Two weeks ago, I had no idea what "Welcome to Night Vale" was. Today, I'm okay with admitting I'm more than a bit addicted. Here are the 42 stages to complete and total Night Vale Addiction. Warning: Off-limit dog parks, beautiful hair, and possibly spoilers.
Enjoy, dear readers. Enjoy.
1. Out of nowhere, your tumblr feed, twitter, whatever starts getting posts about something called "Night Vale."
2. What's Night Vale? Where did it come from?
3. Nothing about the posts on your dash makes sense.
4. Then, you start stumbling across really impressive fanart, usually tagged, "I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED BUT NOW I DRAW NIGHT VALE."
You gaze in wonder at this fandom's frankly awesome skills.
Suuuccchhh cool fanart.
Seriously, huge amounts of talent in this fandom.
5. But at this point, you still don't know what the heck Night Vale is, besides weird and pretty.
But based on those two things, you're feeling inclined to like it.
Dog park? Cecil? Floating cats? Evil librarians? Fake clocks? WHAT'S GOING ON?
6. Then you find Night Vale's twitter account and your curiosity is whipped into a frenzy.
7. Finally, you can't take it anymore. You HAVE to know what the heck is up with the FLOATING CAT and the DOG PARK and the BEAUTIFUL FANART and FREAKIN' NIGHT VALE.
8. Someone (eagerly/impatiently) gets you the link.
9. First Episode: you're half...
10. ...and half INSTANTLY IN LOVE.
11. A few episodes in and you realize how amazingly imaginative and smart it is.
12. You start imagining the characters...
You have sooooo many headcanons. So. Many.
And Carlos, with all his beautiful, beautiful hair.
After all, Podcast = IMAGINATION
13. Then you start to realize how cool the production background is...
14. You start daydreaming about Carlos's hair.
That beautiful, beautiful hair.
Actually, you get rather invested in that hair.
16. Between episodes, you start listening to fanmixes.
17. By now, you've chosen a comfortable, secure place to listen regularly.
18. You start craving Arby's.
19. Men in tan jackets suddenly seem ominous.
20. Doppelgängers too.
21. You get really, really emotionally invested in Carlos/Cecil.
They're so NEAT.
22. You realize that between the adorableness...
23. ...there is actual horror.
24. You have a favorite intern.
Wait, I'm sorry, did I write a number 25? I, I don't actually remember...
And it's gone from my drafts folder. Huh.
ALL HAIL THE BUZZFEED. ALLLL HHAAAIILLL.
26. You become sensitive to various shades of purple.
27. You start appreciating fan theories.
28. You get to the point where someone mentions Night Vale and you just go...
29. You consider yourself an ALERT citizen.
30. You start seeing mysterious hooded figures.
31. And angels.
Uh-oh. A rather hideous envelope has just popped under the door.
32. You walk into your bathroom and are surprised not to find a floating cat.
33. You hear Carlos's voice for the first time.
34. You start getting upset that the forecasters on your local news channel don't break into song.
35. You know how to cast your vote CORRECTLY.
36. You feel irrational hatred towards...
Really hate that guy.
37. You find out that listening to Night Vale as you fall asleep = pretty weird/epic/terrifying dreams
38. You find this comforting.
39. You start to appreciate the incredibly awesome fanart EVEN MORE.
This fandom has the art of [drawing + sneaky/creepy/cool gif] DOWN.
Seriously readers, I'm in AWE of the fan work coming out of this fandom.
40. You eagerly await the next episode like it's a date with Carlos.
41. The 1st and 15th become your favorite days of the month.
42. And finally, you develop the need to get everyone around you as addicted to "Welcome to Night Vale" as you are.
Goodnight, dear Buzzfeed. Goodnight.
Thanks to all the amazing artists who gave permission for their work to be added to this list!