So, that was The Yoshi Herd. Whatever it was, whoever you are, I hope you enjoyed it. This epilogue has been a bit sparse on explanation because, really, what else is there to say? I'm sure I left something important out. I definitely skipped over Bowser, but I'm sure we all know how that ends. But, to my knowledge, everything that needed to be covered has been wrapped up, either on-camera or in an off-hand comment.
I suppose, then, I should explain myself.
The short version is, I finished my dumb web comic and so can you. The longer version of it is, much like the comic, long and ambling and poorly thought out, but you might still find it interesting.
The theme of this finale has been "purpose", in a broad sense, and I haven't exactly been subtle about it. Characters finding their own path ahead, working out what they're comfortable doing, and in the end, learning to accept their position in life. I'm not going to try and claim that anything before that could be seen as having a theme, or that it even holds much relevance in the end, but I feel like it all informed this last arc.
I don't think The Yoshi Herd has ever been a particularly good comic. I've always been most critical of my own work, but I think that's about as objective as it can get. Rather than redeeming it, I guess my thinking in Unlikely, Indeed, Epilogue and True Epilogue was more about telling a story that could reflect on what I've now spent 8-9 years of my life working on. That might succeed, it might not, I don't feel like my writing has a strong logical basis and is overly reliant on emotional ploys, circuitous logic and - um, loquaciousness, I guess.
At its core, The Yoshi Herd is raw. I didn't realise at the time just how much of myself went into its unpolished state. The character of Mike hogs so much spotlight from the cast, it's hard not to see him - me, circa puberty - as little more than an egomaniac. Which is why he became a character, and not just a self-insert. That was a lot more fun to write, so, bonus.
I feel like this aspect of The Yoshi Herd is representative of a much bigger trend, if I might be allowed on my soapbox. Children are being allowed online from a much earlier point in their lives than ever before. Even my generation were kept from making idiots of themselves until their teens. So, inevitably, we've got a record of every stupid thing we've ever said or done floating around somewhere. And, believe me, there's a lot there I'm not proud of. There's a lot there no one's particularly proud of. And there's only going to be more and more of it, from more people, from an even earlier point. In some cases, kids will have selfies of themselves on a public database before they're even in school! That's crazy, isn't it?
Well, The Yoshi Herd is that to me. The temptation to just pack my bags up, erase whatever I could, hope nothing ever comes back to me - it's been huge. I've been fighting it for years. Unlikely, Indeed was the point where I decided, I didn't want that anymore. If nothing else - if I could be proud of nothing else - I wanted to be proud of The Yoshi Herd. When I look here now, I don't see broken promises or unfunny jokes. I see a coming of age. And that is, in its own right, a worthwhile story.
I started up a mock sprite comic for my own amusement over ten years ago, when my age had barely made it into the double digits. That was what became The Yoshi Herd.
I registered this domain with Smack Jeeves almost nine years ago, and started again from scratch. I had barely begun high school.
I started updating on a weekly basis about two-and-a-half years ago. I was in my final year of university at the time.
I got a job. For the first time in my life I was working nine-to-five, five days a week.
I kept updating. There were nights where my heart just wasn't in it and I couldn't slap anything worthwhile together. So I started working on them before they were needed - for the first time, I had a backlog, however rudimentary it was.
I am rambling now. But what I'm trying to say, I think, is if you have a story to tell, even if you think nobody but you wants to hear it - that's one person who wants it. That person's enough. I firmly believe every story deserves to be seen through to its end.
Excuses are just that - excuses. You have time. You have the capabilities. All you need is to care.
Yes I understand that this is a dumb sprite comic, and the skills put to work are a lot less taxing than a proper hand-drawn bombshell. But the only skill worth a damn is your own perseverance.
Thanks for reading, or sticking around, or whatever. In spite of everything, it's been a wild, fun ride, and I wouldn't change it for the world. See you around - though, with any luck, you won't recognise me. I just want to keep telling stories, so as long as someone's around to care about them - even if it's just me - I'm going to keep going.
It occurs to me that TYH - when it DOES update - may be going in a... surprising, direction.
No it is not becoming a slice-of-life weekly series featuring a girl named Yoshi in a catsuit. I don't know why you even jumped to that. You are everything wrong with the anime industry.
It may be going in a direction that you don't agree with. That you think is strange, stupid or otherwise ill-informed. I would say it might be confronting, but I don't think I'm enough of an egotist to assume that much of my own work. And it might be that these things frustrate you, that you don't like what is happpening.
And that's 100% fine and dandy. Whether or not you enjoy it or even want to keep reading, do what you will, it's your life and at the end of the day this is just a dumb webcomic.
It's more likely I'm making assumptions, and putting more stock in my ability to tell a story than I should.
While we're on the topic of TYH, I guess the point of writing a final chapter is that it has to end at some point. And it's been a hell of a ride. A weird, crazy ride that I really made very little effort to control. These more recent comics, I've tried really hard to make some sort of sense out of it - which may inevitably lead to the above worst-case-scenario, I guess - but still, fun. And that's what writing is for me, it's fun and I don't want to ever give that up.
What will I do once TYH ends?
I don't know, exactly. I don't think I care to know.
It's something we'll just have to deal with when we get there, huh?
Now it's pretty unlikely that people are checking the site out right now (Since it's been 3 months since my last new comic), and even less likely that anyone's checking the news (It's kind of an eyesore, might have to fiddle with the code there), but for those few people who fit the cross-section of that Venn diagram - rejoice!
You are the first to hear that the first two comics of "The Yoshi Herd" have been re-released, in glorious pretty-sprites-edition.
I call this 'Operation Beautifly', and the goal is to revamp the comics in terms of story, pacing, delivery and style. The key features will remain the same - Ruby is still Ruby, Yoshi is still the idiot savant you know and love and the Triforce will still assume the form of Troshi as necessary.
That last one could be a bit hit-or-miss, I dunno. Point is it's going to be the same, but better. Cutting out the filler, replacing it with delicious cream.
Comments are being retained, for better or worse, so feel free to read about my early struggles against simple Paint and Flash functionality, or my since-reviled ability to drag a joke out for far too long and crack in-jokes that hold no place on the internet.
So I gave the site design a minor face-lift.
There's still a couple of kinks in it, because I decided to mess around with the code a little too much; if you see any errors, please inform me and I will fix it up.
I'm still undecided on this, but I might be taking a break from updates on the weekend after Christmas; regardless of whether or not I do, I'd like to wish everyone here a Merry Christmas, and also I'd like to hope that next year can be as good as this one has for The Yoshi Herd!
I mean, never in my life had I expected for TYH to be such an astounding success... Of course, I hoped and dreamed, but an average of 64 favourites just from the Smack Jeeves community? If I had the money, I'd actually get the comic onto its own domain to see how well it'd go.
Seriously. You guys rock.
So, TYH's 200th comic is coming up. To be honest with you, I'd completely forgotten, but the fans have reminded me and I'm beginning preparation.
Any cameos need to have sprites, between 16-bit and 32-bit (Basically, all I require is shading). It'll just be a simple party, maybe out on one of the massive Mario levels, so just post/PM your sprites and character details, since I'll have them speaking and interacting instead of just standing.
Any other questions? Just ask.
It would seem that on "The Yoshi Herd", I get more and more moronic buffoons leaving stupid comments by the day. That is, of course, an exaggeration, but one comment leads to A BILLION MORE. I guess that the better your comic gets, the more people read it, and the more IDIOTS read it.
Anyway, I have now prevented guests from commenting. Don't try and complain, because you brought this on yourself.
So, I am just about on school holidays again. Does this mean I will be reverting to a daily schedule for TYH?
Not just yet. There's one thing I've been meaning to comic for a while now, which will relieve some of the monotony in the current plot. That's right, a mini-plot. Not just any regular mini-plot, it's a contest.
The next update will see the beginning of this plot; keep your eyes peeled.
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