|I enjoy reading and writing, and maybe one day I will publish my stories.|
The end of an era. It's an era I'll remember for the rest of my life. Let me set the records straight: I hated John's Retcon and most of what happened after the Retcon. But nothing will make me forget what the comic did for me, and how much it means to me. I mostly wrote this for myself, to document my time in the fandom.
I was introduced to Homestuck through a friend. It took them two tries to get me into it. I don’t remember why she sent me to MSPA the first time, but I remember being confused and quitting a few pages in. Months later, she drew a picture of Dave, and I thought it was Lucas from Mother 3. After being corrected, I asked why he had a sword; she sent me to the wiki page about imps, saying “to kill these guys.” Confused, but intrigued, I started reading it.
The last update had been "Caliborn: Enter." The number of pages was overwhelming, and Dirk was the first names I saw scrolling down (and though I didn't care for him while reading, he is now one of my favorites.) Going in all I knew was, there were "internet trolls" who helped a group of kids, and I had no idea what to expect. As I caught up, i kept glancing at the new updates as they came in. I saw John say Con Air sucked early, which made the journey even more confusing.
At that time, my mother and I lived in the back room of my grandmother's mobile home. We had a desktop computer in there; I would press the speaker against my ear and turn it down, so my mother couldn't hear. I didn't like using headphones for anything other than an MP3 at the time.
I will admit, I cheated. I looked at the wiki and saw all 12 trolls, and wrote down facts about them in a notebook. I probably still have that page lying around somewhere, though the notebook itself wore out years ago. It had their blood colors (and bad colored pencils trying to replicate the colors,) their troll tags, their ancestor names, a crude drawing of their symbol, their god-tier, their planet probably. I used it as a reference a lot when I caught up with the trolls. Cheater, cheater, cheater.
I didn't understand the comic when I first jumped on, but eventually I started seeing little references here and there in real life. Mailboxes, HAHAH. I called myself a Witch of Heart. When I was early in the process of reading Homestuck, not quite caught up yet, I tried to show the three [s] Dave: Strife pages [link] to my mother, and I got mad when she kept looking away. Her mattress was on the floor for some reason at that time, and we watched it while she was laying down. Don't even get me started on the intense feels I got as I got further in; I was one of those fans who thought Octopimp was the master of humor (and I even said he "ruled half the fandom" at one point, bleck . . .) But his videos were funny and I'd listen to them when my family was out. SeniorPacman was funny, too. I loved his ???stuck series. There were so many AUs that I started getting into. Fancystuck was about characters wearing fancy clothes. Demonstuck was about characters as demons. Kingdomstuck was about the characters as rulers of kingdoms.
I tried to share the whole thing with my mother, and we watched Let's Read Homestuck for a few years starting from when we lived in the back room with my grandmother through our mobile home nearby my grandmother's and finally into the travel trailer, up until Eridan killed Kanaya, where we stopped. (It was probably up to where Gamzee killed Equius and Nepeta, now that I think about it.) Bless that poor woman, she had to put up with a lot of shit from me once I found that comic; what was 15 and 16 year old me's thinking, trying to explain Homestuck time travel mechanics to her? Haha.
One of the first update I was there to witness was the Ministrife update. I remember it was late, and people were sad because it was meant to be uploaded on Halloween.
I also may have been there for the update when Jane yelled at Jake for forgetting her birthday; I remember feeling the poles shift for those characters. Before, Jane was hated for being a copy of John, and Jake had been the fandom's darling; but then after this update, I couldn't scroll two screens without seeing Jake's face and the "YOU'RE THE JERK JERK JERK OF THE WEEK" or the "YOU'RE A JERK" song.
The one update I was DEFINITELY able to witness was when the Condesce sprung the Times Two Trap Combo, because we were moving internet, and we'd gone to my grandfather's motor home where he had internet where I rushed to read that update.
The first thing I saw of Tumblr was one of Octopimp's friend's blogs, which I lurked on, not understanding Tumblr. In October of 2012, I started lurking the REST of Tumblr. I finally joined in 2013, and Tumblr is now my main base of operations. My blog was once dedicated to the comic, with sporadic other things (mostly Earthbound) reblogged here and there, but now it's anything and everything I want it to be. Currently, the blog is mostly for the Yogscast, Steven Universe, Undertale, Gravity Falls (also R.I.P.), etc. It is an archive, because I tag everything that I post there, to be found later. I started a "purging" a while back, where I went through the thousands of pages of the ancient side of my blog and deleted old shit (like my embarrassing radical feminist phase) and also tagged everything that I hadn't tagged when I started. There was a LOT of untagged Homestuck, since it was the blog's original theme. I'm still not close to done. I don't know if I ever will be done with the purging.
I made so many good friends because of Homestuck, not only friends who were INTO Homestuck, but because Homestuck made me join Tumblr where I met people in other fandoms I would eventually join and participate in, I didn't just make friends, either. Thanks to the wonderful flash animations, I still listen to tracks like Cascade, Explore, Descend, Terezi Owns, and dozens and dozens of others to this day, and I still recount the flash animation that went along with them. I also found so many amazing non-Homestuck songs because of it (I Will Wait, Volatile Times, Warriors, I Can't Decide, dozens and dozens of lyricstucks, more than I can possibly count.) I wanted to be an lyricstuck author; I called them musical comics. I never made a single one. But I still want to make them, though it just doesn't FEEL RIGHT when I see other people do musical comics for fandoms that aren't Homestuck.
It's also fitting that one of the great Homestuck musicians, Toby Radiation Fox, went on to create Undertale, a brilliant game with music that's just as memorable.
I became invested in the lives of the characters, wishing for their safety even in death, especially the trolls, who were my favorites. Their violent culture, their blood color castes and weird romance systems, those stuck with me and had me applying their logic to other fandoms. When I first jumped on board I was a massive Astro Boy fangirl, and had been for years, so (snerk) I used to pretend Astro Boy characters were in Alternian situations. Uh, not just Astro Boy, even. Probably every fandom I've ever been in got this treatment, even if it was just applying rainbow-colored castes to Steven Universe Gems. This has never left me; even now when I need to assign colors or "ranks" to people in my stories, I'll think in the hemospectrum. Whenever I see a Zodiac meme, I think about the corresponding trolls. And the trolls, my god. Sometimes I forget, but I'm still so concerned with their safety. Sometimes I apply pale, ashen, and caliginous romance logic to characters with no ability to feel these romances. Sometimes I'll see the cherub race in place of "demons" in certain things.
Don’t even get me started on my love for ancestors . . . or the desire to learn more about adult Alternian culture . . . Wanting to learn about how the politics around the hemospectrum work, from seadwellers down to landdwellers, caste to caste.
Besides the trolls there was the game mechanics; we still don’t fully understand classpects, and people are still theorizing about that.
Yeah, it was great.
I had a lot of adventures involving it, too.
In 2013, I tried to make a Homestuck fanventure called Boundstuck, where the EARTHBOUND characters were playing SBURB. Boundstuck didn't work out, but because of it, I met one of my best friends now, JoJo. Two years later, I tried to make another Homestuck fanventure, Hivebreak, which was short lived. But I people were nice enough to read it, and even said nice things about it (my favorite compliment was from a Reddit user. Hivebreak began in the midst of the last hiatus, and this person compared Homestuck to a drug addiction, and Hivebreak to a dirty, used needle that might be filled with some scraps of heroin. I loved it.) While Hivebreak was short lived, I loved the story, and sadly I think it may be the last Homestuck fanventure or project I will be involved in. Not that I'd never make fanart or anything, just the last BIG project I try to take on. Gotta branch out and take care of my OWN stories, not make fanfics, ya knoooow?
(Oh yeah, I also joined Reddit because of Homestuck, surprisingly. My hype had died down, but when Hivebreak began a Reddit user asked if they could post it on Reddit, so I allowed it. Shortly after I joined to kind of watch my adventure's growth. Nowadays, only 6 months after joining in fact, I'm now involved in a few writing circles and fandoms down that way.)
In 2013, my best friend and I started using Homestuck's chat client Pesterchum to talk, and we talked for years. Just this year, we had to switch to Skype, since Pesterchum gave out on me. But we are happy. She DOESN'T like Homestuck, so how she put up with my trash ass for so long I'll never know. <3 .
For Christmas 2012, my mother bought me cosplay gear that I never used. I used facepaint that was too dark once and never did it again. I made troll horns with crayola model magic, but they sucked and I threw them out eventually. She also bought me Homestuck Zodiac symbols, which I never stuck to anything. I didn't recognize Equius's sign at first, and to this day I'm ashamed, because he is my patron troll by birth month and by guide. (Oh god I just referred to him as my patron troll, that was a thing people did too!)
There was a Homestuck roleplaying site called Cherubplay that I joined, which was nice for a while. I only have one roleplay going there, now, though, and I'm (badly!) playing as Dirk with a fantastic Karkat. I was on this site for so long. I remember wanting to turn 18 so I wouldn't have to worry about playing with adults, (even though I never played NSFW, a lot of older fans were weirded out by playing with kids) -- now that I'm 19, I'M the one who gets a bit worried about roleplaying with kids! Haha. Or I would if I used Cherubplay more than I do. I never did like MSPARP much, the other roleplaying site. There was a rule to NEVER go into these sites' tags (Cherubplay especially) on Tumblr, because the users were often brats and liked to play the "UGH this is so OFFENSIVE let me explain WHY you're LITERALLY HURTING ME PERSONALLY you MONSTER" game every five minutes, but I went anyway.
I was never able to go to any cons, and still haven't gone to any, but it looked fun, from what people posted onto youtube. The fact that photoshoots could have hundreds of Homestuck cosplayers, or the fact that most cons had to change their policy about skin paint, was amazing.
One time as we were in the car, I made my mother listen to "Time on my Side," and then watch [s] Prince of Heart: Rise Up. She said it was hard to follow. I also made her watch [s] Caliborn: Enter, which she said was gross after Caliborn pulled his leg off.
The character shipping was fucking insane. People shipped EVERYONE with EVERYONE. Crack ships (also called rarepairs) were common! I shipped Kurloz<>Roxy and Roxy<3Aradia as my rarepairs. I know there was a bucketload of porn, as well, but I stayed away from that. Other than rarepairs, I shipped JohnRose for a long time; I never did go for Rosemary. But after a while, Johnroxy won over my heart. DaveJade was, and will forever be, my darling ship. Arasol; Karezi; Tavrisk (for a while but then I stopped when Tavros flipped her off and left); JaneJake and DirkRoxy (DirkJake was shown to be toxic so I never went for it) and that's all I can remember at this time. But, there were many flame wars over who was able to ship what; those were bad times.
There was a time, after every update, you could almost predict the exact moment when people would post "You're the jerk jerk jerk of the week," Jontron's "AND I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU," and "MMM WHATCHA SAY" songs. Besides this, update art (panel redraws, and small comics scribbled together hours after the update) and update cosplay (putting together cosplays for new characters or outfits within hours of the update) were always amazing; people were so genuinely impressed by them.
Did I mention the cosplay? The cosplay was so, utterly, amazing.
The predictions and fan-theories for this comic were INSANE. People could theorize for pages and pages and PAGES, and they would almost never be right because anything could happen in canon. Anything. I’ve seen former Homestucks forget fan-theories can come true, such as in Steven Universe. I wasn’t around in Gravity Falls long enough to know if it was the same in Gravity Falls, but I’d assume so (R.I.P. Gravity Falls I hardly knew you.) Some people got incredibly aggressive with their theories, though, to the point they were assholes.
In 2013, fuck I can't even remember the year, Homestuck went on a hiatus for a while, and the fandom adopted OFF (the game) as its pet for the time. That was really neat, I miss OFF a lot. There were other pets adopted for that time too, like, Ava's Demon and Dangan Ronpa, and stuff. It was at this point I think the Superwholock war was heating up and people used Fandomstuck representations to show the war; basically, fandoms themselves turned into characters. Homestuck and Hetalia were called moirails and to this day it is sweet as hell. Fandomstuck will never feel old; I really miss that phenomenon. It spread to basically ANY fandom, but other fandoms outside of this small circle of Homestuck-OFF-Supernatural-Doctorwho-Sherlock-Hetalia didn't really get involved much at all.
And, ah . . . the fantrolls. They were beautiful. I had 24, exactly, and I wanted to make them into a third fanventure, but it never happened. I was going to absorb their characters and concepts to use in Hivebreak before Hivebreak went belly-up.
I never saw any fanbase break faster than when people came to hate Aranea for what she did in and around GAME OVER. But Aranea wasn't the first character to be hated; people constantly changed their opinions about characters, whether they hated them and thought they were toxic people, or loved them unconditionally; very few people wanted to admit the flaws of their babies. People would make post, after post, after POST trying to get through to people that the Homestuck kids were just that, KIDS, with childlike flaws. It rarely stuck. For instance, people couldn't agree whether John was an INCREDIBLY NICE PERSON or a COMPLETE ASSHOLE. People also always seemed to forget little details about the characters, but that's to be expected with fandom.
I loved . . . all of the characters. They were all my babies. Jane, who deserved so much; Dirk, who grew out of being a toxic person; Jake, who just wanted to go back to being a normal kid after learning being; Roxy, who fought for Earth and humanity since her birth; John, who grew from such a nerd into a HEROIC nerd; Rose, who realized what she had too late; Dave, who was abused by his brother and grew past that abuse; Jade, who gave a big FUCK YOU to Paradox Space by joining the final battle; Aradia, who LIVED; Tavros, who became confident on his own; Sollux, who is happy with Aradia now; Nepeta, who became one with Dave and is happy now; Kanaya, who learned to help herself; Terezi, who learned she didn't need to rely on others; Vriska, well, Vriska was a very complex character but honestly due to the retcon she hasn't learned anything; Equius, who was starting to unlearn Alternian culture; Eridan, who finally smiled with Shrek in the final battle against Lord English; Feferi, who wanted to be empress but never will now.
I named our cats after zodiac names! A few years ago we took in a cat that gave birth to kittens; we kept two girls and named them Aries and Virgo. Later we took in two other kittens, two boys named them Pisces and Leo, but eventually gave them to my grandmother. They still come up to us when we're outside. We currently have their sister, Dot, as our cat too. The cats all get along with our chihuahua Tinkerbell.
I owned the game Tomodachi Life, and filled it up with Homestuck miis once, all the players and their guardians (including the three
cherubs, sans lusii). I deleted all of them eventually.
I loved it when people used to put god tiers to characters in other fandoms. People made fansessions for pretty much anything.
There were fanventures I loved, too. Be The Sea Dweller Lowblood was amazing, and died too young; it was about the hemospectrum being flipped, with Karkat seen as a god and hating every second of it, and sea dwellers as the very lowest peasants. Karkat and Eridan develop romantic hate for each other. Heinousstuck was about people getting violently mutilated in order to gain immortality and also died too young.
There was uncomfortablestuck, where people made sprite edits to the characters to make them look uncomfortable. They could be something so innocent, like changing where the pixel on a character's eye-shine was. They could also be creepy, with characters made up of troll horns. I made an uncomfortablestuck post that got very popular, basically using default MSpaint colors in place of the characters' colors. I missed one of Karkat's eyes though, and never heard the end of it.
All these adventures lead to my life being a little bit happier while I could obsess over it.
Now, from Feb 2014 to now in early 2016, I've lived dirt poor in a travel trailer. I stayed invested in Homestuck through 2014, my enthusiasm slowly disappearing as the Retcon slowly sapped the story of what I'd invested in for years. [s] GAME OVER was probably the last moment I truly felt GREAT about Homestuck's current story. I barely thought about Homestuck through 2015 when the Retcon fully destroyed my investment, and I moved on to many other things, with the echo of the old comic living on in my heart (even going through a moment of nostalgia by taking on Hivebreak as a project, which was meant to have given old fans a journey on Alternia to get back to the comic's roots.) But no matter what I had still moved on.
But here I am, back again. To see what everything has been building up to.
On Tumblr, it was always a frantic dash whenever the comic updated, and it was fantastic. The same goes for today, the first day of Homestuck winding down to its close, which will be posted on April 13th. I felt like it was back in 2012 when every update spurred a little bit of joy inside of me. For better or for worse, Homestuck changed my life. It changed so many people's lives. People often tell stories like this one, and about how Homestuck fundamentally changed the art of storytelling and CONs, bringing back the second-person narrative, giving people a creative outlet.
Here's to a great incoming 4/13, everyone. Let's make it the best one yet, light it on fire and give it the inferno-flaming Viking funeral it deserves.