Homestuck

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The logo of Sburb, and de-facto logo of Homestuck.

Homestuck (also known as Hamsteak or Homosuck) is a webcomic written by one Andrew Hussie. It is but one of the comics featured on his website, MS Paint Adventures, which is often abbreviated into MSPA. It is famous for being even more WORDS WORDS WORDS than Ctrl+Alt+Delete, having a shit-ton of characters and one of the most annoying wonderful prominent fanbases in existence. For this reason it was often referred to on 4chan as Homeskub during its heyday.

What is Homestuck?[edit]

Homestuck began on April 13th 2009, one month after the creator's previous story, Problem Sleuth, had ended. It started out in the same vein as its predecessors; a Quest-style comic run solely by user input. The first three stories, Jailbreak (left unfinished for ages, then wrapped up hastily partway through Homestuck), Bardquest (a multiple choice experiment that was abandoned very early and will likely never be finished), and Problem Sleuth (actually finished, and whose unexpected popularity directly precipitated Homestuck) channeled old-school point-and-click adventure games based of a man trying to escape prison, a bard in his quest to slay a dragon, and a hard-boiled private investigator trying to leave his absurd office respectively.

Andrew Hussie went in a different direction with his newest work, by making it about a group of early teenagers who chat and play video games online. Homestuck begins with goofy young hero John Egbert getting his hands on beta copies of a hot new game called Sburb for his birthday. What looks like a novel team-based version of the Sims takes a crazy turn when the game reveals powerful reality-warping properties, and matters soon begin to escalate as John and company find themselves surviving meteors, cloning themselves, fighting all sorts of monsters, dealing with aliens of various degrees of friendliness and/or blood thirst and ultimately facing an immortal Time Lord demonic time-traveling minmaxing crime boss seeking terrible and destructive ends.

All the MS Paint Adventures are notable for being more than regular comic strips; Homestuck frequently includes simple animations, occasional Flash animations of escalating complexity, entire flash games, and a soundtrack that covers several dozen albums. You can also buy printed versions of the comic from the website in case you want a hands on experience, but that means missing out on the flash goodness and razing acres of forest. So not only do you read Homestuck, you watch it, play it, listen to it and (maybe) buy it.

Homestuck has over the course of its seven years of existence amassed a spectacularly huge cast of characters. There are four kids who each have their own guardian/pet, Consort, Denizen, Exile, Archagent, Wise Black Man and more. Then there are the Trolls and their associated characters, who increase this total by roughly four dozen, and many more beyond. The cast was then further doubled by introducing the kid versions of the Kids' guardians and the Trolls' ancestors via parallel universe shenanigans. This all gets very complicated, and there is good reason to believe that Hussie was duplicating of parts of the cast solely to bait the fandom into shipping (for his own perverse lolz).

It finally ended on April 13th 2016 after 2 gigantic pauses that disbanded the fandom, including the retconning of several hundred pages with time travel shenanigans, and ye gods it was about time. For both the fandom and the comic.

Real fandoms don't die, they go god tier.

So Why's This so Popular?[edit]

This is a meme called "Lemmy Telya". It is a picture of a disgruntled security guard at a convention looking at disdain at a group of cosplayers. In any other fandom this would have passed over quietly. Not in Homestuck. They named him Lemmy Telya, and you can guess why. There was art of him. There was a cosplay of him. There was art of said cosplay. There was Rule 63 of him. Any black people pointing/looking at Homestuck cosplays were dubbed "Lemmy Telya", including a lunch lady and a man who looks like black Techno Viking. The reaction of said security guard to all this is as of yet unknown, but someone will try to get it. Poor man.

Length[edit]

It's pretty damn long, so getting engrossed in the story means you'll have a lot of fun to look forward to. This is a blessing and a curse.

Storytelling[edit]

The author likes to play with words. All of Gussie's work is horribly punny, and filled with very creative wordplay. Plays on wording and meaning can sometimes be both figurative and literal within the comic, and this leads to Fun.

The author loves to be self-referential, and make references to earlier points in the plot. And also earlier in the story, in general, turning throwaway footnotes into major plot points for laughs. Homestuck is therefore a massive cluster fuck of "oh yeah that thing." He also loves Easter-eggs.

Further, he does the now-popular thing of using multiple universes, so that everything can be really clusterfucked, bigtime, and the story can continue.

References[edit]

Homestuck, to a degree beyond any of Hussie's other work, is a mess of references to pop culture. Everything from old-school video RPG tropes (like arbitrary elemental alignments, players ignoring the story, annoying inventory management schemes) to juggalos to jabs at overly-involved shippers (like the kind that Homestuck inevitably attracted). The comic is rooted in 2013, so growing up around that time really helps when reading.

The Fandom[edit]

The homestuck fandom and how to exploit it.

It has a large fandom, so... lots of potential for new friends, I suppose?

One component of Homestuck that is lost on readers after 2016 is that Andrew Hussie was very active in his own fandom, weaving memes and in-jokes made by the fans into new Homestuck updates when he was still writing. His actual relationship with the fans was equal parts "haha look at these shitlords" and "you guys are my only friends".

So why do people hate it so much?[edit]

  1. Because it is overly long. And it starts off slow. It's like trying to get into CSI and being told "you can't understand what's going on unless you watch every season in order."
  2. The story can really swing between whimsical fun, grim darkness and relationship shenanigans. I.E. it entirely lacks a clear tone. Some people want a story to retain a consistent tone, and if you are one of those people you probably won't like Homestuck very much.
  3. The fandom: The fandom was Newgrounds-destroyingly massive in 2014, and no, that is not hyperbole. Any fandom that big inevitably becomes quite vocally retarded, and this was all before the internet watched several other fandoms do the exact same thing. People at the time viewed Homestuck as something that makes you stupid, and they feared it as horribly cancerous. That legacy haunts it to this day.
  4. And lastly, some people find Homestuck rather pretentious, and don't feel it deserves the popularity it had.

Links[edit]

Living Games[edit]

  • SKRUB v 8.1 (still working on it as of may 2016)
  • God Tier RPG
  • A User's Guide to the Apocalypse. This one uses Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine, a tabletop RPG that's about feelings instead of combat and that doesn't use dice, so it only half counts. The game is playable though, if you count "people sitting on an internet chat talking about their feelings" as play.
  • RPGStuck It's a modified version of DnD with some weird shit added to it. It's pretty active, but is only hosted on reddit so far.
    • Nowadays the sub is mostly used for forming groups, while the actual sessions take place on Discord.

Dead Games[edit]

The rest of these were hosted on the MSPAforums and other daoots sites, but who knows, maybe someday they will be back:

Gallery[edit]