Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 8 Rewritten: Mayorly Foreshadowification Station

Introduction / Schedule (outdated)

Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 >

Pages 666-758 (MSPA: 2566-2658)

Act 2, Part 5 of 5

Link to old version

My rewritten posts lately have alternated between me making a new post title and me keeping the old one. I’m keeping the old one here again.

Random thing about the community reread that isn’t worth putting in its entire separate post: I decided to join in again yesterday to reread John and Roxy’s first conversation, at the end of Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 1. It’s just as funny and heartening as I remember it being and is one of many things recently that made remember that they are the best ship in the comic. Look forward to me praising that ship in future posts, probably.

You are now the Wayward Vagabond.

The final portion of Act 2 is a stretch of pages focusing on the Wayward Vagabond. On this page, the book commentary explains that although Hussie already had rough ideas for this character’s story role, he decided to improvise and have fun with this arc, letting readers drive the story a bit more than before. You probably know that when John was commanded by WV, he was blocked off from being commanded by readers; playing as WV for the first time gives us a fresh start and a bit of a return to the old days. This “fresh start” idea is done even stronger in the Midnight Crew intermission, which I already covered in my rewritten posts because I skipped to that part after finishing Act 1. Once I finish Act 3, I’ll do a post recapping the intermission before I go to Act 4.

> WV: Retri…

Got em already.

No arm shenanigans here; just quickly getting this joke out of the way before any nonsense can happen. Probably meant to get readers at the time to think, “hm maybe I should be creative for once instead of reiterating the same old commands again”.

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Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 7 Rewritten: What Sword?

Introduction / Schedule (outdated)

Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 >

Pages 562-665 (MSPA: 2462-2565)

Act 2, Part 4 of 5


Link to old version

Haha… haha… ha ha … ha …….

Dave explores the rest of his living room and here’s where the creepiness factor escalates. It all starts with this moment:

> Dave: Take expensive ninja sword.

What sword?

This page is a shockingly simple way to establish the day-to-day nature of Dave’s home life.

As I said in my first rewritten post, early Homestuck has a habit of revisiting the running gags of the prior adventures and giving them a new context. Every instance of the “what pumpkin?” gag in Homestuck has some broader reason behind it, sometimes involving technology. This instance of the gag is a character establishing moment for Dave’s bro.

When I got these pages in my old posts, I was nothing short of creeped out. Maybe it’s because two pages in a row show Bro flash stepping and moving stuff around, subverting all expectations in the process.

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Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 5 Rewritten: The Crutch of Cinematic Troglodytes

Introduction

Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 >

Act 2, Part 2 of 5

Pages 358-428 (MSPA: 2258-2328)

Link to old version

I was originally going to call this post “Grandmotherly Expositation Station (ft. wizards)”.
Then I was going to call this post “The Motherly Miniboss (who hates wizards)”.
But now I’ve settled on an actually good title. I need to name more posts after Dave lines.

Let’s be real here, the content covered in this post has far more focus on Rose than grandmotherly expositation. And all title pictures prior to this were from scenes focused on John so I wanted to change things up.

Another note: I’ll be referencing the old version of this post quite a bit in this one, because I’ve realized many new things related to what I talked about in that post.

What’s the first thing we see when Rose enters her living room? An enormous wizard statue. I touched upon the kids’ pattern of guardian interests in my rewrite of post 3 and I’ll go over this pattern more as we go along.

Just look at that mystical gaze. To peer into those aloof, glassen eyes is to arrest the curiosity of any mortal. To behold the wisdom concealed in the furrows of that venerable face is to know the ceaseless joys of bewonderment itself. Any man so fortunate as to catch askance his merry twinkle or twitch of whisker shall surely have all his dreams fulfilled.

You find this grisly abomination utterly detestable.

If you read this narration closely enough, it comes across as an inversion of the narration’s ridiculously dark and gloomy descriptions of the Horrorterrors (1, 2, 3). And if you read it that way, at a glance it seems like Rose just loves dark things and hates bright and sunny things. This interpretation isn’t even close to true: as I established at the start of my rewrite of post 4, what Rose has an affinity for is the complex and unknowable, which includes the Horrorterrors just as much as it includes wizards. I like how this passage still makes sense knowing that Rose likes wizards but dislikes the way her mother uses wizards to spite her, which as you know is all in her head; it’s something of a red herring for the story to imply she hates wizards.

Also on this topic, in the old version of this post I was confused about why Rose understood her friends’ inner motives and feelings but not her mother’s love of wizards. I even speculated that her mother formed a void (haha epic classpect speculation) in Rose’s knowledge. I think I know why now: Rose can easily pick apart anything complicated but won’t accept anything simple and straightforward.

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Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 4 Rewritten: Haunting Voices and Coolkid Mishaps

Introduction

Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 >

Act 2, Part 1 of 5

Pages 248-357 (MSPA: 2148-2257)

Link to old version

Keeping this post’s title the same as before. Couldn’t think of a better one.
Also, just warning you: this post is HUGE.

Before we begin Act 2, I’m going to talk about John, then talk about Rose. It’s a longstanding tradition for me to talk at length about characters when they are first introduced, but it’s a little difficult to do with the first two main characters this early on so I’ll talk about them now instead.

I love John Egbert. Have I ever said that? He is a protagonist done right and is the best character other than Caliborn. In many works of media, the protagonist is the main focus but the one people love the most is a wacky side character or someone else in the main group. But in this comic, none of the other three kids I think have quite the same charm as John. Almost every protagonist of the comic’s story arcs (John, Spades Slick, Karkat, Roxy, Meenah) has a distinct kind of charm to them. In Roxy’s case, she wasn’t the original protagonist of her group, but retroactively became the true protagonist because she was the one that turned out to have the most “protagonist charm”. I relate to John a lot; he is extremely honest and doesn’t believe in anything that’s too weird, confusing, or depressing, whether it be complex romance*, Rose’s interest in dark things, or impending inevitable doom. Naturally enough, John is airheaded a lot of the time, but maybe a bit less than you’d think. If you see him lying about something, usually he’s lying to himself, denying something he doesn’t want to be true.

* His later romantic dynamic with Roxy is not complex at all! Just a girl who is as pure-hearted and silly as he is. If Karkat’s explanation is anything to go by, same goes with Terezi blackways.

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Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 8: Mayorly Foreshadowification Station

Introduction

< Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 >

Pages 666-758 (MSPA: 2566-2658)

Act 2, Part 5 of 5

NEW: Link to rewritten version (I recommend you read it instead of this post)

You are now the Wayward Vagabond.

Last time, we saw Dave exploring his puppet-filled living room and John making a rad pogo hammer. Now we get to know the bizarre being commanding John. The Wayward Vagabond is given commands much like the kids are, but we see some differences between him and the kids. Aside from the obvious fact that he’s not a human, he doesn’t have a sylladex, instead picking stuff up with his bare hands. He screws around in his command station, just like how the kids all screw around in their houses. He makes a city out of cans (the eponymous Can Town), and he fantasizes about being the mayor of the town.

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Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 7: Land of Swords and Smuppets

Introduction

< Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 >

Pages 562-665 (MSPA: 2462-2565)

Act 2, Part 4 of 5

NEW: Link to rewritten version (I recommend you read it instead of this post)

NOTE: Posted this one early because I’m gone for the weekend.

Just another title picture I guess. All of said pictures were added when I was on post 30-some.

A bit of a stretch to call this a “kitchen”.

Last time, we focused mainly on John as he sees the mess that was made of his house, and Dave as we get a glimpse of his brother’s stuff. Now, Dave examines the rest of his living room, which has, well, a lot of things in it. Swords, turntables, Game Bro magazines, Xbox equipment, nunchucks, skateboards, baseball caps, power cords, creepy comics, shurikens, fireworks, and most prominently, those fucking puppets. His brother flash-steps around the room and moves objects at a whim, in a way that’s more than a little unsettling. And then we go to the kitchen which is filled with dangerous stuff, and no actual food anywhere—something that’s played for laughs at this point, but much later what TV Tropes calls “Cerebus syndrome” kicks in and Dave portrays his old home life as legitimately unsettling when he vents out all his frustration about his upbringing. One thing of note is that Dave seems to know the Scrabble letter point values by heart—why is that? He isn’t portrayed as a nerd who would know that kind of stuff like John is (though he does have a nerdy side). Maybe his brother would challenge him to intense Scrabble competitions every week? Maybe those Scrabble competitions were intended to train Dave to be an expert at his fetch modus, which would make sense given the other insane training his brother is known to do, like sword fighting. It’s pretty amusing to imagine Dave playing Scrabble against his brother, who I like to think is nightmarishly adept at that game. Maybe the guy slaps his tiles onto the board at his ultra ninja speed and kicks little Dave’s ass every time they play with his obscure words calibrated to get the best possible combinations of triple score squares. That might make sense given that Dirk has a florid vocabulary, like Rose. Anyway, maybe it isn’t too far-fetched to know all the Scrabble point values; I only play Scrabble once every few months or so, but I could probably list out all the letter values with at most two or three mistakes. Then again I’m into memorizing stuff.

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Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 6: Imp Madness and Can Openers

Introduction

< Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 >

Pages 429-561 (MSPA: 2329-2461)

Act 2, Part 3 of 5

NEW: Link to rewritten version (I recommend you read it instead of this post)

JOHN YOU DO NOT SAY NO TO COOKIES. I COMMAND YOU TO GET THEM.

Last post cut off at the end of Nanna’s exposition session, a natural stopping point. Now we continue to see John throwing a tantrum about cookies, since he’s had more than enough baked goods today, not to mention the wrath of Betty Crocker. WV is upset that John doesn’t want to eat cookies, and commands him to get cookies; these childish flip-outs about mundane things are one of John’s defining traits (see also: the time he flipped out because he suddenly hated Con Air). As Dave once put it: “thats classic john though he doesnt get pissed about anything except for the absolute dumbest shit”. It’s easy to miss that John even sticks up his middle finger in the corner of this page. WV then accidentally turns off Caps Lock, opening a capsule with food and a book on human etiquette.

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Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 5: Grandmotherly Expositation Station

Introduction

Part 4 | Part 5 Part 6 >

Pages 358-428 (MSPA: 2258-2328)

Act 2, Part 2 of 5

NEW: Link to rewritten version (I recommend you read it instead of this post)

NOTE: I know “expositation” isn’t a word, I just wanted to make “exposition” rhyme with “station”.

Here’s another title picture, in case you forgot. This one is meant to match the name of this post.

Lousy goddamn stupid wizards.

Last time, we got a taste of the weird shit that happened to John now that he made it into a mystery world, and we learned how Dave lost those Sburb discs. Now we see what Rose is up to. She examines her wizard-adorned house, and we see how strongly she believes that her mother has no real love for all those wizards she litters her house with. One thing I just now caught is how Rose sometimes has guests visit her house: the narration says, “There is the sound of rushing water beneath the floor. It tends to strike guests as a strange presence in a living space, but it’s become hardly audible to you through familiarity.” What’s the deal with those guests? Are those her mother’s fellow scientists or something? It’s weirder because Rose’s house is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, way out in the forests of upstate New York to be specific. “Forest” and “New York” are two words that sound a little weird together, given that New York makes most people think of the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.

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Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 4: Haunting Voices and Coolkid Mishaps

Introduction

< Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 >

Pages 248-357 (MSPA: 2148-2257)

Act 2, Part 1 of 5

NEW: Link to rewritten version (I recommend you read it instead of this post)

Where John’s house ended up.

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.

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