• Let's Review: MLP #42

    Today marks a special event in the comics. A farewell to Katie Cook as she places two polar opposites to a task.

    Let's talk about this latest issue and see how Rarity and Pinkie fare.

    Be warned: herein lie spoilers!

    Since this is the last foreseeable comic from Katie Cook, I go into this review wanting to like the comic, but aware it might not work out. Cook is simultaneously the author of my favorite and least favorite MLP comics. That’d be Zen and the Art of Gazeebo Repair and The Good, The Bad, and the Ponies, respectively. 

    How can she be counted at polar ends of my personal likes? Because whether or not I think it works, Cook has always reached for the unknown. Whether it’s transplanting the Mane Six into the frontier or fleshing out Big McIntosh, she’s tried to create new things within this familiar framework. Though I might not agree with all the executions, I do admire that effort. 

    So this comic tries for a different frontier: Pinkie Pie’s mind. Try to predict Pinkie’s next move. 9/10 you’re wrong and that 1 other time you probably used up luck that could have gone towards a lotto ticket. Sorry.

    Pinkie needs to get a gift but hasn’t any idea what to get. So she goes to Rarity because… reasons. What follows is a buddy comedy as Rarity’s pride and Pinkie’s randomness collide to retell the pony version of The Emperor’s New Clothes

    Pinkie's logic is unassailable. 
    Mostly because no one can reach it.

    And that’s about it. There aren’t any twists or turns until the very end, which isn’t a world-shaking surprise. Odds are many a reader will say, “I called it”. Is that a bad thing? If this series presented itself as more a mystery or took itself too seriously, I’d call it a negative. In the context of this story, however, it seems very in line with the story’s spirit and Pinkie’s character. 

    These two panels sum up the dynamic between both characters.

    Much like issue 41, the draw lies in the artwork. 

    Katie Cook and Andy Price remain my favorite writer/artist duo for the comics and this issue is a good example. I’m not sure how closely Cook works with Price on the art aspect but the story gives each scene room for expression. 

    Price’s work in particular features multiple easter eggs so a second or third read through often yields something new. This issue tackles multiple art styles including genre-specific designs. Then it goes an even further step with photos of yarn dolls, playdough ponies, and woogly-eyed fruit. Word is that Price took these photos himself.

    I wonder how this entry would feature
    on Andy Price's resume? 

    The ultimate question is how well the comic represents both characters. Rarity and Pinkie are easy to get wrong as there’s a temptation to flanderize the fashionista and the goofball. As soon as Rarity is cast as the weaver she tries to spin it into her own fantasy. Pinkie Pie wants to feature robots.

    I support Pinkie Pie.

    Gah! Ruined forever! Thanks MA La–
    I mean, thanks Andy Price!

    I can’t say that this comic brought a new perspective to either character. Yet it did reinforce their positive traits. Rarity’s creativity and willingness to give her time. Pinkie’s desire to share an experience and her ability to find joy in the moment. The bond shared between two very, very different personalities. Not to mention the idea of gift-giving very similar to Gift of the Maud Pie.

    Oh, and Sweetie Belle may be a pyromaniac. That’s happened enough times in the comic to be considered a theme. 
    Some ponies just want to watch the world BOOM!

    So as Katie moves to the next adventure, I can say that I enjoyed this story. It wasn’t the strongest story she’s presented. For me, that remains Zen and the Art of Gazebo Repair. But A Pinkie Pie Story that Pinkie Pie Kinda Sorta Remembers was a silly, visually energetic, and enjoyable tale. It’s been a fun time and I hope her future remains bright.