Posted by James on 1 December 2023

Hi, James here. A new month means new Patreon posts! New Commentary! New Bonus Comics! A New Illustration! It's enough to make you cry. If you haven’t seen it yet, I also put a poll up for patrons that will last until the 10th. This poll will help determine when we start putting up some of the extras here for free. Neat!

We’ve been featuring some cool fanworks over on Twitter. X? Bleh. Awful website. I’m glad it's dying. Why if it weren’t for the laws of this land I’d have slain it myself long ago. Still, it's cool to be able to highlight some of the bigger projects going on right now. There will be a few more in the coming weeks but I think we wanna space them out a little more.

On the 16th of this month we are planning a HS:BC team AMA on the Homestuck Subreddit. It's usually just me answering questions, but now’s the chance to get to know the rest of the team too! Perhaps they can provide you with some valuable insights or exciting life lessons. I am also eager for someone to field “FIX SO AND SO” questions besides myself.

All of this is to engage with the community a little more. Is there something you’d like to see? Let us know! I’ve been reading threads and I browse the tag every few nights on Various Websites. There’s also a Youtuber who posts videos of them reading each update that I watch. You guys are having a lot of fun and it is contagious.

The upcoming update will drop mid-month. I am going to try and keep it to two newsposts a month because there isn’t that much to report right now. A lot of behind the scenes action, we’ve been continuing to reach out to various community groups. Some HICU stuff. I hurt my back because I slept on it weird. That’s not related but it is a little funny.

Now if I’m able to make a request of YOU, I’d love some help on getting a short list of the top 10 favorite Homestuck Songs. I’ve run some informal polls before but it was a while ago. I am in talks with a vinyl printer to do a Best of Homestuck album (working title) and right now I need to finalize a list and contact the musicians that would be on it to get some small contracts going in order to get them paid.

To provide a little clarity for the situation this merch, while very cool, is possibly largely because it requires no upfront cost from us. They recuperate their costs (and presumably a small fee) and then the rest goes to the musician. Since there is not much overhead on my end, and I am not WP we are not beholden to the old music contracts. Which means new contracts, that are maybe a little better for the individuals. On a side note: with the way Bandcamp is changing, we will have to find new ways of distribution going forward.

The summaries seemed to go over well, so here we are:

  1. James here.

  2. New Patreon posts, including a poll that will run until the 10th.

  3. A full team AMA on the Homestuck Subreddit Dec. 16th at 2PM PDT.

  4. Update will be towards the middle of the month, as usual.

  5. Not much to report this month, just the usual outreach.

  6. I want to know the top 10 Homestuck songs to put on a physical vinyl release.

  7. wuv u 🙂

Posted by James on 16 November 2023

Hi, James here. It's another update! First up, thank you for the outpouring of support. I wined and dined the part of the team local to my area to celebrate. That is to say, five of us got delivery and sat in my living room and talked about how cool you guys are. We looked at fanart and laughed at posts and shared valuable life experiences. It was lovely, and also delicious.

On twitter we posted some previews from the patreon rewards. We will eventually post these on the site itself, but we want people who are paying for it to have it to themselves for a while. If you are interested in checking them out there is a link to the patreon up at the top of the page. Also right HERE(make this a link to the patreon) (link to the not patreon). Nothing there will ever be required to continue enjoying the comic for free though. Just a lot of fun bonus stuff.

This month we tried going at it without a newpost every week to see how that felt. I don’t know if I liked it, but the problem arises that there won’t always be news to report. Even today’s post is a little thin. So I’m thinking maybe two a month? How do you guys feel about that. Reply to the twitter thread or in the reddit post that usually goes up. I tend to try and read those two on my own time. I wonder if there is a secret third large community out there. Maybe tumblr? Mysterious…

As part of an HICU initiative, we have begun reaching out to a few large communities and fan-driven projects in order to establish more open lines of communication. Hopefully opening these lines of communication will help to set up some new and exciting future collaborations. I am a little less involved in this part of things, since I’m usually overseeing the creative side of things. Our good friend Miles is heading this one up so please be kind to him. While typically the name of the game here is transparency, since there are other parties involved it's less “up to me” than usual. “Other parties” in this instance doesn’t mean some corporate sponsor or w/e I mean literally the people we are talking to. Don’t worry, it's just common courtesy and not some sort of secret backroom deal.

Speaking of backroom deals, how about that update! Have you read it yet? Go read it!

A summary:

  • James here.

  • Thanks.

  • Briefly mentioned the patreon rewards. They are not required to enjoy the comic, just fun extras.

  • Trying different update/newspost schedules, give us some feedback. (reddit mentioned)

  • HICU is reaching out to some fan communities and projects to establish communication and potential collaboration.

  • Miles (one of the writers) is heading that one up so I (James) have less to say about it.

  • Waiting to hear back from some of them, but will tell you about it when it goes through.

  • Read the Update.

  • I love you.

Posted by James on 30 October 2023

Hi, James here. Today we’ve officially reopened the Patreon for new subscribers! (If I were a youtuber here is where I’d edit in a children cheering sound effect) For current subscribers, first and foremost, thank you for staying with us. I’m excited to show you all the cool stuff we’ve been cookin’. New content should go up on the 1st of November, and will include a lot of commentary and behind the scenes art.

As mentioned on various other outlets, I want to take some time to address some of the more frequent questions we’ve been asked.

> Why drop the ^2 from the name?

In the original outline, it was just called Homestuck: Beyond Canon. Andrew mentioned the old team pushed for the ^2 but this isn’t actually a sequel in the traditional sense. Functionally it serves to distinguish this as a new production, but also I just thought it sounded better.

> How much communication is there between you and the old team? Will the story follow their outline? Will it follow Andrew's outline?

We do not have much contact with the previous directors, if any. I have not spoken to many of them in years on account of everyone having their own life to live. While there seems to be a misunderstanding that I asked the previous lead director to join the project, that is not the case. I did not, and I cannot envision a scenario where it would be appropriate for me to do so. My guess is they were asked in the early days of the hiatus, by someone other than me. I did, however, contact the previous lead director to tell them what I’d be doing because I didn’t want them to be blindsided by it. I didn’t want anybody using it as an excuse to further interrupt their life. In general, I would like this discussion put to rest.

I think the current trend of decrying the old team is a waste of time and energy, and I’d ask you not to do stuff like that for my sake. They were put in a hard spot and tasked with something exceedingly difficult. I understand how important building trust with the community is, and what an uphill battle it is going to be. I would like to personally recognize and own up to the fact that many of the decisions and actions of that era hurt a lot of people and created a rift that might never truly be bridged. For my part in that, I am sorry.

The post-canon's foundations are built upon a story that we didn't always agree with, and had its share of questionable decisions. One team already bore the brunt of trying to build upon it and here we are audaciously in spite of god and man, trying to build upon it again. We are so many steps removed from these choices that needed to be better than they were, that one might ask "Why bother at all?" We agreed to take up this mantle because, like many of you, we are a team of passionate people who believe in where the story can go.

To that point, we are following a few broader strokes of these old outlines that have already been established in the story. We are writing the rest of it from the ground up, building upon the foundation of our predecessors and making something new.

> Any chance of Pesterquest (especially Dirk and Aradia's routes) being relevant to HS:BC in the future?

I was talking about a particular story point in the writer's room recently (before there is too much confusion it is not a physical place, just a discord channel haha) and the consensus is we do not want to make it necessary to consume paid content to understand the story. Are they relevant? Yes. Are they essential? No. There is already at least one reference to Pesterquest in what I've been calling the prologue (the original HS^2 chapters). I wrote it in a fit of self indulgence.

> Will the bonus updates continue?

I think we would like to fold them into the main story in some way. As I mentioned in the previous answer, It felt unfair to paywall content that could be relevant. There is a big opportunity to do so that will happen later in the story, and we all really loved them, so I hope so.

> Can you tell us what's going on with Hiveswap?

Many of us who worked on Hiveswap did so as freelance contract workers. Am I legally allowed to tell you what I know about Hiveswap's production? No I am under an NDA, but also if I am being frank I just don't really know! I'll get a little more into that in the next question actually.

> Now that you own the rights to Homestuck, what are your merch plans? Will you make ___ ? What about the books? Will you ever bring back ___ ?

First some clarification: I do not own Homestuck. The HICU has legally acquired a license from the creator of the IP to work with the property and monetize it. On top of this, Andrew has asked me to officially finish the story and given me complete creative control over its direction. These are two separate but important points. I was asked to do this, and then we tirelessly worked at finding a way to allow us to do it and pay the people who are doing it. And so the HICU was born.

Before I get too carried away, let's talk merch. We are allowed to make merch and sell it. We have the legal rights to do so. We want to. We have talked about a number of things that we want to make. This will take time, and will cost money. Some of the ideas we've kicked around include apparel, collectibles, and physical album releases. Will all of these happen? I'm not sure, but I would like them to. I am currently in talks with some people about a Best Of Homestuck collection on Vinyl, but will need to contact each musician individually and sort that out before we can proceed.

Since I do not make the Homestuck books, I do not know what is happening there. There have been some changes, but I do not know the details because I am not actually like the new CEO of Homestuck or anything. It's not that I won't tell you, it's just that I don't know because I only know what is going on with HICU stuff.

Similarly, because we weren't the ones who made the old merch there isn't really much I can do in terms of "bringing it back." Though, maybe, we could make a better version of it. If you want to see some of the old stuff, maybe hit up TopatoCo! They recently started reprinting some of the old shirt designs! Neat. If it was a For Fans By Fans product, you might just be completely out of luck. I don't think that company exists at all anymore. What I think happened is GoodsmileUS acquired their overstock at some point and was just selling it off until they ran out.

> Fix ____ ! Are you going to retcon ____ ? Will ____ get a redemption arc? When will we see ____ again? (etc)

I see a lot of you chuckleheads out there saying "make this ship canon" or "put this character back into the comic!" and it genuinely warms my heart to see people who are so passionate about this thing they love. That's who I'm doing this for. Though, most of these "questions" (and I use that phrase very generously haha) can be answered by simply asking for you to wait and see.


There are a handful of questions I had avoided answering on social media because I felt they needed appropriate thought and care in order to answer them in a satisfying way. I'm sorry if this seemed like I was dodging talking about some of the more sensitive and important concerns people had. The short answer to this is we want to resolve these threads in the story. Please let me explain this a little.

To reiterate what I said a few questions up, "The post-canon's foundations are built upon a story that we didn't always agree with, and had its share of questionable decisions… one might ask "Why bother at all?" We agreed to take up this mantle because, like many of you, we are a team of passionate people who believe in where the story can go."

I know there were more than a few sort of baffling decisions made by the people that came before us, but I think just ignoring them entirely and retconning the parts of it that are actually in the text already wouldn't be satisfying for anybody. It's a quick fix for a larger problem. We love these characters. I do not want to punish them for existing or turn them into a one dimensional tasteless joke. I think the only way to give these issues a satisfying resolution is going to be to handle them with the delicacy and care they deserve. These characters are in the hands of people who genuinely care about how they fit into their world. We are tirelessly working at handling these decisions in a satisfying and respectful way. This will take time, but I know it will be worth it.

If you still have your doubts, I think that's fair. As I’ve said before it is going to take a lot of effort on our part to mend the ties between us and the fandom, but I think we all want that. All I can ask is that you please give us a chance to try and resolve these threads in-story in a way that is exciting and satisfying for the readers and writers alike, but also respectful to the experience of the characters.

> How much of the story is plotted out?

A lot of it! This one wasn't actually that interesting of an answer… but I understand how important it is to be clear about these sorts of things.

> Will there be regular updates?

Yes, updates will be once a month. We are hoping to up this number in the future, or at least make the updates a little more robust. Since we are telling the story in narrative pieces instead of a chapter based format, sections will have varying length. We also want to try different ways of updating too. Maybe one page at a time like old school Homestuck. Maybe posting it in chunks once a week.

> Can I buy a license too?

No, this was a special circumstance, but don't lose hope yet. I don't control this, or the speed at which it happens, but there are plans to expand into other things as well. This will take a lot of time, and we are just barely getting started. And while I can appreciate the hustle, please do not send me your projects. Until I ask for them.

> Well are there at least plans for more projects?

Yes! That is the ultimate plan of the HICU. We'd like to expand into other things as well. What I don't want to do here is over promise and under deliver. Will we do X? Will we do Y? Z? I would love to, but for now we are focused on HS:BC and some community outreach. As Yoshi-P (iykyk) is so fond of saying, please look forward to it.

> How can I join the HICU? Is the HS:BC team hiring?

I don't want you to get too excited so I'll be frank with you. We are not currently in open recruitment, and have the manpower we need for now. If we were to bring on more people, there is already a shortlist of people I'd choose. I've had a lot of people say they want to volunteer but I am very careful and selective about who I bring on to this team, because it is important to me that I can trust them implicitly.

However... without getting into the spoilers of it in the future there will be an opportunity for guest artists to be brought on. One thing I am sort of always mentally establishing a shortlist for are things like the patreon rewards. Illustrations and the 4-komas, etc. I also want to see about putting an album together, but again I am not at the stage where I am doing that yet. I will let you know. It will not be for a while.

> Is there any plan to fix the old Homestuck pages?

Unfortunately, I don't know. That's not really under my team's umbrella. I don't actually know who would be the one to fix that.

> What Pokémon would Vriska have?

Somebody asked me this as a joke on reddit and I've been thinking about it all day. I don't know about enough about Pokémon to answer this in a meaningful way so I defer to Haven who had the following to say: "Vriska would have a Zacian because it's a legendary, it's blue, it's overpowered as shit and it's pokedex number is 888."

Posted by James on 25 October 2023

Hi, James here. You guys know me pretty well already. I am a simple person with a simple dream. To topple the shogunate and usher in a new era of bushido. This is widely understood, but I thought I’d take some time to introduce the creative team behind HS:BC. I’ve talked about “the team” but just who the hell are these freaks?

Our Art Director Kim is someone you might recognize from a handful of other homestuck projects. His style is almost instantly recognizable and has helped define a lot of the look of the more recent Homestuck era. Kim runs the art side of things like a well oiled machine. He is organized and efficient. He’s spent so much time analyzing what makes Homestuck look so unique, and leads style studies and art jams with the other team members. Kim’s panels are dynamic and sharp, and he has been spearheading this sort of new fusion of old and new styles. He is also the one on the team that is the least afraid to tell me when I’m not being funny. This project could not exist without him.

Andi and I have also worked on a number of things together, from Homestuck to personal projects. They’re one of my favorite artists and they are a well of creativity. Seeing their designs and sprite work gets me so excited for you guys to see it. They were one of the first people I tapped to draw for me and their ability to style match is absolutely unparalleled. Andi worked with me on the first update and absolutely knocked it out of the park even with my somewhat vague instructions. From character designs to style studies to story brainstorming they sorta do it all. They also draw a lot of clowns in their free time. If that’s not training I don’t know what is. In many ways, this project could not exist without them.

If you’ve been around in the fandom for the last few years, you know Chumi already. The worlds #1 Jade Harley fan. Their style is a little softer, and honestly a little cuter but they’ve really brought their A-game to this project. We’ve done an upcoming update together, and I’m so excited for everyone to see it. Chumi chips in with design and does a lot of behind the scenes clerical work too. She keeps us on task with check-ins and scheduling meetings. You could say this project could not exist without her.

When Andrew asked me to assemble a team, Haven was the first person I brought up and Andrew immediately agreed. Not only is Haven one of the most talented artists I know, but one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. Haven's panels are stylish and practically bursting with personality. Haven’s writing is thoughtful and quick witted. He has such a good understanding of the characters, and you can always count on him to get a laugh. He’s constantly drawing the characters and posting them in the work chat. His passion and hard work energizes the rest of the team in such a way that I don’t think this project could exist without him.

Floral is the writer I had the least one-on-one experience with before the project started. She was recommended by several team members during pre-production. I read their work and there is such a delicate and precise touch, coupled with a clear and tremendous amount of care for the characters. I knew they would be in good hands. Floral is creative and deliberate in their writing. They have a clear vision of where the characters need to go and how to get them there. Their dialogue feels natural and really humanizes the cast. If you were to ask me, I don’t think this project could happen without her.

What can I say about Miles? Miles has known Andrew and I for years, and has such a natural and charismatic charm to him. I knew him largely as a comedy writer before this but seeing him pour himself into worldbuilding and plot mapping has really inspired me. Miles brings an important element to the team, in that he’s kind of a bro. The kind of guy that could probably best some kind of beast in singular combat. His favorite guys are Equius and Dirk. You really need that kind of energy sometimes. Miles’s writing is so full of character and charm. I’m excited for you all to see what he has to offer. I personally think this project could not exist without him.

Being on this side of things in this sort of role really makes me appreciate just how hard working and creatively brilliant Andrew was. These are huge shoes to fill. We will do our best, not only to finish the story we inherited but to put our own spin on it as well. There are so many exciting things down the line that may take some time to get to while we do some cleaning up, resolve some loose threads and establish story beats. I’ve been listening to feedback and while I’m not actually taking suggestions it is genuinely exciting to receive such an overwhelming response. It actually seems like a lot of people are sort of on the same page as the writing team, which is refreshing. I love seeing that you guys care as much as I do. It warms my icy little heart. In that capacity, this project could not exist without you.

The PlanPosted by James on 18 October 2023

Hi, James here. First and foremost, what a launch! Glad to be back. Thank you for all the well wishes, kind words and honest criticisms. The team and I are loving the energy. You have made us feel very welcome in a sometimes overwhelming space.

In a continuing effort to be as upfront as possible about things...

On the 30th of October, we are going to restart the Patreon. This was a sort of heavy decision that we understand may not sit well with some people so we want to be forward with you about it. We want to allow people the time to sort out whether they’d like to stay subscribed or not. Patreon exclusive content will be made public after a few months. This will consist of non-canonical one-shot comics, behind the scenes visual development, sketches, storyboards, writer/artist update commentary and a few other things that we will get into on the Patreon itself. I want this to be something you choose to do because you support what we’re doing, and never because you feel like parts of the comic are being withheld behind a paywall. The comic will still update on the main site as always.

So, how will this time be different? This might be a lot to read for those of you who are not interested in this, but I want to do things differently this time. I want to give the readers as much clarity as I can afford.

First up, we need to be very transparent about where the money is going. This time we are paying all of it to the HS:BC team. Unlike previous projects, we won’t have a larger absent entity dictating what is and isn’t necessary for us. This time there will be no third parties taking large percentages of money that could be paid to the people who contribute instead.

Every month, aside from basic operating expenses (web infrastructure, hosting costs, etc.), 100% of Patreon funding will go directly to the HS:BC team. For the first few months 80% will be split up evenly among the current team of contributing members and technical crew. The remaining 20% will be used to backpay the current team several months of work done for this initial buffer of updates.

Secondly, the update schedule has been a hot ticket item of discussion. October will see two updates to get us started. After that the plan is to switch to one update a month while we continue to produce more and feel things out a bit. If we are able to get into a groove, we would like to increase this number. I do not want updates to be tied to how much money the patreon makes, though I won’t pretend It wouldn’t be nice to quit our day jobs and do this full time.

The team has been building a sizable backlog of pages, which is sort of a new thing for HOMESTUCK. All the hits are here: aspects, classes- you get it. We have taken a lot of care in developing and resolving story beats and character arcs and making sure a lot of these things happen on screen. Though, some of these things will take time. We aren’t even out of Act 1 yet! A lot of passion has gone into continuing and evolving the story we have inherited by a group of people who care very much. And so far they have been doing it purely for the love of the game. In that regard, we truly are so back. 😲

After I have paid the team for this buffer and development time that number will change to a 95% even split revenue share with the HS:BC team. 5% each month will be saved in order to build up initial capital for those luxury projects that require some upfront funding: [S] pages, Albums, Merch, etc. The money made from those endeavors will still be paid to the individual artists. We can talk about a financial breakdown for that when the time comes, and if you still want to know. I do not mind.

For albums and merch I want to do a much fairer split than the current system. The money would go to the musicians and the artists. I do not have a company to run so there is no reason for me to make money off of contributing creatives, other than recuperating any costs (which shouldn’t really be much). This is something I would like to work out with people individually and I am slowly beginning outreach to the old music team so this may take a while. I am also interested in new blood in this capacity, so I’d love to hear from some fan music groups too. I will try and set up some channels for this in the coming months. There is a lot of work for us to do. Hm. I take it back. It truly is so over. 😒

I think that just about covers the plan. Here is the short version:

  • The Patreon is coming back and will begin again starting November 1st.

  • The money from this goes directly and entirely to the HS:BC team.

  • We operate independently from What Pumpkin and VIZ Media, and we will not be paying them.

  • Another update will be coming in October.

  • Starting in November, updates will be once a month while we feel things out.

  • Small percentage going to [S] pages, merch, and more music.

We are going to be updating the reward tiers and will talk about that a little more in the future. We want to conclude the bonus update stories, but if and when we do that we will probably tackle the important threads from those in the main comic so that things don’t feel paywalled. Overall, I want to have more community involvement and engagement, and I think the first step towards crossing this bridge has to involve us being more open with the fans.

Under New ManagementPosted by James on 8 October 2023

Hi, James here. You may know me as someone who worked on music for Hiveswap. Maybe you know me from my awful social media posts. I also wrote a few things for Pesterquest. Now I am in charge of a new team of people inheriting everyone’s favorite webcomic franchise.

So. “Beyond Canon,” huh? As some of you may know, I’ve been trying to get some Homestuck projects off the ground. A few of those things saw some movement (I’m still crossing my fingers about those vinyls) and at some point I swore to some rosemary shippers that I’d make sure there was more content if we won an internet poll. Which we did. By a complete landslide. Absolutely fucking washed those clowns. Love wins.

About a year ago Andrew approached me with the idea of finishing the HS^2 story, (which was originally just called Homestuck: Beyond Canon) and after a few months of kicking ideas around and finding the right team of people we’re back baby. It feels great. I am genuinely so excited to show you the stuff we’ve been cookin’ up.

I know that the last thing anybody said about it is that it would be written in full and dropped all at once, but that was maybe a bit of wishful thinking. We’ve all been there. As time went on and people started moving on to new things, various opportunities and difficulties arose and ultimately plans changed. As such, the torch has been passed to me. 😎

To address one of several elephants in the room, yes this is a new team of people. Andrew has been calling this part of the Homestuck Independent Creative Union which he explained a little on the About page. I’ve handpicked a group of writers and artists I trust, and I want to move forward with the fandom and start having fun again. I want to be more transparent and engage with the community more. I don’t know if I always agree that “No News is Good News” so I want to try a more open policy, even if the news is kind of mundane. Sometimes the people just want to know that we are still doing anything. Fair enough.

In the coming weeks check back here and there will be more news, more announcements and more questions answered. I hope the story we tell is as fun for you guys to read as it has been to make.