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A Mom’s Journey into Homestuck Part 2

When I told my daughters I was going to read Homestuck, they both gave me this look and asked “Why?” Being used to my unusual reading habits, they just shrugged and moved on. When my oldest daughter told her friends I was reading Homestuck, they gave her that same look and asked “Why?” Apparently Homestuck is a mostly parent-free zone. But I’m not letting that slow me down as I move into the next act.

Act Two: Thank you Nannasprite-Exposition-Thingy…

When last we left John, a meteor was hurdling straight for his house. Through a stroke of luck, John’s quick thinking, or a miracle (or maybe just a little of all them), John’s house is teleported out of danger and into another dimension called The Medium. After experimenting with the game some more, Rose and John prototype the kernelsprite with the ashes of John’s Nanna and she explains some of what is going on, where they are, and what they must do. In the meantime, on Earth, the fire is coming closer to Rose’s house, and another of John’s friends, Dave, is dragged into the chaos.

The action ramps up in the second act, and more characters are introduced. We get to see more of Rose’s house and the passive-aggressive battle mother and daughter are having. It’s a never ending battle of one-upsmanship between the two. We also meet Dave. He is one of John’s Pesterchum friends. We saw a few of his chat sessions with John in act one, and now we get to see what he was doing while John and Rose was starting up Sburb, and after. Dave likes to think he’s cool, trying to be a DJ and come up with raps about his friends. He really looks up to his older brother Bro, and is in a competition with him for who can be the most ironic, though I don’t think it means what they think it means.

The story is in this act is very “wibbily-wobbily, timey-whimey,” as the 10th Doctor would say. The story is constantly jumping back and forth in time, with the Pesterchum logs being the only way to tell where in the story you are. Another character is also introduced, thanks to the time jumping, the Wayward Vagabond, also known as the Mayor. He is from the far future and is somehow able to influence John at the beginning of the story, though we don’t actually formally meet him until near the end. This act is also much more interactive, as there are mini flash game-like pages that allow the reader to help John fight an imp and Rose fend off her mother.

It wasn’t as apparent in the first act, but Homestuck would get an older teen rating with all the expletives used in this act. They aren’t used gratuitously, usually in the heat of battle, though I think Dave likes to “spice” up his raps with them as well. There was a lot of humor in this act. The imps that are attacking John look funny in their jester hats. And seeing the different objects that Rose grabs to drop on them to help John, such as a piano and a safe, made for some good laughs. John’s experimenting with the punch cards and the designix creates a pogo hammer for some hilarious bouncing attacks. I also laughed when the Wayward Vagabond pressed the Tab key on his keyboard to be rewarded with Tab soda.

Act Two ends on another cliffhanger. John has to go up against a giant imp. Rose is in her cat’s mausoleum with the fire right at the door, and Dave is in a death match with Bro on the roof while meteors rain down on the city around them. And the Wayward Vagabond goes on an unexpected trip. This act did explain a lot. Rose’s game FAQ of Sburb helped to explain the devices introduced in the first act as well as summarize some of Nannaquin’s explanations. The kids now have a quest as well, to solve The Ultimate Riddle.

While some answers have been provided, this act brings up a lot more questions. According to my daughters, it’s going to be a while longer before a lot of these questions will be answered. But I’m in it for the long haul now. I have to know what happens to the kids, who the new kid that was teased for a moment is, and where is the Wayward Vagabond going? I was able to read through this act in almost one night, while I was reinstalling Windows 7. If you don’t have a couple of hours like I did, Act Two just came out in print and debuted this at this spring’s TCAF. You can find a copy here.

Images © Andrew Hussie

Lori Henderson About Lori Henderson

Lori Henderson is a mother of two teenage daughters and an avid reader. She blogs about manga at her personal blog Manga Xanadu as well as contributing and editing for Manga Village. She blogs about all things fandom (mainly Doctor Who) at her other personal blog Fangirl Xanadu. She's been at it so for over 5 years now and counting!


  1. Sterling Ericsson (Silver seren) says:

    Yay, another installment! I was waiting for you to continue this, Mrs. Henderson, as you can tell by me showing up here on the very day you published it. I’m glad you’re enjoying the story so far and it only gets more intriguing and addicting from here on in.

    One comment about the article: In the first paragraph, you used the name Amy, when I assume you meant Rose, as there isn’t any Homestuck character named Amy.

  2. Lori Henderson says:

    Thanks for continuing to read it! I’m really looking forward to the next act as my kids continue to tease me about what’s coming up.

    Thanks for that catch too. I must have had Doctor Who on the mind when I started writing. There’s no other reason I can think of that would have made me write that name. 🙂

  3. Sterling Ericsson (Silver seren) says:

    Yeah, Act 3 is definitely where it starts revving up even more.

    And there’s still one instance of the name Amy in the first paragraph, where you have “Amy’s house”. You might want to fix that too.

    And i’m sad that Doctor Who is now on a mid season hiatus. It feels like the episodes we saw came and went so quickly and now I want more.

  4. Lori Henderson says:

    Definitely Doctor Who on the brain. Probably because of the “wibbley, wabbily” line. Thanks again!

    Yeah, we usually get 7 episodes before a break, and this time we only got 5. But at least we only have to wait a couple of months before the Christmas Special. A booster shot before the series comes back in 2013.

  5. I liked reading this! A lot of parents definitely should shy from reading this. It’s pretty geared to a lot of teenage inside jokes. In fact, I’ve had to look up a few of the parodies myself! But good luck with your reading, hope you get through it soon, it gets really amped later!

    • pogmothion says:

      Why should parents “shy away” ? Are we not SUPPOSED to be knowledgeable about our teen’s habits/hobbies/whatnot??? Shy away…Let me guess……a teenager wrote this comment??? 8~\

      • a teenager says:

        Well a teenager’s writing this comment, and here’s why. If my parents read even the first act of Homestuck, I would be. So. DEAD. There’s something about Homestuck that (to me at least) feels like a safe zone where Hussie spills my thoughts onto the screen and there aren’t any consequences. I feel like someone understands me, I’m not alone with my weirdness and strange sci-fi interests and depravity, and somehow it just… feels extremely liberating to me. I know I can’t be alone in feeling that way. Even if I wouldn’t be grounded until I’m an adult (literally, that’s not too far away) for reading it, I wouldn’t want my parents to read it because I’m selfish and I don’t want to share my cool special private thing with people who won’t love it like I do! 😛 yeah, it’s good to understand your kid’s interests, but give them space too. Trying too hard to be someone’s buddy and share their interests is just awkward universally, parent or otherwise, and if you at all punish much, it’s nerve-wracking to us for you to check up on our interests. At least, it is for me.

      • Lori Henderson Lori Henderson says:

        Thanks for your feedback, but there is a fundamental misunderstanding that I would like to clear up. I’m not reading Homestuck to force myself into my kid’s interest just so I can “be friends” with them. My interest in Homestuck started because they kept wanting to tell me about it, and they wanted me to read it because they thought I would like it. I went a year and a half hearing about what was happening in Homestuck before I finally decided to sit down and see what the fuss was all about. I have been a sci-fi and fantasy fan since I was a teenager. I read manga and play video games because I enjoy them. My kids have grown up in a house where the “weirdness and strange sci-fi interests” is the norm. I tell them about things I’ve seen or read that they might like and visa versa. I don’t try to pry into their world, or try to insert myself into them. I’m not doing this check up on them. They invited me, and I accepted. I’m not a geek mom because I think it will make my kids want to be my friends or think I’m cool. I’m a geek mom because I’m a geek.

      • gallowsCalibrator says:

        @a teenager: 1 SH4R3 1N TH4T F33L1NG, THOUGH 1 DO NOT TH1NK TH3 [4DULTS’] “HOOK3D” R34LLY DO3SN’T S1Z3 UP

  6. Most definitely an Older Teen Comic as of act six with a couple events I shall not mention. I find the quote amusing as it is used as a sound sample in the track Arisen Anew in one of the albums made by the music team.

  7. @Rika: I have to disagree with your there. I think I would be good for more parents to read Homestuck if their kids are into it. It’s a great way to start a conversation with your otherwise non-talkative teenage kids. I know my kids love to explain things to me that I don’t understand. They get to show off their know of things, and we get to bond over something we both share.

    @Alanna I learned about the quote used in the music after I wrote this. I need to raid my daughters’ music collection so I can listen to some of the soundtracks. I rather enjoy a lot of the music used in some of the flash animations.

  8. nepetafan_spellchecker says:

    It’s spelled “kernelsprite”, and WV’s name is WAYWARD Vagabond, not Wandering Vagabond.

  9. nepetafan_spellchecker says:

    @Ms. Henderson: There’s an easy way to get to the soundtracks: the URL of

    • Lori Henderson says:

      Yes, I do mention that in my Act 3 review (coming very soon). But for me, it’s a lot easier to just borrow my kid’s copies. 🙂

  10. i’m laughing so hard
    homestuck is a good comic for kids??
    are you SURE?
    wait until everyone starts dying and being murdered.
    have you ignored the swearing completely?

    • Lori Henderson Lori Henderson says:

      Not at all, which is why I said it was best for Older Teen, or 16+ and up. “Kids” is a relative term, and we use it rather broadly on this site. Anyone under 20 is a kid to me, and I don’t think you would deny an older teen form reading this. They are mature enough to decide if the swearing and/or violence is appropriate for them.

    • Or, it could be that teens are already exposed to an even more intense form of violence and swearing, not to mention sex, in their everyday school lives and exposure to the media. Compared to some of the movies and video games I’ve seen eight-year-olds playing and the things they say, Homestuck is pretty tame.

  11. This is a really great review!!!!! Its awesome that adults are enjoying homestuck. Im 13, and a bit nervous to mention homestuck to my mom. She probably wont like the swearing,etc. What do you think i should do?? (Im at the update)

  12. hahahaha! thats amazing!

    keep reading it! I actually think homestuck is a story even grown ups can read and it gives them an idea of all the inside jokes and memes that our generation use in modern society. I think i’m gonna be just like you when I have children myself.

  13. gallowsCalibrator says:


  14. Our 11 yr old is into homestuck and we caught a 16 year old into this making out with her. these parent free zones are great places for predators

  15. Super Idiot says:

    I have only read a couple hundred pages thus far. I think some kids that don’t read much will find the medium really compelling and enjoyable, as I have. The prose is also quite inspiring and there is a level of awareness in the dialogue and satire that I think evokes critical thinking. Moreover, the story seems to really speak to kids and their young frustrations which I think would be a comfort to them. Just things I’ve noticed.

    The cursing (so far) is not gratuitous and just used for maximum comedic effect, but obviously for some this will be considered inappropriate.

    Finally, without condemning or condoning the aforementioned 16 year old: Parent-free zones ARE great places for predators but I would not blame Homestuck. Kids (and adults) will bond over almost anything in which they share (or feign) common interest.

  16. Lori Henderson, why are you not my mom…

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