001978 “Play 52 Card Pickup”. The only reason I’m even including this page is because its arguably the first to introduce the persistent theme of cards and card games.
001980 John leaves the house. So much for HOMESTUCK huh????????
001981 John checks the mail. Its empty. We already knew it was empty. Why are we even checking the mail? Reader input, that’s why.
001982 The Song that Desolation Plays.
This page is fucking iconic of Homestuck. Its an [S] page, and its basically the ‘title page’. Its animated, and the narration at the bottom is emblematic of some of the best writing in the comic. Its at once whimsical and weird, but also genuinely evocative. Combined with the sound, this panel has genuinely given me shivers.
The main takeaway thematically from this page is the discussion of riddles, and riddlers, which will be one of the major mysterious elements of Sburb. The intention of the game is to solve the ‘ultimate riddle’, a theme introduced here with the discussion of an unseen riddler whose riddle is ‘absence itself’.
John reflects on his birthday, and throws out a misattributed quote for us.
Absence diminishes little passions and increases great ones, as wind extinguishes candles and fans a fire” is attributed to Walt Whitman, and is in fact a quote from
François de La Rochefoucauld, a French writer from the 17th century.