4-13 came and went. Many people might not have thought that much about the day. It was national kissing day. It was a Friday the 13th. But for someone like me, there was another reason to celebrate that Friday, or at least pretend like it was an important day: Homestuck.
Let Me Tell You About Homestuck.
That phrase alone can strike fear into the hearts of some of the friends that I had back in high school. But for this blog post, I should tell you about Homestuck. I will try to stay away from spoiler territory, but it has been over for over a year, so there may be some things I mention that just…are in the webcomic. I will not apologize. But I also expect that those little pieces of information will be re-lost if you start reading the webcomic. It is massive.
So let’s start there. Let’s start with how massive Homestuck is. Homestuck has 8,126 pages, 14,915 panels with 817,929 words, and 166 [S] panels (which I will talk about later) with 4 hours of content across those panels.
That’s pretty massive. It’s not a small feat to write that or read that or study that. I have a lot of experience with the content because of various sources that made it more palatable to ingest (see the Colab recordings) before I got caught up and had to start reading it.
Homestuck is a webcomic, which means that it is multi-media. There are images and accompanying text. The [S] panels that I mentioned earlier are flash animations that were embedded into the website. Some of them were interactive and others weren’t. This means that that 4 hour estimate can easily be longer or shorter depending on how long you spend on those pages.
More so than just the time that the actual content takes to absorb and read, there is the factor of how long Homestuck ran for. The first pages came out on April 13th, 2009. The last pages (not including the epilogue) came out on April 13th, 2016.
While the 7 year run time of the comic doesn’t seem that impressive, it was an explosive time for the people that were involved in that fandom. Pages would come out with new characters and within hours of the page being live, there would be new cosplays made, perfect to go to a con the next day. People were creating fan art and writing novels as fan fiction.
People still are doing all that. The love of Homestuck hasn’t faded, even if it is much less obvious in the eyes of people that look at the internet, but every 4/13 you see it happen. Every 6/12. Every 10/25. It’s smaller and smaller groups, but there’s a lot of love for Homestuck. It was the epic story that defined a large part of our lives.
The Homestuck Effect
When I joined the fandom, I was in my senior year of high school. It was 2012-2013. I joined the fandom in what was definitely the last couple of years, but there was so much content that came out during that period of time. Major arcs started while I was up to date on the comic. I would sit with a friend and watch for updates that came at odd hours of the day.
But there is a thing that happened while I was reading it. At first, I was just interested in the weird characters and how they would interact with each other. Then I started getting invested in their lives and interactions. At some point, regardless of the ridiculously large cast, I was incredibly invested in the lives of all the characters. I was attached to them. And it just kept going. I was around for what was the Gigapause (a long period of time in which Andrew Hussie, Homestuck’s creator, was busy dealing with some other issues). I was around for the end of Homestuck.
There’s still an attachment there in my heart. I’m still constantly measuring what I’m doing based on what Homestuck managed to do.
Homestuck was such a cultural phenomenon, but there was something about it that kept my creative self-moving forward as quickly as possible.
But Homestuck isn’t the only story that has managed this in my heart. There was also the instance of the Adventure Zone. For the uninitiated, the Adventure Zone is a DnD podcast hosted by the same brothers that host the podcast My Brother, My Brother, and Me. The first arc of the podcast is roughly 70 episodes long and is called The Balance Arc. The journey that the three random adventurers go on begins in a place of silliness and ends in this beautiful place where I know I am concerned about them and the world that they are in. There’s so much there that I fell in love with.
And now that I’ve fallen in love with these stories, I strive to make that world for others as I sit down and write. This is a long and convoluted blog post, but so are these ridiculous stories that I love. Finding a way to bring that to life on paper is going to take work, but it’s something that I’m willing to chase.