• INTERVIEW: Jeremy Whitley and Brenda Hickey talk Legends of Magic!

    Earlier this week, the brand new comic series My Little Pony: Legends of Magic launched at comic book shops everywhere!

    Equestria Daily had the chance to sit down and interview Jeremy Whitley and Brenda Hickey--the writer and artist respectively for the series--to find out how they wound up on the series, what it's like to launch not just one but two different MY LITTLE PONY comic book series, and most importantly of all some hints about you can expect to find about the series later on down the line.

    I hope you're all ready to delve into some behind the scenes stuff, which you can, as always, check out in its entirety after the break!

    The Illustrious Q: How does it feel launching a second MY LITTLE PONY comic from IDW? Granted the first title was a limited event series, but the point still stands.

    Brenda Hickey: It's definitely an honour to be launching another MY LITTLE PONY title! I really want to set this series up strong [visually], so I'm really trying to up my game in terms of the overall design, environment, and personality that goes into each page.

    Jeremy Whitley: I hadn't even thought of that! Well, I guess it feels good. I always love to work with Bren, so I was psyched to get to do that again! But yeah, it was really cool to get to be the one to get to launch this new era in the MY LITTLE PONY comics.

    TIQ: How did you become aware of/involved with IDW’s new Legends of Magic comic series?

    BH: The internet made me aware, and I was instantly drawn to the appealing design of the show. I put together a portfolio of character studies, and page/cover samples and gave it a shot.

    JW: Well, I had stepped back a little from writing MY LITTLE PONY because I was pretty tied up with my creator-owned stuff and my work on The Unstoppable Wasp over at Marvel, not to mention having just had a new baby, so I knew IDW was looking at launching some a new MY LITTLE PONY series, but I hadn't been keeping that close of an eye on it.

    But a few months back Bobby came to me with the idea for the series, knowing that I was frequently attempting to pitch lore heavy stories for Friendship is Magic. Given that this book was going to explicitly be about the lore and history of Equestria, he thought it would be up my alley. I got the chance to read over some of the show plots that we would be tying into and was sold right away.

    TIQ: Having worked on the other MY LITTLE PONY Comics, what are some of the key differences that cropped up in Legends of Magic that don’t exist in the other MY LITTLE PONY Comic Titles?

    BH: Most of the time when I work on MY LITTLE PONY comics I try to recall the tv episodes and pull as much reference as possible for characters and locations. With Legends, very little of that is available! This series will be unique in that a vast majority of the stories will be told with locations and characters I have to design myself. I'll do my best to keep the designs mindful of the show's style, but hope to push the boundaries of what I've previously come up with in the past.

    JW: Space!

    Not like outer space or anything, I just mean that we suddenly had a lot more canvas to work with. After half a decade of the show and fifty issues of the comic, the core cast of the show is pretty well defined. Getting the chance to break out of the current time and play with some other pieces of the MY LITTLE PONY world is an amazing opportunity to create both within that amazing world and outside of the immediate story.

    TIQ: What do you find the most exciting about working on this brand new series?

    BH: Working with characters that I've never had a chance to before!

    JW: Well, of course it's getting to work with Brenda.

    But apart from that, it has to be getting a chance to write one of the first pony stories in which Starswirl the Bearded gets to be the central protagonist! We get to hear about him so much, but we very rarely get the chance to see him take the spotlight. And right off the bat our first story is about Starswirl in a time we've never really gotten to see. We'll see Starswirl in his role as teacher to young Luna and Celestia, It gives us a chance both to learn about him and to see the princesses in a time we know very little about.

    TIQ: In the initial announcement from Comics Alliance, Jeremy, you stated that the series gives the chance to “follow mythological members of the cast who have only ever appeared in stories and flashbacks.” Aside from a certain character with an epic beard—and bells on his hat—does the possibility exist that we could see the historical inspirations for six MY LITTLE PONY characters in “Hearth’s Warming Eve?”

    BH: I'll leave that one to Jeremy to answer, haha~

    JW: Well, I wouldn't rule that out, but the other ponies we have in mind for our initial run here are very directly tied in to some things we'll learn in the upcoming season of the tv show. They'll be making their first appearances in the comic just as we're learning some new things about them in the show.

    TIQ: How much leeway do you have to pull from other media sources, aside from the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic TV Series, to flesh out this history?

    BH: Again, this question is more suited for Jeremy to answer.

    JW: Well, I think one of the initial covers of the first issue may be leading people astray a little bit. We won't, at least for now, be touching on anything that was previously relegated to previous generations of MY LITTLE PONY.

    TIQ: Are there any time periods in Equestria’s past that you’ve already developed that you would like to explore more? I know My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic issue #24—which you both worked on—had Discord traveling to a number of different time periods throughout the story that seemed quite interesting.

    BH: It would be interesting for me to see more of Tirek's world. It feels so alien to the rest of Equestria! Tony did some great design work in that issue, it make me curious to dig deeper into that dismal realm...
    JW: I know I personally would love to explore some of those areas further. As...I think it's safe to say EVERYONE knows at this point, I'm a big fan of Discord. It would be great to get to explore some of his past a bit more and revisit some of those time periods we saw him in for Friendship is Magic #24.

    I think the biggest thing with this series, however, is going to be making sure that tell stories that serve the larger story and benefit the overall mythos of Equestria. I've never had trouble coming up with new ideas, but given the potential scope of this series, we want to make sure that we're not becoming a bizarre little disconnected island off by ourselves.

    TIQ: How much of a direction does Hasbro give when exploring new elements of Equestria’s past?

    BH: To you, Jeremy!

    JW: Well, I think there are two ways to answer that question. The first is that Hasbro has given us access to know the future of MY LITTLE PONY in ways that I've certainly never had the chance to know before. While somebody looking at it from the outside might say that trying to write a story that ties into a season of the tv show is constraining, it actually gives us a place to launch from. While they never sat us down and said "this is the story you need to write" they did say "this is where we're going and we won't have the space to tell all the stories we're suggesting exist". I mean, that's a pretty amazing feeling, especially considering the tv series has always hinted at the rich and exciting past of Equestria.

    TIQ: Brenda, you mentioned that you’re going to be working on the book for the first six issues. Jeremy, are you also going to be working with her for all those issues? And how does it feel to be working with each other again?

    BH: It's great! Jeremy always writes scripts packed with energy and character. Reading his words makes me want to push the art a little further, I want to be able to keep up with that guy!

    JW: I don't know how long I'll be working on it, but I know it will be at least that long... probably a bit longer. It's great to get the chance to work with Brenda again and, honestly, it's the first time we've gotten to work on more than a one-off story together.

    TIQ: What are you looking forward to the most with this series?

    BH: Making a big comeback with MY LITTLE PONY! I've been away a while working on a different project, it's pretty neat I get to come back with a bang on this new series!

    JW: So...I mentioned the first story deals with Starswirl in the time when he's a teacher to young Celestia and Luna. Young Celestia may be one of my favorite incarnations of this character. She really gets the chance to be the bratty older sister in a way we don't get to see when she's in charge of a kingdom.

    TIQ: Is there anything you would like to say to the readers at Equestria Daily?

    BH: I sincerely hope that you all check out Legends of Magic when it hits the shelves in April! I'm thrilled to be working on MY LITTLE PONY and am putting all my effort into making this new title one that is anticipated! Peace out, I gotta ink some more pages.

    JW: I hope you guys enjoy reading the book as much as we're enjoying working on it!

    My Little Pony: Legends of Magic #1
    Jeremy Whitley (w) • Brenda Hickey (a & mc) • Heather Breckel (c) • Zachary Sterling (sc) • Derek Charm (ric)

    The origins of cutie marks, friendships, magic and more are available in this new ongoing series devoted to revealing the secret history of Equestria! In this opening story arc, we travel back in time to uncover the secrets of Starswirl the Bearded and his magical friends!

    FC • 32 pages • $3.99

    Bullet points:
    • Ties into new season of My Little Pony!
    • The magic of My Little Pony continues with a brand-new ongoing series!
    • From seasoned MLP writer Jeremy Whitley, creator of Princeless, and writer on Marvel’s The Unstoppable Wasp!
    My Little Pony: Legends of Magic #1 is now available wherever comic books are sold.