Yeah, I was going to try to not make this post about Homestuck. I really was. But we’re two weeks into the hiatus and fanfic is all that we’ve got right now, so I guess you’ll have to deal. (I promise next week will be different—this is just what happens when you let the only two homestuck writers on this blog have Fanfic Fridays posts right after the series goes on hold.)
One of the tricky things about writing serious fanfic about Homestuck is that the comic itself is always on the verge of a really ridiculous pun or sight gag. No matter how sadstuck your fic is, if you don’t somehow acknowledge this, I feel like you’re doing the source material a disservice. How do you write straight-up, feelsy-bordering-on-angst fic about a series where Juggalo aliens break the rules of space and time and where Betty Crocker is an endgame villain without losing the series’ goofy, tongue-in-cheek tone?
The answer is, apparently, by writing a story like Lacuna by TankDame.
Lacuna is a highly introspective piece that focuses on Dirk Strider as he grows up, grows into himself, and falls in love with Jake English.
Lacuna is not a funny story—it takes all your emotions about Dirk Strider (and believe me, I have a lot of feelings about Striders, good goddamn) and punches you in the face with them. It takes all the things that are sort of ridiculous about him—the spiky hair, the long showers, the love of horses, his living alone, the weird obsession with Lil’ Cal the terrifying marionette—and frames them so they’re tragic. He spikes his hair because when he doesn’t it reminds him too much of his dead older brother, for example. Yeah. Ouch. These reframes aren’t stated outright; rather, they’re just laid out there, easter eggs for the reader to pick up on.
Jake is in it a little bit, but this is less of a shippy piece (it ends with Dirk getting ready to enter the medium, so they’ve never actually met in person) and more just a really feelsy adventure through Dirk’s head that happens to include his friendship and eventually love for the goofy island-dwelling kid.
This piece is really poignant and emotional, and I just want to read it again and again. Although sometimes the writing gets a little wrapped up in itself in a sound-and-fury-signifying-nothing artsy wordiness, TankDame on the whole delivers a really touching piece that does nothing to keep me from having even more emotions about Dirk freaking Strider.