Homestuck, a popular multimedia webcomic series, announces that Dante Basco (Hook, Avatar: The Last Airbender) has joined the Homestuck creative team to bring the series to Hollywood. The webcomic follows four teenagers that became friends on the internet and their fight to save the world after playing a computer game that inadvertently triggers the apocalypse. Since its launch in 2009, Homestuck has gained a large online following in the millions, reportedly reaching about 600,000 visitors daily. In 2012, Homestuck fans — often called “Homestucks”– pledged over $2.4 million through a Kickstarter campaign for the development of a Homestuck Adventure Game.
Andrew Hussie, creator and author of the series, first launched the internet-story in April 2009 and has since then written and animated nearly 10,000 pages of Homestuck hosted on his website MS Paint Adventures. The structure of the story was uniquely designed to exist through multiple internet mediums and plays out like reading a book with interspersed animation and game sequences created through Adobe Flash. Homestuck satirizes internet-culture and classic video game adventures through a formatted “mock adventure game” first-person experience.
Dante Basco, (actor, writer, and executive producer for Kinetic Films) first became a fan of Homestuck after being urged online by his own fans to check out the series when a Homestuck storyline featured one of his most iconic roles, Rufio, from Steven Spielberg’s Hook. The Homestuck fan community followed Basco as he live-blogged his first read-through of the series in real time from his personal tumblr account. Basco’s publicized interest in Homestuck evolved into an online relationship with Andrew Hussie and further propelled Basco’s presence in the comic — including “secret” embedded messages from Hussie and the creation of a character named Rufioh who uses Basco’s personal typing style. The Homestuck team reached out to Basco, and he met with Hussie’s team in Boston to discuss the phenomenal evolution of the series and how to expand the web-comic’s reach in Hollywood.
“They’ve brought me in on the Hollywood-side to help set up what that team is going to be,” says Basco. “Homestuck is one of those cool, culty comics — one of those ‘Are you in on the inside jokes of this whole secret society world?’ That’s what it’s been since the inception of it. In the last six years, there are now millions of Homestucks all over the world. It’s at a place where we want to let more people in on the secret. Now how do we go about doing that?”
Basco has achieved notable success on film and television, appearing both onscreen and providing voices in many popular animated series (Star Wars Rebels, The Legend of Korra, American Dragon: Jake Long). Basco frequently appears on the international fan-festival and convention circuit, most recently at 25th Anniversary Screenings of Hook in San Francisco, California, and Austin, Texas. Basco also unveiled highly-anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise broadcast live from Hong Kong during a global unboxing toy event hosted by YouTube and Star Wars.com. Basco writes and produces projects for his production company, Kinetic Films, based in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Los Angeles, California.
“Homestuck is a story that could really only be told now. It’s about kids saving the world, but they’re communicating through Instant Messages. […] It should only be told right now in this digital age. It’s a new story, it’s a fresh story,” says Basco.
A Kickstarter campaign for a Homestuck Adventure Game was launched in September 2012. The initial funding goal of $700,000 was reached within days of the project’s launch. The crowdfunding project raised $2.48 million, making it the highest-funded comic-related Kickstarter campaign. The game is currently being developed by Hussie’s company, What Pumpkin. The official game is titled Hiveswap and does not have a current release date.
Since Homestuck’s first page was published in April 2009, Hussie has taken three hiatuses from posting daily content. Seven years after it first launched, Homestuck the webcomic recently concluded its epic run on April 13, 2016. However, according to Andrew Hussie, an epilogue to the series will be forthcoming. In the meantime, the series’ final updates will be hosted on Homestuck’s official YouTube channel.