Hiatuses

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By 2002, homestarrunner.com had established a schedule of releasing new toons weekly. The Brothers Chaps have taken hiatuses large and small from this self-imposed schedule of updates to the Homestar Runner body of work. Between 2005 and 2009 there were several minor hiatuses from the weekly pace. The site underwent a major hiatus from 2010 through 2014, after which a new, slower pace of updates has become standard.

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[edit] Minor Hiatuses

"What is it, like, mid-May or something?"

The earlier hiatuses were relatively minor, lasting between one and two months. Despite the lack of new toons or Strong Bad Emails, minor updates — the weeklies, main pages, games, and store sales — would continue through these hiatuses.

Start End Length Notes
December 5, 2005
portrait
January 8, 2006
high school
34 days
May 16, 2006
isp
July 3, 2006
Weclome Back
48 days This was due to the birth of Mike Chapman and Missy Palmer's baby daughter. Weclome Back explains what the characters had been up to during that time.
December 18, 2006
Decemberween Short Shorts
January 22, 2007
looking old
35 days
June 26, 2007
Ever and More
August 7, 2007
Quality Time with Cardboard Homestar
45 days This was announced in a main page pop-up as a "baby break" for the birth of Matt and Jackie Chapman's child.
December 23, 2008
A Death-Defying Decemberween
January 26, 2009
Hremail 62
34 days This was the first hiatus without any minor updates to the site.

[edit] 2009 - 2013: The Big Hiatus

The original reason for the hiatus

[edit] 2009

Matt and Jackie had their second child in the fall of 2009, announced in a December 1 entry to the FeedBurner page that requested readers "please be patient with updates". The toon Punkin Show, released a few weeks earlier on November 10, was the final update of the year.

[edit] 2010

Updates continued to be scarce in the new year. The first update was April Fools' Day toon Xeriouxly Forxe, with a Xeriouxly Forxe-themed main page shortly thereafter. The next major updates were not until December: A Decemberween Mackerel on the 14th, shortly followed by Which Ween Costumes? on the 22nd — a Decemberween-themed Halloween toon (2010 had been the first year in the site's history without a major Halloween toon).

Strong Bad was featured as one of the characters in the Telltale game Poker Night at the Inventory, released November 22.

[edit] 2011-13

No new toons were produced for three years. The only updates to the site during this time were store offers.

Outside of the website, a few character appearances were made during this time: Puppet Strong Bad appeared at an Aquabats concert in January 2011, while Strong Bad and Homestar Runner made a surprise appearance at W00tstock 5.0 in July 2013.

In September 2011, Matt created the Twitter account @ronginald in which he hinted that Homestar Runner would be updated "sporadically and without warning". On February 27, 2012, Matt posted an out-of-focus image of the apparent script for Strong Bad Email 206, with the message "Someday, when you least expect it...". He deleted this Twitter account in January 2013.

[edit] 2014 - Present: Transition to the New Status Quo

"You got this, Homestar. This is nothin'."

The site was updated with a new toon, April Fool 2014, for the first time in over three years. The toon acknowledged the length between updates by making the index page look dilapidated; at its conclusion, Strong Bad and Homestar Runner imply a possible multi-year wait before the next update. In several later interviews, The Brothers Chaps credit the large positive response to this toon as a major encouragement to continue site updates.

Matt appeared on The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show on July 7, in the first interview with either of the Brothers Chaps in several years. Matt expressed that the Brothers had an interest in "making more stuff, hopefully on a more frequent basis" — borne out with more site activity in October with Fish Eye Lens, Halloween Safety, I Killed Pom Pom (the first full-length Halloween toon since 2009), and the first updates to Quote of the Week, Weekly Fanstuff, and Sketchbook in exactly five years.

In the same interview, Matt also mentioned plans for a new Strong Bad Email, a more accessible website redesign, and a Homestar Runner-themed social media account, all of which eventually came to pass. The @StrongBadActual Twitter account began posting regularly on September 26, 2014; it has since become the most active facet of the Homestar Runner body of work.

In a Rolling Stone interview on October 3, The Brothers Chaps specified that they were not planning to return to full-time work on the site due to the stress and deadlines of the former schedule. Rather, they would simply create any new toons at their own pace, closer to every couple of months rather than weekly.

2015 was the true start of the modern pace of updates; there was new content every second month. In the years since, the site has been updated slowly but semi-regularly, with new content every 1-4 months; Halloween toons have been released annually since 2014.

[edit] Reasons for the hiatus

In interviews from 2014 and 2015, the Brothers Chaps attributed this to the birth of Matt and Jackie's second baby, side projects, and creative burnout. Matt moved to Los Angeles for several years to work on TV shows such as the Nickelodeon program Yo Gabba Gabba!, for which he had previously created an animated segment, as well as The Aquabats! Super Show! and the Disney cartoon Gravity Falls. This made it difficult to make toons with Mike in Georgia until he moved back in 2014.

MATT: I just had my second daughter, and then it was right at the ten-year mark which, you know, if you're gonna take a break ten years felt like a nice time to take a breather. And then during that time we decided, "Hey, let's start talking to some of the people who we've heard from over the years in the industry, and see if there's something there to work on or try to grow." And so we started talking to people out in Los Angeles, and then some of that stuff started to actually move forward. So we were like, okay, if we want to keep pursuing this we kind of need to put Homestar on hold to try to put all our weight behind that stuff. And so that's what we started doing, and I ended up actually moving out to Los Angeles for a few years and we got to do a bunch of cool stuff and work with a bunch of cool people and work on a bunch of cool shows.
MIKE: When we stopped doing stuff, we didn't know if we were stopping for two months, or six months, or one year, or four years. We just knew that we couldn't make a cartoon in the next couple weeks. So all of a sudden, "We're really trying to!" turned into this multiyear hiatus. Matt was moving back to Atlanta from LA, and we had over the years been talking about the characters more, and situations would come up, and we'd say, "Oh, Strong Bad should say this!" Once we decided that we had some ideas, the fact that people still cared was fantastic.
JEFF RUBIN: This year, April, first cartoon in a while — it sounded like you were testing the waters a bit to find out if there was still interest?
MATT: Sort of. We had heard from people that were like, "Hey, where did it go? We wanted more," which is always super cool to hear.
JEFF RUBIN: I bet you get that on a daily basis, whether you know it or not, like in your email or somewhere. That must happen all the time, right?
MATT: Well, I hope it does, 'cause that would be very encouraging. I feel like the consensus is that we stopped because we didn't want to do it, and I hate for people to think that we've been sitting in a pool with a martini sort of laughing at the Internet, like, "What fools! We'll never make you a Strong Bad Email again!" It's very much the opposite. My brother and I have lived the last three or four years still thinking in our brains that we're gonna be making a new cartoon next week, and we would routinely text each other dumb jokes from a Homestar line or a Strong Bad line that will probably never happen. So, we've been wanting to do this stuff. [...] It's not that we were like, "We hated it, we wanted to take a break." No, the rest of the world has influenced us in a way where we have to take a little time off, and there literally hasn't been time to do them. So that's why the April Fools' thing was definitely like, "All right, we've got the time. We're gonna do it. We're gonna see if anybody gives a crap anymore. And if they do then the goal will be to start making more stuff, hopefully on a more frequent basis."
JEFF RUBIN: And I think we can conclude people still gave a crap, right?
MATT: It seemed like it. Maybe it was a fluke just because it was the first one we've done. I don't know if there will be diminishing returns or not, but just based on that alone it's enough to make us want to give it a try again.

[edit] See Also

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