June 11, 2019

 

                                


Commentary for June 11, 2019:

Well, I promised to talk about the differences between this chapter and the original version of this story in the commentary for the final page, so here it is.

Wait! The final page already? Well, I did say in an earlier commentary, after all, that some chapters would be as short as only three pages. As a reminder, pages of Eonís World in its original format were arranged in a three-by-six grid pattern, totalling eighteen panels apiece, and that was enough space to tell a complete story sometimes. Now, I donít envision many chapters being as short as this, but do you really want a lengthy chapter following this election campaign? There is an alternate reality where I wrote out the entire debate, after all, and this chapter probably would have run two or three times its current length in that case. I guess if you enjoyed The West Wing (like I did), you might get something out of that. Otherwise, maybe not. Besides, this story isnít about the nitty gritty politics of the United Federation, itís about Cookiriniís new boss; what kind of man he is -- as established on the previous page, not much of a saint really, but not an outright monster. Somewhere in the middle... a centrist, you might say.

Anyway, enough of that. How does this compare to the original version of this story, which was on page #4 of the old Eonís World? In the original, the election was a national election for the presidency of Meridia, not an international election for the presidency of the United Federation. Samanfur the Fox was already President Chancellor (eep, is that a spoiler as to whom shall win?), and the Meridian election only had two candidates -- Bass (yes, from Mega Man) and Harry Eastwood (an OC created by Stuart Edney, who later co-created the webcomic, Exterminatus Now, featuring Harry Eastwood among other OCís). Cookirini worked for Eastwood in a similar capacity to her work for Mortimer here. Otherwise the stories are actually quite similar, or at least similar in purpose in that they introduce the candidates for a major election, one of them Cookiriniís boss, whom the voting public isnít terribly receptive to, presenting Cookirini with a significant challenge to getting her boss elected.

So, why the changes?

Well, I made a difficult decision going into this remaster to remove the Mega Man stuff for reasons I gave in a previous commentary, and that meant Bass couldnít run for office. But even if Iíd kept that stuff, I wouldnít have had Bass run. Because heís a robot and therefore not recognised under the law as a person. I made out in my first attempt at remastering last year that there was a loophole in Meridian law that allowed him to run, but from a worldbuilding perspective, that just didnít sit well with me. So, I was initially thinking of having a ďreformedĒ Doctor Wily run. But when I decided to nix the Mega Man stuff, that all had to go.

As for Eastwood, that one was also a tricky decision. In the original run, Stuart Edney eventually requested that I stop using Eastwood in Eonís World (I suspect because he wanted him to be exclusive to Extermantaus Now, which is fair), and I respected his decision. As of page #126, he never appeared again (although he was mentioned once or twice). But when it came to the remaster, I kept Eastwoodís stories in on the first pass, and I feel as if that was kinda naughty. I mean, sure, they were essentially the same stories Iíd originally written when I had permission, just with some tighter dialogue and maybe an alteration to a scene or two, nothing too egregious. Nothing that screamed, ďNew story featuring a fellow creatorís OC for whom permission to use was explicitly revoked in 2003!Ē Yeah. Iím not buying it either. And with this pass, which is as much of a reboot as a remaster, I simply cannot justify featuring Eastwood. Sure, I could try emailing Stuart Edney to ask him for permission, but we havenít spoken in about sixteen years and Iíd kinda prefer to include a character I can use again. Indeed, Iíve decided not to include anyone elseís OCís in Eonís World now, with the exception of those whoíve been grandfathered in via Vol. 2 (there are about four of them, all characters I sought and received permission to use when first embarking on Vol. 2).

And thatís how Mortimer was born. His first name, Harold is a respectful nod to Harry Eastwood, but he is my own creation who will fulfil essentially the same role in the story that Eastwood filled, but with the possibility of appearing again in the future after his current part is played.

Finally, the decision to change the election from a national election to a global one was conservation of detail, I suppose. I didnít want to have to create another character for Mortimer to run against for the Meridian presidency whoíd then disappear into the ether afterwards, whereas making it an election for the presidency of the United Federation, Earthís global government, meant I could have him run against characters who would become well established later on. This way, Mortimer is a seasoned politician with a long career in office behind him, entering his final year as Meridian President and vying for the only real job above that, President of the United Federation itself. And a whole bunch of other stuff that happens later on makes much more sense this way, but spoilers.


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