Act 2 of Homestuck opens up by skipping years in the future, but not many (if 413 years can be deemed as “not many”), to a post-apocalyptic desert Earth. A certain black-colored being referred to as a “wayward vagabond” walks across the desert and comes across some kind of device with the arc symbol spirograph logo. Then, Rose starts her Sburb walkthrough with her trademark nigh inscrutable purple prose, with the standing-out quote: “Since you are reading this, chances are you have installed this game on your computer already. If this is true, like many others, you have just participated in bringing about the end of the world.” Shit just got real.
Where were we? John just installed Sburb, and bam, he and Rose can now play it. Immediately you’ll notice a glaring oddity of the game: it lets Rose mess around with John’s house from afar in a Sims-inspired game interface. It’s already obvious that Sburb is not an ordinary game. The first thing Rose does is accidentally move John’s magic chest to his roof. Then she starts deploying a bunch of weird devices around John’s house as she talks to him about the game. What the hell is going on here you wonder loudly.
Here’s a retroactive “title picture” to streamline this blog series a bit (see post 30 for an explanation of these). You’ll see a lot of these soon, unless the first picture I previously used in the post already makes a good title picture.
One-man birthday party?
Continuing from where we left off, John leaves his bedroom to go to the first floor of his house, to sneak around and obtain his discs of Sburb. We see a living room filled with clown pictures which suggest that his father is obsessed with clowns, a birthday present, and his grandmother’s ashes. It’s also mentioned for the first time that John hates Betty Crocker, marking the first indirect mention of one of the comic’s main villains, although the whole evil Betty Crocker thing would for a long time thereafter remain merely a joke. Besides the numerous clowns, there isn’t much remarkable in John’s living room, especially compared to what we see with the other kids.
Homestuck opens up with a picture as mundane as can be: a nerdy-looking 13-year-old birthday boy standing in his bedroom, looking left and right and blinking his eyes, and drawn in an odd “stubby” fashion that conceals his arms, as the text below reads: “A young man stands in his bedroom. It just so happens that today, the 13th of April, 2009, is this young man’s birthday. Though it was thirteen years ago he was given life, it is only today he will be given a name! What will the name of this young man be?” These famed words that open Homestuck insinuate that the boy doesn’t have a name until now, and that we will give him a name. As it turns out, this is a joke, since the boy has called himself “John” since a few years before the story started.
One day, I decided to start a blog post series in which I critique the popular story webcomic Homestuck as I read all the way through it for the third time. By critique, I meant that I would mostly review and discuss the stuff in it, but not really negatively, since I’m a pretty big fan of Homestuck. However, as I progressed through my re-read, the posts grew to be in-depth commentary on the comic, to the point where I wish I posted that way the entire time. That said, over the years I’ve been faced with the truth that my Homestuck blog posts have evolved over time, both the writing style and the opinions I express, and while I had at one point started a project to rewrite the first 27 posts, I no longer plan on finishing that. My Homestuck blog post series began in September 2015, and after numerous pauses and burnouts, I finished the post series in September 2021. The post series is meant for people who have read Homestuck in its entirety, because the posts will contain spoilers for stuff that happens later.
Before we begin, I’d like to give a shout-out to this blog known only as “Let’s Re-Read Homestuck”, the blog that inspired this post series. It’s a very well-written unfinished Homestuck reread blog that you should check out if you like my posts. Also check out Fletcher Wortmann’s It’s Hard and Nobody Understands, another excellent unfinished Homestuck commentary document that helped inspire this as I went along.