John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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AnthroCon and Marking A Year of Pony

Although I'd heard talk about how good MLP:FIM was and had in mind to "watch it sometime," I really didn't pay any attention to it until AnthroCon last year, where a couple of people were bopping around in a very cool matched set of AppleJack and Rainbow Dash fursuits, I got requests for pony art (which I fulfilled as best as I could by looking up refs on the internet), and folks I knew were furiously comparing and playing with blind-bag ponies.

It was cute, it was fun, and most important, it was where the creative energy was, and that's where my attention is always drawn. Better still, hantamouse and I were treated to a dazzling double rainbow on the ride home, which of course just led me to find this on YouTube and post it when we got home:

So here we are a year later, and pony is everywhere; my own feelings on it are somewhat contradictory. Pony's been good to me: as an artist, I've discovered that my least popular piece of pony art gets more views and comments than all the rest of my non-pony art combined. I've met some very cool people thanks to the ponies, and gotten to know other folks I already knew even better because of our mutual interest in the show. Heck, I've been specifically invited to BroNYCon to be on the #TwitterPonies panel, which I wouldn't have ever predicted.

On the other hand, well, there is a certain amount of pony fatigue that sets in. I actually find it quite depressing when an artist I've been following for a long time suddenly doesn't draw anything but pony any more (and this is something I've actively made a point of avoiding myself, but it's not easy). And honestly... I don't much care for the "brony" phenomenon. I don't like the way the fandom has become more important than the show, and I really don't like how the show kept veering into fanservice in the second season.

On the other hand, all of those negative feelings go away when I go back and watch the early episodes. AJ and Rarity trying not to bite each other's heads off for the sake of Twilight's adorkable "first ever slumber party?" Loved it. :) Seeing the moon visible through the head of the roaring ursa? Awesome. Rainbow Dash only able to pull off the sonic rainboom because Rarity's life was at stake? Sweet. AJ and RD and the running of the leaves? Beautiful. And so on.

And it's not like the fandom is all bad by any stretch; there's a lot of very awesome stuff being made by fans all this time (like the Low Flier animation I go so into a little while back, for starters). And let's face it, if it hadn't been for the fandom, I wouldn't have even known the show existed, so I do owe 'em that!

So what are the take-aways for me here? Well, two things. First, I need to remember that while ponies are cool, they are just one piece of a larger picture. Despite what some people may say, "pony" is a subset of "furry," and in many ways is the perfect furry TV show. But it is just one show. All the stuff I've always loved about furry is still there, just waiting to be picked up again. To that end, I will be making a point of drawing more non-pony stuff in the days ahead. (I won't stop drawing ponies all together-- they're fun and fast and get a lot of attention-- but I am going to make a point of drawing other stuff, too.)

Second, I need to remember that the fandom is not the show and vice-versa (something I wish more people would keep in mind). Eventually, for better or worse, the show will run its course and the Fickle Eye of Fandom will move on to the next big thing, which will be the end of stuff like DerpyGate and Ponyfiying ALL the Things. But even when that happens and phrases like "Love and Tolerate the @&$% Out of You" (or even better, "Twilightlicious") become so five years ago, the great bits in the show will still be there, and still be great bits... and if I'm lucky, the friendships I've made will endure, even after being "the new hotness" does not.

I dunno, does any of this make sense? Or am I just rambling again?

-The Gneech
Tags: comics and art, conventions, furry, mlpfim
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