Yeah, I only recently discovered Homestuck, but made the bad choice of skimming through a lot of the pesterlogs. When I read it (over the course of 3 days up to the end of december) I had no idea what the fuck happened. Thanks, forum and wiki! I still reread parts and discover things I didn't see before.
(Also, I read all of Problem Sleuth in around 2 hours. Fun times.)
I have nothing interesting to say here. Move along, now.
It took me two or three days to read through acts 1-4. Then I got to act five, and I binged that all in one day. I finished Cascade at about three in the morning, and my brain deflated soon afterwards.
If it's not too late for me to bring back that discussion last page - no, sit the fuck down. Stop being rude and listen - I'd like to provide my own input.
It may just be that I'm talking about my own personal feelings, and it really *is* just shipping and drama, but I believe the reason people love the trolls is not so much because of their dramatic interactions, but the character styles themselves.
The thing about the trolls is that the way they're composed is noticeably different than the kids. The trolls' personalities are very electric and quirky. What with a guy who gets off on being ordered around and has super strength, a timid fellow who tries to build his self confidence and dreaming of beign Pupa Pan, a blind bounty hunter/prosecutor obsessed with the law and tasting colors; if you were asked to describe the schtick of any of the troll characters, I guarantee you anybody would be able to describe them in great detail just at the top of their head. If asked the same for the kids... Well, while their personalities have a humorous trait like the trolls, they're not as energetic or charismatic and thus may not be as easier to read.
The thing is, people love relatable characters. The trolls, being easy to identify with in their social habits and problems, establish a sort of bond with the reader. The readers begin to care about the trolls, or they may abhor them for what they are. The audience thus wants to see the troll's adventure and see him grow and learn to live with happiness and love, or they may want to see them die in a fire. Either way, the reader is enthralled by the personality of the troll. The kids from the beginning of the story, I admit to say, are not as interesting to some people because their elusive nature is hard to connect with. Sometimes they may not even like the kids for the right reasons. For instance, people who love Dave tend to just like him because he's the "cool" kid, ignoring the face behind the shades and his use of that behavior to veil his insecurities in the first place. I don't think there's any limitation to having the "worse" side of the fandom.
If you want to see how much Hussie's evolution of character development has changed, you need look no further than the scratch kids. You can easily tell how much they have evolved in comparison to the older kids. The thing about the older kids is that though they have their share of silly or ludicrous things, none of them stood out or felt "off the wall." In the new session everything feels much more alive. Their traits are very similar, but so much more active. Dirk is a cool dude, Jane is a geeky prankster girl, Roxy is a rich girl with a cat and has mom issues, Jake lives on an island by himself with technology, etc. However, then you take things like this into account: Dirk building robot rappers, Jane being the heiress to a corporate empire seeking world domination, Roxy being a 16 year-old drunkard who's mother is dead, and Jake having a faceoff with the numerous denizens of wildlife. You can tell there's a lot more going on with these characters than what would have happened with the old kids.
Hussie himself said Homestuck is a stepping stone to his next great story. He's learning and evolving his storytelling methods as he goes, and the changes of pace and characters are a sure sign of it. He can't go back to making the story as if he was doing Act 1 all over again, since that would be the equivalent of telling someone to draw as if they hadn't practiced the last 2 years. It's not just Hussie changing story pace. He himself is changing and learning.
Last edited by Rational Absurdity; 02-11-2012 at 01:51 PM.
Well then. I guess that settles it.
Not being sarcastic there, that's a really well thought-out post. Don't have much to respond to it.
Basically, treat me as you would Karkat and we shall rarely have a communication error.
Even then, and while I admit the trolls are interesting, I still believe that they got too much screen time and brought too much angst and drama with them. It's like how I will willingly admit that Catcher in the Rye is not a bad book, but there's no way in hell you can make me do anything but loathe it.
Last edited by Quirk; 02-11-2012 at 12:38 PM.
The one thing I'm just excited about is the direction the next story is gonna take. Problem Sleuth garnered a strong group of fans. Homestuck broke loose with being one of the most popular and easily one of the greatest webcomics out there. Can you imagine what will happen with his next project? Shits gonna go viral. I bet my lunchbox on it.
I'm more worried about the opposite... like, the next piece is going to his attempt at serious drama with only light jokes in it or something. About a middle aged man lost on a desert planet or something tense and boring like that. Or at least, something that'll kill off the heavy animu fanbase Homestuck got.
For better or worse.
Vriska managed to be very well drawn too, but served a specific story purpose that she a) provide some much needed tragedy to offset the comedy or abruptness in all other story deaths, and b) give John (Alpha John) experiences he needed to grow up a bit. Not just in her death, but in their conversations while she was still around. Without all that, he would be a much less sympathetic character, since before those conversations he mostly goofed off, did things he didn't understand, was a serious ass to his dad, and had the emotional depth of a tuna fish sandwich. When he listened, tried to understand, and came to grasp with all the alienness, it really turned me around on him. If you're looking for who the story's about, at least for now, it's John. It's him.
I am sometimes this guy:
Which is to say that I still don't really understand John, personally. Maybe I've just missed or misread things. But the idea that the trolls are just handmaidens to the development of John (and the other kids) doesn't feel right to me at all, not when John (and to some extent the other kids) still feel overly stoic automata to me. At least the trolls have, you know, issues.
I second this.
Some say they prefer the kids being a lot more subtle then these other characters. I am not one of them.
Subtle development is easily missed development, and very arguable development. We like to say that John has developed a ton from page 1 to now, but... well, you have to do a lot of reading between the lines to see it! Maybe we're looking for things that aren't there? It's not as cut and dry as, say, Vriska or Karkat's development.
The problem with un-subtle development in my eyes is that it can teeter near melodrama. Vriska leapt off that cliff a long time ago. Karkat managed to survive by being hilarious in everything he does.
The kids just seem distant to me. Dave and Jade less so, since they have their moments of weakness. Rose I'm not sure about. John, at this point, I do not understand. It's not even that he hasn't developed (though I'm not sure he has), but that he responds in basically the same way to every situation he is placed in, even as he gets placed in successively more and more extreme and trying situations. It's enough to make me invent silly hypotheses like "John doesn't fully realize that what's happened to him so far is more than just a game."
Is John a poorly written character? I don't know. But he is definitely not the most recognizably human thing that Homestuck has produced.