Homestuck is a difficult web comic to get into because it is essentially the silliest thing in the universe. It’s some strange flash game web comic hybrid and if you are particularly unfortunate you will get easily frustrated because bits you think are interactive are not interactive and vice versa. (I know I am not the only one who tried to input a name for John, dammit.) The story is that these four kids end up playing a game that has real world and possibly also cosmic consequences. (Compare and contrast with Unicorn Jelly or don’t because UJ is even more frigging bizarre.) Of course, it takes us a while to get to the cosmic consequences. We’re starting from the very beginning with our derpy main character. This is going to be part one of however many parts it will take for me to get through a million bazillion pages.
The narrative style follows what I vaguely remember of the really old text style games. We are introduced to the character and told a little about his interests. John goes through a variety of silly and very basic adventures involving fake arms and a disturbing number of birthday cakes. (We also get silly fourth wall straining jokes about the very simplistic art style, which is intended to be iconic rather than representational.)
John struggles to figure out his “sylladex” and “captchalogue” which can store various necessary items. (The sylladex appears to be where the captchalogues are stored and can be arranged in various ways that will hopefully make the darn thing more useful.) He does not do very well and keeps losing items and having to start over. His ability to use this device corresponds roughly to my own ability at playing video games so I feel a great deal of sympathy for him. A lot of terms get thrown at us at once, and we can’t once complain of infodumping or “As You Know Bob” because the format of this web comic is in the form of a text based game and therefore infodumping is a requirement so you know what the heck is going on.
This opening is also where we learn something that will become very important later on: we the reader are not the ones narrating or directing John’s actions. (You would think it was obvious, but no. Who these mysterious directors are we won’t find out until later.) We also learn a whole bunch of new terminology featuring the sylladex device, such as “strife decks,” “specibus,” “abstratus” and “modus.” What all these terms mean you are just going to have to figure out from context, mostly. John allocates a hammer to his strife specibus which he’s informed by his friend means that he will
be Thor now have hammerKind as his permanent allocation for his strife specibus.
Our Protagonist is waiting to get his hands on a new game called SBURB. Unfortunately, his father beats him to the mailbox. There is some interaction between John and his friend turntechGodhead over an instant messaging program called Pesterchum. John gets some advice on managing his sylladex and moves the hammer he stored in it to his strife deck. Then he heads down stairs (wearing joke glasses and a hat as a Clever Disguise) where we discover that John’s Dad has an obsession for harlequins and baking.
Whoever it is directing John’s actions directs him back upstairs. When he checks Pesterchum another friend, tentacleTherapistis contacting him about the game which he still does not have because his Dad is in possession of the mail. He heads downstairs to make a second attempt at acquiring the game. He explores various parts of the house, including his dad’s study. He pauses to play a haunting piano refrain (which we get to hear). John eventually heads out and we have another animation with sound that has the melodramatic feel of “A Christmas Story.” Our Boy is a latter day Ralphie waiting for his Red Ryder BB Gun.