn't live in a world like that. She would change it. Again she checked her twelve gauge and was satisfied. She looked up at the clock on the wall opposite her. Two-o-six. Four more minutes and it would begin. Three more minutes until the explosives went off. Two more minutes until the private school for the rich was a damaged, burning wreck. One more minute until she would pick off the students one by one, destroying that which keeps the body alive. Boom!
4(person vs. self): Juan opened the 'fridge and looked inside. He was hungry, but he wasn't exactly sure what he wanted to eat. It was his hope that in looking for something he would find something suitable; and this was true as he immediately spied some meatballs and tomato sauce that would make an excellent sandwich. He was reaching for them when he noticed something else that fit his desires: a watermelon. Just looking at the fruit made him want to eat it, but he had already decided on the meatball sandwich. Or had he? He hadn't heated them up yet or anything, and it wouldn't take as long to cut up the watermelon... But the meatball sandwich would also be good, and he had some special garlic bread he would use. Could a watermelon even compete to something with so many complex flavors? It was just a watermelon! It was simple, messy, cold... and juicy, delicious, great for summer nights and not usually in season as compared to meatballs you could get year round. But which one did he want? Meatballs or watermelon? Did he even want anything? Presently, his stomach growled to confirm that he did, in fact, want something to eat. And here he was facing the terrible fact that he would have to choose between two of his favorite things in the world. Money was tight right now, he couldn't have both. His gaze shifted between the two very different foods, his mind beginning to reel from hunger and lust.
"Yo, Juan?" Juan's roomate, Brice, began, "don't eat those meatballs, they're mine."
"Oh, ok." Rapture! A choice has been eliminated, Juan can freely eat the watermelon! But even as he pulled the heavy, water-laden object from the 'fridge, his heart began to weep for the food he could not enjoy.
5(person vs. machine): Beatrix really liked her computer. It was probably the best thing she had bought for herself in recent months. It was a powerful machine, able to run any currently available software with no slowdown, with a large hardrive and many programs already installed. And, of course, it came loaded with Microsoft's latest operating system 'Windows 2015'(which was a million times better than MacOS-Mirage). This was probably her favorite part of it, because 'Windows 2015' included a life-like Artificial Intelligence built right in. This was supposed to make the computer even easier to use than before as well as make it immune to any virus ever created in the past, present, and future. There was just one little problem with it...
"I own a horse," a digitized voice stated without prompt.
"Nobody cares," Beatrix replied halfheartedly, tired of its incessant, inane, internet fueled comments.
The A.I. was an asshole.
"You jelly?" the computer asked.
"Want to look at pictures of puppies?"
"No! Shut up!" A web browser popped up on its own, complete with images of the cutest puppies in existence. Beatrix groaned and tried to close the browser, but her mouse no longer worked. "For crying out loud, Twenty-Fifteen, give me control of the mouse!"
"But this is what you wanted to look at."
"When did I say that!?"
"Just now," and a sound clip began to play: "I, BEATRIX LUNAR, want to, LOOK AT PUPPIES UNTIL MY EYES BLEED." The splicing of recordings of her voice and the computer's recreation was so poor it would've made an amateur sound artist's work sound like Mozart. Beatrix buried her face in her hands.
"Problem?" the computer asked mockingly.
6(person vs. supernatural): "Bullshit!" screamed Renick. "That is complete and utter bullshit!"
God, who was sitting directly opposite him, simply shook his head. "Well, what were you expecting?" he asked, his voice incredibly calm. "I said I was good at this, didn't I?"
"Do you have any idea how long this has been going on!?" Renick demanded.
"Twenty-seven thousand years." God answered.
"And how many games have we played?"
"Three hundred forty-four million, nine hundred twenty-five thousand."
"And how many times have you won?"
Renick threw his cards on the table. "Exactly! How is that possible? Nobody can play that many games of poker and come out with a one hundred-percent win streak! You're cheating!"
"I am not."
"I had a f---ing Royal Flush and you still beat me!"
"Because we both agreed that each suit would not be equal. Spades are high, Clubs are next, then diamonds and hearts at the bottom. My Royal Flush was made of Spades, yours was made of Diamonds. It's still within the rules, and I still win in a completely fair fashion."
Renick got up from his seat and stalked off. "Not f---in' fair..." he muttered.
... Square-Headed and all related activites are being suspended until furthur notice. I need this time to focus on my schoolwork so that I can pass, get my degree, and achieve my dream. Square-Headed is still very important to me, but I really, really need to get the more urgent shit done first.
Comics are going to be appearing again! Amazing, I know. I've been busy with schoolwork since January, so it's not too surprising that I've been forgetting about this place. I also got addicted to Osu! again(something I am going to endorse again and tell you to play right this instant)... Basically what I'm trying to say is this absence is inexcusable, it's totally my fault and I need to fix it.
So a new episode of the current arc, Baseless Conjecture, will be going up soon, and it will continue to update on time from now until its natural end, and then we'll be getting back to more adventures in Square-Headed. I should also be posting some more short stories and vignettes later on, mostly stuff I made for school that I really liked.
I hope you're still reading... even though there's been nothing new to read. Sorry about that.
17 days left...
Jeffrey A. Hackmann, AKA Dark-NESS, AKA Screamin_Wookiee
Yeah, sorry about the lack of updates lately and the terrible schedule upon which they seem to revolve, but I'm doing my best here.
No, sorry, that's a lie. I'm NOT doing my best AT ALL. If I were doing my best, I would be updating waaaay more often than I am now. Regardless, I'm not dead, Square-Headed isn't going away, it's just... kind of... in pieces right now... The next story arc isn't entirely finished or refined yet, but it's coming. Just hang in there.
Jeff Hackman, AKA Dark-NESS
She was around here somewhere. She had to be. A person doesn't simply vanish into thin air. Especially not one who had just murdered twenty people in the same building during the last hour. But, damn, she was hard to find! To Mark it felt like he had passed through these blood marked halls at least fifteen times now, and nothing had changed. No new footprints, no new bullet holes, or screams...
Mark ran up the next stairwell he saw, hoping that he would find his target on the third floor. Again he tore throught the hallways, peeking into each and every classroom he passed looking for other survivors, but only finding more of those same forty pound containers of homemade ANFO that haunted the school. Wondering how and when she had gotten them in the building, or how she had made it were questions for another time. He had to find her fast. He didn't know if she actually would destroy the school, but he didn't really want to find out, either. At least not from this distance.
He finished checking the last room, still finding nobody, and ran straight towards the last place left to check: The roof. It wasn't very probable seeing as how the police were outside in huge numbers, but she wasn't anywhere else.
His feet pounded on the stairs as he put the last of his might into making it up. At the top, he stumbled through a door that should've been locked and right into the barrel of a shotgun.
"You should've listened," was the last thing he heard before a hideous crack sent him back down the stairs, blood trailing from multiple holes in his gut. Straining to move even his eyes, he looked up to the top of the stairs and saw the one he had been looking for. The one who had just pumped him full of lead.
"E... lz... a...." He rasped. His head sagged to one side, bringing him face to face with yet another container of ANFO. For some reason, he still feared that stuff. Even though he was about to die from excessive bleeding, the thought of a painful, fiery death still had weight. He began shaking. It was getting cold. Thought after thought began to race through his mind. Each one held a common theme: Why?
"Because I hate you. I hate all of you. Every single person down to the last unborn infant. Everything you people do, and everything you have ever done." Mark realized that he'd been mouthing the word and stopped. He looked out the side of his eyes and saw Elza staring right back at him, her face so beautiful even when stained in blood. Elza conitnued: "And I hate you because nobody sees the real issues, nobody tries to fix things, nobody ever cares. It's all about me, me, me! If they want a world where people only look after themselves, then I'm here to deliver it!"
Elza backed away from him and out of sight. She chuckled, no, she laughed, a cackling the likes of which belonged to one who was far from sanity. "Why am I telling you this!? What point is there in telling someone so close to the end!?" Her laughing continued. To Mark it seemed that she was moving away, and she probably was. She wouldn't have any intention of staying behind and dying if she was going to turn the world to anarchy. Tears welled in his eyes for the first time since this whole ordeal began. He didn't want to die. He had never wanted to die; he never even thought to plan for the possibility, either. All he had ever wanted was a good life, a girlfriend, eventually a wife, a good job. And all of that had been taken from him by the very person who he had hoped to share it with. As he wept, a new sound could be heard; the din of people screaming, gunshots being fired and cars moving away. Then it was quiet.
And then nothing... Nothing at all... Had Mark lived longer, he might've been able to witness the split second after an ANFO explosion. Perhaps it was a mercy that he didn't have to. Nobody shall ever know.
I don't know why, but I have a distinct love for stories that don't always end well. Darker themes in general are just more interesting to me, so it comes as no surprise that much of what I write ends up that way. Not always, but a good deal of the time it does. It'll be some time yet before this starts to leak into Square-Headed(it won't be this extreme, don't worry). I know I could prevent it, but I write what what I like and I think it'll be great.
I should've posted this earlier. It would've been more timely. Better late than never, I suppose
"Beyond The Edge of Sanity" is owned soley by Jeff Hackmann, AKA Dark-NESS. The beliefs and ideas of Elza are not endorsed by the afforemention party in any shape, way, or fashion.
That "Square-Headed's" update scuedule could become erratic within the next couple of weeks. I know, we've enjoyed a full several months of glorious on-time comics, but that was when I could manage my time better and not be addicted to this. And now that I've given you the link to it, I can probably say that I've bought some time. Regardless, let's all hope that I'm getting worried over nothing.
Dark-NESS, AKA Jeff Hackmann
And that would be the dream I had last night. It was not about me, or anyone I knew, or anyone that existed in real life... Except for maybe Masashi Kishimoto.
It all started with Naruto and Sakura jumping through the trees the way they normally do. Sakura or Naruto was holding a child, I don't remember exactly who was holding it, but do know that it was their son. The family was running from another shinobi whose weapon looked like three circular saw blades placed on a bar and attached to a chain. See bad illustration:
I almost forgot to mention that it was also covered in lightning, sooo...
Awesome! Yeah, it looked waaaay cooler in the dream, but this is all I could make on such short notice. Anyway, the douche with the crazy weapon was never really shown except as a black shadow. But he was a badass with that thing, swinging it around, knocking down trees and shit. The scene that's most memorable was what came after the flourishing and chasing and shit. Cue scene!
Naruto and Sakura are coming up to a fence, they jump as the douche swings his weapon. The three blades are shown closing in on Sakura's body, electricity being thrown off as they spin rapidly.
A grunt is heard.
The pained look on her face.
Naruto's piercing screaming.
Her harm falls limp on the edge of the fence, but Naruto grabs it before she can fall. Fade out.
Fade back in at a clinic, Sakura is perfectly fine with only a minor cut along her belly, smiling and being happy.
... ... ...
I remember exactly what I thought immediately afterwards: "That... is the biggest cop out of all time!" That thought probably broke the dream for me, because I woke up shortly thereafter. But seriously, not even in my dreams do these people die? Well, that's not too surprising considering the fact that nobody has died in Naruto since about 100 issues ago.(Talking about the manga, not the anime. Also, I might be wrong on that one point.) And what about when Gaara died? That actually made me sad, but I could've dealt with it. But instead of staying dead, he came back to life at the expense of some character nobody cared about. But, hey, Gaara is still alive! Then Orochimaru died. And then the entire Hidden Leaf village was obliterated and everyone died. And then everyone lived. Then Itachi died- wait, no, that was just a jutsu. Oh, SHIT! Orochimaru is BACK! Oh, he's dead again. Cool. NOOO SASUKE IS DYING- Huh, wait, no, that's another jutsu... Itachi is dying again, but he's still standing. He's going to live and he's going to kill Sasuke and eat his eyeballs! Now he's dead again. And he was always a good guy! Even when he murdered his entire family, he was just doing what was best. Oh, shit, the Akatsuki got the hachibi! Actually, that was a tentacle... And now the crazy shark guy from Akatsuki has died... No, wait, he did not. I know I missed a lot, and some of it is probably out of order, but that's pretty much how it goes. It's just a roundabout mess of cop outs and stupid plot twists that you see coming from a mile away. LIke the recent flashback to 16 years ago? Why did we need that? And why did they(Shonen Jump) feel the need to attempt to build supsense with lines like: "Who's face lies behind the mask? Naruto is in danger!" or "The fourth Hokage wins the battle of speed!" or something else that was equally obvious due to the fact that Naruto is still alive? It just amazes me to see how far downhill Naruto has gone. It's also irritating.
Not that it's going to stop me from finishing it, though. Yeah, I'm dumbass. But I might as well. 505 issues in, what's another 505 issues to go?
Well, we got off track for a little while there, but I couldn't let it go. All of this, of course, builds up to my main point: Kishimoto has lost it. When people start having dreams of bullshit moments that are actually not too far out of the realm of possibilities for the series, that is a bad sign. A really bad sign. Naruto needs to stop having flashbacks and just end itself already. We know how it's going to end, anyway. Naruto is going to win the fight against Sasuke, Sasuke will live because Naruto's a pussy, kabuto will die(most likely in the most underwhelming way ever), the akatsuki will all die, Madara will die and world peace will reign over everything forever. Sorry to spoil it all for you, but that's how it's going to go. Stop crying about it and go watch Gurren Lagann or something.
I mean it. Go watch Gurren Lagann. You're eyeballs will thank you.
Jeff Hackmann, AKA Dark-NESS