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.
Super Bluey | April 22nd, 2016, 9:31 am