First of all, happy new year!
Here's an info-packed update:
You may have noticed that the linework in the last two comic updates (part 5 and 6) looks a lot smoother. That's because I've switched over to Paint Tool SAI, an amazing program with tablet pressure sensitivity and stabilizers that actually work.
Here's the really sweet part: I purchased it with the donations you've been sending. Thank you! Your donations are helping to improve the quality of the comic. I'm trying to scrape together $170 to upgrade my old copy of Photoshop CS2 (which is a nightmare to run on Windows 7 64 bit) to CS5, which will greatly hasten the process of making panels, gradients, and ovals for speech bubbles. If you'd like to help, here is your chance!
I've been getting questions about how I pick OCs for background ponies.
People's OCs may be included if the following (scary) criteria are met:
1) The OC has to be a pegasus (or be allowed to be turned into a pegasus). No zebra/griffon alicorn hybrids.
2) The OC can't be too garish, eye-popping, or distracting (certain exceptions are allowed, though). Accessories aren't usually allowed (hats, etc.). Please don't be offended if I don't like your OC's color scheme. The comic has a palette, and it's pretty noticeable if a color doesn't fit (for example: jet black coats, very dark colors, or eye-poppingly bright colors are not acceptable). Good reference for possible colors: mlp.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_pon…
3) The OC should have a cutie mark that look like it belongs in the MLP FiM universe (laptops, helicopters, weapons, unusual symbols, etc. wouldn't be allowed).
4) OCs are background ponies and can't have prominent roles in the story because the series has already been planned out entirely. That means no speaking roles or marriages to Fluttershy.
5) I need a clear reference of the OC and his/her cutie mark (Pony Creator is acceptable). The references must have colors and I will not design cutie marks.
6) I only include OCs if the quality of the strip won't suffer from it.
I no longer accept the following:
- Ponies with two or more coat colors.
- Ponies with black or gray in their color scheme. I have too many submissions like this already.
- Ponies with cutie marks that draw too much attention or don't fit well in the MLP universe. For instance, cars, knives/blood, computer, religion, and videogame-related symbols are not acceptable cutie marks.
- Ponies with rainbow color schemes. It would draw too much attention away from Rainbow Dash.
- Ponies who share similar color schemes with the main characters of the comic.
- Ponies who have the same color for coat and mane. For instance, a white pony with a white mane or a green pony with a green mane is not acceptable.
- Ponies with a wing color that is a different than their coat.
- Ponies with unusual body proportions or physical traits. If you submit a pony like this, it will probably be changed to the body types typical of background ponies the show unless I think it won't be too distracting. Very few exceptions will be made.
- Ponies with accessories. Glasses are okay.
- Ponies submitted without color references.
- Ponies submitted without a cutie mark reference.
Prioritization is based on whether the OC's owner participated in an art trade with me, consistently gave helpful feedback, left a donation, or did something else that was thoughtful. Of course, not all strips are going to be jam-packed with background ponies, so you may have to wait a bit before your OC appears. My Patreon has guaranteed OC slots for certain tiers of support (artist approval of OC design still applies).
I also get frequent notes and comments asking when the next strip will arrive. It usually takes 1-2 weeks per strip (or maybe even longer, based on how much free time is available when I'm not at my job/school). I'd like to remind everyone that there is a comic progress tracker on my profile page (below my journal) that I update every time I make progress on the upcoming strip. For reference, the two steps that take the longest are the character and background coloring steps (1-2 days for each, usually).
A big thank you to all the translators of Dash Academy!
One final thank you to , who's been answering all of my sports-related questions and bringing me up to speed regarding the ins-and-outs of high school football.
If you have any other burning questions, leave them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer.