If you go back and read Andrew Hussie’s early work - back when he ran a website called Team Special Olympics, and thought that was a hilarious thing to do - certain patterns emerge. What were his go-to themes, his muses?
-Clowns (Whistles, Riddler’s Gammon)
-Rapping (And It Don’t Stop)
-Big muscular livestock (Humanimals, Zoosmell)
-Bodily mutilation and transformation (Humanimals, Whistles)
We already knew that Doc Scratch was the Hobbes to Hussie’s Calvin. Now that we’ve discovered the precise nightmare cocktail of soul juice that makes up Lil Cal, it’s even harder to escape the conclusion that LE is, on some level, AH. English is an agglomeration of the most distinctively Hussian characters in the comic - they represent in turn grotesque exaggerations of his manner (the AR), his interests (Equius, Gamzee) and his endless desire to fuck with people (Caliborn.)
I read late-period Homestuck as an allegory, a story of Hussie’s struggle and ultimate inability to finish his own comic. Hussie gets so angry at Scratch during the first Ancestor arc because the good doctor is doing everything he can to prolong the narrative - dumping exposition, introducing a whole slate of new characters, scattering Hussie’s carefully ordered panels into an endless series of formless digressions. Scratch is replaced by Lord English, who is defined first and foremost by his endlessness - everything about him, from his immortality to his rise to power down to his name, is ensured by stable time loops. It’s hard to see how a story with LE in it can come to anything resembling a satisfying conclusion. In light of all this, it makes perfect sense that the monster who must be overcome to end the story is an awful caricature of the author himelf. As an artist, he is his own worst enemy, and we all get to live in that struggle.
Hussie’s in-comic avatar, with his recapping and fussy attention to detail, represents the author’s better nature, his desire to make things orderly and sensible. All of Hussie-the-character’s actions are attempts to mend places where the story has gone off the rails. Past the Doc Scratch arc, all of these gambits to “fix” the comic backfire (the three-year journey across the yellow yard being the most egregious example) - every new attempt just leads to more sprawl, more characters, more exposition. When he is finally gunned down by LE, it’s because he is unable to believe in the story anymore. Accepting the fakeness of his creative magic, he is swallowed by his own shadow, overcome by his own worst instincts. Wandering his own comic as a ghost, he tries to bring Vriska back to life, aware that she was his most successful character but unable to understand that her death - her end - was an inextricable element of that success.
So - here, in the 11th hour, we are assured that the end is once again just around the corner. Hussie’s final gambit - bringing Vriska back from the dead and thus invisibly rewriting thousands of pages - has been set in motion, but up to this point it has succeeded only in bringing the plot back from the edge of formlessness. Lord English remains, and in case there is any doubt as to what is at stake here, our main characters have been trapped inside a symbolic rendering of the comic itself (subtle, no? No.) Those of us who are still here watch and wait. We have been promised a mere 400 pages more - the empty promise of an addict reaching for one last cigarette. We watch as a floppy orange man wrestles himself. We wait for him to win.