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.

Unlike the Cover Gallery, this publication consists entirely of new art, starting with the striking picture on the front of Rainbow Dash in some sort of ice cave. (As far as I know, there are no variant covers this time.) Whether or not you like Sara Richard's very distinctive style is likely to have a considerable bearing on whether you like the Art Gallery as a whole, since Richard is by some distance the most featured artist in its pages: she gets 13 of the book's 24 interior pages plus the cover, which I feel is overdoing things a bit.

MLP Art Gallery interior shot 1/2
Pinkie does not look terribly at ease here!
That's not to say that it's all her, though, since we get pieces from both established IDW artists and new names to the comics. The well-known names are the aforementioned Richard, Agnes Garboska and Brenda Hickey; the newcomers are Alex Deligiannis and Jenn Blake. There's also a single picture by Joshua Whitehouse, better known to many Pony fans as Jowybean. (It's the only picture to feature Scootaloo, so possibly I'm biased in saying it's among my favourites!) Note that the likes of Andy Price, Katie Cook, Tony Fleecs and Amy Mebberson are not featured.

It's very interesting to see which artists are better at drawing which ponies. All of them seem to be able to capture Pinkie pretty much perfectly, whereas Deligiannis's Rainbow looks a little strange but his Fluttershy is lovely. Blake is the only artist to draw Twilight as an alicorn; it looks okay, and I love the tiny, angry-looking Trixie outside the window, but I think her Rainbow (with accompanying Derpy!) is better. Even Richard isn't perfect: her Rarity has a distinctly odd expression.

MLP Art Gallery interior 2/2
"Applejack, turn around slowly with the apple in the air!"
There's nothing else in the Art Gallery, other than the usual adverts at the back; it really does do what it says on the tin. I wouldn't be at all surprised if we ended up seeing some of the pictures in here released as prints/lithographs at some point, or even in trading-card size limited-edition runs as some of the artists have clearly drawn them to that size. This probably isn't an essential purchase, but given its low price and the fact that these are all-new pieces, I think it's certainly worth considering.

  • All the art in the book is brand new
  • Several new artists to Pony are featured
  • Some really lovely pieces
  • Thicker paper gives a higher-quality feel
  • Slightly inconsistent quality from some artists
  • Sara Richard does rather hog the book
  • Nothing from Price, Mebberson etc


  1. I think I'd have to agree with that score for the gallery. It *is* a very nice little collection to own, it's (as far as I'm aware) new art rather than a collection of covers, the paper quality is good, and it's nicely presented. The only drawback, as you've said and I found too, is that they seemed to concentrate a little too much on one specific artist. I'd have rather had a much bigger range of artists - maybe no more than two pieces from each. And I'm very surprised there's no Andy Price artwork there. Despite that, I'm very glad to own it nonetheless, and of course if it's sold well enough, there may be other galleries eventually. :)

    1. There's no issue number on the cover, which leads me to think that maybe it is a one-off... but if it sells well enough, I guess there might be another one sometime. The sales stats for November (which we'll see next month, of course) are going to be particularly interesting ones.