Thursday, 28 February 2013

BUCK site online

The official website for the second BUCK convention is now up. As expected, it will be in Manchester again, though there's still no official word on the exact venue. (It was the Bridgewater Hall in 2012, and many people assume it'll be the same again.) The website itself is nicely designed: not too cluttered, with plenty of white space and text that's quite easy to read. It gives the impression of a professionally run operation, and after the shenanigans at Las Pegasus UniCon the other day, that's good to see!

There are still some things missing from the site, apart from venue location. Most importantly, ticket details have not yet been published. Similarly, although there are basic times for the weekend, a detailed schedule is yet to come and there's no word on what the "something awesome" planned for the Friday will be. That's promised "soon", so let's hope that word is accurate. The FAQ is also a bit light on things like how to register and what you need to bring on the day; presumably those will be added when ticket details are.

As you'll know if you've read some of the other things I've written, I wasn't really in the fandom in time to attend the first BUCK last year, which is a shame. This time around, I'd like to go — though scheduling it on August Bank Holiday weekend does mean I'll be at the mercy of Network Rail to a large extent. For personal reasons I doubt I'll be able to manage a full residential stay, so I'm looking at a (very) long single-day attendance on the Saturday. I'd miss the late evening events, but partying, dancing and boozing isn't for me anyway. :P

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Ponypic: Big Macintosh by Dahtamnay

Big Macintosh by Dahtamnay
Big Macintosh by Dahtamnay, May 2012. CC by-nc-nd 3.0
It's about time we had a Ponypic post again, don't you think? I knew you'd agree with me! This is a really rather awesome picture of everyone's favourite bright red stallion. Big Mac looks almost as though he's been immortalised in a stained glass window here. Well, if even Spike can get one of those, why not him, eh?

Monday, 25 February 2013

Society frowns at blowing one's own trumpet

(And if you get the reference in the title, you're 20% more awesome than pretty much anyone else!) But anyway... this is a small and pointless post to announce to the world (well, the two people who actually read this blog) that my review of the Bronies documentary has reached the 100-view mark, the first of my articles to do that. It only just won the race, though, as my review of issue #3 of the IDW comic is on 99 views!

Actually, nine of the top ten most-viewed posts on Louder Yay are reviews (the other being the preview of Bronies), which I suppose isn't surprising. Little old me can't hope to compete with the big sites, especially the mighty Equestria Daily, when it comes to news, con details, etc. But when it comes to reviews, whether of episodes or comics, you just need one person who can string together a nicely readable article, and that's something I can do quite well.

I don't want to make this blog exclusively review-focused, but you can certainly expect more reviews in the near future. Just don't expect a review of SWAG.MOV; I have watched it, as I have all the others in the series, but that's just so I can pick up references. I don't like the .MOV series at all, and don't even find its tastelessness amusing. Yes, it's well put together for what it is. I just strongly dislike what it is!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Review: "Foaly Matripony" (Friendship is Witchcraft E08)

BBBFF from "Foaly Matripony"
BBBFF, the most exciting colt-band in all Equestria
It's been a long wait, made even lengthier by YouTube problems, but "Foaly Matripony", the latest instalment of SherclopPones' famous abridged series, Friendship is Witchcraft, has finally arrived. I make no bones about saying that this is, and has been for a long time, my favourite abridged Pony series. This episode is based on the S2 finale, though it's much more about the wedding bits than the Chrysalis-fighting stuff. I was disappointed by that lack when I first started watching it, but in the end I think it turned out okay. Review after the jump!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Still searchin'

(As Ray Davies once sang.) It's interesting to look through the records for this site and see how people find it. Unsurprisingly, the most common referring site is Google, while next up is UK of Equestria -- as Louder Yay is linked from my signature there, that's not surprising either! There are few notable other entries, though I did get a mention for one of my comic reviews on, and therefore a small number of visitors from, The Round Stable.

Looking at specific search terms, the most common is "my little pony friendship is magic comic", which makes sense as I've reviewed every issue in some detail. Of the episode reviews, it's "Keep Calm and Flutter On" which takes the laurels. Interestingly, one person found me by searching for "Kidderminster brony". I don't actually live in Kidderminster, but I'm not all that far away. So I know there's at least one other local fan out there. Hello to you!

Finally, some mixed bits and pieces. The top five countries are the UK, the US, Germany, Sweden and (surprisingly) Russia. Windows and *nix dominate the OS category. Firefox sweeps all before it in the browser stakes, with Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera completing a relatively unstartling top five. To be honest, this isn't turning out to be that thrilling, so I'll stop now. :P

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Review: MLP:FiM Micro Series issue #1: Twilight Sparkle

Cover A by Thom Zahler
Cover A, by some distance the best of the regular covers
I've been in two minds about the Micro Series of IDW's My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic for some while. Given the stellar quality of the main comic so far, could the spin-offs be anything other than a disappointment? For whatever reason (weather-related shipping delays have been suggested) Thom Zahler's debut, concentrating on Twilight, hasn't yet arrived on the shores of Blighty, so I bit the bullet and ordered this one from Comixology. I don't much like reading on a screen, but it only cost me £2.66. Was the comic worth it, though? Come with me past the jump to find out...

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

My Local Brony

If the thought of the 90-minute Bronies documentary is a bit too much for you, or even if you've already seen that and just want something else to watch, here's an idea. My Local Brony is a short film made by Matthew Barnes with Emily Jarvis for the Norwich region of the BBC Voices initiative. As its name implies, it focuses on a group of MLP fans from the area as they discuss their feelings about the show and what it — and its wider fandom — have brought them.

I don't know any of the people involved in the flesh, though I've interacted with some of them online via UK of Equestria. Regardless of that, I enjoyed this 13-minute film. It's much less ambitious than Bronies; I suspect it may not have had a six-figure budget, otherwise its interviews might have been held somewhere that was above freezing! Nevertheless, it's nicely put together, and (always important) the little gimmicks don't get in the way of the film itself.

My Local Brony can be watched free at the website. This isn't a review as such, but I'm still going to recommend it. Well worth 13 minutes of your time.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Review: "Magical Mystery Cure" (S3E13)

Twilight and Fluttershy in 'Shy's cottage
Twilight Sparkle does her celebrated impression of the Sphinx
Well now. Well now. Well now. Season 3 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has come to an end. This time around, as I suppose you'd expect from a 13-episode season, the finale was a one-parter, written by the one and only MA Larson. As all but the most superhuman spoiler-avoiders will know, something about the storyline of this final instalment had caused an enormous amount of discussion and controversy within the fandom. Was this season finale going to be a mess, a work of genius or somewhere in between. After the jump, I'll give you my opinion.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Thoughts on Equestria Girls

Equestria Girls line-up
Why do I get the feeling they should all be on roller skates?
Now then... just about all of this post is speculation (note tag!) so do bear that in mind. All we actually know is that Hasbro intends to launch a "new IP" based on MLP in the nearish future, and that it's registered the trademark "Equestria Girls". The picture above is the sum total of art we've seen that might be official regarding it. I must admit that it does look quite convincing to my entirely artless eyes, and that it wouldn't really surprise me all that much if this did indeed turn out to be what we're in for.

Am I interested? On first glance, no. It looks all too much like Generic Pre-teen Girl Cartoon No. 836, and there isn't anything so far that makes me think it's going to be better than Pony. The FiM cartoon succeeded partly because it was so good for a "little kids' show". A show for older viewers would have to be amazing to manage the same trick. And if Hasbro use the word "sassy" at any point at all in their publicity for any new Equestria Girls series, I shall certainly stay away. Even if they use you-know-what as the theme tune...

As far as I know, none of this will affect season 4 of the main series, which we all assume will be along late this year. I hope it doesn't, anyway: having crossover episodes in FiM involving humans in any capacity is something I'd really, really like to avoid. (Sorry, Lyra!) I'm not that interested in spin-offs as a rule, anyway: for example, I love Doctor Who but have only ever watched a couple of episodes of Torchwood. Not, of course, that I'm Hasbro's target audience for Equestria Girls — but then I'm not for Friendship is Magic, either!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Even more sales for Pony comic #1!

Since issue #3 of the IDW comic didn't come out until the first week of February, we'll have to wait until next month to see how well that sold (Issue #2 came out on 2 January, but was treated as part of December for accounting purposes.) However, there's still some Pony in the charts! Comichron has the January sales figures, and issue #1 (presumably reprints) made the top 200, landing at no. 189 with estimated North American sales of 8,605.

Add that to the 80,128 copies from November and the 6,651 from December, and you get a total of 95,384 copies. Since this doesn't count overseas sales, we know for sure that the final total is going to be well into six figures. Actually, on January figures alone, MLP:FiM #1 is the 11th best selling IDW comic book of the month. Who would have predicted that even a few months ago? Oh, and yes, I am going to post about something other than comics next time!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Twilight (Micro-series #1) news

A couple of related things to report this time around: first, Comic Book Resources has this interview with Thom Zahler, who's going to write and draw the first of the Micro-Series comics in the IDW line, focusing on Twilight Sparkle. It's nothing too deep, but it's a good read and makes me feel that Zahler knows what the fans want. A shame in a way that we didn't see that Mars Attacks crossover come to fruition, though!

Second, The Round Stable has posted previews of the first few pages of Zahler's comic. (Actually they're from iTunes, but TRS's are easier to read.) I'm not sure what to make of them, to be honest. On first look, I don't like the artistic style as much as Andy Price's — it seems simpler and more like what you'd expect a "kids' comic" to look like — and I'm not convinced by the repeated use of Twilight's full name.

Still, there's not enough in the preview really to judge how good the writing is, and that's obviously of immense importance. I shall certainly be buying the Twilight comic, and of course reviewing it here, but it's going to have to be incredible to match up to the Cook/Price masterpiece currently unfolding in the main series. Naturally, I would love it to be that good!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Review: "Games Ponies Play" (S3E12)

The ponies perform their routine
16, zero, minus pi, draw a heart shape in the sky!
The end of Season 3 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is rapidly approaching, and indeed we've now had the penultimate episode of our half-length season. Steering well away from the sound and fury that has affected what most of us now know about the finale, this was another "filler" episode, but interestingly done, with a twist that has never been used by this show before. After the jump, I'll discuss that further, along with giving some (relatively brief) thoughts about how well it worked.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Review: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic issue 3

IDW MLP:FiM comic #3, Cover A
Oh yes, clearly a comic for little kids...
Once again it was delayed, this time owing to an unexpected customs inspection, but the third issue of IDW's My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic is now here. As with the first two issues, I bought mine for £3.15 from the excellent Nostalgia & Comics shop in central Birmingham. They had half a dozen copies in when I was there (lunchtime on launch day) — three of Stephanie Buscema's cuter Cover B and three of the frankly awesome Cover A by Amy Mebberson (above). A very dark cover for a My Little Pony comic, and extremely nice in the flesh. After the jump, was it as dark as this inside?

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Andy Price tells it like it is

A friend of mine alerted me to a fantastic piece on DeviantArt by Andy Price, the artist for the IDW MLP:FiM comic. (And yes, a review on issue #3 will be along, hopefully by the weekend.) In the post — article, really — which is entitled WHY are you ashamed?? Stop it!, Price says that it's not a big deal to like ponies or to be a brony. It only becomes a big deal if you make it a big deal. In other words, as Price himself puts it, like what you like. And in any case, the comic is bloody good. Issue #3 included; there's a sneak preview for you!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Looks like I need a new tag! :D

Fluttershy Yay Poster by anthroxtra, Sep 2012. CC by-nc-nd 3.0
Fluttershy Yay Poster by anthroxtra, Sep 2012. CC by-nc-nd 3.0
This from Equestria Daily: Season 4 is go! And better yet, if Daniel Ingram's credit list (the original source) is to be believed, then after S4 has finished we'll have had 91 episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Since we know there'll have been 65 by the end of S3, that means that S4 will be back to full-length status with 26 episodes. You rock, Hasbro. Woo-hoo.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Quiet, isn't it?

That's what happens when we're all deprived of our pony fix for a week! All is not lost, however: the descriptively-titled My Little Pony G4 Merchandise Tumblr has some interesting news from the Nuremberg Toy Fair. A blind-bag-esque Applejack with a hat is on the cards, together with a variety of interesting-looking plushies and party goods.

Of course, these are aimed at the German market, and it's no less annoying than it ever has been that Germany gets so much more merch than we do in the UK. On the bright side, at least importing stuff from Europe doesn't entail the Russian roulette of customs charges that we have to play when buying things from the United States.

(Over on EqD's story about this, great play is being made by some commenters of the fact that the German city name (N├╝rnberg) is being used. I wonder why it matters, really; I don't care that the French say "Londres", after all.)