homestuck fandom, a brief history
2009: homestuck launches, riding on the wave of problem sleuths success. pretty big for a webcomic but still very niche overall. fandom is basically nonexistent outside of the mspa forums. mostly straight men and programming nerds
- 2010: hivebent happens. hetalia fans, tired of being in a big, widely-disliked fandom and drawn to the promised land of a fandom with a large cast and its own shipping system, migrate to homestuck en masse. the fandom gets its first major boost in popularity, more than doubling practically overnight. new fans are mostly young women
- 2011: fandom steadily expands over the course of the year.
ben nye literally sells out of grey body paint prior to comic-con. vriscourse comes to a head and people continue to argue about her death for months after. cascade drops in october, enough to crash multiple flash and download sites, and act 6 begins in november. by the end of the year its near impossible to use tumblr without being exposed to homestuck somehow.
- 2012: homestuck fandom peaks. this is the last year that homestuck is published regularly (the only hiatus lasts for about a month, before the dancestor intermission). homestuck is everywhere on your tumblr dash, on reddit, on 4chan. hussie has a tumblr and post and tweets regularly. in september the homestuck kickstarter begins, meets its $700k goal in less than 2 days, and finishes in october with nearly $2.5 million. this draws the attention of a few mainstream publications - pbs, wired, cnn, huffpo, etc. dante basco becomes a homestuck fan.
- 2013: homestuck fandom begins to shrink. first, in april, when the comic goes on a month-long hiatus. around this time, several other fandoms gain popularity - attack on titan starts airing in japan, off and dangan ronpa have just received english translations, welcome to night vale is finishing up its first season - thanks to homestuck fans looking for something to tide them over during the hiatus. when it comes off hiatus, homestuck resumes updating (much more often than most webcomics, but not nearly at the multiple-pages-per-day speed it had maintained prior). in october, hussie announces hes putting the comic on indefinite hiatus to work on the game, and that it will return with one final massive update containing the rest of act 6 and the entirety of act 7. namco high is published in late december to a resounding “meh”.
- 2014: homestuck remains on hiatus for nearly the entire year. the website only updates to announce new merch. paradox space launches in an attempt to revive the fandom, which has some success, but not nearly enough to compensate for the loss of interest over the hiatus. behind the scenes, whatpumpkin is wrapped up in legal drama with the odd gentlemen over stolen money and failure to adhere to a development schedule, finally severing their contract at some point over the summer. (hussie vaguely refers to “innumerable unspecified problems” in an mspa blog post, but due to a nda the full story doesnt become public knowledge until summer 2015.) hussie still tweets (but not regularly), but he nukes his tumblr. homestuck does eventually come off hiatus in october, hussie announces that the “one giant update” plan has been cancelled and serial updates resume. [s] game over stirs up the fandom
- 2015: updates continue regularly through january, at which point another hiatus begins that lasts until 413. on the same day that homestuck resumes, paradox space goes on an indefinite hiatus which continues to this day (”cancellation” would probably be a better word). a6a6i5 begins and, accordingly, the vriscourse comes back with a vengeance (although the fandom is now much smaller). davekat is canonized and surges to become the most popular ship in the fandom practically overnight. homestuck continues updating for a few months, with page after page of huge blocks of ponderous dialogue, reaching an emotional climax at the end of the summer with [s] terezi: remem8er. homestuck goes back on indefinite hiatus. early this year, steven universe finishes its first season, and near the end of it, undertale is released, both popular with ex-homestucks. at some point this year, hussie clears his twitter account.
- 2016: in february, hussie announces that homestuck is Ending, Seriously, For Real This Time. updates resume in late march. homestucks remaining fandom gets worked up, estranged fans rush to catch up, and ex-fans wax nostalgic. [s] collide drops to resounding applause and approval. opinions on homestuck are overwhelmingly positive up until act 7 drops and homestuck officially ends. the ending is almost universally considered a disappointment and the fandom works through the five stages of grief. there is a brief stirring of excitement when volume 10 is published in june, but it doesnt last long. fandom is lukewarm and disparate at best all the way up til october. hiveswap finally gets a trailer at the beginning of the month, and weeks later the credits drop. in spite of homestuck being “over” a canon jewish lesbian wedding is enough to interest a small number of new fans and revive the old ones. snapd8s keep interest high through the end of the year
- 2017: hiveswaps “for real this time” release date comes and goes with nothing but an announcement of another delay. snapd8s grind to a halt. nothing happens on 413 but some flaccid attempts at pr by whatpumpkin and promises of development updates we have yet to receive. its mid-may. no gods, no masters, no hiveswap. we are all gay and were eating each other alive over vriska and dirk