(It'd be a shame to waste such a fine post by Gez
, so here it is again)
I'll pretend for a moment that you don't already know about MS Paint Adventures
, Andrew Hussie
's experimental more-or-less user-driven webcomic.
"MS Paint Adventures" seems to imply it's adventures in using MS Paint. This is false. None of the protagonists ever try to use MS Paint. It's not adventures made with MS Paint either, there's only one page
ever made in MS Paint, the rest are made in Photoshop or Flash. However, it's true there are several adventures. Four at the moment: Jail Break
, Bard Quest
, Problem Sleuth
, and Homestuck
. You can pretty much safely ignore the first two, they're immature crap. Problem Sleuth is when it started to get good, and Homestuck is the currently on-going adventure, so it's the one that's going to be discussed in that thread.
Keen-eyed readers may notice the numbers in these URL. 1, 2, 4, 6? What happened to 3 and 5? Well, 3
was some sort of easter-egg joke about the Midnight Crew. 5
was the first attempt at making Homestuck, with the idea it'd be entirely in Flash. That was dropped as too time-intensive to create, and turned into some sort of in-joke easter-egg as well.
Which brings the next point: in-jokes. The comic is full of them. They constantly reference each other, and are full of callbacks. Here's a few of them:
? : Jail Break introduced a useless contraption known as the Pumpkin Appearifier
. It "appearifies" a pumpkin taken from somewhere else. As a result, that pumpkin disappears from the other place. Why anyone would create a teleporter that only works on pumpkins is a mystery; but this legacy has endured and there is a tradition still upheld in Homestuck to have gratuitous pumpkins in the story, here just to disappear without prior notice. Hussie's shop and imprint is called What Pumpkin?
, but they don't sell pumpkin appearifiers there. Just shirts and discs and stuff.
: during Problem Sleuth's run, one of the reader, known as Mayonaka, paid Hussie some money to star his D&D characters in a PS crossover. Hussie made them into a small-time bunch of thugs, and they become very popular, to the point that readers clamored for a series about them. Eventually, they turned up in Homestuck, although by then they didn't have much in common with Mayonaka's characters anymore.
Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff
: This started on the Penny Arcade forum, as a mockery of someone's request for feedback for yet another of these "two guys chatting about games" comics meant to amuse a few of the author's direct friends and that's it. NWS? source, go to second page and look for S_O's posts
. It became a vehicle for in-universe Homestuck memes, shared by the protagonists, which of course became real-world memes too because Homestuck fans.
Hussie used to have a site called Team Special Olympics (hence his PAF name of S_O) where he posted various creepy comics
about stuff he found on the net that was unsafe for work and mind both. If you dare digging around, you'll find the origins of a lot of other references and in-jokes later used in the comics.
can be listened to at Bandcamp. One may also mention the fan music
while they're at it. Because Homestuck fans are exceedingly productive. Go on a music-sharing site like Tindeck
and count how many of the "popular tracks" have a Homestuck-derived avatar. That's usually between 60% and 90% of them. DeviantArt is less homestuckized, but only because there is a much larger userbase. You will still need more than a lifetime to see all pieces of HS fanart on DA.
Homestuck fans can be quite gross
. Don't be like them, try to remember how to function normally in society. For example, even if you're dressed-up as a bunch of alien clowns, don't go in a classy restaurant to noisily spit in a bucket. It's rude.
But Homestuck, and MSPA in general, didn't attract such a large number of socially-maladjusted fans if it didn't have some good qualities about it. It is a masterfully-written story, cohesive despite the user-driven shenanigans that shaped it at the start, and very intricate. It makes use of its medium (the web) in ways more clever than just an infinite canvas, as the entire site can change to represent a shift in narrative voice, or to tell a parallel story hidden in a little corner.
Still, there are times when you'll have to wonder just WTF is happening. Why is there suddenly a lengthy essay about troll romance? Why do we need weird made-up names for passionate hatred and platonic friendship? What does that thing about getting locked in the attic have to do with anything? Chances are that at these times, Hussie is trolling his fans. Because he loves to do so. It can be seen in the flippant tone with which he answers the
formspring tumblr reddit
questions readers ask of him on his tumblr
. Unfortunately, this flippancy means that it's easy for a small controversy to degenerate into complete drama. An example would be when former music contributor Bill Bolin was removed from the music team after a misunderstanding escalated to full-on bridge burning. The latest drama is about Hussie being racist since he declared his white kid protagonists were "canonically aracial" and you could pretend they were Asian or Black or whatever. Some tumblrers unearthed an old in-universe chatlog between two of the protagonists referring to a third character as being white, and the blogosphere exploded. There was an older, previous dramasplosion about sexism with the "bluh bluh huge bitch" thing applied to Vriska. Chances are more drama will inevitably happen in the future.
So, huh, keep in mind that Andrew Hussie is just an ordinary White American guy, not a perfect deific incarnation of Talent itself, and that he can make mistakes and be clumsy, especially when under the pressure of having to deal with a huge, obsessive, and often creepy fanbase.
So, just be reasonable people and all should be fine.
MS Paint Adventures
MS Paint Adventures II: Who's Playing Who Now?
MS Paint Adventures III: [s] Comment
MS Paint Adventures 4: 13
MS Paint Adventures V: THIS IS STUPID
Thanks Gez! Only changes are to add the new reddit question thing.
So, anyone else think Meenah is going to spoil Aranea's story?