Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Let me tell you about Homestuck . . . .

From the Urban Dictionary:

"A web comic pertaining to an incredibly complex network of intertwined relationships between the space-time linear parallels of a group of juvenile human beings and a slightly larger group of juvenile troll-like humanoid extraterrestrials who must work together to stop a rogue villain from destroying our universe, communicated through and perpetrated by a with the ability to manipulate time and space while simultaneously bringing about the end of the world, interspersed with interruptions from an omniscient talking cue ball as well as a separate group of gang-involved beings hellbent upon exacting revenge on a rival group of gang-involved beings, all tied together by a characteristic ironically ridiculous and self-deprecating sense of humor with homage to both classic character archetypes from throughout human history as well as the familiar internet-central humor of today’s youth." []

My own definition is a bit more personal.  It is a web comic, sure.  But it is also something that has created a social group my girl-child (also known as the "Pumpkin") has found commonality with.  These kids (most are age 13 to 20) are incredibly funny, creative and aware.  They even let an old lady play with them on occasion, even though I have not read the 4000+ pages of Homestuck and do not get many of the 'inside' jokes and references.  I have managed to grasp a few of the names . . . Jane. .Dirk. . .Gamzi (or is it Gamzee). . . Jade.  

The characters seem to morph and change daily but the trolls can pretty much be counted on to have candycorn coloured horns regardless of whether they are humans, sea creatures, dogs, cats, dragons or even My Little Ponies.  Not all of the incarnations are the work of Mr. Hussie, in fact it seems most are created by the fandom of Homestuck devotees.  

There is much "shipping" or romantic pairings of the various characters, something of which I know from my own journey into an almost as crazy fandom on the 1990s -- that of the X-Files television series.  Much fanfiction and art work has been inspired by Homestuck, and my child occasionally shares it with me.

And then there's the costumes.  Oh boy are there costumes.  The Pumpkin's first costume was a doozy.  She spent several months creating a full head mask for a character named Bec Blanc . . . who is apparently a dog-like creature with wings and a sword. Well, see for yourself.  She test drove the costume at the Calgary Comic Convention in April. . . which is where the above photo is from.

In May, there is an amazing event held each year at the University of Calgary called Otafest.  We went last year. . . before the Pumpkin discovered Homestuck.  That year was sort of like an experiment.  She dressed as an Anime character and observed.  This was when she apparently saw some Homestuck fans. . . and asked them about their characters.  The rest, as they say, is history.

This year Otafest was. . . well EPIC.  I tagged along . . . spent much time sitting in the Student Centre reading my books and occasionally going to different sessions with the Pumpkin.  There was a Homestuck "Panel" where I got to learn about Homestuck . . . or try to . . . as I said. . . it's COMPLICATED.

I learned about some of the characters.  I learned about the girlchild's friends.  I learned about 'cuddle puddles'.  

Yup, these kids are fun.  They are funny.  And they even let an old lady play dress up with them.  Yes, a few weeks ago when the Homestuck kids got together for a rollerskating party, my kid dressed me up and I discovered I can still skate!  

Yup, my kid -- she dressed me up as a Homestuck character . . . which character -- why MOM of course.

So what is the point of this Blog post?  To tell you about Homestuck.  Sort of . . . it's about what being a parent means to me.  It is about learning about what makes your child happy.  What makes her light up.  And THAT is what HOMESTUCK really is . . . something that lights up my kid.  And for that, thank you Andrew Hussie.

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