• Let's Review: The 10th Anniversary Coda


    Ten years of comics. An impressive milestone! Plus, this comic comes with an extra little something courtesy of Jeremy Whitley and Andy Price!

    Check out the mini-review after the break!


    A short piece to compliment the issue that started it all. What better artist to tackle it than Price himself? I'm looking forward to Price drawing G5 for the very reasons on display in this issue. He draws the characters with such vitality. His panels, even without a background, often have some kind of reference. Those same references make second and even third readings enjoyable as there's always something new to notice.


    How I wish I could give the poor lad a word processor.

    If there's anything to fault in Price's work, it comes down to the antagonist for this coda. No name given; and so I will call him Strawpony. For he is an example of a straw-man argument that isn't entirely unfounded.


    Even the Watcher Pony thinks this is too much.

    Let's start with the grand revelation: Spike has been the author of every comic story we've seen. From the main storyline to Friends Forever, it was Spike all along. Thus any errors in characterization or continuity can be chalked up to Spike's absence, or confused memories, or simply wanting to tell a fun story.


    None can disagree with that chin!

    Enter the Strawpony, who aggressively demands that Spike be held accountable for these errors. Everything about this character reeks of a fandom's darkest side. To compliment this, Price designed the character with unflattering aspects like thinning mane, skin blemishes, a double-chin, and several filthy spots on his body or glasses. He is meant to be the fandom's ugly side, though I think we need to draw distinctions.


    He calls himself a Twilight Scholar.
    I call that being a stalker.

    If you've ever noted the continuity or character inconsistencies, that does not make you part of what Strawpony represents. These aspects are factual and are simply part of the discussion. What really makes this character and the breed of criticism he represents so unappealing is the venom behind the words. He is demanding answers for his own ego rather than wanting to learn. He is not addressing Spike as an equal or a person deserving a baseline respect. There is a tyranny to his approach. And sadly, this is an aspect of any fandom.


    Would that people could show this kind of support every day.

    Spike makes the comment that some ponies just don't want to have fun. The strange is that this kind of expression may not be rooted in fun, but it is a passion. Some folks get worked up and their expression is not always healthy. Yet this guy did take the time to read every comic, even if only to note where things diverted. I could never celebrate a person who shows their investment through hostility, but it is an aspect that any creative is going to face within a franchise.

    Reviewing/Critiquing is an art. 
    Take care that you don't craft something ugly.

    Thus I appreciate that Whitley, combined with pony representations of Any Price and Katie Cook, takes the time to make an assertion. Even if they are not canon, the comic stories are a fun read. There are stories that didn't express the characters well, and there are also presentations that exceeded the show. A good story is worth celebrating even if it can't neatly fit into the larger franchise storyline. So never let what's "canon" keep you from expressing yourself!


    Anyone else getting a Kingdom Hearts vibe here?


    As an added bonus, we get a series of tributes from both the writing and art. Mina the dragon is back. She might be watching Spike's place as a friend or she might be something more. That's up to the fans to interpret. I'm a shipper, so you can probably guess my take.

    She's put on eye shadow. 
    How much does makeup for dragons cost?

    It's the final shot that I find so enjoyable. Spike has gone beyond the standard dragon approach of building a hoard. Rather than stealing from others to build himself up, Spike seems to have inhereted items from the various adventures to create a treasure trove. There are so many references that pay tribute to various issues, including some of the best stories. I'm especially grateful that Price included a reference to Tony Fleec's Thunder Gremlins.


    That Pinkie costume still has that fresh evil Changeling scent!

    This is a fun addition to an already-impressive "first issue". Well worth a read with a positive message for storytellers and an example of the kind of fan we shouldn't want to emulate.

    I'm Silver Quill. Thanks for reading!

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