Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 118: The End (or So It Seems)

Introduction

< Part 117 | Part 118 | Part 119 >

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 4, Part 1 of 8

Pages 6944-7006

God, this part is so sad.
Also shippy. But mostly sad.

Before I begin going through A6A6I4, let me get something out of the way that I perhaps should have said much sooner, like over a year ago. I hope it doesn’t come off as transphobic.

I do not plan on discussing June Egbert in my Homestuck blog post series. The reason why is simply because I see no reason to, especially considering that the canonicity of June presently goes no further than a single Twitter post by Andrew Hussie. While I have no problem with headcanoning characters to be transgender—so long as you aren’t an asshole about it, or an asshole to those who do—John Egbert being a transgender woman is simply not an idea I can personally make sense of. I do have lots of complicated thoughts and feelings about the topic of gender identity, both my own and in general, but I’d rather stray from using a fictional character as a vessel to explore those thoughts. Note that I may change my mind about this if June ends up appearing in official Homestuck media in some capacity, in which case I’ll try to keep an open mind.

With that out of the way, let’s begin Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 4! We’re in the home stretch, folks. The fifth last subdivision of Homestuck, and the second last one that’s of substantial length.

(Oh yeah, I noticed after publishing this post that I published post number 118 on 1/18, January 18. Pretty lucky coincidence.)

Nice job there, Aranea.

This image is not a promising one to start A6A6I4 on. It shows us the catastrophic fate of the pre-retcon alpha session, with evidence aplenty of who all caused this mayhem: first Jade foolishly swapping her planet with Derse, then Aranea and the Condesce smashing all the players’ planets into each other in their final face-off… well, all but two of them. It looks like all the destroyed planets’ Seven Gates were severed in the process of all this, which is pretty messed up.

The two surviving planets are symbolic of the two players who survived this timeline: the token heterosexual couple, John and Roxy, who I would be a complete and utter liar if I said I don’t think they’re insanely cute together.

John’s perception of the glitches reminds me of his perception of Caliborn’s commands in Homosuck. Perhaps it’s indicative of his unique relationship with the narrative that no other character has.

… yeah, yeah, I know it’s probably just Hussie doing cool things with the glitch effects that he hadn’t done prior, but fuck it, I can interpret Homestuck the way I want to.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 117: TRAGIC ENDS AND NEW BEGINNINGS.

Introduction

< Part 116 | Part 117 | Part 118 >

Act 6 Act 6 Act 4

Pages 6921-6943

Always fun to follow an extremely long post with an extremely short post.

Picking up from where we left off in Act 6 Act 6 Act 3, Caliborn goes to sleep and dreams in his crude pre-Homosuck art style. He ruminates on his humiliating defeat and presents us a pseudo-emotional monologue, starting as follows:

A TEEN DIDN’T LIKE THE DIRECTION OF MY STORY, SO HE CAME AND BEAT ME UP.

Ah, this line. A line often quoted in response to people aggressively complaining about Homestuck media, typically used in arguments that go in circles with such magnificent, original points as “if you don’t like it, then don’t read it”. The fan satire here is off the charts already.

> THIS IS THE WORST THING THAT’S EVER HAPPENED TO ME.

AND BEAR IN MIND THAT ONE TIME, MY LEG WAS BITTEN OFF. AND I TRAGICALLY LOST A SISTER TO MURDER.

Here, Caliborn is parodying people who plead for attention and support by fabricating bad things that happened to them. But since this is Caliborn we’re talking about, he doesn’t come up with total lies; rather, he omits details to imply lies. Lying through omission is a long-running theme of such characters as Doc Scratch, Lil’ Hal, and of course Caliborn himself. In this case, he’s implying that someone other than him bit his leg off and murdered his sister. Well, his version of Jack Noir did murder Calliope’s dream self, but his wording is still very misleading.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 116: What the Fuck Happened Here?

Introduction

< Part 115 | Part 116 | Part 117 >

[S] GAME OVER and the rest of Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 3

Pages 6901-6920

^ This image is how I feel about Karkat wearing short sleeves.

Time to finally analyze [S] GAME OVER, a flash that came out on October 25, 2014, the third anniversary of [S] Cascade. As the title may suggest, the flash consists of most of Homestuck’s living main cast either dying or getting critically wounded, so that they may soon be replaced with post-retcon versions of themselves. This retcon character replacement is a very controversial move and for many people weighs down Act 6 in its entirety. I’ve always been bothered by it myself, but a major goal of mine in these posts is to see if it’s really that bad in retrospect.

A cool detail in the Unofficial Homestuck Collection’s version of this flash is that the browser interface switches color schemes along with the website’s background.

Game Over alternates between taking place in Act 6 Act 6 Act 3 (John fighting Caliborn) and Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 3 (everyone else in the alpha session fighting each other). The flash begins on an incredibly silly note, with a callback to John’s mental breakdown when he discovered his father wasn’t a clown, and his further mental breakdown when he discovered Betty Crocker made Fruit Gushers. The callback is very fitting, because John has mental breakdowns over the absolute stupidest things.

The manga drawings surrounding John clearly indicate that they’re his principal source of anger at Caliborn, which is both amusing and fitting. Honestly, it makes more sense to be angry about those drawings than whatever impact he had on the kids’ story as Lord English, because as Dave said in A6A6I1, he’s responsible in some ass backwards way for them all existing.

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Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections Part 115: ILLUSIONARY YAOI FINE ART.

Introduction

< Part 114 | Part 115 | Part 116 >

Pages 6853-6900

Act 6 Act 6 Act 3 (before GAME OVER)

Caliborn’s manga drawings are not for the faint of heart.
Neither is my commentary on them, probably.

Welcome to the fourth and final section of my Homestuck blog post series, Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Reflections! This is the point where I start going over the portion of Homestuck that I read as it came out. As I said at the end of the last post, expect a lot more reflection on how I reacted when those updates first came out, as well as some criticism towards the direction Homestuck started going in.

I should also note that I’ve finalized the subdivisions of my Homestuck posts from here on out (though I haven’t decided on firm cutoff points for each post yet). Here goes:

  • A6A6A3 before [S] GAME OVER: 1 post
  • [S] GAME OVER and the rest of A6A6I3: 1 post
  • A6A6A4: 1 post
  • A6A6I4: 8 posts
  • A6A6A5: 1 post
  • A6A6I5: 12 posts
  • [S] Collide and following pages: 1 post
  • Act 7 and credits: 1 post

Under this plan, my Homestuck series will end consisting of a nice, round 140 posts. 115 posts down, 25 to go! I can get through this final stretch, I know I can.

WELCOME BACK.
(AGAIN.)

To start things off, you may wonder how I initially reacted to this update, which was the first Homestuck update I experienced live (and the start of Act 6 Act 6 Act 3). I didn’t think much of it; I just found it all humorous and absurd, long before I realized how inspiring Caliborn’s evolution as an artist is. Now, seeing Caliborn’s curtains open on the How to Draw Manga book that had befuddled him so much before, it’s already clear he’s going to show off his new artistic skills that the book taught him.

Thanking readers for their “unimpatience”, Caliborn proudly reveals that he has indeed succeeded at learning manga. Lil’ Seb presents him a cool trophy that I can only assume was alchemized. Or maybe it’s a game construct from his severely distorted journey through the standard Sburb player progression? I’m asking some REAL questions right here.

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Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 114: The Rim of the Great Divide

Introduction

< Part 113 | Part 114 | Part 115 >

Pages 6750-6852

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 2, Part 4 of 4

God, it would have been so much cooler to go on hiatus for six months after this post, not before.

Kept you waiting, huh?

… er, not to imply I’m at all familiar with Metal Gear Solid aside from one or two memes.

Anyway, uh… where were we? Brain Ghost Dirk’s fakeness meter is increasing because ripping the soul out of Aranea’s body is apparently decreasing the power of Jake’s hope field. There’s probably a message to be taken from Aranea artificially hacking the game and how Jake hasn’t truly unlocked his hope powers, but I don’t really feel like writing a giant paragraph about it, because (1) I’ve already said plenty about Aranea in the last few posts and (2) I honestly kind of want to get this post out of the way, because it’s mostly action scenes and is the very last part before the PERFECT point to pause this post series. (MONTHS LATER EDIT: or rather, what would have been the perfect point to pause this post series)

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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?

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 113: Brain Ghost Realitification Station

Introduction

< Part 112 | Part 113 | Part 114 >

Pages 6682-6749

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 2, Part 3 of 4

This is the second last post featuring content released before the Gigapause, which is when I first read Homestuck.

Friendly reminder that among my creative projects, my current priority is making 8-bit covers of the entire soundtrack of Sonic Robo Blast 2 v2.2, which means my Homestuck post series is currently something I do every now and then when I want a break from that.

Also, friendly reminder that I’ve firmly divorced the masterwork that is Homestuck from the bloated mess that is Homestuck^2, so don’t expect me to talk about the latter in this post series unless it somehow becomes good. As for Pesterquest, there isn’t a whole lot I have to say about it because basically the whole thing played it as safe as possible. It’s really a shame this recent Homestuck media hasn’t been very remarkable after the horrifying yet incredibly cathartic epilogues, but that sure isn’t going to stop me from writing paragraphs upon paragraphs about Homestuck. I don’t think of it as “Homestuck 1” or even “the original Homestuck”, I just think of it as “Homestuck”.

A third friendly reminder that I soon hope to no longer use homestuck.com for my Homestuck posts, instead some offline archive or fanmade way to read the comic as originally intended. At some point, I should really get around to editing my old posts to include pages from homestuck.com because the MSPA domain has been somewhat unstable lately.

Anyway, where were we? Looks like I left off right before a panel with Gamzee restraining an aggravated Jane in a geometrically improbable position.

JANE: GET YOUR PAWS OFF ME YOU SHITFUCKING SHITFUCKER AUGH FUCK SHIT SHIT SHIT FUCK FUCK.
GAMZEE: honk.
JANE: YOU SCURRILOUS FUCKSHITTING CAD. UNHAND ME SO I MAY RESURRECT MY ACCOMPLICE AT ONCE.
GAMZEE: honk honk.
JANE:
WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME THIS TIME YOU DETESTABLE POO ROGERING CHARLATAN.
GAMZEE: honk.
JANE: I DO NOT WANT TO BUY ANYMORE OF YOUR POTIONS. I ALREADY BOUGHT ALL THE USELESS SLOP I COULD EVER WANT FROM YOU, AND MADE A KILLING ON REDISTRIBUTION.
GAMZEE: HONK.
JANE: YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL TACTICS LEAVE MUCH TO BE DESIRED. YOU ARE A DEPLORABLE BUSINESSMAN AND AN EVEN SHITTIER CLOWN. GET OFF ME.
GAMZEE: …
JANE: DID YOU JUST TOUCH MY BOOB. DON’T TOUCH MY BOOB YOU FUCKFACED DUNG HUFFING TOILET GUZZLING IDIOT QUIPSTER SHITPECKER DICKLARK.
GAMZEE: :o)

Hussie has always had a knack for writing humorously verbose insults, and it’s interesting that he’s doing it with Jane of all characters. A6A6I2 has been consistently putting a more comedic light than before on Crockertier Jane, and she’s a fairly understandable choice for someone to plug vocabulary jokes into. Jane’s always been high up on the scale of character vocabulary, not quite as high as Rose or Dirk but still up there. Reading these insults she gives Gamzee, most of the non-profane words are surprisingly in-character for Jane.

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Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 112: Grandfatherly Saiyanification Station

Introduction

< Part 111 | Part 112 | Part 113 >

Pages 6606-6681

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 2, Part 2 of 4

It’s over 6000!

I’m getting so close to the Gigapause, which is kind of scary to think about. I’ve been working more on music stuff lately than this post series, which is why my posting schedule hasn’t been too fast lately despite being done with finals.

Picking up from where we left off, Jane notices Jake’s hope field and has a villain-to-villain confrontation with Aranea, which as I said in my last post is a good indicator that this timeline is going way off the rails.

Still in his prison cell, Jane’s father watches the scene in stern fatherly confusion. This is the point where it starts becoming clear that Hussie is having a lot of fun throwing in humorous callbacks and early act throwbacks into all these action scenes, which further implies a burnout on writing Homestuck the way he had done shortly prior. I could complain about how the retcon that follows made so many story events arguably pointless, but I’ve come to accept that it’s more fun to analyze Homestuck in a matter-of-fact fashion.

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Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 111: Extremist Blueblood Relevance Delusions

Introduction

< Part 110 | Part 111 | Part 112 >

Pages 6531-6605

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 2, Part 1 of 4

I’m so close to the Gigapause now, I can almost smell it!

Sorry it took so long for this post to come out! I started it shortly after the last one, but I’ve been busy with finishing my classes the past few weeks. I now have one final exam and one project left for the semester, so I finished this post after doing one of my exams.

Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 2 of Homestuck opens with Crockertier Jane revealing herself to be the one who’s been building the alpha kids’ houses. This is a pretty cool usage of Act 6 Act 6’s motif of having our heroes hack their way through the final necessities of creating the new universe. It’s an odd choice for this intermission’s first scene given the nonstop action scenes that follow, but it makes sense to get this information out of the way before we dive into the meat (or at least, an extremely foolish attempt at generating meat).

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