Carmela:¡Alcance Las Estrellas! was a comic series based on Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team, started in February, 2007. It built upon the same basic story of the original game, but opted to follow one of the recruits, Carmela, instead of the human-turned-Pokemon, Daniel. For this reason, the series would have been viewed in Carmela's perspective, and any events that would cause the human character and their partner to separate from the rest of the team would be largely ignored, focusing instead on what Carmela would be doing during these separations.
The series had been cancelled somewhere between 2010-2013 and there are no plans to revive it, or spin it off in any way.
In the same way that Alternate Universe had roots in being based off of in game adventures (Pokemon Silver, specifically), Carmela: ALE was based on the in game adventures of my (again, me being Patrick, the one writing this) copy of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team for the Nintendo DS. It was a Pokemon game that I personally fell in love with, and a concept that I felt was a long time coming, especially after having imagined something like Poke Island and that whole series. The character of Carmela first existed as a doodle of an unnamed, thug like Nidorina, as it just seemed fitting for the species (sort of how fans also create more punk-like Nidorina). This predated the game, but not by much. I decided to play with that concept in game, and while I was restricted to Daniel the human-turned-Mudkip's story, my head canon for this world went wild otherwise, just like it did for Alternate Universe.
As a tribute towards this awesome and novel, not to mention hot at the time concept, and also needing something to give Aqua Bunny a unique flavor and reason to exist, I decided to take the game and retell it as a comic in a more irreverent way, following the Nido character as opposed to the player character. The undertone of the PMD world in this series is a bit more urban, as it was something I could relate to, and had experienced for a portion of my life. In a way, though, it was also a sort of self imposed fad, when would be one of the many reasons for its undoing. This reimagined setting is quite obviously apparent as early as Thunderwave Cave, but many other locations and characters, including those made up for the comic, would keep up with the urban feeling.
The series did well when it was new, with fans enjoying the close-to-official models of many of the Pokemon (another thing that would kill it). However, it was hard to keep up as each new page would require a lot of time and work. This increased amount of work and effort to publish only a single page led to me looking for easier alternatives for entertainment. Nevertheless, it was good to finally have something on Aqua Bunny that would truly set it apart from the then still active Creative Worlds.
Cancellation and Cancelled Plans
It took nearly a year to create the first 33 pages. Obviously, far too much effort was required to make a story that, so far, followed the games nearly verbatim. This didn't seem worth it, but I knew the unique, character centered moments would have been worth trying to get through the drudge (and if I may editorialize, this sounds extremely, almost worryingly similar to a current comic collection that's been inching along due to a similar "drudge"). I had planned to return to this comic sooner, but page 34 wouldn't appear until nearly two and a half years later, in April 2010. It seemed like things were picking up, but the last page, number 38, was posted in May 2010, and the series never received an update since. For me, the writing was on the wall a long time ago, and I only updated out of fan request, but there were many factors that led to the quiet cancellation of the series, including:
- Amount of effort wasn't worth it
- It took too long to get to anything unique
- Following a game story verbatim (which is probably why adaptation cartoons/animes barely do this)
- Lost interest in my self imposed urban fad. Yes, a chola Nidorina seemed really fun in 2007, but it didn't have staying power for me, nor did the setting itself (though I may have lived in it, I wasn't really a personal part of it. I find my life is way closer to AU, which... makes sense considering the origins...)
- Increasingly losing patience in feeling restricted to Sugimori closeness as opposed to my own style. It was cool when I made the Poke Tales/Legends tribute pieces. Not so much for an entire series
- Not feeling like drawing every Pokemon under the sun just because I had to. The Poke Island series is VERY lucky to have come out when it did, during the height of my Pokemon obsession as opposed to now where I'm mostly sticking it out for Nidos and perhaps a basketful of other monsters
- Having not played the game for years resulted in a lack of auxiliary zeal, and a loss of memory for in game events
- Growing up and out of a desire to create "edgier" works. That's not to say that I oppose of conflict, however
- No longer finding the characters appealing (save for maybe Medicham). Though they all have uniqueness, alternatives can be found in other series
- Feeling like The Pokemon Company, as usual, couldn't leave well enough alone and constantly making sequels to the PMD series left a bad taste in my mouth. It should be noted I no longer have this opinion, as I think it's important for future generations to experience this series, lest it fade into obscurity like Mother/EarthBound likely will...
None of these are mutually exclusive reasons for a loss of interest. Oh no, they're all very much part of a pile that just became harder to ignore, and I got tired of carrying. However, for fans sake, despite knowing the series proper was dead, I proposed an abridged version of the series drawn in picture book style, that would get through the series much much faster, as a last effort to give the fans closure. And if this didn't work, I always said that I would put the story up somewhere where fans could read it, and get closure that way.
A very real attempt to create the abridged version was made in either 2012 or 2013. While not drawn in the previously imagined picture book style, It only got a few pages in, up to the point where Carmela agrees to go with Daniel and Lilia before I gave up on that venture, too (see gallery below). I knew at this point I had nothing left in me for this series. I was done, and I washed my hands of it. While I have no ill feelings for the characters, they also do not invoke any sort of emotional response in me, as if they're either all dead to me or I'm dead to them. This is a pretty good sign to hang it up.
However, I don't like to leave fans hanging, and I knew one day I would make good on my "if all else fails" promise...
"It's All Over..."
Not necessarily. This may be true for me (once again, "me" being the writer of the comic and this page), but the series still lives on in the fans that enjoyed what was there. For this reason I leave the comic up. It has an important part of Aqua Bunny's history, and while I think it's a bit crass, personally, I figure someone may still enjoy what's there and what could have been.