After thinking about it I’m convinced the real “Death” of Homestuck was not the ending or the epilogues or homestuck 2 but [s] Game Over.
Every single major issue with the IP occurred immediately following that.
Let’s take a look back:
-At the point of [s] Game Over, Homestuck is at a slog with constant hiatuses as the story progresses slower than ever
-If the story continued in this timeline, it could likely still be going TODAY because it was still setting up plot-lines and story arcs (some of which are still unresolved)
-Hussie was also simultaneously trying to make a video game, a video game that also had a turbulent development cycle. It’s my “hypothesis” that at this point Hussie understood that Homestuck needed to end. Soon. Thus, [s] Game Over
-Immediately after Game Over Homestuck undertook one of its biggest retcons in its entire history, years and years of character development and story was wiped away in only a few months. Major characters like Terezi and Vriska whose character arcs were a prominent part of the story up until now (Vriska’s death and redemption, Terezi coping with her decision leading to her healingher eyes) had their development wiped away. 0 Consequence for Vriska’s actions, 0 pay-off for Terezi’s trauma. They later tried to rectify this with Terezi: Remem8er, to imply that even retcons can create ghosts (which basically contradicts the entire premise of the retcon ability as NOT being normal time travel that creates doomed timelines). As if to say “Look guys, those characters are still here!!! And they’re in LOVE!!! Just forget about them now, alright??”
-What was this major retcon FOR? It had 1 purpose: Revive Vriska. No matter how you feel about the character, you should agree that this is arguably one of the worst narrative decisions in their entire series. Not only was Vriska’s entire character arc scrubbed away and she had no repercussions for her actions, but the way she would be used is even worse.
-Vriska’s entire purpose of being re-introduced was to speedrun all the years that were retcon’d and ensure that Everything Bad that ever happened Didn’t Happen. Hussie realized he had written himself into a hole and didn’t want to climb out (which would’ve resulted in satisfying payoff) So he just erased the hole. So with Vriska, we get a short flash that montages all the shit she’s stopped from happening and then boom, we’re getting ready for the final battle. What???
-I, like many people felt unsatisfied with how Homestuck ended. In retrospect I don’t feel this is necessarily because of HOW it ended but moreso the lead up to that. Nothing felt earned. Nothing felt gained. Nothing mattered. Hussie pressed the fast forward button to get it over with. That’s not even considering all the plot strings left completely unanswered that remained unanswered until the Epilogues glossed over them in a few paragraphs.
-So how did this happen? In my opinion, this is entirely because of Hiveswap. After all that’s happened, I can safely say I feel like I wish that Kickstarter never happened. Not only did it put enormous pressure on Hussie (who was ALREADY working on Homestuck stuff CONSTANTLY) but as a result took away from the main comic. I can’t really BLAME Hussie for wanting to get it over with quick. He had many more obligations now. And if certain leaks regarding the funding of the game and the studio they hired are true, it makes it even worse. Does the finished product justify all of this? Hardly, especially considering we haven’t even SEEN the finished product yet. I loved Hiveswap Act 1, don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the characters and the soundtrack and getting to dive into the Homestuck world again, but its ramifications for the history of the franchise are a deep wound.
-The feelings that people feel about the Epilogues and Homestuck 2 are just remnants of these issues. People were SO unsatisfied with the ending that Hussie and his team knew that no matter what they did with the Epilogues someone would be upset, and at this point Hussie was ready to retire. He’d been drawing panels every single day, all day, for 10 years. Hence, the Candy Meat thing. Some people like shipping and drama and characters, here’s Candy. Here’s Meat for the plot/lore people.
-Don’t get me wrong, that’s not all the issues. The Epilogues and Homestuck 2 are well written from a technical view, but very poorly written from a narrative point of view. No one enjoys this meta nonsense. Things like trying to make “canon” a narrative tool. “Beyond Canon”? Really. It’s an official sequel. It’s canon. I don’t think there’s a single person that enjoys the meta. Anyways, not to continue re-regurgitating things about HS2 and the Epilogues that have already been said recently, this post is mainly about Homestuck
-So what is the takeaway here? Homestuck would be a better comic if Hiveswap never existed.
Thank you for summing up my feelings so concisely.