Saika: It’s been about a month now, and it’s still hard for me to believe that Homestuck is over. I came to the fandom in 2013, when the story was already deep in the throes of Act 6 and its multiple sub- and sub-sub-acts, but it feels like I’ve been part of this wacky and oft-maligned group for longer than that. However, the fact stands that Homestuck has ended, so Syng and I have teamed up to hit you with our thoughts on said ending.
Syng: In this retrospective, we’re going to look back on both of our journeys with Homestuck, as well as reflect on the end of the story and what it means for us as fans moving forward. Spoilers for all of Homestuck (since we now have all of it; this is so weird) below!
Positive racial representation is so, so important in our popular media. This is not news—it’s something we talk about at least weekly on this site. But what about situations where a character’s race is never stated? Some media, by their nature, don’t include physical descriptors of their characters: what, if anything, can these raceless characters do for racial representation?
Theoretically, leaving a character’s racial identity open to fan interpretation should allow fans to invent a diverse variety of different designs for that character. It should be a goldmine of racial representation, because leaving a character raceless should allow people of any race to identify with that character. The truth of it is, though, that characters with no assigned race often end up white in the majority of fan renderings. Much like the heterosexist idea that everyone is straight until proven otherwise, when a character’s race is not explicitly stated, the bulk of a fandom will fall back on the idea that white is the default, “normal” race and assign whiteness to the character or characters in question.
White privilege is present in every part of our lives, and part of that privilege is seeing oneself in media without ever having to look. In fact, people are so socialized into believing that all main characters are white people that we often visualize characters as white even when they’re not described as such. For example, did you know that Harry Potter is never assigned a race in the books? He’s got messy black hair and great skin, but the actual color of his skin is never brought up. And yet it’s only recently that I’ve seen people making an active effort to introduce biracial Harry headcanons into the fandom. We do this because we’ve been taught over and over again that white is the norm. While it’s not wrong to imagine a character as white, it is something to be aware of, and to challenge in ourselves as critical consumers of media. What subconsciously led us to whiteness, and why did we choose that over a PoC design?
Happy belated 4/13, my fellow Homestucks. It’s hard to believe that Andrew Hussie’s epic about kids, space, and fucked-up universes has been around for five years now! Even harder to believe that this gigapause is still going… However, even though Hussie didn’t surprise us all with the final update on what would have been the most fitting day (there’s always next year), he did surprise us with an ambitious new comic venture. From what I’ve seen, the fandom is pretty excited for it, and with good reason.
What’s interesting about Paradox Space is that it’s not a spin-off of the original Homestuck comic per se, but could instead be seen as stories that travel alongside the main storyline, but never interact. …Well, instead of making this explanation more confusing than the source comic, I’ll let the man speak for himself.
Paradox Space will feature many short comic stories involving literally any characters and settings from Homestuck. Any point in canon could be visited and elaborated on, whether it’s backstory, some scenes that were skipped over or alluded to, funny hypothetical scenarios which have nothing to do with canon events, or exploring things that could have happened in canon through the “doomed timeline” mechanic that is a defining trait of Homestuck’s multiverse-continuum known as “paradox space”.
It’s a project that’s ambitious in its attempts to bring back the Homestuck fandom back to being a large, contributing collective once more—a project that allows the fandom some say in what potentially happened in this expansive universe we’ve all helped form with the characters we’ve grown to love or hate. Indeed, with Hussie’s continued assurances of allowing other people the reins of the site soon, Paradox Space will become a creator-sanctioned fanwork for the fans by the fans. And considering the size of Homestuck’s fandom, I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a project that had the potential to blow up as largely as this one.
Oh, Act 5 Act 2. This, my friends, is where the shit goes down, the shit hits the fan, the shit gets real, and the shit takes various other idiomatic actions relating to rising action and dramatic tension. Act 5 Act 2, at nearly 1,500 pages, is by far the longest part of Homestuck, but it’s also by far the most exciting in my opinion, so let’s get down to it.
Just look at that grumpy little fucker. Yes, dear readers, if you’ve stuck with me all the way through Act 4, you are finally going to be rewarded with actual knowledge about those weird grey troll characters. Let’s do Act 5 Act 1. Continue reading →
Congrats on finishing Act 3, loyal readers! You’re making excellent progress, and even more exciting adventures with your favorite boy-skylark and his friends await you in Act 4. But first, there’s the Intermission, which, I assure you, is not a terrible April Fools prank from Hussie no matter what it may seem.
If you’re reading this, I’ll assume you’re still with me, and have read both my post about Act 1 and Act 1 itself. So although I’ll do my best to not spoil Act 2 below, Act 1 is gonna be fair game. If you’re ready to jump in, join me after the break.
So after Ohayocon, where we nearly drowned in Homestuck cosplayers, I was forced to admit it to myself. There must be something to this Homestuck thing. I haven’t really had time since Ohayocon to breathe, however, let alone to get myself mired in as complicated a fandom as Homestuck seems to be, so I was putting it off. And then I found myself laid over for several hours in Narita Airport, and decided the time had come to do the deed. I’m not finished yet (I’m only up to Act 3 as of writing this), but I figured I’d share my Homestuck findings with you, dear reader, and tell you that it’s not as scary as it seems.
If you’ve been following what I’ve been writing on here for any length of time you would have heard me bring up the webcomic Homestuck, each time ending whatever explanation I may have put with “it’s complicated”. And it is, but at the same time I believe that’s it’s one of the most defining pieces of art of our generation. So, to further expand on the explanations that I couldn’t provide, I have some links for you guys today. Let them tell you about Homestuck.
A couple days ago Brian Lee O’Malley, the author of the popular series Scott Pilgrim, conducted an interview with Andrew Hussie, the author of Homestuck. Both being moderately similar in topic and style, it’s not only a wonderful conversation between like-minded people—discussing everything from work schedules to shipping—but also an eye-opening look at internet culture and how it not only influences modi of storytelling, but how people relate to each other and the characters on a different, and perhaps confoundedly closer, level than ever before. Give it a read at the Comics Alliance here.
On the complete other end of the spectrum, we have this video which I think is how many people feel when reading Homestuck for the first time, or just from hearing about it from Tumblr or their friends. It’s hilarious not only because how confused they are, but how some parts of that confusion ring so close to home.
No matter which side of the coin you may fall concerning this series, it has to be conceded that the internet is becoming a huge part of entertainment and with that comes not only memes and feels, but also a sociological bridge to other cultures and subcultures. I believe that more technologically savvy entertainment is paving the way for future endeavors, whether they use it by advertising or entertainment. Homestuck‘s importance is its place in the evolution and acceptance of this trend.