blind eye of society

Q&A Transcript with Alex Hirsch at MomoCon 2017

Question: Before you decided to make Bill the main bad guy, did you have another character in mind that would have been the villain? 

Alex: Yeah, um that’s a good question. Uh, so, when we came up with the villain of the show, I knew that… I knew that Bill was involved. And I knew that Ford had disappeared due to some deal gone wrong with some villain next to the mystery of how Gravity Falls was all assembled. 

Um, but, I didn’t yet decide that Bill was that character in the very beginning, y'know? I had always imagined it was some sort of evil character somewhere kinda hidden in the woods. I wasn’t sure I could go with the Bill idea cuz I thought it would be too much like Twin Peaks, but as we got further along the series we discussed it among the repairs and we were like, ‘none of our other villain ideas were as good.’ Bill, Bill was weirder than anything else we thought of. Um, I remember there were other ideas. Strange monsters and government officials; some kind of cthulhu– some weird crazy old man. But nothing was ever better than Bill, so it ended up sticking. Probably somewhere around, y'know, season one– midway through season one, we started thinking we might be– might be on point.

Q: Was Grunkle Stan ever aware of McGucket’s connection to his brother? 

 A: Oh, oh that’s such a good question. Wait, let me think about that for a second… Uh… lemme see… I don’t think so. I don’t think Stan was ever aware of McGucket’s connection to his brother. Because, by the time Stan traded identities with Ford, uh… McGucket had already gone off the deep end– Was already y'know, had already created the Society of the Blind Eye; had already lost his own memory. So Stan would’ve really only known McGucket as a local obnoxious fisherman. 

And McGucket, probably somewhere deep in the back of his mind, was eerily just drawn to Stan in a way he just couldn’t put his finger on, because he thought maybe he knew him, but– I don’t– I think Stan was ignorant of that. Um, I think Stan… I think Stan looking through the journals probably should’ve put two and two together, but Stan’s not the best at book-learnin’. Uh, so… my guess is Stan wouldn’t have known despite that uh, that there’s a lot of tumblr art out there showing them as like the Scooby-Doo gang. I don’t think Stan ever really knew McGucket before.

Q: What episode do you believe came out the strongest and the most well rounded overall? And is it the same as your personal favorite episode?

 A: Oh gosh. Um. That’s a great question. Hmm… I probably feel, personally, that the strongest episode is uh, “Not What He Seems” just because it’s such a dramatic episode. Like, we know– We’ve never had an episode that dramatic. But, when we first pitched it to Disney executives… they thought it was bad. [laughs] Um, Because it didn’t have a lot of jokes in it? Like, I remember normally when we’re pitching our episode, executives can usually gauge how good they are by how much people laugh. People didn’t really laugh for that one, because it’s really tense. So we thought, maybe we’d screwed up. But, when the animation came back we were like, 'Oh! It’s GOOD that it’s tense. Like, it worked!’ Um, So, I dunno if that’s my favorite episode, but I think– that’s the episode we should’ve won an Emmy for, and I’m still pissed we didn’t. [laughs]

In terms of favorite episode, like… I dunno. I think the first episode that I really felt that the show was really starting to feel the way I wanted it to– “Time Traveler’s Pig” in season one. Like, that was an episode where Dipper had an interesting story, and Mabel had an interesting story, and uh, felt nostalgic, and based around the summer, and had a big secret callback to even previous episodes, so– I just remember when we first just got that episode back in color, I was like, 'hey I think maybe I like how I’m making this cartoon show,’ so I think that has a particularly fond place in my heart, y'know.

Q: Is Disney bringing you to SDCC or NYCC later this year to promote the journal and other books coming out? 

 A: Right, um, yeah, Disney– Disney… Disney-general and me, have like– we’re divorced. Like, they kept the house, and the pets. Y'know what I mean? It’s… we don’t like get dinner or anything. But, the Disney Publishing department, separate from Disney Television, they’re really cool, and enthusiastic, and energized. And they wanna make new cool stuff. Um, so I think it’s possible I might be at D23 this year, and it’s possible I might be at Comic Con, but I don’t have anything confirmed yet.

Q: In the scene where Bill is trying to convince Ford to join him in the Fearamid, were there any other jokes or story beats that were considered? 

 A: Which episode specifically are you talking about? [Q: The We’ll Meet Again scene.] Yea yea yea, We had a– Every scene that you’ve ever seen in the show has a ton of ton of stuff we’ve thought of and had to cut for time or other reasons. Um, I remember there was definitely a version of that where Bill was a lot trickier. Like, he sort of more successfully lied to Ford about like: 'We’re actually going to make the world a better place. Though I present myself as this chaos lunatic that’s just my personality.' Like, 'here’s ways in which we’ll IMPROVE the universe.' 

Um, but it felt out of character. We thought it was much more like Bill to just draw smiley faces in oceans and eat the sun and just– hope, that the force of his charisma could convince Ford that that was a good idea. But uh, I feel like– I feel like Bill can be really really tricky when he wants to, but by the time Weirdmageddon showed up he’s so impatient, and he’s so convinced that he won, that he was no longer like, this brilliant chess master he used to be. He’s like, 'alright let’s do it! Do what I want or I’ll eat your face.’ Like, no more– No more, like– He wasn’t as smart a tactician as he used to be, y'know?

Q: Was “We’ll Meet Again” always the song you were going to use? 

A: Oh yeah, it had to be that. It was like… I think I’d just seen Dr. Strangelove recently around that time and it stuck in my head. It seems to me, if Bill has a taste in music, it would be, like, old timey music that ranges from either weird to obnoxious to obscure. 

Uh, Disney wanted me to cut it cuz it cost them a bunch of money to get the rights, even though it’s so old, it still cost them money to get the rights. And I just… said, please. Over and over and over again. I would send an e-mail that just said, 'please.’ And send another e-mail that said, 'please.’ And I would send another e-mail that said– Yeah. [laughs] Eventually I wore them down that they’re like, 'alright we’ll spend thousands of dollars.’ [laughs]

Q: Are real comics coming? 

 A: You want comics? Would you read Gravity Falls comics?
[Audience screams]
[Alex leans his ear forward]
[AUDIENCE SCREAMS]

A: It’s a terrifying noise isn’t it, Michael? I was at a… Gravity Falls gallery, and like, they didn’t tell us how many people would show up, and it was like, THAT noise echoing from every corner. And uh like, I think I lost a year of my life. My hair started going gray, and it was like, 'oh my god, this is too much love! It’s terrifying.' 

Comics. I would love to do Gravity Falls comics. Um, I have so many… One of the tough things about a half hour show like Gravity Falls is every now and then we think of an idea that we really liked, but it was too short for a half hour; 'oh that’s only five minutes of story’– Or it’s too specific and weird. And so I have tons and tons of ideas of the show that y'know we’d like to explore this character, we’d like to show this secret, this storyline. So, I’d love to do comics. But, that’s up to Disney Publishing, and I’m trying to convince them. So, hopefully, I’ll have something exciting to announce in not too long.

Q&A with Stan and Soos

Q: Is Dipper adorable or manly?  

Stan: Dipper smells like baby wipes. Even if I cut off all my shoulder hair, and taped it to him, he wouldn’t be 1/10th as manly I am.

Q: What would you do if Mabel told you she had a date to prom? 

Stan: I would… invite the gentleman over, have some coffee, tie him to a chair and interrogate him for 10 hours, and maybe throw him in the pit. [shrug] Hands off my neice, kid!

Q: What would happen if Soos met Giffany again? 

Soos: Oh yea, I recently downloaded this couple’s therapy sim? Uh, I think she and I would have to talk about our issues and pass around a conversation pillow, and really work out these struggles. Cuz she’s got some problems, dude.

Q: Soos, why are you so perfect? 

Soos: Yeah, uh, my grandma said that a whole bunch of doves flew down and formed the shape of a perfect angel over my crib. I dunno, dude I guess I was just born that way.

Guys are we just gonna ignore this part of the AMA

“EACH IMAGE OF ME ACTS A PEEPHOLE FROM MY DIMENSION TO YOURS”

Do you know what that means?

He can see into Dipper and Mabel’s dimension through any image of him.

He 

really

has

been

keeping

an eye

on

Dipper,

hasn’t

he?

No wonder he knows lots of things.

anonymous asked:

I have a small favor to ask as I am v confused rn but could you post a brief description of the various gravity falls aus cus I know the names but I don't know what they're about so if you could inform me I'd be grateful please and thanks love~

Okay, this might take a bit.

Transcendence AU 

Essentially, when Bill fails the apocalypse and is dying, he makes one last desperate attempt to survive by trying to posses Dipper without his permission. Dipper fights back and by a hair’s chance manages to push the weakened Bill from his mind, killing the demon. Only, Bill has already rooted himself too deeply into Dipper and all of Bill’s power remains in Dipper, turning him into a demon and forcing him out of the physical plain. Because of his human origin, Dipper is the only demon capable of becoming physical without a rift, although it takes a while for him to figure out how. Now, while Bill was stopped from destroying the world, it was at the cost of the Transcendence. Pretty much the entire world becomes as magical as Gravity Falls and even more dangerous. Dipper becomes known as the demon Alcor and Mabel is his partner in cult bashing partner Mizar. There’s a lot of world building (reincarnation, prejudice against non-humans, monsters in everyday life, thousands of years as Alcor, Uncle Dipper, angels, other demons, awesome new characters, etc…) and overall, the blog is its own fandom that is constantly contributed to. TAU is the largest, most organized, and highest quality AU that I have ever seen. It’s huge. And fantastic. 

Here’s a longer summary.   This is its wiki.    Its TVtropes page.

Demonic Guardians AU -

Here’s the main comic behind it. Demons’ can have one human that if they bond with and protect, will make the demon stronger. There’s a catch though. If the human dies, a part of the demon does too. The stronger the bond between demon and human, the more damage will be inflicted on the demon when the human dies. Not all humans have a demon, and not all demons have a human. A bunch of the cast of GF have demonic guardians, each character having a different level of bond. Bill Cipher is Dipper’s guardian. Mabel’s is Dot Matrix (used to be named Tad Strange; might recognize him as the square with the bowler hat). Gideon’s is Kryptos (the star on top his tent). Stanley has Pi Mo (looks kinda like a coin). Pacifica’s is the Lumberjack Ghost. There’s a whole lot of fan made demons too. The creator is really cool. Outside of Demonic Guardians AU, she’s made the Danny Phantom crossover: You Smell Like Death, the Over the Garden Wall crossover: Garden Falls, and her own really good comic: The Boy Who Fell.

Monster Falls -

Dipper finds a magic stream called Fluvius Cantatis, some stuff happens, and everyone in the town gets turned into monsters. Dipper’s a Deertaur, Mabel’s a mermaid, Wendy’s a werewolf, Stanley’s a Gargoyle, Stanford’s a sphinx, Gideon’s a vampire, Robbie’s a zombie, Soos is a clay homonculus/golem, Pacifica’s a gorgon, Bill’s…human like, etc… This AU is mostly fan art and fanfiction. Sometimes the monster that a character is turned into is different, but this list is what they’re most commonly depicted as.

Reverse Falls -

I have no idea where this AU came from??? All the characters in this have swapped rolls and personalities. Gideon Pines is a kid visiting Gravity Falls with his cousin/best friend Pacifica Pines(or Southeast). While there, they meet the psychic twins Mabel and Dipper Gleeful who run the Tent of Telepathy. The twins are much darker and more powerful than Gideon from Gravity Falls. Will Cipher is an easily terrified Demon who just wants the twins to leave him alone. All the other character’s changes depend on the artist/writer. Robbie and Wendy usually swap. 

Relativity Falls -

This is essentially an age/generation swap. Twins Stanley and Stanford go to spend the summer with their Grauntie Mabel. The main switches are Mabel with Stanley, Dipper with Stanford, Wendy with Dan, Gideon with Bud, Pacifica with Preston, Abuelita(Maria) with Soos, etc… Most of the show is the same, with a few twists and the added personality of having a different character in whatever situation.

Anti-Gravity AU -

Though not to be mistaken for Relativity Falls, Anti-Gravity is also an age swap. Wendy and Soos are young kids who find Journal 3. Mabel and Dipper are teenagers who work for Grunkle Stan at the Mystery Shack. Pacifica has Robbie’s role (dating Dipper, to Wendy’s jealousy). Bud Gleeful takes Gideon’s place as Wendy and Soos’s enemy. Robbie is Soos’s bully. Other than that, all characters stay the same.

Reunion Falls -

Dipper and Mabel are separated at birth: Mabel growing up with their parents in California and Dipper being raised by Grunkle Stan. Eventually, Mabel finds out about Dipper and runs off to Gravity Falls to meet him. Without a twin, Mabel, while still bright and cheerful, is less out going while Dipper, growing up with Wendy and Stan as role  models, is more confident. The AU is the twins getting to know each other and bonding.

Only Child AU -

Mabel is stillborn, making Dipper an only child. Because of his parent’s ever growing grief over losing a child, Dipper is often neglected. Dipper has the same personality as cannon, but it’s buried under self-worth issues, survivor’s guilt, need to be loved, and shyness. He’s a sad child who really just needs a hug. He also knits sweaters; he always wears the red one he made (it looks a bit like Ford’s). The AU is Dipper’s stay at Gravity Falls with Stan and eventually reaches to him growing up and gaining a little sister, baby Mabel (who both he and his parent’s adore). The AU is all art right now, but the creator is eventually going to make a fic for it.

Fright Falls -

Mabel gets turned into a vampire. Dipper gets turned into a werewolf. The AU is their adventures as creatures of the supernatural. There’s a lot of cool art for the AU.

Immortal Pines AU -

Immortal Pines is a comic where Bill kills Mabel and Dipper, only to realize that it wasn’t what he wanted. He brings the twins back to life and makes them immortal by infusing them with his power. This means that they only exist in the dreamscape. The AU is them trying to get back to normal before they become too much like Bill.  The artist is cool.

Twin Demons AU -

Mabel and Dipper are the Demons, while Bill ‘Billi’ is the 12 year old human. Billi is an innocent, if lacking common sense, kid who’s come to Gravity Falls to stay with his Grunkle Stan. The twins are demons with big plans that involve Billi, much to his horror.

Blinded AU 

The Society of the Blind Eye doesn’t wipe Dipper’s memories of the supernatural, they wipe all his memory.  The Society takes him in, indoctrinating him into their ways. Bill visits and uses Dipper as a spy. The AU is an amnesic Dipper living with only the Society and Bill as company.

Apocalypse Falls 

Mabel’s decision in Not What He Seems has catastrophic damage on Gravity Falls. The Shack is destroyed and many people undergo….changes: physical, mental, even death. Dipper gains wings while Mabel’s mind spirals into madness. The AU just got rebooted, so the story-line is unknown at the moment.

  Gravity Rises -

Another swap AU, this time between personality and symbols. Mabel is Pine Tree, the intellectual and mystery obsessed twin. Dipper is Shooting Star, the laid back and creative one. Stan and Ford switch. Pacifica takes Gideon’s role as Crescent Moon, the leader of the Order of the Crescent Eye (Bill’s cult). She’s a sociopath and the main antagonist. Gideon takes Pacifica’s role as Lone Wolf, the rich kid turned anti-hero. Terrifying with his magic, even Bill is wary of Gideon. It’s a cool AU that’s very different from the show even though it’s partially a personality swap.

Joseon AU -

An AU where Gravity Falls takes place in the Joseon Kingdom in Korea. Everyone wears traditional clothing of the time period and place of the Joseon Kingdom. The AU is mostly fan art.

Coven AU -

Mabel and Dipper are the apprentices of Grunkle Stan in a wold where magic is common. Bill’s a magic cat.

Gravity Keys  -

In this AU, Gravity Falls is set in Key West, Florida. Mabel has a chicken instead of a pig, but other than that, most things stay the same.

Church AU -

It’s Gravity Falls, but in a church. Bill is a demon. Bill is in the Church. Dipper is just so angry at Bill. Things don’t go well.

Kitten Dipper AU -

Dipper finds a comb that has a cat shaped handle. When he brushes his hair with it, he gets turned into a kitten! The AU is Dipper the cat.

Carnivàle Falls 

It’s the 1930s. Mabel and Dipper go to stay with their Grunkle Stan at his traveling freak show. Gideon is a faith healer. The Dust Bowl is a problem.

Spy AU -

Stan and Ford are spys with Fiddleford building their gadgets. They’re trying to take down the Cipher Organization.

Camp Cipher -

Gravity Falls, but as a summer camp. The teens are counselors while all the kids are campers. Nice art.

Never Human AU 

Stanley Pines was stillborn, replaced with a Fae or Changeling. When in Fae mode, Stan had six glowing green eyes. There’s some angst of Stan learning to deal with the fact that he’s a monster and not actually related to his family. It’s later revealed that Dipper is also Fae, which really freaks him out. Mabel is super accepting, so everything turns out fine. It’s a really great AU with fantastic fics and art.

Ghost Stan AU -

Stan is a level 10 ghost. It’s awesome, and Stanley makes a great ghost. There’s a lot of sad. Stan’s dead. The AU has a whole bunch of fanfiction and fanart.

Joml AU/Grim AU -

Stanley befriends the Grim, omen of death. As soon as Ford finds out what Stan’s done he freaks out because, well, Stanley has the omen of death as his pet. Really cute and funny AU. Got some angst too though. Also, Stan makes his own journal.

Frankenstan AU -

Stanley dies pre-portal opening. Ford, being the idiot that he is, bring Stan back to life Frankenstein style with the help of Fiddleford. This includes digging up Stan’s body. It’s also got a mystery trio vibe going for it. 

what each Gravity Falls episode is basically about (spoilers duh)

S1

1. Tourist Trapped - gnomes stacked on top of one another try to get some with mabel

2. The Legend of the Gobblewonker - kids ditch uncle to find nessie

3. Headhunters - murder mystery but no one actually died

4. The Hand That Rocks the Mabel - plump southern kid tries to get some with mabel

5. The Inconveniencing - dipper thinks acting literally 2 months older will help him get in wendy’s pants and mabel gets possessed by old people

6. Dipper vs. Manliness - unnecessary gender stereotypes  

7. Double Dipper - dipper tries to get in wendy’s pants by making clones

8. Irrational Treasure - mabel solves a mystery by acting her age

9. The Time Traveler’s Pig - dipper goes back in time to get in wendy’s pants 

10. Fight Fighters - more unnecessary gender stereotypes

11. Little Dipper - mabel is taller than dipper in canada

12. Summerween - everything would have been fine if dipper was the fucking peanut butter

13. Boss Mabel - mabel learns to grow a pair

14. Bottomless Pit - episodes too short to be real so everyone just falls down a hole

15. The Deep End - mabel tries to get in mermando’s pants but he doesn’t wear any

16. Carpet Diem - mabel gets a dick and “the talk” while dipper reads erotica

17. Boyz Crazy - mabel tries to get into 5 boys’ pants but they are all stupid

18. Land Before Swine - stan is a dick to pigs

19. Dreamscapers - inception with a demon dorito 

20. Gideon Rises - children literally almost die because the plump southern kid is extra as fuck

S2

1. Scary-oke - the pines family sings so bad that zombies literally explode

2. Into the Bunker - a shape shifter gets dipper to tell wendy that he wants to get in her pants

3. The Golf War - two 12 year olds are suspiciously good at mini golf

4. Sock Opera - dipper freakiNG GETS POSSESSED BY A FUCKING DEMON AND MABEL DOESNT NOTICE BECAUSE SHE HAS A HARD ON FOR A GUY WHO MAKES OUT WITH HIS HANDS 

5. Soos and the Real Girl - soos wants to fuck a dating sim

6. Little Gift Shop of Horrors - more short not real episodes and stan be creepin

7. Society of the Blind Eye - shit is so fucked that people are ERASING THEIR OWN MINDS

8. Blendin’s Game - mabel and dipper time travel some more because they are nosey as fuck

9. The Love God - mabel causes two angsty teens to fuck

10. Northwest Mansion Mystery - an episode of supernatural with a ghost that turns people into wood

11. Not What He Seams - stan becomes a real person, shit gets real, and mabel single handedly furthers the plot

12. A Tale of Two Stans - forget stan’s old backstory. here’s a new one

13. Dungeons, Dungeons, and more Dungeons - dipper and ford play d&d

14. The Stanchurian Candidate - stan runs for mayor because mabel and dipper have discovered mind control

15. The Last Mabelcorn - a unicorn tells mabel she isn’t pure so mabel  PUNCHES IT IN THE MOTHERFUCKING FACE

16. Roadside Attraction - dipper still wants to get in wendy’s pants so stan teaches him how to be a douche

17. Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future - mabel has a mid-life crisis while dipper and ford escape death in the vacuum of space

18. Weirdmageddon Part 1 - A DEMON TAKES OVER THE TOWN. post-apocalyptic wendy is hot

19. Weirdmageddon Part 2 - bill traps mabel in HER OWN MIND???

20. Weirdmageddon Part 3 - OK SERIOUSLY A DEMON TRIES TO KILL TWO CHILDREN AND THE ONLY WAY TO DEFEAT HIM IS BY TRAPPING HIM IN STANS MIND AND THEN ERASING STANS MEMORIES HOLY FUCK. then they have a birthday party

Hey, guys. I know you guys all still miss Gravity Falls, so how about we go through the series again and see what an amazing summer it had been, shall we? :)

First the twins came to Gravity Falls and went up against an army of gnomes 

Then the twins and Soos went on a sea monster adventure and had the most memorable fishing trip with Grunkle Stan

Then the kids went on an adventure to find Grunkle Stan’s missing wax head and found living wax figures

Then the kids met the evil child psychic Gideon Gleeful 

Then the kids along with Wendy and her friends went to a haunted convenience store and Dipper did his famous Lamby Dance

Then Dipper went on a quest to become a man while Mabel helped Grunkle Stan win a woman’s heart 

Then Dipper cloned himself and Mabel had met her friends 

Then the kids found the truth about the real town founder

Then the kids met Blar Blar, went on a time travel adventure and we all fell in love with Waddles the Pig

Then Dipper bought Rumble McSkirmish to life and Mabel helped Grunkle Stan get over his fear of heights 

Then Dipper and Mabel had an incredible shrinking adventure 

Then the gang faced the summerween trickster and had an amazing summerween 

Then Mabel was left in charge of the mystery shack and Grunkle Stan competed on a game show 

Then Dipper, Mabel, Stan and Soos told us stories while they fell down the Bottomless Pit

Then Mabel met a cute merman and Dipper had a blast being an assistant lifeguard 

Then the gang had a body-swapping adventure 

Then Dipper tried to save Wendy from Robbie’s brainwashing music and Mabel and her friends met Sev’ral Timez

Then the gang ventured into a dinosaur world to save Mabel’s pig 

Then the gang went on a journey into Stan’s mind to defeat Bill Cipher and save the shack 

Then Gideon had been defeated, the Pines became heros and we discovered Stan’s secret 

Then the gang threw a shack is back party and went up against hordes of zombies 

And how can we forget the Pines family’s amazing performance? :)

Then the gang ventured into the author’s bunker, encountered the shapeshifter and Dipper confessed his feelings to Wendy 

Then we met the Lilliputtians and Mabel and Pacifica had a golf competition 

Then Mabel threw on an amazing puppet show and BIPPER 

Then Soos met the perfect girl and Stan attempted to steal a robot mascot

Then Stan invited us to his shack and told us tales

Then the gang uncovered the society of the blind eye and McGucket learned the truth of his past

Then Blar Blar returned, the twins got challenged to Globnar and they went all out to make Soos happy on his birthday 

Then Mabel played matchmaker to find Robbie true love and Stan tried to make kids love him 

Also there was the famous “I EAT KIDS” balloon 

Then we went to the Northwest Mansion, where Candy, Mabel and Grenda tried to flirt with a boy and Dipper and Pacifica encountered a ghost. Pacifica saved the day by pulling the lever and standing up to her parents

Then Stan got arrested, the kids went on a journey to find out who Stan really is and after one huge epic scene, we find out the author is none other than Stan’s brother, Stanford Pines 

Then we were told the Stan twins’ backstory 

Then Dipper and Ford bonded over a nerdy game 

Then Stan competed for Mayor of Gravity Falls 

Then Mabel, Candy, Grenda and Wendy went on a quest to get some unicorn hair and we learn about Ford’s history with Bill

Then Stan took the kids on a road trip and gave bad dating advice to Dipper

Then Dipper goes on an adventure with Ford to find alien adhesive and after a horrible day, Mabel starts fearing about growing up 

Then Weirdmageddon begins after Bill tricks Mabel, Ford gets turned to gold and after getting passed Gideon and his henchmen, the gang head to rescue to Mabel from the bubble

Then the gang find Mabel in the bubble and she and Dipper make up 

And finally, after everyone regroups and goes to face Bill, Stan eventually saves everyone by erasing his memory but once it was recovered, the kids were given a huge birthday party and they soon left for home while the characters said their good-byes

It had truly been one amazing summer folks :*)

Why We Need Stories about Dark Things

One of the things I get tired of from time to time is the perspective that if something shows evil behavior then that means the story, song, game, whatever, is inherently bad. But there is a difference between illustrating evil behavior and promoting it.

Not all appearances of bad behavior invite bad behavior.

While one purpose of storytelling is to entertain, another purpose is to teach or educate–a purpose that in today’s world, most people seem to have forgotten.

A long time ago, there used to be all sorts of horrific stories told. Open Grimms’ fairy tales, and you’ll see that Cinderella really isn’t that Disney-friendly. But often some of those older stories were meant to teach a lesson or scare children into behaving (that latter point is one I personally don’t condone). Horrific things happen in the Bible (and the Book of Mormon). We can often learn from these accounts, but some of them are simply a record of what happened (if you believe in that), whether you like the content or not. It is what it is. Conspiring incest, rape, slaughter, and even cannibalism can be found in scripture stories. In today’s world, most people have been conditioned to believe that stories are only meant to entertain. Or entertain and uplift.

Those two things are valid. But what I get tired of, though, is the perspective that all stories should be full of puppies and rainbows (yeah, that’s an exaggeration, but you know what I mean), and that’s what we should be writing, and if a story is dark, it’s “bad” or lesser or … something.

The World Needs Stories about Dark Things

It’s important we write about what I call “the big and heavies”–rape, addiction, suicide, massacre, societal brainwashing, etc. And when I say “we,” I don’t mean specifically that you or I HAVE to; I mean “we” as in us, writers and creatives everywhere. The world needs creatives who delve into the big and heavies, and here’s why:

1. Stories provide a safe means to explore and discuss dark things

The big and heavies are vital to discuss for a healthy society. We shouldn’t be turning a blind eye to dark deeds. We should be turning the right eye to them. Literature offers a safe way to explore and discuss these issues. It offers some distance (because it’s usually a work of fiction) while simultaneously having the ability to offer closeness–empathy.

Also, fiction provides a type of lens to view these behaviors through. Speculative fiction might have a more exaggerated or symbolic lens, such as the fashion industry of Panem in The Hunger Games, or the discussion of pure bloods in Harry Potter. A lens lets us view the issues in a way that may emphasize certain points or give us a new perspective on them, and again, the distance can provide a bit of a “safe” buffer for readers. We aren’t talking about racism; we’re talking about magical blood–and we can have a whole discussion on it that correlates with issues seen in racism, and no one needs to feel uncomfortable because this is about wizarding blood. Even realistic fiction provides a perspective, though less exaggerated, to see these issues through.

2. Powerful, emotional ramification drives home a point or idea or lesson.

Unlike reading text books or the news, fiction writing often works off making the audience feel something. It appeals to emotional experience, even more than intellectual experience. It is one of the only mediums where we can put on the skin and thoughts of another person.

In parts of society, we try hard to divorce intellect and emotion, but powerful emotional experiences are often what cement ideas and lessons into our minds. Back in the day, fathers used to take their children out to their property line and beat them so that the child would never forget where the property line was. We’ve seen similar conditioning with training wild animals. Both are crude examples, of course, but the emotional experience drove home the lesson. While negative emotions are powerful, this same thing can happen with strong positive emotions. We remember powerful feelings of happiness and of love, and if there are any lessons or insights associated with those, we recall those too.

In fiction, emotional experiences can drive home powerful lessons. And they stick with the audience.

Strong emotional experiences in fiction amplify the conceptual ramifications of dark deeds, and cements into the reader the weight of such behavior, in a way that pure intellect cannot. Once we “experience” an issue, we care more about it. Fiction is a vehicle that allows us to develop and fine-tune our empathetic skills, so we can better understand and relate to those who’ve dealt with such issues.

3. Explore, cognitively, the causes, consequences, and facets of the big and heavies

In the real world, we live our own lives in our own perspectives, and that’s it. In literature, you can include several perspectives of those involved with an issue. You can often see the issue’s causes, consequences, and facets to a degree you may not in your own life. You can see far-reaching effects in a matter of hundreds of pages, rather than decades or hundreds of years. This opens up new ideas, new perspectives on the topic, which leads to more discussion.

4. To provide hope and uplift, in spite of darkness. To overcome.

I sometimes see this weird idea that an uplifting story needs to not cross some invisible line too far into the dark. In some ways, that couldn’t be further from the truth. As a Harry Potter fan, I’ve had friends come up to me and talk about how they’re disappointed that the stories got darker and darker. Maybe I’m weird (okay, there’s no “maybe” about it), but I like that. I like stories getting dark. I like when they get darker and darker. I like my evil, evil. I want the Voldemort who tries to possess Harry to get Dumbledore to kill him. I want the Voldemort who tortured animals as a small child and who murdered others to split his soul into seven pieces. The world is often an evil place. And how much more powerful is it to overcome the bowels of the most wicked, than it is to overcome a guy who shoplifted? I like my evil, evil. Not because I want to be part of the dark, but because I like seeing people overcome it.

A story that includes dark materials can be just as uplifting, if not more uplifting (because of the contrast) than a story that doesn’t. The idea that a story can’t be dark and inspiring is just unfounded.

Every Christmas season, I become a fan of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra all over again. If you’ve never heard of them, you may still recognize some of their most iconic Christmas songs, some of which have gone viral on synchronized Christmas light videos.

What many people might not realize is that each of their Christmas albums actual tells, and comes with, a written story. If you see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra live, they will read the story to you bits at a time, interspersed with music. But not all their stories are about happy sleigh rides, warm fires, Christmas hams, and decorated trees. There are parents who abandoned their disabled children, babies born addicted to crack, love that has been lost. But the stories and albums are uplifting, not because the creators avoided dark subject matter, but because they illustrated the power of overcoming–overcoming difficult times and personal mistakes. It’s hard to make it through one of their performances with a dry eye through the whole thing.

5. To render reality–others’ reality or your own

But some stories aren’t necessarily meant to be about overcoming the dark or inspiring an audience. Some stories are just about reality. Human nature. The natural man. Experiences that people actually go through. Some stories are simply meant to render, often for reasons 1-3. It’s a statement. It’s meant to create social awareness, empathy. Maybe it’s meant to start a discussion. Those stories need to exist too.

Closing Thoughts

Keep in mind that many audiences only see stories strictly as mediums for entertainment and, on a subconscious level, a reinforcement of a positive, maybe even sugary, feelings and ideas. Those audiences may (on a subconscious level) refuse anything that is otherwise, and consider any mention of the dark and heavies as something that shouldn’t be there. That is their right.

And in some cases, they are correct. Some stories do not need and should not have dark content. It doesn’t serve the purpose of the story, it messes up the tone of the story, and it can ruin what was already working. You wouldn’t, for example, put in a serious plot line in The Office about Pam being legitimately raped. It doesn’t fit.

And with all that said, you shouldn’t feel forced to write content you feel very uncomfortable writing. Your work should reflect the writerly you.

Next week, I’ll talk about how to write about dark things without promoting them.

Mellow Frames: Bill Talks About Ships

Reactions after watching Golf Wars:

Me: Wow, it’s nice that Pacifica isn’t just a one-dimensional stereotype and she might develop a good friendship with Mabel.

Fallers: Pacifica is so gay for Mabel. 

Reactions after watching Society of the Blind Eye:

Me: Wendy is such a lesbian.

Fallers: Mabel and Wendy are such great gal pals. Mabel needs an older sister type to confide in. 

Also to note: I’m not hating on any ships with this comic. It’s ok to ship anything you want. Even Pinecest…. You sick fucks. 

“I never done nothin’ worthwhile in my life. Everyone knows I’m no good to nobody.”

“What do I have to show for my life? Do I really want ‘crooked grifter’ on my tombstone?”

“You’ll slip up, and when you do…”

I am still not over these three old men.

They are all around 60 years of age—around the time you start getting senior citizen discounts, have grandchildren, and start thinking about retirement. This is the time where people start entering the phase of life where they can look back on their accomplishments and reap the rewards of what they’ve sown throughout their lives. Financial rewards through Social Security and retirement. Rest, and pursuing dreams for pleasure rather than work. Family, through seeing their children as adults and their grandchildren, and receiving support when they get older.

What do they have to look back on? All three of them spent half their lives paying for the same mistakes. Barely breaking even.

And they all think about it, too. Fiddleford is seen as a joke and his son is ashamed of him. Stan sacrificed his identity to bring his brother back, which didn’t restore their relationship the way he’d hoped. Ford never says anything to this effect, but as laur-rants so wonderfully articulated, his own failed accomplishments loom at the forefront of his mind. All Ford has to show for his life is a fragile Rift that could bring about the end of the world with a single mistake. 

Now, neither Stan nor Fiddleford is entirely correct about themselves—Stan’s life means a tremendous deal to Soos and the twins, and while McGucket lost his sanity, he also prevented (or at least delayed) an apocalypse. And after “The Society of the Blind Eye” and “The Stanchurian Candidate,” they’re at least starting to see it. Ford, on the other hand–he needs a wakeup call. He needs to get over his own paralyzing fear of people seeing his failings before he can move forward.

But I believe that by the end, they will have a chance to fully redeem themselves in their own eyes. 

Even if you have lost out on a lot in your life, it’s never too late to move forward and change.

The hand that fell from outer space
Leaves a lasting emptiness in its place
Be lucky to count yourself alive
For all that could change here in arc five

And alas, my latest masterpiece (well masterpiece is a relative term but still) Is finally complete! I gotta say that this was SO much fun to work on and it got me SO excited for arc 5 (aka the trauma arc). As you can tell from this cover, shit is goin down in this arc and its gonna be fucking wild. So as we all await the final chapter of arc 4, feel free to enjoy this and get hype! Because after arc 5… nothing is ever going to be the same in UF… 

10

Gravity Falls Season 2 (2/2)

GUYS IM LITERALLY CRYING RN!!!

This morning while I was watching TV I suddenly switched to a channel that was showing a Gravity Falls episode (the one with the blind eye society) with finnish subtitles.

So, hear me out, when the Pines twins are going to the dumpster to meet McGucket to ask about the laptop, Wendy’s friends are spraying the words “MCSUCK IT” on McGucket’s house wall and the translator had translated it in finnish AND BOI DID I LAUGH!!!

IT WAS TRANSLATED TO “MCGUKKELI” WHICH CAN MEAN TWO THINGS:

“Mc old man”

*OR*

“MCPENIS” !!!!!!!!!!

S eND HELP!!!!

civvithecivilian  asked:

Um can I request "cyber bullies" for Sans? (Or Fiddleford? You decide which will be more fun to draw) Also good luck on your operation!

I tried my hands on Fiddleford because why not? He’s one crazy fellow. And I wanted to try if I can draw somewhat in Gravity Falls style!

(Also thank you very much ;w; it’ll be tomorrow and it won’t be pleasant afterwards… lots of time for drawing then, right? <.<)

Wanna see other works of the Color Palette Challenge?

- Underfell Sans - Fiddleford McGucket - Ink & Error - Fresh - Nightmare - Hope - Template - Pale - Splatoon 2 - Splatfest Mayo vs. Ketchup (guest art) - Melon - Undyne