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  • 42 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Molt Down

    This week is a Spike episode? What a re-”molt”-ing development this is!

    Let's look at “Molt Down,” the episode that will surely be perfectly normal and have no long-lasting repercussions on a character's appearance.

    Read More

    2 comments · 573 views
  • 43 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Break Up Break Down

    I dread going into this week's episode. For today, we discuss matters of the heart. Romance, love, heartbreak, and all that rot. Which means we run right into the most loathsome of all fandom constructs, the kind of thing that destroys friendships and leaves the most brilliant of minds curled up helplessly in a corner, foaming from the mouth:

    SHIPPING.

    Read More

    6 comments · 356 views
  • 44 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Non-Compete Clause

    We've had a string of good episodes the last few weeks. Whether it be shapeshifting seaponies, an actual Celestia episode, or discovering Starlight's dark phase, we've had lots of fun and plenty of laughs.

    Today's episode is about Applejack and Rainbow Dash competing.

    The good times are over.

    Read More

    7 comments · 406 views
  • 45 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: The Parent Map

    Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone who cares about that! What better way to spend the day than watching a cartoon about horses dealing with their mommy/daddy issues? Well, tough, because that's what we're doing. This is “The Parent Map.”

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    4 comments · 299 views
  • 46 weeks
    Season Eight Episode Reviews: Horse Play

    So hey, it's a new episode. Surely nothing to be excited about. Just another standard episode of a cartoon pony show.

    Only it's a CELESTIA EPISODE!

    Prepare for extra spicy biased scoring as we look at Best Princess' newest episode, “Horse Play!”

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    5 comments · 352 views
May
29th
2013

Comic Review: Micro-Series #4 (Fluttershy) · 7:55pm May 29th, 2013

...Once again, I break from the break to deal with the new comic. Why? Because the comic has not yet disappointed me (outside of the Rainbow Dash micro). After last month's excellent jaunt with Rarity, hippies, and Star Trek references nobody got, it's time to look at Fluttershy's solo outing.

---

This month starts with Fluttershy doing her usual thing (checking on her woodland critter friends with Angel) until tragedy strikes. Princess Celestia has announced an EXTREEEEEEEME art competition, and the news terrifies Fluttershy so much that she retreats to her cabin, locks the doors, and heads into her secret underground basement, wherein she has stashed her most terrible secret. And right before I start thinking we've gone into Pattycakes territory, it turns out she's actually built a secret workroom dedicated to her love of knitting.

Fluttershy has her usual breakdown, followed by the usual peptalk from Angel before deciding to enter the contest herself...but only in disguise. She comes to regret it, though, when she discovers that one of the ponies attending is Paiser Pan, a snooty modern art critic who verbally tears down anything he dislikes. Can Fluttershy stand up for herself like she's done the last dozen or so times?

Okay, I've made it no secret that I'm not a fan of the typical Fluttershy episode. She has an anxiety, she spends the episode suffering from it, and in the end saves the day. The only episode to use this paint-by-numbers setup that I've actually liked was “Hurricane Fluttershy,” and that's because that episode does everything right and is my favorite episode of anything ever. And while the issue does mostly follow the same format, it does enough things differently to make it worth reading.

First, though, we need to get through the bad. The art this time tends to shift back and forth between “good” and “ugh.” Fluttershy is drawn pretty well throughout, and there's some really good attention to detail in her faces and emotion, but Rarity's proportions keep changing from one panel to the next, and the artist has this bizarre fascination with showing her upper teeth every time she opens her mouth. The colors are rather washed out, which again is fine for Fluttershy, but it makes the other ponies look faded and kind of dull. It's certainly better than the Twilight micro (which couldn't get even basic body shapes right), but it's still a bit of a problem.

As for the script, I can't say I'm a huge fan. The dialogue is extremely exposition heavy, which only slows the comic's pacing even more. If you don't find Fluttershy cowering immediately funny, there's not much to the comedy outside of the two-page spread reveal of her CHAMBER OF EXTREME KNITTING and Rarity's “contour sense.” (She got it after being pricked by a radioactive sewing needle, along with super fabulous powers and kung fu skills for some reason. Too bad she and Rainbow Dash had to sell their marriage to Discord.) The rest of the Mane 6 also make an appearance that doesn't add to anything, kind of throws the plot off its game, and really just feels like it's cramming them in there for the sake of it.

But then we get to what I really liked about this one: the way Fluttershy's problem was handled. Much like the Twilight micro, this ends up being a commentary on creating art. In that one, the issue was dealing with a massive, impossible-to-surpass success. Here, it's about dealing with critics. Paiser Pan's Cutie Mark is an axe tearing into a painting, which speaks volumes of his character: he doesn't criticize out of wanting others to improve, but to tear them down. When Fluttershy defends her work, he promptly bullies her by asking her to justify her opinion, akin to someone saying they're take on something is superior simply because they've been formally schooled in the field. And when Rarity (the only pony in the group who thinks Paiser is full of himself) reveals Fluttershy's identity, she gets blasted for being “inconsequential.” (Even by Fancy Pants apparently. Must be a changeling.)

What ultimately makes the comic for me, though, was the ending. Fluttershy assumes her traditional cowering posture as the crowd debates her work, with plenty of negative comments...but also a few ones praising it. Of course, Fluttershy zeroes in on the negativity, believes everyone hates it, and prepares to just destroy the thing. But then she realizes she can't destroy something she created and herself loves, which finally gets her to stand up for herself this week. And so we end with the moral that you shouldn't let fear of being criticized prevent you from creating art.

...I'm feeling kind of ashamed right now.

All in all, the issue was...decent. While I love the message it sent and the final twist (which I have not revealed for the sake of not spoiling everything), the art is all over the place and the script itself is rather lackluster. Definitely a step down from last month, but certainly nothing bad and still recommended if you enjoy the comics or are just a huge Fluttershy fan. Just don't expect to have your socks knocked off.

---

Well, back to vacation. Time to check out that Doctor Who/Star Trek: TNG crossover. IDW, you are now my favorite comic publisher by virtue of not sucking.

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Comments ( 16 )

Sounds like this one hit a bit close to home for you. In a good way, I hope? An inspiring way, at least?

Man, I need to get back to the MLP comics. I've only read Twilight's micro and the Chrysalis arc.

Also, seriously give Atomic Robo a shot. Doctor Dinosaur is my Jesus.

24.media.tumblr.com/18677d0527e8f7e59748688eb0dc61ea/tumblr_mjm4oeBIZB1rrr05fo1_1280.jpg

What he (1112309) said. Except the last part.

1112316
About Atomic Robo in general, or just specifically about Doctor Dinosaur?

Because the comic has not failed to disappoint me

I think you put one too many negatives in this sentence.

EDIT: Yay, fixed.

Just read it on Comixology myself. I agree the plot was certainly ordinary. I liked the lessons, but it certainly was a step down from the AMAZING Rarity comic.

That Doctor Who/Star Trek crossover is pretty nifty, I enjoyed it.

The character art could charitably be described as okay, but the visual design of Fluttershy's knitting work? I almost want to call it the best-looking comic of the series so far, based solely on that.

Also... thank you for cuing me into the existence of the Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover. How did I not know about this until now?

1112900 Good point about the knitting work.

And the possibility of a Samurai Jack IDW comic? Oh. My. God. YES!

1112393

Um, no... I mean, IAH could've phrased it:

The comic disappointed me.

or

The comic was disappointing.

...but there was only one negative used in what was said, and what was said is much more interesting to read than my rephrasings.

Unless you think that the comic didn't disappoint at all, but I'd say the rest of the review doesn't bear that out:raritywink:

1113483
Boo. Atomic Robo is awesome. It's written by the same guy who did the webcomic 8-bit Theater. And it has Doctor Dinosaur. There is nothing better than that.

Not sure when/if you'll be seeing this, what with you "officially" being on break, but I'll leave it here anyway.

Paiser Pan's Cutie Mark is an axe tearing into a painting, which speaks volumes of his character: he doesn't criticize out of wanting others to improve, but to tear them down.

And people think Diamond Tiara is bad. A cutie mark is supposed to represent what makes a pony unique and special, it's how they validate there existence and find joy in life. At least at worst DT just feels good about being a stuck-up self-absorbed prissy little diva. This guy, however, would seem to get his jollies by making others feel like failures at their own passions (which for a lot of ponies would be related to their own cutie marks). Unless that final twist in some way redeems him, he'd be getting my leading vote for WORST pony in ALL of Equestria.

...I'm feeling kind of ashamed right now.

I can understand why you might feel like that, recent events considered, but I hope you don't focus on the shame, and that instead you find inspiration to stand up for yourself and the things you create regardless of any haters trying to tear you down.

1113502 I don't like those kinds of comics tbh.

Tony Fleecs really needs to learn to storyboard. Both of his comics have felt very choppy to me, compared to the way Andy Price's action flows smoothly from frame to frame.

That said, I need to get a digitized copy of the frames with the criticism mixed with praise and Fluttershy focusing on the negative. Reminds me of someone I know.

1113523
Ooh, ouch. Good point.

Also: *Spoilers*

Ponies have a Toady-ing response to everything Celestia says is now cannon.

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