Sep 22, 2013

In the Twinkling of an Eye

As an American, I have had only select exposure to comic magazines originating from the United Kingdom. Though I’m aware of such stalwarts as 2000AD and The Beano, my primary interests mean that I’m far more familiar with the country’s licensed titles (mostly Marvel’s Transformers and Action Force), plus a small smattering of material from that time in the ’90s when Marvel’s US branch tried to foist Marvel UK’s original output onto US soil as The Next Big Thing. (SPOILERS: it wasn’t, because that output consisted of titles like Gun Runner, Gene Dogs, and Death’s Head II… and Death Wreck, Die-Cut, and Death Metal, and… anyway, you get the idea.)

Given this limited sampling, imagine my genuine surprise when I encountered a stack of vintage My Little Pony tie-in comics for sale at a dealer’s booth at the 2012 My Little Pony Convention and Fair - comics from a publisher I had never heard of, in a story format I had never before experienced. These magazines - printed by Egmont under their “London Editions” imprint - are slightly taller than the licensed Marvel UK books I own, and each issue contains a mix of comics and illustrated text stories. What really makes these stand out to me, however, is the way the comic stories are laid out: with their art and narrative captions on separate planes, they’re more like storybooks, which is a construction I have never encountered in a traditional American comic.

As for the stories themselves, most of them are prosaic (so far as yarns about magic pastel ponies go)… but every now and again, I have encountered tales that are on the cusp of madness. The story reprinted here is one of those!

Read that? No? Well, in summary:

Applejack feels bad about being clumsy, so decides to go see if a friendly witch can help her. On her way over, she knocks down a pixie laundry line, and gets so scared she runs until she’s in the mountains… where a boulder moves, and suddenly Applejack finds herself in the lair of the evil Jewel Wizard! The Jewel Wizard has enslaved some Ponies, who have worked in his mines for so long that they can’t see in real light anymore. Applejack tries to go for help, but ends up shattering the Jewel Wizard’s crystalline throne - and throwing him into the bowels of the earth! The flying crystal shards from the throne embed themselves in the other Ponies’ eyes, which, amazingly, restores their sight… and, it just so happens, turns them into the Twinkle-Eyed Ponies!

So... this story of Applejack KILLING A WIZARD to END FORCED PONY ENSLAVEMENT that includes EYE-LACERATION BY GEMSTONES was written to sell a sparkly-eye toy gimmick.

That... that is amazing. That is GENUINELY AMAZING.

And that's all I've got to say about that.

"Applejack’s Amazing Adventure," from issue 11 of the London Editions/Egmont Magazines My Little Pony comic. No credited writer or artist.

Sep 19, 2013

80-Pagecast 14: Editorial Interference - Threat or Menace?

The 80-Pagecast returns, sadly bereft of a double-X chromosome once more!  David Henion, Rob London, and Andrew Sorohan are back, and they're talking about the evil (and good) that editors do.  Sometimes they are also singing.  Listen at your own risk.  Show notes after the jump.

Sep 3, 2013

80-Pagecast 13: Secret Origins.

Well the gang's all here this time, so we're going to tell you how we all got into comics! (Spoilers: all the stories involve us at some point reading comics.)

Looks good to you? Looks good to me!