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October 10, 2012
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#76) What are your thoughts about the little mini issue within the fandom regarding Lil Miss Jay - the artist who works on the grimdark version of Rarity? Sure, he might draw something people don't like. But on the other end of the argument he's received death threats from both haters and bronies (I mean yeah it's the internet but some arrests were actually made). Any specific thoughts?

Answer: This one was quite difficult to answer, as I tend to avoid Tumblr, and thus had to perform some genuine research before answering. Being friends with a variety of Tumblr-fluent people, I receive information every now and then, and I have heard about the person in question, although what I've been told has been mostly negative. That said, I've never personally been involved in a situation with this user, and I can't even say that I've seen much of their work, and so I'm afraid that the next few points will be based on what I've heard from other people.

Sending genuine death threats – if arrests were actually made that would imply that they were quite serious – is a really stupid thing in this case. I can sort of understand people sending death threats to, for example, a convicted paedophile, or a rapist or a murderer, but when it's to a guy who draws  distasteful stuff it's really dumb. I'm highly critical of a lot of things, but I wouldn't ever condone doing something like that. You don't have to like things, and you have the freedom to express what you dislike about something in a structured and reasonable way.

Death threats aren't reasonable, and seem to be the extremist response to something distasteful. I can't really argue that grimdark work of Rarity is 'good' from an ethical point of view, but I can say that the guy drawing it doesn't deserve to die. Do people like Rarity that much that they'd defend her character by slaughtering those who would hurt her? People are taking their knightly fantasies to crazy levels. She's a cartoon character; if you don't like what someone is doing with her, feel free to rant about it and gain support from like-minded people, but don't outwardly attack someone. It's not the smart thing to do.

However, when all that is said and done, I hear through the grapevine whispers that the user was banned from Tumblr because they were drawing [humanised] porn of the Cutie Mark Crusaders designed to be illustrating them as children. I've also been made aware that they practically trace art from other people for commissions and generally have a poor attitude towards other artists; one example saw them using a portion of an image by another user, and when asked to remove it, they refused with an audacious claim that they had every right to use other people's images if they want to.

The user seems to take enormous pride in their art, but I hear that it's at the detriment of other artists. In addition, I've been linked to images of some pretty messed up stuff coming from this user (with some pretty messed up anatomy on top of that). There are also rumours that the user has made a new account where he hates on his own art in order to get pity from people. Conspiracy theory? Quite possibly.

I have no connection to this artist whatsoever, but as you asked for my opinion, I have to say that while the death threats are ridiculous and can't possibly be condoned, the artist in question seems to be held in a fairly low regard by many. As a result, there's probably a good reason for why people don't like the user, but, of course, that doesn't justify wishing the person dead. It's a difficult issue, but I have to say that, given the amount of bad things I've heard about the user that can be backed up by evidence, I won't be inviting them over to my house for tea and scones.



#77) I have a friend whom I converted to enjoying the show. He was not a fan of the community or some of the terms ("Somepony", "Brohoof", "Brony") but he agreed that the show is good. While Season 2 was airing, me, him and a few other friends of mine (also bronies) would discuss the new episode. My friend in question saw this as us "talking about ponies all the time" and got sick of it to the point of leaving our group even though we don't talk about it much at all (now that Season 2 has ended). Over time he has become bitter, to the point of outright making fun of us and others for liking the show or partaking in fan related activities. He is also very reluctant to join our friend group again because he doesn't want to talk about the show. The problem I'm having is that when it comes to anything non-pony, he's a great friend and I want to stay his friend. But he doesn't want our group or myself to talk about the show at all. I want to stay his friend but I don't want to give up something I like to stay a friend. Can you give me any guidance? And the answer cannot be, "just don't talk about the show when he is around" because he assumes that's what we are talking about all the time anyways, and won't believe me when I say otherwise.

Answer: There's that word again - 'converted'. Blah. So the guy thinks that you're always talking about ponies, and detests you for that fact? Sounds like the friendship is dead in the water already, unless you're exaggerating, which I assume you must be given that you've stated that he's a good friend when talking about things outside of ponies.  

Friendship groups are difficult things to manage. Everyone involved is expected to have the same mutual interests, and if you aren't part of a current fad that sweeps through the group, you risk feeling alienated, and the chance of growing resentful towards it is high. It's interesting that the person in question seemed to go for the show for a while and then changed his mind; perhaps he was merely trying to enjoy it because he wanted to fit in with you guys?

Now that he's written you off as pony-talkers, there's not a lot that you can really do. If he doesn't want to be your friend, despite you mentioning that it's not always about ponies, then you'll just have to accept that you're growing apart. Very few of the friends I have now are the friends I had three years ago; people change and certain people drift apart. It's just how things work. Talking about ponies with your friends is fine, but you should never let it dominate the flow of conversation, especially if there are people in the chat who aren't as into it as you are. It's important to represent everyone's interests in an equal way and distribute the topics of conversation evenly. It sounds as if that wasn't happening, and that's why he left your group.

The fact that he's making fun of you for it means that he's unlikely to change his stance. Your options are: completely forsake the show and choose your friend instead; keep doing what you're doing and hope that your friend comes back; or forget your friend and stick with the ones that have a mutual interest in ponies. It's hard to recommend that you go where the big pony fans are, but if this friend can't adapt to your new interests, then maybe it's time that he stops being your friend altogether. It's unreasonable for him to ask that you stop talking about ponies completely: you're allowed your own interests and he has to respect them. If he would make such high demands of you, he can't be a very good friend.



#78) [Answered by my good friend pap64] One of the reasons I love "Friendship is Magic" so much is because it is so bright, colorful and genuinely cheerful and that it makes me forget about the problems of the world and escape to a better place. Yet, I have seen many people online turn the series into something more sinister, darker, violent and cruel. Why does that happen?

Answer: One of the things pop culture loves to do a lot of is to take a very well known franchise, stories or sets of characters and completely reverse them for a broad comedic effect. So if something is genuinely sweet, then the parody has it be darker than it really is. Stuff like Sesame Street, Disney and yes, My Little Pony, are easy targets because these series were created on the basis of humanity's brighter trains of thoughts, like hope, faith, kindness and love.

As to why it happens so much in the Pony fandom, well part of it is because people do get a huge kick out of seeing these characters presented in such a disturbing manner. Sometimes, it is because it is funny. There is a reason why stuff like the .Mov flash cartoon series are very popular with Bronies: shock humor is something that is very easy to do when presenting a parody of said series.

The other reason these dark interpretations of the characters and their world are so popular with Bronies could also be that some people believe in darker forces ruling our world, and thus they want the things they love to reflect that mentality. We live in an era in which the ills of the world are easier to know about. From corrupt politicians to war in far away places, these things can often corrupt our views of the world, making it harder for us to accept a better view on life.

Like I said before, "Friendship is Magic" is a prime target for such re-imaginings because it is a show that promotes a lighter, more charming side of life. So whenever it actually decides to "go there" (like when Pinkie Pie drove herself to madness in "Party of One"), people are quick to embrace that aspect because to them at least it is a far more truthful to the world around us, and thus they celebrate it in that manner.

However, you shouldn't let those fans destroy how you view the series. If your view on the series is that "Friendship is Magic" should always be magical, whimsical and charming, that's fine. The beauty of fictional media is that you may be telling the same story to a hundred people, yet you walk out with a hundred different points of views and interpretations of the same story. Celebrate the show in the manner that makes sense to YOU, and try to avoid any places that create conflicts with that mentality.
Next Issue:

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Previous Issue:

==>

Brony Advice is both an active collaboration with artists and an advice column, in the simplest of terms: I want you to send me notes if you have any problems, secrets or comments on the pony fandom of any nature. It doesn't matter how embarrassing, offensive or vicious they might be - if you want someone to comment on them in an unbiased way, send them over. Maybe there's something within the fandom that you particularly despise, or perhaps you're feeling sad and need to hear some friendly advice? Whatever the motive, send me a note with your comment or question.

I'll then respond with advice and commentary and post the answers up in future installments. Users will remain anonymous, so you don't need to worry about your feelings and thoughts getting out onto DeviantArt. You may find that some of the things that you've personally been feeling will be addressed.

Feel free to note me if you would like your questions and observations to be answered in an upcoming edition. Every edition will be engaging with three issues. The above three featured today were submitted by anonymous deviants.

In this issue, my friend ~pap64 contributed an answer. As Brony Advice is collaborative, I thought it fair to get some answers from other people connected to the fandom, to give some other interesting perspectives on issues. Many thanks to him for his contribution!

Artwork by the wonderful *Noxx-ious. Go check out her stuff!
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:iconpap64:
pap64 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012
Sorry for the late response, but thanks for the warm comments regarding my answer! It was fun writing an answer for the question given.
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:iconmillenniumfalsehood:
MillenniumFalsehood Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
#76 I had never heard of this person before now, but from what I understand I would never support them or pay tribute to their art. I've had my art stolen before, and from what I read it sounds like this person is not above doing so, for commissions no less! And this person actually drew the CMCs in sexually implicit and explicit poses? I have no words . . . That's just . . . Yeah I have no words.

That being said, death threats are unacceptable behavior in any case, no matter who they're targeted toward (though there are exceptions). Even the lowest scum of humanity has the capability of changing, if they can create a strong enough belief in themselves and the desire to change. Humanity itself may not forgive them for what they did or believe that true change occurred, but it's not outside the realm of possibility.

Jeffrey Dahmer did unspeakable things to people. He murdered, raped, and dismembered 17 people without mercy and without pause. He was tried and convicted, and spent two years in prison, where he was met and converted by a Christian preacher, and claimed for the rest of his life to be a Christian. He claimed to be ashamed and remorseful for what he'd done, and that he wished he were dead.

Whether any of that's true, I can't say. The cynic in me says he was appealing to whatever sympathizers might exist for such terrible behavior, but I'm an optimist, so I tend to think he was genuinely remorseful.

Did he deserve to die? Sure. Nobody who did what he did should escape punishment. But it should be at the hands of the state, not the hands of some prisoner in such a brutal fashion.

Now, this 'artist', to use the term in its loosest possible sense, hasn't done anything approaching what Dahmer did. Does he deserve death threats? In that context, I'd hope most would say no. And if you believe like me that every human has the capacity for change (baring mental disease), then I'm sure you'd agree with me in thinking that this person should be approached with calm and logic, for those are good weapons to use against people like that.

#77 I already replied directly to this person, but nevertheless I believe it's worth repeating, albeit in condensed form. True friends will stand by their friends no matter what and accept them for who they are, not some preconceived notion of who they should be. My friends mostly know that I'm a brony, though usually be accident as I'm not about to shove it in their faces. Every one of them has no problem with it, and while they'll give me a hard time sometimes it's quite clear they're just messing with me and not trying to be hurtful toward me or my brony friends. If they were being hurtful, I would gently explain that they are hurting my feelings, and they will stop.

The person who is described in that letter doesn't sound like this type of friend. In fact, calling on my limited psychological studies, his behavior indicates that he's being extremely possessive of his friend. I would sit down and have a face-to-face with him and explain that his behavior is unacceptable. It will be tough, but it's got to be done because true friends do not behave this way toward one another.

#78 This I think is part of the nature of unbalanced systems, to put a scientific spin on it as I am wont to do.

Nature abhors a vacuum. When you evacuate the air from a chamber, air from its surroundings tries to fill the space created by this. Water will flow into a basin. Gas flows into your tank. etc., etc., etc . . . .

MLP is a lot like this. It has a cheery look, funny humor, and bright and colorful characters. They have problems, but they're resolved in 20 minutes every episode no matter what. There's no cussing, no murder, no rape, no rap (did I say that? ;) ), no serious problems with the population of Equestria. It's all outside attackers and monsters who bear no allegiance to Equestria or its rulers.

This creates a vacuum, one which some people are anxious to fill.

They want that itch scratched, because it restores balance and order in their subconscious mind. They have a "need" to fill this void with darkness in order to appease their sense of balance.

Now, a lot of people don't need that, because the balance actually comes from other sources, like other cartoons, movies, books, games, even real life. The reason this is so is because I didn't mention that people who create grimdark oftentimes fill their lives with other grimdark material, like Cthulu and Slenderman, to name but two. This alters their subconscious sense of balance and artificially raises the "good-factor" of the cheery nature of MLP, thus creating a stronger need for dark material in the same vein to fill the void. It may not even be media that causes this. It could be an unhappy childhood, less-than-supportive parents, or any combination of things.

The point is, these people are not just drawing grimdark to be drawing grimdark (though some just experiment with it for the fun of it anyway). It's a deep-seated psychological desire to create balance in an unbalanced system which is more "out of whack" that the average person.
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:iconender1200:
ender1200 Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
#78 on the flip side many pop colture simbols wich represent the darker sides of humanity are sometimes decipted as cute.
Look at zombies for examle, they are a horror staple that is very popular at the momet. Works like the walking dead, or john romero's movies use zombies as a simbol to the darker and wost part of humanity bringing the end of civilization. On the other hand in Plants Vs. Zombis they are goofy and cartoonish, meant to draw laughts and lood unharmfull. Vampire are even more extreem in this regard, modern works show them as heroes mor ofthen then not.
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:iconmillenniumfalsehood:
MillenniumFalsehood Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
And let's not forget the plush Zombie from ThinkGeek. ;)
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:icondavidbillups:
davidbillups Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
good advice.
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:iconclassicteam:
ClassicTeam Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Student Interface Designer
Alright, so question number 77 was mine.

I guess I should start by apologizing for using the term "converted". it was not that I converted him and more just that I introduced him to the show and after a while he warmed up to it. It was just easier to type one word then spell it all out. :P

The friendship is not necessarily "dead in the water", When he initiates a conversation then there's no problem, but when I or my other friends do it becomes more about "so were you want me to join your stupid pony discussion again?".

I'm under the same assumption as you. I think he only said he liked it so that he felt as if he was "part of the group" which (something I should have mentioned before) is a group of friends we call came to know in real life, not via the internet. We just all just happened to find out one day that we were all in mutual agreement that a show about multi-colored ponies was good; and we started geeking out about yet another thing we liked. Before it we would talk about film and video games... and even now, we talk about the same thing, only now there is sometimes a pony discussion involved as well.

It used to be that he'd hang out with us all the time...but now it seems he only wants to hang out with us if it is within his interest. In other words, there is no give take scenario. He expects us to hang out with him whenever it's something he's into but if he's not into it he makes fun of it and leaves the discussion. I've tried to be fair with him by asking my friends to keep the Pony discussion to a minimum while he is around - I don't say a thing about the show when he's around out of respect for his opinion. But this doesn't change the uneasiness of the situation, or his insults.

I donno. Your last paragraph is really convincing towards where my personal opinions on the matter have been going. I still love to hang out with the guy, but it bugs me that he has to insult me and the others for liking something he does not. I'm also really bad at ending friendships - I've never had a friendship end outside of having my friends move on from me.

Anyways, thanks a lot for taking the time out to write for me. Fell free to write back if you wish. :)
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:iconmillenniumfalsehood:
MillenniumFalsehood Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
From my experience, friends who are truly friends work around each others' differences. It's common courtesy, and something that must take place for any social group of any size to function.

My friends are not interested in everything I am, and one of them is an outright pony-hater, but we always find things to talk about and generally have a good time when we're together.

The way you're describing the situation, it sounds to me like your friend is being extremely possessive of you, because he is deliberately trying to make you feel uncomfortable around people that you are friends with which are invading his 'territory', so to speak. There are a lot of people who are like this, so it's not uncommon. This is not the type of person who should be catered to, though. In fact, psychologically speaking, the fact that he tries hard to be cool in every other instance is a strong sign that he's being possessive, because he's attempting to use bribes in the form of coolness in other areas in order to make you choose between him and your new friends. It's a powerful weapon, because it plays toward the roots of your old friendship and artificially inflates his value to you.

You need to be objective in this, and firm. Objectively, look at what he provides: is his cool-factor really worth the insults he hurls at you and your new friends? Does his charisma outweigh human decency and logic? If you can't answer yes in less than a second or two, then you have your answer.

Ending friendships is a hard thing to do. Most are comfortable just letting them die, but as I've observed possessive tendencies in your old friend this may not be possible. If this is the case, I'd ask to sit down with him face to face, then explain that his behavior is not acceptable. This won't be easy; he's a friend, and nobody likes to tell a friend they're being an @$$hole. But it must be done, because true friendships do NOT work the way you describe, and he's being extremely unfair to both you and your new friends. If he can justify his behavior, you might stay friends, but on the condition that he respect yourself and your new friends for who and what they are. He needs to be mature in this, and if he can't be, then he has no business being your friend.

If you need to, look at "Griffon the Brush Off" as an example of how the rest of us most likely see your relationship, with Rainbow Dash representing you, Gilda, representing your old friend, and Pinkie Pie representing your new friends. If you handle it like Dash did, you will be fine.
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:iconwhisperer-of-winds:
Whisperer-of-Winds Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Professional Writer
Do excuse me for the interruption...
Insults? mockery? those are no signs of a friend... These are the signs of some one who only stays with you until he finds something "better".

Did it ever occur to you that you might just be too good for some one's company?
Well, you might consider that because if he resorts to insults, then you are indeed better without such bitterness in your life.

You like something. something pulls your attention. Its that he accepts it or he is outta the picture just like zat *snaps fingers*
Reply
:iconclassicteam:
ClassicTeam Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Student Interface Designer
Something I must admit is that it is hard for me to understand communication with him. I would call him a troll if it weren't for the fact that he has limits and does so within reason. So I really can't tell if he's sincere about his name-calling or if he's just toying with us. And if I try to approach him about his actual feelings he is tight-lipped.

I also must admit I have a bit of an insecurity when it comes to social interaction with others. I would describe myself as one who was raised as a social outcast due to my interests and creativity being a bit beyond what most of the other children would consider normal in the place I lived. So the idea of losing a friend - something I value very highly is something of a tough situation for me. For that reason I asked the "Brony Advice" for... well, advice. In my mind, to lose a friend is like to lose one of my most valuable assets. The last thing I want to do is simply tell a person 'no' and end it. I feel like there is a friendship to still be had. I would rather fight to keep my friends before we just come to the conclusion of 'giving up' or ending the relationship in bad taste.

Thank you for your words of advice though. You have made my insecurity more apparent to me. Either I need to resolve this friendship issue or my insecurity - or both.
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:iconwhisperer-of-winds:
Whisperer-of-Winds Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Professional Writer
Dear ClassicTeam,

I can understand your predicament....because it was mine when I was but a wee lad. What is more, from the similarities, I would say that you take pride in your friends. That they are not many but you deem them of qualities that are rarely found. Am I correct?

Then again, we are who we are and we cannot deny that or dispel it or else...we lose the essence of what we are.

I know exactly of the insecurity you describe... even at the age of 26 I still get them. It's your heart!!!

Yes, that's what aches you. You can offer the kind feelings and are disappointed when it is not offered back to you, even in a small measure. To tell you the truth, I never truly figured a solution to this kind of dilemma... except that I now guard my heart and rarely do I reveal it to any...let alone one that would make mockery of it.

Taking a stand is needed at 75% of all issues, though wisdom must temper your thoughts and actions or else your heart might turn bitter like mine did many years ago. I now acquired the ...wisdom, to heal mine so care for yours ;D
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:iconclassicteam:
ClassicTeam Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Student Interface Designer
That would be correct. It has only been recent (within the past 3 years) that I ever had more then a friend or two. I made an effort to reach out to more people during my Junior year of High school by starting a gaming club and the friend group has become something more like 6 people since. It's truly a balancing act for me.

Your second statement there = correct. I would go more in depth but I'm afraid we'd be here for quite some time as it's a topic I've spent a lot of time pondering!

Is it truly my heart? Then, insecurity is objective. I find it more pleasing to speak from the heart then to hide it behind a veil. It's more sincere and honest. Sometimes is makes me use more smilies in my text but I don't come of as a robot when I talk like many people these days do. :p

This friend of mine was one I used to be able to openly share my feelings with. But lately he's been a bit of a demanding grouch. We used to all get along until the interest in MLP was mutual between everyone but apparently him.

I had my own few years of bitterness and was pulled out of it by someone else's wise words. The idea that I could possibly slip back into that phase scares me. I don't think this situation would do such a thing, but I know I will forever regret my decision if I simply end it where it stands.
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:iconwhisperer-of-winds:
Whisperer-of-Winds Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Professional Writer
yes, indeed this topic might take hours of discussion so I will make it short....after all, its your problem and no solution will ever aid you except one that you would come up with.

And perhaps you are correct; it is objective. It is truly a shame that one might hide behind a veil but I had my reasons...I was, and perhaps still am, on the fragile heart though no one would ever know that when some would call me arrogant and proud :P

you are your own master. There will come a day when you will realize that some just do not deserve your friendship while many other would honor you with theirs. Good luck!
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:iconrae-bloody-grace:
Rae-Bloody-Grace Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
Read through this out of curiosity, as I am not a MLP fan nor have I made an effort to see the show. Initially I was critical of the show, but mostly because of the fad it seemed to be. Now that everything's settled out I really don't have a problem with people liking it, and occasionally I divulge myself in the occasional fanart here on dA.
I have to say, this Q&A gives me faith in humanity. It's not fanatically swung one way or the other, and the answers can actually be applied to practically any fandom issue, despite their given context being MLP. They're also calm and well thought-out, which is sometimes hard to find with the prevalence of over-zealous fans. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and may go through the other Brony Advice pages as well :)
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:iconmillenniumfalsehood:
MillenniumFalsehood Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
I'm glad to hear this, because I can't count the number of times I've seen people dismiss both the show and it's fans as a fad. There's a lot more to it than that, and while most of us don't expect everyone to like the show, we do ask for a little respect, so thank you very much. :)
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:icongariandos:
Gariandos Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I always like reading these.
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:iconwhisperer-of-winds:
Whisperer-of-Winds Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional Writer
I can see from the questions that were asked that there is a huge amount of uncertainty among the dedicated fans of MLP FiM (Bronies, in other)

"Acceptance" in this world is a rather difficult even when what needs to be accepted is the fact that there are just people out there with brighter minds to learn, see, and care.

There are countless realms out there: Harry potter, Ga'Hoole, Equestria, and many others that have given inspiration to countless souls I have been most fortunate to have met that were never attacked for what strikes their passion... not in the magnitude that i have come to realize through the answers that were posted here.

People are different. That is more than obvious. I am no Brony and I beg all to take no offense but I can understand how it feels for I was once attacked for my passion to the realm that inspires me... I realized that the kind of replies I made were the best; they were not loud, attacking, or defensive... they were just wise enough to make the one who attacked me realize that they have tired their fingers as she strived to insult me while I made it clear that I feel sorry for her... she just got bored and left me in peace.

Does this seem weak - charactered? perhaps. But I like to think otherwise. I like to think that I was wise enough to make some one feel so awful for being as rude as they were and realize that there is nothing in their power to make me feel uncomfortable about what makes me feel elevated in my soul...

And so should you, bronies.
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:icondread555:
Dread555 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012
#77 is actually quite the issue, people assume some behavior, really typical stuff that fans of anything do, is "shoving it down [their] throat" or "always talking about it," when really it's just something so stigmatized and flamboyant that they can't help but feel a sense of overbearance, due to it being very noticeable and out-of-place.

With fans who do this, it's a sign of insecurity. They agree that the show is good, but they've never really been OK with liking it, much less acting like a fan of it. Some people are even offended at others treating it as something fan-worthy (fanart, cosplay, fan ficiton, etc), and so try to point it out as being obsessed or "rabid."

Of course, as always, not EVERYONE who claims that a fan is "always talking about it" is someone who I described.
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:icondread555:
Dread555 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012
Just to clarify, when I say "something stigmatized and flamboyant," I'm referring to my little pony.
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:iconnoxx-ious:
Noxx-ious Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Student General Artist
Great issue! I also feel bad for 77- I've known people like their friend, and it's just awkward and terrible to keep part of yourself from them.

and yay, Cadance header! c:
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:iconclassicteam:
ClassicTeam Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Student Interface Designer
Thank you for your sympathy - I'm #77. I guess I'm not really supposed to come out and be like IT'S ME I'M THAT NUMBER but I really feel like this is a good outlet to ask how others feel about the situation. And yes, that is part of the problem I'm having. I don't have anything against the guy, and I try to respect his opinion by not mentioning the show when he's around (Not like it's hard or anything, just that I'm being conscious about it) But it's not really working out because my other friends have different opinions on how to handle the matter.
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:iconberlioz-ii:
Berlioz-II Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012
I received a death threat once. It was from a crazed Pirates of the Caribbean and Johnny Depp fan when I wrote a highly disparaging review of the music for Curse of the Black Pearl. She said I was loathsome and that I deserved to die simply for having an opinion, and how one of these days she was going to marry Depp... yeah, that type of person. I laughed at it mostly and made a game of it by responding back and riling her up as much as I could. She got pretty pissed off when I posted well reasoned arguments and made fun of her own assertions, while her replies only got more disjointed and reactionary. That was some of the most fun I've ever had in e-mail correspondence. :D

And I don't know what series #78 is watching, but FiM isn't just about farting rainbows and having tea parties. Fact is, the series itself at times touches upon some quite dark strains (though admittedly not usually going terribly deep into them) to go claimn it's only cheerful and happy all the time. Certainly it is fairly uncynical on the norm, but I think there's enough to use as a springboard to some darker ruminations without even departing from the series itself all that much (just look at the Discord episodes, Party of One, Putting Your Hoof Down, or A Canterlot Wedding just to name a few). What the question doesn't really make clear, though, is what they truly mean with "sinister, darker, violent and cruel." After all, there's quite a few shades of dark that range from lighter comedic dark to some serious bloody gore to make such generalisations really hard to gauge in terms of what's bothering the writer here.

Let us also not forget that the fandom is comprised of a lot of people coming from very different walks of life and experiences and interests. In many ways I'd say darker elements are often the type that many would actually associate with an innate sense of maturity and by this token such explorations are more likely to be expected than happily cheerful countenances saturated with the levity of an innocent smile. Just look how much young kids are discouraged from watching horror movies or hearing about bad things in the world, and then when you're faced with something that many would identify as being a children's medium such as cartoons that feature some really dark ideas (such as All Dogs Go To Heaven featuring concepts of death and even a full on hell sequence, or look at the most popular segment in Fantasia being the one where the dead arise to join an orgy with the devil Chernobog), it's no surprise that such material would come out almost as second nature to people, both young and old(er). It doesn't even matter if the original series is highly positive to the point of being inane (such as G2 and G3 or MLP to make an ultimate comparison), so when the series itself already points out paths for darker inspection, then what hope do you expect there to be for the fandom to not grasp at those straws?

Darkness inherently isn't anything bad and is really only dependent on the levels it is taken to and your personal stomach to handle its excesses. Otherwise I see no foul in any of this really unless the expressions aren't to my personal taste to begin with, and which of course is but a personal reaction.
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:iconmillenniumfalsehood:
MillenniumFalsehood Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
Since you brought it up, what problems does the score for PotC have in your opinion? I'm a musician, and I loved the score and saw little wrong with it other than perhaps overusing Leitmotif.

I love fans who handle criticism the way you do. It shows that we're the opposite of rabid, and in fact most of us are quite reasonable people who just want a bit of respect. That's why I'm thrilled about John de Lancie's new documentary. I can't wait to see it, and I want to show it to some of my friends who are, shall we say, less than enthusiastic about bronies.
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:iconberlioz-ii:
Berlioz-II Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
Okay, so here's the problem I have with the PotC score is that, being a long-time film score fan (I've been listening to film music since I was 10), this score was just flat out generic, industrialised cookie-cutter conveyorbelt musak at its finest. For a film that was such an enjoyable romp with its own spin on the pirate movie, the fact that the score was just such a completely unoriginal regurgitation of every single Media Ventures/Remote Control cliché imaginable - take a bit of Crimson Tide, The Peacemaker, The Rock, and Gladiator, throw it in a mixer, and you get PotC's score - was such a huge disappointment.

Now I don't generally have a problem when it comes to stylistic similarities or even thematic resemblance with other scores - I'm still a fan of James Horner's who's pretty much made his career out of reusing past themes, motifs and techniques in every subsequent score he's done - but the thing with the MV/RC production machinery of doing everything as committee scores (it's habitual that scores produced by the company employ on average even ten assistant composers to create the score piecemeal) completely eliminates any sense of individuality and personality for any of these projects. At least Horner still composes stuff on his own and understands the orchestra in an innate sense to be able to do his own orchestrations with true symphonic breadth, whereas this manufactured feeling of a company score where you can't tell Steve Jablonsky, Ramin Djawadi, Henry Jackman, Geoff Zanelli etc. apart from one another, while they are pretty much mandated to ape the music of Hans Zimmer's past examples, makign it truly demoralising (cut them loose on something unrelated to the Hollywood machine, like Jablonsky on Steamboy instead of Transformers, or Klaus Badelt on The Promise instead of Poseidon, and you'll see some real showing of individuality).

In many ways, the music in PotC - and specifically Black Pearl - is just the most glaring example of a piece of film music written in the most uninspired way possible. I truly wonder what Alan Silvestri, just fresh off of The Mummy Returns and Tomb Raider 2, would have done before he was dismissed from the project. The Zimmer-penned, Badelt-credited Black Pearl is almost detrimental to the originality of the film itself as its musical identity, and annoying for this attitude alone. For sure I don't think a full Cutthroat Island score would have worked in the film as some would suggest, but something more organic and original would have been preferred as an alternative to what ended up in the film. Though I'll just say, they did step up in each subsequent film, with At World's End being an actually rather good score in spite of the movie itself.

So there's my general critique on why I dislike the score as much as I do, not helped by the over-prevalence of similar scores populated by most action and adventure movies of the past decade in Hollywood. Just thinking of the great diversity of film music back in the 1960s and 70s for similar movies makes the homogenity and unoriginality all the more lamentable. PotC may not be the worst score ever written, but it is one of the most exemplary of an epidemic of sameness sweeping through much of the current film score world.
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:iconmillenniumfalsehood:
MillenniumFalsehood Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
Interesting POV. I appreciate it, though I still enjoy the score as-is. I mean, sure, I recognize the problems with doing it that way, as you were generous enough to point out in full. Steamboy's score was pretty cool and original, indeed.

James Horner is one of my favorite composers when it comes to style. As you said, he does tend to reuse a lot of themes (the most glaring example being the scores to Star Trek III and Aliens, which share common phrases, particularly the Klingon theme from the former), but his work really shows in the way he takes full advantage of the orchestra and his knack for building up the music to a dramatic finale. His Apollo 13 score is still in my top five favorite scores.

While we're on the subject, what's your opinion on John Williams' work? I obviously like it, as evidenced by my avatar, but I'm always interested in informed opinions, good or bad.
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:iconberlioz-ii:
Berlioz-II Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012
Yeah, it's just the group mentality in place of an individual voice that gets me more than anything... that and their insistence on often ruining their brass with synth doubling, making it sound fake and tinny (I'm a big lover of orchestral brass when it's allowed to really shine). Just a bit depressing when many of these guys could probably do so good on their own, like Jablonsky with Steamboy who's instead being saddled with anonymous RC cliché work in Transformers or sound design work for a plethora of horror movies. Wasted potential is what I call it. Come on, let the man out of his cage!

And speaking of Horner's Aliens, I did love to hear that score be referenced by William Anderson in the episode "Secret of My Excess". Referenception... oh, I can't believe I just did that. :no: Anyway, Horner is one of those curious types that doesn't terribly bother me with his self-referential habits (maybe 'cause he does it so regularly), though there are some times where it gets a little bothering - particularly in the music he wrote beginning with Bicentennial Man (that rip on the Braveheart love theme was just a little too much for me to take seriously), followed by Enemy at the Gates (though I actually like it quite a bit), Windtalkers (danger motif galore once more), and particularly Troy (the mix of Britten, Vaughan Williams, Shostakovich and Rachmaninov references got a little excessive even for Horner, despite the incredible feat of writing all that mass of music in mere two weeks). Thankfully after that he's mellowed out much more and has put out some truly gorgeous pieces of music, with The New World being a particular highlight. Also, I particularly love his ability to so consistently write such long, 8-15 minute symphonic cues like no other's business that seems like such a dying are these days.

As for good ol' Johnny, I really dig his music. Though I'm not a big fan of his pre-Jaws stuff apart from Jane Eyre, I love his fame era work, with Close Encounters, the Star Wars scores (The Empire Strikes Back in particular), Superman, the three Indiana Jones scores, ET, a personal favourite The Witches of Eastwick, Hook, Jurassic Park, and Schindler's List topping the list. Also I like that after all this he can still surprise, such as with The Prisoner of Azkaban's medieval style being so tonally different to the preceding Home Alone-styled Potter scores, or the Japanese stylistics of Memoirs of a Geisha popping out most notably. And while at times his dexteriously dazzling and complex action writing can get a little facetiously samey, or his emotional writing a bit schmaltzy and heavy, when listening to something transparent like Seven Years in Tibet or the complexities of Tintin, you just have to admit that the man knows how to write music. So yeah, colour me a fan. :D
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:iconmillenniumfalsehood:
MillenniumFalsehood Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012
Speaking of music being written in a compressed time scale, I'm continuously impressed with Daniel Ingram and William Anderson. To be able to keep churning out good music in the amount of time they've got to work on the show is, frankly, astounding. Ingram has even been nominated twice for an Emmy for his work on MLP. And that's not the only show he's writing music for, which makes his work all the more impressive.

Yes! Another Williams fan! :D I did like the score to Tintin, because it reminded me of the old cartoon I used to watch, yet it also had that Williams flare which gave it that epic quality. As for The Empire Strikes Back, I love how he developed the music for A New Hope but then came up with new pieces like the Imperial March which not only fit in with the motifs already composed, but are good works in their own right.

Sometimes though I run into people who say his work on Star Wars is too derivative of Gustav Holst's The Planets. I'm not seeing that, honestly. The homage is there, but Williams takes it in a new direction, and I've heard music that is far more derivative than that.
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:iconberlioz-ii:
Berlioz-II Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012
Indeed. I know that Star Wars' temp track was much constructed from the works of Holst, Dvorak and Stravinsky, while the grand scale of the leitmotivic approach was much adopted from Wagner, but the music is very much Williams through and through. Also the development and maturation of the music through the sequels should more than do away the criticism of any passing similarities of musical reminiscence or influence inherent in the works. Certainly I do hear similarities, but I don't think they are as egregrious as some people want to make them sound... particularly those self-important twats who write so-called "serious" music and act elitist through their self-entitled snobbery (not all composers, but many).

And true, anybody having to write consistently fresh music for TV like Will Anderson for instance - it's one thing to do transitional music, but full, non-stop scores for an episode-based format with incredibly tight schedules - gets a lot of respect from me.
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:iconmillenniumfalsehood:
MillenniumFalsehood Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012
Egregious indeed. One time after a meeting I was attending ended I started talking about the score to Star Wars, and a guy looked at me and went, "T'cha, it's a great score. It has to be considering it's basically stolen from Stravinsky." I looked at him funny and said it wasn't, then he told me the next time we met to bring the score and he would show me where it was copied from Holst and Stravinsky. I did, but he didn't prove anything other than his astounding ability to waste my time. All of his arguments were vacuous and impotent, because they could be used against any work regardless of quality. My counter argument dealt with how Williams may have been inspired by those works, but he clearly put his own spin on it.

I love his description of what the main title symbolizes. Basically he has an open fifth, which symbolizes reaching up toward a goal, then the descending triplet which is gathering strength for a second try, and then the triumphant lift to the octave above the first note, symbolizing victory. Then the phrase is repeated as an assurance of achievement. It's a stroke of genius, in my opinion, because it reflects so many aspects of the two trilogies and can be applied to many situations and scenarios, big or small, such as the following: Luke destroyed the Death Star, then was beaten by Darth Vader, but then he overcame that and redeemed his father, which saved the galaxy from tyranny and oppression because if he hadn't reached out to Vader, he probably would never have killed the Emperor.

My respect for that score is part of the reason I love to arrange parts of it for the piano, my chosen instrument. In fact, I recently completed work on The Throne Room/End Titles and will be posting the sheet music as soon as I finish adding the dynamic markings: [link]

Will Anderson always astounds me, because I listen for reused tracks in TV shows. They're used all the time in many shows, but every episode of MLP has a different score, and the motifs for each character actually have some variation that seems to parallel their character growth. The one for Twilight Sparkle for instance actually changed quite a bit between the first and second season, and I can't wait to see what he does with it for the third.
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:iconbluedevilhunter:
BlueDevilHunter Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you my friend for making a well thought out and open minded opinion.
I have alway percive this manner in a way that everybody who loves this show and character wan't to see them in diferent situation or in diferent world. Not neccesaryly (sorry my main language is Polish) Rarity beating up Chathullu (although that would be an glorious sight) but for Example Fallout: Equestria where every character is kept in character and expanded upon in diferent situations and settings.

I hope that made sense. I diabetic and not feeling very well right now so I hope that this read is coherent.

Good night and good luck.
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:iconberlioz-ii:
Berlioz-II Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
I'd be down with seeing Rarity beating up Cthulhu... or really any other eldritch horror. :D

Anyway, no problem man. I've always liked things straddling on the darker side of the fence, though when it comes to FiM, I do also very much like its more cheerful, sincere and uncynical viewpoints. But if the series itself or other people want to take it down some paths less well-lit, I'm also very much in support of it if it catches my personal fancy. And if not... well, then I can always just turn back and find something else better suited for me personally.
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:iconbluedevilhunter:
BlueDevilHunter Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That is exactly my point.
If sombody facys that then fine. I'm not gona force someone to enjoy things that that i enjoy or hammer them with ideas I have about My Little Cahathullu.

To each theire own I say.

The same conclusion of mine is with music. I may hate Justin Beibe but if someone loves it, make him feel better and get him out of the dump than by all means enjoy! My opinion aside and power to ya! Freedome of belives is how I roll.

As Optimus Prime said (My hero):
"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings"
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:iconbb-k:
BB-K Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
#77 is really a tough issue, it also reminds me of my old schoolmates, once we graduate, we're all spread out and they're very hard to call them again when their phone numbers fail, Facebook profiles cannot be found, etc.. Overall, if you have many friends, losing one won't be a big thing as the author said, people change too and I also got some changes on certain things I used to like and then became dislike or even pure hate. Anyway, it's just a matter of balance, if the person still wants to maintain the friendship, both side must keep themselves normal and live normally without talking all the pony stuff. If the person is like some sort of bad guy who demands a ransom such as give up MLP and join that person, then let him go, it's his loss that he is the one who created the problems, not yourself. If he got his own friends too, well, that I can't comment.

#78 is already well answered, well, people do tend to twist things around since we know how popular the show is, I've seen horrific monster of Pikachu & Care Bears before, probably in one of the magazines. I can't say much about this though. And I'm glad that I usually keep things not too twisted or change the characters' original personality and keep things as canon as possible.
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:iconrenaissancepony:
renaissancepony Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i feel bad for 77, if what he said is true.

unfortunately i dont think i have the right to make an opinion without hearing the friend's side of the story cuz he might be blowing things out of proportion
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:iconclassicteam:
ClassicTeam Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Student Interface Designer
Hey, number 77 here. Unfortunately I can only tell the side of the story that I can see - I've asked my friend as to why he's changed his stance or why he has become so harsh so I can better understand, but he's been tight-lipped.
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:iconrain-twister:
Rain-Twister Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I feel sad for #77. To have a show tear a friendship apart is just sad. I hope he/she can find peace.
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:iconclassicteam:
ClassicTeam Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Student Interface Designer
This is why I hate the situation I'm in. It's just a CARTOON! I keep double taking on how in the world a cartoon can cause my friend to suddenly become so apprehensive and unfriendly towards the group. Especially since I'm not 'addicted' or anything - I don't obsess over the show or the community. We just talked about what was relevant to our interests at the time. Then it was Ponies (since that's what was having new episodes each week) and now it's Gravity Falls.

It might just be that he's tired of seeing ponies anywhere... Which, as a 'Brony' myself, is something even I can agree on. And now I'm Side tracking... haha
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:iconrain-twister:
Rain-Twister Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My friend, you are not alone. I broke a friendship up about a couple of months ago and I can feel your pain. My friend had other friends and he slowly started to hang with them more than me. He used to play COD: Black Ops and everytime he came over he would want to play that and only that. Problem was that I was bored with the game and it would occasionally lead to the two of us disagreeing (I wanted to play Halo and other MP games). This lead to us hardly talking to one another and now he doesn't care to talk to me anymore. In short, friends are everywhere, they will come, they will go.

I don't want to make the decision for you but If I was in your position, I would cut off ties with your friend, now that he has decided to make fun of you for something you love. Its your decision though. Don't worry your fellow Bronies and Pegasisters will here for ya when you need help. ;)
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:iconregidar:
regidar Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Student Writer
:iconthisplz:

I might have to start asking questions again...
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:icondarkhestur:
DarkHestur Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional General Artist
I've found the last one amusin' since while ah do grimdark MLP, ah also find fun in makin' dark stuff into somethin' cute.
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:iconcuddlepug:
Cuddlepug Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012
You also have a powerful voice-recognition program that picks up accents, apparently.
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:icondarkhestur:
DarkHestur Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Professional General Artist
Aye, and t'was a pain in the arse ta get it ta work o.o
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:iconchibilombax:
chibilombax Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012
Thanks for answering my question. Yeah it's a odd subject I know. But thanks anyway. My friends and I are fans of the Lil Ms Rarity tumblr but that doesn't really mean we enjoy the actual person. That sounds completely bizarre I know. It's weird to describe. It's like watching a movie by a director you HATE but you love the movie anyway. I guess that particular story line is just a bit of a guilty pleasure. Sort of like Princess Molestia. Take NONE of it seriously and you are golden lol.

Already had my fair share of odd "rebel" artists. Tracers or people who pretend to be psychotic for attention. So maybe the behavior of the artist isn't all that shocking to me. Ah well I appreciated that you looked into the issue. I would've spoken about it more to help out but I was worried I'd make a "wow this note is way too long I'm not reading it" thing. I was honestly just surprised that people would actually give out death threats just because they don't like certain things. I mean hell I don't care at all for all the "artistic nude" *Cough cough* photos that are posted here. But I'd never wish harm on the people. If actual "bronies" issued the death threat like how some of the information is portrayed then I'm going to lose a tiny bit more faith in humanity. Oh well. Internet. Shit happens. Thanks again.
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:iconcuddlepug:
Cuddlepug Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012
'Eh, it's fair to assume that it was bronies who issued some of the threats, if they're legit. How many bronies do you know who actually behave rationally all the time?

For the user himself, I know nothing of them other than what people tell me, and so all I can objectively say from the evidence that I've seen is that the person doesn't seem to be very well-liked. Nevertheless, being unpopular, even if it's deserved, doesn't mean that you should be killed ;P
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:iconchibilombax:
chibilombax Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012
Not too many bronies I'm afraid. At least the ones I meet in real life are "normal" since it's obviously not the internet. That's nice.

I even met a few at disneyworld last week. A good chunk of the employees loved my Vinyl Scratch shirt ^^ I like meeting those fans. Heck I probably cheered them up for a moment in that horrendously humid weather. So I was kind of having Pinkie Pie moments lol. Just "yay I made someone smile I'm happy now!" as cheesy as that sounds XD

I'm actually rather happy Lil Miss Rarity is back. Maybe the guy really is some jerk and I just don't know it. But it's refreshing to hear someone not backing completely down from just stupid haters. Heck at least he rebooted the series it seems. He was kind of drifting away from the "Ask questions" part of the tumblr. So woots.

As for his anatomy btw. I heard a lot of complaints. Honestly I don't have too many complaints over it. Cartoonists can be lazy a little with anatomy just so long as a story is moving along. I'm not saying the artist has a free pass to suck at drawing but I can't be too picky about cartoon horse girls walking on two feet lol. If I had to get content out quickly I can see why some artists might slack on anatomy. It gets the idea out. Even if sometimes his ideas are porn. I won't lie and say he doesn't draw that lol. Heck if I didn't live with my parents I'd probably draw naughty stuff too. Not horse stuff but still. I'm just rambling while on cold medicine. ( Airport germs got to me. YAY )
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:iconfirefanatic:
firefanatic Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, I got nothing to add, except that the cover pic is VERY cute. :D
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:iconcuddlepug:
Cuddlepug Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2012
Go lavish praise on :iconnoxx-ious:, the talented artist who drew it.
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