The first sentence is a contradiction to me.
How can you like a story when you think the writing is “really shitty” in the first place?
Agreed. Now allow me to write a rebuttal.
First of all, the best thing about Homestuck is that it’s unique. There is no other comic that has even remotely the same premise or format. It’s a comic written by a young person for young people, for a young generation. Andrew recognizes that his audience, being both young and addicted to a medium that introduces constant and immediate entertainment, needs to be continually engaged. He doesn’t drop character arcs, he merely sets them aside so he can concentrate on the larger picture, because this keeps the audience engaged in what’s happening. It allows us, as a fanbase, to speculate and analyze and wonder and, most importantly, keep us coming back for more.
Which brings me to the next point, which is Andrew’s authorial presence. You say that an author’s hand should be “unseen and unfelt”. I understand that this can be a matter of opinion, but I truly enjoy getting insight into Andrew as a person through his self-insertion. I have read many books where the author is a figure who is mysterious, sometimes mythical, and utterly inaccessible. By making himself a part of the story, Andrew has made himself not only accessible but relatable. We think of him not as the writer but as a participant in the story itself, who is writing it along with us. He is a friend to us, on our level, someone who thinks and breathes and laughs with us instead of just a name on the cover.
This brings me to my third point, which is that, almost above all things, HOMESTUCK IS WRITTEN BY THE READERS. Yes, Andrew guides our progress, and knows where he wants the story to go, but never, ever forget that the first two acts of Homestuck were written from reader-submitted commands. In the telling of the story, we are the person playing the game. We are utterly involved with the progress of the characters we know and grow to love, because they are us. Not only that, but the only way Andrew can tell the story is through the conversations and actions of his characters. If a point is better driven home or presented by one character than another, then staying on one character for long periods of time would not only bore the audience but be detrimental to the progress of the story.
As for his talking to the fanbase through the story and taking from our suggestions, why shouldn’t he do this? Andrew Hussie isn’t writing Homestuck for himself. He is writing, one hundred percent, for his fans. What better way to talk to us than through the story we all read? What better way to make us feel involved in the creation of the story than by taking our suggestions? Homestuck is completely organic and develops fantastically. It can be a roller-coaster at times, and yes, it does switch between arcs very quickly, but none of this is something that can’t be handled with a little thought. It’s not meant to be easy to read, it’s meant to be interesting.
Finally, you need to consider that Homestuck is an ongoing story. If you read a book halfway through and then put it down and say that it’s terrible, you aren’t judging it completely. Of course the writing is patchy, he hasn’t finished it yet. We don’t know which character arcs or story arcs are finished or have merely been put down to be developed to a later time. We don’t know what information is going to be pertinent to the story or the character. We don’t know what will turn out to be a critical plot device or just a joke or if it’ll be both. We don’t know, because it hasn’t happened yet. You can’t judge a book by its cover, but neither can you judge it by the first half.