Softboy doesn’t like to sleep alone.

Fun facts: Softboy’s intrusive thoughts show two moments from my thesis project’s trilogy- Dirk hitting Softboy (which is officially part of the comic lore) and Softboy being taken away (which remains only a fear in the comic canon).

See if you can spot the references to the NSP song “I Don’t Know What We’re Talking About.”

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This comic is a bit of an apology to anyone who has been wondering why the antics of Softboy Pillowman have been so theater-focused as of late. This is because Softboy Pillowman and I are both huge theater nerds. Rest assured, we shall begin stories that specifically focus on LGBT-issues very soon!

Fun fact: Softboy actually started the free trial on his website earlier than this comic was published, so he’ll only have it up until a couple weeks from now. Still, he’s happy to have the possibility of expanding on it once he gets some more disposable toy income.

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He… how could it be? He hears the music….”

“You… you hear it too. You hear the music…

Guess who watched Love Never Dies not long after finally watching The Phantom of the Opera? And now, four months later, I decided to make this semi-sequel to the Phantom of the Opera artwork I made a few months ago. 

I’m not a big fan of Love Never Dies (the musical sequel to The Phantom of the Opera), and I’m sure many people feel the same way. When I finally watched a production on YouTube a while back, I found little in it that truly entertained me…. except for the song “The Beauty Underneath.” I was taken aback by the sudden rock number, and couldn’t stop listening to it for weeks afterward. Then, I found this newer version of the song on YouTube that I love even more.

The Chrisville Theater Society would never put on a full production of Love Never Dies, but its members also share a fondness for this number. Dirk is often cast as the Phantom, and Softboy Pillowman steals the show as Gustave, the ten-year-old boy who turns out to be the Phantom’s son. 

This number represents one of the few times Softboy and Dirk truly get along during playtime, and their rendition of this song is rather heartfelt. This is because they each have a different interpretation of what the song means by the Phantom’s “beauty underneath.” Dirk pictures his love for what all the other toys see as too tough, violent, mean-spirited, and dark. (The other toys are typically correct in their judgement) Softboy, on the other hand, pictures his appreciation for the macabre, playfully cynical, and artistically off-putting, such as a love of Edgar Allen Poe stories, the spooky tales that surround cryptids, and animated works like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Invader Zim.

And with that, we have a humanoid form for Dirk and a finale for our latest multi-part comic. You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, and Part 4 here.

Fun facts: In the second panel, when Softboy says that the Chrisville Theater Society should do “Pirates,” he is, of course, referring to the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Pirates of Penzance.

Dirk’s lineart was inspired by the way My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic uses colored outlines. Dirk may not like to hear that this was a source of inspiration for me, but it’s true. (This also means that Softboy’s earlier comment on how Dirk is ordinarily hard to draw was largely ignored for this form’s design. This method took me forever to figure out, and Dirk’s human form will be used sparingly as a result.) 

Also, Dirk’s grain made me download an additional brush asset for Clip Studio Paint for the first time. I’ve just been making do with the basic brushes until now.

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It’s time for things to get pretty silly in Part 4 of our current multi-part comic. You can check out Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here. 

Fun fact: Since the toys’ doodles for Dirk’s “Sad Horse” form are fairly obvious, I don’t think I need to say what real-world cartoon they’re referencing. If you’re wondering how Chris is allowed to watch such a mature show, then it probably won’t surprise you to hear that he technically isn’t. Chris has his own little profile on his dad’s Netflix account, but it’s still a kid’s account. Chris has figured out, though, that as long as he doesn’t try watching Netflix using his dad’s account while his dad is using it on another device, Chris can get away with seeing things his dad has already watched. He doesn’t do this all the time, and he doesn’t do it out of the thrill of watching mature stuff for the sake of being “grown-up.” He came for the animal-people and stayed for the incredible storytelling. And the puns.

Also, this update was actually supposed to be the finale. However, I ran out of time this week, so I decided to split the intended comic into two parts. You’ll have to wait til next week for the conclusion!

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