In 2014 there are TWO special anniversaries to celebrate!
Eternity will have its seventh (or arguably tenth) anniversary
Le Bonhomme du Minuit will have its fifth anniversary (2009-2014)
I wasn’t sure of exactly when to celebrate these, since I don’t know the exact dates that I created either on. However, I do have a rough idea of when they came into being. Eternity (before it was Eternity; read for more details) came about in the autumn of 2004, but it truly became “Eternity” in mid-summer/autumn 2007. As for Le Bonhomme du Minuit, it was first written in the late spring/early summer of 2009. Since I’m not sure of the exact dates, I decided to celebrate these anniversaries on the luckiest day of the year: July 7.
Eternity’s anniversary is very nebulous. I first had the ideas and characters that would form the basis for Eternity in the fall of 2004. However, this series was not Eternity. A perfect comparison would be Moonrunners to The Dukes of Hazzard. Moonrunners preceded and inspired the astronomically more famous show, introducing the basic plot, many of the concepts, and even a few characters who would eventually appear or find counterparts on The Dukes of Hazzard.
Likewise, the series that preceded Eternity was called Animaland, and had a different premise, focusing on the adventures of Boomer (an early counterpart of Concorde) within the city he lived in, and Ezra’s (an early counterpart of Topaz) treasure hunting exploits. In Eternity I better integrated these two things to form a coherent story.
I forget if the Eternity Bands existed or not; I think they did, but I don’t think they were anywhere near as significant in the plot as with Eternity, where they are the catalyst for the entire series.
Many of the Eternity characters existed, some more similar to their Eternity counterparts than others. For example, Topaz (then called Ezra the Cat) was more or less what she is today, albeit with a somewhat different design and somewhat less of a villain. Like with Eternity, Concorde and Topaz were joint main protagonists, but their adventures overlapped a lot less than they do in Eternity. Concorde (then called Boomer the Hawk) was also more or less what he is today.
A few other Eternity characters existed then, but they were much different than they are today. There was a character called Mascara the Cat, who formed a very loose basis for the Mascara the Fox we know today.
- Rivet (then called by his real name, Jeremy) was an ally of Concorde’s, very similar to what Ceylon is today.
- Phoebe existed in a similar role to her role in Eternity, a close friend and voice of reason for Concorde, and compared to the other two, has changed very little.
- Nikko was something of a sidekick to Concorde, as he is today, but he was a dog (a Chihuahua, to be precise). Other than the species change, his design was actually very similar.
- Twilight (and by extension, Myota) existed in a similar role to what he has today, though without the affiliation with the Rivetkin family and as more of a humorous/parody type character. Escarlata (then called ‘Rosetta’; she was actually known as Rosetta for a very long time after), Wraith and Static (“Wraith” was short for “Scree Wraith” and Static’s name was originally Lightning) existed as a three-animal group with Rosetta as the leader, much like they are today, except without Camille.
- Triss existed in a role somewhat to hers today, though her name was Snowdrift, she was a cat, and she had a twin sister named Bluebell (who was later named to Demesne when Snowdrift was renamed Triss, and Demesne disappeared in Eternity).
Towards the end of this phase, Martial, Dixie and Yanna (then going by her full name of Pollyanna) were introduced, playing roles very similar to what they are today.
There were also many characters who did not return in some manner or another in Eternity, and were exclusive to Animaland. I don’t recall much about them, but a few of them were human, which is noteworthy since there are no major human characters in Eternity. One I remember was a human boy named Davey Alder, who was a friend of Concorde’s, but I don’t recall much else about him. There was also a mottled orange/brown tomcat named Scrap the Cat, but I don’t remember his role.
In the mid-summer through fall of 2007 is when Eternity began to truly take on the form we know and love today. During this phase the ideas were just flowing out of me in a constant stream; I would use almost of my free time to draw and write, and many more characters and stories came about. Many new characters came about in this phase, including Larina (then called Lara), Feist (then called Fury), Camille, Opal, Talons (then called Talon), Ceylon, Angel, Sable, and Rivette. The Eternity Bands became the driving force of the plot, and the geography of the series began to form into what it is today (though many of the location names have changed in ways that are too complicated to map out).
In between that Golden Age and today, far fewer characters joined the cast, but there were still some, including the elegant swordslizard and lord Marius Rowell (early 2009, possibly late 2008), the graffiti expert and star (the Banger word for “leader”) of the Renegades of Funk, Maize the Cockatiel (mid-2010), as well as the lovely, versatile Bandchaser Bali H’u (early-mid 2012).
Now you have a complete (as complete as I could manage) history of Eternity’s creation.
Since I can't decide, I will celebrating this anniversary as both Eternity’s seventh AND tenth anniversary! Double the celebration!
Le Bonhomme du Minuit has a clearer-cut “birthday”. I came up with The D.C. Mysteries, a story that would later morph into LBdM, in the late spring and early summer of 2009. This became a very extensive summer project, and one that I worked quite avidly on. It was just as well: my parents were busy for most of the summer, and when they weren’t busy it was pouring rain. At least we made up for it by spending two weeks in a five-star hotel in Hawaii at the end of the summer.
At this point in time, it was titled “The D.C. Mysteries”. It was set in then-contemporary Washington D.C. and followed the adventures of Helen (who became Jasmine in LBdM) and Cadence as they sought out clues around the capital in hopes of solving a mystery that connected both of them. Both got into many adventures, including breaking into famous museums, sneaking into the local police station to take a set of files, stealing a brooch in the middle of a crowded event, adventuring into the wooded swampland of Roanoke Island to find a treasure, going into a complex tunnel network to pursue a lead, running into creatures from local mythology, and even getting handcuffed to an adversary, amongst other things. Along the way the would meet many friends and foes, including a beautiful and showy yet mysterious woman who knew more than her appearance would suggest, a C Major impostor, a polite yet quiet gentleman, the talented chief of police and his determined, arrogant offspring, the CEO of an important company, an eager young reporter with a secret about her job, a shabby old man with a knack for musical inventions, and more.
Does any of this sound familiar? That’s because this story would eventually come to be known as Le Bonhomme du Minuit.
Last year, while I was home for summer break, I made a nostalgic discovery. In my bedroom was a walk-in closet of sorts: it was its own space with two doors, and was large enough to comfortably walk around inside, but was not officially a “walk-in closet”. I was searching for one of my sundresses in here, and I noticed something had fallen into the crevice between my bureau and my wall. After I pulled it out, I realized it was a battered old folder. Though there was nothing remarkable about it from the outside, it was what was inside that brought back memories.
The folder was crammed with drawings and lined paper, both in a notebook and in loose-leaf form. Before I had Tamikah, I would write out all my writing by hand, then type it in on the home computer in the library when I got the chance. What was written here was a story, along with a very-detailed plot summary (even to this day, I like to write out plot summaries in great detail. I find it so helpful to know where I’m going with a story!). There were also other notes, such as some character biographies and information about the places in the plot. There were some drawings; some were illustrations of scenes or concepts and others were drawings of characters. Over time I started putting the drawings with the rest of my art, and I noticed that some of my older drawings in my other notebooks that I thought were random characters were actually characters from The D.C. Mysteries!
In retrospect, it was a good thing I moved some of these drawings, since I can’t find anything else anymore! With all the work that’s been done in my house since I left, since my parents are selling it, all the other parts have probably been packed away somewhere (at best) or lost in the shuffle or thrown away (at worst).
After looking through all of this early work and falling in love with it all over again, I discovered that I wanted to revisit it. Though I really loved the plot and the characters, I thought I could write it better now than I could in 2009. In spite of that, I haven’t changed that much. Though I did rewrite nearly all of the prose, Le Bonhomme du Minuit is about 95% identical to The D.C. Mysteries in terms of the characters, plot, plot points and events of the story. There were so many things I liked that I didn’t want to change them; I just wanted to make them better-written. You can find out about some of the changes on the Le Bonhomme du Minuit website.
I have a few ideas of how to celebrate Eternity’s 7th/10th Anniversary.
- A character cosplay challenge: all the Eternity characters dressed as someone else
- A Rule 63 challenge: all the Eternity characters gender-reversed. I was actually going to do this to celebrate either 200 or 300 deviations a couple years ago. Some of the character designs have changed and I’ve become a better artist since then, so even though I was about half-way finished with those, I’ll probably start over.
- A “then and now” picture. This would show the designs of the Animaland characters contrasted against the Eternity characters’ current designs. I don’t remember what all of them look like, so I would either have to go from memory or use the character designs I still have drawings of.
I have a few ideas of how to celebrate Le Bonhomme du Minuit’s 5th anniversary.
- An original fiction/fan fiction crossover. This would be a crossover between Le Bonhomme du Minuit and a series that is not of my creation. For the record, I have no desire to have an Eternity and Le Bonhomme du Minuit crossover; it just wouldn’t work. Eternity is set in fictional locales in the far future on a maybe-future Earth (depending on which version of the Age of Heroes myths you believe), whereas LBdM is set in the recent past in New Orleans.
- A cast picture. I actually started working on this last year, so even though it does make a good anniversary marker, I’m probably going to do something else.
- A “then and now” picture. This would show the designs of The D.C. Mysteries characters contrasted against Le Bonhomme du Minuit characters’ designs. I don’t remember what all of them look like, so I would either have to go from memory or use the character designs I still have drawings of.
As part of this celebration, I will be posting more information about the early days and trivia for Eternity and Le Bonhomme du Minuit in the future!