Did a little fanart for MSPA Better known as MS Paint Adventures, a comic by Andrew Hussie. Its latest iteration, "Home Stuck" has exploded the fandom that the site has. Andrew builds a world that really reminds me of being 13 and seems to have captured a captive audience of actual teenagers.
Personally, I've been trying to figure out how and why. Creating something that is worthy of being obsessed over is not as easy as people tend to think. Plenty of comics start out with huge epic worlds in mind, but never get very far by ways of story telling, a good readership base, and a long lasting impact. Homestuck is doing all of these things relatively effectively, if its rapidly growing deviant art groups are any indication.
For me, Homestuck has alot of the little parts of being a 13 year old gamer, in the beginning. Stuck at home, its snowing, talking my friends on IM to try and get them into some random game. Its set up perfectly, with the well crafted "Pesterchum" logs really hitting the beats of instant messaging. With its adventure game elements, the story manages to pull those gaming tropes out into the characters reality. Its gone from being a skynet version of The Sims, to a Final Fantasy destiny killing epic. His characters all have obsessions, which we cling to desperately while trying to figure out our identity in those early teen years, and they are slowly evolving and growing with each kid.
So, part of Homestuck's effectiveness is coming from careful observation. For me, its nostalgia. For some kids, its probably even more true to their reality now than it was for me 9 years ago. I think the other factor is how Andrew creates rules for his worlds and not just complexity. You can see this in how Homestuck has really grown from what he learned in the previous story archs. The inventory systems that the kids use to carry around their stuff are convoluted math problems, to set the tone for how the worlds and timelines would eventually be jumbled together. His slow build helps ease the reader into what is now a crazy little universe.
I love the comic, though I miss the less log intensive beginning acts. If you havent read it, its worth taking some time to start reading, and see if you don't get sucked in.
at 12:45 PM