every time this image comes into my life i want to cry a little
part of the phenomenal success of homestuck (in terms of sheer readership numbers, compared to other free internet comics) is that it’s marketed directly at people raised by the internet. not just this particular generation (current 13 year olds thru 20somethings, i think the cutoff is around 25 or so but it varies)—but people who grew up with the internet as a significant (or their only) source of friendship, comraderie, support, information, and artistic/literary expression.
most of us are very heavy internet users (to the point where our internet use could be considered compulsive, addictive, or otherwise problematic). most of us have a social circle over the internet that is as large or larger than our “rl” circles. (most of my close friends are internet friends. hell, most of my LOCAL friends are people i met over the internet too.)
speaking for myself, the internet is how i stumbled across and researched things that remain my passions today: sexuality, queer theory, gender, art, writing, storytelling, comics, fashion, kink… the list goes on. the internet is where i went when i was bored, sick, depressed, scared, or lonely; the internet is where i went when i was the only out queer kid in my middle school and later at my high school and i felt totally alone in my town. the internet told be it was ok to be queer and ok to be weird and ok to be unsure of who i was. the internet was my circle of friends who listened to me and looked at my art and read my writing and told me it was ok to be lost and confused. the internet is where i grew up.
that is why some of us viscerally connect with homestuck. it’s a story told mostly through chat logs and screencaps, long-distance communication, in the vernacular of games, forums, and memes. on a deeper emotional level, we know what it’s like to have close friends who we might have never met, who we know as words on a screen or a voice through our headphones—intimate but intangible.
tl;dr internet kids love homestuck bc homestuck is about us.