Surprise 'Homestuck 2' release for interactive web comic

Dirk Strider, one of the leading characters in 'Homestuck,' in an early panel for Homestuck^2: Beyond Canon'

Three years after its conclusion, influential web comic "Homestuck" has an official sequel, with a full story outline and the blessing of the series' original creator.

First there was "Homestuck", running from 2009 to 2016, then the 18-part "Homestuck Epilogues," launched immediately afterwards; now there's "Homestuck^2: Beyond Canon" which, counter to its own name, actually is canon -- or, at least, mostly.

Launching on October 25 in recognition of the series' numerical motif, 1025, "Homestuck^2: Beyond Canon" (homestuck2.com) is based on a story outline from series creator Andrew Hussie and developed by an autonomous writing team.

Like its predecessors, it features a combination of animated comic book panels and written passages, sprinkled with frequent references to retro adventure game and MMO conventions, aspects of internet culture, and the nature of its own existence.

Additionally, and in keeping with "Homestuck" tradition, its readership will also be able to influence how stories develop.

For newcomers, it's possible to jump right in to "Homestuck 2," but the sequel's FAQ recommends familiarity with the original "Homestuck" if not the "Homestuck Epilogues" as well. An official recap is available for a quick, intense blast of franchise history.

Running on a monthly update schedule, "Homestuck 2" will increase to two updates per month once an initial community funding goal is met. Patreon supporters also receive bonus side stories, vignettes and extra details.

Having been inspired by video games and aspects of video game culture, "Homestuck" itself has generated three video games: point-and-click adventure "Hiveswap", which was made with the help of a recordbreaking crowdfunding campaign, its episodic visual novel spinoff "Hiveswap Friendsim" and the ongoing "Pesterquest."

All three have been released for Windows, Mac and Linux computers, with "Hiveswap Friendsim" also available for Android and iOS devices.