Friday, 27 December 2013

Taking a short break; Top 10 Pony Songs of 2013 coming soon!

Don't worry, nothing bad has happened. I'm just off on holiday for a while, and I won't have much internet access for the next week or so. Unfortunately that means that my review of episode 7 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic will be delayed. I may be able to watch it during my break, though, and I do intend to post a review of E7 before episode 8 comes out.

Some time in January, I also intend to post my Top 10 Pony Songs of 2013. To make things easier, I will only consider tracks that have been uploaded to YouTube with a 2013 datestamp. I don't allow remixes of official tunes,* and only one song per artist is permissible. I did this last year, and here's what made it into the chart I compiled twelve months ago:
  1. A Pony Like Me (Replacer)
  2. The Fear of Flight (Aviators)
  3. Vicious Lies (d.notive)
  4. The Moon Rises (Ponyphonic)
  5. So Much Left to Know (MandoPony)
  6. Loyalty (Acoustic Brony)
  7. Sweetie's Big Race (Toastwaffle)
  8. Discord (The Living Tombstone)
  9. Fluttershy – The Voice of Nature (Legendary)
  10. Hay Ms Derpy (Forest Rain)
I already have several songs in mind that are virtually certain to make the list, but I'm open to recommendations if you want to leave any comments here. You can probably get a fair idea from last year's list of the sort of music I generally like. Remember, though, only this year's releases are eligible.

* In case you're wondering, if I did allow official-tune remixes, I'd go for the Aviators remix of "Helping Twilight Win the Crown".

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Happy Hearth's Warming to you all!

Festive Fluttershy 3 by tall-guy-2552
Festive Fluttershy 3 by tall-guy-2552. Dec 2013. CC by-nc-nd 3.0
Yes indeed, it's that time of the year again! It's really crept up on us this time around, but Fluttershy never misses an opportunity to be kind. I don't know what's in that tiny present she's giving to her songbird friends, but I'm sure it's something that they've always wanted. As for me: amazingly, Louder Yay has now been running for over a year. It's been fun, and a big thank you to everyone who's read any of my ramblings. I certainly hope to continue with this for some time to come. In the meantime, have a very Merry Christmas (or Hearth's Warming!) and I'll be back after the festivities are over. Yay!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Episode review: "Power Ponies" (S4E06)

The Power Ponies
Where's Humdrum? Well, someone has to press the shutter
And so another week passes, and that means another episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic to review. This one has been eagerly anticipated ever since its earliest preview (in the SDCC animatic sequence), though some fans felt it would either be amazing or terrible with little middle ground. This was the first episode whose writing credits were shared between three writers: Meghan McCarthy, Charlotte Fullerton and a newcomer in Betsy McGowen. I had reservations about that, but did the result allay my fears? After the break, Power Readers!

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Comic review: MLP:FiM Micro-series issue #10: Luna

MLP Luna micro comic, cover B
And to think, I thought this couldn't be a real cover!
I told you there'd be another review, and so there is! It's been delayed a few days, but I hope you'll find it worth the wait. This is the last in the collection of My Little Pony micros, with the Friends Forever series taking over next month. The IDW team certainly seem to want to go out on a high, with their A-team of Cook, Price and Breckel combining to write about perhaps (and on EqD, certainly) the most popular pony of them all. I don't entirely subscribe to the "Luna is best pony ever ever ever" squeeing, but after the break we'll see how this comic struck me.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Comic review: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic issue 14

MLP:FiM comic #14 cover A
Dash! Aaah! Queen of the impossible
As an early Christmas present, IDW gave us not one but two My Little Pony comics this week. I'll review the final instalment in the Micro-series in due course, but here I'm going to concentrate on issue #14 of the main series. This is the second and concluding part of the two-issue "pirates" arc by Heather Nuhfer, Brenda Hickey and Heather Breckel. I was fairly impressed by issue #13, and I was more than happy to hand over the usual £3.15 to Nostalgia & Comics in Birmingham. After the break, I'll talk about what I thought.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

November IDW comics sales figures: f-arrr better

Part of the cover of MLP:FiM issue #13
Rainbow Dash always buckles in swash
No, that subject line is not a typo! This month's comics sales figures have taken forever in coming out, presumably because of Thanksgiving getting in the way at the end  of last month, but at last we have Comichron's table to consider. Last month, as you may remember, IDW's finest didn't do so well, and I speculated that the very late-month release meant that the low sales numbers for the main series would be another blip. Thankfully, it would seem that I was right about that. The pirate-themed issue #13 reached no. 56 in the chart and sold an excellent:
Set against last month, that's a fairly ridiculous rise of 50.5%, so let's compare it with the non-dodgy September figure. Even then, there's been a rise of 8.8%, which is very pleasing indeed. In fact, in terms of both outright sales numbers and chart position, issue #13 is the best performer for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic since issue #5 way back in March. Moving on to the Micro-series, things are very slightly less rosy. Spike's issue was always likely to be a tough sell; he hit no. 111 and shifted:
Again, we can't compare directly with last month (because there was no micro; we got the Equestria Girls annual instead) but compared with September it's a fall of 10.9%. That makes this the worst selling of the micros, although it's only a few hundred copies shy of the number the CMC sold. And the two Pony comics are once again IDW's best sellers, well ahead of third-placed TNMT's 17,000 or so. All in all, I think the comics have had a pretty good month. Perhaps the main series was helped by pirates, or simply by the return of the TV show.

Finally, the Art Gallery sold 6,028 copies to make the top 300, at no. 272. Not bad considering its slightly more specialist appeal. The graphic novels department was quiet last month, with no new titles appearing in time to shake things up. Vol. 1 of My Little Pony Tales added 472 copies at no. 245 to go past the 4,000 mark, while vol. 2 of the main series collection made no. 262 and put on 442 extra sales, taking it through the 5,000 barrier. Next month, I expect to see the Luna micro doing better than Spike's, because, well, Luna, and hopefully the main series continuing to hold up.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Episode review: "Flight to the Finish" (S4E05)

Scootaloo and friends scoot off to the Crystal Empire
I love the way Scoots' wings can change gear!
And here we are again! It only seems a week since the last episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Wait... it was only a week! This time around, the episode is one I've been looking forward to ever since I read the one-line synopsis. I loved "Sleepless in Ponyville", so "Flight to the Finish" has a lot to do to displace it as my favourite Scootaloo ep. The task falls to a brand new writer to the show, Ed Valentine. Can he manage it? Jump past the, er, jump and we'll see!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Stationery on the way to the UK at last?

MLP lockable notebook
Note the dreaded Pinkie vector hiding away at bottom left
I picked up the "Lockable Secrets Book" you can see above in a local branch of Poundland today. It's a hardback notebook, about 16 by 11.5 cm in size, with 30-40 lined pages inside. The "lockable" feature is not really worth bothering with as the keys are tiny and the lock is flimsy... but for a quid, who's complaining? More interestingly perhaps, maker Blue Sky Designs seems to be planning to release more stationery. (I say "seems to" as their website hasn't caught up with reality.) This is a great development if so, as some people – including me – have been screaming for MLP:FiM stationery for a long time. More, please!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Episode review: "Daring Don't" (S4E04)

Daring Do prepares for battle
"Bring it, Polsky"
Season 4 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has got off to a pretty impressive start, and three episodes in we've yet to see a really disappointing instalment. This time around, the show welcomes back a stalwart of the writing stable, Dave Polsky. I personally wouldn't rate any of his episodes as absolute Celestia-tier examples, but in the main they're good fun if you don't look too hard for problems. Will "Daring Don't" follow that pattern? Join me after the jump and we'll see!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

An interesting idea for BUCK

Over on UK of Equestria, Nethesem (BUCK's deputy PR guy) has mentioned that someone on the show staff made a suggestion to him recently. This was that they could do a presentation showing how storyboarding helps an episode of MLP:FiM take shape. This has had a very positive reaction so far, and I'm not surprised: I think it's a great idea. It's also encouraging in that there seems to be some good-quality contact between the con team and the official side of Pony. Show guests aren't the priority this year, which I don't mind too much but some people may.

I do also think it's a good idea to tweak the pure Q&A format that was used for panels for BUCK 2013. It worked well sometimes – the Writers panel was extremely enjoyable – but at other times it creaked quite a bit. Some questions rambled a lot, some weren't able to be answered (eg asking Cindy Morrow what would be in S4) and some verged on the inappropriate at times, or at least were interpreted as such. I'd support having a smaller part of the event devoted to questions, and having those pre-screened by the con team.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Episode review: "Castle Mane-ia" (S4E03)

Applejack and Rainbow Dash looking scared
"Have you seen Josh Haber's Twitter account?"
After the excitement of last week's Season 4 premiere, this week's episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic was unfortunately leaked a few days early. I really hope this doesn't happen again, since I felt that it significantly lessened the excitement of seeing what a brand new writer (Josh Haber) could do with our favourite ponies. I didn't watch the episode until after it had officially aired, but I think I can say that the wait was worth it. Come with me past the break for the usual waffle!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

BUCK 2013 official film preview video published

The sheer volume of material to work through has meant that it's taken some time, but it seems that the BUCK team are getting closer to releasing the official video of the 2013 con. Above (or here) is the preview, which gives just a glimpse of what we can expect. The preview is very interview-heavy, and concentrates on the Friday, but there are a few minutes of Saturday-shot footage near the end. I was particularly amused that the very last word said by the narrator was... "Fun!" (Also, yay retro LWT-style opening ident! ;))

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The 2014 BUCK train is getting up steam

Over on UK of Equestria, Nethesem (BUCK's Deputy PR Manager) has been posting some interesting information. Not least this Q&A thread. As you can see if you take a look at it, almost everything is still up in the air – really the only thing we're sure about is that a 2014 convention is indeed being planned. Birmingham has been mentioned as a potential venue, while the con may well be brought forward a month, to late July. This should help to avoid too many clashes with other events.

One of the things that does seem likely to happen, though, is the a "grass-roots, community-oriented approach". This isn't surprising, given that so many of the participatory events (pub quiz, flashfic contest, gaming tournament, karaoke etc) were very overcrowded last year. It should also help to give BUCK 2014 a distinct, fresh flavour, rather than having it just being a slightly different re-run of this year's con in a different place. So far so good on that score, though!

Everyone, including me, wants to know what tickets are going to cost, but that won't be announced for a while. Nethesem's post states that a Kickstarter campaign may be utilised: everyone pays the same for the actual ticket, but perks are added at certain Kickstarter donation levels. I believe that GalaCon in Germany makes heavy use of crowdfunding, and although BUCK's model isn't likely to be the same, that does prove it can work for a brony convention. All in all: looking good so far!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Episode review: "Princess Twilight Sparkle" (S4E01 & S4E02)

Twilight and the others in Canterlot Castle
It's all too beautiful...
It's been a long, long time in coming, but the premiere of Season 4 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has finally arrived. Was the (probably deliberately blandly titled) two-parter, Meghan McCarthy's "Princess Twilight Sparkle", worth the wait? I'll spare you the suspense this time: yes, it most certainly was. There's no need to leave the fandom; the ride continues; everything really is going to be just fine. Well, for us the fans it is, at any rate. Perhaps a little less so for our favourite ponies, but for more on that you'll have to come with me past the break…

Friday, 22 November 2013

Comic review: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic issue 13

IDW MLP:FiM comic issue #13, cover B
Sara Richard's cover has seaponies, guys. Of course I chose it!
And yet another IDW comic appears... I haven't been too well recently and I have a lot to catch up on; I hope this review won't be too bad, though! This time, my £3.15 went on a collaboration between writer Heather Nuhfer (who wrote the #5-8 arc) and artist Brenda Hickey (who drew the AJ micro). As it's all over the covers, there's no spoileriness in my saying that this is a pirate-themed story. No, it's not called "Wintarrr Wrap Up". You silly, silly people. It's actually "The Salty Sea Mare". Past the jump for more, me hearties!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Comic review: My Little Pony Art Gallery

MLP Art Gallery cover
Clearly pegasi are somewhat cold-resistant!
Back in August, we had the Cover Gallery, to which I gave only a moderately good review. Now, IDW have followed up with the Art Gallery. This is the same size as, and sells for the same price as, a regular comic (which means £3.15 for me) but is printed on noticeably thicker paper than the standard issues. It's something for which a number of fans of IDW's My Little Pony comics have been waiting for quite a while — and that number includes me. Past the break, we'll find out whether or not it's worth shelling out for.

Friday, 15 November 2013

The Brony Broadcasting Corporation?

Well, it had to happen sooner or later: the BBC has noticed our fandom! As part of their Real Time strand, they've put up the video above. (If you can't see it, this link should help.) The con parts of the film were made at BronyDays in France, which is why this doesn't quite merit a UK-specific tag, but it is nice to have actual British bronies interviewed. Oh, and MA Larson. And is that EileMonty I spy? I think it is! There's nothing in the video that's likely to come as a surprise to anyone reading this, but it's a fair-minded piece and refreshingly free of tabloid stupidity. Not bad, BBC. Not bad.

Comic review: MLP:FiM Micro-series issue #9: Spike

MLP:FiM Spike micro comic RI cover
Sara Richard's RI cover — what is is a homage to?
After a gap last month for the Equestria Girls annual, the My Little Pony micro-series is back in action this month with the penultimate issue, featuring Spike. A lot of people seem to have it in for the baby dragon, and I can't say his episodes are my favourites, but I hope this sells decently. We have a new creative team: Rob Anderson writes while Agnes Garbowska (who's done covers in the past) provides the artwork. For once I picked up the RI cover, which cost £4.00 from Nostalgia & Comics in Birmingham. Review after the break!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

October IDW comics sales figures: more end-of-month shenanigans?

October 2013 IDW comic covers
Boards? What are boards? I read my comics!
It's time for us to have another glance at Comichron's sales figures for the My Little Pony comics published by IDW. There were three new releases last month: issue #12 of the main series, the Equestria Girls annual (numbered #1, but who knows whether there'll ever be another?) and the My Little Pony Tales anthology of the first six micro-series comics. The first two at least came out very late in the month (the 30th, to be precise) and I think that's affected the numbers, as happened with August's figures. Main series #12 comes in at no. 109 (down 30 places) and and shifted:
This is a headline fall of 27.8%, as well as being the comic's lowest ever ranking, but I don't think it's a fair comparison because of that late-month release date. I'm almost certain that several thousand more copies will end up being attributed to the start of September. So a better comparison would be with August, where the same thing happened, and set against that the fall is a mere 3.2%. And even on the headline numbers, issue #12 was still the best-selling IDW comic, albeit only by 25 copies from Samurai Jack #1. Looking at the EqG annual now, that one shifted:
Both that number and its chart position (no. 141) are very respectable for such a controversial sub-franchise, especially given that the book's $7.99 cover price in the US was higher (in most cases much higher) than every single comic placed above it. The aforementioned Samurai Jack debut was the only IDW publication that beat it; for reference, Powerpuff Girls #2 managed 14,749 — still very respectable for this publisher, but also something of an indication that MLP remains exceptional. So all in all, I'm still pretty satisfied with things where the comics are concerned.

Moving on to graphic novels, we start with a slight surprise: top Pony book, at no. 11 with 4,501 sales, was The Magic Begins, the book based on the S1 premiere with captioned screenshots from the show. My Little Pony Tales debuted at no. 18 selling 3,644, giving MLP books the top two spots as far as IDW graphic novels are concerned. On top of that, the main series anthologies just keep on giving: vol. 1 added another 1,249 at no. 86 and may well break the 10,000 barrier before the year is out. Meanwhile, vol. 2's no. 180 spot and 754 copies sold has that book knocking on the door of 5,000-seller status.

Oh, and the Mini Pony Collector's Guide had a good month, hitting no. 8 in the books chart (no figures available). November's big releases (main-series issue #13 and the Spike micro) happen in mid-month, so we should be back to conventional number-crunching this time next month. I expect the underlying gentle slide to continue, since after all that's what happens to most comics. Looking ahead, it will be fascinating to see how well next year's Friends Forever team-up series sells. The idea has had a very positive reception in most places, so I'm optimistic that they'll do well in the comic shops. I hope so.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Video: I Just Can't Wait To Have Wings

This PMV by KirbyRainboom is short and silly, which is of course the best combination available! It is, of course, a parody of a certain famous song from The Lion King and for the most part it's very well done. There are a few points at which the lyrics could have done with a little work in terms of rhyming/scansion, and for that reason I'm not sure I'd put it in my own all-time list, but there's no doubt that it's good fun.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Book review: Equestria Girls: Through the Mirror (G. M. Berrow)

Front cover of EqG: Through the Mirror
I can't think of anything amusing to say about this
That's right: another review! In truth, this is a book I bought several weeks ago and simply haven't got round to writing about until now. It's the official novelisation of the Equestria Girls film, written by G. M. Berrow. She's already had two chapter books published (one very good and one okay) and there'll be a third coming in the New Year. This book is a slightly different thing, though, in that we've all already seen the underlying story on the movie screen. Come with me and I'll yatter on about Through the Mirror in my usual rambly way!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Comic review: Equestria Girls annual

Equestria Girls annual regular cover
Twilight is central here, yet barely in the book at all!
It's been a little too long in coming, but here at last is my review of the Equestria Girls annual that IDW put out a week or so ago. I don't mean to spend much time revisiting the controversy over EqG itself — we all know Lauren Faust would have hated it, but we can't judge everything purely by those standards — and so this will be a relatively straightforward review. I bought my copy from Nostalgia & Comics in Birmingham, though for once I think their pricing (£6.50 for this) was a little bit on the steep side. There's only one regular cover, the workmanlike Tony Fleecs effort you see above. Off we go, then...

Friday, 1 November 2013

Comic review: My Litlte Pony: Friendship is Magic issue 12

MLP:FiM comic issue #12, cover A
Andy Price's Cover A is the one I went for this time
Apologies for the break in service; I'll try to make up for that now! I nipped over to Birmingham's reliable Nostalgia & Comics shop on Wednesday, and bought both issue #12 of the main My Little Pony series as well the Equestria Girls annual. I'll get to the annual in a future post, but this time around I'm concentrating on the regular comic, which as usual was £3.15. This continues the backstory of Cadance and Shining Armor, as begun in issue #11. Has the Cook/Price/Breckel team done a good job with the conclusion? You know what to do by now!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Series 2 trading cards in the UK at last

Series 2 trading cards, with a few from S1 in there too
Is it wrong of me to be more excited by the foil Fluttershy than by the Rainbow Dash S1 promo?
For those (many) fans who collect Enterplay's My Little Pony trading cards and would prefer to buy them in person rather than online, you can now get down to your nearest Toys R Us and find S2 cards in the usual dispensers by the checkouts. They cost £1.50 a pack, the same as Series 1 cards. They're pretty much the same deal as before, with foils appearing in 1:2 packs and standees/stickers in 1:4 packs each. And yes, again we get the irritating if inevitable adverts for awesome-looking sweepstakes — that we're not allowed to enter on account of living in the wrong country...

I'm actually very pleased with what I've seen so far of the S2 cards. I took a photo of the cards I obtained yesterday, minus the tattoos (which themselves included a Trixie and a Vinyl!) but with a S1 Fluttershy I was given and the Rainbow Dash and Discord promos I got in the last Enterplay flash sale. I think the S2 cards have a lot of interest to them: of course the foil Fluttershy I happened to get comes top of the list, but the Sombra standee is great, as is the Flim Flam Brothers card, Aloe & Lotus and "Clock... is... ticking!" Actually, there aren't many I don't like. I'll be getting more!

Hello to my readers!

Thanks to events this weekend, I now know that I have at least two. Woo! ;) And yes, I am making this post just so that something goes up rather than there being a huge blank space. I do have a review to post in the near future, but it may be a few days yet. Or not. Who knows? :P

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Season 4 premiere synopsis released!

Hub promo pic for the S4 premiere
That ice tree thing is presumably not there just to add some local colour...
Thanks to Derpy Hooves News for this: The Hub (or, as they now call themselves, Hub Network) have published a synopsis for the opening story of Season 4 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. As you'd expect, it will be a two-parter, and as you'd also expect, it will be an adventure. I remember Meghan McCarthy saying that it will continue the story from "Magical Mystery Cure" in some way, so it'll be interesting to find out how. Anyway, here's what the press release has to say:
The fourth season begins with a revealing two-part premiere in which the newly crowned Princess Twilight must balance her new royal duties and her friendship with the other ponies. Amid preparations for the Summer Sun Celebration in Canterlot, Princesses Celestria [sic] and Luna go missing and the Everfree Forest is taking over Equestria. These unexpected turn of events sends Princess Twilight and her pony friends on a quest to discover a mysterious foe who threatens to destroy everything. It is all up to Princess Twilight and her friends to help save Equestria from being destroyed. As part of the journey, Princess Twilight is given the chance to discover the secret behind the Elements of Harmony.
I'm absolutely thrilled by this! Ever since I read the comment in Lauren Faust's interview in The Elements of Harmony book telling us that the Everfree Forest had encroached on Equestria, I've wanted to know more about this. I've felt that the dark, unsettling nature of the forest itself (as opposed to its inhabitants, eg the Timberwolves) has been a little neglected ever since Season 1, but this looks like making up for that in spades. One month to go, and I can't wait!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

DVD review: Call of the Cutie

"Call of the Cutie" DVD front cover
How do you like them Apples?
Clear Vision have released the second in their series of UK-spec DVDs of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episodes. This time around, I found the disc in the enormous Asda in Minworth on the outskirts of Birmingham. It cost me £6, but if you don't have an Asda nearby then fear not: although there's a slightly annoying 9-12 day wait, stock it too. Unlike with its predecessor Welcome to Ponyville, this disc's online price matches the supermarket's. Is it worth it, though? Come with me past the break and we'll see!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Finally, an official Season 4 teaser pic!

Hub S4 promo sketch
Maybe those butterfly wings Rarity had would have been a better idea
Okay, we had the animatics video weeks ago, but I think this is the first still picture. It's currently visible on The Hub's Facebook page and, while it doesn't reveal anything too startling, at least gives us a starting point. It looks as though, despite the end of "Magical Mystery Cure", Twilight is not instantly a proficient flyer, and it makes sense that she'd be taught by the best flyer around, Rainbow Dash. Whether this will be a major plot point or simply a small scene in an otherwise unrelated episode, though, we don't yet know.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Ponies Around the World!

There's just today and tomorrow left to enter Equestria Daily's Ponies Around the World event. Sorry for the late notice, but I didn't realise it was on myself until recently! Anyway, the idea of PAtW is that you take a photo of a pony toy of some description in front of a landmark of your choosing, then submit that according to the instructions on the EqD page I linked to. Unfortunately the weather hasn't always been kind of late, but here are my two entries anyway.

The first photo shows Twilight in front of the recently opened Library of Birmingham, the largest public library in Europe. (No wonder Twi is gazing longingly at the place!) The second picture was taken nearby, and shows Octavia posing in front of Symphony Hall, the home of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and one of the foremost concert venues in the world. Maybe she'll play there herself one day!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

About time we had a music post again

One of the things I love most about the MLP fandom is the music people create... but it's fair to say that a few genres do get the lion's share of the attention. With that in mind, here's something you don't see an awful lot of: a piece of Pony-inspired classical music. This piece is called "Magic Duel" (from the episode of the same name) and is by the Argentine musician Night Breeze. It has a very Mozart-ish feel to it, and I think it's absolutely excellent. More of this sort of thing would be very welcome!

Thursday, 10 October 2013

It was three years ago today...

...Lauren Faust began to feed us hay. *cough* Anyway, thank you so much, everyone involved with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. You have made a lot of people all over the world very happy with your show and the fandom it's spawned. Whether we've been there since the start, whether (like me) you joined the fun a little late, or whether you're only now seeing what all the fuss is about, it's been a wonderful ride — and one that I hope won't be ending any time soon. As Fluttershy would say... you rock! (Woo-hoo.)

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

September IDW comics sales figures: yes, it was a blip!

Cadance close-up from MLP:FiM comic issue #11
Cadance clearly has shares in IDW...
We've reached that point in the month when we look at the sales estimates for IDW's My Little Pony comics. If you remember, last month I was rather concerned at some fairly hefty falls and expressed the hope that it was just a blip. September's Comichron table shows that yes, it was! Possibly this was down to distribution problems, but whatever the cause it's good news. A lot to get through this month, so let's start off with the main series. Issue #11 secured the no. 79 spot (up five places) and shifted:
This is a rise of 33.9% since last time! More sensibly given the above-mentioned distribution problems, it's a fall of 6.7% over July's total. That still sounds a little on the bad side, but the July issue (#9) was tremendously popular. Issue #11 actually sold a very similar number to issues #6, #7 and #8. Next, let's have a look at the micro. This month's featured Celestia, so I wondered how well it would do. In the event, it placed at no. 136 (down 36) and sold:
This actually represents an 8.6% rise on last month's equivalent statistic. The apparently huge fall in the comic's chart placing is almost entirely explained by the fact that DC were in the throes of a gimmick and put out about a billion comics in September, certainly far more than they would usually publish. I suspect the micro would have been around the no. 100 mark again had this been a typical month. So really, no worries at all from me on that score.

For the first time, the MLP comics did not rank first and second among IDW's titles. The reason for that was the success of Powerpuff Girls #1, which sold almost 39,000 copies to propel it to the no. 50 spot. It will be interesting to see how well it does in future months, along with the other all-ages titles that the company is adding to its portfolio this autumn. Even so, nothing else got near Pony: the next best IDW title was Locke & Key Alpha #1, which shifted under 18,000 copies.

I have one more point to make about the MLP monthly figures, but three collections made the graphic novel chart. The most successful of these was the second main-series anthology (collecting issues #5 to #8) which broke into the top ten, charting at no. 9 with sales of 4,169. The first anthology continues to sell steadily, hitting no. 91 with another 1,121 sales (about 8,000 in all now). Finally, there's the first Digest, whose 941 further sales take its total over the 5,000 mark.

Okay, back to the point I promised: there are actually two further entries in the comics chart — because both the previous two issues (#9 and #10) of the main series shifted several thousand extra copies in September. Issue #9 slipped in at no. 325 by adding 5,030 sales, while issue #10 did better at no. 274 with a further 7,385 comics sold. What this suggests to me is that there's still demand for MLP comics even considerably after their publication date. And that's good news for all of us!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Classic episode review: "Boast Busters" (S1E06)

Trixie showing off, as ever
"They'll pay for picking that stupid tiger over me. I'm the one who's grrreat!"
Gosh, it's been a while, hasn't it? The last CER I posted was back in early July, but it really does seem time to do something about that. With "Boast Busters" we come to an episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic that has huge popularity among a large slice of the fandom. This is, of course, because it's the ep that introduces The Great and Powerful Trixie. It's also one of only two episodes to have been written by Chris Savino ("Stare Master" being the other) and after the jump I'll let you know whether I think that's a good thing or not.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Just watched "Sleepless in Ponyville" again

No, I know this isn't a proper post, but it does at least stop there being a long gap with nothing! All I'll say here is that I've just watched that episode, and every time I see it, it gets better. It is by far the best ep of S3 for me, and it may well be in my top four or five overall. Corey Powell did a stupendous job with this one, and I'm sure it will be seen as a classic episode when we look back long after the Friendship is Magic days are over.

"Sleepless in Ponyville" was actually the first ep I reviewed here, and I gave it 9/10. I'm actually tempted to say that I did it a disservice. It may not quite be a 10 — though even that is arguable — but I think it's probably a 9.5. It certainly shines like a beacon in the very up-and-down S3, and I just hope there'll be some eps in S4 that measure up. I really can't praise it enough. It's a work of wonder.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Twilicorn is coming to the IDW comics!

'DAFUQ'' Twilicorn by ZuTheSkunk (CC by-nc-sa 3.0)
"DAFUQ" Twilicorn by ZuTheSkunk, Mar 2013. CC by-nc-sa 3.0
Yes, that's right! This is official news, from Bobby Curnow on the IDW forums, so whether you're delighted, distraught or indifferent ain't gonna stop it happening. The Princess Twilight cometh from issue #13 onwards, though rather weirdly she's starting out in what seems to be a pirate-themed arc. For what it's worth, which isn't much: given a straight choice, I'd probably still vote for UniTwi over AliTwi... but it really doesn't bother me much any more. At any rate, I'll be waiting to see what Season 4 brings on that score.

Curnow has also said that Twilight will not be a Princess in the Spike micro, which is the next in that series to appear. His take on the whole thing, having seen "a good chunk" of the scripts for S4, is that the dynamics between Twi and the rest of the Mane Six have changed no more than if she'd got a driving licence. New responsibilities yes, new things you can do yes... but you're still the same person underneath. Or, in this case, the same pony. It's not a perfect analogy, but I do see where Curnow is coming from.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Comic review: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic issue 11

MLP:FiM comic issue #11, cover A
Andy Price's ridiculously amazing Cover A
This blog seems increasingly to be turning into a review-specific one. It's really not intended as such, but there's just so much coming out at the moment! This time it's issue #11 of IDW's main MLP:FiM series, and (wonder of wonders) it appeared on time in the UK. As usual, Nostalgia & Comics grabbed my £3.15, which I handily had left after buying some badges from Derby's Toy Planet — but was it worth the money? Well, it's by the Cook/Price/Breckel team, and that's generally been a sign of quality so far. Past the jump, folks!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

DVD review: Welcome to Ponyville

"Welcome to Ponyville" DVD cover
Rainbow Dash seems to be up to something...
Yes, at long last there is a Region 2 DVD available in Britain. Until now, anyone wanting to watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic on official media has had to import discs from the US, Australia, Germany... basically, all the countries that get a better deal than the UK, which is most of them. Rant over! This disc is available from some large Asda supermarkets for £6, but only a few branches seem to stock it, so I paid £8.99 from HMV in Worcester for mine. (It's also available from and direct from distributors ClearVision.) More past the jump!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Running of the Leaves Day?

I don't keep up as much as some with all the fandom-decided dates, but as it's the autumn equinox here in the northern hemisphere, it seems as good a day as ever to celebrate RotL Day! And, of course, have a watch of "Fall Weather Friends". A really nice episode, that one, and to me the ep that truly marks the advent of FiM's mature phase. The CMC having been introduced in the previous episode, all the major characters are now there and the writers can get on with just giving us an enjoyable show. "Fall Weather Friends" is a very good start, as it is indeed a lot of fun. (Oh, and yes, one day I will go back to doing Classic Episode Reviews on this blog. I just never seem to have the time!)

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Comic review: MLP:FiM Micro-series issue #8: Celestia

MLP:FiM Celestia micro comic, Cover B
Hush now, quiet now, it's time to lay your sleepy head
A week after it appeared in the US (and digitally) the latest in the My Little Pony micro-series has now reached British comic shops. As usual, I picked up my copy for £3.15 from Nostalgia & Comics in Birmingham. I plumped for Cover B, which features an adorable filly Twilight and baby Spike by Sabrina Alberghetti. (Is this the first A/B cover she's done?) The comic is drawn by established Pony artist Amy Mebberson, but we have a new writer joining the stable in the shape of Georgia Ball. Does it work? Let's see, after the jump!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Ponypic: Scootaloo Milkshake by Scootalo0

Scootaloo Milkshake by Scootalo0, CC by 3.0
Scootaloo Milkshake by Scootalo0, Nov 2012. CC by 3.0
Okay, I know this is hardly an original idea for a picture, but I think it works really well in this case. The fact that it features Best CMC certainly doesn't harm things, and the milkshake just tops it off. Also, yes, the artist's name is a bit on the confusing side! But I suppose you can't have everything. I have a strange hunger for a milkshake myself now. Alberto Frog, where are you? (Yay for obscure retro British TV references...)

Friday, 13 September 2013

Oh look, another delay

No, I don't mean in my updating here... although that may well be true! I mean that for the second month running, the paper version of the micro has failed to appear in UK comic shops on its official launch day. We can get it via Comixology, and I have done so, but I'm going to wait to post a review until I actually have a paper copy in front of me. If this keeps happening, I may have to change that policy, and I know I've used digital comics for reviews before, but I'd really rather stick with physical comics.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

August IDW comics sales figures: a nasty surprise

Big Mac bucking at the fair
If you humans don't start buying this comic again, there's going to be trouble...
It's time once again for us to take a look at how the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic and its associated Micro-series have been selling. As usual, the stats come from Comichron and cover North American comic shops. Last month, I was in buoyant mood after being able to note increased sales. This month... afraid not. Actually, on the face of it the figures are eye-openingly bad. Main series issue #10 came in at no. 84 — down 18 places since last month — and sold a mere:
This represents a huge drop of over thirty per cent since last month. (30.3%, in fact.) I certainly didn't expect that, especially given that we're in the middle of an extremely well-received story from the Cook/Price/Breckel all-star team. It was released very late in the month, which may have had some bearing, but no previous issue has sold less than 32,000 copies. The CMC micro didn't fare all that well either. It did creep back up to no. 100 (up three) but sales were only:
Again, a big decrease since July. At 14.3%, it's not as precipitous as the cliff that main-series sales have fallen off, but it's hardly good news even so. Again, this is substantially the worst performance by any of the seven Micro-series comics published so far. I didn't think the CMC micro was all that brilliant, but it was solid enough, on a par with the AJ issue, so it would have been nice to have seen it do better. The next issue stars Celestia, not the biggest fan favourite, so my expectations are limited.

There are some good-news stories to report, most notably that Digest #1 hit no. 6 on the graphic novels chart with sales of 4,067 beating Deadpool #2. In more conventional trade-paperback territory, the anthology collecting main-series issues #1 to #4 is still a steady seller, with another 659 this month taking the total near to 7,000. Also, the Cover Gallery made no. 240 on the main chart despite not being a comic in the usual sense. It sold 6,859 copies.

But back to the main point of this month's stats: the enormous fall in the main-series' sales. I hope nobody panics too much about this: the Pony comics remain IDW's top two sellers. And August was a fairly poor month for the industry all round, as can be seen from the micro increasing its chart position despite the fall in numbers. We'll have to wait another month to see whether this is a blip, though. I hope that I'll be able to report somewhat happier news then!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

UK iTunes episodes at last... sort of

iTunes UK list of available episodes
That release date is a joke as far as UK buyers are concerned, of course
We've all been whinging for ages now at the non-availability of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episodes on iTunes UK. Well, at last something has been done about it. As you can see here, six episodes are now available to buy. As expected, they're the same ones on the Welcome to Ponyville DVD, so not the most inspiring selection, but it's something. HD episodes cost £2.49 each, or £8.99 for the set; you can also buy them in SD for £1.89 each, or £7.99 for the set. I don't have iTunes (yay Linux) so won't be trying this out myself, but it's better than nothing.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

A bit more Aviators!

This isn't all that new, but I think it's still worth mentioning. By common consent, the best song in Equestria Girls is the one with about four titles. "Helping Twilight Win the Crown" is the unofficial one, but also the one most people use, so I'll go with that. Anyway, Aviators has done a rather nice remix of it, which as I haven't got anything else to post now I'll put up here for your delight and delectation. Sadly the Soundcloud download link he gives in the YouTube page doesn't actually work (there's no Download button when you get there!) but this is the next best thing.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Comic review: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic issue 10

MLP:FiM #10 Cover A
Andy Price's fantastic Cover A homage to Justice League #1
It's been a hectic week or so in my pony life (which, amazingly, is not the only part of my life — but it's felt like it recently!) and so I'm only now getting on to this review. Issue #10 of IDW's My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic (£3.15 from N&C as ever) concludes the short arc starring Big Mac: you could almost call it an unofficial Big Mac micro. Issue #9 was absolutely amazing, and received my first 10/10 rating. If this follow-up can get anywhere close to that, then it'll be a classic arc. Come past the jump with me to see whether it can!

Friday, 30 August 2013

BUCK of the net

Cider and conbook
Well, what an opportunity in this brony community
Plenty of people have written about their experiences at this year's BUCK convention in Manchester. Being the unoriginal sort I am, I'll join them. This won't be the massive piece that some others have managed, but more a sort of "general impressions" thing. Suffice it to say up here that my first convention (of any kind!) was — for the most part — a hugely enjoyable experience, and that I am absolutely hoping to return for BUCK 2014. However, click past the jump and you'll be able to read my rambly, disjointed thoughts. Yay.

Comic review: MLP:FiM Micro-series issue #7: Cutie Mark Crusaders

MLP:FiM micro #7 cover
ScootaDash and Doctor Bloom: Amy Mebberson's great cover
Finally! After a delay caused partly by BUCK and partly by the inability of UK distributors to get this thing out in time, I can return to comic reviews with this, the first non-Mane Six micro. The CMC were always a likely choice for this issue, since they're very popular in the fandom at large (including with me!) and there's plenty of scope for them to go on mini-adventures. I bought my copy for the usual £3.15 in the usual Nostalgia and Comics. Past the jump, we'll find out more!

Monday, 26 August 2013

Back from BUCK

Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun!

(Proper posts will resume in a while, don't worry...)

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Comic review: My Little Pony Cover Gallery

Covers Gallery cover
Rarity at the centre of attention. Of course
This is not the comic review Louder Yay deserves, and in all honesty it's probably not the one it needs right now either. Unfortunately, no British comic shop seems to have the Cutie Mark Crusaders micro that was supposed to come out this week. (You can get it via Comixology, and I have done just that, so there'll be a review of some sort here next week... but that's not much use to those who were hoping to get a physical copy signed at BUCK!) Anyway, back to the Cover Gallery, which for a change I bought in Coventry's Forbidden Planet. It cost £3.15, the same as a regular issue. Past the jump for more!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

One week to go!

August calendar
August. (Excerpt from the calendar in issue 15 of the monthly magazine.)
I'd just like to thank Hasbro (and Pinkie Pie) for bringing the word "nervoucited" into the English language. It is perfect for how I'm feeling about BUCK right now. This will be my first convention of any sort; I've never even been to MCM. So it really is throwing myself in at the deep end a bit. But... well... ponies. How could I say no? With luck, after it's all finished, I may even have more time to put proper posts up here again. ;P

Thursday, 15 August 2013

BUCK schedule out!

Like it says up there. This is still subject to change, but the only thing I know is being moved is the Ponyfinder game on Sunday, which I've read on UKoE is being shifted later. This is to avoid a clash with the game developers' panel; a sensible move, I think.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

July IDW comics sales figures: still IDW's best sellers

Two of the covers for issue #9 of the MLP:FiM comic
Oddly, Sweetcream Scoops isn't gazing at Big Mac here
This is the time in each month when we have a gander at the sales figures for IDW's My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comics. As ever, I've taken the numbers from Comichron; and as ever, I remind you that they cover sales to North American comic shops. You could probably add on a thousand or two to account for UK sales, but I'll keep things consistent and use the figures I have. Main-series issue #9 reached no. 66 — identical to #8's position — and sold:
This represents a pleasing rise of 6.2% over last month's issue, which I suspect is down to the identity of its creative team. There are plenty of good artists elsewhere, but Cook/Price/Breckel is without doubt the most popular combination with the fandom as a whole. The comic itself is also very good, which can't have hurt! July also saw the release of the final Mane Six micro, starring Applejack. This placed at no. 103 (down 13) and sold:
AJ's micro couldn't quite match the success of the popular Pinkie Pie issue which preceded it: this represents a 3.4% fall since last month. I felt it had a rather generic storyline, which may not have helped. Nevertheless, it's hardly disastrous, given that Applejack generally gets less love from the fandom as a whole than Pinkie does. Oh, and just to mention in passing: the graphic novel collecting #1 to #4 inclusive sold another 672 copies, taking its total above 6,000.

Despite the slight fall for the micro, the Pony comics remain IDW's top sellers. In fact, this month they qualify for that honour by a very wide margin. The company's third best selling comic in July was X-Files Season 10 #2, which sold 16,729 copies. To put it another way, Big Mac's comic sold more than double the number of copies that any non-Pony IDW book did last month. Those who predicted this series would be a flash in the pan look like being wrong, I'm pleased to say!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Film review: My Little Pony: Equestria Girls

From the opening credits
It's impressive how they're all instantly recognisable in silhouette
All right; I said a little while back that I wouldn't be reviewing Equestria Girls until I'd had a chance to see it in some official medium. I've now done that — by going with some other bronies to the screening at the Showcase Cinema de Lux in Leicester. It was a very enjoyable day, with that wonderful feeling of camaraderie that comes with knowing you're sharing in something really rather ridiculous but also really rather special. Enough about the meetup, though: it's time I got on with my actual movie review. Click past the jump for that — spoilers ahoy!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Comic review: SDCC exclusive Sunset Shimmer story

MLP:FiM comic issue #9 SDCC cover
Steven Magnet's Garden * Oh! Sugarcube * Here Comes the Pone * and many, many more
I bought two copies of issue #9 of IDW My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic. One, the standard issue, I've already reviewed in glowing terms. I also picked up the San Diego Comic Con edition. This isn't just a variant cover; it's a variant issue in that, as  there's an exclusive eight-page story dealing with Sunset Shimmer's backstory and how she came to be the character she is in Equestria Girls. Come along with me past the jump for more!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Channel 4 takes a look at bronies

I don't think I can embed the video, but here's a link to it. This isn't an in-depth piece, but for a three-minute introduction it's not bad at all, the rather out-of-place PFUDOR clip aside. The whole thing is based around Bronycon, so there's no coverage of the British fandom — rather oddly for a British broadcaster! — but maybe we'll get that at BUCK. I doubt there'll be anything new for anyone reading this, but I was impressed by the use of the extended theme in the background: that's not something you'd find without doing a bit of research. All in all, Channel 4, not bad!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Misogynistic "humour" in the pony fandom

Let me get straight into this: I think that a small part of the fandom — a small but rather vocal part — has a serious problem with thinking misogynistic "humour" is okay. A few of the blind commentators suffer from this, but here's a more recent example: the excellent animator JanAnimations put out a short video called Button's Adventures. Nothing wrong with that at all: it's a cute little tale about a gaming-obsessed colt called Button Mash, and I may review it properly at some point. Suffice it to say for now that the animation is great and it's worth watching despite an uneven story.

As I say, there's nothing wrong with Button's Adventures at all. However, some other bright spark (not JanAnimations!) has taken it upon himself to make a highly NSFW 20-second video called Button Mash's Extra Adventures. Now changed to Mutton Bash's Adventures. You'll notice I'm not linking to it. This basically consists of Button (who's just a kid, remember) forcing his mother to give him oral sex. The video's maker says in the description that "I'm sorry, I had to." But you know what? You didn't have to. You didn't at all. You certainly didn't have to make the "joke" into a public YouTube animation of your own with the original VA's voice.

What depresses me even more is reading down the comments to that Extra Adventures Mutton Bash animation. In among all the one-liners (which, okay, is what you get on YouTube) there are a few brave commenters who call the creator out on this and say, "Actually, I don't think underage incest rape jokes are very funny." They don't threaten to call the police or anything, just say that they think there are red lines and that this crosses one. The brutal, vitriolic response that these people get in return is deeply, deeply depressing.

I hate to break it to you, guys, but if someone doesn't think this sort of thing is appropriate, it doesn't necessarily mean they're utterly devoid of a sense of humour. It's certainly possible for something to be simultaneously very funny and extremely tasteless: Chris Morris's Brass Eye special, which I thought was excellent, is a classic in that regard. And you can hate something without thinking it's hateful: for me, that'd be the .MOV series. But you don't get a free pass for stuff like Extra Adventures Mutton Bash simply by saying, "It's a joke. Lighten up!" Sorry, but no.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Not a review post :P

Apparently if I go two days without posting something, people start to worry that I've given up on the blog. Which is very kind of them, since I'm hardly important in the great scheme of things, but really: sometimes there just isn't anything to write about. Or maybe there is but I don't have the time to read/watch/listen to the source material. Or maybe I do but I don't have the time to write about it. You get the idea. Anyway, there'll certainly be a post in the next few days about the Sunset Shimmer story that was in the SDCC version of the most recent comic, so look forward to that! :)

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Video review: "Seed No Evil" (Friendship is Witchcraft E09)


This release (go here if you can't see the video above) really caught me by surprise! I knew that this episode would be based on "One Bad Apple", but I wasn't expecting it to appear until the autumn. I wasn't quite as blown away as many by "Foaly Matripony", but FiW certainly remains my favourite series of this type, in any fandom. There was a real twist in this episode (although not a real Twist) that I wasn't expecting at all, and that has caused a little bit of an uneven reaction. What did I think? You know the form by now: past the jump, everypony!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Comic review: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic issue 9

MLP:FiM comic issue #9, Cover A by Andy Price
Andy Price's Cover A is brilliant, too
And here we are again! Issue #9 of MLP:FiM is the first in a two-comic arc with IDW's "dream team" of Katie Cook, Andy Price and Heather Breckel back at the helm. As usual, I bought my copy (Cover A) from Nostalgia & Comics in Birmingham, and in a minute we'll see whether £3.15 was well spent. I also ordered (online from A Place in Space) the SDCC convention exclusive version, since it has some extra content. I won't be reviewing that here; that will follow in a later post. This post contains only stuff that's in the standard variants. Okay, past the jump, please!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

In which I finally succumb to the lure of Equestria Girls

My Equestria Girls ticket
Apparently everyone counts as a Student for this showing
Oh yes. Things have changed since I made this post, and it turns out that I'm now going to be free on 10 August after all. So I've decided that I can't miss this opportunity to see ponies on the big screen (even if they are only ponies for a few minutes) and, yes, I've bought a ticket to see Equestria Girls. As you can see, it's showing in Walsall a week on Saturday; not the easiest cinema to get to but not too bad. There should be some other bronies going to the same showing; at least, I sincerely hope so! Will I like it? No idea. :D

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Comic review: My Little Pony Treasury Edition

Treasury Edition front cover
If they do one of #2, will it have a cover design from #1?
I suppose this counts as a comic review rather than a book one, but who knows? Certainly not me, and since I'm the one in charge of this blog that's a bit of a drawback. Ah, shoot, let's get on with it. You can pick this up in person in some branches of Forbidden Planet and the like, but I bought my own copy for £9.00 including p&p from A Place in Space on eBay. A very, very reliable seller, incidentally, and one whose combination of keen prices and one-copy-per-person policy means ordinary fans actually have a chance of having nice things. Come with me beyond the jump, though, for the actual review!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Fluttershy Collector's Box

Fluttershy Collector's Box
Also includes exciting glossy cling-film wrap :P
("At last!" I hear you cry.) Yes, I admit it: for a thoroughly devoted Flutterfan, it really has taken me far too long to pick up this box. But since Toys R Us in Bristol had it for a perfectly reasonable £7.99 the other day, I was left with little choice. You can see the outer box above and the special trading card (the only Series 2 card officially on sale in the UK!) below, but you do get a few other things. To wit: a few more Series 1 trading cards, a mini-poster of Fluttershy with a card checklist on the other side and a sticker of... well, who do you think? That's right: Fluttershy. So I'm happy. :)

Fluttershy S2 foil card
This actually looks very, very nice

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Ponypic: Fluttershy Top Hat by FrenchyToastyy

Fluttershy Top Hat by FrenchyToastyy, Jun 2012. CC by-nc-sa 3.0
It's been a while since we had a Ponypic in these parts, so here's an excellent pastel painting of everyone's (and that means everyone's, right?) Best Pony, the one and only Fluttershy. I highly recommend you check out this guy's other MLP-related artwork, incidentally: he has a great, distinctive style that I think looks fantastic. This picture is dedicated to a certain someone who told me a little while ago that something else Fluttershy-related "need[ed] more top hats". Well, I hope this is satisfactory, sir! ;)

Sunday, 21 July 2013

SDCC Season Four preview clip video!

The YouTube clip above was taken with someone's phone camera, so it's not the greatest quality, but you can make out what's going on. This shows several clips from Season Four, with black-and-white storyboards and the dialogue only. I shall refrain from spoilers here, but what I can say is that there's one CMC clip, one Spike clip and one Twilight clip, plus a very catchy little song. The first clip is the one that excited me most, as it touches on an issue I've wanted to see explored for ages. You'll have to watch the clip to see what I mean...!

Friday, 19 July 2013

This is really, really annoying

Showcase Cinemas are putting on screenings of Equestria Girls all over the country over the weekend of 10/11 August. Having seen the film via a dodgy YouTube video, I know that it's not as bad as I'd feared — and in places is actually fun — so I'd have been quite interested in going to see it. But this is the one and only time in the whole of August (other than BUCK, of course) when I simply can't break other commitments. Argh, and argh again. Hopefully one day we'll get a true FiM movie to make up for this.

What's particularly annoying from a personal point of view is that I've never, ever watched an episode of the show in company, unless you count virtual things like Bronystate streams. Licensing problems mean that this year's BUCK won't have the "Pony Odeon" and I have to confess that that's a big disappointment. Yes, there are occasional meetups for things like season finales and premieres, but they tend to be huge-scale "spend an entire day drinking and partying" things in London, which is not really my scene. Grump.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Wave 7 blind bags back at last!

Wave 7 blind bag figures
Barber Groomsby has a natty little bow tie as well as that 'tache
After the false start a few weeks back, when a number of retailers jumped the gun — and were duly pulled up on it by Hasbro — it seems that we really are into Wave 7 time now. I know several shops around the country have had them for a little while, but it's only now that I've seen them again with my own eyes. Asda in Worcester, for example, had a nice new box, seemingly entirely unsifted. Well, until I came along... these are the three I chose: Barber Groomsby, "Sweetie Drops" and Soarin. Not a bad little trio, I think!