How Did Homestuck Get a Bad Rep?

How did Homestuck get such a bad reputation?

I actually put some research into this particular blog post, because I was curious. I’d seen Homestuck cosplayers at conventions, but hadn’t thought too much about it. I even had a friend who cosplayed one of the characters. Since I really didn’t understand, I thought I’d do some research to find out. After searching around on the internet for a while, as well as talking to some fellow cosplayers, the following points are what I’ve come up with. I’ll state my bias toward or against Homestuck at the end, so that it doesn’t affect what you think as you read this.

The fanbase reputation seems to stem from two major places—the internet, and conventions. Many people act badly on the internet, and bad manners is certainly not something only pertaining to Homestuck fans. Conventions, on the other hand, are another matter. There are several issues here that I will examine.

1) The Cos-plague. A cos-plague is when a certain fandom is overly popular at cons. Pretty much every fandom that went through a cos-plague got a bad reputation. Examples include Naruto, Hetalia (which I will elaborate on later), and Death Note. Because there are so many fans, there are plenty of crazies within the group who will do something stupid, thus earning the entire group a bad name. This can be the case with any fandom. Aside from this, there seems to be a general irritation among cosplayers over the fact that Homestuck is not an anime. (“So why are they at an anime convention?”) This, of course, wouldn’t be an issue if it weren’t so popular. Cosplay of things that do not qualify as anime is quite common, but and is generally considered acceptable. However, it seems many cosplayers view the cos-plague as “taking over the convention,” leading to not as many true anime costumes.

2) Horror Stories. Again, you get these with any really popular fandom. Homestuck cosplayers have a reputation for being insensitive, rude, elitist and sometimes unintelligent. Probably the most popular Homestuck horror story is about a group of cosplayers who shared a room with a girl they didn’t know very well. Apparently, she locked herself in the bathroom for several hours and they eventually had to pry the door open, only to find a disaster mess. She’d tried to die herself gray in the bathtub with a mixture of sharpie and 70% alchohol. The entire bathroom was wrecked, costing over $700 in fines, and the girl got skin poisoning.

3) Overly In-Character. This point kind of goes along with the last one, but needs to be addressed somewhat separately. Many cosplayers take the role of being “in-character” too seriously, or they over-exaggerate it. The characters in Homestuck, especially the trolls, can be quite rude. Being “in-character” is never an excuse for bad manners or any other sort of inappropriate behavior. Nobody is going to like you if you treat them badly. That’s the way things work. It’s simple, and I find it hard to understand why people can’t grasp that concept. On that note, throwing buckets at people’s faces is never okay. Yes, it may have been funny, but it is unacceptable on more than one level. Firstly, didn’t your mother ever teach you not to throw things at people? It’s rude. Secondly, you might hurt someone—in fact, it’s quite likely. One horror story of a bucket-throwing victim ended in a broken nose. And thirdly, the implications are inappropriate for most situations. Even though we are humans and pails don’t have the same implications here that they do on Alternia, the reason it’s funny is because of those implications, and knowing what it means to trolls, you are essentially using it in that sense. This is like propositioning someone. Even if they don’t realize that, it is not acceptable.

4) War with the Hetalia fandom. The Homestuck and Hetalia fandom have been fueding for quite some time. No one knows exactly why this is. There are several possible reasons. One is that they are clashing cos-plagues, since both cos-plagues seem to have happened/are happening around the same time (But if that were the case, why not the Kuroshitsuji fans, too?) Whatever the case, the war seems to be dying down and there are actually a lot of people who are fans of both.

5) Lack of Understanding. Many people just don’t know what Homestuck is, or why these people are dying their skin gray. In some cases, people try to read it and don’t understand it or find it boring. I’ve found that many people attempt to read Homestuck and don’t get very far before they give up, bored. Some Homestuck fans will say that these people simply aren’t smart enough, and that is the kind of rude behavior that earns them a bad reputation.

Conclusion: Don’t be rude. I know there are plenty of wonderful Homestuck fans.

Now to state my bias—Yes, I am a Homestuck fan. However, at this point, I don’t plan on involving myself very much in the fandom because of the reputation it wields. I will, however, review the webcomic in an upcoming blog post.

~Raven

Reverse Pinocchio Syndrome

It started off with eyebrows.

Now hold on, don’t leave yet- I’ll explain everything.

The eyebrows.

I was reading this manga, see, and the main villain didn’t have any eyebrows. Well, being the intellectual person that I am, I started thinking. My conclusion: people without eyebrows are bad news. I can think of many examples (at least from Japanese anime) of the bad guys having a conspicuous lack of facial hair.

Example: Gaara, from the iconic series Naruto. Hold on!! Don’t leave yet, ye throngs of angry fans! For the record, I know that he’s a good guy now. He’s great. He’s the goodest of the good guys. But… he started as a bad guy- killing lots of people and inflicting wanton destruction on the Hero’s Hometown–  definitely qualifies one for a “villain” status.

Villain material. Right there.

Other examples of bad guys who lack eyebrows: Yokoya Norihiko (Liar Game), Pitch Black (Rise of the Guardians), Alvin the Treacherous (who’s missing more body parts than just eyebrows), Charlie Rakes (Lawless), Wormtounge (from Lord of the Rings. Duh.), and in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, antagonist Cyrus found eyebrows unnecessary in his perfect world. Also, there was that random clerk from Macy’s who we’re convinced is actually a super-villain. Because she had no eyebrows, you see. 

So now, you might be wondering how this has anything to do with Pinocchio. Well, I’ll explain. Once we’ve deduced that a lack of eyebrows is a sure sign of villainy, well, it follows that when an eyebrowless villain gets the hero talk and turns his life around, his brows  must come back! We were thinking one hair per good deed sounds about right. This is good news for all you people lacking excessive amounts of ornamental facial hair! Simply become a hero, and all your eyebrow woes will vanish!

See what I mean?

OK, still not seeing how this has anything to do with Pinocchio… well here it is. Growing eyebrows is a sign of a good guy, right? But when Pinocchio’s nose grows, it’s because he tells a lie. Lies are bad, right? It’s a very villainous thing to do. Therefore, people with long noses are most certainly bad guys (write that down, kids). It’s a fact of life- look at many TV shows, cartoons, whatever. Bad guys rock the long noses.

Now, lets continue the logic here. Bad guys have no eyebrows, but eyebrows grow on good guys. Bad guys have long noses, therefore… (come on, figure it out. I’ve given you way more clues than you ever wanted) Noses shrink on good guys!!!!!

I’ll pause so you can do a face palm now.

How did you never see that before??? We know, we know- take a few moments for yourself. Deep revelations like this can be quite a shock. But we’ve found that the better a guy gets, the smaller his nose. People with no noses? Saints. In light of this, the Ninja Gang has found utmost sympathy for poor, misunderstood Voldemort.   We’ve walked you through the logic. It’s right there- Voldemort, whose nose has recessed right into his face, is probably the best guy on the planet.

Isn’t he cute, now that you know the secret?

Via what we call the Reverse Pinocchio Syndrome, you can now know the truth about Voldemort, and other olfactory challenged beings. Alvin the Treacherous, The Silence, the whole nose-less gang…  They’re actually really swell guys, aren’t they?

People You’ll Meet at the Fabric Store

My cosplaying hobby has brought me on many occasions to the fabric store. Whether it’s to pick out fabric, search the catalogues for a workable pattern, or making a “quick” stop to get velcro, I always meet interesting people. I’ve noticed that they tend to follow a pattern. There are certain kinds of people you will always (or at least frequently) see. Let me introduce you to a few of them.

You walk into the fabric store. It’s lit in flourescent lighting, the floors are white tile, and there are shelves covered in things that are in no way related to fabric–jewelry, home decor, children’s toys, candy, etc. You walk past these shelves until you find a table (usually next to the racks of colorful thread) that is covered in books. Some of these books do not belong there–they have simply been dropped there by irresponsible children. There will undoubtedly be other people sitting at this table. One of them might be an otaku, recognizable by a cat-eared hat and buttons all over his or her messenger bag. Or maybe it’s a woman with her baby.

 

Once you’ve picked out your pattern, you stand up and walk to the drawers of patterns to find it. A middle-aged lady is standing in your way, and you politely ask her to move. Now it’s time to find the right fabric. You walk up and down the isles, and you run into a few kids with their mothers, pointing to sparkly fabrics. These children are usually too loud, and they never watch where they’re going until they’ve run into something.

So you pick out your fabric and wait in line to get it cut. Here, you see a pair of twins, dressed in matching dresses and holding on to a shopping cart full of wildly-patterned cottons. There will undoubtedly be a few old ladies. The one in line behind you strikes up a conversation. She’s very friendly, and tells you about how wild the store was on Black Friday, asks you what you’re making, and tells you all about her projects and her grandkids.

Finally, you get to the front of the line, and tell the grouchy lady behind the counter how long the fabric is. She tells you about their special offers in a bored, droning voice, and takes her sweet time folding the fabric. The lady next to her, cutting another person’s fabric, is cheerful and smiley and strikes up a converstation with the customer.

The same old lady that was behind you in line for cutting fabric is in front of you while you wait to check out. She tells you stories, and you listen politely. The cashier is helpfull and waits for you to arrange your coupons in the best way to save money, and sometimes she even gives you advice on how to get the best deal out of it. The cashier at the next register is grouchy and impatient, and you’re glad you got the nice one.

Now you leave the fabric store.