Homestuck, Book 1: Act 1 & 2

Andrew Hussie. Viz, $24.99 (440p) ISBN 978-1-4215-9940-3
This massive volume launches the collection of a geek-subculture webcomic phenomenon with a huge and passionate fan base. The sprawling, impossibly convoluted plot follows several groups of characters—but initially four net-addicted teenagers—in their efforts to master a video game that alters reality and takes them to a bewildering array of planets, timelines, and planes of existence. For the uninitiated, it’s likely incomprehensible. But those who get it will revel in the endless absurd tangents, side conversations, and running inside jokes. The art is deliberately simple, pasting pixelated characters into kludged-together backgrounds to create the retro look of an eight-bit video game. The book can’t include the online version’s animation and interactive elements, but each page includes its original URL. Hussie provides copious footnotes, discussing his influences (games like The Sims and Earthbound), his drawing and coding techniques, and what the heck is supposed to be going on (“The punch disignix required some purple grist, which meant you couldn’t deploy it until you killed an imp, meaning...”). This is a sterling opportunity for curious readers to dive deep into one very weird world. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/30/2018
Release date: 04/13/2018
Genre: Comics
Hardcover - 360 pages - 978-1-4215-9939-7
Hardcover - 472 pages - 978-1-4215-9941-0
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