• Equestria Daily Interview Series: Interview with IDW Editor Bobby Curnow Part 3 of 5

    First, write every day. That's the most basic, and necessary, thing to being a writer. The idea of being a writer is appealing to many, but if you can't sit down and write every day, you're just not going to get good enough to go anywhere. At least, that's what I've observed, there are exceptions. The good news is that every day is a new opportunity to start. It's never too late.

    And now the continuation (after the break).

    How did you end up becoming the editor for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic?

    It's kind of a silly story. When we first discussed internally at IDW that we were getting the license, I said, “I bet Katie Cook would be a good creator to put on this.” No one else here knew anything about MLP, so the fact that I had any thoughts at all is kind of what got me the job.

    I have always wanted to do an all ages comic too, so I did pursue it a bit after that initial conversation as well.

    What is the process for putting together your creative teams? Were they mostly comic creators you already knew, or were they talent that applied directly to IDW, or were they recommended to you by talent you've already worked with?

    I'd say so far it's pretty evenly split between all three of those options.

    When issue one of Friendship is Magic pre-sold over 100,000 copies, what was your reaction?

    Surprise and amazement! Definitely unexpected, but it was very happy news.

    My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has been IDW's number one selling title for over two years now. Is there anything that you take into consideration when editing this comic over any other title you've worked on in the past? 

    Its place on the sales charts doesn't play into it at all. I try and give everything I'm working on the same attention and effort. Of course every comic is different, and one month might be much busier than another, so you have to prioritize your time differently, but I wouldn't say I give MLP any special treatment because it sells more than another of the books I work on.

    The series started with two fairly large in scope four issue arcs, before swapping over to two issue arcs, then a couple of stand alone issues, and then back and forth between the various formats. How much leeway do you give to you creative teams with regards to the length of their stories?

    At any given time I've got a large handful of submissions and story ideas. Sometimes I'll tell a writer that I'm currently looking for a certain type of story, but usually I have a good mix of story types at my disposal, so it's just a matter of slotting those stories in at times that I think it's appropriate. We wanted to start the comic with two big storylines to hook folks in. Once it was established that we had a readership, we felt we could do smaller, slice of life stories.

    It's funny to think about it this way, but in comics those smaller, slice of life stories are often the riskier bet because they are harder to market and give attention to. But that's one of the really nice things at MLP and its fandom. Folks like the big stories, but there's a real desire for smaller stories about everyday life and friendship. Which is something I find tremendously refreshing.

    Would there be any chance for an arc lasting longer than four issues?

    Yes, anything is possible, though there are no plans at this moment. It would [also] face a slight uphill climb to justify that length.

    Which arc in the main series has stood out the most to you in terms of creativity, or fun, or memorable moments?

    I probably have the most visceral memories of the first story arc, featuring Chrysalis, because it was all new, and we didn't know what the reaction to the story, or MLP comics in general, was going to be. It felt like it was clicking, and that’s an exciting feeling. I've enjoyed all of the stories, but the Big Mac 2-parter and the Pets one-shot really made me laugh in particular.

    How did the MLP: Microseries come about?

    The instant success of the mainline made us think that we could expand the line, pretty quickly. I took the spotlight approach at the start of the TMNT run. When you have an ensemble cast full of such distinct personalities, it’s a relatively easy way to get good stories that can also be produced concurrently, which helps when launching a new line.

    So was it always planned on being a ten issue series, or was it expanded after the successful first six issues? 

    It was just intended to be the Mane Six, but with it doing well, it was a no brainer to expand to the Princesses, Spike and the CMC, all of which have a large following.

    How did you end up choosing the creative teams for each issue in that series?

    Just talking to writers and finding out who they were interested in, and having them pitch different stories. The ones that seemed to work best made the cut.

    I've been dying to ask this question since I interviewed Brenda Hickey, how did you end up writing the Applejack Micro Issue?

    No one was really chomping at the bit to write the AJ issue (to be clear, I got some pitches from others for her, but I wouldn't say that she was anyone’s first choice, or those writers just had stronger stories for other characters). I had a story floating around my head, so I ran the pitch by Hasbro and they seemed enthusiastic about it, so we went forward with it.

    …tomorrow. As always, Bobby Curnow can be found on the IDW Friendship is Magic Comic Forums.

    Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5