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Once again kingofbutthurt has convinced me to complain about Homestuck stuff. Unlike my critique on Gamzee, I don’t think this one’s going to be very long, mostly because this is the kind of a rant where the only people who’ll enjoy it are the ones who already agree with me before reading.
Today I’m going to talk about 4chords, a “Homestuck” fancomic by Emily Hu.
I went in knowing nothing about it other than it being “terrible,” but I tried to keep an open mind. But really, I was disappointed. It wasn’t good, but it wasn’t hilariously bad either. Also it doesn’t have too many pages yet, and it doesn’t fill me with the same kind of anger than Gamzee does. And I’m positive everything I’m about to talk about has been said before, and much better. But I’m going to try and write something, because being angry on the internet is a surefire way to get popular! (also because it’s fun)
The most obvious problem with 4chords is that is has nothing to do with Homestuck. Karkat, Gamzee, and Tavros are so out-of-character that Emily Hu essentially created a bunch of brand new original characters and just named them after characters from Homestuck. She could just change their designs a little, give them new names, and she has her own original story! Homestuck is just tacked on for no reason, other than the fact that she apparently can’t write romance between these characters otherwise.
I’ll go over the main cast first.
Tavros is probably the closest to his usual personality. He’s nothing like canon Tavros, but he is the typical “kawaii woobie” version that’s so common in this fandom. Tavros is a guy who plays troll Pokemon and believes in fairies and raps horribly with his idiot clown friend with a giant shit-eating grin on his face at all times.
So far in 4chords, he’s exactly what you should expect from a Gamzee/Tavros romance. His entire personality has been stripped away so he can be a generic adorable moeblob woobie. The biggest problem I have with him is how nervous Tavros is around Gamzee. Read their two conversations in Homestuck. He’s probably at his most confident when he’s talking to him. He wouldn’t apologize to Gamzee for having to tell him where the bathroom is. This actually happens. Gamzee asks where Tavros’s bathroom is, he tells him, and then he says he’s sorry. Ironically, the things that make the real Tavros sort of endearing to me are removed so he can be endearing to the fangirls who don’t like Tavros for what he actually is, but what they think he is. No one wants to read a romance about a dorky tool who loves Peter Pan and rapping. Watching their uke, or whatever the anime term for wimpy loser is, rapping horribly isn’t cute. It’s dorky, and not the cute kind of dorky either. It’s the kind of dorky that real dorks might do. Gasp.
Fuck. I already wrote twenty something paragraphs on this guy. Now I have to write about the shitty version of him?
Alright, so unlike Tavros, I can see that Emily is trying to make Gamzee come off like he does in Homestuck. The problem is that Gamzee is the most one dimensional character in Homestuck, and she still manages to fuck him up completely, accidentally creating a completely new character (when i say new, i mean a generic hot anime guy.) He’s observant when something is bothering his friends, while in Homestuck, Gamzee is completely oblivious to when people hate him, even when told so directly. He apparently randomly kisses Karkat to calm him down, which would probably just piss off Karkat more in canon even if he was in love with him. He’s angsty and troubled, his facepaint is no longer a reference to Insane Clown Posse, he fucking plays guitar instead of rapping. The closest thing he gets to being anything like canon Gamzee is that he says “all,” “up,” “motherfucker,” and “brother” all the time. Just like how you write Tavros by having him say “uHH,” randomly, or say “FUCK” in every sentence when you’re writing Karkat.
I guess this is supposed to be 4chords’s “Sober Gamzee?” Oh man, I bet his violent outbursts can be milked for even more angst. Because if there’s one thing I think of when I think about Gamzee, I think about how angsty and troubled he is.
Also, is Gamzee ever high in 4chords? He mentions hash brownies once, but he never seems high at any point. BEING HIGH IS GAMZEE’S MAIN CHARACTER TRAIT. IT’S ALL HE HAS.
And finally we get to Karkat. One of the funniest and most interesting characters in Homestuck. He’s a great character. He’s hilarious, he’s sympathetic, and he’s complex. I think he’s tied with Vriska as the best character Hussie has ever written.
4chords is a comic where Karkat does nothing but cry about Gamzee not wanting to fuck his butt.
That’s really all I need to say about Karkat. The author takes this wonderful, fascinating character, and has him do nothing but cry like a babby because his butt is currently unfucked by a stoner clown.
This is also one of those fan things where Karkat doesn’t say any clever insults, and just resorts to saying fuck all the time.
Does Hu really even like these characters? I’m always baffled when people write their favorite pairings so out of character like this. Why would you like a pairing if you’re just going to change the characters’ personalities like this? On its own, there is nothing wrong with the plot of 4chords, other than it being, as kingofbutthurt put it, “basically every generic shitty original yaoi manga with homestuck characters pasted on.” The addition of Homestuck characters actually offends me as a fan of Homestuck. If you’re going to write these characters, actually try to write the fucking characters. I don’t care if you fuck up beyond all belief, at least try. Write a fanfic about a Pokemon fanboy and a juggalo rapping about how much they love each other, or have Karkat get pissed about how he has terrible taste because he’s love with his dumbass best friend. Just give me a sign that you actually like these characters, instead of just wanting to see hot guys kiss.
4chords is everything wrong with shipping in this fandom. Emily Hu either can’t write romance with the actual cast of Homestuck, or doesn’t care enough to try.
or maybe i’m just mad because i can’t draw my superior version of 4chords.