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homestuck

Homestuck

“You don't know why you are wasting time on this website.”
– Narration1)

Homestuck is a lengthy webcomic by Andrew Hussie which began on April 13, 2009 and ended on October 25, 2016. While the work is attributed to Andrew Hussie, do note that some of the assets were contributed by select fans which becomes a common practice by the end of the story.

In short, Homestuck is a chaotic coming-of-age story2) that focuses on a creation myth video game3) while toying with its readers. Some may genuinely appreciate it, while others resent it with scalding critique. I wouldn't personally recommend it, but it does offers a unique experience for each individual reader.

Summary

The story follows four teenagers who play a computer game that triggers the Earth's destruction, so they're fated to play through and create a new universe. An alien society, who almost beat a variant of the game, comes into contact with them and eventually tries to help. To keep it simple, a number of mistakes occur and both parties try to salvage their sessions by messing with timelines and performing a reset.

With this pivotal reset, the parties cross over into a universe where the four's genetic parents are teenagers that get stuck playing the game, then said parties arrive with the intent to finish the game in their session. Eventually, their mistakes would add up in a way that results in them facing the powerful antagonists that they incidentally created, but they fail and end up in a seemingly hopeless situation.

Luckily, the protagonist gains the power to "retcon" past events which is used to patch up their mistakes and prevent some deaths, fixing their entire team structure. This results in a more successful plan where most antagonists get beaten, the “invincible” villain is sent into a black hole off-screen, and everyone flees to a new universe in order to break the narrative, though it leaves us a controversial open ending.

> Summarize the Homestuck Epilogues and Homestuck: Beyond Canon.

Development

As a Webcomic

“But at the time I didn't expect to get as deep into [the trolls'] story as I eventually did.”
– Andrew Hussie4)

Homestuck was initially planned to be more “compact” than Problem Sleuth,5) with his early estimates being April 13, 2010,6) then August 26, 2010,7) then Hussie got caught up with Act 5 giving answers that it kinda snowballed out of his control, yet he still believed Act 6 would be shorter.8)9) Then in 2012, that crowdfunding campaign began, expecting Homestuck to end in 2013 and Hiveswap to release in 2014.10)

While the project was funded, Hussie forgot to write the game11) and tasked The Odd Gentlemen with the Act 7 animation to buy time, then the two ended up parting ways in late 2014.12)13)14) In the end, complete mismanagement delayed the end of Homestuck to April 13, 2016, and the adventure game was chopped into eight episodic installments with Act 1 of Hiveswap eventually releasing on September 14, 2017.

As a Franchise

“I don't think anyone with a significant platform showed any interest in covering the Kickstarter events on the level of detail that you or Gio were diving into. It's also been my observation that the fandom as a whole never had interest in that level of detail.”15)
– Andrew Hussie16)17)

Out of nowhere, Viz Media acquired Homestuck on October 6, 2017,18) moving “mspaintadventures.com” to “homestuck.com” on April 2, 2018,19) and The Homestuck Epilogues was unveiled on April 13, 2019.20) Unfortunately, this was all building up to Homestuck: Beyond Canon on October 25, 201921) which also had a Patreon, then the project was placed under indefinite hold on February 11, 2021.22)

This was followed up with an unusual situation where paranoid employees on the project had preemptively23) issued a legal threat over a YouTube video on Homestuck,24) which miraculously forced Hussie to disclose the internal history of Hiveswap,25) but fans weren't really pleased.26)27) During this, Hussie claims that he left What Pumpkin in early 2020, while releasing Psycholonials's final installment on April 20, 2021.28)

In 2023, a former Homestuck: Beyond Canon writer implied that their project was a non-serious cash grab, alleging that Hussie manipulated the writers and remaining fanbase to patch up debts and financial holes caused by the Viz Media acquisition.29) Then on October 8, 2023, it was announced that Hussie approached musician James Roach, giving him permission to finish Homestuck: Beyond Canon.30)

Community

“hussie indirectly complains about being viewed as a cult leader with psycholonials,31) but nearly everyone was on board to kill hussie by the end of homestuck or some time after”
Nameless Rumia

It's believed that Homestuck initially had a small following coming from Problem Sleuth and a handful of them were computer science or programming nerds.32) However, there was a drastic change in April 2010 since fujoshi-type Hetalia fans would find refuge in Homestuck after a certain incident,33) then Act 5 started and introduced those symbol-wearing aliens while these newer fans tended to gush about shipping.

Homestuck notably peaked as Act 5 concluded in 2011, so a crowdfunding campaign was set up. This was a blunder as the story began to suffer, shifting its focus onto relationship drama, and it just dragged on as mismanagement led to numerous hiatuses. By this point in time, people had the opportunity to fully reflect on the webcomic and the former hype, allowing them to discover other media.

The final act wouldn't be published until 2016 and, when it did, the open ending saw harsh mixed reactions, forcing plans of an epilogue to come out. Stragglers would eventually see the text-heavy epilogue in 2019, which was followed up by a semi-canon sequel was so poorly executed that it had to be silently axed, though it has since resumed. Despite the dilution, fans remain active on Twitter, TikTok, Reddit, and Tumblr.

Notes

Story and the Universe

  • The original website, MS Paint Adventures, used a script that extracted data from a phpBB forum database on Andrew Hussie's personal website.34) This forum became private in late 2014.35)36)
  • From the very beginning, Hussie had always planned Homestuck to be a combination of EarthBound, The Sims, and the failed Spore.37) By the end of Act 5 Act 1, he would elaborate that the story is about a creation myth video game, which is why Sburb was meant to be a play on Spore.38)
  • In short, the tasks of Sburb are to: prototype your sprite (at least once) before you enter the Medium, defeat the Black King, then breed the Genesis Frog to get the Ultimate Reward. However, sessions could easily be “softlocked” and rendered unwinnable, forcing these players to exploit the Scratch as a way to reroll their session's chances of success.
    • A null session is a common doomed session, a void session is a doomed session where no sprites were prototyped,39) and a dead session is an extremely punishing single-player session.40)41)
    • The Genesis Frog requires a time player and a space player, which may explain the high probability of null sessions42) as players have to successfully roll 2/12 (16.6%) possible aspects.43)44)
      • Keeping this in mind: A1 pairs Porrim with Damara, A2 pairs Kanaya with Aradia, and B1 pairs Jade with Dave. B2 did not produce the required aspects, thus were doomed to fail.
      • The cherubs had a unique situation where Calliope and Caliborn cannot coexist since they have the same body, so they can't collaborate and were locked into a dead session.
  • Alchemy is one of the most intriguing parts of Sburb, but it's easy to gloss over how it all works since it isn't important in the long run and meteors from The Reckoning distracts from the tutorial.
  • The chessboard in “[S] WV: Lead your men to victory!”46) is actually set up wrong.
    • His first 13 moves are: “1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 0-0 5.e5 Ne8 6.f4 d6 7.Be3 c5 8.dxc5 Nc6 9.cxd6 exd6 10.Ne4 Bf5 11.Ng3 Be6 12.Nf3 Qc7 13.Qb1 dxe5”.47)
    • The last 4 moves doesn't copy how black won in this match, however, but it's entirely possible that WV has played multiple chess matches within a four hour span.
    • Black (P2) always wins, including the Calliope v. Caliborn game.50) Nannasprite foreshadows this by saying “that the forces of light are always destined to lose” in Act 1.51)
  • From August 2010 to July 2013, Hussie ran a Twitter account for the Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff version of Barack Obama at @BarackObana. A number of sources corroborate this.52)53)54)
    • He would notably comment on the Killing of Osama bin Laden, saying “false alram guys it turns out it was just a tall hobo” and “i backed over the hobob in my car”.
    • In contrast, the Barack Obama in The Homestuck Epilogues would speak in a formal syntax.55)
  • In the main story, Jade Harley prototypes her sprite using her dream self's corpse56) and god tiering's reliance on the player's dream self causes her to become part-dog (“dog tier”) upon ascension.57)
    • For some reason, The Homestuck Epilogues decide to expand on this and hints that Jade Harley grew a penis after “some things”,58) though it isn't explicitly stated whether her penis is canine or human.59) Afterwards, Jade gets to impregnate Rose in the Candy timeline of Homestuck: Beyond Canon and Rose secretly gives birth to Yiffany Longstocking Lalonde Harley.60)
  • The string “Íæû ë€Å” actually consists of seven characters in total: I-acute, Æ, U-circumflex, line tabulation, E-diaeresis, Euro sign, and A-ring.61)
  • I shouldn't have to explain why the trolls and the cherubs were reflections of the community.
  • To summarize the Sburb/Sgrub sessions, because the two-character acronyms gets confusing:
    • A1 - Null session. Bad team.62) → Scratched session. Aranea initiates,63) players die to exist.64)
    • A2 - Null session. B1 Jack kills the Genesis Frog.65) Players collaborate with B1.
    • B1 - Null session. Players incidentally create B1 Jack. → Scratched session. Players win in B2.66)
    • B2 - Void session. Jane enters without prototyping, as God Cat prevents this action.67)
    • DS - Dead session. Caliborn met Yaldabaoth for the Choice, picked Conquest over Sacrifice.68)
  • It's known that the trolls canonically have gray nipples, regardless of their blood color,69) and we know that female trolls do not lactate for some reason.70) There are no blood-colored nipples in canon.
  • The original silhouette sprites for the A1 Trolls71) are very different from the sprites in the “[S] Collide.” animation.72) For instance: Mituna and Latula have pants, Damara's needles were straight, etc.
  • Vriska does canonically render “bait” as “88” four times.73)74)75)76) People used to ponder about this, since memes like “u wot m8” and the “gr8 b8 m8” copypasta were common at the time.
  • Caliborn's naming of “HOMOSUCK77) was a reference to the derogatory name for Homestuck that came from 4chan's “Comics & Cartoons” (/co/) board, often phrased as “HOMOSUCK IS SHIT”.
  • For anybody who happens to live in the post-Tab world: Tab was just a prototype of Diet Coke.
  • Despite the characters being around 26 or 39 years old in Homestuck: Beyond Canon, they still retain their teenage sprites from Homestuck, though this can still change as the production resumes.
  • There are time skips in The Homestuck Epilogues and Homestuck: Beyond Canon, charted below:

> Chart out time skips in Homestuck, the Epilogues, and Beyond Canon.

Fans and Metadrama

“Why don't you just embrace all the boners they are giving you, and stop bothering me about it?”
– Andrew Hussie78)
  • Homestuck didn't have a content rating until 2020,79) so most people assumed it was for older teens and young adults80)81) with several demographic surveys backing this sentiment.82)83)
    • There are many unreported cases of adults being very inappropriate with minors online, especially at conventions, and the 2011 nude-sharing “Nudestuck” phenomenon highlighted this.84)
    • I can't stress enough that teenage hormones were rampant. This was the community that invented the word “sexcanon” (sexual headcanon)85) and had the “tentabulge” headcanon.
  • MS Paint Adventures and Homestuck has been given shout-outs by other major webcomics:
    • VG Cats featured MS Paint Adventures on its front page86) around October 9, 2010,87) though it was after Problem Sleuth's conclusion. Their front page still leaves a shout-out.
    • Randall Monroe, the author of xkcd, would add Homestuck to the list of comics he enjoyed on February 18, 2015.88) At the time, Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 4 just ended.
  • Rocket Papaya, an infamous early troll name suggestion, was a reference to the Mana series.
  • I caught up to the webcomic at “Karkat: Troll this worthless human.” on September 20, 2010,89) which I vividly remember as I spent the weekend reading Problem Sleuth and Homestuck out of curiosity.
    • As a result, I'm biased towards experiencing the webcomic with the Bill Bolin version of the flashes, and the lone SolusLunes version of “[S] Rose and Dave: Shut up and jam.”
  • If you're interested in trying Faygo for the first time,90)91) you could get the Faygo variety pack.
  • Andrew Hussie has revealed that his mother's surname is Holliday, allowing him to joke about possibly being a descendant of the gunslinger Doc Holliday, partially inspiring Doc Scratch's name.92)
    • There is a certain image of Lily Holiday's Facebook page, showing an image of Andrew Hussie (36) at Michaela Cragg's graduation, the sister of Shelby Cragg (21), posted on May 16, 2016.
  • “DAOOTS”, short for “dead and out of the story” and rhymed with “cahoots”, was an old term used to shut down “irrelevant character discussions” during Act 5. It fell out of use for obvious reasons.
  • Nostalgic fans will reminisce on how “[S] Cascade” crashed Newgrounds and Megaupload, but omit that Homestuck was peaking and how this likely never happen again.
  • In early 2012, ComicMix held a March Madness webcomics tournament93) where MS Paint Adventures reached the final four94) but opted to lose to Gunnerkrigg Court,95) and people lost their damn minds over the entire tournament that both finalists agreed to donate their winnings to Child's Play, a charity that donates toy and games to children's hospitals.96)
    • Subsequent tournaments showed Homestuck losing to Unsounded in 2013,97) didn't qualify in 2014, immediately losing to Superbitch in 2015,98) and losing to Blindsprings in 2016.99)
  • Upon redacting the “Caucasian” joke, Hussie addressed toxic reactions,100) then began to exaggerate some controversial and political aspects101) which, in my opinion, were rather mild to begin with.
    • This would culminate in him gifting the franchise to marginalized individuals,102) except Hussie isn't a good person and it turns out he was indeed using them to patch financial holes.103)
  • I am not a Dave Strider fan.104)105) I get the cooldude façade, later rejecting the imposed hero role, and venting to his brother,106) but I don't find him vibing and learning troll romance107) to be deep.
    • That being said, Dave does have capitalist108) libertarian beliefs and jokes about communism.109)
    • It should probably be revisited that the characters come across as middle-class online suburbanite brats, like, they skip over 5,000 years for society to be established on Earth C.110)
  • On August 25, 2019, Hussie hid Toblerone boxes with canon-altering wishes,111) with notable ones being the transgender “June Egbert” headcanon112)113) and a fantroll to cameo in Hiveswap.114)
  • For a small recollection of Andrew Hussie's perceived political beliefs:
    • The official Homestuck team has endorsed the Labour Party in 2019115) who ended up losing,116) as well as Bernie Sanders in 2020117)118)119)120) who dropped out for some neoliberal.
    • In the Discord logs, Hussie laments communism, specifically for drama with “left wing personalities”, and proposes a “massive clown movement”121) which would inspire Psycholonials.
    • Lastly, we end up with Hussie at the 2020 FurCon Communist Party122) where he posed a Mao Zedong book.123)124) Notice how I said “posed” instead of “read” here.
  • In 2021, Hussie claimed that a problematic employee “brainwashed” or “poisoned” most of the former employees at What Pumpkin NYC when it closed.125)126) The problematic employee's name did get leaked in early versions of Sarah Z's video,127) pointing to a Unity developer who presumably provided the core for the 3D version of Hiveswap, but I'll let you draw your own conclusions.
  • James Roach, upon resuming Homestuck: Beyond Canon, mentioned that Andrew Hussie's document on class and aspect is “very short” and kept “specifically vague” for personal interpretations.128) He would later delete this post, but I assume this was meant to redact promises of an official “class” test or a future Homestuck: Beyond Canon update revisiting these concepts.
  • I was never huge on Homestuck shipping, but “KATNEP” (Karkat/Nepeta) is the best Homestuck ship. :)
  • Why are the Homestuck.com flashes rendered as 360p videos?

See also


> Hussie: Lack professionalism.

1)
"[I] SS: Go to mspaintadventures.com." (June 17, 2010). Homestuck.
7)
"When do you think HS will be over?" [Archive 2] (March 7, 2010). Formspring.
10)
"THE YEAR 4 MEGAPAUSE" (September 4, 2012). Kickstarter.
11)
"THE YEAR 4 MEGAPAUSE" (April 14, 2013). MS Paint Adventures.
12)
"The Hiveswap Fiasco" (October 3, 2020). GioCities.
14) , 25)
"Hiveswap" [Mirror] (April 13, 2021). Kickstarter.
15)
In other words: Hussie saw the Homestuck fanbase as a bunch of idiots and anybody questioning where 24,000+ people's $2,693,436 (math?) went were either stalkers or trolls. It was later revealed that Hussie was actually working with $1,627,004 in U.S. dollars due to fees, taxes, and the costs of shipping the Kickstarter's rewards, meaning that they only received about 60% of what people donated.
17) , 27) , 102)
"The Sarah Z Video Fallout" (June 30, 2021). GioCities.
19)
"Website update!" (April 2, 2018). Homestuck.
20)
"Happy 10th anniversary!" (April 13, 2019). Tumblr.
21)
"surprise bitch https://homestuck2.com" (October 25, 2019). Twitter.
22)
"Future Approach to Homestuck^2" [Mirror] (February 11, 2021). Patreon.
23)
It should be noted that What Pumpkin employees were preemptively reacting as they simply got wind of the video's release. In other words, the video wasn't even out yet and most of them refused to watch it.
28)
"Announcement posted on 4/20/2021:" (April 20, 2021). What Pumpkin.
30)
"Under New Management" (October 8, 2023). Homestuck: Beyond Canon.
32)
Hussie revealed on his Formspring account that he graduated from Temple University with a computer science degree, so it'd make sense that his works once attracted people in that field.
33)
Back in April 5, 2010, the Hetalia community was under fire for the infamous Nazi salute incident around Anime Boston, indirectly causing many Hetalia fans to flee to Homestuck. To put this into perspective, Homestuck was starting to wrap up Act 4, before [S] Jack: Ascend. (and Recap 1) came out, and it was when Hussie was still trying to keep the comic compact, thus the “end at Act 4” argument.
34)
"The MSPA Prophet Origin Story" (October 22, 2017). Tumblr.
35)
"CYOA 1 admin :: Index" (March 8, 2014). Andrew Hussie.
36)
"The Prophet is Dead, But…" (March 21, 2015). Tumblr.
39) , 42)
"[A6I2] ==>" (March 16, 2012). Homestuck.
40)
"[A6I4] ==>" (November 26, 2012). Homestuck.
41)
"[A6I5] ==>" (March 14, 2013). Homestuck.
43)
Do you really want to talk about Piss (1, 2) being a possible aspect? Is this what we're doing?
44) , 72)
"[S] Collide." (April 13, 2016). Homestuck.
45)
"Rose: Check Alchemy Excursus." (September 16, 2009). Homestuck.
46)
"[S] WV: Lead your men to victory!" (October 2, 2009). Homestuck.
47)
If you prefer the unicode symbols: 1.d4 ♞f6 2.c4 g6 3.♘c3 ♝g7 4.e4 0-0 5.e5 ♞e8 6.f4 d6 7.♗e3 c5 8.dxc5 ♞c6 9.cxd6 exd6 10.♘e4 ♝f5 11.♘g3 ♝e6 12.♘f3 ♛c7 13.♕b1 dxe5
50)
"uu: Defeat UU." (June 8, 2012). Homestuck.
51)
"ME?? ==>" (August 2, 2009). Homestuck.
55)
"Candy, Chapter 39" (April 20, 2019). Homestuck.
56)
"==>" (December 31, 2010). Homestuck.
57)
"[S] Cascade." (October 25, 2011). Homestuck.
58)
"Candy, Chapter 18" (April 20, 2019). Homestuck.
59)
Despite the plausibility, most fans will reluctantly say that it's a “dog cock”.
60)
"(==>)" (April 27, 2020). Homestuck^2: Beyond Canon.
61)
"Íæû ë€Å" (January 17, 2012). Tumblr.
62) , 71)
"==>" (May 31, 2012). Homestuck.
63)
"==>" (May 31, 2012). Homestuck.
64)
"==>" (May 31, 2012). Homestuck.
65)
"[A6I1] ==>" (December 12, 2011). Homestuck.
66)
"[S] ACT 7" (April 13, 2016). Homestuck.
67)
"[S] Jane: Enter." (March 8, 2012). Homestuck.
68)
"[S][A6I5] ==>" (March 14, 2013). Homestuck.
69)
"[A6I2] ==>" (March 18, 2012). Homestuck.
70)
"[A6A6I1] ====>" (July 30, 2013). Homestuck.
73)
"[A6I3] ==>" (October 20, 2012). Homestuck.
74)
"[A6I5] ==>" (February 25, 2013). Homestuck.
75)
"[A6I5] ==>" (March 28, 2013). Homestuck.
76)
"[A6A6I5] ====>" (July 6, 2015). Homestuck.
77)
"HOMOSUCK." (June 12, 2013). Homestuck.
79)
"https://t.co/mWxLGWGhad" (November 3, 2020). Twitter.
81)
"The Homestuck Epilogues" (April 13, 2019). Homestuck.
84)
A blog titled "nudestuck" made its first post on 5:34pm, but there's evidence that the last owner had quickly deleted their blog. The earliest reactions to it were posted 4:35pm and 5:02pm.
85)
"Homestuck Sexcanon #1" (March 12, 2012). Tumblr.
86)
"VG Cats!". VG Cats.
87)
"MS Paint Adventures" (October 9, 2008). TIGSource Forums.
88)
"xkcd". xkcd.
89)
"Karkat: Troll this worthless human." (September 20, 2010). Homestuck.
90)
"Gamzee: Captchalogue bottle of Faygo." (June 15, 2010). Homestuck.
91)
"Eridan: Slam a Faygo." (August 21, 2010). Homestuck.
92)
"Is the Sufferer actually Troll Jegus?" [Archive 2] (August 12, 2011). Formspring.
106)
"[A6A6I5] ====>" (June 28, 2015). Homestuck.
107)
"[A6A6I5] ====>" (April 30, 2015). Homestuck.
108)
"Dave: Receive transfer from John." (October 6, 2010). Homestuck.
109)
"[A6I5] ==>" (March 21, 2013). Homestuck.
110)
"Credits" (October 25, 2016). Homestuck.
111)
"#eboy #hussie #toblerone #cave" (August 25, 2019). Instagram.
114)
"it shall be done" (October 12, 2019). Twitter.
115)
"Vote labour" [Archive] (December 11, 2019). Twitter.
117)
"Vote Bernie 2020" [Archive] (January 14, 2020). Twitter.
118)
"bernie gonna win" [Archive] (February 19, 2020). Twitter.
119)
"#eboy #hussie #bernie" (February 22, 2020). Twitter.
123)
"Onward to perfect socialism" (January 20, 2020). Twitter.
126)
To be specific, Hussie writes “thus letting [this employee] “brainwash” other former staff members with his version of events” (53:30) and “But the immediate effect of the poisoning process was to split the former staff into two groups. A smaller group who wasn't poisoned […]. And a larger group which seemed to form a clique briefly after the closure” (59:12).
127)
The blurred passages about the problematic employee, around 56:00-56:05 and 57:31-58:14, was originally more legible in one of the original uploads, especially the latter passage.
130)
In the past, a fan that infiltrated Andrew Hussie's inner circle managed to leak his real Twitter account, but the account was quickly dismantled after word got out and the fan had to assume a new identity.
homestuck.txt · Last modified: 2024-05-10 11:43:06 by namelessrumia