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Homestar Runner

March 20, 2009

I’ve been dreading this particular review ever since I read it on the list. Lets get it started so we can end it as soon as possible.

Before I actually do this I want to set the record on this one. Homestar Runner is not a web comic. It doesn’t even belong on the list because of that fact.

I’m defining this as a web cartoon. I don’t know how many of those there are, there’s quite a few machinima shows out there like Red vs. Blue but I wouldn’t describe those as cartoons…maybe they are.

Homestar will still be reviewed today but let it be noted that the list is down to the 19 best web comics because Homestar Runner doesn’t count as a web comic.

Background: The first appearance of Homestar Runner was in a childrens book written by Mike Chapman and Craig Zobel in 1996. It took until 2000 before the character made his way onto the internet in a series of flash cartoons by Chapman and Zobel. Matt Chapman, Mike’s younger brother, provided the voices of the characters.

Much of the spread of Homestar Runner was due to word of mouth. The Chapman’s refuse to put advertising on the website, paying for it with sales from merchandise. The site exploded into popularity after they created the Strong Bad Emails, a series where the character Strong Bad answers fan emails (or made up ones).

The Cartoon: Homestar Runner isn’t really a series like Red vs. Blue with a coherent storyline or a plot.

There’s one main cartoon, Homestar Runner, that gets play but there are also 12 sub-cartoons that have sometimes vague connections to the main one and other times are just little moments featuring a character, like the Strong Bad Emails or Marizpan’s Answering Machine.

Mini-spin-offs is a good way to describe them.

The website also features  flash games using the show’s characters.

It’s pretty respectable website and I do respect the creator’s decision to not put ads on it. It’s pretty cool that they’re able to pay for it based on merchandise sales.

This website was extremely popular when I was a freshmen/sophomore in high school. I’m not really sure why. Maybe it just appeals to high schoolers.

I watched a few of the episodes back then but it never really appealed to me.

I watched a few of the episodes today and it still doesn’t really appeal to me.

I suppose I can see why people find it hilarious.  For me it just never clicked. For a long time I hated the website, hence my earlier dread. Today I’m annoyed by it when I do watch but I’m not loathing it.

The biggest problem I always had with Homestar Runner was that the cartoons always felt like they were trying to hard to be funny. Like it was being forced.

That and I never liked the character of Strong Bad, who is the most popular character from the show.

He just annoys me. Sometimes I chuckle at his antics but for the most part I’ve always looked upon the character with a certain amount of disdain. I get that he’s kind of the failed villan character who’s a dick and a failure but it never made him funny.

Normally, I can’t complain about “juvenile” humor because I watch shows like South Park and Family Guy. There is the sort of immaturity to Homestar that supposed to make endearing but fails for me.

Here’s an example of Strong Bad popularity that I wanted to punch people for in high school.

Trogdor the Burninator.

Everybody had seen that video and everybody loved the Trogdor song.

I saw the video and I hated it.

It’s the most extreme example of the cartoon forcing itself to be funny by juxtaposing various “ridiculous” things together and then making a song about it. Oh haha, a dragon with muscle arms burns a village while a guy sings about it.

Whoo…

I seem to be complaining a lot about this cartoon. Let me compare it to Cyanide and Happiness and then I’ll call it quits.

Cyanide and Happiness is just stupid. It’s “gross” humor that thinks it’s funny because it uses “gross” humor. Like the added shock value will somehow make you realize that what you’re reading is crap.

For Homestar and C&H I’ve said that the humor in both is immature. Homestar is different in that it has a charm to it but like I said, I’ve always felt that it was trying to hard. C&H thinks its funny because of its jokes. Homestar wants to be funny because every character in the show has some degree of mental retardation.

I’m not asking for sophistication here but a little intelligence and growth would help.

My Recommendation: If you’re in high school and below, Homestar Runner is for you. If you mentally haven’t left high school and/or live with your parents then Homestar Runner is for you.

Otherwise, I’d back away. Back away.

Scyo.

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