For the first time in, well, ever, I’m a member in a fandom before it completely dies out. In fact, I’m lucky that I’m a part of this fandom during its creative zenith. So welcome to my obsession, dear readers, and allow me to tell you about Homestuck. To try and explain this story is a joke in the fandom because it’s so fucking complicated that even a short explanation ends up being pages in MS word but I’ll do the series no justice what so ever and leave it at “four 13 year-old internet friends play a game together that destroys the universe and they have to make a new one”.
Our main characters for the majority of the story are John, Rose, Jade, and Dave. John is the resident regular kid. Rose is a psychologist in the making with a love of Lovecraft-ian lore. Jade is the sweet, but not stupid gunslinger. And Dave is the cool kid who isn’t actually all that cool (but that level of irony makes him cool despite that). Although they don’t seem like they have much in common, they’re great friends who care deeply for each other and hey, with a cast like this who wouldn’t want to make happy ending post-game fic? No one, that’s who. But with a title like PTSD, I’m sure you’re wondering what makes this happy at all. Although this fic does deal extensively with the issue of actual PTSD, in this case the author uses it to stand for Post-TimeShit Dave.
In this universe-destroying game, each character has a class that they must utilize to beat the game. Dave’s aspect was time. Whereas this means that he can travel to any timeline he wants, it also means that he has to be careful to not doom his original timeline by creating paradoxes. It also means that he has the utmost pleasure of watching his friends die over and over again in varying ways. You can see how this could be stressful.
Before I confuse you even more, I’ll just get to what I like about this fic. First off, the way the author deals with Dave’s alcoholism is not only realistic, but also very sensitive to the issue. And whereas it remains a hurdle Dave has to overcome, it doesn’t come to define him. I really appreciate how all the characters are still friends but have lives of their own. But what it comes down to is that I really love how all the characters are still in character.
Since the characters are explored only through dialogue, it can be all too easy to distill them down to a single panel. However, these characters manage to maintain their dimensions and remind the audience why we even care about them after the game. Dave is not only still obsessed with being cool, but he’s also vulnerable and defensive. Jade is still a kind, funny girl but she’s more than willing to knock some sense into her friends. The adolescent friendship is still there, but it has matured along with them.
Now, perhaps this may not seem like the “happy post-game” fic that I was talking about earlier, but in a webcomic where characters die every other page, just seeing everyone alive and adjusting is happy enough. They are together, and so the audience knows they can overcome the hardships in their lives. This is what makes this series so great as a whole: that is recognizes internet friendships as legitimate friendships and how they can impact people so deeply. Now, I have a ton more Homestuck fics for this segment, so I’ll leave this point for one that exemplifies it more.
But, if you like friendship fics with a little bit of romance and a heavy dose of reality, I would highly recommend giving this fic a shot. Click here if you’re interested.