Clover Leaf grew up as a citizen of Our Town, the first ever cutie mark-free society in Equestria.
Life in Our Town was perfect. Everypony had food to eat, a job to do, and a cottage to live in. There were many, many rules - but that was okay, because was no poverty, homelessness or crime. Every day was predictable, life going on under the watchful benevolence of Our Leader Starlight Glimmer and the rest of the Founders' Council.
When Clover turned fifteen, she and her classmates would undergo their Equalization Ceremony, becoming the first generation of ponies to ever grow up without cutie marks. Clover couldn't wait to have her own Equal Mark and be seen as an adult in her community.
But when Clover was thirteen, a new pony would move in to the village who would begin to plant doubts in Clover's mind about the philosophy she'd been raised on and the things she'd been lead to believe about Marked Society. Soon, Clover would have to make a choice between the community she'd been raised with - a life of security and certainty, or a life of freedom.
This story is currently planned to be about 10 chapters with a possible sequel. We'll see how it goes. Warnings
: This comic will not contain any graphic violence, but it will contain references to brainwashing, gaslighting and indoctrination, psychological manipulation and allusions to real-life cults that some readers may find triggering, especially those who come from high-control environments. If you have personal experience with cults, read this at your own risk. Some personal notes:
Just about everything that happens in this comic either is taken directly from the episode or a real-life cult. I've always been fascinated by high-control groups, and this story will intentionally have many direct references to real groups (eg Heaven's Gate, Jonestown, Gloriavale, Jehovah's Witnesses). Feel free to @ me on this and ask me what aspects of the story are taken from real cults! Other influences to this comic include stories like The Giver, one of my all-time favorite books, Fun Home, the graphic novel that ultimately inspired me to write a memoir-style comic, and the copious amounts of young adult dystopia I grew up reading. Young adult dystopia is still my guilty pleasure.
This comic is sketched, lined and colored with traditional media, on 14x17 paper, almost entirely in Faber Castell markers. The lettering is done digitally using the Chinacat font. Minor digital editing/retouching is done after the art is scanned, using the programs paint.NET and Inkscape. I intend to post new pages twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturday/Sunday (depending on when I finish it!)