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