Caustizer's avatar

Journey to the Lunar Republic #1: Papers Please!

220 71 20K (1 Today)
By Caustizer   |   
Published:
© 2014 - 2020 Caustizer
Luna takes Twilight into her twin sister Dream's realm, and it turns out to be a very different place from Equestria.

NEW: Remastered thanks to the hard work and masterful art skills of :iconbonaxor: Changes include shading and background work.

 | Story Folder | Next >>

Written by me, and drawn by the talented Bonaxor.
Image size
1000x2505px 2.84 MB
Comments71
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
Slacx's avatar
Okay lest begin, after some sleep because it 3:55am here so yeah.

Both can't wait and can't believe I cept forgetting to back onto well this website, goodnight.
GuyBronson's avatar
GuyBronsonHobbyist Writer
glory to arstotzka
kallenin's avatar
If you liked this, then you'll also enjoy "Border Security: Australia's Front Line" - now available for streaming on Netflix!  XD

I hope Twilight declared all her organic produce...agriculture controls can be very strict. :)
Caustizer's avatar
CaustizerHobbyist Writer
The Lunar Republic's borders are a little tighter then Australia's. :/
Green--October's avatar
If Luna explained what was going on to Twilight when they reached the border, how did Luna get Twilight to go in the first place?

This is what we call a bad exposition dump.  Exposition dumps are the very thing a writer must avoid as much as possible.  For if you're not careful, they could become empty pace-breakers, and the characters giving it can come off as tools.

But I can tell that you needed to establish that Luna was going to the Lunar Republic to visit her sister who founded it.  In which case, I would have done it more organically.  E.g., why not give Twilight a diary/journal, and let her write it down, recording her thoughts as prologues or xenologues to your chapters?

But using exposition dumps, so lightly anyway, is a big no-no.
Caustizer's avatar
CaustizerHobbyist Writer
I'm not sure if this would be considered a spoiler, but when you later on learn about what Luna's real reasons are for bringing Twilight along it shouldn't be surprising that she has been secretive when giving the Princess of Friendship a summons. It is implied that Luna simply gave a letter to Twilight (or visited her in person) to state that she would need to come along for a few weeks on an important royal task, but admittedly adding a few more frames to the top of the comic to show this wouldn't have been a bad idea. Hindsight is always 20/20.

In regards to this being an exposition dump, the dialogue is actually rather basic compared to what it could be. It covers the what (a border station), where (Border of Equestria/Lunar Republic), who (Luna's previously unknown sister who rules it), when (a year after Twilight became an alicorn) which in my mind is the mandatory minimum that needs to be established in order to build an effective story. Now if I would've included blocks of text explaining in detail the whole history of the Lunar Republic and why we've never heard of it before... then that would've been over-exposition for sure. =P
foldabotZ's avatar
foldabotZHobbyist Photographer
legend of korra water gif ... Wait... Is that a Caribou in the first panel? 
Caustizer's avatar
CaustizerHobbyist Writer
Its an Easter egg - a character from one of Bonaxor's old comics that we included for filler. Good eye!
BOOOOOOM5's avatar
Reminds me of the game Papers Please.
Caustizer's avatar
CaustizerHobbyist Writer
That's where the title comes from. ^w^
PhoenixFlambe's avatar
I was say something in a Russian accent but I can't think of anything to say.
Jittery-the-Dragon's avatar
Jittery-the-DragonHobbyist Digital Artist
So I take it that the Lunar Republic is a bit... erm, independent. I do like that you've moved quickly to establish the tone of the series, I know to expect light dashes of comedy and it does work pretty well so far. Just keep in mind from a readers point of view I'm seeing a story that has an air of mystery but also is fairly light hearted given that nearly every page has a moment of humor in it, if that is what you are going for.

Artwork itself is very good, and consistently so but that's obviously directed at Bonoxor since they drew it. Good stuff.
Caustizer's avatar
CaustizerHobbyist Writer
The style of humour I prefer leans towards realism and comes across as a bit edgy in most comics. The central premise of the story is showing my idea of what the "Lunar Republic" would actually be as opposed to the crossover-y metaphor that is often used as a way to show support for Luna. Princess Dream is in many ways the opposite of Celestia in terms of her personality and methods of governance, but her style is not strictly better either... its simply a different approach that runs a bit at odds with the 'perfect' realm that MLP often portrays Equestria to be.

Equestria may be a place of peace and love, but it's also technologically backward and prone to calamity because it's poorly policed and relies on a small number of heroic (but flawed) ponies for its defence. The vast majority of its citizens are composed of earth ponies, unicorns and pegasi who have achieved their own brand of harmony - but one that excludes or finds little place for sentient beings of other races. The Lunar Republic on the other hoof is highly secure, technologically advanced and progressive in its stance on integrating many different races together to follow a similar set of codified laws. However, this approach means overall LR citizens are a bit more dour (and hence more prone to invest in bad habits like booze, weed and rutthouses) and in many places the use of high level magic is prohibited even when it could enhance the realm. This, combined with frictions associated with so many different races trying to live together means crime is higher in the LR.

Of course, trying to get across these serious themes is easier with comedy in my mind... so I try to make every comic funny. :D
Jittery-the-Dragon's avatar
Jittery-the-DragonHobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad to hear it. Comedy is often an effective way to get a message across, but it can backfire. that being said I do enjoy it so far, and don't see any real issue. I did have a similar concept lined up in the Wildcards series, with a society that has become less reliant on heroes and godlike beings... and more reliant on laws, and security (with all the flaws that can bring). It will be interesting to see how you decide to ride with that, seeing both the advantages and disadvantages that can bring (as you might have already shown with how Rigel seems to be treated, but I want to get into that in another comment). Of course, it doesn't need to be the focus and can work just as well as just a theme that sells the setting you have made for this story (that is to say, things happening in the background rather than in the foreground).
Caustizer's avatar
CaustizerHobbyist Writer
It's funny you mention Rigel's treatment at the hands of his mom. Have you noticed they haven't both appeared in the same comic with each other yet?
Jittery-the-Dragon's avatar
Jittery-the-DragonHobbyist Digital Artist
Oh my goodness, that means they're the same pony!
Caustizer's avatar
CaustizerHobbyist Writer
Not spoiling anything :P
Arctica95's avatar
Arctica95Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I don't think a republic can be a kingdom... Cool comic though :)
Caustizer's avatar
CaustizerHobbyist Writer
Luna wasn't exactly educated at the Canterlot Royal Academy :P
Istarian's avatar
I can't believe Twilight couldn't just teleport out OR blow a hole in that shield OR blow a hole in the wall.
Caustizer's avatar
CaustizerHobbyist Writer
She can, but it would make for a terrible start to her diplomatic mission to an already pretty hostile neighbor.
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In