• Equestria Daily Interview—My Little Pony: FIM #51 Writer James Asmus

    For some reason I am not surprised at all that Pinkie Pie is throwing several parties to usher in this new era of My Little Pony Comics. And no, the solicitations coming out three months ago telling us this had absolutely nothing to do with this revelation.

    To celebrate this occasion on Equestria Daily, the writer of the issue—James Asmus was more than happy to agree to sit down for an interview about the new arc, and what it means actually tying into the Season 7 of the TV show.

    Below the break you'll find all the juicy details about the new direction of the comics, how James Asmus actually got involved with the comics, and what the writing process was like for the new mysterious villain.

    Here's hoping you find these answers as enlightening as I did.

    The Illustrious Q: Who is your favorite MY LITTLE PONY character?

    James Asmus: That's a very tough call! I think it changed, when I started writing the arc, to Rarity. She's such a reasonable, thoughtful character who still has a very clear and very strong bent to her perspective - that makes her a great voice to plug in at any moment. She can help forward the story or another character's understanding of something, but I can still have fun keeping the moment fresh and unique by playing with how her refinement and tilt her advice. I have always loved, though, that her character is one of the few fashion-conscious characters I've seen who isn't made out to be shallow. She always has generosity, compassion, and acceptance most characters with her interests don't have.

    TIQ: How were you first introduced to the show?

    JA: Well, I had of course heard the broad enthusiasm for FiM, and seen plenty of evidence at conventions. But I have a son who'll be four later this year, and some time last year, as soon as he saw the ponies pop up on Netflix, he wanted to watch it. He really got super into the show, and my wife & I really dug it, too. It really is one of the more clever, sincere, and all-around enjoyable shows we've found that we can all watch together.

    TIQ: And building off of that question, which episode has been your favorite?

    JA: Another tough call! I think I got an extra kick out of "Stranger Than Fan Fiction" after all my years at conventions (and my love of Patton Oswalt). But "A Dog & Pony Show" will always have a special place in my heart as the first of the episodes we watched where I really felt show's joyful and playful approach to expanding their world -- AND, my son wants me to mention that his favorite episode is "Power Ponies."

    TIQ: How did you end up writing for the book? Were you approached by IDW MY LITTLE PONY Comic Editor Bobby Curnow? Recommended by another artist/writer working on the book? Basically what is your story?

    JA: I have become friends with a few people at IDW over the years, and wound up hanging out with the company one night at New York Comic Con. In talking with Bobby, when he brought up editing My Little Pony, I perked up, mentioning how much my son loved the show. He very kindly offered me the chance to work on the book - and everything went from there!

    TIQ: In the past when a new writer was brought onto the MY LITTLE PONY comics, new writers are generally given an issue of Friends Forever to try out the series with a one shot. How does it feel to be the first new writer on the series since Katie Cook and Heather Nuhfer to start out with a multi issue arc?

    JA: Well, honestly, I was grateful for the chance to work on characters my son is excited about! But in going back and reading a bunch of the comics, I was really struck by how many great folks have worked on the different series and what consistent quality there is between the issues I read and the series. I've written lots of shorts, one-shots, and ongoing series for other companies, so I would've been more than happy to start at any size! But there is a kind of excitement (and a little nervousness) at jumping right into the deep end!

    TIQ: You announced on Twitter shortly after My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #51 was announced by IDW that the three issue arc is going to tie into Season 7 of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic TV Series. What was your reaction when you realized that was going to happen?

    JA: I was extra-tickled for sure! And it meant that I got a handful of insights, notes, and stories from folks at the show, and peeks at some of the big stuff happening for Season 7. When you see the love and care everyone involved has for keeping the integrity of this world and the stories they create, it's a genuinely inspiring and encouraging experience. It helps you ramp up your own efforts, but also secured my confidence that if I misstep in any way, there were plenty of supportive folks who would get me on the right path again.

    TIQ: How did the idea for "From the Shadows" come about?

    JA: The core of it was something that Bobby had worked out with the good people at Hasbro and the show, I believe. He pitched me the basics and asked me to play with the idea from there! The particulars of what they wanted to achieve definitely suggested some clear ideas for a mysterious new pony. From there, it was surprisingly easy and fun to tease out all the mayhem and intrigue that could spin out of what he's after, and his particular specialty of magic...!

    TIQ: What can you tell us about this mysterious new pony? The covers certainly make the pony out to be quite the epic character.

    JA: I tried to make this new pony an intriguing, formidable, and ultimately a rounded, understandable villain. We get more chances to understand the character as the arc goes on. I will say the character is more of a 'a mare on a mission' than a would-be Equestria conqueror. So while magic certain does open the door to some epic possibilities, this arc is more of a pursuit story. (With lots of swerves and settings and surprises!)

    TIQ: Is anything you'd like to say to the reader base of Equestria Daily?

    JA: Just a big "Thank You!" for being interested and excited and welcoming! There's so much love for these characters and this world that it's genuinely infectious and inspiring. I'm doing my best to do right by all of you (and the fans in my house) - so I hope you like it!

    My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #51
    James Asmus (w) • Tony Fleecs (a & mc) • Heather Breckel (c) • Sara Richard (sc) • Nicoletta Baldari (ric)

    Twilight is startled to find that the most important history books in Equestria are going missing. Will she and her friends be able to uncover the identity of the mysterious new villain responsible?

    FC • 32 pages • $3.99

    My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #51 is now available at comic shops everywhere.