Thursday, March 10, 2011

Off Topic Thursday: Homestuck

Another thursday, another OTT, huh? I'm a little bothered that I didn't actually get in any on topic posts in between, but I just can't stop writing that Black Swan post I'm working on, so... look forward to that, I guess. The topic today is a webcomic, but just not any webcomic. Hoh no, we're talking about Homestuck, a series that is odd and unusual series, but it's not all that easy to put across why it's so different, so if it sounds standard, rest assured that I'm telling it wrong.

Homestuck is the story of four young people, John, Jade, Rose and Dave, all thirteen years old, when they install a computer game capable of manipulating each other's enviroments, these kids find themselves thrown into a quest to save the world from imminent destruction, although it rapidly becomes obvious earth is pretty much fucked as it's pummeled by coments right out of the blue, spreading the four friends and their guardians over strange worlds where they have to face challenges of many sorts, all the while being pestered by a strange group identifying themselves as trolls, alien trolls as a matter of fact. When I say there's more to the story than that, that's a considerable understatement, because there's more twists, turns and reveals in this thing than you can shake a stickkind at. I won't get into that, though, this plotline has to be seen to be believed.

This webcomic is unique in many respects. For one, large parts of how the story goes is determined by the readers, and for another, it updates often, about 5.5 one-panel updates per day, if my sources are correct. Now, that's... a lot of updates, and paired with a lot of the updates being followed by lengthy chat logs, which is the series only dialog... well, let's just say I'm not optimistic to reach the newest update before the whole thing is completed, and heavens knows when that will be.

That's another thing, though, me and Homestuck have kind of a rocky relationship. I dive into this whole thing, reading I don't even know how many pages until the story reaches some sort of lull and I think to myself "ok, this thing officially lost me... again" then a while passes and suddenly the thought strikes me "Oh hey, I should read more Homestuck, that was a fun series." Coupled with the series' tendency to have eye-wideningly awesome final updates before an "Act" is over, before having a long, considerably less interesting story arc that takes at least a good threescore updates to get back to why this is relevant to the main plot, or at least it feels that way. An especially annoying part was when we learned more about these Trolls. Some of them were interesting characters, hell, some of them were even sympathetic, and I'd never thought one of my favorite characters in the whole thing would be an ICP fan in everything but name, but my GOD, the thing dragged on, and spent way longer time describing the mechanisms and pitfalls of Troll romance than anything actually plot-related, and that was a definitive "Ok, this is stupid, do something else now"-moment. Still, the thing tends to recover, usually with a super-nifty epic animation with awesome music, so I can't quite find it in my heart to dislike the thing.

All in all, though, I recommend Homestuck. You need to know roughly what you're going to, without being spoiled too bad, but it's a good read, well, at least as far as I've read.

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