Homestuck was the "internet's first masterpiece"

I tried to read this comic many times over the years & never got into it, so I guess I’m glad it’s so “over” now that I’m off the hook for trying yet again.

In order to make a positive contribution to this topic, here’s some internet comics I like & follow:

  • Rice Boy, Vattu
  • Gunnerkrigg Court
  • Strong Female Protagonist
  • O Human Star

I’d actually put Evan Dahm’s work as the first internet comics that I fell in love with. Rice Boy is an amazing, surreal adventure, and Vattu is one of the most ambitious works I’ve seen.


I guess Nimona was kind of like that; running jokes on the forums sometimes made it into the comic. And I don’t know whether Noelle Stevenson had intended it from the beginning or not, but the overwhelming commentariat support for the ship of the two male main characters leaked into it as well.


I suspect it may be possible to have cliffnotes that sideload relevant content, threads or summaries of what people were discussing or making that is pertinent to a given moment in the story. I can think of a couple of neat ways to do it but would be a ton of work, not sure there’d be much pay off to it but i would be really interested in seeing something like done not just for Homestuck.
Something like it kind of does exist, but i’m thinking of something more dynamic beyond just wiki entries.


I’ve thought on similar lines: some kind of annotated Homestuck would be fantastic, but the implementation would be a nightmare.

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So I’m never going to figure out what half the cosplays at my local convention mean.


I think they get it. They just don’t like it. “Pretentious” means “this bores me” with a soupcon of “how dare they.”


If the annotation process were carried out by the original author or even devoted, likeminded fans, it sounds like it would just add an additional layer of impenetrability. Like a wiki for Tristram Shandy or Infinite Jest…

I was thinking more of a Warhol convention, myself


You don’t care enough to educate yourself, but snark when persons try to explain the concept.

You need to work on your own pretentiousness.

To give my experience: I liked some of the earlier work. i gave up quickly with Homestuck because I ran out of time, far denser than say Dave Sim’s weird worldbuilding work. It required a dedication I do not possess from outside.

That does not make it pretentious though.


It must also be for “hipsters”, I’m sure.

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It may not be the same sprawling narrative, but I almost have the same sentiment about the old days of Homestar Runner.


Thank you @rosyatrandom and @beschizza for explaining what was special about homestuck!

I actually kind of appreciate @KillGore1’s intransigent dismissiveness, too, because I feel like it drove @rosyatrandom to make a series of posts that have concisely encapsulated what s/he liked about the “feel” of homestuck… without me having to read a lengthy article. I’m lazy, so that works for me.

I’m sorry I missed Homestuck now. (But Dresden Codak is still the best current Internet art.)


My daughter was intensely interested in it so I caught a glimpse of it in that way.

My younger brother was super into it and tried getting me involved but it seemed like it was too far along so jumping in seemed like too much work. However i’m passingly familiar with some concepts and characters.


Was the subculture around Homestuck something qualitatively different to other web-based fandoms?

I mean, there are a load of other things that seem to exude the same sort of vibe, from the other webcomics where the author hangs out in the forum, to the cartoon fandoms that transcend and transform the series, to the blogs whose comment sections are a vital part of “getting” the whole experience (self-aware aside glance at the fourth wall).

Isn’t this just another case of “the interaction is the experience”, which is very internetty.


From what i understand it was the sheer number of people involved. I’ve also seen fan creations span a pretty wide variety of mediums from cosplay, to music, animation, etc. Generally you only see this for bigger well established properties not webcomics.

I’d been contemplating what made me drop off Homestuck after a while, and this hits the nail on the head. The thickness of the referential loops got too much for me to push through. Of course, I didn’t get involved with the community, so maybe I was missing stuff anyway.

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I have an autographed Problem Sleuth print on my wall, but Homestuck is something I stuck with only because it became one of those things that I’d gotten too far into and that I needed to see how it ended. I still have no clear idea exactly what was going on one-third of the time and I doubt there are any answers forthcoming (though I expect there most certainly will be an epilogue that will only create more questions).

There are times where it seemed very much like Hussie was quite literally banging his fingers on the keyboard and laughing at what came out. I think the high point might have been his tale of the bizarre alternate future where the Insane Clown Posse becomes presidents of the USA; it all seems so eerily prescient now.

TT: People were less prepared for a double juggalo presidency than they ever imagined.
TT: I’m not even going to get into all the horrifying details. Trust me, you just start to feel dirty reading about it.
TT: From the moment Fieri held up the bible to swear them in, and the three of them proceeded to publically defecate on it while freestyling rap lyrics…
TT: That was it. Everyone in the world watching it on TV just said, “Welp. Show’s over. Civilization was pretty cool while it lasted.”

[quote=“Phrenological, post:29, topic:89914”]i gave up quickly with Homestuck because I ran out of time, far denser than say Dave Sim’s weird worldbuilding work.[/quote]I never read Dave Sim, but what I know of Cerebus led me to think that Homestuck was not entirely dissimilar in the sense that it felt like the product of an author who had become slightly unhinged and/or drunk with power.

[quote=“Medievalist, post:32, topic:89914”](But Dresden Codak is still the best current Internet art.)
[/quote]I tried reading Dresden Codak. The one-offs are quite brilliant, but much of the rest of the content appears to be flagrantly self-indulgent, pretentious, and incomprehensible. Homestuck at least felt like something that was playing to some kind of community, but I can’t see how Dresden Codak is supposed to work outside of the author’s own mind.


The Department of Opposition has noted your position, and wishes to offer you a license. You will need to verify that you are not, in fact, an atomic-powered recreational vehicle. Should this offer be approved by the Department of Congruity, it will be rescinded by the Institute of Antagonistic Philosophies with extreme prejudice.

In Homestuck’s case the participation became a finely tuned feedback loop, somewhat qualitatively different than drunk with power. I feel like I’m definitely dancing around it even as I attempt to talk about it.