NOTE: This comic no longer updates here as of July 11, 2018. Updates and other stuff can be found at ensemblecomic.tumblr.com instead. This is pretty much because the mods would ban me for the next update anyway. Please follow me there! DISCLAIMER: I have to put this here to warn you all. Ensemble will have some darker themes, comedic as it may be. There will be things such as the following: blood, violence, a small amount of smoking and drinking, minor swearing (not anything severe enough to to break the forum rules), suicide, assault, multiple deaths (a good chunk of which are gory), and a ton of things that are implied but never stated outright or shown on screen (on page?) that are definitely not for children. It won't be SuperUltraGoreFest3000, but blood and violence will occur. Personally, I'd recommend you be at least thirteen to read Ensemble due to the subject matter. It may have cartoon cats, but the stuff it's based on is not really particularly for children. HOWEVER- and this is IMPORTANT- please note that Ensemble really doesn't take much focus into most of these things, and they will not be mentioned that much so the thing can barely get past forum rules. And before you ask- yes, Ensemble follows the ProBoards Terms of Service to the word. Also, Ensemble is not affiliated with or set in the Warriors Universe. It is not a fan fiction thing but my own creation. (Everything else here you can skip unless you're fascinated with disclaimers.) The opinions expressed by the characters in Ensemble aren't always mine. The morals expressed in the original source work are not meant to be repeated here. As said above, Ensemble is in no way affiliated with the Warrior Cats series nor does it take place in the Warrior Cats Universe- this is just the only place I can put it. Also, the art sucks up until page 75 or so, fair warning. And then it's mediocre from then on. NOW THAT THAT'S OUT OF THE WAY...
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: Music and cats."-Albert Schweitzer
ENSEMBLE: A COMIC IN TWO ACTS Based on the works of W.A. Mozart, Written and drawn by Red .
Tiger, let me tell you now a story. I know we may live in a mere suburb, and I know it is getting awfully late for you. But this story- this story is important. You see, in a land not far from here lies a city- a magnificent one, with skyscrapers like mountains, and within it lies cats- a whole society of them. I have met a few of them, and you- you remind me of them very, very much. They’re smart, and swift, with opposable thumbs and the ability to stand. They made a kingdom long ago, with two sides- sun and moon. They were very different in terms of foresight and vision, but together they could reach the stars. It was like that for a very long time. But not long ago- in fact, it might have been around the time you were born- things changed. One cat turned on another, and now- the world is more divided than it has ever been. The classes against each other, the sun and moon divided- the city is in ruins. And I know it is unlikely you’ll ever see those cats, or the city at all. But always keep them in mind- know balance when it is needed, or you’ll die out like a fading star. Look to the skies, Tiger. You may be a kitten, and I know your Ant Tabitha sounds like she’s spouting nonsense, but always remember that someday, the stars may be in your eyes- and remember the balance that might have still been.
No star is ever lost we once have seen, we always may be what we might have been...
The Cast of the Comic Compendium of Cultured Cats (Note: Will be updated if other characters end up appearing.) Every opera or comic adaption of an opera with cats needs a cast, right? Here is the assorted bunch that make up Ensemble. Are they all Mozart's? Yes, although one is by proxy. Are they all opera characters? Indeed! Will anyone actually read these? Probably not! But here they are anyway for your plot predicting pleasure. UPDATED 4/16/18
THE COMIC COMPENDIUM OF CULTURED CATS, ROUGHLY IN ORDER AS THEY BECOME IMPORTANT TO THE PLOT-
TIGER/TAMINO: Golden Bengal tom with thick black stripes and eyes that look like the sunrise skies. Reminiscent of a tiger with his stubborn personality, many comment he is the spitting image of his mother. Two years old. Voice Type: Tenor.
THE THREE LADIES: Three Calico mollies of unknown origin, although they are triplets. Fiercely loyal to their Queen, they only differ from each other in moments of argument; otherwise they form an unnerving hivemind. Each are three years old. Voice Types: Two sopranos and a mezzo.
PAPAGENO: Tall brown Maine Coon tom with white markings and an odd birdlike getup. A down-to-earth, chatty cat who would much rather stay at home than be forced to go on an adventure. Three years old. Voice Type: Baritone.
OUR COMRADE, THE STAR-BLAZING THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT, SHREDDER OF TYRANTS AND CHASER OF THE SUN: A pure white Turkish Angora molly with bright blue eyes and a crown of silver. The mysterious but seemingly-kindly ruler of the city, formerly known as Nightingale. Eight years old. Voice Type: Soprano (although her voice is noticeably higher than other sopranos).
LEPORELLO: A small, underfed brown-and-black Manx tom. A jaded, quick-to-flee sort who is very cynical and is still dealing with the demons of his past. Formerly worked for Don Giovanni, unemployed at the start of the comic. Four years old. Voice Type: Bass.
DON GIOVANNI: A dark brown tabby tom, of no clear breed (his father, however, was a Norwegian Forest Cat). At first, he seems like a charming (if fiery) sort, but he really just seeks power in any form necessary- especially in the form of finding young mollies to "romance"(how true that word is to his deeds varies on the situation). Is considered dead at the start of the comic, killed in a fiery blaze by a supernatural force. Four years old (three at death). Voice Type: Baritone.
PAMINA: A blue-gray Russian Blue with white spots, the daughter of the Queen of the Night. Quiet, soft-spoken, and generally passive, she is more a cat of reason than of claw- but her fighting abilities are underestimated even by herself. Two years old. Voice Type: Soprano.
MONOSTATOS: A male shapeshifter- however, his primary form is that of a Banded Krait, so whatever form he is in he is bright yellow with jagged black stripes and a long forked tongue. The world turned his back on him, so he turned his back on the world- he is disloyal to a fault, and something of a dirty coward. Three years old. Voice Type: Tenor.
FIGARO: An orange tom of no known breed with golden eyes and a bowtie. Independent and proud of it, a revolutionary, and a trickster by trade. Three years old (exact age is unknown due to the circumstances of his birth). Voice Type: Baritone (although it can vary at times to be lower).
SUSANNA: A russet tabby molly of unknown breed with freckles all over. Her wit is as sharp as her tongue, and she's practically been born and bred to be as quick as she can. Three years old. Voice Type: Soprano.
COUNT TYBALT ALMALVIVA: A plump black-and-white Tuxedo Oriental Shorthair tom, a pedigreed cat often entered into shows. Due to his environment as a pedigree pet cat, he has become an incredibly selfish being used to things turning out in his favor, with a constant fear of being alone. Two years old. Voice Type: Baritone (but he tends to have the lightness of a tenor at times).
COUNTESS ROSINA ALMAVIVA: A light fawn Oriental Longhair molly, a pedigreed cat often entered into shows. Originally came from a rather neglectful home where she was solely kept by her human owner for show, she's a docile being, if a bit of a doormat. Two years old. Voice Type: Soprano (although she can have the edge of a mezzo at times).
CHERUBINO: A small patched brown cat with no breed and heterochromia. A young kitten far from hitting puberty, they always find trouble (or, as in the case of the Count, the trouble finds them), and tend to shy away from more violent activities. Six months old. Voice Type: Mezzo.
FIORELLO: An elegantly lanky dark brown tabby of no known breed. The quiet and patient servant of the Count, who is blindly loyal to his master. Three years old. Voice Type: Bass. (Fiorello is the only opera cat in the entire comic who is not based on a character appearing in a Mozart opera- he appears in Rossini's Barber of Seville, which is a prequel to Mozart's Marriage of Figaro which shares much of its other characters with that opera. Therefore, he is indeed part of the continuity of a Mozart opera, which is why he shows up here.)
ELVIRA: A speckled Turkish Van molly who smells of train smog, usually smoking cigarettes. A tough, no-nonsense molly who used to be far more naive than she is now. In a relationship with Donna Anna. Four Years old. Voice Type: Mezzo.
BARBARINA: A young dappled tortoiseshell molly, Susanna's cousin. A young molly who appears to be innocent and a bit of a ditz, but really is much more like her clever cousin than she seems. One-and-a-half years old. Voice Type: Soprano.
ANTONIO: A brown tabby tom, usually drunk. The resident gardener in the Count's service, and a constant alcoholic. Six years old. Voice Type: Bass.
OTTAVIO: A white Siamese cat with very dark black highlights. Appears to be nice (if a bit clueless) at first- and that's really all he is; he has little to no understanding of empathy or the fact that he's more than a bit clingy. Four years old. Voice Type: Tenor.
DONNA ANNA: A brown tabby Somali molly with green eyes. She is generally a caring, empathetic cat, but she has a very strong sense of justice, and won't let a bad act go unpaid. Engaged to Don Ottavio, but the relationship is very one-sided- she feels no attraction to him and is in a relationship with Donna Elvira. Four years old. Voice Type: Soprano.
MASETTO: A black Scottish Fold tom with scars on his flank and lip, from some scuffle involving a certain Don Giovanni. A generally gentle cat, but the minute you get him angry he'll stop at nothing in a rampage. Three years old. Voice type: Bass.
ZERLINA: A fluffy light ginger tabby molly, probably of no breed. Like her husband Masetto, she is a very gentle and kind cat; but she is less naive than her facade suggests. Three years old. Voice Type: Soprano.
THE SPEAKER: A dark Havana Brown molly with a gold collar. The second-in-command of Sarastro, and much more work-driven than he is (she has been doing Sarastro's job for the past two years. Eight years old. Voice Type: Baritone.
SARASTRO: Old tom with a clawed-out eye and a kinked tail; not much else known about his appearance by those outside the Council. The former king of the Sun, he's now more pitiful than anything, having almost given up his status after the death of his wife and the drowning of his three children. Eight years old. Voice Type: Bass.
PAPAGENA: Oh, you silly! Didn't you hear? Papagena died a year ago! She's long gone now.
All normal cats were from my own imagination, but the opera cats are not of my creation. You can find them all in Mozart's operas (or, in one case, in the opera that's a prequel to a Mozart opera! Ensemble, however, is mostly based on three in particular, even though characters and ideas appear from others besides them. Those three are: -The Magic Flute -Don Giovanni -The Marriage of Figaro All three are regularly in the top ten operas performed worldwide, and multiple recordings can be found of them across the internet.
Schedules Starting June 3rd and ending August 19th, Ensemble will be on a Summer Schedule! Updates will now be much more reliable, always on Sunday and Thursday every week. So, keep checking back in, we're going to be updating often! After that, we will revert to the usual once-every-week schedule.
There will be two halves to the comic: Act One, or the Trial By Fire, and Act Two, or the Trial By Water. Once Act One finishes, there will be an intermission between halves, where the comic will have no updates for three weeks. I like ending comic updates with cliffhangers. You have been warned. Sometimes, again if I'm in an emergency or something, comics will be released during the week to make up for it- but not always. Again, Ensemble’s schedule largely depends on how much time I have.
Other Odds and Ends -The art style here is supposed to be slightly off-model and semi-abstract. It isn't supposed to be too detailed; only what is needed -Ensemble is supposed to be set sometime in the mid-2000's (its never actually stated in the comic, but it takes place throughout the summer and fall of 2007). -I usually work in Adobe Photoshop for the most part, but I'll draw 'framework' for the comic, a storyboard almost, in Paint simply for ease. -The characters aren't mine (see above). However, this particular comic is my own idea. -Some of the references and jokes will be very obscure- so every comic will have an Author's Annotation that'll explain things. It'll also explain things like what the odd names mean or where I got inspiration or even more jokes that make fun of the comic itself. - Any questions you have you can ask me and I will answer them (as long as they don't give away the plot). In fact, feel free to say anything. -If you want to go see the original operas on YouTube, you can go do that (see what I said above about me changing the plot, though). Keep in mind that Mozart operas are not appropriate for children (especially Don Giovanni).
The groundwork had been set for a new opera house the months before it all began. The city cats had survived yet another harsh winter, but the March was still dry and not all that much warmer. The thirst was loathsome- only the pet cats could get a steady supply. This all changed when cats saw what appeared to be water in the construction area of the new opera house- and a steady supply, too! What they didn't know was that it was poison to keep rats and mice from nesting. This didn't kill them, no, but it got to their generic fiber. That was when the mutations began to occur. The first were minor- a slight change in personality or even fur pattern. But it only grew worse. Cats became intelligent, a blessing and a curse, and they banded together only now to start Kingdoms and stop the anarchy. Their paws painstakingly grew thumbs. They could stand on their hind legs now, but it hurt as their bones shifted inside of them. Many of the cats died- accidentally or not- from all the pain. But soon, the pain gradually came to a stop. The mutations carried on to their children and children's children, but it didn't hurt for them. And that was how the opera cats were born.
The Kingdom of the Sky's beginning, why cats have the titles of Don and Donna, and the story of the first king and queen
The cats had banded together after the first mutations began to occur- they could see now that these mutations were a big deal. They spoke in hushed tones and never showed themselves to humans, for the humans would surely exploit them. After a few seasons of harsh weather came the mellow Spring, and the cats finally realized they were bound to each other through mutated blood. They were not yet Opera Cats- their culture and society had yet to develop- but soon a few of them took on jobs, simple ones, like gathering useful objects or hunting for prey. Two leaders rose from the group- the stalwart Sun and the clever Moon. They fell in love and became parents to their children, Dawna, Solia, and Luno. In honor of their names, they named the newly-built kingdom the Kingdom of the Sky. Soon, however, this kingdom began arguments. Moon wanted to welcome the new and accept it as her own, while Sun insisted that if the Kingdom wasn't broken, it didn't need fixing. They parted ways and began a war amongst themselves. Luno joined his mother in the fight, and Solia joined her father- but the war ended up taking all of their lives. But there was also Dawna, that third child who had sided with neither and brought peace after the rest of her family was killed. She brought a new era where both the ways of the reliable sun and the ever-changing moon were together, bringing harmony at last. She was the one who built the original Castles and the Trials of Fire, Water, and Temptation to make sure her subjects were of good heart. Any cat that passed these trials would live in the kingdom along with their kin and kin's kin. Eventually, Dawna and Dawn were titles given to any cat, Kingdom cat or not, in her honor, and although it was shortened to Donna and Don, it became a tradition standing the tests of time. This harmony, while peaceful, didn't last, and soon history repeated itself as the Queen of the Night and Sarastro rose to power and fights broke out yet again...
Around the reign of Dawna came Scintilla, a trickster cat. She's one of few cats known by all opera and normal cats- Scintilla to the opera cats, Sparkfire to the normal ones. She was the friend of some and the enemy of some, and was well-known for her cleverness and aloof behavior. What many cats didn't know about Scintilla is that she was also practicing magic and its uses- especially that of the spirits of the dead. One day, she found an old rusty incinerator, and set to work going inside of it and coating the inside in a thick layer of magic. But this was no ordinary magic, no, it was the magic of evil and malevolent cats that she had tricked others into giving her. Her idea was that when she turned the incinerator on, these evil cats would get what they deserved- burned forever by sparkling flame. She hadn't anticipated what would actually happen. The flames didn't affect the spirits. But the spirits did defect the Incinerator- whenever a cat gets thrown in there, the will often find themselves wounded so badly that they think they'll never recover. But they do. The only thing that never heals is what gave them their power. If a cat relies on their sight, for example, their eyes will never heal of they are blinded. If they relied on their voice, once their voice grew thin and raspy and almost unable to hear it would never become strong again. Cats who were put in the Incinerator were considered dead, but in essence they were like some Schrodinger theory: both dead and alive. Scintilla was honored for this disposal of evil cats, and many Incinerators were repurposed by opera cats and used for this. What nobody anticipated was that most cats, with lies and trickery, would be able to escape just as easily as they were put in.
Long, long ago, cats lived in a land Where Souls Were Born. It was impossibly big and stretched two continents, where all animals followed the Cat's word. To the West sat dusty Savannah plains, to the East sat forests and rivers- and it was decided that one cat could never rule it all. To balance it out, lions ruled the West and tigers ruled the East, and the arrangement worked so well that one day the two got together and birthed a bizarre cub with the dark spots and stripes of a tiger but the golden pelt of the lion. They could travel both Savannah and forest quickly and without effort- it was smaller and weaker than its parents, but it was loved all the same, and the Leopard became the prince to both the East and the West, a symbol of their unity. One day, however, fought a broke out between felid and felid, and the sides became caught in the claws of a Civil War. Lion and tiger fought with all their strength against one for they saw as their enemy- it was golden like the lion and dappled like the tiger- only to realize it was their child, the little leopard cub. With their dying breath, the Leopard insisted that the land Where Souls Are Born remain united, and from then on the Leopard became the symbol of unity. Today, what cats say is the Leopard themself in a ghostly form can be seen in the Museum, along with the Twin Lions and the Twin Tigers./spoiler]
When the City was first built, it was a feeble place full of disease and sickness, constantly thwarted by itself. It was not long until it was utterly destroyed by a mile-high fire, rendering it as a land of ash and destruction. The cats in the land Where Souls Were Born saw this, and decided that guardians must be sent to the City- so a pair of the strongest lions were sent, one of the sun's fire and one of the waters glistening under the light of the moon. They were given the ability to shapeshift from bronze lions with massive manes to mortal lions with only a scruff of a mane. But the city was still feeble and only starting to begin again, and they decided two tigers must be sent as well- one for the summer waters sparkling in Sun's light and one for the fire under the night's indigo sky. The Lions are loyal, reliable, and strictly sticks to their duties, whereas the Tigers seek more than just that and will do what is needed even if it's not pretty to keep the City running. The Lions cannot tame the Tigers, the Tigers cannot make the lions go past their duty- but together each can learn from one another.
Next time, on Ensemble... Either this comic gets banned, or it singlehandedly becomes the darkest one on the site. Things should be fine according to the plan i've made here, but who knows, make sure you check out the ensemble tumblr page anyway to be safe.
And after that on Ensemble, the quickest way to make Mozart spin in his grave: Nothing says Chicago quite like a car chase...
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☾ѕησσzє☽: Theyre a tad expensive, but you can still get them on ebay if you want Fallowjump
Jun 4, 2020 12:52:01 GMT -5
Deleted: wow i aint been on here in a couple weeks
Jun 4, 2020 15:01:36 GMT -5
Deleted: how's y'all's june going
Jun 4, 2020 15:02:14 GMT -5
Deleted: i love coming to forums and immediately finding some cringe political trash
Jun 4, 2020 15:26:03 GMT -5
Deleted: f u n
Jun 4, 2020 15:26:15 GMT -5
WrymnTime: Yeah I love pride but I also hate Pride
Jun 4, 2020 16:16:20 GMT -5
meteorshower: You can purchase British copies of the books with something similar to the old covers still.
Jun 4, 2020 17:57:47 GMT -5
Goldenstar: I get all of mine off of Thriftbooks.
Jun 4, 2020 19:06:38 GMT -5
lotus eater: i forget that skyclan exists sometimes
Jun 4, 2020 20:58:54 GMT -5
Turin not Torino: You can buy the old editions for pretty cheap on either ebay or Amazon (there's a drop down menu to see other editions) used. New or hardcover is where the prices start to creep up.
Jun 4, 2020 23:51:17 GMT -5
coastalwolf: sup shouut box
Jun 5, 2020 15:42:33 GMT -5
coastalwolf: its so hot outside today.
Jun 5, 2020 15:42:47 GMT -5
`Robinfrost`: Man i just love listening to a dubbed comic and then almost having a panic attack because suddenly theres a ton of beeping noises
Jun 5, 2020 16:01:59 GMT -5
coastalwolf: hahaha! where did they come from? ive done that when reading a warriors book and then theres a BEEP BEEP BEEP and then i relize the fire alarm needs new batterys
Jun 5, 2020 16:12:56 GMT -5
Shadowbringer: Oh it was so nice today! I got to go swim in my complex's pool twice!
Jun 5, 2020 18:57:52 GMT -5
`Robinfrost`: me, about to reheat pizza: yes
Jun 5, 2020 19:00:04 GMT -5
`Robinfrost`: mu parents: no were having fajitas
Jun 5, 2020 19:00:12 GMT -5