Alright, I know I'm going to be blasted here by fans and dissenters alike (the latter for bringing up this shit-storm of a topic), but I honestly think we should start discussing Homestuck as a front-runner of 'bad webcomics'. I understand this comic is controversial and also very popular, but that shouldn't give it an exclusion from criticism or review.
Let me start off by saying that Hussie isn't at all incompetent. He's duped countless people into reading his comic, enough to make a living off it. He updates quite frequently and tries his best to keep his fans appeased. That being said, he is an egomanian D-bag.
The pacing of the comic is horrendous, when we have the entire first few acts with literally no idea what's happening ultimately. Then act 4 suddenly screws everything established before hand, (Why did we need 3 acts to get to that point before hand?) And then we get to the cluster-fuck that is act 5. We get literally an entire half-an-act of nothing but troll shenanigans, none of which are relevant to the plot other than the last few strips. (The trolls created Earth's universe, wooohooo. Now can we get back to the main characters originally established, assuming Hussie didn't just forget about them?) He doesn't deliver on any of the stories or premises either. I think that's one of Homestuck's worst and most infuriating flaws.
Homestuck doesn't deliver on anything, not the characters,actions,drama or story-lines/mini arcs. The only thing it barely concludes with is the plot, and even then that's in the most forceful way.
My first example would be the characters. Hussie is really competent at writing good characters and making them almost believable. But then he's horrendous at using them. If he were to go up to another writer and say "Here's how character X is and how they're behave and interact." Maybe it'd be of good use, but he doesn't. We don't see much of Equius or Eridan's characters drawn to their full conclusion so much as killed off tastelessly, or even the main characters Rose or Dave's personalities really come into light. Other then being told 'They're the spooky/cool/hipster one', the characters never reach more than miniscule levels of depth. (We're told cool-kid Dave has an Antisocial personality disorder… will this ever be addressed again? When faced against cosmic space frogs and troll bullshit, the answer is quite simply: No.) The only one Hussie took the time to seriously explore barely was his waifu, Vriska, right before killing her off. And every time he merely hand waves it off as an them 'completing their purpose/character arc', which is bullshit when there's still potential or threads around the character unresolved. It reeks of lazy writing to say that Hussie cannot meaningfully incorporate these colorful characters into his so-called elaborate plot. When he just decides he cannot write good characters and just decides to kill them off, that's called 'bad writing.' And that makes for bad webcomics.
There's certainly no action whatso-ever, well maybe some in the beginning. But every 'fight' or physical conflict post-act 3 has pretty much been chalked into a 5 second looping GIF of Noir killing people, a few cut-scenes of Noir Killing people, or an allusion to Noir killing people. Or someone being killed, with the conflict being avoided entirely. We get an exception with Vriska's beat-down and Bro's death Noir Vs Vriska.
The flashes in fact are more like extended/stacked panels then they are 'flashes' in the sense that any animation actually happens other than simple objects moving/growing/fading, as if some 10 year got their hands on the flash-equivalent of movie-maker and wanted to splash on all the new effects they found.
It's hard to take the character arcs seriously in a series where they could be hastily killed-off if Hussie doesn't feel like writing them, or they're just be drown'd out and never addressed in light of the whole cluster-fuck plot that's happening.
Countless key-plot points aren't addressed either. Hussie claims it's because 'they can always be relevant later' in light of new events, and this way he doesn't have to Retcon anything. Despite not realizing that this is fact terrible execution, you cannot simply avoid parts of a story you're fuzzy or unsure about later until you can think of a time to use them, that's the equivalent of a Retcon without the story ever actually happening. Things that are supposedly important but have never been seen include John's first death, the majority of Dave's story-line, any of Jade's frog-breeding storyline, The Trolls Black-king fight, the majority of the trolls Sgrub-shenanigans, and what the fick even happened with the Scratch. (A giant-retcon device in itself) Seriously Hussie? You cannot just allude to something and all it's importance and foreshadow it's significance, only to gloss over everything that you just set up, and then bring other shit out of the blue you just 'dropped off' in case you wanted to make it a plot point later on despite it never being mentioned as imporant before. Even when writing non-linear stories you have to establish some parameters so the readers know you're not just bull-shitting stuff up as you go. (Writers like Kurt Vonnegut were actually good at doing this.)
The plot is another annoying facet that's hardly delivered. It's so forceful and irratic it's hard to take it seriously or have any impact, it's such a caricature that I don't understand how any-one can take it seriously. Whole scale genocide and planetary destruction is treated less seriously in this series then buckets or a fear of candy gushers. Implications for troll society, Skaia's wonders, sburbs game mechanisms, and other fascinating tangents are left entirely ignored except for 'where the plot demands it.' Hussie even goes so far as to introduce these points off-hand as if to be relevant to the story without ever revealing them! (Still no sight of the denizens,mother grub,Flarpers, or even more than a few pages backstory of the ancestors) Maybe if Hussie spent as much time developing the kid's quirky suburban lives (3 whole acts of it) as he did everything else, we might feel compelled by the story. But we don't so the story feels rushed and apathetic, un-genuine even. When one thinks of how much plot-material is forced down the readers throat, and how long the comics been running (hardly even 3 years), one realizes this comic had fan-fiction levels of incompetent pacing.
Basically, this story suffers from the phenomenon Jacques Derrida spoke of. The significance of everything is 'deferred', in which everything only gains meaning from the other things around it which Hussie doesn't establish. It's the terrible following of 'Tell don't show' that he alludes to.
Tavros's development only becomes important in light of Vriska.
But Vriska's struggle only gains meaning if we actually care about Troll Society/her victims.
The above two apply for Terezi, if we get a sense of what her 'justice' means to her.
Terezi as a manipulator only becomes relevant if we see her do anything besides lick stuff.
Dave's inferiority complex only matters if we understand how Bro is superior.
Bro's superiority is only established if we actually see it and not just have it alluded to.
The death of Dad and Mom is only significant if we actually cared about them or if they had any actual screentime with their children. Or really any development, at all. Needless to say they don't, so who cares?
And Bec Noir's murders and the threat he offers only becomes real if we care or know about the millions of name-less characters he destroyed or is actually written as a deeper villian. Neither are true.
Hell, who even gives a f**k about all the planets he destroyed? We hardly even see them.
Do you see what I mean? There's so little development into any single thing that it's impossible to anchor any attachment to anything in this series. There's plenty of speed to set off but no momentum to latch on. I'd be the equivalent if you took all 6 star-wars movies, crammed them into all a 60 minute film, cut off any meaningful development,dialogue (except for essential plot ones) or characters introductions, took out any awesome fight scenes/battles and only showed the outcome, hardly showed the politics of the republic/empire, and briefed entire main scenes into short previews so the watcher has just enough information to understand what happened but not to be moved or taken by it. Basically an hour recap with nothing of value compared to original series except for the lowdown on what actually happened. That's what the series feels like.
Now imagine that recap dulled into picture-caption format, with some flash thrown in. And long text-boxes of tedious annoying dialogue that no one wants to read, translated babel-fish style into eye-stabbing brightly colored leet-speak.
No seriously, it's even more evident in 'Hive-Bent.' I can't stress how bad the abridging is in this series. It feels detached from it's premise and lessens the entire story elements to mere devices for Hussies masturbatory-fanfiction.
I think that's the worst part of the comic, is that it's all on Hussie's dick to decide what happens. The series is literally a giant trolling, Hussie has admitted himself he decides certain things just to see how the fans will react. The entire character of Vriska is what he's stated to be the 'ultimate troll.' (HARHARHAR) It's made even worse by the fact that he repeatedly down-plays the intervention of his Self-Insert. Yes, he's literally stepped into the story sometimes. Tell me how many GOOD web-comics do you know have a self-insert come in and lecture the audience, especially on things like under-age romance/shipping bullshit?
"Do you have any idea how much power I wield over you?? To what extent I can RUIN the shit you step in with that squeaky clean sunday loafer you use to stomp that bookmark and stamp that F5 key, day goddamn in and day fucking out??? Do you possess even the most infinitesimal kernel of cognizance for the degree to which I can make the shorn, shivering weasel that is the totem spirit representing your wretched fascination with this website squeal in heartrending remorse????"
The above quote by the author's self-insert should indicate alone why this comic is terrible.
Also, furries. They are in this story, that is all. And bestiality as well.
And the main character's a gary sue, if that wasn't obvious enough.
Hussie should of stuck with stories like Problem Sleuth, a comic that actually didn't take itself seriously. Because as far as he's concerned, Homestuck has no such ability to do so despite presenting it in the most pathetically laudable fashion.
I'm sure many are honestly sick of how over-rated this comic is, how over-zealous and ego-filled the author is, and how moronic the fan-base can be. This needs to be considered for bad-webcomic material. And if your one of those rabid obsessed fan-boys, please address the issues presented here instead of just spouting nonsense about how Homeshit is the greatest thing ever.