Several Krypton Radio staffers attended Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo this weekend, and we noted a large number of people with gray skin, and neon-colored horns on their heads among the crowd, mostly teenagers. It was Charles Raven, Krypton Radio talent scout and the youngest on our team who was able to identify exactly what these were – they were fans of a remarkable web comic called Homestuck.
Homestuck is an interactive fiction webcomic created by artist Andrew Hussie. Its narrative makes fun of badly written adventure games (and as we know, there are so many). It’s the fourth comic series to be published on the website MS Paint Adventures, and it’s arguably the most popular. Other artists and writers have collaborated on this massive effort, which now has more than seven thousand pages, which may make it the largest work of its kind ever done. Many call it “The Ulysses of the Internet” for that reason.
Homestuck is a curiosity, because it didn’t come from a book, a movie, a television series or any other form of traditional media. It just grew out of one person’s imagination on the internet, and has no deeper history than that. And yet, the depth and breadth of the Homestuck fan base is amazing. In the way of many things on the internet it has become a barely controlled meme, spawning parallel cooperatively themed creative efforts including several soundtrack albums, a faux anime series based on it which was highly documented but never actually existed, and a Homestuck adventure game project on Kickstarter on September 4 that has raised $1.2M so far, with 18 days to go. The original goal was $700,000. It raised over $275,000 in mere hours on the first day of the campaign. That number continues to rise by thousands of dollars every day.
Critics are befuddled by the popularity of Homestuck, sometimes likening the discovery of a Homestuck enclave on the ‘net as being similar to “suddenly realizing you’re walking in a bad neighborhood”. The Homestuck Kickstarter campaign doesn’t even have a pitch, particularly – just that the game to be made will be loosely based on the original creative work. They obviously don’t need luck with the fundraising. It will be interesting to see what kind of game comes out of this.
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