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Reviews Comments: Homestuck: Long and unique... Perhaps too much so. Homestuck fanfic review by Scardoll

I love Homestuck. I started Andrew Hussie's work with the stellar Problem Sleuth, and I knew his next comic would be great. Homestuck is great. The panels get more and more complex, culminating in gorgeous videos with sound. The characters are all quirky, and most have very recognizable voices. The comic is mostly humorous, but as time has gone on it's also become quite a bit more dramatic.

Unfortunately, Homestuck's length is also its greatest weakness.

The problem with Homestuck for me is that when the cast expanded at the beginning of Act 5, the story lost momentum. While it regained that momentum in some places (Especially the beginning of Act 5, Part 2), we're still spending massive amounts of time on an asteroid watching a bunch of quirky troll characters dicking around and occasionally killing each other. Unfortunately, my only desire is that they kill each other faster, because there lies the crucial problem: If you don't like the trolls, you won't like Homestuck as it is now. And if you are just trying to wait it out, well, tough titty, the trolls are here to stay for another God-knows-how-many thousand chapters. At the same time, we get mountains of injokes and references, at which point I've just become rather jaded.

I love Homestuck, but I don't like Homstuck right now, and every time I try to take a break, when I come back, I'll either be completely enamored with the comic or just bored by it. It's weird, because there's plenty of things to like; the plot is advancing at a lightning pace whenever we focus on the kids and Exiles, the dialogue is funnier than ever, the drawing is better, and Hussie is adding more and more interesting tidbits that will definitely be brought up again in the future. I just think it's gotten too big, especially when Hussie brings in troll ancestor characters who begin having their own stories too.

I don't expect the comic to bend over; Hussie will never relent his creativity to audience reactions, and I love that. However, be warned about two things before trying Homestuck: It is long, and it will change. The characters you like might die; the ones you don't might continue to annoy you until the comic ends. It's all part of Homestuck's charm and malice.


  • JackAlsworth
  • 29th Apr 11
I think you just put into words everything I both like and hate about Homestuck. Kudos to you, sir (or ma'am).
  • ArtisticPlatypus
  • 30th Apr 11
I, too, agree. A while into the story, I realized that I either had to read through all the troll chat conversations, which felt more tha a chore than entertainment, or just look at the pictures and have no idea what was going on. I quit reading, and most likely won't go back. That's sad, as I'm sure the comic is still really good. I thoroughly enjoyed problem sleuth, and the chunk of Homestuck that I read had a few really good ideas.
  • Scardoll
  • 25th May 11
Dear Hussie,

Thank you for telling us that "The duel ends. The Seer dies. The Slayer departs. The Heir comes back to life." I really like reading comics that give important details offscreen ahead of time. Why would we ever want to see something like that happen? We obviously need more panels involving stairs, because that joke never gets old after the fiftieth time.

Fuck that. I'm outta here. Time to read a comic that doesn't suck.
  • Deadpoolrocks
  • 31st May 11
Dude, chill. He was just trying to get the obvious out of the way and move things along for the Eo A Flash and to do that he needs to give the cliff notes version of things not that important in the long run.I mean really all of it sucks because of 1 update? I think you need to take some time and think it over.
  • Scardoll
  • 1st Jun 11
I mean really all of it sucks because of 1 update?

No, it all sucks because that panel finally made me realize what my problem with Homestuck is.

The plot is so self-satisfied, with its fourth wall breaks and in-jokes, that it's become distracting. The comic is complex, but it is also obsessed with its own complexity. It's equivalent to watching Hussie masturbate; while he certainly enjoys playing with himself, I just feel sick and want to look away. Hussie's characters aren't characters, they're puppets for his bullshit.

I'm sick of Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff jokes outside of Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff. I'm sick of boring trolls talking in page long walls of text. I'm sick of anticlimaxes. I'm sick of deaths that are neither funny nor dramatic, but fall in a sort of "meh" territory. I'm sick of "trolling" being an excuse for every piece of self-satisfied, pretentious bullshit on the planet.

So no, I'm not going to "think it over." Homestuck managed to alienate this fan. Good riddance, yah pile o' shit.
  • Shortcake
  • 2nd Jun 11
I understand that it doesn't appeal to you, but that doesn't mean it's a pile of shit that nobody can ever like. I still enjoy reading it and anticipate new updates, and your strongly-worded comments here are offending me a little.
  • ChaoticTrilby
  • 3rd Jun 11
I guess I just like stories like this one - as complex and as huge as the universe. Because, to me, the universe really is its own collection of stories - all of which I'd like to hear. Homestuck appeals to me BECAUSE of its unbelievably long, unique, plot. It also probably helps that I loved Homestuck's inspiration - Earthbound. While I do not appreciate the Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff jokes (having never actually read that crappy mini-comic myself,) I am willing to overlook those jokes for the greater storyline. I don't really mind fourth-wall breaks at all. I think they enhance the type of meta story this is. Really, I see this story as having no Fourth Wall at all considering how Doc Scratch talks to us as if we are merely sitting in the Veil and listening to him through a television set. I have no problem with that, but maybe that's just me. Can't say I like Andrew's self-inserts though. It was funny the first couple of times, and now it's not. :P Meh.

Also, I am very annoyed, Scardoll, that you just said that "Hussie's characters aren't characters." As a writer myself, I have to say that they are in fact characters. Each is fleshed out with his or her own personality. And what you interpret as their being "puppets for his bullshit" I see as being "devices for his plot." Whether or not you like them, well, that does not change the fact that they are characters. Silly characters maybe, but I'm silly too. When it comes to the kids, I can see some of my friends in their personas. I can even see myself in Jade. As for the trolls, I like to think of them as satire for the less savory aspects of humanity. The Exiles are just fun, and part of the infinitely expanding geodesic cast.

The pages of long text are also fine for me, since I read chat logs as dialogue and I like dialogue quite a bit. I have also gotten used to the trolls and their long pages of text by reading it out loud in a highly dramatic fashion. It helps, especially when reading Eridan's double-"W"s and "VVERY"s, which is vvery fun actually.

However, I have to agree with you very strongly on the level of anti-climaxes in this story. I first came to this realization when Eridan, Vriska, and Gamzee had their presumably epic battle killed before its beginning by God Mode Kanaya. As a Virgo, I was proud of my patron troll. As a writer, I was screaming to the Heavens. For goodness' sake, couldn't she have showed up a while AFTER the battle had started - if she had to show up AT ALL? And then that was when I realized - John's failed fight with his denizen? Never seen. The trolls' fight against the King? Nope. Never shown. Only described by a song in the album, and in vague snippets. Jack, Davesprite, and Bro's battle? Decent, but turned into a Curbstomp Battle. Rose's fight with Jack? Nice, but piecemeal and it ended anti-climactically. Almost every other battle? CURB STOMP. This is getting frustrating. If there are going to be battles, they should be done well. Vriska is about to fight Jack at this point in the comic. If this next battle is not done well, or turns out to be another anti-climax, I may have a temporary ragequit.

So, translated, all of the above means that we are on the same page when it comes to anti-climaxes and I felt like venting/concurring about this.

Now, as for the deaths, I would have agreed with you a hundred updates ago or so. But now, really, Death is Cheap. I think that, if the deaths WERE dramatic, it would become silly considering the way Hussie's universe is set up. And a lot of people actually thought Eridan's death WAS funny, but then YMMV.

Maybe it's because I avoid the fora of MSPA (with the exception of quickly popping in to see how people are reacting to some Wham Episode or another,) but where do you get the idea that Homestuck is pretentious? I just don't see it, but then I guess there could be something I'm missing.

In any case, I understand where you're coming from, but I do think you're being a little harsh in the second comment on your review. I'm pretty sure that this is a story - not just a masturbation for its author - for the most part, even with the annoying in-jokes and S Ba HJ references. So, I'm sticking with it till the end.

I'm also looking forward to Hussie's next project, and hoping that it will be an improvement. Since you say you liked Problem Sleuth, I hope you'll give what's next a chance too. :)
  • Scardoll
  • 7th Jun 11
I'm sorry about my tone in the previous comments. A lot of my words were pretty damn harsh, but I meant them. However, I meant no offense to Homestuck's readers, and while I still am not coming back to the comic, I hope that you all continue to enjoy it.

Thanks for being understanding.
  • Mcsnickatozu
  • 7th Aug 11
lol scar ur full of shit
  • ryu238
  • 7th Dec 11
How did you feel about the pacing once doc scratch too over the narration? Also Scardoll, I think Hussie is aware that the self-inserts are pretentious, in fact he lampshades it several times.
  • kay4today
  • 8th Dec 11
Because lampshading automatically makes everything okay and funny.
  • ryu238
  • 8th Dec 11
Well no, but at least he's aware, so that's saying something right?
  • kay4today
  • 8th Dec 11
If he's not doing anything against it, then no. :P
  • Kastorr
  • 13th Dec 11
Lampshading something helps, and aids the reader in keeping it essentially separate from the the basic concept. It allows for a lot of self-aware jokes, without actually interfering with the plot in a meaningful way. Hussie likes to remind you that you're reading/playing/watching a story, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Lampshade hanging doesn't excuse any and all potentially bad devices, but it can make them more entertaining.

To Scardoll: The fact that you find it necessary to publicly announce that you're "Quitting" something indicates that you let it get to you a little too much. Read something else, certainly, but do it quietly, without trying to tell everybody why they should too.
  • Scardoll
  • 13th Dec 11
To Scardoll: The fact that you find it necessary to publicly announce that you're "Quitting" something indicates that you let it get to you a little too much. Read something else, certainly, but do it quietly, without trying to tell everybody why they should too.
I love you too, sweetie.

It's a fucking review page, of course there are going to be opinions expressed. If you don't like negative opinions, you shouldn't have clicked on a review that obviously indicated such in its tile.
  • ryu238
  • 18th Dec 11
Er Scardoll, I think she means that it's okay to say if you don't like it and explain why, but don't do it in a way that makes people want to stop reading it or not even check it out at all.
  • eveil
  • 19th Dec 11
Er Scardoll, I think she means that it's okay to say if you don't like it and explain why, but don't do it in a way that makes people want to stop reading it or not even check it out at all.

Like he said, it's a fucking review page, not a fanboy orgy.
  • Nocturno
  • 10th Aug 12
I, for one, love Homestuck, but I kept away from it initially because of the fandom. People trying to ram it down my throat, the walls of text...

But then, ya know, I read it. And I loved it. This review pretty much the problems I had with it, and what I loved with it. I can understand why people hate it, and why they love it, and why they're wary of it because I'm not a completely rabid fan.

Oh, and, er, Scardoll, you're coming off just a bit rude. I know I may get a sarcastic 'you're dumb and why are you on this review you knew what was coming' comment, and I'm prepared, quite honestly. BLUH BLUH SCARDOLL HUGE BITCH BLUH BLUH

I kid. I kid. The meme was so tempting, I couldn't resist—!

So. yes. :l
  • EndlessSea
  • 16th Sep 12
Guys, guys. He's apologized already. I think we can move on.

...actually, considering that I'm posting over a month since the last comment, we probably have. derp :P
  • Starburstia
  • 10th Dec 12
Oh man, this explains exactly the problems I feel, except I never got tired of his bullshit. I loved this bullshit. but I can relate! /throws confetti

Well, except for the masturbation comment. I think he was genuinely trying to push the Doc Scratch insufferable narrative thing. But... the reason I read it in the first place was to see what he was going to do with his plot so... :? Welp you are tired of it! Take a break. what you need now is angeeer. (Not kidding) /sympathy waves
  • ChaoticTrilby
  • 19th Dec 12
...Okay, I gave up eventually - I'll admit it. I kept going and going, LOVED the "Cascade" animation, prepared myself to like the four new kids who showed up, looked forward to them getting to meet the main four we'd known for so long, and just kept going...and going...with little to no plot development.

I stopped. I just...stopped. Sue me. I got bored out of my mind and gave up. Doc Scratch, that Magnificent Bastard, was gone. Rose was mostly out of the picture. Jack was stuck in stale-mate after losing quite a bit of his character. Even MORE emphasis was put on romance than before. The "new" trolls just didn't impress me and I would have preferred it if they either didn't exist or didn't get any focus. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...

It got to the point where checking for updates felt like a chore. Despite loving the comic so much up to "Cascade" (and a little after that, really,) I couldn't do it anymore. It just became too bogged-down with unlikable characters and self-referencing to the point where I wanted to gouge my eyes out. In the end, I agree with Scardoll. The bullshit just became too painful. I could see why some fans still liked it, but I couldn't get through it anymore.

Maybe when it finally ends, I'll go back and read it in archive form. That might actually make it more bearable. As it were though, I'm done.

...Though I still listen to the music, I'll admit. Can't help it.
  • fighton25
  • 4th May 13
Scardoll pretty much described the problems of Homestuck perfectly. It is a story which has great potential, but half the time that potential is thrown down the drain in favor of META JOKES and TEEN ROMANCE. I basically had to stop reading the comic for a while because for an entire month, Hussie decided to dedicate the plot to Jake English and how everyone wants him. I know Hussie likes to develop his characters but I never thought we would spend this much time waiting for the meteor to arrive.

Reading the past reviews I see similar complaints as mine; too much time spent on unimportant details. I caught up with Homestuck right before Cascade so I didn't have many complaints with the troll arc, but now that I am a current reader I understand the pain these people speak of. I don't really care about the new kids (except Roxy), I don't care that Dirk has a gay crush on Jake, I don't care about Jake and his wacky guns. We had a perfect plot going on, the tension was high from Cascade, and then suddenly Hussie slams on the breaks just so we can focus on teens who want to date each other. Yes I get it, Crocker is quirky and likes pranks. What about Jack Noir, what about Lord English? Why are you spending so much time introducing several new main characters which I could care less about?

I was so excited to see what would happen when the kids arrive to the new session. So I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Now they have finally arrived and...oops guess we are going on a hiatus for an unspecified amount of months. When you are archive reading the plot seems intricate and intense and the dialogue can be hilarious; this all changes when you are a current reader. Suddenly the story is revealed in tiny bits and pieces every week and you just wish you had discovered this Webcomic once it had finished. Oh well, at least we are blessed with countless author inserts and even more meta jokes about how we are reading a webcomic! I am done waiting.

I have a feeling that this story will have a fantastic ending, the problem is that we won't be seeing that ending any time soon.
  • Scardoll
  • 21st Jun 13
The hiatus doesn't bother me that much; I realized that webcomics become a lot more fun to read when you don't continually wait for updates like a famished beggar waits for sandwiches. If Homestuck is going to take a break, the best option for me is to just take a break from Homestuck and enjoy other things.

Oh, and, er, Scardoll, you're coming off just a bit rude. I know I may get a sarcastic 'you're dumb and why are you on this review you knew what was coming' comment, and I'm prepared, quite honestly. BLUH BLUH SCARDOLL HUGE BITCH BLUH BLUH

You're right that I'm being rather rude and immature and overdramatic and my astrological sign is Scorpio, and I'm sorry about that. It's nothing personal to those I'm rude to.
  • Austin
  • 28th Jun 13
Looking at some of the entries in the YMMV section, it sounds like any time an aspect of the story is criticized, Hussie will claim it was intentional. Seems a little fishy to me.
  • lionday
  • 1st Feb 14
I actually say its kinda the opposite.

I read Homestuck on a binge and MAN was it hard to sit through. Especially when you get up to the trolls... I just wasn't going through it again. I had grown attached to the main 4 not these new trolls so... I skipped it. I skipped it all! Screw the trolls. Becuase of that their actions didn't make sense (if they made sense) so when one troll started killing of his teammates... I just couldn't take it anymore.

But what I will say is that I LOVE the mechanics of homestuck. I love the tiers, the combining of items the inventory management. I thought THAT was the strong suit of the comic and If they had just teamed up with the trolls and worked to take down Jack Noir (Actually a pretty awesome set up for a villain)I would have been fine with it. Sadly that's not what Homestuck is about its just a ploy...

Man someone should make an alternate Homestuck where it focused on that stuff instead of... weirdness.

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