Ahh the noble Marble Pie; present for a limited period of time with almost no lines whatsover, yet the spawner of thousands of comics, animations, drawings, and fanfiction. She's something that would have been completely passed over in any other show, yet the brony fandom scooped her up and built a legacy. One such artist is who we will be covering today!
Way back at the beginning of the year, many of us started noticing a ridiculously cute art style being used to draw a brand new comic dedicated to the old trope of Anon in Equestria. If you have no idea what that is, check out our report on it over here. It has since evolved into an absolute juggernaut of wish fullfillment as the musclebound main character corrals his strangely obsessed pony buddies into what seems to be an adventure of epic proportions. And butts. It's overflowing with butts.
Below the break, we sit down with Anon's Pie Adventure creator Pencils for an interview covering everything from the future of the series, to the intricacies in drawing both equine and human behinds.
(Warning: There will be some sauce below.)
Q:) How did you stumble upon My Little Pony? What was your "origin" story if you will?
(Oldschool pony villain Catrina playing a role in the comic)
A:) That goes a long way back to 80's. As a wee lad who loved cartoons I happened to tune in to the morning TV and there were these colorful equines, right after ninja turtles, and the catchiest freakin jingle for a theme song. Well, I stuck to it, watching the foray of girly ponies with girly voices into a mountain where giant rock crabs got all aggressive, and I was hooked.
Q:) Do you draw professionally? You seem to have a pretty incredible grasp on human anatomy. Is it something you’ve done a lot before MLP?
A:) I have been a professional cartoonist and a graphics artist a good while yeah. However before my comic I hadn't drawn a lot of ponies in years, just an occasional one here and there, not because I didn't enjoy drawing them but because they were so different from my usual style that it was a sort of fish out of water feeling. Nowadays I can draw pony with my eyes closed using only my left foot, and with the years of experience of working with comics and as avid comic reader / hobbyist I put all the tricks I have learned into making this comic. I also am consulting few other skilled writers to keep the story that extra bit interesting.
Q:) Your butts are top notch. Do you have any tips for newbie artists looking to draw better butts, and better in general? Did you have to study a lot of butts to get to the level of butts you are at now?
A:) Butts are one of those natural wonders that truly require a deeper, philosophical understanding of the full moon to properly grasp at. And now that I am done with heavy handed innuendo I can probe into the actual answer of arse anatomy. It is in fact a matter of study and careful thought, you can't just jot down a few curves on papers and call it a day when drawing a butt, one has to understand the musculature and how the weight is distributed to give the butt a proper sense of weight and life, this is doubly true about pony butts since they are more projected from their body due to quadruped posture. Bringing their shape and behavior more into limelight.
If a newbie is looking to draw a butt, I would say that while understanding the basic shapes will get you part way there, ruminating on the butt and what it truly is doing there will serve you well in making the contours and shapes more dynamic and interesting to look at.
In a comic like mine, the butts are often in center stage too, because ponies have their heads fairly close level with their posterior, so giving them their deserved attention as another main actor in the scene is very important. I could go more into this subject but(t) I think that would be excessive.
Q: ) Who is your favorite pony? And if it's different, who is your favorite pony to draw?
A:) Pinkie Pie is my favorite pony, mostly thanks to first 4 seasons of character development and depth she was given then. Ever since only Nick Confalone has done justice to Pinkie as a character now that Amy Keating Rogers moved to greener dolla bills. Which is sad, but I am happy for her if she is more free to create and is better compensated for her exceptional work. As far as drawing ponies goes, I think drawing Maud is most fun, she is so damn expressive and radiant. It's always a blast to plan her next wacky facial expression.
Q:) What kind of challenges do you usually run into when drawing a character for the first time? Has there ever been an image concept that completely stumped you?
A:) Biggest stumbling stone in this comic has been spike, he is not there a lot and his weird body is always just somehow fighting with his giant head. I can see why the later seasons aim to keep him at eye level with the camera, saves the animators a ton in painkillers from all the headaches. However I am determined at mastering spike, that's why I am releasing sexy spike pin up nudie calendar for the next year. (seriously)
Q:) I know I’m not the only one on EQD addicted to Anon’s Pie Adventure. We’ve seen Anon in Equestria stuff with endless wish fulfillment before (...and secretly loved it while complaining about it). Where did you get the idea for that one?
A:) This comic didn't even start as a proper idea, I just saw a silly comic of Rarity being all flustered about anon's body and felt that "well damn, I kinda want to see how far I can take this ball." And since Ponka was my favorite pony, I wanted to pay tribute to her entire family.
Q:) We’ve been somewhat wary to regularly post the comic here just due to not knowing where it’s going to go! Are you planning to take it to full clop? Or stick to just borderline sauce?
A:) The comic is going to remain as saucy but not clop, there are some edits of my pages here and there and I did one as a request myself since I felt like since people keep asking for it, I might just deliver on an occasion. my inexperience at pony bits shows though in my efforts.
Q:) I freakin love Mascara (4 hooved and half hooved). Do you design your own OC ponies?
A:) I have designed all my OC ponies by far, what little I have gathered of Lauren's original guidelines to ponies I have worked to remain faithful to as concepts are developed. Sure my comic has a more mature approach and there's a bit more troubling past to some of the ponies, but this allows one to truly build their character out as more fleshed and rounded being. I am glad to hear and see so many people enjoying my OC's, I never expected such a positive response to them.
Q:) How many hours does a typical page take to complete?
A:) 11-16 hours, sometimes more if there's a lot of linework or complicated scenes to color. But I am not in a hurry and taking my time on every detail all serves to further celebrate the wonder that is ponies. If it is worth doing, it's worth doing well. Sometimes it gets a bit painful though and the long stretches of work do a number on my hand and back. Especially since I have to produce other art too to pay my bills, but I am reluctant to put any less effort into any of my work just because I am swamped.
Q:) Socks, sweaters, silly hats, suggestive swimwear, full body armor, cougar glasses; ponies have been used with just about everything. What is your favorite accessory to draw ponies in?
A:) Tail bowties, ones right at the root of the tail, that's just stupidly cute.
Q:) What do you like most about Friendship is Magic? What keeps you drawing so many awesome ponies?
A:) Friendship is magic started out its journey as a wonderful little story around an adorable village full of silly ponies doing heartwarmingly ponylike things, this small ponies in a big world setting just captivated my heart and held it in a warm hug, melting from it the deep freeze that years of life in hard unforgiving world of professional art had cast upon it. There was a spark of love for art and need to create something of my own instead of making ends just meet that I thought I had lost a long ago. This spark grew a few years but now here it is a flame in form of my comics. I can truly say that I love my little pony; Friendship is magic, and I love the vision that Lauren Faust had for it. It's beautiful, to a point it still sometimes moves me to tears when I think about it. I am amazed that she never lost that piece of her that makes one think up these sweet adorable things. But thanks to that, I now have rediscovered it in myself, and while my comics can be a bit tongue in cheek lewd too, it is nonetheless in respect for the more innocent air ponies have to them.
I never expected my comic to get all the attention it did, I draw it because I love ponies, and that is what keeps me drawing it, not popularity, not money, which there isn't that much of anyway, since I keep it free to all to read and download. While the money sure helps, allowing me to spend more hours a month on pony and less on killing my soul piece by piece making chewing gum pictures look "more fresh" for ads, it isn’t the motivation for this comic.
Q:) Why do you think My little Pony Generation 4 has been so successful? What keeps you here involved in the community?
(Some of the cast of Anon Pie's Adventure)
A:) The success of pony has many angles to it, the show has evolved so much over the years that it's like trying to guess which tentacle a jellyfish favors in capturing the fish. What keeps me involved with the community is mostly the fact that community is attached to the jellyfish that pulled me in. I don't really discuss the show or anything aside from my comic and occasional chat with a few friends. I've always been pretty private person even if my long rants here might suggest otherwise. It's just that when you don't spend a lot of time talking, you spend it thinking. Thinking about ponies, butts, and buttlosophies.
With many butts