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Bookworm V. bookworm in comics 15:
Cartoony artstyle. We are going downhill. "Please say Pod Ponies." Okay. "Spike! You have teeny tiny fingers! Grab that worm!" Those hooves. "I'm not interesting, I promise." No, pinkie, I don't think you're dead yet. RD confirms belief in an afterlife.
Pod Ponies. Coming soon to a theatre near you.
Then thank god she's leaving then. I hate hacks! I hate people who intentionally write crappy characterization and don't care. People like that who don't show care or effort for material shouldn't have a job in the industry in the first place.
Well, I'm super late to the party on these last couple comics, so I guess I'll kinda liveblog them again.
Friends Forever 28
Main Series 42
It's just the art style.
Am I the only one who thinks of that Graduation song every single time the Friends Forever comic is mentioned?
The thing about that, though, is I'm pretty sure I didn't get that impression with the other comics from the same artist.
Issue 11 made Rainbow Dash look like she was five.
Fosgitt's art makes everyone look like Tweety Bird. Looks weird on established characters.
Guy draws great expressions though.
Friends Forever #29 (Rarity and Maud Pie) was a fun issue. I liked the way Rarity and Maud interacted, though I felt Maud was a bit too wordy, and I feel like Rarity wouldn't be so enthusiastic about meeting up with Maud at the start. I mean, she definitely would hang out with her at the convention and help her with the journey, but we know she has a hard time getting along with her.
Buried Treasure was alright, but seriously, how many Belloqs are there in Equestria? Also, she burned down the bridge so Rarity and Maud couldn't cross... but how was she going to get back? Come to think of it, if there was already a bridge there, then how were they the first to explore the caverns? Unless Treasure's party is the one that set up the bridge in the first place.
Rarity's exaggerated expressions worked well as a contrast to Maud. I liked the scene where Maud's diary revealed what she was really thinking, with earlier panels redone to show her actual emotions. Though with her frequent mentions in it of how amazing Rarity is and that she was glad she was there, Rarity/Maud is suddenly a thing now. Also, I was amused how Maud felt the need to hold down her skirt when they were sliding down the tunnel.
Overall, a fun adventure with interesting character interactions.
How is it that Rarity always gets the best stories?
While she's not my favorite of the Mane 7, Rarity doesn't really have any episodes, comics, or moments that really stand out as bad since it doesn't seem like the writers of either mediums have really flanderized or had her OOC beyond her flirtiness with male ponies.
Twilight can be too powerful to write her properly without nerfing her.
Pinkie has to strike a precise balance at being hyper and overbearing without being obnoxious.
Rainbow Dash is close enough to being a numbskull arrogant it's easy to push her past the line.
Applejack can be overshadowed by her relatives, and her being the Only Sane Mare at times can easily make her difficult to stand out.
Fluttershy needs to be sweet and kind but keep a backbone without overdoing it, and that's hard to do well for some.
In contrast, Rarity is probably the easiest one to write; not too powerful, her character flaws and virtues are the easiest ones to balance out, and she probably has the least trotted out of all the character archetypes in the Mane Six.
Plus, she's always been a very hammy and over-the-top character from the very first episode. Though it seems like no one has really had her go so over-the-top that it comes off as more annoying the comical.
Rarity's over the top traits usually don't overcome her friends. When Pinkie goes too far with her behavior or Rainbow Dash goes too far with her jock shtick, they tend to screw the team dynamics up, while Rarity going over the top is most often gently ignored or played along and quickly forgotten. That makes her hammy moments more tolerable.
I feel like there's also the aspect that writers know that they have to be careful with Rarity, in order to not make her a negative female stereotype. With other characters, there isn't as much of a risk that writing them badly will legitimize assumptions about what My Little Pony is like.
I wonder how much of it has to do with the fact that she's an artist, so the episode/comic writers can draw from their own experiences in the industry and apply it to Rarity to make episodes like "Suited for Success" or "Canterlot Boutique."
Friendship is Magic #43 (Ponies of the Dark Water part 1) was a pretty decent issue overall. I like that this arc appears to be more lighthearted than the 4-issue arcs, but I'm not sure there's enough to carry three issues. Scrooge Mc Duck Applejack was amusing, though I was hoping for more Scroogisms. I love Dr. Doom Rarity. Rainbow Dash just flying around quickly doesn't seem evil so much as annoying. We didn't see much of the others. I was wondering if they were going to do a pony version of Midnight Sparkle from Friendship Games, but it doesn't look like it. It's nice that Luna is playing a big part in this story
The art is generally good, though I was initially confused by the panel where Pinkie pushes Twilight into the water, since it looks more like Twilight reacting to someone else jumping in.
Friends Forever #30 (Twilight and Cadance) was a pretty decent issue. From the cover, I was expecting Cadance to be considered less important than the other princesses, but instead it's about her becoming self conscious about being nothing more than the pretty one, which no one else actually believes. The way she felt down about the way she thought people perceived her felt pretty realistic.
I liked the gags with the merchandise, particularly the costumes. Twilight and Cadance's incognito names of Twiggy and Candlewick were cute. It's too bad we didn't get a reference to Shining Harmer from the roller derby scene in the Rarity/Babs issue possibly being Cadance. I liked when Shining Armor's subordinates brought their dispute to Cadance and everyone had o_o faces.
One complaint is that the placement of the word bubbles was confusing at times, particularly when a response was higher up than the initial statement.
Well, looks like I'm way late on commenting on things again, but I guess it's kinda nice to do them in bunches. Was considering live blogging, but then the power went out. I suppose it kinda works out that way, though.
Main series 43 was overall pretty enjoyable, but it's another one of those where I kind of feel nothing is particularly remarkable, yet also that there's not really anything to complain about. I guess the most lasting impression for me is that it feels like we're retreading Nightmarity with a somewhat lighter spin.
Rarity and Maud's Friends Forever is pretty interesting. Is it weird that I thought the rock in the panel where Maud finds Rarity looks like someone took a machine gun to it? Also, Rarity getting Dash-levels of competitive feels a bit odd (as well as being dramatic enough for both she and Maud, but that's significantly less surprising). Due to a certain... bridge burning, I don't think Buried Treasure is the brightest bulb in the pack. The three best things, though, were probably Maud's muted smile, Rarity's "I'm so sorry I assumed!" faces and Rarity drooling. Overall, a consistently solid story and cute in pretty much all the right places.
Finally, Cadance and Twilight's Friends Forever. I got the standard issue with the cover where Cadance is looking distraught over the "the other Princess" label. Made me feel worse for her than is probably warranted and I don't know why. One thing that throws me a bit is how Pinkie's horrifying recursive-pony costumes have caught on for Princess costumes and no one else in-universe thinks they're horrifying. >.> This one also really struck a chord with me because I'm far more familiar with feeling humoured, unwanted and expendable than I'd like to admit. In the very least, I feel like they did a fairly good job of showing the effects it has on someone in such a small amount of space. That same closeness to the issue also makes me feel like that oversimplified the resolution a bit, but I have to admit bias and that they probably did as well as they could for the allotted space. Overall, another solid issue.
So I bought issue 44 at Comic-Con. Diane Leto had a booth and was selling the Discord with a snowglobe variant cover, so I got it and got it autographed. I was hoping to get Fiendship is Magic #1, but I don't think anyone who worked on that issue was at Comic-Con. Start of a new storyline, it seems, involving the mane 6 having been turned evil.
Best part was Pinkie Pie with the actual cannon. Was slightly bummed that it wasn't a stand-alone story, which I was expecting for some reason. Ah well. I got other comics to catch up on, so I'll probably buy some more on iTunes in the near future. I actually still haven't read all the Friends Forever stuff from the last Humble Bundle...
A decent number of people from the comics were at Comic-Con. I found Amy Mebberson's booth (though she wasn't selling any pony comics it seemed; some Disney Princess stuff instead. Apparently she doesn't work on the IDW MLP line anymore? That's a bummer), Katie Cook, Agnes Garbowska, and Diane Leto. Andy Price wasn't there this year, sadly (he was at Bronycon last week if I recall correctly, so maybe he wasn't up for that much traveling). That was nice last year; got a copy of the Luna Micro and got it signed by Garbowska, Cook, and Price.
edited 25th Jul '16 2:52:13 PM by Pannic
BronyCon was actually two weeks ago, but that's still not all that big a timing window.
Issue #44 out.
You know I can't help but feel a tad disappointed. I was excited for the prospect of an evil Mane 6, but honestly they act less like an evil Mane 6 or an evil parody of the Mane 6, and more like a parody of an evil Mane 6. It was funny at first, but now that I've had my laugh I'm wishing they did something different.
Besides that it almost felt a little too fast paced. Things seem to jump scene to scene not abruptly, but still quickly.
Friendship is Magic #44 was a pretty fun chapter. I got a kick out of the reference to Plato's Republic at the start. It was amusing seeing everyone but Rainbow and Applejack act evil. I particularly laughed at Rarity getting upset at the dress with shoulder pads.
Is Twilight is wearing a black scarf a reference to something? I'm amused that Vinyl getting hit by the evil water gave her her old fanon red eyes, before "A Canterlot Wedding" made them officially magenta. Also, I guess confirmation that she simply chooses not to speak in the show, but can if she wants / turns evil.
There's an art mistake on page 15, where Fluttershy's eyes return to their normal blue. There are also a few other instances where evil characters don't have red eyes, but this is notable for being on the same page as a panel with red eyes.
There was another Strawberry Shortcake sample at the end (online, at least), this time of issue 4 instead of the first. Amy Mebberson's art is good, even if the characters have heads that are a bit too big. Still not interested in it.
>Applejack is pony Donald Trump
Late response, but I was referring to how Rainbow and Applejack didn't appear in that issue at all.
In Friends Forever #31 (Rainbow Dash and Little Strongheart), the myth segment was great, especially with its art, but the main story was really rushed, with Rainbow and Strongheart not even starting their journey until more than halfway through. And then, it seemed to be just checking off things it had to do. Most egregious was the part where they split up, then they're back together the next panel, with a box saying its hours later.
The jokes didn't land well. In particular, the jokes involving Rainbow announcing something, but already leaving the person she was talking to, were more confusing than anything. I didn't even get what was going on with Fluttershy saying, "This looks like a job for who?" until the later gag where that buffalo outright says, "I assume they said, 'Rainbow Dash and Little Strongheart', but they already left, so who knows?"
While I liked that Rainbow brought up that she can just talk to Celestia about the cold snap the buffalo were experiencing, I would have preferred that (1) she brought it up earlier, instead of after they completed their task, and (2) that they had a better excuse as to why they didn't have her do that than "tradition is fun".
From the synopsis, I was expecting more of a spiritual journey than the very physical one they had. Having the problem be spiritual in nature would have solved the Celestia problem and would have given more credence to the "tradition can be good" lesson.
Overall, this wasn't very good, but on the other hand, the myth segment is worth checking out on its own.
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