The Shipping News: The Art of Cosplay and Getting Lost in “Homestuck”

This week on The Shipping News: we praise the series that give us tons of pairings to ship,  we risk setting foot in the Homestuck fandom, we learn about cosplay, and we apologize profusely to Daft Punk (or at least we should).

Fandom News Roundup:

It appears that Teen Wolf is still an infinite goldmine of slash material. Last week’s episode has a first glimpse at Danny/Ethan (can we officially call it “Dethan“?), some wonderful Sterek banter, something that can easily be interpreted as Scott/Stiles, a healthy dose of Peter/Stiles potential, Isaac/everyone…wait, I’m getting carried away. Let’s just say that it was a fantastic episode, both in itself and for the shippers. It’s also worth mentioning that Cora, who was mistakenly reported to be Derek’s love interest for the season, is actually (spoiler!) his younger sister. The non-multishippers collectively breathed a sigh of relief. The rest of us were too busy screaming unintelligibly at the television to form coherent thoughts.

No, Stiles. Take it off. Don’talright, too late, I’m picturing it.
stiles-glove

(source)

There has been a bit of heat on the Kirk/Spock Livejournal community this week—and not of the pon farr variety. A common fandom etiquette problem was brought up; some fanfic authors are indeed reluctant to tag their fanfics with major trigger warnings from fear they will lose readers. As you can imagine, this lack of courtesy has repercussions, both on the unsuspecting readers and on the author’s reputation. While there is technically no obligation for an author to warn about the graphic violence or non-consensual sex in their stories, it’s important to keep in mind that the Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive tagging system (among others, I presume) makes a distinction between “None” and “Choose Not to Warn”. In the words of Star Trek alumnus Wil Wheaton: “don’t be a dick.”

Bryan Fuller, Hannibal writer and producer, tweeted that he’s aware of Hannigram (that is, Hannibal/Will) and that he loves it. (He made him chicken soup, guys. It wasn’t even people soup this time.)

If you ever shipped Kingdom Hearts characters, you’re in luck: Kingdom Hearts III was announced on Monday during Sony’s E3 event. Kingdom Hearts is, as of October 2010, the game fandom with the most fanfics published on Fanfiction.net.

“Take my hand, Sora. The shippers have waited long enough.”
riku-hand

 

Fandom Spotlight: Homestuck

andrew-hussie
(source)

Ah, Homestuck. If you had asked me to write about Homestuck when this column first started (or, hey, just two months ago) my description wouldn’t have included much praise. I knew it was an animated webcomic about a (fictional) game that involved kids and trolls, and that it somehow made people want to wander around anime conventions with a pair of horns and gray body paint all over. Not exactly convincing and, quite frankly, some stranger aspects of the fandom were downright frightening to me. (The Homestuck Adventure Game Kickstarter raised over $1,785,500 above its $700,000 goal in 30 days. Are you terrified yet? ) However, I since then realized that I was in no position to write anything negative about Homestuck if I wasn’t willing to at least give it a try. So I read the first page. Then the second one. Next thing I knew, I had read more than half of it and bought a pair of aviator sunglasses for cosplay purposes. So, without further ado: let me tell you about Homestuck.

Homestuck starts with four online friends, which will be referred to as the Beta Kids: John, Dave, Rose and Jade. At the beginning of the story (but not right from the start), they play a video game superimposed over their reality that causes the end of the world. Helped by their Guardians (who, after a session reset known as the “scratch”, become the Alpha Kids) and the trolls, they must navigate through a complex universe to achieve the game’s ultimate purpose, which remains unknown to them for some time but doesn’t involve saving their world.

homestuck
(source)

This is the ultra-simplified summary of the webcomic; it has well over 6,000 pages, numerous instances of time travel, elaborate uses of a genetic science called Ectobiology, and more puppet porn than I ever wanted to be aware of. It would be very difficult to formulate a complete description without losing all the non-initiated somewhere along the line, so let’s focus on a bit less on the general content, and a bit more on what generated this (in)famous fandom movement.

Although the concept of Homestuck and its human characters were initially enough to attract an impressive number of readers, it’s Act 5, the part where the trolls are officially introduced, that changed everything. If the idea of grey-skinned horned creatures isn’t interesting enough for you, know that the trolls Hussie created have their own planet, their own customs, their own hermaphroditic genitals (you say “bulges”, I say “crotch tentacles”), and perhaps most importantly, their own types of romance, or “quadrants“, which differ from the human concept of romance. This leaves a lot of room for fan interpretation and, of course, shipping possibilities. The Homestuck fandom is a firm believer in Rule 34.

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