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Fulfilling your quota of horses placed in rows of squares (nearly) every week!

020 - Trial By Fire: Conclusion

020 - Trial By Fire: Conclusion


Return to sender.

Well, that little story is complete, if you can call it a story. Be sure to check out last week’s for context. I’ve got a couple more in the back of my head (or in a Google Doc), but I’m not going to jump into another immediately.

Interestingly enough, I just killed a longer story that I never finished about the characters in human form. You can thank Equestria Girls for making me abandon that (apply sarcasm or seriousness as desired). If people want it bad enough, I might release the few scripts I have. It was a weird one. It involved t-shirts and Deviant Art... I don’t know. Maybe it’s for the best that it perishes.

Speaking of Equestria Girls (something one reader directly asked me to do), I’m biting my tongue on the topic. Hard. I can’t tell you the tidal wave of bile I want to unleash, but I won’t, because for every argument I’ve made in my head over the past few days, a little voice reminds me that I haven’t seen it yet, and I can’t argue with that. It might surprise me. It might look better in motion or undergo a redesign between now and release. It might not be the complete pre-tween schoolyard crap-fest I have every fear of it being. So I won’t hate on it. Yet.

HOWEVER, I have no problem hating on the current character designs, because BO-O-OY, are they awful. The proportions are bizarre, their eyes do NOT work with those faces, and they have all the design restraint of a post-7 Final Fantasy character. They’re a disturbing chimera of colors and marks and hair. I mean, they still have pony ears! Why do they have pony ears! WHY DO THEY HAVE CUTIE MARKS ON THEIR FACES?!?

I don’t know how far back the current generation planning of MLP design goes (I haven’t researched it well enough, so you’re welcome to correct me where I’m wrong), but for the sake of argument, I’m going to assume Lauren Faust came up with the original design style. There’s elegance to its simplicity; there’s no pretense of these creatures needing to draw heavy inspiration from real horses, something that made previous generations infamously creepy by comparison. The current ponies are as close to horses as Hello Kitty is to a cat.

Further, I’m going to assume that Faust’s hand in design led to the cartoon characters looking like, just that, cartoon characters. I don’t look at them and immediately think that this is a three-dimensional toy I can buy, but sure enough, I own nearly 30 of the little brushable ones, and somewhere around 150 miniatures. Even the initial leaked art for the series, while not appealing at first glance, has a charm that I like seeing as a single-episode alternate-reality throw-over in the vein of Fiona and Cake. The current art for Equestria Girls doesn’t look like it should be a cartoon. It looks like it’s ready to go into direct production as a mediocre girl’s “attitude” doll. If you were to tell me that they’re reusing the Monster High molds to make these, or that of their Bratz foremothers, I wouldn’t think it that big a stretch.

Again, all this could change between now and then, and I pray it does. The more Hasbro treats this franchise with a clinically business perspective, the more they’re going to drive away paying customers who at one point loved the whimsy and magic of MLP. They can’t abandon the target demographic, but WeLoveFine licensing, ICW comic licensing, Comic Con vendor sell-outs, Hot Topic as a legitimate vendor; those didn’t happen because of 6-year-olds.

Oy, that took longer than I had hoped. Let’s blast through a few other things before we part ways for another week!

I asked for pony music, and you did not disappoint! I appreciate everyone’s recommendations, and I’m still sifting through it all! Two fantastic standouts were "The Ballad of Applejack’s Last Roundup" and "My Sister and Me," both suggested by K S. They were lighthearted ditties that captured the spirit I was hoping for. While not everything clicked with me and my personal tastes, you guys have certainly helped boost my interest in seeing what’s out there. I’m going to have to pay closer attention to EQD’s music posts, but if you’ve got anything else you think I should know about, be sure to let me know!

Flim and Flam in the next miniatures set? This may be the second time I’ve bought a whole box!

The first ICW spin-off comic was... okay. And even with that wording, I feel like I’m being polite. The plot was a bit too cliché, and at no point did ANY character stop looking incredibly awkward. The main series grew on me after I began to understand what it wanted to be, but this series, I’m not yet convinced it knows what it wants to be.

Finally, according to our artist Jet, Princess Big Mac is a thing. Then he told site director Nuckles. Then Nuckles told me I had to make a comic about it, so I did this. Enjoy... I guess.

Princess Big Mac Comic

Sally forth, kind folks, and may our paths soon cross again!

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