You’ve probably seen one, without realizing it.
Without the garb of their people, which is to say brightly-colored pajamas or gray skin paint with black wigs and candy corn-colored horns, they look like your average citizen.
But anyone who has heard the phrase “let me tell you about Homestuck” knows better. They aren’t normal, not even by geek standards. These people are Homestucks.
So just what does “Homestuck” mean? Simple: it’s the (not very clever) nickname for a person who reads the webcomic Homestuck. As Trekkie is to Star Trek, Homestuck is to, well, Homestuck — a webcomic written and illustrated by Andrew Hussie, available to read for free on mspaintadventures.com. The comic began in 2009, updating a few pages at a time on a near-daily basis, and continues today with a projected end date of late 2013.
Due to its frequent updates, Homestuck is over 7,000 pages long, making it one of the largest literary works in the English language. Not only is it ridiculously long, it is frequently difficult to understand due to its out-of-order story-telling and time-jumping shenanigans.
Homestuck is unlike any webcomic you’ve read before. The format mocks old-school text-based adventure games, pretending to allow readers to input names and commands for the characters in the story. Also unlike most webcomics, which use multiple panels per page and speech bubbles for text, pages consist of a single image, with any dialog or narration occurring below the panel. Scattered throughout Homestuck are occasional Flash animations and even interactive games, complete with original music from its nine soundtracks.
So why are Homestucks scary? It’s probably their sheer numbers. Attend any anime, cartoon or gaming convention and there are bound to be hoards of Homestucks there, swarming around like colorful zombies. Since the webcomic is so unique in its format, Homestucks can attend any convention they feel is appropriate — which tends to be all of them.
Their activity on the internet shows a similar trend: it is difficult to avoid references to Homestuck on blogging sites, and hundreds of new works of fanart are uploaded to the internet every week.
Maybe their oddities make you uncomfortable — these people are far too old to be reading comics, to be playing dress-up, to be geeks! Everyone knows you are expected to eliminate anything unusual from your life by the time you are eighteen, lest you be driven from your home by an angry mob of “normal people.”
But should you be afraid of Homestucks? Sure there are a lot of them, and they’re a little bit strange, but unless you’re afraid of people that like to dress up in funny costumes and try and explain why they do what they do, probably not.
Every group of fans has its crazies, but they’re generally decent people. They might be a little obsessed, but you probably have to be to stick around for 7,000 pages.
— Devan Scalise is a sophomore from Richmond Hill majoring in pre-journalism