Homestuck: The Epilogues
April 15, 2019 7:18 PM   Subscribe

Ten years after the debut of Homestuck, and 3 years after the end of Homestuck, The Homestuck Epilogues begin - following the core team as jaded young adults making sense of canon, relevance, and the aftermath of their mission. posted by divabat (34 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Ohohohoho. I see what he's doing here. Hussie's described the eventual epilogue as post-canon. And what's the very first page? An Archive of Our Own fanfic info box.
posted by BiggerJ at 7:26 PM on April 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

Yes sure good but where is my DavKat content.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 8:45 PM on April 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

Narrative Priorities: Eponysterical.
posted by BiggerJ at 9:09 PM on April 15, 2019

at some point i checked out of homestuck, one of the flash games was just a bit too elaborate, and i always said i'd go back and finish it, and then it continued to get exponentially more complex and i just sort of lost the will to finish it. maybe i should do that. reading this epilogue reminds me why i loved it so much in the first place. the battles and animation were cool, and hussie certainly has a way of crafting an incredibly intricate, fractal story almost unlike anything else before it. but this passage from the third page (SPOILERS if you haven't read that far yet)...

Why did you spend so much time alone? Moping around the house mourning your dead father, who probably would have wanted you to get more enjoyment out of your teen years, as well as your unusually early retirement. There’s so much you could have done. You could have even reached out to Roxy again; maybe she was waiting for you to do that. Maybe your withdrawal hurt her. Maybe she was heartbroken, just like you kind of feel right now. You study her perfectly stoic face and conclude nothing from it. Her expression reminds you of how Dave used to look, when you first met for real, before years of living with Karkat softened him up. Impenetrable cool.
It’s too late to figure any of this out now. You fucked it up already.

man, hussie is so good. just heartbreaking. and real.
posted by JimBennett at 10:53 PM on April 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

What why is there no RSS feed what is going on I read three pages but now I want to read more pages how am I supposed to know when this updates AUGH!

has it updated yet?
posted by aubilenon at 12:40 AM on April 16, 2019 [4 favorites]

As if something, somewhere, is forgetting, and we are the ones being forgotten.

Dang, Hussie.
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 3:41 AM on April 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yes sure good but where is my DavKat content.

Apparently it's DaveKatJade, which warms my heart a little, seeing as I too am in a poly relationship that includes canine furries.

I'm still waiting for mention of Terezi. The Credits Snapchats showed her out in Paradox Space, in the vicinity of the Black Hole looking for Vriska, so it's not like John's Anime Dreams, Rose's Visions and Jade's De-Powering were their only clues that something's going on out there.

Also, for 4/13 this year, I had to break the Weekly-on-Thursdays schedule on my blog series on the history of Flash animation on the early web (not so creatively titled FLASHBack), so I could do a Homestuck post. Nothing there that longterm fans don't already know, but I figured I'd share anyway. It's in MeFI FPP style, so y'all should feel right at home.
posted by radwolf76 at 4:14 AM on April 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Huh: I drifted from Homestuck in the...yearlong? gigapause. By the time it came back I'd forgotten everything and realized I'd have to reread the previous acts to get the last chunk. Maybe now's a good time.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:27 AM on April 16, 2019

Oh god.

What if

what if

Hussie deliberately waited three years

so we would start to forget
posted by BiggerJ at 6:27 AM on April 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

Homestuck was one of the first internet things to really make me feel old and out of touch. I tried really hard to get into it, but from the start I just found it too complex and difficult to understand. I also didn't find any of the main characters compelling in any way. Comparisons to Ulysses are apt in my case because it is also something I tried to read and just could not understand it.
posted by runcibleshaw at 9:30 AM on April 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

You figure you've left him hanging long enough.

The epilogue is really, really good so far. It shows a much-needed awareness of all the things that were missing from or just felt off about the ending. Plus it's got a feeling of how it could really go anywhere from here, buoyed by the lengthy tag/warning list, perhaps to an extent even greater than the main story did.

Next upd8 this weekend according to some twitter.
posted by one for the books at 9:45 AM on April 16, 2019

I've started Homestuck five or six times - often after it's mentioned on the blue, as it gets such rave reviews - and yet, like runcibleshaw, I find it impossible to get into. Perhaps it's the 7990 pages after what I've read, or perhaps it's the knowledge that I could be reading In Search of Lost Time if I want a Long Serious Read. Or perhaps I don't like the characters drawn without arms, as I definitely find that a bit weird. It's hard to commit to a serious reading commitment when none of the characters in the first few pages seem to have arms
posted by The River Ivel at 10:19 AM on April 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

first internet things to really make me feel old and out of touch

Me too - although, I liked the "pesterchum" chat client... Mainly to chat with my kids, who love homestuck - but, I was able to at least appreciate their appreciation for it.
posted by jkaczor at 10:57 AM on April 16, 2019

I brought my Homestuck literary analysis blog back to have Opinions about this
posted by WizardOfDocs at 11:18 AM on April 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

While it isn't the complete run of the comic, the Voxus (Voice Over Nexus, formerly CoLabHQ) Let's Read Homestuck videos can help make the comic more accessible to some, at the expense of being a even more of a time-sink than simply reading the comic yourself.

It does not, however address complaints aimed solely at the stylized depiction of the characters that's used frequently in the earlier parts of the story, as the Voxus videos pull their images straight from the comic. If it helps any, keep in mind that in addition to being a bunch of 13 year old kids, because of the nature of the game they're playing, they're also sort of video game characters, and the game doesn't render arms unless the character is actually using them. Even without the video game explanation though, avoiding Homestuck for a lack of arms feels to me like avoiding XKCD because it's just stick figures.

But back to the Voxus voice acting: It'll get you up to about halfway through Act Six of the comic, and two thirds of the way through the last big interactive Flash walk-around game. They insist that they're at least going to finish out that walk around game at some point, and I seriously hope that they do, because that last third will be the part that Dante Basco recorded lines for them for. It's something I've been waiting for almost as fervently as I've been waiting for the Epilogue itself.
posted by radwolf76 at 11:32 AM on April 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Can someone just give me the basic idea of what Homestuck is? Is it a game? Is it a graphic novel? Is it something I can read offline or only interactive or Flash or what?

I have been mildly interested but I don't really understand where to start and it makes me feel old and out of touch. Is this something I could start at the beginning of right now, or has that moment passed?
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:22 PM on April 16, 2019

Thanks for the post, I'm out of the fandom loop these days.

fiercecupcake and others who want to get started now: Homestuck is more or less a huge webcomic with multimedia bits. Almost all text is in chat logs beneath the art that you have to click to expand or read - no speech bubbles. The hardcore completionist approach is to begin reading with the first page, and continue to the end. This involves more text than Les Miserables, plus artwork, some short animations, and mini-game bits.

The casual approach is to read the Homestuck wiki synopses, and click through to bits of canon you're interested in. The first four acts are meandering pastiches of a text adventure game, with page titles generated by audience suggestion. The fifth act abandons that gimmick and takes a left turn into space opera.

I've only done the hardcore approach once, and only after doing the casual approach. Also, it's my understanding that archivists have worked (or are working?) to transform all the Flash content to HTML5 or other more future-proof formats.
posted by bagel at 1:54 PM on April 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Can someone just give me the basic idea of what Homestuck is? Is it a game? Is it a graphic novel? Is it something I can read offline or only interactive or Flash or what?

Homestuck is an interactive webcomic. Some of its panels are static images. Some are brief animated loops. Some have sound accompaniment, either music or sound effects. Some of the panels are short minigames. Some are big sprawling Flash games in the style of old-school 2D sprite based RPGs. One sequence of panels emulated the first person perspective puzzle/adventure games that briefly came in to popularity because of Myst. There are several long Flash animations with full scores of music.

Most of the panels will be accompanied by a lengthy internet chatlog of what the characters were discussing with their friends when the panel happened, this is where most of the story is conveyed.

Most of the links to the next pages of the comic are in the form of the types of commands you'd have to type into text-parser adventure games, and for much of the first 1500-ish pages, the author would solicit multiple suggestions from the readers on what those commands should be, picking out the one that best fit the direction he wanted to mold the storyline into. Eventually though, he dropped this technique to try to better control the pacing of the story.

The comic's in the process of being collected into published books so yes, you can get it offline if you prefer, but right now they only cover the beginning of the story. Also, much of the charm of the short animated loops and the longer animated epics gets lost when it's broken down into keyframes on a page. Plus there's no music. However you can buy the music separate, nearly 3 dozen albums worth. And to make up for the lack of interactivity, the books are all annotated with author commentary.

So what is this interactive webcomic about? The spoiler-free capsule summary of Homestuck is that it’s a story that follows 13-year-old John Egbert and his three internet friends begin to play the hot new online videogame of 2009. It may not seem like much to build thousands of pages of webcomic on, but big things come from humble beginnings.
posted by radwolf76 at 2:13 PM on April 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

I love this:

ROSE: I assure you we are all still fundamentally the same bunch of losers.

And on that note, the second author listed on the first page of the Epilogues wrote all these, which include Cities in Dust.

Other greatest hits of Homestuck fanworks circa 2011 include A Hymn of Empire, Promstuck, Space Bro, i will buy the flower shop..., and Hemostuck. These are all Ao3 links except Promstuck, because the Ao3 version is incomplete.

Also, if you have post-2012 Homestuck fanworks to rec, please do so.
posted by bagel at 2:17 PM on April 16, 2019

bagel and radwolf76, THANK YOU. You both did a fantastic job. Now I feel equipped to figure out if I want to go the casual route or (more likely) just start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.
posted by fiercecupcake at 3:14 PM on April 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

This is how I got into Homestuck, when it was only a 5 year epic:
Which is in itself an epic. I followed the advice there to read the intermission first, to see if you are at all interested in the style:
It is a shorter standalone piece outside of the main storyline so you don't need to know anything else to read it, but of course it is also not a stand alone piece outside of the main storyline at all.
posted by team lowkey at 4:37 PM on April 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

While it's great to see some more Homestuck, I'm still disappointed at the lack of Hiveswap Act II.
posted by Marticus at 4:53 PM on April 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

Sigh. Time to reluctantly get sucked back in.
posted by these are science wands at 4:59 AM on April 17, 2019

posted by radwolf76 at 5:09 AM on April 17, 2019

If you find yourself needing a quick recap of the story so far, perhaps try One Second of Every Homestuck Song.
posted by one for the books at 8:18 AM on April 17, 2019

Oh dear. I cluelessly started the hardcore reading mode three days ago. Am now at the start of act 3, and apparently still have infinity to go... This is amazing.
posted by kaibutsu at 6:31 PM on April 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I think I like the idea of Homestuck more than I'll ever like Homestuck itself.

Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike anything to do with the comic per se...on account of the fact that I've never gotten far enough into the story to gain anything to significantly dislike. There are just (and by gods, but this sounds terrible even before I've typed it) too many characters.

Look. Listen. I am a man who struggles deeply to remember the names of the coworkers he has regular acquaintanceship with. I am a man who needs a tally sheet if a TV show has a scene of a white man talking to another white man, so that I can understand which white man is which and what it is either of them wants or is called. And then comes Homestuck, the online experience that not only wants me to remember all of these characters, but also all of their names, their relationships to each other, and I know I already mentioned names but did I mention that every character actually has another name, too, that each of them uses when they're on that chat program, only whenever one of the chat segments occurs it's not always a given that both of the characters chatting are both illustrated on-screen so that's another clue gone for the bumbling, brain-shrunken fool trying to piece together the plot (i.e. me) re: identifying the characters?

posted by KChasm at 6:58 PM on April 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

This is amazing, I'm so glad it brings up the problem of totally forgetting the plot and losing the sense of urgency to finish the story l-m-a-o. Also, time travel convolutions.

Can someone just give me the basic idea of what Homestuck is?

I, also, wrote something up about Homestuck, for the now-defunct comics criticism blog The Hooded Utilitarian. Scott Pilgrim author Bryan Lee O'Malley recommended it to his thousands of Twitter followers in one of my prouder internet moments.

In short, it's a webcomic.
posted by subdee at 7:10 PM on April 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Aha! I found the page where Andrew Hussie explains Homestuck, for Kickstarter:

I have all next week off for Spring Break, maybe I'll reread from page 1. It's probably better the second time through.
posted by subdee at 7:58 PM on April 17, 2019


As someone who struggles with names myself, one thing that I found helpful is that each kid types in their own distinctive color. When the story suddenly dumps 12 more characters on you, not only are they still each given their own colors to type in, they also each have their own distinct variation on 1337speek typing: The gray one uses ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME, the teal one r3pl4c3s 1nst4nc3s of the l3tt3rs "A" w1th "4", "I" w1th "1" 4nd "E" with "3", the jade one Capitalizes The First Letter Of Each Of Her Words, the purple one aLtErNaTeS CaPiToL AnD LoWeRcAsE LeTtErS, and so on.

While it makes it harder to read the wall-of-text dialogue blocks the comic throws at you, it also establishes a distinct voice for each character right off the bat. Critics would say a better writer could do that without resorting to a gimmicky shortcut, and they would be right. But by the time you get to that batch of 12 new characters, that is not the only shortcut the author is using. Because he's telling the same story he told in the first 4 acts, only in a new context with new characters, he cuts corners all over the place to get to the point of act 5, highlighting the differences between the two batches of kids.
posted by radwolf76 at 10:56 AM on April 18, 2019

It's updated!! With choices!!
posted by divabat at 3:49 PM on April 20, 2019

Yes. The update. Umm... this is going to take time to process.
posted by radwolf76 at 9:49 PM on April 20, 2019

I read the update over the course of four hours and really enjoyed it with one or two caveats. Then I made the mistake of reading the comments elsewhere on the internet (begins with an r) where there are a heavily vocal minority who are very upset. Annoying.
posted by one for the books at 12:03 AM on April 21, 2019

Yeah, I felt that people who were invested in the story in terms of "these characters need to have satisfying arcs" would be disappointed, even though that's the very thing Hussie was trying to deconstruct.

Homestuck is a story about story, and the Epilogue pretty much was an attempt at making that clearer. It is total batshit. But possibly that's the point.

Makes me think about J.K. Rowling's latest pronouncements that have led to people wanting her to shut up.
posted by divabat at 3:12 AM on April 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

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