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!
“Do you honestly think he hasn’t figured it out by now?”
Karkat looks pointedly at Egbert, who’s talking animatedly to Roxy on the other side of the clearing. With the light filtering prettily through the leaves, they look a picture of heterosexual bliss. It’s the final shot of dozens of Karkat’s terrible Rom-coms, a textbook “happily ever after” pose with the couple giggling contentedly at each other’s jokes. Knowing those two they’re probably dirty jokes, shit you’d never say in polite company, but somehow that’s even more perfect. You want that. You want to sit with Karkat’s head in your lap and talk about bullshit until the sun sets, but you can’t because you’re a fucking coward.
It’s been a week since the dust of creation finally settled over your new paradise, and you still haven’t had ‘the talk’ with John. The ‘I like dudes as well as ladies, and that information is kinda pretty relevant since I’ve been dating Karkat over a year’ talk. A part of you wishes Egbert had the social skills to put two and two together and come up with the bright-red number four that’s been under his nose this whole time, but he obviously hasn’t. Even though you practically haven’t let Karkat out of your sight for the whole time you’ve been here, he just. Doesn’t. Get it.
“Are you kidding me?” You reply, flopping backward in a show of frustration. “Unless we start making out right in front of him, he’s not gonna notice a damn thing. He honest to God gave me a noogie yesterday and was all:
‘Jimeny jillikers, Dave! It’s great that you and Karkat are such awesome pals! I’m sorry I’ve been spending so much time with Roxy, but I’ll come hang out with you guys soon and we can have a bropalfriendfest and build a pillow fort’ or some equally dumb charming bullshit.”
You sigh, brushing your fringe out of your eyes and wondering how long the stupid victory message is going to be branded onto the sky.
“I have no idea how he’d feel if he knew what kind of shenanigans usually go down in one of our pillow forts, but I sincerely doubt he’d want to join in.”
When I went looking for a Homestuck fic to write about this week, I was just hoping to find something good. I wasn’t expecting to find one that hit me quite as personally as this one did.
Multiverse theory says that there’s an untold quantity of universes out there, and each one might be different based on a single choice that one person made. There’s a universe out there where, for example, I live in outer space, because the Library of Alexandria never burned down and the advancement of human knowledge wasn’t set back by centuries. If you had the opportunity to fix this, would you? That’s a pretty huge reset, so it’s hard to begin to imagine the ramifications of doing so. What about, say, going back three hours to create a timeline in which your friend’s pet isn’t murdered and your godfather doesn’t receive the Dementor’s Kiss? This presumably creates a better future, as it results in Sirius living, which gives Harry access to Grimmauld Place, which gives him access to Kreacher and the story of Regulus, etc. As an author, resetting the timeline is something you should only do in the worst possible circumstances, and even then, it’s hard to argue that retconning a given set of circumstances that are bad for your characters is worth retconning an entire universe for.
I learned while writing this post that ‘retcon’ is a portmanteau of ‘retroactive continuity’.
Even though I’m not an avid gamer, my brother always keeps me up-to-date with any indie games he finds interesting. The newest game he’s told me about is called Undertale. Unfortunately it’s still in development at the moment, but you can play the demo to get an idea of what the game will be like. There are numerous reasons I’m excited for this game, one of them being the lack of detail to the main protagonist. There’s a unique gameplay that allows you to fight or befriend characters, and the style of the game is very reminiscent of other games like Earthbound. Everything about this game is precious; I’ve even re-watched the trailer video to death at this point:
Spoilers ahead! Seriously though, check out the demo, it’s free!
This month has been exhausting. Black History Month always brings pushback: talk of a Black Spider-Man has resurfaced with all the associated bigotry, and current events have been as bad as always. It’s been really emotionally taxing, so I want to talk about something a little lighter and upbeat: nerd-inspired music. (Occasional NSFW language follows.)
There’s a slow but exciting change occurring in popular media, these days: lots of creators are finally beginning to show female friendships in their works. That’s not to say that there have never been friendships between ladies in the public eye before the last few years—Wicked comes to mind, among other things—but the message seems to finally have gotten out to the world at large. We want more than one lady in things, and we want those ladies to understand each other, not for them to antagonize each other.
An imperfect God is easier to believe in. Just as a mystical pregnancy that doesn’t result in special children (because statistically, so few people are likely to become Great; why should children of mystical pregnancies be any different from typical humans?), and the death of a son of god being much more personal than a momentous world-saving act is easier to believe in.
However, there are a few canonical instances where wizards do actually practice (Christian) religion in the series. St. Mungo’s, the wizarding hospital, is actually named for a real saint. St. Mungo, also known as St. Kentigern, was a Christian missionary who performed miracles and founded the city of Glasgow. The Fat Friar is the ghost of Hufflepuff House and was a monk in his former life.
GT: if i marry him won’t that make me your stepdad??
TG: youre planning on marrying my bro
GT: i don’t fucking know!!
GT: we’re dating, so it’s kind of a possibility????
TG: is he aware youre already thinking about marriage
GT: dude, shut up!
TG: nah man i think we need to get our calendars out and see about booking a minister
TG: ill draw up the invitations
TG: sweet bro and hella jeff cordially invite you to the unholy union of egbert and strider
GT: auuuugh no i don’t want to be my best friend’s stepdad!!!!!!
TG: think the word youre really lookin for here is stepbro
GT: you’re in so much denial holy shit. no wonder rose psychologically dissects you all the time.
—The Ace Thing, Chapter Six
It’s been 84 years…
After a year-long hiatus, the unorthodox webcomic Homestuck has resumed to its semi-erratic updating schedule. Although I’m definitely not as into the series as I used to be, I’m super excited to see how the series ends—ie: hopefully without all the characters dying—and more than willing to celebrate its triumphant site-breaking return with a fic recommendation. In light of this and in light of Asexual Awareness Week, today’s fic delves not only back into the Homestuck universe, but also focuses solely on a perfectly healthy relationship between a character that is asexual and a character who is, self-admittedly, not asexual at all. Continue reading →
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.