So I finally finished something for this story. And it only took half a year!
Not even joking about that. This origin story idea has been in my mind (originally intended to be a fan fiction) pretty much unchanged since way back in May, so a few details are possibly slightly outdated. If you care at all about why it took me so long, or my extra thoughts on this thing look at this journal entry
, because I don't want this description to become as long as the picture itself. I hope this comic is clear enough for people to understand my story from the picture alone, but there are also a lot of details I would have included in the written version that couldn't really make it into the comic form, even as large as this is.
I actually finished an earlier version of this more than a week ago. In that one, I used dialogue instead of narration, but I felt like it just wasn't working. The story was too condensed, so the dialogue felt forced. So now I have this slightly odd alternative, and I realize it looks a little awkward in a few places how the ponies are all just standing there. So keep in mind that they are conversing, just that anything they would have said in such a small space would have been pretty redundant to the narration, so I felt it was better to leave it out entirely and let their interactions be somewhat vague. At least that way I didn't have to worry about using Ye Olde Ponyish due to the Nightmare Night episode.
I don't think I could ever be completely satisfied with this, and there are still things that bother me about it, but it's a lot better than the other version, in my opinion. Bleh, though, this thing has been molding in my head for so long, I can't even tell anymore if the ideas I wanted to express came through at all. I really hope this thing makes sense and everything...I keep bouncing back and forth trying to decide if I mostly like how this turned out or not.
Last thing I want to mention here is about Luna and Celestia's friends. That was the one aspect of this project that most had me procrastinating and waffling around. I honestly wish I could have done this story without having to define them at all. I felt like the whole point of those characters is that everyone has friends and other loved ones who matter to them personally, but to others a few steps away they become an unknown piece of the collective whole. Who Luna and Celestia's long-ago friends may have been is important to them, but to an audience it's enough to simply have the idea of their friends, with their individual identities unknown. I had to portray them somehow, though, but didn't want to just make up a bunch of random OCs. So, the character designs of their friends are...complicated. I'll leave it at that for the moment. If you don't like how they look, just think of them as placeholders for ponies we don't know.
So, was it worth all the effort and time spent trying to figure out what to do with this idea? Hard to say...this is the sort of thing that makes me feel kinda nervous in a way I don't get from just a silly random joke picture. Probably should have just stuck with writing it instead of comic form. In any case, I don't think I'll be doing something this complicated again.
[November 24] Thanks muchly for all the positive feedback, all. It feels good to see my little story received so well, and I'm starting to feel like I should remove that paragraph about wondering whether this was worthwhile. So I really appreciate all the comments, even if I don't reply to each of them.