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MF: Open browser and go to mspaintadventures.com
August 10, 2010 7:58 AM   Subscribe

Andrew Hussie's latest comic enterprise at MSPaintAdventures.com (previously), Homestuck, has been hurtling along at a truly absurd pace. Designed as a pastiche and parody of videogames in general and text-based graphical adventures in particular, updates are structured as a hypothetical game's response to your typed commands, such as "Examine room." The art may not look like much up front, but it enables AH to maintain his multiple-updates-every-day pace for weeks at a time; it also lets him modulate the quality where appropriate for the storytelling. It's sort of a multimedia extravaganza: the story is told using static and animated gifs, narrative text, dialogue presented as instant messaging chat transcripts (click the Show Pesterlog button to see the text), flash-based static animations with music and/or sound effects, interactive vignettes reminiscent of console RPG-style combat, interactive sound mixers and animation compendia, GameFAQs walkthroughs, an enormous hyperlinked synopsis presented by the author himself during a highly indulgent self-insertion into the story, multiple webcomics within webcomics, and in at least two cases, an entire miniature action/adventure game.

The story follows the setbacks and successes of John Egbert, one of four thirteen-year-old players of an "immersive simulation" game similar to The Sims which affects the real world in a variety of ways. It begins with a very gradual, meandering pace as John and the audience learn how the rules of the world and the game interact, but speeds up considerably as additional protagonists and plotlines are introduced; the current story arc gives proper introduction to a set of 12 alien trolls who'd played their own section of the game, and seems to be moving the story much closer to its conclusion, which will probably occur within the next year.

While MSPA has always been a collaborative effort, using feedback from fans to drive the stories, Homestuck took things to the next level in May, when AH began employing additional artists to provide content for his more ambitious and potentially spoilery animation projects; then in June, they officially launched What Pumpkin, the music label under which Homestuck's various soundtrack albums are sold.

Naturally, there's a wiki and TVTropes articles, although Andrew himself talks at length about the world of Homestuck and how he creates it at his Formspring page and his blog.
posted by jsnlxndrlv (22 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've tried to start "Homestuck" a few times, but it always seemed too daunting— as an uneducated guess, it seems like it would take hundreds of hours of reading/interacting with the construction to get up to the present. It's a shame that in all this there isn't a guide for those new.
posted by Electrius at 8:06 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


MSPaintAdventures is one of those things where, even though I'm not in to it, I admire the effort and the accomplishment of making it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:11 AM on August 10, 2010


Wow, he's still doing Homestuck? That one is freakin' epic. I read through the whole thing ages ago and it was already so awesomely big and convoluted that I was sure it was almost finished. I admire Hussie's determination (and mad continuity skills).
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 8:12 AM on August 10, 2010


If you start it and you're daunted, please keep trying until the end of Act 2. It's a great piece of work and very media-bending, in that he is telling a story in many different ways. A big fan, here.
posted by randomination at 8:22 AM on August 10, 2010


Zowie. What TWPL said.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:35 AM on August 10, 2010


Homestuck may be the most amazing thing ever, but count me as another person who found it too meandering and daunting when I first encountered it. It's not me, it's Homestuck. The guy seems to have a legitimate problem there, pulling new people in this far into the story, and maybe a plot summary could help.

Like the periodic plot summaries in Problem Sleuth. Man, I loved that comic! I found it about 3/4 of the way through the story, plowed through all the back pages, and stuck with it to the end. Great stuff.
posted by gurple at 9:03 AM on August 10, 2010


Part of me wants to get back into it, part of me knows I don't have the time. This is something I usually consume in hour-long webcomic binges.
posted by hellojed at 9:04 AM on August 10, 2010


Huh... looks like no link above to Problem Sleuth. Damn fine comic, there.
posted by gurple at 9:05 AM on August 10, 2010


Oh, duh. "Enormous hyperlinked synopsis" link above looks like a good intro. Maybe I'll get into this, now....
posted by gurple at 9:22 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I was going to say, I intentionally pointed out the first synopsis of Year 1 of Homestuck; Recap 2 just went up prior to the start of Act 5, which just started two months ago.
posted by jsnlxndrlv at 9:39 AM on August 10, 2010


But the first link to the synopsis is kind of hard to find in the wall of text and links, so it probably deserved further call-out in the comments.
posted by jsnlxndrlv at 9:47 AM on August 10, 2010


Homestuck is my favourite webcomic. It does take an insane commitment, but in my opinion, it rewards such loyalty. With madness.
posted by RokkitNite at 9:50 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sorry, he lost me on the second or third screen when he implied Ghostbusters 2 was a REALLY TERRIBLE MOVIE on the same level as Con Air, Mac & Me, and Deep Impact.

Other than that, it seem neat and I respect it, but I'm not sure it's for me, like an older person's version of this.

(God, I guess I should just stick to Paul Rand and praising hot-tempered ex-airline employees and telling kids to get off my lawn.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:04 AM on August 10, 2010


I don't care about Homestuck, but I love Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff.

I may be an idiot.
posted by Burritos Inc. at 10:36 AM on August 10, 2010


I like what he's doing a lot - and have been reading this faithfully for a long time - but I've given up on deciphering the chats: too much text run through too many filters. Not sure if the payoff's there any more - after a certain point, the complexity got to be too much for a casual reader. I do like what he's doing, and the way he's doing it, but I really can't keep the characters & their backstories straight any more. But others seem to be braver than I am.
posted by with hidden noise at 10:38 AM on August 10, 2010


I've been reading Homestuck regularly from the start. I explain it at all, but I still love it. YES. FUCK YES. HELL FUCKING YES.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 11:20 AM on August 10, 2010


He might be my favorite person on the Internet between this highly creative enterprise and the fact he's responsible for another kind of enterprise-ing creativity. It took me a while to connect the two despite his name being there.
posted by palidor at 12:26 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


This perfectly sums up all of Homestuck. (Some spoilerish imagery, though)
posted by ymgve at 12:27 PM on August 10, 2010


with hidden noise: "I like what he's doing a lot - and have been reading this faithfully for a long time - but I've given up on deciphering the chats: too much text run through too many filters. Not sure if the payoff's there any more - after a certain point, the complexity got to be too much for a casual reader. I do like what he's doing, and the way he's doing it, but I really can't keep the characters & their backstories straight any more. But others seem to be braver than I am."

Here you go.
posted by ShawnStruck at 12:52 PM on August 10, 2010


MS Paint Adventures is the pinnacle of webcomics.
posted by kenko at 7:33 PM on August 10, 2010


BEHOLD THE WRINKLEFUCKER
posted by clockzero at 10:23 PM on August 10, 2010


I find the wiki (as linked to above) very useful for keeping track of everything that's happened in Homestuck. There are sypnoses of the various Acts in there too (Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, Act 4, Act 5) which are more concise than the ones Hussie provides. Its also good for checking on some seemingly minor thing that you vaguely remember about 500 pages ago, but is now suddenly critically important. That happens all the time.

Homestuck rules!
posted by destrius at 10:42 PM on August 10, 2010


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