Sir Elton, let me tell you about 'Homestuck.' And 'Steven Universe.' And SuperWhoLock.
Elton John is going hard in the publicity his marathon farewell tour, with two covers albums out tomorrow. He's also decided to complete his social media portfolio by finally joining Tumblr, calling it "a special space with a creative community full of talented and influential people that embrace everything from music to fashion and drive the spirit and passion I so admire as an artist" in a PR release. He's not wrong: Tumblr is a cool place to find fan art, memes, wild fan theories, more memes, fans analyzing the ever-loving shit out of fictional character interactions.... which then turn into memes. Listen, if I sound slightly bitter, know that I frequented the site from about 2013 to 2015, and as possibly the one of the few music writers who can summarize the general Nerd Fandom's travels from Steven Universe to Land of the Lustrous, I'm going to inform/warn Sir Elton on what he may find now that he's become a Tumblr-ite.
A blanket term for one of the first and most powerful fandom conglomerates, the term referred to Tumblr users who were big on Supernatural, (which found a second life on the community more than 5 seasons into its run) Doctor Who, and Sherlock. There was a second conglomerate of fans that formed in about 2015 who liked the animated series Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, and Over the Garden Wall. Why these three series for the first group, I still have no idea. It's probably because they all feature generically attractive white men who engage in slightly flirty banter with each other. That's another thing you should know about, Sir Elton: shipping.
This is when fans are fond of two characters who they see as an ideal couple, yet the work never makes the relationship canon. They will draw fan art and write lovingly detailed fan fiction depicting these couples being adorable together. Or boning. The communities come up with tabloid-y portmanteau names for these pairings, too. For example, the extremely popular ship of Captain America (Steve Rogers) and the Winter Soldier (Bucky Barnes) from the Marvel CInematic Universe is called "Stucky." It all kind of rules, to be honest, because some of these ships are more daring and have better chemistry than canon relationships.
Right. *cracks knuckles* If there's one piece of fiction that embodies this entire goddamn site, it's this. Sir Elton, let me tell you about Homestuck. It's an ungodly long webcomic by a guy named Andrew Hussie about four kids who get sucked into a computer game that ends the world. They then meet a group of twelve horned, gray-skinned alien kids who are also playing the same game, which prompts a shift in the story's focus from video game hijinks to melodramatic anime tropes. Homestuck ran from 2009 until 2016 and its plot got ever more complex and loopy as it went on (there are more than 100 named characters by the midway point, along with multiple universes, self-recursive timelines, and several reenactments of scenes from 90s action blockbusters) until it eventually became a multimedia work encompassing Flash games, animated short films, and an indie record label. It was so big at one point that the fans threw about $2.5 million dollars at Hussie on Kickstarter so that he could make an adventure game based on the comic's universe. Homestuck is a truly wondrous work and you should probably read at least some of it (start at Act 5 if you want to get to the "good part") if you ever want to understand Tumblr in all its geeky glory.
UHHHHHHHHH... just google it please don't do this to me.
Yeah, that's also a part of being on this site. It's not weird or wrong. It just kinda... is. Sir Elton, I know you're probably not going to frequent any parts of the site that I just mentioned, but you should know that from Star Wars to K-pop, Tumblr is built on the idea of fan interaction. I dunno if there are any boomers on the site, but perhaps the teens who frequent it may adopt you and build an Elton John Universe. That'd be pretty tight. You're gonna have lots of free time once this tour wraps up in three years. Maybe you can use it to read all of Homestuck ahahahaahaha who am I kidding only losers as big as myself have time for that.
Phil is definitely not on Tumblr anymore, but he's on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on Noisey CA.