If there ever was an overly long webcomic series with an actual coherent storyline told in an absurdly convoluted way it’s got to be Homestuck.
It took a while for me to get any real enjoyment out of this webcomic. I think the first moment where I caught myself liking what was happening in terms of developments was when John went into his dads room only to discover… well… the absolute horrors within, causing a mental breakdown as he realized the image he had of his father was completely false.
That was just the first of many instances of actual character development and surprising amount of depth to this whole mess of a story. Yes, there were hints at more situations like that just before, but I didn’t pick most of them up, and the ones I did I discarded as accidental.
Now I know better. Nothing about MSPaint adventures is accidental. With the amount of references, ongoing jokes, brick jokes, foreshadowing, and just sheer amount of subtle and not-so-subtle setting up, it’s becoming more and more obvious how much of this was planned and intended.
For a webcomic, this is pretty much mindblowing. Especially for one that is breaking every single rule you can think of in terms of webcomics. It’s full of animated gifs. Flash sections with gameplay. Flash animations. Heck, most of the information isn’t handled within the panels themselves, but through the chatlogs beneath them. This approach is both a strength and weakness for the series.
The first moment I could actually say I really liked what Homestuck was doing and felt like that just by reading it I was being part of something, was [S] Cascade (warning, MAJOR spoilers). Yeah, pretty late into the story I know. That’s the end of Act 5, and there’s a good 6.000 pages before you even get there.
If there’s one thing you can in no way attribute to Homestuck, it’s brevity.
At this point Homestuck’s not just crazy on the various media formats, but it’s started a whole paradoxial reboot of the entire universe that’s directly in contact with the previous universe and in some way always has had contact with it. If that sounds confusing, don’t worry. There’s only 2 seperate galaxies that have been resetted entirely, giving us 4 entire realities that are interacting with one another through time shenanigans. If you want confusion, just think of the implications of the order in which they both rebooted in and how interacting they’re interacting with one another despite of it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not a major advocate of Homestuck. I don’t really care for the vast majority of the characters, and the troll’s quirks still massively annoy me whenever I had to sit through another lengthy chatlog of theirs. I’m also not sure if I can appreciate the idea of resetting an entire universe so they can try again in a story that’s mostly about growing up and (to a certain extent) exploring your sexual identity. However, I can absolutely appreciate what Andrew Hussie is piecing together with this.
Expect a review on Guerrilla Geek in a couple of weeks when I’ve sorted out my thoughts and opinions. Hopefully by then the post-scratch kids have developed enough to help me make up my mind.