Homestuck post series 5th anniversary post

I just realized that two days ago was the fifth anniversary of my Homestuck blog post series. I’m not surprised I missed the date this year, because I haven’t been thinking about Homestuck much as of late. Instead, I’ve been working hard on making SRB2 8-bit covers, binge watching through Phineas and Ferb which I forgot for something like five years how much I liked, and doing a semester of almost entirely online classes (as in, one of the classes has in-person exams but that’s it) while I go to campus for work.

As important as Homestuck is to me, I don’t really feel like doing a heartfelt speech about it today. Instead, I’ll say that my Homestuck post series will resume when that fan project I’ve mentioned before of a definitive way to read Homestuck as originally intended is released. I was just talking about that project with the person running it today, which reminded me I had missed the post series’ fifth anniversary. Technically speaking, it is the fifth anniversary of the release of the series’ first post, but I consider the post series’ anniversary to be the release of the introduction post two days before that. Although I really don’t care for Homestuck^2 or whatever other Homestuck media is being made, I am greatly looking forward to this new way to read Homestuck as originally intended.

It’s a little awkward that my post series is on hiatus right before the last post before the Gigapause, but I guess that’s just how it is. My personal Gigapause with those posts was the one from February 2017 to December 2018 anyway and it’s highly unlikely I’ll have another pause anywhere near that big before I finish my Homestuck posts.

Homestuck post series update: The Imminent Personal Gigapause

It’s been over a month since my last Homestuck post, so I figured it was a good idea to post an update on those posts while I’m on a week-long trip to Vermont, a state I’m legally allowed to stay in during this bizarre as hell year. I’ll keep things simple and to the point: I will release one more Homestuck post during or shortly after this vacation (the final part of A6A6I2 before Homestuck started the year-long Gigapause), and then put my Homestuck post series on an indefinite hiatus. It’s thematically fitting to do a pause corresponding with one of Homestuck’s pauses, and I’ll be as transparent as possible about why I’ve chosen to do this hiatus.1

DISCLAIMER: I do not have any insider knowledge about Homestuck media whatsoever, unless you count some fan music. When I say “as transparent as possible”, I simply mean that I don’t normally like publicly talking about Homestuck fandom drama.

A few weeks ago (I think it was?), a series of email exchanges between Andrew Hussie, an anonymous figure who I think was one of Hussie’s friends, and two staff members of the controversial Homestuck Unofficial Discord Server (which I’ve been a longtime on-and-off member of) was publicly posted and led to a lot of discourse. Those were the email exchanges that led ownership of the Discord server and corresponding subreddit to be transferred from a controversial figure (Makin) to a less controversial one (Drew Linky), and featured heavy discussion of a controversial figure who was heavily involved in Homestuck’s recent media named Kate Mitchell.

I won’t beat around the bush here: reading what Hussie had to say in those email exchanges downright sickened me. Although I respect the end result of that discussion (Drew becoming the new owner of the Discord server and a “peace pledge” of sorts), it still was a rough experience reading the conversations that led to that result. If you want to see what he had to say, you can probably easily find it yourself, but be warned: it’s extremely draining. Shortly after reading some of those email exchanges, I left the server out of disgust with Homestuck’s current state, not because I think Hussie’s group of friends was in the right or anything (though there is no denying that other sides of the Homestuck community have also made mistakes), but just because I don’t want to hear about this drama anymore. I love Homestuck to death, but I think I’ve finally reached my breaking point regarding caring about its current franchise and I don’t want my perception of this wonderful work of media tarnished any longer—not for a long time, at least.

The only reason I’m not putting my Homestuck post series on hiatus right now instead of later is because it would be so thematically fitting for me to do a hiatus corresponding with Homestuck’s Gigapause. For now, I’ll try to keep this blog updated with posts about other topics, if those come to mind. Maybe I could post about music more often?

A few words about this Homestuck^2 thing

I have absolutely no idea what to say about this new Homestuck continuation thing that just dropped today in celebration of [S] Cascade’s eighth anniversary, other than the following: whatever it turns out to be, unless it somehow turns out to be ABYSMALLY bad, I will include Homestuck^2 in my Homestuck blog post series right after the epilogues, which will themselves be right after the Snapchat credits which came out exactly three years ago today.

I’ve kind of put this blog on the backburner lately, partly due to schoolwork. Hopefully I’ll finish reformatting my old posts probably in November or so? And make new Homestuck posts too probably.

Pesterquest Vol. 4 (The Loneliest Girl in the World): Review and Analysis

hell. fucking. YES!!!!!!

If you’ve been following Homestuck/Hiveswap news in the past month, you’re probably aware of Pesterquest, a visual novel series following up the Hiveswap Friendsim with the MSPA Reader meeting the cast of Homestuck itself. I didn’t write any blog posts about the first few installments (John, Rose, and Dave) because there wasn’t much to say about them: they were decently written but unremarkable aside from a few moments. The most recent installment, however, focuses on Jade Harley and totally blew away my expectations!!! I was excited for Jade’s route the moment I heard someone say it was written by a major fan of her character, especially considering that Jade’s screen time in the epilogues was extremely disappointing, and it was well worth getting hyped for. I’ll go through the route in order of the bad endings, followed by the good ending, in roughly the same style as my numbered Homestuck blog posts. The dialogue has been transcribed by yours truly.

Continue reading

Homestuck Mini-Post: A Revelation About Caliborn and Dirk Strider

Today I realized something about the best character in Homestuck that should have been obvious a long time ago.

Caliborn (the best character) always says that Dirk (also one of the best characters) is the only tolerable one of the alpha kids and his death doesn’t have to be as painful as the others. Until today, I took that literally, akin to Jack Noir’s relationship with his fellow Derse agents; that Caliborn despises Dirk, but less than the others. But now, it’s painfully obvious* that Caliborn is a major fan of Dirk and legitimately idolizes him. As much as Caliborn can’t stand the other three, he genuinely wants to be best friends with this guy.

* I keep using that phrase dammit

Caliborn was always a metaphor for people who read Homestuck and despise it, as was made clear in his debut. But deep down, Caliborn is also a metaphor for people who are fans in denial. He represents fans of something—not even necessarily Homestuck—who are embarrassed about it and very poorly hide it. Think of a guy that thinks he will be ostracized if he likes anime, and thus says that the one anime he really likes, maybe one many people consider to be trashy, “isn’t completely terrible”. That’s how Caliborn feels about Dirk.

EDIT (1/11/2019): I realized there’s something in the comic even more fitting to my analogy, especially the “trashy anime” part, than what I just mentioned. On this page, starting from Dirk’s line “Does your sister even know you’re into this sappy shipping stuff?”, Caliborn insists his interest is completely ironic; he could not more blatantly be a fan in denial.

A Homestuck fanfic that everyone should read

I’ve shilled Detective Pony and cool and new web comic, both ABSOLUTE MASTERWORKS, on this blog far too many times, but there’s a third Homestuck fanfiction that everyone who liked anything about the comic should read, that I never shilled on my blog until today. I hope it’s a suitable Christmas present for anyone following this blog.

Behold the glorious Roxy’s Threesome Addiction. As the title (and the content warning) suggests, the fanfic is not safe for work, but don’t let that scare you. I’m not normally into sexual fanfiction in the slightest, so that should indicate how good it is.

Roxy’s Threesome Addiction answers the question everyone (read: nobody) has been asking: what happens when stereotypical smut is written by someone that understands Homestuck character writing through and through? It’s absolutely hilarious, I can’t stress enough how much I love everything about. Every character’s personality (especially John and Dave, most prominently featured) is nailed perfectly; the only one that acts out of character is Roxy, which is excusable because as the title suggests, she has gotten into a crazy threesome addiction and the story revolves around this strange behavior.

The story starts with a level of adult content that is little more than people loosely discussing sex, but gradually becomes basically on the level of normal porn; if you read the story, it’s probably OK if you stop at whatever part makes you feel uncomfortable, like I did. But if you skip parts of it, there’s one part that you should read at all costs: the conversation at the start of Chapter 6 (aka Part 5). It’s too good. Really, I think you should man up and read the whole thing regardless, even if the sexual content is a bit much for one sitting. I can’t overstate how good it is.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Homestuck Mini-Post: About John Egbert and Shipping

NOTE: If you’re reading this, my Homestuck post series is back on hiatus until some time before 4/13/2019. Maybe you’re looking for post number 82, my latest post? More information on the pause can be found there.

I purposely scheduled this post a few days later than I actually wrote it, which was pretty much right after I released post 82.

Also I recently updated my post series’ introduction post again!


In the past few days, I’ve been rereading a lot of my old posts about Homestuck. One bad thing about the posts that really sticks out to me is my discussion of romantic relationships and foreshadowing thereof, which I kind of read through gritted teeth.

This is strongest when I reread my discussions of foreshadowing ships involving John Egbert, the comic’s protagonist. I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote all of that; now, I can definitely say there is no conceivable way John had genuine feelings for Rose or Vriska, nor is it very likely Hussie thought super far in advance to set him up with Roxy*. While it is fun to point out early instances that can be seen as ships that you like, it was incredibly misinformed of me to think of these instances as anything other than John not knowing what he’s talking about, and I kind of hate how biased I was in that regard, while denying anything about some of the more controversial ships. It is painfully obvious he doesn’t understand how romance works until maybe some time before he meets Roxy, and that is only because the comic blatantly sets them up as a pairing.

* Probably a fair bit in advance actually. But definitely nowhere near before any conception of Roxy existed.

The main point is: I take back at least 90% of what I said about things being foreshadowing for ships. Also I fully admit to being guilty of double standards in those posts. Maybe when I make the abridged edition, or deluxe edition, or whatever I want to call it, of my blog posts, I’ll scrub them of this bias. I won’t change the original posts, but instead not have as much bias in the new posts (or webpage? this really hasn’t been thought out yet).

Another update not really update about my Homestuck blog posts (more about my relationship with the comic)

Just a reminder that I still absolutely want to finish these posts someday! I think it would be a lot of fun to restart on the comic’s 10th anniversary (4/13/2019), but right now I have other random projects I’m getting carried away with.

Part of why I’m making this post is that going by my Twitter lately, it may seem like I have a “tsundere” relationship with Homestuck, where I hate on it but secretly still care about it a lot. And that’s partially true, but the “hate” part is really my grievances/annoyances with that weird Twitter community trending lately where everyone obsesses over nothing but fantrolls and the other absurdly mechanical stuff and just thinks they have the right to name themselves after a work of media which is, let’s say, special to me. I guess it doesn’t help that the author’s presence can be best described as follows: those who liked the actual comic written by a man with a stellar sense of humor are Jake English, Hussie is Dirk Strider, and Hussie’s cronies are Dirk’s splinters and alternate selves. I’ve had this analogy in my mind for a while but I’ve never been sure how to say it without sounding like a dork. I probably sound like even more of a dork here but at least my Blogger is a good place to vent things out.

I can’t stress enough that I think all the fantroll stuff should be given the name “Hiveswap” instead. Isn’t that what the friendsims call themselves? “Hiveswap Friendsim Vol. [x]”? But I guess those people aren’t the kind to care.

OK, what the hell am I saying, I absolutely have a love-hate relationship with Homestuck right now, I got to suck it up already. And I have a love-hate relationship with these blog posts too.

(I have a love-love relationship with the comic’s music though. Shame that online community only seems to care about those shitty song parodies.)

(Come back Hussie)

(Please)

Little did I know that I would finally resurrect my Homestuck post series the very next day

Homestuck Posts """Update"""

Lately I’ve been thinking again a little more about Homestuck than previously, and it almost seems like starting the posts again is an itch to scratch. Now if I had the motivation to keep doing it and didn’t already have a myriad of other distractions, I’d be updating this blog regularly again as we speak. I wanted to make an announcement on the post series’ third anniversary (9/18), but the date somehow flew over my head as I realized the next day so oops.

For now, at some point in the future I’ll probably update the page numbers for my Homestuck and Problem Sleuth posts to reference how they are on homestuck.com rather than the old MSPA website, though I think I’ll still keep the MSPA page numbers for archival’s sake. Other than that, it would be fun to start again on 10/25 or something, but I really don’t know if I can get back to it by that date or doze off again like I did with these posts’ anniversary.

I’ve always wanted to remake my old posts to make them actually have meaningful content, and while maybe if I finish this post series I could do the fabled full-out rewrite of my Homestuck posts, for now I really just want to pick up where I left off. It’s been over a year and a half long breather from these posts at this point, so I feel like my posts might not have the absurd ratio of time taken to pages covered that they did in the post series’ final months.

At the moment I’m writing this, I could just, in theory, just go ahead and get working on these posts. But the problem is, it’s almost midnight and I’m having serious trouble sleeping today, which is why I went about writing this post in the first place. It’s times like these where I feel kind of frustrated with myself and these ambitious projects.

EDIT: I’m going to start doing those edits right now actually because I can’t fucking sleep.

Hiveswap Act 1 Review (Writing and Story)

I have now finished playing through Act 1 of Hiveswap. As promised, I will review the game and give my thoughts on it.

NOTE: As I wrote this post, I fell into pretty much all the pitfalls I did towards the end of the lifespan of my Homestuck post series that made it so slow and so I pretty much gave up partway through so you get this. Maybe I’ll follow up with a post on gameplay and music later, which logically shouldn’t take as long.

Writing

A major thing that was hyped up about the game was bringing back the feel of early MSPA, particularly the first few acts of Homestuck. Overall, the game really delivered on that point. It got the general narration style and sense of humor down very well—far better than many would have probably expected knowing the Snapchat stories (which are at this point probably nothing more than a failed experiment). The flavor text for every combination of using an inventory item on an object in the room possible was a surprisingly good touch, and probably made for good writing practice.

I’d argue the writing wasn’t exactly like early Homestuck. It definitely took things in a bit more serious light than the comic did at first. For instance, when we met each of the beta kids, the comic didn’t really take much about their lives or their relationships with their guardians seriously. The most infamous example would be the case of Dave and his long-debated relationship with his guardian, but it’s also worth noting how oddly carefree Jade’s life on a lonely island living with a dog was. Granted, she spent most of her time dreaming about the future and being a cryptic mystery girl, but only in later conversations about her grandpa’s death do we ever learn what kind of trauma she really went through. However, when Joey examines her house and the narration discusses the little of a relationship she had with her parents, it already comes off as serious and somewhat depressing from the start. But it’s about the right degree of seriousness that it doesn’t really come off as a tale of trauma and terror, mostly just a kind of lonely life.

Meanwhile, the trolls’ storyline in Homestuck tended to have the edgy alien feel played too high to reach the sweet spot of a story that really takes itself seriously. This is averted later on in the comic when the characters get into deep conversations about the darker aspects of their regular lives, but that is never fully explained through introductory narration alone. Hiveswap doesn’t handle troll introductions quite as differently from Homestuck as it does human introductions, but unlike in Homestuck, the first human/troll interactions went straight ahead into talking about what troll life is actually like.

Characterization

I’ll start by saying that Dammek and Xefros’ relationship is nothing like what I thought it would be. I’m 100% certain that was the point—did you see the word “tetrarch” even once in any of the game’s teasers?—but still, I feel more surprised by that than I probably should have been. The teasers of the game made it seem like they’re two dorky best friends who slack off all day, eat pizza, and run a terrible ska band; when one artist referred to them as “moirails”, most people dismissed it as the strangely common misconception that the term is a synonym for “best friends”. But going from Xefros’ perspective—the only perspective we’ve seen thus far—it’s more like a boss/slave relationship that happens to involve the boss making the slave participate in said terrible ska band and eat pizza as I think it was a reward for something? I’m not sure what to say about Xefros himself, besides what we’ve seen about that troublesome relationship that pretends not to be a troublesome relationship. I guess I’ll have to see if in later episodes of the game they effectively develop his character from the cowardly archetype.

As for the human siblings, Joey is endearing but feels pretty much exactly like the other human Prospit dreamer kids. While that’s not a bad thing in itself, she doesn’t really have much about her that really sets her apart from those other characters. Again, I want to reserve my judgement for when later episodes of the game come out, but I can’t help but feel her character has been built up already far more than any of the kids in Homestuck were in the acts where each of them were introduced. Jude, however, is a completely different story. He has already been set up as something of an eccentric conspiracy theorist who owns various animals and experiments on all sorts of weird things—a description that doesn’t fit any characters in Homestuck at all. Though we haven’t seen as much of him as we have his sister, he’s the kind of character I’d really look forward to seeing more of, especially seeing as he and Dammek (a character we’ve only seen talked about) will meet and presumably go on their own adventures after the first four episodes of the game are done. I’d argue the game would be more interesting set up through these storylines alternating per act, but it doesn’t seem like that’s how things will be set up.

Story

The story of the game so far was basically executing the obvious premise: Joey stumbling upon a device that takes her to the trolls’ universe and meeting some unfamiliar people who are starting a rebellion against a brutal heiress. At the end of the first act, the story seems to be headed towards working through the troll rebellion without its leader around? I’m not really sure what parts of the story’s continuation I’m anticipating most. Knowing how many trolls were teased in the game’s previews, it’s a safe bet we’ll learn quite a bit more about the trolls’ side of the story.

I was pretty struck by the story’s connections to Homestuck’s continuity. Early in the game, when you get to examine the pictures in the house, you get quite a bit of exposition that kind of gives us another side to the character of Jade’s grandpa. All indications are that he didn’t really care much for his children and spent most of his days going on increasingly exotic adventures, especially after his wife’s death. Last Joey heard of him he was exploring the Pacific Ocean, which is an obvious lead in to him finding the frog temple island and raising Jade, assuming we can still deem “raising” to be the right word. Rose’s young mother, meanwhile, had a near-sibling relationship to the siblings central to the game but was just on the verge of becoming a full-fledged alcoholic. By the end of he comic, it is assumed that she became an alcoholic because she knew all would come to an inevitable end and couldn’t deal with that any better way. Considering that this game was emphasized not to focus on the cast of Homestuck, we got a generous amount of new information about its world. I can only imagine that we’ll get similar things for the trolls’ universe at some point, or maybe see things from Jude’s perspective. Did he have a closer relationship with his father than his sister did? It’s quite possible, but we’ll have to see.