Homestuck - Jegus guys

CulturalGeekGirlCulturalGeekGirl wrote on 14 Sep 2012 10:23

I throw around terms a lot. Terms like groundbreaking story-telling, genre-defying works of staggering genius, all that stuff. Well, every other time I used those terms, I was wrong. I've found the grandaddy of weird-ass new-media storyfication. Once again my mind has been thoroughly blown by an artthing I was only marginally aware of before very recently.

So guys… have any of you read Homestuck?

At first glance… and for quite a few glaces after that… several days worth of glances, if I'm being honest… it appears to be nothing but another run of the mill webcomic - with all the requisite gags and ironies - albeit one that makes clever use of flash animation. It's a parody of adventure games maybe sort of. Ha. Mirth. A few days of reading and then eventual boredom, when you don't know where you were in the story and don't know how to get back because the site doesn't have a normal archive, or dates, or really page numbers.

Then, you'll get caught up in preparations for PAX. While in Seattle, through twitter happenstance, you'll contact a friend you haven't seen in nearly a decade. You'll find out that he's still very smart and successful and nice and alien and has a good aesthetic that you don't entirely grok but some kind of shared ability to deal with sincerity in literature. He'll take you to a vegan place, because you've been eating con food all weekend and you don't want to die.1

After awkwardly-but-enjoyably discussing the pressures of being a big important guy who knows stuff in software (his life) vs being a little not-that-important creative person in software (my life) for a while, you'll finish eating and he'll drive you back to the con. On the way back, he'll offhandedly ask you if you've ever read Homestuck. You'll say you started it, but lost track of it because it is so goddam difficult and you finished chapter one but you're really not sure if this is going anywhere. And you still haven't seen any horns. At anime cons these days, there are these weird costumes you see everywhere… and when you ask your friend, she says "oh, that's just Homestuck" and then you're like "feh, whatever," DESPITE the fact that the rad artist whose tumblr you adore who likes all the things you like (including Garrus and Arya) actually did some fanart of it once.

Anyway, when you say that yeah you've read a bit of it but kinda sorta gave up for now, he'll light up like you've never seen him light up. He'll say things like "there were things I always wanted to do with a story, or hoped that someone would do… and it just does them." You will never have ever seen him so illuminated.

You tell him you got lost, you're not sure how to start reading again, 'cause the archive isn't regular like with most comics. He tells you that there's a map. "Ah." you say. "ah."

"Ok. I'll read it when I get home."

He drops you off in a no-parking zone while friending you on facebook with his iphone. Of course he has an iPhone. He was an apple guy when that was almost on the verge of not being a thing anymore.

So you go home, and do your typical PAX recovery thing. And then one night, bored and lonely and kind of hating yourself for not being more pro-active with your social life, you'll decide to start again.

There is an extended intermission right before it starts to get really good that is about stupidly themed gangsters having purposefully confusing time-travel hijinx. That will be hard times, but muscle through it.

And your reward is…

Ok guys, you know how I'm always saying all those things about art and music and words and narrative all dancing together in some kind of gorgeous "it's all art on its own, let it be art together" symphony of whatever? This leverages so many mediums that I'm staggered. It fucks with all the rules about linear narrative, character, and irony. It does everything I've ever said I'm sick of, and it does it in a way that almost makes me cry.

Maybe I'll have time to take it apart later… to say why it's good. I've been reading it every spare moment for nearly a week now. It's been giving me insomnia. I've been having dreams where the characters speak, and their words are typed text in the colors of their blood. Except for the humans, they don't type in their blood colors. That'd be stupid. They type in their t-shirt colors.

I'm not done with it yet… but nothing has motivated me to stay up all night doing the "I'm an adult with responsibilities!" version of reading with a flashlight under covers for a long time… which is just reading because your brain won't let you sleep because it's too interested in what you're reading so it won't let you sleep so you read more.

So yeah… um…

Anyone here read Homestuck?

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