Hi, friends.

I don’t normally publish Val’s daily sketches but recent events have had an impact on us all. This is our greatest forum for addressing those events and how they impact the future (and, to remain topical, how they impact the future of Starfall).

Last night, we experienced a shock and now we’re all living in the quickened pulse of what I don’t think is an exaggeration to call an ongoing trauma. If you’re like me, your initial reaction was a muddled mashup of losing a loved one, pouting like a child, and one of those dreams where you have to escape right now and you can’t decide which possessions to take with you.

After I was certain which way the pendulum would swing, I began deleting time sink applications from my phone: Avengers Academy, Pokemon Go, Skype, and Twitter were on the list. I uninstalled half a hard drive’s worth of unplayed video games, some I’d been meandering through for years. I was convinced that I had a duty to respond to what had happened with diligence and sobriety.

As I drifted off to sleep, I planned this essay, which was intended to end Starfall or at least place it on indefinite hiatus, left for Way Back Machine browsers and Internet archivists to mull over and guess at what would have come next. In a world such as the one we apparently live in, a story about heroes that fall from grace didn’t seem so preposterous or outstanding. I had always intended Starfall to become fun schlock, full of action, comedy, and romance, but my writing has a dour streak and it just hadn’t happened. I didn’t see the need for Starfall. I had no desire to continue it

But then, in the morning, once I told her that Donald Trump had won the election, my wife couldn’t stop crying. She cried in bed, in the shower, while staring at “Homer the Heretic,” an episode of The Simpsons in which Homer Simpson refuses to go to church. She cried while drying her hair. As far as I know, she’s crying at work right now. She was scared and my sober approach to our new reality wasn’t going to change that. I did my best to be comforting. I did my best to be sweet.

When it was my turn to wash off the stink of yesterday and last night, my mind drifted back to this essay. And I thought of giving up everything I had worked toward. I didn’t think of Homer. I wish I had. That would have been some nice juxtaposition.

I’ve always had this weird tendency to look on the bright side. I’m sardonic by nature and I’ve been known to tip an invisible fedora and play The Devil’s Advocate when it suited me, but I’ve always retained a positive outlook. It might be easier for me than it is for you: I’m white, I’m male, I can shoot laser beams out of my eyes. Things aren’t all bad, I would think. Things could be worse, I would say. But now they are. I never thought they really would be. I couldn’t conceive of the possibility. They say you can’t conceive of your own death, either, but I’ve had a pretty good understanding of the concept since the age of four, and I don’t remember a year of my life (sometimes a month, a week, or a day) going by without a shudder and sob at the hopelessness of mortality. But the result of this election seems somehow worse. This is a new and unthinkable world, the true darkest timeline. I felt my optimism slipping.

Despair is easy and we’re all afraid of the suffering that will doubtless follow the senate, House, presidency, and court being dominated by conservative majorities. But we’ve got to deal with it and I’m not going to do the world one lick better by battening down, taking stock, and preparing for a long, dark winter. So, I’m making the conscious choice to embrace positivism, to hold it dear, to mold it and merge with it like I never have before. A bright outlook doesn’t necessitate sunny days and I’m not going to hide in a bunker, even if the sky rains actual shit from Donald Trump’s fat orange ass.

That disgusting pile of pig crap molded into the approximate shape and size of a human being was able to hook people (mostly people with dumpster fires instead of hearts, roadkill in their bellies instead of empathy for their fellow human beings) simply by catering to their fears and child-like need for attention. They were people that felt they had been left behind, that they had been lied to, that their future looked bleak if change didn’t come soon. (And also the KKK.)

What gets a bit tricky is that you probably read yourself in that description (not the KKK bit, obviously). Don’t you now feel left behind and lied to? Doesn’t the future look bleak? Don’t we need change? Even if Clinton had won, didn’t we all agree that the system was broken, awash in money and lies, that it was time to start fresh? Some people can’t look beyond their own skin tone -maybe they were born with a layer of epidermis over their eyes like every other sad puppy, or maybe they were raised by squirrels in human skin suits, scared of every noise, scared of the dark. But some things are true, no matter who says them. Even Donald fucking Trump. We do need change, but for different reasons.

Regardless, the election has cast a spotlight on ignorance, fear, and hate. Unlike the dinosaurs, these reptiles can speak. We’ll hear their sorrow and pleas when the meteor hits, but it’ll be the same result. They’re going extinct. Electing Trump is their last fretful strike back. It won’t be enough to save their way of life. They’re afraid and they should be.

I’m making a conscious effort to hold onto hope, but I recognize that it isn’t enough to just want it. So, we’ll fight. They hold the government, but we’ll hold the streets. Like I said, a bright outlook doesn’t necessitate sunny days. There may be strife ahead, if only to get things moving. If this dumb presidency is the catalyst for a reformation, then fine, let’s accept the opportunity and create something better. But that’s all a bit far out there. Today was hard but tomorrow will be easier. We’ll get used to the doldrums of life, even in a Trump-led nation. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t forget you are not alone.

As for the webcomic, the original plans are scrapped. My outline for chapter 3 and beyond are trash. I will not continue down the original path I set for myself. Chapter 3 will introduce hope where there was none. The story will travel into as yet uncharted territory and I’m excited to see where the journey takes us. That being said, I’m not going to throw us headlong into the unknown. I’ve got to plan this thing a bit yet. So, our hiatus will most likely extend into December. I apologize.

I’m still expecting a few Patreon-only bonus comics and Val has yet to redraw Chapter 1. If it seems necessary to hold your interest, we’ll release those from behind the Patreon wall. I’ll personally repay our backers if their premium access becomes public. I didn’t know this was going to happen. I didn’t know how I’d react if it did.

I’m devastated but I’m optimistic despite all reason. I’ll be on Twitter @adamblackhat for anyone that wants or needs to talk. I will happily, greedily post any fanart that come our way and answer every question sent in.

And if you’re worried that my sardonic nature will be buried under false hope beneath a teary-eyed last stand atop Mt. FuckItAll, tell your friends that if they can’t find Starfallcomic at www.Starfallwebcomic.com, Tapastic, Webtoon, Facebook, or on Tumblr, that as of 8:30 this morning http://www.presidentincestcheetojizzmophair.com also redirects to www.Starfallwebcomic.com.

Stay safe, everyone. We love you.

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