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January 22, 2013 10:01 PM   Subscribe

The legendarily shitty webcomic Sweet Bro and Helpful Hella Jeff is now available as a LAVISHLY HEDONISTIC HARDCOVER BOOK that comes with insiteful author notes, fake Subway coubons, and both a 3-foot ribbone bookmark and a lenticular bookmark. The press release goes into more detail about the book's horrendously shitty excesses, including the four separate webcomic legends who were involved in its makings. And there's a preview trailer which is probably unnecessary but still worth it.
posted by Rory Marinich (35 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
The book Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff lavishly presents the comic’s entire run in a treatment worthy of the highest masters of the form. It contains a completely gratuitous 4-page centerfold reading simply “centaurfold” in bright pink type.

“The printing company we used was utterly convinced that we, as designers, didn’t know what in the world we were doing,” says Malki. “The proof sheet listing supposed ‘errors’ in the book’s layout ran five pages long. I had to initial each one saying, ‘Yes, that’s OK. Yes, that’s OK. Yes, that’s OK, trust us.’”
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:02 PM on January 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


Ahaha the one referenced in the title made me giggle. ok how do we do this?
posted by lazaruslong at 10:05 PM on January 22, 2013


I am going to get this, and it is going to be one of my most treasured art items, and when I am old and have tiny grumpy tween grandchildren (perhaps great grandchildren?) I will tell them about back in the day, how Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff were cool and indispensable cultural touchstones, and how it all makes perfect sense to anybody my age. And chances are they will believe me for at least a week.
posted by Mizu at 10:10 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow, this makes Leisure Town look like Shakespeare.
posted by not_on_display at 10:23 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Even Tommy Wiseau thinks Sweet Bro & Hella Jeff is poorly-made.
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:45 PM on January 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'll never forget "I told you man. I TOLD you about stairs!"*
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:55 PM on January 22, 2013


Are these guys related to Something Awful or Jerkcity in any way?

Either way: HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA
posted by phylum sinter at 11:16 PM on January 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have never seen this comic before and now it is the greatest of my life from this day one.
It's the exact same feel of pineal belly rips what I got from Bart the General.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:17 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]




No.

The worst webcomic ever was User Friendly.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:35 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have said, "I told you man, I TOLD you about stairs." At contextually appropriate times. No one has yet acknowledged my reference. Perhaps this book will help.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:36 PM on January 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also, was anyone else expecting the lenticular bookmark to be somehow lentil-related?
posted by dunkadunc at 11:36 PM on January 22, 2013


Having it signed by actual author Andrew Hussie costs five dollars. Having it signed by fictional author Dave Strider, who has time powers and has an alternate universe counterpart who killed Guy Fieri and the Insane Clown Posse, costs fifty follars.
posted by BiggerJ at 11:39 PM on January 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Dave'll probably just call you a fucking idiot for buying his book, which admittedly makes the book fifty dollars worth of better.
posted by Rory Marinich at 11:42 PM on January 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


How much is that in 2005 follars?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:48 AM on January 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


HOLLER HOLLAR GET FOLLAR
posted by BiggerJ at 3:08 AM on January 23, 2013


Since this comic's destiny is intimately tied with Homestuck's, maybe someone here knows the answer to something I've been wondering about with regards to some of Homestuck's latest installments.

Usually the characterization and actions of Homestuck's cast is representative of something: the original four kids are reimaginings of the player characters from Earthbound as internet users from before the social media boom, the trolls represent social media users, the pre-scratch trolls are exaggerated parodies of how Homestuck's fandom viewed the trolls, and the cherubs are proxies for Homestuck's fandom and also it's most virulent haters.

With the Trickster-Mode shenanigans the four post-scratch kids have been forced into, I can't help but feel this is another one of these "this means something" elements, but I can't put my finger on what it's supposed to be demonstrating.

Are there fans that have been badgering Hussie to include trickster-mode easter eggs into everything and he's trying to make a point that while those make for nice treats when they're rare, a steady diet of easter candy would probably make your pancreas crawl up the inside of your body and up your neck to throttle your brain to death?

Or is the insanity of the latest act representative of something else entirely? Maybe it's just viral marketing for the release of the Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff book?
posted by radwolf76 at 4:30 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


radwolf: A friend of mine has been posting some really good thoughts about it over here.
posted by flatluigi at 4:32 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


And yes, SBAHJ is a spinoff of Homestuck, one of the MS Paint Adventure comics previously posted about over here. It's worth reading.
posted by flatluigi at 4:34 AM on January 23, 2013


POKEY I LOVE SWEET BRO AND HELLA JEFF!!!!!!
posted by Legomancer at 4:48 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, I guess I'll just chuck my copy of Chris Ware's Building Stories in the trash now--it's obviously been superseded.

In all seriousness, though, I can appreciate this as a commentary on hardcover editions of comics which in no way deserve the deluxe treatment; sometimes I see announcements of these editions and really wonder who thinks that they are worth it--it's like getting a Criterion Collection edition of some really egregiously abusive porn film--or if it's just the latest iteration of the comics speculator's markeet. I don't appreciate it enough to spend $44 on it, but hey.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:03 AM on January 23, 2013


I'm not an expert on homestucktheory and whatnot, but here's my take on Trickster Mode. I mean, I can't really say "it represents X" cos I don't think anything in Homestuck is that simple. BUT:

1) It's a huge exaggeration of the 'trickster stuff' (the dynamic and aesthetic) we've seen before with Nana(sprite), prankster gambits, Sassacre, etc. It just seems somehow ingrained into the spirit of John/Jane/Jake's side of the family, and now it's loose.

2) It's exaggerated to such an extent that it starts to mimic the aesthetic of the squiddles, covering up somethig unspeakably horrible with something unspeakably saccharine. Remember Jade's first dream-bubble dream, with Feferi? Very similar look.

3) Thematically, this ties in with the teen-kids covering up their awful(/mundane) personal problems with wishful thinking and denial and what-have-you.

4) It ties into how clown-stuff is being set up (jokingly/seriously/jokeriously) as the most powerful force in the universe.

5) It's a play on all the 'trickster mode' easter-eggs hidden through Homestuck.

6) Might be kind of an indirect poke at the excesses of all the Japanese animes.

Uh, that's about all I've got for right now! I'm sure we'll find out more about where he's ultimately going with all this later.
posted by Drexen at 5:40 AM on January 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, I really hope Hussie manages to make the awful, irresistible stupidity of buying anything SBaHJ-related into the singularity of shittiness and commerciality that it was always and canonically meant to be, so he gets to the Damien Hirst-esque stage where he can charge literally any price he wants and the ridiculousness of actually paying it will be what you are paying for.

Because Hussie deserves all of the fat cashstacks and because he would probably use at least some of the money to visit Olive Garden make awesome stuff like the HS game he kickstarted, rather than just using it to be a human shit like Damien Hirst.
posted by Drexen at 5:45 AM on January 23, 2013


I keep thinking, "I should make another try at Homestuck" -- I started at the beginning last year and eventually got bogged down at the same point Hussie apparently got bogged down, where he was writing thousands-of-words circular screeds in all-caps l33tspeak in the personae of various trolls, verbosely beating himself in the head for complaining about his job through proxies. I've got probably a higher than normal tolerance for creative wankery in the name of art, but that was abusing the audience too much and I gave up.

If he's over that now and moving the stor(y/ies) along again, I'll go back and give it another go.
posted by ardgedee at 5:49 AM on January 23, 2013


I'm pretty sure the back cover of their book is referencing the Chris Ware's coer designs.
posted by Theta States at 6:10 AM on January 23, 2013


Trickster Mode, for me, has seemed very recognizable as the sort of mood bubble you start getting as a teenager and realize how burdensome it is to be stuck in your headspace ALL THE DAMN TIME. You have these occasional moments of realization that it's silly to be so obsessed with your own insecurities and fears and beliefs and then you get super giddy and act hyperactive, like you've realized the answers to everything and all you have to do is do EVERYTHING that you can possibly dream up of doing and then you'll have everything worked out forever. But it isn't.

Homestuck is very much about the Internet/computers era of children, who experience the world largely through a screen. I mean, they literally can't talk to each other without IMing one another until very late in the comic, they're each stuck in their homes until a video game takes them away from the planet entirely, and this enormously epic plot is usually told through animations that lack accompanying dialogue, which is then reduced to understandability through repeated dialogue and jokes and overthinking, which mimics readers' trying to make sense of it.

I feel like as a theme this is a relatively forced one, and the weakest part of the entire comic has been Hussie's trying to deal with adolescent romance in Act 6, but Trickster Mode is fitting with that "sometimes as a teen you feel powerful and invincible, and that's probably when you make some of the stupidest decisions" mentality.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:34 AM on January 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Are these guys related to Something Awful or Jerkcity in any way?

I'm pretty sure Hussie is/was a goon; mspaintadventures came after a surge in popularity of custom adventure-style 'you decide, I draw' games run by a goon named microwave. Hussie's expanded and adapted the artform significantly in the intervening time- microwave's stories shared a sense of consistent nonsense and banal insanity, but had more of a comedic purpose than a narrative one.
posted by maus at 8:44 AM on January 23, 2013


Is it sold out yet? I can't go anywhere near MSPA until this thing is sold out because I will buy it and than feel nair INSANT regertt
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:34 AM on January 23, 2013


indirect poke at the excesses of all the Japanese animes

I'm not sure the creator of Homestuck can criticize the 'excesses' of ANYTHING EVER.
posted by zvs at 11:37 AM on January 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure Hussie is/was a goon; mspaintadventures came after a surge in popularity of custom adventure-style 'you decide, I draw' games run by a goon named microwave. Hussie's expanded and adapted the artform significantly in the intervening time- microwave's stories shared a sense of consistent nonsense and banal insanity, but had more of a comedic purpose than a narrative one.


No, you're completely mistaken. Hussie's never been a goon and the first thing he put out came way before microwave's stuff.
posted by flatluigi at 2:37 PM on January 23, 2013


damNIT wsa not soled ut and I bot ittttt
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:26 PM on January 23, 2013


Sweet Christ. I'm buying this thing tomorrow.
posted by broadway bill at 4:31 PM on January 23, 2013


I long for it and yet I am refraining because I am broke.

But for me the phrase that pays for sweet bro and hella jeff is referenced in the title of this post 'were doing this where making this happen'.
posted by winna at 8:16 PM on January 23, 2013


TT: Which was the last you saw?
GT: Well there was sbahj the movovie and sbahj the the film...
GT: Oh yeah and sbahaj the movle. I think sbahj the moive is still in production right?
GT: But honestly i get confused about which particular misspelling is attributed to which film or even if im getting the misspellings right.
TT: The key to sorting it all out is to understand it doesn't actually matter.
TT: Through video streaming services he would frequently set it up so that buying a certain title would ship you the wrong film.
TT: And often titles for movies were available for sale that just straight up didn't exist. Or would be sold for dollar amounts that made no sense, like $2.890.1. And sometimes buying a download would actually deposit money into your account instead of deducting from it.
TT: It was all part of the "experience."
posted by BiggerJ at 1:01 AM on January 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sounds like someone will need to scan these books just in case there are multiple versions.
posted by TwelveTwo at 7:26 AM on January 24, 2013


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