"It's not poison," Ben protested, waving a hand at the glass.
It was with those words that it all began, way back when I was in high school (we're talking about seven years ago). Originally, this story was supposed to be some random little vignette about my friend Sara's and my versions of two boys called Ben and Jay. Ben was a little insane, and Jay was his tolerant best friend. I wrote about a page of it, then forgot the file existed for a very long time.
Fast forward about four years. I'm now in college and have just recently met my newest writing partner, Jessica. We're at this point friends and nothing more, and I decide to show her a music video because the lead singer has pretty eyes. We watch the video, and I make the error of mentioning that I like the lead singer's name on a boy. We promptly decide to make up a character named Courtney.
Since I had just recently introduced Jessica to the wonder that is shounen ai, naturally Courtney was destined to be gay. He was also destined to have green eyes, like that damn lead singer. He also had brown hair back then, if I recall. Next, he needed a boyfriend.
We decided to name his boyfriend by a tried and true method - pulling out the baby name book, closing our eyes, opening to a random page, and pointing. This yielded us the name Taylor (from the girls' section, no less). A couple more stabs at the book got us Fairfax and Vaughn, which we made last names. Now we had Courtney Vaughn and Taylor Fairfax. But no story!
Interestingly, Courtney and his boyfriend were only the second gay couple we'd ever made up together. About eighty (okay, I exaggerate - more like forty) gay couples later, this is sort of a landmark. Especially when you consider that the first couple has since broken up, and one of them is now bisexual with a tilt towards the girls.
The story came later. For awhile we tossed ideas around, but none of them were very good. Then I remembered that little snippet of a story about Ben and Jay. We read it over, changed it a touch, changed the names, and voila! We had the beginnings of a story. We also had a personality for Courtney, who took on Ben's insanity, and one for Taylor, who took on the tolerant, sarcastic, and rather money-obsessed traits Jay had displayed.
Bits and pieces of the story have been written, but most of it is in our minds and was developed during a lot of roleplay and long, long conversations during summers we were separated. Courtney and Taylor's characters developed, and to this day these two are the most developed characters I have, what with having spent a lot of the last three years making them up. The plot behind them has changed a lot, swinging back and forth between realistic and fantastic, but the story of them - their friendship and eventually their love - has only become more refined. Taylor was the gay one, the one who'd been aware of and comfortable with his sexuality from a very young age. Courtney was the confused one, whose good looks and close relationship with a girl (Elizabeth) had affected his perceptions of himself. They were best friends and then eventually lovers, who were so different that their relationship was always difficult, but rewarding.
Other characters were added to the story, the idea of the "LGBT" table coming up rather early, in a discussion about how Taylor needed friends besides Courtney, especially as they were supposed to meet in tenth grade. Teri came first, made up by our mutual friend while wearing a beret, which is where that trademark comes from. Andrew quickly followed, to be the "flamer" that neither of our main characters was. Later, we decided that Andrew and Taylor had been friends for years and were exes. (Yes, Andrew and Taylor. Read on.)
Others came to the table, some of whom appear in the comic, and some of whom don't. Our friend Kaio finally appeared as Taylor's father, while our other friend Carter appeared as Courtney's father, who later became Christian as the character diverged far, far away from Carter. Yes, Anna and Jessica/Misa ARE based on the two of us, but aren't very similar outside of looks and being yaoi-obsessed. Courtney's hair became redder and redder. Taylor turned into some sort of logic freak. Courtney became rather neurotic, and Taylor very self-hating. And all the while, we're developing them through roleplay and talk, but especially through roleplay. And that's where it diverged.
I am a very big child at heart, and I love playing pretend. I use the excuse that it helps me with character and plot development in my writing. (Well, it does!) But sometimes, just for fun, we'd play with "alternate" universes, usually alternate get-togethers. For example, the original story get-together turned out to be bunk after the characters developed more (there was no way they'd act that way), and so we experimented through roleplay with different ways they could get together until we hit on one that became the "official" one. But playing around with established characters is fun, and sometimes we'd take it farther.
One said alternate universe came from the question, "What if Courtney were the one who knew he was gay when he was young, and Taylor were the confused one?" From that, we decided that, in this alternate universe, Courtney had met Andrew, not Elizabeth, in second grade, and this affected him in much the same way it had affected Taylor in the canon. Taylor, on the other hand, met Elizabeth and got himself just as confused, since she's so goddamn cute. ^_-
And thus, the universe that would eventually become the comic universe was born. About six months ago, actually, so this is an interesting experience. I don't know these alternate versions nearly as well, so this is all rather experimental for me as well. We'll see how it goes, ne?
She didn't. Morgan had absolutely nothing to do with the story of Courtney and Taylor, and she still doesn't.
Okay, fine. Morgan Pierce was a character created for a fanfiction the two of us concocted a LONG time ago, back when I still wrote more of that. She was sassy, abrasive, violent, and rather somber. If that sounds nothing like the Morgan in this comic, that's because she isn't anything like that in this comic. Morgan of Morgan in the Morning is also an alternate universe construction, meant to be the opposite of fanfiction Morgan - perky, bouncy, and cute. Cute enough to have a television show. The idea for the television show, done with her befuddled boyfriend (who became Micah) and the snarky cameraman (always named Mark, actually), had been in my head for awhile. I loved the concept, but because the characters were based on fanfiction characters (original, but their story was still fanfiction), I hadn't done anything with them.
I have no idea why I decided to tie the television show in with the alternate Courtney and Taylor universe, but I did. When I decided to make this story into a webcomic, naming the entire thing after Morgan in the Morning seemed like a good idea, because dammit, it's a cute show name.
Gods, I need to put pictures in this or something. If anyone read this far, email me and tell me and I'll do something special for you. @_@
Morgan in the Morning is hosted on Keenspace, a free webhosting and site automation service for webcomics. Steal from me and face the wrath of my zombie horde.