Greetings, comic fans! I have a treat for you today.
IDW- the same folks that have been publishing the recent MLP comics with the million cover variants- are going to be putting out a one-shot comic starring Rainbow Dash sometime in March. To get you pumped up for the release, we have an interview here with the writer, Ryan Lindsay! He came to us eager to share a few facts and interesting tidbits about what he's been working on- including the challenges of getting up to speed with not only generation four but with our community, and exactly how one might go about putting Rainbow Dash in a situation where her ever-present confidence would be put to the test.
Click on past the break for the full interview.
And if you want to pick up the comic for yourself, head on over to the pre-order page!
Equestria Daily Interview
Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself? Who are you, and what do you do?
Hey there happy readers, I’m Ryan K Lindsay and I’m an Australian writer. I spread my time writing comics as well as writing about comics and am relatively new on the scene for both. I’ve been writing seriously for years now and it’s exciting to see things really coming together as we draw deeper into 2013.
What other major projects have you worked on as a writer?
This year, I’ll have a lot of comics appearing but not a lot of it is all-ages, unfortunately. I’d like to change that as I have two small children and want something they can read within the next decade. I’ve got an ongoing comic called GHOST TOWN coming out from Action Lab Entertainment’s Danger Zone imprint and I’ve got a book of essays about Daredevil being published by Sequart called THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS: EXAMINING MATTMURDOCK AND DAREDEVIL, as well as a slew of other small and great things in both the comics, prose, and literary worlds.
But most importantly, March is going to see the release of the MY LITTLE PONY MICRO SERIES: RAINBOW DASH one-shot which I wrote and am super excited about.
Were you a fan of the older generations of My Little Pony?
Y’know, I was more of a Care Bears kind of kid, honestly. MLP wasn’t something I ever really found.
Were you a fan of the current generation before being put on the team for the Rainbow Dash comic?
I also have to shamefully admit that I wasn’t watching the new incarnation of the show. I’m a teacher, a husband, a father, and a night time writer, thus I barely watch any TV at all so when I do I’m trying to catch up on all those awesome cultural icon shows from last decade because I am so ridiculously far behind.
Plus, my kids aren’t quite old enough to watch the show, I’m still miring them in educational television instead, poor little ones.
So, tell us a little bit about the comic- just an overview. What’s the dealio?
This one-shot is my analysis of Rainbow Dash and what makes her tick. Ultimately, I found Rainbow to be an incredibly strong and motivated character so I wanted to test her convictions. I set up a situation where Rainbow has to work out why she is so stubborn at times, why she always tries so hard, and then I test just how hard a force she will push against, and what will truly motivate her to do her best.
In the story, a cloud full of negative emotion sucking gremlins invades Rainbow’s airspace and brings sadness to the land. Rainbow tries but consistently fails to get rid of them causing more frustration, which the gremlins then food upon. Rainbow needs to work out a way to get a victory but it’s not going to be easy. It’s a tale of struggle but with some laughs thrown in, too.
What was your first reaction when you were handed the task of writing the comic?
Honestly, I was worried as to whether I could do it. I’ve written a lot of comic pages but most of them are relatively adult in nature. My writing often feels like a form of therapy, it comes from the gut, and so I didn’t think this was in my wheelhouse at all. I stared at this glorious email with uncertainty for a day or two, I didn’t want to take on such an important property if I didn’t think I could do it justice or have something to say.
Then, as if a sign, my wife and I went in for a pregnancy scan and we discovered our second child will be a girl. It was this real moment where on the drive home it started me thinking – wouldn’t it be cool to have something she could read and I could read to her? This unlocked some part of my brain and suddenly I had more ideas than I knew what to do with. It was great and I know I’ve written something she’s going to love in a few years.
What sort of research did you do in order to get started? Were you prepared for what you found in the course of said research?
I went straight online and dug in. I spoke to Katie Cook (she who is writing the fantastic main MLP comic) about which episodes of the show I should watch in order to get a great grasp on the character of Rainbow. I went through scores of websites to see how the fandom thought of these characters, what their favourite moments were, and then analysed how I could present this vibe in my own script.
I spent a fair bit of time looking at the various MLP memes that proliferate the information highways. These were great because it showed me what moments and what dialogue really resonated with the fans.
Probably my greatest asset was a girl in my class. I teach Year 5, so 11 year olds, and just as I landed the gig I heard her mention something about Ponies. I inquired and found out what a huge fan she was. I surreptitiously asked her about Rainbow – who it turned out is her favorite - and why she liked the character so much. It was great to hear from a young girl exactly what she got from the series as I’m writing this for that demographic and I want them to get so much from this issue.
As for my level of preparedness, ha, yeah, I was fine. I’m a major comic book fan, I’ve seen all levels of fandom and all the MLP stuff I found was really awesome and definitely inspiring. I may have been singing auto-tune YouTube clips around the house for quite some time.
Were there any limitations (story or otherwise) set upon you by the powers that be? What couldn’t you fit into the comic, but perhaps wanted to?
The only limitations, I guess you could say, was that I had to remember this is a kids comic. My tendency is to go dark so I had to ensure I didn’t veer into the black. That being said, I did try to bring a pompous level of evil to my gremlins and I’m really pleased with how they’ve come out. My artist on the issue, Tony Fleecs, has done an amazing job bringing these creatures to terrifying life.
Hasbro is the ultimate parent of this project, they get final say on everything, and they’ve been A-mazing to deal with. Their notes are always clear and make the story better and they’ve been champs about letting me tell my story.
What was your favorite part about working on the comic? Was there anything that particularly bothered you about it?
I think my favourite part of writing this issue was coming up with some of the big moments that I think readers will love. I try to use MLP language in new and inventive ways to drop some sneaky references and make the audience smile. I’m also really pleased with one terrifying moment that occurs as the page turns where Rainbow realises what sort of threat she’s up against.
To be honest, and I really mean this, there wasn’t anything about this project that bothered me. When you’re writing something so fun and awesome you kind of get filled with that spirit every time you sit down to make the words flow. It was an honour.
Are there any parts that you can tell us about that the brony community might particularly like?
For my bronies out there, yeah, I’ve managed to drop in some pretty awesome references to other cultural experiences. It might only be a line, or it could be a full page, but if you look closely you’ll see Blade Runner, you’ll find a sneaky Nolan/Batman moment, and my salute to a structural slice of The Dark Knight Returns should make people smile. Oh, and then there’s the pony I’ve simply credited in my script as Redford Pony, I’m pretty happy with how he’s come out.
Any final thoughts?
Absolutely, I want to thank every MLP fan out there whose support of the franchise, and the phenomenally great sales on the comic, have made this opportunity come to life. I’m pretty certain fans are going to go nuts for this issue because it’s got high stakes, it’s got some funny moments, and it’s a great morality tale spun around the core concept of who Rainbow Dash is. I had so much fun writing this book, Tony Fleecs is doing amazing things illustrating it, and I hope we all get to do this again some time. Until then, let me know your feedback on Twitter as @ryanklindsay.